22 February, 2007

Lost: Winona Forever

Spoilers, obviously.

I consider myself to be a fairly rational and mostly polite person. I try to be kindhearted, even when I'm irritated. That being said:


I have this sinking feeling that by the time this show ends its run we will know everything we never wanted to know about Doctor Jack, right up to the size of the corn in his poo.

I really enjoyed last week's episode, and was kind of bummed that we had to return to the OtherZoo. And while I know that Miami Ink is a popular show right now, pardon me for not considering tattoos to be the most captivating entertainment out there. The fact that we spent an entire episode learning that Jack's tattoos are Chinese for "I may be an arrogant ass but I'm entitled" left me feeling lukewarm.

It also makes me nervous, because I don't like Jack's character. The last two shows--focusing on Desmond and Juliette--left me hoping that we were going to see some character decentralisation with a broader scope. Unfortunately tonight's show with its repeated emphasis on Jack The Lone Leader With Anger Issues convinces me that the writers are still considering him their pet rock. It amazes me that as much as they've tried to make him a deep well--daddy issues, committment issues, mad skillz--the Jack we see on the show is a one-note anger machine. It's as though the only emotional tool he has in his kit is a hammer. No matter what he desires he yells and threatens. The part of me that is a woman is also very bothered by watching him toss Bai Ling's character around in order to get his custom Phuket body art.

As ultimately dull as Jack's body art turned out to be, it did fit with the central theme of the show. The Branding Of Cain theme worked pretty well, even though it was alternately heavy-handed and too subtle. We see Jack 'marked' in his Jackback, and that runs concurrent to the story of Juliette being branded as punishment for killing a member of the Others' tribe.

I have a feeling the true meat of the show was in the story of Juliette's mark. The encyclopedia of symbols tells us that her type of mark is an ideogram from botany used to denote a plant's natural habitat. The symbol is a combination of a fixed star, coupled with a line. The line can either be above, below, to the right or the left of the star. The position of the line indicates the exact earthly position to which the plant belongs. Juliette's brand is a fixed star with a line rising from the top. I haven't been able to verify this yet, but I believe that denotes a southern region.

Knowing that the Others used a fixed-star brand for their mark, it's especially poignant to consider Kyle's conversation about naming constellations with Alex. Obviously some form of astronomy/astrology plays into the Others' culture.

That's interesting and I'm glad to know it, but I wish they could have found a vehicle other than Jack to explore the issue. Even so, it's a far better episode than the ones we were treated to before the break, and I will give them all due credit for that. Let's hope they keep making with the answers. Even the lame ones (like 'what Jack's tattoos mean') are better than no answers at all.


At 7:54 AM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Kathy T. said...

I think you spoke truly about Lost. Jack does seem so loathsome with his bullying and yelling that I can't believe he's the main character.

At 8:34 AM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Malia said...

I thought it was Korean, not Chinese.

(Sorry, I'm in one of my picky moods)

At 9:48 AM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Chance said...

I always enjoy your TV show analysis. I do agree that they need to focus on the other characters, such as the bald dude, the Iranian dude, and the pregnant lady. Sorry, I don't remember names, I started last season, but maybe I just proved your point that they need to highlight those characters more.

At 10:49 AM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Casey said...

The size of the corn in his poo.. hehehe.

I watched last night also and whereas I used to watch the time thinking "No this is going to be over too soon. I need more!" now it's more along the lines of "How much longer before I can go do something interesting". I'm (obviously) pretty unhappy with this season so far for most of the reasons found here and others and only inertia is keeps me tuning in. Oh, and I'm still waiting to see if there is ever a follow up to the final scene from season 2, ie the 2 guys in the arctic research facility that called Desmond's old flame and let her know that they had "found it". It's been nearly a year, and nothing.

Ah well, at least I have Heroes and Battlestar Galactica.

At 8:05 PM, February 22, 2007, Blogger Mari said...

I want to know more about Charlie! I agree-this episode wasn't the best. This month, I watched all of season 1, all of season 2, and then all of season 3 (just this past week on abc.com). I was so disappointed in the first episode that I actually got to watch with everyone else!


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