Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.05: "The Constant"

Quote: " I love you, Penny. I'll always love you."

Buh-bye, Jate. Or Skate. Or Sackate. Or whatever you want to call the endless love triangle that we really just don't care about anymore. Penny and Desmond are not only the best couple on the show, but I think they've my favorite all-time pair of star-crossed lovers. And I'll admit I got a bit verklempt when Desmond's phone call went through.

And folks, we have the first candidate of the season to bump "White Rabbit" off my Top 10 Lost Episode list.

Lots of stuff to talk about today. Onward!

1. Okay, Doc, what's up with all the freakily neato time travel-y stuff?

First off, physics are not my forte. But despite this, my one disappointment about the episode was how much you had to suspend disbelief in all the "science" we saw. However, given that I suspend disbelief very easily, let's go through what we've learned today about the island and time.

1) Daniel's been conducting time travel experiments since the mid-nineties, frying rat brains with a giant pink hairdryer (which, as Lostpedia points out, may have been taken from Slaughterhouse 5). He again reiterates that you can't change the future and that the process is unstable unless you have a constant.

2) The theme of instability is something TPTB mentioned in the EW preview for this episode (I don't read these before the episode airs, BTW, but they're well worth checking out afterwards). Remember that there was only a 31 minute time difference between the two clocks in Daniel's first experiment, but that it took the helicopter a day to reach the freighter. Methinks this does not bode well for those people who aren't part of the Oceanic 6. Or Ben. Or Desmond, perhaps.

3) We know now that Daniel's memory is likely screwed up from years and years of irradiating rodents and that he's probably bounced around in time before much like Desmond did this episode. The reason he was probably crying over the TV report on Flight 815 being found in the season opener is that he probably was remembering something from the future that's all muddled up inside his brain now.

4) Island time is now about a day in the past. Imagine if this difference were to increase exponentially? Ruh-roh, Raggy.

(Edit: I originally had this backwards in my review. Obviously it's not so bad if the outside world begins moving much, much faster than island time. That would mean if the Oceanic 6 came back to the island they could basically pick up right where they left off).

5) The freaky time travel stuff only seems to happen to people that have been exposed to massive amounts of radiation or electromagnetism. Since Sayid wasn't affected, it seems that merely being on the island during the Discharge isn't enough to trigger it. Desmond was affected because he was in the Hatch. So who else could be affected by this that we know?

Charlie was in the Hatch too, but he's dead.

Eko was also in the Hatch, and he's also dead. That leaves... hmmm...

Methinks John Locke might not want to leave the island, given he may have killed his only possible (evil) constant last season. What about the rest of the Others? What about Juliet? She's a lab geek too, she probably had some radiation exposure. I'd totally be bouncing around myself - I'd probably have to use, I dunno, maybe the Simpsons as my constant. It's been around for twenty years. =)

2. So now that Desmond's off the island, does he stay off? What happens if he goes back?

Okay. So Desmond makes it successfully off the island, but he can't be one of the Oceanic 6 since he wasn't on the plane. So is he alive in the real world and in hiding (Penny could certainly whisk him away somewhere with all money) or is he dead?

And what happens if Desmond tries to go back - not that I think he would - Does the whole process start over again? And can Desmond still get his flashes now? It would probably be very, very useful if he could.

3. So who's Ben's mole on the boat and why is he/she helping the Losties?

The person who opened the sick bay door is most likely Ben's mole. Was it one of the guys just saw (we met Keamy, Omar and Ray, the Doctor) or someone new? Frank said he was trying to help them, but I don't think he's a good candidate for the mole since he was just hired for this mission to get Ben. It certainly wasn't Minkowski or Brandon.

4. What's Charles Widmore's interest in the island?

We now know Charles Widmore has, at the very least, in interest in the island, given that he owns the only surviving journal from the Black Rock (that he purchased all the way back in 1996). Remember too that the original Henry Gale's balloon, who crashed on the island likely back in 2003, was also sponsored by Widmore.

Question now is, did Charles himself sponsor the freighter? And was he also responsible for giving Desmond's photo to Naomi? Maybe it was a possible bonus mission for her, i.e. "BTW, if you happen to run into this man, please kill him. Painfully, if possible."

5. So, uh, what's going to happen when the Christmas tsunami hits the boat?

So we now know that it's officially Christmas Eve 2004 on the freighter, Christmas Day on the island (remember the time difference). The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake that caused the tsunami that devastated parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand hit on December 26th, 2004. Now we don't know exactly where the freighter is, but presumably it's going to be affected, should the writers stay true to current events (and the writers have regarding the 2004 Red Sox and U.S. elections).

Something to keep in mind for the next couple episodes.

Other tidbits:

* Numberage: Penny's new address - 423 Cheyne Walk & the frequency that Faraday gives Desmond is 2.342.

* The name of the freighter is "Kahana"

* Daniel's really my favorite of the new characters.

* Sayid better kick some evil freighter people ass in the next couple episodes.

* So what happens to Desmond's future consciousness when he's flipping? Again it seems very similar to Days of Future Past, as I've mentioned before.

* Below is Frank's "cheat sheet" for those interested. Lost UFO has a lot of other images, especially of Daniel's journal pages. He seems to like the idea of "imaginary time" quite a bit, whatever that means.

Summary: I'm going to give this one a 4.7 out of 5. It would be a perfect score, but I have to deduct something for all the hokey science stuff. I know it's all good sci-fi, but c'mon, the guy had a giant pink radiation gun in his study. Please. I have to jump through hoops and ladders nowadays just to get the smallest amount of the most harmless isotope. But I LOVED Desmond's and Penny's story. She waited for him, just like the real Penelope. And, again, I think if there's a tragic ending to the show it will be that Desmond has to sacrifice a chance to spend the rest of his life with Penny to save the world.

Damn, guess we'd better pick up a case of kleenex at Costco. Can't wait for next week and don't forget to vote in the poll too! =)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sawyer's Nickname Generator

I don't know why it took me so long to notice this over at, but they've got an official Sawyer Nickname Generator up that's a quick, silly timewaster; they only ask for input based on six criteria and it spits out multiple nicknames for the same input. In addition to the "Bubblehead" screen cap below, I also got "Cotton" and "Chewie," none of which I think the writers would have come up with if I happened to be a character on the show. Heck, I had more creative "nicknames" in high school! I think we need Version 2.0 here, along with an instant graphic you can post on your blog. =)

Anyhoo, try it out and let me know what you get.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.04: "Eggtown"

Quote: "Hello, Aaron."

I'm back! This week's review should be up on Friday too. In case you missed it, I put up some initial thoughts on "Eggtown" in my previous post.

By the way, I've managed to somehow avoid reading it, but Doc Jensen at EW has the scoop on what's going to happen the rest of this season. I'm really digging at being surprised so I want no part of it, but I thought I'd point those interested in the right direction.

Onto the questions!

1. So what the heck happened to Claire?

Claire obviously wouldn't have willingly given up Aaron unless she was dying. So it seems to me that there are only a two possibilities here:

1) She's dead
2) Aaron was stolen from her and she was stranded on the island

Either way, I guess it kinda sucks to be Claire.

One also wonders why Jack didn't want to see Aaron? Did he know Claire was his half-sister? Does Aaron remind him of something ominously unpleasant? Does he feel uncomfortable about Kate raising Aaron in general?

But the bottom line here is that Claire is definitely NOT one of the Oceanic 6.

2. So was Desmond's vision wrong?

So how can we reconcile Desmond's vision with Kate having Aaron? Well, maybe Claire (and Aaron) do leave the island in the helicopter and maybe something really awful happens to them afterwards (or even during the flight - i.e. "Look Claire, it's a dolphin!" "Ahhhhhhhh!").

But there's also the possibility that Desmond lied to Charlie to get him to make the dive to the Looking Glass (and make his sacrifice). Hopefully we'll find a bit more about that out this week - in the preview, it looked like Desmond was back on the on island since he was angrily confronting Daniel. Maybe it is a lot harder to leave than they initially thought.

3. What was up with Daniel's memory game?

I guess Daniel's freaky behavior wasn't simply the result of being a scientist, eh? :)

Daniel seems to have memory problems which is probably at least partially his motivation to stay on the island since he (and Charlotte) seem to think it will cure him. So far, Charlotte and Daniel also seem to know a lot more about the island than Miles and Frank.

4. So what do we now know about the story the Oceanic 6 gave to the world?

Flight 815 crashed into the water near a small island in the South Pacific. Eight people survived the crash. Kate was hero, helping people out of the water. Six people made it off the island alive and Aaron is Kate's son.

So who were the other two people who survived the crash other than the Oceanic 6? And, perhaps more importantly, what happened to the other two? I guess my money now is on Sun (ominous foreboding this episode) and, maybe, Locke? Fumiko, my Lostphile labmate, has been pushing the Locke angle to me and I'm starting to think she might be right. Yeah, he'd have to be dragged kicking and screaming, but think about this possible scenario:

Let's say the rest of the Losties got mad at Locke, forced him to leave the island and accused him of causing the death of at least one of the other survivors. So now he's off the island, paralyzed again AND in prison, dying to get back.

So in the future, not only will the Oceanic 6 have to get around Kate's state arrest to return to the island, they'd also have to break Locke out of prison. Now that's would be fun.

5. So now what's the timeline of the Flashforwards so far?

In the credits, the young lad playing Aaron was credited as simply "Two-Year-Old Boy" to preserve the surprise. But if Aaron is two, that means Kate's flashback took place sometime after November 2006 (Aaron was born November 2004). Remember that Kate's mom got sick well before the plane crash, so when she said to Kate that the doctors had given her six months to live for the past four years, that likely started way back when Kate visited her mom in the hospital.

Now Jack's flashforward took place on or about April 5, 2007, the date of the infamous newspaper clipping. Thus Kate's trial (and Jack's meeting with Hurley) both took place sometime between November and then.

Sayid's flashforward, on the other hand, we have no reference for. But assuming the Oceanic 6 get off the island in the near future (say January 2005), it would make it certainly plausible that he could have comfortably slid into his assassin role over the course of two plus years, including completing his job in Berlin.

But here's a wrinkle: While it's still unclear, Kate and Jack's story (and Kate's mom's reaction) seems to suggest they've told people that Aaron really is Kate's biological son, not Kate's adopted son. But that really doesn't make much sense, does it? Kate wasn't pregnant on the plane (and I assume she had a least one medical exam after going into custody) and even if it takes the Oceanic 6 another month to get off the island that would still only have had them stranded for four months.

Since Aaron would be at least two months old at the time of rescue, I really don't see how Kate could have convinced people Aaron was her biological son unless they go off the island much, much later than January 2005. We'll see...

Other Tidbits:

* The book Locke chose for Ben was VALIS, by Philip K. Dick, the author of A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that was the basis for Blade Runner.

VALIS stands for "Vast Active Living Intelligence System" - a kind of artificial "God" that's part of a satellite network. I've never read the book, nor the other two in Dick's trilogy. But I wonder if Sawyer will be picking it up anytime soon. :)

* Again, I thought Miles' extortion plot was pretty lame. But it is somewhat interesting because, given the deleted scene from 'The Economist," while it does seem that he has actual powers that would be useful on the island, the only real reason his character seems to be there is because he's a hired (mind) gun. This is in contrast to Daniel and Charlotte who both seem to really, really want to be on the island itself. Frank's motivation for joining the foursome, aside from perhaps guilt over the death of his pilot friend, is also kinda vague at this point.

* I did, however, think Evangeline Lilly looked really, really good this episode. And it was her strongest episode in a while.

* I was surprised Sun wanted to go back to Korea to raise her baby, given it would likely mean a return to life under her domineering Mafia father.

* Does anyone know what L.A. (or Hawaii) courtrooms really look like? Did anyone else think Kate's looked kinda odd - like a makeshift room set up in a library or something?

* "You just totally Scooby-Doo'd me, didn't you?" Heh. Hurley continues to be my favorite character this season.

* Sawyer called Hurley "Montezuma" and Miles "Bruce Lee"

* Interesting that, in his game with Sawyer, Locke was playing the black pieces. Foreboding, perhaps?

Summary: I have to admit that the ending salvaged a lot of this episode for me. I'll give the episode itself a 2 - but the last five seconds get a perfect 5.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Poll

I put the poll for "Eggtown" up - pretty curious to see what people thought of it too. Until the last five seconds, I actually thought it was a fairly bad episode. And I should have known her kid was really Aaron, but even when I saw the blonde hair I still thought it was Sawyer's. Couple odd thoughts while they're still fresh in my brain:

* I do not like this new, evil overlord Locke. When he gets frustrated, he turns into the Season 2 button pusher. While I know this complexity is part of what makes him a classic character, it just feels wrong somehow. I dunno.

* They wouldn't have been able to convict Kate without her Mom's testimony? Good thing Jack McCoy wasn't the DA. Still, methinks Kate is going to have some problems getting back to the island considering she can't even leave the state.

* Miles was merely trying to blackmail Ben? I know he's an opportunist but, well, that's just kinda lame.

* Guess Claire's not one of the Oceanic 6, eh? So much for Desmond's prediction. Maybe he lied to Charlie after all.

* So who were the eight that they claimed survived the flight? Guess two people died in the process, one being Claire.

* So they did tell people about "an" island. I'm guessing it's not "the" island, though.

* Does Future-Jack know Aaron is his nephew?

* Does Dan have early-onset Alzheimer's that he's trying to get the island to cure?

* Kate's really not preggers? Really?

* And lastly, a question for all the ladies - Who would you rather be stranded on a deserted island with - Naked Sawyer or Naked Sayid? =)

Enjoy your weekend. Full review next week (likely Tuesday).

Deleted Scene

Doc Artz has the scoop on a cool deleted scene from "The Economist" involving Miles and the Sonic Fence. Check it out.

Regarding the review of tonight's "Eggtown," I'm going to essentially be away from early tomorrow morning until Tuesday. The weekend features skiing and Monday is a travel day for me at work. What this means for my review is that it probably won't be put up until Tuesday evening at the earliest.

There is a slim chance I could get it up Sunday night, but since I have to be up really, really early on Monday and I'm supposed to be somewhat coherent for a talk and meeting with colleagues, I probably won't have much time.

But I'll put up the episode poll tonight and might check in with an initial thought or two. Happy Lost Day, everyone! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Frogurt Is Also Cursed

Image Hosting by

This was probably an unnecessary waste of time, but I just couldn't help myself. Link for the actual post-strike info. Thanks to Picoodle for the image hosting. Enjoy your weekend everyone! =)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.03: "The Economist"

: "The day I trust Ben is the day I've sold my soul."

Souls are, like, so overrated, eh Sayid? =)

So Sayid ends up working for Ben, killing everyone in whatever evil organization is stalking them (whose members Ben seems to have conveniently condensed into one of his ubiquitous lists) in order to protect his friends. We have no idea where in the timeline this FF takes place, but Sayid's story certainly happens over the course of a year (or more) and Sayid seems somewhat comfortable in his role (at least initially) suggesting he'd been doing it for some time.

I don't know about y'all, but to me the flash forwards have really given Season 4 a Season 1-type feel to it - everything is fresh, lots of new information, questions and, for once, I find myself enjoying the FFs as much if not more than the on-island activities. Several people both over e-mail and in person have commented on how tired they are of the Jakater love triangle, which I can totally understand. But personally I'm not really bothered by it and I actually loved Jack's "Don't worry. Sawyer will protect you" zinger. Next week, it looks like we're getting a Kate FF, so maybe we'll get some clues as to 1) how the triangle finally resolves and 2) whether Kate's incubating a baby con man on-island right now.

Enough rambling, onto the questions:

1) Time after time

So the "payload" fired by the freighter took an additional 31 minutes to get to the island and Daniel told Frank to stay on the same bearing as he came in on in the chopper or else it could be "bad." I'm a little fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing, Daniel. How about defining it for me, eh?

So is the island protected by a sort of "time bubble" where the only way in or out is through some sort of wormhole like thingy? We know that time seems to be passing along fairly normally both inside and outside of it - Jack's probing of Frank (a Yankees fan, boo hiss!) on the 2004 World Series indicates this as much. But it seems whatever the barrier is that prevents people from easily accessing the island at the very least stretches out time as one passes through it and you can only access it along one narrow trajectory.

2) Who is R.G?

Image from DarkUFO. Whoever he/she is, both Naomi and Elsa seem to work for him/her given their similar bracelets. Any takers?

3) What's going to happen to Desmond?

I am really worried about Desmond. I was honestly shocked when he got on that chopper, not because he had no motivation, but because he can't be one of the Oceanic 6 since he wasn't on the plane in the first place! This means one of two things: 1) He's either being kept captive or is in hiding or 2) He's dead. And if they kill him, I'm going to be so pissed. Stop killing off my favorite characters, dammit!

On the bright side, though, Desmond should be fairly hard to kill since 1) he should be able to see it coming and 2) I can't think of a better traveling companion to have along than Sayid. Desmond's chopper ride also opens up the possibility of Juliet, Danielle, Alex and Karl getting off the island since none of them were in the plane either.

4) Who are the remaining two members of the O6?

My money's now on Claire (still) and Sun. While it would certainly be dramatic to have Sun remain on the island as her tummy time-tomb ticks slowly down, I'm now thinking it would be even more dramatic to have, say, one place left on a chopper and Jin forcing Sun to take it. It's perfectly in his character to do so and would make for just as much drama if they stayed behind. Claire, of course, still has Desmond's vision going for her.

Speaking of which, Desmond hasn't had a new vision in a while. Now would probably be a good time.

5) What's up with travelin' Ben?

I wasn't totally surprised to see Ben's hidden travel room. Miles' photo of Ben from last episode certainly indicated that Ben traveled a bit in the outside world. Ben's room merely indicates that his travels were even more extensive than we thought.

But while I'm not surprised that Ben traveled a lot or even that he transformed Sayid into his personal assassin, what was even more shocking for me was the fact Ben was off-island at the end of the episode. Remember that Jack was desperately trying to get back to the island in his flash forward, but he couldn't. Now the question is, can Ben still move back and forth or is he stranded in the real world as well? His appearance also indicates that 1) he survives (obviously) and that 2) he's the eighth island folk to be confirmed off island (the O6, Desmond, Ben).

Other Tidbits

* Sawyer calls Ben "Gizmo," as in the Mogwai. Didn't he use that nickname for someone else too? I could have sworn he did, but Lostpedia doesn't mention it. Miles also calls Hurley "Tubby," which causes Hurley to quip "Oh awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer." Nice.

* I wonder if Miles will pick up some creepy dead vibes from all the DHARMA folk who were purged in the vicinity?

* Ben - "I'm thristy" HA! I'm so glad Ben, at the very least, won't be dying in the near future.

* I know I keep relating Lost to Stephen King, but I can't tell you how much the whole Oceanic Six "we have to go back" story arc feels like IT, where the six adults have to go back to their childhood town because the evil they defeated so long ago has returned. Anyone else get this vibe?

* The name of the guy Sayid killed in the beginning was Mr. Avellino.

* Ben's passport name was Dean Moriarty, a central character in On The Road, by Jack Kerouac. Moriarty is also Sherlock Holmes' nemesis, or course.

* Um, where's Nadia?

Overall: Another solid installment, again opening up a lot of new questions. On-island though, not a whole lot really happened. Let's say 3.5/5

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tomorrow's Review...

Will be up a bit later in the day than usual, as I'm helping a friend (sadly not Keith Hernandez) move out of his apartment in the morning. There's a chance I may work on it tonight if I'm feeling ambitious, but as Em and I have a nice V-Day evening planned, that scenario's fairly remote. =)

Happy Lost Day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lost Theory Question #9: Smokey and the Others

Last week's show brought up a few questions about the Others and Smokey that have been percolating around in my brain for some time now. When Locke asked Ben what the Monster was and Ben blatantly said he didn't know, I immediately thought he was lying. Dog, new tricks, etc.

Of course, I thought the exact same thing in "One of Us" when Juliet said the exact same thing to Kate. However after thinking on this the past week, I've come to doubt myself somewhat, especially since Locke also didn't seem to know what it was and he's now Jacob's newest BFF. So who's telling the truth here? Let's go through a couple current Smokey questions based on the little we know about him/her/it:

1) Did DHARMA bring Smokey to the island?

According to the Blast Door Map and the Lost Puzzle Clues, Smokey is called "Cerberus," served as DHARMA's security system (what Danielle called it in "Exodus" too - why doesn't someone ask her how she knows what the heck it is), underwent a "catastrophic malfunction," and pops up around the island through certain "Cerberus Vents."

This all seems to suggest DHARMA brought Smokey to the island to protect the Initiative, but then it went crazy and they had to construct the Sonic Fence to protect the Barracks. But you'd have to think that Ben, who's been with the DI since he was very little, would have to know something about the Monster. After all, even if DHARMA tried to keep the Monster a secret, once it went insane and they had to erect a giant fence for protection, you would think they would have had to tell everyone something about it for their own protection. Sure, they could have said the fence was to protect everyone from the Hostiles, but I can't believe everyone would have kept the DI's freakin' security system a classified secret like the Swan.

And any way you cut it, you have to figure Ben knows more than he was letting on. If the Monster was a DI creation, Ben should know something. But if the Map is wrong and Monster is actually something indigenous to the island, Ben should know something about that too given how chummy he's been with Jacob. Bottom line: Ben, at the very least, has to be lying somewhat. But it is possible that even he doesn't know what the Monster's origins are or how to destroy it. He and his father were mere work men, after all.

2) Whose side is Smokey on?

All evidence seems to suggest its own. Smokey has attacked both the Losties and the Others, tried to convince Eko and Locke (as Yemi in their dreams) to keep pushing the button for its own purposes and really seems to have no affection whatsoever for anybody but Locke.

I'd really love to see a Ben/Smokey stare down sometime and see what happens. Might not be pretty. :)

3) What is Smokey's agenda?

Again, it seems unclear. On one hand it seems to have some sort of moral code, judging people through its freaky, smoky mind reading trick, trying to get them to repent and redeem themselves. I think this might be why it spared Eko upon their first meeting because, at that time, he was honestly trying to be a "good person."

On the other hand, it desperately wanted the button to be pushed. Was this for self-preservation (maybe it didn't know the failsafe was a possibility and it didn't want to get sucked into magnetized oblivion) or was the Monster really looking out for the best interests of the island?

Regardless, while part of me now kinda believes Juliet may have been kept in the dark, I really think Ben knows a lot more about the Monster than what he's letting on. What do y'all think?

Addendum: As Shelly points out below, the fence was already up and running when Ben came to the island for the purpose of keeping out the "wildlife." This certainly makes it more likely Ben was kept in the dark about Smokey since the fence really seems to be tailored to keep Smokey out. And if the Monster was originally DHARMA's security system, that would mean it likely went crazy long before Ben arrived on the island.

But what I really can't wrap my brain around here is that Ben lived with DHARMA from childhood to adulthood. Assuming Smokey was on a rampage that entire time, I have a hard time believing Ben never was able to find out any information on it from anyone nor anything from all the binders and manuals of info DHARMA left behind. It's one thing to keep your underground bunkers a secret, but crazy, giant Smoke Monsters? Really?

Eh, maybe I am totally off base here. The more I seem to write, the more I can see how the DI wouldn't want to tell their scientists the Monster is a DI creation gone horribly wrong (provided it really is a DI creation - Danielle said the Monster protected the island, after all).

Anyway, maybe my gut reaction that Ben is always lying got too carried away with this one. =)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Six more episodes... and six more episodes?

Ausiello is reporting that with the WGA strike finally over, we may get six additional episodes of Lost this season! Pancake Jack heartily approves.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lost Episode Review: 4.02 "Confirmed Dead"

If there's something strange

In your neighborhood,
Who ya' gonna call?

Been humming that to myself all morning. You can thank me for getting it into your head later. Right now, there's so much to dissect in this episode I barely know where to begin, so let's get down to it shall we?

Five Questions

1. Who the heck are the Fantastic Four?

Let's go through them one-by-one:

1) Daniel Faraday - Physicist, labeled a "head case" by Naomi. Cried when he heard the news Flight 815 was found. Flashback from Essex, Massachusetts.

2) Miles Straume - Psychic, who appears to speak to dead people, labeled a "Ghostbuster" by Naomi. I imagine his talents will be very useful on this island. Flashback from Inglewood, California.

3) Charlotte Lewis - Cultural anthropologist, labeled as such by Naomi. Elated at finding a polar bear skeleton with a DHARMA Hydra station collar in Tunisia. Her middle name is Staples. Staples?

4) Frank Lapidus - Pilot, labeled a "drunk" by Naomi. Knew the wreckage of Flight 815 was fake because HE was supposed to have piloted that fight and knew his replacement well. Memorized the flight manifest. Flashback from Bermuda (I think).

So what do all these people have in common that makes them so important they were recruited by the delightfully menacing Matthew Abbadon to find Ben? My guess is they all were either associated with, worked for or knew someone who worked for the DHARMA initiative. Charlotte's flashback implies this directly, but we also know that DHARMA used physicists and psychics in their research and must have had pilots on the payroll. Perhaps some of them have even been on the island previously.

So why are they (and Matthew) looking for Ben? Time will tell, but my guess is they suspect he might know what happened to DHARMA. Which brings me to...

2. Where and when was Ben's picture taken?

Okay. Take a look at this photo.

First of all this looks like it was taken off-island at a public place, like an airport. Notice the computer monitor in the background. That is not a 70's era monitor - I'd put it at early-to-mid nineties, maybe later. That means, according to my previous speculations, it must have been taken post-DHARMA Purge. And Ben doesn't look too happy to have had his photo snapped.

All this leads us to ask...

3. Why does Matthew want Ben?

My guess is to find out what happened to DHARMA or, if he already knows what happened, to get revenge for his part in the Purge. Bottom line here is that Matthew certainly knows Ben is alive and at least one part of the Fantastic Four knew what DHARMA was and that they did crazy experiments on polar bears. Which again leads us to...

4. How the heck did a DHARMA polar bear get to Tunisia?

I really don't have much speculation on this one. Could it have something to do with the Orchid Video? Oh, those wacky DHARMA scientists.

5. Jacob, Smokey, Hurley and Locke

This is kinda two questions tied together. First off, Ben and Locke seemed genuinely surprised (and even happy) that Hurley knew about Jacob's cabin (that Locke seemed to be taking a detour around). This makes me think that 1) Hurley is just as special as Jack and Locke and 2) the writers seem to be getting back to the "everybody's here for a reason" theme they had gotten away from since the first season. More fate, less coincidence as it were.

Secondly, the simple fact Locke asked Ben "what is the Monster" is kinda shocking because it implies 1) Locke has no clue what it is and that 2) Smokey is not Jacob. In addition, if Locke is as buddy-buddy with Jacob as he seems, it implies Jacob has no clue what Smokey is either. Are Jacob and the Monster enemies? Is Jacob the white to the Monster's black? Very, very interesting.

And I don't believe Ben for a second when he says he doesn't know. LIIIIIIIAAAAR!

Other tidbits

* Last episode, when Matthew confronted Hurley in the asylum and asked him if "any of them were still alive," he might have been referring to the team he sent, NOT the rest of Flight 815.

* Notice too that none of the Fantastic Four believed that the Flight 815 found in the trench was the real deal. However Matthew and Naomi also didn't expect to find any survivors from it.

* Two great Sawyer nicknames: Col. Kurtz (Locke) and Yoda (Ben).

* Ben's mind games have been delightful these past two episodes. And his point about Sawyer not wanting to leave was a very good one. But dontcha think they would have gagged him by now?

* Judging from Sayid's smile when he saw the helicopter, I'm guessing he's one of the Oceanic 6. Plus I bet he can pilot it.

*"The light scatters differently here." Twitchily cool.

* "Didn't you see my wink?" Heh.

Overall: Another terrific, suspenseful installment, albeit one that leaves us with a plethora of new questions. Love all the newcomers. Here's hoping they live for more than an episode or two. 4.0/5

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Flight 815 - Found!

I've been away the past few days, so all my half-finished posts are going to have to wait for next week. In the meantime, we have this week's episode to deal with: Confirmed Dead. Sez' ABC:
The survivors begin to question the intentions of their supposed rescuers when four strangers arrive on the island.
What? That's it? Fortunately Paula has a great preview of the episode up at The Lost Elders you should check out. In addition, Ben posts a recap of the recent Jay & Jack podcast featuring Jorge Garcia, who basically said that 1) the mysterious eye in the cabin was no one we knew yet and 2) that Jacob can apparently change his appearance.

This would seem to mean that Jacob, not Smokey, is behind the primary manifestations on the island (except for Yemi). In addition, if the eye belongs to someone we haven't met yet, could it be the unknown coffin guy Jack was so broke up over in the finale, J. -antham?

As far as the title of the episode goes, I agree with Paula that it probably refers to the fact both Naomi and Penny both said last season that Flight 815 was found and everyone on board was dead. Last month's Find815 webgame (Lostpedia has an excellent summary) showed how this came about. The major points:

1) Sam Thomas, a technician for Oceanic Airlines, is the main character. He was about to propose to his girlfriend, Sonya, who was a flight attendant aboard Flight 815 when it vanished. After the disappearance of the plane, he set out to discover what happened.

2) Someone a shady corporation called The Maxwell Group (which turned out to be a subsidiary of Widmore Industries) claimed that they knew Sonya and sent Sam a picture of her. This led Sam to stow away on a Maxwell funded expedition to find the Black Rock slave trading ship in the Sunda Trench.

3) On the ship Sam meets the shady Oscar Talbot, who's employed by Maxwell Group. They finally locate the spot where the Black Rock is supposed to be located, but instead finds Flight 815, which Sam recognizes instantly. Talbot looks pleased.

4) Later, in a TV press conference, Talbot speaks on how they stumbled upon the ship and that it was "pure chance" they had someone who was "so familiar with the plane" on board. The series ends with Sam looking disbelievingly at his TV screen.

So the Maxwell Group, and by proxy Widmore Industries, appears to have organized this huge hoax to make people think everyone from Flight 815 was dead. Remember that Widmore had previously sent someone else to the island who was killed by the Others: Henry Gale. In addition, Desmond ended up on the island after participating in Charles Widmore's boat race. If Widmore knew about the island before hand and wanted to get rid of Desmond, seems to me he could have sent Libby to give the boat to Desmond and somehow rigged Desmond's maps so he'd end up on the island. Regardless, someone in Maxwell/Widmore has a strong interest in the island and doesn't want people looking for the plane. Are all the newcomers from Maxwell? I guess we'll find out tomorrow! Woo hoo!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lost Episode 4.01, "The Beginning of the End"

Lost is baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! Is everyone as happy as I was last night?

What terrific season opener. The flash forwards were simply a stroke of genius. I actually found myself tonight looking forward to Hurley's off-island activities more than the actual on-island stuff. Wasn't it nice not to have a Jack-centric opener too? I know they really couldn't have had one since Jack closed out Season 3, but after realizing it was a Hurley episode I was positively giddy.

And kudos to Jorge Garcia for a terrific acting job. In fact, y'all should head over and compliment him yourself.

Five Questions/Points from last night:

1. Who's eye is this?

Most people seem to think it was this man:

Which would make sense since he showed up right after Hurley had his Jacob cabin Halloween freak out. But after looking at the screen cap I'm not so sure. It that Locke's eye, tinted dark by the night? Or was someone else in Jacob's cabin with:

2. Christian Shepherd?

Um, dude? WTF? Now in the light of Christian appearing in Monday's mindboggling good mobisode, one has to wonder who's responsible for all the visions on the island? I always thought it was the smoke monster impersonating everyone. But could it be Jacob instead? Or are Jacob and Smokey one and the same?

I don't think Christian Shepherd is actually Jacob - remember that Ben saw his mother on the island too. But I do think, along with the mobisode, that this suggests that Jack is at least as important to the island as Locke, if not more.


Written on Charlie's hand. Kudos to Dominic for a great cameo too. So how far does the island's influence reach? It seems like "it," assuming "it" is the island, is going to great lengths to get them all back if it can send a dead rock star thousands of miles to send a message. I'm kind of digging Charlie now that he's dead too. :)

4. Matthew Abaddon

You just don't trust someone named after the "Angel of the the Abyss."

Hurley may be crazy, but he showed some great insight (for him) in calling him out. This brings up two big questions: What does everyone who got off the island have to keep secret and who's trying to find it out? Is the good Matthew from the same group that landed on the island? Did Locke and the others successfully repel them? Very cool (in a dark, intriguing way) how Jack was simply worried about whether Hurley gave up info rather than seeing Hurley himself.

5. Who are the rest of the Oceanic 6?

Jack, Kate, Hurley. Plus, Desmond did have a vision of Claire leaving the island. If that comes true, it makes four. Jin and Sun certainly have the most incentive to leave , however I think it would probably make for a more dramatic storyline if they didn't make it. Therefore my last two guesses are Sayid and Desmond, both of whom have long-lost loves they really want to return to (remember we know Nadia is living in LA now).

BTW, this is a spoiler free blog. If you know, please don't spill the beans.

Other Random Thoughts

1. I loved how we saw a pre-oxycontin Jack adding alcohol to his morning OJ. He's slowly becoming his father.

2. Also interesting how Hurley couldn't even talk about Ana-Lucia's on-island activities to her partner. Does the vow of silence encompass all island happenings, even ones that are dead?

3. Raise your hand if you thought Smokey (or the island) took Naomi's body at first. I did.

4. Ben was delightfully snarky this episode. Can't wait to have him and Locke go at it (or are they allies now) in the Barracks.

5. So does Kate leave Sawyer behind on the island? And what happens to their (likely) child? Could the "he" Kate was referring to in the Season Finale be their son? I haven't looked forward to a Kate-centric episode since the beginning of Season 2; now I'm positively dying for one.

Overall: Incredible opener. Better than last season, for sure. 4.5/5