M: Not “Woah”, cop out! Total B.S.! I call shenanigans!
E: We knew from the start that the box was going to get Emanda in trouble.
M: Yeah, well, that wasn’t so hard to call. Having the Talented Mr Tyler end up in a psych ward instead of jail, and then having him find a way to break out, and break out without anyone alerting the people he was arrested for holding at gunpoint, and having him break into Emanda’s house and find her secret compartment (and for the record, she totally would have had a safe in there that he wouldn’t have been able to crack) and have a secret hangout, and find and kidnap the in-hiding Fauxmanda? Um, yeah, did you notice how many ands I had to put in that sentence?
E: As a matter of fact, I did.
M: Now, it’s not Die Hard 3 (Sam Jackson driving 80mph and yet spotting and recognizing Bruce Willis as he gets shot out of a manhole cover by a spout of water) or Face/Off (John Travolta not being able to hit Nic Cage while shooting at him with an uzi from 10 feet away, then taking out every cop covered in body armor on a boat a half mile away, then going back to shoot and not hitting Cage), but seriously, you expect us to buy ANY of that?
E: No, not so much.
M: And that’s just the start of the episode. I have really enjoyed this show, but this episode was NOT a step in the right direction for me. Ok, anyway, let’s get back to the show.
E: So this is what we know. Someone knocked Daniel out (it’s very clearly Daniel falling face first into the sand in the beginning of the episode) and took the photograph that Tyler had given him from Emanda’s infinity box.
M: It was clearly Daniel in the pilot, and I’m not buying that it was him being knocked out at that point. He was dead in September, but now that people like his character, he’s still alive. Grrr. What else?
E: At first, Tyler convinces Fauxmanda that Em’s betrayed her, and so uses her help in getting both the ransom money for the box (without actually returning it) and also Emanda’s gun, the better to shoot down Daniel and frame Emanda with.
M: See, this is the stuff that keeps me interested. They go and pull a ton of crap, but they still managed to make it entertaining and engaging. I couldn’t buy the set up of Tyler getting there and all the stuff he had, but the scenes themselves with him and Fauxmanda were good.
E: They were, in large part because Tyler wasn’t entirely wrong about Emanda. Eventually, however, Fauxmanda realizes that Em really has been trying to get her out of harm’s way (framing Tyler for Frank’s murder) and escapes his clutches.
M: This is exactly what I’m talking about. They created a ridiculous scenario in which Tyler had all the power, but then despite the overwhelming evidence that should turn Fauxmanda to his side, they slip in that one piece that makes her realize he’s just manipulating her, and that Emanda *may* still be true to her. That was well done.
E: Ah, it’s so complicated, isn’t it? Emanda has sort of betrayed Fauxmanda (framing her for torching Mason’s house) but also, she’s tried to help. So, good. Fauxmanda takes off, running back to Jack, who’s on his way to build a school in Haiti. No sooner does Jack mention that Em has told him not to give up on Amanda (total weirdness at the time) but she runs away, hoping to stop Tyler. And Jack has her blood on his hands. What?
M: Um, did you not notice that Tyler shot at her as she was running away? As soon as I saw that I knew she’d been hit. I was surprised, however, that it doesn’t appear that she’ll end up dead. First, though, she ended up at Daniel’s beach. As did Jack.
E: Jack hears the shots, and finds Fauxmanda squatting over the body. Though she denies it, clearly Jack thinks she’s killed the body they presume to be Daniel. Finding Daniel’s phone in the body’s tux pocket doesn’t change the impression. You know, it’s funny – I expected there to be more of a love triangle to the show, but with the whole Fauxmanda plotline, they’ve lost the real epic feel Emily and Jack started off with.
M: That’s really true. They started it off like there would be one, but made it clear early on that the Emanda-Jack thing was DOA because she couldn’t tell him who she was. Then they went and had him fall for Fauxmanda, and had her fall for him, too. All the while Em shows signs of having genuine feelings for Daniel, and so the triangle, or quadrangle, fizzles. Back to the beach, everything fell apart quickly.
E: What, when Jack drags the body to the dunes, where it’s found by Declan and Charlotte (who instigated some skinny dipping while hopped up on Jack’s old pain pills)?
M: I have to say, Declan calling Jack 8 Mile because of the hoodie might have been my favorite moment of the episode. But just like in the pilot, Charlotte’s screams bring the rest of the party to the beach.
E: But unlike in the pilot, they turn the body over, and – voila! It’s not Daniel, but Tyler – who, like every other guy at the party is wearing the same suit. It’s a cop out that we didn’t get to see who did the shooting. But it’s even more of a cop out that it wasn’t Daniel. I really enjoy Daniel, don’t get me wrong, but it takes away a lot of the emotional power and poignancy that he’s not dead. Is that weird of me? I mean, it’s not like I want him dead.
M: No, it’s not just you. As much as I like him, all I could say to the twist was “BOO”!
E: Back to what we do know… we know it was someone wearing a black suit jacket and black glove. A white someone. Probably a male someone, since the exposed wrist was hairy and the suit seemed like a guy’s suit.
M: Oh, I’m not so sure it’s a male someone. I didn’t see much hair on the arm, and the hand and wrist looked like they could have been smallish, leading to the potential that it could be a woman. It was definitely a black jacket, though, which means it was not Daniel-san.
E: Okay, maybe. If it WAS a woman, who could it be? We pretty much know everyone’s whereabouts – except, hmm, Lydia. But how did Daniel get blood all over him?
M: That’s another very good question, one that I don’t have an answer to yet. Also, in the scene where they showed Daniel fall, didn’t they show Tyler putting two shots into the back of a person (we assumed Daniel) lying face down on the beach? I could have sworn we could make out his face in that shot.
E: Wait, whose face?
M: Sorry, poor use of pronouns… Tyler’s face. As for potential female murderers, I’m trying to remember if we know for sure where Ashley was at the time, but Lydia’s another good thought. The black jacket definitely narrows things down, though.
E: Of course, the only people at the party dressed in black were bodyguards (the bodyguard of Nolan’s we’ve seen before was there, but is black and muscly and so exonerated).
M: However, they very easily could have had someone change jackets for the scene, and given how crappily done the Tyler reinsertion plot device was, I wouldn’t put that past them. Plus, Dogen (the name of the character that the actor who plays Mr Takeda played on LOST, and a cooler name) and Nolan had a “wink and a nod” moment right before, and he picked up Fauxmanda, so I’m not counting either of them out.
E: Takeda’s at the top of my list of suspects – he found the box in Tyler’s lair (and how did he do that?), and could have just been cleaning up Emily’s mess, so to speak.
M: Well, he’s clearly both a total badass, and looking to clean up her mess, as he also drove Fauxmanda from the scene at the end in a really sweet sports car. I still don’t have a feel for what his motivation is, but I think they’ll likely delve into that more in the weeks to come.
E: Agreed. Could he be thinking it’s a better revenge if Daniel’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit and the only way Victoria can save him is to tell the truth about David Clarke?
M: I don’t know, I think that Daniel being taken from Victoria, with Charlotte being in a place of potentially never forgiving her and her show of a marriage officially ending is close to as low as she could get. Now, I also don’t know why they made some of the other choices they did in this episode, like Emanda intentionally being prickly to Victoria. I feel like she should (really would!) have used the opportunities presented to get in Mommy Dearest’s good graces and get even closer to her to be able to twist the knife further and deeper.
E: Oh, I don’t know. She’s never been one to suck up to Victoria; her strategy’s been different all along.
M: True enough, but with all the reevaluating that has had to take place, and the amazing opportunity that this provided her to be really *in*, I would think that would be too good to pass up. In the end, though, this episode created quite a mess, and a very different mess than the one I expected it to create when the show started.
E: Right. I hate to say it, but I’m just really sorry Daniel’s not dead (even though I was dreading his murder). No regrets for Tyler at all. So it’ll be interesting to see things play out, whatever the strategy turns out to be – and however far the chaos of this episode has caused events to stray from that plan…