Tuesday, January 27, 2009

S5Ep2 - The Lie

Hello my dear friends -

I must admit that I doubted my ability to finish two write-ups within one week. I can't lie and say it's been fun. In fact, I've needed to consume dangerous amounts of pizza, caramel corn (thanks, CM), cupcakes (thanks, KG) and Magic Shell (thanks, DY) in order to complete this most daunting task. But at least the rest of the season should be much easier to analyze when compared to the double-whammy that was the premiere... right? (Please, God, make this be so.)

If you're just tuning in to Long Live Locke and want to read my post for "Because You Left" (the first hour of the premiere) before this one, it's here. Also for those who are new to my site, please keep in mind that we like to keep things spoiler-free up in here. If you comply with that simple rule, then you get to roll over the pictures in every post and read secret messages from me.

For everyone else, we must march onward to discuss "The Lie." Since the Island events were relatively straightforward this time around, I'll begin with those...


The time-trippers actually stayed put (year-wise) this episode. Charlotte had another nosebleed and complained of a headache and memory loss, which concerned Daniel as he seems to understand what those symptoms mean... most likely because of his space-time research and his role in helping Desmond avoid death by encouraging him to find his constant (Penny) not too long ago.

So what exactly is going on with Charlotte? At the end of Season Four, Miles commented that he knew she accepted the freighter mission in order to find the place she'd been born. Between that remark, the joy Charlotte exuded when we first saw her land on the Island, and the fact that she's had nosebleeds not only as a child but also now after the Island moved, I don't think there's any reason to question the theory that she has been on the Island at some other point in her life.

Some people think she needs a constant in order to stop her nosebleeds... but that idea confuses me. She's not doing the same sort of time-traveling that Desmond was (where the body stays put but the mind jumps around)... that we know of. But for argument's sake, let's say that her bleeding is a result of her constant-lessness. Weren't both Faraday and Miles with her off of the Island -- couldn't either of them be her constant? If for some reason they don't count because (as they did mention before) none of them really talked to each other before they landed on the Island, does that mean she's a goner?

And if she needs a constant, wouldn't everyone else in the group as well? Or is there something different about Charlotte because she was either a) born on the Island and therefore has physically left and returned before, or b) previously around a lot of radioactivity? OR is Charlotte simply being affected by the time-jumping earlier than the others... like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, is she signaling what will eventually happen to everyone else, save Bernard and Rose, who should definitely be able to act as each others' constants?

Along these same lines, some people believe that the Oceanic Six need to come back because they serve as the constants to the people left on the Island. This idea makes no sense to me... a constant is only a constant for someone because they were important to that person throughout time. This wasn't the case for the passengers of Flight 815, though -- they were all strangers before the flight. And even if for some bizarre reason Kate was able to be Sawyer's constant (for example), who would the others match up with? Who that is left on the Island would need Hurley as a constant? Or Sayid?

Anyway, back to poor Charlotte. I'm sure we'll discover the reason for her nosebleeds one way or the other, but for now all I'm absolutely positive of is that Faraday is going to freak out and lose it if his lady love meets her maker. So much so that he might even take off his tie (!) and/or attempt to bend the very same rules he previously claimed could not be broken. He may feel compelled to try to change the past in order to save Charlotte... which may explain why he was hangin' with the DHARMA peeps at the beginning of the last episode.


Once night falls, the group (including Vincent -- hooray!) is suddenly under siege. Good riddance to Frogurt, who pulled an Arzt and bit the dust before he got any more annoying. Flaming arrows take down several other redshirts, and all of the main characters get separated in their attempt to escape the attack. (Vincent surely outran them all and is still safe.) Sawyer and Juliet eventually find themselves alone in the jungle.

As those two are making their way to the creek in the hopes of regrouping with everyone else, a barefooted Sawyer steps on some sort of huge thorn or pointed piece of bamboo that he plucks from one of his toes. Now, did that seem strange to you? It should have, because you should know that this show hardly ever includes a weird scene like that for no reason. Though I shudder to think that this may come to pass, I would be remiss in my duty to keep you apprised of all theories if I didn't report that a lot of buzz is swirling about Sawyer being the person the Four-Toed Statue was built to honor.

The belief is this: Sawyer steps on the wicked bamboo, which eventually causes one of his toes to become so infected that it must be amputated (I hope Jack's Amputron 2000 is still on the Island somewhere...). As the group travels through time, Sawyer does something extremely heroic or self-sacrificial, which results in him being viewed as a sort of savior-like figure to the Island's inhabitants from way back in the day (possibly even the natives). They build a statue of his unique foot to commemorate his contributions to the Island and forever remember him... and that's how the Foot-Toed Foot Statue comes to exist.

Good God, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this one. But it doesn't matter what I think, all that matters is whether or not it's a reasonable theory. And unfortunately, I do believe it's plausible. (I know for a fact that more than one woman reading this is sighing that it would be a damn shame if they made a statue solely of Sawyer's... foot.) But I'm hoping that this scene was just a red herring meant to throw us off the trail of the statue's real history.

Since it's kind of pointless to debate the Sawyer Statue idea until we have any more proof, let's move on to the next scene in which Sawyer and Juliet are ambushed by some seriously pissed off British-sounding dudes. They're like, "This is OUR Island, and therefore we're chopping off the chick's hand because we can, and... because we have snotty accents!" Right before one of them was undoubtedly going to do so, they are distracted by an unseen attacker, and Sawyer and Juliet take the opportunity to grab their weapons.

Even though in the back of my head I was pretty sure it was going to be either Locke or Richard who emerged from the darkness, there was a small part of me hoping that we'd see Alex with her awesome slingshot again. But it was my man Locke, and he's all, "What UP, homeys?"

Since I can only assume that we're going to learn more about the Lostaway's newest on-Island foes in the next episode, I'll keep my thoughts brief as to who and "when" they are: I think the group is now several decades in the past, and the angry soldiers are from some sort of military group we haven't seen before -- they're not DHARMA or part of the Hostiles/Others. Their accents lead me to believe that perhaps the Island is now in a time when Widmore was also there, but that may be a long shot. Either way, these guys are bad-to-the-bone mo-fo's and I am truly scared of what will happen when our survivors encounter any more of them. Yes, Locke is BACK in all of his knife-throwing glory, but he's still only one man...

That's it for the Island... time for everything else. Let's start with the episode's opening scene -- the only one that took place shortly after the helicopter left, rather than three years after the O6 returned home.


The best thing about the beginning of "The Lie" (for me) was that we got to see good ol' Frank Lapidus again. I really love this guy and I hope The Powers That Be find a way to work him in every once in a while over the course of this season and next. I think they will because without Zeke/Tom and Jack's Hillbilly Beards, the show is not meeting its required facial hair quota and that could become a problem. Maybe Frank will be the pilot who flies the O6 back to the Island? Until then you can rest assured that he's downing some brewskies, keeping Hawaiian shirt vendors in business and fronting a Jimmy Buffett cover band somewhere in the Caribbean.

OK, let's get serious again. The second episode of the year kicked off with a meeting of the O6 while they were still on Penny's boat. They were discussing the cover story for what had happened to them since the crash, and Hurley was the holdout. We've received hints before that the others -- or at least Jack -- were worried about Hurley sticking to the story. Remember the game of basketball in the mental institution where Hurley accused Jack of only visiting to "see if I was nuts... if I was gonna tell"?

It seems as though everyone had a right to be worried. "The lie" weighed heavily on Hurley's mind for three years, driving him back to the psych ward and eventually causing him to break down and tell his mother what had really transpired during those 108 days when everyone thought he was dead.

But his confession happened at the end of the episode, so I'll talk more about the possible repercussions of Hurley's truth-telling later on. For now, we need to take a moment to consider the threat Hurley made to Sayid before the group headed off to Sumba: "I'm gonna remember this. Then someday, you're gonna need my help, and I'm telling you right now, you're not getting it. "

Ah, but we all know that Hurley is simply too good of a person to be able to follow through on that sort of tough talk. When the time came for Hurley to come to Sayid's rescue, he of course didn't hesitate to do so.


After Sayid lost consciousness thanks to a vicious attack by unknown assailants at the not-so-safe house, Hurley springs into action, gets his comatose friend in the car and takes him to his parents' mansion after a quick chat with Dead Ana Lucia and the purchase of a most awesome new shirt. (Yes, I caught the in-joke about "not getting arrested"; yes, I had visions of Weekend at Bernie's when Hurley put shades on Passed Out Sayid; and yes, Shih Tzus do rock.)

Unfortunately, nothing seems to be able to revive Sayid, so Hurley instructs his father to take the ex-torturer to The Mad Doctor... leaving him and his mother alone inside the house that is now being staked out by the LAPD. (And no, one of the officers was not Abaddon -- there's more than one tall black guy out there, folks!)

Sayid is successfully passed off to Jack, who then calls Ben to tell him of this new development. But when Sayid wakes up, he's immediately concerned with the whereabouts of Hurley... and for good reason.

After spilling his guts to his mom (in a scene that was both hilarious because of Hurley's spot-on summary of the past four seasons and heartbreaking because of his mother's tender "I believe you"), Hurley's cornered alone in the kitchen by Ben... whose surprise appearance led Hurley to waste a perfectly good Hot Pocket.

In the hopes of persuading him to join Jack and Sayid on a trip back to the Island, Ben says everything he can think of to play into Hurley's reluctance to perpetuate the Oceanic Six's lie. But Hurley adheres to Sayid's earlier warning and does "the opposite" of what Ben suggests: he busts out of the house and surrenders himself to the police.

Things just haven't been going Ben's way recently, have they?


Since there's so much to discuss about Ben's motives over the course of episodes 5.01 and 5.02, I'm going to come back to him in the next section. After all, the ladies haven't been getting much attention thus far, so I think it's best we switch gears and talk about the meeting between Sun and Kate.

Kate, on the run again after being visited by some suits who demanded a blood test to prove her relationship to Aaron, considered seeking refuge with Jack for a few seconds. Then she remembered his nasty beard and crack-is-wack jumpiness and thought better of that plan. Luckily, Sun calls just as Kate is contemplating her next move. They decide to reunite in LA... and what a reunion it was. Can somebody say "awkward"?

So many things were weird -- with Sun -- during this rendezvous. First, she shows Kate a baby picture of Ji Yeon, even though her daughter should be nearly three years old by this point in time.
Then she seems to be going down the path of blaming Kate for Jin's death. I got shivers during the freighter flashback of Kate deciding to return to the helicopter rather than retrieve Jin and thought, "My God, Sun's out for revenge against Kate, too." Even though Sun then attempted to be all, "No, really, it's OK...you saved the rest of us" after seeming totally cold and calculating two seconds prior, I do think that she still holds Kate partially responsible for Jin's death.

Sun goes on to insinuate that Kate needs to "take care of" the lawyers who are snooping around, ending with "Wouldn't you do anything you had to in order to keep Aaron?" The whole exchange had a very threatening, ominous vibe to me. Which made it even funnier when Sun completely switched gears at the end of the scene and asked, "So, how's Jack?" and Kate got this "D'oh!" look on her face.

While I have theories about a lot of things that have transpired on this show, Sun is really throwing me for a loop. She could be in cahoots with Widmore in order to kill Ben, or she could be a double-agent for Ben. Or she could be totally on her own and pitting everyone against each other in order to take them all down for contributing in some way, no matter how small, to Jin's death. But one thing's for certain: she is up to something and is deadly serious about accomplishing her goal, whatever it may be. Is it wrong to hope for a Sun versus Sayid battle of wits and ninja/breakdancing moves? If she's out to stop the rest of the O6 from going back, it could happen.




Back to Ben...

When we first see Mr. Linus in this episode, he's being his usual sneaky self and taking some sort of case out of his hotel room's air vent. Was this package left for him, or something he's had hidden all along? I have absolutely no guesses as to what he's got in there, so I'll give a shout-out to reader BB who thinks that Ben's toting around a collection of Medusa spiders. In my Season Four finale post I mentioned that some people thought Locke had intentionally injected himself with poison from (or had otherwise been bitten by) the same type of spiders that attacked Nikki and Paulo. Remember how those two were paralyzed and appeared to be dead when they were actually still alive? (It still disturbs me to think about Nikki's eyes flying open as she was buried... ugh). Maybe Ben needs to keep using the spiders on Locke to prolong the O6's belief that Locke has departed for the great big Box Company in the Sky. After all, Ben changed the subject when Jack asked, "He is dead, isn't he?" (I also need to give a shout-out to reader Emily who suggested that perhaps the reason Hurley's dad was shown watching Exposé (the corny TV series in which Nikki used to star) was to give us a little clue about the spiders.)

Regardless of whether or not Locke is dead dead, Ben isn't telling Jack everything he knows about how his former nemesis ended up in a coffin... or about what happened to those left on the Island. Only after he was positive that Locke hadn't communicated those details to Jack did Ben say, "Then I guess we'll never know."

Believe it or not, I'm siding with Ben on this one. He actually has good reason not to be entirely forthcoming. If Locke isn't really dead, then of course Ben would be reluctant to share that information with Jack. From what Richard said in the last episode, it seems pretty critical that the Oceanic Six believe that Locke has passed on. Why, though, would Ben choose not to play up the horror of what has transpired on the Island? Wouldn't that just further convince Jack of the need to go back? Uh, no... do you really think the Oceanic Six would accept that Sawyer, Juliet and the rest are now traveling through time? We crazy fans can't even completely process it! It's definitely best that Ben keeps that little detail to himself.

Next, Ben takes off for the butcher shop. The man's been under a lot of stress -- don't deny him a juicy steak!

OK, so Ben wasn't actually hankering for some meat. He needed to go talk in code to counter worker Jill, who we can only assume is one of Ben's off-Island Others. Remember how Patchy thought Bonnie and Greta from the Looking Glass station had been "on assignment in Canada"? The man's got people everywhere! Apparently two other Others he has working for him in LA are named Gabriel and Jeffrey. I'm sure we'll meet them soon.

As for Jill, I don't believe we've seen her before. She is obviously familiar with the plan to get the Oceanic Six back to the Island -- she even knows that Jack likes to pop pills a little too much. From her exchange with Ben we learn that their mission is dependent upon Dead Locke's safety. I can only assume that Jill has to keep Locke's body cold in one of the meat freezers (or, if the spider theory is correct, she's got to keep injecting him with poison) until Ben returns. By the way, if you didn't watch Lost but somehow came across this site and only read the previous sentence, you'd probably be calling the police right now. Just as Jack asked, "How did we get here? How did all this happen?" I ask, "Why am I writing about dead bodies, meat freezers and poisonous spiders? Is this an episode of Lost or The Sopranos?"


We've reached the final scene of the episode. I can't say I was surprised to see Ms. Hawking in it. What I didn't expect, however, was that she'd be in a creepy secret lair under a church... or that she would be rocking on with her bad self in a hooded cloak. Since I'm fully aware that most people reading this blog are not as nerdy as I am, I feel the need to share with you something I've learned over the years that might save your life one day: if you ever see someone in a hooded cloak, you need to run in the other direction immediately. People who wear such things are not necessarily evil, but they almost always have great powers and are usually on a very dangerous mission in which you do not want to get involved. Underneath a hooded cloak could be Little Red Riding Hood (best-case scenario), a wizard, a Jedi, a priest involved in a centuries-old conspiracy, an elf, a witch, a magician, or -- worst-case scenario -- the Grim Reaper. Don't say I didn't warn you.

While I haven't made up my mind about what exactly Ms. Hawking is just yet, others are pretty certain that she's Faraday's mom. Daniel yelled to Desmond that he needed to find his mother at Oxford in order to save everyone on the Island, but never spit out her name before the flash cut him off. Then in the next episode Ms. Hawking appears, scribbling at a chalkboard much like we've seen Daniel do in the past. So they must be related, right? Hmm, I'm not so sure. All I know is that Hawking is currently in LA, whereas Desmond's heading to meet Daniel's mother at Oxford. With the urgency of the Oceanic Six situation, it doesn't seem like Hawking would be jetting off on a cross-country, transatlantic flight any time soon. Plus, why would Hawking tell Desmond that fate can never be changed but her son tell him that he is the only one who can change it? (Unless they had a falling out over that very argument... that's the kind of thing that tears Nerd Families apart!) There are a lot of other reasons why I don't think Hawking and Faraday are related, but quite frankly I don't really care about this question too much. We'll find out soon enough if Hawking brought Mr. Skinny Tie into this world, so I'm willing to save my brain cells for other mysteries.

So let's get back to her menacing chamber. Using a Foucault pendulum, a ton of hard-core equations and a handy-dandy computer program (run on an old school Apple, just like the one in the Swan hatch), Hawking was clearly trying to determine how the Oceanic Six could return to the Island -- where they'd have to make their attempt and how long they had to do so.

We know the answer to the last part: seventy hours. When Hawking meets Ben in the church and tells him this bit of news, he flips out, unsure of whether or not he'll be able to round up the O6 in that time considering what Hurley had just pulled. Hawking's "God help us all" (which echoed Candle's sentiments at the Orchid in the last episode) seems to be in line with what she had told Desmond when they met in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" (she was the one who sold him Penny's ring, remember?). Back then she had said that if Desmond didn't fulfill his mission on the Island, then "every single one of us is dead." However...


It's been banged into our heads that the Oceanic Six "HAVE to go back." We've also learned that, in the time-travel rules of Lost, no one can change the past, and if they attempt to do so, then the universe will eventually "course correct." So what I do not understand (and what several others have asked me about) is why Ben and Hawking are so worried about the O6 returning to the Island. If they're "supposed to," then one way or the other they will, right?

Unless something went haywire with the space-time continuum and, as has been echoed by both Hurley and Jack since the end of Season Three, they "were never supposed to leave" in the first place. Meaning that in no previous iteration of space-time did anyone from Flight 815 ever return home, so now neither Ben, nor Hawking, nor Widmore know how things are going to end up. Behold the power of free will over destiny!

Remember how truly, deeply shocked Ben was when Alex was killed? He found Widmore off-Island and told him that he would get revenge for Alex's death by killing Penny, and that Widmore would come to regret "changing the rules." So all I can figure is that something has indeed happened to change what was supposed to transpire on the Island, and now Widmore and Ben are racing against each other to set a new course of events.

But was it Widmore who did something to change the rules? Or was it Desmond (who Daniel claims is the only person who can)? Let's not forget how our favorite Scotsman greatly delayed Charlie's death. Desmond had visions of several ways Charlie was supposed to kick the bucket... but he managed to keep them from happening. Until, that is, the ex-rocker drowned in the Looking Glass after enabling communication between the Island and the freighter. This allowed Keamy's team arrive. They killed Alex, the freighter blew when Ben killed Keamy, the Oceanic Six left and then Ben moved the Island and all hell broke loose. As Ben had said to Locke, doing so was "a last resort"... Ben knew he was out of options by that point. If Desmond hadn't tried to save Charlie and had heeded Ms. Hawking's warning that he should never interfere with fate, would everyone still be chillin' on the beach, drinking stale DHARMA beer after a long day of participating in the second Island Open?

To those of you who might wonder why Ben was so cavalier when Richard told him that he'd agreed to let Kate and the others leave the Island in the Season Four finale, I think the explanation for his behavior is that he already knew he had to move the Island at that point. Once the communication lines were opened by Charlie and once Jack answered the freighter's call, Widmore knew where the Island was. Ben was probably happy the helicopter left with those 815ers aboard it, because they would give him an opportunity to return to the Island after he moved the Frozen Donkey Wheel. (Or at least right now it seems like Ben's going back with them because he keeps using the word "we" about the return trip.)

Which brings us to...


What is up with Ben? Is he a bad guy or a good guy or both? The transformation his character has taken in this series is nothing short of mind-blowing. I had been thinking that, at least compared to Widmore, Ben was (as Hurley put it), "on our side now." Even though he might have his own selfish reasons for wanting to return to the only real home he'd ever known, I figured that overall he was looking out for the best interests of the Island, the O6 and the people they left behind.

But why does Sayid no longer trust him? I tend to view Sayid as a character who can read others fairly well; maybe he caught on to the fact that Ben was up to no good. And let's not forget that Ageless Richard wasn't exactly a fan of Ben at the end of Season Four. Richard told Locke that he had to go back and die in order to get the O6 to return. We never heard him say anything like, "Oh, and make sure that little squirrely guy is along for the ride, too."

Could Ben be fooling us all -- again?

I should also mention that just because I'm questioning Ben's motivations doesn't mean that I think Ms. Hawking is also bad or that Widmore is good. If Penny doesn't trust her own father, then he's probably not the most upstanding guy. As for Ms. Hawking, she's probably just doing her part in helping to restore order to the universe and might be oblivious to Ben's hidden agendas. All I am certain of is that we need to keep an eye on Mr. Linus.


ANA LUCIA: ... You getting all this?
ANA LUCIA: Then get to it. And stay away from the cops. Do not get arrested.

SAWYER (to Faraday, who is returning to the camp): Welcome back, Dr. Wizard.
MILES: I think it's Mr. Wizard.
SAWYER: Shut up.

HURLEY: Um, I, uh, like shih tzus.
CONVENIENCE STORE GIRL: It looks like you heart them. Rough night?
CONVENIENCE STORE GIRL (looking at Passed Out Sayid in the car): Your friend's pretty wasted.

BEN: Are you looking for your pills, Jack? I flushed them down the toilet.
JACK: Thank you. I was just going to do that myself.
BEN: Yeah, I figured you were.

[HURLEY'S MOM comes home.]
HURLEY'S MOM: Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?

Finally, I just wanted to thank everyone who has left a comment, told friends about my site, connected with me on Facebook and/or emailed me with ideas. Time never seems to be on my side (until I figure out how to manipulate it... mwah hah hah), and so I apologize for not being able to reply directly to everyone who has written. In a future post I hope to address the most "frequently asked questions" I've been getting, so keep them coming. In the meantime, I'll be begging the Lost Gods to never air two episodes on the same night ever again, because I am BEAT.

Until next time,

- e

Saturday, January 24, 2009

S5Ep1 - Because You Left

Hello my dear friends -

Something strange happened the night of January 21st after the Lost premiere ended. I actually heard my fingers speak. They cried out, "We have to do TWO write-ups within seven days?!? Noooooo!!!!"

Though it may not have been clear to everyone (or at least the people who aren't mega-mega-fans) tuning in last Wednesday night, the Lost premiere was comprised of two separate episodes, and so this post only covers the first hour. For my fingers' sake, I'm going to get right down to business. I think it's only appropriate to begin our analysis with a closer look at the opening scene of the season, don't you?

(Oh, and since in years past I was often asked to identify the various lyrics I use as section titles, I'm going to put that information in the comments section of every post from now on.)

Here we go!


When "Because You Left" kicked off, my friends and I thought we were seeing Future Future Sun in bed with Jin... or at least we were hoping it was Jin. "HE'S ALIIII-- oh, no, wait... damn." Alas, it was Mrs. Chang and her hubby Pierre Chang, also known as Dr. Candle/Halliwax/Wickmund from the DHARMA videos.

Like me, Chang is not a morning person and was all bitter about getting out of bed when his alarm blared at 8:15 (dun dun DUN!) AM. He puts on a little Willie Nelson ("Shotgun Willie" from 1973)... and in a not-so-subtle shout-out to the speech Daniel Faraday would make a few scenes later, the record starts skipping.

We then see a baby who we can only assume is the same baby that was crying off-screen in the video that aired at Comic-Con this past summer (which you really need to stop everything and watch if you haven't yet, because it's very much related to what's going on so far this season). In that video, Chang indicated that the infant was a boy, which made a lot of people jump to the conclusion that it must be none other than our favorite ghostbuster, Miles Straume. They contend that once Miles grew up, he blamed Ben for killing Daddy Chang in the Purge and is now out for revenge. But how did Miles himself escape the Island and the Purge? Apparently Chang is without his wedding ring in later videos (I have not been able to confirm this yet), so perhaps his wife divorced him and took their son with her -- assuming it was possible to even leave the Island.

If this theory about Miles is true, it would certainly give a whole different twist to the words he shouted at Ben in "Eggtown": "Do not treat me like I'm one of them... like I don't know who you are ... and what you can do!" I had sensed that Miles and Ben had some sort of history during that scene (the one that concluded with Miles demanding $3.2 million), however, despite all of that "evidence," I'm still not convinced that Miles is Chang's son.

Yes, Pierre and Miles are both Asian and yes, Miles has weird "powers," but since it's already been alluded to that Charlotte might have been born on the Island (and we seem to have gotten more evidence of that in this episode), wouldn't it be overkill if both she and Miles end up having that history in common? Don't get me wrong -- if Miles is revealed to be Chang's kid I will think that's kind of cool, but right now I feel like people are jumping to conclusions simply because both actors are Asian.

For now, I'm sticking with what I said this summer -- maybe we'll never find out who Baby Chang grows up to be because it doesn't matter; the only reason he was in the scene was to prove that, at one point, pregnant women gave birth on the Island without complications. Here's what I thought about this issue at the end of last season: "Perhaps pregnant women started dying on the Island in the first place because of Ben... because he stopped devoting himself completely to the Island and got too wrapped up in Annie. As a punishment, the Island made it so that no one else could ever have children and Ben would have to bear the guilt of that situation."

If we assume the opening scene was from the 1970s when the DHARMA Initiative was thriving on the Island (and Lil' Ben had just arrived), and if we also assume Baby Chang was indeed conceived on the Island, then there's more reason to link the pregnancy issue's origins to one Adult Benjamin Linus.


Next, Pierre heads off to film yet another DHARMA video -- this one's for the Arrow Station. Back in Season Two, everyone on the message boards called this station either "Hatch Lite" or the "Ghetto Hatch" because it was totally beat down... remember that? Oh, how I miss those kinder, gentler seasons past and all of the funny nicknames they brought with them. Anyway, the tail section survivors used the Arrow for a little while as their shelter. Surely you haven't forgotten the weird box they found there -- the one which contained a glass eye (that better get explained one day), a Bible with the rest of the orientation film from the Swan hatch hidden inside of it, and a two-way radio (which Bernard used for his infamous "'We're the survivors of Flight 815'... 'No, WE'RE the survivors of Flight 815!!!'" exchange with Boone). I think we can now confidently say that at one point in time the Arrow Station was surely the Ghetto Fabulous Hatch!

Although both Goodwin and the glow-in-the-dark Hatch Door Map led us to believe that the Arrow was just used for storage, Candle's latest video insinuated that the Arrow was once used as a defense station. Might that be where Smokey was first developed? Many are convinced that Smokey was created by the DHARMA team as a security system to keep the Hostiles out of the Barracks, but then there was an "incident" that resulted in Smokey taking on a life of his own. Whatever went haywire with Smokey was most likely also what led to Chang losing an appendage (in later DHARMA videos, he mentions "the incident" and clearly has a prosthetic arm).

I have a feeling we're getting closer to learning more about this mysterious event, because the filming of the Arrow video gets interrupted by a workman who begs Chang to come to the Orchid Station. We see the Orchid all shiny and new-looking, and find that the DHARMA crews have encountered major issues while trying to complete its lower level. They have a printout of what lies behind an impenetrable wall... namely, the good ol' Frozen Donkey Wheel (FDW).

None of this seems to come as a surprise to Pierre, who's like, "Duh, don't you know about the überpowerful energy trapped behind that wall and how we can totally manipulate time with it?" And the other guy's all, "Say what? Like we could go back and catch Woodstock this time around?" and Chang goes, "As if! There are RULES, moron! Just stop drilling, OK?" and then runs off in a huff, almost knocking Faraday over in the process.

What the -- STOP!

Folks, we have arrived at the first "rewind" moment of the night: He Of The Skinny Black Tie trolling around in underground chambers with DHARMA, official uniform and all.

Which brings us to the on-Island events...


Not too long after Ben "moves" the Island, we see the remaining 815 survivors (minus Locke), Juliet, Miles, Charlotte and Daniel reunite at the beach. Only Faraday is not shocked to find that their camp no longer exists. When Sawyer demands an explanation, Daniel says, "You have no idea how difficult that would be for me to try to explain this... this phenomenon to a quantum physicist. THAT would be difficult. So for me to try to explain whatever's happening... " and then is cut off by a smack to the face.

As I watched this scene, it became immediately obvious to me that the writers of this episode (who also happen to be the executive producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof) were trying to set expectations for us crazy fans. Daniel's speech was their way of telling us, "Look, people... there's no way that the remaining 34 hours of this show are going to make perfect sense, so just deal with it and enjoy the ride." I personally feel that this disclaimer of sorts was unnecessary, because the millions of people who are still watching this show five seasons in can clearly suspend disbelief with the best of 'em. Consequently, don't expect me to spend too much time picking apart the time travel stuff. I'll only do so when I think there are legitimate questions to be raised that don't fit with "the rules" that both Chang and Faraday clearly want us to understand.

The impression I'm under right now is that, whenever the FDW (or failsafe key) is turned, the island itself moves in some manner. That's why it seems to have disappeared to those on the helicopter, and why (as Miles whispered to Charlotte in this episode) Widmore hasn't been able to find it for the last twenty years. (Along these same lines, remember the Vile Vortices and Amelia Earhart theories?)

In addition to the Island shifting locations, its newest inhabitants -- the cast of characters mentioned above (and the stuff they were physically touching and/or had on their bodies when Ben turned the wheel) -- are now skipping through time... and voilà! We've got ourselves a way to piece together what happened on the Island before the Flight 815 crash. The story of Montand's arm can't be too far off, hooray!


Three important things happened as our ragtag group moved through time in this episode:

1) Faraday stated that the main "rule" of time-shifting is that it's impossible to change the past. If something didn't happen the first time around, it can never happen...

2) ... However, then we see Locke encounter Ethan at the site of the newly crashed drug plane. How could that meeting have transpired? Wouldn't Ethan have freaked out when he sees Locke again at the Lostaway's camp after the crash in 2004? (A lot more on this one in the next section.)

3) Sawyer doesn't have any patience for Faraday's babbling (surprise, surprise) and proceeds to bang on the Swan hatch's back door. No one answers. Eventually, everyone heads back to the beach save Daniel. HE now bangs on the door, and HAZMAT Desmond comes out. Desmond clearly heard all the ruckus, but did not answer until Daniel was the only one waiting -- thus proving (in a roundabout way) the "rule" we learned earlier.

The short encounter between the two men gave us some compelling stuff to ponder:
- Daniel indicates that Desmond is "uniquely and miraculously special" and that "the rules don't apply" to him. This may mean that Desmond is the ONLY person who can actually change the past and therefore affect how things turn out in the future.
- As the next flash approaches -- Daniel tells Desmond that in order to save everyone, he must go find Mama Faraday at Oxford once he's escaped the Island.

I'll talk about the possible identity of Faraday's mother in my next write-up, so for now, let me ask you this: "How much does Daniel rock this season?" The answer is, "Even more than he did last season." Is there anyone out there who doesn't like Faraday? Might we have our first unanimously loved character? If Lost fans are able to come together and agree on just this one thing, then world peace is surely possible.

The last issue I want to bring up about Faraday is that, judging from the opening scene of the episode, it looks like he's either been time-jumping without the rest of the group, or has been able to break away from them for extended periods of time in order to sneak around with the DHARMA crew. I'm very excited to see how he came to be in the Orchid station in the '70s, aren't you?


Let's revisit the Locke/Ethan encounter again, because this short scene helped more pieces from the puzzle of seasons past fall into place (for me, at least).

When Ethan first saw Locke scrambling up the cliffside to check out the Crack Den Plane, he obviously didn't recognize who it was because he opened fire. Once Locke and Ethan were face to face and Locke proclaimed that Ben had designated him to be the new leader, Ethan was like, "Shut your mouth, fool!" and went to shoot him again, but then was foiled by another flash. That's all fine and good... but shouldn't Ethan have recognized Locke later on when he infiltrated the 815ers camp? Or more importantly, wouldn't Ethan have marched straight back to Ben and told him about the off-his-rocker bald dude he'd come across in the jungle?

Here's what I think is going on with all of this craziness. Bear with me through this section and the next, because I promise you, it's worth it:

1) Let's say that Ethan and Locke met at the site of the drug plane crash when it was 2001 to Ethan (don't get hung up on the exact year because as long as we agree this event took place before September 2004, it doesn't matter) and December 2004 to Locke's body. As we've seen in past episodes, however, time travel seems to affect one's mind in weird ways. To make any sense whatsoever out of this, I have to assume that even though Locke's body was still acting like it was 2004, his consciousness recorded his run-in with Ethan as if it actually happened in 2001.

2) When Locke meets Ethan again in October 2004 after Ethan has passed himself off as an 815er, perhaps they DID actually recognize each other, but kept it hidden from the rest of the Lostaways. I reviewed the second recap I ever wrote for this show ("Raised By Another" back at the end of 2004) and found this little gem: "I cannot believe that no one has brought up the fact that Ethan and Locke went to the jungle ALONE in the last episode, leading me to believe that Locke knows what’s up with Ethan."

That's right, my friends. In episodes nine and ten of Season One, Locke and Ethan spent a heck of a lot of time hanging out by themselves, supposedly hunting wabbits (shout-out to Elmer Fudd). I think it's very conceivable that they each remembered their initial encounter and were able to talk privately about it before Ethan made off with Claire. If Locke eventually comes to understand "the rules," he would know that he'd have to let everything run its course and couldn't intervene in either Claire's abduction or Ethan's death.

3) What about the possibility of Ethan reporting his Locke sighting to either Ben or Richard in 2001 -- wouldn't that have screwed something up? I have two possible guesses: 1) Richard intercepted Ethan before he could say anything to Ben. Richard tells Ethan that he cannot under any circumstances let Ben know about the bald guy in the jungle that disappeared into thin air. Ethan agrees, Ben never finds out, and the meeting of Ben and Locke unfolds as we witnessed it in the last half of Season Two. Or... 2) Ethan does tell Ben, but that's OK, because Ben has also time-jumped before (perhaps as a result of him coming back to the Island with the Oceanic Six) and therefore already knows that he'll eventually meet and then be replaced by Locke. No harm, no foul.

What I'm trying to say is that I think that Locke was still able to "remember" his meeting with Ethan from 2001 (at the drug plane) even though it technically hadn't happened in October 2004 (when they meet after the 815 crash) because he didn't start jumping back in time until December 2004 (after Ben moves the FDW). I believe Locke's mind was suppressing his memories from the time-jumps and filing them as having taken place in the year it was on the Island, not the year it was to Locke's body.

If you need more proof, read on... because I don't think Locke is the only character this has happened to...


Are you ready for some insanity? Too bad if you're not, because I'm about to unleash some insanity on you.

Who are the only characters left from Season One that remain on the Island in Season Five and are now drifting through time? Locke, Sawyer and Rose. There are reasons to believe that all three of these crash survivors had buried memories of their time-jumping experiences from the moment they landed on the Island.

(Yes, Bernard and Juliet were also on the Island during that timeframe, but we didn't get introduced to them episode-wise until much later in Seasons Two and Three, respectively. So I'm going to leave them out of this analysis because it's confusing enough as it is).

As the saying goes, ladies first.


In the pilot episode of our beloved series, when the Losties first heard Smokey in the jungle and saw trees swaying and crashing in the distance, Rose said, "That sound that it made, I keep thinking that there was something really familiar about it."

You may also recall that Rose was absolutely adamant that her husband was alive elsewhere on the Island. At the time we all attributed this to Rose's strong faith. But what if she actually knew about both the monster and the fact that Bernard would eventually be found because these memories were in her mind from the time-jumping?


Some of you probably remember me harping on and on over the years about an offhanded comment Sawyer made in "White Rabbit" (episode five of the first season). Kate tackled him because she thought he was hoarding the group's water. He replied, "It's about time -- I made this birthday wish four years ago."

I thought it was a totally bizarre line in 2004, and now I am absolutely convinced that it was there on purpose -- to prove the existence of either time travel or a time loop for the characters from the very beginning. (I'll attempt to explain the "four years" part later in this post.)

But here's the kicker: I don't think that either Rose or Sawyer were even conscious of these buried memories or the fact that they may have gone through certain events on the Island more than once. The comments they made in Season One that seem suspicious could be compared to when something comes out of your mouth before you had a chance to think about it too much. Obviously Sawyer and Rose would've acted much differently throughout Seasons One - Four if they were actually fully aware of what transpired during their time-jumps. But I can't be as certain about Locke...


Locke's the easiest one to explain. How many times has he known when it would stop or start raining? How many times has he told people what they were or were not "supposed" to do? Locke has shown multiple signs of having been on the Island before, so to speak. While I think he's always figured that he's been following some strong gut instinct, what may have actually been happening is that because he's more connected to the Island than Rose or Sawyer are, his time-jump memories are more accessible to him.

And yes, if you've inferred through all of this that I think the Lostaways are going to repeat the crash, or at least that those three characters will live through it again because of their time-shifting, then you are right -- that's what I believe. The Time Loop Theory will not die... not on my watch!

If you need one last bit of evidence that these "memories" could be affecting the characters' thoughts and actions before the events technically transpired, look no further than our first flashback of Daniel Faraday.

Surely you remember him sitting at home in his tired-looking robe, sobbing at the footage of the Flight 815 wreckage on TV. A woman in his kitchen asks him why he's so upset, and he replies, "I don't know."

But WE now know. Even though Faraday's body wouldn't start time-jumping for a few more months, Daniel's mind had already been to the Island and Lord knows where else in the past, all in the name of his time-travel research and DHARMA Initiative investigation. His suppressed memories were making him weep. And therefore I think we have good reason to believe that Locke, Rose and Sawyer were in similar situations once they landed on the Island.


OK, here's the last bit of time-jumpiness we have to discuss for this episode. When Ageless Richard removed the bullet from Locke's leg during one of the flashes, he confirmed some of what we'd already learned: Locke was skipping through time (but Richard wasn't) and in order to set things on the right path again, he was going to have to get the O6 back to the Island. To do that, Locke was going to have to die. Richard then gave Locke a compass, presumably the same one he'd laid out before him at age five, and told Locke to return it to him the next time they met because Richard wasn't going to recognize him.

There was something else that Richard said, though, that I think was pretty important. It finally clicked to me this morning (three days after the premiere aired). I'd been confused as to why, at the end of "Because You Left," Desmond popped out of bed with a "memory" of his exchange with Daniel at the Swan hatch. If Daniel's time-jumping started shortly after Desmond left the Island on the helicopter, why did it take three more years for Desmond to remember it? Shouldn't it have hit Desmond before he even reached Penny's boat at the end of 2004?

I couldn't figure this out until I watched the episode again and realized that Richard had given us a clue. Everything we saw go down on the Island in this episode seems (key word) to have transpired in only a matter of hours (at the most). Originally, I had assumed that during that same time off of the Island, the Oceanic Six, Frank and Desmond were floating on the raft at sea... or maybe had just been found by Penny's boat. Richard, however, told Locke that "they're already home, so you have to convince them to come back."

Between Richard's comment and Desmond's memory of his encounter with Daniel not kicking in for three years, I now think that everything we've seen on the Island between episodes one and two (and most likely the next episode) happened over the course of three full years in Outside World Time. As "The Lie" gave us more hints about how time on the Island is moving, I'm going to table this issue until my next write-up. But needless to say, it could help explain Sawyer's "four years" comment in Season One.

Aaahhh... We still have the Los Angeles events to cover, for the love of all that is holy!


Because this post is already so long, and because I will focus more on the the off-Island events in my analysis of the second episode, let's just hit the two key things that happened in LA during "Because You Left":

1) At the end of Season Four, Sun told her father that he was one of the two people she blamed for Jin's death. From her conversation with Widmore at the airport, it seems that the other is Ben. We have yet to learn exactly what Sun and Widmore talked about during the rest of their rendezvous.

2) Before he gets darted all to hell, Sayid tells Hurley that he was working for Ben. As in, he had been working for Ben in the past but wasn't any longer. He goes on to warn, "Listen to me, Hurley. If you ever have the misfortune of running into him, whatever he tells you, just do the opposite." Clearly Sayid and Ben had a falling out since we saw them working off-Island together in "The Economist," and I'm hoping we get to see what their tiff was all about later this season.


[Sawyer slaps Dan across the face.]
CHARLOTTE: Oy! What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?
SAWYER: Shut it, Ginger, or you're gettin' one too!

SAYID: I'm not taking any risks after Bentham died.
HURLEY: You mean Locke.
SAYID: Yes, I mean Locke.
HURLEY: I need a cool code name.

RICHARD: ...You need to pay attention. Next time we see each other, I'm not gonna recognize you, alright? You give me this.
LOCKE [taking it]: What is it?
RICHARD: It's a compass.
LOCKE: What does it do?
RICHARD: It points north, John.

SAWYER [as the event begins to occur]: Son of a...
SAWYER [after it has occurred]: Bitch.

MILES: Hey! Where you goin?
SAWYER: Back door. To get us some supplies.
DAN: James, wait, not a good idea.
SAWYER: Sky can flash all it wants but I ain't startin' over, Dilbert.

SAWYER [beating on the door to the Hatch]: Open the damn door!
DAN: It won't work.
SAWYER: Sure it will. You open up, it's the Ghost of Christmas Future!

JULIET: We should get back to the beach. It's been a long day.
MILES: Why are we going back to the beach if there's nothing to go back to?
JULIET: So stay here.
MILES (as Juliet walks away): That chick likes me.


I can't take it anymore, I must stop typing and go soak my fingers in ice (and ease my stress over the pending second write-up with ice cream).

If you think there's something I didn't cover, chances are I'll be mentioning it in my next post, so stay tuned...

Until then ("then" being sometime before the morning of Wednesday, January 28),
- e