Thursday, March 29, 2007
'Lost' - "Exposé"
Remember the episode a few weeks back which I called fun fluff? The one in which Hurley found the DHARMA Bus? It was a fun episode, but it was fluff as it really didn't have much to do with the ongoing storylines and didn't move things forward.
I feel last night's episode was also fluff. Oh, not fun fluff -- more of a disturbing fluff, but fluff nonetheless. Now, I'm not saying either episode wasn't entertaining. Both were entertaining and interesting. But they're both fluff for not moving the story forward. And, after the past few weeks of answered mysteries, fluff glares.
This episode reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where they did the whole thing backwards, starting from the ending and then leading to the actual beginning. Also, the episode addressed the two new characters, Nikki and Paulo, which were supposed to be introduced in the fall season premiere when they were supposedly caught having sex in Jack's tent. That scene got cut, and the show never explained the two new faces on the island at all.
The writers gave their mysterious appearance more than one nod in this episode, speaking for the audience via none other than Sawyer himself. Good. I'm glad he's as confused as the audience is! The episode was Paulo and Nikki-centric. Someone had to ask it... "Who the hell are Paulo and Nikki?"
Nikki was working on the set of an Australian hit TV show which had stripper pole-dancer types working in some sort of undercover dealings led by their boss, played by Billy Dee Williams. Nikki played the character of Corvette in Exposé; a character who was killed off in the episode we saw "filmed."
Ah, but Nikki had a thing going on with the show's director, Howell (or is it Howard?) Zuckerman. No, she wasn't interested in him, per se. He was an old rich man. He was a target for Nikki and her boyfriend, Paulo. She poisoned him with something which would make it look like a heart attack. Then she and Paulo stole a nesting-doll which we'd later find out had a pouch or bag of diamonds worth eight million dollars.
They caught up on the news of his death as they waited to board Flight 815 out of Sydney. They saw Shannon and Boone pass through arguing and declared they would never become a bickering couple like that. They're too much in love, after all. Paulo put the nesting doll with its bag of diamonds and his nicotine gum together in a bag for the flight. He decided he would quit smoking so he could live longer with his true love, Nikki.
That's basically the content of the real flashbacks although the beginning of the story on the island was just about the end. Not quite the end, but it set forth the puzzle which would unravel. It's hard to explain, but I'll do my best.
On the Island:
Hurley and Sawyer were playing ping-pong when Nikki staggered out of the woods, collapsing in front of them. "Dude, Nikki's dead," said Hurley. "Who the hell is Nikki?," asked Sawyer. But she wasn't dead. She uttered something which sounded like "Paulo lies." Then, her eyes remained open as she died in front of Hurley, Jin, and Sawyer.
They checked -- there were no marks on her, no sign of trauma. Jin thought it was the island monster. Sawyer didn't think so. Was it poison? Heart failure? The Others?
They notice dirt under her nails and went the direction from which she had arrived.
There was Paulo, very dead with his eyes open, too. They dragged him back to the beach and put his body next to Nikki.
Sawyer produced a gun and decided he was going to do a "perimeter sweep." The phrase confused poor Hurley who must not watch serious crime shows, although he's thrilled by Exposé. When Hurley questioned Sawyer about where he got the gun, Sawyer told him "off of one of them," referring to Nikki and Paulo.
Leaving Sawyer, Hurley went to Desmond to ask if he knew anything. After all, Desmond has his "power." Nope, he didn't. But he told Hurley that he saw Sawyer and Nikki fighting over something earlier in the day.
Armed with that information, Hurley went to Charlie and Sun. Sun really thought that it was the Others who killed them because her own experience when kidnapped was so horrible. Charlie then confessed to her that he was the one who kidnapped her and that Sawyer wanted it to look like the Others did it. When confronted by Hurley and Sun, Sawyer said that the fight was because Nikki wanted the gun. Hurley demanded it back and we find out there were no bullets in it all along. Sawyer also found a walkie-talkie in Paulo's stuff which indicated he was working with the Others.
Sawyer found what Nikki was digging about -- a pouch of diamonds. He tried to give them to Sun who slapped him. The diamonds are worthless on the island. She told him she wouldn't tell Jin, as that would make another grave on the island.
They dug a large double-grave in the beach for Nikki and Paulo, both of their eyes were still open. Sawyer tossed the diamonds in as Hurley gave a eulogy. "They killed each other for diamonds." Sawyer once again asked, "Who the hell are they?" They covered the grave with a huge mound of dirt.
Oh, but that's not the whole story. In island quasi-flashbacks, the story of Nikki and Paulo's time on the island after the crash of Flight 815 was told. Hey, they were at the crash scene in the season opener and we just didn't notice them!
75 Days Ago: Nikki and Paulo are frantic to find their bag which contained the nesting doll diamond stash and Paulo's nicotine gum. Ethan told them the plane split into two parts and we saw Boone once again.
57 Days Ago: Nikki went to the now dead (exploded) school science teacher, Leslie Artz, to see if he could give her an idea on the trajectory of the other part of the plane. While there, she looks at his bugs. He told her about a Medusa spider as she looks at one jar. He reminds her of the mythological Medusa, after which the spider is named.
48 Days Ago: Paulo and Nikki were still searching for the bag. Paulo found it while in a pond, amongst seats of dead bodies from the crash. He found it and lied to her.
32 Days Ago: Paulo, chewing the nicotine gum, was burying the nesting doll of diamonds on the beach when approached by Locke. Locke told him "things don't stay buried here." Yes, it sounded a bit Stephen King-ish. He went on to explain that high tide was due and and beach erosion would un-bury the item. If he wanted to bury it, he should go inland.
Paulo went to the Pearl Hatch, something he and Nikki found during their search. They also found Yemi's plane. He hid the nesting doll in the tank of the toilet. But then Juliet and Ben arrived, apparently using the tunnel to get in. Paulo eavesdropped at they talked about making Jack do the surgery to save Ben. When Juliet asked Ben how he would get him to perform the surgery, Ben said, "Like I do with anyone. I'll find out what he's emotionally invested in and exploit it." They left and then Paulo left after pocketing a walkie-talkie he found in the monitor room.
9 Days Ago: Locke, Jack, and others are in the Pearl Station. Paulo, fearing his hiding place would be found, retrieves the pouch from the nesting doll, then smashes the doll itself to destroy the evidence.
12 Hours Ago: Paulo and Nikki were talking -- she's upset that they missed Thanksgiving two weeks ago. They talked about not finding the bag of diamonds was probably the best thing. They're all lovey-dovey. After all, the diamonds would have torn them apart. Paulo got up to get some wood (or something), Nikki picks up the nicotine gum package which fell from his pocket.
Knowing that Paulo lied to her, she then went to Sawyer to get a gun (hence the fight with Sawyer). As she leaves, Sawyer calls out to her, "Who the hell are you?"
8 Hours Ago: Nikki confronted Paulo with the gum package and told him she knows he has the diamonds. She figures they're hidden on him, and whips out a jar with a Medusa spider in it. As she lets it bite him on the neck and its venom does its stuff, she told him that the bite would paralyze him for about eight hours and it should strike quickly due to where he was bit. She retrieved the bag of diamonds from down in his pants and... wham... Medusa spiders! One bites her on the ankle. She buries the bag of diamonds quickly, then stumbles to the beach where she collapsed in front of Sawyer, Hurley, and Jin.
So, she didn't mumble "Paulo lies." She mumbled "Paralyzed." Now they're buried alive. Vincent, the dog, grabbed the blanket from them before they started the burial, so the dog may be aware they're alive. And, I have a feeling that Locke's statement about things not remaining buried on the beach may indicate they'll unbury themselves. Seeing as the last timeline given was eight hours and the effect of the venom is eight hours, they're just about unparalyzed.
It creeped me out as they buried them alive.
As I said, this was a very interesting episode. But, for the most part, all it did was explain Paulo and Nikki's appearance on the island. Is there any significance to the numbers in their island storyline? Yes, eight is a major Lost number and it's significant as the venom lasts eight hours. But the others?
Who the hell are Paulo and Nikki, anyway?