Thursday, May 28, 2009

5.16 The Incident


Summary and Spoilers

Jacob and other flashbacks:

In a time long ago, when tall sailing ships roamed the seas, Jacob was a man who shared the island with another, mysterious man. Jacob kept enticing ships to visit the island, to watch the people fight and corrupt the place. The other man wants to keep the island pure and tells Jacob that he wants to kill him. (Well, the island will be pure except for that killing, anyway). They have their little standoff chat on the beach, watching a sailing ship heading in, underneath the imposing structure of a huge animal-headed god statue. So now we know who Jacob is – sort of.

Flashback to a little Kate stealing her very first item – a lunchbox. She gets caught, and who bales her out by paying for it – none other than Jacob. And it's no coincidence, because Jacob knows her name.

It’s a funeral – I don’t know where – and a young boy mourns the death of someone. Jacob is there to lend a pen to the boy, who is identified as James (Sawyer). The pen is lent so James can write his famous letter to the real Sawyer. So Jacob seems very much to be a god-like figure – immortal, able to travel anywhere, and a manipulator of people.

Flashback to Sayid and Nadia, a happy couple about to cross a city street. Jacob stops Sayid to ask directions, and Nadia is killed in a hit and run.

Flashback to Jacob visiting Ilana in a third-world hospital. He asks her for a favor and she agrees.

Jacob reads a book on a park bench. A body – Locke’s body – hurtles to the ground behind him. Jacob apologizes to Locke for what he is going through, and promises things will be alright.

Flashback to Sun and Jin’s wedding. Jacob is a wedding guest, uninvited by either the bride or groom, who advises them, in perfect Korean, to never take their special love for granted.

Jack freezes at the operating table, but succeeds after his dad steps in and calms him down. After the successful op, Jacob shows up to free Jack’s trapped candy bar from the vending machine and to share some friendly, not so subtle advice about being stuck.

Flashback to a tween Juliet, devastated by the news that her parents are getting divorced. She races away from the family meeting and out into the living room, where Jacob…is not there. In fact, this is a rare Jacob-free flashback.

Flashback to Hurley, reluctantly leaving prison. He shares a cab with Jacob. Jacob spends the short ride trying to convince Hurley that Hurley is not crazy, and that he should go back to the island.

Kate, Juliet, and Sawyer:

On the sub, full-grown Kate is trying to convince Sawyer that they have to go back and stop Jack from blowing up the island. Sawyer patiently explains that he was happy in Dharmaville and has no interest in stopping Jack. Juliet does not concur, and when a guard arrives with sedatives, she knocks him out, takes his gun and keys, and frees Sawyer and Kate. Sawyer now changes his mind and of course agrees to stop Jack. At gunpoint, the sub captain agrees to surface the sub. Sawyer shoots and kills the radio to ensure that there is no communication with the island after they leave.

Juliet and gang paddle their inflatable back to the island. Landing on a somewhat familiar beach, they are greeted first by Vincent, and then by Rose and Bernard. Sawyer tries to convince Rose and Bernard to come with, but they have ‘retired’. They don’t even care that the island is about to blow up, because even if they both die, they will still be together, which is kind of creepy. I’m not sure who freaks me out more – Bernard, for being annoying all the time, or Rose, for wanting to spend every moment of her life (and death) with him. The most help they can offer is to point the gang in the direction of Dharmaville.

Dharma:

Over at Swan, Dr. Chang has stopped the drilling. Radzinsky vetoes that idea, insisting that the drilling continue. He flicks the on switch himself, unconcerned that the drill temperature has reached meltdown.

Locke to the future:

Locke tells Richard that he is going to visit Jacob to thank him for resurrecting him. In the last episode, he told Ben he was going to kill Jacob. Richard wants to know why Locke isn’t still dead. Locke suggests that Richard should have the answer, since he has never aged. Locke also says that after Jacob, they need to ‘deal’ with the other survivors of the plane, intimating that they will be killed (or thanked).

Later, after Ben confides to Locke that his dead daughter insisted that he follow all of Locke’s directives, Locke tells Ben that he is not going to kill Jacob – Ben is.

Locke and his followers reach the beach and the old camp of the survivors. Everyone has a rest, while Locke revs Ben up to kill Jacob, based on all the acts of faith and sacrifices Ben has made for him, with no reward.

Locke and gang reach the beach and a huge foot – the remainder of what once was a big god statue. Richard says Jacob lives under the foot. When night falls, Locke takes Ben in to see Jacob, despite Richard’s objections.

Outside, Ilana and her box have arrived. She has been looking for someone called Ricardo but settles for Richard, who speaks to her in Spanish. She opens the box. Inside is the dead body of Locke. So who is the Locke inside the foot? Is it FootLocke-R?

Inside, Locke and Ben meet Jacob. Locke and Jacob know each other, and it is obvious from the way they relate that this Locke is the same person, in some way, as the bearded man who threatened to kill Jacob all those years ago if he could find that loophole. He has found it now. Ben stabs Jacob. Locke kicks his body into the flames at the center of Jacob’s cavern, but not before Jacob utters, "They’re coming!"

On the other side of the island:

Ilana and friends have loaded the unconscious Frank on a boat and taken him to a remote place where they allow him to gaze inside of a box. "Terrific," is Frank’s one-word reaction, but we don’t get to see yet, so we’ll have to take his word for that.

Frank accompanies Ilana’s gang to their destination – Jacob’s cabin – all the while questioning what they are doing and why. The ash circle they left around the cabin has been broken, indicating that someone has been there and putting them all on guard. Ilana enters alone and discovers evidence that Jacob has not been there but someone else has. She gives orders to torch the place.

With the bomb:

Sayid has consulted Dan’s notebooks and has a plan: they remove the plutonium core from the bomb (this makes it lighter and transportable) and head for the Swan station. While Sayid loads the plutonium into a backpack, Richard asks Jack about Locke. Jack tells Richard not to give up on Locke and not to doubt his significance.

Attempting to break out, the gang breaks through to the basement of one of the Dharma houses. Eloise wants to go first, but Richard knocks her out and tells Jack and Sayid that he is protecting her. They can continue but he is going back. As they emerge into Dharmaville, Sayid’s plan to hide in plain sight backfires when they are spotted by Ben’s dad. Sayid is shot as the camp opens fire on them. Hurley and Jin arrive in the trusty blue Volkswagen bus just in time to take them to safety. Off they speed toward the Swan, hoping to get there before the catastrophe happens. Hurley stops, however, when the road is blocked by Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet.

Sawyer, Jack, and the Bomb:

Sawyer and Jack discuss whether to explode the bomb or not. When they cannot agree, they settle it J. J. Abrams style – with a long bloody fistfight. Sawyer wins, but Juliet changes her mind and decides they should help Jack. Why? Because she wants to lose Sawyer organically, rather than lose him to Kate in the unexploded world. (Huh?) I wrote that so it would make as little sense as the script, if you follow me.

At the Swan, Chang and Radzinsky have just drilled into the pocket when they get the news that Jack has escaped and is probably heading their way.

Jack finds that he has a much easier time convincing Kate that the bomb is a good idea when he talks to her just after Sawyer has beaten the crap out of him. Women go for the tall, bloody and handsome types. Afterward, Jack straps the bomb to his back and sneaks toward the Swan. He is discovered just before he gets there and is under fire, but he is joined by the rest of the gang, who arrives with guns blazing. Amazing, despite bullets flying everywhere, no big cast members get hit. Jack drops the bomb down the drill shaft, and everyone scrunches up their faces (like that’s going to help if a nuclear device explodes). But nothing happens. Instead, the pocket starts acting up, sucking in everything magnetic. Jack takes a toolbox to the head, and Juliet gets wrapped around a chain (but in a bad way, not in a good, bedroom fantasy way) and is pulled toward the gaping maw. Sawyer grabs her but cannot hold on, and she slips into the drill hole and disappears. Following her down at high speed are oodles of huge sharp and heavy magnetic objects. Sawyer collapses in agony and tears; Kate and Jack have to drag him to safety.

At the bottom of the well, Juliet comes to in a shallow puddle and is face to face with the bomb. She smashes it with rocks until it explodes…

Comments

The CGI people did a nice job with the huge animal-headed god statue (much better than they did last episode with that dodgy obviously CGI submarine).

Memorable Moments

With five different areas of focus, plus numerous Jacob flashbacks, it's difficult to pick the best moments, as there were too many. Or I am lazy.

Lost Quotes

Kate: We have to get out of here.
Sawyer: Outta here? We’re under water.

Locke: You’ve been staring for the last ten minutes, Richard – is there something you would like to ask me?
Richard: Ben told me that he strangled you.
Locke: That is my recollection, yes.

Juliet: We decided to leave this island, James. We did. And now we’re going back.
Sawyer: Are you serious?
Juliet: We can’t just let those people die. You want out - you wanna stay here and whine about it?
Sawyer: Unlock the damn cuffs!

"In my experience, the people who go out of their way to tell you they’re the good guys are the bad guys."
- Frank

Locke: Everything all right?
Ben: I was enjoying some alone time.

Locke: You mind if I ask you a question?
Ben: I’m a Pisces.

Ben: Why do you want me to kill Jacob, John?
Locke: Because despite your loyal service to this island, you got cancer. You had to watch your own daughter gunned down right in front of you. And your reward for those sacrifices? You were banished. And you did all this in the name of a man you’ve never even met. So the question is, Ben, why the hell wouldn’t you want to kill Jacob?

Locke: What is it? Why are we stopping?
Richard: You’ll see.
Locke: Well, it’s a wonderful foot, Richard, but what does it have to do with Jacob?
Richard: It’s where he lives.

Richard: What - what are you doing?
Ben: John wants me to join him.
Richard: You can’t bring him in.
Locke: Why not?
Richard: Because only our leader can request an audience with Jacob, and there can only be one leader on the island at a time, John.
Locke: I’m beginning to think you just make these rules up as you go along, Richard. Ben is coming in with me, and if that’s a problem, I’m sure Jacob and I can work it out.

"I don’t understand. If this is Locke, who’s in there?"
- Sun

"They’re coming!"
- Jacob (last words)

Friday, May 22, 2009

5.15 Follow the Leader


Summary and Spoilers

After Daniel’s death, Jack and Kate are captured by the Others. Despite their Dharma uniforms, Eloise has seen her handwriting in Daniel’s notebook and suspects the prisoners are not part of Dharma.

Prisoners Jack and Kate discuss the pros and cons of fixing the past and wiping out their time on the island. Eloise interrupts – she wants to know how she shot her son. Jack tries to convince her that they can fix her mistake. They need to blow up that bomb real good. But Eloise has bad news – it is buried underneath Dharma-town. Getting in and out is not going to be easy for Jack and Kate - back at Dharma, Sawyer is being slapped around by Radzinsky.

Hurley escapes with Miles and Jin, but not before being accosted by Dr. Chang. Chang wants to know if they are from the future, and, when the answer is affirmative, confirms that Daniel was probably right about the advice to evacuate the island.

Chang walks into Sawyer’s torture party, warning everyone to evacuate, but Radzinsky vetoes this. Sawyer confirms the threat and promises to talk if he and Juliet are put on the submarine and evacuated. Radzinsky plops a notebook in Sawyer’s lap and asks for a map to the hostiles.

Sawyer gives them what they want, and soon, he and Juliet are inside the sub, chained to a table and contemplating their future freedom in the real world. Their romantic dream is thrown a bit when Kate is also banished to the sub and chained to the table, making for a strange little ménage a troi.

Miles and gang see Sawyer and Juliet being loaded onto the sub, and they see Chang yelling at his wife, telling her to get on also; Miles is a witness to his own life being saved by his father.

Eloise heads off with Richard, Kate, and Jack on a field trip to the bomb. Kate decides to drop out. She has no interest in killing everyone, destroying the island and wiping out the last three years. When she turns to leave, she is told to stay and threatened with death by Eloise’s party. A shot rings out, and the man who was about to shoot Kate lies dead, killed by Sayid. Kate still leaves, vowing to stop Jack before he kills everyone.

Richard, Eloise, Jack and Sayid dive into a pool and follow an underwater tunnel into underground tunnels that either are the ‘temple’ or are using the same sets. They find the big bomb – now they have to get it out or detonate it.

Thirty years later:

Locke arrives at the Others camp. Locke, Richard, and Ben head off to perform Locke’s mysterious ‘errand before nightfall’. Sun waits, hoping that Richard’s dire story that he watched Jin die in 1977 can somehow be incorrect or reversible. Locke’s itinerary is to first show Richard where he was the past three years, and then to visit Jacob. The ‘visit Jacob’ part is met with disdain by both Richard and Ben, but Locke insists that he is now leader and that is what he wants to do. Their first stop is a bizarre journey into the twilight zone, as an earlier version of Locke arrives with a bullet in his leg. Current Locke coaches Richard on what to do and say to Past Locke. After Richard removes the bullet, Past Locke disappears.

Back at camp, Locke’s second move is to invite everyone to join him in a jaunt to meet the mysterious Jacob, to come face to face with the man who has been supposedly giving orders to the Others. Sun thinks Locke is going to see Jacob so he can be reunited with Jin and the Others. But Locke tells Ben that the real reason is so he can kill Jacob.

Comments

A big bomb, a murder mission to Jacob (whoever and whatever he is), and a submarine trip to nowhere – we are building up to one dandy season finale! And its only one big double episode away! I find myself trying to figure out how the season will end – and failing.

Memorable Moments

  • Locke’s episode-ending murder plan for Jacob

Nits

This is just my personal feeling, but I don’t care how much you slip back and forth in time – there is only one John Locke. So it should not be possible for two of them to exist in the flesh in the same place, or anywhere at all, for that matter. Now maybe that second one is not really ‘in the flesh’ at all.

Lost Quotes

Sun: Who’s that man he’s talking to?
Ben: His name is Richard Alpert. He’s a kind of…advisor, and he has had that job for a very very long time.

Sun: Were you here in 1977?
Richard: Excuse me?
Sun: [shows photo of Dharma from 1977] These people – Jack Shepherd, Kate Austin, Hugo Reyes – they were here with my husband, Jin Kwan. Were you here? Do you remember them – any of them?
Richard: Yes, I was here 30 years ago. And I do, I remember these people, I remember meeting them very clearly, because…I watched them all die.

Locke: Ben, I’d appreciate if you’d join us.
Ben: Why, John, don’t you trust me here with my former people? Afraid I’ll stage a coup?
Locke: I’m not afraid of anything you can do anymore, Ben.
Ben: Well, in that case, I’d love to come.

Eloise: How is this my handwriting if I don’t remember writing it?
Jack: Because you haven’t written it yet.

Miles: Dr. Chang! What are you doing here?
Dr. Chang: I could ask you the same question.
Hurley: Well, we asked you first.
Dr. Chang: Your friend Faraday said that you were from the future. I need to know if he was telling the truth.
Hurley: Dude, that’s ridiculous.
Dr. Chang: What year were you born? What year?
Hurley: Uh, 1931.
Dr. Chang: You’re 46?
Hurley: Yeah. Yes I am.
Dr. Chang: So you fought in the Korean War?
Hurley: There’s no such thing.
Dr. Chang: Who’s the president of the United States?
Hurley: Alright, dude, we’re from the future. Sorry.
Dr. Chang: It’s true then – you are my son.
Miles: Yeah, it’s true.

Sayid: I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I’ve already changed things. I killed Benjamin Linus, and we’re all still here.
Kate: That’s because you didn’t kill him. Sawyer and me took him to the Others so that they could save him.
Sayid: Why did you do that?
Kate: Why did I do that? Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?

Richard: I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble.
Ben: Why do you think I tried to kill him?

Locke: I’m not interested in being reunited with my people.
Ben: What do you mean – you told Sun -
Locke: I know what I told her, but that’s not why we’re going to Jacob.
Ben: Then why are we going to Jacob?
Locke: So I can kill him.

Monday, May 4, 2009

5.14 The Variable


Summary and Spoilers

In this Daniel-centric episode, we learn much more about how he, his mother Eloise, and Charles Widmore fit into the equation.

As a young man, Daniel was driven by his mother to excel at the sciences to the exclusion of all else. Eloise calls it her job to do so, with the emphasis on ‘job’, as if perhaps she is not only Daniel’s mother, but perhaps she has also been hired to guide Daniel in a particular sponsored direction. Daniel has been fully manipulated, since the huge research grant he receives upon graduation from Oxford was supplied by Widmore, who also happens to be (unbeknownst to him) his father.

But Daniel’s experiments at Oxford ended in tragedy, when he destroyed his mind and that of his girlfriend. Widmore offers him a way out – an expedition to return to the island, where his mind will be healed and he can continue his experiments and discover new sources of energy and time travel. Daniel, of course, accepts this proposal.

In the ‘present’, Daniel has returned to the island with a fresh new plan to negate the energy under the hatch and stop flight 815 from crashing. Whereas the last time we saw him, he was suggesting that ‘what happened, happened’, and that everyone should lie low and stop wasting their energy trying to change the unchangeable, this time, he’s running around, talking to everyone he can, trying to influence as much as possible. Unsure that his plan to halt the energy release will succeed, he accosts Dr. Chang and encourages him to evacuate as many people as possible. When Change treats him with disdain, he tells Chang that Miles is his son. Chang then holds him in even more disdain.

Daniel talks to a little girl named Charlotte as well. He encourages her to tell her mother to get on the sub and get out of there, again, in case he fails.

And after revealing that his mother is the only person that can get them off the island and back to where they are supposed to be, he elicits help from Jack and Kate to visit the hostiles (where his mother, Ellie, is a gun-toting member) to speak to her. This causes a rift in the group. With Phil still tied up in the closet, its time for the visitors to leave Dharmaville. Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Hurley decide to pack some supplies and head back to the beach camp. As mentioned, Kate, Jack, and Daniel head for the barrier and the hostiles beyond. But before they get away, they have a firefight with Radzinsky and his men. After the fight, Radzinsky visits Sawyer and hears banging in the closet. Upon discovering Phil, Radzinsky holds Sawyer at gunpoint and tells him to get on the floor.

Daniel fares no better with the hostile Ellie, who promptly shoots him, then registers shock when the dying Daniel reveals that he is her son.

Comments

In my commentary for Some Like it Hoth and other episodes, I questioned the Lost rules that time travel cannot influence the past or the future. In one sense, Daniel has contradicted this rule, at least in theory, by finally realizing the obvious – that the people, as variables, can definitely change the future by changing the past. However, he is shot by Eloise before he can attempt to make that change, thereby keeping the rules intact – for now.

There’s something satisfying watching the Sawyer-led meeting with many of the original survivors, as they decide how they will align themselves. There are still those two distinct groups, led by Sawyer and Jack, except this time, Kate goes with Jack (perhaps partially because Juliet is with Sawyer).

Lost Quotes

Daniel: And how did she convince you, Jack – she tell you it was your ‘destiny’?
Jack: Yeah, that’s exactly what she said.
Daniel: Well, I got some bad news for you, Jack - you don’t belong here at all. She was wrong.

Sawyer: Get in here. Phil, one of my security guys, got himself a videotape of me and Kate taking the kid out to the hostiles.
Jack: And where’s the tape?
Sawyer: With Phil.
Jack: And where is Phil?

Daniel: I need you to order the evacuation of every man, woman, and child on this island.
Chang: And why would I do that?
Daniel: Because that man is on a stretcher as a consequence of the electromagnetic activity that your drilling unleashed down here.
Chang: Which is now contained.
Daniel: It’s contained down here, but in about six hours, the same thing is gonna happen at the site of the Swan station, only the energy there is about 30 thousand times more powerful, sir. And the accident…it’s gonna be catastrophic.
Chang: That is utterly absurd! What could possibly qualify you to make that kind of prediction?
Daniel: I’m from the future.

Sawyer: [asking about Daniel] He still crazy?
Miles: It’s on a whole new level, man.

 "I just got shot by a PHYSICIST! And the new recruits…are helping him."
- Radzinsky to Sawyer

Jack: You need a gun to go talk to your mother, Dan?
Daniel: You don’t know my mother, Jack.
Jack: You ready to tell me why she was wrong – why we don’t belong here?
Daniel: In about four hours, the Dharma folks at the Swan work site--they're gonna - gonna drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy. The result of the release of this energy would be catastrophic. So, in order to contain it, they're gonna have to cement the entire area in like Chernobyl. And this containment - the place they built over it - I believe you called it ‘the Hatch’ - the Swan hatch? Because of this one accident, these people are gonna spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay - by pressing a button - a button your friend Desmond will one day fail to push, and that will cause your plane - Oceanic 815 - to crash on this island. And because your plane crashed, a freighter will be sent to this island - a freighter I was on and Charlotte was on and so forth - this entire chain of events - it's gonna start happening this afternoon. But...we can change that. I studied relativistic physics my entire life. One thing emerged over and over - can't change the past, can't do it. Whatever happened, happened, right? But then I finally realized...I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack?
Jack: No.
Daniel: Us. We're the variables. People. We think, we reason, we make choices; we have free will. We can change our destiny. I think I can negate that energy under the Swan. I think I can destroy it. If I can, then that hatch will never be built, and your plane - your plane will land, just like it's supposed to, in Los Angeles.
Kate: And just how exactly do you plan on destroying this energy?
Daniel: I'm gonna detonate a hydrogen bomb.

Penny: Thought I’d lost you.
Desmond: I promised you, Penny – I promised you - I’d never leave you again.

Eloise: Sacrifice? Don’t you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles! I had to send my son back to the island knowing full well -
Widmore: It was my son too, Eloise.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

5.13 Some Like It Hoth


Summary and Spoilers

This Miles-centric episode tracks the life of the talks-to-dead-people person, starting from when he was the child of a single mom. We view the first time Miles discovered he could talk to dead people (he was just a boy), and how shocked and confused he was by finding he had this ability that he could not switch off.

Miles was raised by his mother alone; she said his father left just after Miles was born and is now dead. So it must have been quite a shock for Miles to arrive on the island in 1977 and meet his mother, father, and even himself as a little baby. Even more of a shock, his father, now known as Dr. Pierre Chang, is the infamous Dr. Marvin Candle from all those Dharma initiation films. Of course, Miles’ parents don’t know who he is. Miles has no interest in getting to know his father, but Hurley keeps encouraging him to mend fences. The argument that works best on Miles is when Hurley compares the situation to the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back. When Miles secretly watches his dad playing with his little baby boy, Miles begins to wonder if he was wrong about his dad never loving him.

Sawyer, out all day covering up his part in freeing young Ben, returns to find Jack briefing Juliet on the latest with Kate. It seems Kate tried to reassure Ben’s dad Roger that Ben would be okay. Roger, drunk and angry, took this as a sign that Kate had something to do with Ben’s disappearance. Jack vouches for Kate and manages to temporarily convince Roger that she would not have harmed Ben. After Jack leaves, Phil shows up. Miles was supposed to erase the security tape that showed Sawyer bringing Ben outside the fence, but Miles got called away by Horace. Phil has seen the tape and now knows that Sawyer abducted Ben, but he hasn’t told anyone else yet. Sawyer invites Phil inside to talk, then knocks him out and tells Juliet to get some rope.

With Sawyer out of contact, Horace calls on Miles to take the van and meet Radzinsky in the jungle. Radzinsky loads a dead Dharma body into the back of the van and tells Miles to ask no questions. Miles brings the body and van back to Horace and gets additional orders to bring the body to The Orchid. Hurley is also going to the Orchard; Miles caves and lets Hurley carpool. During the ride, Hurley discovers the body, and then doubles his mistake by mentioning this to Dr. Chang when they arrive at the Orchid. Miles drops Chang off at the new construction site in an area of the jungle that is off-limits to Dharma. Hurley realizes that Dharma is building ‘the hatch’ there.

It seems that back on the mainland, Miles was initially hired by Widmore, and then tempted to quit Widmore by some mysterious alternative group (probably led by Ben). But while Widmore offered Miles 1.6 million dollars to join the expedition to the island and track down Ben, the other group offered no money at all. Instead, they promised to help Miles understand why he is different, and to help him find out about his father. Miles sticks with the 1.6 million, which is certainly consistent with his character.

Back on the island, new scientists have arrived on the sub, and one of them is Daniel.

Comments

I’m not fully invested in caring about Miles; even after this episode, that hasn’t changed much. Maybe it’s because he’s blatantly out for himself, aloof, sarcastic, and the opposite of brave. Haunted by his demons, it all makes more sense now.

I’m sure Ken Leung (Miles) would have been hanging out for this episode, after having almost nothing to do and very few lines so far this season.

I think Lost is parodying itself just slightly when it starts coming up with terms like the ‘Circle of Trust’. It kind of has that ‘Cone of Silence’ ring to it.

Nits

My general interpretation of time travel is: if you travel back in time to when you were a baby, you cannot be there as the older you and also as the baby. There is, physically, only one of you - there are not 500 billions snapshots of you, each alive. So Miles should not be able to travel back and see himself. As to what should happen…not sure.

Lost Quotes

Radzinsky: Miles! What are you doing out here? I was expecting LaFleur!
Miles: LaFleur’s busy. Horace sent me instead. I’m in the Circle of Trust -
Radzinsky: Get out!

Miles: What happened to him?
Radzinsky: He had an accident.
Miles: What kind of accident?
Radzinsky: He fell into a ditch.
Miles: Is that a bullet hole in his head? The ditch had a gun?

“Okay…so what really happened?”
- Miles to dead guy

Hurley: [looking at Dr. Chang] Dude, that guy is a total douche.
Miles: That douche is my dad.

Friday, April 17, 2009

5.12 Dead is Dead


Summary and Spoilers

It’s a credit to Michael Emerson’s acting and the Lost writers that despite all of the evil acts that Ben has performed or ordered, I’m still not sure if he is evil, or exactly how evil he is – or at least if he is more or less evil than Charles Whidmore. Since this is a Ben-centric episode, we get to see a lot more of his character – and yet, I’m still not sure.

In flashback, we find out that Richard brought Ben the boy to the Temple, where the island made the decision to heal him. The island could very well have decided to let him die – or kill him. When Whidmore hears that Richard spared the life of this Dharma boy, he is unhappy – but he cannot argue with decisions the island makes.

Later, we see Ben when he is a little older, perhaps in his early 20s. Whidmore has sent him on a mission with a young Ethan to eliminate Danielle. Whidmore considers her a threat to the island. But Whidmore hasn’t told Ben about Danielle’s baby Alex. Faced with killing a mother, Ben opts out, but he does bring back the baby. Back at camp, Whidmore tells him to kill the baby. Ben refuses and tells Whidmore to do it. Whidmore just walks away. Okay, they’re both equally evil there, quite willing to use a baby as a pawn in their struggle to prove which one of them knows more about what the island wants. In many ways, they are like high priests, trying to interpret the same scripture.

Still later, Ben is able to banish Whidmore from the island at gunpoint. He has won the power struggle and convinced everyone that he knows more about what the island wants. Where does Richard stand in all this? The ageless eyeliner-wearing one doesn’t seem to get involved in this power struggle, always remaining close to the top of the command structure.

And Ben was evil on the mainland. Remember how he showed up to return to the island with numerous serious bruises? He got them while attempting an eye-for-an-eye retribution for Whidmore killing his daughter. Ben is about to shoot Penny, when once again a child (Desmond and Penny’s son) makes him stop. Ben will do many things, but killing mothers doesn’t seem to be among them. This gives Desmond time to jump him, stop him, and seriously injure him.

Ben is plenty evil enough in the present, too. He’s obviously shocked to see that Locke is still alive, but he tells Locke that he knew it would happen – that the only reason he killed Locke was because he knew this would get everyone back to the island and bring Locke back to life. But Ben also tells Sun that he had no idea that Locke would be alive again, and that he is terrified by this. This second revelation seems closer to the truth.

Locke, for his part, is serene – indeed, almost god-like. For most people, if they got a chance to confront the person who tried to kill them, they would go for that eye-for-an-eye type retribution. Locke is actually confronting the man that did kill him, and all he wants is an apology. Ben won’t even give him that, but Locke wants something else – he’s pushing Ben to return to the main island to face judgement. Ben initially says he will be judged for turning the wheel, bringing everyone back, and returning to the island. But Locke figures out the real reason: Ben will be judged for allowing his daughter Alex to be killed.

Ben has convinced the gun-toting Caesar that Locke wasn’t on the plane and is deranged. So when Ben and Locke are about to take a boat to the island, Ben makes it sound like he is going against his will. Caesar is about to stop Locke from going, but Ben has stolen his gun – and shoots him in cold blood. It’s an over-the-top response that was not warranted – there was no indication by Caesar that he intended to kill Locke – he was probably just going to detain and question him. But Ben tells Locke that he has just saved his life – and he offers this as an apology.

Back on the main island, Ben and Locke find Sun and Frank. Frank tries to get Sun to return to the other island, but Sun sticks with Ben, hanging on the possibility of finding Jin. Frank returns to the other island amid turmoil. It seems that some of the passengers, led by Ilana, have found a cache of guns and are now running things a little differently. When Frank can’t answer the "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" question, he is knocked to the ground with the butt of a gun.

Ben, Locke, and Sun go to the temple. Sun waits while Ben and Locke crawl beneath the structure. Alone, in a roomful of hieroglyphics indicating that the smoke monster is thousands of years old, Ben is surrounded by gray fog and images of the conflict that was part of his relationship with Alex. When the smoke monster retreats, Alex appears. She doesn’t look like a ghost (perhaps she inhabits the real world or lives in another timeline). Roughly, she pins Ben against a pillar, tells him to discard his plan to kill Locke, and instead to follow every word and command Locke gives. If he doesn’t do this, she says, she will hunt him down and terrorize him. Ben agrees and seems – on the surface - to be truly humbled.

Lost Quotes

Richard: He's just a boy, and he was dying.
Charles: Then you should've let him die.
Richard: Jacob wanted it done. The island chooses who the Island chooses. You know that.

Caesar: How you feeling, my friend?
Ben: Like someone hit me with an oar, but I'll live. edit »

"Sun, I had no idea it would happen. I've seen this island do miraculous things. I've seen it heal the sick, but never once has it done anything like this. Dead is dead. You don't come back from that, not even here. So the fact that John Locke is walking around this Island... scares the living hell out of me."
- Ben

Ben: You may want to go inside.
Sun: Why?
Ben: Because what's about to come out of that jungle is something I can't control.
[Locke walks out of the jungle]

Ben: May I ask you a question, John?
Locke: Shoot.
Ben: How is it that you know where you're going?
Locke: I just know.
Ben: I mean, how does that work, exactly?
Locke: How does what work?
Ben: The knowing. I mean, did it come upon you gradually, or did you wake up one morning suddenly understanding the mysteries of the universe?
Locke: You don't like this, do you?
Ben: What?
Locke: Having to ask questions that you don't know the answers to, blindly following someone in the hopes that they'll lead you to whatever it is you're looking for.
Ben: No, John, I don't like it at all.
Locke: Well, now you know what it was like to be me.

Ben: I knew it. I knew that this would happen.
Locke: Then why are you so surprised to see me?
Ben: Because it's one thing to believe it, John. It's another thing to see it.

Locke: Do what you say you were on your way to do. Be judged.
Ben: That's not something you want to see, John.
Locke: If everything you've done has been in the best interest of the island, then I'm sure the monster will understand.

Locke: Well, Ben, I was hoping you and I could talk about the elephant in the room.
Ben: I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you.

Locke: If all I had to do is die, Ben, then why did you stop me?
Ben: You had critical information that would have died with you - and once you've given it to me - well I just didn't have time to talk you back into hanging yourself.

"You're in the habit of calling people "friend," but I don't think you mean it."
- Locke: [to Caesar]

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

5.11 Whatever Happened, Happened


Summary and Spoilers

When Jin awakens from his Sayid bashing, he finds the almost dead body of young Ben. He brings Ben back to camp and alerts other that Sayid is the culprit. Juliet tries to patch Ben up, but she can’t stop the bleeding, and the Dharma surgeon is inaccessible at another station. Sawyer asks Jack to help, but Jack refuses. Later, Jack explains to Kate that he already saved Ben once, at Kate’s request, because Ben was going to kill Sawyer. He says he won’t do it again.

This discussion with Kate takes place in a house where Sawyer has put Miles and his rifle in charge of keeping Jack, Kate, and Hurley under house arrest lest they talk to anyone. Hurley questions Miles about time travel. Kate gets fed up with Jack’s indifference, and she leaves, despite the earlier warning from Miles that he would shoot anyone who left in the leg.

Kate gives blood (she’s a universal donor) but that isn’t enough. Juliet suggests the Others may be able to help. Kate loads Ben in a van and drives to the border of the Dharma camp. Sawyer arrives soon after, but he isn’t there to bring her back – he wants to help her.

Sawyer disables the barrier fence, and together they bring Ben to Richard, who reacts as if he already knew that Ben was coming. Richard agrees to take Ben, but says he will never come back, he will forget all that happened, and he will lose his innocence. Kate agrees to those conditions.

Richard carries Ben into the Temple.

On the other island, big Ben wakes up in his weakened state and finds himself face to face with a very alive John Locke.

In flashback, Kate visits Cassidy and brings her money, saying it is from Sawyer (even though it isn’t). Cassidy wants none of it. She is still angry at Sawyer, and she is convinced that the reason Kate took Aaron was to help mend the heart that Sawyer broke when he did his cowardly dive out of the helicopter. Kate leaks a lot of details about what really happened on the island. Later, she leaves Aaron with Claire’s mother, and leaks even more details.

Comments

Miles says that time-traveling islanders like himself cannot change events that have already happened, because even though those events happened in the future, it is from their past. Hurley then wonders why Ben did not remember Sayid in the future. Miles doesn’t have an answer for this. However, later we learn (from Richard) that Ben will forget all that happened.

This doesn’t make sense to me and doesn’t gel with how time travel and the timeline is normally handled in fiction. Surely, if you travel back in time and do things differently, this would affect the future. I wonder why the creators have chosen the opposite path. Are they saying that nothing the time travelers do will change the future? Logical or not, it seems like a more boring strategy – I was looking forward to a different, Ben-free future where the Dharma people were not mass murdered.

Kate tells Claire’s mother that Claire is still alive. This seems like a big call – Claire is missing and presumed dead, isn’t she?

One of the Others suggests to Richard that before taking Ben, he should consult with Charles and Ellie. So in this time period, Widmore is still in a position of power with the Others.

Nits

Sayid has just spent a couple of years traveling around assassinating people. So why, when he had his chance to kill young Ben, did he shoot him from a distance and then run away? There was no one in the vicinity who was threatening him. I would have expected Sayid to fire a couple of shots into the head of young Ben; normally, that has a greater chance of guaranteeing death. Or is it possible that Sayid did not want to kill Ben?

Young Ben’s internal injuries would be exacerbated by a bumpy ride on a dirt road…so I’m not sure if Kate’s decision to move him was such a good idea. I suppose she had no alternative; Juliet stated he would die anyway.

Lost Quotes

Jack: I’ve already saved Benjamin Linus, and I did it for you Kate…I don’t need to do it again.
Kate: This is our fault; we brought Sayid back; we caused this.
Jack: No, when we were here before I spent all my time trying to fix things, but did you ever think that maybe the island just wants to fix things itself? That maybe I was just getting in the way?
Kate: You know, I don’t like the new you. I liked the old you who wouldn’t just sit around and wait for things to happen.
Jack: You didn’t like the old me, Kate.

Hurley: Let me get this straight, all this already happened?
Miles: Yes.
Hurley: So, this conversation we’re having right now, we already had it.
Miles: [claps] Yes!
Hurley: Then what am I gonna say next?
Miles: I don’t know.
Hurley: Ha! Then your theory is wrong!
Miles: For the thousandth time, you dingbat, the conversation already happened. But not for you and me. For you and me, it’s happening right now.
Hurley: Okay, answer me this. If all this already happened to me? Then why don’t I remember any of it?
Miles: Because once Ben turned that wheel, time isn’t a straight line for us anymore. Our experiences in the past and the future occurred before these experiences right now.
Hurley: [pause] Say that again?
Miles: [frustrated, hands Hurley his gun] Shoot me, shoot me please.
Hurley: Ah-ha! I can’t shoot you, because then if you die in 1977, then you’ll never come back to the island on the freighter 30 years from now.
Miles: I can die! Because I’ve already come to the island on the freighter! Any of us can die, because this is our present.
Hurley: But you said Ben couldn’t die because he still has to grow up and become the leader of the Others.
Miles: Because this is his past.
Hurley: But, when we first captured Ben, and Sayid, like, tortured him? Then why wouldn’t he remember getting shot by that same guy when he was a kid?
Miles: [pause] Huh. I hadn’t thought of that.
Hurley: Huh.

"Hello Ben. Welcome back to the land of the living."
- Locke to Big Ben

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

5.10 He’s Our You


Summary and Spoilers

If I had to choose a Lost cast member to ‘share a jail cell with’, my clear choice would be Sayid (Naveen Andrews). Almost every line he delivers in that quiet, powerful accent brings more to the script than is already there. And so I enjoyed this mostly Sayid-centric episode.

We learn more about Sayid’s past in this episode. As a child, he was willing to kill a dinner chicken at his father’s request, while his more sensitive brother was not. This earned praise from his father. Was this what led him to a life as a torturer? When he was on the island, he tortured Sawyer for information, then regretted it later. But when he left the island and his wife was killed, Ben pinned the blame on Widmore’s men, and Sayid trusted Ben – and became an assassin.

There’s no doubt that Sayid despises and distrusts Ben. Ironically, it is Ben as a boy who gravitates to Sayid in his cell, brings him sandwiches and a book to read, and, eventually, helps him escape. (This isn’t ironic for young Ben, who has no idea of the hardship he will cause for Sayid and his island-mates). Ben wants to leave Dharma and join the Hostiles, and he make Sayid promise to do that in exchange for freedom. Sayid seems to know that Ben will save him; he passes earlier on Sawyer’s offer to let him escape. Sayid is due to be executed, and at the time, his refusal to allow Sawyer to release him seems like a death wish. This is when he says that he now knows his purpose. Is it to die like Locke? Not exactly.

A flaming bus crashes into the barracks. The diversion (staged by young Ben, we would assume) allows him to sneak into the jail and free Sayid. As soon as they reach the jungle, they encounter Jin. Sayid knocks Jin out, then Ben receives his reward for allowing Sayid to escape: Sayid shoots and (we assume) kills him.

Speaking of Sawyer…James jumps back and forth between being concerned solely with maintaining his reputation in Dharma. Anything he is going to do to help Sayid will fit within those constraints. His plan is to have Sayid say he is a defector. This is a bad plan, and it’s lucky Sayid did not go along with it. It wouldn’t take long for this story to be exposed as a lie, especially if Richard were to return to the Dharma compound. Sawyer, to his credit, is ready to allow Sayid to escape when Dharma votes to execute Sayid. As mentioned before, Sayid turns down this offer (for reasons we learn later).

Jack, Kate, and Hurley have little to do in this episode. Kate has started working at the garage, despite having no knowledge of engines. Hurley is the one who tells Kate that Sawyer and Juliet are living together; Jack hid that fact.

Comments

Now that Sayid has killed young Ben, what will happen to the ailing Ben’s body in the present timeline? Will it cease to exist?

Will Ben’s death change the course of history? When he reached maturity, Ben orchestrated the mass murder of the Dharma people. What will happen to Dharma now? Will there still be a war with the Hostiles, and will the Hostiles win again in this timeline?

Lost Quotes

Sayid: I killed all those people for you, and now you’re just walking away?
Ben: You didn’t kill them me, Sayid. You’re the one that asked for their names. There’s no one else in Widmore’s organization that we need to go after.

Sawyer: Hit me in the face.
Sayid: What?
Sawyer: Go on, you owe me one anyway. So make it a good one. I want you to take these keys out of my pocket and let yourself out. Guard outside is Phil. He's a dimwit. So I reckon you can get his gun before he even realizes you're out. Just promise me you won't shoot him.

Ben: Sayid: And that’s why you’re here. You actually came all this way to suggest I kill this man [who is parked outside Hugo’s mental institution].
Ben: You don’t want to?
Sayid: What makes you think I want to?
Ben: Because, Sayid…to put it simply, you’re capable of things most other men aren’t. Every choice you’ve made in your life, whether it was to murder or to torture – it hasn’t really been a choice at all, has it? It’s in your nature; it’s what you are! You’re a killer, Sayid!
Sayid: I’m not what you think I am. I don’t like killing.
Ben: Well, then, I apologize. I was mistaken about you.

Juliet: It's over isn't it?
Sawyer: What's over?
Juliet: This. Us. Playing House. All of it.

Sayid: Where to now?
Ben: Nowhere. You're done.
Sayid: What do you mean, I'm done?
Ben: We're done. Andropov was the last one. You've taken care of everyone who posed a threat to your friends. It's been a pleasure working with you, Sayid.

Sawyer: How are you doing?
Sayid: A 12-year old Ben Linus brought me a chicken salad sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?

"Four years ago I ran away into the jungle and Richard found me. I said I wanted to leave, that I wanted to join you. So I've been patient. And if you're patient too, I think I can help you."
- Young Ben (to Sayid)

Sayid: Are you a professional?
Ilana: A professional what? You think I'm a prostitute. I'm not a professional anything. I just thought you looked sad. I like sad men.
Sayid: I'm sorry to hear that.

Sawyer: You got yourself a choice, Chief. Either you cooperate and join the party in Dharmaville or you're on your own.
Sayid: Then I guess I'm on my own.

Roger: What I can't figure out is how the hell you got caught. You Hostiles are supposed to be the kings of the jungle. How dumb are you that you got captured by these idiots.
Sayid: And yet you're the one who mops up after them.

Horace: I just spoke to the prisoner. We have a problem.
Sawyer: Why, what did he say?
Horace: Nothing. Which is what worries me. We need to find out why he violated the truce. Why the hell he would come into our territory. I'm just going to have to have Oldham do his thing on him.
Sawyer: That psychopath? No way.

Sayid: [looking at Oldham] Who is that man?
Sawyer: He's our you.

Oldham: Why were you in handcuffs when we found you?
Sayid: Because...because I am a bad man.

Sayid: You were right about me.
Young Ben: What?
Sayid: I am a killer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

5.9 Namaste


Summary and Spoilers

This episode picks up where La Fleur left off; Sawyer is reacquainted with his ‘friends’ Kate, Hurley, and Jack on the North Point. After shocking them by mentioning that the year is 1977, he rushes back to camp. Juliet helps him formulate a plan: a sub is arriving the following day with new Dharma recruits. Juliet will add three names to the list, and the new arrivals will take jobs at Dharma. That part goes well, although Jack is appalled at being handed a ‘workman’ suit and janitorial duties.

Back at this first meeting, Jack tells Jin that Sun was on the plane that crashed. Jin rushes off to the Flame station, where Dharma employee Radzinsky grudgingly checks with the other stations but finds no evidence that a plane has crashed (of course, we know this is because the plane crashed 30 years later). An intruder breaks through the perimeter and is assumed to be a hostile, but on closer examination, it’s a handcuffed Sayid who is forced to pretend to be a hostile to avoid possibly getting shot. Jin alerts Sawyer to Sayid’s capture; Sawyer arrives and safely takes him back to camp and locks him up (for his own safety) while trying to figure out the next step.

The other people on the plane have crashed on the sister island; they are ½ mile and 30 years away in the present. Ben sneaks away from the group and Sun follows him (and Frank follows Sun). Ben has discovered 3 outrigger boats; he plans to take one across to the main island. Sun agrees to accompany him. But when Ben turns his back, Sun oars him in the head and takes Frank with her instead. On the other island, they are greeted by Christian, who shows them a dusty group Dharma photo from 1977, and tells them that they have a big journey ahead of them.

On the first evening, Jack visits Sawyer at his house and is shocked to find out that James and Juliet are now a couple. Up to now, Sawyer has seemed like a sensible, controlled, fair man since he joined Dharma, but with Jack in the room, he becomes a bit more confrontative. It’s obvious that these guys don’t like each other and are highly competitive. Jack wonders why Sawyer is reading a book and not coming up with a plan; in rebuttal, Sawyer questions Jack’s leadership in his last island stint. Juliet leaves them alone to catch up on old rivalries.

Sayid is alone in his cell. In the evening, an owlish young bespectacled boy who calls himself Ben brings him a sandwich.

Comments

Sayid, Kate, Jack, and Hurley have landed in 1977; the remainder of the people on the plane have landed on the sister island in the present (about 30 years later). It looks like Christian can lead people through a doorway to travel from one time frame to the other.

We meet Ben as a boy, and Ethan (Anna and Horace’s child) as a baby.

Lost is much improved now that the setting has returned to the island(s).

I’m normally not a big fan of time travel, but here it is used well to place our survivors within a different part of known history. It also now gives more value to all that we learned about the early days of Dharma.

If young Ben is on the island, and older Ben arrives there, will he get sick and die the way Charlotte did? Even if you accept the theory of time travel, I don’t think it can be used to have two of you where there is only really one of you.

Memorable Moments

  • The crash landing

Quotable Quotes

Sawyer: We're in the Dharma Initiative.
Jack: They came back to the island?
Sawyer: No. We came back. And so did you. It's 1977!
Hugo: Uh... What?

Sun: Why are you leaving?
Ben: Why are you staying?

(Sun knocks Ben out with an oar.)
Frank: I thought you trusted this guy.
Sun: I lied.

Hurley: Okay, so it's 1977.
Sawyer: Yep.
Hurley: And you guys are all members of the Dharma Initiative.
Sawyer: Yep.
Hurley: Well you do realize those dudes get wiped out, right? I mean, I saw the pit where all the bodies got dumped.
Sawyer: I ain't here to play Nostradamus to these people. Besides, Faraday's got some interesting theories on what we can and can't do here.
Jack: Did you say Faraday? He's here?
Sawyer: Not any more.

Jack: We need to find the rest of the people from the plane.
Sawyer: If there was a plane, Jin'll find it. So we got about ten minutes to make Intake, or you're all going to be camping in the jungle for a long time. There aint another batch of recruits due in for six months.
Jack: What do you think?
Kate: I think we should listen to Sawyer.
Hurley: I vote for not camping.

Kate: So the woman who told you how to get back, did she mention it would be thirty years ago?
Jack: No. No, she left that part out.

Hurley: What if they start asking us questions we can't answer, like who's President in 1977?
Sawyer: It's not a damn game show, Hugo.

Juliet: Have you and Horace settled on a name for him?
Amy: Yeah, we have. We're going to name him Ethan.

Young Ben: Are you a hostile?
Sayid: Do you think I am?
Young Ben: What's your name?
Sayid: Sayid, what's yours?
Young Ben: I'm Ben.
Sayid: It's nice to meet you Ben.

Jack: So, where do we go from here?
Sawyer: I'm working on it.
Jack: Really? Because it looked to me like you were reading a book.
Sawyer: I heard once that Winston Churchill read a book every night. Even during the blitz. Said it made him think better.

Jack: I got us off the island.
Sawyer: But here you are. Right back where you started. So I'm going to go back to reading my book and I'm going to think. Because that's how I saved your ass today. And that's how I'm going to save Sayid's tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

5.8 LaFleur


Summary and Spoilers

Our timeframe begins just as Locke descends into the well in his attempt to leave the island. But this story is not about Locke; it is about what happened to the people he left behind. When Locke turned the donkey wheel, there was one more big earthquake flash, and then silence. Immediately, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Jin knew that this was different. The headaches were gone. Later, when they rejoined Daniel, he confirmed what they already knew: time travel was over – they were not jumping anymore. And wherever they were now, this was where they were going to stay.

Daniel’s alone-ness meant that Charlotte was not among them. Her body disappeared during one of the flashes. This is explained much later in this episode, when a little red-haired Dharma girl waves at Daniel. Charlotte lives again on the island as she did the first time, and for whatever reason, she wasn’t able to co-exist at another stage in her life in this same place. Or something like that.

Speaking of Dharma…this is where the castaways find themselves. It is ‘That 70s Island’, 1974 to be exact. Dharma is heavily entrenched on the island, and they are in conflict with The Others.

As the survivors are heading back to the beach, they come across a conflict where they see a Dharma member dead, and two men putting a burlap sack over the head of a protesting Dharma woman, Amy. Sawyer and Juliet win a gun battle and bury the two dead Others. The woman takes them back to the Dharma compound, but she does it according to protocol, which means she tricks them at the sonic fence and they are brought in unconscious.

The Dharma leader, Horace, questions Sawyer, who is using a fake name (Jim LaFleur) and a fake story (their salvage boat crashed on the reef). Horace believes the story but still insists they leave the island on the next sub bound for Tahiti, despite Sawyer’s request that they be granted time to find the missing members of their crew. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Richard Alpert, who has easily penetrated the Dharma defenses. There is a tentative truce between Dharma and the Others; Richard has come to find out why the truce was broken and where his missing men are. Against Horace’s wishes, Sawyer speaks to Richard alone and drops a few time-travel hints like ‘Jughead’, ‘bald guy leader’, and ‘John Locke’. He admits to killing the men. Richard agrees to keep the peace but he takes the injured body of Paul, Amy’s husband, as payment

Horace agrees to let Sawyer stay for two more weeks to search for his crew. That night, Juliet says she has been trying to get off the island for years and she will leave the next day, but Sawyer convinces her to stay just two more weeks.

Flash forward three years. The castaways have been accepted at Dharma and are working members of the community. Sawyer is head of security, with Jin and Miles working under him. I’m note sure where Daniel is. Juliet is an auto mechanic; she is not only still on the island, but she and Sawyer are living together and very much in love. It has been a good day: Juliet overcame her fear of failure with helping women on the island deliver babies; she successfully helped Amy give birth to a boy. But the big story comes the following morning, when Jin rings Sawyer with a big surprise: he has found Jack, Hurley, and Kate.

In the final scene, Sawyer stands in a remote section of the North Valley and gazes on his long-lost friends, including a woman named Kate. He seems to remember her very much, which is different to the story he just told Horace about how she had faded from his consciousness.

Comments

This episode fills in the gaps in what happened to those that Locke left behind, while we wait for the Next Big Thing to advance the plot – namely, for Jin to tell someone about finding Jack, Hurley, and Kate.

Although Ben is not in this episode, I found myself once again surmising on whether he is good or evil. It is a credit to the way his character is written and the way it is acted (by the talented Michael Emerson) that we still don’t know for sure. But a bit more light has been shed. We see that when Richard led the Others, they had a hard line, but they kept to a truce. Ben came in and killed all the Dharma people. And I don’t think making a judgment on Ben says anything about Widmore. Widmore could be more or less evil than Ben – we really know little about him.

Maybe if Locke can take over leadership of the Others, he can maintain the peace with Dharma and avert the Dharma massacre. Surely there is room on the island for both groups. But how does Widmore fit into this, and why didn’t Widmore try to get back onto the island as well?

Memorable Moments

The meeting of Sawyer and his old companions

The chemistry between Juliet and Sawyer

Nits

After the big flash, Sawyer lies on the ground and sees that the rocks surrounding the well are back. Without looking, he jumps over the side and grabs onto the rope – then looks down and sees that there is still solid ground inside the well. I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t at least look down first before jumping over the side of the well.

Also after the big flash, Juliet says it is all over – the time jumps have stopped. This is a big leap of logic to make in a short amount of time, yet she seems very sure of herself.

Quotable Quotes

Richard: You're not a member of Dharma Initiative, then what are you?
Sawyer: Did you bury the bomb?
Richard: Excuse me?
Sawyer: The hydrogen bomb, with Jughead written on the side, did you bury it? Yeah, I know about it. I also know twenty years ago some bald fella limped into your camp and fed you some mumbo jumbo about being your leader. Then, puff, he went and disappeared right in front of you. Is this ringing a bell? That man's name’s John Locke, and I'm waiting for him to come back. So, you still think I'm a member of the damn Dharma Initiative?
Richard: No. Guess I don't.

Sawyer: All right, listen up. When we get there, there's gonna be a lot of questions. So just keep your mouth shut. Let me do the talking.
Miles: You really think you can convince them that we were in a boat wreck?
Sawyer: I'm a professional. I used to lie for a living.

Sawyer: You do realize it's 1974. Whatever it is you think you're going back to, it don't exist yet.
Juliet: It's not a reason not to go..
Sawyer: What about me? You really going to leave me here with a mad scientist and Mr. I Speak to Dead People? And Jin, he's a hell of a nice guy, but not exactly the greatest conversationalist.
Juliet: You'll be fine.
Sawyer: Maybe. But who's gonna get my back?

Sawyer: Let me talk to him.
Horace: Excuse me?
Sawyer: Your buddy out there with the eyeliner. Let me talk to him.
Horace: We had a truce with these people. You don't understand.
Sawyer: I understand I'm the one who killed his men. And I'm the one who's going to go out there and tell him why I did it.
Horace: I can't let you do that.
Sawyer: It's a good thing I ain't asking your permission.

"I had a thing for a girl once. And I had a shot at her, but I didn't take it. For a little while, I'd lay in bed every night, wondering if it was a mistake. Wondering if... I'd ever stop thinking about her. And now I can barely remember what she looks like. I mean, her face... it's.. She's just gone, and she ain't never coming back. So... Is three years long enough to get over someone? Absolutely."
- Sawyer

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

5.7 The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham


Summary and Spoilers

The passengers on flight 316 are now stranded on the island, and their leader, Caesar, is wondering who is the well-dressed bald guy who nobody remembers seeing on the plane. It’s John Locke, fresh out of his coffin and locking very much alive. He has little memory of how he got there.

Flashback:

John Locke spins the Donkey Wheel and pops out at the entrance slash exit point in the desert of Tunisia. All he has is the hope that someone is on the other side of the video camera that is trained on his position, because he cannot move – he lies prone in the desert. A number of hours later, he is dumped in the back of a pickup truck by Arabs, and transported to a simple hospital, where he is painfully patched together. When he comes to, Charles Widmore is at his bedside. He was at the other end of the camera, watching for John to be booted off the island, and he takes credit for bringing in a specialist to re-patch his leg. Widmore’s story is that he was banished from the island by Ben – he doesn’t say why. He also says that John is special and is meant to bring everyone back and be the new leader of the Others. John is skeptical, but accepts Widmore’s offer of help. Widmore provides transportation and a driver/companion in Matthew Abaddon, and John begins his quest to convince everyone to return.

He starts with Sayid, who is building houses for the poor in Santo Domingo, but Sayid thinks John is being manipulated, and has no interest in returning to the island.

Next, he visits Walt, who is all grown up. John isn’t there to convince Walt to go back, just to say hello. Ben is seen lurking nearby, watching and unseen.

Kate has no interest in returning to the island, and Hurley takes one look at Abaddon and runs away.

John also asks Abaddon to find the love of his life, Helen; they visit here grave, as she died of a brain aneurysm.

Their next step is interrupted when Abaddon is shot numerous times. John drives away in a panic and crashes the car. He wakes up in a hospital with Jack at his bedside. This is Jack’s bearded phase, and he isn’t open to ideas about going back to the island, either, until Locke mentions meeting Jack’s father, Christian. Jack seems affected by this by still uninterested.

Depressed, John retreats to a grimy hotel room, writes a short note to Jack (which we saw in the episode 316), and prepares to hang himself. A knock at the door stops him temporarily. It is Ben, there to convince him that he should not off himself. Ben says John has much more work to do. When John says that he hasn’t been able to convince anyone, Ben cheers him up by telling him that Jack bought a ticket to Sydney. Ben also tells John that he is special and that he is meant to lead the Others. Ben talks John down. During their subsequent talk, John tells Ben that he will not speak to Sun because Jin told him not to bring her back. Strangely, when John mentions that he needs to speak to Eloise Hawking because she can get them back to the island, Ben strangles him, then makes it look like a suicide.

Back in the present, John speaks to Caesar and admits to have spent 100 days on the island. John asks for a passenger list, but Caesar says the pilot took it when he left with a female passenger and one of the outriggers. Together, they tour the people who were hurt in the crash. One of them is Ben, and John identifies him as "…the man who killed me."

Comments

Who is the bad guy: you make the call!

Is it Widmore, who sent in a team to assassinate Ben, and who seemed to want to reveal the location of the island? Or is it Ben, who murdered John; who will use the information about Jin to lure Sun back to the island against Jin’s wishes; who deceived Sayid?

We know that Ben Linus and Charles Widmore have been feuding for a long time; they have admitted as much. But why? Why did Ben kick Charles off the island? Is it a simple power struggle, or is there good and bad, right and wrong?

Why does Ben go through all the trouble of talking John out of committing suicide, only to strangle him when John mentions Eloise Hawking? This makes no sense, and the events that follow do not shed any light on it. As we know, Ben then proceeds to assemble the castaways and take them all back anyway, which is what John was going to do. It seems that Linus, Locke, and Widmore all have the same objective – so why are they fighting and killing each other?

Memorable Moments

  • The look of disgust John makes when Abaddon readies a wheelchair for him

Quotable Quotes

Locke: Why would you help me?
Widmore: Because there's a war coming, John. And if you're not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.

Ilana: Nobody remembers you being on the plane
Locke: Well, I don't remember being on it either.
Ilana: What do you remember?
Locke: I remember a lot.
Ilana: Like why you're dressed up so nice?
Locke: No, but I can guess.
Ilana: Please. Guess.
Locke: I think this suit is what they were gonna bury me in.
Ilana: Sorry?
Locke: You asked what I remembered. I remember dying.

Caesar: (about Ben) You know him?
Locke: Yeah. He's the man who killed me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

5.6 316


Summary and Spoilers

Eloise Hawking brings the survivors into a secret subterranean room where a huge pendulum swings back and forth over a floor map of the earth. For some reason, I kept expected to see Homer Simpson suddenly appear on that pendulum, swinging and shouting, "Woo hoo!". This doesn’t happen; instead, Eloise explains that the room is a Dharma station called The Lamp Post. At least, that’s what it sounds like she says. Dharma created it to pinpoint the location of the island, which moves through time and is connected to other electromagnetic time portals.

Desmond delivers his message from Daniel, then storms from the room. Eloise says the island is not done with him, but he says he is done with the island.

Eloise has modified her stringent conditions that all survivors must return to the island. Now she says that if they all do not attempt the return, the results could be unpredictable. She says that if they get on flight 316 leaving for Guam in a few hours, they will get back to the island.

Finally, Eloise takes Jack aside and tells him he must give something belonging to his father to Locke. She gives him an envelope containing Locke’s suicide note. Jack doesn’t open the envelope.

After meeting with Eloise, Jack returns to his apartment and finds Kate in his bed. She has agreed to go back to the island, but refuses to answer any questions about Aaron, and makes Jack promise never to ask. This seems like a bad way to start a relationship – with an important question that must never be asked or answered – but maybe they are not starting a relationship – maybe it is just an elaborate one-night stand.

Jack gets a call from a nursing home where his grandfather has made his fourth attempt to escape. It’s only a brief visit, but a fateful one – his grandfather had packed a pair of Jack’s father’s shoes in his bag. Jack identifies them and takes them back with him.

Ben, badly beaten up after a visit to someone he said was an old friend, rings Jack to ask him to pick up Locke’s coffin and bring it to the airport. Jack takes this opportunity to puts his dad’s shoes on Locke, and to slip the unread suicide note into the coffin. Like a bad penny, it turns up again when airport personnel find it during a routine scan of the coffin. Finally, Jack reads it on the plane – its one line reads, "I wish you had believed me."

It seems unlikely that Sayid or Hurley will make the flight, but they both magically show up at the airport. A mystery surrounds how either of them found out about the flight.

Fittingly, the pilot of the plane is Frank Lapidus – who better to take them into the time portal. Sure enough, turbulence increases, there is a white out, and Jack wakes up much like he did on his first trip to the island – face up in a grove of bamboo trees, with a camera trained on his eye. He rushes to calls for help and rescues the drowning Hurley and his guitar case from a pool beneath a waterfall. Along the shore, Kate opens her eyes – she’s okay. Before they have a chance to look for the others, the Dharma van drives up, and Jin emerges, rifle drawn. Jack says his name, and there is a glimmer of recognition on Jin’s face – but the rifle isn’t lowered.

Comments

If you love  Jack, you’ll love this episode – he’s in every scene!

After a slow start to season five, the last two episodes of Lost have returned strongly, reaching entertainment levels that approach those of the first two seasons. Aside from too much exposition from Mrs. Eloise, everything else about the episode clicks.

Jin arrives in a Dharma van that looks to be brand new. Does this mean that we have arrived in an earlier time period, and has Jin been stuck here long enough to get a job with Dharma?

What has caused Kate to do such a stunning reversal regarding Aaron? One moment, she was fiercely protective of him, and she had no intention of going back to the island. The next moment, she has ditched him, and she is going back to the island.

This is one of the rare episodes that was shown out of original order. Originally, the next episode (The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham) was supposed to be shown before this one.

Memorable Moments

·          Jack’s almost-happy expression at finding out he is back on the island amid the bamboo

Nits

The scene where Jack find Hurley and Kate at the waterfall is shown twice, and the second time, what Kate says is different. Was this a simple continuity error, or are the creators inferring that the scene actually did happen twice, and Jack is caught in a time loop?

Quotable Quotes

Jack: Did you know about this place?
Ben: No, No, I didn't.
Jack: Is he telling the truth?
Eloise: Probably not.

Ben: Thomas the Apostle. When Jesus wanted to return to Judea, knowing that he would probably be murdered there, Thomas said to the others, "Let us also go, that we might die with him." But Thomas was not remembered for this bravery. His claim to fame came later... when he refused to acknowledge the resurrection. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. The story goes... that he needed to touch Jesus' wounds to be convinced.
Jack: So was he?
Ben: Of course he was. We're all convinced sooner or later, Jack.

Jack And the other people on this plane - what's gonna happen to them?
Ben: Who cares?

Friday, March 6, 2009

5.5 This Place is Death


If I was stranded on The Island and had to pick a partner for Pictionary, I would pick the member of the French team who fingers a perfect line drawing of a radio tower as an example for Jin. As we discovered at the end of the previous episode, Jin has somehow survived the boat explosion, and is now hanging with Danielle’s team. The team have picked up the repeating numbers radio signal and want Jin’s help to find the tower. Jin says he wants to go back to his camp to find his wife, but the best he can hope for is to run into one of his Significant Others. He agrees to help them find the tower first. But on the way, they encounter the Smoke Monster and lose two members of their team (well, they lose one member, and he other member loses an arm and disappears down the Smoke Hole). The entire team decides to go into the hole to attempt a rescue, but Jin manages to convince the very pregnant Danielle not to follow. Soon after, Jin flashes away.

When Jin emerges, it is a few months later (based on the state of the decomposed arm, which looks mummified). Danielle’s crew have gone mad, and she is in the process of putting them out of their misery. She shoots and misses Jin, then pursues him. He is saved by another flash, and finds himself rejoined with Locke, Sawyer and gang.

As Locke and company head for the Orchid, a series of flashes mean nosebleeds all around and a weakening condition for Charlotte. She is babbling now, but scattered among the nonsense, she says some important snippets:

  • She tells Jin not to let Sun return to the island, because ‘this place is death’.
  • She tells Daniel that she grew up on the island with her mother and father as part of the Dharma initiative, and that her mother later took her back to England and told her the island was all in her imagination. She became an anthropologist for the sole purpose of finding the island again.
  • She said there was a scary man on the island that told her if she returned she would die, and that the scary man was [drumroll] Daniel! At least I think she said ‘scary’; it might have been ‘hairy’).

Having exhausted her confusing quips, Charlotte passes away.

At the site of the Orchid, there is only a well, but Charlotte tipped Locke that this was the place. Based on the words of Charlotte, Jin makes Locke promise not to bring Sun back. He gives his wedding ring to Locke and tells him to tell Sun that he died. Locke descends by rope but a flash buries him in an underground chamber and he injures his leg badly in the fall. He is met at the bottom by Jack’s father Christian, who admonishes him about letting Ben move the island when he had been specifically instructed at the cabin that he, Locke, should move it. Locke receives explicit instructions to bring everyone back to the island. He struggles to his feet, turns the donkey wheel and disappears in a flash of light.

Back on the mainland, Sun points a gun at Ben and is ready to kill him to avenge the death of Jin, when Ben drops the bombshell by claiming the Jin is not dead. He says proof is 30 minutes away (not allowing for traffic). Sun agrees to accompany him, as does Jack, but Kate is incensed at knowing that Jack is in bed with Ben – she leaves in a huff, as does Sayid. With Hurley still incarcerated, Ben is going to have some serious problems getting everyone together.

Outside the location of the mystery woman, Ben produces Jin’s wedding ring and gives it to Sun. Ben had made no promise to hide the survival of Jin, and he is playing it – in fact, if he can get Sun on his side, she can probably convince more people to come back to the island. Desmond walks up out of nowhere, and together, they enter the church. Inside is Eloise Hawking, ready to reveal important information (but not until the next episode).

Comments

I’ve made no secret that I’m not a big fan of time travel, but in this episode, it is used to good effect to go back to a time on the island that was a lot more enjoyable to me. It was great to see campfires, basic survival, and the Smoke Monster.

When Jack’s father appears underground, I had a sudden flashback to long ago, when I was watching another show called Twin Peaks. It felt almost the same – and it wasn’t necessarily a good feeling, because Twin Peaks ended up going off into areas that it could never resolve.

Locke does not know that the mystery man who is giving him save-everyone instructions is – or was – Jack’s father.

So does Locke have to bring back everyone who left the island, or only major cast members? Weren’t there some other people who made it to the boat that blew up? Do they have to be brought back (dead or alive) too? And what about Michael, and Walt, and Claire?

Memorable Moments

  • The Smoke Monster is one of the most original entities ever created, an exhilarating combination of vapor, mechanical sounds, and sentience

Nits

Jin’s English has improved markedly since we last saw him, despite the fact that very little time has passed since we last saw him, and he spent most of that time alone floating at sea.

That mummified arm should probably simply be stripped down to the bone by organic creatures. What would cause it to be mummified in a damp, creature-filled rainforest environment?

In early episodes of Lost, why didn’t Danielle remember Jin from these encounters? According to my theory anyway, if you travel back in time and meet someone, they should have that memory of the meeting from then on.

Quotable Quotes

Jin: Please! Translate.
Sawyer: You heard the man – translate!
Miles: Uh…he’s Korean; I’m from Encino.

"Run!!!"
- Jin (oft-repeated basic strategy/advice on Lost)

Daniel: So, you speak any other languages?
Charlotte: Only Klingon.

5.4 The Little Prince


Kate is trying to find out who wants to take Aaron away from her. She meets with the lawyer who came to her door demanding blood samples a couple of episodes ago, and offers to give the samples in exchange for talking to the person – but it’s no deal. Instead, she tails the lawyer. She is joined by Jack. He is trying to assemble everyone as per Ben’s instructions, and, having found a piece of paper with Kate’s address in an assassin’s pocket, he is a little concerned. The lawyer leads them to Claire’s mother, but it’s a red herring – she does not even know that Aaron exists. The real culprit is Ben – he admits to wanting to take Aaron away, but never really explains why.

Jack has finished ridding Sayid of most of the horse tranquilizer that was shot into his body. There’s no respite, as Sayid is visited by an orderly who tries to shoot him with more darts. Sayid bests the guy in true Sayid style, somehow springing from the bed quickly and quietly despite the fact that just seconds ago he looked almost catatonic.

Meanwhile, Kate has left Aaron is the capable babysitting hands of Sun. But Sun is not your conventional babysitter – she’s been twisting the Forrest Gump script into ‘Death is like a box of chocolates’. I’m referring to her unusual delivery of a handgun hidden under a box of chocolates, of course.

Ben has assembled as many survivors as he could wrangle at a pier; Sun drives up with her gun ready and Aaron asleep in the back, watching Ben and getting ready to pounce.

Back on the island, Charlotte’s condition is worsening. The latest jump knocks her out for more than 10 minutes, frustrating Sawyer and causing Juliette to start asking some hard questions to Daniel, who finally admits that he thought something like this might happen.

Meanwhile, Locke convinces Sawyer that they must get back to the Orchid, so he can leave the island, bring everyone back, and fix all this. He tells Sawyer that they must come back to save everyone – and he says he knows everyone is still alive.

The flashes continue, bringing glimpses of earlier times on the island. It’s like walking through a clip show. In one clip, Sawyer, who is ahead of the group, watches Kate helping Claire give birth.

On the beach, the group find an outrigger. They take it, and are soon pursued by people in another outrigger, firing at them. A flash once again saves them. They make it to the shore and find French-labelled wreckage.

We now see French-speaking people in a raft. They also make it to shore (a different shore). In the morning, they find a stranger washed up as well – Jin! He is comforted by a young pregnant woman who identifies herself as Danielle Rousseau.

Comments

The numbers figure prominently in this episode: Sun has 16 chocolates delivered; Kate lives at 42 Panorama Crest; Sayid was unconscious for 42 hours.

The name ‘Canton-Rainier’ on the side of Ben’s van is a anagram of ‘reincarnation’.

Memorable Moments

  • It was great to see Jin again

Nits

When Locke and gang are in the outrigger and a flash occurs, they reappear, still in the outrigger, but in stormy conditions. Shouldn’t the outrigger have disappeared?

Quotable Quotes

Jack: Tomorrow morning I'm going to have to convince everyone to lie. If it's just me they're never going to go for it. So I'm going to turn to you first. Are you with me?
Kate: I have always been with you.

Daniel: It’s like really bad jet-lag.
Juliette: Really bad jet-lag doesn’t make you hemmorhage, Daniel.

"I think they want their boat back!"
- Miles (paddling and avoiding bullets)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5.3 Jughead


Lost just wouldn’t be Lost without perennially worried man Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) crinkling his brow as he sets out on another dodgy mission. He has decided to follow up on the dream/memory implanted by Daniel: to pursue Daniel’s mother at Oxford, despite the Widmore dangers that this may inflict. By the way, if Cusick was able to time travel, he could go back to the 1940s and become the quintessential ‘worried man’ character actor, appearing in the credits of countless films as "Worried Man………..Henry Ian Cusick". Time traveling even further to the 1980s, he could have a spinoff series called Worried Man, in which each week he is given something huge to Worry about.

Desmond could also have played Obsessed Man. Here, he is completely dedicated to fulfilling Daniel’s wish and saving everyone on the island, but he also has put a ridiculously short time limitation on it – if he can’t save everyone by the end of the day, he’ll just forget about the whole thing and go back to serenely sailing. A lot of things happen on his sojourn – he doesn’t find Daniel’s mother, but he finds a deserted lab where Daniel was conducting bizarre rat brain time travel experiments. He also finds a comatose woman, her brain ruined by one of Daniel’s experiments. The woman’s sister also tells Des that Daniel (drumroll, please) works for Widmore. Angered, Des visits Widmore and demands answers. Widmore gives Desmond the Los Angeles address of Daniel’s mother, but says she won’t be happy to see him. Back on the boat, Des keeps his promise and tells Penny that he is willing to drop it, but she knows he cannot and insists that they all go along. She doesn’t know about the dire warning that Widmore delivered to Desmond, a warning to keep his family away from this whole conflict.

Back on the island, Sawyer, Locke, Daniel, Miles, Charlotte and Juliet are in the past. The island is occupied by Others, but they are in para-military mode, engaged in a war with American troops who invaded ‘their’ island and used it for testing nuclear weapons. They left behind a big leaking bomb called Jughead. A survivor rendezvous at the creek is interrupted by another staple of latter-day Lost: big explosions. This time, they are land mines, planted by the now-dead Americans. Soon after, Locke and gang capture some Other troops; conversely, Daniel and crew are captured by Ellie, an Australian Other with a big gun. Daniel manages to keep them alive by claiming that he can disarm the nuclear device.

Meanwhile, Locke arrives in camp, demanding to speak to Richard. He assures Richard that he saved him in the future. Richard isn’t exactly willing to accept any of this, since he has no memory of it, but neither is he dismissing it. Locke asks Richard to explain how he can save everyone, but a flash occurs, and it’s off to another time. Before Locke leaves, he has a little run-in with a young, trigger-happy soldier who identifies himself as none other than a younger version of Charles Widmore.

Comments

This show completely ignores the USA-based survivors (Jack, Ben, Sayid, Kate, Aaron, Sun, and Hugo…did I leave anyone out?) and focuses instead on Desmond and family, and the people remaining on the island.

It appears that Charlotte is suffering from a reaction to all those time travel jumps – and Daniel seems to know what is happening to her. Something similar probably happened to the comatose woman that was a victim of Daniel’s experiments at Oxford.

Memorable Moments

  • If you like explosions, you’ll enjoy land mines blowing up anonymous survivors in the background, while Daniel, Charlotte and Miles scatter

Nits

I’m not a big fan of time travel as a plot contrivance, and here’s why. Let us look at how time travel has been used in Lost. Daniel travels three years into the past and tells Desmond to contact Daniel’s mother at Oxford. Three years from when this happened, we see Desmond wake up, seemingly suddenly possessing this ‘memory’. It’s as if these two points in time (‘three years ago’ and ‘today’) are all important and somehow interconnected. But what is so important about ‘today’? Today is only important so far as it is when we are watching Desmond. If Daniel truly did travel back along the timeline and change the past, then Desmond should have had the experience and memory of what happened immediately after it happened, not three years later. To prove this point, let’s take a look at another timeline intersection. John Locke travels back in time and demands to see Richard. Among other things, he tells Richard that Richard saved his life in the future. Locke then flashes and disappears. Richard is still there. Richard has just had this experience, and it is now part of his memory – immediately, not at some arbitrary unimportant point three years later.

Quotable Quotes

Cunningham: That idiot shouted out 'Meet at the creek'. We knew exactly where they were headed. Sent a group after them.
Sawyer: Maybe I should've said it in my secret language.

Locke: And because I'm your leader.
Richard: You're my leader?
Locke: That's what you told me.
Richard: Well, look, I certainly don't want to contradict myself.

"Look, right out there, beyond where you can see, there’s an island, and it's a very special island. I left it a long time ago -  never thought I'd see it again. It’s called...Great Britain."
- Desmond

Richard: How do I know you weren't sent here on some suicide mission? That I'll take you out to the bomb, and you'll just detonate it?
Faraday: Because... I'm in love with the woman sitting next to me. And I would never... I would never do anything to hurt her.
Richard: Alright. Take care of your bomb, but if you try anything else, you will hurt her.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5.2 The Lie


In the Lost beginning, there were a small group of provision-free survivors forced to fend for themselves on a wild island. Once again, this is true, at least for a few moments; until out of the air fly numerous flaming arrows. Whereas Bernard was unable to get a fire going, someone on the other side of the trees was having better luck. Their first arrow wiped out the annoying Neil Frogurt. No longer would he berate Bernard’s Boy Scout skills or call Sawyer an inbred. Other arrows hit trees, usually when people were hiding behind them and poking their heads out for a look, as they have been wont to do since the first cowboy and injun movie.

But flaming arrows were not the only problems. Sawyer and Juliet ran into some crazed and armed British troops with a penchant for extracting information from their prisoners by using a Middle Eastern style of punishment – the lopping of the hand. In this case, it was Juliet’s hand. Fortunately for her, Locke came out of nowhere, fists and knife flying, and killed / scattered the crazy soldiers.

One other problem belongs to Charlotte. She had a nosebleed in the last episode, and this time, she mentions to Dan that she is losing her long-term memory. Dan may know something about what is causing her condition (perhaps it is a symptom of time-jumping), but if he does know anything, he’s keeping it a secret.

On the mainland, Hurley is visited by the Ghost of Ana Lucia past. She tells him to change his clothes and get the drugged Sayid to a safe place. With no other shirt to turn to and no other place to go to, he chooses a yellow ‘I love my Shih Tzu’ ‘T’ and home. His dad helps him by deflecting the staked-out cops, and again by driving the nearly lifeless body of Sayid to Jack. Jack takes Sayid to the hospital and revives him, but he gets a near strangling as thanks before Sayid realizes who he is strangling and stops.

Meanwhile Hugo gets some peace of mind when he tells his mother the true abbreviated story of what happened after the crash. His peace is short-lived, for Ben comes to visit. Warned off by Sayid, Hurley doesn’t accept Ben’s plea to come with and return to the island, and instead, complicates Ben’s plans by turning himself into the waiting arms of the LAPD.

Dejected, Ben has to report to the Queen of Time (Mrs Hawkings) that he is having some difficulties. These are compounded when she tells him that he only has 70 hours to get everyone back on the island, and that if he fails, bad things are going to happen (one again, I believe this is ‘Ghostbusters’ style  bad).

Comments

Just when I was enjoying the situation where, a small group of survivors had to fend for themselves on an island, with no ‘Others’ to threaten them, those arrows came flying.

Memorable Moments

Þ   Watching Ben trying once again to use his art of persuasion, this time on Hurley

Quotable Quotes

Ben: Any Luck?
Ms Hawkings Yes, what about you?
Ben: I'm having some difficulties.
Ms. Hawkings: Well, you better get busy, because you only have 70 hours.
Ben: What, no, no, that's not enough time. What I need…
Ms. Hawkings: What you need is irreverent. 70 hours is what you got.
Ben: Look, I lost Reyes tonight. So what happens if I can't get them all to come back?
Ms Hawkings: Then God help us all.

Ben: John's casket is outside in a carpet van. I need to move it somewhere safe.
Jack: Safe? He's dead isn't he?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

5.1 Because You Left

Somewhere in time, Dharma has discovered the existence of the ‘big wheel’. The workers building the Orchid want to drill in there, but the drills keep melting. Dr Candle shows up flaming mad (forgive the pun), insisting that they stop drilling lest they release the time-related energy within, which, he assures them, would be ‘bad’ (Ghostbusters ‘bad’, I think). Dan is there, working nearby, taking in all this talk of time energy, his mouth watering. He’ll undoubtedly write this all down in his little notebook at his first opportunity.

Ben has convinced Jack that they must gather everyone up and return to the island, otherwise everyone they left behind will die. And why is Locke dead? Because Richard told him that the only way to get everyone back to the island is to die. It kind of reminds me of an old Star Trek Next Generation episode, where a pesty, formerly omnipotent character named ‘Q’ asks, "How can I convince you people that I’m mortal?" "Die," replies Worf.

Anyway, the only main thing that Lost shares with Star Trek is time travel. For some reason, we want to believe the when Ben turns the big wheel, the island moves to a new place. What is easier to believe is that the time period where the island sits (with a buffer area surrounding the island large enough to encompass Dan’s boat) has been moved. Dan comes back to explain to Sawyer, Juliet and the rest (note: the phrase ‘and the rest’ © the song from Gilligan’s Island season 1) that the island is stuttering through time. Sure enough, a series of whiteouts occur, and each time, island features disappear or re-appear. Hatches are blown up, then intact; the camp is gone; the freighter is gone.

At one point, a frustrated Sawyer bangs on the door to the hatch to elicit help from Desmond. Dan pesters him to stop, assuring him that this attempt to change what originally happened must fail. But after Sawyer leaves, Dan consults his little handwritten notebook, then suddenly, after a proverbial light bulb appears over his head, begins banging on the hatch door himself. Desmond answers in full contamination suit, pointing a gun at Dan and ready to fire it. Dan calms him down enough to live, tells Desmond that he is ‘special’ and ‘immune to all this’, and then asks Desmond to return to Oxford and find Dan’s mother. Desmond awakens on the yacht with the cat in the hat (sorry, I meant  Penny - her mouth for some reason reminds me of the cat in the hat). He says he did not have a dream – he had a memory. He immediately begins ratcheting sails and heading for Oxford.

On the other side of the island, Locke is encountering the same stuttering time in the vicinity of the drug plane. First, the plane crashes, a sure sign to him that he has traveled back in time. Then Ethan from the past (who does not know him) shoots him in the leg and is about to finish the job when time jumps again. Now, the plane is on the ground. Richard shows up (he of the eye makeup) and seems to know about time jumping. He treats Locke’s leg and gives him a compass, with instructions to give it back to Richard the next time they meet (since Richard will not recognize him). Most importantly, he tells Locke that the only way to make things right is to get everyone back on the island, and the only way to get them back on the island…is to die.

Kate has been suspected by some mystery person of not being the biological mother of the fair-haired boy she is caring for. A lawyer wants to take a couple of blood samples, but Kate slams the door, quickly packs, and takes her son on ‘vacation’.

Sun is stopped at the airport by Widmore to discuss their mutual goal, which Sun states is to kill Ben Linus.

Hurley and Sayid are on the run. Hurley is already a suspect in killing the man found dead outside the mental institution from which he escaped (Sayid is the killer). At Sayid’s apartment, Sayid is ambushed by and kills two more guys. Hurley foolishly picks up the gun (as people are wont to do only on TV and in the movies) and he is photographed by at least one bystander with a cell phone. He’s got some ‘splainin’ to do – unless, of course, he escapes back to the past.

Comments

Ah, for the good old days of season 1, when time didn’t jump, there were no outsiders, the only issue was how to survive on a wilderness island after a plane crash while being stalked by mysterious feral ‘others’. But the characters have been around so long in our minds and are so real, that we can basically watch them be made to do anything at this point. I know, however, that you could never get anyone to start watching Lost now – they would be way too confused. So viewer numbers have to drop off, as some people are inevitably going to stop watching as time goes on.

It’s good to see that Bernard can still overact at the same high level as when he first got to the island.

Richard’s quote about knowing Locke had a bullet in his leg because Locke ‘will’ tell him indicates that we are going to be jumping back and forth in time in future episodes. For example, there will be a scene in Richard’s future where Locke gives him the compass and tells him that they met in the past and Richard treated Locke’s leg. Something like that, anyway.

Nits

Locke pulls his knife from and leather sheath, and, for some reason, the sound effects people dubbed in a metal ‘schwish’ sound, like when two swords cross.

Kate is never actually served with the court order; I believe she has to take it in her hand to be considered served, and she never does. In addition, lawyers generally do not run around serving court orders. It’s a time consuming process (for example, what if she wasn’t home or if she just never opened the door?). This is a specialty job done by Process Servers (for a lot less money than lawyers make).

Quotable Quotes

Jack: How did we get here...? How did all of this happen?
Ben: It happened because you left, Jack... Now let's get started shall we?

Hurley: Wait. He's on our side now?
Sayid: Listen to me, Hurley. If you ever have the misfortune of running into him [Ben], whatever he tells you, just do the opposite.

Daniel: Desmond didn't know you when he first came out of there. You never met. Which means you can't meet.
Sawyer: This would all be fascinating, if I was listening to you.

Miles: Why are we going back to the beach, if there's nothing to go back to?
Juliet: So stay here.
Miles: That chick likes me.

Hurley: Want a fry?
Sayid: No, thank you.
Hurley: You know maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people.

Hurley: So that dude you pocked outside Santa Rosa, who was he?
Sayid: I don't care. He was armed and he was watching you. That made him an enemy.
Hurley: You think he was going to kill me?
Sayid: I'm not taking risks after Bentham died.
Hurley: You mean Locke?
Sayid: Yeah, I mean Locke.
Hurley: I need a cool code name.

Locke: What is this?
Richard: It's a compass.
Locke: What does it do?
Richard: It points north, John. Look, I wish I had time to be more sensitive about this because it's a lot to swallow, but you need to know it in order to do what you gotta do. So I'm just gonna say it, okay? The only way to save the island, John, is to get your people back here. The ones who left.
Locke: Jack, Kate? But the chopper was headed for the boat. The boat...
Richard: No, they're fine, John, and they're already home, so you have to convince them to come back.
Locke: How... How am I supposed to do that?
Richard: You're gonna have to die, John.