I finished last night’s LOST episode, “Dead is Dead” (04/09/09).  I won’t post a recap/summary (unless necessary for a point I am trying to make) or any theories because there are enough blogs and websites dedicated to those topics, but here are some of my questions and observations from last night’s episode:

1. First of all, I was plagued throughout season 4 in noticing that Penny (played by Sonya Walger) bears a striking resemblance to some other celebrity, but could not figure out who. It was not until early in season 5 that I put my finger on it: John Travolta. I don’t know if  it is the eyes, cheekbones, similar femine demeanor, or what, but every time Penny is on screen, I can only image her exclaiming “Sandy! in a British accent.  I brought this observation up to some friends recently and even produced pictures of each actor, but I was dismissed as crazy.

Until today.  My wife received this email from a co-worker who was involved in that conversation: “Ok, I can kind of see the Penny – John Travolta thing.”  It is a small statement of pseudo-agreement, but a huge victory for my celebrity matching self-esteem.

2. Ben is certainly becoming more and more intriguing to me as we slowly discover his soft, compassionate side — particularly his mercy towards mothers with children. In last night’s episode, present-day Ben says to Jin, “Find Desmond Hulme and tell him I am sorry…he’ll know why.” This statement is then followed by a flashback of Ben walking on a dock to kill Penny, and I was disgusted by his savage disgustingness.  Then, he is redeemed as we see that he reacts to Widmore’s daughter (and grandson) the same way he reacted to his ‘own’ daughter 20 years earlier — and that earlier move had terrible implications on Ben and Charles’ relationship. I wonder if this consistency and mercy from Ben will resolve some of the animosity between the two (assuming his phone call with Charles just moments earlier did not do irreparable damage already).

Either way, I find myself conflicted: is Ben a decent human being worthy of sympathy and compassion, or is he a manipulative monster who should be loathed and condemned? Or both?  Just another example of brilliant writing from LOST’s crew.

3. I am very interested in seeing how Ben’s orders/threat from Alex the Smoke Monster (A the SM) to loyally follow Locke will unfold.  He seemed genuinely shocked and in awe at the end of the episode, when Locke reappeared with the vine.  His orders/threat from A the SM seem to have been set up by a statement from Locke earlier in the episode. I don’t remember the exact quote, but Locke, responding to a barrage of questions from Ben about where they were going, says something to the effect of, “It’s not easy to blindly follow someone on the basis of a leap of faith without knowing answers, is it?”  Thanks to A the SM, it seems that blindly following someone (Locke) on the basis of a leap of faith is exactly what Ben must do from this point forward.

Questions from “LaFleur” that have been answered:

1. Horace and Amy’s son is Ethan. Ethan appears as a baby in one of the subsequent episodes, and as an adolescent in “Dead is Dead.” This raises a new question: Is Ethan more significant to the overall story of the island than we currently know, or, as my wife suggests, is he merely included in episodes to serve a reference for the time period of events so that viewers don’t get too confused.

Those are just a few thoughts / observations I have after watching last night’s episode, “Dead is Dead.”  Please feel free to comment, respond, share your own thoughts or questions, or otherwise let me know you enjoy reading mine!

It has been almost one full month since I presented the TV Channel Challenge, and the results were less surprising than I thought.  In fact, I stopped officially tracking after about 2 weeks because of how predictable my viewing is.  I basically watch about 5-6 shows on a regular basis (thank you to whomever created DVR!) and don’t really have much time to watch anything beyond that.  Here is the breakdown:

  • NBC – 2 – 3 hours per week (The Office, 30 Rock, Heroes, and occasionally a bit of SNL or Chuck, which leads in to Heroes)
  • ABC – 2 hours per week (LOST and Scrubs, when it isn’t on a 4-week hiatus)
  • HBO – 30 minutes per week (Flight of the Conchords)
  • ESPN, National Geographic, History Channel, or Discovery – a total of 30 minutes per week for all four channels.  I rarely channel surf anymore.

I will have to add 30 minutes of FX to this list once It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns, as well as 30 minutes of Comedy Central for South Park.  I would absolutely love to pay my cable company as reduced rate to only receive those 7-10 channels!!!

I watched last night’s LOST episode, “LaFleur” (03/04/09).  I won’t post a recap/summary or any theories because there are enough blogs and websites dedicated to those topics, but here are some of my questions from last night’s episode:

1. Why won’t the “sonic fence” keep Richard and his people out of the compound.  He mentions to Horace that the fence “may keep somethings out, but not him and not his people.”  Do the Hostiles know the code to deactivate its disintegration powers, or is there something special about them?

2. What happens on the island between the 1970’s (which is the current time for Sawyer’s Five and the Oceanic Six) and the present day that results in the death of women giving birth?  Is it because the Losties are in the 1970’s and interfering with the natural progression of events, or is there some other event that happens?

3. Who is Amy and Horace’s son?  Will he grow up to be someone we already know from watching the first four-and-a-half seasons , or is it an insignificant character shown only to signify that Amy gave birth without dying?

That’s all I’ve got for now.  More questions (and hopefully answers) may pop up as I have discussions with my wife and friends, and listen to Preston & Steve’s LOST discussion!

My wife’s cousin, Emily, and her boyfriend, Dan, visited us last night as part of their 12 hour trip down the East Coast. We spent a great deal of time talking about Lost and other TV shows in general, and then Dan raised an interesting point: he only watches about 5 channels on his TV.  He pointed out that this seems like a waste of his cable package, since there are approximately 800 channels that he never even visits. Dan expressed a wish that cable companies would offer a service where customers can select the channels they receive, and different subscription packages would determine how many channels each customer can choose.

I recognized the genius in this idea as soon as I heard it, and I quickly guesstimated that my wife and I watch no more than 15 channels on our TV.  I also wondered how many channels are ‘used’ by the average household.  With those questions in mind, my wife and I are going to keep a “TV Diary” for one month to figure out how many channels we actually watch/use/need, and how long we spend on each of those channels.

What about you? Do you ‘use’ the entire spectrum of your cable package, or are you more like us in that you only use a small percentage of channels? Feel free to keep a diary of your channel habits (what channel and how long you watched) and share the results in the comments section so that we can compare our channel ‘usage.’

UPDATE: I have created an excel sheet that calculates elapsed time to make it easier to track the time you have spent watching each channel.  Click here to download your Rubywahoo Channel Challenge Tracker