The Frozen Donkey Wheel Revisited

28 03 2008

Alright, so today’s the day you usually get an episode recap from me, but we’re stuck in reruns for the next 4 weeks.  And it’s not a particularly blazing week for LOST news, so I thought I’d do something that I don’t typically do here on the blog–I’m going to use my ESP on Team Darlton, and try to decipher what the Frozen Donkey Wheel scene is.

This is spurred on largely due to the fact that I’ve actually received a few hits on the blog from Google searches for “The Frozen Donkey Wheel” and LOST.  (For those of you that don’t know what the heck “The Frozen Donkey Wheel” is, please read the previous post for a refresher.)  I got to thinking, why would someone visit this blog looking for info on the Frozen Donkey Wheel?  They obviously know what the Frozen Donkey Wheel is, either by listening to the podcast, or by word of mouth, or they wouldn’t be doing a search on it.  So they’re not just looking to know what Carlton & Damon said–they’re looking for further insight.  Far be it from me to withhold what I think might be a decent guess as to what I think it is.

But before I reveal my guess, let me say this–trying to read Team Darlton’s mind, with all of their clever plot twists and turns, is mostly an exercise in futility.  That’s why I leave fan fiction to others, and focus mostly on post-episode reviews, deeper thought on what’s passed on screen, and teasers for upcoming action.  So if I get this right by some chance, it’s much more about luck than it is anything else.

Additionally, it’s important to note that only last year was the code-name even remotely relevant to the action on screen.  the Snake in the Mailbox scene was dubbed as such almost exclusively based upon the fact that it was a surprise revelation to LOST’s storytelling–akin to what it might be like to get your mail every day for years but then to suddenly find a snake in the box.  Anyway, my point here is that I’m not even sure that the Frozen Donkey Wheel as a title even has any true relevance.

But let’s break it down for a minute.  Donkeys don’t have wheels, so even if we’re taking it literally, it must be referring to a wheel on a cart that a donkey is pulling.  And donkeys aren’t exactly known for their speed, so the wheel can’t be moving that fast to begin with.  So what if the wheel gets frozen?  Is it frozen in the literal sense with respect to temperature, or is it frozen due to it getting stuck?  What might make the most sense with respect to my theory on what it pertains to, is to reference other comments made in Damon & Carlton’s podcast.  They jokingly referred to their office smelling like Mexico–because they were hinting at donkeys.  So if in their mind, the fictional donkey is from Mexico, and the wheel of the cart he’s pulling is literally frozen, then either the weather quickly changed in Mexico, or the wheel is no longer where we once thought it was.


If that’s too confusing, let me get right to it–I think they’re talking about teleportation of some sort.  I know that’s pretty far-fetched, even for a show like LOST, but bear with me for just a minute.  In fact, polar bear with me for a minute.  Although the discussion of why polar bears can exist on the island is a topic for another day, the discussion of why Charlotte found a polar bear in Tunisia seems like it fits right in.  Maybe naming the secret scene “The Melted Polar Bear Igloo” would be too obvious (or stupid), but I think you might see somewhat of a correlation there.  And that leads me to what I believe the scene will be.

Although we’ve seen glimpses of transportation both on and off the island through physical means, I believe that Ben has another way off the island–and I’m not talking about the submarine.  I believe that the temple is going to turn out to be more than expected, and will reveal a special way on and off the island–one involving some sort of teleportation.  One that previous inhabitants have used to send polar bears to Tunisia.  One that past and future Ben has used to get off and on the island.  One that Ethan, Mr. Friendly, and Richard Alpert have used to go back and forth.  And one that the Oceanic 6 are going to use to get off the island at the end of this season.  Here’s my crazy, off-the-wall prediction for the Frozen Donkey Wheel scene–it will show the Oceanic 6 actually leaving the island, and it will be via means that have been heretofore unrevealed.

So…that’s my crazy talk for the day.  The only way to let me know what you think I’m smoking is to leave a comment below…


On the Oceanic 6, viewer discontent, and The Frozen Donkey Wheel

27 03 2008

Well, there’s no new LOST today–none for the next 4 weeks in fact.  But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good to talk about!  No LOST Challenge of the Week this week, but much has happened since last week’s airing.  Let’s check it out.

First of all, the writers were nice enough to publish a podcast for us to listen to.  The first thing they did in the podcast was confirm the Oceanic 6.

Not that there was any overwhelming evidence to the contrary, but despite what everyone was saying, it was nice to have Aaron confirmed.  It would have been nice to see it confirmed on screen (which the writers have said they will do in a future episode), but at least we finally have confirmation: the Oceanic 6 are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron, and Sun.

Also on the podcast, the writers gave us a minor spoiler.  Not only did they say that at some point in the series we’d be going back to the Black Rock and the 4-toed statue to explain those mysteries (thank goodness!), but they said that we’d get to see another purple sky/electromagnetic event prior to the end of this season.  Couple that with the previous news of us getting to see the time-oriented Orchid station before the finale, and we’ve got the makings of some very interesting possibilities.

Finally, the writers disclosed the name of the top-secret scene in the last episode of the season.  Last year, Jack’s “We have to go baaaack!” scene with Kate was dubbed “The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox”.  Quite fitting, based upon what the episode had in store for us with the introduction of the flashforward device.  This year’s scene, which the writers caution us is not as “game-changing” as last year’s scene, has an even stranger name.  They’re calling it “The Frozen Donkey Wheel” (no kidding!), which could be considered an enigma all in itself.  Anyone care to take a stab at what it might be?

Alright, well looking around the net, there are some interesting articles.  One of which is on, and discusses whether or not LOST is getting even more confusing than it ever has been with all of the flashforwards and flashbacks–including episodes with both of them!  Is the show getting too convoluted?  Is it too much for the average viewer to follow?  You can check out the original article here:

So…what are your thoughts?  Any input on the revelation of the Oceanic 6?  Any guess on how the next purple sky event will take place?  Any wild guesses on “The Frozen Donkey Wheel”?  And what do you think about flashforwards and flashbacks, especially in the same episode?

Please share your comments below!

LOST Fantasy League Results: Week 8

24 03 2008

Hey everyone!

The scoring for Week 8 is complete!
Again, before we get to the scoring recap, let me provide one quick ruling for this week’s episode.
At the end of the episode we see 2 people getting shot–both Karl & Rousseau.  However, only Karl’s death is confirmed by Rousseau.  Rousseau appears to be shot, but no blood is shown.  So for now, only Alex gets death points.  If it’s later revealed that Rousseau is also dead, we’ll certainly award those points to her as well.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s look at how the scoring turned out this past week.
Character Scoring Recap
Again, for the 8th straight week, those with the flashbacks/flashforwards led the scoring.
Michael scored a decent 130 points (although that’s a bit small relative to some of the other scoring we’ve seen this season).  Karl’s death at the end of the episode helped him to score 105 for the episode overall and finish 2nd this week.  Amazingly, there was an 8-way tie for 3rd this week between Ben, Walt, Libby, Alex, Aaron, Naomi, Miles, and Frank–most of which got their points by appearing in Michael’s flashback.
Player Scoring Recap
Once again this week, our top scorer had over 100 points more than the second-place finisher. Congrats to Bill Martella, with a whopping 275 points this week! That catapults him all the way from 8th to 2nd in the overall standings! Let’s look at how everyone did this week.
Year-to-date Standings
So…how do the year-to-date standings look after Week 8? Click on the thumbnail below for a look:


If you’re not in the Top 15 right now, I’d probably be a little worried…
That’s gonna do it for the fantasy league for a few weeks…we’ll see if any of you can make a strong run to the top when LOST returns on April 24th!

LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 8: “Meet Kevin Johnson”

21 03 2008

In Episode Observations

“Meet Kevin Johnson”


Alright, after the cryptic “Eggtown”, it appears as though our titles have come back to normal.  Maybe we don’t even need to have this section anymore…we’ll see.

Fireside chat in Othersville

“Hey guys, let’s all go to Ben’s old place tonight!  We could all play Monopoly…or Texas Hold ‘Em…or maybe the ‘No More Secrets’ game!”  That opening scene where everyone awkwardly stared at each other was pretty classic.  Always good to see a little sense of humor mixed in with all of the tension.

“As soon as we get the engines fixed…back in the hunt.”

Seems like a fairly innocuous comment at the time, but coupling it with Keamy’s target practice later in the episode, Frank’s sudden departure from the freighter in the middle of last week’s episode, and the shocking ending to this week’s show might give us a bit of insight as to what’s going on.  More on that in a bit.

Not the way I would do it, but…


OK, if you were looking to end it all, wouldn’t a car crash come across to you as one of the more painful and least appealing options?  Maybe I’m analyzing this too much, but that doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

Time Paradox or head fake?

There’s nothing in this episode that tells us definitively when Michael’s flashback takes place.  There are, however, several “clues”.  The most prominent of which are the not-so-subtly-placed Christmas trees and decorations.  Clearly, the writers want to convey that it’s around Christmas time.  But think back with me for just a second.  Didn’t Desmond just call Penny on Christmas Eve back in “The Constant”?  And isn’t that well after Michael even considers joining the freighter crew?  There are 2 possible explanations.  The first is that time is passing faster off-island than it is on-island. (That would coincide with Daniel’s experiments and comments.)  The other is that the writers could be giving us a mean head fake.  After all, don’t most Americans put Christmas decorations up almost immediately after Thanksgiving?  It all seemed to fall into place until that bit of perspective is taken into account.  It certainly could still be possible, but this episode is not the example to confirm it.

Fate vs. Free Will

Up to this point on the show, the idea of fate has always been discussed as a possibility, albeit a strong one.  But the idea of free will was always still the overriding factor.  Even the idea of “course correction” wouldn’t get in your way if you set your mind to it.  It’s just that someone else would take your place.  But now, Michael has no choice.  He cannot kill himself.  He cannot avoid being a part of the freighter crew.  It’s quite an incredible revelation, and also explains the timing of the car crash in Jack’s vicinty when he was going to throw himself off the bridge in last year’s flashforward.  The island would simply not allow Jack to kill himself.  But doesn’t the idea of fate take us down a path of limited jeopardy, and thus less investment in our characters?  If we know that Michael can’t be killed by a bomb he’s trying to activate on the freighter (at least until his work is done), then is it even suspenseful when he sets the timer?  More importantly, does it take the edge off of the entire series?  If the end game is already determined, then what do the events leading up to it really matter?  This was a very interesting play to make at this point in the story of LOST.  It’ll be interesting to see if any of the characters take this type of knowledge to the next level…or in retrospect, if any of them have already (Ben, anyone?)

“Kate, you’re not my type” 


Now we know why.  There’s another question off the list… 

Widmore’s man accuses Ben of staging the wreckage, Ben’s man accuses Widmore of the same

Just last episode, Captain Gault shows Desmond and Sayid the black box from Flight 815 and accuses Ben of staging the fake crash.  Now in this episode, Tom points the finger at Charles Widmore.  Who to trust?  Fascinating back-and-forth here, with “evidence” to back up both claims.  So far, however, Ben’s evidence seems to be much more convincing than Mr. Widmore’s.  But have we really been given any info from Ben that we could really trust?

On its face, the question may appear to be, “Who’s telling the truth?”  But something tells me that it’s slightly more complicated than that.  Perhaps there’s a “third truth” that accurately describes what’s going on more than either of the 2 sides has let on thus far.  In any event, these 2 sides are out to get each other, and you wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle when they come to blows.  (Just ask Karl & Rousseau…)

Sayid rats out Michael

…and the captain seems relatively disinterested.  Does he already know?  Is there a double-cross going on?  Or is he simply in disbelief?

“These people…you said they’re dangerous.  More dangerous than you?”

“Yes…but your mother will protect you.” So, here’s the question.  Did Ben send Karl, Alex, and Rousseau to the temple because he really cares about them, or did he knowingly send them to their demise?  Perhaps he knowingly sent Karl & Rousseau to their fate, but knew that Alex would be spared?  Ben certainly seems to know that certain things will happen unequivocally, similar to Michael not being able to kill himself.  (After all, why would he intentionally allow himself to be captured by the LOSTies way back in Season 2?)  But how far can he push it?  And what specifically does he know?  And how does he know it?  While we’re at it, why don’t we ask this question:

Post-episode questions

Who’s shooting at Karl, Rousseau, and Alex?


Frank seemed to be taking Keamy to the island in the middle of last week’s episode, so they seem to be the likely candidate(s).  But could it be someone else?  Is it possible that the Others are shooting at them?  And is Rousseau really dead?  If she is, that’s too bad.  I was looking forward to seeing a flashback for her character at some point.

Who’s telling the truth, Widmore or Ben?

Both have reasons to hide the existence of the island.  Both have the resources to pull something like this off.  Both have reasons to deceive.  Perhaps our best clue is Sayid’s flashforward earlier this season, in which he admits to making a mistake by not trusting Ben at one point.  We all know whose side he’s helping right now…

Do we really have to wait 4 weeks for the next LOST?

Has this season been great or what?  It’s always bittersweet with this show.  Its greatness is overshadowed only by the knowledge that we have less episodes to come than we’ve already seen.  It sucks that we have to wait a month for new episodes, and that when they come back, we’ll only have 5 new shows.  But savor them while you can folks, there are only 40 episodes left.

I hope you enjoyed the episode!  Have a great weekend!

LOST Challenge of the Week: Season 4, Episode 8: “Meet Kevin Johnson”

20 03 2008

Hey there, fellow LOSTies!

Unfortunately, today’s episode will mark the last new LOST we’ll have until April 24th.  On the flip side, it looks to have the makings of a fantastic episode.  First, we’ll get to meet “Kevin Johnson” (didn’t we do that last week?)

Kevin Johnson…

As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve been looking forward to the return of Michael ever since it was announced last year.  I really enjoy the dynamic nature of his character, and the way he was able to change in such a drastic yet believable way.  Plus, the episode promises to explain the mystery of how he got from the Pala Ferry dock to the freighter, and that should be worth the price of admission alone.

Of course, if that’s not enough, ABC’s promo for the episode claims that someone will die!  No way to know if it’s a major character or a guest-star, but it clearly promises to add some serious tension to the last show before the mini-hiatus.

Alright, so before we get on to the challenge of the week, let’s take a look around the net and see what others are saying.  Articles from two of my favorite sources both discuss the Oceanic 6 “controversy”, and again suggest Aaron as the 6th member (one subtly, one not so subtly).  You can check them out here: 

and here:,,20185253,00.html?iid=top25-20080320-%27Lost%27%3A+So+who%27s+gonna+die%3F

Personally, I think our friend Doc Jensen is risking his credibility by saying that those of us not ready to take Aaron as the 6th member to “face facts”.  While it still may be proven that Aaron is indeed the 6th member, the fact remains that it hasn’t proven itself out on the show.  I have no problem with folks pointing to all of the signs showing that Aaron’s O6, but don’t try to call it case closed.  Until you see it on the screen, or Team Darlton declares it so, it just ain’t.  Besides, wouldn’t it be a much bigger reveal for Ben to be an O6 in hiding, and/or to be the one in the coffin?  LOST does not go small on the plot devices folks.

Okie dokie, so let’s get to this week’s challenge!  There are a lot of different ways to go this week, but let’s steer away from the death, and keep the focus on Michael/Kevin Johnson:

How does Michael get from the Others’ dinghy to Ben’s man on Charles Widmore’s boat?  And more importantly, how does he end up there *without* Walt?

Please post your replies in the comments section, and feel free to weigh in on the Oceanic 6 debate if you’ve got any thoughts on that. 

Enjoy the episode tonight!

LOST Fantasy League Results: Week 7

17 03 2008

Hey everyone!

The weekend has passed, and the scoring for Week 7 is complete! However, before we get to the scoring recap, let me provide one quick ruling for this week’s episode. In this past episode, we see Sun & Hurley visit Jin’s gravesite, clearly indicating that Jin appears dead in the future where the 815ers return to civilization.
However, we all know about LOST and their propensity for twists and turns. Heck, we saw Naomi stabbed in the back to start off the season, have several people declare her dead, only to see her momentarily survive the wound. So, although I’m sure that all of the people with Jin will hate me for it, I’m declaring Jin “not dead” for the purposes of the game. In fact, from here forward, unless we see it on the screen (OK, maybe not actually *see* it, but that it happens during screen time), it doesn’t count. This is specific to scoring points from death, and not for any other category (at least not at this time). I hope you all understand the ruling.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s look at how the scoring turned out this past week.
Character Scoring Recap
Again, for the 8th straight week, those with the flashbacks/flashforwards led the scoring (as it probably should be). Sun came in with a very decent 155 points (thanks to all of those mentions of her baby), while Jin scored a modest 75 points for the episode. Sayid & Desmond tied for third this week, mostly due to their encounter with Captain Gault and the Oceanic 815 Flight recorder.
Player Scoring Recap
This week, our top scorer had over 100 points more than the second-place finisher. Congrats to Julie Merritt, with 240 points this week! That catapults her all the way from 21st to 10th in the overall standings! Let’s look at how everyone did this week.


Year-to-date Standings
So…how do the year-to-date standings look after Week 7? Click on the thumbnail below for a look:
Current Standings
With only 6 weeks left in the game, those of you in the bottom 5 or so might have a legitimate reason to be worried. Here’s hoping you have Michael, or perhaps the character that is rumored to die this week. In any event, enjoy the show this week–it’s the last one we have until April 24th!

LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 7: "Ji Yeon"

14 03 2008

In Episode Observations

“Ji Yeon”
Thankfully, another easy title to decipher this week. Nice name for a baby Jin. Good job.
Freighter Madness

Alright, is this boat in complete chaos, or what? First, Minkowski’s on a ferris wheel time trip before kicking the bucket from a brain aneurysm, now Regina’s reading books upside down and jumping into the ocean with her new chain-link fashion accessory. I thought you had to go to the island and come back to be ready for the loony bin. What the heck is really up with this crew?
Expose’, Season 4?

Razzle dazzle! It appears as though the writers aren’t ready for us to say goodbye to Nikki and Paulo just yet. Are we supposed to make the analogy of Billy Dee Williams as the Cobra to Michael as Ben’s man on the boat? Or is there more to come? Either way, it was a funny little gesture to see the foreign version of Expose, even if it was only for half a second.
Flashworward or Flashback?
Oh, those clever writers. Just when you think the only question you should be asking is, “Is this a flashforward or a flashback?”, they throw us a curveball–a flashforward *and* a flashback! Quite brilliant. The best part is that they gave us clues along the way–Jin & Sun were never in the same scene, or even talking to each other over the phone; Jin had a terrible temper when he missed his cab, just like in his previous pre-island scenes; and the toy store owner mentions the Year of the Dragon (which would be either 2000 or 2012)–but I fell for it until the final scene. More detail on that shocker of an ending later.
Sun’s the fifth member of the Oceanic 6
So that was pretty straightforward. But the sixth member isn’t so clear. Is it Jin, but something happened after he came back? Is it Ben? Is it Aaron? When the writers claimed that we’d unequivocally know all six members at the end of this episode, I thought it would be pretty obvious. But I guess we’re just supposed to assume it’s Jin, right? Right?
Lapidus heads back to the island
And it appears as though he takes Keamy with him. No clue what their mission is, but it’s clearly clandestine in nature. The question is, are they trying to keep it a secret from Sayid & Desmond, or from someone else? On the freighter, nothing is a given
Captain Gault gives up the ghost
Well, the one thing both Ben and the captain agree on is that the boat is Charles Widmore’s. But the insinuation from his dialogue with Sayid & Desmond indicates that he believes that *Ben* is the one that set up the wreckage in the ocean, including the black box and all of the dead bodies. It makes sense conceptually, even if it’s hard to explain logistically. Ben clearly doesn’t want anyone to find the island, and he would go to any lengths to put others off the scent. But if Captain Gault and Miles are right–that Ben has nearly limitless amounts of money, where did it come from? And the bodies…what about those? All of the Dharma corpses have rotted horribly, so you wouldn’t think they could be used. Perhaps the more important question is this–who do you trust? Michael clearly slipped Sayid & Desmond a note that instructed them not to trust the captain. But he’s working for Ben, and Ben hasn’t exactly been the most trustworthy sort. Again, there are 2 distinct camps being formed, and my guess is that even if we determine who’s lying and who’s telling the truth, we still won’t know exactly who the “good guys” are (assuming one side or the other really is “good”).
Meet Kevin Johnson

Hey everyone, Michael is Ben’s man on the boat! LOST’s worst-kept secret is finallly out! OK, nearly everyone had this figured out, so the cool “wow” factor may have been lost. But I’ll tell you what–I’m excited that Michael’s back. I know alot of people despise his character for his actions back in Season 2, but the stunning turn of his character was fascinating and completely unexpected…while simultaneously being very believable. I look forward to seeing how the character will continue to evolve, and whether or not he can achieve any redemption–which he must desperately crave.
“You will never lose me”

Alright, so as the episode ends, we’re led to believe that Jin is dead. We’ve even got a tombstone to prove it. And beyond that, Daniel Dae Kim got arrested for DUI back in October. If nothing else, that certainly seals it, right? I’ll tell you this much–I wouldn’t put it past the writers to work with the local authorities in Hawaii to stage Daniel’s arrest just to give us the head fake of all head fakes. And just to keep the speculation within the episode itself, it’s very clear that Jin’s future tombstone is marked 9/22/2004–the date of the original Flight 815 crash. Critical analysis leads you to 2 conclusions: 1) Jin can’t possibly be the sixth member of the Oceanic 6, or his tombstone would have shown a later date, and 2) his whole death is likey a ruse…and he’s waiting back on the island for Sun to return.
Post episode questions
Who the heck is the sixth member of the Oceanic 6?
Seriously, I’m not at all buying that it’s Jin unless the writers come out and tell me so. And Aaron doesn’t make sense either, since Kate didn’t want to reveal that she had him in the courtroom. The only other character we’ve seen in the future is Ben. Could it really be him? That would be quite a twist. And if not, then who? I look forward to seeing what “confirmation” the writers give us.
Is Jin really dead?

Yeah, about as much as Claire is. Unless you see it on screen, don’t believe it! (And even then, question it.) All signs point to Jin being back on the island. Remember, although Sun said she missed him, and wished he could have been there to see his daughter born, she never refers to him as being dead. He certainly could be, but I’d bet against it.
What are the true agendas of both Ben and Charles Widmore?
There’s a major power struggle going on here, and nobody’s telling the complete truth. Trouble is, I think the answers to this question will lead us to LOST’s endgame, so we probably won’t know them anytime soon. But they’re great to have in the back of your mind as future episodes unfold.