Apologies for the delay in this follow up to the last new episode, "Some Like it Hoth." Below are some additional thoughts, as well as responses to your comments.
Brad says that logistically, Ben could not have coordinated Nadia's murder; she was already dead by the time he showed up in the Tunisian desert. He simply didn't have time to get that message sent. By the time he knew Sayid was leaving the island, he was already on his way to the Orchid to move the island. He would've had to make an instantaneous decision and communicate to Richard/Others in between when he gives the helicopter to Sayid and Kate, and shows up at the Orchid the next time we see him.
My response is that I don't put anything past Ben, regardless of where he is at the time. He seems to have 'people' working for him in every capacity wherever he is or has ever been. So if it wasn't Ben that oversaw Nadia's death, we have to consider Widmore or the third party that so many believe exists.
THE CHANG FAMILY
It seems unlikely that Mature Miles was able to avoid really interacting or speaking with his father for three years, from 1974 to current day 1977. Given Dr. Chang's background and involvement with Dharma (not to mention the fact that Miles' name is stitched on the front of his jumpsuit), it wouldn't seem out of the realm of possibility that Dr. Chang HAS considered that Mature Miles may in fact be his adult son.
I am assuming that Straume the maiden name of Lara Chang. Similar to Ethan Rom (which should be Goodspeed), it is unclear why Miles has a different last name than his father.
1MileToGo is thinking that Mrs. Chang may have had been exposed to electromagnetic energy, and that Miles was too, as a baby. I like that theory, especially if mother and child were accidentally exposed and then exiled off the island by daddy dearest out of guilt.
Then again, I have always been suspicious of women on Lost who have experienced off-island illnesses or death; the conspiracy theorist in me thinks that Widmore, Ben or Dharma had something to do with Claire's mom Carole Littleton miraculously recovering from a coma, Walt's mom dying of a rare disease, Kate's mom Diane living much longer than expected, Juliet's sister Rachel getting cancer and Teresa Spencer's catatonic condition (Faraday's mystery woman in England, who is apparently stuck in time).
1MileToGo also thinks it would be interesting to find out that Baby Miles acquired his ability when Mature Miles made contact with himself as a child, which results in a near death experience that causes Baby Miles to develop his ghost-whispering skills.
In 1954, we witnessed young Widmore break the neck of and kill a fellow soldier on the island. In the late 90's, we saw that he ordered twentysomething Ben to kill Danielle Rousseau, but neither of the men followed through with it. So I was thinking back to the videotape of older Widmore beating up one of Ben's men, off island. It now strikes me that he didn't KILL Ben's man, and makes me question for the first time whether or not Widmore is actually one of the good guys. It is still up for debate whether or not Widmore actually purchased and planted the fake 815 wreckage using bodies from a Thai grave. The jury is out, in my opinion.
I seriously hope that we find out what Widmore and Sun agreed upon before she returned to the island.
EGYPTIAN HISTORY LESSON
I will let Katie take the lead on this one (and thank her for providing this information and perspective)!
Egyptian Creation Mythology:
From the primeval waters, they said, Ptah arose like a hill. After this, all other land emerged from the ocean. And Ptah thought all things in his heart and brought them into existence by his commanding word. In this way he created all food and provisions. Through his word he made the crafts and all other things.
Another Creation story:
Some people called the first god Atum. Other people called him Re. The first god did not have a mother nor a father. He came into being by himself. He emerged from the primeval flood Nun as a hill and stood on top of it. Then, he spat out two other gods. One was male and the other was female. They gave birth to the other gods.
This hill (or Island) that the the Egyptians refer to as the birth place of the Egyptians reminds me of our Lost Island. Maybe this is why the Island is so special and why they are teaching the children of Dharmaville about Egyptian history. I have been reminded of these creation stories ever since I first saw the Hieroglyphs on the Island.
Nurby thinks the voice in the Barracks/Chang video does sound like Faraday, but is unsure that it is him because he sounded mean. She can't recall a time when she has heard him like that. She feels like we have not seen that side of Faraday, if he does have that side.
I do think that we will witness Faraday making that video of Dr. Chang, but that there were other people in the room and he was under a great deal of pressure and a limited amount of time. Don't forget that Chang isn't exactly personable, so Faraday may be reacting to him. But yes, I think that perhaps our favorite physicist has a bit of a dark side...remember that dying Charlotte told him that he was evil and scared her as a child.
And I don't know why, but Faraday arriving on the sub already wearing a black Swan jumpsuit got my attention. To me, that is an indication that Ann Arbor/the DeGroots are constantly in touch with the island, that the jumpsuits are produced off island, etc. Also, it does not appear as if Faraday is wearing his infamous tie underneath; could that actually be a significant piece of his/their time traveling puzzle?
p.s. Did anyone else notice that Miles helped a woman out of the sub BEFORE Faraday emerged? Will it be Karen DeGroot, or just an Ann Arbor red suitcase (the Dharma version of a red shirt)?
THE FATHER, THE SON & THE HOLY GHOST
I have long held the theory that this trinity belonged to Christian Shephard, Jack Shephard and Jacob....but it may also apply to Pierre Chang, Miles Straume and a significant entity that ghostbuster Miles has yet to communicate with/reveal to us. Smokey, perhaps?
1MileToGo thought Chang's mention of Hydra was interesting, as if it was the DHARMA detention center (it makes sense that Room 23 may be part of that process). He also notes that we haven't seen anyone in Hydra jumpsuits in DHARMAville so far. He is hoping for a glimpse of the Hydra Station and possibly Room 23 before the end of the season.
Good point about the lack of Dharma folks in Hydra jumpsuits - I also hope that we get to see Hydra Island in 1977.
Capcom believes that Chang's comments about the Hydra experiments might merely be a type of common intellectual snobbery, wherein some scientists think that their work is the only "important" work and everyone else's are lesser efforts. In Chang's case, zoological psych tests, etc., would seem vastly inferior to the quantum physics and time travel experiments that he's involved with.
People always ask me why I love Juliet, and I can give a very specific example from this last episode...
When Sawyer comes home to talk to her and is surprised to find Jack there having coffee, Juliet doesn't unnecessarily complicate the situation by becoming twitchy or awkward or looking guilty (like Kate always does). Juliet is meticulous to a fault, reads people quite well and anticipates behaviors and reactions. Whereas Kate panics and reacts, Juliet is quick to respond and decisive, and keeps her emotions in check. Even though I have no clue who's side she's really on, I continue to root for her because she's the best actress and by far the most intelligent character on the show.
LEAVING THE ISLAND
I agree with 1MileToGo, who thinks that the Others have another way off the island. He wants to know if Faraday left with Ellie and is now returning to put a course of action into play, and I would love to see that unfold!
Let's talk logistics. That we know of, there two ways to leave the island: via sub or the Frozen Donkey Wheel which drops you in Tunisia. The Swan construction site is filled with very large, heavy equipment. You and I both know that there is NO way that it was delivered via submarine, and seems unlikely that it was dropped off (like the mysterious food pallet). I sound like a broken record, but this only fuels my theory about an underground transportation system on the island...
THE METAL CRATE
There are far too many options for what may be inside of Ilana's metal crate on the beach.
Weapons would be the most obvious choice, but I wonder if it contains a body. Perhaps whomever sent Ilana had cold storage like Ben's butcher in LA. Perhaps the person inside is being transported like Anthony Cooper really was, before he wound up in the 'magic box' below Ben's house on the island.
While many people seemed to think that the 'numbers' being etched into the Swan quarantine door signified that they didn't really mean anything, I thought the complete opposite.
Now that we've seen them imprinted both on the outside of the hatch (which Hurley recognized right before they blew it open at the end of Season 1) and on this door, I believe that they are also placed in various locations in and around the Swan. I am also convinced that Leonard Simms and Sam Toomey were stationed at the island at one point, as they were the source of Hurley's first exposure to the 'numbers.' I do believe that the numbers existed long before the Swan was built, and that before the entire series ends, we will find out exactly where they originated.
1MileToGo is wondering how much of the actual Orchid station is completed in 1977. The portion that we see them building is the exterior greenhouse portion. He thinks that they may be delivering the bodies to the Orchid to try and do time travel experiments on them and wonders if we will see Alvarez (the Dharma dude who died via tooth filling forehead extraction) next week back working at the Swan.
I have a feeling that we'll return to Faraday down below in the Orchid when they discover the Frozen Donkey Wheel; that scene from the first episode this season. It seems that only he and Dr. Chang are aware of it, and I wouldn't be surprised if one Faraday's reasons for returning from Ann Arbor was the wheel (and possibly altering the future for Charlotte, even though he said what happened, happened).
Capcom is thinking that maybe they are burying the victims of accidents in the cement supports of the Orchid, like where it is thought that Hoffa is! Or maybe even in the cement structure around the magnetic anomaly...and I LOVE that idea. The Dharma Mafia. LOL.
1MileToGo thinks the 'incident' will affect Smokey, whom we haven't seen during DHARMA days.
I would argue that Smokey will be CREATED during or result from the incident.
1MileToGo really liked seeing the Swan being built. He thinks it is closer to being finished than it appears, that they are now covering up the location and maybe in the next episode we will see the inside. He agrees about the hostiles seemingly not knowing about the construction; a vine covered fence wouldn't mask the construction sounds.
I tend to agree with the degree of completion because it seems like there is a square box being placed in the middle of the Swan construction site, which I assume leaves a portal into the hatch below as they build above and around it. In addition, when we look back at the Swan after the implosion (below), the depth is appropriate and obvious.
A THIRD PARTY?
Brad thinks that Bram and Ilana are part of a different, yet unnamed group who has equal claim to the island that the two factions we've already seen (Ben/Widmore). If they are related to DHARMA/Hanso (and the Black Rock etc.) then we could be set up for a major struggle. "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" How about Jughead, the ULTIMATE endgame and upper hand for any of the three groups as far as gaining island superiority.
1MileToGo is thinking that Bram is part of a DI resurgence. Bram said the following: "You'll know who you are, Miles--why it is you have a gift, and most of all, you'll know about your father." This made me think that the Chang video was received by Bram.
And Ashlie says that just because they're against Widmore does not automatically make them on Ben's side; maybe they have something to do with Eloise, who doesn't seem to have allegiance with either Ben or Widmore.
OrangeJack is also suspecting that Ilana and Bram are part of a new group in play for the Island. It’s always been Ben vs Charles, Jack vs Locke, etc. But what if the “shadow statue people” are the new (old) group in town? Maybe the Island Trinity had it’s people living there until the outside world got involved.
Shauna and TooManyHats also agree that there is a third party.
All of you make very valid points. Perhaps I'm being stubborn, but I am not quite on board with the idea of a third group, and I have to say that I'd be very surprised if the creative team behind Lost would introduce yet another faction this late in the game and after a long season of time travel. As for Jughead, I'm not so sure that it is still intact and buried on the island past 'the incident' that we've yet to see; perhaps it used to live in the shadow of the statue.
Thank you again for your input - I look forward to the comments with great anticipation after every new episode post, and appreciate the time and thought you put into sharing them.
This week will be the historical 100th episode of Lost, and I am very excited to compare what we saw when we watched the filming of "The Variable" back in February on Oahu with what is actually in the episode. All I will say is that there were four major characters in Dharmaville that day...stay tuned for details!