Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vintage DHARMA Ads

These are so awesome! Check them all out!

Love to get a full-sized poster of a couple of these. Not that I have anywhere to hang them... yet. ;)

Friday, March 27, 2009

About that DHARMA Booth Video...

In case you missed it in my last review, I mentioned this video from last summer's Comic Con at the end.

In it, Faraday films Pierre Chang, who's trying to warn people that DHARMA will be purged (and alludes that he's going to lose an arm in the process). He says it's imperative if the Purge can't be prevented, that DHARMA be reformed. Faraday seems to suggest it won't make any difference and at the end they're stopped from filming by... LaFleur! Very cool.

Well worth watching again if you missed it. Transcript here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How We Really Know Ben Is Still Alive...

Because Sayid aimed for his heart.

And, as we all know, Ben doesn't have one... DUM DUM DUM!

Sorry. Long day... :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.10, "He's Our You"

"You're capable of things most people aren't. You're a killer, Sayid."

Talk about a crowd-pleasing episode! We got pretty much everything I predicted and an ending that was a literal knockout! Sayid is still alive, Ben is possibly dead, we filled in the blanks in Sayid's backstory and set up a rollicking plotline for the next few episodes.

The only thing I really didn't like was that Sayid's backstory didn't tell us much we didn't already know - the only new stuff was Ilana's motivation for capturing Sayid and the scene with her and him on the plane (which I'm sure will come back to haunt Ben later on). But Naveen Andrews had so many terrific scenes - Moscow and his flowing mane of hair, his interrogation and evil laugh and, of course, all his interactions with young Ben, including the awesome ending.

Gotta ask the questions, especially the big one:

Five Questions:

1) Is Ben really dead?

I was thinking of calling this "Did Sayid just change the future?" but we really can't speculate on that until we confirm Ben is really and truly dead in 1977. Personally, given Ben's importance and the fact they're all on an Island that can protect people (like Michael and Jack, for example) and heal them really, really quickly, I think Ben is going to be just fine in a future episode. This also fits with Faraday's theory that they can't change things - i.e. in the normal, true unaltered timeline, Sayid was meant to go back in time and shoot Ben, which likely set off a whole other chain of events that were meant to happen, but Ben survives. Under this scenario, the future would be unaltered and, ironically, by attempting to kill him, Sayid just may have made Ben the bitter, evil, manipulative bastard we've come to know and love.

But let's say hypothetically that Ben really is dead - what would this do to the time stream? Theoretically on the show it would tear everything apart. Killing young Ben means no Purge, no "Henry Gale" in the Swan, no manipulation of Sayid in the future and no war with Widmore. But most importantly, it would likely change things to an extent where Flight 815 never crashes on the Island - if DHARMA's still around, perhaps the Swan is being managed properly and the button gets pushed on September 22nd, 2004. This would mean Sawyer and company never land on the Island and never go back in time (of course, Ben wouldn't be there to turn the wheel anyway). This would cause time to either split apart into an alternate timeline or simply cease to exist.

But since Sawyer and company are still around, it does suggest that things didn't change very much. And remember, according to Ben this episode, he's been on the Island for four years, meaning he was already there when Sawyer and company arrived.

Sawyer told Sayid he knew who young Ben was this episode, meaning he must have known for quite some time. Thus Sawyer, Jin and Juliet had three freakin' years to kill Ben if they wanted to, but didn't and you know Sawyer (or Juliet for that matter) would have at least taken a shot, but they didn't. Why? My guess is because Faraday told them it either wouldn't make any difference or it would be really, really bad. But since everyone's still there, I'm guessing the former.

So how did Ben survive? Deus ex machina is as good a guess as any.

2) Assuming Ben is still alive, did he always remember in the future that Sayid shot him when he was a kid?

Ben and Sayid have quite the future together. First, Sayid tortures Ben in the Swan station, then Ben uses Sayid to (presumably) eliminate all his enemies (they may have been truly working for Widmore, but you have to think that Ben didn't do it for the Losties at all).

So when Ben "met" Sayid in the Swan for the "first time," did he get a cold chill? After all, the first words out of Sayid's mouth were:
"My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer."
Did Ben suddenly think, like the petunias, "oh no, not again!" - this is the guy who shot me in my youth and he hasn't aged a day? Did he perhaps know he was going to meet Sayid there? Was part of the reason he was in the Swan because he knew this was his destiny? He certainly didn't seem to give any indications in past episodes that he knew that episode, but I'm willing to bet that part of the reason he made Sayid his personal killbot in the future was in revenge for Sayid shooting him in the past.

I'm really hoping for another scene in the future between older Ben and Sayid where Ben tells him something along the lines of:
Well, Sayid, now you know... you're the person who made me everything I am today.
Oh, that would be just so delicious... :)

3) Assuming that Ben is still there in the future, will Ilana help Locke in kicking his ass?

So it seems that Ilana really had no idea about the Island or who Sayid was aside from an assassin. She also wasn't hired by Ben to get Sayid on the plane or even knew who Ben was. So the question now is, how much will Sayid's warning about Ben to her affect her? She certainly remembers the commotion when he came on board, along with Sayid's rant about him. Methinks this is going to bode very poorly for Ben when he wakes up.

I also wonder if Ilana was related to the guy Sayid shot at all? In other words, was it personal or strictly business?

4) Where does Sayid go now?

Personally I'm hoping he's driven straight into the hands of the Others so we can see what they're up to. Heck, even if he just got in a bit of 1977 Island exploration that would be cool. Maybe we could see the Swan being dug out or some of the other stations. So many possibilities here. Be nice to get some more Smokey action too.

5) So where is the season going from here?

Originally I had thought the season was going to end with the O6 getting back to the Island. Since this already happened like four episodes ago, the question now becomes what type of cliffhanger will the season end on? Obviously Sayid set off a chain of events this episode that could get the ball rolling towards the end of the season. Will the Losties remain in this time or be sent (or escape to) another? And what type of finale is the show building towards?

I'm really at a loss here, unless we finally see one of the big mysteries of the show like the Magic Box. Any suggestions?


* IMHO, this was the best Sayid episode (and best performance by Naveen Andrews) since "One of Them"

* Ben should be about 13-14 years old this episode.

* After the long-haired Sayid kicks some Russian ass, Em says he's "the hottest guy in the cast." Yeah, well...

* The book Ben gave to Sayid was "A Separate Reality" by Carlos Castaneda.

* William Sanderson's character was named "Oldham," according to the ABC press release. Now we just got to get his two brothers on the show. ;)

* The scene with Roger and Ben in Sayid's cell room was terrific too.

* Hurley "makin' waffles" and "brings out the ham" keeps getting all the best comedic lines this season. Love his little DHARMA symbol.

* I was very disappointed Sawyer voted to kill Sayid, even if he tried to make up for it later on.

* Ilana was after Sayid for killing Peter Avellino in "The Economist"

* Ben sent the flaming van into Building 15

* As Jack was wielding his fire hose, Em: "Aren't you supposed to point the hose at the base of the fire?" Dammit, he's a doctor not a fireman... :)

* Sawyer mentioned they hadn't had a flaming van for three years. Was Ben igniting them before and got called off by Richard?

* Horace mentioned calling "Ann Arbor," which is where Pierre Chang is from. Speaking of which, in light of what we know today, this video makes an awful lot of sense now and gives even more credence to the idea that they can't change the future at all.


This was old school Lost tonight! A tight, character-driven LOST episode with a fabulous ending. And it's soooooooo good to see the Sayid of old back! And to think, all he had to do to get his mojo back was to kill Ben. Kudos all round.

The only thing I can nitpick on was that most of the flackbacks were kinda redundant - really only the last two with Ilana told us something new. But it's a solid 4.5/5.0 and, once again, I can't WAIT for next week. :)

He's Our You

That's the title of tonight's Lost episode? Bizarre.

So who does it refer to and why? I'm guessing tonight's going to be a Sayid episode and that perhaps somewhere in the old DHARMA initiative they have a hippie, peace loving torturer who's going to try to get the truth out of Sayid. Only thing I can think of, really.

I'm very nervous about tonight though, because of the violence in last week's preview. I really don't want any of our time travelers to die and if tonight really is a Sayid episode he's at the top of the possibilities list. Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sawyer have all had episodes this season so far, leaving only Sayid, Miles, Juliet and the missing Faraday from the time travel group, so you have to think Sayid's the likeliest possibility. What I'd love to see happen instead is for Sayid to escape and "join" the Others so we can see what they're working on in 1977. Wouldn't it be nice to actually see inside the Temple, eh?

Anyway, enjoy the episode everyone. Review up tomorrow morning. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Couple tidbits, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly. First off, Doc Jensen points out this important little plot point on Radzinsky:
And so, at long last, we met Radzinsky, who preceded Desmond as Kelvin Inman's button-pushing partner in the Hatch and was the originator of the map of the Island that John Locke found on the blast door in season 2. The conventional wisdom about the map has always been that Radzinsky was somewhat clueless about the scope of the Dharma Initiative, and that the Map represented everything he had learned about its facilities and history during his own Island adventuring.

But this doesn't quite jibe with the Radzinsky we saw last night. Here he was, a fully-involved Dharma member, possibly someone in leadership, stationed at the Flame, Dharma's telecommunications center (I dug The Muppet Show clips playing on his monitors), creating a model of the geodesic dome structure of the Swan itself — perhaps the same model seen in the Hatch's orientation film. Clearly, this was a man who knew a lot, if not everything, about the Dharma Initiative. So, presuming Kelvin was telling us the truth about Radzinsky — including the fact that the egghead blew his brains out inside the Hatch — why paint that map on the blast door? Because I'm guessing Radzinsky didn't really need to paint the Map for his own edification. THEORY: Again, I am taken with the notion that perhaps much like the landing strip, the map was painted on the blast door simply because it needed to be there for John Locke to discover it in the future in order to preserve the time loop and avert paradox.

Doc's completely right in that if Radzinsky really designed the Swan and worked in the Flame, he wouldn't be needing to piece together tidbits of questionable DHARMA info in invisible ink. Kelvin, on the other hand, didn't seem to know much about DHARMA at all outside of the Swan, so it's possible he could be responsible for some of the more vague entries on the map, but certainly not all of them.

And I'm sorta willing to buy Doc's theory that maybe he was setting things up for Locke, but the other thing we don't know is how much of the map Radzinsky drew before he killed himself (or so Kelvin says). A simpler explanation is that he might have drawn the basic outlines of the stations he knew and some of the more detailed entries (like those of The Incident and Smokey), but died shortly after that and the remaining stuff was simply Kelvin trying to fill in his own blanks to pass the time. He was still certainly drawing it when Desmond arrived.

Another idea is since we've never actually seen Radzinsky in the Swan Station, we don't know for certain whether it really was him as opposed to, say, an Other impersonating Radzinsky to try and figure out what the Swan Station really was. Maybe Kelvin figured out he really was an impostor and killed him (or maybe Kelvin figured out he wasn't who he said he was and the impostor killed himself before Kelvin could question him). Just a couple ideas of the top of my head...

Secondly, seems the discrepancy regarding Charlotte's age has been resolved. And it was a writer's error, as I thought:
There were a gazillion questions about the timeline discrepancy in that young Charlotte clearly exists in 1974, but wasn't supposed to be born until 1979, per a single line of dialogue courtesy of Ben back in episode #402. When we inquired as to how this happened, the intel came back that we used Rebecca Mader's birthday, July 2, 1979 because she was actually eight years YOUNGER than the character as originally conceived/scripted. We misremembered this as having come from Rebecca herself on the set, but in fact, it came several days earlier when our continuity expert Gregg Nations pointed it out and suggested using Rebecca's actual birthday for Charlotte. And so, the mistake was OURS. Rebecca's production draft DID have the date as being 1979.
So I guess Charlotte was really born in 1971.

The last thing I want to point out is possibly spoiler-ish, so be warned. It seems one of our Losties has been cast in something I'm eagerly awaiting, which may suggest he/she could be killed off at the end of the season. I'm incredibly excited by the casting choice, but don't want to spoil anything for anyone, so click only if you dare.

There's also a spoiler-ish headline in one of the EW articles right now (that I haven't read), so be careful in general when browsing the site. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Funnies

I don't watch Jimmy Kimmel regularly (though I should because he's a huge LOST fan), so you might have already seen this (my little brother pointed it out to me the other day). There's a whole series of them (you see all five of them in the sidebar if you go to YouTube), though I think this one is undoubtedly the funniest. Kudos to Evangeline Lilly too for poking fun at one of her sillier scenes this season.

Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.09, "Namaste"

"I'm sorry, you have a bit of a journey ahead of you"

Answers... and more questions.

This episode filled in a LOT of gaps, but brought up even more things to make me go "hmmmmmmm." I really didn't want the episode to end - in fact, right up until the last scene I was trying to figure out how it would end. Nice to see they brought back the same young actor who played young Ben in "The Man Behind The Curtain."

Also I went into the episode looking forward to the DHARMA side of things more than the Ajira Airways crash, but found myself really digging the Frank/Ben/Sun storyline a lot more, partially because the love trapezoid looks to be incredibly grating. Annoying, stubborn Jack was also back this episode, right when I thought we'd have seen the last of him. Frank, however, was simply terrific - I really hope we see a lot of him through the end of the series.

So what did we learn?

1) Sayid ended up in the past with Jack and company, Sun ended up with Ben and Frank.
2) It was Sun who took the outrigger with Frank, after she awesomely kicked Ben's smug ass with an oar, which is why he was incapacitated when Locke found him.
3) Frank did indeed land on the Hydra runway
4) The Ajira Ariways group are definitely in present Island time (2007), according to Christian (Jacob? I really don't know what to call him now...)
5) Radzinsky designed The Swan station and it was being built in 1977, which makes sense since The Incident was supposed to be in 1985 (according to the Blast Door Map).
6) Radzinsky worked in The Flame before he started pushing the button.
7) Faraday "isn't around anymore" in 1977
8) Amy gave birth to Ethan, who's the son of Horace! So cool! Rom always seemed to be an alias, because of the cool anagram it made. So was he really Ethan Goodspeed?
9) Young Ben is on the Island in 1977 and, from the look of things, it's after he met Richard (or at least his mom), but not much more. He still looks ten years old, meaning he most have arrived on the Island after Sawyer and company came.
10) Hurley, at least, knows about the Purge. Glad he let everyone in on it.

Fills in a LOT of blanks, most from this season and some important points on our timeline (Memphish has a good one here). But it also brings up quite a few more and didn't really answer any of the long standing questions...

Five Questions:

1) Why didn't Sun go back in time with the rest of them?

Probably the burning-iest of all the burning questions. My first thought was that she's pregnant and women shouldn't time travel while preggers. But Kate's the one who's actually pregnant (we assume) so that's not it. Christian seemed to suggest she could possibly travel back and find him, so she might not be stuck there permanently.

But what's her purpose for being in 2007? The Island seemed to send everyone to when they needed to be, so Sun must have some task to accomplish in the present day before she can rejoin her husband.

2) What happened on the Island in those three years? Where's Richard and the Others?

Given the condition of Pala Ferry, the Hydra Station and the Barracks I thought they might be even farther in the future then the present day. The freighter guys did do a number on the Barracks when they invaded, but it seemed to me like things were made up to be even more dilapidated than they should have been after three years, certainly unlived in with the exception of the local Island God.

When we last saw him, Richard was supposed to take the Others to the Temple and wait there. Are they still there? Are they alive? What happened to them while the Island was skipping though time? And is Smokey still around? Certainly sounded like Smokey in the background when they went in the door. Get Lost Podcast thinks Claire might have made an appearance in the background too.

3) What happened to Faraday?

We know for certain that Faraday gets himself into the Orchid at some point, so does he use it to get himself off the Island? We know that DHARMA eventually does find out about the Orchid's wormhole to Tunisia because Charlotte dug up a DHARMA collared polar bear in the desert. So we know for sure they tested the wormhole on the bears. Think maybe Daniel tested it on himself?

We better find out. I really want to hear more about what he thinks the time travelers can and can not do. :)

4) So what's Young Ben's agenda at this point?

Let's assume that Young Ben has already met Richard who's told him he has to be very, very patient. What else has Richard asked him to do? Will he help Sayid escape? The Purge doesn't happen for 15 years, so we know the violence in the previews doesn't do anything drastic to DHARMA or the compound. But I really hope Ben helps Sayid escape to the Others' camp (which would be nice to see in 1977).

And does present day Ben remember meeting Sayid and the others in 1977? You would think he must have known Sawyer on sight. I guess it depends on how long they were with DHARMA...

5) So Ethan isn't killed in the Purge either? And where's Annie?

So now we know Ethan was actually born on the Island to Amy, who was a member of DHARMA, the second "member" of DHARMA we now know survived the Purge (well, third actually, counting Charlotte). So Ethan wasn't originally an Other and, in fact, he was only 15 at the time of the Purge. Did Ben recruit him and some of the "good" DHARMA folk? Did the Others capture the children and take them away before the Purge?

And since Young Ben is here, where's Annie? Did she survive the Purge or join the Others as well?


* It really sucks to be a co-pilot on Lost.

* After Sawyer called Hurley "Kong" and Jack "Doc," I was so waiting for a "Freckles" - he called her "Kid" instead.

*Lots of really good cinematography this episode - the scene when Sawyer drove up in the van and the night shot of the Island were really spectacular. Must really suck to film there. ;)

* Hurley had so many good lines this episode:

"Dude, your English is awesome"
"I vote for not camping"
"I guess we found Sayid"

* Radzinsky's a bit of a paranoid nutjob, just as I always pictured him. :)

* The love web is so annoying. But raise your hand if you initially thought Juliet purposely left Kate off the list to screw her over. I would so have paid to see that happen.

* The Whispers returned when Frank and Sun arrived at the Barracks.

* When the door opened as Christian showed them the photo, I so thought Smokey was going to waltz in...

* Kinda amusing that Pierre Chang processed Jack. And, haha, Jack's a work man. Wonder if Sawyer had anything to do with that. Hurley's jumpsuit had a chef's hat on it. He's DHARMA Kirby! :)

* Notice Pierre also still had two arms at this point. Of course, he doesn't make the Swan Orientation film until after The Incident.

* Ben gave Sayid a very "Omen"-ish look there at the end. Awesome.

* Sayid was a "14J"


I liked this episode a lot - it was really the second half of "LaFleur" or, possibly, the middle third of a trilogy - and it filled in a lot of blanks. But I have to say I'm worried about where things are going - certainly looks like there's a lot of fighting going on next episode and I really hope no one (other than Kate, that is) dies. And I'll be pissed if any DHARMA folk execute Sayid - much rather have him run away and join the Others. I'll give it a solid 4/5 and giddily await next week.

Who's Gonna Die?

Entertainment Weekly has an article up listing how many people on each major show are going to die by the end of the season. No names given.

I won't say anything about it here in case you don't want to click, except that the article is accompanied by a graphic containing head shots of a very popular character from each show. Who's head is shown from Lost? Well, let's just say that I'd be really pissed if it was true (and, to be fair here, I don't think there's much of a chance of he/she being killed - I simply dislike the insinuation).

Tonight's episode is called "Namaste," likely filled with lots of 1977 DHARMA-y goodness! Enjoy the show, review up tomorrow morning! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Comic Books and LOST, Part II

A while ago, I wrote a bit about a Fantastic Four story that may hold clues (or at least have influenced) where LOST was going in terms of plot. Looking back at it now, there really wasn't much of a relationship there, especially now that we know Charles Widmore is certainly not an older version of Ben. But I do see some parallels in other comic book stories, especially in regards to time travel. This is going to take a good deal of background to get everyone caught up, so please bear with me.

Once upon a time (1984), a large comic book company (Marvel) decided it would be really, really cool to have all their best heroes band together and fight all their most powerful villains in an all-out extravaganza slugfest.

The real purpose of it was to promote a line of Marvel action figures to be associated with the title: Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars. But a funny thing happened - they actually managed to make a decent story and heighten anticipation for the series using a very LOST-like technique: Flashbacks.

Every hero that took part in Secret Wars disappeared at the end of one of their own issues in normal continuity. Next issue, they all returned, having spent months on another planet engaged in this battle and alluding to events that happened there, but no one knew anything because the Secret Wars comic wasn't out yet! In fact, the twelve issues of SW came out over the course of a year, so fans really didn't find out what happened to everyone until a year later. Some characters returned significantly changed: Spider-Man came home with a shiny, new black costume. Colossus had an affair while he was away and broke up with Kitty Pryde shortly after. The Thing didn't return at all, with the She-Hulk taking his place in the Fantastic Four.

The heroes were taken away by a powerful entity "from beyond" they dubbed The Beyonder. He told them, both heroes and villains, that if they defeat their enemies "all they desire would be granted." A lot happens over the course of the series, but for our LOST purposes, here's what you need to know:

1) The Beyonder is all-powerful, capable of doing just about anything. Creating mass, manipulating space-time, an omniscient, sentient being about as close to a god as you can come.

2) During the course of the series, Dr. Doom manages to steal the Beyonder's power, becoming a god-like figure himself. He uses the power to kill all the heroes with a single "bolt from the blue."

3) However, Doom is eventually overcome by the power inside him. The weakened Beyonder (who hangs out by Doom's side, waiting for an opportunity) manages to trick him into restoring the heroes by placing doubts in his mind. Doom then loses total control and the Beyonder snatches his power back. In revenge, he banishes Dr. Doom "across the reaches of time and space" - to where, nobody knew.

The Beyonder reminds me very much of what Ben describes as the Magic Box on the Island: something that can grant your every desire, just by thinking about it. Later on in the Marvel Universe, it's revealed that the Beyonder is in actuality a Cosmic Cube (something also very much like a Magic Box) that, in the same accident that created the Molecule Man, gained sentience. Part of the Cosmic Cube's power went to Owen Reece who then became one of the Fantastic Four's greatest villains. The remainder eventually became the Beyonder.

The problem with power like the Beyonder's is that, as Doom found out, very few people have the mental strength to wield it without destroying a planet with every stray thought (Thanos also encountered this problem when he finally assembled the Infinity Gauntlet). This was one of the reasons I thought Ben wanted Walt. Perhaps Ben can't properly use the Magic Box - for all his vaunted intelligence, he simply doesn't have the right type of mind to manipulate the energies it contains. That's why DHARMA was interested in psychic research and it's why Ben had Walt kidnapped. However, Walt proved to be too powerful for Ben to use and he eventually abandoned his plan.

But the really interesting thing to me about the Secret Wars was that at the time that story took place in Marvel continuity, the story's main antagonist, Dr. Doom, as he appeared in the Secret Wars, was dead. In reality, his body had been destroyed, but he mind-swapped (don't ask) with an innocent bystander right before the explosion. This certainly wasn't the case in the Secret Wars comic where he appeared to be perfectly normal (as normal as Dr. Doom can be) and Reed even commented on the fact that he thought Doom was dead. This discrepancy wasn't resolved until years later in one of my favorite comics of all time: Fantastic Four #288.

The comic begins with Doom, who's mind is still trapped in the innocent bystander from before, capturing the Fantastic Four. The team at this time includes the She-Hulk, who, oddly, Doom says he's never met before, despite the fact he clearly battled her in the Secret Wars.

With the FF caged up, Doom attempts through sorcery to re-create his original body, but the spell he attempts to cast fails. He then tries and succeeds in summoning "the greatest power in the universe," who just happens to be The Beyonder (biggie version here):

Just as before, Doom doesn't recognize The Beyonder and, equally strange, The Beyonder doesn't recognize Doom either. The Beyonder gets ready to obliterate Doom when Reed convinces him to wait. After some querying, Reed discovers that the Beyonder doesn't recognize Doom because he's in a different body from the one that was in the Secret Wars (biggie):

Realizing who Doom really is, the Beyonder gets even MORE pissed and tries again to destroy Doom, only to be persuaded again by Reed, who finally puts 2 + 2 together, to wait (biggie):

Turns out, The Beyonder created a time-loop when he began the Secret Wars. Doom was destroyed in normal Marvel continuity, so he took Doom from a future point in the time stream, a point where Doom was in his normal body. That's why Doom didn't recognize the Beyonder because all the events of the Secret Wars were yet to happen for him. Reed points out that if the Beyonder were to destroy Doom now, it would likely rip apart the space-time continuum.

Thus, the only way to repair things and close the time-loop is for the Beyonder to cooperate with his past self, reconstruct Doom's body as it was and send him back to the start of the Secret Wars. And this is exactly what the Beyonder does (biggie):

This is a perfect example of what I think is going to happen on LOST (that I described in my last post). The Losties have created a time loop by going back to 1977. However, they won't go back to 1977 unless they all get on Flight 815. Thus all the time travelers (who have knowledge of the future) have to act and ensure that their past selves get on that flight in 2004. If they fail to do so, space-time will be ripped apart and, as Ms. Hawking stated, everyone will die.

At the end of the issue, Reed warns the others that because the time loop has now been closed, Doom may very well reappear right in front of them (biggie):

And sure enough, the very last panel shows Doom reappearing in the very room the Beyonder banished him (biggie)

Thus, the Beyonder at the end of the Secret Wars banished Doom across space and time back to the very moment he snatched him from, completing the circle.

How will LOST end? How about a montage of all the Losties, most now in their sixties, watching their younger counterparts board Flight 815 from afar, thus ensuring the space-time continuum won't be ripped apart? They could call it "Full Circle" or, more likely perhaps, "Ouroboros." Probably won't happen, but that's my current prediction, not that it explains Smokey at all.

Of course, he's probably just Galactus in disguise. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time And Again

Before I put together my long-ass comic book/LOST post, I thought I'd go over a few things about time travel on the show based on what we know. Several people I spoke with after last week's episode were confused about what's going to happen to all the characters going forward, given that they're now trapped (forever, we assume) in 1977 and how they relate to their future counterparts.

I'm going to do this in question form, since I really don't have all the answers myself and need to work some of these things out for my own benefit. :)

1) So how does time travel work on the show, in general?

Originally, if you recall, the first exposure we had to time travel was Desmond, back in Flashes Before Your Eyes, where his consciousness, not his physical body, traveled back to sometime on the mid 90's. I'm assuming his physical body was unconscious from the Swan Implosion while he was there. This seems to have been a singular event, however, as he didn't need a constant to bring him back, nor did he travel back and forth between two periods. His mind remained in the past until he was hit on the head with the cricket bat and sent back to his own time. Oddly enough, he may have changed history when his was hit with the bat since he actually got in the way of the bartender in that scene, who was the actual target.

Desmond then had "flashes" of the future after this, correctly predicting Charlie's death and Naomi's arrival until he leaves the Island in the chopper in The Constant. In that episode, Desmond's consciousness traveled a second time, this time bouncing back and forth between time periods. This was cured by him connecting with Penny, his constant, in present day. Since this event, it seems Desmond doesn't have flashes anymore.

Lastly there's the time travel by the Losties on the Island itself. Daniel stated he didn't know whether the Island was skipping through time or whether they were. Since Ajira Airways Flight 316, the one the O6 took to get back to the Island, was from L.A. to Guam, it seems that the Island certainly wasn't skipping through space, as that route would likely take them over the original location where they crashed. The plane itself seems to have landed in either present day Island time (2007) or sometime after that (remember the Hydra station looked abandoned), but we don't know for sure. The O6, on the other hand, flashed and were physically transported back to 1977.

Why did this happen this way? Something happened to the Island when Ben turned the wheel - Daniel likes to use the record analogy, but something doesn't quite fit with that. We know the Island disappeared totally in front of everyone, but it seemed like it was in the Island Losties that were actually moving through time. How do we rectify this?

Totally evidence-less guess: The Island became unhinged in time entirely - kinda like moving into a wormhole but not coming out. As a side-effect, all the inhabitants were thrown off into the time stream. Was this caused by Ben turning the wheel instead of Locke? And why did Locke have to turn it at all in order to fix it?

Which leads us to our second question...

2) Why did the O6 time travel when they encountered the Island again?

I have a quasi-answer to this, but it's going to fit in better after a future question (#4). Like:

3) What does the timeline look like for the Losties trapped in 1977?

Sawyer and company were part of DHARMA in 1977, but their 2004 counterparts that we know and love had no memory of that at all. How does this work. Methinks a couple illustrations are in order. Let's take Sawyer, for example. If we were to draw a straight timeline of his personal history, from birth to his present (which is now 1977), it would (crudely) look something like this:

In order, he was born, watched his family get conned and killed, becomes Sawyer, travels to Sydney and is deported on Flight 815. Then he crashes on the Island in September 2004, does a whole bunch of fun Island stuff, then travels back in time to 1974 where he becomes head of DHARMA security.

In 2004, the Sawyer we know has no memory of his time with DHARMA because he hasn't done it yet - it's still in his future even though the year when he does do it is in the chronological past. Another way to visualize this is like this:

This chart brings up a another point, in 1977 there are two versions of Sawyer: The one who's the head of DHARMA and one who's just a kid. His timeline is still linear, but because he overlaps himself from 1974 onward there are actually two Sawyers that exist in the world. In 1974, there's an on-Island Sawyer in the DI and a five-year-old Sawyer in Tennessee. The DHARMA Saywer could conceivably visit his younger self, perhaps even influence his life or try and change it.

Likewise, should our adult Sawyer remain stuck in this current timeline and live until 2004 when he'll be 63, he could also drop in on his younger, 35-year-old counterpart who will eventually board Flight 815 on September 22nd.

And this stays true for every time traveler - because they doubled back on their own lives, they could all theoretically drop in on themselves (or each other) at any point in which they're both still alive.

This brings us to...

4) So can any of the Losties change their pasts?

I think, with one exception, the answer to this is no. We're told repeatedly on Lost that time is fixed and you can't change your fate. The reason I think this is true is because by going back in time the Losties have created a time loop and, since this isn't "Back to the Future," if they break this loop that's the disaster Ms. Hawking refers to when she tells Desmond he has to push the button.

Think of it like this. In 1977, Sawyer saves Amy's life. Now we don't know what affect this has on future events, but suffice it to say that if he doesn't go back in time, she dies. If we assume that time is indeed fixed and that Amy is "fated" to live, then Sawyer MUST go back in time at some point or else you have a rift in the space-time continuum. Same thing with Juliet delivering Amy's baby, if she's not there the baby dies, time is changed, and (presumably) everything is destroyed.

This is much different from the way time was presented in "Back to the Future," which kinda represents the other "popular" view of time travel - you change the past, you change the future.
Ms. Hawking tells Desmond that the universe "course corrects" when small things happen and, for most people, I think she's correct. There is only one major timeline in LOST and in that timeline Flight 815 crashes, several people go back in time and the things they do in the past are the things they were fated to do. Thus two things cannot be changed if the time loop is to be preserved:

1) All the Losties who go back in time have to be on Flight 815.
2) The Oceanic 6 eventually have to get to 1977.

Sawyer and company have to be on Flight 815 because they have things they will do in the past, that's still in their own personal future. Likewise, the O6 have to go back because whatever they're going to do in '77 is fixed in time. The reason behind the Ajira Airways flash was the universe course correcting by having the Island prevent a rift in space-time by sending the O6 back to where they should have been in the first place, if Locke had turned the wheel.

Now while I don't think the Losties can change their past, I do think they can push it in the right (i.e. fixed position). If everyone was on Flight 815 for a reason, it stands to reason the someone put them there, someone with knowledge of what was going to happen - themselves. For example, I would not be surprised to see a 63-year-old Sawyer in 2004 hand Hibbs a folder with Frank Duckett's name on it, in an effort to get his 32-year-old self down to Sydney. Likewise what if an elderly Jack and Kate were the couple who were going to adopt Aaron in L.A. and bought Claire the ticket for the fateful flight?

In both these cases, you see the time loop turn back on itself, which is kinda why I like the idea. They wouldn't have gone into the past without their older selves helping them, but their older selves wouldn't be there to help them if they didn't go into the past. I could be totally wrong about this, but if that's what the writers have in mind it would be very cool to see.

Two more points:

5) But what about Desmond?

Desmond, I think, is the one exception to what I stated above. Ms. Hawking went out of her way to convince Desmond he couldn't change history. However, in the antique store, he was going to do it! And if she wasn't there, he would have bought the ring and never gone to the Island. Desmond is tied up in all of this because he's responsible for Flight 815 crashing. No Desmond and the time loop breaks. That's why Ms. Hawking had to be there - she had to convince him that it was inevitable he end up on the Island and push the button so that he'd keep to his fixed course. But he could have chose to do differently and - this was the one true thing he told him - if he did, everyone would die.

You see this with Charlie as well. Desmond told Charlie he was fated to die and saved his life three times before it came to pass. But the bottom line here is that he did change history three times to get Charlie to the Looking Glass. Again, this may be tied up in the fixed fate of all the Islanders - if Charlie doesn't unjam the radio, the Island likely never sends everyone into time, so perhaps it was Desmond's fate to make sure Charlie stays alive until he completes his task.

If Desmond can change history, I think, should Ben have killed Penny, he's going to try to go back in time to bring her back. How is he going to do that? By killing Ben in the past.

5) So what are the roles of Ms. Hawking and Ben in all this?

To me, Ms. Hawking (and perhaps her friend in the monastery) are time cops of sorts, made to ensure this messy portion of the time stream follows its proper path. She's neutral in the fact that she only cares about getting everyone to their proper place, not what happens to them.

Ben's role is much different. I think he's essentially trying to figure out how to change time for his own benefit. Perhaps he does have the Island's interests in mind, but only so that it sticks around for his own personal use. Locke's a threat because he only has access to the Island's energies (the Magic Box) by being leader of the Others. Take that from him and all his plans and hopes are destroyed.

Well, I think that's enough for now. Does that all make some sort of sense? My eventual comic book post is going to look at a time loop story that inspired the above ramblings. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Further LaFleur Musings

There's often a Lost thread over at Fark.com under their "showbiz" tab most weeks and, while it's often an enjoyable thing to peruse, this week it had quite a few good thoughts I'd thought I'd share (some of these were in the comments section of the review, but there's more and I thought they deserved their own post).

First off, some quotes on the statue, Richard and Egypt-
"Statue was cool. It definitely looked like Anubis, the half-man half-jackal god of the Egyptians. Considering the prevelance of the Ankh in this episode, and the fact that Anubis is shown with 4 toes on his hind foot, seems likely."

"I just had an interesting thought: could Richard Alpert be Egyptian? It would tie in to the statue, ankhs, and temple hieroglyphs, not to mention his love of eyeliner."

"Anubis, if I remember, was also God of the Underworld. And what do the hieroglyphs from the Swan Countdown Timer translate into? Underworld."
I love the Richard as Egyptian thing to explain his eyeliner. And I also love the Anubis/Underworld tie in. But an alternate theory of the statue's identity also emerged:

Meet Taweret (Taueret) - The Great Female - was the ancient Egyptian goddess of maternity and childbirth, protector of women and children. Like Bes, she was both a fierce demonic fighter as well as a popular deity who guarded the mother and her newborn child.
Now take a look at the LOST statue again (biggie pic):

As you can see, while the ankhs that the statue is holding give credence to the Taweret suggestion (along with the possibility this goddess has something to do with the Island's childbirth problem), but the statue doesn't quite fit. Taweret is naked (and female), while the Island statue clearly wears a skirt (and is likely male), much like Anubis wears. Perhaps it's a completely fictional god with aspects of both. There's certainly a connection there. My question now is if Smokey is some form of Anubis on the Island - he takes the form of dead people (Yemi) and comes out of the Underground. Who knows, perhaps there were dueling Egyptian gods on the Island and Smokey won...

Couple other things from the thread:
A neat point my girlfriend brought up last night. Charlotte probably knows Korean because Jin taught it to her as a kid!
Oh yeah. I so should have seen this.

And the other possibility that was brought up was that Rose and Bernard were actually Adam and Eve. While I think this is possible (and would certainly be a convenient way of writing them out of the story), I've always thought Adam and Eve were going to be someone more, well, significant. But it's still something to chew on. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lost Episode Review 5.08, "LaFleur"

"The record is spinning again... and we're not on the song we want to be on."

This may just be my favorite episode ever. Top three, at least.

Tonight's episode not only answered a plethora of remaining Island mysteries, it actually hit home at one of the core mysteries of the show:
Why the heck were all our favorite characters on Flight 815 and were they destined to be on that plane?
Yes. Yes, they were. Kind of.

They were "destined" to be on the plane because if they weren't it would create a temporal paradox. They were all part of DHARMA in the past. If they don't get on Flight 815, they don't end up in the past and history changes. If Sawyer's not there to save Amy, Amy dies. If Juliet's not there to deliver Amy's child, the child dies. One of my comic book posts that I've been meaning to write for the past year illustrates this perfectly and since there's a hiatus next week (boo!) I'll post that story instead.

It also gives the reason Jacob had lists for Flight 815. He knew that certain people had to survive to go back in time. And the reason it was so desperately important that Desmond had to end up on the Island was not for him to press the button, but rather for him not to press it at one single, precise instant - so that Flight 815 would crash. I'll talk about the lists a bit more later on.

It wasn't a coincidence all our important Losties were on the plane; they were there (and certain people knew they'd be there) because all this cool stuff that they did in the past on our favorite mysterious Island had yet to happen for them. And if they don't get on that plane, they don't go into the past. And if they don't go into the past, time and space would be torn apart, end of everyone. This is very different from the way time works in, say, "Back to the Future," largely because in BttF you can change history, something that it has been stated over and over again that you can't do on LOST.

And Daniel knows this well. He says to the Sawyer and the others that it doesn't matter what they do in the past now. Why? Because time is fixed. He now knows that in the past, he tried to convince Charlotte not to return to the Island by warning her that she would die if she does, much like, ahem, Marty does to Doc. In BttF, this works. Doc wears a bulletproof vest on the fateful night and survives. In LOST, however, Daniel becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. His warnings to Charlotte not only don't work, but instead make her even more curious about the Island, increasing her desire to return.

Locke is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. He's important because he appeared in the past and told Richard he was his leader, something strengthened by Sawyer's conversation with him. Thus Richard spends years waiting for Locke to return, convinced that Locke will be the great leader the Others have been dreaming of under Ben.

Whatever they do in the past is "meant" to happen because they've done it already. This way, the writers have managed to merge the science and faith themes on the show because you can take it both ways; Locke sees this all as his destiny; Jack would see it as logical, because it's already happened. In other words, fate with a "scientific" explaination, assuming that time travel is possible in science, ala the flux capacitor (or mysterious Island energies).

That make sense? Excellent.

Now we know. And knowing is half the battle. Awesome.

So many mind-blowing questions this week. Gotta keep it to five.

1) Where in time are Locke, Sun, Ben and Frank?

First off, not a core Lost question, but a minor one that will probably be answered in two (augh!) weeks. The preview suggests Sayid ended up in the past as well. But the Hydra Station Locke and Caesar were in looked old - looked like it was in their actual time (present day 2007). And I think the reason you saw a weird flash before the plane crashed is because the O6 went back in time (and disappeared), but everyone else did not.

This suggests that:

1) The woman Frank took off with was not Sun, but rather someone else because presumably Sun ended up in the past with the rest of them.

2) Locke's destiny really isn't in the Island's past, but its present (although he certainly had an important influence on the Others, Richard in particular). The scene with Sawyer and Richard was simply awesome.

3) Ben is so screwed. :)

2) What do the O6 do in the past?

We now know that Sawyer becomes head of DHARMA security with Miles and Jin as his underlings. And Juliet welds DHARMA vans. How awesome is that?

We also know Daniel becomes instrumental in building the Orchid Station. But what do the rest of the O6 do in the past? Does Hurley end up causing The Incident? Does Jack become their chief surgeon of melodramatics? Does Kate tearfully run away again after splitting up Sawliet? ;)

We are presently in 1977. According to the Blast Door Map:
"Caduceus station believed to have been abandoned due to AH/MDG incident of 1985"
If the Incident was really in 1985, our Losties have at least eight years of DHARMA/Others Island drama before the Purge (which was well post-incident as I talk about below). That's a lot of Island history they can influence.

But of course that's assuming they even stay on the Island. Now that they're back in their "proper" time, they can leave, head out into the real world and do whatever. Somewhere out there in 1977 is a young Jack. A young Sawyer. A young version of everyone who crashed on Flight 815. And now their adult versions can go out into the real world and interact with themselves.

And perhaps they have memories of this, much the way Charlotte had of Daniel. Perhaps their older selves played key roles in the lives of their younger selves, paving the way for them all to end up on Flight 815, their temporal destiny. So many plot possibilities here.

And, ahem, now there's a very good possibility that Adam and Eve are one of our time traveling couples: Jin & Sun or two of Jack, Kate, Juliet and Sawyer.

3) So if all our favorite characters end up joining DHARMA, do they get killed off in the Purge?

As far as I can remember (and perhaps someone can correct me on this), but no one of our favorite Losties has knowledge of the Purge, unless Daniel somehow time traveled separately to a post-Purge time. Juliet might, as an Other, but I wonder if Ben or Richard ever told her the truth about what they did? If so, you would have to think they'd all try and leave the Island before it happens.

But also you have to think that if the O6 was with DHARMA for an extended period of time and Horace Goodspeed suddenly brought a young Benjamin Linus to the Island that someone would have thrown up red flags. This makes me think that all our favorite Losties left the Island well before Ben gassed everyone. Remember too that the Purge presumably took place on December 19, 1992, Ben's birthday. If they were still on the Island at that point, they'd all be 15 years older. Long time to spend there.

The other possibility is that some of them joined the Others. Sawyer and Richard certainly reached an understanding and perhaps an opening for them to eventually join. I'm not ready to give up my theory that Amelia is Amelia Earhart just yet, but what if Amelia is really Juliet, 27 years older? That would be so cool.

4) So what's "The Truce" and what happened in DHARMA prehistory?

It looks like we are about to get a heavy dose of DHARMA history directly through our favorite Losties' eyes. But if it's 1977 in their present day, then DHARMA's already been on the Island for a decade or so (and maybe more).

How did the Truce come about and what happened when DHARMA first came to the Island? I'm hoping we're going to get a bit of this through flashbacks of some of the DHARMA personnel. How about a Horace flashback? Or maybe a Pierre Chang? Please? Pretty please?

5) So were the Lists really anti-Lists of a sort?

So let's say Jacob knew everyone that had traveled into the Island's past and he knew that certain people had certain things to do in the Island's past. However, we know from Patchy that many of our important time travelers weren't on the lists at all:
In "Par Avion", Mikhail talks to Sayid, Locke, Kate, and Rousseau about why each of them was not on the list. He explains, "You're not on the list because (looks at Kate) you are flawed... (looks at Locke) because you are angry... (turns to Sayid) and weak, and frightened." His account on Locke should probably not be taken seriously, since he is a direct threat to Ben's leadership among the Others. Ben could have erased Locke from the list because of this threat.
Furthermore, Danny Pickett once remarked that "[Jack] wasn't even on Jacob's list." So what gives here?

What if the Lists were a red herring of sorts? Jacob knew he couldn't interfere with any of the time travelers because they had a future to fulfill (in the past), so instead he created lists of "good people" for the Others to kidnap instead. This served two purposes:

1) It got some of the crash survivors safely out of harm's way.
2) It distracted the Others from doing anything to the time travelers.

On other words, it basically made the Others leave the time travelers alone with the excuse that they were "bad people." Probably also served to bolster their ranks as well. Now, of course, Ben defied Jacob on this. He stalked Locke in the Swan and really tried to get him to kill himself (for the first time) by tricking him into not pressing the button. He kidnapped Walt and "tested" him, then followed it up by kidnapping Sawyer, Kate and Jack as well. Was Ben trying to change history by doing this, or was he merely defying Jacob like a petulant child? Regardless, I think the lists were basically made around the fact that Jacob (and Richard) pretty much knew the names of everyone that had traveled back in time.

And as an aside, I think this probably also explains how the Others had such detailed files on all of our favorites, eh? :)


* So do you still hate Sawyer, Matt? ;)

* Paul wore a clay ankh around his neck. The ankh means "life" in heiroglyphs. Why is that important. Well...

* Take a gander at the statue. Whatever the thing is (a minotaur, perhaps?), he or she is holding an ankh in each hand (biggie pic). As always, thanks to Dark UFO for the pics.

* So simple earplugs block the sonic fence? Too easy.


Answered long standing questions? Check.
Had time traveling goodness? Check.
Had DHARMA goodness? Check.
Was a perfect 5/5 for the second straight week? Checkmate.

This was also the best Sawyer episode since "The Long Con" as well.

Comic book posting next week. Lots of LOST musings interspersed randomly as well. :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Whither Claire?

Previews for this week's episode, "LaFleur," showed a long-haired (blonde?) woman emerging from beneath a hood. Could it be Claire, who we last saw spookily inside Jacob's cabin? Also, the last time an episode has a French-sounding title it was Claire-centric. Coincidence or... am I just making things up? :)

Enjoy the episode everyone! Review up tomorrow morning!