Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lost and Castle

As busy as I get, I've never got so much on my plate that I can't pause and talk about two of my favorite shows: Lost and Castle.

Lost up first, since I just watched it, and it's definitely a "Setting the table" episode. This time, we catch up with the Kwans. One's a Candidate, the other is not. Sun is with Jack at the beach, Jin is with Locke and the gang. Both are really tired of not looking for their spouse. Meanwhile, in Alterna-Land, Jin is tied up in a freezer and found by Sayid (in the Sayid episode a few weeks back).

We roll it back to Sun and Jin arriving in LA and having their Bag O' Cash confiscated by The Man. They head to the hotel (separate rooms? lame), where Jin worries about business, and Sun seduces him with some sexy neutral toned lingerie. *cat noise* Martin (guy who shot Ben's daughter/guy who Sayid shot) shows up to collect his watch, and then his money. He takes Jin to the restaurant (which is how he gets into the freezer), and his buddy takes Sun to get the money out of her bank. Oh, but Sun's account has been closed by her dad. Oh, and Martin reveals that the money was Martin's fee for capping Jin. O irony! Sayid does his shooty thing, gives Jin a box cutter (so he can free himself), and leaves. Jin shows up, shoots Martin's friend through the damn eye, and then Sun is bleeding, crying...oh, and pregnant.

Back in the Island, Sun revists her garden from all those years ago, tells Jack to get lost (JOKE!!!), and then Not-Locke comes in to talk to her about how he's got Jin, etc. She runs, whacks her head on a tree, and wakes up forgetting how to speak English. Is there a writer who runs a bootleg subtitle business on the side?

Almost forgot the beginning of the episode: Spooky nightvision stalking of Camp Smokey, followed by everybody getting free neck darts and falling down. Jin gets taken and wakes up in Room 23, where Alex's boyfriend was sitting in the Happy Fun Brainwashing Chair. Liz Lemon tasers him, then agrees to take him to see Widmore.

Ahh Widmore; he got to meet Not-Locke...from the other side of a sonic fence. Psst, just tip the stupid pylons over. Anyway, Not-Locke announces that the Island is now at war. Also, Desmond was in the mysterious locked room on the sub. Chew on that for a week, brother.

Meanwhile, Castle pays off it's cliffhanger in full, Beckett having survived the apartment bombing by jumping in the tub. Castle busts down the door, then they have a cute scene as Beckett refuses to let him see her naked (as all the towels and robes are...well, on fire). They go back to square one on tracking down their killer, and finally get a hit on his name. They head to his Kevin Spacey in Seven apartment (which Castle digs, of course), and almost corner him, but he's just too sneaky. So sneaky, in fact, that he gets the drop on Agent Shaw, and now the ball is in the killer's court. Oh how sneaky.

The climax is a big step in the Castle/Beckett relationship, as Beckett trusts Castle (with a gun, no less!) to be her backup as they go after the killer. Beckett tussles with the killer, and is in peril and at gunpoint when a shot from Castle knocks the gun right out of the guy's hand. Castle, in true Castle fashion, was aiming at the guy's head. Well played. Whether this effects the partnership more (and more importantly, when can we get Dana Delany back?) will be shown in the coming weeks...and in Season Three, which just got ordered by ABC. Heck yes, this is good news. More Castle can only be more awesome.

In other news, watch you some Community. It is quietly becoming one of the funniest, and most solidly put together shows on television at the moment.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching Up: The Dramas

Ahh, so much good television watched, and so few chances to blog about it. Okay, let's tackle these in some semblance of order. First off, Castle.

Castle. I love you Castle. Just when you were starting to get a little fluffy, you turn things up to 11 for the post-Dancing With the Stars crowd. This week's episode was shades of the first episode, with a serial killer obsessing on Castle's books. This time, it's Nikki Heat who is inspiring the killing, and it's important enough to bring the FBI in, spearheaded by Dana Delany (looking nothing like her China Beach days). Castle and Delany instantly hit it off, with Castle bouncing ideas off of her (the way he does with Beckett, awww), and entranced by the shiny FBI toys that she brings along. This serial killer likes to taunt Detective Heat...err, Beckett, and is constantly a step or three ahead of the good guys. The puzzles were excellently done, and some of the softer scenes worked out well (like Castle at Beckett's place). Even better, the incredible cliffhanger ending was really well done, upping the stakes even after I realized what was coming. Also, Beckett in the shower. Well played. Can't wait for next week.

Lost was some good times this week too, taking a short break from the regular Losties and delving into the story of one Richard (sorry, Ricardo) Alpert. In a bold move, most of the episode takes place in 1867 (now that's what I call a flashback!), and follows Ricardo as he loves his sick wife, accidentally kills a doctor, arrives home too late to save her, cannot recieve absolution from a priest (important), gets sold to a boat captain (working for someone named Hanso!), brought about the Black Rock (!), crashes into the Crocodile statue (!!), comes face to face with the Smoke Monster (!!!!, oh, and the encounter leaves his eyes permanently guylinered), and is eventually rescued by...The Man In Black (!!!!!). The MiB gives him the ceremonial Short Sword of Godkilling and sends him off to kill Jacob (with the same "don't let him speak" warning that Dolan gave Sayid). Instead, Jacob goes Chuck Norris on him, then offers him some wine. He explains that the Island is like a cork that keeps evil (in this case, the MiB) from escaping into the world. Jacob doesn't want to directly influence the people brought to the Island (which appears to be test subjects in the battle of good and evil that Jacob and the MiB are playing, but he does recruit Ricardo to be his Agent, working to guide the people who come to the Island. Oh, and gives him eternal life. And a suave haircut, one would think. Finally, Richard buries his wife's cross under a convenient bench.

Back to the future, Richard goes to that bench, digs up the cross, and starts yelling that he wants to join Team Smokey now, but instead finds Hurley. Who is talking to Ricardo's dead wife. They have a well-acted reunion, and Richard is brought back into the fold. However, looking on is...Not-Locke! I enjoyed this episode, stepping out of the current story to give us a boatload of backstory and answer a few questions. I also really look forward to seeing how the metaphor of MiB smashing the wine bottle (the one that represents the shell holding evil inside) rather than remove the cork (aka, the Island). The storyline is chugging along at a good clip, and I am past the point of no return on it.

Burn Notice: I totally forgot that this had ended, so I got on Hulu and watched the finale. This season was a disjointed one, with the overall story not being all that compelling (felt more like a rehash of the Carla storyline), and the team being all weird around each other. They tried to sell us on a darker Michael, but it never paid off...until the last ten minutes of this episode.

Where we begin is with Gilroy freeing "Simon", a mysterious and very bad criminal. Simon turned the tables on Gilroy and blew him up good. We start from there, as Michael has to hoof it away from the Feds and get to a safe place. Before he can get his beloved Charger though, Simon blows up a food cart and draws Michael into an electronics store to deliver some exposition. Long story short, Simon is the psycho version of Michael, and his bad deeds are what they blamed on Michael in order to burn him. Simon wants Michael to deliver "Management" (i.e., Frasier's Dad) to him, otherwise a hotel goes boom. This was a weak part of the story, as it just seemed really obvious that Sam and Fi would take out the bomb, just getting them out of the way. Michael sneaks into his own place, calls Management, and spills the whole plan. While building a bomb, which was a neat scene. The weak part of the story was , once again, Michael's mom. The only good shot she got in was admitting that "taking one for the team" by protecting Michael is her way of making up for his crappy crappy childhood.

So we get our people into place; Management arrives, and Michael realizes too late that he's underestimated Simon. Simon gets away with Management, but Michael steals a truck (and also negates all the "I'm not going to be a line wolf anymore" progress he just made with Sam and Fi, another storyline that's driving me nuts this season) and chases Simon down. The ending has Michael holding a gun to Simon's head, about to pull the trigger. Management talks him (mostly) down, and Simon taunts Michael about how now Management owns Michael. The FBi scoops him up, and then we see him being led through dank hallways, wearing a jumpsuit and manacles, and a hood. The hood and shackles are removed, and he opens his eyes to...a tastefully appointed study...and scene. New episodes in June, so we'll see what happens next. Will his burn notice be revoked? Will he go somewhere that isn't Miami? Three months and counting.

Okay, comedies tomorrow (with luck). Three weeks worth of Community, The Office, and 30 Rock to catch up with.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Updates are coming

School is hard, but Castle and Lost were both awesome this week. I've got a backlog of shows to write up, should be by the end of this week. I love you, reader(s).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost: Recon

Well, I'm on Spring Break (after an All-Con weekend), so I've got some catching up to do. However, I decided to spend a little time on the beach...the Lost beach.

Sawyer Episode!!! Woot! We start off on the island, Sawyer makes some tea for Jin, sees Kate, and we side-flash to Sawyer running the same con he ran in his flashback. Only this time, he's a cop? And Miles is his partner? And his code word is LaFleur? I'm excited.

FlashForward? For reals? Meh.

Ooh, Kate is watching Claire take care of her creepy bone baby. Locke calls the gang together for one of those "Samuel from Heroes" meetings. He tells them that the black smoke killed the people at the Temple...which is true. Aww, kids love Locke. Sawyer asks Kate about the 815'ers from the Temple. Sawyer ain't with anybody. LONE WOLF!

Detective James Ford, LAPD. I'd watch that spinoff. He's looking for Anthony Cooper, a name that would mean more to me if I remembered Lost better. Miles is setting Saw...Ford up on a date. With a girl. Ford is a dirty liar. At least the Lakers are good in the alternate timeline. Ooh, Locke just admitted that he's the smoke monster. Bold.

Locke is sending Sawyer on a boat to Hydra Island. To find the other plane. For recon. We have our episode title! Sawyer's lying skills are the bomb, apparently. Should be an interesting reunion, sweetened with the idea of Sawyer getting off the island. But is that what he wants?

Ford is meeting his blind's...CHARLOTTE!!! Hot! Hmm, Ford is the man who chose cop, Sawyer is the one who chose criminal. Wonder where that choice happened. And hot non-island lovin occurs. For those keeping track, this is twice that Ford has gotten laid and the episode is only twenty minutes old. Charlotte finds the "Sawyer" file while she looks for a t-shirt, and Ford goes nuts. Don't kick her out, she's British!

Back in the Island, Sawyer makes it over to Hydra town, and sees his old polar bear cage. Home sweet home. Who wants a fish biscuit? Kate chats with Sayid, who is not doing okay. Oops pow surprise, here's Claire, and she's having a knife party. Locke keeps his pimp hand strong though, and calms things down. Sawyer finds the plane and investigates the crash zone. Luckily, there's a big coffin shaped trail to follow. Eww, pile of dead people. Or dirtiest sleepover ever. Sawyer chases a running stranger...and it's Velma? Cute girl with glasses anyway...and she's the only one left?

Ooh, looks like Charlie's brother has come to pick him up. Ford comes in to work, and is met by Miles. Ford went to Sydney? Oh yeah, of course he did, duh. Aww, and Miles is breaking up with him.

Velma is Zoe now. Last survivor of her plane pals. Poor Zoe.

Poor Kate, who is crying. Cry Kate, cry. Smoke Locke is a great talker. Samuel could learn a thing or two from him.

Zoe and Sawyer walk and talk. Zoe lies, Sawyer picks it up and draws steel. Oh, and Zoe has friends with guns. Widmore's people?

Locke and Kate have a nice heart to heart on the beach. Smoke monster had a mom? Aaron has a crazy mom too? Catfight? With guns?

Yep, there's Widmore's submarine. Sawyer heads inside...and back to Ford. Beer and orange juice? That's healthy. Little House on the Prairie? And a frozen dinner? Ford takes his beer over to Charlotte's. She blows him off, and he sadly walks away. With his beer.

Sawyer leisurely strolls (at gunpoint) through the sub, and meets up with Widmore himself. Sawyer is making a side deal with Widmore. As is his way. All he wants is safe passage for him and his pals (i.e. Kate).

Interesting how we're getting back to Sawyer in his element: Telling everyone what they want to hear, so that he gets all of what he wants. However, he's done that to Locke before (with the guns), so there's no way this works out for him the way he thinks it will. 8 more minutes to go. Back to the Island.

Kate sadly walks alone, and is stopped by Claire. She seems a little less crazy. And a lot more huggy. Sawyer gets back and is met by Locke. How fast does Sawyer row? Sawyer tells Locke about Widmore after all. Sawyer is betraying Widmore's guys...for now. Betraying Locke likely comes later.

Ford pulls up and invites Miles into his car for a little reconciliation. And he shows him the Sawyer File. Ford's dad still kills his mom and himself, and still because of Sawyer the con man in this reality. And then they get hit by a car? Wha? Ford tackles them, and it's Kate!

Sawyer's filling Kate in on what's up, and reveals his plan: Let Locke and Widmore fight it out, and sneak off the Island with Kate...via submarine. And scene.

And next week, we get the Richard episode. Good times, see you in seven.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is why I watch LOST

"The story moves too slow"

"They never answer any of the questions"

"Nikki and Paulo sucked"

"They're just making it up as they go along"

Okay, the Nikki and Paulo thing is valid. Otherwise though, tonight's episode defies all complaints. Why? Benajmin F-ing Linus.

Ever since his first appearance as Henry Gale, Henry Ian Cusick has been elevating Lost with every appearance. Tonight was our "Ben episode", and it was a doozy. Best of the season so far, and when it's all said and done, may be one of the top ten, maybe top five, episodes of the series.

It starts off with Ben alone in the jungle and spotting Ilana (aka Ana-Lucia II), and her merry band of Miles, Sun, and Lapidus. He follows them to the beach where they start cannibalizing the old camp, since the Temple is no longer a safe place for them (being all full of corpses and all). However, Ilana shackles Ben to a tree and makes him start digging his own grave, for what he did to Jacob (Miles being the psychic snitch that he is). Interesting that we finally get a definition of Miles' abilities, as he's only able to tell the dead person's last thoughts and what happened right before their death, and only if he's near the body. Good to know.

Then we jump to Alterna-Ben...excuse me, Dr. Linus, as high school teacher and colleague of new substitute teacher John Locke. Linus feels put upon by the Principal (played by the snooty professor from Real Genius), but what can he do about it? "How about become the principal?", says Old Helpful Mr. Locke. The seeds planted, Linus comes home to his dad, good old Roger Workman, who is old and decrepit, and being taken care of by his good son Ben (instead of being "taken care of" by Island Ben). We get our first hint of new timeline events, as Roger did join the Dharma Initiative and they did go to the Island, but then they left. But why? And I guess Ben never got shot by Sayid? Oh, and here's Alex at the door. An Alex who isn't his daughter, but it his prize pupil. In the course of some extra tutoring, she reveals that the principal is giving the old hot lunch to the nurse, which sets Ben's wheels to turning.

Back on the Island, Hurley and Jack are on their way back to the Temple (although Hurley is trying to trick Jack into taking the long way), when Richard just pops right out of the jungle, and takes them in a third direction. They end up at the Black Rock, where Richard has decided that it's time to die. Jacob gave him immortality in exchange for service (and you said Lost never answers things!), but with Jacob dead and Richard never having been clued in to his grand plan, he's feeling a little emo (which finally explains the guyliner!) and wants Jack to help blow himself up. Jack agrees, but sits down right across from Richard after lighting the fuse, certain that based on the events of The Lighthouse, that Jack won't die. Wow, Jack went from unbeliever to full on drinking the Kool-Aid quickly, didn't he? Well, guess there's not much time to dally now. The fuse fizzles, and Jack's newfound mystical hubris can't be a good thing. Or can it?

Back in the "present", Ben enlists some help in hacking the principals email files, then confronts him with the evidence and his offer: Resign and recommend Ben for the top job, or have his career and marriage destroyed. However, nobody fucks with William Atherton, and he counter-blackmails Ben: He can have his job, but the last thing he does will be to destroy Alex's chances of getting into Yale. Ahh, so now we're coming around full circle: Ben has the chance to save Alex, which he wasn't able to do back on the Island.

And back on the Island, Not-Locke has shown up to offer Ben a chance to escape grave-digging duty and join Locke's Army at the Hydra station. Locke makes a break for it, gets the drop on Ilana, but can't shoot her. Instead, he bares his soul, explaining why he killed Jacob, and lamenting his own failure to save Alex when he had the chance. This is where the episode really grabbed me, as Linus has always been the man who manipulates and conspires in order to fulfill the destiny that he is sure he has: of power, leadership, and respect. All he ever needed to be, however, was a father. His own father tried and failed, and Ben followed in those footsteps. That rage, coupled with a nudge or two from Not-Locke, destroyed his life. In the obvious parallel, Locke's gentle nudge sets up another situation where Ben has the chance to put aside his personal goals in order to save Alex. And, after a quick headfake, we see that without the Island (well, without the current Island), he is able to make the right choice, saving Alex's future. Sacrifice. It is a theme, my friends.

So back on the Island, Ilana tells Ben that she'll have him (after Ben tells her that he's going to Locke because no one else would have him). Seriously, if you haven't seen it, watch the scene (or watch it again). It's a remarkable act of kindness towards a man who has seen so little of it. Ben and Ilana come back to camp just in time for Hurley, Jack, and Richard to show up. The love theme from Lost plays as we have a happy reunion, and it just about destroys me watching Ben's body language as he stands there, alone, as everybody else renews the bonds that they've made. Even if you'd never seen an episode, that scene right there just encapsulates Benjamin Linus. As the hugs and handshakes commence on the beach, a periscope breaches the water. For a moment, I thought Locke had already bailed, but it turns out to be...Widmore. WHOOOOOO!!! Can't wait for next week. Suck it, haters!

Castle: Nice to have an episode that just seemed like an excuse for some witty banter, with the actual crime somewhat on the back burner. Not that it wasn't a bad episode in that respect, we get the usual twists and turns, and some nice subtle things set up in the beginning that set up the end reveal well. The ability to make endless gags about the whole bondage scene though, that was where the episode earned the money. I have the feeling that this show could take the same characters, make them any profession, and still turn out winning episodes. The ensemble is just that much fun. Alexis' cheerleader subplot was harmless enough, and it was just a fun hour of television, so I'll leave it at that and just say "check it out if you haven't already".

How I Met Your Mother: Now this was an episode with layers. It starts out with Barney and this week's Special Guest Star: Jennifer Lopez. Barney wants her taco flavored kisses, but she's playing incredibly hard to get (while Barney is just incredibly hard: Up top!). Turns out, she wrote a book on playing hard to get, AND it turns out that Robin set her on Barney to get back at him for how cavalier he's been about their breakup. What looked like a light fluffy guest start showcase turned into a fairly deep episode about Robin and how badly she took the breakup. There were still laughs though, especially Marshall's "bangity bang bang" song regarding Barney's post-breakup conquests (even better was Ted coming in for a verse, followed by Barney playing the spoons). Ted's eerie "Superdate" song just came out of nowhere, but the Superdate sets up the finale, Barney promising not to nail J-Lo as way of making it up to Robin, then sending her on the Superdate with Don. The breakup of Brobin was very abrupt, and if this is what the writers had in mind all along for the post-Brobin episodes, then kudos to them. This show continues to chart new sitcom ground.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I think I share a birthday with The Office Baby...

Yes, my birthday was yesterday (thanks for the socks, seriously), and so was the return of Community as well as a special "Must Birth TV" edition of The Office, as well as the mysterious 30 minutes of blank air in between the two. No 30 Rock just yet, but we all get our Alec Baldwin fix on Sunday at the Oscars anyway. So on to the chortles!

Community came back strong, giving us a much-deserved Abed episode. The gang discovers a sketch of Abed in one of their spanish textbooks, and determine that the previous owner has the hots for Abed. Unfortunately, Abed has two versions of himself: The version that doesn't want to talk to the girl, and a vampire. Thanks to the timely intervention of Jeff (who is doing a cross between Paul Newman in "The Color of Money" and Morrissey in 1997), Abed adopts the Winger persona and goes to hit on the girl...who is unfortunately already dating "White Abed". Abed reveals in the end that the girls generally flock to him on their own. His seduction of Annie (as Don Draper, in an exactly-as-subtle-as-it-needed-to-be moment) was the stuff of legends.

Meanwhile, Jeff is embroiled in a clothing imbroglio with Billiard teacher Blake Clark (who is a great stand-up if you get the chance to look up his old act). Jeff wants to dress cool, but the teacher insists on those gym shorts that reveal nothing but ball with almost any possible movement. It all ends in an epic pool match, in which Jeff starts by making shorts cool, and ends with the two men bare ass naked. As funny as that was, the reactions of the cast around them (mostly from the dean taking iPhone pictures of Jeff and Annie unable to take her eyes off of Jeff) made the scene even funnier. This show is seriously knocking it out of the park every week. If you're not watching, then you need to start pronto. If you can watch the brilliant "Bert and Ernie" tag at the end of the episode and not fall in love, then you are some kind of cyborg sent to kill John Connor.

Then this takes us to the one hour Office Baby Spectacular. Part one finds Pam incredibly pregnant, but determined to stay at work until midnight (in order to make their HMO pay for an extra night in the hospital). This is a case where Michael's crackpot schemes almost work, as he gathers everyone in the conference room to take turns distracting Pam. Jim, on the other hand, is getting progressively crazier by the minute. Finally, the contractions are two minutes apart, and they can't wait any longer. It's a girl, and all is well.

Honestly, this episode was all about the details, lines and situations that I can't do justice to. You'll just have to watch the episodes. Some things that stood out: Dwight needs a baby "for business purposes", and the subsequent contract negotiations with Angela; Michael trying to set up Kevin and Ellie, before Andy finally manages to make his move; and general banter between Jim and Pam as two new parents just trying to keep their sanity together. Whether this is the beginning of the end for The Office, or a move that will actually bear fruit, it was still a darn good episode to get us to this new chapter.

By the way, new episodes of Web Soup started this week, keep an eye out for those. Finishing up the season of Burn Notice soon too, and Warehouse 13 is coming back in the summer (woot!).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Robin is a Hooker...also, Lost Live!

Yep, we're finally back from the Olympic hiatus, and since I'm home sick from work tonight, I'm going to fire off some live thoughts on Lost over the course of the episode. But first:

How I Met Your Mother: Good episode last night, focusing mostly on Ted, but introducing yet another new concept in the HIMYM-verse; that of The Hooker. This is a person who keeps stringing another person along without actually dating them, like a date in a glass case that you can break in case of emergency. While discussing Ted's hook situation, Lily admits that she's had the nerdy cafeteria guy at work on the hook for a while. Aww, poor guy. Ted's Hooker is a pharmacutical rep, which Barney proclaims to be the current "hottest chick profession" (even hotter than stewardess? Or gatherer?). So we get Barney nailing pharma-girls, Ted baking cakes (from a mix!) and giving footrubs, Robin hooking one of the camera guys at work, and Lily unable to let poor Scooter off the hook...maybe it's the tater tots. It all comes to a head when Ted's Hooker (which would make for a good episode title) breaks up with the boyfriend and invites Ted to an out of town wedding. Unfortunately, she's on the hook with the boyfriend (who's in a band!) and Ted is finally able to break the cycle and get off the hook. Nice to see the focus swing back to Ted for an episode, plus we got some funny running sight gags and Teenage Marshall at the end. Speaking of Marshall, his endorsement of Scooter's torch for Lily was funny ("I won't live that long") too. Good episode. Good times.

Oh yes, and the teacup pig.

And now for Lost:

Previously on Lost: Sayid died and came back. Dogan checked him for infection (note, this is what health care will be like under the Republican plan). Dogan tries to get Jack to slip the red pill to Sayid.

And we start with Alterna-Sayid getting out of a cab and showing up the doorstep of his ladyfriend, Nadia. Ooooh, Nadia is married with children. To his brother! Translating oil contracts...boring. Sayid's brother has business...jerk business. Oooh, tag! Picture of Nadia in Sayid's bag? Hopefully he hasn't been going steady with it.

-Temple Sayid busts in on Dogan and demands answers! Get off my plane! Sayid's scale is tipped the wrong way! Like on Celebrity Fit Club! Man, Dogan is one cold motherfucker. He's Asian Shaft. As I'm typing that, he gets all Jet Li on Sayid. Woot, fight fight fight fight! Sayid tumbles over stuff like he's in a 60s Batman fight. Stick fight! Baseball rolls off the table! Dogan...stops? He tells Sayid to GTFO and then holds the baseball like it's his baby.

Claire and Not-Locke! At the Temple! Shit's going down! And title.

Alterna-Sayid gets woken up by his brother after the commercial (or in my case, Texas election results) because he owes money to a loan shark. Ooh, he wants Sayid to do some...Sayid stuff to the guys. Like an episode of Spencer: For Hire!

Sayid and Miles (woot, Miles!) chat over by the salad bar, mostly about Sayid's two hours in Valhalla. Now, here comes Claire with a message for Dogan...who apparently doesn't get to be mysterious Japanese speaker anymore. Claire wants to set up a meeting with Dogan and Not-Locke. Nope, never mind. He's back to Japanese. He orders Claire to go in "the hole".

Dogan takes Sayid back into his office and pulls a mystery box out of some plants. That's where I hide my porn. Not in plants, in Dogan's box. If you look closely, you can see it under the dagger. Dogan tells Sayid to go stabbity on Locke when he sees him next, in order to prove that he's still got some good in his soul. Maybe they can dig up Nikki and Paulo and stab them too. That'd be awesome.

Sayid bonds with his niece and nephew while walking to school. Aww, mommy likes it when Sayid is there. Uh oh...Omar got f'ed up. Sayid goes into badass mode, but Nadia's trying to talk him down.

Now Sayid bumps into Kate. Seriously, how small is this place? Or is it so deserted that you can hear another Lostie from a mile away? Where did Miles find playing cards? Are they Dharma cards? Kate finds out from Miles that Claire is back. And still hot. I agree, crazy chicks have a certain aura of hotness. Like touching a hot plate, but with boobs. Sayid stops for a tasty beverage and comes Smokey! And Sayid stabs him! Holy crapballs! And Not-Locke just pulls it out. Wow.

After the break, Locke gives Sayid the knife back, Because He Is Just That Badass. Not-Locke claims that Dogan set Sayid up by having try to stab Not-Locke. Valid point. Valid and EVIL. Ooh, looks like Dogan sent Sayid out as a messenger. And Not-Locke promises Sayid can have anything he wants in the world.

And then Sayid is gluing a pot/vase back together. Damn boomerangs, ruin everything. Oooh, Sayid pushed Nadia towards Omar. Not good! Sayid doesn't think he's worthy of Nadia because of how much torturing he did, back in the day.

Back to the future (that'd make a good movie title), Sayid returns to the Temple. He delivers Not-Locke's message: Jacob is dead, they don't have to stay at the Temple anymore, and he's leaving and taking anyone who wants to leave with him. Oh, and everybody still at the Temple dies at sundown.

Kate strongarms Julian Lennon and goes to visit Claire, who is singing in the hole in a very crazy way. Kate admits to having Aaron...oooh, that's not gonna end well. Yeah, Claire gives Kate the stink eye. The Temple Others drag Kate away, and Claire yells after her "He's coming". And commercial.

And now the Temple peeps are packing up and heading out. No Jacob, no safety, apparently. Sayid goes to return the dagger to Dogan...

...and some strange guy comes up to Alterna-Sayid and picks him up...and threatens the kids, IN ARABIC!! They take him to a kitchen with a lot of random knives scattered around. I don't think that is sanitary. Oh hey, young Christopher Walken is offering him eggs. A lot. Breakfast is the most important meal of the...afternoon? The loan shark has a nice chat with Sayid about money, and danger, and possibly more eggs. And now Sayid goes all Jack Bauer and offs two henchmen in less than the time it took me to type this. And then he shoots the loan shark, because he is Sayid, and he is badass. From the back, a muffled thumping...and it's Jin! Non-English Speaking Jin!

Now back to Dogan, who is contemplating things by the old Resurrection Hole. Sayid returns the dagger and asks why Dogan keeps trying to have other people kill him. Dogan used to be a businessman in Osaka? I keep forgetting that these people weren't just born here...well, except maybe Ben. Dogan did a little salaryman drunk driving, picked up his son, and got in a wreck.. Well, that's bad. Dogan traded his son's life for having to come to the island, work for him, and never see his son again. Jacob drives a hard bargain...and racks up the frequent flyer miles. Sayid grabs Dogan and they go into the pool! Marco! Polo! Drowning! Ahh, that explains the baseball. Oh snap, and Sayid goes all throat-slice on Lennon too! And here comes Smokey! And here's the Shadow of the Statue folks! Man, everyone's here!

Kate goes to rescue Claire, who doesn't want to go. Kate hops into the hole with Claire while Smoke Monster goes overhead. And here's Ben! I missed you, Ben. Man, Sayid is creepy now. Miles casually mentions to Sun that Jin is still alive. Just missed each other...awww.

What's her name finds the secret passage and they all get inside before Smokey comes after them (by all, I mean Sun, Miles, her, and Lapidas). Kate and Claire tour the wreckage inside the Temple, and Kate immediately goes for a gun. Sayid, Claire, and Not-Locke all give each other creepy looks, then Not-Locke leads a procession of people, Sayid, Claire, and Kate off into the jungle.

And that's it. Ben episode next week, which pleases me greatly. Not-Locke is building a little Legion of Doom now, and shit is getting serious. See you all next week!