LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 7: “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”

27 02 2009

Of course.  Wouldn’t you figure…as soon as I write a blog entry critical of LOST…as soon as I make some disparaging remarks about the show…it comes back with a stellar installment that reminds me why I watch every week.  Don’t get me wrong: I still feel the same way about “316” as I did last week.  I still feel as though the show crossed the line.  But maybe it didn’t quite jump the shark just yet.  Maybe it was just one bad installment, and now we can get back to the LOST that I’m used to.  One that hit another home run with this week’s episode.

Back on the mainland…

Seriously, LOST continues to do a great job of giving me head fakes that I keep falling for.  I was all set for a little background info on Caesar, when suddenly, Ilana appears.  What’s she doing here?  How the heck do they know each other?  Of course, it’s yet another head fake.  They know each other because this isn’t a flashback…they’ve already come to the island.  Or, the secondary, Hydra station island, as the case may be.  Very clever, and it immediately gave me hope that this episode was going to be a great one.

Caesar finds an old magazine, a map, some space/time specs, and..

I don’t know a whole lot about Caesar right now, but he already strikes me as one sly customer.  In fact, after the events that take place in this episode, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was a Widmore plant.  I can’t imagine that Widmore would let Flight 316 get to the island without some type of attempt to get there as well, and Caesar fits the bill.  But what might be just as interesting is the shotgun he pockets just before Ilana enters the room.  I’m sure that’ll turn up at the least opportune moment.

Locke’s alive

Not at all unexpectedly, once Locke returned to the island, he was magically resurrected.  Now I’m not going to get into the details of what it means or the plausibility of it all, but I do want to try understand one big part of it: how does that relate to what happened to Christian Shepard?  Is Locke following in his footsteps somehow?  What correlation are we supposed to draw from that?  I’ll be very curious to see how that plays out over the next few episodes.

One of the boats is missing

ilanaandlocke

“The pilot and some woman took one.”  My first guess is that the “some woman” is Sun, and she had Lapidus take her to the other (main) island in search of Jin.  And that would also explain the fact that there were only 2 boats at the old original LOSTies camp back in The Little Prince episode.  And that also begs the question: who was in that boat when they began shooting at Sawyer/Juliet/Faraday?  The list of possible choices continues to dwindle down some.  But what may be an even bigger question is this: who got shot?  When Juliet and Sawyer return fire, someone clearly gets clipped, we just can’t see who.

Locke teleports to Tunisia using the donkey wheel

lockintunisia

But unfortunately for him, he’s got a compound fracture to deal with, and won’t be going anywhere without someone’s help.  Luckily, Widmore’s got some cameras set up right at the ejection point, and he’s able to bring Locke back to his camp.  There he tells Locke some information about his time on the island, and what the rest of the LOSTies have done since they left.  The important part to take out of this is that everything he said appeared to be true based upon what we know.  Slowly, Widmore is emerging as the one telling the truth, whereas Ben appears to be the liar.  Widmore appears to be trying to truly help John, whereas Ben…well, let’s just say Ben has other plans.  If we’re to believe that Ben and Widmore are on opposite sides, one good and one bad, then Widmore is looking more and more like the good guy.  Of course, I’m still not convinced.  I get the impression that both of them are manipulating the LOSTies in some fashion…

There’s a war coming John…

Here’s the first real hint about LOST’s ultimate endgame.  There’s not nearly enough here to make any kind of serious guess as to what’s going to happen, but I’m sure that when it’s over, we can look back to this moment, and say that this is where the first of the clues started.

And so begins Locke’s (not so) magical mystery tour

widmorematthewandlocke

Right off the bat, Locke’s confined to a wheelchair, just as he was before he left for the island.  Irrespective of the time he was gone or the lessons he may have learned, Locke’s right back at square one: powerless.  And at the risk of condensing 20-30 minutes of show time into one section, that’s exactly the story for Locke at each locale on his tour.  First Sayid, then Walt, followed by Hurley, Kate, and ultimately Jack.  He has absolutely zero pull, and worse than that, they all think he’s just a bit crazy.  They all (except Walt) attack his character, and ultimately make him doubt everything about his mission.  The chosen one, the special one, gets reduced to a blubbering mess simply by visiting 5 “friends” and gravesite. But before his journey comes to an end, he meets with one last person from his past…

“John, what’re you doing?”

whatareyoudoing

As if it wasn’t interesting enough to see Locke re-visit all of the old LOSTies and fail miserably, the last scene we get with he and Ben is what takes the episode to another level.  First, we get an incredible visual of what John’s journey is really about, when Ben kneels before him.  If you weren’t paying attention to the symbolism before, the writers decided to hit you over the head with it.  Although it was last episode that was entitled “316”, it’s this episode where we get to see the true parallels to the famous verse in the Bible.  John is playing Jesus in every way in this episode.  He’s been sent from a mystical place to try to convince unbelievers that he holds the message they need to believe in order to truly live.  Then, he’s killed, only to be resurrected a few days later.  And finally, those that believe in him, even after his death, find “salvation” in the form of the island.  It’s almost as if they gave this episode the wrong name.

As far as his direct encounter with Ben, you really have to be amazed at just how incredibly manipulative Mr. Linus really is.  The entire time he’s saving Locke, he knows he’s doing it to achieve one goal, and one goal only: how he can be a part of getting back to the island with everyone else.  You see, he already knows that he’s not part of what has to happen to get back.  He knows that it’s all about getting everyone to get together, and then find a means to return.  But he has no clue who he has to find (or where) in order to make it all happen.  When he stops John from killing himself, he manages to earn enough of his trust for him to give up the ghost about Eloise Hawking.  With that information, Ben knows who he has to lead the Oceanic 6 to, and that’s all he needs.  He knows that John doesn’t necessarily need to be alive (or in fact, might serve a better role if dead), and maybe, just maybe, he won’t have to worry about him taking leadership of the island if he kills him right then and there.

Of course, the alternative to that logic is that Ben really is the good guy.  Ben knew that Locke had to die, so he helped him get there, but not before he knew all of the pieces that had to be set in motion for everyone to return.  Of course, whether or not that’s true, you can fully expect Ben to suggest a story along those lines when Locke confronts him about his actions.

Everyone’s accounted for…except for the people who got hurt

benjackedup

As if coming back to life on the island wasn’t enough, at the end of the episode, Locke gets to see just how much things have flip-flopped.  Now, he’s alive and well, and Ben is in bad shape after the plane crash-landed.  It’ll be interesting to see just how much John wants revenge, or how much he wants to move on and lead everyone on the island.

Post-episode questions

  1. Who’s really telling the truth, Ben or Widmore?  Remember, Locke was directed to move the island, just as Widmore’s team was closing in.
  2. What’s Caesar’s deal?  Is he a plant?
  3. What’s the war that Widmore was referring to?  What is Locke’s role in it?
  4. Now that everyone’s back on the island, what’s next?
  5. What can we expect to happen between Kate, Sawyer, and Jack, now that they’re all in the same place again?

I hope you all enjoyed the episode.  Talk to you again next week!





LOST Challenge of the Week: Has LOST jumped the shark?

24 02 2009

OK, so let me say this right away: LOST is my favorite show, ever.  I’ve never been as fascinated by a show as much as this one, never looked so forward to every single episode, never even thought of writing a blog…until LOST.

But that doesn’t mean that I lose all objectivity.  It doesn’t mean that I can’t be critical.  And I have to say, after last week’s episode, I can’t help but to feel as though my favorite show has turned a corner that it won’t ever come back from.

To be fair, I don’t think that this is something that happened overnight.  Some people were pretty disappointed when the show went from “scripted Survivor” to the mystery of the button-pushing every 108 minutes.  Others thought the show went downhill when Desmond started having “flashes” that allowed him to know the future.  And still others thought that integrating teleportation and time travel that started with last season’s finale was a bit far-fetched for this show.

Well, I was fairly OK with most of those events (the teleportation and time travel notwithstanding), but last week’s episode has stuck with me all week long, and not in a good way.  And I’m not talking about the “coincidence” that most all of the Oceanic 6 plus Frank Lapidus showed up for the flight back to the island.  In fact, I think most of that will be explained via flashbacks on the island in future episodes.

No, for me the bits that I’m just not digging are these:

  • That there was a Dharma station off the island *in Los Angeles* that was located over a pocket of electromagnetic energy best suited to help discover the island
  • That the LOSTies had to “re-create” Flight 815 in order to get back to the island
  • That Locke had to kill himself in order to get the LOSTies back to the island
  • That Locke will be resurrected (as seen in the previews) once he gets to the island

LOST has slowly evolved from a drama with some minor sci-fi elements, to a full-on sci-fi show, and now to simply a complete fantasy.  From my perspective, what worked so well for LOST was its ability to at least attempt to describe its supernatural or sci-fi events with some measure of reality.  Sure, maybe it didn’t always work, but at least there was the attempt.

Does anyone really want to attempt to base any of the bulleted points above in reality?

I don’t.  Obviously, I will keep watching the show.  I still love what LOST gave to me in those initial seasons, and I have to see how everything ends.  But you can color me majorly disappointed in the events of this season, especially the most recent episode.

So what say you?  Do you agree with me?  Has the show jumped?  Did it already?  Am I nuts to even suggest this?  Please take the poll share your comments below!  I’d really like to hear what all of you think.





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 6: “316”

20 02 2009

Wow.  That was completely unexpected.  So here’s the deal: we’ve been hearing since the end of Season 3 that the Losties “had to go back!”  We’ve spent a full season plus 5 episodes setting up the story of them trying to find some way, *any* way, to get back to that island of mystery.  And then, in the very same episode that we get the first glimpse of how it *might* happen…it does!  And in reality, we’re actually presented with the outcome prior to the causal event.  Wow.  I don’t know how you felt about it, but it felt like a whole bunch of suspense building for an extremely minimal payoff.  I know I was one of the people clamoring to get back…sooner rather than later…but the whole story felt rushed, forced, and ultimately unsatisfying.  Of course, they left some very interesting pockets of story untold, which will absolutely lend itself to flashbacks in future episodes.  But we’ll get to that shortly.  For now, before we get to the meat of the recap, I ask you to ask yourselves…was that how you expected the Losties to get back?  I’d love to hear your comments.  Anyway, on with the recap…

It’s like deja vu all over again

dejavu

From the opening millisecond, I knew that we were paying homage to the opening scene.  But what I wasn’t sure of was whether or not this was “real”, or if we were in someone’s dream sequence.  As the scene continued to unfold, it became clear that it was indeed a “real” happening, and the “46 hours earlier” tag clinched it.  They made it back!  Very exciting start to the show, and one that had me on the edge of my seat to find out how it all unfolded.

For some reason, in the back of my mind, I fully expected the season’s theme to be the Losties getting back to the island.  In other words, I expected that they wouldn’t make it back until the tail end of the season.  To see them back already, a mere third of the way through the season, was quite shocking.  It also was an incredible relief.  No more stories with too many plot threads!  But, how did it happen?  It all starts with yet another Dharma station…

“The Dharma Initiative called it ‘The Lamppost'”

lamppost

OK, is it just me, or was it rather strange to see a Dharma station *off* the island?  I guess they had to start somewhere, and an off-island tracking station for the island is as good a place to start as any.  But for someone like me that found this episode awkward and forced, this was certainly the first indication that things were unfolding just a bit differently than the “normal” LOST.

“The room we’re standing in was constructed…over a unique pocket of electromagnetic energy.”

Wow, really?  In Los Angeles?  Unlike Rose and and Bernard’s visit to Uluru earlier in the series, LA is not exactly known for its special healing properties, or even being a part of the World Heritage sites.  Even if it was assumed that it was somewhere near the San Andreas fault, it seems incredibly arbitrary that this site was the best place in all the world to be used as a locator for the island.  It was at this point that my skepticism meter began to gravitate to the “high” setting.  And for those of you that really enjoyed this episode, I apologize for the cynicism.  I’m just calling it how I see it.

“These people, they’re just using us!  They’re playing some kind of game, and we are just the pieces.”

I think Desmond hit the nail on the head with this one.  Ultimately, in the grand scheme of LOST’s endgame (whatever that may be), it’s Ben or Widmore or Jacob or Christian just pulling everyone’s strings.  They all have much more knowledge about what’s going on, and what’s about to happen, and they’re just pushing Jack, Kate, Locke, and Sawyer to do their bidding.  Regardless of what unfolds the rest of this season and next, our LOSTies are just along for the ride.  They’re be lucky to fully understand the consequences of what’s happening to them even at the point in which it all comes down.

“Ajira Airways Flight 316”

Ah yes, the reason for the title of the episode.  Somewhat odd to me that it wasn’t some combination of the numbers as we know them.  But just for a moment, let’s take a quick sidetrack and discuss the title a little more in-depth.  LOST has been known to use double meanings before, especially in episode titles.  So could it be that the 316 could refer to more than just the flight number?  I think it does, especially since the number is not a combination of Hurley’s numbers.

As some of you have speculated, maybe it has something to do with John 3:16, the verse upon which Christianity is basically founded.  Of course, it doesn’t seem overly coincidental that our character John Locke happens to share the namesake with the author of the verse.  But what does it really mean?  That Locke represents the key to everlasting life?  Well, perhaps, if by everlasting life you mean a trip to the island.  It does seem as though dead folk find a way to continue to appear on the island after they perish.  And indeed, Locke does sacrifice his life for his counterparts.  So the parallels are there.  But does that mean that we should take the big leap of faith and assume that Locke is indeed Jacob, and that his ability to tap into the island’s mystic powers are right now only at the tip of the iceberg?  It’s hard to come away with any true level of certainty with respect to just how far the connection goes.  But I am convinced that the 316 in the title refers to both the Ajira flight number, as well as the famous biblical verse.

“So that’s it?  We just get on that flight, and we just hope that it works?”

Yeah, my sentiments exactly.  All of that set up just for this?  No attempt to charter their own plane and parachute out of it at just the right moment?  No getting a submarine and following a specific trajectory and speed?  No crazy teleportation device that only works if just the right person turns it just the right way?  For all of the subterfuge surrounding how the Others went to and from the island in the earlier episodes of this series, it seems too simplistic to have the answer come down to a station that could predict where the island will be.  Was it really necessary to drug Juliet on her way over to cover that up?  It seems to me that it wouldn’t have made any difference to her had she been awake or asleep for the trip.  The only possible explanation would be that the Others wanted to create an artificial sense of misdirection.  But without the Lamppost to “unlock” the island’s location, what difference would it make?  It’s really not adding up for me, but maybe there will be more to the story by the end of next season.

“John is going to be a proxy…a substitute.”

OK, so they have to try to recreate the original trip as best they can.  While I’m again feeling that this decision was somewhat arbitrary on behalf of the writers, it does create a very fascinating situation, in 2 ways.

First, it’s really fun to see how each character plays a role on Flight 316 that mirrors another from Flight 815.  Almost no one is “themselves” from the first flight, so it’s cool to see that play out.  But more on that later.

What intrigues me even more is this thought: what if this “re-creation” is not the first?  What if, in fact, this attempted re-creation is a re-creation from a previous island flight?  More simply put, what if Flight 815 was someone trying to re-create the circumstances of a previous flight?  Is it at all possible that Christian Shepard knew of the island, and on Flight 815 played the role of Locke on Flight 316?  Maybe Christian willingly died so that his son would get on Flight 815 and take him to the island?  I’ve always hoped that the circumstances surrounding Flight 815’s journey to the island were not coincidental…that in fact, they were by design of someone who needed this specific set of folks to be on the island for whatever LOST’s final endgame is.  The scenario as Ms. Hawking presents it to Jack at least allows for that possibility.  There are still many gaps to fill in if this will be the case, but this episode at least allows for that line of thought.

“I made a promise to an old friend of mine…just a loose end that needs tying up.”

Oh boy.  Ben knows that Desmond is in town, and that by default, Penny is likely in town as well.  Considering all of the blood that Ben is covered in when we next see him, I would seriously be concerned about whether or not Widmore’s daughter is still among the living.  While many of the untold stories of our LOSTies prior to them getting on Flight 316 seem intriguing, I think I’m most looking forward to what happened with Ben during his time away.

Jack visits his grandfather…

grandad

…and finds a pair of his dad’s shoes.  While you could certainly try to read a bunch into this encounter, I choose not to.  Sometimes, a visit to your grandfather is just a visit to your grandfather.  And I’ll take the placement of the bunny at the start of the scene as a hint that my conclusion is correct…almost like the writers are saying, “Don’t get too carried away here, or you’ll end up going down the rabbit hole.  There’s really nothing to see here, move along now.”

Kate does a 180

jackandkate

OK, so I’m most looking forward to seeing what happened to Ben between the church and the flight back to the island.  But a *very* close second is what happened to Kate from the time she left the pier to the time she shows up in Jack’s place.  Distraught, forlorn, and looking for a little bit of Jack’s lovin’ to get her mind off of life, Kate is a mess when she re-appears in this episode.  She’s given up Aaron, and it clearly wasn’t her first choice.  She makes Jack vow not to ask what happened, but it doesn’t mean we won’t get the scoop at some later date.  I’ll go on record as saying that I hope it was because she finally decided to do the right thing and allow Claire’s mother to raise the child like the family he is.

Ben’s a bit busy getting bloody, so Jack’s got to go pick up Locke’s coffin

OK, so did anyone else get a distinct Wizard of Oz vibe when watching this scene?  Jack’s pulling John’s shoes off and replacing them with Christian’s, eerily similar to Dorothy pulling the ruby slippers off the Wicked Witch of the East.  Of course, Dorothy uses those slippers to return home from the fantasy world of Oz, whereas John is using them for exactly the opposite: to return to the fantastic world of the island after being “home”.  Or is it the reverse?  Maybe “home” for John is the island.  In any event, the correlation to the Wizard of Oz seemed too spot-on to be coincidental.

“Hurley, what are you doing here?”

lapidus

And so the fun begins.  Can you attach the Flight 316 passenger with their Flight 815 counterpart?  Let’s see, Locke is playing the role of Christian (dead), Sayid is now doing his Kate impression (forced on the plane handcuffed), Hurley is playing both Charlie (instrument) and Walt (Spanish comic book), and Ben is playing the role of Hurley (getting on board at just the last second).  Not only that, but we’ve got Frank Lapidus (interLOST reader Brad is excited!) fulfilling the role that he was originally cast in: pilot of the flight to the island.  I couldn’t place the roles of Jack, Kate, or Sun, but if any of you want to take a stab at it, I’d love to hear your connection theories!  In any event, it was alot of fun to see that all play out.

“The other people on this plane…what’s going to happen to them?”

Ah yes, the collateral damage.  It’ll be fascinating to see what goes on from their perspective, if we’re given it at any time during the rest of the series.  It’ll be as if our LOSTies are the Others, whereas the Flight 316 passengers will be like the original Flight 815 passengers.  In fact, that could explain one of the previous loose ends.  Perhaps the people shooting at Faraday/Sawyer/Juliet back in “The Little Prince” were actually members of Flight 316.  And ones that have no freaking clue what’s going on, only that someone stole their hand-crafted skiff, and that they don’t appreciate it…probably enough to shoot at them…

“How can you read?”

“My mother taught me.”  Amazing how two simple sentences can convey so much information.  First, Jack is still not convinced that this is going to work.  Despite all of the “coincidences” that everyone except Aaron has made it on to Flight 316, Jack still can’t bring himself to believe that he’s actually going to get back on the island.  It’s not until he reads John’s suicide note that he finally allows faith to take over.  Additionally, while Ben is as calm as can be in expectation of his return to the island, he simply cannot help but to lie, even in the most innocuous of situations.  Remember, Ben’s mother died in childbirth, mere minutes…if not seconds…after his birth.  In reality, his mother didn’t teach him anything.  Ben’s lying is clearly a force of habit.  The man does it by default.

Hey, wait a minute, it’s Dharma Jin!

dharma-jin

And he’s driving the Dharma van!  OK, so this creates a confusing situation.  Either we’re way before Ben’s father ever got the van to drive around in, or Jin was able to find the old thing after Hurley used it to bum-rush the Others, and got it running again.  Of course, based upon Jin’s outfit, especially the apparent lack of wear of it, leads me to believe the former.  It’ll be fun to see how everyone recounts their situations in the episodes to come.

Post-episode questions:

  1. What the heck happened off-screen to Ben, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid before they got on Flight 316?
  2. Can Desmond really escape from the island if it has more in store for him?
  3. Is Locke really resurrected just by returning to the island?  How the heck is that possible?  And how does that correlate to what’s happened to Christian Shepard?
  4. Where did Sun, Sayid, and Ben go after the plane entered the island’s airspace?
  5. Does Jin’s outfit and transportation indicate that the island still hasn’t stopping skipping through time?
  6. Will we be lucky enough to see how things unfold from the eyes of the newbies on the island?

Overall, this was an episode that gave us a lot to contemplate, even if it was a bit uneven in the storytelling department.  I look forward to reading any new theories you may have after this one!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “316”

17 02 2009

Hey gang, how’s it going? I’m glad to be back again with yet another challenge of the week to whet your appetite for this week’s episode. I have to admit, however, that this episode is presenting a considerable challenge in and of itself to create a challenge of the week. After eagerly consuming the latest podcasts (audio and video versions), there wasn’t much a clue regarding the show, except that the showrunners said that this episode and the next episode (“The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”) were potentially interchangeable with respect to the order in which they were aired. That in itself is fairly fascinating (along with the admission that 2 first-season episodes were also interchangeable…guess which ones), but it doesn’t create a great primer for the show itself.

Anyway, the best challenge I can give you is one that is a bit generic, but also lends itself to the creativity I know that all of you have. So here it is:

What is the significance of the “316” in this week’s episode?

Is it the amount of minutes the Oceanic 6 have left before the event happens that brings them back to the island?

Is it a reference to a verse in the bible or another religious book?

Is it the number of candles Ms. Hawking has to keep lit in the church in order for everyone to be able to see?

 

I look forward to hearing your creative responses almost as much as I’m looking forward to the episode itself!  Enjoy!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 5: “This Place Is Death”

13 02 2009

Hey gang, before I get into this week’s recap, I just wanted to let you in on some thoughts I had today.  Basically, I began to wonder about the relevance of this blog.  After all, there are a ton of people that do this kind of thing.  Especially now that EW’s Doc Jensen has picked up on doing a episode recap, I began to question myself.  What makes my blog so special?  Clearly, some people can do this with more insight than I do.  And most people get it out sooner than me…this is not my job, and I have to fit in my entries around my job, my life, my family.  So what makes this blog unique?

Then it dawned on me.  It doesn’t matter.  There are recaps that are probably better.  There are definitely recaps that are more timely.  But even if my blog doesn’t bring up anything more insightful than you can get anywhere else, I’m still going to do it.  And that’s because it’s as much about me as it is about all of you that read it.  I do this because I love LOST so much and because I love to write.  There really doesn’t need to be anything more to it than that.  And if I bring any extra enjoyment to the show for anyone else as a result, then it’s more than worth it.

Anyway, not sure if any of that really matters to any of you, but that’s what went through my head today.

But hey, we had a really cool episode of LOST last night…maybe the best of the season so far!  Let’s talk about that!

Make those words count, Sun

Anyone else have the same thoughts as I did during the opening scene?  As in, Sun better say what she needs to say to her daughter because it may be the last time she talks to her?  And here’s another, perhaps more relevant question: doesn’t the baby need to go back to the island as well?  I guess that’s up for debate, since she wasn’t born until after Sun left the island.  But it definitely crossed my mind as to whether or not “everyone who left” included Ji Yeon.

“4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42”

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen or heard the numbers, so it was kinda cool to hear them coming through the walkie talkie.  We know that Rousseau eventually uses the broadcast to piggy-back her own distress signal, but did we ever find out the *original* source of the broadcast?  Refresh my memory if I’m wrong, but I don’t think we did.  Hopefully the brief appearance of the numbers in this episode is not just a tease, and that they’ll give us some more on it before the series comes to an end.

If you can’t make it to the radio tower, would you settle for a trip to the temple?

jinatthetemple

Maybe…if it didn’t include going through the smoke monster!  Oh yeah, Smokey returns, and with a vengeance!  He outright kills one of Rousseau’s crew, and then tries to drag another (similar to what it did with Locke in Season 1) into the depths of the island.  But instead of pulling him into a hole, he drags him into a temple…or perhaps, *the* temple.  We’ve heard of this place before from the Others, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen it.  And it’s not like we get to know anything more about it either.  Except, of course, that it does something to the minds of those who enter it.

youngdanielleandrobert

Rousseau was clearly about to get shot by Robert if not for him running out of ammo, so she was dead on about his mental transformation.  But in what way was he and the rest of the crew transformed?  By the way, I don’t believe that Robert’s desire to kill Danielle and his ability to tell the truth are mutually exclusive.  In other words, I think he was telling the truth when he said that the smoke monster was a sentry for the temple.  In fact, we pretty much already knew that it was a security device of some sort.  I guess now the question is, why does it protect the temple?  From what?  And why does it want to drag certain people into the temple, where it simply wants to kill others?  And, how could Ben *control* it last season?  Did his secret door in the barracks lead straight to the temple?  Oh, and don’t expect that I’ll be the one to try to decipher those hieroglyphics on the temple wall.  That’s not up my alley.  But if anyone else took a stab at it and wants to share in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!

Meanwhile, Ben’s plan goes up in smoke

OK, horrible pun there.  But certainly nothing goes as planned at the pier.  Kate does as expected and grans Aaron and bolts into the night.  Sayid has had enough of Ben’s duplicity and goes the other way.  But thankfully for Ben, Sun sticks around, and Jack tags along, so at least he has 2 of the Oceanic 6…

Charlotte looks like she’s one of the undead

zombiecharlotte

Even before her eventual demise, Charlotte looks like a zombie!  Amazing job by the makeup crew.  She physically looked like she was hating life in this episode.  Excellent effect.

Ben calls Sun’s and Jack’s bluff

Like any good game player, Ben knows when to throw his weight around.  No, it wasn’t when they were all at the dock.  He waited until he had 2 weaker players in a position where they *thought* they had the upper hand,  After all, they still had the gun, right?  But Ben played them both good, getting them to shut up about turning the tables, and proving that he was in control.  And good for him too, because the only chance he has of getting *all* of the Oceanic 6 to agree to his plam is to have his key players, Jack and Sun, believing that he has their best interest at heart, and then manipulating them to bring the others along.

“Turn it up! I love Geronimo Jackson.”

I love that the writers continue to throw us little nuggets like this, even as we come to the tail end of the series.  Fun stuff!

And they leave Faraday behind

The guy who has the most knowledge of what’s going on with these timeshifts is exactly the guy they feel like they can do without to try to stop them?  Doesn’t seem like a really smart plan.  I’ll be very curious to see how the group handles things without either Faraday or Locke, if Locke’s actions didn’t stop the island (or the Losties) from skipping through time.

“Daniel, I think that man was you!”

A couple of fascinating things about this.  First, this appears to be our first event that shows that the Losties can interact with people from the past, so long as those interactions already happened.  In other words, Faraday can go back in time and interact with a young Charlotte, or anyone else for that matter.  It’s just that if he does, it means that it already happened.  If we know Faraday didn’t interact with someone, then he still can’t but if we don’t know, then he certainly can.  The second part of this is that if we know Faraday interacts with someone in the past (like the young Charlotte), then we know it *must* happen, whether Faraday wants to or not.  It happened, so he must do it.  In the case of Charlotte specifically, this creates an interesting paradox.  We know that at some point in Faraday’s future (but in the island’s past), he must tell young Charlotte to leave the island and never come back or she’ll die.  But he must do this, all the while knowing that she will indeed come back to the island, and she will indeed die as a result.  Quite sad, actually.

Jin gives Locke the proof

But isn’t it ironic how it’s actually used?  Jin gives it to John to have him “prove” that he’s dead.  But Ben uses it for the exact opposite purpose: to prove that he’s alive.  By trying to keep Sun off the island, Jin actually lures her to come back.

Christian (Jacob?) helps Locke the rest of the way

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Many interesting thoughts to take from this scene, but the most thought-provoking is Christian Shepard and his role in everything.  Is he Jacob, or is he merely a spokesperson?  And why him?  How is it that he plays such a large role?  Of course, once you decide that there’s no good answer for any of those questions, then you’re left to wonder, why is Locke the chosen one?  Why is it he that was chosen to turn the donkey wheel?  And how is it that he’s the key to getting everyone to come back?  Hopefully we’ll get some more of these questions answered as the season goes along.

“You said John never came to see you.”

And once again, Jack is shown to be the extremely gullible, malleable material that Ben needs to help do his dirty work.  Ever since the end of Season 3 when Jack beat the tar out of Ben, Mr. Linus has had the clear upper hand in their interactions.  At some point has to realize how he’s being manipulated…

“You’re looking for Faraday’s mother too?”

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Just in case you missed it, Ben is completely taken aback by this comment.  He has no idea that Ms. Hawking is indeed Faraday’s mom.  This probably sends chills down his spine, because remember, Faraday was hand-picked by Widmore to head up the team to extract Ben from the island (or kill him).  The thought that he’s having to rely on a relative of someone from that team is probably making him a little uneasy, regardless of whether or not he knows Ms. Hawking’s intial relationship to Widmore on the island.

Of course, at this point, he has little other choice.  It’s time to move forward with Eloise’s plan, whatever that happens to be…

 

Post-episode questions:

elliesready

  1. What does Ms. Hawking have in store?  How can the Losties get back to the island?
  2. Can 2 of the Oceanic 6 plus Desmond convince the other 4 to come along?  Or will only some of them return?
  3. What happened to the island after Locke turned the donkey wheel?  What happened to Locke?
  4. What do the sickness, the smoke monster, and the temple all have in common?
  5. What’s the relationship between Christian and Jacob?  Are they one in the same?

I really loved that episode, I hope you all enjoyed it as well!





LOST Challenge of the Week: “This Place is Death”

10 02 2009

Ah, sweeps!  While I think the idea of giving a show’s audience more weight in one month more than another is a little odd, it makes for some really great TV in November, February, and May!  So here we are in February, and LOST is ready to deliver the goods!  This past week we got a bunch of good stuff to whet our appetites, including the cover and main article in Entertainment Weekly, and our first full podcast of 2009 from Team Darlton.  A lot of hints abound, including a couple of things that seem to pertain to this week’s installment.

First of all, the podcast strongly suggests that we’re going to get a return visit by Smokey this week.  Of course, with the events on the island taking the cast back and forth through time, we have no idea when or how things might unfold.  But it’ll be interesting nontheless.

The other piece we’ve been teased on ties in significantly with the episodes’s title, so of course, that’s going to be the challenge this week.  It seems apparent that someone’s not going to survive to the end of the show, so your challenge is this:

Who’s going to die in this episode, and more importantly, how?

There are certainly some candidates that are more likely than others, but you guys have never been at a loss for creativity.  I look forward to seeing your guesses.  And if you want to comment on what you think we might see with Smokey, Jin, Rousseau, Sun, Desmond, or anyone else, I’d love to hear it!  Enjoy the show everyone!





LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 4: “The Little Prince”

6 02 2009

OK, so before I get to the recap, I once again feel compelled to throw in a little commentary on the show itself overall.  I have to admit, this episode brought me back to the same feeling I had after watching this season’s premiere: that the show was all over the place.  Without the flash-forwards or flash-backs, it just feels like we’re doing so much jumping around.  And it’s not that I can’t keep up, but I really like the idea of a bulk of plot advancement in one area as opposed to getting small chunks in many threads.  I have to admit, I’m very eager for the Oceanic 6 to get back to the island, if only so that we can (hopefully) concentrate on a more linear thread.

In any event, the episode had some fun little nuggets, so let’s get to it!

Meanwhile, back on The Searcher…

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Jack and Kate put the plan in motion regarding the lie about Aaron.  And, apparently, they justify the lie based upon the fact that Claire was going to give him up for adoption.  I found it especially interesting that it was Kate, and not Jack, that came up with the idea.

“I have always been with you.”

This line is the first of many that indicates that we haven’t heard the last of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle.  As if waiting to hear what Sawyer asked Kate to do before jumping out of the helicopter last season wasn’t enough…

Sun’s locked and loaded

She means business, and now has what she needs to do damage.  Ben ought not let his guard down!  Honestly, with all of the misdirection that LOST usually throws at us, it’s not hard start second-guessing whether or not she’s after Ben, or if Jack might actually be her target.  But holding Ben responsible for Jin’s death makes sense, directing that anger at Jack does not.  So I guess we’ll go with our first instinct.

“It’s like really bad jet lag”

Ah, I liked my “time-motion sickness” description better!  Anyway, Faraday finally lets everyone else in on the fact that he knows what’s going on with Charlotte, but doesn’t rule out the possibility of everyone else contracting the symptoms…

“Don’t you want her to come back?”

The writers are clearly trying to tell us that although Sawyer and Kate are physically separated, the love triangle is by no means decided.  Sawyer’s still got strong felings for Kate, and if she ever returns to the island, he’s certainly not going to keep it to himself.

“Don’t worry, I won’t have to give you an injection.”

Instead, I’ll just try to shoot you with tranquilizer darts!  Sayid doesn’t waste any time getting back into 007 mode, turning the tables on his assailant and taking him out with his own tranquilizer gun.  But the question you have to ask yourself is, who knows that Sayid is even there?  Jack, Hurely, and Ben seem to be the only ones.  So who’s your money on for which one of them sent the infiltrator?

Locke avoids the hatch…

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…but Sawyer sees Kate and Claire as Aaron is born.  I’m sure it’s not coincidence that we get to see this specific scene with Aaron, but I also do not see any incredible amount of significance either.  Is the island intentionally taking them to see certain events?  Could there possibly be any reasoning to that even if it were true?  The one thing that does pop out at me with this scene is my theory on what happens to the survivors if/when they run into a former version of themselves.  Remember, Faraday said it wouldn’t be possible: if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen.  But what if *something* happened?  For example, what if they didn’t actually see or hear themselves, but did hear *something*?  Maybe, just maybe, they’re not able to make out their words, but instead hear indiscriminate whispers.  Yeah, I know its’s far-fetched, but that’s my theory: the Whispers are the survivors’ future selves trying (unsuccessfully) to communicate with them.  I’d love to hear some feedback on this one.

“I needed that pain to get to where I am now.”

Locke continues to show signs that he’s grown immensely during his time on the island.  He’s still single-minded in his sense of purpose, but he really does seem to understand where he’s come from, why he did the things he did, and making his future what he decides it will be.

“I’ve never been here before two weeks ago.”

Miles seems to think he’s never been to the island before, but Faraday thinks otherwise.  Just a quick thought on that topic: could Dr. Chang’s son actually be Miles?  Seems like a reach, but what we do know is that Miles has certainly ben to the island before, and is now paying for it.

“Who came in these, ‘Other Others’?”

Yeah, this is a fun one.  We really don’t know where they are, with the exception that they’re in the future somewhere.  So the group that came in with the water bottle could be anyone.  But here’s my whacked out theory: it’s actually the Oceanic 6!  They’ve returned at some point in the future, but none of the remaining survivors know about it at all.  Of course, the biggest hole in that theory is that supposedly, when they all come back, the island time-skipping will stop.  So maybe not.  But it’s a fun thought, isn’t it?

“Are these your people?”

Well, unless something really weird is happening, then it’s definitely not the Oceanic 6.  After all, why would they be firing on Faraday and team?  More likely, it’s some type of Widmore spin-off group, trying to stop them from getting back and turning the frozen donkey wheel in the other direction, so that Ben and the Oceanic 6 can’t find the island.

Head fake!

Alright, I fell for this one hook, line, and sinker.  Great misdirection here with Claire’s mom.  I totally bought into the idea that she wanted Aaron back, and that she was the one applying the pressure through the lawyer.  But what might be even more interesting is that Jack (and Kate) had the opportunity to do the right thing, stop lying, and allow Aaron to be raised by family.  But for some reason, despite Jack not wanting to lie anymore, he decides once again not to share any info.  I guess his desire to get back to the island now supercedes the desire not to lie.  Very intriguing.  By the way, what’s up with all of the sudden rain?  It even worked its way into the script, so it had to be intentional by the writers.  I have no clue about its significance though.

Nice van dude!

It’s about this time that we’re finally able to see the van that Ben & Sayid are driving around in.  And I’m pretty sure you noticed it, but let me point it out just in case.  Did you happen to see the name of the carpet cleaning company etched on the van?  It reads, “Canton-Rainier”.  Do a quick runthrough on a anagram solver and what do you get?  That’s right, “reincarnation”.  Maybe Locke’s got a way to come back from the dead, but just not as himself.  Could he be Aaron?  Jacob?  Richard Alpert?  Ah, the possibilities…

Jin’s alive!

jinandrousseau

Here’s one I didn’t see coming.  How the heck did he survive the freighter explosion?  I guess if the Oceanic 6 can survive the helicopter crash, then Jin can survive the explosion.  In any event, I was pleasantly surprised to see him back.  Hopefully we can see a reunion between he and Sun sometime in the near future.

Ben admits to hiring the attorney

Not a huge shocker here, really.  Ben wants to ride the coattails of the Oceanic 6 back to the island, and he knows that he needs all of them back together in order to do it.  So long as Kate thinks that she can continue to lead a happy life with Aaron, she’s going nowhere.  Ben needed to press her into going on the run in order to give her any kind of motivation to go back to the island.  Meanwhile, Sun’s ready to make her move, and she brought Aaron with her.  Looks like the only Oceanic 6 member not there is Hurley.

She’s French, she’s pregnant, she’s…

Rousseau!  OK, you could see that one a mile away.  But it’s cool to see that we’re going to get some answers regarding her backstory.  That was certainly a concern based upon her death last season.  Now all we have to do is tie in the Black Rock and the 4-toed statue, and all of our questions will be answered!

Post-episode questions:

  1. Who the heck were those people shooting at Sawyer and company?  Not a whole lot of clues in that regard.
  2. How did Jin survive the freighter explosion, and how can he get reunited with Faraday and gang?
  3. Will we get any real insight on Rousseau’s team’s “sickness”, and will it be at all related to time travel?
  4. Will Sun actually shoot Ben?
  5. Will Kate join the rest of the Oceanic 6, or will she take Aaron and bolt?

See you all next week!  But in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts below…