Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'd give up Italian Beef sandwiches for LOST to be back on the air right now. Well...I'd at least eat a few Italian Beef sandwiches if LOST were back on the air right now. But about two weeks ago something happened that changed my LOST-loving life forever. Let me back up for a minute and say that for the last 3 years I have been a subscriber to the LOST Podcast on iTunes where the show's creator (Damon Lindelof) and co-head writer (Carlton Cuse) break down each episode and answer fans' questions.
Now, the "break down" is never very extensive or helpful in the sense of predicting what will happen on the show, but one of the main reasons I have listened to the thing is because I am fascinated by what influences the people who entertain, education, and/or inspire me. I want to know who C.S. Lewis read. I want to know who taught Mozart. I want to know who first fed Dick Portillo. Well, on this podcast Carlton and Damon frequently discuss the shows, books, movies, writers, and music that has inspired them to create and maintain the best show ever made by humans: LOST.
I'd say more than a few times these guys have mentioned the show The Prisoner, which originally aired in 17 episodes between 1967 and 1968 on the BBC in jolly ole' England. Like most things British, I was skeptical of it, but I do have enough faith in Damon and Carlton to follow through on many of their recommendations. Because of them I've become a Dostoevsky fanatic. I've watched a bunch of random old movies on TCM that they say they draw upon when writing LOST. I've started a weird blog that other weird LOST fans sometimes read.
I assumed, however, that there was little chance I'd ever find a copy of a British television drama that was discontinued the year Nixon first became president.
Back to two weeks ago...I went to my Comcast On-Demand screen to watch a past episode of the second best show on TV, AMC's Mad Men, and saw an option for "The Prisoner-1967." I couldn't believe my beautiful blue eyes. It was about 11pm at the time, and I had Greek Exegesis homework still to do, but before I could stop them, my fingers had clicked their way to episode one of the show and 4 hours later I was left wondering what had just happened to me and why had I been wasting so much of my life without The Prisoner in it?
The acting was a little over-the-top, the special effects looked exactly like they came out of 1967, but the story-lines were unmistakably LOST-like. (Or I supposed I should say that LOST is very Prisoner-like.) Check out this brief explanation of the show's plot and tell me it doesn't sound like the island:
"The series follows an unnamed British agent who abruptly resigns his job, and then finds himself held captive in a mysterious seaside "village" that is isolated from the mainland by mountains and sea. The Village is further secured by numerous monitoring systems and security forces, including a mysterious device called Rover that captures those that attempt escape. The agent encounters the Village's population, hundreds of people from all walks of life and cultures, all seeming to be tranquilly living out their lives. As they do not use names, they have each been assigned a number, related to their importance in the Village's power structure.
The agent is told by the Village authority he is "Number Six", and they are seeking "information" as to why he resigned; the task of doing this is carried by the ever-changing "Number Two", acting as the Village's chief administrator and proxy to the unseen "Number One". Number Six, distrusting of anyone involved with the Village, refuses to give such answers while at the same time trying to learn for which side the Village works, remaining defiant to authority while concocting his own plans to escape or learn more about the Village. Some of his schemes, while not resulting in an escape, do lead to the dismissal of an incumbent Number Two on two occasions. At the end of the series, the administration becomes desperate for Number Six's information, and more drastic measures follow that threaten the lives of Number Six, Number Two, and the rest of the Village.
The series features striking and often surreal storylines, and themes include hypnosis, hallucinogenic drug experiences, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination. A major theme is individualism versus collectivism."
Wow, thats good stuff.
Since that fateful night two weeks ago, I've blown through all 17 episodes (although a few near the end get weird and Number Six is a cowboy or something). And the best part of all is that AMC has already done a re-make of the show and it will be airing over three straight nights starting this upcoming Sunday, November 15th.
Check out this extended trailer:
Of course I don't know if AMC will take a fabulous idea and ruin it, but I doubt they will (or can). The story of The Prisoner is so interesting on its own, they've got two incredible actors in the starring roles of Number Two and Number Six, and its on the same channel that makes Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
So set your DVR's or grab a bowl of Dharma popcorn and get to your TV's Sunday night. After the three-night event I will post some thoughts on the show itself and point out some of the subtle and not-so-subtle tie-ins to our favorite show: LOST.
Until then, God's speed.
-John Locke's Pants
p.s. Check out this time line which helps to better explain the pop-culture history of The Prisoner since 1967.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Here he is winning the award:
And here he is on the red carpet (with another special guest's pants):
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Here's a video from Comic con in San Diego this year:
And here is the commercial that they played at Comicon that has some hints and clues that I believe confirm my theories from my last post back after the season five finale in May. Watch it. Read it. Love it.
Who else is happy to even be thinking LOST in October?
Sunday, May 17, 2009
There's no one in the place
So set 'em up Joe
I got a little story, you outta know
We're drinking my friend
To the end of a brief episode
So make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
Thanks, Frank. I can take it from here. The end of the 5th season of LOST has left me blue, with more than eight months to reflect on the fact that we've only 16 episodes left of the greatest show ever made by humans. It seems like only yesterday Claire was whining about her baby, Charlie was addicted to smack, and that crazy French broad was still slumming it in the jungle. Times and people change, and people who seem to have come back to life really are still . Or are they? And the most important thing of all (to me and my pants) came to light: Locke didn't really turn evil...cause it wasn't him in the first place.
This will be the last LOST re-cap blog of 2009. But I did not come here to bury LOST, but to celebrate and honor what was a fantastic finish. On with the post.
So....Jacob, huh? The guy-behind-the-guy-living-in-the-statue was finally unveiled in this season's punch-to-the-gut-and-brain finale "The Incident" last Wednesday, and although many hoped for some dramatic introduction to Jacob, which reveals that he's really Vincent or that bird that yelled Hurley's name in Season Two, I LOVED the nonchalant intro the island's leader was treated to.
He's weaving tapestries, he's fishing for breakfast, and he's s up in the basement of the remnants of the four-toed statue. We find Jacob enjoying his fresh catch on the beach with what appears to be the slaving ship Black Rock in the island's harbor. Emerging from the jungle is a mysterious character who looks to be dressed in opposing dark colors to Jacob's bright, and by the end of the episode we confirm that the two men are sworn enemies engaged in some moral/literal battle for control of the island (and perhaps the souls of those on it...maybe the souls of the world).
The opening conversation between Jacob and, for the sake of argument, Esau (the brother of Jacob in the Bible, and what I'll call this new character in this blog), is fascinating! Esau accuses Jacob of "bringing" the ship to the island and warned him that the people who come to the island only bring with them fighting, corruption, and destruction. "It always ends the same..." This implies that many other groups of people have come before, but Jacob retorts with the equally cryptic and mysterious "Things only end once; everything before that is just progress." Esau reminds Jacob he wants to kill him, and will search for a loophole to accomplish this dastardly deed.
Now at this point in the series, if you aren't thinking there is some sort of religious/supernatural component to this show, or if you're disappointed that there is, then you'd likely be better off exiting out of this blog and getting back to your Golden Compass reading. For the rest of you, for those of you on my "list", let's continue.
At the center of all the warring between competing groups to control the island is this conflict: Jacob vs. Esau. They've both been there for a long, long time. Even longer than Richard, who said he is the way he is because of Jacob. They both have powers and capabilities above and beyond that of normal island-dwellers. They appear to be exact or near opposites. And knowing what we know now, that Esau somehow took over Locke's body for the purposes of offing Jacob, they both have the ability to bring or draw people to the island and coordinate circumstances (to an extent, anyway).
Without beating too much around the proverbial bush, I think that Esau is the smoke monster. He emerged from the jungle, is dark and mysterious, took on the form of John Locke like the monster has done with characters like Eko's brother Yemi to Jack's dad Christian Shepard, and plus it just feels right to guess this. Now the question really becomes, and where the show is obviously headed next season: Who are the "good" guys?
We know that the smoke monster is largely uncontrollable. Ben could "summon" it, but even he admitted that he had no say over what it did. Ben himself was ultimately judged by it. Speaking of which, remember that it was John Locke Part Deux, evil Locke, after the Ajira crash, who suggested that Ben go for his judgment to the Temple and knew the way there and special things about the island that Ben was amazed at. Come to think of it, when Ben summoned Smokey in that same episode Locke strangely was absent and out in the woods for a never-disclosed reason. And then conveniently when Ben was judged in the Temple Locke disappeared to "go find some rope" and then Smokey told Ben that he needed to follow Locke no matter what. We saw this week how that advice ended up: Jacob stabbed in Esau's "loophole" plan.
In the Temple's basement Ben saw a carving of the Smoke Monster staring down the Egyptian god Anubis as if the two were in a struggle or battle of their own. That Anubis fellow looks a lot like the figure of the statue, where Jacob lives, who happens to be in a struggle or battle with a mysterious man who might be the Smoke Monster...you connecting some dots yet?
Another factor to throw in here is the fact that when Ilana and Bram and Lapidus come to Jacob's cabin in the woods (which was weird that they knew where it was right away), they are alarmed at the circle of ashes around the cabin being broken. In previous blogs I mentioned how that in some mythologies and religions, a circle of ashes around a "spirit" is supposed to be able to contain that spirit. Ilana mentions that no one has used the cabin for a while. We can assume that Jacob at one time lived there, but my theory is that he (or his subordinates) were able to contain Esau (Smokey) in that cabin...until someone or some event (perhaps the "incident") freed him?
So then we think of Jacob's cabin moving around the island last season and the instructions he gave to Locke to "move" the island. And Christian Shepard appearing to Locke saying that he could "speak on behalf of Jacob". Then the whole moving the island, time-skipping stuff would become the work of Esau and not Jacob at all. The visions of people Locke saw along the way (like Horace Goodspeed chopping wood in the forest) were of, and from, Esau. Maybe that's part of why Ben shot Locke a few seasons back, because he knew that the voice Locke claimed to hear could not have been Jacob and therefore became, by default, something anti-Jacob and in need of elimination. Until Ben's meltdown at the end of the finale this week, he was loyal to the island and Jacob it seemed. But then one has to wonder how much Esau has been manipulating people all along. Then, again, comes the even bigger question: Is Jacob or Esau the one to fear?
The case for Esau being the "good" island son isn't too difficult to make, but very easily could be -wrong. Perhaps Jacob is bad or evil and is a mischievous spirit (in human form) and has led all these people to the island to try and prove to God (or whoever) that a utopia can exist on earth with the "right people" (see: the lists...and people being told "you're not on the list"). Let me go through the off-island encounters with Jacob that some of our favorite castaways experienced and continue to flesh out my theory that Jacob might be the bad guy.
First there was Kate as a little getting caught stealing a New Kids on the Block lunchbox. Already the little was sinking her pretty little teeth in to a life of crime, and implicating her friends in it as well. Jacob appears to pay for the lunchbox, seemingly doing a "solid" for a little who simply made a mistake. But what if Kate had been punished at such a young age? Might she not have learned a lesson that would set her on a different path in life? Wasn't Jacob encouraging the self-destructive behavior that eventually led Kate to being a wanted gal and in handcuffs on Flight 815? What looked like Jacob being benevolent or helpful might have been his own selfish plan to orchestrate the crash.
Then there was young James Ford, Sawyer, who was encouraged by Jacob (via him giving young Sawyer a pen) to let the and pain and anger of his parents' tragic /murder fester inside him with the writing of that open letter to the original Sawyer (Locke's dad Anthony Cooper). James' uncle comes up and tried to encourage him to let things go and move on with his young life. Things might have been different had he listened and put his talents to good use in life. He also wouldn't have been on that plane.
Or Sayid's wife being hit by a car right as Jacob asked Sayid for directions on a street corner in Los Angeles. That's what led Sayid to a life of assassinations and more regret and pain and eventually landed him back on a plane to the island. Now the reason my theory that Jacob is bad could easily fall apart is because he could have been doing all those things for noble, right reasons and after a few episodes in Season Six we could see those unfold and realize he had to be doing that to protect the island and/or these people from the evils of Esau (and whoever else).
Interesting to note that Jacob only visited certain people. Sun,Jin, and Jack were some of the others visited. Oh, and of course the Locke visit moments after his pops pushed him out the window, shattering his spine. Locke looks like he is when Jacob approaches him, but after Jacob touches him on the shoulder in what looked like a Vulcan grip, Locke wakes up. Was Locke there? Did Jacob already know that Locke would end up being his killer but came to his aid in that moment anyway? Or was Jacob really wanting Locke to be the island's leader and Esau, using people like Ben (full of anger and resentment), picked Locke to be the one he would use himself as the "loophole".
The most interesting visit though was to Ilana who was wrapped in English Patient-style gauze in some sort of infirmary in God-knows-where-astan. Jacob apologizes for not coming sooner and asks Ilana if she will help him. She and Jacob both are speaking Russian, by the way. Ilana agrees to help and Jacob touches her. He touches her also. We know that she (and Bram and presumably others) are with Jacob and know intel about the island already. Bram had told Miles when he kidnapped him that they were the good guys, the side that was going to win, and that Team Widmore was a losing team.
I assumed at the time that this meant the real battle was between Widmore and Ben for control of the island, but it's fairly obvious now that the real struggle is between Jacob and Esau. So if Bram-Ilana are with Jacob, they knew him beforehand and are potentially "special" beings themselves, or perhaps servants/aids of Jacob's like Alpert. If you've ever seen Highlander (either the movies or tv series), I'm getting that kind of vibe here. If you haven't seen Highlander, you're probably better off.
As far as Alpert goes, my money is on him having been on the Black Rock and we will see flashbacks next season to when he first began to work for Jacob after the crew of the slave ship came ashore. He has been playing island babysitter to the Others and errand boy to Jacob for some 250 years. His premonition that Locke (fake Locke) was "going to be trouble" last week turned out to be spot-on. He was understandably shocked when Locke came back to life, and that's because Alpert knows the island well enough to know that it isn't possible. is , you know.
Above all else, Alpert seems to be loyal to Jacob. Every time island leaders (i.e. Widmore or Ben) go astray or are in need of correction Alpert has been there and it has been at the behest of Jacob (according to what we know right now). Alpert is a prophet of Jacob's, you might say. As was the case in the OT, prophets were usually treated with a mixture of respect and disdain, often ending up martyred for the truth they were bringing the people.
I'll have a few more thoughts on Alpert, the Jacob-Esau conflict, and the line "they're coming" Jacob dropped before being pushed into the fire pit in my Thoughts/Theories section later.
I want to run through a few things regarding what all was happening in 1977, Swan Station explosion times.
One interesting point in need of some extra attention so far as the conversation between Jack and Sawyer is concerned. Jack says that Locke was always right about the island, that this was his destiny. Is that true? Is Locke's view of things legit or has it been compromised?
Locke was led to the island most notably by Matthew Abbadon, the mysterious adviser/lackey of Charles Widmore who Ben eventually shot when Locke left the island. Abbadon had visited Locke right after John broke his back and told him to go on a walkabout, and that he was doing Locke a favor in suggesting it and that perhaps some day Locke would be able to do him a favor. So was Abbadon working for Jacob there or Widmore or someone else when he first visited Locke?
Then once on the island, Locke became a new man, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and everything in between. In the first season he was able to stare down the Smoke Monster and when asked about it, John said: "I've looked this island in the eye and what I saw was beautiful."
But assuming that the Smoke Monster is Jacob's nemesis Esau, the guy who eventually uses Locke's body to bring about Jacob's demise, then most everything Locke was doing up until the time he died off the island was for the good of Esau.
So then Jack has also been duped and was being fed lines from a man being driven by inspiration and instruction from the person/being who wanted Jacob so badly that he was willing to let so much and destruction occur. (P.s. all of that I just wrote is grounds for suspecting that Esau isn't really good, and Jacob is.)
After Sawyer and Jack duke it out, you throw in a couple heart-wrenching scenes as the characters realize they won't know each other if Jack's plan works, and we end up with the climatic "incident" shoot-out at the O.K. Swan Station Corral. Dr. Chang's arm in the orientation films we saw in Season Two looked to be fake, and we got to see why that was (it got caught in a piece of falling debris when the electromagnetic power went haywire).
Phil, the Dharma security dope, gets his just desserts in the form of a 6' iron rod through his chest cavity. I'm not sure if we saw it, but sweet Venus I hope that Radzinsky got it to. But I'm guessing he didn't because the guy who trained Sayid to in Iraq, the dude named Kelvin, said that Radzinsky was with him in the hatch before Desmond showed up via boat race around the globe.
Anyway, Juliet falls to the bottom of the Swan's pit and hits the nuke 8 times with a stone and the screen goes white. For you fellow Soprano's fans, this reminded me of that show's climatic series finale where the screen went black with no follow-up explanation. But this time we get another season of our show to hopefully figure things out and be satisfied.
The debate here will be whether or not the nuke actually was detonated, or if the white flash was simply another round of time-skips. And if the nuke did go off, did it work? Has history been re-written or course-corrected or something else? Remember that the island in 2007 time (Present Island Time) is in shambles. Sun and Lapidus find Othersville run down with no explanation for why things were this way. If the nuke did go off in 1977, wouldn't it have destroyed the entire island more than just some run-down buildings and tumble-weeds? And wouldn't the island have been uninhabitable going forward for a while, what with radiation and all? If the nuke went off, things are drastically different, that much is certain.
Oh, and that was pretty sweet when Locke was revealed to still be in the casket. Wild.
More happened in this episode, but I feel like I've hit the key points. For more re-cap by a much wiser, more well-read man than I, check out this link to Doc Jensen's LOST column over at Entertainment Weekly. I'm moving on to some concluding thoughts and theories.
-In the final Jacob-Ben-Esau scene, Jacob instantly recognizes Imposter Locke as being his nemesis. I mean without a hesitation. That has to be supernatural. These dudes have to be like angels or demons or Greco-Roman gods from days of yore or something. There can't be a purely scientific explanation of what is going on here.
-I loved Jacob's response to Ben the Whiner's diatribe about Jacob's lack of concern for the bug-eyed manipulator. "What about me?......What about you, Ben?" If Jacob is evil, then this was like Edmund in Lion, Witch, Wardrobe hearing from the White Witch's own mouth that she never really cared for him at all, that he was a pawn and had betrayed his siblings and Aslan (the true leader and power in Narnia). If Jacob is good, then what he said could be taken as "tough love" reminder to Ben that the island (and things in general) are bigger than him and his selfish worries about not getting enough attention.
-Jacob tells Ben that no matter what, he still has a choice and can simply walk away to leave the two dudes to discuss their "issues." Ben declines and OJ Simpson's him. There have been many "rules" referenced in the past two seasons, including the rules the precluded Ben and Widmore from each other (and the one Widmore broke by having Ben's daughter killed). Jacob in that final scene when Ben killed him had an air of inevitability around his . He seemed to be asking Ben not to kill him, but didn't seem too distraught when he was. (I also liked the Star Wars, Return of the Jedi-style burnt offering Jacob recieved.) The rule for Esau (in Locke's body) was that he couldn't lay a hand on Jacob personally. But if both he and Jacob are beholden to "rules", it implies a "higher power" still that the men are accountable to.
-One of the biggest mysteries up to this episode was what the answer to "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" was...and this week Richard answers the creepy question with a piece of Latin (the language of The Others, if you remember from earlier this season when young Widmore spoke it and Juliet recognized it). The answer to the question is "Ille qui nos omnes servabit", which is Latin for "He who will save [or "protect"] us all". It's more than fair to assume that this is in reference to Jacob. Richard knew the answer, Richard works for Jacob, Ilana works for Jacob, and Bram is taking orders from Ilana (who seems to be "in charge" of that whole new group).
-The tapestry Jacob was weaving contained a quote from Homer's Illiad that translates to "may the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires", which is familiar to the text of Psalm 20:4. "The Fates" is a term from Greek mythology that has to do with three women who were weavers of history/destiny. There's plenty of symbolism in a timeless guardian angel-type like Jacob being "in to" tapestry weaving. One, off the top of my head, would be that while a tapestry is being woven together, from most angles and vantage points it is hard to tell what the end result will be...the person weaving knows where he is headed with his project...but not until it is all done, or someone gets the right view of it, can the average spectator understand what they are looking at. You like?
-For the sake of time/space here, just read more about the book Jacob was reading when Locke fell out of the window. It was a Flannery O'Connor book of short stories called Evertyhing That Rises Must Converge. She was a unique Christian writer who loved penning stories about lost souls finding redemption in unexpected ways. Very interesting stuff. Specifically, the story in that book called Revelation.
-In Kate's story, another Patsy Cline song is playing, and the lunchbox she tried to steal was placed in the time capsule she and her boyfriend at the time Tom made. The lyrics to the Patsy Cline song are VERY telling and speak to many of Kate's story-lines. Basically it's about a lady who had a man, another woman came along and took him from her, and now she's all on her own. Juliet, anyone?
-Now whether or not I'm right about that theory (or even parts of it), I think it would be cool next year to see how it was that Jacob "brought" the Black Rock slave ship to the island that day we saw him on the beach with Esau. If he does get involved in peoples' lives like we saw without castaways along the way, who else has he brought to the island, and how does he get back to the "real world" to "bring" them to the island? Did he invent submarines and man them himself?
-I might have mentioned this earlier, but the conversation between Ben and Jacob at the end had the tone of Job to it. In that book of the bible, a man is put to the test by Satan who has been allowed by God to afflict suffering (to certain points) on Job and his family. In the end, Job realizes that he is not in the position to question the Almighty about why things happen as they do. Ben obviously hasn't reached that point yet. But the Jacob-Esau conflict running throughout this episode has the God-Satan confrontation from Job feel to it as well.
Okay people, I literally have carpal tunnel now after this post, so I'll stop and bid you farewell from Season Five. We've had a heck-of-a-run this year. Some real answers have come our way and long-standing mysteries have had significant light shined on them. I plan on posting a few things summer here on Locke's Pants about some of the books I'm currently reading (and will read in the next few weeks now that finals are done) that have been referenced in LOST. I just ordered that Flannery O'Connor book actually so I will write a few short things up on any LOST-related books I get through this summer so check back from time to time.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Man, that was good. This is what it's all about, really. The episode before each season finale so far has always done an incredible set-up job, and this week's "Follow the Leader" was no exception. You know it's a pre-finale episode when there are large groups of people traveling together for some ridiculous purpose...in this case, to "kill Jacob." Last year we had various groups traversing around the island before it was "moved". Year before that, the 815 survivors were moving to Rousseau's radio tower and the Others were moving towards The Temple. I love it. I love it all.
This week's is gonna be a short re-cap, so enjoy it while it lasts. Please post more thoughts and questions and comments though below. I'm sure I'll leave some important stuff out, but I'm in a rush and this is a blog on a fake tv show named after an article of clothing of a character named after a 17th century philosopher-economist.
So Faraday is really dead it appears. We picked up this week where we left off last time, with a deadski Daniel laying amidst a gaggle of Others trying to figure out what the heck just happened when Eloise shot her son. Jack and Kate get picked up in the nearby jungle by Charles Widmore doing his best John Wayne impression. Alpert confirms that Widmore and Eloise are lovers (hopefully in the sacred bonds of matrimony), and that, like my Facebook relationship status, "it's complicated." So complicated that the two of them are arguing about what course of action the Others should take. Eloise seems to get her way and after hearing what Jack's plan is concerning Daniel's Jughead detonation plan, she agrees to help.
I will say here that I feel like Eloise has more tricks up her sleeve and isn't really going to be of as much help as Jack thinks she will be. Later in this episode, Sayid wisely (and Iraqily) points out that she could just be using Jack to rid the island of DHARMA. But for now, she offers to lead the way to Jughead through a very cool/creepy under-ground water tunnel.
Kate wants nothing to do with this plan, and even tries to convince Jack to abandon his "destiny" in favor of keeping the history the two of them have made together. This is more than Jack can currently handle, especially since on his watch many people died (i.e. Boone, Shannon, etc). The Man of Science has become a Man of Faith in many regards, but it still feels like Jack is doing all of this just as some alternative approach to dealing with his guilt and Savior-complex issues. Regardless, Kate bolts (with the help of the newly arrived Sayid) and says she will go and get their friends to help stop Jack's history re-writing plans.
The tunnels that are underneath Dharmaville were interesting to me. Why were they built? Why only access through the under-water cave? Why did they put the bomb where they did? Are these tunnels the paths that the Smoke Monster takes to travel around the island? It would seem to me that perhaps this accessibility to Dharmaville is what Alpert meant earlier this season when he told Horace that the sonic fence does not keep "us out."
How in the world will Jack get a hydrogen bomb to go off? Hopefully Faraday has that step-by-step procedure jotted down in his trusty notebook.
Back in Dharmaville above, our castaways have been discovered as impostors. Sawyer and Juliet are being interrogated by the insufferable Radzinsky and that twerp of a man, Phil. Both big dopes. Long story short, Sawyer and Juliet agree to divulge information on the whereabouts of the Others (and Baby Ben) in exchange for safe passage back to the "real world" on the submarine. It's hard to tell if Sawyer really just wants to get out of there with his lady-friend in one piece, or if he's got another plan already in place. For sure now with Kate being caught and thrown in the submarine for a love isosceles triangle, Sawyer will hear what Jack's plan is and be convinced (if he wasn't already) to go back and save the gang (and try and stop Crazy Jack).
Now to the good stuff...
Forward in time about 30 years, we get a taste of the Locke from season one with a boar-clad entrance to the Others encampment. Back in season one Locke had purpose (although he didn't quite yet know what it was) and exuded confidence. That was after going through a "re-birth" of sorts with the whole not being able to walk before crashing thing. There is something different about this new Locke now again ever since he was resurrected from the dead. I mean, different apart from being resurrected from the dead. Is this new Locke going to lose his faith and end up crying on top of a hatch door like the old one did in season one?
As he approaches, Richard is seen building one of those old ships in the glass bottle things. I've heard those take forever to make, and as we know, Richard seems to have no real trouble with having enough time. Locke says he has a new purpose, and needs Richard to help him. Sun finds out from Ben that Alpert is the island's "adviser", or in Godfather terms "consigliere". Alpert confirms for her that Jin and the rest had been on the island 30 years earlier and, sadly, he himself "watched them all die." Bummer.
The errand Locke has for them to run is the aiding of earlier-Locke after he was shot by Ethan in another island time-jump that we witnessed earlier this season. So then the question is "Why did new Locke tell old Locke (via Richard) that he was going to have to leave the island and die?" We presumed when we first saw Locke being told that he'd have to die by Richard that Richard had been sent by Jacob or the island or someone else. This would speak to some larger purpose in John's dying. But for now we have to assume that Locke has been shown other information that confirmed in his mind that he did in fact have to die and go through all that for things to work out. Who showed him that information? Not me.
Ben is either knows much less than we thought before, or is running a good con on Locke to pretend like he doesn't know what all is happening. I'm not sure where I fall on that, but I'd wager a guess for now that Ben still does know more than he's letting on.
Alpert also seems to know less than we imagined he would. Or maybe I should say he knows other things than Locke. John's surprised that Richard didn't know where Locke was the past three years. Locke's been shown more about the island, but obviously not enough to know what Richard's whole deal is.
Eventually the three of them head back, but not before Locke calls Ben out for not having ever seen Jacob before. Ben seems genuinely caught off guard by such a comment. How could this be true? Perhaps Ben really was the impostor Widmore called him out as. But has Widmore seen Jacob? Has Richard? Has anyone? So far we have some weird shadows and noises in a creepy cabin that moves, and a voice that called to Locke "Save me" in season three (in an episode called "The Man Behind the Curtain", no less).
When the three island amigos return to the Others camp, Locke gives a carpe diem-like speech in which he tells everyone that it's ridiculous they've all been "following a leader" who none of them have ever seen. He says he wants to go see Jacob and that everyone is welcome to join him. He disingenuously tells Sun that he's sure Jacob can help them find their friends in the past.
The fascinating thing is that Richard, after hearing all of this, confides in Ben that "John may be a problem in the future." Wow. Richard is all over the place. The man who used Locke to help get Ben out of power, after using Ben to help get Widmore out of power, is now not so sure Locke is the right man for power. What is going on here? Ben then tells John what Richard said, but Locke doesn't seem to care about much of anything any more...except for killing Jacob that is. Phwaaaaa? You gotta be kidding me with that ending line. "Kill Jacob"?
Consider my mind blown. There is a lot more to dig in to here, but I have a hunch that we're about to have a lot of big things answered in this season finale Wednesday so I will wait for my year-end review next week to dig deeper.
A Few final thoughts/theories:
-The Chicago Blackhawks will win their series vs. the Vancouver Canucks, but sadly will fall short of the Stanley Cup against the Detroit Red Wings in the Conference Finals next round.
-LOST's season finale will be really interesting.
-The scenes with Hurley, Jin, and Miles bumping in to Dr. Chang were great. I love how they're allowing Miles the chance to see that his dad did not hate him or his mother. Remember that Faraday, after telling Dr. Chang all his secrets last week at the Orchid station, was asked by Miles why he did in fact tell all of his secrets. Faraday answers: "So your dad will do what he is supposed to do." There's more to what Dr. Chang is going to do then we even now realize. Count on that.
-The title of this last episode is going to be The Incident.
Okay, that's all I got. Finals to study for. Thanks for reading. Please enjoy this week's finale, and tune in soon for the Season Five review before an un-Godly amount of time off before Season Six.
John Locke's Pants
Friday, May 1, 2009
I'm a busy man the next two weeks with finals, so I'm gonna make this re-cap of The Variable shorter and sweeter and bloggier than most. Fantastic episode! The best part of it was the admittedly hard-to-catch allusion to my 4th favorite movie of all-time, Saving Private Ryan . As most of you have realized by now, Jeremy Davies who plays Daniel Faraday was also in SPR. He played the mumbling, cowardly cartographer Upham who ends up being the reason Tom Hanks gets shot in the end. The allusion in this week's episode came when Faraday was handed a gun at the motor pool and said he didn't know how to use a weapon. On a few different occasions in SPR, Upham says basically the exact same thing and the gun he is handed in LOST is the same type of gun he was carrying in the movie. Fun fact? Maybe.
But let's get to it, shall we...
Working forwards in time, we see a young Faraday playing the piano with the TIME being kept by a metronome. His mom, Eloise, comes in and commends him for playing well but reminds him that his gift is his mind, is science, and that he needs to put aside the frivolities of music and focus on his studies. Faraday insists that he can do both, but su madre wasn't having any of it.
I want to just jump right in to the fact that we learn by the end of the episode that Eloise Hawking knew from the time her son was born that she would be the one who kills Daniel. I know this is skipping ahead, but there are a few key points I want to make along the way.
For example, the next scene in Faraday's life is at his graduation from Oxford. He and his friend/research assistant Theresa Spencer are rudely greeted by Eloise and she does his darndest to push Theresa away from Daniel. Now that seems mean, and obviously was, but think of it from Eloise's perspective. She knows that time has to play out as it has...or at least we could say she believes that it does, because we still don't know a lot about what will happen with things like "the incident"....so in her mind, the reality of her son "having" to die means that she would actually in some ways be doing him a favor to push him away from any marriage or family life because that would ruin many other people's lives when Daniel ends up in the past and after coming to the island.
Plus, maybe part of Eloise was pushing Theresa away because she knew what would happen to that poor eventually (see: the whole brain frying thing that eventually makes her a vegetable). Who knows? The point here is that Eloise is a firm believer in the idea that things must play out as they are "supposed" to. Hence, the creepy scene in Season Three when she tells Desmond not to buy the ring and marry Penny. This points to Eloise having more power and information than we might think. By that I mean that she obviously knows more than just big details, like that her son is coming back and will be shot by her...she knew in that scene with Desmond that the guy wearing red shoes would be crushed in a construction moments later. That's pretty specific if you ask me.
So after the graduation scene, Daniel tells his mom that Charles Widmore is sponsoring his research. I'm guessing she knew this already. She gives him the journal that he will use to make the calculations to come back to the island. That journal will, in a sense, be the thing that leads Daniel to his own ...at the hands of his mum, no less. Weird.
The next thing we see in Daniel's saga is the rest of the scene from the beginning of Season Four when Faraday is watching the news coverage of the Oceanic 815 (fake) wreckage being discovered in the Indian Ocean. The woman in the room with Faraday is still undisclosed and I would venture a guess that she is inconsequential, like the lady who was taking care of Miles' mom last episode. Widmore pops (no pun intended) in and offers Faraday a job and the chance to travel to a magical island that happens to have healing powers.
Even his own real dad is pushing him on the idea that Faraday will be able to "continue your research." Everything in Daniel's life from both of his parents has been pushing him in his "work." Obviously Faraday is even more important that we currently realize if his own parents are that willing to push their son this hard and then sacrifice him for the "good of the island." Eloise finds Daniel later playing the piano again and suggests that he take the job and confirms that she'll be proud of the guy should he take the job. Emotional stuff. You can tell that this hasn't been easy for Eloise, but in reality, who cares about her feelings...Faraday's the one primed for a bullet in his spine.
In 1977 time, Daniel returns and quickly makes his way to the Orchid station. Apparently everything he does there, like telling Dr Chang that he's from the future and that Miles is his son, was an act of sorts, designed to set off a chain of events. Faraday tells Miles he did that so that Dr. Chang will "do what he's supposed to do." Faraday, again, knows more than we know he knows. How does he know it? Likely much of what he knows is in that journal of his, but perhaps Faraday has been time traveling more than we know. Or acquired the information from someone else who knows more. Maybe Desmond is that person. Maybe Desmond has traveled through time more times than we've seen yet. Maybe he visited Faraday in Ann Arbor during those 3 years he was gone from the island in 1977 time. Just a thought.
All hell is breaking loose as Sawyer and Juliet's Dharma world is crashing down around them. That moron Radzinsky goes nuts and finds the security dude stuffed in Sawyer's pantry. There is the shootout at the motor pool with Jack-Kate-Faraday before they make haste to the Others' camp. Just wait till my man Horace finds out. He's gonna be livid. Trust me. So Horace.
You can tell that Juliet can tell things won't be like they were between her and Sawyer. Sawyer's idea to "get back to the basics" on the beach was a dumb one to begin with, but admit it...you had a flutter in your stomach because when he mentioned the beach and the way things used to be, you thought of Season One and all the fun we used to have back then with our 815 survivors. But alas, it wasn't meant to be and now Sawyer and Juliet are in some hot water.
Jack is told by Faraday that he was duped by his mom in to coming back to the island. Again, there is more that we don't know yet, like why Faraday is so convinced that Jack didn't have to come back. I think Jack did need to come back and we'll see in these last three hours of Season Five what Jack's role is to play in all this. But you can tell that Jack is a little miffed and confused. He had just started to buy in to all the "destiny" and "fate" that Locke had tried to sell him for four seasons, and now this spaz physicist is telling him it was all rubbish again. Don't lose hope, Dr. Shepard. I predict an encounter between Jack and his dad before the end of this season, which will make it all worthwhile to the troubled spinal surgeon.
Faraday's basic understanding of how time works has changed to include the "variables" of human beings. 1977 is THEIR present, so for these band of time-travelers, the future is yet unknown and unwritten. I think in some ways, if not completely, that theory is de-bunked (at least in part) a few moments later when Faraday is shot by his own mom and he realizes that she knew this would happen all along and had in fact sent her son on the path he was even just then on.
When Jack, Kate, and Faraday get to the Others camp, Alpert is there and seems to genuinely want to help Daniel. He is incredulous when Eloise shoots the poor lad, and defends Faraday before they all learn that he is her son. I think we see here another example of Alpert being kind of his own man. Or...a physical manifestation of the island's power (or Smokey the Monster). He doesn't answer to anyone, apart from Jacob it seems. He goes around people's back to help who he wants (first with Ben when Charles is angry, and then later helping Locke when Ben is angry). Very interesting character, that Alpert is.
We also see present time back in the real world where Desmond has been shot by Ben and taken to the hospital for surgery. Penny is visited by Eloise who apologizes for the conflict Desmond and her have been caught up in. Eloise, however, says that for the first time in her life she doesn't know what is going to happen. Hmmm. This implies that up until that moment Eloise had been privy to information regarding nearly everything that would happen. Like my example earlier about her knowing that the guy in the red shoes would be killed when she talked to Desmond years back. Eloise tells Penny that Desmond's wound is her son Daniel's fault. I think she just means that because of the chain of events Faraday put Desmond on by going back to visit him in the hatch earlier this season when the island was skipping in time, Daniel led Desmond to this moment of being shot and in surgery. But there might be more there than meets the eye. More to Faraday's connection to Desmond, like I was mentioning earlier.
Finally, we learn that Faraday's plan is to blow up The Swan with Jughead and stop the chain of events that lead to 815's crash and The Freighter's expedition. More on this below.
So that's that for the episode itself. Here's a few brief thoughts/theories:
-Daniel counts the beats of the metronome is his head. The total is 864. 108 x 8 = 864. 108 is the total sum when the add up "the numbers."
-Faraday also goes to talk to little Charlotte on the swing set. She says the line about not being allowed to have chocolate before dinner, the last thing she says to him before she dies in the future in Daniel's arms. He thinks he can save her and change things, but it appears to me that this is exactly how it all played out before and nothing will be different. For this to be true, Faraday will have to be raised from the grave, Locke style...or the island will heal him...also Locke style. But then again, if Faraday is right and this is the present for he and Jack and the rest, then Faraday is really and that is that for him.
-Widmore is Faraday's dad, as we learned, and I called that earlier this season. Look it up.
-The way last season ended, with groups of the LOSTaways splitting up to run around the island for big tasks, is happening again. I love the continuity on this show. Almost like they planned it this way.
-Jughead, our favorite nuclear weapon, is the solution in Faraday's mind to all their island, time-traveling troubles. Some theories being tossed around include the idea that Jughead is buried in the "shadow of the statue", like Ilana and Bram have been asking people. I think that the "incident" Faraday thinks is just some electromagnetic energy being released might actually end up being the nuke going off. Not sure how that would work or how the island would inhabitable after that, but we haven't seen the last of Jughead.
-Sawyer calls Faraday "HG Wells", referring to the famous British novelist. Wells' books are classics and many of them have been referenced already in LOST or contain themes very similar to it. For example, The Shape of Things to Come was an episode title from last season, and is also the title of a Wells novel about a future world controlled a single government.
-There is a copy of Wired magazine on Faraday's couch when Widmore comes to visit him. That issue included articles about time-travel, and it was also thrown in there this week because LOST co-creator JJ Abrhams was the guest editor this month of the magazine in lieu of his sci-fi blockbuster Star Trek coming out this month.
There's more to say about this episode, as there always is each week. I'm donzo for now, but if you want/need more info about this episode, please read THIS week's Doc Jensen article at Entertainment Weekly's website. Enjoy it.
Thanks for reading and please leave comments below.
-John Locke's Pants
Friday, April 24, 2009
Man, I missed LOST this week. Here's a little tide-me-over blog from EW's Doc Jensen. Stellar as always. Enjoy.
Oh, and I included this pic, which has NOTHING to do with the article I have linked above, because it is the stupidest thing I've ever seen in my natural born live.
Apologize right this instant, parties responsible for this!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Star Wars. Black-van kidnappings. Hurley's special garlic mayo. What else would one want or need in an episode of LOST? I know it wasn't the show's best effort to-date, but there were some pretty interesting things revealed and we finally got to learn more about Miles and if nothing else I just love seeing those Dharma putzes in their natural habitat. We've heard so much about them and I've wondered/daydreamed so often about them so it's nice to finally observe how they do what they do. I think of it like watching Animal Planet.
But we're not here to quibble over whether or not this week's episode was better than you might have expected it to be. After last week's Dead is Dead, Some Like it Hoth never had a chance in winning us fully over.
Let's dissect the title first. For those of you like me who watch Turner Classic Movie channel, you already know that this is an allusion to the 1959 Jack Lemmon-Tony Curtis-Marilyn Monroe comedy Some Like It Hot. Briefly, the film is about two guys who witness a murder they weren't supposed to see and then spend the rest of the film trying to avoid the not-so-understanding mob boss who wants them dead. The duo disguises themselves and keep lies going the whole time to multiple sets of people. Think: Hurley and Miles getting knee-deep in a Dharma death they never wanted any part of. It's a pretty famous film and has been ranked in many lists as the best comedy of all time. Obviously those list-makers have not seen Monkey Trouble. Classic.
More important to me is the other cultural reference in the title of this episode. "Hoth" is the ice planet that Luke Skywalker and the Rebel forces have their secret base on in the second Star Wars film, 1980's Empire Strikes Back. I'll spare the normal among you the nerdy details, but just know that this show from the start has been clavical-deep in Star Wars references and allusions. Hurley trying to re-write what I consider to be legitimately one of the best movies ever made by humans was very funny to those of us who care about such things. The scene Hugo had written in his Dharma notebook was from early in the movie when Han Solo and Chewbecca shoot down some spy drones that Darth Vader has sent to spy on the planet Hoth. In the real movie, Han Solo shoots the drone. In Hurley's version, Chewey shoots it down. Perhaps one of those "modifications" he told Miles about?
Sticking with the Star Wars thing for one more point, Han Solo is a character who initially does everything he does solely for money. But eventually we learn that he is a smuggler with a heart of gold. His side-kick is Chewbecca, the giant, furry, Wookie-animal-thing. Miles seems to be playing the part of Han in this episode with all the million-dollar demands, but like Hurley (Chewey) points out, Miles really wants to care and wants people to care about him. He's a big softie, just like Han turned out to be.
Alright, on to the meat-and-potatoes of the episode...
We open with Baby Miles and his mom (Lara) moving in to a new apartment that happens to have a comatose dude on the floor a few doors down. And on the microwave in the apartment the time is 3:16. Oh, and not to rub one of my predictions coming true again, but if you check back to my re-cap of the first episode of this season five, you'll find that I predicted Dr. Chang's baby that we saw then would turn out to be Miles. Just like Charlotte, Miles had spent time on the island before his Freighter entrance last season.
Miles "hears" the dead guy, Mr. Vonner, and lets himself in to apartment #4. His mom and the landlord are understandably freaked out, and so were most of us. We never really learn why it is Miles has this talent. I'm guessing it has something to do with his time on the island as a baby/child, and we will for sure learn more about it soon. Or maybe his dad, Dr. Chang, was "special" and passed it on to his abandoned son.
Anyway, later we see an older Miles coming back to the same apartment with his best Rufio (from Hook) impression happening. His mom has cancer now and Miles hasn't been to see her in a while. This is his chance to make amends and get some answers from the mom he knows he likely has hurt both by his absence and lack of style. Cool piercings, bra.
His mom has no definite answers to speak of regarding Miles' past. I mean she tells him that his dad is dead, that he didn't want anything to do with Miles and her, but I don't buy it. I was definitely getting a "I can't tell you more and it's better you think your dad is dead because if you go looking for that island only pain and suffering and time travel will follow" vibe from Mama Miles. Maybe I'm wrong. His dad did seem like a total knob-job on the island, but we also saw Dr. Chang lovingly holding Baby Miles as Regular Miles leered with tears in his eyes from the shadows. My official prediction is that Miles will end up talking to his dad like Hurley suggested and will tell Dr. Chang about the "Purge" that is to come and that will lead Dr. Chang to get his wife and Baby Miles off the island...getting the idea?
Moving along, Miles later in life is now a paid ghost-talker and has been paid a lot of money by a Mr. Howard Gray to commune with Gray's dead son and ask the poor kid if he knew that his pops loved him. In a very Han Solo-like fashion, Miles cons the guy for some bigger bucks and walks off with a heavy conscience under that condescending, smug veneer.
As Miles is leaving Gray's somber pad, he is met at his car by our girl Naomi Dorrit, the chick who parachuted on to the island in Season Three with a copy of Catch-22 and pic of Dez and Penny in-tow. Naomi was recruited by Matthew Abbadon who works for Widmore, and she hired all of the people for the Freighter. She wants Miles to talk to dead people on the island when they get there, because there are so many dead people on that island who have either been killed by Ben or will at least know where he is. How cool is that? What an interesting addition to the story of the Freighter folks.
And it speaks some to the mythology of the island. We know that there are spirits and whispers and what not on the island. That they can be communicated with or "tapped in to" adds another layer to the narrative's cake. And I guess they are confirming that Ben has certainly killed many more people than we even know about.
The way Naomi tests Miles is by having him commune with some not-living guy named Felix. We've never seen or heard of this guy before. What he had on his person when he was killed was the information about empty graves and purchase orders for a giant plane. He was bringing them to Charles Widmore we're told. But whether he was bringing them to Widmore because they were the reciepts of Widmore's doings, or because Felix had gathered intel on Ben (or some other group) who was responsible for the fake Oceanic Flight 815 wreckage. Man, is this interesting or what?!?! I want to know more, and I want to know now! Regardless, Naomi likes what she sees from Miles and offers him $1.6 millon to join the team and Miles readily accepts.
Speaking of wanting to know more...the next time we see Miles off-island he is abducted by what appears to be the same black van Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell used in Old School during their pledge week. The leader of the pack in the van is Bram, the guy from the second island crash in the future. Last we saw him, he and Ilana had taken control of the Hydra Island and were asking people "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Welll, Bram's back at it again and asks Miles the same thing and says because Miles can't answer that, he isn't ready to go to the island. Bram says that Widmore is the wrong wagon to hitch one's star to. He warns Miles against going on the Freighter, and says that if Miles comes with "them" instead, he'll learn everything he ever wanted to know about his powers, his dad, and life in general I suppose.
Miles, playing the tough guy, says he doesn't care, wants more money, and eventually gets escorted from the premises of the van. Bram claims that Miles is on the losing team and drives off. We heard Widmore talk of a winning team when he was at Locke's bedside earlier this season. He said to Locke then that if John wasn't on the island, that the wrong team would win.
Back in '77 Miles gets a call from Sawyer who is returning with Kate from handing Ben over to the Others. Sawyer wants security tapes erased to cover his tracks, but Miles gets distracted and never finishes the task. That distraction is Horace who has an errand for Miles: enter the "circle of trust" and go out to the forbidden part of the jungle and pick up a "package"...dead body, package...whatever. Of course that moron Radzinsky is involved and we learn that the original hatch, The Swan station, is being built on a part of the island where Dharma has agreed they wouldn't go.
This does explain why Radzinsky was so mad that Sayid, who he thought was an Other, had seen the plans for the Swan. But it doesn't explain why that tool gets so hot-and-bothered every time another human speaks. Get over yourself. He's the kid who rats on you in class cause you are playing Drug Wars on your TI-83. I will give him credit though for being fully devoted to Dharma and the Swan station.
So Miles is shuttling and talking to the dead body of a man whose filling in his tooth exploded through the back of his skull due to the electromagnetic forces at work around The Swan. Hurley joins in with his stupid sandwiches and gross facial hair. Han (Miles) and Chewey (Hurley) run the dead body out to Dr. Chang at the Orchid who mysteriously takes the dead guy in to this station and then re-appears and demands to be taken to the Swan. Where did that body go? What weird time-traveling experiments will he be doing on that dead worker's body?
I thought it was nice how Hurley tried to help Miles and his dad re-connect, but all of that spoke for itself and so I won't really be commenting on it. What was clear is that Miles is hurting and wants to re-connect.
Hurley did see "his hatch" being built and the numbers being put on the door to it. He has that look in his eye like he'll do something crazy to try and stop the hatch from being there when Oceanic 815 is flying from Sydney to LA.
Back in Dharmaville, Ben's dad Roger plays the drunken fool and starts suspecting Kate (aka the dumbest girl in the world who has literally the worst instincts imaginable) because she runs her mouth and gives her tell-tale glances. One cool thing was that while Jack was cleaning the class-room and talking to an angry, non-sober, Roger Linus, he is "erasing" some stuff written on the chalkboard about Ancient Egypt. Hieroglyphics, anyone? Erasing the past. Etc. Think about it. Blog about it.
That nerd Phil later confronts Sawyer with the security tape Miles never erased and Sawyer pulls a Season Three and earlier Sawyer move and puches his lights out and asks for rope. It's like Sawyer and Juliet have accepted the fact finally that their Dharma world is about to be changed forever. It was Sawyer saying, "I'm all-in" in terms of being on his friends' side. With that single punch he effectively crossed that line in the sand and joined back up with Jack, Kate, Hurley, etc. I love it.
The finaly note-worthy event was of course Faraday's creepy return on the submarine from Ann Arbor. University of Michigan is where Dharma began. Faraday's been gone for some time according to Sawyer's comments a few episodes back.
- So now we potentially have Team Widmore, Team Ben, Team Locke, and possibly Team Bram/Ilana. Bram and Ilana are obviously not Widmore's people like I postulated before. (Or are they?...They aren't.) They are either Ben's people, and possibly they don't even know it yet which is why they didn't recognize Ben...or maybe they do know him and are all just acting (see: Ben telling them to "have a nice day" in Dead is Dead and he and Ilana and Bram all look at each other kind of funny)...but that might have been because the trigger for this new team to join up are questions like "What lies in the shadow of the statue?", and they were expecting Ben to bring that up when he approached them on the beach. Another alternative "Team" theory, one that my friend JEH helped me with, is that Richard is his own team and has been all along and that Bram and Ilana are Team Alpert. He seems to be playing all these different groups off each other and when he gets in a bind he plays the "Jacob told me to do it" card, which may in fact be legit, but seems fishy to me.
- Bram told Miles in that van that until he knew the answer to that statue riddle he wasn't ready to go. Ben used to tell Locke that until he did certain things he wasn't ready to know. And long ago Widmore (and Alpert now that I think about it) told a young Ben Linus that we was not yet ready to be "one of them". Is everyone in this show a bottle of wine that hasn't yet properly matured?
- I think Daniel joined Dharma with Sawyer, Miles, and Juliet three years earlier (the events we was in the episode LaFleur) and showed that he knew some juicy things about the island and moved up the ranks and was sent back to headquarters (or volunteered to go there) in Ann Arbor. When he gets off the submarine he is wearing the same black Dharma jumpsuit that those working on the Swan Station were. He must have some role in the harnessing of the energy that the Swan is built around. I don't think he's in charge of anything, but I believe that he is using the knowledge he has in the island's properties to gain a spot in Dharma, perhaps get back to the mainland for a while (where maybe he helps build that Lamp Post station his mom knew about and had claimed a "very smart man" built), all in order to find a way to save Charlotte.
- Remember that Faraday told Desmond that he was special, that "the rules" don't apply to him. I'm not sure if I've written this before, and perhaps it is fairly obvious, but this has to stem from Desmond's turning of the key in the Season Two finale. (Think: "I luv ya, Penny") When he woke up in the jungle (nakey) in Season Three he had his special flashy thingy powers. His dreams were magical (and he wore a technicolor t-shirt at the time too...no pants). I believe that was the point where the rules no longer applied to Dez. So the original hatch our survivors found has much more importance than we might have guessed. Maybe the nuclear bomb Jughead isn't really buried there, or maybe it is, but the important thing is that Desmond is important and so is our first Dharma station love, The Swan.
- Desmond is coming back to the island to put an end to Ben chasing his family and Widmore being his father-in-law. Or maybe Widmore will find Penny and Dez now and because of what Ben tried to do, he will be able to convince his daughter and son-in-law to join "his team" and head back to the island. I still want to believe that they will end up being the island's Adam and Eve bones that Jack later finds in Season One in the caves.
- I've been putting this off for a while, but let me tell you a little about the very cool and interesting movie that ties in with LOST. It is Frank Capra's 1937 LOST Horizon, a film about a hidden magical city named Shangri-la somewhere in the snow-capped Tibetan highlands. The story goes that a British diplomat and his brother have been sent to China to make sure that 90 British citizens escape out of the country as a domestic revolution occurs. Robert Conway is the main character and he is a man of incredible intellect and talents. After seeing to it that all the rest are evacuated from the city, Conway, his brother, a scientist, and con-man, and terminally ill woman all get on to a plane together and as they fly to what they think is safety, they realize that the pilot is an impostor, sent to kidnap them and bring them to what they later find out is the city Shangri-la. The plan "accidentally" crashes in the mountains and the pilot is killed in the crash. Terrified that they might die, Conway starts devising a plan for them to survive and even attempts to go for help.
Well it is just then that they discover they're not alone in the mountains and a group of Others-like people emerge and take the entire group back to their paradise land, which is located in a near-by valley tucked away between giant mountains. Even though it is snowing all around them, as soon as they enter this valley it becomes the Garden of Eden. Without getting too bogged down in the details, they discover that the people living there are an enlightened bunch with many of the modern amenities from back home in the West. Some of the men in the group develop crushes on some of the cuter women living in Shangri-la. The terminally-ill woman from the plane discovers that she is cured.
Conway talks to the head guru dude and learns that he and his friends were brought there on purpose because the guru is getting old and wants a wise replacement. Conway initially turns him down and he and his brother (and his brother's new dancing partner Margo) make a break for it to head back to the Real World. But as they get further away from Shangri-la, Margo starts to rapidly age and eventually dies an old woman in the mountains. Conway's brother is distraught and jumps to his death off a cliff. Conway goes on, finds a search party looking for him, and sets sail back to England aboard a Freighter. He has amnesia at first and isn't sure where he's even been the whole time. But soon he does remember and he jumps ship and heads back to Shangri-la to take over as the rightful, benevolent ruler.
So...LOST, huh? Lot in there for you to chew on.
Hope you enjoyed this week's re-cap. Sadly the show is on a two-week break. There is special thing next Wed night, but it isn't new material. Lame. FDR's legs lame.
Take care and stay out of the Temple.
John Locke's Pants
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I mean the guy is still conniving and playing people off of each other. He tells Caesar that Locke is bad, but then steals Caesar's gun and shoots Caesar. He tells Locke he's only there to be judged but then seems to trying to avoid that the whole time. We're even left at the end of the episode wondering whether or not Ben will bite the humble-pie flavored bullet and tell Locke that the island wants Ben to follow Locke's lead from now on.
Regardless, they return to Othersville and find Sun/Frank in Ben's old house, even waiting in Alex's old room. Frank wants to bail and heads back to the Hydra Island. Sun, taking Christian Shepard's advice, follows the newly-risen John Locke and Ben to the Temple. First though, Ben goes in to his secret room, the one where he stored passports and currency that he would use to leave the island (like Widmore had before him), and summons Smokey. Smokey doesn't show, but Locke seems to know right where the trio ought to head. Again, something has changed in Locke since pulling a Lazarus. Even Ben can tell and comments on it. Locke finally gets a chance to really show Ben how he had felt the past two seasons (and really, the past 40+ years of his life), not knowing what is going on and trusting in people (like Ben) who keep letting you down (and trying to end your life).
Smokey also seems to want Ben to come to him. Other times Smokey judged people, like Mr Eko, out in the open, but Ben needs to come to Smokey's lair for his pronouncement. Ben is visibly and understandably terrified of what is about to happen as they approach the Temple.
Ben explains that there was a wall built to keep people out and that the actual Temple is some distance beyond that wall. But Locke knows Smokey isn't above ground, he's under it in the same hole that the French male scientists went down in to and came out "infected" (according to Rousseau). Ben, before going in the hole to test his fate, admits that Locke was right that Ben was there to be judged because he let Widmore's commandos shoot her in the head. In a way, you could say he was also being judged for ever having taken the girl from her mom. (More on this below in Thoughts/Theories.)
Ben and Locke enter the hole and Ben soon falls to another level even deeper in the recesses of the Temple. It appears, from the look on his face, that Ben either never knew about this place or knew about it but had never seen it. The hieroglyphics around the room were very cool. The ones back on the door in Ben's secret room in his house translate to "grief" and "summon." The ones in the Frozen Donkey Wheel that both Ben and Locke have turned stand for "resurrection", and those were also seen on the Temple wall before the pair entered it. Last night, some of the new symbols we saw included what appeared to be a portrait of Smokey facing the Egyptian god Anubis, the god of the afterlife.
Smokey then emerges from the Waffle-fry Stone grate at the base of that picture and surrounds Ben. He is shown a highlight/lowlight reel of his experiences with Alex, including her murder that he could have prevented. The Monster specifically shows Ben the part where he said he never really cared about Alex and that she meant nothing to him. Ouch. Zing. Alex then appears, but she was for sure just the Monster manifesting itself in the personhood of someone Ben was sure to get the message from. That message? STOP TRYING TO KILL LOCKE YOU PUTZ!!!
And here we have it irrefutably confirmed that Ben really did want to kill Locke all along and planned on trying to kill him (and his pants) again. Smokey as Alex makes Ben promise that he will both stop trying to kill JL, but will also now follow him faithfully. If Ben doesn't, Smokey vows to hunt Ben down and finish the job. Ben agrees and we're left with an emotionally-jarred Ben staring at an inquisitive Locke.
The last thing from this episode confirmed my prior prediction that Ilana is working for Widmore. When Frank gets back to the Hydra island he finds out that a few of the passengers have guns and appear to be some sort of sleeper terrorist cell that had been told to ask "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" to discover who else has been secretly sent by Charles. They have some giant case they are protecting and preparing to bring with them to the main island...maybe a nuke to finish the job that Jughead couldn't do? More on Ilana next week as more information comes to light.
Lets get to some...
- Ready to have your mind blown....Rousseau was supposed to have been killed by Ben. Widmore was right. Even her lover Robert, after being in the presence of Smokey down in the basement of the Temple, emerged ready to kill the mother of his child. I think that when those French chaps went down the hole they were shown things and came out convinced that Danielle was supposed to die. Widmore later found this out and sent Ben/Ethan to finish the job. It didn't happen, Ben showed "weakness" (as far as the island is concerned) by not killing her and by taking the baby girl, and in the end fate (Smokey) had its way with both Parisian women.
-The Temple and its wall in this episode has more allusions to the temple and city wall in the holy city of Jerusalem in the Old Testament. The temple was meant only for the people of Israel, with only certain holy men among the holy people allowed in to the inner sanctums. The wall of Jerusalem was destroyed and it was Nehemiah who helped get it rebuilt. Just thought it there were some interesting connections here, so if you have more ideas, please post them for all to read.
- Ben's house, where he found Frank and Sun, was in the same exact condition it had been the last time we saw anyone in it (near the end of last season when Alex was shot in the head). Yet the rest of the Othersville is messed up pretty good. Maybe it was Smokey's attack on the commandos that ruined things and now no one's been back to the town. But things just feel more ominous than that. Where are Benard and Rose and the rest of the beach-dwellers who we last saw running from the flaming arrow attack in 1954? Could they be linked to why the town is decimated? Or are they placing rocks in the sand to spell out HELP?
-Our Mutual Friend got another shout-out this week. That was the name of the Charles Dickens book that Desmond said he would make the last book he ever read before he died back in Season Two. It's also the name of his boat that he and Penny and Charlie live/float on. The writers of LOST said they got the idea to include this book from reading an article by another famous author (can't remember who...and it doesn't matter) who said he wanted to read that book before he died. The story might not have a ton to do with LOST story-lines, but in it a man forsakes his inheritance, conceals his identity and sets out to find out if the woman he was engaged to marry would like him for him...not because he's tough like Dirty Harry or makes her laugh just like Jim Carrey (he's like the Cable Guy). Some other books are shown in the episode on the book shelves of Ben's discheveled home, and those include: Flowers For Algernon, Roots, Uncle Tom's Cabin
- When Ben and Sun are talking outside of Ben's house they hear a noise in the bushes and Ben says "What's about to come out of that jungle...I have no control over" and what comes out isn't the Monster but Locke. Two things: One, this is showing that Ben's control/power over Locke is no more. Locke says a few key lines to back that idea up. Second, Ben and the Others have never had any control over the Monster. But then how does that sonic fence play in to this and how does it keep Smokey out? Especially if what Alpert said ("That fence might keep other things out, but not us") is accurate.
-When Ben summoned Smokey he unplugged some drain and water went down in to a hole. Then he speaks in to the hole, "I'll be outside." This shows some sort of personal relationship he must have with Smokey. Or it's just interesting, compelling writing for the audience's sake. Also important here is the fact that the house Ben lived in (and called Smokey from) was built before he even came to the island with his dad when he was a little kid so that, and that fact there is a sonic fence, means Dharma people must have known about Smokey and even built one of the homes over the room where Monster is summoned from.