My initial thoughts are that tonight’s LOST episode, “Stranger in a Strange Land,” was as weak as last week’s was good. It’s annoying enough when they have an episode dominated by sappy relationship stuff, but this one was overflowing. When the sappy strings hit toward the end with Juliet and Jack on the front of the boat, I expected Jack to lean over the edge and yell, “I’m king of the world!”

Please.

Positive things first. Desmond’s “Flashes” episode last week was awesome. I love the little tidbits about determinism and how revisited patterns may not fall right into place, but the universe has a way of “course-correcting.” This lays all kinds of groundwork for possible overarching themes. However, given that the creators have said there’s no time travel involved, I’m not sure what’s up. It was definitely a mind-twister though to have Desmond going back to past times, yet still remembering things that hadn’t happened yet. It’s the best of Lost when they grapple with reality, perception and the link. More please.

so, what did we learn tonight?  Jack got a tattoo from an alley lurking ink goddess voodoo chick doubling as a wannabe prostitute. Never mind that he’s a fierce pragmatist, yet wants a mystical seer to ink him for life with his aura. Never mind that he’s in Thailand, meanwhile she puts Chinese characters on his arm (the two languages aren’t even historically related). Never mind that the translation the Sherriff of the Others told him that his tattoo means something it doesn’t actually say (his tat is real, and is taken from a poem written by Chairman Mao circa 1925, and refers to eagles flying and the like). True, the symbols on his arm are Chinese, but it doesn’t fit with his back-story in Thailand.

I know, I’m nerding out like some crack-head trekkie, but dammit, they require a lot from their viewers, and episodes like this just don’t do it justice.

what else did we learn? Kate boinked Sawyer because she felt bad he was going to die. Kate feels bad for leaving Jack behind. Karl feels bad for leaving Alex behind. Jack feels bad because Juliet is now donning the Others’ equivalent of the Scarlet “A.” Great, everybody feels bad, and we learned nothing of importance.

The introduction of the second set of others was interesting, but we already knew that was coming. Why could they not have shown some of Juliet’s trial instead of pouring on the pathos with all the relationship nonsense?  Now that would have been interesting.

I’m still keeping the faith. Next week looks great, though I was pretty excited about tonight after the “Flashes” episode. Seven more days, and I guess we’ll know.

I’m such an unbelievable nerd, I’m almost ashamed of myself.

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