[Remember That Time On LOST is a daily post running the entire month up until the season premiere of LOST on February 2nd. I’m going to just pick something awesome, noteworthy, or ludicrous about LOST when I wake up that morning, and hopefully get you geeks talking about it with me.]
Yes, John Locke, we are with you on this one. You are peering into the eyes of the Smoke Monster, and more importantly, fudging your poor tired underwear with your bowel linings. This is truth, but it also acceptable. Because as I said, you’re staring at an amorphous cloud of black smoke, capable of replicating human form, churning with electricity, and making your 5.1 system wretch with screeches. The fact that you’re not weeping and shaking uncontrollably makes you a super bad ass.
I can’t be the only one who thought that the Smoke Monster was actually a dinosaur or some sort of beast when it was first teased, could I? I mean, they make it seem that way in the early annals of Season One. The dude mows down trees, has a bellowing roar, and I don’t know. Just generally acts all sort of dinosaur-like. But at the end of the first season, we finally get a glimpse of our boy Smokey, and it was really, really creepy.
While Jack and Locke and That Chick Who Fucked Over Malcom From Firefly walk back giggling to the Hatch with pieces of Artz still down their shirt and in the cracks of their ass, Smokey the Island Bandit runs into them. If I’m not mistaken, Smokey was just going for an afternoon walk when he saw a pack of assholes with bags of dynamite, and thought he should probably ask them what they were up to. Unfortunately, he was speaking only in caterwauls and eerily noises, and the whole conversation just went downhill fast.
Locke is ever the bad ass, and decides he wants to have a heart to heart with Smokey. And that makes sense, since he was down a pair of functional legs prior to crashing on the Island, and now he’s doing the jitterbug with the best of them. Walking towards the noise, you expect Locke to come across some sort of giant, menacing monster. The camera pans upwards, and I was expecting the dude to get eaten the fuck up.
Not so, true believers.
Not so, at all.
All at once Locke gets yanked the fuck off screen by something. If there’s one thing you should know about dinosaurs, is that they don’t have mechanisms for yanking and dragging. They’re more of a brute force sort of creature, and are best at gnashing and mauling. So already, I’m wondering what the fuck is going on. Quickly and very quickly, you’re given shots on Locke being dragged through the forest. And but, for a second, you get a teeny, tiny glimpse of something. And then you turn to your friend, like I did, and you go:
Dude, what the fuck, was that smoke? Huh! Rewind that fucking shit now!
Rewinding proves to be little more than useless, and all you catch is a good couple of wisps.
Ultimately, Locke gets dragged down into some pit. And he’s all like, Jack, let me go! I want to communicate with the Island! And Jack is like, you’re not going to be communicating with anything other than your dead relatives after Smokey The Plume Of Weirdness eats you all up. The Chick Who Has Linebacker Shoulders And Probably Would Have Prevented The Run Better for the Patriots Yesterday gives Jack some dynamite, and they toss it down into the pit that Locke is being dragged into. Kablam! Kapow! Dynamite goes off and makes a rumbling noise! And mind you also this: Somehow Locke’s lower extremities aren’t blown into mush. Those are some appendages indeed.
And then we see it: The Smoke Monster. Welcome to the mythos, stalwart mystery of the show.
Smokey wisps and curls away, pissed off that he just wanted to prevent a forest fire, and these pack of digs tried to blow him up. And I don’t know about you, but I sat there with my jaw agape. I yelled in something approximating all capital letters:
DUDE WHAT THE FUCK THAT WASN’T A DINOSAUR WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON I KNEW THIS SHOW WAS COOL AND ABOUT MORE THAN GOLF COURSES AND A HOBBIT ADDICTED TO HEROIN! HIGH FIVE! NO SERIOUSLY, HIGH FIVE
The first time you see Smokey is dope. They took something that ultimately was going to be lame as hell – a dinosaur or some beast-type shit, and so help don’t tell me it wasn’t going to be that – and made it something all the more odd. You could be a dick and tell me they just bought themselves more time to figure out what it was, but dammit, leave your cynicism at the door. No matter what Menacing Monster looked like, it was going to be a letdown to some, and defended fruitlessly by fanboys like me. Instead, they do one better: The make the monster capable of looking like, well, anything.
I certainly wasn’t expecting a ball of smoke to blow up trees, eat people, and prevent forest fires. That’s for fucking sure.