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?
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!
* 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