Monday, February 25, 2008

Half-Assed "Eggtown" Analysis!

It turns out I was somewhat serious when I said “I might not even need an analysis after all that” During my “Instant Reactions”. Going back to do the complete analysis, I found very little to expound upon, outside of fleshing out some of my instant reaction thoughts. So, without further ado, I present my “Half-Assed Eggtown Analysis”…


Cards. I’m not sure where all the debate came from concerning Faraday, Charlotte, and their game of cards. It seemed pretty blatantly obvious to me that Faraday was struggling to remember the three cards (after a given period of time), and was visibly frustrated when he couldn’t recall them – despite Charlotte’s encouragement that he was getting “better”.

I saw nothing in this scene that would indicate that Faraday was predicting the cards that he had never actually seen. Why would Charlotte make him wait a certain amount of time before doing this? Why would Faraday be upset about only being able to predict two of three cards? Wouldn’t that be pretty fantastical, not something to be disappointed about? It doesn’t add up.

So, assuming that Faraday is struggling to remember something as simple as three playing cards, there are two scenarios that could be at play:

  1. Since arriving on the Island, Faraday is losing his memory.
  2. Faraday has always had a bad memory.

In my initial reactions, I went with the former, getting caught up in the “Island has magical powers and affects people differently” train of thought. After all, arriving on the Island gave Locke the ability to walk, gave Jin the ability to make babies, and cured Rose’s cancer. What if these were all “good people”, so the Island “cured them”, whereas the Freightors are “bad people” and the Island is instead taking away their talents. For Faraday, his biggest talent is most certainly his brain, so it makes sense his memory would start to slip.

But I forgot one important point – during Faraday’s flashback earlier this season, he’s seen crying when viewing the footage of Oceanic Flight 815. When asked about why he is crying, he responds that he doesn’t know. This could mean that Faraday had prior knowledge of the staged crash, or was even involved in the creation of the hoax during his work with the Freightors. Deep down inside, he thought about the dead people (who were those dead people anyways?), the trickery, and his hand in it all… and he wept, but couldn’t remember why.

Or, even if you don’t want to go conspiracy theory with it, at the very least this scene seems to hint at a history of short term memory loss for Daniel. This seems to be confirmed by Charlotte’s interaction (it seemed as though the two had performed these tests in the past), as well as the way that Frank almost treated Dan like a child when giving him his satellite phone. Perhaps, Faraday agreed to travel to the Island and perform his experiments out of hope that the Island would help cure this short term memory loss issue. Naomi called him a “head case”, but based on everything we’ve seen so far, he’s looking more like some type of “idiot savant” – a genius when it comes to complex physics stuff, but not as smart as the average person when it comes to simple things. Based on this, he would be the most likely candidate for the Survivors to target if they are attempting to get the truth out of the Freightors, since he would seemingly be the easiest to trick… but would he even remember enough to tell them?


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Lies. Back when Lost started, I always envisioned the show ending with our Survivors finding a way off the Island and “defeating” the Others only to learn that it was actually a terrible mistake and they were actually the “bad guys”, making the Others the “good guys”. As time has gone on, this theory has seemed to come more and more true – but this week took it to a whole new level.

It was a bit shocking and appalling to watch Jack’s calm confidence in telling blatant lies to a courtroom after being sworn under oath to tell the truth. He seemed to show no remorse for the act afterwards, and seemed to delight in tricking everyone when meeting with Kate. It also became clear that this wasn’t the first, and most certainly wouldn’t be the last, time that he told these same lies.

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So to recap the post-Island lives of the Oceanic Four thus far, we have…

Jack – seems to be enjoying the fame and notoriety of post-Island life, willing to lie to stick to a story… and is making sure that the others Oceanic Six do the same - but eventually becomes “sick of lying”, tries to kill himself, and is an absolute train wreck.

Kate – seems solely focused on raising Aaron and leading a quiet post-Island life, with no desire to return to the Island or ever leave California.

Hurley – so haunted by images of the Island that he takes solace in returning to a mental institution.

Sayid – becomes an assassin for Ben, helplessly following his orders to atone for some terrible situation in the past where he thought with his heart instead of his head and working to protect “his friends”.

Aaron - maybe not an official member of the Oceanic Six, but his real mom is probably dead, his fake mom is a murderous criminal, he looks kinda funny, and has creepy robot pictures on his bedroom wall.

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Not exactly a cheery future. Is getting off the Island really worth lying about the fate of over twenty other individuals to the rest of the world? Did Jack really sell out for fame and fortune in exchange for keeping the Island secret no matter the cost? Or is there something more at play here, where my original theory is wrong and Jack truly is lying for the greater good of the rest of the Survivors?

I cannot wait for the next Jack flashforward to fill in the gaps in his post-Island life in particular. He seemed to go from the “leader” in the web of lies to being the one most torn up about leaving the Island in the first place, willing to do anything to “go back”. What happened?


Time. More importantly, when did it happen? According to Lostpedia (which is basically gospel when it comes to the Lost timeline in my book), this week’s flashforward takes place between November 3, 2006, and November 1, 2007, because Aaron was born on November 2, 2004. The credits credit him as a 2-year-old boy. It can also be assumed it took place before Jack goes crazy and grows a beard, so really between November 4, 2006, and about March 2007, taking into consideration the time it took Jack to grow the beard.

Since there must have been some time post-rescue, pre-trial for Kate to become famous, buy a sweet house, and hire a nanny for Aaron, that would seem to put their rescue anytime in 2005 or early 2006. Right now, on-Island time just passed Christmas 2004 (where were the trees, Lost Grinches?) – so that means the rescue could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months away. Based on the passage of time during episodes so far (generally two to three days each episode), with 44 episodes of Lost left, it seems logical that the rescue must happen in the next few months. Even if they save the departure from the Island for the series finale, that would put us right around April 2005.

(Note: this assumes that there isn’t any “funky time”, and our Survivors don’t leave the Island in January 2005 and suddenly end up in January 2007 outside the Island’s protective time Bubble… but it’s looking like we’ll finally get some firm answers on this front during this week’s Desmond-centric outing!)

Outside of that, I think everything has been covered in the always excellent comments section, so I think that’s all I have to add.

Worst analysis ever! I told you this was an easy episode!

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=263.0

26 comments:

Renee said...

Thanks Brian!
It really helps to see the list of the five post-island lives. I appreciate you working out the timeline, it made my brain hurt!

Collin said...

Good call on Aaron looking creepy - I thought he had Downs Syndrome the first time the camera went to him.

Rutkowskilives said...

So, after much consideration, it occurred to me that the episode may have been called Eggtown because Locke's crew is in otherville, and within the first few minutes was seen making eggs.

Hence, Eggtown.

Yes, that's right. This is the kind of gamechanging analysis I like to post in the comments. :)

DeuceGort said...

Brian,

re:"Outside of that, I think everything has been covered in the always excellent comments section"

If that's the case, maybe you can post quotes from the best of the comments. I don't read them. Which means, if you reply to this, I'll probably never see it (just kidding, I'll check back).

Cathy said...

I guess rapid aging from the Island to the real world would allow Walt to suddenly be older.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Claire dies. Charlie appearance in the season opener where he tells Hurley that he has to back to help them indicates she is still alive. Maybe Kate doesn't want to go back because a) her probation forbids it b) she doesn't want to give up Aaron to Claire.

Winston said...

Brain. Great analysis. You didn't cover something that I thought was very weird.

What about the Helicopter with Frank, Sayid, and Desmond on it? It hadn't reached the Freighter yet?

Ideas? Lost funky time maybe?

Katie Kat said...

Thank you Collin! I thought Aaron looked like he had Downs Syndrome too. I forgot to mention that before. I don't think that was accidental, although it doesn't make sense that baby Aaron was fine (didn't look like he had Downs and didn't show any symptoms). Since Downs is obvious from birth, I don't see how that could be...

Maybe it was just the camera angle?

Jabbadoo said...

I still think that the Faraday scene of him crying over the found wreckage, was a flash forward, one that happens after what we see of him on the island...

VictorC said...

Brian you really should stop beating yourself up over your analysis, it wasn't half-assed or your worst one, it was actually pretty good man.

Rutkowskilives here's the meaning of Eggtown:
"EGG-TOWN is a pejorative term that refers to the days of bartering, during the 1800s. A traveling salesman would have to barter his candy or tobacco or shoelaces for different commodities. A poor exchange would be for eggs, a relatively common item that is also highly perishable. Nobody wants to trade for eggs from a traveling salesman, because they have their own, so the salesman who accepted an egg in exchange was forced to accept a bad deal. Salesmen would use the term like "If I were you, I would stay away from Bogart. That's an egg-town. The term "egg-town" represents a deal with undesirable outcomes."

Jabbadoo that doesn't really make much sense, because the plane crash discovery happened before Faraday arrived on the island. Naomi attested to that, telling Hurley that the flight was discovered, that there were no survivors.

Tor Hershman said...

You have a most interesting blog.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

Randy said...

Victorc - Thanks for that "eggtown" definition. That was great. So, where's the bad deal? Did Kate make a bad deal to take the hostage to see Ben? If so, what will be the negative outcome of that bad deal?

Was it a bad deal for Sawyer to tell Kate to stay put and he will take care of her? Maybe.

Was it a bad deal for Jack to lie in court? We'll see.

You gave me lots to think about, man. WELL PLAYED!

anddavissays said...

The reason I don't think Claire is dead is that if she were dead I don't think Jack would be acting so weird about seeing Aaron. I imagine that at this point Jack is aware that Aaron is his nephew. If Kate had custody of Aaron due to Claire's death, it would be sad but Kate would be a hero for taking on the responsibility. Instead, it is a touchy subject that is being lied about. Clearly something shady happened, or else Jack would have no problem going to Claire's house to see his nephew.

So Aaron is two years old. Are we sure that he doesn't look older for the same reason Locke commented that Walt looked 'taller'?

Eric said...

I think the card thing is more involved than that. I think it has something to do with alternate timelines. I suspect we'll find more out about that soon.

As for the Oceanic Six thing I don't think Jack would intentionally betray any other survivors. It goes against his "dr. fix it all" personality. Which, as I can follow the train of thought, means that either a) he had no choice but to abandon all the others and now has to lie as a condition of protecting them/keeping them alive. Or b) he struck a deal where some people were guaranteed safety on island and a few others got off. I don't see Jack abandoning anyone in his team, so I have to opt for option a).

Jana said...

victorc - thanks for the "eggtown" definition - that could apply to so many different aspects of this episode!

For the people who seem to think that Jack knows Aaron is his nephew, how would he know this? The only two people who know Christian is her father are her and Christian, and Claire didn't even know his first name, let alone his last. I just don't see how Jack could have gotten this information.

Of course, if Christian shows up later and publicly identifies Claire as his daughter...

Just kidding. ;)

Anonymous said...

The eggtown title makes more sense now thinking about Kate trying to barter with Miles for information. And obviously the deal went south when Locke discovered her and sent her away.

Anonymous said...

I thought Aaron looked like he had Downs Syndrome as well. -And this is a crazy idea, but what if the healing properties of the island "cured" the downs syndrome. -And then when he was taken off the island, the symptoms appeared. -Just a wild thought, for what its worth.

VictorC said...

You're welcome guys.
As for what exactly is the bad deal, I have no idea, but it sure makes you think!
Among the options Randy mentioned is also the 3.2 million dollar deal Miles did in exchange for Ben's life.

But what really makes me think is Miles's statement of being able to contact his boss whenever he wanted (this while being a prisoner and with no access to his satelitte phone), do you guys think he has some other communication abilities other than talking to the dead?

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to get past what Aaron looks like. He doesn't look "funny", doesn't have Downs, the Island didn't "change" his appearance, or any other wild speculation that's been thrown out there. He simply looks like a little boy who got woken up from a nice nap a little too early! Anybody who thinks he looks "strange" clearly doesn't have any children of their own and has never seen a three year old wake up from a deep sleep...not pleasant! Stick to what we know and avoid the wild conjecture; speculate all you want, but this just seems to be making much ado about nothing.

Victorc, nice catch on the "Eggtown" meaning. Randy, the episode was full of deals that had bad or unforeseen consequences:
- Lapidus makes a deal with Sayid to get Charlotte back and winds up losing MIles (not sure that's such a bad deal!)
- Kate makes a deal with Miles to talk to Ben and winds up getting "banished" from Otherton, or at least gets on Locke's "enemy" list,
- Miles makes a deal with Kate to talk to Ben and winds up with a grenade in his mouth,
- the deal Kate makes to avoid jail time prevents her from leaving to go back to the Island, as seen in last season's finale,
- it would seem Jack has made a deal with someone to tell an untruthful version of what happened that winds up tormenting him, again as seen in last season's finale

am I missing any others? Great site, Brian. Keep up the good work.

In Brian We Trust

Anonymous said...

we do you think Locke commented to Ben that those were the last of the eggs? in a subsequent scene, Locke told Kate he killed the chicken when she noticed his bloody hands. What do you make of this?

Sawyer's Optician said...

Anon 5:59PM.
Agreed -- Aaron looked like a sleepy toddler. Yeah, he made a funny face which was very normal. Much ado about nothing- absolutely!

Di said...

Brian, I agree with everyone else who liked the analysis--even an analysis that you worry is “half-assed” is definitely worth reading!

I agree with your comments on Daniel and the cards. I see no reason to suspect Charlotte’s doing anything other than testing his memory, and there’s apparently something wrong with his. Charlotte clearly says, “Time! Now tell me what you remember.” This would be the way to test memory—you’d show Daniel the cards, let him memorize them, then turn them over and count off a certain period of time before he started recall.

Getting only 2 out of 3 is a pretty serious deficit—a person should be able to remember 3 cards easily, and a person could even rehearse them over and over in the mind until time is called. There’s no sign that Daniel was being distracted from doing that. So it looks like something is wrong with his working memory—that memory which allows him to hold a few pieces of information in mind temporarily. This could explain why he talks strangely—he has trouble getting his words together into sentences, makes faces, searches for words, etc. Comes off as odd.

I went back and re-watched what we’ve seen of Daniel in the past for signs of memory problems. Other than the grasping for words, the references to his being a “head case,” and the scene where he cries over the plane crash and doesn’t know why (we could infer he once knew), I didn’t see a lot. For example, when he asked Regina to send over the payload and it didn’t arrive--it does arrive a little later, and Daniel remembers what it is and what to do with it, he doesn’t look at it stupidly and wonder where it came from. Anyway, it doesn’t seem like he’s a total “Memento” guy with no ability to form new long term memories.

Maybe the Island is actually making him better if he has made progress, as Charlotte said.

I agree that 2-year-old Aaron merely looked sleepy, not Down’s Syndrome.

I also agree with Eric about Jack—I don’t think Jack would betray any survivors to get off the Island. There must be some terrible bargain that was struck, so that only some came back.

Di said...

Brian, I agree with everyone else who liked the analysis--even an analysis that you worry is “half-assed” is definitely worth reading!

I agree with your comments on Daniel and the cards. I see no reason to suspect Charlotte’s doing anything other than testing his memory, and there’s apparently something wrong with his. Charlotte clearly says, “Time! Now tell me what you remember.” This would be the way to test memory—you’d show Daniel the cards, let him memorize them, then turn them over and count off a certain period of time before he started recall.

Getting only 2 out of 3 is a pretty serious deficit—a person should be able to remember 3 cards easily, and a person could even rehearse them over and over in the mind until time is called. There’s no sign that Daniel was being distracted from doing that. So it looks like something is wrong with his working memory—that memory which allows him to hold a few pieces of information in mind temporarily. This could explain why he talks strangely—he has trouble getting his words together into sentences, makes faces, searches for words, etc. Comes off as odd.

I went back and re-watched what we’ve seen of Daniel in the past for signs of memory problems. Other than the grasping for words, the references to his being a “head case,” and the scene where he cries over the plane crash and doesn’t know why (we could infer he once knew), I didn’t see a lot. For example, when he asked Regina to send over the payload and it didn’t arrive--it does arrive a little later, and Daniel remembers what it is and what to do with it, he doesn’t look at it stupidly and wonder where it came from. Anyway, it doesn’t seem like he’s a total “Memento” guy with no ability to form new long term memories.

Maybe the Island is actually making him better if he has made progress, as Charlotte said.

I agree that 2-year-old Aaron merely looked sleepy, not Down’s Syndrome.

I also agree with Eric about Jack—I don’t think Jack would betray any survivors to get off the Island. There must be some terrible bargain that was struck, so that only some came back.

Di said...

Shoot, I knew I shouldn't have clicked that button twice.

Simon says said...

Hello All,
Has anybody considered that Miles is Bens inside man?

1) Firstly he is very eager to find Ben, possibly knowing that his life is in danger.

2) His conversation with Ben appeared to possibly be in code, "why not 3.3 million why not 3.1 million". 3.2 may be a message.

3) Miles can talk to the dead/ spirits etc. He said he can contact his Boss at anytime. Possibly that is Jacob??

Any weight to this??

Anonymous said...

No anon.. I've got a 4 year old boy... and no matter when he's been woke up, he's never looked like Aaron did in eggtown. I too thought he had Downs until he woke up.

I commented to a friend I watched the show with that he may be the kid from "life goes on" in a bizarre island time warp. Bad sens of humor, but we both thought the same thing.

As he rolled over and spoke(which sounded like an aussie 'mummy' to me).. I saw he didn't have downs.

And I don't think he does. They just chose a kid with blond hair.. he wasn't very photogenic in that lighting and angle. Maybe he was someones kid on the show.

I'll bet they don't show him in too much detail as they're going to have to shift aarons around with the flash forwards, he's going to get older and younger and older. Also, this child will grow fast.. he may be able to play someone in a flash forward a year that takes place later but I see several actors.