Saturday, May 31, 2008

LOST 021: Locke. Box.

L O S T

OK then, I'm going to be on the mic for a while. I got more rhymes than J.D.'s got Salinger.

You know how every season of Lost has that episode before the finale, the one that pretty much sets all the pieces in place for the big blast at the end? Well, in terms of the over-arching storyline, this is the "episode before the season finale" of season finales. That crazy sound that the island made as Ben turned the frozen donkeywheel was the sound of a whole lot of pieces clicking into place for the endgame to come over the next thirty two or so episodes. But for all that, it wasn't without its surprises and moments of brilliance. It didn't top the total mindbendy reboot that was "Through the Looking Glass" at the end of Season 3, but then, how could it possibly do that? That episode threw such a curveball, that the last 14 episodes have really served mainly to deal with and to pay off the ramifications of what it had set up. Now we're there. The pieces are in place for our heroes and villains final battle in the war for the fate of the island and themselves (and, not insignificantly, for us to find out who the heroes and villains are). This is the jumping-off point for the climactic final two seasons -- and I do believe that all thirty-two episodes will serve as climax to this epic tale.

That's one long climax. Toe-curling, really.

So, this finale wasn't about blowing our minds, it was about confirming what we suspected. Really, in the end, there could have only been one of two people in that coffin: Ben or Locke. Even last May, the day after Season 3 wrapped, I wrote: "I'm thinking Locke is the most likely culprit" in regard to the mystery corpse. And there he is, old Locke, looking much more embalmy than usual. At least for now. More on that soon.

But first, let's remember what we might have forgotten. All of this is either stuff we know for a fact or can be reasonably surmised. I've made use of a little guesswork, but as little as possible and (when applied) all based on the most logical explanation for a given fact.

Obviously, a lot more will come to light. The idea here is put what we now know in context. And yes, I'm a crazy person.

And Now For A Brief Recap of Absolutely Everything That Seems Relevant

There's an island that exists between the cracks. It has extraordinary properties that put it outside of normal space and time, which seems to allow it to exercise its authority of destiny to an unlimited capacity, and which allows for extraordinary gifts of healing and longevity. Due to the nature of the island, it is hidden from the world, and can be found only by unusual circumstance or accident. Or, perhaps, only if the island wishes to be found. There's a spirit on the island (one suspects perhaps the spirit OF the island). His name is Jacob.

At some point, long ago, it is likely that another sentient species lived on the island. They were advanced enough to build huge statues, but not advanced enough for a fifth toe.

There have been people living on the island, for how long we don't know, but they have built devices in that time, which allow some of these raw powers to be manipulated. These devices are effective, but they are crude and unpredictable. One of them is a wheel in a cold room. Another is a key deep in the ground. There are others. These natives have been guided by Jacob through a chosen leader, and this leader does not get sick or age. They await the coming of a 'chosen one', a great leader to guide them.

At least one candidate to be the 'chosen one' was an young boy named John Locke. He was given a test, but was rejected -- though it is unclear whether or not he passed the test.

There is a creature on the island who appears to be made of smoke, and who can appear to people as ghosts of those who have died there. The creature can kill you like crazy, but sometimes it doesn't.

The island can move, though it is unclear whether it moves through space or time, or both. Likely homes for the island in the past include Tunisa and the Artic. How often the island has moved, and when, is not clear.

There is a magic box on the island, and anything can come out of it. Your guess is as good as mine.

It has been hinted often enough that the island may in fact be some sort of sentient being, that this now seems probable.

In the 1700s the island was discovered by a ship, or a ship was discovered by the island. The name of the ship was the Black Rock. The captain, one Magnus Hanso, got back to the mainland, or at least one of his descendants did, along with Magnus' journal. In our world, Alvar Hanso founded the Hanso Corporation, which funded an entity known as the Dharma Initiative, whose ostensible mission was/is the betterment of humanity and creation of a utopian society. The Dharma Initiative is currently operated in whole or in part by a businessman named Charles Widmore.

Widmore was able to procure Hanso's journal, and (perhaps thereby) the Dharma Initiative came to the island, setting up villages and building a variety of research "hatches" on top of the existing controls of the Natives. These hatches are meant to be utilized for various purposes, including chemical warfare, electromageticism, the mythical "Vanzetti equation" (a series of numbers which supposedly predict the end of the world), psychology, medicine, and time travel. For reasons that have not been made known, the Dharma Initiative brought members to the island via submarine, though it seems possible that this submarine is a decoy and the true path to the island is achieved by other means. It is for certain that one can sail off the island or fly off of it if one uses a precise compass bearing. It seems likely that Ben can move off the island in much more "secret door behind my bookshelf" sort of ways.

The Dharma Initiative came into conflict with the Natives, now led by a man named Richard Alpert. Alpert befriended a disaffected young Dharma boy named Benjamin Linus, who eventually betrayed Dharma, using its own chemical weapons to kill all of them and take the island back for the Natives. Around this time, Ben became the leader of the Natives and appears to have managed to successfully hide the island from Dharma, perhaps by moving it. The Natives moved into the Dharma village.

Ben has certain abilities, which may be common to the chosen leader or may be specific to him. They include being able to move on and off the island though hidden means and to communicate with or at least summon the creature. He also has been able to speak with and to see Jacob, when others cannot.

Somehow, automatic "air drops" from Dharma containing food and supplies continued to arrive on the island.

There is some sort of bond between Ben and Widmore, either one that is mutually agreed upon or one that has been imposed upon them by outside forces. These are referred to by them as 'the rules', and they involve (among other things) Ben's inability to kill Widmore, and Widmore's inability to kill any of Ben's family members.

The Natives, some of whom (such as Ethan, Tom, and Alpert) could move on and off the island founded a company known as Mittelos, which seems to have taken over some of the Dharma's bases and research work. Through Mittleos, Ben recruited scientists and others, much in the Dharma mode. Many of these people were kept in the dark about a number of properties concerning the island, including where it is. These people were also brought in a submarine, or made to believe that they had been.

One Dharma station appears to have been kept on with Dharma personnel. This station was known as "The Swan", and it required an operator to enter the Venzetti equation into a computer terminal at regular intervals to discharge heavy buildups of electromagnetism generated by the island. The operators were kept close to the hatch through 1) warnings of a (fictitious) deadly plague; and 2) the short amount of time between discharges. There appear to have been a series of Swan operators, and each appears to have been under the impression that the island was still under control of the Dharma Initiative.

The last of these operators was a man named Desmond, who had arrived on the island while on a boat race around the world. Desmond was in love with Penny, Charles Widmore's daughter. Widmore disapproved of their relationship, and knowledge of this disapproval drove a wedge between the two.

At some point, pregant women on the island began to have fatal miscarriages. This may have occurred around the time that Linus became Native leader, or it may have been a permanent attribute of the island's unique relationship with time/space. In any event, Ben Linus became obsessed with solving this problem. Through Mittelos, Ben recruited Juliet, a fertility specialist, in hopes that her research would solve this problem, but it failed, and Ben kept Juliet on the island for years against her will.

Four other events of note occurred before we reach the chronology of the show. First, a French research ship crashed on the island. The only survivors were a French woman named Rousseau, who believed that her companions had been killed by a plague of some kind, and her daughter, Alex, who was abducted, and adopted by, Ben. Second, a hot air balloon crashed on the island, killing the occupant, a man named Henry Gale. Third, a one-prop airplane carrying heroin and Nigerian drug runners crashed on the island, killing all aboard (given the range of a one-prop airplane, this would suggest that at this time the island was in some way near Tunisia). Fourth, Ben was diagnosed with spinal cancer, which was distressing to him because, 1) Cancer! Of the spine! and 2) it was a clear indication that Jacob, who had given him near immortality, was displeased with him in some way.

Finally, 108 days ago, commercial flight Oceanic 815 crashed on the island. Two groups survived; a main one and a smaller one from the tail. The main group included: Jack, a spinal surgeon; Hurley, who had won the lottery playing the Venzetti numbers; Walt, a boy who seemed to have special psychic powers, and his estranged father Michael; Sun Paik, whose father was a business associate of Charles Widmore's, and her husband Jin; Claire, a young pregnant woman who just so happened to be Jack's secret sister; Sayid, an Iraqi former torturer whose torture trainer was the Swan operative before Desmond came along; and a bunch of people who seem unrelated to this whole back story (though their destinies are intertwined with one another) named Charlie, Sawyer, Kate, Boone, Shannon, and Rose.

Also in this group was John Locke, the potential 'chosen one' of the natives. He'd been paralyzed by his father (?), a con man who totally pushed him right out of a twenty story window. Upon his arrival on the island, Locke was completely healed of his paralysis.

The tail section group included: Rose's husband Bernard; Ana Lucia, who was very annoying; Teresa, who had no lines and got abducted; Mr. Eko, whose name might have been Mistereko, a fake priest and former Nigerian drug lord whose plane had crashed on the island with all that sweet brown horse in it; Libby, who had been in the nuthouse with Hurley and who had just kind of showed up and given Desmond the sailboat he used to get to the island; and Biff H. Dudemeister, this guy who got killed so quick we don't remember him.

All these people proceeded to have so many damn flashbacks it was ridiculous.

Around this time, somebody sank a hoax plane faked to look like Oceanic 815, full of bodies. Whoever did this is probably a bad guy.

The Natives quickly infiltrated both groups; the main group by a man named Ethan, the tail group by a man named Goodwin. The Natives set about abducting people based either on Ben's orders or a 'list' from Jacob, or both. These were, the tail section's children (successful), Mr. Eko (crunch heads, dead, unsuccessful), Claire (temporarily successful) Charlie (unsuccessfully hung by his neck), and Teresa (who?).

Goodwin and Ethan were both killed for their troubles. Ben seemed cool with that.

Claire escaped with the help of Rousseau and Alex, who didn't know that they were related. Claire then developed amnesia, which was dumb.

Locke and Boone found the Swan hatch, but couldn't open it. Boone died.

Artz blew up good.

Michael and the main group attempted to sail a raft off the island, but instead some of the Natives abducted Walt and blew up the raft. Michael and company met up with the tail group. Michael yelled "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!" for about seven straight episodes. Ana Lucia was still more annoying. She killed Shannon. Pretty much everybody watching was OK with that.

Locke and Jack and Kate and Hurley blew open the hatch and found Desmond, who was like, "uh, you push the button." Locke and company became the new Swan operators.

Michael went looking for Walt and got captured by the Natives.

Ben allowed himself to be captured by the Losties, both to infiltrate them and also because he was really interested in the spinal surgeon, what with his spinal tumor and all.

The Others, who were feeding Walt human growth hormone, sent Michael back to bust Ben out. Michael killed Ana Lucia and Libby. Woah.

Sayid figured out that Michael had flipped. Jack allowed himself, Kate and Sawyer to be captured by the Natives anyway.

Locke stopped pushing the button and everything went Kerflooey and it looked like the world might come to an end until Desmond turned the 're-set' key under the Swan. This did a few things.

- It blew Desmond right through time's sphincter.

- It turned the sky purple.

- It destroyed the Swan station, which means no more showers.

- It did something. We don't know what, but it involves a) Penny and Charles Widmore each separately being able to find the island when they couldn't before and b) kept anybody from being able to leave the island.

- Given what we saw and heard in the most recent episode, it seems possible that it 'moved' the island.

- It failed to kill Mr. Eko. Yay. Then the smoke creature killed him. Boo.

After the purple sky event, Penny sent a boat looking for Desmond, and Charles Widmore sent a freighter full of total psychopaths with guns to kill everybody on the island and to capture Ben. A man of unknown affiliation named Abbadan placed five people on the freighter: a physicist named Daniel with memory loss and a specialty in time travel, and archeologist named Charlotte who's been to the island before; a sarcastic bastard named Miles who can speak to the dead; a pilot named Frank, and a special operative named Naomi. From this point on, Ben knew that the island was in danger, and its location was now known. His goal was to keep the island protected at all costs. He set up radio jamming in a submerged Dharma facility called The Looking Glass. He put Michael on board the freighter to sabotage it.

Desmond was unstuck in time and had flashes of things to come. This included Charlie dying, which happened, and Claire getting onto a helicopter, which didn't. He also had an interlude where he lived through his breakup with Penny again. This time he did it because a mysterious lady told him he had to to preserve the space/time continuum. This suggests yet another group at play, these acting as the preservers of time.

Jack removed Ben's tumor in exchange for Kate and Saywer's release. Locke blew up the submarine before Jack and Juliet could get off the island. Ben, grateful, took Locke to meet Jacob. Locke didn't see him, but he heard him say "Help Me." Ben realized that Locke had been chosen to take his place, so he shot him right in the kidney gap and left him for dead.

Widmore's freighter arrived. Naomi parachuted onto the island.

Charlie died to unblock the signal in the Looking Glass.

All the Natives with speaking lines besides Ben, Alpert and Juliet, totally got killed in ways that were awesome, by and large.

Ben sent his people off to a safe place and got himself captured by Jack's group yet again, this time to convince him not to contact the boat. Jack beat the living crap out of Ben. Jacob appeared to Locke as Walt and healed him. Locke killed Naomi and tried to convince Jack not to contact the boat. Jack contacted the boat.

The freighter people came and it was bad. Season 4 happened.

Alex was killed and that somehow breached the 'rules.' Ben moved the island on Jacob's command. Locke took command of the Natives. Three years later, he came back to the mainland. Apparently it got a lot worse under his leadership, which is weird because he's been so successful at everything he did in the past. Three weeks later, he was dead.

And here we are. It's all set up. First movement, Jack and Ben team up to convince the O6 to go back to the island, with various levels of success. Second, they get back. Third, battle royale (with cheese) for the island at the hub of time and space, with maybe the end of the world at stake.

Character Tracker

Off the Island (Alive Edition): Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sun, Hurley, Sayid, Walt.

Off the Island (Dead Edition): Locke.

Off the Island (Hiding Edition): Penny, Desmond, Frank.

On the Island Still: Locke, Alpert, the Others, Rose, Bernard, Juliet, Sawyer, Miles, Charlotte, lots of ghosts, Vincent, Claire, $mokkee.

They're Dead, Jim: Michael, Jin.

They're Totally Hosed, Jim: Daniel and the kids on the dinghy. Unless they were caught up in the wake of the moving island, that is.

New and Exciting Answers! New and Remaining Questions!

- Christian's a ghost, at the least not bound by traditional physical rules. He just appeared to Michael right before the explosion, and essentially gave him permission to die. Very ghostly of him. Or maybe he IS Jacob, posing as a Christian. If that's the case, you think he'd appear as Libby to give him absolution. But how do you explain the fact that he was holding Aaron by the campfire?

- Claire's probably dead, too. It would explain why she was hanging with Christian, and why she'd appear to Kate in a dream. Seems like in the past, that's what dead folks have done.

- Locke's in the coffin. Which means that the island let Locke die. But is Locke dead? I mean, he's dead there, but is that how it will finally end up? See, I have a certain feeling that when the O6 get back to the island, they are going to go back to change the bad that happened. In other words, back in time. When they come back, does that bring Locke to life? The alternative is that the bad times of the last three years will be the flashbacks of Season 5, and that's where Locke will appear. Muy mucho interesting.

- Locke's off the island. Does that mean that he moved the island?

- To go back, they ALL have to go back, including Locke. If that's the case, then I'm assuming that includes Desmond and Frank, and also Sun's baby.

- So, Jack's a junkie because of huge huge guilt. Not just for leaving Claire, but apparently for other huge tragedies. Also, his dead father keep appearing. Also, he's got a martyr complex you can see from space.

- Charlotte's been on the island before. She was born there. Consider the ramifications of that given what we know about pregnant ladies on this island. Suggests that it was a new development.

- Desmond and Penny 4Evah. Yay. Be interesting to see what happens when Ben shows up to kill Penny. How will the lines be drawn? Sun is teaming with Widmore. Is that to get near enough to kill him, or does she blame somebody else for Jin's death? If the latter, then who? My guess? Ben. Remember, Locke came back; I assume he talked to her, as well. He could well have told her who it was that got all stabby on Keamy down in the Orchid. Of course, there's plenty of blame to go around. Jack could get some. Frank could get a li'l. Even Kate was supposed to go get him and then didn't. Sayid and now Jack are aligned with Ben, and Ben wants to save the island, but Ben also wants to kill Penny. That is what we in the vengeance-killing business call a 'conflict of interest.'

- So why is it so cold in the wheel-room? It almost seems like that was a part of the island that was in the Artic. Or that when he blew up the time machine (and by the way, Ben piling the metal into the flux-capacitor microwave while Locke is listening to the warning? HILARIOUS) and crawled behind the wall, he pierced through the 'skin' of the island and was crawling around outside of it. Perhaps this is why you can't go back to the island if you move it; you're not on it and thus just get thrown through the time/space backwash.

- Where/when did the island go? I think given the fact that it is moved by a wheel found behind Dharma's time machine, we're looking at a movement through time. Makes sense if using Lost logic.

- What are the "bad things" that happen after the Oceanic Six scarper, anyway? All the bad guys are dead. Who is the antagonist left on the island?

- Why exactly is it Jack's fault in particular? Locke comes back and tells Jack it's his fault. How exactly does he know?

- What was the Purple Sky Event besides the name of my eventual funk fusion band? Huh? What what what what?

- Who is Jacob? I think we're going to find out he's Locke. Full circle. I also think that we're going to find out that the "Adam and Eve" skeletons from Season 1 are either Jack and Kate or Desmond and Penny. I just have a sense that we're going to have one of those full circle wheel of time deals.

- Seriously, Richard, shoot the crazy mercenary in the head, not the body armor. Doi.

- Keamy vs. Sayid: Awesome.

- What is it that makes Walt special? Are we ever going to follow up on that one, or will it just get abandoned out of necessity?

- What is Sawyer's request to Kate? That's an easy one, I think. It probably involves asking Kate to kill his daughter. Or help. Kill or help. One of the two.

- What's up with this "Jeremy Bentham" stuff? I hope we get a reason for this new name of Locke's, and the characters who knew him as Locke only calling him Bentham, other than "the writers wanted it to be a surprise that Locke is in the coffin."

- Can Jack make anybody come back to life by giving them CPR? Should he try it on Locke's corpse?

- Does Desmond's shirt even have buttons?


OK, that's all I got. See you in 10 long months.

L O S T

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Linking & Announcements

OK, so I'm not putting up a Lost post until at least tonight. There's a lot to cover, and I'm going to give it what it's worth. Not only that, but I have a couple stories to write before the upcoming Thursday deadline. So . . . Saturday, my friends. Maybe Friday.

In the meantime, here's some linkage that is in some spots overdue.

1) Fiction blog? Not mine (not yet anyway, heh heh heh). Here's a new one from a buddy of mine who's my sounding board in all things writerly. You also have him to thank for the existence of Lost posts. Go, read him. Walk on the wild side.

Chew With Your Mouth Closed, Please


2) World Series. Can't imagine I have readers that don't know about the below-listed, but I'll do my bit. If you want what's happening at WSOP, here's some of the best best best.

Tao of Poker
Change100
Short Stacked Shamus
CK
F-Train

If I missed you, let me know. I add! For you I make free!

3) My Other Blogs. Donkavatar is still slamming. A ton of fun seeing new faces on the old names. Don't delay, ask for yours today! My customers will testify that I'm quick if not skilled!

Filmchaw will be back to posting 1-2 reviews a week. What are you waiting for already? You know you like purple prose on obscure movies.

4) Upcoming Blogger Tournaments.

Donkament tonight. 9:00. Password is 'donkarama'. $1 rebuy, it's the grossest thing ever. Only way you could make it more fun would be to make it PLO.

Big Game on Sunday. Token up, this one could be a barn burner. Password is 'donkey.' End of the BBT3 and my last hope. For my part, I plan to win it.

5) Blogroll.

I'm updating the blogroll in the next few weeks. Got a blog? Post regularly? Hit me in the comments and I'll get you set.


G'day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Because I'd Like As Many Blogs As Waffles

As you saw from my posts last week, Bayne noticed that all images for Full Tilt tables, including avatars, are stored on your computer's hard drive. This means, basically, that you can find the corresponding images for all the avatars, public, private, and pro, and replace any of them with any other image you wish.

So, you can go grab the Phil Ivey avatar images and move them to the file for, let's say, the gypsy with the crystal ball. From then on, anybody who'd chosen gypsy would appear to you (and you only) as Phil Ivey.

Or, you could replace that gypsy image with some other image. Same deal. Nobody else would see the image, just you, and anybody else who moved that same image into that same location on THEIR machines.

We started messing around with the possibilities. Eventually, we decided that it would be nice to have a place for all the bloggers to store their peronalized avatars, and to download other people's avatars and use them.

Naturally, this led to a new blog.

Behold. Donkavatars.

If you think this is a cool idea, you can:

1) Ask to be a co-author to submit your own avatar.

2) Request a custom avatar, and we the authors will get to it when we can.

3) Simply download the available custom avatars to see some new images when you play your favorite donkeys.


That's it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

LOST 020: Begin Endgame

L O S T


Sorry for the delay. I think I'll make this post similar to this episode. Lots of build-up and supsense, not much content, with the promise of an absolutely HUGE post next time.

This was a solid episode that mainly accomplished the task of moving the pieces into place for the pulse-pounding, bone-chilling, hair-raising, heart-racing, liver-enhancing, kidney-malfunctioning, ankle-twisting, soup-slurping, check-raising, cow-tipping finale.

It also introduced us to the Oceanic Six origin story, sort of. More on that in a second. Let's just move the pieces.


The Boat

Michael. Getting ready for his heroic death.

Jin. Getting ready for his heroic death. Now with kung-fu grip and English-speaking action!

Desmond. Hope the island won't let you blow up, brotah.

Sun. Wondering how she is going to get to the same spot as the rest of the O6. Also wondering why she has to be the one who carries the largest five month old baby in the world. In the future, Sun is wondering with the rest of us how Oceanic Airlines could pay out a six way settlement that allows one of the recipients to just BUY a major automobile manufacturer. What was the settlement? 21 billion dollars each? Hurley would need about 80 double ups to afford a company like Paik, and he was already a huge millionaire, by which I mean that he is a millionaire who is huge.

Sun, COME ON DOWN!!! You're the first contestant in Ludicrous Plot Hole That I Hope They At Least Try To Address Someday! It's the game show where we ALL lose!

Aaron: Waaaaaaaah! Waaaaaah! I have giantism! I'm clearly the size of an 18 month old! It's almost comical!


The Beach Of Total Irrelevance.

Charlotte. Hasn't spoken since March. Let's move on.

Rose. Actually died back in April. Hmm, how about . . .

Bernard. Really? That's the last of the Tailies? You wouldn't have guessed it, would you?

Juliet. Guesses she'll be left behind by the A-team. Is secretly starting to hope Jack bleeds out.

Miles. Yeah, he was interesting at one point. I hope that happens again.


Riding His Dinghy

Daniel. Heh, heh, heh. Dinghy. By the way, you notice they made a point of saying that the dinghy only holds . . . six?


Gotta Run Through the Jungle

Kate. Nobody was more of a ping pong ball than Kate. She's going with Jack to find the helicop-- oh, wait. She's going back to the beach with Miles, carrying Aaron, because she's a lady -- oh wait, she's going with Sayid to find Jack and Sawyer. Oh wait. Captured.

Future Kate is trying to pass off Aaron as her baby. To their credit, the LOST writers addressed how this would be a hard pill to swallow. To their detriment, they didn't really resolve it, at all.

Kate: Yes, when the marshall captured me I was six months pregnant and nobody noticed. Also, this is my 90-lb. five-month-old.

Reporter: But . . . that's ludicrous to anybody who can do basic math . . .

The Rest Of The World: Luckily, we all play at Full Tilt! It's her baby! She's holding it! She was priced in! Next question! Next question!


Anyway, Kate . . . COME ON DOWN! You're our next contestant on Plot Development of . . . oh, never mind.

Sayid. "Every time I follow this woman into the jungle, I am captured by the Others. This makes the resigned look on my face as I hand over my gun to Richard hilarious and awesome. Seriously, I'm going solo from now on."

Jack. How messed up did Future Jack look after getting the news that he's left his sister behind? Whether his intentions in organizing this cover up were less-than-noble (which is hinted by the tone of this episode) or an agonizing-yet-necessary move to protect everybody left on the island (which is hinted at by the fact that everybody else agrees to it), I think we saw the true origins of his descent into pill-popping island obsession.

Loved his "son of a BITCH!" Stole Sawyer's line.

Sawyer. Loved his "you don't get to die alone." Stole Jack's line.

Frank. I doubt that he flies anybody back on that chopper. He may fly Sun and Aaron and Desomond off the boat, though.


The Orchid

Keamy. Can kill you with his gun.

Ben. Can kill you with his mind. So, how long before Keamy is doing exactly what Ben wants? Is it five minutes or six? Seriously, how awesome is Ben? Do you realize that when his back is to the wall, his STRATEGY is to get captured? This is now the third time in three seasons of Ben that he's pulled exactly this move to get exactly what he wants. Keamy is doomed, I tells you. Did you notice that he handed over his little port-a-cudgel to Locke? What exactly does that portend, other than the fact that Ben will have to get it back eventually before he winds up in 2005?

Hurley. Dude.

Locke. Has to move the island. By the way, I suspect that when Desmond turned the key and the sky went purple, that was the last time the island 'moved'. By the way, whatever the Orchid does and whatever Locke is intending to do there, it it dire enough to make Daniel look like he wanted to soil himself. Since Daniel's the time-travel expert, I'd guess that moving the island is definitely a time/space continuum deal.


Random Thoughts and Theories


I'm guessing that Ben gets off the island through Orchid-related time travel, and the Oceanic Six get off via the dinghy.

I'm guessing that Jin and Michael buy the farm.

I'm guessing we won't get an answer to the ghosts until next season.

I'm guessing that Sawyer's request to Kate is that she look after Clementine and his daughter with her, who I'm guessing is named Mandarin, or perhaps Tangelo.

I really liked the details of the cold open, from the almost fearful superstition that our heroes engender in the co-pilot (why so scared just for some survivors?) to the thousand-yard stares of the whole Oceanic Six, to Jack's conspiratorial coaching of the rest of them, to the emotional wallop of the family reunions. Hurley sharing his family with Sayid was . . . um . . . the room just got dusty, that's all. Leave me alone.


Join me next time when we hear Ben say:

"I'm awesome, and I'm the first awesome reason you watch this awesome show. Now bask in my total awesomeness."


L O S T

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Want My New Avatar?










Yes, I did this when I normally would have been writing about LOST. Sue me. Post about Thursday's mind-blower coming on Monday.

To see Julius_Goat as Groucho Marx:

1) Save the image above by right clicking and choosing "Save Image".

2) Save it to the following path:

C:\Program Files\Full Tilt Poker\Graphics\Table\Avatars\Public\44

3) Be sure to overwrite the file that is there.

From now on, I (and anybody else representing as Confused Chicken) will appear to you as Groucho Marx.

NOTE: Version upgrades to the client software may overwrite this change. If you want to preserve Groucho, I'd save him elsewhere, too.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Avatar

With an assist from Bayne and my own inimitable abilities in Fireworks, I now can see myself as Groucho, patron saint of The_Goat_Speaks.

Voila.
If you like, let me know if you want the image and I'll ship it.


The Write-In Capades

This started life as a comment on another blog. Strangely enough, so did Stupid/System.

Let's see where this one takes us.

Hoy is pimping the Full Tilt BBT3 Write-In Contest over on his blog today. Check it out here, then come back.

OK? OK.

Now, some selections from the comments section:


Luckbox said...
$1000 and a hotel room for a week's worth of work on the WSOP? I made $500 a day, plus
hotel for 11 days of work two years ago. Sounds like a raw deal to me.I suppose
if someone just wants a free vacation to watch the WSOP that might be fine for
them... but blogging the WSOP is damn hard work. It's not going to be a
vacation. It's grueling.


change100 said...
Seriously, ditto on what Luckbox said. A hotel and $125/day per diem? That's
a goddamn joke. At bare minimum, even an inexperienced blogger would be paid
around $2,000 for that amount of work in addition to the accommodations and per
diem. A pro like Luckbox or myself would command $4K-$5K for that amount of time
and the hours involved.Not to mention that for a regular guy or gal with a
regular job, this would mean either (a)lost wages or (b)sacrificing valuable
vacation time to work for free! If anyone looks at that as a super-cool Vegas
vacation, they seriously need their head examined. Or at the very least to talk
to someone who has covered the WSOP before. This is NOT A PRIZE. This is Full
Tilt exploiting bloggers.

Luckbox said...
I wish I could stress this more... unless the
working demands of FTP are less than I would imagine... this can in NO WAY be
considered a vacation.It's LONG, LONG, LONG grueling hours.Now, if all FTP
requires is one post a day on the action... then by all means, take your
vacation if you've got the time and enjoy yourself.But... my guess is that there
will be bigger obligations than that. If you don't mind working 12 hours a day,
at $125/day (that's about $10 an hour), then jump all over that.I'm just saying
that you shouldn't allow yourselves to be exploited. If you don't mind being
exploited and think this will be fun... just be prepared for it to not be nearly
as much fun as you think.



First, I'm not re-printing these comments to set up any kind of slam or flame. I respect these two people quite a bit. In case you don't know (and how is that possible?) Change100 and Luckbox are two blogger legends, they've been around since the Blogazoic Era, and because of their silly-strong skills have had the chance to cover poker events for a variety of media sources. They know their stuff, and I don't think they're trying to stir the pot. I don't think they're being negative. They're good peoples. I think they mean an honest and friendly warning to anybody who is thinking of entering this contest. They know what covering the WSOP as journalists is.

However . . .

My take is this: For what CJ and Otis and Change and Pauly and Gene and everybody else does, when they actually cover the WSOP and other major poker events . . . $1000 and a room wouldn't be worth it. They have worked their assets off, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates their efforts. They work. It's a job that is more than full-time. They are writing for employers, they're professional writers, and they're very professional about it. Gotta respect that.

However, I'm taking it as a given that this is a prize. Which means it isn't an employee/employer relationship. As long as I'm correct in guessing the nature of this gig, I do intend to write something for this, and I expect some others will too. Whoever wins, I fully expect them to go as a prizewinner. not as a journalist, or as an employee of Full Tilt, freelance or otherwise. Perhaps it is a bait-and-switch. But until I hear differently, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt to the site that's freerolling us for nearly $50K. Al and whosoever else has worked on this has wangled so much dangle for us, for friggin' free. Now here's an offer of a prize, so I'll assume it's a prize.

Should I be lucky enough to be selected and find my schedule free enough to go, my intention will be to have fun, and to occasionally try to make people shoot milk out their nose while reading my words. I already do that for free from home. I could do that in Vegas. If it turns out that I'm expected to do a job? Well, I'll take a page from JJOK, and say . . .

Blow.

What? They're going to fire me?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Donkey Choker Poker

Well, I entered Michael Craig's contest this FTOPS, but I came up empty this time. Too bad, but honestly now that I consider it, this probably wasn't the sort of thing that would appeal to the official Full Tilt site.

Or . . . wild, crazy thought . . . maybe Mr. Craig just liked the other entries better.

Anyway, since you won't get it there, you'll get it here. The set-up, real quick-like, is that you have 60 seconds as CEO of Full Tilt Poker, and can chance one thing, and one thing only.

Enjoy.

* * *

Full Tilt Memorandum
From: 60-Second CEO Julius_Goat
To: All Full Tilt Staff


RE: DONKEY CHOKER POKER -- IMMEDIATE SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENT

Dear Team Full Tilt,

First of all, thank you for electing me your 60-second CEO! Luckily I have had this document all ready to go for just such an eventuality, so I can be very specific even in my limited allotted time.

It's been a great ride, and I'd just like to personally apologize to Chris Ferguson about the hat thing. I really wasn't feeling well; think I ate some bad shrimp at the buffet.

But enough about my stomach. Let's move on to other stomachs; specifically, the stomach of the approximately 24,000 players who are dealt horrible bad beats every single day at your tables. We need to do something to give those players a good feeling. These are randomly generated times that call for randomly generated action, my friends.

I propose that you allow your users to choke, maim, punch, and otherwise abuse the avatar of the player who just detestably sucked out on them. The software MUST accommodate this; as soon as the player is eliminated, the table becomes an interactive game in which horrific damage can be inflicted. (Remember, none of this should be viewable to the other players, only to the eliminated player.)

Imagine it, if you will. I've just stupidly called a HUGE bet pre with nothing but 75 offsuit, and then called bullets on the turn and river with an inside straight draw. We're already both committed to the pot when my straight fills on the river, and you are eliminated from the 50/50 right before the bubble.

Now, look at me, grinning there.













LOOK at me. Disgusting, isn’t it? Don’t I need a good choking? Or perhaps a fatal coronary?


What if you could make me go from this . . .














To THIS.













Imagine the goodwill generated amongst our customers!

Now, let me clarify. Everybody knows that bad beats are a necessary part of poker, and I'd never in a million years suggest that you modify the software to eliminate bad beats for anybody but me. However, when they happen, the victimized player is left with unresolved feelings of anger, frustration, and injustice. This manifests itself in any number of ways, none of which provide our clients with a positive online experience.

1) Whining and complaining and abusive chat. Let's not discount the man-hours wasted tracking down all the complaints of abuse, or the ill-will caused by blocked chat.

2) Tilt. While this may not seem as though it would affect our bottom line, consider that the tilted player is one step away from the player who has given up the game in disgust.

3) Bad beat stories. These are the worst thing in the world, and are a leading cause of global warming. Let's go green in 2008!


All right, team. We have the energy. We have the knowledge. We have the technology.

Let's go do it.


Hugs & Kisses,


Your CEO
Julius_Goat


P.S. Matusow is asking me if we can set something up where you can ACTUALLY have somebody killed for like 1 million FPP. Legal, can you look into this, please?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bad Beat Post

OK, I'm really starting to wonder if this is me, or if it's just variance, or the cards, or what. All I know is that I have been playing what seems to be my optimal game, but I haven't been able to notch a single win.

All. Month. Long.

Here's a typical example.

We're three handed and I'm way ahead after spiking Queen Frostine two turns back. I got stuck in the licorice but I just tighten up and play my game and I'm still well in the lead when I find:







BOOOOOOOOOM! This puts me one from the rainbow and almost all the jump cards are burned. I'm a 98% favorite at this point. My opponents each draw singles and one of them isn't even to Grandma Nut yet.

I flip my card.







Gingerbread! Are you KIDDING me? Are you SERIOUS? The one card in the deck that loses and it hits me. Of course. Of COURSE. Could I have played that any differently? Honestly, I'm asking you. Help me out. You tell me what I'm doing wrong. I've been doing hand analysis. I've read the experts. Seriously, I'm lost at this point.


I'm steaming, but I try not to show it. I'm a professional.

My four-year-old looks over her mirrored shades at me.

"Bad beat, dad."


Candyland is rigged.

Friday, May 9, 2008

LOST 019: The Dali Lockema

L O S T

Homina, homina, homina.

Wow. It keep getting better, doesn't it? Remember about a year ago when the question was which is better, "Heroes" or "Lost"?

Lost won.

OK, I have no time. Let's dive into the greatness.

1) Keamy is bad ass enough to want to go BACK to the island where Ben controls the smoke monster. This would be very impressive if the smoke monster had killed more than ONE of them, but whatever. In this episode, Keamy really lets his psycho flag fly, slitting an MD's throat like it ain't no thang, shooting the poor captain of the ship (who flipped when he discovered the true nature of his boat's mission), crushing Michael's leg and totally intending to shoot the traitorous semi-immortal in the head, and then strapping on the old personal explosive device before choppering back to the island with whoop-ass jammed between every one of his enormous capped teeth.

Wow. I didn't like Keamy much before, but this actor is truly selling the scary.

And by the way, did you notice?


2) Keamy goes to get the double-secret protocol and flashes a little Dharma. That was a D.I. logo on that folder, and it pretty much seals the deal on the Widmore = Dharma / Mittelos = Ben dialectic.

But . . . who is Abbadan with?

We see him in Episode Two this season setting Naomi up with her crew: Frank, Charlotte, Miles, and Scittery Scruff. So he's Dharma, right?

Well. That's what I thought, right up until we see Abbadanorderly placing the very strong (hypnotic?) and specific suggestion to Locke that he go on a Walkabout in Australia. With nothing but his wits. And a knife. Remember that knife. But for now remember that Abbadan seems to be operating on the same playing field and with the same purpose as Richard Alpert. Of Mittelos.

Let's meditate on the purpose of the Freighter Four to the mission. Why them first? Why not just send Keamy right off the bat? Other than turning off the gas, what have these jokers accomplished? Are they perhaps the fly in the ointment? The monkey in the wrench? The Shaquille in the Phoenix? Abbadan mentioned to Naomi that only she had experience with this type of mission. If "this type" meant "whomping on everything in true bad-ass style", well . . . Keamy has that covered. Perhaps . . . undercover ops? Does Ben have people on that boat that don't even know they're there to help Ben? Anyway, there's more going on with that early season scene, and with Abbadan, than we once thought.

Speaking of episodes that now hold a greater meaning . . .


3) Cabin. Christian. Claire. What? First, that fourth episode of the series, "White Rabbit", which initially seemed like such an abandoned throwaway, is really starting to loom large, innit?

Christian's supposed 'ghost' leads Jack to the caves, to the water . . . and to a skeletal couple embracing each other. Jack searched them and found a white stone and a black stone. As far as we know, he still has them.

Now Christian is back and has made contact with his daughter. He's hanging in the cabin and speaking on Jacob's behalf. What exactly was Christian up to with Jack way back there? What was he trying to show him?

The stones? I think it's a direct reference to this. With the name "Christian", the references to Adam and Eve, the resurrection implied by the empty coffin, and the reference to ancient Jewish divination tools, that's a whole lot of Biblical reference in one episode.

I don't know what it adds up to yet. I have no clue. But Christian just vaulted, Ben-like, from minor character to one of the most important characters.

Also, Claire's way too calm and her smile is far too knowing. Either she's known a LOT more than she's let on all this time, or she's drugged or hypnotized in some way. Or, maybe, she's a ghost like her daddy. Perhaps she died in that explosion. In any event, there needs to be some sort of explanation. Claire leaving Aaron after 3.9 seasons of "Moi BAY-BEE!" characterization needs to be resolved.


4) Richard Alpert outta nowhere! YEAH! So . . . Locke has been chosen. And it's strongly implied that Ben had been chosen before Locke, that Locke is now the heir to Ben mantle. Or was Ben the interloper? Mittelos and Alpert have been trying to get Locke on-island for a very long time. Five year old John Locke would have been performing his little Kundun choose-the-Dail-Llama style object test right around the time of Ben's birth (my lovely wife points out that Ben and Locke were both born prematurely -- more linkage, and nice one, honey!).

So. Locke the chosen of Jacob. Of the island? Of . . . whom? And what?

Before him, Ben. And before him?

I think ageless Richard.

"Remember when we used to celebrate birthdays?" Ben asked Richard around this time last season. At the time I thought that 'we' referred to all the Others, but now I'm wondering if that isn't a reference to just the two of them.

"Being the chosen one has a price," Ben told Locke last night. Perhaps that price includes all that goes with immortality. And perhaps the price is different for different people. My take on Kiddie Locke's "failed" test was not that he had picked wrong, but that he had picked right, and that Alpert was simply freaked out by what those choices meant.

In other words, the test was not to determine whether or not Locke was a chosen one. Remember, Mittelos keeps pursing him. The question is this: what KIND of Chosen One is he? Think of the objects as Tarot cards. Locke's reading was just fine, but he had the knife rising in the sphere of the pebble-jar, and that meant a hasty retreat for Michael Alpert.

I'm guessing that Locke has entered into a dynasty whose previous links were Ben and Richard, and whose anchor is Jacob. Voice of the island, perhaps, or the living embodiment of it. Why Richard stepped aside or was forced aside is anybody's guess. But these three are linked, I think, in some fundamental way. Perhaps the island could have chosen certain children of a generation, and Locke was to be the one. Then something stopped that, and Ben stepped in. Or perhaps Locke was one of the 'nominees', so to speak, of the Mittelos faction (represented by Alpert and perhaps Abbadan), and Ben was one of the 'nominees' of the Dharma faction (represented by Widmore). Remember, Ben came to the island through Dharma. Only thing is, Ben flipped.

Was Christian in this chain? Is Jack a "chosen one"? Who was to be the next link?

Can I get a "Walt" from the congregation?

Whoever has been moving behind the scenes in Locke's life and Ben's, be it Abbadan or Alpert or Mittelos or Dharma, orchestrated the crash of Oceanic 815. It might be more accurate to say that they orchestrated who was ON the crash of Oceanic 815. Perhaps one faction arranged for Locke to be on that plane, while another made sure Walt was on it.


5) Move the island to save it, you say? I'll call right now that this 'moving' of the island is through time, not space.

Join us next time when we hear Desmond say:

"Aye, but I wish I'd hadn'a stayed on this ship, brotha."


L O S T

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Blog By Julius_Goat

You know how it is. You're reading "The_Goat_Speaks", and you idly think to yourself, "I do like this guy's fake strategy guide and meandering song parodies, but what does he think about random old movies?"

No? Never? You'd rather eat otter eyes?

I'll take that as a 'yes'.

You're in luck!

I was not always the poker blogger loser you see before you. Why, in my youth, I was a completely different sort of character entirely. I was a movie reviewer loser. This was back in prehistoric times, before blogs took over. I designed the site myself. I even used html to make web links. Clearly, I was a big-time programmer.

I titled the site "FilmChaw" for reasons known to none, and off I went. I was joined by my buddy, who for these purposes will only be known as The Mad Valdez. This Latvian gentleman is an installer of bathroom fixtures by day, but he has excellent taste in movies and a complete disinclination to ever proofread his work for spelling and grammar. He's never once made sense in print in all the time I've known him. He's awesome. One year and literally tens of hits later, my twin daughters were born, and I decided that the pittance I was paying to host the site wasn't worth it anymore. RIP, FilmChaw.com

Anyway, I'm dragging it (or at least the concept) out of the attic and I think I'm bringing the Mad Valdez with me. I'm betting we can knock down a few posts a week. A new blog! By the guy who brought you that one poker post that kind of made you giggle that one time! About movies!

I can feel the sweet tension of anticipation.

A few other points, and then I'm done.

1) I'm not reviewing new movies for the most part. If I go see one that tickles my fancy, then sure. But for the most part you're not going to find what's in theaters, or whether or not it's worth your dough. This isn't that kind of a site. I'm also not probably going to review a lot of cookie-cutter formulaic stuff. I don't tend to watch those types of movies, and even when I do, there's really not much to write about.

This also means that there will be a preponderance of reviews of movies I think are good, and not many negative ones. Simple, really. I'll go see crap movies when I'm being paid to see crap movies. Not before.

2) There's going to be a major focus on little-seen gems, and particularly movies from the past. If I have any hopes about this project, it's to expand the perspective of what is available, and to stretch the boundaries of any hapless reader's Netflix queue. One guy I talk to fairly regularly claimed to have never seen a movie made before 1980. That's awful. Since he's proud of the fact, though, I'll link him up.

Nothing but love, Hoy.

To that end, I'm starting off with my favorite movie of 1948. It's about ballet.

If that doesn't pack the poker bloggers in, I don't know what will.

3) There are two major film aesthetics that I notice. One group sees movies pretty much as entertainment, a good story, that's it. The other group appreciates "film as art". The first group tends to be a little reductive in terms of what makes a good viewing experience. The second group tends to be a bunch of pantywaist snobs.

I'm in both camps. That is to say, I'm a reductive pantywaist snob. However, I will say this: If you're not inclined to view movies as art on the same level as (say) a painting or a novel or a fine bottle of wine . . . you're not going to have much patience for this site, or probably for the movies I review on it.

4) I'm including clips of the movies I review as I find them on YouTube. Total spoilers in all of these.

5) This means you won't have to suffer through movie crap on this supposed poker blog. (And all the people rejoiced.)

I'm out of ado. No further ado.

Behold. FilmChaw.

Friday, May 2, 2008

LOST 018: Jack Ass

L O S T


OK, it's time for a friggin' rant.

FIVE? FIVE? You're telling me that the Smoketrain of Death hit Keamy and his soldiers, and there are still FIVE of them left?

You know what would have been a better number? None. Second best would be only Keamy, and him looking like he just wrestled Rosie O'Donnell for a delicious Hostess cupcake. Not this.

And four of them seem like they are doing OK, too. Which leads to the question: Did Smokey-boy actually kill any of them? Old Frank only wanted to let Sayid and Desmond and one other on the chopper, remember. Now he's going to be flying himself and five others. How many more came with him?

I'm forced to assume that Smoke killed nobody. This is very disappointing. It's like finding out that all the guys Darth Vader choked out with the Force made a speedy recovery off-scene. I'm just going to pretend they all got killed by the smoke and forget they're still on the show.

Also, Rousseau is dead, actual and factual. Man, that stinks. I was so hoping for a Rousseauback. Maybe we'll get her story in an upcoming Benback. Or maybe a Smokemonster-back.

OK, so this was a Jack episode with heavy Kate sprinkling, but even so it managed to not suck. Thank you flash-forwards, for all that lovely cool ranch-flavored relevance!

Let's have a quiz.

1. So, Jack and Kate future hook-up and play house with Aaron, but it all falls apart because . . .

A) It's all a dream.

B) Kate kills him and runs away.

C) Jack's character defects follow him wherever he goes.

Answer: C. Jack is actually a bit of a monster, and I'm finally starting to figure his character out. I said a few weeks ago that the problem with Kate is that she's a fundamentally selfish person that the writers continue to present as a hero. Conversely, Jack is a character that we've constantly seen as the hero, but who the LOST creators seem to understand is deeply screwed up in very non-heroic ways. We saw him as the hero because he kept doing hero-y things, but his motivations are just completely wrong. For Jack, doing the noble thing is about him being noble. It makes him a colossal dingus.

The island adventure confirmed it. Jack is a junkie, and his drug is control. When he starts losing that control, he spins out, freaks out, and self-destructs. When he needs his appendix out, he makes the doomed-to-failure decision to guide Juliet through it, simply because he can't trust anything outside himself.

In the future, this plays out when Jack gets a visit from his supposedly dead Dad. In an attempt to maintain control, he gets engaged to Kate in one of the glummest proposals ever seen. He actually seemed more excited about having Kate hold the mirror so he could look inside his abdomen. Kate doesn't seem to notice, but pretty soon she sees the Jack that manages to destroy relationships. He quickly morphs into a high-handed, suspicious, self medicating ass, acting out again, to try to impose some form of control.

I'd say the central issue for Jack, which will finally play all the way out sometime near the end of the series, is whether or not he''ll ever be able to let go. To trust. Man of faith, indeed.

Other things that are becoming clear:

* Jack has found out that he's Aaron's uncle. The "you're not even related to him!" line is what does it. Now . . . why ISN'T Jack taking care of his nephew? Maybe Claire decided that she didn't want him to? That instead she wanted the murderous fugitive?

That would stick in Jack's throat, I think. It might explain why he didn't want to see Aaron as of the end of Kate's trial.

* Jack constantly refers to a two-year-old as 'the baby'. Nice. Also: Idiot.

* The Big Lie of the Oceanic Six is killing Jack. Seems to be putting toys in Hurley's attic. Sun and Kate seem relatively unafffected. Sayid seems less concerned with the Big Lie and more concerned with putting a cap in Widmore's hiney. Where was I? Oh yeah. I'm hungry.

* Sawyer's metamorphasis as the noble defender of the islanders is nearly complete. Seems like he'll be filling the Jack-void pretty soon.

* The Oceanic Six are being haunted, it seems. I think the reason Charlie appears to Hurley is that he's scared to appear to Jack. If I were Jack and I saw Charlie, I think I'd crush his windpipe a little, while thanking him for throwing all the heroin into the ocean. Could have used some of that heroin while you were having your appendix out, eh Jack? Thanks a bunch, Charlie.
* Christian is . . . a ghost? Ghostlike tendencies include disappearing in the office lobby when Jack's colleague showed up, and being seen by Miles. But then again, he was holding Claire's bay-bee, which is pretty corporeal.

Nevertheless, the context of juiced-up Jack's statement at the end of Season 3 (that they could go upstairs and find his father, who would also be drunk -- and even MORE drunk than Jack) is coming into focus. At the time, I thought it meant that in this world, Jack's dad was still alive. Now, it seems like it may have been further evidence to the chief of staff of Jack's deteriorating mental state. By the time he's a suicidal wreck, he's actually talking about the voices in his head, or the ghosts in the lobby.

Of course, it would seem that Ghost Dad is still a drunk. Sounds corporeal to me. So, who is Christian an agent of? Ben or Widmore?

Clearly, Christian's involvement in the story is just beginning, and is key to unravelling much of the mystery. He's been walking around 'alive' since episode four, season one.

Last year, I was begging for a Ben-back and a Rousseau-back like a sad little puppy. This time around, it's the Christian-back I crave.

* Way to turn on the finger-breaking, Jin! The odds of Jin actually still being alive just lept up about 30% or so. I still think he dies heroically, though. At least one major somebody is going to lose their life, no doubt.

Odds of Dying (Maybe Even Heroically) Before the End of Season 4:

Michael: Even (shot by Keany)
Keany: Even (killed by extreme smugness)
Jin: 2-1 (mauled by polar bear)
Frank: 4-1 (helicoper mishap)
Bernard: 4-1 (scurvy)
Claire: 5-1 (eaten by Walt)
Juliet: 10-1 (burned as a witch)
Charlotte: 12-1 (killed by the Predator)
Rose: 12-1 (accidentally sees Made of Honor starring Patrick Dempsey, kills self)
Locke: 15-1 (but he becomes the Smoke Monster across the 8th dimension)
Miles: 20-1 (nobody cares)
Daniel: 25-1 (gangrene after Jin breaks his fingers)
Sawyer: 50-1 (trampled by a hoss)
Desmond: 500-1 (not until he reads that Dickens novel, brotha)
Ben: 1000-1 (even if he's the man in the coffin, I don't trust him to be dead)
Oceanic 6: 700,000 - 1 (killed by parobolic timewave backlash)
Westley: 1,000,000 - 1 (only mostly dead, and death cannot stop True Love)


Join us next time, when Sawyer says:

"CLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIRE!!!"

And Michael says:

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!"

And Sawyer says:

"CLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIRE!!"

And Michael says:

"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALT!!!"

And The Tick says:

"SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!"



L O S T