The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- "Everybody Hates Hugo," "... And Found," "Abandoned."
Thursday, August 27, 2009; 3:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney this summer to discuss "Lost's" first and second seasons. Each week, we'll assign a few episodes to watch. Then join Liz and Jen each Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to talk about what happened and how those early shows tie in (or not) to "Lost's" looming final season.
Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com. For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.
Jen Chaney: Welcome, Losties. Liz and I are running late.
So we'll get right to it. Just throwing out my vote for quote of the week, based on this trio of episodes:
Libby: "We've got trust issues."
Michael: "Huh. How 'bout that?"
Liz Kelly: I dunno. I was kind of partial to Jin's "Cluckity Cluck Cluck."
Anyhow, let's get started...
Newark, Del.: First Happy Birthday Jen. Here's hoping for a Boone-shaped present (assuming Mr. Jen wouldn't mind).
Second, did you get to hear Damon on "geek time" special on Sirius hosted by Jump The Shark's Jon Hein and Howard Stern sycophant Ralph Cirella?
Jen Chaney: Aw, thanks, Newark. A Boone-shaped present ... that sounds intriguing.
I completely missed Damon on that special, which stinks because I have satellite radio. I'll have to see if there are plans to reair it. Would love to hear it.
Liz Kelly: A Boone-shaped present? That actually sounds vaguely X-rated. Maybe because Boone-shaped is so easily read as bone-shaped.
I shudder to think what Ralph could possibly have said to Damon.
Alexandria, VA: Do you think if Sabrina had given Shannon money she would have followed through on the ballet internship? I don't think so --
Jen Chaney: Call me horribly naive, but I actually think she would have gone. I think she really, really wanted that internship and that going to New York to pursue that would have given her a sense of purpose, dare I say even made her a better person.
Since her stepmom wouldn't give her the money, she wound up resorting to her darker tendencies -- using guys, taking advantage of Boone's generosity, etc. I think that's also why she's so sensitive about feeling "useless." She knows she's bright and has some talent and that she squandered it. And she hates herself for turning into a person who, to others, might rightfully be seen as petty and unmotivated.
Pleasantville: Jen, what presents would you want from Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Charlie and Hurley for your birthday?
Liz Kelly: That's right -- it's Jen's birthday!!! And she's here with us instead of out eating cake.
NW DC: Random question, do you ladies know anything about when all of season five will be up on abc or hulu? Right now it's only the last few episodes.
Liz Kelly: I don't. ABC has been playing around with the archives this summer. I don't suppose this could be a way to force people into buying the DVDs when released in December? Disney wouldn't do that to us, would they?
Jen Chaney: Disney?? Con us into buying something??
Liz, that is just crazy talk.
I went to ABC's site earlier today and they've done some revamping of their main Lost page. The bottom portion has sort of a comic-book-panel feel now.
So maybe they're toying with all kinds of things online just to mess with our heads.
oh, drat: It's 2:30 and I was just informed I need to go to a meeting in 15 minutes, which means I will miss most, probably all, of the chat. I don't suppose you'll all just wait for me to get back?
ah, well, have a nice chat without me :(
see you next week, i guess.
Liz Kelly: Don't forget to read the transcript, all of which are available at "Lost" Central.
Jen Chaney: We missed out. Next time, block off your calendar from 3 to 4 on Thursdadys. Your boss will think you're meeting with important clients and you'll never be dragged into a meeting during the chat again!
By the way, are we supposed to be talking about the shows we watched from season two this week? We haven't done that yet.
Albuquerque NM: Hi,
A quick comment and a question. First, now that ABC has restored the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seasons to the web site, I cheerfully withdraw my earlier accusation of ABC blowing chunks (from a Chat several weeks ago).
Now my question: it seems watching these episodes from early on that Hugo is a key character straight out of Shakespeare: the Fool who speaks the truth to power. I've read that Jorge Garcia was the first actor they cast, and I can see why if they were looking for an affable actor to play this critical role. Any thought?
BTW, I want to second Jen's remark on previous Lost Chat saluting Michael Giacchino's (sp?) score. In fact, I can't think of a weak link in the entire show: the writing, obviously, and the acting, but also the music, the cinematography, etc. I think "Lost" is a future classic along the lines of "The PRisoner", and that's high praise.
Phil in ABQ
Liz Kelly: Thanks for good thoughts, Phil.
Totally agreed re: Hurley. From early on he functioned as a reality check for the rest of the characters on the show, basically coming out and making the same kinds of comments we make from our couches -- calling Jack Dr. Ha Ha, etc.
As I recall hearing, the casting directors saw Jorge Garcia in a small part on one episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and knew they had to have him for "Lost." Good choice.
I wonder if that's how they got Evangeline Lily, too. Maybe someone saw her Canadian date line ad and just thought she's make a fabulous addition to the cast.
Jen Chaney: No, they actually auditioned Lilly, meanie. And her audition was pretty good. (It's in the DVD extras on season one, for those who are interested. And by that I mean everyone but Liz.)
And thanks for seconding me on Giacchino. There aren't very many TV shows that have truly cinematic scores behind them. They either use pop music or generic orchestral music. Giacchino's is just gorgeous.
Awesome Lost present: A nickname from Sawyer :0)
Jen Chaney: Yes, can someone please call Josh Holloway and ask him to give me a ring and refer to me as something?
"Hey, little Internet chica."
You know, something like that?
That would be a nice gift.
Kensington MD, would prefer to be LOST: Do you think LOST has really gotten its due as the first new TV show for the new way TV is watched in the 21st century? The way that so much is deployed in props (the Hatch), background (any flashback or flashforward), almost throwaway dialogue ("They're our Adam and Eve") makes me know that the show is written to be re-watched by individuals and by the whole LOST community, which can gather together to re-hash online. Of course the ultimate expression of this is the Alternate Reality Games that are so huge and winding no single person (or LOST-obsessed couple, ha ha) could solve and would need the help of millions of strangers around the world. So we aren't LOST, because we're watching LOST, together, now.
I love this show. I forgot my question.
Jen Chaney: You know something? I love YOU, Kensington.
To your point, I think that the people behind "Lost" have been incredibly smart about galvanizing their viewers online. There are plenty of cult shows, sure, but few have really gotten -- from both a marketing and just plain reaching-out-to-fans perspective -- how to make use of the Internet, from the ARGs to Lost University to The Fuselage site, etc. etc.
Nicely put point about how "Lost" has helped us all find each other because we watch and discuss it together. I know it sounds hokey, but I do feel enriched by the sense of community, both here on our site and online in general.
(Shut-up, I'm allowed to say cheesy things on my birthday.)
Liz Kelly: Sure are, Jen. And count me in on the lovefest.
The only depressing thing is thinking about the fact that reality TV -- which started breaking big just as "Lost" launched six years ago -- gets just as much traction with far less thought put into the product.
Jen Chaney: I think reality television had already broken big. "Survivor" started it, and technically, that's why Lloyd Braun at ABC wanted a "Lost" on his docket. He wanted a fictional version of "Survivor."
But "American Idol" added more water to that wave, to your point, Liz. And I agree, it hasn't been for the better, in my view.
Teddy bear: Whose teddy bear was it that the others were carrying? Was it someone's or were they just carrying it to look extra "scary"?
The whole thing annoys because because I'm afraid the writers will not resolve the Walt story (because he looks like the starting point guard for the Clippers).
Liz Kelly: I'm guessing you've watched the show before so it won't be a spoiler for me to tell you that Walt wasn't the only child on Oceanic 815.
But thank you for bringing up that Teddy Bear. Even knowing what I know now about the Others and their faux rag-tag look, I still got chills when that Teddy bear appeared on the screen. There's just something really menacing about the way it was shot -- paired with that foreboding music.
Jen Chaney: Agreed, the teddy bear is really creepy.
So to answer your question: it was someone's but it also looks extra "scary."
Beltsville, Md.: Last year, I saw Jorge Garcia on a rerun of the game show "Russian Roulette". At first I thought, "Hey, that guy looks like Hurley." Then I realized it really was him. He did not win, so he dropped into a hole in the floor.
Jen Chaney: I think it was longer ago than last year, judging from this clip on YouTube.
This is an aside, but since it's a slow day, what the heck: does anyone else get annoyed when they can't find things on YouTube? I just expect any video clip of pretty much anything to be readily available there now, which is admittedly absurd. But also explains why I was so annoyed yesterday when I couldn't find any footage of those Morton's commercials from the '70s and '80s. (This might be a local D.C. thing, but surely some of you remember those cheesy ads where the guy goes: "Iiiiiit's, Morton's! Back to school sale! Slacks for kids, just $4.99!"
All right, sorry. Now back to Lost chat, already in progress...
Liz Kelly: Would a little birthday Joon Rhee make you feel a little better?
Jen Chaney: You know what? Oddly, it does.
Cinci: My teenage son ordered a Dharma t-shirt online (yeah, Lost-mania runs in the family) and they goofed and sent him a True-blood shirt instead. How awful is that for a teenage boy? And does anyone want it?
Liz Kelly: Can't you send it back for the right one?
Jen Chaney: Well, worse for a teenage boy, perhaps, would be an "I Heart Edward Cullen" T-shirt from "Twilight." So it's not soooo bad.
But yeah, definitely send it back and get the right thing.
So does the entire family have matching Dharma shirts? And if so, can you please take a picture of all of you wearing them and send it to me and Liz?
Liz Kelly: Jen, I think the chat may be suffering from some late August work hookie. Any major points we should mention as takeaways from this week's three episodes?
Jen Chaney: Well, these episodes advanced the narrative of season two, without advancing the overall narrative of the island much, if that makes sense. I didn't feel like these were as rich with possible "clues" as some of the others we've watched and will rewatch in the coming weeks.
I do want to say something about Bernard, though. We learn in "Everybody Hates Hurley" that he's Rose's husband for the first time. I remember being so moved when the episode first aired. It demonstrates that there is a payoff for having faith, at least in Rose's case.
And it's why I love the two of them as characters even when theys eem a little extraneous.
Liz Kelly: Totally agreed. I think these episodes we start to see the show slowing down the pace of the over-arching story to allow for an indefinite run on ABC. At that point it was a monster hit and something the network was ready to spin on and on and on.
Which should make us all the more thankful to Damon and Carlton for demanding an end date to the show. We will get resolution which translates into better episodes. That was obvious in season five and will likely be even more evident in the sixth, and final, season.
Beltsville, Md.: I saw the Russian Roulette episode last year. But looking at Jorge, I realized that it was a rerun from B.L. (Before Lost)
Jen Chaney: Ah, okay. Got it. It was like that old NBC ad campaign: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you!"
Vienna, VA: I have always have a hard time connecting Hugo's story with the themes of the show. While Destiny vs Free Will is a major theme of the series, Hugo is sort of an outlier, since the connection between his bad luck and his action (playing particular numbers in the lottery) is, to me, very tenuous. So I enjoy watching his character, but I'm not sure whether he is part of the larger story, or just a "fellow traveller" along for the ride.
Jen Chaney: I do feel like he's part of the larger story, even though he admittedly acts as comic relief pretty often.
For one -- SPOILERS FOR NEWBIES -- he was part of the Oceanic Six. He met with Jacob. He was able to find Jacob's cabin. I feel like Hurley has some kind of connection to the island on some level, although certainly not in the same way as, say Locke.
And I think you can make a destiny vs. free will argument related to Hurley, too. For him to believe he's cursed, he can't believe in free will. So he's dealing with that conflict internally as well.
Liz Kelly: I think Hurley has had to make his own choices between free will and destiny, too. He refused to get on that Ajira Airlines flight until Jacob visited him, as Jen says. Meaning he gave in to destiny, giving up his gut instinct to run away.
I just don't think his story is any more tenuous than the rest of them when you get right down to it. All of them were destined to be on Oceanic 815. His circuitous route there happened to be some cursed lottery numbers while Kate's happened to be handcuffs and a federal marshal.
Jen Chaney: Well, I think what Vienna may have meant was that it's less serious or dramatic than the others.
You look at Jack -- who betrayed his father and, indirectly, led him to drink himself to death -- or Locke -- who was nearly killed by his dad and was trying to rebuild himself spiritually and physically -- and Hurley's issues don't seem quite as high-stakes. There's a bit more comedy there. But I still think he's crucial to the fabric of the show.
Liz Kelly: Well, now I'm going to be obstinate and point out that everything is relative so to Hurley having his world turned upside down by winning the lottery, let alone the curse that killed his grandfather and set his house on fire, is pretty serious and dramatic.
Okay. I'll stop now.
Jen Chaney: You forgot about the chicken shop being hit by a meteor.
And point taken.
Arlington, VA: Well, this was the episode where Shannon dies. I felt so sorry for Sayid. He just looked so wretched. But still hot.
Jen Chaney: Yes, that was very sad. And a source of much speculation before it aired, if I remember correctly.
I know this is a Lost chat, but...: Could we pass an ordinance of some sort to keep out gender-normative Trueblood bashers?
Jen Chaney: I'm not sure Liz and I have the power invested in us to pass ordinances.
I also don't know if that person meant to be a full-on basher. But I hear ya. Point definitely taken.
(I also did not mean to bash with my comment. If you're a teenage boy and you love Edward Cullen, I fully support your choice.)
Liz Kelly: And I'd just like to go on the record as a massive "True Blood" fan. This week's episode was stellar. Jason Stackhouse rocks.
Arlington, VA: Oh, and props to the actor who played Hurley's friend at the Chicken Shak. Did you see how his face showed his emotions change from excitement "Hey! Someone won the lottery!" to absolute betrayal/envy? It was really good. I felt so sorry for Hugo. Nothing would ever be the same.
Jen Chaney: That actor is one DJ Qualls. And he did do a nice job. Loved the Pony Boy joke.
Hurley Fan: Just wanted to point out that, if I'm remembering correctly, that Everybody Hates Hurley has one of my favorite Lost scenes of all - when Hurley solves the stressful task Dr Ha Ha gives him of rationing food by not doing the rational thing and metering it out, but by answering with his heart, hosting a luau for everyone and lifting all their spirits. And don't get me started on the musical theme of Hurley's handouts! Maybe the overall theme is not just science vs kind of fnanatic Lockean faith - but also Hurley-like bigness of heart and spirit?
Jen Chaney: You are remembering correctly. And that is a marvelous scene. Anytime "Lost" pairs Giacchino music with a slo-mo montage, it's pretty much gold.
Good point about the generosity of spirit thing. And in a way, that was an act of faith on Hurley's part, too. He decided to trust that people would like him no matter what, and that they could handle knowing what was in the Hatch. And, to take it a step further, that they wouldn't completely run out of food.
Liz Kelly: Okay, everyone. Thanks for joining in the fun. For next week, we'll be watching "The Other 48 Days," "Collision" and"What Kate Did." Have a good week.
Jen Chaney: I already know "What Kate Did." She annoyed the crap out of Liz.
And it's just those sorts of witty comments you can find again next week, at this same time, when you join us in the "Lost" Hour.
Later, everyone. And thanks for the birthday wishes.
(Seriously, why hasn't Josh Holloway called yet?
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