SciFi Weekend: Lost Premiere; Heroes Finale; Neil Gaiman Writing For Doctor Who; Julie Benz Remains on Wisteria Lane

LA X, the season premiere of Lost, gave two answers for what happened after the bomb went off. The show first showed a scene aboard Oceanic Flight 815 in which the plane did not crash on the island. The real surprise here was that more changed than just the fate of the characters we have been following. The entire island was under water.

Rather than alternating between present and flashbacks, the show alternated with views of one reality in which the plane did not crash and another in which the explosion threw everyone from the past to 2007 after the hatch was blown up. It is not clear why an explosion would do this as opposed to either changing the time line or killing everyone, but this is Lost.

In what might be another key scene, Juliet had some last words: “It worked.” I take this to mean that the other time line is equally real as the one on the island but wonder how Juliet would know this. If it was Desmond I would have an easier time seeing how a character would be seeing two different realities.  As we’ve often seen the dead interacting with the living, perhaps being near death is what allowed Juliet to see both realities.

The episode reveals more about the smoke monster, showing it is also the Man in Black. Questions remain as to his actual role and relationship to Jacob. I’ve seen reports that his actual nemesis is someone other than Jacob (who did not really seem to object to getting killed). The scene at the temple also revealed what happened to some of the passengers from Oceanic 815 who have not been seen in quite a while.

In the other reality we are reminded that, despite their eagerness to return home, many of the passengers were better off on the island. Jack’s life is still a mess, and now there’s the added complication that his father’s body is missing. I suspect that means he is still alive. Kate is on the run from the law (and reportedly Sawyer is a cop). Rose presumably still has cancer. Locke cannot walk, but perhaps he will take up Jack’s offer and be cured. One major difference is with Hugo who describes himself as the world’s luckiest man in this reality. TV Overmind has posted the above picture which also shows that Hugo had played a different set of numbers when he won the lottery. This returns to the question of the significance of the numbers. Perhaps Hurley’s luck all depended upon which numbers were played.

With the island under water people will be in different places in this reality. We already saw that Desmond is somehow still connected to the other passengers. With no hatch for him to be busy pushing the button in he wound up as another passenger on Oceanic 815. There’s no indication as to whether he is involved with Penny in this reality. Ben would be entirely different if he hadn’t lived on the island. Elizabeth Mitchell has a new show to keep her busy, but there are reports she will return as Juliet later in the season. It is not clear how she would interact with characters that in this reality she would not know (unless the two realities are merging together by then).

Tomorrow night is the season finale of Heroes. There has been talk that NBC plans to end the series but reportedly the episode was not written to be a series finale in the hopes that the series would be renewed.  I sure hope that they don’t end with a cliff hanger if the show is not returning. Masi Oka  told Fancast that possibly the episode could have been edited to be a series finale:

“They could probably edit it [to provide closure],” Masi Oka told me. “But whatever the case, I really hope that we get an opportunity to at least give the show a proper ending in one way or another. We want to pay respect to the fans who have been with us since Day 1.”

Neil Gaiman has verifed rumors that he is writing an episode of Doctor Who but it won’t be appearing until the second season under Steven Moffatt.  SFX reports:

In a special message sent to the SFX Weekender in his acceptance speech for winning Best Comic at the SFX Awards, Neil Gaiman has confirmed that he is writing an episode for the second Matt Smith season of Doctor Who.

Although not present personally, Neil Gaiman sent the following message:

“Over the years SFX, and its readers and their votes in the polls, have always been very kind to me. I thought I’d return the favour with what used to be called, in journalistic circles when I was a boy, a scoop.

As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching — from behind the sofa — when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called “The House of Nothing”. But it definitely isn’t called that any more.

Countdown. You’ve got about 14 months.”

Julie Benz was originally signed to appear on three episodes of Desperate Housewives after she concluded her role on Dexter. TV Squad reports that her character was so well-received that she will be remaining longer. Their post gives some spoilers as to upcoming story lines.

The Superbowl Is Not The Biggest Football Game This Week

The Super Bowl’s ok but I’m far more interested in whether the East Dillon Lions can upset the West Dillon Panthers in the big game on Friday Night Lights. GO EAST DILLON!!

I won’t give any more details about the season for the benefit of those waiting until NBC shows the series this spring, but I figure everyone realized that this showdown was inevitable after last season ended with Coach Eric Taylor being fired at what was then Dillon High School and getting a job at the reopened East Dillon High.

The season does get into an issue which readers of this blog should find interesting but I’ll let people see this as it develops.

One other minor (and predictable) mini-spoiler: Tim Riggins gets in trouble.

Sarah Palin’s Hand

A dab of Purell not only destroys harmful germs. It can wash away all of Sarah Palin’s talking points.

Palin’s use of crib notes on her palm, which I discussed more seriously here, is likely to remain a source for endless jokes about Palin, such as in my current Facebook status above. She is lucky this came out too late for Saturday Night Live last night but I can imagine the late night comedians really getting her on Monday.

Will David Letterman’s Top Ten List be The Top Ten Things Written on Sarah Palin’s Hand?

I’m not sure why so many people are surprised by this. After all, it is how she got through all those tests in college.

Palin, Palm Notes, and Telepromters

There’s been a lot of uproar in the blogosphere about how Sarah Palin used crib notes written on her palm during her speech before the Tea Party convention. The real problem is not that she used crib notes, which I see nothing wrong with (although she could have been more discrete) but that her crib notes were to a question during the Q&A session.

Just like George Bush, it looks like Sarah Palin is relying on planted questions. Considering the disasters we have seen when she has tried to take questions from the media this is somewhat understandable. Still, she is before a friendly audience and I would think she could handle questions from that crowd.

I am far more concerned about the content of her answer, such as calling for government to seek divine intervention from God, than whether she got this answer from her palm.

Many have pointed out the hypocrisy of having crib notes after attacking Barack Obama for using a teleprompter. Crib notes are not the same as a teleprompter with the entire text. My suspicion is that there are three main reasons why Palin could get by with limited crib notes while Obama prefers a teleprompter:

  1. Memorizing a speech word for word takes much more time. Obama has a day job at present. Sarah Palin does not.
  2. It is easier to give a speech with vague generalities without the prepared text to read. For example, when you are calling for budget cuts but avoiding any specifics as to what you would cut it is easier to talk with minimal notes.
  3. As far as I can determine, there was not a prepared text distributed to the press prior to the speech. Prepared text for Obama’s speeches are routinely released ahead of time and the media quotes from these. While there would normally be no problem with a speaker varying from the actual prepared text while making the planned points, there could be confusion when a prepared text has been made public.

The teleprompter argument is also a bogus argument as Barack Obama has spoken many times without a teleprompter. This included his recent question and answer session at a Republican gathering. During the presidential campaign he varied between the use of a teleprompter and speaking without one, such as prior to a key speech prior to the Iowa caucuses in which he memorized the speech believing this would give it more intensity.

Here is the full video of Palin’s speech: