Thursday, November 27, 2008

Season 4 Episodes 13 & 14
“There’s No Place Like Home” (Parts Two and Three)
Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Jack Bender

Given the density of events (and resultant chaotic emotions left in those events’ wakes) in this season’s 2-hour finale, I opted to break this into 2 parts, if only to make it a more manageable read.

[2 of 2]

Meanwhile, back at the Orchid, with Keamy now good and croaked, Ben triggers the Vault, which has its own minor ka-blooey moment.
Ben then puts on that fleece-lined parka we saw him in in the Sahara (quadruple hmmmm…) and tells Locke to go back to the Others and to lead them.
In another brilliant moment that made me actually care for poor, manipulative Ben, it turns out that Jacob told Locke to move the Island, but not how, because he wanted Ben to do the dirty work, because it seems that whosoever moves the Island, can’t ever come back to it.
Ever. (Or so poor, manipulative Ben claims.)

So Locke leaves, and we see him later on being welcomed by Richard and the Others.
Jacob’s b!tch, Ben, on the other hand, goes through the ruptured Vault into some sort of frozen rocky area, where there’s a large wheel (the Frozen Donkey Wheel, I assume), which he then struggles to turn.
And here, Ben, the disgraced and out-of-favour son, looks broken and he’s actually crying, even as he turns the wheel…

… and there’s a sound in the air…

… and there’s a light in the sky…

… and even as the people on the helicopter watch (Frank intending to land on the Island again before the fuel runs out)…

… and even as Ju-Ju and Sawyer on the Beach watch…

… and even as Idiot Zodiac Daniel and his second group of sock puppets watch…

… and even as the Others and their newly anointed leader, Locke, watch…

… the…

… Island…

… disappears…

It’s just gone, and apparently, so is the other smaller island where Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were imprisoned in the first part of Season 3.
So, without any Island to land on, the helicopter finally runs out of fuel, and goes ker-plash.
All the Oceanic Six survive, of course, as does Frank, and there’s a moment or two when they make it look like Des took too much seawater in the lungs, but Doc Obsesso does mouth-to-mouth, and Des sputters, coughs up salt water, and keeps on breathing. (Unlike poor Charlie, Des, who you sent down to a watery grave on the strength of a vision involving, oh, what was it again? Oh yeah! Claire and Aaron. On a helicopter!!!)

So the Oceanic Six plus two are floating on the helicopter’s life raft, when they spot a ship out in the night, and even as they’re shouting for it, I have a nasty flashback to Season One’s finale, and Mr. Friendly asking for Walt…
Jack though, is more concerned about something else, so he tells the others about the Great Lie.
Well, not the details, not yet, but rather, that they just have to lie, about everything, to keep those they left behind safe, from whoever sent that freighter.
But when the Searcher comes close enough, it turns out to be… Penny’s boat!
So Des and Penny get their happy, happy moment, and yes, I am moved by it, but I must ask, Where’s Claire’s semi-happy moment? Damn you, Desmond! Damn you, Lindelof and Cuse!

So the next week is spent off-screen, hatching the details of the Great Lie, and even as the Oceanic Six gather to get on a raft and make it to Membata, it looks like Sun’s still in deep, deep shock.
Frank stays on board the Searcher, of course, as does Des, who says he’ll be okay, so long as he’s with Penny. (What about Claaaaiiire?!?)
And the Oceanic Six make it to Membata…

Now, let’s spin our own Frozen Donkey Wheel, and check out those flashforwards…

Kate has a dream where she sees Claire in Aaron’s room, and Claire tells Kate not to bring Aaron back (to the Island, I believe we can safely assume).
And I think, Oh great, Claire’s really dead, isn’t she? (Damn you, Desmond!)
If she is dead though, why is her ghost (for lack of a better term) telling Kate not to bring Aaron back to the Island, when, normally, the “ghosts” exist to do the Island’s bidding, and as we’ll find out later, everyone has to go back to the Island?

Hurley gets a visit at the loonybin, from… Walt!!!
Walt, who, all growed-up now, tells Hurley he was paid a visit by “Jeremy Bentham,” the fellow in that Season 3 finale coffin.
Walt, who asks Hurley why are they lying about what happened, and Hurley answers, To keep the people we left behind safe.
Like my Dad, poor, hideously naïve Walt asks.
Yeah, Hurley lies, like your Dad…

Hurley then later gets another visit, from… Sayid, a.k.a. Ben’s Crying Freeman.
Sayid tells Hurley about Bentham’s “suicide,” and that he’s breaking Hurley out of the loonybin, to take him someplace safe.
Hurley makes certain, You’re not taking me back there, are you?
No, I’m not, Crying Freeman lies.
And Sayid’s arrival breaks up a chess game Hurley’s apparently having with an unseen Mr. Eko…

And in a shocking flashforward, Sun is in London, and has a chat with… Da Widmore!
From the conversation, it’s clear that Sun’s corporate take-over has successfully placed her in charge.
It also becomes apparent (or so they’re making us think), that Sun is willing to help Da W. find the Island again. (Is this truly Dark Sun, or is she playing along with Ben’s puppetry, to take down the other man she feels is responsible for Jin’s death? But who does Sun hold ultimately responsible, along with her father? Da W.? Or Ben? Or (gasp!) Jack?

And in another shocking flashforward, and a return to that night that began in Season 3’s finale and continued in this finale’s opening moments, Jack returns to that damned anagrammatical funeral parlour. He breaks in, and stands before the closed casket of “Jeremy Bentham.”
But who should also arrive to pay his respects, but… Ben! (Effectively taking him off the Casket Candidate List… Oh. No.)
It turns out that “Bentham” (Oh. No.) not only visited Walt, he also contacted Jack and Kate, and apparently told Jack that after they left the Island, bad, bad things happened, and that they happened because Jack and the others were never meant to leave, and thus, the bad, bad things were all Jack’s fault.
“Bentham” (Oh. No.) was trying to convince them that they all had to go back to the Island, and Ben agrees. And of course, at this point, so does Beardo Jack. Ben’s even aware of Jack’s scarily pathetic flights on Oceanic, just hoping for another crash.
Ben points out though, this is only going to work if you all go back.
Jack then says (oh the poor, depressed, guilt-ridden guy), Hurley’s nuts, and Sun blames me for Jin’s death, and I don’t know where Sayid is, and Kate won’t even talk to me…
Ben then says, I think I can help you with that.
Then, in a morbid turn that ranks right up there with Locke carrying his dead conman da’s body on his back, Ben says, You all have to go back, even him, and we all then get to see the man in the casket, and it’s (Oh. No.) John Locke…


Parting shot: So the Season 4 2-hour finale originally aired May 29, and I had had this post written and ready a few days afterwards.
It’s suddenly late-November and Season 5 is less than two months away, and only now do I actually get this recap on the Iguana.
Which just goes to prove it isn’t only on the Island where time goes all wonky…

(Lost OS courtesy of

Season 4 Episodes 13 & 14
“There’s No Place Like Home” (Parts Two and Three)
Written by Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse
Directed by Jack Bender

Given the density of events (and resultant chaotic emotions left in those events’ wakes) in this season’s 2-hour finale, I opted to break this into 2 parts, if only to make it a more manageable read.

[1 of 2]

Okay. So the “Frozen Donkey Wheel” has been revealed to the world, and we now know who emerged on the top of the Casket Candidate List (my top three: Michael, Ben, or Locke).
Given the density of events in this season’s 2-hour finale, you’ll perhaps understand if I may inadvertently leave some bit or other out.
Hopefully though, senility won’t get too much of an upper hand…
Into the breach then…

Wondrously, majestically, that spectacular final moment from last season’s finale, comes all the way around the past dozen episodes, and segues into the opening moments of this season’s finale, as Kate actually stops the car in response to Beardo Jack’s plea of returning to the Island.
They have another heart-wrenching conversation, which firmly establishes that it’s been three years since they got off the Island, and that, no way is Kate ever going back there.

Now, I’ll have to break protocol and leave off from the flashforward for the moment, and take on the Island goings-on first.

Zodiac Daniel returns to the Beach for the second group to be ferried to the Kahana, and he tells Miles and Charlotte that they should both be on the Zodiac when this trip leaves.
Miles though, opts to stay on the Island (hmmmm…), and is actually surprised that Charlotte seems to be willing to leave the Island as well, considering how hard she’s worked to “get back here” (double hmmmm…).
True enough, when Daniel asks Charlotte again, she says she’s staying, and says something about not yet having found the place where she was born (triple hmmmm…).
So Daniel reluctantly leaves Charlotte, and when Juliet says she’s staying too, since she promised she wouldn’t leave till everyone was safe (did she? I can’t recall that… Go, Ju-Ju! Go!! Can’t you see that look Daniel has? And Daniel, you moron! Tell her!!! Graaarrr!!!!)
So Idiot Zodiac Daniel zooms off…

Meanwhile, Richard and the Others finding Kate and Sayid last episode turns out to be a gambit to rescue Ben.
Even as Keamy is bringing Ben back to the helicopter, where they find Frank still trying to break out of the handcuffs, Kate runs into the clearing, supposedly escaping the Others’ clutches.
The mercenaries fan out into the jungle, but it’s a trap, of course, and they’re picked off one by one, as Kate and Ben scamper off into the jungle, Keamy in hot pursuit. Keamy’s then tackled by Sayid, and a brutal tussle kicks in. It looks like Keamy’s gonna break Sayid’s neck, when Keamy’s shot in the back (by Richard, if I recall correctly).
He’s apparently dead. (Riiiiiighhhht.)
Ben asks what the arrangement was, and Richard says, They help us, and we let them get off the Island.
Ben says, Fair enough. Take the helicopter.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sawyer find Hurley (relieving himself, if I’m not mistaken).
Locke (who can’t find the damned flower Ben mentioned) then attempts to draw Jack into a conversation, to try and convince him that he’s not supposed to leave the Island.
Doc Obsesso doesn’t listen, of course.
Locke, seeing that he can’t change Jack’s mind, makes the plea for the Great Lie, so as to protect the Island. Doc Obsesso scoffs, It’s an island. It doesn’t need to be protected.
Locke says, It’s not an Island. It’s a place where miracles happen.
Naturally, Doc Obsesso claims there are no such things as miracles (despite having gotten his future ex-wife-to-be to walk again, when all indications pointed to the fact that he’d failed to help her)…
Jack is just leaving, when Ben returns. Ben then tells Jack about Kate and Sayid being at the helicopter, and that he should leave if he still intends to.
Jack watches as Ben and Locke get into an elevator and descend into the real Orchid Station.

Jack, Sawyer, and Hurley reach the helicopter, and even as they’re all getting aboard, I’m thinking, So what’s gonna happen to Sawyer (since he isn’t part of the Oceanic Six)?!
And when Hurley asks Jack if they’re coming back to look for Claire, and Jack says, Sure, I’m also thinking, Damn you, Desmond! Where’s your Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter flash?! Damn you, Lindelof and Cuse! Where’s that flaaaassssshhhh?!?
The answer to the Sawyer question comes soon enough though, as it appears a bullet hit the helicopter and they’re leaking fuel, so if they don’t land soon, they go ker-splash.
Needing to lighten the load, so they can get to the freighter faster, everything that isn’t bolted down gets tossed into the ocean, including… Sawyer!
Actually, when Frank says he’ll be happier if they lose another 200 pounds, there’s a sad shot of Hurley (who’s probably having a traumatic flashback to the whole “dock collapse-due-to-my-weight” thing), before Sawyer whispers something in Kate’s ear (presumably the favour she attends to later on, presumably involving Cassidy and Sawyer’s daughter), liplocks with Kate (which Jack sees with his own Obsesso eyes), then jumps out of the helicopter!
Jack promises they’ll send the helicopter back to look for Sawyer once they’re safely on the freighter. (Riiiiiighhhht.)

Meanwhile, back on the freighter, where it’s supposed to be safe (damn you, Lindelof and Cuse!), Des, Michael, and Jin try and figure out how to stop the C4 from going ka-blooey.
Even as Des (who had some six months’ experience with explosives during his military stint) determines that the C4 will go ka-blooey when some device or other receives a radio signal, Michael figures they can freeze the battery with liquid nitrogen to prevent—or at the very least, slow—the chemical reaction that will trigger the ka-blooey-ness.
(Guessing though that that thingy on Keamy’s arm is what’s supposed to trigger the ka-blooey-ness, why hasn’t the freighter blown sky high yet? Because Sun and Aaron are still on it! Which also means that Keamy’s still alive, despite those bullets to the back…)

And, true enough, who should take the down elevator to the Orchid, but Keamy and his body armor!
But first, Locke is shown the initial portion of the Orchid Orientation video, which seems to indicate that, as Ben succinctly puts it, “time-traveling bunnies” are indeed possible! (Thus, we have confirmation that there is actual physical time-traveling going on in the Lost-verse.)
According to the video, “The Vault” (built adjacent to a “pocket of negatively-charged exotic matter,” where the subject meant to do the time-traveling is to be placed) is also supposed to be kept clear of any metallic objects, but even as Locke is learning this, Ben the Busy Bug-Eyed Bee is placing everything metallic that he can find in the station, into the Vault!
Which is when Keamy arrives.
There’s a conversation, and a scuffle, and when Keamy unwisely goads Ben about Alex’s death, Ben goes postal and stabs the baddie… despite Keamy already having explained about the dead man’s trigger on his arm, and the freighter’s instant ka-blooey-ness, should his heart stop beating.
Locke tries to save the schmuck’s life (so as to prevent the freighter instantly going ka-blooey), but he fails…

… Keamy croaks…

… and back at the Kahana, the light goes red, giving them all about 5 minutes to get off it before the impending ka-blooey.
So Michael valiantly stays to continue freezing the battery to slow the chemical reaction. He tells Des and Jin to go, though Jin stays by Michael’s side.
Even as Des gets to the upper deck, the helicopter comes in, needing to land badly, to refuel.
In the few short minutes of the helicopter actually being on the freighter’s deck, they do their best to plug the bullet hole, pump as much fuel in as they can, and scramble back on board the helicopter.
Below deck, Michael runs out of insta-freeze, and tells Jin, Go, you’re a father now. Take care of your wife and baby, so Jin takes off for the upper deck.
Meanwhile, Sun wants to go below deck to get Jin, but Kate tells her, I’ll go, you take Aaron to the helicopter.
But Jack grabs Kate and says, I’m not leaving without you, and drags her back to the helicopter.
Frank takes off, the Oceanic Six and Des on-board (and I’m thinking, Oh no, what happens to Des?), even as Jin makes it onto the deck, and Sun’s screaming to go back for Jin, and Christian appears to Michael and dismisses him (“You can go now, Michael”), and the Kahana goes ka-blooey.
And poor Sun just keeps on screaming, till Jack tells her, He’s gone, and I’m thinking, Oh no, Sun’ll never forgive him…

So the freighter goes ka-blooey, taking Michael with it (he was right next to the C4, right? This also effectively takes him off the Casket Candidate List…), along with all the poor sock puppets ferried there to their doom by Idiot Zodiac Daniel.
As for Jin, he could have conceivably been blown off the freighter by the explosion, or am I being hideously naïve here?

Back on the beach, Sawyer rises from the sea, shirtless now (and a host of female Lost fans shriek with mad glee), to find Ju-Ju getting sloshed on Dharma rum.
So what are we celebrating? he asks.
I’m not celebrating, Ju-Ju replies, pointing to the column of smoke out at sea.
Our boat? Sawyer asks.
It was, says poor, poor Ju-Ju, who has, yet again missed her chance to get off the Island…


(Lost OS courtesy of

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Season 2 Episode 1
Written by Bryan Fuller
Directed by Adam Kane

Well, this one had its moments, and a bunch of welcome guest spots: French Stewart as Wolsey Nicholls, intent on taking over Betty’s BeesTM; Autumn Reeser as the rather unlucky Number One Bee Girl of Betty’s BeesTM, Kentucky Fitts, who’s the main corpus dilecti of the episode; and Diana Scarwid (yay!) as, not just any nun, but the Mother Superior herself.

Sadly, Scarwid is part of the subplot that I’m having trouble with: for some reason best known to the show’s writers, Olive has been sent off to a nunnery by Lily, the very same nunnery where she brought Chuck to term, because of the secret she’s privy to: that Chuck is in fact, Lily’s daughter, a secret that would kill Vivian, as she was actually engaged to Chuck’s father when the affair took place.
Sure, the nun costumes are cool and kooky, and Pigby has his own certain charm, but I’m dubious about the whole thread and wondering where they plan to take it and what its raison d’etre is.

At any rate, it’s great to have Pushing Daisies back, and to see Adam Kane at the helm again.
They also at least seem to be kicking up Emerson’s lost daughter subplot, so that’s a plus, as Chi McBride rules.
I mean, Steven Harper to Emerson Cod.
Who knew?

(Images courtesy of ABC,, and

Season 1 Episode 6
“The Boy-Band Superfan Interrogation”
Written by Jordan Rosenberg
Directed by Norman Buckley

“Wow, there really is a hole in space.”
“With a duck caught inside.”

Ah, now this is my favourite episode thus far.
Yes, the Dub Dub personal life subplot (Pip copies Wendy’s paintings and passes them off as his own) doesn’t mesh very well with the main MiddlePlot, but this one’s got some killer lines, hilarious moments, the fate of the world—and Ida—in the balance, and, oh yes, boy bands…

“How could you be alive and not know Varsity Fanclub, Dub Dub?”
“How can you know Varsity Fanclub and not want to end it all?”

Varsity Fanclub (“… only the most popular boy band in the world!”), comprised of “Jake the crooner, Thomas the heartthrob, Bobby the street tough, Drew the charmer, and the requisite man of mystery, David,” are at the heart of this episode’s MiddlePlot, and it’s a hoot and a half.
I won’t get into the deets (as Pip would put it), but suffice it to say that not only does the episode maybe-reference SF TV series V, it also most definitely references A New Hope and George Lucas.

“But I’ve always been fascinated by the ability of pre-assembled sets of sub-masculine archetypes to tug at the heartstrings of a 12- to 17-year-old fan base.”
“Funny, I’ve always been fascinated by their ability to bring up my lunch.”

Granted, the subplot does seem rather removed from the MiddlePlot, but it does contain some thoughts on art and artists, which racks up some more points for this one.
Still and all, the star here is Jordan Rosenberg’s sinisterly laughable take on pre-packaged popular music, and how the fate of the world may very well lie in the hands of the tween set.
Be afraid.
Be very afraid.

“Only tween-age screams of ecstasy have the strength to cut a hole in space itself! How could I not see it before?”

Parting shot: Just as Ali Damji owned his scene in “The Flying Fish Zombification,” Alan Smyth’s High Aldwin, Supreme Commander of the Clotharian Rebel Fleet just slays…

Parting shot 2: Jordan Rosenberg is, like the mighty monster that is Gree-Joe Marks-Watch, also a Lost alum; Rosenberg co-wrote Season 3’s “Par Avion” with Christina M. Kim.

(Images courtesy of and

Season 5 Episode 3
“The All Out Fall Out”
Written by Rob Weiss
Directed by Mark Mylod

Ahhh, there’s Mrs. Ari! And Shauna!

The Vince-facing-bankruptcy subplot evolves into a Vince-making-a-paid appearance-at-a-sweet 16 subplot, with Fran Drescher as the sweet 16’s mother (Kevin Pollak plays the da), and pretty much the only bright spot here is Debi Mazar. (Drama getting drunk in his post-Jacqueline break-up depression and hurling all over the cake is definitely not a bright spot.)
Then there’s the Ari and Mrs. Ari anniversary subplot, where Adam Davies gets caught in the crossfire, and while the b!tchslap was priceless, the biggest bright spot here has to be Perrey Reeves.

Oh, and Carla Gugino’s also in the house, to relay the message that Nine Brave Souls has caught the attention of Ed Norton, who wants to rechristen it Smokejumpers and turn it into a studio picture…
Hrrrm… can we see where this is going?

(Images courtesy of

Friday, November 14, 2008

Season 4 Episode 7
“Guess What’s Coming To Dinner?”
Written by Michael Angeli
Directed by Wayne Rose

Twelve Cylon models
Seven are known
Four live in secret
One will be revealed

“In our civil war, we've seen death. We watched our people die. Gone forever.
“As terrible as it was, beyond the reach of the Resurrection Ships, something began to change. We could feel a sense of time. As if each moment held its own significance.
“We began to realize that for our existence to hold any value it must end. To live meaningful lives we must die, and not return.
“The one human flaw, that you spend your lifetimes distressing over—mortality—is the one thing... well, it's the one thing that makes you whole.”
-- Natalie

With “Gaeta’s Lament” running through much of this episode, this one’s yet another toughie, opening with a great, tense little sequence as the Demetrius and the damaged base star jump to the Fleet’s coordinates, only to experience a glitch, causing the Demetrius to fail to successfully make the jump, leaving the base star all by its lonesome, in the middle of the Fleet!
The civilian ships jump, Galactica scrambles its Vipers, and Starbuck and Athena and everyone else on board the base star look to be toast (as they have no wireless to communicate with Galactica).
Adama’s just ordered to open fire on the base star, when Tigh counters that order, and the Demetrius finally shows up.

Natalie puts the plan before the Fleet bigwigs: go over to the Resurrection Hub, and unbox D’Anna, so she can properly identify the Final Five, then destroy the Hub, thus eliminating the Cylons’ ability to download. The Five, who Natalie clarifies have been to Earth (and are not necessarily from Earth, as I’d understood from the previous episode), are then to be handed over to the Cylons, once the destruction of the Hub is achieved, and the Cylons go off on their merry Toaster way.
Simple (and brutal) enough plan, but neither side trusts the other, so Roslin (to bridge the “let’s trust the Cylons” and “let’s just frak everything, including the Boxing facility” factions—the latter led by Tigh, who’s clearly hesitant to have his Toaster ID revealed) suggests keeping the Final Five to themselves till they’ve reached Earth, then hand them over to the Rebel Cylons.
Meanwhile, Natalie and the Rebel Toasters (nifty garage band, that), plan to get the Centurions to take the base star over and to hold the humans who happen to be on-board hostage, following the Hub’s destruction, to force the Fleet to hand over the Final Five.

On other fronts, Felix indeed gets his leg amputated by Doc Cottle, and, while recuperating in the infirmary, takes to singing the “Lament” to help him through the pain and the trauma.
It’s a sad, sad song, and opera-trained Alessandro Juliani sings it heartbreakingly well. Hats off to Juliani, episode writer Michael Angeli, and Bear McCreary for that.

Baltar, on the other hand, reveals in one of his broadcasts, that Roslin is sharing her visions with Athena and Caprica Six (as we’ve already seen in the past). Lee tries to convince Roslin that she needs to address the Fleet, to deal with the issue, but they’re at loggerheads, and clearly still on semi-antagonistic terms (admittedly, most of the acrimony coming from Roslin).
The President does pursue the matter though, and speaks with Toaster Tory, telling her that, a) I know you’re sleeping with Baltar, and b) I don’t care how you do it, but I want you to find out who’s been telling Baltar these “lies.”
Funny thing is, I actually felt sorry for Toaster Tory at that moment, as she claims to have truly valued Roslin’s friendship and trust, but that she admits that she’s come to believe in what Baltar’s preaching.
Roslin will have none of it and just tells her she has a job to do. (Later on, she tells Lee that Toaster Tory should be “horse-whipped.”)
When Toaster Tory tearily wheedles the information out of Baltar, he claims that Caprica Six told him about it during his trial. (Did she, now?)

Later on, when the mission to the Resurrection Hub is set, the Quorum are none too happy that they weren’t even consulted, so Lee goes back to Roslin, and asks her to at least speak with the Quorum, to allay their fears, to “put a face to this mission,” perhaps even to let the Quorum hear the Rebels’ words.
So Roslin has Natalie speak before the Quorum, and Natalie tells them that she’s willing to sentence her race to mortality since this is the one aspect of the human condition that makes them whole, and that, for any life to have value, it must be finite.
Ironically, after speaking before the Quorum and feeling the hatred and the animosity, Natalie realizes she’s not as evolved as she thought she was, and that the whole “let’s hold some humans hostage to get our way” plan is the wrong thing to do.
But the plan’s already in motion, and if they tell the humans they had this underhanded scheme in the first place, they’ll never be trusted again.
So Leoben says, Just stall them, I’ll deal with the Centurions.

Roslin then has another vision, a vision in which she sees Baltar at the Opera House. We also then get the suspicion confirmed that Hera is also sharing in these communal visions. (In a chilling moment, she says “Bye-bye” to Athena; in the Opera House, of course, Hera is taken away by Caprica Six…)
Starbuck then reveals to Roslin what the Hybrid said (well, the bit about the Dying Leader and the Opera House, that is; the whole Kara Thrace, Harbinger of Death thing, she tactfully leaves unsaid), propelling Roslin to get to the bottom of the visions.
So Roslin has Baltar brought along to the base star, where she plans to have a little talk with the Hybrid.
And even as they ready to plug the Hybrid back in, Athena sees that Hera’s been drawing lots and lots and lots of Caprica Sixes in her kiddie sketch book. Hera then wanders off, and when a distraught Athena finds the tot, she’s found her way into the arms of Natalie, who’s being escorted by Tigh and some soldiers.
Athena points a gun at Natalie, and has Tyrol take little Hera away.
Athena then vows, You won’t take my daughter.
And even though Natalie assures her they aren’t trying to take Hera, Athena shoots Natalie!
Then, when the Hybrid is plugged back in, the Hybrid tells the base star to jump.
And it does.

And Felix sings us out of yet another excellent BSG installment.


(Images courtesy of SCIFI Channel,, and

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Season 1 Episode 3
“The Ghost Network”
Written by David H. Goodman & J.R. Orci
Directed by Frederick E.O. Toye

Okay, now this one felt more like an hour of planting plot seeds than anything else.
At its core, we’ve got the titular network, which is how the Pattern is apparently communicating. I didn’t quite catch the sciencespeak, but it’s basically a frequency no one else knows about, and is thus, secret and secure.
But Roy McComb (Zak Orth), one of Walter’s test subjects from way back, now seems to be receiving the communications, but in images, “visions” he thinks may be coming from God (or the Devil).

The meat of the episode though, seems to be all the teeny bits scattered throughout the hour:
Someone knows Peter is back in the States and is keeping track of him (whether or not it’s those people he owes money to remains to be seen);
We see, in one of those clandestine X-Files–ish meetings, that Broyles and Sharp seem to (proverbially) be in bed together when it suits their purposes, as Broyles hands some key evidence from the case over into Sharp’s cybernetic hand; they also get into some catty verbal sparring over Agent Dunham;
There’s a fleeting mention of Mrs. Bishop, and Peter says, of his mother, “that’s a story for another time”;
And apparently, Mark Valley has a cushy deal going on right now, as Agent Scott’s body (supposedly already deceased at Pilot’s end) is shown hooked up to some Massive Dynamic thingamabob, and they seem to be extracting data from his corpse; for this, he gets a special “With” credit, appearing right before John Noble…

Still, this one’s got some goodies…
Charlie’s shocking revelation at John’s funeral, Walter’s self-medication, and his blueberry pancakes.
Orth’s portrayal of the beleaguered McComb is also a highlight, which kind of makes up for the thinness of the plot.
So, not brilliant, but we are moving forward, and that’s always a good thing.
Let’s hope next episode is chockful of meaty, weird narrative…

(Images courtesy of [Fringe OS, design by FOX IN],, and

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


“They go by different names: decedents, the non-living community, revenants, the living dead, zombies. But, whatever they are, they are real.”

One of the most atypical—and most effective—of cinema’s recent zombie entries has to be Grace Lee’s faux documentary, American Zombie.
Tracking the lives of four “revenants” in a world where the living dead exist and take the bus just like everybody else, American Zombie is one of the most imaginative takes on the subject matter I’ve seen, and humbly follows in the hallowed footsteps of Romero’s brand of undead social commentary.

Here, zombies stand in for anyone who’s been marginalized, abused, and disabused, the disenfranchised and alienated of society, regardless of race, creed, or colour.
All we really want, after all, is to understand and accept who we are, and be embraced for that; to love and to be loved.
That goes for zombies too.

“We’ve made three classifications that define the revenant population.
“The first classification is the feral zombie, which are beings that seem to function without reason.
“Second is low-functioning zombies. These are beings that have limited mental capacity, but they’re perfectly capable of caring for themselves.
“And the third is high-functioning zombies. These beings have vast portions of their mental facilities intact, and it’s not unusual for them to pass as humans.”

The parallels with the real world are plain to see, from people living with a potentially catastrophic, communicable disease, to an abused labour force without rights or privileges, to “an untapped market for spiritual enlightenment.”
I have seen zombies, my friends, and in American Zombie, the zombies are us.

The “high-functioning” cross-section Lee chooses to people her documentary with include Ivan (Austin Basis), a convenience store clerk who puts out a ‘zine called American Zombie; Judy (Suzy Nakamura), a customer relations rep for Healthful Bounty, an organic food company; Lisa (Jane Edith Wilson), a would-be artiste/florist (specialization: funeral arrangements) who has no memory of her former life and death; and Joel (Al Vicente), founder of ZAG, the Zombie Advocacy Group (“We’re here. We’re dead. Get used to it.”), who pronounces his name “Yo-El.”
It’s through their stories that Lee moves the audience over a gamut of emotions, a more varied palette of feeling than that offered by many a one-tone horror movie.

And yes, American Zombie is a horror movie, though not the sort with buckets of fake blood and rubber entrails.
Here is, at the risk of setting off the pretention alarm, the horror of existence: the horror of loneliness, and rejection, and aimlessness, and prejudice, and injustice.
It’s the horror of being invisible, of being treated—for whatever reason—as a second-class citizen, without the right to rent property, or to vote, or to marry.

“Jesus loves zombies. Jesus was the original zombie.
“I’m sure, you know, some really strict theologian would have some problems with that, but, but I say it, you know, I say it to kind of, wake the zombies up. You know, to let the zombies know that, ‘Hey, you’re not alone. You know, Jesus has been through the same thing.’”

Lest I’m making American Zombie sound, heh, deathly serious, let me assure you, there’s a healthy streak of humour here too, thus, that gamut of emotions I mentioned earlier.
The mere set-up alone allows for an amusing laugh or three: real life documentarian Grace Lee—who’s tackled weighty subject matter like military prostitution and sweatshop workers’ rights—plays herself in a documentary about zombies (which sort of reminds me of Werner Herzog appearing as himself in Zak Penn’s Incident at Loch Ness).
Tell me that doesn’t sound funny.

The beauty of American Zombie though, is that, as funny as it is, it also succeeds in drawing out some of the sad truths of who we are, not just as a society, but as thinking, feeling individuals as well.
This is what any good documentary should do. The fact that Lee achieves this in a fake documentary, with a premise that sounds as patently ridiculous as this one does… well…
“Triumph” is the word, people.
It’s a piece like this that makes me glad zombies are still living it up on the silver screen.

“We can’t pretend they don’t exist. They exist. They deserve our attention. It’s not a disease, it’s not a disability. It’s a new population, a population that deserves our respect and social services.”

(American Zombie OS courtesy of and images courtesy of