Sunday, May 17, 2009

There was an Incident...

It's a quarter to three
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 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?

That's why things went haywire when Ben brought Locke there in Season Three, even though Ben had thought no one would be there because the Others had been told by Alpert that Jacob had moved to the statue's cellar. This was the moment when Locke heard "Help me" from what he thought was Jacob, but might in fact have been Esau who saw a chance to exploit the trust-happy Locke, the future leader of the island, in order to escape the confines of his cabin prison and emerge one day in the form of Locke himself to have Jacob ed. Complicated enough?

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.

Kate, with the help of Juliet, predictably gets Sawyer off the sub and they head back to stop Captain Jack's run. The whole Sawyer-Juliet thing turned out to be pretty real in terms of their affection for each other, but we all know Sawyer and Kate will end up together in the end, right?

Those three love-birds beach their canoe on the same stretch of island where a two other love-birds, Rose and Bernard (aka, the two most boring characters on the entire show), who've been living on Walden's Pond together in serene bliss. They've adopted the attitude that come what may, so long as they're together they're unafraid of even . Ahh, true love. I very much hope that this was the writers' way of saying goodbye to these two dreadful actors/characters. Blah.

Meanwhile, Jack and Sayid were in the basement of an New Otherton home when Alpert knocked his "leader" Eloise out due to her pregnancy. Now was Richard really just worried about Eloise, or did he realize that the baby inside her (Faraday) was necessary to the history/future of the island. How much does Alpert really know? Regardless, he sends Jack and Sayid on their way with little concern about the fact that they were seeking to detonate a hydrogen ...which, if I'm not mistaken, might do some damage to Eloise and her unborn child (and anyone else on the island). Does this also point to Richard knowing how things would play out?

Eventually the two groups meet each other in the jungle after Sayid/Jack are picked up by the Jin-Miles-Hurley triumvirate of fun in the VW bus. Jack and Sawyer have their disagreement as gentlemen, a few fists are thrown, and in what can only be considered a satirical, ironic plot twist, the woman (Juliet) is the clear-thinking one who calms the boys down. Eventually even Kate accepts the idea that Jack is going to detonate that nuke.

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 Follow the Leader, Alpert was building one of those ships in a glass jug things and I believe that was a for sure signal that he was on a ship like that at one point and that the ship was in fact the Black Rock.

-Juliet was really sacrificing when she agreed to re-set the island's time with the nuke because she wasn't on Oceanic 815 and would still be with Ben on the island pining for her freedom and to see her sister again. Juliet will still be miserable. That is, of course, assuming that everything else on the island went somewhat the same for the Others and Ben and Widmore and the rest. I suppose Juliet at this point was just thinking, "This is all so messe up and I think Sawyer still loves Kate so I'm betting the farm on 'Red'."

-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).

-When Jacob says "they're coming", did he mean Bram and Ilana and them...or did he mean there are still others coming. Perhaps Widmore and more of his people? Widmore told Locke when he left the island that Locke needed to be on the island or the wrong side would win. Now that I think about it, Widmore also dismissed Locke when he said that the island told him he would have to die. He couldn't believe that. Christian Shepard was the one who told Locke he would have to convince the rest to come back before Locke turned the wheel, but if that Christian Shepard was actually Jacob's nemesis Esau, then things get more complicated. Man, there are many layers to this show. Almost like the writers don't want us to be able to figure it all out easily, like one can with an episode of Joey.

-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?

-Read here about the Black Swan Theory. If Juliet did succeed in detonating Jughead, this could be considered a Black Swan event.

-One potentially big theory that I have is that, assuming Juliet did detonate the and change things, the "flashback scenes" we saw with Jacob in different castaways' lives will turn out to be the "new" history that is created with the help of a Jacob intervention or two along the way. Perhaps Jacob WAS NOT originally involved in their lives but after the nuke goes off, he is becomes involved to direct them all to the island any way in the future and the "they" in "they're coming" is gonna be Jack, Sawyer, Kate, etc. Not sure how that would all work, but I'm trying to look for a big twist in all that Jacob flashback footage.

-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.

It's been real. It's been fun. I'm off to lie in the shadow of the statue.

Jacob's Loom

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ace of Cakes

The Food Network's show Ace of Cakes made a cake for LOST's 100th episode. Here is a link to more pics of it. Catch the episode if you can, because you get to see many of the actors making fools of themselves eating the cake. Especially Sawyer.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Follow The Lead Blogger


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 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

Show Me Your Variable


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" 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 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 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