Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Okay, so “A Tale of Two Cities” and “The Glass Ballerina” didn’t really live up to my “deeper meaning” expectations – but I’ve got a lot of hope for “Further Instructions”. It’s a Locke-centric episode (always a good sign), and it’s the pivotal third episode of the season (which historically has been one of the best episodes of the season). So what are these “Instructions”?
Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane with our boy John Locke. Remember how badass and mysterious he was in Season One? He was one of the first characters to face Smokey (and survive), and emerged from the encounter with seeming newfound gifts of survival and knowledge about the Island. In return, he had a love (and almost a respect) for the Island. He gave his “I’ve looked into the eye of the Island – and what I saw was beautiful” speech and always seemed to be manipulating everyone else on the Island for his benefit. Locke felt he was brought to the Island for a reason, that he had a special purpose… and he was hellbent on finding out why, even if it meant sacrificing people in the process.
Enter the Hatch. Once Boone and Locke discovered the Hatch, Locke found his purpose. Getting inside that mysterious metal door consumed him. He didn’t really know what was inside, or why he needed to get inside, but the Island seemed to be leading him there (remember the creepy visions of dead Boone and the Beechcraft plane?)
Then came Season Two. Locke found exactly what he was looking for. Through entering the Numbers, he was saving the world – his greater purpose was as great as anyone’s purpose could be. And yet, Locke was… different. Gone were the days of badass Locke winging hunting knives at people and manipulating the rest of the Survivors. He became a slave to the Hatch, becoming a man who sat at a computer mindlessly entering numbers all day (not so different than his former, boring, pre-Island life). There was nothing more telling of Locke’s total change in character than the finale, featuring a crying Locke apologizing to Eko inside the Hatch. That was not the badass John Locke we all knew and loved.
But with the conclusion of Season Two, and the “destruction” of the Hatch, “Computer Nerd” Locke seems to be firmly behind us, and John Locke is once again is looking for meaning – for “Further Instructions”, if you will. Where does he go from here? Will Locke step in as the de facto leader of the Survivors? Will he embark on a quest to save Jack, Kate, and Sawyer? Will he shift his focus to another Dharma Station (back to the Pearl, perhaps?) in his quest to better understand the Island?
Maybe eventually, but there seems to be more pressing matters for Locke this week – namely, saving Eko…
TV.com Description: The aftermath of the hatch and its implosion results with Locke and Desmond safely alive. However, Mr. Eko remains in grave danger with Locke trying to save him. Meanwhile, Claire is stunned to see castaways Paulo and Nikki having sex in Jack's tent. Also, Hurley discusses in detail to the camp survivors on what it was like being captured by the “Others.” Lastly, flashbacks reveal more about Locke’s past. Locke also begins to come to terms with his involvement in Boone’s death.
TV.com Breakdown: Wow. Best episode description ever. Seriously, our typical episode descriptions give us one or two generic sentences about the episode, revealing little of what is actually going to happen. This is like a Cliff’s Notes summary of the episode! I had a hunch this episode would be huge after looking at the third episodes of the first two seasons, but after reading that description, it confirms it – this will be the best episode of Lost so far this year. Where to begin?
After spending Episode One entirely with the Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the Others; then spending Episode Two splitting time between them and Sayid, Sun, and Jin, we’re finally getting back to the rest of the Survivors. Finally! While my most pressing questions about Lost revolve around Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the Others – it’ll be nice to see the rest of the amazing ensemble cast again.
As predicted by most everyone this summer, Locke, Desmond, and Eko all survived the white light Hatch meltdown from last season. No big surprise there. The intriguing thing is, based on the episode preview, they aren’t all stumbling out of the Hatch together – they seem to be scattered all over the place in the Jungle. I suppose the meltdown could have “thrown” them out the Hatch – but doing so without totally beating them to death seems pretty amazing. It makes you start to wonder, as the producers have suggested we start thinking about, what exactly happened when the meltdown occurred… How will each be affected?
The one specific thing the episode preview tells us is that Eko isn’t in the clear yet. He’s not just in danger, he’s in “grave danger” – that’s the worst kind! What on the Island could possibly put someone in such a perilous state? CFL? The Others? Trapped somewhere with Claire blabbering about her “babay” being in danger? Nope, nope, and please God no – the only thing I can think of is our old friend Smokey the Smoke Monster. Why? Well, think about how well it would all fit together…
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Smokey (although producers hint we saw him last season and we didn’t even know it – which I have no explanation for), so we’re due for a reappearance. It hasn’t been since Eko’s encounter with it during “The 23rd Pslam”, which coincidentally was the most we’ve ever seen of our favorite magical smoke friend (well, maybe second favorite – can’t forget about Puff). Eko and Locke are the only two who have successfully stood face to face (face to smoke?) with Smokey and lived, so it would reason they are the two most “knowledgeable” about it. We’ve also been promised that we would learn much more about the nature and purpose of Smokey this season.
Therefore, if Eko is in “grave danger” from Smokey, the most logical choice to rescue him becomes John Locke. I could also see this “encounter” giving Locke his new purpose for the Island – much like his first encounter with Smokey gave him his initial purpose on the Island. Exciting!
(Sidebar: I’m also kicking around the notion of Locke “killing” Smokey. I don’t know why, or how this would even be possible, but I just get this feeling that something big is going to happen. The producers have hinted that they would be “wrapping up” some un-answered storylines from the first two seasons early in Season Three to make room for some new storylines starting up. I would say the “mysterious monster” storyline would qualify. It’s clearly not critical to the overall story of the show, since it has disappeared for huge chunks of Seasons One and Two without having any huge impact on Lost. It also just seems like the perfect “circle of life” ending to the whole Smoke Monster storyline. Locke serving as the hero, saving Eko, and killing the very thing that gave him his powers.
From a thematic view, one could argue that the first two seasons were really focused on fear of the unknown – Smokey, Desmond, the Others, etc – and how our Survivors discovered and dealt with them. But now, with the integration of the Others (who we can assume know much, if not all about what is going on on the Island), I feel like the answers to these “unknowns” are going to start coming. I’m expecting the theme is going to switch to a more action-based, “how do we get off the Island?” deal... and if it does, Locke ending Smokey seems like a great way to wrap up the storyline. But I digress…)
Elsewhere, we’re finally going to be introduced to the other two new series regulars this season, Paulo and Nikki – and what better way to meet a new friend than with a steamy sex scene? In case you can’t identify the new characters through their sinning in Jack’s tent, here are a few pictures from their pre-Lost lives:
I like what Paulo and Nikki represent (hot steamy lovers! I mean...) – the “background” characters we’ve seen milling around, attending funerals, carrying rocks, finally getting their time to shine, to step forward and introduce some “fresh” characters without needing another plane or boat to crash. (It really was a genius move on the part of the Lost creators to have these background characters never be identified in the first two seasons.) Expect Claire to have a minor freak-out session upon discovering the love muffins in Jack’s tent, since other individuals taking over Jack’s tent seemingly represents Jack being gone and never coming back, so his possessions are up for grabs.
These feelings will be exacerbated by Hurley’s return, when he describes how they were quickly and efficiently taken down and captured by the Others, helpless against them. I’m expecting a major freak out session among the rest of the Survivors when they realize that three of their strongest members were no match for these mysterious “Others”. Someone is going to need to step up and calm everyone down and organize them. With Sayid still away, and Locke off saving Eko, I’m looking to newcomer Paulo to be the man to do so.
Lastly, after Locke spent last season pretty remorseless over Boone’s death, he seems to finally be dealing with it. Up until this point, he could justify the death as being part of the path he was on – leading him to the Numbers, which were saving the world. Now that they’re gone, and the world didn’t end, he’s forced to look in the mirror and justify where all his actions got him. He’s back at square one, again looking for purpose on the Island, again looking for “Further Instructions”.
Previously on Lost…
Back to last week’s episode. I gave you my Instant Reactions a few days ago. Now it’s time for my more well thought out analysis, which should be a little lighter on the crazy (Sun killing Jae? What was I thinking? I don’t remember drinking during Lost last week)…
Groups. Although a lot about The Others still remains a mystery, the one glaring piece of the puzzle that I could never fit were the costumes that they wore. If you think about it, the only reasons someone would wear a costume is to either hide from someone or trick someone (or possibly to get free candy). But two episodes into the third season, it doesn’t seem like the Others are hiding from anyone. On the contrary, they’ve actually intentionally interacted with our Survivors (the opposite of hiding). Likewise, although they might be outnumbered by the Survivors, they’ve got much more knowledge on their side, which gives them the power edge.
So it’s pretty clear to me that the Others aren’t donning their derelict Mugatu costumes for the sake of the Survivors. But why? Say hello to my newest group on the Island – one I’ll term “Experiment Rejects”.
So who are these “Rejects”? I think they’re the victims or products of whatever messed up experiments Dharma was carrying out on the Island. Think about those freaky feet we saw early last season creeping through the jungle. Now, after spending two episodes with the Others, they don’t seem very Other-like, do they? There was something supernatural about them, something very disturbing about the way they were dragging an old Teddy Bear around. While the Others certainly seem to have some stealthiness about them, it’s nothing compared to these guys:
When you start adding all the clues in your head it starts to makes sense. A picture starts to form. We’ve seen the Others obsession with children. We know Dharma was working on experiments to extend life, messing with the ability to accelerate or slow down the aging process. Who would be carrying a dirty Teddy Bear? A child who has aged unnaturally fast, and is clinging on to their only memory of youth. How about the creepy whispers we’ve heard from time to time? Remember the Dharma experiments dealing with mind-reading and telepathy? What if it’s just the byproduct of these Rejects communicating with each other? Remember Kelvin? He was Dharma, and yet spoke of the “Hostiles” that he needed to avoid. There has to be a third party, a dangerous party to the Others that are in the mix – and it’s none other than the Rejects.
What about the Others disguises? Well, if these Rejects are as savage as I think (the result of numerous torturous Dharma experiments over the years), it’s in your best interest to blend in with them – thus the Others’ disguises to look like them. I’m thinking that the Rejects have the power, but the Others have the brains, and are effectively outsmarting the Rejects by traveling around the Island incognito.
This also would validate Ben’s claim that “they’re the good guys”. They’re the civilized guys. They’re the ones the Survivors can trust (hard as that may be to believe now). From a story-telling point of view, it gives us “bad guys” on the Island, bringing back the fear that we’ve somewhat lost as we’ve learned more about the Island (note: this would be especially critical if Smokey is gone after this episode, as I insanely predicted earlier) – you need that tension, that fear of the unknown in the jungle – and the Rejects provide just that.
So, for those of you playing at home, we’re now looking at the following on the Island:
- Survivors (Jack and Co.)
- Others (Ben and Co.)
- Rebels (Alex and Co.)
- Rejects (TBA and Co.)
Boat. The other thing that’s been puzzling me is why Ben was so concerned that our Survivors had a boat. Based on our assumption that the Others can come and go from the Island as they please, there would be no reason for the Others to need that boat for escape from the Island, or anything of that nature. We’ve seen that the Others camp is smack in the middle of the Island, so it’s not as though they’re afraid that the Survivors would stumble upon it if they had a boat. Heck, Ben gave Michael a boat, along with the coordinates to get away from the Island. If they were concerned about something off the coast, don’t you think Desmond would have run into it as he sailed in circles around the Island for the prior month?
So why did he freak out? The only plausible explanation that I can think of is that the boat provides any of the Survivors with a means to get off the Island, and Ben wants to keep them there. Giving Michael the boat was controlled. Michael and Walt got on the boat, and left (and even that was after the Others had presumably “gotten all they could” from Walt). There was no chance of anyone else jumping on board since Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley were all bound and gagged at the time. However, this new boat introduces a wild card. Literally any of the Survivors could hop on board and sail away – and that’s not something the Others are ready for.
The Survivors provide the Others with fresh skills and resources – they could be anything from workers (Sawyer) to experiment test subjects (Walt) to tasty eye candy (Kate). Although the Others seem to have access to resources (through the perpetual supply drops), the one resource they might lack is people. As a commenter noted, you don’t see any Other Kids running around, do you? The Survivors might provide the one thing they need – fresh blood. The Others have plans for them, and they’re not ready to lose any of them yet.
Offer. Speaking of these plans, what do we make of the offer Ben made to Jack? Ben seems to have a very specific request in mind for what he wants from Jack, yet didn’t come out and say it – why? Since Jack is a doctor, it seems the logical answer that they need Jack for some medical purpose. The really intriguing thing is that an episode description a few weeks from now mentions something about “Jack tending to a wounded Other”.
Could Ben have somehow known that this event was forthcoming, and know that he would need Jack to save his fellow Other? It sounds a bit too sci-fi for me, but it would help tie together a few dangling storylines – like why the Others didn’t take Jack, Kate, and Sawyer when they had the chance. This information could have been garnered from kidnapped Walt, using his crazy special “powers”, after the Jungle encounter between the Others and Jack. They’ve kidnapped them, and they’re trying to win him over, knowing that they will need his help down the road.
It fits nice – but is a tad too supernatural for my liking, especially for a show that claims that all its mysteries will be explained by science. We’ll see…
Comments on Comments. But enough of my crazy ramblings. Time for your crazy ramblings! And my crazy rambling responses to them….
Mike said… As for Jae's death... the fact that he was holding the pearls that Sun rejected leads me to believe it was suicide. I think this was one of the best sequences of flashbacks in a while, especially how Jae knew exactly why Jin was beating him even though Jin DID NOT know why he was beating him. That is really good writing.
You’re absolutely right. Jin beats the crap out of Jae and Jae thinks that Sun has told him about their affair, effectively ending it. Since he can’t bear to live a life without her, he grabs the pearls (a memory of her) and jumps out the window, giving up on life. Little does he know that Jin doesn’t know the truth and Sun didn’t tell him. It’s like a Shakespearian tragedy! Great, great writing.
Trixie said… Usually I'm not one for wack-a-doo theories.. but wasn't part of the initiative tests having to do with extending life expectancy?? If so, here's my submission. Juliette is .. oh around 80 yrs old... just doesn't look it. When Benry was whining that he didn't get soup made for him, I took it as at one time, Ben was cared for/trained by Juliette like Jack is now (perhaps from a baby forward as he's been on the island all his life)... also explains her older musical choices and also points to the comment in the 1st episode about who she was "a long time ago". Perhaps they all just aren't aging, and if they leave the island, they do.
It’s wack-a-doo alright, but it would also make total sense given everything we’ve seen so far this season. However, I think it also skews a bit too “nerd sci-fi” for Lost – although it is an intriguing concept. Good thinking!
THE GREAT ONE said… Does it bother anyone else that the Others know EVERYTHING about the survivors?? we know the two spies, ethan and the other dude, did not get that much info. And even with contact with the outside world, there is no way they can gather that much info at once about a bunch of people from all around the world. They know way too mcuh for ppl that they have lived with for 70 days...there is something behind the others, supporting them.
That’s a really good point. I could see them getting a ton of information about someone like Jack (doctor), Charlie (former star), or Sun (rich), but what about someone like Locke, who was pretty much a nobody in his former life? I know there’s no such thing as privacy anymore in this age of phone taps, Internet monitoring, and surveillance cameras, but it still seems like a bit of a stretch. Maybe they have some sort of government CIA / FBI / CSI computer on the Island that they’re using to gather all the information about each of the Survivors from around the world. Big Brother (1984, not crappy CBS show reference) is watching us!
Jenn said… I'm just really bothered right now in how CFL could know the island so well but not know more about the Others. How come they don't seem to know/care about her? How come she is still walking free? Weird.
Seriously. I don’t trust her. How has she never stumbled upon the Other’s cul-de-sac during her sixteen years of wandering around the Island? Why don’t the Others care about her? She’s a wild card, which makes me think the Others have either a) already used her for whatever they needed her for – and she’s in effect, a “Reject” or b) have plans for her in the future and the time hasn’t come yet.
Hobbes said… In Alvar Hanso's numbers revealed video he comments to the Dharma initiates how before they (the newbies) get sent to a top secret facility (the island) he makes reference that they will go through "induction counseling and survival training". Of course that could just mean "here's a pamphlet and a box of matches." But as some of you have been thinking what if Jack or Kate or Sawyer are going through a similer procedure. Maybe it has to do with the One True Way or Dharma. Possibly all of The Others do or have gone through it at some time.
Exactly. Like an initiation of sorts to join Club Others. Also, think about this – both Kate and Sawyer (the two who are doing the slave labor) are the two of the certified KILLERS out of the Survivors. As much as we love them for their hot bods (I mean, “personalities”) they’re criminals, and maybe this is the way the Others are carrying out punishment for their crimes.
And with that, I’m spent. Good stuff as always loyal readers! Keep the great comments coming. Enjoy this week – I hope I didn’t hype it up too much (as I tend to do with pretty much everything I love in life), but I’m honestly giddy about it.
If you’re bored killing the time between now and 9:00 pm tonight, go ahead and relentlessly click on those Google ads on the top of the page. I think I get a lot more money when people click on them vs. when people just visit the page. And we all know, I’m only in this for the money. Well, that and the women.