When Are We?

May 20, 2007

At the very end of the pilot episode, Charlie said, “Where are we?” The more we experience what’s happening on the island through Desmond, the more I think someone needs to say, “When are we?” I’ve said before that perhaps Desmond is able to see the “flashes” because he has already lived what is “currently” happening and we’re actually seeing the past. However, just as in the Back to the Future movies, his actions can potentially change events and create an alternate future reality.

There have been too many hints on the show about time travel to ignore the possibility and we know for a fact that Desmond went (further) back in time when he turned the fail-safe key in the Swan station. Now Desmond says that he sees Claire and Aaron get on a helicopter and we assume they are rescued. Well, if everything we are seeing is actually in the characters past, then isn’t it possible that the ENTIRE show is a flashback just like each of the individual character flashbacks?

No, I haven’t been drinking, but thanks for asking. Speaking of drinking though, remember when Juliet drank the tranquilizer before boarding the sub and coming to the island? Well, just as Alice swallowed a pill to go through the looking glass and followed the white rabbit down the hole to her wonderland, Juliet and possibly other island residents may have gotten to the island through some portal (maybe located in Portland) that transported them to the Looking Glass Hatch where the DHARMA logo just happens to be an image of a white rabbit with a hole in it’s neck (I added the logo above). The season finale is titled “Through the Looking Glass”, so even though I may be stretching a bit, at least I have “some” evidence to support my theory.

If you’re me, you were probably telling the characters on your television to just get the darn axe and cut the cable on the beach. Then after you realized how absurd it was to be talking to your television, you became frustrated that these intelligent people didn’t think about doing this themselves. Well, the nice people on the Internet helped once again by providing close-up views of the Looking Glass schematics that Sayid took from the Flame. They show that the cable is actually an anchor to the land and may not have been providing any power.

Wikipedia identifies the two characters in the Looking Glass as Greta and Bonnie, but I’m guessing that “Bonnie” is the blonde and is actually named Annie, Ben’s little girlfriend. The other woman looked like Cassidy to me, which would have been a HUGE twist, but the actresses name doesn’t match. We’ll see. I have to say that I thought Charlie was very good in this episode and I liked who his character has become. I don’t think he needed to knock Desmond out, but I was holding my breath hoping that Desmond wasn’t going to be the one who died. I’ll still be holding my breath (pun-intended) in the finale. Also, maybe I’m getting too sappy, but I really liked that he left the “DS” ring for Aaron.

Oh yeah, for those who missed it, the woman Charlie helped in the alleyway who called him a hero was Sayid’s girl Nadia.

Okay, now for the really good stuff. Jack is back to his old form, but I’m still aggravated that they all don’t communicate more. I said a couple of blogs ago that the problem with everyone on the island is that no one trusts anyone else and that’s what causes the kind of friction that has been growing out of control. As soon as Jack revealed what he knows and everyone started sharing information, they bonded as a community, utilized their strengths as a team, and seem to have a pretty good game plan. I was happy to see that Danielle is involved too and that we found out why she was taking the dynamite from the Black Rock.

It also seems as if there is more of a power struggle between the Others than between the LOSTies. Alex was somewhat symbolically skinning a white rabbit, tells Karl to go help Austen (Kate) and Ford (James), and verbally questions whether Ben is really her father. Juliet, Tom, and Richard seem to be questioning Ben’s leadership. Mikhail wasn’t exactly given any support when Locke kicked the crap out of him and Locke will hopefully reappear in the finale. Perhaps Ben will be one of the people to die and Locke will become the new leader of the Others because he doesn’t want to leave the island and continues to sabotage all possible routes of exit. Maybe he’s headed to the Radio Tower too.

As for their plan, I like it and I actually like that everyone is rallying around Jack’s leadership, but if he doesn’t learn to trust the other LOSTies, he’s going to cause even more problems. I’m glad Rose told him that she likes him more since he’s back and I’m glad that Sayid “put him in his place” by telling him where he’s needed more, but also basically telling him to be a leader by listening to the ideas of the smart and capable people around him. Where does that leave James Ford? I think they HAVE to touch upon the impact that killing Cooper must be having on him in the finale. He was almost a non-factor in this last episode except to protect Karl when he came to warn them.

Speaking of Karl, my favorite line from the episode wasn’t necessarily funny, but I laughed at the way it was delivered by Juliet in response to when Karl pointed at her and told the LOSTies she was a spy, “They know Karl, but thanks!”

I’m looking forward to “Through The Looking Glass” and the finale party at Ken and J9’s house. Thanks for hosting it guys!

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We’re Off To SEE The Wizard – For a Nanosecond

May 14, 2007

Back in Season 2, we met the man formerly known as Henry Gale when he lied to the LOSTies and told them that he had crashed on the island in a hot air balloon. This was a somewhat obvious nod to the Wizard of Oz, but many folks missed it. It was a bit more difficult to miss the references this time around, particularly since the episode title was “The Man Behind The Curtain” and Locke and Ben had a very direct conversation that prompted Locke to accuse Ben that there was no Jacob and that Ben was the man behind the curtain.

As the episode progresses, it would seem that Ben was lying all along and may even be a bit crazy. That’s until Jacob’s presence is heard, felt, and even seen for a single frame. I’ll admit that I didn’t see him when I watched it and haven’t yet watched the episode again to try and catch a glimpse, but fortunately there are plenty of LOST fanatics that have done the work for us and took a screen capture of the moment. Meet Jacob:

Jacob at lost.cubit.net

I thought this was a great scene and so was the scene when young Ben meets the never-aging Richard Alpert in the jungle just after hearing the whispers. What are the whispers? Who is Jacob? Why are some people “too limited to see” him? I can’t answer for sure, but I can sure as heck try.

Quite a number of fans have hypothesized about a collective consciousness on the island that “controls” or “manipulates” the thoughts of the LOSTies and attempts to steer them in the direction they feel they should go in terms of their physical actions. This has led some LOSTies toward opportunities to change their lives and start over with a blank slate (tabula rasa) and some have succeeded to certain extents while others have failed. Well, what if it’s not a collective consciousness, but some spiritual beings or entities that are trying to guide the island inhabitants. The strong magnetic attributes of the island might make it easier to connect with the spirit world then in other locations throughout the world. This could explain the dead people and other things that a number of characters have seen on the island. It could also explain the whispers.

Okay, I know what you might be thinking, but I really haven’t “lost” it. Going way back to an early season one episode, you may remember a very subtle scene where Claire is trying to find a hairbrush:

CLAIRE: “You haven’t found a hairbrush in there, have you?
KATE: “No. Sorry.
CLAIRE: “I must have looked through 20 suitcases. I can’t find one. It’s weird, right? When you think that everyone packs a hairbrush.

This seems like an insignificant scene, but there doesn’t seem to be anything insignificant with this show. Theoretically speaking, brushing your hair would create static electricity that could potentially interfere with the magnetic spiritual connection that helps to both heal physical ailments and communicate through the senses of sight (dead people) and sound (whispers and Jacob’s “Help me”). And this might be a stretch, but Locke is bald which might give him an even stronger connection.

I’m not making this stuff up. Do some Web searches and read about the endless theories and beliefs with relation to these kinds of spiritual entities. I could write for hours about this, but there’s too much other stuff to get to. However, I will share the fact that the very first link I clicked on when looking for information on “spiritual entities” also contained a philosopher’s name I didn’t expect to see – John Locke!

Philosopher Locke’s theory of mind states that everyone is born with a blank state (tabula rasa) and that data is added and rules for processing the data are formed based on each person’s sensory experiences. He was also the first philosopher to define the “self” through a continuity of consciousness. The same link also mentions that this definition of “self” is also featured in the works of philosophers David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. Any of those names sound familiar? Perhaps Immanuel will be introduced in season 4.

Information found on Wikipedia also states that the “Lockean self” is a self-aware, self-reflective consciousness that is fixed in an “empty” mind body that is shaped and gradually unfolded based on our experiences. Locke also suggested that “the little and almost insensible impressions on our tender infancies have very important and lasting consequences.” I included this thought because of the impact each character’s past experiences have had on their lives and how they define themselves. The island has given them all a chance at redemption by giving them a tabula rasa of sorts or at least an opportunity to start over even with the mind influences of the past experiences.

I would be neglecting a big part of this episode if I didn’t mention that we learned that even Ben had a “daddy issue”, like almost every other character on the show. His obsession in the previous week’s episode to have Locke purge the pain from his past by killing his father makes a lot more sense now since that’s how he handled his “daddy issue”.

Other observations/questions:

Annie’s fate? I believe we’ll see a lot more with regards to the purging of the DHARMA folks in other flashbacks, so I hope they explain whether or not Ben’s little girlfriend (Annie) was one of the people smart enough to make sure she didn’t end up in the ditch. This brings me to…

Is Locke dead? The popular guess is no. Funny thing it that a co-worker of mine stated, “If I was a betting person, I’d say he’s not dead.” Two days later I hear the Executive Producers say the same exact thing on this week’s podcast. Locke IS special! Ben knows this and that’s why Ben shot him. By the way, I think that Alex knew her “dad” was going to try and kill Locke when she handed him the gun. She said she was giving it to him because he was going to see Jacob, but I think she’s smarter than that.

Mikhail is alive! Apparently the pylons weren’t set to a lethal level. I didn’t really like this explanation cause it seems like a cop-out, but I’ll let it slide unless the reason that Locke survives the gunshot to the stomach is explained to us by them saying that the bullet wasn’t set to a lethal level.

Tom sips coffee while Locke kicks Mikhail’s a$$. There’s most definitely a little upheaval in the Others group. Great little scene.

The Richard Alpert and Ben Linus dynamic. I’m really curious to find out more about this because Richard doesn’t age at all and since he was a hostile prior to Ben joining them, why does he seem to report to Ben? Is it because Richard let Ben join them because HE was special and could hear the whispers and see his dead mother?

Jack’s Ego Trip! What the heck? He hasn’t decided what to do yet? Sure, perhaps he can rationalize that he felt that keeping the information to himself was in the best interest of everyone because he didn’t want to cause a panic or something, but if I’m one of the LOSTies, I am thoroughly aggravated.

Roger “Workman” Linus was a jerk! That was perhaps one of the toughest “daddy issues” presented thus far. He actually accuses Ben of killing his mom in childbirth because he was born early. Ouch!

Ben was born in Portland, not on the island. Fate stepped in to have Horace Goodspeed and his volcano-eruption teaching wife (or girlfriend) drive by as Ben’s mom Emily dies during childbirth.

Jacob doesn’t like technology and is located in an island location that is close to where the volcano erupted a long time ago. I’m making an assumption that the line of gray powder that Locke touched and sniffed on the way to see Jacob was volcanic ash. I could be wrong. Doubt it though.

Only 50 episodes left until the SERIES finale in 2010. Enjoy!


Huck Finn Was Already Taken

May 3, 2007

So, James Ford was finally able to face the man who ruined his life and help John Locke get rid of his father in the process. First of all, wow! Josh Holloway (James Ford) was incredible. The scenes with him and Locke (also excellent) and between him and Cooper were perfect. My guess is that James Ford (I feel like I need to call him that now) will have other demons to deal with now that he’s gotten his revenge. Something tells me that killing Cooper won’t ease his pain or suffering any more than it would have for Locke if he had been able to kill his father himself.

In no particular order, here’s some of what we learned. The name of this episode was “The Brig”, which is obviously the Black Rock. I looked it up before the show aired and according to Wikipedia, a brig is a vessel with two square-rigged masts. They were considered fast and maneuverable back in the day and were used as both naval war ships and merchant ships. I almost forgot about the Black Rock until I looked up that definition and guessed that someone would be visiting it again in this episode. The seemingly most random part of the entire episode was when Danielle Rousseau came to pick up a crate of dynamite. I’m sure that’s a story waiting to unfold.

Parachute girl finally tells somebody her name and it’s Naomi (“I moan” backwards) Dorrett. She claims that her company was hired by Penelope Widmore to find Desmond at coordinates that seemed to be in the middle of the Pacific. She also claims to have taken off in a helicopter from a freighter that is only 80 miles from the island and that she bailed out when the copter’s instruments freaked out over the island. When asked to clarify her knowledge of Flight 815, she said that the entire plane was found off the coast of Bali in a trench 4 miles deep and that underwater robots were able to scan the plane and saw all the bodies. When Sayid starting questioning her truthfulness, she acted pissed off and said, “Remind me not to rescue you, Sayid.”

Dr. Richard Alpert, from Mittelos (Lost Time) Bioscience and now an Other, tells Locke that Ben was trying to embarrass him in front of everyone when he tried to coerce Locke into killing his father. Apparently, the Others all think Locke is special because he was paralyzed and can now walk. Based on what Alpert said, Ben might be a bit jealous or something. He said that Locke is important because he helps remind everyone that they’re on the island for “more important” reasons. My guess here is that there is a group of Others who want to split off from Ben and get back to whatever it was that they were doing before Ben became obsessed with the fertility stuff. This may very well include Juliet who is obviously keeping a secret WITH Jack and FROM Jack. Based on the strange conversation they had with Kate when Juliet said “We should tell her” and Jack said “Not yet”, I’d say that Jack may be in a bit over his head and is perhaps thinking with the wrong part of his anatomy.

Regardless, we’re missing a big piece of the puzzle and when James brings back the tape-recorded message, all hell is going to break loose. (By the way, I don’t agree with Cooper. I don’t think they’re in hell.)

I don’t trust Juliet, but I don’t think she’s a bad person, but she’s too focused on protecting herself. I don’t trust Jack because he keeps way too much to himself and always claims that he does it for everyone else’s benefit, but that only seems to put people in more danger. I don’t trust Ben because, well, he’s a liar. I don’t trust Locke because he’s a follower and just wants to be liked by someone/anyone. I don’t trust Kate because she’s annoying and doesn’t know what the heck she wants. If I’m James, I’m starting to get real annoyed at her, but he seems pretty blinded by love right now. Speaking of James, he might be the trustworthiest right now, but he IS a con artist and hasn’t exactly earned anyone’s trust yet. So, the problem with everyone on the island is that no one can trust anyone else and that’s what causes the kind of friction that is growing out of control. Then you got Sayid, Claire, Jin, Sun, Hurley, Charlie, and Desmond. Out of that group, there are a couple of people I like, but only one I’d stay close too and that’s Desmond (because he can tell the future). Yes, he almost sacrificed Charlie’s life, but the key word there is ALMOST.

There were a few good quotes in this episode, but one I really enjoyed was when Cooper said, “You’re wasting your time, bug eye!” when he referred to Ben as he was coercing Locke to kill him.

Next week, we’ll get a Ben flashback and learn all about the DHARMA initiative. Well, I hope ALL about it. Then it’s a Charlie flashback and then the two-hour season finale. If the next three episodes are nearly as good as this one, we’re in for a great finish to season three.