I may never be first to the game, but I’m still a very interested player in the world of Lost scoop.

Here is the Season 4 teaser video that Lost producers revealed at Comic-Con a few days ago.

It is a new Orientation Video for Station 6 (a.k.a. The Orchid), featuring Dr. Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund, now appearing as Edmund Halowax.

Here is my over-analytical perspective about what we see in this brief film:

There is an obvious candle theme relating to that Dharma Initiative actor/doctor. Marvin CANDLE, Mark WICKmund, Edmund HaloWAX. We have no idea if it is relevant to the show; more than likely it just a series of names that make Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse giggle.

In this clip, it appears that Dr. Candle/Wickmund/Halowax still has full use of his left arm and hand…which leads me to believe that it was filmed before the ‘incident’ that he refers to in the Orientation Video that Locke first watches in Desmond’s hatch. In a few of the other films, this character appears to have a prosthetic left arm and/or hand.

This is the third white bunny we’ve seen, but only the second one branded in sequential order with Hurley’s cursed numbers. The first was the #8 rabbit which Ben used to scare the bejesus out of Sawyer in “Every Man for Himself” (Season 3, episode 4). The second was Ben’s unmarked pet bunny, which we saw when pre-teen Ben first arrived on the island with his dad in “The Man Behind the Curtain” (Season 3, episode 20). And now this third white rabbit appears in the new Orientation film for Season 4, marked with the #15.

Bunnies have also made easter-egg appearances in many episodes past: Sawyer has been seen reading both Watership Down (rabbits are the main characters) and Of Mice and Men (protagonist is obsessed with rabbits). The unlucky Hurley found a rabbit’s foot in “Tricia Tanaka is Dead” (Season 3, episode 10). And who can forget the image late last season of Ben’s daughter Alex cooking fresh bunny rabbit over the fire for her next meal (yes, we’re aware of the symbolism, hating daddy and barbecuing his beloved bunny).

It looks like next season will continue with the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland theme from past seasons. You know, a character overcome by curiosity discovers a secret new location. Locke and his hatches above ground, Charlie and the Looking Glass underwater. Jack’s search for his father on the island in Season 1′s “White Rabbit.” Season 4 will probably lead us to an entirely new locale, hopefully one which reveals where Flight Attendant Cindy, Sheriff Isabel and the kidnapped Tail Section kids live.

Rabbits have been known to represent fertility. We know that Juliet and the Others are certainly interested in that topic.

Moving on to another possible clue from this new Orientation Film…clones. It appears as if a second Bunny #15 magically appears on set, freaking everyone out. So if The Orchid isn’t a botanical station, as they state in the video, is it where the Dharma folks are experimenting with cloning? There have been a million theories throughout the history of Lost about human clones, and the release of that silly book Bad Twin did nothing but egg on that conspiracy. Of course it is probably just another bit of misdirection to get us geeks to obsess about that possibility until February. Of course the second bunny may be explained by…

The Casimir Effect, which is also mentioned in this video. So of course I had to look it up (I am a Lit major, not a Physics expert). Here is the shortest yet most comprehensive definition I could find: “An attractive force between two parallel, conducting plates in empty space that arises from zero-point quantum fluctuations of the vacuum electromagnetic field.” Um, exactly. What? We know that an electromagnetic field plays a large role on the island (see: Desmond’s now-imploded hatch, the computer and numbers which caused the anomaly and subsequent plane crash, Penny’s search team, etc.). But hey, as least the Casimir Effect mentions the word parallel…which could fuel the clone idea.

The Clockwork Orange brainwashing element that we were introduced to in “Not in Portland (Season 3, episode 7) also infiltrated The Orchid video. There were a few subliminal images quickly flashing throughout this Orientation Film, including what looks like a random tall building and Dharma founder Gerald DeGroot. We first saw Karl held captive, wearing LED glasses, being forced to watch a series of such messages in Room 23 at the Hydra Station on Other Island.

What? Don’t look at me that way. I’ve been home recovering from a minor medical thing for a few days and was thrilled to have something to do other than watch a continuous flow of disappointing indies.

Anyone care to elaborate about what you saw in this new Orientation Film or debunk any of my theories?

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You don’t have to be regular viewer of the show to enjoy The Simpsons Movie.

And here is my very brief review: I haven’t laughed out loud that much at a movie since Knocked Up. It’s damn funny. Very self-aware, clever and chock full of pop culture references. Go see it.

Oh, and have patience when it ends. There are a few gems throughout the credits.

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I loved the pilot episode of this new FX series. It was intense and beautifully filmed…which didn’t surprise me when I saw the name Allen Coulter in the credits. He has directed episodes of some of my favorite shows of all time (as well as last year’s Hollywoodland):

The X-Files
Sex & The City
Six Feet Under
The Sopranos

I really like his style; muted, eerie and intense.

But the real star of Damages is the obvious one – Glenn Close. She is unbelievable on this show, the evil intent simmering just beneath that Hillary Clinton hair. It will be nice to see her on a weekly basis.

I don’t want to give anything way. Just watch it. Trust me.


This new show boasts two Sopranos alum (writer/producer Matthew Weiner and director Alan Taylor), and it is also quite stylish. Featuring a cast of character actors, the series takes a slick look at the world of  advertising in 1960 through the eyes of an office full of well dressed secretaries and ad execs. It was the end of an openly sexist era, on the cusp on being challenged by newly empowered women, and that tension is exposed with great success on the show.

Mad Men is AMC’s first original scripted series, and they certainly picked a winner out of the gate.

Totally worth of a TiVO summer season pass.

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Harold Perrineau will be returning to the land of Lost in Season 4.

My guess is that we’ll find out he was being held captive on Naomi’s ship after she intercepted his attempt to leave with Walt on the boat that Ben gave him. As for the mysterious Walt and his growth spurt, who the hell knows when and where he’ll show up next.

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I love bad movies. Even if they suck from scene 1, I’m in for the ride. Case in point – I’m watching Basic Instinct 2 right now. On purpose. Even my TiVO seemed to twitch and cast a disparaging digital eye in my direction when I chose to record it.

That being said, I’ve subjected myself to a few stinkers this week. Unfortunately, both co-starred Toni Collette, one of my favorite actresses.

Below are brief reviews of the two movies I could barely sit through, followed by an open letter to the very talented Ms. Collette.

Look at this cast: Josh Brolin, Rose Byrne, Toni Collette, Bruce Davison, James Franco, Marcia Gay Harden, Mary Beth Hurt, Piper Laurie, Brittany Murphy, Giovanni Ribisi, Mary Steenburgen, Kerry Washington. And yet…the film itself is so disappointing. I can see why each of these actors signed on; the concept was interesting and dark, but the execution was slow and bland.

I find it hard to believe that the same man who wrote Tales of the City also penned the novel and adapted the screenplay for this clunker (Armistead Maupin). Let’s be honest,  Robin Williams hasn’t been good (or appeared in) a good movie since Good Will Hunting. And that was ten years ago. Anyway, this film is a very slow and poor cousin to most psychological thrillers, and fails miserably in almost all categories (acting, pacing, dialogue, cinematography).


Dear Toni Collette,

I am a big fan. You have amazing range, capable of transforming before our eyes from one film to the next. You’ve made great choices. Until recently.

Aside from a few questionable career moves (Shaft & Changing Lanes), you seem to choose your roles quite wisely. You were brilliant in Muriel’s Wedding, and The Sixth Sense really put you on everyone’s radar (that Best Supporting Actress nod was well-deserved). Your brief appearance in The Hours was very impactful and memorable, About a Boy was great, and Connie and Carla was a pretty decent little comedy. You even made In Her Shoes tolerable, outshining the overrated Cameron Diaz by a mile. And you could do no wrong in Little Miss Sunshine.

So I have to ask…what were you thinking when you signed on to The Dead Girl and The Night Listener? Seriously, both were pretty unwatchable. I’m sure that on paper, both films seemed appealing, with good casts and intriguing scripts. But did you really feel, at any point during filming, that either of these scripts would translate well on the big screen and/or be commercially appealing?

Here’s the good news – I will continue to see every movie you’re in. I know there is an Academy Award in your future. And you’re not alone in the Great Actresses Who’ve Made Crappy Movies category; 14-time Oscar nominee Meryl Streep made She-Devil, for crying out loud.  

- Jo

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