Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LOST Episode 6.10: "The Package" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)

Good morning, LOST fans and friends! I am relieved that this episode was so good, because expectations were high following Alpert's Ab Aeterno last week.  

When I first heard that the title of this episode was The Package, my first thought was that it referred to The Backpack. You know, the pack(age) that the Man in Black/Smokey has had on since taking over Locke's body. Oh well. I'm sure that the ladies were hoping the title meant that Josh Holloway would be in some stage of undress yet again.

Here is my one criticism of The Package: I have been as patient as you with regard to the inevitable and long overdue Jin and Sun reunion on the island. Although I loved their flash sideways and the many parallels to earlier seasons, I am frustrated that it didn't happen during their centric episode.

Flash Sideways and Island Convergence Clue?

Before we delve into this week's analysis, I want to see if the rest of you heard what I thought I heard Keamy say to Jin. Because IF in fact he did state the following, I believe we have our very first solid indication that they are interweaving the island experience with the flash sideways:

"I'm going to strap you in, just in case you figure out what's about to happen to the island. I can't have you freaking out."

I replayed that sentence and scene about 10 times. I can't figure out what Keamy might have said instead...

If Keamy was referring to "what's about to happen on the island" in real time, he may have been alluding to the war between Team Jacob/Good Guys vs. Team Man in Black/Darkness...and the later prevailing or leaving the island. So I have to consider Widmore's intriguing statement to Jin that "your wife, your daughter, my daughter, everyone we know and love would simply CEASE TO BE" if "that thing masquerading as John Locke ever got off this island." 

Fate vs. Free Will 

Fate versus Free Will is one of the many concepts hammered into our consciousness week after week, along with Good versus Evil. Add notLocke's latest speech to the overflowing bucket:

"Any one of them could have CHOSEN to come with me. And I am giving you that CHOICE, Sun, right now. I would never make you do anything against your WILL. I'm asking you, please, come with me."

Head Like a Hole

We've been told that the entire story of Lost will not be revealed to have been inside of one character's head, i.e. Hurley's. And yet I can't help but consider that what we're witnessing will wind up being a giant experiment stemming from something that was implanted inside the heads of these characters. There have been very tiny and subtle clues to support this crazy theory along the way, and tonight in particular two stood out to me. 

First, Jack's diagnosis of aphasia following Sun's head injury that resulted in her loss of ability to speak English stood out to me. Aphasia impairs a person's ability to speak, but does not affect their intelligence. This communication disorder is usually associated with a stroke. 

While I do not believe that the final scene of the series will feature someone who know in that state, one of experimental treatments for aphasia is transcranial magnetic stimulation (a non-evasive way to monitor brain activity)...which is also used to treat psychiatric conditions. 

Second, Sawyer's casual conversation with Kate when he asked where she went because "your brain took a little stroll" after she was staring off into space caught my attention. The look on her face resembled those that the characters are experiencing when they look in the mirror during their flash sideways. 

In addition, I thought it was strange that Sun received an accidental head injury on the island while Jin received an accidental head injury during the flash sideways (when Omar rammed him into the door). 

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

In July of 2008, I wrote an article about how the real Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon prison design relates to the island. Ignoring the character questions I presented back then which have since been answered or resolved, I was reminded once again during tonight's episode that the Panopticon is still one of the valid possibilities to explain what we've been watching for six years. In their hotel room, Sun jokingly reassures Jin that "no one is watching us." I beg to differ...

Man of Science, Man of Faith Role Reversal

We have witnessed Jack's slow (but not subtle) shift into more of a philosophical man of faith like Locke; thus, his attempt to convince Sun "there is a reason why we were brought..." On the opposite side of the coin, Locke (as the Man in Black) has now taken on Jack's role, heading out on missions to rescue his people.  

Mirror Moment

Adding to the very interesting list of Mirror Moments occurring during the flash sideways of each character in S6 thus far (6.01 Jack, 6.03 Kate, 6.04 Locke, 6.05 Jack, 6.06 Ben, 6.07 Sawyer), Sun experienced her moment of reflection and/or deja vu while looking in the mirror in her hotel room. Of course this took place moments after asking Jin to run away with her and right before their plans and lives would change forever when Keamy showed up. 

Parallels from Seasons Past

Sun's garden chat w/Jack: In S1 (Hearts & Minds), Jack brings Sun some seeds for her garden, and in S3 (D.O.C.) he chats with here there about her pregnancy.  

Sun's sweater: In S1 (Pilot, Pt 2), Jin insists that Sun button up her sweater on the beach after the crash...the very sweater that she unbuttons while seducing him in the hotel during their flash sideways.

Sun's plan: In S2 (The Whole Truth), Sun made plans to escape from Jin in America. In the flash sideways, Sun made plans to escape with Jin in America.

Sun's head: In S2 (The Long Con), Sun hit her head and was knocked unconscious when Charlie dragged her out of her garden. In this episode, Sun hit her head and was knocked unconscious after running away from notLocke and into a tree.

Sun's loss of language: In S3 (Further Instructions), Locke is unable to speak at all after being knocked out from the Swan hatch implosion. In this episode, Sun is unable to speak English after running into a tree and knocking herself out.

Sun's shot: In S3 (Glass Ballerina), Sun shoots and kills Other Colleen on the sailboat. In the flash sideways, Sun gets shot by Mikhail.

Room 23: In S3 (Not in Portland), Alex took Kate and Sawyer to rescue Karl from being brainwashed in Room 23 on Hydra Island. In this episode, Jin was merely placed there after being taken by Widmore's team. [sidenote: I am still mildly interested in this room for one reason only - the phrase in past tense in the brainwashing video that says "God loves you as he LOVED Jacob.]

Jin and Keamy: In S3 (There's No Place Like Home), Keamy attaches a device to himself that blows up the freighter [with Jin on it] after his heart stops. In the flash sideways, Keamy tells Jin that "the heart wants what the heart wants" right before getting killed by Sayid.

Jin and Mikahil: In S3 (D.O.C.), Jin chases down and fights Mikhail after he stole Naomi's satellite phone. In the flash sideways, Jin fights and then kills Mikhail, who was working with Keamy. 

Twitchy to the Rescue?

When notLocke uttered "whatever happens, happens" - I stood up off of the couch and was very happy, because I feel that it was our hint that Faraday will show up again soon. 

Before tonight and aside from the actual S5 episode title, only Faraday had used the significant catchphrase:

  • To Miles (LaFleur): "It doesn't matter what we do; whatever happened, happened."
  • To Kate and Jack (The Variable): "We can't change the past, can't do it. Whatever happened, happened."
  • To Sawyer (Because You Left): "If we try to do anything different, we fail every time. Whatever happened, happened."

The Writing on the Wall

We all know that notLocke is not the most honest...thing. Both Littleton and Austen are on the cave wall and crossed out. 

When notLocke told Crazy Hair Claire that Kate's number was not on the wall anymore, I interpreted that as confirmation the cave was really his abode rather than Jacob's.


When Ben discovered and then helped an unconscious Sun with a head wound in tonight's episode, I wrote "Irony Alert!" because she was the one who had knocked him out cold with an oar rather recently (as days go, on the island).


Widmore wants to prevent the Man in Black from ever leaving the island, which is why he probably ordered Keamy to torch it (S4). What I don't understand is why he would put his son Daniel Faraday in danger by sending him on that freighter. 

So if Widmore is telling the truth, it would appear he is on Team Jacob & the Good Guys. As is Ben. The entire Ben vs. Widmore rivalry now appears to be a mere schoolyard tiff compared to the pending war between Jacob and the Man in Black. But I seriously doubt that they would spend three seasons building up that battle, only to have it wind up insignificant to the bigger picture. I just can't picture Ben and Widmore working together against notLocke.

I have a strong suspicion that Widmore took Jin for two reasons. First, because he knows that Jin is the Kwon Candidate and notLocke needs him to leave the island. 

Second, because he met and made some kind of deal with Sun off island before she returned via Ajira 316.  

Best line of the night, courtesy of Widmore describing what he knows about notLocke: "Everything else I know is a combination of myth, ghost stories and jungle noises in the night."

It was striking to hear Widmore use the phrase "what's done is done," especially when you look at who has said it in the past:

  • Yemi to Eko (S2, ?)
  • Jack to Locke (S2, Lockdown)
  • Sawyer to Juliet (S5, The Little Prince)
  • Uncle Ford to young Saywer (S5, The Incident)
  • Sawyer to Jack (S5, The Incident)

It certainly appears as if Grandpa Widmore does not give two schillings about the father of his only grandchild. He clearly brought Desmond back to the island drugged and against his will, further damaging an already horrible relationship with his daughter by kidnapping her husband and robbing his grandson Charlie of a father. Way to add to the long list of those with Daddy Issues, Charles. 


Finally! I am hoping that his arrival designates the pending answer to one of the most fascinating unsolved mysteries - why the rules do not apply to Desmond and why he is "uniquely and miraculously special." Widmore is clearly aware of that fact, probably from Eloise Hawking and his son Faraday, and brought Desmond to use as his secret weapon in the pending war. I'm just hoping that whatever notLocke has in that backpack is not a counteragent to the great Scot. 

I immediately assumed, after seeing Desmond, that Zoe was asking Jin about locating the electromagnetic pockets on the island because Widmore has plans for Desmond to possibly deactivate or negate that energy (with his special powers and/or instructed by Faraday). Doing so would allow the island to be found with ease, prevent further crashes and incidents, etc.  

Like many of you, after Lighthouse I speculated that Wallace (the crossed out name connected to number 108 on the lighthouse wheel) might be Desmond because Sir William Wallace was a Scottish hero. Although I am unable to explain why Hume is neither on the cave wall or the lighthouse wheel, perhaps his 'special' status is the reason why he able to was listed under a different last name. 


I found myself stuck on Ilana's statement that "Jacob has never lied to me before," because I am convinced that her role and their relationship will prove to be salient in the end. In the last episode (Ab Aeterno), Richard told her that "everything he ever said is a lie." So either Ilana is extremely naive or will wind up being the most sane voice left on that damn island.

I like Ilana for a variety of reasons, one of which is that although she'll "have" Ben (Dr. Linus), she still doesn't trust him. Case in point:

Ben: "Why won't you believe me?"
Ilana: "Because you're speaking."


I believe it was Damon or Carlton who confirmed in recent interview that Austen was indeed on the cave wall but crossed out. However, Austen was also on the lighthouse wheel but was not crossed out there. So if we believe that the cave belongs to the Man in Black, it seems he really is through with Kate and notLocke may allow Claire to go after her before leaving the island. If that cave is Jacob's, however, I'm not sure what disqualified her as one of his Candidates.

That discrepancy also throws an interesting twist into notLocke's assertion that "the only way we can leave the island is if all the names that haven't been crossed off go together."

I will reiterate that we should not be at all surprised to find out that Kate is the variable in the grand scheme of things, the one that notLocke underestimated and the one who may wind up helping to save them all.  


I have learned to shield my eyes from the bottom of the screen during the opening credits, because it drives me crazy that we are spoiled at the beginning of episodes when they list guest stars. Thus, I was not expecting to see Patchy and loved that Mikhail appeared in the flash sideways. 

Much like Jack's appendix scar in Lighthouse (which many of us thought was a clue that the flash sideways world co-existed with the island timeline because Juliet had removed Jack's appendix in S4), it was exciting to see that Mikhail lost his eye in the fight with Jin during the flash sideways. If this Mikhail is anything like the one we know from the island, he is going to survive those gunshot wounds. I'll bet you $8. 


In the S4 finale (There's No Place Like Home), it was established during Sun's confrontation with Widmore that he and Paik are business associates. In the flash sideways, Jin is delivering a watch and cash for Mr. Paik to Martin Keamy, who worked for Widmore in the original island timeline. I am simply pondering whether or not they are business associates in the flash sideways, and if that is at all relevant to the end game. 


I laughed out loud when notLocke told Widmore's crew on Hydra Island that "I come in peace" because some fans actually fear an alien reveal on Lost.  And, of course, he uttered that phrase during an episode that happened to be cross-promoting V on screen. 

[sidenote: I know that the promotional V countdown clock during this episode of Lost bothered many of you. But don't blame the new show; keep in mind that the ABC marketing dept. has a job to do - they are responsible for promoting their shows, and the network is counting on the Lost audience to embrace V.  Thus, I understood their placement.] 

When notLocke stated that "I don't like secrets," I found myself yelling at the TV, "neither do I - WTF is in your backpack?" Seriously. Remind me to get some sleep after this show ends in May.


I wonder if Naveen Andrews was thinking "kill me now" while filming every episode following Sundown. Because that's the look on Sayid's face, and most of the fans are predicting that he will not make it out alive. I have loved this character from day one, and it is actually painful to see what he has been reduced to. To be frank, I feel that they should have killed Sayid off when his story appeared to come full circle a few episodes ago. But I do hope that I am dead wrong (pun intended) about his fate. 

So because Sayid was virtually injected with 2 cc's of The Dark Side earlier this season, he doesn't feel anything, such as "anger, happiness, pain." Obvious the same goes for Darth notLocke, who tells him that it "will help you get through what's coming." How is it that Claire, who was probably also dipped in the hot tub time machine of healing horrors in the Temple, has resisted a full transformation? She is clearly still angry, among other emotions. 


Let me get this straight...after getting Touched by an Angel (Jacob) at their wedding, then struggling in their marriage and to conceive, Jin and Sun finally get pregnant after crashing on a magical island. In the flash sideways, however, they fall in love and then Sun gets shot. While pregnant. And a suddenly sensitive thug-for-hire delivers the unfortunate newsflash to Jin that, just as Sawyer had said, "some people just aren't meant to be together." 

File under: Destiny IS a fickle bitch.


Zoe is Widmore's Juliet. Ben employed/used a very smart woman on the front lines, and Widmore does the same.  

That Zoe is a geophysicist gives me hope that they may finally address one of my long standing Lost obsessions, the island's dormant volcano (click here to read my updated ash & volcano theory, as it relates to the Spring in the Temple).  In addition to vast knowledge about the earth's magnetic field, geophysicists tend to also be quite versed in the areas of volcanos and springs... 

That wraps up my initial analysis of The Package. While I always have the best intentions to post a follow-up article every week, I will stop promising one because I my schedule has prevented me from having the time to do so.

As some of you may have read on Facebook or Twitter yesterday, I announced that I have joined the team at AOL TV and will be covering a variety of shows for that site. It is a very exciting step in my career,  but I want to reassure you that I will be multi-tasking and that this site is my number one priority until the end of May. I will continue to post Lost episode analysis and news here every week, as well as contests.

Speaking of contests, have you entered to win a Lost tee yet? I am giving one away in conjunction with the CafePress Lost T-Shirt store. And in case you missed it - I posted the unedited audio of my interview with Elizabeth Mitchell for your listening pleasure. 

Thank you once again for your time, incredibly supportive words and thought-provoking comments. As always, I encourage and appreciate constructive feedback, and look forward to reading what you thought about this episode. 


Monday, March 29, 2010

Getting LOST with Elizabeth Mitchell. In Person.

As most you know, I had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth Mitchell two weeks ago on the set of V in Vancouver for TVovermind. While I posted her thoughts about playing Erica on V earlier tonight, I wanted to share the entire unedited interview with you. It should come as no surprise that almost all of the conversation focused on Lost, and she was more than happy to talk about her role as Juliet. 

Those who know me or read this site regularly are very aware that I am a huge fan of Mitchell's and Juliet is my favorite character on Lost, so my enthusiasm is rather evident when you listen to the audio (two words: fast ramble). It was a tremendous joy to speak with her, as she was extremely open and friendlier than anyone I've ever had the pleasure of interviewing in person. In my unbiased professional opinion, the best way to describe Elizabeth Mitchell is delightful. 

We had a few minutes to chat about Lost off the record before the interview, which I appreciated and will respectfully keep to myself forever. On the record, Mitchell addresses everything from the love quadrangle to Juliet's death scene to working with Josh Holloway and Michael Emerson. 

Please note: there are very MINOR spoilers in this 7 minute interview. What Mitchell alluded to did not surprise me and should be obvious to Lost fans who pay close attention to dialogue and details; on a spoiler-ish scale of 1-10, I rate this conversation a 3. Given my spoiler-free policy on this site, I wanted to give you fair warning; click to listen at your own risk:

At some point in the near future, I will post a transcript of this interview. However, in the interest of preventing someone from 'accidentally' reading it and getting spoiled, I chose to post audio only at this time.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Want to Win a LOST Tee? Let's Discuss Your Finale Plans

UPDATE: We have a winner! Would the lovely person who has named themselves Shoes McCoat please email me - you've won a LOST tee from CafePress! Thank you to all who entered - I have several Lost tees to give away in the next two months, so you still have a chance to win one. :) 
CafePress, one of my favorite pop culture product sites, has partnered with ABC to allow fans to design and sell Lost themed tees. As a result, there are some incredibly creative and funny shirts for sale that I highly recommend you peruse in the CafePress Lost T-Shirt store

The lovely folks at CafePress sent me this fantastic tee to illustrate just one of the many designs available. And they recently rewarded the winner of the Lost tee design contest with a trip to Oahu!

If YOU would like to win one of the Lost tees featured in the CafePress Lost T-Shirt store (and live in the U.S. or Canada), simply leave your answers to the following two questions in a Comment below by Thursday, April 1 and one winning entry will be drawn from a hat: 

  1. Which fan-designed Lost tee from CafePress is your favorite? [name or link]
  2. Where are you planning to watch the Lost Series Finale on May 23, 2010?

Thank you in advance for participating!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LOST Episode 6.09: "Ab Aeterno" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)

As far as I'm concerned, the entire series could have ended with this episode. That sums up how much I absolutely loved the ninth hour of the final season. 

In the interest of time and desire to provide more content than photos, I am not using any new screen grabs in this post. 

So let's untether ourselves and smash a bottle of analysis wide open together...

Meeting the Man in Black...

I found myself laughing out loud after the last scene, as one week ago I was sitting in a bar in Vancouver with the Man in Black, Titus he was drinking wine. Seriously. It does not get more surreal than that. 

I know that many of you get frustrated that I never share spoilers, but there is NO way that I will ever share what Titus and I talked about with regard to Lost. When I do get spoiled, and obviously I can't complain when it happens under amazing circumstances, it is my choice not to ruin the Lost experience for others. 

Ab Aeterno

The title of this episode is Latin for everlasting and eternity. In the S5 finale (The Incident), Alpert told notLocke that "I'm this way because of Jacob" and we are finally treated to the scene where that took place. It seems as if Jacob simply touched Alpert, which we've seen him do to others who have come to the island. Although those people are all still alive, they have aged. So Jacob's magic touch must have varying degrees of efficacy.

THE Conversation, Part 2

The S5 finale scene between Jacob and the Man in Black was, without a doubt, one of the most significant and overanalyzed in Lost history. And now we have a very illuminating second conversation to add to the collection:

J: "I see you got my present."
MiB: "Don't gloat, it doesn't become you."
J: "So you tried to kill me."
MiB: "You expect an apology?"
J: "No, I guess I'm just wondering why you did it."
MiB: "Because I want to leave. Just let me leave."
J: "As long as I'm alive, you're not going anywhere."
MiB: "Now you know why I want to kill you. And I will kill you."
J: "Even if you do, someone else will take my place."
MiB: "I'll kill them too."
J: "Here...something for you to pass the time. I'll see you around."
MiB: "Sooner than you think."

The Devil Wears Nada

They used the words Devil and Hell so frequently in this episode that I'm strongly considering them to be red herrings. It almost seems too obvious, especially given that the creators, producers and writers of this show have emphatically stated since the beginning that the island does not represent Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. 

  1. "We're all dead. We're not on an island, we never were. We're in Hell."
  2. "The devil awaits you in Hell."
  3. "I see the devil."  
  4. "The island is guarded by the devil."
  5. "We're dead, both of us. We're in Hell."
  6. "I Hell?" "Yes, I'm afraid you are."
  7. "There's only one way to escape from hell; we have to kill the devil."
  8. "The devil betrayed me and took my body, my humanity."
  9. "Are you the devil?"
  10. "Think of this wine as what you keep calling Hell."
  11. "You have to stop him from leaving the island. If you don't, we all go to Hell."

Let's not forget Anthony Cooper's statement in S3 (The Brig) right before Sawyer killed him in the brig...of the Black Rock: "You're sure it's an island? Little hot for Heaven, isn't it? If this isn't hell, then where are we?"

Fight Club

As I recently stated, giving all credit to my friend Jack from the Jay and Jack podcast for originally suggesting it earlier this season, it now seems entirely plausible that Jacob and the Man in Black are one in the same. 

When the Man in Black said that "the devil betrayed me and took my body," I got goosebumps. The Man in Black took Locke's body, and now I feel as though we must consider whether or not the real, original Man in Black actually looks like Jacob. Or if they are the same person, obvious representatives of good and evil in everyone. 

The Game

Although it is an unpopular notion with many, it is hard to argue that the island is nothing more than a board upon which the players in the game change over the years. The one consistent aspect of this game has been the dangling carrots that always seem to tempt and test a player's fate and free will - loved ones. Ricardo only wants to see his wife again. Jack only wants to see his father again. Claire only wants to see Aaron again. Juliet only wanted to see her sister again. And so on. 

I Write Sins Not Tragedies

"The man who sent you to kill me believes that everyone is corruptible because it is in their very nature to sin. I bring people here to prove him wrong, and when they get here - their past doesn't matter....I wanted them to help themselves, to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in?"

Jacob's statement sums up exactly why certain people are pre-determined/destined to come to the island, and at this point the most obvious Candidate (who has proven to have the best grasp of right vs wrong) is Hurley. But taking a look back at the 7 Deadly Sins of those who are still alive...some are more character flaws than actual sins:

Hurley: gluttony and sloth (his weight led to deck collapse that killed 2 people) 
Jack, Jin, Locke: pride
Kate, Sayid, Sawyer: wrath (murder, torture, etc.)
Sun: lust (affair)

In Your Eyes

In S1 (White Rabbit), Locke described his first encounter with Smokey, "I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful." In this episode, Ricardo described his first encounter with the Man in Black (as Smokey), "I looked into his eyes and all I saw was evil."

Locke's words of wisdom on the beach in the Pilot episode still ring true and have proven to be crucial to the overall series: "Two players, two sides; one is light, one is dark." 

Inside Joke

When Alpert gave the Man in Black a white stone from Jacob, my (very observant and much smarter) better half wondered out loud whether or not they exchanged the black and white rocks with every round...when Jacob saves/spares a soul and the Man in Black takes one away, for example. 

Whomever the Adam and Eve skeletons wind up being, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that each represented opposite sides and perhaps killed one another; one from Team Jacob and one from Team MiB. That a set of black and white stones was found with their bodies is clue number one. 

Loophole Failure, Pt 2

The Man in Black gave Ricardo the exact same instructions for killing Jacob that Dogen gave Sayid for killing the Man in Black earlier this season (Sundown). Plunge the dagger in his chest: check. If he speaks, it is too late: check. Both Ricardo and Sayid failed, but neither the Man in Black nor Dogen seemed particularly surprised. Why? Because they come, they fight, they destroy and they corrupt, but it always ends the same. 


In Book 2 of John Milton's masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, Satan travels to a 'new world,' confronting Death, Sin and Chaos along the way. Upon arrival, he engaged in war with God. Sound familiar? 

Red Red Wine

"Think of this wine was what you keep calling Hell. There are many other names for it too; malevolence, evil, darkness. Here it is, swirling around in the bottle, unable to get out because if it did - it would spread. The cork is this island, and it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs."

I loved Jacob's use of the wine as an allegory for the island, and was instantly reminded of the Moriah Vineyards wine that was produced at the monastery in Scotland where Desmond met Penny in S3 (Catch 22). Incidentally, Moriah Vineyards is an anagram for Harmed Visionary. Given Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron getting rescued on a helicopter, which led to Charlie's sacrifice...we only have a few episodes left to discover whether or not Des is in fact a harmed visionary. 

Team Jacob

Raise your hand if you think that the brilliant writers on Lost are closet Twilight fans.

Two episodes ago (Dr. Linus), Hurley asked Alpert if he was a vampire. In this episode, Jacob revealed that "no one comes in unless I invite them in."  As you may or may not know, a vampire is not allowed to enter a home unless invited in by the owner. 

If the Man in Black's real name is ever revealed to be Edward...I might be among the very few who would find that very amusing. For the record, I'm not on either Team Jacob or Team Edward, just as I'm not a Skater or Jater. 


Ladies and gentlemen, they have introduced us to yet another locale featuring a significant volcano and accompanying mythology. Ricardo and Isabella lived on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, which happens to house Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world. Legend has it that a devil abducted a god of sun, held him inside of this volcano and then when the tables were turned...the god prevailed and the devil was locked inside the volcano. This particular devil was frequently portrayed as a mythical creature or a

In addition, Alpert lived on or near El Socorro, which (in reality) is a volcanic sand beach. And, of course, the Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries is located on Tenerife. Perhaps that is where Faraday used to holiday...  

Did anyone else notice that the homes in the village (where Ricardo went to the see the doctor) were yellow? One might say 'canary yellow.' [sidenote: yes, I am aware that they simply filmed the exteriors in New Otherton/Dharmaville. I'm just having a bit of fun.]

That's the Way the Statue Crumbles

File under: not how I expected. Clearly the water levels were very high during that storm, which explains how a ship can topple a statue and how it might land in the middle of a jungle when the waters recede. However, I am only disappointed because in my crazy mind...the ship wound up there after the island disappeared and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when it emerged again. 

Visual Parallels

In S1 (Walkabout), boars were heard in the fuselage as they heading to the deceased passengers for food. In this episode, a boar was in the Black Rock doing the same.

I don't know about you, but I saw a visual nod to the Tree of Souls in Avatar. The bench where Ricardo buried his wife's necklace sits beneath a giant tree that we've never seen before, and given that it also serves as a meeting point for the Man in Black...alluding to it as a tree of souls seems rather appropriate now.


Ricardo's promise to his dying wife, "I will save you," was so reminiscent of Jack's constant desire to 'fix' people. 

When I saw the vial that Ricardo took from the doctor to save his wife, I literally jumped off of the couch because I thought it was the same one he later brought young Locke in the foster home as part of that infamous test. Doh! Looking at the vial on the table in front of Locke, it appears as if it contains sand rather than the substance in Ricardo's vial. 

When the priest refused to forgive Ricardo for his sins in the prison cell, it reminded me of Ghost Yemi's appearance to his brother Eko right before Eko was killed by Smokey. Unlike Ricardo, Eko expressed no guilt for his sins; thus, smote by Smokey. After Ricardo confessed his sins with great guilt, he was spared (from death, but being chained in a ship that winds up marooned on an island from hell turns out to be almost as bad). 

When Ricardo yelled out "I was wrong" to no one in particular, I thought about Locke's "I was wrong" admission in the S2 finale (Live Together, Die Alone) after he stopped pressing the button and right before the Swan imploded. 

Can we finally lay to rest the lingering mystery about why Alpert appeared to young Ben looking like Captain Caveman after a bender back in S3? I think so.


Although we did not see him in this episode, Widmore is quite significant because we saw him purchase the Black Rock first mate's journal in S4 (The Constant) at an auction. This ledger belonged to Tovard Hanso, who must be related to Magnus Hanso, the man who bought/spared Alpert's life and seems to have owned the ship as well.   

We were first introduced to the Hanso name in S2 (Orientation), when Jack and Locke watched the Orientation film that revealed how the Dharma Initiative was "funded by an experimental psychology research group, The Hanso Foundation." 

Later in S2 (Lockdown), we discover the blast door map in the Swan, which contains the following phrase in the bottom right quadrant: 'known final resting place of Magnus Hanso/Black Rock."

So what does all of this have to do with Widmore? He must have seen the Black Rock on the island before being exiled, and probably bought the journal to see if it contained information that would assist his journey back there. Widmore and Hanso seem to have two things in common: wealth and boats. Both have had vessels crash on the island as well... 


He is still a Candidate, but it certainly seems as though he is the new Alpert in an advisory role to Jacob. So I have to wonder if he does get off the island...will be return and report to whomever the final Candidate is?


My first thought after tonight's episode was that her mysterious injuries occurred during preparation for her journey to the island. I had always assumed that Ilana had been to the island before, but now I'm not so sure.  


During the episode, I referred to her as notSalmaHayek. 

In my eyes, Ricardo and Isabella give Desmond and Penny a run for their money in the sentimental-couple-to-root-for department. 


It was subtle, but I think that I now know why Jacob appeared was wearing gloves when he went to see Ilana in the hospital, yet was dressed normally and without gloves to everyone else we've seen him visit off island. Shortly after their initial chat about the six people that Jacob needed her to protect, Ilana appeared to be fully healed. You may argue that an unknown amount of time had passed but I seriously doubt that Jacob waited around for several days or weeks while she finished healing normally. 

My theory is that Jacob wore the gloves en route to those he needed to touch, to avoid healing/directing/saving others he merely encountered in his travels; he took off the gloves, touched Ilana and healed her wounds quickly. 

I am struck by the violent arrivals of both the Black Rock and Oceanic flight 815 on the island. It seems that Jacob can summon them, but not control how they actually arrive. And yet no matter the vehicle, he determines who lives and who dies. 


Very few have been spared by Smokey, and now Alpert can be added to this elite list. Much like he flashed and scanned Kate and Juliet in S3 (Left Behind), and the "beautiful bright light" that Locke described after his first encounter in S1 (Walkabout), Smokey appeared to have assessed Alpert's past, present and future before deeming him worthy of use at some point. 

The only slightly baffling line of dialogue in this episode was delivered by the Man in Black to Ricardo on the Black Rock, "That probably means that he has her. You know who." Given that Ricardo had been chained on the marooned ship and not met anyone else, I am not sure who they are referring to...

When the Man in Black said "it's good to see you out of those chains" to Ricardo for the first time (chronologically, as notLocke said it to Richard earlier this season), I had to wonder if Alpert had truly not seen the Man in Black since that time. 

That wraps up my initial analysis of episode 6.09, Ab Aeterno. As we wind down to the final few episodes of the series, please allow me to reiterate how much I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to read my theories every week. Without your feedback and support, this site and my posts would not be the same. Every week, I look forward to your thoughts and theories almost as much as new episodes. 

As always, I encourage constructive Comments. Apologies for not providing follow-up posts after every episode; those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter are probably already aware that my travel schedule this year has been rather busy and random, and I have not had as much time as I would like to dedicate to this site every week. 

Take care, my friends! Namaste.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LOST Episode 6.08: "Recon" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)

Good evening, LOST friends. I appreciate your patience - below are my initial thoughts and theories about this week's episode, Recon. I have to admit that it was delightful to have several hours during the day to contemplate, research and write about the episode rather than staying up all night for once. :)

To be honest, while I loved all of notLocke's scenes and dialogue, I was a little disappointed in Recon and Sawyer's flash sideways. That being said, I need to watch it again because I am a bit distracted and focused on other shows while here on location in Vancouver. 

My biggest gripe is that there was potential for more relevant crossovers in the flash sideways; Ana Lucia or her mother working for the LAPD with Sawyer and Miles rather than Charlie's brother Liam appearing, for instance. My second biggest issue is that it was a waste of opportunity to have Charlotte merely reappear as one of Sawyer's conquests. Rebecca Mader may have been thrilled to return, but I believe she and her character deserved better. 

Obviously certain aspects of the show depend on the availability of the actors, but I rarely address what I do not like about episodes and I am no longer going to keep it to myself. 

My plan is to re-watch the episode this weekend and post a second round of analysis, as I will be traveling yet again and anticipate plenty of time both up in the air and while in Atlanta.

Ajira 316

I know that the presence of this plane is not new, but I can finally reveal what I saw during our private press set visit in January; this video and these photos were considered spoiler-ish until now, as no one really knew that the plane would come into play again. The very talented construction team on LOST built this to-scale half of a plane from scratch specifically for S6, whereas all previous footage of Ajira was CGI.

By the way, I don't know if Widmore's crew killed the remaining 316 passengers or if notLocke took a quick side trip to the Hydra and took care of them himself. Although Zoe pretended to be one of them, I don't necessarily believe that she and Team Widmore were the ones who did the deed. Although that scene reminded me of the Other Purge in the early 90's, this one had far more of a creepy zombie vibe.

Cage Match, Part 2

Detective Ford pins Kate, but this time Sawyer is arresting rather than caressing her (S3, I Do). 

Episode Parallels

The Long Con (S2)

Just as Cassidy saw right through Sawyer's attempted con after sleeping with him, in the flash sideways Ava was also onto his game. Of course the tables have turned in this version, as does the outcome.

Ana Lucia and Jack discussed forming an army, just as the war between notLocke and Widmore seems to be taking shape.

Sawyer lied to both Jack and Locke, took the guns from the Swan hatch and hid them, declared on the beach that he was the new sheriff in town and that he was not taking orders from either Team Jack or Team Locke. Sawyer is certainly playing both teams right now, but is not truly part of either. Every man for himself, indeed. 

Sawyer told Kate that "you run, I con; tiger don't change its stripes." It seems, at least for now in the flash sideways, that he is a tiger with alternate stripes.  

Although he was referring to Charlie at the time, Sawyer said that "it looks like Johnny Locke's got himself a nemesis." In addition to Widmore, notLocke appears to have an army of enemies now.

Sawyer told Charlie that "I'm not a good person - never did a good thing in my life." 

Locke took responsibility for teaching Michael how to shoot a gun, much like notLocke took responsibility for Claire's behavior.

Every Man for Himself (S3)

In Recon, there were two great visual parallels back to the S3 scene when Ben first shows Sawyer that he is on Hydra Island; one between Locke and Sawyer, and then between Locke and Kate.

Tricia Tanaka is Dead (S3)

Sawyer told Kate that when he was sick as a child, he watched Little House on the Prairie. As seen in this episode, some things never change. It was touching to see adult Sawyer still so affected by Mr. Ingalls' talk with his daughter, including Lost specific statements like "people aren't really gone when they die; we have all the good memories to sustain us until we see them again."

LaFleur (S5)

Dharma Sheriff Jim LaFleur and his deputy Miles are now LAPD Detectives Ford and Straume. 

In his flash sideways, Sawyer's magic word is LaFleur. {love that, nice touch}

Horace informs Sawyer that there is a sub ready to take him and his friends off of the island in 1974. In this episode, Sawyer plans to use Widmore's sub to do just that.

Sawyer brought Juliet a single flower in their Dharmaville home (S5, LaFleur), just as he brought Charlotte a single flower after he botched their first date.

Growing Pains

Medically speaking, it is my understanding that growing pains primarily refers to pain the legs of growing children. I just love how notLocke described it, because John Locke loses the ability to feel his legs at all.

I Want to Feel the Car Crash

I do love lists, and now we have yet another car crash to add to the collection:


  • She and her mom got into an accident after arguing, resulting in her mother's coma (Par Avion)


  • Hurley crashed his beloved car after fleeing from Ghost Charlie and being chased by the LAPD (The Beginning of the End)


  • When Shannon's father and Sarah were in a head on collision, Jack chose to operate on and save the life of his future wife (Abadoned)
  • He was about to jump off of the bridge when a car crashed after spotting him there; he saved the driver's life (Through the Looking Glass)


  • Her ex husband was hit and killed by a bus in front of her...after she made a snide remark about it happening (Not in Portland)


  • While on the run with the help of her childhood ex Tom, they crashed and Tom was killed (Born to Run)
  • While driving in the rain, the Marshal crashed their car after veering away from Kate's infamous black horse (What Kate Did)
  • Farmer Mullen, who was pretending to help Kate, crashed down the side of highway after being chased by the Marshal (Tabula Rasa)


  • Emily Locke was hit by a car, causing her to prematurely deliver baby John (Cabin Fever)
  • Locke was hit by a car confronting his mom in a parking lot (Deus Ex Machina)
  • Locke's dad Anthony Cooper was in a car accident and woke up on the island (The Brig)
  • Locke was hit by a car after speeding away from Abaddon's murder (The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham)


  • Michael was hit by a car in NY before flight 815 (Special)
  • Michael tried to kill himself by crashing his car (Meet Kevin Johnson)


  • Although not a crash, Christian Shephard opens his car door into Sawyer in Sydney (Two for the Road)
  • Kate crashes into his car as he was talking with Miles (Recon)


  • Nadia is killed by a hit and run in front of Sayid as Jacob distracts/saves him (The Incident)

The Land of Submarines

There are myriad possibilities for what or who is behind the locked door on Widmore's sub. My first thought was that it was yet another 'magic box' metaphorical storage locker holding someone significant to the past of someone on the island (a la Anthony Cooper to Locke). 

My second guess was that perhaps Widmore needed Desmond to finally return to the island but once Des' information proved to be correct...Widmore locked him up and gagged him. However, given that Des is his grandson's baby daddy, I doubt it.

My third guess was that Widmore used his son Faraday and his baby mama Hawking to return to the island, and that one of those two were locked up. 

And then I gave up guessing, because all of those options are rather ridiculous.

LOST Book Club

We saw Sawyer read Watership Down on the island, but there are some very interesting parallels to the current power struggle.  A group of rabbits are seeking safety and a new home after avoiding death (including, yes, via poison) and are lured to an oasis of sorts that proves to be a trap. Ironically, they rely upon the female rabbits to ensure their future as a society...something that the island has prevented for many years.

And frankly, some of the lines from the book speak volumes in terms of comparisons to and influences on Lost:

  • "He felt that the darkness itself was alive and hated him, and it never changed, never slept, never spoke. All it had to do was wait for it to go mad, to break down, to give up and surrender. Then he would have lost, and the implacable darkness would have won."
  • "Rabbits need dignity, and above all the will to accept their fate."
  • "They altered what rabbits do naturally, because they thought they could do better."
  • "We all have to meet our match, sometime or other."

LOST Movie Club

In addition to the obvious Indiana Jones analogies, I was amused by Sawyer's reference to Bullitt. For one, the lead character is a police lieutenant who purposely misplaces a deceased body (Christian Shephard) and chases a female suspect who uses various aliases (Kate). In addition, a significant character in the film is Walter Chalmers...Charles Widmore's initials in reverse. 

Mirror Moments

Although the producers have been insisting that the flashes sideways are NOT glimpses into a Parallel Universe, there have been purposeful nods to mirror images of each character thus far. In addition, each moment takes place after interacting with a very specific person in each of their flash sideways lives that affects their moral compass in a more redemptive direction...

  • 6.01: Jack in the airplane bathroom, after meeting Desmond on 815
  • 6.03: Kate in the mechanic shop bathroom, after dropping off pregnant Claire on the side of the road
  • 6.04: Locke in his bedroom bathroom, after Helen referring to him meeting a spinal surgeon  as "destiny"...and right before tearing up Jack's card
  • 6.05: Jack in his hallway, after noticing the appendix scar AND Jack in his son's bedroom, looking at photos of them together and deciding to go to his performance
  • 6.06: Ben in his microwave, making dinner for his ill father, whom he is looking after
  • 6.07: Sawyer in the locker room, after being confronted by Miles for lying...and before punching the mirror

No Man is an Island

When notLocke explained to Kate why he killed people in the Temple ("They're convinced that they're protecting the island from me, when in fact all I want to do is leave. So it's either kill or be killed. And I don't want to be killed."), I started thinking about the two sides in the pending war. 

Charles Widmore has finally returned to the island, although I am still not sure whether or not he aims to truly protect/rule it or sink it. And then there are two other categories: 
  • those who want to leave the island: Frank, Hurley, Jack, Jin, Kate, Miles, notLocke, Sawyer, Sun 
  • those w/unknown intentions and wishes: Alpert, Ben, infected Claire, Ilana, infected Sayid
I strongly believe that this entire war and its outcome will determine whether one lives the life we see in the Flash Sideways or whether one is forever stuck on the island; regardless of who is on opposing teams, they will ultimately side with either Jacob (Free Will/Choice) or the Man in Black (Fate/Force). 

War Games

The instructions that notLocke gave to Sawyer before sending him to Hydra Island seem to be key to the game that both he and Jacob have been playing all along: "You tell them whatever you need to tell them to gain their trust. Find out everything you can about them and then get back here."

Also of significance to the larger picture in this pending war was notLocke's question to Kate: "Have you ever had an enemy, someone that you needed to hate? Very powerful, isn't it?" as well as his admission that he gave Claire "something to hate" to "keep her going." 


In the flash sideways world, Locke and his father have a good relationship, but obviously he is not aware of his dad's criminal ways. 

By the way, one of my favorite Lost anagrams combines Anthony Cooper and (one of his other con names) Adam Seward: Sawyer, the con man, a poor dad.


I am very conflicted about Widmore. On one hand, I'd like to believe that he has finally returned to the island to save the remaining 815 crew because his son Daniel Faraday pleaded with him to do so (after all, it is Faraday's fault that Jack detonated Jughead, setting off a series of events that brought them back there) did his son-in-law Desmond.  Now that Widmore is a grandfather, is it possible that his perspective and agenda have changed?

All credit to Alan Dale - it is hard to get a read on who's side Widmore will land. The obvious choice is that he has been working with the Man in Black the entire time. And it would be strange if he winds up being one of the Good Guys, an assertion that his nemesis Ben has always made claim to. 


It was nice to see Red again, and not as a zombie. But her comment about getting to "travel quite a bit to far off and romantic places" made me wonder if flash sideways Red was born on the island and still searching for her roots. 


"Now Aaron has a crazy mother too." Squirrel Baby Mama, Party of One.

All joking aside, I am really enjoying Emilie de Ravin's performance this season. Although I was scared that she was actually going to stab Kate in the back when she went in for a hug after a teary apology, I was quite touched by that scene. 


I was riveted, listening to notLocke reveal that in his former shape - as the Man in Black - his mother was mentally ill: 

"I know what you're going through mother was crazy. A long time ago, before I looked like this, I had a mother just like everyone. She was a very disturbed woman, and as a result of that, I had some growing pains; problems that I'm still trying to work my way through, problems that could have been avoided HAD THINGS BEEN DIFFERENT."

This is quite significant, given that John Locke's mom Emily spent time in Santa Rosa Mental Institute for schizophrenia. 

Of course I have to wonder who the Man in Black's father is. 

I am also very curious about exactly how old the Man in Black might be, and if his mother's mental illness was never treated or cured because remedies/treatments for such conditions had not yet been created or were available in earlier centuries.... 


I really hope that their flash sideways episode will be extraordinary, because like most of you - I've grown tired of Jin and Sun merely being on screen to unnecessarily remind us that they're searching for one another.


Given that Kate was married to a police officer in her previous life, I find it ironic and very entertaining that flash sideways Sawyer turns out to be a police detective. 


We found out that in the flash sideways, Miles has a girlfriend. My first thought was Ana Lucia, given that he works for the LAPD. But I simply cannot picture them together. And this is probably not an angle to focus upon at this point in the Lost game anyway. 

Do we know if Miles has his I Speak With Dead People abilities in the flash sideways? If so, that would be one way to cut corners to finding clues and solving investigations. 

Seeing Miles as a detective, I was reminded of his comment in S4 (Confirmed Dead) about having a buddy at the police station. I'd always speculated that it was Big Mike, Ana Lucia's former partner. Alas, Michael Cudlitz is busy on Southland now...but I will never give up such silly speculation about trivial comments and characters.


Terry O'Quinn had some of the best lines ever as notLocke in this episode, including:

"I'm the Smoke thing."
"Well, nobody's perfect." (in response to Kate's "very insightful...coming from a dead man."

Creepy Cult Leader notLocke (with Emma and Zach) and Stern Father notLocke (with Claire) were equally disturbing.


Miles mentioned that Charlotte worked at the museum with his father. So are we to glean that Dr. Chang has a PhD in art history rather than theoretical astrophysics? If so, I have a feeling that he is an expert in hieroglyphics interpretation...


Just as Claire declared that "I'm not the one who needs to be rescued" in Sundown, Sawyer stated that "I don't need saving." 

In addition to simply wanting to get the hell off of the island on a sub, you know that Sawyer must be thinking about how he talked Juliet into staying for two more weeks rather than getting on that sub in 1974...which turned into three years and ended with her death.

Although Sawyer obviously still has very strong feelings for Kate - evidenced by his reaction to her dress in the cage - I believe that he really feels that "some people are meant to be alone" (What Kate Does) and that "I ain't with anybody" (Recon).

I got goosebumps when Miles asked Sawyer "do you want to die alone?" because both Kate (S3, Every Man for Himself) and Juliet (S5, The Incident) have uttered the infamous "live together, die alone" statement to him. Sawyer also told Jack that "you don't get to die alone" in the S4 finale (There's No Place Like Home). 

I love that although notLocke admitted that Sawyer was "the best liar I ever met," he seems to actually believe him after the Hydra recon. Perhaps the part of Locke that was "amenable for coercion" still exists in notLocke. 

Although he is clearly still a tortured soul pursuing the man responsible for his parents' death, I am fascinated by his admission that "I got a point in my life where I was going to become a criminal or a I chose cop." This is yet another redemptive flash sideways, and I am excited to discover which version of James Ford will be the last. 

Best Sawyer line of the epsiode: "Take me to your leader."


I don't even want to address my favorite character, as I feel like we are now simply awaiting his death because every possible storyline and outcome has been presented. I hope I am very wrong.
Thank you so much for checking back in this week, and for not spoiling me at all on Facebook and Twitter! I always appreciate constructive feedback, so feel free to leave Comments below. 

I encourage all of you to tune into Jay and Jack's 30 Hour Podcast for Autism Speaks this weekend. Beginning Saturday at noon and running continuously until 6pm on Sunday, Jay and Jack are raising money for a fantastic cause by auctioning off items and speaking with a great variety of Lost and pop culture friends in the process. You will be able to make donations, listen and watch the Podcast streaming live online for the entire 30 hours. I will be a guest from 11pm EST - midnight on Saturday, if you care to follow along or participate at that time. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!