Couldn't agree more. Berman is one of the top 10 (wait...let's double check ESPN's roster...), top 5 talents ESPN has. In fact, I propose a White House petition to bring back, back, back, back, back the Berman/Jackson NFL Primetime.
Two weeks ago, I dedicated my entire Jerks of the Week segment to my awesome Lost theory that Aaron is the Man In Black. I received several angry e-mails, including this one: "You should quit talking about Lost in your Jerks of the Week. I'll give you 3 weeks to stop doing that or else I'm never coming to the site again."
OK, so the people don't want my Lost theories and analysis, right? I neglected to mention the show in this week's Jerks entry, yet I once again received many complaints, including, "No LOST write-up in jerks of the week?!?!?! Come on Walt!"
Here's a compromise - for Sunday's 2.5-hour season finale, I've created a special edition of Jerks of the Week. It won't replace next week's entry; it'll simply be something extra for all of the dedicated viewers of the best TV show of all time.
And even if you're not an avid fan (or a fan at all), I really urge you to watch the finale (starts at 9 Eastern on Sunday night). With both Lost and 24 going off the air, Sunday and Monday will be the final two days of this golden age of television - and that means instead of staying home and watching TV, I'm actually going to have to leave my house and socialize. Bleh.
Why Across the Sea Sucked
Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse admitted it on Bill Simmons' podcast - Across the Sea was the most polarizing episode in the show's history. A small portion of the fan base loved it, while the rest of us were absolutely disgusted. I'm among the latter.
I had several problems with the episode:
1. Adam and Eve: Long ago, we were promised that we would learn the identity of Adam and Eve, the two skeletons found in the caves early in Season 1. I'm pretty sure we were also told that the identity of Adam and Eve would be one of the two items that would prove that the writers had the whole thing planned out from the beginning.
Now, if you were to go back in time five years and ask a Lost viewer whom they thought the two skeletons were, you would have heard "Jack and Kate," or "Sawyer and Kate," or "Jin and Sun," or "Charlie and Sayid" (not that there's anything wrong with that). If you told that viewer, "No silly, the two skeletons are Man In Black and his false mother," you would have drawn some quizzical and disgusted looks.
Adam and Eve were inconsequential - and that's my problem with it. We've been thinking about the identity of those two skeletons for five years. FIVE FREAKING YEARS. And as it turns out, we didn't even meet one of those characters until that very episode.
In my opinion, this was lazy writing. If the Lost writers actually cared about their audience, they would have found some way to tie in Adam and Eve into two characters we already knew.
Personally, I would have made it Aaron (Man In Black) and Claire (Man In Black's mother). But that ties into my defunct theory, which brings me to...
2. Man In Black's Mother: I'm not bitter that my "Aaron is the Man In Black" theory was wrong. I'm just frustrated that the Lost writers couldn't come up with anything remotely creative.
In Across the Sea, we discovered that Man In Black's crazy mother wasn't Claire; it was just some random woman who existed 2,000 years ago and protected the island for an unknown period of time. Unfortunately, we don't know anything else about her. How long was she there? Who made her the protector? Where did she come from? How did she learn so much about the island? How did she make it so Jacob and the Man In Black couldn't hurt each other?
This episode taught us about Jacob and the Man In Black, but here's the thing - the questions we had about them are now the same exact questions we have about the false mother.
In a sense, the episode accomplished absolutely nothing. Before Across the Sea, we asked, "Where did Jacob come from?" Now we ask, "Where did Jacob's false mother come from?" Before Across the Sea, we asked, "How does Jacob know so much about the island?" Now we ask, "How did Jacob's false mother know so much about the island?" Before Across the Sea, we asked, "How long has Jacob been on the island?" Now we ask, "How long was Jacob's false mother on the island?"
See what I mean? The episode taught us zilch about the mythos of the island. Sure, we learned about Jacob and Man In Black, but how is that important? Jacob's dead, and Jack is now the protector of the island. Meanwhile, we've known all along that Man In Black wants to leave. We've discovered why he wishes to do this, but is that really relevant? The important question is what happens if he's allowed to escape the island - which is something we're still clueless about.
3. Man In Black's Motives: Say you're 13 years old. The only people you've ever known are your mother and your twin brother. One day, a ghost appears, tells you that she's your real mother, and reveals that she was murdered by the woman you've been calling your mother your entire life.
Now, are you going to believe some ghost in a weird orange dress, or a woman who has loved you and cared for you for your entire existence?
I just don't buy it, nor do I believe that some 13-year-old kid would leave his family just to satisfy his curiosity. Now, if that kid had a disturbed childhood because his mom was crazy as a result from some evil island in the Pacific Ocean? Now that sounds like a great storyline.
4. No Mainstays: A big reason why most people hated Across the Sea was the lack of familiarity they had with the three characters featured in the episode. We've never seen the false mother before. Jacob was killed off in his first episode, and has barely been around in his ghost form. Man In Black, meanwhile, is still known as the Man In Black. Why don't we have a name for him yet? We saw his birth, so he's obviously not one of the characters still remaining on the show, as many once theorized. So, why not just give us his name?
Filming an entire episode of any show with no familiar characters is a lot to ask from an audience, which is why most people hated the Season 2 episode where they focused solely on the survivors from the tail section of Flight 815. People tune into the show because they've attached themselves to Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, etc. No one wanted 60 minutes of just three relatively new/brand new characters, two of whom are already dead.
5. How Would I Have Handled This Episode? You already know most of it. We show Aaron's terrible upbringing as a result of Claire's mental deterioration. Aaron learns of the island and what it did to his mother. He seeks help (maybe from Pierre Chang, Alvar Hanso or Gerald DeGroot) and finally locates the island. Maybe he's even the "brilliant man" Eloise Hawking referred to in Season 5 when she spoke to the Oceanic 6 in the church.
Aaron gets to the island. He goes back in time to change things (via the donkey wheel in the Orchid), but goes too far. Now, he and Jacob are the only ones on the island. He asks for Jacob's help, but Jacob declines since he refuses to interfere (as he told Richard earlier in Season 6). Aaron then discovers that Jacob is the one who will eventually summon Claire to the island, and thus develops a strong hatred for Jacob.
Having been born on the island, Aaron has powers (like with Miles hearing dead people and Ethan being super strong), and these powers are magnified with his hatred and thirst for revenge, thus allowing him to turn into an omnipotent black pillar of smoke.
Knowing that Aaron will just kill anyone summoned to the island, Jacob strikes a deal with his new smoke friend. If Aaron can kill Jacob and all of his predetermined potential replacements, Aaron would be allowed to leave the island. But if Jacob, a believer in humanity, could prove to Aaron that not all humans are corruptible, then Aaron will cease to exist.
After that, the audience would be shown how Jacob designated his candidates and watched them through his lighthouse. We'd steadily move forward through time, seeing glimpses of the important periods of the island's history - when the statue was built, when women weren't allowed to have children anymore, the reason behind the Dharma Purge, the demise of the French team under the temple, Dogen's arrival, etc. And all of these events would have to do with Jacob's candidates, and how Aaron was able to outsmart all of them into killing each other.
So that's my version of Across the Sea. Call me a fat arrogant bastard or whatever, but from someone who has watched every single episode of Lost at least four times, I feel that my Across the Sea would have been better than the one everyone hated last Tuesday. Not only would it have tied in some of the current characters, it also would have given Man In Black a more realistic motive to go on his 2,000-year killing spree.
As someone on Twitter (follow me @walterfootball) wrote to me, "If only the writers of Lost cared as much about the show as you do."
Lost Finale - Thoughts and Oddities
As much as I hated Across the Sea, I really liked this past episode, and I'm excited for the finale.
A couple of things of note: First, I'm not entirely convinced that Jack will be the protector of the island by the end of the show. It just seems too easy. In fact, I'm thinking that Hurley will be the new Jacob, simply because he told Kate that he didn't want it to be him.
Second, I really liked a theory I heard about the failsafe Desmond being the one in the flash sideways. What he's doing in this alternate reality is exactly what Charles Widmore planned, and I think it's now very apparent that Desmond is the key to killing Man In Black.
And third, shame on Whoopi Goldberg for coming up with the crappiest Lost theory of all time. When Jorge Garcia (Hurley) was a guest on The View, Whoopi theorized that everyone on Lost is related to each other because they all look alike. Whoa. Time to put down the crack pipe, Whoopi.
And without further ado, here are the Lost Finale oddities:
Will We Learn Man In Black's Name?
I'm willing to lay the $1.80 with "no." I thought Man In Black's identitiy was a big secret because he was someone we already knew. Apparently not. If his name is something stupid like "Joe" or "Sam," I'm going to be pissed.
Character Deaths: Pertaining to ORIGINAL characters only. Will Jack Die?
I think the Lost writers won't be lazy for once, and they're going to kill Jack off as he's attempting to protect/save the other survivors (most likely Kate).
Will Kate Die?
Everyone will get their wish. Kate will perish. Huzzah.
Will Sawyer Die?
If Kate dies, Sawyer will die. Those are the rules of screenwriting.
Will Hurley Die?
I'll be shocked if Hurley dies. Nothing bad ever happens to him, only the ones around him. Maybe that'll be the reason Hurley will finally accept the responsibility of being the protector of the island.
Will Desmond Die?
Yes, but the Flash Sideways Desmond will save everyone else.
Will Claire Die?
Why has she even been around this long if she's not Man In Black's mother? This version of Claire is hotter than the Flash Sideways one, so I hope she's not killed off.
Will Miles Die?
I love Miles, but he's a goner. He stole Nikki and Paulo's diamonds, so it's time to pay the price.
Will Richard Alpert Die?
Richard Alpert is the only character who wants to die. He'll be allowed to depart into the afterlife with Isabella - hopefully.
Will Ben Die?
This guy has killed hundreds of people in his lifetime, including his father, for the sole purpose of controlling the island. There is no way he survives. Hopefully his death will be some sort of sacrifice.
Who is David Shephard's Mother?
Juliet - 1/4
Ana Lucia - 3/1
Sarah Shephard - 5/1
Libby - 7/1
Nikki - 10/1
Charlotte - 12/1
Penny - 30/1
Shannon - 35/1
Field - 70/1
Rose - 200/1
It's probably Juliet, but I'm going to take a shot in the dark with Nikki at 10:1 odds - something out of left field. Why the heck not? This is pretend money for pretend odds.
Will Flash-Sideways Locke Walk Again?
Come on. Jack's the best spinal surgeon in the entire universe. Too bad he's not a real person, or no one would ever be paralyzed.
Will We See Shannon, Mr. Eko, Walt or Vincent in the Season Finale?
I didn't look at the guest list yet. I'm going to say that we'll see Mr. Eko, though I'm hoping the smoking-hot Shannon makes an appearance as well (preferrably in lingerie). Gigidy, gigidy, all right.
Will Flash-Sideways Ben Have a Sexy Time with Danielle Rousseau?
Get your mind out of the gutter, please. ABC is owned by Disney, so there will be no sexy times. Unfortunately.
Will Jack Bauer Kill Everyone on the Island?
Oh wait, that's Monday night. My bad.
Who Will Say the Final Word on Lost?
Jack - 1/5
Man In Black (in any form) - 3/2
Hurley - 3/1
Desmond - 3/1
Locke - 4/1
Sawyer - 4/1
Ben - 12/1
Jacob - 12/1
Kate - 15/1
Richard Alpert - 20/1
Claire - 25/1
Sayid - 40/1
Sun - 40/1
Jin - 40/1
Juliet - 40/1
Charles Widmore - 50/1
Eloise Hawking - 50/1
Miles - 80/1
Aaron - 80/1
David Shephard - 80/1
Field - 125/1
Kate's listed 15:1 because she told reporters that she wasn't in the finale scene. This is a tough one, but I'm sticking with Hurley because he's awesome. And if anyone can protect the island, it's him.
Will People Complain About This Lost Jerks of the Week Special Edition to Me Via Facebook and/or E-mail?