First, apologies to everyone for taking longer than usual to post this recap. I hate it when work interferes with more important things (ha, ha). On the plus side, I was in New York City, where I used to live and love to visit. The food was typically fantastic, and the weather unusually so. But it was nonetheless nice to return home to sunny LA, where everything is so much...easier. Uh oh, now I'm starting to sound like Paul Simon in Annie Hall.
Speaking of returning home, a big(mouth) welcome back to Lost's own prodigal son, Nestor Carbonell. I absolutely loved Richard Alpert as a kind of creepy Professor X figure recruiting special children for his school, which was presumably on the Island. This brings to mind my speculation the Island of Lost Children, which seems mostly wrong in retrospect with a few nuggets of prescience sprinkled throughout. More specifically, it does indeed seem that the Island is a kind of orphanage for special children. And Ben does in fact appear to have usurped control of the orphanage for his own ends.
The test Richard gives to young Locke is modeled after the real test used to pick the next Dalai Lama. After he dies, objects belonging to the previous Dalai Lama are presented to young children, who are told to choose the items that already belong to them. The child who correctly chooses these objects from a group is thought to be the reincarnation of the previous Lama. For those interested in learning more about the Dalai Lama, I can't recommend Martin Scorsese's film Kundun highly enough. It's beautifully acted, shot, and edited, with a quietly urgent score by Philip Glass that complements the movie marvelously.
So, is John Locke the reincarnation of Jacob? It's possible but I actually doubt it, despite the reincarnation reference. Notice how Locke drew a picture of Cerberus smoke monster apparently killing someone. Notice, as well, how some of the objects (e.g., sand, compass, knife) correspond with items we've seen Locke use on the Island. Maybe the special talent Locke possesses is an ability to transcend spacetime such that he really does "already own" the various objects in question. The prophetic dreams are a manifestation of this talent. Ben mentions that he "used to have dreams, too," which would explain his apparent foreknowledge, as well.
Why did Richard react so negatively to Locke picking the knife? It's possible the latter chose incorrectly in the sense that the object never belonged to him. But I actually associate Locke first and foremost with knives -- even more than the compass. I get the sense that his choice was wrong in the sense that it signaled violence and aggression. Locke is destined somehow to play a pivotal role in events that signal either the end of the world or a new beginning. Perhaps his choice of the knife is a sign that events are leaning toward the former. Here are some other thoughts and reactions I had to Cabin Fever:
* Emily Locke is playing Buddy Holly before her date. Holly, of course, died in plane crash.
* Just who do you suppose was driving that car? What if it's the same person who drove the car that hit Michael?
* Grandma Locke mentions that Emily's boyfriend (and presumably the father of her child) is more than twice Emily's age. As a poster named Kansasgal perceptively notes, that makes it unlikely Anthony Cooper was John's real father. If that were so, Cooper would have been 79 at the time of his death -- not impossible but certainly implausible given that Kevin Tigh (the actor who plays Cooper) is about ten years younger.
* So Emily Locke had John prematurely at six months -- just like Emily Linas had Ben.
* Interesting how the Captain doesn't seem to be in charge of the expedition. Keamy is apparently on equal footing with the Captain. Does that mean Keamy is now in charge?
* Keamy's misfiring gun brings to mind Michael's inability to commit suicide. This is probably a good time to reiterate my prediction that Michael cannot die until some event -- perhaps another purple sky incident -- takes place. Once that happens and they return to civilization, Sayid will kill Michael, maybe even at the latter's request.
* Was Dharma building the cabin or rebuilding it? The architectural plans suggest the former. But how much you want to bet that Horace Godspeed had a dream about where and how to build that cabin?
* "That's probably because I've been dead for 12 years." Well, well, well...looks like the Purge did indeed happen in 1992, as speculated in "I Am Not Alone..." But before I take credit where it isn't due, let me confess that I had some inside knowledge on this one. The script for the Man Behind the Curtain actually specifies the year of the Purge as 1992.
* A lot of folks seem confused by this timing, which implies that Alex was taken before the Purge.
* Is Grandma Locke smoking her cigarette backwards? Some have been quick to seize upon this as a subtle clue that something is wrong with this scene. Was John Locke supposed to survive the crash? Did he somehow exert some control over his destiny even in utero to save himself and his mother? Does Locke make his own luck ? Then again, upon closer inspection, Grandma's cigarette is filterless, so perhaps this is all much ado about nothing...
* Love that shot of Richard in the hospital. In view of my recent post the Lost Bible, one wonders if his ageless character is a nod to the myth of the Wandering Jew...
* Hurley is absolutely correct that he, Locke, and Ben can all see the cabin because they're the craziest. Remember how one of the other patients at SRMI saw Charlie's ghost talking to Hurley? There's something about mental illness that opens minds to communication with Jacob. The same is true of mental trauma, which is why Claire began seeing visions after being hit in the head, and why Jack saw Christian while delerious. I believe Jack's operation was crucial to setting up a family reunion with Claire and Christian in the Cabin. Which reminds me, my Schizophrenic Theory of Lost is due for an update...
* "Pit" stop -- get it?
* Locke mentioned that Dharma made the ranch dressing Hurley loves so much. But we now know that everyone in Dharma died twelve years ago. Did the Others take over production of the Dharma ranch, or have those food drops been coming from the past?
* Interesting how both Ben and Locke both insist upon referring to Hurley as "Hugo."
* Who led the Others before Ben and ordered the Purge? Some say Charles Widmore, but I have a hard time buying that. Could it be Jacob?
* It cracks me up how the Captain, who seemed like such a badass when we first met him, seems totally helpless when confronted by Keamy.
* The "secondary protocol" is presumably the Orchid Station. Widmore knows about it because he was an investor in the Dharma Initiative.
* Interesting how Locke was supposed to be a man of science but fought his fate tooth and nail. Interesting, as well, how Richard Alpert is himself a man of science despite working for Jacob, who supposedly hates technology.
* I believe the exchange between Michael and Frank is further indication that Charles Widmore didn't stage that second crash of Oceanic 815. It was Chronology Protection Agents like Ms. Hawking, Brother Campbell, and possibly even Daniel Abaddon. As I describe in Lost Time, the second crash was staged to prevent a butterfly effect that risked changing the future. Widmore has a vested interest in convincing people the wreckage is real because he controls this future in which Oceanic 815 crashed, killing everyone onboard.
* Is that device on Keamy's arm some kind of mechanism that destroys the Freighter if Keamy dies?
* "I've been on that Island for three years. I'm never setting foot on there again. Not when Penny's coming for me." I'm guessing that Desmond's line is ironic foreshadowing. I believe he will learn that he must return to the Island to be reunited with Penny. For whatever reason, the two will decide to remain there together...
* Who is Matthew Abaddon? I mentioned earlier that he might be a Chronology Protection Agent. But something about the way he addressed John as "Mr. Locke" reminded me of Walt. Is it possible Abaddon is Walt from the future?
* Interesting how Locke specifically mentioned that there was a 98% chance he would never get any feeling back in his legs. For someone capable of affecting probability (e.g., Jacob or even Locke himself) a 2% chance is all you need. Indeed, the odds of surviving an eight-story fall from a window and a catastrophic plane crash are even slimmer -- though, again, not impossible.
* Am I the only one who thought of the Al Michaels's call of the Miracle on Ice when Abaddon asked Locke if he believes in miracles? Yes!!!!
* "The Island wanted me to get sick." I believe this is further confirmation that Jacob did indeed give Ben cancer as punishment for the latter's betrayal, as I describe in the Cancer Man's Con.
* As I noted last week, Christian doesn't appear to be wearing his suit and white tennis shoes. Why and where did he get the new duds?
* Claire seems surprisingly sanguine given that she's been separated from Aaron. I'm reminded of her carefree demeanor during her stay in the Caduceus Medical Station, which was presumably the result of some drug. I wonder, though, who else she's met while in this dreamy state. Was she reunited with Charlie, who informed her that everything will be fine with Aaron?
* Where is the baby supposed to be? If he's the Anti-Christ, the answer is off the Island so he can destroy the world. Evil Aaron! Natas! Redrum!
* Locke said they're supposed to "move the Island," and I can summarize how they'll do it in two words: purple sky. I'll expand on this in a separate post, but to summarize briefly, I believe there will be another purple sky event before the end of the season. This event will involve the Orchid Station, which is the mysterious "frozen donkey wheel" that Darlton have been hyping. The effect of this purple sky event will be to shift the Island in spacetime, which is why Ben had to double-check the time and date after waking up in the desert.