Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Lighthouse

I'm feeling very meh about Lost right now, and here's why:

It's the final season of Lost. We've invested years into this show and have a million questions that need answering before this is all said and done.

And what do the writers do for this, the sixth and final season? They introduce an alternate reality, and spend at least half of every episode delving into this new world where Kate is still on the run and Jack has a son.

And you know what? I DON'T CARE. I don't care that Jack is somehow projecting his daddy issues onto a son I didn't know existed until Tuesday night. I don't care that Locke is working as a substitute teacher and that Ben teaches European History. I don't care that Rose works for Hurley's temp agency. What the heck does any of that have to do with anything? Why are the writers expecting us to put up with 20+ minutes each episode being devoted to a reality that has no meaning or significance to us whatsoever?

I fear the scenario I facetiously played out really happened. That this Reality B was created solely to mess with the Lost fanbase, and now Lindelof and the rest have no idea where they're going with it. Sure, it was kinda fun to see what would have happened if Flight 815 hadn't crashed on the Island, but it's not fun anymore. Now it's just annoying and taking time away from storylines I care about. We don't get anything from Locke and Sawyer in Tuesday night's episode? We don't even see the Temple last week?

In short, watching Dogen and Jack talk about the pressures parents put on their children is a waste of time and I'm a bit riled up about it.

Okay! On to the learning!

Reality A:

-Claire is definitely claimed, and is tight with Not Locke and Not Christian. Interestingly, it seems she knows Not Locke is not Locke. She's also under the impression the Others took Aaron. Apparently the Others got hold of her at one time and branded her like they branded Sayid.

-There's a lighthouse on the Island that none of the survivors had seen until now. Somehow it's used to draw people to the Island? Or spy on them? Or something?

-Jacob needs Jack to do something, but he knows Jack doesn't ever do what he's directly asked.

-Jacob sure loves keeping people in the dark.

Reality B:

-Jack is divorced and has a kid who is a piano genius and who also somehow kept this information from Jack for over a decade. The kid also suffers from the crippling fear of failing in front of Jac, though this fear appears completely and utterly unfounded. In short, this kid is both brilliant and stupid. Maybe he's suffering from savant syndrome.

-Christian left sometime to Claire in his will.

Theories to come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Things we learned from Lighthouse/theories/random babblings/questions

So, I haven't really had all that much to say in the way of Lost lately. Then this episode hit me and I've got the Lost bug again. And here we go.

Reality B: Jack’s a dad with a middle school-aged-ish son (we don’t know who the mom is) who is a prodigy at piano, basically, but afraid of failing in front of his dad, which is why the son didn’t tell Jack he was still playing piano. Wasn’t there someone else who played the piano amazingly well in a past episode? Was it Juliet? Does that have anything to do with anything? Dogan has a son who says Jack’s son is amazing. Also, Jack’s mom tells him that his son was devastated at his grandfather’s funeral and suggests that he’s scared of Jack which is why they don't communicate. Which, really, he’s not drinking or doing Oxycodone, so what is the basis for that? Afraid he’ll fail in front of him…since Jack’s so demanding. Sorry - I’m just not seeing it.

Reality A: Claire is CRAZY. Literally. I don’t know if it’s because she was blown up - or reinvented by Esau/Locke or whatever…why would she think the Others took her baby? She was the one who left Aaron, didn’t she? What the crackles is Jin doing lying to her? Trying to get back to the temple alive? Also, how does Esau/Locke reinvent/reanimate Claire? He’s in a body himself, so he can‘t be possessing her, can he? We learned that Claire’s “friend” is Esau/Locke and they’ve been living together in the woods. Has he been Locke the entire time? If not, how does Claire reconcile with his changing appearance? Oh, wait. Claire is crazy. Never mind. We also learn that the Temple People branded and tortured Claire the same way as Sayid so she escaped - although one of them tells her that’s not how it played out.

Jacob appears to Hurley and tells him to do a bunch of stuff. When Dogan catches Hurley, Jacob tells him to tell Dogan he’s a candidate and to not bother him. I love Assertive Hurley - he’s so awkward. So, Hurley takes Jack to the lighthouse, where they’re supposed to help someone who’s trying to get to the island. Jack sees places from his past, thinks Jacob’s been watching him and freaks out to the point where he breaks all the mirrors. If I were his son and had seen THAT moment, I think I would be afraid of him.

It seems that although Jacob tells Hurley to not go back for the others at the temple, Sayid’s the only one left there out of the Chosen/Candidates anyway, and he’s already mostly died like twice. So does Jacob want Sayid to die? Is Dogan doing the will of Jacob or himself in trying to kill Sayid? Is that why Jacob’s not so worried if Sayid’s still in the temple? So - was the reason why Jack and Hurley went to the lighthouse to get as far away as possible or to show Jack how important he is or both?

I love when Hurley’s like, “You could’ve just told me what was going to happen” and Jacob’s like, “Meh.”

Kind of like the writers in this show.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Theories on The Substitute

Some great comments on my recap post for Tuesday's episode:

Richard said:

Maybe Kate was brought to the island not to replace Jacob, hence no number, but to manipulate Jack and/or Sawyer. She seems to have had a lot of power over both, though her influence has diminished as of late.
An interesting point. She was the reason Sawyer jumped off the helicopter and stayed on the Island. She was also the reason Jack went through with the plan to blow up the ocean Island. I bet we could find a few other ways she moved Jacob's plans along.

Anna said:

So i thought that the whole knowing the rules can't kill him thing may have been referring to Richard Alpert...because wasn't "Esau" going to try to kill him when he refused to join him and then that little boy appeared?

Excellent thought; I hadn't even considered the boy was talking about Richard. But it did seem like Esau was going to smack Richard around some, if not kill him outright, after Richard refused to go with him. The boy shows up, Esau's attention is diverted, and the boy says Esau cannot kill "him." Works for me.

Though why Esau would be allowed to kill Jacob and not Richard I don't know.

Some theories from the good folk who contribute to the Lostpedia:

1. Kwon is not Sun or Jin, it's Ji Yeon, their daughter. When Jacob touched them on their wedding day, it was at the moment that eventually led Sun and Jin to crash on the Island and Sun to become pregnant, as Jin was sterile off-Island.

2. The cave is not Jacob's, ergo the names are not Jacob's. We've seen where Jacob dwells: in the shadow of the statue. What if the cave is Esau's? What if he wrote those names, and he has plans for everyone?

3. Everyone who has a number but Sayid chose to return to and/or stay on the Island.

4-Locke, always very certain he was staying on the Island instead of going with Jack and other O6.
8-Reyes, Hugo decided after Jacob touched him in the taxi, saying "It's your choice Hugo", it could also be argued that he made a decision to stay when he didn't follow Dave off the cliff in Dave (episode) Season 2 and chose to stay with Libby on the Island
15-Ford, Sawyer chose to stay on the Island by jumping from the O6's helicopter.
16-Jarrah, Although Sayid did return to the Island with Ajira 316, this was not his own choice as he was being escorted by Ilana (Who we are now know was/is working for Jacob). In fact athough initially he appears to have been hell-bent on leaving the Island, he did have the opportunity to leave, but then returned voluntarily on the Kahuna dinghy to save others. Subsequently, when he returned to the island, he has been something of a martyr figure, atempting to change history by killing Ben, then dismantling the bomb, without any regard to his own safety. His motivation in dismantling the bomb for Jack was not to leave, but to save others, as he felt that he himself was not worth saving, and therefore it did not matter if he died.
23-Shephard, Jack decided a lot sooner than the other O6 that he wanted to return to the Island and played a fundamental part in bringing the O6 back to the Island. If Shephard refers to Claire (Which I doubt as she spent her whole life with the name Littleton) she still made a decision to stay on the Island and not search for rescue when she disappeared leaving Aaron, and when she was seen in Jacob's shack with Christian she seemed to be contentedly there by her own choosing.
42-Kwon, as stated above Jin made a conscious decision to stay on the Island when he didn't go with Locke but gave him his wedding ring, however Sun also decided to return to the Island herself to find Jin.

4. When Esau shouted after the boy "Don't tell me what I can't do!" exactly like Locke would do (and has done in the past), it may be evidence that Locke's persona still exists and is influencing Esau. For Esau to show such anger and fear is entirely out of character for him, in our experience, and for him to have the same neurosis as Locke by chance seems unlikely.

Anything else?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Substitute

While a better episode than last week's, The Substitute still made me feel like the writers are dragging their feet every bit as much as they have since Season 1. Anyway, here's what we found out:

Reality A:

1. According to Esau (a phrase that will be commonly used during this post), Jacob is searching for a successor, and has been for quite some time.

2. Also according to Esau, Jacob protects the Island... from nothing.

3. Jacob's visit to each of the (presumed) six "candidates" set in motion events that pushed them to the Island. Let's take a tangent and look at that a bit more closely:
  • Locke (4): Actively brought him back to life? While manipulative, I'm not sure how that convinced John to attempt a walkabout.
  • Hugo (8): Appeared to him and told him he needed to go back to the Island.
  • Sawyer (15): Gives him a pen to finish writing his letter instead of letting young James let the deaths of his parents go. Sawyer's lifelong quest for revenge brought him to Australia and put him on Flight 815.
  • Sayid (16): Essentially saves his life by keeping him from walking into the path of a speeding car that kills Nadia. In doing this, Jacob did not save Nadia, and Sayid ended up joining Ben on an assassination rampage that ultimately led to him being arrested by Ilana and brought back to the Island.
  • Jack (23): Gave him a candy bar. Seems insignificant.
  • Sun and Jin (42): Congratulated them on their marriage. Don't see anything manipulative about that.
  • Kate: Prevented her from getting into trouble for stealing the lunchbox. Did that push her into a life of crime (killing her father), while maybe getting busted by the store owner at age eight would have straightened her out, leading to her never running from the FBI and never getting caught in Australia?
Interesting that Kate doesn't get a number, though we specifically see Jacob visit her.

It appears Jacob worked to get these seven people to the Island in order to test them and see who should be his successor. That means every other passenger on 815 was unimportant and expendable.

More discussion on this concept tomorrow.

4. Richard is scared to death of Esau. He's panicky, wild-eyed and generally discombobulated by whatever Esau is.

5. Esau reiterates his desire to go home/get off the Island. He tells Sawyer he's trapped there, and has been trapped for so long he doesn't even remember what it's like to be free. Is Jacob his jailer?

6. A little boy appears to Esau. Richard cannot see the boy, but Sawyer can. The child tells Esau he "knows the rules" and "can't kill him." Whether this "him" refers to the child himself or Jacob... no idea.

7. According to Ilana, Esau is recruiting. He actively recruits Richard to join him, and Richard refuses.

8. Also according to Ilana, Esau is stuck looking like Locke. Is this forever forever?

9. Apparently Richard had no more an idea what Jacob was up to than Ben did. Jacob sure likes keeping people in the dark.

Reality B:

1. Locke is engaged to Helen, who left him in Reality A after Locke couldn't stop obsessing about his father. While Locke is still paralyzed, it apparently was not Sawyer who did it to him, as Helen mentions inviting him to the wedding. Maybe Sawyer isn't a con man at all here.

2. Locke gets fired by everyone's favorite boss, Randy. Hugo then gives Locke another shot at a job through a temp agency owned by Hurley. Hurley is supremely confident and optimistic in Reality B.

3. This Locke doesn't believe in miracles, but Helen sure does.

4. Ben is teaching European History at a high school. He seems like a nice enough guy, albeit somewhat fruity.

5. Rose works for Hugo's temp agency and is still dying of terminal cancer. She seems unchanged, personality-wise.

That's all I've got. Seems fun that most of the major actors on the show are playing essentially two characters these days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theories on What Kate Did

Claimed, infected, possessed. All these terms refer to the idea of a body or person's identity being influenced, appropriated or even directly controlled by an outside force. Here are the instances where this has happened or seems to have happened:

1. Yemi appeared to Eko. Yemi had died years before, and we saw his corpse in the drug smugglers' plane.

2. Christian appeared to Jack, Claire and others. Christian had died recently, and we have never seen his corpse. The coffin carrying his body on Flight 815 is empty.

3. Walt appeared to Shannon, while Walt was off-Island, and alive. Spoke some gibberish stuff and freaked Shannon out.

4. Walt also appeared to Locke after Ben shot John. Again, off-Island, never been dead as far as we know.

5. Locke appeared after the crash of Ajira Airways 316. He had died recently. This is not merely an appearance, as this incarnation of Locke lived with the survivors for at least a day or two. Locke's body is still dead, and lying on the beach. Not Locke appears to be Jacob's Nemesis, taking on Locke's appearance.

6. Charlie, Ana Lucia, Jacob and others have appeared to Hurley after their deaths. All three have died on-screen.

7. Alex appeared to Ben, apparently as a direct apparition stemming from Smokey. Alex had died recently.

8. Horace appeared to Locke in a sweat-lodge-induced dream. Horace had died several years ago.

What does this show us? That there is not one set of rules governing this. All of these examples are not instances of claiming. Nor are they all examples of Jacob's Nemesis taking on the appearance someone else.

There have to be multiple things going on. What happened with Locke's image is not the same as what is happening to Sayid. Apparently what is happening to Sayid already happened to Claire. It took me a bit, but the day after the episode aired, I remembered Claire and Jack are children of Christian, making them half siblings. In the interest of staying current, let's discuss her a bit here:

Claire's situation closely mirrors Danielle Rousseau's. Both arrived on the Island pregnant. The Others tried to take their children. And now Claire has apparently been living in the jungle for the past three years, just like Danielle did. Did she set the bear trap and swinging bag o' rocks thing?

I still maintain she is dead. She was in a Dharma barrack that got clobbered by a direct hit during the mercenary attack and somehow came out of it looking just fine. Afterwards, Miles was very wary of her, and she took off into the jungle after Christian, leaving Aaron behind. No way she's alive and in full control of herself and does that. So apparently she died and came back just like Sayid did, and her soul/body has been "claimed" by the Nemesis.

So what does this mean? Apparently it means she'll shoot Others, and by extension, save Jin. Was the saving an accident? Does she know him? So much will be explained next episode.

Dogan wants to kill Sayid, but can't just shoot him, apparently. He has to willingly take a pill filled with kelp or something, and Jack's not about that.

In Reality B news, Ethan is still a doctor, and his last name has changed from Rom to Goodspeed, Horace's surname. Lot of intimation there, but nothing solid.

And really, isn't that what this show is all about? Watching Dogan stonewall Jack about what was going on with Sayid made me feel like the writers use the Others' reluctance to ever explain themselves as a way to keep the audience in the dark unnecessarily.

But we keep plowing on, even when they're throwing away half the episode on Kate and Sawyer crying. Never mind the fact that they've got 300 questions to answer and their last season is three episodes in.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Kate Does

After last week's jam-packed, two-part premiere, last night's episode seemed a little sparse in new information. I blame the writers' focus on the love square (Kate-Sawyer-Juliet-Jack).

On to the learning.

Reality A

1. The Others believe that Sayid is "claimed." Probably by Jacob's Nemesis.

2. Sawyer was going to ask Juliet to marry him. This is funny/sad because the only reason Juliet went along with the Faraday plan to blow up the ocean Island was because she thought Sawyer wanted to get with Kate.

3. Claire has been entirely claimed. (Christian is her father, making her Jack's half sister.)

Reality B

1. Ethan is a doctor, just like he was in Reality A before Charlie shot him to death. Is he an Other? Do Others exist, now that the Island is underwater?

2. Claire names Aaron long before she does in Reality A.

3. The husband of the couple that was going to adopt Aaron bugs out. We don't know if this is any different from Reality A.

4. Claire considers keeping Aaron, just like in Reality A.

5. Did the mechanic that helped Kate look familiar to anyone else?

That's it. As always, feel free to add to the list.

Theories up later.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lost explained by people who have never watched Lost

Thanks again, Damon Lindelof's Twitter feed.

Michael Emerson actually did play a pedophile on an episode of Law and Order: SVU.

Jack and Rose on 815

@DamonLindelof: "Person who made this? You complete me."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Theories on LAX

First off, let me say I can imagine Abrams, Lindelof and Kurtzman sitting at a table laughing their heads off right now.

LINDELOF: "Those saps spend nine months trying to figure out if the bomb reset the timeline or not! Hahahaha!"

KURTZMAN: "There's no way they saw this coming! Two alternate realities, both interweaved throughout the premiere? Stroke of genius, J.J."

ABRAMS: "I just figured if time travel made our fans' heads explode, adding in alternate concepts of the world would be enough to really drive them crazy. How's our stock in Strait Jackets R' Us doing?"


So here we are, experiencing two different realities, both hinging on the single event of Faraday's plan working or not. For all intents and purposes, the two realities are happening at the same time. Flight 815 landed in September of 2004, while Ajira Airways Flight 316 crashed on the Island in 2007. A three-year difference isn't enough to really construe time travel, at least not by Lost's standards.

For the sake of simplicity, we'll refer to the world where 815 crashed as Reality A, and the world where it did not as Reality B. Reality A is essentially the the standard timeline of the show. Flight 815 crashed, Cindy the flight attendant joined the Others, Ben kidnapped and otherwise harassed the Losties, Smokey rampaged throughout the jungle, etc.

As part of this standard timeline, the Oceanic 6 went back to the mainland and then returned to the Island on Flight 316. The ones who were left in 1977 after all the timeshifting madness ended (Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Jin, Hurley, Miles, Juliet, Sayid) are whomped back into 2007 with the regular timeline. What happened, happened. The work they did as part of Dharma is all part of the past. Jacob's nemesis put into motion the plan to kill Jacob, and succeeded.

After this point, things got fuzzy. Were Jack, Kate, etc. on the Island at the same time as Richard, Lapidus, Sun, Ben, etc.? Then Dogan set off the warning rocket, and it was seen at the beach just after Jacob was killed. This is an important event, as it ties the two groups together and establishes that they are sharing the Island at the exact same time. I repeat: that rocket was very important.

So that's the normal. On to Reality B, the abnormal.

  1. The Island is underwater, complete with the foot of Tawaret's statue, the Dharma barracks and who knows what else? This implies the Island sank after Dharma arrived, which makes its current state a rather new one. Insane.
  2. Christian Shepard's body never made it onto Flight 815.
  3. Boone was not successful in attempting to bring Shannon home.
  4. Desmond is on Flight 815. Assuming everything prior to that is normal, he probably successfully navigated the globe in Libby's ship, passed over the Island instead of crashing into it, and made it home to marry Penny.
  5. Hurley is the luckiest guy alive.
  6. Sun and Jin are not married, as neither are wearing wedding rings, and the airport employee in Los Angeles calls Sun "Ms. Paik." Sun also appears to not understand or speak English.
  7. Walt and Michael don't appear to be on the plane.
I'm not counting anything that would have normally happened had 815 not crashed, ie. Locke is still paralyzed. However, Rose's cancer is not healed because she never ends up on the Island. Charlie is also still a heroin addict, though presumably he'll get over that in prison or some rehab program. There are countless other examples of how this alternate reality will change things.

But back to Reality A, the reveal that Jacob's Nemesis, Smokey and New Locke are all the same was a big one. It seems to me that if Esau's view of humanity is pessimistic, it makes sense that Smokey would judge new arrivals and kill them if he found them unrepentant or unworthy of redemption.

Now as to what Esau wants, that's a little murkier. He tells Ben that unlike John Locke, he wants to go home. Is he held captive on the Island? Was Jacob his jailer? Esau does cut out a piece of the rug inside the statue. That may be significant.

Esau takes Richard prisoner and starts heading towards the Temple, we can presume. Once Hurley tells Dogan that Jacob is dead, the Others start spreading the ash around the perimeter, sending up the warning rocket, etc. I'm guessing Esau is heading straight for the Temple, with Richard as a hostage, in order to negotiate with them. He needs something they have.

"Hello Richard, it's good to see you without your chains," Esau says. Are these literal or physical chains? Is Richard from the Black Rock? Was he a slave? Are the chains representative of how Richard must serve the leader of the Others, and now that Jacob is dead, that subservience is absolved?

And then there's the Temple; As I wrote earlier today, this is the first time we've seen the Temple, and the first time we've witnessed a healing at the fountain. The murkiness of the water is probably due to Jacob's death... is it possible the water's color signifies who is in control of the Island? Esau: black and murky, Jacob: clear? And considering Sayid is, in fact healed, does that mean Esau saved him?

The Others at the Temple seem to be more multicultural than the Others we've seen before. Some look Indian, Dogan is obviously Japanese, etc. It is apparent that these Others live exclusively at the Temple, or we would have run into them before now. They had no part in Ben's living in the Dharma barracks, and had nothing to do with the kidnapping of Walt, Zach and Emma, etc. I wonder if Ben went rogue and a contingent of Others followed him, leaving the rest loyal to Dogan.

Sayid's death and subsequent resurrection are interesting. He is dead to the world when the Losties arrive at the Temple. After being fully submerged in the water, he wakes up and starts to fight and struggle. I'm not sure he has the strength to do that after losing that much blood... was the healing process working? Does the process require the full body to be immersed for that long in order for a part of Jacob/Esau to enter the person? After he's pronounced dead, Miles is checking him out with a weird look on his face. And then, an hour or so later (?) Sayid revives. Just weird.

Finally, this is the first time we've seen a list as a stamp of approval from Jacob. The Losties at the temple were dead before Dogan read that note and asked them to identify themselves. Since Jacob wrote the note, we can only assume it reads, "Don't kill the following:" And it also told them Sayid needed to be healed, or dire consequences would follow. That'll be interesting to watch.

Phew. Two-hour premieres are hard to tackle. I'll post more later this week as I think of more theories/ideas.

But bottom line, the premiere didn't disappoint me at all. Very interesting, good writing, kept my attention throughout. Here's hoping for an epic sixth season.


Good to be back writing about new Lost episodes instead of just theorizing and looking back. Without further ado, here's what we learned:

  1. The biggest reveal is that the smoke monster, new Locke and Jacob's nemesis are one and the same. Jacob's nemesis killed the pilot of 815. He judged Eko and found him worthy of death. He took the form of Christian, Walt, Yemi and Alex. Everything the smoke monster/nemesis has done so far was in preparation to finally kill Jacob.
  2. Faraday's plan worked and didn't work. Apparently we're dealing with two distinct realities, and it appears we're done with time travel for now. One reality is September, 2004 and Faraday's theory was correct. Flight 815 lands, none of the Losties remember their experiences on the Island. Jack has some kind of recognition when it comes to Desmond and some other stuff, but he clearly doesn't remember anything. The other reality is January 2005 (or thereabout) and Faraday's theory was wrong. The explosion didn't reset anything; it merely pushed the Losties in 1977 back to their correct time, and in general kept them in their original locations on the island.
  3. There is a separate leader of the Others who lives at the Temple. While Dogan speaks and understands English perfectly, he prefers to communicate in his native Japanese and use a translator.
  4. We see how the healing process in the Temple works... injured individuals are lowered into a baptismal font of some kind, and kept under the water for a specific amount of time. The water is supposed to be clear, but to the surprise of everyone, it was murky when the Others attempted to heal Sayid, I'm guessing because Jacob is dead. The effects of the healing are usually immediate, as evidenced by the Others' surprise when Sayid woke up after an hour or so of being dead. So while we seeing the healing process for the first time, it is far different than the typical experience.
  5. Juliet believed Faraday's plan worked. Either that or Miles is lying.
  6. We see what was in the guitar case Jacob gave Hurley: a giant ankh, with a note inside. It appears the note is a list of names, one of Jacob's favorite things, and the names are Kate's, Hurley's, Sayid's and Jin's.
  7. Bram, Ilana and co. are Jacob's protectors. That said, if they're supposed to protect him from his nemesis, carrying those guns around seems a bit silly.

That's all I've got. Theories to post this afternoon.