Two for the Road

Holy shit!

Seriously!

I’m not used to having a television show, even the ones I like, make me genuinely feel anything, but this one hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, just sitting there like I’d just been in a car accident or something, with that feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach and thinking, “No way did that just happen.”

Now I’m even dreading watching the next episode and having to see the fallout. Until then, I guess it’s poring over The Hanso Foundation.org (1-877-HANSORG).

And after all that build-up, the spoiler warning: Seriously — if you’re thinking you might watch “Lost” at some point, skip the rest of this post. It’s for your own good. (And it won’t make any sense if you don’t watch the show anyway, so there’s no use in spoiling it for yourself).

Sure, Ana Lucia I can see. All she really had left to do for the series was have her redemption flashback episode, and she might as well have had a vulture sitting on her shoulder the whole time. (And that’s not to say that I saw it coming; I was totally surprised by it. Just in retrospect, it seems natural.)

But Libby? I thought they said her blood alcohol content wasn’t that high!

So yeah, that’s the obvious speculation — write both the DUIs out of your cast in one episode. And in an episode called “Two for the Road,” even, and with bits about the both of them drinking (Libby wanted wine for the picnic). But is that what really happened? I don’t read any of the behind-the-scenes stuff or gossip sites, so I don’t know. I did think it was weird that both of them got pulled over on the same night; maybe it was the night they found out they’d been written off the show, and they’d gone out to celebrate? I just don’t like to think the writers are being that arbitrary with a storyline they’ve built up to this degree.

Still, if they can make an arbitrary, somewhat petty decision to write actors off a show, and end up with something this powerful, then more power to them. If I were Mr. Eko or Bernard, though, I’d be pretty worried…

I’m not worried that they’re going to leave us hanging as to what Libby’s role in the whole thing is. They wouldn’t have had Hurley remind us all that he’d seen her before. My speculation: she’s totally one of the Others. (Maybe that was obvious after seeing her in the psych ward? Or even earlier?) Michael shot her by accident, after all. She met a Hanso representative while in the mental ward, and was recruited for the Dharma Initiative. Her mission was to bring back Hurley, just like Henry Gale said his was to bring back Locke.

Whether Michael had become one of the Others, or had just made a deal with them to GET BACK HIS SON! (Whose name I forget… starts with w I think). I really hope he’s been turned into one of them; anything less would feel like cheating. And I hope that it’s one of the central conceits of the third season, that he’s now a bad guy.

One of the recurring themes that goes around when people talk about “Lost” is “how long can they keep this up?” and “are they going to end it gracefully or let it go on long past the point of suckitude?” After the last two episodes, I’m thinking it’s got a lot of life left in it. They’re almost done with season two, they’ve still only gone through about two months of story time, and they’re still throwing significant revelations into the mix. Rose knowing about the island’s healing power. Why Hurley was in the mental ward. The lockdown and the map. They haven’t even used up all the stories from the airport ticket counter!

Plus, two seasons and some of the biggest questions are still unanswered, like what caused Locke’s injury. And now, who’s Jack’s sister. I don’t know about anybody else, but I’ve never had a better time being strung along.

Update: According to this interview with the guys in charge (thanks for the link, Rain), the ending of this episode had been planned all along. And for what it’s worth, I believe them. They preface it by saying that it sounds like spin, which would be dumb to draw attention to if it were spin. They’re forthcoming about other changes in the storyline they’ve made as they went along. They did have the plan to kill off Jack in the pilot just for shock value, so it’s an idea they’ve been tossing around for a couple of years now. It does tie in with the themes of this season: Michael and WALT!, the tailenders, Ana Lucia’s whole redemption bit, and how much the Others can infiltrate a group of people. And, it’s coming up on sweeps.

So if true, it means that the fact that the two actors arrested for DUI on the same night have their characters killed off in the same episode, which has a title that alludes to drinking and driving, and shows characters ruining their lives with alcohol, is all just a coincidence. In a series that’s all about fate and coincidence and seeing patterns that aren’t there.

Which is really freaking my shit out.

10 thoughts on “Two for the Road”

  1. I think your Libby theory is a good one….although perhaps she was part of the Hanso Org all along, and her stint in the looney bin was orchestrated by them…I’m also thinking Jack’s father might have something to do with the Hanso Org, too. He’s had SO many interactions with the Losties, it could have been orchestrated…

    Although I do like the idea that all of it is coincidence.

    I’m hoping Libby had something hidden in those blankets. Perhaps a nice steel tray. (Although the actress did sign on to another series, so the prognosis isn’t looking good.)

    Why didn’t Jack and Diane–I mean Kate–call bullshit on Michael’s description of the Others’ camp? Kate saw the fake beard and costume stuff, and told Jack about it. They know the savages thing is just an act, why are they now thinking it’s real?

  2. Man, now I want to go back through this season’s episodes and keep an eye on Libby. When are those DVDs coming out, again? Even if she’s not dead now, she’s not going to last past the end of this season. So there’s not a whole lot of time to tie up all the loose ends. Was she really on the plane, or did she infiltrate it like Ethan and Goodwin? She’s clearly got some connection with Hurley, so why wasn’t she on that end of the plane, or in that camp?

    I can see Jack’s dad being tied up into it all; he’s been in way too many episodes. I hope, though, that even after they’ve explained everything, they leave plenty of stuff down to coincidence. Tying eveything together would either be too neat or too much of a cop-out.

    And I don’t have a problem with Jack & Kate’s seeming to believe Michael’s story. For one thing, even though it’s been two weeks in our time, it’s only been a couple of hours in theirs — you jump to a lot of conclusions when you don’t take time to process everything. They’re still surprised that to see Michael, especially since they went out to the woods to get him and boom there he is. At the moment they still trust him completely, and they’re not going to start poking holes into his story until he’s recovered and they have time to think about it.

    Plus, Kate doesn’t trust people anyway. She kept her discovery secret from everyone except Jack, and only then when they were alone. So she’s not going to reveal too much around other people until she’s got more info and knows there aren’t more spies around (which turns out to be a good idea if Libby does turn out to be a plant).

    Jack is still fired up to take on the Others, and would’ve stayed that way pretty much no matter what, unless Michael had told him the Others had tanks. It wasn’t that Michael’s story was believable, it’s that it was just believable enough to push Jack’s buttons. Just like Henry Gale can push Locke’s buttons, even though Locke knows he’s being manipulated.

  3. I certainly get that Jack would readily buy Michael’s story since he’s so gung ho for a war–hell, he might have even forgotten that by now with all the excitement of Michael’s return. But like you said, Kate doesn’t trust people, why’s she trusting Michael, especially with what she knows?

    I like that the characters all tend to keep certain knowledge to themselves, but sooner or later they’re gonna have to realize a daily island sit-down would probably be a good idea…

  4. I don’t think she believes him or trusts him. I think she’s just had no opportunity to call him on it without revealing too much of what she knows — either to Michael or Locke, or Ana Lucia. Plus, I think she’s curious to put the pieces together, and is finally seeing an opportunity to take action and get some answers, so she’s going along for the ride. Same with Locke.

    And I think the characters’ keeping so much information to themselves is one of the themes of the whole series. It’s why there are so many flashbacks, to remind us that every single person on the island has stuff they’re not telling. It can seem like it’s just artificially padding out the series, but I think it’s only partly that — it’s also the idea of looking at how societies work and how alliances form and people turn on each other and use information as currency.

  5. Wow! Libby one of the others? I never thought of that. In that case, Michaels reaction would make sense. If she was not, he would have to kill her to cover up the fact that he was letting Henry go. Chuch… you are just too smart.

    I think that I am done with the show now. I depends on how long that they drag this evil Michael mole thing out. I have watched 24 from the beginning, and they wore out the whole mole concept for me. Just really don’t like the direction it is going.

  6. I’m really skeptical they’re going to drag out the Michael undercover bit. For one thing, the previews had a segment with Michael standing at the back of the vault, wearing a sling and looking evil. That implies to me that Jack fixes him up, they all find out he’s a bad guy, and lock him inside.

    For another, I think this is going to set up everything that happens next season. My money is on the next season being about the Others just like this one was about the tail-enders, and it’s going to depend on everybody knowing Michael’s a bad guy. I bet everybody finds out before this season’s finale, if not the next episode even.

    I’m with you about 24, though. They lost me with the season where Jack was a drug addict and partnered with Kim’s boyfriend. Was that last season or the one before? I tried catching one episode this season, but as soon as I saw they’d shot the one character I like left in the series, I just gave up.

  7. That was the third season of “24,” and that’s the season that made me give up on the show too. I found myself TiVoing it, and then the moment I’d start to watch an episode, I’d suddenly get the urge to vacumm, or wash the dishes, or do laundry. Anything but sit down and watch the show…

  8. I missed the first season while on TV, so that may have something to do with how I feel about watching season two ‘live’. The first season came highly recommended, so we watched the entire thing about a week before season two started. It was excellent to say the least. For the record, I thought season two was complete crap. Season one had a great premise, great characters, lots of mystery, and *plenty* of story lines. Most all of which were unresolved, naturally.

    Enter season two. From the get-go everything feels like a re-cap, episode after episode. And when it’s not a re-cap, we get a handful of characters I could give less that an ant’s fart for…Anna Lucia. Rodrigez is by far the *worste* actress alive. Want proof? Find any scene in any movie where you see her with any expression other than scowling (head tilted down, eyes looking up). She’s really wretched. Oh, and the ‘mechanical-smoke’ thingy! They only deal with it ONE TIME! True, it was a pretty big reveal, but the characters, by and large are all running around like they don’t ever remember it being there. Remember, they’ve only been there under two months. Would you forget something as horrifying as that in a few weeks? I think not. Even the characters that never saw it, surely heard an earfull of stories from the ones that did, or at least ‘heard’ it. Bah!

    As far as theories go, I’m still in the ‘purgatory’ camp. When I first heard this, I thought it was a cheap idea, especially that I’m not religeous. But I have yet to find any instance that couldn’t be handled by this theory. Everyone has a past. Some ‘good people’ some ‘bad’. All the kids were taken away (too young to have sinned). The Mechanismoke ‘judged’ Echo. I’m a nerd and saw the scene frame by frame on (thetailsection.net) and it was his life that was flashing by in images. The others keep refering to some characters as ‘good’. The revelation that the Big Boss is a ‘great, and unforgiving man’ ala Old Testement style. Anyhoo…

    Season two just had to may re-cap scenarios that were uninteresting. It’s as if I could hear the execs talking to the creators, “Uh, boys, let me tell you something (puffs on cigar), I got for kids going to college. Draw this thing out” The evidence is listed above, and the fact that there are still tons of stories from the first season that were completely dropped!

    Oh, and Jacks sister is gonna be Claire.

  9. Well, to each his own, and you’re definitely not the only person to say that this season has been frustrating pointless filler designed to stretch out the series and make more money for ABC. So I’ll just say that you’re wrong, and “Lost” is the best show ever. Why do you hate America so much?

    But seriously, I don’t agree at all; I think this season has been a hell of a lot more interesting than the first, where it’s all getting really interesting. I also watched the whole first season over a couple of weeks, so I don’t think it’s all just in the timing (but I do think that watching it all in one go isn’t nearly as cool; you miss out on all the time having to speculate and wonder about the details.)

    And I don’t know what are the tons of storylines that have gotten dropped. The smoke monster? They’ve dealt with it twice — once with Eko and once where Locke almost gets dragged down into a hole. They haven’t resolved it one way or the other, but how can they? What are the islanders going to do? Go after it? Once they do, how do they fight a smoke monster? They haven’t forgotten it — Hurley’s mentioned it, and they moved to the beach to get away from the Others and all the other stuff that can threaten them. But there’s not a whole lot they can do except be scared and miserable about it. We saw with the tailenders’ story what happens when you can’t do anything except huddle in darkness and be scared and miserable, and that didn’t make for gripping TV.

    So what are the other stories? The radio? It’s broken. Rousseau? She shoots you if you get too close. The Black Rock? Nothing valuable except dynamite. I guess you could say they dropped the ball with Jack and Ana Lucia’s army against the Others, but you could just as easily point out they got distracted by Henry Gale’s appearance and now Michael’s re-appearance. I don’t know what they’ve dropped.

    The full-length recap episodes have been annoying, but it’s better than a repeat and it’s a necessary evil. This is when the show’s getting really popular, and they’ve got to have a way to get caught up without having to watch the whole thing from the start. As for re-caps within an episode, I haven’t noticed it — pretty much every one I’ve seen has resolved SOMETHING or introduced a new mystery.

    And I gotta say I think Jack’s sister being Claire would be almost as big a cop-out as having them all be in Purgatory. She’s the obvious choice, and if they were to reveal it now, then it would just seem soap-opera, like they’re making up the story as they went along. To pull it off, they’d need to have put more clues in from the beginning. I’d rather they just made it a completely new character.

  10. Ok, maybe they only dropped a few story lines. Or maybe they didn’t drop any of them at all. But that’s not the point. The point is that I’m frustrated. Let me explain.

    First of all, I understand drama and that a writer has to create conflict, so I don’t really blame them for setting up circumstances for that to occur. But I think they rely too much on characters refusing to talk. Locke, who only reveals his wisdom or advice when pressed…and then it’s cryptic at best. Sawyer is too cool to talk. Jack is too busy to talk (and you aren’t smart enough to understand anyway). Hurly doesn’t want to trouble anyone with his past (you wouldn’t undertand anyway). Anna Lucia is too much of a bitch to talk, Kate has too much of a past to talk. Michael can’t talk about anything but “WAAALT!!” Almost any conflict that arises on the show could be solved if they all simply told each other what was happening. Perfect example: tell everyone that Michael came back! Everyone would be elated, come to welcome him back, and then he wouldn’t have been scared to shoot anyone.

    Yeah I know, then we wouldn’t have had any conflict at all, making it a boring show. I guess my point is that it’s frustrating to watch at times, when you are on your couch think, “come on! just say something to joe blow!” etc. You get my point. I’m still watching the show like the bitch they have made me, but I’m really thinking about not watching next season. Or maybe I’m thinking about how I would not like to watch next season.

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