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foxxcub was right. They had a golden premise in their hands and totally blew it.



We all figured this was set after Sarah left Jack, that he went to Thailand to find himself or forget about his failed marriage. Instead of bitter, broken, lost Jack we see boring, ordinary tourist Jack, who wants to fly a kite on the beach. WTF? We're not even sure what the timeline is here. And we never got to see him play poker either. All in all, not the soul-searching we were expecting. I mean, it's fine if he wanted to go have meaningless sex in a foreign country as a way to forget. Great. Awesome. I'd love to see some Dark!Jack exorcising his demons. How perfect to cut from that to his rage at being a prisoner? But no, they didn't do that.

And the tattoo he gets is MEANINGLESS to him. It's something someone else sees in him, someone we don't even understand why he's attracted to. (If she'd kept her mouth shut, maybe. And hello, another golden opportunity lost. Who wouldn't have preferred a wordless romance because of the language barrier? Could have been hot! And made much more sense than the silly "looking into his soul" "gift" scenario.) Instead of using what Foxy's tattoo means in real life -- a line from a poem that's a metaphor for freedem or the human spirit -- we get some lame stock shit about him being a born leader. YAWN. Just imagine if they'd contrasted the freedom he felt in Thailand versus being a prisoner. Perfect, esp. since he's in a cage when Isabel tells him she knows what his tattoo means.

Or contrast the pleasure and pain he experienced in Thailand with his captivity. Nope, they didn't do that either, just cut back and forth between one hard-to-buy love interest to another. A word, Lost writers? Stop forcing these romances all the time. Not every backstory has to include a romance! And I do hope she doesn't come back but then again, they really know how to beat a dead horse in these backstories, don't they?

Also, the tattoo we saw was just the letters! Not the rest of the design. There's no deep mystery with the lettering, is there? Foxy won't talk about what his tattoos mean but anyone who can read Chinese (Chinese, not Thai) can read what his tattoo spells. The other designs, who knows? It's a letdown to know that we only got the lettering. Maybe Foxy refused to reveal what they really mean for the show, and insisted they do something different. How lame when what his own tattoo means would work so much better for Jack.

And I can't be the only one who was disappointed we didn't see him *get* the damn tattoo. Or have sex, not really. I was expecting to see Jack really dive into the decadent side of life here and lose himself and he just didn't. The man can't experience pleasure *or* pain, apparently, just sorrow and rage. Which is getting old!

I would have LOVED to see this being about Jack being so desperate to connect with someone else, he'll endure the pain of a tattoo. Or so not caring about himself that he will let someone do whatever they want to him. But instead we got Jack trusting someone's mystic gift, so he believes he is destined to have this one tattoo and be a leader someday. Or something. Not hot. Not interesting. I wish the show would stop forcing its cookie cutter themes and think about *character* for a change.

Also, why do even minor characters all have to have a "secret?" *sighs*



Anyway, please link me with your favorite Jack in Thailand or tattoo stories! I know mine includes:


Fandom totally pwned the series here and let's celebrate that and revisit some of those amazing fics.

OT: I am kind of hoping someone will do a "Rat in a Cage" vid based on this episode. Heh.

Tags:

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
isis2015
Feb. 23rd, 2007 02:57 am (UTC)
Oh my god, Rosetta Stone. That fic is just...God. *fans self*
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
That's it! I couldn't remember the name! I was too lazy to put in links but I should totally go do that now. I think I might have even recced some tattoo fics before but we need them again!
cmere
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Amen, sister. Do you have a link to uberaeryn's fic at all? That sounds somewhat delicious to me right now.
cmere
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Aha, I see that you just added it :D *runs*
(no subject) - halfdutch - Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) - Expand
foxxcub
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:11 am (UTC)
Fandom totally pwned the series here

Ahhh, YEAH. And I'm not saying this as someone who is partial to her own Thailand!fic! But really, should we be surprised? Whenever fandom takes tidbits of a main character's backstory and runs with them before said tidbits are given full form, the final canon version never matches up to fandom's.

And GUH, I haven't read "Rosetta Stone" in ages! Eee!
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
But really, should we be surprised? Whenever fandom takes tidbits of a main character's backstory and runs with them before said tidbits are given full form, the final canon version never matches up to fandom's.

Agreed. I think the only time that hasn't been true is with Sawyer's backstory in Con Man. I ficced him meeting the real Sawyer, based on promo stories and what we got was a million times better than what I wrote. And I've never read a fic (particuarly not my own) to match Sawyer finally telling Jack about meeting Christian. But then again, those are the two high points of Lost. Fandom has to come in second a few times!

And god yes, I loved your Thailand fic! And your captivity fic. (The interrogation one.) *snuggles fandom*
(no subject) - foxxcub - Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halfdutch - Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
emiliglia
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
Hmmm... Well I never wrote a Phuket story, but I kinda did like a "return to Phuket" J/S. There's poker and sex and hints that Jack's visit was dark: Catch Perfect

*not ashamed of self-pimping*

All the ones I have were already recced. Boo.
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)
Ooh, awesome .. did I read that one? I'm not sure now, but it sounds yummy! Either way, I'll be sure and read it now! Thanks for the link!
theizzy
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:17 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comments on the episode they made me rethink what I personally thought about the episode. One thing is sure, I was indeed rather bummed about the tattoo story. Especially when Lindelof and Cuse have been telling us since 2005 that we would have a tattoo backstory and because I expected to have all tattoos explained (even if the explanations weren't the real meaning they have for Foxy), not just 1 and have it badly explained.
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading all that, LOL. I kept coming up with new reasons why it just wasn't satisfying. Partly because we've had all this time to think of what it's going to be and once "Thailand" was thrown into the mix, I think we all thought of something a lot darker and more decadent. And more interesting!

And the explanation for the tattoos was such a letdown. So often the individual backstories end up serving the bigger picture and themes at the expense of actual, true-to-life character development. I think Lost has really lost its way when it can't tell a decent backstory. Lord knows there are still plenty of interesting things to do with these characters and yet still make them work within the bigger framework of the show. :-/
inthekeyofd
Feb. 23rd, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
I'd link my "The Dark Place" fic, but where it's a WIP, I feel bad about that, but it's in my memories, so if you want to check it out..please feel free.

Here's one, it's got Thailand references in it..Sawyer thinking about what Jack was doing there.

http://inthekeyofd.livejournal.com/107096.html#cutid1
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the link, hon! :)
(no subject) - inthekeyofd - Feb. 23rd, 2007 04:14 am (UTC) - Expand
inthekeyofd
Feb. 23rd, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
p.s. if you can get a clear pic of the tattoo..I just can't go searching for it now..I can have it translated, I work with a few people from China and they will do it for me.

They are cool like that, I got one of the guys from Japan to translate a GERRY interview for me that was in all Japanese, they love helping out so it will be all good.
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
I've read a translation before. It's a line from a famous poem, I forget who by, but it's "hawk in an expansive sky" which I believe is a metaphor for freedom. Which would make a lot more sense in the context of Jack being a captive than this hooey about him being a born leader! But thank you for the offer!
elise_509
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
AMEN.

halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
It sucks SO HARD that they blew this episode. :–( It had so much killer potential. *sighs* As I was saying in a comment above, they keep sacrificing character moments and arcs to the "big picture" and I honestly believe they could serve both if they really tried. This was ... juvenile. Like reading a really bad fanfic that you dont't even want to finish.

And hon, I'm sorry but I can't read anything Jacket-related so I've kind of been avoiding your LJ. I know you know how I feel and I know how you feel so I'm glad you're still around. If only I thought she were good for Jack, I'd be all over that. *sighs* Well, okay she would probably still bug me, LOL. And it's not like Kate's exactly good for Jack it's just ... I don't know. Original character loyalty? Or something.
cmonkatiekatie
Feb. 23rd, 2007 06:41 am (UTC)
What you said.

My bitter is so fresh. They just squandered what could have been potentially mind blowing. It was just all so surfacy. I think I actually full on hated it.
halfdutch
Feb. 23rd, 2007 07:05 am (UTC)
I really do wonder if they know what they're doing anymore. *sighs* Or maybe they're TRYING to make us stop watching? ;__: *hates it with you*
nomango
Feb. 23rd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Word. *g* Thanks, I didn't have a clue how to say it all and basically, ditto. Oh, the frustration, lost opportunities, it bites.

And the Others with their 'mysterious' on - it all felt so stilted, off.
halfdutch
Feb. 28th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
I agree, huge, huge missed opportunity. It's sad because the writers see people being disappointed in this episode and they'll think it means "focus more on new characters. " :-( But they just can't tell a decent backstory for Jack anymore. Not since the first one, really.

And yeah, SO TIRED of the lame "mysterious" Others. The more we see of them, the less interesting they get!
alliecat8
Feb. 24th, 2007 12:45 am (UTC)
Sadly, I was just as disgruntled by that ep as you (and most everyone else) were. It was a real challenge to write an all-positive review; I just had to leave out huge chunks of canon and pretend it didn't exist. But it did make me think, and (keeping in mind that the name of my journal is "What if???") I what-iffed about why (other than the writers just being total dumbasses) they beat us over the head with the great-man-reluctant-leader idea in this particular episode. It WAS boring and heavy-handed, but what if it ties into the question they raised in 3:08 -- is it possible to change our destiny? That makes the words that the skank spoke, something to the effect of "you're a great man, a leader, but this makes you lonely and fearful and angry," a bit more meaningful, if it brings us to the question of "would Jack change his destiny if he could?"

That's probably giving the writers way too much credit for forethought, and I definitely think things should've been handled differently, but it's something to speculate about, anyway.

Beyond that, I just pretty much want to say "ditto" to everything you said. *sigh* At least there's fic to take the edge off the disappointment.
halfdutch
Feb. 28th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
I appreciate your efforts on the writers' behalf. ;) But we shouldn't have to work so hard to make the show make sense and be enjoyable. The whole reluctant leader theme they're hammering so hard with Jack and Juliet could be accomplished with more showing and less telling. They really do underestimate us an audience.

I think they've already dealt with Jack trying to decide whether to follow in his father's footsteps and to squelch his own instincts about helping others. Maybe that's not quite the same issue, but Jack has struggled to go his own way and to live up to expectations or not. I personally am not very interested the whole leadership issue. That was pretty much settled in "White Rabbit" for me after Locke gave Jack that pep talk and then Jack gave his "live together, die alone" speech. And then when Jack decided to step up and ask Kate to take his side vs. Locke at the end of S1. Jack is a leader. End of story. Revisiting the issue (esp. when Jack is in captivity and not able to lead anyone) is adding nothing to the show, as far as I'm conerned.

They totally blew it, I think. As I was saying above, they keep sacrificing character arcs and and character development so they can serve their big picture stuff instead. So the characters end up having the most ridiculous things come out of their mouths. *sighs*

Anyway, there's always stuff to chew on. And to fic. :)
thetworivers
Mar. 1st, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
I can't seem to access holycitygirl's tattoo series. Suggestions?

Thanks!
halfdutch
Mar. 1st, 2007 01:46 am (UTC)
Oh shoot. I hadn't realized she'd locked it. Maybe you could leave a comment elsewhere in her LJ and ask her to unlock it? Or add her as a friend and ask to be added back?

holycitygirl
Mar. 1st, 2007 04:36 am (UTC)
Hey I totally missed this convo while I was home for the weekend. But my two cents too late is - yeah you are totally right. We so did it better. :)

(Especially those of us who put hookers in our fic)

I was a little obsessed with Phuket for a while though. I wrote that dark!Jack fic as well. And there were like sequels to it. I probably should revisit the whole thing.

Man why did the show have to screw us? You think they'll go back and give us more? They could maybe, even if they won't.

Oh and thanks for the rec babe! :)
halfdutch
Mar. 3rd, 2007 04:54 am (UTC)
Ooh, I missed that fic! *bookmarks*

I don't know why the show likes to screw us like that. *sighs* I really don't! And hey, someone wanted to read your tattoo series but I forgot they were locked. I sent them to ask you if you could unlock (or friend them) but I don't know if you're comfortable with that. Anyway, I think you should share with the world! :)
(no subject) - holycitygirl - Mar. 4th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC) - Expand
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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