Sunday, February 22, 2009

"316" Analysis!

I have to admit, this one was a tough episode to break down. A lot of stuff happened, but a lot of it was pretty tough to analyze – not because it was confusing, but because it didn’t “fit” with things that we have seen over the past few seasons. But here’s my best attempt!

 

Time. Once again this week, we better start with the question of "time" on Lost, specifically in regards to the jaw-drop-tastic ending. Here is what we know:


  • Fact #1 - At some point in the past, Locke turned the FDW, sending him off the Island.
  • Fact #2 - When Jack, Kate, and Hurley return to the Island, Jin is wearing a Dharma Jumpsuit, driving a Dharma Van, and listening to Dharma Music.

 

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Shockingly, outside of those two details, it's all conjecture. So everything from this point forward is based on assumptions and guesses on my part - but could be totally wrong. We just don't know enough. The writers have cleverly left out large chunks of the storyline, allowing the viewer to slowly discover them over the next few episodes. My guess is that next week's episode ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham") focuses 100% on Locke's time off the Island, and we have to wait two weeks before we return to the Island to get answers about the timeline. So this will have to hold us over until then.

 

Assumption #1 - Our Skipping Survivors moved in time when Locke turned the FDW. There was a bright flash of light that accompanied Ben's turning of the FDW, and we all know that caused the first skip, so it seems logical that Locke turning the FDW would cause another skip.

 

Assumption #2 - Locke not only turned the FDW, but "fixed it". He got it back on its axis and properly aligned. I'm guessing that the reason for the repeated, sometimes rapid skips through time were a result of the FDW being off its proper axis, wobbling between spokes instead of staying on one.

  

Assumption #3 - This would mean that our Skipping Survivors had "one last skip" that sent them back in time, but have experienced none since then.

 

Assumption #4 - Since we saw Faraday on the Island when the Orchid was being built, and now Jin on the Island in a new-looking Dharma Van, this skip sent them back to at least the 1970's, if not earlier.

 

I feel pretty confident about all those assumptions, even though any could be incorrect. But based on the facts and assumptions above, here's my theory:

 

After Locke turned the FDW, the remaining Skipping Survivors (Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Faraday, Miles) end up in the late 1970's.

 

Yes, I know that you could argue that they went back thousands of years, which could conveniently allow these characters to see things like the four-toed statue being built and the Black Rock arriving on the Island, but I think it creates a lot of complications. Even if you suppose that they wouldn't age until they hit their "proper time period" of 2004, I have a hard time believing they would be able to survive on the Island for so long without going crazy, starving to death, falling off a cliff, or being killed by Smokey.

 

Instead, if you have them end up in the late 1970's, it could coincide with Dharma first showing up on the Island. Knowing that they would need food and shelter to survive in this new timeline, they would sneak into the crowds of people arriving on the Island and signup for random jobs on the Island. The Skipping Survivors would do their best to get by while trying to understand what happened, all the while trying to figure out how they could return to their proper timeline.


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I know that last week I proposed that Faraday would become the "big bad" of the rest of the season by messing with the FDW to try and change the past to save Charlotte… but this week I'm thinking the exact opposite. Aren't theories fun? What if instead of doing something sinister in the Orchid Station, Daniel Faraday was doing something heroic - like trying to figure out how to help everyone get back to 2004? That would be a pretty logical explanation, and would keep fan-fave Faraday as one of the "good guys"!

 

To take it one step farther, you could even have the Skipping Survivors spend three years living on the Island and working for Dharma until the Oceanic Five arrive - that way all of the remaining Survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 would have aged the exact same amount of time as well. The Oceanic Six spent three years off the Island, and our Skipping Survivors spent three years skipping / living on the Island. It's actually a pretty nice and neat explanation for their storyline… almost too convenient to actually be correct.

 

The Oceanic Five. Luckily, there are all sorts of questions about the Oceanic Five. Before we analyze, let me get one thing out of the way...

 

I didn't realize it when I wrote my Instant Reactions Review, but Ms. Hawking actually used the phrase "leap of faith" when describing what was required for Jack to return to the Island - and that's exactly what is required for the viewer as well. It's pretty funny, but as comfortable as I am with accepting things on Lost like Smokey, Skipping Through Time, or Non-Aging Alpert, when Ms. Hawking started talking about recreating the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 as closely as possible, it came across as cheesy and ridiculous, and as a whole just didn't sit right with me.


There's no way it can be explained with science, which is fine (although we were promised at the start that everything would be "pseudo-science") - but I would have much preferred some generic reference to "fate" bringing them back rather than Ms. Hawking's attempt at an explanation. When Jack shouted "this is ridiculous", that's exactly what I was thinking, and was glad to hear a character voice my opinion. I know a lot of people are trying to find ways to correlate Ajira Flight 316 to Oceanic Flight 815, but I'm going to intentionally overlook them because I'd simply rather put this part of the storyline behind us, and in my head, I'll pretend that Ms. Hawking just said "there's no way to explain it, Jack. That's why it's called a leap of faith." Tell me that wouldn't have been a thousand times better?!

 

(Note: this is also how I pretend that Seasons Four and portions of Season Five of Alias never happened, and have a totally different story in my head to replace them)

 

But I digress. We're moving on! The important thing is that the Oceanic Five ended up on Ajira Airways 316, which allows the story to move forward. As with the Skipping Survivors, it's easy to make assumptions about what happened - but in reality all we know for sure is that Jack, Kate, and Hurley ended up on the Island. So let's address that question first - how did they get from sitting on a plane at 30,000 feet to being on the Island?

 

We saw that they started to experience turbulence on the plane, followed by a bright light similar to when a skip would happen on the Island. A skip would provide the cleanest, and most convenient explanation, allowing the Oceanic Five to get back to the Island without killing a bunch of innocent people in a plane crash and putting them in the same boat as the rest of the Survivors who never left. Plus, you could argue that if a skip on the Island was happening directly under them at the same time they were flying over, they would be "sucked in" and skip in time, just like our Skipping Survivors.


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Note: the suck must have a lot more height to it than it does width, since the Oceanic Six were on a helicopter fewer than 30,000 feet from the Island when Ben turned the FDW, but weren't sucked in at that point.

 

However, this still doesn't explain how they ended up on the Island. As we have seen through our Skipping Survivors, when the flash happens, you move in time - but not in space (like Locke ending up underground). So if the Oceanic Five were at 30,000 feet in 2008 - they should have ended up at 30,000 feet in the 1970's. Falling that distance to the Island could explain how they ended up so far apart, even though they were a few feet away on the plane - but you would think it would also kill them. I guess we have to chalk this up to "the Island doesn't let you die until it's good and ready".

 

There’s also the pesky detail that their arrival on the Island didn’t seem to coincide with a “skip” on the Island. Jin’s position inside Dharma seems to indicate that he has been in that time period a decent amount of time… which makes me think he has been “skip-free” for a while. Does this mean that the skips are suddenly only affecting certain people, instead of everyone? Or did it only affect Oceanic Five since they weren’t in the “right place” in the Island’s eyes? Or is this just payback since they didn’t suffer through any skips yet like their fellow Survivors? No answer here, other than “it got them back to the Island, which is the important thing – don’t worry about it!”

 

We've verified that Jack, Kate, and Hurley end up on the Island. But what about Sayid, Sun, Ben, Frank, or any of the other passengers on the flight? I think it's safe to assume that Sayid and Sun are back on the Island (somewhere), since there is nothing that would make them different than Jack, Kate, and Hurley. To some extent, this would also make you think that Frank ends up on the Island, since he would seemingly be in the same category as Faraday, Miles, and Charlotte - who have been skipping on the Island all along. That leaves us with three wild cards - Ben and the two other mysterious new passengers sitting in first class. They were included in the "Guest Star" listing for the episode as Caesar (creepy guy that talked to Jack) and Ilana (Female Marshall).


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As many have point out, if there were random, one-off guest stars, they probably wouldn't have names - and Caesar wouldn’t have talked to Jack this week (in what was a pretty awkward scene)… which kinda makes you think they are going to end up on the Island as well. For those who watched the preview for next week, you already know the answer to part of this question - since it appeared to feature John Locke talking to Ilana on the beach. Her inclusion is actually pretty easy to explain. We have seen that whatever our Skipping Survivors are in contact with skips with them - and if she was sitting next to Sayid, they very well could have been touching, and she would be taken along for the ride. However, Caesar was sitting by himself on the flight, so this explanation wouldn't apply to him. And what about Ben?

 

Much like the Oceanic Five, I think there has to be some unifying element that ties all three of these characters together. Assuming that they skipped, but everyone else on the plane stayed, they must all have something in common that made them unique… and the most likely explanation is that they have all been to the Island Before.

 

Outcast Others. Say hello to my new character grouping title for this week. I'm going to call Caeasar, Ilana, and Ben "Outcast Others". Although I think it's possible that some characters voluntarily left the Island to "serve it" from the Real World at various Dharma Stations around the world (like Ms. Hawking), I think it's just as possible that there is another group of Others who didn’t want to leave in the first place, and would do anything to go back to the Island. These Outcast Others have been told that they can never go back to the Island, but can't accept it - and spend their nights dreaming about "the good ol' days" back on the Island. They would be willing to do anything to go back. Anything.

 

My wacky theory of the week is that Caesar and Ilana are Outcast Others who have been working for Ben (a fellow Outcast) to help get the Oceanic Five back on this particular flight, possibly even helping him keep the Oceanic Five safe over the past three years (from Widmore / The Economist). It's likely that In return for doing so, Ben has promised to take them back to the Island with him.

 

This would provide an explanation for how Sayid ended up on the plane. Ilana, who has been working for law enforcement ever since she left the Island years ago, gets called on by Ben to "arrest" Sayid and bring him on this particular flight. As for Caesar, maybe he has been simply acting as a "henchman" for Ben, helping him kill people, spy on people, manipulate people, etc - you know, do "Ben Stuff". It still doesn't explain all the logic behind the skipping - we still don't know why someone like Ben would skip but the other Others do not. But if the skipping only applies to people who have been to the Island before, it would conveniently get the Oceanic Five, Ben, Frank, Ilana, and Caesar off the plane without killing all the innocent people on board.

 

In fact, if Ben is orchestrating all of this, he most certainly knew this, which explains why he said "who cares about them" when Jack asked about the other passengers on Ajira 316. It wasn't that he was cold and heartless, but that he knew they would be fine.

 

I think the more worrisome part of this is that we have been told that once you leave the Island, you can't come back. This week, we also had Hurley tell Jack that Ben "is not supposed to come". This might be the second time that Ben has blatantly disobeyed the wishes of the Island. The first was turning the FDW, and that started the skipping in time in the first place. The second might be returning to the Island when he isn't supposed to… which makes me worry about stuff like the Outcast Others running into themselves. We don't know what the repercussions of such an event might be, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be good.

 

Ben. Speaking of "not good", it's not looking good for sweet Penelope Widmore. Ben told Jack that he "made a promise to an old friend of mine" (Charles Widmore, when he promised that he would kill Penny since Widmore's men killed Alex), followed by "tying a loose end that needs tying up" (which might be literal, if he tied her up and threw her into the ocean), concluded by Ben calling Jack from a pay phone at Long Beach Marina (where Penny and Desmond likely were, since they were living on a boat). If you think about it, Ben has been working for years to orchestrate this plan of getting the Oceanic Five back to the Island - probably from the minute he turned the FDW. What could possibly have come up so last minute that would cause him to risk being on that plane?

 

How about Desmond suddenly showing up at Ms. Hawking's church, which suddenly tells Ben that Penny is close. The next scene with Ben shows him "praying" in church, but I think it was more of "soul searching", as he's wondering if he can go through with his promise and kill an innocent Penny to get his revenge. 


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The fact that Ben was bruised and bloodied gives me hope that Desmond was able to fight off Ben and save Penny… but Ms. Hawking's statement that Desmond "isn't finished with the Island" without going into any detail makes me worry. Note that she didn't say "The Island isn't finished with you", but rather "You aren't finished with the Island" - as if the Island doesn't care one way or the other if Desmond returns, but Ms. Hawking knows that Desmond will be back.


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After making numerous promises to never return to the Island, the only reason I can think that Desmond would return to the Island would be for revenge - to hunt down Benjamin Linus for what he did to Penny. Something else fun to think about? We might be looking at both of the "special people" on the Island who can change the past (Desmond and Faraday) looking to avenge the death of the one they loved. Desmond trying to kill Ben in revenge, Faraday looking to change the past to save Charlotte. Either action could cause a lot of trouble. If Ben and Desmond are fighting it out in the 1980's, a fatal blow to either would have huge repercussions on the past. Desmond wouldn't be on the Island in 2004 to turn the Swan Hatch failsafe, and Ben wouldn't be on the Island in 2004 to turn the FDW the first time. If "whatever happened, happened", either of these results may accidentally bring about the end of the existence. Yikes. Should we be more worried about Faraday or Desmond?

  

Lamp Post. This week also showed us the first (and I’m guessing ONLY) off-Island Dharma Station, “The Lamp Post”. Apparently, The Lamp Post was created by Dharma as a way to find the Island. According to Ms. Hawking “they knew that it existed but not where it was.” This indicates that the Lamp Post was the first Dharma Station, required to find The Island for the very first time. The first question a logical person would ask is “how did they know about the Island in the first place, to know to be searching for it?”

 

Well keep in mind that Dharma didn’t arrive on the Island until the 1970’s – but there were plenty of people on the Island before that point (Charles Widmore). Although we don’t know when – or why – people like Widmore (and potentially Ms. Hawking) left the Island, they might have enough information about it to help Dharma build the Lamp Post to help find it.  I doubt it’s a coincidence that there was a military surveillance picture of the Island from 1954 hanging on the chalkboard. It was “proof” that the Island existed – the goal that Dharma was working towards finding.


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I’m guessing that Charles Widmore will once again prove to be the key to all of this. He was kicked off the Island, and became obsessed with finding a way back. He bought the Hanso Black Rock Journal and gave Dharma the money they needed – but more importantly he gave them the information he had gathered from his time on the Island, information that would prove critical in helping them find the Island. So is Charles Widmore the “clever fellow” that developed the wacky pendulum inside the Lamp Post?

 

I don’t think so. Charles Widmore is a lot of things – rich guy, powerful guy, grandpa on the OC – but I don’t think mathematical/science nerd is one of them. Even if he did spend a good deal of time on the Island, I don’t how we would discover unique electromagnetic energy at the location of the Lamp Post, or use this energy to help find the unique electromagnetic energy of the Island.

 

The problem is, thinking through the cast of Lost characters available to fill this role, I’m having a hard time coming up with anyone that would be able to figure this all out. It could be someone we haven’t “met” yet like Valenzetti, Alvar Hanso, or a totally new person, but the only person I can think of that we already know on the show is Daniel Faraday, which doesn’t make any sense. Or does it? Maybe, in his heroic / foolish actions to get our Survivors back to 2008 / save Charlotte, Faraday accidentally gets kicked off the Island and winds up in the past. It gets a little too “circular” in the space-time continuum when I think about it, but I would definitely describe Faraday as a “clever fellow” – and his ability to help Dharma find the Island would go a long way in explaining his connection with Widmore, who was funding his research.

 

Note: I don’t love this theory since there are too many holes in it, but that’s my best guess for now.

 

Moving. Although there are definitely still big questions surrounding the creation of the Lamp Post, the bigger question for me is Ms. Hawking’s insistence that the Island is “always moving”. What? Doesn’t all of the Freighter stuff from last season totally contradict this comment?

 

Let’s remember that the reason that the Freighter was stationed anywhere between five and eighty miles off the coast of the Island for over a month – with crew members of the Kahana taking multiple trips to see the Island, helicopters coming to and from the Island, etc. If it was “always moving”, none of this would have been possible. In fact, everything we saw last season – from the fake Oceanic 815 wreckage in the Sunda Trench to the Oceanic Six ending up on Sumba and Membata during their return to the “real world” all take place within the same general area, which happens to be pretty close to the path that Oceanic Flight 815 was taking from Sydney to Los Angeles in the first place.

 

All of these details seemed to confirm that the Island was in the same place all this time, and didn’t move until Ben turned the FDW, don’t they? Based on what we saw in the first four seasons of Lost, which took place over the course of three months – the Island did not move in space. This doesn’t sound like “always moving” to me. The only way I can reconcile this is to assume the Island actually only moved once every four or five months – and our Survivors just happened to miss any of the moves during their time there. The ocean is a big place, and it’s reasonable to think that even if the Island was in the same place for a few months, that wouldn’t be enough time for someone to find it (especially if it also had a “cloaking” mechanism that didn’t allow mechanical devices to pick it up thanks to those wacky “unique electromagnetic properties”).

 

It’s a stretch for me, but you could argue that Dharma used the Lamp Post to predict where the Island would be for those Periodic Ration Drops – and would only travel to and from the Island when they knew it would not be moving. If you argue that the mechanism that makes the Island “move” is the FDW (which, is actually a kinda cool thought – like a giant captain’s wheel for a moving Island), that would explain why a move in space suddenly happened when Ben turned the FDW, instead of periodically happening in four month intervals when the wheel moves another spoke (or something).

 

I guess this is logical enough for me right now, although it still seems like an inconsistency. Stupid Ms. Hawking, you caused a lot of logical trouble this episode!

 

Wrap Up Thoughts. Quick and dirty (that’s what she said!)

 

Jin. So it looks like Jin is some type of “Dharma Sheriff” based on the five-point star on his jumpsuit. I wonder what “jobs” our other Survivors have? I’m guessing Sawyer is “Official Dharma Nickname Giver”.

 

Suicide Note. How did Ms. Hawking end up with Locke’s “suicide note”? I’m guessing that Ben is present at Locke’s suicide and passes it along to her… but then why wouldn’t Ben give the note to Ms. Hawking directly? Or did Locke pay a visit to her pre-death as well? And what does it mean? Is it simply Locke saying “I wish we didn’t have to go through all this hassle thanks to you not listening to me about staying on the Island?” Or is there something deeper there?


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Ray. I find it hard to believe that the Lost writers would have introduced Jack’s grandfather Ray for no reason. Although I won’t go as far as some people (who have wacky theories about Ray being a “future version” of Jack), it wouldn’t surprise me if he had been on the Island on some point in the past (with the 1954 military mission?). All I know is, I’ll be disappointed if his character was included for the simple sake of giving Jack his father’s shoes… which could have just as easily been sitting in Jack’s closet back home all these years.

 

Kids. When Jack asks Kate why she changed her mind and where Aaron is, she tells him to never ask her that question again. I think easy explanation here is that Kate gave Aaron back to Claire’s Mom. She told her the truth about Aaron, and now has to “run” back to the Island to avoid being arrested / exposed for fraud. The good news is, this makes her character’s inclusion in “The Little Prince” a whole lot more meaningful. The bad news is, Aaron isn’t back on the Island (at least not yet). Personally, I’m pretty shocked that Aaron, Ji-Yeon, and Walt are thus far absent from the main storyline.

 

 

Episode Previews. There’s one last thing we need to discuss. Over the past few weeks, I’ve gotten a lot less enjoyment from writing the episode previews than in previous years. We’re getting a lot less to go on (see this week’s episode description of “Locke's fateful mission off the island as Jeremy Bentham is revealed.”), which means I have to do a lot of “guessing” about what is going to happen in the episode. This results in one of two outcomes:

  1. I’m correct. Which kinda sucks, because then there’s no surprise in the episode.
  2. I’m wrong. Which sometimes sucks, because sometimes I liked my ideas for the storyline better than what actually happens.

 

Either way, it takes some of the enjoyment out of the episode for me – and with so few episodes of Lost left, I’d like to enjoy each as much as possible.

 

So, for this week we’re going to do an experiment. No episode preview, only Instant Reaction and Episode Analysis. The good news is, these are clearly the two most popular posts each week based on site hits and comments, so most people probably won’t care. It’ll also make all those people happy who complained that I spoiled episodes by guessing what would happen correctly.

 

If no one misses them, we’ll make the episode previews a thing of the past. If enough people complain that they really love them and want them back, we can discuss again next week

 

So – until Wednesday night’s “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” Instant Reactions, Happy Losting!

 

http://facethewoods.com/lost/index.php?topic=392.0

62 comments:

GT said...

Brian---

First of all, thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts and analysis with us. I've been reading for a long time now, but haven't ever posted any comments, however your episode preview experiment has spurred me to write.

While the idea of no new theories as to what might happen sounds reasonable enough, it would be great to have a more factual episode preview. Your blog is my favorite LOST site to frequent, and while I know I could find the info elsewhere, it would be amazing if you still posted information like the Episode Title, Preview, Guest Cast, perhaps even video/screenshots of the official promos or sneak peeks. If not, like I said above, I'm sure I can find it elsewhere.

Thank you again for writing such a great blog that keeps me coming back. A friend introduced me and now I have shared it with all of my LOST-watching friends and have had a 100% conversion rate from whatever else they were reading.

Sorry for the long comment. Keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Greg

Smaelb said...

I think the fact that Ben can't go back to the island is a law not a rule. So i guess he won't be greeted by Richard...

Another thought:I predict that Miles is gonna have a very special meeting with Locke. Ghost hunter + dead man walking, you can't mix them without consequences.

I won't miss the preview discussions, I think we already have a lot of guessing to do every week.

EddieBrick said...

Don't usually leave posts because i generally just agree with whatever you say brian, but please do continue the episode previews, i enjoy having one theory and then having it completely blown away by lost =D

Anonymous said...

Thanks as always for the great analysis. 316 was out there but I must say I still enjoyed it immensely.

Re your analysis:
Outcast Others – remember in ‘The Lie’ - Ben talked with Jill about Gabriel and Jill being in position and on schedule. Think we can connect Cesar & Illana with 'Jill and Gabriel' can't we?


Moving – I don’t think Mrs Hawking’s view that the island is always moving contradicts the freighter situation. Instead Freighter story backs this up as it showed Daniel’s rocket coming at a 30 minute time delay and then the doctor washes up on shore BEFORE he’s killed.

Re no pre-episode analysis – greatly appreciate anything you publish on your blog for us out here in cyberspace. I was going to comment that if you found interrupting ‘316’ was a tough one then ‘La Fleur’ would be even harder – I reckon there’s no way you could predict that one!

Anonymous said...

Sorry my previous comment re Outcast Others - I should have written "Gabriel and Jeffrey" shouldn't I. Doh! Gabriel is a guy? mmmm - perhaps we can forget my comment on that bit.

Jason said...

Here's my theory for how the o5 get from the airplane to the island:

It happens the exact same way it happened back in 2004. Instead of 'skipping,' remember how Desmond didn't push the button in 2004 and it released the energy, causing oceanic 815 to go down? Well what if Dharma stumbles upon the same pocket of energy and releases it. As was the case in 2004, the Island vibrated, but no one moved around in time.

Obviously there was a huge sense of deja vu in the last episode which was reminiscent of the original plane crash, so i believe the circumstances surrounding that plane crash would be similar as well.

This would mean the plane crashed somewhere on or near the island, causing things like 'ajira' water bottles to be tossed around.

Anonymous said...

Brian, Ms. Hawking does say the island isn't finished with you.

From Lostpedia transcript:
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this, Desmond, but the Island isn't done with you yet."

so the island does care what happens to Desmond.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,
Great analysis! I had a theory about who could have helped make the Lamp Post. If it's not Faraday, could it possibly be the man who Hurley got the numbers from? I think it would be interesting if the numbers had a part in making the pendulum swing, and finding the island... and perhaps Hurley's insane friend got the numbers from helping with Dharma.

What do you think?

Renee said...

I care :)

sheryll said...

I purposely never read the episode previews because I don't want to know! I want to be surprised, I don't want to know who the guest stars are, etc. I watch the preview that airs at the end of the episode and that's it. So this reader won't miss them at all.

Anonymous said...

Two things:

- Clever fellow is likely Pierre Chang.

- Kate having sex just before getting in the island? Just conveniently so she can have the baby there and not die? Bet she's pregnant. (that would be another point to the recreation of original events - pregnant woman onboard).

Matthew said...

I agree with Jason. I think they got on the island with the Dharma folk (70's Dharmites) sort of 'discovering' the swan, and accidentally releasing a burst before they contain it/build the station.
As for your episode previews, I appreciate them, but I understand if you cancel them. You write more on this blog in a week than I did throughout college! Thanks as always!

Stephen said...

"Desmond wouldn't be on the Island in 2004 to turn the Swan Hatch failsafe, and Ben wouldn't be on the Island in 2004 to turn the FDW the first time."

i'm not confident that this is correct. if the returning desmond is killed, let's say, this should have literally zero effect on the events we have already seen. the desmond that turned the failsafe key was in desmond's past already. killing him now would end his forward progress, but it would be happening to a later version of desmond than the one that turned the fail-safe key.

in other words, every character on "lost" has a personal timeline that is entirely separate from the island's timeline. in this case, desmond's personal timeline would be a little bent (it would bend from now back into the past), but it would still be traceable as a straight line through his life. cutting the end of that line (killing traveling-to-the-past desmond) shouldn't do anything to the points that already exist on that line (desmond in the hatch, turning the failsafe).

anyways, hope that wasn't nonsense. i love the blog!

RR said...

Notice how the TOP SECRET picture of the island is dated as 1 day less then 50 Years prior to the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.

Di said...

I agree with Brian, I think the O5 plus extras were snatched off the plane by some Island force, probably in connection with the fact that they’d been there before. They get deposited safely on the ground; no plane crash. And once they get there, they move to the time period where the rest of their group are, because they are linked to those people.

Makes me think of another Kurt Vonnegut novel, Cat’s Cradle. According to the religion in that book, people are unknowingly organized into groups to do God’s will. One of these group is called a karass, and as Vonnegut says, “If you find your life tangled up with somebody else's life for no very logical reasons, that person may be a member of your karass.” Kind of fits for our survivors plus Juliet and Faraday et al—all those who are skipping. They seem to have a task to accomplish.

I’m thinking about how Jack lands on the Island in the same place he landed the first time. Makes me wonder if perhaps he got pulled off the plane the first time—he didn’t seem to crash with the rest. What that means, I don’t know, although there was need for a spinal surgeon on the Island.

And Brian, I think Stephen is right--Ben or Desmond can die while skipping into the past without affecting anything they've already done in the present.

RR said...

Oh wow... at the beginning of the LIE Ana Lucia tells Hurley TO NOT! Get arrested... guess he shouldve listened.

RR said...

The AJIRA Bottles in that raft thing, probably means the plane does actually crash somewhere

hobbes said...

IMO keep the previews Brian. And of course if it's the sort of thing you are willing to make time for. You've always kept them in accord with your rules and you give splenty of warning to those who want to skip them. While some find it spoilerish others like myself enjoy the read and mingling of predictions.
Keep up the great work.

Cheers.

PS - Those of you don't enjoy previews don't read this.

Brian, In this weeks preview, notice when John is talking to Widmore, the white cloaked people behind them; more black\white juxtopositioning I suspect. Or is it like in Star Wars, the Good guys wear black (Rebal solders) and the bad guys wear white (Storm Troopers). Ms. Hawking's Monks all wore black, perhaps Widmore's wear white???

Anonymous said...

Love all your posts, INCL the previews. Please include them. Doesn't spoil the Lost experience for me when it airs one bit.

rob said...

I love all of your posts so I say please keep them coming! The titles are clearly marked so if someone doesn't want to read them they don't have to. It's also one of the reasons I added this site to the LOST soup! You are a key ingredient ;-)

But if you're not personally up to it, then "your blog, your call". I love them and the ones fearful of spoil can skip em.

Anonymous said...

Brian, I love your previews and everything about your blog.

I must account for half of your hits because I click on here 5 times a day to see if anything new has been posted.

I love your previews and want you to carry on doing them (If you have the time of course).

I come from the UK and we dont get previews straight after the episode.I think D&C must know whats on the trailers and they would never want to give away the plot or anything so the previews are all fair game in my book.

From what I've noticed the trailers dont give much away anyway, probably just the first 5 minutes or so but not the main plot.

Cheers mate,

Adam.

Anonymous said...

I love the previews Brian. You give enough warning in my opinion for people to avoid them if they want.
I found this blog 2 seasons ago and have shared it with any LOST fans that I know. Keep up the good work!
Kyla

Anonymous said...

I am glad you mentioned the kids, because I have been thinking about them as well. There have been a lot of children introduced during the 5 seasons: Aaron, Walt, Ji Yeon, lil Charlie. I think we will see them all again, but not sure when/where/how. Maybe 20 years down the road, they will team up to find their parents. (jk - sort of)

Also, if Ben did kill Penny, is it possible that Des goes back to the island not only to avenge her death, but to also resurrect her, a la Locke?

Dave said...

So Charlotte died...but I don't know what year that was. If it was in the past, that would give the answer about dying in the past affecting the future.

JD said...

I don't think the freighter contradicts the island's moving. Naomi was flying around in her helicopter, didn't see the island, she's flies back, clouds part, and all of a sudden she sees the island. Seems to me that Widmore used the Lamp Post to determine where to send the freighter to wait for the island to appear.

Dharma Mayonnaise said...

Re: Jack and the shoes... I see your point, Brian, about it being a bit cheesy and he could've just as easily had the shoes in his closet.

However, I think the 'randomn' event of being called to his grandfather's nursing home (er, I mean, Retirement Community - for you Soprano's fans) was required in order for Mrs Hawkins words: "Jack, stop asking whther this makes sense and start asking whether you believe it will happen" or something along those lines. The shoes "finding him" (versus him finding the shoes) so to speak, helped him make the leap of faith.

Regarding the episode previews - do whatever you're happiest with Brian but don't use people complaining about spoilers as a reason. Sometimes I don't like that I'm expecting certain things to happen because I've read a preview but I can click my mouse and not read it.

On the other hand, if the lack of any concrete info to base your preview on makes it less appealing for you, I'd understand you not doing them.

Anonymous said...

What if Farraday helps set up the swan hatch and gets caught in the first release unprotected like Desmond and jumps backwards in time? The flash would be able to bring the O5 back and maybe send Farraday off the island to a time linked to Elie allowing him to build the lamp post and get him back to the island hoping to get there in an earlier time line to be with Charlotte.

It's a stretch but I like the idea of Farraday being rersponsible for the lamp post and maybe leaving himself the journal that seemed to have so much info that he didn't initially understand.

Anonymous said...

I submit that the writters would never create Ben's character to kill Penny...as cold blooded as Ben perhaps could be. Plus, even if that was his intent, he was beaten pretty badly suggesting that whatever plan he may have had, were foiled by someone else.

what confuses me is that if Ben, Richard and others have apparently traveled to and from the island freely visa view submarine or whatever other means, what is the big deal requiring Mrs Hawkins become involved?

Mike said...

So, if Jin has been hanging out with Dharma for a while, wouldn't he learn English? If that turns out to be the case, this would be an example of changing the past...

CJ said...

Mike--actually, this would still be present-day Jin (or future Jin) from the perspective of the other Dharmites, so he would not be changing anything about his own past. Jin's personal timeline does not change.

Bubbles said...

I really enjoy your episode previews. Please do not discontinue them!!! I think you label your episode previews pretty clearly so for those who consider them spoliers, they can just skip over those parts. Thank you for taking the time to write the blog - it is the only one I read and the episode previews will be sorely missed if you stop writing them! ;)

Scoobs said...

Brian - keep the Previews in your blog, if possible. We love getting a glimpse into the episode before it actually airs!

Mike - I'm thinking Jin's learning English wouldn't change the past because it's the future Jin that's in the past....similar to what pp's said about the future Desmond dying on the island in the past.

Isabella said...

Is it possible that perhaps Sayid stopped Ben from killing Penny? It could explain why he was arrested.

Also there is no way that Ray was just there to give Jack his father's shoes. Most of the time, characters like Ray (Brother Cambell, Mrs. Hawking...) who seem to know more than they are letting on have a more important role later on. It seems that although his introduction was cheesy and a bit forced, it will all pay off when his character is explained.

My guess is that Jack is much more important to the island then we all thought. It has always seemed like Locke, Ben, and Richard were the island's "favorites" and not Jack.

Jack's grandfather being essential to the island in some way (probably in the military) would help explain why Ray's son Christian is so important and it turn why Jack will be important.

So does this mean Aaron will be important as well? I think so.

D-Bone said...

I am also voting for the keeping of the episode previews. This is the only LOST site I read and it really gets me even more excited for the upcoming episode.

If you are not feeling the same excitement, maybe you could scale the previews back a bit. Just go over the episode preview and guest stars and then do sort of an instance reactions type post that is very open ended and leaves us all guessing together about the theories.

Anyway, like others said, your blog, your choice.

singhy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
singhy said...

I feel so guilty for ever raising the preview thing Brian! Although to be fair to my original post I only brought it up in reference to reading about official previews in the previous episode analysis. I'm completely happy if you want to keep your Previews - although I will be one of those who doesn't read it before the ep airs I can easily skip over it...however you're a busy man so let's leave it up to you / democracy!

Thanks again for your blog, you really are a clever lad!

JB said...

My theory about the Ajira airways bottle -

the plane still did crash - the oceanic 5 were pulled in with a skip due to the flash - but the others on the plane were not (possible ben, caesar, illana also?)

lost has maintained seperate storylines throughout the past few seasons...they wont bring everyone together yet. so ajira crashed, some people are in 2007, and jack etc. people that were flashed back to jins dharma days

jon said...

Ok, since I'm one of the folks that've expressed some hesitance re previews for spoiler risk reasons I'd better comment. I've been hesitant only because your guesses are either so darn spot on or otherwise convincing enough to make me worry that they'll be spot and so take away a tiny (really, just tiny) part of the viewing anticipation pleasure. On balance I still like the previews though. After all, I keep coming back to read them all the time. And I could just stop reading them. Since everyone watching in the US (in contrast to us downloaders overseas) seems to see the preview afterwards it will of course affect the episode analysis too. So I succumb to the fact of previews!

But, that said, if you think of trimming any part of your lost blogging to sub-book chapter length posts for time reasons or whatever then I'd say the previews is the part to cut.

On to the actual show:

When reading your post it strikes me how many quirks and problems the writes have entangled themselves in now. So many things seems hard to get a coherent explanation for. I hope they pull it off with as few "it was just island magic" answers as possible.

Re moving, what about this:

before hatch implosion: island moving

after hatch implosion: island not moving (or moving very slightly)

after Ben's FDW-turn: island moving again

That would explain both
(1) that the freighter could stay close to the island.
(2) Hawkings claim that the island is moving.

This is so since (based on lostpedia's timeline) the implosion took place on day 67 and the freighter left Fiji "sometime between Day 76 and Day 80."

The shiny Dharma van is a pretty devastating argument against my hunch that the time-skippers would have ended up way back in time. That idea was also pretty unrealistic for simple season length reasons - there's not enough episodes left to now tell the story of the black pearl and other parts of the island history.

Instead, I'm thinking that all of that (including toe statues) will be the theme for the last season. It makes sense when you think about it: the deepest history of island history will be saved for last.

VictorC said...

Great job tackling this episode Brian.

Over the weekend I rented the movie 12 Monkeys, since so many people have said that LOST imitates the time travel on that movie.
I have to say, the movie is amazing. If you like the time travel on LOST you'll love 12 Monkeys. The paradox created on the show (like who does the compass belong to, Locke or Alpert?) are there, as well as the show's focus on eyes at the beginning of episodes.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil anything about it, but Brian if you want to know what would happen in the show's time travel laws when a character meets his past self, watch the movie.

jon said...

Oh, and I should of course also have written: thanks a lot for your great posts! They have even more positive impact than you notice here, because I suspect many of us readers enthusiastically spread some of the ideas and theories in conversations with friends and family. Lost speculation is a really contagious activity!

Anonymous said...

i also found it interesting that Jack was about to start boozing again, twice, before he got a 'sign'. i think the first was a phone call from the retirement community, and the second was Kate (not sure about that one, but I remember two instances).

Maybe the island forces were trying to clean him up because he has important work to do? as someone else said - i think jack is the 'chosen one' for the island. he just needs to believe.

Ricardo said...

Hi Brian.
Long time reader. Great blog you have here. I've never commented before, but this time felt the need to 'jump in':

The 815 recreation kindda makes sense to me. Alpert went to recruit Juliet not (or at least not exclusively) because of her medical skills but because she had been in the island in the past (1954) and had to be remain in the island in the future (remember Ben's firm decision of not letting Juliet leave). Farady told us that 'whatever happens, happens', but left a door opened for some unclear exceptions (the 'specials'). The oceanic 6 (or 5) were not supposed to leave the island because, I figure, they have an important role to play in a future event. Or maybe a past event with future consequences who knows, with all that skipping going on.

Probably an exception was created ('Special' Desmond was deeply involved in the rescue from the island) and the oceanic 6(or 5), unwillingly, changed their... destiny and the destiny of the island.

The reconstitution must be made in order to recreate as much as possible the existing environment in the island at the moment of that future (or 'future past') event. Or 'God help us all'. Because the future has already happened...

Sorry for the long comment. Anyway, keep the episode preview, mate.

Jabbadoo said...

Great review as usual Brian.

Regarding the previews, I certainly enjoy them, and will miss them, but I can live with it! It's more important to me, to understand that you aren't really enjoying doing the previews as much anymore, and FGS, you put in enough time on this blog already! So my vote is... whatever makes you happy. :)

Anonymous said...

Brian - I love the previews too and how it builds up excitement and it's fun guessing about the titles, guest stars etc - this to me is the best thing about the Lost experience.

Otherwise I'm thinking more and more that this season (and perhaps next) is about stopping the Dharma purge.

dj (David Jones) said...

Just need to say that I MISS THE PREVIEW UPDATES!

Love the blog, but the preview updates make the dead space before LOST on Wednesdays much more enjoyable! Please bring it back!

Shana said...

Hi Brian,
I am a new reader - your blog was recommended to me by one of my good friends who said that she new another crazy LOST fan. I am amazed at your analyses and am having a lot of fun reading. Keep up the good work!
Shana

Anonymous said...

I MISS THE PREVIEW ALREADY!!!!!!
PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!PREVIEW!

Smaelb said...

here's the preview! and it's awesome !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oosNfLM1Wc&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. Please keep the preview section if your life/marriage/job allow it. Don't stop because of dissenters!

I don't think that Ben actually kills Penny because then that much beloved Lost character development trait (you love them half the time, you hate them half the time) would be totally gone. No one could forgive him for killing Penny and we need the good/evil tightrope Ben walks on to continue or his character will become flat.

I don't know if anyone else is a parent out here but I'm having trouble with Sun being totally willing to leave her daughter potentially forever. Kate's circumstance is slightly better but still...it just doesn't sit well. I know it is hard for writers to use young children in TV shows but it becomes harder to respect the characters choices when they forsake their own. The only other option that might make sense is if Sun will try to leave the island again immediately with Jin.

Anonymous said...

Brian -

Personally, my favorite post is the PREVIEW POST!

If your life/commitments/time allows for them to continue PLEASE do! I think it is fun thinking about Guest Stars, and I love your theories.

Anonymous said...

it seems like clearly a writting oversight that none of the Oceanic "5" on the airplane questioned why Ben was so beaten up. Not a word. LOST is typically pretty good with capturing details in the dialogue but something like this reflects to me that they may be rushed or something. how could they not have at least one of them ask Ben what happened??

singhy said...

Jason/JB & co – that is a very good point about the Ajira Airways bottle in the outrigger. But now we know for sure where Ajira come into the story, what does that mean for our theories about who was in the outrigger chasing our survivors (one of whom was shot by Juliet)? Any ideas?!

Anon @ 10:05PM – you’ve almost convinced me…I suspect you’re correct, it would be too black and white for Lost to have Ben as a cold-hearted murderer all of a sudden, right? There must be more to the story.

P.S. VictorC – thanks for the tip, will definitely watch 12 Monkeys!

Anonymous said...

BRING THE PREVIEWS BACK!

WE HAVE TO GO BAAACK (to the previews) KATE!

...sorry. but please bring them back! having the preview with your mostly dead on predictions, the instant reactions, and then the in-depth anaylsis is what makes each Lost episode so great.

Anonymous said...

I keep checking the blog every hour to see if Brian has caved and posted a preview. DO I HAVE A PROBLEM? It just adds so much to the episode.

VictorC said...

LOL Anonymous @ 12:46, I used to do that too until I added Brian's blog to my Google Reader.
You might want to look into that buddy, alleviate your problem there, lol.

Anonymous said...

Victor.... Thanks a bunch.

Does the reader send me an email to my gmail account when something new is posted?

Anonymous said...

i forget why exactly Jack decided he ".....has to go back" from last season. any succinct explanation would be appreciated.

VictorC said...

No it doesn't e-mail you, but you can add all the websites you read (if they support RSS) and it'll automatically update when the sites are updated as well. So you have everything you read in one place.

Also, if you have a gmail address, you can use that to log in and leave comments here (no need to be anonymous).

Anonymous @ 1:26, I believe it was because his life was in shambles. He was taking drugs and alcohol and just wanted to go back to the island.

Anonymous said...

Please keep doing your preview posts!! I love them, and look forward to them every week! If people don't want to read them, they shouldn't!

Why fix something that isn't broken?!

Keep up the great work Brian!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:46 PM:

Hahaha! That's why I'm here right now! Looking to get my pre-lost on!!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the suicide note was not really written by John Lock. For all we know, Ben could have written it. It's obvious that Ben wants Jack to believe. Have we seen either John or Ben's handwriting at some point?
Terry

rockin robyn said...

Dont know if anyone suggested this or not but if you think about it, the Oceanic 6 left the island, and spent 3 years on the mainland. Juliet, Sawyer, Jin, etc had about 3 days of flashes on the island before Locke left.

I agree that locke fixed the wheel, stopped the flashes, but the island is now locked in 1979/1980 ish as a result. So, the remaining islanders have lived their 3 years on the island, posing as Dharma to not be confused with Hostiles, and the 6 have had their 3 years. Now everyone is all caught up to their 2007 biology, they just have to get the island/themselves, back to 2007.