Eclaire Fare

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Lost 5.16: The Incident May 14, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Jacob is Paul (Mark Pellegrino), Rita’s ex-husband from Dexter! He visited all the Losties at some point in their lives, thus weaving them into his grand island tapestry! Locke isn’t Locke?! Real Locke is dead in the cargo box, and not-Locke is manipulating Ben into stabbing Jacob?! Jack drops the bomb, but it doesn’t detonate. But wait, Juliet falls to her death at the Swan. But wait. She’s still alive and detonates the bomb herself! These were only some of the developments on the crazy good, fast-paced, fully loaded Lost season finale.

Making Sense of the Madness – I’ve divided my post into sections, based on the various threads of the finale’s plot: the flashbacks, the events of 1979, and the events thirty years later. For each section, I’ve tried to establish what we already knew, what we learned, and questions we still have.

In the beginning – In classic Lost fashion, the finale opened by taking us back to the beginning, at least the beginning of what we know about the Island. As the Black Rock approaches from a distance, we meet the mysterious Jacob, who seems to be an ordinary guy who likes to eat fish and weave fabric on a loom. He has a cryptic conversation with some guy in sackcloth about how he keeps bringing people to the island in the hope that one day things will end differently than with “they come, fight, destroy, and corrupt.” Jacob says that “if it only ends once, anything that happens before that is just progress.” At that point the other man turns to him and says, “Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?” Jacob says he does. The other man continues, “One of these days, sooner or later, I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.” Jacob responds, “Well when you do, I’ll be right here.” The camera then pans up to reveal the four-toed statue in all its alligator snout, cat-eared glory. The exchange between Jacob and this man set up the theme of this whole episode, and gave a larger perspective to the series as a whole. Come. Fight. Destroy. Corrupt. That’s kind of what has happened over and over again, and now everyone is coming to some end point at which the cycle can either continue or be broken.

  • What we already knew: Jacob is in charge of the island. The Black Rock is a ship that wrecked on the island, which has been referred to at various times during the five seasons of the show.
  • What we learned: Jacob is real, not an apparition, and he apparently has the same anti-aging solution as Richard. Jacob “brought” the Black Rock to the island, as part of his plan. He weaves together the fabric of the island and its inhabitants just as he weaves his baskets and wall hangings. Not everyone loves Jacob – this unnamed man wants to kill him. And the giant statue was still standing when the Black Rock arrived.
  • Questions we still have: Where did Jacob come from, and why is he conducting this social experiment? Who is the unnamed man, and why does he want to kill Jacob? How did such a huge statue get demolished?

The Flashbacks – This week’s flashbacks took us back to earlier times in the Losties’ lives, at the moments they encountered Jacob. I loved the shout outs to previous seasons in these scenes: Patsy Cline playing during Kate’s failed attempt to shoplift a NKOTB lunchbox, a young Sawyer writing his vengeful letter to the man who destroyed his life, Jack freaking out while performing the surgery he talked about in the pilot, Locke being pushed out of the window by his father.

  • What we already knew: We already knew the circumstances in which we saw the characters – we just saw them from a different perspective.
  • What we learned: It wasn’t just “fate” that led these people to the island – it was Jacob himself. Apparently, by visiting each of them at some point in their lives, and touching them, he made them part of his grand plan, and from that moment on they were attached to the island, and being woven into its tapestry. It was suggested that Jacob healed Locke by touching him, after Locke fell to an almost certain death. We finally learned how Hurley ended up on Ajeera Flight 316 – Jacob told him to get on it, if he wanted to. Jacob is all about free will and giving people choices. Not all of Jacob’s visits were friendly. He orchestrated Nadia’s death, and it’s horrible to know that Sayid witnessed her being hit by a car, when moments before they were happily discussing their anniversary.
  • Questions we still have: Why did Jacob cause Nadia’s death? Was that the only way to get Sayid to return to the island? And what made each of these people so special that he wanted to draw them to the island?

Thirty Years Later – Locke leads Richard, Ben, and the Others on his quest to see Jacob, but only Ben knows that he plans to kill him. We should have known something wasn’t right when Locke lied to Richard, saying he only wanted to thank Jacob for bringing him back to life, when he had already told Ben that he wanted to kill him. Another clue that something was amiss was when Richard said he’s seen a lot of things on the island, but had never seen someone brought back to life. Add this to Benjamin’s statement from a previous episode that “dead is dead; there’s no coming back from that,” and we had major signposts that all was not what it seemed to be. Despite all of that, I was completely shocked when we learned what was in the cargo box!! But we had to wait until the end of the episode to learn that a very dead Locke was in the box. Leading up to that moment, we got some more hints about Ilana, Bram, and the other Ajeera passengers that were also on a mission to visit Jacob.

  • What we already knew: Jacob is in charge of the island, and there’s a constant rotation of island leaders who answer to him, through Richard. These leaders have included Widmore, Eloise Hawking, Ben, and Locke. Until now, as far as we know, only Richard has interacted with Jacob, so not-Locke is bucking the trend by meeting Jacob face to face, and by bringing Ben with him.
  • What we learned: The biggest revelation of the whole episode is that born again Locke isn’t Locke at all. He’s the man who was talking to Jacob at the beginning of the episode. Apparently he found a loophole and was able to return to the island, or at least jump into Locke’s body, so he could challenge Jacob’s position as island head honcho. Not-Locke made it into the foot of the statue, and easily convinced Ben to kill Jacob. Meanwhile, Ilana and the gang looked for Jacob at the cabin and determined that he hadn’t lived there for some time, and then continued on to the site of the statue. They called themselves the “good guys” and brought Frank along because he might be a “candidate.” Speaking of Ilana and her friends, it seems clear that they weren’t on Flight 316 by accident. Jacob probably told them to get on it. I suppose they aren’t crazy after all – they are just on a mission. We saw a brief flashback of Ilana, her face bruised and bandaged, and Jacob paying her a visit asking for her help. We’ll have to wait until next season to learn more about this newest group.
  • Questions we still have: This part of the episode was interesting to me and suggested a few things. One, if Jacob hasn’t lived in the cabin for several years, who or what did Locke and Ben encounter on their visit there, when things were flying through the air and a disembodied voice cried out “help me”? Two, when Ilana arrived on the beach where the Others were camped out, she asked to speak to Ricardos. When she asks him what lies in the shadow of the statue, he responds in Latin, saying “He who will protect/save us all.” I still believe that Richard arrived on the island via the Black Rock. I am still hoping for a Richard-centric episode next season. Bram told Frank that what they (the Others) are up against is something a lot scarier than Locke’s dead body. So then, who is not-Locke, and why is he so scary? When not-Locke’s group came across the old Losties’ campsite, Sun found Aaron’s crib, and Charlie’s ring inside it. This reference to our favorite family trio suggests that Claire and Aaron will play a role next season, and that perhaps that Charlie’s death wasn’t pointless.

Back in 1979 – Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate easily made their way off the sub and back to the island, while Jack and Sayid transported the bomb through the Dharma village (with the ultimate goal of detonating it at the Swan, to change the future), but ran into some gunfire before they could make it into the jungle. Sayid got shot, but Hurley, Miles, and Jin showed up in a blue VW van to save the day. Several frantic moments later, Jack and Sawyer faced off and had a fist fight in the jungle. They were interrupted by Juliet, who changed her mind and decided rather than try to stop Jack, they should help him. Why? Because he was right. But I think more than saving the lives of hundreds of people in the future, Juliet was trying to save herself the pain of the rejection she believed she would receive from Sawyer eventually. I thought it was a pretty weak explanation, for her to say that she knew what they had wouldn’t last, just because of how Sawyer looked at Kate on the sub. But, I suppose the flashback about her parents splitting up was an okay explanation for her way of thinking.

  • What we already knew: We knew that some sort of incident took place at the Swan around this time – we’ve known that since Season One, when Dr. Chang basically said as much on the Dharma Orientation video. We also knew that Daniel came back to the island to try to prevent this incident from happening, and that Jack wanted to continue his plan after Eloise shot and killed Daniel.
  • What we learned: Thank you, writers, for finally letting us know what became of Rose and Bernard (and Vincent). It turns out they decided to “retire,” and they’ve been living happily in a hut just off the beach for three years, since the day that Sawyer’s crew fled the flaming arrows to join the Dharma Initiative. I liked their outlook – that their would always be something to worry about, so they just chose to let it go and be thankful that they were together. If only Sawyer and Juliet had shared their philosophy and taken that sub off the island… Instead, the electromagnetism pulled Juliet down into the hatch, where she survived long enough to detonate the bomb. (What a horribly sad scene it was when she let go of Sawyer’s hand.)
  • Questions we still have: What happened when Juliet detonated the bomb?! The writers cruelly will make us wait until next January or February to find out. It seems clear that it killed Juliet, but did Jack, Kate, and Sawyer have time to get out of the blast radius? What about Hurley, Miles, and Jin? What will be the implications of the bomb? Is it going to change the future, or was the bomb the incident in the first place?

The Big Questions

  • Not-Locke and Ben vs. Ilana, Bram, and the Others: Not-Locke promises Ben that things are going to change after Jacob is gone. The question is, how will they change? A more interesting question related to this one is, who is or will be on whose side in this battle?
    • Ben – What if Ben was in on the plan to bring not-Locke back as Locke all along? Maybe that’s why he killed Locke. He reemphasized this week that he’s a liar, that that’s what he does. So it’s strange that he would suddenly be this naive, broken man. That being said, his speech to Jacob about his years of service to the island, was quite touching. Who can blame him, that when Jacob’s only response to his question, “What about me?” was “What about you?” he wasted no time stabbing him. Even so, I don’t think we can ever trust Ben, so maybe making a deal with not-Locke is his final power play after all the failed moves that came before. I’m not sure how his encounter with Alex and the smoke monster would fit into this equation, but it’s something to keep in mind.
    • Richard – Richard is the advisor to the island leader, but since not-Locke isn’t technically Locke (who is the current rightful leader), and since Locke is dead in a box, who will Richard side with? Will he work with Ilana and Bram, will he support not-Locke, or will he branch out in his own direction?
    • Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking – They have both spoken of the coming war. We can now assume they were referring to the war between not-Locke and Ilana’s group. So which side are they on? I need to go back and watch this season and last to refresh my memory on who told who to go back to the island, and why. That may give us some clues about the two sides.
  • What happened after Juliet detonated the bomb? – Miles made a good point that perhaps by detonating the bomb, they would simply be causing “the incident” they were trying to prevent. However, they chose to ignore his advice that “maybe the best thing to do is nothing.” What does this mean for the final season? Here are a couple of scenarios:
    • The bomb demagnetizes the Swan, but doesn’t cause a time flash – In this scenario, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the others who are stuck in the ’70s stay stuck in the ’70s. This doesn’t seem likely. I think the whole “stuck in the ’70s” story has been played out.
    • The bomb caused the incident that led them to the island in the future – If this is true (that the detonation of the bomb was the incident), then Flight 815 would still land on the island, in which case perhaps when the bomb went off, they were time flashed back to the present, where they will meet up with not-Locke, Richard, Ilana, and everyone else about to go to war by the four-toed statue. I kind of like this scenario, and I think it’s the most likely.
    • The bomb changes the future, and Flight 815 never crashes on the island – This scenario gets too complicated. Why? Because some of the Flight 815ers are still on the island in 2000-whatever. Surely the writers are going to show us how all of that resolves. It would be anti-climactic if we just saw Flight 815 land in L.A. and all the passengers go on their merry way. I mean, there are still 16 episodes left? The only way this scenario would make sense is if they had some memory of their past experiences, and were drawn back to the island. But if Flight 815 never crashed, then that makes most of what happened over the past five seasons pointless, which would be sad. Charlie’s sacrifice, Sawyer and Juliet’s relationship, Miles reuniting with his father, etc.

  • How and when did not-Locke jump into Locke’s body? – This question could drive me crazy. I tried to think about it last night, but I got confused thinking about present Locke, time jumping Locke, etc. One thing that I think I understand is this: not-Locke had Richard tell real Locke that he had to die to save the island. We saw that scene again last week, where Locke was shot by Ethan, and then flashed into the future, where Richard came over and doctored his wound, and told him that he had to die. So, not-Locke orchestrated the circumstances of Locke’s death. What I can’t figure out is how there can be two bodies that look like Locke. Someone needs to explain this to me next season!

That’s all I have for now. Any thoughts, theories, disappointments, etc. that you’d like to share?

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Lost 5.15: Follow the Leader May 8, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Why did Kate have to show up on the sub and mess up Sawyer and Juliet’s happily-ever-after? How annoying! Sorry, I just had to start with that because of all the developments in this week’s episode, that was the one that stuck with me the most. This will be a scattered post because I don’t have the benefit of my Tivo to review the episode (I’m in a DVR-less hotel room in Los Angeles).

This episode’s dominant theme was leadership, thus the title “Follow the Leader.” The question is, who is the rightful leader, and who’s leading who? We have Locke as the new leader of the Others, with Ben as his sidekick and Richard as his advisor. Then there’s Jack unofficially declaring himself leader of the 1970s gang, while Sawyer throws in the towel to run off into the sunset with Juliet. There is also tension between Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore in the ’70s, as they argue over what’s best for their people. And perhaps most intriguing, Locke has positioned himself to challenge the ultimate island leader: Jacob.

A Role Reversal:

  • In the past, it has always been Jack who made rational decisions and seemed to act in the best interest of everyone on the island, while Locke was the one putting too much trust in the Island’s mystical forces, relying on faith rather than reality to guide him. In this episode, however, their leadership roles are shifting. Kate even told Jack that he was beginning to sound like Locke, when he told her his plan to detonate the bomb to change the timeline of island events. Has life really been so miserable for Jack that he’s willing to risk everything to reverse all the events they’ve been through? I must say that I agreed with Kate when she said it hasn’t all been bad. Regardless of his motivation, Jack is now looking crazy-eyed, as he swims through underwater tunnels to what appears to be the same subterranean passages in which Ben was confronted by the Smoke Monster. Eloise said that the bomb was located right under the Dharma camp, so I’m guessing that the pool of water under Ben’s house drains to that area.

  • While Jack is talking crazy and hypothetically, Locke is suddenly Mr. Straightforward. He somehow knows exactly when to lead Richard to the old crashed plane (from season one – the one that was Boone’s deathtrap), so that Richard can treat other Locke’s gunshot wound and tell him that he has to die to save everyone. (I was glad they explained that encounter that we only had half the story of before now – interesting that it was in the future). Then he demands that Richard take him to Jacob without delay. Not only that, but he takes the entire camp of Others with him, and tells Ben that he plans to kill Jacob! Some of this is crazy talk, but Locke is certainly taking matters into his own hands and seems more grounded in reality than in the past.

I Wash My Hands of It:

  • I thought it was realistic that Sawyer was ready to be rid of the island, when it became a choice of protecting the whereabouts of Jack, Kate, and Daniel, or preventing Radzinsky from torturing Juliet. He made a reasonable decision to tell Radzinsky what he wanted to know so that he and Juliet could go back to living a life of domestic bliss. After all, he has nothing to go back to in 2009, but has a woman who loves and respects him in their 1970s present. It seems like Juliet would want to make it back “home” to see her sister and her sister’s child, but perhaps at this point she cares more about just getting off the island.
  • Of course, all of these plans for happiness and freedom are moot, since Kate shows up just before the sub leaves the island. Boo! Based on the preview for the season finale, it looks like she’ll convince Sawyer and Juliet to go back to the island to rescue everyone from Jack’s crazy plan.

A Happy Answer to a Lifelong Question:


  • One bright spot in this episode was Miles’ semi-resolution with his father. Dr. Chang basically interrogates Hurley about current events until he caves and admits they are, indeed, from the future. This frees up Miles to admit to Chang that he’s his son. And then later on, in an even better moment, he watches from afar as Chang verbally assaults (in a display of impressive theatrics)Miles’ mother as she waits to board the sub. Miles realizes at that moment that Dr. Chang wasn’t really a deadbeat, uncaring dad. He cared for Miles and his mother so much that he did what was necessary to make her leave the island, so she wouldn’t be in danger. It’s really sad that she lived the rest of her life thinking that Chang didn’t love her and didn’t want to be a part of their family, but at least now Miles knows that the truth is more complicated, and that Chang was a decent man.

Crossing Over to the Dark Side:


  • Sayid made his first appearance (that I can remember) since shooting Ben. It is appropriate that he is dressed in black, as he seems to have resumed his remorseless, amoral attitude. He has no qualms about killing two of the Others (albeit to protect Kate), and he sounds similar to Jack in his belief that he has already changed things by (as far as he knows) killing Ben. Kate broke the news to him that he didn’t succeed. So now Sayid is willing to ally himself with Jack, most likely for another chance to reunite with Nadia, no matter how small the likelihood of success is. I can’t blame Sayid for his willingness to destroy the island. It’s been nothing but bad news for him, as I discussed in my review of this season’s episode “He’s Our You.”

The Mysterious Mr. Alpert:


  • When the episode opened with Richard working on a model of a ship, I was momentarily excited, thinking that maybe we would finally get a Richard-centric episode! I am dying to know his back story. We got a couple more hints in this episode. One is the fact that he has a ship in a bottle that resembles the Black Rock. This reminds me of the episode a couple seasons ago when young Ben encountered Richard in the jungle. At that time, Richard looked very old school, with longer hair and a ruffly Pirate-esque shirt (reminsicent of Seinfeld’s puffy shirt, actually). Could it be that Richard arrived on the island via the Black Rock, when it wrecked years ago? Ben did say that Richard has had the role of island advisor for a very long time. Hmmm…

Collision Course:

  • There seem to be four paths headed toward one another as we come to the season finale: Jack and the Others who are trying to detonate the bomb, Radzinsky and the Dharma-ites who are trying to apprehend them, Locke and the modern Others who are going to confront Jacob, and newcomers Ilana and Bram (with Frank as their captive) who are seeking what lies in the shadow of the statue. The variables in this recipe for trouble are Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet; Hurley, Miles, and Jin; and to a certain extent, Ben, since he probably wants to do anything in his power to prevent Locke from gaining even more power. Will Rose and Bernard play a role somehow? And will Claire reappear? So many questions, so little time for answers!

I look forward to next week’s season finale, but at the same time I know that it will leave me with tons of questions that I’ll have to wait months and months to have answered! Thank goodness I have five seasons to enjoy rewatching until next January.

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Lost 5.14: The Variable April 30, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , ,

This week, we learned the tragic history of Daniel Faraday, a history that was non-linear, and that included betrayal and deception by his own mother. It turns out that Mrs. Hawking is quite devious, and willing to sacrifice just about anything in the name of the Island. Somehow, she always knew that by sending Daniel to the Island, she was sending him to his death. It’s hard to wrap my head around the implications of this time travel conundrum. Rather than making you suffer through what would certainly be my rambling thoughts on the scifi/time travel aspects of the episode, I’ll refer you to this well written post that I came across:

The Facts about Daniel:

  • Mrs. Hawking is his mother, and Charles Widmore is his father (although Daniel isn’t aware who his father is). I wasn’t surprised by this revelation. It had seemed pretty clear that Widmore was his father since we first learned that he just so happened to fund his research.
  • Daniel could have been an excellent pianist, if only his crazy mother hadn’t forced him to spend all his time focusing on developing his mind for science. This minor detail of the episode made me sad, because it reminds me of real life kids who miss out on countless hours of childhood fun because their parents force them to put all their effort into one area, in the hope that their child will achieve greatness as a gymnast, a football player, a spelling bee champion, etc. Don’t believe me? Rent the movie Spellbound.
  • His mother gave him the journal that he’s written all his notes in as a graduation present.
  • Daniel was romantically involved with Theresa, the woman who was also his research assistant whose mind was destroyed by his experiments with time travel.
  • Daniel’s mind was also affected by these experiments, but apparently going to the Island healed him, just as Charles said it would.
  • After the gang traveled back to the ’70s, Daniel left the Island to do research at the Dharma Headquarters in Maryland. While there, he saw the picture of Dharma recruits that included Hurley, Jack, and Kate. He returned to the Island to tell them that they didn’t belong there, that his mother had made a mistake. He proceeded to attempt to find and speak to his mother (the young, Other-dwelling Ellie), so that he could detonate a hydrogen bomb that would reverse the chain of events that led Oceanic Flight 815 to crash on the Island (if there was no need to push the button in the Hatch to control the energy, then Desmond wouldn’t have missed entering the numbers that one time, which led them to crash…) What would have happened to all the people on the Island in 1977 if Daniel had succeeded in detonating the bomb? That didn’t sound like a good idea to me.
  • Daniel’s main motivation for changing the past seems to be saving Charlotte’s life. He loved her and didn’t want to be responsible for causing pain/death to someone else he loved (Theresa being the first).
  • Before Daniel could do much, his mom showed up and shot him. He certainly looked dead, after he uttered his last words, “I’m your son.”

Other Developments:

  • Mrs. Hawking apologized to Penny for Desmond getting shot, explaining that she believes it is her son, Daniel’s, fault. Is it his fault because he told Desmond to find his mother in L.A., which put him on a collision course with Ben?
  • Sawyer made the mistake of calling Kate by her old nickname, “Freckles,” which didn’t sit too well with Juliet. I hope those two work things out!
  • Daniel told Dr. Chang that Miles is his son, but Miles denied it. I guess he’s not ready to have a heart to heart with his dad.
  • While Jack and Kate wandered into the jungle with Daniel to find the Others, Sawyer and the rest of the gang prepared to leave the Dharma commune to start over on the old beach. Before they could leave, some of the Dharma folks showed up, figured out something was up, and are now holding Sawyer and Juliet at gunpoint.

Questions:

  • What made Daniel think that his mother was wrong for sending the Oceanic Six back to the 1970s Island?
  • Why was Daniel crying while watching the news coverage of the discovery of the fake Flight 815 wreckage? Is it because he was having subconscious memories of his past on the island? Certainly it wasn’t just because he was crazy.
  • Why did Mrs. Hawking send Daniel to the Island, knowing that this would lead to her younger self killing him? Is there a chance that he will come back to life, a la Locke, or was his death necessary for the upcoming battle that everyone’s been talking about? I guess we’ll start to get some answers about that next week.
  • What was the purpose of showing Penny and Desmond in the hospital? It made me very nervous to see Mrs. Hawking lurking around there, with her shifty eyes. I was afraid she might finish the job that Ben started! As it turned out, it was sweet how Desmond told Penny he would keep his promise to never leave her again. Is this the end of the story for them, or will they go back to the Island together?
  • And I continue to ask, where are Rose and Bernard? Not to mention the other unidentified Oceanic 815 survivors. Did they stay in the present when Locke turned the wheel? Did they join the Others? Someone needs to say something about this.
 

Lost 5.13: Some Like It Hoth April 16, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

What does lie in the shadow of the statue?! Why is Dr. Dan returning to the Island on a sub? Why is the Circle of Trust so secretive about the building of the Hatch?! These are the intriguing questions that came out of this week’s Miles-centric, Star Wars-tinged episode.

Quick Recap: Miles dealt with his daddy issues with Dr. Pierre “Marvin Candle” Chang while driving around a dead guy and listening to Hurley talk about recreating the Empire Strikes Back screenplay to save George Lucas some time. Meanwhile, Kate’s heart being in the right place makes Roger Workman very suspicious, and Sawyer resorts to knocking out and tying up Grumpy-faced Dharma man after he is confronted about the surveillance tape that shows Sawyer and Kate leaving the perimeter with kidnapped little Ben. In the flashbacks, we learn more about why Miles is a jerk, how he communicates with the dead, and how he ended up working for Charles Widmore. Finally, back on the Island, Miles and his dad go to pick up a group of visiting scientists, and one of them turns out to be Daniel.

Getting to Know Miles: I’ve always thought of Miles as nothing more than a self-centered jerk who talks to dead people. It was nice to get some insight into his motivations and personality. He is bitter because the one person who loved him, his mother, died of cancer, and his father wanted nothing to do with him. All he was left with was an ability to “feel” the final thoughts and experiences of dead people. (How creepy was the scene where he stumbled upon the body in Apt. 7?) Since coming to the Island, and being transported back in time, Miles has softened up a bit. He has learned to be more of a team player, working with Sawyer and Hurley in particular. And he’s finally starting to deal with his bitterness toward his father, thanks to a little encouragement from Hurley. And I’m loving the comic relief provided by those two. The Star Wars discussion was hilarious. So, after this episode I like Miles more than I did before, but I still think he lacks certain noble qualities. And shame on him for leaving that surveillance tape right where anyone could find it!

Meet, Bram, leader of the Shadow of the Statue cult: How sneaky of the writers. We figured this guy was just another extra to take up space on the Island, when we saw him last week hanging out with Ilana. Turns out, he intended to go to the Island all along (as opposed to being an innocent passenger on Flight 316). Bram is played by Brad Henke, who most recently played a desperate hostage taker on Life on Mars, but who I mainly recognize as Tony Tucci, the amputee survivor of the Ice Truck killer on season one of Dexter. Henke has the sort of face that looks kind and gentle at first glance, but upon closer inspection looks slightly devious or troubled, and that’s the type of character he is playing now. We don’t know much about Bram yet, other than that he was a passenger on Flight 316, he belongs to a group (or is it a cult?) who claims to know what lies in the shadow of the statue, and he tried to convince Miles not to take the job of going to the Island for Widmore.

Trouble Brewing at the Hatch: So apparently the Hatch’s electromagnetic properties caused problems even before it was built. How else can you explain Alvarez’s tooth filling dislodging and flying out through his brain? What a weird way to go. It was also eerie to watch “The Numbers” being etched into the hatch door. Hurley hadn’t had to think about them in a long time.

The Circle of Trust: Horace, Sawyer, Radzinsky, Dr. Chang, and now Miles and Hurley are in the so-called Circle of Trust. Why the secretiveness? Are they trying to cover up that people are dying during the construction of the Hatch, or are the trying to cover up the fact that they are infringing upon Other territory? My guess is more for the second possibility. It’s interesting to think that if the Dharma-ites hadn’t built the Hatch, and had stayed in their territory, all these planes and ships might not have crashed on the Island. Richard and his people would have lived in relative obscurity and had a much easier time of protecting the Island.

The Return of Daniel: Er? I was so confused when Daniel hopped out of that submarine. I’ve been wondering where he was. I guess Sawyer (or whoever it was) was telling the truth when he said Daniel was “gone.” Perhaps in the season opener, when we saw Daniel lurking around the Time Wheel in the Orchid, he was actually plotting his escape from the Island. Or, maybe he left the Island on a sub with Charlotte and her mom, then decided to return to continue his research and to help his friends. Regardless of how he left in the first place, the real question is, what has he been doing? I’m ready for a Daniel backstory now.

What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?: We don’t have an answer to this question yet, but I’m picking up a cultish, religious vibe. We had another hint of an Egyptian this week, when Jack was wiping off the chalkboard in one of the Dharma classrooms. The notes he was erasing related to various phases of Egyptian culture and language. My guess is still that the Temple lies in the shadow of the statue. But I’m wondering how Bram and his other cult members know about the Island’s secrets. Bram seems to think whatever lies in the shadow of the statue can fill the empty hole inside Miles, and he claims to have the answers to Miles’ questions about his gift and his father. In addition, Bram claims to be playing for the right team, the one that’s going to win. How many teams are we dealing with here? Widmore’s, Richard’s… Are we to think that Bram is aligned with Ben or with Richard and the Others? Or is his group completely separate? This show is highly skilled at driving us crazy with questions, and at slowly spoon-feeding us snippets of information that both answer small questions and create bigger ones.

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Lost 5.11: Whatever Happened, Happened April 2, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 12:18 pm
Tags: , ,

This week’s Kate-centric episode provided us with an answer to the question, “What happened to Aaron?” and gave us a peek into Ben’s origins as an Other.

Synopsis

  • On the Island in 1977 – Juliet does her best to save Ben’s life after Sayid shoots him, and she gets no help from a cold-hearted Jack. Eventually, Juliet, Kate, and Sawyer decide to do what is necessary to save the life of this child, regardless of what kind of monster he becomes as an adult, and they hand Ben over to the Others. Apparently the Others’ motto is “Once an Other, always an Other.” Meanwhile, Miles and Hurley provide comic relief with their discussion of the implications of their time traveling. Initially, Miles exudes confidence and expertise, until Hurley points out a flaw in his logic. (I like how the writers worked this into an episode, since as viewers we could get bogged down in the details of the time/space continuum.)
  • Kate’s three years in L.A. – Kate keeps her promise to Sawyer (before now the details of which were unknown to viewers, since Sawyer whispered his request in Kate’s ear before he jumped out of the helicopter) to visit Cassidy (Sawyer’s old flame), and take care of Clementine (his daughter). Kate and Cassidy, who already knew each other from when they traded criminal favors, strike up a comfortable friendship (which apparently continues for the three years Kate is in L.A., based on Clementine’s greeting at the door three years later of, “Hello, Auntie Kate!”) After Kate tells Cassidy the truth about what really happened to Flight 815 and then feebly talks about her pregnancy, Cassidy, being the great con artist she is, immediately recognizes that Kate is lying about Aaron being her son. So although the Oceanic Six agreed not to tell anyone the truth about their time on the Island, Kate now has a confidante. Skipping ahead three years, Kate runs by the grocery store with Aaron after leaving the docks (where the confrontation between Ben and Sun went down), and she suddenly loses track of him. Before long, he turns up holding hands with a Claire lookalike. Spooked by this experience, Kate visits Cassidy, who helps her realize her true motives for “taking Aaron.” And so we come to the answer to that burning question, “What happened to Aaron?” As I expected, Kate decides to tell Claire’s mom the truth about Aaron’s parentage, and leaves Aaron in her care while she goes back to the Island to find Claire.
  • On the Island in 2000-something – At the end of the episode, we jump straight from Richard carrying young Ben’s body into the Temple, to John Locke sitting at grown up Ben’s infirmary bedside. Locke says to Ben, “Hello, Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living.” The implication is that what happened to Ben in 1977 had some affect on Ben in the 2000s. Or maybe this was just a nice segueway into next week’s Ben-centric episode.

Thelma and Louise


  • I enjoyed the vibe of Kate and Cassidy’s surprising friendship. You would think two women who love the same man would hold some animosity toward one another, or at least see each other as competition. But it is their common ground as “ditched women” that brought them together. I don’t know if I buy Cassidy’s theory that Sawyer jumped out of the helicopter just to avoid a real-world relationship with Kate, or her theory that Kate just kept Aaron as a crutch to help her get over Sawyer. But, it seems that Cassidy struck a chord with Kate since they stayed in touch over those three years.
  • We can also guess that in an episode last season, it was Cassidy that Kate was talking to on the phone, which led to an argument and break-up with Jack. It was pretty sneaky of Kate to keep a whole friendship with Sawyer’s ex a secret from Jack, her fiance. Not a great way to build trust.

Losing Aaron

  • As soon as Kate let go of Aaron’s hand to check her cell phone, I knew he was going to disappear. I was horrified at first, wondering if that was the last time she saw him, wondering if he just disappeared similarly to Claire on the Island, or if he was taken by one of Ben’s cronies. I was relieved when he turned up after Kate’s momentary panic. How creepy was it that he was holding hands with a Claire lookalike? First of all, it must have been a jolt to Kate (not to mention a guilt trip), but also, it makes you wonder if Aaron possesses some special abilities, assuming he sought out someone who looked like his real mom (when he shouldn’t be able to remember what she looks like or that Kate isn’t is mom). It wouldn’t surprise me, based on the psychic’s belief that he is special, and on his family’s significance on the Island.
  • The scene where Kate tells Claire’s mom, Carole, the truth about Claire surviving the crash, giving birth to Aaron on the Island, and then disappearing into the jungle, was difficult to watch. I couldn’t imagine finding out so many revelations at once: “So your daughter survived the plane crash. Oh, and she had the baby. Oh, and she’s still alive, but missing. And one more thing. Your grandson is waiting a couple rooms down, and I am handing him over to you now so I can go back to the Island that it was so hard to get off of in the first place. Which means you might have a whole lot of responsibility for the next 15 or so years. See ya!”

  • Even harder to watch was Kate’s teary-eyed goodbye to the sleeping Aaron. Regardless of Kate’s motivations for raising Aaron as her son for those three years, she obviously developed maternal feelings for him. It took a lot of resolve for her to walk away from that hotel room, knowing she might never see him again. I shed a tear or two along with her. I really do hope she finds Claire, and that the Littleton family can be reunited. And if that happens, I hope that Aaron will be young enough to not be too scarred by the revelation that Kate isn’t his real Mommy.
  • Watching Kate’s trauma over leaving Aaron to go back to the Island got me thinking about Sun. For years, Sun and Jin tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant, and when they finally did on the Island, they were overjoyed. So it seems that with all the anticipation for this child, Sun would be very hesitant to leave her to go back to the Island. Then again, Sun’s trauma over witnessing Jin’s supposed death, and her subsequent grief, have hardened her and changed her. She seems more bent on revenge now than anything. Plus, the revelation that Jin is still alive on the Island would be quite the motivation to return (Ben knew this). I hope the writers will address this whenever a Sun-centric episode comes around.

Best Line of the Night

  • “That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing it for her.”
  • That was Sawyer’s answer to Kate’s question, “Why are you helping me?” when Sawyer drives out to the Dharma/Other border to meet her to deliver Ben to the Others in the hope that they can save his life. As he explained to Kate, he wondered the same thing until Julet told him, “No matter what he’s gonna grow up to be, it ain’t right to let a kid die.”
  • Kate was probably secretly hoping that Sawyer would say he was helping her because he wanted to be where she was, or thought he couldn’t stand to stay away from her… Instead she got a wake-up call to reality. When Sawyer told Kate he was doing this for Juliet, it was a clear indicator that he’s not even thinking about Kate. It wasn’t about Kate at all. Kudos to the writers for throwing in a simple line of dialogue that holds the weight of the trust and love that Sawyer and Juliet have built during their time at the Dharma Initiative. Loved it.
  • I also enjoyed Sawyer and Kate’s other conversation about “what might have been.” Sawyer told Kate they would have never worked out as a couple, and that he couldn’t have been a good father to Clementine. However, he says he’s “done a lot of growing up these past three years.” Indeed, he has. Let’s hope that Kate doesn’t make him fall off the wagon.

Ben’s Transformation from Dharma-ite to Other


  • The key to saving Ben’s life, as Juliet and Kate see it, is to deliver him to the hands of the Others. They must be able to tap in to the Island’s healing properties. And Kate and Sawyer successfully transfered Ben over into Richard’s care. Their encounter led to some interesting new information about Ben.
  • “If I take him, he’s not ever gonna be the same again… He’ll forget this ever happened… His innocence will be gone… He will always be one of us.” There’s a lot of connotations packed into these statements, which were Richard’s answer to Kate’s question of what would happen to Ben if Richard took him. At the moment Richard took Ben and healed him (presumably by way of the Island’s supernatural ability to bring new life where there is death or injury), Ben became an Other. When Ben had this encounter with the Island, he became forever linked to its destiny. Apparently, he can’t remember how he developed this connection, since as Richard said, he would forget about this experience. The part that I don’t get is “his innocence will be gone.” By becoming an Other, does one gain forbidden knowledge, similarly to eating an apple from the tree of Life? I don’t get it. Not all of the Others seem to be evil or even just manipulative. Why Ben? Why did this experience change him into the conscience-challenged, self-centered, slightly crazy man that he is today? Perhaps we’ll get some answers to these questions next week, or eventually.
  • Richard’s exchange with Kate and Sawyer also revealed that at this point in the ’70s, Charles and Ellie were still on the Island, and had some sort of leadership role among the Others. Although, Richard said “I don’t answer to either of them.” It still seems that Richard has a special connection to the Island that no one else possesses. Will we ever have a Richard-centric episode? I hope so!
  • Returning to the question of whether or not Ben being carried into the Temple by Richard somehow altered his condition in ~2000. I don’t think so. I think the writers just used the abrupt transition to reflect how that moment in 1977 was the moment that Ben became the person who we know now. Not an innocent, if slightly messed up litle boy, but a conniving, not-to-be-trusted manipulator of everyone around him.
 

Lost 5.10: He’s Our You March 27, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 2:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

A Tale of Two Sayids. That’s what this episode boiled down to. On the one hand, there’s the Sayid who does what is necessary to aid or protect the people he cares about. Similarly to Jack Bauer, he has few qualms about torturing someone for information, or even killing them, if the end result will help his friends, family, or comrades. On the other hand, there’s the Sayid who is plagued by guilt over the things he has done, who wonders if he really is no more than a cold-hearted killer. This is the Sayid who seeks redemption through good deeds, or comfort in relationships. The majority of this week’s episode presented us with these two conflicting sides of Sayid’s personality, and it left us wondering which side is dominant at the end.

Sayid’s Dark Side


  • As a child he kills a chicken. Killing animals as a child is never a sign of good things to come.
  • As an adult he chooses “torturer” as a profession.
  • He continues to use his methods of torture and combat while on the Island.
  • After he leaves the Island, he agrees to work as an assassin for Ben, to eliminate the people in Widmore’s organization who pose a threat to his friends. He is immune to their begging, as we see him in this episode disregard a man’s pleading for his life and offer of money, and shoot him anyway.

Sayid’s Virtuous Side

  • He spent the majority of his adult life searching for his childhood love, Nadia, never losing hope that she was alive.
  • He romanced Shannon on the Island, and was genuinely devastated by her tragic death (I’ll never forget the image of him carrying her lifeless body out of the jungle, a despondent look on his face).

  • He has a weakness for women. He got involved with a woman named Elsa who he later was forced to kill after discovering she was a spy. And in this week’s episode, he fell for Ilana, who posed as a woman who likes lonely, sad men, but after seducing him, revealed herself to be a bounty hunter of sorts, come to capture him and take him to Guam to answer for what he has done.
  • After he had killed everyone on the list (again, to protect his Island friends and as revenge for Nadia’s death), he chose a simple life building houses for those in need.

Sayid and Ben’s Common Ground

  • As a child, Sayid matter of factly broke the neck of a chicken, after luring it to him with feed. This action pleased his father, who apparently sees toughness, violence, and obedience as admirable and necessary qualities in a “real” man.
  • Sayid sees something of himself in 1970s Ben. He winces as he watches Roger physically and verbally reprimand Ben for lying to him and making a sandwich for the prisoner. We can assume that Sayid’s father also used physical force to assert his authority, a characteristic which Sayid carried with him into his adult life. Sayid knows that Ben also becomes violent and deceptive (not to mention a sociopath).
  • Speaking of Ben’s deception, now that we know Ben murdered Locke, we also know that he was flat out lying to Sayid when he visited him in South America and told him he “thinks” that someone killed Locke, and that someone is going after all his friends now. I suppose this was Ben’s way of manipulating Sayid into going to L.A., knowing that all of the Oceanic Six needed to be reunited for a chance to return to the Island. We still don’t know the whole story behind Ben’s intentions and plans. But we do know that he is a master manipulator and one crazy, yet bizarrely calm, Other.

Sayid’s Purpose


  • As Sayid sits in his Dharma jail cell, he ponders his purpose for returning to the Island. He tells Sawyer that when he woke up in the jungle and realized he was back on the Island, he realized “that there is no purpose to it.”
  • At this point, Sayid has basically been abadoned by his friends (Sawyer, Jin, and the others are too concerned about keeping their cover to really help him) and feels hopeless. Can’t blame the guy. All the women he’s ever been involved with (that we know of) have either died or betrayed him. He’s spent the last three years murdering people, and now he wonders if there was any purpose to that beyond Ben’s own selfish motives.
  • What is there left for him to do to redeem himself? Well, right in front of him is a boy who will turn into a pathological liar and cold-hearted killer, a boy who he sees something of himself in. Sayid probably wishes that he himself had never grown up to do the horrible things he has done (torture, assassinations, etc.), just as he wishes Ben would never go on to cause such destruction on and off the Island. By killing Ben as a child, he believes he is preventing all the devastation that will happen if he lives, and he is also, in his mind, “saving” Ben from what he will become – an option that Sayid never had, but now perhaps wishes he had.

What Now?

  • It seems obvious that Ben won’t die from the gunshot wound that Sayid gave him, but it was startling and disturbing to watch Sayid shoot a child (even if the child in question is Ben), right after saying, “You were right. I am a killer.” As always when faced with the choice of violent actions, Sayid thinks he is doing the right thing by shooting Ben, and I wouldn’t say that he enjoyed it (Ben accused him of enjoying killing people in one of their off-island conversations), but couldn’t he just as easily have tried to redirect Ben’s psychotic tendencies to something more productive and healthy? If he wants to change the future, there are probably other ways besides killing people.
  • Little Ben’s gun shot wound means trouble for Sawyer’s carefully crafted cover story. I’m guessing Jack is the only doctor on the Island, and he will once again face the dilemma of whether or not to save Ben. A dilemma, first of all, because he will wonder if Ben is worth saving, and secondly, because if he reveals himself as a doctor, that puts all of them in jeopardy.
  • Based on the preview, it looks like next week’s episode will be Kate-centric. Will we find out what happened to Aaron? I hope so. I still think she gave him to Claire’s mom.
  • Is anyone else wondering what happened to Rose and Bernard? It’s one thing for their contract to only stipulate that they appear in a few episodes, but it’s another for the writers to ignore them completely. Are we to think they didn’t time travel with Sawyer’s group? If so, why not? And will they run into Sun, Frank, Locke, etc.? Or did they join the Others, who it seems are immune to the flashes?
  • Will we see Desmond again this season?!

Other Thoughts

  • I’m glad we found out how Sayid ended up on Flight 316 to Guam. The increasing look of disbelief and fear on his face with each familiar face he saw at the airport was great. Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sun…. Ben?!! He would have to feel like he was either in the Twilight Zone or some strange Purgatory, being punished for his past deeds, or getting a chance for redemption.
  • The guy who Sawyer referred to as “our you,” the Dharma Initiative’s go to torture specialist, was played by William Sanderson, who I recognized immediately (despite the passage of 20 years) as Larry from Newhart. “Hi. I’m Larry. This is my brother Darryl. And this is my other brother Darryl.” I don’t know why that running gag was always so funny to me. He was appropriately creepy in his role as Oldham.
  • The book young Ben handed to Sayid was “A Separate Reality” by Carlos Castaneda. A synopsis on Amazon describes it in this way: “In this book, Castaneda resumes his apprenticeship, determined to go deeper still into don Juan’s world, to learn to see beyond the surface realities of life. He continues his dialogue with don Juan, intuitive, wise, demanding, and fierce in his struggle to see and know beyond the vision of ordinary men; and himself, a man of courage and intelligence who submits himself to don Juan’s teaching, to enter into another world as a participant rather than an observer.” I’d imagine that the parallel here is that as Castaneda was looking to don Juan for guidance and knowledge, young Ben was looking to Richard (or perhaps Jacob) for wisdom that would lead him to a deeper understanding of the Island and his role on it.
  • I really like Sayid, and the way the writers have developed his character over the seasons. His story is a tragic one, I’m very sympathetic to his situation, and I continue to hope that he can somehow have a happy ending, or at least something other than a horribly sad one.

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Lost 5.9: Namaste March 20, 2009

Filed under: Lost,Television — Emily @ 10:55 am
Tags: , ,

This episode didn’t provide us with much new information or shocking revelations. Instead, it served to advance the plot and fill in some blanks for the characters.

Most importantly, it confirmed our assumption that Flight 316 didn’t travel back to the ’70s before it crash landed. While Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid were flashing back to the Age of Dharma, Frank was doing his best to maintain control of the plane. He managed to land on the makeshift runway on Island #2 (how convenient), but his co-pilot didn’t survive. I can’t remember the circumstances surrounding that runway – namely who built it and why. Questions related to Flight 316, the flashes, etc.:

  • Why did Jack et al flash back to the 70s? Is it part of their destiny to be involved with the future of the Island?
  • More perplexing is the question of why Sun didn’t go with them. Is it because she now has murderous intentions (she was planning to kill Ben)? We know that the Island has its own moral code, and not everyone can make the List.
  • Ben was probably jealous that he didn’t go wherever the others went. Or maybe he knows more than he’s letting on. At least we now know why he was in the Flight 316 sick bay. He’s recovering from a concussion caused by Sun hitting him over the head with an oar.

What the Oceanic Three learned:

  • They are now in 1977.
  • They must blend in as new recruits for the Dharma Initiative or risk messing up the life that Sawyer and his gang have created for themselves.
  • Daniel is no longer “here.” (I assume this means that he never recovered from Charlotte’s death and has gone off the deep end. But it could mean that he just isn’t around. Maybe he is still lurking in the Orchid station, or maybe he time traveled out of the ’70s.)
  • Jin’s English is awesome.
  • They can’t go running around in the jungle with the hostiles (aka the Others).
  • Jack will now work as a janitor (that must have been Sawyer’s idea of a joke, or of establishing who’s boss now).
  • Sayid did make the time trip with them, but he is now considered a hostile because he was discovered wandering around the jungle.
  • Juliet and Sawyer are now together. (Jack thinks he knocked on the wrong door, but Juliet says he’s in the right place.)
  • Sawyer is now an avid reader because it helps him think. He prefers to think rather than react now that he’s in charge. (I enjoyed this little lecture that he gave Jack.)

What Sawyer, Jin, and Juliet learned:

  • Sun was also on Flight 316, but Jack, Hurley, and Kate don’t know where she is now.
  • Three years passed in the 2000s for the Oceanic Six while they’ve been living in the 70s.
  • Amy and Horace’s baby is Ethan (who later infiltrates and terrorizes the survivors of Flight 815, until Charlie shot him). So people were right that this baby was someone important to the history of the show.
  • Hurley is concerned about their well being (as he should be!) since the Dharma folks were wiped out at some point.

What Sun, Frank, and Ben (until he got knocked in the head) learned:

  • They landed on the “other” island (the one where Kate and Sawyer were once locked in bear cages).
  • Christian Shepherd is still wandering around the Island acting as a guide to the Losties.
  • (Ben learned) that Sun can manipulate and lie, too, since she hit him over the head right after she agreed to take a boat to the other island with him.
  • Sun and Frank discovered the abandoned and dilapidated Dharma camp, and then saw a picture of the Dharma recruits from 1977, including Hurley, Kate, and Jack.
  • They realize they have quite a journey ahead of them if they are ever going to find Jin and everyone else.

What Sayid learned:

  • Something is very wrong with this whole situation. He’s pretty smart, though, so it probably didn’t take him long to figure out that Sawyer and Jin are posing as Dharmaites, and therefore must pretend not to know him in order to protect their cover.
  • His sandwich delivery boy is none other than little Benjamin Linus, which Sayid clearly ascertains from the devious glint in Ben’s eyes, not to mention the unmistakable weak chin.
  • If the antiquated equipment in the stations didn’t clue him in, seeing young Ben surely let Sayid know that he has traveled back in time.
  • I’m hoping we’ll get to see some flashforwards about why Sayid was killing people for Ben (in the 2000s) now that the story has come back around to their relationship. If I’m not mistaken, we never really learned why Ben asked Sayid to go after all the people on that list, or who they were. Maybe this has something to do with the coming war?

Other noteworthy developments:

  • Mr. Grumpy Dharma Man is suspicious of the new recruits, especially after Kate’s name wasn’t on the initial list, and after Jack called Sawyer James instead of Jim.
  • The Dharmaites were building the Swan during the late 70s.

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