JANUARY 15, 2011
APRIL 15, 2009
It's a shame that Miles (I'm spelling it right now) wasn't introduced earlier in the show, because his chemistry with Jorge Garcia makes for one of the best pairs the show has - I'd go far enough to say they were more amusing than even Hurley and Charlie. Also, if they had more time, perhaps we could get an episode explaining why he had like 39 facial piercings at one point in "Some Like It Hoth", seemingly before he made a living charging folks to tell them what their dead relatives were saying.
The apex of this humor is in this episode, when Miles gets frustrated with Hurley and snatches what he thinks is his journal, but turns out to be his "improved" script for Empire Strikes Back, which is three years away from existing. It's a genius throwaway gag, because it's the sort of shit I'd do (wait, I just called myself a genius. Sorry), though I'd probably write a better Halloween II. When Miles reads some of it aloud I nearly shit myself the first time (especially his pronunciation of "ROARRR"), and I always love the references to Hurley's poor spelling (Jesus Christ dude, BOUNTY HUNTER?).
But what makes the episode work is that it's not just a throwaway bit of humor - Hurley actually uses the film as an example later on, convincing Miles (or at least planting the idea in his head) that talking to his dad might not be such a bad idea. Hurley gets his facts screwed up (says Luke got his hand cut off as a result of freaking out after learning Vader was his father - he got his hand cut off first!), but the point is valid, and I liked that they were able to make something a little more meaningful out of what was a damn funny scene. Also, without that earlier scene, it would have been just another lameass Star Wars reference in the middle of another geek property, so it wasn't annoying either. Well done!
And this is the "Jack does chores" episode I've been waiting for! See, when characters on TV shows are doing something kind of odd, I like to think about the (unseen) process that got them there. Like there's an episode of The Simpsons where Bart finds Homer propping his car up with a wicker basket in order to change the oil - I like to think of Homer realizing he has no jack, figuring out something that was the right size, carrying the basket outside, etc. For some reason it just makes it funnier to me. Likewise, I enjoyed the mental image of Jack waking up in the Dharma Initiative in 1977, getting breakfast, and then figuring he'd do Roger a solid by walking around and cleaning up Dharma classrooms for the guy. Honestly, it probably would have made more sense for Roger to be doing his work normally (while drunk) and then Jack, under the guise of wanting to help, found him and pretended to be his pal but really just trying to figure out what Roger suspected about Kate. Too bad Jack wasn't assigned cleaning up the polar bear poop - we could see how far he'd go to keep up the ruse.
Speaking of the classroom, I never noticed that Dharma uses a different grading system than I'm used to - an A is not anything from 90-100, but 93-100 (and a B is 92-85, a C 84-77, etc). So what would be a B in my school (84) is now a C+? Harsh! I know different countries have different systems, but you'd figure they'd just use the standard North American system since it's a North American show (I suspected it was a Danish system, since Alvar Hanso is from Denmark, but their system is some baffling nonsense that includes negative numbers and the like). So I think it's just a sort of minor "Easter Egg" for careful viewers that alludes to their tougher education system. Kind of funny.
Back to thinking about characters doing stuff we don't see - when did Hurley ever watch the videos to know that Pierre Chang had a "stage name" of Marvin Candle? Was this a mistake? Or did Hurley get bored one day while on button duty in the Hatch and watch them? Speaking of the Hatch, I liked seeing its "origin", but the whole thing about putting numbers on the door by hand was just stupid. Why would a bunch of construction guys give a shit about banging a serial number into an emergency exit door? The whole "the number is smudged" bit was painful too, there only to give Hurley a chance to say the last number. Sometimes their obsession with the numbers got to be a bit too on the nose for my tastes; Hurley could have just as easily spotted them stenciling QUARANTINE on the door (which would have made the reveal a lot more eye-catching, I think - I had actually forgotten that the numbers were on the door and I just watched it 2 months ago! This aired 4 years later!).
One other nitpick/question - what's with folks needing corpses on this show? In "LaFleur", Richard said they needed the body of the Dharma guy that was killed, and in this one Chang has a corpse delivered halfway across the island. It's never explained, and unlike other unexplained nonsense (like Ben's "list" of people that he had Sayid kill), it seemed like there could have been something interesting behind it. Plus I have no logical guesses for it - Ben's list could have just been some associates of Widmore or former "Others" who, like Widmore, had been banished and may be looking to return to the island. But the corpse stuff? I got nothing. Y'all Unitologists?
And Daniel finally returned! Which means tomorrow is the underwhelming "sequel" to "The Constant"!
Where are we?