You know, up until the last ten minutes of the episode, I was thinking to myself "huh, this is a surprisingly thin episode." Sure, there was plenty of great action and plot development, but nothing that made you think too hard or over-analyze for the first forty minutes... then Ben started his "Magic Box" talk, and then the episode ended with Locke's Dad tied up in a room - leaving my mind totally boggled (note: WTF was a close second for the "three letter review" of the episode).
So what does it all mean? Well, here's what I'll be pondering tomorrow...
- The Others. Very few are actually native to the Island. Most seem to be coerced into coming to the Island under the pretense of being able to leave... but it's just a sham. It seems that Ben keeps them there until they become "believers" and don't want to leave - via brainwashing? Does that make Ben one of a dying breed of decendents of the people who made the four-toed statue? Did they die out due to infertility?
- The Barracks. Something about this doesn't add up for me. If we assume the Barracks were created by Dharma, and the Others are NOT Dharma, then where did the Others use to live? Did you see the walls of Ben's house featuring pictures of Alex growing up? Clearly the Others have had the technology to take and print photographs for quite some time - so they must have had a decent little civilization pre-Dharma, right?
- The Magic Box. "Imagine if I told you there was a box, and when you opened the box, whatever you wished was inside." Jigga what? At first I was thinking this was some sort of symbolism for "the Island will give you whatever you want" - not be taken literally... then Locke's dad appeared. Up until now, Smokey was the number one thing on "Lost" that couldn't be explained logically using pseudo-science... but now this "Magic Box" takes the cake. This can't be real, can it? Or is this what is used to entice people to come to (and stay on) the Island? Some magic power to tie into the mind and make wishes come true? Are they really just at Disney World?
- Locke's Dad. Has he always been there? So he was the "man from Tallahassee" that Ben summoned from Alpert while Locke was hiding in the closet, right? Was this just an illusion? Did he somehow "appear" via Magic Box powers? Does this mean that Jack's dad might also really be on the Island? As crazy as it sounds, if the Island does make "wishes come true", it would go a long way in explaining the freaky coincidence stuff we've seen so far with Jack's Dad, Eko's Plane (and Yemi), Kate's Horse, etc. All the stuff that we previously chalked up to Smokey... so does that make Smokey the Magic Box? Smokey the Magic Dragon? He scans you, finds your wishes and desires, and then makes them come true if you're "worthy"? Think about it - he scanned Locke a while ago - "creating" his Father on the Island, who the Others then kidnapped, not knowing what else to do with him. I'll keep working on this theory, but I think it has the most logic behind it so far.
- Locke. Ben pretty much came out and said it - Locke is Team Island. Although Ben doesn't know why, Locke is taking up the causes of the Island, making him the enemy of both the Others and the Survivors. Another sad Locke flashback to make us feel bad for him, when we really should be viewing him as public enemy number one.
Just like Bob Lawblaw, that was quite a mouthful. Sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to get the instant reactions out in raw form before I start second-guessing myself. All in all, it was a great episode - but let's be honest, without that ending it would have just been a solid episode. In the end my dropped jaw hadn't returned to its normal closed position when the preview for next week aired... which dropped it even farther. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First things first. I'll try to make some sense of this episode in the next few days.
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