Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers
Wednesday, February 10, 2010; 2:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET to talk about "Lost's" sixth and 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: Good afternoon. Liz is on vacation in what could be the most well-timed visit to Puerto Rico in the history of all mankind.
Point being: I'm flying solo today, so I'll do my best to answer as many of your questions as I can.
So no goofing around. Let's get right to it.
Arlington, Empire nerd: Dude! did you catch all the Empire Strikes Back references last night? The sayid torture was exactly like when they tortured Han and he said, they didnt even ask me any questions. They even had Hurley/Chewbacca carrying him after the temple people brought him out. ....And the line, There is a darkness growing in him... ...and Dogen at the end, This already happened...to your SISTER...
I know thats on purpose. Oh and also, when they cranked the sayid torture device, it sounded and awful lot like smokey....just sayin
Jen Chaney: Empire nerd, I would love to tell you that I caught all these nuances, but I didn't. So I'm glad you mentioned these -- great stuff.
D.C.: why is Kate ALWAYS so annoying?
Jen Chaney: Oh, you people and your Kate-red.
Look, I'm not saying I support everything Kate does. If I knew her in real life I probably wouldn't like her much, simply because people who are wanted for committing major crimes generally don't top my potential friend lists.
But I think viewers are often way too hard on her. So I've had to swing to the opposite side of the spectrum to argue in her favor. She does things that are stupid and occasionally self-absorbed, absolutely.
But then so do Jack and Sawyer and many other males on the show, yet the venom toward them is never as strong as it is toward Kate. (Well, maybe in Jack's case. He really ticks people off, too.)
I'm just sayin', that's all.
let me ask you, arlington: OK, bear with me cause this is crazy Maybe I'm overanalyzing this and overly tired, but, when I first watched this I thought, they sure are inquisitive tonight. I watched it a third time and counted 108 questions spoken this episode. I'll have to see the transcript to be sure, but that has to mean something.
Seems to me the writers=templies, us=losties and they even addressed the many red herrings throughout the series.
Jack: What's that Dogen: A baseball
Jack: Whats this? Dogen: Tea
In that vein, my fave line: Jack: Something tells me that you're not going to be happy to tell us anything
Jen Chaney: Interesting analogy re: the writers and us as Losties. I like it.
As for the 108 questions thing, if that's actually accurate I: a. applaud you, and b. think you should seek professional help.
Anonymous: After shoveling for two hours, wishing I could discuss last night's LOST episode with someone, I am thrilled to join this discussion (for the first time.) I am trying to figure out if Jack is destined to join his Father and Sister as the walking dead. Speaking of which, who do you think took over Claire? Is it there someone besides the smoke monster or Jacob who infiltrates the deceased's body?
Jen Chaney: Welcome, first-timer!
I hope Jack isn't destined to join the walking dead. The temple people, at least, seem to want to keep him alive. Dogen swung into action pretty quickly when Jack swallowed that poison pill.
Your question re: who or what took over Claire is a good one. Based on the reference to a darkness, I think we're all assuming that MIB can assume multiple forms at once, and can assume the form of Sayid and Claire.
But that is an easy, and perhaps wrong, assumption. Maybe it is indeed Jacob, and our notion of him as "the good guy" is completely off-base. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's the case.
Bottom line is that I don't think we have enough info yet to know who reanimated Claire. It's also possible, as you suggest, there's some third scenario we haven't even considered yet.
Wow, I really solved that one.
snowbound: So you promised follow-up on that October date on Claire's ultrasound . . . . Just a mistake? My best guess is that it's not actually her ultrasound photo.
Jen Chaney: I think that's way too deliberate to be a mistake.
Nikki Stafford pointed out in her blog post today that the time on the ultrasound is also 9:29 a.m., which seems kind of early given how much running around Kate and Claire have done since landing at LAX.
I wouldn't be surprised if the time is a prop error. But the date strikes me as too important to be a simple mistake. And even if it's not her ultrasound, I would think the date on it is still accurate. If they landed on Sept. 22, it seems unlikely Claire would get an ultrasound that says October on it.
I think it's just more proof that this 815 scenario is messing with everything we thought we knew about the Losties.
one more: So -- I guess Jack is going to be a TOTAL IDIOT for the entire series?? From beginning to end? He is always going to be the guy who thinks he knows everything, but knows NOTHING, and only ends up screwing everything up and getting people killed?
You know, after a while, Mr. "I don't know a damn thing about what's going on, but I need to be in charge" gets to be rather annoying.
Jen Chaney: See what I mean about the venom?
As Liz and I noted in the analysis, Jack actually seems to be more keenly aware of how little he knows right now. ("I don't even trust myself.")
And at least this time he asked good follow-up questions. And when he didn't get useful answers, he tested Dogen by eating the pill itself. Which is probably not smart, what with the poison and all. But at least there's some strategy involved, as opposed to: Ben says we have to go back. So does Locke. So let's go, people.
answer2Aldo: The reason Aldo and his buddy discussed that the french chick died long time ago is that, french chick died in 2004 when the mercenaries came and killed her. Now its 2007. so 3 years=many years.. right?
Jen Chaney: Yeah, I thought about that. But I thought the way Justin mentioned Rousseau made it sound like she had died even longer ago than that.
Many to me is more than three. And I'm also assuming that even on the island, as in L.A., details we thought we understood could potentially have been scrambled by the blast.
Things anyone should know not to do:: Stay in a cab with a lady with a gun and handcuffs, accept a ride from same lady when she comes back, give her your credit card because she looks trustworthy.
Keep a cab that you have stolen when you are a fugitive and continue to drive it, return for the lady you carjacked earlier and give her a ride, park same cab in a public place like a hospital.
Jen Chaney: So I think what you're saying is that Claire and Kate are so stupid that they deserve each other?
Agreed, though, those circumstances were beyond nutty. The only reason why Claire would get back into that cab is because fate dictates that she connect with Kate.
Anonymous: Lost premiered on Sept 22, 2004 is that why that date has meaning ?
Jen Chaney: Yes, plus -- in keeping with the show's premiere date -- the characters have always said that the plane crashed on Sept. 22, 2004.
If Claire's ultrasound has an October date, that indicates the plane landed on a different date in the version of events we are seeing now.
Fairfax, VA: As several people have pointed out, the October date could well be her due date, not the date of the ultrasound. . .
Jen Chaney: That is a great point. A great, great point.
But then why would it have a time on it?
I think most ultrasounds have the date of the photograph on them, but I honestly can't recall...
Alex., VA: 108 questions. 108 stitches on a baseball.
Jen Chaney: That's it. You people are scaring me now.
arlington, va: The scene on the dock with Sawyer was so powerful. Can we get Josh Holloway an Emmy already please?
Aside from that, I think the scene provided some interesting things to think about.
Here we have a scene between the one character on the show who has grown the most (Sawyer), and the one who has grown the least (Kate).
Also, there were blatant parallels between Sawyer tossing the ring into the water and Desmond tossing his engagement ring to Penny into the River. Both men feel bound to a fate that they don't want, but feel helpless to change. Desmond ends up changing his, can we hope the same for Sawyer?
Jen Chaney: Well said.
I think we can hope the same for Sawyer. As you said, he has demonstrated the most change over the course of the series. And if that guy can change, it would seem that anyone can.
Less temple, more running through jungle: Are you both as frustrated as I am with all the slow scenes in the temple with Jack, John Lennon, and Mr. Miyagi? Much of last night's episode felt like a stall. I was relieved when Sawyer headed for the hills and we finally got to spend some time in New Otherton again.
Jen Chaney: I was less frustrated by the temple scenes last night than I was last week. I don't want to camp out there all season, mind you, but I was less frustrated.
But if Dogen and crew are from the Black Rock, I think we have to understand a bit more about them. As long as we don't get too focused on them and forget about our core characters, I can handle it for a little while longer.
Coffin, Desmond & Hugo Boss: I have so many ideas rattling around in my feeble brain after last night.
1. I've been waiting for 6 seasons for Hurley to take charge. I'm now calling him Hugo Boss.
2. LA X flight: we lost both the coffin and Desmond around the time of the turbulence. Could they have been sucked to the island/ disappear at the point of turbulence, when the "incident" would have taken place?
3. Murky waters characters so far: Ben, Sayid, Claire. Do you have to be close to death to enjoy the healing waters? You can't be dead? If so would this rule out Juliet, Christian and John the Silent from going zombie? So who else has been close to death and unaccounted for during prior seasons?
4. Why is the Temple set so incredibly budget? Can't ABC cough up some dough for the final season sets? Like the obvious styrofoam boulders in the booby trap? Spare me.
5. The differences in the personalities in LA X characters seems to indicate some sort of happy ending in the works: John becomes a man of science, Jack becomes a man of faith. Kate gets a baby? Even Sawyer seemed less brooding, had more levity.
Jen Chaney: Hugo Boss. That is excellent.
I'll address a couple of your points. Did we lose Des and the coffin during the turbulence? I don't think we know when the coffin went missing, do we?
I'm not sure about the healing waters thing. It's possible Christian may have been revived in similar fashion. Actually, that's something I thought about last night. We saw Claire hanging out in the cabin with Christian during season four. Which suggests they may be occupying the same sickness-suffering space.
As others have suggested elsewhere, does that mean that the advice Christian gave John about moving the island may have come from a "bad place"? Does Christian have the sickness, too?
Ultrasounds: I just checked the ones I have, and the date on it is the date it was done, not my due date.
Jen Chaney: Thank you. That's what I thought, but that seemed like a valid question to raise.
Time to admit it: Lost fans, the joke is on us. This show makes no sense any more. As if time-travel wasn't a lazy enough writing trick, now we have a show full of the undead. Anything that happened, well maybe not... time-travel, voila! Anyone who died, well maybe not... zombies, voila! Yes I will stick it out to the end but it's really stupid now.
Jen Chaney: One opinion, anyone else agree? I'm not ready to start hitting the stupid button yet myself...
Charlotte, NC: I'm either disappointed or confused, and if I'm reading this unfolding of two timelines correctly, it doesn't matter which. What is the point of having a Kate and Claire in LA and a Kate and Clair on the Island if there is no awareness of the other version of oneself? It would be like someone who looks a lot like me typing at a computer somewhere else. Big deal. Where's the CONNECTION that makes this more interesting than it would be if it were just two different sets of people?
Jen Chaney: It's understandable to be confused at this point. And I think you're right, there needs to be a connection. I am trusting one will be made eventually.
What's my name again?: Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Claire take forever to pick a name for little Turniphead back in Season 1? I find it very interesting that in the sideways timeline, she's got the name on the tip of her tongue - and explicitly says she's not sure where the name came from. Perhaps another nod to the Losties having unexplained recognition either of each other, or flashes of things they did or experience on the Island?
Jen Chaney: Yeah, it is interesting. Another reader mentioned this in a question/comment that has gotten lost somewhere in the queue. But this person said Claire's blurting out the name Aaron reminded them of Emily Locke in labor, shouting "Name him John!"
It's as though something higher -- destiny, Jacob, whatever -- is telling them what the names should be. I guess the first time around, Claire just took longer to hear it.
RE The Great Disappearing Desmond: Desmond appeared after Jack came back from the bathroom, having noted the interesting nick on his neck. Desmond disappeared after Jack comes back from saving Charlie. The turbulence didn't appear to have anything to do with either.
As for the coffin, the clerks may be lying to us, but all we really know is it got checked in by Jack and somewhere between being checked in and landing in LA, it went missing.
Jen Chaney: Right.
Thanks for the clarification/reminder.
Vienna: I am getting relly nervous that MIB's home will turn out to be another planet and the writers will use "they are aliens" to wrap up all the unexplained loose ends. Please tell me I have nothing to worry about...pretty please???
Jen Chaney: Please don't even think that.
I love alien stories, but in this case, I hope they remain completely uninvolved.
Arlington VA: I am glad someone mentions the fact that the guys on this show are just as screwed up as Kate is, but don't seem to get as much hate.
With that said, I really think the whole alt-flash with Kate was pretty far fetched. They could have just had her sneak away from the airport in the same cab with Claire without all the gun waving. It's pretty easy to start a conversation with someone while sharing a cab.
Jen Chaney: I agree that it's far-fetched that Kate came back for Claire, that Claire got back in the cab with her, and that Claire gave Kate her credit card.
But Kate wielding the gun to get the cab to move seemed a little necessary. She saw Marshall Mars very closeby, the airport was congested and she needed the cab to get going.
If she got in and calmly said, "Hi, can I share your taxi?" it would have taken way too long for her to get that car moving.
Anonymous: Hey guys, love this chat! I would just like to point out that of the three "tests" Dagon puts on Sayid, Rousseau does to Sayid in an earlier episode! She does the same electric test... meaning she clearly knew something.
Jen Chaney: Excellent point. I am not sure if that indicates she knew something, Dogen knew something or simply, again, that history repeats itself, with slight variations.
But it's still a cool observation.
As if time-travel wasn't a lazy enough writing trick, now we have a show full of the undead: Ok, seriously, I do not understand this criticism. I understand people who don't like fiction where dead people turn out to not be really dead. But we are talking about a show that had a polar bear on a tropical island and a MONSTER MADE OF SMOKE that ate the pilot in the VERY FIRST EPISODE. And Christian has been walking around dead since pretty early in Season 1. If you don't like this kind of fiction, what the heck have you been doing watching Lost for the past five years?
Jeez that would be like me going out of my way to watch every single Stephen Segal movie ever made and then complaining that the most recent one has too much gratuitous violence and unrealistic fight scenes.
Jen Chaney: I think a lot of people are expecting "Lost" to be tied up in an amazing way. And some of them are going to get frustrated as the season progresses, it's inevitable.
I mean, it's beyond the simple question: how will they resolve the show? We've all invested so much in this series, it's more like: will this resolution finally teach me the meaning of life?
Kind of a lot to ask.
And yes, to your point, if I bought smoke monsters, polar bears and moving islands, I can go with dead people coming back to life. Especially since that element has been part of this, as you said, since the beginning.
Perhaps another nod to the Losties having unexplained recognition: Related to this, at LAX while kidnapping Claire and the cab, Kate & Jack made eye contact and both had that "Don't I know you...?" look. Seems their island memories are buried deep in their brains, but they are there. Emerging in deja vu-type ways.
Jen Chaney: Yes, I thought the look between them was meaningful, too.
Despite my Kate-red...: I don't think the Claire/Kate LA situation was all that far-fetched. It's not crazy (to me) to feel remorse about stealing, unnecessarily, from a pregnant woman and wanting to return her bag. Getting back in the cab is a bit more of a stretch, I guess, but she did need to be persuaded, and if some criminal took the time to return your stuffed Orca, they're probably trustworthy enough to drop you off someplace. And once the criminal has walked you to the door of the least-conscientious woman in LA, and then rushed you to the hospital and stayed with you, there's no reason to to view the credit card thing as far-fetched.
Plus, Claire is psychic, remember? She probably just knew it was okay.
And, a side note: I'll personal give Damon Lindelhof an atomic wedgie if space aliens end up having anything to do with this show.
Jen Chaney: Mr. Lindelof, you've been put on notice!
I still think it was a bit far-fetched. But one reason why I could kinda buy Claire's willingness to get back in the cab was that she didn't have many options. If she was dropped in a place where she couldn't immediately find alternate transportation, and she's just gotten to L.A. from another continent and doesn't know anyone, I suppose she would go with the one person offering to help.
Still far-fetched, but a little more understandable.
Lindsey Baskum: is an anagram for "Used by Malkin(s)."
I think this might be giving us more evidence that "Malkin knew." Only in this universe he knows that the Baskums will split up and leave Claire stranded. This or the plane crash have the same desired effect: Claire has to raise Aaron on her own.
Or raise Aaron for a while and get abducted by her undead father. Either way...
washingtonpost.com: Was it ever clarified why Malin tells Eko he's a fake psychic? Because it's really hard to reconcile that with "Raised by Another."
Jen Chaney: Wow, the good 'ol anagram comes back into play.
To clarify for those going, "Um, what?" -- Malkin was the psychic who told Claire she needed to raise the baby on her own, but then gave her a ticket to get on Oceanic 815 and fly to L.A.
Re: producer Paul's very astute question about Malkin -- who appeared again in the episode where Eko investigates a young girl who miraculously came back to life -- they never did clarify that. But my thinking is that Malkin actually was fradulent for a time, then realized he actually did have a gift. I think -- could be wrong, and will stand corrected if I am -- that the episode between Malkin and Eko would have occurred before Malkin met Claire.
Malkin seems really freaked out when he tells Claire to take that flight, which suggests maybe he really did "see" something. And that may have caused him even more panic since he's so used to faking his visions.
Yes the show started out weird...: And that was part of the appeal. Smokemonster, a broadcast on a loop for decades,a dude buried in the ground punching numbers into a machine -- what the heck is going on? It was clearly a sci-fi show so some suspension of belief was required and I played along but the appeal was trying to figure out "How do these things tie together and get explained in a (at least somewhat) reasonable way?" Time-travel and the undead allow the writers to do or undo anything. That's why I find it to be lazy storytelling and I've lost interest.
Jen Chaney: Hey, man. That's fair. It's a free country.
You still have enough interest to be here, though. So I hope you stay with it (and us) for a *little* longer.
Jin fan: Jin is more a supporting character so he doesn't get the props he deserves for his growth. Remember when we met him he was a cold, domineering, gangster wannabe husband who later turned into a love struck doting husband and father to be. And learned excellent English (unlike this writer).
Jen Chaney: Well, that's true. I agree that he grew. But I also will note that part of his image of him being cold and domineering was based on our limited perception of him.
We based our sense of who he was on what we saw. But there was a lot more going on with Jin. And once we knew that, we understood where some of the seemingly domineering behavior came from.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I think that's one of the key points of "Lost": how all of us instinctively judge and choose not to trust people based on fear and stereotyping, and how wrong we can often turn out to be.
washington, dc: Have you gone back and read/watched Season 2, the episode What Kate did? It is so eerily similar to What Kate Does. It really does seem that while not all the exact same things are happening, quite a few events are repeating themselves in the new alternate timeline
Jen Chaney: I did during our rewatch. But that was a few months ago. And after last time, I'm thinking I may need to watch again.
San Francisco: A couple of seasons ago Damon and Carleton said that viewers can rules out aliens and the possibility that they are all dead.
Jen Chaney: I thought they had. But they've also said a lot of things. And I've learned to rule out nothing at this point.
Not a Kater: Not that I don't love me some Liz, but I'm glad she's not joining today for the simple reason that I must admit that for the first time last night I could see why she hates my dear Kate so much. I just have never really understood the hate, Kate's troubled and self-centered, sure. But as you so keenly pointed out, Jen, so is just about everyone else on the island in their own twisted way. She seemed uncharacteristically bad to me last night, like they were making her over the top - running out on Jin, kicking pregnant Claire out of the cab, etc. And the whole thing with her coming back for Claire felt pretty clumsy to me.
That said, last night's episode delivered my first "Whoa!!" moment of the season when our friendly old OB/GYN showed up!! And my second when I saw Claire's Bananarama goes to the jungle hair in the last scene!
Jen Chaney: Well, I for one miss Liz. But yeah, we would definitely have had a continuation of the Kate fight that started in today's analysis.
Clumsy, I agree with. But actually, it was pretty over-the-top when Kate orchestrated that whole bank robbery situation just so she could retrieve her toy plane from the safety deposit box. She's done some pretty bizarre stuff, so stealing the cab wasn't totally out of left field.
I was with you on the "whoa" moments, though. I think there should be at least one "Whoa" in every "Lost" episode from here on in. And no, that doesn't mean I think Joey Lawrence should do a guest spot.
Beach_Girl : Why does Dogen believe that poison will kill Sayid if drowning didn't? What is he going to try if the poison doesn't work? How many different ways are there to kill an undead person?
washingtonpost.com: Maybe he needs the Necronomicon...
Jen Chaney: Well, I wonder if he was trying to figure out if Sayid is now "unkillable."
ItsAfter3pm: Its After 3pm.. so go away.. am getting tired of refereshing.. also.. i have to rush to a meeting.. just waiting for u to be done.. :)
Jen Chaney: I'm wrapping up soon, don't worry.
And geez, just go to your meeting. We won't talk about you after you leave, we swear.
Arlington, VA: It's my understanding that the two "timelines" are not happening concurrently. The LA X folks are in 2004 and the Island folks are in 2007. The 2004 events now occurred as they're playing out in Season 6 but events still lead everyone to the island where they are in 2007.
Jen Chaney: Okay, but remember: time off the island doesn't progress the same way it does on it. So 2007 on island could, technically, be happening at the same "time" as 2004 in L.A.
You know, technically.
Joey Lawrence SHOULD do a guest spot: He can be the leader of the Others that live in an as-yet-unseen tree village! And he'll speak only in pig-latin and waste precious screen time not answering questions!
Let's start a facebook group a la "Have Betty White Host SNL Please"
Jen Chaney: Okay, that's funny. Fire up the Facebook group. I'll join.
I don't have a prayer of answering all these questions. Plus, that one person is ticked because I'm keeping him/her from some important meeting. So I guess I'll wrap up.
I will say that a lot of you sound very disappointed in these first couple of eps. Hopefully this doesn't count as a spoiler if I say that I did take a peek at a brief scene from next week's episode and it looked pretty promising.
So those of you who are annoyed, anti-temple, wanting more and better answers, all I can say is: let's all hang in there together. We've watched the show this long. We should see it through to the end.
I'm not as down on the show right now as some of you seem to be, though I do I feel some of your pain.
But I am a woman of faith. I am hopeful the season still has great payoffs ahead.
All right, I'll sign off before the power cuts out. Thanks for being here today. Liz and I (both of us) will see you here next Wednesday at 2.
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