February 26, 2009

We start out with Caesar (the guy who expressed his condolences to Jack before boarding Ajira Flight 316) rummaging through an office in the Hydra station, which is located on the second smaller island. Ilana, the female security Marshall who had been escorting Sayid, sees Caesar and tells him about a situation with someone unknown.

The scene cuts to an outside view and we see Ajira Flight 316 beached on the island. The mystery man turns out to be John Locke, alive and well.

Locke’s (Jeremy Bentham) visits to Sayid, Walt, Hurley, and Kate did not do an awful lot to progress the storyline in my opinion, but they were interesting to see. Sure, we learned that:

– Sayid had “the best nine months of his life” when married to Nadia

– Walt is “okay”, has dreams of Locke back on the island in a suit and in danger, and wonders where his dad is

– Hurley can draw the Sphinx pretty well

– Kate thinks of Locke as a desperate man who didn’t have anyone he loved to come home to

Other than that, those meetings were really just shown as examples of the frustration Locke has had to endure on his life journey.

His interaction with Charles Widmore added more confusion to his character as we try to determine if he is a good guy or not. If we believe at least some of what he says; Ben fooled him into leaving the island. Therefore, he must have been there for a while after we saw him in 1954 when he remembers meeting Locke. I say this because Ben didn’t get to the island until the early 1970’s.

The character of Matthew Abaddon made a re-appearance as the actor took a brief hiatus from resolving FRINGE science cases with the FBI to help Locke get where he was going…again! He reminded us that he is the one who encouraged Locke to go on the Australian Walkabout, which eventually led to his being a passenger on Oceanic Flight 815.

There was definitely a lot of symbolism behind Locke being confined to a wheelchair again. It was just another example of his off-island frustrations and “failures”. He also tries to find Helen Norwood, his lost love, only to learn that she died of a brain aneurism and that there’s no way to go back and change the angry, obsessive way he acted around her in the past.

He also met up with Jack. Their meeting is when this episode really started taking off for me. The debate of “fate versus choice” was back in full swing. It started when Abaddon and Locke discussed if Locke’s death was inevitable or a conscious choice and expanded on further when Locke claimed that fate planned the car accident which led him to Jack in the hospital. Jack countered by saying it wasn’t fate, it was a probability. He went on to describe Locke as a lonely delusional old man who insists that he’s special.

Then Locke drops the bombshell that Christian Shephard, Jack’s deceased father, says hello. Jack flips out, but hearing that was enough to push him over the edge and lead him to start living on booze and Oxycodone and taking roundtrip flights from Los Angeles to Sydney hoping to crash again.

Perhaps the best scene of all was Locke’s almost suicide attempt. I think we can safely say that Ben IS evil! Locke has arguably had the toughest life of any of the characters on the show. Ben might be number two in my opinion, but when he seemingly can’t convince anyone to return to the island, the broken down Locke sees no other option but to kill himself. As much as he might be doing it because he believes he’s supposed to die in order to get everyone to return, he is also doing it because he feels he’s a failure and that there’s no helping him.

When Ben arrives, he seems to be genuinely compassionate and eventually helps him down. However, once Ben learns that Jin made Locke promise not to bring Sun back and that a woman named Eloise Hawking is in Los Angeles and can help them get back to the island, he opts to kill Locke himself and stage the suicide. Unreal!

Before I get to the questions, I should also point out that we learned early in the episode that Frank Lapidus and a “crazy” woman, most likely Sun, took one of the outriggers in the middle of the night and set off on their own (presumably to go to the main island). Also, at the end of the episode, we hear Caesar express his confusion about how the “big guy with curly hair” (Hurley) and a few other passengers disappeared in a bright flash just before the crash. Caesar also said that Frank Lapidus has the flight manifest and we saw that Ben is alive but injured.

Obviously, we have tons of questions, but they will presumably be answered soon as there are somewhere between 25 to 30 episodes left in the entire series.

Here are some questions I have from this episode:

– When are they? I’m guessing Locke and the Ajira folks are in 2007 on the Hydra island and that the others, the ones who disappeared in the Flash, are in the late 1970’s). I’m not sure how the producers would manage to play out that scenario though.

– Is it possible that the “runway” captives Sawyer and Kate were helping build on the Hydra island in Season Three was intended for Ajira Flight 316?

– Is Christian Shephard alive like John Locke or is Christian still dead, but can appear in visions while Locke is really alive?

– Where is Sayid? He wasn’t with Kate, Jack, and Hurley and has yet to be accounted for on the Hydra island.

– What is the danger that Locke is in (from Walt’s dream)? Do the Ajira folks arm themselves with guns from the Hydra station and become aggressive? Could they be the ones who shot at Sawyer and company when they were on the outrigger in a recent flash? Is Walt’s storyline over? I hope not, but they seemed to put a bit of closure on it by saying that he’s been through enough.

– How and why did Ben fool Widmore into leaving the island?

– Just how tasty was that Mango that John Locke ate?

– Is Widmore good or bad?

– Why did Eloise Hawking willingly help Ben? She seems to be more aligned with Widmore. Also, why don’t Widmore and/or Hawking go to the island? Can they? [That was for you Jeff!]

– What is the “war coming” that Widmore referred to when he spoke with Locke?

Next week’s episode is titled, LaFleur, which doesn’t really grab me as a great title. This probably means that it will be phenomenal.


I Wish You Had Believed Me

February 19, 2009

This was about as close to a Jack-centric episode that we’ve had in quite a while and it was definitely a different Jack Shephard from what we’re used to seeing.

Locke’s “suicide” note to Jack sums it all up very neatly and echoes the thoughts many of us have had in our own lives. We all have had moments when we’ve wanted someone to believe in us or in what we’re feeling so badly that we try to force it upon them and only end up pushing them away even further. Locke and Jack have clashed so many times during their relationship that Jack even pulled the trigger of a gun in an attempt to push Locke away for good, but destiny had other plans.

Jack needed to experience all that he has in order to fully believe. He is Thomas the Apostle, the doubting Thomas, who had to put his hands in Jesus’ wounds in order to believe. Even now though, Jack still needed to take a leap of faith in order to get back to the island. His conversation with Locke’s dead body in the butcher shop was perfect. He just knew that Locke was having a good laugh while watching him put his father’s shoes on Locke’s cold lifeless feet.

After that, Jack looked more at peace than I’ve ever seen him before. He was almost giddy and was more conscious and aware of his surroundings than ever before. He observed everyone in the airport and recognized the “coincidences” that brought them all back together on this new flight, Ajira Airways Flight 316. Even as he was coming to grips with the “craziness” of it all and expressed his feelings to Kate, he received final “proof” when he learned that Frank Lapidus was flying the plane.

What an absolutely brilliant show!

We have many new questions, but I don’t think they’ll be answered next week because the next episode is aptly titled, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” (AKA John Locke). It will serve to answer the question about what happened to Locke once he left the island and it promises to provide many more perfectly sized pieces to the puzzle.

The big questions from this show are:

– Where is Aaron? Perhaps with Claires’ mom. What made Kate change her mind?

– Did Ben find and kill Penny? What about Desmond and their son Charlie? What happened there?

– What convinced Hurley to board the plane? Was it one of his deceased friends?

– What about Sayid? What happened there? It appears that he is under arrest and is flying next to some kind of Marshall similar to Kate on Oceanic 815.

– Who was the man in line at the airport that spoke to Jack? He’ll undoubtedly be on the island.

– What will happen to the other people on Flight 316? Was that their water bottle at the beach camp near the outriggers?

– When are they? They obviously ran into Jin in a DHARMA uniform with a van. Could they be back in the late 70’s early 80’s?

– Where are Sun, Sayid, and Ben?


“Turn It Up. I Love Geronimo Jackson”

February 13, 2009

The pieces are really starting to come together now. Sure there are some new questions, but a lot of loose ends and mysteries are being resolved as well. All the while, the writers still manage to add subtle comedic lines in each episode to lighten even the sad moments, such as Charlotte’s death.

– As Charlotte’s condition worsened, her consciousness was time traveling to various moments in her life and provided a couple of good laughs. I particularly liked the Geronimo Jackson line, but saying that she’s not allowed to eat chocolate before dinner, just as she died was classic.

– What we now know about her life – she definitely grew up on the island with her mom and dad who were part of the DHARMA Initiative. She and her mom left the island at some point in time, but her dad stayed behind and she never saw him again. Her mom denied that they were ever on an island and Charlotte spent the remainder of her life trying to find her way back. One of her last memories was of a crazy man who used to tell her to never come back to the island if she left because she will die. She identified that crazy man as Daniel in his future.

– So Danielle, Robert, Montand, and company left Tahiti on 11/15/1988 and shipwrecked while Danielle was seven months pregnant. We finally saw how Montand lost his arm and we also saw that the black smoke monster infected the entire team somehow. It turns out that the only reason Danielle didn’t get sick is because Jin saved her. Pretty cool twist. I love how he found her jewelry box on the beach, which is the same one Sayid fixed in the season one episode, ‘Solitary’.

– We finally saw the temple which has been referred to a few times and I imagine we’ll be headed back there at some point now that Jin knows how to get there. However, we have heard that the smoke monster protects the island, but now we heard Robert specifically state that it protects the temple.

– Locke’s descent into the well was very spiritual. The bright light, the fall, the spirit guide in the form of Christian Shephard, the struggle to get up, the acceptance that he had made a mistake (letting Ben do what he was asked to do), and the sacrifice of turning the wheel knowing that he would have to die to save the others. Even getting the wedding ring from Jin to give Sun as proof that he died so she wouldn’t return to the island, seemed symbolic. Juliet seems to fully understand the sacrifice that Locke is making.

– Christian Shephard tells Locke to go find Eloise Hawking, that he believes in John and that he can do this. Then he says to say hello to his son. If Locke assumes that Christian’s son is one of the Oceanic Six, I think that he will quickly figure out that it’s not Hurley or Sayid and that it must be Jack. It’ll be interesting to see if Locke tells Jack this.

– Quick note on something Locke said from the previous episode, “I needed that pain to get to where I am now.”  He has truly come full circle. Tested time and again, his faith has faltered, but not fallen and it has eventually carried him forward. His experience and the experience of all the LOSTies have made them who they are today and is why they should not attempt to change the past.

– The Flashes seem to be occurring more rapidly and are becoming more and more painful. I wonder if Locke’s wheel turn will make things a little better for those people still left behind.

– Sun seemed to change her tune a little too quickly when it came time to kill Ben, but they had to carry the story forward somehow. I did like the reaction Ben had in the van though, “You should be thanking me!”, and I love how they still keep us guessing as to who the good guys really are.

– Finally, Ben seems very surprised to learn that Eloise Hawking is Faraday’s mother and Desmond’s initial facial reaction to seeing Eloise Hawking is priceless.

It’s probably obvious that I look forward to the next episode every week with great excitement, but I’m amped up even more for next week based on the previews and the way this one ended. The fact that Ben, Eloise, and Desmond are together in the same room is a huge deal. Desmond hasn’t seen Eloise since ‘Flashes Before Your Eyes’ and Ben secretly wants to kill Penny. Never mind that it also looks like Jack and Sun, at a minimum, will be headed back to the island.

Next week’s episode is called ‘316’. This could be a bearing to get back to the island, but it may be more likely that it’s from John 3:16 – “for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Is the sacrifice John Locke? Stay tuned and Namaste!

Stuck in a Bloody Snow Globe

February 6, 2009

Those words were uttered by Desmond in the episode, ‘Live Together, Die Alone’. I’m going to use the snow globe analogy to explain how Jin could have been within the island’s time shift circumference, but the helicopter wasn’t.

I struggled with the possibility of Jin even surviving last year and I’m not going to try and explain how he survived, but the picture below should illustrate how even though the helicopter was heading back toward the island when the flash occurred, it was outside the time shift circumference, but Jin was within it.

Please excuse the crudity of the drawing, I didn’t have time to draw it to scale. (Yes, that was a ‘Back to the Future’ reference.)

The black “thing” with flames on the left is the sinking freighter. The helicopter is obvious (I hope) and you can see Jin on the wooden plank just within the purple flash zone.

Any questions or contrary ideas on how he ended up time-shifting along with the rest of the LOSTies, please send a comment.

Once again, there is so much to talk about so I’m going to try and keep it to the key things I took from this episode:

– Nosebleeds: The temporal displacement seems to affect people who have been on the island longer than others. Charlotte said she was looking for where she was born. Miles doesn’t know it yet, but I predict we’ll find out that he’s the baby we saw Pierre Cheng attend to in this season’s premiere. We know Juliet has been on the island for quite some time and then we have Faraday and Sawyer. How or why Charlotte seems to be doing better is my bigger question now.

– The Oceanic 6 are all together minus Hurley, though it looks like Sun is about to avenge Jin’s “death”.

– The name on the side of Ben’s van, “Canton Rainier” is an anagram for “reincarnation.”

– We saw a potential foreshadow symbol with the Ajira Airways water bottle when the LOSTies returned to the wrecked beach camp. I’m guessing it was January 2005 or later based on the way everything was in disarray and all the food was gone. Who owns the outriggers we saw though? Why were they shooting at the LOSTies and where the heck are Rose and Bernard.

– The numbers seem to be making a bit of a comeback this season. We have Kate’s address – 42 Panorama Crest and they all meet at the Long Beach Marina – Slip 23.

– No one, other than the people time shifting, seems to notice the flashes. My brother and I were starting to wonder if the time shifting folks could explain some of the whispers we hear throughout the jungle. We came up with too many holes to make a good theory out of this one.

– Jin is alive and my very observant mother pointed something funny out. He spent most of the first two seasons not understanding anyone else because they all spoke English and he only spoke Korean. Now he knows some English and gets picked up by Rousseau’s French-speaking science team. Poor Jin! At least Danielle knows some English.

– I’m guessing the current year they’re in is 1988 because the French team is attempting to locate the source of the numbers transmission. We know they find it and start broadcasting their own distress signal that runs for 16 years until late 2004. Remember, the entire team was on the island for only two months before the entire team (with the exception of Rousseau) was killed by some sort of virus or something. Here’s the shortened dialogue from the episode ‘Solitary’…

DANIELLE: We were part of a science team.

DANIELLE: Our vessel was 3 days out of Tahiti when our instruments malfunctioned. It was night, a storm, the sounds. The ship slammed into rocks, ran aground, the hull breached beyond repair. So, we made camp, dug out this temporary shelter. Temporary. Nearly 2 months we survived here, 2 months before —

SAYID: Your distress signal? The message I heard, you said, “It killed them all.”

DANIELLE: We were coming back from the Black Rock. It was them. They were the carriers.

SAYID: Who were the carriers?

DANIELLE: The others.

Additionally, in ‘Exodus Part I’, Danielle said, “Our ship went aground on this island 16 years ago. There were 6 of us — my team, 6. At that time I was already 7 months pregnant. I delivered the infant myself. The baby and I were together for only 1 week when I saw black smoke — a pillar of black smoke 5 kilometers inland. That night they came — they came and took her — Alex. They took my baby. And now, they’re coming again. They’re coming for all of you.”

Finally, here are the translations from the French crew last night:

ROBERT: I told you so! We never should have followed those damn numbers!
MONTAND: It’s not my fault, Robert. Brennan was in charge of the sonar!
BRENNAN: I was watching, Montand! I told you already, the instruments malfunctioned!
ROUSSEAU: Man overboard!
(Man) What?
(Man) I thought we were all here!
(Man) We ARE all here! He’s not one of us. So who is it?
(Man) Paddle! Paddle! Come on!
(Man) Focus the light on him. We have to hold the light).
(Man) Brennan, help paddle.
(Man) Come on! Hurry up! We are moving with the stream.
(Man) No.. There’s only him! No boat! Nothing!
Brennan: The waves will bring us to the coast.
Brennan: The wind. Over here.
(Man) For godsake Brennan! Shut up!
(Man) Come on, bring him in the raft. He’s heavy.
(Man) He’s still breathing.
CUT AWAY>>>Then on the shore…
MONTAND: Robert… Look, the signal comes from the island.
ROBERT: Can you find the source?
MONTAND: Yes of course, look!
ROBERT: Do you think the island’s inhabited?
ROUSSEAU: How are you? How are you feeling?
JIN: No understand.
ROUSSEAU: You speak English?
JIN: Little.
ROUSSEAU: Are you okay?
JIN: Yes.
ROUSSEAU: How did you get here?
JIN: Boat.
Robert: Who is he?
Montand : I don’t care who he is. What is he doing here?
ROUSSEAU: He said he came by boat.
ROBERT: What boat?
JIN: It’s gone. Sink.
ROUSSEAU: It must’ve been caught in the same storm as ours.
MONTAND: Who are you? How long you in the water?
JIN: I don’t know.
MONTAND: How do you not know how you wound up in the middle of the ocean?
ROUSSEAU: Montand! Leave him alone, he is shook up, do we have water for him?
Robert : Yeah. Comes back with the water. Here.
ROUSSEAU: Merci, Robert.
JIN: Thank you.
ROUSSEAU: What is your name?
JIN: Kwon Jin-su. Jin.
ROUSSEAU: Hello, Jin. I’m Danielle. Danielle Rousseau.

NEXT WEEK: ‘This Place Is Death’