Apr 27, 2010

Saints Announce UDFA Signings

The Saints have announced their list of undrafted free agents. The list includes an LSU Tiger, Mel Kiper's favorite long snapper and a guy who painted his face for games and went by the nickname "ManKind." The 14 players will participate in rookie mini camp May 7-9. Most of these players' best shot will be making the practice squad, but the Saints have not hesitated to keep UDFAs on the active roster and give them playing time. Just look at Pierre Thomas, Jonathan Casillas or Jo-Lonn Dunbar among the examples.

Here are the Saints newest rookies:
  • Jason Beauchamp – Linebacker, UNLV
  • Chris Bell – Wide Receiver, Norfolk State
  • Carlos Brown – Running Back, Michigan
  • Brandon Carter – Guard, Texas Tech
  • Harry Coleman – Linebacker, LSU
  • Christian Ducré – Running Back, Mississippi State
  • Junior Galette – Defensive End, Stillman
  • Clint Gresham – Long Snapper, TCU
  • Ryan Hamilton – Safety, Vanderbilt
  • Chris Ivory – Running Back, Tiffin
  • Jay Ross – Defensive Tackle, East Carolina
  • Brandon Sharpe – Defensive End, Texas Tech
  • Joe Tonga – Guard, Indiana (Pa.)
  • Marcell Young – Cornerback, Jackson State

Apr 26, 2010

Saints 2010 Draft

Here's a look at the players the Saints selected in this year's draft:

Round 1, pick 32: Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State
As I mentioned the other day, this selection initially raised some eyebrows. But the Saints have a plan and they went with their top rated player, which turned out to be a trend in this year's draft. The Saints are a team that looks to the future (not the future as in this season, but the future as in 3-4 years down the road) when they draft and most of this year's selections were made with an eye toward the future.

Round 2, pick 64: Charles Brown, OT, USC
Charles Brown was another surprise pick, one that even surprised the Saints. They had no plans to take a tackle early, but Brown represented great value at the end of the 2nd round. Many mock drafts had him going in the first round, and the Saints figured he'd be long gone by the time they picked. Brown may be the eventual replacement for Jammal Brown, who is looking for a long-term deal. All three of the Saints left tackles are only under contract for this season, with Jammal Brown still yet to sign his restricted free agent tender. So Charles Brown may be more of a need than fans realize at this point.

Round 3, pick 95: Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami (Fla.)
Jimmy Graham is an interested prospect. He only played one year of college football, after playing on the Miami basketball team. He is still raw as a football player, but he has all the potential in the world. Now it will be interesting to see if the Saints can fulfill that potential.

Round 4, pick 123: Al Woods, DT, LSUAl Woods was a fast riser leading up to the draft. After not fully living up to the expectations fans had for him when he was recruited to LSU, NFL scouts fell in love with him at workouts. He has the size and the tools needed to be a good defensive tackle, but once again the Saints need to make sure he fulfills that potential. He should definitely see time in the d-line rotation this season, as the Saints played a number of players there last year.

Round 5, pick 158: Matt Tennant, C, Boston College
Another pick with an eye to the future, the Saints traded back into the draft to take Matt Tennant. Jonathan Goodwin has been a solid center since he gained the starting position, but almost everyone realizes that this area could be upgraded. Tennant will be able to learn behind Goodwin for a year or two before being asked to anchor the line.

Round 7, pick 239: Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State
Sean Payton is a QB guru, and he likes to have a project or two to work with at the position. This year he'll have a right hander in Chase Daniel and a lefty in Sean Canfield to groom as Drew Brees' understudy. Canfield was one of the more accurate QBs in the nation last season but he only had one full year as a starter. A project QB is worth a later 7th round pick.

Apr 23, 2010

Saints Select Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State

The Saints raised some eye brows with the first round pick, Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State. The surprise wasn't that the Saints went defense, that's the area that most saw the team targeting. The surprise was that they chose a corner, perhaps the deepest position on the Saints defensive roster.

But after putting more thought into the selection, it isn't as much of a surprise. In free agency, the team addressed their biggest need at defensive end. That left them to choose the best player they felt was available at 32. As Coach Payton mentioned in his post 1st round press conference, corner is a tough position to fill and it's a major need position for everyone. You can never have enough corners, and even with the Saints depth there last season, they still had to sign Mike McKenzie and Chris McAllister to fill in.

Robinson also gives them more flexibility in the secondary and a guy like Malcolm Jenkins could see time at safety now. As every team, the Saints are happy with their selection and feel that they are a better team with the first rounder on board.

Apr 22, 2010

The Last Recruit

If I were to sum up "The Last Recruit" in a few words, I'd say moving right along. While the episode had no big wow moments or shocking revelations, it was a busy hour of moving the plot along toward the series end, just about a month from now. This episode was all about putting our Losties together in both the sideways world and on the island. Now that they are together, what happens next? Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a couple of weeks to decide since Lost takes a week off next Tuesday. Boo!

Flash Sideways Story
We pick up after Desmond ran down Mr. Locke. Ben accompanies Locke to the hospital in the ambulance, but he doesn't know much about him and is unable to answer most of the paramedic's questions. He didn't even know Locke's first name.

As they arrive at the hospital, they are rushed inside at the same time that Sun and Jin arrive (after Sun was shot in "The Package.") Suddenly, Sun recognizes Locke and says "It's him." Didn't seem like she felt good about recognizing him. I wonder if sideways Locke really is big, bad Man in Black? That seems to be what Sun was feeling.

This puts four of the main players at the hospital (Sun, Jin, Locke and Ben). Jack later joined them when he was called him for emergency surgery on Locke. Looks like Jack's the top surgeon, as Locke is in pretty bad shape, so they called in the best, Dr. Jack Sheppard. Jack recognized Locke, but it was unclear if he recognized him from the airport or "another life, brotha."

Jack arrived at the hospital with his son, who had joined him for the reading of Christian's will. There were a few surprises at that will reading. Firstly, Desmond had convinced Claire to speak to an attorney he knew, since she was going to an adoption agency. That attorney turned out to be the not blown up (at least in the sideways) Ilana. Ilana immediately recognized Claire's name and brought her in for the will reading. Desmond did his job and put the Sheppard kids together again.

Jack was surprised to learn he had a sister, and it wasn't clear if Claire knew Christian was her father before or if she had just learned this bit of info. Locke's arrival at the hospital interrupted the will reading, and Jack went into saving/fixing mode.

The other segment of Losties that came together were Sawyer and Kate, when Sawyer questioned her at the bureau. Actually, Kate did just as much questioning of Sawyer. Then Miles interrupts and points them toward the recent incidents at the restaurant. Their bad guy = Sayid. Miles and Sawyer arrest Sayid at Nadia's, and my guess is that he'll soon be booked and introduced to fugitive Kate (though she claims she didn't do any murdering in this time line).

That makes Group A now at the hospital and Group B at the police station. Hurley and Desmond are aware of the otherside, but aren't with either group ... yet. I wonder how this will all come together now that the major players are back together? Does Desmond still have work to do? Is his next stop Margaritaville to recruit Lapidis? Or perhaps its a coffee date with Penny?

The Conversation
Jack and Man in Black finally come face-to-face and have the conversation we've been waiting all season for. Jack feels him out a bit and gets the reason why he has taken the form of John Locke: basically Locke was stupid. He thought the island brought him there for a reason and pursued it until it got him killed. Thanks to Jack for bringing his body back in a wooden box. Man, the more the show moves on, the worse original Locke gets raked through the mud. I'm still holding out hope that there will be a happier resolution for the former box man.

After Jack beats around the bush a bit, Man in Black asks him straight up what he wants to know. Jack asks him about seeing his dead father on the island after they first arrived ("White Rabbit"). Man in Black confirms that he had taken Christian's form to show them where to find water and tries to convince Jack that he's always been trying to help them.

This brings up an interesting question. Were all of the appearances of Christian Sheppard really the Man in Black? Another Lost blog, Zap2It's Guide to Lost, has been throwing around the theory for a few years that there are two Christians. Knowing what we know about Man in Black (and that's not much), the two Christian theory looks more and more plausible. Since Man in Black can't leave the island, another "Christian" made appearances on the freighter (to Michael in "There's No Place Like Home") and at the hospital (to Jack in "Something Nice Back Home"). The appearance to Jack is the one where the smoke detector kept going off, which fans had speculating that it was really the Smoke Monster. Could the second Christian be a trapped soul, like Michael and the rest of the whispers? Or perhaps, the second Christian was Jacob himself? We don't know yet if Jacob could take other forms, but I'm betting he could.

Jack is the new Locke
On their way to Hydra Island, Jack has a bad feeling about this and tells Sawyer that they were brought to the island to do something. Jack says that the island isn't done with them, but Sawyer is having none of this crazy talk and tells Jack to get off his boat. Jack apologizes for getting Juliette killed (feels like so long ago now, but its only been a few days) and takes the leap of faith and jumps off the boat. Jack has completed his full-circle turn and is the new John Locke. He's faith is fully in the island and the reason he was brought there. Out of all the candidates, Jack is the one fully embracing Jacob's calling.

Deal's Off
Sawyer and his group arrive at Hydra Island, but they don't get the reception they'd hoped for. We finally got the drawn out Sun and Jin reunion, and Sun regained her ability to speak English, so that means less captions for us to read as there probably won't be much Korean spoken on the island anymore with both of them fluent in English now. I thought that's how the episode would end, but nope, another curve ball.

Zoe radios to Widmore and tells Sawyer the deal's off. The conman has been conned. Widmore starts to bomb Man in Black on the main island, and we're left to wonder what's his ultimate plan. He didn't send the freighter to rescue the Losties, and it looks like he's not there to help them this time either.

Jack's with him
Jack told Claire early in the episode that he hadn't made his choice to join team fake Locke yet, but with Man in Black saving him toward the end of the episode, he tells Jack that your with me now. What are the implications of Jack now seeming to team with the dark man? I still think Jack is the ultimate candidate to replace Jacob, so now that the groups have split up, Jack can keep Man in Black trapped by his decision not to leave the island.

Is this good news or bad news, since Man in Black had told Jacob that he would kill his replacements so he could leave? My feeling isn't that he'll kill Jack though. I think he sees Jack as the most influential of the candidates, and he's one that can convince the rest to follow him. Now Man in Black just has to convince Jack to do what he wants and not what Jack wants. Could this involve a certain teenage son that Jack could have in a sideways world?

Other Tidbits:
Was it just me or did Claire keep changing in the episode? It may have been just the order that they filmed the scenes, but some scenes she looked more dirty and disheveled and other scenes she seemed more like the old Claire.

Claire knows that it was Man in Black who was posing has her father. I think she knows a lot more than she's been leading on.

Seems like Sayid is changing too, and I don't think he killed Desmond as he told Man in Black. I think Sayid is realizing that Man in Black can never deliver what he's promising, and he's having second thoughts for joining him.

Jack recognized Locke from seeing his reflection in the mirror in the operating room. Another mirror reflection in the sideways time line.

No update on Team Richard this week. Wonder what's going on with them as they travel to Dharmaville and then ultimately to Hydra Island?

Other Recaps and Analysis of "The Last Recruit":
Next on Lost: "The Candidate" on May 4

*Photos from Lost-Media.com & losteastereggs.blogspot.com

Drew Brees is on the cover of Madden

Saints quarterback Drew Brees will grace the cover of the new Madden. The official announcement is set to come later today.

This year, the cover athlete was voted on by fans out of Brees, Jarad Allen and Reggie Wayne. Fans will have mixed feeling about this because of the "Madden Curse," but this is great news for Saints fans and shows that the Saints and Brees are now at the top of the NFL marketing machine.

Who would have thunk it a few years ago with the Saints were a middle of the road team with a history of losing. The Saints are now on top of the world. They are world champs and rank #1 in merchandise sales. WHO DAT!

Update: Here a video with Brees promoting the game:

Apr 21, 2010

Saints Schedule Released

Sept. 9th - Vikings - 7:30pm
Sept. 20th - Saints at 49ers - 7:30pm (Monday night)
Sept. 26th - Falcons - noon
Oct. 3rd - Panthers - noon
Oct. 10th - Saints at Cardinals - 3:00pm
Oct. 17th - Saints at Buccaneers noon
Oct. 24th - Browns - noon
Oct. 31st - Steelers - 7:20pm (Sunday night)
Nov. 7th - Saints at Panthers - noon
Nov. 14th - bye week
Nov. 21st - Seahawks - 3:05pm
Nov. 25th - Saints at Cowboys (Thanksgiving) - 3:00pm
Dec. 5th - Saints at Bengals - noon
Dec. 12th - Rams - 3:05pm
Dec. 19th - Saints at Ravens - noon
Dec. 27th - Saints at Falcons 7:30pm (Monday night)
Jan. 2nd - Buccaneers - noon

Hornets are looking for a new coach

This guy:is no longer the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets. Jeff Bower stepped in as coach after Byron Scott was fired earlier this year, but he is now returning to his GM duties, which means he'll help select his own replacement.

The leader in the club house for head coach has to be New Orleans native Avery Johnson. Johnson would be a fan favorite, and he looks to be interested in the position. I think it would be an upset if the Hornets go in a different direction, but crazier things have happened.

Apr 20, 2010

Pre-Draft Saints News

The NFL schedule comes out tonight, but Commissioner Goodell gave an early preview by revealing the Saints Thursday night opening opponent, and it wasn't much of a surprise. The opener will be a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, Saints vs. Vikings. I'm sure the league is confident Brett Favre will be the Vikings QB, and Saints fans would love nothing more than to see Favre harassed on the Super Dome turf once again.

In other news, the Saints have signed DE Jimmy Wilkerson to a one-year deal. Wilkerson, along with Alex Brown's signing last week, gives the Saints solid two-deep depth at both DE positions, and it also removed DE as one of the top needs in the draft. The Saints are now more inclined to take the best player available, with a strong emphasis on OLB, DT and safety.

Update: The Saints are also playing on Thanksgiving day! The Saints will play at Dallas, according to WDSU. The Saints will also have nationally televised games against the Steelers on Halloween, at San Francisco and at Atlanta.

Apr 14, 2010

Everybody Loves Hugo

Action? Check. Surprises? Check. Explosions? Double Check. Forward moving plot? Check. Answers? Check. We are now entering the homestretch of Lost and episodes like "Everybody Loves Hugo" are exactly what fans have been yearning for all season. Lost is now hitting its final season stride, and it should be an interesting ride.

Flash Sideways Story
As with last week's Desmond's story, this week focused on another character remembering his previous life. This week's sideways story focused on millionaire Hugo Reyes (Big surprise since the episode is titled "Everybody Loves Hugo"). The episode started with Hurley being recognized for his philanthropic efforts and none other than a rather young looking (considering his DHARMA timeline in the 1970s) Pierre Chang, who has two working arms, is honoring Hurley for his giving to the museum.

Hugo's mom is in attendance and when they leave she tells him the episode title that everybody loves Hugo, expect the ladies. Not to worry though, Mrs. Reyes has a blind date set up for him. You just knew that this Rosalita would be someone we already knew, right? Well, not so fast my friend.

Turns out Rosalita doesn't show up but a flash from Hurley's (island) past does in the form of Libby. Libby wasn't his blind date, but she wanted to know if he remembered her. He didn't at the time, and then Dr. Brooks shows up to take Libby away. Yep, she's in Santa Rosa Mental Institute, where Hurley was never a patient in this timeline. You following all this? Good, because it got way awesome from there.

Hurley is eating away his sorrows at Mr. Cluck's when Desmond David Hume shows up to give him a little bump. Desmond tells him not to give up so fast and to find out where Libby remembers Hurley from. So Hurley visits Libby at the mental hospital and asks her out on a date. Yay! We finally get to see their picnic, only 4 years later.

Libby gets a feeling right away that they were on the date they never had. Hurley still doesn't remember anything until she leans in and kisses him. Just like Desmond seeing "Not Penny's Boat" written on Charlie's hand and then flashes of his life with Penny, Hurley sees his time on the island with Libby and tells her that he remembers, that she's not crazy. A pleased Desmond is seen watching them from his car in the distance.

So once again love is used to break away from the sideways world and remember the island world. I wonder how this will work for all the characters? Do each of them have a love interest in the other time line to snap them out of it? Let's see. Jin and Sun have each other and Ji Yeon; Kate has Jack or Sawyer; Sawyer has Juliette or Kate or Clementine; Jack has Kate (but he also has a son in the sideways, who he loves); Sayid has Nadia in his life in both time lines, but what about Shannon?; then there's John Locke. He has his love, Helen, in the sideways world, but he was alone and is now dead in the island world. What to think of his situation? Well, Desmond helped muddy it up a bit this week.

At the end of the flash sideways, we see Desmond watching John Locke from the parking lot of his school. Dr. Ben Linus shows up and questions Desmond about his watching the kids, but Desmond easily dismisses him by saying he has a son and is checking out schools in the area. His son? Charlie. So does sideways Desmond have full memories of his island time line life now? He not only remembered his son, he knows his name.

After Ben leaves, Desmond backs up the car and starts after Locke. I thought that it would be similar to his conversation with Hurley earlier where Desmond would try to get Locke to remember his old life, nope, not this time. He steps on the gas and runs down the wheelchaired John Locke and flees the scene. OK, wow!? I'm not sure where this is going or why Desmond did this. Does Locke need to die in both time lines? Does Desmond remember Locke as the Man in Black? Certainly Locke will be brought to Jack's hospital. What will happen when they meet again? Will Jack save him and restore his ability to walk? So many questions, so few episodes of Lost left.

Hurley's the Man Without a Plan (Part 1)
Back in the island time line, Hurley takes charge after Michael appears to him on Boone Hill (the island graveyard). Michael warns that he has to stop the group from trying to blow up the plane. If they blow up the plane, a lot of people will die, and it will be Hurley's fault because people are listening to him now.

People started listening to him even more because ...

The Island is Finished with Ilana
Ilana is ready to go to Hydra Island to finish the mission of destroying the Ajira plane. She has four sticks of dynamite and is ready to man the outriggers (finally the outrigger scene from "The Little Prince" right? Nope.) Hurley tries to talk her out of it, but Ilana has trained her entire life to protect them and this is the plan Richard has come up with. She reiterates that they must stop that thing and sets her pack down forcefully, and BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! There goes their island protector as millions of Lost fans' jaws hit the floor.

Wait, Ilana can't be gone. We haven't gotten her backstory. What about her being all bandaged up in the hospital when Jacob came to see her? What about her saying she's been training her entire life to protect them? Do we just forget about all that? Team Darlton have said that the only things answered on the show are the things that the characters themselves will be asking about. Do you think they will wonder about Ilana's backstory now? I doubt it. At least Hurley can see dead people. Maybe Ilana comes back that way.

It's Ben who later points out that the island was done with her. He wonders what will happen with the island is finished with all of them. Good question Ben. Maybe you end up in the sideways world teaching high school.

Hurley's the Man Without a Plan (Part 2)
Back to Hurley and his non-plan, plan. After Ilana is given the Arzt treatment, Hurley looks through her tent and finds a small bag (Jacob's ashes?). Richard wants to go get more dynamite, and Hurley agrees that's what they should do. Jack questions it because he made a promise to Sun that he'd get her off the island, and Richard says he wished he hadn't made that promise. Hurley tells Jack to trust him, and they make for Black Rock.

Once they arrive at Black Rock, Hurley is no where to be found. Was he abducted by the Others? Nope, he's just pulling a John Locke circa season 3 and blowing something up. This time, it's Black Rock. I question how Hurley was able to get so far ahead of the group, but that's not really important. What's important is that the group soon splits into two separate teams.

After Hurley is unable to prove to Richard that he's following Jacob's orders (Richard keenly points out that Jacob doesn't tell people what to do. Remember, Jacob is a free will kind of guy), he, Ben and Miles make for the DHARMA barracks to get grenades. Jack, Sun, Frank and Hurley stick together to go talk to Locke (Man in Black).

On their way to find Locke, Hurley wonders what they should say to him and asks how do you break the ice with a smoke monster. I guess the rest of the group filled Jack and Hurley in on the whole Locke=Smoke Monster business.

The Whispers or +1 For "The Island is Purgatory" Theorists
As they are walking to meet with Locke's group, the infamous whispers start up and after almost six seasons, Hurley figures out what they are. He calls out for Michael and confirms that he and others like him (those who can't move on) are the whispers. So are the whispers all of the people who have died on the island or just certain people like Michael, who have a checkered past?

After thinking about this reveal, I like that it was made, and we finally got an answer, but the way it happened on screen seemed kind of thrown in there. After all these years, Hurley suddenly realizes what these sounds are and then comes right out and asks Michael, and Michael provides an answer. So unLost, but I guess in season 6, answers must be given so the Lost way of being vague is now giving way to straight forward answers.

My other thought on this reveal is that it gives credence to the island being purgatory theories that were shot down years ago. While the entire island isn't purgatory, having some characters unable to move on after dieing sounds very purgatory-like to me.

The Package

Sayid returns with the package, aka Desmond. Desmond was tied to a tree, but Locke soon unties him, since there's nowhere to run. They have a great conversation (any conversation involving Desmond is a great one). Desmond shoots straight with Locke, but it seems like he knows a little more than he's leading on. He tells him about the electromagnetic test and that he knew what it was from experience. Locke asks him if he knows who he is, and Desmond replies John Locke. I wonder if he really thinks he's Locke? Is Desmond aware that the real John Locke died?

Locke says that there's something he wants to show Desmond. He offers his hand, and Desmond takes it (the touch?). On their way, they both see a boy in the jungle. Is this the same boy from before? This time he has browner hair. Locke says to ignore him, and the boy just smiles before leaving. Who is this kid? Why can certain people see him?

Locke brings Desmond to a well similar to the one that was at the Orchid location. He tells him that there are many of these on the island, and they are very old. At certain spots, compass needles started to spin (electromagnetism?) so people dug these wells by hand for answers. My first thought was that there was the frozen donkey wheel beneath that well, but he said there are many wells on the island. Locke said they didn't find answers and that Widmore doesn't want answers either. He wants power. He asks Desmond why he isn't afraid and then pushes him down the well.

I have to admit that as soon as I saw them at the well, I figured Desmond would get thrown in. I do wonder though, how much of what he told Desmond is true? Is Widmore only back for power? If so, then how will Desmond help Widmore? What's going to happen to Desmond now? Is he near a pocket of electromagnetic energy at the bottom of the well?

The Meeting with Locke
Finally, Hurley's group meets up with Locke's group thanks to Michael pointing them in the right direction. Just as Locke told Sawyer earlier, Jack, Sun and Hurley showed up. Man in Black seems pleased that everyone is together and his plan can move forward. Jack on the other hand had a look on his face like "I knew I was going to meet Locke, but I can't believe I'm seeing Locke again ... what is going on here?!?!" There next conversation will certainly be an interesting one.

So where do we go from here? Man in Black can start moving his plan forward. Desmond is stuck in a well, but I have a feeling he's right where he needs to be. Richard's group is still determined to blow up the plane. Widmore still has Jin, so we're still in for a Man in Black/Widmore showdown.

Next week's preview was awesome, not only for teasing the episode but for its use of Gene Wilder's "Willy Wonka" speech. Gave me chills.

Other Tidbits:
Richard asks Hurley to get Jacob to tell him what the island is. Back in "Ab Aeterno," Jacob told Richard that the island is like a cork in a wine bottle.

Desmond tells Man in Black that there's nothing special about him, but I think both Desmond and Man in Black know that's not true. I think Man in Black knows exactly what/who Desmond is and why Widmore brought him to the island. I'm just not sure Desmond knows exactly why yet.

Jack has lived his life as Mr. Fix It, but now he's realizing he can't fix everything, especially bringing Juliette back. He knows he needs to let go. With this new line of thinking, I'm leaning more and more toward Jack taking Jacob's place.

Sun's still having her issues with speaking English. She writes a note to Frank asking if they made a mistake (sticking with Hurley). Man, Frank has been underused this season.

Michael told Hurley that if he ever sees Libby again to tell her he's sorry. When Hurley started to remember their past together during their picnic, I thought he was going to tell Libby that Michael says he's sorry.

I wonder how long Man in Black has been on the island. Its obviously a long time, and I can't wait to find out more about his origins.

Did Hurley have the required mirror/reflection shot this episode? It could have been when he was looking at his dinosaur award, but it seems like there would be something more obvious.

Other Recaps and Analysis of "Everybody Loves Hugo":
Next on Lost: "The Last Recruit"

*Photos from Lost-Media.com & losteastereggs.blogspot.com

Apr 12, 2010

A look at the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is a week from Thursday. That's right, Thursday. The NFL decided to move this year's selection event to prime time, and it will be televised over three days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

I'm not sure how I feel about this change. I enjoyed the weekend-long NFL Draft, but this new format might make it more exciting. With breaks after the 1st and 2nd/3rd rounds, teams will have more time to restack their boards, and we may see more teams trying to move up at the start of the 2nd and 4th rounds.

Looking at the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, the team has picks in each round except the 5th, and they will pick in the last slot (before compensatory selections) of each round. Here's a look at who a few mock draft have the Saints taking in round 1:

Week 9: Lost Blogging Collective

This week's Lost Blogging Collective tackles four questions:

1) What one aspect of Lost turned you from a 'normal' fan into a 'hardcore' Lostie?
2) What are some of your favourite Lost-related websites?
3) How will Desmond, the package, the constant, the variable, feature in the final showdown?
4) Who is the father of Alt Sun's Alt child?

Check out the responses at Super Duper Stream.

Apr 8, 2010

Saints Sign DE Alex Brown

Get ready for more Gator chops in the Big Easy, Saints fans. Yesterday the Saints signed former Chicago Bears DE Alex Brown, who went to college at Florida. DE was a big need for the Saints and most mock drafts had them taking an end with their first pick. Brown's signing fills the whole left by Charles Grant's release (I'd argue that there was still a hole there when Grant was on the roster) and allows the team to be more flexible in the draft. They may still select an end, but they can also look at defensive tackle, safety or linebacker (which is the biggest need now with Scott Fujita going to Cleveland).

Jason Heyward is the man!

Apr 7, 2010

Happily Ever After

Lost fans have learned over the years that Desmond-centric episodes always deliver...always. "Happily Ever After" was no different in my book. Its format basically mirrored "Flashes Before Your Eyes," with minimal on-island story then a lengthy flash story. The difference here is that "Flashes Before Your Eyes" showed Desmond's consciousness flashing into his past, while "Happily Ever After" showed him flashing into the sideways world. And that's the surprising part. Despite being about 75 percent sideways story this week, I still enjoyed it.

Since most of this episode was a flashsideways, I'm first going to give an overview of Desmond's sideways life, then do my usual question analysis afterward. With Desmond episodes, you can never do a conventional recap.

Flash sideways story

We first see Desmond in the sideways examining the Oceanic board at the airport. Notice that he saw his reflection in the glass. Of course you did. We're all on the look out for mirror glances in these flash stories. Turns out Desmond works for Charles Widmore, as his right hand man, which was pointed out by his driver ... none other than George Minkowski (remember him? He died on the freighter because his consciousness was jumping through time and he didn't have a constant.)

Widmore praises Desmond for having a life void of attachments, no family and no commitments. He is free to travel the world. His assignment this time? To watch over the bass player from Driveshaft to make sure he makes it to his wife's charity event. Widmore's son is a musician and wanted to combine classical music with rock. Of course we knew who his son was, but wasn't it great to see Daniel again?

Spectacular, Consciousness Altering Love
This is the point that this episode went from being another "what if" type sideways story to pedal to the metal, this is what we've been waiting for, the sideways world and island world are connected awesomeness. Now if we could only wrap our brains around this and figure out what's going on or where this is heading.

Charlie asks Desmond if he's ever felt spectacular, consciousness altering love and tells him about the time he felt it ... on Flight 815 coming back from Sydney. Turns out, Charlie didn't try to kill himself in the bathroom, but he was trying to eliminate the evidence, i.e. his stash since he knew there was a cop sitting with a woman in handcuffs (Kate). When the plane hit turbulence, he choked on one of the bags. When he was choking, he saw her, a beautiful blond. They were together, they've always been and always will be together. He experienced this type of love, but then Jack revived him. Now, we know why Charlie was so disappointed that Jack didn't let him die. He had seen himself with Claire and wanted to stay with her.

I'm not sure how to interpret what Charlie experienced. If Jack had let him die, would he have been with Claire forever? He couldn't have gone back to the other timeline, could he? I mean, with him being dead in the now flooded Looking Glass Station and Claire being the new Rousseau, how would that work out? Is there a 3rd option for our Lost players? An option where Charlie and Claire could live happily ever after?

Charlie Shows Desmond
Charlie takes it upon himself to show Desmond what he saw, by grabbing the steering wheel and crashing the car into the water. After the crash, Desmond escapes, but can't free Charlie right away. He goes down again to save him, and Charlie awakens and puts his hand up to the window, causing Desmond to have a vision of Charlie in the Looking Glass Station with "Not Penny's Boat" written on his hand. The vision passes, and he saves Charlie (remember when he used to save Charlie every episode?).

They are brought to the hospital, and Desmond is not sure how to answer the doctor's question about hallucinations, after the "Not Penny's Boat" vision. He wants to find Charlie, but they bring him for an MRI instead and while in the MRI machine, he has another vision of Charlie and then sees images of his life with Penny, his spectacular, consciousness altering love. He ends the MRI and runs out to find Charlie, but no one is helping him. He even asks Jack, who remembers him from the flight, but then Charlie comes running down the hallway.

He catches up to Charlie (who says he's running because no one here can help him), and they have a great conversation. Desmond wants to see Charlie's hand, and Charlie realizes he saw something. He asks him what he saw? What's he looking for? All Desmond wants to know is who's Penny? Charlie tells/asks him, you felt it? Then delivers a line that could fuel fans questions about the flash sideways. Charlie says, "This doesn't matter. None of this matters. All that matters is that we felt it."

So was Charlie talking about the whole sideways timeline when he said it doesn't matter? What is Charlie going to do now? He told Desmond to stop worrying about him and start looking for Penny. Is Charlie going to start looking for Claire? What triggers these glimpses to the other side? With Charlie and Desmond, was it their near death experiences?

The Widmores
Desmond is tasked with telling Mrs. Widmore that he couldn't deliver Charlie Pace. Of course, Mrs. Widmore turned out to be Eloise Hawking, who seems to know what's going on once again. Remember, she knew what was happening when Desmond flashed in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." She isn't angry with Desmond about not delivering Driveshaft and tells him, what happened happened. Where have we heard that before?

As Desmond is leaving, he overhears the guest list, including Milton, Penny, which catching his attention. Mrs. Widmore refuses to let him see the list and pulls him aside. She tells him to stop and questions the way he sees things. She tells him its a violation (of what? The rules? Who makes these rules?), and he needs to stop looking for whatever he thinks he's looking for. She tells him he has the perfect life and has attained the thing he most wanted, Widmore's approval. She tells him he can't see the list because he's not ready yet.

Man oh man, why does Eloise always have to talk so vaguely? She always delivers huge mythology points, but most of the time, fans can't decipher what's she's saying. She has mega inside information on everything that's been going on, both in the original timeline and in this new one, but we aren't sure what her purpose really is yet. What we do know is that Desmond still remains one of, if not the, most important person on the show and that Eloise and Widmore know what he has to do.

Daniel Widmore
Once we learned that Widmore's son was a musician, I was hoping to see Daniel Faraday again. Surprisingly we didn't, but we did see Daniel Widmore. Daniel and Desmond have another great conversation, and we learn that Daniel has been experiencing the same things that Desmond and Charlie were experiencing. Daniel asks Desmond if he believes in love at first sight and tells him about a red head at the museum (Charlotte) who he saw and felt that he already loved her. But then things got weird.

After he saw her, he wrote a quantum mechanics formula, even though he's only a musician. Then he starts talking about releasing a huge amount of energy, like a nuclear bomb, and questions if this wasn't supposed to be their lives. He wonders if they changed things, and he feels like he already set off a nuclear bomb. He realizes that Desmond felt it too. It = love, and he loves Penny, who is Daniel's half-sister. I found it interesting that Daniel didn't just say, I can tell you where you can find her, but he said where and when. The when stuck out to me with all the whibbly whobbly, timey whimey stuff that's been going on (extra points to anyone who gets that reference).

So what do we make of Daniel and Desmond's conversation? Is the key to the other side love? Desmond and Charlie saw "it" when they had near death experiences, yet Daniel felt "it" after seeing Charlotte, who was eating a candy bar at the time (shout out to her dying moments in "This Place is Death"). Where does the huge amount of energy being released and Daniel jumping to the nuclear bomb conclusion come from? Did he get that idea from his friends looking over his equations? When he pulled out his notebook, I thought he was going to show Desmond a page saying, Desmond Hume is my constant.

Desmond and Penny Meet ... Again

Desmond finds Penny running in a stadium, just like he and Jack were in "Man of Science, Man of Faith." As soon as Penny Milton(wonder why she has that last time, who could be her mom?) touches his hand, he goes back to the island, which we'll wrap up in a bit.

Why'd her touch flash him back to the island timeline and cause him to faint in the sideways one? What flashed him back to the sideways timeline after he left with Sayid? Was that just a vision that he'd already had?

We flashback to Desmond and Penny after he fainted. Penny asks if they've met before, and they end up making a coffee date. Desmond returns to the limo and asks George to get him the flight manifest because he needs to show them something. Is this the something very important that Widmore needs him to do? Did Widmore bring him to the island, not to affect the island events, but to affect the sideways world? How and why does he jump to the conclusion that he has to show the 815 passengers something? Daniel wasn't on the plane but still felt "it."

On the Island
The island events pick up right after Desmond is brought off the sub in "The Package." Desmond is the only person to have survived an electromagnetic event, so Widmore wants to see if he can do it again.

After one of the redshirts is killed by the electromagnetism, Desmond is brought in the room, and the generator is turned on. Desmond is knocked out, but otherwise unharmed. He wakes up a few seconds later, but his mind had traveled to the flashsideways world so he has a whole new disposition about him. He's eager to help Widmore now and doesn't even want to hear Widmore's explanation. (But we fans sure do!)

Zoe and some more redshirts are walking with Desmond, the group is jumped by Sayid, who kills the redshirts but lets Zoe run away. Why'd he spare her? He tells Desmond that these people are dangerous, and Desmond doesn't hesitate to go with him. Wonder why Desmond was so eager to help Widmore but is now so eager to go with Sayid? Is he just happy-go-lucky now that he's seen his sideways life with Penny or does he know more than the episode showed us? Does he know what his purpose is or why the island isn't finished with him yet?

Other Tidbits:
Widmore said that he will ask Desmond to make a sacrifice. What sacrifice could he be asking? Penny? Charlie? or something larger, like his whole life in the island timeline so the sideways timeline happens?

Desmond met Claire in the airport and mentioned that he doesn't like surprises (hmm, Man in Black doesn't like surprises either). He also tells her he thinks her baby is a boy.

Notice the name of the bar Charlie goes into? Jax (Jack's) of course.

Desmond tells Charlie that there's always a choice, brotha, reinforcing the free will aspect of Lost.

Does "You All Everybody" have a verse or other lyrics? All we ever hear is "you all everybody, you all ..."

In a totally opposite move from "Flashes Before Your Eyes," Widmore shares his MacCutcheon whiskey with Desmond and even says that nothing's too good for Desmond.

Did you notice Eloise's broach (see her pic above)? In "Flashes Before Your Eyes," she was wearing a ouroborus, or a snake eating its own tail. In the flash story she has on two parallel lines with what looks like a star or explosion on each line, causing sections that would intersect the other line. Is this a metaphor for the two timelines?

Last week's episode was an hour-long V promotion with the countdown clock. Well, this week's could have been a Flashforward promotion with Sonya Walger and Dominic Monaghan being so prominently involved.

Other recaps and analysis of "Happily Ever After":
Next on Lost: "Everybody Loves Hugo"

*Photos from Lost-Media.com & losteastereggs.blogspot.com