Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Because You Left" and "The Lie" Instant Reactions!

Brian's Two Word Review: Information Overload.

Wow. I did not see all that coming. In my head, I was feeling pretty confident going into this season that I had an idea about where it was going. In my head, I was trying to keep the concepts of time travel fairly reasonable (and as pseudo-sciencey as possible). In my head, it was complicated but manageable.

Leave it to Lost to totally blow my confidence out of the water and present us with one of the most complicated episodes of television ever produced.

Let's just start to wrap our minds around what happened in these two hours...

  • Characters on the Island traveling back and forth in time unpredicatably.
  • Some characters on the Island remembering things, others not so much.
  • The audience having vague concepts of the general timeframe of each jump, but not specific enough to know if we just saw the characters visit two, three, or four different time periods.
  • No one being clear on the rules of these time jumps, aside from Faraday and perhaps Richard Alpert - neither of which had time to fully explain this episode.
So what are we left with? A lot of analyzing to do!

The crazy thing is that I think we got enough information to work through a lot of answers, including some answers to questions that have been posed over the first four seasons of the show. I need some time to digest, but here is the traditional spewing of random thoughts to tide you over and pique your interests for the next few days...
  • Is Charlotte suffering the same "sickness" that killed Minkowski (and almost Desmond?) Is it because she was on the Island before (as a child) and left, but returned on a different bearing? Or is it because she doesn't have a Constant? Could this be the same "illness" that killed all of CFL's crew? But CFL was somehow spared because she had Alex to act as her Constant?
  • If Desmond is the only one immune to the effects of the Island jumping in time and wiping out memories, is he screwing up the space-time continuum by suddenly having the ability to actually change the past?
  • Who the F is Ms. Hawking? I definitely got the vibe that she is some type of "The Matrix"-esque Oracle character who is trying to prevent the end of the world, mucked up by Desmond changing the past. Is this why she was so adamant about him not marrying Penny and just staying put on the Island?
  • Who was the Jill character that Ben left Locke's body with? An Other that he is BFF with from back in the day? Or someone in the Ms. Hawking clan who are just working on preventing the world from coming to an end?
  • Even with Hurley potentially being arrested, it's pretty hilarious how simple the Oceanic Six storyline is in comparison to the Island one. Every time they would jump to an Oceanic Six scene, I would feel slight disappointment on the inside. 
  • What are the odds that the opening scene of the season, featuring Faraday inside the Orchid as it is being built, was actually a "flashback", and that at some point this season, the Island will "jump" back that far in time, allowing Faraday to enter the Orchid to try and sort everything out? Will this lead to throwing him into the future? Is this why he was crying when we first met his character last season? Does he have this residual memory of everything that happened, and everyone that dies (Charlotte in particular), but can't quite remember it? Will he be exposed to high levels of radiation like Desmond rendering him able to remember things outside of the "jumps"?
  • Locke ends up with the compass that Alpert gave him, which seems like the object that Alpert wanted him to choose as a child when he visited. However, the knife is actually what was Locke's - the compass is Alpert's. So wouldn't that mean that Locke chose correctly?
  • Is this how the Others knew that Locke was going to be their future leader? Did 1970's Locke tell them all sorts of stuff that had not yet happened and they figured that he was seeing into the future and must be some all-knowing being / witch?
  • My early assumption is that Island Originals are immune from the effects of the Island moving - but any outsiders are not. This would explain Alpert knowing what was going on, but Ethan and the early Dharma folks not. But there are still all sorts of questions about what this means for characters who are alive vs. dead in the different timelines. Could this be why we see characters like Christian Shephard walking around?
My head hurts.

I will say this - these two episodes probably effectively turned off any "casual viewers" of the show. It's probably going to take 100% brainpower from people to be able to keep up and appreciate how awesome this show is getting. After teasing the "sci-fi" angle for the first four seasons, it jumped in head first into the deep end with the start of Season Five. Thus far, I'm quite impressed. It takes a lot for a show to challenge me, but Lost gave me all the challenge I could ask for and more.

Time to get analyzing...

For now, discuss!



52 comments:

Anonymous said...

The scene where Hurley is describing what happened on the island to his mom, is exactly what it feels like for one of us to describe the show "Lost" to anyone we know. Great scene.

Andrew said...

Great to have you back man! Awesome instant reaction. My head hurts too, but i'm excited!

Anonymous said...

I think the Jill character was in an episode before. Not sure which season but when Juliet is being sentenced or being branded by a jury or something like that, that lady, Jill, was there for some reason,,,or am I dreaming.

Rebecca said...

I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!! I was at the edge of my seat just about the whole time. So glad it's back! I was wondering about Jill too - not sure if we saw her before but I forgot or if she was new. 70 hours?!?! Someone's got to bail Hurley out...NOW! My husband had staff duty tonight so he missed it - there's my excuse to watch it again, too much to take in for one night. Faraday told Desmond he was special & he wouldn't be affected...so why did he get the nosebleeds in his time travel epi in season 4??? Faraday has a lot of question marks around him, what time did he start in? Does he not age like Alpert? Will Sun have to leave her baby behind to go back to the island? So many questions, my head hurts trying to figure it out.

In the recap epi before season 5 started C&L did state that we'd have more answers then questions so that's hopeful - I just want some answers soon!! Alpert - talk fast next time and spill the beans! ;)

Greg said...

Hey Brian, welcome back and welcome back LOST. If you in your thinking through this episode can explain away the time discrepancy between the On Island and the Six + Des/Penny, please make a point to illuminate it.

It seems to me that while we are flipping between the on-island and off-island stories, we are really flipping between 2005 and 2008 (ish) as well. Which really hit home when Faraday from 2005 time, but in 2003ish, told Des to go to Oxford, he remembered in 2008.

My head hurts just trying to ask about that.

Kelly said...

Anonymous 11:46 -- I agree! Jill was familiar as soon as I saw her!

I'm also thinking that Mrs. Hawking is actually Daniel Faraday's mother. Remember how he was trying to tell Desmond to go to Oxford and find his mother, her name is....?

Geesh... my head is aching too, but I'm so excited. I agree with Brian, though. We're gonna lose some viewers. It's just too hard for the average person to follow. So much for water cooler chitchat now!

Hobnail_Boot said...

Kelly, I had the same thought re: Jill, but remember that Jill is in L.A., not England.

Here's what I don't get: What makes Alpert so special? It seems as though the rules affecting everyone else on the island don't affect him.

I also fear we're never going to get resolution to Jacob or Smokey.

Lisa said...

Could Charlotte's nosebleed indicate that she is actually dead? I was just remembering when Goodspeed appears to Locke and at first he looks normal, but then a second later, he's bleeding from his nose and says he's been dead for 12 years.

The best scene by far though was Hurley throwing the Hot Pocket at Ben.

Lisa said...

Another thing I wonder is if The Orchid was being built specifically to take advantage of the energy that could enable time travel, then Dr. Candle must have known about the dangerous core. And if that were true, don't you think he would have told the construction crew to be more careful in the first place? I found it odd that he didn't tell them to stop digging until after they had melted five drill bits.

Lisa said...

One more...

I keep reading lots of places that people think that Ms. Hawking is Daniel Faraday's mother. The problem with that is that he tells Desmond to find his mother at Oxford. At the same time Desmond is heading to Oxford in the present, Ben is in LA with Ms. Hawking. Since Ben says that he lost Hurley "tonight," we know that it is the same day and he still has to be in the LA area. There's no way he could make it to England that fast.

Hobnail_Boot said...

One more thought..

Remember when Alpert got upset that young Locke chose the knife instead of the compass? How much different (and possibly important) does that scene seem now?

Kim said...

The army. I think the people that attacked Sawyer and Juliet with the fire arrows were from the army. Remember Ana Lucia found an army knife on the island that she thought it to be about 20 years old.....

Anonymous said...

I really don't think the Jill character is the same character as the women "judge" on the island judging Juliet a few seasons ago.

No doubt, the casual viewer is gone!

Ang said...

Hey Brian great job once again.

So much thinking last night, whew! I just want to know who/what year the mean army guys were from. Pre others/Dharma. That one threw me for a loop. Now more people to analyze Brian.

Anonymous said...

I guess that I consider myself an engaged, but not fanatic, viewer and really appreciate this analysis. However, what was the point of saying "It takes a lot for a show to challenge me". Why can't a TV show just be entertaining with some substance? I don't know about most people, but the last thing that I need after a long week is a Mensa test.

VictorC said...

Awesome as always Brian.

To speculate on something you haven't (but most likely will in the analysis), I suspect that Sun and Widmore are behind the attorneys knocking on Kate's door.

And not only is the show starting to alienate casual viewers (which isn't good for ratings) but it's starting to alienate fans who aren't sci-fi fans as well. For the sake of the show I really hope they manage that very well.

Anonymous said...

When the island moves in "time" does it also move in "space" or location? I'm not sure what is going on there.

Also, it looked to me like the guys who captured Sawyer and Julliet were wearing Dharma jump suits. No?

Laur said...

Question: If Faraday talked to Desmond at the hatch that first day after the whole island moving incident, why would Desmond just have the memory of it 3 years later? Shouldn't it have come to him right then?

Anonymous said...

It does seem that Widmore and Sun may be behind proving Kate is not Aron's mom. However, I am unclear why Sun holds a grudge towards the Oceanic 6 other than a plot device. How or why would she hold a grudge for Kate and Jack's good intentions of getting the copter off the ship before everyone dies. Do you think she was disengenious when she told Kate "I don't blame you"?

Also, from a larger perspective, I found the reaction of those still on the island not convincing in terms of any awe or to the bone fear as they were supposedly moving thru time. Juliet however did seem to have some familiarity with what was going on here perhaps by learning somehow thru Ben at some point.

Thoughts??

VictorC said...

Laur the way I make sense of that is:
Technically speaking, Desmond always had the memory but didn't quite recall it until Faraday time traveled to the past and pretty much "created" the memory.

Like Brian, I believe this is why Faraday was crying while watching the wreckage on TV. He was crying but didn't know why, I believe is because the memory was sort of recessed in his mind.

All this time traveling stuff is going to get very hard to explain, lol.

Anonymous said...

I think Farady was crying because when he saw the wreckage he knew what was going to happen to the people and either knew he couldn't stop it or that he had tried to stop it and couldn't.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the Ms. Hawking not being Daniel's mother because she is in LA, Farraday has no way of knowing when Desmond will remember the conversation or where his mother will be. He likely assumes she is in Oxford, so it's not impossible that she is his mother. However, it does seem less likely since Daniel seems so confident she would be in Oxford whenever Desmond went.

Anonymous said...

If Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mother, then he is more involved and in-tune with the powers of the island. Maybe she is Charlotte's mother, she was born on the island?

Stef said...

Oh, I like the idea of Ms. Hawking as Faraday's mother even better!

And remember, names are not a coincidence on this show. I love that a Mrs. Hawking is back at the forefront while we're confronting issues of time!

Kim said...

Also....Pierre Chang (Marvin Candle)....at the beginning of the first episode, he wakes up next to his wife...and then goes to feed a baby.

Was the baby born there? How so?
Who does the baby row up to be? Was he killed in the purge? Miles maybe?

Steve said...

I think faraday was the same faraday. I think he was on the island... I don't think it's unreasonable that time may get stuck 30 years in the past(see the comiccon video.. it sounded like faraday in that video). He probably disguised himself as a Dharma worker to get closer to the orchid. I'm guessing we'll see more of Marvin Candle or whatever is name is. He may end up trying to help him with his knowledge of time travel. If he was in Dharma, he wouldn't have had to be led to the Hatch, or the back door... I just don't buy that he was shot into the future... but anything is possible. Good show though!

Steve said...

Baby Born on island was probably recent.. after Ben took over and moved people to otherville away from the island, or nature. It think the island isn't much for technology. The more ben tries to use science to fix the problem, instead of 'faith', the more women die in childbirth. In other words, I think the pregnancy issue as recent. Another option is that it was a result of something Dharma did.

Anonymous said...

Steve, maybe your right and the island allowed babies to be born before Ben got there. Once Ben shows up and is trying all these experiments the island does not want these people to be able to reproduce and take over the island.

Anonymous said...

I've figured out the future of this show! The island goes back to the 1970's, and when the survivors make it inland they encounter Jacob in a white tux saying "Welcome to Fantasy Island, where all of your fantasies come true!". Hurley runs up to the top of the Dharma Radio Tower and yells "Ze plane! Ze plane!" After 48 hours the fantasy ends (Season 6finale) and everyone lives happily ever after. THE END.

Lisa said...

Ok, I just figured out something I have a problem with. When the third flash happens, Locke is sitting on the ground and looks up and sees the plane is still there and smoke is still coming out of its engine. We know the plane crashed sometime in the late 1990s. The smoke would indicate that the time is just after the plane crashed. However, Desmond is in the hatch, and he didn't arrive on the island until 2001. So that would indicate the time to be somewhere between 2001-2004. So either that engine is smoking for a long, long time, or there's a continuity error.

Salvar said...

Okay, is anyone else starting to get the feeling that Locke will end up being Jacob? Not that Ricardo Montalban isn't a good guess as well...

tom said...

Great episode!

So many variables and ways the narrative could go from here. But we at least know that the time travel theme will be at centre.

I wonder when and how the leavers (Jack et al) will realize that the stayers are caught in a time limbo so to speak. Benjamin clearly knows this, but when will the other leavers be informed of that fact?

Re the 80 hour timeframe Hawkins talked about in the episode: could this mean that the entire season 5 will take place in that time, from the leavers perspective? Will they all season struggle to get back and succeed first in the season finale?

Anonymous said...

Marvin Candle is dead according to the video he made on comicon....remember? he indicated that if you are watching this video, I am dead. Also, according to Faraday (and Mrs. Hawkins), you can't go back in the past and affect it....doubtful then that Faraday is attempting to change anything back then but perhaps learn something that can be applied in the present. Very confusing stuff.

As for someone critique over "being challenged" vs watching LOST, as with other TV for shear enjoyment....impossible. For most folks posting here, likely that to enjoy LOST means to grasp the details, nuance and mythology as opposed to just going "along for the ride" as one might with a show like "24".

Anonymous said...

Marvin Candle had a prosthetic arm in one of the videos, and the army people that captured Juliet and Sawyer were about to chop off Juliet's arm. Coincidence?

adamgibson11 said...

Im looking forward to the scene where they break Hurley out of prison, that should be fun.

Steve said...

First, Locke saw the plane crash... but when was this in the timeline? Was this the same time that Desmond was in the hatch? I'll have to go back and watch. I don't remember any exact time as to when the plane crashed. How do we know it wasn't 2001? And we still have the question of how the plane got from Nigeria to the south pacific, or did the island move? (note Hawkings penelum maps for the island)

And as for time travel, it's tricky. I still don't know why the islanders don't run into themselves... I hope they don't. As for Candle, I'm not saying he's not dead and you can't change teh future, but it's also possible that you don't know that you're not supposed to make this time tunnel to the future to make the effort as you're supposed to get OFF the island, not die on it. So in theory, Candle may never have died.. he may have always sent that message, Faraday may have ALWAYS been there, but until 2004, we did not know that the message was sent, and efforts were made not the change the past, but to follow the patch of that the 'stream' of time intended. See "12 monkeys".. Something quoted as Damon and Carlton as time travel 'done right' in previous podcasts.

This show is getting awesome!

Anonymous said...

Did everyone watch the recap show before the premiere? Did you notice when they were talking about Sun, Team Darlton said something along the lines of "Sun believes that Jin is dead".

I thought they might be setting us up for Jin surviving somehow...

Anonymous said...

In one of the Dr Candle videos, didn't the rabbit appear from another "time" and there was a big issue with it interacting with itself in its current time?

Anonymous said...

Firstly, yeah to annoym....C&L did say "believe" Jin to be dead. I thought the same thing but need to watch/listen again. I really don't think they were setting us up and if you think about it, Sun does BELIEVE Jin to be dead given that she never witnessed him actually dying. In the end, I don't believe Jin survived and don't think that C&L were setting us up.

As for Steve's theories....my head is hurt'n!!! Hard to imagine how the senior production team and writters thought this thing thru so far as details,nuances and "laws" related to time travel...(ie; if you were on the original timeline in that space and travel back in time, what happens if the "present" you sees the "past" you?

On a related note, amazing job last season of how the writters set us all up to show how the universe "course corrects" itself (Mrs. Hawkings) with all of Desmond's attempts to save Charlie's life.

Anonymous said...

Seems very likely that Faraday's mom is Mrs Hawkings. When Daniel was telling Desmond to find his mother, her last name was never revealed to the audience. Also, Mrs Hawkings was shown to be an expert on time travel. Very cool.

Also, you'd have to assume that Charlotte's nose bleed foreshadows death as it did with freighter people including Desmond when he was on-board.

Matthew said...

I think that when Locke chose the knife as a child, that IS what Alpert wanted to see. I think the special school that Locke was supposed to go to was a front, and all Alpert needed to see was the knife being chosen to confirm Locke as the leader.

rutkowskilives said...

Quick observation and speculation - Ethan reported to Ben that he met this weird bald guy named John Locke that said Ben had given him all of Ben's power - thus setting up the animosity Ben has always shown for Locke.

Explaining this stuff in a way that makes any sense is really tricky.

Anonymous said...

Why would Daniel Dae Kim still be listed as a main cast member if Jin was dead?

Anonymous said...

Common Anonym.....In LOST, someone who's "dead" may continue to return for many, many more appearances on the show. Anna Lucia? Libby? Charlie?? Christian Slatter? etc.

Matt Payne said...

Post Episodes Questions:

1) How does Daniel know Sawyer is called James? (is it in his journal?)

2) Why when Daniel asks Sawyer if any of the group are unaccounted for does he say LOCKE but NOT CLAIRE???

3) Who are the Army guys who attack Sawyer and Juliet (one has 'Jones' on his outfit and they don't have Dharma logos)

4) How does Daniel know it was Ben that did something at the Orchid station??? all the people with him know is that there were people going to that station??

Anonymous said...

Locke seemingly killed two of the soldiers in order to save Sawyer and Juliet. Was it destiny those soldiers die at the hands of John Locke? Or is it more subjective time alteration - the soldiers were inconsequential to the future and were permitted to die, by John or whomever.

The survivors are shifting in time before us, with time travel in the past and forward closer to present (there was no assured evidence of advancing into the future).

The theory of our Island "permitting death" is unquestionably tied into stabilizing the time/space continuum; which can be confused with destiny.

Anonymous said...

It's not common for a character like that to recieve main star billing. Especially in episodes that they do not appear. Dominic Monaghan got star billing for the first episode last season, but was not scene in the credits for the rest of the season. In both the Lie and Because you Left Daniel Dae Kim was giving star billing.

Bob said...

I have some theories on the memory timing for Desmond. What if the reason the "stayers" on the island remember everything is because their consciousness is still in the present while they are in the past. Because of that, Farraday's message to Desmond was received in the same time as Farraday's consiousness is in meaning while Desmond was sleeping that night.

Also, did anybody else think there was a connection between Locke getting shot in the leg in the same area his legs began experiencing weakness when he and Boone initially found the plane?

Anonymous said...

hey Matt - really good point that Sawyer doesn't sight Claire along with Locke as being missing. Have got to assume a continuity error.

Steve said...

More time thoughts... not organized, not a theory, just observations.

- Yes, the comicon 2007 video had the two bunnies together it was causing panic.. and the world to shake.

- I get confused a bit here. I would normally say that in using the 12 monkeys time travel theory, that the losties would have seen each other in earlier seasons if they had ever encountered them. Think of Alpert saying that Locke told him where he was, or he WILL. And that when he sees him in the past, give him the compass. This seems like the 12monkees time travel stuff...

- BUT! Desmond see the future time and/or travel to the future in your own body time travel... well, that changes the future. If you think about time as a record(to borrow from Faraday), Desmond can see into the grooves that have yet to be played, but is part of the 'stream'. If preset des is in point A, and the future event is point B, he is stopping point B from ever happening, therefore the timeline adjusts itself to the original stream, like throwing in a rock.

- I've always been confused about how Des, when he skips time.. what happens to the desmond in the past? Does he disapear? Does he coexist? How is past desmond affected by the changes that present Desmond made in his life when he comes back? Does this affect present Des? Seems like the old time travel paradox.

- So, assuming time travel number 2, if out losties do encoutner themselves, are they not in some way changing the future? Even if Boone or Charlie still die, aren't the people in the present suddenly aware of minor alterations in their past? Or is that why Desmond woke up from a memory, rather than a nightmare?

Still, it's interesting stuff, and I can't wait to see how these guys make it work. I just get nervous with time travel stories, it's really hard to get it right. As I said in a previous message that it's possible that the future losties in the past set forwards events that they were always meant to set forth. So they were always meants to come into the past to make this happen.

- And all this time travel stuff puts a possible solution to Adam and Eve bones in season 1.

They'll tie it all up, and it should be a fun ride! Sit back and enjoy!

Matt Payne said...

I just felt it was really wierd that when asked about members of the group unaccounted for and considering what had just recently happened to Sawyer he mentioned Locke but NOT CLAIRE.

Anonymous said...

A see a glaring inconsistency in this episode. After the wheel was turned and Locke was all alone, why did Juliet not disappear like the Others/Richard? She is one of them!

For those that say she was brought to the island, then why did people like Cindy (flight attendant who joined the Others), and Zac/Emma (captured kids) not stay with Locke?