Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drafting Lost and Out of My Mind, A Scouting Report

Last night, we held the draft for our Lost Survivor fantasy league, and there was much joy.  A bit of snark and some modest teasing.

In this post, I review the choices, make some predictions about who will do well and who will lose, and generally make fun of everyone's choices.  Of course, by making my own predictions, I am opening myself up to return fire, but that is as it should be.

First, some awards to open the first and last season of Who Survives Lost?

The Weenie Award goes to Doc and Zach for missing the draft and not sending me a list of preferred picks.  They will have to choose from the bitter dregs (always reminds me of Spock singing) that remain. 

Best Team Name: The Constants (David and Ali).  The only married couple playing the game thought to emphasize their besottedness, but, life imitated art as David was not seen nor heard, as Ali took over the quest.  Perhaps David was pushing a buttons somewhere for three years.  This gives them tie breaker #3.  I don't know what a Sneetch is, so Steve is out on that one.  Anubis Oracles was a nice selection, but a bit predictable.  Red Shirts is appropriate as Brandon used to empty his wallet and be out of the game before everyone else.  I will not even address the Provisos or Yoda.  Quantum Humer would have been better with either Hume or Humor.  Humer seems to be a badly spelled gas guzzler.

Lost Opportunity Award:  I blew it.  A central feature of the NLF Draft (the grand-daddy of all Fantasy drafts) are mock drafts where the "experts" predict who will be drafted where.  I could have posted such a draft and then mocked myself and everyone else a la Bill Simmons (one of the inspirations for this league).  Alas, if I only I could time travel.

The Jimmy Clausen Award for Character That Is Drafted Far Later Than Expected: Penny, who made it all the way into the third round, picked after Rose.  If there are only folks who survive, Penny will be among them, and she will be depicted as doing so.  Other folks may survive in the background, but her role is central to Desmond.  Whether Desmond lives or dies, Penny will have to react to that.  She is currently alive on both realities, despite Ben's lame attempt at assassination/revenge.

Ben and Chip won the Oklahoma Award for raising the issue of when life begins.  That is, will Aaron and the child of Jin and Sun be born by the end of the finale?  If not, what do they count as?  Does life/survival begin at conception or birth?

The Yoda Do or Do Not, There Is No Try Award: To being the only one to flail around in search of a league name.  Scales of Anubis was quite good, but since we already had an Anubis in the game, it would have been too much.  Makes sense that one of the Canadians would suggest a repetitive name, since the Canadian Football League (which only has about ten or twelve teams) had two teams named the Roughriders.  So, we will stick with my suggestion Lost and Out of My Mind unless a better one is suggested.

The Jacksonville Jags Award for Biggest Reach: Tempted to say Richard Alpert in the first round by Sara as he only exists on the Island and is meat since his immortality is likely end with the Island's endgame.   But we will have to go with Claire at the top of round 2, as she is nuts on the Island, which suggests she is also dead meat.

The Dumbass Award for making the stupidest selection: Chip, who chose a marginal character at the end of the second round, Jae Lee, thinking he was picking Jin and Sun's baby.  Oh, and Jae Lee was tossed out a window.

Ok.  Now, let's go team by team.  Keep in mind that the reported EPT's (expected point totals) present three possibilities: Island trumps/LA trumps/continued side by side, along with my expectations of who will be featured or not as alive during the series finale.  Remember ten points for a successful living candidate, five points for a living non-candidate, and two points for probably being alive but not featured as such.
  • Anubis Oracles* (Chip) went first and picked nearly everyone's top choice Hurley.  As I mentioned before, Hurley is very much likely to survive in either reality as he is most people's favorite character and comic relief/sweetheart.  If Cuse and Lindelof kill off Hurley, then they would be worse fictional murderers than JK Rowling, and that is saying something.  Hurley also has a good shot of being THE candidate.  Chip compensated for his top draft slot by then picking folks who are already dead in one reality or both. Jae Lee was a second round pick.  Even if he wanted to pick the Korean baby, this was too soon, as it was likely that the baby would have been available in the fourth round.  Chip then went on to pick Daniel Faraday/Widmore, who is already dead in one reality.  Given that Miles, Penny, and Eloise were all still available, this indicates that Chip did a poor job of scouting the prospects and remembering who is still alive.  But we have to forgive him as profs at liberal arts colleges have far more grading and pesky students in their faces.  Finally, his last pick was Jacob, another dead character.  This was, as the game theorists would say, gambling for resurrection.  If Jacob somehow is reborn/resurrected/whatever, then he is probably also a candidate.  So, the apparently mild-mannered Chip is quite the risk-taker after going safe the first round--taking a baby who may not appear again in the series, someone who is half-dead, and someone who is entirely dead. EPT:  7-12 (depending on Hurley as Candidate)/12/19-24.
  • Plain-Bellied Sneetches** (Steve G): Steve picked a mixed strategy of likely candidate, most unlikely candidate and likely survivors.  Jack is a bit of a gamble because he is a potential martyr and he is in the biggest need of redemption since he is the biggest mass murderer on the show--everyone left on the Island in 1977 died due to his nuclear strategy--Rose, Bernard, Vincent, Chang, the other Dharma drillers, Jacob (if a nuclear works as good as a certain knife) and so one.***  But Jack seems to be a possible winning Candidate, given the latest episode.  Funny thing is that Jack was supposed to die in the very first episode, so Cuse and Lindelof may have just put off the inevitable.  Still, a solid selection that was at the top of most imaginary mock drafters.  Sayid is an interesting sleeper.  He is almost certain to remain alive in LA as he is going to be in jail and perhaps eventually on death row, but there are extenuating circumstances (he killed dirt bags in self-defense).  This does raise another Harry Potter issue--will there be an epilogue in the finale, showing how things turned out seventeen years later?  If so, then Sayid could be executed in California.  On the Island, Sayid is a real gamble--he could redeem his past crimes by sacrificing himself or he might end up the winning candidate.    Naaah!  If more than a few folks die in the next episodes, other than Red Shirt Other types, Sayid will be one of them.  Payback is a bitch, as they say.  Miles is alive in both. He is currently traveling with Alpert and Ben, which puts his life very much at risk.  He is not a candidate as far as we can tell.  He is good comic relief which, a la Hurley, gives him a better chance of surviving.  LA Miles lives, as a shootout is unlikely.  Nadia is a safe two-pointer in the alt reality but dead in the Island reality--thanks to Jacob's distraction (yes, I am still bitter).  She might appear in the finale, but if Sayid dies earlier than the finale, Nadia is gone.  EPT:  10-15 (Jack or Sayid will live, but not both is my guess, and Miles might)/17/27-32
  • Lockean Provisos (Jacob): Jacob went with Kate, who is a possible candidate but also a possible dead person, as Cuse and Lindelof have probably killed as many of the prominent female characters as the prominent male ones:   Juliet, Ilana, Ana Lucia, Libby vs.  Michael, Locke, Daniel, Mr. Eko.  And who are females left most at risk?  Claire, Kate, and Sun.  Would Kate be a candidate?****   Well, she has killed but that would disqualify nearly everyone except Hurley, and besides, Jacob was a mass murderer, too.  Jacob then went with Frank!  Interesting choice as one way to keep Smokey from flying away is to kill the pilot.  But if you do, can Smokey then move to Frank and use his flying skills?  Zombie Frank could be trouble.  Given his continued survival, Frank has some greater purpose in the plot, other than being nicknamed "Chesty" and having a few good lines.  So, Frank will make it to the finale but to its end?  Jacob then goes romantic with Rose and Bernard, who were nuked on the Island (unless they too time traveled when the bomb blew).  Rose has a fatal disease in LA but is likely to live until the end of show, unless there is the aforementioned epilogue.  Bernard has not been seen nor heard, but should be soon since nearly everyone else has been.  EPT: 5 (either Frank or Kate buys the farm, perhaps both, neither is a winning candidate as someone has to raise Aaron)/14 (only if we see Frank in LA again, which we have not)/19.
  • The Constants (David and Ali or Ali and David): The team supreme frustrated Wendy by grabbing Sawyer.  Not clear why Sawyer went so early, other than his pec displays and his excellent nick-naming ability.  The first five picks should have been almost certain Candidates.  And Sawyer is determined to leave the Island.  He is fed up with the bs and wants off, now that Juliet is dead, he has nothing left.  Sure, he might be found guilty for the murder in Australia, but that is not so clear.  Plus his willingness to jump out of a helicopter to save Kate and the others suggests some foreshadowing of future martyrdom.  Off the Island, it looks like Sawyer is going to do fine, eschewing revenge perhaps as he let Miles know about his past.  Jin was a solid second round pick--an unlikely candidate but still a potential one.  However, Jin promising never to leave Sun again in the recent episode is a super-JINX or pie crust promise--easily made, easily broken.  He could sacrifice himself for Sun at any moment.  In LA, he seems to be ok as the folks who were supposed to kill him are now dead.  Still, there is a looming father-in-law threat out there.  Penny is a great, great sleeper pick.  She dropped much farther than she should have (I would have picked her late in the first or early in the second round after the likely candidates).  I will have to find an edible hat if I am wrong about her.  In the fourth round, the partly dead are fair game, so Ilana is not a bad pick here.  EPT: 10 (Sawyer or Jin live, not both)/17/27.
  • Tabula Rasa (Wendy): Desmond is perhaps one of the best picks in the game, I think.  He was listed as a candidate on the wheel although omitted from Doc's list.  He is a vital bridge between the two realities, and is a master of electromagnetism.  On the other hand, that makes him a target as he has already realized.  Ben is an interesting pick as well.  Sure, he could die to pay for his crimes, but Doc has his odds of being the sneaky Candidate at 5-1.  And he is probably safe in LA.  John Locke is already dead in the Island reality, and I sincerely doubt that he will be able to move his consciousness from the one reality into the MIB-dominated body.   After all, Smokey's Locke is not even a body--the body is buried.  Back in LA, his life is very much at risk.  Vincent was probably killed in the bomb blast, but lives out of the picture in Australia or LA.  5-15/12-17/17-32.  So, Wendy's picks have the biggest range thus far.
  • Red Shirts (Brandon): Brandon plays this game far better than poker.  Aaron (who may be demon spawn) lives with grandma in the Island reality (in LA or back in Aussie-land), and is soon to be born in LA.  He is an unlikely candidate given his location, but most likely to live in both realities. Sun is now alive and well in LA, after easily surviving the gunshot (talk about a rushed plotline), and has a good chance to live.  But to be a candidate would mean leaving her daughter behind.  Eloise, the creepy old lady who understands Time better than anyone else, is alive in both, although a murderer of her son in one.  No longer a candidate, but still likely to survive.  Dr. Chang, the man of many names, is dead on the Island, but working at a museum in LA.*****  EPT: 12 (will Eloise be featured in the Island reality?)/17/29
  • Yoda (Sara): An eclectic collection.  Eyeliner dude first--Richard Alpert.  Questionable to choose a non-candidate in the first round with Jin and Sun still available.  Richard has been immortal, but Jacob is dead and perhaps the Island will be done with him.  Given his desire to blow up the plane, Richard is likely to die in the attempt.  Immortality must end, strangely enough.  And he wants to die now to join his love.  Plus he is dead in alt LA, a victim of the nuke, I think.  Depends on Jacob's ability to protect Richard.  Walt is a safe pick--alive but unlikely to be featured since puberty hit him pretty hard. I think Sara could have waited to the next round to get Walt or someone who is his equivalent--alive but off screen in both realities. Charles Widmore--an interesting pick as he is a primary target of all of the other factions.   My guess is he dies on the Island and lives in LA.  And finally, Smokey--who does not exist in LA (as far as we know) and only lives on the Island if everyone else is pretty much dead. EPT: 2/7/9.  
  • Quantum Humer (Ben):  Our youngest player gambled early and then went with his hormones with a run of attractive females, ranging from older to way older than he is.  His first pick was Jungle Boy.   Very big gamble since he may not even exist.   And if he grows up to be Jacob, then Chip has Jacob, so I would have to figure out how to apportion the points.  Claire was Ben's second pick.  She is likely to survive childbirth in LA but nutsiness on the Island?  Probably not.  Zoe?  We have not seen her in LA, and she is very, very likely to be killed--by Sawyer, by Claire, by Smokey, by Ben/Miles/Richard, by Jack, by Jin .....  She is dead, dead, dead.  Not even partly or mostly dead.  Sarah, Jack's ex, is likely to live but unseen.  Again, the only logic of these last three picks is that Ben is a young male, chock full of testosterone, which tends to lead to poor decision-making.  EPT: 2/7/9.
So, given the EPT's which are vague guesses, I would have to say that Steve and Wendy have the best chances of winning if the Island trumps LA.  I would bet on Steve as Wendy has a few big gambles.  Brandon has an interesting shot at the top if everyone on the Island dies.  That is Sara's only hope if Smokey or Widmore kill everyone.  Ali and David might sneak in if Sawyer pulls off a long con and becomes the dude. For LA, Steve again is well positioned as are Ali and David, Brandon and perhaps Wendy.  If both realities are in play, Brandon, Wendy and Steve look to be in the best shape, with again Wendy having to be pretty lucky.

I am tuckered out from this longest blog post and a small email war back in Montreal.

Thanks for playing, it should be entertaining.  And I will report Zach and Doc's EPTs when they give me their lists.

*  Purple for already bruised and battered.
** What color is a sneetch?
*** Who is responsible for the downing of the Ajira flight?  Would it have been forced to land if the Oceanic Six/Five were not on the plane?  As all of the rest of the passengers died, that would be yet more blood on Jack's hands.
**** What does Doc Jensen know?  He didn't even list Kate as a possible winning candidate int his column.
***** Does Miles realize that the bomb killed his Dad?  He does not seem to be reacting that way.


Steve Greene said...

Wow-- nice analysis!! The secret to my picks-- characters that I really like that were available.

Brandon Valeriano said...

I have heard that Walt indeed would be featured in the finale. Wanted to grab him but some of my other sure things stayed on the board too long. Still confused by the Dr Chang thing. Was Miles born before the blast or after?

Steve Saideman said...

Miles was born before the blast--he and the other kids and Dharma folks were evacuated before the bomb went off. But Chang and the folks at the drilling site who did not time travel have to be dead.

Walt may show up, and then Sara will be in better shape.

Chip said...

so I am getting the baby right? And thanks for the contextual background. In fact, I had just finished grading -- by myself, we don't do TAs -- sixty 9-10 page intro to IR essays on terrorism and the future of war. That's my excuse.

I'd not rule out Baby Kwon being born before the end, in the LA sideways universe, and remember, if the lines merge, then baby is born and alive.

That said, though Daniel is dead in real world, I think Daniel is an extraordinary character, physicist and all that (even his musician self is a physicist), and if someone is going to migrate from sideways world to real world it will have to be him. That's my hunch and my logic.

On Jacob, yes I am thinking of a kind of resurrection, I really think that's quite likely, as you may have gathered from my initial suggestion that you add him to the list. If Jacob is Jungle boy, then we should each get full points I think...

Finally thanks for the Dumbass Award, I thought you might forget and I'd already bragged about it on my FB page.

All that said, great job Steve!

Jacob T. Levy said...

I'm unwilling to make any assumptions about who lived and who died in the sideways timeline. We just don't have enough reason to think that "nuke set off near the island's magical electromagnetic energy" is anything like "nuke goes off on the island." Obviously they interact in some bizarre way since they induce time travel. And obviously they don't just nuke the whole damn island, since Ben Linus is alive in the present in the sideways timeline, and we *know* he didn't evacuate beforehand as he was with the Others. Steve's "everyone left on the Island in 1977 died due to his nuclear strategy" is certainly wrong, and "Chang and the folks at the drilling site who did not time travel have to be dead" could be wrong. We just have no idea what happened after or because of the 1977 nuke. (At some point the island sunk-- but nuking an island doesn't sink it. That was probably some later magical effect of the Jacob/ Smokey combat, which we also don't know the status of in sidewaysland.)

Wendy said...

OK, first off -- GREAT analysis, though I would expect that from you, egghead.

Second, I think my team name deserved a comment one way or the other instead of being completely omitted. What am I, invisible? ;P It was the name of one of the episodes (in one of the early seasons) AND check these out:

But anyway, I"m just glad I didn't get the Dumbass award ... ;)

Steve Saideman said...

Chip: yes, you get the baby. But that means you have to deal with the diaper changes and late night feedings. I do doubt the magical properties you give to Daniel--how many physicists have you met with super powers? And I am leaning towards a split of points between Jacob and Jungle boy if the outcome you hope for occurs.

Jacob: I guess I need to re-watch the finale from last season--he was not evacuated with the rest of the kids? I hope we get some clarity on the effect of the big bomb, but I am reluctant to dish out points for characters that have not been seen since 1977.

Wendy: I thought that is what your team meant but misspelled (and I was wrong) and that it was also a wine reference, not a Buffy one. I have no Buffy knowledge, but Jacob does, so he could have kicked in some snark or approval.

Chip said...

ps most important: This is a very special baby, conceived on the island and nevertheless survived to birth. There's something special about that baby...

Jacob T. Levy said...


Not sure Steve is getting this-- fundamentally TR is a John Locke (the real one) reference-- which made it an absolutely inspired episode name.

Steve Saideman said...

I am just finishing a blog post about how I am a bad listener. It probably applies here as well.

Brandon Valeriano said...

I would pick Aaron as a more likely candidate than anyone besides Hurley and Jack. Daniel Widmore and Driveshaft will play again.

Jacob T. Levy said...


en somehow survived the shot. Jin woke up from being knocked out and drove him back to the barracks, where he was received by his frantic father and by Juliet, who operated on him. However, Ben had lost too much blood to live. Kate, believing she had to save his life, donated blood to him. Juliet soon realized that DHARMA did not have the kind of care necessary to keep Ben alive, so Kate, soon joined by Sawyer, decided to take him to the Others to see if they could help. The Others brought them to Richard Alpert. Alpert said that he could save Ben, but at a cost: he would lose his innocence, never be the same again, forget the whole event, and "always be one of us". Kate and Sawyer agreed that it was worth it to save Ben's life. Richard took the unconscious Ben to the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")

After being brought to the Temple, Ben was healed under unknown circumstances and brought to the Others camp where he met Charles Widmore, the Others' apparent leader, for the first time. Upon learning that he would be returned to the DHARMA Initiative, Ben frantically told him that he didn't want to go back and wanted to be one of them. Charles, however, stated that just because Ben wasn't among the Others, that didn't mean he wasn't one of them. ("Dead Is Dead")

In July 1977, shortly after Ben was healed, Pierre Chang organized the evacuation of all the DHARMA women and children from the Island, in preparation for the coming Incident.("Follow the Leader") Presumably this evacuation should have included Ben, however it is more likely Ben was still at the Temple where he was being healed after being shot by Sayid.

Steve Saideman said...

Presumably? More likely? I guess we don't really know.

More importantly, didn't Jack shoot Ben's father as he was trying to escape? Guess the wound was not too bad, as he lived.

I am not sure if we will ever get any clarity on the time frame from the bomb to alt LA.....

Time travel is a bitch....

Jacob T. Levy said...

The Lostipedians are being careful not to say more than we saw on screen. But it's hard to imagine that, in the one day (or less) between young Ben being sent to the temple and the nuke exploding, that he was healed and made his way back to the Dharma camp where a second evacuation sub happened to be waiting.

For that matter, we know that Charles Widmore was on the island shortly before the nuke went off, that he's alive in 2004 in the flash-sideways timeline, and that the Others had no apparent intention of mounting an en-masse evacuation. If Widmore and Ben both lived, there's no reason to assume that any other particular 1977 character died, or that the island was immediately destroyed.

B-Rob said...

Jungle Boy told me a secret.... that is all.