Quick Poll: How did you feel about Ben’s role in “What They Died For”?

19 05 2010

It’s no secret that I’ve always been a fan of Benjamin Linus. (Although maybe I’ll start saying I’m a fan of Michael Emerson, because I’m not sure what to think about Ben.) I don’t know how you guys felt about his role in “What They Died For,” LOST‘s penultimate episode…and that’s why I’m asking. Because I want to know.

Weigh in below. And I’m almost done with my recap, so look for that very soon.

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Changing the Rules

12 05 2010

I’ve been saying for awhile now that the writers are holding something (or some things) back. I’ve been waiting for a game-changing reveal—something that will make us look at the whole drama differently. I even expected Jacob to be a part of it…

Except, I didn’t expect to see it until the finale.

So “Across the Sea” surprised me. To say the least.

On one hand, I loved it. On the other hand, it made me feel very unsettled. Lost has always been a show about redemption. And even though the writers frequently embrace the good vs. evil theme, they constantly toy with us, suggesting that our interpretation of “good” and “evil” can be, in many ways, a matter of perspective. The one exception has always been Jacob. Jacob, the man in white, has been undeniably good (so much so that it prompted many fans, familiar with the show’s tendency to twist plots and surprise viewers, to wonder if maybe Jacob’s Enemy (Locke Monster) will actually be the “good” guy in all this. I don’t think many people still believe Locke Monster is “good,” but I’m just saying, fans were ready to be surprised…

…and yet this episode still shocked me.

And of course, true to form, whenever the Lost writers lead us into uncharted waters, they do their best to muddy them for us in the process (well, except for the golden hue of the glowing water we saw in this episode…but we’ll get to that later).

“Across the Sea” probably set a new record with the number of questions it raised for me, so I better get to it.

The Birth of Jacob and…Brother
So Jacob’s Enemy is actually his twin brother (or used to be his twin brother, but we’ll get to that later, too). And we still haven’t learned his brother’s name (much to the consternation of my wife…and probably, much to the amusement of the writers).

Their mother’s ship wrecked and she was found by the woman whom the twins called “Mother” throughout the episode. (So that’s how I’ll be referring to her throughout this post.) Mother helped Claudia give birth to Jacob…and then another boy (“I only picked one name…” Ha!). And of course, Jacob was swaddled in a white cloth and Brother was swaddled in black.

Then Mother apologized to Claudia (the boys’ real mother) and bludgeoned her to death with a rock.

What we learned: Jacob and his brother were both born on the island, as mortals. Also, Jacob has not always been the island’s keeper.

Note: Since some people immediately called Jacob’s Enemy “Esau” after the season 5 finale, I assume that these people might be even more committed to that name now that we learned the two are twins. Assuming that is his name (I’m not convinced), it’s interesting that Jacob was born first (not Esau) and their mother favored the second-born (which, in this scenario, is not Jacob).

The Light Tunnel
We’ve seen island locations with abnormal electromagnetic properties, a healing spring, and other odd phenomena, and we’ve been asking, “Why? What makes this island different?”

Well, “Across the Sea” gave us the answer (or the closest thing we’ve had to an answer yet).

This island has a glowing light tunnel that leads into the heart of the island, and Mother tells her two 13-year-old boys, “This is the reason we’re here.”

Mother says that down that tunnel is “the brightest light you’ve ever seen or felt, and we need to make sure no one ever finds it.”

Jacob (or maybe it was Brother) said it was beautiful, and Mother replied, “Yes it is. And that’s why they want it. Because a little bit of this is inside every man, but they always want more.”

Mother assured them that they can’t “take it,” but it can be “put out.” And, she says, “if they put it out here, it goes out everywhere.”

As I was transcribing all this, I found myself writing this: “This all feels like cheeseball to me. But I think I can get on board with it.” (In retrospect, I think it was mostly the way Mother delivered her lines. I wasn’t a fan. But moving on…)

Mother: I’ve protected it, but I can’t protect it forever.
Brother: Then who will?
Mother: It will have to be one of you…

Why she can’t protect it forever, I don’t know—since she doesn’t seem to age. But she’s right, she can’t protect it forever because she’s going to be killed by Brother. I don’t think she knew this then, but she definitely knew it on the night it happened (after she destroyed Brother’s well and killed his human friends), because that night, before Brother came to kill her, she woke Jacob and took him to the light tunnel to anoint him as the new protector.

Jacob, the Reluctant Protector
Apparently only the island’s protector can find this light tunnel thing, because we learn that Brother has been trying to find it for 30 years, but he could never find the mouth of the tunnel. Instead, he had to find areas with unique magnetic properties, and then dig…

But Mother originally led both of them to the tunnel’s opening, and on the night she anointed Jacob as the new leader, she led him there again:

Mother: Do you remember this place? Do you remember what I showed you here?
Jacob: The light.
Mother: You’re going to protect it now.
Jacob: What’s down there?
Mother: Life. Death. Rebirth. It’s the source, the heart of the island. (NOTE: Two words stood out to me here: “source,” and perhaps most importantly, “rebirth.”)

Mother: Just promise me. No matter what you do, you will never go down there.
Jacob: Would I die?
Mother: It’d be worse than dying, Jacob. Much worse.

Mother pours some wine for Jacob, and she starts chanting something. But Jacob isn’t sure he wants to participate in this ritual:

Mother: Here, drink this.
Jacob: What happens if I do?
Mother: You accept the responsibility that you will protect this place as long as you can, and then you will find a replacement.
Jacob: I don’t want to protect this place.
Mother: Someone has to.
Jacob: I don’t care.
Mother: My time is over.
Jacob: Why? Why is your time over?
Mother: It has to be you, Jacob.
Jacob: No, it doesn’t. You wanted it to be him. But now I’m all you have.
Mother: It was always supposed to be you; I see that now. One day you’ll see that, too. Until then, you don’t really have a choice. Please, take the cup and drink.

Jacob, the loyal and dutiful son, does as his fake-mother wishes, and he drinks. And Mother says, “Now you and I are the same.”

What does that mean, exactly?

That he will stop aging? That he will live forever—until he’s killed?

That he can now make the rules? Hmmm, we’ll get to that a little later.

Let the Games Begin!
We saw Jacob and his brother at 13 years old…and then we saw them both again 30 years later. It’s the first portion of their lives that I found the most befuddling.

In one scene, Brother finds a game that’s washed ashore (although Mother claimed she put it there for him to find, so I don’t know), and he tells Jacob that he “just knows” how to play it. So they play…

How does he just “know”? Because he’s special? Or did he just make the rules up and pretend like he knew?

According to Lostpedia, the game they were playing is Senet, an ancient Egyptian game. And wikipedia has this to say about the game:

“By the time of the New Kingdom in Egypt (1567–1085 BC), it had become a kind of talisman for the journey of the dead. Because of the element of luck in the game and the Egyptian belief in determinism, it was believed that a successful player was under the protection of the major gods of the national pantheon: Ra, Thoth, and sometimes Osiris. Consequently, Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife.”

Interesting, huh? Especially since Brother returned this game, and Mother found it, just before he stabbed her. And Jacob, eventually, put two stones from this game in Mother’s pocket before laying them to rest.

Adam and Eve Revealed
A couple times this season, Lost has shown us a flashback in the midst of a new episode to sort of remind us: “Hey, we set this up.” Or at least, that’s how it felt to me when they cut back to season 1 when Jack and Kate (and then Locke) found “Adam and Eve” in the caves. I’m not sure how I feel about that. It was a powerful scene, so I guess it works. But I also feel like the writers lack faith in their viewers, like they’re worrying we won’t remember that scene.

Which is crazy, since people have been speculating for six seasons about the identities of those skeletons. I don’t think we needed the reminder.

Even with the unnecessary reminder, the scene was still shocking. As my wife said after the episode ended, “No one guessed that it was going to be a mother and a son.” That’s true. And certainly no one guessed that it would be a son and the woman who impersonated his mother after she assisted in his delivery and then bludgeoned the real mother to death.

The Mother
It’s interesting that Mother is the one who first told Jacob and Brother that “they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt…it always ends the same way” (because we heard Jacob’s Enemy repeat this to Jacob in the season 5 finale, to which Jacob replied, “It only ends once; everything else is just progress”). Brother also has this exchange with Jacob:

Brother: Why do you watch us, Jacob?
Jacob: I don’t know. I watch because I want to know if Mother is right.
Brother: Right about what?
Jacob: Them.
Brother: You mean, my people? You want to know if they’re bad? The old woman might be insane, but she’s most definitely right about that.
Jacob: They don’t seem so bad to me.
Brother: That’s easy for you to say, looking down on us from above. But I’ve lived among them for 30 years, they’re greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy, and selfish.

Greedy, manipulative, untrustworthy, and selfish, huh? One could make a strong argument that their “mother” is all these things, as well.

Of course, we don’t know everything yet. So maybe she genuinely had no choice but to bludgeon Claudia, and to knock Brother out, fill in his well, and burn the village of humans to the ground…but even if she does have her sons’ (and the island’s) best interest in mind, I still didn’t trust her. Maybe it’s because she seems to be such an advocate of deception:

Brother: Jacob told you what I found.
Mother: Course he did. Jacob doesn’t know how to lie. He’s not like you.
Brother: Why, what am I like?
Mother: You’re…special.

This is one of the things that really bothered me in this episode. I don’t mean on a moral level, or anything like that. I mean I can’t make sense of it. This woman is protecting the island (supposedly) and she has to pick a replacement. She clearly favors Brother, and she seems to love him more because he’s capable of lying…or “special.”

I feel like that’s supposed to mean something, but I don’t know what.

There’s a lot we don’t know about Mother, and like Locke Monster, I don’t think we can always trust the things she tells us.

I don’t think we’ll get more information about her history (not much anyway), because there just isn’t time. She mentioned that she came from her mother (who is dead now), and she told Claudia, that they both arrived at the island the same way: by accident.

Maybe we’re supposed to assume that it wasn’t an accident, that it was “fate,” or the island’s doing… I don’t know. But I have a feeling we’re going to have to come to terms with that on our own, because I’m pretty sure the show isn’t going to revisit that history lesson.

The Brother
When we saw Jacob and his brother’s birth—with Jacob swaddled in white and Brother in black—I expected that, as we saw them grow up, Jacob would always be good, and Brother would be bad. Surely I’m not the only one who expected this, right?

Instead, I found myself drawn to Brother. I liked him. A lot. He wanted to run away from home when he found out that their Mother had killed their real mother. He wanted Jacob to come with him. He even packed for both of them (what a nice brother). But it was Jacob that refused, and it was Jacob who attacked Brother after Brother said that Mother (man, that’s getting annoying) wasn’t their real mother and she didn’t really love them.

But Brother didn’t hold it against Jacob. Because 30 years later, the two bros are still playing games together, talking like old friends. When Brother thinks he’s figured out a way to get off the island, he eagerly shares this news with Jacob. He even wants Jacob to come with him. But Jacob refuses.

Jacob: I don’t want to leave the island. This is my home.
Brother: Well, it’s not mine.

When Mother comes to visit Brother in the well (where a wheel is being constructed), he eagerly shares the news with her, as well.

Sure, there was that scene early on when we learned that, unlike Jacob, Brother knows how to lie…but he’s not evil. He’s…I don’t know, normal (and maybe special, too, if you believe Mother).

So if this were the first time we ever saw Jacob and Brother (and it would be, if we saw their story chronologically), I think most of us would feel more of a connection to Brother. He’s loving, but adventurous and strong-willed enough to leave home when he learns he really came from “across the sea,” whereas Jacob (loyal as a beaten puppy), agrees to stay with the Mother who murdered his real mother because she would have taken them to her own people “and those people are very bad. I couldn’t let you become one of them. I needed you to stay good.”

Sure, Brother killed Mother, but at that point, didn’t you kind of want to kill her, too? Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but it certainly seemed like she wanted to be killed. (Which is why she thanked him…another thing I don’t understand completely.)

And so when Jacob (loyal, loyal Jacob) returns with the firewood and discovers Brother standing over dead Mother, he loses it. Which, on many levels, is understandable…I suppose. Jacob has no qualms about pummeling Brother, but murdering Mother…that’s where he draws the line:

Brother: Jacob, don’t do this. She burned them. She burned them all. Don’t do this. You can’t kill me. She made it that way.
Jacob: Don’t worry, Brother. I’m not going to kill you.

Jacob drags him to the light tunnel…

Brother: She brought you back here? Why would she?
Jacob: Because I need to protect it now. You want to leave this place, Brother? Then go…

Then Jacob flushes him down into the light tunnel…and the smoke monster emerged.

I don’t understand how Jacob could say, “Don’t worry, Brother. I’m not going to kill you.” when Mother told him that going down there would be worse than dying. I know he was mad, but wow. That’s cold, Jacob. Cold.

Of course, once Jacob found his brother’s body (after the smoke monster had regurgitated it, I suppose), he carried it back to the cave and laid him to rest. And he held him and wept in that mushy “Oops, I guess I did just kill my brother” moment.

And yeah, that had to be a tragic moment for Jacob. To suddenly be all alone. All the humans on the island, killed by Mother. Mother, killed by Brother. His Brother, killed by…him, or the island’s essence, or whatever.

The Smoke Monster…and Was Brother Really Special?
The most surprising revelation in this episode (for me) wasn’t that Jacob and Brother are twins, nor was it the identities of Adam and Eve. The thing that shocked me was this: Brother died.

When Jacob flushed him down the light tunnel, and the smoke monster emerged, I thought that meant that he had been transformed into some kind of hybrid Man/Smoke Monster. But no, apparently, this either created or loosed the Smoke Monster, and it also killed Brother.

So when we saw Jacob and Brother sitting on the beach in the opening scene of the Season 5 finale, and Brother said, “Do you know how badly I want to kill you?” it wasn’t really his brother. It was Smoke Monster taking on the form of his brother. (Just like the Smoke Monster later appeared to Eko as his brother, Yemi, and just as it appeared to Jack and Claire (and Locke…and later, Sun and Frank) as Christian Shephard.) And now, that same smoke monster has donned the Locke disguise (only, according to Ilana, he’s stuck that way now…though I don’t know why).

And it’s ironic that Mother told Brother that he’s special. John Locke was told the same thing. And now both of them have been used as a Smoky Disguise.

Was Brother really special? I think so, maybe. Though maybe not in the way his Mother thought he was. Not because he knows how to lie. But because he saw his real mother’s ghost (Walt, who was also special, could see ghosts…as can Hurley):

Brother: Why can’t Jacob see you?
Claudia: Because I’m dead. Will you come with me? I’d like to show you something.

I wanted to punch Claudia when she said, “Because I’m dead.” That doesn’t explain why Brother can see dead people…and Jacob can’t!? And that baffles me.

I guess we can write it off as his “special” ability. Since we’ve seen others with their own special abilities. But still, I’d like a better explanation.

Making the Rules
For seasons now, we’ve heard references to “the rules.” These rules have always been ambiguous. What are they? Who made them? What’s the consequence for breaking them? Can they be broken?

Well, we got some answers to these questions in “Across the Sea,” I think.

First of all, the writers winked at us with this comment by Brother (spoken to Jacob), “Some day you can make up your own game, and then everybody will have to follow your rules.”

And I think that’s exactly what happened. We know Mother “made it” so that Jacob and Brother couldn’t kill each other. As the protector of the island, I suppose that was one of her rules. And when Jacob inherited the role, knowing there was a deadly smoke monster (“evil incarnate,” in the words of Dogen) on the loose, I think he made it a rule that the smoke monster can’t kill his candidates.

Of course, Jacob died before he could lead any of his candidates to the tunnel opening, chant the incantation, and offer them the Kool-Aid…but apparently, Jacob’s rules still govern the island. I think that’s why ghost-boy Jacob keeps appearing to Locke Monster, to remind him that he can’t kill the candidates (or Richard…or Desmond, for some reason), because those are the rules…

If all this is true, did Jacob make other rules for the island? Can his rules be changed? If so, by whom?

What Happened Next?
When “Across the Sea” ended, we believe Jacob was alone on the island. Alone except for the Smoke Monster, which, either retained the desires of Brother, because it wants to “go home,” or else, being “evil incarnate,” it just wants the cork to be popped so it can destroy the world.

Either way, Jacob is not only responsible for protecting the light tunnel, but he’s also preventing Smokey from leaving. And that’s why Smokey wants to kill Jacob.

The next time we see Jacob and Smokey is when Jacob is summoning the Black Rock. Smokey immediately kills all the passengers, except Richard. And then he tries to get Richard to kill Jacob. If he had been successful, then what? Then Smokey would be free? Just like that? (Then why wasn’t Smokey free after he convinced Ben to kill Jacob? Because candidates are on the island?) Or would he have become the island’s new protector? If so, would he have been free to change the rules?

Instead of killing Jacob, Richard is convinced to drink the special juice, and now he doesn’t age, either. But he’s not a full-fledged island protector. He just doesn’t age. (But is it because he drank the juice that Locke Monster can’t kill him later?)

Over time, the island experienced an influx of people. US Troops with Jughead. The Others/Temple People. Dharma. Survivors of Oceanic 815. Some of these people are meaningless (expendable “red shirts”), but others are vital: they are Jacob’s candidates to replace him as the island protector.

And that brings us to the present, where Jacob is dead and Locke Monster is trying desperately to off Jacob’s candidates and “pop the cork.” And meanwhile, Widmore is doing…who knows what? (Personally, I think he’s trying to find the light tunnel. And maybe he wants to drink the juice so he can live forever? I don’t know.)

But if Locke Monster manages to kill all the candidates, I wonder if he’ll be able to change the rules. (Remember that phrase: “Change the rules”? It’s what Ben said after Alex was killed: “He changed the rules.”)

Also, Faraday once told Desmond that “the rules don’t apply to you.” Whether these were the laws of physics, the rules governing time travel, or the island’s rules, I’m not sure.

I’ve started rambling, so I think I should start trying to wrap this up…

And What I Think Will Happen After This…
We will revisit the light tunnel. I’m certain of that.

Jacob’s ghost will lead Hurley to it. Richard probably knows where the Kool-Aid is, and one of the candidates will drink it. And then we’ll have a new protector.

But that’s not sensational enough…so how about this:

Someone will float down the light tunnel. Maybe someone living, like Desmond, since he’s the one who can withstand the electromagnetism. Or maybe one of the characters will die (willingly, perhaps?) and then float down the tunnel. Since it is the source of life, death, and rebirth! That “rebirth” word was in there for a reason, and it’s going to come into play. Count on that.

And what happens if someone “good” goes down the tunnel? We know Brother wasn’t “good,” or at least, I think that’s what we were supposed to infer when we learned that, unlike Jacob, he knows how to deceive. Was it because Brother wasn’t good that the smoke monster emerged?

I don’t know much (if you’ve read this far, then surely you’ve noticed that by now), but I think the final showdown will occur at this light tunnel. After all, it’s the “source,” the “reason we’re here.”

In other words, it’s the reason we’ve been watching for 6 seasons. And it’s going to be pivotal in the few hours that remain…

Snippets:

  • Well, there’s no doubt about the ghost boy being Jacob now…since it’s obviously the same actor playing both roles
  • Instead of calling them “Mother” and “Brother,” I suppose we could call them Adam and Eve now…but that might get confusing.
  • The island has a history of attracting pregnant women: Claudia, Rousseau, Claire…
  • We’re to believe that Mother, after knocking out Brother, carried him out of that well, filled it in herself, and then burned the entire village (killing all the inhabitants)…without any help? And all that before Brother came to? Forget killing all the people, just filling in that well would have taken days! It’s not like she has a backhoe in a shed somewhere on that island. Or does she? Dun dun dun… (No, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t.)
  • According to Lostpedia, Claudia is wearing a Roman stola, which “was the accepted dress for married civilian women from the 2nd century BC until the late 3rd century AD.” It also notes that Claudia is the name of the mother of the twins, Romulus and Remus. Interesting.
  • Remember when Locke Monster told Desmond about the people who dug the wells because they were looking for something? I liked realizing that he (or whatever part of Brother is still alive in him) was part of that digging crew…even though they didn’t find what they were looking for in that particular well.
  • Did you notice that Brother destroyed the tapestry that Jacob and Mother had been creating together for all those years? Do you remember that Jacob had created a new one inside the statue? As a tribute to Mother, I wonder?
  • Questions:

    1) So has Jacob been searching for candidates ever since Mother died? How did he find them?

    2) At the end of this episode, Jacob is still clueless about so many things. When did he learn (and how did he learn) about the island? He told Richard that the island is the cork containing the evil force that wants to destroy the world…but when did Jacob learn that?

    3) Why did Mother want to be killed? Is there any chance Jacob wanted to be killed? Is the role of “island protector” more of a curse?

    4) Did anyone else sense a biblical reference in this conversation between Jacob and Brother:

    Jacob: [People] don’t seem so bad to me.
    Brother: That’s easy for you to say, looking down on us from above. But I’ve lived among them for 30 years…

    Maybe it was just the “looking down on us from above” that stood out to me.

    5) What is Widmore’s plan? Is he going to try to take the light? Will that potentially extinguish it, not just on the island, but everywhere?

    6) Before Brother went down the light tunnel, did the Smoke Monster exist?

    7) How do the ashes play into this? Why can’t the Smoke Monster penetrate a ring of ash?

    8 ) Any chance Jacob’s ashes will get flushed down the light tunnel? (I don’t know why they would, so don’t make me explain. I’m just brainstorming here. Geez, get off my back.)

    9) When did Jacob learn how to leave the island (so he could appear to the various candidates), and how did he learn how to do it?

    10) When Jacob died, did someone become the protector of the island by default? Richard? Ben?

    11) A long time ago, Widmore asked Ben if he had come to kill him and Ben said, “We both know I can’t do that.” Is there any chance Widmore is a candidate? Or is he protected because he’s a former leader of the Others? Remember the Others had strict rules about killing each other (which is why Juliet was supposed to be killed for shooting Pickett, but Ben wrote the note saying “the rules” don’t apply to her). But are those Jacob’s rules? The island’s rules? The Other’s rules?

    12) Not that it matters (but maybe it does), but since Claudia came from off the island, is there a chance that the candidates (some or all of them) could be descendants of Jacob’s family?

    13) In the years between when “Across the Sea” ended and when we saw Jacob and Jacob’s Enemy watching the Black Rock come closer to the island, who came and built the statue that Jacob would eventually live inside? (I have a feeling this will be an era of island history we never learn anything about…)

    14) Now that we’ve seen yet another island birth, does this suggest that being born on the island is significant in some way?

    15) Mother said she wouldn’t let Brother leave the island because she loves him. Does this make sense? Or was she crazy (like Locke Monster later told Kate).

    16) Locke Monster also says that he used to be a man, so how much of his identity is connected to the man he used to be? Or is that man (Brother) completely gone forever





    Quick Poll: Biggest Surprise from “Across the Sea”

    12 05 2010

    It’s going to take me awhile to sort through everything from “Across the Sea,” so it might be a few hours before I finish this week’s recap. In the meantime, since I was surprised by a few things in this episode, I’m curious to know what all of you found most shocking.





    I Wish You Believed Me

    5 05 2010

    So…are you angry? Surprised? Sad?

    A combination of all three?

    I was surprised. Probably shouldn’t have been, but I was.

    I think we all knew characters were going to start dying. What I didn’t expect, though, was to lose three regulars in such a short time. When Sayid went Kablooey!, I didn’t expect Sun and Jin to be right behind him.

    And I’ll get to all of that, because I’m sure that’s what stuck with you most from “The Candidate,” but first, let’s recap Sideways World.

    Jack Finds the Pieces
    I felt like the Sideways storyline was lacking this week. There wasn’t a real punch. Maybe I was expecting the writers to take a bold step with the sideways plot, and instead it felt like they were just shuffling their feet.

    Sure, Jack started realizing that everyone he’s encountering was on Flight 815 with him: John, Claire, Dr. Bernard Nadler (Rose’s husband and John Locke’s dentist). Plus, he’s already met Desmond (and Desmond, in the hospital, was looking for Charlie and he told Jack he was on Oceanic 815).

    So I have to think Jack is going to start putting those pieces together (with a little help from Desmond, maybe?).

    And we saw that John Locke’s dad, Anthony Cooper, is the same guy we saw in the original reality—only now, he’s a vegetable because Locke convinced him to fly with him on his first flight after receiving his pilot’s license…and he crashed. If he’s the same “Anthony Cooper” Sawyer is looking for, just like he was in the original reality, then I assume Sideways Sawyer will never get his revenge. Because what kind of satisfaction could Sawyer possibly get from that?

    The only other notable event in Sideways world was Jack offering to let Claire stay with him:

    Claire: Stay with you? We’re strangers.
    Jack: No, we’re not strangers. We’re family.

    Now on to the island…

    Locke Monster and Widmore: Working Together
    I said it weeks ago, then I changed my mind…and now I’m saying it again. Widmore and Locke Monster are in cahoots.

    They’re working together…and pretending like they aren’t.

    The goal: Confuse the candidates…and eventually get them to kill each other.

    Sure, you can believe Widmore really locked them in the cages for their own good. Sawyer doesn’t believe it, and neither do I.

    Locke Monster set this all up. He allowed Sawyer and friends to hijack his boat, knowing they’d run to Widmore. Widmore, though, locked them in cages. Locke Monster comes to break them out of the cages, and during this time, Widmore just so happened to be MIA.

    Then Locke Monster is all like: “Hey, Widmore wanted us to blow up on this plane. It’s not safe…let’s take the sub.”

    Maybe Widmore and Locke Monster aren’t working together, and Locke Monster is just manipulating Widmore’s efforts to his own advantage. But I think Widmore wants the candidates dead just as badly as Locke Monster does.

    I think Widmore has his own motivations concerning the pockets of electromagnetism and one Desmond Hume, and I think Locke Monster might want to hinder those endeavors, but I think they all want the candidates to die.

    Where Was Widmore?
    When Locke Monster was killing all of Widmore’s men, where was the boss man? Hiding in one of the Hydra Island buildings? Or…maybe he took The Elizabeth (Desmond’s old ship, which Sawyer and friends used to commute over to Hydra Island) back to the main island. Why, you ask?

    I have an idea…

    Operation: Retrieve Desmond
    Sayid’s last words were:

    Sayid: Listen carefully. There’s a well on the main island…Desmond’s inside it. Locke wants him dead. Which means you’re going to need him, do you understand me?
    Jack: Why are you telling me this?
    Sayid: Because it’s going to be you, Jack!

    So you can bet that Jack’s next course of action will be to fetch Desmond. Except, I have a feeling someone’s already beaten him to it.

    That’s right, I think Widmore (and his sidekick Zoe) might have already retrieved Desmond. How, you ask? Well, remember when they showed Zoe and her team spying on Locke Monster’s camp during that scene when Kate and Sawyer were talking around the campfire?

    If they have that capability, then don’t you think they could have used the same surveillance to watch Locke Monster throw Desmond into the well? Or to watch Sayid not kill Desmond?

    I think Widmore was waiting for Locke Monster to come to Hydra Island so it would be safe for him to fetch Desmond.

    Sawyer’s Plan Goes Terribly Wrong…Again

    Really? THIS was your plan?

    Effective immediately, I think Sawyer should be banned from ever coming up with a new plan. After all, Sawyer’s plans always seem to coincide with what Locke Monster wants. First, he stole the boat and led the group into Widmore’s custody.

    Then, he came up with the brilliant “Jack is going to push Locke into the water” plan. Which Jack carried out to perfection. The only problem, however, is that it accomplished nothing. Pushing a smoke monster into the water? Really?

    And then, when Jack was right on, Sawyer didn’t listen:

    Jack: Locke can’t kill us.
    Hurley: Uh, what?
    Jack: This is what he wanted all along. He wanted to get us here. He wanted to get us all in the same place at the same time. An enclosed space that we can’t get out of.
    Jin: I don’t understand.
    Jack: Locke said he can’t leave the island without us. I think he can’t leave until we’re all dead. He said he could kill any one of us whenever he wanted. So what if he hasn’t because he’s…he’s not allowed to.
    What if he’s trying to get us to kill each other?
    Sawyer: Stay out of my way, Doc.
    Jack: If he wanted to kill us, why put a timer on it? Why not just throw it inside?
    Sawyer: I don’t know.
    Jack: He can’t kill us. Nothing is going to happen.
    Sawyer: I’m not going to stand here and do nothing!
    Jack: James, we’re going to be okay. You just have to trust me.
    Sawyer: Sorry, Doc, I don’t.

    I don’t necessarily blame Sawyer for not trusting Jack. After all, it was Jack’s nuclear bomb plan that led to Juliet’s death. And Sawyer wasn’t present for the dynamite scene with Richard and Jack in The Black Rock, either. So I understand why he didn’t have such blind faith in Jack.

    But I’m just saying, this should be strike 3 for Sawyer, and he should be reduced to a grunt—not a general—from now on.

    What I’m really afraid of is that Sawyer will wake up and realize his “pull all the wires as fast as I can” plan led to the deaths of Sayid, Sun, and Jin (and maybe Lapidus?), and after that, he’s going to turn into mopey, sorry-for-myself Sawyer again.

    Either that, or he’ll start trusting Jack. I’m hoping for the latter.

    Sayid’s Heroic Exit

    Man with a bomb coming through!

    It’s great that his life ended on a positive note: he told Jack about Desmond in the well (so we know for certain Sayid didn’t kill Desmond, which is also a good thing), and then he ran away with the bomb, saving (at least temporarily) the rest of the group.

    But was it even necessary? I rewound that explosion like 3 times, and Sayid didn’t latch a door behind him or do anything to contain the blast area. He just ran away with the bomb and it blew up…killing him. But if he hadn’t taken the time to talk about Desmond, he could have run away with the bomb, thrown it to that same explosion point, and he would have had time to run back…sure it still explodes, but then they have Sayid there to help rescue Sun (and save Jin).

    Just saying, if the writers wanted to make it look like this was the only option, they could have done a better job.

    I liked Sayid, and I think his death showed that redemption for him was still possible. I would have liked to see him live a little longer, but if he had to go, it was a good way to do it.

    Sun and Jin Die…Together
    Much like Sayid, if Sun and Jin had to go, this was a good way to do it:

    Sun: Jin, you have to go.
    Jin: No, I can do this.
    Sun: No, no you can’t. Please go.
    Jin: I won’t leave you.

    Jin submerges again…

    Jin: I’m going to get you out of here.
    Sun: Please, go!
    Jin: I won’t leave you.
    Jin (in Korean): I will never leave you again.
    Jin: I love you, Sun.
    Sun: I love you.

    They kiss.

    We see their hands holding on under water…until their hands separate.


    As sad as that scene was, it was the exchange right before that one that touched me most. When Jack was trying to give Jin the last breathing tube:

    Sun: Jin, go!
    Jin: No!

    Jin to Jack: Go, I’ll get her free!
    Jack: No, we can do this!
    Jin: No, save Sawyer!

    Jack: Take this. I can get him out without it.
    Jin: No, you can’t, Jack. Just go.

    Jin’s words might have been, “No, you can’t, Jack. Just go.” but what he was communicating to Jack was, “I know that it’s hopeless, but I have to keep trying. There’s no point in giving me that breathing tube, and we both know it.”

    Though I’ve rarely thought about it, Jack and Jin aren’t so different. They’re both strong-willed, stubborn. And once they make up their mind, it’s not going to change. And in that look between Jack and Jin, I think Jack understood perfectly. After all, in the Sideways portion of this episode, Jack admitted that he’s not good at letting go. Though it was hard for him to let Jin and Sun go, he knew Sawyer needed to be saved. And I think he understood exactly what Jin was thinking. If Jack didn’t have to save Sawyer, I don’t think Jack would have left either.

    Sad stuff. But powerful.

    Kate’s Not on The List
    Well, it’s time for my weekly attempt to convince everyone that Kate is important after all. Basically, Sawyer thinks Kate’s expendable because he saw her name on the cave ceiling, and it was crossed out…and Widmore reinforces that belief by saying that he had a list of names and Kate wasn’t on it.

    Kate tries to tell Sawyer that Widmore wasn’t going to shoot her, but Sawyer doesn’t buy it.

    I think we can go two ways with this (disclaimer: both options are heavily shaded by my belief that Kate is relevant):

    1) Locke Monster and Widmore know that Sawyer can be manipulated by his loyalty to Kate. So that’s why Locke Monster let Sawyer see Kate’s name crossed out on the cave wall. And it’s why they’re perpetuating the myth that Kate isn’t important. To keep Sawyer in line.

    2) Maybe they genuinely believe she isn’t a candidate…but, wait for it…she still is! I like this theory, but maybe that’s just because I’ve been holding on to the belief that Kate’s important for a long time. But maybe, just maybe, it all goes back to what Kate did or didn’t do involving that explosion that killed her dad/step-dad.

    I know I’m on an island here, being the only one who still cares about Kate’s character, but I still think it’s interesting that, in her flashback, Jacob said to her, “Be good, Katie.” Assuming that had significance, then maybe if she wasn’t “good,” it would disqualify her from being a candidate….and maybe that’s why Locke Monster and Widmore think her name should be crossed out… I don’t know. I’ll quit talking about Kate now, but I just hope I’m right so I can say “Ha!” (Because I’m petty like that.)

    Screwball Theory I hope is Incorrect
    In Sideways reality, we learn that Locke got his pilot’s license. Well, on the island, the sub blew up, but the plane is still intact. Only we don’t know if Lapidus is still living. So if they’re going to get off the island, and if Frank is dead, someone’s going to have to fly the plane.

    I hope it doesn’t involve Locke’s consciousness transferring to Smoke Monster (I don’t even think this is possible, because Locke’s real body is buried on the beach) so he can fly the plane. But I do think it’s odd that we learned in Sideways world that Locke has his pilot’s license. Just seemed like a strange (and potentially relevant) inclusion.

    More likely, Jack will fly the plane. Way back in “The Pilot,” he says he took flying lessons, but it “wasn’t for me.” And Jacob says Jack has something he’s supposed to do. It could be that…I don’t think so, but it could be.

    Though why anyone needs to leave on the plane, I don’t know. The characters who had the best reason to leave the island (Sun and Jin) just died. Sayid was also determined to leave, and he’s dead.

    Snippets

  • I laughed out loud when Bernard accused Jack of flirting with Rose while he was in the bathroom on Oceanic 815. It wasn’t all that funny, but it caught me off-guard. It was a weird thing to say.
  • In fact, I think Bernard seemed odd throughout his scene with Jack. Why would he remember Anthony Cooper’s name?
  • I liked this exchange:
    Locke: If we move right now, we can break your people out, run for the plane and be off this island before Widmore knows what happened.
    Jack: They’re not my people. And I’m not leaving the island.
  • I still find it odd that Jack and the others are willing to work with a thing that can turn into a deadly smoke monster…I realize they’re trying to outwit him, but still, they run around with him as if it’s no big thing.
  • Loved this:

    We hear smoke monster noises.
    Hurley: And we’re dead…

  • Paging Ben Linus, Myles Straume, and Richard Alpert…Paging Ben Linus, Myles Straume, and Richard Alpert…Please come rejoin the plot as soon as possible.
  • That’s twice the Losties have abandoned Claire. I wonder if there will be any fallout from that…
  • One of the best lines of the season:

    Locke: You sure you won’t reconsider, Jack? Whoever told you you needed to stay had no idea what they were talking about.
    Jack: John Locke told me I needed to stay.

    Then Jack pushes Locke Monster into the water.

  • Questions:

    1) Any significance to the music box Christian left for Claire? Maybe a way of encouraging her to keep the baby? Any other ideas?

    2) Is Lapidus dead? I’m assuming yes, but who knows?

    3) If Jack’s right, and Locke Monster can’t kill them…then shouldn’t Sayid be alive? Because the bomb was created by Locke Monster, right? Or is it because Sawyer was the one who pulled the wires, which means that Sawyer was responsible, which is what made them vulnerable?

    4) Sayid’s last words to Jack were: “Because it’s going to be you.” What does that mean exactly? Is it just me, or does that sound significant?

    5) When Claire asked if everyone on the sub was dead, Locke Monster said, “Not all of them.” Does he know this because he knows he still isn’t free? The cork is still in place, so to speak?

    6) What are the rules preventing Locke Monster from killing? He killed the Temple People. He killed Widmore’s people. But if Jack is right, he can’t kill them. But it’s not just the “candidates” he can’t kill, because he couldn’t kill Desmond either. So who can he kill and who can’t he? And why?

    7) The three characters (excluding Sawyer for the moment) who seemed to be most interested in leaving the island just died in this episode. Jack already said he wasn’t leaving. But what about Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer? Will they keep trying to leave? Or did their plans just change? (I’m betting their plans changed when they learned Desmond was on the island. Sawyer might still want to leave, but as I said above, I think his decision-making rights should have been revoked a long time ago.)

    8 ) I’m assuming Kate lives, even though she got shot. Is she just going to shrug it off, or will it factor into the storyline somehow? Will the island heal it? Will she need to be carried to the Temple’s Healing Spring (which, last we checked, wasn’t functioning properly)?

    9) Did anyone else love the preview for next week’s episode? (It ties in very nicely with the theme for this blog, don’t you think?) If there are only “two sides, light and dark,” is it more likely, assuming Locke Monster is the dark side (Star Wars pun not intended), that Widmore is on the light side, or also on the dark side?





    Quick Poll: Reaction to “The Candidate”

    5 05 2010




    The Next Move

    22 04 2010

    I don’t know about you, but “The Last Recruit” got me thinking about…backgammon. (You remember, the game John Locke taught Walt how to play way back in part two of The Pilot…when John said it’s a much better game than checkers, and that it’s “older than Jesus Christ.”) This episode felt like a game of backgammon…I think. But I can’t be sure, because I don’t know how to play backgammon. So I wikipedia’d it, and I learned this:

    “Although luck plays an important role, there is a large scope for strategy. With each roll of the dice players must choose from numerous options for moving their checkers and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent.”

    and this:

    “Backgammon playing pieces are known variously as checkers, stones, men, counters, pawns, or chips. The objective is to remove (bear off) all of one’s own checkers from the board before one’s opponent can do the same. The checkers are scattered at first and may be blocked or hit by the opponent.”

    I don’t know about you, but I feel like Widmore and Locke Monster just bellied up to the backgammon table. When Widmore sent Zoe to deliver his message, Locke Monster smashed the walkie-talkie and said, “Here we go.”

    In other words, game on.

    After that, the men started moving all over the board (er, island). Which prompts me to make even more comparisons, based on quotes like this:

    “The most direct strategy is simply to avoid being hit, trapped, or held in a stand-off. A “running game” describes a strategy of moving as quickly as possible around the board, and is most successful when a player is already ahead in the race. When this fails, one may opt for a “holding game”, maintaining control of a point on one’s opponent’s side of the board, called an anchor.”

    But instead of burrowing too far into this rabbit hole, since I doubt everyone else finds this as intriguing as I do, I’ll just get to the recap now…

    We’ve seen ten consecutive character-centric episodes (every episode this year, in fact, except for the season premiere). “The Last Recruit” was decidedly not a character-centric episode, which made things feel more chaotic for the audience (us), because we didn’t have a character to serve as our narrative anchor (yes, an anchor…like in backgammon!).

    I’d be content if none of the remaining episodes are character-centric. Sure, I’ve loved the show’s character-focused approach to storytelling, but with so few episodes remaining, I just don’t want to focus too much on any one character while we’re left wondering what’s happening to the rest of the Losties. Plus, at this point (in both realities, methinks) they’re all in this together, so we might as well see the story from all their perspectives.

    And even though we’re not focusing on a specific character, we still get rich, meaningful scenes. Like the Sun/Jin reunion (finally), and exchange between Claire and Kate on the dock, Jack and Sawyer on the boat, Jack and Locke Monster in the jungle, Sayid and Desmond at the well, and so on…

    Before I go any farther, I must make a confession. I know some of you read this blog because you expect me to pick up on things you missed (not all of you, but some of you). And now I must admit, I don’t even know who the “last recruit” was. Jack? Jack was the Locke Monster’s last recruit, maybe? (Even though Hurley and Sun strolled in to camp at the same time?) I guess the episode did end with Locke Monster telling Jack, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay. You’re with me now.”

    Or wait, is he the “last recruit” because at the end of the episode he’s the only candidate with Locke. In other words, he’s the last one left. Hmmm… If anyone has a better understanding of why they chose this title, feel free to enlighten me.

    Claire is Mistaken
    Claire says Jack’s on “his” side now:

    Claire: I never had much in the way of family, so it means a lot that you’re coming with us.
    Jack: Actually, I haven’t really decided yet if I’m coming with you.
    Claire: Yeah, you have.
    Jack: What do you mean?
    Claire: You decided the moment you let him talk to you. Just like the rest of us. So whether you like it or not, you’re with him now.

    And yet, this episode featured a mass defection from Camp Smoke Monster (which included Claire herself!)…so I think it’s safe to say that Claire was mistaken, don’t you?

    I did like that exchange. It built some drama. It made Jack consider things. And it made us think about the two times we’ve heard that it was necessary to stab someone without letting them talk first (first Dogen talking to Sayid about Locke Monster, and then Jacob’s enemy talking to Richard about Jacob). But in the end, I think it was just a ploy to build drama. Nothing more.

    And I’m fine with that.

    Sawyer’s Miscalculation
    It was almost like Sawyer turned into Head of Security Jim LaFleur again. He was barking orders, cracking jokes (like saying Lapidus looked like someone out of a 1970’s Burt Reynold’s movie), and most of all, he had a plan.

    But there’s a problem: the plan, well, sucks.

    The plan was to steal the boat (so far so good), sail over to Hydra Island (okay…), and become “buddy-buddy” with Widmore until they can hijack the sub and get out of there (um…problem). Why would Widmore have any incentive to be “buddy-buddy” with him? Just because Sawyer originally promised to double-cross Locke Monster? Sawyer originally said he’d lead Locke Monster into a trap so Widmore could kill him. Well, two episodes ago, Locke Monster walked up to the sonar pylons himself. If Widmore wanted to kill him (or if he was capable of killing him) he could have done it then. Without any help from Sawyer.

    And now Sawyer just showed up without Locke Monster…and he expected a warm response from Widmore?

    Yeah, I think it’s more likely that Sawyer’s crew just became Widmore’s Locke Monster-bait.

    Sayid and Desmond
    Last week, in the preview for this week’s episode, didn’t we see Sayid shooting a gun that appeared to be pointed down in the well? That’s how it looked to me. But it didn’t happen. Or if it did, they didn’t show it to us yet.

    But Locke Monster did send Sayid to kill Desmond, which again suggests that Locke Monster can’t do it himself. We don’t know for sure whether Sayid did the deed, but I don’t think he did. I think Desmond got in his head:

    Desmond: If you’re going to shoot me in cold blood, brotha, I think I have a right to know what you got for it.
    Sayid: He told me I could have something back that I lost.
    Desmond: And what did you lose?
    Sayid: The woman I love.
    Desmond: And where is she now?
    Sayid: Dead.
    Desmond: And what makes you think Locke can bring her back?
    Sayid: I died. He brought me back.
    Desmond: What will you tell her?
    Sayid: What do you mean?
    Desmond: This woman, when she asks what you did to be with her again. What will you tell her?

    So I think Desmond’s still alive. More than that, I have a theory about how he’s going to get out of that well.

    In the Sideways reality, Desmond is helping people feel it. He seems to be retaining some knowledge of what’s happening on the island (maybe). So if one of our Losties “feels it” enough to transfer their consciousness, even temporarily, Desmond could have that person communicate to the others that he’s in a well. One of our former Dharma boys (Sawyer, Jin, or Miles) ought to have an idea about where that well is located.

    Then again, maybe Desmond is already out of the well? Look at this again:

    Locke: Where have you been?
    Sayid: Doing what you asked.
    Locke: What took you so long?
    Sayid: I just shot an unarmed man. I needed a minute.
    Locke: Did you kill him?
    Sayid: Of course I did. Go and check, if you like.

    It shouldn’t have taken that long to not kill somebody. And I doubt Sayid “needed a minute.” So what was he doing during that time? Helping Desmond out of the well? I wouldn’t bet on it, but I wonder…

    Jack Jumps Overboard
    Sawyer doesn’t know what to think about this new Jack Shephard.

    Sawyer: I didn’t think you’d show up, Doc.
    Jack: Sorry?
    Sawyer: Taking orders isn’t your strong suit. Nice to see you finally came around.

    And then when things got testy on the boat, Jack didn’t argue or try to fight Sawyer:

    Jack: It doesn’t feel right.
    Sawyer: What doesn’t feel right?
    Jack: Leaving the island. It doesn’t feel right.
    Sawyer: Want to tell me why not?
    Jack: Because I remember how I felt last time I left. Like a part of me was missing.
    Sawyer: They’ve got pills for that, Doc.
    Jack: We were brought here because we’re supposed to do something, James. And if Locke, if that thing, wants us to leave, maybe he’s afraid of what happens if we stay.
    Sawyer: Get off my damn boat.
    Jack: What?
    Sawyer: You got a decision to make. Either you’re with us, and you’ll keep that damn crazy talk to yourself, or you’re going in the water.
    Jack: This is a mistake. And I know there’s a part of you who feels that. The island’s not done with us yet.
    Sawyer: Well, I’m done with this island. So if you want to take a leap of faith, take it. Get off my damn boat.
    Jack: I’m sorry I got Juliet killed.

    And just like that, backpack and all, Jack jumps ship.

    Claire’s a Bad Mum
    This dates way back to season 4 (I think), but I gotta get this off my chest. Why in the world did Claire ever abandon Aaron in the jungle? At the time, I decided that she had died in the Dharma explosions, and that Christian Shephard came to summon her because she needed to move on, or let go, or whatever.

    But now, we seem to be seeing Claire as a disillusioned but very human individual who has been manipulated by Locke Monster (her “friend”) for the last 3 years.

    But what I want to know is: why did she ever leaving her baby alone in the jungle in the first place.

    When Locke met Christian in the cabin, Claire was there, and she was all smiles when she said, “I’m with him.” So she left her son to be with the father who had never been there for her? Yeah, that makes sense.

    And what right does she have to be upset about someone else raising her baby when she left it in the jungle for the wild boars (which seem to have disappeared from the island these days) to ravage.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that: Claire died and Locke Monster revived her (and she’s been his minion ever since). But even that doesn’t make perfect sense. I don’t know…

    The Merging of all Things Sideways
    I really enjoyed the Sideways portions of the episodes. Everything was happening quickly, but we got a lot of nice moments. Like Jin telling Sun that she, and their baby, are going to be fine (I did wonder, though, if he was lying to her). Like the conversation between Kate and Sawyer at the police station (that was fun, wasn’t it?). Desmond and Claire…and their attorney, Ilana—who Desmond never met in the original timeline, by the way.

    In fact, we saw all the major Losties (and some minor ones) in Sideways World this week. Except Hurley. And they’re all coming together. Except Hurley. (Maybe he’s still canoodling with Libby. He’s waited a long time for that date, so that’s fine, let him enjoy it a little longer.)

    Here’s where we left them at the end of the episode:

    At the hospital we have: Ben, Locke, Jack (and David), Sun, and Jin

    At Ilana’s office: Ilana, Claire, Desmond

    At the police station: Kate, Sawyer, Miles, and Sayid

    And how can we enmesh the storylines even more? Well, why not find an attorney to represent Sayid and Kate. And since Jin and Sun were involved in that shoot-out at the restaurant, maybe they should seek legal representation, as well. I think Desmond could recommend a good lawyer for all of them…

    Don’t forget Miles, Ben, and Richard…
    On the island, we didn’t see these guys at all. But that doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything. They should be loading up on explosives right about now, and you can bet that will come into play later. I’ve been thinking about these guys, because I think they’ll be a wild card of some sort.

    I don’t know how it will play out (at all), but I know this: Richard and Ben know the island as well as anyone (except, perhaps, Locke Monster), and Miles can ascertain the final thoughts of dead people. If I had to guess, they’ll find some dead people on the beach. Miles will learn that it was Widmore’s doing (not Locke Monster’s), and Ben will say, “Widmore? Charles Widmore?” And then these three will head up a rescue operation on Hydra Island which will lead to a Ben/Widmore showdown, and maybe the explosion of an airplane.

    Questions We Should Be Asking:
    I have little doubt the writers have saved some mysteries for the season finale. They’ll reveal something that they’ve previously hidden and we’ll all be flabbergasted (one can only hope, right?). But in the meantime, as they set things up for the finale, I’m sure they’ll have to tip their hand about some things. So whenever something seems askew, I think we should be asking ourselves why. After this episode, I was mulling three elements that drew my attention:

    1) Sun’s sudden inability to speak English
    After hitting her head, Sun was unable to speak English. She was reunited with Jin (her long-lost husband who could barely speak English when she saw him last), and they greeted one another in English—even though this isn’t the native language for either of them, and even though Sun hadn’t been able to speak English for the last few episodes. Why would the writers do all that?

    I don’t know the answer, but it seems like an odd thing to work into the plot. And I wonder if, maybe, the blow to Sun’s head made her have consciousness issues (back in “The Constant” Desmond often hit his head when he transferred to the other consciousness). In other words, maybe the Sun we saw on the island was only partly the Sun from the world we know, and she was partly the Sun from Sideways world who can’t speak English. If that’s true, then maybe, just maybe, part of the Sideways Sun’s consciousness was island Sun. If so, maybe Sideways Sun isn’t pregnant at all. Maybe it was her island consciousness making her think that she was (since she had been around that time in the other reality). Which could explain why I got the feeling Jin was lying when he said the baby was fine. Maybe there is no baby in that reality. (After all, the Jin we knew in the original off-island reality couldn’t father a child.)

    That sounds very far-fetched, I know, but Sun’s inability to speak English seems like a very odd thing to work in at a time like this. This isn’t Season 3 when the writers were stalling, creating Nikki and Paolo-centric episodes.

    Anyway, if that theory is even close to being right, then maybe reuniting with Jin helped Sun get her head right. I don’t know…

    2) Kate says she didn’t kill anyone. Again. And again.
    In the original timeline, it sure looked like Kate was the one who blew up her step-father (who happened to be her real father). And she told her mother she took care of things for her (which sounds like a confession). So why would she insist all this time that she didn’t do it? Sure, she could be lying. But from a writer’s perspective, it wouldn’t make sense to keep having a character lie when the audience knows the truth. It makes more sense for the character to lie when the audience knows the truth…when it turns out that the audience never knew the truth. You follow?

    And now that Sideways Kate insisted (twice) that she didn’t kill anybody, I wonder. Why drum up this old denial again? Why make this distinction again? So it makes me wonder if we’re going to learn something new about what really happened? Maybe Kate really is innocent. If that’s true, you can bet there will be implications. I don’t know what they are, but why save that little nugget for so late in the series if it’s not going to have wider implications?

    I know some of you (cough, Todd, cough) don’t like Kate. But I think there’s still something brewing here.

    3) The presence of Jack’s son, David
    Am I the only one who wondered why Jack’s son was attending the reading of his grandfather’s will, and then tagging along at the hospital while his daddy scrubbed up for surgery? Sure, in real life, this might happen. But in a TV show, it would have been much easier to just leave David out of the script. As far as we know, his mother had picked him up again, leaving Jack to be the integral character he has always been—without an unnecessary sidekick slowing him down.

    The only explanation, if you ask me, is that David isn’t unnecessary. He wouldn’t have been in this episode at all if he isn’t important. That’s my stance. And you’ll get more on it in my theory…right now.

    Theory: The Good Shephard
    I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that the writers are setting something up for Jack. It’s even more obvious now. On the island, all the candidates are over on Hydra Island…except Jack. Jack (I think) is the “last recruit,” which (I think) seems to be significant—or at least noteworthy enough to title an episode that.

    Jack believes the island isn’t done with them. He’s willing to listen to others. He’s apologetic. He’s not standoffish anymore. In short, like Hurley, he’s changed.

    Sure, he got Juliet killed (or at least, he is accepting responsibility for it). Sure, leaving the island never worked out like he thought it would. But he’s back on the island, ready to do whatever it is he’s meant to do. Why? Because he believes he “has what it takes.”

    Speaking of having “what it takes,” let’s look back at Jack’s family history.

    We know the writers worked in his Grandpa Ray last season. His Grandpa Ray lives in a nursing home, but he’s tried to run away 4 times. He tells Jack that when he gets away, it will be to a place where they’ll never find him. Like say, an island that jumps through time and doesn’t exist on any map?

    I apologize if I’ve said all this before, but here goes again: I think the Shephard family has been connected to the island for a long time. I can’t piece it all together, but we know:

    -Grandpa Ray gave his son a watch (a watch that works on the island, even though no other watches did, with the exception of the one Jin was delivering for Mr. Paik.)
    -Grandpa Ray didn’t approve of Christian’s marriage to Jack’s momma, Margo (maybe because he believed Christian’s destiny was leading him elsewhere?)
    -Christian talked to Jack about not having “what it takes,” and in a bar in Australia, he bemoaned his own lack of courage and said this about Jack: “He’s not like me, he does what’s in his heart. He’s a good man, maybe a great one.” (Is it possible that Christian understood the importance of his connection to the island? And he was just too afraid to do anything about it? And is that why he told Jack he didn’t have what it takes? To discourage him from pursuing it?)
    -And now, in addition to Jack, we have two other descendants of Christian Shephard in play: David and Claire’s son, Aaron (even though he hasn’t been born in Sideways World yet).

    Does all of that add up to anything? Maybe not. But there were hints. David’s presence. David asking Jack how he never knew he had a sister. This response:

    Jack: Your grandfather kept a lot of things to himself.
    David: Is that where you get it from?
    Jack: Yeah, probably.

    What are the writers setting up exactly? I don’t know. But I think the Shephard family history is significant. We’ve seen too much of it over the years for it to amount to nothing. What would make a family significant? Maybe they’re Jacob’s descendants. Or maybe they were supposed to protect the island (with Jacob? or chosen by Jacob?) and someone (Grandpa Ray?) left…

    John Locke: Believer, Sucker, or Both
    Locke Monster and Jack had this to say about the late John Locke:

    Jack: John Locke was the only one of us who ever believed in this place. He did everything he could to keep us from leaving.
    Locke: John Locke was not a believer, Jack. He was a sucker.

    Guess he found a use for that stick...


    That conversation prompted me to post the poll question asking whether you guys thought Locke was a believer, a sucker, or both. You can find the poll here.

    I have to say, I’m a little surprised by the results. Right now it’s a 50/50 split between “Believer” and “Both.”

    I expected it to be split between “Sucker” and “Both.” I voted “Both,” because I wanted to give him a little credit, but I felt like I was being generous. Because there’s no question he was a sucker. He was Locke Monster’s puppet, the man who so wanted to be significant that he was willing to believe (and do) anything, which is exactly what Locke Monster needed to kill Jacob. And don’t forget that before ever coming to the island, Locke was tricked into giving away his kidney.

    He wanted to believe in “the island,” but he didn’t know what he was believing in. And in the end, he was willing to believe anything (“You’re going to have to die, John.”). Or, going all the way back to early in the series, he believed Boone was “a sacrifice the island demanded.” Any island demanding human sacrifices might not be worth believing in…so, maybe, just maybe, that should have been a clue that his belief was misplaced.

    I know we all liked Locke (most of you liked him more than I), but even though we liked him, in my opinion, we still have to realize he was a sucker. You can disagree if you want, but you’d be wrong. (Just kidding.) (But seriously.) (Kidding.) (But not really.)

    Snippets:

  • Did Sawyer really just trip Sayid with a garden hose?
  • Wow the LAPD works fast. In the time it took Sayid to drive home and begin packing his suitcase, the LAPD found the dead bodies at the restaurant, isolated Sayid’s image on the surveillance outside the restaurant, identified him, looked up his brother’s address, and arrived in time to arrest him before he even finished packing. Unbelievable. Literally.
  • I like how Widmore sends a geophysicist like Zoe to deliver his messages to Locke Monster instead of being man enough to do it himself. Then again, chances are, if he were “man enough,” he’d be dead. But I’d be okay with that.
  • Nice to see some glimpses of Sarcastic Sawyer again.
  • So Locke Monster was pretending to be Jack’s daddy…of course, he could be lying. I don’t think he is in this instance, but you never know.
  • I liked this:

    Claire: What’s going on?
    Hurley: People trying to kill us again.

  • It’s funny that this was Sawyer’s response to Jack:

    Jack: Because I remember how I felt last time I left. Like a part of me was missing.
    Sawyer: They’ve got pills for that, Doc.

    Because that’s exactly how Jack tried to deal with it the last time he left the island (until Ben flushed his stash), but Sawyer wouldn’t have known that.

  • I feel like something should be said about Jack getting ready to operate on John Locke, but I was expecting it, so I don’t have much to say about it.
  • Questions:
    1 ) Is Jack important to Locke Monster. More important than others?

    2 ) What do you think the odds are that Sawyer and Kate find themselves locked in the Hydra Island cages again?

    3 ) Do we know what Jack is lugging around in that backpack? Should we be wondering about it? If he’s swimming with it on, then it must be something worthwhile, right?

    4 ) Widmore’s team is shooting rockets, or something, at the island, but is that a threat to the Smoke Monster? Or are they just killing his people? But does Locke Monster even care if his followers die? If not, then what’s the point of the attack? (Unless those explosions can hurt Locke Monster…remember that episode when the Smoke Monster grabbed Locke and was trying to pull him down a hole, and Jack threw the stick of dynamite down there and suddenly Locke was free?)

    5 ) When the beach started exploding, why did Smoke Monster save Jack? And only Jack? Because Jack’s important? Because he wants to manipulate him? Because he was the only candidate still with his group?

    6 ) How are things going to play out in that operating room? Is Jack going to fix Locke? Completely? Are they going to “feel” it? What do you think?

    7 ) What are the odds Sawyer helps Kate elude the Feds that are coming to claim her? Obviously, he shouldn’t help her, but doesn’t it seem like he’s going to?

    8 ) Do you think we’re still going to see new people in the Sideways reality? Who? Mr. Eko? Goodwin? Shannon? Juliet? Jacob? Jacob’s Enemy (Wouldn’t that be weird)? Abaddon? Richard?

    9 ) Did any one else get that weird vibe when Jin told Sun that their baby was going to be fine? Or was I just looking for something that wasn’t there?





    Quick Poll: John Locke was…

    21 04 2010