Monday, October 09, 2006

Lost - "The Glass Ballerina" (and "A Tale of Two Cities" Breakdown)

Did you miss me? After nearly two and a half straight weeks of traveling, I’m finally back to the Delta House and ready to talk Lost. Although most of you have already discussed and forgotten last week's episode, I'll go ahead and rehash it before we get to this week's episode...

One Word Review for “A Tale of Two Cities”: UNDERWHELMED.

I know a lot of people loved this episode, but it didn’t connect with me the way the Season One or Two premieres did. I thought the opening was great (giving nice parallels between Desmond starting the day in Season Two) and giving us a “where in the world are we?!” moment (just like Season Two), but after that we didn’t get much.

There were hints that some bad times were coming up for Kate and Sawyer, there was the mystery about how Juliet knew so much about Jack, but the storyline didn’t really move anywhere.

I guess I was disappointed that we didn’t get any insight into the Others’ intentions with our Survivors. I also would have liked to at least get a scene or two back at camp to confirm the fates of Locke, Desmond, and Eko instead of solely focusing on Kate, Jack, and Sawyer. In the end, I guess it boiled down to the fact that nothing in the episode really surprised me.

But enough complaining. It was still a very solid episode. Ben (the artist formerly known as HGI) still can scare the hell out of you just by looking at the screen. The character of Juliet is introduced and delivers a great multi-layered performance (more on her later). After a four month hiatus, any Lost is a good Lost.

Let’s get analyzing…

Book Club. So it turns out that the Others actually seem to be living in a Wisteria-Lane-esque village in the central part of the Island.

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From our brief glimpse into their lifestyle, we can interpret a lot about the Others:

  1. They are not worried about “survival”. Unlike our Survivors, who have had to contend with finding food, water, and shelter, in addition to fending off wild boars, Smoke Monsters, and Crazy French Ladies, the Others seem to be living a pretty mundane existence (see: Book Club).
  2. They have access to the outside world. Even with all the Dharma supplies and facilities we’ve seen on the Island (including the ration drop last season), the Others had multiple copies of the Stephen King book “Carrie”. If they’re having a book club, reading different books each week / month, clearly they have a way to get these books to the Island. Also, the dossier on Jack? They must have pulled that information from somewhere (Internet?).
  3. They are not worried about getting off the Island. If the Others were truly “stuck” on the Island, they wouldn’t be living in the center of the Island – they’d be living on the coast, where you’re more likely to be seen by a passing airplane / ship. They want to be there.
  4. They are normal. After Ethan’s seeming super-human strength in Season One, and Ben’s (it still feels really weird to write that instead of HGI) ability to withstand torture in Season Two, you might start to think that these Others are a race of superhuman soldiers trained for battle. But one of the first things we saw was Juliet burning herself with the oven. If you prick an Other, they bleed.
  5. They knew nothing about our Survivors. They didn’t cause Flight 815 to crash. They didn’t orchestrate getting specific individuals on the plane. When they looked up and saw the plane coming apart in the sky, the first thing Ben requested was that Goodwin and Ethan go “listen, learn, and don’t get involved.” They weren’t sure if there were any survivors or not, let alone who these survivors were.

So who are they? I think I’m finally ready to drop my “Rebel Dharmite” theory for a new one, which I’ll term “Former Dharmites”.

Former Dharmites. When Jack asked Juliet about Dharma, she said “That was a long time ago.” From the Lost Experience Game over the summer, we learned a lot about Dharma. They thought the world was about to come to an end. They thought they could prevent this from happening through the experiments being carried out on the Island. They also failed.

The question becomes – if this is all true, why are they still on the Island? Do they think the outside world is gone? That the end of the world came and went and they’re the only ones left? Not likely, since we’ve already established that they have access to the outside world and supplies. Maybe they were just sick and tired of rush hour traffic, and decided permanently living on an Island paradise was a better idea? If that was the case, why not just move to Wyoming?

Well, what if the end of the world they were working to prevent wasn’t like in the movies (nuclear bombs and alien attacks), but the proliferation of some sort of virus around the human race (which might eventually lead to the end of the world)?

We’ve now established that Ethan / Tom are part of the Others. Both have been involved in actions involving injecting the 4-8-15-16-23-42 medicine into Claire / Aaron. When they saw Flight 815 crash, their reaction wasn’t “Wow! There’s a plane – the outside world must still exist!” It was more of an “Uh-oh – this plane is crashing our party, there might be survivors, we need to deal with them.”

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However, they didn’t just kill the potential cootie carriers off immediately. They approached them cautiously and learned about them. Perhaps the virus isn’t contagious, so as long as the Others are still getting their 4-8-15-16-23-42 medicine, I don’t know. The Others are still scientists, carrying out some sort of freaky experiments on the Island (see: Walt). But perhaps their goals changed once “Dharma failed”. Maybe they’re no longer concerned about saving the world, but in saving themselves. I’m not sure.

Some of the details are still a little fuzzy, and I welcome your input here, but this “Former Dharmite” theory is my best guess at this point. The thing that saddens me about this theory is that the “Rebel Dharmite vs. Dharma vs. Survivors” storyline was much more intriguing to me – but it seems that we’re down to just two groups of the Island: The Others and The Survivors.

But I digress, back to the details of the life of the Others…

Carrie. If I were a betting man, and you told me that in a Lost episode titled “A Tale of Two Cities” there would be a Book Club, I would bet the house on the fact that the book they would read in said Book Club would be “A Tale of Two Cities”. But Lost is tricky! Instead, we find they’re reading Stephen King’s “Carrie”.

For those of you unfamiliar with the book or movie, Carrie is basically about a high school girl (named Carrie, who would have guessed?!) who is tortured by mean kids at school and her uber-religious mother at home. Lucky for her, she finds out she has telekinetic powers that let her get supernatural payback on those who have wronged her.

Where’s the connection to Lost?

Well, besides the obvious telekinetic connection to Walt, what about Juliet? She seemed awfully sad at the episode’s start, as if she was about to cry. There’s some obvious tension / conflict between her and Ben. Could it be that she is also being tormented by the Others as a sort of “outcast” among them? It was pretty obvious that they were at odds with some of her decisions, saying things like “Ben would never have picked this book”, but I think it could go farther.

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Remember her line right before the plane crash? “Free Will still exists on this Island!” Maybe there are Rebel Dharmites after all, even if it’s just Juliet (and maybe that guy in the cage next to Sawyer). It’s clear that Ben is running the show, and everyone is pretty much everyone following him without question. But remember Ben’s line in the Hatch last season, referring to a “Him” who was clearly more powerful and higher ranking than he was? I’m more intrigued than ever to find out who that might be…

Music. One more quick thing about Juliet / the intro before we move on. The song played in the beginning was “Downtown” by Petula Clark. The first part of the song clearly seems to be speaking to Juliet’s current state of mind…

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown.”

Some have hinted that Juliet and Ben used to have a relationship, which is the cause of their current tension, but I didn’t get that feeling. However, this song would seem to strengthen that argument. I’m still sticking with Juliet being a “Rebel” for now. Anyways, the other part of the song that is intriguing is this line:

“And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you,
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along.”

I could very easily see this tying Juliet to Jack. Maybe it’s all an act on her part, but she does seem genuinely concerned with his well being. Assuming she is sick and tired of the Former Dharmite life, I’d look for her to be the one to help Jack and Co. escape (and serve as a future love interest, perchance?).

Blood. Which brings us to Kate, Jack, and Sawyer. Like I said, we got very little information about why the Others chose these three Survivors, but there are a few nuggets of information we picked up last episode.

For instance, they made a point of showing each of them ripping off a bandage from the inside of their arms. Although Juliet made reference of administering Jack a sedative, this bandage is more likely indicative of drawing blood from each of them. But why? Are they testing their blood to see if they are “infected” with whatever the 4-8-15-16-23-42 juice cures? Are they looking for “test subjects”, who fit some criteria that would make them useful for their experiments?

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I’m inclined to think that they found something they liked in Jack – which is why he seems to be getting treated quite differently than Kate and Sawyer thus far. Then again, maybe we’ll soon see that they have the life stories of Kate and Sawyer as well, although they seem destined to two weeks of unpleasantness that Jack somehow avoided.

As for what those two weeks will entail is anyone’s guess. If it was going to be manual labor, why choose Kate and not Jack? Why put Kate in a pretty dress? I’m leaning towards it being two weeks of intense scientific testing (using them as guinea pigs) or “detox” to get the infection out of their bodies. Then again, maybe it’s just a fraternity initiation to allow Kate and Sawyer to join the Others in their happy neighborhood. I wonder if this will have any influence on which McBoy Kate will choose? The one she’s locked up, going through a miserable two weeks with? Or the one who potentially could come in and save the day in some kind of escape? Hmmm…

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Flashback. Speaking of our boy Jack, his flashback served to add another layer of self-blame and loathing to the onion that is Jack’s life. Not only did his workaholic nature drive his wife away, but his freaky obsession over finding out who Sarah was cheating on him with may have caused his father to start drinking again, which eventually led to his death. Heavy.

For those wondering, no – Jack’s dad was not sleeping with his wife. That’s icky and this is ABC, not HBO. Jack’s dad may have been cheating on his mom with some lovely lady in Australia, but the way the episode was filmed, hinting at an affair between Sarah and Jack’s dad, was intended to be showing things from Jack’s perspective, as he was getting crazier and crazier about it.

Lastly, did you note the parallelism at the end? In the flashback, Jack was obsessed with finding out the name of the man Sarah was cheating on him with. He incessantly shouted “What’s his name?!”, whereas on the Island, he was obsessed with finding out where Kate and Sawyer were, asking little other than “Where are my friends?!” Nice to see the character continuity!

And with that, let’s take a look at this week’s episode:

Episode Title: “The Glass Ballerina”

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Initially I thought this must be the title of some movie / song / famous location. But no matter how hard I googled, all that I could find when I searched for “Glass Ballerina” was this thing:

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Lame. So I guess we’ll keep it simple this week. The flashback this week is Sun (although I bet Jin is in there a lot too, if their past flashbacks are any indication), and she is admittedly the most glass ballerina-like of the Survivors. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little worried this is going to be a lame flashback about how Sun wanted to be a ballerina in her former life.

The “glass” part of the title would refer to her being fragile, which is clearly how Jin views her. Remember how hell-bent he was on not letting her come with he and Sayid on the boat last season? To Jin, Sun is his “glass ballerina”. Awwww…

And that’s all I got – worst deeper meaning guess ever. Give me something to work with, Lost episode title creators!

(Note: Although the preview of the episode seemed to show Sun getting shot, I’ll tell you right now that there is no way that they would do this and basically copy the “Sawyer getting shot by the Others on a boat” storyline from last season. If anything, the fall she takes off the boat might cause her to lose her baby or something along those lines – or at least make Jin go crazy and whoop some Other ass.) Description: Sun and Jin's lives are put into danger when Sayid decides to locate Jack. Meanwhile, Henry (i.e. Ben) gives Jack an offer that is very tempting. Lastly, Kate and Sawyer work and adjust to harsh conditions that they are being forced under by "The Others." Breakdown: So here’s how I expect this episode to go down:

Sayid concludes that Jack’s plan has failed, and they have been captured by the Others. Since they’re already on the other side of the Island, he decides to launch a rescue mission with Sun and Jin. (Thus putting their lives in danger – check). Expect to see Jin oppose this plan and try to keep Sun on the boat (thinking this will keep her safe). The problem of course is that the Others learn that our Survivors have a boat and set off to get it. This puts Sun in the most dangerous position of the three of them.

Meanwhile, Ben gives Jack an offer that is very tempting. This could be anything from setting him free if he gives up information to offering him a way off the Island. The catch is going to be that Kate and Sawyer (along with everyone else) are not invited. Jack, ever the hero, respectfully declines.

Lastly, we begin to learn about what these “harsh conditions” Ben warned Kate were coming up are all about. Busting rocks? Diggin a ditch? Calculus tests? It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but as soon as we find out, I think we’ll have a much better insight as to why the Others took them in the first place.

So here are my big hopes for the episode – I want to get some hints as to what the Others are all about – their goals, hopes, and dreams. I want to have some scenes from back at the base camp revealing the fate of Locke, Eko, and Desmond. I want to see the base camp freaking out that Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Sun, and Jin are all gone and they’re on their own. I want to see Jack, Kate, and Sawyer asking some questions, and strategizing their escapes. I want Kate to be forced to shower again. Is that so much to ask?

But here’s my hunch: if you look back to the first two seasons of Lost, the third episode has been the big reveal episode. In the first season, this was the “Walkabout” episode, where we learned Locke was in a wheelchair before crashing on the Island. In the second season, it was the “Orientation” episode where we learned all about Dharma and the 108 Numbers. Why would this season be any different?

Happy Lost-ing!


Justin said...

While I also want to know what is going on across the island (Locke, Eko, Desmond, etc) I don't foresee that until the second part of this season begins in January. I see it going down much like the introduction of the Tail Section people went down, where we'll start at the point of explosion/magnization/whatever happened and work our way to the "present."

As for what's going on in the Hydra section of the island, I'm not exactly sure if I agree with you that Juliet is a "rebel" in her community. Disagrees with HGI/Ben, yes, but I think that's as far as it goes.

What I really want to know is why "The Others" put on the charade of being this jungle people, with the rags and bare-feet and what the "fake" camp was all about where they were holding Michael and Walt at the end of season two. The obvious conclusion is that it was all done to keep their true location/purpose secret, but that's too easy and this is Lost after all. There's something I can't figure out yet. Any ideas?

MKinMotion said...

I haven't read the comments on your last post, so I apologize if I point things out that have already been mentioned. In your mention of super-human strength, while I'm sure the "sedative" and dehydration/starvation were taking effect, Juliet dropped the bigger stronger Jack with one shot to the face...pretty impressive whether she bleeds or not.

Ethan said...

"He" = HGI/Ben.

I concur with the "former Dharmites" theory, although it could be a weird blend where they are aware of what Dharma was about, it went defunct/became something else, and the Others utilize the leftover Dharma stuff for their own purposes without being part of it.

We still don't know why Ben/HGI was creeping around in the proximity of the Losties' camp anyway. Was he looking to hijack the food drop? Was his capture intentional?

Also - why 2 weeks for Kate (presumably Sawyer/Jack)? I trust all will be revealed at some point, and then we'll all smack our foreheads and say "ohhh, I see it now!" I look forward to that day.

Anonymous said...

So far as questions related to Ben (HGI) being captured....unlikely it was intentional. Remember...he had an arrow thru his shoulder...doubt he did that on purpose. Maybe we'll get a flashback of sorts this season showing how and why Ben got caught by CFL followed by the Lostees. BTW, I agree w/Brian - the summary for this weeks' episode sounds relatively boring w/Sunn and Jin.

Chris B. said...

Does anyone listen/watch the LOST official podcast?? They give you info right there that people are wondering about....But I don't want to give anything away. You should check it out if you aren't already.

Feline said...

I think we only go back to the camp and find Locke/Eko/Desmond on the 3d episode.

I didn't like this episode much either... Wassup with Jack's flashbacks, why does he think of his wife when je's just been abducted, injected and locked down in a box? Why add to his "layers of guilt" as you so put it. Not really heroic if you ask me. I'd expect Jack to be strong in a case like this (remember hunting party, fearless, he refused to give in, to surrender)

Remember what "Ben" said at the finale: We are the good guys? I think they are the good guys. On the 5th episode of the second season, "...And found" we saw through Jin's and Eko's eyes the others, those "primitive" people who walked as if in trance. It had creeped the hell out of me: I think something went wrong with the experiments, some of the dharmites went crazy/bad. Ben's people in that case are the good ones, and they want to save people like them, that's why he wants the list of "survivors". He leaves the bad ones to the bad dharmites.

I also think they need Jack as a doctor, I don't see why else. They took Kate and Sawyer along the way to have something to blackmail Jack with. Eventually they'll ask Jack to join them, it'll be tough to refuse cause they're gonna threaten Kate and Sawyer's lifes.

I think Ben and Juliet were involved. I see two people hating each other but having to live together.

Last but not the least, Something must have happened to Kate after the breakfast until she was locked into the cage: She seemed shaken up, she was on the verge of tears, not to mention her wrists... I think she tried to run away, saw stuff (maybe them beating up the boy next to Sawyer's cage, or files about the survivors, saw Jack on the computer...)

Anyway, we shouldn't read to much into the books, musics... that's what they want, to have us occupied with little things, so they can answer real questions later on, which means more episodes, and more money.

I'm so scared they're gonna mess this up...

rob said...

Great recap and insight! As for the song and Juliet, I think there is more to it. She wants out. I tried to pull my thoughts on this together on my blog.

Also, I think there are two groups of "others" still. If Ben's instructions were to not do anything for three days, why were the Tailies attacked the first night? When Ben said in season 2 finale "we're the good guys", is he referring to the other others? Just maybe.

captainyesterday said...

Just a thought....

Maybe they're treating Jack differently because of his blood type. He is the universal donor (is that O+? I forget). Maybe that makes him valuable to the Others for some reason. Maybe they took blood simply to check the type. Who knows?!?

Eric said...

I agree with the former Dharmite explanation. The Lost Experience told us that the Dharma Initiative failed, it also told us that the end of the world could come in myriad ways - overpopulation, famine, nuclear war, epidemic. My guess is that "the incident" put a hamper in Dharma's plans and they continued to try to do some stuff after the incident but eventually gave up. I think that the Others are still trying to carry on the Dharma Initiative's mission in some fashion.

Benry said "we're the good guys," and he seemed to mean it. I assume that he is trying to do something good for mankind. Even though most of Dharma's experiments are no longer running it is possible that the Others are still trying to solve the problem by one mean or another.

The link with the outside world confuses me. THe fact that they have books and paper and dossiers indicates that they have a way of physically getting stuff on and off the island - not just a communication link. Last season Benry said "god doesn't even see this island" and "you'll never be able to find your way back here." This leads me to believe that the island is nearly impossible to find from outside. This also means that they are working with people on the outside who are able to find the island.

I think the offer that Jack will be made involves helping the Others in some way in exchange for something. If it does turn out that they are trying to save the world or trying to fix anything I would guess that Jack would help them out with that.

I was disappointed with the episode the first time I watched it but it grew on me the second time.

Anonymous said...

In the meantime, where the heck is CFL? Is she part of the others? Is she faking it as well? How can it be she has so many years on the island but she is still alive? And what the heck happened to those portuguese guys and Desmonds chick? Geez so many questions! Great input people! Your blog rocks man.


Anonymous said...

Here's my big question, formulated as I watched the season three opener just after reviewing season 2. If the others wanted Jack, Kate and Sawyer so badly that they would send Michael to get them, why didn't they just grab them halfway through season two when Mr. Friendly was drawing his line in the sand? They had Kate (and Michael), and they disarmed Locke, Jack and Sawyer. THey could have taken the three they wanted and sent Locke back with the message. What gives?

Stu said...

Hi Brian, good to see your back!! Long time reader first time poster.

Did anyone notice in the others camp, when they all come running out (they look up straight away, before seeing or hearing the plane they are waiting for something to appear!) there are NO children in there camp!! I think this is very strange.

But we know the others are interested in children specifically! And we know this interest has to do with the Medicine. What if this medicine is some way of controlling the population (as per lost experience), but it can only be used on children, but what if its not having the correct effect and so they are still experimenting with it!? We have already seen what I think is a different group of others (the ones who ghostly walk past micheal & Eko barefoot) there where children there, what if they are the result of the medice, but It went wrong??
I think a 2nd group of other has been hinted at by the writers, and this would make sense.

Why take Jack Kate an Saywer? I think they only really want Jack, as a doctor he is the losty most useful to scientists. And what better way to get him than to capture the 2 people who have the most effect/control on him!? I think it’ll b a ‘do as we say or we kill kate’ with sawyer telling him he has to do it!??

Ive had a few thories on what is happening before, but this all seems to be makin more sense know we know what we have leanred from the lost experience.

What do you think??

Anonymous said...

Also...whatever happened with other Lostees that were abducted shortly after the plane crashed? Why is there never ANY mention of them by the survivors and no trace of them at the Others camp? I wonder how tight a handle Abrams, et al have on this details, mythology, etc here.

Scott G said...

I was curious who sang Downtown and slowed the recording down (who actually watches live TV anymore?) when Juliet opens the CD case. The CD case is Talking Heads Stop Making Sense. Perhaps she just had it in the wrong case by mistake.

rob said...

@Anonymous: you asked "whatever happened with other Lostees that were abducted shortly after the plane crashed?"

That's what I'm saying. I think there are certainly two groups and Ben's group maybe just are the good guys. They were to observe the survivors for three days but Tailies were abducted on the first night. Two groups.

Anonymous said...

First, I think that using TV logic (the obvious is the most likely) that Ben and J. were lovers; his comment about "I guess I'm out of the book group" sealed it in two tons of concrete for me. It looked fresh too, since the other people in the group assumed that Ben wasn't there because he wouldn't have liked the book.

This really makes the mystery of the Big Leader precient, though. As I understand it, originally Ben was supposed to in a few epispodes, so his comments about "our leader is a great man, but not a forgiving man" kept the mystery of the Big Boss alive (my theory was the Degroots). Now it could be called a cover story; he wouldn't want to acknowledge that he was the leader.

It could be that one of the Big Mysteries is that they're still on the Island because they do believe that there will be a virus that destroys 1/3 of the population of Earth and that the island is both safe from that becuase its isolated and more importantly it cures people of disease (long life too?). So, this is the location of the Utopia to come, and they have the background (Dharma) to want to make sure that only "good people" are part of it.

They have retreated from the world, but could be re-engaged into a fight with the Hanso Foundation when Penny Widmore comes knocking and brings the world back to the island.

epu said...

Juliet and Benry

It's funny - when Ben says "I guess I'm out of the book club" this may have been the moment when their [Juliet and Benrys] relationship went on a spiral down hill. Due to the plane crash what's the bet that Ben was at work running tests, being the leader, deciding on lists, 'getting' caught by crazy french women. A workohlic, "leader of the pack"? - sound familiar? Yes, JACK! :P

And what's the bet Juliet will eventually fall for Jack [i.e. Benrys obsession (work) - irony anyone?] ;)

Jack, Sawyer and the lovely Kate

Why didn't they take them back in 'The hunting party'?

The only answer I can give that isn't "bad directing" is that they made the decision to take the famous 3 AFTER they had met 'Tom' at 'the line'


By the way Brian, I'm not sure I remember seeing Sawyer remove a band aid [like Jack and Kate] - though, perhaps I missed it!

Great blog post, can't wait for tomorrows episode (and your associated thoughts)! (Though I'm skeptical of all Jin/Sun flashback episodes lol)

Pat said...

Here is my big reach. It is like when I bet on Ben Roetheleselelesburger to score the first touchdown of the Super Bowl last year. A long shot. I am thinking they are offing Sawyer. Kate looked really disturbed and shaken when she went to her cell. Sawyer looked all dumb and carefree. I think she saw him and brokedown because she knows what is happenening. Probably won't happen, but it could. But I do think Kate knows what is in store. She has never looked so shaken before.

As to where are the kidnapped people? Who knows? I am really thinking there are two outfits at work. Remember, we saw the kiddies walking around dragging that teady bear, so they could still be alive. Or maybe they have been killed off for whatever reason. Remember, the "others" aren't purely good as they claim. Goodwin killed that Tailers after freeing him. Pretty evil to me. I know I am just rambling now, so whatever. I am not going to try to think about anything. Too much can happen, I am going to wait for a few epsidoes and hopefully they will let us know some things.

Also, am I just trying to see things, or was Jack's wife's lover Desmond with a haircut? Or was it just some dude that looked like him? More rambling, just throwing it out there.

EPU said...

I think questioning the 'others' ethics and morals is really interesting [I'm weird like that lol]

For one; I don't think 'our losties' are any better. They torture, kill, burn things down, knock people out, lie, use, take advantage of... - the list goes on [and that's just to each other!!!!]

Now remember what Ben said "Not even God can see this place" or something similar;
What are morals and ethics when there is no God to punish you for your sins?

Weather you believe in God in irrelevant - if you live in a country where being killed for stealing some old ladies purse is a law - does that make it right?

I think the island has similar rules [or atleast, the people they've killed fell into some sort of criteria - knowing too much?]. Sure killing is baaad [m'kay] but 'for the greater good' is what Locke 'influenced' Boone into doing, any worse than what Goodwin did to 'Nathan'?

Bad comparison [yeah?]; and the reasons behind why Goodwin killed Nathan as opposed to just letting him run, I've no idea... But I think he has more of a reason than "because they're pure evil"

From what we've seen of the 'others' within their own community [which to be honest, is very little] they seem more civilised and 'less aggressive' than Jack, Locke and co...

Oh, and I also live by the notion there are [atleast] 2 sets of others. I had also bought into your Dharmamites/Rebel theory as well Brian, although it's been taken down a notch - maybe it's not totally wrong as of yet..

Question is; would the writers risk making LOST TOO complicated by adding another 'group' to the island....?

Jacob said...

Just a few thoughts.
What about the current Island inhabitants being the children of the Dharma folks? That dharma morphed into something new?
It also makes sense (maybe too obviously) that they are being bank-rolled and fed information from the outside.
A social experiment for a post-apocalyptic future, I am thinking along the lines of The Village (great concept, but bad movie).

I cannot see them doing the Sun flashback and having it be too nostalgic. Sun is pregnant, which is of value to the island inhabitants and she will stay that way through the season, that's my bet.
Ben & Juliet were a couple for sure, I think that read pretty clearly, but while Juliet disagrees with some of Ben's methods it is clear that she is on the same grand scheme page, with possibly her own objective.
Maybe the men, as children of affected Dharmites are sterile.
Thanks for the page, it's great to read and it's great to have the show back.

Brian said...

You guys are geniuses (geniusi?). Good stuff all around. Some responses...

Chris B. - the Lost podcast does seem to confirm that there are more than one group of "Others". I'm now thinking we'll have Former Dharmites (Ben and Co.), Rebel Dharmites (Juliet and Co.), and Experiment Rejects (Creepy Killer Whisperers). Let's see if this theory survives through next week...

Eric - I refuse to believe that the Others don't have a connection to the outside world. They must be getting their supplies and information from somewhere. Perhaps the "Even God can't see this place" comment was more dealing with the degree of horror that has gone on through the experiments, as if Ben was saying "If God could see this place, he wouldn't have let this happen."

Anonymous - wow, I never even thought of that. The Others did have Kate, Jack, and Sawyer caught mid-season last year and just let them go with their "don't cross this line" comment. All I can think of is that they didn't know that they wanted them until later in the season. Maybe something they learned from Walt? Maybe they were waiting for their dossiers on each of them to arrive with the next supply drop? If they don't address this, it's a HUGE plot hole.

Pat - there are some on the ol' Internet that think some seriously bad stuff has happened to Kate since she's been in custody (like rape or having to watch the 1988 Super Bowl on an endless loop), which is why she seems like such a shell of her former self.

Anonymous said...

These are all great comments. I also think there are still two groups on the island plus the Losties - Benry Gale's group plus the real "scary ragamuffin" group that BG's folks sometimes try to dress like. Why? I have no idea.

Any thoughts as to why we never saw Miss Klugh/Bea in this episode? She was so central last year, but maybe she'll really come to the fore when they start talking about tests again.

They better not do anything to Sawyer. He's the core of my addiction to this show! I mean, sure, great writing goes a long way... but you've gotta keep the best eye candy! :-)

Anonymous said...

A good guess as to why The Others released Kate, Jack and Sawyer in the woods last season was that time period was before HGI (Ben) was captured by the Lostees. While imprisoned by them, maybe HGI created new objectives based on observations, insights, etc. I'd agree with Brian...if not resolved by the writters, this would be a 'gap' in the overal arch of the story.

Anonymous said...

Once again, one of many things that remain a huge mystery is why HGI tried to manipulate the Lostees not to enter the #'s? He would have known the consequences....?! Also, getting back to last weeks' show, Kate was shaken cause Ben is a scary dude with an unsettling message. No way they will off Sawyer...not a chance.

Mr. Other said...

My theory on why they didn't capture Jack/Kate/Sawyer in Hunting Party.

They were too close to the losties camp and they wanted more time before the inevitable rescue party would be formed.
Maybe this is why they requested Hurley, who would obviously take longest to return to camp.

X-101 said...

I dont think the whole plane crashing thing and the people on the plane being totally random, yes they didnt know quite who was on there but i have a feeling they get 'visitors' sent to them every now and then by some outside force who for whatever reason they arent in direct contact with.

Maybe its like the film the cube where the thing is kept running even tho those who set it up have long gone, stuff like the food drops could be a automated system from when dharma ran the island

X-101 said...


It started with like an earthquake type shaking and then they ran outside after a few seconds they saw the plane which started to break up, why would the house shake so violent before the plane crashed? imo something on the island was pulling the plane down

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Anonymous said...

hello? Mr/Ms x-101....hello? the shaking of the house resulted from the event at the hatch...Desmond failed to plug the numbers in on time. Remember? hello????

Anonymous said...

Quick note: there were obvious bear cages and very large bird cages, this would explain the polar bear and the large strange looking bird that were seen in earlier episodes. -S

Will S said...

Scott G said the CD case Juliet pulls the CD from is Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, but actually I think it is the "Speaking In Tongues" album. Here is a picture on this website:

Anonymous said...

Zoology is one of the many areas of research DHARMA is said to be involed with (on their web site)....yup, may somewhat explain cages, marine tanks, etc.

BTW, why do you think the young man was forced to apologize to Sawyer after he was caught trying to escape? It was evident that Sawyer found it odd too. Who is the young guy?

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As I watched the opening scene of the Season Three Premiere of LOST last night, I was pretty optimistic. The Others at their book club hit all the high notes we’ve come to expect from the show: eerie, civilized, mind-bogglingly strange and yet somehow completely comprehensible. It felt like a scene from Arlington Road or some other creepy Tim Robbins movie. But even Tim Robbins can’t hold a candle to season three’s chilling and splendid tour de force: Michael Emerson aka Henry Gale aka Ben, leader of the Others.
Indeed, it is his performance that is expected to drive the narrative of the show in this opening episode. While Emerson does provide a satisfying vehicle for terror, his actions aren’t cohesive enough to drive the plot along a satisfying narrative thread. And so it dissolves.
Chaos abounds as the camera alternates brief flashes from Jack pounding in an underwater tank, Sawyer jumping around in a cage, and Kate being led to some prison breakfast. The dialogue in each scene is choppy and doesn’t seem to piece together. Each character plays to type: Jack bristly and bumbling, Sawyer sarcastic and sexy, Kate grunting and grumbling with her usual lame excuse for dialogue (“Why did you bring me here? Why did you make me put on this dress? Why are you feeding me breakfast?” she intones in her typical clenched-teeth tuba voice).
In fact, her story in this episode is one of the most inexplicable of all. I find it no coincidence that despite the fact that the characters are on a deserted island, Kate is the only one who finds continuous ways to be shot in the shower. The whole thing with her taking a shower and putting on the dress was only exciting because it seemed like she was going to be made a human sacrifice, entered into some freaky arranged marriage, or at least impregnated so the Others could steal her baby. When all that preparation turned out to be just so she could go out to breakfast was a little anticlimactic, to say the least, even if it was with the Captain of the Others.
Indeed, one of the main things that bothered me about this episode was Emerson’s blood-curdling assertion that the next two weeks were going to be “very unpleasant.” The statement in itself was cool, but isolated. It had no legs in the episode. Kate was the only one who heard it, nothing bad happened to Jack or Sawyer, and there was no foreshadowing of what nature the unpleasantness would take. In fact, that statement, Kate asking about her dress, and Sawyer yelling in the cage, felt to me just like satisfying sound clips for commercials, woven together into something that did not a cohesive episode make.
Maybe I’m being too harsh a critic, but the reason I am not satisfied is because I can’t forget LOST’s first season. In those few golden first episodes, each show ended with such a 180 twist that you would literally walk around stunned for days after. The revelation that Kate was the convict on the plane. When it turned out Walt was the one who burnt the boat. When it turned out Sawyer wrote the letter, didn’t receive the letter. When it turned out Locke was paralyzed before the flight. Those kind of non-formulaic, utterly original and stylish twists are what transcended LOST from run-of-the-mill sitcom into suspenseful sci-fi glory. So forgive me if the season three revelation that Henry Gale’s real name isn’t Henry Gale (duh), it’s actually Ben, doesn’t really hold a candle to season one’s fantastic narrative knife twists.
And that’s not the only place where Season Three falls below par. In season one, each twist was the cherry on an amazing narrative sundae. Each plot closely followed its title, and each flashback or subplot was all woven around the same theme. White Rabbit was about Jack’s delirious search for his father. The Confidence Man was about Sawyer’s con man career. The Moth was about Charlie breaking out of his drug addiction as Jack struggled to break out of a cave. In a stylish and meticulously planned plot, each narrative wove together and centered on common universal themes.
In the oddly named “A Tale of Two Cities” however, that sleek narrative was replaced by flashing scenes of chaos, choppy dialogue that didn’t leave the audience knowing what to think, and a title that seemed out of place and lent no additional gravitas.
Clearly, LOST is responding to the criticism that things became too commoditized in the Season Two Hatch days, too canned, too convenient. It is now trying to return to its savage and wild roots. But it’s not until the show regains that sweet spot of untamed lush forces of nature, wild card characters who keep us guessing, all woven together by a clean and cohesive plot, that LOST can regain the momentum of its conception. Until then, much like the plane in the beginning of this season three, this episode crashes and burns.

Anonymous said...

just a smallish theory about the Ben Tribes need to disguise themselves, maybe its to avoid a confrontation with the Whisperers, who may be more likely to attack something that is different(ie; the survivors), than someone that looks like them.

Brian said...

Bingo - my thoughts exactly.

frances said...

A thought regarding the two groups of others: maybe one group is ben and juliette and them, and the other group is the whisperers, and the people with the teddybear. And maybe the people with the teddybear are the natives of the island. the other 2/3 of them who weren't killed by the vaccine. Like, they figured out what Dharma was doing, and decided to fight back or something.

However, the kid with the teddybear was pretty much certaintly taken from the tailies, right? and we know that goodwin was part of the group that took children from the tailies, and he was also part of the ben and juliette group.

just a thought, off the top of my head.

Anonymous said...

I always assumed that Ben was "Him" and was just referring to himself in the third person.

Anonymous said...

(glad I found this place, started reading in mid season 2)

Ben told Ethan and Goodwin to blend in with the Losties. So you can assume that they reported back to him with their findings. (Which led to taking Claire nauturaly.)But the tailies were attacked the first night, and Goodwin knew that the kinds are safe. Maybe Ben doesn't have the power he appears to hold.

On the others taking the 3, I think that came about after Ben/HGI spent his time in the hatch, and He may not have originally planned on them.

About Ben/Henry's comment about Him, wasn't he refering to the man with the fake beard, saying beard man was not incharge while still holding back his identity.

The more I think about the others, the more I feel Ben/Henry is not the one to fear on the Island.

I think I just lowered the I.Q. of the whole internet with this.

EPU said...

It can't have been Benry Gales idea to take Jack Sawyer and Kate - because he was trapped in the hatch when Bea/Ms Klugh made the list for Mike....

Perhaps this is what was meant by 'the line' - remember 'the others' didn't actually cross the line; everyone still thinks Sun was attacked by an 'other' - not Charlie - which instigated the whole chain of events leading up to Benrys capture...

Perhaps there was a protocol in place for when the losties crossed the line - and what we're seeing now, is it..

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