April 2010


americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television27 Apr 2010 10:10 pm

We are halfway home, down to a half dozen and to be completely honest, i’m likely to be “half dozin'” as i watch because this show is really off the rails this year… anyway, we press on… it’s Shania Twain week, which i guess means country music? oh, specifically Shania Twain songs… that makes sense, since there are four guys and two girls left… i can totally see Big Mike singing “I Feel Like a Woman“… anyway… let’s go ahead and dig in…

THE MARK OF THE BEAST (SIX)…

now playing: That Don’t Impress Me Much – Shania Twain

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… so, Lee is starting things off, which may be the death of him… singing You’re Still the One… and by singing, of course, i mean growling and screaming… he starts off way off key… screams his way back into reality and hits on and off throughout the performance… Randy says it started off pitchy, but it was pretty good… Ellen says it was better than pretty good, he sang it like no one else would, and he’s cute… Kara says that he didn’t relate to the fact that it was a love song, but he did smile, and it was good… Simon says that it was the right choice, but he made weird faces… Kara cuts him off, he asks to finish, and then the producers cut him off…

BIG MIKE… so, i was thinking that Lee’s performance felt short, as if the show was only a half hour, but then they blasted through about 40 commercials, most of which are for terrible Fox shows… anyway, it’s BIG MIKE time… he’s singing It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing… i’ve never heard it before and i wish that were still the case… he started out on the stairs, lollypopped his way through it and ended with a falsetto… it was alright, but pretty much the same thing he always does… Randy says he’s in the zone of who he is… Ellen recalls Luther Vandross and says it was beautiful… Kara talks about connections again – is she launching a dating website soon or something?… Simon says it was a little wet, meaning girlie…

Casey “Sawyer” James… intersting choice to lead off guy heavy… i probably would’ve mixed the girls into the order a little better… whatever… Casey is singing Don’t and Shania thinks he lacks some inner confidence… he certainly doesn’t lack a vibrato… it’s a slow song, showcasing his vocals quite a bit, kind of like when he dressed up in that white suit a couple weeks ago and sang some other slow song… it’s really good… Randy says it was the best Casey performance ever… Ellen says, actually, it was the best performance you’ve done to date… Kara says it was good, bad, and ugly… and that he’s an artist… Simon agrees with Randy (and, by default, Ellen)… Shania gets an extra hug…

now playing: Up! – Shania Twain

Crystal BoSAWX… she gets all first season Phoebe (from Friends) on Shania talking about her aura and other such nonsense, then she questions her boyfriend’s manhood on national television… singing No One Needs to Know and it’s probably her worst performance, but she’s smiling and she’s everybody’s favorite… i just wasn’t all that impressed… she’s clearly the most talented, but not the most impressive – at least tonight… Randy says it wasn’t his favorite from her, but he liked that it was country… Ellen echoes and pitches Skittles… Kara calls Ellen one of the guys and then agrees that it wasn’t that great… Crystal starts to argue about bigger not being better… Simon agrees that it wasn’t her best and that it lacked conviction… she argues again… and Ryan calls out her boyfriend in the audience…

Aaron Aaron… i’m going to ignore the painfully obvious joke about the lineup order tonight… anyeay, he’s singing You’ve Got a Way With Me next to a giant 50 foot projection of his head… he’s just sitting there on the stool with a stripped down arrangement and his vocals are laid bare… and, i’m sorry, but he’s completely showing just how outclassed he is on this stage… that last note was fine, but the rest of it was skittish at best… Randy says country is his wheelhouse and he did a good job… Ellen says that everyone is doing well and he connected to it… Kara says it was smart to take out the “making love” line… he says that he was singing to his mom, so that makes it a REALLY good choice… Simon says it was really good job and that he’s back…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… okay, she gets the pimp spot… and she’s singing Any Man of Mine… and i mean that very loosely… this is horrifying… she’s no where near the right rhythm, key, or anything… this may be the end of the road… finally… oh, here it comes… the huge note and dramatic finish… you know, if that was the entire performance, i would’ve liked it… but she can’t sing the rest of the time… roll out the red carpet judges… Randy loved it… Ellen tries again to make the “Twain – Train” joke, but that she loved it… Kara says that she’s back… Simon says that he liked it and he doesn’t normally like country music, but it sounded like she was giving birth at the end… unbelievable…

THE PIT OF ETERNAL FIRE…

now playing: Nah! – Shania Twain

alrighty, wasn’t that special?… i’m going to go ahead and rank these six performances and then make my pick… and i’m realizing just now that i didn’t pre-predict who is getting the boot… sorry… anyway… here’s the order from worst to first… Siobhan, Michael, Lee, Aaron, Crystal, Casey… just my initial thoughts, anyway… so, who’s going home… bottom three: Michael, Aaron, Siobhan… going home Krystal… SURPRISE!… no, actually, Big Mike gets the Big Boot…

what do you think?… who’s sticking their boots back under their own bed and saying Honey, I’m Home next week?

peace… love… bdg…

Dove Awards&GMA Week21 Apr 2010 03:31 pm

So, the day of the Dove Awards is upon us and i have yet to make my annual predictions… since time is always short these days, i’m going to go ahead and make some quick predictions on the major categories as they are listed on the Official Dove Awards website… i may post a reactionary piece after the fact as well, but we’ll see… for now, let’s just dive right in…

now playing: Megaphone – Braille

Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Casting Crowns, Jason Crabb, Jars of Clay, TobyMac, Mary Mary, and Skillet.

Traditionally this is the capstone award and, in turn, the most frustrating to the widest amount of fans when the results don’t align with, i don’t know, artistry perhaps? Anyway, this typically ends up being the most popular (read: biggest cash cow) artist at the time and recently, the GMA trends towards the “hip” factor. Be that as it may, the need for wide-spread popularity immediately eliminates Francesca, Jason Crabb, Mary Mary, and (yes) Skillet. It’s surprising that Casting Crowns has never one this award, nor has Jars of Clay. Toby, as a past winner, is the clear favorite, but i’m going to go out on a limb and say that Jars of Clay takes this award for their performances on and off stage, despite up and leaving the CCM industry and striking out as an indie band.

Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Michael Boggs, Mike Donehey, Jason Ingram, Jennie Lee Riddle, and Neil Thrasher

Interesting group of nominees here… and i have to go with Jennie Lee Riddle actually. She wrote Revelation Song all by herself. It could easily go to Francesca, however, as a way to give her something to take home. Not that she doesn’t deserve a Dove, i just think she’ll be pretty much shut out this year.

New Artist of the Year

The nominees are: Jonny Diaz, Kari Jobe, Revive, Sidewalk Prophets, Bluetree, Crystal Akin, and Brian Courtney Wilson

So this is always an interesting award… besides stretching the definition of “artist” they also stretch the meaning of “new”… okay, no ranting, but i’d bet that no more than 15% of CCM listeners have heard of Crystal, Brian, or Kari… well, maybe Kari, but only because she’s been recording for several years now. (Same goes for Jonny Diaz). Jonny certainly had a breakout year, but i don’t think he has the pull to win, neither does Sidewalk Prophets for that matter. Which leaves Revive and Bluetree and i’m gonna say that Bluetree takes home the hardware.

Group of the Year

The nominees are: Casting Crowns, Gaither Vocal Band, Jars of Clay, NEEDTOBREATHE, Tenth Avenue North, Hezekiah Walker & LFC, and Skillet

immediate eliminations include GVB – though, i reckon their new album is fantastic – Hezekiah, and Skillet… why? their fanbase is marginalized. Leaving Casting Crowns, Jars of Clay, NEEDTOBREATHE and Tenth Avenue North. I’d love to see either of the latter two take it home, but chances are this one goes home with Casting Crowns (for the SIXTH year in a row).

now playing: The Motions – Matthew West

Female Vocalist of the Year

The nominees are: Francesca Battistelli, Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Dawn Michele, Karen Peck Gooch, Heather Headley, and Laura Story

here’s the rub… you might think that because Francesca is the only female solo artist up for artist of the year, she’s a lock to win here. She’s not, and neither is anyone not named Natalie Grant.

Male Vocalist of the Year

The nominees are: Jeremy Camp, Jason Crabb, Michael English, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, Mark Schultz, Donnie McClurkin, and Smokie Norful

i doubt anyone would argue that Michael English has the best vocal of any of these nominees… but that’s not really the question here, despite the name of the category. Besides, we’ve been down that road before – i’m just saying. This one’s gonna be another repeat with the nod going to Brandon Heath.

Song of the Year

The nominees are: Born to Climb (Jeff & Sherri Easter), By Your Side (Tenth Avenue North), Free to Be Me (Francesca Battistelli), God is There (Diamond Rio), I Will Rise (Chris Tomlin), Let the Waters Rise (MIKESCHAIR), Revelation Song (Phillips, Craig & Dean), Somebody Like Me (Jason Crabb), Two Hands (Jars of Clay), and Why Can’t All God’s Children Get Along (Karen Peck & New River)

Typically, this is a song that encapsulates the anthem of CCM for the year. Usually, it’s a ballad, it’s a worship song, and it’s been played to death on the radio. It’s gotta be a song that everyone instantly recognizes and at least half are pleased to hear. The standbys (Casting Crowns, MercyMe) aren’t in it this year, which makes it a little trickier, but the finalists are instantly Tenth Avenue North, Chris Tomlin, and Jars of Clay. (I would’ve expected Matthew West’s The Motions – WHERE IS THAT?) But i’m going with By Your Side because i don’t think I Will Rise was a typical Tomlin smash hit and Two Hands is too awesome not mainstream enough.

Producer of the Year

The nominees are: Ed Cash, Ian Eskelin, Wayne Haun, Bernie Herms, Jason Ingram, and Rusty Varenkamp

not too many people who aren’t producers or industry folk care about this category, and the GMA pretty much copy-and-pastes the nominees in each year. Without looking up all the albums that they worked on this year, i’ll just go with Bernie Herms again.

now playing: The Unavoidable Battle of Feeling on the Outside – FM Static

okay, now a couple quick hits…

Rap/Hip Hop:
– SONG: End of My Rope (KJ-52)
– ALBUM: Reiterate (Grits)

Rock:
– SONG: Hero (Skillet) – really, 2 RED songs? they couldn’t think of another rock group?
– ALBUM: Innocence and Instinct (RED)

Rock Contemporary:
– SONG: Lay Em Down (NEEDTOBREATHE)
– ALBUM: Church Music (David Crowder*Band)

Pop Contemporary:
– SONG: Until the Whole World Hears (Casting Crowns)
– ALBUM: The Long Fall Back to Earth (Jars of Clay)

And that’s it for me folks… we’ll see how i did tonight… it’s always weird not walking around Opry Mills Mall for a couple hours before heading over to the Opry House, getting backstage and grabbing a tall sweet tea and some other treats from the back table… perhaps another year… for now… we build and grow…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television20 Apr 2010 11:08 pm

okay, so we’re down to seven… i’m running behind schedule, of course… and this will be, perhaps shorter than last week’s… i’m actually finishing up my thoughts on last week’s episode of LOST simultaneously if you can belive that… anyway… Idol Gives Back week… mentor is Alicia Keys, theme is inspirational songs, and first up is Casey… off we go…

SEVEN UP, DOWN, AND ALL AROUND…

now playing: No One – Alicia Keys

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing Don’t Stop thinking about tomorrow… and he’s got his guitar out… and the vocal’s a little shakey, but he’s got great energy… and it was alright… it’s nothing too special, but it was good… Randy says it’s the same old same old… Ellen says it was good not great… Kara says it didn’t show anyone how different he is from everyone else… Simon said it was emotionless and uninspiring… a lazy song choice…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… growly boy is gonna sing a Paul Simon song?… singing The Boxer… so, did Alicia not know this song?… speaking of a pocketful of mumbles… i really hope i’m not the only one who realizes just how painful this performance is… or at least ADMITS how painful it is… ugh, that was AWFUL… Randy says he’s a great artist on the verge of a great career… Ellen says it was his best performance by far… Kara says it was really good, he connected to it… Simon says it was way better than Casey… full of emotion, inspiration, and that it was current…

Tim “The Partidge”… singing Better Days by Goo Goo Dolls… and i think this range is gonna be too much for him… he starting out alright… and oh, yeah, it’s gotten away from him… this could be the end of Tim… he really should’ve worked out a new arrangement for this one… Randy says that it just sounded okay and it was like karaoke… Ellen sent this bowl of soup back to the chef… Kara says it was a good choice, but it didn’t work out well… Simon says if it was his first performance ever, it might have worked, but it didn’t work tonight…

Aaron Aaron… singing I Believe I Can Fly… this was out when he was FIVE? man, i feel old… overall, it was a little overdramatic, but not too bad… he’s probably safe… especially after following Tim… it was a solid performance, nothing special, but alright… Randy said it’s a tough song, but he’s got some vocal power… Ellen liked it… Kara said it was a slow takeoff, but a good flight… Simon says it wouldn’t survive on the radio…

now playing: Don’t Stop Believin’ – Glee Cast

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… oh, i didn’t pay attention to the intro… i often wish i could not pay attention when she’s singing… this is When You Believe by Whitney and, yeah, the Whitney rule still applies… it just wasn’t good and there’s absolutely no excuse for that silly little feather thing in her head… lifeless and blah for me… Randy says it wasn’t a good choice and it wasn’t good… Ellen LOVED it… Kara says it was too much like a musical… Simon agrees with Randy and Kara and mentions how distracting her outfit is… i still think she’s a bloody idiot…

BIG MIKE… oh, Big Mike will be singing Whitney too… wait, what?… oh a different Hero… should’ve gone with the Foo Fighters song… There Goes My Hero… anything is better than a Nickelback song, am i right?… and it’s a bad choice for him because it has a choppy rhythm, which makes him sound out of breath… and despite the strong finish, the rest was just there… it’s good that he showed some range, but i could’ve done without it… Randy says that it was worrisome, but it worked out… Ellen said it was a great job… Kara says sorry, oops… Simon says he sang it pretty well, but it only inspires Spiderman…

Crystal BoSAWX… singing People Get Ready without an instrument… bad move… oh… NO ONE is playing an instrument?… okay… just a capella for the intro… she’s actually got a nice vibe going on here… i daresay she reminds me a bit of Tina Turner… the vocal is a little difficult for her to tame, but she’s doing alright… except for that fiery crash at the finish, she breaks out in tears… Randy gives her a standing O… Ellen says it was beautiful and talked about some weird contraption she brought on stage… Kara says that she schooled all the other contestants… Simon says it was inspirational and in a completly different class than everyone else… her dad, Zoot from the Muppet Show, is there making her emotional…

ARE YOU INSPIRED?…

now playing: Enough for Now – The Fray

and, that’s a wrap… once again, i’m simply not impressed… i suppose this week the bottom three honors should go to Lee, Tim, and Casey… Tim is probably going to go home though…

what do you think?… who inspired you to vote for them or against them?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television20 Apr 2010 11:00 pm

another week, another batch of procrastination (or re-prioritization as the case may be)… anyway, let’s just dive right into this last week’s episode of LOST… as i’ve been doing, the “_X” side story paragraphs will be in italics… off we go…

EVERYBODY LOVES HUGO…
now playing: Everybody Loves Hugo – LOST season six

When we last left LOST, Desmond was sublime, kidnapped by Sayid, and ready to fulfill his life-long purpose… Team Ilana was ready to go blow up the airplane… and the greatest love story of the show was about to begin again at a coffee shop in LA…

Pierre Chang introduces Hurly, er, Hugo as the Man of the Year… Ma is unimpressed because Hugo needs him a woman… she set him up with a blind date…

Hurley is talking to Libby’s grave, sad that she won’t talk to him from beyond like all those other dead folks… Ilana says it’s time to go and shows very little sympathy for Hurley’s agony… then, the whispers… It’s Michael and he’s there to stop Hurley from getting everyone killed…

Since it was Michael who killed Libby, there are some trust issues here… doesn’t matter, but if everyone dies it will be Hurley’s fault because he could’ve stopped them… Jack interrupts and reminds Hurley that they need to go…

Hurley is stood up at a Mexican place… he wants more chips and more time… Libby appears and calls him Hugo… he thinks that she’s his date, but she’s not… she talks about being soulmates and knowing each other on a deeper level… Dr. Brooks rudely interrupts and drags her off, but not before she can tell Hurley that she meant what she said… she gets taken back to the mental institution…

Ilana has some dynomite and passion for blowing up the plane… Hurley starts to propose an alternative plan… Ilana involks Richard’s opinion, he agrees, and Hurley challenges… “That thing is evil and if it ever gets off the island…” (Dr. Arzt situation and there’s no more Ilana)…

Locke is shaping a stick into… something… the rest of Team Lock is restless… they want off of the island… Sayid interrupts the arguing and steals away everyone’s attention… he then takes Locke over to go see the package, which is off course Desmond… Locke tilts his head like a confused puppy…

Hurley checks out Ilana’s things… Richard is frantic and wanting to go get some more dynomite… Jack doesn’t dig that plan… Hurley vouches for (and confuses Richard)… Jack trusts Hurley… they leave…

Hurley wants a bucket of chicken… he’s brooding… Desmond is staring at him from a distance… “weren’t you on 815?”… they chat about why Hurley is depressed… because Libby likes him, but she’s crazy… Des advises Hurley to pursue a relationship with Libby… his order number is 42…

Locke apologizes for Des being tied to a tree… Des explains that he has no place to run… he’s perhaps the most calm person ever to exist… Locke wants to know why Widmore brought him to the island… Des pleads the 5th, but does explain that he was hit up with massive amounts of electromagneticism and that it wasn’t his first time… Also, he identifies Locke as “John Locke”… this freaks Locke out and he dismisses the onlooking Sayid and takes Des on a walk…

Ben is discoursing about what happens to people when the island is done with them… they’re on their way to the Black Rock and they’ve misplaced Hurley… he’s snuck ahead and detonated all the dynomite so that no one can blow up the plane… Richard also blows up (in the angry sense).. Miles has a candid conversation about talking to dead people which Hurley sums up with: “Dead people are more reliable than alive people.”

A picture of an island in Dr. Brooks’ office… Hurley is hoping to see Libby, but is getting the Heisman… that is, until he pulls out his checkbook and donates… he’s in the rec room, there’s Connect 4… he meets up with Libby and asks her to explain how they know each other… She talks about a commercial and memories from another life, a plane crash, an island and somehow she remembers him at the mental hospital as well… it’s all very confusing… he refuses to believe… well, he can’t…

She says that he’s crazy and that’s when the flirting begins… he chats about how everybody has something to worry about and then he asks her out on a date… which she whole-heartedly accepts…

Des and Locke walking, talking and pondering life on the island… Locke is asking about Desmond’s history on the island, noting that, if he didn’t know any better, he’d think the island had it in for Desmond… “Do you know better?”… Des insists that there’s nothing special about him and that the island has it in for everyone… then that creepy kid appears in the distance… not Walt, the new, maybe-Jacob one… Locke is ticked off by him and tells Des to ignore him, walking away angrily…

Richard is determined to find explosives elsewhere… because they need to blow up the plane… because no one has any other ideas… Hurley has another idea… go talk to Locke… nobody likes that idea though because Locke is the smoke monster… he’s EVIL… Hurley claims that Jacob says they need to talk to Locke… Hurley forces a decision… just like when Jack and Locke made everyone choose sides: stay or go… everyone sides with Richard… everyone except Jack, and Jack silently convinces Sun and Lipidus as well…

Sun and Lipidus are second-guessing Hurley… Hurley is second-guessing himself… Jack reassures him… he’s fully matured… he admits that it’s really difficult for him to let go, but he now knows that he can’t fix things… he needs to let go… Hurley had no idea where to go… then, the whispers… Hurley says he knows what they are… the voices of those who can’t “move on” and are stuck on the island… Michael appears, tells Hurley where Locke is, and apologizes for killing Libby…

Hurley spreads out a blanket for a picnic on the beach with Libby… he’s talking about cheese and she’s staring off into the distance… she’s overwhelmed by familiarity, like this is the date they never had… they each wonder why the other one wants to be with them… Libby says she likes Hurley… he says she’s delusional… she leans in for a kiss and BAM!… he remembers it all… and that beautiful score plays in the background… the one about life and death… Des, who was watching from his car drives away, content…

Locke has taken Des to a well… it’s pretty deep… and they talk about how old it is… it was dug by hand… they were looking for answers, not water… this is one of the places with lots of eletromagnetism… Widmore isn’t looking for answers, he’s looking for power… Locke is terrified by Desmond… he asks Des why he’s not afraid, Des replies that there’s no point of being afraid… Locke shoves him down the well… (can you say Joseph?)…

Locke returns to the camp and tells Sayid that they don’t need to worry about Des anymore… Sawyer wants to pick up the argument from earlier… the one about leaving the… wait, what?… Hurley appears from the jungle… Locke is surprised to hear that “they” want to talk to him… we? we who?… Hurley plays his hand close to the chest, trying to ensure a safe encounter… Locke hands him his knife and gives him his word… whatever good that is… everyone comes out and that’s when we remember that Jin isn’t there anymore… Sun’s empty, searching face… Jack’s connection with Kate… and then, “Hello Jack”… Jack and Locke lock eyes…

Des is observing again, interrupted by Ben, rapping on his car window… it’s not generally a good idea to stake out a schoolyard… Des manages to appease Ben with a story about checking out schools for Charlie, his son… and then he proceeds to crank up his engine and plow into wheelchair-ridden Locke, leaving him on his back looking up at the sky, exactly as he did when he first woke up on the island…

DUuuuDE…

now playing: Everybody Have Fun Tonight – Wang Chung

okay, the question today is why did Desmond run over John Locke? I’m going to address three possible scenarios ranging from a minimal to a dramatic stretch of the imagination…

1. Simply because Jack and Locke must be together in both realities
inevitably, Locke is going to end up under the care of Jack… and they’re going to make eye contact and have a moment… perhaps the point is to simply make a connection between the two of them… hoping that a near death experience will trigger island memories… or perhaps it’s something more, something like connecting the two realities permanently…

2. Revenge for being tossed into the well
i don’t give this theory much weight, though it was referenced on the Official podcast, because this is totally out of character for Desmond and it just doesn’t make much sense… plus, he probably would be sneering, not smiling…

3. Because Locke has always been the Man in Black, in EVERY reality.
this is the big one… and it’s the one i believe, but haven’t entirely given flesh to… this is why, i think, Locke was so taken aback by Desmond calmly calling him John Locke… and perhaps, Desmond, in his knowledge of this, needed to try to kill him in _X… or maybe it’s why he needs to combine the two realities again… it’s certainly something to consider… ponder… and wonder about…

peace… love… bdg…

general16 Apr 2010 11:54 am

Well that sucks… i had this week’s mashed potatoes under control there for a bit, but now it’s disappeared… somehow, even though i saved it, it is now gone and i’ll have to reconstruct that sometime soon… unfortunately, today does not allow me that time… what i will do today, though, is present a list of things on my birthday wishlist since, yes, it is sometime in this general time period, though perhaps not accurately portrayed by social media… here are just a few things i’ve got my eye on…

Wings from the Anchor Bar… yes, this is where Buffalo Wings began and they now ship them to you for a fee. I’m assuming that they’re just as good as i remember them.

Buffalo Bills Draft Day fitted hat… slight pattern here to begin with, but this hat looks sweet and i can use a new, large, fitted cap.

a Sony Blu-ray player… eventually, i’ll have one, but it would be nice to have one sooner rather than later…

two extra Wii controllers w/Motion Plus… (and two “motion plus” attachments for the controllers i already have)… i’d love to be able to play more games with the littles and maybe as a family…

and last, but not least… MONEY, GIFT CARDS, and the like… it’s always good to have some money kicking around so that i can save up and/or spend it as i desire… maybe some new movies to play on my new Blu-ray player (when i get one)… maybe some 4 person games for the Wii… maybe a candy bar… just stuff…

what things are you looking to get on the next present-getting day?

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television13 Apr 2010 09:50 pm

okay, bottom, i mean top, nine once again after Big Mike used up the one save of the season… i will be very short tonight – partially because i’m starting late in the show and partially because i need to be quick with it… quick picks up front, since two are going home, it will be Katie and Aaron… this week is Elvis week and Adam Lambert actually is mentoring them… for whatever reason… off we go…

BLECH OF NINE TALES…

now playing: It’s Now or Never – Elvis

Crystal BoSAWX… commenting after the fact and watching the letters appear many seconds after i’ve typed them (something going on with my laptop)… but she sang a song about lying and cheating… i thought she screamed a bit, but she was very confident and it was a good opening… the judges all agreed, she’s fantastic…

Andrew “The Custodian”… Andrew bored Adam with his version of Hound Dog… what’s the bet that he bores America with it tonight?… it kind of feels like everyone popped a handful of Vicodin and then decided to sing it… really slow, really, well, boring… the ending was the best part of the whole thing… Randy says that Simon called it – bad karaoke, for real… Ellen stands up for him, but said he needed a little more swagger… Kara says he didn’t own it… Simon says it was lazy and it wasn’t a star performance…

Tim “The Partidge”… surprise, Adam digs on Tim… singing Can’t Help Fallin’ in Love… and i’ve finally figured out who his vocal reminds me of… Blake, Bliggety, Blake Lewis… the stage lights are really dark – perhaps to make it harder for him to win with his smile – but i thought he did a super cool job… i liked it a lot… Randy says surprise, he liked it… Ellen says that she would like to drink him down like shots of tequilla… Kara says it was her favorite Tim performance… Simon says it was beautiful – zero to hero in two weeks…

now playing: All Shook Up – Elvis

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… Adam says that Lee’s got nothing going on inside his head i think meaning that he’s dumb… but he’s singing A Little Less Conversation and i think it sounded pretty good… i suppose that puts me back on the fence with him… it was a good job… Randy, Ellen, and Kara all raved… Simon liked it as well…

Aaron Aaron… here’s a good pairing… Adam wants him to be a little more fierce… singing Blue Suede Shoes… starting on the stairs and dressed like a complete poser, he swaggers on over to sing in Kara’s face… it’s a decent vocal, i suppose, but the arrangement really accentuates the fact that this performance is anti-climactic… by the way, he’s wearing black shoes and they’re not suede… Randy says that some of it sounded alright, but not all of it… Ellen gives him an A for effort… Kara likes it because it kept him out of his comfort zone… Simon disagrees and says it was what it was… frustrating and karaoke-ish…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… Siobhan is rocking the Elvira hairdo for the show… scratch that, the Adam Lambert hairdo… she’s singing Suspicious Minds and raising suspicions that her weirdness is all one big act… anyway… we get the screaming back… and i actually like the second half of this arrangement… took a little long to get to it though… felt like a really long performance… Randy says she took some risks and the second half made it worthwhile… Ellen says she looks fabulous and she liked the second half too… Kara says that the two different voices is confusing… Simon says that it was completely different than the rest of the season… she gives him the look of death… he said the first part sucked… in so many words… she argues that she’s so unique, she’s incredibly special… blah blah blah…

now playing: Return to Sender – Elvis

BIG MIKE… singing In the Ghetto for redemption… and i’ll bet he’s already tried one or two of those KFC double-down sandwiches… yeah, baby… anyway… he’s got a good voice as always, but again, it’s kind of a boring arrangement… yes, it’s soulful, and yes it’s smooth, but it’s also exactly what he sings every week… Randy says, sleepy, but hot… Ellen says she’s glad he was saved… Kara says beautiful song, sung well… Simon says terrific no more time…

Katie “The Mouse”… singing Baby, What Do You Want Want Me to Do as a jab at the judges and their continually conflicting advice… i like the horns and i like her vocal for the most part… she really needs someone to show her what soul really is though… that ending was incredibly weak… overall, alright… Randy says it was sassy and entertaining… Ellen talks about it being horny… Kara says… “FACE!”… Simon says it was loud and annoying…

Casey “Sawyer” James… singing Lawdy, Ms. Cloudy and playing up his bluesy element… it almost sounded like someone else sang the first stanza and then he started singing again… he does have the perfect voice for this style, but this is probably the most boring of his performances and i dare say he’s a little shaky on some of these vocals… Randy says it was solid, but not different… Ellen agrees, but it wasn’t that exciting… Kara says that it fell short… Simon says it was a wasted opportunity…

HIT THE ROAD, JACK…

now playing: Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis

okie dokie… that’s a wrap and i can’t say that it played out too much differently than i expected… i’m gonna go ahead and guess that they’ll do a bottom four this week and that it will be Katie, Aaron, Andrew, and Mike… with Aaron and Andrew going home…

what do you think?… who blew it and who rocked the house?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television13 Apr 2010 08:46 pm

i know, i know… it’s incredibly late and you’ve been chomping at the bit for my take on this week’s episode of LOST but i’ve been busy in the past and busier in the past week… all good things though, much like this week’s episode, centering on Desmond and his unique capabilities… happy to see return appearances from Charlie, Daniel, Eloise, and Penny – and not in ways that were expected (necessarily)…

anyway, i’m going to dive right in and try to be shorter than normal on the recap portion so i can, perhaps add more thoughts at the end… (no, really, i mean it this week)… as i did last time, i’ll be putting the “_X” side story paragraphs in italics… off we go…

HAPPILY EVER AFTER…
now playing: Happily Ever After – LOST season six

it starts with an eye… it should always start with an eye… Zoe is waking Desmond up because it’s about time he gets to doing the Island’s business… interestingly enough, he’s been unconscious for three days… THREE DAYS… and now he’s resurrected and he’s back on the island, and he’s not at all happy about it… he’s as mad as the Hell he might be in… he starts beating Widmore soundly about the head with the IV stand… “The Island isn’t done with you yet”…

Jin wants to know what’s up and Widmore says it’s easier to show it than explain it… Zoe takes Jin to the generator room where they’re all set up for experiments… hey, it’s one of the Dharma bunnies… they’re stepping up the timeline because Desmond is awake and he won’t sit still for long… but, we’re not ready, but we’re doing it anyway, but it won’t start… go check the connections… (DON’T GO IN THAT ROOM!)… geiger-like clicks and clacks… probably bad news… let’s watch from the main room… the team idiot finds the problem in the breaker and without thinking, decides to “bring it back online”… Tina- i mean Zoe – freaks out, but he flips the switch and it takes a full minute of shouting “NO” and “TURN IT OFF” for the idiot to actually turn it off… but the damage is done… they all run to the generator room, Seamus brings his gun, which may be physically attached to his arm, only to find the sucker who had to check the connections crumpled up in a corner, fried like mozzarella…

Widmore appears in the doorway, glances at the corpse, and simply asks if they’re ready… awesome… after the jump, they force Desmond into a chair in the middle of the generator room and make sure he’s not wearing any metal. Widmore says he’ll probably be fine, but he’ll have to sacrifice something later on to save the world and all the people he loves… they leave, Desmond starts breaking things, then they turn it on, with some hesitation from Jin and Seamus, apparently the only two left with a conscience… blinding light, screams from Desmond… then clouds… just clouds…

Desmond is staring at the baggage pickup board in LAX, but really he’s staring beyond it… Hurley tells him which carousel to go to… he helps Claire and chats her up, telling her she’s going to have a boy… George Minkowski(from the freighter) is his designated driver… and Desmond seems less than interested in any of the other services George offers… “Guess that’s why you’re the boss’s right hand man, and I’m the… driver”

(so far, this isn’t any shorter than the others…)

Mr. Hume enters the office building and is immediately sent into “his” office. (We’re assuming it’s Widmore’s office, because that makes sense to the story). Immediately, we see a painting of perfectly balanced scale similar to the MiB’s scale on the island. One side contains black meterial, the other white. It actually looks like a cross in the middle, but perhaps that’s just coincidental design. And it is Widmore, and they give each other a big hug.

Desmond stares at a model yacht, perhaps recalling a time when he tried to sail around the world. Widmore is bullying someone over the phone, trying to get someone out of jail. He speaks of an Australian deal and his son, the musician, who wants to combine classical music with modern rock, specifically “You All, Everybody.” Desmond isn’t quite hip to the rock scene, but quickly realizes that he’s going to be babysitting Charlie, the junkie from Driveshaft.

Widmore tries to convince Desmond that he’s living the ideal life – one that is free from family, commitments, and attachments. Desmond replies, noting that he is a “blessed man,” but Widmore retorts that Desmond is more a blessing as an employee, than blessed as a man. They share a drink fo that famous 60-year old scotch. Charles tells Desmond that “nothing is too good for you.” Desmond propses a toast to “cilantro,” or something that sounds somewhat similar to that. I can’t stand cilantro, and i assume he said something else.

We get a nice long mirror-like shot of Desmond as he approaches the courthouse to pick up Charlie. Charlie blows by him, defies a few cars to run him over, and heads to a bar. Desmond joins Charlie in the bar and limits him to one drink. Charlie balks and asks Desmond if he’s happy. He then proceeds to talk about “spectacular love.”

Charlie explains how, in the act of swallowing his stash of drugs, he had a near-death experience on the plane. During that time, he experienced true love. He saw her (Claire) and it was like they had always been together. Desmond looks almost lost in the moment before snapping out of it and telling Charlie to write a song about it. Then they argue about the truth – whether it’s the love that Charlie experienced or the reality that he needs to go do a show and appease Widmore. “There’s always a choice, brotha.”

Des and Charlie are driving to the hotel. “You All, Everybody” is playing on the radio. Charlie starts talking about his dream world again, telling Des that he is pitiable for not knowing the truth. He offers Des the choice between learning what it’s about or getting out of the car. Then, Charlie grabs the steering wheel and Des – for some reason – decides to floor the accelerator as Charlie navigates them off the pier into the water.

Underwater, Des manages to get himself free, struggles with Charlie’s seatbelt, goes up for air and then comes back down to rescue Charlie. Maybe we’ve seen this scenario play out before – I wonder if Charlie knows how to swim in this reality. It gets even crazier as Des tugs on the door and Charlie puts his hand up on the car window, causing Des to momentarily flash back to the underwater Looking Glass station and Charlie’s note: “Not Penny’s Boat.” After a brief time of confusion, Des manages to grab Charlie and pull him to the surface.

Another closeup on Desmond’s eye as a real nurse checks him out after the crash. She asks about hallucinations and he’s somewhat troubled. He insists that he needs to find Charlie, but she makes him go get an MRI to “find out what’s going on inside of [his] brain. The medical assistant makes sure he’s not wearing any metal and offers him a button to push – a panic button that will make everything start all over again. Des lists Widmore as his emergency contact and, while in the MRI machine has visions of his past life, his “real” life. Visions of Penny and Charlie and little Charlie cause him to panic and escape the MRI to go find Charlie, the rockstar.

Unfortunately, the receptionist refuses to give Des any information about Charlie or the room he’s in. Jack walks by and Des recognizes him. Jack recognizes him, too. As Des is asking him for a favor, Charlie in his hospital gown comes tearing down the hallway, seeking escape. Des corners him and they have a few words about who’s showing something to whom. Charlie insists that he wasn’t trying to kill either of them, but that it may take a near-death experience to reveal the reality in which they should be living, the reality with true love. Des, though obviously shaken by this confusing revelation, still tries to strongarm Charlie into getting over to the Widmore’s rock show, but Charlie refuses, insisting that “none of this matters.” Charlie saunters off, telling Des to stop worrying about him and start worrying about Penny – whoever she is.

Des is on the phone explaining Charlie’s harrowing escape to Widmore who is less than enthusiastic. Widmore all but tells Desmond that they are no longer BFFs. Des must go tell Mrs. Widmore in person that Charlie won’t be performing his “bloody concert.” George drives, which begs the question: “Why didn’t he drive Des to go pick up Charlie?” Also, George is kind of an idiot. Mrs. Widmore, by the way, is none other than Eloise Hawking, and she’s incredibly particular about details.

Desmond strolls up under the tent and introduces himself to Eloise, taking her breath away momentarily, before she regains composure and shakes his extended hand. They exchange some pleasantries before Eloise cuts to the chase and asks what crisis must’ve occurred for Charles to send “his best fix-it man” to address her. He all but gulps and explains that Charlie won’t be there to perform with her son. She doesn’t seem concerned at all and extends magnanimous grace that contradicts her reputation, noting that rockstars are unpredictable. Des is stunned that she isn’t angry. She quotes the recurring theme – “What happened, happened.” – and dismisses Desmond without even a second glance.

Ah, but the story has only just begun. As Des is leaving the premises, he just so happens to stroll past the party coodinators in charge of seating as they read through the list of invitees. One such invitee is: “Milton, Penny. Solo.” With perked-up ears, Des asks to see the list, grabs it, and, well, before he looks at it, Eloise swoops in like a hawk(ing) and snatches it away, telling him it’s confidential. He balks and she gets all Taxi Driver on him – “Are you questioning me?” – before ushering him to a different part of the tent. This is somewhat reminiscent of Jacob’s list and the secrecy with which they were divulged. Also of note, someone with long hair is wearing a cool hat and watching this scene unfold (we see the back of his head).

Eloise scares off the caterers and bluntly interrupts Des as he tries to apologize. She tells him to stop (stop what?). “Someone has clearly affected the way you see things. This is a serious problem. It is, in fact, a violation.” Milk-a-WHAT? (sorry) She continues, informing Des that he needs to stop looking for whatever it is that he thinks he is looking. Des looks around and asks if she knows what he’s looking for. She is beside herself as to why he’s looking for anything. “You have the perfect life.” Also, he’s attained “the thing [he] wanted more than anything:” Widmore’s approval. (Interestingly though, he only wanted that approval so that he could marry Penny).

Des asks how she knows what he wants – because she bloody does. Then he wants to know why he can’t see the list. “Because you’re not ready, yet, Desmond.” (Ready for WHAT?) Side note: maybe this is important, maybe not, but after calling him Mr. Hume or Hume, she finishes it off this compelling exchange by dramatically calling him “Desmond.”

George is waiting for Des back at the car and, having previously warned him of Eloise’s reputation, guesses from Desmond’s body language that it didn’t go well. Des asks for alcohol which is available in the limo. He tells George to just drive anywhere when the mysterious man with the hat and long hair knocks on the window. It’s Daniel Widmore and they need to talk.

Des and Dan approach a nearby bench and Dan asks if Desmond believes in love at first sight. He proceeds to describe the first time he met Charlotte (presumably) in a museum where she works and it felt like he already loved her. Then things got weird. Apparently Dan – who is a musician – went back home that night and scribbled out some uber advanced quantum physics equations that could only be understood or developed by someone who had been studying physics their entire life. Again, Des is slightly less than impressed, resistant if you will.

Des asks what it all means and Dan explains that it’s like setting off a nuclear bomb to stop something from happening. “You want to set off a nuclear bomb?” Dan continues to describe the possibility of another life, another world, another reality – the one to which they truly belong – and how for some reason, they destroyed it to create the life they’re currently living. “I don’t want to set off a nuclear bomb… I think I already did.”

Desmond tries to brush it off, but Dan brings up Penny, causing pause. Dan continues to talk about love, knowing that Desmond has felt that love, too, that he’ll understand. Des tries to argue that Penny doesn’t exist, that she’s only an idea. “No, Mr. Hume. She’s my half sister.” Dan proceeds to arrange a meeting between Des and Penny.

At the stadium. The stadium. Running stairs just like Jack and Des used to do. He sees her and is immediately swept away. He approaches as she finishes her workout and introduces himself. As soon as their hands touch, Desmond wakes up on the island.

Only a few seconds have passed and Desmond is fine. Widmore begins explaining that Desmond is vital to the mission at hand, but Desmond interrupts. He understands and he’s ready to get started. Zoe leads him out into the jungle, confused by his sudden change of heart. She thinks his brain was fried, but it doesn’t change that he’s gonna…

Sayid interrupts the conversation, jumping out from a bush and killing the two henchmen accompanying Zoe and Des. He pulls a gun on Zoe and tells her to run. He doesn’t have time to explain why, but he tells Desmond that “these people” are “extremely dangerous” and that they have to leave immediately. Desmond is complacent and more than willing to follow.

Not sure why, but Desmond wakes back up at the stadium, apparently having passed out from the handshake. (I guess the mainland wasn’t done with him yet). He shakes off the cobwebs and musters up enough courage to ask her out for a coffee. They make plans to meet on the corner of Sweetzer and Melrose in an hour. George asks Des if he’s found what he was looking for. He thinks so. George asks if there’s anything else he needs. Des asks for the manifest from Oceanic 815 so he can “show them something.”

AND THEY ALL…

now playing: Happy Together – The Turtles

…lived happily ever after. By the way, before i do a little bit of speculating – if you look for a coffee shop on the corner of Melrose and Sweetzer, you’ll find (a couple buildings up Melrose) what i think is a hidden message from the writers

anyway, obviously, there’s a new episode on tonight and i didn’t write this whole thing out in one sitting and now it’s crazy late in the game to do too much processing… i do have two quick things to mention that i’ll have to revisit a little later… first, i don’t think Jughead ever went off… the incident was (and always was_ and electromagnetic anomaly… (there are, i believe, implications to that)… and the second thing is a question… why did Locke have a sideways flashback? Perhaps more appropriately, given that Locke is dead, who actually envisioned Locke’s “_X” reality? Was that the MiB’s “_X” timeline? Was Locke always the MiB?

okay, more on all that later… right now, American Idol has started and Everyone Loves Hurley is queued up…

peace… love… bdg…

americanidol&MUSIC&pop culture&television06 Apr 2010 10:47 pm

And… we’re back… with another fine night of American Idol… and by fine, i mean meh, it’s probably fine… pre-picks tonight… Tim, Andrew, and Lee… with Andrew going home… Lennon and McCartney night and that never goes awry… riiight… Paul McCartney kind of plays the dork as he introduces the night and we bounce through the judges and their obligatory compliments for Lennon and McCartney… and i’m way behind so i won’t even comment on the fact that they mentioned the Taurus and then showed a commercial for the Fusion…

BLECH OF NINE TALES…

now playing: Turn the Beat Around – Gloria Estefan

Aaron Aaron… the other contestants call him “Yoda”… like i said, i’m really behind here and he’s pretty much halfway through at least… singing Long and Winding Road… it’s a really drab version of it… and his vocal seems to be held back a lot… he held this last note really well at the end here which was fine… pretty boring, but not horrible… Randy says it was kind of sleepy and could, nay, should’ve been re-arranged… Ellen says it was a long and winding song… Kara says that it seems like the he’s doing the same thing every week… he promises something special next week if he’s still around… Kara tells him to speak into the mic… Simon asks why he picked the song (calling him Sweetie)… Aaron starts to respond without the mic again… Simon says it was old-fashioned before getting rudely interrupted by someone that Big Mike may need to escort out of the building…

Katie “The Mouse”… Katie whores off a prom night to whoever calls in the most votes for her… well, “whores” is probably too strong of a word… but she does do the Single Ladies dance… before singing Let It Be… she looks like she took Christina Applegate’s outfit from Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Dead (assuming that i remember the movie correctly)… she’s singing an incredibly old-fashioned version of this song which is again way older than she needs to be picking… vocals are hot though… Randy says it was her best performance ever… Ellen says she won’t be in the bottom three this week… Kara says that she’s confident and she looks and sounds better than ever… Simon says that she got it right tonight… (mostly that she listened to his country advice)… then the panel goes berzerker… and by panel, i mean Kara…

Andrew “The Custodian”… everyone defends his personality… and he’s certainly trying to smile more tonight as he’s singing Can’t Buy Me Love behind the judges table… i would think that would get annoying to the judges… i mean, really, you’re right there, but we’ve gotta watch you on a screen because you’re behind us?… he’s re-arranged the song and it’s definitely a poppy version, which really isn’t his wheelhouse… it’s alright though, but missing his soulful vocals… Randy says it was too poppy, but good… Ellen says you can buy love and then says something else… Kara says, other than the breakdown, he was pretty same old, same old… Simon said it was corny and like a wedding singer…

now playing: We Got the Beat – Go Gos

BIG MIKE… everyone calls him the Hulk and he sings a high note in jest… today, he’s singing Elanor Rigby… i wouldn’t think this plays to his strengths… he better smile a lot… and as expected, this is pretty rough for me… really not a good showing for Big Mike… or the song… i like the strings though… Randy says it could be on the radio right now, today… Ellen says it was awesome… Kara says it was fire… Simon disagrees, noting that it was over the top and more from a musical than a recording… then the table argues and Ellen tries to disappear into the scenery…

Crystal BoSAWX… singing Come Together… and we expect this to be what it is… it’s really good… this is a perfect choice for her, she can scream and play the guitar and get all Alanis on it… which she does… even though she’s (*cough cough*) sick… Randy says yo… yo yo… she’s in the zone… Ellen says she’s running out of ways to tell her she’s amazing… Kara says it’s one of her favorite performances… Crystal glowers back at her with a forced smile… Simon says it was a song that he actually could hear on the radio… Simon clearly wants to call this a season and name her the winner…

Tim “The Partidge”… surprise… everyone likes his smile… he’s singing All My Lovin’ and it’s kind of silly, but i really dig that he’s got it taken down about a half step, kind of jazzy… it’s… again… it’s what can be expected… Randy says as far as Tim performances go, it was a good Tim performance… Ellen says that she liked it and it was maybe his second best performance… Kara says that they’ve been hard on him all season and he did a good job… Simon says screw “Tim” performances… it was a good performance and current and Tim takes his licks like a man…

now playing: Block Rockin’ Beats – The Chemical Brothers

Casey “Sawyer” James… they all make fun of his laugh… and they call him Goldielocks… singing Jealous Guy which i don’t know… it’s a slow song, but he’s carrying it with the help of “his little friend” vibrato… it’s kind of a stirring performance and mostly in tune even… by the way, i think he’s dressed like Al Pacino in Scarface, hence the “little friend” reference… Randy says he was really impressed by how he set himself apart… Ellen says it was his best to date… Kara liked it of course… and Simon says it was the best of the night…

Siobhan MAGNUS VER MAGNUSON… weird, ridiculous, but it works… great… singing Across the Universe, which is kind of a weird song… her mic is ringing as if anticipating the terrible shrieking abuse it’s certain to take… she’s posed like a ballerina Barbie doll and she’s wearing Cyndi Lauper’s skirt from the Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun video… and it’s a slow and controlled performance, no terrible high notes… i was bored, to be honest, but the judges will love them some of this… Randy says she’s unpredictable, but this was a little sleepy, but the tenderness was good to see… she’s an artist… Ellen supports her choice to march to a different drummer… Kara says it was controlled and it was good, but restrained and “polite”… Simon says it was better than last week, or better last week… it was confusing… then that jackass in the back interrupts again… so, they decide to let him come up on stage to give Siobhan a hug and take 15 seconds of fame… yeah, ’cause that makes sense…

Lee “Da Wise Guy”… apparently Lee and Andrew are a gay couple?… right, because guys can’t be good friends… stupid… anyway… he’s singing Hey Jude… and he’s so not doing a good job… i daresay a terrible job… and i’ll say that all the momentum he gained last week with me is GONE… and just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse… he lets some weirdo bagpiper come on stage and honk along with the song… what on earth?… Randy says that guy was funny and that he doesn’t need to be nervous… it was a hot one… Ellen says it was a great job, she loved it… Kara says he looks more comfortable and it had good moments and off moments… Simon says the bagpipes were a bad idea…

YOU GO HOME NOW…

now playing: Beat It – Michael Jackson

yeah, so, well, um… once again, i’m really not too moved or inspired by anyone in particular… i think Casey, Crystal, and perhaps Siobahn should just move on to the finals and duke it out… let’s just cut this season short… i’m a little confused about tonight because i had heard that Adam Glam-bert was going to be the mentor this week… and instead, there was no mentor… which probably produced the same results…

Anyway, i suppose i’ll go with Lee, Michael, and Andrew in the bottom three – Andrew getting the call… How do you see it? am i way off or right on?

peace… love… bdg…

LOST&pop culture&television01 Apr 2010 11:27 pm

still trying to get the ‘ole donkey wheel back on it’s axle… but it’s time once again to sit down with another fantastic episode of LOST… first, though, to continue last week’s theory-ish thing about Richard’s story being a compilation of all the other character’s life experiences… he’s also tied to Desmond, in that they both accidentally killed someone by pushing them such that they cracked open their head… what does this all mean?

i also had something else to say here, but i can’t for the life of me remember it right now, so… let’s roll the film and i’ll get back to it if i can… for reference, i’m going to be using last week’s format and, the “_X” side story paragraphs will be italicized… off we go…

THE PACKAGE…
now playing: The Package – LOST season six

Okay, so we know this is about Sun and Jin, so it’s not surprising that the clips include the money being confiscated at the airport. I was pretty sure that’s why Jin ends up in the freezer, but we’ll see. Other clips include Sawyer’s attempt to snowball Widmore and Hurley telling Richard that he has to stop the Man in Black.

Then we cut to night-vision surveillance of SmokeLocke’s camp, where Sawyer is making small talk with Kate and Jin is redressing his wound. SmokeLocke approaches Jin and talks about the names on the cave wall. He explains that the only way for them to leave the island is with all the people whose names remain on the wall. Then he promises to go find Sun.

Back at the airport, Jin has lost his cash and missed an important meeting at a restaurant. He and Sun check into a hotel, into separate rooms, because they’re NOT MARRIED.

SmokeLocke tells Sayid to watch over the camp while he’s gone and Sayid acts like a zombie. Sayid states that he can’t feel anything – not anger, sadness, or any emotion – and seems to want SmokeLocke to explain this. SmokeLocke simply tells him that it’s probably best, considering what he’s going to have to go through in the near future. This kind of reminds me of when Ben pulled Kate aside for breakfast only to tell her that the coming weeks would be rather unpleasant.

With SmokeLocke gone, Jin steals off in the opposite direction only to be stopped by Sawyer. Sawyer appears ready to let Jin in on the whole submarine plan – if he hasn’t already – but Jin is hellbent on finding Sun and doesn’t trust Sawyer for playing patsy to SmokeLocke. Then come the blow darts. Everyone in camp is hit and passes out, but it’s Jin that they want. They being Zoe (a.k.a. fake Tina Fey) and Team Widmore. And that’s just the opening sequence.

Miles and Lipidus are playing cards, probably Gin, for the purpose of employing a pun. Ben keeps pressing Ilana for what comes next, impatient about waiting and incredulous at her faith in Richard. Miles drops a contender for the episode’s best line, noting that, “Unless Alpert’s covered in bacon grease. . . Hugo can’t track anything.” Sun, though, is not pleased, and she storms off towards her garden at the thought of just waiting and not going out to find Jin.

Jack plays the role of the moderator, trying to sell the idea of being a candidate to Sun. She’s really torn up, though, and not open to any type of explanation that involves purpose, destiny, or anything that doesn’t have to do with her reuniting with Jin. She tells Jack to leave her alone and he walks away, as she begins sobbing uncontrollably.

Jin visits Sun in her hotel room. He has a box and he’s incredibly worried about being seen. He’s on his way to deliver a watch to someone at the restaurant. Sun makes him come in and convinces him that no one will be at the restaurant this late and they can wait anyway, because whoever it is works for her father. Then she opens a shirt button and asks if he’s going to tell her that she needs to button it back up, like he did on the beach, I mean plane. Of course, he’s in a hotel room, a long way from home, with a girl who’s taking off her shirt and he doesn’t want her to button it back up. He’s probably going to bed her soon. So much for the restaurant.

SmokeLocke approaches Sun as she’s replanting the garden and tells her that he’s found Jin and wants to take her to him. She’s not buying it, citing how he slaughtered everyone at the temple. He tries to rationalize it all with her, emphasizing that Jin is waiting, but after a slight pause, she takes off running. He gives chase for a while and, as she constantly looks back at him, she runs striaght into a tree. (She’ll feel that in the morning).

Apparently, the tree collision startled her sleep in another dimension as we find her waking up in bed with Jin back at the hotel. She tells him that they should run away together and he’s not sure how seriously to take that. She reveals that this was her plan all along – that’s why they’re in LA. He’s not sure how that makes him feel and they discuss it a little further until they’re interrupted by a knock on the door. Jin hides in the closet and she loses herself in the mirror. (Ah, the mirror, or looking glass, as it were). It’s Martin Keamy at the door and he’s pretty sure that she’s got something for him so he enters. I should mention that Sun and Jin seem to have no concept of the English language and only speak Korean.

Ben stumbles upon Sun’s body, unconscious under the tree-thing that she ran into. He rouses her and asks what happened. She babbles something in Korean, which Ben doesn’t understand, before saying that Locke was the cause.

SmokeLocke, by the way, apparently turned tail and ran away. He’s now back at his campsite where he’s not happy to find everyone passed out with Jin missing. He finds Sayid crumpled up by the campfire, pulls out the dart, and wakes him up. Sayid explains that they were attacked, but he doesn’t know who it was or, more importantly to SmokeLocke, where Jin is.

Jin is in a room, in a metal chair, that looks familiar. He finds a giant switch and gives it a flip. Oh, yes, this is room 23. This is where they kept Walt and this is where they kept Carl. A room for psychological experimentation on subliminal messaging. “Everything Changes.” “God Loves You As He Loved Jacob.” Zoe shows up and tries to make small talk. Jin tries to leave, but she tazes him, bro. Then she pulls out a map, explaining that they need to find the pockets of electromagnetic activity on the island. Jin signed the map and wrote on it back in Dharmaville in the 70s. Zoe wants answers. Jin wants to see Widmore. That might work out well.

SmokeLocke equips Sayid with a pistol and makes sure that he can swim. Something is afoot. Sawyer is suspicious. Claire is hesitant to leave the island. SmokeLocke tells her that her name was not on the wall. (Methinks that he’s lying). SmokeLocke assures her that she wants to get on the plane and leave the island. She asks about Kate – is her name on the wall? SmokeLocke tells her that Kate’s name has been crossed off, but he needs her to convince three more people to join Team Smokie.” Claire seems jealous. SmokeLocke quotes Faraday, “Whatever happens, happens.”

Sawyer, or “Team Sawyer,” since he’s a desperado, wants in on the plan. Sawyer asks why SmokeLocke needs a boat, jesting at how ridiculous it would be for him to turn into smoke and fly over the water. SmokeLocke won’t let Sawyer in on the heist, but mentions that avoiding Widmore is less important than going to get “one of our people” back.

Sun goes to the bedroom, with Keamy right behind her. She kicks Jin’s shoes under the bed, gives him the watch, and pretends not to speak any English. Keamy’s associate shows up, having checked Jin’s room to no avail. Keamy notices an extra champagne glass on the nightstand and Jin is busted. Keamy is upset about the money, $25,000. Jin and Sun chat in Korean which makes Keamy feel like he’s in a Godzilla movie. He summons the help of… Patchy – minus the patch. He translates and Sun tries to make a deal, taking money from her private account at the bank. Keamy agrees to let Mikhail take Sun to the bank, but Jin is coming to the restaurant. Jin is concerned about their secret relationship, but Keamy assures them that it’s safe with him.

Jack appears to be checking Sun for head lice, while Ben is defending his integrity. Sun has apparently lost her ability to speak English. Jack hopes that it’s temporary, but Ilana is smiling because she sees Richard and Hurley returning to the beach. Richard says it’s time to roll out. “Team Jacob” is on the move.

SmokeLocke rows his boat ashore and winces at the shots fired into the sand at his feet. He promises “Team Widmore” that he comes in peace. Widmore shows up and they have a bald-headed standoff. There’s a great shot of the two of them on opposite sides of the pile-on fence, reminiscent of when Darth Maul was seperated from Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars. Maul is agitated and paces angrily, but Qui-Gon waits patiently for the door to disengage. Anyway, SmokeLocke says he wants Jin back (queue the Jackson 5). Widmore has no idea what he’s talking about. SmokeLocke throws Widmore’s own words back in his face. “War is coming to this island. I think it just got here.”

Jack doesn’t seemed thrilled about following Richard’s lead and he demands some answers. Richard, now wearing Isabella’s necklace, explains that they must find out where Locke is, beat him to the plane on Hydra and destroy it. Sun is not at all interested in destroying that plane – she wants to get off the island. But, she’s still speaking Korean and Richard wants to know why. Jack explains that she was running away from Locke when — “He came back here? What did he want? What did he say?” Sun calls him an idiot and says that she has no intentions of saving the world or leaving the beach, apparently, which may make it difficult to find Jin. It’s okay though because no one has any idea what she said. They do know that she’s angry because she stomps off to brood. Hurley eases the tension, suggesting that she doesn’t want to come along.

Sun and Mikhail are at the bank and the account manager or whatever they’re called seems to think there’s a problem. No money in the account. No account. Sun is convinced that no one else even knows that it exists, but yet, her daddy transferred all the funds to an account in Seoul. Omar manhandles Jin as he’s stuffing him into the freezer. Keamy straps Jin into a chair and sends Omar (the Arab) to go pick up “the Arab.” Keamy is convinced that Jin can’t understand English, so he tells Jin that the $25,000 was his fee for “popping” Jin. Mr. Peck knew about the relationship and was none too happy about it. Jin says “Thank You,” revealing that he knows some English and that he’s aware of what’s going on. Keamy apologizes, straps duct tape over Jin’s mouth and says he wasn’t meant to be with Sun.

Widmore is chewing Zoe out for picking up Jin too soon. Apparently, they had a tight timetable. Jin is coming around the corner as Zoe tells Widmore that a Geophysicist doesn’t make the best mercenary. “What’s done is done.” Widmore sends Zoe to get “the package” from the submarine and take it to the infirmary. She sighs, leaves, and Widmore apologizes to Jin. Jin says he know who Widmore is, but wants to know why he was kidnapped. Widmore hands him a digital camera recovered from the Ajira Airs flight. It’s full of baby pictures that bring Jin to tears. Widmore understands that Jin wants to be reunited with Sun and their daughter and explains that if Locke gets off of the island, everyone will cease to exist. It’s time for Jin to see the package. And it’s not a what, it’s a who.

Jin, in the freezer, hears the muffled version of Sayid’s shootout with Keamy and crew. He starts freaking out at the gunshots, but then seems surprised that someone with a gun has survived the shootout and Sayid bursts through the door and rips the tape off of his mouth. Sayid doesn’t know why Jin is where he is and apparently doesn’t care, but is sympathetic enough to leave Jin a boxcutter and a chance to free himself. Later, Mikhail shows up with Sun and finds all the lights off and Keamy’s crew laid out. Keamy is still alive and when Mikhail asks him what happened, Keamy has enough bitterness remaining to call him an idiot.

Jin’s got a gun trained on the back of his head. There’s a silly little showdown that ends in a struggle, the gun inadvertantly going off in a classic fight-for-the-gun-and-accidentally-shoot-someone-you-care-about scene. Really, LOST? Anyway, the gun gets knocked away and Mikhail grabs a knife, but Jin has the conch, i mean gun, and fires away. YES! Mikhail got shot in the eye. He’ll be Patchy in the casket. But, on a serious note, somehow Sun was accidentally shot during the fracas SHOCKER! But wait, it gets worse, it looks like she was shot in the belly, which means that she was probably pregnant. Yep. Sorry LOST, that was perhaps the most cliche scene i’ve ever seen on the show.

Sun is sitting on the beach gazing out at the waves rolling in under the moonlight. Jack plays the role of counselor again. This time, he tells a story about one of his early patients who actually lost their ability to speak after an accident. However, though he couldn’t speak, he could still write. Jack hands Sun a pen and pad. She can write in English, too. Jack proceeds to pull out a tomato from Sun’s garden – a stubborn tomato that refuses to die, even though everything seems aligned against it. Sun scribbles “Sorry” on the pad, an apology Jack shrugs off. He asks about her encounter with SmokeLocke and she tells him that Locke has Jin and she doesn’t trust him. But she does trust Jack, who promises to get her and Jin off the island if she comes with “Team Jacob”.

Sawyer approaches Kate in front of a campfire. Both of them are worried, but Sawyer hides it well. He’s got a feeling… that tonight’s gonna be a good night. No, he’s got a feeling that it’s all going to be over soon. He’s hoping that Widmore managed to kill off SmokeLocke, but he doesn’t even have time to reflect on saying that out loud before SmokeLocke appears in the background, alone. Sawyer greets SmokeLocke harshly and learns that Widmore denies having Jin, no one believes Widmore is telling the truth, and Sayid is on a secret mission to find out what was locked away in that sub. Sawyer broods and exchanges looks with Kate as SmokeLocke walks towards the center of the camp.

Zoe and another guard are dragging a doped up body up the dock towards the shore. Sayid is being all Navy SEAl offshore and, as the duo from “Team Widmore” drop “the package” facedown on the dock, he and one Desmond Hume exchange glances. DESMOND IS THE PACKAGE! Apparently, the island wasn’t done with him.

UNPACKING…

now playing: Sun – mae

okay, so that was an episode filled with highs and lows… predictable at times, but also fulfilling in some sense… we got some further confirmation that the goal is to keep Smokey on the island or else face complete and utter disaster worldwide. That is, if you can trust Widmore. And i suppose that’s the real question. Who can you trust?

It’s good to see Desmond return to the mix. I’m sure that will play out in an interesting fashion. I had a feeling he was locked in that room on the sub – since it’s been stated several times that the “rules” don’t apply to him, and he’s been in the credits all season long. Can’t wait to see what purpose he has and how it will relate to finding all the electomagnetic pockets on the island. It would seem that there’s more to Widmore’s plans than just containment, if he’s searching out these pockets. Another interesting question that has to be asked now involves the status of Penny. Is she still alive? Arguments for her living is that someone must be watching Charlie while Desmond is gone and Widmore used the present tense when he told Jin that he “has” a daughter. Arguments for her being dead is that Ben tried to kill her and Widmore managed to kidnap Desmond.

Moving on… Something that struck me as i titled this entry was the (possible) significance to the names Sun and Jin. Since this show has a history of black and white, i couldn’t believe that this never dawned on me before. Sun clearly brings to mind images of the sun, warmth, renewal, light. It’s also used sometimes as a reference to Christ, the morningstar. Jin, on the other hand, can refer to demons (depending on your religious persuasion). Specifically, in the Islamic faith, the Jinn refers to a race of beings that were created along with the angels, predating Adam. The Jinn are often believed to be powerful, created from fire, and most often, evil in nature.

This sets up an interesting dichotomy – or potentially at least a rather sad scenario. Could it be that Sun and Jin will be pitted against one another at some point when the war comes? Or could it be that they are, in fact, the Adam and Eve characters – either the originals, whose skeletons were found in the caves or their replacements, since there seems to be a whole lot of that going on. I think the only way they can be pitted against one another is if Sun is convinced somehow that Jin has been possessed and even then, i’m not sure she’d be swayed against him. And if they are Adam and Eve, then the show quickly becomes about how to reconcile the good and evil that is within each of us and live in peace together.

Okay, that’s just about all i have for now, except that i remembered what i was going to say earlier. It’s really stupid, but since i brought it up, here goes.

Alternate dialogue for the opening sequences of Ab Aeterno: I’m Richard. Look at me. I’m in the shadows. Did you know that we’re all dead? Did you know this island is actually Hell. Look around. I’m flapping my arms like a bird. Look at Jack. Now look back at me. I’m walking through the jungle with a torch. Look at Hurley. Now look back at me. I’m on a horse. I’m Richard Alpert and I smell like a man, man. (I told you it was stupid.)

More thoughts and theories and such another time. if you just can’t get enough and/or want a recap without the sarcasm, as always, check out LOSTexplained and see what Robin thought of the episode. But don’t leave without letting us know what you thought of the episode. What did you get out of The Package?

peace… love… bdg…