Monday, June 25, 2007

The second time's the charm

I prefer jungle Locke, but that's probably just me.
Hello my dear friends -

OK, SERIOUSLY... I really didn't think I would be writing any posts to this blog once Lost went off the air last month! And here I am continuing to find things to mention about the show.

Anyway, this past Saturday night, I finally had some much-needed alone time - some "e time," as I like to call it - so I chose to re-watch the finale with a big bowl of ice cream in hand. And I absolutely loved it this time. I can only assume that since I was no longer a nervous wreck about what was going to happen, I could just relax and enjoy it.

Five things really stuck out to me upon second viewing:

1) The music was REALLY over-bearing, much more so than usual. They also introduced some new instrumentals and I didn't like them as much as the subtle melodies they had used before.

2) All of Jack's flashbacks were heart-breaking, watching them knowing what was really going on from the get-go this time. Some were also unintentionally humorous - I have officially decided that not only is Matthew Fox the best man-crier in the business, but he also plays "wasted" really well. The scenes in the hospital where he's all confrontational with the new Chief of Surgery almost had me giggling. He's such a cocky ass, even when he's obviously a drunk and drugged out, washed-up Mad Doctor.

3) I'm growing more and more convinced that Charlie himself is "the musician" that programmed "Good Vibrations" as the key code. He had some really weird looks when Bonnie told him about the code, and if the writers already know how it's all going to wrap up, they could be planting little hints in like that so when we all re-watch the series when we're old and gray (or in my case, immediately after it ends), we'll all exclaim, "Those writers - they were so darn clever!"

Ummm, once again, I prefer the dirty sweaty brown shirt.4) Benry seemed to be ailing now that he was no longer near Locke. He was hobbling around with his cane again and just didn't look as healthy as he had been in the previous few episodes. And of course, after Jack beat the crap out of him... well, he looked REALLY bad.

5) Locke sadly stating, "Jack - You're not supposed to do this" was haunting once again. If the Lostaways don't end up going through a time loop or traveling through time somehow, I will stop eating ice cream for a month straight to just punish myself for believing so deeply in that theory.

HOW CAN THEY NOT BE IN A TIME LOOP/WARP??!?! They HAVE TO BE!!!

Two other Lost-related tidbits for you:

1) Shout-out to FC, even though I'm mad at him for leaving me and moving on from The Current Man, for sending along this very cool video from a Lost fan that pieces together five minutes of the plane crash from all different viewpoints - Desmond's, the Others', and of course the Lostaways'. I apologize if they take the link down by the time you read this...

2) I was in Vegas a few weekends ago, and I was tagging along with my husband, who wanted to look through Planet Hollywood's memorabilia room because it has a bunch of famous guitars and signed movie posters and whatnot on display. So, I was milling around the place, somewhat disinterestedly, until all of a sudden a hanging at the bottom of the wall caught my eye. It was the entire Lost cast - a signed photo! It was also $895, so I couldn't quite bring myself to buy it (remember, I'm the one who has a hard time playing even $20 in Vegas...). But I did take two crappy pictures of it with the camera on my phone. I was all paranoid that they would kick me out of the store, so they're all blurry, but you should get the gist of it.


There's my man, front and center!There's a reason I'm not a photographer, OK?















To read about what else I did in Vegas and keep up with the "adventures of e," don't forget to check in frequently to According to e! I've been doing a good job writing posts regularly, and I miss all of you!

Hope you are having a good summer, or winter, depending on where you are...

- e

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Locke won't go out like Tony...

Sniff... see you in the fall.

Hello everyone -

A substantial bit of news came out today regarding our beloved show, so I figured I should post a link to the article in which the producers promise that they will not end "Lost" in a nebulous way à la "The Sopranos". Additionally, they announced that beginning this fall, they will launch 90-second "mobisodes" that can be viewed on cell phones and whatnot, and that will feature all of the main characters. Since they went out of their way to assert that these will not be mini-episodes, I'm not really sure I understand what to expect, but I guess we'll see in a few months.

On another note, ever since I started the blog a few years ago there have been requests for me to post the write-ups I did pre-blog that were sent by email to a smaller number of people. I promise promise promise that I will finally get to this before the summer is over! However, be advised that - believe it or not - I did not watch the show when it first came on the air (gasp!), so the write-ups begin around the 9th episode of Season One (I think, not sure). I will post a note when they have all been loaded in.

Until then,
- e

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Season Four Mild Spoilers - Read at your own risk

OK, you have been warned! Actually, I'm glad you've decided to come to this page, because the bottom-line is that we've got a LOOOOONG wait ahead of us, and it was nice to think about the show again and have even more reasons to look forward to its return. And nothing that was discussed was that big of a deal, or else I'd be more upset that I accidentally read it!

All of the below was revealed during a Q&A with fans at the Comic-Con event. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (the two executive producers who do the podcast) spoke, and each had a bell that they would ring if they thought the other was saying too much, in which case the offender would immediately shut up.

Casting:

1) You probably already read this because it was even mentioned on CNN.com (which is where I saw it, unwittingly), but Michael will be back in Season Four. However, since we have no idea in what capacity he'll be back, and since Walt appeared in the last episode, I can't say I was that surprised by this, nor did I consider it to be too much of a spoiler. We all know he's been floating around in circles with Walt for the past season, cursing about not being able to get rescued! I guess that means we will get to hear his trademarked "WAAAaaaallllllttttttttt!!!" again next year. Joy.

Harold Perrineau, who plays Michael, joined Damon and Carlton at the end of the panel. They CLAIM that Michael's disappearance from the show, as well as his return, was planned for all along and that Harold knew this. Which I'm not so sure I believe, but I guess it doesn't matter. They said that he will be a series regular again, but they wouldn't mention how he returns. They would only declare that the way in which he returns "is awesome."

2) Nestor Carbonell, who plays Richard the Ageless, will be coming back; however, due to schedule conflicts with something else he is filming, it is unclear how often he will actually appear on the show. This is exactly what happened with the character of Rose - L. Scott Caldwell was in a production on Broadway and could not be on the show that much in Season One. Though, granted, she hasn't been on the show that much after that, either.


Small plot points:

- They confirmed that it was not John Locke who Hurley saw fall off of the building in Season One (duh, we knew that a long time ago!)
- They would not comment on whether Jack and Claire find out that they are half-siblings, which makes me think that they WILL
- They said that they would do a flashback on Rousseau next season, and that it would tie in with a major plotline
- We will see Libby again


The format of the show:

- A few quick things to mention first... they are currently writing the premiere, and it is untitled as of right now. Jack Bender, who directed some of the best episodes of the series, will be directing the first two episodes. They plan to have 13 or 14 of the 16 episodes for Season Four already filmed by the time it returns to the air again in February.

- Now on to the only thing I read that I'm not sure I wanted to know or not.


Are you sure you want to know?? I haven't written anything else substantial after this last one, so turn back now if you don't want to read any more!






ARE YOU SURE?!?!?





OK, here you go:


It was asked if there will be more flash-forwards next year.
"The answer is yes," replied Carlton Cuse. "Let's talk a little more about this... The truth is the season will feature flashbacks and flash-forwards."
"The question is how forward," interjected Damon Lindelof.

They then rehashed their decision to end season three with Jack's flash-forwards. They claimed that they had always wanted to do it, but couldn't until they knew that they had an end date for the series in sight. Now that they have come to an agreement with ABC to film three more years of 16 episodes each, they figured that it was an appropriate time to start the flash-forwards.

HOWEVER:
"What you saw with Kate and Jack [at the end of season three] is not the end of the show," said Cuse.

"There's this whole chapter of our story that takes place off the island," said Lindelof. "But we couldn't tell that story until we knew an end was coming. Come with us all the way to the end, and it won't be a waste of time."

So, there you have it. I was kind of looking forward to being surprised about whether next season would be back to its typical format (all flashbacks), or perhaps all flash-forwards, or something else. From what they said above, it seems to me like they will still focus on on-island events (which I would guess means that the rescue doesn't go smoothly?) and have a mixture of flashbacks and flash-forwards. Which I'm OK with. And I am happy to know that the whole show doesn't end with the Mad Doctor being drugged out, suicidal and ugly. I didn't really think it would, but... you never know.

And now I'm reverting back to being Anti-Spoiler until February!!! And you should, too!!!

- e

Monday, June 04, 2007

Have a great summer, fall and winter...

My dear friends -

It's going to be a while before Long Live Locke is back in action.

But never fear, for your "e fix," please head over to According to e, where I will be posting frequently over the next nine months.

And don't forget to add

http://longlivelocke.blogspot.com/atom.xml

to your RSS feeder so that you are alerted to new posts!

Until then, enjoy the finale post below.

- e

S3Ep22 - Through the Looking Glass (Jack's first flash-forward)

I wanna go back (go back), and do it all over but I can't go back, I know.Hello my dear friends -

Hmmm, where to begin, where to begin? The look on Jack's face conveys the fear and panic I felt at the end of the finale when thinking about the task that lay ahead of me in writing this post!

So how about we start at the beginning?

After putting MUCH thought into how in the world I was going to organize this analysis, here's the order I decided would be easiest for everyone to follow:
1) Start with a review of scenes in the order in which they happened (for the most part), covering what "normal people" were likely to have noticed, then
2) Mention a few things that only intense investigation could have uncovered, and then
3) Review theories that have arisen from the episode when it is regarded as a whole, and finally,
4) Paste in other one-off article links and funny comments from the boards as always.

As those of us working for The Man always like to say, "It's all about setting expectations!" While this post won't be too different from how I normally organize things, there is going to be a little more repetition of scenes and lines and hints that I've already covered because it's just that complicated. Which is why we all love the show, right?

Without further ado...

[e cracks her knuckles and takes a deep breath...]


PART ONE - SCENE BY SCENE ANALYSIS


"ZEKE ROCKED THE HILLBILLY BEARD, SO WHY CAN'T I?"

Seriously, why can't I sip a cocktail during landing?Here's what I thought when the finale opened with the Mad Doctor sporting the bushy beard, boozin' it up on an Oceanic flight:

"Holy crap, this is going to be a different version of the Flight 815 crash!" (as a side note, some people thought they saw Jin and Sun on the plane, but it was definitely NOT them, I checked)

Then the pilot (whose voice was producer Damon Lindelof, by the way) announced that they would be landing in L.A. in 20 minutes. Hmmm, so they're NOT over the middle of the ocean. OK... I next thought,

"Jack must have stayed in Southeast Asia for a bit after getting the Cursed Tattoo, grew a beard, and now he's coming back from that trip and he's still all upset that his wife left him (on top of the fact that he most likely contracted diseases from Bai Ling)."

When I saw him read the newspaper and freak out, I figured that either Sarah had died or gotten married again, or someone else he knew died. While it is still unclear even after re-watching the scene, it does appear that whatever he saw in the paper made the front page.

Hmmm, on second thought, that concrete's not looking too inviting...Then the scene quickly cut to Jack now stopped on a bridge in his car, making a call on his cell. He leaves a teary message referring to reading the newspaper clipping, hangs up, and climbs up on the ledge, clearly contemplating killing himself as he whispers, "Forgive me."

But a car crash behind him suddenly jolts him out of his suicidal daze, and since he was, is and forever shall be the Mad Doctor, he cannot resist the urge to attempt to save the victims.

Let's begin a running total of questions raised in the finale, shall we? We can see if they get answered within the episode or if not, I'll keep track of them over the rest of the series, I promise.
1) When are Jack's flashes taking place?
2) What is in the newspaper clipping?
3) Who is Jack trying to call?
4) Why is Jack trying to kill himself?
5) Is anyone we know in the car crash?
6) Why does Jack think his beard is acceptable?


If you were more observant than I was, you would've noticed Jack's modern cell phone (Motorola's KRZR K1m, released in late 2006) and the graffiti on the bridge indicating a high school graduation in 2006 (I couldn't make that out, but others did), either of which would've clued you in immediately that this was a flash-forward. But I certainly didn't catch either of those things.



"OR IN OTHER WORDS, DON'T SCREW THIS UP, YOU ARROGANT S-O-B!"

JACK: You have everything you need?
SAYID: No, but I made the best out of what we have.
JACK: Bernard and Jin?
[They watch Bernard load a gun, while Jin speaks with Sun]
SAYID: They're both excellent shots. And highly motivated. The dynamite's in place, we won't miss. [pause] Jack, no matter what happens here I want you to keep moving, keep moving for that radio tower. Don't turn back for any reason. I'm willing to give my life if it means securing rescue, but I'm not giving it up for nothing. You understand.
JACK: [Nods] Yeah. I understand.
[They shake hands]
SAYID: And good luck.
JACK: You too.

First off, I love how Sayid is always so matter-of-fact with all of his responses. Throughout the three seasons, he has remained consistent in taking questions posed to him very literally, and giving very blunt answers accordingly...

My ghost will haunt you forever if I die and you don't!"No, Jack, we do not have everything we need. If we had everything we needed, we would have an army of people with bullet-proof vests, a tank, pit bulls, booby traps set around the camp, and metal cages in which to throw any surviving prisoners. There would be a rescue ship on the horizon with my beloved Nadia on it, and there would be a full-service kitchen on that ship as well, so I could whip us up a Yay, We're Off Craphole Island celebration dinner using one of my recipes from my restaurant in Paris. But alas, all I have is myself, an aging dentist, a fairly fit Korean who doesn't understand my directions, dynamite rigged by a schizophrenic French woman, and seemingly invincible enemies approaching earlier than expected. But thank you for asking. And good luck in your extremely difficult task of leading a bunch of people up a hill, you bastard."


I had an extremely bad feeling the entire episode that Sayid, Bernard and Jin were going to be goners. I knew going in that there were going to be "a lot of casualties" and that supposedly "5 major characters" were going to die. Therefore, I was positive that the three shooters were goners. I actually think that my fear of losing the magnificentness that is Sayid put a damper on the finale experience for me, because I was so tense the entire time, just waiting for him to kick the bucket.


Running Question Tally:
7) Are Sayid, Bernard and Jin going to succeed?
8) Are Sayid, Bernard and Jin going to die, despite whether or not they succeed?




UNDERWATER PEOPLE


Those chicks (Greta and Bonnie) in the Looking Glass sure were grouchy, weren't they? They should get themselves one of those sun lamps down there! They're probably suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Say whaaaaa?When we first visit the underwater hatch in the finale, we see that Charlie has been tied up and is being beaten by the blond woman because he won't give her any information. This prompts a call to Benry, who seemed annoyed that they "broke radio silence," but his annoyance was outweighed by his shock at hearing that Charlie made it to the Looking Glass because Juliet had apparently switched sides. Patchy was then ordered to go to the Looking Glass, and that's when we got our first hint that Benry was pulling the wool over the Others' eyes...

BENRY: Mikhail, you need to go down to The Looking Glass and find out what Charlie Pace is doing down there.
MIKHAIL: You told us The Looking Glass was inoperable. Flooded.
BENRY: I lied. Mikhail, I need you to go, now.

This answered the question from last episode regarding whether or not Juliet knew that there were people stationed in the Looking Glass. It seems that no one but Benry knew.

At this point in time, I was going berserk because I was positive that Benry was going to forewarn Ryan and crew that Juliet had fooled them all, thus resulting in the three shooters' deaths for sure. However, although Benry tried to contact his team, their walkies had already been turned off and they were in the process of falling for the Lostaways' trap.

How anxious was I during the Others' infiltration of the camp? I don't think I exhaled for 4 minutes straight. Which was kind of silly, because I knew from the previews that Bernard, Jin and Sayid were going to end up bound, gagged and held at gunpoint.

Questions Answered:
7) Are Sayid, Bernard and Jin going to succeed? Answer: Partially - 7 Others were blown up.

As a funny side note, apparently I wasn't the only one frustrated that Jin didn't make his shots. Daniel Dae Kim, the actor who plans Jin, feels very embarrassed about his character's inability to shoot his target and wants to set the record straight... read an entry from his blog describing how that scene was supposed to have happened.

SUUUURE, DDK, we believe you!


OH NO, NOT *HER* AGAIN

You are NOT the baby daddy, now get over it!I'm not a fan of Jack's ex-wife, Sarah, so I was annoyed to have to see her AGAIN. When she visited him in the hospital (because she "was still listed as his emergency contact"), nothing much happened in that scene. We could see she was pregnant, and she was concerned that he'd been drinking "again." At least we could scratch her off the "potential subjects of the newspaper clipping" list at that point.




NOTE TO SELF: NEVER TELL A DENTIST A SECRET

But the worst thing I ever done, I mixed up all this fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theatre...The next time we see our three shooters, they were tied up by the Others and being interrogated. It didn't take much to make Bernard spill absolutely all critical information: the Lostaways were heading to the radio tower because they were going to try to contact Naomi's ship, and Karl had forewarned everyone that the Others would be coming a day early.

D'OH! But riddle me this, and I know this sounds harsh, but why would Bernard try to save Jin by telling the Others information that would then endanger both of their wives?!?! That made no sense to me. At least Bernard proved beyond a doubt that he certainly was NOT Rambo.




JUST OVERTHROW HIM, ALREADY!

[In the morning, Benry draws a line to the radio tower on a map, as Richard watches]

RICHARD: We're going to the radio tower?
BENRY: Not we, Richard, me. You're going to take everyone to the temple as planned.
RICHARD: Now might not be the best time to go tromping off on your own.
BENRY: Oh really, and why not?
RICHARD: Because people are asking questions, Ben. About leaving home, about what happened to Locke, about Jacob. Not to mention the rapidly spreading rumor that everyone that went down to the beach is dead.
BENRY: They're not all dead.

... a few moments later...

Look into my crow's-feet-less eyes!RICHARD: There's forty of them. And you're alone. They're gonna do whatever it takes to get off the Island. What do you think's gonna happen when you get there?
BENRY: I'm gonna talk them out of it.


Why, oh, why does Richard not kick Benry's ass?!?? I just don't get it?!?! He is ageless, dammit, doesn't he know what power he wields (at least if he were in Hollywood)?

Maybe Richard knew that Benry would fail this time around, and was actually being nice by trying to instill some doubt in his plan, to perhaps make Benry think twice?

By the way, one thing I noticed throughout the episode is that Benry looked more fragile and weak, and he started walking with the cane again. It was as if being away from Locke really did affect his health (as he claimed being BY Locke improved it).


Running Question Tally:
9) Where and what is "the temple?"
10) Will Richard and the rest of the Others find out about whatever ends up transpiring at the radio tower? Do they care?
11) Why does Benry think he can talk the Lostaways out of leaving the Island?



QUIT YER BICKERING

KATE: Something's wrong.
SAWYER: Lots of things are wrong, Kate.
KATE: Jin, Bernard and Sayid, they should have caught up to us by now. I wanna go back to make sure they're all right.
SAWYER: 'Course you do.
KATE: What's that supposed to mean?
SAWYER: It means, Kate, there's always someone to go back for.
KATE: What's the matter with you?

... A bit later...

Baby daddy or not?KATE: You know, they sent Juliet to check out Sun, but she was there to check and see if I'm pregnant, too.
SAWYER: Well, let's hope you're not.


Not much to say about this scene on its surface, but I wanted to remind you of it as it will come into play later.

And I do think Sawyer was being an ass!



PAGING DR. PILL-POPPING SHAKY HANDS...

In the next set of Jack's flashes, we see him perusing the chart of the woman he saved. A lot of important information was revealed in this scene:

- Jack is taking some sort of pills.
- The doctor that confronts him in the room is Dr. Hamill, the new Chief of Surgery (before being discharged, Jack's dad was the Chief of Surgery).
- Dr. Hamill calls Jack a "hero, twice over."
- Jack is told he will not be the one operating on the woman he saved, that instead, it will be Dr. Gary Nadler.
- The boy that Jack saved is eight years old.
- Jack remains a cocky, over-confident mo-fo!

While I will save the analysis of the bigger hints until later, it's safe to point out one minor thing here: Bernard's last name is Nadler, making many wonder if the doctor referred to above is perhaps Bernard's brother.


BLECK!

Nas-tay!

Shield thine eyes!!!!



YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR PATCH ON


Freaktastic!After being awoken from his oar-induced slumber by bullets whizzing around his head, Desmond dove down to join Charlie in the Looking Glass, but Charlie was able to warn him to hide while the women were arguing in the side room. Des was still in hiding when Patchy emerged from the water, grossing us all out with his lack o' eye. After Patchy's interactions with Bonnie and Greta, it became even more clear that Benry was playing them all. Patchy revealed that he thought the women were "on assignment in Canada," and also seemed confused by Charlie's allegations that Benry was purposely jamming communications to and from the Island. He decides to confront Benry directly by answering the walkie-talkie call in the side room:

BENRY: You have to understand, everything I did, I did for the Island.
MIKHAIL: The Island told you it was necessary for you to jam your own people?
BENRY: Yes it did. You've always been a loyalist, Mikhail, now I'm asking you to trust me, to trust Jacob who told me to do this.
MIKHAIL: Why would Jacob ask you to lie to your own people?
BENRY: Because this Island is under assault by forces stronger than anything its had to deal with in many many years. And we are meant to protect it, Mikhail, by any means necessary. The jamming was for everyone's security. We are in a serious situation here.
MIKHAIL: So why not trust me?
BENRY: I made a mistake. I should have told you, and I apologize.
[Pause]
BENRY: Mikhail, are you still there?
MIKHAIL: Yes.
BENRY: I need you to help me. I need you to help me clean up this mess I've made. I need you to kill Charlie. Make sure that the jamming mechanism continues to function at all costs. And we can't risk Greta and Bonnie telling the others about what we've done, so you'll have to take care of them, too.
MIKHAIL: How do I know you didn't say the same thing to them about me?
BENRY: Because if I had, Mikhail, you'd already be dead.


Running Question Tally:
12) What are the "strong forces" threatening the Island that Benry refers to? Are they even real?
13) What does Benry mean when he calls Patchy a "loyalist?" Loyal to Ben? Loyal to Dharma? To some other group?
14) If Patchy thought the women were on assignment in Canada, does that mean that they are left-over Dharma members, as it doesn't seem like the Hostiles/Others would be sending people around the world. If they're not Dharma, then what group are Bonnie and Greta a part of?
15) Is Benry telling the truth when he claims that Jacob instructed him to lie to his people?



HE'S GROWNS UP AND HE'S GROWNS UP AND HE'S GROWNS UP!

Wazzzup, College Freshman Walt? Nah, sorry, those upward camera-angles don't disguise the fact that you are now seven feet tall. But it's all good, we're happy to see you again, especially if you're here to save our main man Locke!

I can't deal with waiting 9 months to be reunited with e!So yes, I was freaked out when I saw that Locke was paralyzed again and, like Jack in his flashes, appeared to be turning to suicide. When he first took the gun, I thought, "He's going to shoot it in the air as a signal and Ageless Richard is going to come save him! Or maybe Jacob?" But as he KEPT turning the gun and was then pointing it at his own head, rest assured that a moment of sheer terror descended upon the condo of e.

Luckily, not only did Walt grow twenty-four more inches, but he also remembered how to speak normally rather than whispering in backwards-speak like in his previous appearances to Shannon. I loved how he was bossing Locke around! He was like, "Dammit, I'm missing my History final to come save your pathetic ass, stop being so whiny and get moving!"

Your task is... to go get Vincent for me!WALT: Put the gun down.
LOCKE: Walt!
WALT: Now get up, John.
LOCKE: He shot me and I can't move my legs.
WALT: You can move your legs. Now get out of the ditch, John.
LOCKE: Why?
WALT: Because, you have work to do.
[Locke smiles]


The Island has resumed its love affair with Locke, all rejoice!


Running Question Tally:
16) Was that really Walt? If so, how did he get on the Island? If not, what was it, Smokey?
17) How did Locke become un-paralyzed, again?



DOUBLE BLECK!

I love you... and her... deal with it!KATE: Hey - Why are you sticking up for Sawyer, he'd never do it for you.
JACK: Because I love you.

What? Did my eyes deceive me? Was that not you, Jack, kissing Juliet only 20 minutes ago?





WRITING THE WORDS OF A SERMON THAT NO ONE WILL HEAR

Bar open yet?Man, the full-frontal view of Jack walking to the funeral home was REALLY depressing. I'm not the biggest fan of the Mad Doctor lately, but at least he had always been easy on the eyes. Now he's all pudged-out and disheveled (in a bad way) and uncomfortable to watch. At the beginning of this scene as he was driving to the funeral home, "Scentless Apprentice" by Nirvana was on the radio, tricking many into still believing that this was a flashback, as that song was released on the In Utero album in the fall of 1993. Guess it was actually on an "oldies" station in the future!

But it was shortly after Jack got out of his car that I realized all of this was a flash-forward. When Jack was talking to the priest in front of the closed coffin, my husband made the comment, "What if it's someone from the Island?"

BOOM! It hit me then... Of course... this is in the future and he is at the funeral of someone from the Island! I replied, "Oh my gosh, do you get it? Do you get what's going on?!?!?!" but unbelievably, HE DIDN'T, even though he was the one that put the idea in my head. Since I didn't want to spoil the possible surprise, I kept my mouth shut, only pausing the show one last time before the final scene to say, "So you STILL have no idea what's going on?"

Blank stare, head shaking back and forth.

Back to the visitation scene... if you're a Scrabble Champion and/or quick with your anagrams, you may have caught that the name of the funeral home - Hoffs/Drawlar - is an anagram for "flash-forward." Get with the program, people!

R.I.P., mystery dude.Other important things to note that will be revisited in the analysis later:
- When asked if he was a friend or family of the deceased, Jack responds, "Neither."
- There was a book sitting next to the coffin on a table.
- Although claiming to be neither a friend nor a family member of the deceased, when left alone with the coffin, Jack put his hand on it and got visibly upset.
- Jack was surprised to find that no one showed up for the funeral or viewing.
- Some people claim that the coffin seemed "short," though others argue that it only looked that way because of the angle at which it was shown. Additionally, people with way too much time on their hands did an analysis comparing Jack’s hand to the coffin, and also comparing the floor tiles (standard 12 by 12 tiles) to the coffin, and concluded that it was a regular-sized coffin. Those really wanting to argue that it is indeed a "short" coffin claim that a man's entire arm span usually equals his height, and they mapped half of Jack's total arm span (shown above as his arm is outstretched) to the length of the coffin and claim that it is not even six feet. I personally think that it's a normal-sized coffin and that people are looking for clues in places where they don't exist!


Running Question Tally:
18) Who is in the coffin? (This could end up having the same answer as #2 - What is in the newspaper clipping?)
19) Does the book beside the coffin have any significance?
20) Why is Jack there if he's neither a friend nor a family member?


CODE RED AT THE PHARMACY

Jack's next flash was at his neighborhood CVS/Walgreens/What-have-you, and he was causing a commotion because they wouldn't refill his Oxycodone - a fairly hard-core drug for pain management. He claimed to have a prescription from his father... but wait, isn't his dad living happily ever after as a zombie on the Island?


Running Question Tally:
21) What was Jack taking Oxycodone for (it did not appear that he was hurt badly in any way when saving the people in the crash, and he had already gone through two refills...)?
22) How can Jack have his father's prescription sheet if his father is dead? Or was Jack just trying to pull a fast one out of desperation?



OTHER THINGS OF NOTE

Many short scenes were spliced in around Jack's flashes during this point in the episode, none of which warranted its own section in the write-up. However, there are a few points worth noting quickly:

- After Sawyer and Juliet left to go back to see what went down on the beach, I nearly had a heart-attack when Juliet stopped and confessed to Sawyer that "there are no guns." I thought, "Oh crap, he's a goner - she was leading him into a trap!" So imagine my surprise when it turned out that for once, Juliet was trying to do the right thing. She knew she had to lie to Jack about a hidden gun stash in order for him to "let" her leave. And her reason for wanting to go back to see if the Lostaways succeeded? "Karma."
- While Juliet grew every-so-slightly-more-likable, Sawyer continued his renewed mean streak by insulting Hurley, who was just trying to see if there was any way he could help:
I'm gonna get Dave to beat you up!HURLEY: I'm coming with you guys.
SAWYER: Uh uh, no way. Not a chance.
HURLEY: Come on, I can help. They're my friends too, man. Look, Charlie wouldn't let me go with him, Jack's too busy leading to even talk to me. I just wanna help, please?
SAWYER: For God's sake, Hugo, look at you. You're just gonna get in the way. You wanna get us killed? [To Juliet] Come on!

I felt awful after that scene, mostly because I feared that Sawyer's insults were going to be the final straw for Hurley, and he was going to end up doing something to get himself killed. As I had mentioned in previous write-ups, I felt like Hurley's been "on the edge" for the better part of this season. And as a side note, Sawyer called Hurley "Hugo" and Kate "Kate" instead of "Freckles." I guess killing The Original Sawyer/Papa Locke didn't help to lighten his mood much.

- While walking up to the radio tower, Rousseau informs Jack that she will not be leaving the Island, should a rescue team come:
ROUSSEAU: I'll take you to the tower, but I'm not leaving here.
JACK: What?
ROUSSEAU: There's no place for me back there. This is my home now.

Considering what seemingly became of Jack, Rousseau's words now seem haunting.

- In the Looking Glass, Patchy questioned why the women needed to stay in the hatch at all, if the Communications Room was waterproof and the signal would continue to be jammed even if the station flooded. They had no good answer, and stated that if they "started questioning things, this whole thing falls apart." Patchy then shot both of them, but not before getting speared himself by our favorite brotha. Before the blond chick either died or passed out (couldn't really tell), she told Charlie that the code was programmed by "a musician" and that it was to the tune of "Good Vibrations."

Running Question Tally:
23) Who was the "musician" who programmed the Looking Glass code?


SPIT IT OUT, BENRY, SPIT IT OUT

One thing I grew exceedingly sick of in the finale was all of Benry's foreboding words about what would happen if anyone left the Island, all of his comments about how he could not let that happen, and how he was sure he could talk the Lostaways out of it.

BENRY: Not so long ago, Jack. I made a decision, that took the lives of over forty people in a single day. I'm telling you this because, history is about to repeat itself, right here, right now.
JACK: Let me guess, you've got us surrounded, and if I don't do what you say you're gonna, you're gonna kill all my people.
BENRY: No Jack, you are.
[Jack laughs]
JACK: And how am I going to do that, Ben?
BENRY: The woman you're traveling with. The one who parachuted onto the Island from that helicopter. She's not who she says she is.
JACK: She's not, huh?
BENRY: No she's not.
JACK: Then who is she?
BENRY: She's a representative of some people who've been trying to find this Island, Jack. She's one of the bad guys.
JACK: Oh, I almost forgot, you're the, you're the good guys.
BENRY: Jack, listen to me. If you phone her boat, every single living person on this Island will be killed. So here's what has to happen. Get that device, the phone she carries with her, and give it me. I will turn around, we'll go back to my people, you will turn around and go back to your people.
JACK: I'm not going anywhere.

FRUSTRATION!!!!

Obviously Benry never took a communications class, because he doesn't seem to have a clue that he needs to be explicit and clear and back up the points he's trying to make with evidence! HOW and/or WHY would "every single living person on this Island" get killed? EXPLAIN IT TO JACK. I'm sorry, but no one in their right mind on that island has a reason to trust Benry at this point, and he should have known that. Yet "trust" seemed to be what he was banking on, because he never offered up any good explanation for exactly why it would be such an awful thing if a rescue team appeared. Which would leave all of the Lostaways, and especially Jack, to think that he just didn't want the Island found because it would ruin his little Utopia where he was the leader. While previously I kind of liked Benry and his smugness and crafty ways, he really got on my last nerve in the finale. What was worse is that none of the Lostaways asked him to explain himself, either.


Running Question Tally:

24) Does Benry really know what group Naomi is with, and if so, is it true that they are "bad"?
25) What exactly does Benry mean when he said that every living person on the Island will be killed?


A BEAT-DOWN LONG IN THE MAKING

So the Mad Doctor does not cooperate with Benry (did anyone else have a sinking feeling that Jack was going to end up "turning bad" in this episode? I did. I'm glad it didn't happen.), and as a result, he believes that Sayid, Bernard and Jin have Sayid should grow his hair out like mine!been killed per Benry's orders to Tom. Oddly enough, it was at that point in time when I finally felt a glimmer of hope for the three shooters, because I figured that if Sayid was gonna go out, there was NO WAY that they'd have him go out like that. If Sayid goes down, it's gonna be just like Bon Jovi said it should be: "In a blllaaaaaaze of glorrryyyyyyyy!"

But since Jack felt that he had just been responsible for the deaths of three of his friends, he FINALLY did something productive with all of his pent up Mad Doctorness, and instead of blowing up trees or making fancy speeches or hatching hair-brained plans, he just beat the living crap out of Benry. Violence sometimes IS the answer, peeps!

And THAT'S for faking me out with the BoSox video!  That couldn't be real!As he couldn't go TOO long without making a speech, after the smack-down was over, Jack then delivered his best line of the episode (in my opinion, because I like it when he gets that crazy look in his eye):

JACK: Tom. Are you there?
TOM: Yeah, Jack, I hear you.
JACK: I'm going to lead my people up to the radio tower. And I'm gonna make a call. And I'm gonna get 'em all rescued, every one of them. And then I'm gonna come find you, and I'm gonna kill ya.


Who didn't want to yell "YAY!" at that moment??? I yelled it out, I admit it.

But my happiness was short-lived, because, and I know this sounds awful, but when he didn't finish Benry off, I became worried. Jack's large ego was his downfall once again - he just HAD to keep Benry around for no other reason than to gloat at him when they all got rescued.



REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO... AWKWARD

How hilarious was the Rousseau/Alex long-lost Mother-Daughter reunion?

[Jack drags a bloody Benry back to the main group, and throws him on the ground]
JACK: Tie him up. He's coming with us.
[Jack walks on and Kate chases after him. Alex approaches Benry, and Danielle approaches Alex]
ALEX: What?
BENRY: [Sighs] Alex. This is your mother.
[They stare at each other, Rousseau holding back tears]
ROUSSEAU: I'll help you tie him up.


Classic! Well done, writers, well done.


Make me proud with your tying-people-up skills!And damn you, USA Today, for spoiling the reunion for me! The morning of the finale, for reasons unknown, I decided to check out usatoday.com (which I NEVER do), and boom! Right there in the Life section, with no spoiler warning whatsoever, is a picture of a very cleaned up Alex and Danielle next to the headline: "After 3 long 'Lost' seasons, a Rousseau family reunion."

Yeah, I was dumb for looking at any sites that day, but that still doesn't make it right that they didn't put a spoiler warning.

Running Question Tally:
26) Ben admitted that Rousseau was Alex's mother, but didn't say that he WASN'T her real father. What is the full story?


PEACE OUT, ZEKE

Who would've thought that the VW hippie van, such a long-standing symbol for peace, would end up becoming a deadly weapon at the hands of none other than Hurley? As Zeke and Ryan quibbled over whether or not they should really kill the Lostaways, and as Sawyer and Juliet tried to come up with a plan, Hurley took matters into his own hands and charged the VW on to the beach, running down Ryan in the process.

When I first watched the episode, I was shocked when Sawyer shot and killed Zeke after he had surrendered.

SAWYER: That's for taking the kid off the raft.
HURLEY: Dude it was over, he surrendered.
SAWYER: I didn't believe him.

That was Sawyer's best line of the night, by far.

Were the fish biscuits THAT bad??The only major complaint I have about the finale is that I feel like the writers took the easy way out with Zeke's death. Not because he died, but because of how they had his character act right before getting shot... like they were trying to justify it to us or something. If you remember, right before the van entered the scene, ZEKE was the one telling Ryan that they should kill the Lostaways despite Ben's apparent order not to do so (which we never saw). That seemed totally out of character to me... Zeke had always been the only Other that seemed sympathetic toward Jack, Sawyer and Kate... and went as far as asking "What kind of people do you think we are?" to Jack when Jack asked if he was going to be killed after botching Benry's surgery. Therefore, I felt that they were just being lazy by all of a sudden having Zeke be the one to suggest killing the three shooters so that we wouldn't feel bad when he ended up dying. Kind of like, "Well, he would've killed Sayid, Bernard and Jin, so it's OK." I think the scene would've been more effective had they left Zeke's new-found nastiness out and focused on the fact that Sawyer remains a cold-hearted bastard who wasn't about to take any chances.

R.I.P., Zeke. To whom did you bequeath your hillbilly beard?


THAT. JUST. HAPPENED!

Bernard:  Saaaay whaaaa?I was still SO fearful that Sayid was going to somehow end up getting killed (I had read faux spoilers that led me to believe that, shame on me), that I nearly missed his lightning-quick ninja move when he kicked that random Other down and then broke his neck WHILE STILL BOUND AND GAGGED!

Maybe Sayid is awesome, AND MAYBE SAYID IS AWESOME!!!

While there was WAY too little of Sayid this season, in that one move, they made up for it. If Sayid does not become the damn leader of the group next season, I'm going to be PISSED! And yes, I think they may still be on the Island next season, but that's for later.

Running Question Tally:
27) How can one man be so awesome?



PAGING DR. PILL-POPPING SHAKY HANDS... AGAIN...

The next flash of Jack finds him back in the hospital, sneaking some Oxycodone for his own stash. Dr. Hamill comes in and startles him, and a confrontational argument ensues. During their exchange, we find out that the last name of the woman in the crash is "Arland," and that she recovered from surgery just fine.

But, even those who passed off Jack's mention of his father in the pharmacy scene couldn't ignore THIS reference:
I really gotta get some sleep.JACK: Do you know how many years I've worked at this hospital? Do you know anything about me? Do you have any idea what I've been through?
DR HAMILL: How much have you had to drink today, Jack?
JACK: OK, I'll tell you what, you do this. You get my father down here, get him down here right now, and if I'm drunker than he is, you can fire me. [Pause] Don't you look at me like that. Don't you, pity me.


This scene confirmed my suspicion that these were future-flashes, because of the "...what I've been through" line. But HOW to explain the dad references? The same people who thought Jack was desperately using his dad's old prescription sheets in the pharmacy explained this scene by saying that it was obvious that Jack was drunk and on drugs, and the look of pity that Dr. Hamill gave Jack was because he knew his father was actually dead. Others add to that argument, saying that all of the references to Jack's dad were just intended to trick everyone into thinking these scenes were in the past, to ensure that the ending would be a huge shocker. I don't buy it! Jack was drunk and on pills, but he wasn't a crack-head?!?! Now that we know this was in the future, how drunk exactly would Jack have to be to still be thinking that his dad is alive? I'm telling you, there is something fishy going on...



"ATTENTION, OTHERS. COME IN, OTHERS."

Alright, I was nervous about when to tell you all this... but... I think now is the appropriate time.

I didn't like the finale.

WHAT??!?! you all yell in unison.

I know, I know. Literally everyone in the world seemed to have loved the finale, many calling it the best episode ever and/or the best finale of all shows ever. But the reason why I didn't like it can be best explained now, when we arrive at the scene when Hurley radios to tell everyone that they are safe on the beach.

That was THE ONLY high point in the show. The only time anyone was happy, the only time there appeared to be any hope, and pretty much the only time anyone smiled. Everything else was just so dark, dark, dark that I was clenched up into a ball gritting my teeth and covering my eyes, waiting for the worst to happen for two hours straight. Even during that brief respite, when the Lostaways were dancing around celebrating the victory, it wasn't really truly happy, because:

[Everyone continues to cry happily as Claire steps forward]
CLAIRE: [Into the walkie] What about Charlie, did he make it back yet?
HURLEY: Not yet, but they're probably paddling home as we speak. Don't worry, I'm sure he's fine.
[Hurley looks out at an empty sea]

Sure, the other two finales were tense and bad stuff happened. But they were not so utterly somber like this one was. In 'Exodus' and 'Live Together, Die Alone' there was a better mix of scariness, hope and "say what?" moments. When this season's finale was over, I felt like 5 years had been taken off my life. I was utterly spent from all the worrying. It's not that I didn't like what happened, I guess I was more disturbed by how it all happened.

Having said all of that, I do of course think that it was brilliant. And now after pouring through the transcript and joining my fellow nerds in the online community rehashing through the details, squinting at screencaps and debating how the next three years will play out, I feel better about everything. Some time soon I will watch the finale for a second time, and I'm sure I will enjoy it much more now that I know that Locke is alive, Sayid isn't dead and the knee-jerk reaction to the dark tone has passed.

Nothin' like a warm, stale one after killin' some Others!And the scene I enjoy the most that second time around will most surely be Hurley's triumphant moment of heroism:

HURLEY: Yeah I went back to help Juliet and Sawyer... I, I saved them.
JACK: They're OK, Juliet and...
HURLEY: Everyone's fine. Me, Sawyer, Juliet, Sayid, Jin, Bernard. We're all...
JACK: What, wait. Bernard and Jin and Sayid, they're with you?!
HURLEY: Yeah dude, I told you, I saved 'em ALL.

See, my eyes are welling up just re-reading the scene. Overly-emotional? Perhaps.


Questions Answered:

7) Are Sayid, Bernard and Jin going to succeed? Answer: Partially, 7 out of 10 others were killed. And then Hurley and Sawyer finished the job. So yes, the plan succeeded overall.
8) Are Sayid, Bernard and Jin going to die, despite whether or not they succeed? Answer: No, they didn't die (for now).


Running Question Tally:

28) Jack told Hurley and his crew to stay on the beach. Is there a chance that those still on the beach will meet a different fate than those waiting for rescue (especially if it turns out NOT to be a rescue) at the radio tower?



THE LAD MAY BE GONE, BUT THE HOODIE WILL LIVE ON...

I bequeath my hoodie to Vincent!R.I.P., Charlie Pace.


We've arrived at the moment of truth - if Charlie was going to die, fulfilling Desmond's prophecy, it was going to be now or never. Patchy had been speared, Greta had been killed and Bonnie had spilled the secret of the code before slipping away. Des had found scuba gear for the both of them - signaling a brief moment of hope for Darth Hoodie. Des also had not seen any more flashes. Some think that this may be a result of Charlie banging him on the head with the oar - that perhaps Desmond will never see any visions ever again now. But it could also be because the last vision he had was simply playing out as it was supposed to.

So Des leaves to ready the gear, and Charlie successfully enters in the musical code. THE SECOND the code is entered, an indicator of an "incoming transmission" starts blinking. And who should appear but Penny, who seemed excited to hear that Desmond is there with Charlie. But when asked about the boat and Naomi, she becomes confused and does not know what Charlie is talking about.

It is at that moment when we learn that Patchy has used up another of his nine lives, and is now frickin' OUTSIDE the hatch with a grenade?!?! This guy is like Kenny on South Park, you really can't kill him!

You forgot the apostrophe, slacker!Charlie sees what's about to happen, and everything falls into place in his mind. This is how he's going to drown. He sees Desmond running toward the room as he has heard Penny's voice, and Charlie realizes that in order to save Desmond... actually, in order to TRY and save EVERYONE, Charlie needs to trap himself into the room. He locks the door, the grenade gets pulled, and as the water rushes in, Charlie is able to get one last message to Desmond: "NOT PENNY'S BOAT."

And then, he drowns.

The fact that they immediately cut to the beach and baby Aaron starting wailing KILLED ME. Ah, the eyes are welling up again. I really need to get this post done and then go watch happy movies for like 5 days straight or something.

Many questions were raised in this scene. If it is a question that we need to wait to get a definitive answer for, then I have listed it in the running tally below. But one of the biggest questions I feel I can answer myself after having read countless debates about the topic on the boards.

Why did Charlie lock himself in the room? Why didn't he run out and close the door, or why didn't he swim out the portal hole?

Here is one post that explains it from a very practical point of view:
"A moon pool requires air pressure to stay stable. If Charlie had not closed the door (which sealed from the inside), the pool would have immediately flooded the entire station. That much water rushing in would have made it next to impossible to get to the scuba gear, let alone swim out (a feat which nearly killed them both when they tried to swim in). Charlie made the right call."

This sucks, brotha.There were lots of debates about whether or not Charlie could have run out and shut the door behind him, but I think the bottom line is that he KNEW Desmond would needlessly endanger his own life just to get a chance to see Penny. Charlie wanted to make sure Desmond lived so that he could forewarn the other Lostaways about Naomi. And while Charlie's a small dude (or else he couldn't have been a hobbit in another life), I don't think he was small enough to swim through the window, especially against the ocean rushing in. Let's not forget how deep the station was - Charlie barely made it there in the first place and was not a good swimmer.

I personally think that there was of course a bit of "self-fulfilling prophecy" going on here, too. Charlie knew how he was supposed to die, and knew (or at least thought) that if all of those visions that Desmond told him played out, that Claire and Aaron would be rescued. He had accepted his fate and this time, he didn't want to fight it because it involved them, and he didn't want to risk changing anything that may lead to them NOT getting saved. And so, he let it happen.

For all of the bitching everyone on the boards has done about Charlie over the course of the series (myself included), the feeling was pretty unanimous after the finale that he definitely went out on a high note as a hero.

R.I.P, Charlie Pace. You are going to a better place - to rock out in the Grey Havens with Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo and all the elves. I promise to play 'You All Everybody' before every episode going forward in your honor. Hey, it's a short song, it's the least I can do.

Wait for Charlie!


Running Question Tally:

29) Did Patchy die in the blast? [e: My guess is, he didn't. If the sonic fence and the spear didn't kill him, an underwater blast SURELY won't.]
30) How and when will everyone (especially Claire) learn of Charlie's death?
31) Will Desmond reach the Lostaways with the new information about Naomi's ship before it may be too late (if Naomi is indeed with "bad guys" as Benry claims)?
32) Why was Penny immediately connected to the station? She seemed surprised that anyone else was on "the frequency."
33) Did Penny even send a rescue crew at all, since she had no knowledge of Naomi or the boat?
34) Penny didn't seem THAT happy to hear Desmond was there - hers wasn't the kind of overjoyed reaction you would've expected from someone who hadn't seen or heard from the love of their life for several years... so what's up with that?
35) If Penny didn't send Naomi, then why did Naomi specifically mention her as well as have a picture of Penny and Desmond?


SPIT IT OUT, BENRY, SPIT IT OUT - PART DEUX

[They all exit the room and go outside, as everyone watches, including Benry who has been tied to a tree]
NAOMI: I'm getting something!
KATE: It's gonna work! It's happening, we're gonna get off of this Island!
JACK: We'll celebrate when we're home.
BENRY: Jack! I know you think you're saving your people. But you need to stop this. It's a mistake.
JACK: The mistake was listening to you.
BENRY: This'll be your last chance, Jack. I'm telling you, making that call is the beginning of the end.
NAOMI: I've got it, I've got a signal!!!
BENRY: Jack please, you don't know what you're doing!!
JACK: I know exactly what I'm doing.

Once again, not real explicit, was he? It was hard to watch because it was so silly! Say what you mean, Benry!!!



NAOMI, WE HARDLY KNEW YE

My back feels itchy, can someone give it a scratch?After Naomi made the call but before anyone picked up on the other end, Locke put an end to her. Sure, I was glad Locke was back, but even I wished it had been under different circumstances... like, perhaps him having done something heroic? Considering what we've seen of the future, maybe what Locke did WAS heroic, but taken at face value, it was hard to applaud his return.

Obviously he agreed with Benry that the call shouldn't be made. But not enough to kill Jack over it. But believe you me... there were a few seconds there when my blood went cold thinking "Sweet lord baby Jesus, he IS going to KILL JACK!"

Since he didn't, the biggest question is: Why not?

I think one of the biggest clues to the entire series lies in Locke's final line:

Hmm, maybe I could just get Sawyer to kill Jack for me later?LOCKE: Please. Put the phone down.
JACK: No. You're done keeping me on this island.
[Locke cocks the barrel]
LOCKE: I will kill you if I have to.
JACK: Then do it, John.
KATE: Jack.
[Locke pauses, and then lowers the gun]
LOCKE: Jack... You're not supposed to do this.

Damn straight, he's not! He ends up a hopped-up shaggy-haired psycho-freak! More on my analysis of Locke's warning in the theories section. But for now, let's just remember that when Locke saw that Jack was going through with the call, did you notice how he cold-busted out of there? Ain't no WAY he was going to get "rescued!" That's my man!

[The phone is answered]
MAN: Minkowski. Hello?
[Jack puts it to his ear]
JACK: Who is this?
MINKOWSKI: Who is this?
JACK: My name is Jack Shephard. Are you, are you on the boat, the freighter?
MINKOWSKI: How'd you get this channel?
[Locke can be seen leaving the area]
JACK: Naomi, Naomi told us about your search team. About the boat.
MINKOWSKI: Naomi. You found her? Where is she? Who are you?
JACK: I'm one of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Can you get a fix on our location?
MINKOWSKI: Hell yeah we can. Sit tight. We'll be right there.
[Everyone share grins and shrieks with happiness as Jack and Kate look at each other]

And that is the last we see of the Lostaways on the Island this season.

Now... it's barreling toward my bedtime on Monday night, and I've spent days writing this post (at this point I've actually written the entire post and was reviewing it again before uploading it)... and guess what? I just noticed something new, which I believe is a clue. Unbelievably, I have not seen this mentioned on any other sites, so you may just be hearing it first here on Long Live Locke... but the guy who answered the phone? Minkowski? Guess who he's probably named after... Hermann Minkowski, Russian mathematician and good friend of Albert Einstein. And guess what Minkowski's famous for? A little theory about a thing called "space-time"!

It is a clue, I KNOW IT IS. Because remember when Karl was being held in the Clockwork Orange Rave Room and the nerds on the boards played the audio from that scene backwards? A woman's voice was heard saying "Only fools are enslaved by time and space." Something wacky is going on with "space-time" - mark my words!


Running question tally:

36) If the rescue team DOES come, what are they going to do when they find Naomi dead?
37) What did Locke mean when he said "You're not supposed to do this"?
38) Where did Locke go?


HISS.....

As I mentioned a few posts ago, the code name for the big twist in the finale was "the snake in the mailbox." I must agree that that was a fitting term!

Since a huge part of the analysis about "what's going on?" is derived from the final scene, I will paste it in in its entirety. Note that this is the ONLY episode that has ever both STARTED AND ENDED on a flash (rather than on the Island), which some people think is a hint as to how the show will function when it returns in Season Four.


They're called Merry Maids - call them![At Jack's apartment, maps scatter the table. The whole place is a mess, and Jack sits on the floor drinking alcohol, flicking his flip-phone. He dials a number, and puts it to his ear]
VOICE: Hello.
JACK: Hello? It's me. Whoa, whoa, wait, don't, don't hang up, please. I know what you said, I just. I just need to see ya, please? Yeah, yeah out at the airport. You know where. Thank you.
[Jack drives to the airport and parks up. Another car approaches. Jack steps out and the car stops. Out of the darkness appears Kate Austen.]
KATE: Hey.
JACK: Hey.
KATE: Saw you on the news. Still pulling people out of burning wreckage, huh?
JACK: Old habits.
KATE: You look terrible.
JACK: [Laughs] Thanks.
KATE: Why did you call me, Jack?
[Jack hands her his newspaper clipping]
JACK: I was hoping that you'd heard. That maybe you'd go to the funeral.
You used to be so cute, Jack!KATE: Why would I go to the funeral?
JACK: I've been flying a lot.
KATE: What?
JACK: Yeah, that golden pass that they gave us. I, I've been using it. Every Friday night I, I fly from L.A. to Tokyo or, Singapore, Sydney. [Laughs] And then I, I get off and I, have a drink, and then I fly home.
KATE: Why?
JACK: Because I wanted to crash, Kate. I don't care about anybody else on board. Every little bump we hit or turbulence, I mean I, I actually close my eyes and I pray that I can get back.
[Kate looks near tears, as does Jack]
KATE: This is not gonna change.
JACK: No, I'm sick of lying. We made a mistake.
KATE: I have to go. He's gonna be wondering where I am...
[Jack grabs her]
I'm not going to shave off my beard for you, are you crazy?!?JACK: We were not supposed to leave.
KATE: Yes we were.
[She releases herself]
KATE: Goodbye, Jack.
[She heads for her car]
JACK: We have to go back, Kate.
[She gets in her car and drives away]
JACK: We have to go back!!
[A plane takes off over Jack's head]


Sadness. Here's to 9 months of thinking about that depressing ending!!!

OK, before I get into the deep stuff, a quick bit of comic relief, courtesy of the boards. There were more than a handful of posts that I read that were written right after the finale was over where the people did NOT get that the flashes were in the future, even after the ending:

"So... Kate and Jack knew each other before the crash and just acted like they didn't?"

Good God, people, how do you survive in your daily lives?!?!

I know none of *my* readers thought that! (Don't tell me if you did)

So here are the important things that form the basis of the major theories that will be covered shortly:

- Kate had obviously asked Jack NOT to contact her ("I know what you said..."), meaning he has most likely made desperate calls to her before.
- Kate was surprised that Jack thought she would be at the funeral, indicating that the person who died was not someone Kate was close to.
- Both Jack and Kate (and whoever else makes up the "us" he refers to) received "Golden Passes" from Oceanic Air, most likely as a gift because they freaking survived a plane crash. Probably not something the airline thought they'd be taken up on, but apparently Jack is really leveraging his.
- Jack said that he is sick of lying.
- Kate has someone she needs to get back to (just like Sawyer told her, "there's always someone to go back for") who may be wondering where she is.
- Jack thinks they made a mistake, and is most likely referring to leaving the Island. He thinks that they should "go back."

Questions answered:
1) When is this taking place? Answer: At some point in the future after they have returned from the Island.
3) Who is Jack trying to call? Answer: Kate.


Running Question Tally:

39) Who is waiting for Kate's return?
40) Why is Kate not upset like Jack is? Why is she not trying to get back?
41) And speaking of Kate, why is she NOT IN JAIL? Let's not forget that she was a fugitive...
42) What is Jack having to lie about?

OK... nearly three days straight of working on this post and I'm probably half-way done with it. Sweet.

But who am I kidding? It's just getting interesting...


PART TWO - ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS


WHAT'S BLACK AND WHITE AND READ ALL OVER?

The newspaper, silly!

The clipping that launched one million man-hours of analysis...Had you any doubt that someone would blow up the clip Jack was carrying around, rotate it and figure out what it said? Do not underestimate the geeks! They will always come through for us!

The best version I've seen comes from my boy DarkUFO - see an enlarged version of the clip here.

The newspaper Jack was looking at was from the April 5, 2007 edition of the L.A. Times. If we were to assume that the Lostaways got rescued right after the happenings in the finale, which were in December 2004, then Jack's flashes are taking place a little less than 2.5 years after they left the Island.

From only looking at the screencap, here is the text that can be made out:

Los Angeles
Man found dead in
downtown loft

"The body of J[o]...[unreadable]...[a]ntham of
New York was discovered shortly after 4
a.m. in the...[unreadable]...of Grand
Avenue. Ted [lastname], [a door]man at The
Tower...[unreadable]...heard loud
noises...[unreadable]...antham's loft.
[unreadable]... [sa]fety, he [unreadable]
[unreadable]...discovered the
[unreadable]...a beam in the
[unreadable]...[ac]cordin[g]...[unreadable]..."

Now, I'm going to do something I don't normally do and include what is technically a spoiler as part of this analysis, only because it has been so broadly circulated and also because we have no way of knowing whether or not it is actually true. Therefore, because it could turn out to be rubbish and not spoil anything, or it could turn out to be right but we still really wouldn't be positive of who is in the casket, I feel I can mention it.

What is this possible spoiler? A supposed "leak" of what the clip actually said. This text has been posted across several sites - and whoever sent it claims to be an inside source on the show. The mystery person asserts that the clip reads:

"The body of John Lantham of New York was found shortly after 4 a.m. in the 4300 block of Grand Avenue. Ted Worden, a doorman at the Tower Lofts complex, heard loud noises coming from the victim's loft. Concerned for tenants' safety, he entered the loft and found the body hanging from a beam in the living room. According to Jaime Ortiz, a police spokesman, the incident was deemed a suicide after medical tests. Latham (sic) is survived by one teenaged son. Memorial services will be held at the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Home tomorrow evening."

First off, in the clip that has been enlarged in the link I included above, you can clearly see that the last name ends in ...ntham, so I think the second reference in the above to "Latham" is just spelled wrong. Secondly, the "spoiler" part of this leaked clip, in my mind, is the second-to-last line about the teenaged son, as that line was not visible at all on any of the screencaps taken from the show. Without the leaked clip, most people had already pieced together the name, the fact that the man was from New York, and that it appeared to be a suicide even though there were loud noises heard in the loft (I definitely think it was a murder and that therefore we will have the whole "who dun it?" mystery in the future as well). Those who are familiar with L.A. said that the area in question is an extremely poor and dangerous area, and that the bridge where Jack had stopped was not too far from that same area.

If the name in the obituary truly is John Lantham, then... we currently don't know who this character is, as there is no one named that on the show at this present time. Some people think that once our Lostaways got off of the Island, some of them changed their names, so that the person in the casket could only be a certain few of the male Lostaways. Guesses as to who is in the casket are covered in the "Theories" section below.

Questions Answered:
1) When are Jack's flashes taking place? Answer: In early April, 2007.
2) What is in the newspaper clipping? Answer: An article about a death in L.A.
18) Who is in the coffin? Answer: Most likely a man going by the name of Jonathan Lantham, that both Jack and Kate knew.


DEAR DIARY... TODAY SUCKED.

Why is everyone so MEAN to me? You're my only friend, diary.When the Looking Glass chicks break radio silence and contact Benry, he was in the middle of either re-reading or writing an entry in a journal. This has now been blown up and analyzed and for the most part, transcribed. Click here to see the HD screencap and the most current guess as to what the entry says. By and large it seemed that despite how confident Benry always outwardly acted, he was well aware of the dire circumstances facing his group. In my mind after reading the diary, the biggest question is who "J" is - as it could be John Locke, Jack or Jacob, and whomever it is would make a big difference in what Benry's talking about, as he admits to agreeing with "J's agenda" but thinking that it would be a "hurried and difficult" one. He also references the possibility of a "partnered campaign."


And now to the meat of the post (yes, I can barely see straight and am cursing this show right about now)...


PART THREE - THEORIES


NINE MONTHS OF ANALYSIS STARTS NOW

I will start off by apologizing for not including any pictures in this section. They take a while to find, save, upload and place, and I'm just never going to get done with this post if I attempt to add any more. Plus, now we're at the serious section, so you need to concentrate!

Let's begin with some of the easy questions and their respective theories first, shall we?

* I will put an asterisk beside the ones that I personally believe could be true (sometimes I think a few could be true), or that are my own theories.


Who are the car crash victims?

Theories:

1) They are just randoms that we don't know.*

2) They are Juliet's sister Rachel and her son Julian.
I don't think this could be the case because: a) We saw the woman, and while she was all battered, she still didn't look like Rachel. b) Her last name was Arland, not Burke... But she could have gotten married, others would argue. c) The age of the boy doesn't fit. Dr. Hamill said the boy was eight years old. Rachel had her son when Juliet was on the Island, and Juliet had been on the Island three years. We now know that less than three years have passed in Jack's flash-forward. So the oldest Rachel's son could be is six. d) Rachel had previously lived in Miami, but the crash was in L.A.

Despite all this "evidence," many people still believe the crash victims were Rachel and Julian.

3) They are people that are somehow connected to other Lostaways (not Jack), but we are not able to make that connection yet.



Who did Kate have to return to?

Theories:

1) Sawyer.*
She said "He will be wondering where I am" like Jack knew who "he" was. If Kate did end up getting pregnant by Sawyer, there is a chance they then stayed together once they left the Island. Also, Sawyer could still remain incredibly jealous of Jack and insecure about his relationship with Kate just like on the Island, so it would fit that Kate would not want to be away very long, and it would fit that Kate had previously asked Jack not to contact her anymore.

2) Her previous husband*
She could have found her old police husband guy and gotten back together with him if he was extremely forgiving about the whole "poisoning" incident...

3) Her parole officer
Less likely, but possible.

4) Someone we don't know yet.

5) Someone who is "watching" her.
Jack said that he is sick of "lying," Kate had asked him not to contact her in the past, they met in a secret location... perhaps the rescued Lostaways had to make deals to not talk to each other again and/or to never talk about the Island or what happened there. Perhaps they know people are watching them, and Kate therefore had to elude someone to go and meet Jack and she is nervous about it. Jack would know who that "he" was in that case, too.

6) Her kid
If she was pregnant when she left the Island, assuming they left the Island in December of 2004 (meaning the rescue they were waiting for in the finale worked), she would have had a child in the fall of 2005, making the kid less than 2 years old in April of 2007. I don't think she would leave a kid that young alone, nor does it seem like the kid himself (if it was a boy) would be the "he" she was referring to, but it still is a remote possibility. If the baby was conceived on the Island, he may have super growing powers like Walt and now be 16.

The bigger question for many people is "why Kate wasn't in jail?"... but that will be covered in the "what is going on?" section.


Who was in the casket?

We know that the obituary lists "J... ...ntham" as the deceased, or, if you believe the leak, then the deceased is named John Lantham. Either way, it is definitely a man according to the headline of the article ("Man found dead"), which rules out the idea that many people keep inexplicably harping on that Juliet is in the coffin. I also am going to rule out the possibility of Sawyer being in the coffin, because that also makes no sense to me. If Sawyer were NOT with Kate, then he would never be in L.A. And even if Kate was not with Sawyer after the Island, she would never act like there would be no reason for her to care or go to the funeral. Sawyer also has his ex and his daughter who would still most likely show up to the funeral. And, it wouldn't make as much sense as the other options listed below.

If you take into account the information about the man originally being from New York, and if you think it is one of the Lostaways that we currently knew who changed his name, and if you believe the leaked line about the deceased having a teenaged son, then there is really only one possibility - Michael.

If you are like many people and believe that since Michael would be the most obvious, it's NOT him who is in the coffin - then the only other person who comes to mind is Benry. Since all of the explanations behind each theory are long, let's just get into them. And I will state for the record that I don't think we're going to find out who is in the coffin in the next season, so we will probably forget about it by the time we get back to this issue!

Theories:

1) Benry*
As Benry spent the majority of his life on the Island, he changed his name for some reason after he was forced to go back to the "real world." The part in the obituary about the person originally being from New York could therefore also be fabricated. The teenage son in question could be Karl. "Karl?" you say. How can that be?

To go off on a short tangent... here is the idea behind the "Karl is Ben's son" theory, compiled from a few different posts about this topic:
After The Purge, Ben and Annie (his childhood friend) were some of the only people left from Dharma, and they decided to have a kid. Whether they already knew about the fertility issue is up in the air. They very well might have, but risked it anyway. Annie died giving birth to Karl. In a way, Ben resents Karl, exactly like his father resented him. Karl is Ben’s son, but he (Karl) doesn’t know it yet, because he was raised by another set of Others. Why did Ben have to “give up” Karl and have another family raise him? Simple – because Ben is focused on the fertility issue after Annie (and probably other Others') death.

So Ben’s plan was to (1) kidnap Alex, (2) raise her as his own daughter so he could Benipulate her into doing what he wanted her to do, and (3) pair Karl up with Alex, matchmaker style, as the “last hope” to produce offspring and continue life on the Island. Ben needed to parent the female because they are the ones that give birth, making her more important than Karl. His quote in the finale about him not wanting Alex to get pregnant by Karl is very telling. In fact, he originally DID want her to get pregnant (eventually), but the time hadn’t come yet because they hadn't found the solution to keeping pregnant women from dying, other things intervened, and it was probably going to be Ben’s last resort. These facts will be revealed as the fertility issue is further explained.

Now, back to the theory that Benry is in the coffin...
Either Karl didn't leave the Island or hated Benry after learning that he was his real father (especially since we now know Benry was responsible for the brainwashing attempt on Karl), which could explain why Karl didn't show up at the funeral. The book next to the casket could be Benry's diary. No one else would show up for Benry's funeral as he had no friends or family in the real world, but Jack may have thought that some of the Lostaways would have shown up. The area of L.A. where Benry lived was a poor area, which would make sense if Benry had no connections in the real world and no motivation to begin a "career" working for The Man when he himself used to be The Man on the Island.

Kate obviously knew the person as well, but seemed almost disgusted that Jack would think she would go, which would definitely fit with it being Benry. And while Jack was neither friend nor family as he stated, if he was truly desperate to get back to the Island and believed Benry was his only shot at returning, this would fit with Jack being driven to suicide after learning that Benry had died, as well as him seeming remorseful when by the casket. The "forgive me" Jack mutters on the bridge could be referring to the fact that Benry warned Jack that leaving the Island would be "the beginning of the end," and now Jack has come full circle and realized that Benry was right.

It would also be quite ironic and poignant if Benry is indeed in the coffin... considering this scene after Jack beat up Benry when thinking the three shooters had been killed:

KATE: So why did you bring him back? Why didn't you just kill him?
JACK: Because I want him to see it. I want him to experience the moment that we get off this Island, and I want him to know that he failed. And then I'll kill him.

Benry is in the coffin because it completes the circle. Jack went from hating him and wanting to kill him to needing him in order to get back to the Island. So Benry dying would squash Jack’s hope of returning to the island.

2) Michael

Michael is originally from New York and would have a teenaged son by that point (Walt). If you assume he was able to find rescue after leaving on the Others' boat, Michael could have changed his name after he got back from the Island because he had killed people and didn't want any of the Lostaways finding him if they ever returned. Or, perhaps Michael is on the rescue boat that is awaiting the Lostaways, and changed his name after returning to the real world as some sort of witness protection thing that was mandated by Dharma/Widmore/Mittelos to ensure no one learned the secrets or location of the Island.

If Michael had actually made it off of the Island by using the Others' boat, then Jack would be upset if Michael died because Michael would be one of the few people who therefore may know how to get back to the Island. Kate would be incredulous at Jack's assumption that she would be at the funeral because she did NOT like Michael as he did kill two people in addition to turning Jack and Sawyer and herself over to the Others in return for Walt.

Because the funeral director was African-American, a lot of people think that also fits with it being Michael. What doesn't fit is why Michael would be in L.A. rather than NYC where he used to live. And why wouldn't Walt or his ex-wife show up at the funeral?

3) Locke

God forbid, but there definitely is a chance it could be my man in the coffin (once again, assuming the deceased is one of the Lostaways who changed their name). Locke didn't really have many connections back in the real world, Kate doesn't like Locke because of all of the times he tried to stop them from getting off of the Island, and Jack would feel remorse because he realized that Locke had been right all along, and that Jack wasn't supposed to call for rescue. But Locke wasn't originally from New York, didn't have a son, and never lived in the L.A. area.

4) Another Lostaway that is not a major character

Without getting too much into one of the "what's going on" theories, some people think that the Lostaways who were rescued are being picked off one by one by Dharma/Widmore/Mittelos to ensure the secrets and location of the Island do not get revealed. Remember that Benry said that "every living person on this Island will be killed"... that could have meant that they would be killed in the future if they returned to the real world. Jack would be upset because he would know that he was essentially responsible for everyone getting murdered, which is why he would say "Forgive me" after climbing up on the bridge. Perhaps several of his former Island comrades had already been murdered, and therefore another obituary of another Lostaway would push him over the edge with guilt. Kate, however, may not be worried about getting killed and feel ambivalent toward whomever it was. Or perhaps she and Jack struck deals to not tell about the Island in return for their safety (which is why he said he was sick of lying), but others didn't and they are the ones getting killed. In this case, it doesn't matter as much WHO the person is (which is why the name is someone we've never heard of) but rather WHY they were killed. And remember the article left it open for this to be a murder rather than a suicide as it noted the commotion heard in the loft before the body was discovered.

Another more simple theory is that something really awful happened on the Island that we have yet to see, and that this person did actually kill himself after returning home because he couldn't live with the memory. Or the exact opposite - maybe this person's life fell apart after leaving the Island (much like Jack's), so he killed himself because he knew he could never go back. Jack would relate to this and be upset even if it wasn't a close friend, but Kate, who seems to have moved on, wouldn't be interested.

5) Jeremy Bentham

Some people think that the "leaked" article text was a faux spoiler and therefore cannot be trusted. They think the name of the deceased is Jeremy Bentham (rather than Jonathan Lantham), because that is the name of a famous philosopher, and we all know how they love to use old philosopher's names on this show (John Locke, Desmond David Hume, Mikhail Bakunin, Rousseau...). When I looked at the article, while the last name Bentham could still be possible, it definitely looks like the first name starts with Jo or maybe Ja, but not Je. However, I'm not ruling it out as this philosopher's history seems to be extremely relevant to the show - especially since he was inspired by John Locke and David Hume. And his Panopticon idea sounds right up Dharma's alley - a prison where the prisoners don't know if they are being observed.

So, there could be a new character we've never met yet named Jeremy, OR one of the Lostaways we know could've changed his name to Jeremy Bentham. It definitely seems like it would be a fitting name for Benry to choose.

7) Jonathan Latham

I can clearly see the "ntham" in the article Jack tore out, so I don't think this name fits. However, the last name is spelled that way in its second reference in the leaked text. Also, this
recently deceased artist of the same name who proposed a theory called Flat Time could have just been the inspiration for the name John Lantham, but since he was a real person, they slightly changed the name.

And once again, this could be a new character or a name a previous character took on back at home.


What is going on?

For three seasons, the majority of the Lostaways have desperately been awaiting rescue. Now we are introduced to a future where Jack is desperately searching for a return.

What happened?

It will be easier to process all of these theories if we first pull together what I consider to be the biggest clues spread across the most recent episodes:

On the Island:
- Desmond somehow jumped back in time to a point several years before he set sail in the race and did a few things differently. A woman he met there, who seemed to know that he wasn't doing what he was "supposed to," claimed that the "universe will always find a way to course-correct." That time-jump happened when he turned the fail-safe key, which was the same moment when men in tents monitoring "electromagnetic anomalies" for Penny noticed such an event. Ever since turning the fail-safe key, Desmond had visions of future events, all of which revolved around Charlie's impending death.
- Both Papa Locke and Naomi claimed that Flight 815 crashed and the bodies of all survivors were found dead. That flight had the same passenger list as the one our Lostaways were on, because Papa Locke knew that Locke was on it, and Naomi said that they had made a big deal out of Charlie's death.
- Benry forewarns Jack that if he makes the phone call, it will be "the beginning of the end" and that "every living person on this island will be killed."
- Benry claims that Naomi is not who she says she is, and that she is with a group that has been trying to find the Island and that they are the bad guys.
- We know that at least part of what Naomi said was indeed a lie - she was not sent by Penelope because Penelope had no knowledge of a boat or of Naomi, and seemed surprised when Charlie came through on the screen.
- Locke tells Jack that making the phone call to get them rescued was not what he was "supposed to" do.

In Jack's flash-forwards:
- He and Kate have made it back home from the Island.
- He makes multiple references to his father as if he were still alive.
- He is an alcoholic and hooked on painkillers.
- Someone dies (it was either a suicide or a murder made to look like a suicide) that both he and Kate knew, and it distresses Jack to the point of considering suicide himself.
- He says that he is sick of lying and that they "have to go back." He said that they were "not supposed to leave" and she says that they were. It seems as though Jack, the Lostaway most anxious to leave the Island, is now the one most desperate to return.

Now let's go WAAAY back... back to almost the very beginning of the series, and remember the two skeletons that Jack found in the cave behind the waterfall, most often referred to as "Adam and Eve" on the boards.

Then let's consider a recent Entertainment Weekly article, in which the following question was asked and answer given by the two Executive Producers:

"What is the meaning or significance of the two skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the cave in Season One?"

CUSE: The answer to that question goes to the nature of the timeline of the island. We don't want to say too much about it, but there are a couple Easter eggs embedded in "Not in Portland", one of which is an anagram that actually sheds some light on the skeletons and hints at a larger mythological mystery that will start to unfold later in the season.
LINDELOF: There were certain things we knew from the very beginning. Independent of ever knowing when the end was going to be, we knew what it was going to be, and we wanted to start setting it up as early as Season One, or else people would think that we were making it up as we were going along. So the skeletons are the living -- or, I guess, slowly decomposing -- proof of that. When all is said and done, people are going to point to the skeletons and say, "That is proof that from the very beginning, they always knew that they were going to do this."

Most people think that the anagram that Carlton refers to above is Mittelos = Lost Time.

While you can peruse the gazillion theories about the skeletons here, for purposes of this post, I just wanted to remind you of them as they factor in to some of the theories.

Theories (these are not all mutually exclusive, by the way):

1) There are multiple universes (possibly parallel, but maybe not) that our Lostaways are traveling between, whether or not it is known to them.*

When the term "universe" is used in this context, it doesn't mean "another universe where there are aliens and talking dogs and stuff." It means a universe just like our own with another Earth and another you and me doing similar things as to what we're doing right now. The following are extremely complicated ideas, so it's best if you just read them on your own rather than reading a weak attempt by me to summarize them. And I didn't come up with them, so if you have questions about how they could work or if you can poke holes in these theories, I can't help you out!

The Multiple Parallel Universe Theory was first discussed in Desmond's "Flashes Before Your Eyes" episode (and as you will see, the page I linked to is from that point in time on the show, but it still explains the theory in a way that you could see how it would apply after the finale). What if not only Desmond, but also other characters were going in between different parallel universes? That would explain why Jack's dad wouldn't be dead and Kate wouldn't be in jail - if in other universes those characters had made different decisions in their lives.

A related theory is The Multiverse Theory, which you should also read in its full form because it's not too long and I can't really condense it. Not all of it makes sense to me (and the person spelled plane "plain" in one instance, so you've got to wonder...), but it is definitely a possibility. The difference between the MPU Theory and the Multiverse Theory is that in the MPU Theory, all instances of time are moving along at the same pace, whereas in the Multiverse Theory, different instances of time move at completely unrelated speeds. Meaning that time on the Island could have been moving much more slowly or more quickly than time in another universe.

2) The Lostaways are stuck in a time loop.*

The Lostaways are traveling in some sort of temporal displacement loop. They are stuck and trying to get out of the loop. We'll eventually find out that the two skeletons in the cave from Season One are Jack and Kate - remnants from another timeline that ended up with our characters on the Island. Similarly, Charlie is the "musician" who created the Looking Glass hatch code for himself. This was a hint set up by the Lostaways in a previous loop to remind them that Charlie can change something they've been doing over and over again. They do this because they keep failing to break the loop.

There have been certain things that have bugged me since Season One that could be explained by a time loop - and shout-out to CG for sharing this theory with me way back in the day. For example, in the fifth episode of the series, there is a scene where Kate tackles Sawyer because she thinks he stole the group's water. He then says, "It's about time - I made that birthday wish four years ago." Now, that definitely could just be one of Sawyer's random comments - like, in general, he's been wishing for a woman to jump him for a while. But I remember thinking it was kind of odd then, and now with everything that's happened in the following two seasons, I still remembered it and still think it is strange! This could also explain why Locke knows when it's going to rain, and other small things that alone do not seem significant, but when looked at together could be explained by a time loop.

The characters may only be partially conscious that they are in the loop, which is why every time they start figuring it out they realize that they need to leave an increasing number of clues for themselves. If Locke is one of the characters that is more conscious of the loop, as is Desmond, then he would think that Jack was not "supposed to" make the phone call, because he had seen it play out differently before. But perhaps this time, Desmond and/or Charlie did something to change how things normally turned out, so Locke is confused. If Jack comes to realize that he's living the same period of time over and over again, that could be what's driving him insane. He may know that the only way to stop the loop is to change something that happens on the Island. From here on out I'm going to be on red alert for more clues that point to a loop!

3) There is only one instance of time (one timeline), but some or all of the characters can jump around in time, thus changing what happens to them and others.


Everyone who wanted to be rescued from the Island was, but the lives they returned to were very different from the lives they left, and that is because of Desmond's one instance of time travel. Jack's father was no longer dead, Kate's mother never told on her and therefore Kate was never wanted for murder, and so on. But certain of the Lostaways may be finding that that from which they sought redemption is exactly what is becoming their ruin, so they want to get back to the Island and/or go back in time themselves and escape or change this bizarro version of their lives.

Something bad happened after leaving the Island that has made Jack desperate to return. In between the last we saw of him awaiting rescue in the finale and April 5, 2007, Jack learned that the Island could offer the ability to jump around in time. When Jack says "We have to go back" - he literally means "back in time." He wants to undo whatever has driven him to the edge of sanity. It may be something that changed in Jack's life after Desmond did his time-jump when he turned the key. Remember, they keep showing connections between all of the characters in the past, so if one of the characters did something differently in the past, it may have had a ripple effect in the future for everyone.

This one is hard for me to explain, because if Jack's dad hadn't died, and Kate's mom hadn't turned her in, why would either of those two be on the plane that crashed on the Island in the first place? But it is very interesting to think about... they left with one life and returned to a completely different one - which many people also think is what "Through the Looking Glass" could mean. How they could explain that, I have no idea. And I'm not going to think about it any further or my brain will explode. But if any of YOU know, then please leave a comment. OH! I just thought of one possibility... perhaps they left one instance of time and went back to another ... and the instance of time they went back to was the one that Desmond had changed, so everything was different. Perhaps in that instance they actually never did crash on the Island, but when they rejoined that instance of time they still had all of the memories of the Island and it was driving some of them (Jack) nuts. Since I keep reminding myself that this show is still something that had to be pitched to network executives and had to be mainstream-media-proof - once theories start getting extremely complicated, I have to question whether or not it's realistic to think that that's the premise of a prime-time show was built around. Not counting it out completely, but just saying it's doubtful that this theory is correct.

And just to be completely thorough, here is a slightly different take on the same overall theory (so it therefore has the same problems as the one above), this was a post on the boards:

"Upon being rescued, the survivors returned to their lives to find that reality had been altered. (Perhaps by something that Desmond did differently in one of his lucid 'flashbacks'.) It seemed to me that Kate had made a different decision - not to kill her father. So she was no longer on the run, and so had not caused the death of her childhood sweetheart. Maybe he is the one she is with now (sorry Jack!). Also, Jack may have kept quiet about his father being drunk on the job and as a result Christian never went to Australia and died. It would be interesting to ponder what other types of decisions the remaining survivors may have made, and the repercussions these decisions would have had on their lives."



4) Jack was not able to rescue everyone off of the Island, and the fact that he has not been able to make it back in 2.5 years is driving him crazy.

No time travel in this one! When the rescue crew arrives, they either refuse to take everyone, or Jack is forced to pick only a few people that can return with him. He most likely would pick Claire and Aaron (rendering Desmond's visions accurate), but would also take Kate because not only do we now know he loves her, but he also knows that she may be pregnant and he doesn't want her to die on the Island. For this reason, he probably also takes Sun (if she would leave without Jin, which is unlikely). But all others may not have been rescued, or the rescue team may have known that they only have a brief amount of time that they could approach and leave the Island because of its magnetic properties, so they didn't have time to get the others from the beach. Jack most likely promised that he would come back for them and hasn't been able to find the Island again in all this time. Hence the maps strewn around his apartment. We also know that he has to "fix things," and for him not to be able to save the rest of the group would definitely be enough to drive him batty, especially if his ex-wife was now pregnant by another man and he had fallen victim to his father's old love of the bottle.


5) Everyone who wanted to be rescued from the Island was, but since returning home they have been getting killed off in an attempt to keep the Island a secret. As Jack fought for their rescue, he feels responsible for everyone getting killed and wishes he listened to Benry.

No time travel in this one, either. The rescue crew took everyone off of the Island because it didn't want anyone fighting them for control, since their true intention was to take over the Island and do their own experiments. So Benry was correct in that the "rescue team" was nothing more than a group of people trying to locate the Island, even perhaps the original Dharma founders who probably realized that something had gone awry (The Purge) with the community they had set up. Penny's father could somehow be involved with them, and that would explain why Naomi was given the picture and the "front" that she was looking for Desmond, so that he and whoever else was with him would be cooperative and truly believe they were being rescued. While Penny is probably also looking for Desmond as demonstrated by the guys in the tent at the end of Season Two, she was not aware of this other team.

So they make everyone leave the Island (or at least everyone that they can find) and then once back in the real world, everyone starts mysteriously dying off, perhaps even after promising to never reveal what happened (hence Jack being "sick of lying). This would also make Benry right in his prediction that "every living person on this Island will be killed" - because they are killed after they leave the Island. Let's not forget how Juliet's ex-husband was hit by the bus! Even though that was "Mittelos Bioscience" - all of these companies could actually be the same thing... and once Benry starting jamming communications to and from the Island, he may have made many powerful people angry and he would realize what the consequences would be if he were ever caught by them. So why would Benry cut communications off in the first place? Maybe he feared that he was starting to lose power over his people and realized that he didn't want his position on the Island to change - in fact, he didn't want ANYTHING to change, so he tried to get rid of Locke (his main threat) and had already jammed communications so that no one could ever reach the Island and he could live happily ever after.

6) Jack's bleak future flashes were only a POSSIBLE outcome - one that can still be changed.

Not really sure how they would make the viewing audience aware that this is what is going on, unless we saw another flash of April 5, 2007 where Jack's life was completely different. This theory maintains that there is no time-jumping or anything like that, but that your fate is not pre-determined and therefore with each decision that Jack makes, his "possible future" changes. So as of right now, he has called for rescue, and at that moment in time, his future is looking pretty dismal. But perhaps if Benry convinces him to fight the rescuers or hide or something, we will see another version of Jack's future. My problem with this is that it seems like it is too Jack-centric and would be hard to pull off if it involved other characters, but who knows. I'm not as creative as the show's writers!



How will the show function going forward?

Since the finale both began and ended with Jack's flashes, many people wondered if that signaled a switch in the show's format, meaning that from now on, the "future" is going to be the main part of the show and the flashes will actually be flashbacks to how events unfolded on the Island. They argue that the title of the finale ("Through the Looking Glass") meant that from now on we were going to be seeing things from the opposite end... from the future off of the Island with flashbacks to the present-time or past on the Island. While that technically wasn't what was done in the finale (how could Jack's "flashbacks to the Island" cover things that he wasn't present for - like Charlie and Desmond in the hatch, Locke in the pit or Benry at the camp?), that's not to say that they couldn't flip to that format in Season Four.


Theories:

1) All episodes going forward will be based in the future. Each episode will reveal a different character's fate after his or her rescue with flashbacks to the Island that we haven't seen yet to help piece the overall timeline of events together.

2) Episodes will remain as they always have been - with the main focus on the Island.* However, flashes can now be either of the future or of the past, depending on the character, with the end result still being the overall timeline of events being made clear. In all of the jumping around between past, present and future flashes, it may become clear that there is not one single outcome that awaits our Lostaways, but rather many.

3) There will be no more flashes at all. As we got a glimpse into what was going on about 2.5 years after the rescue, and we will now see how that bleak future for Jack comes to fruition over the course of the next three seasons. We could eventually catch up to April 5, 2007 before the series is over and then go from there to see how, if at all, the characters (or some of them) are able to get back to the Island.


PART FOUR - OTHER THINGS OF NOTE


BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE


ROSE: If I told you that I'd help you with your SOS sign, would you change your mind?
BERNARD: No ma'am.
ROSE: Then I want you to say it again.
BERNARD: Rose...
ROSE: Say it, Bernard.
BERNARD: I am a dentist, I am not Rambo.





Sure, I'll sign an autograph!BENRY: Why are you breaking radio silence?
BONNIE: One of them's down here.
BENRY: I'm sorry, what?!
BONNIE: We have him tied up but he's here. One of them swam down here.
BENRY: Who? Which one?
BONNIE: He won't tell us.
CHARLIE: [Overhearing] It's Charlie! Tell him I said hi!





JACK: Listen, they had no idea that we were waiting for them. And Sayid's with your husbands, they're gonna be fine and they're gonna be a couple of hours behind us.
SUN: Then we should wait for them here. You go on...
JACK: No. No one gets left behind.
ROSE: If you say "live together, die alone" to me Jack, I'm gonna punch you in your face.





So these aliens... are there female aliens?SAWYER: So, when you pulled us out of those polar bear cages and put us on the chain gang, what the hell you have us breaking all those rocks for anyway?
JULIET: We were building a runway.
SAWYER: Runway, for what?
JULIET: [Turns to him] The aliens.
[She smirks]
JULIET: I don't know what for, do you think they told me everything?
SAWYER: Yeah, yeah, whatever you say. So, you screwing Jack yet?
JULIET: No. Are you?





ALEX: Why did you let me come?
BENRY: I let you come because I'm delivering you to your new family. I let you come because you betrayed me, Alex.
ALEX: You locked Karl in a cage. You put him a room and tried to brainwash him!
BENRY: I didn't want him to get you pregnant. I suppose I overreacted. We better get going.




DESMOND: She's not gonna tell you, brother.
CHARLIE: Yeah, she's gonna tell me.
DESMOND: What makes you say that?
CHARLIE: Because you said it's my destiny to turn off that jammer. OK, Bonnie, we're both gonna die down here. All right, let's be perfectly honest. A one-eyed maniac just killed your friend, he shot you in the back. It would appear that your glorious leader, Ben, put him up to it. Are you a sodding idiot?





[Out in the jungle, Jack leads the group with Rousseau toward the tower. Benry's walkie which he carries suddenly springs to life]
HURLEY: Attention, Others. Come in, Others. If you're listening in, I want you to know that we got you bastards. And, unless the rest of you wanna be blown up, you best stay away from our beach...
[Everyone stops and listens]
JACK: Hurley?



WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- Jack... You don't look so good, bud.
- I'd just like to discuss the hotness that is Sayid for a moment. Only he could break an armed man's neck while BOUND and GAGGED.
- Fair winds following seas, Meriadoc Brandybuck. You will be remembered.
- Oh, and can I say that Mikhail must be a damn cat with 9 lives? I don't believe for a second that he blew up with that grenade. We'll see him again for sure.
- Sayid's leg-spinning, tripping, neck-breaking was one of the most bad-ass moments in TV history. The Ride of Hurley made me cheer and I was glad the "filler" van episode was justified.
- I hope we get a Mikhail flashback next season so we can find out how the Soviet Army turned him into the mother f-ing Terminator.
- If FutureJack and FutureKate have access to FutureDesmond, who has the ability to actually relive his flashbacks, then FutureDesmond could interact with PresentCastaways and convince them to take an alternate course of action.
- Great episode. Biggest clue as to what's happening is the title "Through the Looking Glass." The book by the same name is a sequel to Alice in Wonderland in which Alice travels through a mirror into an alternate reality. I think it's clear the castaways venture into an alternate reality when they're taken off of the island -- a reality where Jack's father never died, and Kate's mom took the insurance money and never ratted her out (hence Kate driving a nice car and not being behind bars). Have no fear, Losties, Desmond can and will go back and alter history because he knows it's NOT PENNY'S BOAT!
- I don't think this is a one shot flash just to see what happens if Jack's plan works. I think the producers are trying to establish a separate "future" continuity that is trying to go back in time to go along with what has been established as the current continuity that is trying to go forward in time. The immediate future is still in play. I think they can ultimately change that post-Island existence that seemed to terrify Jack; otherwise, if everything stays on course, the ending of the show totally sucks.
- I vote for Locke in the coffin - just by the way Jack pounded his fist on it as if to say "g'damn, you were right you ****'er!"


FINALE ARTICLES WORTH READING

An interview with Executive Producer Carlton Cuse where he discusses his disappointment with the finale spoiler leak and gives small hints as to what will happen next season. There is a teeny chance that someone could regard his answers as spoilers, but I certainly think it's still worth reading - he doesn't give any major clues.

Another interview with Carlton Cuse by TV Guide.

A great interview with Dominic Monaghan (Charlie)


GUESS WHAT I'M GETTING FOR CHRISTMAS?

The release date of the Lost - Season Three DVD set has been announced. How convenient - it's just in time for the holidays... December 11th, 2007.


HOW CAN YOU MISS ME IF I DON'T GO AWAY?

So there you have it, my dear friends. I now need to go to the hospital for carpal tunnel syndrome, the eye doctor to beef up my prescription, the Mystic Tan because I haven't seen the light of day, and the bar because I need a stiff drink... but dammit, I got this post up!

But you really didn't think I could leave you all for nine long months, did you? I mean, a human being could be brought into this world over that period of time, so surely I can crank out more posts before Lost returns. And I will (and I have been) over at my other blog, According to e. So please please please visit me over there or I will be sad.

ONLY BECAUSE Locke is still alive... I anticipate starting up this blog again as we get closer to the beginning of Season Four - so around January 2008. By then I'm sure there will be ten other valid theories to consider before we jump back on the rollercoaster that is Lost.

If you use an RSS feeder, please add my blog to your feeds so that you will know when I post again:

http://longlivelocke.blogspot.com/atom.xml


Thank you for reading this year, thank you for the support when I thought Locke was a goner, and thank you to everyone who has left comments - it always seems that when I am most frustrated, a nice comment comes through that re-motivates me to keep writing. I truly appreciate it, more than you know!

- e


J: Have you been eating fish biscuits again? K: Old habits die hard.