Something Dead Back Home

Most of the people who wander into this blog are looking for one thing: pictures of the star of Resident Evil without any clothes on. But the ones who don’t get here via misguided Google searches usually mention the “Lost” recaps. I missed last week’s because I’ve been commuting between Strong Badia and Liberty City.

It’s just as well, since last week’s episode, “Something Nice Back Home,” was kind of dull. There are still spoilers though: Jack had his appendix taken out, Claire revealed who her dad was (to the audience, who’d already figured it out anyway), and… Baltar hung out with a bunch of horny women? I can’t remember. Something about Jack being haunted and getting engaged to Kate in the future, too.

This week’s episode, “Cabin Fever,” made up for it by being double plus cool. I started counting “holy crap!” moments, where I actually said, out loud, watching alone in my apartment, “No other show would do something like that.” There was only one of those, but plenty of times I was reminded how cool this show is. Here’s a list!

  • Seeing creepy immortal guys following Locke around his entire, 50s-cliched life.
  • It made me feel mysteriously smart, somehow, when I was able to predict that Locke would pick the vial of salt (sand?), the compass, and the knife before he did it. And that the knife would be the wrong choice.
  • I liked young Locke repeating the old Locke’s “Don’t ever tell me what I can’t do” mantra. I didn’t like it so much that this guy has had the most miserable life imaginable, but it does kind of make you root for his being happy on the island for once.
  • Special-ops guy tries to shoot Michael and fails; I’d already forgotten that the island was keeping him alive.
  • I was surprised to see the doctor up and about on the ship, since I mis-remembered him already getting snuffed in an earlier episode. It was kind of perfunctory how they closed off that time loop real quick — special-ops guy just does not understand the word “hostage” — but I still appreciate the effort.
  • “Lost” has the coolest dream sequences; Locke’s dream about Horace Mathematician is my favorite since Hurley’s dream inside the bunker where Jin showed up speaking English.
  • I wasn’t expecting to see Jack’s dad in the cabin, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to see Hot Claire lounging there, either. I’m still hoping that there’s some point to that, and it wasn’t just there for shock value.
  • Some of this feels like moving pieces around on a game board and having to skip a few moves — what was the point of Desmond just sitting there and watching the climax on the boat take place?
  • In case anybody reading this has access to the writers’ room, could you sneak an index card that says “DANIELLE’S BACK STORY” up on the board somewhere? It shouldn’t be a problem to sneak some explanation in the show, since they’ve got no problem making dead people main characters.

I’ve been plenty frustrated with the series, but every once in a while you’ve got to take a step back and marvel at how such a weird show got to be such a huge phenomenon. Larry mentioned in a comment that they “lied” about its not being a sci-fi show, but really, it’s not. It’s just a conglomeration of pop culture detritus, and sci-fi is just ingrained in pop culture at this point. Treating it as a separate genre just seems kind of weird and dated now; when everybody has a communicator and a robot that’ll vacuum your house, and time travel is a concept that most people can grasp with no problem, what’s to be gained by trying to confine this stuff to some nerdy ghetto?