Saturday, March 29, 2008

Season 4, Episode 8: "Meet Kevin Johnson"

So it's been over a week since the 4th season's "mini cliffhanger" before the 5 week hiatus and while the dust has settled, I'm still not quite sure if I really liked it or not. The episode - which documented Michael's history after he and Walt left the Island and explained his reasons for working as Ben's mole on the boat - had it's fair share of "seriously?" moments.

For one, how did Michael eventually make his way back to the mainland? I'll let this one fly temporarily, assuming that one of the Others picked him up in the Sub when he and Walt left on Ben's coordinates and got beyond the electromagnetic/clusterfuck Island bubble...but still, to eventually get back to NYC he would have had to provide ID documents for both him and Walt at some point, right? And once that would have happened, he's found out as a survivor. But ok, maybe Ben left him with all the essentials of a new identity that he needed.

So then he goes back to NYC. And NO ONE in the time that he returns notices that he's back and alive? I know that NYC is a big place, but still, you never know who you might run into. Plus, at least one person knows of his true identity - his Mother - and no one's worried that she'll talk? For someone that is very protective of his Island, Ben really didn't seem dot the i's and cross the t's on this one.

And finally, no one seems to bat an eye at "Kevin" on a boat that the captain KNOWS is being sabotaged? So there's like 10 crew members on board, and you don't suspect the total stranger that boarded in Fiji (well, maybe Miles did)? The guy you have no idea who he is or where he came from? Really?

But enough complaining...I guess I just suspect a little more from the Lost writers. But I bet I'll be putting my foot in my mouth for some of the above gripes - for one, the Captain didn't seem too surprised at all when Sayid turned over "Kevin" to him. Not one bit. We'll have to see where that one goes.

But what did interest me from "Meet Kevin Johnson" was the further explanation of the Island's powers. Mr. Friendly (great to see him again), tells Michael and no matter how hard he tries, he won't be able to off himself until the Island lets him. In fact, Friendly utters a familiar phrase to Micheal, "you've still got work to do" (this same phrase has been said by Tall Walt Ghost to Locke after Locke gets shot by Ben, and by Christian when he has Vincent go wake Jack up after the initial crash - the final scene shown in the "Missing Pieces" shorts. All of the messages indicate that the Island is dictating the command).

Now while Michael needed to be told that his work has yet to be done on the Island, some of other eventual survivors seem to figure it out for themselves. Take Hurley for instance. Both Abaddon and Charlie visit him while he's in the Mental Ward during a flash forward. Both inquire about the Island. Obviously Hurley feels regret for those left behind. Then, during his game of HORSE with Jack, Hurley blurts out, "I THINK IT WANTS US TO GO BACK!" Clearly, Hurley has figured out that his connection with the Island has not been severed, and that he still has work to do.

Let's look at Jack. His future story mirrors Michael's almost perfectly. While he seems fine and dandy in both Hurley and Kate's flash forwards, we know from the scenes in last year's Finale ("Through the Looking Glass"), that his life spirals out of control into an abyss of depression and addiction. Maps cover his dirty apartment, and he continually flies from LA to Sydney with the hope of crashing and returning to the Island. He even attempts suicide by standing on a ledge of a bridge until that car crash prevents him from jumping (hmmm...just like how Michael's gun wouldn't fire). Finally, Jack cries out to Kate, "WE HAVE TO GO BACK!" at the end of Season 3. Jack knows that he has also not severed his connection to the Island, and that he still has work to do.

To further argue the point, let's revisit the coffin that Jack visits at the end of Season 3. Wouldn't it be plausible that Michael is in there? It matches up: the clipping where Jack finds the obit mentions that the deceased was from NYC and had a teenage boy (check). No one showed up to the funeral (check - seeing that Michael's son and mother abandoned him and he was under a false name, not too many people would even know about his death). Kate doesn't give a shit about the death (check - Michael DID kill two innocent people and was a traitor to his own people on the Island).

Furthermore, while Friendly used the "working for us is the only way to save your friends" argument to employ Michael's services, it seems pretty clear that Michael just wanted to be able die ("I came here to die" he tells Sayid on the boat). He knew that the only way he could end his days on Earth would be to do what the Island needed him to do so that he could be free from its grasp. Well, if that's him in the coffin it seemed like it worked. And I think Jack realized just that as he stood over his coffin. He knew that in order to relinquish the power the Island had over him he needed to go back. Again, he knows that he "still has work to do."

What that work is, who knows. All of this sometimes leads me to believe that Ben is actually "one of the good guys." Consider the following: the Island is being attacked. It seems more and more likely that the Oceanic 6 made some super shady deal to get off the Island and left innocent people back there to die (or at least we can assume that it was pretty shady cause the guilt is hittin' them pretty hard). Jack hasn't necessarily been wearing the "Hero" tag lately, and from what we can tell right now, Widmore is doing all he can to get back to the Island and kill everyone on it. Ben is using Michael as a mole on the boat, but instead of just having him blow up the ship (effectively ending Widmore's mission), he instead instructs him to make up yet another list so that the innocent are saved. In Sayid's flash forward we are led to believe that he kills for Ben so that he can protect those still living on the Island. All of these moves do kind of support Ben's rationale of being "one of the good guys."

But then Ben goes and kills Karl and Rousseau, for little to no reason. He doesn't seem to like Karl cause he's screwing his daughter (and might get her preggo, which would be a bad thing considering the death rate with people who get pregnant on the Island), and he has no real reason to kill Rousseau...other than regaining control over his daughter. But don't bet on Rousseau REALLY being dead. I see her healing up just fine Locke style and then really starting to F shit up. That'll be fun. So Ben's actions again confound us. He's manipulating the audience just as much as everyone else. Which is probably why I think he's the best character on the show.

One final note about Sayid. Did it not seem very out of character to turn Michael in? Sure Michael betrayed them all and killed two innocent people. But it's not like Sayid is some angel. He, more than anyone, should understand that sacrifice is necessary to save the ones you love (let's not forget that he killed an "innocent" guard and his army friend when he facilitated Nadia's escape in Iraq). And of course we know that he eventually starts working for Ben in the future, which makes his anger for Michael's employment that much more ironic.

But let' s think about his maneuver for a second. Maybe this has all been planned out. Remember in "The Economist" (Sayid's flash forward episode) when he was alone with Ben in the rec room for a spell after Locke and the others captured them? I had suggested (as have others) that we didn't see the full conversation that those two had, and that it was possible that it was at that point that Ben and Sayid's "alliance" began. So if that is the case, Sayid's actions in last week's episode could be explained in the following way:

Ben knows that Michael's position has probably been compromised on the boat (it's just a matter of time before they figured him out, and as I mentioned above, the Captain didn't seem too surprised when Sayid turned him in). Therefore, he'll need a fresh face to act as his man on the boat. Enter Sayid. He gets on the boat and starts asking questions. Soon enough, he's got a hold on what's going on. And in a final act to gain the trust of the crew and Captain, he turns in the former mole, who's time was pretty much up anyways. Boom, Sayid gains trust on the boat, and Ben's got a new mole. Sound crazy? Probably. Possible? Definitely.

Regardless, we have 5 weeks to think about it. I know I didn't touch on some stuff (Libby's appearance, the question of how Miles got that grenade out of his mouth, etc), but I think that's all I got for now. Enjoy the break and gear up for the final 5 episodes of season 4!

One Easter Egg: some people think that the guy in the bed next to Michael's (after his failed suicide attempt) was Alvar Hanso. Not sure myself, but certainly worth mentioning:


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Season 4, Episode 7: "Ji Yeon"

Ok, so I kind of cringed when I learned that this was going to be Sun/Jin episode (I think a Rose/Bernard story is the only thing potentially worse), but the writers did a good job jazzing up the story with yet ANOTHER narrative twist. Bravo. And we learned a few other tidbits in this episode that were worth noting as well. So since I'm already very late with this post, let's get to it...

So I suppose we should just start right off with the Flash Back / Forward craziness. Did anyone else catch on to what was happening here? I must say, I started thinking that something was up when Jin was screwing around with that brick of a phone that he had when he was trying to catch a cab. Phones have been used as clues before - like when I ruined the ending for all my friends in last year's finale by noting that Jack's phone looked like a CRZR, which led me to shout out, "hey, I think this is a flash forward!" Woops. But regardless, the phone wasn't the only clue to show us that Jin's story was a flashback. For one, the toy store owner suggested that he buy a Dragon as a gift since it was the year of the Dragon on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. Since each specific animal only pops up on the calendar once every 12 years, and since the last year of the Dragon was in 2000...that left two options: Jin's story was happening in either 2000 or 2012. Well, we know what it ended up being.

Secondly, we could have deduced that Jin's story was a flashback simply from his behavior. Anyone catch that he threatened to find and kill the dude that took his cab? While being a hilarious scene, his rage was a clue telling us that this wasn't the new and improved "lovey dovy English as a second language Jin." This was "I come home with blood on my hands and yell at my wife" Jin. Wonder if he ever tracked down the dude in the cab....

I'll move to Sun's flash forward for a sec, but other than showing us that she is one of the Oceanic 6, not too much happened in her story (well, she had a baby, but whatever). Two things occurred that were interesting however. First, our old buried alive struggling actress friend Nikki showed up in the first scene of the show in a repeat of "Expose" that Sun was absent-mindedly watching.

Second, and more important, Hugo shows up towards the end of the show to escort Sun and her newborn to see Jin's grave. When Hugo asks if anyone else was coming and here's that he's the only one, he replies in relief, "Goooooood." Assuming that Hugo and Sun don't have a hot and heavy affair going on (let that mental picture settle for a second......ok), we have to think that Hurley is not too thrilled with his survivor friends. I don't have too much to add to the meaning behind his comment, but I'm sure its relevance will become clear in future episodes. But just as a point of clarification, they all must be relatively fresh off the Island, since Sun just had the baby (and since she was 2 months preggy on the Island, it's can only be around 7 months later). I guess we can assume that Kate's trial is going on, that Jack is still somewhat sane, and who knows about Sayid. Remember, the scene between Jack and Kate where Jack exclaims that they "have to go back" occurs in 2007. In this episode, it's probably mid 2005. Again, not sure about why Hurley is so relieved, but I'm sure we'll find out.

Finally, let's talk about the touching graveyard scene. Since you're all Lost vets at this point, you knew that when they focused in on the tombstone about three times that something of significance was there. Well, you were right.

The date of Jin's date states September 22, 2004, the same day as Flight 815's crash. This, quite frankly, opens up the possibility that Jin is not dead. As we already know, the Oceanic 6 have struck some sort of deal with someone to lie about what really happened during and after the crash. There are survivors still living on the Island, and we still do not know HOW these 6 came to be shuttled off. Couple that with the fact that Jin's grave was probably created after the crash itself, and before the 6 were "rescued," we can't be sure that he's actually dead. Everyone just thought he was his family "buried" him. Sun's visiting of the grave may just be symbolic of the fact that she still figures that she'll never see him again, dead OR alive.

As for me, I think he's dunzo. But the above rationale is acceptable in our world of Lost, and therefore should be recognized. After all, Jin stated to Sun, "I'll do anything to protect you." And while this sounds as if he'd die in order to be sure of Sun's rescue, it could mean that he would give up his chance of being rescued for Sun and stay on the Island...alive. Feel free to sound off your thoughts below.

One final note...this now concludes our Oceanic 6: Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sun, Hurley, and Sayid. Right? Don't agree? Well join the club. Aaron is a highly debated figure of the group, but without further info, I can't say whether or not he's officially one of the 6 or not. But also don't discount the fact that there might be other Island folk living in the real world underground style...and that means Oceanic survivors and/or Others....(we already know Ben is).

So moving on to the other "big" revelation last week: the return of Kevin Johnson. I won't even gloat that I called this one, since it seemed pretty obvious, but we finally know for sure who Ben's man on the boat is. What will happen to Michael - or more importantly where the hell Walt - will hopefully come to light in tonight's episode (but who are we kidding, it probably won't). Oh and just a quick note, remember that while Sayid is obviously hiding his knowledge of Michael's true identity, Desmond has no idea who he is. Just a little Lost timeline help.

And we do learn a little more about the boat and hear that the Captain corroborates Ben's story about Whidmore, but I'm not ready to believe him just yet (cause you know...Michael did say to not trust the Captain and all). Regina was a short lived character, and I guess we have to assume that she is suffering the same affliction as Desmond, Minkowski, and our blood spattered friend in Sayid's new digs...but then again, who knows. She would had to have been exposed to massive amounts of radiation and electromagnetism in order to time travel Des style, and that seems unlikely. But who freaking knows at this point.

So I think that's all I got for this week. Sorry for the lateness of the post, but I didn't even end up seeing the episode this week until Tuesday, as I was out of town. And now you're all primed for tonight's episode, so it all worked out. Remember, tonight is the last ep for about 5 weeks, so enjoy! Some Easter Eggs below:

BOOK CLUB TIME!: The novel that poor Regina was reading upside down was entitled The Survivior's of the Chancellor by Jules Verne, and is about a ship that runs aground and some of its crew go nuts. Hmmm.

See ya next week!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Season 4, Episode 6: "The Other Woman"

Ok, so maybe not the strongest episode of the season, but again, it was a somewhat welcome break after the crazy shit the writers have been throwing at us for the past few weeks. And while "The Other Woman" seemingly focused on Juliette, did anyone get the sense that (other than the nice bikini scene) this episode seemed to have a rather Ben-centric theme to it? We'll get to that, but first let's go over what we learned this week.

So was anyone else semi-fooled at the show's opening? I first thought that maybe Juliette had somehow tricked the world into believing that she was one of the Oceanic 6 - even though that sweet teased 80's hairdo totally screamed otherwise. However once our old pal Mr. Friendly pops in we realize that we've entered into a good 'ole trusty flashback. Another hint that this was a flashback (for you eagle eyes out there) was Harper's credentials hanging up on the wall behind her. Apparently she has received her degree in "Experimental Social Psychology" (or something like's pretty hard to read) - a degree that is credited by the Hanso Foundation.

Does this mean that Harper could be one of the lucky ones that Ben brought to his side before executing the Purge? Obviously he had to keep a few folks alive to keep a functioning society going, so I think it's likely that more than a few of the remaining Others are former Dharma folks. The rest are likely natives, a la Ageless Richard (who by the way has been regrettably absent this season...damn you new CBS drama Cane!) (Although I'm pretty sure that show got canceled...hopefully this means future Richard sightings for us).

Moving on, the next flashback shows the ever so sweet first meeting between star crossed lovers Juliette and Goodwyn. Goodwyn tries to cover up the fact that he's got a chemical burn and Juliette totally disses Goodwyn's wife. Nice play on both ends. We get a hint that the crush is developing nicely when Goodwyn brings Juliette an extra egg salad on rye after Ethan "calls in sick" (Seriously? How do you call in sick as an Other? Is he checking his emails from home? Also, the Island can cure paralysis but can't cure the common cold? I call bullshit on lazy ass Ethan). This scene is important only for how Ben reacts to Goodwyn's sudden enthusiastic pop in. He sees the excitement in his and Juliette's eyes and doesn't like it one bit. This, in my opinion, is where this episode diverts from Juliette's story and starts to focus more on Ben's creepy obsessive behavior.

So it's no joke that Ben has a crush on Juliette. He's as lame as ever when he tricks her into coming over for a "dinner party" and nearly overcooks his ham. But is it really feelings that he has for her or is it a desire to "posses" Juliette as his own? It is at this moment that the episode's title becomes relevant. Who is "The Other Woman?" Sure there is the love triangle between Harper, Goodwyn, and Juliette....and the newly forming love triangle between Jack, Juliette, and Ben. But the real triangle here could be between Juliette, Ben, and Ben's Mom (helloooo, Dr. Freud). Too off the wall?? Maybe. But what do you think Harper was talking about when she said to Juliette that she "looked just like her" when explaining why Ben liked her Juliette so much? So soon we forget that Ben basically idolized his Mom (or maybe the idea of his Mom, since she died upon giving birth to Ben) while living under the unloved tyranny that his soon to be murdered father created for him. And let's also not forget that Ben and an illusion of his Mom shared quite a moment in his first childhood flashback on the Island. And guess who she looked like?

But getting back to Ben's "crush." I don't think that he really wanted to get into Juliette's pants or anything...that's not his style. He instead need to feel that he exerted a power over her, and that he had control over her. This observation is never more evident when Ben exclaims "You Are Mine!" to a grieving Juliette over Goodwyn's decaying body. Ben obviously has some power issues, and we've seen that those traits have not worked out so well for him at the present time. But even seeing him in captivity, we still feel that he is running the show. And even though Juliette has for the moment broken free of his grasp, she states to Jack that "Ben will win," and for some reason that prediction is all too easy to believe. After all, we know Ben makes it through this current mess and gets off the Island in the future (and is still up to his usual shenanigans). And more immediately, we also know that he'll meet up with Sawyer and Hurley for dinner...once again talking his way out of captivity...

But enough psychoanalysis jibber jabber. Let's get to what's happening with Jack and Co. First and foremost Juliette encounters an out of nowhere soaking wet Harper in the Jungle telling her to kill Faraday and Charlotte on orders from Ben. There are a couple things happening here. First, the voices are back. Second, the simple fact that Harper comes and goes without a trace. How is that possible? Well, even though we haven't seen him in quite a while, I believe that this is the work of our old friend Smokey. We know that the Black Smoke is some sort of defense system for the Island, so what better defense than to try and kill the folks that are trying "hurt" the Island. And we know that Juliette had her mind "read" by Smokey back in the episode titled "Left Behind," when she was trapped in the tree with Kate in the Jungle and the Smokey descended upon them, flashing lights into their eyes and generally scaring the crap out of them. So theoretically, Smokey could have used her memories to deceive her (as Yemmy did to Eko and Dave did to Hurley) into thinking that Harper was for real. Of course an obvious question here is how could Jack have been able to see her as well? Well, the smoke itself can be seen by everyone, so why couldn't a manifestation of the Smoke be seen by everyone?

[Another theory posed by my brother on this topic is that the voices and Harper's sudden appearance and disappearance can be explained by this whole Time Travel business that we have encountered in the recent past. That maybe the Others (or Natives) have been able to harness this power and seemlessly travel from time to time without consequence. I am intrigued by this theory, but for the time being I'm convinced that only one's consciousness can travel through time and not his or her entire body (as that seemed to happen in this example).'s something to keep in mind.]

My biggest problem with the episode is that no one ever explained HOW the Tempest Station gas-release was triggered. We eventually found out that Faraday and Charlotte were working feverishly (in what turned out to be a very predictable and anti climactic scene) to STOP the release and to save the Island's inhabitants rather than to kill them. But what wasn't explained was how the countdown was initiated and who started it. Surely some would say that one of Ben's cronies started the release, but then my answer would be: why? Why would they effectively kill themselves? It makes no sense. I guess my only answer is that Charlotte and Faraday purposefully triggered the system so that they could subsequently control it manually from that point on. In that case, no one would be able to use it against them (and would clear the path for more of their allies to embark the Island). But I'm still pretty confused over the whole ordeal...a part of me thinks that it was just an elaborate storytelling construct that didn't have a lot of substance behind it (and after writing that, I'm getting ready to seriously put my foot in my mouth...we'll see).

I know that I didn't talk at all about the fact the Whidmore is supposedly behind all of the freighter business. While I don't necessarily dispute this assumption, I also think that we need to know a lot more about the situation to actually believe a word that Ben says on the matter. I mean, seriously, when has the guy spoken truthfully about anything? But Locke, the impressionable sponge that he is, believes the shit out of him and then even invites him to dinner. Go figure. Although I do think that we'll find out who Ben's man on the boat is very soon...and don't say I didn't tell you so! (Again...that foot's going to just stay in there for a while...)

Easter Eggs:

Book Club Time! I didn't want to again include another book reference into the main section, but it is notable to realize that the new Dharma "Tempest" station probably has some relevance to Shakespeare's famous play about - well, a bunch of folks stranded on a deserted island. A quick recap of the play by sounds familiar:

Much like Lost itself, the story of The Tempest involves a group of characters who crash on a deserted island, and then come into conflict with supernatural forces and a group of other inhabitants. Prospero, the powerful man in control of this island, serves as the central character of this drama. Prospero uses his magic, as well as his skills of manipulation, to keep his daughter Miranda, his servant Caliban, and an invisible spirit Ariel all under his control. Eventually, after a complicated power struggle among different parties, Prospero chooses to release all of his subjects from bondage, and all of the characters sail away from the island to return happily to civilization. (thanks to DarkUFO)

The Map that Danielle'd they get there hands on that nice little prize?

A few shots of the Whidmore tape. Your guesses are as good as mine as to who the captive is...Richard? Who's filming?

And finally, we'll end on a bit of humor. For those of us that are hopelessly addicted to Lost, we finally have a cure....

And that'll do it for this week. As usual, let me know what I missed in the comments!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Season 4, Episode 5: "The Constant"

A coworker of mine has told me on a couple occasions that Lost can be summed up in the following way: the show itself represents a mosaic, or a puzzle, if you will. The puzzle has a definitive structure and story to tell, but that story can only be told once all the pieces are in place. Meaning that the writers have known all along how our story begins and ends, but instead of telling the story in a linear fashion, they instead have chosen to give us bits and pieces over time. And every once and a while one of those pieces falls into place, perfectly displaying a full picture in front of us. It sounds simple, yes, but the mind boggling episode that we witnessed last week is a perfect example of our puzzle coming together.

For example, the events of this week's episode explain what has been happening with Desmond ever since he turned the key in the Season 2 finale. If you recall, Desmond turned the fail safe key in the Swan hatch, which we later learned unleashed a significant electromagnetic pulse and "turned the sky purple." We didn't revisit Desmond's fate until the 8th episode of the third season. In that episode, entitled "Flashes before your Eyes," we were introduced to this notion of "time travel" in Lost. Desmond was experiencing past events...he bumped into Charlie playing on the street, and he met that crazy clock lady, who informed him that instead of buying an engagement ring for Penny, that he'd leave her and end up on an Island pushing a button for three years in order to save the world. Furthermore, he started to experience the "flashes" that predicted a number of future events, including poor Charlie's death. While at the time we were pretty confused about it all, we now have some sort of understanding of what was happening to Desmond. Almost a full season later, we learned that it wasn't necessarily Desmond's body that travels through time, but instead, it's his mind, or consciousness, that is making the trip. And it's due to the fact that he was 1) exposed to a massive does of electromagnetism during the hatch blast (how convenient) and 2) that the Helicopter veered ever so slightly off it's course off the Island to produce a certain side effect: becoming unstuck in time.

Let's talk about this phrase "unstuck in Time." It struck me as rather familiar when I first heard it, and I had originally thought that it was mentioned in a previous episode, until I later realized that it in fact came from a classic novel that I had coincidentally recently re-read: Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. For those that don't remember the details of a novel that you probably read back in high school, Slaughterhouse Five is on the surface an anti-war novel written about the WWII fire bombing of Dresden, but it also focuses on its protaganist's (Billy Pilgrim) penchant for becoming "unstuck in time" and traveling to future and past events in his life. Moreover, he is abducted by an alien race, the Tralfamadorians, a race of beings that, among other things, experience Time all at once. As stated in the novel: "“All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance.” The Tralfamadorians, for instance, don't get sad at funerals because it is an event that they have seen and experienced just as they experience all other events in Time concurrently. In essence, they experience the world in 4 dimensions rather than 3, with Time acting as the 4rth axis.

Does this depiction of Time sound familiar? Whether or not you realize it, it is how we, the viewers, watch Lost unfold from week to week. The show is literally shot from the perspective that Time is its own dimension...we are privy what is happening in the present time, the past, and now, the future. Just like my co-worker's Mosaic example, we are seeing the show unfold from all times, and with that the larger picture becomes clearer and clearer.


And one quick illustration of experiencing different Time periods simultaneously in the story of the show can be seen when Desmond finally connects with Penny on the Freighter phone. In this rather touching scene, we see and feel both Freighter Desmond's happiness upon hearing her voice, as well as seeing 1996 Desmond crack a smile of relief as he is walking away from Penny's flat after procuring her number. At this time, "both" Desmond's are experiencing the same emotions simultaneously, even though they are 8 years apart. The connection has been made, and he knows he is safe. In Des's words to Sayid after the call, "I'm perfect, Brotha."

Now, I bet your thinking, how does that explain the fact that Time is clearly moving at a different pace on the Island versus off the Island. To that, I don't know. There is some information that I have seen out there that talks a lot about all the physics diagrams that we saw in Daniel's notebook, but honestly, it makes my head hurt and I won't even attempt to get in to it at the moment. Additionally, the episode opens itself up to a classic "time travel" paradox; and that is: how could present day Daniel NOT remember that Desmond visited him in the past to tell him the solution to an equation that he had been working on for some time? Clearly that would be a momentous occasion that would not be forgotten. At the moment, I'm not buying Desmond's answer, "maybe you forgot," when past Daniel poses the same question to him at the university. But we know that future Daniel DID in fact meet up with Desmond in 1996 (and that it wasn't a parallel universe or anything), because he wrote in his notebook at the time that Desmond would "be his Constant."

Regardless, the fact that passage through to the Island can cause such dramatic effects can help explain a number of things. Obviously, we've seen how it explains Des's past and future flashes. But I am willing to bet that it has influenced or caused the following occurrences: Locke's connection with the Island (and his dramatic cure from paralysis), Ben's ability to manipulate people and somehow always know how certain events will unravel, Richard Alpert's ageless quality, the "sickness" that Rousseau's crew contracted (nosebleeds and brain aneurysms people!), Walt's mysterious appearances, and most importantly: Jacob. Could it be that Jacob is trapped in some sort of Island time loop? Could it be that his cabin has existed in different locations in a number of different time periods, which would why Locke can't seem to find it at the present time? The only words that we have heard Jacob utter are "Help me." I don't know about you, but if I was trapped in some sort of space time continuum mind warp, I'd probably want some help too.

These are all wild guesses and most likely way off base, but I do think that the writers have given us a very important piece to the overall Lost puzzle in "The Constant." While we aren't necessarily closer to definitive answers, we will continuously look back to the revelations offered in "The Constant" as keys to unlocking many of the Island's mysteries.

Of course, this whole time business wasn't the only thing that went down in this episode. What about that auction? The item up for sale was the journal of the first mate of the Black Rock (auction #2342 by the way...the same number that Desmond gave Daniel to make the rat experiment to work). The journal itself had been in the possession of the Hanso family (as described by the auctioneer) - specifically and most recently Tovard Hanso - for over a hundred years. If you remember, our old buddy Alvar Hanso was the founder of the Dharma Initiative. So assuming he and Tovard are related, we can see the connections to the Island and the Black Rock (was there a Hanso on board way back when?). While Whidmore eventually won the auction, there was a silent bidder on the phone...who could that have been? My guess is either Ben or Abbadon. Both have vested interests in the wants to protect the Island, and the other wants to find it. Remember, in 1996 the Island "Purge" had already happened, so Ben's a wanted man at that point. However, I'm not sure why the Hanso family would suddenly release the journal that they had kept in their family for over a hundred years, especially since they have connections to the Island as well. Hmmmm...

There was one other, small item that I noticed. When Sayid, Desmond, and Minkowski figured out that they needed to get out of their holding cell and up to the communications room, the door was suddenly left ajar for them. While we are probably lead to believe that Frank the pilot helped them out ("believe it or not, I'm trying to help you here"), I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that Micheal may be roaming the ship's corridors, and may have nudged it open for them. Again, I may be way off base here, but I just don't think that we've seen the last of him. It seems more and more likely to me that Micheal could be Ben's mole.

Whew! Well that's enough info for now. I hope at least some of the above makes sense, cause this week was a tough one. But one thing is for sure, the writers aren't screwing around this year. I'm almost wishing for a slow, sappy show next week...who'd ever think that day would come?