Friday, February 8, 2008

LOST episode 4.2: "Confirmed Dead"

wow, I really liked this fast paced episode. In prior seasons, introducing 4 new characters and having two separate camps of Oceanic survivors would have been dragged out over 12 episodes.


here is what we learned (feel free to comment with other thoughts, a lot happened, I probably will omit stuff unintentionally):

- a robotic submarine "seemingly" discovers the wreckage of Oceanic 815 on the bottom
of the ocean floor in the South Pacific. The sub was looking for pirate ship wreckage and came across the plane, complete with dead bodies of the victims, including the pilot. Of course -we- know the pilot (played by Greg Grunberg who went on to become Matt Parkman in Heroes) was eaten by the black smoke monster, so of course we know (or think we know) this is a fake plane discovery. The real world's news programs are all over this story, giving closure to the victims families (and providing a phone number for them to call Oceanic: 888-548-0034 - a working phone number, try it).

- we see the "rescuers" on a helicopter over the island bailing out due to severe weather (and apparent electrical malfunctions) - think the FedEx plane in the Tom Hanks' movie Cast Away. They all bail out at separate times and are now scattered over the island.

- The first "rescuer" we meet is Daniel Faraday, played by Jeremy Davies, who played the scaredy-cat translator who was afraid to shoot the Nazis in "Saving Private Ryan", agonizingly causing Adam Goldberg's death. He also was in Rescue Dawn with Christian Bale & Steve Zahn as a POW who is now CRAZY. Daniel is a scaredy-cat physicist who is found by Jack & Kate, has a gun and a gasmask with him and is filled with nervous energy that makes it seem like he has just downed 10 espressos. He lets them know that rescuing them isn't their "primary objective". We find out what their "primary objective" is later in the episdoe. When we see him in a flashback, he is watching the discover of the Oceanic wreckage and crying like Rasheed Wallace over a non-foul call. When the person with him asks him why he is so upset, he replies "I don't know". He is definitely not the most tightly wrapped person.

- The second "rescuer" we meet is Miles Strom, played by the same actor who was Uncle Junior's asian american buddy in the nuthouse at the end of the Sopranos. The actor brings the same angry, sarcastic, no patience vibe to this role. We find out in a flashback that Miles is a medium - he can communicate with dead people. Miles demands to see Naomi, the hot british chick who Locke beni-hana'd in last year's season finale. It seems although Kate thought Naomi covered for them (and that they, you know, killed her), when she told the rescuers "tell my sister I love her" that was code for "they killed me!" - you know, kind of like when Carol Burnett tugged on her ear, that was code to tell her grandma that "they killed me!" In any event, they take Mr. Sixth Sense to Naomi's dead body and she confirms Jack & Kate's story - that they are innocent and it was Locke who made her the hot British shishkabob. Miles also gets on his satellite phone and asks to speak to Minkowski, and is told he is unable to come to the phone. (He must be in the shitter, or thought Miles was soliciting for the PBA).

- we next meet Charlotte Lewis, a paleontologist or anthropologist or archaeologist or something scientisty like that. In her flashback, we see her in the desert in Tunisia at an archaeological dig and she finds the fossilized remains of a polar bear. She also saw a dharma collar on the polar bear. She also didn't seem too surprised to see a polar bear fossil. In the desert. At this hour!

Charlotte is snagged upside down on her parachute after bailing the helicopter. She releases the backpack & falls into a lagoon, and seems happy to be there. She is captured by Locke's team who don't trust her, despite her coming off as ultra friendly and rescuey to them. She wants to HELP them, don't you guys get it? They are distrustful, since they broke off from the Jack Pack and decided Charlie was warning them from these rescuers.

The Locke team is already tense, since they are schlepping Ben around on a leash, and Sawyer questions Locke why Ben is still being kept alive. Sawyer has to be talked out of shooting Ben. Locke insists than Ben still has usefulness and can provide answers. Locke tells the group that Ben tried to kill him, and would have succeeded had Locke not coincidentally been duped out of donating a kidney. The bullet went through the area where the kidney was. Locke also tells them he met Taller Ghost Walt who saved his life and told him they need to make a detour to the cabin before they hit the suburbs where the Others lived. Hurley tells Locke the cabin is in the other direction. Locke seems surprised that Hurley saw the cabin. Hurley makes a lame explanation that he meant the plane's cabin. Maybe the cabin Hurley saw wasn't Jacob's cabin? It looked to me that the scary figure inside the cabin last week was Jack's father, Christian Shephard. Maybe the cabin is roving?

Anyhoo, the tense team has it out with Charlotte, tell her they don't trust her and don't want to be rescued. In the heat of the moment, we hear BLAM BLAM! Charlotte is shot, and Ben is holding the smoking gun. He took it from Karl, his daughter's boyfriend. Smooth move, letting the 16 year old kid with emotional problems have a gun. Why not give him a brown paper bag and some Redi-Whip cans as well to huff? Sawyer lays the smackdown on Ben's candy ass (for like the 3rd time in an hour to Ben, who apparently can take a beating - remember Jack beat him up when he thought the Others had killed Sayid, Bernard, and Jin on the beach then Danielle knocked him out with her gun when Ben was trying to get the crowd against Naomi by the radio tower). (Someone else may have beaten him up in last week's episode also). Charlotte doesn't die, she happened to be wearing a bullet proof vest. How convenient.

-Finally we meet Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey!) (a quick interlude when I hear the name Lapidus, I think of this scene from Mel Brooks' The Producers)

sorry for the interruption. When we first see Frank, he is in the Bahamas, kind of ragged and drunky, watching the news on the discovery of the wreckage. The camera pans on the sunken remains of the Oceanic Captain and Frank realizes it's not real. How does he know? He calls the hotline number and tells them that his friend, the captain always wore a wedding ring and this guy wasn't wearing one. And that he, Frank Lapidus, was supposed to be the pilot that day. Is that why is he ragged and drunky? On the island, we see him wake up from being knocked out, then climb a hill to get to higher ground and launch his signal flare. Jack, Kate, Daniel, Miles, Sayid, Juliet all hightail it to find Frank. Frank tells the group that the helicopter was struck by lightning, that's why they had the mechanical failure. He shows them he managed to land the chopper safely. (Hmm, then why was he unconscious?). Sayid examines the helicopter to make sure it can fly (it can) while Juliet tends to Frank's wounds. They make small talk and he asks her her name, and when she tells him he realizes she wasn't a passenger - she was a native! He had memorized the flight manifest and knew everyone's name on board.

Cut to a flashback - Naomi and that weird guy Abaddon, who visited Hurley in the nuthouse last week (played by the skinny black scary guy from Oz). We learn that these "rescuers" are amateurs, whom Naomi disdainfully calls a headcase (Daniel), a ghostbuster, a scientist, and a drunk. Naomi is the trained person on this mission, and Abaddon tells her these misfits were specifically chosen for this assignment. Of course, she is the one that gets dead. She worries to Abaddon that they might find 815 survivors, he tells her there are no survivors, they need to just get in, do their job and get out.

Cut back to the helicopter landing: Angry Miles demands to be taken to "him". This is their primary objective. When asked who "him" is, he shows a recent picture of Ben taken from a surveillance camera, seemingly from the mainland. Holy shit! Ben has been off the island as an adult! Why are they after him? Are they the Dharma people and want to get back at Ben for the mass killings?

Cut to Locke, Ben, and the gang. As Locke decides that Ben needs to be sent to the Dharma station in heaven and is about to blow his crazy eyes out of his skull, Ben talks fast and tells them he knows information. When Locke asks one of the main questions the world has: What is the monster? What is the black smoke? Ben replies "I don't know". He spouts off the names of the "rescuers" and their occupations (correctly). Charlotte's silence is compliance that this is the truth. When asked how does he know this, Ben tells them "he has a man on their boat". Damn! Who is the man? Michael? Does Ben's "man" have the boat captive, is that why Minkowski couldn't come to the phone?

I really loved this episode, what did you guys think?

PS - if you guys love the deeper meanings and potential future spoilers figured out by the symbolism and names and stuff on the show, check out Jeff Jensen's recap on (link). He is some sort of genius with an English lit background. He tells us why the name Charlotte Sparks-Lewis is important (CS Lewis?) for example. Or Daniel in the Bible compares to Daniel Faraday. Miles Strom (Maelstrom). Cool shit like that.

I'd love to start a LOST discussion in the comments part, please feel free to start some comments. Did anyone notice where Desmond, Sun & Jin were this episode? Kind of weird I don't remember seeing them.


Rated G said...

Much better than 4.1.

I love the overall concept of Miles, a medium who uses his skills to scam both the family members and the deceased themselves out of their hidden loot. There was a just ok older Peter Jackson movie with Michael J Fox called Frighteners that was somewhat similar, but more ridiculous. This character is something I'd like to see a lot more of in the real world. But what was with the crazy vacuum cleaner contracption? Just a red herring to make it look like he knows what he's doing? A sound muffler so the relatives don't hear the scam? Or an actual device that hurts the ghosts and forces them to reveal their loot?

Lane said...

I think I read it on recap, but it wasn't a vacuum it was a portable air conditioner, supposedly in the ghostbusting world, cold air makes the ghosts come out