Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Par Avion" Analysis

After three solid weeks of Lost in a row, with next week looking to potentially be one of the all-time great episodes, I think a lot of people are forgetting the frustration we all felt with the first six episodes of the Season. If you ask me, life is pretty good right now for Lost fans. Without further ado, here is the slightly delayed analysis of this past week…

Claire. As I’ve always said, Claire is one of my least favorite characters on the show. Now that baby Aaron has been born and doesn’t seem to be of any interest to the Others, she doesn’t really have any engaging storylines going on. She seemed like a totally expendable character. Then this episode happened, and you could argue she’s one of the central characters to the show. Why?

She is Jack’s pseudo-sister. The writers couldn’t kill her before this is revealed, could they? I suppose you have to debate which would be the more interesting storyline – dead Claire forcing other Survivors to raise Aaron or Jack and Claire having a heartfelt reunion on the Island. I have to think that the writers would opt for the later. As I said before, the only way this “reveal” would actually happen is if the Others were to disclose this information to Jack or Claire – but that really doesn’t seem to far-fetched anymore, given the knowledge that they seem to have about each Survivor.

The good news is, while it looks like Claire will be sticking around, at least her character is getting more interesting after this week’s flashback. As I said in my “Instant Reactions”, I interpreted the last scene of her flashback as a tearful apology / confession at her comatosed mother’s bedside – which makes Claire yet another one of our Survivors with a sketchy past – the kind of past that would make you “unworthy” of making Jacob’s List.

Some have questioned how I arrived at this conclusion. Well, if you combine what Claire said at the end of her flashback to her mother (“I’m sorry I said I hated you. Wished you weren’t my mother. Wished you were dead. It’s all my fault. The accident. Everything.”) with the Cop’s questioning of her earlier in the flashback (which indicated that it was Claire’s car that swerved and hit the truck – at a high speed – not vice versa), it paints the following picture:

Angsty Claire is driving with her mom as the passenger. The two start to argue about any number of teenage issues where she and her mom don’t see eye to eye. Claire gets irrational and goes on her “I hate you, I wish you were dead” rant. Either intentionally or unintentionally (because she’s so worked up) she starts to speed and loses control of the car. Bam.

Did Claire kill her mother? No. Technically, she’s not even dead yet. But Claire is keeping her alive using machines out of guilt (remember Jack’s Dad’s speech about the difference between guilt and hope?), because if she lets her die – then she in fact does become a “murderer”.

But either way, it adds Claire (one of the last holdouts!) to the list of (main character) Survivors with seriously sketchy or murderous pasts. In fact, the only character left who we haven’t seen with a morally destructive past is John Locke… and I get the feeling that could come into play with this week’s episode.

The other really intriguing thing about Claire is that she seems to be kryptonite for Charlie. Think about it – every time that Desmond has saved Charlie’s life, we have found out that he was going to die because of Claire. How long will it take for Charlie to put two and two together and realize the connection? Forcing him to choose between love and life is a pretty meaty storyline for his character (the kind he definitely needs). While each of Desmond’s visions so far have had some logical incongruities (why did he need to prevent Jin and Claire from catching the first bird? Wouldn’t that have saved Charlie too?), I’m excited to see if the trend of Claire’s involvement in each potential death continues. Again, it’s something that makes not only Charlie, but also Claire, a much more interesting character.

Family. As for Christian Shephard, he continues to be the character who has crossed paths with the most Survivors (Ana-Lucia, Jack, Claire, Sawyer). It also looks like he attempted to live a double life for quite some time – with one family in Australia, and one in Los Angeles. Talk about racking up the frequent flyer miles! Suddenly it all makes sense why Dr. Shephard, after having his life in LA fall apart and his son rat him out for performing surgery drunk, would go on a drinking binge in Australia and attempt to reconnect with his “other family”.

Some crazy people have suggested that Christian Shephard may in fact be the “Jacob” that is in control of the Others, and that the crash of Flight 815 was an elaborate scheme to get both of his kids on the Island with him. I know it seems like a neat way to tie everything together in a nice little package, but the number of facts that seemingly disprove this theory far outweigh any theories that could make it work… plus it would be a little too close to the Irina Derevko storyline on Alias.

Christian Shephard is dead. Numerous doctors would have examined his body in Australia (including Jack, who identified him in the morgue). It’s hard to imagine Christian leading a double life in Australia and LA while still being a successful surgeon, let along a THIRD life as leader of the Others. No, I think we’ll meet this “Jacob” at some point this season – but when we do, if it’s Christian Shephard, we’re going to need an entire episode of nothing but explanations about why and how this could be possible – and I don’t see that happening. Let this theory go.

CFL. However, feel free to jump onboard the “CFL is an Other” bandwagon, because after this episode, you’ve got more solid evidence that would support this theory. It was pretty convenient that CFL interrupted Patchy right as he was about to out John Locke’s paralysis. But if you think about it, if CFL was an Other, why would she care that Sayid and Kate learned about Locke’s paralysis? What harm would that bring to their cause? Reveal that they know a whole lot about everyone? Make them believe that the Island really is magic? Start questioning the motives of John Locke?

I’m not sold on it. On the other hand, a theory that might make more sense is that John Locke and CFL are both members of “Team Island”, working to sabotage any escape plans of the Survivors and take down the Others. It still has holes (like, why would CFL not go to the Flame last week?), but if you look at it from this angle, it would explain why she acted to protect Locke’s secret this week. She knows more about the Island than she is willing to let on, but isn’t an Other. She’s received “enlightenment” and survival skills from the Island just like Locke. Her random appearances to our Survivors have all been part of a larger plan, set in action by the Island / Smokey, to use our Survivors to finally get rid of those pesky “Others”. It’s yet another (debatable but flawed) theory for you to chew on.

But my thought? CFL is still just on “Team Crazy”. I think the writers are intentionally throwing these red herrings out to make us question the motives of CFL, but at the same time, they’re also giving us scenes that logically explain her actions, if we would just take them for face value and forget the other things she has said and done. Last week, it was the “I have survived this long by avoiding the Others”. This week, it was “I’m not showing any emotion because I know Alex isn’t going to know me” – which, by the way, is great foreshadowing for a potential Kate and Jack reunion where Jack doesn’t know or doesn’t react to Kate’s arrival with tears of joys and a hug-fest.

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong down the road, but for now, I still think CFL isn’t Dharma or Other or Team Island – I think she’s just crazy.

Patchy. Oh Patchy, we hardly knew thee – yet you gave us more insight about the Island and the Others over the course of your brief scenes than any other character on the show has in the past three seasons… and for that, you’ll definitely be missed. He went out the way he would have wanted, protecting the secrets of the Others the best way that he was able. He thanked Locke for giving him his release, as it kept him from being held responsible for the Search Party arriving at the Barracks or indirectly giving them any assistance. The Others are not only willing, but quite happy to die for their cause, and Patchy was given the chance to do it this week.

But before he died, he did give us some more tantalizing clues. For one, he confirmed that it was indeed the “electromagnetic pulse” from the Swan Hatch implosion that knocked out the Others’ communication. He also explained that since then, the homing beacon no longer functioned, which meant that if the Others used the submarine to leave the Island, they would not be able to return – and clearly these wacky cult members think they’ve found paradise and are not willing to take the risk of leaving and not being able to get back.

Initially, I thought this might explain why Ben needed Jack to perform his surgery, why he couldn’t leave the Island and have it performed in the real world – but then I recalled that the kidnapping of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer took place BEFORE the electromagnetic pulse – at a time when the Others still could have been coming and going to the real world as they pleased. So unless they could see the future (in which case, why not go and get the surgery done like three months ago?), it doesn’t help explain this mystery.

Patchy also demonstrated the Other’s uncanny knowledge about each of our Survivors (note that he didn’t say anything about CFL though… she must be an Other! Oh wait, I already went through that…) including pre-Island knowledge about Locke’s paralysis. Even though their knowledge continues to be things that could easily be obtained through medical records, police reports, and other easily obtainable information – but there’s still that nagging thought that they have some sort of “mind-reading powers”. It would explain some of the experiments being performed on the Island, their interest in Walt, and the whispers we’ve heard in the jungle. Also, obtaining the information they have about each of our Survivors would be possible if they were some super-powerful organization (Hanso), but if we learned last week that they are NOT associated with Dharma, where would this “ancient Island civilization” gain this information? For that matter, how did the Others come and go from the Island pre-Dharma, if the submarine was indeed theirs? How could they have recruited Patchy roughly 20 years ago (he said was 24 when he was “recruited” – I would say he looks about 45 or 50, right?) if they didn’t have means of coming and going to the Island?

It doesn’t add up. It’s funny that it seems the more we learn about the Others, the more puzzling they become. With each passing week, another theory that could have potentially explained them seems to find new holes… and there aren’t a lot of new theories springing up that tie everything together. That either means the writers are doing a great job, and are much smarter than we are – or we’ve gotten some misinformation along the way that is throwing us off. Either way, I’m extremely hopeful that next week’s episode brings us closer to the explanation that we’ve all been waiting for.

Lastly, Patchy again referenced “Jacob’s List” – not to be confused with Ms. Klugh’s list of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley – but rather the “original list” that determined who would be kidnapped and assimilated to the Others’ culture, and who would not be. It seems like the ones that weren’t on the list are the ones who have sketchy pasts, huge emotional baggage, and major issues that make them “unworthy” of the utopian bliss that the Island provides. It also would explain why our Survivors are not on the list – since these are the same people that we learn each week via flashback have some sketchy pasts (as we learned with Claire this week). Ironically, the audience views the Survivors as the “good guys”, and the Others as the “bad guys”. But technically, if what Patchy is saying is true – it’s the exact opposite. Our Survivors, even though we feel the most emotional attachment to, are the “bad guys”. We’re giving them all the benefit of the doubt because we believe that they can find redemption and overcome their past sins – but if you didn’t buy into this spiritual line of forgiveness thinking, like the Others – it makes perfect sense that they wouldn’t want our Survivors “polluting” their perfect world.

I remember a long time ago – maybe early Season Two? – I said that the best Series Ending I could imagine would be to find out that the Others were the good guys all along, and that our Survivors basically hosed them and ruined paradise. In my mind, it would be a delicious surprise ending that would really make the audience think about the nature of good and evil, and how important perspective is in deciding which is which… but it’s probably a little too heady and a “downer” for the masses. Still, Patchy’s comments give the theory some legs.

Security System. Speaking of mysterious things about the Others, this week we finally encountered the “security system” that surrounds their Barracks (which look to be the same “neighborhood” looking place that we saw in the first scene of the season). It’s hard to say what technically happened to Patchy when he was pushed between the pillars, but it seemed to be some sort of electrocution. The weird thing is that he passed through it before the force started making him foam at the mouth and his ears bleed, yet our Survivors could climb over it, land in the same area as he was “zapped”, and be fine. What gives? Was this just an opportunity to show Kate straddle and climb up a tree (which was unbelievably hot, PS), or is there some sort of “technical” explanation – where passing through the plane subjected you to its power “shot you” regardless of where you went next. Our Survivors, climbing over the plane, never got “shot”, and could therefore walk freely where Patchy met his demise.

Clearly this sort of technology is quite advanced (a development of the Dharma Initiative scientists, for sure), but it’s odd that it was so easily bypassed by our Search Party. You would have to think it would be full of cameras too, right? Watching the perimeter and detecting anyone who came into a close proximity to it? Yet our Search Party seemingly bypassed it and arrived at the Barracks without much incident. Strange.

In fact, when you look at Sayid’s electrical map, it shows a tunnel system that goes under the Security System, which is clearly how the Others come and go from the Barracks (and probably Sayid’s number one escape strategy once they “rescue” Jack). So when you figure that you can easily go over or under the Security System, it loses some of its thunder, doesn’t it? It’s almost as if it was designed as a way to keep very simple-minded people or animals from getting through it – anyone with smarts could easily bypass it.

In my mind, this would indicate that when Dharma built the perimeter, they either thought that the Others were not too smart – and what amounts to a big electric fence would keep them at bay… or that the fence isn’t intended to keep the Others out. Once again, I think the design of the Security System points towards Dharma building it to keep “Island Savages” out – experiment rejects who walk around the Island barefoot and drag teddy bears in a noose. This was always one of my favorite theories about the Island that has lost a lot of momentum since Season Three started, but I think the Security System once again gives some evidence that there just might be another group on the Island – high on brawn, low on brain – that is the real purpose of the Security System. If you ask me, this would provide a very easy way to have our Survivors “merge” with the Others by having a common enemy. I guess just keep it in the back of your mind for now, since there definitely isn’t enough evidence to support it… and there’s always the chance that the Security System had to be simple enough for the Search Party to pass in order for the Jack Rescue to continue and we’re all just over thinking it.

Locke. I’ve really been on the fence with Locke these past two weeks. In my Instant Reactions, I always think he’s a bad guy – but then once I have time to rationalize the episode, I start to shift back to thinking he’s just a misguided guy. Well, after this episode, I think it’s safe to say that Locke clearly has different motives than the rest of the Search Party, and our Survivors in general. They want to rescue Jack and eventually get off the Island. Locke wants to understand the Island and stay there forever. Does that make him a “bad guy”? From the perspective of our Survivors, absolutely.

Does this mean that he intentionally blew up the Flame Hatch by entering 77? I think it’s important to think about what we missed from that episode. Clearly, Locke had time to wander around the station on his own (when he stole the C4), so it’s safe to assume that there was more to the Marvin Candle message on the computer than simply “If you are under attack from hostiles, enter 77”. Perhaps the next message was “station will self-destruct in ten minutes”. But regardless of what entering 77 actually accomplished, it definitely feels like Locke was responsible for the explosion in some way. The Flame Station represented a way to communicate with the outside world and potentially get off the Island – and this is something that goes against Locke’s goals.

While last week I was willing to forgive his actions as being ignorant about the repercussions, this episode we found that his excuse to Sayid when questioned was “if I knew there was C4 in the basement, I wouldn’t have done it” – yet then find out that not only did he know about the C4, but swiped some. Locke knew exactly what he was doing – and I think our “Locke Problem” is going to come to a head in the next few episodes here. If he really is on “Team Island”, it will be very obvious once he spends some time at the Barracks… which should be next week!

Barracks. Speaking of the Barracks, did they look like some type of summer camp to anyone else? If you look at the background, we have Others standing around with pool sticks, riding bikes and having a good time. It definitely gives the impression of the Barracks being a sort of “utopia” where everyone is happy and having a good time. You don’t see Others’ toiling in fields, worrying about Smokey or our Survivors, or guarding their Barracks with guns. It’s definitely a side to the Others that we didn’t see on Alcatraz, and would seem to indicate that once you succumb to their way of thinking, life is pretty good. Maybe we just happened to catch them during “recreation hours”, or are only looking at one area of the Barracks dedicated to “fun”, but the Others sure do seem to be loving life on the Island...

Jack. And that brings us to Jack, who seems to be fully participating in the fun that the Barracks provide. The episode ended with a beautifully shot scene of Jack running towards the Search Party, only to have him make a cut and catch a football at the last minute, revealing he’s happily tossing the football with Tom (who, by the way, had potentially the worst throwing motion I’ve ever seen – clearly he’s not a member of the Others’ intramural football team) leaving the audience sitting with their jaws dropped in shock. Great, great, scene. So what’s up?

Well, I think you can narrow it down to one of four possibilities, each with varying degrees of likelihood:
  1. Jack is Brainwashed. They subjected Jack to the a “Rave Room” just like Crazy Carl, and now he’s a card carrying Other, worshipping Jacob and planting a happy seed with Juliet. It’s an easy answer, but it’s not likely. In Island time, we’re only looking at four or five days passing since we last saw Jack, which doesn’t seem like a long enough time to break him down and rebuild him with crazy brainwashing techniques – especially for someone as stubborn and headstrong as Jack. If you think about it, it’s not hard to imagine Crazy Carl had been subjected to those techniques for many days or even weeks – and still wasn’t changed. It’s not likely that it could have changed Jack so fast.
  2. Jack is Drugged. They subjected Jack to the same “Happy Drugs” that they gave to Claire to make her a willing participant in the Others’ babynapping hijinx. It would explain the quick turnaround, and the dumb grin that Jack had while tossing the football – but the preview for next week seems to show a Jack that is clear of mind, not a loopy Jack like we saw from Claire when injected with the drugs. Still, it’s an easy explanation that could still set the stage for the heartbreaking “I don’t know you” scene between Jack and Kate, and a Jack who is reluctant to cooperate with the Search Party.
  3. Jack is Making the Best of What’s Around (yes, this – and the last time I wrote it – were intentional DMB references). If you go along with the “Jack has given up on life on the Island” line of thinking, it makes sense. He thinks that Kate has chosen Sawyer over him, and that he has nothing left on the Island worth fighting for. He’s basically given up, and just wants to get off the Island and go home. He’s tired of being the leader, fighting the good fight, and trying to rescue everyone. He’s just looking out for himself, and figures the best way to get off the Island is by playing nice with the Others in hopes that they hold up their end of the bargain and take him back to the rest of the world. It would be a pretty large character shift for Jack, and leave our Survivors with a large “void” in terms of leadership, but keep in mind that Jack was originally supposed to die in the Pilot episode anyways. What better way to “kill him” now than to send him back to the real world, turning his back on the other Survivors? Pretty shocking and powerful TV if you ask me. But I think the most likely scenario is…
  4. Jack is Playing the Others. He’s acting like he’s given up and joined them and is doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing – but he’s really just gathering information and plotting his eventual escape. Really the only problem with this scenario is that the Others seem way too smart to fall for this sort of scheme. Remember the “long con” that Ben played on Sawyer? Even if Jack gets in line and says all the right things, I still don’t see the Others giving him a very long leash to wander around their Barracks. However, this would set up a great scene of our Rescue Party finally reaching Jack, and Jack having to tell them (Kate in particular) that he doesn’t want to be rescued and doesn’t care about them. The emotional impact of the scene would be pretty huge and heartbreaking, and would keep Jack in the role as “strong leader” on the Island. It would also set the stage for the eventual rescue for all of our Survivors, as Jack should figure out what needs to be done in order to get off the Island within the next few episodes. It’s my best guess as to the way the writers will take the storyline.


Clint said...

Patchy acted really funny about John's miraculous recovery from his paralysis. Do you think John's only flaw could have been the fact that he was paralyzed? Maybe now he is worthy of being an Other.

singhy said...

wh00t first reply! Have been refreshing the blog for the last few days waiting for this final analysis Brian, so thanks a lot! Not much I disagree on TBH, but some points:

1. I think we're overanalysing the fence I bit; it's possible that it had some sort of electromagnetic property which holds in place anyone who tries to pass through it, but not if you go around it. Similarly maybe it lets through small animals. But in reality I think a fence which was more secure, or had cameras, or which was obviously a killer fence due to lots of dead animals around - would have been boring as it wouldn't have let the rescue party reach Jack, or wouldn't have led to Patchy's death. Basically - the plot needed it that way.

2. Still not sure about Locke being so 'bad'. The C4 thing is quite convincing yet I don't think he killed Patchy on purpose - I think he was testing the fence after Sayid naive comment that "he appears to be telling the truth". Locke showed Sayid not to be so trusting of an Other!

3. Still wouldn't be suprised if there's some link between Dharma and the Others as you say - if the Others were also bringing people to the island like Dharma (which also means they aren't all ancient descendants), for example. Also, where did the Others live before the Dharma barracks? Did they just settle into this pseudo-American culture of book clubs and American Football?

Anonymous said...

Great summary, but I have a few points that still bother me.
The first is that although there is a somewhat "clear" distinction between the "good" survivors and the "bad" ones on our main group, the secondary group, i.e the tailies, were treated completely different, over 15 of them were abducted within weeks, we saw at least 3 of them, (Sindy and the kids), which leads me to the conclusion that there are probably more or else Sindy and the kids wouldn't look so calm, were they all "good" ?
The second point is John Locke, going back to season 2, there were a scene (don't remember which episode) in which "Henry Gale" told Locke that he came for him, I think Locke has a completely different agenda and is thinking of becoming an other as a way to remain on the Illand, that is ofcourse until he killed Patchy, which could prove to be problematic.
The last thing is more numeric, according to my calculations, the others have lost nine, or even 10 members (the one in the jungle which Kate and Sawyer fired upon), a significant number in a community that probably numbers a few dozens, and with little hope of getting reinforcements. they seem too eager to engage the survivors considering the price they've already paid, strange.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I don't have time to read the whole thing now... but I had a couple thoughts that slipped my mind before.

First.. in our last episode.. the map(which I'm surpised no one posted online) that shows the security paremeter also showed a subterranian tunnel system.. and was labeled as such! How did we miss this?

Second, didn't the blast door map.. where it listed a malfunction of the 'cerberus' system... on the map, it's just on the other side of 'the flame'. Maybe smokey ISN'T cerberus.. maybe that's the name of this parameter.. or the nickname of it.

Either way, the map proved without a doubt that there is a subterranian series of tunnels. I haven't seen it online, but in my HD Pause.. I don't remember the depth, but it stated the depth below the ground. Maybe.. this is the power lines and I'm being stupid.

Anonymous said...

OK.. I have to get to a store before it closed.. so I didn't read that he had the map and the subterranian tunnels on his analysis... I knew Brian shouldn't miss this! I'll read the whole thing tonight after the wife and kids are in bed.(when I have the time)

Salvar said...

Patchy was thrown back at the end--which is why they were able to inspect his body.

I watch it online, which is much better quality than any TV available to me... but I don't get to see the previews on the site. In a way I like it, because I don't have any more expectations.
Thinking it was a preview, I watched the "Sneak Peek" thing they've got on the website. It was a pretty nice rundown, and Ben's voiceover reminded me of the Oddworld games. Hee hee...
Seriously, you should watch it, and imagine Ben's voice changed to Abe's voice.

Anonymous said...

Hey.. I rewatched the scene with Patchy getting 'eletctocuted' and He seems to be caught in a field.. zapped, then released to die. Watch it again.. I don't think you could run through it, but I do think you should see some dead animals.

phishpac said...

ben knew he had a tumor before jack was kidnapped. however, they did not know how advanced or potentially inoperable it was, and that is why surgery had not yet been performed

Anonymous said...

Did anyone consider that the sonic pulse security fence was for the marauding polar bear we haven't seen in quite some time?

Also, with regard to the others' purported mind reading ability, we've seen the "black smoke"/nano bots clearly "read" people's thoughts/past in the weird flash-frame sequences when the smoke surrounded Locke and Eko

Lydia said...

You are my hero.

Anonymous said...

didn´t locke say something about "sonic waves" that could have killed patchy? according to my husband, you can actually kill people with sonic waves, depending on how intense the frequency is. if it could technically be done the way they did it on the island, is another question...left to our fantasy i guess.

Anonymous said...

I think that 'ben' was not healed because whatever 'healed' Locke and Rose is what the 'others' are at war with. The island doesn't WANT to heal Ben. It selects who it heals, as well as who it kills(smokey)

Anonymous said...

Isn't this whole 'Ben in a Wheelchair' a convenient lead in to an encounter with Locke? Imagine the mind games Ben will play with Locke concerning the chair... and all in an episode where we find out how John ended up in the wheelchair?
Who wants to bet that like Sayid not killing patchy do to a previous experience, that John doesn't kill Ben due to something that happens in his flashback? In a way, Sayids Cat and Bens Wheelchair are the same.

Oh, and for the CFL = Other theory, I have one more to support it. Is it unusual how much she wanted to kill patchy? Almost too much.. if you ask me. Also telling everyone that everything he would say would be a lie? I'm sure that's expected, but by her actions, she could be trying to protect something, or she could just be 'crazy'.

RJL said...

Just an outside the box type thought on the perimeter fence and I have no theories to go along with it, but we're all assuming it's purpose is to keep things out. Why couldn't it also serve the purpose of keeping things/people in??

Randy said...

Brian, how far reaching is your blog? Have you heard from other countries?

I am just curious because I read your post from last week on my Palm (handheld) while vacationing on the island of Crete in Greece. Our hotel had wireless internet, so I took the opportunity to read your blog that wasn't yet up before we left home.

I wanted to comment from there just to get some "cool points." But, my battery went dead right before I finished reading your post. I didn't take my charger along because of the difference in our electrical systems.

You might be interested in knowing that we came across Lost one evening on TV while there. But, it wasn't current. It was the episode where Jack was doing surgery on Ben.

I messed up in programming my VCR to record Par Avion because I forgot about daylight savings time. So, I missed it by an hour. So, I just spent some time this morning watching it on-line. "Thank you ABC."

It's good to be home. I'm really interested in seeing how this Jack development plays out. I'm going with the whole Jack's playing the Others' game for information. But, I too think the Ohters are too smart to let that happen.

frandemonium said...

Brian, please explain why Jack was supposed to die in the pilot. It seems odd that they would kill the guy who would become the central character of the show. Where did you learn this info?

Brian said...

Randy - it's funny you mention it, because last spring I decided to take the First Annual Lost and Gone Forever Census, and was pretty shocked by the results. People all over the world read the Blog, from China to Russia to Israel to Hawaii - it's pretty nuts. I'm not sure if they watch the episodes online to keep up with the current state of the show, or if they just read it to impress their friends later when the episodes actually air by knowing what is going to happen.

frandemonium - the character of Jack was originally going to be cast with more of a "big name" actor (I believe Michael Keaton?) and then killed in the Pilot episode as a way to shock the audience, prove that no one was safe, and to put our Survivors without a true leader - forcing Kate (I think?) and others to step up and fill that void. Somewhere along the way, this was changed, Matthew Fox was cast, and the rest is history. But it shows that the creators intended the show to survive without a solid male lead (shades of Alias, perhaps?).

A.J CR said...

Randy, Im from Costa Rica and as far as I know there are people from all over the world on this awesome Blog. I watch the episodes here in Costa Rica live from ABC Denver, dunno how my cable company get its but so we have CBS, ABC and NBC.

Brian, you cant watch the episodes online on ABC if youre outside of USA. So either people download the episodes somehow (lots of ways actually) or tape them a la Tivo, DVD-RW or VHS.

Seventoes said...

a.j: or spoof your IP ;)

sohigh said...

What is so surprising about people reading this blog from "other" countries? It's on the net, not on the local newspaper?:)) I think it's pretty good, at least this blog makes me remember scenes from past seasons and I can make connections.

Bye the way, I'm from Turkey..

I'll have a question for Brian, in the corresponding episode, Desmond told that he was the reason Oceanic plane crashed. Isn't it possible that sky went purple for the first time then? and communication went down at that time?

Second, sorry if it is mentioned before; I was watching early seasons of Family Guy, and asian tv reporter in some episodes is named "Tricia Takanawa". name of the episode "Tricia Tanaka is dead" is a big joke about that!:)

Stef said...

Irina Derevko rocked. She *made* Alias for me, and when she wasn't on it, the show started to suck. (And yes, I mean that horrible season 3 with Vaughn's stupid wife.)

Anonymous said...


Did the sky turn puple when the plane crashed? No.. that was no hitting the button, the failsafe key made the purple sky, and sent out an EMP that.. quite frankly, should have taken down the computer in the flame.. and if it took out the beacon under the water, it probably would have taken out the computer in the pearl, just about anything that would be sensitive to an electrical spike!

It's funny that you would get the Tricia Tanaka reference, and most people missed it over here. I know I did.. then again, I don't watch the family guy very often.

annie said...

OMG! stef- i concur! irina was the best and baddest of alias.

Jean said...

The fence didn't electrocute Patchy. It bombarded him with low frequency, high intensity sound waves. It's a form of sonic weaponry and yes it can kill. Basically, if you break the plane of the fence, probably set by laser and marked by the top of the pylons, the ground, and the pylons themselves, you get blasted by sound. One would assume the pylons themselves aren't a part of this plane, since you can't walk through them. So the survivor's went over the plane. I got it and thought it was brilliant. However, I was a little disappointed; I thought the fence was going to summon Smoky.

Sonic Weaponry:,1282,68732,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

senor feesh said...

On the matter of the fence (and specifically the lack of dead wildlife) is it possible that the sensors are set up to only be triggered in the event of a specifically sized object passing through the plane? I'm not overly knowledgeable about sensor technologies.

Also why does my name never appear as a link to my webpage? Is it becuase i'm not logged in as a blogger? And if that's the case, why is there even an option to enter my webpage?

Anonymous said...


I want to start by telling you have the most thorough, level headed, intelligent analysis ANYWHERE. Little gets by you... It's amazes me that other blogs get recognition(links from official sites) when you don't. This may be a blessing, as this group is also the best group of Bloggers I've seen out there. Kudos to ALL of you.

I do have a question for you about spoilers. I know that they're not allowed on your site. However, I'm curious if you search and read spoilers/upcoming promos, etc(like I do), and does this knowledge guide you in your predictions of upcoming episodes?

Brian said...

senor feesh - I checked in the Blogger settings, and didn't see anything that would be preventing your website from showing up. No idea. Sorry.

anonymous - Good question. I suppose I walk a fine line when it comes to Spoilers. I steer clear of anything entitled "Spoiler" on any other sites or message boards, but I have no problem watching the episode previews / commercials that air before each episode. These, along with the episode descriptions, are really the root of my predictions about each episode.

My rationale is that if it's something officially put out by ABC, they want me to see it in order to hype up the episode - but I don't want to read something from someone who has already seen the episode that could ruin it for me.

Ironically, some have told me that they can't read my site before episodes anymore because it "spoils" them when I'm right on with my predictions. Luckily, that doesn't happen all that often.

Summer P said...

This blog rocks! Got a question for anyone out there... I'll be roughing it on vacation in Mexico for the next lost episode (w/ brooke from 5/3, brian!!!). Will I be able to watch it down there in real time or get it online right away? If you are reading this on the blog right now then you are as hard core lost as I am and understand how much I don't want to miss it!

Also, I have to tell you how much I appreciate everyone's insightfulness each week on this blog. Sometimes it goes over my head, but it is both entertaining and mind bending. What will we do when lost goes off the air?!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Perspective is funny thing.. everyone has a different opinion of what a spoiler is.

How can an educated guess be a spoiler?

For me, It's a lot like March Madness! I take Brian's predictions and my own, and watch the show, if the prediction comes through, or just close, it's like your team making a half court three to make it to overtime! For me, it enhances the show, and gives me excitement through the week.

Now, if you had already seen the show, that's different. but the clips/photos/etc are valid clues... and I do read the selected spoilers on spoilerfix, but those are more 'clues' than any big reveals.

I guess for me, the fun like taking an active part in trying to figure out the mythology. Every piece changes or confirms our suspicions. It's where this show is different than shows like Heroes.. where you just sit back and be entertained. This show bombards you with clues and for me, the spoiler tidbits, promos, etc. increase my anticipation, and help get me through long breaks(like what we'll encounter waiting 6 months!)

Anonymous said...

(but I wouldn't dream of posting spoilers on here.. I know others don't feel as I do)

Anonymous said...

the coming episode tomorrow should be the highlight of the season. i don't think we'll be let down. also, the reveal explaining Locke's paralysis is supposed to be anti-climatic...not surprised....can't have everything an exciting shoot 'em up, eh?

Jabbadoo said...

Great Blog as usual Brian... btw for those of you that do a lot of international travel (as I do for work) the combination of TiVo and Slingbox and hsia makes magic happen :) I can watch in realtime or stream when it suits me off my TiVO. All resulting in something better watch in weird timezones with gov't run channels. heh.

other said...

Lets hope the Finale will be better than this weeks episode. I'm hoping for a ben flashback.

joe d. said...

anon: You said that you've heard that the paralysis story would be anticlimactic...I've heard the opposite.

Terry O'Quinn himself said so. He said, "We will find out how Locke ended up in a wheelchair. "I was afraid it'd be anticlimactic," says O'Quinn. "It's not. It's pretty stunning. You're gonna go, 'Man, no wonder this guy wants to stay here!'"

I think that's from Entertainment Weekly.

I just wanted to add my cents about the quality of this blog. I read all kinds of Lost sites. I post on a couple of message a few blogs. Brian definitely has the best one. He definitely has the most intelligent analysis and preview every week. Add that to the quality of the comment section....It's great.

Anonymous said...

Hey, are you ever going to post a preview of the upcoming Lock episode? It looks like it could be the best one of the season, if not one of the best of all time, and I would like to know what you think about it.

Heather's Brain said...

first...the 'pool sticks' look like rakes to me...yes YARD WORK!

also, I believe that Jack has been given a clue to what is happening. He is Ben's personal surgeon now, they must be sharing something in the way of secrets!

finally, why did miss klugh ask for Kate & Sawyer? when Danny said "He wasn't even on Jacob's list" he referred to JACK, right? So did that mean that Kate and Sawyer WERE on the list? If that is the case, then they did not kidnap the "GOOD" ones, they kidnapped the children and the bad ones. It is all getting muddy now...I wish for answers tomorrow that do not muddy anymore this complicated story!

Heather's Brain said...

also in the first ANONYMOUS posting, it was said that John may be wanting to be an other...I have an idea that popped into my head.

What if all John's life he has felt out of place, mistreated and unloved...followed by the unknown reason of paralisys. All to try and go on a WALKABOUT in Auusie country and be DENIED! This guy gets shafted everywhere he goes...then the plane crases and while all others are frantic and panic at every second, he in fact has been given new life. Working legs, no one there knows he is geeky box company man, and he is worthy of praise for hunting and deffinately a contributor in THIS society. (now that i have written this, why would he want to leave!) So fast forward to the moment when he is being undermined by Jack and ignored by Sayid and then this 'prisoner' says I was coming for YOU, John. Heck ya, he is on his way back to them and is wanting his FAMILY he has searched for all his life! This explains a lot to me...blowing up the sub is his agenda in my mind!!!!

Brad said...

I have read this blog for a long time but rarely post. It is defintely the best Lost spot. I have some burning questions that I have thought about and want to throw out. First, why does CFL act like she doesnt know anything about the others and stays away from them, yet she seems to have quite a dislike for them. She always talks about how much they lie and also wants to kill them right away. I would have to guess that the others and her had some sort of thing going in the past and they did something to her, this is the only explanation for why she would feel so strongly, otherwise she would have no opinion of them, unless she is mistaking them for some other group like Brian theorized.

Secondly, she always talked about the black territory in the first season, and they went there to get the dynamite, yet it seems like this has never come up since then. I just find this strange because there has to be a connection between this area, Smokey, and the overall mysteries of the island.

Thirdly,when they go to the dark territory in season 1, something comes up from underground and tries to take Locke, what if the underground tunnels have something to do with that.

Lastly, it always seemed before like the others knew when the survivors took five steps away from there camp, were all over them, and stopped them soon after. Why now is it that the survivors just got to the barracks so easily without any detection, especially considering they blew up the Flame, which would have drawn tons of attention. Seems like maybe the others allowed them to come?

Mr Other said...

I got the impression that patchy was nuked by radiation. He appeared to be cooked from the inside as if he was in a microwave.

senor feesh said...

"finally, why did miss klugh ask for Kate & Sawyer? when Danny said "He wasn't even on Jacob's list" he referred to JACK, right? So did that mean that Kate and Sawyer WERE on the list?"

My guess is they were part of Ben's 'elaborate plan' to break Jack. Also, with regards to Danny's comment, remember the context it was asked in... they were trusting Jack with Ben's life - at this point Sawyer and Kate were nothing to do with the situation, and so weren't relevant to the discussion.

senor feesh said...

Hey, whaddya know, it worked :) seems I had to include 'http://' in the web address

Patrick said...

I'm jonesin man, I need my fix! Sitting here at work (pacific time) waiting for a preview........

Anonymous said...

Best question of the blog so far:

"Why does Ben setup this whole elaborate plan to catch Jack for surgery when he could just leave the island at will in his submarine (before the electromagnetic pulse)?"

A few possible answers:
1. Ben was born on the island. He doesn't want to leave for a variety of reasons (e.g. he loves the island, he might be affraid of the outside world, he might lose leadership control of his Others while gone, might lose his mojo, who knows...)

2. Ben is forced to stay on the island and never leave (e.g. some deal he struck with Hanso)

3. The day he discovers he has a tumor, the flight crashes and a surgeon falls from the sky. Destiny at work, Ben style!

Kevin said...

I don't think Patchey died because of the fence. I think he killed himself with a tablet or something so that the rest of the group wouldn't follow. Just a thought.