Smart Pop Books — Geoff Klock

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 17 and 18: The End

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Wow, what a deeply WEIRD show.

I was going to start off here with a gag about that Chekov line where if you have a loaded gun in the first act you have to have it go off in the third, and I was going to say something about how Lost has a small arsenal of unused weapons. I was also going to talk about how much I love Kill Bill (the two volumes as one movie), and how I wanted one ending (BIG FIGHT SCENE), and got something totally different (The Bride and Bill did not even get out of their chairs) — and was totally satisfied. I want to see plots reach their natural conclusion, but I can also be convinced to care …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 16: What They Died For

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One thing the second to last episode of a season of Lost does well is ANNOUNCE stuff. They say they are going to do stuff, and then they DO it in the last episode of the season. “We have to move the island.” “Let’s set off a nuke.” “I am going to kill Jacob” and now “I am going to destroy the island.” (I am probably forgetting similar pronouncements from the end of seasons 1, 2, and 3: “I am not going to push the button” maybe?). The moment was a little undercut tonight, the only flaw in tonight’s fantastic episode — as a friend pointed out, earlier in the episode The Man in Black told Ben he could have the island if Ben would …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 15: Across the Sea

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There are a lot of movies that ask questions like “Where did human life come from?” and the answer is “aliens.” “But then where did the ALIENS come fr–” and then the credits roll. Because “Where did human life come from” is only the FORM that the question takes. The real question, the question underneath the question is really “Why is there something rather than nothing?” And no-one answers that persuasively for an audience that is not in a couple of specific religions, and very into it. What you do if you want to try is just answer the question with just a big block of opaque MYSTERY, so opaque as to be obvious you are not supposed to look behind it. The obelisk in …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 14: The Candidate

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There was a bit there when the trajectory of the end of LOST was looking a lot like the trajectory of the end of Battlestar Galactica, a show that I thought had one of the worst finales of all time. A main character, thought dead, returned with special supernatural knowledge — except there was a dead body so the returned version was not really them. And the mystical/religious stuff, subtle before, hit full throttle suddenly and ruined the balance of the show.

But with the running time left on Lost (sans commercial breaks) somewhere around the running time of Inglourious Basterds Lost is still going strong. More action in this episode than in most of the previous SEASONS. Remember when getting to a location like …

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Best of Smart Pop essays: Editors picks

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Since this site gives us the opportunity to highlight not just our books, but the individual essays our authors have written for us (and, okay, since it also gives you the opportunity to buy those individual essays), we wanted to figure out more ways to showcase them. Thus: Editors Picks. Periodically we–and/or some of our past guest editors or book contributors–will select 3 essays we particularly love from our Smart Pop titles and offer a little commentary on why we think you’ll love them, too.

From Leah:

My three picks today have a theme: they’re all essays that changed the way I think about storytelling.

1. “The Night that Alias Reinvented Itself,” from Alias Assumed

This essay, by media studies professor and tv …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 13: The Last Recruit

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This is one of those “move the pieces into place before the final battle” episodes that I actually liked. Good to see LOST kicking ass three episodes in a row, and so late in the game. They only have to be good 4 more broadcasts to bring it home for a win.

On island, The Man in Black admits to Jack he appeared as Jack’s father. Widmore shoots missiles at The Man in Black’s camp because he wants Desmond back; The Man in Black sends Sayid to kill Desmond, which he later reports doing (but it did not happen on screen so only if you have never seen a “tele-box” before would you think that was the end of Desmond). Locke marches everyone to get …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 12: Everybody Loves Hugo

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This is the last episode of the middle third of Season 6 of Lost — the last act of the last act starts next week, and it looks crazy exciting.

In this episode Team Jacob decides to blow up the plane with dynamite from the Black Rock, but Illana blows herself up because it is unstable. When they go to get more Hurley blows up the Black Rock, because the ghost of Michael told him it will get people killed. The group then splits over who to follow — Richard, who wants to get explosives from Dharma, or Hurley, who claims to hear Jacob telling them to go talk to The Man in Black. Ben goes with Richard and everyone else goes with Hurley. The …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 10: Happily Every After

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I think as a lifetime comic book fan, who knows a bit about alternate universes, I have maybe been a bit impatient with Lost. Because I had a hunch where this was going, and was eager to get there. I think my frustrations with the last two episodes — which a lot of people, Sun’s bump on the head aside, liked — stemmed mostly from this. When I heard there was going to be a Richard-centric episode, that was the one where I expected some radical narrative left turn. The one that followed that, The Package, kept repeating the same beats from the ones earlier in the season (everyone is someone, they end up at the hospital). With “Happily Ever After” I finally got what …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 9: The Package

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Sorry for the lateness on this. If it makes you feel better I feel like this one came out better than the others.

On the island Sun is approached by The Man in Black who says he can take her to Jin. She runs from him and hits her head and looses the ability to speak English, though she can still understand English, and write it. Richard returns and tells them they have to destroy the plane, but Sun is not on board, because she just came to get Jin and get home, and destroying the plane is not going to get them home. When The Man in Black gets back to camp he finds Widmore’s team has taken Jin, and takes Sayid to Hydra …

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Lost, Season 6, Episode 9: Ab Aeterno

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Like an idiot, I fell, once again, for the only thing on Lost more deceitful than Ben Linus — the “Next Time On Lost” advertisement. A Richard episode teased with him saying that he knows what the island really is. I can’t believe I thought the episode was going to be about how Richard knows what the island really is.

Ilana tells the castaways that Richard knows what to do next, but Richard, upset that Jacob is dead and his life has no meaning, storms off, claiming they are dead and this is hell. The episode unfolds as a massive flashback, showing how hundreds of years ago Richard, looking for medicine for his wife, accidentally killed a man, and ended up on death row where …

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