Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Season 5, Episode 6: "316"

And the hits just keep on coming! From the moment Jack's eye opened in the Jungle (a direct lift from the very first scene of the entire series five years ago), I knew that this one would be a keeper. And sure enough, when Jin hopped out of the Hippy Dharma Bus and noticed his old friends return to the Island, the chills so totally consumed me that I had to reach for another blanket (it's cold in our house). "316" was certainly one for the ages, filled with questions, answers, action, mystery and all dipped steeply in Lost mythology. But the one theme that shined the brightest was the show's most prominent: faith.

46 hours before Jack wakes up on the Island Ben, Desmond, Jack, Sun, and Ms. Hawking are gathered in the basement of the LA church, which we learn is actually the first Dharma station ever built - the Lamp Post (yet another shout out to C.S. Lewis, who used a street lamp as a portal in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). It is here where we learn a "very clever fellow" (Pierre Chang, or Faraday maybe?!?!) built the station to observe electromagnetic pockets around the world. As we know, the observations eventually led the Dharma founders to the Island and the rest, as they say, is history. But for this exercise, Ms. Hawking has figured out exactly which flight the Losties need to take to be sucked into one of these portals, and if you spent any time on last week, you may have figured out that the flight was in fact #316 from LA to Guam. Desmond, after learning that his former Island castaways are actually trying to GO BACK to a place that caused them so much pain, goes on a well reasoned tirade before storming out to return to his family. Specifically, he gives a bit of a lecture to Jack ("whatever she tells you to do, ignore it"), which is interesting because Jack is the one person that in the past would have shared Desmond's feelings of shock and disgust. But after a few years of pain, neglect, confusion, and addiction Jack is starting to come around. He's on the edge of converting from a man of science to a man of faith...and just a few more nudges are needed for the transition to be complete.

The first comes in his after school session with Ms. Hawking, where she tells Jack that he must recreate the circumstances of the first Island arrival as best he can by giving Locke something of his fathers. In response to his initial knee jerk refusal, Ms. Hawking says imperatively, "stop thinking how ridiculous it is, and start asking yourself whether or not you think it is going to work. That's why it's called a leap of faith, Jack." As a parting gift, Jack gets Locke's suicide note and heads up to meet Ben who details the story of Thomas the Apostle to him...a story about a man that didn't believe in the resurrection of Jesus until he was able to touch the wounds of Jesus to be convinced. When asked if Thomas changed his mind, Ben responds, "Of course. We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack." And whether he knows it or not, Jack's transition to believing is well on its way.

Proof of that transition comes in the humorous scene where he is tying his father's shoes onto Locke's dead feet in the coffin. (A brief aside, many Lost junkies have long wondered why Christian has been depicted in tennis shoes since the first episode of the, five years later, we have our answer...anyone who says that these guys are "making it up as they go" are very, very wrong). Jack incredulously says, "where ever you are John, you must be laughing your ass off....cause this is even crazier than you were." Even though he's outwardly expressing his disbelief to Locke, the proof that he is starting to believe lies in the fact that, while crazy, he's still actually tying his dead father's shoes on to Locke's feet. That being said, his next move is to give John back his unread suicide note, saying that "I've already heard everything you have to say, wanted me to go back, I'm going back." Jack's close to the edge of that leap, but isn't jumping just yet.

Speaking of faith, how do we see it affecting the rest of the O6 on the journey? If all of them need to believe that going back is the right thing to do, how are they exhibiting examples of this conviction? For starters, Sun has to believe that Jin is alive, and trust Ben in doing so. Kate had to give up Aaron, the only think in her life that she loved completely. Hurley had to overcome his own demons and put his trust in righting a wrong that he never believed in in the first place ("The Lie"). Sayid, even with all of his "I'm done with you" talk knows that he can't abandon his friends on the Island; his sense of loyalty is too strong. And most of all, Locke actualizes his long enduring faith by committing the ultimate act of sacrifice by dieing so that they can all return.

[John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.]

Similarly, in accordance with "recreating the conditions of the original flight," there was some role reversals happening on the plane. Sayid takes on Kate's role as the resident convict (and how so? well I don't know, but the guy did kill a bunch of people around the globe while working for Ben so it's not unreasonable to think that the authorities got to him eventually). Hurley is posing as Charlie the musician via the guitar case (good choice over the sack of heroin by the way). Ben is posing as Hurley with his huff and puff late arrival on to the plane (but don't forget, Hurley "wasn't supposed to make" flight #816 based on his this a clue into Ben's future seeing that those who turn the donkey wheel can't return to the Island?). Locke is obviously playing the part of Christian, serving as his "proxy." And Jack may be Locke, a man of weak faith, seeing that on the original flight Locke was in distress about being refused to participate on the walkabout ("don't you tell me what I can't do!"), but will soon turn into a believer once he stands for the first time in years on the beach following the crash. And conveniently enough, Jack's own full conversion is soon to come.

But first, what about all the rest of the people on the flight? Sure, Hurley bought the remaining 78 seats but there are still plenty of people back in coach. I think it's too soon to tell, but I certainly hope that they don't end up on the Island as well. There is a theory that maybe the crash that Widmore supposedly placed in the ocean to pose for Oceanic 815 is actually the Ajira Airways crash (and that when Frank Lapidus is looking at the dead pilot with no wedding ring on TV he is actually looking at himself!) meaning that everyone on the plane except the O6 died. Or there is another theory that the runway Kate and Sawyer were helping the Others build in Season 3 was actually a runway for the eventual Ajira flight, but I tend to think that neither theory is correct. My take at this point is that when Ben answered Jack's question of "what about the rest of them?" with a wry "who cares," it was the writers' way of telling us "hey...don't worry about these people...there is WAY too much else going on and we are going to ignore them, ok?" Hey, works for me. That being said, we WILL be seeing more of the two strangers that accompanied the O6 is first class. I don't know who they are (Widmore agents?), but they are here to stay...for now.

But getting back to our troubled hero, halfway through the flight Jack is finally becoming convinced. He can't explain for all the signs: the fact that all (save for Aaron) of the O6 made it onto the flight, the fact that our old buddy Frank Lapidus is the pilot (best line of the night: "We're not going to Guam, are we?"), and the fact that no matter how hard he tries, he just can't shake the shadow of Locke's last piece of advice: the note. After a Good Will Hunting reassurance scene from Ben ("it's not your fault,, really, it's NOT YOUR FAULT") Jack takes the plunge and opens the reads: "I wish that you believed in me." Upon reading it Jack finally fulfills John's wish - he believes - and at the moment the Island brings them back. With John's sacrifice complete, it's now Jack's turn to fulfill his own destiny...and in his hand after landing in the jungle is the torn note...leaving only the appropriate phrase "I wish."

But enough of the melodramatic analysis...let's quickly try and explain some mysteries that 316 so graciously provided us. First off, what the F happened to Ben? Well, I'm thinking that the promise he needed to keep to an "old friend" was the threat that he would punish Widmore by killing Penny in revenge for the death of his daughter Alex. It seems to fit. He called Jack from the docks (and Penny and Desmond live on a boat), and it's certainly no stretch to think that Desmond would beat the shit out of him if he even laid a pinkie on Penny for any reason whatsoever. It could also explain Desmond's eventual arrival back to the Island ("the Island is not through with you yet"). If Ben did in fact kill Penny, then Desmond would stop at nothing to finish the job that he started and kill Ben. And don't forget, Des originally ended up on the Island because of revenge: he was going to win Widmore's sailing race to show him how wrong Widmore was about him...and if you need to "recreate the conditions" of original Island embarkations, then having the need to avenge his wife's death is no better substitute.

Next up, what did Kate do with Aaron? A couple theories is that she sent him to live with Sun's mother and daughter. Sun continuously mentioned Aaron and Ji Yeoung in the same breath so I wonder if the pay off of that is to have Aaron grow up with her. An alternative theory is that Kate gave Aaron to his more "rightful" owner, Claire's mother. This theory seems to make a bit more sense, seeing that Aaron is related to Claire's mother (obviously) and that he was never supposed to be raised by anyone other his mother. Well, hopefully "grandmother" can pass for "mother" in this case. It's important to also note that Claire's mom was actually in LA during this time so the transfer would have been relatively simple.

And finally, in the last scene we see Jin fully suited in a Dharma jumpsuit, confirming the theory last week that the Island crew did in fact go through one more jump after John turned and set the wheel on its axis. I'm going to take it a step further and say that they have been in this time period for a while now...say about 3 years - the same amount of time that has passed off Island. Think about it, all of the initial flashes they originally had were quick and probably took place over the course of a few days. But once the wheel was properly placed on it's axis, the flashing most likely stopped (and really, it had to...otherwise Juliet, Sawyer, and Jin would next in line for temporal displacement deaths). And for Jin to be driving around a Dharma van, (and for Daniel to be vetted as a construction worker), they probably needed to be around for a bit to gain the Dharma folks' trust. How that all went down will be interesting to see (along with the knowledge of where the hell Rose and Bernard are), but I don't think it's impossible to think that they've been in one place for a good chunk of time. After all, it's been 3 years for the off Island crew, so time - no matter how confusing it is on this show - needed to go by in some capacity for the two groups to reunite properly. The jump to Dharma time also explains Hurley's transmission of the numbers from the tower, as well as Daniel's cryptic message to Charlotte. What else it may uncover is yet to be determined, but I can't wait to find out.

Wow...well, I think that will do it. Thanks for getting this far and as usual, chime in below. A quick note: the next two weeks of posting might be inconsistent/delayed due to some time off, but we'll see. I do have some flights to get shit done, so I'll try and put down my copy of Ulysses and get to work ;)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Season 5, Episode 5: "This Place is Death"

Wow. So just as we were able to start wrapping our heads around the whole time travel scenario and other mysterious nuggets that Season 5 has brought forth, the Lost writers decided to bring us right back to square one with the most exciting and puzzling episodes yet. Smokey! The Temple! The sickness! Death! Dismemberment! Christian! Donkey Wheel! Old Lady Hawking! Hurley on the radio in 1988!...wait what? We'll get to that. Be forewarned...this one's a bit long, but I think we need it after seeing what went down in "This Place is Death."

On the Island we pick up with more of Jin and Rousseau's meeting in 1988. A few things pop up in the first few minutes of the scene, and none are more important than the voice on that is broadcasting the numbers through Montand's (Blonde asshole dude's) radio. Sure, it's the biggie there, right? And yeah, it's likely coming from the radio tower...but who recorded the broadcast? Take a closer listen and see if anything rings a bell.

As I teased in the intro, the voice on the transmission sounds an awful lot like Hurley's. I'm not 100% convinced, but there is a clear chance that it's him, and if so that means that Hurley somehow made it to the radio tower some time before 1988 and decided to broadcast the numbers out to the world. This means a couple things: first that even if/when the O6 get back to the Island, it is still in record skipping mode, allowing Hurley to get to the tower before November of 1988. The second point is that if it is Hurley's voice, he is actually responsible for his OWN initial arrival on the Island via flight 815.

Remember, the only reason that Hurley was in Australia in the first place was to find out the origin of the numbers seeing that they had caused him considerable misfortune since winning the lottery with them. He had learned that Leonard (his crazy mental hospital Connect 4 competitor who repeated the numbers over and over) was partnered with Sam Toomey and were stationed in the Pacific Ocean monitoring long wave radio transmissions for the Navy (we are not sure when...but likely before 1988). They received the numbers transmission (the same transmission that we heard over Montand's radio), and later Sam used the numbers at a fair in Australia to win a "guess how many beans are in the jar" contest that got him a cool 50K cash prize. However, on the way home from the fair he and his wife got into a crash that led to the amputation of his wife's leg. Fearing that the numbers were cursed, Sam later killed himself to escape its grasp. This story was recounted to Hurley by Sam's wife, in Australia. After the meeting with Sam's wife, Hurley then boarded flight 815 to return to the States, and we all know what happened from there.

Does anything about Hurley's possible self fulfilling destiny sound familiar? If you remember, in the "Jughead" recap we posed that Locke essentially carved out his own destiny by telling Richard Alpert to witness his own birth two years after their meeting in 1954, which inevitably led to Alpert shaping Locke's life to lead him back to the Island. So with these two events coming to light, will we begin to see other examples of our Losties facilitating their own destiny? For so long in this show we have been beaten over the head with mantras of unquestioned fate and destiny - that events in life are predestined and "meant to be" - but what if the "destiny" everyone is referring to in Lost is actually is a construction of their own actions in the past? Can't change the past, my ass!

Ok, let's move on to what might have been the coolest scene of the season thus far. Smokey is back, and he's taking no prisoners. After announcing his arrival by spitting out poor Nadine, he turns his attention to Montand - who with his dick-ish attitude was a likely candidate to incur Smokey's wrath. One arm rippage later, the rest of the crew heads down into the guts of the Temple to try and save their companion (yes - this is "the Temple" that Ben tells the Others to go to since it may be the "last safe place on the Island." I don't necessarily think Smokey "lives" there...I see him more as patrolling the "underworld" of Island through a number of tunnels that vent out at certain locations on the Island...he is Cerberus after all, right?).

Somewhere in this series of events Smokey transmits the "sickness" to them. While it's still unclear as to what exactly happened down there, I'm leaning towards the theory that Smokey simply killed them all, and then took their form when trying to convince Rousseau that all was well. Another theory is that it brainwashed them to work for him and kill Rousseau...but I'm not sure why that would be necessary since Smokey can pretty much do whatever he wants whenever he wants. Many wonder if he's in cahoots with the Others, but I don't think so cause then he wouldn't want to push for the death of Rousseau and her unborn child (since the Others love baby mommas so much). There are still plenty of questions here...but the one point we can be sure of is that Rousseau and her crew were NOT welcome on the Island, and the security system did its job in protecting it for the time being.

[One thing I can't seem to get out of my head though are the similarities between Rousseau's group and the Losties that would crash on the Island 16 years later. Both groups had a musician (Lacombe and Charlie), a leader (Robert and Jack), an asshole (Sawyer and Montand), and a pregnant woman (Claire and Rousseau). I'm sure it's nothing, but I would guess that the similarities are not a mistake...nothing is on this show. Could it be that the Island has been searching for a group to right its wrongs, and that this one just didn't fit the bill yet?]

After watching Rousseau murder her boyfriend, Jin is able to avoid getting shot himself thanks to a conveniently timed flash that brings him to a happy reunion with Sawyer and the rest of the gang. It is here that Jin finally gets an understanding of what the hell is going on (well, kind of...telling someone your "traveling through time" is never really going to be understood fully) and they continue to make their way to the Orchid station. But before they get too far, Charlotte nears head explosion levels of temporal displacement and we witness her excruciating, yet informative death scene.

First we learn that she was in fact born on the Island and lived there for some time as a girl before being shipped off to Britain with her mother. Was she the daughter of Annie, Ben's childhood girlfriend? Or, was she another product of the much theorized but yet unproved relationship between Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore? Charlotte did mention that her parents worked for Dharma, but maybe Eloise and Charles were working undercover to spy on Dharma operations? We'll have to wait and see I suppose. But right before kicking the bucket she dropped the bomb of the night. She said that a "crazy" man had insisted that she never return to the Island after leaving...and that the crazy man in her memories was Daniel Faraday.

So what do we make of this? Well we know a couple things at this point: first is that Daniel's cameo in the first scene of the season proves that he was around during Dharma times. Second, while we assume that Locke's turning of the wheel MAY stop the time skipping, the turning itself could cause one last jump to another time. What if that time is 70's era Dharma Initiative? If so, then we know that a heart broken Daniel's first course of action would be to immediately seek out a child-version Charlotte and advise her to never return to the Island so that he could prevent her eventual death. Sure, this might mean that they never meet in the future, but at least it would save her from an early grave. But Daniel says you can't change the past, right? Well, a broken heart can often be the cause of irrational behavior. Clearly Daniel is hoping that this particular past event can be changed, and that Charlotte Staples Lewis won't spend her adult life looking for her very own Narnia.

The last Island event to review may just be the most difficult to analyze. After a mid rope climb time jump, Locke drops like an anchor to the bottom of the well, once again injuring those mysterious legs of his. He encounters Christian, Jacob's "spokesman," and learns that he F'd up once again..."Ben wasn't supposed to turn that wheel, you were John! God, you're such and idiot!" Regardless, his task remains the same; go back into the world, gather up the O6, and die in the process. That's cold, undead Christian Shephard. I honestly don't know what to make of this scene just yet, but I would ask you to remember three things: Christian's inability to physically help John, the Lantern that seems to always accompany his scenes (and will soon represent a yet unseen Dharma seal), and the fact that John is asked to say hello to Christian's son before tele-porting the hell out of there. What might come of these elements is unclear, but just keep them in mind. In one last thought, I do think it's interesting that Christian arrived on the Island in a coffin and soon took up the role as Island spokesperson, and that Locke will soon arrive in a similar manner. Is he gearing up to be the next creepy Island ghost?

Let us not forget that things happen off the Island as well. Not too much went down this week, but what did occur was interesting. First off, the group quickly loses Kate, Aaron, and Sayid after a tense showdown at the docks. Ben - promising to show Sun proof of Jin's survival - takes her and Jack to Hawking's bat-cave in the Reincarnation van. What happens on the way is part hilarious, part Lost brilliance.

While Sun and Jack are debating who gets to shoot Ben first if he ends up screwing them over again, Ben completely loses it and screams "what I'm doing is HELPING you. If you had any idea what I've had to do to keep you safe, you'd never stop thanking me!" Short of "turning this van around and going home" Ben's tirade sheds some light on an interesting dichotomy working on and off the Island. If you recall, right before Locke heads down into the well to turn the wheel, Juliette genuinely thanks John for his help and leadership through their time skipping adventures. And you feel that the whole group shares in that feeling too. Even though they've been through hell, John's singular mission has been to try and fix the problem. Even Sawyer, who in the past has been the quickest to defect in such situations has been surprisingly supportive of Locke's ambition.

Conversely in LA, the O6 are in shambles. Everyone basically hates each other. Four out of the six survivors are out of the picture and time is running out. More than anything, their hate for Ben prevails and he just can't take it anymore. We again see the honest Ben in his outburst...he IS just trying to help, but his credibility is gone. It's almost as if his participation may be the reason that things are falling apart. After all, he was never supposed to turn the wheel. As Christian put it to John in the cave, "since when did listening to him[Ben] get you anything worth a damn?" Ben is getting no thanks because his time for redemption has come and past. If this is a show about redemption, salvation, and destiny, the writers may be trying to tell us that not all can be saved. Ben has lead a life of deception, manipulation, and selfishness…it just might be that his efforts are now too little too late. Remember, he’s not even supposed to be allowed to go back to the Island after turning the wheel, so it could be possible that his involvement in their return is detrimental to all? So who then – you might ask – will lead the O6 back to the Island? Well that’s obvious, right? The game changer himself, Desmond Hume. After all, no one was more surprised (troubled?) to see him outside the church than Ben.

(note to self: I can’t wait to see how wrong I am on all of this, but it sure is fun to guess, isn't it?)

Regardless of who makes it back to the Island, we’ll have a much better idea of HOW they get back in next week’s episode, which is titled “316.” If you want to know what the number is referring to, I’d spend some time with last week’s post, or better yet, head over to Ajira Airlines and take a gander at some available flights……

There is plenty to discuss from this week's craziness, so chime in below with your thoughts. See you next week!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Season 5, Episode 4: "The Little Prince"

So I suppose you could say that we came to our first "tame" episode of the young season, but unlike the snoozer episodes from seasons past, "The Little Prince" actually produced more than meets the eye. Let's jump right in as I'm once again late with this one....

Back to Reality

So after last week's focus on Desmond, it's no surprise that we picked up right where we left off with the O6-ers in LA this week. Kate is once again getting both Ben and Sun as we learn that - after a quick twist with Claire's mom - Dan Norton is in fact Ben's lawyer and that Sun is....well, we don't really know what Sun is up to, but she's currently scarfing down chocolate gun candy boxes and apparently dabbling in the art of kidnapping. Ben's intentions are clear, as we predicted in the beginning of the series that he is leveraging Kate's devotion to her "son" to convince her to get back to the Island. I thought it was interesting that he immediately dropped his normal manipulation charade when Kate figured out that he was behind the whole thing ("No Jack, she's right" - great line) and tried to be honest for once. If anything, the change in strategy shows how grave the situation is and how much he wants (needs) the O6 to get on board with his plan. Time, for once, is NOT on Ben's side...and to continue with the bad cliches in this post already, difficult times call for desperate measures. Being honest is about as desperate as Ben gets.

As for Sun....well I just can't figure out what her deal is just yet. If Widmore was indeed the sender of that lovely armed package, why would he want her to eliminate Ben from the situation? Last week I posed that Widmore likely needs the O6 to return so that he can either tag along or use them to find the Island himself. Obviously Ben will need to be alive to guide that mission, so killing him would be premature. Also, we know that Ben can't kill Widmore ("You know I can't do that, Charles"), so I'd say it's safe to assume that Charles can't return the favor to Ben either. An interesting theory out there is that there was a tracking device in that package - or in the gun itself - that will lead Widmore's people to the gathering of the O6 via Sun. We can assume that his agents are already out there, toting tranquilizer guns (3 doses of horse tranqs? seriously!?) and what not...but I can't quite figure out why they'd want to capture the group, preventing their return to Island.

Unless of course, my above theory about wanting the O6 to return is completely wrong...which is very likely. It could be that this version of events (the O6 leaving the Island and fucking everything up) is EXACTLY what Widmore needed to happen in order to re-gain control of the Island. The past, thanks to Desmond (who was originally steered to the Island by Widmore), has been changed to Widmore's advantage and now the Island's safety has been compromised. If the O6 get back, it's all good....if not, the Island's future is up for grabs and Widmore is first in line. As for Sun's role, I'm still not sure, but I'm glad there's still a little mystery going on in LA.

Regardless, it looks like things are moving right along in LA. Now five out of the six survivors are together and Hurley looks to be getting out of jail on a technicality (I must say, I was a little upset to learn that there wouldn't be a crazy Ben-lead prison break...but at least we got a laugh at seeing Hurley in his jumpsuit...yikes), so it shouldn't be long until they get on their way. But in the meantime, let's see what was happening on the Island....

World of Pain

Things seem to be going from bad to worse on the Island. Charlotte is suffering badly from temporal displacement and Miles and Juliette start exhibiting symptoms of the sickness as well. Faraday clues us in to the relationship between time spent on the Island and the onset of the sickness, which helps support the theory that Miles may have in fact been born on the Island (and might be Dr. Chang's son). Sawyer's suffering from broken heart after seeing his lost love deliver little Aaron in a jump to the past, while in another jump to the future the group is getting shot at by another mystery group. It can be a lot to handle, but let's dig in to some of the specifics and see what we can figure out.

First off it was interesting to see that they jumped back to their own time. Locke knew right away when they were due to the Hatch light's illumination and Sawyer got a front row see to Aaron's birth. But at this time no direct interaction with their past group was made. It will be interesting to see if they encounter themselves again, and if they do, I'd bet that it will be in scene where there was distinct whispers in the originally filmed episodes. I think it's becoming clear that the whispers are a clear indication of time travel occurring and they might even indicate the direct presence of travelers that are inhabiting a time in which they already exist(ed?). Meaning, that there must be some sort of "rule" to prevent yourself to see yourself face to face (right?), so maybe when Sawyer was peering through the bushes at Kate and Claire he wasn't there in a physical sense, but was there in the form of the whispers and what not. Or, even to take that a step forward, maybe Smoky is actually the manifestation of time travelers that stop through their own time. A little far fetched...but interesting nonetheless (thanks Robert for that thought).

The next tidbit of interesting fodder lies in Locke's plan to head back to the Orchid Station. I think Locke is finally on the right track here as he knows that they should probably go back to where this mess started to see if they can stop the jumping. What some folks think will happen is that Locke will turn the wheel again, which will both stop the Island in time (hopefully), and also launch him back to the real world, which will allow him to start his mission (as Jeremy Bentham) to convince each of the O6 to return to the Island. Remember, when Ben turned the wheel he was transported to a desert in Tunisia - 10 months into the future. Assuming something similar happens to Locke, he will get his chance to span the globe and contact each O6 survivor before "dying" and hitching a ride back to the Island with Ben and company. (Oh, and by the way, the sign on the side of Ben's truck that read "Canton-Rainier" .... yeah, that's an anagram for "Reincarnation" so I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing Locke rise from the dead at some point).

And what about the new mystery group we find boozing up and shooting at the people on the Island? Are they - as Sawyer puts - "other others?" Well, seeing that this scene likely takes place in the future (since it was the Losties camp set up but in a state that we have not seen), could the mystery group be the future O6 when they finally return to the Island? Maybe not, as I don't see any of them being big boozers (although Jack did turn into a bit of a drinker in his time off the Island), but at the same time I don't think we can rule it out. And as for Ajira Airlines? Yeah, there's a pretty cool mock website for it already. Check it out... and you gotta love that tag line: "Destiny Calls." (play around on the site and you'll see that a flight# 316 from LA to Guam on 1/21/09 is the only one that goes through...hmmm).

And last but not certainly not least, JIN IS ALIVE! While this isn't a huge surprise, it was a little shocking to see him back so soon in the season. He has been jumping through time just like the rest of his buddies, but instead of trekking through the jungle he's just been chilling face down on a piece of wreckage in the ocean. Now, while his encounter with Rousseau and company (in 1988, by the way) may not have been groundbreaking for us (it was cool for sure, but who didn't see that one coming?), it IS pretty groundbreaking for Jin, because don't forget that he has NO IDEA that he's been traveling through time while stranded at sea. So yeah, Jin's going to be a little confused for a while. But it will be interesting to learn a little more about Rousseau's group back in the day. I think it's clear that her crew suffered from temporal displacement ("the sickness," as Danielle put it - and they definitely didn't come to the Island on the right bearing), but the question here is why didn't she suffer from the disease? Is it because she was pregnant upon arrival?


So you know that this week's title, "The Little Prince" had some sort of meaning, right? Of course it did...I'll simply quote the following from Jeff Jenson's Lost blog to give you the run down (he's a better writer anyways):

''The Little Prince,'' was no doubt named after the novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It's about an alien boy who crashes in the Sahara and meets another castaway, a French pilot, who becomes responsible for the boy's welfare as his health erodes and his angst intensifies with the realization that he was never supposed to leave his magical little meteorite home, his community, and his one true love — his constant."

Another thing to keep an eye on is that pesky monsoon like rain that keeps pouring down on both the Losties on the Island and the folks on the mainland. There are multiple indications that rain is a signal of some sort of time travel and/or significant off-Island event. Case in point: it's raining after Locke initially jumps from Alpert and the Others, it rains when they jump away from the canoe chasing shooters, it rains when the Freighter crew arrived on the Island (31 minute difference), and it rains when Mrs. Goodwyn appears out of nowhere to Juliette in the jungle. Furthermore, it rained around earlier mysterious events such as Walt's visit to Shannon, Alpert's off Island visit to John as a child, and Kate and Jack's recent visit to Claire's mom (which immediately followed a rain soaked Island jump). Take it for what it is....but just now that when it's raining weird shit might go down. And remember how Locke always seemed to know when it was going to rain in past episodes? Yeah, something's going on there...

Alright well I think that'll do it for this installment....thanks for making it this far and see you next week!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Season 5, Episode 3: "Jughead"

After an aggressive start to the season with the introduction of time travel, the regrouping of the O6, and doom and gloom scenarios; Lost stayed right on track with another great episode in "Jughead." Let's get right to the details since I have to get to a Super Bowl party post haste. Wait...I don't care about the Super Bowl this year...but I do care about good drink, food, and the prospect of winning money. Good enough. (Ed. note: I lost quite a bit of money)

Anyways, the show starts out with our old pal Desmond running through a remote fishing village (the same one that the O6 washed ashore to?) looking for a boozed up gambling doctor. Regardless of its location, the scene clued us in to the fact that Des and Penny got right down to business after reuniting and made themselves a lovely son. We learn later that the boy has been named Charlie, a touching tribute to the hero that brought the lovers back together, the one and only Charlie Pace. After also learning that Desmond won't dismiss the "message" that Faraday left him years ago, he, Charlie, and a frosty Penny arrive in Great Britain so that he can deliver his message to Daniel's mother in Oxford. She's nowhere to be found in Oxford, but thanks to a rather chatty janitor, he's pointed in the direction of an old flame that might have some answers (how convenient). However, Des awkwardly learns that the old flame is unfortunately comatose (and likely unstuck in time), but that his old pal Widmore has been kind enough to pay for her medical care, seeing that Faraday apparently used her like a rat in an old experiment. We don't know yet who this woman is or was, but the key piece of learning here is that Widmore has been funding Faraday's work for some time. Desmond then storms into Widmore's office and successfully (and rather easily) gets the info for where Daniel's mother LA.

Sorry to go over every little detail, but I think it's important to rehash because Widmore likely orchestrated the whole wild goose chase so that he could get Desmond to do exactly what he wants him to do. Just as he got him to go on that sailboat race way back when to seal his fate to spend the next 3 years on the Island, Widmore needs Des to get to LA so that the chase to find the Island can resume once again. If you think about it, Widmore is shit out of luck right now. His Freighter has blown, his Island has moved, and he may not have too many leads in how to get it back. Therefore, his best option may be to tag along with whatever Ben and Ms. Hawking are up to in that creepy basement. I believe that Des provides him the best option at this point to get him back on the right track. And if Des gets clued in to some of the knowledge that he needs, Widmore has more than enough leverage to get it out of him (Penny/son). Sure, he claims to not know where they are, and even "begs" Desmond to "not get involved" after he delivers his message, but I don't trust these statements in the least. And let's not forget that Desmond is "special" and is an exception to the rules of time travel. Therefore, he and maybe he alone can change events to alter the future. So if that is the case, could it be that Widmore has been using Desmond all along to alter the course of the future so that he can once again lay claim to the Island? To say the least, we'll have to wait to see what Widmore's true motives are, but don't believe for a second that he doesn't have Des exactly where he needs him to be.

Moving on, the Island events once again kicked ass. We first learn the the military-wearing funny-sounding-Latin-speaking attackers are actually old school Others. Interesting. At the same time, it's confirmed that the US military did have a presence on the Island, which explains how much of the WWII era equipment that both the Losties and the Others have been using over the series (rifles, grenades, ammo, ect) came to get there. Additionally, we are introduced to a few of the old Others, the first being a snarky little firecracker that goes by the name of "Ellie." There are a couple theories as to who this woman is, but I think it's pretty clear that she is the one and only Eloise Hawking, and is also likely Faraday's mom. (We learned Ms. Hawking's first name in the "enhanced" version of "The Lie," which aired before Jughead on Wednesday). Others believe that Ellie might be short for Eleanor...which coincidentally means "the other" in Latin, which is interesting but I think the former theory holds more water. Finally, a few posed that the name is a nod to the character "Ellie Arroway", the protagonist in Carl Sagan's wormhole/time travel fiction novel "Contact" - but that seems even less likely (and yes, people have way too much time on their hands). But if Ellie really is Ms. Hawking, it would make sense that Widmore knows exactly where she is when Desmond requests the info back in the present time. Could it be, that he and Ellie even had a closer relationship than just Other co-workers? Could it be that they hooked up and had not only Penny, but Faraday as well? It all seems to fit to me....

And what about this Jughead? The US military was prepping the nuke to test out before the Others brought them down. Well, thanks to Daniel, they learn that they need to bury this thing asap...and preferably put it behind a lot of concrete. Well, if you remember, there was something emitting radiation behind the concrete walls of the Swan hatch...and many think that it was there that Jughead ended up. But I'm not too clear on this theory, since I would imagine that there would have been a more troubling explosion when the Swan imploded if a nuke was buried within. In addition, Jughead was discovered at least 20 or so years before the Dharma Initiative (who built the hatch) made their way to the Island, so what did they do with it until then? Whatever the answer is, I don't think it's the last we've heard of the bomb.

Let's move now to the meeting between Locke and Alpert, which was pretty interesting. First off, I have to give a shout out to co-worker Cristina and commenter Andy who figured out that Locke was going to have to travel to a time before his birth to "introduce" himself to Richard. It was a nice twist that told us a couple things: first off...we learn that Locke was the one that essentially shaped the course of his own life before he was even born by alerting Richard to his future status as the leader of the Others. Next, we can assume that in the 50s Richard is NOT aware of the time travel capabilities that the Island possesses since he seemed a bit skeptical of Locke's story. But we know he doesn't brush it off as nothing, since he does in fact show up at Locke's birth 2 years later and follows him throughout his life. In addition, he no doubt figures out how to manipulate time at some point after the meeting, again thanks to Locke's enlightening words. So this meeting can be viewed as a pretty significant moment in Lost history. Keep it in mind during future episodes, as I don't think its importance has been fully realized yet (meaning, I have more hair brained thoughts on is relevance for the future, but won't bore you with details just yet).

Obviously, the big reveal here was that Widmore was in fact an old school Other. And Locke's snide, "wait, you're Widmore? Charles Widmore? Well, nice to meet you, Charles" might have been the funniest line of Season 5 so far. Regardless, this reveal opens up the story to so many new possibilities (one of which we've already discussed: Ellie + Charles), but let's wait to see where it goes before speculating too much. Clearly though, it seems that little Charles is a bit of a rebel, as Richard needs to put him in his place after he questions his authority in front of Locke. A banishment could be in the future...or maybe Widmore turns the wheel at some point, which unlocks the time travel ability for Richard, which in turn sends Widmore to the real world, never to find the Island again?....oh wait, there I go speculating.

Oh yeah, and Charlotte looks to be dying/dead. I'd go into this, but I don't care much for Charlotte, so I won't at this point. (See: temporal displacement, lack of constant, annoying, bad acting, etc.)

Alright, I have to wrap this up, but I wanted to leave you with a couple theories I read about last week's episodes:

Sawyer is the 4 toed statue. Remember when Sawyer stepped on that bamboo shoot and cut his foot up? Well, some people think his injury might lead to an amputated toe. And then the losties travel WAAAY back in time where Sawyer saves some ancient Others, leading them to erect a statue to him. Crazy, right? (But totally possible).

The Spiders are back. Remember that duffel bag that Ben was hiding in the motel vents No Country for Old Men style? Well, what if he needs to hide it cause there is really sensitive shit in there? Like a jar filled of paralysis inducing spiders that make you look like your dead when your really not? Like when Paulo and Nicki were buried alive because they were bitten by said spiders? As Jack so eerily put it, "John's dead.........isn't he??"

Sorry for the lateness this week. Having a real job sucks.