Apr 30, 2009

The Variable

Wow! What an episode of Lost. Of course, I'm partial to Daniel episodes as he has quickly become one of my favorite characters, which is also the reason why I didn't see the ending coming. Lost is proving that they aren't messing around as the series speeds to an end. With only two more nights of Lost left to season 5, I don't know if I can wait for season 6.

Mommy Issues
Many characters on Lost have been dealing with daddy issues. From Ben to Jack to Kate to Miles, it has become a major theme for the show. Daniel on the other hand, dealt with mommy issues his entire life.

Daniel's mom, Eloise Hawking, pushed her son his entire life to utilize his great mind. She pushed him away from passions like the piano and girls like Theresa. They had a rocky relationship his entire life, and it didn't become clear until the end of the episode what her motives were and what was driving her to be this way with him. So let's get to the best, most shocking point of season 5.

Mother of the Year? Not this year (1977)
Ms. Hawking has been an interesting character ever since her first appearance with Desmond a couple of seasons ago. Even this season, she became the go-to person to get everyone back to the island. Fans were left to wonder how she knew everything she new. Was she a time traveler or someone more important that what we've learned?

At the end of The Variable, all the pieces started falling into place for her. It had been speculated since Jughead that the Hostile named Ellie would turn out to be Eloise Hawking and when Daniel went to the Hostiles camp looking for Ellie, he confirmed it.

After waving his gun around and refusing to lower it when talking to Richard, Daniel received a bullet in his back from none other than Ellie herself. Everything clicked for Daniel at that moment. His mom had raised him and pushed him into science and math to lead him to this point in time. It was his destiny.

And how hard was it for Ms. Hawking to raise her son knowing that in 1977 she would kill him? This is a lady who truly believes "what happened happened" and will do anything for the island, even sacrificing her son. If she didn't have such strong convictions, then why wouldn't she have tried to change things? Why not let young Daniel pursue piano rather than math? Why let him go to Oxford and experiment with time?

She knows that everything has to play out this way. Unlike the audience, she knows what happens next in 1977 and up through present time (when she goes to check on Desmond/Penny at the hospital). With knowledge of these events, she knows that they have to play out in a certain way.

There is going to be much discussion on this event in the Lost universe. I've only scratched the surface because I don't want this blog to turn into a War and Peace sized novel, but this is the event that we've been waiting for. This will start to explain a lot on the show concerning our major players.

No, I am your father ...
I guess Daniel qualifies as having daddy issues too. From what we've seen, he probably lived his life with no knowledge of his father. Widmore reveals that Daniel is his son too and is promptly slapped by Ms. Hawking. We didn't know much about their relationship and some thought they could be siblings.

This confirms that he's Daniel's dad ... or does it? Could Widmore just see Daniel as a son since he's been watching over him? He knows that he winds up back on the island in 1954 and again in 1977, so he funds his research and eventually hires him as part of the freighter crew. Since he's so close to Ellie, would he feel a kinship to her son? I'm probably questioning something that shouldn't be questioned, so I'm going to just go along with Widmore being his dad for now.

It will be interesting to learn more about Widmore and Ms. Hawking's relationship and their falling out. Could their falling out have come over Daniel? Perhaps they fought over letting him fulfill his destiny. I could see Widmore saying he had to do it for the island and Hawking wanting to try her best to change things. When we first see her when Daniel is little, it looks like she was upset. Maybe she had just talked with Widmore and he was pushing her to get Daniel on the right track.

Daniel's Condition
We revisited the scene where Daniel first learned of the Flight 815 crash. Daniel doesn't know why he's crying and is then visited by Widmore (his hair grows a bit longer when Widmore gets there too ... maybe the island gave Charles Rogaine-like abilities). This is when Widmore recruits Daniel as part of the freighter crew. There was a lot of juicy info in their conversation.

Daniel's research has screwed up his mind and he doesn't remember things. He can't remember things from the day before and can't do his research anymore. He's still freaked out about what happened to Theresa, but admits that he tried those tests on himself first. With Daniel being upset about the crash, Widmore admits to him that the crash was staged. He said that he set it all up. Why is he letting Daniel in on this knowledge? Well, Daniel won't remember it tomorrow.

Widmore tells him about the island and how that's where 815 crashed. How does elder Widmore know this for sure? Well, Jack and Kate will likely soon fill him in back in 1977. He tells Daniel that the island can heal him and help him remember. This clears up the scenes from last season where Charlotte is testing Daniel's memory of cards she has turned over. Dan was trying to see if the island really was healing him.

Daniel seems reluctant about going, until Ms. Hawking tells him that she will be proud of him if he goes. How hard must it have been for her to have this conversation with him? I know she had talked to Desmond about course-correcting, so even if she didn't tell him to go, Daniel would still end up on the island, but man, it had to be difficult knowing that she was sending her son to die by her own hand.

The Island in a nutshell
We should soon see Jack and the rest of the group have a sit down with the Hostiles, most notably Ellie and Widmore. They will lay out everything that's going to happen in the island's history that they know about. This will force Ellie and Widmore to make sure everything happens as planned. Events such as Widmore's banishment, making sure Desmond makes it to the island, the purge, the incident, Flight 815, etc. will all be laid out and "destiny" will be put into motion by Ellie and Widmore.

This puts Widmore and Desmond's relationship in a new perspective as well. How much of Desmond's life did Charles know about? He led Desmond to the island but remember how he treated him when he first met him? Was this all part of making sure he gets to the island?

Regarding Ms. Hawking, there still the question about her relationship to the monk at the monastery that Desmond was a part of. How long as see been watching over Desmond?

Square 1
With their DHARMA world falling apart, Sawyer has a meeting of the minds with Jin, Hurley, Juliette, Kate, Jack and eventually Miles and Daniel. Sawyer wants to hold onto the life he's made for himself and Juliette, but everyone else sees that that won't be possible. Daniel wants to go find the Hostiles to find his mother to try to change everything. Sawyer doesn't want to help and when Jack urges Kate to help, the love triangle/quadrangle tension heats up until Juliette speaks up and gives the sonic fence code.

With the only other option being to steal the sub, the group decides to go back to square 1 and head to their beach camp location. This doesn't sound like a very good plan as either the Hostiles or DHARMA would probably pursue them there, but we didn't really get to see how it played out after Radzinsky found out about Phil and the gig was up.

What Now?
Daniel had a plan for stopping the incident, which is now only hours from occurring. He tried to convince Pierre Chang to take action, but Chang didn't believe him. He tried to tell him that Miles was his son, but Miles didn't have his back. So the next option was to visit the Hostiles and located Jughead to destroy the energy source. How would dropping a nuclear bomb be any better? We may never know since Ellie shot him.

So what do they do now? They still have Faraday's journal, but how will they deciper it? This is where Miles comes in. We may learn the real reason that Miles was brought to the island. He can communicate with the now deceased Daniel and figure out what they need to do. Will they be able to prevent the incident or are their actions what leads to the incident in the first place?

It looks like the latter is playing out. The Losties think they are acting in the best interest to prevent future events, but their actions are actually what makes these future events take place. The same thing happened when Sayid shot Ben. He thought he was getting rid of future Ben Linus, but in reality his actions led Kate and Sawyer to bring him to Richard, and Ben was on his path to becoming the future leader of the Others.

The same thing is going to happen here. Whatever they end up doing will lead to the incident, which will lead to the button needing to be pushed ever 108 minutes and Desmond will miss pushing the button in 2004 and boom Flight 815 will crash. What happened happened.

The big question on Lost though will be, can they actually change something? Daniel was starting to believe they could. That will be the focus of the next two episodes (yep, only two left this season), whether they are leading the way for the future to play out as they know it or if they can change something.

Other Tidbits:
When they showed Daniel's music ability, my first thought was that he'll be the one who programs the Looking Glass Station with the Beach Boys song. Remember, Charlie disabled the communications block, and they told him it was programmed by a musician.

Daniel had his conversation with Charlotte. I was thinking to myself that he didn't seem that scary, then he probably scared the crap out of her when he told her that she and her mommy would have to leave and never come back. Yeah, good job changing things there Dan. Another interesting note is that Charlotte's first and last words to Daniel were about her not being able to have chocolate before dinner.

When did Jack learn how to shoot so well? We had the shootout at the O.K. Corral at the motor pool, which didn't really help Sawyer's plan. It seems like they could have found a better way to talk themselves out of that situation instead of it turning into the Old West.

When Daniel foreshadowed his own death by telling Jack that they could die, the camera panned to Kate. I started to get the sinking feeling that Freckles was soon to be a goner.

There are still some questions about Daniel that haven't been resolved. Things like why did he abandon Theresa? What has he been doing in Ann Arbour for three years? Why did he say his mother was wrong about Jack and the group coming back?

Here's a biggie about Daniel, with his limited interaction with Dr. Chang, when would they have filmed this video from Comic Con? The voice in the background sounds like Faraday. So will they address this? Is it not him or will this video not be considered canon?

I was starting to think that Ben didn't hit Desmond, but even though he shot through a jug of milk, Desmond still got hit. I was worried about him for a bit too, but remember the island isn't done with him yet. How does Ms. Hawking know this though? She told Penny that for the first time in a while she didn't know what happens next.

Interesting issue of Wired magazine at Daniel's place:

Next on Lost: "Follow the Leader"

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com & lost-media.com

Post Draft Notes

It's been a busy week for the Saints following the NFL Draft:
  • The Saints and the state of Louisiana have reached a long-term agreement to keep the team in New Orleans through 2025. This is great news for fans and the Saints can be removed from the on-going speculation of which teams could wind up in Los Angeles.
  • The Saints have parted ways with two veteran defensive tackles: Brian Young and Hollis Thomas. These moves don't come as a surprise as Young has battled injuries for years and Thomas has battled weight issues since arriving in New Orleans. The moves free up cap space and open up spots for some newcomers to the roster.
  • The Saints have been busy signing UDFAs since the draft ended. Here's a look at who different outlets have reported the team has signed:
CB Danny Gorrer (Texas A&M)
OG Cedric Dockery (Texas)
WR Chris Vaughn (Louisville)
OT Augustus Parrish (Kent State)
LB Jonathan Casillas (Wisconsin)
WR Matt Simon (Northern Illinois)
C Alex Fletcher (Stanford)
RB PJ Hill (Wisconsin)
RB Herb Donaldson (Western Illinois)
QB Patrick Cowen (UCLA)
WR Ken Harris (Georgia)
CB Reggie Jones (Portland State)

Apr 29, 2009

Hornets Season Just About Done

The New Orleans Hornets season could end tonight in Denver, but it really ended with the team's 58-point playoff loss on Monday. It was the worst home playoff loss in NBA history.

So what's the problem? You can point to injuries, coaching, effort, bench depth, size, etc. Even with those excuses, an NBA team should never get beat in the postseason, at home, by 58 points ... especially a team lead by Chris Paul.

The Hornets flat out gave up in that game and look like a team those knows they are overmatched. I'm not sure what changes will be in store for the Hornets this offseason, but it's clear that some are needed. Guys like Tyson Chandler and Peja should be moved, but with their contract situations, it will be tough to do so.

The main fall guy could be head coach Byron Scott. Scott, who won coach of the year last year, isn't pushing the right buttons on this team. His stubborness with playing young players has left him with a thin bench. A guy like Brandon Bass, who never really got a chance in New Orleans, would look great coming off the pine in this series. It's been a crazy fall since last year's division winning team. This one battled injuries and inconsistency all season.

I'm not sure if George Shinn will make a coaching change after the season, but with the way the Hornets have looked against the Nuggets, he may be considering it a little harder now. There is a guy who Louisianians know pretty well that is available to coach, Avery Johnson. If the Hornets do opt for a change look for Johnson's name to be on the top of fans minds.

Apr 27, 2009

Saints Address Defense in Draft

The New Orleans Saints outlined their offseason outlook with musts, needs and wants. They stuck with musts and needs and focused on the defense in the draft. Here's a look at the Saints picks:

Rd. 1, Pick 14: Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State
Rd. 4, Pick 116: Chip Vaughn, S, Wake Forest
Rd. 4, Pick 118: Stanley Arnoux, LB, Wake Forest
Rd. 5, Pick 164: Thomas Morstead, P, SMU

The Saints did the right thing in the first round in taking Jenkins. He was the top DB in the draft and fills a glaring need for the team. He'll start out at corner but could be tried at safety as well. With Beanie Wells sitting on the board, many draft analysts thought the Saints might go for the RB. They got Jenkins instead, but tried to trade back into the round to get Wells, so they obviously thought highly of Wells. I'm glad they didn't end up trading back because it would have cost next year's first rounder, in what many believe to be a better draft.

In the fourth round many Saints fans thought the team would go with Liberty RB Rashad Jennings, but instead the team stayed on the defensive side and took a pair for Wake Forest. Jennings ended up going in the 7th round, so there were some question marks about him. Vaughn was a good pick and he'll compete at the safety spot as a rookie. Arnoux will provide good depth after playing both middle and weakside linebacker in college. Some felt he was a bit of a reach in the 4th round, but without many picks, the Saints had to take the guy they wanted then.

In the 5th round, the Saints surprised many fans by trading up. They gave up their 7th rounder and 5th next year to take a punter. What?!?! I originally hated this pick because I felt Glenn Pakulak did a good job last year, but the coaches wanted more consistency from the punter. Fans don't get to see practices and aren't privy to gameplans so we have no idea if a punt is kicked in the wrong area or when there's a mistake on special teams like out-kicking coverage. If Morstead brings a bigger leg and more consistency to the position, then I'm fine with the choice. Morestead is supposed have good hang-time and abilty to directionally kick, but he does get kicks block and isn't quick to get the ball off his foot.

All-in-all it was a solid, small draft for the Saints. Mickey Loomis said they'll sign about 10 UDFA, so those names will start coming out in the next day or so. Here's a look at some of the early signings that have been released:

CB Danny Gorrer (Texas A&M)
OG Cedric Dockery (Texas)
WR Chris Vaughn (Louisville)
OT Augustus Parrish (Kent State)
LB Jonathan Casillas (Wisconsin)

Here's a look at some of the grades the Saints draft has received:

Apr 24, 2009

A look at Final Mock Drafts

It's less than 24 hours until the start of the NFL Draft. Draft pundits are releasing their final mock drafts and soaking in all the rumors flying around about what's going to take place tomorrow in New York.

There are trade rumors swirling around teams like the Redskins, Giants, Patriots and Jaguars. Who's looking to move up and who's looking to move back? Names like Mark Sanchez and Tyson Jackson are flying up draft boards. This is what makes the NFL Draft such an exciting event in sports.

Here's a look at what different mock drafts have the Saints doing this weekend:
And here are a few projections for the rest of the Saints draft:
Pick 116:
Pick 118:
Pick 222:

Apr 23, 2009

Jaguars Simplify Their Look

The Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled their new uniforms yesterday in order display a better team identity. The Jaguars' owner felt that they used too many uniform combinations the past few years and it was getting harder to recognize the team.

That's fine, but as Uni Watch points out, it was the team's choice to mix and match all of their jersey/pants color schemes. I agree with Uni Watch as well on the point that these new uniforms are a step back for the Jaguars. The old jerseys looked a lot better than these plain Jane jerseys. They must have looked to the Oklahoma City Thunder when deciding on a generic look.

The tweaks include things such as changing the type for the jersey numbers, adding "swooshes" on the sides of the jerseys and pants, eliminating the full-bodies jaguar from the sleeve and adding a teal tint to the black helmet. At any rate, I think both the Jaguars and Lions, who unveiled their new look earlier this week, didn't do a good job at overhauling the teams' identities.

I usually prefer subtly uniform changes, and think the Lions new look isn't too bad, but they pretty much stuck with the same changes they made a couple of years ago when they added black as part of their color scheme. The new Lion logo is an improvement though. With the Jaguars, they should have just stuck with their original jerseys. The team hasn't been in the league all that long anyway, so just stick to one jersey/pants combination and that would have solved the problem.

Apr 22, 2009

GCO Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is less than a week away. Here's my take on how things will shake out on Saturday:

1. Detroit Lions - Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia
2. St. Louis Rams - Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
3. Kansas City Chiefs - Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
4. Seattle Seahawks - Mark Sanchez, QB, USC
5. Cleveland Browns - Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
6. Cincinnati Bengals - Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
7. Oakland Raiders - Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
8. Jacksonville Jaguars - B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
9. Green Bay Packers - Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
10. San Francisco 49ers - Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
11. Buffalo Bills - Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State
12. Denver Broncos - Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
13. Washington Redskins - Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi
14. New Orleans Saints - Malcolm Jenkins, DB, Ohio State
15. Houston Texans - Clay Matthews, Jr.,LB, USC
16. San Diego Chargers - Everette Brown, DE/LB, Florida State
17. New York Jets - Josh Freeman, QB, Kansas State
18. Denver Broncos (from Chicago Bears) - Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brian Cushing, LB, USC
20. Detroit Lions (from Dallas Cowboys) - Eben Britton, OT, Arizona
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia
22. Minnesota Vikings - Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi
23. New England Patriots - Connor Barwin, LB, Cincinnati
24. Atlanta Falcons - Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
25. Miami Dolphins - Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
26. Baltimore Ravens - James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
27. Indianapolis Colts - Robert Ayers, DE, Tennessee
28. Buffalo Bills (from Carolina via Philadelphia) - Alex Mack, OG/C, California
29. New York Giants - Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
30. Tennessee Titans - Evander Hood, DT, Missouri
31. Arizona Cardinals - Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State
32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Eric Wood, OG/C, Louisville

I really think the Saints will be eager to trade back, since they only have four picks in the whole draft. Teams to watch for that could trade around are Philadelphia, San Diego and NY Jets, depending on who falls around the Saints pick. I think New England will move around as well since they have so many selections, but I don't see them trying to move up ... but you never really know what's going to happen. The draft is crazy and my mock is similar to the thousands across the web. I went conservative and picked mostly on need and top player at a need, so they'll be a lot more surprises than what I've done here.

I think the Saints are targeting Malcolm Jenkins and it's crazy to think that his stock has fallen as much as some would believe. Last year, Saints fans wanted him but didn't think we could get him at #10, then he went back to school. This year, once again Saints fans love him but don't think he'll be available at #14. Before the combine, all the analysts had him in the top 10, now Mel Kiper thinks he could go in the 20s. What a crazy time for Jenkins.

For him to make it to the Saints, there are a couple of teams to keep an eye on. The Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos could also have their eye on him. If he makes it past those two, the Saints need to worry about someone trading up to take him ... someone like New England who is loaded with picks. If Jenkins isn't available look for the Saints to take someone like Aaron Maybin, Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews or one of the running backs (Knowshon Mareno or Chris Wells).

Predictions for the rest of the Saints draft:

Rd 4 (#116) - Brandon Williams, DE, Texas Tech
Rd 4 (#118) - A.Q. Shipley, OG/C, Penn State
Rd. 7 (#222) - Joshua Mauga, LB, Nevada

Apr 21, 2009

Drew Brees is Fairly Accurate

The Lions have a new look

In an effort to distance themselves from the NFL's first 0-16 season, the Detroit Lions unveiled their new look yesterday. They modified the logo to look more fierce and tweaked their uniforms slightly. Saints fans will have the first chance to see the new look Lions in action opening weekend when Detroit travels to the Super Dome on Sept. 13.

They didn't go for the dramatic overhaul that some teams have done recently (Tampa Bay and Denver for example). The NFL is strict about their uniform policy and it takes a couple of years to change uniforms. Ultimately, its done as a money making maneuver, as fans will go out to buy new jerseys and merchandise featuring the new look, but as a local radio show mentioned yesterday, there are other benefits as well.

Many times in sports, a new uniform equals on the field success. Look at teams like Denver, Tampa Bay and New England. After changing their looks, all three soon found themselves in the Superbowl. I'm not saying this will happen with the Lions. Their fans will be happy to just win a game or two this year. After all, one win is a huge improvement from 0-16.

Here's Uni Watch's take on the new uniforms.

Apr 19, 2009

Some Like it Hoth

"Some Like it Hoth" focused filling in the details of one Miles Straum. Going back to the season 1 flashback style, the past few episodes have filled in much of the blanks that season 5 had left. With this season winding down, the show is wrapping itself up nicely and providing answers that fans have long wanted to know. But of course this is Lost, so new questions were raised and new mysteries were presented like someone asking "What lies in the shadow of the statue" off island. I have a feeling that they'll still hitting us with questions and mysteries even after next year's series finale.

Miles Chang? Candle? Wickmund?
This episode confirms that Miles was indeed born on the island and that his father is Pierre Chang. In the season 5 opener, we saw Chang go through his morning routine and part of that routine was tending to his baby, who fans had speculated was someone we knew in the future. Turns out that was Miles.

It's funny that Miles found out he was born on the island from seeing his mom in the lunch room. I guess with all the crazy stuff going on with the island, running into your parents and an infant you isn't that big of a deal, since Miles didn't share it with anyone until he talked to Hurley about it here.

The episode spent a lot of time showing that Miles never knew his father and his mother didn't tell him anything about Pierre. Since Miles is still a baby in 1977, him and his mom likely will leave the island soon, as older Miles has no memories of his father or the island. Pierre has a good relationship with his wife, from what we've seen, and he is seen playing with baby Miles in the episode too. The Chang family that we've seen is different from the one Miles' mom tells him about when discussing his father.

I wonder if older Miles turns out to be the reason that they leave. We know that the purge comes in the 90s, but not to be spoilerish (I post episode titles here anyway), but the season finale in a few weeks is titled, "The Incident."

There's been talk of an incident before on the show and that seems to be the point that something major went wrong. In orientation videos, Chang referenced the incident and seemed to have a prosthetic arm, while in earlier videos (and in 1977) he clearly has two healthy arms. With what we've seen about the building of the Swan and the state of that hatch in the future (with all the electromagnetism built up near it), I think its a safe bet that the incident will involve the construction or early workings of the Swan.

The Ultimate Answer ... 42
Speaking of the Swan, Hurley and Miles got to see the beginnings of that station's construction. When the construction guy is putting on the serial number, Hurley gets another dose of his infamous numbers. Once he says the last number is 42, Miles wants to know what's going on and Hurley tells him that they're building the hatch that will crash their plane (and shape the first two seasons of Lost).

It's cool to see the Swan being built. Turns out its the last DHARMA station to be constructed (from what we've seen so far). Funny that it's the first station that we're introduced to. Radzinsky was so protective of its plans earlier in the season and he is one of the major DHARMA players in its construction. How ironic that the station also leads to his death.

So what makes the Swan tick? We know there's a ton of electromagnetic energy surrounding it. So is that energy Jughead? I think we'll find out soon. Miles was originally brought to the Swan area to pick up a package, that turned out to be a dead body. I thought it was a Hostile with how secretive they were being about the death, but since Miles can talk to dead people, he got the scoop. Turns out the guy was digging and his filling was pulled through his head. Ouch! We know that the wall of the Swan had major magnetic properties and when the didn't enter the numbers in time, all the metal in the station was pulled toward that wall. I guess the dead guy was the first to find that area.

The Empire Strikes Back
The Miles/Hurley partnership has typically provided comic relief and the voice of the audience so far this season. This week they got prime screen time and didn't disappoint. Hurley wanting to re-write The Empire Strikes Back was great, but I have to disagree with him, I like Ewoks. I guess it has something to do with me being four the first time I saw them, but I still enjoy those little guys.

Anyway, back to Lost. With the rationale that what happened happened, could Hurley have really sent George Lucas the script for Empire? If Lucas wrote it himself originally, then Hurley was just wasting his time. I don't really think we're supposed to focus on that anyway, and I think it was Lost's shout-out to sci-fi fans who've watch the show from the beginning, waiting for the craziness that is season 5.

It didn't take long for Hurley to figure out that Miles could talk to dead people. Seems like he jumped to that conclusion pretty quickly. I was surprised that Hurley told him he can talk to dead people too. I know we've seen Hurley interact with the dead such as Charlie and Ana Lucia, but I wrote that off to Hurley's mental state and the island's ability to manifest people. But from Hurley's point of view, he does have that ability. It was funny when Hurley was trying to get Miles to talk about it, and Hurley deciding that his power was better because he could interact with the dead. I hope there's more to their discussions about these abilities.

How exactly can Miles speak to the dead? Is it simply from the fact that he was born on the island or did his dad involve him in any of the island's experiments. We'll likely learn more about this in the near future.

Recruiting Trip
We got to see Naomi's recruiting pitch to Miles and how he joined the freighter group. Naomi brought Miles to a restaurant for his audition. Mile identifies the dead man as Felix and says that he was delivering cemetery photos and the purchase order for an airplane to Charles Widmore. The fake 815 wreckage anyone?

Let's stop here a moment. We're still in the dark about who planting the 815 wreckage. We've been told that's it was Ben and Widmore. With this guy being dead, does it shed any light on who planted the wreckage? I didn't pick up on it, but when I read Felix's page on Lostpedia, they shed some light into how Felix may have ended up a corpse. Remember that Tom showed Michael a purchase order and cemetery photos to convince him that Widmore has set up the 815 wreckage. Just how did Mr. Friendly get those items? Lostpedia says that it was implied that Tom killed Felix for them.

I must be off my game because I didn't make that connection right away, but it does make sense. So was Felix delivering those items because he had assisted Widmore in faking the wreckage or was he delivering those items because he obtained information about Ben setting it up? Or could it have been a new third group? There's no way there's a third group you say ... well read on my friend.

The Shadow of the Statue
After Miles's visit from Naomi, he is abducted by a group in a black van. The group includes a familiar season 5 face, a guy named Bram. Bram is the guy we've seen earlier this season on the Hydra island with Ilana, when they were acting funny after Frank returned from the main island. Bram knew that Miles was going to the island, even though Miles didn't know exactly where they were headed. He tells Miles that he's not ready to go to the island and asks him "What lies in the shadow of the statue?," the same question Ilana asked Frank.

Miles doesn't know the answer and seems to have no clue what Bram is talking about. Bram offers Miles all the answers he's had about his ability and his father. At this point in Miles' life, he's all about cash, so he says that if Bram pays double what Widmore offered, he won't go on the expedition. That's $3.2 million, the same amount Miles asked Ben for on the island, so that mystery is solved. Miles was just trying to get double his current pay.

Bram then kicks Miles out the van and tells him that he's playing for the wrong team. Miles asks what team Bram is on and he replies, the one that's going to win. So is this a new team? He didn't want Miles to go with Widmore's group and he interacted with Ben, so is it safe to assume that this group is not affiliated with either Ben or Widmore? Is this third group tied back to DHARMA or any of the other related entities like the Hanso Foundation?

Ever since Ilana asked, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" to Frank, fans have speculated what the answer could be. Many Lost bloggers have said that season 5 has paralleled season 2 and this type of question was asked in season 2 as well when Desmond asked "What did one snowman say to the other snowman?" as the code question for his replacement in the Swan. Could the statue question be the new DHARMA code question? We shall see.

On another note, Bram and his group were on Flight 316 in 2008. So his group waited about four years after the freighter group left to go to the island. How exactly did they know to get on that flight anyway? Jack and company learned about that flight from Ms. Hawking, could she be playing both sides and alerted Bram's group too? It will be interesting to see this mystery play out.

Other Tidbits
What's the deal with Kate? Did she all of a sudden forget how to play it cool? Roger is definitely on to her. Also, when Roger and Kate shared a beer, the can had the modern flip tab on it. Shouldn't the can have been the older pull tab (the one that pulled completely off the can)?

Count me in the group that when Pierre Chang said the group from Ann Arbour had arrived that it would be the Degroots, who are said to be the founders of DHARMA. Oh well, it was just Dan ... wait, whoa. Dan left the island and has been in Ann Arbour this whole time (the past three years, I guess). I can't wait to see what he's been doing off the island. Is he shaping the future of the island? Did he tell anyone in Michigan that he was from the future? Did he find his mom or anyone else we've come to know? This is an exciting storyline for sure.

The H is O for Sawyer since Miles failed to get the security tape erased. Phil found it and was going to give LaFluer a chance to explain his actions. Instead, he received a knuckle sandwich. How's Sawyer and Juliette going to work this out?

Where has Sayid gone? Will he run into the Hostiles while he's off in the jungle? On that same note, we still don't know what happened with Rose, Bernard and Vincent. Are they in 1977 or the present? Rose and Bernard usually show up for season finales, so we may have to wait a few weeks to see them.

Did you notice the writing on the wall of the classroom that Jack was cleaning? Yep, more Egyptian references.

I may have missed some things, but we have more than a week to keep analyzing "Some Like it Hoth" because they'll be showing a clip show this week. So I'll check out what others have said about this episode and post anything interesting that I see.

Next on Lost: The Story of the Oceanic 6 (Clip Show)

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com & lost-media.com

Apr 15, 2009

NFL Schedule Released

The NFL released the 2009 schedule last night and here's a look at the Saints slate of games:

Aug 14 vs. Bengals 7 p.m.
Aug 22 @ Texans 7 p.m.
Aug 29 @ Raiders 3 p.m.
Sept. 03 vs. Dolphins 7 p.m.


Week 1 Sunday Sept. 13 vs. Lions noon

Week 2 Sunday Sept. 20 at Eagles noon

Week 3 Sunday Sept. 27 at Bills 3:05 p.m.

Week 4 Sunday Oct. 04 vs. Jets 3:05 p.m.

Week 5 Sunday Oct. 11 BYE

Week 6 Sunday, Oct. 18 vs. Giants noon

Week 7 Sunday, Oct. 25 at Dolphins 3:15 p.m.

Week 8 Monday, Nov. 02 vs. Falcons 7:30 p.m.

Week 9 Sunday, Nov. 08 vs. Panthers 3:05 p.m.

Week 10 Sunday, Nov. 15 at Rams noon

Week 11 Sunday, Nov. 22 at Buccaneers noon

Week 12 Monday, Nov. 30 vs. Patriots 7:30 p.m.

Week 13 Sunday, Dec. 06 at Redskins noon

Week 14 Sunday, Dec. 13 at Falcons noon

Week 15 Saturday, Dec. 19 vs. Cowboys 7:20 p.m.

Week 16 Sunday, Dec. 27 vs. Buccaneers noon

Week 17 Sunday, Jan. 03 at Panthers noon

The Saints will have three prime time games: MNF vs. Atlanta, MNF vs. New England and NFL Network vs. Dallas. Here's a closer look at the schedule from the Times Picayune.

Apr 9, 2009

Dead is Dead

I don't know if season 5 has spoiled me or I've come to over-hype any episode centered around Benjamin Linus, but I didn't love "Dead is Dead." I know, I know, it was full of mystery and intrigue, a whole heck of a lot of the islands mysteries were touched upon and some awesome new questions were raised, but I felt some it was cheesy and over the top.

With that out of the way, where do I start with an episode that contained so much craziness?

Something's Up with Locke
With all the Ben/Widmore stuff going on in this episode, I'd like to first talk about John Locke. Ben looked genuinely freaked out that he was alive, even though that's what he thought would happen. Now Locke has all sorts of information on the island and knows exactly where to take Ben to be judged.

I'd hate it if it turns out to be true, but Locke may be Smokey. Just the way he was acting and the stuff that he knows ... this isn't the John Locke that we've grown to love. This version reminds me a lot of one Christian Sheppard. We have yet to learn what Christian is exactly (island manifestation? ghost? Smokey? Jacob?), but whatever he is, I think Locke has joined his club.

Throughout the episode, anytime Ben would go to summon the monster or when we thought the monster was about to appear, Locke was nowhere to be found. While Ben went to summon him, Locke was off in the jungle. What was he doing in there anyway?

I can't wait to see how Locke is going to help Sun to get to Jin, as Christian told her. Will he have to turn the donkey wheel again? Will he find a way to get the 815ers to present day on the island? Will this be the big adventure that season 6 revolves around?

Who you calling boy?
Ben and Widmore's relationship got off to a rocky start when Richard saved him without consulting Widmore. Richard said that Jacob wanted it done, but in the past we learned from Ben that Jacob doesn't talk to Richard. Was that a lie or is there someone else who can speak to Jacob?

From that point on, it seemed to just get worse. Widmore sent Ben and little Ethan to kill Danielle on the beach. This has to take place around 1988/89, so it's pre DHARAMA purge. Interesting that Ethan is with the Hostiles at this time. Instead of killing Danielle, they learned that she had a baby, and we see when Ben stole Alex from her.

When Ben arrives back at the Other's camp, Widmore isn't pleased with Ben not killing Danielle and bringing Alex back to the camp. Ben raises Alex, and this seems to be a point of disagreement between Ben and Charles for a long time.

Later, we learn that Widmore was being banished for deeds such as leaving the island so often and having a child (Penny) with an outsider. Widmore was acting selfishly, and Ben tells him that he'll do anything to protect the island. Both claim to have been doing the will of the island and working toward protecting it, but they disagree on whether the island wanted Alex dead or not.

We know that Alex is eventually killed while Ben was working to protect the island. But who should we believe? Was Ben really sacrificing to protect the island or did the island really want her dead? Since its Widmore's men who kill her, it's hard to tell if the island wanted her dead or if it was Widmore, as Ben said when Widmore was banished.

My Alex
Back to the scene where Ben clumsily stole Alex from Danielle. For a group that supposed to be stealth, Ben's entrance into Danielle tent didn't seem so ninja like. He wasn't aware that Alex was even there and improvised in taking the baby. He told Danielle that whenever she heard whispers in the jungle to run the other way. Is he insinuating that the Others are the source of the whispers?

Judgment Day
Now that Ben has returned to the island, he must be judged by the smoke monster. He said that the Others don't even have a word for it. This led to some awesome scenes underneath the temple where we saw more hieroglyphics and the ancient civilization aspects of the island.

First Ben tried to summon the monster to the barracks by flushing a toilet? pulling the drain? Anyway, the monster doesn't come so they have to go to it. Locke leads them to the temple wall. We learn that the wall was constructed to keep people out and the temple is a half a mile inside. Locke told Ben that they weren't going inside, but rather underneath it (to Smokey's lair?).

Before they go in, Ben tells Sun that if she ever see Desmond again to tell him he's sorry. Once inside, Ben falls through the floor and while Locke goes to find something to pull him up (how convenient that Locke disappears once again before Smokey appears). Ben encounters the hieroglyphics that show Anubis and what we can assume is the smoke monster. Remember most fans speculated that the four-toed statue was Anibis.

Then the monster comes out of the vent and judges Ben for Alex death. As the monster circles Ben, we see scenes of Alex and Ben's life (similar to the scenes of Eko's life, but these were much clearer. After showing her death, the monster leaves back through the vents. This scene also came across as cheesy and over the top to me. Don't get me wrong, I love the smoke monster as much as the next guy, but if this stuff was happening in season 1, I think there would be a lot less Lost fans around.

If the judgment wasn't crazy enough, Alex then appears and Ben apologizes for her death. She becomes aggressive and pins him against the wall and tells him to follow John Locke. If he tries to kill him again, she will hunt him down and kill him. So it looks like the monster forgives him but now he must follow Locke. I wonder if the new, all-knowing Locke is aware of this or will Ben still be able to manipulate John into getting what he wants.

Our Mutual Friend
Back to that apology to Desmond. As fans had guessed, Ben's unfinished business before Flight 316 was to take out Widmore's daughter Penny. Ben calls up Widmore and lets him know exactly what he's about to do, but his plan gets spoiled first when little Charlie Pace comes out of the cabin (Ben always had a soft spot for kids) and then when it looks like he changed his mind, Desmond starts laying into him with lefts and rights and turns Ben's face into ground beef.

Great scene and as much of this episode did, it filled in one of the major blanks on the show. Before we move on though, didn't Ben shoot Desmond? He shot at him and hit the grocery bag. Are we to assume that the bullet missed Desmond's body or can Desmon
d not be shot (just like Michael couldn't die when the island still needed him)?

The Shadow of the Statue

In an episode filled with craziness, why not add a little more nuts to present island time. When Frank gets back to the Hydra island, one of the castaways warns him that Illana and a few others have weapons. When Frank walks up to her, Illana asks, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Come again? Wha? Frank has no idea how to answer, so she knocks him out with the back of the gun.

I think it's safe to assume the statue is the four-toed statue, so it looks like we'll get to see it again or at least its shadow. Also, this group is the likely one that shot at Sawyer and company when they were flashing through time in "The Little Prince." Remember, they had found and Ajira water bottle and took one of the outriggers to paddle to the Orchid. While they were paddling, another outrigger chased and shot at them. Juliette appeared to have hit one of the mystery people, so one of Illana's men may have been shot.

Earlier in "Dead is Dead," Illana and a few others were moving a huge crate. She said it was necessary supplies, when Ben asked her if they needed help moving it. In the infamous words of Brad Pitt, "What's in the box?" It will definitely be interesting to see what this group is up to and why they suddenly changed their personalities. I wonder if the "sickness" got them. It reminded me of the way Danielle group started acting after their encounter with Smokey.

Other tidbits
I guess Caesar won't turn out to be as important as fans thought. Is he really dead though? If he turns out to be an important character, then there's no way he is.

It looks like we can rule out the alternative time-line theory. Since the barracks were in such disarray with Sun and Frank arrived there, many fans thought the future had been altered, but Ben didn't seem surprised at anything at the barracks. It looks like that's just the damage from Keamy and his men's encounter with Smokey.

When little Ben woke up, he didn't remember being shot. Later, when older Ben saw the 1977 picture of the 815ers in DHARMA he was surprised or acted surprised to see them there. Fans are left to wonder how much of Ben's memory has been erased.

In such an intense episode, I laughed a few times at the awesome wigs that Ben and Widmore were sporting in the flashbacks.

Next on Lost: Some Like it Hoth

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com & lost-media.com