Sunday, August 9, 2009

LOST ReWatch Week #9: The Other 48 Days, Collision, What Kate Did & The 23rd Psalm

Welcome to another edition of the Lost Rewatch! As always, I encourage you to visit the other participating sites for their perspective about these older episodes.

But before I begin this belated batch of analysis, I offer you the following...

In Defense of Ana Lucia

I am very aware that not many people were fans of this character; she was dismissed as a negative, sneering ex-cop with a bad attitude. However, those are qualities that I actually appreciated in Ana Lucia.

She was the ONLY person to seem truly and consistently angry about crashing on a mysterious island, who seemed genuinely fearful of the unknown and endless dangers out in the jungle, and who was very concerned about the well-being of the two young children from the Tail Section who were kidnapped by the Others.

Ana Lucia's rage and furious determination were a facade...she was scared, and her training and instincts took over when they crashed. Reflecting back on the back stories of other characters, you have to admit that hers was particularly brutal (she was shot while on duty as a police office & lost her baby).

She wore her flaws on her sleeve, but she was certainly not the only one exorcising demons while attempting to protect her fellow passengers and friends on the island. Unlike some of the other flashbacks that we've been privy to, I felt like I knew and understood who Ana Lucia was. She was justifiably skeptical and suspicious on the island, where so many others were naive and susceptible. Thus, I didn't mind her animosity and demeanor at all. Her raw emotion and response to almost everything was more vivid and realistic than most.

For what it's worth, Ana Lucia's murder is still atop my list of the most shocking moments in Lost history.

Black & White/Jacob & Mystery Man

While I do not believe that Jacob or Mystery Man/NotLocke ever transformed/transferred into animals, you can't help but think about the Mystery Man in Black when Kate is confronted on the island by the black horse from her past. Of course it could just as easily have been yet another Smokey manifestation. Then again, young Kate had been visited and touched by Jacob, so I suppose that it's possible that he may have been responsible for the horse's appearance both on the road (that aided her escape from the Marshal) and on the island.

What I find fascinating is that Kate was able to touch the horse on the island; unlike other ghostly appearances by deceased island inhabitants and 815 survivors, I'm not sure that anyone else has made actual contact with what seems to be an otherworldly entity.

In What Kate Did, Eko's story to Locke about Judah and Josiah seems to hold more weight in light of what we learned in Season 5. How can you NOT think about Jacob and Mystery Man, as well as Locke, as you revisit this:
"Long before Christ, the king of Judah was a man named Josiah. At that time, the temple where the people worshiped was in ruin. And so the people worshiped idols, false gods. And so the kingdom was in disarray. Josiah, since he was a good king, sent his secretary to the treasury and said 'We must rebuild the temple. Give all of the gold to the workers so that this will be done.' But when the secretary returned, he had no gold. And when Josiah asked why this was, the secretary replied 'we found a book.' What the secretary had found was an ancient book, The Book of Law. You may know it as the Old Testament. And it was with that ancient book, not with the gold, that Josiah rebuilt the temple."
That young Locke's leadership was tested by Richard Alpert with several items including a Book of Laws (S4, Cabin Fever) and then Mystery Man somehow became Locke is not a coincidence. It is also quite noteworthy that there is an island safe haven called The Temple that houses and protects the remaining Others and the Tail Section children.

Crossing Paths

Ana Lucia's former LAPD partner Big Mike is the detective who later questions Hurley after he is detained as one of the Oceanic 6 when he crashed his car in LA.

When Kate visits Sam Austen at his Army recruiting office, Sayid is seen being detained on the television.

Florida

In What Kate Did (S2), we see her attempt to purchase a one-way ticket to Tallahassee. Many cities in Florida seem rather significant, given the amount of times they have been mentioned in the last five seasons.

That I can recall, we have yet to connect these dots...

Outlaws (S1): Sawyer and Hibbs pulled off a con job in Tampa.

Lockdown (S2): Sawyer mentions that he picked up a disease in Tallahassee.

Every Man For Himself (S3): Sawyer is in prison in Florida.

I Do (S3): Kate dates Kevin the cop in Dade County.

The Brig (S3): Anthony Cooper gets in a car accident in Tallahassee, and somehow winds up in Ben's magic box on the island.

Not in Portland (S3): Juliet received her biology degree from FSU in Tallahassee.

One of Us (S3): Ben shows Juliet video footage of her sister and nephew with a copy of The Miami Journal.

The Constant (S4): Keamy mentions that his mercenary sidekick Omar is from Florida.

Goosebump-Inducing Dialogue

The Other 48 Days
Libby: "Do you really think it's possible that one of us is one of them?"
What Kate Did
Marshal: "Don't run, Kate."
Eko: "Don't mistake coincidence for fate."
The 23rd Psalm
Eko: "Aaron was a great man."
The Incident: Success or Failure?

As I head deeper into this rewatch, all signs are pointing toward the success of Jack's plan and Jughead's detonation. Another case in point...

After pointing out the hatch blast doors in the Swan, Michael says that "in case of explosion, they come down from the ceiling." It seems to me that those doors were probably installed BECAUSE of the incident.

In addition, we know that Radzinsky was the one who spliced apart certain sections of the Swan Orientation Film and placed that footage in the Bible that Eko found in the Arrow Station. Those are the actions of a guilty man; remember that HE caused the incident by drilling into the electromagnetic field beneath the Swan.

Mommy Dearest

We all know that Daddy Issues permeate the Lost landscape, but as I am rewatching the earlier seasons, it is striking how many Moms affected the children who are now on the island.

  • Ana Lucia had to hand over her badge to her mother, the captain of the LAPD, and then fled to Sydney after seeking revenge for the murder of her unborn child.
  • Ben wound up on the island with his drunk daddy after his mother died while giving birth to him.
  • Faraday's mother Eloise Hawking was instrumental in his method and frequency of getting to the island.
  • Jack was in Sydney because his mother tasked him with the responsibility of finding his father.
  • Kate was on the run in Sydney because her mother turned her in for blowing up her father.
  • Locke's mother conned him into reuniting with his absentee father, which led to a stolen kidney, attempted murder via 8-story window and subsequent journey to Sydney.
  • Shannon was in Sydney with a con man boyfriend after her stepmother cut her off financially following the death of her father.
  • Walt was leaving Sydney to live with his father Michael after his mother died of a rare illness.
Parallels

In The Other 48 Days (S2), Goodwin said "We're not savages." In Namaste (S5), Sawyer said "We're not savages."

In The Other 48 Days (S2), Libby and Cindy find an unconscious Jin washing up on shore after the raft incident. In The Little Prince (S5), Rousseau and her crew discover an unconscious Jin floating in the ocean after the freighter blew up.

Charlie and Eko have very interesting relationship parallels with their brothers. Charlie always covered and made excuses for his older brother, while Eko put his younger sibling in danger and was responsible for his death. The downfall of both Eko and Charlie (and arguably the reason both wound up on the island) was heroin; one dealt it for money, the other was an addict.

Significant Firsts/Moments

Eko is the first survivor to kill an Other. Ana Lucia is the second.

We see the first of many LISTs; it named 9 of the Tail Section survivors that were targeted by the Others for kidnapping.

Goodwin is the first Other to kill a survivor (Nathan).

We find out that the Tail Section kids are alive. Goodwin: "The children are fine. They're better off now."

The two men of faith meet: Eko & Locke.

Married couple Rose and Bernard finally reunite after being separated during the crash; she was on the Fuselage beach while he was with the Tail Section folks.

Jin and Sun conceive Ji Yeon (allegedly, after emerging with wide grins from their tent in What Kate Did).

Sawyer says that he loves Kate...even though he does so while recovering from an infected bullet wound and on drugs.

Michael discovers the blast doors inside of the Swan hatch.

Kate kisses Jack for the first time...and then runs away, as she is apt to do.

Eko stands his ground and confronts Smokey, who presents images from Eko's past.

The Swan computer is used for something other than entering the numbers, despite Dr. Candle's warning to the contrary in the Orientation film. Michael instant messages who he thinks is his missing son Walt.

The Visual & The Visceral

In Collision (S2), Ana Lucia had Sayid tied to a tree.

She was far more intimidating than Oldham, the hippie Other torturer in He's Our You (S5) that administered a truth drug to Sayid as he was tied to a tree.

We're In the Army Now

When Goodwin told Ana Lucia that he had been in the Peace Corps, I immediately wondered whether or not he was (like Ethan) a child of Dharma or offspring of the previous island military.

Right before Ana Lucia killed Goodwin, she estimated that the Army knife she took from a dead Other was about 20 years old (1984). It seems to me that is a relevant clue and nugget of dialogue.

Back in Week 3 of this Rewatch, I suggested that Sam Austen (whom Kate was misled to believe was her real father for most of her life) may have been stationed on the island at some point in his earlier military career. In 316 (S5), we glimpse a US Army photo of the island from 1954, so we know that branch of the military at least had a presence.

The fact that Austen worked in an Army recruiting office and that we also saw him serve alongside Desmond's former hatchmate Kelvin Inman has me almost convinced that Austen was on that island before 1977. And his statement to Kate, "I don't have murder in my heart," was very Other-like.

What's In a Name?

I know I'm a little late to this game, but I find it amusing that some of the Others' names incorporated the word GOOD. Horace, Amy and Olivia Goodspeed. Goodwin Stanhope.

Kate

In What Kate Did, we find out that she was on the run because she blew up a house with her abusive father Wayne inside. As we approach the final season of Lost, however, it appears that they are throwing a loop(hole) in her story. Watch this new video that debuted at Comic-Con, and decide for yourself whether or not they are presenting her life under different circumstances BEFORE Flight 815 or if she never boarded that plane...

There is a very telling revelation in this same episode, one which further cements my belief that Kate and Jack really do belong together rather than she and Sawyer.
Kate: "Every time that I look at Sawyer, every time I feel something for him...I see you, Wayne. It makes me sick."
Kate and Sawyer are cut from the same conning, criminal cloth. While they have had the most obvious chemistry throughout the series, I still believe that opposites attract. Both of their polar opposites and true love were discovered through Jack and Juliet, respectively.

Libby

In my last post, I stated my Libby theory; that she is Penny's half-sister and the reason that younger Charles Widmore was exiled from the island (for having an affair with a civilian that resulted in a pregnancy).

In The Other 48 Days, when Libby mentioned that she'd been to medical school, it only fueled my theory fire because now I'm convinced that she worked for Widmore Labs. Remember that Kate found a Widmore Labs pregnancy test in the plane luggage for Sun to use...the same brand and type that Juliet's sister Rachel used to discover she was pregnant.

And then I started thinking about additional characters with some form of medical background or training. Outside of the Shephards and Bernard the dentist, only OTHERS fit the bill: Ethan Rom, Juliet, Ben (who stitched up Sayid after he was shot in Germany), Mikhail (who also stitched up Sayid, in Enter 77) and Goodwin (who was operating on one of the pregnant Other women).

To me, it is not too far-fetched to ponder whether or not Libby was indeed an Other or a Widmore.
---

While it may odd that I am not addressing other important aspects of these four episodes, such as Shannon's death at Ana Lucia's hands or Eko's rich backstory, it is simply that I did not necessarily glean any new theories from revisiting them. During this rewatch, and in the interest of time, I am writing about and analyzing scenes and characters which stand out (in my eyes) as significant and deserve another look after absorbing five seasons of information.

Thank you for taking the time to read and participate in the Rewatch - please feel free to leave any comments or questions and I will try to respond this week!

-Jo

18 comments:

Jeremiah said...

I like the Libby Widmore theory. It's better than Libby being Dharma, which feels a little too pat.

I'm not sure about Sam having been stationed on the island, though. Wouldn't that require a second military operation? I think they've got their work cut out for them in season 6 as it is.

With the Greg Grunberg rumor, I beginning to think the "Reset Worked" videos are a ruse.

Anonymous said...

I too LOVED Ana Lucia character, she showed herself to be strong and distant to hide her fear.

I think Kate and Jack belong together as well :-)

Love you analysis, keep up the good work.

Dallas Pam

Marebabe said...

Jo, I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a long time, but this is the first time I'm leaving a comment. I would just like to add to your list of characters who have medical training. Although we've not seen Desmond actually do any doctoring, when he first met Jack in the stadium where they were both running, one of the things he said was, "I was almost a doctor once." I've always remembered that statement when we've been shown bits of Desmond's past. We know that he was in the Royal Scots Regiment, that he was imprisoned for some reason and dishonorably discharged, and we know that he was a novice monk until he got kicked out. But we have not seen any evidence that supports his statement, "I was almost a doctor once." Unless you count that he seemed to know what to do for Jack's injured ankle.

Anonymous said...

Love the recap work, but i'm now a little unsure of one of your points. You mention that Jack's plan worked, then reference clues throughout the series. By "worked", are you subscribing to the Miles observation that they are doing exactly what has always happened, or that they became Faraday's description of Variables and changed everything? Your points seem to be the "what happened, happened" variety from my viewpoint, but Jack's plan was to change everything.

By the way, until the comic con evidence, i was leaning towards the idea that Faraday still believes in whatever happened, happened, but realized that they were the ones that were supposed to trigger those events, not necessarily change everything up. I know that's contradictory to his desire to not let Charlotte die, but i couldn't shake that feeling.

Anonymous said...

First let me say I love your posts! While I do as you suggest and read many of the others, yours is the first I read and with the most excitement. I always feel an enthusiastic "YES!" well up in my throat when I see there is a new one.

I completely agree with you about Anna Lucia. I really liked her character, much for the same reason I like Sawyer. Tortured soul; misunderstood; often secretive; hiding insecurity and fear from everyone by presenting as themselves as a "bad-ass", not needing anyone or anything. If I had to guess I'd say she was a Scorpio. ;) I thought I read the reason she was killed off was due to the actress having been in some real-life trouble they did not want associated with the show and/or ABC. Either way it's too bad. I'd like to have seen the evolution of her character as we have with Sawyer.

Looking forward to your next post!

Jo said...

Jeremiah: If Sam Austen was stationed on the island, I have a feeling it was before 1977 and not necessarily a deployment for a specific war or operation; perhaps it was a top secret reconnaisance assignment. Who knows; the fun is in the speculation. :)

And yes, I too am starting to think that with the Reset commercials (Kate, Hurley, Oceanic), coupled with the Mysteries of the Universe: DI series...they are yanking our collective chain a bit. Not that I mind.

Dallas Pam: Thank you!

Marebabe: Good call! I totally forgot about Des and will update with that tidbit. Thanks!

Anonymous 1: You're right, I need to clarify. And I should spend some time fleshing out what my thoughts are regarding Jack's desire to change the past by detonating Jughead vs. what happened, happened. Right now I am leaning toward Miles' statement, but will get back to you soon!

Anonymous 2: Thank you - I really appreciate your kind words.

As for Michelle Rodriguez, my understanding is that she knew her character was going to be killed off; there is plenty of gossip and speculation otherwise, but I still contend that her DUI was an unfortunate coincidence and bad timing. :)

neoloki said...

Jo-

I completely agree on your take on Anna Lucia. I have always thought that she was one of the most convincing characters the writers created. Her actions were very understandable, although I always had a problem with tying Sayid to the tree and becoming very belligerent. but i get her reasoning.

thorsten said...

Regarding WHH against the new 'Jugheadverse' my belly would go with Miles and Anonymous 1. Faraday in Ann Arbor figured out that everything needed to happen as before. Maybe that is the reason for his strange and suicidal behavior in the camp, leading to his death. The main reason for me to believe in the Jugheadverse for season six were Matthew Fox's comments in Monte Carlo, where he said the season will start "very surprising" and "fairly confusing".

But he also said "All the pieces will come back into play"…

Chris said...

Jo, et al -

I love these posts, and I appreciate that you are the only person that hasn't used Comic-Con as an excuse to take a month-long rewatch hiatus.

Like many folks, I am not a fan of Ana Lucia. However, I want to clarify that I think she could have been a great character in the hands of a better actress. The IDEA of her character, which many folks have eloquently described on this page, is miles beyond the EXECUTION of the character (not the 'she-was-shot-by-Michael' type execution, but performance-wise).

Michelle Rodriguez has made a career of playing stoic, brusque, 'bad-ass' characters, but I've never been convinced. To me, she simply cannot pull off what is essentially the only character she can play: the angry female loner. Furthermore, every time 'Lost' gave her a scene, or an entire flashback, that was tailored to foster some sympathy for the character, the emotion of the scenes were so shallow and wooden, it just fell flat. It doesn't help that Ms. Rodriguez has ONLY ONE acting move in her arsenal, which is this: After finishing a line, she purses her lips, clenches her jaw, and swallows. Look for it next time you're watching; she does it ALL THE TIME. And watching her try to squeeze tears out was painful, and not in a good way.

I understand what everyone is saying in Ana Lucia's defense, but it reads as if people are forgiving a poorly executed character because the concept was good. For me, the difference between what her character should have been and what it became through a lackluster performance is glaring, and the fact that her character's story line chewed up so much screen time and remains to this day completely irrelevant kind of bugs me too. Her death was shocking, but it hasn't proven to be a loss.

By the beginning of season 3, we were already being introduced to a female character with some REAL depth in Juliet, and Ana Lucia was quickly forgotten.

Jo said...

Neoloki: This may be the first time that you actually agree with me. Phew! :)

Thorsten: Personally, I don't believe anything that Matthew Fox says; I'm sure he enjoys messing with and misleading the fans. He can boast that he knows exactly how Lost ends, but there is no way that Darlton would tell one of their actors, let alone this much in advance. Like the ARGs, I have to remind myself that any statements by anyone other than Darlton are not canon. Just my $.02!

Chris: That is a very fair argument and I appreciate the way you presented your side. I have always wondered what that role would have been like in the hands of another actress. And obviously I totally agree that no one can match the talents of Liz Mitchell.

thorsten said...

Jo. while I typed this, and before I found out about the next step in the Paul Scheer campaign, I imagined Damon writing a script for Fox for his Monte Carlo trip. I even rewatched the video to check how he delivered the story. He looked up to the ceiling all the time, like remembering stuff ;))

Dustin Winebrenner said...

Hey Jo, It's my first time to the site, and I spent way too much of my workday reading your old posts. Thanks for carrying on the rewatch banner nearly by yourself.

BTW, my wife (also named Jo) won one of your Hanso t's in the Comic Con Lost Panel-line trivia contest.

I agree, Ana Lucia was a great character despite all the Ana-hate. (She's the only character never to change her shirt!) I even thought she was a good match for Jack. (That would've rocked his psyche if he ever found out she was running around Australia with his father!) I just don't think I could've taken much more of Michelle Rodriguez's wooden acting. But if she stuck around I'm afraid we'd never have gotten Juliet, which would've been a far bigger loss.

As far as Jack's plan, I think the alternate timeline talk and Comic Con vids are all a red herring. I've always believed trying to prevent the Incident WAS the Incident, therefore whatever happened, happened.

Thorsten - Mathew Fox says THIS season will be "fairly confusing"??? What's he think the rest of the seasons have been!

That statement makes me think of a comment by Darlton at Comic Con. They said this season would use the "flashback" convention in a new way. I'm wondering if it's possible this season might spend time flashing back and forth between two alternate timelines: Prehaps Jacob's reality and Black Shirt's reality, as they try to wipe out each other's plans.

That would be a new flashback paradigm AND it would be more than "slightly confusing."

thorsten said...

Dustin, good idea with the flashing between the Jacobverse and the Esauworld. And Fox used the word timeframes, not timelines. Should they go this way the season would start out as Schrödingers box, with two possible outcomes, and then collapse into one after a certain event.

Like Desmond as the observer, who is aware of the differences between the two quantum-states of the whole story, makes a decision…

The Rush Blog said...

There is a very telling revelation in this same episode, one which further cements my belief that Kate and Jack really do belong together rather than she and Sawyer.


Perhaps. Emotionally, I think that Kate is more suited to Sawyer. From an emotional point of view, both Kate and Jack seem like a pair of introverts. And I don't think a relationship between two introverts would work.

The reason that Sawyer's romance with Juliet worked for me is that he seemed more outgoing and she didn't. Their personalities seemed balanced to me.

Despite this, I hate the idea of Sawyer resuming his romance with Kate. Despite his flaws, I think he has outgrown her. On the other hand, neither she or Jack have outgrown each other and might as well form a couple, as far as I'm concerned.

The Rush Blog said...

In regard to Ana Lucia . . . I still have not forgiven Cuse and Lindehof for letting Michelle Rodriguez go. Her portrayal of Ana-Lucia was the main reason I became a diehard fan of LOST. The only reason I returned to the show was due to Elizabeth Mitchell. And now, she's gone and will only appear in a few episodes next season.

Why do they always get rid of the characters I love best?

Juanita's Journal said...

How odd that some accuse Michelle Rodriguez of wooden acting. I would have agreed when she did SWAT. But after LOST, I don't anymore.

And yetafter five years, I feel that Evangeline Lilly is actually guilty of wooden acting . . . unless her character is crying or angry.

briguyx said...

Maybe Sam wasn't the only member of the Austen family on the island:

Last week I saw Kate's first flashback episode as part of the SyFy late night reruns and the very first alias she uses is Annie. Could she have been Ben's lost love?

Meanwhile, all this talk about the kids of the tail section made me think: if Richard taking Ben to the temple to be healed (I'm assuming by Jacob) makes him forget things, would that same thing be true for Jacob healing Locke after his fall? Or the opposite: evidence that Jacob's touch can make the 815'ers remember!

The Rush Blog said...

By the beginning of season 3, we were already being introduced to a female character with some REAL depth in Juliet, and Ana Lucia was quickly forgotten.


I love Juliet, but I have never forgotten Ana-Lucia and I never will. She is STILL my favorite female character in the series. Apparently, Cuse and Lindehof didn't forget her either, considering that Michelle Rodriguez made a guest appearance in the second Season 5 episode.