Saturday, March 8, 2008

Lost: You Probably Think This Blog Is About You

Yeah, we’re upset. Jack kissed Juliet, we were wrong big time, and Kate Austen sported the worst hairdo in the history of Lost.

“The Other Woman” wasn’t my finest hour, and I’ll (however painfully) admit it. Our Jate bias led us to put pieces together that maybe didn’t quite fit right. I wanted to see Jack shove Juliet away, so I believed it would happen. It’s what my policy analysis professor would call investment. Or what John Locke might call faith. My own beliefs and hopes and predispositions led me astray. Ausiello with his “an even bigger shove” only made matters worse.

I’ll take credit for my prediction gone horribly wrong. (Except the part about finding Kate in the jungle—I was right about that!)

That said—and you can call me out for the utter pretension I’m about to display—I’m not ready to take all the credit. It wasn’t just me leaning too far on the Jate spectrum; there’s something else leaning in another direction that only served to exacerbate my wrongness. The writers of that episode are going to have to meet me in the middle on this one.

Because that episode was ridiculous.

After it was over, I stomped around my living room, fists aquiver, before deciding to go meet my roommate at a bar before I broke something.

Once the rage wore off, I gathered my thoughts (and my cell phone) to consult with my esteemed colleague Mae. We both agreed there was just something wrong with this episode.

See, we’ve both been so wrapped up in this season. So willing to believe, willing to listen and appreciate and...believe. And after watching this episode—from the previously-ons to the scenes-from-next-week—we needed a breather. We took a step back, looked at the season to date, and let out a pretty critical, pretty irritated what the hell?

Something’s not right.

Let’s dispense with the Jack/Kate/Juliet thing before we get into the real stuff. Jack was entirely out of character for that episode. Because Juliet, as I anticipated, acted absolutely sketchtastic last night. Because first she’s being all coy and desperate, begging Jack for his help, and the next minute, she’s ditching him in the jungle! What part of “Okay, I’ll help you” doesn’t she understand?

This should have made Jack a little suspicious or, at the very least, angry. The only reason he kept going into the jungle was ‘cause Juliet acted like she knew what she was doing and asked him to accompany her. When they were reunited at The Tempest, I expected Jack—and let me be clear, I mean Jack, not the Ja in Jate—to be pissed at her. To ask her what she was thinking and, I don’t know, maybe have a little less than unwavering trust in a person who’s done nothing to prove her loyalty to the team.

Jack doesn't typically take too well to being Scooby-Doo'd. Especially when it comes to dealing with the forces of good vs. evil on the island. I can't even count how many times he's come upon Kate after she tricked him and went against his wishes only to give her hell and rip her a new one about how much he hates that shit. And not just Kate, he's reacted the same to Sayid and Locke and plenty of others when they've tried to deviate from the plan.

I did not expect Jack to kiss her! Allowing Jack and Juliet a tender, even sweet moment in a situation that should have been nothing but tension-filled was absolutely unacceptable.

As I told Mae on the phone last night, I just didn’t buy it. Desperate, gonna-get-killed cage sex? I hate it, I think it’s grody, but I buy it. Hell, if I were trapped in a cage with Ben Affleck and the Others were about to kill us, I’d probably tap that.

Jack was just really poorly written in this episode. Mae goes so far as to call him “pod-Jack.” Real Jack would never send and/or allow Kate to go off into an unknown/possible unstable situation without any backup or protection - he'd always either (A)go with her, (B) make sure someone he trusted did so instead, or (C) simply forbid her to go at all. And yet when Kate remains justifiably suspicious of Charlotte (the bitch did pistol-whip her not long before!) and wants to go inside the new hatch to see Daniel and find proof of them having saved everyone's lives, Jack basically shrugs it off and watches her go alone... even though she actually looks right at him as if asking whether or not he's gonna have her back on this one! Instead, he's calm and even a bit timid - practically trying to shoo her off alone so that he can flirt with Juliet for a moment. What a pod.

I'm sorry, but if Jack is such a pansy that the idea of Kate staying back at the barracks to hook up with Sawyer one more time is enough to turn him into a jealous jerk who's using Juliet just to piss off and hurt Kate... well, I'm not so sure I'll be liking his character for much longer.

Okay, enough with the Jate stuff. We were bothered by a LOT more than that in this episode.

Maybe by this point they’ve just gotten really good at A-Missions, but last night’s trek through the jungle was way too easy. You’re telling me that if you plotted a course from the beach to The Tempest, the Barracks would be right on the way? Really? Because that’s what I assume when Kate’s Barracks-to-beach path crosses with Jack and Juliet’s beach-to-Tempest path. And that’s dumb. For as difficult as it was to find the first hatch, they sure seem to be easy to come across now. They seem to be freakin’ everywhere. Also, it took them about five minutes to get there, and I think that’s dumb, too.

I felt like last night, they had a story to tell and they kind of disposed with the established conditions of the island and of Lost to tell this story. Which, ultimately, had no purpose. We learned nothing from the gas story, except that that’s probably how Ben managed to make the Purge happen. Other than that? Totally pointless journey.

Then you have Locke letting Ben out. What’s that about? Team Locke needs to start a mutiny spit-spot, because I don’t understand that much about Lost, but I do understand this: Benjamin Linus is not your friend. He doesn’t like you. And if Locke is making friends with that dude, you need to be changing your alliances.

Or maybe you’re going to end up dead and a fugitive is going to end up raising your baby.

You know what else? I don’t feel sorry for Juliet. And you know how I said I wasn’t sure if she was going to be an Addison or a Lauren Reed? She’s definitely a Lauren Reed, folks. Anyone who’s feeling sympathy for her best remember that she is an Other. Remember the Others? THEY STEAL YOUR CHILDREN AND HANG YOUR FRIENDS FROM TREES.

I just don’t think Juliet deserves the credit she’s being given. She keeps doing stuff that gets her loyalty questioned, and she keeps getting off on a technicality or an excuse that I myself wouldn’t buy.

Frankly, I think she and Ben deserve each other.

My next point is from last week’s episode, but I only noticed it in the previously-ons last night: why is Desmond on the freighter?

Because if anybody should be wary of the freighter, it’s Desmond. He’s the most likely to believe that little bit about NOT PENNY’S BOAT. What a slap in the face to Charlie’s memory to be the first guy to copter out onto that NOT PENNY’S BOAT. When Mae and I discussed this point last night, neither of us could remember specifically why Desmond ended up getting on the helicopter.

It seems pretty clear that the reason was to engage that pesky time travel story. And until this episode, I had never felt like Lost made a wrong or an out-of-canon choice for benefit of a single episode.

No, we’re not tuning out. We’re in this for the long haul, but this episode definitely changed something about our relationship with Lost. We’re not taking anything at face value anymore; the show’s going to have to earn our trust back. Last night was not quality—it was just dumb.

I’ll leave you with a quote from TV Guide’s recap of the episode. As I listened to Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” on repeat (“I’ve been searching deep down in my soul/ Words that I’m hearing are starting to get old/ Looks like I’m starting all over again/ The lat three years were just pretend”), Trish Wethman gave me a little perspective when she said, “I am a big Jater, I do like [Jack & Juliet] together and I am curious as to what's in store, since, at this point anyway, we haven't seen a future Juliet off the island.”

Mae Vaughan in all her brilliance contributed significantly to this post!

4 Responses to “Lost: You Probably Think This Blog Is About You”

Anonymous said...

Such a great blog, guys, love the fangirlyness. You should really move over to livejournal and make a community there, you'd have a bazillion and a half readers ...

Mae Vaughan said...

Thank you so much! We've actually been sincerely toying with the idea of creating an LJ community, or at least an RSS/Atom feed to LJ for all of the entries. We were just a bit hesitant not knowing whether or not we had a large enough audience to make such a leap yet, but I do think you're correct - LJ has always been great at fast-tracking fandom communities.

If we do it, will you help us spread the word far and wide to all of your fangirl/fanboy friends? :-)

My blog-related LJ is my name, "mae_vaughan" - please feel free to add me, as I just opened it and intend to use it to give general updates about the blog... which will also include an announcement of our community/LJ feed once we get one going!

Anonymous said...

Added you! I'm blackberry_lili over there. And I would be more than happy to spread the word. Everyone over there would love you, I'm sure of it! Smart, edgy, analytical, shippery and fangirly bloggers ... what could be better? :) And this is coming from someone who has very different taste in ships (i.e. Sawyer/Kate, Addison/Derek), and I still love reading your thoughts.

Mae Vaughan said...

I added you back! Thanks for the love! And yes, yes, yes - spread the word for us! We've been trying ourselves, but somehow self-pimping doesn't work as well as friendly word-of-mouth :)

I must say, I'm shocked & impressed & completely humbled to know that a fan of Skate and Addi/Derek still finds what we have to say completely worthwhile and entertaining. That means so much to us, because (despite being clearly bias about our 'ships) we really do want to reach the masses and create a space for fangirls/boys from every spectrum. So glad. Thank you so much for your encouraging words!