Thursday, February 25, 2010
Bonus thought: If Alt Ben is a teacher in Alt L.A., then he and his father were probably never brought to the Island in the 70's to work for DHARMA. And since they both would have arrived on the Island pre-Incident, it seems to suggest the Island was destroyed much earlier than that.
Edit: Bonus, bonus thought: Jack suggests David is a Red Sox fan, but David has a Dodgers poster on the door to his room. Discuss.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"I was chasing the ghost of my dead father. He led me here."
(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).
I was a little disappointed this week, especially in comparison to last week. The lighthouse itself I thought was kinda silly; it has to be a magical Jacob lighthouse that no one can see for them not to have ever noticed it, just another example how everything can be explained away with Jacob around. Of course, every scene with Jacob and Hurley was great - I guess if you're going to make a deus ex machina, it's good to at least make him extremely likable. I also liked Infected Claire - thought she was terrifically creepy and the ending with her "friend" made me clap out loud. And jeez, when Jin looked in the crib all I could think was "get out of there, Jin - get out of there now!"
Alt Jack stuff was fine, just kinda boring (with one very interesting exception - see below) in comparison to everything else going on. Much like Alt Locke, Alt Jack also seems to be happier in this universe. He still has daddy issues, but he's able to get over them. He has a talented son (who happens to look a lot like him - nice casting there). He's not an alcoholic, another rejection of his father's life, and generally seems to have it together. He does seem kinda lonely, but that's better than being a suicidal alcoholic, right?
And in answer to my previous question, about what the Lighthouse in the title stands for, Bigmouth offers a suggestion:
I also think Lighthouse is a reference to To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf's novel in which a house is a character like the Island on LOST.This nicely dovetails with the idea that Jack is really the lighthouse - the last beacon of hope on the Island. Let's face it, Jacob's options are dwindling here. Locke is dead, Jin is captured, Sawyer's been recruited, Sayid is infected and it looks like the Temple is about to become under siege. Jack and Hurley are really the only two left. Quite the odd couple to save the world, eh?
1) Is the fact that Alt Jack doesn't remember getting his appendix taken out significant?
Caveat here: I may be totally reading into this. It could be nothing, just another example to show how the two realities are different. But this, to me, was the single most interesting scene of the entire episode. In case you've forgotten, Juliet took out Jack's appendix on the Island in Something Nice Back Home. Since Alt Jack doesn't remember having it taken out, I do wonder if this is a hint the two universes are related.
Now Jack may be a special case. None of the other members of Flight 815 have so far shown any shred of memory of the Island or the present day timeline. But this is actually the second hint we've gotten from Jack - he also seemed to remember Desmond (another Alt anomaly) when he encountered him on the plane. Now at the time simply I chalked this up to Jack remembering his encounter with Desmond in the stadium. But Jack was doing that stadium run in the present day universe after he operated on Sarah, which led to them getting married. But here it certainly doesn't seem like he married Sarah at all, meaning perhaps he either he didn't do the operation or he wasn't successful.
I'm starting to think that all the candidates are pieces of a Jacob-constructed Rube Goldberg machine, one where if everyone is placed in the correct spot at the correct time Smokey will be defeated and a new Jacob will take the Island's helm. The side-effect of all this is that all the candidates' lives will have been made miserable up to that point because of Jacob's machinations in getting them there; Jacob essentially sacrificing the good of the few or the one for the sake of the world. That's why, without Jacob's influence, everyone's lives are better in the Alt universe (except for Kate, perhaps).
So let's say that's true - that Jacob essentially made everyone's lives miserable because it was necessary to defeat Smokey. In that case, I can see Jacob being responsible for Jack fixing Sarah, Locke having issues with his Dad, Hurley thinking he's cursed, etc... all these awful things that Jacob was actually responsible for in order to get them to the Island. Now with Jacob's influence gone in the Alt, everyone is actually a lot happier, but the Island is destroyed. What the ramifications of that are for the world we just don't know yet.
So what would it mean if Alt Jack has some buried memories of the present day timeline? It might be something along the lines of my Dark Tower scenario - where these memories eventually start to drive Jack insane until he corrects it, likely by time traveling to the past. Perhaps Alt Jack is going to be visiting Oxford at some point with Desmond, eh? But it could also mean that the correct timeline, the one that's supposed to solely exist, is the one where Flight 815 crashes on the Island. If that's true, maybe the Alt universe has done something bad to the space-time continuum, something that may need to be eliminated before it deteriorates entirely.
2) So what was the real purpose of the lighthouse?
At first glance, it seems that it's a tool Jacob used to watch all the candidates and make his decision. It certainly looked like the magic mirrors focused on whatever candidate degree Jacob wanted to observe. But this seems a bit odd to me, given that Jacob seemed to be able to materialize at will around any of his candidates. Of course, I guess he doesn't want to make himself to noticeable to them - they might think he's some kind of stalker (which he really is).
Another nice nugget of info this provides, though, is that if totally all of the candidates were written on the lighthouse turntable, then there are only 360 total. Lostpedia has an updated list of all the candidate numbers from Jacob (or Smokey's) Wall. Looking it over, there's only one number above 360: Daniel Faraday. And even that could be wrong, given how illegible some parts of the wall were. Also note: Kate's name is in the lighthouse at #51 and is NOT crossed out. Interesting, eh?
Does the lighthouse actually work as a lighthouse though? Seems like it did before Jack smashed the mirrors. Is this how Jacob brings ships to the Island? Can only people he wants to bring here see the light, which is why the Losties never noticed the lighthouse before? Maybe the lighthouse is how Jacob brought the Black Rock to the Island too.
3) Who's coming to the Island and what does Jack have to do?
Several potential candidates (ha!) here.
It certainly seems Jacob is gearing Jack up to replace him, but you never know. Maybe Jack just has a role to play in getting the new Jacob to his (or her) new destiny. But there are two people who immediately spring to mind who could be coming to the rescue:
1) Desmond - When last we saw him, he was in the process of getting shot by Ben in L.A., seemingly saved by an errant jug of milk. As far as we know, he, Penny and little Charlie are still in L.A. living on a boat. On a boat? Hmmm... Eloise did say to Desmond that "the Island isn't done with him," right? Methinks whether he wants to or not, Desmond's on his way back to the Island. And since he promised never to leave Penny again, I'd guess his family's coming with him.
2) Charles Widmore - Last season, Charles seemed genuinely trying to help both Locke and Desmond and seemed to regret his feud with Ben after putting Penny in danger. Now the fact he helped Locke suggests he may be in cahoots with Smokey, but his concern really seemed genuine to me. Perhaps he was duped just as much as Locke was and, if that's the case, maybe he'll try and make things right. He certainly has the means to do it.
4) So what exactly IS Claire now?
I really, really liked Claire this episode and props to Emilie de Raven for playing crazy as well as anyone on the show. The sickness has turned out to be one of the most interesting things about this season. Smokey's appearance and the fact Infected Claire knew that he wasn't the real Locke certainly suggests the sickness is something caused by Smokey.
But what exactly does it do? In Sayid's case, he definitely died and came back to life infected. In Claire's case, we're really not sure. It certainly seemed she died from wounds inflicted in the attacks on the Barracks, after all, the Claire Locke saw with Smokey in Jacob's cabin seemed eerily calm - much different from this Claire. And Sayid certainly seems normal so far as well. Whatever is does there's a definite progression. But are they really dead, zombie-like creatures or merely corrupted souls (something like a Ringwraith perhaps, an evil servant of Smokey)?
Regardless, methinks Kate is going to have her hands full - now there's an axefight I can't wait to see! :)
5) So who's David's mom?
Guess off the top of my head: Juliet. We know it can't be anyone from Flight 815 - Jack certainly wasn't flying with his ex-wife and somehow I don't think it's his present day ex-wife, Sarah. So if it's not someone from the plane, it seems likely that it's someone we've seen before (otherwise why conceal it) and Juliet, I think, would have to be #1 on the list.
Dark horse candidates: Libby and Ana-Lucia. They were supposed to be on the plane, but we didn't see them. Any other guesses? Gabriela, perhaps?
- Jack smashing the mirrors paralleled Locke smashing the computer in the Swan, a kind of big FU to destiny tantrum. Remember how well Locke's tantrum turned out.
- There was a lot of quality Jackface this episode. Nice to see. Jack at David's audition was very "Party of Five"
- I also loved all the homages to the first season: the caves, Adam and Eve, Shannon's inhaler. Jacob's message for Hurley to give to Jack, that he has "what it takes," was a reference all the way back to the fourth Lost episode, White Rabbit:
- Jacob wanted the lighthouse turned to 108 degrees.
A young Jack lies on the ground in fear as a bully threatens him, while his friend, Marc Silverman, is being beaten by another bully. Jack attempts to intervene, resulting in him getting a black eye from the bully.
Later on, Jack explains the fight to his father, who tells Jack about his day at the hospital over a glass of whiskey on the rocks. Christian says that he's able to cope with the difficult job of surgeon because he "has what it takes." He claims that he can make life or death decisions daily, because even when he fails, he can live with the consequences. He concludes that Jack should not "decide," because if he failed, he wouldn't "have what it takes".
- David is enrolled at St. Mary's Academy
- Dogen says "You're lucky that I have to protect you, otherwise I'd have cut your head off" to Hurley. :)
- Symbol on the Temple wall Hurley stopped in front of. Haven't been able to look it up yet. Anyone got it?
- Note that Jacob seemed saddened over the state of the Temple Spring when Hurley found him.
- Loved Hurley and Miles playing Tic-Tac-Toe. "Tie again, dude"
- Claire to Jin: "The one thing that will really kill you around here is infection." Ha!
Summary: I was set to give this episode a 3.0 and I gave it an "average" in my poll, but on further reflection I think it might be a bit better than that - after writing this review, there certainly were a lot of things I really liked about it looking over the episode as a whole. Let's say 3.75/5. Next episode is called "Sundown," suggesting Smokey's about to go full Smoke Cloud on the Temple. But the title also makes me wonder whether they're hinting that Jacob = Ra. Will we see night descend on the Temple of the Sun God? Discuss. :)
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
- This CNN article talks about science on screen and how LOST seems to get it "right," though I'm kinda dubious of that (granted, I can't comment on much physics-wise and this article also gives LOST some science-props). One of the things I have been disappointed by is that I believe a long time ago (first or second season - can't find a link here, anyone know where), the writers said something along the lines of "there will be nothing in the show that can't be explained by science or pseudoscience," with pseudoscience being more along the lines of science-fiction type devices (like the transporter on "Star Trek"). But with the revelation that Jacob and Smokey are some sort of deities, LOST has clearly entered into a metaphysical realm that it can't escape.
Clearly, this makes explaining everything on the show a lot easier. Jacob is now a huge deus ex machina, seemingly capable of doing just about anything (despite the fact there do seem to be rules imposing limits on what he can and can't do). I was kinda hoping for a more science-oriented end to the show, despite the fact I'm greatly enjoying the current narrative as it stands. Eh, what can you do?
- Lost is killing on the ratings so far, which is kinda cool. Very interested to see how the grand finale does on a Sunday night. :)
- Yeah, I think Sawyer is pulling a Long Con on Smokey.
- This list of the Top 25 Lost moments contains a lot of head scratchers. Kate telling Claire's mom why she's returning to the Island? Hurley's joy ride in the DHARMA van with Charlie? Ben confronting Charles in London? Richard giving Locke the test? Wha? Really? Some of these are okay scenes, but not when you think about what's been omitted:
1) Seeing inside the Hatch for the first time with "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" playing
2) Eloise telling a time-traveling Desmond to give her her "sodding ring" back
3) Shannon translating Danielle's message in the Pilot
4) Desmond turning the failsafe key
5) Ben coldly shooting Locke and leaving him in the DHARMA pit
6) Seeing the Barracks for the first time, with Flight 815 breaking up overhead
7) Seeing the Black Rock for the first time
8) Locke sees the Blast Door Map
9) Rose and Bernard reuniting on the Island
10) "We're gonna have to take the boy"
That's just off the top of my head. I might have to work on this list a bit. Ben's "got milk" is pretty good too, but I might replace it with Sayid confronting Ben at the end of Lockdown with Henry Gale's driver's licence.
- Everyone should be reading Bigmouth's episode recaps. I especially liked this point from this week:
The Man in Black implies that Jacob lived in the cave and wrote all those names. But if you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you, because it was clearly the Man in Black's pad and graffiti. The cave's complete isolation contrasted perfectly with Jacob's prominent home in the foot of a statue that presumably once greeted visitors to the Island. The location by the sea evoked the cave lairs of mythical sea monsters like Grendel in Beowulf and Scylla in The Odyssey. And the black and white stones on the scale brought to mind Claire's dream from Season 1 of Locke with one black and one white eye, a vision I believe was sent by the Man in Black.Yeah, Jacob lived in the statue, right? Perhaps it was Smokey living in the cave, writing the names, trying to figure out who was going to become the next Jacob so he could kill him ahead of time. I also like the idea that Smokey = Randall Flagg. Not necessarily a god, just evil incarnate.
- This week's title, "Lighthouse," brings to mind the Lighthouse of Alexandria, ostensibly the most famous lighthouse ever built. So what does the title refer to? We've supposedly got a lot of Jack/Claire this episode, which is kinda cool. Is Jack the one beacon of hope left on the Island? Is the lighthouse referring to something on the Island itself, something which serves to warn ships away from danger? Can't wait for tonight! Review up tomorrow morning! :)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
1) Who are Jacob and the Nemesis?
2) What is the Monster?
3-tie) What are the Whispers?
3-tie) What is the Island?
5) What's in the Temple?
6) Why is Aaron important?
7) Why do pregnant women die on the Island?
8-tie) Who are Adam and Eve?
8-tie) What's Libby's backstory?
10-tie) Who are Ilana and Bram?
10-tie) Does everyone on Flight 815 have a specific destiny?
12) Did the Juliet really change history by detonating the bomb?
Questions in bold have been pretty much directly answered. We now know Smokey and the Nemesis are one and the same, we know the Temple houses a healing spring and a whole lot of Others we've never seen before and Ilana and Bram were Jacob's bodyguards he summoned to the Island.
Questions in italics are ones we now have very plausible theories for. Let's take them one-by-one and go over some related questions too, given what we now know:
Mystery: What is the Island?
Corollary questions: What is the "magic box?" What special properties does the Island have? What did the Swan Station energy do and why did Smokey want it kept contained?
Future questions: What effect did the Island's destruction have on LA X?
As I stated in my review, to me the Island seems to be a prison for Smokey with Jacob as the warden. Now it may have some other significance in addition to that (like being a testing ground for the people Jacob brings there), but having its primary purpose be keeping Smokey from wreaking havoc upon the world makes a lot of sense.
Now the one caveat to this is that in LA X, the Island has sunk and there certainly didn't seem to be an apocalypse going on. Of course, Smokey is rather cunning - he'd probably just become an investment banker or something, but the world doesn't seem to have been totally destroyed. So what consequences would there be if Smokey ended up escaping and going "home?"
But even if the Island is a prison for Smokey, what gives it it's special healing properties and ability to move through time? Is it Jacob or something inherent to the Island itself (i.e. the magic box). And why exactly did Smokey want to keep the Swan station energy contained. He went out of his way to convince Eko to keep the button being pushed and later killed him in a rage after the Swan was destroyed. To me, this doesn't seem like part of his overall plan to kill Jacob, even if it did obviously all work out. I do hope we get an explanation for this in the end.
Mystery: Why is Aaron important?
Corollary questions: Why is Walt important? Does everyone on Flight 815 have a specific destiny? Why did Claire have to raise Aaron herself? What makes someone a "good person." Who hired Richard Malkin to convince Claire to keep Aaron?
Future questions: What makes you a candidate? What disqualifies you from being a candidate? Is this tied to the childbirth issues in any way?
It seems the logical answer to most of these questions is that Aaron, and just about everyone else, were candidates to replace Jacob at some point. That's why they were on the plane, that's their specific destiny - Jacob brought them all here, likely to test them. And the ones who were candidates are "good people," meaning they met whatever qualifications you needed to become the new Jacob. In the comments of my review, Stefanie commented on how Kate wasn't one of Jacob's six Number candidates. While this is kinda surprising given Kate's role in the show, there can only be six Number candidates total so someone has to be left out. Furthermore, I think the six Number candidates are merely the only candidates remaining. There were a lot of names crossed off that wall - I wouldn't be surprised to see an "Austen" crossed out somewhere. The significance of the Number candidates to me is that at the time of Jacob's death, these were the only real candidates left. And that, to me, points to Jack as the prime one left.
But perhaps Aaron was actually the candidate until Kate took him off the Island. That's why Claire had to raise him with her "goodness" - if she didn't, his name would be crossed off the wall (and it's worth pointing out that the "Littleton" crossed off the wall could have referred to Aaron, not Claire as I specualted in my review). And now it seems extremely likely that Jacob was the one who hired Richard Malkin to make sure Claire was on the plane. Part of me also wonders if Jacob was the one who saved Richard Malkin's daughter, perhaps as a way to get Eko on Flight 815.
Walt's candidacy was probably a "special" case, given his abilities. Even if Aaron was the leading candidate to become the new Jacob, perhaps Walt was tested due to his psychic abilities. When Ben and the Others found him to be uncontrollable, they went back to their original Aaron plan.
So what determines "goodness?" Most of the candidates were hardly good; Sayid's a torturer, Sawyer's a murderer, Jin was essentially a mafia goon. And Jack, Hurley and Locke all had their personal issues to deal with. If none of these things disqualifies you from being a candidate, what does? Is redemption the key, perhaps? Do qualified candidates have a desire to redeem themselves and are tested to see if they can? Children are probably exempt from this being innocents, thus Aaron being the perfect candidate as a newborn. The candidacy issue looks to be the biggest question of the season, and possibly of the show.
Mystery: Did Juliet really change history by detonating the bomb?
Corollary questions: Are the two timelines linked in any way? How did she know "it worked?"
Future questions: What's up with Desmond? Is he a candidate too?
Well, we know for certain Juliet did something when she detonated the bomb (and somehow she seemed to know she did something), but what significance to our present day Islanders does the Alt have? It certainly can exist on its own in a parallel universe, but will it affect the present day timeline at all? And what effect will Desmond have running around LA X? Does he have memories of the Island at all? There are a couple possibilities (some spoilers below):
1) The Dark Tower Alt Scenario:
In the Dark Tower universe, Roland the Gunslinger created an alternate timeline by saving Jake Chambers' life in the real world. This created a temporal paradox that was slowly driving him insane until he managed to merge the two timelines by drawing the Alt Jake into his world.
I do kind of wonder if perhaps something like this will have to happen. Will Alt Jack and some of the Others start to have memories of the current timeline? Does Desmond already have memories and will he try to get the Alts to set things right? The difficultly with this sort of plan is that the Island is already sunk in the Alt - be hard to change things without going back in time. But Desmond certainly seems like the biggest wildcard in the Alt to me, given that he wasn't originally even on Flight 815 and the way he seemed to disappear.
2) The Time Variance Authority Scenario:
Walt Simonson, while he was writing Thor, came up with an entity known as the Time Variance Authority (TVA for short), which was a cosmic bureaucracy responsible for all the alternate timelines in the Marvel Universe. Simonson later used the TVA while he was writing Fantastic Four where, thanks to a battle through time between Reed Richards and Dr. Doom, a number of alternate timelines were created. As a result, the TVA decided to destroy all the newly created Alts along with the Marvel Universe Prime timeline to clean things up and (heh) reduce paperwork. The FF managed to stop them in the end and the TVA kinda went away, but I did think this was a clever story.
Now while I don't see any sort of TVA appearing on the show, I do see a scenario where both timelines are not allowed to exist simultaneously. And if this is the case, I think someone (probably Jack) is going to have to choose which universe is saved and which is destroyed. And it may come down to something where the needs of the many are greater than the needs of the few or the one. And that one may be Jack himself.
2) The Course Correction Scenario:
The most likely of scenarios, to me, is one where Jack or someone is given the choice to go back in time and change history at a pivotal moment, preventing Smokey from exploiting the loophole. This may end up erasing the Alt and/or the present day timeline as well. If we're going to incorporate Adam and Eve into this scenario, it would have to be a moment some 40-50 years before Flight 815 crashed, maybe prevent the Jughead bomb from ever reaching the Island perhaps?
We know that Adam and Eve are going to be important to the ending of the show, so for that reason alone I think I favor this scenario at this point, although I do think the other two scenarios are kinda cooler. But it's still great that we're finally at a point where we can plausibly speculate on such things given the info we have.
Thoughts? Theories? Next week's episode is called "Lighthouse" and it's the 108th produced hour of the series. I'm sensing something big. :)
Update: Added a few more comments, edited a few typos too. Stupid work interfering with my blogging. :)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"What I am is trapped. And I've been trapped for so long
I don't even remember what it's like to be free.."
(Thanks to Dark UFO for the screencap).
I think any reservations I had about the alternate timeline (the Alt, from now on) have been totally put to rest with this episode. Even if the Alt is simply a "what if" and has nothing to do with the actual outcome of the show and the resolution of the present day conflict on the Island, it's become so much fun to see what would have, could have happened to these characters had Jacob not come into their lives.
And how can you not like the Alt Locke, who certainly seems in a much better place than the original, largely thanks to Helen (and, perhaps, his new friend, Alt Ben). While I think the on-Island stuff certainly riveted me a lot more than the Alt this episode, I'm greatly looking forward to seeing more of our favorite Alt characters interact.
But then there's all that on-Island stuff.
Whoa. Some of my favorite highlights:
- Moving along the Island from Smokey's P.O.V., especially loved his reflection in Sawyer's window
- Young Jacob running around the Island
- Virtually every conversation on the Island. Hey, it's Season 6, guess we should all start talking about important things now!
- Alt Locke and Alt Hurley. Love the sideburns, dude.
- Alt Locke and Alt Rose. Was that a great scene or what? And I think it's touching that Rose be the one who makes Locke realize he needs to come to terms with who he really is.
- Locke's funeral. It was touching, but I nearly died laughing at Ben's eulogy.
- Jacob's Wall with the Numbers and candidates
So much classic stuff this episode. At the end of the day, there will likely be three, possibly four Locke-centric episodes in my Top 10. That certainly says something about the character.
1) How were the candidates chosen by Jacob?
I haven't had a chance to totally go over The Wall frame-by-frame (but Dark UFO has screencaps if you're interested), but it seems nearly everyone on Flight 815 (or at least everyone who survived) was a candidate to replace Jacob (which seems very Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to me - who's going to give up their Everlasting Gobstopper, eh)? The Numbers represent six of our favorites:
4 - Locke
8 - Hurley
15 - Sawyer
16 - Sayid
23 - Jack
42 - Sun or Jin
Locke's name is now crossed out and I imagine Sayid's name will be too now that he's infected. And if Sawyer goes along with Smokey and doesn't double cross him (which is a distinct possibility, don't forget), Sawyer will also be out. This leaves Hurley, Jack and Sun or Jin. As for the latter two, I'm thinking it's Jin since Sun wasn't transported back in time on Flight 316. Of course, neither was Frank and he's a candidate according to Ilana, but perhaps she hasn't seen an updated list yet. Another possibility: Jacob did touch both Sun and Jin - maybe they can only be a candidate together.
This also explains why the Temple people are so desperate to save as many of the non-crossed off candidates as they can - they seem to represent their only chance of getting Jacob back. And with Sayid possessed and Sawyer and Jin on the run, that leaves only Hurley and Jack in the relative safety of the Temple.
But how did Jacob originally choose all of these people? What qualities did he look for in selecting them? Are they all in need of redemption? Originally I thought he might be offering them a chance at a better life, but clearly from the Alt we know that's at least not the case with Locke, who seems considerably happier than he was in the original universe. What qualities does one have to have to become a god, eh? Of course, that begs the question...
2) What causes a candidate to get crossed off?
Without specifically asking anyone whether or not they'd like to be the new Jacob, how are the candidates crossed off the list? Is it in their actions on the Island? You would think Sayid and Sawyer have done enough to get themselves crossed off the list.
But you have to imagine that one of the remaining four (or five) of Jack, Hurley, Jin, Sun and Sawyer is going to become the new Jacob. And at this point you have to figure Jack is the odds-on favorite. Looks like Jack might have some work to do...
3) What are the rules between Jacob and Smokey?
And moreover, why is Smokey stuck as Locke now? I guess he won't be impersonating Christian again anytime soon. So what do we know about the rules so far:
1) Smokey isn't allowed to kill Jacob unless he finds a loophole
2) Smokey isn't allowed to leave the Island
3) Smokey isn't allowed to kill the candidates (at least certain ones)
We can probably also add that Smokey has to protect the Island when summoned (as Ben did in the Barracks) and he needs help in order to leave the Island (which seems why he's trying to "recruit" Sawyer and Richard).
It certainly seems that Jacob makes most of the rules and Smokey tries to find ways to break them. This kinda paints a picture whereby...
4) So is the Island simply a giant prison for Smokey with Jacob as the warden?
Seems like it right now. And this also explains Smokey's snarky comment to Richard in LA X where he comments that it's good to see him "out of those chains," with the chains being his servitude to Jacob.
I do think it might be more than that in some ways. After all, the Others call the Island home and Jacob does seem to use it for testing potential candidates, but perhaps Smokey's prison is the primary use. No wonder the Others revolted when DHARMA started messing around on the Island - some of DHARMA were likely candidates (the name "Goodspeed" was on Jacob's Wall and I have to imagine Ben was a prime candidate until Sayid shot him), but I imagine most of them, especially the ones DHARMA recruited, were not. And you just don't mess around with the prison for the Doomsday Monster.
5) So are the Numbers just related to the candidates or are they really part of the Valenzetti Equation as well?
You can click the link above for the full lowdown on Valenzetti, but the short of it is:
According to the 1975 orientation film in the Sri Lanka Video, the Valenzetti Equation "predicts the exact number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself." During the video, Alvar Hanso also states that the radio transmitter on the Island, will "broadcast the core numerical values of the Valenzetti Equation." The numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42, are explained in the Sri Lanka Video, as the numerical values to the core environmental and human factors of the Valenzetti Equation. Alvar Hanso also states in the video that the purpose of the DHARMA Initiative is to change the numerical values of any one of the core factors in the equation in order to give humanity a chance to survive by, effectively, changing doomsday.Now these explanations are not mutually exclusive. I could easily see Jacob's six candidates as being the variables that could prevent Doomsday (Smokey) from destroying the world. The interesting thing to me is that you need to change one of the variables to prevent destruction. Is this what Jacob is trying to do, get the candidates to change, possibly through redemption on the Island? I think that's a really, really neat concept, don't you?
Some observations from this alt timeline:
* Locke is going to marry Helen and appears to have a better relationship with Cooper, considering Helen suggested they invite him to the wedding. Of course, Locke is also still in a wheelchair, something his father was the cause of in the original universe. Did Locke end up in a wheelchair in some other way in the Alt?
* We also got confirmation that the walkabout office scene occurred exactly as before.
* Randy is still an asshole
* Hurley is awesome (and happy with himself, as we saw from LA X)
* Rose works for Hurley and is still dying of cancer
* Ben is a European History teacher!!!
* Most importantly Locke, with the help of Rose and Helen, Locke comes to accept who he is.
- Just as an aside, I would love to see more of Locke and Ben. Specifically, I'd like to see Locke and Ben playing Axis and Allies. Darlton, please make it so!!! :)
- Some other names and numbers on Jacob's Wall:
10 - Mattingly (my guess, though he wore #23, which was already taken)
14 - Lewis
40 - Troupe (possibly?)
222 - O'Toole
291 - Domingo
313 - Littleton (Claire)
Also seen: Goodspeed (couldn't make out the number), 20 - Roup? Lots more too - want to look those over again.
- Sawyer's dirty wifebeater made me laugh
- Alt Rose's conversation with Alt Locke kinda paralleled her conversation with him in S.O.S., where Rose reveals she knows he was in a wheelchair before the plane crash. There she tried to convince him to have faith in the Island. Here, in the absence of the Island, she's trying to convince him to accept the reality of who he is. An interesting and powerful turnaround for me. And, it seems, for Locke.
- "Yeah, that guy is a huge douche."
- Double dose of Frank hilarity with "The guy's startin' to get ripe" and "Weirdest damn funeral I've ever been to." And Ben's eulogy to Locke may go down in history as one of the funniest scenes of the entire series.
- I liked Ilana picking up Jacob's ashes. I wonder if they're more powerful than regular ashes?
- "Jacob had a thing for numbers" - wanted to make this my quote, but kinda figured the other one was more appropriate
- The white and black rock on the scale was a rather obvious bit of symbolism, but could it be foreshadowing too? Could Adam and Eve, who had a black and white rock in a pouch on them, really be Jacob and Smokey (or perhaps two of their former candidates)?
- Other stuff on Jacob's Table:
I see a compass and... a lot of junk. Messy workshop, Jacob.
- Nice seeing Sawyer referencing "Of Mice and Men" again. Also loved how Smokey said he'd never read it because it was "after his time."
- So I guess "The Substitute" referred not only to the candidates and Smokey, but to Locke's new occupation too. I love it.
This episode easily makes my personal top ten. So many classic moments, so many big reveals. But it also had a nice mix of touching scenes, laughs and one-liners along the way. Is it better than Walkabout? Perhaps not. Is it better than Lockdown or The Man From Tallahassee? Yeah, I think it might be. And those two episodes both made my top ten last time. All-in-all a solid 4.6/5. Can't wait for next week! :)
Locke goes in search of help to further his cause.So it appears we might be getting a Locke-centric episode, which would be kinda weird because in present time we'd have the Nemesis and in the alt timeline we'd have the pathetic, pencil pusher Locke. But what does the title refer to? Could it be we'll finally find out what Frank is a candidate for? Does it refer to the sickness - perhaps Smokey replaces their souls with something... else? Could it refer to the fact that Jack used Locke's body as a substitute for his father's on Flight 316? Could that be the loophole that the Nemesis exploited?
Can't wait for tonight! Review up tomorrow morning! :)
Friday, February 12, 2010
Paula Abdul Alhazred from the Totally Amazing LOST Blog of Awesomeness makes a very good point regarding the Sickness in the comments from my last review:
I think this episode sort of retroactively answered a lot of questions about the Sickness. Obviously it has something to do with the black smoke, and I would guess the DHARMA vaccine protected people from the negative effects of exposure to the island. (The vaccine was labeled with CR, and the C probably stood for Cerberus). Ethan must have been injecting Aaron with the serum in order to protect the fetus from the influence of the monster. I really like that just by answering one or two questions, we can extrapolate the answers to many other questions from previous seasons.I like this theory a lot, especially since it does tie a lot of stuff together from the early seasons. And if Smokey is the one causing the Sickness, it also explains why none of the survivors ever got sick - the Monster, by-and-large, really never came into contact with most of them. Who has had prior exposure to the Monster before (first encounter)?
1) Locke (Walkabout)
2) Jack (Pilot, first seen in Exodus)
3) Kate (Pilot, first seen in Exodus)
4) Charlie (23rd Psalm)
5) Eko (23rd Psalm)
Hurley was part of the Exodus crew too, but didn't see the smoke then. Aside from that, Smokey really never contacted many of them. So the question now is, if DHARMA really did come up with a vaccine to the Sickness, how did Claire get infected since she was one of the very few who actually received the vaccine. Furthermore, how the heck does the vaccine work? Do most of the Others have anti-Monster antibodies in their blood?
This (along with the sonic fence and summoning portal under Ben's house in the Barracks) also suggests that DHARMA must have known a lot more about Smokey than we've seen on the show. Very cool.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
"Well then, this is your chance to redeem yourself..."
(Thanks to Dark UFO for the screencap).
Pretty decent Kate episode, though the bar there is set pretty low. I actually found myself digging the alt timeline stuff and *gulp* even the Kate-Sawyer stuff didn't bother me this episode. It also helped that Evangeline looked fabulous this episode, best she's looked on the show in quite some time. Maybe it has something to do with her shilling for L'Oréal now.
The pacing here was a bit slow and I do think the episode suffered a bit from a lack of Zombie Locke and Ben. No Desmond appearances this episode either. Boo.
1) So I guess "The Sickness" is real, eh?
As I stated last week, for the longest time I really thought The Sickness was a hoax. Not only did the Lost Puzzle Clues say so, but also 1) None of the Losties got sick during their stay on the beach and 2) the whole episode with Desmond and Kelvin in the Hatch seemed like the Sickness was merely an elaborate ploy by DHARMA to keep the Hatch dwellers from leaving and allowing the button to go unattended.
On the other hand, Danielle's guy who survived Smokey's attack certainly seemed "claimed" when she shot him down, much like Dogan described to Jack. It's certainly possible that both things are true - DHARMA used the rumor of the Sickness to keep everyone contained and made a fake vaccine for it to boot (the stuff Desmond shot himself up with), but never encountered anyone who was "claimed" before.
2) So what's claimed Sayid?
*Em and Missie both raise their hands*
Ahem. Seriously it must be something related to Smokey, if not Smokey himself. Is this really the start of the Zombie Season? o_O
3) Okay, if it is Smokey, can he only claim unburied dead bodies?
The Others started freaking out about Sayid after he had mysteriously come back to life (yeah, I'd freak out too). But does the Sickness only infect dead bodies? And, more specifically, do they have to be unburied to infect them? Claire likely died somewhere in the jungle after the explosion at the Barracks. And remember that Christian's body was unburied when the coffin crashed on the Island too. Boone, Shannon, Charlie, Eko, Ana-Lucia, Libby and Nikki & Paolo were all buried and we haven't seen them walking around the Island ala Christian.
But if Smokey is the one claiming them, can Smokey only assume the forms of unburied bodies? He's appeared as Christian and Yemi to be sure (both unburied, Yemi's body was burned and later disappeared). He's also appeared as Alex, whose body I believe was left at the Barracks in the aftermath of the attack (Ben said goodbye, but I don't think he buried her).
I wonder if this has anything to do with the theory that Smokey really is one of the Egyptian Gods of the underworld. Of course, since we now know that the Nemesis = Smokey, Smokey's got to be a more important god to rival Jacob. If Jacob is Horus, Osiris, or Ra then Smokey is Anubis, Set, or Apep. Regardless, I think this is definitely worth keeping in mind.
4) So what does Jacob bring people to the Island for?
Redemption, most likely. Giving everyone a blank slate, a chance to start over. Interesting Dogan said he was brought to the Island by Jacob too.
Jacob believes people are inherently good, Smokey believes people are inherently evil. The Island seems to be a testing ground for these theories. I do wonder what the rules between Jacob and Smokey are though?
Let's say that unburied bodies on the Island go to Smokey, period. What about Smokey judging them? Do unrepentant people get killed by Smokey, rather than claimed (like Eko)? Does Smokey have to give them a chance to repent before he kills them? That doesn't seem really likely, given how Ben used Smokey as a weapon against Keamy and crew. But it certainly does seem that now that Jacob is dead, Smokey can do whatever the heck he wants. Really looking forward to catching up with Zombie Locke and Ben next episode.
5) Why are the time travelers so important to the Others now?
Dogan panicked when Jack tried to swallow the poison pill and seemed really desperate to get Sawyer back. We know they're all special because Jacob touched them in the past, but what exactly can they do to set things right on the Island? Doesn't seem like they have the power to stand up to Smokey, though boneheaded Jack would still probably try and take Smokey on by himself. Seems like a mismatch to me, but I suppose Jacob must have a plan, right?
- Several past episode parallels this time around. Ethan giving Claire the ultrasound had shades of "Maternity Leave" and Sawyer threw an engagement ring into the water just like Desmond did in "Flashes Before Your Eyes"
- I guess Claire wasn't being adopted by Jack's family after all. Anyone catch her name or the name of the street she lives on? Sounded to me like Langdon St. and Mrs. Baskin. Hard to catch with Claire's accent.
- I really thought Josh Holloway’s acting was terrific this episode.
- I'm really digging Jack getting his ass kicked every show this season. And it seems to be working too - seemed a bit more like normal Jack this episode. And for once he was actually right about something too (the pill being poison)!
- Funny seeing Dogan spinning a baseball. Not as funny when you realize a baseball has 108 stitches.
- "Hugo has assumed the leadership position. Pretty sweet." Lawl
- Kate clocked Aldo with a gun when they rescued Karl from Room 23 back in "Not in Portland"
- Sayid after being tortured: "They didn't ask me any questions," ala Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back
Pretty good Kate episode, probably the best since the first season, though that's not saying much. But I really enjoyed the alt timeline and the Island stuff moved things right along. Greatly looking forward to next week. 3.5/5
Monday, February 8, 2010
Mystery (with # of votes and % of people who voted for it):
1) Who are Jacob and the Nemesis? (18, 72%)
2) What is the Monster? (17, 68%)
3-tie) What are the Whispers? (14, 66%)
3-tie) What is the Island? (14, 66%)
5) What's in the Temple? (13, 52%)
6) Why is Aaron important? (12, 48%)
7) Why do pregnant women die on the Island? (9, 36%)
8-tie) Who are Adam and Eve? (8, 32%)
8-tie) What's Libby's backstory? (8, 32%)
10-tie) Who are Ilana and Bram? (6, 24%)
10-tie) Does everyone on Flight 815 have a specific destiny? (6, 24%)
12) Did the Juliet really change history by detonating the bomb? (4, 16%)
Couple things surprised me here. First was the Whispers placing so high - really one of the oldest unsolved mysteries on the show, but one that has kinda fallen off the radar in recent seasons. Second was the Flight 815 question placing so low - really that question to me is one of the core mysteries of the show itself. And it seems more and more like the answer to that question is "yes."
Tomorrow's episode is called "What Kate Does," meaning a likely Kate-centric alt timeline show. Kate episodes have been some of the weakest in recent years, so let's see if getting half a show with kick-ass Season One Kate back can break that trend.
Of course, if the other half has her making googly, weepy eyes at Sawyer the entire time, the streak will continue unabated. Enjoy the show! Review up Wednesday morning! :)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
* This Darlton chat on EW is interesting, talks about the alternate timeline a lot. Some highlights:
That said, are you saying definitively that detonating Jughead was the event that created this new timeline? Or is that a mystery which the season 6 story will reveal?
LINDELOF: It’s a mystery. A big one.Is there a relationship between Island reality and sideways reality? Will they run parallel for the remainder of the season? Will they fuse together? Might one fade away?
CUSE: We did have some concern that it might be confusing kind of going into the season. To clear that up a little bit: The archetypes of the characters are the same and that’s the most significant thing. Kate is still a fugitive. If you were to look at the Comic-Con video, for instance, that now comes into play. There was a different scenario in that story. She basically blew up an apprentice plumber as opposed to killing her biological father/stepfather. Those kind of differences exist, but who the characters fundamentally are is the same. If it becomes too confusing for you, you can just follow the flash sideways for what they are. It’s not as though there’s narrative that hangs on the fact that you need to know that this event was different in that world, in the flashback world versus the sideways world. That’s not critical for being able to process the narrative this season.
LINDELOF: For us, the big risk that we’re taking in the final season of the show is basically this very question.
I wonder if some of the characters will have to choose between the timelines - after all, choice and free will are two of the central themes of the show. But what if you have two characters who have completely different outcomes in the two timelines, i.e. in one timeline one character is miserable or dead and in the other they're alive and happy, while it's vice versa for the other character? One of those two characters would have to make a sacrifice (presumably for the good of mankind) by the end of the show. That would be really cool to see. Sad, perhaps, but cool.
* Good ratings for the premiere! Nice to see the show get some of its mojo back!
* Cynthia Watros to also guest star on House as... well, a pretty important someone character-wise. Click the link to find out.
* Memphish has some other minor questions of her own.
* Back when I was in crazy baby mode, I know a couple people e-mailed me for a link exchange, but I can't seem to find the e-mails. If you want one, send me another request or just post in the comments.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
(Thanks to The ODI for the screencap. Dark UFO has more up too).
Trippy opener, eh? So now instead of flashbacks or flashforwards we have... an alternate timeline? Interesting solution to both the show's format and the tricky question of whether you can change time or not. Alternate timelines are nothing new to science fiction (especially comic books - Marvel had the terrific Days of Future Past and Age of Apocalypse storylines while D.C. actually had a Crisis on Infinite Earths as a solution to all the alternate character histories they created over the years). So the way I think this works is that basically Juliet detonating the bomb did two things:
1) It sent all the time travelers back to the future - the normal timeline future in 2007 where Frank, Sun and Zombie Locke are. Looks like Jin and Sun can finally be reunited, eh?
2) It also created an alternate timeline like Daniel envisioned, whereby the energy from the Swan was dissipated, the Swan was never built, Desmond never pushed the button and Flight 815 lands in L.A. Oh yeah, and the Island sinks to the bottom of the ocean. That might not be good for mankind, methinks.
Both timelines seem to exist here and it's not clear if they're related at all - they certainly don't have to be; both timelines should be able to exist simultaneously. But both timelines are also pretty, well, awful for everyone involved. In the present day, normal timeline you have the Nemesis in charge, taking over the Island and Jacob dead. The alternate timeline might be even worse though. As Zombie Locke so coldly pointed out to Ben, everyone's lives were miserable before they crashed on the Island and Locke was the only was who was happy to have a second chance (I talk a bit about that here as well). Well, now in the alternate timeline they're by-and-large miserable once again AND the Island is underwater, which can't be good for the cosmos in general. Both timelines are probably good for the Nemesis, bad for the world. One way or another, our Losties are going to have to put things right this season, and that makes me very happy.
1) So is Nemesis really Smokey?
Going into the season I was really hoping Smokey and Nemesis weren't one and the same, but that certainly seems like what the deal is, eh? At the end of last season, I speculated on whether this was true - you can read the whole thing here - but I concluded that:
Weighing the two bodies of evidence, I think the writers certainly want to suggest that they’re one and the same, but that seems like too much of a cop-out to me. I’d like to think Smokey is actually not the Nemesis, but rather an independent third party who could possibly be aligned with him instead. I think the Nemesis was certainly impersonating Christian, who seemed to be just a wee bit too critical in spurring Locke forward on the Nemesis’ chessboard. Likewise I think the Nemesis impersonated all the dead people everyone saw off-Island (including Christian there). Smokey Alex was also very, very invested in having Ben obey Zombie Locke. Granted she could have been doing that in concert with the Nemesis, but Smokey Alex certainly suggests they’re one and the same.And so here we are. So what does this mean about the ash ring? Well, based on Bram and the Others' use of it, it looks like it keeps Smokey out. So that means the Nemesis took over Jacob's cabin when the ring was broken, whenever that was (maybe when Hurley stumbled across it).
But it’s just weird to me that an evil god who could rival Jacob could 1) be summoned 2) cares about whether people actually redeem themselves or not 3) cares about the button being pushed, a rather crucial part of the Nemesis’ plan. Without The Discharge, Charles Widmore never finds the Island, Jack never makes the phone call, the Island never disappears. It’s at complete odds with his plan.
I actually think Smokey and the Nemesis must have some similar abilities and perhaps Smokey is even a minion of the Nemesis (he certainly helped him when he impersonated Alex). But I think I’d be a bit disappointed if Smokey and the Nemesis turned out to be one and the same.
But it still seems strange to me that Smokey Nemesis cares at all about whether people repent or not. Or that he presented himself in a way to Locke that made him seem "beautiful." I guess it was just all part of his plan.
2) So did Daniel's plan work or not?
Well, yes and no. It seems that the bomb detonation created an alternate timeline (Timeline X) where Flight 815 actually landed in L.A. and we get to see everything that would have happened to the Losties if they hadn't crashed on the Island. Sort of.
The alternate timeline has a number of differences from the original:
1) Shannon didn't come back with Boone
2) Christian's coffin never ended up on the plane
3) Locke's knives never ended up on the plane
4) Charlie tried to commit suicide
5) Hurley considers himself lucky
6) Jack is the nervous flier instead of Rose
7) Jack uses (and spills) the extra vodka Cindy gives him
8) Jack has a weird mark on his neck, like he cut himself shaving... his neck
9) The Island is underwater!!!
Anything I missed? I'm sure there were more. Also, here's a list of somewhat significant Losties (other than Shannon) we didn't see on the plane (which doesn't mean they weren't on there, but it might be significant):
1) Michael, Walt and Vincent
4) Nikki and Paolo
And, of course, the biggest difference: Desmond's appearance and disappearance on the plane (which I address below). Claire (and Aaron) we saw afterwards in Kate's cab.
3) Is Desmond hopping around the alternate timeline?
I actually talked about this possibility - which I called the "Bishop Scenario" - last season:
But if they can change the future, I'm betting they will end up changing it for the worse (i.e. catastrophically) and end up in Season 6 trying to change it back. That would be kind of fun. Furthermore, let's say they do change the future catastrophically, but Desmond isn't affected.Now this isn't exactly what seems to be happening. Both timelines seem to exist here, not one completely overriding another. But Desmond, to me, certainly seemed to know Jack and seemed to want to say something to him. I think he's likely going to be the key to sorting this whole mess out.
In other words, you get kind of a Back to the Future, Part II dark alternate future where Kate's in jail, Sawyer's dead, Jack's a druggie and Hurley's insane. But Desmond wakes up in this alternate future, not only without Penny and Charlie, but with a complete memory of the old time line (also known as the Bishop effect)! He's freaked out and desperate to get back to the old time line, back to his previous life. So what does he do? He gets as much of the old band back together as he can and manages to convince them to help him get back to the Island. Once there, he changes things back, even though it means some of his friends (Charlie, Daniel) will die. I kinda like that idea too.
And I do think it's worth pointing out that Charlie's suicide attempt was fairly significant. His life was so miserable in the alternate timeline that he would rather end it himself. In contrast, his death on the Island was ho noble and heroic that Desmond named his first born son after him. For the most part, the people who died on the Island at least had a chance to redeem themselves. Some didn't (Nikki, Paolo, Eko), but several, like Charlie, Locke and Rose and Bernard, did the best they could to leave their old lives behind.
4) Is Jacob now in Sayid's body?
This seems like what they're insinuating, but it's too early to tell. Obviously since "the water in the spring wasn't clear" something didn't quite go as planned. I'm assuming the water was dirty because Jacob is dead. I wonder if it's like the fountain of youth (or perhaps like Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pits). Might explain how Richard doesn't age, eh?
5) So how does everything get corrected?
I'm thinking it might be up to Desmond. If Desmond can time travel, he might be the only capable of correcting things, certainly in the alternate timeline since the Island there is underwater. In the present day timeline, Jacob did set some things up in the past so that Jack and company would end up in present day. That's why he gave Hurley the guitar case with the message for the Others, so there are some safeguards there and ghostly Jacob seems to have some sort of plan.
But the real question is what is the correct timeline really supposed to look like? At what point, what critical moment do things really go awry?
It seems to me the pivotal moment is when Jack makes the phone call and the Oceanic Six leave the Island. There he had a choice, like Jacob says, and it seems he made the wrong one. If they don't leave the Island, they don't go back in time and the Nemesis never finds his loophole. So I guess to really correct everything, someone has to go back and stop Jack from making the call. Right, brutha? ;)
Lots of stuff I really loved in this episode:
- Seeing Cindy, Zach and Emma again. Doubly good to see Cindy in her trippy Others hippie outfit
- A cameo by Ezra James Sharkington on the underwater Island
- Raise your hand if you thought something was wrong with the broadcast when Kate first appeared in the tree. I was really worried for a few seconds there. Nice effect.
- I thought Sayid's little speech to Hurley on where Hurley thought he'd go if he died because of all the bad stuff he'd done in life was really well done on the show. Of course, the whole time Em was saying "they'd better not kill Sayid!"
- Another quote from Em a short time later: "The best scene so far was Sayid kicking in the bathroom door." :)
- Loved seeing the exercise bike in the Swan wreckage
- Twas nice to get a healthy dose of Smokey this episode
- The montage at the end of the first hour as the plane lands was simply terrific
- Anyone notice that the usual noise that precedes a flashback was different for the transition to the alternate timeline? Sounded kinda like Smokey's noise to me...
- Nice seeing Montand's body - guess the Others just left it there. Speaking of which, how did Smokey get underneath the Temple? Wouldn't the Others have kept him out?
- Montand's book was Fear and Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard. Desmond was reading Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie.
- I liked Kate's escape from the Marshall. It would be so refreshing to get Season One Kate back for the final season
- On the other hand, I'm almost relieved that Juliet's dead just so the love triangle can go away. I cringed when Kate was calling down to Sawyer in the Swan wreckage. Shut up! Give them a moment's peace, why don't you!
- Juliet's message to Sawyer was that "it worked." Wonder how she knew?
- I liked the spring in the Temple and the fact the water was dirty with Jacob gone
- Was amusing to watch Jack get his butt kicked by the mysterious Asian leader of the Others (who looked a lot like Toshirō Mifune of Seven Samurai fame)
- Loved seeing Frogurt and Arzt again
- Hurley's observation that the Others' Leader could understand him was clever for Hurley
- I imagine a lot of people would pick Jack and Locke's interaction in the airport (where Jack offers to try and fix him) as the best scene of the episode. But thought the Nemesis' speech to Ben about Locke was even better. Kinda summed up my thoughts on Locke for a very long time - he was always a pathetic figure on the show, but it was the fact he thought - with devout intensity - that he was destined for something greater that gave him a kind of nobility and admiration that made us really like him. That's why so many people were frustrated in the second season when Locke found out his destiny was to sit in a Hatch and push a button but that's really all his life has ever been about. The "I don't understand" speech was heartbreaking, but somehow perfect.
- Wanna know the date of the final episode of LOST? Via Darlton on Jimmy Kimmel: Sunday, May 23rd, 2010. That is NOT Memorial Day weekend - it's the weekend before. LOST party, anyone? :)
I'd say this was the best season opener since the second season and third best overall behind the first two. It was action packed, moved things along, had a nice twist on the show's format and really the only stuff I didn't like was the love triangle. I'd say they really kicked the final season off with a bang. 4/5, maybe higher.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
There were several other things I considered for this list, including the Hurley Bird (which I'm convinced was simply a writer's joke that spun mythologically out of control), Libby's backstory (which I do hope we'll get this season since Cynthia Watros is back), Bea Klugh (why was she so important that she committed suicide rather than be captured, especially since they still had Mikhail), "Good People" and the Lists (which I incorporated into Walt) and Amelia (who may or may not be Amelia Earhart).
Five Minor Mysteries That We'll Likely Never Get Answers To
1) Ben, Locke and The Swan
First presented in: Episode 2.14, One of Them
Big Question: What was Ben really trying to do in The Swan?
Underlying Questions: How much did Ben know about The Swan? Did he know about the Swan at all? Did he know what would happen if the button wasn't pushed? Was he just trying to kill John Locke?
This is one of those nagging things I just can't let go. We know Ben must have purposely let himself get captured in Danielle's net to get into the Swan (and why didn't Danielle recognize the man who stole her daughter away, eh), but what was his real motivation for doing so?
The producers have stated that until the survivors discovered the Swan, the Others were largely unaware of its existence. While this makes sense in terms of Kelvin and Desmond having gone undiscovered for so long there, it really doesn't make much sense in that 1) Ben worked for DHARMA for years 2) post-Purge he had access to everything and 3) you have to think he must have come across something regarding the Swan in all the years he spent occupying their stations afterward.
But if we assume Ben didn't know anything about the Swan, then his mission was likely to scout the station and figure out what it does. If he saw the Pearl orientation video first, however, he likely would have thought the button and the station were just red herrings and might have wanted to get captured just to mess with Jack and Locke and sow some discontent. This kinda fits too because it just doesn't seem to make sense that Ben would try and convince Locke to stop pushing the button while he was still a prisoner.
But all this speculation stands on the fact that Ben, who had complete and utter control and access to everything in DHARMA for nearly twenty years, had no idea that not only did DHARMA have another critical station on the Island, but that that station was still being restocked by supply planes and manned around the clock by a couple crazy DHARMA guys. This all just doesn't sit right with me, but I don't think the writers will want to touch it much.
2) Kelvin, Radzinsky and The Sickness
First presented in: Episode 2.23, Live Together, Die Alone
Big Question: What's the timeline for these two?
Underlying Questions: Why would Radzinsky make the Blast Door Map when he knew everything about DHARMA? Did Radzinsky really kill himself or did Kelvin kill him instead? Was the Sickness merely a DHARMA red herring or were there two sicknesses, one made up by DHARMA and one that possessed Danielle's men?
We really don't know much about what happened to DHARMA during two periods: post-Incident and post-Purge. During the former, we know DHARMA continued to function on the Island and finished the Swan station, keeping it manned at all times. And even after the Purge (or at least around the same time), DHARMA was still recruiting people to push the button since we know Kelvin joined in the early 90's after the first Iraq War. Desmond finally landed on the Island in 2001, three years before Flight 815 crashed. If Kelvin joined shortly after the Iraq War, he'd have been there for nearly a decade.
So when did Kelvin and Radzinsky end up together in the Swan and why make the Blast Door Map? Radzinsky certainly didn't need it - he knew everything about DHARMA. Was the map really done mostly by Kelvin? And did Radzinsky really commit suicide or did Kelvin blow him away? I could certainly see Radzinsky driving Kelvin to the edge of madness from being cooped up in the Swan for years.
Furthermore, we know Kelvin used the Sickness to keep Desmond in the station, make him afraid to go outside while he repaired the Elizabeth. This myth seems to have been perpetrated by DHARMA to scare people into staying in the Swan and pushing the button - that's why DHARMA produced the "vaccine" and why the inside of the Hatch door (and the door to the Arrow Station) had "QUARANTINE" stenciled on it.
But when Danielle first described the sickness to Sayid, she was describing something else entirely. One of her men was possessed and she killed him to save herself. Now this could have been anything - maybe Smokey took over his mind, maybe it was the Nemesis in a different body - rather than an actual disease. But even though the Lost Puzzle Clues state there was no sickness, what possessed Danielle's men? Love to get an answer to all these questions, but I don't think it's going to happen - too much detail to fit into the show itself.
3) The Real Henry Gale
First presented in: Episode 2.17, Lockdown
Big Question: Ballooning accident, or was he sent by Widmore?
Underlying Questions: Did Ben really kill him or did he just find his body?
I would have loved a Henry Gale episode for the show but, alas, it is simply not to be. We know he worked for Widmore and could have been sent by him directly or indirectly to find (or stumble across, ala Desmond) the Island again. But what really happened to him when he landed? We know he landed alive and survived for at least a short period of time. Did Smokey kill him and the Others just find his body or did Ben kill him outright, knowing he worked for Widmore? All last season I was praying the time travelers would get to witness Henry's balloon actually landing on the Island, but I don't think it's going to happen now.
4) The Capsule Dump
First presented in: Episode 2.23, Live Together, Die Alone
Big Question: A giant garbage pile in the middle of nowhere? Really?
Underlying Questions: Who were the real test subjects here?
This one really drives me bonkers. It seems clear that the Pearl was really just a ruse; the workers inside thought they were observing test subjects in the Swan when really they were the test subjects being observed by DHARMA. Obviously DHARMA didn't care about any of the reports they were sending, but why send them to an open valley where anyone could stumble across them? Just seems weird to me.
But furthermore, we really haven't gotten a concrete explanation to what was going on in the Pearl. I like to think of it more as a safety net for the Swan station. The Pearl workers weren't part of any real experiment, they were simply supposed to monitor the button pushers 24/7 to make sure it got pushed - backup button pushers, if you will. Presumably if anything went wrong in the Swan, they were supposed to alert someone higher up - probably the only report that came out of the Pearl that anyone cared about was the printout of times when the button was pushed.
Not that any of this matters now - the Swan is gone, the Flame is gone and most of the other stations have been abandoned. Unless we see some significant DHARMA history this season, we may never know for sure.
5) The Elizabeth
First presented in: Episode 2.23, Live Together, Die Alone
Big Question: Where is it now?
Underlying Questions: Will they end the show with it?
This is a simple one - where the heck is Desmond's boat? Since Ben and the Others captured it in "The Glass Ballerina" we haven't seen hide nor hair of the storied craft. A minor detail, but it has been nearly three seasons now. Also, part of me feels it would be neat if the show ended with Desmond and crew using it to escape the Island - has a Constant-like sentimentality to it for me.
So what's your most niggling unanswered question from the show? Do you think it will be answered by the end? The end starts tomorrow night! I can't wait! :)