Tuesday, March 27, 2007

S3Ep13 - The Man from Tallahassee (Locke's sixth flashback)

Hello my dear friends -

In the words of executive producer Damon Lindelof: "The final five seconds of this episode are my favorite five seconds of the season."

The Locke-box showeth no mercy.Yes, I must admit that even for those of us who suspected it might be Papa Locke (as he is often referred to on the boards) inside the room at the end of the show, it was still amazing when it was shown. I got several emails after the episode aired - so thank you to those who checked to ensure that I was OK. While I probably was the only one who absolutely bawled my eyes out during Locke's flashback, I was definitely not alone in immensely enjoying "The Man from Tallahassee." Most people felt that this was the best episode in a long time - and of course, many people were happy to get at least a few answers (even though about 10 bazillion more questions were raised).

Let's tackle the easier things first, shall we?


BABY LOVE

Wow, she really DOES look like me!  Great job, casting agents!Apparently I was overly emotional during this entire episode, because I also teared up during Rousseau's first glimpses of her grown daughter, Alex. Since they purposely showed Ben staring at childhood pictures of Alex in his apartment earlier in the episode, many people couldn't help but wonder if he really is her father, and perhaps Rousseau was lying about her background. Could Rousseau and Benry have been involved during her early days on the island, but then she did something to get herself banished? I personally still think that they took Alex away from her and Benry simply raised her as his own, but I'm sure we're going to get more background on that sub-plot some time soon. Especially since Sayid has now planted the seed in Alex's head (which I thought was awesome... FINALLY, people are SAYING THINGS!):

My prediction: Therapy ahead for this girlSayid: You're Alex aren't you?
Ryan: Hey, can it.
Alex: How do you know my name?
Sayid: Because you look like your mother.
Alex: My mother is dead.
Sayid: I'm sure that's what they told you.
[Ryan gets up and smashes the butt of his rifle into Sayid's side]

I already have very high expectations for the mother-daughter reunion scene... let's hope it's worth the wait!



SING ME A SONG, YOU'RE THE PIANO MAN...

La dee dah, di-di daaaaaahThe Mad Doctor has turned into a sensitive musician - who would've thunk it? I loved how Kate was just SO entranced by his musical skillzzz that she let her gun drop and had no choice but to stand there, frozen by the beautiful melody. PLEASE!

She quickly snapped out of her daze, however, when she realized that Jack seemed to be won over by The Others. What can I say?  I really want some pizza.Not only did he not step in when she was captured and thrown to the ground at gunpoint, but he also seemed fairly perturbed that she attempted to rescue him at all... because he was about to leave the island with none other than Juliet (who is quickly becoming Kate's nemesis). On top of that, he tried to turn it all back around to be Kate's fault, since she apparently "told Jack" to trust The Others' when she was pleading with him to do Benry's surgery in order to save Sawyer. Kate Well I want some chocolate ice cream, let me come with you, dammit!knows that Pickett was actually going to execute Sawyer as soon as the surgery got underway, but Jack never knew that... which is why Kate said, "What did they tell you?" after Jack said he struck a deal with Benry.

Most likely out of guilt, Jack was all, "I will come back for you!" at the end of their touchy-feely conversation that Juliet interrupted (she has quite a knack for doing that). I think You're going to hook up with Juliet?  I'm going to barf!Kate should've slapped Jack across the face (if she weren't handcuffed). In my opinion, she has every right to be upset - it certainly appears that Jack was looking to save his own skin and was more than willing to forget about everyone else. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the exact same thing if I was him... I'm just saying that I understand why KATE would be upset.

Now that the sub is apparently destroyed (covered below), we'll never know if Jack and Juliet were even going to be able to leave the island in the first place, and therefore we will never know if Jack would've returned with a rescue party. Not like anyone should have been expecting that any character would actually get off the island before the series' finale, though. You KNOW that Michael and Walt have got to be sailing in circles! If you listen REALLY closely in most episodes, you can still hear Michael yelling "Waaaalllllllt!" in the background. He just got so used to doing it, he continued even after they were reunited.


SSSHHH, MY EVIL BEARD IS OUT THERE LISTENING!

Can we play one more round of girly football before you go?Back to Jack and Kate's reunion scene... did anyone else notice how Zeke seemed to silently warn Jack that there were audio and video monitors in the game room when he left him alone with Kate? Well, I did, and you can see for yourself in the picture to the right. I think Zeke really likes Jack for some reason - or perhaps Zeke is one of those people that may actually want to leave the island at some point, and therefore was rooting for Juliet and Jack to be able to make it off.


We are now done covering all of the minor stories of the night... let's move on to Locke, Papa Locke, Benry and the Magic Box!


THE "REAL" SAWYER?

I'm a bad, bad man.I mentioned this a long, long time ago, but the buzz on this theory is back in full-force after this episode: Could Papa Locke (aka: Cooper) be the "original Sawyer" who Lostaway Sawyer/James Ford had been searching for? The man "our" Sawyer wants to kill, who was the one who swindled his mother and caused his dad to commit suicide? The one Lostaway Sawyer faux-named himself after, who he wrote the letter to when he was a young boy?

My vote is: Yes, it's the same guy.

With this episode, it has been absolutely confirmed that Papa Locke is a life-long con man. In Season One, we may have just thought that he really needed a kidney, and then went to desperate lengths to locate his biological son in order to get said organ. Crappy? Yes. Evidence of a serial con artist? No.

Then, in Season Two, we saw how Locke's dad got Locke involved with retrieving $700,000 as part of a "retirement con" that apparently involved the mob. His dad offered him part of the huge pay-out, but Locke refused to take it (and also lost his true love in the process). Since we really didn't have a lot of background on what was going on in that situation, it wasn't totally clear that his dad was a professional con-man... and he also said that he was "gone" after that because he had essentially faked his own death.

But now, it is very, very clear that his father had been conning both Locke and everyone else he ever got involved with all along - with the latest installment being to "marry the rich widower." Papa Locke has an extremely dark side, as he probably DID kill that kid in order to get away with his plan. He obviously was trying to kill Locke by pushing him out of the window. Therefore, most people believe that Papa Locke is the "real Sawyer" that Lostaway Sawyer was trying to hunt down and kill before crashing on the island.

Two other random bits of "supporting evidence" include:

1) The two names that we know of for Papa Locke: Anthony Cooper and Adam Seward are an anagram for: "Sawyer, the con man, a poor dad."
2) We know that Lostaway Sawyer had been to Tallahassee himself (he admitted to catching an STD there), and Papa Locke is referred to as "The Man From Tallahassee."

I believe there is a petition going around to get the writers to have a scene where Papa Locke, Locke and Sawyer are in some sort of cage match duel. It certainly would be interesting to see who would win! But once again, at this point, Sawyer wouldn't be able to put two and two together, in addition to the fact that he doesn't even know where Locke or Papa Locke are.


WHISKEY REBELLION

Are your "Easter egg"-spotting skills still sharp? Did you notice Papa Locke pouring none other than MacCutcheon's whiskey (the fave of Mr. Widmore) right before pushing his son out of the window? Nothing like a little touch of whiskey to calm the nerves...

What about this one... do you think the car behind Papa Locke early on in the episode was the same Mystery Car of Death we've seen several times before?


FROM SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS

Q: How did Locke end up in a wheelchair?
A: He was pushed out of a eighth-floor window by his father.

Check THAT question off of the list! (as a side note, I have a large, crappy plastic tablecloth that I've been using on the "snack table" since I started having Lost parties at the end of Season One that has a ton of questions written on it. As well as characters' names. Every time someone dies, they get X'd out, and if a question gets answered, it gets X'd out. You would be surprised at how many questions have been answered overall - it's easy to forget when so many more get raised in each episode...)

After "Lockdown," the episode referred to above where Locke helped his father retrieve the money from the retirement con, I became positive that Locke would end up getting the beat-down from the mob at some future point, and that's what would land him in the wheelchair. So I kept waiting for the mob to show up in this episode... I even initially thought the police investigating the kid's death were going to drag Locke off and deliver him to the mob.

But when I realized two things: 1) That it was nearing the end of the hour, and 2) that Locke just walked into his father's apartment, which was nearly ALL windows... I figured out Locke's fate.

This is gonna hurt...There was surprisingly little debate on the boards about whether or not a person could've truly survived a fall like that... which I thought would've lead to the inevitable discussion of whether "Locke has always had supernatural powers." I thought for sure someone would bring this up - because it's the first thing I thought. But then I remembered a recent tragedy near my neighborhood, where a building was set on fire and someone jumped out of a window on the fifth floor and lived (although he did shatter most of his bones). So I assume that there is a slim chance that in "real life," a real person could survive a fall such as Locke's.

Another important part of Locke's background was revealed in the last flashback scene, when he was first put into the wheelchair. If you were paying attention, you should've noticed that it was Locke's physical therapist, William, who first uttered what has now become one of Locke's signature phrases...

William: John, John, John. We have got ourselves quite a day ahead of us my friend. It's a fine time to get you up out of that bed.
Locke: No. I don't want to.
William: John...I don't remember asking.
[William lowers the rail on the bed, pulls the covers off Locke, then leaves the room and comes back with a wheelchair]
William: Now. Most people struggle with this at first, but don't worry...you'll get used to it.
Locke: Uh...no...no...please...I...I can't do this.
William: John, you fell 8 stories and survived, okay. I don't want to hear about what you can't do. Now let's go. It's gonna be alright.
Locke: No I don't...no I don't think...
William: ...It's gonna be fine, John...
[William picks Locke up in his arms]
Locke: ...I don't think I...think I can...
Don't cry, Locke! e will make it all better![As William carries Locke to the chair, Locke looks at it with a horrified expression. William sets Locke in the chair and puts his feet on the pedals]
William: You're fine. There ya go. There ya go, buddy. Wasn't that bad, was it? I'll be right back, buddy.
[William leaves and Locke sits in the chair and breaks down crying.]
[e is sobbing, as well]

Did you catch it?

Don't tell me what I can't do!

Good God, was I bawling my head off during that scene. My husband had the audacity to ask me why I was crying?!?!!?

Hellooooooooo???

Have you not noticed that your wife has a teeny obsession with one John Locke?!?!?


SNARKY BENRY IS BACK!

Trust in me... just in me...Benry definitely was stealing the show with all of his snotty replies in this episode. And it was truly amazing to see him not only weasel his way out of getting killed once again, but to also watch him achieve all of the results he had wanted, without having to lift a finger. He is the master manipulator, as Alex pointed out:

Alex: You know he's manipulating you, right?
Locke: How's that?
Alex: That's what my father does. He manipulates people. He makes you think it's your idea, but it's his.
Locke: I'll have to keep that in mind.

The scenes in Benry's apartment caused an all-out panic attack on the boards - people were desperate to analyze everything on the walls, everything in the fridge, you name it. As one poster put it, "I bet the LOST production team had a blast preparing the set for "Ben's room" 'cause they knew we would just go ballistic looking for clues!!"

Sledgeweb assembled an awesome montage of apartment decor here.


Is that couch from IKEA, by chance?It's hard telling what, if anything, from Benry's digs may be important, but here are a few things I will call out:

1) The "map" on the wall is a very common figure of the night sky with mythical figures imposed over all of the constellations (Hercules, the Hydra. Orion, etc.). You may recall that Karl mentioned that he and Alex liked to name the stars and look at constellations. Perhaps this is something Benry did with her growing up.
2) The masks had people wondering if there perhaps was some sort of tribe on the island when The Others first arrived. Or if those are the "four-toed" people of statue fame.

3) The painting of the woman in Benry's office was BY FAR the biggest topic of the night - in my opinion, it was even more intense than the "magical box" discussion.

Who is that woman? Is it Juliet? Juliet's sister? Karen DeGroot? Some random? Does Alex think that picture is her "real mother?" Is that flower pot hanging in mid-air? And most importantly, why in the hell is that woman holding a rodent?

See the close-up for yourself!


Here are a few posts from the boards that are about this specific topic:

- "Why the hamster? Don't you guys remember what Juliet did? Impregnate a male mouse? I wonder if it has something to do with it..."
- "Karen DeGroot was a founder of DHARMA, so why would Ben have a pic of her in his apartment if The Others are not part of DHARMA? Unless he is somehow her son? Or he could've just taken over an already-existing apartment from DHARMA and not changed the stuff in it?"
- "The woman in the painting may or may not be real, but I'm sure that Alex was told that that was her late mother."

4) Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time was shown AGAIN (the first time was when the guard of the brainwashing room was shown reading it).

The discussion about space and time prompted a fellow viewer to post:
"It's the 2nd time Ben mentions being born on the island/spent his whole life on the island...this is truly his HOME. Could he be the result of a Dharma experiment? Remember that Juliet was enticed to the island by x-rays of what looks to be a 70-year-old womb and is then told that the subject's only 26. Which means that the It is I of the thick eyelashes and bushy eyebrows once again!body is dramatically older than the person's chronological age. Then remember that Jack said Ben's x-rays were of a man in his 40s. But I wonder how old Ben really is? I speculate he's actually much younger than he appears. And remember that Mittelos was an anagram for Lost Time....could this be the meaning?"

Speaking of Mittelos... the guy who recruited Juliet IS the same guy shown leading Benry and Locke to the room at the end of the episode - his name is Richard Alpert.


WHAT LIVES ON THE ISLAND, *STAYS* ON THE ISLAND. MAYBE.

Don't tell me who I can't shoot!The submarine fiasco is now actually my favorite part of the episode, believe it or not. The reason why is because when the show aired, I didn't think twice about Locke blowing up the sub. His flashbacks showed that he had every reason to want to remain on the island - it was obvious that he was much better off, both mentally and physically, AFTER the plane crash. And he didn't want anyone ELSE leaving the island and possibly alerting the outside world to its existence. Locke blowing up the sub also served to heighten the already-existing tension between Locke and Jack, and it proved that Benry really is incredible at getting his way - now no one could leave the island - but it wasn't his fault, and he didn't have to go back on his word. And that's all I thought there was to it.

Now you've REALLY crossed the line, Locke!  I wanted pizza REAL bad!My husband and I did have a quick conversation about why Locke appeared to be soaking wet after returning from the submarine when he wasn't wet getting INTO it, but I just brushed it off as inconsequential.

But, come on. I should've known better. Almost NOTHING on this show is inconsequential! The vast, vast majority of people on the boards, who are way smarter than I am, thought that that difference in Locke's appearance was key - and that it meant that Locke DID NOT actually blow up the submarine.

Consider this: as Locke leaves Alex and walks down the dock to the submarine, it is clearly shown above water. And he has his pack with the Jesus Stick peeking out of the top. We see Locke in the submarine briefly, and he is still dry. When we see him return, the dock is not clearly shown, and a submarine cannot clearly be seen in the moments before Jack and The Others arrive. Locke no longer has his pack nor the Jesus Stick, and he is soaking wet.

Now, remember this exchange with Benry just moments earlier...

Ben:Thank you. So, tell me John. How do you expect to pilot our submarine? I mean, it's a complicated piece of machinery. You don't just press "Submerge".

[Locke brings the wheelchair over to the bed]
Locke:I'll figure something out. For all you know I was a Commander in the Navy. Put your arm around my neck. I'll lift under your knees.



Many people noted that Benry had an odd reaction to Locke's comments... and took that to mean that maybe The Others don't really know ABSOLUTELY everything about the Lostaways.

Now ponder the fact that Locke had a "Special Operations Forces" poster in his apartment.

While most people agree that Locke was probably NOT in any sort of military unit, everyone does agree that he was clearly obsessed with military strategy. Remember him playing Risk in the break room at the box company? His uncanny tracking abilities, his skill with knives? It is quite possible that he learned a lot simply through reading and studying materials. It's called the Internet, people - you'd be surprised what's out there for public consumption!

So the theory is that Locke DID know enough to be able to move the submarine to another nearby location. He then left the sub (and left his pack in the sub), and swam back to the dock. He rigged the very end of the dock with the C-4, and emerged soaking wet. He probably didn't care whether or not someone was there to actually witness the explosion - that was probably just a bonus in his mind. But his intention was to make Benry THINK that he had destroyed the sub.

Here are two posts regarding this theory:

- Alex told Locke that Ben wanted the sub blown up, or at least she told him that Ben was manipulating him to do his bidding, that Ben was good at it. Locke is no dummy, he knew and he was not going to do Ben's bidding for him, so the sub explosion is a hoax.
- OK people, here is the answer to the 'Did Locke blow up the sub?' question. I have seen people talking about it on many message boards. Go to abc.com, and load the episode. Move the cursor on the bottom to exactly 34:04 and pause it. There is a shot down the dock. You can clearly see there is no submarine in the background. It simply is not there before the explosion. Also, the explosion itself is at the end of the dock, not to the left of it. There really is no debating this one."

Hmmm, I would argue that with this show, there is ALWAYS going to be a debate about every little thing.

Don't tell me what I can't blow up!Now let's assume that all of us conspiracy theorists are insane, and that the simplest answer is the correct one - Locke DID blow up the sub. Then the question becomes, could Jack and Juliet really have left anyway? Remember that Benry talked about how the existence of the submarine served to uphold "the illusion" that people could leave if they wanted to. Was there really no way to leave the island in the first place?


To see a series of screenshots from before and after Locke set the explosion, click here.



LOCKE THE OBJECTIVIST?

This part of the weekly EW write-up got me thinking:

"The focus of this evening's eagerly anticipated outing is John Locke — man of (misplaced) faith, wannabe Island hero, obsessed Objectivist oddball. At long last, we will learn what happened in Locke's past that put him in a wheelchair."

Remember how Sawyer was reading an Ayn Rand novel in the prior episode, and how I mentioned that her books all applaud anyone who acts out of his or her own selfish interest? Perhaps the appearance of The Fountainhead really was meant to be a clue about Locke's motivations. Whether he actually blew up the submarine or not - he is doing what HE thinks is best, consequences be damned.


IT'S A DAD IN A BOX!

Ben: ...What if I told you that somewhere on this island there's a very large box...and whatever you imagined...whatever you wanted to be in it...when you opened that box, there it would be.

... later...

Ben: Do you remember earlier, John, when you called me a cheater...when you said I didn't deserve to live on this island? Well get this, there I was shaking hands with Jack and thinking I'd give almost anything to come up with a way to stop him from leaving...because to let him go would be a sign of weakness, of failure, of defeat. People would see that. They would know it. And that, John, would be the end of me. But to kill him...that would be cheating...because my people also heard me make a promise and to break my word...that would be the end of me too. And then you came striding out of the jungle, John, to make my dream come true.
Locke: You're not gonna start talking about the magic box again are you?
Ben: No John. I'm gonna show you what came out of it.
[Locke is surprised and Richard helps Locke to his feet. Richard then pushes Ben's wheelchair as they walk down the hall]
Ben: When I asked you earlier if it hurt when you suffered your injury, I think you misunderstood me. Seems fairly obvious that when a person's back smashes into a hard surface after being thrown from a building, that that's gonna sting a little. But I really wasn't asking about the physical pain.
Locke: What you wanna know if it hurt my feelings?
Ben: No John. I wanted to know what it felt like when your own father tried to kill you. He's the reason you destroyed the submarine, isn't he? You're afraid. You're afraid of him and this is the one place he can never find you. This is the one place he can never get to.
Locke: What do you want from me?
Ben: I don't know how it happened, but you seem to have some communion with this island, John, and that makes you very very important. You have no idea what you're talking about of course, but in time you'll have a better understanding of things. So what do I want? I want to help you, John.
Locke: Why?
Ben: Because I'm in a wheelchair and you're not. Are you ready to see?
[Richard takes the keys and opens the door. A hissing sound is heard when it opens and Locke looks inside to see his father, looking terrified, beaten, bound, gagged, and sitting in a chair]
Locke: Dad???

OK, now I'm stumped.  I was hoping for Boone.

While many people, myself included, guessed that "the man from Tallahassee" HAD to be Locke's father and therefore weren't totally shocked at the end, it still was pretty freaky.

There are three major theories as to how Papa Locke ended up in the room, and of course each have associated questions:

1) He was physically brought there by The Others

The gist of this theory is that Locke's dad was the last person The Others took to the island before the failsafe key was turned. Or in other words, The Others had their peeps back in the real world capture Locke's dad, and he was then brought to the island against his will. He definitely seemed scared to death, and it also looked like he had perhaps been roughed up a little bit (note the bloody bruise on his head). Since The Others know everything about each Lostaway, they knew about Locke's unfortunate past and the part his father played in it, so they would know who to seek out. And they certainly seem to be good at finding people. If Papa Locke really IS the Real Sawyer, then getting him on the island would almost be like a two-for-one special - he is the nemesis of TWO of the Lostaways!

Regarding this theory, the main question is - exactly how long has he been on the island... a few weeks, or perhaps the entire time the Lostaways have been there? From the scared look on his face, it seemed like he had arrived recently.

One post brings up a point on the timing of his arrival:
"OK, Chicken & Egg time: Was Papa Locke on the island before John... or did they scoop him up once they knew his story? Because one is way more interesting than the other."

2) He was "conjured up" to the island via "the box"

Benry spoke of the box in which whatever you wished for would appear. So many people just assumed that the entire point of that speech was to prove that it could work - and therefore that's obviously how Papa Locke got to the island. If you think about it, why else would Benry have even talked about the box if he wasn't intending on having to prove to Locke that it was real? I have a reason: Benry is lying to Locke about the box, but in order to get Locke to trust him, he had to fake its existence by showing Locke his father inside of it (who was either actually brought there by physical means, or was not even there at all (see below)).

But assuming that Papa Locke was actually somehow "willed" to the island... what is unclear is if it was Benry (knowingly) or Locke (unknowingly) who wished for him to be there? Or maybe even Sawyer (unknowingly)? Or did he perhaps just appear without anyone specifically "wishing" for his presence? In that case, did he arrive on the island a while ago, and The Others were trying to figure out why... or did he appear after The Others already realized his significance?

And if it was Benry who willed Papa Locke to the island, did he do it in order to exploit Locke's weakness, since he may sense that Locke has grown too powerful because he obviously has some sort of connection with the island? Or did he do it to actually help Locke overcome his biggest fear? Benry does have something to gain by understanding how the island has mysteriously cured Locke.

I personally was extremely glad that they finally addressed the fact that Locke had been cured by the island, but yet Benry had fallen ill on the island - that was something that the fans on the message boards had previously feared was a "writers' screw-up."

3) He isn't real, it is Smokey.

Some people are positive that Papa Locke isn't even there - it's just Smokey up to his old tricks. These same people are quite positive that when Eko saw Yemi, it was really Smokey (as Smokey appeared right afterward and killed Eko). Remember that both Eko and Locke had encounters with Smokey - and we essentially saw Eko being "mind-scanned" by the black cloud. Locke claimed to have seen a white light during his experience, but Smokey still could've been doing a memory download.


So those are the three major theories as to what is going on with Papa Locke's appearance on the island. Here is what is going through my mind at this moment in time:

Is there even a magical box in the first place? Is it real or is it all an illusion? Time and time again we have talked about how it seems as though certain characters have been able to "will" things to happen, and the existence of a magical box could explain it all - Charlie coming back to life after being hanged, Kate's black horse, Jack's Zombie dad, Hurley's imaginary friend Dave's slipper, Walt making himself appear to Shannon, Eko's brother Yemi...

I wish for more wishes!So if there is actually a box that allows people to wish for things, similar to, let's say, a genie ... what about the show's creators' early comments about how everything will be able to be explained scientifically?

All I have to say about that is:
1) I personally don't care if it's something ridiculous that can't be explained scientifically, because as I've said before and I'm sure I'll say again - I WATCH TV AND MOVIES FOR ESCAPISM - I don't WANT them to be realistic, and...

2) Have any of you heard about this book and accompanying DVD, "The Secret?" That crap is ALL ABOUT just frickin' WISHING for things to happen, and then they happen. The DVD actually shows a young kid staring at a picture of a bike, and then voila! His grandpa shows up with that bike a few days later. This crap is on the best-seller list?!?! Oprah is a big promoter and believer of this?!?! So don't for one second start ripping on Lost, because it seems that the majority of America is already very eager to believe in magic and the power of the mind.

Although I will say that I've been wishing for my own personal genie for a very long time, and he has yet to appear.

After writing the majority of this post, I just listened to the podcast from the producers... and they said that Benry was using terms that Locke would understand when describing the ability to wish things onto the island (Locke used to work for a box manufacturer), but "the box" wasn't meant to be taken literally. They said that what this power is will become clear, but not for a while. I did get the sense that it would be covered in this season, but not in the near-term.


WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

It's a lockbox, not a Locke Box!- Just an amazing episode. Big answers, lots of plot progression. Of course there are things that require a suspension of disbelief, but if you're still watching LOST in the third season, you may not be watching the show for it's gritty realism, I'd wager.
- I hereby propose, in a salute to the occasional greatness of Darrell Hammond's Al Gore on Saturday Night Live, that we refer to Ben's Magic Box as "The Locke Box."
- John Locke is the Angel of Destruction -- if you see him coming, run!
- I love that someone in the show has acknowledged that Locke has truly communed with the island and is not a nut. I also like the implication that the island disapproves of The Others as if they were a perversion of its natural order, perfectly evidenced by Locke's observation that he walks while Ben is trapped in the chair.
- Aww, man. That sucks. John Locke, why must you ruin everything again?! No, I'm not sad that Locke ruined our chances for answers anytime soon. Or that he helped Ben get his way. No, I'm mad that Locke ruined our chances of actually getting rid of Jack.
- For God's sake, give Terry O'Quinn his Emmy already!!
- His own dad pushing him out of the window? Dude, that's harsh. I have to admit I never saw it happening that way. And Papa Locke vs. Creepy Ben? Who do you back in that showdown?
- Papa Locke definitely doesn't have Father's Day gifts waiting for him.
- So... who gets the "Worst Father Ever" award this year? Jack Baeur's dad or Locke's?
- John's "father" is a con artist always looking out for the next victim. He would have been looking for another mark after he fled from the scene (pushing Locke out the window). Do you think his next mark could have been the Widmore family? And Daddy Widmore (Penny's father) realized that he was being conned and sent him to the island??
- The box manifested Papa Locke to Locke because Papa Locke was literally Locke's heart's desire. He kept going back to him as it became increasingly illogical and dangerous to do so, just because he couldn't keep away. He was drawn to Papa Locke. Papa Locke is at the core of Locke's mental and emotional life, so Papa Locke was in the box. (Also, I think it's now pretty much confirmed that Papa Locke is The Real Sawyer--he worked his way up over his lifetime from a trailer-park working-class woman to one with a $200-million fortune, but his MO remained the same.)
- The Man from Tallahassee- most certainly was Locke's father. But this magic box BS has nothing to do with his appearance. BEN asked for him, as if he was already on the island for some reason. Locke did NOT conjure up Papa Locke - he was already there!
- I think Locke's dad IS conjured from the "box" in the same way Jack Sparrow's compass only points to your true heart's desire, only sometimes you don't know what that really is.
- 1. Cut a hole in a box.
2. Make Ben open the box.
3. Show Locke what's in the box.
And that's the way you do it!
- I really liked it. Maybe because Michael Emerson is so amazingly creepy and Sayid finally told Alex something to get her to think why the f-ck she is taller than her dad.
- Poor Kate! Stupid Jack didn't even try and get someone else onto the submarine?
- How the hell did Locke's dad end up on the island? The magic box summoned him. Same way it probably summoned Jack's Dad. It's the Magic Dad Box. Summons Dads, be they dead or alive...
- At the end I was thinking, "His dad will be in the room. No, wait, that would be ridiculous. How would that even happen?" Trust your first instincts, people.
- Oh, there can't be any more doubters now that Locke's dad is Original Recipe Sawyer, right?
- Danielle is about to unleash some mad, mad craziness thanks to that little glimpse. I can't wait.



BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

Locke: The man from Tallahassee? What is that...some kind of code?
Ben: No, John, unfortunately we don't have a code for "There's a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter's head." Although...we obviously should.


Hamsters rock!Locke: Where do you get electricity?
Ben: We have 2 giant hamsters running on a massive wheel at our secret underground cave...
Locke: Yeah, that's funny.



Ben: ...Let me put it so you'll understand. Picture a box. You know something about boxes, don't you John? What if I told you that somewhere on this island there's a very large box...and whatever you imagined...whatever you wanted to be in it...when you opened that box, there it would be. What would you say about that, John?
Locke: I'd say I hope that box is big enough to imagine yourself up a new submarine.




CONFIRMATIONS FROM TPTB

The executive producers of the show often air podcasts to clear up confusion or answer fans' questions. I thought it would be helpful to pass along some information from their most recent installment:
- Everything that Mikhail Bakunin (Patchy) told Kate, Sayid and Locke was true, other than that he was a member of the DHARMA Initiative (which he admitted to lying about in the end). His recounting of the conflict between DHARMA and the “hostiles,” including the subsequent “purge” in which the DHARMA people were wiped out, is accurate.

In my view, this is huge, because it confirms that "the hostiles" ARE The Others, who ARE NOT and WERE NEVER part of DHARMA.

- The Others did not know about the Swan Station or Desmond and Kelvin’s button-pushing activities prior to the Losties’ arrival on the island.

This would explain why Kelvin was not killed in "the purge," because they didn't know about him. However, since Kelvin WAS truly a part of DHARMA, he did know about The Others/The Hostiles because he mentioned them to Desmond once. He must have been forewarned about them by his predecessor or someone else.

- “Jacob,” the never-before-seen leader of The Others, really does exist, and we will eventually learn more about him.

- LOST really does take place on an island (there have been many rumors during the run of the series that the island wasn’t an island at all and that it would be revealed at the series' end).



THREE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY ARTICLES ON RECENT EPISODES

Be forewarned, there are a few spoilers about upcoming episodes within these pages:

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3



AN INTERVIEW WITH LOCKE (TERRY O'QUINN) IN TV GUIDE

Read it here.



AN-OTHER THEORY

Doc Jensen from EW made this comment in one of the articles linked above, and I thought it was worth bringing to everyone's attention:

"Recall, if you will, the mysterious Ms. Hawking, the ring-store lady from Desmond's flashback who knew all about his island future. What if The Others have access to future knowledge, too? And what if they adhere to some ethos that prevents them from using their precognitive insight to alter the future? From that perspective, The Others suddenly become prisoners of fate. DHARMA, the castaways, the murder of Ms. Klugh, and more — it's all been predestined. Those things were going to happen the way they happened because they had to happen the way they happened and there was nothing The Others could do to change any of it, even if they wanted to. And heck: maybe they didn't want to change any of it. Maybe they also know that down the road, this horrible history has some kind of Happy Ending for everyone. It's already yielded one Big Benefit: It gave them a spinal surgeon who could operate on Ben's spinal tumors. But here's a couple other notions to consider.

How exactly do The Others know so much about the castaways? Maybe they have a really powerful Internet search engine. Maybe they have psychic powers. Or maybe they've lived through all of this before."


UPCOMING EPISODES

3/28 - Expose (pronounced ex-po-say, but I don't know how to may the accent over the e in html!) - The U.S. trailer... no different Canadian preview this time.
4/4 - Left Behind
4/11 - One of Us
4/18 - Catch-22
4/25 - D.O.C.
5/2 - Still untitled
5/9 - Still untitled
5/16 - The Truth About Lying
5/23 - TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE and special episode afterward

I am nervous once again for this week's episode because I have heard that it is a "game-changer." Which was also said about Desmond's episode (by the way, producers confirmed that he did indeed go back in time - it wasn't just a dream or anything). So prepare yourself for another doozy!

You may have noticed above that the date for the season finale is set for May 23rd. The weird thing is that episodes 22 and 23 are listed as the season finale (it's two hours as usual), but then episode 24 is listed as a "special recap episode." So I have no idea what that means because there are supposed to be 24 REAL episodes in a season. It appears that they may be attempting to scam and count some lame season or series recap show as an actual episode (which they've never done before, even when they've aired recap episodes) I want my extra episode!!!!!

Until next time,
- e

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

S3EP12 - Par Avion (Claire's third flashback)

I think blondes WOULD have more fun than this...Hello my dear friends -

Wow, I LOVED this episode. I can't remember enjoying Lost this much in quite a while... I really didn't think there was a dull moment. Since there is a lot to cover, I will get right into it. First, I should mention the dual meaning of the episode title (as is often the case) - Par Avion can mean both "by airplane" (like... the Lostaways from Flight 815) and "airmail" (like the bird taking the note). And no, just because it's French doesn't mean there's a connection to Rousseau (I hope).



LUUUUKE... I MEAN, CLAIRE... I AM YOUR FATHER!

(Shout-out to AW for the idea for this section's header... )

They totally got the force field idea from my beloved Death StarYet another connection was confirmed between two of the Lostaways... Jack and Claire share the same crappy father. While this really wasn't a surprise to most fans, it was interesting to see played out nonetheless. If it WAS a surprise to you, then you must have forgotten Christian's drunken visit (with Ana Lucia waiting in the car) to Aunt Lindsey last season:

[Christian knocks on the door as Ana waits in the car watching.]
CHRISTIAN [faintly, under a Patsy Cline song]: I just want to see my daughter. [then yelling] She's my daughter and I have every right to see her.
LINDSEY: No, you don't have a right. Now get out.
[She tries to close the door, but Christian tries to bust his way in. Ana runs over.]
CHRISTIAN: I pay the mortgage on this house... I want to see my daughter.
[Ana pulls Christian back.]
ANA: What the hell is wrong with you?
LINDSEY: Don't you ever come back here.
[Ana pulls Christian to the car.]
CHRISTIAN: I was just having a conversation with the lady.
LINDSEY: You need help!

Alas, they made it VERY OBVIOUS that Claire didn't even know Christian's name, so I wouldn't expect that Jack and Claire are ever going to piece together their shared blood. But then again... The Others do seem to know everything about the Lostaways... so maybe one of them will spill the big secret at some point in the future. You can see a quick and dirty family tree here.


And can I just make this one last comment? I think Christian has gotten more air-time in this series than Jin!?!?! He should be listed as one of the main cast members!


HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

I've been a bad, bad girl!This episode brought front and center a recent theme as of late on the series: hope. Claire's flashback ended by revealing that years later, her mother was still being kept alive by machines in the hope that she would awaken one day. And then on the island, the last line of Claire's note attached to the bird very much paralleled her attitude about her mother: "We are alive. Please don't give up on us."

The theme of hope was also featured prominently in Hurley's flashback, which I didn't mention at the time:


HURLEY'S DAD: Having hope is never stupid. You've got to believe good things will happen and then they will.

... and then later...

HURLEY: What's your problem, man? Why do you don't want this to work?
SAWYER: I don't care if it works. Why is it so important to you?
HURLEY: Because we could all use a little hope.
SAWYER: If it's hope you're looking for ese, you're on the wrong damn island. There sure as hell ain't no hope here.


And of course, Claire's big plan to attach the note onto a migratory bird was pegged on the hope that the bird and the note would one day be found...



A BIRD-BRAINED SCHEME

My next trick is to pull a Virgin Mary out of the sea!...perhaps they should've water-proofed the note container, then! D'OH!

Some people on the boards are convinced that Charlie actually kept the note because he knows that while on the island, Desmond will always try to keep him safe. And of course he wants to just live happily ever after there with Claire, anyway. Others think he had always had two pieces of paper in his hand, and therefore still did put the note into the container. Take a good look at that pic... what do YOU think?



AUDUBON TIME

Let me state ONCE AGAIN that no matter how lame this show may get before the series is over (and let's all pray that that doesn't become the case), no one will be able to say we didn't learn something along the way...

Bird-loving fans pointed out that two different species were used in the show: 1) Generic Seagull - Shown earlier in the episode when Jin, Sun and Claire were about to drop the net, and 2) Arctic Tern - A true migratory bird, this is what was captured by Desmond and set free with the note at the end.Some fans jumped on the fact that this was an arctic bird and we have seen a scene previously in the show that looked suspiciously like it was in the arctic: when the guys at the end of Season 2 detected the electromagnetic anomaly and then called Penny.

Here is a long post I came across that explains the theory that the island is actually close to Antarctica (don't ask me why it's warm, then!):

"The Arctic Tern is famous for its migration; it flies from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic and back again each year. (19,000 km (12,000 mi) journey). Arctic Terns leave Canada, Russia and other northern places and migrate south toward Antarctica during the months of September through November. They spend the summer of the Southern Hemisphere (December, January and February) around Antarctica.Flight 815 crashed on September 22, 2004. The Losties have been on the island for 80 days. So the actual time of the calendar year for them is somewhere around the second week of December. So either the writers are off by a few months (doesn't fit with how they are 100% meticulous with other details) or this lends more evidence to the theory that this island is a REALLY long way from Fiji and is actually very close to Antarctica - and explains why Penny's guys were in the arctic manning the monitoring station looking for an "event"."


GOTH GRRL

I'd like a tattoo like my son got in Thailand... you know, the cursed kind.Let's round out our coverage of Claire by taking a moment to appreciate her rebellious past. Sporting dark, goth hair! Working in a tattoo and piercing parlor! Being a bratty teenager! Crashing the car and throwing her mother into a coma! Oh, the horror.

But there were some strange things about Claire's flashbacks, when you piece them all together to date. The last flashback scene showed a pregnant Claire rendering a tearful apology to her comatose mom. However, in a scene from perhaps a few months prior in Claire's life (from Claire's very first flashback in Season One), we have this dialogue:

CLAIRE: I am six weeks late, okay. Six weeks. That never happens. I'm pregnant.
THOMAS: Okay. Okay. Look, it's all going to be okay.
CLAIRE: I know. I know.
THOMAS: Hey, Claire? If we, if we wanted to we could do this.
CLAIRE: Stop it.
THOMAS: No. I'm not kidding.
CLAIRE: My mom would disown me.
THOMAS: She basically has already.


People thought it was strange that both Claire and Thomas talked as if Claire's mom was an active part of their lives. Some speculated that perhaps Claire never told Thomas about the crash, and had only told him that she and her mother didn't speak. Or that the writers just messed up.


Two last things before moving on from Claire... there was a 108 on her dashboard when she crashed the car, and some noted the "--rley," and "Alex" tattoos in her tattoo parlor.



JUST KILL THE HOBBIT, ALREADY!

Where are Aragorn and Gandalf to save me from certain death?If even I, Extreme LOTR fan, am ready to bid adieu to Darth Hoodie, then you know he must really be annoying the crap out of most people. Learning about all the different ways that Charlie could have died is going to get tiresome very soon... which is why most people are wanting this story arc to get wrapped up sooner rather than later, even if that means the demise of Claire's new boyfriend.

By the way... it has been pointed out that all of Desmond's visions of Charlie's death have to do with Charlie either trying to save Claire or being around her, so now that she has promised to help keep him safe, that may actually be the kiss of death for him.



SUSPICIOUS SCOTSMAN

I can use my powers, as well as my accent, for good or for eeevil.Riddle me this: Why did Desmond shoot at the “boar” when Claire, Sun and Jin were setting up to catch the bird with the net? While we were probably supposed to assume that Desmond's actions tied in with one of the “Charlie died when…” scenarios, if you think about it, it just doesn’t seem to fit because:

1) Charlie was nowhere to be found in that scene in the first place,
2) If they had caught that bird then, wouldn’t that have prevented Charlie from attempting to catch one later (and dying as a result)?, and
3) Desmond explained Charlie’s “deaths” to Claire later, but none of them related to this scene.


Most people wrote this scene off as a minor inconsistency. A few others believe that Desmond has ulterior motives, and while his “flashes” might be real, he is going to start (or already has started) using them to gain power on the island. I don't buy this theory, but thought I should mention it just in case.

OK, we are done with the Claire, Charlie, Desmond and the birds crap. Let's get to the REAL meat of this episode...



PATCHY'S (ALMOST) LAST WORDS

Kate: So how’d you get here. How did you get on this island?
Rousseau: Don’t waste your breath, whatever he says will be a lie.
Mikhail: I was recruited when I was 24. I was approached by a man…
Kate: I didn’t ask you when, I asked you how.
Mikhail: They brought me on the submarine.
Kate: So, your people, they can just come and go whenever they want.
Mikhail: Go, yes. But two weeks ago, our underwater beacon stopped emitting its locater signal. There was an event… an electromagnetic pulse. It would be impossible to come back.
Kate: Why would you want to come back?
Mikhail: You would not understand.
Kate: Try me.
Mikhail: I misspoke. What I meant to say is… you are not capable of understanding
Kate: And why am I not capable?
Mikhail: Because you are not on The List.
Kate: What list?
Mikhail: The man who brought me here, who brought all of my people here, he is… a magnificent man.
Kate: If Ben’s so magnificent, then why did he need one of us to save him?
Mikhail: Ben? Ben is not him. I will try to make this as simple as I can. You are not on The List because you are flawed [Looks at Kate]… because you are angry [Looks at Locke]… and weak [Looks back towards Sayid]… and frightened [Still looking back towards Sayid].
Sayid: The more I learn about your people, the more I suspect you are not as omniscient as you’d have us believe. Don’t speak to us as if you know us.
Mikhail: Of course I don’t know you, Sayid Jarrah. How could I? And you, Kate Austen, are a complete stranger to me. But you, John Locke, you I might have a fleeting memory of. But I must be confused, because the John Locke I know was para…
(Cut off by Danielle)


Several things to note from this scene:
- In the last episode, Patchy said he responded to a newspaper ad about saving the world and that's how he joined DHARMA. We then learned that he was never a member of DHARMA, so we weren't sure how he actually came to be on the island. Above he stated that he was "approached by a man" when he was 24 and brought to the island on a submarine. Later, he insinuates that the man who brought him to the island is the leader of The Others, and that is it NOT Ben. Remember that Ben has also talked of a "brilliant man" when he was held captive in the Swan Hatch:

LOCKE: I was trapped under that blast door, helpless. You could've crushed my skull, but you didn't do a thing. Why didn't you?
GALE: Because you're one of the good ones, John.
LOCKE: What? Good what?
GALE: None of this matters. I'm dead anyway. The doctor's gone to make a trade and we both know he'll come back empty-handed and then I've lost my value. So either Jack comes back here and kills me or my people find out where I'm being held and they do it.
LOCKE: Why would your own people want to kill you?
GALE: Because the man in charge -- he's a great man, John, a brilliant man -- but he's not a forgiving man. He'll kill me because I failed, John. I failed my mission.
LOCKE: What mission?
GALE: When that woman caught me in her trap I was on my way here, John. I was coming for you.


- So we can still assume that this guy that all of The Others seem to worship is most likely "Jacob," creator of "The List" that has been referenced several times by Others throughout Seasons Two and Three.
- Speaking of "The List"... um, I think Benry may have lied to Locke when he stated that Locke was one of "the good ones" above. Because Patchy certainly seems to believe that neither Sayid, Kate nor Locke was on the list. Most likely Benry just wanted to gain an ally in Locke - in the hopes that Locke could somehow help save him, if it came down to that. Let's not forget that The Others seem to know everything about the Lostaways, and therefore they most likely know that Locke's psyche profile made him out to be "amenable for coercion" (as stated by the undercover cop in Locke's flashback earlier this season). But then again, Locke DID see a white light when he encountered Smokey, so maybe on the island he has somehow redeemed himself for whatever bad things he did in his past?
- One more point on "The List"... how exactly is it related, if at all, to the dossiers that it seems like they have on everyone (remember the big file Juliet had on Jack)? As one post put it: "This interests me in a chicken-or-egg kind of way. Does Ben have the dossiers because they are there, or are they there because he has the dossiers? Because he has dossiers for not-on-the-list folks like Jack and Kate, too. Why would they be "brought" there if they are not on the list? Conversely, why are there so many connections among them if their crashing was an accident?"
- Patchy stated once again that there's a submarine.
- He confirmed that the electromagnetic pulse (that we know occured when Desmond turned the failsafe key) made it impossible to return to the island, and that therefore none of The Others would want to leave if they couldn't get back.
- In the last episode, he said he'd been on the island for 11 years. If he actually came when he was 24... he looks a lot older than 35, don't you think?
- He claims to have had a "fleeting memory" of Locke when Locke was paralyzed - but what in the heck does that mean in the first place? Did he know him or not?




WE GONNA ROCK DOWN TO ELECTRIC AVENUE


Behold the Force Field of Doom!Sayid: Don't touch it! Don't even go near it. [To Mikhail] What is it?
Mikhail: What do you think they are?
Sayid: A security perimeter. Those sensors on the side would be triggered if anyone passed between them. It's an alarm system or a trap. Either way we'd be safer going around it.
Mikhail: You are right. It was a security perimeter...but like everything else on this island it hasn't functioned in years.
Sayid: Of course it hasn't.
Mikhail: If you wish to waste your time, be my guest. The pylons encircle the entire barracks. There is no going around them. If you don't believe me, look at your map.
[Sayid takes the map out of his pocket and hands it to Kate who opens it and they look at it]
Sayid: He appears to be telling the truth.


So... Patchy was telling the truth about the pylons circling Othersville... but was he intentionally lying about the security system not functioning, or did he truly not know that it was back in action? Remember, if he's been living in seclusion for several years, he may not have been "in the know" regarding all of The Others' projects.

By the way, if you are interested, here is a detailed view of the map Sayid was referencing.




PATCHY, WE HARDLY KNEW YE

This is the thanks I get for sharing MORE information than anyone EVER on this show?!?!A few people on the boards wondered if The Others had some sort of chip implanted in them that would cause them to die if they crossed the security perimeter from the outside going in (to scare off any potential captors). Remember that Ms. Klugh hinted that it was their protocol to kill any of their own who might be put in a situation where they could be forced to share information. Patchy definitely seemed relieved to meet his maker. And I guess I have to be somewhat happy because I think this may just be the closest thing to a force field that we're going to get on this show. Now let's hope for a dragon!

But seriously, though, did they HAVE to show Patchy's disgusting death? And how in the heck did Sayid know that that's what a cerebral hemmorhage looks like? I was thinking that it had done something to blow out Patchy's eardrums. Either way, it was nas-tay and I hope that's the last of gross scenes like that.

R.I.P., Patchy.



THE BAD, BALD MAN

I do not think I am going to like what you are about to say, therefore into the force field you must go!Yes, I had a sickening, sinking feeling in my stomach when it was discovered that Locke did indeed know about the C-4 explosives despite claiming the opposite. Why they didn't have Sayid continue to press Locke to own up for his deceptiveness is beyond me. My man is turning bad!!!! What should I do?!?! I will continue to hope that there's a good explanation for his behavior... that's what I'll do.

Since we now know that Locke found out about the explosives himself, and not because Sayid or Kate told him, we need to wonder about what else we missed "off-camera." Did Locke find/read any more Dharma manuals? Did he find something that explained the "Enter 77" protocols for blowing up the hatch?



PUSH CAME TO SHOVE


So we all know that Patchy was about to reveal that Locke was paralyzed, right before Danielle cut him off to show everyone the security system. It seemed clear that Locke was intrigued, and possibly concerned, that Patchy seemed to know all of their names and acted like he had information on Locke's past. So is that why Locke pushed Patchy into the force field of doom? I think it is - Locke wants to forget his past life and remain a force to be reckoned with on the island.

Higher-level explanations for Locke's recent bizarre behavior are:

He doesn’t want off the island

Similar to Rose (whose cancer was cured), Locke has felt the effects of the “power” of the island, and has always believed in its mysticism. Possibly more so than any other Lostaway, Locke is a completely different person on the island (as the ABC Promo Monkeys stated, “He has transformed, unlike any other survivor”). Jack knows that Kate is a criminal. Everyone knows that Sawyer is a con man. But nobody (except Walt (gone) and Boone (dead)) knows that Locke was paralyzed. Locke’s life is significantly better on the island, and he doesn’t want anything or anyone to change that.

He just doesn’t care anymore

I mentioned this point in a slightly different way last week, but I think that after having caused the destruction of the hatch when he "stopped believing," Locke's resurrected faith in The Island and belief that “everything happens for a reason” has led him to throw caution to the wind. After overanalyzing the button-pushing in The Swan hatch, Locke has stopped thinking and started acting. As one poster put it: “I think Locke is just in "let's see what happens if I ..." mode. He did it with the chess game, and I just think he was trying to see what the pylons did.” Locke is just trusting his first instinct, without regard to its impact on others.


He wants revenge

As we could kind of tell from the previews for this week's episode, Locke seems on a mission to find Benry. I believe that Locke now blames Benry for causing him to lose his way. If you recall this exchange...

GALE: This place? This place is a joke, John.
LOCKE: What are you talking about?
GALE: I crawled through your vents and I stood at your computer as the alarm beeped. And you know what happened? The timer went all the way down to zero, and then some funny red pictures flipped up in its place. They looked like hieroglyphics, but I'm no expert. And then things got real interesting. There was a loud clunking and a hum like a magnet -- a big magnet. It was really very frightening. And you know what happened next? Nothing happened, John. Nothing happened at all. Your timer just flipped back to 108. I never entered the numbers. I never pressed the button.
LOCKE: You're lying.
GALE: No, I'm done lying.


... then you can see how Locke could blame Benry for causing him to stop believing in his button-pushing duties. When Locke destroyed the computer and the timer ran out... something DID happen, so it is now obvious that Benry was lying. After Patchy mentions that none of them are on "the list," (which is opposite of what Benry intimated) Locke has extra motivation to get some answers out of Benry.

I have to admit I actually thought he was going to do something to hurt Kate after he joined her on the other side of the force field. Damn these horrible thoughts!!! Banish them from my miiinndddd!!!!!



HHHHMMMMMM


The French... we like to remain... how do you say, mysterious!Two things that raised eyebrows regarding Rousseau:

1) Patchy didn't say that SHE wasn't on the list. In fact, he never even acknowledged her. To some, this confirmed suspicions from last week that she perhaps is an Other, was an Other, or has some sort of deal with The Others.
2) Her excuse for not asking questions about Alex didn't make any sense: “Imagine 16 years from now, you’re told he was still alive. But in your heart, you know that he wouldn’t remember you, he wouldn’t know you. He wouldn’t even know that you ever cared about him…. I haven’t asked you questions about my daughter because I do not want to know the answers.”

We'll be keeping an eye on you, Frenchy!




NO HEISMAN ANY TIME SOON


How awesome was that final scene? I don't know what I loved more - Sayid's blank stare of confusion, Kate's angry scowl of disbelief, or Jack's cheesey touchdown move?

Zeke throws like a girl!First, let me say that I STRONGLY believe that Jack is just playing along with The Others. I do not think he's been brainwashed, I do not think he gave up and is no longer trying to leave, I just think he realizes that he is very much outnumbered and needs to get to know his captors better before making any moves. Remember that when they were about to leave for the main island, Jack told Juliet that his hope was that they could work together so that they could both get off of the island. I think he's just biding his time.

But to Kate... especially since she rescued Karl from the "Clockwork Orange" brainwashing room, she must fear the worst. Either that, or she's assuming that Jack decided that 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and threw in the towel and forgot about the rest of the Lostaways. Man, was her expression priceless. Girl has some GREAT looks.



... AND NO EVIL TWINS, YET

There was a theory on the boards that the Jack we saw playing football was not the Jack we've come to know as the Mad Doctor. People cited a "new" tattoo on his left forearm, but it has actually been there all along.





OBJECTIVISTS UNITE!

Better get your glasses... that is a looong book.How elated was I when Sawyer was shown reading a book by my favorite author, Ayn Rand? While it wasn't my favorite book of hers (which is Atlas Shrugged), I was still pleased. How does the story in The Fountainhead relate to the happenings on the island? The book's title is a reference to Rand's statement that "man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress," so maybe you could tie in something about how any of the Lostaways acting selfishly is actually a good thing. I think it's kind of a stretch... all of her books are generally about individualism versus collectivism - with collectivism often looking utterly evil. Perhaps this could somehow fit into the "free will versus fate" theme, but once again, I am not sure it's anything more than a shout-out by the writers, who are also most likely fans of her work.



BEST PLACES TO LIVE - 2007

The winning city: Othersville!



WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- Danielle's story is looking more and more suspicious. I'm beginning to think that she made a deal with the 'Others' long ago to save Alex's life for whatever reason. Since she murdered her team, she's been banished to that island for life in hopes of regaining her daughter at some point.
- Obviously Zeke isn't Johnny Unitas.
- I want Desmond and Charlie to come up with some sort of code when he should not do something because it would result in his death. Des: "Hey Charlie, go pick some coconuts" Charlie: "again? OH! Thanks Des!"
- I thought Christian would bust out his Red Sox line in his speech to Claire and false hope, and she'd bring it up at some point to maybe Sawyer on the beach.
- Jack's touchdown spike was also hilariously overdone. Jack WOULD be 'that guy' who celebrates a score with showboating. And they were just playing catch! It wasn't a game or anything!
- Oh Jack, you are going to get nephew Aaron some of the lamest Xmas gifts.
- Why is Locke so desperate to hide his paralyzed past?? The only person he's shared this information with is Walt - a ten-year-old! Yeah, I'm going to share my most guarded secret with a child.
- The acting during the "football game" was horrendous. I felt like I was watching a Levitra commercial.
- The only thing better than LevitraCommercial!Jack playing football with the Others would be a scene in which Jack and Ben sing karaoke to DriveShaft.
- I've never seen anyone develop Stockholm Syndrome that fast. Gotta be some kind of record.
- I can't wait for the Others flashback when we see Ben drop a big pile of dossiers in front of each Other: "OK, people, a bunch of folks just crashed on the island, so you each have to memorize the entire file for every single one of them. Y'know, just in case you encounter them and need to seem creepy and mysterious." An enormous groan goes up from all involved.
- Locke likes his relationships when he's in a position of power. By disclosing his secret (paralysis) to the rest of the Island dwellers, he may become more likeable, but it'd be out of sympathy or pity. I don't think Locke wants that.




BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

SAYID: From the position of this stream we should be here. If the scale is right, these people are 2 miles in that direction. [Looking at Mikhail] I don't expect you to confirm that.
LOCKE: [Spitting and disgusted] It's an electrical wiring map Sayid. I'm not sure it's as accurate as you think.
SAYID: Well, it's certainly not as infallible as the magic carvings on your stick.





LOCKE: Remind me why we're keeping him alive.
SAYID: What do you suggest, we shoot him like a dog?
LOCKE: No. I like dogs.




KATE: Why did you do that? We needed him!
LOCKE: They were never gonna trade him for Jack.
KATE: You don't know that.
LOCKE: Well you don't know it either. What we do know is that he shot one of his own people who didn't want to be in this exact situation. So I'm gonna stick with my opinion.
KATE: Yeah, well, we could have discussed it.
LOCKE: Nobody asked me about it when we brought him along in the first place.
SAYID: Alright.
LOCKE: Pardon me for not knowing that they had a uh...uh...uh...uh...sonic weapon fence!?!




Go deep, Zeke!KATE: What?
SAYID: We're here.
[Sayid leads them a little ways in the jungle and they can see the backyards and homes of the Others or the Barracks. The Others are riding bikes and enjoying being outdoors. Kate looks up and sees Jack running at full speed toward her]
KATE: [Muffled] Jack!
[Kate moves forward, but is pulled back and held by Sayid. The scene shifts back to Jack who continues to run towards the jungle, but then looks over his shoulder and catches a football pass. Kate looks on with a bewildered expression and Sayid is speechless]
ZEKE: [Triumphantly laughs]
[Jack tosses the football back to Zeke, who catches it. Zeke tosses another pass to Jack who catches it... and then spikes the football as if he has scored a touchdown]




... AND HE EVEN WEARS KHAKIS ON THE ISLAND!

Jin (also known as Daniel Dae-Kim in this thing called "real life") is one of the new faces of the latest Gap campaign .

I stopped dead in my tracks last week when I saw Jin pass by on a bus on my walk to work. Oh, happy day!



IF YOU NEED ORDER (LIKE I DO)

This may give you some peace - a pretty decent timeline of events in the series (including flashbacks).



UPCOMING EPISODES

3/21 - The Man from Tallahassee - The U.S. trailer, and the slightly different Canadian trailer
3/28 - Expose (pronounced ex-po-say, but I don't know how to may the accent over the e in html!)
4/4 - Left Behind
4/11 - One of Us
4/18 - Catch-22
4/25 - D.O.C.


Yes, as many of you might have guessed, I'm very nervous about this week's episode as we finally learn how Locke got paralyzed. It worries me because after that, I don't really think they can have any more Locke flashbacks, and so I'm concerned that that could mean that he may get killed off. I'm also anxious because obviously something weird is going on with Locke and I hope they don't make him eeeevil. No matter what though, I'm not changing the URL of this site!

If you think I may be having a nervous breakdown while watching the episode live, please send good vibes my way to help me make it through.

Finally, a big thank you and shout-out to my brother (aka: Ug) for organizing, researching, and writing a good deal of this post while I was singing "Yo Ho, YO HO, a Pirate's life for me!" with the animatronic Captain Jack Sparrow in Disneyland this past weekend.

Until next week,

- e

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

S3Ep11 - Enter 77 (Sayid's fourth flashback)

I've just been hiding behind trees all season!Hello my dear friends -

See, don't you appreciate Hurley's episode all the more now... after having to sit through MORE violence yet again in "Enter 77?"

But at least, to many people's enjoyment, there was finally some plot progression - and someone (Sayid) finally did something smart by TAKING A MAP from the hatch, so they now know the way to Othersville. The majority of people I have talked to, as well as the better amount of people on the boards, liked this episode. I, however, was quite disenchanted with it because it made my man Locke look like a total idiot. But more on THAT later...

And while there wasn't as much going on along the lines of "free will vs. fate" as there has been in recent episodes, there definitely was another major theme of the series touched upon again: "People can't/don't really ever change," or, as Sawyer has said, "Tigers don't change their stripes." Through flashbacks over the course of the three seasons, we've seen Jack as the Reluctant Leader, Sawyer as the Con Man with a Heart of Gold, Locke as the Kind of Pathetic Drone with High Aspirations of Greatness, Kate as the One Who Will Always Run Away, and Sayid as the Conflicted Torturer. This episode showed that Sayid cannot really escape who he is... he was a torturer in his past, he used his methods again years later on the island on both Sawyer and Benry, and my bet is that he WILL torture or kill Patchy when push comes to shove. Remember when, after he had tortured Sawyer to try and find Shannon's (R.I.P.) asthma medications, Sayid went off into the jungle and told Kate that he had vowed to never torture again and was disappointed with himself for doing so? Well, that didn't stop him from kicking Benry's ass just a few weeks later! And remember, characters who actually DO find redemption end up getting killed off... So let's hope that Sayid remains a bad, bad man for a long, long time.

I will apologize upfront that I had about 1/10th of the time I usually have to devote to this write-up, so prepare to be underwhelmed. I am also going on a short vacation this weekend, so I will most likely not be able to get next week's post up by Tuesday night as usual.

Now that that's out of the way...


THE JESUS STICK SAYS...

Crystal clear instructions.When they were burying Eko and John noticed the new inscription on the Jesus Stick, I called that John was going to take that as "a sign" to go north. I didn't realize that he would also use the Bible chapter and verse as the compass bearing, as well... which explains this exchange:

LOCKE: Are we still on course?
[Sayid pulls out a compass and checks. His expression is condescending]

SAYID: We are still heading North on a bearing of 3-0-5. Yes.
LOCKE: I'm sensing a lack of confidence.
SAYID: We've been walking for 2 days...following a compass bearing provided by the carvings on a stick!
LOCKE: And?
SAYID: You really think we're just going to chance upon where The Others are?
LOCKE: I don't know what we're going to chance on, Sayid, but...my bearing is the only bearing we've got.



TWO LIVES DOWN, SEVEN TO GO

I am why most people like dogs better!I was pretty convinced that Patchy's cat was the same one that Sayid had encountered in Paris when he was held captive behind the restaurant. Helllooooo, it was even named Nadia (Sayid's long-lost love from Iraq)?!?! And because we have already seen Jack's Zombie Dad, Kate's black horse and Dave's slipper (Hurley's imaginary friend) on the island, I just figured that this was another example of something from the characters' past lives showing up inexplicably in the jungle. I also supposed that an explanation for these things would come with the overall "big answer" about what is going on on the island, probably not until the series' end.

I'm watching yoooouuuuuu... with my eyes closed.However, most people on the boards seemed sure that in this case, the cat wasn't from Sayid's past. It was simply a very similar-looking cat that reminded Sayid of his experience being held captive, which influenced his decision to not kill Patchy at the end. Fans pointed out that Nadia was a female and that the woman holding Sayid hostage referred to her cat as a "he."

I still think they look exactly the same!




HE'LL ALWAYS BE 'PATCHY' TO ME...

My love is like a ticking clock - BERZERKER!We now know the identity of the mysterious "Patch-man" who Locke, Sayid, Nikki, Desmond and Paulo previously saw on a monitor in the Pearl Hatch. He is Mikhail Bakunin, and it seems very likely that he is an Other.

Once again we have a character whose name has meaning... "the real" Mikhail Bakunin was a well-known Russian revolutionary, and is often considered "the Father of Modern Anarchism."

I am going to continue to call him Patchy, however, because if nothing else, it is easier to type.


HOSTILITY NOW!

After shooting Sayid in the shoulder, Patchy lets the Lostaways into the Flame Hatch and quite easily and quickly starts giving them a whole bunch of information. Despite lying upfront that he was the last living member of the DHARMA Initiative, apparently everything else he said was true. While there are a few different scenarios that I think are plausible now that we know he had a connection to Ms. Klugh, I think the most obvious explanation to believe at this point in time is that Patchy is an Other.

While I was quite confused about what was true and what was a lie from what Patchy said when I first watched the show, upon reading the transcript, it became much clearer.

Things that are probably true:

- By and large, Patchy lived alone. Ms. Klugh may have come to forewarn him about Sawyer and Kate's escape, or to tell him that something had gone awry with the communication system after the failsafe key was turned, but it truly doesn't seem like he had a lot of regular contact with anyone at all. He even seemed to avoid whatever huge conflict "The Purge" was:

MIKHAIL: They're all dead, of course. They foolishly initiated a war against the Hostiles. A "Purge" they called it.
SAYID: And how did you survive this purge?
MIKHAIL: By not participating in it. I told you...I like being alone.

- His aversion to conflict and interaction with other people seemed eerily similar to Danielle's when she said: "I have no interest in that man inside the house. I have survived on the island precisely by avoiding these types of encounters."
- He used to be in the Soviet Army, had been stationed in Afghanistan, and came to the island 11 years ago.
- The purpose of The Flame hatch WAS to communicate with the outside world... but the satellite atop the building apparently hasn't worked for years.
- If the guard of The Flame thought that the hatch had been compromised, he or she had the means to destroy it (via the explosives lining the lower level).
- I actually do believe that there is a third group of people whom we have not met yet, and they are "The Hostiles." The reason why I do not think (but admittedly am not sure) that The Others are The Hostiles is because I think we can assume that Patchy is an Other (from his connection to Ms. Klugh), and he was obviously thought Sayid was someone to be scared of at the beginning. There are also too many references he makes to The Hostiles for them to not be a separate group.
- Sayid believes that Patchy is an Other: "The reason they let him stay here is because he is not DHARMA. He is one of them."
- The DHARMA Initiative members are all dead (or at least Patchy truly believes they are). And they were all killed by "The Hostiles" during "The Purge." Now, we aren't totally sure if The Hostiles are who we've come to know as The Others, and we're not really sure what The Purge was, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
- The Flame hatch was "the hub" and had cables running underground to all of the other hatches, including an underwater station that emits sonar pings to help guide submarines to the island.
- I *think* Sayid believes that The Hostiles were the DHARMA Initiative members (which I disagree with). It seems like Sayid now believes that since Patchy hated DHARMA, but was initially trying to fake like he was in the Initiative, he just used the term "hostiles" to describe DHARMA:

MIKHAIL: I was never a member, but everything else I told you was true. I moved into this station after the purge.
SAYID: The purge in which a group of scientists attacked your people?
MIKHAIL: Believe what you want, but that is what happened.

I think Sayid meant "a group of scientists" to mean the DHARMA Initiative. I at first thought he may be talking about Danielle's original group of scientists, but since she stated from the time Sayid first met her that she never SAW anyone else on the island, but only heard "whispers," I don't think she was lying. So I don't think her group ever had some big face-off with The Others. And I still think The Hostiles were NOT the DHARMA Initiative members.

Confusing things Patchy said:

- When Sayid first attempted to come near The Flame hatch, Patchy yelled out: "I didn't cross the line! We had a truce! This is my land - you said I could stay here!"

This immediately made me think of when Zeke (back when he was Hillbilly Zeke with the beard) told Jack, Locke and Sawyer that they could never cross past the area in the jungle where they had captured Kate, and that it was "their island" and they were only letting the Lostaways live on it. Zeke is an Other... and we can only assume now that Patchy is an Other, so why did Patchy act like he had been given a similar ultimatum? What group did he assume Sayid was a part of in order for him to act so truly scared? Once again, I can only assume that there is a third group of people out there who are The Hostiles.

MIKHAIL: After it was over, 4 men appeared in the yard. They offered a truce. They said to imagine a line that extended all the way around the valley. As long as I did not cross it...I would be left alone.

Perhaps The Others learned the "don't cross the line!" technique from The Hostiles?

- Something that then made me doubt that The Others were different from The Hostiles was this comment from Patchy regarding the submarines: "Yes. The Initiative used one to bring us here. But I can imagine only that the Hostiles have either destroyed or commandeered it by now." We know that The Others DO have a submarine (it was mentioned early this season by Colleen (who got shot by Sun))... so either Patchy is an Other but is so out of touch with them that he doesn't realize they have a submarine, or The Others and The Hostiles are the same group.
- What was the true purpose of the chess game? If the hatch guard was actually in trouble and needed to blow up the building, it seems kind of ridiculous and time-consuming to expect that they would have to win the chess game in order to be able to enter in the self-destruct codes. However, perhaps Patchy and/or his predecessors were trained on the right moves to make in order to win the game. Perhaps Locke was THAT SMART that he figured it out on his own (I have to try to redeem him!).

Or... perhaps Patchy himself never knew the hidden commands in the chess game at all. As he claimed at the end to never be a part of DHARMA, maybe he took over an abandoned hatch, was allowed to live there by the hostiles, and simply never beat the chess game:

MIKHAIL: Heh, don't waste your time. For 10 years I have tried to defeat that game.
CHESS GAME: Ready To Play?
MIKHAIL: But it was programmed by 3 grand masters. And...it cheats.
LOCKE: Hmmm.


- He mentioned that he met the DHARMA Initiative members after responding to an advertisement in the Kiev newspaper after the Cold War ended. The ad apparently read, "Would you like to save the world?" Since he later admitted to lying about being "the last living member of the DHARMA initiative," and actually said that he was NEVER a member of DHARMA, it is unclear how/why he got to the island in the first place. Kelvin had used the phrase "... just saving the world" to Desmond before when explaining the purpose of the button, and had also talked about "joining the DHARMA Inititative" after he left the U.S. Army. So... was Patchy familiar somehow with how DHARMA actually recruited people, as his story sounds very similar to Kelvin's? And also noteworthy is that both Kelvin AND Patchy used the term "the hostiles":

DESMOND: Well, if you don't want me to go crazy, next time let me go out.
KELVIN: Well, you want to go out there with the quarantine and the hostiles?
DESMOND: I haven't been outside for 2 bloody years! Yes, I want to go. I was in the army for God's sake!

Since Kelvin actually admitted to being in DHARMA and I don't think he had any reason to lie to Desmond, this once again proves to me that DHARMA members were not "The Hostiles."


MOTHER RUSSIA - BERZERKER!

Now we will never know why she was so lame.So is Russian known by all Others? Somehow I can't imagine Zeke busting out any Russian. But Ms. Klugh and Patchy were obviously fluent. Here is what they were saying during the tense scene at the end, which concluded with Ms. Klugh getting shot:

The translation:

Klugh: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do.
Mikhail: We still have another way [out].
Klugh: We cannot risk. You know the conditions.
Mikhail: There is another way.
Klugh: They captured us. We will not give (or let, or betray) [unintelligible].
Klugh: You know what to do. It is an order.
Mikhail: We still have another way!
Klugh (in English): Just do it, Mikhail.
Mikhail: Forgive me. (shoots)


PURPLE HAZE


HURLEY: Must have landed in the jungle when the hatch exploded.
SAWYER: I thought the hatch collapsed?
HURLEY: Look dude, all I know is the sky turned purple. After that I don't ask questions.

... later...


KATE: How do you know he isn't alone?
SAYID: The horse outside is still saddled and the stirrups are set up for someone much shorter than this man.
LOCKE: You think the others sent someone to keep him company?
SAYID: They sent someone out here because they lost communications.
LOCKE: Maybe when the sky turned purple.


So two times in this episode alone (and at least 2 other times this season that I can remember off of the top of my head), a character mentioned "the sky turning purple" - an event also known as "Desmond turning the failsafe key." Desmond's action obviously had some effect on communications with the outside world... we know that Penny's guys in the tent at the end of Season 2 finally detected "an electromagnetic anomaly" at that moment, and then Zeke also alluded to a communications issue when he was helping Jack with Benry's surgery. Now Locke is putting two and two together.


DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?

Forgive me for being so smart and being the only character to figure anything out!There was a lot of contention on the boards as to whether or not Sayid actually tortured that woman. I thought it was very clear that he did... and that his flashback paralleled what was happening on the island with Patchy initially pretending to be someone he wasn't. But some people thought that he was just agreeing with the woman in the hopes of being let go, since apparently all she wanted him to do was confess. I'm not really sure why what he REALLY did matters - we know he has copped to torturing many people in his past, so I think this controversy all boils down to some Sayid fans who were holding out hope that he "would never torture a woman" or something like that. But I would ask those people to remember his very first flashback, where we essentially knew that he was going to have to torture Nadia (even though they didn't show it on-screen). Like I said at the beginning of this post, Sayid is a bad, bad man!


WOE IS ME

Back AWAY from the monitor, Locke...What in the heck is happening to Locke? How lame was it that he LEFT THE PRISONER to go finish his computer game of chess? And then he enters in codes without having any idea what would happen... very dumb. While I will defend him and say that he honestly had no idea that the place would BLOW UP if he entered 77, it still was pretty risky to just start following the video instructions like that.

My friend LI believes that there is a possibility that Locke has been "compromised"... that perhaps when he was spending all that time with Benry in the original hatch, that Benry gave him some sort of instructions to follow. The line he uttered in this episode was definitely suspicious:

LOCKE: Well...I've played a lot of computers and I'm...pretty sure they don't know how to cheat. That's what makes being human so...distinctly...wonderful.


I find it hard to believe that Locke is working for The Others, however, and not just because I don't want to believe it. I just think that everything points to the fact that he was proven wrong with the first hatch (remember his famous words to Eko: "I was wrong..." as the hatch was falling victim to the magnetic force), and now he's overly anxious to be in the right again. Because he doubted "the island" before and it had disastrous results, he is now completely following all instincts without a second thought. Which isn't a good strategy, either... but I feel like he is so desperate to be a hero and to do something important, that he is essentially panicking into error. I think he truly set out to prove that "the sign" he received from the sun shining on the Jesus Stick was valid, and he really does want to rescue Jack. I think his stupid actions in this episode are either the result of really horrible writing, or him just thinking that he's "on to something" that could've proven helpful.

Although I have to admit that the previews for this week look hilarious - I think Locke essentially pushes Patchy into the force field - much to the frustration of Sayid. It's like Locke just doesn't give a crap anymore and is just doing whatever he wants!


FRENCH OR FAUX?

You people are all idiots.How many people thought that Danielle was going to end up knowing Patchy somehow? I thought that that was going to be the case (which is why they kept her away from The Flame for the majority of the episode), and then expected her to kill him as soon as she saw him. But, I guess I was wrong.





BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

SAWYER: Uh, uh, uh. We need to do a little Quid Pro Quo first. I know I've been gone a while and y'all thought the general store was having a going out of business sale. But now I'm back, and I want what's mine.
NIKKI: Yeah, but it wasn't really yours to begin with.
SAWYER: A, it was mine when I took it. B, who the hell are you?!


[Jin and Sun converse in Korean]
SAWYER: Oooh. Looks like Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon got something good. Lay it on me.
SUN: No nicknames. If you lose...no nicknames for anyone. For a week.
CHARLIE: Nice!


MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: [Speaks to the cat in Russian]...Nadia!
SAYID: What did you just say?
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: I told Nadia to be polite because you are my guests.
SAYID: Nadia?
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: Mmm. After Nadia Comaneci, the greatest athlete the world has ever known.



[Cut to beach at the ping pong table. A crowd has gathered. Sawyer is bouncing the ball on the paddle at one end of the table]
SAWYER: So! You really the number 1 draft pick, Grimace?




HURLEY: Sorry I beat you so bad, dude.
SAWYER: Sorry you hustled me, you mean.
HURLEY: My mom had a table in her basement and I played a lot at the insti...ti...place I...hung out for a while. I got kinda good.



UPCOMING EPISODES

3/14 - Par Avion, the Canadian TV preview, and the U.S. preview.
3/21 - The Man from Tallahassee
3/28 - Expose
4/4 - Left Behind
4/11 - One of Us
4/18 - Catch-22
4/25 - D.O.C.


There you have it, my friends. Here's to Locke regaining his awesomeness next episode...

- e