Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly with Hank Stuever
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers and TV critic
Wednesday, January 27, 2010; 2:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney at their new time, each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, to talk about "Lost." In addition to discussing the looming final season, the "Lost" ladies will focus every chat during the month of January on highlights from the series's run.
This week their special guest is Hank Stuever, the Washington Post's TV critic and an avid "Lost" watcher in his own right. The theme of this week's discussion, aside from getting pumped for the start of the final season on Feb. 2, will focus on the show's best water cooler moments, the ones that you just had to talk/blog/Twitter about as soon as they happened
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.
Washington, DC: hi! first off -- love the chat each week. just wanted to check with you ladies about the new time of your dueling analyses? will it be wed am at 11?
Liz Kelly: Yep, since the show itself is moving to Tuesday nights, Jen and I will be up until the wee hours of Wednesday morning each day to bring you the analysis by (we hope) 11, then we'll be here at 2 p.m. to continue the conversation.
I'm a little worried about the season opener. I feel out of practice. Like I need a warm up exercise.
Hank Stuever: Hey, everybody. Before things get really rolling, I want to say that I am way, way out of my league here and simply honored to hang out here.
I've chosen the path of least analysis when it comes to "Lost." I'm here representin' the people who dropped out during season 3ish, exasperated, and came back once a firm deadline had been established and the show got better. (Opinion! That's why they pay me!)
People like me watch "Lost" unassisted by the Internet, although I never miss Jen and Liz, so I guess that's not entirely true. I let the shows wash over me, answer what I can using my own feeble mind, and just enjoy the rest. I know it sounds like a weird way to go, but surely there are others (Others) like me.
Jen Chaney: Welcome to this, the last chat before the final season of "Lost" officially begins. (We're weeping on the inside, folks.)
Technically, we are talking about our favorite watercooler moments, the moments on the show that you just couldn't wait to discuss with fellow fans right after they happened. But of course, we'll also be speculating about what awaits us next Tuesday night.
We're joined today by the illustrious Hank Stuever, the Post's TV critic, a "Lost" fan and an amazing cultural critic in general. He will undoubtedly have wise things to share, Losties.
Real quick, one watercooler moment that stands out to me and is rarely discussed: the moment when we realized that Kate had become Aaron's mother off the island.
Now over to Liz and Hank.
Liz Kelly: My watercooler moment is one of the last scenes from season 5 -- Juliet's farewell to Sawyer before she falls into the hatch shaft. I guess I'm the sentimental type, but I'm physically incapable of watching it without bursting into tears.
BEST idea for a new Lost DVD set: I really want someone to cut up all the scenes in lost and put them back together in sequential order, along one timeline. Any guess what the first scene would be? I think it's the Jacob/Man in black conversation. It would be like watching Lost all over again for the first time!!!
Hank Stuever: I have to say I love this idea. Would it work? If they used every single scene?
Liz Kelly: Ya know, someone did something along those lines and posted it online last week. It was the Oceanic crash in real time and who ever edited it grabbed footage from across seasons to put together a timeline of what exactly happened that day:
Hank Stuever: If you ask, the Internet will always provide.
Jen Chaney: It's pretty fantastic. And actually, I think they posted it a while back but a bunch of sites started linking to it last week, giving it its appropiate viral due.
Next week?: Can you shed some light on the schedule for the shows on the big premiere night? My wife and I can't get home before 8:30, and since we don't have a DVR (I know, I know, dark ages), I don't want to have a wait until the premiere gets posted online.
In addition to reading the last 6 months of this chat and everything else on Lost Central, what's the best way to get caught up without being able to see the 8:00 lead-in?
Liz Kelly: I think you'll be safe if you get in the house by 8:30 or soon after. The premiere itself airs 9 - 11 p.m. ET, tho I think ABC will be running some kind of rehash show in the 8 p.m. hour, too.
Jen Chaney: And in terms of getting caught up, I'll reiterate what I said about watching an ep or 2 from season one.
Also, there are these starter kits and recap videos on ABC's Web site that might help refresh the memory without having to spend 72 consecutive hours watching episodes.
And then, of course, there's always Lostpedia.
Cambridge, MA: Some friends are gathering on Sunday to review significant episodes of Lost to prepare for the season 6 premiere. We originally were limiting ourselves to season 5, but now are thinking of branching out to other seasons. Which episodes should we focus on?
Jen Chaney: LindeCuse said that the best thing people can do to prepare is to revisit season one.
Given the fact that you can only watch so many episodes in a single day, maybe you want to rewatch the pilot and finale from S1, and the last two or three episodes of S5 so you remember where we left off?
Liz Kelly: No matter what, I would definitely watch the last few eps of season 5 -- so much happened: Faraday changing his mind about whether or not we can change our past/future, Jacob vs. Esau and Jack's conversion to a man of faith.
Rockville, MD: Favorite goose bump/sob moment: In season 1, when the raft was built and the guys set off in search of rescue. I teared up at Jin/Sun's farewell and the hope & optimism of all those left behind, waving on the beach. That moment solidified my emotional investment in the show and has kept me coming back, season after (sometimes annoyingly obtuse) season.
Jen Chaney: Actually, what teared me up during that scene was Vincent swimming after the raft and Walt. That coupled with the swelling Giacchino score ... gets me every time.
Liz Kelly: Another Sun/Jin goosebump moment -- Sun watching the freighter explode as Jin runs onto the deck. Those two really have not had the easiest go of it.
Hank Stuever: I'm a simple guy, so you know what gives me goosebumps. That giant statue. As a foot, but especially when we first (first?) saw it whole, peeking over the jungle during a time hop.
Dallas: Hank, I was watching an "enhanced" rerun of LOST's S5 finale, "The Incident," and when Jacob appeared, the caption said that he had been talked about but "never seen before now." Does this mean that the ghostly figure in the cabin's rocking chair -- who spoke to Locke and said "Help me" -- was not, after all, Jacob? I assume that it must have been Jacob's nemesis, the Man in Black, who looks to be the Big Bad of this final season. MiB must have been held captive in the cabin until someone broke the ring of ash and enabled him to escape and assume the appearance of Locke. What do you think?
Hank Stuever: That's all pretty obvious to me, unless it's so obvious that it's not right. J&L?
Liz Kelly: That's the impression I had, too -- especially after Ilana and her crew visited the cabin, found Jacob not in residence and she said (ominously) "Someone else has been using it."
Jen Chaney: That sounds right. Although, to be honest, I am not sure I have considered the ramifications of that thoroughly enough.
That could mean that Ben has been following the orders of MIB this whole time, thinking he was listening to Jacob. Hmmm...
Chicago: I've got a comment and a question.
Comment: For me, the biggest shock and awe moment was the very end of season 3, when you realized Jack and Kate were off the island. It just completely turned my whole idea of the show around. I always thought the end game was to get off the island. Not to mention it set up some really creative story telling. I just love that the writers were willing to play around so much with the structure. Of course, having gone back and rewatched the first three seasons, I do feel there were clues left behind.
Question: So I entered the ABC sweepstakes where if you answered six Lost questions correctly, you were entered into a drawing to receive clips from the first episode a few days early. I never heard more on this until yesterday, when I got an e-mail from Regean Marketing, saying I haven't responded to numerous e-mails (which I never got) and that I have to reply immediately with my name and address to get a USB that will have the clips.
I'm a little skeptical. This wasn't from ABC, and although Regan Marketing looks like it represents some big firms, Disney was not one of them listed on their Web site. So I just wanted to see if anyone else had been told they had won the sweepstakes and if this is how they were contacted. They only asked for my name and address, so I wasn't too worried about giving it to them - however, I don't want to pop in a USB that might have some crappy ad ware on it. Thanks!
Jen Chaney: Agreed, the first flashforward will likely go down as the biggest mindblower of the series. It opened up a whole new portal of places for the plot to go.
Re: your ABC question, wow, that's a good one. I didn't enter the sweepstakes, so I have not received an e-mail like that. But hopefully some of our other readers did enter and can verify whether they received a similar note. Seems strange for them not to make it clear that this is, in fact, coming from ABC and Disney.
Liz Kelly: I entered the sweepstakes and haven't heard anything from ABC or from any other entity about it. So I'd urge caution unless someone else out there has a better clue than we do.
Alexandria, VA: This isn't a season 6 comment, but I always tear up a little in the episode where it's revealed Locke was in a wheelchair.
Just rewatched the finale last night & I am so psyched for next Tuesday. It's like Christmas and my birthday rolled up in one!
Jen Chaney: It is kind of like that. And Benjamin Linus is Santa!
Liz Kelly: He's more of a Gollum, but that has nothing to do with Christmas, does it?
Last night a friend told me that her usually very prim and serious church group leader apologized to the group on Tuesday evening because she wouldn't be at next week's gathering: She wasn't able to miss her annual "Lost" premiere viewing party. Priorities, ya know?
Hank Stuever: I love it when people rearrange their lives around a pop-cultural commitment. "Lost" has definitely entered the allowable realm of religious holiday.
Dead bodies??: I can't think about moments yet, I have too many questions! Do you all have a theory about dead bodies on the island? It seems like they have some importance or significance. There was a whole thing w/the truce in Season 5 and the requirement to bury the bodies (why did the Others want the Dharma guy's body?). Of course there's the issue w/Christian's body and John Locke's too. And Charlotte's body disappeared dury the time travel - why wouldn't it follow? Do you think this has to do w/Jacob taking over bodies?
Hank Stuever: I remember wondering about this, too, a long time ago. Also (since I have already confessed that I never go online to look for any answers I can't think of myself), has someone kept a list of all the island dead? I'm including the mercenary squad, Dharma casualties ... I guess crash victims too ...
Jen Chaney: Here's a list of dead characters, although it doesn't seem complete. I don't see Keamy on there, for instance.
Boston, MA: Reflecting on my many emotional reactions to the series, it occured to me that my initial reaction to the introduction of Danial Farraday was quite negative. I guess, an "outsider" who could explain all the layered mystery with a few notebook scribblings. However, as his character began to take shape and evolve he quickly became a deeply rooted and totally lovable/incorruptable character. Here's hoping he gets his just due in the series wrap up.
Hank Stuever: I felt the exact same way when Daniel and that gang showed up because something in me always greets the arrival of new people (in "Lost," but in life, too, come to think of it) as a new distraction from the work (and plots) at hand.
But he quickly became my favorite character, or one of ...
Jen Chaney: I thought the arrival of the freighter people was handled reasonably well, especially when compared with the two spider-bitten randoms whose name we shall not speak.
When I saw that initial moment with Faraday, where he was crying upon seeing that Oceanic wreckage but had no idea why he was crying, I was pretty intrigued. But as you say, I definitely felt more attached to the character as time went on. And I think that's due both to the writing, and also Jeremy Davies.
Hank Stuever: Off subject, a little, and ignore as I am really just wasting space here on Expertise Isle ... but ... has anyone found their "Lost" replacement yet? Or have any clue what might soothe the aching absence? Doesn't have to be TV. Is there anything (book, movie, iPad) you're hotly anticipating in 2010, '11, '12 (besides end of the world) that might be a reasonable stand-in for freed up devotion and brainspace... Or is it too soon to even consider.
Liz Kelly: Well one can only hope for "Jersey Shore, season 2."
Hank Stuever: They need a guy nicknamed The Incident.
Exeter, N.H.: I watched the end of season 5 last night and Juliet's last scene left me drained and a little angry. It seems that her sacrifice was fated. Her decision to let Jack go forward was directly linked to the trauma of her parent's divorce. Juliet and Sawyer would have been able to escape their fates without the manipulation/interference of Jacob. This again brings me back to my sense that Jacob doesn't worry too much about the intermediate destruction because "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress."
In a week I am sure that I will need to revise much of this line of thought.
Liz Kelly: I think your last sentence is the key one here. No matter how much we speculate, I have no doubt that the writers will completely scramble our brains on Tuesday evening.
Re: Jacob and progress. That same line of thinking is what has me convinced that he did his darnedest to push Ben into killing him (the ice cold "What about you" statement) because Jacob saw his own death as part of the progress leading to his desired outcome. I'm not so sure Jen and Hank will agree, but I'm pretty sure Jacob is not
Hank Stuever: It just seemed way too easy to stab him to death and kick him in a fire. He didn't scream "Nooooooooooooooooooooooo" or anything.
Jen Chaney: I am not even sure Jacob can really die. So it wouldn't surprise me if he's still kickin' it at his loom.
Alex., VA: I like the idea of watching Lost from start to finish with all the clips in order... but that would be... 75+ hours of programming?
Hank Stuever: One in six Americans is unemployed, according to Dept of Labor. (And more when you count all the people who are just underemployed and off the books.) First thing I'm doing when the Post goes under is watching Lost start to finish.
Jen Chaney: Even if you are employed, surely you must have 75 consecutive hours to spare. I mean, are you a "real" fan or aren't you?
Durham, N.H.: Why did Jacob need to touch all of the oceanic 815 survivors?
Jen Chaney: The obvious answer, I suppose, is that he's healing them in some way.
But perhaps being touched by them binds them to the island. For the most part, he visited them at crucial points in their lives, where what was happening -- Jin and Sun's wedding, Sawyer's grief over his parents' death, Kate's addiction to criminal activity -- would play a significant role in who these characters became. And his appearance signifies that these people will have to come to the island in order to become whole.
Liz Kelly: I'm hoping that's one of the wrinkles that will be explained early on in season 6. What was puzzling/interesting to me was that he visited some of them in their childhood (Kate, Sawyer) but waited until Jack and John were well into adulthood (though one could argue both were still very childlike because of their daddy issues). But then the writers added another curve ball by having Jacob wait until the day before the Ajira Airlines flight to visit Hurley.
Jen Chaney: And to visit Ilana but possibly not touch her.
Hank Stuever: Cue "Lay Your Hands" by the Thompson Twins...
Jen Chaney: Great, now that's going to be in my head for the rest of the day.
No Touchy: In rewatching the Season 5 finale last night, I noticed that Jacob actually never touched Jack. He handed him the candy bar, but never physically touched him like everyone else. Even the "comments" at the bottom of the screen made the point that Jacob touched everyone...but I'm almost postive he never touched Jack.
Liz Kelly: I could have sworn Jacob brushed Jack's fingers with his own when he was handing over that candy bar. But I'd need to rewatch in slo-mo to be absolutely sure.
Hank Stuever: Both times I watched that episode I thought a.) the candy machine encounter seemed really lame, where the others seemed more artful and b.) THEY DIDN'T TOUCH. Did they? I don't think that counts in the laying-of-hands dept. I am relieved that Jacob didn't scrub in for that surgery.
Jen Chaney: I need to look at that footage again, too, to be sure. At the very least, the touching wasn't as emphasized as it was in the other scenes.
And agree, the candy bar connection was a little goofy. I kind of wish Jacob had thrown Jack a coke and a football jersey or something.
ONE WEEEEEEEK: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Had to get that out of my system.
Jen Chaney: Consider it purged.
Our lives officially plunge into a vortex, beginning at 9 p.m. next Tuesday. Prepare accordingly: get in decent physical shape, pack appropriate provisions and say goodbye to your loved ones, as you will no longer have time for them for the next four months or so.
Liz Kelly: You scare me when you use words like "purged," Jen.
Jen Chaney: Liz, I love that the word purge frightens you, but the notion of us plunging into a vortex for four months raises no red flags whatsoever.
Hank Stuever: The other person in my house has been practicing his heavy sighs of disgust that he releases every few minutes during an episode of "Lost." It's like Pop-Up Lost, only it goes "this is stupid" periodically. So helpful. Does anybody else have this feature in their living room?
Jen Chaney: My husband just leaves me alone. I can't decide what's worse: watching solo or enduring the sighs.
Actually, my husband does periodically walk in and say something sarcastic: "Wait, let me guess. They're running through the jungle again."
RE: Jersey Shore name "The Inicident": Funny you should say that Hank. A friend of mine to a "quiz" on Facebook to determine her Jersey Shore name and, indeed, her name was "The Incident." No joke! :)
Hank Stuever: All she needs is some bronzer and she's good to go.
Real Fan...: Watching 75 hours of Lost... sure, I am a real fan. I also have a real wife, and 2 real kids, and a real job.
Jen Chaney: I was joking, my friend. 75 hours is a little much, no matter how hardcore you are.
Arlington, VA : I was interested in "Lost" from the beginning as an adventure story -- how people would survive after a plane crash on adeserted island. But my first "whoa" moment came when I (we) learned that Locke was crippled and can now walk around on the island.
That and the appearnce of the polar bear. Like the characters, I, too, wondered "what the heck is a polar bear doing on an island"? And down the rabbit hole I went...
Liz Kelly: Speaking of moments and rabbits -- one of my least favorite was the scene in season 2 (I think it was 2) when Ben shakes that poor white rabbit around over Sawyer's chest. Yet another item for the Ben Linus "con" column.
Jen Chaney: That was three, I think, when he convinced Sawyer he had put a pacemaker in his chest that could potentially blow up.
Ah, Ben Linus. Such a creative liar.
Most Annoying Moment: Was in The Incident, when Juliette stops Sawyer beating the tar out of Jack, after she had just enlisted Sawyer to stop Jack. That moment makes me hate her a little. I understand there is supposed to be the complexity of Sawyer's feelings for Kate, but still...I hated her a little bit more when Jack's about to drop Jughead and Sawyer looks - not at Kate first, but Juliette.
Liz Kelly: I think we can all agree that it's Kate's fault.
It's ALL Kate's fault.
Liz me too!: Really, I rewatched the finale last night and did the exact same thing - that THREE times I have wept when Juliet and Sawyer are hangin on for dear life!!!
Hank Stuever: My eyes watered both times I watched that scene, but also? Excellent warpy sound and camera effects ("the Incident") literally makes my ears hurt, fillings hum, and eyes water. And I don't have surroundsound or high def. Good f/x, and on the cheap. All they needed was a crane and a bunch of P.A.'s tossing tool kits at the actors.
Recap 1-5 Question: Ladies - love your chats and dueling analyses!! I was expecting a re-cap last night of Lost, not just a replay of Season 5's finale. I have been religiously following Lost and loved the ReWatch you had going but was hoping for a full-on review of at least Season 5 if not the entire series so far. Too much to expect? Do you know if something like this is coming next week? If not, I'll have to brush up a little prior to the big show on 2/2. Thanks Ladies!!
Liz Kelly: There will be some kind of recap in the 8 o'clock hour before the premiere airs. You can also watch this year's official "Lost" in 8:15 video which, as advertised, attempts to explain the important bits from the past five seasons in just eight minutes, 15 seconds.
Hank Stuever: I'm-a do that right now.
The candy bar: Both times I watched that episode I thought a.) the candy machine encounter seemed really lame, where the others seemed more artful and b.) THEY DIDN'T TOUCH. Did they?
According to the enhanced watching that aired last night, Jacob's fingers did brush Jack's when he handed over the candy bar.
(which by the way was the first thing Kate ate at the Dharma station. I'm addicted to those silly pop up things)
Hank Stuever: I promise I'm not being dirty when I say that I needed Jacob to touch Jack a little more than THAT.
Jacob and Jack holding hands: The enhance episode of The Incident actually said something like, "Notice Jacob touches Jack's hand as he gives him the candy bar."
Jen Chaney: Ah, thanks. When that moment happened last night, I was out of the room so I didn't see the enhanced version.
Washington, DC: Did you guys like the 100 questions left to answer on Lost? I thought it a good way to think about the last season, even if some have been answered or seem pretty obvious. One that wasn't on the list, but one that I have is who was Elsa's boss who wanted Sayid dead in the Economist. Are we suppose to think it was Widmore?
Liz Kelly: I haven't had a chance to make it through the entire list yet, but up to 23 (Why does Pierre Chang use aliases?), it's looking pretty good.
Woodbridge, VA: Jen & Liz - Have you both read Doc Jensen's last two EW columns about Lost? There was some really great, eye opening stuff in there.
Liz Kelly: Nope, that will be part of my weekend cramming session.
Annandale: Last night ABC ran the final Lost episode from last season. It was a pop-up Lost. Do you think it offered any new insight?
Jen Chaney: I only saw bits and pieces, but I thought it was similar to other enhanced episodes. Maybe not new insights, but confirmed the importance of some of the things we all observed when we first watched it.
Of course, the pop-up eps are revelatory to anyone who doesn't have the Internet (see: my mother).
Emily in Alexandria, VA: Someone earlier mentioned the "It only ends once, everything else is just progress" really resonated with me again after watching the enhanced version last night. They translated the greek sayings on Jacob's tapestry. A couple mentioned happiness and having everything you want. The last one said something like "Only the dead see the end of war." I'm really brain tired from work, so I'm having trouble expressing the link I think is there, but I just wanted to put it out there for you smart people to think on.
Hank Stuever: Oooooh. They think of EVERYTHING.
Liz Kelly: So if only the dead see the end of war, we are led to believe that war continues for the living ad infinitum? Or can we somehow get creative and imagine armies of the dead meeting at dawn on the beach?
Ooh, that's what "Lost" needs... these guys:
Hank Stuever: Yes, yes, yes.
Washington: My watercolor moment was when Sayid reveals that they found the grave of the real Henry Gale.
Hank Stuever: "Lost" watercolors! To hang over the watercooler! Surely someone is making and selling these?
Madison, WI: Good afternoon, folks!
Do we know whether we will get a Ricardus (Alpert) flashback ep this season?
Also, there has been some theorizing that Alpert arrived on the island via the Black Rock. Doesn't his prior name (revealed in "The Incident") seem to suggest he goes MUCH further back than that? It almost sounds Latin to me.
Liz Kelly: I can't imagine we won't get some kind of back story for Richard Alpert, especially since Nestor Carbonell is a regular cast member for season 6.
Vienna, Va: "That could mean that Ben has been following the orders of MIB this whole time, thinking he was listening to Jacob. Hmmm..."
But Ben got his orders from Jacob via Richard. And he has always seemed a fairly straightforward guy. So he, too, would have to have been tricked by MiB. Which I guess is possible, but it seems Richard was the only one to actually visit Jacob in the statue, so that doesn't quite add up.
My guess is that Jacob was giving the orders, but used Ben as a sort of sacrificial pawn in his lengthy chess game with MiB.
Jen Chaney: I thought Ben believed he was speaking to Jacob at the cabin, which is why he took Locke there. Maybe MIB wasn't always occupying the cabin, and maybe Ben got orders through other means.
Either way, it's interesting food for thought while we wait to watch an actual new episode.
Liz Kelly: But as Vienna points out, Ben admitted to John that he had never talked to Jacob. So I assumed that while Ben may have thought there was some kind of Jacob-like presence at the cabin, he wasn't sure because he'd never had any direct contact with the guy.
Dallas: "When the Post goes under"? Oh Hank, bite your tongue!
Hank Stuever: Biting now.
And hey, I gotta go. We are publishing a newspaper tomorrow and it needs some stuff in it. Thanks everyone. I added exactly nothing to this chat, but wasn't it nice of Jen and Liz to invite me?
I hope Tuesday night is everything you could ever hope for. Enjoy the season!
I probably don't have to ask this...: But will you watch the premiere again, right after it airs? Or maybe give it a day?
Liz Kelly: Well, Jen and I tend to rewatch bits and pieces over and over again while writing our analyses, so by the time 3 a.m. Wednesday morning rolls around I think we'd probably be qualified to do a two-woman show, reciting the entire two-hour episode from start to finish.
Liz Kelly: Okay we're out of time for today, but Jen and I plan to have some "Lost"-specific stuff online Friday, so check back in at "Lost" Central on Friday for some good review material heading into the weekend.
And, of course, we'll be back next Wednesday with the morning analysis and the afternoon chat when, I'm sure, everything will be totally different and we'll all be scrambling to make sense of what just happened.
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