Two months after the crash of Oceanic 815, all aboard are found dead in the wreckage in a deep trench near Bali. Or not, because this week they’re back, divided into two tribes—hiders and rescue-seekers—and Lost has four new islanders to obsess over. Let’s meet them:
Name: Daniel Faraday, aka “Head Case” (Jeremy Davies)
As in: physicist Michael Faraday, whose birthday is 22 Sept, same day as the Oceanic 815 crash, Faraday cages.
Hometown: Essex, Massachusetts
Known for: Essex County, where there were witch trials.
Comments: Weepy. Helpless. A lady makes his scrambled eggs for him.
Name: Charlotte Staples Lewis, aka “Anthropologist” (Rebecca Mader)
As in: C.S. Lewis.
Home: Essex, England
Known for: Essex Girls. And C.S. has got two sisters down Romford way. Betcha they’re blonde and wearin’ white stilettos.
Comments: Barged onto a archaeological dig in Tunisia, took credit for finding a polar bear wearing a Dharma Initiative Hydra collar.
Name: Miles Straume, aka “Ghostbuster” (Ken Leung, Uncle Junior’s friend from The Sopranos)
As in: Someplace in Norway. Also, there’s a physicist named T. Straume. Correction! Miles Straume as in “Maelstrom” Vortex. Whirlpool. Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Descent Into the Maelstrom.”
Hometown: Somewhere near Inglewood, CA
Known for: Being the hometown of Jules from Pulp Fiction
Occupation: Medium/Scam Artist. Like we need another con artist on the island.
Comments: Can actually communicate with the dead.
Name: Frank Lapidus, aka “The Drunk” (Jeff Fahey)
Occupation: Ex-Oceanic Airlines pilot and helicopter pilot
Hometown: Eleuthera, The Bahamas
Known for: Pink sandy beaches, drunk foreigners vomiting on pink sandy beaches.
Comments: Can land helicopter in electrical storm. Afraid of cows.
The quartet makes a spectacular entrance via helicopter, right in the middle of an electrical storm (shoutout to Michael Faraday, physicist, he of the Faraday cages, and the explanation as to why people inside cars and aircraft don’t get electrocuted when the vehicles are struck by lightning).
Locke’s group finds Charlotte, the Jacobites end up with the three men—but someone else sends Vincent the dog to the beach with a piece of their gear. (Could the someone else be Jack’s father, Christian Shephard, who communed with the canine in the last Lost mobisode?) What do these four newcomers want? They want Ben—who saves his skin by telling Locke and company that he knows all about the quartet because he’s “got a man on their boat.”
Which makes this covert operation a fiasco, I’d say. And I blame you, Matthew Abaddon, fake Oceanic Airlines lawyer and possible demon gatekeeper of hell, for not preparing your team for the mission to Lost island. And I don’t need any field experience or military training to know that this week’s Lost theme is: you’ve got to have backup.
If you’re diabolically rich enough to hire a freighter—not to mention that sinister empty loft space—why send in only one helicopter carrying a team described by Naomi Fancy Phone as “a head case, a ghostbuster, an anthropologist, and a drunk.” All protected by scrawny Naomi, who was mortally wounded by…a tree. Before being revived and mortally wounded again by a knife to the back. Because no one had her back.
There can never be enough covert special ops plotting for me. I was the little girl in CCD who wondered why, if the Apostles loved Jesus so much, didn’t they get guns and rescue him? As the castaways split up into two groups, one led by Jack and one led by Locke, I expect—no, demand—more skulking around the jungle with guns.
There’s a bit of island comedy as Sawyer, doubting Locke, asks from whom he was getting his orders. “From Walt,” answers Locke. He’s seen Walt—not a ghost, and not in a dream. “I saw him. It was Walt. Only taller,” Locke says.
Yeah. We’ve seen him, too. It’s been a while. That kid has grown. The child actor now looks about 18 years old and six feet tall. “Oh,” scoffs Sawyer. “Who are we to argue with a taller ghost Walt?”
Interesting that Locke basically lied about—or expanded upon—Walt’s not-too-specific message.
Once again, Ben gets a beating, this time from Sawyer, whom he taunts for leaving Kate with Jack: the fan fiction writers will be inspired. As Locke says, “the most dangerous thing about him is his mouth.” Ben looked shocked—scared, even—when Hurley carelessly mentioned the whereabouts of “the cabin” – Jacob’s ghostly house in the woods. Is Ben afraid that Hurley, too, can perceive Jacob, and that he’s not nearly as special as he believed?
Though Lapidus is described by Naomi as a boozy screwup, Jeff Fahey, with scary wolf eyes, spies a fascinating clue in the grossout news footage. Eyeing a closeup of the dead Oceanic pilot’s withered left hand, he excitedly phones the NTSB investgators and declares that the man in the plane cannot be Capt. Norris; Norris always wore his wedding ring – he knows this because he, Lapidus, was scheduled to pilot Oceanic 815 that day.
Who and what to believe?
Now that we’ve seen airplane wreckage, and seen these new characters reacting to TV footage of the wreckage, it’s a shock to see one of them, an ex-Oceanic pilot, convinced that something’s phony. Lost writers can’t resist folding in new characters with previously introduced ones: poor Captain Seth Norris got only a few minutes of screen time before he was consumed by the Smoke Monster. And wouldn’t you know it, he wasn’t meant to be in the seat that day: he was the backup pilot to Lapidus.
You’ve got to have backup. A wing man. Or wing woman. And on a more serious note: About the dead man in the underwater cockpit, whoever he is. No wedding ring? He was single! What a terrible tragedy.
Who are the Oceanic Six?
For me, for now, only two make the list: Hurley and Jack. Hurley tells the cops he’s “one of the Oceanic six” and Jack tells Hurley he still sometimes signs autographs when getting his coffee. Kate appears in a flash-forward scenes—but why would her fugitive status have changed? Mightn’t she try to avoid celebrity, and with her grifter history, remain “dead” by stealing the identity of someone else on the island? There’s little evidence to suggest that the “he” Kate alludes to in the airport scene with Jack is another of the Oceanic Six. “He” could be a young son, her cop husband (Nathan Fillion), or a new boyfriend. Not necessarily Sawyer.
And that man in the coffin? The Oceanic Six are celebrities of a kind. The crash was fairly recent. I find it odd that the obituary, if it came to the attention of both Jack and Kate, didn’t bring out at least one curiosity seeker or bottom-feeding journalist. The dead man was known to both of them – yet he might never have been on the island, let alone on the flight.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay
After walking back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing here.
Eric and I have done a good job this year of only selectively stealing each other’s behind-the-scenes jokes. We have, though, not been polite about stepping on each other’s toes in other ways. Okay, maybe just Eric, who in his impeccable take on the original screenplay free-for-all detailed how the guilds this year have almost willfully gone out of their way to “not tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film.” Case in point: Can You Ever Forgive Me? winning the WGA’s adapted screenplay trophy over presumed Oscar frontrunner BlacKkKlansman. A glitch in the matrix? We think so. Eric and I are still in agreement that the race for best picture this year is pretty wide open, though maybe a little less so in the wake of what seemed like an easy win for the Spike Lee joint. Nevertheless, we all know that there’s no Oscar narrative more powerful than “it’s about goddamn time,” and it was so powerful this year that even the diversity-challenged BAFTAs got the memo, giving their adapted screenplay prize to Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott. To bamboozle Lee at this point would, admittedly, be so very 2019, but given that it’s walked back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing.
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman
Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.
On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)
Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Watch: Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer
Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but that’s poised to change in a big way.
British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its “disarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,” has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But that’s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
And below is the film’s first trailer:
A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.