Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Although most people think that “S.O.S.” stands for something like “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls”, it turns out that “S.O.S.” means nothing. It was simply adopted as the uniform distress signal at the Second Berlin Radiotelegraphic Conference in 1906, since the three dot / three dash / three dot radio signal is easy to distinguish.
Basically, “S.O.S.” means to immediately stop doing whatever you are doing and to respond to the distress signal.
But here’s the funny thing: the distress signal is actually “SOS”, with no periods in it (for obvious telegraphic reasons). Our episode title definitely has periods in it. Meaning?
Our Lost-writers are not avid telegraph users, and didn’t do the research of the history of the term (like uber-nerd I did). So let’s just look at this from the commonly understood meanings of “S.O.S”:
- The letters represented by the Morse Code signal used as an international distress signal, especially by ships and aircraft.
- A call or signal for help.
Either way, it seems as though our Survivors are in distress, and need of help. The two ongoing storylines for this episode seem to be about Jack and Kate proposing a trade of HGI for Michael and Walt, and of Locke questioning the purpose of the Hatch (more on these later). The weird thing is, I wouldn’t classify either of these stories as being “in distress”… until you remember this scene we saw from the “Next week on Lost” preview:
By the looks of things, Jack and Kate are caught in some sort of trap set by the Others (or possibly CFL? Doesn’t it look like the same net that she caught HGI in?). If Jack (de-facto Survivor leader) and Kate (de-facto Island hottie) were suddenly captured, I would think both Jack / Kate and the other Survivors would be in quite a state of distress. But who are they going to send an “S.O.S.” to? Desmond? CFL?
Am I crazy to hope for a trip to the radio tower near the Black Rock (that has been often referenced, never seen?) where they could change CFL’s ramblings into a true “S.O.S.” signal that passing ships might pick up? Should I get my hopes up that our Survivors finally come to their senses and realize that they need to start working on getting off the Island? Probably not…
Given all the Latin we saw on the Blast Door, I went ahead and cross-referenced “S.O.S.” with “Latin”. Turns out it is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase “si opus sit” – which means “if needed”. But again, I can’t think of any character or situation that would reference this – another dead end.
Finally, this is also the Rose / Bernard flashback episode, so there must be some distress in their marriage as well. Look for a symbolic “S.O.S.” to exist in the marriage of Rose and Bernard… which leads us to…
TV Guide Description: Rose is surprisingly and vehemently opposed to Bernard's plan to create an S.O.S. signal; romantic sparks are rekindled between Jack and Kate when they trek into the jungle to propose a "trade" with "The Others"; and Locke begins to question his faith in the island.
TV Guide Breakdown: Why would Rose be so opposed to creating an S.O.S. signal? All I can think of is that she falls into the John Locke category of “happy on the Island, doesn’t want to get off”. But why? Rose and Bernard are the seemingly sickly sweet couple full of love for each other. But since no character ever seems to have a happy back story on Lost, there must be something bad in their past lives. The problem is, every single reason I can think of has already been done or has holes:
- Bernard spending too much time at work, making Rose lonely? Nope, already been done with Jack and Sarah.
- Bernard abusing Rose mentally or physically? Nope, the both are sickeningly sweet in love.
- Bernard or Rose having some disease / disability before they landed on the Island? Nope, too similar to Locke being able to walk / Jin being able to make babies (maybe).
- Bernard and Rose were criminals, who now have their freedom? Nope, been done with Sawyer / Kate.
For once, I’m out of ideas. I feel so embarrassed. I apologize.
Thankfully, the rest of the episode is much more clear to me. Although the Kate / Jack romance seemed to be dead in the water earlier this season, when she symbolically and literally chose Sawyer over Jack, it looks to be re-emerging. Why?
Since before the season began, I was expecting the Sawyer / Kate / Jack / Ana-Lucia “love rhombus”, and after a brief flirtation with pairing off Sawyer with Kate and Jack with Ana-Lucia, we seem back to our original Sawyer / Kate / Jack “love triangle”. What’s this mean? Is Ana-Lucia the next character to die? Or are they simply beginning to setup the Ana-Lucia / Sayid “love line”?
The trade with the Others is very intriguing, and the commercials showing Jack screaming in the rain for the Others to come and get him are pretty Jack-Bauer-esque in terms of awesomeness. But as HGI mentions, “They’ll never give up Walt”. Why? Have you seen Walt lately?
He is considerably older than the last time we saw him on the Island, even though in Island time only a few weeks have passed. The inevitable TV issue of kids growing up is exacerbated by Lost’s slow-moving episode timeline. Instead of each season being a year, each season is about a month – making such growth spurts unacceptable. As a writer, you only have two ways to deal with the Walt situation:
- Make him appear, suddenly older, and have to explain how Dharma has some funky time-warp / instant-aging experiments going on.
- Don’t show him on-screen. Either kill him or keep him “kidnapped”.
My money is on choice two. Doing the whole "time warp" storyline would be awfully tricky, and would verge on Lost becoming too "sci-fi" for the average American viewer. So the question is will Kate and Jack settle for just trading Michael for HGI? Will Michael accept being handed back over to Jack and Kate without Walt going with him? Doubtful, unless the Others have fed him some mind-bending drugs, a la Claire.
As for Locke questioning his faith in the Island, it’s the same point I touched upon last week. If entering the Numbers has no meaning, Locke no longer has his “greater purpose” on the Island. Again – I would anticipate this building up to the Locke vs. Jack showdown on Number entry later in the season.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited for this episode. It’s also the first episode in a long time where I feel like I have no idea what’s going to happen – which leads me to…
Spoilers. Knowing what’s going to happen on the show ahead of time. For me, it’s like finding your Christmas presents ahead of time and looking at them, or getting a DMB Setlist before the show – it’s just wrong and ruins the event.
The tricky thing is, in the past two months, I’ve twice stumbled across pictures that turned out to be considerable spoilers and posted them on the website. At the time of each, they were both “potential spoilers” that I wasn’t sure how would play out on the show – it gave me some new topics to discuss and points to ponder. However, that’s not what this Blog is all about.
In an effort to keep this place spoiler-free, I’ll be sure to sufficiently “hide” any potential spoilers in the future – or not post them at all. This is assuming I ever come across something like the Balloon Picture or Libby Picture ever again. In the two years I’ve been watching the show, I’ve only come across things like that twice – it just happened to be in the past few weeks on top of each other.
I ask the posters in the Comment section to do the same, and restrain themselves from posting spoilers as well. If I see something too spoilery, I’ll delete it. Everyone who has told me “I’m not going to read your website anymore, it ruins the show” can rest easy. Now the only way the show will be ruined is by me being smart enough to figure out what’s going to happen by using my brain. Sound good?
Comment Q and A! So this is another new section for the Blog, which I’ll try to make a regular section (assuming this first attempt doesn’t fail miserably). Basically, I notice that there are a lot of comments that are asking questions, or looking for input on different topics. Since it can be tricky to keep up and address the right people in the comment section (and some people don’t venture into the “scary comments section”), I’m going to post the comments (or the applicable portion of the comments) here, along with my responses (in fancy italics!). Let’s see how this works out…
Tsw: What about Libby?
Before the episode, I was all over the board on my thoughts for Libby. Is she just crazy? Is she really a Dharma sent to bring Hurley (and the Numbers) back to the Island?
But after watching it, I’ve narrowed my Libby thoughts down to one of the following:
She was crazy, and is acting like a psychologist. Her “craziness” is being a pathological liar. Once escaping / being released from the Mental Institution, she began telling people she was a clinical psychologist. Since she probably spent a good deal of time with psychologists who were trying to help her get over her lying, she could impersonate one quite well.
She was crazy, and became obsessed with Hurley while in the Mental Institution. Her “craziness” was actually Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and her newest obsession is one Hugo Reyes. She tracked him down following her release from the Institution and ended up on the Island with him, much to her delight. This explains why the semi-hot Libby would be interested in such a large mammal (Hugo) on an Island with limited deodorant.
Note the common theme being “Libby used to be crazy.” I’m basing this on the fact that she not only looked crazy, but was being administered medication during the episode. I’ve also eliminated the “She could be working for Dharma” possibility since she prevented Hurley from jumping. If she was an “Other”, who I theorize are outnumbered and threatened by our Survivors, you let him jump – lowering the number of Survivors by one.
Non-anonymous: Just a quick suggestion you forgot to talk about how no one saw a plane when the food "drop off" happened.
I’m just glad the Survivors at least called attention to this, unlike many of the other random occurrences they just seem to ignore. You have to think that if the Island can somehow “mask” itself from the outside world, they could apply the same technology to some sort of “stealth” airplane.
1. Libby? Many possibilities exist for her 'back-story'. What do incidents from past episodes tell us about her (namely, she saying Hurley stepped on her foot while boarding plan and he apparently didn't, etc)?
This either means Libby is a liar (Option #1 above) or afraid Hurley will discover she’s a stalker (Option #2 above). Either way, she’s afraid of Hurley finding out the truth.
2. What is Eko building? Why is it a secret? Do we think it is a church?
I think a Church is the only logical answer, given Eko’s history. Why secret? Well, Eko’s a pretty secretive character, and he probably knows the non-religious of the group would be less inclined to help if they knew they were building a God House.
3. What about HGI comment to Locke about NOT having inputted any #'s into the computer? Do we believe him? How might this play out (trailer looks interesting in how Locke is trying to understand 'black light' chart)
As HGI has a history of lying, we are inclined to not believe him. But look at it from the point of view of “HGI’s Goal”: If it was to have the Survivors keep pressing the button, why would he have even told Locke that he didn’t push it? Clearly, he wants the Survivors to stop pressing the button. Why?
My theory remains that HGI is a Rebel Other, who’s discontent with Dharma and their experiments. He knows the button pressing is merely an experiment that keeps our Survivor’s focus off other things going on with the Island. Even though this means HGI is telling the truth, I think it’s the only logical answer.
Also – as I said before, it’s a great way to setup an argument between Locke and Jack about pressing the button, and will finally bring the issue to a head. This will be the event that causes our Survivors to finally stop pressing the button.
Julie B: Also, on the flipside, how do they know that this food isn't sent from the Others? If they are so frightened by the Others, who have killed/kidnapped/threatened quite a few of the survivors, wouldn't they be a little skeptical of food that arrived with Dharma logos on it? It could be poisoned, it could leave bizarre psychological effects on them. But instead they just take it. I know that this goes against the whole "survival" issue, as it's food and is needed to survive but I'd still be a little skeptical about its source.
Great point! One would think that food emblazoned with the logo of the very group that threatens your life is something you should approach cautiously. However, I think that after 40 days on the Island without any processed snack foods, you pretty much throw caution to the wind and chow down. It would be like if I went without Skyline for 40 days, and then you gave me some that had a Steelers logo on it. I’d eat it without thinking twice about it.
(But something else to think about is that if this food is “poisoned” somehow, it would explain why Hurley is the first one of our Survivors to have the “Sickness”, seeing imaginary people and going crazy. He’s been eating the food the most in the past 40 days.)
Locke_D: Does anyone know all the number sequences in the flashbacks?
This is a pretty daunting task, one not even I am up for. Last year I found a website that listed every reference to the Numbers during Season One. This would be a good place to start:
Mike: What makes this somewhat confusing to me is that if the flashbacks are memories, how are people remembering things they were not aware of to begin with? Jack never saw the stair he tripped on, Locke had his back turned to the oceanic logo on the plane flying above the motel, etc.Either we're getting the island's "reading" of a person's past with the numbers getting picked up, or it's just a regular "omniscient" (that's a word right?) viewpoint of what has happened for the audience, without a direct correlation to what a character is thinking about at the moment.
You have to understand there is a difference between what the character sees from their point of view, and what we see from the camera’s point of view. In the case of Jack running up the steps, from his eyes he only saw the steps in front of him. But the camera is in the air above him as he’s running, so we as a viewer can see exactly what step he is on.
In the flashback, the character only remembers things from their point of view, but we are provided a full look at the scene from the larger eye of the camera.
Henryford: By the way, wasn't it an illogical argument that Libby made while convincing Hugo at the end? - the man with broken leg
I don’t think so. It really depends on how deep you want to get with the “It’s all in your head” debate.
If something is in my head, does that mean I already know it? There are all sorts of examples where I forget things from my past, or can’t remember things like someone’s name of phone number – Libby and the broken leg could be something like that.
But I think it works because even if it’s a bad example, there are events that continue to unfold on the Island that Hurley has no premonition about. You would think if it was all in his head there would be more “Wait a minute I’ve seen this before” moments, or other events would start bleeding in that he would identify from his past – besides the Numbers and Libby.
Rutkowskilives: So there we find Sayid, Ana-Lulu and HGI, with Sayid going Matlock on HGI, and HGI mentions a "he" or a "him" or something like that. And Ana-Lulu says something to the effect of "The guy with the beard?" and HGI says "He's nothing!"
Waitaminute! What the heck is HGI talking about? We suspect due to Kate's finding that Mr. Friendly/Zeke wears a beard as a disguise (has Ana-Lulu ever met him? Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so. Did Sawyer mention him?). His comment tells me several things - first, he doesn't know that our Losties know about Zeke's game, and he is fine letting them believe the disguise (more on this later). Second, HGI knows all about the interactions between the Losties and the Others. Third, HGI has an understanding of the hierarchy within the Others. Fourth, the Losties knowing that Zeke isn't a hot shot is really not informational beneficial to them in anyway. Add this all up, and what does it mean?My guess is that HGI is in cahoots with Danielle. Pardon the scattered logic, but here goes...
So CFL has never really seen the Others, yet has intricate traps set up around the island just in case one comes by? I guess that's reasonable since, you know, she was alone and had to do something for 16 years, and she did manage to catch Sayid this way not too long ago. Oddly enough, shortly after trapping Sayid, she gets HGI, because HGI let himself get trapped. Why? Becuase HGI is a dealer and is all for exchanging to fulfill needs. He understands that CFL's need is to see/know about her daughter. He needs to be delivered to the Losties because DHARMA isn't nearly as strong as they are leading our Losties to believe, and they need to know how big a threat they are facing because their smoke and mirrors bearded Others act can only last so long. Plus, the Losties have only run into the grunt Others and they seem pretty freaked out by them as it is, and it would be good for the Others to know exactly how well the Losties understand them. CFL, considering the implications of this find, and the fact that she really has no loyalties to the Losties and probably figures that infected Aaron will kill them anyway, sacrifices her desire to take revenge on an Other in favor of the possibility of seeing her daughter. HGI of course gets what he wants under a very well planned disguise (he's trapped and has what he believes to be a solid fake ID). CFL doesn't want anything to happen to the Losties though, and despite a rocky relationship, does trust Sayid to handle HGI. CFL knows for sure that HGI is an Other, and thus explains to Sayid that she does indeed know him to be an Other, and that as such, he will lie. And lie some more. And so Sayid needs to be careful, and it seems like that is exactly how he is going about things. Because let's face it - Locke was the man in season 1, in season 2, it's all Sayid.
One other thing about Libby - I've been intrigued by her character since the beginning, and have been rooting for her ever since her conversation with Sawyer when he wasn't looking too good. She is a person that understands psychology, be it from study or because she herself is mental, I don't know. She also seems to possess a survival instinct beneficial to both herself (knowing when to stick with and then bail on Ana-Lulu), and to others, evidenced by keeping Hurley, Sawyer, Ana-Lulu (in the beginning) and to an extent Claire going. I will go on record as saying that I believe she has nothing to do with the Others. In fact, I think Libby is slowly emerging as an emotional leader of the Losties, and an extremely important one, because HGI has never had a chance to learn about her, and the Other that did, Goodwin, is dead.
Oh, and one more thing - even though they may be comfortable on the island, I like that Eko has taken on a construction project, whatever it ends up being. Building permanent structures is a great way to stick it to the Others. Anyway, I'm sure my thinking has all kinds of holes in it, but I'd love to hear some response to my ideas.
Okay. Wow. Longest Comment Ever. Very impressive.
First off, I just think that CFL is going to remain a “wild card” on this show. If she were in cahoots with HGI, why would she shoot him? If HGI wanted to be captured, why would he try to run away from Sayid when he was released?
I agree with you that HGI is a “grunt Other”. In fact, I think that all “Rebel Dharmites” are going to be people pretty low on the Other totem pole. I think it’s possible he let himself get captured, and it’s possible his “mission” was to do reconnaissance of the Survivors to see their interworkings.
As for Ana-Lucia commenting on “the guy with the beard”, since Sawyer, Jack, Locke, and Kate have all seen him – you would assume (although on this show you never know) that one of them mentioned him to Ana-Lucia at some point. I don’t think that Kate has yet made the connection between the fake beard and Zeke…
I still think Libby is crazy. I can’t see her being any sort of emotional leader for the group unless it benefits her well-being. As you mention, she seems to be looking out for her own well-being at all times, regardless of who that aligns her with.
Lastly, I think that HGI yelling “he’s nothing!” is more a product of him getting caught up in his emotions than any deeper meaning. It could be out of jealousy towards “Him”, anger towards “Him”, or fatigue from his three days of capture getting the best of him.
E other: thinks that this is going to be a recurring/cycle thingy? The cave that the losties 1st chance upon, there were people (or evidence of people) before them. They found the corpse, right?Like the losties entering and taking over the hatch and Desmond leaves. Before Desmond was there, there was another guy who died.So every group thinks of the other as the OTHERS?
Another good point. I wouldn’t be surprised. We’ve seen a few examples of things from the past that indicate the Island has been there for a while (Black Rock Pirate Ship, skeletons), but also things that reference time doesn’t pass normally on the Island (CFL equipment seeming far more than 16 years old, commenting “has it been that long” about how long she’s been there). There is also the intriguing line from Season One that got edited about how CFL’s team was “Studying time”.
Also – most characters on the show are wearing watches. Time really has no meaning once you’re on a desert island, so I view it as hidden symbolism that there is some sort of messed up time on the Island.
Julia: I was on IMDB two weeks ago. It says that Ian Sommerhalder is going to be back somehow on this episode.
Rule #1 of Lost – never trust ABC or their promos.
Rule #2 of Lost – never trust IMDB. Anyone can post “information” on it. It’s been way wrong in the past. It’ll be way wrong in the future. IMDB is a reference guide – meaning it’s a good place for things that already happened, not a good place for things yet to come.
Anonymous: Brian, I have a question for you. I found some info on thetailsection.com about the remaining episode titles and the centricness of each one...with the exception of the finale. I was wondering if you could confirm:
219- S.O.S. Rose/Bernard....duh
220- Two for the Road Ana Lucia
221- ? Mr. Eko
222- Three Minutes Michael
I can confirm the following schedule:
4.12 - “S.O.S” (Rose/Bernard-centric)
4.19 – No Lost (but Alias returns!)
4.26 – “Reckoning” (New “Recap” Episode to bring everyone up to speed on the season so far)
5.3 - “Two for the Road” (Ana-Lucia-centric)
5.10 - “?” (Centricity unknown)
5.17 - “Three Minutes” (Centricity unknown)
5.24 – Season Finale (Title / Centricity unknown)
Cas: Does anyone know what DHARMA stands for yet? Guesses?
Latest and Greatest Guess from Brian:
But I’m not even content with that. Watch it be something that doesn’t even include Degroot or Hanso…
Steve Poke: sure you all have thought of this, and probably dismissed it, but what if HGI was a Keiser Sose-type figure? Any time he refers to "he", he's actually talking about himself...He was captured intentionally, to find out for himself who the Losties are and what they're doing in the hatch. Thoughts?
Truth be told, I totally would have called out HGI as being a “Keiser Soze” if I didn’t use the expression two nights earlier when we found out the President was behind everything on 24. Two Keiser Soze references in one week seemed excessive and made me think my mind went there just because it was fresh in my mind.
However, looking back, I like it – remember how angry HGI got when they called Zeke his “boss” and he snapped “He’s nothing!”, it sounded as if he was insulted that they thought Zeke was more important than him.
The big thing working against this theory isn’t that he said “He’ll kill me if I talk”(this could always just be another lie), but that I don’t think the leader of the Others would be walking around the Jungle by himself, or allow himself to get captured. Shouldn’t he have bodyguards or something like that? Shouldn’t the Others be attacking the Survivors right now in an attempt to get him back? They’re not – so I think he’s a Rebel Dharmite more than anything else.
Andi: CFL said that he would lie for a very long time and only then would he tell the truth.Can we surmise that he told the truth regarding the numbers? Or is he still in the lying phase?Or was CFL lying in the first place?
I wouldn’t take CFL’s comments literally. I think she was just trying to get the point across that “He will lie and lie, and then if you torture him enough eventually he might tell you the truth.”
He might have let a few morsels of truth slip out, but I still think he’ll lie all he can do achieve whatever his goal might be and try and save himself.
That’s all for this week!