Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Unanswered, Part 1

Some of you may have seen this video on YouTube or CollegeHumor. It's a funny, frustrated look at how many questions remain unanswered after the finale.

As I watched it I couldn't help but wonder how many of the questions mentioned really ARE unanswered - because if there's anything that can be said about LOST, it's that each viewer takes away her own interpretations. So here are mine! (There are 93 total, this post will address the first 30.)

1) Why did the monster kill the pilot? The real question is, why did the monster kill anyone? And we know the answer: the monster/Man in Black killed those who he knew would not help him in his cause. He scanned Locke and kept him alive to use him later on because he knew Locke would be easy to manipulate (or "amenable for coercion", as Eddie put it in season 3.) He scanned Mr. Eko and saw that he was rigid and unrepentant - buh-bye, Eko. So the pilot must have had too much self esteem to be useful.

2) What did Locke see when he first saw the smoke? I think he saw...the smoke. Sometimes it really is just that simple, even on LOST.

3) What's with the polar bear in Walt's comic? Well first, it was Hurley's comic book, which Walt later found (which explains why it was in Spanish.) Walt is special - on two occasions we saw that he attracted birds by thinking about them. This scene suggests that he did the same with the polar bear.

4) Where is Christian Shephard's body if it's not in the casket? I'm calling this one half unanswered. In "White Rabbit" when Jack finds Christian's coffin empty, the implication is that Christian has been resurrected and is walking around on the Island. It's a reference to Jesus' disciples finding his tomb empty. The imagery carries over into the final scenes of finale, where once again Jack finds the coffin empty. However, we now know that when Christian appeared to Jack and others on the Island, he was actually the smoke monster. It's likely that Christian's body fell out of the coffin during the plane crash and is somewhere on the Island. Whenever the smoke monster has appeared as someone else, it's either because 1) he has scanned a character's memory and found the images there, or 2) he has found the body on the Island and can appear as the deceased. So yes, this question is unanswered in the sense that we don't know exactly where Christians' body is. But we have enough puzzle pieces to guess what happened to it.

5) Why did the psychic say that Claire had to be on flight 815 and why did he insist that her son had to be raised by Claire? I'd qualify this one as answered, but open to interpretation. Interpretation 1: Either through his psychic abilities or Island outreach, Richard Malkin saw that Claire needed to crash land on the Island because she needed to be Aaron's mother. For a while I was convinced that Aaron was crucial to the Island in some way, but now I think it was the fact that he made Kate a mother that made him so important. It was Kate's adoption of Aaron that led her back to the Island to find Claire, and she killed the Man in Black. Interpretation 2: Malkin was a fake, just like he admitted to Mr. Eko, and he really did have an adoptive couple lined up in L.A. Presumably he would have been paid by them to pressure Claire into the adoption.

6) Why did the Others want Walt so badly? Well, because Walt is special. It was implied that they had a use for his gifts, although we never found out what that might be - since we never learned much about the Others' role on the Island, it's hard to guess. Ultimately this is a plot that went nowhere because David Malcolm Kelley was growing up too fast. (As Damon and Carlton said "We had to get that boy on a raft!")

7) Who sent Kate the letter about her mother being treated for cancer? This one's genuinely unanswered. My guess is an old friend who knew where she was, or maybe her stepfather. 

8) How does Walt know about the hatch, and why does he warn Locke not to open it? Again, Walt is special. (Is there something wrong with me that I actually think that's a good enough explanation for all the Walt stuff?) He warns Locke not to open it because it makes the hatch seem more mysterious and scary. The writers knew how to keep us watching. Or another more convoluted theory - Walt is being manipulated by the Man in Black, and he knows that warning Locke away from the hatch will push him into getting it open. All part of MiB's seduction of Locke.

9) Why does the smoke monster make mechanical sounds? Because that's the sound you make when your soul is ripped from your body in the cave of light and turned into a column of smoke. Duh.

10) How was Walt able to apparate before Shannon? W.I.S.

11) How did Walt communicate with Michael using the Swan station? He didn't. It was Ben, manipulating Michael into coming for Walt, so that Michael could be used as a tool to bring Jack (spinal surgeon extraordinaire) back to the barracks.

12) What is the deal with Kate and that horse? The horse makes sense on a symbolic level, representing Kate herself. Sawyer sees it too, so it's not just in her head. I seem to remember an interview with Damon and Carlton where they said that the horse is a manifestation of the smoke monster, but I'll have to find it to confirm that.

13) Why are Dharma supplies still being dropped on the Island after the purge, and by who? Even though the D.I. was wiped out on the Island, the organization still exists in some form off Island. Presumably they are aware that someone is still in the hatch and that the work they are doing there is crucial, so they keep sending food.

14) What triggered the lockdown, and why on earth did someone design it so during the lockdown black lights go on? The first part was definitely answered: the lockdowns are triggered by the food drops, so that the people in the hatch couldn't see who was sending them food. And the second part is obvious: it was the 70s, everyone had black lights.

15) What happened to the original Henry Gale? It's implied that Ben killed him and stole his identity.

16) What happened to the original timeline Libby between the mental hospital and getting on the tail section of Flight 815? Well, we know she met Desmond and gave him her boat so he could race around the world, although it's not clear whether that was before or after the mental hospital. I'm OK with not knowing every detail of Libby's backstory - in fact, I could have done without knowing every detail about some of the lead characters too, like Jack's tattoo saga.

17) Who built the four-toed statue? Egyptians who came to the Island. This is one of those references that indicates the Island's epic history, and that it's been inhabited by many different peoples. We only got one chapter of the story.

18) Why does only one specific bearing get you off the Island? Again, there's no clear answer to this one, especially if you want a detailed scientific explanation, but we've been given lots of hints. Some of what we know:
1. The Island is always moving, and its movements can be predicted through mathematical formulas
2. Traveling to and from the Island without using a bearing causes time shifts within the traveler (à la Desmond in "The Constant")
3. The time shifting may be caused by electromagnetic abnormalities, which also occasionally allow the Island to be detected by the outside world
4. Daniel explains that when the Island was skipping through time in season 5, the time shifts also caused the bearing to change. There is some speculation that in season 6 the new bearing was 108, the sum of all the numbers. to sum up, the specific bearing is necessary to get through the electromagnetism unscathed, and the bearing changes when the Island shifts through space and/or time. Simple, right?

19) What are the hieroglyphics on the Swan countdown timer about? The timer was created by the Dharma Initiative, so the question is what was their motivation for putting the hieroglyphs there? Perhaps they were aware of the Egyptian history on the Island (the statue, the Temple) and wanted to incorporate that into the design. Or maybe it was just another mind game, intended to scare the hatch occupants into continuing to press the button (and keeping fans watching, too. I think a lot of the mystery from the early seasons was there just to keep us interested and speculating from one episode to the next - and I don't consider that a criticism. It's what made LOST so dang fun.) In any case, Damon Lindelof stated during a Comic Con panel in 2006 that the intended translation of the hieroglyphs is "underworld," but he further noted that they are open to interpretation.

20) Why does Tom feel a need to wear a fake beard? The Others want to be seen by the survivors as backwards and primitive. Again, it's all a mind game.

21) Who was Libby's previous husband who gave her a boat to give to Desmond? He was named David and he died. Do we really need more info than that?

22) Who were the skeletons in the polar bear cave and where did the toy truck come from? The polar bear apparently had an appetite for human flesh, and especially liked little boys who played with trucks.

23) How did Locke and Eko escape the hatch explosion? I've got a few more questions of my own along this vein: How did any of the survivors escape the plane crash? How could Locke suddenly walk after the crash? How did Sawyer overcome septic shock with oral antibiotics? How was Rose's cancer cured? The only explanation is that some force on the Island heals and saves lives. Fate is likely at work as well.

24) Why couldn't Locke talk after the hatch explosion? Just like we don't know how exactly Locke was healed, we don't know what caused him to go mute after the implosion. But there is some pretty awesome symbolism behind this narrative choice.

Locke's experience references the Biblical story of the priest Zechariah. Zechariah was told in a vision that his wife would give birth to a son who would lay the path for the Messiah. He laughs at this, because his wife Elizabeth is too old to conceive. Because of his unbelief he's struck mute and is told that he won't be able to speak until the prophecy is fulfilled. Sure enough, Elizabeth becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. There was pressure to name him after his father, since that was the custom at the time, but Elizabeth insisted that he be named John. When Zechariah wrote on a tablet, "His name is John" he was suddenly able to speak again. The son was John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus who later baptized him.

Like Zechariah, Locke was struck mute when he refused to believe. In Locke's case he didn't believe anything would happen when the timer ran out, and he quickly realized he was wrong.
Locke also has a vision, where he is told to save Mr. Eko. As soon as Locke saves him from the polar bear, his power of speech returns. Mr. Eko is a prophet figure, much like John the Baptist, and he baptized both Claire and Aaron.

25) Why did the monster kill Mr. Eko and why didn't he just do it the first time they met?
This goes back to #1. The first time, the monster scanned Eko and spotted weaknesses in his story that he planned to exploit. Smokey appears as Yemi and tells Eko to repent. When Eko refuses to submit, the monster knows that he's worthless to him - Eko is too confident to be manipulated.

26) What did Mr. Eko mean when he said "You're next" when he died? He meant that the smoke monster was coming after Locke. And he was right. I haven't tried this myself, but Lostpedia reports that if you turn up the volume during Eko's last words, you can hear him saying "I saw the devil."

27) How disgusting was it when Hurley was eating from that tub of ranch dressing? Pretty disgusting, although in my opinion the peanut butter was much, much worse.

28) Why did Yemi's body disappear? The unknown whereabouts of Yemi's final resting place is an echo of Christian Shephard, whose appearance was also used by the smoke monster for his own purposes. And as with Christian, the actual location of Yemi's body isn't as important as the mind game involved: finding Yemi's body gone was a tactic used by Smokey to manipulate Eko. Yemi's "resurrection" is another reference to Christ: all four Gospels say that Jesus' tomb was sealed with a large boulder, and when the disciples went to the tomb "the stone was rolled away" and Jesus' body was gone. Eko moves several large stones away from the cockpit entrance before discovering that Yemi's body is no longer inside.

29) Why does Danny say Jack wasn't on Jacob's list when in fact his name was clearly written in the cave? Ben was never in contact with Jacob: the lists he made were entirely his own. He told the Others they were Jacob's in order to get them to do what he wanted. Another possibility: Ben was being directed by the smoke monster.

30) Why can't women on the Island have babies and what does this have to do with anything? My personal favorite theory is that it was the detonation of Jughead that caused the infertility. We saw Ethan born on the Island in the 1970s, so it wasn't a problem at that point. And there's a nice circular logic to Juliet causing the problem and then being the one who was brought to the Island to fix it.

Agree? Disagree? Hate my guts? Let me know what you think of my answers - and stay tuned for Part 2!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

LOST: The Conference

I'm sold. All I had to hear was "LOST," "conference," "Hawaii," and "January 2011."

Who's with me?

Monday, May 24, 2010

6:17 The End

Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you. To remember. And to let go.

Today I'm going against my usual practice of doing a lot of rewatching, discussing and reading before coming to my own conclusions. I want to write about how I experienced the finale without too much outside input.

I loved it. On an emotional level it was nearly perfect. The return of so many characters, the resolution of the flashsideways storyline, and the final scene with Jack closing his eyes in the bamboo forest - it could not have been any better.

In terms of Island mythology I think it fell a bit short. The demise of MiB was anticlimactic for me, as was Desmond's descent into the cave. If they had to choose between mythology and character relationships though, I'm glad they went with character in the end.

The last scenes were so emotional that it was difficult to process all the new information I was getting. Looking back, Jack's conversation with his father is the key (and in the interest of full disclosure, I just cried my eyes out again rewatching this scene. No mascara today.)

Jack: I don't understand. You died.
Christian: Yeah. Yes, I did.
Jack: Then how are you here right now?
Christian: How are you here?
Jack: [realizing] I died too.
Christian: It's OK. It's OK son.
Jack: Are you real?
Christian: [laughing] I sure hope so. Yeah, I'm real. You're real. Everything that's ever happened to you is real. All those people in the church, they're all real too.
Jack: They're all...they're all dead?
Christian: Everyone dies sometime kiddo. Some of them before you, some long after you.
Jack: But why are they all here now?
Christian: Well there is no "now" here.
Jack: Where are we dad?
Christian: This is a place that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them, and they needed you.
Jack: For what?
Christian: To remember. And to let go.
Jack: Kate - she said we were leaving.
Christian: Not leaving, no. Moving on.
Jack: Where are we going?
Christian: Let's go find out.

So it's what we all thought from the very beginning of season one: they're all dead. But not in the way we thought back then. They didn't all die in the crash of Oceanic 815. They died later, and reunited in the flashsideways world. I think a lot of people felt let down that the sideways wasn't "real", but I didn't. The sideways has always felt unreal to me - even though things are better for most of the characters, it never felt quite right. It makes so much more sense as a psychological construct, a place they created where they were safe from the influence of the Island, where they didn't have to remember what they suffered there. Enough like their real lives to be convincing, and happy enough that they aren't motivated to search for something else - until Charlie comes along, and then Desmond. (By the way, if you like the idea of a world like ours where the dead wait to move on, you should read The Brief History of the Dead. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that the Lost writers have read it.)

A crucial line I missed the first time: "There is no 'now' here." The sideways exists independently of time. Each of the characters died at a different point in their lives, some of them long after the time we've been shown on the Island, but they are all reuniting in the same place, at the same moment. When Kate said to Jack "I've missed you SO much," I got the impression she had been living for a long time after saying goodbye to him. And it's likely that Hurley and Ben spent a very long time protecting the Island after everyone else was gone.

So why wasn't everyone at the church? Where was Mr. Eko? Walt? Michael? Eloise? Daniel? Christian said that for those who were there, the Island was the most important thing that ever happened to them. I think those who were missing 1) weren't ready to move on yet (like Ben, and I think Eloise), or 2) were somewhere else with people who were more influential in their lives than anyone they met on the Island. We've heard before about "those who can't move on" - maybe some of them are still whispering on the Island. Ultimately everyone in the group at the church was intimately connected to Jack, so on some level maybe they were all there for him as much as for themselves. And I guess a third (very likely) option is that there were practical matters that prevented some actors from being there (like Malcolm David Kelley, who's 18 years old now. Tall Waaaalt!) My one gripe about the church crowd was the reuniting of Shannon and Sayid. What about Nadia? I never liked them together. It reminded me of the ending of Titanic [spoiler alert!] where she's reunited in heaven with a guy she had a fling with on a boat and not her husband of 60+ years. Ugh! But I understand the need to bring the original characters full circle.

I appreciated the open-endedness of the church scene, and the fact that it wasn't pinned down to any one belief system. As long as you buy into the idea of life after death, it's believable. And even if you don't, it can be viewed psychologically and symbolically. They've shut the door on the past and they're starting a new journey - the way they were seated in the chapel resembles the way they were seated on Flight 815.

I like Jimmy Kimmel's suggestion that the show was ultimately about Jack's journey, his test in life. I think he's right, but I don't think that's the whole story. The final episode was told from Jack's point of view, in a mirror image of the first one, but overall the story was just as much about Kate, Locke, Hurley, Sayid, and everyone else as it was about Jack. They each came to their own realizations of what had happened and where they were, and they all needed each other.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jacob and MiB Get Some Counseling

If anyone needs talk therapy, it's these two.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

6:16 What They Died For

And then there were four.
Remember this list? It's the one Ms. Klugh gave to Michael all the way back in season 2. The same people Ben had him bring in exchange for Walt are now the only surviving candidates to replace Jacob. Coincidence or fate?

In many ways this episode reminded me of the early seasons. The pace was slow enough to let us really feel each scene and enjoy the character interactions. I've missed that lately.

Flashsideways Connections

-Once again Jack looks in the mirror and sees a bleeding cut on his neck. They're officially going to make us wait until the end to find out what that's all about. Will we see Jack get a cut on his neck in his inevitable confrontation with the Man in Black? (If so I hope it's not as serious as what poor Zoe got.)

-Something else they're making us wait for - the identity of David's oh-so-mysterious mother. I'm still betting on Juliet.

-The sideways world just wouldn't be complete without Ben getting a thorough beating. It makes so much sense that his view through the looking glass would be accomplished by Desmond kicking the crap out of him. And speaking of looking glasses, Ben finally gets his "mirror moment" as he stands alone in the nurse's office.

-Rousseau insists that Ben come over for dinner "Even if we have to kidnap you!" Ba-dum-ching! Danielle looks great, proving once and for all that the Fountain of Youth is NOT on the Island - it's in L.A. And was it just me or were there some sparks flying between Rousseau and Ben? (Spinoff idea: the love story of two antisocial psychopaths, sharing coq au vin in an alternate world.) Seriously though, the scene where Ben realizes how much he means to Alex was wonderful, and such a contrast to what we see happen to Ben on the Island.

-Locke explains what led him back to Jack's office and Jack replies "I think you're mistaking coincidence for fate," which is very similar to what Eko said to Locke ("What Kate Did", season 2) and Locke said to Desmond ("The Cost of Living," season 3): "Don't mistake coincidence for fate."


-For me, this has been THE question since the beginning: Why these particular people? And I loved Jacob's answer. They were chosen because they have very little to lose. Jacob is taking a different tack than his mother. Instead of selecting innocents who are untainted by the world and have their whole lives ahead of them, he chose people who had few connections to the outside world and whose lives can only get better. It's interesting that in the sideways world their lives are better and they all have more attachments: Locke has Helen, Ben has his dad and students, Sun and Jin are happy and having a baby, Jack has David, Claire is keeping her baby, Kate is apparently innocent. Are their lives better because Jacob didn't interfere? Or did Jacob not interfere because their lives are better?

-Ben explains that behind his secret closet is "where I was told I could summon the monster. That was before I realized it was the one summoning me." I think this is pretty good evidence that Ben has been working for the Man in Black (not Jacob) all along. That would certainly explain why Jacob has never visited or spoken to him. And speaking of coincidence v. fate, it's mighty convenient that Ben encounters Alex's grave just before his run-in with Widmore: he got a nice little reminder about who killed his daughter.

-Widmore reveals that he came back to the Island because Jacob invited him, and that Jacob changed his mind about his quest for the Island. After years of Widmore being so power-hungry that he cares for nothing as much as possessing the Island, one visit from Jacob changes everything. And Widmore mentioning this fact to Ben seals his fate - between jealousy that Jacob never visited him and his resolve to avenge Alex's death, there was no way he was going to let Charles live after that.

-We learn that Desmond is "a measure of last resort," a "fail-safe," which conjures up images of Desmond turning the key that fateful day in the Swan hatch. The Man in Black thinks he can use Desmond to destroy the Island, but I suspect we'll see Desmond get sent into the light only to emerge as the one person who can defeat MiB. They're playing by Jacob's rules now and my guess is MiB isn't aware of all of the implications of that yet.

-Jacob clarifies that creating the smoke monster was a mistake, and that it's the reason he brought the candidates to the Island. Pretty much what we already thought, but it's nice to have things spelled out for us once or twice a season. Also, it's now clear that the goal is not just to replace Jacob and begin a new cycle: it's to end the cycle by killing the Man in Black.

-Jack is Jacob's replacement - and after all his struggles against fate, his refusal to believe, he made the choice. "I'll do it. This is why I'm here. This is what I'm supposed to do." With his "Here am I, send me" moment, Jack has come full circle as a man of faith. I love the juxtaposition of what looks to be a final showdown between Jack and Locke, and Jack and Locke working together to heal him in the sideways world. It's the kind of symmetry we used to see all the time in season 1 flashbacks.


-We still don't know what is up with young Jacob. Why did he appear to Hurley, only to become adult Jacob a few minutes later? And why does burning his ashes mean he won't appear again? I laughed when YJ demanded that Hurley give him the ashes "because they're mine!" Because yep, they really were his.

-Relatedly - how can they all see Jacob now when only Hurley could see him before?

-How could Ben kill Widmore? Wasn't that against "the rules"?

-Did Richard get killed by the smoke monster?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

Locke: You don't need to see this.
Ben: I want to see this.
(and later...)
Ben: Did you say there are some other people to kill?
Three cheers! Creepy Benry is back!

-Jacob passing the torch to Jack was brilliant (although I wonder about the fact that he used water instead of wine) and all the more poignant with the images from "Across the Sea" still fresh in my mind. Fire and water. "Now you're like me." The writers are so masterful with their Christian imagery.

-Jack's reaction to Sawyer's remorse for detonating the bomb. I like this Jack. 

-Jack stitching Kate's shoulder on the beach brought me right back to season 1 when Kate does the same for Jack. I did giggle though when Jack says he has to stitch it or it will get infected...and then pulls out a rusty needle and some raggedy twine. I'm sure that's nice and sterile, doctor!

-Desmond as the all-knowing gatherer is all kinds of awesome. Desmond's 11!

-Widmore tells Ben "As usual, I'm three steps ahead of you"...and then Ben proves him wrong with 3 shots to the chest.

-I watched late so I could skip the commercials but managed to catch this fan created promo (the one that won the contest sponsored by Kia.) Pretty cool stuff.

Not So Awesome

-The finale is on Sunday. On one hand I don't want to wait that long, and on the other hand I don't want it to be over. The end is near. I don't want to think about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

6:15 Across the Sea

"Every question I answer will simply lead to another question."
This episode was packed with explanations and answers, and also raised about a thousand new questions that will likely never get answered. We should be used to this by now. I'm going to focus on the positive: we have an origin story! Like a lot of the mysteries on LOST, we've waited so long for this that it's easy to be let down when we learn the specifics. Overall though, I thought the writers did justice to the story and I found most of the explanations satisfying.

"Mihi nomen est Claudia"
In ancient Rome, Claudia was a vestal virgin (priestesses of Vesta, goddess of the hearth; the most well-known vestal virgin from Roman mythology is Rhea Sylvia, mother of the twins Romulus and Remus , the founders of Rome - in the story they are taken from their mother as infants and raised by a she-wolf.) It means "lame."

"I only picked one name."
We've seen several women announce their baby's name after giving birth, a very Biblical practice. Those who speculated early on about Jacob and Esau weren't too far from the mark - Jacob and the Man in Black are twins who were jealous of their mother's attention and became nemeses. And after all the speculation, we're going to have to keep on calling him the Man in Black. After this episode, the possibility that they're holding out on his name for a big surprise is a very small one. I think he just doesn't have a name. And I wonder if not having a name provided an open window - a gap in his identity - that allowed him to become the Smoke Monster. Like John Locke, who was searching for acceptance and a purpose in life. In any case, finding out he has no name is better than finding out his name is Kevin or Steve.

"Do you want to play or don't you, Jacob?"
I think it's significant that Jacob is presented with a choice - sort of. He chooses to play with his brother, but without understanding what the game really is. Later on Mother tells him "You don't really have a choice." No wonder he values free will so much in his dealings with the future candidates: he wants them to be able to freely choose to protect the Island because he never got that choice.

"You're special"
Mother keeps Jacob and his brother separated from the other people on the Island so they will remain pure and innocent. You'd think the candidates should have those same qualities too, right? So why are Sawyer and Sayid candidates? They are the exact opposite of pure and innocent. If the Island's protector really does have to be good, innocent, and untainted, there is only one choice out of the candidates - Hurley. Or maybe Jacob isn't actually looking for someone to take his place - maybe he's looking for someone to stop the cycle and end the game once and for all.

"There is nowhere else. The Island is all there is."
Mother is lying to Jacob and his brother to keep them sheltered on the Island so they can replace her as its protector, but there might be some truth to what she's saying too. If the Island is the source of the ultimate good and evil, maybe it really is "all there is." The Losties have been told that if the smoke monster escapes, everyone they know will "cease to exist" - in a sense, maybe the whole world is dependent on the balance of good and evil on the Island.

"What's dead?" "Something you will never have to worry about."
Again, Mother is lying to Jacob's brother - but unintentionally this time. She believes he will become the next protector of the Island and be immortal. And in a sense, she's right; he lives on as the smoke monster, with at least part of himself intact. It's interesting that the Brother was able to see his dead mother, but Jacob was not. Is this an indication that he is "special"...or was Claudia really the smoke monster, reaching out to the Brother early on and turning him against Mother? I'm reminded of another young boy who saw his deceased mother and decided to leave his people as a result - Benjamin Linus.

"The game came from Mother"
...and not just the game the boys found on the beach: the whole game. She's the one who set Jacob up as the Island's protector, and who made it so that they couldn't kill each other (although several beat-downs and a drowning make me doubt her power in that area.) I'm guessing she also made (or at least passed down) the rules that prevented Ben and Widmore from killing each other, and that determined the qualifications of candidates. When Alex is killed and Ben says "He changed the rules" I thought he was talking about Widmore, but now I think he must have been referring to Jacob. Like his brother said, "One day you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules."

"They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt, and it always ends the same." 
Interesting that the Man in Black believes this just as his mother did, but Jacob rejects this line of thinking. In many ways, young Jacob seems like a mama's boy, willing to blindly accept whatever she tells him, but over the years he develops his own ideas. I'm sad we won't get to see more of how that happens.

"This is the reason we're here...if the light goes out here, it goes out everywhere." 
I know this part was a bit over the top/fantasy novel for some, and I'd count myself in with them. We're far from the "scientific explanation for everything" show we thought we were getting back in the early seasons. It is key to the mythology however, and the urgency of the need to find a new protector: they're not just preventing evil from leaving the Island, they're also protecting the light from being found and used (or put out) by anyone else. It's the Ring, the Force, the Dark Tower. It explains a lot about the two opposing forces that have been at play on the Island from the very beginning - it's not just Jacob v. MiB, it's light v. dark - literally. When Locke says, "I've looked into the eye of this Island, and what I saw was beautiful" (in the show's 5th episode!) it finally makes sense.

"Now you and I are the same"
The wine Mother serves Jacob is the same wine Jacob later gives Richard when he grants him immortality, the one the Man in Black smashes. Was the wine itself what transferred power, or is her whispered incantation the equivalent of Jacob's touch? Mother begging him to "take the cup and drink" has overtones of Christ's sacrifice - one of many allusions to Jacob as Jesus (healing, granting immortality, watching from above.) The way Mother thanks the Man in Black for killing her reminded me of Jacob's own death and explains a bit why he didn't seem that bothered about getting murdered.

"They're a means to an end."
The Man in Black is using the Losties the same way he used "his people" in this episode - as a way to get off the Island. They really are pawns in a game they don't understand. I loved the reveal that the Man in Black was responsible for installing the donkey wheel - and the dagger he throws against the well and later uses to kill Mother is the same one Dogen ends up giving to Sayid. The Man in Black's driving force is the quest for knowledge - knowledge that will let him leave the Island. Original sin, anyone? Which is a nice segue to...

"Our very own Adam and Eve"
The writers have said all along that the scene with Adam and Eve (from the 6th episode of season 1!) would prove that they knew the end game from the start. The Island's Adam and Eve is actually Mother and Kevin/Steve. I loved this reveal, although I thought the flashback montage was unnecessary. And one detail they omitted: in that scene, Jack says that the decomposition of the bodies and clothing indicates that they have been there for "40 or 50 years." Yeah... give or take 2000. To me that makes it pretty obvious that the writers did not know from the beginning who those bodies were going to be. But maybe the real lesson here is that Jack is not an anthropologist.

So many answers, but so many more questions...
-How did Mother get to the Island? I don't quite believe her when she says she got there "by accident." Whose place did she take? I realize this is one of those questions that can never have a truly satisfying answer, because there is always someone else before, always another (wo)man behind the curtain. This is why her character wasn't given a name - she's iconic, representing all the previous protectors of the Island. As Mark Lisanti put it, "archetypes don't get real names, sillypants!"

-Where did the Others come from? Not the shipwrecked people Claudia came with (who all got killed off), but the people we came to know as Jacob's followers. And how did Jacob become their leader?

-How did Mother wipe out an entire village of people and fill in a well single-handedly?

-Did Jacob create the smoke monster by throwing his brother into the light? Or was it already there, waiting to be unleashed?

-Now that we know that the boy in the jungle is a young Jacob - why? We've seen Jacob appear since he died, but always in his adult form. Is he just trying to spook his brother? Or is he being reborn in some way, rising from the ashes like a phoenix?

-And the big one (for me - I was really disappointed this didn't get addressed): why can't the Man in Black leave the Island? What are the actual rules governing his ability to go? And what exactly would be so terrible about him leaving? It's been hinted around so much, I was hoping for some clarity on this one. Maybe it's yet to come.

-The Man in Black clearly thinks he knows the rules about how he can leave the Island, but I suspect Jacob has changed the rules in ways MiB isn't yet aware of. I won't be surprised if we get near the end and Jacob responds to one of MiB's moves by saying, "You can't do that." And I'm willing to bet it has something to do with the young Jacob we keep seeing in the jungle.

-When MiB was thrown into the light, something terrible was born (or unleashed.) I wonder what would happen if Desmond (the variable, who can somehow withstand huge doses of electromagnetism) went into the light? If throwing the MiB in resulted in evil incarnate escaping, will a good soul like Desmond's result in releasing the ultimate good - the one thing that can destroy Smokey?

And one last gripe...
-With only a few hours of the series left, I can't believe they dedicated a whole episode to Jacob and the MiB. As Jimmy Kimmel put it, that would be like making the third to last episode of Seinfeld entirely about the Soup Nazi. There is so much to wrap up in the sideways world, and a lot still going on in present time on the Island. I loved the episode on its own, but I think it would have been much more effective earlier in the season. Who knows though, maybe after seeing how things conclude I'll change my mind.

Monday, May 10, 2010

6:14 The Candidate

I waited to blog about this one until I could stop crying. Big mistake. It took way too long. Also, my son Sawyer's birthday was last week, so that kept me busy for a few days. Better late than never, so here we go!

Flashsideways Connections

-Jack tells post-surgery Locke "you're a candidate" - which was true on the Island as well.

-Jack offers Claire an Apollo bar from the same hospital vending machine where Jacob offered one to Jack. The signs really are pointing towards Jack being the new Jacob.

-The mirror moment was between Claire and Jack as they looked at the music box she inherited from Christian. The box reminded me of Rousseau's music box in season 1, and the song "Catch a Falling Star" is the song Claire remembered her father singing to her when she was little.

-In the original timeline Locke was healed after a plane crash; in the sideways, he was paralyzed after one.

-Locke doesn't want to be healed because he felt guilty about causing his father's injuries. I wonder if we'll ever find out the rest of the story on Anthony Cooper. We know that Sawyer's mother was conned and his father killed her and himself, just like in the original timeline. But at some point, Anthony Cooper must have changed and become the man Locke says he loves more than life itself.

-Locke talks in his sleep and says "Push the button" (recalling his faith in the button during season 2) and "I wish you had believed me" (what he writes to Jack in his suicide note in season 5). It seems that Desmond did his job in helping him to see "through the looking glass." Funny that for Hurley, a picnic with Libby did it, but Locke had to be run down by a car. Different strokes I guess.


-It's official - many of the main characters aren't going to make it to the end alive. I think we all expected that, but I was still shocked that 3 (4 if you include Lapidus) were wiped out in one fell swoop.

-Smokey is a liar liar with his pants on fire. Not much of a shock, but it is becoming clearer that despite all the misdirection to the contrary, there really is a good side and a bad side. 

-The four characters who survived the sub sinking - Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer - are the same ones who were on the list Michael was given by Ms. Klugh back in season 2. They have been important to the Island for a very long time.

-Jack speculates that the Man in Black can't kill the candidates directly, but he can construe situations where they are likely to kill each other. I don't know if he's right, but it makes a lot of sense to me. If he's right, then Sawyer is responsible for Sayid, Jin and Sun's death. If he's wrong, the bomb would have gone off even if Sawyer hadn't pulled those wires.


-Sayid tells Jack "It's going to be you." How does he know this? And is he right?

-What happened to Sayid at the well with Desmond? Because from that point on, he seems to be himself again. Was it simply the fact that he refused to do what the smoke monster told him to?

-We keep hearing it reiterated that Kate is not a candidate, that her name has been crossed out, and thus she is expendable. So why does she keep surviving all these harrowing situations? It can't be an accident that she is still alive. (I was worried for a minute when she got shot, but when I realized it was in her shoulder I relaxed. People always survive shoulder injuries on Lost.)

-What is the smoke monster's ultimate goal? He keeps saying he wants to go "home" - but where is that? And what does that entail? I love Ryan McGee's theory that "home" might actually be another location on the Island. 

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-I loved loved LOVED the conversation between Jack and Locke where Jack is trying to convince him to let go. Flashsideways Jack is so much more self-aware than we've seen him be in the past. It's like something in the sideways world is allowing the characters to grow and develop in ways they were unable to before - they're "unstuck" somehow.

-Jin and Sun's final scene was so well done (I have just one minor quibble with it below). I agree with the complaints that it was a bit too Titanic - but hey, I liked Titanic! The scene that really started the waterworks for me was on the beach when Hurley, Kate and Jack break down. Just heart-wrenching.

Not So Awesome

-When Kate was trying to reach those keys through the cage bars, how come Sawyer didn't try to get them? His arms are much longer.

-During Sun and Jin's big moment they were speaking English to each other, even though they were the only ones there, which makes no sense at all. I can see wanting to avoid subtitles in such an emotionally charged scene, but it was just so obviously not true to life - in an emotionally charged moment you'd be much more likely to speak in your native tongue. Not a big deal, but it took me out of the moment.

We only have 3 episodes left! What are your thoughts about the direction things are taking? Any predictions you'd like to share? The next episode (tomorrow!) looks like it's going to reveal a lot of Island mythology - I can't wait!

Friday, April 23, 2010

What Will Be Answered, and What Won't

Damon and Carlton were recently featured in Wired magazine and they talked about what will and won't be answered by the finale. The interviewer asked if we will get an explanation for how the two timelines fit together. Damon's response: "That, to us, is the only answer we owe." Later he says "There’s still going to be plenty of room for debate when the show is over. We are going to take a stab at providing a conclusion, one that we hope will be satisfying. The bigger questions, we recognize, are not answerable."

And you know what? I'm fine with that. For me, the best part about LOST has always been the mystery. Getting a checklist of answers is anti-climactic. Like when we learned what the whispers were, or that the smoke monster was pretending to be Christian Shephard in season one. It's nice to know, but not nearly as fun as the first time we actually heard the whispers, or saw that eerie figure dressed in a suit and white tennis shoes. I will be perfectly happy if a lot of the mysteries of LOST remain mysteries forever.

That said, there are a few questions I really want answered:

-I want to know more about the Man in Black (an actual name for him would be awesome, especially if it ends up being something like Kevin, or Steve.) How far back his history goes with Jacob. How Jacob got him trapped on the Island in the first place.

-I'd like resolution for most of the characters. Not that they all have to end up happy and smiling with their lives tied up neatly with a bow on top, but some sort of semi-satisfying ending for them.

-I want to know what the sideways universe is, and to have the two timelines resolved - and it looks like we can count on this one happening. Whatever other loose ends they leave us with, the writers have always been good about wrapping up the plot within any given season, so I have no doubt they'll achieve that this time.

What do you guys think? Are there certain questions that you'll be disappointed if they don't answer?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

6:13 The Last Recruit

The end is near, my friends. Only 5 hours of LOST to go until it's all over, and we're left to debate all the loose ends for the rest of our lives. This was a "setting the stage" episode, putting all the pieces in place for the final game to begin.

Flashsideways Connections

-Sawyer offers an apple to Kate, yet another Garden of Eden reference. I don't think it's pointing towards a literal Garden, just making use of a rich allegory that is familiar to us all. What choices have our Losties made which led to their fall? And what could give them redemption?

-Kate figures out that Sawyer didn't arrest her in the elevator because he didn't want anyone at the police department to know he had gone to Australia, which is exactly what Jay and Jack theorized. Nice!

-I totally called it that the injured Losties would meet up in Jack's hospital! Which is actually kind of disappointing. I like it better when the writers do something completely unexpected.

-Desmond and Claire have appointments on the 15th floor.

-Desmond tells Claire "Contracts are complicated - you could find yourself in a situation that's irreversible." I'm becoming more and more convinced that the flashsideways world is a result of a contract made between the Losties and the Smoke Monster.

 -I never really got attached to Ilana as a character (good thing too considering what happened to her) but it was cool seeing her as Jack and Desmond's lawyer.

-Ilana asks Jack "Do you believe in fate?" It's clear that these characters are destined to be part of each other's lives, plane crash or no.

-Mirror image: Jack sees his own face next to Locke's in the mirror on the operating table. If each character has a "soulmate" (Libby's words) who reminds them of their life on the Island, I think Locke is Jack's. 


-It's official - the Christian Shephard Jack saw on the Island was the smoke monster! It's not much of a surprise, but it's nice to have something answered. But as usual, this leads to more questions, because Jack's also seen his father off the Island.  The smoke monster can't leave the Island, so who was that?


-Sawyer says "We're done going back Kate." Is he right, or are they going to "go back" again when the two timelines come together? With their sideways selves decide to "go back" to make things right?

-Locke tells Jack "You're with me now." Jack is the last recruit. Is Jack going to change like Claire and Sayid have? Is he going to end up being a pawn like Locke was?

-There's no way Sayid actually killed Desmond - so why is he lying to Locke? Is pulling away from Locke's influence rendering him and Claire less zombie-like?  Or even cooler, is their interaction with the other Losties in the sideways influencing them? Is Hurley right that Sayid and Claire can come back from the Dark Side?

-How did Sun recognize Locke? And what is she remembering that made her so afraid of him?

-Who is David's mother? They teased us with it yet again when Jack spoke to her on the phone and never said her name. Oh how they love to tease us!

-I wonder if Locke is telling the whole truth about his ability to appear as other people. We know that the smoke monster isn't actually in Locke's body, because we saw Locke's body lying on the beach and Fake Locke walked right past it. But last night, Fake Locke tells Jack that he needed Locke's body to be on the Island in order to appear as him. And when the smoke monster appeared as Christian Shephard, Christian's body was missing from his coffin. If Smokey is just projecting himself as different people, why does he need their actual bodies to be on the Island?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-Jin and Sun are reunited! Finally! (And I'm not even going to rant about the feminist implications of Sun only having a voice because of her husband.)

-Jack jumping off the boat to go back to the Island mirrors Sawyer jumping out of the helicopter in season 4. Except instead of Juliet waiting for him on the beach with a bottle of rum, it's Fake Locke.

-I love how everyone is connecting in the sideways: Jack, Sun, Jin, Locke and Ben at the hospital, and Sawyer, Kate, Sayid and Miles at the police station. Although I still don't know where they're going with this sideways world, it feels like things are coming together and there is a greater purpose. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, sure, but I have no doubt it's going to resolve in an interesting way.

-Jack having Locke on his operating table and saying "I think I know this guy." I got chills.

-Hurley's mention of Anakin coming back from the dark side cracked me up, along with his greeting to Claire, "Hey, you look....great..." 

-Fake Locke: "John Locke was not a believer Jack. He was a sucker." Is he right? Or will there be redemption for Locke in the end?

Not So Awesome

-There are so many questions to be answered and an unbelievably short amount of time in which to do it. I'm doing my best to let go and just enjoy the ride - I need to have faith like Jack! (Never thought I'd say that before this season...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

LOLcats do LOST

For those of us who love LOLcats and LOST, our dream has come true:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

6:12 Everybody Loves Hugo

I love Hugo (who doesn't?) and I loved this episode. It had so many warm fuzzy moments, some big answers, TWO big explosions plus a hit-and-run (maybe a record for a non-finale?) and the pace is seriously picking up as we get closer and closer to the end.

Flashsideways Connections

-The man announcing Hurley's Man of the Year Award was Pierre Chang, who we learned earlier works at the museum and is Charlotte Lewis' boss. Funny that he's narrating Hurley's award ceremony rather than the Dharma Initiative films.

-Did Hurley win the lottery in the sideways? Dr. Chang says he was "born to humble surroundings" but doesn't mention how he got enough money to buy Mr. Clucks. We do know that in this timeline he never went to the mental hospital where in the original timeline he got the winning numbers from Leonard, so if he did win the lottery it was with different numbers. Maybe that's why he's lucky instead of cursed.

-I think it's hilarious that Hurley is this incredibly wealthy big-shot humanitarian, and his mom STILL isn't happy with him. I guess in any timeline she's destined to be a complainer.

-Hurley says he has an upcoming award from "The Human Fund," which is the name of the fake charity George Costanza invented on Seinfeld. ("The Human Fund: Money for People")

-The restaurant where Hurley's blind date stands him up is called Spanish Johnny's, which is a reference to the Bruce Springsteen song "Incident on 57th Street". His date was named Rosalita, the title of another song from the same album.

-When Hurley tells Desmond he's eating chicken because he's depressed Desmon responds "So what's her name?" It's similar to what he asked Jack when he met him running a tour de stade in season 2.

-Desmond's order at Mr. Clucks is #42

-The scene with Hurley and Libby's date opens with Hurley spreading a blanket. On the Island, he forgot the blankets for their picnic, which is why Libby went back to the hatch where she was shot by Michael.

-When Libby tells Hurley about her memories of the Island he calls it a "bizzaro alternate universe." In Superman comics, Bizzaro Earth is a world just like ours where characters act opposite to how they act normally - very similar to Through The Looking-Glass.

-Hurley's conversation with Libby mirrors their conversation on the clifftop in season 2 when Libby talks Hurley off the ledge and convinces him that he's not crazy, and that the Island is real.

-Libby was able to remember her time on the Island from seeing Hurley on TV, and he remembered when they kissed, so apparently the characters don't have to be close to death to catch a glimpse of the other timeline. Someone should have told this to Charlie before he drove Desmond's car into the water.

-I think Desmond is the most interesting character on the show now - he's filling the place of both Jacob and Ben. A slightly creepy matchmaker who has good intentions but runs over paraplegics with his car...more please!

-I just noticed that in the sideways Locke doesn't have a scar under his right eye, because it was supposed to be from the crash of 815. Very cool detail.


-After 6 seasons, we now know what the whispers are! The voices of people who died on the Island and are stuck there, unable to move on because of what they did. Why are they stuck there? Remember the cork analogy Jacob used? Maybe the "cork" that's keeping the Man in Black on the Island is also keeping all these departed souls there. If he leaves, they get to leave too. In which case Hurley should probably not be following Michael's advice.

-Locke/MiB clarifies that in order to leave the Island they all have to go together, similarly to how they got there in the first place.

-Locke says that the well was dug by hand by people who were "looking for answers" about the electromagnetism on the Island, which reminded me of the Swan Hatch. It's not the same well that was dug near The Orchid, and Locke hints that there may be more of them on the Island.

-Before being thrown into it Desmond says the well is "very deep", yet another Alice in Wonderland reference - at the very beginning of the story the rabbit hole she crawls into turns into a "very deep" well. 

-In a bit of ominous foreshadowing, Ben points out that Ilana died suddenly after doing the job Jacob assigned her because the Island was done with her, and he wonders what will happen to the rest of them when the Island is done with them. Dun dun DUN.

-By bringing Jack and Sun with him to talk to Locke, it looks like Hurley just delivered the remaining candidates to the Man in Black. Uh-oh.


-Why hasn't Libby ever visited Hurley when so many other deceased people have? Is it only the ones who are stuck on the Island who can visit him?

-Does Desmond really believe that Locke is still Locke? Or does he know more about it than he's letting on?

-Who is the boy who appeared (again) to Locke and Desmond in the jungle? (He looked different to me than the boy we saw before, but confirms that he is the same actor.) Why is Locke afraid of him?

-Why isn't Desmond afraid of Locke? What does he know that is making him so confident? I had to chuckle when Desmond asks "What is the point in being afraid?" Clearly the answer is "So you'll be better prepared when someone tries to throw you down a well."

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-The Locke/Jack confrontation right at the end sent chills up my spine. I can't wait to see the face-off.

-Ilana blowing up à la Arzt. Not that I wanted her to die or anything, but I totally saw it coming. I cringed during her entire monologue because of the way everyone was watching her while she tossed that bag of dynamite around. Ouch. 

-Locke: If I didn't know better I'd say this Island has it in for you.
Desmond: Do you know better?
Locke: Excuse me?
Desmond: There's nothing special about me, brother. This Island has in it for all of us.
Locke: Yes it does.

-The book Hugo finds is Dostoyevsky's "Notes From Underground". I'm not familiar with the story, but found this little gem on Lostpedia:

In Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground" the narrator muses that science will one day teach man that he possesses neither will nor uncontrollable urges and is nothing more than a piano key or organ stop operating by laws of nature, and that if discovered, these laws could be used to compute human actions mathematically like tables of logarithms up to 108 - 000.

-I loved the juxtaposition of Locke throwing Desmond in the well and Desmond hitting Locke with his car. Really great storytelling.

Not So Awesome

-I'd hoped to learn more about why Hurley is so lucky in the sideways, but maybe that's coming later.

-Does anyone else get tired of the groups constantly splitting in two? I know why the writers do it; it sets up conflict between characters, and it goes along with the theme of each individual having to chose, trying to determine which side is good and which side is bad (which is always a moving target on LOST.) But because they use it so often, it starts to feel cliché. Maybe it's just me.

So...what did you think of this episode? Did you like it as much as I did? And what do you think will happen to our Losties when the Island is done with them?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

6:11 Happily Ever After

Last week Damon Lindelof tweeted that "In one week, the conversation is going to change." After watching last night's episode, I see what he meant. Things are really starting to come together and move in a specific direction. Not that I know AT ALL what that direction is, but I can sense the momentum.

Flashsideways Connections

-Desmond's driver is George Minkowski, the communications officer from the freighter in season 4.

-Widmore pours Desmond a glass of MacCutcheon and tells him "Nothing is too good for you" - the exact opposite of what he tells him in the original timeline when he sneers "[You're not] worthy of drinking my whiskey. How could you ever be worthy of my daughter?"

-On the wall in Widmore's office there's a painting of scales with white on one side, black on the other, perfectly balanced. Is this a world where good and evil are balanced?

-Desmond tells Charlie he has a choice: he can exterminate his music career, or come with him to the hotel. Charlie: "That doesn't seem like a choice." Desmond: "There's always a choice, brother." The Desmond we know has always leaned towards destiny over free will.

-Charlie drives the car into the water at the same marina where Ben attacked Desmond last season.

-On the plane Charlie nearly dies and Jack saves him, then later Desmond saves him from the sunken car. On the Island the same thing happens: Jack saves Charlie from being hanged by the Others, and then Desmond saves him multiple times later.

-All of the other characters have had a "mirror moment" in their flashsideways when they seem to be aware of the other world, but Desmond's moment is through a window, because he is the one who can see the most clearly between the two worlds.

-The doctor checking Desmond's eyes mirrors the doctor on the freighter examining him in "The Constant."

-The MRI machine makes the same sounds as the solenoids during Widmore's test.

-The panic button for the MRI mirrors the fail-safe key in the hatch. The technician says "try not to press it, because then we have to start all over again from the beginning." When Desmond turned the key, he found himself starting all over in his relationship with Penny, but unable to change anything.

-In the original timeline Widmore marries Penny's mother, but in this one he marries Eloise.

-Eloise says that what Desmond wants more than anything is Widmore's approval, and in the original timeline, that's exactly right - it's why he goes on the race around the world and ends up on the Island in the first place. But now that he's aware of Penny and Charlie, his motivations are changing.

-Eloise says Desmond is Widmore's "best fix-it man" - and now he's playing the same role on the Island. 

-Penny's last name is Milton (as in John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost.) Does anyone else really want to know what instrument Penny was supposed to play at the ball?

-I thought it was funny that when Daniel saw Charlotte for the first time she was eating a chocolate bar, just like when she was a little kid. Once a chocoholic, always a chocoholic!

-Desmond says he needs the names on the flight manifest because he wants to "show them something." Is he going to show them the same way Charlie showed him? (Hop on the bus everyone, we're going for a little drive into this lake.)


-Daniel confirms that it was the detonation of Jughead that caused all these changes, and he suggests that it was the wrong thing to do.

-The test rabbit is named Angstrom, which is a measurement of electromagnetic radiation.

-Eloise says that Charlie telling Desmond about the other world is "a violation." The rules again! Are we ever going to find out what exactly all the rules are, and who created them?

-Being close to death allows the characters to see into the other world. I'm more sure than ever now that we're going to see Juliet invite Sawyer out for coffee.

-It's looking more and more like the relationships between characters are the one thing that transcends time. Who's ready for a Harry Potter ending to the battle? I think I'd actually be OK with that.


-What did the test prove to Widmore? Does the ability to withstand electromagnetic events mean that Desmond is the one person who can overthrow the smoke monster?

-Who are Desmond's parents? I still think this is a glaring omission that has everything to do with his abilities, especially now that we know that those abilities predate his using the fail-safe key in the hatch. Could he possibly be related to Jacob or the smoke monster?

-What sacrifice is Desmond going to have to make? (Please don't let it be Penny and Charlie!)

-How does Eloise know so much about both timelines? Is Charles Widmore as aware as she seems to be?

-Charlie says "This doesn't matter. None of it matters." Are he and Daniel right that this timeline is less valid than the one we've already seen - that it's not what was supposed to happen?

-Why does Eloise think Desmond isn't ready yet? Ready for what?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-As usual, Desmond cleans up nice. Reeeeally nice.

-I loved the montage of Desmond's life with Penny in the MRI machine.  

-The solenoids used to test Desmond looked just like two eyes. 

-We heard repeats of lots of key phrases from the past.
Widmore "The Island isn't done with you yet." (originally said by Eloise)
Desmond "There's always a choice." (Jacob)
Eloise "What happened happened." (Daniel)

Not So Awesome

-More bad hair: Claire's horrible wig, Eloise's ginormous bouffant, and Daniel's greasy locks. Hey, if all I can complain about is bad hair, that's a pretty great episode.

What are your thoughts and theories? Do you think this episode has changed the conversation?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

6:10 The Package

Thanks to my son Sawyer being home for spring break last week and then Easter over the weekend, I'm beyond behind. Hopefully you guys can still remember what happened in this episode - I definitely relied on my notes for this one.

This episode made me a little cranky. Like a lot of other fans, I feel the clock ticking towards the final episode - there is so little time left, so every minute seems more important. When it seems like the writers might be spinning their wheels, it can be frustrating. I think part of the issue for me is that we don't know what the flashsideways are all about, so it's difficult to get invested in those stories when we have no idea how they tie in to the stories we've seen thus far, or even how real they are. 

I listened to an interview with Damon Lindelof on the Jay and Jack Podcast last week, and he said that whenever the characters have to exercise faith, it's a nod to us as viewers, who need to have faith in the writers that they're not just jerking us around. Whenever someone on the Island says "I want some freaking answers!" it's because they know that's how the viewers feel. So I'm going to try to have faith that they know what they're doing, and there's going to be a payoff in the end.

Flashsideways Connections

-Sun losing her ability to speak English mirrors her inability to speak English in her flashsideways. Is this just a storytelling device, or is there actually cause and effect taking place between the two timelines?

-Like everyone else in the sideways, Sun has a mirror moment where she looks at her reflection and seems to notice that something isn't quite right. The fact that we saw her look in a mirror and not Jin suggests to me that she might be the candidate.

-Jin telling Sun not to button her top is a mirror image to season 1, when he was always telling her to cover up. This was such a cute scene.

-It's interesting that Sun and Jin's relationship is better in the sideways, even though their circumstances are worse (with Mr. Paik hiring a hitman to kill him and all.) 

-We probably won't get an answer to this, but I wonder why Jin was working for Mr. Paik in this timeline - in the original one he took the job so Paik would let him marry Sun.

-Keamy is still alive after Sayid's attack, just like he was after Sayid knifed him on the Island. This time Jin finished the job, while on the Island it was Ben.

-Mikhail loses the same eye that was missing when we first met him on the Island.

-In their sideways, Jin and Sun are running away from Mr. Paik, while on the Island they are both running from Man in Locke.

-Sun tells Jin she's pregnant after she gets shot. Who else thinks her doctor at the hospital will be Juliet Burke?


-The smoke monster can't fly over water, even between the two Islands, which is interesting considering that in the sideways the whole Island is underwater.

-Ilana says Jacob has never lied to her before. If that's true, he's the only honest person on the Island.

-Man in Locke: "I'm three people shy of getting off this Island." This is a biggie - he needs the candidates to leave the Island. It explains why he's not simply killing them off, and also explains why he looked so upset when he thought everyone in his camp was dead. He needs them alive.

-The words that appeared on the screen in Room 23 were:
"Think About Your Life"
"We Are The Causes Of Our Own Suffering"
"Everything Changes"


-What's inside Man in Locke's backpack? Is it something important or is he just carrying it because that's what Locke always did?

-Keamy refers to Mikhail (the Russian translator) as "Danny's friend." Daniel Faraday? Or Danny Pickett (one of the Others)?

-Who is the "wise man" Man in Locke refers to who said war would come to the Island? Man in Black?

-Is Widmore correct that if MIB got off the Island, "everyone we know and love would simply cease to be"?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness 

-Sawyer bringing Kate pretend cocoa reminded me of Charlie bringing Claire pretend peanut butter. Who would have guessed that Charlie would end up dead and Claire would be a crazy feral woman with a squirrel baby? We were so innocent back then.

-It's so cool to see Jack as a true believer. He has the kind of confidence Locke had in season 1.

-The scene where Jin sees photos of his daughter for the first time was so well done. The room got pretty dusty in my house. But the thing that puts a slight damper on the sweetness of this scene is that it takes place in Room 23; Widmore is clearly pushing Jin's emotional buttons to use him for his own purposes.

-Ben: For the fourth time, I was gathering mangoes and she was already unconscious when I found her! Why won't you believe me?
Ilana: Because you're speaking.

-Mirror image: MIL holds out his hand to Sun and she runs away; Jack offers his hand and she takes it. Sun and Jin chose the same side independently of each other.

-Sayid swimming to the other Island = creepiest thing ever.

-DESMOND! I can't wait to see how he ended up being "the package" (although I did see it coming.)

Not So Awesome

-STILL no reunion for Sun and Jin! Now I'm wondering if it's going to happen at all.

-I was not a fan of the whole tomato thing. Where did Sun get tomato seeds for her garden? And the "stubborn tomato" line from Jack was SO cheesy.

-I actually laughed when Sun ran away from Man in Locke - straight into the only tree in sight. Really?! She's too stupid to avoid a TREE?!

-I get a bit frustrated sometimes with LOST's treatment of its female characters. Compare them to the male characters and their story lines are pretty pathetic. Sun's ONLY motivation is to find her husband - and it's been this way for two whole seasons. And now, she literally doesn't have a voice. BOO.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

6:9 Ab Aeterno

I can't believe it finally happened. Ever since we first heard the name "Richard Alpert" we've been not so patiently waiting for his story. And it was worth the wait! I haven't enjoyed an episode this much since "The Constant", it was that good. In addition to Richard's history, we also got more answers than ever before about Jacob and the Man in Black.

This is the first episode of season 6 to center around a flashback, not a flashsideways, so my format will be a bit different this time as well. It was almost all revelations this time! With just a few questions.


-"Ab Aeterno" is Latin for "from eternity" or "from time immemorial." Wikipedia, the fountain of all knowledge, says that the phrase is sometimes used in theological language to indicate that something was "created outside of time."

-Richard was from the Canary Islands (part of the Spanish Archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa). Again from Wikipedia:
The original inhabitants of the island, guanches used to worship dogs, mummified them and treat dogs generally as holy animals. In the ancient times the island was well known about its people who worshipped dogs there, and when the Romans first visited the island, they gave it the name: 'canaari', which means in Latin: "the ones who worship dogs", or "the ones with dogs". The ancient Greeks also knew about a people, living far in the west, who are the "dog-headed ones", who worship dogs on an island. Some theorize that the Canary Islands dog-worship and the ancient Egyptian cult of the dog-headed god, Anubis are in close connection, but there is no explanation as to which one was first, and how is it possible for those two far areas to be in contact with each other.
 So maybe later we'll see Richard worshiping Vincent! OK, maybe not.

-Richard is from the village of El Socorro, which is Spanish for "the aid" or "the help." 

-The way Richard accidentally kills the doctor is very similar to the way Desmond accidentally killed Kelvin. Sharp blows to the back of the head are brutal!

-The Bible passage Richard is reading in prison is Luke 4:24 : "Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country."

-Jacob's fellow passenger on the Black Rock is the first to see the Island and says "I see the devil! The island is guarded by the devil!" We've seen both Jacob and the Man in Black call each other "the devil," but from what we know so far, it seems like Jacob is the one who is guarding the Island - guarding it so that the Man in Black can't escape. That would make Jacob not the devil exactly, but more like a gatekeeper of hell, like Cerberus. 

-A big question answered: the Black Rock is what destroyed the four-toed statue! I'm not sure how a wooden ship breaks through a stone statue, but I'm not an engineer. 

-I didn't piece together at first that Smokey coming to the Black Rock would have occurred soon after the beach scene ("always nice talking to you Jacob") where Jacob admits that he brought the ship to the Island. That makes it pretty clear that Smokey/Man in Black was going to search the Black Rock specifically to find someone who would kill Jacob for him.

-One of the coolest moments for me was seeing Smokey scan Richard. It reminded me of the other times we saw this happen, and how much more we know about him now. Now I'm sure that Smokey/MiB isn't judging whether someone's good or evil; he's looking for malleability, a weak spot that he can exploit. He didn't find it in Mr. Eko, so he killed him. He apparently found it in Richard, Kate, Juliet, Sayid, and of course, Locke.

-The Isabella that appears to Richard in the Black Rock has to be a manifestation from the smoke monster. Smokey scanned Richard, found out what he wanted most in the world, and voilà! There's ghostly Isabella.

-It's interesting that Richard made a promise to the Man in Black first, before he met Jacob.

-Jacob describes the smoke monster as "malevolence...evil...darkness" and uses the analogy of a cork holding wine inside a bottle, the Island being the cork. This illuminates why Jacob is so hell bent on protecting the Island, but it doesn't explain why others want it so badly. Could it be that Widmore (who seems to be a pretty bad guy) actually wants the Island for unselfish reasons, to protect the rest of humanity from the smoke monster? That would be a pretty big twist.

-Richard gives the MiB a white stone from Jacob, like the white stone we later see Locke remove from the scales and throw into the ocean.

-Hurley speaks for Isabella (and presumably Jacob) and gives Richard his final task: stop the MiB from leaving the Island, or "we all go to hell."

Symbolism and Themes

-Fire and water: MiB first gives Richard a cup of water, then brings him to his campfire. Jacob dunks Richard in the ocean repeatedly, then brings him to his campfire. 

-The MiB tells Richard "If he [Jacob] speaks, it will already be too late," the same thing Dogen told Sayid when he sent him to kill the MiB. In many mythologies, speech is a powerful force.

-It's interesting that the Man in Black always finds what people want the most and then promise it to them if they will do what he asks. It's a very Doctor Faustus-like strategy. In contrast, Jacob's promises are much more realistic, and require a lot more blind faith.

-I loved the scene where Jacob plunged Richard into the water. It reminds me of this Zen parable:

A Zen monk and his student were walking by the river when the young student begins to plead with his master, "How do I become enlightened? What must I do?" The master grabbed him roughly, pulled him into the river and pushed him under the water until the young student was completely submerged. The Zen master continued to hold the student under water and soon the student began to thrash frantically. But still the master held him under the water. Desperately the student tried to free himself, to no avail. Finally, just at the point of drowning, the master released his grip and the student surfaced, gasping for air.
"What were you thinking while I held you under the water?" the master asked. "At first I thought of many things," the student answered. "But after a few seconds, when there was no sign that you would let me up, all I could think of was: Air! Air! Give me air!" "When you desire enlightenment with the same intensity," said the master smiling, "you will soon have it."
 Once Richard realized that he could still die, what he wanted most of all was to live forever.

-Jacob's wine bottle analogy immediately made me think of the story from Greek mythology of Pandora's box. Pandora (which means "giver of all gifts") was the first woman. In the story it's actually not a box, but a jar. The type of jar described in the story was often used to contain oil, grain, or...wait for When Pandora opened the jar, she unleashed evil, sickness and pain on the world. In some versions of the tale hope was released as well, but in others hope is the only thing to remain inside the jar. The story has many similarities to the Biblical story of Eve being tempted by the serpent; in both cases all the ills of mankind are blamed on the first woman (ahh, misogyny!)

-My favorite part of the episode was when Jacob and Richard sit down and hash out Jacob's theology - because it definitely is theology at this point (and I love it!). Jacob reiterates that the Man in Black believes that all people are corruptible because "it's in their very nature to sin". Jacob brings people to the Island to prove the Man in Black wrong. He says "When they get her their past doesn't matter." This is interesting, because from what we've seen of the main characters since season 1, their past DID matter; in fact, it influenced and interacted with their present in a huge way. But some of them were able to overcome it.

The best lines from this exchange:
Richard: Why didn't you help them?
Jacob: Because I wanted them to help themselves, to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in? [At which point I have to ask, who is the Mormon on the writing team, because wow!]
Richard: If you don't, he will.

-Some people have commented that the scene with Hurley translating for Isabella was too much like a scene from Ghost. I loved it. It's a perfect illustration of the difference between MiB and Jacob. MiB "resurrects" dead people that aren't really themselves - they are tangible and believable, but ultimately they're fake. What Jacob offers is much harder to believe in because it's not visible, but it's real.


-Why was Ilana in the hospital? I would love to know more about her background, but I'm not sure I want a whole episode dedicated to her at this point - there's not enough time! Maybe we'll get a nice expositional soliloquy from her, à la Dogen.

-Richard says that they are all dead and in hell, which was hinted at many times during season one. The other person who has insisted that they were in hell? Anthony Cooper. I wonder if Cooper got that idea from the same person Richard did?

-Why do all these Catholic people (Isabella, Mr. Eko, Charlie) wear crosses instead of crucifixes? Not a big deal to the story, but it's an interesting prop choice.

-Could the Man in Black really believe that Jacob is the devil, keeping him in hell? I'm inclined to believe that he only said this to manipulate Richard. Also, the MiB says that Jacob ("the devil") betrayed him, and took his body and his humanity. Could this be true, or is it another part of the manipulation?

-Why can't Jacob bring back Isabella or save Richard from hell, but he can give Richard eternal life? Is it a matter of "can't" or "won't"?

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

THE WHOLE THING. My heart was racing from start to finish, and when I realized it was almost over I couldn't believe the hour had already gone by. It felt like half the time. Just flat out amazing.

Not So Awesome

-I'm being really nitpicky here but...I wanted to see Magnus Hanso! I wonder if there's a reason we never saw his face, or if it's just a matter of the writers not wanting to introduce yet another character this late in the game.

-I was holding out hope that we'd learn the Man in Black's real name (if only so I don't have to keep typing "Man in Black" all the time!) but no such luck. 

Tell me your thoughts! Did you find this one as amazing as I did? Are you happy with the direction they've taken in the mythology? And what do you think will happen next?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

6:8 Recon

My apologies for getting this up so late. Yesterday was Eric's birthday and I spent all day preparing for the festivities, wrapping gifts, and baking the ugliest carrot cake in the world.

Flashsideways Connections

-I love the double entendre title: "Recon" could be short for "reconnaissance", which Sawyer does in the Island story, or it could mean "con again,"  which he does as part of his police work off Island and in his interactions between Locke and Widmore.

-I love that Sawyer and Miles are working together fighting crime. (All in favor of a Sawyer/Miles spinoff cop show, say "aye"!) I also loved the fake-out where we think Sawyer is still a con man, and then realize that he's a cop... but is still conning people in that capacity.

-I wonder if Miles still has the ability to speak to the dead. Did he still spend time on the Island in this timeline?

-For all that seems better in his life here - Sawyer decided to be a cop, not a criminal - he is still out to avenge his parents' death. It is interesting though that he this time he doesn't go by the name of his parents' killer, even though he's still out for vengeance.

-Also the same in Sawyer's world - his taste in books. Watership Down is on his bureau when Charlotte goes rifling through it.

-I haven't gone back to verify this, but it seems like Sawyer has more connections with other Island characters than anyone else. In this one episode he interacted with Miles, Kate, Charlotte, and Liam (Charlie's brother).

-Sawyer looking at himself in the mirror is a great visual representation of what this season is all about - mirror images. They're not being especially subtle about it either - every character (except for Sayid) has looked at their mirror image during the flashsideways. More about that in an upcoming post.

-Funny that Sawyer still watches "Little House on the Prairie." ("You call it 'Little House'?")


-The scene where Locke slaps Claire into submission shed a lot of light on the type of relationship they have. He says "This is completely inappropriate, I'll deal with you in a minute," as if she's an unruly child. He seems more like a father figure than a friend.  

-Locke says that he lied to Claire about the Others taking Aaron because he wanted to give her something to "keep her going". Interesting that what keeps Claire going is hate, but what keeps Kate is her love for Aaron.

-Sawyer seems to have given himself a haircut while he was in New Otherton, and his hair is shorter in the Sideways too. COINCIDENCE? (just kidding)

-Charles Widmore wants to kill Locke/Smoky! I am so confused about this, because I was sure he was on Smoky's side. 


-Maybe this fits under "Revelations", but on this show sometimes it's hard to separate the questions from the answers. Locke/Smoky says he had a crazy mother, and this "resulted in growing pains." Obviously this description fits Locke's life perfectly, but does it also apply to Smoky as well? If so, how can a column of smoke have a mother?

-Locke also says that if his mother hadn't been crazy, problems could have been avoided and "things could have been different." What we're seeing in the Sideways is the result of things being different - so which specific things are the crucial ones?

-The same question I have every week when we see these flashsideways - what exactly caused Sawyer to make different decisions in this timeline? Why would he choose to be a cop rather than a criminal?

-Which side is Widmore really on? I am pretty convinced that Jacob is "good", but I don't know if I can stomach the idea of Widmore being on the good side.

-And the biggie - what is in the locked room in the submarine? The writers keep giving us these kinds of situations where we have to guess what is inside the ________ (the hatch, the "magic box", the coffin, the container Ilana and Bram were carrying.) If the past can tell us anything at all, whatever is inside the room will end up being a person.

Moments of Pure Awesomeness

-Finally having Josh Holloway back! Yay!

-Once again, we have fire and water - Sawyer boiling a kettle over an open fire. Like mirrors, this is an image that has appeared in just about every episode this season.

-When Sawyer tells Zoe that he's not alone and can take her back to the main Island she says "Thank God" and he responds "Trust me, God's got nothing to do with it." I think he's alluding to the Jacob/God parallel, and since Smoky/Satan is the one who sent him back to get Zoe, it's not God's doing. And how great was Zoe? I loved the whole sequence with her and Sawyer. You can see on his face precisely the moment when he realizes that she's lying.

-Kate telling Sawyer that they ate "rabbit, I think."

-Is it just me, or does Claire's fake baby look like Jar Jar Binks?

Not So Awesome

-Sayid just sitting there while Claire tried to kill Kate. I hope we'll get more information about his state of mind, because the way he's acting doesn't make any sense. That's not what regular Sayid would do, and it's not what Locke/Smoky would do either.

 Your turn! What did you think of this episode?