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.

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