Monday, March 03, 2008

"The Constant" Analysis!

Home ownership is the enemy of the Blogger.

I’ll start out this week by apologizing for the delay in getting this post up. You see, last week I became a grownup and bought my first house – unaware that it would result in occupying every waking moment for the past three days to repaint the entire upstairs. The good news is that it gave me plenty of time to think about the beauty that was “The Constant” and come up with some good analysis... and kinda felt like Desmond in “Flashes Before Your Eyes”:

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(except we weren't painting any rooms red - instead they were fancy sounding colors like "Gobi Desert" and "Mystic River")

The bad news is that I didn’t have any time to sit down and type it out (also, every muscle on my body hurts from all that painting). But now that I’m done and high on paint fumes, it’s about damn time to get to analyzing!


Time. One of the trickiest aspects of this week’s episode was time. Heck, it was even so tricky that it seems to have thrown Lostpedia’s logically airtight Timeline (at least up until now) into complete disarray. Here’s how I interpreted the passage of time this episode:

- Desmond, Sayid, and Frank left the Island at dusk.
- The helicopter flight to the Freighter took about 20 minutes to them.
- Desmond, Sayid, and Frank arrive at the Freighter in the middle of the day on December 24th.
- Sayid and Jack talk in real-time via satellite phone.

Since the Lostpedia timeline seems funky to me now (funky time!), I’m not sure if the helicopter left on December 22nd or 23rd – the only real evidence we have is Jack’s comment that they had been gone for “over a day now” which makes me think it’s the 22nd - but that’s not really important. The important thing is that this seems to confirm that a day was “lost” in traveling from the Island to the Freightor, but that it wasn’t noticeable to any of the people involved. Only the people on the Island had the perception of the journey taking longer than 20 minutes.

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So what happened?

It seems like this confirms the “Time Bubble” theory we discussed a few weeks ago – where the day and time are the same on either side of the Bubble, but to pass through the Bubble puts you through some funky time. We’ve now seen a payload take much longer than it should to travel from the Freighter to the Island and a helicopter take much longer than it should to travel from the Island to the Freighter. Based on these two experiments, it’s not as though you go “back in time” coming to the Island or “forward in time” leaving the Island (otherwise one journey would actually be much quicker than expected) – it’s just takes you a really long time to make the journey.

This would seem to eliminate some of the earlier theories that the Island actually moves slower, or that Ben could use this time-shift to bet on the future and accumulate wealth (a la Back to the Future Part II).

This also helps explains why the jamming signal streaming out of the Looking Glass was so important – since we now see that although the “Bubble” may be creating a permanent thunderstorm around the Island, it doesn’t prevent a satellite phone signal from traveling through it, it just hides the Island visually. However, by adding the jamming signal to radio communication, it would hide the Island electromagnetically. But since it doesn’t seem like Ben started using the jamming signal until after the Hatch implosion, did that mean the Island was electromagnetically visible up until that point? Doesn’t that mean any schmuck with a boat and radar could have stumbled upon it? Or did the Swan Hatch’s slow release of electromagnetism somehow provide a similar jamming effect? Questions for another day…

But while we’re talking about time, there’s one other point that I found pretty shocking. Minkowski mentions that all the communications equipment on the Freighter was trashed two days ago – or December 22nd. Do you realize that according to the timeline, December 22nd was the day that Ben shot Locke in “The Man Behind the Curtain”? Doesn’t that seem like it was years ago? For as much as people have complained about Lost moving too slow, when you stop and look at the timeline, it’s actually moving ridiculously fast. Look at how much has happened in those two days!

It also goes to show that Ben’s man on the boat would have had plenty of time to feed Ben all the information about the Freightors before Ben was taken hostage by our Survivors… but not to warn him about Naomi’s satellite phone activity with our Survivors.

I’ll also say that it seems like the show’s writers are hitting us over the head with hints that this “man on the boat” is going to be Michael. From introducing Harold on the panel at Comic-Con this summer, to including him in the credits since the season began, to Minkowski’s comment this week of “you must have a friend on the boat”, it’s almost being too obvious – to the point where I’m hoping it’s not Michael, even though that would make the most logical sense.


Widmore. After “The Constant”, I’m ready to officially declare the Freightors are working for Charles Widmore. Why? Once again, one of Minkowski’s comments leads us down a very logical path that confirms our longtime suspicions. Upon meeting Desmond, Minkowski says “You’re Desmond?” and then explains about how he was the communications officer, blah blah blah, they would frequently get calls that he wasn’t supposed to answer, blah blah blah, and THEY WERE FROM HIS GIRLFRIEND, PENNY WIDMORE.

I haven’t seen many people talking about this – but it’s pretty huge. If the Freightors were sent by anyone EXCEPT Widmore, how would they know that Penny was Desmond’s girlfriend? After all, the two hadn't really dated for like eight years. Furthermore, why would anyone EXCEPT Widmore tell them not to answer the phone? Factor in the scene of Widmore buying the Black Rock Journal and the following story starts to develop (warning: lengthy Brian storytelling below – none of which may turn out to be remotely true):

Widmore, always the businessman and entrepreneur when it comes to “developing industries” (like the Economist!) somehow hears rumors among his stuff rich white guy circles about this “magical Island” that could have all sorts of special properties that would make it valuable to people (like curing cancer, for one). However, Alvar Hanso refuses to sell out where the Island is located, no matter what the price. Unfortunately, Alvar gets old and dies, taking the secret of the Island to his grave with him. Eventually, his descendents fall upon some hard times, and are forced to start selling off the estate… including the Black Rock Journal.

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Although many entrepreneurs attempt to bid outrageous prices for this Journal, Widmore wins out – and with it, gets some hints as to the location of the Island. Widmore spends the next few years searching for the Island, knowing it must be in some sort of “Bermuda Triangle” space due to the Journal, but is unable to find it. He even sets up different “races around the world” that crisscross different sections of the ocean in hopes that some contestant will inadvertently stumble upon it (see: Henry Gale in his hot air balloon, Desmond Hume in his sailboat).

Three years ago it finally happens – a contestant in one of his races turns up missing, and using the last known coordinates of this contestant, they are able to narrow down the possible location of the Island. But here’s the super ironic part – that contestant happens to be the man Widmore hates the most – Desmond.

No, I don’t think that Desmond ending up on the Island was part of some scheme by Widmore to get rid of him. Instead, I think it’s just a cruel twist of fate for both Desmond and Widmore. Desmond ends up in the one place that Widmore wants to find, but can’t get off to get to the one thing that he wants – Penny Widmore.

Once Desmond goes missing, Penny starts to question his visit from eight years ago, and in talking to his friend Donovan, finds that Desmond also visited him years prior, talking about his experiences of crashing on an Island and other equally insane thoughts like time travel. As she mentioned on her phone call to Desmond this week, she knows about the Island and has been researching it… just like dear old dad.

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So now you have two people, both with a huge amount of resources, searching for the Island for two very different reasons. Penny employs the snowy listening station and makes repeat phone calls to anyone who will listen in that area of the ocean, whereas Charles employs the Freightors, hand selecting each individual for their ability to not only find – but then establish safety on the Island for him to begin his moneymaking schemes… most likely through picking up where the Dharma research on the Island left off.

Why did Naomi have a picture of Desmond? Because if she found Desmond, she knew that she would find the Island. Why did Miles have a picture of Ben? Because Charles knew that Ben would have the answers he needed about the Island and the experiments there, since he was the last surviving Dharmite. Why send Faraday and Charlotte? Because they would be the ones to figure out the funkiness of the Island and start back up the experiments.

It’s pretty out there, but I absolutely love the father vs. daughter dynamic in the fight for the Island. I love that it makes the Desmond-Penny love story the central story for the entire series of Lost – something that could provide the way off of the Island for our Survivors, prove that nothing can keep true love apart, and provides some very plausible explanations a lot of the strange variables we’ve seen thus far regarding the “off Island” stuff. It also solidifies Desmond as the most important character on the show.

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Desmond. In researching this episode, I went back and reviewed “Catch-22”, the Desmond-centric episode that aired last year during the “Control the Blog” weeks while I was gallivanting around Europe. One major thing from that episode suddenly had new meaning, something I’m sure I would have mentioned – but had no good explanation for last April – Brother Campbell had a picture on his desk of himself and Mrs. Hawking.

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For those who don’t remember, “Catch-22” featured Desmond flashbacks pre-Penny – when he spent a short time in a religious order… before getting kicked out by Brother Campbell who told him “this is not where you are supposed to be.” On the other hand, “Flashes Before Your Eyes” featured Mrs. Hawking, who flat out told Desmond it was his fate to not marry Penny, end up on the Island, and push the button to save the world.

When you look at them, they’re really two different approaches to the same concept – Desmond’s fate was to end up on the Island. Knowing all we do now, it’s reasonable to think that both Mrs. Hawking and Brother Campbell are people who also became “unstuck in time” – or are in cahoots with someone who did. Much like Desmond was aware of his future in 1996 of this episode, these people are aware of Desmond’s future, and are working to ensure that he doesn’t mess it up and accidentally destroy the world. Campbell indirectly led him to Penny, who indirectly led him to the boat race, which indirectly brought him to the Swan Hatch – you know the rest.

Who are these people that act as “guides” for Desmond’s life? If you follow the possibilities of this week’s episode, they might be Dharmites who figured out how to control being “unstuck in time” and can now freely travel from any point in their life to another, keeping knowledge of the entire timeline of their existence. Or they could just be figments of Desmond’s imagination.

Once again this week, we were reminded of their central theme – you can’t change fate or the future – this time by a hippie looking Faraday in 1996. Unfortunately, this might mean one very important thing:

Desmond is going to die.

If you believe that Desmond’s fate was to implode the Swan Hatch to prevent the entire world from imploding, he’s done it. If you then say that his fate was to become unstuck in time to help lead to the rescue of our Survivors (TBD), he’s done it. However, it seems as though a nasty side effect of getting unstuck in time is that you die. One could argue that Desmond “cheated” death this week by calling Penny – but as we saw with his countless attempts to save Charlie, as Mrs. Hawking put it – “the universe has a way of course correcting itself”.

Now, this isn’t to say that it was actually Desmond’s “fate” to die after getting unstuck – that was an assumption on my part. And if I’ve proved nothing else over the years of writing this Blog, it’s that I’m a sappy sucker for a good romantic happy ending, so I’m really hoping I’m wrong… but if the logic is correct, and those who “cheat” death only do it temporarily before death catches up, it might spell bad news Brotha Desmond.


Faraday. On a happier note, I’ve backed off my “Daniel Faraday is evil” theory from my “Instant Reactions” (this is why it’s good to think about an episode for a few days before analyzing it). I hinted that Daniel Faraday might have just found his Constant (in Desmond), which would allow him to fully regain his memory and make him more dangerous... but that assumes that he started out dangerous, which I don’t really see.

The more I think about everything we’ve seen about Faraday, the more I think he’s in it for the scientific reasons, and nothing more. I remember the random comments he made in earlier episodes about “the light not scattering right” and the honest concern he had when the payload didn’t arrive on time – he’s actually the Freightor most likely to give up information, and the other Freightors have to keep reminding him of what to not say or do.

On the other hand, one has to question why he didn’t simply tell Desmond that he needed to find a Constant right away when talking to him on the Satellite Phone, rather than sending him to meet 1996 Faraday who tells him the same thing. Faraday might not be evil, but he’s definitely looking out for his own well-being. After all his experiments and studying of the Island, it seems that Faraday learned of the potential to become unstuck in time when traveling to or from the Island. Once he arrived, he seemed to confirm his worst suspicions through his experiments – that something very funky was going on with the electromagnetism on the Island.

When he hears about Desmond experiencing side effects similar to Minkowski, he realizes there is a risk that he will suffer the same fate – so he sends Desmond to meet 1996 Faraday, giving him the Constant he will need to prevent his brain from exploding.

So why couldn’t Faraday have simply been the Constant for Desmond, eliminating the trouble (and dramatic tension) from the episode in finding Penny? Because, as Faraday mentions, the Constant has to be something you care about. Desmond could care less about Faraday. On the other hand, it’s thanks to Desmond that Faraday discovered the proper settings for his wacky electromagnetic machine – making him very important to Faraday.

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But what could possibly go wrong?


Mission. I think it’s all leading up to the Freightors’ master game plan. When Frank arrived back at the ship, the first thing they said to him was “why are you back?”, which means that they weren’t expecting them to return. So why are they still anchored off the shore, boring the crew to death (see: Brandon, Minkowski)? They’re waiting for Miles, Faraday, and Charlotte to complete their mission, at which time they will be joining them on the Island – not vice versa.

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If this is the case, then the mission must have something to do with finding a way to allow the Freighter to safely reach the Island. It might also have something to do with the gas masks that were being carried along on the helicopter. If you add up everything, it’s looking like their mission is to secure Ben (and his knowledge of how to safely get a ship to the Island), kill everyone else on the Island, and make way for Widmore to start turning a profit on all the funkiness.

Ben was right – every living person on the Island is in big trouble.

Phew.

This is what happens when you breathe in paint fumes for two straight days while thinking about Lost. The theories just keep getting wackier.

Okay, hurry up and discuss before I have to put up my episode preview for this week. Go go go!

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=270.0

52 comments:

Dree said...

Delurking to comment... I've been reading you for awhile and I love your take on the show. Your story about Widmore is pure genius. It ties all the major story lines together and makes perfect sense. Very interested to see if that's the direction the actual storyline will take. Good analysis!

phishpac said...

What a GREAT episode. Awesome analysis, thanks.

Anonymous00 said...

really great analysis, for one of my favorite episodes of lost yet.

i wanted to bring up a theory my friend and I came up with the other day. We were thinking that the Island is actually in another time period. of course this sounds ludicrous and completely irrational at first, but when you look at the evidence it kind of adds up.
1. The reason Locke can walk and Rose doesn't have cancer is that they didnt have these ailments 8 years ago (how far off I would expect the time on the island to be off with that of the real world). This would also imply that after a couple of years rose's cancer and Locke's paralysis would return
2. The reason people cannot give birth on the island is that 8 years ago a baby did not exist. this screws up the time and the universe self corrects itself by killing the baby and the mother. (the problem with this of course being Claire and her baby, but we are told that there is something special about him)

so the island is surrounded by this time bubble thing which separates the past and the present and traveling between the two can really mess you up as one would expect with time travel.

but yeah once again excellent analysis, and congrats on buying a house

Anonymous said...

Nice job Brian. You should be a writer on the show or at least write screenplays for a living otherwise the world is missing out on talent.

Larry

hobbes said...

I'm starting to think it's not so much a "bubble" but rather a reversed flux patch.
And just what in the funky time is a reversed flux patch you ask. Well according to Scientific America (Apr.2005) regions where the direction of magnetic flux is opposite that for the rest of the hemisphere arise when twisted magnetic fields occasionally burst above the earth's core. These reversed flux patches can weaken the main part of the magnetic field at the earth's suface, called the dipole, and may even signal the onset of a global polarity reversal.
Reversed flux patches originate as fluid rising through the molten outer core pushes upward on roughly horizontal magnetic field lines within the core. The convective upwelling sometimes bends a line until it bulges. The eath's rotation simultaneously drives helical circulation of the molten fluid that can twist the bulge into a loop. When the upwelling force is strong enough to expel the loop from the core, a pair of flux patches forms on the core-mantle boundary.

I'm sure most of us know the relationship and effects of gravity on time. Now whether or not a loop in a dense magnetic field can have a similer effect to our perception of time(or rather a Desmond like side effect) I just don't know.

But I like the whole reversed flux patch concept as it might tie in to the swan hatch and it's purpose to release the build up pressure every 108 minutes.

BTW congrats Brian, a marriage, a house, it's like you're growing up or something. Well stop it! you're making me feel old. I hope she's a Lost Fan anyway and can put up with your adoring fans who will undoubtably make demands of your time for a couple more seasons at least, lol.

hobbes said...

Anyone notice two helicopter pads on the ship? I really doubt it, but is there a second chopper?

Stef said...

Great analysis, Brian. I agree with you almost completely, except I think Widmore knows ahead of time that it is Desmond who makes it to the Island, and he sets up the cruise around the world to make sure Des sails to the Island. I'm sure that Widmore is going to end up being a major driving force behind the whole series. And I think Desmond lives!

Collin said...

Good stuff, bro. I'd have to agree with you on every front in this one.

Brian said...

hobbes - You're right - but there were two helicopters. Naomi flew the first one (and bailed out on it). Frank flew the second one, which is still intact.

TheDon said...

Congrats B on ur new pad...my pops has Gobi Desert in his den...Agree wit u on the Widmore story completely...im also hoping that it isn't Micheal on the freighter cause it seems 2 damn easy...so B, i got a question for u...do u think that Desmond know remembers faraday 4rm 1996 and faraday remembers Des 4rm 1996?

Anonymous said...

Im sure they dont want Ben alive... remember what Miles said '' I cant tell my boss youre dead, if you give me 3.2M '' i think they want him dead.. and fast !

orangejack said...

Well, brotha, I think you're on to something with the Widemore story. I don't think it's too far out there. I'm with you on the bubble theory also. I used it to figure out how Michael returns. I disagree that he's the mole.

One thing that has blown me away is a post I wrote about 2 years ago. I said then that I thought the story of LOST would end up being about Desmond and Penny. So I'm with you on that one too!

Sawyer's Optician said...

hobbes, you make my brain hurt :(
Here is a comment posted on the message boards, I thought I'd throw it in here for the folks who don't read them:
"Yet another literary reference:
Penelope was Ulysses's wife who waited for him while he was out having his adventures."

VictorC said...

Excellent analysis as always Brian, and to answer 1 of your questions:
"But since it doesn’t seem like Ben started using the jamming signal until after the Hatch implosion, did that mean the Island was electromagnetically visible up until that point?"

Correct, that's how Rousseau picked up the radio tower transmission with the repeating numbers (which she changed to her own) and crashed on the island, check http://lostpedia.com/wiki/Danielle.

I really hope you're wrong about Desmond dying, because he's grown to be my favorite character.

Congrats on the house, man!

Rebecca said...

Great analysis! It would be an interesting twist if Charles Widmore was the 'economist' and Sayid's prime target. I love the idea of the show being about more than just people stranded on & leaving a funky island - having Des & Penny as central characters to the story is fantastic. I REALLY hope he doesn't die but I wouldn't be shocked if he did. Money's on Michael being on the boat, and I hope he is just so we know where he's at, lol. Congrats on the house & painting!

Joseph said...

I dont know if anyone else has noticed this, but in the picture with Brother Campbell and Hawking, they are most certainly standing (or are photoshopped) in front of the oxford University area where Desmond ran into Faraday. Is it Lost simply recycling locations (no way) or are they really that involved with Desmond's destiny that they are checking out critical locations in his life ahead of time.

hobbes said...

Doh! of course Naomi heli! thx

Sorry Sawyer's Optician without the illustrations it can be a little fuzzy. Imagine a line from a north and south magnetic field becoming twisted and looped through and beyond the mantle layer of the earth (ie, say under, through and over the island).

taby said...

OH MY GOD! It finally all makes sense Brian! I think you 're absolutely right for the whole Widmore thing. Your analysis is great as always. I've been reading your blog for a long time now and you always have the correct answers. My English is not so good, but I enjoy your posts and i can't wait for thew next one. Conqratulations on the house!

singhy said...

Fantastic analysis Brian, thanks so much!

In fact the only comment I didn't immediately think 'oh yeah!' about was "Why did Miles have a picture of Ben? Because...he was the last surviving Dharmite."

I do have to say I think its more than that. The Freightors not only know so much about the island in general (far more than from some rumour or 19th C. journal, such as funky time and polar bears) but they know a lot about Ben - 'what he can do', how he has money, how he travels off-island and probably how he killed the Dharmites. In other words, I think there's more to how Widmore/Freightors have found out about the island and the reasons for searching for it...something which makes Sayid want to hunt them down for years to come.

goklemez said...

Brian,

I am not quite sure, but didn't Rachel interviewed with Alvar Hanso in the Lost Experience in 2007. So he can't be dead in 2004. But i think he can be lost in 2004 and earlier, kidnapped or sth. by Mittelwerk.

Anonymous said...

“the universe has a way of course correcting itself”

I guess Mrs Hawkings was referring to manipulation by people who knew about things happening in the future and taking action to prevent certain outcomes. Sayid repairing the phone had nothing to do with this i think.

/Nijo

Anonymous said...

I don't remember if in fact Naomi's helicopter crashed. I guess it must have, huh?

thnks!

Craig said...

Brian, I wonder if you've ever considered reviewing Lost from the POV of the writing - I mean as a 'master class' if you will of how to write a fine show such as Lost? You obviously have a great aptitude for it (whether intuitive or learnt? I'd be interested to know). But aside from the story/plot schematics I always feel I want to know more of your opinion on how they piece the show together - arcs/plot/progression/reveals, etc. Because to me it seems Lost is pretty revolutionary in its conception, method, and progression, and Im not sure anyone realises how much so?

I do realise that a whole other take on Lost such as that is probably all too much when you are buying your first property! We are moving into new rented accommodation while we are also planning a self-build which we've found is suddenly waaay over budget - so understand the stress!


Re the ep, I think you are right to be pessimistic re. Desmond - as much as we may love him as a character and the feel-goodiness of his love for Penny, I think the writers will have learnt from say the sickly sweet ending to Whedon's Alias. I doubt punches will be pulled here, given the strength of Lost's direction in story-telling to date?

I also wonder that given the writers say they have an 'end game' already planned and so therefore its not a concern for this seasons arc, that such a death as Desmond's may still be up in the air, and so be the most pressing and debatable issue on their Monday Writers meeting agenda??? Remember they are ahead of us... well by definition…. to the end? If so - lets start a vote just in case - "SAVE DESMOND - HE'S FREAKIN GREAT!"

Re: Faraday and the flashback with Desmond - just 2 days later I saw the TV movie 'Helter Skelter' here (hmmm coincidence?), and it was Jeremy Davies playing Charles Manson - in the same 'tripped out dude' vein as he was playing in the flashback!! I wonder if the writers saw it?

singhy said...

Joseph, unfortunately I think they are recycling locations...the location in the photo is the 'Scottish abbey' where Desmond and Brother Campbell lived, but it is also the same location they amusingly used for Oxford, as someone pointed out in the Instant Reactions comments (with little resemblance to the real thing, unfortunately, esp Queen's College).

Jana said...

Any guesses why four days in October are not crossed out on the Freightors' calendar? That's weird.

Anonymous said...

excellent idea Craig - i am fascinating to try to think about the show from the perspective of the writters. would be interesting and very unique I'd bet to have a forum dedicated to analizing the show from that POV. Also agreed that LOST is the most ambitious, interesting show I can think of certainly on network and perhaps on cable as well.

Katie Kat said...

I just have to say this... when I read other blogs or sites about LOST (okay, so I cheat on your blog Bri, but only a LITTLE bit!) I get so frustrated and confused. I feel like I f'ing have to know psuedo-science and all the theories of relativity, time travel and the space/time continuum. Plus, there's so much talk of quantum physics, etc. It makes me mad because I don't want this show to only be understandable if you are an egghead (read: genius). But when you do your analysis, it makes SENSE and it seems real and plausible.

Now, I'm not saying you AREN'T a genius (of course, you just killed a buncha brain cells snorting paint fumes), but you understand that the rest of us need a little help and simplifcation.

So, I guess I'm saying THANKS. And well done. Again.

Agrippa said...

Widmore's wealth can be independent of his desires to explore the Island and harvest its power. (I congratulate Widmore for being so successful in his life and he no dount deserves the wealth he has earned). However, Widmore's quest for the Island's power is a threat itself and has nothing to do with his status. Others have been to the Island and attempted to exploit its powers for allegedly altruistic reasons and the results were terrible. The Hostiles fought back againt the "world saving" DHARMA, which culminated with the purge.

The Island is itself powerful. It defends itself, from even some "good" people like Mr. Eko or the Pilot. It chooses emissaries like Locke and Ben from time to time, and blesses others with healing like Rose and ability like Walt, but when the desire to harvest the Island's power (beit for proft OR altruism), the Island fights back.

I concur that Widmore is the leading candidate to have financed the freightor, however he is not the only powerful entity that is interested in the Island. Alvar Hanso is alive and well. His company has business dealings with Widmore and Paik Industries and clearly has a history of interest in the Island. Additionally, we still have been given no explanation for the DHARMA food drops.

Is Paik a player in this? It seems that Sun and Jin's story is lagging no doubt, but there still remains mystery as to Jin's father-in-law's business operations.

And still, we are compelled to wonder about how the Others kept themselves so well financed. The Mitteleos Bioscience project, the "assignments" around the world (alluded to by Mikhail in the Looking Glass), Richard Alper's various travels, the ability to capture Anthony Cooper and murder Dr. Burke.

Of course, there remains the possibility that we have not yet met the true villan in this story, if any.

VictorC said...

Agrippa, I used to think Eko was a good man as well, but after analyzing "The Cost of Living" episode some more, I had to change my mind.

If you notice, the reason Smokey killed him was because of his pride. Smokey looked at him once before and didn't harm him, but my guess is that Smokey was reading his mind. Because later on Smokey appeared to him as his brother Yemi, asking him to repent, several times.

Eko refused until he finally said he has nothing to repent of, saying he did what he had to do to survive. But he killed a lot of people for selfish gains, sold a lot of drugs, etc., things he should have repented of.

I'm convinced that's why Smokey killed him. Right after he refused to acknowledge anything to repent of, Yemi angrily yelled at Eko "You speak to me as if I were your brother!" and walked away into the jungle.
Eko followed him, where he was met by Smokey, who slammed him and killed him.

Eric said...

I actually think a lot of your theories are much more reasonable than they usually are. There is nothing really far out there in this analysis.

I don't think Widmore planned for Desmond to make it to the island, but it does seem likely that he set up the sailing race and sponsored the balloon race hoping that some people would stumble upon it.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't all the dates in October marked off as they are on all the other days (on the calender). Just something that caught my eye in reading your post. What is the significance of those days, if any?
Congrats on the house!

Jennifer said...

Very intriguing and well-thought-out theories. Sounds to me like a logical way to make sense out of many of the puzzle pieces we've been given so far. My favorite thing about the blog is how your analyses always help me better see the big picture, and this post had that in spades.

And, I totally had not noticed the four non-crossed off days in October! What is THAT about?

Katie Kat said...

agrippa.... ummmmm, wow dude. Are you a writer for the show? :) I am in awe of people who get this show on such deep levels as I struggle to just get as much as I can without drowning!

Anyway, I too noticed the 4 days not marked on the calendar - haven't seen an explanation anywhere as of yet.

jamblo said...

Great episode. This series of Lost is fantastic: At last, some bloody answers!

Has anyone seen this web site: http://www.timelooptheory.com/the_timeline.htm ? It's a pretty comprehensive theory of the whole Lost time theme.

VictorC said...

Guys, the dates that aren't marked on the calendar are because they belong to the previous month, or the month afterwards.
Compare it with the calendar on your computers, in 2004, you'll see what I mean.

The real question might be, what do the different colors signify?

Brian said...

Guys - the four days in October ARE actually marked off - they are just in yellow. I don't think it came through as easy to see in the picture on the Blog, but if you look at the jumbo-sized picture on Lost-Media, you'll see it pretty clearly.

Brian said...

craig - I try to include some comments about the writing when applicable (references to "story arcs", "plot devices", etc.), but I don't know that I'm qualified to write full posts about it.

I'm no expert when it comes to this stuff (fun fact: I basically tested out of English in college, so I haven't studied anything literary for nearly 10 years), but I'm flattered that you think I fake it so well!

Anonymous said...

anyone else noticed that Penny has a wedding ring on her finger?

hobbes said...

The rings are on her right hand though...

webuffy said...

Great job, Brian.

Ben's man on the boat. My choices, in order of guessability, 1. Charlotte, 2. Walt, 3. Michael, 4. Frank.

Charlotte. Ben knows her resume because she is his mole. By sharing what he knows - he saved her from Locke. Why would he risk telling Locke that he has a mole, unless he felt he had to really save her? Charlotte seems to have spent alot of time researching Dharma. Ben seems to have alot of capable women working for him.

Walt. Let's say that the freightor's found Michael and Walt somewhere floating around outside the island bubble with their craft incapacitated. (This means Michael made it through via Ben's coordinates, so those are correct.) Ok.

Now that Michael is saved and on the freightor he learns that the freightor is not only going nowhere fast - but trying to get to the dreaded island, he can't believe it! He just wants to get out of there with his son.

Even though he and Walt are under guard or locked up, they learn about the plot to gas everyone on the island. Walt tries to convince his Dad to help stop this plot. Walt misses Vincent. :-)

But Mike refuses to go back. So ... Walt becomes Ben's man on the boat. He maybe even messes up the Comms. by just "thinking" about it.

Or...

It's Michael. Walt did not make it back with Michael and Ben has Walt again or knows where he is. Michael is forced once again to work for Benry secretly to get his son back.

Or...

Frank. Hence his odd statement to Sayid that he is trying to help him. I mean Frank did break protocol by bringing Sayid and Desmond back to the boat. And he is such a great character...

- webuffy

Heather said...

I agree with you on a couple items (at least) (and great analysis, btw): I think both Penny and Charles Widmore have been using their considerable resources to search for the Island for different purposes - something I had suspected, but this episode seems to confirm - and - I also hope it's not Michael who is Ben's man on the boat, even though people are wild with speculation over it and it would fit. I want it to be something completely out of left field, where we go, wha...? Because that would be awesome. If it turned out to be Michael, it wouldn't be so awesome. (Plus, all those people could be smug about how right they were. :) We'll see.)

Laura said...

Wow Brian, that was an amazing analysis! Congrats on the new abode!
Laura

susa said...

WOW! I do need to paint my bedroom next if paint fumes help figure out the mysteries of Lost (and I do want it dark red!)!

Brian: wonderful how you worked out the different motivations of Penny and Charles Widmore to search for Desmond! And no, it would not be cheesy in the line of Lost´s storytelling to unite Pen and Des in the end. Why not have it that way? I believe that there are still a lot of surprises coming our way...

Anonymous said...

How about the submarine for traveling to the Island. According to Faraday the exact coordinates had to be followed to avoid the elements of the permanent storm. If they travel under the water is this eliminated?

Sawyer's Optician said...

hobbes said...

"Sorry Sawyer's Optician without the illustrations it can be a little fuzzy. Imagine a line from a north and south magnetic field becoming twisted and looped through and beyond the mantle layer of the earth (ie, say under, through and over the island)."

That's a little easier with a concise visual.

Also Brian, I just reread your analysis. Thanks. Your comments broaden my understanding of Lost each week. I'm definitely on the side of Des and Penny living happily ever after.

Sawyer's Optician said...

One more thing. I'll have to go back and rewatch, I don't remember Penny wearing a wedding ring. Hobbes mentioned that it was on her right hand. She's a Brit, right? (or is she an Aussie? I can't remember) Many Europeans wear their wedding ring on their right hand. At least that was the case when I lived in London in 1979.

taby said...

Yes, she's wearing a ring on her right hand. I'm Greek and we wear our wedding rings on our right hand but I don't know if that's the same for the rest of Europe. Anyway it seems that she's trying to hard to make us see the ring. She's holding the phone with both her hands and it's hard not to notice it.

simon says said...

British poster - Women wear the wedding ring on the left hand. I understand in Germany it is the opposite. But definitely left for wedding and engagement ring here in the UK.

Anonymous said...

hard to imagine how they'd write that Penny was married when the call occurred between her and Des. The diaglogue between them just didn't suggest it at all!

Adam said...

That Widmore theory is pure genius. It put into words what my mind has been dancing around for a few episodes now. I hope you're wrong about Desmond dying, but I think you're right about Widmore being obsessed with finding the island.

Heather's Brain said...

there is only one flaw in your "story" that I could really focus on...
Widmore knew about the DI being gassed all those years ago, knew HOW and WHO had done it.

This means in my opinion that Widmore was involved with Hanso. I think we learned that there were connections like this back in the first ARG so I am suprised you did not remember that part.

Anyway, other than that one oversight...you are so awesome...all this with a new house, wedding and so on right at you front door. She is an extremely lucky girl to have a guy so good at keeping it all together!

I forget, is this the last episode before the break or do we have another one then a four week break?

thanks Brian, you are really good at this!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering can someone find a connection between Faraday and Micheal Faraday. That is the 19th century physisist who studied electromagnetic fields and developed the FARADAY CONSTANT? Maybe you have already discussed it.