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


Missie said...

Not a lot on the island, but I did like Sayid swapping Miles for Chatlotte- great set up for future spooky encounters on the Island. And that time warp thing is pretty damn cool. It makes me think that the conversation between Frank and Jack is a setup for something bigger- ie the "100 days" and Red Sox winning the series. I kept waiting for Frank to comment on how they won it twice. The time lapse could also explain the anomoly of pregnant women being unable to concieve and carry a baby successfully to term on the Island. Or why the people from Ben's group look unaged from when he met them as a teenager still in DHARMA. I enjoyed this week's FF better than last, and I would rate the episode higher than last week's because of that.

Missie said...

Alos, Locke receiving visions from a taller, older Walt, who presumably made it off of the Island, could be another indication that time is not really progressing closely in the two locations.
I would also like to add that more shirtless Sayid could only improve future episodes.

Jay said...

The writers have long said that time is going to be an issue on the island, but everything we've really seen so far indicates that tiem off and on the island proceeds relatively normally.

But let's say my "time bubble" theory is correct where one can traverse it through a narrow corridor. What do you think would happen if someone, say Michael, went off the trajectory and became trapped in the bubble itself? Maybe we'll see a much older Michael this season as well. Just a thought after reading your post, Miss. =)

someGirl said...

Woo Hoo!! with MISSIE's recommendation of more shirtless Sayid!!

Oh Sayid, you sexy, sexy, ridiculously hot man.

chefmom said...

I've sort of "lurked" here this season, because your posts fascinate me. You see things so much more indepth then I do!! I was a big contibuter to The TMZ blog last season, but The Regulars aren't there anymore, so I just read it and don't comment. First, I'm with somegirl, and I said to my Husband last night, "Wow, the cleaned up Sayid is a SILF." He looked at me like I was know a MILF, just with Sayid as the first word..LOL!
I am so glad you posted about Nadia, because my H was convinced that there was more to her story that we couldn't remember. He was right and you confirmed it. I can't decide who the other 2 Oceanic 6 are....Is one of them in the coffin, or is that now Ben?? I Thank You for posting the name on the passport, we tried and tried to read it and we couldn't. I Knew there was something behind the name and it definitely was not "Benjamin Linus". My biggest question is WHERE are the rest of the Others?? They're not in the village, obviously. Still in that camp? They haven't heard the chopper or saw the flare? And the whole time difference thing has me baffled......

Jay said...

Thanks chefmom! =)

Richard is taking all the rest of the Others to "The Temple," whatever that is.

The writers have said they were having trouble telling that
portion of the story because the actor who plays Richard, Nestor
Carbonell, was also starring in "Cane" and couldn't get out to Hawaii to shoot Lost.

However I don't know how the strike affected this. Hopefully he's a
bit more available now. =)

chefmom said...

Ahhhh...That's where they're going. Isn't the Temple the statue with the toes? And I heard "Cane" was canceled, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of Richard. I still can't decided who's side he's ultimately on.

Imperceptible Me said...

Hey I didn't know they canceled Cane. Wow, Yeah Chefmom I was thinking the same thing. We need to get at least some time for the Others so we know what's happening there. I thought this episode was fantastic and of course I can't wait until Thursday AGAIN!

Capcom said...

Great post and comments! :-)

It's almost creepy that the Red Sox won two separate times so that TPTB could use that to their advantage in the show, to mess with our heads.

Carly said...

I had to go out of town this weekend and my tivo didn't tape Lost like it is supposed to! Good thing I can watch it online. Yes where are the Others and what is this temple? The whole Jacob's cabin moving thing is totally weird too. The fact that it was gone really disturbed Locke and really adds to the question of why was Hurley allowed to see it in a totally different place?
And did you see the way Frank and Daniel looked at each other when Desmond said, "tell me you've never seen nor heard of Penelope Whitmore." Maybe not Penny, but possibly her father? Yes, Sayid looked really really good.
And did anyone else know that Ben can fix bullet wounds? Just had to throw that out there.
By the way, I stopped posting on TMZ too. I read it but there's just too many comments to read through and it's not as fun as last year. I enjoy your post though Jay!