Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Three Fs: FlashForward and Fringe

Just a quick heads up to you all everybody that I've posted my review of FlashForward and Fringe over on I Hate My DVR. Stop by and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Mystery of the Outrigger Shootings...

The Facts

At the excellent suggestion of Wayne Allen Sallee, I'm devoting a separate post to the mystery of who shoots at Sawyer, Locke, Faraday, Charlotte, Miles, and Juliet in the outrigger canoe. The shooting takes place as the group is flashing through time. After one such flash, they find themselves at their old beach camp some time after the crash of Ajira 316. The six (hmmm...) spy a pair of outrigger canoes, one of which Ilana's crew presumably used to get from Hydra to the main Island.

The Lefties take one of the canoes and begin rowing toward the Orchid. They soon realize they're being chased by unknown parties in the other canoe who shoot at them. Juliet returns fire, hitting one of the pursuers, but the Lefties flash through time before they learn who was chasing them. And that raises one last point before discussing some possible suspects. The shooting probably takes place after the encounter at the Foot because none of the participants has a gunshot wound.

The Suspects

Suspect: The Others
Motive: Revenge

This is probably the most mundane explanation. Still, it's easy to forget that the Others have ample reason to be hostile toward the Lefties. Think of how many Others have died at the hands of the survivors of Oceanic 815 and the Kahana. Ethan, Colleen, Danny, Tom...the list goes on. I wouldn't be surprised if the Others specifically targeted Juliet as retribution for her shooting of Danny. Estimated Likelihood: 25%.

Suspect: Ilana's Group
Motive: Revenge

This strikes me as the most plausible solution. I've previously suggested that this exchange of fire represents the first shots in "Charlie Widmore's War." The conflict will be between the Others, who follow Zombie Locke as their leader, and Ilana's Group, which knows he's really the Man in Black reincarnated. At some point, Ilana's Group will spy the Lefties absconding in a canoe and take chase thinking it's Locke and the Others. Under this view, the pursuers target Locke to avenge Jacob's murder. Estimated Likelihood: 75% 64%.

Suspect: Survivors of Ajira 316
Motive: ???

This is the least likely scenario. I can't fathom why other survivors of Ajira 316 would shoot at the Outrigger 6 -- or where they would even get guns. But the survivors find three canoes on Hydra Island so basic math suggests it's a possibility. Frank and Sun take one, followed by Locke and Ben in another, both docking by the Barracks. Frank returns in a canoe, at which point there are two on Hydra. Ilana's Group only takes one, so it's possible that other survivors of Ajira 316 follow them in the second canoe. Estimated Likelihood: 1%.

Suspect: Our Losties
Motive: Change the Past

This is another unlikely scenario but one with undeniable whackadoo appeal. Since we can reasonably assume the shooting has yet to occur, it may take place after our Losties flash back from 1977. It's possible, therefore, that they're shooting at themselves in hopes of somehow disrupting the time loop they've just experienced. Again, it's all pretty unlikely. As you all everybody have noted, however, the irony of Juliet wounding her beloved Sawyer while he tries to save her life would be very LOST. Estimated Likelihood: 10%.

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Ben...or Two?

Over on the fuselage.com, there's an interesting debate with potential implications for a bunch of topics we've discussed recently. Take a gander at this deleted scene from the Season 4 DVD, which apparently takes place when Ben lands in the desert after turning the Donkey Wheel:

In the scene, Ben rides to a crumbling stone wall and dismounts. As he scans the horizon, we can clearly see a body lying motionless off in the distance. Mysteriously, the body appears to be wearing Ben's Dharka, pants, and boots. Ben seems unphased by his dead "twin" but is obviously in a hurry. He pauses long enough to grab a stash of money and passports hidden in the wall then gallops off into the desert.

The conventional interpretation, which I currently favor, is that the body belongs to one of the Bedouins who accost Ben after he wakes up in the desert. Ben dresses the first body in his clothes to fool Widmore's people into thinking he died in transit. (This might be why, as Wayne Allen Sallee reminds us, Widmore installed cameras at the exit point.) Ben goes to hide the second body, then returns for the wall stash. The scene was probably cut to avoid confusing viewers familiar with the two Bunny 15s from the Orchid Orientation outtake.

That brings me to the more whackadoo take, which is admittedly growing on me which I'm now persuaded is correct. You can't make out the face in the youtube clip, but our friend darkprose swears it's Ben's own visage when viewed on DVD. And as SamG observes, the deleted scene seems to be a continuation from when Ben rides off after the Bedouin attack. Watching the two scenes in that order leaves the impression they take place at different locations. You can, for example, see power lines behind the body that aren't visible when Ben first awakens. As Netprophet notes, however, the pile of rocks behind Ben is the same in both scenes.

I know what you're thinking. One Ben? Two Bens? But he ... but you can't ... oh, my medication. Skepticism was my first reaction, too. The more I think about it, however, the more intrigued I am by the notion that turning the Donkey Wheel creates a duplicate. Could this be why the Man in Black wanted Locke to turn the Wheel? Can returning to the Island have a similar twinning effect? Maybe Darlton deleted the scene in question to avoid tipping their hands prematurely regarding the two Lockes in Season 5...

Update: September 15, 2009

Darkprose has posted this screencap (click for a larger pic) which establishes pretty conclusively that a second Ben is indeed lying on the ground.

Update: September 16, 2009

Our friend Allan has created this loop (click the icon in the bottom right corner for full screen) of the second Ben apparently inhaling. Though we see this other Ben for only a second or two, his exaggerated gasp resembles the deep breath taken by the original Ben upon awakening in the desert.

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