Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lost - "Fire + Water"

Episode Title: “Fire + Water”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Smoke on the water, fire in the sky!

Well, the previews seem to make this title seem quite literal. In fact, we see both a lot of fire and a lot of water.

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Although this episode is Charlie-centric, it also seems to focus on his obsession with Aaron… as in the same Aaron that was with Moses through the Plagues of the Bible / Exodus, etc. After a little Bible Study action, it turns out that Aaron was right by Moses’ side for such things as “the burning bush” (fire) and “parting the Red Sea” (water), but also he was a pretty troubled dude. He’s the one who gave the people the golden calf while Moses was up getting the Ten Commandments, and even turned pseudo-Judas on Moses at some point.

What’s the point of all this religious mumbo-jumbo? Well, Charlie is clearly a troubled soul, much like Bible Aaron seemed to be. He seems to honestly want to do good, help Claire raise her baby, and peacefully exist on the Island, but he’s got the temptation of the Smack bringing him down. Likewise, fire and wire can also be representative of hot and cold, or good and bad. Two sides. He’s a conflicted soul.

But… why am I comparing Charlie to Bible Aaron? Shouldn’t I be comparing Bible Aaron to Island Aaron? Exactly.

In the end, I think the title is going to come down to this theme that I touched upon a few weeks back with Locke and Eko – but now want to switch to Eko and Aaron. A person can be baptized by either fire or water. Back to the Good Book:

In the Bible, John the Baptist said that he would baptize with water, but that the “Coming One” will baptize with fire. Although originally I thought that Eko could be the John the Baptist to Locke’s Jesus, now I’m thinking he’s going to be the John the Baptist to Aaron’s Jesus.

Think about it. Eko’s a pretty holy dude (now, after a sketchy past), carries the staff like J the B, and he’s shown a peculiar interest in Aaron in the past few episodes. We’ve seen Eko’s desire to save children after the tail split off of the plane – I wonder if he’s looking for the “chosen one” - someone who’s way more religious than he is – baby Aaron.

We’ve seen how important babies and children have been so far on this show. We might not know why, but the Others seem to think they are “special” and worth stealing. I wonder if the Others are waiting for some sort of supposed “Chosen One”. They’ve taken Alex (more on this later), they’ve taken Walt (more on this later), and I’m betting baby Aaron is gone before episode end as well.

Look for a ton of religious imagery in this episode. From Aaron floating in the ocean in his cradle (a la Moses in the Nile), to a burning bush (a la Moses talking to God), to Charlie dealing with temptation (a la lots of people in the Bible) – heck, the Heroin is stored inside the Virgin Mary! There’s gotta be some messed up symbolism there, right? I’m pretty sure watching this episode will be the equivalent of going to church this week. Researching Lost has once again made me read more Bible than any religion class I’ve ever taken. Awesome.

TV Guide Description: When Charlie's vividly surreal dreams lead him to believe Claire's baby, Aaron, is in danger, Locke suspects Charlie may be using again. Meanwhile, Sawyer encourages Hurley to act on his attraction to Libby.

TV Guide Breakdown: Regarding Charlie’s “vividly surreal dreams” – are we thinking he’s hopped up on goofballs, or are they going to play the whole “everyone thinks he’s using drugs again but in reality he’s not” angle? I’d bet on the latter. Charlie is going to be innocent, but in a case of “Boy Who Cried Wolf”, no one will believe him. Here’s how it will play out:

He’ll probably be warning everyone that Aaron is in danger, but no one will believe him. In the end, Aaron will be stolen away (on 55th and 3rd) and they’re realize Charlie was right and feel bad.

So is Charlie really over his H Habit? Two weeks ago, I would have said “absolutely”. I thought Charlie had kicked his habit… that is, until we saw his stash of Virgin Mary statues in the woods… and they played scary music when showing that scene. Now I’m not so sure. It’s hard to argue with scary music. Perhaps the fire scene from the previews is Charlie lighting up his stash so it won’t tempt him anymore? Here’s hoping. Didn’t we already go through the whole “Locke helping Charlie get over his addiction” storyline last year? I don’t need a re-hash of that (pun intended).

Then there are our newest potential lovebirds on the Island - Hurley and Libby. There’s something a little off here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. But here’s my thought:

Remember last week when Jack said something to Zeke about “You sent someone to spy on us” and Zeke had a surprised expression on his face. Kinda like “Wait – they found the spy?” But then Jack follows up with “Yeah, Ethan” and Zeke kinda laughed it off? I’m thinking Ethan wasn’t their spy, perhaps Zeke has no idea who Ethan even is, and that their spy is still there. Libby looks to be a prime candidate, since she’s one of the few main characters on the show without a backstory.

So who was Ethan? I’ll go back to my theory of there being multiple groups of Others on the Island. Zeke is some sort of leader of the Scientist group (more on this later), whereas Ehtan was more of a rogue Other in the same vein as Goodwin.

So am I pumped for this episode? Not as much as in past weeks. I’m really fearful of the Locke-Charlie conflict being repeated, and having to deal with a screaming Claire (“They took my babay!”) for the next few weeks. Here’s hoping for the best though!

Previously on Lost…

Jack. Oh Jack, you forgot Rule #47 of Guy Code: If you ever accidentally kiss a girl other than your wife, you don’t tell your wife about it.

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But in a deliciously shocking twist, Sarah confesses her own cheating ways. Hussie! Or was she? Was this just an excuse to get out of a lonely marriage where the man is basically married to his job instead of his wife? I’ve heard a few opinions on this that range from “Yes, she was cheating with Desmond” (see post below) to “No, but she was pregnant” and I really don’t think we have enough evidence to go one way or the other on it.

Depending on how intricately twisted Jack and Desmond are, Sarah could have potentially been cheating on Jack with Desmond, and been pregnant with a baby that she didn’t know if it was Jack’s or Desmond’s!

Ever since the pregnant Claire episodes last season, I’ve thought that Jack seemed a little too over-protective of preggo Claire and baby, as if he had some trauma in his past concerning a baby – this would explain it!

Or, Sarah could have been making up the affair, was truly un-preggo, and just left Jack because, as she put it “he always needs someone to fix”. At this point in her life, she was “fixed”, and that could have caused Jack to lose interest in her. I think the real question is, why does Jack have this need? We’ve still seen nothing in his backstory that would make this self-blame necessary, have we?

The good news is that I know we will be getting at least another Jack backstory this year. (Greedy! How about some more Locke or Sawyer?) I’m betting we get some answers to the questions above, especially if Desmond shows back up.

James Ford. I actually can’t bring myself to call him that, so he’ll remain Sawyer in my posts. This is a pretty interesting development because it shows that Locke knows exactly what is going on with everyone on the Island, as if he’s been monitoring them or studying them. Speaking of which…

Locke. Why did Locke try to get Jack and Sawyer to turn around right before their confrontation with Zeke? That seems very un-Locke-like. From day one, he’s been all about discovering things on the Island and exploring further. It’s almost as if he knew they were getting too close to Zeke and the Others. Or did he simply sense danger was close? Very interesting.

Sickness. I think Michael is down with the sickness.

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I’m not exactly sure what the sickness is, or what the symptoms are, but Michael definitely looked different. Also, remember what CFL said, way back in Season One? (Cue Wayne’s World flashback sequence…)

From the Sayid-Centric Episode, “Solitary”, where we first met CFL…

Sayid: “And how did you come to be on this island, Danielle?”
CFL: “We were part of a science team.”
Sayid: “A science team armed with rifles? Was Robert on the team?”
CFL: “Yes.”
Sayid: “And Alex, was he, too?”
CFL: “Our vessel was 3 days out of Tahiti when our instruments malfunctioned. It was night, a storm, the sounds. The ship slammed into rocks, ran aground, the hull breached beyond repair. So, we made camp, dug out this temporary shelter. Temporary. Nearly 2 months we survived here, 2 months before…
Sayid: “Your distress signal? The message I heard, you said, "It killed them all."”
CFL: “We were coming back from the Black Rock. It was them. They were the carriers.”
Sayid: “Who were the carriers?”
CFL: “The Others.”
Sayid: “What others? What is the Black Rock? Have you seen other people on this island?”
CFL: “No, but I hear them. Out there, in the jungle. They whisper. You think I'm insane.”

…and then we had this exchange last week, from “The Hunting Party”...

Zeke: “Let me ask you something - How long you've been here on the Island?”
Jack: “50 days.”
Zeke: “That's almost 2 whole months.”

See the common theme? Whatever this “sickness” is, it seems like it has an incubation period of two months before it hits you. ? Perhaps the sickness causes you to see things and become paranoid about them – sort of like a drug “freak out”. One wonders is Mike ever actually talked to Walt, or if he was just having visions as a result of the sickness? But Michael seemed to be walking with a purpose, heading for a specific place on the Island rather than wandering around based on imaginary visions, making me think he got a message from someone.

What if the sickness somehow “connects you” with the thoughts of other individuals on the Island and he was having some sort of telepathic conversation with Walt? Here’s my theory on the sickness:

As part of the Hanso Foundation’s Accelerated Remote Viewing studies, they found a way to do so something much more - allow a person to hear the thoughts of others within a given radius. How? No idea. Leave that to the scientists. But imagine the power that you would render if you could hear the thoughts of an enemy, know their actions – almost before they did, and be able to react. You would be the ultimate warrior (and could wear florescent colored armbands!).

However, such a “power” would also have the potential to drive a person completely crazy. Your head would no longer be your own. Rather, your head would be an intersection of thoughts of everyone who was around you. Eventually, it would have to drive you into solitary confinement… or drive you insane.

Pretty deep. Too crazy for you? Think I’m the one with the sickness? Let’s look at the facts:

  • We’ve seen characters hear “whispers” in the forest – probably the beginning of the sickness, where they can faintly hear things.
  • CFL says “I had to kill them – what would have happened if they got back to the world?” – she’s either protecting the world from the weapon aspect of the sickness, or keeping herself from going insane. By making her the solitary person on the Island (or so she thinks), the voices stop.
  • Remember Sam? The guy who brought the numbers back to the mainland, that Hurley tried to visit in Australia. He moved himself as far away from people as he could, yet still killed himself. Perhaps because his wife was still there, her thoughts occupying his head?
  • It would explain how Zeke and the Others have such knowledge about everything happening on the Island – every time a Survivor passes near them, or they get near the Survivors, they could be gaining more knowledge.
  • It would explain how the Others could avoid ever being seen unless they want to be seen – a person could travel as stealthily as they wanted, but unless they were also devoid of thoughts, they could hear them coming.

(Note: this would totally be a rip off of the classic season 3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Earshot”, but I think all the pieces add up, don’t they?)

So what about Michael?

Zeke. When questioned about Michael, Zeke states “Don’t worry about Michael, he won’t be finding us.”

This could mean a few things:

  1. The Others, acting as Walt, intentionally fed Michael bad information through the computer, leading him away from them instead of towards them. (Not likely, since Locke was following Michael’s trail, and although it died shortly before their encounter with Zeke, it was heading in that direction.)
  2. They have already killed Michael. (Possible - we heard gunshots, but I think more likely there was some sort of encounter and they captured him. They then ditched him somewhere or have him locked up somewhere).

Either way, the word on the street is that we won’t be seeing our buddy Michael on the Island for a while. I’d be tempted to say we won’t see Michael or Walt again until next season, but I’ve also heard the whole “Walt is Missing” situation will be resolved this season.

Hanso. Much more interesting for those Internet Nerds out there was this comment from our boy Zeke:

Zeke: “A man much smarter than any of us standing here said “From the dawn of our species, man has been blessed with curiosity.”

Sound familiar? Astute readers will remember that they’ve seen this before. Visit the Hanso Foundation website and check out their mission statement:

“From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity. Our most precious gift, without exception, is the desire to know more - to look beyond what is accepted as the truth and to imagine what is possible.”
- Alvar Hanso, Address to the U.N. Security Council, 1967

Gasp! So Zeke is obviously a Hanso scientist, or a Hanso cult follower of some kind! Also, he says “smarter than any of us standing here” which means that Alfred Hanso isn’t one of the Others hidden in the forest, but it also seems to hint that Hanso is on the Island somewhere, just not standing there. Intrigue!

Podcast. This week’s podcast had two intriguing bits of information worth passing along.

The first involved Executive Producers Damon and Carlton (we’re on a first name basis) discussing the Monster from Eko’s episode two weeks back. They make this comment:

“We’ll leave it to the viewer to decipher what exactly we were seeing in the smoke. But it sure looked like the Monster was downloading Eko’s fears and anxieties. It almost seemed like it didn’t kill him because Eko wasn’t afraid of these fears. Maybe that’s the same reason Locke also survived his encounter.”

Now, the show’s creators are infamous for making sarcastic remarks in their podcast to tease viewers (especially the kind that they know will over-analyze everything they say – i.e., myself) but this sounded like a legitimate statement. If this is the case, I’ll have to rethink my monster theory from a few posts ago... Give me some time to wrap my head around it…

The other interesting comment was that Dharma is actually an acronym, not an anagram. A quick visit to dictionary.com reveals the following:

Acronym: A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as NFL for National Football League, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.

First, this means that I, along with everyone I work with, incorrectly use the term “acronym” almost every day at our job. Second, it really reminds me of Vanilla Sky, where there was an acronym in front of us the whole time (“Ellie” à L.E. à Life Extension) that explained the whole story without us knowing it. Based on everything we know about the Hanso foundation and their mission, I’m leaning towards it meaning something like…

D egroot and
H anso
A ssociation for
R ebuilding
M an
A new

All the experiments on the Island seemingly deal with improving the human race / building a superior race. Or it could just be a homage to Jenna Elfman. Either way.

X-Factor. Check out the date on the X-Rays that Jack and his dad were looking at when the episode began… November 16, 2005! Since we know a lot happened after this flashback (Jack betraying his dad, his dad becoming an alcoholic, going to Australia, etc.) that means the “present day” we’re seeing on the Island must be in the future!

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The really ironic thing is that a lot of the things we’ve seen on the Island seem out-of-date, as if they were from many years in the past. I still think there’s some weird Time Warp thing going on with the Island.

Alex. Did you catch who thrust the captured Kate into the foreground last week? Zeke said, “Bring her out, Alex.” This is all we saw…

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But smart money is that this is CFL’s daughter Alex, raised by the Others! Tantalizing!
Speaking of which…

Doesn’t this look like Walt, from the scene where all the torches lit up in the forest? Check the top right corner. Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?

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Geronimo Jackson. If you’re anything like me, as soon as you saw this record inside the Hatch last episode, you jumped on the Internet to research the band. What did you find? That’s right, the band doesn’t exist. Or if they did, they were so obscure that there isn’t a single mention of them anywhere on the Internet.

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Although it’s pretty hilarious because everyone who tried to find them came upon this as the first search result:

Check out the Message Board – full of Hispanic speaking well wishers from 2004, then nothing, then a huge influx of people asking about Lost last week. Pretty hilarious.

(Note: there seems to be an “official” Geronimo Jackson website that sprung up last night – but I’m not sure of the authenticity. There’s no ABC “Terms of Conditions” like on most Lost-related websites, so it might just be a rabid fan capitalizing on the show and domain-squatting. At any rate, the one interesting morsel of information there is that the band formed at University of Michigan… the same place that the Degroots were from.)

Army. Lastly, we leave the episode with a story which I have been begging for since midway through Season One – building an army to combat the Others. We’ve seen Locke getting people to get over their inner demons and fears, but let’s take an honest look at the strengths of this army:

Locke – can take care of himself, use weapons, has uncanny outdoor knowledge
Eko – really strong, knows how to use a weapon, talks fun
Jack – natural leader, doctor
Ana-Lucia – police officer, men struggle to hit a girl
Sayid – Iraqi National Guard, expert in torturing and computers
Sawyer – knows how to use a gun, make witty comments to enemies like a superhero
Jin – former mafia member, will probably kill anyone wearing a watch
Kate – can blow things up, handle a gun, rob a bank
Hurley – good shield, potentially indestructible

Granted, if they’re facing an army of Ethans, who whopped up on Jack and Co. they might be in bad shape – but if it’s an army of grizzled pirate scientists, I like our odds!

That’s all for this week!

(NOTE: Due to numerous requests, you can now leave comments anonymously! You no longer have to "log in" or "have a blog" (read: be a nerd). I expect the number of comments each week to increase exponentially. You have no excuse.)


Steve Poke said...

It's only 8:35 and I'm already exhausted. Nice work.

jenn said...

Thanks so much for providing this important community service. I must admit that my friends and I read this blog faithfully. Hopefully I won't get fired for not getting work done. Your insightful (and frequently very witty) comments really make the show (a.k.a. CRACK ON TELEVISION) even more enjoyable. The photos help too, since I am a dinosaur and do not have DVR or HDTV. I especially liked your take on the KATE/JACK/SAWYER storyline, even though I'm quite embarrassed that I couldn't come up with it first, being female and all... Were you an English major, by chance? Hopefully tonights episode won't disappoint, I too am worried about repeat themes especially another stolen baby...

bengalsfan said...

Rex, good work. I was waiting for a dove to fly out of the sky when Ekko baptized the babay. They are going back to what they did at the midpoint in season one, when they started making us figure out if Locke is good or bad. The other crazy piece of this episode is the girl Hurley likes. She is strange and could be an "other" although I doubt it and is someone from Hurley's past or even possibly a Desmond like character.

Sawyer's nickname of the week "Jabba" for Hurley

dmbeternal said...

Why did Eko mark the trees?


sarah cool said...

Have you seen this link?!?!?


I'm here via Jenn, YAY!

Brian said...

I've read that "Ultimate Theory". There's some interesting points, but it gets a little too far out there when it starts talking about the "collective consciousness". A tad too Matrix-y for me.

There's also some lies in there. The writer tries to mask them by following them with comments like "Google me on this", but if you do - you find out it's not true.

Try and find the book he mentions, or the part about the satellite orbitting the Earth every 108 minutes. Not true.

Having said that, I appreciate that this guy went to the trouble of coming up with this theory because it makes me look less crazy when I throw mine out there.

sarah cool said...

"The writer tries to mask them by following them with comments like "Google me on this", but if you do - you find out it's not true."

That was smart of him, because he banked on the fact that I am way too lazy to google his facts, and MAN he was totally right!!

stinkowoman said...

SO Brian, what is your final vote? Do you think Charlie was drinking the funny water?
What do you think the significance is of the fact that Charlie burned the area that Eko had marked off as the area he liked?

Justin said...

If Libby is a "tailer", how could Hurley have stepped on her foot?

Mike said...

Eko marking the trees was interesting. Part of me thinks he was marking them because he knew they would be burned or killed.

Even though Libby was a tailer, it could still work out that Hurley stepped on her foot. I don't recall the mechanics of them all getting on the plane, but it seemed like they were not boarding from the front of the plane. My first thought of Libby is that she worked at the Mental Hospital where Hurley stayed. Remember, in the tailer's crash episode, she said she was a psychologist. I agree that her interest in Hurley seems a little odd. Maybe she knows Hurley won the lottery, and she's just being a gold-digger? Setting her self up for potentially getting off the island and back to the real world.

Brian said...

Some answers:

1. Deep down inside, I really hope that is Sarah in the picture with Desmond - because how messed up would that be? However, if you look at what happened - wouldn't Jack have said something to Desmond about it? (Although, woulnd't he have asked Zeke about stuff too?) I'm guessing it's not her, disappointingly.

2. Eko and the Trees - still a mystery. I'm thinking we'll learn more down the road to help explain it.

3. At this point, they're making it seem like Libby is the traitor - which makes me think she'll end up being innocent after all. Her story really isn't checking out though - so she's hiding something (such as being in an insane asylum with our boy Hurley!)

RIP Posts said...

Once again, EXCELLENT blog! You impress me with your insight. I just wanted to comment about Locke. I think he is a wise man. He knows what "the others" are able to do and what they are capable of. In my opinion that is why he told Jack and Sawyer to turn around when they were approaching Zeke. He knew that Zeke would obtain information about them if they did get too close. Your religious analogies are great. Thank you for being MY brain. No way I could analyze as well as you do. Thanks again for being my thought sparker.

Anonymous said...

eko is marking the trees because it is going to be related to three trees used in the crucifiction.

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