Monday, May 11, 2009

"Follow the Leader" Analysis (Part 2), Addressing Your Comments & a Season Finale Wish List

Please excuse the delay; with family in town for Mother's Day and the finale this week, I haven't had as much time as usual to dedicate to this.

But before we begin, a friendly reminder that this is a strictly SPOILER-FREE site. It may be tempting to post a spoiler or a theory based upon something you've already read or viewed online, but I encourage you to please restrain from sharing any information here that you know for sure is in the Season 5 finale. My readers and I thank you in advance!

So let's get to some theory detonation and pre-finale energy negation, shall we?


Nurblvr makes an interesting observation about Hawking. This is a woman resolutely in charge of men. In 1977, it is not very shocking concept because of the feminism and women's liberation movements. That young Ellie wielded a great deal of power back in 1954, however, may speak more to her ancestry and possible links to the island than her actual position among the military stationed there...

Nurblvr also seems to think that Hawking and Ben have more of a history than we know about, and that she had something to do with young Ben's recovery. Their interaction in 2007 Los Angeles is relevant, because Hawking is far more in the know and in control than Ben at that point in time (with regard to how to return to the island, etc.). I am now wondering whether or not Ben knows that Widmore is Faraday's father. What a tangled web they've all woven.


Judging by the comments, the consensus seems to be that Faraday did not know about his death ahead of time.

I would argue that it was against character for him to bring a loaded gun into a hostile situation (pun intended), that guns and violence are usually a last resort for the twitchy, gentle scientist, and that he knew he needed to provoke someone into shooting him in order for the events we're about to see unfold.


1MileToGo: I never thought about the ash surrounding Jacob's cabin as a security measure to keep Smokey at bay, but I like the direction you're heading in. I've often wondered what the connection between Jacob and Smokey is, given that they're clearly the most mysterious and intimidating spirits on the island.


Clarification time: when Faraday encountered his young mom Ellie in 1954, he simply inquired if their people had access to concrete. Thus, my initial statement was that perhaps Faraday already knew about the tunnel system beneath the island. Given the number of maps and notes he had in that notebook, it would not seem out of place for him to be familiar with the entire blueprint of and under the island.

Mark is the first of many to bring up the possibility that the island's infertility issues may very well be tied to the fact that a hydrogen bomb has been living beneath the primary residency. As for an explanation as to why Ethan Rom survived - I have a feeling we'll find out in a few days. He has the distinction of being the one of the only Others/Hostiles to have survived Ben's 1992 purge. But I think his birth and life have more to do with his mom Amy, because I believe she is a double agent, living and working as an Other but originating as a Hostile (like Ethan and Ben in the future).


I have a bad feeling. It is unsubstantiated and I hope that I am wrong because she is my favorite character; I would miss her presence tremendously in Season 6 if they chose to kill her off. IF Juliet departs, is it too much to ask that she live? There is no such thing as truly happy resolution in Lost land, but I would be fine if she somehow returned to the real world. So cosmos503...I hope you're wrong!

Phil broke the golden rule. On the island over the years, there have been many acts of violence and unfortunate deaths, but you just don't hit a woman (let alone my girl Juliet). I hope that Sawyer or Smokey rids us of that small security specimen by season's end.

And I must politely disagree with those of you who believe that the blond Other woman on the beach with Alpert in 2007 is an older version of Juliet (see far right in photo below). I realize that the time travel element creates windows of possibility where they'd never before existed, but my main point of contention is that Juliet wouldn't have advanced in age in such a dramatic fashion. Then again, one of her flashback episodes was called The Other Woman. Wait, now I'm actually contemplating whether or not that mysterious branding she received on her lower back as punishment for killing Pickett is related to this...damn you, conspiracy theorists! :)


It seems I have struck a nerve or two with my consistently negative Kate commentary. While I do not feel it is necessary to apologize, I will say that I never intend my sarcastic perspective about her to ever be offensive. Cosmos503 reminded me that the series is about redemption and rebirth, and I admit that I need to apply that concept to Kate more often.

Yvonne makes a good point - that if The Incident results in flight 815 landing safely in Los Angeles as originally planned, Kate would be arrested and incarcerated. It certainly says volumes about her character that she would choose to endure many more years of island misery than to return to the 'real world' to face jail time.

By the way, something is off...there is no way that Radzinsky would let Sawyer and Kate off the island together. They both know how to find the Hostiles, and Radzinsky wouldn't simply have faith that Sawyer drew him the right map. Someone (probably Horace) arranged for Kate to get on that sub, but I highly doubt it was Radzinsky.


Ashlie - I completely agree that the island's time shifts seem to benefit Locke's journey; further proof of his destiny.

Hillary and Katie H touch upon a question that many of us seem to have - whether Locke is acting so confidently because he really does know his purpose now, or whether he is actually dead. If we are to believe the mantras that they keep repeating, then dead IS dead and what happened, HAPPENED. And I keep thinking about this conversation in the episode Dead is Dead, when Locke briefly disappeared into the jungle immediately following Ben's unleashing of Smokey from the drain inside his secret lair:
BEN: "Where did John go?"
SUN: "He said he had something to do."
BEN: "Did he say what it was?"
SUN: "No, I didn't ask. Jack must have lied. About Locke being dead."
BEN: "Jack didn't lie, John was dead."
SUN: "Just because he was in a coffin doesn't mean that he couldn't have faked his dea-"
BEN: "Trust me, I'm sure."
SUN: "So you knew this would happen to Locke if we brought him back here?"
BEN: "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. You don't get to 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, after hearing rustling in the bushes: "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."
And out walks Locke.

In Follow the Leader, this exchange now takes on a new light as well:
BEN: "This must be quite the out-of-body experience."
LOCKE: "Something like that."
When Locke says that he is going to kill Jacob, is it possible that he plans to set him free, that he's going to act upon Jacob's initial plea ("help me")? Will this set off a series of events that lead to The Incident; is the detonation of Jughead a purposeful distraction but not the true cause of what is about to happen?


It seems that most of us are hoping to see our favorite ghostbuster chat up the recently deceased physicist in the season finale.

Out of any of the characters on the island in either era, it seems to me that Miles could be the most useful when it comes to detonating Jughead and changing their destiny; he has the ability to communicate with the dead, and may have done so upon first landing on the island in 2007, gleaning key information that will come in handy before or during The Incident. Perhaps he spoke with dear old dad...


I am amused by the general dislike of this character; it reminds me of the vitriol toward Ana Lucia. But I like him, especially because he serves a greater purpose that we know about but have yet to witness: he creates the infamous hatch blast door map.

Yes, Radzinsky is uptight and paranoid, but wouldn't you be if you were creating a station in Hostile territory, if your co-workers were dying during construction of said station due to electromagnetic forces that rip fillings out of your gums and into your skull, if you were infiltrated by a group of strangers, if your current leader was a hippie pacifist, etc.?

Desmond's former hatch mate Kelvin said that Radzinsky killed himself in the Swan, so I hope that we at least find out how and why he winds up stationed there in the first place.


1MileToGo brings up an interesting possibility - that Richard is related to Jacob. We've certainly never seen Richard at or near Jacob's cabin, and he expressed a mixture of both fear and hesitancy on both occasions when Locke has demanded to see Jacob (The Man Behind the Curtain and Follow the Leader).

Nurblvr wonders why Ben refers to Alpert as an advisor when he seems to follow more than lead, and I tend to agree. In my opinion, Alpert is more of a passive aggressive island advocate than anything else. 1MileToGo is on the same page, because he thinks that Alpert may be a physical manifestation of the island that can't directly affect any outcome. I highly recommend that you all revisit his comment from the first Follow the Leader post, because 1MileToGo also outlines in detail the possibility of Alpert as a genie of sorts (as well as Jacob and Smokey)...

So in 1977, Alpert knows what happens in 2007 (thus, his comment to Sun that he watched her friends die). I am a tad confused as to why he'd remember the events from 30 years ago but fail to recall meeting Locke and Faraday during earlier era encounters. Either his selective memory is an act, or a character discrepancy.

Random thought: the tiny ship he was constructing in the bottle is the Black Rock. Of course many of us theorize that the Ageless Wonder was an original captain or crew member on that ship, so his little hobby makes sense.


Julie J emailed me about how the sub gets from the island to Ann Arbor. I responded by telling her that I think the sub is and always has been nothing more than a rouse; that in actuality, the island is located closer to the U.S. than we've been led to believe. It was always suspicious to me that they drugged Juliet for the journey there, as well as all new Dharma recruits before her. Even though we do not see them drug the women and children who just evacuated the island quickly on the sub, I wouldn't be surprised to see them (attempt to) administer the tranquilizers to each passenger this week.

So why do I doubt that the sub is an actual means of transportation to and from the island? I'm not too familiar with submarines, but I don't imagine that one would have enough fuel to make a non-stop trip from the island to Michigan. Also, given the frequency of off island trips taken by Ben, Alpert and big Tom over the years...the sub must not have been their method of transport (and obviously they didn't turn the Frozen Donkey Wheel and wind up in Tunisia every time).

In addition, one of my lingering Lost questions is why Locke was soaking wet after blowing up the sub in Season 3; the sub was docked at the time so there was no need for Locke to get in the water...


Les, you are correct my friend! That is how I know and appreciate that you're a long time know that I've been insisting for years that the island has an underground system. :)

When Alpert mentioned that some of the Others were at The Temple, it made me wonder if he meant beneath it. I have a feeling that The Temple is Tunnel HQ, and that Smokey has been an occupant longer than anyone or anything.


Hillary - when we were introduced to the time travel element season, I jumped to the conclusion that The Whispers are the voices of island residents past, reaching out from various eras to warn either their future selves or other visitors of the dangers.


Juliet is pregnant. That is why Sawyer uncharacteristically chose to negotiate a spot for the both of them on the sub leaving the island, rather than stay and fight with/for their friends.


These are some stories/theories I'd love to see addressed or resolved:
  • Amy: double agent Hostile or simply strange Other Mother?
  • Ben's mystery box from the hotel vent: contents?
  • Bram & Ilana: who's team are they on?
  • Dr. Chang's arm: does he lose it in The Incident?
  • Charlie Hume: Charlie Pace? (I won't be giving up on this one anytime soon)
  • Claire: alive or dead?
  • Desmond: Does he return to the island? With Penny & Charlie?
  • Hurley's guitar case: contents?
  • Jack: reuniting with ghost dad Christian
  • Jin and Sun: back together
  • Kate: pregnant with Jack's child?
  • Little Linus: does he remain in The Temple; where is he during The Incident?
  • Locke: dead/manifested as Smokey, or alive & overconfident?
  • Penny: does she find out that Faraday is her half-sibling?
  • Rose, Bernard and Vincent: donde esta?
  • Sayid: will the island punish him for shooting Little Linus?
  • Sun: what, if any, deal did she make w/Widmore before returning to the island?
Of course as soon as I publish this I will think of more. But I will manage my expectations and be thrilled if they touch upon any of these points. The Lost season finales never cease to amaze me and take me in directions I never thought possible, so I look forward to Wednesday night with great anticipation and joy.

I am going to avoid Twitter, Facebook and other Lost sites as much as possible until after the finale airs on Wednesday in order to continue avoiding any spoilers. But please join me, DocArzt, Erika Olson (LongLiveLocke) and sl-LOST on Wednesday for a spoiler-free, pre-finale LIVE CHAT with Ryan on Zap2It's Guide to Lost!

Are you ready for the big finish? What questions would you like to see answered?


Anonymous said...

One of the many things that I would like to see answered is how exactly was Little Ben healed.( If you have not noticed, I am Pro Ben. LOL) All we see is Richard taking him into the temple, what happend next.

I would also like to know Where are all of the children that the Others took? My guess is that they are with the other group of Others at the Temple.

I have kind of a wild guess as to the contents of Bens mystery box that is in his bag that he is constantly wearing. I think that perhaps it may be the little Ben and Annie Dolls that he was given as a child. Why I do not know, it is just a guess.

Anywho I am very excited for the 2 hour Finale it should be a good one. I hope that we are all blown away and left with our jaws hanging. Boy won't that make for a crazy off season. :o)

Katie Harpool

pejafor3 said...

I still can`t understand the timeline in beachcraft/bullet scene with Richard and Locke.

What year is on the main island for new John Locke, Ben and Sun?

If year is 2007/2008
Then... John Locke was in the future when he was shot in leg by Ethan.

Please, somebody, explain this to me!

Jo said...

pejafor3: Here is my interpretation of that timeline...

Locke had experienced a time shift to an unknown, earlier era when he encountered & was shot in the leg by Ethan. As Ethan was about to kill him, Locke experienced another time shift, and wound up in 2007 at the burned out Beechcraft. Locke remembered exactly when and where he had shifted at that moment, which is why he led Alpert and Ben out there in this episode.


Julie said...

aww thanks for mentioning me Jo. I do have it all figure out though. :)

I'm from Michigan so my 7th grade Michigan History classes made it all clear to me.

The sub enters the Hudson Bay and heads down the Hayes River and into Lake Winnipeg and follows the Winnipeg river into Lake Superior. Thankfully the Sault Locks are in place so the sub can slip into Lake Huron and head down into the St. Clair River, continuing to Lake St. Clair. The sub can cruise past the Motor City in the Detroit River and safely enter Lake Erie. Finally the sub can enter into the Huron River which will land them right in Ann Arbor and right in front of the U of M Medical Center.

See how easy that was?

There is also one other route available that would take the sub down the St. Lawrence River and utilize the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and the Welland Canal which would allow the sub to bypass Niagara Falls and then end the trip the same way as above.

The sub could also come up the Mississippi and take the Illinois River to the canal and head into Lake Michigan. From there the sub could enter the St. Joseph, the Kalamazoo or the Grand River, but from what I can see these routes will all run out of water near Jackson, leaving the sub about an hour or so from A2.

I have no idea how much gas a sub has, but the trip is possible. Especially if you fall into the "hollow earth" theories and believe that the entrance and exit is up near the north pole. This would make entering the Hudson Bay very feasible. Also, since everyone is knocked out, there is nothing to say that the sub can't stop somewhere to refuel.

I don't like the idea of an alternate form of travel unless it involves a wormhole that has an opening underwater and will scoot the sub through to A2. That would be kick ass. :)

Nurby said...

I really don't know why I am currently so obsessed with this, and it's only been this season that I have wondered about it, but I still want to know what Ben and Kate discussed when he had her hostage on the beach?!?

Along with a hundred other questions :)

Dana Zee said...

Michael Emerson (Ben) and Jorge Garcia (Hurley) were guests on "The View" this morning and, while they did not give anything away, Jorge did indicate that we'll be learning tonight about 1) the contents of the guitar case that he brought back to the island, and 2) How Hurley ended up on Ajira 316. Also, when Whoopie asked "what happened to the interracial couple??" Jorge responded, "Stay tuned."

Emerson told a funny antecdote about a Japanese couple who were so delighted to meet him, and introduced him to their infant son: "He named Ben!"

Hillary said...

Ah yes, I do remember your 'whispers' theory. It's hard to remember everything I read from so many places - and to keep straight what I saw vs. what I think it could mean vs. what I read on your site, etc. :)

I'm re-watching S5 today, and just finished "Whatever Happened, Happened". The last line delivered by Locke to Ben, "Welcome back to the land of the living" made me consider the theories of whether or not Locke is alive. Maybe it means nothing. Then in "Dead is Dead", Ben says he believed John would be brought back to life. Quite possibly a big fat lie, since there's never any way to know with him.

(Maybe this is or leading into the Zombie season! Christian, maybe Claire, maybe Locke, etc...hehe)

Something occurred to me earlier today, having been processing everyone's comments and your comments on their comments, etc. Has it been established/implied that Ben was 'destined' to join the Hostiles? Is that why he 'saw' his mother on the island? Or did he want to join them simply to get away from his father and not really know much of anything about them/have anything against the DI?

After he was shot, Richard tells Charles that the Island chooses who it chooses, so maybe that's the answer. Some way or another, Ben would end up with them.

Ramble, ramble, ramble... :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jo,
I was wondering if you considered that now MM Locke may switch and assume Jacob's body or appearance. That way when he and Ben come out of the foot he could say that he and Ben killed MM Locke to keep from being attacked by Ilana and the others!