Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Thoughts on This Place Is Death...

Well, now we know how Montand lost his arm!

I personally loved last night's episode -- maybe even more than Jughead . I've always been intensely curious about the story of Danielle's science expedition. As expected, it revealed important information about the Cerberus security system. Smokey is as old as the Island -- or at least the Temple. But does that mean Smokey is from the past? Not necessarily...

Any satisfying explanation of the Island needs to explain technological relics like Smokey and the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Let's say you're not a fan of the alien scenario I outlined in my recap of The Little Prince. Now that we know the Island can move through time, one alternative is that it was sent back into the distant past by some arbitrarily advanced beings from the future.

The analogy I have in mind is to Dan Simmons's Hyperion Cantos. Like Lost, Simmons's science fiction is filled with references to classical mythology and literature. I've cited previously his description of the Greek hero Achilles as a "freak of quantum probability." The structure of the first book in the Hyperion series parallels Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Warning: Spoilers for the Hyperion Cantos

The premise of Hyperion is that two god-like Ultimate Intelligences from the far future are locked in combat. To break their stalemate, one of the UIs launches a mysterious pyramid complex backwards through time on the planet Hyperion. These "Time Tombs" are surrounded by anti-entropic fields that propel them into the past and keep the Tombs closed (i.e., seemingly empty) until they come into phase with the time flow of the rest of the universe.

The Tombs are accompanied by a metallic beast called the Shrike, a terrible killing machine capable of manipulating time itself. The Shrike is worshiped by a human cult called the Church of the Final Atonement. The plot of Hyperion revolves around six pilgrims (hmmm...) chosen by this Church as an offering for the Shrike.

The Shrike reminds me of Smokey -- both deal in pain, death, and atonement. The Temple may be like the Time Tombs, sent back in time to alter the balance of power in some future conflict between higher powers. The Island is like the planet Hyperion -- exempt from the laws of physics, history, human psychology, and probabilistic prediction. I the Oceanic 6 need to return to the Island for some final confrontation with Smokey?

End of Hyperion Cantos Spoilers

There are many more Lost parallels -- I'm leaving out a lot to avoid spoiling too much. I highly recommend this series, particularly for fans of the Canterbury Tales and the poetry of John Keats. After getting to know the Shrike and its tree of thorns, I think I understand why Charlotte insists "this place is death." Here are some three-dot thoughts on the episode:

WE SAILED FROM TAHITI. This episode largely vindicated Danielle's recollection of her shipwreck. With the glaring exception of Jin, all other discrepancies are now better explained by her general mental deterioration... Danielle stated that her team sailed from Tahiti in 1988, confirming Sayid's calculation that her distress call had been running for sixteen years when Oceanic 815 crashed... Looks like the Island doesn't just heal people quickly. It also teaches English to Jin at a remarkable rate! ...Smokey grabbing Montand parallels the way it dragged Locke into the hole in Exodus, Pt. 2. I wonder if it would have ripped off Locke's arm if they hadn't used the dynamite... Danielle didn't seem to experience the flash when Jin jumped through time -- he just disappeared. This is in contrast to the first purple flash following Ben's turn of the Frozen Donkey Wheel, which was observable by everyone on or around the Island... I get why they showed us Montand's rotting arm, but it seemed a little implausible that it would still be there after even a short time. Wouldn't some animal take it?...Another temporal "landmark" was the column of black smoke. Danielle described seeing it the night the Others came for Alex...

A SECURITY SYSTEM FOR THE TEMPLE. Robert's correction to Danielle that the monster is actually a security system mirrors her own to Sayid sixteen years later... Every member of the French science team except Danielle went into the Smokey hole and became infected. This seems to differ from the story she tells Sayid -- i.e., that the Others were the "carriers" of the sickness. Or does it? Richard was tasked with taking the Others to the Temple, where Smokey would presumably protect them. Is this what makes them carriers -- are they somehow infected with the same black smoke? ...Given that Danielle believed Jin was infected, it defies common sense that she wouldn't remember and confront him when they met again years later. The million dollar question is whether, if Danielle were alive in the future, she would have a new memory of their unforgettable encounter. If so, that would be a sign the timeline is changing in small but potentially significant ways, as described in the Rousseau Redux ...

WE CAN BE THERE IN 30 MINUTES. I try to drive as little as possible, even living in LA. But when Ben made this promise to Sun, my first thought was: "How can he be so sure with the traffic?" ...Ben pulling over had the feel of an exasperated parent who pulls over to stop the bickering of two children... I'm curious to learn what exactly Ben has done to protect the Oceanic 6? I get the reference to their "friends" -- Ben is helping the Lefties by bringing the O6 back. But I've been assuming that fate would protect the O6 until they returned to the Island... I wonder if Ben knows that Mrs. Hawking is Faraday's mother. Something in his expression said "no"... Another million-dollar question: Does Mrs. Hawking recognize Desmond from their encounter in Flashes Before Your Eyes?

LOOK FOR THE WELL. Charlotte's comments as she lay dying were incredibly creepy. How the heck did she know about that well? I got the sense she was mentally unstuck in time, flipping back and forth from her childhood. I bet we'll soon be hearing some of those same lines (e.g., not being allowed to have chocolate before dinner and loving Geronimo Jackson) again but uttered by a younger version of Charlotte... The flashes are coming in shorter and shorter intervals. I envision a pendulum taking progressively shorter swings as it comes to rest. Is that why Ms. Hawking was using pendulums to calculate the event window for finding the Island? ...When Charlotte warned Jin not to bring "her" back, was she referring to Sun or Ji Yeon? I'm reminded of Claire's admonishement to Kate not to bring "him" back. I'm beginning to think someone (zombie Christian?) doesn't want these children back on the Island...I wonder if the well is actually a reference to the Well of Souls , which is purported to be the hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant. Some also believe the Well will be ground zero for the Last Judgment... The image of the rope disappearing into the ground was a shocker. Who do you suppose plugged up the well?

I THINK THAT MAN WAS YOU. The crazy man who told Charlotte to leave the Island and never return was definitely Daniel. We know this is possible because we've already seen him as part of the Dharma Initiative. My guess is that, after an upcoming jump, the Island will come to rest for an extended period in the time of Dharma. Daniel will make contact with the younger Charlotte and deliver his warning. A similar predestination paradox lies at the core of The Time Traveler's Wife... I like the twist of Jin making Locke promise not to bring Sun or Ji Yeon back to the Island, which adds another plausible hurdle to getting the Oceanic 6 to return. But I think I already know how Locke will circumvent a literal interpretation of his pact. Instead of going directly to Sun, he will tell the truth to Ben, indirectly accomplishing the same end.

I'M HERE TO HELP YOU THE REST OF THE WAY. Zombie Christian appearing to Locke in the Wheel Well (groan...) reminded me of the (mis)adventures of Lemmiwinks on South Park... Christian's refusal (inability?) to help Locke physically was curious. I wonder if the former is somehow restricted from providing direct assistance the way the latter is barred by his promise from bringing Sun back himself... Christian is quite insistent that Locke, not Ben, was supposed to move the Island. That raises an important question -- did Ben disrupt this plan intentionally or by mistake? He seemed sincerely to believe he was doing Jacob's bidding by turning the Wheel. Of course, it was Christian, not Jacob, who issued the directive in the Cabin, which Ben may not have realized. Are the two ghosts really on the same team? I have to wonder, especially after learning that he knows all about Ms. Hawking, who I believe is working in opposition to Jacob... But Christian was quite derisive of Ben, even though the latter appears to be on her team... Assuming Locke lands in the desert like Ben and the polar bear, I wonder how he'll get back to civilization on a fractured leg...

As always, you're welcome to post anonymously, but please identify yourself somehow, so I can distinguish between anonymous posters. Thanks!


machramm said...

As usual, some answers and some more questions. I need to sleep on the episode and process what I saw. Just entering this so I can get emails.

Mingus said...

Was Ben surprised that Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mother or did he deduce that Widmore must have told Desmond? Or both?

Landa said...

Good episode, better than last week. Initial thoughts:

• We know our Losties should have never left. Could a contributing factor to what’s going on be because Ben, not Locke, ‘moved the island?’

• Even to the end, I don’t think Charlotte was being truthful. How did she know about the well? Was it there during her time on the island? How did she know that one of the flashes would make the station disappear that the only way down was the well?

• I'm really struggling to understand the whole time traveling process. It didn’t appear that Charlotte was familiar with Daniel last season – other than as a coworker. When Charlotte told Daniel that, she ‘suddenly’ remembered the scary man and what he told her. Is this an example of the time travel ‘ripple effect?’ Will we see Daniel talk to a young Charlotte in another episode? Since she did return and died, does this mean that you really can't change events?

• We saw Smokey, how cool was that? When he scans you, what is it that he’s looking for? We know of three people who were scanned by him and lived – Locke, Eko, and Juliet. I want to propose a fourth person – Jack. Remember in the first season when Jack, Charlie, and Kate were being chased? We never saw what happened to Jack; but the assumption was the monster was behind Jack. Kate asked what happened, but I don’t remember if Jack said anything. Don’t really know where I’m going with this – just think something is there.

• After watching this episode, I totally sympathize with Rousseau. I think I too would be batty. What happened to the ppl who went after their team member? I think it’s safe to say that it was a different ‘sickness’ that took over their bodies. Do we know how old Alex was when Ben snatched her?

• Curious about the vibes that Ben gave off when he saw Desmond; he wasn’t expecting to see him. What about the look on Bens face after Desmond said he was there for Faraday’s ‘mom.’

• I’m in the ‘no matter what he does, Ben is good’ camp. I’ve been there for a while. However, after the vibes with Desmond and Christians comments back on the island, I’m wondering whose goals is he putting first – the island or his?

Looking forward to Big's writeup, as well as comments from you all...

Mary said...

Loved the episode. It's been too long without smokey. Smokey can possess your body too. That was interesting.

I agree with Landa about the ripple effect. I didn't even catch that at the time. Though did she say he was an "odd" man or an "old" man in her memory?

Loved Miles and Sawyer in this epi. I look forward to their one-liners.

Fargus... said...

Still having trouble convincing people of how time travel works on the show. My roommate said something like, "Why isn't Daniel's nose bleeding? He was on the Island in the '70s, with the Dharma Initiative!" I said, "Dude, time travel."

A co-worker said that Jin's involvement in Rousseau's story proves that the past can be changed, but I reminded her that Jin was there the whole time, and we just didn't know it until the last few episodes.

I have two big questions after last night's episode. One, what the heck is Christian Shephard's relationship with the Island? Why is he so important? Two, what happens when Locke turns the wheel? If it stops the flashes, does it just plop the time-traveling crew down whenever they happened to be at the time? Is there one last flash? Is that what put Daniel in the Dharma Initiative era, or does he find some other mechanism of time travel later?

I guess I have another question. Where's that temple under which Smokey was hiding? Why haven't we seen it before? Is it possible that there's an underground warren of tunnels that connect the tunnel to New Otherton, since Ben released Smokey on the freighties from there?

I loved the Sawyer/Jin reunion. But I kinda love Sawyer's fierce loyalty. One of the most touching moments on the show, for me, was last season when Sawyer was so protective of Hurley. He's a stand-up guy, he just wants to deny it.

80sPro said...

I am also still processing. But what an awesome episode. Am I the only one that CHEERED and had to gulp down a sob when Sawyer and Jin embraced???

Charlotte - seemed to me she WAS getting a new memory. And I also took special note that the kind of sadness Daniel experienced wasn't for a "new" love. I really do think that much of his mission has been to save Charlotte. There might be something to the idea that he is her father.

Ben. I waver on that guy. One day I am sure that in the end the Island comes first for him, and then the next episode comes along and I am SURE he is a badass. Basically, HE is bad OR Widmore is bad. Which is it? I dunno.

Christian Shepherd was interesting. What was that he was wearing? Not the dark suit we are accustomed to seeing him in. He was wearing some of the old clothes the "others" employed, no? Why? Why would he not help Locke up? Because he wasn't there or because Locke had to do it alone? I thought maybe he couldn't touch him but then I noted that when Locke turns the donkey wheel, Christian holds on to a column. So is he real or not?

I also like how he was a bit angry at John and John was a bit afraid of him. And it's like we've all thought - BEN WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT. Bad ole Ben knew it would amount to death.

I believe we're going to witness the despondent moment Locke has when he finally realizes that he can't get through to any of the O6 without doing the radical - killing himself. That will probably come later this season.

Oh dear - Desmond is locked in the Church with those who are going....does that mean he just gets sucked in? He's said he won't go back. Wonder how he feels when Danny's mommy tells him he has no choice but to come! An angry Scot will be something to see (and enjoy - grin!!)

There is MUCH more. Must process!

SorryGoFish said...

These ruins, aren't they where the Others go during the end of season four? I remember when the Losties were going up to the radio tower Ben, or somebody, said that "his people" were at "the ruins" or something like that.

I don't think Charlotte just got a new memory. If Charlotte really did just get that memory, then this is the first time when one of our present tense characters would be two places at once (bear with me). The idea of getting a new memory "now" presumes that there is some sort of "now" despite the potential for interacting with the past. (Otherwise you'd suddenly have always had that memory, and it wouldn't be so exciting.) I mean, when "now" Daniel talked to past Desmond at the Hatch, at that same "now"-Desmond woke with a new memory, but in this case some other Daniel would have been interacting with past Charlotte. So, I don't think she suddenly had a new memory. Despite there being a "now", Desmond was somehow able to get memories of the future to save Charlie. But maybe that was a unique consequence of turning the key. It also seems that other people, like Richard, are able to consciously be a little detached from "now." Does this make any sense?

Anonymous said...

Lantz Dogg:

NO Spoiler! (I am still full of remorse from my post last week). Only a penitent man may pass.

Random Thoughts:

Did Ben know that Locke was supposed to turn the frozen donkey wheel last season? I am thinking yes, and the reason why he did it was to subvert John's rise to power. The effects of that decision are still resonating, and will do so until Ben and Co. return.

Were Charlotte's murmurings actually memories or something else?

Again with the hieroglyphics? Does this explain Richard Alpert's eyeliner? (bad joke).

I appreciated Locke's descent into madness, or at least his descent into the well (the unknow, the future, the past). I also appreciate the purple flash sealing this decision and sealing the well as if to not give Locke a chance to change his mind. It is what the island wants.

I still think Ben's true character has yet to be revealed. Is he good? Is he inherently evil? What is he....only Widmore knows.

neaux said...

I don't know why but kept thinking the lost numbers were reflecting of the flashes. If island present time was 2004, the 16 years have passed since 1988 (the year that Rousseau tells Jin). 16 is one of the LOST numbers.

I'm assuming Locke fixed the wheel and stopped any further flashes.

David said...

ANybody know what Charlotte said to Jin in Korean, before she said "this place is death?" Was it just a translation of don't bring Sun back? I figured some site would have it but haven't found it anywhere yet.

Anonymous said...


1) Pretty sure Ben didn't know Faraday's mom is Ms. Hawking.

2) The "Ruins" were alluded to at the end of season 4 when Ben told the Others to go there as it was the last "safe place" on the island when the freighters attacked.

3) I think Charlotte is "unstuck" in time. Her mind is traveling thru time while her body is still "present." I think those are all memories she was spouting out. Not too sure Faraday is her dad but of course with all the daddy issues on the show I wouldn't be surprised. Could she also be Widmore's (illegitimate) girl?

4) Random thought: Since the well is near the donkey wheel could that have been some form of fountain of youth? Richard seems to never age and it would explain why Widmore is so fascinated with getting back to the island (besides other random island reasons).

Done, great episode!

Gareth said...

Hello guys, first time posting here, long time reader - always the first place I stop by after watching the new episodes. My thoughts on the latest episode and theories in general.

- Charlotte being Daniels daughter:

I'm not so sure about this one, Daniel clearly loves Charlotte but the I just don't think he is her father. The fact that he said in 'Jughead' "I am in love with the women sitting next to me" keeps ringing back to me whenever someone puts forth the father theory as this is clearly not something you would say about your daughter surely (as in the context and choice of wording).

Christian not helping Locke:

The only reason I see for Christian not helping locke is because Christina is there from the future, and thus is prohibited from helping. One thing that keeps playing on my mind is that we as the viewers always assume we are at the forefront of whats going on - in regards to the time-line and where the 'Losties' are currently, how do you know this is actually the pinnacle of the time line arch? For all we know there is a deeper, further future - I believe this is where Christian and Jacob are from.

I just got the feeling while watching that scene that Christian was from the future, it's the only reason I can think of for him not to help locke (ie: "what happened, happened")

The more one muses over the latest episodes the more I get the feeling that this is more than likely iteration *add desired number* of the future/past/present and that this has in fact (as many have already said) has happened before, many times.

Looking forward to reading some more comments.


Scott said...

I have a new theory after watching last night's episode... It sounds strange, but hey... it's LOST.

My theory is Whenever anyone comes to the island, someone else on the island must die... the island's constant is it's number of inhabitants.

Think about the supporting evidence:
-) The night Aaron was born, Boone died.
-) Children can't generally be born on the island
-) Children conceived on the island can survive, as long as they get off the island first (Sun)
-) Maybe Juliet, Radzinski, Desmond were brought to the island after one of the mothers died in childbirth
-) There were roughly the same number of people on the island in the 1950's (Alpert's crew) as there are today.
-) When Dharma came to the island, the hostiles had to purge them to bring the island back to balance... otherwise the hostiles would have to die.
-) When the losties came to the island, the others had to kill them off to bring the island back to balance... We don't know for sure, but I bet there's roughly the same number of of dead others are there are remaining Losties
-) When the Oceanic 6 left, the island lost it's constant, and became unstuck in time, like Minkowski.
-) Smokey is a "population control" device. Notice that as soon as Rousseau's people got there, Smokey got to work killing them? Also, smokey was happy to take out the Freighter mercenaries, who didn't belong there.

I'm pretty sure I'm not quite right... but I think there may be a thread of truth to this.

Capcom said...

Wowzers! That's about all I can think at this point!

And 80sPro, why can't CS physically help Locke up (as if he's a nebulous ghostie), but he can pick up a lamp?! X-D

It worries me that if Sun was not meant to leave the island, that she and JiYeon were meant to die. :-(

I was thinking that too Anon, did Ben chose to turn the FDW (when he knew Locke was supposed too) just so that he could get off the island before all the bad things happened? Could this mess really be Ben's fault? I dunno.

I guess Charlotte was babbling the same way that we were told Teresa was doing?

Oh, interesting idea, Scott!!

Fargus... said...

An idea.

The FDW was turned at roughly the same time that the Oceanic 6 left. We've been attributing the time skipping effects to the turning of the FDW, but what if that's misdirection? What if the FDW simply moved the Island in space, and the time shifts are happening because the O6 left? Maybe if they'd made it back to the Island before the turning of the FDW, things would be OK.

Obviously, there's a couple of holes here, like the fact that Walt was able to get off the Island apparently without consequence, but I sort of like this theory. I'm gonna hold onto it for now.

machramm said...

@Fargas: I thought something altogether different.

CS told Lockehe needed to get the wheel back on it's axis. I don't recall him telling him to turn it again, although that's what Locke thinks he needs to do.

I thought the skipping was happening becuase the wheel had for some reason become derailed.

Perhaps because the wrong person turned it?

KoreAmBear said...

Did Miles say he was "born" in Encino? So is he still Dr. Chang's son?

Jason said...

So if Locke was supposed to turn the wheel and leave the island, how does that fit in the island's plans? Wouldn't that have left Ben in charge?

Great episode, still bummed they are keeping Locke as the bumbling idiot instead of the "I know what the eff I'm doing" beast from S1.

KoreAmBear said...

Anyone read a theory on what was that red star on Jin's back? Some Communist reference or something?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I'm enjoying the certain set-ups we are getting in each episode. E.g., if we didn't see how Locke, Juliet,, were able to stay in the outrigger, we might call foul when we saw Sawyer holding the rope that led to solid ground. What a GREAT scene that was.

I thought at first we'd get the strangeness of Jin being the one who told the science team where the radio tower was, I'm still not certain why Smokey kills randomly--going back to when it killed the pilot in the first episode-- unless it is to frighten everyone else off.

My thoughts on Charlotte, her dad was a construction worker at the Orchid. At one point, he let his little daughter play nearby and she discovered the well. Faraday, as Jim the DI worker, is the "odd man" who tells Charlotte she can't come back once she leaves, presumably he has this knowledge from seeing what the Orchid is all about. So, by keeping silent about things, was this all it was, him hiding the fact that he knew Charlotte as a kid? But, if these new memories people get because of the time travel just float to the surface, were memories floating to the surface of Faraday's mind, since he landed on the Island in 2005 with Charlotte yet didn't go back to the Orchid circa 1980 until weeks after they'd been near/on the Island, so what'as up with that? Did he also get new memories, or should I say will he, because for right now he's not at the Orchid masquerading as a worker. I accept the time travel and the new memories for what it is, so I don't get freaked out too much.

JLes said...

Wayne Allen Sallee...Charlotte's Dad was a Construction Worker! Nice! Hanging on tight to my "Faraday is her Father" theory....respeck! I gotta admit I feel less confident about that theory after last night considering she stated that she "never saw her father AGAIN", and also saw a "crazy man" she thought was Daniel. Seems to suggest it was two different people...but, hey, maybe not. Ohhhh well.... Charlotte's dead anyway....later.

Question for everyone:
If Jin had never stopped Rousseau from jumping down the Smoke Monster Hole, she TOTALLY would have....but, as we know from past episodes (the future), she never does....AND, Montand still loses his arm. Soooo, seems like it could only be one of two things:

1) She totally recognized Jeezu-Shay in 1:23 and 4:1 but never said anything because she knew the repercussions or...

2) NOTHING changed the future, or CAN change the future (maybe even Desmond). If Jin didn't save her, somebody else would have. "No mattah what ya do Rousseau, you ain't gonna get the sickness..."

What do you guys think?

Travis said...

Faraday/Charlotte theory:

Whenever Locke moves the island, Faraday is going to get left behind in whatever time he happens to be in, which will turn out to be the Dharma era, where we previously saw him as a construction worker.

Faraday will be stuck in that time and unable to return to the future, and even though he knows he can't change events that have already happened in the future, he will try to warn young Charlotte to try to save her life because he loves her. Of course, he can't change the future, and young Charlotte just thinks he's crazy.

Trapped in the past, Faraday will continue to study time travel in a desperate attempt to return to the future, but he will be unsuccessful. Instead, he will somehow pass on all of his first-hand knowledge and observations on time travel to his younger, past self in the future via his notebook.

That's why he said in a previous episode, "I spent all my life studying time travel," instead of "I have spent all my life studying time travel." He used the past tense, indicating his life's studies were already complete, and encapsulated within that notebook. We always see him referencing the notebook, but rarely jotting down new notes. He's been using the notebook sent by his future self as a reference manual to time travel.

This poses an interesting paradox, however. If young Faraday didn't write his notes but received them from future Faraday, and future Faraday had the notes all along, ever since he received them as young Faraday... who wrote the notes? How do they even exist?

KoreAmBear said...

Whether Rousseau's life was changed by Jin holding her back from the Temple hole, I think the idea is best encapsulated by Napoleon Dynamite with regard to the fickleness of the island, "Whatever I feel like I wanna do. Gosh!" Let's explore the allusions to Napoleon Dynamite and the character names. Like Uncle Rico. Rico Suave = Sawyer? How about Kip? Kip = Faraday? know, this reminds me of this book called Time Travel with Pedro by Kip Dynamite. Oh, and the dynamite reference = Artz? Huh?????? Don't you guys get it? LOST is a sequel to Napoleon Dynamite.

ellipsis said...

great episode! :D

KoreAmBear: well Miles had no idea he was born on the island ("i've never been here before two weeks ago!") so perhaps that's just where he thinks he was born.

- anyone have a hieroglyphics-english translator? XD once again, they're all over that temple thing.

- anyone think that maybe that hole Montand was dragged into perhaps leads to the same place that the other hole that Locke was almost pulled into goes? (S1 finale I believe)

- I did cheer when Jin and Sawyer reunited :)

- couldn't help but find it funny that Christian Sheperd was just like "you need to give the wheel a little push" and what does Locke do? He pulls it. XD

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

There seems to be indications of three CVs (Cerberus (Smokey) Vents) on the blast door map. Locke was not near the Ruins, this is the first we've seen of them.

Right before Jin saw Rousseau kill the one dude, he saw two sprawled bodies on the beach. The first looked like crazy bearded Jack and it totally messed with my mind. I thought it was future time until I saw Rousseau. Guessing it was other dead science teamers, but its a tell that time travel makes me see things out-of-context.

80sPro: lots of stuff to process again, agreed, but I think Christian/Jacob (so how does Jacob have Christian's form in the past? Or is the well covered in the present?) can't help Locke because Locke needs to do it on his own. The wheel is stuck, bouncing up and down, and Locke just fixes it, he doesn't move it. Maybe Christian is there just to make certain Locke ONLY fixes the wheel, not move it again. Of course, it was fun to hear him reprimand John about Ben moving the wheel in the first place.

The Sawyer/Jin dynamic is incredible, considering the two go back to the end of S1 and the raft, s2 and the "Others" from the tail section, etc. Glad things like this are not overlooked.

Enjoying everyone's comments, as always.

Thunderstorm said...

Just wanted to jump in here and echo a lot of the comments. Loved this episode, right up there with Jughead.

Also want to agree with Fargus.

Explaining the time travel on the show is like pulling teeth with some people.

It's really not that hard to understand, at it's core, it's just most common TT notions automatically start thinking of butterfly effects a la Back to the Future or different worldlines/universes etc.

I love the model they are using.

Greatest hits from TPID:
-Charlotte, you were doomed but somehow I thought you'd pull through. I still think your dead sexy.
-Christian Shepherd-gimme some more of the zombie man. Love it.
-Desmond and Ben- odd begins to describe that 'meeting', their relationship is one giant WTF conundrum at this point.
-Sawyer and Jin sittin' in a tree
The last Season 1 vets left on the Island. I was dubious about the Jin 'save' but I am buying it now, loved the Monster-esque plotline.
-Rousseau's team- pretty much quenched my thirst, not too much in the way of cramming, just the right amount of exposure of the story. Anxious to see if we are done with Danielle for good...or not.
The Oceanix Six-finally gaining a little traction with me. Wasn't loving the collective S5 arcs of the O6 to this point. Starting to get more interesting.

Locke-gotta love him. Don't have much to add in the way of insight or analysis, he's just...great. Pushing the wheel, steadfastly determined, I cannot wait until we see him as Bentham.

Ah...what else?
Desmond and Hawking...I wonder if there will be a conversation about Penny soon "you got your girl anyways, huh, Desmond?"

Sun, I like her a lot more when she's sympathetic rather than seeming full of vengeance. Understandable, yes.

Still wondering what's in Ben's box. What Charlotte said in Korean, what the hieroglyphs mean, what does Dan do now?

I wonder if Jack's main motivation upon return will be to corral the survivors or if he will have a one track mind to hunt down Claire.

Sawyer, he just owns this season already. And I couldn't stand that character for 3 seasons, one of the best character arcs in recent TV history.

Anonymous said...

Hello All!

My theories: Rose and Benard are the "Adam and Eve" bones.

Widmore was the old leader of the Others until Ben took his place and now Locke.


80sPro said...

Funny that - I just said that on another forum, that I believe Adam and Eve to be Rose and Bernard. So looks like it might be a theory starting to resonate in people's minds.

I said it to my friend, who remembered that they were found with a black rock and a white rock. I figure that since they've been separated from the other "Lefties" that they might be scared and would go back to the caves if "camp IS here, camp ISN'T here" got to be too much for them. They'd get nosebleeds and headaches and feel panicky. So they would lay down together, holding hands, and eventually die.

Anonymous said...

just two thoughts after reading above:
1) perhaps no one filled in the well, but they were transported back in time before the donkey wheel was discovered.

What if Locke turned the wheel in the wrong direction. I don't think Christian said which direction to go. What if Locke went in the wrong direction?


Anonymous said...

SH Again,

80's Pro: I have been pondering the same thing for a long time. I just think the Rose and Benard is the true love story of Lost that is forgotten because they do not show them often. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What if Charlotte and Miles are chosen to go to the island because they should have died in the purge but left because they were warned by faraday. They never should have left.

LostInDC said...

I think the box Ben takes out of the vent in the motel room is the box that's delivered to Sun with the chocolates and the gun. I think this is another Ben manipulation (like the DNA tests for Kate/Aaron). We know (assume) he drops Locke/Bentham's body off in the butchery, but he could have also dropped off the package at the hotel, before going to the pier. Ben allowed himself to be "found" by Sun in order to get her with the group and back to the island. Same goes for the people after Sayid. I think it's again, another strategy for Ben to unite the Oceanic 6 because he knows he's not going to get most of them willingly.

80sPro said...

SH - that is what I mean! That people are going to stop thinking it's so complex as Sawyer and Kate or something and realize it is a much simpler more touching thing.

Great minds think alike, right?

Anon - INTERESTING!! Does sort of seem that Miles is next, no?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately yes I think Miles is next, I like Miles and will miss his one liners. Maybe him and sawyer can have a spin off show. Like odd couple or something.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

80sPro-the figures are reversed (black man/white woman), but I always thought one of the clues to Adam & Eve is on the Swan mural. What added to this was the time it took to show that Rose and Bernard were an interracial couple, the whole time of "The Other 48 Days" we never hear that Bernard's wife is Rose, so I'm leaning towards Rose and Bernard dying in one of those back flashes (maybe the Jughead episode, Jack seemed to think decomposition was about 50 years). There has been quite a lot to find in that mural over the last two seasons, the compass arrow, the three Jacob cabin's, sailboat, fishbiscuits, etc. Just trying to figure out whose hand is green.

80sPro said...

Interesting, Big, that you think that Locke will be dropped in the desert. I am not so certain that he will.

You think that Ben and his "team" are in opposition to Christian? Jacob? Both?

The Adam and Eve thing, Wayne, seems to be growing in importance. I still maintain that nothing is meaningless with so few episodes left to wrap such a huge story...

Bigmouth said...

Mingus: It's ambiguous, but I personally think Ben was surprised to learn that Hawking was Faraday's mother.

Landa: I'm wondering about Charlotte's new memory of Daniel too. Obviously, most of the time travel we've seen was already a part of history -- e.g., Locke's interactions with Ricardus. But Daniel might never have ended up in the past but for Desmond's intervention. Charlotte's memory could well be another sign of the ripple effect...

Mary: You raise an interesting possibility about Smokey possessing the living. Check out my post Smokey Is a Symbiote -- the prediction was wrong re Mikhail but may well apply to the French scientists possessed by Smokey.

Fargus: Daniel's nose isn't bleeding because he hasn't yet experienced his time with the Dharma Initiative. I'm guessing that will happen later this season.

80sPro: Christian was also holding a lantern, so it can't just be that he lacks physical form...can it? Like I said above, I wonder if he's constrained by some promise similar to Locke's.

SorryGoFish: Did Ben send the Others to the "ruins"...or the "Temple"?

Lantz Dogg: Don't sweat it -- you really didn't spoil anything. A lot of us have been expecting them to end up in the time of Dharma since before the season even began.

neaux: So they're now locked in whenever they were when Locke reset the Wheel? I like that!

David: I'm not sure but I think Charlotte was saying in Korean what she said in English. I'm still curious, though, how the heck she knows Korean...

Idaho: Good call re Charlotte being unstuck in time before she dies -- see my recap for more on this possibility.

Gareth: I think you are right on target that Christian not being able to help Locke may have something to do with time travel.

Scott: might be onto something with this idea about the Island keeping a constant population. But what about the crash of Oceanic 815? Who died for them?

Capcom: I had the same thought about Zombie Christian holding the lamp! I also think you're right on target that Charlotte was unstuck in time like Theresa...and Minkowski.

machramm: I like this notion that the Wheel was skipping because the wrong person turned it!

KoreamBear: I think Miles said he was "from" Encino, not that he was born there. I wondered about that red star, too. This is probably a stretch, but my first thought was "catch a falling star..." Didn't Jin's mom say she was uncertain who his father was?

Jason: There was something slightly pathetic Locke this episode. I thought he'd recovered his mojo but Jin and the encounter with Christian clearly rattled Locke.

Wayne: Good call...the rope in the ground was the payoff of the outriggers jumping with them. Regarding Dan, don't forget that his experience with Dharma may still be ahead of him -- no lost or recovered memories required. Also, great catch regarding the Cerberus Vents -- I think that's precisely what we saw in this episode.

JLes: That's an interesting thought about Jin being the one who saved Rousseau from following her crew down the Smokey Hole. I suspect, however, that if Jin hadn't been there, someone else (maybe Robert) would have stopped her or she would have hesitated of her own volition. The universe, after all, has a way of course correcting...

Travis: I like this idea of Daniel becoming trapped in the past! I definitely think he'll do something to ensure his notebook finds its way back to himself in the future.

ellipsis: Locke pulling, instead of pushing, the Frozen Donkey Wheel reminds me of this famous Gary Larson cartoon...LOL!

Thunderstorm: I can't wait for more Zombie Christian myself! And like you, I'm curious what Desmond and Ms. Hawking will say to each other. I found it odd that no one seemed particularly surprised to see Desmond...

SH: My money is still on Penny and Desmond as Adam and Eve, but Rose and Bernard work well too!

Charliedon'tsurf: you think they jumped to a point in the Island distant past, before the well was even dug?

Anonymous: You may be right that Charlotte and Miles were supposed to die in the Purge. But wouldn't the easiest course correction then be for the universe to kill them off the Island?

LostInDC: just melted my brain! I absolutely love your suggestion that Ben was the one who sent Sun the box of chocolates with the gun!

Anonymous said...

NetProphet driving by:

bigmouth said:
"When Charlotte warned Jin not to bring "her" back, was she referring to Sun or Ji Yeon? I'm reminded of Claire's admonishement to Kate not to bring "him" back. I'm beginning to think someone (zombie Christian?) doesn't want these children back on the Island..."

Just wondering if it is significant that the progeny of the Losties so far are named-

J i Yeon
A aron
C harlie

Any other younglings out there, maybe with names starting with "O" and "B"?

Bigmouth said...

80sPro: I suspect it's Zombie Christian, Ms. Hawking, and Abaddon vs. Jacob. I think Ben began working for Jacob but switched teams at some point. This could still work -- Christian's disdain might reflect Ben's status as a turncoat. But it's odd that he advises Locke not to trust anything Ben says when Ben is obviously instrumental in achieving the very goal Christian articulates (i.e., getting the O6 back to the Island).

NetProphet: your suggestion that J.A.C.O.B. as an acronym for the names of their children! I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with an O and a B. I wonder if we'll meet the last two kids as part of the Dharma Initiative. Come to think of it...could B be Ben?

Thunderstorm said...

NetProphet-don't forget Clementine

And Walt, I suppose.

Styx said...

Lacombe one of the French team members jumped out at me right away.
Lacombe was the leader of the UN team in the United States for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It was also interesting that ruins were Asian with Egyptian glyphs.The other ruin with the small square windows was concrete with rebar, newer construction. The way the column was broke and the way the rebar was bent suggested a great force snapped it, maybe the same force that buried the well when Sawyer was left holding the rope.
When Locke was being lowered into the well that wormhole view we saw was pretty cool and then Christian shows up at the bottom was a classic Deep Space Nine moment, Locke is Sisko in the time well and Christian a wormhole alien giving guidance perhaps.
I can't help but think that after seeing Mrs. Hawkings special room and the floor layout that the access points are on Earth but the Island is not.

lil-beeyotch said...

Hey guys!

Its good to be back, reading BM's awesome posts as usual =)

Thoughts on the well closing down ... I remember Dr. Chang going down to some area where a Dharma worker had a nose bleed (same place Faraday bumped into him) ... now I'm not too sure, but I think that the other side of the wall had the frozen donkey wheel ... now I can't exactly remember what Dr.C asked the men to do but its likely that when the D.I came, they broke the well but having discovered the wheel, cemented it up. The rope might be the small thing that changed in the future because of Sawyer?

Find it hilarious how Juliet handles him =D


I am wondering what happened to the rest of the Losties ... what happened to Claire? Where are Rose and Bernard???

I think Rousseau if alive would have remembered meeting Jin ... I think its one of those small things that are allowed to change in the future, which is why she didn't remember him before the time flashes ... except it would most probably not have been a small thing ... could her death have any connection to that? Probably not!

I am wondering what happens if Ben goes back with more people than those who left the island .. so much impact is put on how he has to bring everyone who left but so little has been said on being able to bring extra people, i.e Penny and Des and Chaz

Finally ... I can't seem to recall the temple and I don't know what infection / disease Smokey gave out or what the rules Widmore were talking about are ...

Great post as always BM, looking forward to the next one!

3D said...

Anonymous wrote...

"Just wondering if it is significant that the progeny of the Losties so far are named-

J i Yeon
A aron
C harlie

Any other younglings out there, maybe with names starting with "O" and "B"?"

Or a K?

annebeth said...

Great post as allways :) Some of my thoughts in response, I wonder what you think :)

-I think Ben was talking to Jack and meant the rest of the O6 as his friends. Therefore there can be two things he could have done to protect them, I think:
1. Turning the frozen donkey wheel, which as a side effect meant keeping the O6 save from the time-troubles and was originally meant to save them from Keamy and Co.
2. Maibe he reffers to something off-island: keeping the O6 save from getting killed/kidnapped by the Economist for instance, with a little help from sayid.

-why wouldn't Eloise remember Desmond? I see no reason why she wouldn't...

-I think Ben indeed didn't know about Hawking being the mother of Faraday (btw, how does he know Faraday? He seems to recognize his name. But as far as we know they never met. Ben and Desmond never met before either, by the way :))

-The well must be build before Dharma. Then how can Dharma remember it? The only thing I can imagine is that the DI also teached History of the Island.

-The well was made by the same people that made the Four toed statue and the Temple.

-I agree, the Island will come to rest in the Dharma Initiative time period, at least for a while.

-My guess is that Locke told Ben the truth, and wanted Ben to tell Sun that Jin died, because maibe he knew at that moment that he was going to die before he could do it himself. And Ben made his own sneaky plan to use the ring as proof of Jins well being instead of death.

Greetings :)

ellipsis said...

3D: that's what I thought

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that the injections that the Desmond was taking from the DI was a way to keep from becoming an "other". Kind of a anti-smokey brainwashing drug.

SKID said...


I sent the following comment to DOC Jenses at EW since following some comments I wrote to him last year, he made me his un-official LOST Art historian. Hilarious since I know nothing about art and am way more interested in tropical tie-wearing nonsense BUT I digress from my usual Faraday Tie Updates since I felt compelled to write a quick observation LOADED with potential meaning although I will stop short of necessarily arguing that it is a direct "clue" bearing any weight.

I noticed that in last week's episode Ms. Hawking is lighting candles in her "sanctuary over science lab" while standing in front of a painting of "The Doubting Thomas" (done by Caravaggio in thr 1600's) placing his hands in the side of Jesus as proof of His . . . drum roll . . . resurrection.

I would have stopped there since there are obvious connections to the many "resurrections/reincarnations" we have already been exposed to, BUT I would ADD that Thomas was called twice by Jesus "Didymus" which means . . . louder drum roll . . . "TWIN".

. . . implying that Thomas either WAS a twin or some argue that it was a nickname, and others suggest that maybe he just looked like someone else (perhaps even Jesus). No doubt the name (like on LOST) WAS of some significance for the bible writers to include it. In this culture twins were looked upon with some negative regard because they messed up laws of inheritance and birth-rights, a tradition going all the way back to Esau who had his birth-right STOLEN by his twin brother . . . maybe BIGGEST drum roll . . . JACOB.

Again, no real revelation, but the only Thomas I can think of in the show would be Claire's boyfriend and the FATHER of Aaron. I cannot go so far as to suggest that this connection is meaningful and I tend to run from theorists who jump on the "they have the same name and/or same skin color so they HAVE to be connected" bandwagon, BUT I do find it interesting that from the Greek word for "twin" we get our word "double" AND "doubt" (DOUBLE-mindedness).

SO, (and I will be more than impressed to know that anyone has even hung around to read this much) I would lean on the side that the painting really means nothing more than pointing us to a key figure in the biblical narrative who BELIEVED . . . AND . . . DOUBTED (common themes in LOST).

You might even say that history will always regard him as a man living in the tension of being a man of science OR a man of faith.

Maybe there is something deeper. IF so, (maybe) you read it here first.

Now back to planning my "HE TOOK OFF THE TIE" Party . . . for which I am growing more confident that my printing invitations for sadi party was a waste of time.

Miss Scarlett said...

Who do you suppose plugged up the well?

I thought they had just gone further back in time - before the Well was dug. That makes sense since the cavern with the wheel was still there...

ellipsis said...

I was watching the video podcast with the interview with Jeremy Davies and the whole time I was just like... something's missing... he looks so WEIRD without the tie! XD

Alex said...

In regards to the


J could be John Locke - B could be Ben, and O could be Walt (in the greek Alphabet Omega translates to W in modern English.

Really like SKIDs theory - that ties together with the vision Charlie has in season one about Claire and Charlie in the whole church scene. Also, having CS and Claire as mysterious ghosts is not a coincidence.

80sPro said...


And wow.

I will be having the "North of 49" version of the tie-removal party!

That was something else. Replete with drumrolls. Gotta love it!

And Alex - nice on the W for Walt. He's got to play into it somehow. I think when Locke didn't end up being "the chosen one", Alpert had his hopes pinned on Walt.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Don't forget, C could be Charlotte. Oh, and why animals never ravaged Montaud's arm? They were afraid of Cerberus.

Capcom said...

Oh wow, Anon, that's a good guess about the anti-Sokey virus! :-o

It's so helpful to come here and read everyone's ideas for interpretation!

Anonymous said...

A few questions:

1) How did Jin sync back up with the rest of the gang? It seems to me that the writers simply wanted an excuse to send him back to Rousseau's time. Thunderstorm, you say the time travel is easy to understand, so maybe you can explain this as well as everything else that's happened this season. ;)

2) Big, one of your theories, and correct me if I have this wrong, seems to be that Jacob has escaped from the Island inside young Aaron. Why then, would Christian be telling Locke to bring them all back, Aaron included? What was the purpose in leaving, if only to return a few years later? I guess that goes to the question of whether Jacob and Christian are on the same team.

3) I'm still puzzling over what Jacob intended to happen when he told Locke to move the Island and where it went wrong. Now there's a further complication: Is Ben continuing to thwart Jacob and/or Christian's attempt to fix the bungled wheel-turn by bringing Locke's body back and resurrecting him? It did not seem like Christian intended for Locke to come back.

Aaron said...

I'm the anonymous from the previous three-part question. Logged into Google/Blogger incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

ery nice again BM - i am stoked for the next two episodes.

on the recent podcast tptb suggested we may see smokey's hole in the temple wall again

my prediction is that we will see a young ben get dragged down there.
thats how he teaches smokey to sit, stay and fetch ;)


Gareth said...

I just finished watching this weeks episode again, and one thing struck me with Charlotte's last conversation with Daniel. First of all I want to address this quote:

-Charlotte: "Daniel, I've been here before"

Charlotte says this and then proceeds to muse about her past and wanting to get back to the island. But what if she actually 'there' before, in that situation. I realize she was referencing her previous time on the Island but I think it somewhat intentional on behalf of the writers that she says "I've been 'here' before" and not" Daniel, I've been on the Island before" Hmm...

-Charlotte: "I just remembered something"

Again, intentional wording on behalf of the writers, as it's common for people to say this sentence when they had previously 'forgotten' about something but in this case I think it's safe to assume it's a 'new' memory. Going with a lot of peoples thoughts about Faraday staying in the 'past' I would assume that after Charlotte's death he decides to seek out young Charlotte in an attempt to nullify her death in the future, debatable but more than likely.

Looking forward to the next episode.

Gareth said...

Oh and Aaron, in regards to Jin 'syncing' back up with the rest of the losties I think you just answered your own question. They are indeed synchronized within the same time-lapse/jump. If however you mean how did they manage to be at the same place on the Island after Jin's third Jump then I guess that's just a convenience the writers could afford.

I'm still utterly puzzled about the whole Jacob,Christian and Richard scenario. Seeing as we don't really even know if they have motives let alone what they actually are it's kind of hard to decipher what eventuality of their efforts will be.

I'm still convinced Jacob is a well established and well known character that we have been familiar with since day one. I think one of the key points to understanding more at this stage is to find out exactly it is when things started to go indifferent.

mary said...


Love that idea...young ben getting dragged into smokey's lair. That would be too cool.

mary said...


Love that idea...young ben getting dragged into smokey's lair. That would be too cool.