Monday, January 17, 2011

(40) - Top TV Shows from 2010

Now I've created three lists for this one. One just from dramas, one just for sitcoms/comedies, and one encompassing both. Now the last one is a tricky one, because how does one judge comedy vs drama? Every ranking depends on the mood you are in I guess, but I tried to rank them. I will only show the list showing both genres, because you can see how they broke down genre-wise from there. So here we go, my Top 26 TV shows in 2010...

26 - How To Make It In America (HBO - Comedy) - This was a surprise one for me. I only got into it towards the end, so I had to go back and watch it On Demand. Pretty good.
25 - Human Target (Fox - Drama) - Purely popcorn fun. I do like all the characters though. They keep me entertained. The storylines are meh, but the action is pretty good.
24 - South Park (Comedy Central - Comedy) - I love South Park. It's one of my favorite comedies of all time. This was a good season too, I just happened to like other TV out there.
23 - 24 (Fox - Drama) - A pretty good ending to a great series (only Season 6 was truly, truly awful). Was looking forward to a Jack Bauer movie, but it looks like that won't happen. I enjoyed watching Jack solve ridiculous plot twists for 8 seasons. Sad to see him go.
22 - Damages (FX - Drama) - A nice bounceback from a pretty lackluster Season 2. This season got me back into the series. Glad to see it coming back on DirecTV. The dynamic between Glen Close and Rose Byrne is pretty great.
21 - The Pacific (HBO - Drama) - Band of Brothers part II it is not, but it is still some pretty phenomenal TV. The intertwining stories of the three marines I think did it a disservice. An eye opening experience to anyone who didn't know a thing about WWII on the Pacific Islands.
20 - Warehouse 13 - (SyFy - Drama) - Surprising fun. I love me my SyFy stupid shows. Was The Pacific better than this show? Absolutely. But I liked this more, and it's my list. So go away if you don't like it.
19 - Eureka - (SyFy - Drama) - Been invested in this show from the beginning. Really enjoy it. It's good fun. I like the SyFy tandem of Eureka & Warehouse 13.
18 - The Office (NBC - Comedy) - One of my favorite comedies of all time, but it's hard to argue that it's becoming stale. Do I still love it? Absolutely. I love every episode. But Steve Carrell is right to leave after this season. I commend him for making a good call. Will suck to see him go.
17 - Eastbound & Down (HBO - Comedy) - After such a groundbreaking first season, this season was a letdown. I predict we can get one more season, MAYBE two more, but after that this show has to go. Definitely funny moments throughout this season.
16 - 30 Rock (NBC- Comedy) - I will always laugh at this show. Ridiculous plots aside, this show brings the funny. Tina Fey is amazing. Simply put. Alec Baldwin is great, but Tina Fey is what makes this show tick.
15 - Boardwalk Empire (HBO - Drama) - Disappointing? Not in the least. I loved this show. People wanted more of The Sopranos, but I say fuck them. This isn't The Sopranos. Perfect blend of story, character, and action, with bits of comedy thrown in there. Season 2 should go above and beyond this season as well, they set it up perfectly.
14 - Fringe (Fox - Drama) - I desperately wanted to put this show in my Top 10. But I couldn't get it around the next four shows. I love this show with a passion. I am in love with Olivia Dunham. This show brings the weird and crazy every week. With the whole alternate universe and an impending war between the two, I cannot wait to see what happens this year.
13 - Rubicon (AMC - Drama) - So pissed this show got the ax after one season. People thought it was too slow. I say nay, you people have no patience. The mystery kept unraveling piece by piece, and it was at perfect pace. There was hardly any action in this show because this wasn't a show about action. This was about telling a story and keeping you guessing until the last episode. Great stuff.
12 - Treme (HBO - Drama) - David Simon knows his shit. The Wire is the greatest TV show of all time. Treme had an incredible first season. I wasn't quite sure where it was going in the beginning of the show. There wasn't any clear protagonist or antagonist, but then I realized that's not what this is about. This is a character piece telling incredible stories all surrounding one horrific tragedy. Looking forward to Season 2.
11 - Bored To Death (HBO - Comedy) - All I have to say is wow. Almost cracked the Top 10. I enjoyed Season 1, but didn't love it. Season 2 dropped all the things I hated about the first season, AND improved on what I loved. The supporting characters in this show are what makes it run.

10 - Dexter (Shotime - Drama) - Five seasons now. And each season is different than the next. This season doesn't break that trend. I waited until the end of this season to watch every episode back to back. And I ran through this season in one day. Love me some Dexter. Julia Stiles was a nice addition this season.
9 - LOST - (ABC - Drama) - What can I say about LOST? Been in love with this show for five years. A lot of people didn't love this season, or more specifically didn't love that there were questions answered in ways they did not like. People felt like they wasted years watching this show? Let's be honest. If you felt that way, you only wasted about 100 hours of your life, but you're an idiot for even thinking that. This show made me love TV again. Sad to see it go, but there was no way for it to be strung out.
8 - The Walking Dead - (AMC - Drama) - Six episodes, that's it. What a statement. The first episode was great, the rest were good. But it kept me riveted for six weeks. Looking forward to Season 2. And what the fuck was whispered in his ear at the end?!
7 - Friday Night Lights (NBC/DirecTV - Drama) - We're into the last season now. Outside of the first half of Season 2, this show has been so great. It's not about football. It's about these people and how their lives revolve around football. Also, Texas is fucking crazy. But this has become a Top 10 show for me (of all-time).
6 - Justified (FX - Drama) - Had zero idea about this show until about a week before it started, and then bam, the show hit me like a ton of bricks. Have always been a fan of Timothy Olyphant (dating back to his "The Girl Next Door" scene stealing character), and he really carries this show. Just the right amount of comedy mixed in with great story. Major surprise here.
5 - Modern Family (ABC - Comedy) - I didn't want to give this show a chance. Anyone who liked it I wrote off immediately. But then people kept talking about it. And it kept winning awards. So I finally caved in and watched the first episode with my girlfriend, and we finished the whole season in just over a week. Loved it. Season 2 has dipped a little, but Season 1 was as good a first season for a comedy that I can remember.
4 - Party Down (Starz - Comedy) - Such a shame this show got dropped. Two seasons, 20 episodes, this show was such a great idea, and each episode knocked it out of the park. Adam Scott played his role perfectly, Ken Marino was fantastic, as was the rest of the supporting cast. It's a shame this show didn't get more love.
3 - Parks and Recreation (NBC - Comedy) - Ron Swanson. Andy Dwyer. Tom Haverford. April Ludgate. Amy Poehler is very good, but the supporting cast is phenomenal. Great comedy. So happy it returns this Thursday.
2 - Mad Men (AMC - Drama) - Season 4 started off with the question, Who is Don Draper? And by the end of the season, I was still asking that question. Who could have saw how this season ended? It came out of left field, but it was so brilliant and crazy that it worked. Each season of Mad Men has been tremendous, and this was no exception. A Top 5 TV show of all-time.
1 - Community (NBC - Comedy) - The pilot episode had promise. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad. This show had me hooked after the Debate 109 episode. The ensemble cast is tremendous, each bringing something different to each episode. The dynamic between Troy and Abed is flat out amazing. Joel McHale's character is the "main" character, but his character is arguably the worst. Not to say he's bad, but the supporting cast is just so strong. In the middle of Season 1 they recognized that and shifted the show to be more of an ensemble-base, and they have continued that trend in Season 2, making this show my #1 of 2010.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I just realized I left off Curb Your Enthusiasm. That'd probably go between The Office and Eastbound & Down. In the 17-19 range.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

(39) - Top Movies of 2010

Well, it's that time of the year. Top 10 lists dominate the blogosphere, and as usual, I have my thoughts as well. Here are my Top 20 Movies from the past year, starting with 20, and ending with my favorite.

20. Easy A - Emma Stone was fantastic in this. The family dynamic with Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson were the high points. Showed that Emma Stone has a big career ahead of her, and can handle her own in a lead role.
19. The Other Guys - Say what you want, but Will Ferrell kills me. He can make me laugh in anything. Mark Wahlberg was ok in this, not bad but not great. Michael Keaton was very funny as was his love for TLC songs.
18. Dinner for Schmucks - Uncomfortable and amused. That's how I felt throughout this movie. Never quite sure which I felt more, but this movie definitely brought the funny. I didn't think Steve Carrell would consistently make me laugh throughout the movie, but he did. A testament to his talent.
17. The Kids Are Alright - A great movie. And I can see why this is in a lot of Top 10 lists this year. But I just didn't love it. The performances by Annette Benning, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo were all superb, and they should probably all be nominated, but I just didn't love this picture.
16. Unstoppable - Tony Scott's most entertaining movie in years. Denzel was typical Denzel, and Chris Pine coming off of Star Trek showed he is more than capable of handling action roles. Great action.
15. Hot Tub Time Machine - When I saw this movie in April I was confident this would be in my Top 10 at the end of the year. I didn't anticipate the great dramas that were going to be coming out, but this was my second favorite comedy of the year. Hilarious look at the 80s.
14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I - The best Harry Potter movie yet? Methinks not yet. But paired with Part II which will be out next July, then yes it (they) will be. Very dark, just how the book was.
13. Shutter Island - A great thriller. Really enjoyed Leo in this. Nothing is as it seems. Kept me on the edge of my toes, as did the fantastic soundtrack. Not a typical score, but highly effective nonetheless. Top 5 Score/Soundtrack of the year.
12. Cyrus - My favorite comedy of the year. Dark, black humor. Jonah Hill was terrific, as was Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly. This was more uncomfortable than Dinner for Schmucks, and was funnier.
11. Repo Men - My surprise of 2010. I loved this movie. The performances were great. The action was great (and gory). The soundtrack was great (another Top 5). Really enjoyed this film. This was 2010's "Taken" in my book -- a very surprising movie.
10. Scott Pilgrim vs the World - I wanted to see this when it came out in theaters but never got around to it. Bought in on Blu Ray, and just wow. Edgar Wright did an outstanding job making this movie. It was like watching a comic book. Definitely gets better with repeat viewings.
9. The Town - Ben Affleck has taken his talents behind the camera, and it has served him wonders. His two directorial attempts ("Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town") are very skillfully done, showing he has range beyond his acting, which is a good thing because normally his acting isn't great. But he takes center stage in this one and does a very fine job. Jeremy Renner owns his role, and Rebecca Hall is great. Jon Hamm was surprising in his role showing his range. The car chase scene after the second robbery was directed phenomenally.
8. Black Swan - Visually stunning. Musically unchallenged. Darren Aronofsky gives us an outstanding follow up to "The Wrestler." Natalie Portman brought everything to her role, which in my opinion should net her Best Actress at the Oscars. Mila Kunis was great in her supporting role and should also get a nomination.
7. Kick-Ass - Don't remember the last time I had so much fun in a theater. Nic Cage was great, and so was Aaron Johnson, but the movie will be remembered for the breakout of Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl. She was outstanding. One of the Top 5 scenes I've ever seen was her Point of View rescue attempt of Kick Ass and Big Daddy set to John Murphy's score from "Sunshine." Simply put: wow.
6. True Grit - When I saw this trailer I instantly was sold. The Coens doing a western? Sold. With this movie they made their job look incredibly easy. With a fantastic score by Carter Burwell, and Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper (the latter two in limited roles) being perfectly cast, this movie was a win. But the surprise comes from Hailee Steinfeld who went toe to toe with all of these great actors, and came away with the best performance. Kudos to her.
5. The Social Network - David Fincher has become one of my two favorite directors. When I hear that he's making a movie, I instantly get excited. When I heard he was doing this movie, I was a bit confused because he has knack for being drawn to darker movies. But after watching, I can see why this story attracted him. Jesse Eisenberg was great as the neurotic and partially crazy Mark Zuckerberg, and watching how he simultaneously grew a massive online empire and lost connection with everything else is powerful. Doesn't hurt that Aaron Sorkin's script was great and quickly paced.
4. The Fighter - Didn't think this movie would be in my Top 5 when I first heard about it, but here it sits at #4. Christian Bale was outstanding, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams were fantastic, and Mark Wahlberg was surprisingly great in his role as real life boxer Micky Ward. Not just about boxing, but about a family and the relationship between them and the sport they all love, this movie had it all. David O. Russell did a great job with this movie, and is a win.
3. How To Train Your Dragon - Ok, THIS movie was the surprise of 2010. Went into this with zero expectations, and came out in love with Toothless and everything else about this movie. The score by John Powell is simply phenomenal, and is my favorite score of 2010. Dreamworks finally showed they have talent in the storyline department as this would be a shoe-in for Best Animated Feature, had they released it in 2011. But it came out in 2010, and had to go up against...
2. Toy Story 3 - this movie. TS3 completes the best trilogy of all time (not arguable). Such a fantastic story. The ending is simply heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. I've never been able to part with my two favorite toys from my childhood because I wouldn't know how I could do it. And watching Andy do just that, and accept that this would be the end, was so moving. Not ashamed to say I teared up.
1. Inception - My favorite movie of the year was "Inception." Such a mindfuck of a film. Christopher Nolan is my other favorite director (along with D. Fincher) that when I hear he's doing a film, I get giddy. This movie made my head spin, but in the good way. The score by Hanz Zimmer was fantastic, and will probably win for Best Score. It was my second favorite of the year, only behind HTTYD (Movie #3). The gravity-less hallway fight seen with Joseph Gordon-Levitt was jaw dropping and such a pleasure to watch.

Movies not screened yet that would probably crack the Top 20: 127 Hours, Winter's Bone, Let Me In, The King's Speech, Blue Valentine.

And for kicks, my worst movies of 2010 (the one's I've seen, in order from 1-5): When In Rome (a shame because I love Kristen Bell), Clash of the Titans, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Robin Hood, Prince of Persia.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

TomBall: The Classic in 10 AWARDS

Here they are, the Awards for The Classic in 10. Everyone will be surprised with these, so take a gander. **NOTE: This is the first time in TomBall history that The Best did NOT win Defensive Player of the Classic.**

Defensive Second Team
Night Crawler
Wet Nap
Professor X

Defensive First Team
The Best
The Mathematician
The Litigator

All-Classic Third Team
Sooooo Good
King Wilhelm I
Up & Coming

All-Classic Second Team
Wet Nap
The Litigator
Rosetta Stone

All-Classic First Team
The Best
Good News
The Mathematician

Defensive Player of the Classic

The Litigator

TomBall: The Classic in 10 OFFICIAL STATS

No need for chitchat. Here are the official stats for the TomBall Classic in 10! The highlighted numbers just mean they were the leader in that specific category. Click on each picture to enlarge it!




Friday, June 4, 2010

(36) - LOST Finale

Hey guys. I'm really very sorry that I haven't posted in almost two months, and that I left you all hanging with my LOST recaps. I dropped the ball. My apologies. I'm not even sure I can put into words my feelings now that LOST is officially over. I very much enjoyed the finale, and while it did not answer every question, I was satisfied with how they left the show. In the past two weeks since the finale I've been having serious withdrawal, and so to help with that I created a LOST collage in photoshop. Worked on it a few hours each day, and now I'm pretty happy with what I've created. Included are characters and images from all six seasons of LOST. I hope you enjoy and pass it on to whoever else loves LOST. Please click on the image to view the full image. When you click it will take you to Click on the "All Sizes" button to see it in the largest possible format. If you'd like a larger file, please contact me via this blog or twitter or whatever. Enjoy!

Lost Final Project

Thursday, April 15, 2010

(35) - Everybody Loves Chicken

Doesn't everybody chicken? Hurley sure does, as he turned his Mr. Clucks into an international franchise, which in turn helped him to give back. According to Dr. Chang, Hugo and "giving" became synonymous, as he gave to charities and started his own charity. And he was soon to receive an award from The Human Fund (awesome Seinfeld reference). Was his mom happy? Yes. But she knew Hugo needed a woman in his life, a woman who was not his mother. We'll come back to that though. First, past predictions that deal with this episode:
  • Desmond is able to kill LockeMonster
    • Well, judging by the fact Locke threw him into a well, I'm going to say TRUE. How is he able to kill him? No idea, but LM was sure spooked by him.
I think that's about it. No, let's eat "Everybody Loves Hugo."

1. LOST is a love story. The show is defined by the relationships that are kept and the one's that are destroyed. Desmond/Penny = Constant, Charlie/Claire = Drowned, Sun/Jin = Fluxuating, Hurley/Libby = Real. Last night, after three and a half seasons, Libby returned from the dead. Not in the Island timeline, but in the alternate reality. She had checked herself into Santa Rosa after seeing Hurley on the TV and getting bombarded with flashes and feelings which she never had before, which apparently came from another life. After bumping into Hurley at Spanish Johnny's (seriously, odds they're both there that night? Zilch. That sort of stuff only happens on TV. Wait a second...), she truly believes they were together in another life. Hurley wasn't 100% sold, but something was "off" about the whole encounter. He believed her, he just didn't feel it.

Desmond, fresh off of obtaining the Oceanic 815 passenger list from George, apparently started with the R's and found Hugo and stalked him to one of his Mr. Clucks, and urged him to give the girl another shot. To see exactly what she meant. Ahh, the matchmaker, it suits you Desmond. That accent, the hair, it could work on a different show. We'll get back to Desmond later, who went psycho. So Hugo made a generous donation in exchange for some face time with Libby. He asked her on a date, and they went on a picnic! At the beach! The date that never happened was happening. And then Libby kissed Hugo, and that was all he needed. The thoughts and emotions that filled Island Hugo have now downloaded into Alto-Hugo. "Dude." Desmond was looking on, and saw that the connection was made. One down, a few more to go.

2. Island Hugo is becoming the alpha male. People are listening to him. He's taking charge. Ilana and Richard were the two people on Team Jacob that were barking orders. Their new orders were to get dynamite and to blow up the Ajira Plane. Sun didn't like this idea, and apparently neither did Hugo. He was willing to go along with operation blow plane up until he was visited by an old friend/enemy: Michael. Michael's message? Don't do this, people will die, and it's going to be your fault. GUILT! Remember in this timeline, Hugo feels very badly about his weight. He believed it was his fault a deck collapsed and two people died. If he wasn't so big, it would have never happened. That's why he was in Santa Rosa. And remember the season two episode (and this episode's counter), "Everybody Hates Hugo." Hugo wants people to like him and for people to not die.

So he argues with Ilana about blowing up the plane: he doesn't want to be stuck with this "thing," the dynamite is unstable, etc. Ilana kept getting fed up, slammed down the bag of dynamite, and BOOM! Arzt all over again! Ilana blew up. I guess I should have seen it coming looking back, but at the same time, we have this whole Ilana backstory which I guess we're never going to see. Why was she in bandages when Jacob came to see her? How has she been training all of her life for her stay on the Island? How does she know Jacob? Why was the closest thing she's ever had to a father? And with one explosion, that was all gone. Will she come back to have those questions answered? Probably not, that's my guess anyways.

What to do next? Richard says to do the same thing: get more dynamite. But this time, Hugo is all for it. Obviously something was up, we just didn't know what it was. It turned out that Hugo snuck ahead of the entire crew (how is that possible?), got to the Black Rock first, and blew up the entire ship. Gone. No more. Goodbye Black Rock. Richard is extremely upset. WTF DUDE?! And then there's a split in Team Jacob. On the one side: Alpert, Ben Linus & Miles. On Team Hurley: Hugo, Jack, Frank and Sun. Why the split?

Hurley made up some BS that he was talking to Jacob who said we should go talk to LockeMonster. Richard called his bluff, but Hurley grew some balls and said that he didn't have to prove anything to him. Linus went with Richard because I'm assuming he knows LM won't give him another chance once he declined his initial offer. Miles went with Richard because I guess after Hurley told him he listens to what dead people tell him (and that they can be trusted more than alive people), that freaked him out. So he peaced. Why did Jack stay with Hurley? Because he trusts him completely. He knows he was making up the Jacob BS, but he has fully realized that he cannot fix everything. With Juliet now dead, he has realized he cannot be the ultimate fixer, and as much as it pains him to realize that, he does. And with that, it is now official (not official, but in my head official), Jack is the new Jacob. That's the transformation. Looking out on the ocean after smashing the Lighthouse really transformed his way of thinking. After this revelation by Jack, we get another answer to a LOST mystery.

3. The whispers. Hurley pieced it together himself: the whispers are all the people who have came to the Island and have died. Michael clued him into the rest: They cannot move on due to something they have done or not atoned for. They are stuck. They cannot move on to whatever is beyond the Island. The producers brought the whole the Island is purgatory theory right back into play. Michael then tells Hurley that if he ever sees Libby again, to please tell her he is sorry. But don't tell Ana Lucia? Fucked up Mike.

4. Sawyer is getting impatient with Locke. Whyyyyy are they waiting??? Stop being a whiny bitch Sawyer. LM was carving a long wooden stick when Sawyer approached him. What's that, a spear? LM's response: he's not sure what it is, but when the time is right he'll know. AKA, relax Sawyer and sit your ass down. You don't want to? Then I'll tell you a little bit more: They all came back to the Island as a group, and that's how they have to leave. I'm calling BS on this. Again, my theory is that he needs all the Candidates together so he can wipe them out all at the same time, this way Jacob's essence cannot fill a human host. Sawyer didn't come in on the plane, neither did Jin. Bologna if you ask me. He wants everyone to die, we know this.

Sayid returns, with the package in tow. He had tied Desmond up to a tree in case he wanted to run off. Desmond's response was that he had no where to run, so why even try? LM cuts him free, and asks him do you know who I am? "Of course. (pause) You're John Locke." Locke smiled and dismissed Sayid so he and Desmond could go on a walk and have a chat. What was so odd about this exchange? Something bugged me. Desmond is now this enlightened being, he knows he has to do something "important." He knows about the alternate universe. Sawyer called LockeMonster on his bluff, he knew immediately it wasn't him. Jin knew it wasn't Locke. So what gives? Why didn't Desmond know? And that's when I thought, that Desmond did know. That he was correct. That he was staring at John Locke.
  • Yes I know. That makes no sense. We saw the dead body, and dead is dead. John Locke died when Ben strangled him. We get it. But what if, just what if, the loophole that the man in black was talking about wasn't looking like John Locke, but becoming John Locke? What if John Locke finally understood the Island and what it wanted from him, or what it wanted to use from him, and he was ok with it? What if the loophole was that the Man in Black got John Locke on his side? How do you explain the dead body, you ask? No fucking clue. Is this theory correct? 100% incorrect. But I thought it was interesting to add. Desmond seeing LockeMonster for who he really was: John Locke.
Anyways, they go for their walk and come upon a well. One of they many wells on the Island. Dug by man, deep deep into the Island. Why? Because they wanted to understand the Island and its properties. They knew It was/is special. Des told LM that he was kidnapped by Widmore, and what they wanted from him was to help identify electromagnetic hot spots on the Island. How does he know this? Experience, he says. LM clearly didn't like this answer. He knows Widmore is on to something. LM asks Desmond why he isn't afraid. No one on this Island saw him except for Sayid and LM, and he is alone with LM now. Why isn't he afraid? Because there is nothing to be afraid of. Uhhh wrong answer buddy. LM proceeds to push him down the well. There goes Team Jacob/Team Widmore's one hope to save this universe. LM goes back to his crew, Sayid questions him about Desmond and before he can really give an answer Team Hurley shows up. They want to talk. But no one can get hurt! That's the rule! LM hands over his knife, sounds good. Team Hurley comes out, Jack last. Sees Kate, Sawyer, and then, holy shit, John LOCKE?! WTF???!!! Craziness.

5. Cut to Alto-Verse (that's my new way of saying the alternate universe). Desmond is being creepy and staring at little girls at a high school. Orrrrrr he's just waiting for Locke to get out of class and cross the street so he can run him over with his car!!!!! Make sense? Not yet. But it obviously will. Desmond has either gone mad (which he hasn't, he just got Hugo and Libby together) or he wanted to kill John Locke for some reason. Or, he wanted Locke to connect with his Island consciousness. Maybe for some people, love is the connection. For others, it's pain. And what has John Locke felt all of his life: PAIN. Major daddy issues, including getting a kidney stolen and being tossed out a window. So for Desmond to make Locke's connection, he had to put him through a ton of pain. Now Locke will get sent to the ER and run in to...Dr. Shepherd!!! Ahh how the world goes round and round.

I don't believe Desmond ran over Locke because he doesn't want LM to transfer consciousness into Alto-Locke. I don't think Island Desmond and Alto-Desmond have a current link. I think Alto-Des has all of the thoughts that Island Desmond had, and vice versa.

6. Predictions!
  • Continuing a past prediction: Jack will be the new Jacob. 
  • Desmond ran over Locke so he can experience a shitload of pain hoping that would connect him to his Island counterpart (wait....that makes no sense. Maybe he did run him over hoping he'd die...)
  • Sayid will help Island Desmond out of the well. I know this is out of left field, but I'm hoping all of Sayid's soul didn't die. And since he's the only other person who has even an inkling where Desmond might be, he'll track him and help him out.
 I'm hungry for chicken.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

(34) - Penny's Boat?

Welllll I didn't think there'd be a better episode than "Ab Aeterno" until the season finale, and of course, I'd be wrong. "Happily Ever After" is the episode. The one where we finally, finally see what this alternate universe is supposed to be. Before that, let's deal with some past predictions:

  • Desmond aka "the package" is actually the Desmond from the alternate world
    • Ehhhh false. Whatevs.
  • Desmond wasn't on the plane in the premiere. He was skipping through universes.
    • Well we're led to believe that this isn't true. But I'm not sold. Check below.
  • Alternate Universe consciousnesses will be coming to the Island
    • Possibly. Still not sure where Desmond's head is at, but we'll see.
Ok, let's get "Happily Ever After." This is another long one, as this episode is the benchmark for the rest of the season.

1. Widmore kidnapped, drugged and brought Desmond to the Island because he is the only person known to have survived a massive electromagnetic explosion. Desmond obviously flips out and starts beating Charlie-boy with the IV stand. After being restrained, Charles tells Desmond that the Island wasn't done with him yet, and that he's going to need to make a sacrifice. What has Charles ever sacrificed? Oh nothing, just his tenure on the Island, his marriage, his son who was shot by his own mother, other than that nothing at all. Widmore needs to make sure he can survive that explosion again, so they need to test it out. They accidentally fry another member of Team Widmore before Desmond, who sees the after effects of the explosion. He tries to get free, but Widmore flips the switch before Desmond can get free and hopes Desmond is able to survive. What follows is truly, amazing.

We are flying through the clouds. My first thought was that his consciousness was rebooted ala after the hydrogen bomb explosion, and he was going to be on Oceanic 815 with everyone else. Instead what we got was a reflection of Desmond (the first of TWO reflections), staring back at himself, but the camera refocuses and we see he's trying to find the baggage claim for his flight (or is he? check the bullet point below). Hurley confirms that it's on carousel #4. As he's waiting for his bag he tries to make small talk with Claire asking about her baby, who seems taken aback by the questions. But she's nice enough to make small talk as Desmond helps with her bag. As they're leaving Desmond offers her a ride (huh? why?), but she says she can take a taxi, after which he tells her it's a boy.  So what does this mean? Keep reading.

2. Desmond finds his driver, and who it be? Old George Minkowski, the freighter electronics officer who once got too close to the Island and went crazy from his conscious constantly time travelling. How apropos, don't you think? Desmond, the one guy in the world (maybe one of two -- Faraday?) who's mind can withstand the Island's electromagnetic force, being driven around LA by the best example we've seen of the effects of said electromagnetic force. George is extremely talkative, and apparently has the hookup. He can get anything Desmond wants or needs, including some ladies of the night. He only asked about that because he noticed he wasn't wearing a ring. Huh? But wasn't he wearing a ring on the plane when we saw him the premiere? What gives? My take:
  • There is one version of Desmond, but he can skip through realities. When we saw him on the plane in the premiere there was only one Desmond, and at that moment he happened to be on the plane. He was "in flux" after his gunshot from Ben. Widmore grabbed him when he was in the current reality. Desmond's consciousness changes depending on what reality he is in, without Desmond knowing the change. When Widmore fired up the machine to test it on Desmond, it awoke his other consciousness and placed him at the LA airport (NOTE: I do not think Widmore is aware of other realities. He might be aware of the possibility of other realities, but I do not think he believes they exist). Wasn't he staring at his reflection in an odd way? Almost like, what am I looking at? Where am I? So, Desmond was on the airplane, and Hurley and Jack did see him, but he wasn't on the plane the entire time. And due to his "in flux" consciousness after Ben shot him, his alternate life was also "in flux." So when he was on the plane, he was happily married to whoever it may be (most likely Penny). That marriage wasn't a fixed thing. When Widmore created Desmond's second consciousness, his in flux consciousness became stable in the alternate universe, without a wedding ring. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's my best explanation.
3. George drives Desmond to see the boss. Mr. Charles Widmore. In this alternate reality, Desmond has earned what he has always wanted (according to Eloise, more later) -- Charles Widmore's approval and affection. He even shares his 60 year old scotch with Des, who he deemed unworthy in another life. Desmond is Charle's go-to guy, the "best, fix-it man," as Eloise says. His current task: babysit a spoiled, druggie rock star who was arrested on Oceanic 815 and make sure to deliver him to his wife's fundraiser, where their son, a musical genius, was going to combine classical music with modern rock. Playing the parts:
  • Rock Star -- Charlie Pace
  • Wife -- Eloise Hawking
  • Son/Musical Genius - Daniel (Faraday) Widmore
No problem, says Desmond. Consider it done. He drives himself to go pick up Charlie at the police precinct (which is weird, because every other scene he's being driven around by George). As he approaches the front door, we see reflection number TWO for Desmond. He gets closer and closer to the reflection, a little foreshadowing I presume. Let's talk about the reflections for a second. I haven't really mentioned them in depth yet because I thought they were a too-obvious ploy for the audience to say, "Oh s/he's staring at her/himself!!! They must know about the alternate universe!!" But now we have Desmond's reflectionS. With a capital "S," because he is the first person to have two reflections. Why is this significant? We weren't sure at the moment, but by the end of the episode we understood. The rules do not apply to Desmond. At the end of the episode he understands this. He knows what he has to do. More later. I'm going to come back to the reflection angle in a bit, because there was another reflection which my mouth dropped at.

4. Charlie immediately walks across traffic to a bar to grab a drink. He clearly does not care about his life. Desmond follows him, says one drink, and then he's out. What follows is a nice, eye-opening conversation. Charlie tells Desmond the story of the plane and how he choked. How he got spooked by the Marshal on the plane, went to the bathroom to swallow his drugs, and at that moment the plane hit turbulence, and he choked. And he was losing consciousness, or, was he merging consciousnesses? He described a vision of a blonde, rapturously beautiful, and he knew her, and he loved her, and he felt safe with her, and just as he was about to embrace her (Claire? Virgin Mary Statue), Jack and Sayid "saved" his life. He had felt true love, mind bending and altering love. The kind of love that makes you never want to leave it, the kind of love that only exists in movies. But he can't quite get Desmond to understand, who chalks it up as nice poetry. Desmond gives Charlie a choice to stay or leave, but it wasn't actually a choice. 

They're driving along, driving along, DriveShaft's hit comes on the radio, "You All Everybody," when asked Desmond says that it's good "for what is is." Charlie says he feels bad for him, for his life, Desmond's response, "Why? Because none of it's real?" Whaaaat?? He's obviously referring to Charlie's mind altering experience with love, and how that is truly real, and that Desmond's material wealth and possessions are "fake," but what a question. "Because none of it's real?" None of it is real. THIS reality was never supposed to happen. Good one Desmond. 

Charlie proceeds to give Desmond a choice, but just like his choice, it was never a choice. He takes the wheel and plunges the car into the depths of the ocean. Desmond tries to free Charlie but needs some air, and then goes back down to try and open Charlie's door.  And then the strangest thing happened. How it happened I am not sure. It couldn't have been Charlie's other conscious switching universes, because he is dead in the current timeline, maybe it was the Island? In any case, Charlie lifts his left palm and holds it up to the window, just like in the season three finale "Through the Looking Glass," when he found out the freighter wasn't Penny's boat, wrote NOT PENNY'S BOAT on his hand, and held it up to the glass on the door as Desmond was trying to pry it free. That was when Charlie died. And BOOM - the link was created. The sound dropped, and we heard the loudest silence we've heard on the show. Flashes before Desmond's eyes, and he wasn't quite sure what he was seeing. And as quickly as they came, they went away, and Charlie passed out. Desmond obviously saved him, and then woke up in the hospital. 

Desmond tries to get up to see Charlie, to ask him questions, but the doctor said the CT scan was inconclusive and he wasn't going anywhere until "we find out what's going on inside your brain." Umm good luck Doc. No one has any idea. Desmond heads to the MRI room, where the technician explains to Desmond that if there's any problem, to "push the button" (ala the Swan Station), and then Desmond goes in for his MRI. The machine turns on and it sounds like the countdown clock from the Hatch being reset to 108:00. Then it gets loud, and then the sound drops again. The MRI has triggered the alternate universe consciousness, and Desmond gets more and more flashes of his "real" life. Charlie, Penny, baby Charlie. He slams on the button, gets out of there and goes to find Charlie. Charlie cannot explain what he saw it or why, but he says the only thing that matters now is to find Penny. Charlie isn't playing the concert because nothing matters now, except finding his love. And with that, Charlie is gone, hopefully returning in the finale.

5. Desmond explains what happens to Charles, who is upset with how everything went down, and says that he, Desmond, is going to have to explain to his wife what happened. And according to George, Mrs. Widmore is not a pleasant lady. If she doesn't get her way, you will get dead. Desmond approaches her, she turns around, and her mouth and eyes drop for about a millisecond, because she recognizes who he is immediately. Apparently, even though she's in another reality, she still knows "everything." More on this in the next paragraph. Also, check out what she's wearing on her dress: two parallel lines with stars in each line, but both at different parts of the line. Hmmm, alternate realities? Two Desmonds? Anyways, they have their chat, and to Desmond's surprise, Eloise is fine with Charlie backing out at the last second. "Rock stars bring a certain, unpredictability." "What happened, happened." (The episode "Whatever Happened, Happened" aired in season five when Kate tried to save Young Ben Linus from Sayid's gunshot wound). Not a big deal at all. Strange. As Desmond is leaving, he hears the guest list being read aloud, and who should he hear, but none other than "Milton, Penny (solo)." He tries to see the list, but Eloise intervenes and begins to get angry. She kicks everyone out and begins her explanation.

Eloise says that Desmond needs to stop. That someone has clearly affected the way he sees things. That what is happening is in fact, a violation (part of the rules?). That whatever it is he thinks he is looking for, he needs to stop looking for it. He doesn't need this list because his life is perfect, and that he has attained the one thing he has always wanted -- her husband's approval. And when questioned how does she know what he wants, her response: "Because I bloody do." He cannot see the list because he is not ready yet. Eloise really is all-knowing, in both universes. This happened in the season three episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes," when we find out what happened to Desmond after he turned the failsafe key and imploded the Hatch. Eloise has now had to explain herself twice to Desmond, in two different realities. What is he not ready for? Merging the universes, in my opinion.

6. Desmond is in the limo, drinking, and tells George to just drive around. He's depressed that he might not ever find out about Penny Milton. Cut to outside the limo, looking at the window where Desmond is sitting. We cannot see in because the windows are tinted. We see a reflection approaching the window, but we can only see the outline of who it is. We cannot make out the face. Daniel (Faraday) Widmore cannot see his own reflection, and neither can we. What the hell does that mean? So not only do we get TWO reflections of Desmond, but we get a reflection of Faraday which we can't even make out. Does that mean his alternate universe consciousness is dead? That would make the most sense. Or is it deeper than that? He had the same mind bending and altering experience that Charlie had when he was at the museum and saw a redheaded woman eating a chocolate bar. Obviously Charlotte, and the chocolate a nod to what she told Faraday as her consciousness was going back and forth between time periods, and he told her that she wasn't allowed to eat chocolate before dinner. So maybe, we cannot see his reflection because he knows about the other universe?

In any event, he begins to explain to Desmond that after he saw Charlotte, that night he wrote in his notebook a very advanced, quantum mechanics equation, that only someone studying physics their whole life could have known. We know in the other timeline Faraday was a renowned physicist, so after his encounter with Charlotte, thoughts from his other consciousness downloaded into his own consciousness. He tells Desmond, what if all of this, this whole life, we weren't meant to live this life. That we had some other life. He goes further, saying that what if the only way to stop something very bad from happening was to set off a massive amount of energy, ala detonating a nuclear bomb. Faraday says he doesn't want to set off a bomb, but believes he already did, in another lifetime. Why is he telling Desmond all of this? Because Desmond asked about Penny, his half-sister.

7. And where does Desmond find Penny? At the stadium where he was training for his race around the world, where he first met Jack, where he told Penny that he was leaving her to prove to her father that he was worth his daughter's love. He approaches her, asks if she's Penny, and goes to shake her hand, and at first touch, the sound drops again, for the third time, and Desmond awakes back on the Island.

He survived the electromagnetic explosion, again. Widmore knows he's ready. He extends an arm to help Desmond up, and Desmond takes it. And before Widmore can even attempt to convince Desmond to help him, Desmond says you said I was brought here to do something important. Well let's do it.

Zoe and two Team Widmore members are walking with Desmond, and Zoe is questioning the quick turnaround. She said they "fried his brain," when Sayid pops out of nowhere and takes down the two goons, and tells Zoe to run. Sayid tells Des that these people are bad and that they have to leave, to which Desmond easily agrees. I'm not sure what to make of this. I don't think Team Widmore is bad, I just think they have a different agenda. Plus, Sayid has no soul. So we can't trust him.

Snap back to sideways Desmond, and he has collapsed on the ground. Penny jokes she must have quite an effect on him. He asks her for coffee, and against her better judgement she agrees to meet him in an hour. Penny + Desmond = Awesome.

Desmond goes back to the limo, and finally makes a request of George. To get him the flight manifest of Oceanic Flight 815. Why? Because he has to show them something. LOST!

8. Predictions!

  • There was only one version of Desmond, and he was "in flux" between the two universes until Widmore tested him on the Island. When that happened, the alternate reality Desmond became a constant.
  • Widmore is unaware of the alternate universe, and just wants to use Desmond to stop Evil Incarnate so he will be able to live forever
  • Desmond is going to be able to present all the losties with a choice of which reality they would like to live in: Alternate or Actual. Then he will be able to merge both consciousnesses into a super-consciousness in whichever reality they choose. (Stealing this from Doc Jensen: BOTH consciousnesses will have to want to merge, otherwise it will not be able to happen)
  • Claire and Sayid will be unable to merge consciousnesses because they both have no souls
  • Desmond is the key. He will is the "star" in both realities that can make this possible.

Way too long, apologies. Hurley next week.