Sunday, November 22, 2009

LOST Rewatch Week #22: The Shape of Things to Come, Something Nice Back Home & Cabin Fever

Good afternoon, and welcome to this week's edition of the Lost Rewatch! I decided to tackle these three episodes right now, and then the 2-part S4 finale next week because I will be traveling for the holiday. 

Two of these three episodes are in my all time Top 5 (The Shape of Things to Come and Cabin Fever), primarily because of their significance to the overall mythology. 

So let's don our Dharma parkas and head to the desert together...

Alternate Reality Bites

Something Nice Back Home opens exactly like the very first scene of Lost in the pilot episode, with a close up of Jack's eye. In Something Nice Back Home, there is a brief moment when Juliet is directly above Jack saying "I need you to wake up." It was filmed differently than the rest of that scene, and although this is very crossed my mind that S6 may start the same way. Depending on WHEN Jack and co. are after the detonation of Jughead, it could be either Kate or Juliet who wakes him up. 

A majority of the items that Richard Alpert presents to young Locke as a test are clearly related to Locke's future life on the island. Those, combined with young Locke's drawing of smoke attacking a man, sure seem like blatant examples of an alternate universe.  

[With the exception of the baseball glove, most of the items are obvious: a vial of sand, indicating the beach. a compass, which both Locke and Alpert use during the time shifts. the comic book, a direct link to Walt. a knife, which was Locke's prized weapon from day one. the Book of Laws, which Eko referenced when he told Locke about the Old Testament he found in the Arrow.] 

Crossing Paths

Widmore's man Matthew Abaddon went undercover to see Locke at the rehab facility following his fall, encouraging him to go on the walkabout that landed him on Flight 815.  Later in S5, the two meet again under very different circumstances, when Locke becomes Jeremy Bentham off island. 

Foreshadowing Dialogue

The Shape of Things to Come

Jack: "My gut says we're getting off this island."

Ben: "It's very important that you survive what's about to happen here, John."

Faraday: "WHEN is a kind of relative term."

Hotel clerk: "Is this your first time in Tunisia?"
Ben: "No, but it's been a while."

Ben, to Locke: "There's only one person that can help us now, and that's Jacob. We have to go to him together."

Ben: "Every single one of my people is prepared to die in service to this island."

Ben: "He changed the rules."

Something Nice Back Home

Rose: "Why did he get sick?"
Bernard: "It's just bad luck."
Rose: "The day before we're all supposed to be rescued, the person we count on the most suddenly comes down with a life threatening condition, and you're chalking it up to bad luck?"
Bernard: "What are you saying, that Jack did something to offend the gods? People get sick."
Rose: "Not here. Here they get better." 

Hurley: "We're dead, all of us. All of the Oceanic Six, we're all dead. We never got off that island."
Jack: "That is not true."
Hurley: "It all seems so perfect...just like heaven."
Jack: "Just because I'm happy doesn't mean that this isn't real."
Hurley: "I was happy too, for a while anyway. Then I saw Charlie. Yesterday he told me that you'd be coming by. He wanted me to give you a message. 'You're not supposed to raise him, Jack.' Does that make any sense? Do you think he means Aaron?"
Jack: "Take your meds, Hurley."

Jack: "I want to know who you were with."
Kate: "I was doing something for him."
Jack: "For who?"
Kate: "For Sawyer. I made a promise."
Jack: "He's not here, is he? No, he made his choice. He chose to stay. I'm the one who came back, I'm the one who's here. I'm the one who saved you."
Kate: "I can't have you like this around my son."
Jack: "You're not even related to him!" 

Sawyer: "Where's Claire?"
Miles: "She just walked off into the jungle."
Sawyer: "You let her go alone?"
Miles: "She wasn't alone. She called him Dad."

Cabin Fever

Dr. Ray, regarding the mercenary that Smokey thrashed: "WHAT did this to him?" (note that he did not ask WHO)

Horace Goodspeed: "I've been dead for 12 years. You gotta find me, John. And when you do, you'll find him. "
Locke: "Who?"
Horace: "Jacob. He's been waiting for you a real long time." 

Nurse: "He's amazing, he's the youngest preemie to ever survive in this hospital. He's had infections, pneumonia, you name it. And every time, he knocked them out. He's a fighter, your little John. The other girls say he's a miracle baby."

Hurley, looking into Dharma Death Pit: "What happened the them?"
Lock, motioning to Ben: "He did."

Richard Alpert, to young Locke: "You like backgammon? You seem to have a pretty good sense of the game. I run a school for kids who are extremely special, and I have reason to believe that you might be ONE OF THEM."

Hurley: "So this is where you shot Locke and left him for dead?"
Ben: "Yes, I was standing right where you are when I pulled the trigger. Should have realized at the time that it was pointless, but I really wasn't thinking clearly." 

Ben: "I didn't kill them."
Hurley: "If the Others didn't wipe out the Dharma Initiative..."
Ben: "They did wipe them out, but it wasn't my decision."
Hurley: "Then whose was it?"
Ben: "Their leader's."
Hurley: "But I thought you were their leader."
Ben: "Not always."

Captain Gault: "What is that?"
Keamy: "It's the secondary protocol."
Gault: "What does it say?"
Keamy: "Says where Linus is going."
Gault: "How would Mr. Widmore know that?"
Keamy: "Because he's a very smart man, and if Linus knows that we're going to torch the island, there's only one place that he can go."

Locke: "I'm not you."
Ben: "You're certainly not."

Teen Locke: "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

Ben, to Locke: "I was told a lot of things; that I was chosen, that I was special. Ended up with a tumor on my spine and my daughter's blood all over my hands. Those things had to happen to me. That was my destiny. But you'll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen, because destiny is a fickle bitch."

Abaddon: "Don't give up, anything's possible. You survived falling eight stories out of a building. That's a miracle. Do you believe in miracles?"
Locke: "No."
Abaddon: "You should. I had one happen to me. You need to go on a walkabout. It's a journey of self-discovery. You go into the Australian Outback with nothing more than a knife and your wits. I went on my walkabout convinced I was one thing, but I came back another. I found out what I was made of, who I was. I'm a lot more than just an orderly. When you're ready, you'll listen to what I'm saying. And then when you and me run into each other again, you'll owe me one."

Ben, to Locke: "The island wanted me to get sick and it wanted you to get well. My time is over. It's yours now."

Locke: "Are you Jacob?"
Christian Shephard: "No, but I can speak on his behalf."
Locke: "I'm here because I was chosen to be."
CS: "That's absolutely right."

Locke: "What are you doing here?"
Claire: "I'm fine, I'm with him."
Christian: "The baby's where he's supposed to be, and that's not here."

Locke, to Christian: "How do I save the island?"

Ben: "Did he tell you what we're supposed to do?"
Locke: "He wants us to move the island."

LOST Book Club

When Ben goes to see Widmore in London, he tells the bellman that he's going to see Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick. In Audrey Niffeneger's The Time Traveler's Wife (which, appropriately enough, is a book about a man who travels through time with unpredictable results), the main character seeks advice from a Dr. Kendrick. 


In the opening scene of S3, Juliet's house shakes violently in what they thought was an earthquake. It turned out to be Flight 815 breaking apart above them. 

In The Shape of Things to Come, Ben's house shakes violently after Smokey is summoned and it goes after Keamy's team with a vengeance we've never seen before. 

In The Man Behind the Curtain, immediately following Ben's birth, his mother Emily said "call him Benjamin."

In Cabin Fever, immediately following Locke's birth, his mother Emily said "name him John."

Risky Business

Much has been made about the brief board game scene in The Shape of Things to Come, when Sawyer, Locke and Hurley are playing Risk. The question remains...does Hurley's statement that "Australia is the key to the whole game" ring true for the entire series? 

To me, the three most interesting events in Australia have been Hurley's visit to the Toomey household (where he spoke with the widow of the man who first mumbled the numbers), Claire's interaction with the psychic and Rose's conversation with the faith healer. 

The Rules of the Game

I am crossing my fingers that "the rules" are addressed or alluded to again in S6. Ben asserts that Widmore changed the rules, presumably regarding the battle for the island and their lifelong struggle to retain power of it. But I am far more interested in the fact that, according to Faraday, "the rules don't apply" to Desmond because he is "uniquely and miraculously special." 

In addition, in the first episode of S5, Pierre Chang was concerned about drilling close to an energy source beneath the Orchid that would allow them to manipulate time and mentioned that "there are rules that can't be broken."

Significant Moments/Firsts

Ben is in the Sahara desert wearing one of Pierre Chang's winter Dharma parkas (labeled with one of Chang's pseudonyms, Dr. Halliwax). At this point, we have no idea how and when he arrived there. 

It is revealed that Sayid finally found and then married Nadia after rescue, and that she was then murdered via hit & run (by one of Widmore's men, according to Ben). However, I tend to believe that Jacob is the reason why Nadia was killed. 

We see another set of hieroglyphics, on Ben's secret spy lair door. We first saw them on the Swan countdown clock.

Sayid kills a man that Ben said was responsible for Nadia's death, beginning an assassination mission project between the two. 

Ben appears to have the ability to summon Smokey from somewhere behind his secret spy lair door in New Otherton. 

Bernard the dentist knows Morse Code. Then again, he is also quite comfortable with a gun. There is more to the man than basic orthodontia. 

We find out that Jack changed his mind and moved in with Kate, becoming a father figure to Aaron. 

Jack sees Ghost Daddy Christian in his office lobby. 

Kate and Jack get engaged. 

Jin figures out that Charlotte knows how to speak Korean. 

We learn that Sawyer chose to stay on the island, and that he asked a favor of Kate once she was rescued. 

Keamy's gun jams, indicating that the island was not quite ready for Michael to die. He has work to do, after all....

Locke has a vision featuring deceased Dharma member Horace Goodspeed. Horace was building what would become Jacob's cabin.

Richard Alpert appears off island at the hospital when Locke is born, and then two more times throughout Locke's life before the island.

Keamy kills Dr. Ray and Captain Gault.

The Time Warp

It is fascinating to think about the fact that Ben had no idea that Jacob was also off island during and/or around the same time as him. For instance, Sayid was in Iraq burying his wife Nadia, and Jacob was actually with them days before when she died.

Another fact to consider...Alpert was present at Locke's birth, and Jacob was present at what was supposed to be Locke's death (after being pushed out of the window). 

Locke was born on May 30, 1956. I loved re-watching Cabin Fever because we learned in S5 that Locke himself instructed Richard Alpert (on the island in 1954) to be there for his birth two years later. What I want to know is who asked Alpert to attempt to recruit Locke to the island when he was a young boy and again when he was in high school...

The Visual & The Visceral

There is a Geronimo Jackson poster in teen Locke's locker. 

Later in life, Locke befriends undercover cop Eddie, who is donning a Geronimo Jackson tee. 

What's In a Name

I'm almost sure that there is not a connection here, but an interesting coincidence occurred to me while re-watching this batch of episodes. The freighter doctor was named Ray, as is Jack's grandfather. 

If I were to venture a guess, Ray Shephard was also a doctor. Then again, the one-armed farmer who turned Kate in was also named Ray. It just seems odd to give three different characters the same exact name. 

When Smokey Sings

After Ben summoned Smokey to attack Keamy's men, it appeared with far more urgency and anger than we've seen before. It was as if Smokey knew how much of a threat that they posed to the island, and went after them with more power and a sense of purpose. 

In S5 we learn that Ben does indeed unleash Smokey from below New Otherton, but is he able to somehow control and adjust the force depending on the target?

In Something Nice Back Home, Jack's father Christian appears again and speaks to him as Jack is fixing the SMOKE detector. A sign that Smokey manifests itself into important figures in people's lives even off island? 


I mentioned this in my initial analysis of The Shape of Things to Come, but Alex's death was particularly cruel and horrific; the last words she heard before being shot were from her father, who said that she was a pawn that meant nothing to him. 


We've certainly seen signs that Ben is delusional, and Jacob's "what ABOUT you?" was a crushing blow to Ben's years of service to him and the island in the S5 finale. So when Ben told Locke that he too was told that he was chosen and special, was that all in his head? I seriously doubt that Alpert said as much over the years, and it was not as if Jacob or Alpert were off island recruiting Ben from birth like they were Locke. 

Ben's miscalculation with Keamy and his reaction to Alex's subsequent murder still stand out to me as Michael Emerson's finest work on Lost

Ben & Widmore

The following dialogue from The Shape of Things to Come is, in my opinion, the second most significant conversation from all five seasons. The first is the brief chat that Jacob and the MysteryMan had in the opening scene of the S5 finale. Both of these conversations are similar, as both sets of men loathe one another and are fighting for power of the island...

Widmore: "Have you come to kill me?"
Ben: "We both know I can't do that."
Widmore: "Then why are you here?"
Ben: "I'm here because you murdered my daughter."
Widmore: "We both know very well I didn't murder her at all. You did."
Ben: "No, that's not true."
Widmore: "Yes, it is. You have the audacity to pretend that you're the victim? I know who you are, boy. What you are. I know that everything you have, you took from me. So, why are you here?"
Ben: "I'm here to tell you that I'm going to kill your daughter. And once she's gone, once she's dead, then you'll understand how I feel. And you'll wish you hadn't changed the rules."
Widmore: "You'll never find her. That island's mine. It always was, it will be again. "
Ben: "But you'll never find it."
Widmore: "Then I suppose the hunt is on for both of us."
Ben: "I suppose it is."

Here is another puzzling piece of the overall island mystery to dissect...Abaddon worked for Widmore, and he wound up being the reason that Locke was on Flight 815. Alpert had tried for years to recruit Locke to the island, with no success. But Widmore's man put the walkabout idea in Locke's head, which eventually led him to the island and his destiny.  Cut to S5 and the conversations between Widmore and Locke in The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

Locke: "I have to bring them back."
Widmore: "I'm going to do everything in my power to help you do that."
Locke: "Why would you help me?"
Widmore: "Because there's a war coming, and if you're not back on the island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win."

Locke: "You've been watching them?"
Widmore: "I'm deeply invested in the future of the island. I can't imagine what they think of me, having listened to Benjamin's lies."
Locke: "How do I know that you're not the one who's lying?"
Widmore: "I haven't tried to kill you. Can you say the same for him? I needed Linus removed, so it can be your time."
Locke: "What makes you think I'm so special?"
Widmore: "Because you are."

Claire & Aaron

There are two sides regarding the current status of Claire; those who think she's alive and well, hanging with Daddy Shephard on the island, and those of us who believe that she actually died when her New Otherton house blew up. 

After Sawyer brought Claire into Ben's house, Claire said that "I'm a bit wobbly, but I'll live." Miles responded with "I wouldn't be too sure about that." Taking into consideration that Miles is a ghost whisperer and that he actually saw Christian Shephard when he appeared to them at the camp fire, I'm sticking by my assertion that she passed away. 

In my opinion, Christian showed up to escort his daughter to the other side. I can think of no other reason why she would agree to leave her baby in a tree and chill out in a cabin with her dead father. 

My further case in point: The day before Daddy appears and Claire leaves with him, Sawyer asks how her head is. She says that she has a headache but adds that "at least I'm not seeing things anymore." Shortly thereafter, Miles is staring at her from afar - more than likely he is keenly aware of her pending death. 

I still have no doubt that Aaron is very integral to the island and perhaps even one of the keys to the entire story. Not only did the psychic warn Claire that she had to raise Aaron herself, Ghost Charlie sent Jack a message that he wasn't supposed to raise Aaron. 

Emily Locke

Again, I must bring up the question about who was behind the wheel of this particular 'accident' because it is worthy of debate whether or not Jacob was responsible. He may not have been driving, but perhaps the island needed Locke to be born prematurely, so the wheels were literally put into motion. 


To me, Sawyer begins to transform into Fleur during these episodes. He becomes very protective of Claire and Aaron, and really takes on a new leadership role with those who made the wrong decision to go with Locke rather than Jack. 

That wraps up this edition of my Lost Rewatch analysis. Stay tuned next weekend for thoughts about the S4 finale. If you have any comments or theories about this batch of episodes, post away!

Enjoy the week, safe travels and have a fantastic holiday!



Mike_D said...

"I seriously doubt that Alpert said as much over the years, and it was not as if Jacob or Alpert were off island recruiting Ben from birth like they were Locke."

They might not have been, but the Island was. How was was Horace there at the same exact time of Ben's birth (and his mother's subsequent death) a few miles from Portland? And Horace was building Jacob's cabin....

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo, thanks for the rewatch. It's great to see a bigger LOST fan than me =P

I think Miles only said "I wouldn't be too sure about that" in response to Claire's "I'm a bit wobbly, but I'll live" because he had seen too many deaths in one day already, and he also knew that nobody's really safe with bloodthirsty Keamy and co. rampaging around the island!
'Sides, Miles has never been an optimistic guy, LOL. Cheers :)

thorsten said...

409 | The Shape of Things to Come:

Hurley playing Risk: Australia is the key…
This can't be a throwaway sentence.

Ben: It is very important that John survives what happens at the barracks…
so that they can talk to Jacob, right. But felt like more.

Quite impressive how three 815 redshirts die during the titles…
with Sawyer running over to Claires place

And Dean Moriarty rings bells in Tunisia for sure… isn't he the grandson of Holmes arch nemesis? Why is the clerk so… concerned?

Ben is funny as Photographer in Tikrit… and Sayid complains about the press vultures following him even to Tikrit in his grief. Proof that he is a O6 celeb, and not likely to walk around Berlin unrecognized.

And do we really believe that Sayid killed Nadias killer there? I don't.
Maybe Nadias death was really an accident. Ben faked the traffic picture and used it to send Sayid on that killing spree. Why should Widmore kill Nadia, in the first place?

And Ben, visiting Widmore in London… why can't he kill Charles? It almost feels like the time loop is the reason

Smokey came crashing in the village like a freight train at full speed… looks like Ben turned the dial to 11…

And Claire… yep. She is dead. In that moment I thought the whole Miles ghost connection was done just to make that clear.

pgtbeauregard said...


I also believe that Claire is dead. There is no way she could have survived the attack. Miles could see that.

Great analysis of the epi's. I look forward to all of your blogs, including FF.

Funny about the smoke detector and Jack seeing his father. Picked that up during the epi,which is unusual for me.

Happy Turkey Day to all Lost fans.

pgtbeauregard said...

Whenever Hurley talks, it's usually canon. Also, Claire is probably dead, as she shouldn't have survivied the attack on her house.

Loved when the smoke detector went off and Jack saw his father.

Great analysis Jo. I always look forward to your blogs.

Happy Turkey Day to all Lost Fans and everyone else!

Dustin Winebrenner said...

Abaddon coaxing Locke to go on a Walkabout (while frustrating the first time around) is monumentally impt, I think. It means that Widmore knew about the upcoming crash (via Faraday's journal?) and was working to make sure Locke was on the plane.

Ben telling Locke "it's important that you survive this" makes me think he also knew of future events and the role Locke was supposed to play (the same way Widmore did).

It's funny that Jack says "my gut tells me we're getting off this island" right when his appendix is trying to poison him.

I find it strange that Ben, Tom, and the Others refer to the island "willing" this or that. I assumed they were clear enough on the situation to know that Jacob (and Black Shirt, if they even know he exists) does the willing. At least that's what I assume - that the island doesn't have a will independent of these seeming demigods.

@Thorston - I agree Ben lied about Widmore's man killing Nadia. Widmore would have no reason to kill her. It was an accident (allowed by Jacob).

I'd say Richard went to recruit young Locke of his own volition. After all, 1950's Richard seemed pretty amazed at the way Locke literally appeared, prophesied his future birth and role as island leader, and then disappeared. Over some 50 years the legend of Locke's coming grew among the Others. His visits to young Locke were to check if what 1950's Locke prophesied was true - and it was. Ironically, this whole self-prophesied messiah episode was set into motion by Richard Alpert (via Black Shirt/Flocke) at the time loop's zenith in 2007.

As always, thanks for the posting, Jo! :)

Lisa said...

Cabin Fever is one of my favorite episodes of the series. I love the trio of Hurley, John and Ben trekking across the island in search of the cabin. The chemistry and banter between them all is priceless.

Ben: "Destiny, John, is a fickle bitch."

Hurley: "Yea, I'm cool with you going in alone too."

Hurley sharing an Apollo bar with Ben. LOVED it.

I remember when I saw this episode the first time and I really believed that John must truly be special because Richard was checking in on him at different junctures throughout his life. But we now know that Man in Black/Flocke was the reason Richard grew so interested in him to begin with...that appearing/disappearing, being in two places at one time thing.

When I watched this my second and third times, I was a bit annoyed by young John during his session with Richard. He just sat there wide-eyed and looking rathar dopey. Hardly a word said. He reminded me of Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he finally gets to talk to Santa at the mall and can't say anything until the last second. I think this is also the first time we actually see the famous compass that loops constantly through time. I may be mistaken, however, because I also remember Locke giving Sayid a compass way back when, but I'm not sure if it's the same compass.

One thing that has always bothered me about this episode is when Sayid takes the zodiac from the freighter to the island. Aren't they 80 nautical miles off the coast? I don't know what HP that motor is, but he makes it back to the island, brings a group to the freighter, goes back to the island again, and Dan almost makes it to the freighter again before the island disappears. But at least at this point, the freighter is closer and visable from the island because Michael (construction worker/artist???!!!) got the engines working and it was able to come within 5 miles of the island.

This may just be my pet peave, but I felt it would have taken much more time to ferry people back and forth with that zodiac than it seemed to. But time on the island, as we know, is relative.

Claire MUST be dead or otherwise indisposed. She was one creepy chick in that cabin with Christian.

Thanks again for keeping up with the Rewatch project.

Greg said...

I have been reading and enjoying your recap. Thanks for doing this!

So after reading this i had a thought. Widmore tells Locke that he must go back to the island in order for the right side to win the war... but if we assume that NotLocke is evil, as well as Anti-Jacob, and Widmore, it would make sense that all these things are working together. Let me explain better.

Whoever possessed Locke to become NotLocke, in order to manipulate Ben and kill Jacob had to know they would need Locke to get back to the island. That person also knew that Locke could ONLY get back with the help of the Oceanic 6. So Widmore and Anti-Jacob are on the same side of this "war" and their priorities rest with each other. Widmore knew that Anti-Jacob had to have Locke's body so he manipulated Locke to go back to the island.

So Widmore wants his side to win the war but he is on the same side as The Man in Black/Anti-Jacob. They just needed Locke in order for their plan to work.

Diana said...

Interesting that Widmore also tells Locke he's special. Does Richard work for Widmore? I guess once upon a time, he did, before Ben forced Widmore out.

I do agree with Greg that it seems like once the island has moved, Locke is the only way for Ben or Widmore to find it again. Aside from Mrs. Hawking...But I still think the Jacob/NotLocke rivalry is separate from Ben and Widmore's rules and game.

I also believe Claire is dead. Miles can't foretell death--he talks to dead people.

Christian and Claire in that cabin are possessed in the cabin--foreshadowing Christian down at the donkey wheel with Locke, berating him. All smokey, all fake Locke to me.