Friday, April 24, 2009

S5Ep13 - Some Like It Hoth

Hello my dear friends -

Some people undoubtedly recalled the 1959 Marilyn Monroe film Some Like it Hot when they heard the title of Lost's 99th episode. Others probably had Power Station's 1985 song stuck in their head for the rest of the day. (FEEEeeeeeel the heeeatttt! Burnin' you up -- ready or not!) However, nerds like me could only think of four words: The Empire Strikes Back. Growing up in the '80s with a brother five years my junior, I had no choice but to "play Star Wars" throughout my childhood. I mean, who else was going to be Princess Leia?

So when I hear "Hoth," I don't actually associate the word with the planet Hoth, which is where the Rebel Alliance built its Echo Base in Episode V; instead, I immediately think "Hoth Wampa," because we had a pretty sweet action figure of that thing (see pic to the right -- yeah, you're jealous). The Wampa was a Yeti-like monster who almost did away with Luke Skywalker at the beginning of Empire. That's why I figured this installment of Lost was going to pick up right where "Dead is Dead" left off, and that we'd be learning more about the Island's very own monster, Smokey.

Um, OK... so I was wrong. I never would've expected such direct shout-outs to the Star Wars saga in this episode, and by Hurley, no less. And Miles-centric flashbacks on top of that? Yahoo!

Let's kick things off with the first of those flashbacks, shall we?

(Since I know there are some new visitors to this site, here are two quick notes for those of you who've just joined us: 1) rolling over any of the graphics on this page will reveal a caption, and 2) I list out the songs I pull lyrics from for my headings in the comments section at the end of each post.)



The hour began with Lara—who's now most likely Pierre Chang’s ex-wife—considering an apartment to rent. From a check she wrote later in the scene, the year was revealed to be 1985; therefore, the newborn boy we saw in the season premiere must now be about eight years old. And guess what? It's Miles, just like everyone assumed it was after seeing this 2008 Comic-Con video.

The poor kid just wanted to get some freakin' Animal Crackers out of the vending machine, but nooooo. A dude who had keeled over in apartment #4 had to call out to him. We see that Miles doesn't like his ability to "hear the dead" in the slightest, and that this appears to be the first time his mom has learned of it.

But in the next flashback, which was probably at least ten years later, it's clear that Miles ended up fulling embracing his freakiness. Either that, or he was already preparing for his role in X-Men: The Last Stand. Anyway, he came home to visit his dying mother, and urged her to give him some answers about his childhood -- and particularly his father. At this point, I couldn't help but wonder if the Island was responsible not only for Miles' "gift," but also whatever illness befell his mom. I have a feeling we'll never find out, though.

Lara proceeded to tell Miles that his dad turned his back on the family when Miles was just a baby, that he had since died, and that his body was in a place that Miles must "never go." We all know how that worked out.


Next, we see Adult Miles in what's most likely 2004. He faked communing with a client's dead son in order to score some extra cash. Well, we learned that he was faking it later, but you get my point. What I thought was strange about this scene was that Miles said he needed a body in order to do his thing. Yet at the beginning of last season, we saw him find a hidden wad of cash in a room where there was definitely no dead person present (though he did have his dustbuster extraordinaire to assist him...). So I'm not sure why the writers had Miles make that point about needing a corpse... unless it will come into play later on.

Regardless, right after Miles was done scamming the guilt-ridden dad, Naomi (!!!) approached him with the promise of more business, and he followed her like an obedient puppy dog to... the back of a restaurant (?), where a most unorthodox interview went down. Miles had to tell Naomi as much as he could about Felix, who just so happened to be dead and lying in a body bag on a table where some unfortunate schmuck's chicken Marsala was probably prepared minutes later.

It turns out that Felix met his demise while en route to deliver papers about empty graves and an old airplane to none other than Charles Widmore. I'm sure some people are still debating this point, but I'm definitely convinced now that it was indeed Widmore who faked the Oceanic 815 wreckage, just like good ol' Zeke (sniff, I miss him!) explained to Michael in "Meet Kevin Johnson." [Note: I wrote most of this post before "The Story of the Oceanic Six" recap special aired. That recap confirmed that Widmore was behind the 815 wreckage.]

Naomi informed Miles that he'd passed her test, and offered him $1.6 million to travel to the Island, where he could put his skills to even better use. What was particularly interesting to me about their exchange was how Naomi worded her description of the Island: "This island has a number of deceased individuals... residing on it, and as this man [Ben] is the one responsible for their being deceased, we believe they can supply invaluable information as to his whereabouts."

At first I was just like, "Yeah, there are tons of dead people buried on the Island... all Miles would have to find is the Skeleton Pit to learn all he needed to know about Ben." But then I got hung up by how Naomi said that the deceased were "residing on" the Island. That made me think more along the lines of Zombie Dad... like the dead that Naomi was referring to were actually still functioning in some manner. But I wouldn't consider Ben to be the one responsible for Christian Shephard's death, so maybe I'm just reading too much into things... again. Of course, the eerie thing about all of this is that -- once on the Island -- Miles ended up having to "read" Naomi's body to ensure that the 815ers were telling the truth about how she died.


In perhaps the most unexpectedly funny scene of the night, in Miles' next flashback he gets swept into a van by hooded (again with the hoodies!), partially masked men, yet all he cares about is losing his tasty fish taco. Bram -- the same guy who ends up on Alcatraz and appears to be in cahoots with Ilana -- is in charge of the team in the van, and attempts to talk Miles out of going to the Island. But since Bram offers up absolutely no money, Miles is having none of his spiel, and summarily gets tossed back out onto the street.

There were two main things I took away from this flashback. The first was pretty obvious: Miles has assumed that Bram works for Ben. Why else would Bram want to dissuade him from going to the Island to catch Mr. Linus, right? So Miles asked Bram for $3.2 million in order to stay put -- double what Naomi offered him to board the Kahana. And because Miles thought Ben controlled Bram's Van o' Thugs, that's why he repeated his request for $3.2 million in "Eggtown" (in exchange for falsely reporting back to Keamy's team that Ben had been killed).

Now, Miles' thought process was a perfectly valid one -- you can't fault him for jumping to the conclusion that he did. Other reasons why it makes sense to believe that Ben is managing the likes of both Bram and Ilana (as they were definitely working together on Alcatraz when they captured Frank) include:

- They didn't stop Ben, Locke, Sun or Lapidus from leaving with the outriggers
- Ben and Ilana shared a quick but cryptic exchange about the mystery crate
- Ilana and Bram waited until it was fair to assume that Ben was safely over on the main Island before pulling out their guns and attempting to open the crate on Alcatraz
- It's kind of late in the series to introduce yet another group of people who want to control the Island

But then again... some of us watching the show (including myself) weren't quite as convinced as Miles was that Bram was a part of Ben's off-Island posse.

Which leads to the second thing I took away from the van scene: there may be a third party at work -- controlled by neither Widmore nor Ben. Actually, this isn't exactly the first time the idea of yet another mystery contingent has come up. In fact, in my "Ji Yeon" post in early Season Four I wrote: "I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a third party involved in the battle for the Island, and that this organization is playing Ben and Widmore against each other while advancing its own agenda in the process." At that point in time I thought that perhaps "the Economist" was heading up this other group. That still may be the case, but there are a few other interesting theories floating around about this group that deserve consideration.

But before I go any further, I have to name this possible third party that's aligned with neither Widmore nor Ben. Let's call it the SOTS group, for "Shadow of the Statue," since that seems to be what they like asking each other about. Right now, the only people we know are in this group are Bram, Ilana, the two other Ajira passengers helping them with the crate on Alcatraz, and the whoever else was in Bram's van.

Who could they possibly represent?


Here are the main theories floating around:

1) The New Dharma Initiative
This is the theory I'm subscribing to at the moment. I mentioned in my last post that at Comic-Con last year, the Dharma "recruiting centers" were most likely a hint that that the organization would reestablish itself (on the show). And when I heard all of Bram's sappy talk about how Miles could never "fill the empty hole inside" of him with money, the first thing I thought was, "those Dharma hippies are at it again!" Seriously, who says that sort of thing? Plus, Bram and Ilana have that big ol' crate they're working on opening... and we all know how much the old Dharma liked to drop supplies by the crate-load back in the day. Finally, Bram promised Miles information about his father... and Chang was of course a part of the original Dharma.

2) Friends of Richard
If anyone has the right to be pissed off about how things have turned out on the Island, it's Ageless Richard. He's like, "I'm sick of everyone ripping on my eyeliner, being jealous of my sweet outfits and time traveling all over the place! I need to bring in some reinforcements and wipe these idiots out once and for all." We know that Richard has left the Island before (to visit Locke throughout his life, to recruit Juliet, etc.), so who's to say that he hasn't been building an army to call in when he just couldn't stand dealing with those pesky humans anymore? Plus, who else would know "what lies in the shadow of the statue" besides the ageless guy who was probably one of the only people around when the statue was actually tall enough to have a shadow? (An offshoot of this theory is that the SOTS group is made up of other "original inhabitants" of the Island, like Richard.)

3) Team Hawking
Ellie's gone rogue! Think about it -- she was on the Island in 1954 and seemed to be one of the Hostiles, along with Richard and Widmore. She was still there in 1977 and apparently in some position of authority, as some of the Hostiles were worried because Richard didn't clear taking Little Ben to The Temple with either her or Charles. Somewhere along the way she gave birth to Faraday and left the Island (not sure in what order)... and now she's in an old (but still functioning) Dharma station, from which she helped Ben and the O5 return to the Island?!? She may just be the most mysterious character on this show behind Jacob. Perhaps she's assembled a team to recapture control of the Island for herself and show the men who's really boss? I consider this the least likely possibility, though; Eloise may be a somewhat solitary figure and not necessarily aligned with Ben or Widmore, but that doesn't mean she wants to rule the Island. However, stranger things have happened, and it's not like I would be disappointed if Hawking shoved her Grrl Power in everyone's faces... For the Win!

4) Other Randoms
Maybe The Economist is behind the SOTS crew? Or Jacob somehow organized a team of humans back on the mainland? Perhaps Abaddon didn't really die and he's behind this group? Let's see... what other names could we toss around? Annie? Waaalllt? Kate's stepfather? Cassidy? Claire's old boyfriend Thomas? I know... VINCENT is controlling the SOTS team!

Regardless of who is backing the SOTS group, I'm pretty certain about two things: 1) they're part of "the war that's coming to the Island" which Widmore warned Locke about, and 2) one of them will probably end up getting shot while chasing down the time travelers in the outriggers. So let's hope they don't take Frank out to sea with them...

OK, enough with the flashbacks. Time to return to 1977.


Sawyer and Kate made it to the outer limits of Dharmaville after leaving Little Ben with Richard somewhere in the middle of the jungle. Miles, who's at the Security HQ, helped them cover their tracks by erasing the videotape of Camera #4 (or so he thought). Shortly thereafter, Horace decided to bring Miles into the "circle of trust" (shout-out to Meet the Parents) as LaFleur was nowhere to be found. He gave Miles a package and instructed him to drive out to Hostile territory to meet Radzinsky... and then return with another package. So our suspicions have been confirmed: Radzinsky was freaked out about presumed-Hostile Sayid seeing his plans for The Swan because Dharma was being very naughty by building it in a forbidden area.

In addition to learning that Dharma is involved in some dubious activities outside the bounds of its truce-approved land, Miles discovered (once seeing that "the package" is a corpse) that workers are falling victim to really bizarre deaths at the construction site. A filling through the brain? I don't think that's how anyone would ever expect to meet his maker.

On that note, the first thing I thought when I saw Dead Alvarez with what looked to be a bullet through his skull (even though it wasn't) was that his was one of the skeletons Locke encountered in the Skeleton Pit. Remember, there was one that clearly looked to have a bullet hole above its eye socket? Many of us thought this was suspect back in Season Three; here's what I wrote about it in my "The Man Behind the Curtain" post: "One final comment about The Purge... all we saw were Dharma members being gassed. But how come one of the skulls in the Skeleton Pit had a gunshot wound in the forehead area?"

However, the holes don't appear to be in the same place... see for yourself:

So I'm not cooking up any weird theories about Alvarez being in the Skeleton Pit just yet.

However, it was supremely strange that Horace told Miles to take Dead Alvarez to Chang at The Orchid. That's not the first place you'd think of to bring a body, huh? Add to that Chang's response when Miles asked where the corpse was taken: "What body?"

What in the heck are Chang's people doing with anyone who dies at the work sites? Running experiments on them? Cremating them? Aren't friends and family members of the deceased getting suspicious? Something shady is going on!

The last errand Miles ran was to take Chang from The Orchid over to The Swan. There, we saw the infamous numbers (which showed up in a ton of other places in this episode, by the way) being branded onto the hatch's lid.

This scene raised two major questions in my mind:

1) Earlier in the episode we had already figured out that The Swan was being built on Hostile territory. But now that we actually saw what a huge construction site it was, I just don't know how we're expected to believe that Richard and crew somehow weren't aware of Dharma's intrusion onto their land? It's not like Radzinsky and two other guys were taking turns quietly digging a hole in the ground with a spoon or something. This was a major production. So all I can figure is that the Hostiles did in fact know what was going on, but let Dharma get away with it for a reason that will become clear in a later episode.

2) Are we going to get to see the first run of the Countdown Timer o' Doom? I really hope so. The prevailing theory is still that Jughead's buried somewhere around the construction site for The Swan, and that if Dharma goofs up and runs into it, they're going to have to build the timer to help control the extreme magnetic energy emanating from the site or else the world will end... or at the very least, planes will start crash-landing on the Island. (No, I don't know how any of that would technically/scientifically work, either, but I'm rolling with it.)


Despite Miles' protests, Hurley ended up joining him in the Dharma van and helped carry out Horace's orders. Hurley quickly discovered the dead body... and then learned (at the same time we did) that Miles knew that Pierre Chang is his father. I, for one, was seriously wondering if perhaps Miles would never become aware of this knowledge during his time spent with Dharma in the '70s. I'm glad the writers chose to fill him in... and particularly loved how he found out: "Third day we were here, I was in line at the cafeteria, and my mother got in line behind me. That was my first clue."

As soon as Hurley realized that Miles had no intention of spending time with his father, he became intent on convincing him what a mistake that would be. He shared how his dad ran off when he was only ten, and that he was happy he forgave him and ended up forging a tight bond with him in the three years after he returned from the Island. (As a side note, was this line ominous, or what: "...and although I may never see him again, I miss him." Hmm.)

Hurley warned Miles that he'd regret it for the rest of his life if he didn't attempt to make some connection with Daddy Chang before it was too late.


We have yet to see whether or not Miles will actually follow Hurley's advice... but I was so thankful that he at least got to see a few seconds of his father fawning over his three-month-old self. There's no shame in my game -- I definitely teared up at this scene. This was also the point in the episode where I realized that Miles has really grown on me. I couldn't stand his character during the first half of Season Four, so bravo to Ken Leung for pulling a Juliet/Elizabeth Mitchell on this unsuspecting viewer (I didn't like her until recently, either).

So here's the deal: never for one second did I think that Chang was a bad guy -- even before the touching scene with him reading a polar bear story to Baby Miles. From the same Comic-Con video I mentioned earlier in this post, I think it's clear that Chang is going to find out about The Purge -- most likely from Daniel -- and is going to do whatever he can to make sure his son and wife are nowhere near the Island when that craziness goes down. In fact, he's probably going to try and get them back to the mainland as soon as possible, even if that means acting like a complete jerk so that his wife voluntarily leaves him. Which of course makes the whole thing infinitely more tragic.

But last year's Comic-Con video isn't the only one that may be coming into play this season. Remember the Orchid video that debuted at the same event a year prior? The one with two number 15 bunnies? The one where Chang was freaking out about what would happen if two versions of the same living being touched each other? Yeah, that one. Well, Miles has now seen a younger version of himself (destroying my theory from earlier this season that this would never happen)... but will he go so far as to come into physical contact with Baby Miles? Will he, like Hurley suggested, change his own poopy diaper or feed himself a bottle? Though millions of us would probably die laughing if that transpired, I don't think we'll see it. (But, to be fair, I should probably mention that there is a theory floating around that perhaps the two versions of Miles will touch, and that will be "the incident" that wreaks havoc on the Island, causing the need for the Countdown Timer o' Doom.)


Elsewhere in Dharmaville, Ben's dad was getting wasted because his kid had disappeared and everyone else was like, "Hmm... no idea what happened. Sorry, bud." Well, except for Kate, who Roger was no longer googly-eyed over once she started acting all fishy (or fishbiscuity?) and saying things such as, "I just have a feeling he's gonna be OK."

Then Roger vented to Jack, who totally had the opportunity to squash Roger's suspicions...

JACK: I think, Roger, that, uh, that you've had a hell of a day, and that... it's given you a very good excuse to go out and get drunk. Maybe that's put some--some crazy ideas into your head.


Awww, crap...

JACK CONTINUES (now all up in Roger's face): I know that woman--Kate. She's my friend, and she would never do anything to hurt your son.
Yeah, that didn't help the situation. Roger stormed off, probably even more convinced of a conspiracy than he was before.

And he wasn't the only Dharmite who smelled a rat. Phil discovered that Sawyer had something to do with Little Ben's disappearance, and marched up to his home to confront him. I don't know about you guys, but as soon as Sawyer asked if Phil had told anyone else about the videotape evidence, I knew Phil was getting a beat-down. And sure enough, it came. Nighty-night, Phil.

The 815ers have gotten themselves into quite a mess, huh?


(If you don't care about Star Wars, you can skip down to the paragraph that begins, "OK, so back to Lost.")

I could've easily written an entire post about the parallels between the Star Wars saga and Lost... but in the interest of time I'm going to hold back. However, I must at least mention a few things on the subject. First off, my brother emailed me shortly after "Some Like it Hoth" ended and said, "Hurley got the timeline wrong. Luke didn’t get his hand cut off because of the “father” reveal. Luke got his hand cut off and then Vader revealed the truth to Luke as Luke was hanging on the pole thingy. Then Luke chose to fall and slid down the tube and was rescued by Leia and Lando in the Falcon."

So there, Hurley! Dude, how could you have messed that up?

Also, for the record... unlike Hurley, I liked the Ewoks. One of my most vivid memories is of my family standing in line for Return of the Jedi, and my brother and I each had our Ewok stuffed animals with us. He had Wicket, while I had the much lamer Princess Kneesaa. But dammit if I didn't love that thing when I was nine years old. And who can deny the awesomeness of the Ewok village playset?

Finally, I just have to mention one other Star Wars-related thought that has to do with the planet Hoth. Did anyone else have the Tauntaun action figures? The ones where the belly opened and you could stick Luke in there to defrost? Those were the best. And guess what? The uber-nerds over at ran an April Fool's joke this year and claimed to have a Tauntaun sleeping blanket, so that dorks' kids could "slumber in the belly of the beast." Well, they had such an overwhelming response that they're now actually trying to work with Lucasfilm to bring the product to a toystore near you. I would totally buy one... and would sleep in it myself.

OK, so back to Lost. The two Star Wars connections that might carry some weight are:

1) Luke's "daddy issues"
There are too many Lost characters to list that can relate to Luke Skywalker's convoluted relationship with his father -- Miles is the latest in a long line. But is it a good idea for Miles to attempt to get closer to his father if he knows his fate (death by Purge) is sealed? Wouldn't that just make it all the harder to bear? There won't even be any Ewoks around to cheer him up...

2) Hurley "rewriting" The Empire Strikes Back
First off, I must bring to your attention this hilarious screencap my friend and fellow Lost blogger Karen was quick enough to capture right after "Hoth" aired. Seems that -- at least for a brief moment in space-time -- Hurley's script DID reach George Lucas. Click here to see for yourself.

But in all seriousness, was Hurley's attempt to change the future a hint to all of us that there's still the possibility that whatever happened might not continue to happen?

Especially since the one and only Daniel Faraday is...


I must admit that I did not expect Faraday to climb out of the sub. I totally thought that we were finally going to get to see Gerald or Karen DeGroot -- the founders of the Dharma Initiative -- in the flesh. But no, it was Daniel, and he seemed very confident and at peace with himself, didn't he? Maybe after spending some time in Ann Arbor he has reason to believe that there is a way he can save his beloved Charlotte?

Also, just to clear up some confusion I know is out there about the timeline... when we saw Daniel in a tan Dharma jumpsuit at the beginning of this season, that had to be at some point after he returned to the Island via the submarine in 1977. Because remember, Chang had left Baby Miles behind with Lara as he went to film one of the orientation videos and was then interrupted and called to The Orchid (where we saw Daniel). The presence of Baby Miles in that scene means that it couldn't have taken place before 1977.

So all I can figure is that Daniel left the Island shortly after the time traveling group came to rest in 1974. He spent three years with the head scientists of Dharma in Ann Arbor, and is now ready to put his skillz to work on the Island. And come on, if deep in his gut he truly believed that there was no way to change the future, why would he go through all of this trouble?

I'm thinking we're about to learn that Daniel might have been telling some white lies all along...


There were so many awesome exchanges between Miles and Hurley that my original draft of this section was about as long as the rest of this post. I think we all agree that this episode had several brilliant lines, so I've decided not to paste in half of the script below. Instead, here are "The Best of the Best Lines," if you will.

ROGER: I'm going to security.
[The door slams as Richard leaves.]
JULIET [to Kate]: Well... here we go.

HURLEY: That's how it works for me.
MILES: Great. I'm happy for you.
HURLEY: You're just jealous my powers are better than yours.

HURLEY: Dude, that guy's a total douche.
MILES: That douche is my dad.

MAN IN VAN: Miles, my name's Bram.
MILES: You owe me a fish taco.

MILES: My dad didn't leave when I was 10. I--I was a baby. I never knew him. And I don't want to. It's not happening.
HURLEY: That was Luke's attitude, too.
MILES: What?
HURLEY: In Empire, Luke found out Vader was his father, but instead of putting away his lightsaber and talking about it, he overreacted and got his hand cut off. I mean, they worked it out eventually, but at what cost? Another Death Star was destroyed, Boba Fett got eaten by the Sarlacc, and we got the Ewoks. It all could've been avoided if they'd just, you know, communicated. And let's face it. The Ewoks sucked, dude.


A huge "thank you!" to Ryan at Zap2it, and to everyone else who joined our live chat on the 22nd. It was an absolute blast and reminded me why I love Lost so much. The transcript will remain here... just scroll down to the chat window and press "Replay" to read it.

- There are no new updates to pass along about "the Seanie B situation." I'm fine with everything for now as the videos that incorporated my (and others') copyrighted content are offline. Thanks again for all of your support.

- The next episode is the series' 100th! Did you see the pictures of the huge cake that the Food Network show Ace of Cakes created for the occasion? Pretty cool, eh?

Here's hoping that the 100th episode is one to remember...

Until next week,
- e

Monday, April 20, 2009

This Wednesday Night, Zap2it's Live Chat is Where It's At

Hello my dear friends -

As I mentioned in my last post, there are no new Island adventures for us to enjoy this week; instead, there's a clip show entitled "The Story of the Oceanic Six."

Therefore, I encourage you to join me for a live chat with Zap2it's hilariously awesome Ryan McGee on Wednesday night from 8:30 - 10 EST. We'll be talking about all things Lost, answering questions, tossing around ideas, and maybe even sharing a (virtual) DHARMA beer.

The good news is that if you want to give your take (or get ours) about what in the Holy Secret Garlic Mayo is going on this season, you don't have to do anything except remain in the comfort of your own home and click over to this site. If you scroll down on that page a bit, you'll see the event window where everything will go down. (And if you click here, you can replay the chat Ryan hosted last month with my friend and fellow blogger JOpinionated. It will give you a good idea of what to expect.)

I hope you can make it, it should be a blast!

And remember, because of the episode break and my travel schedule, I'll be posting my "Some Like it Hoth" recap late, hopefully by Friday morning, but definitely by next Tuesday.

- e

Monday, April 13, 2009

S5Ep12 - Dead is Dead... and Illegal is Illegal

Hello my dear friends -

I've got all sorts of bad news for you, so let's just get straight to it.


Those of you connected to me on Facebook and/or following me on Twitter are already aware of this situation, but for the rest of you, allow me to provide a brief summary of how I've been spending 90% of my time since Thursday afternoon. I haven't been working on this episode recap, that's for sure. No, instead of writing, I've been filing copyright infringement claims and talking to intellectual property attorneys after it was brought to my attention (thank you, thank you, THANK YOU reader "Andre from Germany") that a video blogger who goes by "Seanie B" (yes, I feel silly writing that) has been passing off parts of my posts, and other Lost recappers' posts, as his own. As in, word for word. As in, over 20% of the content in one of this guy's videos came directly from Long Live Locke. And it is much, much worse for Vozzek69, who also writes (like I do) for DarkUFO's site. Vozzek69's content has been lifted by Seanie B since episode one of this season, and there's a good chance that some of his Season Four posts have been plagiarized as well (it takes a long time to document these things, so we're still going through the videos).

I intend to write more about this whole mess in a separate post sometime soon, but as of right now the situation has not yet been worked out to my satisfaction. You can see proof of Seanie B's blatant plagiarism at my good friend Jon Lachonis' DocArzt & Friends site. It is not possible for me to thank Jon enough for all that he has done to help bring this issue to light and support me and Vozzek69 in our quest to resolve this situation. Jon went spectacularly above and beyond in putting together a side-by-side comparison of my blog and Seanie B's video, and I guarantee your jaw will drop when you watch it. (For those of you who use Digg, please Digg this article.) Anyone who commentates on Lost is bound to mention ideas or theories that others have already thought of or written about, but that's not what we're referring to here. We're talking about shameless, word-for-word content theft from copyrighted sites, which is illegal. Trust me, I've checked into it.

Since it's now 4 PM on Easter Sunday and I'm just starting this recap (whereas on a typical week by this point I would have already put in about twelve solid hours of writing), my take on "Dead is Dead" is going to be shorter and less in-depth than usual. I actually considered reader CCW's suggestion that I "only write about how hot Desmond is" from here on out so that Seanie B is less likely to steal my work. But honestly, not only am I mentally and physically exhausted from dealing with this unfortunate situation for the better part of 72 hours, but I also simply don't feel like writing. To make things even worse, Walgreens and CVS are sold out of Cadbury creme eggs, so I can't even drown my sorrows in chocolate.

So, thank you for understanding why this post isn't all that inspired and currently doesn't have any screencaps (I may add some later, but they take more time than I have to upload right now). If you've been reading my recaps for any length of time, then you know how much work I put into them. You know I do this because I love the show -- I don't make any money whatsoever off of this site. You know that I think the online community of Lost fans is a group I'm very proud to be a part of, and the outpouring of support I've received over the past three days is a testament to what intelligent, thoughtful and ethical people are out there watching this series. That's why it had to be a priority for me this weekend to help stop someone who was illegally passing off my content and my friends' content (and artwork) as his own. After all, as Mr. Benjamin Linus has been known to say, "We're the good guys!"

OK... on to "Dead is Dead." From the messages I've been receiving, it seems that a lot of people didn't like this episode. However, I'm in the camp that did. How could I not enjoy Ben and Locke bickering for the better part of an hour?


I'm sure I wasn't the only one who cocked her head to the side and said, "Huh?" as Long-Haired Widmore galloped through the Hostiles' camp on a noble steed. I really wasn't expecting that Chuck On a Horse would kick off this episode, and immediately wondered if perhaps I'd accidentally switched over to some channel that was airing one of the many Robin Hood movies. But no, it was Lost, and the action was still in 1977, right after "Whatever Happened, Happened" left off.

Widmore caught wind that Richard had saved "one of them," and cold-busted over to confront the Ageless One about it. Richard was in no mood to let such an unkempt man give him the business, though. "Jacob wanted it done. The Island chooses who the Island chooses. You know that," he replied coolly.

Can we take Richard at his word? Was he really instructed by Jacob to save Little Ben? Adult Ben told Locke that he was the only Other who had ever communicated with Jacob. This could of course simply be Ben's 4,223rd lie, but if he was telling the truth for once, then that means Richard acted on his own when he brought Ben to The Temple. It's not like we saw or heard a creepy "Saaaaave hiiiimmmm" whisper. Yet, on the other hand, Richard clearly knew who Jacob was back in 1954 when Locke name-dropped him, so chances are that Ben was lying and Richard has been in touch with Jacob from the very beginning (whenever that was).

Since almost everything about Jacob remains a mystery, we're probably not going to get clarity on his interaction and relationship with any of the other characters any time soon.


First I was surprised to see Widmore on a horse, then I was surprised to see that he actually treated Little Ben pretty kindly when the two future-enemies first met. He ensured Little Ben that even though they'd have to return him to Dharmaland, Ben would always be one of the Hostiles.

The next flashback we see is in either 1988 or 1989, and Rousseau is alone in her tent with newborn Baby Alex. I was certainly expecting the whole kidnapping scene to go down a lot differently than it did, weren't you? I had envisioned dozens of Hostiles descending upon Rousseau's tent -- perhaps even with Harry Potter-like Invisibility Cloaks on or something -- and then some sort of magical force would freeze Rousseau while she watched in horror as her daughter vanished in front of her eyes. Instead, it was an approximately 23-year-old Ben who did the deed calmly and quickly, all within less than a few minutes. And Pre-Teen Ethan was with him, of all people.

That didn't make the scene any less heartbreaking to watch, though.

Ben and Ethan return with Baby Alex to the Hostiles' camp. Widmore is not happy about this at all, and said that Ben should "kill it"... "it" being poor little Alex. After I heard those two words, all notions I ever had that Widmore might be the good guy evaporated. I now am confident that he is a... what's the word? It starts with a "b"... and ends with "astard"...?

Ben drops the J-bomb and tests Widmore by saying, "Is killing this baby what Jacob wants? Then here she is. You do it." But we all know Widmore let Alex live... albeit only for sixteen more years.

A few things to note/question from these scenes:

1) Although it wasn't explicitly stated, I can only assume (from what we know transpired in other episodes) that both Ben and Ethan were still living in the Barracks at that point in time, and that their interaction with and visiting of the Hostiles was on the down-low, and only during the wee hours.

2) Since Pre-Teen Ethan is accepted among the Hostiles, that either confirms the suspicions that his mom Amy is an Other, or something else happened with Ethan between 1977-1988 that we don't know about yet.

3) Ben took Alex to live with him in the Barracks. If he was still posing as a Dharma member, though, how in the heck did he explain suddenly having a baby?

4) Finally, as Ben told Rousseau to "run the other way" whenever she heard whispers, does that definitively tie the Others to the whispers? Are we ever going to get any more information about the whispers... like why they're only heard at certain times, how they're able to repeat phrases from a character's off-Island life, or who exactly is making them? I'm not so sure we will... this may be one of those mysteries left unexplained at the end of the series.


Next, we see Ben and what looks to be a five or six-year-old Alex bonding on the swing set in the Barracks. Richard interrupts them to inform Ben that Widmore's about to go buh-bye. As the Hostiles are using Dharma's sub to ship Widmore back to the mainland, we can assume this scene takes place at some point after the 1992 Purge.

Just like The Swiping of Alex, The Banishment of Widmore wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. Many of us had assumed that he'd turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel, and that's why he could never find the Island again. At the very least I figured there would be some sort of hocus-pocus element to getting Charles off of his favorite rock. But no, he was just handcuffed and escorted down the dock and into the submarine, never to return.

Not before he had these ominous words for Ben, though...

WIDMORE: Are you quite certain you want to do this, Benjamin?
BEN: You left the Island regularly. You had a daughter with an outsider. You broke the rules, Charles.
WIDMORE: And what makes you think you deserve to take what's mine?
BEN: Because I won't be selfish. Because I'll sacrifice anything to protect this Island.
WIDMORE: You wouldn't sacrifice Alex.
BEN: You're the one who wanted her dead, Charles, not the Island.
WIDMORE: I hope you're right, Benjamin, because if you aren't, and it is the Island that wants her dead, she'll be dead. And one day, you'll be standing where I'm standing now. You'll be the one being banished, and then you'll finally realize that you cannot fight the inevitable. I'll be seeing you, boy.

I definitely got chills during the "she'll be dead" part.

What's going on here? (And just to make some of what I'm going to say below a little easier to write out, let's assume Widmore left the Island in 1993, even though we have no concrete proof of that.)

1) Between 1993 and 2004, something must have changed with the Others' "rules," because we all know that Ben, Tom/Zeke and Richard have left the Island before. Perhaps if anyone left on "Others Business" it was OK, but if Charles was going to shore just to, um, get his freak on, then that was not OK.

2) On that note, who was this "outsider" he had a child (presumably Penny) with? Could it be Ellie/Ms. Hawking -- was she gone from the Island by that time? And would she really ever be considered an outsider since she was not only a Hostile in 1954, but also seemed to be working on behalf of the Island when she met Desmond in 1996, and then obviously when she helped get the O5 on Ajira 316 in 2007? If Ellie is Widmore's sister, as many have theorized, then perhaps the identity of Widmore's wife/lover is unimportant. All that matters is that the Hostiles frowned upon his involvement with this mystery woman.

3) Were Rousseau and Alex truly "not meant to live"? Why would the Island want them dead? Were their murders the universe's or Island's way of course-correcting what should have happened sixteen years prior? Or were their deaths what most of us saw them as: awful events that can be blamed on Widmore (and Keamy)?


By the time we got to the scene with Ben at the marina, I was beside myself with glee over how awesome all of the flashbacks had been. There's no denying that some serious pieces of the puzzle fell into place in this episode. But because (during the real-time events) Ben had told Sun to pass along his apologies should she ever see Desmond again, I was bracing for something horrible to go down once Ben aimed his gun at Penny.

Thankfully, Little Charlie ran out onto the deck of Our Mutual Friend in all of his mop-headed glory, and Ben hesitated just long enough to allow Desmond to spring on him and pummel him senseless. Speaking of Desmond, did anyone else think that the reason there was no blood when Ben fired at him wasn't because of a strategically placed can of beans, but rather because the Island won't let him die? That maybe Ms. Hawking knew what she was talking about in "316" when she said the Island's not done with him yet?

Now, before I end with my analysis of the flashbacks, I have to bring up one more thing. Let's rewind a little bit and talk about the scene where Ben called Widmore to inform him that he was about to kill Penny in revenge for Alex's death. During their tense chat, Ben also told Widmore that he would be returning to the Island later that same day, to which Charles replied, "The Island won't let you come back, trust me. I've spent almost 20 years trying to return."

I wouldn't have thought twice about this line until reader JH-Z sent me a message and asked why the math didn't add up. Don't know what she's talking about? Consider this:

- It was probably 1993 or 1994 when Charles was banished from the Island. We know this because we know Alex was sixteen when she was killed, and she was definitely killed in 2004. The fact that she looked to be about six years old when Ben was pushing her on the swing is in line with this.
- So Alex's timeline makes sense... but Widmore's definitely does not. Miles stated earlier this season that Widmore had been looking for the Island for twenty years. Now Charles just repeated this same number to Ben on the phone. But, um, twenty years from 1993 would be the year 2013. So what in the @#(#*$(&*@ is going on?!?!

My dear friends, I'm at a loss. Because of the drama I referenced at the beginning of this post, I have not have a chance to investigate this mystery at all. So I put it out there for you to think about... and I'm sure you'll let me know if another Lost blog has cracked it. Off of the top of my head, the only two high-level explanations I can think of are: 1) It's another innocent goof, similar to what happened with Charlotte's age, or 2) it is a huge clue. Since Charles repeated the "twenty years" line in this episode, though, I have to think it's a clue. But my mind can't process anything beyond that. Sorry!

Consider the flashbacks covered... now onto the Island.


Ben woke up to find Alive Locke looking down at him. Talk about awkward... but of course Ben quickly recovered and claimed that he figured Locke would probably bounce back from his murder-by-strangulation. Then he's like, "But don't you judge me... let's let The Monster judge me." (Did anyone feel a bit weird hearing two grown men talk about "The Monster" throughout the episode? I mean, I know "Smokey" isn't any better, but I really wish the writers had chosen to give Ben a clue about the real name for The Monster. Like "Cerberus" or whatever else we've all been thinking it might really be called.)

In the very next scene, Ben was up to his old tricks, trying to convince Caesar that Locke is one suspicious bald dude. I was totally shocked... I had really thought that Ben would be on his best behavior once he realized that the Island brought Locke back to life. However, a few scenes later, everything made sense; Ben had taken the sawed-off shotgun from Caesar during their little chat, and then used it to kill him when he stood in the way of Locke and Ben heading out to the main Island.

Color me surprised once more -- I certainly did not expect Caesar to leave us so soon. We may still see a flashback on him or something, but I sure was totally off in my "He's Our You" recap, in which I proposed that Caesar, not Ilana, was going to be the Important New Character. I'll get to her a little bit later, though.


Ben and Locke made it safely to the main Island, and Locke waited outside while Ben went into his old home to see why a light was on. Now -- trust me -- I have not forgotten that Ben is a master manipulator and serial liar, but I honestly believe that he did not know: 1) who Christian was (when Frank referenced him) or 2) that some of the 815ers were in living among Dharma members in the '70s (when he saw the orientation picture Sun handed him). Could Ben truly be unaware of the time travel the 815ers have experienced? And does that mean that they were all gone by the time he returned to Dharmasville as a young boy?

Locke joined the group inside, and when Frank saw that he was no longer dead, he's like "THAT'S IT! If I don't find me a bottle of Jack Daniels right quick, I'm going to spontaneously combust!" He must've figured his chances of coming across the hard stuff would be better back on Hydra island, so he bid adieu to Sun and ran off before anything else supernatural could happen.

Before I move on from this scene, I have to share one thought that popped into my mind when I heard Sun say that Christian told her that if she wanted to see her husband again, she'd have to wait for Locke. I couldn't help but wonder if the torch was being passed, so to speak, from one Island Zombie to another. Now, you all know that I personally do not want to believe that Locke might not be 100% alive anymore. But I have to keep what I want to happen and what I think could be happening separate... and between Sun's comment and some of the other things that I'll talk about shortly, I have to begrudgingly admit that Locke might not be as flesh and blood as he once was.


Let's jump back to Hydra for a moment. Frank makes his way up the beach, and he's all, "For the love of God, has anyone found the stash of mini-bottles of booze from the plane yet?" But the rest of the 316ers had much bigger issues to worry about. Ilana and some meathead dude (and I think two other guys) were now armed with rifles, and were working on opening a huge metal crate.

Frank is asked, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" and he's like, "Are you serious? Is this a joke? Dammit, I thought Ben and Locke were the freak-shows... why did I come back here?" But it was too late for our favorite pilot... he was taken to be tied up.

Obviously the riddle Ilana rattled off was similar to the "What did one snowman say to the other snowman?" joke that both Kelvin and Desmond posed to Swan hatch intruders. Does that mean that Ilana is part of a "new Dharma" that's attempting to re-establish itself on the Island? That would definitely jibe with the events of last summer's Comic-Con, where Dharma was looking for fresh recruits (yes, it was all an elaborate marketing effort for the show, but you get my point).

Regardless of what group Ilana represents, how did they find out about Ajira 316, what's in the crate, and what are they going to do now? Is this all part of "the war" that's coming to the Island, which Widmore warned Locke about?

All I know for sure is that I do not like Ilana, and that thick-necked guy is already bugging me, too. They better not hurt our Frank or there will be hell to pay!


And now for the climactic finale...

Locke tells Sun that he can't help her find Jin until Ben checks "GET JUDGED BY SMOKEY" off of his to-do list. Next, a bunch of exceedingly bizarre things happen:

1) Ben goes into his secret room and calls Smokey by draining out a nasty pool of slop. ?!?
2) Locke walks off into the jungle after he apparently told Sun that he had something to take care of. ?!?
3) Ben tells Sun that he has never seen the Island bring somebody back to life, and the fact that it seems to have done just that with Locke frightens the holy hell out of him. ?!?
4) Ben warns Sun that something is about to come out of the jungle that he can't control, and so she better take cover inside. Shortly thereafter... Locke comes out of the jungle. ?!?

And then finally, the scene we'd all been waiting for. Bring on Smokey!

Locke says that they're going to have to go under the Temple in order for Ben to accomplish his task. I don't have the brain-power right now to process what that could mean, but I'm sure it means something. Just like I'm sure it means something that Locke knew where to go to find Smokey in the first place, and Ben didn't.

Sun, who tagged along, falls behind once the two men head underground. Ben tumbles through a break in the structure, and while Locke runs off to find a vine for Ben to pull himself up with, Ben explores the chamber he's landed in. Hieroglyphics abound, and the camera focuses on one that appears to be Smokey and The Statue God in a face-off. Even though I was aboard the Taweret Theory Train in my "LaFleur" write-up, I'll admit that if the four-toed statue is meant to be the same Egyptian god depicted in the carving Ben saw in this episode, then it's most likely Anubis.

Ben didn't get much more time to snoop around, though, because up rose Smokey through a vent in the floor. As a cloud of black smoke surrounded him, Ben's life literally flashed before his eyes, just like we saw happen when Mr. Eko had his first face-off with the monster. I have to admit, there was a teeny, teeny part of me that was worried that this was the last we'd see of Mr. Linus. But then a voice inside my head said, "Are you a freakin' idiot? Because the producers aren't -- Michael Emerson has scored two Emmy nominations for his role on this show -- he ain't goin' nowhere."

And sure enough, he survived. But he wasn't totally in the clear until Apparition Alex had her way with him. "I don't care WHAT baldy tells you to do... you will do it and you will like it! And you will stop plotting his second death, fool!"

Ben's like, "Geez, OK, I get it... ohandbythewayI'msorryIletKeamykillyou." And then Alex was gone.

Mysteriously, as soon as Smokey and Apparition Alex vanished, Locke reappeared, adding credence to the theory that Locke might either BE Smokey or somehow be controlling him. I certainly hope it's not the former, but definitely think the latter is a possibility. However, before Locke was on the Island, and before Christian was on the Island, we saw Smokey attack Danielle's group. So if a person controls/summons/unleashes Smokey, who was controlling him then? That's why I think it may just be a coincidence that Locke's appearances and disappearances were seemingly timed with Smokey's coming and goings.

That's it, folks! Be sure you read the section after the Best Lines for a note about the timing of my next post...


BEN: What has he told you?

CAESAR: When you were out cold, he was watching over you. And he said you killed him.

BEN: I killed him? Really? 'Cause he looks fine to me.

LOCKE: Well, Ben, I was hoping that you and I could talk about the elephant in the room.

BEN: I assume you're referring to the fact that I killed you.

LOCKE: Looks like we're not the first ones who decided to tie up here.

BEN: That would be Sun and Lapidus. I showed 'em where the boats were, and Sun thanked me by smashing me on the head with a paddle.

BEN: No. Someone else hurt my arm.

LOCKE: You just make friends everywhere you go, don't ya?

BEN: The man was unarmed because I'd stolen his gun--the gun he was going to use to kill you. I couldn't let that happen.

LOCKE: No sense in me dying twice, right?

BEN: You're welcome.

BEN (looks at 1977 Dharma orientation picture): Of course not. Where did you get this? Who gave this to you?

LAPIDUS: We met some crazy old man outside. He said his name was Christian. [e: This probably wasn't meant to be funny, but I thought it was.]

SUN: What you're saying, it's... impossible.

LOCKE: But here I am. I don't know how, I don't know why, but I'm sure there's a very good reason for it.

LAPIDUS: As long as the dead guy says there's a reason, well, then I guess everything's gonna be just peachy. And forget about the fact that the rest of your people are supposedly 30 years ago... now the only ones who are here to help us are a murderer and a guy who can't seem to remember how the hell he got out of a coffin.

LOCKE: You don't like this, do you?

BEN: What?

LOCKE: Having to ask questions that you don't know the answers to, blindly following someone in the hopes that they'll lead you to whatever it is you're looking for.

BEN: No, John, I don't like it at all.

LOCKE: Well, now you know what it was like to be me.

LOCKE: What happened?

BEN: It let me live.


- I will be traveling this coming weekend and the one after that, so I will not have my recap of the April 15 episode up by Monday, April 20, and am not exactly sure when it will be done. But that's OK, because there's not a new episode on April 22.

- Instead, there's a clip show entitled "The Story of the Oceanic Six" that will air on the 22nd, and during that time I will be joining Ryan from Zap2It's Guide to Lost for a live chat about our favorite show. As soon as I have the final details about that chat, I will post them so that you can hopefully join us and banter about the show with other Lost fans in real-time. (Side note: Ryan wrote a very nice article about the Seanie B plagiarism drama here, please check it out.)

Thanks again to everyone who wrote me messages of support over the last few days. I haven't been able to respond to all of them, but I have definitely read each and every one, and you have no idea how much they've meant to me.

Enjoy the show on Wednesday, and be sure to check back early next week for details about the live chat.

- e

Sunday, April 05, 2009

S5Ep11 - Whatever Happened, Happened

Hello my dear friends -

My reaction to "Whatever Happened, Happened" was comparable to how I felt about "Namaste" and "He's Our You"; I enjoyed the episode and was thankful that a few mysteries were resolved, but it's not like my jaw had hit the floor by the time the hour came to a close or anything. However, there's still a lot to be said for this Kate-centric installment: the instantly infamous Miles/Hurley time travel debate, Evangeline Lilly's heart-wrenching performance, the possible end of the Love Quadrangle...

Flashbacks first!


The Kate and Cassidy reunion might have come as a surprise to "normal" viewers of the show (if you're reading this, I hate to be the one to tell you, but you're probably not normal), but most hardcore fans (including myself) had found enhanced audio clips of what Sawyer whispered before he jumped out of the helicopter at the end of Season Four, and therefore knew that Kate would most likely try to find his old flame and his daughter back on the mainland. What I didn't expect to see, however, was Kate telling Cassidy the truth about the Oceanic crash almost immediately after she returned. My knee-jerk reaction was to then be suspicious of Cassidy... I kept waiting for the scene where she ratted Kate out, which would inevitably lead to Aaron being taken away by force. Especially since she still seemed so bitter about Sawyer even after learning what happened to him. But I was wrong... we now know that she didn't blab the O6's secret.

Instead, Cassidy served as a pseudo-shrink for Kate... helping her to realize not only why Sawyer leapt into the ocean, but also why she made up the lie about being Aaron's birth mother in the first place. I thought the latter explanation was total crap, though, and was annoyed by the insinuation that Kate kept Aaron because "she needed him." I'm not trying to say that Kate didn't have some issues... but, um, hello... it IS a fact that Claire left her son in the jungle, and it IS a fact that the O6's cover could've been blown and therefore those back on the Island could've been in danger if Kate revealed Aaron's true identity once she returned to Los Angeles. I mean, what else was she supposed to do?

I personally think that Kate made the right choice by keeping Aaron during the three years before the group decided they needed to go back. It definitely sucks that poor Turniphead had to be abruptly separated from the only mother he's known and given to a complete stranger (even though she's a blood relative), but I feel like if that had been done at any earlier point, the group would've been constantly worried about Widmore tracking Aaron down and using him as leverage. Let's not forget that the O6 spent a chunk of time on Penny's boat and were told firsthand -- by Widmore's own daughter -- that there would be no calling him off in his search for the Island.


Between the freaky Ghost Claire visions, the middle-of-the-night haunting phone calls and her conversations with Cassidy, Kate was probably starting to realize that her time with Aaron was drawing to a close. But it wasn't until Ben's Threatening Lawyer Guy started hounded her and she then thought she'd lost Aaron at the grocery store and saw Meth Face Chick Who Sort of Resembled the Littleton Women (I'm sorry, but she was scary!) that Kate truly came to grips with what had to be done. (Was I the only one who thought Aaron had been taken? I was actually surprised when Kate found him.)

At this point in the episode, I still had no idea how the Kate-Aaron separation would go down. I thought that perhaps they had reintroduced Cassidy because Kate would choose to leave Aaron with her... and then he'd have little Clementine as a playmate. Instead, Kate decided to keep it in the family, so to speak, and sought out Claire's mother. She gave Mrs. Littleton a CliffsNotes version of what transpired on the Island, and then vowed to go back in order to find Claire.

I already commented above on how sad it is to think of Aaron being left with a woman he's never met before, so now let's talk about how sad it was to watch Kate say goodbye to him as he slept. Yeah, I cried! Evangeline Lilly was marvelous in this entire episode, but nothing topped her work in that scene. The whole situation is so depressing... I mean, even if Claire is found and is somehow able to leave the Island... Aaron's not going to know her, either. That kid will be in therapy his whole life. And since he's already been "raised by another" for three years, is bad stuff going to happen no matter what? Or is there still time to prevent the horrendous events that Claire's psychic predicted would happen if his birth mother wasn't the one to parent him?

If Claire's even alive, that is. Last we saw her (in Season Four's "Cabin Fever"), she was hangin' with Zombie Dad in Jacob's Shack. (On that note, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) pretty much confirmed that a production error had been made in "Namaste" -- the woman behind Sun was most likely a crew member in the frame by accident, and not Claire.)


I want to take a moment to revisit Kate and Jack's last-night-in-the-normal-world tryst simply because we now know the context of Kate's strange behavior. As many of us had guessed, she had voluntarily given Aaron to someone else, and then came to Jack to, uh, get her mind off of things. In my "316" write-up, I was really annoyed with both of the characters during that scene -- Jack for so easily agreeing to stop asking questions about Aaron, and Kate for not telling him exactly what had happened.

You may also remember that I was dreading the possibility that Kate would become pregnant as a result of this one-night stand. I'm still holding out hope that that's not what happens, but in case it does, here are two theories worth considering:

- Reader SG proposed that Kate's three years with Aaron made her realize that she really did love having a child. But since she'd made the decision to try to find Claire in order to reunite Aaron with his birth mother, and since she knew any woman who conceived on the Island would die, her fling with Jack was a last-ditch effort to get pregnant so that she could have a child of her own. Meaning, it wasn't some in-the-heat-of-the-moment display of passion or the result of any lingering feelings for The Mad Doctor, but rather a deliberate attempt to become a mother in her own right. I wanted to mention this idea because even though there's been a lot of speculation that Kate may be pregnant, I hadn't heard anyone say that maybe that was her plan all along.

- Before we knew exactly when the 815ers were going to end up once they'd returned to the Island, reader sweetpeas wondered -- assuming that Kate is pregnant -- if her child with Jack could possibly end up being Little Ben's crush, Annie. We've since learned that the timing doesn't work out for that theory, but I wanted to mention it anyway because if Kate is pregnant and she's still back in the '70s when she gives birth, there's a chance the kid (boy or girl) could be someone we've already met in earlier seasons. Hey, if Horace and Amy can spawn Ethan, anything's possible, right? Sweetpeas also questioned whether or not this strange phenomenon of Kate getting pregnant in 2008 but giving birth decades earlier could be what causes the future pregnancy issues for women on the Island. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

And with that weak segue, let's move on to the Island events...


The episode began with Jin coming to and realizing that Little Ben had been shot by Sayid. The first thing I noticed was that Ben's wound was in a different location than it was at the end of the previous episode, and I started hollering at the TV in disgust. Then I was like, "OK, well, if he wasn't shot in his heart then he's definitely not going to die." So that was more than a little frustrating... not that I wanted the kid to kick the bucket or anything, but come on, that was a pretty blatant switcheroo. I mean, here's what we saw in "He's Our You":

And then here's what Ben looked like moments later when Jin rolled him over in "Whatever Happened, Happened":

What to make of this? I can only think of three possibilities:

1) It was a very bad screw-up on the part of the wardrobe and/or make-up peeps...

2) The Powers That Be wanted a big cliffhanger, and hoped viewers would think -- without a doubt -- that Ben was going to die, so they made the shot closer to his heart in "He's Our You" on purpose. They probably figured that the vast, vast majority of fans weren't going to compare frames after the following episode. (I know this seems hard to believe, but those of us who read Lost blogs, inspect screencaps and over-analyze dialogue are in the minority of the show's multimillion-person fan base.)


3) There's some other reason why the hole was in one place but the blood was in another... like "the Island moved the bullet" or "we saw things from Sayid's perspective, and he thought he hit Ben's heart" or "the bullet went in at an angle" or whatnot.

Quite frankly, I don't think the explanation matters (but if I had to choose, I'd go with #2). All that matters is that Little Ben's not going to die, but a lot of us truly believed there was a chance he might and a Great Debate raged for a week as to whether or not this was even possible. It was fun while it lasted, right?


While Jin was making his way back to the Barracks with Sayid's victim in tow, the rest of us were getting totally skeeved out by Roger Linus and Kate flirting with each other. I know that we were supposed to see "a different side" of Ben's dad in this episode and all that, but seriously, I just could not deal with those scenes and actually kept hoping against hope that it was some other dude named Roger that just looked a hell of a lot like the guy who slammed his son's face against Sayid's cell bars not too long ago. This might have been the only time when I would've actually been OK with an "evil twin" scenario. Alas, when Jin rolled up we got confirmation that it was indeed Ben's dad who'd been macking on Ms. Austen. Blech!

(The title of this section is in reference to the fact that Jon Gries, who plays Ben's dad, also starred as Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite. Further, and I probably shouldn't admit this, but I saw Gerardo -- the cheesy dude who sang the 1991 hit "Rico Suave" -- in concert. Granted, it was a free concert that my high school won (and Mr. Judge, if you're reading this, I hold you partially responsible for this awful memory!), but that doesn't make me any less ashamed.)


"Hey, this is what you said in your last post... you even had the picture of Marty McFly and everything!" shouted my husband at the start of the Hurley/Miles time travel debate. We actually had to pause the show because we were laughing so hard in disbelief.

But it really shouldn't have been a surprise. By this late point in the series, we all know that Hurley often serves as the voice of the viewers at home. He's the one who's not afraid to ask the questions that are on our minds or make the blunt statements that we've been stewing over for months. And so it was only fitting that he got into it with Miles and attempted to clarify what in the hell is going on, and what can and cannot happen because of the characters' time-traveling escapades.

Maybe I've just thought about all of this waaaay too much, but everything they said was already crystal-clear to me. Miles subscribed to Faraday's "whatever happened, happened... we can't change the past" school of thought, while Hurley felt there was a possibility that they all might vanish at any moment because it looked like Ben might die. What I liked is that their argument did not end on a definitive note... if anything, Hurley stumped Mr. Ghostbuster:

HURLEY: But when we first captured Ben, Sayid like tortured him... then why wouldn't he remember getting shot by that same guy when he was a kid?
MILES: Huh? I hadn't thought of that.

Now, yes... later in this same episode we learned why Ben's memory of Sayid might have gone out the window... and yes, there's also an argument to be made that maybe Ben DID recognize Sayid in 2004 but had the presence of mind to not appear shocked. I'm going to talk a little more about this issue later, but in regard to the Miles/Hurley discussion, there's really only one thing that I think we MUST take from it. There is one thing that is certain, no matter what you believe about whether or not the 815ers can change the past. And that one thing is that any of 815ers, or the Freighter Team, or Juliet can die in 1977, because it is their present. Forget about what year it is to the outside world, all that matters is that those characters have lived out thirty-ish years on this planet, and while their personal pasts are set in stone, their futures are still very much up in the air.

Sadly, I believe that they wouldn't have had Miles try to make this point so clearly if one of the gang's numbers isn't up soon. Because if one of the stuck-in-the-past characters bites the dust, The Powers That Be don't want us thinking, "but wait, it's 1977 and since we saw them alive in 2004, they must not really be dead!" They want us to know what the stakes are, and that's got to be why they had Miles say what he said.

And it doesn't make me happy at all. I don't want to lose anyone else, dammit!


While Miles and Hurley were entertaining themselves with their time travel dispute, Juliet was furiously trying to save Ben. However, she quickly realized that it was really Jack who needed to be at the operating table. But The Mad Doctor was having none of it.

SAWYER: Doc, I need you to come with me.
JACK: Come with you where?
SAWYER: Juliet says the kid is losing blood, and we ain't got none to put back in him, so we need you to show us where he sprung a leak.
JACK: [pauses and shakes head] No.
JACK: No. I'm not coming with you.
SAWYER: If you don't come with me, Jack, that kid is gonna die.
JACK: [pauses] Then he dies.

What I found interesting about Jack in this episode is that in the above exchange with Sawyer, it seemed like he was "old Jack" ... the Man of Science who vehemently believed in free will. My reaction to Jack's stance was, "He's tempting fate, he wants to show he still has a choice and that everything's not predetermined."

At other points in the hour, though, "new Jack" (as Kate called him) seemed to be channeling his past nemesis, Locke:

KATE: This is our fault. We brought Sayid back. We caused this.
JACK: Yeah? When we were here before, I spent all my time trying to fix things... but did you ever think that maybe the Island just wants to fix things itself?


JACK: I came back because I was supposed to.
JULIET: Supposed to what?
JACK: I don't know yet.

What's ironic about Jack's refusal to operate on Little Ben is that it directly resulted in Little Ben's transformation into the conniving, manipulative, remorseless man that brought the O5 back to the Island in 2008 -- the man that Jack didn't feel compelled to save again. If Jack had operated on him in 1977, though, things might have ended up a lot differently for everyone. But, as Miles tried to explain to Hurley (and us), all of this already happened, and therefore Jack never agreed to help Little Ben.

The same irony applies to Sayid, too. Sayid thought "his purpose" was to kill Ben so that all of the evil things Ben goes on to do in the future wouldn't happen. Instead, Sayid's actions ultimately led to Ben getting Other-ized at age twelve.


I would've never guessed that of all people, it would be Kate who went above and beyond to ensure Ben's survival. Motherhood truly changed her -- she simply didn't think of the young boy bleeding out on the hospital table as "Ben"... all she saw was a twelve-year-old in desperate need of help and a father beside himself with regret and worry. So when her blood donation wasn't enough, she brainstormed with Juliet to find another way to handle the situation.

Juliet then suggested that they take Ben to the Others. I can't decide whether or not we should interpret her suggestion to mean that: 1) she knew the Others had some supernatural way of saving people, or 2) she simply could think of no other options and figured that it was worth a try. Earlier this season we were given proof that she knows more about her old group then she'd previously let on... remember her statement about Richard being really old? This isn't to say that I think anything sinister is going on with Juliet, I'm simply wondering how much information she's still keeping to herself.

Regardless, Juliet and Kate eventually agreed that it was better if Kate took Ben into the jungle on her own... and they both knew that Sawyer would most likely be hot on her heels. Once the Dharma van was on its way, Juliet stormed over to the neighboring house to give Jack a piece of her mind. Words cannot describe how happy I was that this turned into neither a "Juliet couldn't resist dripping-wet-just-stepped-out-of-the-shower Jack, and so she jumped him" scene, nor a "Juliet cried to Jack because she thought Sawyer was going to fall for Kate again because they were going to be alone in the jungle together" scene. Juliet asked Jack why he came back, Jack said he didn't know, and that was it.

While we're on the subject of the Love Rhombus, or whatever the hell it's turned into, there are three other hopeful signs that it's kaput and that we'll be spared longing glances and tortured looks and all that crap from here on out:
1) Kate chose to come back to the Island to find Claire... not for Sawyer, and not just to follow Jack.

2) Kate confirmed that she didn't like the "new Jack," and he reminded her that she didn't really seem to like the "old Jack," either.

3) Sawyer declared that he was helping Ben because that's what Juliet wanted. "I'm doin' it for her." BOOM!


Did anyone else grow impatient with how leisurely all of the characters were acting as poor Little Ben was fading away? Juliet and Kate were having a chat by the van... Kate and Sawyer were catching up by the river... all while Little Ben was bleeding his guts out and most likely thinking, "I'm so gonna get you all you guys back for your dawdling!"

Finally some Others appeared in their usual out-of-thin-air manner, weapons drawn. I loved how Sawyer was just totally over their whole act. He's like, "Yeah, whatever... just get me the only guy with any fashion sense in your group -- you know who I'm talkin' 'bout!"

On cue, Richard materialized, looking like he'd just stepped out of a Ferragamo ad. (And seriously... at this point, for all we know, he did.) He goes, "Is that the same little brat who saw me on my worst bad hair day ever? I must erase that from his memory! Oh yeah, and he won't remember anything else once I'm done with him, either. 'Bye!"


OK, so here's what Ageless Richard really said:

RICHARD: And why are you here?
KATE: Cause we need you to save his life. Can you?
[Richard pauses and thinks for a moment.]
RICHARD: If I take him, he's not ever gonna be the same again.
KATE: What do you mean by that?
RICHARD: What I mean is that he'll forget this ever happened and that his innocence will be gone. He will always be one of us.
RICHARD: You still want me to take him?
KATE: Yes.

Then, after some other Other warned Richard that perhaps he should check with Ellie or Charles before he did whatever he was about to do, ol' Bushy Eyebrows was like, "They're not the boss of me!" and stomped off to The Temple with Little Ben.

So, a few things about this final scene:
1) We now have confirmation that Ellie (who is most likely Ms. Eloise Hawking) and Angry Young Charles Widmore are still on the Island in 1977. As Widmore indicated to Locke in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham," his people had protected the Island for three decades before he was exiled. So, depending on when Charles first arrived on the Island (it's now pretty clear that he was NOT born there... the math doesn't add up), his time's probably close to running out, as twenty-three years have passed since we saw him in "Jughead," which was set in 1954.

2) We've also learned that Richard does not consider himself subservient to Charles' group. So I remain confused about whether or not Charles and Ellie should actually be considered Hostiles, or if they're in some other group that the Hostiles agreed to work with. Or is it perhaps Ageless Richard who's the odd man out? Maybe he's the only one of his kind... but what "kind" is he, exactly? Who's leading this motley crew?

3) What is going to happen to Little Ben? The general consensus seems to be that Richard is going to sic Smokey on him and that it's essentially like selling one's soul to the devil -- Ben will now be controlled 100% by the Island. Remember that the Temple is the same place we saw Danielle's science team go into after Montand was dragged underground by Smokey. And look at what happened to them once they came out. They were all eeevil, and Danielle had no choice but to kill them. Will something similar happen to Ben, or will his transformation be a tad more controlled as Richard is there to oversee things?

4) Regardless of what Little Ben's about to go through, when Richard said "he'll forget this ever happened," was he just talking about the whole "being shot by Sayid and saved by a group of the 815ers" situation? Or was he talking about everything in Ben's life up to that point? Because the latter would explain: a) Why Ben claimed to have been born on the Island even though we knew he wasn't, b) why Ben said his mother taught him to read (which most of us had assumed was a joke) when we knew she died in childbirth, c) why he didn't seem to have any memory of Sayid when they met in 2004... etc., etc., etc.

I'm willing to buy that explanation. However, I understand why a lot of people are crying foul and "cop out!" in regard to this situation. By erasing Little Ben's memory, the writers have covered their tracks. Crazy fans can't go back through the past three seasons and complain about how The Powers That Be screwed up because Ben should've remembered certain things about the various 815ers. (This is assuming that the time traveling group will have somehow returned to their rightful year by the time Richard returns Ben to the Barracks, and so he'll have no memory of ever seeing any of them when he was young. If Ben comes backs and the Losties are still there, however, then nitpick away, folks!)

The reason why I personally think that Little Ben will not have any more interaction with the 815ers (meaning that it's going to be a while before he's returned to his father) is because Michael Emerson (Ben) was only originally signed on for three episodes of the series in Season Two. I know that seems hard to believe at this point as his character is now such a pivotal one, but it's true. After fans had such a strong reaction to Ben, Emerson was asked to stay on. So I think everyone just needs to cut the writers some slack here and 1) be happy that Ben evolved into such a huge presence on the show, but at the same time 2) remember that those first episodes in which he appeared as a captive in the hatch most likely didn't have any tie-ins whatsoever to what has since transpired on the show. Hence the need to erase Young Ben's memory.

Having said all that, there's still no reason we can't choose to believe that Ben did recognize the 815ers at the Swan, and that he was simply able to control his reactions... especially since we've seen him do just that so many times going forward. Therefore, if Little Ben does end up seeing any of the time travelers again while they're all still in 1977, that's how we can explain why he seemingly had no memory of them in 2004. Deal?


JACK: You're telling us we're under house arrest.

MILES: No. You're all free to leave whenever you want, but I'll shoot you in the leg.

MILES: What the hell are you doing, Tubby?

HURLEY: Checking to see if I'm disappearing.

MILES: What?

HURLEY: Back to the Future, man. We came back in time to the island, we can change stuff, so if little Ben dies he'll never grow up to be big Ben who's the one who made us come back here in the first place, which means we can't be here and therefore, dude, we don't exist.

MILES: You're an idiot.


SAWYER: If you don't come with me, Jack... that kid is gonna die.

JACK: [pauses] Then he dies.

KATE: You know, I don't like the new you. I liked the old you who wouldn't just sit around waiting for things to happen.

JACK: [chuckles] You didn't like the old me, Kate.

HURLEY: But when we first captured Ben, Sayid like tortured him... then why wouldn't he remember getting shot by that same guy when he was a kid?

MILES: Huh? I hadn't thought of that.


LOCKE: Hello, Ben.

[Ben looks up at John, stunned.]

LOCKE: Welcome back to the land of the living.


On April 22nd I'll be joining the hilarious Ryan from Zap2It's Guide to Lost for a live chat on his site. We've been trying to schedule this for a while, and have finally settled on a night when there's another break in the schedule (a clip show entitled "The Story of the Oceanic Six" will run instead of a new episode... this is the only break left this season).

I'll definitely post all of the details as the date gets closer, but for now I'd venture to guess that the chat will start a half-hour before the clip show begins at 9 PM EST. I've felt awful about how I haven't had time to respond to many of your emails and Facebook messages this season, so perhaps I can make up for it by discussing theories and answering questions in real-time on the 22nd.

Until next week,
- e