Monday, April 28, 2008

"The Shape of Things To Come" - Analysis

"The Shape of Things To Come"


Well I am still floored at all of the info and action that was thrown at us, but I can honestly say that (after watching it a few times) I think it might just be one of the best episodes yet.
The writers skillfully brought everything to a head and wound up quite a few threads but left the door wide open for more.

Time Traveling Man:

I think the biggest question on everyones mind is how does Ben do what he does? From the very beginning Ben showed us what we have only imagined to be real. The Others, or the Island or Dharma or something can defintley send people to other places in the world via a wormhole or machine of some type. We even can see a new logo on his jacket that is remarkablly similar to what looks to be a vortex of some type. It actually reminded me of the old Superman movie for those who will remember when he was trapped in another dimension and his friend fell into a vortex there.


Anyway when Ben first hit the Sahara Desert there was a mist of some type that blew away from him. Now at first I thought it was his breath and that he had come from somewhere cold but when I rewatched him it seemed to actually be dust. I think that when he "Warped" to the sahara he might actually have been a few inches of the ground because when he appeared he hit the ground and the dust got kicked up into the air. This would go along with the fact that he was injured on his arm maybe meaning that he was cut and fell backward into the machine or wormhole and finished his fall on the other side.

Also it seems that he had to drink some sort of concotion to make the trip, because he threw up what looked like orange juice and if you all remember way back in Juliet's flashback they made her drink orange to knock her out before the trip. I speculated back then that maybe the sub was never real and that somehow they warped to the island but used the sub to make people believe otherwise. That theory seems to be more plausible than ever now.

The fact that Ben was wearing a parka leads me to believe that he maybe wasn't sure where he would end up or maybe the station he came from was located somewhere cold. If he wasn't sure where then maybe they don't have as much control over where they go as we think, but then again the Polar bear ended up in Tunisia near where Ben was. Hmm..

Sayid's Deal with the Devil? :

This is the first flashforward that I can remember where we have a specific date that we can gauge it against the rest of the story. Ben asked the girl for the date and it was Oct 24 2005 over a full year since the crash. Rescue has to be coming in the next couple episodes simply due to the fact that they have to have time for everyone of the Oceanic 6 to settle down in the real world again. Sayid gets married to Nadia like many have speculated happened only to have her killed a short time later.

Now Ben is certainly a ruthless man and is not about emotional blackmail but one thing I am sure of is that the man Ben said killed Nadia is probably the guy who did it. This man Ishamel was following Sayid for some reason we'll not know right now but the fact is that he was around Sayid's house in LA when Nadia was killed.


We can say that Ben doctor the photo all we want but he didn't do it in between his run from the roof where sayid spotted him to the alley below where he showed Sayid the story. The odds of anyone else having been in those two spots besides the murderer are slim at best.


What surprised me is that Ben wasn't aware of something for the first time in a while. He didn't seem to know Sayid was following him until Sayid killed Ishmael. Ben true to form changed his plans instantly. There is no doubt that he knew that by telling Sayid it was bigger than just this guy that Sayid wouldn't stop with just killing a peon he would want the leader of the enemy. Sayid made his deal and became Ben's personal hitman all on his own but that doesn't mean he wasn't manipulated.


The Barracks Assault:

When Alex was taken to the fence she entered the same code that Juliet did when she pulled her and Kate inside the fence to be safe from Smokey this time we found out that somehow it also triggered an early warning system. This automated system called a phone in Ben's house that could serve no other purpose since it didn't have buttons.


What followed was a very enjoyable little war. On a humorous note watching the extras get picked off one after another while Sawyer dodged machine gun bullets was great. It reminded me of a comment someone on the Blog once made about Star Trek red shirts being cannon fodder. Especially since one of the guys wore a red shirts.

What struck me as odd was Sawyer going out of his way to save claire. Now I know he has been growing into a real person lately and that it is most likely leading up to him being the del facto leader when Jack leaves the island but it still felt a little off at first. Upon watching it a second time though I saw that he went to get Claire and warned a few others before the bullets started firing. Also after he got to Claire's house the war stopped while he went back to the main house with Claire. The purpose as we know was to make Sawyer mad enough to give up Ben and it almost worked.

That is until Ben got mad. This Island has always seemed to require people to make sacrifices for what they would probably consider the greater good. Ben wasn't prepared to make the sacrifice of his daughter and was so confident that it wouldn't happen he tried to bluff his way out of trouble. He failed and Alex died.


Martin Keamy is going to be the one who ends up killing a few people on this Island. I have a feeling we can expect a blood bath in the next little while. He certainly doesn't like to lose and he just lost all of his men to Smokey's awesome destructive powers.


The Body on the Beach:

What a let down this was. The episode synopsis made it seem that it would be difficult to figure out who it was and that it would be important to the story. They made it so easy. I mean heck Doctor Ray's body washed up right next to Daniel and Charlotte who simply told everyone who he was.


The only question that is still out there is how did he die? My guess is he was on the "Mission" with Frank and the Mercenaries and he got out of hand. Keamy probably killed him and dumped him out of the helicopter as they flew. The only purpose he will serveis warning the Beach that trouble is on the Island again. Especially when Claire, Sawyer, Miles and Aaron come out of the woods. Assuming they all make it.

Overall Story :

We now see the shape that this show is going to take. Ben takes his private war to the enemy and enlists Sayid along the way all in the name of revenge. He has now threatened Widmore with the death of Penny. The fact that Widmore is racing to get to the Island, Desmond is racing to get to Penny, and Ben is racing to kill her is going to make this show only speed up the story line. To see who will win.

What intrgiued me the most was "The Rules" that both Ben and Widmore mentioned. What are the Rules? Who else is involved? and How long has this been going on?

Widmore stated "The Island is Mine, It always was, it will be again". Could he somehow be an Island Original in an epic battle through time trying to retake his home from Ben?

He also said "I know who you are boy, What you are.." This could elude to the fact that Ben also moves through time like Widmore used to do.

The last widmore fact I want to mention is that apparently one of the Rules is that Ben can't kill Widmore and the other way around. Also it seems rule #2 is that family be left alone. Or it was before Widmore broke it.

Tidbits :

- The Secret Room in Ben's house seems to be of an ancient culture. It has Heiroglyphics all over it.

- Pill Popping Jack seems to be getting ill. Not to tell any spoilers but on the preview ABC aired right after the show they say it's his apendix. Could this be not only the reason he has to go on the first chopper out but also what helps him get hooked on the meds?

- Claire was not in the house when it blew up. In this picture you can clearly see she is out back of the house on the grass covered in clothes and next to the clothes line. She wasn't magically healed or protected she was outside.

- And Lastly the game of RISK. In the game of risk you can't win unless you kill all of your opponents pieces, much like Ben and Sayid are doing to Widmore. Also Hurley made a comment that "Australia is the key to the whole game".
This show started in Australia when the plane took off from Sydney. Hurley heard the numbers from a guy from Australia. Bernard and Rose went to Australia to be "healed", Claire's mysterious Psychic who affected her and Mr. Eko is in Australia. The whole story and how everyone got to be here centers around Australia. What if it all ends there too?

I'd like to thank Brian for letting me fill in for him while he was off getting married, it's been a blast. Ok folks It's time to analysis my thoughts. So get to it.


Ben said...

I just wanted to throw out there, that in the game of RISK, Australia is an incredibly strong position to wage war from, as it is the only continent with only one entrace or exit (Siam), and therefore is easily defendable. The basic strategy is to hole up, take your one country per turn, and wait for everyone else to weaken themselves before sweeping out and hitting someone's main force, then retreating back to your hole.

So it wasn't entirely just a hint that Australia may be important to the show... Australia actually is very strong in the game of Risk.

Anonymous said...

Ben & Charles Widmore:

Charles making the comment that the Island was always his. Does anyone else think Widmore = Alvar Hanso?

Hanso founded DHARMA to investigate the Island, knows about Ben, Ben's use of Island power, Hanso's mysterious background, etc. Ben is the insurgent fighting Hanso/Widmore for control of the Island.

Anyone else thinking along those same terms?


Anonymous said...

When is Brian getting back?

CH said...

Thanks for filling in Jason.

A thought about Jack...I wonder if his illness is the beginning of the process that leads to Future Jack being obsessed with getting back to the Island. From what I understand problems with your appendix are nothing to fool around with; it can get pretty serious if not treated. Left with a lack of adequate medical supplies on the beach, I wonder if Jack's appendix will get inflamed, then burst, which will leave him in pretty grave condition with no hope of survival. The Island will then step in and as an act of "good faith," will heal the Man of Science leaving him with no good explanation other than it is a miracle. Jack 'converts' to being a Man of Faith who becomes obsessed with returning to the object of his faith-that which healed him-the Island.

Anonymous said...

Couple of disagreements: Ben wasn't surprised by Ishamel cornering him, he was setting him up to be distracted so Sayid could kill him. He even said, I want u to take a message to your boss, then when he is dead, Ben says..'that should do it'. 'it' being the message. And I felt the whole point of the doctor was to further indicate the time bubble issue, in that the doctor on the boat, had an unhealed gash and was still alive, and the doctor on the island had a healed gash and was dead, all at the same time. Also it futher established the lies told by the freightors and solidified the fact that they never were going to save the crash survivors.

Additionally I think you could have indicated a correlation in character to Ben's surname Moriarty- being the nephew of the arch nemisis Prof. Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes.

And if u zoom in on the secret chamber door in Ben's room, it has very primative 'heiroglyphics' as in stick men giving a bag of something to what looks like a large fish. Its almost childish drawings.

Also Ben's Jacket has the name Halliwax on it which was an alias for Marvin Candle of the darhma videos. The symbol seems most likely to be for the Orchid station since that is the most recently shown station in the Marvin Candle videos, which featured bunnies disappearing and reappearing (time travel?), and an accident with bunny #15.

Anonymous said...

Didn't anyone else get this??

When Ben says he's going to kill Penny.

Widmore says you'll never find her.

Widmore says the island is mine and always will be.

Ben says you'll never find it.

Widmore says I guess the hunt is on for both of us.

I got the impression the reason Ben won't fine Penny is because she's on the island with Desmond and for some reason the island can't be found now.

Jack said...

"Additionally I think you could have indicated a correlation in character to Ben's surname Moriarty- being the nephew of the arch nemesis Prof. Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes."

True, Anonymous, but the full name he gave was Dean Moriarty, which is the name of the main character in Jack Kerouac's novel "On the Road." Ben is using it as his "traveling" name.

And Ben only heard of Nadia's death on the television report at the hotel in Tunisia and devised the plan to enlist Sayid after that. No one associated with Widmore or Ben killed Nadia. I'm certain of that. We'll probably get confirmation of that in a podcast or something. It's not something they'll show on the screen, but think about it: Ben sees the report, travels to Iraq and lies to Sayid. Ben is a master of thinking on his feet. And why in the world would Widmore kill Nadia? What would he gain in it? She doesn't know where the island is, and all it does is make a trained assassin unbelievably mad. But who gains from Sayid thinking Widmore killed is wife? Ben.

And we know Ben didn't kill Nadia, because, believe it or not, Ben does not kill innocents. Remember, he wouldn't let Michael just blow up the ship, because there were innocents on board.

Anonymous said...

1) Did anyone think that the arabs on horses were ‘guarding’ the wormhole? (but probably not important..)
2) Interesting that it looks Ben has to find the island again and can't use Island transport/teleport to go back. Wonder how he thinks he’ll find the island again.
3) Ishmael – again how the heck did Ben get that photo from LA so quickly – what information sources is he able to tap into? This really bugs me…
4) Body on the Beach – yes agree with previous - the point of that was demonstrate the time warp again.
5) Widmore and why he thinks the island is his – he can’t be a Hanso as he had to buy the Black Rock diary at an auction.

Naomi said...

Ben: I don't think it's impoossible that the show-writers know and play Risk (they're precisely the kind of nerds who would make such a show.)

It's possible that's exactly what Widmore and/or Bug-Eyed-Ben wants to do: hole up, take one country per turn, and take over the world. The only difference is that, while there still seems to limited entrance to the island, exits from the island (for Ben, at least) are becoming more plenteous as the show progresses.

Anonymous said...

the question of who killed Naydia is an excellent one. if Whitmore, why? what would he possibly gain? And agreed, Ben doesn't kill innocents.

also, how did Ben control Smokey?

why does Hurley know where the cabin is with Jacob? why was Hurley allowed to view it in previous show?

caramello said...

where is Brian? :(

too many pictures, not enough commentary... for such a massive episode i was hoping for more than 10 words :P

Winston said...

Jason, great job with the analysis!

A disagreements thought:
-Agreeing with an anonymous commenter, i do think that ben knew that sayid was going to kill Ishamel.

Other than that I think your pretty spot on!

Don't listen to the people that are asking for Brian, its not easy doing these blogs, and you do a kick ass job!

Its better than having no analysis!!

Anonymous said...

Good analysis

Chris Bobb said...

Nice job Jason!

Dree said...

As far as Dr. Ray goes... I think it's important to note that the cut on his cheek is obviously freshly stitched when he washes up on the island. But in previous episodes, that cut looks more like a scar (same cheek, same position). So what's the timing? When did he get the cut? Why is it already a scar when he's on the freightor?

Anonymous said...

Awesome job Jason! Great analysis.

wystrend said...

Simple explanation as to why Ben can't kill Widmore and vica-versa: Ben is Widmore's "Constant" and Widmore is Ben's Constant. As we learned in the Faraday centric episode earlier in the season, the Constant serves as an anchor of sorts across the time/space continnum to ensure survival as one jumps from one place to the next. It may also shed light on the nature of Ben and Widmore's relationship.

Kim said...

What's up with Bernard? He's a dentist, yet he knows morse code and is an expert marksman. There's something more to him that we don't know about.

susa said...

good point!

That leads me to something you all forgot to mention, including you, Jason (but well done, anyway!): why did Daniel lie about the morse code? And why did the freightor say that the doctor is fine when he´s actually dead? Is he still there on the ship, is the body on the island a clone? Wild guessing, I know...

Jason said...

Thanks for the kind words and for those who disagree that's fine too. Each person has the right to voice their opinions

- I don't think the message Ben had for Ishmael was Sayid shooting him. I got the feeling he had a message to send and that when Sayid shot Ishamel he adjusted his plan. He only said "that should do it" to sayid after he kept shooting the dead body until he ran out of bullets.

- Also I don't think that whoever on the boat responded to Daniel with "The Doctor is fine" meant that Dr. Ray was on the boat all healthy he probably just meant that since Daniel couldn't know Dr. Ray was on the mission that all he needed to know was the doctor was fine. For all the people on the boat know he is perfectly fine afterall he is with trained mercenaries.

Other than that so many great points. Thanks for the help. :)

Anonymous said...

the doctor, when showed on the freightor, was such a creepy character. and no doubt, as mentioned previously here, the freshly sutured scar on his left cheek is noteworthy.

Charlote's needs some purpose to the story btw other than standing around looking perplexed or bothered. The LOST'es need to tighten the screws on Daniel and her and get information. C&L indicated in a podcast or interview that the diaglogue from Daniel is very important to listen to carefully. They even suggested playing this part back in the show and listen again. Maybe there are referring to Daniel saying that "time is a relative thing" (sic). Thoughts???

Anonymous said...

One thing you forgot to mention...Jacob. Who the heck is he? haha. Why doesn't Ben know where the cabin is? Why does he think Hurley knows? (Hurley just saw it once, Ben has been there many times)

Anonymous said...

Translations of what the bedoins say is something along the lines of:
This guy has no tracks...what did he fall out of the sky?

in reference to Ben being found in the desert.

Anonymous said...

Heiroglyphic translations, with picture...

The simplest translation of these hieroglyphics is "to summon protection", but there are almost endless ways they can be translated. Here are a few to get those theories flowing:

"Time to summon strength"

"To summon time protection" or "To summon time power"

"Time summons the power of life"

Sawyer's Optician said...

First of all, Jason, excellent analysis. It is comforting that there are people willing to provide us with our lost fixx even though Brian went and got married. Thank you!

Jack said... "believe it or not, Ben does not kill
Hello! He killed his own father in cold blood, and watched as his own daughter was killed in cold blood. He shot Locke and left him in a ditch. And Let us not forget the purge.

VictorC said...

Good job on the analysis Jason, I do disagree on one point though:
When Ben appeared on the ground, that was definitely frost from cold air, not dust. It was white, and dust doesn't vanish into thin air.

As for those "Ben doesn't kill innocents" comments, Sawyer's Optician already beat me to it. The man will kill innocents when necessary, he simply said that to Michael to manipulate him.

As for the Dr. Ray, I don't think Jason's theory really fits, because in previous episodes his cut was healing, whereas now it looks fresh, stitches and all. But I can't explain it either.

One thing I know for certain, that new logo is NOT the Orchid's, you can see the Orchid logo in this picture:

Anonymous said...

"I got the impression the reason Ben won't fine Penny is because she's on the island with Desmond and for some reason the island can't be found now."

I think you may be on to something here, maybe desmond and penny are "adam and eve" those skeletons they found way back.

Anonymous said...

the link from victorc...that is the logo for the swan hatch

VictorC said...

You're right anonymous, that's the Swan hatch logo. In that case, the logo we saw in this episode very well could be The Orchid's.

That means that Halliwax was wearing the wrong clothing in that Orchid video then...

Shawn said...

Here is my 2cents.
I think the cave that Ben went into is the transport. Why else would he have all of his suits, money and passports in the room leading to it. I doubt he would gather all that stuff and then walk to some other place on the island.
So I think that right after the guy killed his daughter, he jumped into the transport, traveled to talk to Widmore and then jumped back. So in island time, it was only a few seconds but it could have been a few hours outside the island.

Take it for what its worth.
Good job on the Analysis Jason!

Anonymous said...

Shawn has a good point.

Anonymous said...

NUMBERS SIGHTING: There are 42 territories in the game of RISK! I just checked it out on Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

hey Jason (or Brian)....preview coming today????? :)

I can't wait to see Lock flashback rumor indicates is coming this season. I heard Richard Alpert is in it from PodCast i think. Anyone know anything here? thnks,

Heidi said...

Um, whoa- Adam and Eve are Penny and Desmond? That's pretty incredible- I like it!

annie said...

great analysis jason.

i concur with wystrand, i think there is defintiely some credence to the suggestion that ben & widmore are each other's constants.

anyone realize that this show is getting a LOT more like alias!? which is cool with me because alias was my favorite show ever... before lost. i kind of miss old, mysterious, polar bear in the woods, creepy smoke monster, secret hatches lost now that they've moved on.

Jason said...

As far as I know Brian is posting the preview for this week. He emailed me to say he was back home.


Dave said...

I'm guessing that, in the final episode, Desmond will kill Ben while protecting Penny.

Ben in the coffin?

Just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

I think that Ben will convince Sayid to kill Penny along with all of Ben's other "enemies". Then there will be some sort of show down between Desmond and Sayid.

BTW I love the idea that Ben and Widmore are each other's constants.

Excellent job Jason! Thanks for filling in.

Anonymous said...

if robert frost was a band, it would be death cab for cutie.