Thursday, February 25, 2010

Show Me Your Lighthouse

You may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?

You may ask yourself

Where does that highway lead to?

You may ask yourself

Am I right?... Am I wrong?

You may say to yourself
My God!... what have I done?

Time isn't holding us
Time isn't after us

Time isn't holding us
Time isn't holding us

-Once In A Lifetime (Talking Heads)

Jack has a kid, Hurley has an invisible friend, and Claire does a hatchet-job on an Other...

The 5th episode of Season 5, Lighthouse, was a Jack-centric tale that was full of surprises, new faces, and bloody ankles. As I was cruising in my phat ride earlier today, I heard the Talking Heads song I have an excerpt from above, and I thought it couldn't be more appropriate for LOST as a whole, and specifically this season so far.

Time isn't holding the story of LOST, as we are being treated to peek into the lives of our favorite castaways both in the here-and-now, and also in some side-by-side, alternate reality.

Jack saw his beautiful house, and didn't like that Jacob had been Peeping Tom-ing him all this time.

My God! Jack, what have you done to those mirrors? Eeek!

I'll stop now.

I thought Lighthouse was a splendid episode and really helped move the story of Season 6 along. As usual, let's take the two story-lines separate from each other.

Off-island (co-reality):

Because the original crash in Season 1 happened in September of 2004, so we can safely assume that it is September 2004 in this alternate reality. Jack is still a doctor, as we know, but what we didn't know is that he has a kid. A boy. David. King David. David vs. Goliath. David the SHEPARD Boy. Getting the reference yet? We have Christian Shepard. Jack Shepard. And now David Shepard.

But who is the mother of young David? Who is Jack's ex-wife? My money is on it being Juliet. The episode in Season 4 when Jack has his appendix taken out, it was Juliet that did it. I know it's not a lot to go on, but have some man-of-faith.

Jack's kid is a piano prodigy, but is afraid of disappointing his old man. David sneaks off to play for the Williams Conservatory. Thankfully Jack is good at spying on people (see: calling every number in his wife Sarah's phone), and he tracked his kid down at a big tryout. He bumped into Samurai Dogen, whose own son was waiting to jam for the selection committee. Dave and Jack made amends and Jack said all of the things that his dad never got to say to him before boozing himself to death in The Land Down Under.

There's more to dissect (I guess) from the off-island story-line, but I don't feel like getting in to it. It was interesting, and I'm excited to see who David's mom is, but it was all fairly self-explanatory. It was nice to see Jack make good with his son. That's always good to see, even in a tv show.

On-island reality (the good stuff):

Things kick off with Jack staring at himself in the pond outside the Temple. What do you see Jack? Dogen comes out, they chat, and the most important thing to come from that exchange was when Dogen said if Jack had tried to leave, he'd have had to stop him. Why? Why can everyone else leave (i.e. Sawyer, Kate, Jin), but Jack's departure is such a big no-no?

Later in the episode Jacob says to Hurley "Jack's here to do something." We can assume that this "something" is special and unique and more important than whatever minimal service Jin is serving. Jacob said as much.

Hurley is hungry and heads to get a snack when who should appear but Jacob the Stabbed. He directs Hurley to recruit Jack for a special mission to the Lighthouse. He tells Hurley to tell Jack "You've got what it takes" and the Shepard Man is on board for a little jungle excursion. To get past Dogen, Jacob tells Hurley to say "I'm a candidate...I can do whatever I want, kemosabi." Dogen seems shocked that Hurley knows so much, and says something to him in Japanese that Jacob reassures Hurley he doesn't want to know the translation.

But you and I do.

What Dogen said was: "You're lucky that I have to protect you. Otherwise I'd have cut your head off.

Temper, temper. What I want to know is why doesn't Dogen or anyone else know anything about Jacob? Has he really kept himself that secret?

Jack and Hurley head off and soon almost get shot by the dumbest girl on the island, Kate. She is single-minded in her quest to find Crazy Claire, and tells the boys that she hopes they find what they're looking for. Jack and Hurley share a few poignant moments together as the trek across the island, culminating with an emotionally-vulnerable Jack explaining that he came back to island because he thought the place could "fix" him. (Cue Coldplay music.)

When you try your best but you don't succeed (You don't have what it takes)
When you get what you want but not what you need
(Ben killing Jacob)
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep

Stuck in reverse.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace (Like your baaaaby, Claire)
When you love someone but it goes to waste (Sorry about Juliet, Sawyer)
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

You can find more of your own allusions in that little ditty. The simple truth is that, like good music, good stories contain big themes like love, redemption, pain, suffering, good, evil, death, and forgiveness. LOST isn't re-inventing the wheel when it comes to subject matter, merely in how those subjects are brought to we the viewers.

The pair of dudes reach the Lighthouse and Jack asks the obvious question: "Why the H haven't we seen this thing before?" Hurley, as only Hurley can, drops an obvious-bomb on all of us: "Maybe 'cause we weren't looking for it."

Fair enough.

Oh, I almost forgot...Jack and Hurley dropped by the caves for a trip down island memory lane. Just like when Jack was led to those caves in Season 1's "White Rabbit" episode, two bodies are found side-by-side and the thought comes creeping back that maybe "Adam and Eve" are two of our castaways "sent back in time." Who could it be? When Jack first found the pair, he pointed out that it was a man and woman. Jin and Sun? Dez and Penny? Bernard and Rose? Nikki and Paulo?

Back to the Lighthouse...Jack does his best Steven Segal impression and kicks down the door so that he and a breathless Hurley can ascend the stairs to and find yet another wheel of destiny (this one much less frozen than the last). On this wheel are 108 numbers, each one corresponding with a different name. Jack realizes that the mirrors aren't just there to reflect the fire out on to the open sea, but to spy on people. He's one of those people, and when once the wheel has been turned to his number (23), he is shown an image of the house he grew up in.


Jack assumes, and it appears correctly, that Jacob has used these magical mystery mirrors to monitor potential "candidates" their entire lives. He's not too happy about it and ends up smashing the mirrors in a fit of Jacob-induced rage. Hurley's confused as to why Jacob never shows up to stop Jack, but after Jack wonders off to cool his jets, he does show up and lets Hurley know that things are chill. Jacob wanted to get the boys outta the Temple because "someone bad" is about to arrive there. That's got Flocke written all over it.

Speaking of Flocke...and Claire...elsewhere on the island the new Rousseau stitches Jin's wounds back up and hacks the black Other guy in the sternum. She says she was tortured by the New Others with a procedure that sounded awfully similar to the one they conducted on Sayid earlier this season. They also said that Sayid was sick like Claire was. Claire makes the dubious statement "Infection is what will kill you out here".

My boy Dan H pointed out to me that the whole shock therapy thing both Claire and Sayid went through with the New Others is similar to what Rousseau originally did to Sayid when she caught him back in Season 1. Was she testing Sayid back then after seeing what happened to her French peeps after they went in to the Temple? Or was it just torture, ironically perpetrated on a torturer who had just tortured someone (Sawyer) who was innocent?

Claire keeps referring to her "friend", who predictably ended up being Flocke. The interesting thing was that even Claire knew Flocke wasn't Locke. How is that? Why is that? Why doesn't that scare her? She was just about the most emotionally weak/fragile woman on the planet for so many seasons of the show...and now she's 'illin in the jungle, picking off Others, sowing up flesh wounds, and rollin' with other-worldly beings that look like her friend John Locke?

Jin lies to her and says that Aaron is back at the Temple with the New Others, and Claire says that his story about Kate raising Aaron back in the real world was no joking matter and that had Kate really taken her baaaaaaby...she'd kill her. Seems extreme. Maybe if you hadn't bolted in the night with your pops (who was actually the guy inhabiting your new "friend's" body), Kate wouldn't be anything but your gal-pal who helped deliver your kid.

Jin actually might be telling the truth and not knowing it...if that kid running through the jungle last week was Aaron somehow. Just saying.

And so we've reach the end of the episode re-cap and move on to...


-When Jack bumped into Dogen at his son's tryouts, Dogen said "It is hard to watch and be unable to help." I think this speaks to a bigger plot-point in the show. Even though Ben and Richard said they were trying to help Locke become the leader of the Others back in Season 3, they couldnt kill Locke's dad for him. He had to do it on his own. Jacob operates the same way with many of these people. He intervenes from time to time, but this week he told Hurley that with some people you have to sit back and let them figure things out. It can be a frustrating feeling, as we all well know.

- This might seem like a crazy theory, but I'm liking it the more I think of it. Desmond stole Jack's dad's body and is bringing it to island so that Jacob can come back as Christian Shepard to fight Smoke Monster/Flocke. Desmond is working for/with someone (maybe Charles Widmore, maybe Jacob). Jacob sent Hurley and Jack to the Lighthouse supposedly to prepare it for someone who is coming to the island. That person is Desmond. Jack's dad = Jacob. Just you wait and see.

-This was the 108th episode of LOST. Gotta love the numbers, brotha'.

-For about the 10th time, Alice in Wonderland is referenced in this episode. The characters that Jack mentions to his son David when he finds the book on David's desk, Kitty and Snowdrop, are cats; one is white, one is black. Just like the stones Jack found in the front shirt pocket of Adam and Eve. Just like Walt and Locke playing backgammon. Just like Jacob and Esau/Flocke.

-Hurley compares Jacob to Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi master from Star Wars. Obi-Wan isn't the best Jedi or the most important character, but he is the wise, older conscience of the entire Star Wars story. I think Jacob is important, and obviously knows more than anyone else we've been introduced to thus far, but either Jack or Locke or Aaron (or someone) is going to end up being the most important, "greater" character in this whole tale. Just like Anakin (and then Luke) were greater than Obi-Wan. Oh, and by the way, Luke Skywalker had a sister (Leia) that he didn't initially was his sister. Sound familiar?

-I found a cool literary reference connected to the title of this week's episode. It's a book called To The Lighthouse, and is described by Wikipedia as follows:
To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psychological exploration.

To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and almost no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations. The novel recalls the power of childhood emotions and highlights the impermanence of adult relationships. Among the book's many tropes and themes are those of loss, subjectivity, and the problem of perception.

A novel about the power of childhood emotions? Set on an island with a Lighthouse that holds keys to the characters past? Themes of loss and the problem of perception? You do the math.

-Almost everyone reading this had been asked to read Lord of the Flies in junior high or high school, so hopefully you picked up on the allusion to that story when Jin found a boar's head in Claire's tent. Chick's batty.

-As a relatively new Classical Music addict, I loved the Chopin piece ("Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor") that David Shepard was playing at his audition. It's the same piano piece that Faraday was playing when he was a young tyke. Dogen tells Jack that his son has a special "talent", just like Faraday was told when he was young, and Michael heard about his son Walt from Juliet and Ms. Klugh.

-Next week's episode is entitled "Sundown", so I think we all know who the main focus will be on. Vincent.

-Flocke has been recruiting Claire because he knows that she, Jack, and Christian Shepard are "special" in a special way. As in, not just candidates, but bigger, more important figures.

That's all I got for now. Hope you've enjoyed, and I'd love to hear any additional theories you may have, so leave 'em in the Comments section below.

Stay out of the deep end.

-Flocke's Pants

Monday, February 22, 2010

Pre-game before Lighthouse

Tomorrow night's episode is less than 24 hours away, but here's something to bide your time between now and then:

An interview with Locke about the Smoke Monster inhabiting his body.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Substitute This

Locke parks too close to the boss, Flocke recruits himself a con-man, and Jacob’s “got a thing” for Numbers.


We’re four episodes in to the 6th and final season of the greatest show ever made by humans, and I’m loving the ride thus far. When you name a blog after an article of clothing worn by a particular character in a television show, you’re “fairly” excited to see an hour devoted almost entirely to that character (and the gaseous bad guy inhabiting his island body). This week’s episode, The Substitute, was one big step forward in terms of shining some light on the island’s mythology for us. We also got to see what the world of sideways-reality JL looked like after chatting with Jack in the LAX baggage claim terminal. Best of all: no Claire obnoxiously clamoring for that “baaaaaaaby” of hers.

Let’s get the less-cool, but still intriguing, stuff out of the way first and discuss the domestic life and times of John Locke in the alternate reality/sideways-flash world we’ve been introduced to in Season 6.

Thinking of the bigger picture for a moment, if we take what Juliet said (via Myles) in the first episode seriously (“It worked”), then it makes sense that when Jughead went off, it altered the timeline of the alternate reality we’ve been seeing this year. That means that missing the crash on the island isn’t what changed things for our loveable Oceanic 815-ers, but that Jughead’s detonation is what changed things. So while many of the characters seem to display similar characteristics to their original selves we met in Seasons 1-5, and have had somewhat similar experiences (i.e. Jack’s dad is dead, Locke can’t walk, etc.), these new versions of them are potentially different in more ways than we’ve seen so far.

For example, Jack seemed much more outgoing and faith-based in his conversations with Locke in the airport in that first episode. Locke seems much less faith-based, but also more willing to accept his limitations. He tried to do a bunny-hop off his car’s wheel-chair lift, which was sooooo Old Locke, but the rest of the episode he seemed to be having his resolve to fight circumstances and fate deteriorate. He seemed more willing to deal with the reality of his physical handicap. He seemed willing to finally embrace the Man of Science, farmer-instead-of-hunter moniker that Richard Alpert, the undercover cop who used John to spy on the weed-harvesting Commies he was living with, and his high school teacher all bestowed upon him in the life of the original Locke we knew. A strong hint that this is the case: what job did Locke up end up taking in this week’s episode?

Science teacher.

Helen-of-Troy, Locke’s sweetheart who ditched him when he couldn’t ditch his sadistic pops in Season 2, is still with John in this alternate reality, and it appears that Locke’s paralysis happened after the two met. She finds John laying in a heap on the front lawn with the sprinklers drenching him (which made me think of all the times Locke predicted rain storms in earlier seasons on the island, and now he can’t even remember when the timed sprinklers are going to turn on). She encourages John to call Dr. Jack, suggesting that perhaps their chance encounter was indeed “destiny.” Locke seems thoroughly underwhelmed by the whole prospect.

One character that hasn’t changed in our new reality is that egg-suckin’ boss of Locke’s at the box company: Randy. He still has it in for our bald-headed friend, and fires John for skipping out on the seminar he was ostensibly sent to Sydney for. Locke rolls himself out to his Astro van only to find that Boss-man Hurley’s phat Hummer is squeezing his ride. He again shows a flash of his old self when he yells at Hurley for suggesting that a handicap person should use the spot designated for handicap people, but then takes it down a thousand at the sound of another job from the chicken-eating CEO with disgusting mutton chop side-burns (that looked like amber-colored brillow pads).

That job opportunity brings him into contact with Rose, the wife of the least interesting character on LOST, and she gives him the what-for after he insists that he’s qualified for construction work. Hurley’s life has changed from unfettered bad luck to bold, confident good luck, but it appears that Every Rose Has Its Bernard still has cancer and plenty of her home-spun, suffer-no-fools wisdom (that she is only too willing to share).

I LOVED the scene when Locke finally came clean to Helen about his job-loss, his failed walk-about excursion, and his troubling knife addiction. You see a defeated John Locke who knows he’s run out of options, lied too many times to people he cares about, and has nothing but himself to offer to Helen. Earlier in the episode Helen mentioned the possibility of eloping to Vegas with just her parents and Locke’s dad (Anthony Cooper, who we last saw getting Jabba the Hut-ed by Sawyer in the brig of the Black Rock).

This suggests that perhaps Locke and his kidney-nabbing padre are on better terms than before. Might it be that this alternate-reality Locke is slightly more emotionally stable because he didn’t suffer the pain of having his own father con him out of a body part? Could it be that he sucks it up, accepts Helen’s love, and takes a job as a man/teach of science in part because Anthony Cooper hadn’t forever scarred his son?

What happened then between Locke and his dad? Or, better still, what didn’t happen? Look for this to be a big part of the alternate reality storyline.

The last point of note from the off-island story was of course the revelation that Benjamin Linus is a European History teacher at the same school Locke is “the substitute” at. Locke was the substitute for Christian Shepard, and it was the very man standing before him in this scene (Ben) who made that role possible for Locke to play. There’s nothing better than these two actors/characters on-screen together. I want the two of them to get a place together when this whole show thing blows over. I smell a spin-off!

The exciting stuff from The Substitute was obviously the on-island hijinx that focused primarily on Flocke and our boy Sawyer, but featured some interesting scenes with characters like Ben, Ilana, and Richard.

How great was that tracking shot from the perspective of the Smoke Monster? The Smoke-eye-view was spectacular, and at the end of his air-borne journey we learn where Flocke took Richard Alpert after their encounter back on the beach in episode one of this season. Alpert’s up in a tree, hanging like a sack of camper’s food during the night in the Boundary Waters, MN. This makes sense, what with bears being real threats in both places.

The most interesting thing divulged in the conversation between Flocke and Richard is that Alpert seems to know much less than we previously thought. He had no idea about the concept of “candidates” to take Jacob’s spot for him. Flocke makes his sales-pitch to have Richard join his “team”, but is rejected by the age-less wonder. It’s hard not to read devious motives and cunning lies into Flocke’s promises to Alpert (and later Sawyer) that he would “tell them everything” and “treat them with respect.” It had a very distinct “Serpent deceiving Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden” feel to it every time Flocke did his used car salesman routine. Are the writers just trying to set us up so we assume Flocke is bad, only to reveal that Jacob is really the jerk?

While talking to Alpert, a little blonde boy appears with blood on his hands. Richard couldn’t see the kid, but Flocke was visibly shaken and spooked. Later, when Flocke’s taking Sawyer to Jacob’s cliff-cave, the boy appears again and this time Sawyer (not an immortal) can see the young boy. Is Sawyer the “new Hurley” who can see things that others can’t? And if Sawyer now has special powers like that, does that mean all of the other “candidates” (i.e. Jack, Sayid, etc.) have powers too? Was Claire a candidate, but LOST out on the chance when she went over the dark-side like Dogen said last week?

And to really blow your mind…is that little boy in the jungle Claire’s son Aaron? Or maybe the grown-up son of Penny and Desmond? ( I believe they named him Charlie.) Or is it the new shape that Jacob has taken on the island?

Most likely we will find out that the little boy was either someone Flocke killed in his younger days or an island deity more powerful than Flocke or Jacobb. Sort of a rules-keeper/umpire for the island battle that has been raging for centuries.

Flocke said that the book Of Mice and Men (published in the late 1930’s) that Sawyer mentioned was “after my time.” He also said he used to be a man. These are some pretty distinct clues, even if they don’t fill in all the answers we’d like.

The scene in Jacob’s cliff-cave when Flocke takes the white stone off the scales of justice and throws it into the ocean was symbolic in many ways. Let me first say that the cave might not even be Jacob’s. It could possibly be Flocke’s. Or someone else’s. Maybe Flocke originally picked the candidates he wanted and Jacob’s been trying to protect them from Flocke’s devious ways.

But back to the cliff-cave scene…the scales were previously balanced, which implies that the Light and Dark were even-handed in their cosmic struggle for the soul of the island. Flocke takes the Light stone off and tosses it into the water, as if to say, “You are no longer my equal Jacob…what with the whole being stabbed thing…so now all the old rules we used to have to operate under no longer apply.” Now, what those “rules” are is another matter altogether, and we’ll get the answer to what those rules are when we learn who that little blonde boy in the jungle this week was.

Random thought before I forget it…When real Locke was being buried on the other side of the island, did anyone else see the shot where it looked like a spider was on Locke’s head? The same kind of spider that killed Nikki and Paulo in Season 3? A spider that only paralyzes its victim, and doesn’t fully kill them? Could this be a subtle foreshadowing of the Locke that is to rise once more? Of a Locke that isn’t fully dead? Or could I be up way too late right now, working on a blog about a fake tv show with flying clouds of smoke as one of its main characters?

Sawyer learns that he and the rest of his peeps were brought to the island because they were potential candidates to take over for Jacob. We did not see Kate’s name, but did see Sawyer, Jack, Locke, Sayid, Hurley, and one (or both) of the Kwon’s. All of the people that Jacob laid his magic hands on during the season finale last year. (Who called that the touching thing would be important last May?) Flocke tells Sawyer he’s got three options: 1)Do nothing and see what happens. 2) Take the position as island guardian. 3) Bolt back to the mainland.

The numbers associated with each “candidate” has to have some bigger or cooler meaning, but I do know that each of the numbers are retired Yankees jerseys. So there’s that. Jacob, we are told, has a “thing for numbers”, but what in the world that means is anybody’s guess. Were they Jacob’s numbers, or had they been passed down? I get the feeling that Jacob and Flocke are both beholden to some larger power. Flocke tells Sawyer that Jacob was basically an idiot for believing that the island was important and in need of protection. This was reminiscent of real Locke telling Desmond and Ekko that the button served no larger purpose and was a big con back in Season 2. Flocke also yelled “Don’t tell me what I can’t do” to that little blonde boy in the jungle who reminded him he couldn’t kill Sawyer.

It seems like “the rules” include a stipulation that if Jacob picks someone as a candidate, Flocke isn’t allowed to personally kill that person (or Jacob). He needs to get others (like Ben) to do his dirty work for him. I definitely think that Sawyer is in trouble hanging out with this goon.

Real quick, I loved the funeral Ben, Sun, and Lapidus held for real Locke. Ben’s “I’m sorry I murdered him” line was perfect. But more than that, it was nice to hear Locke eulogized so eloquently and kindly by his own killer who realized that Locke was a better man that he (Ben) ever could be. Original Locke had his problems, but he really did believe, and therefore was the biggest threat of all to Flocke because John would actually have wanted to stay and be the new Jacob. In the first episode of this season Flocke mocked John for being a sucker and loser, but I think it was all an act and really Flocke was terrified of John Locke and his fervent faith in the island and Jacob and the whole spiel. Real Locke was the biggest threat to Flocke, and that’s why he picked John as his victim.


-This upcoming week’s episode is entitled “Lighthouse.”

-What is the significance of Ben being a European History teacher in the alternate reality, off-island, storyline? Is there any, or is that just what you would expect a nerdy, know-it-all person like Ben to be doing in the “real world”? The island (and really the whole show) is all about history and time and the past, so there’s that connection. Any theories from you guys?

-In the teacher’s lounge at the school Locke was subbing at, there was a banner that read: “Live in the present, plan for the future.” Do I even need to un-pack the implications of a sentence like that on a show like this?

-The argument that Flocke makes to Sawyer as to why he should want to just leave and hate Jacob is that Jacob directed the lives of all these characters and manipulated them to think that their actions were their own. Some have made this same argument against God. They say because the Bible teaches that God is the Creator of time (and therefore above it and privy to all of the events in it), they resent God and blame Him for making us all robots with no free will. It is akin to the determinist view that David Hume advocated in his philosophy, namely that we’re all set in our fates and we have no control over what happens to us next. I love a television show that gets into theological/philosophical issues this deep. Kind of like How I Met Your Mother.

-The ash that Jacob’s corpse left was white and Ilana put it in a small sack and brought it with her. She was also crying in Jacob’s bungalow. Will those ashes bring him back to life later? Was she prematurely crying like Lucy and Susan in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and we’ll see Aslan (Jacob) rise again in a little while?

-The song Sawyer was listening to in his Othersville house contained the lyrics “I’m the runaway son of a Nuclear A-bomb.” Pretty appropriate.

-Getting back to a little philosophy for a brief moment…did anyone else pick up on the Allegory of the Cave analogy with Flocke taking Sawyer into a cave to open his eyes to the truth of the world around him? Read the link I’ve attached here if you don’t know about Plato’s famous work. It was also noteworthy that Flocke and Sawyer used “Jacob’s Ladder” to descend into the cave of enlightenment. Jacob’s Ladder is an Old Testament reference you can read more about here. The key difference in this use of a ladder "belonging" to a dude named Jacob is that the original, biblical Jacob's ladder went up to heaven...could this one have led Sawyer down into a personal and proverbial hell?

-Richard was legitimately scared of Flocke and urged Sawyer to come to the Temple with him…why? What can Flocke do to someone who doesn’t age? Is Richard now vulnerable with Jacob gone? What was Richard doing that whole time if he didn’t even know that Jacob was looking for candidates to replace him?

I literally can’t write anything else right now. I might add some thoughts later this weekend, but until then…enjoy, and feel free to add your thoughts/theories as you see fit.



Friday, February 12, 2010

What Kate Does When Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia


The title of this blog-post will make sense to a few of you, and will be found funny by even fewer. The "Other" named Aldo in last night's episode, "What Kate Does," was played by an actor (Rob McElhenney) who is one of the creators and stars of the F/X comedy show Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. If you haven't seen it, keep your decency and self-respect and skip it.

Before I get in to the parsing of this week's episode, a thought occurred to me regarding Jacob, the statue, and the time-travel flashes we followed in Season 5.

So the statue is about 30-stories tall. It has been there since at least the 1800's (as seen in the Season 5 finale). The first time we see it (2004, island time), all that is left is one section of the foot (from just above the ankle to the base). What in the world, other than a massive explosion, could bring a 30-story structure down? Well, maybe a Noah-like flood, right?

I don't even know what my theory is, but that statue had to have been brought down by the nuclear blast or the flooding of the island (which we saw in the side-by-side, new reality in episode one of Season 6). Perhaps we will see yet another time-travel flash to before 1974 (when Sawyer, Juliet, Myles, and Jin arrived in Dharma time) and there the statue will be brought down.

But on to this week's "What Kate Does":

The episode was one of those "we're setting some things up, but we can't have every week be the type of deal where you are blown away by new revelations" weeks. Like any good novel/story, you have to develop your characters and set up the plot twists to come. Since there weren't any huge developments, other than the final scene's revelation that Claire is the new Rousseau, which we will get to later, I won't spend a great deal of time recounting the play-by-play.

Let's separate the episode into "On-island"-"Off-island" categories for the purposes of this blog.


Things picked back up with Kate trying to bolt, yet again; but after having her hands freed by a Kris Kristofferson look-alike at a body shop, the angel of her shoulder her to go back and try helping Claire out. Claire, who apparently hasn't taking any acting lessons since we last saw her in Season 4, accepts Kate's ride to the house of the people who were gonna adopt "my baaaaaaabbbbyyyyy". (It's like nails on a chalkboard when that Aussie chick talks.) Predictably, things don't work out, thanks to the adoption husband pulling a Tiger Woods on his wife, and Kate gives her "I'm shocked and sickened by everything everyone says" look at takes Claire to the hospital.

(Note: If you want more in-depth theories about what all the allegorical and metaphorical meanings of Kate's off-island story might be, read Doc Jensen at

And who is waiting for them, but our old Other friend Ethan, the son of Horace Goodspeed, and protege of Benjamin Linus. He's also the guy who, on the island, kidnapped Claire (after sticking her with needles), and eventually ends up deader than Yemi when Charlie (who ends up deader than Ethan) puts a cap in his front-side. The obvious question is: What the heck is Ethan doing on the mainland, as an OBGYN? On the island he had been the Others' resident surgeon, the offspring of Dharma's "first couple" (Horace and Amy), and presumably, at some point, a recruit (kidnapped or otherwise) to the Clan of Other.

Depending on when the island sank under-water, as it is in this new time-line, we can guess that Horace was never on the island (because it was at the bottom of the ocean); therefore his son (Ethan) would not be running through the jungle hanging the dude who wrote "You All Everybody" from tree limbs and kidnapping pregger chicks.

But in the hospital, Ethan seems to be a good guy. I say "seems" because we very likely could find out that the Others (or something like them) still exist and he's keeping tabs on Claire for some mystical, higher purpose. Either way, it was a very cool plot-point to have Ethan be Claire's doctor in Brentwood, CA.

The only other thing of note is that Claire already "knew" to call the boy Aaron. When she said the name everyone in the room, Ethan and Kate, both looked up and took note. Now this could have been an understandable reflex reaction to having a pregnant lady scream the name of a baby that hasn't been born yet, but it definitely had a Biblical feel to it. John the Baptist was named before he was born by an angel of God. Jesus got his name in similar fashion when the angel Gabriel told Mary all about her son before she was even pregnant.

Claire was warned in Season 1 by a psychic about the "danger" that surrounded her baby, and the need for her to raise him. But then the dude called her 4 months later, gave her $6,000, and sent her to L.A. to meet a family he had found that wanted to adopt the baby. So did this happen again? In that same fashion? Who was that psychic, anyway?

In Season 1, Claire had a dream one night where Locke, whose eyes were one-black, one-white, has this conversation with her:

CLAIRE: What's happening?
LOCKE: You know what's happening.
CLAIRE: But I don't understand. Why --?
LOCKE: He was your responsibility but you gave him away, Claire. Everyone pays the price now.
Pretty creepy. Was the Locke in this dream the Flocke of the future, representing the Smoke Monster he would become? What did he mean "gave away", because she had Aaron with her until Season 4?


These parts of the episode were infinitely more interesting.

Sayid wakes up from his temporary morbid slumber and it freaks even the New Others out. My boy Dogen has Sayid brought in for some "tests", which our favorite Iraqi promptly fails. The electro-shock therapy test I did not get, but the blowing of the ash dust over Sayid did make much more sense. We've now seen ashes associated with the Smoke Monster multiple times. There was the line of ash around Jacob's cabin (which turned out to be the home/prison of Smokey). There was the circle of ash that Bram put around himself in Jacob's bunker last week to keep the smoke monster from killing him (which worked out really well, right?).

I'm guessing that if the Smoke Monster has "claimed" you, or is you (in the case of Flocke), the ash being dusted over your bare chest would hurt much more than it apparently did to Sayid.

This, in conjunction with what Dogen had to say about the "infection" spreading, leads me to conclude a few things.

One is that Sayid, to my friend SVB's delight, isn't beyond saving. Not that he will be saved, but that he isn't a LOST cause just quite yet. I foresee some miracle of the island, or ridiculous "task" that Jack will have to do to save his once-dead friend. This might also mean that Jack can save his sister (Claire) as well, who apparently has already been "claimed" for the dark side.

Second, that the infection Sayid has right now is the same one Rousseau was so adamant about, both in Seasons 1 and 2, and in her back-story last year. If you care to recall, she shot her scientific research team with a rifle (and left them to rot on the beach), including her husband/baby's daddy. She said that when they went down in to the Temple after their one-armed friend Montand that they were never the same again. Other people who have "gone down into the Temple"? Ben and Locke last year (but Locke, as we now know, was the Smoke Monster and made Ben go ahead of him so that he could turn into Alex and tell Ben to go back up and follow...well...himself). Ben as a little kid. And now this year Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sayid, and Jin (and sort of Sawyer, who was brought in later).

What is it about the Temple that drives people bonkos? Is it a dip in the frothy wading pool that does something to them?

This got me thinking about the over-riding theme of "good vs. evil", "dark vs. light", etc., and how and why people are "chosen" or "claimed" throughout the course of 5+ seasons. (Side note: anyone notice that Claire had a Shamu stuffed animal, whose colors are obviously Locke's eyes in Claire's dream?)

When Richard took Ben from Kate and Sawyer last season to save his life from the gun-shot wound Sayid gave him, he said something to the effect of: "Doing this is very risky." A similar thing was said by the New Others last week when they took Sayid down under the allegedly healing waters (which, mysterious even to the New Others, were darker than usual). This is assuming, of course, that Richard took Ben into the same pool of water to "heal" him when Ben was a boy. With all of the "lists" and "who is good, who is bad?" stuff going on in LOST since it began, the fact that the waters of the Temple heal some and not others (or as Jin would say, "Udders...Udders") is logically consistent with what we know about the island, Jacob, etc. The Others (and New Others) seem to be only slightly more informed than our 815 survivors have been when it comes to WHY someone is good or bad. They are told as much by either Richard or Ben (via Jacob), and then sent to kidnap (or in the case of Juliet, "convince") them.

The Japanese leader of the New Others, Dogen, really intrigues me, and I look forward to a back-story or side-ways, alternative flash on him. He said he was "called" to the island, and I doubt they'll leave us hanging for very long on what that call entailed.

Dogen concocted some green (not eco-friendly...although, maybe it was...who knows) pill for Sayid to take, and that turned out to be poison. The pill had a very Matrix, Alice in Wonderland vibe to it, like Jack had this choice to make (on behalf of Sayid), but the new Man of Faith didn't have enough of it to suggest to Sayid he take it. Although, he did shove it down his own trap in an attempt to call Dogen's bluff. That took some degree of faith and/or insanity. Whatever it is that has infected Sayid is bad enough that the New Others feel he needs to be executed. This strikes me as odd though because Sayid's name was on Jacob's list inside Hurley's guitar case. Does the waters of the Temple pool killing someone supersede even Jacob putting your name on a list? After all of that, are the followers of Jacob really going to let Sayid bite the big one, and at their own hands, no less?

Kate's story on the island consisted of doing what she always does: the wrong thing. Nothing has bugged me more in LOST more than Kate's attitude of superiority, especially over men who are just trying to help/protect her. Jack let her down off the island with his jealousy and Michael Jackson-like consumption of narcotics, and Sawyer's no saint, but in Kate's world...Kate always knows best. Always. Jack says in Season 3, "Kate, run back to our people with Sawyer and please don't come looking for me", but because of her stubbornness, she comes to Othersville and because of that Locke blows up the submarine Jack and Juliet were about to hitch a ride to freedom on. This week she ignored Sawyer's request to be left alone for his memory lane reunion tour back in Othersville, and Jin ends up with a bear trap around his gams.

As Kevin McCallister's uncle Frank famously said, "Look what you did, you little jerk!"

I don't really care that much about what happened between Kate and Sawyer back in Othersville, but what stood out was Sawyer's heartfelt monologue about "not wanting to be alone", yet at the same time he was beginning to recognize that perhaps some people in this world are meant to be alone...doomed to suffer. This is such a complex and difficult issue (broadly called "The Problem of Evil"), but who hasn't felt these exact same things at some point in their life. Justified or not, especially when compared to the real suffering and loneliness people all over the world experience, Sawyer's remarks struck a chord with anyone who has a pulse.

And, being the Dostoevsky-obsessed blogger I am, I could not help but hear the old Russian's voice in my head after watching Sawyer's scene on the submarine dock. Specifically, his classic work The Brothers Karamazov, touches on the very ideas brought up this week. I won't go on one of my wild tangents here, but so many of the characters in Fyodor's novels feel just as Sawyer does. That despite their best attempts to "go straight" and avoid trouble and do the right, they are destined to suffer and succumb to their fatal flaws. These are tough questions to ponder, but they are necessary ones to ponder. The book is also about redemption though, and we've already seen some of that among the LOST characters, and, hopefully, we'll see it in spades by the end.

On that note, Claire shows up at the end of the episode. But instead of "redeemed" we learn that she has gone over to the dark-side and apparently forgot how to bathe. We really don't know anything else about Claire's 3-year ordeal since we saw her last (in Jacob's cabin, sitting with Christian Shepard, her dad, and smiling at the real John Locke who came in to find out how to move the island). She has set up traps and snares like her old pal Rousseau (who helped her escape from the Others when she was pregnant...but then took her baby at one point too) and I'm hoping we'll get a glimpse of what Claire's World has looked like this whole time...and how she ended up in a cabin with her dad...and if she's still as obnoxious as ever.

Few thoughts/theories before we part:

-Did Sayid really die? He had no recollection of it, and Miles seemed skeptical when he learned that Sayid didn't see or hear or remember anything.

- I've tried to come up with some explanation as to why Dogen had a baseball in the scene when he tells Jack that the pill is poison...and I got nada. Maybe its a call-back to Field of Dreams or something. If you have any theories, lay 'em on us in the Comments section below.

- Why was Aldo telling the other Other dude not to tell Jin or Kate about the location of the Aijira Flight 316 survivors? He was so angry about being hit in the head with the butt of a gun, I realize, but what's with the secrecy?

- This upcoming episode is entitled "The Substitute."

That's all for now, folks. Take care and stay out of the deep end...of the Temple pool, should the water be a murky-brown.

Pants of Locke

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Few Points of Clarification Before Tomorrow Night

I was listening to the podcast that the two head writers for LOST (Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof) do each week after a new episode, and I wanted to pass along a few interesting points of clarification, straight from the horse's mouth (as it were).

1. The scenes on the plane and in LAX were not really an "alternate" reality, but a co-reality. Damon said that this will be reconciled throughout the season, but that the things we saw weren't potential occurrences...they were definite events. How all of this works out is obviously TBD.

2. The bomb did work, as Juliet said, but it worked...well, that's the reason we're watching the show. A little bit more of mystery never hurt nobody. Both writers said they did not want to have Season 6 be one episode after another of answering all the questions of the show. They want to keep us on our toes the whole way through, with some answers along the way this year. (See: Smoke Monster = Esau)

3. Tuesday's new episode is entitled "What Kate Does", a call-back to "What Kate Did" from Season 2. describes the episode as follows:

Kate finds herself on the run, while Jack is tasked with something that could put a friend's life at risk.

Sounds juicy.

Here's an interesting re-cap and pre-hash of Kate's story-line that I found on YouTube:

If you wanted to hear another LOST-related podcast, here's one that Jorge Garcia (Hurley) put together.

I'll have my own re-cap posted probably by Thursday of this week. Enjoy "What Kate Did".


Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Space Between (LA and X)

All my bags are packed I'm ready to go I'm standin' here outside your door I hate to wake you up to say goodbye But the dawn is breakin' it's early morn The taxi's waitin' he's blowin' his horn Already I'm so lonesome I could die

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you'll wait for me Hold me like you'll never let me go Cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane Don't know when I'll be back again Oh babe, I hate to go

Mr. John Denver must have traveled in time during one of the island flashes, 'cause this song sounds like the perfect tune to accompany the opening of LOST's sixth season. He even mentions the taxi that Kate hijacks (with Claire in it...but is she pregnant?) outside of LAX.

Speaking of LAX, my suspicions Tuesday night were confirmed by LOSTpedia: there was a space between LA and X, so think of the X as you would a Roman numeral. Or think of it like this popular comic book that the writers of LOST say is one of the countless influences on the show.

Earth X is a 1999 comic book limited series written by Jim Krueger with art by John Paul Leon and published by Marvel Comics. Based on Alex Ross' notes, the series features dystopian future version of the Marvel Universe.

The series was followed by two sequels, Universe X and Paradise X.

A comic book about an alternate universe/reality that influenced the writers of LOST? Hmmm. Interesting, no?

Let's get the most pressing thing out the way first: the scenes on the plane and in LAX between many of our beloved characters from the original Oceanic Flight 815 were, from what I can gather, an alternate reality. I mean, it was clear that things were different (i.e. Shannon not being on the plane, Desmond being on the plane, etc.)...but everyone wants to know (or should want to know) "What the heck is going on here? When are they? Why are things so different?"

Here are some of the videos that the LOST people put out back at the Comicon Conference this past fall. One is about Oceanic having a perfect track-record in their company's existence. The next is Hurley in a commercial for the fried chicken joint he bought with his now-lucky millions. The third and final one is an "America's Most Wanted" story about fugitive Kate Austen (with some added/new twists to her insane flee from justice). All three videos are depicting another reality, contrary to the one we've witnessed the past 5 seasons, but also very similar to the original storyline as well. Things are different, but not that different (at least not yet).

I open with this because I wanted to establish that we really are dealing with what I believe to be an alternate chain of events. It's not in the future or in the past, but a different telling of the story that we originally saw. The bomb went off when Juliet hit it with a rock, and that time-line changed (and is the one we saw Tuesday night being played out on the plane and in the LAX airport). When half of the airplane landed on the Hydra island last season, with both living and dead Locke in-tow, they arrived in the future that was created by the rest of the gang (Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, etc.) who went back to Dharma time and blew up the island...which likely sunk to the bottom of the ocean. (See: sunken four-toed statue)

I hope this helps clarify some things for those of you confused by what you saw in the season premiere. I also hope that it is right.

Let me move on to the parsing of the episode itself and the exciting new plot twists we were introduced to:

I'll start with what happened on the plane and in the airport.

As far as we can tell, all of the main characters from Season One are on the plane except Shannon. Locke is still crippled, both physically and emotionally, as exhibited by his apparent lie to Boone about the "walkabout" he likely never took Down Under. Jack is still boozing and a mess about his dad. (Although, and maybe it's nothing, the stewardess gave him two bottles of booze in Season 1 and only one last night.) Kate is still the hottest fugitive I've ever seen. Jin hasn't let his hair grow long or learned any English, and still treats Sun like their dog Bpo-Bpo. Rose and Bernard are still...zzzzzz....oh, sorry. I feel asleep because I was so bored even remembering those two pointless characters. Sayid and Sawyer still have proverbial chips on their shoulders. Hurley is all smiles as the "luckiest dude on earth."

The two characters that intrigued me the most on the plane were Charlie and Desmond. Charlie, because he tried to off himself in the lavatory (classy, bro) and then said "I was supposed to die" to Jack (the guy who saved his life on the island after my boy Ethan hung him like a sack of potatoes from a sycamore tree). I don't know exactly what I think about Charlie's cryptic comments regarding his own mortality, but I know there's something bigger there. "Whatever happened, happened" isn't the rule any more, but perhaps Charlie is in for another death scene shortly. His last (think: Not Penny's Boat) in the Looking Glass station at the end of Season 3 was actually really well done and powerful. Yet he was originally meant to die sooner than that, and if it hadn't been for Desmond....wait....isn't that Scottish yachtsmen on the plane as well this time?

Desmond pops up in first class with Jack and is reading a book by the mysterious real-life author Salmon Rushdie entitled Haroun and the Sea Stories. For more in-depth discussion of the book, it's connections to LOST, and correlating theories, read Doc Jensen's re-cap at Entertainment Weekly Online here. I'll just say that the book is about people who live in a city that is so old it has "forgotten its name." Sounds like that "might" touch upon some of the themes in LOST.

Jack recognizes Desmond, but Desmond doesn't remember him. The two of them should have met three years earlier while running sweatily up and down the stairs at a football stadium (presumably the Rose Bowl). Does Dez not remember Jack because that never happened in this alternate reality? Or does Dez remember him (because, as Faraday said last season, the "rules" don't apply to Hume and he is "special") and is just pretending to not know him?

Let's say Desmond does recognize Jack and is pretending to not remember him...could it be because he is now working for Widmore? Jacob? Smokey/Esau?

Or could it be because Desmond is on the plane to save Charlie's life again in this alternate reality? Lots of questions. If you have theories of your own on this specific point, post them in the Comments section below.

The rest of the "alternate reality" time is spent in the LAX airport terminal and much of what happened is self-explanatory. I can't pass up a chance to comment on the interplay between Locke and Jack, both in the plane, and then most notably in the Oceanic offices. Locke is looking for his knives and Jack just wants his dad's body back. (I'm Tom Jane.) For Locke, his refusal to accept that he is a "farmer" and not a "hunter" has plagued him his whole life, as we saw in Season 4's Cabin Fever. He cannot accept who he is, and those knives in part represent his refusal to let go of what he wants to be true (as opposed to the healthier acceptance and embracing of what is true). But Locke is a complicated dude, and who knows what the new future holds in store for him. His old ideological nemesis, Jack, became a Man of Faith and led the crusade to blow the island up, and here, in the new alternate reality, Jack befriends Locke. He even gives John his card and says, "Nothing is irreversible." Wow. What a loaded sentence that was! Especially coming from someone like Jack.

Okay, so let's move to a discussion of the happenings on the island itself. The year is supposedly 2007, and Jack, Jin, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and a buried Juliet were transported from 1977. Juliet lets us know that "It Worked", but it's hard to say precisely what she meant by that. If she meant "The wreckage of the Swan falling on me to crush my body and kill me worked", then I totally on the same page. If she meant, however, that the detonation of the bomb worked in "fixing" things I have two simple questions: What? How? (Both how did it happen and how do you know, Blondie?)

Side note: I love Sawyer, but those lines he delivered under the Swan wreckage to Juliet were cheesy and over-acted.

Jacob, fresh off his stabbing in the foot of the four-toed statue, visits Hurley and tells him how to save Sayid: bring his Middle-Eastern carcass to the Temple's fountain-of-youth for some rejuvenation juice. Was anyone else wondering why Hurley didn't suggest that maybe they should bring Juliet with in case the healing pools were open for other miracles?

I know I'm jumping ahead, but Sayid "coming back to life" has to be Jacob indwelling his body, right? I guess it could be the Smoke Monster, but we know he is over with Richard and Ben on the beach. Plus Jacob was just murdered and would be looking for a new body. This makes me think that the body we know as Jacob now was someone else he took control of in days of island yore. Same thing with Esau/Smokey. They can take the shape of other peoples' bodies (see: Walt appearing to Locke in the Dharma mass-grave). They use the people drawn to the island as pawns in their cosmic game. It sounds similar to Shakespeare's The Tempest. Check it out and let me know what some of you think.

The New Others that the group meets in the Temple seem just as creepy and just as indifferent to human life as the original band. We've already seen last season that on this new island reality Othersville is destroyed so it is safe to assume that these New Others aren't faking their hobo garb and Spartan living conditions. They've built a new little society and have defensive protocols for how to keep "him" (Smokey) out. Some dude named Dogen is their leader and hates to speak English. (He should immigrate to America.) He wants to kill Jack and the Gang, but Hurley brings up Jacob and the old Egyptian wooden symbol in his guitar case and after finding a list of names unnecessarily hidden in the wooden symbol, Dogen agrees to try and help Sayid. They "help" Sayid die so Jacob can take control of his body.

On the beach, Richard and the group of people Jacob recruited to be on Aijira Flight 316 are wondering what to do about the fact that Locke seems to be both in the basement of the statue with Jacob and Ben, and also dead in a casket on the beach. Ben seems shell-shocked beyond words, although I loved his feeble attempt to trick Richard into going in to see "Locke". The guy is still learning.

Bram and a few of the Jacob-recruits do go in and get man-handled by Smokey. Some people are calling the Fake Locke "Flocke", so let's stick with that from now on. So, Flocke has his way with those saps who try to shoot a floating cloud of smoke that fights back. What I really enjoyed was Flocke's conversation with Ben about what real Locke was thinking before he died. Flocke commented on how silly and sad Locke was his whole life, and confirmed that he used Locke as his stooge because John was the most willing to give his all to the island...anything to avoid having to deal with the reality of his pathetic life back home.

Things wrap up on the beach when Flocke emerges and tells everyone there that he is "Very disappointed" with all of them. Phwaaah? Does he know all of them? Does he know their thoughts (like when he judged Mr Eko, appearing as his bro-bro Yemi)? What's this Flocke/Esau's deal?

He beats Richard up and puts him on his shoulders to go God only knows where. It was weird to see Richard get hurt, and even weirder that Richard recognized Flocke for the impostor he is only after Flocke said "It's nice to see you out of your chains." Is this a reference to the Black Rock being a slave ship and perhaps Richard Alpert was a slave (or criminal) on that ship when it crashed? Will we find out that the ship that was sailing in to the island's harbor while Jacob and Esau chatted at the beginning of last year's season finale was the ship Richard was on?


Alright, that's what I got for now. I may add some things this weekend if I think of anything else, so check back from time to time.

Here are my closing thoughts/theories going forward in Season 6:

-The book that Hurley picked up in the Temple was Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard, and is described as follows:

Fear and Trembling (original Danish title: Frygt og Bæven) is an influential philosophical work by Søren Kierkegaard, published in 1843 under the pseudonym Johannes de silentio (John the Silent). The title is a reference to a line from Philippians 2:12, "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

Fear and Trembling presents a highly original and provocative interpretation of the Binding of Isaac story as told in Genesis Chapter 22, and uses the story as an occasion to discuss fundamental issues in moral philosophy and the philosophy of religion, such as the nature of God and faith, faith's relationship with ethics and morality, and the difficulty of being authentically religious

Notice his pen-name (John the Silent), and the LOST-rich connections in even just that short synopsis. This show is just a little deeper than How I Met Your Mother, eh?

-A number of LOST theorists out there on the interweb have pointed out connections between this show and Dante's Paradiso. It is Dante's vision of what the after-life (Heaven) will be like. One thing that stood out to me was that in his version of heaven, there is a hierarchy among its inhabitants and some get to experience heaven in different ways than others. Almost as if there were lists of who was special and who was not.

- My money is on Desmond being responsible for stealing Jack's dad's corpse. He might be one of Widmore's street-toughs now. Or he is a wondering warrior who can move in and out of time (which would explain his disappearance act on the plane).

- Claire is still pregnant and Aaron will end up being more important to the story than we previously have seen. I still want to know what that psychic in Season 1 was talking about when he told Claire she "had" to be the one to raise Aaron and that evil surrounded him.

- All of the people Jacob visited in last season's finale are the people who went from 1977 time to new alternate reality time on the island. They were also all the people on the list hidden inside his weird, wooden Egyptian symbol. More on that next week.

- What was with Jack's flesh-wound on his neck when he was in the airplane's bathroom? Shaving-while-under-the-influence accident?

Thanks for reading. Thanks for loving LOST.


John Locke's Pants

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wishing I Was At "LAX"


The greatest show made by humans is back tonight. The first episode is entitled "LAX" and I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it will have to do with the flight of Oceanic 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles.

There's not much I can (or want) to say about what I think will happen tonight, but I wanted to offer up a few reflective thoughts on what we've seen thus far in five seasons, and touch upon a few of the bigger, broader themes/story-lines/mysteries of the show.

My little sisters (Mackenzie and Megan) and I watched a whole mess of LOST over the holiday season, and seeing some of those old episodes from Seasons 1, 2, and 3 reminded me just want an enjoyable ride this show has been. I know many are nervous about how the writers may wrap LOST up at the end of this 6th and final season, but I think it's worth remembering just how much fun it's been already. I have faith things will end well, but Locke had faith that "the island" wouldn't murder him, so...

In Season 1 we saw the story of the survivors of Flight 815, well, surviving. It was focused on the back-stories of the various characters we've come to know and love/hate. One thing that stood out to me from Season 1 was the people the Smoke Monster chose to kill and/or not kill. Throughout the entire show we've seen such characters as the pilot of 815, Mr. Eko, and the soldiers from Widmore's (Not Penny's) boat taken by Smokey.

In Season 1 Locke is confronted early on by Smokey and yet Smokey does nothing. In light of that encounter, Locke says "I've looked in to the heart of this island...and what I saw was beautiful." It is after this encounter that he begins to become the warrior Man-of-Faith that inspired this blogger to start blogging about he and his pants. But at the end of the first season, when the gang is coming back from the Black Rock with dynamite in-tow, Smokey latches on to Locke and tries to bring him down (with Locke asking Jack to "let me go"). My point with all of this is this question: Is Smokey really controlled by anyone, or is it totally random who he goes after?

This then ties in to Season 5 and the conflict between Jacob and the dude who Jacob talks to on the beach in the season finale (I'll continue to call that character "Esau" until I hear otherwise). If Smokey = Esau, which I theorized last spring, then Smokey/Esau had planned and orchestrated so much of what had gone on these past five seasons. So are the people who have been attacked by Smokey really all part of Esau's plans to ultimately use Locke's body (and Ben's stabbing ability) to murder Jacob? Was Locke "the one" Esau wanted all along, or was it supposed to be someone else?

So to put a bow on that line of questioning, I want to know who/what Smokey is...but more importantly, I want to know what his/its motivations were in killing who he/it killed.

Moving on to Season 2, we enter the hatch (The Swan). Here the story shifts from the introduction of the main characters and their survival on the island to the mysteries and purpose of the island. It is a season about "Faith vs. Science" and thus it is really about Locke and Jack and the things they stand for and represent. Locke looses faith when he finds The Pearl station, but has his doubts come crashing down around him when The Swan implodes and Desmond turns the fail-safe key.

The biggest question in my mind from Season 2 is: What did turning the fail-safe key really do? We've never had this fully explained. Is turning the frozen donkey wheel under The Orchid the only way to mess with time? Radzinsky and Dr. Candle both said the power under The Swan was much more powerful than even what was under The Orchid. That's gotta mean something.

Locke losing faith led to Desmond needing to turn the fail-safe was this part of Esau's plan too? Or did Locke end up being the one used by Esau because Jacob was punishing John for "losing faith" in Season 2? Did turning the fail-safe key make Desmond "special", or was he special before ever coming to the island? Lot going on here...

Season 3 was our (partial) answer to "Who the heck are the Others?" We meet Juliet, Ben, and what we thought was Jacob. I think from what we learned in Season 5 it is safe to say that Esau/Smokey was in that cabin and not Jacob (who lives in the bottom of the statue). He was the one who said "Help Me" to Locke. The night Ben took Locke to meet "Jacob", Locke saw that there was a ring of ashes around the cabin, and then in Season 5, Ilana and Lapidus (with Locke's dead body in-tow) see that the ring of ashes has been broken. More on this in Season 5 talk below.

In Season 3 we also get some memorable scenes like Sawyer killing Sawyer (Locke's dad), Naomi falling from the sky, Desmond trying to save Charlie, and Charlie sacrificing his own life to save everyone else. The big question that starts in Season 3 and continues on to the present is this: Are the "Boat People" bad or good? Is Widmore or Ben the "bad" guy? Who is on Jacob's side and who is on Esau/Smokey's side? Which of those two is the "good" guy?

Season 4 is our introduction to those very same Boat People. The mini-war takes place on the island, culminating with Locke being told to "move" the island. But what we learn later in Season 5 is that Locke wasn't supposed to let Ben move the island...he was supposed to move it. Time and again Christian Shepard is the one who speaks "on behalf of Jacob"...but in light of the fact that Locke ends up being used (literally) as the catalyst for Esau murdering Jacob, and Christian was the one who directed Locke to move the island both times, can we safely assume that Esau took the form of Christian Shepard to direct everyone where they needed to go?

But then things get even more complicated because Christian is the one who directed Sun and Lapidus to wait for Locke in Ben's old house in Season 5 (Dead is Dead) when they came to a broken-down Othersville after hitting Ben with a paddle and ditching the survivors of Ajira Flight 316 on the smaller Hydra Station island. So was Esau/Smokey both inhabiting Locke's body back on the smaller island while talking to Sun and Frank, or is Smokey (in the form of Christian) just a lap-dog for Esau?

My head hurts...but in a good way.

Season 5 is the story of Dharma and of getting back to the island. This is the season obviously most fresh in our minds so I won't re-cap much, but I have a few final questions/thoughts that I will close this blog out with:

-Due to some recent insightful text messages with a smart girl I know in Grand Rapids (JEH), the question I have is this: what was it about Locke mentioning Eloise's name that made Ben blow a gasket in Locke's hotel room the night he strangled John? Assuming Eloise is on the "side" of Widmore, you can see why Ben would be pissed that Locke had been in contact both with Charles and now with Eloise. But then Ben works with Eloise to help get them back to the island...what gives? Part of me feels that Ben is really a much bigger tool than we realize even now. Esau used him to stab Jacob at the end of the final episode, but that might be a metaphor for all of the using of Ben people have done this entire time (while he thinks he is in control).

- Where is Desmond, and how do I get him back in my life? We lost sight of him after Jack and the Gang got on Flight 316 and went back to separate island times.

- Is the reason Othersville is so ramshackle in the future when Sun and Lapidus see Christian because Juliet did set off the nuke and the island has been in rubble since that event?

- I think the scenes we saw with Jacob visiting the lives of Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack, etc. in the Season 5 finale were the new future. The bomb did go off when Juliet hit it, and now Jacob is having to go and "mark" the people he needs to come back to the island. He touched each of the people he visited. That's gotta mean something.

-Who is Richard, and whose side is he on?

There's so much more to say and hypothesize about, but just enjoy the new episode tonight and look back later this week for a re-cap of "LAX".

Stay out of the deep end.

-John Locke's Pants