Monday, January 30, 2006
Libby: "I can't believe you don't remember stepping on my foot. I remember you because you were the last one on the flight, and you were all sweaty and you had your headphones on and crunch..."
Oh really Libby?
Exhibit A: Hurley getting on the airplane, sans headphones:
Exhibit B: Hurley putting on his headphones, after sitting in his seat and fastening his seatbelt:
(Granted, this could be nitpicking - I mean, she did get the sweaty and "last one on the plane" parts right - but there's something fishy with her. Although I'm working on a much larger manifesto on who I think the Big Bad on the Island really is... and it ain't Libby...)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Smoke on the water, fire in the sky!
Well, the previews seem to make this title seem quite literal. In fact, we see both a lot of fire and a lot of water.
Although this episode is Charlie-centric, it also seems to focus on his obsession with Aaron… as in the same Aaron that was with Moses through the Plagues of the Bible / Exodus, etc. After a little Bible Study action, it turns out that Aaron was right by Moses’ side for such things as “the burning bush” (fire) and “parting the Red Sea” (water), but also he was a pretty troubled dude. He’s the one who gave the people the golden calf while Moses was up getting the Ten Commandments, and even turned pseudo-Judas on Moses at some point.
What’s the point of all this religious mumbo-jumbo? Well, Charlie is clearly a troubled soul, much like Bible Aaron seemed to be. He seems to honestly want to do good, help Claire raise her baby, and peacefully exist on the Island, but he’s got the temptation of the Smack bringing him down. Likewise, fire and wire can also be representative of hot and cold, or good and bad. Two sides. He’s a conflicted soul.
But… why am I comparing Charlie to Bible Aaron? Shouldn’t I be comparing Bible Aaron to Island Aaron? Exactly.
In the end, I think the title is going to come down to this theme that I touched upon a few weeks back with Locke and Eko – but now want to switch to Eko and Aaron. A person can be baptized by either fire or water. Back to the Good Book:
In the Bible, John the Baptist said that he would baptize with water, but that the “Coming One” will baptize with fire. Although originally I thought that Eko could be the John the Baptist to Locke’s Jesus, now I’m thinking he’s going to be the John the Baptist to Aaron’s Jesus.
Think about it. Eko’s a pretty holy dude (now, after a sketchy past), carries the staff like J the B, and he’s shown a peculiar interest in Aaron in the past few episodes. We’ve seen Eko’s desire to save children after the tail split off of the plane – I wonder if he’s looking for the “chosen one” - someone who’s way more religious than he is – baby Aaron.
We’ve seen how important babies and children have been so far on this show. We might not know why, but the Others seem to think they are “special” and worth stealing. I wonder if the Others are waiting for some sort of supposed “Chosen One”. They’ve taken Alex (more on this later), they’ve taken Walt (more on this later), and I’m betting baby Aaron is gone before episode end as well.
Look for a ton of religious imagery in this episode. From Aaron floating in the ocean in his cradle (a la Moses in the Nile), to a burning bush (a la Moses talking to God), to Charlie dealing with temptation (a la lots of people in the Bible) – heck, the Heroin is stored inside the Virgin Mary! There’s gotta be some messed up symbolism there, right? I’m pretty sure watching this episode will be the equivalent of going to church this week. Researching Lost has once again made me read more Bible than any religion class I’ve ever taken. Awesome.
TV Guide Description: When Charlie's vividly surreal dreams lead him to believe Claire's baby, Aaron, is in danger, Locke suspects Charlie may be using again. Meanwhile, Sawyer encourages Hurley to act on his attraction to Libby.
TV Guide Breakdown: Regarding Charlie’s “vividly surreal dreams” – are we thinking he’s hopped up on goofballs, or are they going to play the whole “everyone thinks he’s using drugs again but in reality he’s not” angle? I’d bet on the latter. Charlie is going to be innocent, but in a case of “Boy Who Cried Wolf”, no one will believe him. Here’s how it will play out:
He’ll probably be warning everyone that Aaron is in danger, but no one will believe him. In the end, Aaron will be stolen away (on 55th and 3rd) and they’re realize Charlie was right and feel bad.
So is Charlie really over his H Habit? Two weeks ago, I would have said “absolutely”. I thought Charlie had kicked his habit… that is, until we saw his stash of Virgin Mary statues in the woods… and they played scary music when showing that scene. Now I’m not so sure. It’s hard to argue with scary music. Perhaps the fire scene from the previews is Charlie lighting up his stash so it won’t tempt him anymore? Here’s hoping. Didn’t we already go through the whole “Locke helping Charlie get over his addiction” storyline last year? I don’t need a re-hash of that (pun intended).
Then there are our newest potential lovebirds on the Island - Hurley and Libby. There’s something a little off here, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. But here’s my thought:
Remember last week when Jack said something to Zeke about “You sent someone to spy on us” and Zeke had a surprised expression on his face. Kinda like “Wait – they found the spy?” But then Jack follows up with “Yeah, Ethan” and Zeke kinda laughed it off? I’m thinking Ethan wasn’t their spy, perhaps Zeke has no idea who Ethan even is, and that their spy is still there. Libby looks to be a prime candidate, since she’s one of the few main characters on the show without a backstory.
So who was Ethan? I’ll go back to my theory of there being multiple groups of Others on the Island. Zeke is some sort of leader of the Scientist group (more on this later), whereas Ehtan was more of a rogue Other in the same vein as Goodwin.
So am I pumped for this episode? Not as much as in past weeks. I’m really fearful of the Locke-Charlie conflict being repeated, and having to deal with a screaming Claire (“They took my babay!”) for the next few weeks. Here’s hoping for the best though!
Previously on Lost…
Jack. Oh Jack, you forgot Rule #47 of Guy Code: If you ever accidentally kiss a girl other than your wife, you don’t tell your wife about it.
But in a deliciously shocking twist, Sarah confesses her own cheating ways. Hussie! Or was she? Was this just an excuse to get out of a lonely marriage where the man is basically married to his job instead of his wife? I’ve heard a few opinions on this that range from “Yes, she was cheating with Desmond” (see post below) to “No, but she was pregnant” and I really don’t think we have enough evidence to go one way or the other on it.
Depending on how intricately twisted Jack and Desmond are, Sarah could have potentially been cheating on Jack with Desmond, and been pregnant with a baby that she didn’t know if it was Jack’s or Desmond’s!
Ever since the pregnant Claire episodes last season, I’ve thought that Jack seemed a little too over-protective of preggo Claire and baby, as if he had some trauma in his past concerning a baby – this would explain it!
Or, Sarah could have been making up the affair, was truly un-preggo, and just left Jack because, as she put it “he always needs someone to fix”. At this point in her life, she was “fixed”, and that could have caused Jack to lose interest in her. I think the real question is, why does Jack have this need? We’ve still seen nothing in his backstory that would make this self-blame necessary, have we?
The good news is that I know we will be getting at least another Jack backstory this year. (Greedy! How about some more Locke or Sawyer?) I’m betting we get some answers to the questions above, especially if Desmond shows back up.
James Ford. I actually can’t bring myself to call him that, so he’ll remain Sawyer in my posts. This is a pretty interesting development because it shows that Locke knows exactly what is going on with everyone on the Island, as if he’s been monitoring them or studying them. Speaking of which…
Locke. Why did Locke try to get Jack and Sawyer to turn around right before their confrontation with Zeke? That seems very un-Locke-like. From day one, he’s been all about discovering things on the Island and exploring further. It’s almost as if he knew they were getting too close to Zeke and the Others. Or did he simply sense danger was close? Very interesting.
Sickness. I think Michael is down with the sickness.
I’m not exactly sure what the sickness is, or what the symptoms are, but Michael definitely looked different. Also, remember what CFL said, way back in Season One? (Cue Wayne’s World flashback sequence…)
From the Sayid-Centric Episode, “Solitary”, where we first met CFL…
Sayid: “And how did you come to be on this island, Danielle?”
CFL: “We were part of a science team.”
Sayid: “A science team armed with rifles? Was Robert on the team?”
Sayid: “And Alex, was he, too?”
CFL: “Our vessel was 3 days out of Tahiti when our instruments malfunctioned. It was night, a storm, the sounds. The ship slammed into rocks, ran aground, the hull breached beyond repair. So, we made camp, dug out this temporary shelter. Temporary. Nearly 2 months we survived here, 2 months before…
Sayid: “Your distress signal? The message I heard, you said, "It killed them all."”
CFL: “We were coming back from the Black Rock. It was them. They were the carriers.”
Sayid: “Who were the carriers?”
CFL: “The Others.”
Sayid: “What others? What is the Black Rock? Have you seen other people on this island?”
CFL: “No, but I hear them. Out there, in the jungle. They whisper. You think I'm insane.”
…and then we had this exchange last week, from “The Hunting Party”...
Zeke: “Let me ask you something - How long you've been here on the Island?”
Jack: “50 days.”
Zeke: “That's almost 2 whole months.”
See the common theme? Whatever this “sickness” is, it seems like it has an incubation period of two months before it hits you. ? Perhaps the sickness causes you to see things and become paranoid about them – sort of like a drug “freak out”. One wonders is Mike ever actually talked to Walt, or if he was just having visions as a result of the sickness? But Michael seemed to be walking with a purpose, heading for a specific place on the Island rather than wandering around based on imaginary visions, making me think he got a message from someone.
What if the sickness somehow “connects you” with the thoughts of other individuals on the Island and he was having some sort of telepathic conversation with Walt? Here’s my theory on the sickness:
As part of the Hanso Foundation’s Accelerated Remote Viewing studies, they found a way to do so something much more - allow a person to hear the thoughts of others within a given radius. How? No idea. Leave that to the scientists. But imagine the power that you would render if you could hear the thoughts of an enemy, know their actions – almost before they did, and be able to react. You would be the ultimate warrior (and could wear florescent colored armbands!).
However, such a “power” would also have the potential to drive a person completely crazy. Your head would no longer be your own. Rather, your head would be an intersection of thoughts of everyone who was around you. Eventually, it would have to drive you into solitary confinement… or drive you insane.
Pretty deep. Too crazy for you? Think I’m the one with the sickness? Let’s look at the facts:
- We’ve seen characters hear “whispers” in the forest – probably the beginning of the sickness, where they can faintly hear things.
- CFL says “I had to kill them – what would have happened if they got back to the world?” – she’s either protecting the world from the weapon aspect of the sickness, or keeping herself from going insane. By making her the solitary person on the Island (or so she thinks), the voices stop.
- Remember Sam? The guy who brought the numbers back to the mainland, that Hurley tried to visit in Australia. He moved himself as far away from people as he could, yet still killed himself. Perhaps because his wife was still there, her thoughts occupying his head?
- It would explain how Zeke and the Others have such knowledge about everything happening on the Island – every time a Survivor passes near them, or they get near the Survivors, they could be gaining more knowledge.
- It would explain how the Others could avoid ever being seen unless they want to be seen – a person could travel as stealthily as they wanted, but unless they were also devoid of thoughts, they could hear them coming.
(Note: this would totally be a rip off of the classic season 3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Earshot”, but I think all the pieces add up, don’t they?)
So what about Michael?
Zeke. When questioned about Michael, Zeke states “Don’t worry about Michael, he won’t be finding us.”
This could mean a few things:
- The Others, acting as Walt, intentionally fed Michael bad information through the computer, leading him away from them instead of towards them. (Not likely, since Locke was following Michael’s trail, and although it died shortly before their encounter with Zeke, it was heading in that direction.)
- They have already killed Michael. (Possible - we heard gunshots, but I think more likely there was some sort of encounter and they captured him. They then ditched him somewhere or have him locked up somewhere).
Either way, the word on the street is that we won’t be seeing our buddy Michael on the Island for a while. I’d be tempted to say we won’t see Michael or Walt again until next season, but I’ve also heard the whole “Walt is Missing” situation will be resolved this season.
Hanso. Much more interesting for those Internet Nerds out there was this comment from our boy Zeke:
Zeke: “A man much smarter than any of us standing here said “From the dawn of our species, man has been blessed with curiosity.”
Sound familiar? Astute readers will remember that they’ve seen this before. Visit the Hanso Foundation website and check out their mission statement:
“From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity. Our most precious gift, without exception, is the desire to know more - to look beyond what is accepted as the truth and to imagine what is possible.”
- Alvar Hanso, Address to the U.N. Security Council, 1967
Gasp! So Zeke is obviously a Hanso scientist, or a Hanso cult follower of some kind! Also, he says “smarter than any of us standing here” which means that Alfred Hanso isn’t one of the Others hidden in the forest, but it also seems to hint that Hanso is on the Island somewhere, just not standing there. Intrigue!
Podcast. This week’s podcast had two intriguing bits of information worth passing along.
The first involved Executive Producers Damon and Carlton (we’re on a first name basis) discussing the Monster from Eko’s episode two weeks back. They make this comment:
“We’ll leave it to the viewer to decipher what exactly we were seeing in the smoke. But it sure looked like the Monster was downloading Eko’s fears and anxieties. It almost seemed like it didn’t kill him because Eko wasn’t afraid of these fears. Maybe that’s the same reason Locke also survived his encounter.”
Now, the show’s creators are infamous for making sarcastic remarks in their podcast to tease viewers (especially the kind that they know will over-analyze everything they say – i.e., myself) but this sounded like a legitimate statement. If this is the case, I’ll have to rethink my monster theory from a few posts ago... Give me some time to wrap my head around it…
The other interesting comment was that Dharma is actually an acronym, not an anagram. A quick visit to dictionary.com reveals the following:
Acronym: A word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as NFL for National Football League, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar for radio detecting and ranging.
First, this means that I, along with everyone I work with, incorrectly use the term “acronym” almost every day at our job. Second, it really reminds me of Vanilla Sky, where there was an acronym in front of us the whole time (“Ellie” à L.E. à Life Extension) that explained the whole story without us knowing it. Based on everything we know about the Hanso foundation and their mission, I’m leaning towards it meaning something like…
D egroot and
A ssociation for
All the experiments on the Island seemingly deal with improving the human race / building a superior race. Or it could just be a homage to Jenna Elfman. Either way.
X-Factor. Check out the date on the X-Rays that Jack and his dad were looking at when the episode began… November 16, 2005! Since we know a lot happened after this flashback (Jack betraying his dad, his dad becoming an alcoholic, going to Australia, etc.) that means the “present day” we’re seeing on the Island must be in the future!
The really ironic thing is that a lot of the things we’ve seen on the Island seem out-of-date, as if they were from many years in the past. I still think there’s some weird Time Warp thing going on with the Island.
Alex. Did you catch who thrust the captured Kate into the foreground last week? Zeke said, “Bring her out, Alex.” This is all we saw…
But smart money is that this is CFL’s daughter Alex, raised by the Others! Tantalizing!
Speaking of which…
Doesn’t this look like Walt, from the scene where all the torches lit up in the forest? Check the top right corner. Or are my eyes playing tricks on me?
Geronimo Jackson. If you’re anything like me, as soon as you saw this record inside the Hatch last episode, you jumped on the Internet to research the band. What did you find? That’s right, the band doesn’t exist. Or if they did, they were so obscure that there isn’t a single mention of them anywhere on the Internet.
Although it’s pretty hilarious because everyone who tried to find them came upon this as the first search result:
Check out the Message Board – full of Hispanic speaking well wishers from 2004, then nothing, then a huge influx of people asking about Lost last week. Pretty hilarious.
(Note: there seems to be an “official” Geronimo Jackson website that sprung up last night – but I’m not sure of the authenticity. There’s no ABC “Terms of Conditions” like on most Lost-related websites, so it might just be a rabid fan capitalizing on the show and domain-squatting. At any rate, the one interesting morsel of information there is that the band formed at University of Michigan… the same place that the Degroots were from.)
Army. Lastly, we leave the episode with a story which I have been begging for since midway through Season One – building an army to combat the Others. We’ve seen Locke getting people to get over their inner demons and fears, but let’s take an honest look at the strengths of this army:
Locke – can take care of himself, use weapons, has uncanny outdoor knowledge
Eko – really strong, knows how to use a weapon, talks fun
Jack – natural leader, doctor
Ana-Lucia – police officer, men struggle to hit a girl
Sayid – Iraqi National Guard, expert in torturing and computers
Sawyer – knows how to use a gun, make witty comments to enemies like a superhero
Jin – former mafia member, will probably kill anyone wearing a watch
Kate – can blow things up, handle a gun, rob a bank
Hurley – good shield, potentially indestructible
Granted, if they’re facing an army of Ethans, who whopped up on Jack and Co. they might be in bad shape – but if it’s an army of grizzled pirate scientists, I like our odds!
That’s all for this week!
(NOTE: Due to numerous requests, you can now leave comments anonymously! You no longer have to "log in" or "have a blog" (read: be a nerd). I expect the number of comments each week to increase exponentially. You have no excuse.)
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Remember the picture that Jack looked at inside the Hatch when they first met Desmond?
Is that Sarah?!
Per Currin's request, here is a picture of Sarah:
Per McCullough-Desmond's request, here are Jack's reactions to the picture from "Orientation".
Let me know your thoughts.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Monday, January 16, 2006
Yes, once again the evils of “social life” and “work” kept me from updating my Blog in a timely fashion last week, so this week I’ll have to pull double duty to discuss the two most recent episodes, “What Kate Did” and “The 23rd Psalm”. I apologize for my absence and any inconvenience it caused you. Let’s start at the very beginning (a very good place to start)…
Kate. What did she do? Well, she murdered “Wayne”, her mother’s abusive boyfriend and her biological father in a sweet house explosion.
Does this make her a bad person? I guess in the legal sense of the word, yes. But as I predicted, her crime was something that is easy to forgive her for, so in the viewer’s eyes, she’s still a “good guy”. The more interesting part of the murder, as she reveals later in the episode, was why she did it. It wasn’t because Wayne was hitting her mother, it was because every time she looked at him, she was disgusted by the thought that he was a part of her. His murder was her way of “killing” her “dark side”.
This goes a long way in explaining the “love triangle” we’ve seen on the show since the first episode. Let me explain. We have our resident island hottie, Kate – with her dark side uber-repressed, trying to be the good girl on the island, and she’s faced with two potential suitors…
Suitor Number One – Jack. He’s a doctor, he saves people, he’s the alpha male of the Survivors of Flight 815. Plus, he’s pretty hunky, and was on Party of Five. What’s not to like? Nothing, except that he doesn’t seem that into her, and there isn’t that pure electric attraction between the two of them. If she was thinking with her head, however – this would be the man for her.
The Second Suitor (not so subtle Mallrats reference) – Sawyer. He’s a bad boy with a dark past and long, rebellious hair. He gives people hilarious nicknames and deep down inside, you know he’d have your back if the going got tough. What’s not to like? Nothing, except that he awakens the “bad girl” side of Kate, which she blew up a house to try and rid herself of. But if she’s thinking with her heart, this is the boy that makes her feel all tingly inside.
So the root of Kate’s inner struggle all comes back to the common theme of “head vs. heart”. This episode saw her shift from one end of the spectrum to the other, and finally decide on which boy would become Mr. Kate Austen.
Early in the episode, she is visited by the spirit of Wayne, embodied in the sleeping Sawyer (very similar to how Sawyer was haunted by the spirit of the man he murdered embodied in the island boar that was torturing him). This freaks Kate out, and she runs, as it brings to the forefront the memories of her past and her dark side. In an attempt to say “I choose the light side”, she finds Jack in the forest and this results…
However, as soon as the moment has passed, she has this freakout expression:
Now, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t gotten that reaction a few times in my life after a sloppy makeout session – so I know what it means:
Although she tried her best to bury her dark past and side with her head, there’s no sparkage. She suddenly comes to the realization that despite her best efforts, she’s going to choose the “bad girl” side and freaks out.
(Note: This doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s a “bad guy” on the show, but just that she’s the female equivalent to Sawyer rather than the female equivalent of Jack.)
Put the love triangle to rest! Kate chooses Sawyer!
This decision is embodied in two things:
1. Cutting Sawyer’s hair in the next episode. Like so many girls who choose the “bad boy”, they think they can change them into a “good guy”. We all know that good guys have clean, conservative haircuts. So, once she realizes that Sawyer is the one for her, she begins to “work” on him.
2. Her embrace of the black horse at the end. Which leads us to…
The Black Horse. Yeah, the whole “horse” deal was pretty weird. First, we have its appearance in her flashback, basically saving her from imprisonment by wrecking the car:
Then we have Kate seeing what appears to be the same horse on the island (but admittedly, all black horses look pretty alike to me). So is it the same black horse? Initially, I wanted to chalk this up to another Dharma animal experiment on the Island (along with the logo-branded shark and Walt’s polar bear), but after this week’s Eko episode, I’m less inclined to and more inclined to think that everyone on the Island has this “mind’s eye” power and is bringing things from their past to the Island. More on that later though, I need to stay focused on the horse…
When Kate first sees it, she assumes she’s hallucinating, and her conversation with Charlie would seem to confirm it:
Kate: “I saw a horse.”
Charlie: “Saw a horse? Yeah, that’s what happens when you don’t sleep.”
Kate: “Do you think there are horses here?”
Charlie: “Horses? No.”
But later when she sees it, Sawyer sees it as well – and she goes so far as to touch it. It’s very real, and not a product of sleep deprivation.
Symbolically, a black horse indicates impending death, destruction, Satan, and evil influences. Traitors, murderers, and the devil in disguise all ride black horses in mythology. (PS – also, in researching this, one Christian website claimed that “magicians” ride black horses, keeping with the “Harry Potter is the Devil” motif that the church likes to keep. Hilarious. Gob Bluth is the devil!)
While I can’t really explain where the black horse in her past came from, that saved her from prison, if you look at the symbolism involved, her seeing and embracing the horse falls right in line with her struggle with her dark side, and eventual embrace of it:
The fact that Sawyer sees the horse as well indicates a bond between the two of them, very similar to how Sayid saw Walt once he allegedly “loved” Shannon. More on this later as well…
I think that Jack senses Kate’s decision as well. First, there was this exchange between Jack and Hurley in the woods:
Hurley notes that Jack is cutting wood – like Sawyer used to do when he was angry. Does this represent Jack trying to “be like Sawyer” to try and win her back? Then, there’s the scene with Jack and Ana-Lucia at the end:
Where he shows up with the drinks he promised her before Flight 815 took off. Poor Jack, he’s basically settling for the next best thing on the Island since he knows Kate is taken.
Okay, enough psycho-analyzing of Kate Austen, her lovers, and her horse. On to the rest of the points:
Michael. There were some very interesting little scenes involving Michael, which intrigue me greatly. When he first sees the video, he is extremely skeptical of it, to the point where he’s like “Are you kidding me? You guys are continuing to push a button every 108 minutes because some old video told you so? Hello! I feel like everyone is taking crazy pills!” This paints Michael as a realist. With Jack now fully buying into the pushing of the button (and having “faith”), we need someone to question the system and bring a dose of reality to the situation.
However, as soon as I was ready to proclaim Michael the one to end the crazy button-pushing-experiment, he starts to see Walt talking to him through the computer:
Is Walt at some “Other Computer” elsewhere on the Island? When Jack looks at the screen during “The 23rd Psalm”, it’s blank. Is Michael imagining all of this, or do Walt / The Others have the ability to erase the screen on command? I’m leaning towards him going a little crazy, but it looks like these imaginary conversations have set him over the edge, and he’s going on a full fledged Walt hunt next episode.
Blast Doors. Before IMing with Walt, Michael also notes the blast doors inside the bunker. The real question, are they there to prevent something inside the Hatch from getting out, or prevent something from outside the Hatch from getting in? This kinda falls into the same category as the “Quarantine” sign that was on the inside of the Hatch, but given the Dr. Marvin Candle video talking of “the incident”, I almost wonder if the blast doors were put in place to prevent something from getting out. After the first incident, were the blast doors added in the event that if another incident ever happened, it would be contained? What is this “incident” he speaks of? I want answers!
Eko. Lastly, we have the very intriguing exchange between Locke and Eko where the story of Josiah is told. Now, if you’re anything like me, you had never heard this particular Bible story before, and had a very difficult time following it. Here’s a quick summary:
King Josiah was the last good thing that happened to the Israelites before their kingdom was destroyed.
Josiah became king as a child of only eight, and soon took an interest in the LORD, contrary to his father. Early in life he instituted reforms and took steps against idol worship.
At 25 years of age, Josiah decided to rebuild the LORD's temple, which had deteriorated with age. As the workers were cleaning, they found an obscure book that no one had ever heard of — the Bible, forgotten by previous generations. As the king listened to his secretary read the Bible, he was struck with grief and terror, certain the LORD was furious with Josiah and his people for their disobedience.
Immediately, Josiah set upon a sweeping program to eliminate pagan worship and renew the ancient covenant of the LORD. He toured the land, destroying pagan shrines, and celebrated the Passover for the first time in decades.
The revival was wonderful. But as soon as Josiah died, the people returned to their evil ways, and before his sons reached middle age, the LORD's judgment for centuries of evil practices came, and the kingdom was destroyed.
Heady stuff, right?
There are some obvious symbolically parallels that we can draw from this. Eko found the Bible in the Arrow Hatch, which looked to have been left and forgotten about long ago. Likewise, Eko himself represents the re-introduction of religion to our castaways that none have seen since the plane crash. If we assume that everyone on the Island has some sort of grave “sin” in their past, perhaps the only way that they can find redemption is through Eko… although seemingly John Locke was doing the exact same during the first season.
The only thing I can’t place is if there is any “idol worship” going on. I suppose you could relate this to them “worshipping” the timer by blindly pressing the combination every 108 minutes, but it seems to be a bit of stretch. I wonder if there isn’t some sort of idol worship going on with the Others somewhere else on the Island, perhaps even of the “monster”. We’ve seen the black smoke rising from the island, which makes these Others seem ritualistic – we’ll have to wait and see.
The way that Eko tells the story, he notes that the book is “the book of Law”, and “it was with that ancient book, not with the gold, that the temple was rebuilt”. Since a splice of the film was found inside the book that gives more knowledge about the Island itself, I wonder if in time we’ll find other Hatches, each with another piece of the film, and when they are all put together, we’ll finally have an understanding of what is going on with the Island. Perhaps it isn’t until you understand what’s happening that you can begin to rebuild civilization on the Island?
Okay, I think that’s all for “What Kate Did”. Now we move on to “The 23rd Psalm”. Want to hear something really ironic? I started writing my post for this episode last week, and the conclusion I came to, after doing my typical “preview analysis” was that Eko was a drug lord who turned religious after some sort of tragedy involving his family. I am the smartest man alive! Or I could by lying to you right now when I say that, how would you know? At any rate, let’s rock and roll on this, and then we’ll be all caught up!
The 23rd Psalm. Well, before we start, let’s make sure we all know the Psalm in question:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Some of that should sound familiar to you Coolio fans out there. But what does it mean?
Good vs. Evil. The main theme of the episode seemed to be the difference between good and evil, and how there often isn’t a clear distinction between the two. Rather than everything being black and white, right and wrong, in reality there is a lot of gray and maybe. Eko faced a tough decision at a very early age, basically sacrificing himself so that his brother could have a better life. But it seems that although he accepted his situation, he still had an aim of doing good on even his worse actions. He even justified transporting the drugs by saying he was “taking them out of Nigeria”. Were these justifications honest, or just something he told himself to clear his conscience?
Remember when we all thought that the Others were trying to steal Eko, since he was one of the “good ones”? Well, now that’s seeming less likely – he seems to be just like everyone else on the Island – his soul has a tortured past, he’s done some serious bad (perhaps the worst of anyone on the Island), yet he’s looking for redemption – and in his heart he is a good person.
So back to the Psalm.
At the end of the episode, as Charlie and Eko recite the words, you really feel like they both mean it. Both have had a rough go at some points in their life, but they both were religious at the start, and although both headed down a dark path, God stayed with them throughout. You can see the message of the Psalm applying to both, stressing the importance of having faith during the rough times.
Lastly, Eko carries a stick (or “rod”, or “staff”), and fears no evil - even big scary smokey monsters…
Smokey. Behold the Monster. Or at least part of it. Here are the facts, before I start hypothesizing on what they mean:
- The Monster comes up from the ground, and returns to the ground. In the process it uproots and knocks down trees.
- The Monster makes a “cicada-like” sound, as well as mechanical noises.
- The Monster is semi-transparent, appearing to be smoke, or made up of a multitude of small things – such as a swarm of bugs.
- The Monster is solid, at least some of the time, as it grabbed Locke last season.
I’ve re-watched the scene of the encounter with Eko about ten times, freeze framing the images where the camera swung through the cloud of the Monster. Here’s what I see:
- Flashes of light inside the smoke, like lightning inside a storm cloud.
- A flash of an image of a Virgin Mary statue
So what does this all mean?
To the best of our knowledge as a viewer, the Monster killed the Pilot in the first episode, and encountered both Locke and Eko without harming them. Locke seemed changed by his encounter, but Eko appears to remain the same. So is the Monster good or evil? What is it anyways?!
There are two ways I could understand this Monster, the scientific or the spiritual way:
Scientific. The monster is some sort of cloud of nanobots. Here’s a refresher for your nanobot neophytes:
Nanorobotics is the technology of creating machines or at or close to the scale of a millionth of a millimetre. More specifically, nanorobotics refers to the still largely theoretical nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanobots. Since nanorobots would be microscopic in size, it may be necessary for very large numbers of them to work together to perform macroscopic tasks. As no nanobots have so far been created, they remain a hypothetical concept at this time.
Since the creators of Lost have said the show would always be based on science or “pseudo-science”, this seems like the most logical answer. Really, really small robots that the good people at Dharma were working on that somehow got released on the Island. Millions of them working together would have the power to uproot trees, tear apart a person, or drag Locke by the leg.
But what logic are they working under? Typically, a machine is built with specific instructions of what tasks it is supposed to be accomplishing. Why would they kill the Pilot but merely look at Eko? It doesn’t quite add up.
Spiritual. You could go a number of ways the spiritual route, seeing the Monster as…
- A collection of spirits of people the Survivors killed in their lives, reminding them of their sins, torturing them, etc.
- A “grim reaper” of sorts that takes people away from the Island once their sins have been repented, playing the “purgatory theory”.
- A magical cloud that is a living, thinking organism – judging good and evil, killing and sparing people as it sees fit.
You could make convincing arguments for any of these, but they wouldn’t be based in science or pseudo-science, and seem a little too “out there” for the show, don’t you think?
So what is the Monster? Here’s what I think:
Given the way that the Monster seemed to be “reading” Eko, and the flash of the Virgin Mary inside, it seems like the Monster is either different for each person, or that it has the ability to read the mind of the person it encounters and show them scenes from their past. Locke said he looked into the eye of the Island and it was beautiful. He also made the comment to Boone about “is that what the Monster showed you?”, as if knowing it would be different things for different people. But what did Locke see that was beautiful? His past is pretty tragic.
Perhaps the Monster isn’t showing you things from your past, but rather showing you things from the future.
Remember the Hanso Accelerated Remote Viewing Training Facility referenced in the video? It seemed to focus on the ability to see things in the future. Walt seemed to have this power, but what if the Hanso Scientists created some sort of mechanical device (say, out of Nanobots anyone?) that had the same ability and could “display” what it saw? The future looks bright for Locke (and let’s face it, he’s pretty much living out his dream on the Island), it showed Boone Shannon’s death (which happened shortly after), and it showed Eko the Virgin Mary statues (which he would come across in the crashed plane).
The only missing piece of the puzzle is why it killed the Pilot. Did he react violently to the images he saw and freak the Monster out, causing it to take him? Did he see his own death (he did have substantial wounds from the crash)? CFL referred to the Monster as a “Security System”. If we view the Monster as a machine, I guess it could be programmed to attack anyone who got too close to its core facility – such as the pilot in the nose of the plane – but if you’re a safe distance away, it just looks at you (Eko and Locke)? Perhaps this is simply a feature to protect its own existence. If you got to the core computer running the machine, maybe you could “turn it off”? Maybe the Monster was part of an experiment gone wrong (an “incident”, perhaps?) and now functions properly some of the time (Eko / Locke) and goes berserk some of the time (Pilot), and it’s just coincidence the two spiritual people survived their encounters?
I know there are some holes in this explanation, but it’s the one that makes the most sense to me right now.
Charlie. The really puzzling thing about the end of this episode was that Charlie had been stashing away Virgin Mary statues in the woods. Didn’t you really think that he was earnest when he told Claire that he was over his addiction? And after his spiritual journey with Eko, didn’t he seem to be above it? Is he keeping them around as a temptation, to prove that he doesn’t need them anymore? For medicinal purposes in case someone gets seriously hurt? Or does it just goes to show, that he is still weak, and not really over it?
Plane. Okay, seriously – how did the plane end up on the Island? There is no way that a plane that was just supposed to “cross the border” of Nigeria would end up in the South Pacific. They weren’t intending on going anywhere near there, the plane didn’t have the fuel to make it there, and the odds of that plane crashing on that Island are impossibly small. So what gives?
Well, if you think about it, more and more Survivors are seeing things from their past on the Island. The interesting thing is, you can’t chalk them up to hallucinations since there are other people involved in seeing them as well.
Shannon saw Walt, as did Sayid.
Kate saw the Black Horse, as did Sawyer.
Eko saw the Plane, as did Locke, Boone, Sayid, and Charlie.
These things are real.
So there’s two options here:
- The Hanso Scientists have this experiment really planned out, it’s complex to the point where they have researched their test subjects lives and brought items to the Island that would make the Survivors have a reaction to, all for the purposes of their experiment. Not likely. How could they know about the Black Horse that wrecked the car Kate was in? Would they really go so far as to create a body that resembled Eko’s brother? Seems a little far fetched.
- Everyone on the Island has a bit of this “mind’s eye” power, and are subconsciously bringing things from their past to the reality on the Island. Walt has demonstrated this ability with the polar bear, and seems to have the most control of the power – but what if everyone is actually doing it as we speak, without knowing it? The results could be catastrophic!
I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw each Survivor come into contact with something from their past that shouldn’t possibly be on the Island, or something from their thoughts that manifests itself as reality.
So there you have it. Two weeks worth of analysis in one super-sized post. But we’re not quite done yet. There’s a new episode this week! Here’s a brief analysis, because my fingers are exhausted.
Episode Title: “The Hunting Party”
Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: First the obvious. Last week, we saw Michael taking target practice. This week, it looks like he’s arming himself up and heading out to find his son. Likewise, we have another group of Survivors heading out to find Michael (and Walt, perhaps). Michael is “hunting” for Walt. Everyone else is “hunting” for Michael.
But remember the last scene of the preview last week? Ominous torches surrounding the Survivors, with a voice saying “This is our Island”? Could it be that these “Others” are hunting all of them as they trek through the jungle? The hunter becomes the hunted!
TV Guide Description: Jack, Locke and Sawyer pursue a determined Michael after he heads into the jungle toward the dreaded "Others" in search of Walt. Meanwhile, Sun has a surprising reaction to Jin's desire to join the search party, and Hurley and Charlie commiserate over the age-old conundrum of "what women want."
TV Guide Breakdown: First sentence… got it. My money is that we see the full sentence that Walt typed to Michael last week and he gives him a specific location to come. Hello, trap? This is Michael, I'm on my way. Second sentence – what would Sun’s reaction be? Surprise that Jin has a desire to save Michael? Perhaps she doesn’t understand the bonding they had when they were captured by Ana-Lucia and during the trek through the jungle. Perhaps now that she has her Jinny-poo safe and sound with her, she doesn’t want to let him out of her sight again? Last sentence… I think Hurley has a thing for Libby. Remember this little throwaway scene?
There was some chemistry there. Hurley needs some lovin’ too, after all. Plus, once Libby finds out he’s rich, she’ll like him. There’s no such thing an ugly rich guy (or girl). Hurley probably views Charlie as the biggest “ladies man” in the group, since he used to be a rock star.
I’m pretty excited for this week, it looks like the full out “Others vs. Survivors” war I talked about incessantly last year might finally be starting up!
So that’s it. Four and a half hours of analysis, research, and typing. I give and I give to you, loyal reader. Now I’m exhausted. Leave some love in the Comments section.
(PS - I never even discussed this, but here is a picture to discuss (check out the TV in the background):