Sunday, November 8, 2009

LOST Rewatch Week #20: The Beginning of the End, Confirmed Dead, The Economist & Eggtown





Good afternoon, and welcome to a new dose of Lost Rewatch analysis! This week we entered Season 4, and below you will find thoughts and theories about the first four episodes. 


So let's jump in and uncover a hidden lair of secrets and lies together...


Crossing Paths





LAPD detective Mike Walton interrogated Hurley after he was arrested. Walton used to be Ana Lucia's partner on the force. [sidenote: actor Michael Cudlitz also plays a police officer and has an integral role on the newly revived series Southland, which debuts on TNT in January.]


Foreshadowing Dialogue


The Beginning of the End


Hurley: "I'm one of the Oceanic Six!"


Abaddon: "I'd like to extend you an invitation for a little upgrade."
Hurley: "What kind of upgrade?"
Abaddon: "To a facility where the paint isn't peeling off the walls, where you'd have your own bathroom. You could see the ocean from there."
Hurley: "I'm fine right here."
Abaddon: "Are you fine?"


Abaddon: "Are THEY still alive?"


Hurley: "It's going to be hard to talk them into thinking they're not coming here to rescue us."
Locke: "If we can't talk them out of it, then Charlie died for nothing."


Ghost Charlie, to Hurley: "You have to do something, but you're hiding from it. That's the reason you ran when you saw me in the store. You knew I was here to tell you. They need you. You know they need you." 


Locke: "If you want to live, you need to come with me."


Hurley: "I'm sorry I went with Locke. I should have stayed with you. I don't think we did the right thing. I think IT wants us to come back."
Jack: "We're never going back!"
Hurley: "Never say never."


Confirmed Dead


Caretaker: "Why are you so upset?"
Faraday: "I don't know."


Faraday: "Are you Jack? I'm here to rescue you."


Sawyer: "You mind telling us who you're getting your orders from?"
Locke: "I got them from Walt."


Jack: "Why did you bring the gun?"
Faraday: "Rescuing you and your people...can't really say it's our primary objective."


Sawyer: "He shot you?"
Locke: "I'd probably be dead if I still had a kidney there."


Faraday: "The light is strange out here. It doesn't scatter quite right."


Locke: "We don't want to be found."


Lapidus: "I was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 that day."


Locke, about Charlotte: "She's lying. Whatever they came for, it isn't us." 


Abaddon: "There were no survivors of 815."


Ben: "I have a man on their boat."


The Economist


Sayid: "I was the recipient of a large settlement."


Sawyer: "I ain't looking to leave; I ain't got nothing back there for me."


Sayid, about Ben: "The day I start trusting him is the day I would have sold my soul."


Sayid, to Locke: "Allow me to do things my way, or a war is coming which we will both be powerless to stop."


Charlotte: "I've got work to do."


Faraday, to Lapidus: "Be sure that you follow the same exact bearing that we came in on. No matter what." 




Ben: "Need I remind you what they did the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun?"
Sayid: "You used that to recruit me into killing for you."
Ben: "Do you want to protect your friends or not? I have another name for you."
Sayid: "But they know I'm after them now."
Ben: "Good."


Eggtown


Ben: "I feel for you John, I really do. You keep hitting dead ends. You couldn't find the cabin, you can't make contact with Jacob. You're so desperate about what to do next, you're even asking me for help. So here we are, just like old times. Except I'm locked in a different room, and you're more lost than you ever were." [sidenote: in tone and attitude, this seems exactly like something that Jacob would have said to MysteryMan in an earlier era]


Attorney, about Kate: "She is the very definition of a FLIGHT risk."


Sun: "I want to raise my baby at home."
Jin: "You mean our baby."


Miles: "I'm exactly where I want to be."


Kate: "I'm not very good with babies."
Claire: "The last thing I thought I'd be good at was being a mom. You should try it sometime."


Attorney: "Do you love Ms. Austen?"
Jack: "No, not anymore."


Miles: "Do you know who I am? You know who I work for?"
Ben: "Yes."
Miles: "You know he's put a lot of time and energy into finding you. So now I found you, and I can tell him exactly where you are, or I can lie and tell him you're already dead. I'd be willing to do that for 3.2 million dollars."


Locke, to Miles: "My name is John Locke, and I'm responsible for the well-being of this island."


Kate, to Sawyer: "I'm not pregnant."


Kate, to attorney: "I have a child; I'm not going anywhere."


Jack, to Kate: "What I said in there...I didn't mean it."


Kate: "I know why you don't want to see the baby, but until you want to...there's no you and me going for coffee."


The Ghost Whisperer


Although it bothers me a little that Miles has not communicated with several integral deceased characters on the island (yet) to glean useful information, I realize that most of the living characters have no idea about his true abilities.  I hope that we get to see Miles in action more in S6, regardless of whether he is stuck on the island or in an alternate reality after the detonation of Jughead...


Logistics & Locations


Charlotte discovered a Dharma collar on a polar bear in the Tunisian desert, and that we later learn that Tunisia is an exit point from the island. 





It seems logical that before an actual person turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel below the Orchid station on the island, they experimented with polar bears. That is why polar bears were on the island in the first place, and why the wheel itself is located in a frozen chamber. 


If I had to guess, Charles Widmore tipped off Charlotte to look in Tunisia for that collar. After all, he knew that she was born on the island and was searching for her birthplace, and he also funded the freighter and mission. 


It will be very interesting to see WHEN and where Kate is after the detonation of Jughead, given that the terms of her trial deal included the clause that she must remain in California. Then again, if Kate's America's Most Wanted piece (which they debuted at Comic-Con earlier this summer) is any indication, her reality and trial circumstances may be completely different...


Lost Book Club


Locke brings Ben his copy of VALIS, by Philip K. Dick. To me, the most enlightening aspect of this book (as it relates to Lost) is the introduction of the Black Iron Prison concept because of the similarities to the real Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon prison design. At their core, both are about social control in an environment where people are unaware that they are being watched.


In 2008, I had the opportunity to ask Damon and Carlton a question at a Comic-Con panel, so I asked them if they chose to use Bentham's name because of the Panopticon. Here was their response:


"As soon as we knew that Locke was going to be using an alias, it was sort of a given. And the panopticon is obviously, among other things, why we selected that name."





In addition, as illustrated on one of Ben's fake passports, he uses the alias Dean Moriarty. That is the name of the main character in On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Ben and Dean share one unfortunate main issue - their fathers were alcoholics. 


Parallels





Later this season (Cabin Fever), we will learn that Abaddon visited Locke in rehab after his eight story fall. In The Beginning of the End, Abaddon visited Hurley at the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. 






In Confirmed Dead, Locke points out why they should not kill Ben: "Okay James, let's execute him right here, right now, in front of his daughter." Later this season, we see Keamy execute Ben's daughter Alex right in front of him. 





Significant Moments/Firsts


We learn that Hurley, Sayid, Kate and Aaron made it off island as part of a group called the Oceanic Six.





We meet Matthew Abaddon, who says he is an Oceanic Airlines attorney. He is the one who assigned the Freighter Four and mission to Naomi.





Hurley sees Jacob's cabin, and there seem to be two people inside (Christian Shephard and the eye of an unknown person). 


Claire finds out that Charlie died in the Looking Glass. 





Ghost Charlie appears to Hurley in a store, at the police station and at Santa Rosa.


Jack tried to kill Locke, but the gun jammed. Clearly, the island was not ready for Locke to die. 


Hurley and Jack allude to a huge secret that Jack is scared may be revealed by Hurley. 


We meet the Freighter Four: Daniel Faraday, Charlotte Lewis, Miles Straume and Frank Lapidus.


We get a glimpse of fake Oceanic flight 815 wreckage deep under water near Bali.


We discover that the Freighter Four were equipped with hazmat masks and suits for their trip to the island.


A Dharma collar is found on a polar bear during an archaeological dig in Tunisia. 


Frank Lapidus was supposed to be the pilot of flight 815, rather than Seth Norris.





Miles reveals that the Freighter Four are on a mission to find Ben. 





Sayid finds a secret spy lair in Ben's New Otherton house, filled with clothing, passports and various currency; our first inkling that Ben has indeed traveled back and forth from the island. 


It turns out that Sayid is indeed working for Ben off island after being rescued. 


In a fantastic twist, it is revealed that Kate is raising Claire's son Aaron off island after rescue.


We hear Jack lie about the crash, how many people survived and who saved those who did.


Faraday exhibits signs of memory loss after landing on the island. 


Jack is comfortable lying about the crash, but not comfortable seeing Aaron after their rescue. 


Spirits in the Material World


I am still baffled by the fact that a fellow mental patient was able to see Ghost Charlie, and point him out to Hurley: "I'd watch out if I were you; there's a guy over there, staring at you."


Perhaps Santa Rosa specialized in/welcomed those with a sixth sense. Previous patients have also included Libby and Locke's mom Emily. We do see Ghost Libby appear soon (to Michael in the hospital and then again on the freighter)...





When Ghost Charlie told Hurley that "I am dead, but I'm also here," it struck me as fairly significant, because the same may be applicable to the many appearances of Christian Shephard on and off island. 


And even though he is still alive, Taller Ghost Walt appeared to Locke on the island. The question remains...would anyone else be able to see him?


The Time Warp






We start to get hints of time travel when Faraday arrives on the island. He notices that the light is different, and is quite alarmed when his payload experiment results in a significant time discrepancy. 





I laughed when Hurley put on Xandu in the New Otherton house he is sharing with Sawyer, because it is a film that debuted in 1980. It is interesting to ponder who that tape belonged to, given that we have no idea who lived in the Barracks after the 1977 Jughead detonation.


The Visual & The Visceral





When we first meet Frank Lapidus, a small toy airplane is floating toward the bottom of his fish tank. Not only does it resemble Kate's beloved toy plane, it is an obvious nod to the crash of flight 815 and the fake wreckage that Lapidus is about to see on the news. 





Add this one to the long list of visuals supporting a popular theme: black and white. While golfing in the Seychelles, Sayid sports a single white glove while Mr. Avellino wears a single black glove.





When Sayid is locked into the Barracks rec room, Ben sarcastically cracks that "they're running out of jail space." In S5, we see young Ben talking to Sayid in the Barracks jail.





Locke serves Ben and Sayid some iced tea while they are being held in the rec room. Mikhail served iced tea to Kate and Sayid in his Flame station home. 





The irony is not lost on me that they start Eggtown by having Locke cook the last two eggs to serve to Ben, who is obsessed with fertility. By my count, the last two original eggs appear to have been Aaron and Ji Yeon...





At the end of S3, we witnessed Charlie's message to Desmond about Penny on his hand under water right before he drowned. In The Beginning of the End, Hurley sees Charlie swim up to the window in the police station with a message on his hand. 


Locke vs. NotLocke


After S5 ended, I knew that I would be re-watching every episode thus far with a new perspective of John Locke. That being said, I'm still convinced that he only became MysteryMan/NotLocke late in S5. 


However, there are little hints and clues along the way that make me briefly reconsider. For example, in The Beginning of the End, after Locke throws a knife into Naomi's back and leaves, Kate looks for him but tells Jack that "it's like he disappeared." That is exactly how Sayid described the Others when they recently abandoned the Barracks. We've seen and heard about how people on the island do not leave footprints, and at this point Locke has seemingly adapted their mysterious methods. 


In this same episode, it is arguable that Hurley saw Locke's eye when he looked into Jacob's cabin. After all, Locke appeared out of nowhere to Hurley shortly after he ran away in fear and fell down after seeing that eye. 


Charlotte


Was she the only one wearing a bullet proof vest? Lapidus and Miles may have disregarded theirs after landing on the island, and I don't recall one on Faraday. So was it her choice to don one?


Faraday





I realize that this is probably fairly insignificant, but I've always wondered who his caretaker is. We see him weeping in the future after viewing the (fake) news about the discovery of 815 wreckage, and there is a mystery woman with him. 


I'm finding that it is quite fascinating to re-watch every Farady scene with the knowledge that Charles Widmore is his father, keeping in mind what we learn about Dharma, Widmore and Faraday's mother (Eloise Hawking) in S5. 


Jacob


When I was re-watching The Economist, I had an epiphany and was convinced that Jacob was the economist. We've seen him off island, in this era. And Elsa calls her boss "old fashioned" when Sayid points out that there is newer technology than a pager (we know that Jacob is not a fan of modern technology). But later in the episode, Sayid reveals that he intends to kill her boss because "his name is on a list." Of course Jacob dictates lists, but I seriously doubt that he was on this one. First of all, Ben created it (and it this point in time, he is had yet to meet Jacob, let alone know that he travels off island). Second, Sayid's list consists of Widmore associates that Ben has him assassinating, even though Sayid believes they are those responsible for the plight of his friends. 


Juliet





Until S5, we rarely see anything resembling joy in Juliet. That is why one of my favorite, albeit very brief, shots of her thus far has to be the look on her face when she first sees the freighter helicopter. Jack was right...she wants off of the island just as much as the rest of them, if not more. 


Lapidus





I know that the helicopter endured an electrical storm, resulting in a very rough ride for all on board, but I still want to know why it is that Lapidus suffered those injuries if he landed the chopper on the island unscathed. It is a lingering discrepancy, at least in my mind.


Did Lapidus study the 815 manifest because he somehow knew that there were survivors? Is that why he agreed to go on the mission? Or was he simply obsessed because he was supposed to be the one piloting that plane? 


Sayid


In Eggtown, Kate's attorney points out that she has one of the most recognizable faces in the country. Yet Sayid roams freely around the globe without so much as a glance of recognition from anyone. Obviously the Oceanic Six were in the news for a very long time, and their faces posted everywhere in the world. And let's be honest, Sayid would be particularly memorable. So how is it that he maintains such anonymity? 


---
From here on out, I aim to tackle four episodes per week if possible. Of course my ultimate plan and goal is to complete the re-watch in time for the premiere of S6 (which is rumored to be either 1/20/10 or 1/27/10). 


Thank you for following along, and for your very insightful comments every week. This is an enormously entertaining and rewarding project, and your feedback fuels my every entry. 


Have a great week!
-Jo

6 comments:

ZooBot23 said...

"After S5 ended, I knew that I would be re-watching every episode thus far with a new perspective of John Locke. That being said, I'm still convinced that he only became MysteryMan/NotLocke late in S5."

Hi, Jo! Don't you think it happened when Lockes body returned?
Have a great week yourself, thanks!

Dustin Winebrenner said...

I assume Dharma tested it's time travel/teleportation experiments on the polar bears only after they built that compartment in the Orchid station. Not sure Dharma every actually drilled through to the frozen wheel. I assume the wheel was the Others/island's older inhabitants method for time traveling/teleporting.

I'd guess Frank studied the flight manifest because he of all people KNEW the 815 in the Sunda Trench was a fake. Remember, somehow Frank gets the notion that it was Ben (not Widmore) who put the fake plane down there. Who gave him that idea, Widmore?

ZooBot23 said...

Good points, Dustin!
I just wonder how much the island had shifted over the years when first, there's a well down to the wheel, and then, there's tons of rock that needs to be drilled through?
Perhaps the well is in the future?
Or, the well leads to a passage that Dharma hadn't found?
So many questions!! Just a few more months and an excruciating Olympic break to go!

imbeanie said...

I am not sure that the other patient in Santa Rosa is seeing Charlie specifically. We know that Hurley is/will be watched at other times, so perhaps the other Patient noticed someone else (Abbadon? The man in the car?), and we as viewers are supposed to believe he means Charlie.

B. said...

Small detail, but when Jack pulled the trigger on Locke, the gun did not jam. Locke tells him it was never loaded.

Another excellent recap. Looking forward to next week!

thorsten said...

I can't imagine the polar bears moving the wheel, remember how Ben climbed down there over these very old wooden ladders. And if a bear moved the wheel, that would have moved the island, right? Which is kind of a last resort… on the other hand, if Dharma moved the island that would be a reason for the Purge ;))

And yes, imagine CNN and everybody, TIME, Newsweek covering the amazing O6 forever. Hurley would be twittering about his life etc. So Sayid would be pretty recognizable on a froty Berlin street…