Wednesday, January 6, 2010

LOST Rewatch Week #25: This Place is Death, 316, The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham, LaFleur & Namaste




Happy New Year, Lost fans and friends - I hope that you all enjoyed the holidays and are now counting down the days until our little show returns on February 2! 


Because I leave in three weeks or the S6 premiere on Oahu, I have accelerated my Rewatch pace. Thus, this week I am analyzing five episodes rather than the usual four. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and prepare yourself - this particular post is the L O N G E S T journey of the Rewatch by far!


So let's don our Dharma jumpsuits and time travel back to the trippy 1970's together... 


Anagram Alert!





Locke was staying and died at the Westerfield Hotel, only some of the neon lights in the sign are out. It read WESTRFIELHOTL, which is an anagram for We First To Hell.


Charles in Charge


Color me confused. Widmore told Locke that he had cameras set up because he knew that Tunisia was the exit from the island, yet...the man was exiled and sent home via sub. So how does Widmore know? It seems unlikely that he moved the island himself, but clearly he knew about the Frozen Donkey Wheel and where that places the person who turns it. 


It is fascinating that Widmore seems to take credit for getting Locke to the island in the first place (via Matthew Abaddon's walkabout suggestion), when Locke wouldn't have even been alive had Jacob not touched him after he was pushed out of the window. 


Despair in the Departure Lounge





Watching Locke about to hang himself, I felt sorry for him because he was going to kill himself out of pity and despair; he failed to grasp the reality that he actually had to die in order to actually get everyone back to the island. 


Donde Esta Ji Yeon?


Given Jin and Sun's volatile history prior to crashing on the island and only recent relationship reconciliation, I find her choice to leave their child and return to the island for her husband very interesting. Sun had to know that it was unlikely that they would ever return, and even though her mother was watching Ji Yeon...I feel as though it was a defining moment in both of their lives, and one which will probably have ramifications and/or consequences should we see them in an alternate reality or timeline. 


Foreshadowing Dialogue


This Place is Death


Charlotte, to Jin: "Don't let them bring her back. No matter what...don't let them bring her back! This place is death."


Charlotte: "I grew up here, on the island. And there was this Dharma Initiative. Then I moved away with my mum and I never saw my dad again. I would ask my mom about this place but she would say that it wasn't real and that I'd made it up. That's why I became an anthropologist - to find this island again; it's what I've been searching for my whole life."
Faraday: "Why are you telling me this?"
Charlotte: "When I was little, living here, there was this man - a crazy man. He really scared me. And he told me that I had to leave the island and never come back. He told me that if I came back, I would die. Daniel, I think that man was you."


Locke: "You - what are you doing here?"
Christian Shephard: "I'm here to help you the rest of the way."
Locke: "I don't understand."
CS: "You came to see me in the cabin. You asked me how to save the island and I told you that you had to move it. I said that YOU had to move it, John."
Locke: "But Ben said he knew how to do it. He told me that I had to stay here and lead his people."
CS: "Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn?"


Christian, to Locke as he turns the wheel: "Say hello to my son."


316


Jack: "We're back."





Jack: "What is this place?"
Eloise Hawking: "The Dharma Initiative called it the Lamp Post. This is how they found the island."


EH: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this Desmond, but the island isn't done with you yet."
Des: "Well I'm done with the island."


EH: "If you want to return, you need to recreate as best you can the circumstances that brought you there in the first place."


Jack: "Why would he kill himself?"
EH: "There are many reasons, but the only one that matters is this...he is going to help you get back. John is going to be a proxy, a substitute."


EH: "Stop thinking about how ridiculous it is and start asking yourself whether or not you believe it's going to work. That's why it's called a leap of faith, Jack."

Kate, to Jack: "If you want me to go with you, you will never ask me about Aaron."

Jack: "Wherever you are, John, you must be laughing your ass off that I'm actually doing this. Because this is even crazier than you were. You wanted me to go back, I'm going back."

Jack: "The other people on this plane - what's going to happen to them?"
Ben: "Who cares?"

Jack: "You don't think that it means something? That somehow we're all back together?"
Kate: "We're on the same plane, Jack - doesn't make us together." 


The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham


Ilana: "We found someone - a man. He was just standing in the water. He was wearing a suit."





Ilana: "Nobody remembers you being on the plane."
NotLocke: "Well, I don't remember being on it either."
Ilana: "What do you remember?"
NotLocke: "I remember alot."
Ilana: "Like why you're dressed up so nice?"
NotLocke: "No, but I can guess. I think this suit is what they were going to bury me in."
Ilana: "Sorry?"
NotLocke: "You asked what I remembered. I remember dying." 


Locke: "How did you know that I'd be there?
Widmore: "That's the exit. I was afraid Benjamin might fool you into leaving the island, as he did with me. I was their leader."
Locke: "The Others?"
Widmore: "They're not Others to me, they're my people. We protected the island peacefully for more than three decades, but then I was exiled - by him - just as you were."
Locke: "No, Ben wasn't even there when I left. I wasn't exiled; I chose to leave."
Widmore: "Why would you do that? You've come to bring them back, the ones who left."
Locke: "I have to bring them back."
Widmore: "And 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."





Widmore: "I'm deeply invested in the future of the island. I wouldn't mention that I'm involved with this. 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 is lying?"
Widmore: "I haven't tried to kill you. Would you say the same for him?"


Widmore: "I needed Linus removed, so that it could be your time. The island needs you; it has for a long time."
Locke: "What makes you think I'm so special?"
Widmore: "Because you are."





Locke: "What exactly is it that you do for Mr. Widmore?"
Matthew Abaddon: "You're not really going to pretend that you don't remember that I was an orderly in the hospital right after your accident - that I was the one who told you to go on your walkabout? The same walkabout that put you on the plane that crashed on the island?"
Locke: "I remember."
MA: "I help people get to where they need to get to. That's what I do for Mr. Widmore."


MA: "Your path, no matter what you did or what you do - your path leads back to the island."
Locke: "You say it like it's all inevitable."
MA: "Richard Alpert said that you're going to die. So you tell me...is that inevitable or is that a choice?"





Locke: "Widmore came to me - he saved me."
Ben: "No, he used you. He waited until you showed up so that you could help him get to the island. Charles Widmore is the reason I moved the island; so that he could never find it again, to keep him away so that you could lead. You can't do this. If anything happens to you...you have no idea how important you are. Let me help you. You can't die - you've got too much work to do."


Caesar: "Do you know him?"
NotLocke: "Yes, he's the man who killed me."


LaFleur


Faraday: "Wherever we are now, whenever we are now - we're here for good."


Faraday: "Doesn't matter what we do; whatever happened, happened."


Horace Goodspeed, to Sawyer: "You are not Dharma material."


Faraday: "No more flash. The record is spinning again; we're just not on the song we want to be on."


Richard Alpert: "That fence may keep other things out, but not us."


Juliet: "I'm going to leave."
Sawyer: "You do realize that it's 1974, that whatever it is you think you're going back to...it don't exist yet."
Juliet: "It's not a reason not to go."
Sawyer: "Well, what about me?"


Horace: "It's only been three years. Is that really long enough to get over someone?"
Sawyer: "Absolutely."


Jack: "Faraday - he's here?"
Sawyer: "Not anymore."





Sun: "I'm looking for my husband. Do you know where he is?"
Christian Shephard: "I'm sorry, but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you."


Sawyer: "Back when you were calling the shots, you pretty much just reacted. See, you didn't think, and as I recall a lot of people ended up dead."
Jack: "I got us off the island."
Sawyer: "But here you are, right back where you started. I'm going to think, because that's how I saved your ass today. All you have to do is go home and get a good night's rest. Let me do what I do. Now ain't that a relief?"
Jack: "Yeah."





Young boy: "What's your name?"
Sayid: "Sayid, what's yours?"
Young boy: "I'm Ben."


Get Back


The first of many "getting my back" references is uttered by Sawyer, who incorrectly thanks Juliet for agreeing with his plan. Unfortunately, these references continue throughout the season.


Ghost of Me





Athough I have been on the fence about whether or not I believe that MysteryMan/future NotLocke manifested himself into ghost form as Christian Shephard...I am now leaning toward yes. It seems that when Christian's body arrived on the island in the casket, MM took the opportunity to use his shell. Obviously he did the same when Locke's body arrived back on the island in the coffin via Ajira 316.  So did MM use Christian the same way he used Locke - pretending to advise various people as a representative of Jacob but really for his own purposes and all leading toward the eventual loophole? 


Perhaps the evidence exists in the lack of touch. Unlike Jacob, who went out of his way to touch some of the chosen ones from flight 815 at various points in their lives off island, MM had Ben kill Jacob because he could not (probably part of 'the rules'). When Christian appeared to Locke, he purposefully AVOIDED touching him. Sounds familiar...


Hey Hey Helen





Call me crazy, but I do not believe for one minute that Locke's old girlfriend Helen is dead. The fact is that several parties had a vested interest in getting Locke back to the island. One of the only people who had the ability to alter his path and keep him home was Helen; thus, they made it seem like she had died. Distraction averted. That Abaddon tells Locke "Helen is where she's supposed to be" merely fuels my assumption. 


I'm Leaning on a Lamp Post


Eloise Hawking:
"The room we're standing in was constructed years ago over a unique pocket of electromagnetic energy. That energy connects to similar pockets all over the world. The people that built this room, however, were only interested in one. Yes, the island. They'd gathered proof that it existed, they knew it was out there somewhere but they just couldn't find it. Then a very clever fellow built this pendulum on the theoretical notion that they should stop looking for where the island was supposed to be and start looking for where it's going to be. 


This fellow presumed (and correctly, it turned out) that the island was always moving. Why do you think you were never rescued? While the movements of the island seem random, this man and his team created a series of equations which tell us, with a high degree of probability, where it is going to be at  a certain point in time. Windows, as it were, that while open - provide a route back. Unfortunately, these windows don't stay open for long. Yours closes in 36 hours."


If there are similar pockets of energy all over the world, we have to believe that there are more off island Dharma stations like the Lamp Post in Los Angeles. Given the number of references over the years to cities in Florida and the number of characters from New York, those two states would be my top choices for other locations.  There may also be one in Oregon, perhaps just outside of Portland...





Is anyone curious about the archaic computer equipment in the Lamp Post? Regardless of the current year, it resembles the outdated systems in the Dharma hatches on the island. So either the machines required to garner the exact island coordinates with the pendulum do not exist anymore, or Jacob had a hand in creating that station. He is not a fan of technology, after all. Then again, why would Jacob want anyone to find the island?


Hail Caesar!


Caesar was not a very good leader in his short time on the island, and it is odd that they assigned such a strong and familiar name to such a short-lived character. 





When he was in the Hydra office, it certainly seemed like he knew where to look for maps and a gun. It seems to me that he may have been a Widmore associate. We know that Ilana has some kind of past with Jacob, and it does not seem as if she and Caesar were there for the same reasons. 

If The Shoe Fits...

In my opinion, shoes play a major role in both the resurrection and black and white themes on Lost. When deceased Christian Shephard arrived on the island via 815, he was wearing white tennis shoes. When deceased John Locke arrived on the island via 316, he was wearing black dress shoes belonging to Christian. On both occasions, Jack was the one to put the shoes on the bodies.




It is not mere coincidence that Christian and Locke appear to wear the same shoe size, nor is it random that we first see Christian's white shoe up in a tree in the Pilot and Locke (as NotLocke) barefoot in the sand in 316. Recall Locke's comment in S2 about going over to man's house for the first time and taking off your shoes. In this case, the house is the island, and both men are seemingly resurrected upon arrival. 






The Last Time I Saw Richard


When Alpert demanded dead Dharma Paul's body to settle the truce trouble, I started to think about how he took wounded little Linus into the Temple. What would he and the hostiles want with a deceased body? We have yet to see inside that structure, but there are obvious restorative/healing powers. I'm not suggesting that Paul was resurrected, but I do assume that he took the body there. 





And did Amy's removal of his Ankh "eternal life" necklace have anything to do with what happened to him after being turned over to Alpert? Perhaps Paul was more important that we thought; that symbol is held in one of the hands of Tawaret, after all.

Little Red Charlotte


It is fascinating that Charlotte only truly started to recall her childhood and remember that she grew up on the island while she was dying. I am somewhat convinced that she is related to someone we know, as her Dharma Dad stayed on the island and she never heard from him again. Given how isolated and small the Dharmaville community seemed to be...chances are that there may have been a key party or two in the swinging 70's. 


Logistics and Locations


Again, I must point out that the island has to be located much closer to the real world than we are being led to believe. There is no way that Dharma shipped off their pregnant women only two weeks before delivery via submarine on a long and rough journey (recalling Alpert and Ethan's description when drugging Juliet for the ride to the island). 


Losing My Religion


As I've mentioned before, religion is not my strong point. Thus, I will simply quote Ben's speech to Jack in 316, followed by my interpretation of it. And of course I had to then include...appropriately enough...the latest official S6 cast promo ('The Lost Supper').  



[photo courtesy of DocArzt]


Ben:
"Thomas the Apostle. When Jesus wanted to return to Judea, knowing that he would probably be murdered there - Thomas said to the others, 'let us also go, that we might die with him.' But Thomas was not remembered for this bravery; his claim to fame came later - when he refused to acknowledge the resurrection. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. The story goes that he needed to touch Jesus' wounds to be convinced."





My interpretation, as it will be revealed in S6:
"Jack. When Locke wanted to return to the island, knowing that he would probably be murdered there - Jack said to the others, 'let us go, that we might die with him.' But Jack was not remembered for this bravery; his claim to fame came later - when he refused to acknowledge Locke's resurrection. He just couldn't wrap his mind around it. They story goes that Jack needed to touch Locke to be convinced."

LOST Book Club

On the flight back to the island, Ben is reading Ulysses by James Joyce. I do not have the energy to attempt a summary of that novel, so here is a lazy link. The only real connection to Lost that I find is Ben's revenge pursuit of Penny Widmore...and it is vague at best. The book invokes Homer's Odyssey and the character Penelope; she has one son, she waited a long time for her husband to reappear and fought off 108 suitors.



To be honest, my favorite part of this scene is Ben's response when Jack asks him how he can read (under the current circumstances): "my mother taught me." As we all know, Emily Linus died immediately following Ben's birth.


My Daddy Said to Stay Away from Juliet





I laugh when I see Juliet as a mechanic in Dharmaville, not only because she looks surprisingly good in the blue jumpsuit, but because she has yet another random skill set. Juliet has to be the most bad ass fertility doctor ever known (at least on television). 





One of my favorite scenes from S5 takes place on the dock between Sawyer and Juliet when he talks her into staying for two more weeks on the island. There was a growing and genuine respect between them, and their interaction was equally lighthearted and significant. 


Mystery Girl






In a future episode, we learn that Jacob went to see Ilana to ask for a favor while she was recovering in a hospital from an unknown serious injury. That she went to the island on Ajira 316 is yet another connection to Eloise Hawking. After all, Ilana helped recreate one of the 815 circumstances by escorting Sayid in handcuffs. 





By the way, I am inclined to think that Mikhail was recruited by Jacob under similar circumstances...injured and in a Russian hospital. Perhaps Ilana will have an impenetrable shell as well. 

Parallels


It seems to me that Robert was the Jack of Rousseau's crew. He was adamant that "we do not leave anyone behind," a 1988 version of "live together, die alone" on the island.  





When a dying Charlotte warns Locke and Jin about bringing Sun back to the island ("no matter what - don't let them bring her back!"), I was immediately reminded of Ghost Claire in the S4 finale when she appeared in Aaron's room at Kate's house ("don't you dare bring him back!").





Recreating similar circumstances from Oceanic 815 for Ajira 316 created quite a few parallels. Ilana had Sayid in cuffs, like the Marshal had Kate. Hurley was reading a graphic novel (it was a comic book for 815). Locke's body was in a coffin, whereas Christian Shephard's was on the first flight. And I love that Frank Lapidus piloted 316 when he was supposed to do so for 815. 





In 316, when Ben said "I made a promise to an old friend of mine - just a loose end that needs tying up," my mind went right to The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter: "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having and old friend for dinner.")


Just as Jack took the lead with the lie about the circumstances of the 815 crash and rescue, Sawyer took the lead with the lie about how his group came to be on the island in 1977. 


Plane and Simple


It is getting harder to believe that Oceanic 815 crashed on the island because Desmond failed to press the button and the electromagnetic pull was strong enough to crack the plane in half up above. Given Jacob's appearance and contact with so many of those on 815, their arrival was not random. 





So here is where I am a tad baffled - why bring down 815 in such a violent manner and land 316 intact on the island? Yes, I realize that the runway was not complete in 2004. But a valley or beach landing would have resulted in fewer deaths than breaking in three over the ocean. That brings up another point - if Jacob knew when his pre-selected batch of experiments were going to arrive, why not have the Others build the runway earlier? 


Premature Excogitation





Ethan's birth marked the third premature male character and the only one who was born on the island. Locke and Ben were each born several months early. Attempting to connect the dots, I do not come up with anything substantial. Just an observation. 


Psychic Walt Network





When Walt told Locke that he'd been having dreams about him in a suit on the beach surrounded by dangerous people, it made me wonder what other future events Walt dreamt about. It is disappointing that Walt never re-entered the picture, because I would love to find out why it is that the island and/or Jacob actually let him leave in the first place. The island loves special people, but perhaps Walt's abilities threatened Jacob or Mystery Man's and thus he was allowed to leave. 

Ray Man

While some were not happy with the very brief introduction of Jack's grandfather in S5, I tend to think that it served a purpose. 





First, take a look at his statement:

"One of these times, I'm actually going to get away. They won't ever find me either."

Ray had packed his bag and was ready to 'escape' to a place where he'd never be found, mere hours before Ajira 316 was taking off. Coincidence? I would not be surprised to learn that he knew Eloise Hawking. 


And, of course, that he is related to Jack and Christian makes us more likely to believe that he either knows about or has been to the island before. 


Significant Moments/Firsts


Sawyer and co. discover that Jin is still alive (when he encounters him in the jungle after a time shift). 





Sun finds out that Jin is still alive (when Ben presents her with his wedding band). 


Jin demands that Locke not attempt to bring Sun back to the island. 


Charlotte dies. And because Faraday does too in an upcoming episode...Lapidus and Miles wind up being the last remaining members of the original Freighter Four. Tugboat Two?  





Ghost Christian Shephard made two key appearances: to Locke right before he turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel, and to Sun and Lapidus when they returned to Dharmaville on the main island in an unknown era.


Desmond goes to see Ms. Hawking after his 'dream' memory about a conversation with Faraday outside of the Swan, and realizes that she was the woman from his flashbacks. 


Desmond's appearance in LA inadvertently creates a direct revenge route to Penny for Ben.


We see that Hurley brought a guitar case back to the island. Though the contents are unknown at this point, most of us assume that it belonged to Charlie.


We are introduced to the Lamp Post, the first off island Dharma station. 


We find out that the way back to the island is via a specific flight over the island during a rare window of time. 

We meet two mysterious new characters on Ajira 316, Caesar and Ilana.



Frank Lapidus turns out to be the pilot of Ajira 316.



Locke left a suicide note for Jack.

Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid land in 1977 on the main island, while Sun, Frank and Locke's body wind up seemingly in the future when they take an outrigger from the smaller Hydra Island back to the main island.

In a hint of what's to come, they show Jin in a Dharma jumpsuit.






Matthew Abaddon reappears, this time in Tunisia with Charles Widmore. 


It turns out that Widmore gave Locke the pseudonym Jeremy Bentham. 





Locke goes to visit Sayid, Hurley and Kate in an attempt to lure them back to the island. He also goes to see Walt, but does not mention the return. Locke is reunited with Jack when a car accident puts him in the hospital where Jack works. 


Ben murders Matthew Abaddon. 





Ben kills Locke after gleaning important information from him and preventing him from suicide via hanging. 





During a time shift on the island, Sawyer & co. see the back of the Tawaret statue. 





Three years after landing in 1977 due to the last time shift, Sawyer has become James LaFleur, head of Dharma security. Miles works with him, and Juliet is a mechanic. 


We see that Horace Goodspeed is married to Amy...even though most of us assumed that Olivia was his wife. Apparently divorce is not frowned upon in Dharmaville. 


Amy and Horace are the parents of Ethan Rom. 


Charlotte died after too many time shifts, and then her body disappeared.





Juliet delivers a baby that she later discovers is Ethan Rom. It is creepy for her and for me. 





Faraday sees Charlotte as a young girl in Dharmaville in the late 70's.





Ageless Alpert pays a visit to Horace in Dharmaville, to discuss the truce. 





We find out that after three years together in the 70's, Sawyer and Juliet fell in love.





Sawyer finds out that Jack, Kate and Hurley have returned to the island in 1977.





Jack, Kate and Sawyer join the Dharma Initiative in order to blend in.


We finally meet Radzinsky, the man who used to be stationed in the Swan with Inman...who was a mere blood stain on the ceiling prior to this introduction. 





We see Radzinsky building a model of the Swan station, which has not yet been built. 


Sayid has been roaming the jungle alone since arriving back on the island via 316. But he is captured and Sawyer is forced to put him in Dharma jail. 





In the hit heard 'round the island (to great applause by many of us at home), Sun knocks Ben out with an oar. 


Jack discovers that Juliet and Sawyer are now a couple. 


Sayid meets young Ben Linus in Dharmaville. 


Stalking Ms. Hawking


Ghost Christian Shephard instructed Locke to find Eloise Hawking after turning the wheel and leaving the island. As stated above, it is more than likely that CS was actually the Mystery Man/future NotLocke. That makes an interesting connection between Hawking and MM. Did she communicate with him during her stint on the island in the 50's, or was MM somehow involved with her work at the Lamp Post? I have to consider that Hawking described Locke as a "proxy" and "substitute" - with obvious double meaning. His body in the coffin recreates a circumstance from 815 for 316 and MM would use his body to become NotLocke upon arrival back on the island.





Hawking said that Dharma found the island via the Lamp Post. There is a top secret Army photo of the island in the station from 1954...which was when 17 year old Eloise was stationed there. Can someone please explain this connection to me? My brain hurts just pondering her role in all of this. 


On a side note...is it too obvious that Hawking is referring to her son Faraday when she says that "a very clever fellow" built the Lamp Post? We know he's a time traveling genius, but something about her description seems off to me.


Tattoo You


When something stands out on Lost, I tend to fixate on it. One of Alpert's men (who got shot after apprehending Amy) has a very visible tattoo on his upper arm. It stood out because prior to him, the hostiles all seemed like they'd never been off the island. Why wouldn't casting and wardrobe cover it up so that he'd fit in more? It can't possibly be significant to his role or the show. 


The Visual and the Visceral 



I still get chills when I rewatch the opening moments of 316, as they brilliantly filmed it to mirror the beginning of the Pilot five seasons ago: Jack wakes up in the jungle disoriented after a plane crash, he hears people yell for help and runs off to save them.




What I find quite eerie is that Jack seems to have been placed there, intact once again. We do not know exactly where Kate and Hurley were when they awoke on the island after the original 815 crash, but it certainly was not in the waterfall. I will add to my 'we will never know list' exactly how people arrive in relatively perfect condition from the airplane to the rocks, water and jungle below. 






Locke wakes up injured in Tunisia after turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, just as Ben had previously. 





When Locke goes to visit Walt in New York, he is in a wheelchair. Although Walt never saw Locke in one on the island, it reminded me that Locke told Walt his secret in the Pilot. And so of course I wonder if Walt thought he was paralzyed again after leaving the island, at least when he first glanced at him in the chair. 





Locke left the island going down a rope (into the well) and came back after hanging from one. 


I just realized that they opened Seasons 2, 3 and 5 very similarly and musically (thus, my use of many song titles in this post), yet we have NO idea where or when we are. In S2, we see Desmond playing a record down in the Swan hatch. In S3, we see Juliet in a New Otherton house playing a CD. In S5, we see a record playing in Pierre Chang's Dharmaville house.  


Walk Like an Egyptian


I have long believed that Hurley is absolutely key to the entire story that is Lost. And no matter how many times Jorge asserts that his drawings on the show are his own (and not scripted ideas/suggestions), I choose not to believe him. 





Case in point - the drawing of the Egyptian pyramid in The Life and Death of JB. To my knowledge, Hurley was unaware of any hieroglyphics or Egyptian influence during his time on the island. He may not realize it, but he is gifted beyond the ability to converse with ghosts. I have been working on an insane theory about Hurley but have never shared it because, quite frankly, it is not worth the snarky dissection. :)


Weird Science


Ethan was conceived and born on the island, and his mother lived. So whatever started preventing women from successfully conceiving and delivering on the island started after 1977. If I had to venture a guess, it is related to the environment on the island after the incident and Jughead's detonation.  


When Smokey Sings


I don't know if it is significant, but Smokey killed his first female victim when he snapped up Nadine from Rousseau's crew back in the late 80's. Prior to This Place is Death, we had only seen him kill Seth Norris (flight 815 pilot), Mr. Eko and one of Keamy's mercenaries. There were many choices for Security Smokey to choose from when Rousseau's crew encroached upon the beloved Temple, but there must have been something about Nadine's past (or potential future on the island) that our tempestuous friend did not like. 


By the way...I loved it when Locke told Sawyer that he was looking for a way off of the island down the well, and Sawyer responded with "you expecting a subway?" Because even though my five year theory is probably way off, I'm still stuck on the fact that Smokey's mechanical sounds and point of origination underground are clues to an entirely different mode of transportation that has yet to be revealed. We've now seen the tunnels that run beneath the island, but I've always believed there to be an additional transportation system under the island. How else do you explain how people like Tom, Alpert and Ethan traveled to and from the island to the real world so quickly and frequently? It wasn't via slow sub, and those three did not turn the Frozen Donkey Wheel and exit via Tunisia. And don't get me started down the Rose path (regarding her comment in the Pilot that the smoke monster sound was familiar)....


You Make Me Sick


Is everyone in agreement that Rousseau's crew contracted 'the sickness' only after attempting to rescue Montand beneath the Temple? Rousseau and Jin remained outside; thus, they were not affected. So the question remains...is 'the sickness' another type of security system? I do not think that simple exposure to Smokey causes illness (or else Kate, Juliet and many others would have had symptoms), but I wouldn't be surprised if something or someone guarding that Temple has an airborne combatant ready as a second measure of defense against those not allowed to enter. 


Crazy Conspiracy Theory of the Week


In 316, Desmond's statement to Jack really stood out to me:
"These people are using us. They're playing some kind of game and we're the pieces."


And it led me down this rabbit hole...


Jacob specifically designated Hurley, Jack, Jin, Kate, Locke, Sawyer, Sayid and Sun to come to the island.  Because of Eloise Hawking and her Lamp Post intel, he knew that a rare window would be open over the island during Oceanic flight 815's route from Sydney to Los Angeles on September 22, 2004. Thus, he made sure that the pre-determined players in his game were on that flight. It seems logical that he also visited and chose Charlie, Eko, Ana Lucia, Bernard and Rose, Boone and Shannon, and Michael and Walt at some point during their lives. In addition, I think that Jacob has always had a bigger role in mind for Claire and Aaron; one which we have yet to see play out. And obviously there were other passengers on 815, but they were mere casualties in Jacob's master plan. 


Consider this part of the conversation between MysteryMan/future NotLocke and Jacob in the S5 finale:


MM: "How did they find the island?"
Jacob: "You'll have to ask them when they get here."
MM: "I don't have to ask. YOU brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?"
Jacob: "You are wrong."
MM: "Am I? They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same."
Jacob: "It only ends once; anything that happens before that is just progress."


The timing of this conversation is rather brilliant. Their introduction and interaction took place at the very beginning of the S5 finale, and an event that could be the 'once' that Jacob is referring to took place at the very end of the episode. Perhaps when Juliet detonated Jughead at the bottom of the Swan shaft, it didn't end the same for this group on the island...it ended everything, for the last time. That MM's loophole allowed him to finally kill Jacob at the exact same time that Jughead detonated (even though they occurred in different eras, both took place on the island) adds an intriguing element to this theory. 
---


This post has literally taken me a week to complete and I appreciate your patience! Five episodes at a time has proven to be far too time consuming to finish in one week, so expect four the next time, followed by the final three! Like Locke, I have work to do...


Thank you so much for hanging in there with me, especially as we approach the end of one huge project only to embark upon an entirely new season together!


As always, I encourage comments and corrections (be nice - I'm exhausted!). See you next week!


-Jo 

15 comments:

Brad said...

Thanks for a beautifully thought out and written analysis.

I read today that the Feb. 2 premiere of the season 6 opener may be in question. Obama's state of the union supposedly has only two available dates, Jan 26 and Feb 2. The former would preempt American Idol, so word is they are leaning toward the Feb 2. Keep an eye out for changes to this date.

I think that one of the "pockets of energy" all over the world has to be in Australia.

I am generally confused about Eloise Hawking. Was she stationed on the island as part of the British army in 1954? If so, what is a 17-year-old doing in the British army during that time? Was she a nurse or something?

In S5, the Dharma people often refer to the Others/Hostiles as "indigenous." But it looks like Widmore and even Alpert came to the island. Is there anyone who didn't, other than maybe Jacob and Esau? I hope these questions get answered in S6. I am curious if anyone is truly indigenous to the island.

316 is one of my favorite episodes. I love the opening look on Jack's face, the disbelief and barely contained joy that he is back.

I strongly recommend the commentaries on the S5 DVDs. Damon/Carlton on ep 1 and the writers of He's Our You. They point out how they used the scene on the dock as an anchor for the first part of the season.

Looking forward to finishing up the rewatch and then onto Season 6! Thanks again :)

Di said...

Jo, I enjoy reading your posts but have never commented. We finished our re-watch on New Year's Eve and now I can't wait to get started on season 6! I am more curious about Eloise Hawking too. Brad, I have decided (and others have probably talked about this at one point or another) that in 1954, Eloise, Widmore et al were just wearing/using the military gear, not part of the military. At some point (in 1954)Miles says something about a mass grave of about 40 people and I'm thinking those were the real military guys that the others took care of, now they're using their stuff. I had some other insights about Eloise after watching the season finale but I will save those until Jo is on those episodes.

Brad said...

Di, thanks for clearing up some of the Eloise Hawking mystery for me. Clearly you are correct that they moved into the US Army camp after killing them all and are using their stuff. A young Widmore has a uniform with the name "Jones" on it. Scary how much I miss even after multiple viewings.

But I still do not believe that Eloise and Charles are indigenous to the Island. All the actors playing the two characters are British with strong accents. Widmore uses the term "sodding old man" to describe Locke. The casting call for the teenage Ellie describes her as "British aristocrat in her late teens." (from Lostpedia). Also, the casting call for the middle-aged Eloise played by Alice Evans in The Variable includes, "Must have an English accent." Because of this I don't think either character was born on the Island.

Dustin Winebrenner said...

Wow these are some major episodes to unpack all at once.

Remember, there's cash waiting for Ben under a rock near the Tunisia "exit point," so clearly the Others (at least Ben) know and have used the wheel before.

It's doubtful Widmore knew about Jacob touching Locke. Charles had his own motives for sending Locke to the island on 815.

Widmore knew that Ben was off the island before Locke showed up, so why would he say he was afraid Ben would trick Locke into leaving?

I really like your thought on how Black Shirt (as Christian) can't touch Locke, contrasted with how Jacob touches everyone he visits. I wonder, do we see Flocke actually physically touch anyone after 316 lands?

Was Ethan evacuated from Dharma island with the other women and children? He was only a couple days old, how'd he end up an Other?

I think we're supposed to assume Faraday built the Lamp Post per Hawking's remark. Yet if the Lamp Post is how Dharma "found the island," it can't be him. Dharma was already on the island before Farday went to work for them in the 70's.

In the season 3 brainwashing video shown to Karl the text "We are the cause of our own suffering" flashes on screen. This is appropriate to all the things caused the by time traveling Lostes in 1977. Especially so to Juliet. She delivered Ethan, the man who recruited her to the island. If detonated Jughead caused the fertility problem, well, that's why she was recruited. Causing her own suffering.

Mike said...

Jo,

It coming up this week, so maybe you'll catch something one way or another along these lines...

I can't shake one aspect of the locke/not locke transition. I really think there is a shift somewhere which could just have been a continuity issue of the writers not letting terry know about the man in black yet, but he's so much more convincing in the beginning of the season then towards the end.

The other thing that's been baking my noodle is the ring of ash and the conversation between bram and ilana about the cabin. I'm thinking its possible that a "resurrected" locke (but more in tangible ghost form like claire) removed the ring from the cabin, entered, and at that point was consumed by MM. Something about when Locke says "i'm the same man i've always been" that feels different than the locke talking to ilana saying "i remember dying". Although i don't recall island locke/notlocke touching anyone either, i'm curious if there might have been a divide as well.

Di said...

Dustin,
I think I remember young Ethan being with youngish Ben when Ben took Alex from Rousseau. My guess is that for some reason he did not evacuate and apparently survived the purge.

L. A. said...

Just thought I'd add, the graphic novel / comic that Hurley is reading appears to be "Y the Last Man", written by Brian K. Vaughan who wrote a couple of cracking Lost episodes including 4.09 The Shape of Things to Come and 5.12 Dead is Dead. Although I think he's since left the writing team.

I personally don't think (and hope!) that the writers will touch on an alternative timeline story, mainly because they said they definitely wouldn't in the past (although they been inconsistent with that), and because the S6 promo contains no Juliet. Which is painful, although it does contain Claire!

Having said that, other S6 promo appeared to have every main character ever on it, so who knows.

Finally, regarding Desmond crashing the plane, I still think that can fit in with a pre-ordained pattern theory, just because it was messy doesn't mean Jacob didn't have a hand in it?

Again, a couple of unconvincing episodes here, although I love the life and death of Jeremy Bentham ep.

And your discussion of the eps is ace too, thanks!

Oh, and Locke's note to Jack is amazingly sad.

Patty said...

Ok, maybe someone has already mentioned this, but as I was reading your post, Jo, the thought just came to me. How can MysteryMan be "Locke" and Christian Shepherd at the same time? He is showing Frank and Sun around the old Dharma house, while NotLocke is on the other island with the rest of the 316 passengers. So, if MysteryMan took over Christian's body, why would he need to take over Locke's as well? Or perhaps they are not the same? I'm sure there is some simple explanation, and I just missed it- so I'm sorry if this was explained already and I'm drudging up an old argument. :-) Anyway, great analysis on these episodes, and I hope you enjoy Hawaii!!! I'm so jealous!

Amanda said...

Excellent recap!

Two thoughts:
In rewatching, it struck me that Sun really didn't care for her daughter much at all. The most recent photo she has (which she shows to Kate) is when Ji Yeon is a newborn (and from what I know about new parents, they have eleventy-billion pictures of their kid). It struck me as odd that she wouldn't have a more recent photo. Then there's her obvious lack of parenting skills (she feeds Aaron French fries, candy, and cartoons and then brings him to a potential shoot-out). I think Ji Yeon may evoke too many memories of Jin and just be too painful for her. Which would explain how she could leave her behind so easily.

Secondly, interesting thought on 815 being destined to arrive, but then why did it arrive in such a violent manner? Maybe the plane would have landed in one piece in a nice valley, if only Desmond had been there to push the button. He was a variable :)

Keep up the excellent work!

John said...

Dustin,

In "The Incident Part 2" NotLocke touches Jacob when he kicks him into the fire after Ben stabs Jacob.

Great job on the rewatch Jo. Though I have never commented, I have been an avid reader since the beginning. Keep up the good work.

briguyx said...

Lots of great stuff to chew on in this recap. Some thoughts:

I've always liked the theory that Jack's grandfather is Jack himself grown old, although there's really no evidence to support it. But your thoughts made me think of someone else ready to escape his captivity: the elderly Yorick in "Y: The Last Man" who does indeed disappear one last time in the final issue of the comic. Maybe the scene is a tribute to Vaughan's great comic...

I've always assumed that Rousseau's crew went into the temple and were killed by Smokey, who then took over their bodies. Perhaps MM (who I believe is Smokey) was just intent on ruining Jacob's little experiment early on, rather than figuring out a route to kill him.

Maybe Richard Alpert wanted the body of Paul just to stop him from being inhabited by MM, not to heal him. Although when you're playing a game, when you knock a piece off the board, you do get to keep it...

Here's a wacky theory: we've been assuming that MM and Jacob are equals, but it occurred to me that maybe MM was Jacob's first aide, who didn't work out, so Jacob replaced him with Richard Alpert. Unlikely but interesting...

Eloise's "clever man" could have been Charles Widmore. Remember, when you pay for something, you often get the credit instead of the architects or the inventors...

I often read bloggers who feel Hurley is the key. I don't agree, as he's always been the stand-in for the audience, and the Jack/Locke relationship has always been the heart of the show (Darlton have recently said as much).

You point out how the Others took the wardrobe of the Army, just like Ben's group takes over the Dharma Initiative. That, in MM's eyes, are where they go wrong, leaving the natural life behind...

Finally, I read another recap that pointed out even if Jughead changed the future, the crash of 815 would still be needed to assure Jack and co. to be in the past to set off the bomb. Shades of who first had the compass. So I believe there is some kind of continuous time loop caused by the Incident that MM might not even be aware of. Interestingly, this is what happens in a certain Stephen King book, so "Lost" may be taking things one step further by breaking the loop in Season 6!

brightsidelass said...

Hi there =P
Damon and Carlton confirmed(I think it was in one of their podcasts) that what made Rose think that the noises the Smoke Monster made sound so familiar was just something unimportant. I don't remember exactly what it was, but I the noises reminded Rose of the sounds taxi meters made, or something like that. Sorry if I'm being vague, I read that podcast transcript quite a few months ago *sheepish*

By the way, do air out those theories you haven't shared yet, even if they might seem weird or reprehensible. I won't be brutal, I promise =P

MikeW said...

Think Widmore knew about Tunisia because of the polar bears.

After the purge, but before he left the island, the others must have tried out the Frozen Donkey wheel with one of them (hence Charlotte finding one in the desert).

After he left the island he must have got Charlotte (who was working for him) to investigate reports of them appearing in Tunisia, and bingo she finds one, and with a Dharma collar...

MikeW said...

Also suspect the military found the island via the lamp post just prior to 1954. Hence the photo (and nothing to do with Daniel).

However, how they knew the island existed to build the lamp post in the first place is another question entirely...

Allie said...

I got to thinking more about Caesar after reading your epic post. Who knows, maybe he'll come back to play a greater role in season 6, but even if he doesn't, for such a strong name there could be something important going on.

The best I could come up with so far is the assassination of Julius Caesar - led in part, and most famously, by Brutus. I think the point of Ben killing Caesar was to set up Ben in the Brutus role, thus foreshadowing Ben's stabby assassination of Jacob in the season finale. Et tu, Ben?