Sunday, October 16, 2005

Lost - "...and Found"

(I'll be traveling for work Sunday through Thursday of this week. Granted, I'll have a laptop, but you never know if you'll be able to get a good connection or enough free time to write thesis-length documents discussing TV shows - stupid work! Just in case, this should tide you over for this week's episode. If I get a chance, I'll add some more and do the typical instant-review - I think this episode is going to need it. I'm very nervous.)

Episode Title: “… and Found”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: It’s another Jin episode, thus following the naming convention from Season One’s “… in Translation”. But what does it mean? Will Michael find Walt? No. Will the Tailers find the rest of the Survivors? Not yet. I would think since the two groups have not yet met on the Island, it will be a multiple episode journey – they’ve got to be far away. So what is found? I’ll get to it…

I’m on the record of complaining about the flashbacks this season. Aside from Jack’s, there hasn’t been anything earth-shattering revealed. I expect Jin’s to keep this trend. We already learned Jin’s complex background – for those of you who forget (or didn’t watch Season One), here’s what makes Jin tick (it’s kinda like the movie Aladdin):

He was a poor Korean who wanted to marry a rich girl (Sun). He entered the mafia to get the money / respect from her father that he needed to get her hand in marriage. The marriage soon begins to fall apart as he becomes addicted to his job. She gets ready to leave him and learns English to help start a new life. In the end, we find out he was trying to get out of the mafia to rekindle his marriage. Sweet.

So what are we going to see this week? More of Jin’s actions in the mafia? More of his history with his father (who he apparently was embarrassed of, due to his poor and simple roots)? I’m not sure – but again, nothing like this would drastically change how we view and understand Jin. I’m hoping to be surprised!

TV Guide Description: Michael sets off into the jungle by himself determined to find Walt, but discovers that he is not alone. Meanwhile, Sawyer and Jin are ordered by their captors to take them to their camp, and Sun frantically searches for her missing wedding ring.

TV Guide Breakdown: It seems as though the Tailers are finally comfortable enough with Michael, Sawyer, and Jin that they’re not keeping as close an eye on them as they initially were – this will provide Michael with the opportunity he was looking for to make a break for it in his search for Walt… as insane that it sounds.

Honestly, I understand that you just lost your son, but do you really think you have a better chance of finding him (let alone stealing him back from the “Boat Others”) by yourself vs. having Shaft, Ana, Sawyer, and Jin on your side, helping in the hunt? No – but I guess we can chalk this up to “Michael acting crazy since he just lost his son”. I guess there’s no way to tell how you would react in this situation.

So what does he find in the jungle? I’ll put my official bet on “Savage Others”. Are these Savage Others the same as the Boat Others, or are they different Island cliques? If they’re the same, we could see Michael captured and being held with Walt – which I guess would make him happy. If they’re different, we might have Michael captured (or killed?) by the Savage Others, while Walt is still a prisoner of the Boat Others. That would leave the Tailers + Survivors (who I think, if they merge together, I’ll just term “The 815ers”) with two search parties to lead – yikes!

Sawyer and Jin being ordered to take the Tailers back to the Suvivors’ camp? Obviously! Aside from a drowning and an accidental “falling Nigerian plane” death – none of them have suffered any major loss in their first 50 or so days on the island. However, the Tailers have obviously had their ranks thinned (“There were 23 of us.”)

It seems to me that the Tailers unfortunately landed in the “Dark Territory” of the Island, home base of the Savage Others who have been picking them off one by one. When they hear about the luxury resort (relatively speaking) of the beach and caves, they’ll want to get there… NOW. Plus, there’s the whole safety in numbers thing. The more 815ers, the better!

Lastly, we have Sun searching for her wedding ring. Based on finding the bottle of letters, she’s got to assume that Jin has died. She probably has a freak out session when she realizes that she’s lost her ring – the one symbol she has to remember him by – and goes on a frantic search for it. Will she find it? Well, the episode is entitled “… and Found”…

Previously on Lost…

Michael, Jin, and Sawyer are led by their captors (who turn out to be survivors from the Tail of the plane) to their “home base” – another Dharma Initiative lab! This one seems to be abandoned long ago. We find that there were originally 23 tail survivors from the crash… but something has happened to about 15 of them, leaving about 5.

Hurley is put in charge of figuring out how to make the food from the Hatch last, which brings about pressure from various Survivors asking for food / items. Hurley can’t handle the pressure, briefly considers blowing it all up – but then decides to simply have a big party and have everyone pig out on the food and get rid of it.

Oh, and we saw Kate in nothing but a towel, as she took a much needed shower in the Hatch. Awesome.

It was a pretty simple episode, a short, sweet story about Hurley and his hatred of fame and fortune, and simple desire to be liked. There were just a few points I wanted to touch on this week (as most have been discussed in my review below). If I get the chance to update, here's what we'll be talking about:

Three Logos.

Dharma Food.





If not, feel free to comment to keep the discussion going!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Day After Lost 2.4 Review!

In one sentence: The Happiest Episode of Lost - EVER.

This really worries me. I was brought up on the Joss Whedon method of storytelling - whenever something terrible is going to happen, you have something really happy happen right before it, which makes the terrible thing sting even more and hit with more resonance. Between this and the scary previews for next week (the guy impaled?! the teddy bear?!), I'm more afraid of next week's episode than any episode of Lost in recent memory.

I've heard some people complain that "nothing happened". Well, it might not have been as earth shattering as the first three episodes - but it was definitely a character building episode, and very enjoyable.

However, since it was rather light in content, here are five thoughts for the weekend, along with some pictures (which technically are worth 1000 words, making this my longest review ever):

1. There were 23 of them, say the Tailers. By the looks of the "Second Hatch" that they were in, there were about 7 left. The Savage Others have attacked them - hard.

2. That's right, it's definitely a "Second Hatch" that the Tailers are in - did you see the Dharma logo on the wall in the background? Totally different!

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3. I liked that they are now building the Jack / Kate relationship again, as well as developing the Sawyer / Ana one - when everyone reunites, here comes the "love rhombus" I was hoping for!

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4. Is anyone else worried that they're all eating the food with the Dharma logo on it? What if it's poisoned or part of some other Dharma project? Well, everyone is eating the Dharma food except for Rose...

5. Hurley's old boss (Randy) is the same as Locke's old boss (Randy). What does this mean?

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(...and just for Irmaliz)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Lost - "Everybody Hates Hugo"

Episode Title: Everybody Hates Hugo

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Is this a pun on the “Everybody Loves Raymond” TV show? Perhaps a shot at the UPN One-Week Superstar “Everybody Hates Chris”? Nah, I think it’s pop-culture free this time, and it should neatly tie the current events on the Island with the flashback. Everyone is going to be hating on our boy Hugo.

Why you ask? In present time, on the Island, Hugo has recently stumbled across a large food stock hidden inside a secret Hatch. Chances are, Locke, Jack, and Co. aren’t going to be keen on bringing all the rest of the Survivors into the Hatch until they more fully understand what is going on. This means Hurley is going to have to keep the food secret. How long can he last? Since he’s a big fat guy, one would imagine he’ll somehow let the secret out, causing everyone to hate him, and force him to lead them to the Hatch.

Likewise, in the past, I expect to see a continuation of the bad luck that continually befalls Hurley after his lottery winnings, making him a sort of social pariah that everyone hates. I would like to see what led Hurley to be in the mental institution in the first place, but I don’t think we’ll be so lucky this episode. It’ll probably be a further exploration of Hurley’s life post-lottery winnings.

Everyone will hate Hugo. Except us – who will continue to love him since he’s fat and used all his remaining batteries listening to music instead of powering some sort of communication device that could have possibly helped everyone... just like I would have done.

PS – look for some serious parallelism between Piggy in the Lord of the Flies and Hurley on Lost… both are fat, accused of eating all the food, and become scapegoats for anything bad that happens on the Island.

TV Guide Description: Disturbing memories from Hurley's past cause him to struggle with a task he's assigned inside the hatch. Meanwhile Sawyer, Michael and Jin discover the identities of their captors, and Claire uncovers a shocking piece of information about the fate of the raft.

TV Guide Breakdown: The task Hurley is assigned in the Hatch has to be entering the Numbers. This seems like a very bad idea to me. Unlike Jack, who very uncharacteristically caved and pressed “Execute” last week, I could easily see Hurley being unable to complete the task due to the flashbacks he’ll have about the terrible things in his life that have accompanied the Numbers.

I’m actually hoping this happens, just from a storytelling point of view – what would happen if they let that timer go off? Would it set Locke off the deep end because his life just lost all purpose? Will it activate some self destruct sequence for this portion of the Island?

Sawyer, Michael, and Jin should discover that their captors are actually the Tailers from the plane. It should be interesting to see what has caused them to have such fear of Sawyer, Mikey, and Jin. If three people stumbled upon our Survivors, I think they would cautiously approach them and try talking to them to discern who they are and what they want. In the Tailers case, they rushed them and bludgeoned them with bats. What could cause this?

The Others. Not the friendly, bushy beard, boat driving Others that took Walt – I’m thinking there are Savage Others out there. The result of some experiment gone wrong, the intentional result of some experiment, or former castaways who ended up on the Island many years ago and have become savages living in the harsh environment.

Lastly, we have Claire discovering a piece of the Raft that will cause the rest of the Survivors to assume they’ve all perished. What will she find? A piece of the boat, perhaps, or the letters in the bottle they all gave to Sawyer? Since it seems that the current is pulling everything around towards the Island, it really could be any part of the Raft.

The last Hurley episode was one of the top three of last season, so I expect this one to also wow us. There’s also this feeling I get that Hurley is pretty key to everything going on – he’s either somehow connected to everyone on the Island, or he’s the reason that the plane crashed there – something… so we should get some interesting clues in his flashbacks. Here’s hoping!

Previously on Lost…

Michael, Jin, and Sawyer are taken captive by the mysterious strangers that accosted them as they washed ashore on the Island, beaten quickly and tossed into a caged hole in the ground. Later, the captors throw down Ana-Lucia, someone we recognize from the tail of the plane. After discovering the Rafters were also on Flight 815 and plan on breaking out, she knocks out Sawyer and we find she’s in cahoots with the rest of the captors.

The computer in the Hatch accidentally gets shot during the struggle with Desmond. After attempting to fix it unsuccessfully, Desmond abandons ship and goes running away through the jungle. Locke and Jack watch an “Orientation” video that Desmond has inside the Hatch which explains that the Dharma Initiative is founded by the Hanso Foundation – the Hatch is one of 6 testing facilities – but something went wrong, and now they must continually enter the Numbers or it will bring forth some unexplained disaster. Kate gets Sayid to fix the computer just in time, and Locke enters the Numbers – then talks Jack into pressing “Execute”.

Phew! I told you a lot happened this episode! It also opens a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes) of questions and thoughts about what is fundamentally going on with the Island. Let’s start with some minor things first, and work our way to the headier things…

Helen. So it turns out that Locke had a “Helen” in his past – a real life girlfriend, not just a phone sex operator obsession (remember his original flashback episode, “Walkabout”, where he was obsessed with a Helen on the phone?) However, due to the trauma caused by his pure-evil father, he can’t let go of his obsession with him, and is therefore unable to fully love Helen. It’s a bit unclear at the end if he ends up with her or not – but something definitely happened to her (either she left him or died) which caused him to begin his “love” of phone-sex Helen.

Locke. Doesn’t it seem odd that flashback Locke is so logical and reason-based, whereas Island Locke is so willing to believe and faith-based? I guess that’s what happens when you suddenly gain your ability to walk again. Locke’s flashbacks have all shown his desire to have some sort of purpose to his life, which he now has on the Island. It makes so much sense that he’s so willing to believe that pushing the button will save the world – it’s his destiny.

Groups. With every passing episode, I end up with more and more types of people on the Island. Currently, I’m thinking we have:

  • Survivors. The remaining group of our original 47 Fuselage Survivors.
    Tailers. Ana-Lucia and Co – those from the tail of the plane who survived the crash… and the Others
  • Scientists. The Dharma Initiative Scientists who are still alive. They might be older and more grizzled (::coughcough::ThepeopleontheboatwhostoleWalt::coughcough::), but they’re still logical and working towards some experiment, be it good or bad.
  • Savages. Either former or current test subjects of the Scientists – turned super strong and super evil by their conditions on the Island. I would throw Ethan into this mix, perhaps the “Others” who got to CFL’s crew, and probably the “Others” that have tormented the Tailers up to this point.
  • Randoms. People who ended up on the Island truly by accident, not by a master plan of the Dharma Initiative. True, the Survivors and Tailers might fall into this category, but I’m thinking more about Desmond, CFL, and maybe some others we haven’t met yet.

Okay, time for the good stuff – how excited am I to have some mythology to the Island? It’s no longer some “random place” with no history – there was an original purpose, a full cast of characters that may or may not still be there, and mysterious events which brought some crazy scientific experiments to a halt. (I know, I’m a mega-nerd – it’s cool though, I have a hot girlfriend, so in your face) Although we learned a lot based on the “Orientation” video, it also brought forth a lot more questions… such as:

Michigan. Once again, Michigan proves to be the root of all evil, serving as the starting point for the Dharma Initiative in addition to being the bane of all OSU football fans.

New Characters. We were introduced to so many new potential characters, let’s make sure you’ve got them all straight:

  • Alfred Hanso. The financial backer behind both the Hanso Foundation and the Dharma Initiative – a recluse, who we only see from afar inside a building in Norway. My money is that he’s on this Island, which serves as the ultimate in seclusion from society.

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  • Gerald Degroot. Co-Creator of the Dharma Initiative. Bushy beard.
  • Karen Degroot. Co-Creator of the Dharma Initiative. Long blond hair. I would pretty much bet everything I own that these two are the skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the caves.

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  • Kelvin. Former Hatch Computer Operator. Allegedly dead, but no body has been seen – how did he die? Old age? The Virus? Or is he really still alive and out there?
  • Marvin Candle. The Narrator in the Orientation video. Of everyone introduced, I think there is the least chance that he would show up on the Island… but did you notice how he never moved his one arm? Weird.

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Incident. What was “The Incident” that happened? Did it just end ruin the experiment at Station 3 (Our Hatch)? Or did it somehow wreck all six stations (my bet)? I think after looking at everything that has gone on with the Island, it seems to be in somewhat disarray. If any of the experiments were still running as planned, I have to think we would have seen some proof of them. Rather, I think we’re looking at a bit of a “Jurassic Park” scenario where the experiments all blew apart (not literally) and we’re now on a wild Island full of the results of the crazy experiments.

Right now, the only documented “unique trait” of the Island is its electro-magnetic attributes – which explains the drawing of boats and current towards the Island, and possibly Locke’s ability to walk (doubters, Dr. Dean Boline would like to prove you wrong:, but I don’t think it could in any way bring about an “Incident” of such proportion to wreck the Dharma Initiative.

Numbers. This brings us back to chicken / egg question of the series – did the Numbers create the Island or did the Island create the Numbers? The Numbers are used on the computer in the Hatch to “prevent the end of the world”, which would explain why they would be broadcast from a tower (which CFL claims she originally heard and drew her to the Island) – if by some chance someone came upon the Island, they could surmise this would be the code used… but then why are the Numbers also engraved on the outside of the Hatch, given that it was nearly impossible to break into the Hatch – it’s not likely someone would ever enter that way… and what about the vials of antidote that Desmond was shooting himself with – those had the Numbers on them too… these Numbers are at the core of everything going on… but why? I just can’t wrap my head around it.

Skinheads. The Orientation video also references BF Skinner, as being a “model” for the Dharma Initiative. Who was this Skinner fellow? No, not an inept principal in Springfield – but rather a scientist whose most famous experiment was putting rats in a box and giving them food when they pushed a button. Eventually, he would stop giving them food, but the rats would continue to push with the expectation that food would come.


Website. Did you hunt around the Hanso Foundation website? The most intriguing part seems to be the “Active Projects” section… especially when you consider what they could mean to the weird things that have happened on the Island.

  • The Hanso Life-Extension Project – Life Extension… living longer than you should, being frozen in time. Probably the end goal of Hanso himself, as he seems the type that would be afraid of death… how about the Nigerian character we’re supposed to find this season? He could be the successful result of an LE (Vanilla Sky footnoted). Could the Degroots be an “unsuccessful first test” that accidentally accelerated their life? What about CFL? Remember how she seemed surprised and said “Has it been that long?” when Sayid told her she was there for 16 years? Something is afoot with time on this Island, and this could explain it!

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  • The Hanso Foundation Electromagnetic Research Initiative – The Hatch was studying it. Seem to be responsible for drawing things to the Island and possibly Locke walking? We never saw Hanso’s lower torso – what if he was also paralyzed and was using this to help gain his ability to walk as well – is that what drew him to put Dharma on this Island in the first place?

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  • The Hanso Quest for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence – I almost want to say this is a red herring due to people thinking aliens were behind everything going on with the Island in the first season – remember, the Comic Book with the Polar Bears in it? The whole storyline there was about aliens. I’ve got nothing with this though.

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  • The Hanso Mathematical Forecasting Initiative – Hi, how about THE NUMBERS. Again, what this means, I don’t know – but it could prove to be the most critical of all the Active Projects.
  • The Hanso Cryogenics Development Imperative – Cryogenics go hand in hand with LE – but are used to keep dead people in an active state until technology advances enough to bring them back to life – could this be Jack’s Dad, that he saw walking in the forest during the first season?
  • The Hanso Juxtapositional Eugenics Development Institute – This one contained lots of big words, so I had to look them up.

Eugenics is a social philosophy which advocates the improvement of human hereditary traits through social intervention. It’s like Selective Breeding. What if Walt / Aaron / Alex somehow fit the mold, and that’s why they were stolen away (on 55th and 3rd)? If Ethan was somehow “bred” on the island, it would explain the superhuman strength he seemed to possess!

Juxtaposition is an act or instance of placing two things close together or side by side. This is often done in order to contrast the two, to show unlikeness or differences, to note the opposite qualities of the two, etc. Could this be the light and dark (Locke vs. Walt), or related to the twins that were on the Others boat that stole Walt? If you think about it, we could be looking at someone trying to clone a super-human race… but why?

If you read on the site, Hanso dealt with weapons and arms, gaining his wealth in distributing them to countries during the Second World War – what would be a better weapon than an army of Super Soliders?

  • The Hanso Accelerated Remote Viewing Training Facility – Lastly, we have “remote viewing” – this seems to SCREAM Walt’s name, given his ability to “foresee” things that are going to happen, and use “his mind’s eye” to make things he want come true. This could be why he is so valuable to the Others, he’s an example of what they’re trying to create.

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Pretty cool, huh?

(Sully - here's the picture you're looking for...)

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Delayed Lost 2.3 Review!

Okay, okay - you can stop the threatening Emails, voicemails, and IMs. I'm sorry that I didn't get my instant review up Wednesday night. Due to a volleyball tournament, I was unable to watch "Orientation" until very late Wednesday night, which made posting afterwards impossible. However, better late than never, here are ten things to make you wonder, and tide you over until my full analysis next week!

Brief Review: This episode advanced the storyline so much - more than any episode in the history of the series, perhaps! We got our "crazy scientist research facility" theory finally proved, and although it answered some questions - it opened up brand new questions to let us obsess about for many months to come. It's also finally adding some "mythology" to the island - how it started, the players involved, and how it came to be the island it is today. Love it.

Ten Things:

  1. In response to Dr. Bob's question, "Where does Ethan fall into the different groups on the island?", I've got to think he was in cahoots with CFL and the Others on the boat that stole Walt, and that they're all a part of Hanso.
  2. What is Hanso? Check it out: (Clever viewers will find the whole Orientation video)
  3. "The Others" that Mikey, Sawyer, and Jin ran into are not Others. Smart money is on them being Tailers that have already gone Lord of the Flies on each other. The question is... why?
  4. Where is Desmond going? Another one of the six research facilities on the Island? My guess is we'll be seeing more of him, and he knows a lot more than he is letting on. His story was just a tad too convenient for my liking.
  5. Are the other research facilities on the Island, or are they spread across the world? Based on everything we've seen on the Island so far, I think they're all on there!
  6. The "Incident" that is referred to in the Orientation video - what was it? In researching the "unique electro-magnetic attributes" of this portion of the island, did they accidentally trip something bad? Did exposing the magnetic core of the Island throw the equilibrium of the Island out of whack?
  7. "Don't push the button, the button is bad." Walt says. Yet now Locke is pushing it for as long as he is able. Bad news. Locke's gonna go crazy.
  8. The flashbacks the past two episodes have been fairly weak. When you've got so many mysteries behind these characters, to show these fairly mundane vignettes of their lives seems like a waste. Yes, we're building the characters more, but come on - how did Locke lose the ability to walk? What happened to Helen? What happened to his Father?
  9. The Orientation video dude closes with "Namaste" - what's that? More Hinduism lessons!
  10. Books seen in this episode:
  • The Third Policeman: The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's brilliant comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botche d robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where he is intruduced to "Atomic Theory" and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and the view that the earth is not round but "sausage-shaped."
  • The Turn of the Screw: The story starts conventionally enough with friends sharing ghost stories 'round the fire on Christmas Eve. One of the guests tells about a governess at a country house plagued by supernatural visitors. But in the hands of Henry James, the master of nuance, this little tale of terror is an exquisite gem of sexual and psychological ambiguity. Only the young governess can see the ghosts; only she suspects that the previous governess and her lover are controlling the two orphaned children (a girl and a boy) for some evil purpose. The household staff don't know what she's talking about, the children are evasive when questioned, and the master of the house (the children's uncle) is absent. Why does the young girl claim not to see a perfectly visible woman standing on the far side of the lake? Are the children being deceptive, or is the governess being paranoid?

Looks like I've got some reading to do!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lost - "Orientation"

Episode Title: Orientation

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: The word “orientation” means gaining your bearings, or becoming familiar with your surroundings. In this case, the word “orientation” has multiple points of significance, no matter where you look:

Jin, Sawyer, and Locke getting “oriented” to the new portion of the Island (or another island? I don't think so - it would complicate things too much) that they are now on – run wild with “Others”.

Ana-Lucia getting “oriented” with the remainder of the Survivors of Flight 815 – learning that there are other Survivors, and the two groups comparing their understanding of what in the world is going on on the island.

Desmond being “oriented” to the state of the world and the island. Do you remember his quote? “So the world is still out there?”

Jack, Kate, and Locke being “oriented” to the inside of the Hatch. Locke started to investigate last week before being confronted by Desmond with a gun. They should learn at least what Desmond thinks he is doing down there, what his mission was, and what he understands about the island vs. what they understand.

Lastly, this is a LOCKE EPISODE. Could we finally learn how Locke has the ability to walk on this island?! That would be the ultimate in “orientation” – a crippled man orienting himself to a new world where he can walk again. I drool at this prospect.

TV Guide Description: Jack, Locke and Kate learn more secrets about the hatch. Meanwhile, after being beaten and taken captive, Sawyer, Michael and Jin wonder if their captors are fellow survivors or the dreaded "Others."

TV Guide Breakdown: If you remember back before this season started, this is supposed to be the “big reveal” episode. Series creator Damon Lindelhof said we would see what was inside the Hatch in episode one, but wouldn’t understand it until episode three. Well, this is episode three! Start explaining! Jack, Locke, and Kate look to be the recipients of the secrets of the Hatch.
Meanwhile, the Rafters wonder if their captives are the “Others”. This brings up an interesting point. There are three theories that I can come up with about who those mysterious figures were charging at the end of last episode:

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They are The Others. The Others turn out to be savage beasts on the Island, the same people who killed CFL’s crew. They’ve either gone “Lord of the Flies” as a result of their time on the island, or they’re some cavemen-like race who live on this land that time forgot… the problem is – then who are the guys on the boat who stole Walt? These Others seem far less civilized than those Others, who had a boat, worked logically, and spoke intelligently (albeit like pirates). If they are the Others, there must be multiple groups / clans of “Others” on the Island.

They are The Tailers. We see Ana-Lucia in their camp, so it’s logical to assume that there would be other survivors from the tail section of the plane. Perhaps without the logical and calm guidance of people like Jack, Sayid, and Michael, the Tailers fell victim to “Lord of the Flies” syndrome much faster…

They are The Infected. Let’s say there is some sort of “4-8-15-16-23-42 Virus” on the Island. If this is the case, Desmond is pumping himself with some vaccine to keep from going crazy. Maybe the Others are doing something similar. Those who fall victim to the virus become “The Infected” who are running wild on the Island, and pose an immediate danger to not only the Survivors, but also the Tailers, Desmond, CFL, and The Others.

Whoever they become, how great is it that we went 24 episodes last season without really knowing if anyone else truly inhabited the Island, or if it was just the Survivors and CFL, but now we’re two episodes into the second season and we have at least 3 separate groups and 15 more people on the Island. It really makes you wonder how much is actually going on with the Island. We could be looking at a situation of having the Survivors, the Tailers, the Desmond / Dharma People, the Others, the Infected, and CFL all interacting on this island. Wow.

What Happened Last Week: Once again, here is the brief synopsis of last week’s episode, in as few sentences as possible:

Michael and Sawyer float debris from the Raft while avoiding sharks in the water. The current eventually brings them back to the Island where they encounter a tied-up Jin running out of the forest screaming about “Others”, who we see chasing him in the distance. We see the Hatch scene from 2.1 from Locke and Kate’s perspectives, which reveal a large stock of non-perishable food, artificial lights, and a clock “counting down” from 108 in the computer room.

So what? So let’s dance…

Polar. Did you catch the parting gift that Michael gave to young Walt in the flashback? A stuffed polar bear. Ironic, given that there was a polar bear roaming on the Island in the present. However, I don’t think this was any more than a little touch the writers threw in to make us smile. I’m a firm believer that the reason there was a polar bear on the island was because Walt saw one in the comic book that he was reading, not due to some repressed anger at his father embodied in a stuffed toy he got many years earlier.

Shark. In other animal action, did you see anything strange about the shark that Michael shot? No? Look closer…

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Yep! The Dharma logo! (without the writing). My first thought was that this was some sort of “mechanical shark”, like the Monster on the Island – however, when Mikey shot it, blood shot out of the shark and water – meaning it was a living thing… so how does a living thing get embossed with a logo? Either Dharma captured and “tagged” the shark with it’s emblem, or it genetically created this shark as a “guard” for the island. Either way, it plays big into the “monsters protecting the island” that CFL talked about last season.

Food. The Dharma logo was everywhere inside the Hatch! Even on the food in the storage closet Kate was thrown into. If you notice, everything was non-perishable, canned food… and there was a lot of it. It doesn’t look like Desmond has the source of fresh food that we thought after the first episode. He’s been down there for a while, and he hasn’t been coming out to go to the Island Grocery Store.

Countdown. Also inside the Hatch was this peculiar clock:

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What does it mean? When the beeping started, the clock was at 2:36 or so, counting down the seconds. Once Locke entered the Numbers on the computer and hit execute, it jumped back up to 108:00. I guess all my theories about the computer bringing forth the Monster are out the window. Speaking of theories out the window…

Desmond. This guy is nothing like I thought he was. He honestly seems as confused (if not more so) than the Survivors about what is going on. He thinks the world is all but gone (destroyed by the Virus?) and thinks that Locke is some sort of reprieve for his “watch post” on the Island.

But this brings up a whole lot of questions…

Based on this, Desmond doesn’t seem like the mastermind behind it all. Does that make it a coincidence that he ran into Jack in the stadium in the first episode, or is he being played by some higher Island Powers the same way that everyone else is?

He must have been given some sort of orders – someone must have put him there, warned him about the Virus, and stocked him with food inside that bunker… but who? How did he end up there on his “race around the world”?

He obviously thinks Locke is a member of the same “team” as he is, since he asks “Are you him?” Locke tries his best to play along, but falls subject to a brain-teaser / riddle / code of “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?”

Locke. John Locke is seriously going to have a mental breakdown. His whole time on the island, he believed in some higher power, some purpose, something more important that drew all of them there for a reason. He embodied all these hopes and dreams into whatever was inside the Hatch… and it turned out to be a confused guy with a funky logo everywhere. The previews hint at him losing it, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Dharma. Okay, I’ll give it the old college try in working out this whole “Dharma” thing. This is why I get paid the big bucks folks, don’t try this at home…

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Based on the fact that Dharma is on everything inside the Hatch, they must have built the Hatch. This leads you to believe they are the “Powers That Be” that are guiding everything that is happening on the island. Desmond appears to be a pawn in their game, or perhaps some sort of watch guard for the Island.

In my mind then, Dharma becomes some corporation – I mean, they have a logo, for crying out loud – they must be incorporated in some way! So what is their purpose? The logo shows the word “Dharma” with the R backwards, a Locke Ness looking monster and some crazy Chinese I Ching Symbols around the outside. Let’s hit it one at a time…

Here’s the Chinese I Ching Symbol, and what each part represents:

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How freaky is it how those different attributes describe all the Survivors perfectly?!

Fame & Reputation? Charlie
Love & Marriage? Sun, Jin
Creativity & Children? Walt, Aaron, Claire, Michael
Helpful People & Travel? Sayid, Kate
Career? Jack
Knowledge? Locke
Family? Sawyer
Wealth & Prosperity? Shannon, Boone, Hurley
Health? None of them?

This just makes me think all the characters are part of some master plan. They’re all cogs in a big machine, or pieces to a puzzle, or some other overused analogy like that.

Instead of using the stand ying-yang, the logo shows a serpentine creature, which is all the more fitting given the “Monster” that is on the island, the shark with the logo, and the Polar Bear running around. So, the “Monsters” are at the center of it all, with all our Survivors surrounding them. Does this make them the central theme of Dharma? Animal cloning? Creating new super-creatures a la Island of Dr. Moreau?

Or is the company mission behind Dharma more related to the true center of the logo – the word Dharma itself.

In Hinduism, dharma refers to your ethical duty in life. Your task in life is to fulfill your dharma, or to live up to the expectations that your gender, caste, job, stage in life, family obligations, etc. place upon you. If you fulfill your dharma, it will create good karma and therefore allow you to move on to a better position on the cycle of life (reincarnation).

(God bless “Sara” for posting this in the comments section, whoever she is! Easily saved me a few hours of researching Hinduism)

Again, doesn’t this perfectly describe almost everyone on the Island? They’re all tortured souls with something terrible in their pasts that is keeping them from moving on with their lives. None of them really “fulfilled their Dharma” in their previous lives. I know I’ve re-hashed this theme a thousand times in my posts, but I’ll do it again. It’s my Blog, I can do what I want. You’re not the boss of me:

Michael – being a father to Walt
Claire – raising Aaron
Sun – standing up to Jin
Charlie – kicking the H habit
Jack – letting go of the emotional damage his father caused him
Kate – forgiving herself for her best friend’s murder
Sawyer – finding peace with the man responsible for his parents’ deaths
Sayid – reuniting with long lost love
Shannon – using her step-brother, hustling everyone
Boone – getting over his love of his step-sister
Hurley – not letting the numbers control his life
Jin – getting out of the mafia, loving his wife again
Locke – living the “outdoor” life he wanted, being able to walk

Some of those might be a stretch, but you see what I’m getting at. From this perspective, the Island has offered all them an opportunity to “get over” the hang-ups in their lives and start over, and do things right.

If you look at it this way, Dharma becomes more of a “Make a Wish” foundation that rights people whose lives have gone astray. I swear, if Ty Pennington comes out of the jungle in the last episode, I will break every TV I own.

It also really plays up the “They’re all dead, this is purgatory” theory from the first season. As much as I tell myself this can’t be true, there are an awful lot of signs that point to this being the master plan. Dharma becomes “God”, responsible for making everything on the Island, Desmond becomes “St. Peter”, or “God’s Keeper”, The Others are lost souls, and children who don’t have baggage or “sins” are taken away “to heaven” as soon as possible.

Pretty heavy, eh Doc Brown?

Google. One last thing – for some reason, the whole “The Numbers are coordinates for the Island” theory is popular on the Internet again. I know I touched upon this a few times last year, and depending how you write the numbers (degrees vs. decimals, where you place the decimal points) you can pretty much make them point anywhere in the world. Last year, we had them in Nigeria, France, and the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It also tied in with the whole “Bermuda Triangle” theory, remember? If not, time to hit the Blog Archives and read up!

The real reason I bring it up again is to pimp “Google Earth”. If you haven’t played with this yet, you absolutely must. Go here ( and download it. It’s the coolest thing ever. Here is the Google Earth picture of the “Island”, using the Numbers as coordinates:

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PS – I’m fully expecting this episode to blow me away. Expect an incoherent rant about my love of the show sometime late Wednesday night.

PPS – The answer is “Smell the carrots?” Hilarious.