Thursday, March 29, 2007

LOST: Season 3 Episode 14 - Exposé

Well, I went 59 minutes thinking I wouldn't have to say it, but just based on how it ended I'm going to say WOW! Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse already had stated prior to this episode that people were either going to love it or hate it, but that Nikki and Paulo would go down as iconic characters on LOST. I will say that I did enjoy it as a stand-alone murder mystery episode. But as an episode of LOST in the grand scheme of things? .....eh, I dunno. There were a FEW tidbits thrown into the episode that might be good to know for the future and I'll mention them. I also loved revisiting some old characters and stories from another point-of-view and I'll discuss some of my favorite moments with that. But I'll be honest, there doesn't really seem like MUCH to discuss from last night's episode. And due to this, I have a back-up plan! There were lots of goodies from the producers that they dished out in this week's podcast and also in interviews with EW.com. I will share highlights from these interviews in the 2nd half of the blog. Never a dull moment in LOST THEORIZATION Land! So, here we go!

Exposé Recap
Okay, so this episode was all about learning "who the hell" Nikki and Paulo are and what they've been up to. Last week I discussed the possibility that Desmond's changing of the past may have impacted WHO actually boarded the plane. Since we haven't seen Rose and Bernard this season, a logical theory that came about was that somehow the changing of past events caused Nikki and Paulo to board the plane instead of Rose and Bernard. Was a pretty darn cool theory. But I had my reservations with how they could pull it off. So, in that sense, this was a better way to go. So what did we learn? Nikki and Paulo murdered the director of a TV show called
"Exposé" for a bag Diamonds worth 8 Million Dollars. More "BAD PEOPLE" that were on Oceanic Flight 815. We trace their 80-something days on the island from their point of view as they are hunting for the diamonds. We revisit some Old Set pieces and some old characters and learn some interesting things. It appears that in present Island time...Nikki and Paulo have been murdered and Sawyer, Charlie, Sun and Hurley team up to solve the mystery all leading to the shocking final minutes of the episode. Here's what went down:
  • First and foremost - Billie Dee Williams was a star of Exposé!!! That's right, fulfilling Star Wars fans' dreams everywhere (including the creators of LOST), Lando Calrissian was on LOST.
  • Speaking of Exposé, it was the ol' show within a show where they could make fun of the TV Show LOST. (Often was done on "The O.C." so I've been told....not that I ever watched!) Things were said by Nikki like "I'm a guest star. Guest stars always die on these shows" and Hurley being a huge fan and finding out who the Big bad boss wasn't revealed until Season 4. Probably referencing that we may not find out about Jacob until next season.
  • Loved seeing Boone and Shannon again. Loved seeing the CRASH again. Although the super-imposed shots of Nikki amongst the crash survivors looked pretty bad. But the concept was really cool. And I loved how Boone came up to Nikki asking for a Pen. If you recall, immediately after the crash - Jack sent Boone to look for pens to pierce Rose's lung (due to her being unconscious and not breathing). Arzt also returned, which is funny. Arzt was another character that was introduced out of nowhere as one of the survivors. So we also got to see what he was up to for most of his time on the island. He was discovering new species in order to become the next Darwin. We also see Arzt running past Nikki and Paulo saying that Boone stole all of the water. Another season 1 episode when they were running out of fresh water (this tied into Jack returning from seeing his father and finding the caves with fresh water and the infamous "Live Together Die Alone" speech).
  • Interesting to see that Nikki and Paulo discovered Eko's plane before Locke and Boone ever set foot there. They were so obsessed with finding the diamonds, that they never even told anyone what they found. They also discovered the Pearl Hatch, which we learn Paulo would return 32 Days prior to the present day. The reason I'm pointing out the days because it impacts what happened IN the Pearl Station. okay....bear with me here...I just did some math. If the crash happened 80 days ago and Paulo was in the hatch 32 days ago....this is DAY 48 on the island. Which happens to coincide with Ana Lucia shooting Shannon and the Tail section survivors meeting up with the main castaways.
  • Why is this important? It sets the timeline to when Ben and Juliet came to the Pearl Station. This is PRIOR to "Henry/Ben" being captured by Rousseau and brought to the Swan Hatch. Ben unveils his plan to capture Jack, Kate and Sawyer even before Michael went out looking for Walt. He was just returning with Ana Lucia and crew. Yet, he still knew they would use Michael to get what they wanted. Ben also noticed the HATCH Door was open and Juliet mentions that TOM was in there (must've been monitoring Jack, Locke and the Hatchlings). Ben requested for Tom to cover up the Pearl Hatch door with the plane. So, this would tie into Locke and Eko not being able to directly see the Pearl Hatch as easily as Nikki and Paulo did. Although it escapes me how Boone and Locke didn't see it PRIOR to the plane crashing. I guess, because they kept focusing on the plane! Anyway....key point is, the OTHERS were monitoring the survivors and probably were monitoring Ben when he was captured. Did they come in through the Pearl hatch door? or maybe there was another passageway from Othersville there? (remember the underground tunnels from the map?) I'm sure we're still going to see yet another flashback showing us what the OTHERS were up to in those 80 days....it just HAS to happen! and I'm not giving up on it!
  • Again, Paulo had SEEN the others and never told anyone about it. He KNEW of Ben's Plan to capture Jack, Kate and Sawyer to expose Jack's weakness and get him to perform a surgery and never told anyone. Of course with the Others always referring to people by their last names, he might've been confused. What's up with that anyway???
  • So Charlie came clean to Sun on abducting her last year in Sawyer's attempt to get all of the guns. These seemed to be resolved much cleaner than we would've hoped. I guess they changed their minds on what they wanted to do with Charlie in the long run. He was looking pretty evil for awhile last season. But now all is well...and it was all resolved by Sun slapping Sawyer. Good times.
  • We saw Ethan again in the flashbacks being as creepy as ever. Telling Paulo to head inland. Couldn't really tell if he had any ulterior motives by that.
  • Lots of joking references to the smoke monster killing Nikki and Paulo and also going back and forth on Eko telling Locke "You're Next." Sawyer translated this to mean "EVERYONE" was next. But maybe it was just Nikki and Paulo? So, Nikki gets her spider education from Arzt about these poisonous spiders that petrify you for 8 hours and how once the female bites its prey the faramones (not sure the spelling!) would attract all of the male spiders within minutes. We see this happen when Nikki gets bit. But did anyone notice the SMOKE MONSTER "SOUND" that accompanied the arrival of the spiders? Was this another manifestation of the monster that eventually led to the deaths of Nikki and Paulo? This monster definitely doesn't like people who do bad things! Wait a second, if Nikki and Paulo were only paralyzed temporarily...how are they dead?
  • Oh right....because the castaways buried them alive! Yeah, I'll admit it...my jaw dropped. But I was thinking when they talked about a GAME CHANGER, they meant something in the larger realm of LOST mythology. Being buried alive hardly would meet the requirements for me! So I'm hoping they were talking about another episode with this "GAME CHANGER" The producers may have hyped this episode up a little too much. But then again, they DID say that people may not like it. It was a good episode, but still it didn't do much for the big picture.
  • To tie in with the whole Murder Mystery element of the episode, Sawyer was seen reading Agatha Christie's "Evil Under the Sun." I personally prefer "And Then There Were None" but that's just me!
So that's about it. Did I miss anything you wanted to discuss about the episode? Feel free to post comments and we can discuss. But that's pretty much all I got out of it! Farewell Nikki and Paulo! We hardly knew you and we're glad you're gone!

Past and Future Episodes:

The Official Lost Podcast:
I know I've promoted it before, but if you haven't started listening to the LOST Podcast yet, you should! You can get it through itunes or even listen on lost.abc.com. Anyway, they had a very interesting Q&A Session at the end of the podcast which everyone might find insightful.
  • Remember Rousseau's Map in season 1? The one that Sayid stole and tried to translate with Shannon? Well, it had a drawing of a small island off of the larger island. This confirms the producers had always envisioned there being AT LEAST 1 smaller island off of the larger island (aka alcatraz 2.0). It also further clarifies that Rousseau knows a lot about the others.....but is adhering to a "don't bother them, they won't bother me" philosophy.
  • The producers also shed light on the Original Plan for Michael Emerson's character (Henry/Ben). The original plan was for a 3 episode arch. He was still going to be one of the OTHERS but would've escaped. They say that they specifically recruited Emerson because of his work as a serial killer on "The Practice" so they were HOPING he'd be as good as he was. But just in case, they had a back door. If Emerson wasn't as good as they hoped, the storyline would've been for Henry to to come back and kill a couple castaways before HE was killed off (Ana Lucia and Libby). Another route they could've gone was that he still could've been the leader of the OTHERS even with the 3 episode arch, showing up only in the finale. Where they decided to make some changes was to extend his HATCH visit because he was THAT good with the role. Instead of the LOCKDOWN episode being a Jack/Locke episode where they were locked in the hatch it became a Henry/Locke episode..... (with Jack and Sawyer playing poker). They said even if Emerson didn't work out, they could've replaced his leadership role with someone else and all season 3 stories could've continued. What they're trying to show with this is that even though they change certain character/smaller plots on the show...their overarching story still remains the way they always envisioned. And both of these Answers go to show that they've always had an idea of the direction they were heading with the show.
  • We won't be continuing the story of Locke and Locke's Dad on the island until Episode 19 (May 2nd). They say we'll see Locke in the meantime, but we won't be focusing on that story. They say it will be really rewarding when we do. They also talked about the BOX as a metaphor to something John could understand (being from a box company) but they also related it to Sayid's Cat, Kate's Horse, Jack's Dad, Yemi...etc.... So the smoke monster, the visions and Locke's Dad all seem to be related.
  • They also suggested that due to Locke's "Naturalistic" approach to the island has led to his belief that it cured him of paralysis, it may influence the OTHERS to abandon their OTHERSVILLE by the end of the season and live more like the castaways. (WITH the castaways? yet to be seen). Lately the writers have been making us sympathetic towards the Others but Damon and Carlton reminded us about the Hanging of Charlie in Season 1 and the killing of some of the survivors. They said by the end of the season we will be reminded that these guys are NOT GOOD PEOPLE!

Q&A with the Producers from EW.com

I also found some of their answers here pretty enlightening and thought I would share.

  • Q: When Locke was walking away from the submarine last week, he appeared to be soaking wet, despite the fact that we never saw him get into the water. This has led to speculation among fans that Locke didn't actually blow up the sub, but instead, took it out to sea, submerged it, and blew up the dock — all part of a plan to make it appear the submarine was destroyed. The question is this: Are we supposed to be wondering why John Locke was all wet?

    A: Intriguingly, Damon Lindelof says: ''No comment.''

    Me: In rewatching this scene, it is very difficult to see the submarine and it appears that just a piece of the DOCK blows up. And LOCKE is CLEARLY soaked when he returns. He also suggests to Ben earlier in the episode that for all Ben knew he might've been a commander in the Navy. It seems like a joke at the time and Ben never says anything in response. But maybe Locke DID do something with the sub and create the illusion that he blew it up. It just didn't seem like there was enough time for anything like this to go down. I'd say there has to be a reason for him being soaked though.
  • Q: Will we see another Locke flashback story again this season?

    A: Lindelof: ''Maybe.''
  • QIn the final moment of ''The Man From Tallahassee,'' when Locke's eyes went wide and he said ''Dad?'' was Lost paying ironic homage to the classic ''Mom?'' moment in J.J. Abrams' other cult-pop classic, Alias? Despite the fact that the episode was written by former Alias scribes Drew Goddard and Jeff Pinkner, Lindelof and Cuse say no homage intended.

    A: But the moment was supposed to evoke the memory of another Lost moment — specifically, the episode from season 1 when Jack began seeing visions of his father on The Island and went hunting for his coffin, only to discover that the body was missing. Hmmmm...
  • Q: Are we supposed to be wondering what happened to the corpse of Jack's dad, or is that fact totally irrelevant?

    A: Lindelof: ''Yes, you should be wondering about that.''
  • Q: When will we learn what the hell the ''Purple Sky Event'' actually meant? '

    A: 'Toward the end of the season, I suspect,'' says Lindelof.

Sidenote: Speculations continuing on the painting in Ben's house. Who is the woman? fans have narrowed it down to either Juliet or Karen DeGroot. I have no idea who it is, and really don't care at this juncture. But here is some side-by-side comparisons!

Anyway, hopefully that helped satisfy everyone's LOST fix this week. In looking back, it was a good episode and definitely a good one to follow-up the intense Locke episode last week. The most shocking thing for me is that they actually buried Nikki and Paulo alive. And I guess that's what the producers considered the possible "Jump the Shark" moment. It all goes to show that TOO MUCH hype for an episode is never good! But next week sure looks good with the Kate/Juliet face-off!

Which leads me to my next, possible sad piece of information. Things seem to be getting pretty hectic at work here...so you'll have to forgive me if the blog starts getting posted at random times. I know I always say it and I always find a way to get it posted. But, sometimes I get pestering emails asking me where the blog is (you know who you are!) ....all I can say is be patient! I can see worst case scenarios of the blog not getting posted until Thursday night, possibly even Friday morning. Which might work out for some people...since the show airs too late and people don't watch until Thursday! But I will try my best to get it out as early as possible!

That's all folks! See you sometime next week as we continue our non-stop viewing and blogging of LOST!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you read the book, The Serpent and the Rainbow, about the search for the so called "zombie" toxin found in Haiti, you learn of tales of people who have been poisoned, declared dead, waked, funeraled and buried alive. They are either dug out by their poisoner and made into slaves, or dig themselves out and wander the wide world, somewhat impaired as far as their former lives and identities. Admittedly, they have the advantage of a coffin as a starting dig point and not a sandpit. I know it could be all-time sharkjumping territory, but...the plot could continue. And if they've lost part of their identities in the process, the island may be assuaged enough to let them live further.

Another point: name any Lost survivors still alive who took lives purely for reasons of greed, or behaved evilly or deceitfully pre-flight. True, there are a bunch who have killed, but there are always extenuating circumstances, or points of honor, involved.

The island requires her sacrifices, and she seems to feast on the morally suspect. (It helps that the audience is not too troubled to see a bad guy get it.)

Joy said...

Did anyone else notice that Paulo's box of nicotine gum was not ruined in any way (soggy, mis-shaped) after being submerged in a backpack for days?


Also, don't the survivors usually wrap the deceased in some kind of cloth before burying them? They didn't wrap Nikki and Paulo...I know it's a big stretch, but maybe they still have a chance of somehow surviving. If Nikki's eyes popped open just as they were throwing dirt on her, isn't it possible that Paulo (who was poisoned a little before she was) could have regained some of his body movement? It just seems like a waste of character introduction to kill them off so soon. Shouldn't the writers have had a bigger purpose than to make 1 interesting plotline about them? Or maybe they just killed them off because fans didn't like them.

Marc said...

Mike,

Thanks for the continued "work" on this blog. I find it enjoyable and always look forward to reading it. I must admit I looked for it first thing this morning and was disappointed not to see it, but I do want you to know that I am grateful that you put as much time and energy into it as you do. So, thanks!

Mike Vitullo said...

Wow, good stuff. Yeah I pondered that they might not be dead for a bit...but then I just figured that Joy, as you said....the producers got the message that fans didn't like them...and accomplished everything they wanted to do with Nikki and Paulo in one episode. It does seem a little rushed to just kick them off the show, but I just don't know how much they really want to focus on these characters in the long scheme of things.

Interesting note on people killing for Greed. Sawyer definitely didn't kill for Greed and is still alive. But what about Eko? He became who he was to save his brother. Yet the "island" judged him to be "NOT GOOD" Of course, Eko also did not feel any guilt for what he did. tough call...but interesting observation!

And thanks Marc, I appreciate the kind words. I really wish I could just write about LOST as a full-time job....I think it would make everyone, including myself, very happy! lol

Shanna said...

Eko killed the first time for his brother....but didn't he kill after that when he was a drug lord or whatever? I would think that eventaully he wasn't doing it for Remy anymore, but for the money.

Shanna said...

or maybe even Yemi!!! :-)

pamkaz said...

I thought it was interesting that when Ben and Julia came into the hatch they were barefoot..

Mike Vitullo said...

That is funny you just mentioned that. As I've stated a few times...i'm rewatching seasons 1 and 2...and i just happened to watch the episodes where Ana Lucia Eko and crew are escorting Michael, Sawyer and Jin back to the camp....and then I remembered Eko and Jin seeing THE OTHERS walking barefoot with the ragged clothing....this also occurred at the 47/48 Day mark.....Perhaps 2 of those people walking were Ben and Juliet???? If you recall..Ben wore the same attire during the season finale of season 2 when he came to take Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Anyway...this also probaby is a setup for when "walt" talked to Michael through the hatch computers. Ben pretty much indicated it was all a devised trap to lure Jack to them. Oh yeah....and Cindy disappearing? Also happened on Day 48 when they were climbing a large hill. There were several people in that pack of others.... We also saw visions of WALT on Day 48....and heard lots of whispering.... They must've had lots of things going on on that day. I have never been more convinced that we're going to see the "other" side of this story to tie all of these pieces together!

Kathleen said...

What about the possibility that someone goes back to dig up the diamonds that Sawyer threw into Nikki and Paulo's grave, and thereby saves them from a sandy death?
Catalina

Miles Balzard said...

Ugh. No, no, no! I hated this episode! Sure, there's always snippets of good things on any ep, but this was the worst one I've ever seen! I'm not kidding, there were several times I actually groaned and I even thought, more than once, "Oh no, Lost has jumped the shark."

Yes, I knew that was hyperbole every time I said it. But to me, "Fire + Water" doesn't hold a candle to this one when it comes to suckyness. First and foremost, of course, are the characters of Nikki and Paulo. Not only are they bad people, but the actors were both flat, especially the one playing Paulo.

And as I said just last week (haha, Mike we know it was just earlier today, but...), I really have a hard time giving any sympathy ever to people who have murdered people. At least Kate and Sawyer and Eko had plausible reasons; for revenge or protection. But Nikki and Paulo (let's just call them N&P) did it for nothing but greed. To top it off, they conned their victim on top of everything else. And nothing they did on the island changed their selfishness. I couldn't hate two characters more!

Okay, I know the show was just setting up two bad people to get their comeuppance, and that might be admirable, but I don't think the plot was the least bit clever. What are the odds that N&P's bag would fall into the same tiny lake that Kate's briefcase did? You could make an argument that it had been stored in the same area on the plane, but come on.

The stupid killer spiders. They just happen to find a nest of those spiders near the campsite and N stands on top of the nest after throwing one onto P. Ugh, what a contrivance.

And the big surprise at the end...meh. The "surprise" was like something from a 60-year-old Mad comic-book story, when the big twist would've been only a 110-year-old idea (Poe's "The Premature Burial").

To make matters worse, N&P's horrible acting actually pulled the rest of the cast down to their level. There was one scene with N&P, Hurley and Charlie that was the ultimate "wooden-face" scene of all time. Excruciating.

And the grand topper, Mike, as you will recall how I complained about it before: The Pearl hatch doors. That's right! Many eps ago, Locke and Eko used all of their considerably burly muscles to barely pull the doors open, thudding open with a great clang. It irked me when, several eps later, Desmond and Sayid opened the same massive doors with much greater ease. But it drove me mad in this episode when N&P each flipped open the massive doors with one hand! N did it as easily as she might open her closet door.

The only redeeming thing about this ep was we got to see different perspectives on classic scenes from the past. That was pretty awesome.

But when I finish watching this series, someday someone will ask me what I thought the worst episode was. And now I know I'll say, "The one where those two new characters were buried alive."

Mike V. said...

LOL....well I said you might appreciate how the writer's decided to handle the Nikki/Paolo situation. Clearly, I was not correct. At the time, there had been months and months of "hating" those characters. And the writers knew the minute they saw them on screen that this experiment wasn't working. So, they went into "write them off" mode. I thought this episode was fantastic. Sure, it had little to do with the ongoing plot, but I liked it as a stand-alone story. The photoshopping into classic scenes of LOST was pretty rough, but it was great bringing Arzt, Boone and Shannon back in for some additional scenes.

And, I'm not sure if you noticed but there were some smoke monster noises when those spiders showed up at the end. So, you could say that smokey caused the deaths of Nikki and Paolo. That may possibly mean more in the scheme of things that I can't tell you right now. But, he did say to Eko who said to Locke "you're next" . And Nikki and Paolo were in that group there. Anyway...your complaints all make sense too. lol I'm not going to try and defend them.

But, my answer to "the worst episode ever" question always goes back to "Stranger in a Strange Land". Most fans would agree. Bai Ling and LOST did not mix. lol But, I will say that Expose' does not rank among my top favorites either. You're approaching some of the best episodes of LOST. Exciting times!!