New Glarus Raspberry Tart

May 14, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: New Glarus, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Fruit Beer.

4% ABV from a 750 mL bottle


I’ve been unable to focus all day as my mind is still reeling after “Lost”‘s fifth season finale.

One of my bigger “Lost” nerd friends–who is actually a very attractive girl, go figure–asked me my thoughts and I figured I’d post them below as “Lost” is my favorite television show and the best show on television at the moment*:

At first, I thought the season finale was decent, but not epic.  Now, after having watched it a second time, I realize its genius.  And, while it wasn’t as good as the season three finale–one of the best episodes of television ever–it was still damn fine.

Analysis bullets:

*In the opening scene, sometime in the 1800s, as Jacob speaks with his nemesis–heretofore referred to as Esau–he mentions how the Black Rock’s impending presence, even if it will create fighting and corruption, will still be “progress.”  I believe this was the key line of the finale, if not the entire series.  All this shit–Jacob believes–is leading them toward an apex of greatness.  Esau, meanwhile, like two other certain people I will discuss in a bit, believes in peace and removal from the rest of society.  It is still unclear who will ultimately be right.  Heck, it’s still unclear which of these two are “good” and which “evil,” if they can even be classified as that.  Though the fact that Jacob is clad in white and Esau in black is certainly not a coincidence, especially in the “Lost” universe.

*Even though it was the 1800s, why was Jacob and Esau’s speech completely contemporary?  Is that a key point or just what it is?  And where did these fellas spring from?  Are they men or Gods of some sort?

*My friend mentioned, half-jokingly, that she was pleased that Jacob was so “freaking hot.”  An interesting point as Jacob’s looks were something I immediately noticed too.  However, I found them quite inconsequential.  For such an important character on the show, perhaps THE most important character, why was such a bland-looking actor cast?  Look at the “Jacob”-like presence behind all the mystery in JJ Abrams’ other splendid series “Fringe” who was also revealed this week in that show’s finale.  That character, William Bell, ended up being portrayed by icon Leonard Nimoy.  Why wasn’t Jacob portrayed by an equally famous actor?  Might it be because Jacob was not significant actually?  Or maybe, that he will play such a key part in season six–assuming he wasn’t killed by Esau–that there’s no way a famous actor could inhabit the role for a year of shooting?

*I also find the relationships of Jacob/Esau vis-a-vis Ben/Widmore to be quite fascinating and wonder where comparisons can be drawn.  Both pairs seem to be arch-enemies who lack the abilities to harm each other directly, either by some force of nature or by an artificial set of rules they both have agreed on (Ben:  “I’m here, Charles, to tell you that I’m going to kill your daughter. Penelope, is it? And once she’s gone… once she’s dead… then you’ll understand how I feel. And you’ll wish you hadn’t changed the rules.”)  And this is where the so-called “loophole” come in, with Esau realizing that he would have to find someone to do his bidding in order to finally kill his hated Jacob.  And, thus, everything he has done for his whole life has been a series of machinations to get it to the point where he could portray Locke and get Ben to be his subservient who would do anything he said.  Although, would it have really taken Esau some 150 years to bring his plan to fruition and conquer this loophole?

*As mentioned above, Esau–who I believe is also the Smoke Monster– obviously inhabited Locke’s body and Locke, of course, never did come back from the dead.  I thought it was interesting how the savvy Richard was suspicious of faux-Locke the whole time, perhaps unable to fully elucidate it, but thinking something was up, even questioning the faux-Locke as to how he could possibly come back from the dead.  Richard also admitted never thinking Locke was “special” and even grilling Jack about that point in particular.  Unfortunately, the always-fucks-shit-up Jack tells Richard to not “give up on him.”  But, Richard was of course right.  Locke (seemingly) never was special.  What a pathetic man he truly was.  A weak, easily-led, believes-in-hokum man, a perfect candidate for Esau to one day inhabit.

*The flashback childhood scenes were a little overdone, if not downright boring at times, but still added an interesting layer, though it is still not clear how Jacob’s presence affected those people’s lives, save, perhaps, bringing Locke back from the dead.   Juliet’s was particularly odd though as it both did not feature Jacob and it looked like it took place in this era, not the 1970s as it should have.  And what was it about this crew of people that, even from an early age, would make Jacob want to recruit them?

*Rose and Bernard are the two I mentioned above that seem to share the same ideologies as Esau about peace and solitary living.  Which makes me wonder if they are in any way actually associated with Esau.  Did Rose and Bernard know more than they let on in their impromptu meeting with Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate?  Was it even truly Rose and Bernard?  And why did Bernard try to stop Juliet–by offering her tea–before she headed to the Swan construction site with the bomb?  Did Bernard know what she was going to do eventually?  Finally, can the long-held belief that Rose and Bernard are the “Adam and Eve” skeletons in the cave now be debunked or is that still in play?

*The Ajira crew of Ilana, et al, MUST have known for quite awhile that “Locke” was inhabited by Esau and about to kill Jacob.  So why didn’t they stop it?  Who exactly are they working for and what dog do they favor in the Jacob/Esau fight?  It seems that they don’t favor either dog but are simply present in order to find a “candidate” to perhaps quickly replace the dead Jacob.  And would that candidate actually be the always-confused Frank Lapidus?  Also, why do they know Latin and have an awareness of Richard, who answered their question of “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” with…”He who will protect us.”

*Who broke the ring of ash that allowed whoever was in that cabin–and I now assume it was Esau–to escape?  Perhaps from an imprisonment by Jacob, though why did Locke and Ben visit this cabin when Jacob has seemingly been living in the foot of the statue for centuries?

*I think I agree with Miles that Juliet’s detonation of the bomb was “The Incident.”

*Where’s Clay-er (Claire)?  I swore she would appear in the finale in a crucial role but it seems like the producers have either given up on her or totally forgotten about her.

*Why did fickle Juliet suddenly change her mind about everything?  And Juliet’s break-up with Sawyer was certainly harsher than any I’ve gotten from women from my past.  I’ve sort of thought it for a long time, but now I truly think Sawyer might be the only smart character around.  At least he sticks to his guns and isn’t whimsical like everyone else.

*This bring us to Ben.  Has Esau been duping him for years?  Ben thought he could control the smoke monster, but if the smoke monster is Esau, was he just allowing Ben to think he was controlling him?  And why did Jacob treat Ben with such disrespect when all he wanted to do was serve him and be his “leader”?

*As for Jacob’s note that “They’re coming” before his death, or “death,” who is coming?  I believe it has to do with the final shot of the finale.

*At first I was mad at this season finale because it did not offer a little peak toward the next season, as all past “Lost” finales have (the light in the hatch, the flash-forward reveal, etc).  But, later, I realized it actually did.  The fact that the final title card was a black “LOST” on a white background, the complete opposite of the normal white-on-black title card, leads me to believe that season six will be a reverse of everything before and thus Esau will now control the island.  Juliet’s detonation of the bomb will zap our characters in 1977 to 2007 where they will now be on Jacob’s side in a war to wrest the island back from Esau.  As to who will be alive in this alternate 2007, and who will be on either deities’ side, that is anybody’s guess.

So questions going forward:

*Is Jacob really dead?  I will say no and think he will remain a key character in season six.  At the least, I got to believe more 1800s flashbacks of his and Esau’s lives will be shown, specifically when they meet the Black Rock crew and Richard.

*Is Locke really dead?  Again, I will have to say no, if for no other reason than we are not going to have a full season without the great Terry O’Quinn on screen.  Also, I believe Locke will finally get redemption in season six and maybe prove that, golly, he was indeed special.

*If Jacob is really dead, how will the death of Jacob affect Richard?  Will he now die?  Or start aging?  What will be his role going forward?

*Is it possible that Juliet will survive and be back in the love quadrangle with Jack, Sawyer, and Kate in the year 2007?  I’m going to say no on that.  I think she’s dead for good.

*Is Sayid dead?  I will say yes here.  I think his storyline has run its course.  Sorry Sayid, we hardly knew ye.

*Will Sun finally shut the fuck up?  I say, no, never.  She’s strongly battling Kate for most annoying character on television.

*And what about Ben?  Once a diabolical genius, he seems to be nothing but utter confusion nowadays.  The man that’s always had a plan now seems to lack one.  How will his battle with Widmore continue now with Jacob perhaps dead and Esau perhaps in control of the island?

As for New Glarus’s Raspberry Tart, the first beer I’ve ever had from the famed Wisconsin brewery, I found it quite good.  Sent to me by The Captain, currently residing at the #67 position on the BA Top 100, I was stoked to try this gorgeous wax-dipped bottle.  Pretty rich, yet wonderfully smooth and tart of course, I shared the big boy with several friends.  A fairly flawlessly made fruit beer, it does lack some complexity, tasting a bit like the kind of non-alcoholic sparkling juice they give the youngsters at the Passover seder.  But does a well-made fruit beer necessarily need complexity?  Not when it’s delicious I say, and this one indeed is.


*Top six best hour-longs currently**:

1.  Lost
2.  Mad Men
3.  Damages
4.  Friday Night Lights
5.  Fringe
6.  House

**Best hour-longs of all-time:

1.  The Wire
2.  The Sopranos
3.  Lost (with a bullet!)
4.  Twin Peaks
5.  Six Feet Under
6.  Mad Men (with a bullet!)

notables:  St. Elsewhere, NYPD Blue, The Shield…

7 Responses to “New Glarus Raspberry Tart”

  1. Tom says:

    I need to watch this entire season of Lost so I spent this entry scrolling through asterisks with my eyes closed. Also, you’d put The Shield above Deadwood? Man, your Chiklis love is so obvious if your “notables” extended out a few decimal points I’d expect to see the Commish on there.

  2. Yeah, I probably should have included “Deadwood.” Swearengen would kick Chiklis’s ass.

    “I will tell you this. I’d use tonight to get myself organized. Ride out in the morning clear-headed. And startin’ tomorrow morning, I will offer a personal $50 bounty for every decapitated head of as many of these godless heathen cocksuckers as anyone can bring in. Tomorrow. With no upper limit! That’s all I say on that subject, ‘cept next round’s on the house. And God rest the souls of that poor family. And pussy’s half price, next 15 minutes.”

  3. trulee pist says:

    You list “The Wire” as the No.1 hourlong of all time, but “Homicide” is not even on the list. Ha ha ha. “The Wire” is just the pale ghost, red-headed step-child of “Homicide.”

    You are an idiot. And you gave a passing grade to a flavored beer. But I repeat myself.

  4. Tommy, Tommy, Tommy…

    “Homicide” was a great show, a great NETWORK effort, and a great precursor to “The Wire.” But “The Wire” is vastly superior, a complete culmination of David Simon’s vision, and I think even the man himself would tell you that.

    And what’s so wrong with flavor?

  5. DW says:

    I like the shout out to NYPD Blue. In addition to being one of my favorite television characters of all time, Andy Sipowicz had a great ass.

  6. Jay says:

    Aaron, first of all – thanks for reminding me how I need to find someone to trade me a bunch of New Glarus beers. I’ve heard too many great things about this Wisconsin-only brewer to sit still any longer.

    Second – I hope you’re tuning in to “Breaking Bad”. It’s the best thing on TV right now, possibly (arguably?) better than “Lost”. I’m as sucked into this thing as I’ve ever been sucked into a show.

    Finally, your “Lost” re-cap was excellent, and you went at least a level deeper than my wife & I were able to in our post-episode “WTF” session. Sure, we got that Season 6 was being set up as a battle between Jacob and “Esau” – as was, apparently the entire show. We’ve been watching from Day 1. I almost left the show when “invisible Jacob” was introduced in that cabin a couple of years ago, thinking that it was the jump-the-shark moment that was going to signal even worse shows to come. It’s gotten even better since then, and I liked how they basically just explained that weirdo episode away by having Ben tell Locke that he was “tricking” him, but didn’t know why things were flying around the hut. Hmm. Also agree with you that certain characters have run their course: Sayid and Juliet can go away now, and I’ll be very happy. I’d be even happier if any & all love triangle stuff between Jack, Kate and Sawyer was done with, but I’m not holding my breath – but man is that getting stale.

    Your Bernard & Rose theory is my favorite part of the post. I’m going to be watching those two a lot more closely if they turn up next year.

  7. No, I’ve never seen “Breaking Bad” but I keep hearing it is THE show I should be watching. Fair enough, it’s settled–just threw all of Season 1 on my Netflix queue (damn thing is on Long Wait though!) I’ve always liked Bryan Cranston so I’ll almost certainly like the show. (Does any one in NYC know if Time Warner has an AMC On Demand? They seem to but I can’t figure out what channel it is????)

    God yes, the Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet love triangle is the worst. Kate has become the most deplorable character on TV. Why would any man prefer hillbilly lying always-gets-in-a-jam moron Kate over the elegant and wise Juliet anyhow? I wish the Sun/Jin reunion would happen sooner rather than later too so I no longer have to be annoyed by those two.

    I’m also curious how Terry O’Quinn will be employed in Season Six. OK, Locke’s dead so he won’t be playing him–at least in the year 2007–but why would Esau still be appearing as Locke now that everyone knows he’s a fraud?

    I believe scene #1 of the premiere of Season Six will take us back to the opening Jacob/Esau scene but we will actually see the Black Rock’s arrival with Richard and the Hansos getting off. This will lead to a war for the island between Jacob and Esau (and whoever from the Black Rock decides to side with whom) which I believe will mimic the war that will take place in 2007 between Jacob and Esau and whomever the still-living Losties decide to side with.

    Of course, Season Six will not just be a simple battle between good and evil, or “good” and “evil” and I’m sure there will be countless tricks up Lindeloff’s and Cuse’s sleeves.

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