Thursday, February 26, 2009

LOST: The Life & Death of Jeremy Bentham

There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.
-Sir Francis Bacon

Okay, so I am afraid that I may be rambling even more than usual in this one ;)

Locke: I love the theme that LOST has presented that we create our own specialness (yep, specialness) through belief and action. We discovered this season that Locke's 'specialness' on the island was really a self-fulfilling prophesy situation with him talking to Richard and telling Richard to find him when he is born. It doesn't mean he really isn't special, it just means that he maybe wasn't important in a preordained/island choosing him kind of a way like I/he had thought. He has embraced the calling and made it his own and because of his passion and dedication to the island he is now an important player. It always comes back to faith in this show. His faith in his 'mission,' whatever he thinks it is in any given season, has gotten on my nerves sometimes, but I am finding it endearing so far this season. It was a heartbreaking moment as Locke was preparing to kill himself. (And beautiful acting by Terry O'Quin). I think Sayid hit the nail on the head when he asked John, 'Why do you really need to go back, is it just because you have nowhere else to go?' (Seems entirely possible that Helen was actually killed to make sure Locke had nothing). Poor man- I'm glad, for his sake, that his death really did end up the catalyst for Jack to take back-to-island action and that he really can still hold on to his faith now that he is resurrected on the island. He really is a good man. Also, I was a little disappointed but it was also kind of funny and ironic that the name 'Jeremy Bentham,' was nothing more than a humorously chosen name for Locke to use off the island since he was supposed to be dead.

Whidmore vs Ben: Well Whidmore is certainly turning out to be even more connected and important than we knew before. Finding out that Abaddon works for him puts a different perspective on some of the previous episodes that he showed up in, like making sure Locke was in Australia to be on the plane, meaning that Whidmore new the crash was going to happen and was helping it along. So is Whidmore still in good graces and in communication with Richard to know these things he just isn't allowed to be on the island? They are really doing a great job with this back and forthing with the two of them- is Ben the actual villain? Is Whidmore? They are both morally grey characters and there is no such thing as LOST as a 'good guy' or a 'bad guy' since everyone has baggage and everyone has different intentions and reasons and perspectives of situations. We know that they are both hot-headed and prone to violence, though Whidmore seems to be more sane than Ben. Its still interesting to try to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying when they talk about each other though. Its also interesting that they were sort of working together though not in physical proximity of each other through Eloise. They both want the island found and saved, so despite being enemies they don't mind sharing a connection (and therefore information) to accomplish it. Also, since Ben has cameras in Tunisia, he would have known when Ben showed up off the island. They are odd frienemies. I find myself wanting Whidmore to be a good guy in all of this. In any case, I don't think there is any such thing as a happy ending for Ben - even if he gets what he wants its just not in his wiring to stay content and live a regular life, on or off the island. Even if it turns out his intentions are relatively good/selfless in this situation, he is just the kind of personality that, if he had never ended up with the Island as a goal and he and his dad had lived a normal life, he would have ended up a serial killer or something. I am still baffled about Ben's freak out in the car with Jack and Sun when he said they have know idea what he has done for him and he seemed so sincere.

The death of Jeremy Bentham: Maybe Whidmore and Ben have both been away from the island too long to respect the wisdom of Richard/Christian/The Island as they should since they both seemed to want to keep Locke alive (at first). Cold-blooded Ben - did he kill him because he got the information he needed (Jin's ring and Eloise's location and knowledge) or because Eloise Hawking means its too close to Whidmore and that just pissed him off? We know that for all of Ben's calculating ways he does have a murderously short fuse when he gets angry. Didn't seem like he had quite a good enough reason in this instance though, not like his daughter getting killed or something. I guess he just needed to be the one who was the Savior in bringing everyone back even though he couldn't have done it without Locke, Jack, Eloise, even Whidmore, and others. He does like the glory and he is a control freak. At this point I do think that Ben murdering Locke was NOT premeditated and was a spur of the moment decision. awkward knowing that he had to bring Locke back to the island and would have to eventually explain himself (assuming that Ben knew that Locke would be Alive Again on the island.) Still, even though Ben talked Locke down, perhaps because he didn't expect to get the information he needed so quickly, Locke was still in an extremely fragile state and I think Ben could have easily gotten him to get back up there and kill himself instead of doing it himself and faking the suicide. I think that maybe just shows Ben's violent streak and that he enjoys the power of it. PS, super creepy shadow of Locke on the wall as Ben was posing the suicide scene. Very Hitchcockian.

On the Island: So did Caesar and Ilana know each other before the flight and the crash and why is Caesar automatically the leader? What did you find in that room you were rooting through Caesar and what hatch was that, and why do you look so at home? At first I thought it was Daniel's office at Oxford since we know someone was interested in it before Desmond, but nope! You're on the island and it was a post-new-crash scene. Ilana said the canoes were there already but that one was taken by the captain and a woman. My first guess for the woman was Sun, since she is on a mission to find Jin and would easily be able to get Frank to help since he probably feels guilty about leaving Jin behind. (Caesar and Ilana's camp doesn't seem to have been attacked yet like it had been when Saywer and Juliette and them flashed there and took the other is the time frame working and who attacks their camp?) The only problem with the possibility of the woman being Sun is that The 6 seem to have vanished and were safely placed on the island while everyone else in the plane crashed like they are special guests- the island was aware of them and brought them safely home. Were the 6 flashed to a different 'time' than everyone else? Can the island be at two times at once? Are The 6 on the actual island while the other crash survivors are on that other island where Jack/Kate/Sawyer were held captive? If that's the case, then it wasn't Sun, so who? Some surprising person that was on the plane that we didn't see like Eloise or Penny? Stretching, but you never know with LOST. Also, why didn't Locke vanish with them? Since he has turned the wheel and been dead does he fall into some other kind of category now, like Ben? Its obviously not about having been on the island before, cause Frank didn't vanish either- the 6 are like the prodigal children returning.

Resurrected Locke- with him, unlike with Christian, he really does seem like he's just Alive Again. He isn't all one with the island and acting like a spectre, its just like he never died. It does make me wonder more about Christian and his post-death connection to the island, besides having kids and a grandson that end up important. How exactly did he die in Australia? Wasn't it assumed that it was a vague, drinking-related situation? Hmmmm. I used to think that the circumstances around Christian dying were all about Jack and making sure that Jack was on the flight and that Christian being a spectre on the island was just sort of an island side effect and not really important to the plot, but with this recreation of the original flight and everything it has me second-guessing the details of the first flight. How much of the little details of what happens is all a predestined fate and the power of the island pulling it all together?

Other favorite/intense/thought-provoking moments:

Hurley assuming Locke is dead

Popping Locke's knee back in- oh my ouch!

Whidmore says a war is coming! Its certainly not going to be an obvious good-vs-evil LOTR kind of situation- who will be on what side?

Favorite line was Locke in the car to Abaddon, 'please don't talk to me.'

Walt! Dreams about Locke. Nice to see Walt is alright. Is that it for him? I think it is- that was a closure moment.

It was a very surprising conversation he had with Kate. I expected it to be a fight because of her reaction to Jack about going to the funeral in the first flash-forward episode we saw. Instead they were both very zen and spoke of love. It even almost seemed out of character for Kate to have been thinking about Locke - she tends to be, not selfish, but self involved and I never think of her sitting and thinking about Locke and wondering why he loves the island and deciding its because he's never loved anybody. Curious.

I'd be interested to read a theory or a description of how the island time travel is the reason for or is connected to the islands healing and immortal powers.

I'd also very much like to know how much of his 'loose end' Ben tied up as far as Penny is concerned.

Other Thoughts and Ideas:

Ilana and Caesar appear to be working for separate sides in this apparent “war”. It would appear that they may not know of one another's affiliations. Thus, Caesar hides the gun from her. However, he seemed very interested in those maps. Was that Mikhail's hangout that they were in? My guess would be that Caesar is in Widmore's camp. Ilana, is in Ben's camp, thus she brought Sayid back on the plane.Interesting that the other plane did in fact crash. And by crash, it looks like the plane was lightly dropped. One has to wonder if the Losties in Dharma camp will become The Others to this new batch of castaways. Perhaps everything will play out just as it did for the original crash, but with a different group of people..
Many of our theories that Widmore had his throne stolen are apparently correct. Widmore seems less manipulative than Ben when he makes his case. In fact, he is surprisingly sincere. The more and more he tells his tale, the more it seems like he had a defined purpose for being a jerk to Desmond. I do find it odd that when Desmond most needed the man's help, he got it (for example: getting Penny's address and being given the whereabouts of Ms Hawking).It is clear that Ben wants everyone back on that island for his own good, with no interference. The O6 can't know too much as far as Ben is concerned. He probably hired the goons running after Sayid and Hurley too.
Quite a bit of Biblical symbolism packed into one scene:Locke the Savior trying to kill himself like Judas the Betrayer, with a cord hanging from a ceiling constructed around a giant cross, and Ben at his feet, tempting him by saying there’s another way out besides death, the exact same enticement the devil used to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.
John on a beach looking longingly at what looks like OUR ISLAND. Sun and Lipidius took off in a boat to get to the right island. Jack, Kate and Hurley flashed through the Window to the right island. Everyone else crashed on a nearby island including ohn, Ben, Cesar, Ilana. I think John maybe suspects someting, but he's not saying anything.

Ben killed Locke, not to intentionally eliminate him, but because he needed a dead body in a coffin to get back to the island. I think now that they are on the island, Locke better watch his back because Ben doesn't need him anymore, and he wants to be the leader.

In the Lamp Post, Eloise was dressed identically to the Mary statue in her office: she had on a flowing blue dress with long sleeves that made it look like a robe over a white undergarment. At first I thought they were going for professorial (or even choir robe), but then it hit me: Mary. In a few shots in that scene, Eloise is shown with the Mary statue just over her shoulder (just like the stained glass hovered above Ben’s head in the pew). Eloise = The Great Mother
If Walt is like Desmond, it isn't dream he keeps having, but actual memories. He like Desmond, has already seen this happening. Maybe someone is helping him to try to make things right.

There has been a lot of catholicy stuff in this show so here me out. I think Ben was actually helping Locke out. Think about it. He could have just let Locke hang himself, and the result would have been the same. But instead, he sacrificed himself to kill Locke rather than letting Locke commit suicide. Maybe if Locke had killed himself, he wouldn’t have been worthy to lead the inhabitance of the island. I also really like the idea from one of the posts that Richard is dead. That would explain why the dude never ages, and why Ben once said, “you do remember birthdays, don’t you Richard”.

the ajira plane lands on the smaller island, hence caesar checking out the building with the hydra dharma logo on the folder...remember in season 3 when sawyer and kate are working breaking rocks with the others, he asks juliet what they're building...she answers, "a runway"what if that's what they landed the plane on, although maybe it wasn't finished because it looks like the plane stops in the trees, but that what ben did before the plane lit up last week, went to talk to lapidus to show him a place he could land the plane...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

LOST: 316

We all lose friends.. we lose them in death, to distance and over time. But even though they may be lost, hope is not. The key is to keep them in your heart, and when the time is right, you can pick up the friendship right where you left off. Even the lost find their way home when you leave the light on.
-Amy Marie Walz

First of all, I love the Narnia reference with Ellie's basement Dharma station being called The Lamp Post- that's all I'm going to say about Narnia though, because there was a great article by Doc Jensen all about that, so see below for C.S. Lewis-LOST connections.

Whew! Geez, LOST, last week I felt like we got all of these answers, and now I'm brimming with questions! Luckily, they are not really metaphorical or scientific or mythological questions, they are mainly character development questions that should get answered in the next few weeks. I do like that they jumped to getting back to the island- now I presume that the flashes we get will mainly be flashbacks, of the several hours leading up to the flight for the Oceanic 6 (so much happened in so little time!), and of what the hey has been happening on the island the last three years for everyone else. (PS, we ever gonna see Walt again?)

Likeliest possible reason for the title of this episode:
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but gain everlasting life.

Jack: Doubting Thomas. There have always been a lot of religious parallels and insinuations in LOST (Christian Shepherd's name, other Biblical names like John, Jacob & Aaron, Mr. Echo and his staff, Charlie and his dream about baptizing Aaron, the miraculous healing powers of the island the the apparent eternal life of some of its 'apostles,' Locke sacrificing his life for all (and being resurrected on the island?) and simply an underlying idea of faith to the show... but Ben explaining to Jack about Doubting Thomas was the most blatantly Biblical I feel like they have gotten. I thought it was captivating to hear Ben tell the story, insightful in his perspective of Thomas, and interesting to watch Jack listen to it and that he is at a point of faith now that Biblical parallels mean something to him. 'That's why its called a Leap of Faith Jack.' He used to think of everything as scientific and as a coincidence, but now he believes. When we found his Father's shoes at his Grandpa's you could see in his face the submission to the idea that fate is pulling him and everything happens for a reason.

Locke: Episode discrepancy alert! The suicide was not a surprise to us because in the very first flash-forward episode where Jack is all beardy and goes to the funeral, he has a newspaper clipping in his hand that he shows to Kate and she is like, 'why would I go to that,' and though the clipping was mostly blurred, some of the writing could be seen and and it said that he was discovered in his posh apartment and talks about a beam in the middle of the room, suggesting hanging. Okay, so maybe not everyone looked into it and was thinking suicide this whole time like I have been, (though I has thought it was probably just a staged suicide) but Ellie was all, they don't put those kinds of things in newspapers, but they did. Ha. Locke's suicide note- very plain and blunt, very Locke.

Ben: Ben, did you kill Penny?! So help me! It looks like she put up a fight though. I'm going to be extremely upset if she is really dead! I guess that would give Desmond revenge motivation to come back to the island though, since the island isn't done with him. (I was just waiting for Des to get smacked by the pendulum at the Lamp Post since he kept walking in front of it ;) Okay, so maybe it wasn't even Penny and it was Sayid that beat him up or something, but it sure looked like a dock he was calling from, and he wouldn't have called it, 'loose ends' to Jack if he was dealing with Hurley and Sayid. Don't think so though- 'promise to an old friend,' you dirty bum. If she is (please oh please!) not dead, then you could have gotten that beating from Desmond! Ben made it to the plane and didn't seem surprised that everyone was there, but then, Ben rarely seems surprised by anything. I also wonder if he truly didn't know anything about how Locke died, but if he was going to lie about that to keep up appearances to Jack then you'd think he also wouldn't have reacted with a 'who cares?' when Jack asked about the innocent bystander passengers. Anyone else think it was interesting/eerie that when Jack asked Ben how he could read Ben said, 'my mother taught me/' Ummmm, your ghost mother on the island? Cause she died when you were born. If he lies about things so nonchalantly like that, how can anything he says be believed? He only wants to help them to the point that it coincides with his own scheming.

Kate: Aaron!? Oh Kate, what happened honey? Did you give him to Claire's Mom? You said to Jack, 'Why hold onto something that makes you feel sad?'- how much should we be reading into that? Are you going back to the island willingly because, a) you have to do it to keep Aaron safe, or b) you did something bad and now you are running away again? Either way, you had grown a lot off the island as a character, and now you are perfectly prepped to be the broken Kate that fits so well with Sawyer, depending on what he's been up to while you were away ... bowm chica bow bow! ;P Also, I know she was all shady and told Jack not to ask her about Aaron, but why didn't anyone else ask? Why was everyone sitting by themselves?

Hurley: Why is Hurley there? If it was his ghost friends who told him to and helped him or whatever then what changed his mind? He wasn't listening to them before, but he is so sure now. How is he out of prison? Was he holding a guitar? Charlie's? Very thoughtful of Hurley to buy up the tickets and spare some casualties. ;)

Sun: How did she leave things with her kid? Did she just call and say I might not get to see you for a while? Also, I loved Ellie's reaction when she went all professor on them and Sun answered a question and she said, 'Yes, the island!' Very good Sun! Gold star for you.

Sayid: Was he handcuffed? Was he being escorted like Kate was on the original flight? It seemed like that at first, but then he and his captor exchanged a couple of knowing glances, so what is the deal? Was the handcuffing just part of recreating the original flight since Kate was handcuffed and escorted then? Sayid is a fighter and has been through a lot, so she must have given him a pretty good reason for him to be there.

The island and the 'crash': The island is always moving- then why didn't they have the flashes and stuff before the wheel was turned? Was the island just more discrete in its 'moving' before? I would have thought, well, it just didn't move as frequently before, but Ellie said, 'why do you think you were never rescued' which I thought was interesting, because there were some other good reasons that had nothing to do with the island moving- jammed radio frequencies, faked plane wrecks, Others not wanting the island found... So they got in the range of the island and instead of crashing, the island just sort of grabbed the people connected with it right out of the plane? Does that include everyone who has been there before, like Frank? (I hope Frank's fate isn't the same as the first pilot) I do feel like its safe to assume that the woman escorting Sayid and the other guy on the plane who talked to Jack at the check-in counter also made it alive to the island and have a role to play. I guess they were pretty perfect timing being in the right spot just as the island jumped. Although, it would make more sense if the light that took them wasn't a time jump- it would make sense that when Locke pushed the wheel it stopped (or slowed down) all of the sporadic jumping and left them at the time of Dharma, which would explain Jin in the outfit with the van and also the first episode flash of Daniel in the cave.

PS, I know that they were recreating the flight as best they could, so I get that Jack was in a suit or whatever, but couldn't they have been a little bit practical? Brought some water purifiers or space blankets or something?

Other Thoughts:

A question I have is if Widmore had the address to give Desmond in L.A. for Faraday's mother at the Lamp Post why did he have such a hard time finding the island before? Did he not know the location of the Lamp Post? (Its already a pretty good assumption that he can't physically go back to the island himself for some reason since he wasn't on the freighter)
My big prediction for the episode…kate is pregnant. In the spirit of recreating the exact circumstances of the original flight, I'm thinking that she got pregnant, but won't realize it until they are on the island.
Locke to Jack: I wish you had believed.Jesus to Thomas: Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
I found it interesting when Mrs. Hawking was trying to convince Jack to go back, she mentioned believing was simply a leap of faith. However, Ben then contradicted her in the next scene by telling the story of Thomas the Apostle, who was more the "man of science" and needed physical proof to confirm his beliefs. So which is it? Leap of Faith or Reasoning and Evidence?

My wife had an excellent prediction during tonight's episode. She guessed that Hurley's guitar case was full of snacks! Time will tell...

Recreating the first flight:
Sayid took the Kate role and was escorted by an officer.Hurley had the guitar case like Charlie.There is the obvious parallel between Locke and Christian.Jack carried a letter with him, much like Sawyer.Ben rushed to make the flight just as Hurley had with 815.
We know for sure that the Leftover Losties became part of Dharma at some point, which is when we saw Daniel i am guessing, but they left the island at some point in order to build the Lamp Post... could it be possible that the "smart person" who built the Lamp Post is actually Daniel himself?

Another reference/angle I've noticed is Greek Mythology. Note: Ben was reading James Joyce's Ullysses on the plane. This book is derived/structured after Homer's The Odyssey. It's the original "epic journey" which includes among other things, a heroine named Penelope and a man who gets stranded and spends many long years trying to get back to her. Many of the adventures take place on islands...magical and otherwise.
I really think that Frank Lapidus was able to land the plane on the island and that is going to be how the passengers get off the island in the end. He was originally supposed to be the pilot of Oceanic so I think that fate or whoever is controlling these events is righting this original wrong by making him the pilot of the Ajira flight. He was able to land the helicopter last season and get it off the island with the Oceanic 6 and I think he'll do it again.

I'm starting to see a "Daddy's shoes" theme I hadn't noticed before. In previous episodes we see Ben removing his drunken father's shoes in a flashback. We see Kate removing her drunken father's shoes in a flashback. Both dads killed at the hands of their child. Now Jack is taking his Daddy's shoes to him. I always thought it was strange that Christian was wearing white shoes with his navy suit, but I figured the white shoes were symbolic. When God met Moses through a burning bush, He told him to take off his shoes because He was standing on holy ground--a practice that was continued when entering the temple in ancient Jerusalem. And the white shoes seemed a sharp contrast to the man in red shoes – that Eloise pointed out to Desmond, who was marked for death in "Flashes before Your Eyes". She used the man with red shoes as an illustration that the universe self-corrects. Maybe returning Christian shoes is the whole reason to go back to the island - I mean, who can endure eternity with that kind of fashion faux pas? Last week they made a point of showing Christian Shepard's shoes when he found Locke in the well – they were NOT the white tennis shoes he normally wears. So, assuming they are the black dress shoes that Jack brought on the Ajira flight – how did Christian have them on already? We now know that Christian had Jack's shoes, and Locke has Christian's shoes. to complete the circle of Jack /> Christian > Locke, that would mean Locke would have to give Jack something to bring to the island that was his.. a letter :)

Based on Charlotte's declaration "This place is death," I'm now wondering if the Island is some form or manifestation of SHEOL. Sheol is a Hebrew term that means "abode of the dead" or "underworld." It is sometimes translated "Hades" (from Greek mythology). It's also often equated with hell, but it's a more neutral place where the dead await resurrection either in COMFORT or TORMENT. That makes it a HOLDING CELL where you wait for final judgment: you are either exonerated – you go to heaven – or condemned – you go to hell.Roman Catholics (and we know how much Catholic imagery has been woven throughout the series!) translate "SHEOL" as "DEATH," so when Charlotte said "This place is death," she might actually have been saying: "This place is SHEOL."Here are a few clues that the Island (or some part of the Island) might house "Sheol":- Abaddon is not just the name of an angel; it can also refer to a place (of destruction), and when it does it is translated Sheol.-The Smoke Monster: the producers themselves refer to the Smoke Monster as Cerberus, the three-headed dog from Greek mythology who guards the gates of Hades. So could it be that the Temple itself is the gateway to Sheol?-The hieroglyphs that appeared when the button was not pushed translated "underworld" (a synonym for Sheol).Sheol is NOT the same as purgatory (a theory that has been ruled out by the producers), which is a place where the dead are purged to be made ready for heaven. In Sheol, where you end up has not been decided yet.Perhaps the main threat is that the inhabitants of this underworld might somehow be unleashed upon the (upper) world. If so, God help us all!
Narnia parallels by Doc Jensen, who has far more insight than I could offer - I love this crazy guy- he makes me not seem as nuts (he writes LOST articles for Entertainment Weekly):

Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have often cited The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis' beloved fantasy series, as a major creative touchstone for their own fantastical epic. (The proof: Charlotte Staples Lewis = Clive Staples Lewis). Prince Caspian, Lewis' sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, in which the four Pevensie siblings return to the enchanted realm of Narnia...many, many years in the future, and via a mysterious island dotted with crumbling ruins, no less. Tonight's Lost is entitled ''316.'' If you've seen the promos some or all of the Oceanic 6 pull a Prince Caspian and officially start their journey back to the Island. Or, put another way, ''316'' is the dedication page to a whole new chapter in the veritable Chronicles of Lost. And if you go to your local bookstore today and buy HarperCollins' 2001 single-volume compendium of all seven Narnia novels, you know what you'll find on page 316? That's right:
The dedication page to Prince Caspian. (And the next page is Chapter 1, The Island.)

Other possible Narnia links to LOST:
DEATHWATER ISLAND From the book Voyage of the Dawn Treader After successfully surviving a tempest-like storm, Edmund, Lucy, and King Caspian discover yet another mysterious Narnia island that's home to a dormant volcano and a once-glorious civilization that has fallen into ruin. The island seems to be imbued with great power — its waters can turn anything into gold. But Caspian gets greedy. He wants to exploit this alchemical magic to bolster his royal power. To that end, he demands that Edmund and Lucy keep the island a secret. Edmund refuses, but his motivations aren't wholly virtuous, either: He just resents Caspian trying to pull rank on him, ''one of the four ancient sovereigns of Narnia.'' Lucy gets pissy and tells them both to get over their bad selves — ''You're all such swaggering, bullying idiots!'' — when suddenly a deus ex machina vision of God-like Aslan spanks them into moral submission and wipes their memories of the episode. All that remains is the fuzzy recollection that the island should be avoided at all costs. ''This is a place with a curse on it,'' says the valiant rat Reepicheep. ''And if I might have the honour of naming this island, I should call it Deathwater.''
LINK TO LOST: A pact to keep the island a secret? Sounds like ''The Lie.'' ''The Man Behind The Curtain'' revealed that the Island on Lost is home to a dormant volcano. The same episode also revealed that Dharma was engaged in ''gemology,'' suggesting that the Island is rich with precious minerals. It also should be noted that in the episode ''The Other Woman'' we learn that the function of the Dharma station known as the Tempest was to manufacture cyanide gas. Cyanide is an essential ingredient in extracting gold from ore and refining other rocks and minerals into valuable gems. (''Chemical weapons facility'' my ass. I am utterly convinced that Dharma was there to rape the Island of all its natural riches.) ''The Shape of Things To Come'' depicted Ben and Charles Widmore as bullies and would-be Island sovereigns locked in a battle over control of the Island. ''This Place Is Death'' reminded us that the Island has its own ancient civilization, and it also had Charlotte — Lost's proverbial Lucy — pulling from a fuzzy memory that ''This place is death!''

THE YELLOW RINGSFrom the book The Magician's Nephew In this mythology-revealing installment, the book's child heroes find a pair of matching magical yellow rings in an ancient box from Atlantis. The kids think that the rings give them the power to transport themselves to Narnia — and they do. But the story reveals that the rings belong to Narnia, and because they do, they want to return there.

LINK TO LOST: Thematically, the off-Island castaways are like the rings, wanting/needing to be returned. In ''This Place Is Death,'' Sun received a gold band — Jin's wedding ring — which inspired/compelled her to return to the Island.

THE LAMP-POST From the books The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew One of the most iconic landmarks in Lewis' Narnia saga, the lamp-post is an eternally lit street light located in the enchanted woods of the Lantern Wastes. After Lucy pushes her way through the wardrobe closet that leads into the Lantern Wastes, the lamp-post is the first marker she encounters. It literally lights her way into Narnia.

LINK TO LOST: We now know — ''The Lamp-Post'' is the name of an off-Island Dharma station that the weird science enclave used to find the Island. It is certainly located in an unlikely place — you know it better as the computer lab underneath Ms. Hawking's church.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

LOST: This Place is Death

Every man has to learn the points of compass again as often as he awakes, whether from sleep or any abstraction. Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.
-Henry David Thoreau

Welcome back Smokey, aka, 'security system guarding the temple.' We know now that you were for sure around and messing with people in 1988, and considering your hieroglyphic-covered ancient lair, it seems you've been around a lot longer than that. (Hieroglyphics matching the ones in the button-pushing hatch?) So Smokey can inhabit people and affect their personalities, or, if you make physical contact with Smokey it messes you up? Still trying to understand the 'sickness' that happened to Danielle's people. Did anything change for/about Danielle since Jin was there this time around to stop her from following the others into Smokey's lair? Or, do we presume with time travel that, though it had not happened for Jin yet, it had already happened that way for Danielle?Nice with the arm getting yanked off- very Jurassic Park. Poor crazy prego Danielle- can't really blame the woman for losing it a little bit and going all Rambo. Interesting to watch things play out just as she had explained it to our Losties a few seasons ago. Also, Danielle gave birth to Alex on the island- this was post-Dharma but pre-Castaways. When exactly did the baby problem start?

Jin and Sawyer. Reunited and it feels so good. I totally forgot that Charlotte spoke Korean. (I wish that her knowledge of the Klingon language would have come into play at some point ... maybe she can be in JJ Abrams new Star Trek movie ;P) "Don't let them bring her back, this place is death.' ... so, was that supposed to be some kind of prophesy or was Charlotte just PO'd about all the jumping and nose bleeds? Oh, I love crazy Charlotte! "Look for the well" - so her subconscious is starting to remember her time on the island. The well at the pre-Orchid Station location though, wouldn't it have been pre-Charlotte too? Whoa! Charlotte remembers Dan. Is he actually Jacob? Daniel is the most confusing character. If he IS Jacob, or whatever connection it is that he has with the island, I really don't think that he realizes (or remembers) it fully. Why did Charlotte have to kick the bucket just when she was getting interesting? They always do that on LOST- make you care for/understand/relate to characters just in time to kill them off (Boone, Shannon, Charlie...) PS, is Jin the only one NOT having nosebleeds at this point? (Besides Dan who has a Constant).

I was glad that they had that scene with Jin and Locke at the well because I had been wondering why Locke didn't tell Sun about Jin since 'Jeremy Bentham' visited them all. Ouch, you're knee Locke! So I guess, dead, creepy Christian Shepherd really can't physically touch people in the undead state he is in. Nice reveal with the whole, Locke was supposed to move the wheel and not Ben- is that true or just a little tidbit to make sure that Locke feels guilty/faithful enough to sacrifice his life for everyone and the island even though he really doesn't know why he is doing it? Did Ben know that things would go awry if he turned the wheel and not Locke and that was his plan the whole time so that he could get back to the island as its savior? Also, not that Locke has turned the wheel how will that effect the time jumps on the island? Obviously it won't solve things since the big thing is getting everyone back, but it must have some effect.

Well that was a quick sail for Desmond to LA from the UK. How creepy is Eloise? Interesting that it seemed like Ben hadn't made the connection with who she was until Des said he was looking for Dan's mom- he realized something in that moment. Perhaps a Whidmore connection? I was waiting for two things that we will hopefully get next week: 1- a shocked look on Desmond's face when he recognizes Ellie, 2- Ben asking Desmond about Penny. So I guess that Sun is on board now- is she going to go and get her super cute kid first? Maybe Des can sail her to Korea in a day in his super fast jetboat. I guess that's not fair, since we don't know 'when' exactly it was that Des was at Oxford compared to the last couple of 'real time' days with Ben trying to gather everyone. Now to very quickly get Kate and Sayid and Hurley on board, which the preview for next week seems to suggest they are able to do. It was a couple of episodes ago that Ellie told Ben he had like 70 hours to get them back to the island- what are we down to now? (Also, what exactly has he had to do to keep them all safe? It seems to me that most of the off-island trouble that they have had is more DUE to him in some way)

I'm still stuck on the Charles Whidmore and Eloise Hawking relationship. They were 'Others' on the island together when they were young, and they both seem to have left (or been expulsed) from the island around the same time, early enough that their respective children didn't grow up there. Is Ben's annihilation of the Dharma folks what caused the problems and made them have to leave? Is that why everything Ben has was 'taken' from Charles? Also, is there a love connection between Charles and Ellie? Or, are they siblings? Maybe as opposed to Daniel and Penny being brother and sister, they are cousins. I would like to learn about Daniel's father and Penny's mother. I would also like to hear about Charlotte's parentage- at least one of her parents must be someone we've met before. Could it be Ben and his childhood sweetheart Annie? Maybe when Annie realized that Ben had totally lost it and was going to kill everyone, she fled with their child to England. I wonder if we will see Charlotte as a phantom figure at some point like Christian. The whole Dan in love with Red still throws me off- he has always been extremely overprotective of her, (and maybe its just the lack of chemistry that was throwing me off) but I just don't think he is sincerely interested in a romantic sense. I wonder if they'll drop that love business now. The likeliest scenario for him to be the 'crazy man' who told her not to come back is that it is during a jump that hasn't happened so he doesn't remember it yet. It already happened for her, but not for him. (Like with the Danielle/Jin thing) His warning her as a child would have been the same time period to match that scene from the first episode where he is with Dharma in the cave. Still, the first time we saw Dan he was in a home, seemingly being cared for by a nurse, and bawling about the crash of Oceanic 815, though he didn't know why. Is his memory of time on the island before all jacked up?

Also, I have replayed a scene from last week in my mind, and it is bothering me. The scene when Locke it talking to Sawyer in reference to Kate and says, 'don't you want her to come back?' I know that Sawyer is very broken down after everything, but does he believe in the island now too? I mean, why didn't he give Locke a quizzical look and say what do you mean, back? Why aren't we still trying to get off the island? I know they are travelling through time and all, but have they given up on the dream of leaving the island and going back to real life? Seems a little off. I'm glad that Jin made an issue of it tonight with not wanting Sun to return, but Sawyer and Juliette and Miles and Dan are just kind of going with Locke, despite no good explanation. Juliette is particularly zen- what knowledge of hers do we still not know from her time with the Others?

Other Thoughts:

Now I know that Annie (Ben's childhood love) was seemingly American, but what if she is Charlotte's mother? She could have moved to England to follow Charles Widmore. Maybe Ben isn't upset about Annie dying, but she chose to leave the island, which to him, would have been worse that her dying. This could be more than a battle over the island, but a vendetta over a woman.It needs to be reiterated that Locke is currently in a coffin. He is supposedly coming back to the island in a coffin. Hmmm. Who else came to the island in a coffin? Oh yeah, Christian Shephard did. That is an intriguing parallel. If the island has some power to "reincarnate" like we all suspect it may, then we may not be seeing some strictly ghost Christian.

So is the well Locke jumped into really JACOB's Well? Jacob's Well – the one in the Bible – is now located on the grounds of a monastery. To get to the well, you have to enter a church, descend the stairs to a crypt where the well stands, along with icons and lots of lit candles.Doesn't that setting sound familiar? In the episode "Numbers", Hurley goes to visit his old friend Leonard whom Hurley got the numbers from. Leonard tells him to visit a man named Sam Toomey but it turns out that Sam is dead. Sam's wife tells Hurley that when Sam was stationed at a military listening post 16 years ago, he picked up a voice repeating the numbers over and over again. This was in the South Pacific. This was the voice that Daneille and the French people heard - The same one that Sam Toomey heard.

Now we know for sure Charlotte's link to C.S. Lewis. The character most like C.S. Lewis in the Narnia books is the professor, who owns the wardrobe that acts as a passageway to a strange land where time moves differently. But then it's revealed in a later book that the professor himself LIVED in Narnia as a YOUNG boy. Just like our Charlotte. And in both cases, the former inhabitants were told by those around them that they had made up the magical lands in their heads.

I think it's really interesting that Jin hasn't had a nose bleed yet - and Sawyer has. Maybe being knocked out for the first round of jumps- saved him from the damage of the temporal displacement. His brain didn't have to process the time differentials while he was out. Maybe...??

Remember way back when Kate, Sawyer, and Jack were being held hostage. Sawyer is busting up rocks and Juliette says they're building a "runway". She jokes that this is for "the aliens" and eventually confesses to not being sure of the runway's purpose. With all this Ajira Airlines business, maybe the runway is for a plane carrying the Oceanic 6 back to the island. Which would mean they had this planned way back when. Awesome, if that's the case. If Ajira Airlines is how the 6 get back on the island, that means the Ajira bottle in the boat belonged to one of them, which means that scene was in the future -the future Oceanic 6 leaves the beach for a minute, finds one of their boats missing, and chases after whoever took it. Which I think means Sawyer & friends were being shot at by Jack & friends. (Oooh, I like it)

Last season, in the episode ''Meet Kevin Johnson,'' Lost cited a book that may help explain many of our time travel questions. In Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, the hero becomes ''unstuck in time'' and begins experiencing past, present, and future all at once. Perhaps Lost is dramatizing a similar conceit: The Left Behinders have become ''unstuck'' and are now experiencing the Island's past, present, and future in an everlasting state of now.

Alpert knows when the castaways are. He told Locke the "next" time they met he wouldn't recognize him. Not "when we meet again" but the *next* time. This mean he knew exactly when Locke et al. were leaping to. But how does he know?

so the only ones skipping through time are those who were either on the island or on the freighter when Ben turned the wheel. Are these left-behinders skipping through time evenly? For example, are Jin and Locke, though physically apart, skipping at the same moment and to the same time? I'd like to know what happened to Rose, Bernard, and the other dwindling nameless 815 survivors that were supposed to meet up at the creek. I know the show can't use them all of the time, but it bugs me that they left them hanging like that. More importantly though, what about Cindy the Stewardess and the two kids from 815 that were in the Others camp? Are they jumping as well? If not, why not?

In the world of science, there is a theoretical concept called zero point energy/zero point field, which could help explain much of what we're seeing on Lost. Zero point energy is a hypothetical source of possibly limitless energy. It is linked to ''The Casmir Effect'' and ''negative energy,'' terms name checked by Pierre Chang in his Orchid orientation videos. They are also key ingredients in the wormhole theory of time travel.
Why can't the Island be the one time traveling *under* the lostaways? In other words, the lostaways are in the same timeline as the Oceanic Six, but the Island is unstuck in time and changing to different time periods around the lostaways. I suppose that would make the Others part of the Island.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

LOST: The Little Prince

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
-G. K. Chesterton

A good episode of LOST ( because all episodes of LOST are good by default) but definitely not as captivating as the previous episodes of the season so far. Everyones noses are starting to bleed, Charlotte and Miles first because they have been on the island before (though Miles didn't know, so is he in fact the son of the Dharma doctor as the popular theory goes?) The nose bleeds do seem to be in order of who has been on the island the longest too, since Juliette was next. Interesting that Charlotte didn't recognise Daniel at first when she came to. Just like she couldn't remember her Mother's maiden name. I feel like that could come back out of nowhere and shock us- she could have an epiphany. 'Dan! Oye! I remembered my mother's name, it's ________' unanimous shock and awe and as we discover a new connection! ;) Seriously though, I wonder how forgetful might she get by the end of her sickness- that could be fun and frightening. Also, since Dan send Desmond off to find his mom I still think that Charlotte's Constant will be someone from when she was on the island the first time and I'm excited to find out who.

I was a little annoyed with the whole Ben/Claire's mom/mean lawyer situation- it was no shock that it was Ben who was behind everything, though I didn't expect it to all come out in the open as soon as it did. It was kind of lame throwing Claire's mom into it for no good reason that I can see expect to throw us off for five minutes and play with poor Kate's head. (Unless Ben is manipulating Claire's mom for some other reason that we don't know of yet- it is awfully convenient that she was in a coma when Claire left and now she is totally fine- are they dropping that or is there more to it?) Kate is the only one of the characters who really seems pretty grounded and is reacting with the proper amount of anger and confusion that any normal person would under the circumstances. Apparently it can't all be chalked up to motherhood since that didn't seem to make a difference for bitter Sun. Sweet flashback moment with Kate and Jack on the boat.

Though I expected that we would see both Danielle and Jin again, I was still very happy to see them both. It is interesting seeing Danielle while she is young and sweet and not crazy macho. Poor confused and half drowned Jin who doesn't know about the island time jumps!

The boys, the boys. Well, as much as I miss seeing Desmond this week, it was a very good episode for the men of the show. Usually one of them is driving me nuts, but I was loving them all this week. Jack- he used to bother me being too boyscout as Man of Science, and then he became all whiney and depressed and confused and would do anything Ben said. Now he has the faith in the island but is also using his head again. Nice to have you back, Jack. Sayid- apparently I have a thing for dangerous men, because every time Sayid gets all violent I am totally digging him. Sawyer- sigh, such a heartbreaking expression on his face when he saw Kate and wanted so badly to go to her but couldn't. I love that he opens up to Juliette and that she is so patient with him. The love quadrangle continues. Sawyer also wins for best line of the night, 'time travels a bitch.' Reminds me of a line of Ben's last year about fickle fate. ;)

The title of this episode is from the famous French novel (nice, since we saw the return of Danielle and the French this week) of the same name, The Little Prince. for those of you who haven't read it, here is a brief sinopsis:
The narrator, an airplane pilot, crashes in the Sahara desert. There he meets the little prince, a very serious little blond boy from a small planet that he took great care of - preventing any bad seeds from growing and making sure it was never overrun by baobab trees. One day, a rose sprouted on the planet and the little prince fell in love with it. But when he caught the rose in a lie one day, he decided that he could not trust her anymore and set out to explore other planets and cure his loneliness.
While journeying, the little prince passes by neighboring asteroids and encounters the strange, narrow-minded world of grown-ups, meeting a king, a vain man, a drunkard, a businessman, a lamplighter, and a geographer, all of whom live alone and are overly consumed by their chosen occupations. He learns from the geographer that flowers do not last forever, and he begins to miss the rose he has left behind.
At the geographer's suggestion, the little prince visits Earth, landing in the middle of the desert and meeting a snake who speaks in riddles and hints darkly that its lethal poison can send the little prince back to the heavens if he so wishes. The little prince ignores the offer and continues his explorations, eventually finding a rose garden, which surprises and depresses him—his rose had told him that she was the only one of her kind.
The prince befriends a fox, who teaches him that the important things in life are visible only to the heart, that his time away from the rose makes the rose more special to him, and that love makes a person responsible for the beings that one loves. The little prince realizes that, even though there are many roses, his love for his rose makes her unique and that he is therefore responsible for her.
Eventually, the narrator and the prince set off to find a well, feeding their hearts as much as their bodies, and the two share a moment of bliss as they agree that too many people do not see what is truly important in life. The little prince's mind, however, is fixed on returning to his rose, and agrees to let the snake bite him. The narrator takes comfort when he cannot find the prince's body the next day and is confident that the prince has returned to his asteroid. The narrator is also comforted by the stars, in which he now hears the tinkling of his friend's laughter, concluding by showing a drawing of the desert landscape where he met the prince, asking us that if we are ever in the area let him know the little prince has returned.
Symbolism much for you? Is the island the asteroid/rose? Does it have its power because over the years people have believed in it and given it that power? When the Prince desides to let the snake bite him, he tells the Narrator that he shouldn't watch and that he has to do it this way because his body is too heavy to take back home with him. Interesting how the Prince returns to his home but not with his body, much like the dead seem to still live on the island though their bodies have died. Is Aaron the prince? Is Jack? Is Locke?

Pondering generations: Okay, so we already had a generation thing going on in the previous seasons with Charles and Penny Widmore, Christian Shepherd with both Jack and Claire, and Sun with her father, all parents who are powerful/have connections. We have since discovered that Daniel's mother is an Other, and we also know that Charlotte was born on the island suggesting that her mother (and father, I suppose) were also Others. When Daniel realized that he needed to secure a Constant for Charlotte, he created a new memory for Desmond and asked him to find his mother. We know now that his mother is Eloise and that she was on the island when she was younger and now she is in LA and helping Ben to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island. Daniel must have known that his mother was present at the birth of Charlotte, because I am thinking that her Constant is going to end up being someone from when Charlotte was on the island before. All of the heritage is still up in the air, but I have a hunch that a sibling revelation is coming up. My first thought was that Daniel could be the love child of Charles Widmore and Eloise, making Penny his half sister (or whole I suppose- do we know anything about Penny's mother?) Maybe Charles and Eloise had Penny and Daniel and to keep them safe they each took one to raise. If this is completely off, another possibility is that Penny is Charlotte's big sister and was, for all we know, born on the island as well, and when she and Desmond make it back to the island, which seems a very likely scenario, Penny will be Charlotte's Constant. Whew! I think I am leaning towards the Penny and Daniel relationship, in which case, who is Charlotte's Constant? I am fairly positive that it will be someone from when she was on the island before, so other than potentially Penny or someone we are not aware is her parent, your guess is as good as mine. Ellie will know what to do though. Hopefully when Penny and Des get to her Ben will already be gone and not a threat. Please oh please!

Other thoughts:

How about luring Sun back to the Island. Next week's preview makes it clear that Ben lets the cat out of the bag that Jin is alive, thus giving her a reason to go back to the Island. If we assume that the Oceanic Six need to go back to the Island to make everything right in the world, it's reasonable to think that the Island would keep Jin alive to ensure that Sun has a reason to go back. Of course, this raises the question of how Ben knows that Jin is alive and on the Island. I guess the easiest answer is "Locke visited him and told him" when he was on his Jeremy Bentham mission to convince the Oceanic Six to come back to the Island. This means that Locke must run into Jin before going to the Orchid, right? Although the scenes from next week made it look like they'll be at the Orchid in next week's episode!

CFL ran into Jin in 1988 - so why didn't she recognize him when they ran into each other in 2004? Because she went crazy? Or because they never really had much direct interaction? I quick look at Lostpedia's article on CFL only references Jin once - when he, Bernard, and Sayid set off the trap for the Others - and I can't remember many direct conversations between the two. But seriously, there were only like 40 Survivors, and only two were Korean - so Jin should have stood out to CFL, right?

Ajira Airlines finally makes its official appearance on Lost in the form of a water bottle. But my question is, where did those boats come from? A larger boat? An airplane? Unless the Island really did move in space (putting it closer to civilization), I don't really see those two boats being able to make the journey to the Island. And why would they be attacking our Skipping Survivors? And who were they? With all this time-jumping stuff in play, there are TONS of options here - ranging from people who were following the Freighter explosion to the Oceanic Six once they return to the Island to future versions of our Skipping Survivors - who would be literally shooting on themselves (notice how none of the shots were hitting them? That seemed strange). But why? Many questions to ponder here.

This week pretty much confirmed that Miles WAS the baby from the season premiere, since Faraday hinted that he had spent some time on the Island before. So Charlotte has spent the most time (at least a few years), followed by Miles (again, years), then Juliet (who has been there for quite some time herself). Is this why Desmond got the same nosebleed when he left the Island? Because he had been there so long? Again, this seems to prove that the bearing you come and go to the Island on is extremely important, and I think the Others know it.