SciFi Friday (Saturday Edition): Jack & Kate and Ted & Robin, and the Goat

This week we had two shows which deal with relationships viewed at different points in time. Lost was a Jack-centered story in which the flash forward showed Jack and Kate living together at some point after Kate’s trial. Jack proposed but we saw the seeds of the end of their relationship which would lead to them talking by the airport at the end of last season. We also saw the beginning of Jack’s problem with drugs and alcohol, as well as an explanation of why he mentioned his father in last season’s finale.

Back on the island Jack gets appendicitis, raising the question as to why Jack, and earlier Ben, developed medical problems while the trend for everyone else (who manages to avoid a traumatic death or pregnancy) is to have problems cured. There was little drama in Jack developing the appendicitis as we know he survives, and I suspect that the fact that he developed a life-threatening problem at all is the significant point.

We possibly also learn why Claire doesn’t make it off the island, depending upon whether we ever see her again after having disappeared at the end of the episode. The scene with Jin and Charlotte is also consistent with having seen Sun but not Jin off the island. Another question is raised when Kate, back at home, tells Jack that she is doing a favor for Sawyer. Is this something he requested before Kate left, is Sawyer also off the island, or are they in contact?

The supernatural element of the series also takes on greater importance. It appears that the dead can return to influence the living. The warnings against others raising Aaron in the past, along with the “message” from Charlie via Hurley, appear to be important.

How I Met Your Mother also deals with a relationship that we know will never lead to marriage, along with flashes to the future and information from the past. I bet that not many have considered the number of ways in which the show is like Lost.

Many episodes begin with a flash forward as Ted is telling his kids far more about his dating years than most men would ever dream of telling their children (or spouse). Due to these flash forwards we do not know who Ted eventually marries, but we do know it will not be “Aunt Robin.” Ted and Robin broke up at the end of last season. Last week Barney, in direct violation of the Bro Code, slept with her. Barney even hired Marshall to search for a loophole in the code but the Bro Code is just too tight. Barney also thought he could tell Marshall and take advantage of lawyer-client confidentiality, but by the end of the episode everyone knew.

This damaged Barney’s friendship with Ted, but the episode ended with an unexpected flash forward from Ted’s thirtieth to thirty-first birthday. The goat is still around and eats Robin’s hand towel in Ted’s bathroom. Either they get back together, Robin has reason to be staying at Ted’s or perhaps they swap apartments as the gang did in Friends. (To be honest, How I Met Your Mother is far more like Friends than Lost.)

Doctor Who, for those of us downloading from The B.B.C. also deal with romance which did not succeed and time. I think it is safe to tell those who are watching on the SciFi Channel that Martha Jones brings The Doctor back to earth. This begins a promising start to a two-part episode in which the earth is in danger.

The Fires of Pompeii aired on the SciFi Channel last night (which is why I postponed SciFi Friday until today). There’s mention of another missing planet, which many believe is connected to Rose hopping around between dimensions, along with allusions to classic episodes of the series. The episode helped establish Donna as a moral influence on The Doctor, which will be seen again in the following week’s episode. (However in a later episode she will show a skill which might raise questions.)

Changing time also became an issue for the Timelord. The Doctor could not prevent the volcano from destroying Pompeii because that was a known and fixed part of history. There was a flaw in his argument because it is somewhat arbitrary what is a fixed part of history. On the surface the argument is plausible because we, the viewers, know about Pompeii. However to people in the future in other areas where he intervenes he might also be changing their known history. Donna does convince The Doctor to save one family, but how does he know whether this will change history?

On Battlestar Galactica Starbuck faced a mutiny on the Demitrius but the previews show she does not wind up returning to Galactica. It looks like we will be seeing a lot more interaction with the Cylons, possibly including an alliance with one side of the civil war.

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