The last five minutes in particular were amazing. Even for me, who was expecting Ana-Lucia to die, watching the last scene unfold had my brain working overtime. First, with Michael waking up, I came to the realization - "Oh my God, he's going to kill her and let HGI escape", then watching it happen, followed by the shocking Libby shooting, I was literally sitting with my jaw dropped. Great, great storytelling.
So what happened?
Michael. As we all guessed, he was not the same (Ben Folds style). He's either been brainwashed / hypnotized / drugged by the Others, or was simply given an ultimatum that he is carrying out: "Free HGI and lead the other Survivors into a trap, and we'll give you Walt back". (If it was as simple as "Kill Ana-Lucia and free HGI and you'll get Walt back", Michael wouldn't need to go on and on about how they need to attack the Others because they're so weak, blah blah blah. The Others clearly want to draw the Survivors to them… but why? I still stand by my statement that they're working towards a greater good. Intriguing...)
The good news is, we're due for a Michael flashback two weeks from now that should reveal the full extent of his experience with the Others (and give us our first true look at the Others and how they live!).
The real question is - now what? Regardless of his motives, Michael has gone to the point of no return - and I don't think there's any coming back from it. Sure he's always been obsessed with getting Walt back no matter what the cost, but it never went as far as actually KILLING someone. That's pretty serious, and I don’t think you'll get a "Oh, he was just doing it for Walt" get-out-of-jail-free card from everyone else about it. I suppose if they are able to determine and prove that he was under some sort of hypnotic trance when he busted up the Hatch, he could work his way back in the fold (and we'd have the interesting storyline of Michael dealing with his tortured soul after realizing what he did), but I really think this is the beginning of the end for Michael.
At this point, there are only two viable options I see for the Michael storyline:
Option 1: Become a full-fledged Other. Michael can't return to life with the Survivors. I doubt he could survive out in the Jungle very long by himself. Plus, I don't really see the Others giving Walt back to Michael, regardless of what acts Michael carries out for them. They have made it abundantly clear that Walt is the most important thing. More likey the bargain was "Free HGI and lead the Survivors into a trap, and we'll let you come live with us… with Walt." The only question then becomes - are they trustworthy? Or once Michael carries out his tasks, will they just kill him?
Option 2: Die. Probably the more likely option. Either our Survivors discover his treachery and take them out, the Others kill him (in the scenario from Option 1), or he merely gets himself killed doing something stupid in an attempt to get Walt (swimming after him as the Others take him away on a boat, running into the Smoke Monster, etc.) The Jungle is a dangerous place, and Michael could end up being an enemy of both our Survivors and the Others, making it even more dangerous.
Again, a lot of this depends on if he indeed "struck a deal" with the Others, and if so - if the Others are trustworthy or not.
Footnote – there seems to be some confusion as to what Michael actually did. His goal was to get HGI out of the Hatch. Killing Ana-Lucia and Libby (?) were unfortunate side effects of this plan (thus, Michael apologizing to Ana-Lucia before he shot her and looking sad when he accidentally shot Libby). He then shot himself (to make it look like HGI attacked him also – Jack Bauer style!) and let HGI go.
Ana-Lucia. Once again, if you have sex on a TV show, you die. Just like in real life. When will they learn? The good news is, much like Shannon, the writers gave her a fitting send off by letting the audience feel empathy for her before killing her. Seriously, who didn't feel sad for her when she's on the phone with her mom at the airport at the end? She had seemed to kick her dependence on alcohol, was about to get her life back in order and reuinte with her family, and then BAM. I really feel like her story was completed after her flashbacks last night, which is nice (unlike Libby…). The character truly came full circle. Tough female cop has tragedy that leads her to the dark side, becomes an alcoholic, goes to Australia with a strange older man, hits rock bottom, then picks herself up and turns her life around before being tragically killed on a mystery Island after a plane crash. It's a tale as old as time...
As for all the chatter about her being kicked off the show for being a boozehound (mostly from me), it turns out to not quite be true. Check out this interview with the show's creators that was posted right after last night's episode:
Was it always your intention to use Ana Lucia as a one-season character?
Damon Lindelof: A lot of this is going to sound like spin, so all we can give you is our word that this is exactly what happened. Around late February of last year, we started throwing our respective lines in the water to find the leader of the tail section, who we knew was going to be a Latina woman and who would be conceived as a romantic foil for Jack. We wanted her to be in her mid-thirties and be a detective from the LAPD. So we started putting out feelers unofficially because we wanted her to show up in the penultimate episode of last year. That way, when we started our plan for Season 2, it wouldn't feel like we had pulled her out of our asses. So, right around that time...
Carlton Cuse: I got a call from Michelle's agent saying, "Would you guys be interested in Michelle Rodriguez? But she's really only interested in being on the show for a year."
Damon: So we basically said, "A year is not necessarily ideal for us, but let's bring in Michelle and have the meeting." And she came in and met with Carlton and I and then, in the last 15 minutes, J.J. [Abrams] happened to be across the way doing some Alias stuff and he came over and sat down with her and we just hung out with her and chatted. It turned out that she worked in Hawaii on Blue Crush and knew a lot of people down there. But she made it very clear in that meeting that she's sort of a nomadic spirit and she did not want to commit to doing any more than [one season]. She wanted to do one kickass arc, as she described it, and we basically started to wrap our brains around her energy and say, "Yeah, we'll bring you on the show and then we'll kill you off at the end of the year." And she was totally cool with it and we were totally cool with it, and we parted ways and talked amongst ourselves. Obviously, the network and the studio normally don't want to get into a situation where they're not making multiyear deals, but we assured them that this was in fact the plan, and that even if Michelle was a rocking sensation on the show, we were going to stick to the plan. So they signed off on it and made the deal accordingly.
And then the DUI...
Carlton: Then she got this DUI and Damon and I looked at each other and we were like, "Oh, great. Everybody is going to think we're killing her off because she got a DUI." But there really wasn't anything we could do about that. I mean, the story was set. We had made plans. With Lost, we think it out well ahead of when we actually shoot it. We thought about altering our plan, but [this] was in fact what was best for the show. The fact that she got a DUI would come and go and what would live on would be the show, and our plan was still the best plan for the character. Ironically, we actually thought about changing it the other way around once [the DUI] happened, but it really was the best story. We wanted to tell the best story.
Damon: And obviously that decision was further mitigated by the fact that Libby is shot at the same time as Ana Lucia. Basically then we said, "Oh, s--t. Both Michelle and Cynthia were busted the same night for DUI and we've got this story point coming up where they essentially both get shot at the same time, so it's going to look like this is the Lost producers attempt to say, 'Don't drive drunk!'" But as Carlton says, all it created in us was [the thought that], "Maybe we shouldn't do the plan now, 'cause people are going to think this is a reaction to [the DUIs], as opposed to this [plan] existing prior to that event."
Carlton: As you'll see, everything that happens for the rest of the season all sort of falls from this event. And we're not doing ourselves or the fans of the show or the show itself any service by altering those plans because of Michelle's extracurricular activities.
Damon: Not to mention that we didn't even know if that option would be available to us. We were still functioning under the auspices of that meeting, which was Michelle saying, "I want to do a year and then move on."
Did you meet with Michelle to make sure everyone was still on the same page?
Damon: Michelle happened to be [in Los Angeles] and she came by to see us. We basically said to her, "So we’re going to stay on course." And at that point, Michelle was kinda like, "Hey, I'm living in Hawaii...." She might have been able to wrap her brain around [staying] a little bit longer on the show, but she did not say, "I want to stay on the show!" She was basically like, "Yeah. That's a good plan."
Carlton: And once we told her what was happening, she was incredibly supportive. She thought it was sort of a kickass way to go, and she got very on board with the idea of how she was going to be exiting the show.
Rumor has it she was a hard-ass on the set and everyone hated her. Care to set the record straight?
Damon: We're not in Hawaii on the set so all we can speak to is our working relationship with Michelle and what we have heard from the other actors and directors on the show, and we never heard anything remotely resembling that she was a hard-ass. You know, she's Michelle. She's got a very playful spirit. But she's totally professional and got along well with all the other actors. We get calls over the course of our career about difficult actors. We did not get those calls about Michelle.
Also, did anyone else notice that when Locke lies about stuff... people die? First there was Locke lying about Boone's "accident" that resulted in Jack treating him inappropriately (leading to his death), now Locke lies about how Ana-Lucia got injured and she ends up dead.
Basically, if you lie or have sex, people will die. Good life lessons.
Tom. Jack's Dad’s “code name”. Apparently he has an illegitimate daughter with this woman:
Our first assumption is to think of the only female Aussie on our Island (Claire), but even for a show that seems to have everyone’s lives intertwined this feels a bit “soap opera-y”. The only problem is, unless this daughter ends up being on the Island, or someone else (in addition to Ana-Lucia and Sawyer) also interacted with Jack’s Dad, we’ll never find out any more – which seems unlikely.
But the real question is - why did he need protection? He hit the sauce for a few days, then drove over to a lady’s house in the pouring rain to ask about his daughter. What was he afraid she was going to do? Attack him? Did he “hire” Ana-Lucia to protect him, or to protect her from him? The flashback, which it explains why Ana-Lucia was in Australia and neatly tied up her story, didn’t really make too much sense.
As much as I hate to say it, (because it feels like some sort of retread between Irina Derevko and Darth Vader) the more we see things like this the more inclined am I to feel like Christian Shepherd somehow has a hand in everything going on with the Island as well as everyone on the Island. I’m tempted to start wondering if he’s the “Great One” HGI was referring to, but that would be crazy thoughts for now. Keep it on the back burner.
Speaking of crazy…
Libby. Is she really dead? Based on the previews for next week (and the logical conclusion of her character arc), Ana-Lucia is definitely dead. But Libby? Not only did she never get a flashback of her own, but they teased us by showing her in the mental institution in one of Hurley’s. That seems a bit cruel and unusual. Could it be that she has simply been a red herring all along? Can blankets save you from bullets? Let’s weigh the pros and cons:
- She was shot multiple times
- She’s on an Island without good medical facilities (even with super-doc Jack)
- The episode was called “Two for the Road” (if only Ana-Lucia died, that's "One for the Road")
- She and Ana-Lucia both got DUIs on the same night (say, out drowning their sorrows after they found out they would both be getting killed off the show or after filming their final scenes?)
- She died right after getting some romance, just like Shannon and Ana-Lucia
- If she’s alive, Michael is busted
- Next week’s previews show Hurley crying (he hearted her!)
- She had blankets to cushion the blow of the bullets (umm… right...)
- She never got a backstory
- She appeared in Hurley’s backstory – even a worse tease that not having one of her own!
- Killing two Tailers and no Survivors seems unfair
- She could be “in a coma”, allowing Michael’s treachery to continue for a few episodes
- Next week’s previews show them saying “She’s dead” instead of “They’re dead”
It’s a tough call, but I’m leaning towards “She’s Dead” – making her an intentional red herring the show’s creators threw our way. I mean, how many of us were certain that she had to be an Other at some point? (Brian raises hand)
Even if Hurley suddenly remembers her from the Mental Institution, that wouldn’t explain who she was or how she got on the Island. He would just think “Wait, I saw her in the Hospital” – and it would go nowhere from there. The only way that would happen is if she appeared in someone else’s flashbacks (like Jack’s father this week). That could give us the explanation about her life in a bittersweet “too little too late” fashion, that makes us mourn her even more.
HGI. He’s free! Like I said, death or escape both achieve the same goals – get him (and his knowledge of the Island) away from our Survivors. It also very interestingly shifts the “Bad Guy” from HGI to Michael for the remainder of the season. Is this goodbye to HGI? Is he going to end up dead at the hands of the Others? Was his mission really to “bring Locke back?”
Initially, I thought that HGI was a Rebel Dharmite – but the more he talked, the more he sounded like a Card Carrying Dharmite, espousing the greatness of his leader, and fearing the repercussions from failing him on a mission. But what was his mission?
Although the logical one would be reconnaissance of the Survivors, with Michael now under their powers – he could easily give them any information they needed about his fellow Survivors. Why send HGI on a mission to potentially gather information you already have?
If his mission was to “cause a division among the Survivors”, he didn’t really accomplish that either. In fact, Locke and Jack seem closer than ever now (at least they did pre-Ana-Lucia death).
Is it possible he legitimately just got caught?
Or is it possible that indeed he was coming for Locke? Locke’s argument is a good one – he had the chance to kill him when he was under the Blast Door and didn’t. For that matter, he had chances to attack Jack, Eko, and Sayid at some point or another during his stay in the Hatch… and didn’t.
It’s possible that he thrust out at Ana-Lucia in rage since she did kill two Others… but so did Eko. But if Locke was a “good one”, wouldn’t they have come for him right away – like they did to the Tailers, instead of waiting over a month?
I don’t know. Ironically, with HGI gone, I have more questions about him and what his goals were than I had when he was in the Hatch. We’ll have to see how his story continues to unfold…
The Lost Experience. Okay, I kinda jumped into the explanation of the Hanso Commercial and website without much warning last night (mostly due to the numerous requests for information about it from other people), but let's back up for a minute.
ABC and the creators of Lost decided to launch an "ARG" (Alternate Reality Game) this summer around the show, to help entertain us during the summer season so that we're not forced to "go outside and enjoy nature" or "socialize with real people." Thank God!
These things were invented way back in the day, but have recently become popular thanks to the Internet. It's called "Alternate Reality" because all the information you see about it is presented as if it were reality. The Hanso website looks like a legitimate website for a real organization. It's often very hard to distinguish between true websites involved in the ARG and fan-created ones trying to trick you (that's why I'm here - I'll be sure to let you know).
The whole point of an ARG is to allow the obsessive compulsive fans to delve deeper into the mythology or background of a story without boring the average viewer with it. In this case, it looks like the Lost Experience will give us insight to the history of Hanso and its current state.
There are a few important points to keep in mind:
- The televised program is still king. There won't be anything in the ARG that would prevent the average Lost viewer from understanding the storyline or what is going on. Don't be surprised if we spend all summer learning about past failed Dharma experiments that are never mentioned on the show itself – or referenced subtly in the background (such as the Bad Twin book).
- Many will be concerned with discovering “secrets” in the websites, rather than trying to understand what they mean in the greater story. Already I’ve seen multiple people going crazy about finding hidden images or words – but very few people are actually stepping back and examining them, asking the “why” questions, which are really the key to why we should care.
- Historically, these things have gotten so convoluted that even the most diehard fans struggle to keep up. I’ll try and keep you guys posted with the most relevant information as it becomes uncovered.
- There will be discrepancies between the show and the game. Chances are, although the show’s creators might have given a general “theme” for the game, chances are many of the details are being created by a separate creative team. This leads to differences that eagle eyed fans might notice and read too much into – such as the date that the picture of Alfred Hanso was taken vs. the date of the Swan Hatch film, etc. Although the makers of Lost have taken great care to make sure every detail is okay, if there was anywhere that they would start to slip, it would be in this game.
So here’s the game so far:
The Lost Experience is running alongside the second season of Lost in the UK, and during the break between season 2 and 3 in the United States and Canada.
The UK was the first to receive clues for the game on Tuesday May 2, 2006 in the form of a commercial for the fictional Hanso Foundation during a commercial break in the premiere of the series' second season. The commercial was again repeated during the subsequent second and third episodes shown that evening.
The commercial gave viewers a telephone number (0800 66 66 40) which when called gave the information listed in the post below.
The same commercial aired during last night’s Lost in the United States, giving the phone number 1-877-HANSORG (which has been plagued with busy signals and circuit overload in poor planning by ABC). Thus far the first US clue seems to be identical to the UK clue. Australians received the same clue the following night during their episode of Lost. It’s truly a worldwide game, which is intriguing given that the United States is almost a full season ahead of the UK and Australia in terms of episodes.
The only “Official Website” in the ARG thus far is The Hanso Foundation, although other websites are sure to follow. At this point, only a few areas of the The Hanso Foundation appear accessible – but look for this to change as the summer approaches.
Should you care?
The game will undoubtedly provide a good deal of entertainment to uber-nerds like myself who love to crack the mysteries of Lost and understand the greater meaning behind it all. To the average viewer, they serve as a “neat” form of advertisement that makes Lost seem more and more real.
In the end, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up totally obsessed with this game. So rest assured there will be posts about it in the future as the story develops. Thus far, we’re looking at a tale of Genetic Engineering gone terribly wrong, power struggles among the Senior Management of Hanso, and the hints of a Rebel Dharmite by the name of Persiphone.