(A monsterous Email, but a lot of it was just copied from the Internet. Would later be trumped by my 18 page manifesto about the Season Finale...)
Lost Episode Title: "Deus Ex Machina"
Character Involved: Locke (Part II - if you recall, Locke Part I - "Walkabout" - was probably the best hour of scripted TV of 2004)
TV Guide Description: Locke begins to suffer physical difficulties as he and Boone try to find a way into the hatch; Jack is reluctant to offer assistance when Sawyer begins to experience excruciating headaches.
Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: In some ancient Greek drama, an apparently insoluble crisis was solved by the intervention of a god, often brought on stage by an elaborate piece of equipment. This "god from the machine" was literally a deus ex machina. Few modern works feature deities suspended by wires from the ceiling, but the term deus ex machina is still used for cases where an author uses some improbable (and often clumsy) plot device to work his or her way out of a difficult situation. When the cavalry comes charging over the hill or when the impoverished hero is relieved by an unexpected inheritance, it's often called a deus ex machina.
So how does this apply to Lost? Well, the most obvious "god from machine" that I’ve seen from the commercials for this week would be the FREAKING PLANE THAT CRASHES ON THE ISLAND. With the plane comes radio equipment, and by the looks of the commercial, it’s working. This could easily "save" the people on the island with an improbably plot device no one saw coming.
However, prior to the commercials, I was sure this had something to do with the hatch. I thought we might get a peek inside that hatch this episode, and the reveal would be something like radio equipment that could offer salvation for the people. Lastly, it could be that Alex makes his appearance in this episode, "saving" the people from some sort of disastrous situation they find themselves in. As he is a character that has never been introduced, his entrance would come from left field and totally fit this title. But the plane looks to be the obvious answer here. I won’t overanalyze… for once.
So are our castaways safe? Nope. Here’s why: the main characters involved in both the hatch and the plane look to be Boone and Locke. Locke being one of the two people who wouldn’t want to leave the island even if he could. Would he sabotage the rest of the people for his own benefit? I think so.
TV Guide Description Breakdown: A two sentence description? Neither of which mention the plane? This has to mean the writers want to keep a tight lip on this episode. But there’s still some analysis here.
#1 - In the commercial, there is a scene with Locke and Boone, where Locke falls down and Boone says "What’s wrong with you?" Locke replies, "This island gave me a gift… and now it’s trying to take it away." The gift being the ability to walk, one wonders why the island would take it away from him. The best thing I can come up with is that the island is somehow protecting itself.
Whatever is inside that hatch is capable of giving the survivors the power to either take over the island or to get off the island, and whatever or whoever is controlling the island is trying to prevent Boone and Locke from getting inside.
Another theory could be that there is something less "magical" about all this. That there is some sort of magnetic force / electrical energy on the island that "jolted" Locke’s legs into use. The source of this power is inside that hatch, and getting close to it is "jolting" him back to the way he was. I’m not really smart enough with the science to take this any further or even hypothesize if this is really possible, but remember the compass that Sayid had in the one episode? That pointed in the wrong direction? Maybe the magnetism on the island is out of whack, causing the compass to point in the wrong direction. Just a thought.
(If you really wanted to get super fantasy on me, you could say that when Locke encountered "The Monster" in the third episode, he made a deal with him ("a deal with the devil"), and he’s due for a payment back to the monster - a sacrifice, perhaps, since it’s been a long time since anyone on the show was eaten or even saw the monster in a non-dream state.)
#2 - Excruciating headaches from Sawyer? Two thoughts here - if there is some sort of magnetic power / energy on the island, opening the hatch is upping the dosage of exposure for everyone on the island and Sawyer is the first to feel it. This would tie the two stories together. It could also be that Sawyer is having some sort of reaction to a drug / or maybe the lack of receiving some drug.
Maybe he was on medication back on the mainland to treat migraines, keep him from going crazy, etc. He’s got a troubled past - maybe he was on some sort of prozac medicine, and without it, he’s in pain. Or, what if Locke has somehow poisoned him a la Boone? Of all the people on the island that Locke has "helped" get over their past, Sawyer is the one remaining who could benefit the most, I think.
Also, if this is a Locke episode, what timeframe do you think we’re going to see in the flashbacks? Prior to his trip to Australia? Things that happened in Australia? I have to think that as the season gets closer to the end, the backstories are going to go to the backburner, with the action on the island coming to the forefront.
Last Month’s Episode Discussion Points:
Who even remembers when the last episode aired? Who remembers what happened? Here’s a brief refresher from the start… Deep Breath….
Episode 01: Pilot (Pt 1 of 2) - First episode, a plane crashes on an island. It’s like Survivor, but without Jeff Probst.
Out of the blackness the first thing Jack (Matthew Fox) senses is pain. Then burning sun. A Bamboo forest. Smoke. Screams. With a rush comes the horrible awareness that the plane he was on tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island. From there it's a blur, as his doctor's instinct kicks in: people need his help. Stripped of everything, the 48 survivors scavenge what they can from the plane for their survival. Some panic. Some pin their hopes on rescue. A few find inner strength they never knew they had-like Kate (Evangeline Lilly) who, with no medical training, suddenly finds herself suturing the doctor's wounds. The band of friends, family, enemies and strangers must work together against the cruel weather and harsh terrain. But the intense howls of the mysterious creatures stalking the jungle fill them all with fear. Fortunately, thanks to the calm leadership of quick-thinking Jack and level-headed Kate, they have hope. But even heroes have secrets, as the survivors will come to learn.
Episode 02: Pilot (Pt 2 of 2) - Second episode, we find out the island is crazy! Brian becomes addicted to the show.
The discovery of a transceiver among the plane's wreckage and the thought that rescue could be imminent temporarily raises the castaways' spirits. And the island's mysteries continue to baffle with the discovery of handcuffs, a gun and an animal that shouldn't be able to survive in a tropical climate.
Episode 03: Tabula Rasa - Kate episode, Kate becomes the single hottest female to ever grace network prime time TV, Brian falls in love.
Jack and Hurley discover an alarming secret about Kate, as the marshal's life hangs in the balance. Meanwhile Kate, Charlie, Sawyer, Sayid, Boone and Shannon ponder the island's mysteries they've uncovered and worry that telling the other survivors will cause panic, and Locke's befriending of Walt disturbs Michael.
Episode 04: Walkabout - Locke episode, Locke becomes the second coolest character on TV next to Jack Bauer.
Survivors are jolted awake in the middle of the night when wild island beasts invade the beach encampment. Kate and Michael join the mysterious Locke on a hunt for food - and a shocking secret about Locke is revealed. Meanwhile, some survivors are horrified by Jack's plan for the dead bodies still scattered among the wreckage, and Jack sees someone in the jungle who might not have been on the plane. Also, Jack flashes back at 12 years old, to find himself on the playground in an altercation with a bully, who ultimately beats him up, and later learns a life lesson from his father.
Episode 05: White Rabbit - Jack episode, people continually call Jack "Charlie" due to their recessed memories of Party of Five.
Jack is near delirious from lack of sleep and struggles to overcome the haunting events that brought him to Australia and, subsequently, to the island. Meanwhile, Boone gets caught in a treacherous riptide, the pregnant Claire's health takes a bad turn, and a thief may have stolen the last bottles of water.
Episode 06: House of the Rising Sun - Sun episode, Brian realizes that the episode titles are pun-tastic, launching paragraph long analyses of them on a weekly basis.
Walt and the others are shocked when Michael is brutally beaten, but only the non-English-speaking Jin and Sun know the truth behind the attack. Meanwhile Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Sayid argue about where the survivors should camp -- on the beach, where they're more likely to be seen, or in a remote inland valley where fresh water abounds; and Locke discovers Charlie's secret.
Episode 07: The Moth - Charlie episode, someone knocks Sayid out when trying to send a distress signal, and we STILL DON’T KNOW WHO DID IT.
Charlie begins a painful journey of withdrawal from drugs, surprisingly aided by Locke, whose true motive for helping Charlie is a mystery. Meanwhile, survivors struggle to find and free Jack when he's buried alive in a cave collapse, and someone might be secretly thwarting Sayid, Kate, and Boone when they enact a plan to find the source of the French transmission.
Episode 08: Confidence Man - Sawyer episode, girls realize that Sawyer is dreamy in a "bad boy" sort of way since he is not clean shaven.
When Shannon suffers an asthma attack, Jack and Sayid realize brutality might be the only way to convince Sawyer to relinquish the life-saving medicine he's hoarding. Meanwhile, Sun struggles to decide if she'll obey husband Jin's orders to stay out of others' affairs, and Kate uncovers some shocking secrets about Sawyer.
Episode 09: Solitary - Sayid episode, Brian can’t spell "Rousseau", and so is born Crazy French Lady, or CFL.
Sayid's life is placed in grave danger after he stumbles upon the source of the mysterious French transmission. Meanwhile, Hurley has a ridiculous plan to make life on the island a little more civilized - and it just might work.
Episode 10: Raised by Another - Claire episode, Claire’s 14 month long pregnancy continues.
Jack, Kate and Charlie wonder if Claire's disturbing nightmares might be coming true to threaten her life and the life of her unborn child, and a missing castaway returns with frightening news about what lies just beyond the mountains.
Episode 11: All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues - Jack Episode II, the "gasp heard ‘round the world" when we think Charlie has been hung and is dead.
Survivors wonder why Charlie and the pregnant Claire have been abducted - and by whom - and a search party ventures into the treacherous jungle to try to find and rescue the missing duo. Meanwhile, inner-demons about his father resurface for Jack, and Boone and Locke discover another island mystery.
Episode 12: Whatever the Case May Be - Kate Episode II, we learn Kate is a bad guy, but we love her anyways. Brian puts a toy plane on top of his computer to help ponder the mystery, but it does not help.
Jack, Kate and Sawyer fight over possession of a newly discovered locked metal briefcase which might contain insights into Kate's mysterious past. Meanwhile, Sayid asks a reluctant Shannon to translate notes he took from the French woman, a rising tide threatens to engulf the fuselage and the entire beach encampment, and Rose and a grieving Charlie tentatively bond over Claire's baffling disappearance.
Episode 13: Hearts and Minds - Boone Episode, "Incest is Best" proves to be an expression used outside the world of Delta Sigma Pi
When Locke learns that Boone wants to tell their "secret" to Shannon, Shannon's life is placed in sudden peril, and the shocking truth about her past with Boone is revealed. Meanwhile, Kate is puzzled by Sun's mysterious behavior, and a hungry Hurley must repay a debt to Jin.
Episode 14: Special - Walt Episode, Brian’s suspicions from day one about Walt prove to be true, teaching everyone to never doubt Brian ever again.
Violence ensues and a mysterious island beast makes a re-appearance when Michael and Locke clash over Walt's upbringing. Meanwhile, Charlie is tempted to read the missing Claire's diary, and Sayid enlists Shannon to help decipher the French woman's map.
Episode 15: Homecoming - Charlie Episode II, worst backstory ever, Charlie ruins everything by shooting Ethan. Stupid hobbit!
After the missing Claire returns with no recollection of what has happened since before the doomed flight of Oceanic 815, Jack and Locke formulate a plan of defense against her kidnapper, the mysterious Ethan, who threatens to kill off the other survivors unless Claire is returned to him.
Episode 16: Outlaws - Sawyer Episode II, we learn that Sweet Shrimp stands are located in the middle of the Australian Outback.
Kate and Sawyer divulge dark secrets to each other while tracking a renegade boar that Sawyer swears is purposely harassing him. Meanwhile, Hurley and Sayid worry that Charlie is losing it after his brush with death, and a shocking, prior connection between Sawyer and Jack is revealed.
Episode 17: ...In Translation - Jin Episode, Hurley appears in the background, Team 5/3 translates Korean text before 8:30 am the next morning because we are awesome.
When the raft the survivors have been building mysteriously burns down, Michael is convinced that Jin is responsible for the sabotage, which only further escalates their rivalry. Meanwhile, Sun stuns her fellow survivors with a surprising revelation, and Boone gives Sayid a warning about Shannon.
Episode 18: Numbers - Hurley Episode, Brian’s math skills get pushed to the max with no results - confirming once again, that knowledge of math has no application in the real world.
When Hurley becomes obsessed with the French woman and heads into the jungle to find her, Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Meanwhile, Locke asks Claire to help build a mysterious item.
Which bring us to Numbers. Probably one of the top three Lost episodes yet, and the best if you ask Sully. It was a great episode. We of course, have to start with this:
4 8 15 16 23 42
Before you spend all day trying to crack the code in there, don’t bother. There are internet sites where you can type in numbers and it will give you any sort of pattern or code that the numbers make, and these make none. There are also crazy people on the internet (yes, crazier than me) who have PhDs in mathematics that have posted some crazy hard equations that *almost* make the numbers fit into a pattern, but not quite.
The best theory I can come up with is that they are some sort of password or code to get into something (the Hatch?). The best theory other than that is that they are somehow coordinates for something on the island. The weird thing is that they were being broadcast by the radio tower by the Black Rock. (When will we get to see either of these structures?!?!?!) If you think about it in that light, it’s more of a "message" that’s being sent out. But what? Why play this over and over and over again with no other message?
The two numbers that jump out are 815 which have been seen EVERYWHERE on this show. But there’s still no good way to connect the rest of the numbers to it. One could imagine that there is some sentence that had some numbers in it. "I’m looking FOR flight 815 that will come on the 16th day of the 23rd month of the 42nd year." This takes on much more of a "prophecy" feel to it. Like, you picture this civilization on the island that has been waiting for this plane to crash there for all of time. But I don’t think this is right either. If you look at the Bible, guess what the fourth book is?
NUMBERS. We checked the 8th Chapter, 15th verse, 16 word, and so on - but it was all gibberish. Also, depending on the version of Bible, it would be different. So that’s probably just a weird coincidence - but one that kept Will and I very excited for most of a morning last month.
I’ll let these go for now. They’re even worse than Kate’s little plane. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA.
CRASH. So, now the big question is, did the plane crash because of Walt, or because of Hurley? Seems to me that bad things seem to follow Hurley, and injure those around him but not himself. Could it be that him being on the plane made it go down, and the fact that he himself couldn’t die kept him, and everyone else in his section of the plane alive? I think so. This suddenly seems much more plausible than Walt looking at a picture of a plane crash or something and wishing it to happen.
CONNECTIONS. Before Hurley’s episode, they mentioned something about how he was "directly tied to the hatch" and "responsible for everyone being on that island." Obviously the numbers are on the hatch, so that makes sense, but what about being responsible for everyone being there? If he’s the reason the plane went down, that makes sense - but did you hear that he "owned a Box company" when Hurley was meeting with his financial advisor? Is it a coincidence that Locke worked at a box factory? It sounded like he had his hands in a lot of other companies - what if he is actually directly responsible for putting everyone on that plane by his bad luck spreading? I’m fully expecting all the characters on the show to be much more connected in their lives before the island than any of them realize - this would be a good way to explain it.
ANSWERS. Lastly, remember how there were three answers we are supposed to get before season end?
1. The importance of Kate’s plane. Doesn’t the plane in the commercial that crashes look suspiciously like Kate’s toy plane? What if she is playing with the plane and Walt sees it, causing the plane to appear and crash. The plane also looks way too old to be flying in modern times, lending more credence to this theory. While it still doesn’t really explain the toy plane and why Kate robbed a bank to get it, it could bring the plane back into the forefront of discussion on the show.
2. How Locke can walk. I expect this answer in this episode. Check.
3. The background of CFL. Not sure about this one - I’m still counting on either CFL or Alex saving the survivors in some situation against the Others towards season end. Just seems to make sense.
TIME. Between the surroundings in the CFL’s "lair" and the looks of the plane that crashes this week - is the island some sort of Bermuda triangle time warp? When Boone is on the radio and asking for help, someone responds. What if the plane is actually from CFL’s time and they were actually looking for CFL’s boat, not Flight 815? There is something very odd about the way time works on the show. When Sayid mentioned to CFL about being there for 16 years, she mentioned, "has it been that long?" Her equipment and mannerisms seem much older than the 1980s. I’m not a big fan of the island being "The Land Time Lost" or something like that, but it’s been hinted at.
FUTURE. Variety reported this morning that the May 25 season finale of "Lost" will be two hours long (at the Paley fest a few weeks ago, producers said it’d be 90 minutes). This means the series’ first season is 25 hours, and it will conclude on the last night of May sweeps, and the last night of the entire television season.
How does the rest of the first season shake out?
April 6 1.20 Jack-centric. "Do No Harm"
April 20 1.21 Sayid-centric. "The Greater Good"
May 4. 1.22 Kate-centric. "Born to Run"
May 18. 1.23 Everybody-centric. Season Finale Hour One.
May 25. 1.24 Everybody-centric. Season Finale Hours Two & Three.
I feel like with each passing week, the season finale gets bigger and bigger. Perhaps next week, I’ll be writing to tell you about how it will be a four night, eight hour event.
Okay, that’s all I got. Partially due to the fact that I’m discussing an episode which aired so long ago, I can’t think of anything else that’s eating away at me. I will say that I have huge expectations for this episode. So here’s hoping it doesn’t disappoint!
Cool people, hot women, and cute puppies gather at the Delta House for Lost tonight at 8:00. All others need not apply.
(PS - Rich people also welcome, if willing to share)