Sunday, February 22, 2009

Locke 3:16


316 was easily the best episode of the season thus far, and personally one of my favorite episodes ever. We see that Locke gets new pants (and shoes). Jack's "science" finally gives in to "faith." And Jin's driving that stupid Dharma VW Bus around the island.

The episode's title is both the flight number of the plane the Oceanic Six take to get back to the island and an allusion to the bible verse John 3:16 which is the foundational, core belief of the Christian faith. It's a verse that gets one back to the basics, much like this episode does for the themes/story of the show. The island. Science vs. Faith. Jack's eye being the first thing we see. Etc.

Charlotte Staples Lewis might be a dead character on the show, but Clive Staples Lewis and his theology and fantasy/fiction influence on the mythology and story of LOST is alive and well.

Exhibit A- The new Dharma station The Lamp Post. Also a landmark from Lewis's Lion, Witch, Wardrobe by which the children gauge their own relation to the area that exists between their world and the world of Narnia.

Exhibit B- The theme of "windows" of time/space that allow one to jump between worlds is straight out of the Narnia tales as well.

Exhibit C- Ben's explanation of the Doubting Thomas story to Jack (which was also CS Lewis's nickname among his close friends) hints at Lewis's own conversion story. He was a brilliant atheist and academic who for many years simply could not get his "mind around" the idea of a loving God, of a savior named Jesus, of miracles that couldn't be explained by science. Things changed for both Jack's.

But let's get to the story and more on this later.

Things open with a call-back to Season One and the close-up on Jack's eye as he awakens in a familiar looking jungle. He even hears Hurley calling for help like in the Pilot Episode. But there is no Vincent prancing through the underbrush, so that should have tipped the viewer off that something was different this time. Plus Jack had more gray hair in the opening shots last Wed. night than he did way back in Season One.

Hurley is found in the same lagoon where Kate found the Marshall's briefcase and Nikki/Paulo found their diamonds. He's clutching to a Charlie-inspired guitar case, something we will find out later was needed to help re-create as much of the original Flight 815 crash as possible. Kate is laying near-by looking like she got up (and out) on the wrong side of the plane, and we learn that they are "back" on our favorite island. Now some might say "But why did they tell us so quickly that at least 3 of them got back to the island?" To this I would respond with, "Have you ever watched LOST?" They love this style of story-telling and all it means is that we'll find out more and more exciting pieces of information about HOW and WHY the return happened as it did. The writers are simply letting us know that the fact they did make it back isn't as important as the story that surrounds the event itself.

Next we are led by Ms. Hawking to an under-church Dharma station called the Lamp Post that Ms. Hawking has revealed to be the place that Dharma originally located the island from. The island, she says, is always moving and a "very smart man" developed equations to locate where the island was "going to be" in time. We see pictures from the US Military that are labeled "top secret" so we can assume that either the US Military and Dharma (working together) knew about the island and was in fact involved with locating and going to it....or that Dharma took that info from the government when they started off on their own island plans. What a great line from Ms. Hawking and reaction from Ben when Jack asks her if Ben is lying about knowing about the Lamp Post prior to that day and she says "Probably."

Desmond Hume tells Jack and the others present not to listen to Eloise and despite being warned that the island "is not finished with you yet, Desmond", he bolts. Something tells me we'll see him again real soon, and he won't be happy. David Hume, the philosopher, was a big promoter of determinism and the idea that things are out of our control in this life. Our Hume seems to be breaking with his namesake somewhat and maybe taking some of Faraday's advice that Dez is "special" and that "the rules don't apply" to him.

Moving right along, Jack is told that Locke died to serve as a proxy for their return to the island and that Jack would need to get something of his father's to put on Locke to, again, re-create the original plan crash (with a Christian Shepard in-tow). Doubting Jack, for the first time in a long time, is ready to begin accepting some of the mysteries and miracles that have surrounded him all along. The Man of Science is being forced to see that the Man of Faith had some legitimate points all along. After being called to his grandpa's retirement home and finding a random pair of his dad's shoes before the flight, Jack settles it in his mind that he is ready to take that "leap of faith" Ms. Hawking talked about.

The scene with Ben and Jack in the church was all I could ever hope for in a show like this (and more). I won't break down what they said too much because it was pretty clear from their words alone. But as a Man of Faith myself, it did my heart good to hear in such clear and honest dialogue the story of Thomas the Apostle told to a man (Jack) who has doubted himself (and the craziness surrounding the crash and their time on the island) the entire time. We all lose faith. We all struggle and doubt and worry and suffer. But, as Ben said, I believe we all too are faced from time to time with the reality that there IS something bigger out there. That our lives do have a purpose and that miracles do indeed occur. Now what we do with those profound realizations differs, and some choose to ignore it and to not "get on the plane" as it were. But Jack can't ignore what he's known for some time any longer.

The pieces of the puzzle begin to fall in to place after Jack is instructed by Ms. Hawking. Kate shows up looking like a mess at Jack's apartment and says she's in for an Island Reunion Tour, so long as Jack NEVER asks about Aaron. Someone got to Kate. Maybe she gave him up for adoption or put him in a basket made of reeds and floated him on the Nile for Pharaoh's daughter to find him. Whatever happened, Kate looks pretty shook up about it. She also looks like she's on , which if true, is perhaps in order to play the part of Charlie as the addict on the plane.

Ben calls Jack from the docks covered in and with a bum wing to ask him to pick up Locke's body at Simon's Butcher Shop. Before Ben left Jack at the church he said he was off to tie up a loose end regarding a "promise to an old friend." The safe bet is that this will be in reference to Ben's threat to his old "friend" Widmore, the one where he promised to kill Penny his daughter. This might make even more sense since he called Jack from the docks where Penny's boat would be. We aren't really given any more clues than these in this episode.

Jack picks up Locke's body, puts hid dad's shoes on him, and leaves Locke's in the casket with the smiling bald man. At the airport Jack has to admit to being a "friend" of John's, which was a call-back to the end of Season Three when at the funeral parlor Jack was asked if he was "friend or family" of Locke's. Sayid is brought in hand-cuffed while Jack is talking to the ticket agent of Aijira Airways and Sun, Kate and Hurley are both in the terminal as well. Jack is shocked by the fact that everyone showed up, and even starts to sound like a Man of Faith when he says to Kate on the plane something to the effect of, "Doesn't it mean something that all these people are here on this plane?" Heck, even good old Frank Lapidus is the pilot.

Locke's note finds its way back to Jack who, after given a pep talk by Ben, reads it. John says simply "I wish you had believed me." In the story of Doubting Thomas in the Bible, Christ tells those present after Thomas felt the wounds of Christ for himself that those who believe and did not have to see are "blessed." Jesus had just died and risen from the grave for the sins of mankind and many after that point would believe having never had to see the risen Lord in person. I felt like Locke was saying the same type of thing to Jack here: "I'm glad you are at this point of bringing us back to the island, but I wish I didn't have to die for you guys and that you had just believed from the start."

The white light eventually engulfs the plane and we see Jack/Kate/Hurley back in the lagoon from the opening sequence of the episode. This time, however, it is pointed out that the plane itself is nowhere to be found and that no other survivors are with them. But it is here, before the three of them go out searching for wreckage and survivors, that Big Daddy Jin rolls up in the VW bus and points his Dharma-wearing rifle at the soaked trio. Very interesting....


-Jin, Sawyer, Faraday, Miles, and Juliet got stuck in the 1970's Dharma world after Locke turned the frozen donkey wheel last week. They waited for rescue but eventually decided to infiltrate the Dharma people to find a way to speed up the "getting help" process. That is why we saw Faraday down in the Orchid to start this season. He was trying to find out more about the wheel's time-traveling powers. Assuming his life would be lived on the island, Jin enlisted as a worker as well and was given a van and gun.

-The Island brought Jack and the Gang back to this specific time period for a reason, and I think that reason is to bring Dharma down. To "purge" them, or help set a chain of events in motion that would eventually bring Dharma down.

-This week's episode is entitled "The Life and of Jeremy Bentham". Sounds boring. I wish they'd do more about the dynamics of Hurley's relationship with his dad while they build an old sports car together.

-Kate found the family that Aaron was originally supposed to be adopted by when Claire was flying to Los Angeles. She gave them Aaron and is torn up by that decision after raising the kid for three years on her own and becoming understandably attached. The visions of Claire telling her not to "bring him back" were too much for our forlorn fugitive gal.

-Ben was covered in either because of the Penny theory I stated above, or because he was doing something to set Sayid up for a crime that would somehow warrant his being arrested and on the plane with what appears to be a Marshall (like Kate's situation in Season One).

-The book Ben was reading, Ulysses, is a famous novel by James Joyce that has many parallels to Homer's Odyssey. Here is a fantastic article by Doc Jensen over at Entertainment Weekly about the episode and specifically regarding the placement of this novel in the episode.

-Jack's dad was wearing White shoes when the plane crashed the first time. Locke is wearing black ones. (And NEW PANTS!!!) Backgammon, anyone?

-The "smart man" who developed the Lamp Post equipment might be Faraday in the past. I'm sure there are plenty of loopholes as to why this cannot be, so please tell me why I'm wrong. Seriously. Please do.

I have more to say about this episode, but I'm too busy and sweaty to fit it all in this week. Enjoy the new episode Wed night and feel free as always to post more questions/comments on the blog here below.


John Locke's Dress Pants

Monday, February 16, 2009

This Place is LOST


Jin's time spent floating in the ocean has somehow taught him proper English. The root of Rousseau's insanity/creepiness is explained. Locke (and his pants) take a turn at the frozen donkey wheel.
All-in-all, not a bad episode, if you ask me. This Place is Death was chalk-full of call-backs to season one and hints towards the future.

I'm gonna start by running through the off-island, present-day (relatively speaking, of course), activities of the Oceanic Six. Sun tailed Kate/Jack to Ben and pops out of her car to pop one in Ben's rear. Ben reveals that he knows Jin is still alive, and that Locke told him as much when Ben went to see John. Now maybe Locke was true to his word to Jin and told Ben that Jin was dead and now Ben is just using the ring to manipulate Sun...or he did tell Ben in order that Ben might help John manipulate Sun to come back....or...oh, who cares, right? The point is that Locke is dead, Jin is not, and now Sun knows.

Kate/Aaron and Sayid bolted as soon as things got weird with Sun and her gun, so Ben drove Jack and Sun in his "Reincarnation" van to see Ms. Hawking just in time to bump in to a shell-shocked Desmond. Hawking didn't care for the fact that 4 necessary parts of the Oceanic Six were not present, but says that they ought to "get started" all the same. It sounds like there is some sort of process to returning to the island that is more complicated than clicking your heels and repeating "There's no blog like 'Pants'...there's no blog like 'Pants'." But more on this next week.

Now to the happenings on the Island....

We learn that when Rousseau and her team arrive on the island that it is November of 1988. Jin is understandably confused and wants to go look for his camp. The Frenchies convince him to help lead them to the radio tower where a transmission was already playing on-loop with the numbers being said over and over again. En route, Blackey the Monster of Smoke decides to attack some chick named Nadine and then the leader of the group Montand. One ripped off arm later, and the three other French dudes in the expedition decide to go down the Temple's rabbit hole after Montand (who is doing his best Will Ferrell in Austin Powers impression). Jin stops Rousseau from going in, and good thing because we soon find out that the "sickness" Danielle told Sayid about in Season One was more like some supernatural experience that "changed" even her boy-toy Robert as soon as they went down in that hole.

The scene with Robert and Danielle on the beach, with Jin peeping from behind the bushes, was chilling. Whatever happened to those blokes down in the bowels of the Temple was jarring enough that it freaked Rousseau out to the point of murder and would push Robert to the point of being willing to kill his lover and unborn child. Two of call-backs to season one include the music box on the beach which Rousseau had in her cave-dwelling when Sayid was locked up and tortured by her. Danielle took the ammo out of the gun that Sayid tries to use against her like she did in this episode with Robert. (Girl's got trust issues.)

It seems that Robert and the others who went down in that hole were told what the Monster is ("a security system for that Temple"). Now whether it was the Monster who told them or if there were people down in there (i.e. The Others, Dharma people, Jacob, etc) is left to be seen, but we do know that Ben and the Others know about the Temple and even went to hide there at the end of Season Three and this was referenced again in Season Four. Perhaps Richard was down there, seeing as how he pops up everywhere else (and at seemingly any time). Before we could find out more Robert was capped and Jin was high-tailing it outta there.

When the time shifts Jin finds himself surrounded by Sawyer, Locke and the core time-traveling posse. They catch Jin up on what has transpired using sign language and loud pronouncination of words. They continue their journey to the Orchid, but along the way my girl CS Lewis collapses in a mind-fried stupor for the last time. Daniel stays behind with her and we learn one of my favorite secrets/twists of the entire series: Charlotte lived on the island as a little girl, left with her mother who did what she could to con her into thinking the island didn't exist, spent her life searching for it, and was warned as a little girl on the island by Faraday that she must never return to the island or she'll die....gulp. Wow.

She specifically told Faraday that she "didn't remember something until just now" and then dropped that bombshell on her not-so-secret-admirer. This might speak to the question we all have about time travel: Why don't people remember people they've seen in a flash back? It seems that however it is this time-shifting works, people don't remember events until they are supposed to remember. Not too deep a thought on my part I know, but it's something.

So CS Lewis is dead, but there is more I have to say about that final scene with her and Faraday. For those of you who don't know, I am obsessed with the British author Charlotte shares initials with, and he suffered a great pain/loss in his life. He was from England and his wife was an American who he met later in life and only got to spend a few years with because she died painfully and tragically of cancer. (Note: If you have never seen film Shadowlands starring Sir Anthony Hopkins on this part of CS Lewis's life, you aren't a good person. Go rent/buy it.) There is a heart-wrenching scene in the film depicting the final few moments of his wife's life that reminded me of the final scene between Faraday and Charolette. A Grief Observed is one of the best books by one of the best authors of the past 100 years and is Lewis's own account of the ordeal.

Moving right along, the rest of the group heads to the Orchid with the advice to "look for the well" if the island has shifted them to a time when the Orchid station has not been dug out by Dharma. They find the well and before John descends into its depths Jin makes him promise never to bring Sun and his baby back to the island. Looking as sincere as he can, Locke agrees and falls down and ends up with yet another sharp object through his ravaged legs. And who should appear? Why, none other than our favorite "dead" dad, Christian Shepard (looking like he just got back from a shopping spree at whatever stores middle aged dads in the UP of Michigan shop at).

Old Man Shepard tells Locke that he was wrong to disobey the orders for Locke to move the island and it seems that Ben either manipulated Locke again or made an honest mistake (probably the first in his life should this be the case). If Ben did lie to Locke and knew that he should have let our favorite bald-headed knife-man turn the frozen donkey wheel then this would suggest that Ben wanted to get off the island before things got worse, or that he wanted off the island to hunt down Widmore and Penny and he figured Jacob/the Island wouldn't be cool with that, or that there is still a bigger goal here with Ben who is still working for the good of the island (in some, yet-to-be-explained, way).

Locke is given another chance to get back on the straight and narrow path to Island enlightenment. He asks Christian for help up, and he is refused. Obviously there is some symbolism of Locke needing to do this on his own here, but I also think that Christian is really dead and therefore a spirit (or the Black Monster manifested like Yemi in Season Three) and was also meaning that he literally can't help Locke up.


-Before Charlotte dies she says "Turn it up...I love Geronimo Jackson!" It is a made-up band that the show has been referencing form time to time since Season Two. Check out that link to learn some more about it. She also says, "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner." My prediction is that she will have remembered that specific line because she said it to Faraday who will travel back in time to when she is a child and attempt to talk to her by bribing her with chocolate. Kind of creepy in the real world, but this is LOST, so all bets are off. The big question is: will Faraday still warn her now that he knows he warned her before? Can he really not change things?

-You should REALLY read some of Doc Jensen's review of the episode here at Entertainment Weekly's website. It's a doozy.

-Eloise Hawking was burning a votive candle in the church at the end of the episode. Some of you may know more about them than I, but from what I understand they are used as part of a prayer offering to Jesus or Mary in the Catholic Church. You light one when you are asking a Higher Power for help/protection/etc. The kind of thing one would do before embarking on a very risky trip back to a magical island.

-Charlotte said that her and her mom lived on the island and when they left they never saw their father again. Before she died she blurted out "Why can't daddy come?" Now we know how hard it is for people to leave this island, so I am guessing her mom was "on the run", as it were, from someone. Her mom did what she could to make her daughter forget the place. So either the two of them were bolting because of someone on the island, or another thought that just came to me is that Faraday will go back in time and warn Charlotte's mom who will then do what she can to get her daughter far away. Either that or her dad is Ben and her mom was the little girl Annie that Ben was in love with as a child.

-The Temple and the black smoke, as a good friend and his brother reminded me, have many tie-in's with the Bible. Frequently in the Old Testament God appeared to the people of Israel as a black cloud of smoke. When the Holy Temple was built in the Holy City of Jerusalem God's presence dwelt in the sacred building, and without getting to deep in to all of this, you could say that the sacredness, the specialness, of the Temple was guarded by that cloud-like presence of Yahweh. Any who entered the Temple's inner chambers in an improper fashion or with un-atoned for sin would be struck dead. I could write a lot more here, but the parallels are fairly obvious from what I've said so far. If you are interested in more on this, let me know or read the Bible. I suggest the second option first. 2 Chronicles 5:13-6:2

-Back to Christian Shepard and the various dead people we've seen on and off the island...I still think there are multiple forces on this island. There is Jacob. There is the Smoke Monster. There is what people refer to as the power of "the island". There is the "magic box" that Ben tells Locke contains whatever people desire in it. I'm just trying to show that there might be more than one thing/entity competing on this island. Maybe the Island is different from Jacob. Or the Temple and the Security System for it are some other power. Charlotte screamed in Korean to Jin that he should "never bring her back", which spooked him and led to him making Locke promise. Claire appeared to Kate telling her not to bring Aaron back. But then the island is in need of those people what left to come back to "correct itself." Someone is lying here or there are competing forces sending mixed signals.

That's all for this episode. This week's adventure is going to be called "316" and we're going to see what happened to Locke when he went back and how he ended up deadski. Enjoy.

Montand's Severed Limb

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Little Prince That Could (Time Travel)


I feel like I just did one of these, but I suppose that the show does air fairly regularly now. This week's episode, The Little Prince, is a direct allusion to the French children's book of the same name. In that story, a man is stranded in the Sahara desert with a little alien prince who has crash-landed on earth. There is a lot of interesting LOST-related themes and story-lines, but I don't like French things so although I've read through it, I'll allow you to click that link above and read the Wikipedia summary on your own. Freedom Fries!

I'm gonna keep this post shorter than most, and might end up being all over the place in my thoughts, so bear with me.

Right off the bat, I have to point out that the carpet cleaning van Ben is driving around Locke's dead body in had a name on the side of it that when you re-arrange the letters it spells "Reincarnation." I'm not saying, I'm just saying. I think that is pretty cool and yet another sign that that moron from the Daily Herald couldn't be more wrong about this show and how interesting it is.

Also, Aijira Airways, the airline corporation based out of India that Juliet identifies from their symbol on the water bottle found in the wittled-out canoe, has a website that is up and running now for you to peruse. Something interesting that yours truly found on Ajira's site while neglecting homework, friends, family, and bathing this week was here on the page that allows you to print out a fake boarding pass. If you were to investigate each of the four corners of the ticket you would find the same hieroglyphics that were revealed in the Hatch when the 108 minutes counted down during season two. Those have been translated to represent the concept of "Underworld" or "Hades". Along with that, the Smokey Monster has been called "Cerebus" which was the guard-dog of the Underworld, or Hades. 'Lot going on...

So the focus of the off-island, present-day action is on Kate and Aaron. Kate goes to confront the lawyer who represents Ben (we find out). Ben obviously was trying to make Kate uncomfortable and more susceptible to being talked in to bolting back to the island if she felt Aaron and her were being threatened. Ben knows how to manipulate people like I know how to spend unnecessary amounts of money on Cubs paraphernalia. We saw Kate and Jack sharing a moment on Penny's boat right after they were picked up from the helicopter crash. This is the moment when Kate decided (and Jack agreed) that she should claim to be the mother of Aaron. I loved how later in the episode we saw, of all moments, Kate helping Claire give birth in season one.

Kate even said to Claire something to the effect of "This will be all of ours' baby." I couldn't help but think back to another story-line from season one with the psychic that originally told Claire to never let anyone else raise the baby, but then arranged for Claire to travel to L.A. to give the baby up for adoption. Then there was the moment last year when Claire visited Kate and told her never to bring "him" back. I'm not really heading anywhere in particular here, but all these things flooded back in to my mind during this week's episode. It seems like the island is either sending mixed messages about Aaron (and who can raise him), or that there is more than one entity/group trying to confuse whoever has Aaron in their custody from knowing exactly what to do.

To wrap up present-day events, Sayind avoids another attack (from Widmore's people...I think), Jack and Kate reunite and follow Ben's lawyer to a hotel room where Claire's mom just "happens" to be in town using the same legal counsel as old creepy eyes himself, and Hurley uses his one phone call from jail to tell Jack less than nothing and hang up before he can be filled in how dumb his actions have been as of late. I doubt they let you eat ranch off of potentially poisonous leafs in prison, Hugo. Don't get too excited.

Sun's been hired to kill Ben by Widmore, but (and we'll see much more of this next week it looks like from the previews) she isn't aware of the big Rosseau's stomach-sized bombshell: Jin "Udders" Korean Last-name is alive and sort of well!!! Huzzah! I have to be honest and say that I had sort of hoped Jin was gone for good. It would make Sun so much more mysterious and angry and really make for some good drama later in the season. But oh well. I'll get the tissues for the tear-filled Jin-Sun reunion (with Hurley doing a behemoth cannon-ball in the background) ready now.

Alright, let's get to the interesting stuff back on the island...

Locke and the Gang decide to head for the Orchid so that he can push a wheel and go back to get Jack and his gang. Charlotte and Miles and eventually Juliet all start showing signs of morning island sickness. Faraday says it might have to do with exposure to the island. We're assuming Charlotte is from the island originally, and the fact that Daniel says this to Miles is foreshadowing to my theory that Miles was the Asian baby in the crib at the beginning of this season will come to glorious fruition. I'm actually starting to think that Charlotte might not be the daughter of Ben's GF Annie, but will be the daughter of Ellie, the sassy 1950's Brit from last week's episode. Or maybe Ms. Hawking? If Daniel's mom ends up not being Ms. Hawking, then for sure she is Charlotte's. Or both? Maybe a Princess Leia/Luke Skywalker twist?

The island skips a few times and by the time Locke and the Gang get to the beach, they find canoes with bottles of water from the Ajira Airways, but the Zodiac boat is gonzo. Locke, now in his single-minded element, suggests they "borrow" the canoe and get their move (the island) on. While they are paddling, some mysterious group in the other canoe opens up fire on the time-jumpers. Before they can find out who it is, time shifts again and now it's night and storming. They head for shore and find the wreckage from a ship...which ends up belonging to the crazy French skirt herself: Danielle Rousseau! My girl.

But before all that, let me quickly just say that I loved the scene where Locke and the Gang jump time to the night Boone died, Claire gave birth, and Locke sobbed like me at the Ronald Reagan museum in Simi Valley, CA this past summer. Locke doesn't want/need to go back to see himself in that desperate moment when he called out for the island to give him some hope (maybe even "change" too). He got to this point by suffering through the low moments. I appreciate his character and the personal development he's gone through on this island. He has, for better or worse, resigned himself to the fate the island has in store for him.

Okay, so Rousseau...Wow. I've been waiting since season one to get more info on this chick. I would HIGHLY recommend that you read the link I put on her name just now. There are maps and back-stories and tidbits that you likely have forgotten since Season One. Hers is a remarkably interesting and strange story. The LOST writers have confirmed that we are going to learn this season what made her team go nuts. Here is a page on some theories regarding her and her story.

All the time-jumping stuff can get confusing because the easily asked question should be: "If this was what is supposed to happen, why does Rousseau not remember Jin in the future when Oceanic 815 crashes?" Also, there is some confusion regarding how Jin can be time-jumping as well. It seems to me that he must have jumped off the boat as it was blowing up (or was thrown from it without dying) and that he was in the "radius" Faraday talked about in the Season Five opener. But then what happened to the Freighter? Both the Oceanic Six on the copter, and Sawyer/Juliet on the beach, saw the boat no more when the island moved. How could that be? The boat obviously had to have traveled with the island because Jin traveled with the island...but why couldn't Sawyer/Juliet see it from the beach?

Don't feel bad if you get this stuff muddled in your head, but also don't give up on it yet either. Answers are coming.

-Claire's mom is connected deeper than we know to Ben/Others/Widmore/Jacob/something. I also think it's safe to say now that Jack's dad, along with Claire's mom, is deeper connected. That might be the link for Christian Shepard to the Others or the Island: Carole Littleton. Hurley said "Australia is the key to the whole game" while playing Risk with Locke and Sawyer in Othersville last season. It seems that there is something more important about Australia than other places. So Christian Shepard's connection to the island likely came from Australia. His daughter. Her mother. That crabby aunt of Claire's who chewed the lush doctor out when he visited in Season Three.

-If you want a great LOST-related piece of popular culture to dig in to, check out the 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet. I caught it on TCM around Christmas time this year (and Netflix has it..I checked), and it is based on Shakespeare's The Tempest. Both the movie and the famous play are cited by LOST writers as being heavily influential on their show. The movie version is slightly different and obviously updated to fit a science-fiction tale. Basically, a group of people go to live on a planet, they aren't heard from for many years, and a team is dispatched find out what happened. When the team arrives, they meet one of the scientists sent and his only daughter who are the sole inhabitants of the planet Altair. Long story short, the scientist (named Morbius) used a mind-bending machine that the planet's previous alien inhabitants had created and left behind and now with his mind-power increased, his sub-conscious is attacking anyone who gets near his daughter or the planet in general in the form of a nearly-invisible monster (Smokey?). He has unknowingly created a security system that is responsible for the deaths of people who he even thinks are bad or evil or have the wrong reasons for being on Altair. Rent it. Or buy it. And watch it.

-I think Locke is turning that wheel this next week and will be sent somewhere crazy in the world and will assume the fake identity of Jeremy Bentham to elude Widmore's goons en route to heading back to L.A. to convince Jack's Posse to make a reunion tour of the island. That might all be fairly obvious, but I figured I'd say it anyway.

-Sun will come back to the right side of the force fairly quickly and easily. I might be wrong, and I hope I am and she stays bad for a while longer, because this whole mini story-arc with her being "tough" and "mysterious" will have been the lamest thing since Nikki and Paulo getting spider-bites in the jungle.

-This week's episode felt like more of a build-up for next week's than anything, so I'll stop here, but as always, send your thought/theories to me or please post them under the comments section for all to share and partake in.

God's Speed,

Locke's Nurse Boone

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ain't That a Kick in the Jughead


Ahoy (not Chips)! Well, actually, maybe Chips Ahoy...but only if you were wondering what I just ate for a snack. For the rest of you, just Ahoy!

We’re 3 episodes deep and the story has taken us wide (world-wide, that is). The latest installment of LOST was entitled Jughead and I'd like to start off by throwing some information out at you regarding the name of the episode.

Most of you will recognize "Jughead" as a character in the Archie comics series. What you might not know is that that same character Jughead had his own spin off storyline from Archie called Jughead's Time Police in which our hero traveled in time to "correct disturbances" in the timeline of his friends/family. Hmmm. Not sure what that would have to do with this television show. Probably just a mistake. I heard that these writers of LOST just make stuff up as they go along anyway. At least that is what this loser from the Daily Herald told me in his asinine review of the first three episodes of Season Five.

Oh, by the way, the fullname of Jughead's character is Jughead Jones. Think about which character we met this week had the name "Jones" on his or her uniform...

Jughead was also the name given to the hydrogen bomb that the United States military allegedly placed on the island, presumably in an attempt to destroy it. Our government really did test nukes on island in the South Pacific, and really did name a nuclear device "Jughead" in Operation Castle.

(Do more browsing on Lostpedia or here at Entertainment Weekly's review if the name thing interests you beyond this.)

But on to the review of the episode and some thoughts/theories regarding it....

Let me stick with the Desmond/Penny/Baby storyline to begin with. We find the love-birds on their boat in the Phillipine Islands, with Penny in labor. Dez finds a local doctor (Efren Salonga) who comes to their yacht and delivers Charlie Hume. This apparently was to have taken place soon after the time when the Oceanic Six were found. So when we see Baby Charlie helping his dad steer their ship into the harbor in London, it has been roughly 3 years since that opening scene in the Phillipines.

Desmond sets out to find Faraday's mom at Oxford, but all records of the eccentric physicist has been erased for the school's records. We learn that this desire to white-wash the past stemmed from Faraday's testing not only on rats, but on humans. Specifically, a girl named named Theresa Spencer, has had her mind zapped into oblivion. Desmond tracks her and her sister down in London and discovers that Faraday messed up Theresa's mind and bolted for America. Also, Charles Widmore had been funding Faraday's work for a decade and then picked up the tab of Theresa's medical expenses. I love how the show throw things in like this apparent soft-spot Widmore has to keep us guessing as to who the "real bad guy" is between the two formidable adversaries of Widmore and Ben.

Desmond confronts Widmore in his office to get the last known residence of Faraday's mom, presumably the infamous Ms. Hawking from the end of last week's episode. Widmore gives the info to Dez and seems to genuinely ask him to take his daughter Penny back to wherever it was they were hiding and stay there. This of course is a call-back to the threat Ben levied against Widmore in his darkened apartment last season that Ben was going to kill his daughter to settle the score for Alex's death on the island. Widmore tells Dez that Faraday's mom does not like to be bothered, and that he should deliver his message and then stay out of things. "This has been going on for a very long time," are his exact words to Desmond. How long that exactly is remains to be seen.

And this brings us to the island time-jumpers still stuck on our favorite mystical land-mass....welcome to the 1950's. Eisenhower was president, men wore suits to baseball games, and the best show on TV was whatever your rabbit ears could pick up on one of the three channels in existence.

Faraday, Miles, and CS Lewis are captured by Others, who Juliet identifies as such elsewhere in the jungle by the fact that they can speak Latin (the "language of the enlightened). The three Freighter Folk are led to the Others camp and meet an unchanged Richard Alpert. There has been some skirmishes between the US Military and our favorite creepy island dwellers. The year is 1954 and our government sent teams of special forces (and a nuclear hydrogen bomb) to the island for what seems to be a mission of annihilation. Of course Alpert and the Others (also the name of my yet-to-be-created garage band) killed these highly trained soldiers with bow-and-arrows.

I think that the guns and army fatigues they are wearing all belonged to the soldiers they ended, and that they previously used only things like bow-and-arrows. Maybe this was the first time they had gotten a hold of serious weapons. Maybe that's because they don't otherwise need anything more than what Robin Hood and his Merry Men did to survive in an enchanted woodland of their own.

At any rate, and to make a long story short, Faraday keeps up the facade that they are from the US Army so that he can go and disarm the bomb. Led at gun-point by the British hottie Ellie, he takes a gander at old Jughead and decides that the best course of action is to bury the sucker. This is what will eventually be buried in the original Hatch that we found in season one and explored (and blew up) in season two. If you recall, Sayid and Jack explore under the hatch (called The Swan) and find that concrete and steel have been used to seal something behind a wall. That something I believe is Jughead. Faraday pointed out that if you bury the bomb, things are still alive and partly well 50 years in the future. Now this does open up some questions regarding the Hatch's implosion at the end of season two, but trust me, Jughead was buried there.

The big bombshell (pun intended) of the episode obviously was the revelation that Charles Widmore was in fact an Other at one point. Not to brag (much), but I did call this more than a season ago. As soon as Widmore came in to the picture as someone involved (like in the episode from season three where Ben shows Locke a video with Widmore kidnapping one of the Others back in the real-world), I theorized that the aging corporate Dick Cheney look-alike (always the bad guy, of course) had been an Other and then in season four I suggested he might have been the leader before Ben. Widmore young and old has a real attitude problem. He is very keen on being in charge and, like he said to Sun in the airport last week, he demands to "be respected." He's got all the makings of a wonderful bad guy...but if he is the bad guy, then who is Ben? Maybe they're both bad. Who knows?

We end the episode with one final time-skip for the island, and a bloody-nosed Charlotte passing out in a forlorn Faraday's arms. She is suffering from the same affliction that others on the Freighter died as a result of in The Constant last season. This implies maybe that she will need to find her constant...maybe that mother she forgot the maiden name of.

Let us move now to the thoughts/theories portion of your blog:

-Interesting choice of name for Penny and Desmond's firstborn. Charles, or Charlie, is both the name of a friend who brought the two together by sacrificing his life in the underwater Looking Glass station at the end of season three...and is also the name of the man who drove the lovers apart by messing with Desmond's head and sending him on his harrowing journey to the island via a "race around the world."

-Following that line of thinking...and hear me out here...what if Charlie the baby boy we saw this week is actually Charlie the Hero that one day sings in Driveshaft and crashes on a mystical island, on which he is saved a few times by his father (Dez) from death and then eventually sacrifices his own life in order to bring his mom and dad together. "Not Penny's Boat" might have read "Not Mom's Boat" had he known what I suggest. Now for this to be possible, some time-travel is going to have to take place. And the Charlie we know will have to somehow be separated, abandoned or orphaned by his parents. Maybe placed in the home we saw snippets of in his backstories by a guardian of the whole time-traveling saga, like Ms. Hawking or Charles Widmore himself possibly. If my theory that Adam and Eve from the caves in season one are Desmond and Penny, then Charlie being moved (for his protection) to another family until he was called to the island via Flight 815 would be feasible. Think about it.

-Adding more on to this...when Desmond walks away from Penny in the bedroom of their boat she says "Promise me you won't go back to that island" and after Dez reassures her that he would never do such a thing, he looks back just before walking out. That's a "tell". Trust me.

-I was wondering why it is exactly that the people stuck time-jumping on the island bring some of the things with them when time the Zodiac boat, but not their shelter on the beach...and the best I can come up with is simply that whoever is moving them in time (or whatever force is) wants them to have what they have with them for a purpose. Maybe the little dingy boat will play a role here soon, but the island or Jacob or whoever is pulling the strings wants them to have what they have, be where they be, for a purpose and specific reason. Sort of like the explanation Matthew Abbadon gives to Naomi when she asks why Faraday, CS Lewis, Miles, and Lapidus are picked for the trip to the island on the Freighter in the first place.

-I've recently spent some time re-reading the CS Lewis (the real one) Space Trilogy, and in particular, Out of the Silent Planet. I could not recommend these three books more. But as I'm always trying to piece together popular culture and litertary references from the clues this show leaves behind, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on the comparisons in the storylines of LOST and Out of the Silent Planet.

Lewis's book is about a single man who seeks some adventure to his life and decides to go on what is tantamount to a "walk about" in the English countryside (some Locke connections here). Through a series of bizzare events he is abducted by two men and taken on a journey to another planet (which ends up being Mars) where the two nefarious characters hope to trade him for riches and glory to some of the aliens who live on that planet. The main character, Ransom, escapes his captors on the island and spends weeks on the run getting to know the land and meeting some of the different creatures that live there. He becomes a great hunter. He becomes a leader in many ways. Eventually he is brought to the leader/king of the planet, a spirit-like, nearly invisible entity called Oyarsa that isn't the supreme God of the universe, but something like an angel with great powers to give people what they want or take things away from those who are evil. Think: Jacob. This was all fresh on my mind and figured you guys might find it interesting and if I can prompt you to want to read a CS Lewis book, my work here is done. Read it.

-The fact that the US Military knows about the island could be big. I mean it also might just be a random coincidence that the Army picked that specific island to test out a nuclear bomb and didn't know what they were getting themselves in to with the Others they found. But like all things LOST, there likely is a deeper reason and story behind the military's incursion on to the island. I haven't decided what exactly I think about this, so if you have any good theories, lay 'em on me.

-The sassy (and very cute) Brit chick named Ellie that leads Faraday to the bomb intrigues me. Obviously when Faraday says she reminds him of someone he is referencing the girl Theresa whose brain he fried back at Oxford. But maybe she is someone else....maybe she is Ms. Hawking. I know I said last time that Ms. Hawking is likely Faraday's mom, and the fact that Widmore (in the future) gives Dez an address in Los Angeles to find Daniel's mommy (the same place we saw Ms. Hawking in the basement of a church tracking the course of the island and talking to Ben) points to her in fact being Faraday's mom (and therefore he would likely recognize her, even in the past)....but if LOST is setting us up for a surprise and Ms. Hawking isn't Faraday's mom, then maybe that Ellie broad is Ms. Hawking in the past. She had an attitude of distrust in the 1950's and in the future Widmore says that Hawking is a "very private person" who "won't be happy to see you."

-I thought all the Juliet-related stuff in this episode was great. The way she identified the retro-Others from the Vulgar Latin they spoke was great. The "language of the enlightened" she called it. This speaks to the theme from earlier seasons that the Others were there for more than just sneaking around the jungle. They had "Others 101" training in language and probably many other areas of study. They needed leaders, and this presupposes that a group of people are headed somewhere or have a mission/goal in mind. Also, I did find it interesting that just as Locke was about to tell Sawyer that Ethan shot him in the leg, she interrupted. Maybe there is still more to Juliet than meets the eye. Perhaps her last betrayal of the Oceanic survivors is yet to come. Maybe Ben still has her working for him.

-Best line/moment of the show other than the Widmore revelation was when young Widmore says to Richard that he has no need to worry about being tracked because it was just some "soddin' old man" following him and asks "Do you reall think he knows the island better than me?" Cut to Locke walking out of the jungle. Answer: Yes, I think he does.

Alright folks, that's all I got for now. If I forgot to touch on something you are wondering about, post a comment or feel free to email me and as soon as my Sweat Lodge gets too warm I'll re-emerge and respond to your query.

God's speed,

John Locke's Pants