Lost Revisited: Or Why Does Sawyer Taste Like Old Fish Biscuits?
That's the best name they could come up with for the formidable leader of the Others?
I'm sure there's some literary reference I'm not well-read enough to catch. If he wasbn't played by one of my fave TV character actors, Michael Emerson (major creepizoid on The Practice as a serial killer who loved roping the firm into representing him). But learning Benjamin's name -- and the fact that he's a fortysomething guy who has lived on the island all his life -- are the major revelations from last night's episode.
We also learned it's November 2004 on the island and the Losties have been stuck there for 69 days now. Like with Fox's 24, it's a little tough to believe all this stuff happened t these guys in space of just over two months, but that's the magic of serialized TV.
As we noted last week, Sun and Jin were the center of the flashbacks, as we learn that Sun's ability to lie to those closest to her stretches way back to her childhood. And who knew Jin was such a badass -- beating Sun's partner in adultery within an inch of his life before the guy fortuitously throws himself off a hotel balcony?
Some fans have protested the glimpse into The Others' world we're getting from the series' focus on Sawyer, Kate and Jack's captivity. But I'm enjoying exploring their world; seeing Deadwood's Trixie (Paula Malcolmson) pop up as an Other shot by Sun as they steal Desmond's sailboat, was a welcome bonus.
But now that the Others know Sawyer and Kate are planning an escape -- don't they know these guys are watching them ALL THE TIME? -- thatpair seems headed for a brutal showdown.
Here's what's coming next, according to ABC publicity:
On 10/18: "Further Instructions" - The fates of Locke, Eko and Desmond are revealed after the implosion of the hatch, while Hurley returns to the beach camp to tell the tale of what happened when he, Jack, Kate and Sawyer encountered "The Others." Meanwhile, Claire is shocked to find Nikki and Paulo in Jack's tent.
On 10/24: "Every Man for Himself" - Sawyer discovers just how far his captors will go to thwart any plans of escape he and Kate might have, and Jack is called upon to scrub up in order to save the life of one of "The Others." Meanwhile, Desmond's behavior begins to perplex the survivors when he starts construction on an unknown device.
Poynter Gets all Oprah on Us
Gotta mention that my friend and Poynter writing guru Roy Peter Clark appears today on Oprah to help New York Times columnist Frank Rich and others dissect the rise of a "truthiness" culture that seems to be hobbling America.
Roy writes: "Rich looks beyond governance to America itself, a culture he sees as besotted with self-indulgence, sensationalism and celebrity, where “reality” is increasingly cast, scripted, costumed, produced, and staged."
He -- and, presumably, the big "O" -- recommend a dose of gold, old fashioned media literacy, in which folks refuse to be passive consumers of increasingly insincere media messages. It's good advice, because I often find that, no matter how much people think they know about how media manipulates them everyday, they rarely know enough.
Times Joins Forces with Bay News 9
One of the subtler elements of our paper's redesign is a beefed-up relationship with local 24-hour cable newschannel Bay News 9, starting with a weatherpage featuring material provided by Bay News 9.
Tonight, the newschannel partners with the newspaper to present a town hall meeting on the insurance crisis, and we soon expect to see a camera installed in the times newsroom to allow reporters to more easily appear during news segments. And, of course, our political editor co-hosts a jointly-developed Sunday politics show, Political Connections.
Those who have been around awhile remember we had a similar arrangement with WTSP-Ch. 10 some time ago. But it didn't work so well, so now we're trying it again with BN9. The Times has always viewed these deals mostly as marketing agreements -- we get TV exposure and the TV outlet gets depth of content through an early look at our story lists -- so it will be interesting to see where this all leads.