'Lost' Dueling Analysis: Win/Win -- No Cheech Marin and a Few Answers
Warning: If you haven't watched last night's "Lost" yet, do so before proceeding to read an enthusiastic, yet measured, discussion of episode "Enter 77" between myself and post.com movie editrix Jen Chaney.
Liz: Since crashing into our living rooms three years ago, "Lost" has managed to hit a sweet spot. Its "Twin Peaks" meets conspiracy theory as acted out by Gap ad models formula appeals to a wide swath of viewers. Me, I'm in it for the hidden meanings (I practically drool every time I catch an oblique pop culture reference or yet another nod to Stephen King or "The Watchmen") and the slowly unraveling mystery, which I still believe is leading to an end as ironclad as the fate to which Desmond says we are all destined.
But even I can recognize when things are getting out of hand. Three Dog Night songs are taking on hidden meanings and though I love Doc Jensen's weekly stab at "Lost's" more esoteric meanings over on the EW site, I find it hard to follow him into theories that trot out "Cathars, a Gnostic sect of Christianity considered heretics by The Roman Catholic Church and were horribly persecuted" as insight into the Others.
Still, in the spirit of assigning meaning where there is none and hoping for the best, I've discovered the super-double-secret meaning behind the title of last night's episode, "Enter 77." Thanks to years of faithfully reading Elle magazine's numerology column, I knew that I needed to take the 7 and 7 and add them together, equaling 14. Then, adding those digits (1 and 4), we arrive at 5. Aha! See, last night was the fifth episode of the spring series arc and we were being urged to "enter episode number 5." Also, when Sawyer wears his hair pulled back like a shogun, I think he's channeling John Belushi, but that's just me.
Jen -- thankfully you're back to pull me out of this wormhole. Please, save me.
Jen: So I have written a theme song for last night's episode. It goes like this:
"Old McPatchy had a farm
And on that farm he had a killer game of video chess
With a checkmate here and an explosion there
Here a check, there a mate, everywhere a boom! boom!"
I'm working on a verse about a cat named Nadia Comaneci but it hasn't come together yet. And I realize the dude's name is Mikhail, but I plan to call him McPatchy. If "Grey's Anatomy" can have a McDreamy and a McSteamy, then "Lost" can have McPatchy.
What did you think of last night's episode?
Much more after the jump...
Liz: Okay, that totally defused my descent into over-analysis, but now I'm kind of worried about you.
And I'm not sure if yellowed, rotting teeth give McPatchy quite the same vibe as McDreamy/McSteamy.
Jen: I would agree that "Lost" continues to venture into increasingly brain teasing, nerd-friendly territory. It's lost some of the heart it had before; I always think when I'm watching, but I rarely feel. Then again, most TV these days doesn't make me think or feel, so at least that's a partial victory.
A couple of things about last night's episode interest me, but here's the biggest: It's fair to assume that McPatchy is connected to those Portuguese fellows from the last episode of season two. You remember -- the guys who appeared to be in a RUSSIAN climate and were playing CHESS and could monitor the island? Yeah, McPatchy was their line into what's happening in "Lost"-land. Finally, some threads are kinda coming together...
Liz: We're definitely in sync on that vibe. I knew there had to be someone else on the other end of that game when Locke said something about computers not being able to cheat, only humans. But, help jog my memory here: I assumed the guys in the polar station monitoring the explosion were working for Penny (Desmond's chick) and looking for the island. A connection with McPatchy assumes they know where the island is and, in fact, had steady communication with it.
And was I the only one waiting for the chess computer to bust out the phrase "global-thermal nuclear war?"
Jen: The guys did seem to be working for Penny. But that doesn't mean they aren't in cahoots with McPatchy somehow. I obviously haven't figured it out fully, was more excited to know that last year's season finale may actually connect to something.
Liz: The episode was a definite improvement over last week's hour, which rated somewhere just below "The Corsican Brothers" in the bell curve of Cheech Marin's career. We finally found out who McPatchy (shoot, it's sticking now) was, though his character was a bit of a letdown and we had the re-emergence of Ms. Klugh, though she unfortunately died before giving us any useful information about things like her interest in Walt or why she was hiding out in the basement of the Flame station.
Jen: Yes, poor Ms. Klugh. Were they really speaking Russian by the way? Last night's episode, after two weeks of tattoos and Three Dog Night, seemed purposely packed with Easter eggs -- the Russian text in the typewriter, the dialogue between Klugh and McPatchy. I'm sure brighter Internet minds than ours' have already deciphered all of this stuff.
Liz: I assumed they were speaking Russian since Mikhail (McPatchy) seems to have walked straight out of a Cold War-era Tom Clancy plot.
One thing that's starting to wear on me as we wait for the producers and ABC heads to battle out how long the show will go on is the flashbacks. The Desmond and Juliet-focused episodes a few weeks back set the bar pretty high for useful flashbacks that have a direct bearing on the mysteries unfolding on the island. But last week's Hurley-fest and last night's Sayid side jaunt added exactly zero to our knowledge. The Sayid storyline was touching, but we already knew he was remorseful about his past as a Republican Guard interrogator. It was so much filler.
Maybe it's a reaction to grumblings from some of the actors for more screen time, but I'm envisioning a box set sometime in the future with the option to play the shows with all unecessary scenes (like filler flashbacks) deleted.
Also, something else is bothering me: Sun's hair is now six feet longer than it was when the plane crashed. Meanwhile, Hurley seems to be packing on the pounds. They've been on the island how long now? Certainly long enough for Hurley to lose some weight, but not long enough for Sun to score big-time extensions. I suppose the island's weird vibe is meant to explain these apparent contradictions.
Jen: Before I forget, I also wanted to throw out a thought about Locke: I believe he was set up to enter 77. Anyone who's been monitoring him, and it appears people certainly have, knows that dude is a sucker for archaic computers and data entry. So the island fates made sure he found that chess game.
Which raises the question: Does the evil smoke monster have something to do with all this? Because evil smoke monster = dead Eko = Locke finding message on Jesus stick leading to McPatchy's farm = entering the house = finding the chess game.
Liz: Good point. Not for the first time have I thought that there's some kind of Wizard-of-Oz-type person somewhere pulling all the strings, controlling the smoke monster and the larger game of chess between the Losties and the Others unfolding on the island. It's like some sicko's own private Sim City.
Also, last night there was mention of a "purge" and "hostiles." I guess we're to believe that the Others and the Dharma folks had some kind of skirmish at some point. And, if he's to be believed (and I never believe anyone who can't manage to brush his teeth on a daily basis), McPatchy also said the Others had been there much longer than the Dharma folks. Just more fuel for the Flame. (That joke was lame. Okay, now I'm rhyming, which is even lamer.)
Jen: Hey, I rewrote the lyrics to "Old MacDonald," so I'm probably lamer.
Sun also isn't showing (how pregnant is she supposed to be now?) and Claire suddenly has bangs. And then there's Paulo and Nikki, who are officially the Poochies of "Lost." A number of fans must have cheered last night when Sawyer looked at Nikki and said "Who the hell are you?"
However, re: the Sayid flashback, I actually thought it was somewhat relevant. At the closing moment, we saw Sayid walk away from the cat. To me that signified that he is still a torturer at heart, otherwise he would have saved the kitty like the woman he tortured did. That may foreshadow Sayid's actions to come.
I'm still not convinced that the Hostiles are the Others. The Others have been saying forever that they're not the bad guys, which suggests there are other bad guys lurking about. Perhaps the Hostiles are them?
Liz: I wonder -- did Sayid really torture that woman in the flashback or just say he did to help her heal?
I'm also wondering if the producers are getting a little reactive to us, the opinionated audience -- which can be good or bad, depending on how sure they are of where they are going. As you point out, we had Sawyer questioning Nikki's presence, though she and Paulo have stopped asking brain dead obvious questions. We also had Sun voice a long-held opinion of mine when she asked Sawyer to can the nicknames if he lost the ping-pong game.
Jen: I think they definitely are reacting. Which is either very smart, or a desperate move to keep loyal fans in their good graces.
I'll leave with this thought: Maybe the "Losties" themselves are the Hostiles. And the chess game conned Locke into entering 77 and giving himself up, in a sense?
I don't know. I do know that next week, we may find out that Claire is Jack's sister. Personally, I was hoping Jack's sister would turn out to be Neve Campbell, but then I'm a sucker for "Party of Five" nostalgia.
Liz: There's much more to be discussed, for instance the odds on next week being another filler episode (revelation about Jack and Claire or no), Sayid's seeming replacement of Jack as Locke's nemesis and the Dharma Initiative's genius for brand marketing (everything from toilet paper to vodka). We can continue in the comments thread below and in the last 15 minutes of today's 2 p.m. ET Celebritology Live chat.
Next Week on "Lost": Claire becomes suspicious of Charlie's peculiar behavior, while tensions mount between Sayid and Locke.
| March 8, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories: Lost, TV
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