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


Missie said...

I believe the pilot's flashback was from the Bahamas. This may or may not matter.
Charlotte also seemed genuinely suprised to find survivors.
They've promised another Oceanic 6 member next week- do you think they will deliver?
I realized as I rewatched last week's episode that the last person to ask for help was Jacob. Could he be part of the "They" Charlie talks about, or have other Losties become prisoners like Jacob?
And I know you had to about choke when Locke simply point blank asked what the monster was!

memphish said...

Lapidus was in Eleuthera Bahamas.

I like the idea that Charlotte might be the child of a former Dharma member. Back in the TLE game there was mention of people in the US who had relatives disappear after being associated with Dharma. Charlotte could be a twist on Rachel Blake possibly looking for what happened to her parents.

Jay said...

Thanks for that, gals. I couldn't remember. :)

I had forgotten that's why Rachel was looking for her parents - that's a good tie in!

And I too choked when Locke asked Ben what the Monster was. It's funny how surprised we are when the characters ask the obvious questions we've been dying to know. Of course, we'll never get an answr until the end. :)

Jay said...

Oh, and Matt also pointed out to me in an e-mail that C.S. Lewis' middle name was Staples. I wanted her to have an "Easy Button" on her instead. ;)

someGirl said...

Another excellent installment Jay...I'm so glad that the show is heading into the more "fate less coinncidence" route too, without it it'll be to confusing.

It's gonna be a VERY interesting episode when we get Miles The Ghostbuster and Jacob together...and the whispers!! I think Miles spidey sense will fry his brain as soon as he hears the whispers.

Carly said...

One of the things that stuck out to me is Abaddon's forcefulness in insisting that there were no survivors. As if he didn't want anyone to even suggest they may still be alive. Too forced. As if he knew those bodies in the water were not really those on the flight, but didn't want anyone else to even feed off that idea, you know? I think he knows they aren't dead. To me it was confirmed when the pilot could tell that the body in the water was not his friend. That debunks any theory about those bodies being the real survivors as well as the ones on the island. Somebody made it look like an accident, so people would stop looking for them and hence the island. I think Abaddon's interest in the island is more then what he has lead the 4 and Naomi to believe, more then just what Dharma was doing, something sinister!
Also, everyone except the pilot looks too young to have been part of the initial Dharma initiative. I agree with memphish that Charlotte knows something more about Dharma and I am sure we will find out how.
Good ending. Ben has been off the island and why do they want him so bad?

Imperceptible Me said...

Great recap Jay. I have not commented on your blog before, but I do read all the recaps you've had for LOST. I found your blog from Locke asking about the smoke monster was so cool and shocking! hehe. I thought this episode was great but still so many questions!! Grrrrr. Love it!

Kerin said...

What an amazing show it was last..I thought my head was going to explode with all the new info and characters.
Random thought here...
Dr Marvin Candle and Miles being connected somehow.
Here are two screenshots to compare..I'm not saying they are the same person, but I do think they are connected, father/son maybe??
Am I crazy?? What do you think?

Also - I agree with Carly, Abbadon was quite sure that there are no survivors...kinda like he helped stage the plane being on the ocean floor and that's what really happened to 815, so don't ask questions.

And no news show would ever broadcast a dead, bloated body like that.

I have other issues surrounding the newscast of the plane crash, but I'm gonna suck it up as it's just a show.

Carly said...

Ha ha Kerin, are you saying that because they are both asian they should be related? I don't know why that strikes me as so funny, but it does. Actually if I remember correctly, the producers picked the actor for Miles after seeing how good he was on the Sopranos. Now whether they worked him into being related to our good Dr. I don't know. He's kinda creepy, did you see the preview for next week?

Jay said...

Miles and CandleWick do look alike, but Carly's right in that the writers said they cast him because he was so terrific on the Sopranos.

I almost expected to see Uncle Junior emerge from jungle and shoot Jack before wandering off again. ;)

Kerin said...

Carly...ya know, I thought someone might think that's why I thought that...but no, I really felt that there could be a connection between the two.
We don't know Miles true purpose for being on the island and we know he's "special" So, I thought, maybe he has something to do with the Dr. and we don't know much about him either, except that he was affliated with Dharma...maybe Miles is looking for his long-lost daddy, which could be tied to the daddy issue story.
Keep in mind, I didn't know the producers picked Miles because of the Sopranos...but maybe, just maybe, the producers said that to throw us off their tracks?? :)

Missie said...

Regarding Abbadon's "no survivors": I read his tone as "even if we find survivors, they will be taken care off so that officially, there are no survivors". I'm certain he knew there were survivors, just in a the world will never know otherwise, and let us never speak of this again kind of way.

Jay said...

Hmmm... I dunno, Miss. I'll have to watch the scene again, but I didn't get that vibe at all. I really felt that while they knew the plane crashed on the island, they didn't expect anyone to survive.

But this brings up an interesting point - The island's been sucking in planes, ships and balloons oh my for decades now (The Black Rock, the Beechcraft, Desmond, Henry Gale and possibly even Amelia Earhart). But Flight 815's crash was brought on by a one time coincidence: Desmond's failure to push the button. Obviously this had something to do with so many people surviving what would have been a totally fatal crash, but what properties of the island caused the rest of them? Was it the "cloaking field" that keeps the island hidden? It does seem to disrupt electronics, after all.

And thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting. It's this discussion with y'all that really makes Lost so enjoyable for me. :)