Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 5/8/09

As of this week, John Locke is large and in charge on LOST. He strutted through the Others’ village like a conquering hero — or the returning king that he is. When Richard Alpert noticed the change in Locke’s demeanor, John said, simply, “I have a purpose now.” Well, he certainly has direction at least. He solidified his control over the people by insisting on confronting Jacob rather than accepting his orders, sight unseen. Hmmm, what happened to the “man of faith” who was so willing to accept the word of others? Seems like John has grown up. Now he wants a reason to follow Jacob. And he’s going to give his people a reason to follow him instead of the disembodied Jacob. Locke slapped down Ben by noting, “The Island told me. Doesn’t it tell you things?” That was in connection with Locke’s impeccable timing in sending Richard to meet John’s time-traveling self.We saw those events from John’s perspective in the season premiere. Now we know how Richard knew to treat a gunshot wound, and why he gave Locke the compass. The episode ended with John leading the Others on a mission not just to find Jacob, but to kill him. “I’m starting to think John Locke is gonna be trouble,” Richard Alpert said. “Why do you think I tried to kill him?” Ben replied. Jack, meanwhile, as apparently taken up Locke’s mantel of faith. He decided that detonating the bomb is the reason most of the Oceanic 6 were sent to 1977. In other words, it’s their destiny. He has no reason to believe Faraday’s wild theories, other than Daniel’s death — which proves the past can be altered. (Or can it? It appears that Faraday always died in 1977 — even if he existed in the future — so nothing was actually changed.) So Jack is taking just the sort of leap of faith that Locke was known for. Jack was determined to change the past in the hopes of undoing all the tragedy that happened since Flight 815 crashed. But, “It wasn’t all misery,” Kate suggested, “Enough of it was,” Jack replied.

Sawyer and Juliet were enduring misery back at the DHARMA Initiative, where Radzinsky insisted on torturing LaFleur (Sawyer) to find out where Kate went. Radzinsky went so far as to declare himself the new leader of DHARMA. We know the fate that awaits Radzinsky: creating the blast door map and editing the orientation film before blowing his own brains out. This is clearly the beginning of his madness. Of course, it’s not like his buddies are any better. You can bet Sawyer will have a word with Phil about hitting Juliet. Because Dr. Chang believed Faraday’s journal — and because Hurley cannot lie effectively ( “Dude, we’re from the future.”) — he ordered the island evacuated. Sawyer bartered a trip aboard the submarine, Galaga, for himself and Juliet. Sawyer resolved to use his knowledge of the future to get rich by doing things like buying Microsoft stock and betting the Cowboys in the 1978 Super Bowl. How about that “Good riddance” sneer before boarding Galaga? Next week is the two-hour season finale, which will set the stage for the final season of the series. We have to figure we will see the Incident — unless Jack stops it. But maybe detonating Jughead causes the Incident by making the impending release of electromagnetic energy even worse?

I liked that SUPERNATURAL was super-talky this week; I could even have done without the fraternal fistfight at the end, but I guess the-powers-that-be felt like they needed to add some action. I was totally entertained by Castiel acting in mysterious ways, Anna getting dragged back to heaven, Alistair being all sadistic, and Sam’s mom dropping by. Not to mention how Jared Padalecki got to stretch some acting muscles and emote. I really bought the sibling rivalry between the boys. Will Lucifer himself cameo in next week’s season finale?

Y’know, when words are bleeped on SOUTH PARK, it’s frakkin’ hilarious. When words are bleeped on SOUTHLAND, it’s just … well, desperate. Like, the-powers-that-be are putting on airs: “Oh, we’re an edgy cop show with gritty, realistic dialogue, but The Man, over in Standards & Practices, he won’t let us express ourselves.” In reality, SOUTHLAND is more like the second coming of ADAM-12 than THE SHIELD.

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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