Monday, April 25, 2005

Mini Lost Email

(Again with the lack of pictures - I'll figure it out, don't worry!)

Why Mini? Well, this week doesn’t truly warrant a full fledged Lost Email. While there is a new "episode" this week, there isn’t going to be any new "footage". Plus, I don’t want to have to answer 100 questions about "Is Lost new this week?" from friends and co-workers…

Lost Episode Title: "Lost: The Journey"

Character Involved: Jack. Kate. Locke. Sawyer. Charlie. Sayid. More?

TV Guide Description: ABC invites new and avid "Lost" viewers to take a fresh look at one of this season's most talked about shows. "Lost: The Journey" promises to explore the series in a way that will bring new viewers up to date -- but which current viewers will also find illuminating. From the back stories of some of the most interesting characters on television to the mysteries of the island, "Lost: The Journey" will provide an insightful glimpse at the lives of some of the survivors of the doomed Oceanic Airlines flight 815. Narrated in a linear fashion and culminating from the pieces of the back stories told over multiple episodes in the series, "Lost: The Journey" focuses on the flashbacks of a core of characters, illustrating who they were and what they were doing before the crash. In addition, the island itself will be explored - culled from events that have taken place - which may reveal some of its secrets.

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Really, there’s probably not much of a deeper meaning to this title. In fact, I’d wager the title came from some ABC suit, rather than an actual writer / creator of the show. Still, I’m not above reading deeper into something with no true deep meaning. "The Journey" obviously has two main points:

1. The physical journey that each of the characters was taking… on Flight 815, and then to the Island.

2. The spiritual / mental / emotional journey that each character is going through in life. Is the Island guiding them on this journey? Or would they be going on this journey regardless of where they were in the world? I think that the events of the island, along with Locke’s intervention make the journey heightened due to them being on the island.

There’s also the connection between this title and the season finale of "Exodus", but I won’t get into that here.

Last Month’s Episode Discussion Points: I’ll save these for next week’s Email. In return, I’ll present you with some sweet teases culled from the various corners of the Internet:

Early on, Jack found some skeletons and a pouch containing black-and-white rocks.

Executive producer Damon Lindelof: "We know who those skeletons are, what their story was, and what they were doing with those stones. But that’s a question we won’t be answering this season."

Sawyer’s backstory intersects with the Jack and Shannon/Boone histories.

Lindelof: "We’ll see, before the end of the season, why he popped up in Boone’s flashback."

Earlier this season, someone knocked out Sayid while he was trying to operate the plane’s radio.

Lindelof: "You will find out who within the next three original episodes. They will find the person, and that person will confess to having done it."

Will Michael’s raft set sail by season’s end?

Lindelof: "All I can say is, how much would it suck if it didn’t set sail? Wouldn’t you feel ripped off? I sure would!"

Charlie was hooked on heroin. Recently, Locke and Boone found heroin on a plane.

Lindelof: "One of the things that has made Charlie’s ability to kick the habit so easy is that he hasn’t had any temptation. Reintroducing temptation is part of our intent."

Hurley and the lotto numbers.

Lindelof: "Trying to find greater meaning in the numbers is the direction we are going to continue in for the rest of the season. Hurley doesn’t know that the numbers are on the hatch- what happens when he finds out that the numbers are on the hatch should be interesting."

Jin worked for his brutish father-in-law; what exactly was his job title?

Lindelof: "People always ask, ‘What’s Jin’s problem?’ There are a few missing pieces that will make it even clearer by season’s end why he’s acted the way he’s acted."

What’s Locke’s motive for keeping the hatch secret from the other castaways?

Lindelof: "His motive is revealed soon. Everything Locke does he believes is in the best interest of everybody. That’s all I’ll say."

Lastly, the award for coolest hidden Marketing scheme ever goes to the folks at Entertainment Weekly. Did you catch last week’s cover?

Check the issue number. That’s right. 815. Insanity.

Plan your May!

May 4, 2005 - Episode 21: The Greater Good (Sayid)
May 11, 2005 - Episode 22: Born to Run (Kate)
May 18, 2005 - Episode 23: Exodus, Part 1 (Everybody)
May 25, 2005 - Episode 24: Exodus, Part 2 (Everybody)
May 25, 2005 - Episode 25: Exodus, Part 3 (Everybody)

Full Email next week!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Best Lost Email Ever (Because There Are Pictures!)

(Still working on uploading pictures, thus making this perhaps not "The Best Lost Email Ever" - yet...)

In honor of the beautiful day outside, and the fact that I spent two hours last night working on this puppy and am anxious to see the reaction, here is this week’s Lost Email, a whole day early! Joy!

Lost Episode Title: "Do No Harm"

Character Involved: Jack (Part III - yes, seems greedy to me as well, given that we haven’t gotten our Vincent back story yet, but I take it to mean that the back story isn’t really that important this episode, which means more emphasis on hot island action!)

TV Guide Description: Claire goes into labor while a helpless Charlie goes into panic mode. Meanwhile Locke is missing, Jack tends to a wounded survivor and Sayid presents Shannon with a romantic surprise.

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: When I first read the title, I did a little Internet research (yes, they have the Internet on computers now). "Do No Harm" is the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics. They basically have three objectives:

1. To advance the development of medical treatments and therapies that do not require the destruction of human life, including the human embryo.

2. To educate and inform public policy makers and the general public regarding these ethically acceptable and medically promising areas of research and treatment.

3. To support continuation of federal laws prohibiting the federal funding of research that requires the destruction of human life, including the human embryo.

One could read into this that maybe it has something to do with Claire’s baby - but I can’t imagine that the Others want to do research on Claire’s baby. Luckily, there’s a much better explanation to the episode title: our good friend Hippocrates.

It is a widely held misconception that the familiar dictum "First, do no harm" comes from the Hippocratic Oath, the oath many physicians take when they enter medical practice. However, the Hippocratic Oath does not and never did contain those words. The phrase comes from another Hippocratic work, The Epidemics :

"As to diseases,make a habit of two things-to help, or at least do no harm."

Based on where last week’s episode left us, and given this is a Jack episode - we must be talking about Jack and Boone here. Boone looked very cutup last episode, by far the worst injuries a survivor on the island has had that Jack has been able to treat. If he’s really on his death bed, as the commercials lead us to believe, Jack won’t be able to save him, but can do everything in his power to help him.

Still way too obvious. One step further - if you re-read that Hippocratic phrase, the thrust is that we should help people, but even if we can’t - we should at least not hurt people. Take Boone out of the equation. Locke is missing, Boone is dying, and Jack and the rest of the survivors are looking for answers. Do they take the logical assumption that Locke is responsible for Boone’s injuries and go out to capture Locke and kill him? Will the episode end with Jack vs. Locke, with Jack shooting / killing Locke for "what he did to Boone"? The episode title has to reference both sides of the quote - help people (Boone) and don’t hurt them (Locke). Jack will likely do one, and not the other…

TV Guide Description Breakdown: Finally Claire goes into labor! She was allegedly nine months pregnant when she got on Flight 815, and now they’ve been on the island for over a month. Just another typical 10 month pregnancy I guess. We all knew it was going to come down to Charlie having to deliver the baby, didn’t we? The previews also show Kate being around, but no Jack. Jack’s going to be preoccupied back at camp with Boone and his wounds, leaving Charlie and Kate to deliver this baby. I always said that the "big character death" would occur at the same time this baby is born, completing the whole "circle of life" theme. Claire would be an easy death - her back story has been told, it would create great drama for Charlie vs. Jack (for not being there), and death during child birth seems reasonable given the circumstances on the island. EXCEPT, how would the baby be fed? I bet there wasn’t any formula on the plane, leaving one place for a mammal to get nourishment. I’ll leave it at that to keep it PG. Unless they’re killing both Claire and baby Anti-Christ, they’re both safe.

Will the baby come out with red eyes? How about one black eye and one white eye? Will it be totally normal? Remember, if Claire doesn’t raise this bad boy, he’s turning out to be evil of the highest order. Quotes from the Claire-centric "Raised by Another":

"This child parented by anyone else, anyone other than you. . . danger surrounds this baby. . ."

"Your nature, your spirit, your goodness, must be an influence in the development of this child"

"It can't be another. You mustn't allow another to raise your baby."

Very weird. Very religious. Isn’t it odd that another one of the "Others" hasn’t tried to kidnap Claire as well? Or was Ethan truly acting alone?

Locke is missing? Not surprising. I would bet that we don’t see Locke for this entire episode. Everyone is going to be looking to Locke for answers about Boone, and Locke is busy exploring the hatch / wherever it leads. There are enough other storylines going on right now that Locke can be on the backburner, and we can have him reappear in the next episode again changed, with new knowledge about the island, the others, etc. He’s the chosen one, people.

Jack tends to a wounded survivor. Boone. Got it.

Sayid and Shannon getting it on? Seems unnecessary this episode, given all the other excitement. I predict I curse at the TV when they’re showing this rather than the Boone / Claire / Locke storylines, except for this point. So Sayid likes Shannon. Shannon has a history of using guys for what she wants. Shannon also has a history of "liking" her brother. Boone comes back all bloodied up and dying. What will Shannon’s reaction to be? If I was writing, it would be her turning to Sayid and saying "Find Locke and make him pay for what he did to my brother." Interestingly, next week is Sayid’s episode, and he has training in torture. His episode was originally titled "Sides" (as in, the survivors take two sides on "Should we kill Locke or not"), but is now "The Greater Good" (as in, "Killing Locke is for the greater good and safety of us on this island"). Plus, it would give more purpose to the somewhat forced Shannon / Sayid storyline. Come on, if you want to put romance in the show, how about Kate and Jack? Or Kate and Sawyer? Or Charlie and Claire? Or Kate and Shannon? There must be a bigger reason for the Shannon / Sayid story.

Last Month’s Episode Discussion Points: Good stuff. A top five episode for sure. Locke is probably the most interesting character on TV today. He’s almost tragic in nature - raised an orphan, abandoned and then used by his parents, physical disability (which he got how?), working a crappy office job, etc. It’s almost Shakespearian. Is it any wonder he loves life on the island and doesn’t want to leave?

NUMBERS. Did everyone catch in the beginning, when Locke’s mom (Suzy Kurtz) asked where footballs were, he replied "Regulation in aisle EIGHT, nerf in aisle FIFTEEN". 815! More fun with numbers J At this point, I have to think the show’s producers are just messing with us so the nerds on the Internet (read: me) have something else to over-analyze.

FAMILY. Again we see drama with families, more specifically, fathers. People with obvious paternal issues: Jack, Sawyer, Locke, Sun, Jin, Walt. Kate has referenced her dad, but we know nothing about him. He may have been "the man she loved, the man she killed." Hurley, Shannon, and Boone were all lacking fathers. Who knows about Claire and Charlie? There’s obvious family issues there as well. Yet another way all the survivors are connected to each other, even prior to being on the island.

MOUSETRAP. Sully and I geeked out as the episode opened with the game of Mousetrap. One, we’re big fans of the game. Two, it reeks of symbolism. Are all our survivors being led into a trap on the island? Did Locke lead Boone into the trap of the plane? He knew that his visions were coming true - and a big freaky image was a bloody Boone. Was Locke so blinded by his need to get inside that hatch that Boone becomes expendable?

BOONE. Well, he’s the obvious "Big Character Death". But we all see this coming a mile away at this point. Weren’t we promised a "shocking death"? I’m not shocked by this. But like I said, I have a hard time believing Jack is going to be able to save him at this point. My best guess now is that there will be two deaths. Boone and someone else.

LEGS. So, how did Locke lose his ability to walk? This episode CONSTANTLY teased us with how it happened - showing a car hit him, out hunting, going into surgery, gingerly waking up and walking out, and parking his car in the middle of the road at the end. On that last scene in particular, the camera seemed to hang on Lost, waiting for that shocking BAM moment where a truck hits him causing his disability and making his father responsible. But they didn’t. You know what that means - Locke isn’t going anywhere. We’ve got at least another Locke backstory coming our way next year!

HATCH. So… what made the light turn on at the end? Was it due to the fact that blood touched it? Did the Island / Hatch require a human sacrifice to be opened, which Boone became? Was it due to the fact that the "non-believer" (Boone) had been removed, leaving only those "worthy" of entrance? (Locke). Or is it so simple that no one had ever simply knocked on the hatch at night, as Locke was doing at the end? Maybe that is when a "guard" is on watch inside that hatch. Wouldn’t that be the most ironic ever? How do you open a door with no handle? You knock :)

RELIGION. This episode was DRAPED in religious imagery left and right. From Locke’s mom saying he was immaculately conceived, to the "carrying of the cross" imagery with Boone carrying Locke, and then Locke carrying a bloody Boone, to having dead Nigerian priests toting Virgin Marys full of smack, to the final shot of a penitent Locke kneeling on the hatch, receiving a sign in the form of light, a la the Burning Bush in the Bible. So what does this mean? Locke is already the most sage-like character on the island. Is he really serving as their "Christ-figure", giving them guidance for how to live through their new life on the island? If you buy the whole "They’re in purgatory" theory, it could be that when Locke met the monster way back when, he was changed to become a guide of sorts to get everyone else’s souls to the same place he is. That’s why he’s working to get them to "release their inner demons" and "move on", even though everyone has a TON of past baggage in their lives. The Locke scene then becomes similar to someone banging on the gates of heaven, begging to be let in. Think about what Locke said "I did everything you asked of me - why won’t you open up?" Very religious.

AFRICA. Isn’t it weird that Locke and Boone found Nigerian drug smugglers in the Pacific Ocean? Isn’t it even weirder that they went to such great lengths to make us, as viewers know they were specifically from Nigeria? Who cares? Oh, that’s right - everything has meaning on Lost. So here’s a clue. What can be read into this? Well, I introduce Exhibit A (see attachment to this Email - that’s right, we’re getting fancier with the Lost Emails!).

There is a theory of "Limbo Triangles Areas " on Earth that were written about in the books "Limbo of the Lost" by John Wallace Spencer and "The Bermuda Triangle " by Adi Kent Thomas Jeffrey in the 1970s. These are alleged areas of weird magnetic anomalies, where a LOT of planes go down for no reason or just disappear off the face of the earth. The Bermuda Triangle is the most well known. But see where else triangles are? The Sahara Desert in Africa (as seen on the Nigerian’s map), and two locations in the South Pacific that could easily be "1000 miles off course", as Flight 815 was. Interestingly, the one in the South Pacific and the one in Africa are basically on the exact opposite sides of the planet. Did the plane enter one of these Super Mario Bros "Warp Zones" in Africa and end up on this island? Hmmm - magnetic anomalies - like the kind that would make a compass go wacky (see Locke’s compass to Sayid)?

Or, if you want to look at the Latitude and Longitude of the Cursed Numbers (4 8 15 16 23 42), where in the world does that put us?

Right in the Nigeria. See Exhibit B.

Oh, and while we’re playing "fun with numbers", wasn’t CFL writing these numbers over and over again too? How else could those numbers be written in Latitude / Longitude form? See Exhibit C.

Square in the middle of France. Home of lots of Crazy French Ladies, not just Rousseau.


RADIO. Equally mind-blowing are the two theories on the Boone on the Radio part of the episode. If you watched the episode with Closed Captioning on, the conversation went like this:

Boone: "We are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815"

Radio Voice: "There were no survivors of Oceanic Flight 815"

Pretty mind blowing, and lends credence to the whole "Purgatory" theory about the show. But how would a random plane passing over the Pacific be so familiar with the Flight Number and if there were any survivors? Wouldn’t he answer "Jigga what?! Where are you?!" instead of "No, you’re not a survivor. You’re dead." That doesn’t make much sense. Also, we all know Closed Captioning often has gibberish / wrong words from time to time. Someone is basically transcribing it as they hear it (like a court reporter).

If you listen to it closely, and if you know people on the internet with fancy audio editing tools that can edit out the fuzz of the radio voice / Locke’s yelling, and raise some different audio levels, you hear this:

Boone: "We are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815"

Radio Voice: "We are the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815!"

It should be noted that the radio voice says his sentence with excitement and surprise. What does that mean? Well, we’ve seen the nose of the plane buried in the jungle (where the transponder was). We’ve seen the body of the plane on the beach (where our fearless cast is). Where is the tail? On the island somewhere else? They might have a radio among their wreckage. They’d know Flight 815 pretty well. They’d be surprised to hear about other survivors. Wasn’t Rose so sure that her husband was alive? It fits together pretty well!

EXODUS. Movement of the people. We finally have a title for the 3 hour long Season Finale! Exodus, Parts 1-3. Here’s what we know: It will feature flashbacks of EVERYONE. It has to be a flashback to all of the survivors in the airport before Flight 815 took off, if you ask me. Otherwise, it doesn’t make any sense. How about the deeper meaning of the word Exodus? I should save this for the Exodus Email that will come out at the end of May (otherwise what else will I put at the very top?) But think about this. In the Bible, Exodus refers to spending the 40 years in the desert to escape slavery. Is this island an "escape" for the survivors? Their past lives were all full of death, tragedy, and heartache. Maybe this island is their exodus away from that life…

April 13 - Special Episode! According to TV Guide, "the stories of the main characters on Lost will be told in chronological order." No new material, but retelling the backstories of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, etc. IN ORDER. Weird, but fun - beats a rerun!

April 20 1.21 Sayid-centric. "The Greater Good"

May 4. 1.22 Kate-centric. "Born to Run"

May 11 - ??? I’m assuming a repeat, but not sure what episode.

May 18. 1.23 Everybody-centric. "Exodus, Part One"

May 25. 1.24 Everybody-centric. "Exodus, Part Two" and "Exodus, Part Three"