Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thoughts on There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 and 3...

As I watched the last two scintillating hours of Season 4 unfold, I found myself marveling for the umpteenth time at the brilliance and audacity of Lost. Writing this risky finale was clearly no mean feat. If rumors are correct, there will be no more flashforwards next season. Instead, the show will take place after the Oceanic 6 have returned to civilization with flashbacks to Island events. That's basically a mirror image of the first four seasons, which took place on the Island and flashed forward or back to events in the real world. Locke's corpse symbolizes the death of this old format perfectly.

In that regard, the S4 finale served as a kind of memorial retrospective, repeatedly evoking pivotal moments from seasons past. The Others' attack on Keamy's men resembled the ambush of our Losties in the S2 finale. Keamy confronting Locke in the Orchid paralleled Des doing the same in the Swan. Juliet drowning her despair in Dharma rum recalled Des getting drunk on Dharma wine. The rescue of the O6 by Penny reminded me of the Others taking Walt from the raft. Jack saying "see you in another life" expressly echoed Desmond's line before running off into the jungle.

Perhaps the clearest reference to something from a past episode was the one I predicted in my post Purple Sky. Ben turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel was obviously meant to parallel Desmond turning the Fail-Safe key. In both instances, the act of turning was followed by a blinding flash of light, an earthquake, a whining drone, and electromagnetic discharge. There's even a connection between moving the Island and the mystery of how Charlie, Des, Eko, and Locke survived the Swan implosion. The Fail-Safe hurtled them forward in spacetime much like the Frozen Donkey Wheel jumped the Island to safety.

After the S3 finale, I worried that the writers might be tempted to take a page from Battlestar Galactica, jumping the main story ahead in time to the real world without first depicting the rescue. Instead, they kept the narrative focused on the Island, using flashforwards as a transition to off-Island events. Now that we know how the O6 made it back to civilization, I'm comfortable with a chronological leap forward. At this point, in fact, such a jump makes total sense from a plot perspective. Ask yourself, why did Locke suddenly reappear in their lives a few months ago?

It's because turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel moved the Island forward a few years in spacetime. The rest of the world caught up with it only recently. Here are some other thoughts and reactions I had to There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 and 3:

*I really like how they started the episode at the airport, right where the flashforward from Through the Looking Glass ended.

*The moment they mentioned Jeremy Bentham's name, I knew this character had some connection to John Locke. Bentham, of course, was another famous Enlightenment philosopher who was influenced by Locke.

*Interesting how Sawyer has taken to calling Hurley "Hugo," but Jack still calls him "Hurley." It subtly foreshadows Sawyer and Jack's respective choices to stay and leave the Island.

*Keamy asks a good question: why would Widmore go to all the trouble and expense of capturing Ben alive?

*Sometimes the Others fight like ninjas, other times, not so much.

*Oh, Omar! You deserved a more badass death than that...

*Clearly my main man Ricardo Alpert has no qualms about killing himself...and clearly it was *not* his pleasure to come to Ben's aid.

*Taller Walt was a trip! It's rather brilliant the way locating part of the story in the future allows them to bring the same actor back despite his growth spurt. That's just one of many upsides to the writers' bold narrative gambit.

*You know something? I think Walt knows his dad is dead, and Hurley isn't lying when he says they need to protect Losties like Mike, who didn't make it back. That's because the Island is a place where the living and dad can interact, where "we don't have to think like that anymore."

*Hurley mentions the Dharma crackers from a box dug up out of the the ground are still good. I can't help wondering if this is a metaphor for a coffin, which can similarly be "dug up out of the ground." Question is, will Locke's body still be "good"?

*"You're not supposed to go home. Then what am I supposed to do?" The constant refrain of "supposed to" reminds me a bit of "you make your own luck."

*Anthuriums are the same flower surrounding the manifestation of Yemi whom Eko accused of impersonating his brother.

*"The bomb needs a charge from the battery to detonate. And the battery runs on a chemical reaction. I spray the battery, I keep it cold, no reaction." My first reaction was that they're giving a shoutout to MacGyver. Then it occurred to me the frozen battery might just be a metaphor for the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Did Ben kick-start some chemical reaction by turning the thing?

*What *does* Miles mean by Charlotte spending so much time to get back to the Island? In my recap of Confirmed Dead, I mentioned that the "look of elation on Charlotte's face would suggest she's been trying to find the Island for some time." I then speculated that "some of these Freighter folks were born on the Island." Now we learn that Charlotte herself believes she was born there. Does that mean her birth predates the pregnancy problem? Was she conceived on or off the Island? Flashbacks to Charlotte's childhood will be another excellent window into the Dharma Initiative...

*Did anyone else get the sense Locke and Ben were descending into the underworld as they rode down in the Orchid elevator?

*"Same things all the Dharma stations are for -- silly experiments." To my mind, this line supports the inference that Dharma was meddling with technology from some arbitrarily advanced ancient civilization they neither understood nor appreciated.

*Ben telling Locke to watch a video while he takes care of some business reminded me of Ben's patronizing tone with Jacob. I had an image of an exasperated parent parking a child in front of a DVD while "Daddy works"...

*I totally thought of the Fly remake when we first saw the Orchid teleportation chamber Halliwax calls the "Vault."

*The Dharma music always reminds me of some parody of a bad '70s porno soundtrack...

*If the Orchid is "6 OF 6," it was built after the Swan, which was "3 OF 6"...

*Halliwax implies that the "pocket of negatively charged exotic matter" next to the Vault is naturally occurring. But we know, as apparently did Dharma, that it's actually the remains of an ancient alien device.

*The prohibition against placing metallic objects in the Vault reminds me of the same rule regarding microwave ovens!

*The experiment depicted in the Orchid video involves shifting Bunny 15 ahead 100 milliseconds in "four dimensional space." I believe this most recent purple sky event similarly shifted the Island ahead in 4D space to a time contemporaneous with Jeremy Bentham's "reappearance" in the lives of the Oceanic 6 and Walt.**

* I'm personally skeptical of time loop speculations, but you have to wonder given the obvious symbolism of the automatically rewinding tape and Danielle's automated distress call.

*Kate and Sawyer are too similar to end up together -- they each need someone more Apollonian to balance their Dionysian tendencies. That's why I believe Kate will end up with Jack, and Sawyer with Juliet.

*"Hey, Kenny Rogers" LOL!

*The fact that Jack actually saw Sawyer whisper the secret of his baby to Kate makes it all the more baffling why she doesn't level with Jack in the flashforward...

*Who killed Locke and, more importantly, how? Why didn't the Island, the rules of the Game, etc., protect Locke like Ben?

*I personally think Ben killed Locke. Hurley's chess game with ghostly Mr. Eko is a metaphor for Ben's desperate gambit to return to the Island. Bringing Locke's body may be the only way back for someone who has moved the Island. Like Ben says, he always has a plan...

*I find it hard to believe Jin would stay behind with the bomb when the safety of his wife and unborn child is uncertain. Michael shouldn't have to remind him, though I suppose it underscores how Jin has become concerned for all of our Losties, instead of just Sun.

*More whispers before Christian reappears to tell Michael he "can go now"...

*Awwww, hearing baby Ji Yeon say "uma" reminds me of my little cousin Sophia. Ain't she cute?

*I love Sun's dark turn in the flashforwards! Though I'm sure she'd deny it, she's well on her way to becoming just like her father...

*"I believe I owe him dinner after our last game." What game did Charles Widmore mean? I doubt this is an oblique reference to the battle over the Island, but you never know. Are these titans allies or competitors in the race to get back?

"As you know, we're not the only ones who left the Island." This presumably refers to Locke, whose return to civilization means the Island has reappeared.

*"Sometimes, good command decisions get compromised by bad emotional responses. I'm sure you're going to do a much better job than I ever did." I believe this is an allusion to the difficulties Locke will encounter leading the Others, who Ben also promises will follow his "every word." As Locke said to Jack shortly after they opened the Swan Hatch, "I can't do it alone." Locke's instinct was correct -- the man of faith needs to be tempered by the man of science to fulfill their destiny. That's why bad things happen after Jack leaves the Island...

*Was it just me, or did Sawyer emerging from the ocean ironically reference some famous scene from Bond film or maybe Blue Lagoon where a woman does the same?

*So how exactly *does* Ben know how to move the Island? It's almost like he's seen it done before, but there's no evidence anyone has been behind the Vault since it was first built.

*Love the Star Trek shoutout in having to bring the body back to the Island. In Star Trek III, the Enterprise crew must bring Spock's dead body back to Vulcan to be reunited with his consciousness, which he stored temporarily in the mind of Dr. McCoy.

*"Sorry I made your life so miserable." In the Lost Bible, I suggested that Aaron was the messiah, and John Locke his John the Baptist. Recent events, however, have me questioning that biblical analogy in favor of another suggested by BlackLotus, who believes Locke is the Jesus figure on the show. The notion of resurrecting Locke is one clue along these lines. Another is Ben's aforementioned apology along with his claim that whoever moves the Island can never return. I'm reminded of the myth of the Wandering Jew, who taunted Jesus on the road to cucifixion and was cursed to wander the Earth until the Second Coming.

*The title of my post Jacob's Moving Castle was an allusion to the anime classic Howl's Moving Castle. But it didn't occur to me until the finale that the Island itself might be an even better analogy than the cabin. In the film, the eponymous moving castle allows travel to one of four different destinations depending on the spin of a wheel by the magical front door. Interestingly, Sawyer's nickname for Aaron is Turnip Head, which is also the nickname of a main character in Howl's Moving Castle.

*Might the bright white light that accompanied turns of the Swan key and the Frozen Donkey Wheel alike be blamed on a Bosenova? Props to a poster named yung23, who has been preaching the relevance of particle physics generally, and exotic matter called "condensates" specifically for some time.

*Kate's reversed phone message in her dream supposedly says: "The Island needs you -- you have to go back before it's too late." Odd then that Claire yells "don't you dare bring him back!" Is Claire having second thoughts about staying behind with Jacob? At a minimum, it would appear there are two sides, each of whom wants something very different for Aaron and Kate.

*The Searcher was also the name of Jacques Cousteau's boat. One hopes this will put an end to the "Penny is evil" speculations. Surely the ghost of Cousteau would never allow his boat to be bought by someone evil...right?

**Correction: The original sentence erroneously stated that Locke reappears around the same time that Ben lands in the Tunisian desert. In fact, the latter happens in 2005, while the former occurs in 2007.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best. T-shirt. Ever.

My friend MB recently attended Jazzfest in New Orleans and returned with news that he'd found the perfect gift for me. Turns out, he was right. Behold the coolest t-shirt ever:

The graphic is by Mike Garrett of triplepointstudios. I'm an Obama guy, but whatever your political affiliations, you have to admire Mike's talent and inspiration. Thanks again, MB!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Purple Sky...

Recently, we learned that Locke and Co. must "move" the Island using the Orchid Station. I believe this means they will shift the Island in spacetime so Charles Widmore can no longer find it. I also think I can summarize how they'll do this in two simple words: purple sky. I predict that, before the end of the season, there will be a purple sky event involving the Orchid. This event will reorient the Island such that a bearing of 305 no longer provides safe access. A secondary effect may be to free characters like Michael who are prevented by fate from dying.

Ever notice how they're always playing golf on the show? That's because, as a poster named lostmio notes, golf is a great metaphor for why it's so hard to find the Island. Think of the golf course as the topography of 4D spacetime with the Island located in the hole. To get something to the Island with no temporal distortion takes the equivalent of a hole in one. If you're off by even a degree, you miss the hole completely, necessitating further strokes. The more strokes you take, the greater the temporal distortion. That's why Daniel is so insistent that Frank follow a precise bearing of 305.

That brings me to the purple sky. A poster named kansasgal speculates that the Orchid Station contains a particle accelerator capable of warping spacetime. One clue is Ben's Dharka with the Orchid logo. Another is the "frozen donkey wheel," supposedly the writers' code name for a big scene in the season finale. Kansasgal quotes one Dennis Mackey, who notes that the Large Hadron Collider, a massive particle accelerator in Switzerland, looks a lot like a donkey wheel and requires very low temperatures to operate. Like them, I believe the "frozen donkey wheel" is the particle accelerator in the Orchid.

Some scientists believe that the Large Hadron Collider may be capable of producing micro black holes. In Fixing A Hole, I described how the evaporation of these micro black holes yields Casimir force capable of warping spacetime. Another byproduct of their evaporation is high energy Hawking radiation -- hence the purple sky. The Casimir force generated by the frozen donkey wheel will reorient the Island randomly in spacetime, hiding it again from Widmore. That's why Ben checks with the hotel clerk what month and year it is after landing in the desert -- he's testing the effects of the event.

I further suspect that using the Frozen Donkey Wheel will do more than move the Island. The purple sky may also have implications for Michael, who has proven improbably impervious to death of late. Every time Iron Mike survives another brush with the Reaper, I'm reminded of Dan Simmons's description in Olympos of the Greek warrior Achilles as a freak of quantum probability:

"I see a quantum singularity," says the goddess Nyx. "A black hole of probability. A myriad of equations all with the same single three-point solution. Why is that, Artificer?"

The god of fire grunts again. "His mother, Thetis of the seaweed tangled breasts, held this arrogant mortal in the celestial quantum fire when he was a pup, little more than a larva. The probability of his death day, hour, minute, and method is one hundred percent, and because it cannot be changed, it seems to give Achilles a sort of invulnerability to all other attacks and injury."

To be clear, I'm *not* suggesting that the time of Michael's death is similarly set in stone. I do, however, believe these purple sky events function like the "celestial quantum fire," locking in certain probabilities along the timeline. Anyone who is present for such an event has a 100% chance of being there even if it means cheating death to make it. Take Charlie, who was present for the Swan implosion and accompanying purple sky. Before that event, he miraculously survived heroin abuse, a catastrophic plane crash, a cave in, and his hanging. Afterwards, by contrast, he couldn't die quickly enough...

I suspect the same may be true of Michael. Because he has a 100% chance of being present for the next purple sky, this grants him a kind of immunity from death until then. That's why he survived his suicide attempt, and why Keamy's gun repeatedly misfired. In each case, the universe course corrected to ensure Michael's survival, however slim the odds. But all bets are off once the purple sky occurs. As with Charlie, Iron Mike will be released from the grip of fate and free once again to die. Let us hope that he chooses to make his death a noble a sacrifice like Charlie's...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thoughts on There's No Place Like Home, Part 1...

Perhaps I've been spoiled by the fast pace of this "Wrath of Khan" season of Lost, but I was a little let down by Part 1 of There's No Place Like Home. After watching, my friend and I compared notes and concluded that we'd learned nothing new. It was really only the last few scenes, the ones where we saw all of the pieces on the table, that moved me. I was reminded of the spit screen they use with such great effect to frame the action on 24.

I realize the point of this episode was just to set up the next two hours, but that was kind of the problem. All setup with no payoff for two weeks is too much of a tease. It reminds me of all the hype and hoopla leading up to the Super Bowl. I think it would have been much stronger, albeit unorthodox, to air the first two hours together, followed by the third in two weeks. I can't help wondering if this odd schedule is a function of the strike, as well.

Don't get me wrong -- sometimes good stories require lots of setup. Take Pet Sematary, one of Stephen King's more underappreciated works. Very little happens during the first half, which is mostly devoted to characterization and setting. The key difference is that you don't have to wait two weeks for the payoff like the delay after King ended the Waste Lands with Blaine the Monorail's riddle. Let's hope that something more satisfying than Wizard and Glass awaits us on the other side...

Here are some other thoughts and reactions I had to There's No Place Like Home, Part 1:

* The co-pilot has a rabbit's foot -- how fitting! Notice how Hurley's key has a rabbit's foot, as well. Is there an Island connection?

* Michelle Forbes! Any other fans of Battlestar Galactica think it's weird to see Admiral Cain tottering around on high heels? For those unfamiliar, Forbes played a ruthlessly efficient military officer on BSG -- the kind who executes friends for insubordination without blinking.

* I think I know why the Oceanic 6 all seem to stunned. There will be another purple sky event as they're departing that causes the Island to disappear.

* Cheech is back! Any chance we can get Chong some work, as well? Maybe as Hurley's crazy Uncle Tommy?

* Jack's mom looks different from how I remember her.

* Oh, Rose. If it were Sayid and Desmond in the chopper, THEY would just call.

* Ripping a stitch -- is this a reference to what's about to happen with the Orchid? The ominous Secondary Protocol they keep mentioning?

* "We have to get off this Island right now..." That's because they will be lost in time if they stay...

* Jack bleeding reminded me of Roy Hobbes bleeding from his stitches in his final at-bat of the Natural...

* Love the Flash and Green Lantern pairing of Sawyer and Jack -- right down to the contrasting hair color.

* Loved the reappearance of the Numbers -- e.g., day 108 and the 4815162342 on Hurley's odometer.

* Interesting how their story is that Kate gave birth to the baby. Why lie about that? Why not just have Claire be one of the 8 original survivors who gave birth then died?

* One wonders if the doctors who examined them noticed Jack's fresh appendectomy scar...

* At the press conference, I kept thinking of the Beatles landing at JFK in 1965. I wonder if the nickname "Oceanic 6" is actually a sly nod to the Fab 5. Dr. Shephard, is it true you're the funny one?

* Interesting...we know Jin made it at least to the Freighter. Yet he's not one of the other two who survived the crash then died. Who were the other two that survived?

* I have a feeling that going to Widmore's freighter is a big mistake. I've long believed the freighter will be destroyed, and last night we learned how. I find it curious, though, that there are now basically two bombs onboard the freighter -- it's double booby trapped.

* Who was hiding Dharma rations, binoculars, and a mirror 15 years ago? And how did Ben know precisely where to look? Did he hide these things in preparation for the Purge a few years later?

* Did anyone catch any snippets of what Ben signaled?

* Interesting how Faraday has a doodle of the Orchid logo in his notebook. Did Dan have a flash of the future involving the upcoming purple sky event?

* A poster named SKID, who has been campaigning for Daniel Faraday to remove his necktie, humorously notes that Dan the Man missed a golden opportunity to toss his tie to Charlotte ala Mean Joe Green in the famous Coke commercial...LOL!

* Interesting how Sun accused her father of being one of "two people" responsible for Jin's death. My guess is that the other is Jack. Sun blames Paik for putting them on the Island in the first place, and Jack for insisting that they leave. One wonders if Jin will die when Widmore's Freighter is destroyed...

* What's with the Tron references? Behind Mr. Paik is what looks like a Light Cycle and Hurley calls out to "Mr. Tron" and "Lady Tron"...

* I totally thought we were about to get a ghostly visitation from Charlie or even Dave when Hurley saw the coconut and heard the whispers.

* Hunting boars? How did Cheech know? It's almost like working on that car connected him with the Island...and Hurley.

* Love how Hurley is driving an old beater. We know, however, that he ends up driving the car his daddy gave him, despite being initially convinced it's cursed because of the Numbers. What do you suppose changes Hurley's mind?

* What's creating RF interference on Widmore's Freighter? It would seem to have something to do with Keamy's booby trap, which may be wirelessly connected to that device on his arm.

* Well, Jack didn't learn the truth about Claire being his half sister quite the way I expected. Interesting how Claire's mother made such a miraculous recovery -- last we saw her, she was in a coma. It's like she awakened just to give Jack the news...

* Does Kate know that Jack is Aaron's uncle? Did she hear Claire's mum?

* One interesting discrepancy that hasn't really been explored is Michael's bearing of 325. Now we know it leads to an Island -- which one? Was it in the South Pacific? There are still way too many details we don't know. Unless there's some further payoff, this continues to strike me as another opportunity squandered.

* The C4 in the hold of the Freighter reminded me a lot of the Flame, which was similarly rigged with plastic explosive. Does that imply Charles Widmore was behind both? This would certainly fit with my speculation that Mikhail and Kelvin were originally covert operatives sent by Widmore in 1993 one year after the Purge to secure certain vital facilities on the Island. Then again, if that were their mission, why not secure the Orchid, as well, since Widmore obviously knows of its existence?

* Loved Richard's reappearance in an echo of the ambush of Jack, Locke, and Sawyer by Tom and Co. Interesting how Richard is back to wearing the Others' native duds...

* Omar really isn't ruthless looking enough. In a nod to Predator, they should have gotten Bill Duke to play his role...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thoughts on Cabin Fever...

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.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thoughts on Something Nice Back Home...

Last episode, the most telling quote was Hurley's about Australia being the key to everything in Risk. This time, that distinction belongs to the concluding line from the Alice in Wonderland passage that Jack reads to Aaron: "Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!" As we know, one answer for both is "a Shephard." I found it interesting that Jack apparently knows this, too, judging by his comment that Kate isn't "even related to him!" My hope is still that they're building to the scene I predicted last week in which Claire and Jack travel to Jacob's cabin, where they learn from zombie Christian that they're related.

But there's another important dimension to Alice's rhetorical question. Did you catch that star mobile above baby Aaron's bed? That's now the second "star" reference associated with the tot -- his mobile in the Caduceus Station played the lullaby "Catch a Falling Star." As suggested in the Star of Jacob, I believe these are clues that Aaron is the great great grandson and quite possibly the reincarnation of Jacob, who was himself a Shephard. The star references also point to the possibility that Aaron is a kind of Island Messiah. But will he save the world or end it?

As described in the Lost Bible, the Book of Revelation tells how a false Messiah will appear bearing the mark 666. Claire learns she is pregnant with Aaron "six...sixty six" seconds after taking the home pregnancy test. Thomas Plantard de Saint Claire is the current Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, which readers of the DaVinci Code will recall is devoted to protecting the blood line of Jesus. For a variety of esoteric reasons, Thomas Saint Claire is often cited as a likely candidate for the false prophet predicted by by Revelation. It's telling, therefore, that Aaron's parents were Thomas and Claire.

Aaron is so totally the Anti-Christ! My guess is that visions of his apocalyptic rise to power are the nightmares of which Charles Widmore speaks. Natas! Redrum! Here are some other thoughts and questions I had about Something Nice Back Home:

* I laughed out loud at the way Rose barked at Charlotte: "Just watch your tone, Red!" Oh snap! Reminded me of Stanley's hilarious outburst on this week's Office. "Did I stutter?!"

* Jack states that "I said that I would get us off this Island...I promised that I would" just before collapsing with appendicitis. Obviously, the Island will inflict illness upon those who violate its wishes. As I suggest in the Cancer Man's Con, Jacob gave Ben that cancer. The Island's ghostly patriarch also took away Locke's ability to walk when it wasn't his destiny to climb up into the Beechcraft. Like Rose said, people don't get sick on the Island, they get better.

* Interesting...Jack's hospital knows they should reach him at Kate's place even before they're engaged.

* Just in case you didn't get the Star Wars reference last week with Evil Emperor Ben wielding his lightsaber, Jack stumbles over the Millenium Falcon.

* Yanks Bludgeon Red Sox for Sweep -- the perfect metaphor for how things regress in the flash forwards.

* They maintained my support for the 10pm start time with plenty of panty-clad Kate...

* Claire mentions she's no longer seeing things. Apparently, this refers to a scene that was cut for time from The Shape of Things to Come. According to Doc Jensen at, Claire was supposed to experience some sort of prophetic vision or hallucination after her brush with death.

* Why is Miles so interested in Claire? It's her aura, just like the psychic Richard Malkin said. Miles can read them, like he did Michael's in Meet Kevin Johnson. Miles is attracted to Claire's goodness as much as anything else. This is further confirmation of Malkin's prophecy that Aaron must not be raised by another. Natas! Redrum!

* Miles heard the replay of Rousseau and Karl's death. This fits with my belief that the Island is basically haunted by a Chorus of the Dead made up of everyone who ever died there. Is that why Cerberus didn't kill Keamy's men?

* Digging up the bodies was creepy but left absolutely no doubt they're dead. Again, here's to hoping we still get a flashback to what happened to Rousseau's crew from the perspective of Ben.

* Jack forcing Kate to hold the mirror so he can watch his own operation (to his own detriment) foreshadows their relationship in the flashforward perfectly.

* Hurley is right -- the Oceanic Six are all dead. Or rather, they should be. No one was supposed to survive the crash of Oceanic 815. They have to go back to the Island because they no longer belong in the world, which is about to end anyway. Like Doc Ray's corpse shows, the Island is a place where paradox can exist.

* "You're not supposed to raise him, Jack." Obviously, Hurley is correct that Charlie's message refers to Jack raising Aaron.

* Love that Charlotte speaks Korean. I'm reminded of the creepy Hawaiian-shirt guy who confronted Jin in the restroom right before Oceanic 815 boarded. Does this mean Charlotte works for Mr. Paik? Some faction from the future or even the Chronology Protection Agency?

* "Where do you suppose all this power is coming from?" My guess would be zero point energy generated using the Island's natural Casimir effect.

* My first reaction was that Jack's abrupt proposal was all wrong from a storytelling perspective. Then I realized that was kind of the point -- it's supposed to feel wrong to underscore that Jack isn't supposed to be doing this.

* Charlotte's Korean accent is only slightly worse than Jin's...LOL!

* Bernard cracked me up with his no-nonsense line "I'm sorry, Jack, but I agree" just before knocking the latter out with Chloroform.

* I figured that was the Island/Jacob calling to Jack when Christian appeared in the lobby. The malfunctioning smoke detector reminded me of the broken intercom in the Hyrdra where Jack heard his father's voice urge him to "let it go..."

* The appearance of Christian fits with my prior speculation that he will haunt his son, driving Jack to drink and drugs. Interesting that Jack asks for clonazepam, the same anti-anxiety drug Hurley sought from Sawyer after seeing Dave on the Island.

* Kate's mission presumably involves Sawyer's illegitimate daughter, Clementine. I can understand her wanting to keep that aspect of her mission secret out of fidelity to Sawyer. And Jack's jealousy and controlling nature will obviously be the driving force behind their breakup. But I can't help thinking she's partly to blame for not sharing at least the Sawyer connection with Jack. Maybe something really bad happens between those two during the escape from the Island. Why does Sawyer decide to stay?

* Interesting that Christian Shephard doesn't appear to be wearing a suit when he appears to Claire by the campfire.

* "She wasn't alone." Miles saw Christian too. The question is, why did they leave Aaron behind. Is it his destiny to leave the Island and destroy the world? Or is this part of some plan to create a bond between Sawyer and Aaron?