Ready for the big premiere tonight? I am. And in case your memory of last season's events is fuzzy, here are ten things to remember about what happened last year. No real spoilers here unless you haven't watched Season Four yet.
1. THE ISLAND DISAPPEARED
At the direction of unseen uberforce Jacob, the Island had to be ''moved.'' It was Ben who did the deed, cranking on an ancient donkey wheel in a subterranean ice cave. After a blinding flash and eerie sonic concussion, the Island went POOF! Among its passengers: Sawyer, Juliet, and John Locke.
2. JOHN LOCKE NOW LEADS THE OTHERS
Before pushing on the wheel, Ben anointed John Locke president of the Island tribe known as the Others. The purpose-starved Man of Faith seemed pretty jazzed by the promotion, and so did ageless wonder Richard Alpert. Will Locke's new administration rise to challenge of a newly destabilized Island? (Wow! How Obama-esque!)
3. JOHN LOCKE WAS IN THE COFFIN
In the off-Island world of 2008, roughly three years after the Oceanic 6 left the Island, Locke — using the name Jeremy Bentham — visited each of the ex-castaways (plus Walt) and beseeched them to return. They refused. Then he died. The papers say it was suicide. Was it?
4. BEN IS HELPING JACK GET BACK TO THE ISLAND
Once they were enemies. Now, in the off-Island present, Jack has no choice but to trust his ex-nemesis for help rounding up his Oceanic 6 cohorts for a return trip to the Island. But what does Ben get out of it? He told Locke that whoever turned the wheel could never go back to the Island. Unless he was lying. Nahhh. Ben would never do that.
5. SAYID AND HURLEY ARE ON THE RUN
The former Iraqi torturer turned assassin-for-Ben busted Hurley out of the mental institution where the demented dude had been chillin' with Island ghosts. Like Jack, Sayid was motivated to action by Bentham's suspicious demise, and his paranoia was confirmed by mystery men lurking outside Hurley's hospital. What's the status of Sayid's working relationship with Ben? You'll find out in the premiere.
6. JIN IS PRESUMED DEAD. AND SUN IS PISSED
The Korean couple was literally blown asunder: Jin was on the freighter when it exploded, and all Sun could do was watch and scream while she flew away with the rest of the Oceanic 6. Now it seems Sun wants vengeance, and is willing to team up with Charles Widmore to get it. But did Jin really bite it?
7. THE DHARMA INITIATIVE. REMEMBER THAT?
A utopian-minded science enclave that set up shop on the Island in the 1970s and quickly ran afoul with the locals, whom the eggheads referred to as ''Hostiles.'' Dharma was conducting a variety of experiments, including an attempt to create a proverbial time-travel machine.
8. DESMOND AND PENELOPE REUNITED
Lost at sea after fleeing the Island, the Oceanic 6 — plus Desmond and freighter pilot Frank Lapidus — were found by Penelope Widmore. At long last, Desmond and his constant were reunited, and we left them in the year 2005, when they were determined to spend their life at sea, away from Penelope's evil daddy, Charles Widmore. But their story isn't over yet....
9. DANIEL FARADAY KNOWS A LOT ABOUT TIME TRAVEL
The Oxford physicist is one of three freighter folk still on the Island or within range of its vanishing light when it disappeared. (The other two: Charlotte Lewis and Miles Straume.) Faraday created a simple time-travel machine during his rumpled professorial days. That expertise really comes in handy during tonight's premiere.
10. SAWYER TOLD KATE A SECRET
Then he smooched her and jumped out of the chopper and swam ashore sans shirt. Take that, Jack.
I will add a couple more:
11) Ben promised Widmore that he would kill his daughter, Penelope, as revenge for Widmore's henchman, Keamy, killing Ben's daughter, Alex.
12) Desmond said he would never return to the island, but in the preview for this season, we see him and Penelope apparently heading out on a trip. Did he change his mind in order to save his friends? He didn't last time, when he could've accompanied Sayid on the Zodiac craft from the freighter back to the island, but declined.
13) We do not know if Claire is dead or alive. She seemed to survive being blown up in the house in New Otherton, but then disappeared in the woods and was last seen hanging out with the very dead Christian Shepherd in Jacob's cabin, apparently unconcerned about the fate of her infant son. One hint: Miles (Mr. I See Dead People) couldn't stop staring at Claire after she survived the house blast.
14) Claire appeared in Aaron's bedroom at Kate's house and told Kate, "Don't bring him back. Don't you dare bring him back." We assume she means Aaron, but she did not mention him by name. Could she be referring to someone else?
15) While discussing Aaron, Hurley told Jack in the asylum, "You aren't supposed to raise him." "Him." See #13.
16) We still do not know who Jacob is, or if he exists at all.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Funnies from The Courteous Chihuahua, who might have to change her name after this post.
EW.com predicts who Oscar might like, and I predict who he won't.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
At over two and a half hours, it may be the longest top contender of the year. But judging from the knockout trailer, we're in for a sumptuous treat.
Buoyed by four phenomenal performances (from two past winners, one past nominee, and one soon-to-be nominee), the adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play will get people talking...and most likely voting.
If nitpickers let some of its historical fabrications slide, they'll find this political tale (originally a Broadway hit) as riveting as the groundbreaking series of interviews it details.
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
For the first time, the director of Seven and Fight Club is working with Academy-friendly themes of family and love.
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
The past winner in this category (for A Beautiful Mind) brings his sure hand to writer Peter Morgan's verbal duel between a president and a journalist.
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight
He's made arguably the best comic-book movie ever — and inarguably the year's biggest hit ($528 million domestically). In this economy, that can only be a plus.
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
The Oscar is the only major award the 70-year-old hasn't been nominated for in his decades-long career. An astonishingly lived-in performance as our 37th president will change that.
Sean Penn, Milk
He doesn't often play real people. But the Oscar winner's turn as Harvey Milk has some of the slain San Francisco activist's closest friends seeing double.
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
As a has-been Hulk Hogan type struggling both in and out of the ring, the '80s heartthrob turns in an unexpectedly emotional performance.
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Her career-altering work as an out-of-rehab model is the indie standout of the year. Working with Jonathan Demme doesn't hurt.
Meryl Streep, Doubt
A record-setting 15th nomination is a given for her commanding performance as a very determined nun. The real question: Can she win statuette No. 3?
Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road
The five-time nominee will get Supporting Actress attention for The Reader, so voters can focus on her juicy role here as a miserable suburbanite.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
This race often rewards comic roles (witness Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin). With The Soloist bumped to 2009, this is his best shot at a nod.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
He more than keeps pace with Meryl Streep as a priest accused of molestation. If voters follow the Supporting Actor campaign, he's a lock.
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Thanks to his unforgettable villainous turn, the late star (and past lead-actor nominee for Brokeback Mountain) is this year's surest thing.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Another feisty Spanish-speaking character (after 2006's Volver), another Oscar nod for the stunning actress — and her first in this category.
Viola Davis, Doubt
With just two scenes in the film, the stage veteran makes a devastating dramatic impact as the mother of a (possibly) molested child.
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Playing the fiercely loyal maternal figure to Brad Pitt's character, she's the embodiment of unconditional love.
And here are some you don't need to worry about.
Tom Cruise, Valkyrie
Mike Myers, The Love Guru
Piper Perabo or Jamie Lee Curtis, Beverly Hills Chihuahua
Adam Sandler, You Don't Mess With The Zohan
Kim Kardashian, Disaster Movie
Harrison Ford, Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of whatever
Daniel Day-Lewis, wasn't in anything
Sylvester Stallone, Rambo 4
Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino, Righteous Kill
Anyone in Sex & The City