There are a lot of flashbacks I'd still like to see on the show: Danielle, Richard Alpert, Marvin Candlewickhead, more Ben. Unfortunately, two of the flashbacks I'd like most to see involve dead characters: Libby and the original Henry Gale.
Libby's backstory we're supposed to get through the eyes of another, yet undisclosed character. However, there are currently no plans to tell Henry's tragic tale. And that, to me, is a shame.
Despite him being just a pile of bones underneath a bright happy grave marker, we actually know a good deal about Mr. Gale. First off, his driver's license:
We know he hails from Minnesota and would have been 40 years old at present island time. Also, given that his license expires in 2003 and assuming that it was current, he must have crashed prior to that year. Lostpedia also says that since Minnesota has a four-year license renewal period, it seems likely he crashed between 1999-2003.
Of course, provided it's not a prop error, it's possible Henry crashed only a year prior to the rest of the Losties. The $20 bill that he wrote his farewell note to Jenny on was issued in October of 2003, meaning his license could have been expired and that he crashed sometime either late 2003 or early 2004.
And speaking of the note, it read:
Jennifer,So Henry crashed in the valley, wrote a note on a bill and stuffed in his wallet, then hiked to the beach. The question now is what happened in between? Did he die of natural causes or did the Others kill him?
Well you were
I owe you a
hiking to one of
the beaches to
signal fire, but
if you're reading this,
I guess I didn't make it.
I love you Jenny,
Obviously the Others at least found his body and buried him, but Ben (under interrogation) seemed to know an awful lot about Henry Gale:
|Sayid||Tell me about this balloon.|
|Sayid||This balloon that brought you here with your wife. Tell me about it.|
|Henry Gale||What do you want to know?|
|Henry Gale||She's 140 feet high, 60 feet wide. And when she's up in the air 550,000 thousand cubic feet of helium and a 100,000 thousand of hot air keep her up. And if you could look down on her you'd see a big yellow smiley face on top.|
|Sayid||Why would you travel in that way?|
|Henry Gale||Because I was rich. Because it was my dream. And Jennifer thought it would be neat.|
|Sayid||You were rich?|
|Henry Gale||I guess I'm thinking of things in the past tense now. How's that for optimism?|
|Sayid||What did you do to become so rich?|
|Henry Gale||I sold my company.|
|Sayid||What kind of company?|
|Sayid||What did you mine?|
|Henry Gale||We mined non-metallic minerals. I know, everyone wanted to talk to me at cocktail parties.|
|Sayid||Give me your hands. Give me your hands!|
Ben could have made up the balloon facts and gotten Jennifer's name from the note in his wallet (I'm sure Ben knew of the note, he just didn't think Sayid would dig up the grave - or a least he hoped he wouldn't). But the fact that he knew Henry Gale was rich, that he sold his company and that they mined non-metallic metals is awfully personal.
But Ben didn't have to interrogate Henry to find out everything about him. If they can have files on all of the Losties, they could have easily found out everything on Mr. Gale. How? Well, his balloon gives that info away:
His company is the "Minnesota Metallurgy Mining Co.," a company likely inspired by 3M, and the two ads on the side are from "Mr. Cluck's" and "Nozz-A-La Cola," the latter being a brand prominently featured in Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
Now I've spoken about how I think the Dark Tower fits into Lost before, especially in the context of the season finale. But the fact Nozz-A-La is on the side of Henry's balloon is especially interesting. In Book 4 of the Dark Tower, Wizard and Glass, the heroes of the book end up traveling through a "thinny," basically a portal to another dimension, and end up in the version of Topeka, Kansas found in "The Stand."
They eventually come to a great glass palace, which one of the characters from our world recognizes as a twisted version of the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. In W&G, the wizard that the group finds within the city is King's version of the devil from all his novels, the evil being who relished the decimation of humanity in "The Stand," and the evil royal advisor from "Eyes of the Dragon," Randall Flagg.
It makes me wonder if Mr. Henry Gale came to the island from another dimension, perhaps even from Stephen King's world. And since he owned a mining company maybe really didn't crash heer accidentally - maybe he was really looking for this very island in the first place. Maybe he was even employed by the same people who sent Naomi, perhaps one of the first scouts sent out to find it.
And maybe - this woudl be sooooooo cool - the head of whatever evil group Jack radioed is the Lost version of Randall Flagg. Dum, dum, DUM!
Regardless, I'd still LOVE to see Henry Gale's story. Obviously it would have to be through someone else's flashbacks - either Ben or Richard on the island or perhaps someone more sinister off-island.
What do you all think? Is Henry a simple travelin' dude, accidentally caught in the Others' nefarious net and killed? Or did he have an agenda like Naomi and was purposely purged by the Others like DHARMA was?
Addendum: Of course, after I post this I remember yet another crucial point - Widmore Labs also sponsored Henry's balloon trip. Charles Widmore = Randall Flagg? Discuss.