Don’t Forget the Variables

April 30, 2009

Variables and Constants, Free Will versus Fate. LOST is an entire television novel that centers on those main themes. Tonight’s episode raised the bar even further if we stop and ask ourselves these questions…

Can you imagine going through your entire adult life with the knowledge that the son you are raising will someday travel back to a time before he was born when a younger version of yourself would shoot and kill him not knowing who he was? Can you imagine consciously making decisions that lead your son toward that eventual fate when you have the opportunity to change it?

As of right now, the show is still sticking to the idea of whatever happened, happened. Daniel eloquently speaks about relativistic physics and explains that he spent so much time focusing on the constants that he forgot the variables. People are the variables with their ability to make their own choices because of free will.

Why would Eloise choose to lead Daniel to his ultimate fate? His dying words to her were so sad, “You knew this was going to happen and you sent me here anyway!” Ouch! Forgetting about why for now and just accepting the fact that she did what she did, we now also understand more clearly why she tried to make sure that Desmond didn’t buy the ring for Penny in ‘Flashes Before Your Eyes’ (Season 3). She knew everything that would happen. She knew Desmond had to be the Swan Station button pusher so that he would mistakenly crash Oceanic Flight 815 and eventually implodes the hatch causing an electromagnetic anomaly that helps Widmore’s freighter people (including Daniel) find the island.

So many little pieces of the puzzle are in place now and it’s all leading to a climactic eight month hiatus when we’ll be pulling our hair out wondering if the future can in fact be changed.

What We Learned:

– Daniel Faraday is the son of both Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore, making him Penny’s half-brother.

– We now have a better understanding as to why Daniel was crying when he saw the fake Oceanic 815 wreckage and how he was talked into getting on the freighter.

– Daniel’s memory loss began when he performed tests on himself before rendering his research assistant/girlfriend, Teresa, comatose. We also know that the island was healing Daniel’s memory loss.

– Jack is going to think his destiny is…to detonate Jughead in an effort to negate the electromagnetic energy under the Swan Station to change the future.

– We saw an extended Season 5 opening scene from a different perspective and know that Pierre Chang has knowledge that Daniel and Miles (at a minimum) are from the future. Yes, he said he doesn’t believe, but he will.

– Eloise uses a mother’s secret weapon on Daniel, even when he’s an adult…the guilt trip. He even asks her, “when will it be enough?” and she just continues to push him. He just wants to make his mother proud of him.

– I thought the message inside the notebook Eloise gave Daniel was very reminiscent of the letter from Penny that Desmond found in his book. Eloise’s note read, “No matter what, remember, I will always love you.”

– Juliet and Sawyer are in big trouble with the DHARMA folks and I’m guessing that Miles and Hurley will be too. I hope someone looks in the guitar case before the season ends.

– Despite his intention to NOT warn young Charlotte about coming back to the island, Daniel does so anyway because he believes he’s found a way to change the future.

– There are only four hours remaining until “The Incident” at The Swan.

– “The Incident” is the catalyst for the entire chain of events that leads to cementing the electromagnetic energy with concrete, diffusing it’s build up every 108-minutes by pushing the button, and all of the events that we have seen in the series thus far.

– Desmond is alive and my favorite couple on TV is still together. He represents the one variable that gave Daniel hope. Daniel changed the future by talking to Desmond in the past and it became a new memory for Desmond. There is hope left for free will.

– Erasing everything that happened is insane, but so is disappearing off a plane and ending up in 1977.

Eloise said it best, “For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Next week we “Follow the Leader”. It’s supposed to be somewhat Richard Alpert-centric. Then…the season five finale.


LOST – Anubis/Tawaret – The Egyptian Connection

April 17, 2009

A lot of people have been theorizing that the four-toed statue, which we’ve also now seen from the back, is Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld. However, in the pictures I’ve seen, Anubis has long pointy ears and the view from the back of the statue we saw did not.

I was all set to write about this last week until Ben summoned the Smoke monster because the hieroglyphs above smokey’s lair depicted an Egyptian god WITH pointy ears summoning what looked like a snake, but was probably just a hieroglyphic version of smokey.

So, the debates continues, but consider this…the Egyptian god Tawaret does not have pointy ear, carries two ankhs, has only four toes, and has a flat topped head just like the statue. I can’t take credit for this discovery, since I only came across it while reading information on Anubis, but someone was kind enough to provide a side-by-side comparison for us (CLICK HERE).

Furthermore, Tawaret is the Egyptian goddess of motherhood. Wouldn’t it be something if there was some connection between the fact that pregnant women all die before giving birth and the fall of the statue?

Here’s something else that got me thinking…I was in a yoga studio this past week (In Spirit Living Studio, Long Branch, NJ – I told her I’d give her a plug) and noticed a statue of what I thought might be Anubis. He had pointy ears, carried an ankh in one hand and a staff in the other hand. I had to ask the studio owner if it was Anubis and she replied that it was not even an Egyptian god. She said it was an Egyptian GUARD whose duty it was to judge people to see if they were worthy of entering the afterlife.

Now this seemed relevant to me because Ben was basically judged by smokey and given a chance at redemption by agreeing to listen to and follow Locke. The way the guards would judge the dead was to bring them to the hall of Ma’at, the Egyptian goddess of truth, and weigh a feather that Ma’at used to carry in her hair to see if it weighed more or less then the heart of the deceased. If the heart was lighter than the feather then it was considered free from sin and the dead could enter the afterlife.

No, I didn’t see any feather in the hieroglyphs, but the judgments made by smokey could parallel the heart versus feather judgments. Regardless, it appears more than obvious by now that the history of the island is steeped in ancient Egyptian mythology. I’m looking forward to learning more.

What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?

April 16, 2009

I consider this one of those set-up episodes. It was a necessary precursor to prepare us for the events of the three final episodes of season five, which begins in two weeks with the 100th episode of the series called, ‘The Variable’. This next episode will undoubtedly focus on Daniel Faraday who made his return from Ann Arbor, Michigan, along with other scientists. The episode promises to follow in the footsteps of my all-time favorite episode from Season 4 titled, ‘The Constant”. You may remember that the episode ended with Daniel writing, “Desmond in my constant” in his notebook.

Enough jumping ahead though! ‘Some Like It Hoth” contained plenty of information and hints as to what’s ahead and lots of Easter Eggs for the diehard fans to enjoy…

– The episode starts with a digital clock showing 3:16, which just happens to be the number of the Ajira Flight.

– Young Miles hears a dead man calling out to a woman named Kimberly from behind room #4 (one of the numbers).

– Miles enters room #4 by using a key hidden under a White Rabbit, which is another Alice in Wonderland reference and also a season one episode title. Not to mention we’ve seen time travel experiments done with the fury, oops need my spell check, furry little animals.

– Sawyer asks Miles to erase video #4 to hide that he helped Kate bring Ben to the Hostiles (Others).

– The dead man that Miles has to bring to Pierre Cheng at The Orchid was killed while digging a ditch near The Swan construction site. The electromagnetic force in that area yanked a filling right out of the man’s tooth and through his skull.

– Miles and Hurley swap stories of their communications with dead people. Well, Hurley shares a lot more than Miles, but we see a lot more of what Miles can do via his flashbacks.

– Miles felt bad for Mr. Gray and told him that his dead son, Russell Gray, always knew that his father loved him. Later on, because he was upset about his own father, Miles returned to tell the man the truth and that he should have told his son that he loved him while he was still alive.

– Naomi Dorritt makes a flashback return to show how and why Miles was recruited by Widmore. The scene where Miles spoke with the dead body (Felix) in the restaurant would seem to prove that Charles Widmore is indeed the person responsible for staging the fake Oceanic Flight 815 crash since he was delivering pictures of empty graves and a purchase order for an old Oceanic airplane. Some people still believe it was Ben who staged the fake plane recovery and technically it could still be either one if perhaps Ben was blackmailing Widmore or something.

– We find out where the $3.2 million comes from. Half of it, $1.6 million, is offered to Miles by Widmore via Naomi and when Miles is taken into the van he says that he’ll side with them if they pay him double.

– The guy in the van who speaks with Miles is named Bram and he is the same guy on the beach with Ilana in the previous episode. They both ask the same question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Very interesting indeed. Bram also says that Miles is playing for the wrong team and that his team is going to win.

– Pierre Cheng threatens Hurley with polar bear poop weighing duty (no pun intended) on Hydra Island if Hurley talks about the dead body. I came very close to naming this blog post, “That douche is my dad”, but resisted the temptation.

– “Love Will Keep Us Together” and “It Never Rains in Southern California” are the two songs playing in DHARMA mini bus as Hurley and Miles cruise around the island. Just thought I’d mention that.

– There seems to be some Egyptian history lessons being taught at DHARMA Elementary. I got this much before Jack erased it all:

    – Old Egyptian – 2600 BC to 2000 BC
    – Middle Egyptian – 2000 BC to 1300 BC
    – Late Egyptian – 1300 BC to 700 BC

– Roger Linus is on to Kate’s involvement in “kidnapping” Ben and I don’t think Jack defused the situation at all. Now that Phil has the tape showing Sawyer helping Kate and Sawyer and Juliet are tying him up after knocking him out, the polar bear shit is about to hit the fan!

– Great scene showing “the numbers” stamped on to the hatch door of The Swan station during construction and Hurley explaining that there will be some sort of accident (The Incident), which will require them to build a computer that will require them to enter the numbers in every 108 minutes (the sum of 4+8+15+16+23+42). No, Hurley didn’t say that last part.

– Sci-fi geeks everywhere have to be cheering about the conversations surrounding ‘Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back’. Sure, it’s pretty funny that Hurley wants to help George Lucas with the sequel to the original Star Wars, but let’s not forget that Hurley wanted to add in a few improvements. He lectured Miles and said that if Luke (Skywalker) dropped his attitude and had simply communicated with his dad (Darth Vader) to gave him a second chance instead of acting all immature and eventually getting his arm cut off, then maybe we wouldn’t have had to deal with the Ewoks in the next movie and we all know that “The Ewoks sucked, dude!” What’s even more interesting about this is that we know that Pierre Cheng is going to lose HIS arm at some point because as Marvin Candle in The Swan Orientation video, he was wearing a prosthetic. The plot thickens.

– I was glad to see that Miles saw his dad sitting with baby Miles on his lap reading.

Okay, so no new episode next week, but I will be posting another blog. I actually have it written already and it’s all about Egyptian gods and goddesses. I’ve read (and seen) some interesting stuff lately and feel like sharing. In the meantime, I leave you with this cool theory on the whereabouts of Rose and Bernard in case you haven’t seen it already:

– Remember the “Adam and Eve” skeletons in the cave with the black and white gemstones from Season 1? Perhaps Rose/Bernard sought refuge there after the flaming arrow attack and eventually died. It doesn’t explain the black and white gemstones (unless you count that Rose is black and Bernard is white), but it’s still an intriguing thought. So where does this theory stem from?

In season three episode ‘Not in Portland’ when Karl (Alex’s boyfriend) was in Room 23 enduring a Clockwork Orange kind of torture, a voice can be heard, which played backwards says, “Only Fools are enslaved by space and time”. That’s pretty old news, BUT this could be an anagram for “Bones of Nadler’s may lay lost deep in cave.” Nadler is Rose and Bernard’s last name.

Our Mutual Friend

April 9, 2009

That was one of the most informative episodes of LOST in five seasons. The pieces were flying together and the best piece of information is that the Hume family seems to be intact. Obviously Desmond was shot, but I’m assuming it wasn’t much more than a flesh wound.

The fact that they named their boat “Our Mutual Friend” is why I love this show so much. I’m sure most of you will recall that Desmond has read everything written by Charles Dickens except for “Our Mutual Friend” and that Penny had written a love letter to Desmond and hid it inside the book prior to him going off to prison. He actually never started to read it until that desperate moment in The Swan station that occurred seconds before he heard Locke banging on the hatch door above. It all comes together.

The episode opens with a 1977 version of Charles Widmore riding a horse to the Hostiles camp in order to confront Richard Alpert about trying to heal 12-year old Benjamin Linus. He is angry until Alpert tells him that Jacob wanted it done. When Ben and Charles speak for the first time and Ben says he wants to be one of them and doesn’t want to go back to his dad and the DHARMA Initiative, Widmore says something along the lines of, “Just because you’re living with them, doesn’t mean you can’t be one of us.” This is very similar in meaning to Jack’s tattoo, which means, “He walks among us, but he is not one of us.” I’m not sure if that was done on purpose, but I thought it was a pretty cool coincidence.

So what did we learn?

– Ben talked Locke out of killing himself so that he could get information out of him, but says he knew that Locke would “resurrect”. He explained his look of shock by telling Locke that it is one thing to believe, but another thing to see it.

– Ben was actually sent to kill Danielle Rousseau, but decided to spare her when he saw she had a baby. He took the baby (Alex) and told Rousseau to be grateful that she was alive and to run the other way anytime she heard whispers. When Widmore became upset that Ben didn’t kill Rousseau or the baby, Ben challenged him by asking if that’s what Jacob wanted. Alpert seemed very pleased by Ben’s decision. This scene showing that Ben spared the lives of Rousseau and Alex was great foreshadowing for the scene when he was about to shoot Penny and spared her when he saw little Charlie Hume.

– Locke has now assumed the leadership role from Ben, but not before Ben shoots and kills Caesar while taking a boat to get to the main island. Before Ben was even told to listen to everything Locke has to say, he starts to do so anyway and it is driving him mad because, for once in his life, he didn’t have the answers.

– Ben and Locke find Sun and Lapidus in Ben’s house and now Locke and Ben know that the rest of the LOSTies are in the DHARMA Initiative circa 1977. Sun and Lapidus are understandably freaked out that Locke is even alive, but were told by Christian to wait for Locke. Sun decides to stay, but Lapidus goes back to the Hydra Island where we have a new question being asked by the new Ajira leader, Ilana – “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” We can presume she’s talking about the four-toed statue, but who knows right now.

– We saw how Ben supposedly summoned the monster back when he called it to get the men from the freighter. Crawl into a tunnel with Egyptian writing on it, reach into the mud, turn some sort of drain and empty the water. The monster didn’t come, but I’m sure that’s because it needed to judge Ben near the temple grounds, or more precisely, under the wall that is providing protection to the temple only a half mile away.

– Ben banishes Widmore from the island for “breaking the rules”, which he also did himself. He accused Widmore of repeatedly leaving the island and fathering a child (Penny) with an island outsider. Widmore asks Ben what right he has to take what is his, but Ben uses Jacob and the island to justify his actions and says that he won’t make the same mistakes as Widmore because he will sacrifice anything.

– Ben tells Sun that he’s never seen the island do anything like it has with Locke (resurrecting him) and that it scares the living hell out of him.

– Ben asks Sun to do him a favor and tell Desmond Hume that he’s sorry if she ever gets off the island. He does this before going to face the monster while we still don’t know what happened on the docks. Even though the monster doesn’t kill him, I feel that Ben will definitely die before the series concludes next year. He needs to fulfill his purpose first and that is to serve Locke or be killed by the monster.

– The monster appears as smoke AND as Alex similar to the way it appeared as Yemi to Mr. Eko before killing him. We also see the location where the monster originates from and the hieroglyphs above show an Egyptian god (same one as the statue) summoning the monster.

Look, I know a lot of people are turned off by the smoke monster, but while this show is a very character driven drama, it is also science fiction that is based on scientific theories and ancient religious beliefs. We still don’t know the name of the Egyptian god, but we are getting closer.

With the show wrapping up Season Five in only 4 more episodes and next year being the last season, I can finally see the light. I want to speculate about who is in the body bag shown in the previews, but I actually think I know who it is and don’t want to spoil anything if I’m right. I’ll say this though…if I’m right, the female fan base may severely diminish.

He’ll Never Be The Same

April 3, 2009

The dialogue between Miles and Hurley pretty much explains everything we ever wanted to know about two contradictory theories of time travel.

The “Back to the Future” theory is based on the ability to adjust the future by changing events of the past. This creates a time paradox which disrupts the space time continuum. In the movie, Marty travels back 30 years to 1955 and accidentally interrupts the moment when his father and mother fall in love. This event causes a paradox because if his mother and father don’t fall in love and get married, he will never be born and will cease to exist. Hurley subscribes to this theory of time travel.

On the other hand, Miles (and Daniel Faraday) subscribe to the theory that “Whatever Happened, Happened”. This is the pre-determined destiny theory where the events that the LOSTies are experiencing 30 years back in 1977 have effectively already happened, but they just haven’t experienced them yet. A movie example that subscribes to this theory (at least the original) is “Terminator”. In that movie, John Connor sends his best friend back to a time before he was even born so that he can protect his mother from a Terminator who is determined to kill her so that John is never born. The catch is that his best friend actually ends up becoming his biological father.

Ben is not dead and the events that we are watching now have always happened. The events not only keep Ben alive, they help make him the adult version of the man we have come to know and, um, love?

Richard Alpert makes it pretty clear that by taking Ben, he will never be the same. He adds that he will forget any of this happened and that his innocence will be gone. This explains the one thing that Miles couldn’t explain to Hurley. You’ll remember that Hurley wondered why adult Ben wouldn’t remember a crazy Iraqi who shot him when he was only 12. We don’t know exactly what will happen to Ben in the temple, but it’s clear that it’s a critical turning point in his life and Richard doesn’t care what Charles Widmore or Eloise Hawking find out about it because he doesn’t answer to either of them.

Next week looks like judgment day for adult Ben. The previews show him telling Locke that he broke the rules and it appears as if he summons the smoke monster. I’m hoping we’ll also see what happened to him as a kid in the temple and what happened to Penny, Desmond and their young son Charlie on the dock.

As for the rest of this episode:

Evangeline Lilly was excellent and that compliment doesn’t come easily from me. I have been bothered not so much by her acting as by her character, Kate, but I like the Cassidy/Clementine storyline and when she gave up young Aaron to Claire’s mother, it may have been her best scene in five seasons. Finding out that the reason she is back on the island is to find Claire and not because she wants Sawyer back was a huge relief and showed just how much she has grown in three years.

As for Sawyer, I thought it was quite a twist to have his ultimate heroic moment (jumping off the helicopter) twisted into a moment of cowardice. I can hear all the Sawyer-loving women out there cursing under their breaths because he’s their man and the truth is that he has indeed grown in the past three years. His relationship with Juliet is the most mature relationship he has ever known, but he still has a lot to learn.

In similar fashion, I was shocked that Jack didn’t agree to help save Ben. It turned out that the good “guys” in this episode were two women – Kate and Juliet (not to mention that Cassidy is a pretty strong representation of a heroic woman in her own right). Sawyer did the right thing by helping Kate, but he is still being extremely stubborn when it comes to seeking help and working together.

Jack has transformed into this character of great faith. He blindly believes that he is supposed to be there, but doesn’t know why yet. It’s somewhat nice to not see him jumping around fixing everything right away and the conversation when Kate told him she liked the old Jack was perfect. I’ve been saying that it was his biggest fault and he knows that now too. His response to her was perfect; though I’m sure he lost a lot of respect for calling her out and saying that she did NOT like him the way he used to be.

I feel like I could go on and on about how each character has evolved, but I’d be repeating a lot of what I’ve already said in other blog entries. I fear that Sawyer helping Kate bring Ben to the Hostiles is going to turn things upside down for them with the DHARMA folks.

Everything is changed now or I guess I should say that everything is still as it ever was. We just didn’t know it yet and neither did they.