Posted on: May 29, 2009 12:31 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2009 12:33 pm

Lost reveals identity of four-toed statue

It's Egyptian, like we suspected, but not the one we thought. After the season finale, I wrote about how the statue seemed to be Sobek , the Nile River god tied to the creation myth. I was even more confident with this since part of Sobek's lore involved this Jacob-ish like explanation:

"Sobek's ambiguous nature led some Egyptians to believe that he was a repairer of evil that had been done, rather than a  force for good in itself, for example, going to Duat to restore damage done to the dead as a result of their form of death.  He was also said to call on suitable gods and goddesses required for protecting people in situation, effectively having a  more distant role, nudging things along, rather than taking an active part." Turns out its Taweret , the goddess of motherhood. That's uber-simple because in fact Taweret's nature changed mutiple times. She was also viewed as the mate to another deity that when paired, she became the demon wife of the original god of evil. Makes my head spin too, but the point seems to be -- the more the Egyptians got to know Tawaret, the less frightening and more revered the part hippo, lion and crocodile became.

What does this all mean? No real strong idea yet. But we've obviously been hit hard with lots of fertility issues throughout the show, and Tawaret (who's often depicted pregnant) would seem to be a lightpost indicating The Island was once a very fertile place. And maybe her destruction further symbolizes the 2003-'07 reproductive issues that have plagued The Island.

Also, the fact there are two interpretations of Tawaret (early = evil; late = good) seems to symbolize a duality we flirted with in the finale between Nameless Man and Jacob.

Sources: ABC | Doc Jensen

Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost, season five
Posted on: May 14, 2009 11:23 am
Edited on: May 29, 2009 12:34 pm

Lost: Jacob's Swan song closes season five

Let's get this out of the way: Nobody does season finales quite like "Lost." They always go out with a bang.

Let's also get this out of the way: "The Incident, Part 1&2" is the sister episode to "Live Together, Die Alone," the season two finale.

So let's start there. Whether it was Juliet's declaration to "live together, die alone," or the blinding light from the explosion at the Swan (again), TIP12 started off with cryptic dialogue before taking us on a two-hour journey to make the dynamite go boom.

About that dialogue between two strangers on a beach. It took place between Jacob, and a man (played by another "Deadwood" alum (Titus Welliver).

Jacob: "I take it you're here because of the ship?"
Man: "I am. How did they find the island?
Jacob: "You'll have to ask when they get here."
Man: "I don't have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?"
Jacob: "You are wrong."
Man: "When they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same."
Jacob: "It only ends once, anything before that is just progress."
Man: "Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?
Jacob: "Yes"
Man: "One of these days sooner or later, we're gonna find a loophole my friend"
Jacob: "When you do I'll be right here."
Man: "Always nice talking to you, Jacob."
Jacob: "Nice talking to you, too."

If there's one thing "Lost" is good at, it's making us think a conversation is about one thing when it's really about another.  But let's assume this conversation is between the Devil and God, with Jacob serving the role of the latter. I take this as the argument for human existence. The devil points out all that's bad with humans -- fighting, destroying, corrupting, death  -- while God returns the volley with, "those are the means to a universal end I call progress." And then the man says he wants  to kill god, which also happens to be the M.O. of John Locke.

Quickly backtracking, Jacob starts off the episode weaving a tapestry with the motto, "Ille qui nos omnes servabit" on it. That 
translates to, "He who will protect us all."

We then pan out to see the background, which includes our favorite statue of the crocodile god, Sobek. According to Wikipedia , Sobek was a crocodile, or man with a crocodile head who was a powerful and frightening deity. In some creation myths, it was Sobek who first came out of the waters of chaos to create the world.

That's fine and all, but consider this passage, also from Wikipedia:

"Sobek's ambiguous nature led some Egyptians to believe that he was a repairer of evil that had been done, rather than a  force for good in itself, for example, going to Duat to restore damage done to the dead as a result of their form of death.  He was also said to call on suitable gods and goddesses required for protecting people in situation, effectively having a  more distant role, nudging things along, rather than taking an active part."

Nudging things along is exactly how we come to know Jacob. The episode is a Jacob episode. We flash back with him as he  nudges along our favorite Lostees and Llana.

Here's the Jacob tally:

  • Covered for a young, thieving Kate (1)
  • Handed young James Ford (2) a pen in order to finish his letter to Sawyer
  • Asked Sayid (3) for directions moments before Nadia's death via car (did he save Sayid or cause Nadia's death?)
  • Asked for Llana (4), in serious recovery mode, for help
  • Apologized to Locke (5), who was just thrown out the window by his dad, and tells him "everything will be alright. Sorry this happened to you."
  • Advised Sun (6) and Jin (7) not to take their love for granted (in Korean)
  • Hand Jack (8) a candy bar, and tells him "I guess it just needed a little push."
  • Shares a cab with Hurley (9), and tells him "I'm definitely not dead ... what if you weren't cursed? What if you were blessed? You get to talk to the people you lost. You are not crazy" before instructing him how to return to the Island.
Jacob is definitely nudging along our Lostees at some of their more crucial junctures in their respective backstory lives. He's also seen reading our episodes' guiding piece of literature, Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge." The book is a collection of nine short stories published after her death. According to Amazon, the flawed characters of each story are fully revealed in apocalyptic moments of conflict and violence that are presented with comic detachment. I count nine Lostees above. 

There's one more chunk of dialogue I think is crucial before we get into the 1977 storyline. It's between Locke and Ben, who  are palling around on the way to go kill Jacob.

Locke: "It's the door (it reads "quarantine") to the hatch where you and I first met."
Locke: "Mind if I ask you a question?"
Ben: "I'm a Pisces"
Locke: "What happened that day in the cabin when you took me to Jacob?"
Ben: "You know I was talking to an empty chair. I was pretending."
Locke: "Why would you go through all the trouble to make things up?"
Ben: "I was embarrassed. I didn't want you to know I hadn't seen Jacob. So I lied. That's what I do.
Locke: "Alright then."
Ben: "Why do you want me to kill Jacob, John?"
Locke: "Because despite your loyal service to this Island you got cancer, you watched your own daughter gunned down in front  of you. You reward for those sacrifices? You were banished. And you did all this for a man you hadn't met. So the question is, Ben, why the hell wouldn't you want to kill Jacob?"

If Jacob is our proxy for God, or at least a god , this is the ultimate question of religion. How does the god-believing world  serve a being they've never seen? How, after millennia of doing so, and the suffering that's existed, aren't they ready to  kill it? This is heavy stuff, my friend. This is what makes the show so special, IMO. It's ability to usher us through two hours  of season-finale excitement in 1977, but have us ponder the meaning of faith in God in present day-time.

Moving on.

In 1977 Jack and Sayid remove the it-goes-boom element from Jughead and use the cover of camp to make their move. However,  Roger Linus, avenges his son by shooting Sayid in the gut. The two manage to escape with the help of C3PO, R2D2 and Chewbacca  Miles, Jin and Hurley. En route to the Swan they're stopped by Sawyer, Juliet and Kate. Sawyer, meanwhile, was convinced to  stop this event from happening by a flip-flopping Juliet (Guess what? She has parental issues. Get out!) and a money, Money, MONEY encounter with Rose and Bernard.

I went three moneys on you because so many people who don't watch the show always say stuff like "what's the big deal with some  people stuck on an island?" Or "guess I'll never know how to survive on and island, oh well." Well, Rose and Bernard showed  just what the Island is capable of if everybody wasn't so worried about blowing up bombs and killing each ther.

"We're retired," Rose says. Bernard follows here with a schpeal on the importance of each other and having isolated, beach-front property.

Rose, care to help us stop looney tunes Jack?

"Who cares!? It's always something with you people. Traveled back 30 years in time and you're still trying to shoot each other"

So I guess that mean you, Bernard and Vincent are out on stopping Doc?

The beauty of the scene was finally some people are using this Island for what we in the real world associate islands with: freedom, relaxation, detachment. Amen that the producers finally winked our way saying, "ya know, we've been lucky enough to shoot  in Hawaii for five seasons now. Life ain't too bad here."

After their goodbyes with R 'n' B, Sawyer, Juliet and Kate confront the Bomb Boys. Jack gives Sawyer five minutes to make his case. Sawyer tells him about his parents' tragic demise and how Sawyer could have hopped on a sub and stopped it. But he didn't. Because "what's done is done." Clearly that's the new, "whatever happened, happened."

He also dropped one of my all-time "Lost" favorite lines in this exchange:

"I don't speak destiny. What I do understand is a man does what he does because he wants something for himself. What do you  want, Jack?"

Jack does another whine job, dropping, "I had her and I lost her. It's too late. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be."

This leads to a slugfest between the two before Juliet steps in to stop the carnage. Speaking of Juliet, her intro backstory episode was "The Other Woman." If that label ever applied, it was this episode, her final one. Once ag ain she felt to be the other woman to Sawyer, whether that was the case or not. This leads her to do some wild things.

While Juliet breaks up with Sawyer post-fight, Jack convinces Kate that blowing things up will allow Claire to make a decision regarding Aaron. That's enough reason for Kate, but not me. You? But Jack says, "nothing in my life has ever felt so good." I'd imagine that's also the feeling suicide bombers get before their moments of "triumph." There must be something freeing about a kamikaze mission you believe has a purpose.

Sawyer meanwhile asks Juliet, "what do you think, Blondie?"

"Live together, die alone my former (weep) love muffin."

I wasn't a big fan of the Juliet logic of pushing away Sawyer, but it will free our favorite model-turned-TV star to mourn a bit quicker come season six, I imagine. But I get ahead of myself with talk of mourning.

There's a gunfight at the Swan Corral as the drill bores dangerously close to the no-no zone of magnetism. It eventually reaches its point of kablooey and unleashes the metal-sucking force that lives below the ground. This sucks in all things metal, which includes crippling the drill tower onto Doc Chang's hand and impaling good ol' Phil (should have taken that lunch break). It also coils a chain around Juliet, who's sucked into the hole. But not before professing her love to Sawyer. While I dug the last-seconds exchange between the two, I spoiled the scene for myself since I knew Juliet had her own show coming out and would need to be written off the Island.

Back in 2007, Llana and the Ajira Illuminati continue their march through the jungle, eventually torching Jacob's trespassed cabin before heading to the foot of the four-toed Sobek statue. There they rendezvous with Ricardos? Alpert, who solves the Latin riddle of "what lies in the shadow of the statue?"

Inside the shadow of the statue Locke and Ben confront Jacob. Ben goes Fredo on Jacob, "He (Locke) gets to march straight up here as if he was Moses. So, why him? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?"

Well, Jacob, care to answer?

"What about you?


Knife, meet Jacob's chest. But not before Evil Locke reveals that he, indeed, found his "loophole." At the same time we learn Llana and her Ajira Illuminati were lugging around The Real John Locke's corpse. Ruh-roh. Who is this masked Locke? Why it's old man must kill Jacob!

Jacob rolls to his fiery death. I imagine we'll learn more about Jacob come season six. But back to Juliet. She manages to survive her plummet down the Swan shaft (rrrrright), which allows her to bludgeon ol' Jughead (ala Desmond turning the key in "Live together, die alone") to explosion. Off goes white light, up comes inverted! "Lost" closing text and that's a season finale, my friends. The other woman made the ultimate sacrifice.

Let's talk TIP12 and what to expect come season six!

Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost, season five
Posted on: May 7, 2009 11:34 am
Edited on: May 7, 2009 11:39 am

Lost: Tweaking the timeline

Like Sawyer, Juliet and Kate, i'm leaving town shortly so I'll keep this short so I don't miss my sub. And by sub, I mean American Airlines flight.

Speaking of the sub, anybody conjure images of Sawyer's last boat trip off The Island? That one didn't end too well, and I'm guessing this one won't either. However, I loved his Back to the Future Part II quibs.

It turns out Daniel is, in fact, dead. D.E.D, dead. Eloise, his killer/mom, feels a touch of remorse (agree or disagree?) and listens to destiny-driven Jack's take on Faraday's legacy.

This leads to ...

With the help of Alpert (the episode's star, IMO), Eloise, Jack, and Sayid head to Jughead. Sayid, it appears, has been lurking around the forest since his attempted assisination of young Ben.

"I already took care of that (the timeline). I killed Benjamin Linus."

"Oh, no you did-ent!," Kate told him. "Oh, and when did it become OK to kill kids and set off atomic bombs?!"

It became OK when the show realized it needed to start wrapping things up. And what better way to head into season six with a bang, and the subsequent fallout.

(Who thinks the bomb goes off? Who thinks we're in store for a Cold War-like season six in which the threat of Jughead stars? Who thinks the bomb is a red herring?)

And what about where the bomb is located? That would appear to be the guts of the same temple young Ben was taken to and old Ben met the Smoke Monster.

As for John Locke, he's "looking different" according to Richard. Can Richard see something we can't? Is Locke still human?

Locke, meanwhile, orders Alpert to go help a mysterious man in the woods. That man turns out to be none other than Locke circa late 2003 and sporting a gunshot wound courtesy of Ethan. We've seen this scence before, but from this angle it takes on a whole new meaning. Or as Ben puts it, "this must be quite the out-of-body experience for you, John."

How did Locke know this was going to happen? Is The Island still skipping? Can he summon on-demand Island events? Is he able to revisit his own Island timeline? By this last point I mean: So far we've seen Locke staring off into the ocean, just like he did after the plane crash. We've seen him hunt down a boar, just like he did when he helped initially feed the camp. Now he's back pulling the strings at arguably the most important moment of his existence. The one that guided him to take the leap of faith by bringing the Oceanic Six back and ultimately dying. That one that transformed him into Jeremy Bentham. The one that led him to this exact moment where he could pull these strings. Did Locke essentially reboot on The Island, knock out a few simple tasks, say like killing a boar, in order to get his bearings, and is now mastering a game (like Mouse Trap) he's already played?

I want to think Locke is this transcendent being as much as the next, but there's nothing in his life that screams he's going to have a happy Island ending. His life is marred with tragic events. Maybe this is his shot at redemption, but I think it's he who is leading sheep to slaughter, not the actual Shepard. Why else would Ben support Locke? He knows this run-in with Jacob will leave Locke, I'm guessing, dead. Why else would Richard, the loyal, never aging, Banana Republic-draped consigliore he seems to be, express his concern? Locke may have a connection with The Island, but I still can't get Charlotte's "this place is death" out of my mind.

This episode was another great one. We're set up for a wow-ish finale. I didn't catch too many Easter Eggs (Back to the Future Part II aside) in this episode, but I was still a little distraught after the Caps loss. Share 'em if you got 'em.

Last couple of observations:

-- Radzinsky has basically usurped Horace as the war-time Dharma commander-in-chief. He seems to be under a different set of orders than Horace, and probably Dr. Chang. I expect a Chang-Radzinsky clash in the finale. Say, with Chang losing an arm. Most likely in defense of his son.

-- Does anybody else just want to see Juliet and Sawyer live happily ever after. Enough with the love triangles!

-- Nice line readings from Kevin Chapman (Brotherhood), playing a security guard taking Sawyer and Juliet on the sub

-- What will happen if the nuke goes off? Can the timeline really be reset to the point where Oceanic 815 never crashes onto The Island?

-- And why does Locke want to kill Jacob? Sayid tried to kill Ben in the hopes of tweaking the timeline. Faraday warned Doc Chang to tweak the timeline. Widmore and Hawking have both played roles. But does it all come down to Jacob? And what the hell are we going to get with Jacob?

Sorry for lots of questions and little else, but let's take it to the board.

Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost
Posted on: April 30, 2009 11:59 am
Edited on: April 30, 2009 12:33 pm

Lost: Stop, or Jedi Faraday's mom will shoot

She that is Queen of Tunis; she that dwells
Ten leagues beyond man's life; she that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were post—
The Man i' th' Moon's too slow—till new-born chins
Be rough and razorable; she that from whom
We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again
(And by that destiny) to perform an act
Whereof what's past is prologue; what to come,
In yours and my discharge.

The Tempest Act 2, scene 1, 245–254
For nearly six seasons, Lost has been a show so drenched in irony and juxtaposition that it was tough for John Locke to stand up at times. So it's no surprise that an episode about destiny would be called "The Variable." That a man of science would be reared by a woman of faith. That all young Faraday wanted was "to make time."

"If only you could," said his mother, Eloise Hawking.

For if he could, he would answer the plea of "God help us all." It's a plea Eloise made to Ben if he couldn't round up the Oceanic Six and a declaration Dr. Pierre Chang made last night if his construction workers drilled one centimeter further and released the energy under The Orchid Station. For only God can make time ... or Dr. Manhattan.

But Faraday wasn't allowed to make time for his piano playing, rather, he was helicopter parented by Eloise to become the youngest doctoral recipient in Oxford history. He was so good there that he earned a grant for a rich industrialist named Charles Widmore.

He used that grant to work on time traveling with a mouse named Eloise and a research assistant named Theresa. Both would suffer unfortunate fates. Eloise, we remember died. Theresa, we remember, was living her remaining life in a coma. Widmore took care of her medical expenses. Why?

Because her coma was a result of Faraday's time traveling. The same time traveling experiments that left him sans memory and an emotional wreck. Why wasn't he in a coma as well? Faraday, in large part, was set on this path by his mother because of his "Rainman"-like gift of memory. It's that strong memory that kept him alive in his early time-traveling experiments. But why did he get so emotional over the sunken fake Oceanic flight 816? At the time, 2003, he didn't know the survivors. He had yet to board the freighter and land on the Island and run into Jack and Kate on a rainy Island night. Could he have been conditioned to respond so? After all, brain washing was the M.O. of Room 23 on the Island. Could Faraday have been Ludovico'd at some point of his life? (Quick, what movie?)

Whatever the reason, it opened the door for Widmore to come marching into Faraday's life. Widmore explained to Daniel that it was him, the rich industrialist, who sunk the airplane in order to keep the Island's location hush-hush. And it's him now asking Daniel to go to the Island to recover his memory. Because on the Island, like on the August 2003 issue of "Wired" sitting on the chair at Faraday's home, "The Impossible Gets Real." And that, my friends, is our guiding piece of literature for this episode. It used to be that whatever happened, happened.

It used to be the famous line from Chinatown : "What did you do in Chinatown? As little as possible."  It was "as little as possible," because the police never knew if their actions were helping or hurting the diverse collection of ethnic groups inhabiting L.A's Chinatown. That's how Lost comes off. We don't know if Dharma, the Hostiles, Widmore, Eloise, Daniel, Dr. Chang are helping or hurting things.
And that's the ironic fate of the variables, or as Faraday says, "people." The Lostees' trajectory, the ones we always associated with being affected by the Island, have in fact been affecting the Island's dynamic. A dynamic involving Widmore, Eloise and Alpert. Involving Horace, Dr. Chang and Dharma. Involving smoke monsters, Ben Linus, and an energy-dense Island. These variables, which we've come to know and probably care about, are the elements changing the flow of time.

So it's no surprise that by the end of the episode the once-splintered gang was now back together and heading back to where it all started -- the beach. They have to, as "A User's Guide to Time Travel," one of the main articles from that issue of "Wired" explains.

"Having examined Einstein's equations more closely, physicists now realize that the river of time may be diverted into a whirlpool - called a closed timelike curve - or even a fork leading to a parallel universe. In particular, the more mass you can concentrate at a single point, the more you can bend the flow."

After all, variables die alone or live together. Season five is taking us back to the show's original premise -- survival. Having a mass of Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Hurley, Jack, Kate, Jin, Faraday ... well, that could change time.

Back to 2003. Widmore tells Faraday, just like he once told Locke, that he's special and has a gift. Do Faraday and Locke really have gifts? Is this smoke up the ol' keester? Locke, we remember, was drawing pictures of smoke monsters at an early age. Faraday, we find out, had quite the metronomic memory at an early age. But it's Faraday driving this episode, in full Jedi style. He returns to 1977 aboard the sub, in black Dharma gear and immediately infiltrates the Deathstar, er, Dharma. He's there to prevent Dr. Chang's group from drilling into the earth below the Swan Station. For if they do, it will unleash a monster energy packet that will require Dharmans to push a button, which will eventually lead to Desmond pushing a button, which will eventually lead to Desmond not pushing the button when he accidentally killed Kelvin, which released the packet of energy that knocked Oceanic flight 815 out of the sky, which lead to the season-one storyline, which lead to just about everything we've come to know ... including why Faraday is on The Island in 1977. Simple, right?

While past in Lost is prologue, Faraday now believes he can debunk that idea. The past doesn't always precede the same story -- whatever happened, happened, but by him being there he can alter the next happening. Make sense? Probably not. That's because Eloise has really worked over Faraday. She sold him on his gift early on and coupled it with the notion of destiny. That's a combustible recipe. It makes someone believe they have a higher purpose. However, we cap the episode with that same mom putting a bullet in her child's abdomen. Was that always the endgame?

Back to Chinatown let's go. The movie focuses on resource management (water in this instance) and the ensuing corruption of it. Say, like a monster power source under the Swan Station. It also focuses on a powerful family, the Crosses, with a dirty secret. The rich industrialist, er, patriarch of this family controls the city, but lives on an orange grove in seeming banishment. He has a fractured relationship with his daughter, one that eventually leads to her pointing a gun at him before she's eventually shot by a corrupt policeman. The dirty little secret is incest, which I'm going out on a limb and speculating Faraday is the result of. I think the dirty little secret of the Hawking-Faraday-Widmore triangle isn't that Hawking and Widmore had a lover's quarrel of epic proportions, it's that they're brother and sister. Could that be why she done slapped him across the face outside the hospital when he said "he's my son too"? Could that be why Faraday never knew his father? Could that be, and here's what I'm hanging my hat on, why Widmore was banished from the Island? There has to be some reason, so wild, that gave Benjamin reason to banish Widmore. Could that be why Eloise doesn't endorse Faraday having a normal relationship with Theresa? Could it be why, in fact, she did want to send him back in time: to write this epic wrong?

I'll leave that tangent alone, for now.

Let's talk about Sawyer and Juliet for a minute for a nice rom-com diversion. So, who thinks they'll make it?! Juliet's clearly seen the writing on the wall, while Sawyer asks, "still got my back?" She replies, "still got mine?" Sawyer, turns out, is going to lead the Lostees back to the beach. Remember, it was Juliet who backed Sawyer when he was ridiculously trying to return there once the Island stopped skipping.

And what about Faraday's reveal to Dr. Chang about the Doc's relationship with Miles? The whole episode was Faraday debunking his own whatever happened, happened theory and this was one of the fun little balls of time-traveling yarn we got to watch unravel. However, in the end, Faraday re-subscribed to his notion that he's just a pawn in time's game, as evident by him saying his mother had "known the whole time" it would come to this.

This was a great episode, maybe even my favorite of the season. Maybe it's because Faraday has become such a great addition to the cast and his back story offered so many reveals. But how about the juxtaposition of the constant, Desmond, being in grave danger? How about Faraday wrestling with free will vs. destiny? How about the refinement of the whatever happened, happened mentality? Turns out that yes, whatever happened, did in fact happen, but that was all prologue to this moment. And in this moment you're stuck obeying the laws of life, which means you can, in fact get a gunshot scar on the neck. I think this episode officially marks the beginning of the end. The Lostees are back together on a mission of survival, just like they were in season one. However, they now know the Island and I think that's going to make this hit of the reset button all the more fun.

Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost, Season Five
Posted on: April 16, 2009 11:53 am
Edited on: April 16, 2009 11:59 am

Lost: Going the extra Miles

Like Hurley, I scribbled away endlessly last night during "Some Like it Hoth." Unlike Hurley (who was penning "Empire"), I forgot my notes at home. If I'm even more scatterbrained than usual, well, consider that my dog-ate-my-homework excuse.

From the minute (actually 3:16 minutes if you're noticing the microwave at the prospective apartment mama Straum was looking at) "Some Like it Hoth" began to the final scene, the episode simply kicked butt.

Why? Well, it was draped in "Star Wars" mythology. Is Hurley R2D2? How about the part where Hurley asks how to spell "bounty hunter." Anybody else think Llana, or even U.S. Marshall Edward Mars? Probably not. You guys all thought Bobba Fett, obviously.

The episode also featured a ton of Dharma mythology as we witnessed two construction sites -- the Orchid and the Swan -- got to sit idly by while Hurley grilled Dr. Pierre Chang about his Island life, learned about the Circle of Trust and got our first taste of Ann Arbor. Hellllllllohhhhh, Danny Boy!

Let's start with the construction sites. It's there Miles is tasked to pick up a dead man, Alvarez, who appears to have been shot. But people don't get shot at construction sites, do they? Ghost whisperer Miles says Alvarez was killed by a tooth filling that went right through his head. Nine out of 10 dentists say the best way to prevent death by fillings is to avoid "electromagnetic anomalies."

About the Orchid, we know it ain't the botanical gardens it appears to be. Doc Edgar Halliwax told John Locke that before Ben blew up the joint and spun the old donkey wheel back in season four. We also know the Orchid was being used to screw around with time travel. We also know that sometimes time travel didn't work out so well.

Maybe you've caught this Orchid video that was released at Comic-Con a while back. Doc Halliwax (who we all confidently believe is Pierre Chang) puts bunny No. 15 in the Beam-o-matic '77 only to end up with two No. 15 bunnies in the same room. This creates a panicked Halliwax who doesn't want the two bunnies to recognize each other.

Speaking of bunnies, let's wrap back to the opening sequence, which I believe was drenched in cryptography. Of course, my argument was bolstered by my notes, which I don't have. But from the room number (104), the time (3:16) on the microwave and the bunny hiding the key, I think we can still play around with this notion.

Bunnies have also been visible on key chains, various flashbacks (Alex slaughtered one) and even used as a prop to manipulate Sawyer. They are also a symbol of fertility.

Then there's the No. 104. Entered into Lostpedia, it takes us back to the "Walkabout" episode (No. 4) from season one. While that's a clear Locke-centric episode, it's also about Jack and his quest to find a mysterious man on the Island. That man? His father. Miles, as we come to know (a conclusion most of us already had), is living on the Island with his dad. The same dad who is also deemed a bad father, and is also a doctor. Then there's 3:16, which was the sixth episode of this season. In that episode Jack tries rounding up the gang to prove his newfound faith in the Island. Miles, a clear man of money, just may have gained a little bit of faith after watching his pop feed ... young Miles?

Also related to the 3:16:

  • The Oceanic Six take Ajira flight 316 back to The Island
  • From the Bible verse: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
  • The episode "3:16" also features a bunny being pulled out of a hat when Jack visits his grandfather Ray at the nursing home

About that shot of adult Miles seeing young Miles with papa Chang ... I get the feeling this is like when the two No. 15 bunnies ended up in the same room during the Orchid video. Point is bad things are going to happen if these two mingle. Why else would Doc Chang be so hellbent about it in the video? This leads me to a Krazy Theory:

All of Dr. Chang's different aliases are in fact different people. Doc Chang is a time traveler and because so, he's cloned himself. Halliwax, Candle, Wickmund are all different, albeit the same, people. Think "Multiplicity." And what happened in "Multiplicity"? Each copy lost a little bit of sheen from the original. Say, like a missing arm or a hot temper. So maybe, just maybe, Miles is the product of one of the copies. And maybe, just maybe, that's how he got his gift.

Where else will you read theories based off a Michael Keaton mid-'90s comedy?!

That brings me to my favorite line of the episode. It's by Miles:

"We don't exactly move in the same circles."

"I didn't know there were circles," Chang said.

Circles, like the spinning record in the first episode of this season? Like the analogy of a spinning record Faraday used? It's moving a big ol' circle, the donkey wheel, that brought Miles and his father together in 1977 Dharma-land. Of course what Miles meant was that people like Doc Chang don't mingle with people like security guard Miles.

We also learn about Miles' off-island activities, some of which include hustling distraught fathers (hey look, another parent-son dyad with issues!). We also learn about how Naomi confronted Miles about joining the freighter crew.

Miles gave a read on a dead man, Felix, who was on his way to deliver papers, pictures, and photographs of empty graves to Charles Widmore. One of the papers was an invoice for an old airplane, presumably the fake Oceanic 815. Nailed that audition there, big guy.

Of course, we remember the staged airplane, right?

And how about Miles' abduction by Bram? Bram and his crew kidnap Miles and ask him the same cryptic message Llana asked Frank last episode, "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" Miles didn't know, but he did demand $3.2 million from Bram's crew for his help. That, of course, is the same dollar amount Miles tried to extort from Ben and two times the dollar amount Naomi offered.

About Bram. Interesting name, no? Maybe a reference to Bram Stoker, author of "Dracula"? That tale is one of old vs. new, the supernatural vs. civilization and if you like it served with a pint of blood, love. Could Bram be the leader of a new entity trying to rassle the Island away from its old gatekeepers: Widmore, Ben and Richard?

There's also Bram Cohen, the author of BitTorrent, which is a file-sharing system designed to democratize published material. Could Bram be the leader of a clan looking to free up the Island?

As I said, interesting name, no?

The subplot with Roger and Kate didn't really do much for me, but I'm guessing it will continue to play out and eventually split the Dharma camp.

And how about that "Star Wars" stuff? Love it or hate it?


Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost
Posted on: April 15, 2009 11:04 am
Edited on: April 15, 2009 11:17 am

Lost: Judgment day for Ben

Of all the nefarious things Ben has done -- torturing the castaways, manipulating Locke, manipulating everybody, stealing Alex, blowing up the tanker, shooting Locke, banishing Widmore, killing Widmore's people, killing Locke -- who would have thought that when his time came "to be judged" by the Monster, it would be his A-OK'ing Alex's death that would be his defining blemish?

Like the mother-daughter relationships that defined "Whatever happened, happened" a few weeks back, "Death is death" is driven by Ben's take on children.

Case in points: It's baby Alex that causes the first rift between Ben and Widmore. It's Widmore's daughter, Penelope, who leads to his banishment by Ben. It's Penelope's son, Charlie, who causes Ben to pause on the dock. It's teenage  Alex's death that is central to Ben's judgement and it's Alex again who gives Ben his next set of orders.

And it's those orders -- don't you kill Locke, again; obey Locke -- that has me wondering: Will Ben abide by them?

Speaking of Ben's judgment, let's talk about the Monster. Ben summoned the Monster, apparently, by pulling a drain in the catacombs below his Dharma house. However, the Monster did not appear in the style we're accustomed to. Remember the last time we saw the Monster in action in Dharmaville? The mercenaries got knocked the bleep up.

After summoning the Monster, Ben, Locke and Sun head over to the temple. Rather, the temple's outer wall. What's the outer wall for?

"To keep people like you out," said Ben to Locke and Sun.

But instead of going to the temple, which is about a half mile inside the walls, Locke leads Ben underneath the temple. It's there Ben falls through the floor and next to some grates. Out of the grates comes the Monster. It engulfs Ben, replays some of his greatest hits (all involving Alex) and apparently judges him before receding back into the grates. A relieved Ben is then approached by Alex (looking very Temptation Island -ish) who pins Ben against the wall and issues her pro-Locke orders.

What to make of this?  Here's my theory on this sequence. The Monster is a 2001 -esque Monolith. Just like how the Monolith equipped apes with fire and humans with the ability to become star children, the Monster creates change in those who seek it. It doesn't judge, rather, it morphs those who seek it. Just like the Frenchmen who encountered it inside the temple were forever altered. I also believe it operates under the Eleanor Arroway Theory. As in the scene in Contact when Arroway shoots off to another galaxy and encounters  ... her dad. The Monster communicates by taking the shape of those you know. It enters the subconscious and shapes into a familiar face. In Ben's case, Alex weighed heavily on him, so hence, she became the form the Monster took.

 Clearly we're not talking Occam's Razor here. So why do people die when they get hit with the Monster above the Island's surface? For the same reason some apes beat down others with sticks and bones and Hal went crazy -- keys to evolution, in the wrong hands, can have big-time negative effects on other humans.

Let's get back on track. This was a tremendous episode. Ben episodes usually are. He's such a force of change that whenever we get to fill in the blanks between his actions it's always a treat. We get to see why he was bloodied up on the Ajira flight (although we still don't know how Desmond dodged that bullet or how Ben got fished out of the marina), how he justified killing Locke (he secured the proper info and used the death as a means to getting the Oceanic 6 together), how he became Alex's daddy (stealing her from Rousseau) and how he eventually became leader of the Others (by judging Widmore's off-Island antics).

And with any Ben-isode, there's usually a big dose of Locke. And this nuevo Locke is sort of a prick. He's arrogant, which is usually the last straw before a downfall. Agree or disagree? He also seems to have been uploaded with a superior sense of Island knowledge. Is he Christian Shepherd-esque now?

And what to make of Llana and the Ajira situation? I'll leave it there to talk about last week (I was away for Passover and the Frozen Four) and feel free to speculate on tonight's episode.


Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost
Posted on: April 2, 2009 10:49 am

Lost: Take my child, please


 My apologies in advance, but I have to treat this more like the start of a thread than a full-blown, down-the-rabbit-hole blog. My quick take on "Whatever Happened, Happened," is that it's an episode about mothers and fathers mixed with some Ben mythology and one of the most enjoyable freak-flag waving, nerdy conversations to date.

Let's start with the nerd stuff. Miles and Hurley go back and forth debating ideas about how the time-travelling phenomenon actually works. It reminded me of the chess games Hurley and Sawyer used to play when they bunked up in season four. Hurley checkmates Miles with the query: why would Ben (then posing as Henry Gale) not recognize Sayid when the castaway tortured him in the Swan? After all, Sayid shot young Ben?

Well, we eventually get the answer to that question.


"If I take him, he will forget what happened, and his innocence will be gone."

Hmm. So what you're saying is that if I give you Ben, you'll fix his body but corrupt his soul? Or in chess terms, we're trading our pawn for a rook.

During the dying-Ben handoff to Alpert, we catch wind of one of The Others' mention of Ellie and Charles, our potential king and queen pieces.

Richard, of course, doesn't answer to either of them. So who does he answer to?

As for mothers and fathers:

    * Kate and her concern and eventual handoff of Aaron
    * Roger Linus and his concern and eventual losing of Ben
    * Cassidy and Clementine
    * Carole Littleton and her taking of Aaron
    * Sawyer's line, "a kid will do almost anything if he's pissed off at his folks."

Throughout the show the role of parents has been a paramount player. Just last episode we were given a glimpse of how Sayid became the natural killer he is thanks to his father. Christian Shepard seems to be Jacob's right-hand man. Kate returned to the Island to find Claire, most likely because she's Aaron's mother. This can go on and on, from Hurley's paternal relationship to Locke's daddy issues.

Point is, "Whatever happened, happened," hit us with a heavy dose of parenting and offspring issues. But that's not what's going to get people talking at the ol' water cooler. And by water cooler, I mean Twitter. And by Twitter, I mean "hey, we have a Twitter account worth checking out."

The two parts, no three parts of the episode probably worth chitchatting about are:

   1. Ben's handoff to Richard and the Ellie/Charles reference
   2. Kate's motives: Altruistic? Is she trying to sincerely help a kid? Is she trying to be the mother her mom never was? Is she the woman behind the men; the one making the decisions they won't?
   3. Miles' and Hurley's discussion about time travelling.
   4. OK, there are really four. Locke's line: "welcome to the land of the living."

No smarmy literature references today ... let's just get to some Lost talk.


Category: SPiN
Tags: Lost
Posted on: April 2, 2009 10:47 am
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