Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lost Rewatch Week #14: Further Instructions, Every Man For Himself, The Cost of Living & I Do



Hello, and welcome to this week's installment of the Lost Rewatch! As illustrated by the comments from last week's post, I am not perfect (and neither is my memory). I appreciate those of you who correct me when I'm wrong about factual events from the various episodes, and encourage you to continue to do so in the same constructive manner! Of course this project is meant to merely entertain and keep us occupied as we await the last season, and for me the most rewarding part is your feedback.

So let's break open our cage doors and have at it...


Alternate Reality Bites?

The scene in Locke's vision of a happy Claire, Charlie and Aaron could very well be one of the last images we see in S6. 


In the reality/dimension we've seen, Charlie sacrificed his life because he believed Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron getting rescued via helicopter. Perhaps that is exactly what happens, only Charlie is still alive and accompanying them. [sidenote: Dom Monaghan's appearance at the Comic-Con Lost panel further fueled my hope that this may come true.]

Benjamin's Bunnies

In Every Man For Himself, Ben pretends to kill a white rabbit with the number 8 on its back, only to reveal it as a hoax later.




In addition to the obvious nod to Alice in Wonderland, there are other bunnies that we've seen over the years on Lost:
  • Aaron's poster at Kate's house is of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland (There's No Place Like Home, Part 2)
  • Alex skins a white rabbit for dinner (Greatest Hits
  • Ben's rabbit dinner, from Chef Locke (The Other Woman)
  • Charlie's bunny slippers (Fire + Water)
  • Coast Guard pilot's white rabbit's foot (There's No Place Like Home, Part 1)
  • Hurley's white rabbit's foot on the Camaro keychain (There's No Place Like Home, Part 1)
  • Hurley finds a white rabbit's foot (Tricia Tanaka is Dead)
  • Looking Glass station logo features a white rabbit
  • Miles discovers a key under white rabbit statue (Some Like it Hoth)
  • Orchid Orientation Film features Dr. Chang holding a white rabbit with the number 15 on its back
  • White Rabbit (the title of an episode in S1)
  • Young Ben's baby white bunny (The Man Behind the Curtain)


In addition, the book that both Sawyer and Ben mention (Of Mice and Men) is chock full of rabbit references. 




And in Stephen King's fantastic book On Writing, he recommends a writing experiment that encourages analysis of a white rabbit with the number 8 on its back, and it relates to telepathy...


Foreshadowing Dialogue

Further Instructions

Boone, in Locke's vision: 

"Someone at this airport is in danger. You're the only one who can save them."

re: Aaron, Charlie and Claire: "They'll be fine...for a while."

re: Desmond: "Forget it, he's helping himself."

re: Jack, Kate and Sawyer w/Ben: "There's nothing you can do for them. Not yet."

Boone, to Locke: "First you have to clean up your own mess. Clean it up, John. They've got him. You don't have much time."

Locke, to Charlie: "Bad things happen to people who hang around with me."

Mike the Pot Farmer: "John's a very special guy."

Locke, to Mike: "I can fix this." (oh okay, Jack)


Undercover Eddie: "They chose you."
Locke: "Why?"
Eddie: "A psych profile said you'd be amenable for coercion."
Eddie, to Locke: "You're a good man." 

Locke: "Sorry I gave up on my faith in the island. I messed up. Now our people are captured. I could have gone with them, protected them. I could have saved them."
Eko: "You can still protect them, you can still save them."


Every Man For Himself

Ben, to Sawyer: "We're not killers, James."

Ben, to Saywer: "The only thing we put inside of you was doubt."

Ben, to Saywer: "There's nowhere to run. We did all this because the only way to gain a con man's respect is to con him."

The Cost of Living

Ben, to Jack: "We had such a wonderful plan to break you, wear you down until you were convinced we weren't your enemies, get you to trust us. And then of course we'd lead you to believe that you were choosing to do so. Whatever we asked you to do."


[sidenote: I recommend that you read a very cool Fate vs. Free Will post that was submitted to me immediately following the S5 finale]

Jack: "You want me to save your life?"
Ben: "No, I want you to want to save my life."

Village vaccine woman, to Eko: "You're a good man."

Juliet: "Free will is all we've really got, right?"

Altar boy: "Are you a bad man?"
Eko: "Only God knows."

Village vaccine woman, to Eko: "One day you'll be judged for what you did."

Eko: "I ask for no forgiveness, for I have not sinned. I have only done what I needed to do to survive. I did not ask for the life that I was given but it was given nonetheless. I did my best."

I Do

Jack, to Ben: "I didn't say I was going to do it. I just want you to understand how you're going to die."


Ben, to Jack: "See you on the other side." [sidenote: this phrase was also uttered by Cooper to his son Locke and the sub captain in the S5 finale]

Pickett: "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list."

Jacob's List(s)

We know that Jack isn't on his list, and we find out in an episode later this season (Par Avion) that Kate, Locke and Sayid aren't either...and yet we saw in the S5 finale that Jacob had visited each one of them off island.


To my knowledge, the only two people that are confirmed on his list are Tail Section kids Zach and Emma (S4). So of course I have to wonder if Jacob is only concerned with the next generation of island inhabitants; the Tail Section kids plus the offspring of the 815 survivors (Clementine Ford, Charlie Hume, Ji Yeon Kwan, Aaron Littleton, Walt Lloyd). Perhaps Jacob recruits/lures generation after generation of families to the island in various ways (the Black Rock, Flight 815, etc.) to test them and prove his point to MysteryMan/Not Locke about the lack of progress.

London Calling

Of course we'll never find out, but I've always wondered if Eko's time in London working in the parish concerned or crossed paths with other characters who were from or worked in the UK at some point: Charlie, Charlotte, Desmond, Faraday, Eloise Hawking, Naomi, Charles Widmore, Penny Widmore and especially Brother Campbell (an associate of Hawking's who ran the monastery where Des met Penny).

Lost Book Club

In The Cost of Living, Juliet pretends to show Jack a video of To Kill a Mockingbird. At the beginning of this year I actually wrote a standalone article analyzing Boo Radley and Lost. :)

Parallels

In the pilot episode of Lost (S1), the very first image we see is Jack's eye, followed by a zoom out to show him lying in the jungle, disoriented after the crash of Flight 815.  The first thing he sees is Vincent.


In Further Instructions (S3), the very first image we see is Locke's eye, followed by a zoom out to show him lying in the jungle, disoriented after the Swan hatch imploded. The first thing he sees is a naked Desmond.

In Hearts and Minds (S1), Locke applies a paste to Boone that causes him to hallucinate, and he has a vision of his sister Shannon covered in blood.

In Further Instructions (S3), Locke applies a paste to himself that causes him to hallucinate, and he has a vision of Boone covered in blood. 

In The Glass Ballerina (S3), Other Colleen said to Sun, "I know you're not a killer."  In Further Instructions, Eddie said to Locke, "You're not a murderer."

In White Rabbit (S1), Jack discovers his father's coffin in the Flight 815 wreckage, but his body is missing.


In The Cost of Living, Eko discovers that his brother's body is no longer in the yellow plane.


In Whatever Happened, Happened (S5), Richard Alpert warns Kate and Sawyer that by taking a wounded Young Ben into The Temple to fix/heal him, "he's never going to be the same again." In I Do, right before going under the knife to fix his spinal tumor, Ben says "whatever happens, everything will be very different." That he adds "see you on the other side" after that statement made me ponder if he meant the other side of the Temple...

Separated at Birth?


I simply had to point out the resemblance between Nigerian gang warlord Emeka and former NBA star Dennis Rodman...


Significant Moments/Firsts

Nikki and Paolo speak. Sigh. 


Ben makes the very first reference to a submarine on the island. 

Ben uses his magical black wand for the first time. [sidenote: last year I dedicated an entire post to said baton if you're interested.]

We discover that the Swan implosion affected the island communications system, thanks to Big Tom ("...two days since the sky turned purple, we've been blind. Our comms are all down, I can't get them back up again.")

We find out that Saywer has a daughter (Clementine, with his ex Cassidy).


Kate admits that she loves Sawyer...even if she says she did so in order to save his life.

Juliet reveals that she is a fertility doctor.

Desmond saves Charlie's life for the first of many times, by rigging up the golf club to take the lightning strike instead of the tent he is in with Claire and Aaron. [sidenote: for a list of other such occurrences, see my Crazy Charlie Theory]


We see that Jack, Kate and Sawyer are being held captive on an entirely different island.


We get our first glimpse of Patchy himself, Mikhail.


Kate and Sawyer finally get in on, in the cage match of the century.


Smoke on the Water

IMMEDIATELY after Smokey appears to Eko at the stream, Locke appears across the way out of nowhere.

Also, right as Ben asks Jack if he believes in God, there is a very distinctive Smokey sound in the background...
True Blood 
 

In the last post, I wondered if the Hydra medical supplies included equipment for blood analysis (because the Others took blood from Michael, Kate and Sawyer).


In I Do, Jack notes from his charts that Juliet ran blood tests on Ben. So I guess that answers my question. 

The Visual and The Visceral

Undercover cop Eddie was donning a Geronimo Jackson tee. (Further Instructions)




In Deus Ex Machina (S1), Locke had a dream where a bloodied Boone repeated "Theresa falls up the stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs." 




In Further Instructions, Locke's paste-induced vision featured a bloodied Locke at the top of the stairs. 




In House of the Rising Sun (S1), Jack discovered two skeletons in the caves (Adam and Eve) where they took shelter.  




In Further Instructions, Locke discovered the skeleton of a former Dharma employee in a polar bear cave, along with some toy trucks. [sidenote: who's Dharma kids were in there, are they still alive and were they hiding out as a family from Ben?]




In Every Man For Himself, Jack watches a cartoon featuring white swans. 




It just made me laugh to think about his relationship with the Swan hatch, both at its beginning and end. 




Apparently the Others are Tarantino fans. In Every Man For Himself, as the Others are about to shove a needle into Sawyer's chest, they reference Pulp Fiction ("No, you have to go through the sternum, like in the movie.")




In The Cost of Living, Ben and the Others dress in all white linen for Colleen's funeral. 




In the S5 finale, Jacob is wearing an all white linen shirt. Perhaps their cult-like attire is homage to the days of old, when the deceased were sent out to sea in earlier eras on the island. 




In Man of Science, Man of Faith (S2), young Walt appeared in the jungle to warn Shannon to be quiet; he was alive at the time but not where he was supposed to be. Shannon was killed shortly thereafter.




In The Cost of Living, a young altar boy from Eko's Nigerian church appeared to warn Eko to be quiet; he was alive at the time but not where he was supposed to be. Eko was killed shortly thereafter. 




X-Ray Vision

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we have not actually seen an x-ray machine either in the medical section of the Hydra or The Staff station on the main island. And yet Ben's x-rays are on display in the Hydra operating room. 




The obvious answer is that they were taken off island, during one of Ben's secret spy trips back to the real world. That Ben went back to the island after discovering that he had a spinal tumor in order to manipulate Jack into operating on him is proof that he knew Jack and Flight 815 were coming. Yes?


Ben


The look on Ben's face when Jack tells him he has a spinal tumor is fascinating. On one hand, I assume he knew. On the other, he seemed genuinely surprised...probably because the island (and Jacob) allowed it to happen. That should have been his first red flag that the man he honored and took orders from did not care for him as he thought. 

Charlie

I would just like to take a moment to highlight the serious Island Mullet that Charlie was sporting at the beginning of S3:

That is all.


Desmond

We get our first inkling of Desmond's future flashing abilities at the end of Further Instructions


It seems to have clicked on after the Swan hatch implosion launched a naked Des into the jungle. Imagine the possibilities if Des was back on the island in 1977 when his friends detonated Jughead in the Swan...


Juliet

In Juliet's 'Kill Ben, Volume 1' video, we are led to believe that she set up the camera and taped herself.


And yet, there are two different angles; one is on the cue cards and the other focuses on a fuller shot including her face. I doubt that the Others had Final Cut Pro on the island, so it seems that my favorite blonde may have had an accomplice.


It is also very interesting that she was wearing the same purple sweater in this video that she wore on the day of the 815 crash. Yes, I'm aware that they have laundry, but it stands out with regard to the timing. She hadn't met or assessed Jack yet in person, so to have the foresight and time to create such a video in the hopes of meeting a trustworthy person in captivity seems rather unlikely.


For what it's worth, I am on board with those who wish to see that Jughead's detonation in the Swan results in a naked Juliet in the jungle, much like Desmond after the Swan implosion. Quid pro quo. Bring on that parallel universe. :)

Kate

It is hard to discern, but I have to believe that Kate's pregnancy test was also from Widmore Labs (like the one that Sawyer gave Sun on the island). 


Locke

Locke seemed to take to Eddie like he did to Charlie and Boone; like a father figure. He tries to form/inform these young men, but not with great success.



I still believe that Eko's last words were twisted by Locke when he relayed them to Sayid and company. Eko probably said "you're next," and rather than admit that he was the target, Locke said that "we're next."

Yemi

When he appears to Eko in the tent and then again in the jungle, you can argue that he was either a Smokey manifestation or Mystery Man/NotLocke (it was confirmed at Comic-Con that Jacob has never taken the form of anyone else, alive or dead, so that removes him as a candidate here).


All we know for sure is that he was not Yemi, given that he said the following to Eko: "you speak to me as if I am your brother."
---

Thank you for reading my perspective about this batch of Rewatch episodes! Please feel free to leave any comments, and I will see you back here next week. Have a great weekend!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great recap. It is more fun to do this with an able guide.

Ben tells Jack that Juliet looks just like his wife. In a later episode (Not in Portland?) set before the crash, an Other woman will tell Juliet she looks just like her (Ben's mother? Ben's love?).

Juliet with the sack hood reminded me of Amy with the sack hood in 1974 Dharma.

Desmond's premonition of Locke giving a speech on the beach prefigures Walt's premonition of (not)Locke giving a speech on the beach after being resurrected.

In "Further Instructions," I wondered how Locke knew where to find Eko.

Later in "I Do," Sayid asks Locke whether he thinks Smokey brought them there.

Much as I enjoyed these episodes, the stuff with Danny Pickett pistol whipping Sawyer and Kate felt torturous and overwrought. And it reminded me of this meandering period in the show, where all these random Others are introduced and nothing was really answered. Who were Colleen and Danny, aside from righteous thugs? Why are these surly others there, working for Ben/Jacob? a Hindu funeral? fake beards and tasers? At least Tom was entertaining.

thorsten said...

XRAY eyes…
I guess that there is an X-Ray hidden away somewhere in the Staff. Of course you can be right, Jo, and Ben takes the Galaga to the Mayo Clinic for yearly checkups. But I don't buy into Ben living the loop again, and knowing it. He was kept in the dark by Jacob, as far as we know. He was genuinely surprised that a Spinal Surgeon fell from the sky soon after his diagnosis. So I say, No. He did not expect Jack and 815 to crush the book club meeting.

The Hatch Blew Off My Undies…
I sense a strong connection between Jughead77 and the Failsafe key event. Like the two nodal points of our loop. I need to re-rewatch Further Instructions and Flashes…

Fathers and brothers…
Well, John tried at least. I think he makes pretty good father material, he just needs a bit more patience. You can't knock the kids over the head all the time. But considered his family background…

Yemi talking to Eko gave me the total creeps, because 'the man behind the curtain' revealed himself here for the first time in direct interaction with one of the test objects. Maybe 'Esau' considered Eko as loophole material, after he did so well facing down Smokeys scanning attempt. But then he figured out that Ekos fate was too strong to manipulate him into a shell, like he did with old man Locke.

I will go back to looking North now, till next week!

maven said...

Look forward to your recaps for the rewatch!

I know that what happens happens, but if Ben went off island for xrays, one would think we would go the best doctors in the real world to have it taken care of immediately. I'm going with his surprise that the island let this happen to him.

Ashleigh Rajala said...

@Anonymous...

My theory as to Ben's crush on Juliet because she "looks just like her" is that Juliet looks just like herself... from 1977. Ben remembers the pretty blonde lady to helped save his life after he'd been shot by Sayid. If I remember correctly, there's a cute little moment between Juliet and Child Ben when she's setting up his blood transfusion.

pgtbeauregardislost said...

Jo,

You don't need to post this, just thought I'd say I'm settling down with a glass of wine, and going to read the entire post at my leisure. Husband watching golf, and dogs sleeping!

Thanks for doing such a great job!

Anonymous said...

Ashleigh, that's great. Thanks for the reminder of past and present Juliet. Although that suggests that the woman who says it (Amelia?) is in both time periods.

-Windy

briguyx said...

Jo, I think the different angles in Juliet's video is probably just a production mistake, one of many times the show we see doesn't fit the facts. For instance, in other shows, the actors are guardians of the characters' behavior but on "Lost," the actors don't always know what's going on. Same with just about everyone that works on the show, so things will slip by...

I like your thought that Jacob moves on to the next generation when the current one disappoints him. If that's the case, it would make perfect sense for MIB to stop babies from being born on the island as a counter move.

Finally, I wish your reader Thorsten did a Lost blog, as he never fails to come up with an interesting idea. This time his idea that Ben is surprised by Jack's arrival, coupled with you pointing out that Jack wasn't on Jacob's list, makes me think that while Jack was not important to Jacob (or didn't want it known to Ben that he was), he became extremely important to Ben. This leads to two thoughts: Ben's prayers were answered yet he didn't give Jacob credit for it & Ben became more worried about himself than Jacob's list.

thorsten said...

@briguyx…

I agree, Juliet was alone in her remake of TKAM ;)
There was an establishing shot that was neccessary to show us Juliets face, then the POV changed for higher dramatic impact to the cards. On the other hand, maybe she had an old iMac in her shack and used iMovie…
About what Ben, and everybody else, knows…
I will write a blog post about that later ;))
/t

calandrella said...

"All we know for sure is that he was not Yemi, given that he said the following to Eko: "you speak to me as if I am your brother.""
He could have rather meant that Eko is so evil (or something like that) that he is not worthy to be his brother, and therefore he doesn't see Eko as his brother (thus he can be, in fact, Yemi, though I think the smoke monster or UnLocke theory is more likely). Anyway, very good and interesting blog! I'll start follow it.

lisaann said...

Jo, love your recaps! Watched "the moth" last night from S1, (we are way behind in the rewatch) but saw something to maybe add to your white rabbit list. Kate's confronting Sawyer (again!) while he's sitting on the beach reading...... "watership down" white rabbit.... Maybe?

Thank you for writing so that we can enjoy.

lisaann said...

Jo, love your recaps! Watched "the moth" last night from S1, (we are way behind in the rewatch) but saw something to maybe add to your white rabbit list. Kate's confronting Sawyer (again!) while he's sitting on the beach reading...... "watership down" white rabbit?

The Calandro's LiHD Blog said...

Thank you, Jo for continuing with the rewatch! With the new fall season starting up and no LOST on the horizon for months yet, this keeps us all going. You are doing a phenomenal job on this! I love all of the connections!

Scott said...

Ashleigh & Windy - the woman who says to Juliet that she looks "just like her" is Harper Stanhope - she is an Other, a psychologist/therapist and was married to Goodwin, who Juliet was having an affair with.

I agree wholeheartedly with Ashleigh's view that it's a reference to Juliet from 1977, and given her status as a therapist, it makes sense that Ben would have confided in Harper about who Juliet reminded him of. I also think this doesn't depend on Harper existing in 1977.

And Jo - adoring your recaps!

Ed S said...

My observations on "Further Instructions"...

-The undercover cop at the commune said John was amenable to coercion. Is that what Esau is doing when he tells John that Eko needs help, that ‘they’ have him, that John needs to clean up his mess? Tempts him with the phrase “time to put the family back together”.
- Is ‘they’ the Others, or the force of light? The polar bear is white afterall. A bit of a stretch, but maybe Esau needed John to get Eko out in the open so he could kill him. Get him out of the way since he's not needed or would cause trouble. It seems Eko is no longer able to be manipulated.
- Again the theme of John with the knife.

Questions on "I Do"...
- Who freed Jack? Was it Ben manipulating him, or was it Juliet since it sounded like Alex on the voicebox?

loophole815 said...

Yemi was confirmed to be a manifestation of Smokey by Darlton at some point. If you pay close attention to the episode you see that Smokey is stalking Eko before and after Yemi appears. Much like the Smokey manifestation of Alex in front of Ben in S5, we see that the Island is judging Eko to see if he is worthy to live. Obviously, he was not repentant, so he did not make it.

Dustin Winebrenner said...

Here's my question about Jacob's list: is it actually from Jacob? Or is it from Black Shirt manipulating the Others pretending to be Jacob?

If the list is from the real Jacob, and it seems to just include the kids and (presumably) the Tailies who were taken away, then I'd guess the list included people Jacob knew were not integral to the events which had to unfold, and therefore he wanted to shelter them from the suffering that was to come. The Others seemed to indicate these people were given better lives (whatever that means).

Since "The Incident" I've assumed Jack, Kate, Locke, Sayid, etc not being on the Jacob's list has less to do with their character (good vs not good). And more to do with the fact that Jacob previously touched them, and they need to go on the time traveling journey which will (presumably) set right what was wronged in Jacob's death. If they were taken away like the kidnapped tailies, they wouldn't fulfill the events which had to happen.

I wanted to believe Harper's comment that Juliet looked just like "her" was a referenced to Juliet herself. She spent up to 3 years there with Ben as a kid. He could have developed a major childhood crush on the cute blond mechanic/sometimes doctor down the street. But when his mind was wiped that seems like a less likely option.

thorsten said...

@Dustin…

with Alpert as messenger between Jacob in the statue and the forever tent camp of the Others, we can assume that the 'lists' were genuine. On the other hand it would be interesting to see what other instructions Jacob doled out over the years on little pieces of paper…

thorsten said...

@Dustin...
with Alpert as messenger between Jacob in the statue and the forever tent camp of the Others, we can assume that the 'lists' were genuine. On the other hand it would be interesting to see what other instructions Jacob doled out over the years on little pieces of paper...

j_lavalley said...

If I win the contest, I'd like the T-shirt, please! Love the blog, BTW!