Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.03, "Jughead"

"Your name is Widmore?"

Well this episode certainly clarified a lot of things that confused me the first two episodes! I still don't like the fact it really doesn't have specific flashbacks (although we saw a lot of the past this week, didn't we), but I guess "Jughead" would be considered a Desmond-centric episode if anything, and I'm always down with that.

So what was clarified? Here are ten things we learned:

1) The Losties traveled back to the 1950's.
2) The U.S. military knew about the Island back then and planned to use it for bomb testing.
3) Richard Alpert was leader of the Others.
4) Richard really doesn't age!
5) We now know why Richard visited Locke in L.A. when he was just a child (and how he knew he was there).
6) Charles Widmore is a freakin' Other!
7) Daniel sent the mind of a young woman (possibly his student), Theresa Spencer, through time.
8) Charles Widmore funded his research.
9) Desmond and Penny have a two-year-old son named Charlie (awwwwww).
10) Daniel Faraday's mom is in Los Angeles. And since Ben and Ms. Hawking are also both in L.A. (as we saw last episode), the chances Ms. Hawking is really Daniel's mom just went up tenfold!

Again this wasn't an outstanding episode in terms of a stand alone, but it not only moved the plot along, it was a LOT easier to follow than the season openers. In addition, I'm really grooving the moving through time because 1) it may give us an explaination for a lot of the coincidences we've seen throughout the show (as we enter time periods of the show itself i.e. September 2004-January 2005) and 2) we may get to see first hand some of the stories we've missed, mainly the time jumping is an excellent way to FINALLY get the Rousseau flashback we've been waiting for! Plus maybe we'll see what actually happened during some of the more infamous DHARMA moments, i.e. "The Incident" and what happened to Radzinsky in the Hatch.

Okay, enough rambling...

Five Questions:

1) What was Charles Widmore's motivation for getting back to the Island and why did he leave?

Seems like a bit of a hothead in his youth, eh? So why did he leave? Was he kicked off or was he sent on a mission never to return? And since Charles Widmore funded DHARMA, was DHARMA also an agent of revenge? I have to say, Charles Widmore being a (former) Other turns a lot of theroies on their heads - it gives him a much different motivation than simply being an evil corporate guy trying to take over the world. Now he's more like Dr. Doom trying to reclaim Lavertia... or blow it up if he can't. I like it a lot - it makes him a much more interesting villain.

And as an aside, I also liked the way he was worried about Penny. Even Dr. Doom loved his mother. Widmore genuinely cares for her and I can't wait to see what happens when Ben eventually realizes who she is.

2) So what makes Richard so special that he doesn't age?

It's certainly not being Leader of the Others - didn't really seem to help Ben or Locke (of course, both of them weren't born on the Island either). But there certainly does seem to be something there that makes him special and different from the rest, aside from being "selected" by Jacob.

3) What's Daniel's timeline?

Desmond couldn't remember when he visited Daniel at Oxford, but we know it was in 1996. Present day in the real world, it's early 2008. Sometime after Desmond's visit, Daniel transmogrified the brain of one of his students and was kicked out (...) and was eventually hired by Abaddon to accompany Naomi and the rest of Widmore's crew to the Island (January 2005). So what happened in between all that?

Presumably at some point the Island is going to end up in the period where DHARMA was building the Orchid station (which is why we saw Daniel in the first episode looking pretty much excatly like he did today). But Daniel, from his journal, already seemed to have time jumped a bit before arriving on the Island. Did that happen at Oxford or was he involved with something after they kicked him out (presumably with Widmore).

4) How's Daniel going to cure Charlotte?

Assuming Charlotte has the Time Jumping Flu, she's going to need a constant to snap her out of it. Will we finally get a taste of her past history? Charlotte flashback, please...

5) Is Locke going to have to use the Magic Box to get off the Island?

Ben got off the Island by using the Orchid wheel, but that seemed to be more a side effect of using it than anything (not to mention, Locke probably doesn't want to move the Island again). So how will Locke get off? Will we finally get to see the Magic Box and what it actually does?

It seems this season is set up to end with the Oceanic 6 getting back to the Island, thus the 70 hour deadline that could easily and conveniently fit into, say, 14 more episodes. But Locke needs to leave the Island this season as well. With the show winding down they can't save ALL the big Island mysteries for Season 6 and it seems the Magic Box is one they could give us in the finale.


* Is it just me, or do the writers seem to be be actively trying to thin the Losties' herd this season? Seems like we've lost a lot of red shirts the first three episodes (and I don't think any of them, except for Frogurt, were actually wearing red shirts).

* The blond Other who takes Daniel to the bomb is named Ellie

* The Department of Physics room number Desmond visits is 142-08

* Don't know if there's any meaning behind the "Jughead" moniker of the bomb, besides the Archie Comics reference. "Jarhead" is military slang for a U.S. Marine.

* Another neat thing about the time travel is my hope we're going to get to see Amelia in her youth (remember her)? Perhaps we'll even get to see her crash on the Island. ;)


I really, really liked this episode. We got some good Desmond and Penny time, good Daniel time, good Widmore time and NO Jack or Kate time. If we had gotten a little Ben, it would have been perfect, but as it stands I'm giving it a 4.5 out of 5. Still hoping we get a couple traditional flashback episodes this season too.


Missie said...

Ok, question. Who does the blonde girl remind Daniel of? Ed thought the student (Theresa). I have no ideas. Actually, for a moment, I thought she reminded me of the woman who parachuted down to the Island from the freighter and was then shot by Locke. But it's probably just the accent.

Ed pointed out that the presence of an H Bomb suddenly made the Hatch make alot more sense.

There was something else, but I forgot. And I did tear up when Desmond said Charlie's name.

Missie said...

Also, Richard's reaction to John not picking the compass as a child makes a lot more sense. He (Richard) probably felt duped.

memphish said...

I don't think Richard was THE leader because a) he recognized the name Jacob when Locke dropped it and b) he talked about having to answer to others. I think Richard is still the No. 2.

Alvar Hanso funded DHARMA not Widmore or is there something I'm not remembering?

Jay said...

I think Richard is the leader under Jacob, much the way Ben was. While he's only the #2, he's also the only corporal #2. ;)

Hanso did find DHARMA, but I also thought Widmore and Mr. Paik were also involved somehow (I could be wrong about that). Widmore definitely
did sponsor Henry Gale's balloon.

Now THAT would be a cool flashback thing to see - Henry Gale landing on the Island. :)

And Miss, I definitely thought Daniel was referring to Theresa.

Carly said...

Well there is a theory going around The Lost Diary and Lostpedia that Ellie is actually short for Eloise - Daniel's mother when she was young. Some have suggested that Daniel could be the son of Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking - I think that would be a bit too soap operaish, but you never know. (Having said that, Mr. Widmore cares a great deal about Penny and doesn't seem to have that same obsessiveness about any other children so my guess is no.) Mrs. Hawking and Mr. Widmore look to be about the same age so my guess is that Ellie the Island Girl is a young Eloise Hawking. That is why Daniel said she looked familiar. Question is, if Daniel worked for Widmore and Mrs. Hawking worked for Ben and the rest of the Others, don't you think that would be a source of contention around the dinner table between Daniel and his mother? Maybe Daniel felt guilty about what happened to one of his students with the time displacement sickness since her mind is now time traveling and Widmore offered to pay for her care if Daniel worked for him, i.e. going to the island on the freighter. Widmore would have to know who Daniel was and who his mother is, since he knows everything else.
One more thing, do you think since Penny and Charlie go to L.A. with Desmond they will go back to the island with him too?

Jay said...

That's a great theory about Daniel's mom!

The question here really is what's Daniel's motivation? If all this is true, did he start his research at his mother's prodding (i.e. for Ben) or did Widmore set him down this path? Why did Daniel start time travel research in the first place?

But Widmore being an Other complicates everything because we know now that he's met a bunch of the Losties in the past and (presumably) will meet even more as they end up time traveling through The Island Years. I've long thought that there had to be a powerful background force that conspired to get all the survivors on that plane and get them on the Island. Since Charles has now met Sawyer, Juliet, Locke and will probably meet even more in his past, maybe he's now doing stuff in the present to make sure all the stuff that already happened comes to pass.

In other words, what I'm trying to say is maybe Widmore is funding Daniel's research because Daniel does something necessary in the past and present day Widmore needs to make sure he gets back there to do it. Is that too weird?

And I definitely think Desmond's going back to the Island. His fate was pretty much sealed the second he told Penny he'd never set foot back there ever again. ;)

Besides, they just GOT to be Adam and Eve. I'm betting she goes with him.

Carly said...

I hear you Jay. That's why I said last week - time travel is confusing! You think in the writers' room they have a big bulletin board with post its all over the place about who knows who and how and where? :)

Kerin said...

So I agree with the "rumors" that Ellie has to be Daniel's mom, not too sure that Widmore is his dad though.

Also, you mention that there must "be a powerful background force that conspired to get all the survivors on that plane and get them on the Island."..totally agree - AND I think that's the same force that put a fake plane on the bottom of the ocean.

Now in "The Lie" Sun's passport is scanned, the agent tells her to wait, and then leaves to get Widmore. Obviously he's connected with Oceanic from that scene alone. I'm thinking HE'S the bigger force conspiring to get everyone back on the island, which is how he'll get back to it too.

Bit of info - possibly means nothing, but hey in this show - who knows (?) As per Lostpedia and screenshots...the receptionist in Oxford that Desmond speaks to is the same actress who played "Jenna" the gate attendant when they all board the Flight 815. Coincendence, I'd like to think not...for such a small part they could have easily used two different women.

The only question I have about this time traveling thing...won't they eventually run into themselves? It may be ridiculous to compare this BUT I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, and in "The Prisoner of Azkaban" Hermoine has a "time turner" in that movie they say horrible things can happen if you run into yourself in the past. Don't you think that would/could eventually happen - i.e. current Sawyer running into past Sawyer. I don't know maybe I'm just thinking too far into it.

Carly said...

I know what you mean Kerin. In all previous time travel movies/books you aren't supposed to meet your other "self". There are some rules as both Ben and Charles mentioned them, we just don't know exactly what they were referring to. The thing is Daniel made a big deal about the fact that you can't change the past except for certain "exceptions" like Desmond. And maybe Richard. But there are still some things that don't make sense. Why is Juliet traveling with the Losties if she is an other? What about the Losties that were kidnapped by the Others? Are they time traveling with the Losties or staying with the Others? How and why does the time travel "pick" certain people to move and not others?
Maybe we are thinking too scientifically and not just accepting it is just a story. ;)

Jay said...

Well, when Daniel met Desmond at the Hatch, remember he shooed Juliet and Sawyer off saying "if he didn't meet you in the past, then you're not going to meet him." Granted, Daniel himself made his statement come true by making them leave before Desmond popped out.

But the idea here is that nothing we've SEEN on the show is going to be changed by the time travel. However, there probably are going to be many instances where our present day characters are doing things behind the scenes in past episodes.

There are a couple great examples of this in some comics I've been meaning to write about - I'll try and get something up this weekend if I can. :)

Capcom said...

Great post and comments! :-)