Thursday, May 7, 2009

LOST, Episode 5.15: "Follow the Leader" (Part 1)

As most of you know, it has been a roller coaster of a day for me. It started out spectacularly, with Jensen's very kind mention and link on EW.com, and quickly faded into panic and investigation mode when Facebook disabled my profile. Quick update: it seems they may reinstate my JOpinionated profile...if I use my real name. I agreed to that, and haven't heard back but will keep you posted. The Bentham profile is gone forever, however.

This is not an excuse, but I am emotionally drained, so this initial analysis will be shorter than usual. It is more than likely that there will be a follow up post to accompany this one in a few days, after the dust has settled and I've had time to watch "Follow the Leader" again with less distraction.

So let's dive beneath this pond and explore some new tunnels together...

CHARLES WIDMORE

I wonder if he will find out that the man Eloise shot and killed is their son, and if that is why she leaves the island.

DANIEL FARADAY

As Miles pointed out, he hasn't been wrong yet with regard to how events will unfold. He knew about the Secondary Protocol that Keamy set into motion, he knew about the Swan and Orchid energies, etc. So why wouldn't he have known about his death upon returning to the island in 1977?


ELOISE HAWKING

This might be the exhaustion speaking, but I thought I saw Widmore touch or refer to Eloise's stomach during their side chat...it would be beyond strange to find out that she is pregnant with Faraday during the same time that she kills him. Of course even in early stages, it wouldn't be advisable to go diving into ponds and putting yourself in dangerous situations...

There has to be a correlation between Desmond being Faraday's constant and the fact that he survives a gunshot wound in 2007 while Faraday dies from one in 1977. Perhaps as a result of Faraday's death in 77, which falls under Hawking's "unpredictable" category for what happens when the Losties return to the island, Hawking truly has no idea what's going to happen (which she tells Penny at the hospital).

JACOB

I'm still not convinced that Jacob is a person, but I have a feeling that we'll see both Christian Shephard and Claire in the season finale. And the moment when Jack sees and speaks with his father again will be golden.

If and when we learn more about who/what Jacob is, my hope is that the ash surrounding his cabin is also explained. In addition to the fact that there is a dormant volcano on the island (which we learned in Little Linus' Dharma classroom when the former Mrs. Goodspeed was teaching), ghost hunters believe that a mixture of ash and salt from the sea provide spiritual protection...

The candidates for the island's holy trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost Jacob) are increasing every week:
  • Ben and Roger
  • Chang and Miles
  • Christian and Jack
  • Horace and Ethan
  • Widmore and Faraday
We should also consider Mr. Paik and Sun (son); homonym alert!

JULIET

I love, love, love Juliet...but I hope that they have more in store for her than icy glares of heartbreak whenever Kate enters the picture. If they ever kill off her character without providing any resolution about her sister and nephew, I will be very disappointed.

KATE

I know I'm not the only one who groaned and/or rolled their eyes when Kate was brought inside the sub, filling out the 'shipper' triangle I was hoping would be resolved by now.

At the beginning of the season, I thought perhaps that Kate was pregnant with Jack's child. However, her open disdain for him on the island is making me reconsider that possibility.

Dear Kate:
You know when it became okay to shoot kids and blow up hydrogen bombs? When it was just fine to also blow up your stepfather, rob banks, drug your husband, etc. Sorry sister, but you need to take your morality high horse down a notch.

LOCKE

I have missed Mt Baldy and although I love the new and improved Leader Locke, it is almost disconcerting how confident he is now.

When they first 'met,' Jacob said "help me" to Locke. As part of his new purpose, perhaps Locke is going to kill Jacob in order to help me - escape from within the cabin? the island?

That Alpert seems to question Locke's purpose for the first time makes me contemplate whether or not we're actually seeing the real Locke or a spirit/shell of him, perhaps operating in a purgatory state on the island in 1977. Dead is dead, after all...

MILES

I realize that Locke is in a different era than Miles, but he could sure use the little ghostbuster's services right about now as he is on a mission to kill a spirit. I would LOVE to see Miles involved with the reveal of Jacob.

RADZINSKY


Horace clearly needs to grow a pair. Radzinsky has taken over Dharmaville, and I look forward to finding out if he really takes his own life in the Swan down the line, or if he is actually killed. He certainly has not made many friends there, and is so tightly wound that it seems likely that he will be banished to live in the Swan when all is said and done.

We know that at some point, Radzinsky spliced apart the original Swan orientation film (which Eko later discovered in a Bible in the Arrow station). That particular film referenced The Incident, and it seems as if he probably removed certain sections of the film because he himself causes The Incident...or at least fails to stop it.

RICHARD ALPERT

When he told Sun that he remembers meeting Jack, Kate and Hurley "because I watched them all die," I am assuming that he's referring to The Incident in next week's season finale. If I had to guess, he is there when Jack successfully detonates Jughead and believes that everyone dies in the process...but Faraday's vision becomes reality, they're never in 1977 and flight 815 does not crash on the island in 2004. That Alpert survives The Incident is further evidence of his agelessness and mortality.

Alpert did not take Faraday to The Temple, as he did with Little Linus after being shot. So either it was because Faraday was already dead (as opposed to alive but severely wounded like young Ben) or because the island was done with Faraday.

SUN

Assuming that Widmore knew there was a chance that the Oceanic 6 would arrive in an earlier era upon returning to the island...is it possible that he asked her to deliver his younger self a message?

JUGHEAD

When Faraday encountered his 17 year old mother in 1954 on the island earlier this season, he told her that they had to bury the bomb in a concrete bunker. So Faraday knew about the tunnels, and that they existed during that era.


They placed Jughead in a tunnel twenty years earlier, which would be 1957. Why did it take them three years to get it down there? And did they ever fill that leak with lead, as Faraday instructed?

LAST NAMES OF ISLAND CHILDREN

I've noticed that several children of Others/Hostiles do not use the last names of their parents:
  • Daniel Faraday: Daniel Hawking Widmore
  • Ethan Rom: Ethan Goodspeed
  • Miles Straume: Miles Chang
Not sure if this is related, but I've been predicting that the offspring of the Losties will somehow play a huge role in the series finale:
  • Clementine Ford
  • Charlie Hume
  • Ji Yeon Kwon
  • Aaron Littleton
  • Walt Lloyd
THE TUNNELS

I have long pondered the possibility of an underground transportation system and community on the island, so the reveal of the tunnels was a highlight for me. We don't know (yet) how Jughead was placed in a tunnel, but something tells me that all of the larger equipment and supplies we've seen arrived underwater and via tunnel for years (Dharma construction equipment and machines, vans, etc.).

I would also venture to guess that tail section kids Zach and Emma, along with 815 flight attendant Cindy, are being schooled and living in some type of underground facility.

The tunnel system might also explain how the Others seemingly disappear without leaving footsteps, as referenced in Season 3 (Left Behind):
Sayid: "I've checked all the houses. Everyone's gone, no trail. It's like fifty people disappeared into thin air."
Jughead was placed beneath Dharmaville, so one of these tunnels clearly contains the drain in Ben's secret spy lair that unleashes/houses Smokey.

The appearance of the tunnel where Jughead is stored certainly resembles that of The Temple, so it's probably safe to say that one of those tunnel paths leads there. I half expected to see a Frozen Donkey Wheel and some hieroglyphics.

Another visual reminders: Alpert and Jack swimming down and then appearing up in the tunnels was reminiscent of both Ghost Charlie's swim into the window during Hurley's LAPD interrogation and Charlie's arrival at the Looking Glass station.

WALKABOUT


This episode reminded me of Walkabout (Season 1) in many ways...

Sun is playing with Jin's wedding band while sitting on the beach. Locke approaches to reassure her, just like Jack did when Rose was sitting by herself on the beach playing with Bernard's ring on her necklace.

Locke introduces himself as an authority figure to the new people on the beach, just as he did when he threw the knife into Sawyer's seat to prove his value as a hunter.

Locke arrives on the beach with a dead boar.

Also, consider this conversation in Walkabout between Jack and Kate, which is fascinating when you reflect on their chat in this episode right before Kate left and Jack stayed to go into the tunnels:
Jack: "What's your feel on our new friend?" (Locke)
Kate: "Seems to know what he's doing. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you're worried about me, Jack."
Jack: "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you have a problem staying in one place for very long, Kate. So you want to tell me why you're really going?"
Additionally, in a flashback while playing Risk at work with a co-worker, Locke tells him that "patience is the hallmark of a leader."

---
I would like to express my gratitude to two people who were very helpful during the Facebook fiasco today, my friend/neighbor Hillary P and Lost blogger extraordinare Erika O. Within minutes of my unraveling, they both reached out to people with connections in an attempt to shed light on the situation. I believe that if my profile returns, I have both of them to thank! Huge hugs to you both.

I have managed to remain spoiler-free all season long, and I realize how challenging the next week will be, leading up to the finale. That being said, I will be offline much more, with or without Facebook. I appreciate all of you respecting the spoiler-free nature of this site, and that you don't post spoilers in Comments or email them to me.

Believe me, I'll be back here soon with more lucid thoughts and comprehensive theories. Until then, thank you for your patience and feedback (in advance)!

-Jo

17 comments:

Hillary said...

Awww! I just did what any friend/neighbor/Facebook/internet addict would do. :)

Eloise seems to put the Island above anything else, so if she is preggers, I’m not surprised by her actions. She’s not the warmest of people.

I like the trinity correlation.

I don't love or hate Miss Austen, but accept her as part of the whole show package. But seeing her get on the sub seemed 'off' to me. I still don't get any sense of chemistry between Sawyer and Juliet, although Juliet's pain is moving. I haven't had a sense that Sawyer longs to be with Kate, but more of a bittersweet look in his eyes. If anything gets rekindled, my guess is it would be b/c Juliet breaks it off with him or she dies or sides with someone other than him. (But I hope she doesn't die!)

A lot to consider regarding the reanimated Locke. Is it indeed really or fully him? I hadn't considered that until now. And if his bringing everyone to Jacob is such a problem, why wouldn't Ben and/or Richard tell him why after going through so much to get him back to the damn island? Oh right, because people never just come out and say shit on this show! lol

When did Faraday say or imply he knew about the tunnels in order to secure Jughead? And how in the hell did they get that mofo in there?!

I agree about the use of tunnels as a way of the appearing/disappearing others. But...what's the deal with the whispers? Another 'security' measure to keep people looking up and around so as not to see where the person is emerging from?

I fond it fascinating that last week, I felt the ep went on much longer than an hour and was chock full of greatness, whereas last night it flew by and I was left feeling a bit empty. Not the first time Lost has done this to me. And I don't know how they pull that off!

ashlie said...

I totally also thought that Widmore touched Ellie's stomach before she left - my money is on the fact that she's pregnant with Dan right now. Creepy factor is high.

Is it just me, or was anyone else kind of sort of hoping that it was Kate who got shot? She's been on my nerves for the last two seasons, and I'm failing to see what her purpose is anymore other than messing things up and just doing whatever she wants, not what's best for anyone else. The look on Juliet's face when she got on the sub was priceless. I also totally thought that Sawyer was going to let Juliet get on the sub and he was going to stay, but am pleasantly surprised to see him stand by his lady.

Something struck me about the significance of the Alpert/Locke bullet incident. It seemed odd to me that when the island was skipping through time that it also skipped forward in time to that moment, when Locke could be helped, almost as though the island was not skipping randomly, but purposefully to help Locke on his journey. It strikes me even stronger when you consider the whole, "what are the odds that the Orchid will even be here" bit, and lo and behold it was there, just for John. Not sure where I'm going with it yet, but it's a thought.

Did the episode seem extra short to anyone else? All the episodes seem to be running until like 10:02, 10:04 lately and then last night (on my feed at least, in Canada) they cut to commercial at 9:56 and the credits rolled at 9:59. Argh.

Yvonne said...

I'm definitely going to have to re-watch this episode this weekend. I too felt like distracted during it, not sure why.



I'm not Kate's #1 fan either, I definitely groaned when I saw her hop into the sub, ugh! I didn't want her to get killed though either. I can't really fault her for not following Jack's plan. If Faraday's plan does work and the crash never happens, then Kate remained in custody and would most likely spend the rest of her life in jail for the murder of her step father.

I cheered when I saw Sayid emerge from the brush, but not bc he saved Kate, but just because I was wondering where the heck he has been all this time. It was a nice surprise, I've certainly missed him these past few episodes.

I was wondering the same thing about the chilren specifically Miles and Daniel not using the last names of their parents. Where the heck does Faraday come from? You would think he would at least be Daniel Hawking, but of course, that would just be too easy. :)

I have to admit I was thoroughly confused with Locke. I agree I do like him being back, but there was a sense of overconfidence and arrogance that just kept bugging me. It may be a sign of bad things to come. I just never know what the heck is going on with Alpert. I wonder if he really is concerned with what Locke is doing, or if Locke is just a pawn and playing exactly as he is supposed to.

1miletogo said...

First off, the rest of your week will be great Jo, and next wednesday... Wow :)

this is going off one watching also, so I will see what I can add to your posting...

Great point about Dan & Des and both revolving around gun shot wounds. I'm wondering if Miles will be visiting Dan next week, for more shocking revelations, I was also thinking that SMokey might take Dan's image to complete the comic con video that we saw, that would be pretty cool :)

On the point about Jacob, when Locke said he had to kill Jacob, I was just like Ben :0. Going back to the ash around the cabin, could it be a security ward to keep Smokey out of the cabin? Is Jacob at terms with Smokey and the island. It seems that Locke is in Cahoots with Smokey. I also have a hair-brained thought that Jacob & Richard could be twins or brothers... I was thinking of Richard's appearance in the Man Behind the Curtain - what if that was Jacob and not Richard? Richard never told young Ben his name in that scene.. Let it get back to Richard that Locke wants to kill Jacob.

As for Kate, I too, was like, why did she appear on the sub... And there was a new DHARMA logo for the sub.

Locke is all sorts of cool this season, and seeing him say to Ben, that he isn't afraid of him anymore, and watch Richard squirm makes you wonder what is going on. I think that Richard may think he sees Jack & Co die during the incident, but that is when our losties will time skip.

When it comes to jughead and the twenty years - I'm starting to think 20 years is the default time that people use. I don't think they waited 3 years after Dan disappeared in front of them to bury Jughead. I am still under the impression that they used Smokey to transport the bomb underground, maybe his schedule was full and the next available time slot was 3 years later - LOL - Smokey is busy :) What I don't get, is that the Hostiles let DHARMA build their Nice little village right above the storage of Jughead and the Smokey telecomunication center... Maybe they were all vacationing in Tahiti when DHARMA arrived..

There was a lot to digest last night, so after a few rewatches I will add more. Plus I will try and get my buddy the DHARMA gnome to post his gnomish recap :)

e said...

Hey there -

So glad that you're now back on Facebook and that the whole mess was resolved relatively quickly. That'll teach 'em to mess with the Lost community!

I thought the same thing about Charles touching Ellie's stomach. That makes the timing kind of strange with Daniel's age, but whatever. I've given up on tracking timelines for the most part. : )

Enjoy the finale!

- e

Les Jones said...

When I saw the underground tunnel I thought "Jo is going to live this." :-)

Mark said...

The familiarities to Walkabout are interesting. Seeing that is one of the best episodes ever.

I don't think Daniel was aware of his own death as he dies. He could never write about it. Also I think he just tells them to bury it.

The bomb being under Dharmaville adds to the idea that it's causing the premature pregnancies but then again Ethan was born fine.

Can't wait till next week.

ashlie said...

Yvonne, I felt the same way about last night's ep, like I couldn't quite focus on it for some reason. I assumed it was just a sub-par episode, but since everyone else seems to think it was really important, I'll have to give it another watch before next Wednesday!

Anthony said...

Faraday didn't say put the bomb in the tunnels. He told them to bury it. Saying bury it isn't the same thing as saying put it in the underground tunnel system.
Faraday didn't know about his death because his mother didn't tell him.

I also agree that Jacob isn't a person. It's probably someone who is "stuck" somehow and needs to be killed in order to be freed.

I think that Richard is uneasy because Locke knows more than he should.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking that there is more to Locke now as well... Just because it seems to me that Richard seems to sense that something is different. " Something seems different about you John." Says Richard, and I don't think that it is just because he has a purpose now. Maybe our friend Smoky has something to do with it. I also felt a little strange when Locke told Richard and Ben that the Island told him That he would be shot and would end up at the Drug Plane. ( He already knew that he was going to be shot because it had already happened to him!) I almost felt like he was trying to Set himself up to be the leader. Just like how he had told Richard to go and see him when he was born. It is almost like he feels like he is supposed to be the leader so he is making it happen.

I too noticed Widmore touching Eloise's tummy during there little chat so I would guess that she is in fact with child.

As for Jacob....
I have always assumed that he was a spirit. How you kill a person that is already dead is beyond me.

Kate, Kate, Kate....
Just when I thought she could not get more annoying, here she comes down the Sub hatch. This love triangle is starting to get old fast! Just let Sawyer and Juliet be happy. At least Juliet, come on the poor woman has been through enough.

Anywho I am very excited for the Finale and think that we all will be holding our breath at the end. Boy the off season will feel long after this one.

Katie Harpool

cosmos503 said...

re: Juliet - Sorry, Jo, but I think her sister & nephew were just a plot trick to get Juliet on the island. I doubt we'll see that story sewn up. Which is a bummer indeed.

re: Kate - Her change in moral stance from killing her stepfather to not wanting to detonate the bomb seems logical to me. I think Lost is all about redemption & rebirth. All of the characters have had major shifts in morals. I think this is Kate finally showing that she's taking a stand.

re: Miles - I really wanted Miles to go talk to dead Farraday. That would have been a brilliant plot device.

re: Sun - I doubt she's delivering a message to Charles (particularly since she isn't in 1977, she's in 2007) but I love the idea of Charles doing something like that. This would imply Ilana/Bram's group is not related to Widmore.

re: Jughead - I don't think Farraday knew about the tunnels. He just wanted the bomb enclosed in concrete.

re: Children - I think you've hit on something important here. Lost will ultimately come down to illustrate something simple like redemption, rebirth, afterlife, living forever, etc. I think there has been a constant thread regarding the children. Your point about the children not using their given, born names is very interesting. I think we'll find that this might strike closer to the truth than any Smokey or Jacob theory.

Anonymous said...

Yep...he touched her stomach..she's pregnant with Dan on the day she kills him :(
Sheindie

nurblvr said...

Some initial ramblings from first watch...

It seems that Eloise is the leader of the others during 1977. She kills a man, no one questions her. She tells the guys to put jack and kate in her tent, no one questions here. She says they are going to the bomb and no one questions her.

I am also thinking that Eloise has had a big part in Ben's recovery. Seeing them together in L.A. and Eloise seems to tolerate him, to me I think they shared some time together in 1977.

I know this is a long shot, but I was thinking that Eloise had this all planned out to get Daniel to study the island and keep this journal full of notes, so that she could shoot him in 1977 and get all the notes of everything he had studied. Obviously she doesn't quite know that in 1977, but her future self plans it knowing she will find the right way to use them.

Richard was called an adviser. I'm trying to think if I really have ever seen him "advise" anyone. He seems to follow orders more than advice. But it is also hard for me to think back to the earlier seasons.

I'm glad Sayid is back, too!!

Anonymous said...

"Dear Kate:
You know when it became okay to shoot kids and blow up hydrogen bombs? When it was just fine to also blow up your stepfather, rob banks, drug your husband, etc"

I agree with the robbing banks and drugging husbands but blowing up her stepfather? That was a young girl taking extreme measures to rescue her own mother from a dirty bastard. A little different from shooting a 13 year old or potentially killing over 50 people with a bomb just because Jack's had enough of his life.

Jo said...

Anonymous - Yes, those are very different circumstances; I was simply making a point about Kate's morality scale.

In my opinion, Jack will only attempt to detonate Jughead (to negate the energy beneath the Swan) if it meant saving, not sacrificing, other lives. He's a fixer, not a purger like Ben.

1miletogo said...

I also just had another thought about Richard... since he seems to take on a neutral role, could Richard be one of the following 2?

1) a physical manifestation of the island, so it can't directly affect any outcome on the island.

2) A trapped Genie that must "follow" the current leader of the others... Now after researching a Genie, I'm wondering if Smokey and maybe even Jacob are other forms of Genie... Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie Or the cliff notes below...

Genie is a supernatural creature which possesses free will.
They can be either good or evil. In some cases, evil genies are said to lead humans astray. in Roman mythology, every man had a genius and every woman a juno.

The first recorded use of the word Genie in the English language was in 1655 as geny, with the Latin meaning

Originally, the genii and junones were ancestors who guarded over their descendants. Over time, they turned into personal guardian spirits, granting intellectual prowess. Sacrifices were made to one's genius or juno on one's birthday. (a sacrifice the island demanded?)

In Roman mythology a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. It was often depicted as a snake. In contemporary usage, "genius loci" usually refers to a location's distinctive atmosphere, or a "spirit of place", rather than necessarily a guardian spirit. (Smokey's chamber and the Anubis & Smokey wall carving?)

The Genius loci was presumed to take part in all that happened inside the house, and a statue was also put on the table during the meals. (A large statue on the island?)

In the early Roman times, in every house there was at least one little statue. Later, a sort of confusion connected their figure with those of Manes, deities of Hades (and the most virtuous dead persons of the family).

In Islamic theology jinn are said to be creatures with free will, made from 'smokeless fire' They are usually invisible to humans and humans do not appear clear to them. Every person is assigned a special jinn to them, also called a qareen, the jinns that whisper into your soul and tell you to give into your evil desires. (Could there be many Jinns on the island - The whispers?)

The Prophet Muhammad reportedly divided jinn into three classes: those who have wings and fly in the air, those who resemble snakes and dogs, and those who travel about ceaselessly. They may even appear as dragons, onagers, or a number of other animals. In addition to their animal forms, the jinn occasionally assume human form to mislead and destroy their human victims.

Those who fly - Could Jacob be this kind of Jinn and is trapped in the cabin for that reason? Those who resembe snakes & Dogs - could this be SMokey? Those who travel about ceaselessly - How old is Richard? And I like the last line, about assuming human form to milead and destroy... Hmmm...

Oh and about Jack meant on saving and not sacrificing... I think there may be a fine line between a purger and fixer... Who is Jack saving this time around and who's misery is he preventing?

Ryan said...

nurblvr: It might be true that Ellie is trying to get the journal back in time for her own use, but I think that her encounter with and shooting of Daniel ocurred for the 1st time when it happened, so she didn't know she shot him. Although maybe she time jumps like Des and knows all and is being coy until her opportunity arises..

With regard to Jughead, Ellie says they buried it "over 20 years ago", so it could have been buried in 1974. Though I think Faraday intended for them to encapsulate it in concrete rather than where they put it.

As to Jacob, he must be "real" in that he was a factor to even Widmore when Ben returned with baby Alex.