Apologies for the delay - I have been trying to post this for over a week, but was severely under the weather!
This is an eclectic batch of episodes to say the least, and I realized yet another reason why fans hated Expose at the time. It had the misfortune to follow one of the best Lost reveals/cliffhangers in series history - Locke's dad in a box on the island. Expose was an infuriatingly disappointing episode, primarily because Nikki and Paulo were the least organically introduced and fleshed out characters in Lost history. Although I appreciated that the writers and producers literally buried them alive as a nod to the fact that they listen to their dedicated audience, my problem was not limited to that episode alone; I frankly found the overall performances by Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro to be rather wooden and artificial.
So let's toss a football with frenemies, throw down the pigskin like a girl and wheel ourselves through this messy maze of magic boxes together.
Alternate Reality Bites
When Rousseau said the following to Kate in Par Avion about why she never asked about Alex, it gave me goosebumps when I realized that her analogy may very well fit what life could be like for all of them after the detonation of Jughead; that at an undetermined time in the future, Juliet may find out that Sawyer is alive and well but living elsewhere with no memory of her, etc.
"Your friend Jack - do you care about him? Imagine sixteen years from now, you're told he's still alive, but in your heart you know he wouldn't remember you; he wouldn't know you. He wouldn't even know that you ever cared about him."
Behind the Wheel
See my earlier Rewatch entry for a conspiracy theory about who is possibly driving the vehicles which have caused many of the 815 folks to be in accidents. Claire and Carole Littleton's in Par Avion is no exception, especially given her connection to Christian Shephard. Claire says that "a truck forced us off the road." Makes you wonder who was behind that wheel.
In addition, just as Juliet joked about her ex-husband being hit by a bus, Claire wished her mother was dead right before she was ejected out of the windshield in that accident...
A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in a Helicopter?
Of course we'll probably never find out if the message that Claire attached to the migratory bird was received, but...
IF Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron boarding a helicopter for rescue (which is why Charlie sacrificed his life) comes true, perhaps this little bird will have played a role...
Boone and Shannon interrupt Nikki and Paulo at the airport before boarding Flight 815.
Fate vs. Free Will
Yet another example, for your contemplation and consideration...
Ben: "I was born on this island; not many of my people can say that. Most of them were recruited and brought here, and as much as they love this place, as much as they would do anything to defend it...they need to know that they can leave if they want to. The sub maintains that illusion."
Locke: "So you're lying to them?"
Ben: "They're here because they want to be here. Some of them are just not ready to make a full commitment yet. But you've already made that commitment."
As confirmed at Comic-Con earlier this summer, one of our many lingering mysteries is apparently going to be resolved in the final season when they address the Dharma Food Drop.
I was reminded of it when Sayid saw the Food Drop Protocol binder in the Flame.
Mikhail: "The man who brought me here, who brought all of my people here - he's a magnificent man."
Christian Shephard: "There is hope, and there is guilt. Believe me, I know the difference."
The Man From Tallahassee
Locke: "I'm not looking for Jack, I'm looking for the submarine."
Ben, to Alpert: "I want you to bring me the man from Tallahassee."
Ben: "I know you, John Locke."
Jack, to Kate: "I made a deal with them; they're going to let me go. I trust them because you told me to, when you asked me to save Sawyer's life."
Ben: "The feeling returned, right after the crash, that day?"
Locke: "You're wondering why it hasn't happened for you. How'd you get sick in the first place?"
Locke: "You're cheating, you and your people. Communicate with the outside world whenever you want to, you come and go as you please, you use electricity and running water and guns. You're a hypocrite, a pharisee. You don't deserve to be on this island."
Ben: "How is it that you think you know this island better than I do?"
Locke: "Because you're in the wheelchair, and I'm not."
Ben, to Jack: "Your friends are only here to rescue you, but you seem to be doing a good job of rescuing yourself."
Hospital rehab nurse, to Locke: "I don't want to hear about what you can't do."
Ben, to Locke: "I don't know how it happened, but you seem to have some kind of communion with this island, and that makes you very, very important. In time you'll have a better understanding of things."
Nikki: "I'm just a guest star. We all know what happens to guest stars."
Hurley: "Dude, the Cobra's this big bad guy. His identity has been shrouded in mystery for four seasons."
Locke: "Things don't stay buried on this island."
Juliet, to Ben: "That him, Shephard? He's cute."
Ben: "I can convince him to do it. Same way I get anybody to do anything; I find out what he's emotionally invested it, and exploit it."
Like many of you, I am now wondering if the title Enter 77 was originally and actually meant as a double entendre; one would enter 77 on the Flame computer to indicate a hostile incursion, but we also discovered in S5 that some on the island would skip back through time...entering 1977.
Obviously, Par Avion means "by plane" and we all know how applicable that title is.
Logistics and Locations
The very same night that Ben orders Alpert to bring him the man from Tallahassee, Anthony Cooper appears in Locke's magic box in New Otherton. There is NO way that Alpert somehow left the island, retrieved Cooper and returned in the same evening, regardless of where the island is located. Thus, Ben had to know that Locke was coming; he must have summoned his biggest bargaining chip (Locke's daddy dearest) in advance.
By the way, if you're interested...I have listed other Florida references on Lost which may be relevant.
LOST Book Club
In Expose, Dr. Arzt yells out in great exasperation, "the pigs are walking!" That line is homage to and directly from George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Like Penny's Portuguese-speaking men stationed in a snowy, remote listening post...Mikhail disclosed that he was stationed in a snowy, remote listening post (Vladivostok).
Locke's interaction and chess game with the Flame station computer were very reminiscent of the film War Games. Locke's computer asks, "ready to play?" and Joshua (the computer in War Games) asks, "shall we play a game? how about chess?"
We learn that the Others live in a location on the island called the barracks.
We get our first glimpse of the sonic fence protecting the barracks (New Otherton).
An underwater Dharma station is confirmed.
An Orientation film plays on a computer rather than on video or film [which, if you think about it, was technology at use very ahead of its time.]
It is revealed that Christian Shephard is Claire's father, which makes Jack her half-brother.
We hear about and meet Richard Alpert!
We see how Locke wound up in a wheelchair. Ouch.
Mikhail 'dies' for the first time.
Trick in a Box
As I've mentioned in a previous Rewatch post, I have a small obsession with mysterious boxes and cases on Lost (as does J.J. Abrams in general; watch this fantastic video). So Ben's description to Locke in The Man From Tallahassee ranks very high on list of favorite Lost speeches:
"Picture a box. You know something about boxes, don't you John? What if I told you that somewhere on this island, there's a very large box and whatever you imagined...whatever you wanted to be in it, when you opened that box, there it would be."
The Truce Will Set You Free
When Sayid approaches the Flame, Mikhail says that "I didn't cross the line; we had a truce!" He later explains that the Dharma folks initiated a war with the hostiles, resulting in the purge. "After it was over, four men appeared in the yard. They offered a truce." So we have to ask ourselves WHO these four men may have been. Widmore had not been exiled yet, so he could have been one of them, as well as Richard Alpert and Ben.
When Smokey Sings
Like many other animals and people that have appeared on the island where they are not supposed to be, we have to wonder whether or not Mikhail's cat Nadia was a smoke monster manifestation from Sayid's past.
In addition, Smokey definitely makes an audio appearance when the spiders paralyze Nikki and Paulo.
It has always bothered me that Locke boarded the sub from the dock yet emerged from that same sub and dock soaking wet.
He certainly didn't need to place the explosives beneath or on the exterior of the sub, so I don't see any reason why he would be wet.
One of the more obviously named characters in Lost lore (be a clue). I'm still baffled by her role with the Others, as she ordered Mikhail to kill her rather than remain captured by Sayid and co.
We have not witnessed any other such behavior from the Others, who considered themselves to be peaceful people before Flight 815 landed on their island. Then again, she and Mikhail seemed to live, dress and operate under different circumstances than those inside the barracks of New Otherton.
I love Mikhail's speech about why certain people are not on 'the list,' which is presumably Jacob's. Two of the three people that Mikhail addresses just happen to have been visited by Jacob before they landed on the island:
To Kate: "You are not on the list because you are flawed."
To Locke: "Because you are angry."
To Sayid: "And weak, and frightened."
Nikki & Paulo
Best. Ending. Possible. [that is literally the only note I made about them throughout the entire episode.]
This is no ordinary pet, and we all know that Vincent plays a much larger role than island companion. He brought Shannon to Boone's grave, a heroin-filled Virgin Mary statue to Charlie, the keys to a redemptive Dharma van to Hurley, etc. And then he removed the blankets that were covering the 'deceased' Nikki and Paulo because he knew that they were still alive.
I really appreciate your patience, as I am now two weeks behind the official Rewatch schedule. My goal is to not fall further behind, and keep up the pace for the duration. If I've made errors or missed something significant in this post, let's blame it on the fever. By all means, comment away! See you next week.