After some pretty brain-intensive weeks of analyses to kick off this season of Lost, this week looks to be a welcome respite. There's still plenty to analyze, but the subject matters are a lot more straight-forward than some of the uber-heady concepts we've been dealing with thus far (like time travel, destiny, string theories vs. infinite loops, and chicken vs. the egg discussions) - which honestly, is a little refreshing. My brain could use a little break so I can get back to killing it with beer without having huge negative repercussions for the Blog. Let's do it!
(The one curious thing I'll note about the brief time spent on
Sometime After January 2005. At any rate, before we knew it our Survivors had skipped to a new time period - but when? Based on their camp being somewhat run-down it had to be after January 2005 when the skipping started. I think the biggest clue is the inclusion of the Outriggers with the Ajira Airways water bottle. For those who don’t remember, Ajira Airways first briefly appeared in some of the Lost off-season videos that popped up on the Internet, and even has its own website: http:www.ajiraairways.com/ - it seemed like it would be involved with the failed Lost ARG over the summer, but quickly died when budgetary reasons ended the ARG in the fall. Most people (myself included) theorized that Ajira Airways would be the new Oceanic Airlines - it would be the vessel responsible for bringing the Oceanic Six back to the
As a lot of people have mentioned, odds are we are going to eventually see the Outrigger chase scene from the perspective of the mysterious people in the back boat, since it seems like the most logical way to reveal to the audience who they were and why they were shooting on our Survivors. The thing is, unless our Skipping Survivors skip back to the exact same time period and place, we could never see that scene from their perspective again. Instead, the only way we'd see it is from the perspective of some other characters. Since we have yet to spend any substantial time with the Others (keep in mind the two we know the best - Ben and Juliet - are neither "true Others", but post-Dharma residents on the
Backriggers. So who are those shady people in the back Outrigger (which I will term "Backriggers" from here on out)? And why were they shooting at our Skipping Survivors? As I rambled in my Instant Reactions, thanks to the potential for time jumps on Lost, it literally could be anyone. Let's weigh the options, one at a time:
1. It's the Skipping Survivors themselves. I don't know why, but some people seem to be huge fans of this theory, since initially it appears to be the biggest "shock" reveal imaginable. They reason that at some point, our Survivors will skip back to the beach just a few moments later in time than when they were originally there and see themselves leaving on the Outrigger. For some unknown reason, they chase after themselves and shoot after themselves, even though they should know that they can't change the past, won't catch them, all their bullets will miss, and it will result in Juliet shooting one of them before they quickly jump to the next time period.
See why it doesn't make any sense?
2. It's the Oceanic Six. Again, this has a similar feeling of providing a big "shock reveal" but is a bit more logical than the first option. Here, we could argue that the Oceanic Six land on
It's the best of both worlds.
3. It's someone totally different. This could be the Others, Widmore's Men, or some new group of rogue Ajira Airways employees who stumble upon the
So it's possible, but it's not that much fun.
But because I'm crazy, I'm going to throw out a fourth theory that is probably a stretch, but it came to mind, so I'll write it down...
4. It's the Oceanic Six, and they know exactly what they are doing. The difference here is that the Oceanic Six realize it is the Skipping Survivors that have taken the Outrigger… and they are shooting at them anyways. In this scenario, it would mean that our Skipping Survivors screwed up something big time between 2005 and 2008, and they are attempting to stop them from doing so. But they should know that this is a futile effort, since you can't change the past, right? Maybe not. Not if they have "The Wild Card" with them - Desmond. Although they haven't really specifically told us how Desmond is "special", we've already seen that he has the ability to have his past consciousness relay information to his current consciousness. In my mind, that's already one way of changing the past - who is to say that he wouldn't also be able to literally change the future by changing the past? Although Locke couldn't shoot Widmore when he was running away, maybe Desmond would be able to shoot our Skipping Survivors since he is special. This would introduce an impossible situation where Desmond was forced to shoot and kill one of his former friends (my vote would be he was aiming for Locke), but he struggles with a head vs. heart situation where he knows he needs to do it to save the world, but can't bring himself to actually do it… thus, the bullets would all be missing. Just to add some additional emotional drama on the situation, Juliet turns around and fires a bullet on the Backriggers, not knowing who they are - and hits / kills Penny Widmore, who is along for the ride.
Like I said, probably a little too insane of a scenario - but it's a way that everything could unfold in a very shocking way.
Jin. Speaking of shocking, this week confirmed that Jin is actually alive and well, and apparently has unknowingly been skipping around in time on a piece of Freighter debris for the past few days. Before we discuss, I thought I'd go back and review my analysis from last season's finale… which still seems pretty much spot-on. So rather than re-invent the wheel, I'm going to copy and paste it and then we can discuss:
Immediately after the episode, I was pretty certain that Jin also died this episode – all the foreshadowing was there for a tragic death (forgiving Sun for cheating on him, being a “hero” by staying with Michael until the last minute, promising Sun he would get her off the Island, narrowly missing rescue)… but without getting firm visual evidence, the writers seemed to leave the door cracked slightly open – leaving the slim possibility for Jin to have survived, no matter how improbable.
First, the obvious reasons why Jin died - he was last seen on the deck of the Freighter right before it exploded and the shots of the explosion and aftermath didn’t feature a visible Jin. Given the rushed filming and finishing of the season finale, we could chalk this up to quick and dirty CGI – but the writers were also careful to include the scene of Jack and Sayid scouring the water from the helicopter looking for Jin (and other survivors) of the explosion only to conclude that there were none. If Jin isn’t really dead, the writers definitely wanted us to think he was.
The second logical explanation? When the
So a best-case scenario for proximity to the
On the other hand, there is only one argument you can make for Jin being alive. Since we don’t know much about the science behind the suck, you could argue that the suck encompassed a much larger area of the water around the
In the end, Jin’s fate all comes down to what you think is the better storyline going forward – because based on his fate, Sun’s storyline (and the storyline of Widmore and Ben racing to find the Island) goes in two very different directions.
First, let’s assume Jin is dead (the logical choice!). This would give deeper meaning to Sun’s mourning at the tombstone and angry confrontation with her father – she blames him (along with Jack or Ben, most likely) for Jin’s death, and she is more than pissed about it. This would mean her encounter with Widmore where she talks about “mutual interests” indicates that she’s decided to side with him in the “race for the
Sun joining forces with Widmore and becoming a possible “bad guy” (depending on your point of view) would be a great twist for her – and would further the character development we’ve seen from Sun over the years. She’s gone from a meek submissive woman (a “glass ballerina”) to a bitch-slapping, hostile takeover-ing, strong-minded woman who gets what she wants no matter what the cost. If she wanted Team BenJack to pay for what happened to her Jin, the best way to punish them would be to deny them the one thing that they want the most… returning to the Island.
On the other side, if Jin is somehow magically alive and on the
So with two pretty solid storylines available, which way will the writers go?
For me, the first scenario is far more intriguing, and actually sets up some “sides” and conflicting interests / moral ambiguities in the search for the
Re-reading it, I think most of it still holds up pretty well, except for now we have even more evidence. Yes, it's possible that the suck radius included more water than air, and Jin has been floating on debris and skipping around in time for the past few days. We've also got another reason why the
Sun. What about Sun? It's funny, but it turns out that it seems that the most likely scenario is a combination of the two possible scenarios I described last summer. We have Sun hating not only Ben and Jack, but also Kate - blaming them for Jin's death, and seemingly working with Widmore to take them out. She's receiving secret documents about their whereabouts, weapons, and has already basically "stolen" Aaron away from Kate though some trickeration. However, instead of Locke telling Sun that Jin is alive, it seems that Ben is going to spill the secret in next week's episode. Will she believe Ben? Will this cause her to switch sides and work the Ben to return to the
Spoilers. I suppose I should address some of the comments about this Sun and Ben interaction from my Instant Reactions. Some folks have requested that I not reference the episode previews in the Blog, since not everyone watches them and likes to be 100% surprised. Unfortunately, I think this is an example of "you can't please all the people all the time." I really wish I could do two separate Blogs, one that takes into account ONLY what we have seen on the current episode, and one that takes into account both what we have seen in the episode AND whatever previews they showed for the upcoming episode, but I don’t have the time for that (admittedly, I barely have time for this one Blog!). As I've mentioned in my past, this Blog has a slightly unfair USA-centricity about it, where the next episode's preview airs immediately after the current episode. Even if I turned my TV off right away, there's no chance I could avoid not seeing it on commercials on TV during other programs. While this isn't a problem for those watching the episodes online, or out of the country, it's a big problem for me.
The problem, if you haven't noticed over the years, is that I write in a very stream-of-consciousness style. I don't sit down and plan what I'm going to Blog about. My fingers start going and my mind thinks of stuff… and if the episode preview scenes are in my mind, I'm going to reference them because they affect my analysis of the current episode. I know that it's a fine line, since I try to run the site as 100% spoiler free, which is a reason that people like the Blog - but if some people consider the episode previews as "spoilers", then I guess I'm only running a 95% spoiler free site. But I think it's the best I can do, sorry.
Back to the analyzing...
Non-Crazy French People. It's nice to know that CFL wasn't always the whacked out anti-social girl that we met in Season One. In fact, in 1988 she was super friendly and comforting to one very confused Jin. So what happened between 1988 and 2004 to make her go from NFL (Normal French Lady) to CFL (Crazy French Lady)? With all the frequent skipping around, I'm afraid we won't get to see many details about what exactly happened to her crew - CFL seems pretty normal, and the radio tower is still broadcasting the Numbers. I just can't imagine our Survivors will stay in this time period for long enough to see her crew find the Black Rock, change the radio tower, and encounter the Others - which allegedly is what them get "sick". I hope I'm wrong - because unlike the avoidance of the Survivors running into themselves, there really is no good reason to not show the audience what happened from a storyline perspective… unless, as some have reasoned - CFL's stories don’t match up or seem to make any sense compared to everything else we know on the Island. Perhaps they were a product of abandoned storylines (like "The Sickness" or "Never seeing the Others, only hearing them even though they have camps all over the
I also assume that Jin will reunite with the Skipping Survivors at some point - based on the Skipping Survivors finding the wreckage from CFL's Vessel on the beach, they can't be that far away from where the French Raft washed up on shore. A Skipping Survivors and Non-Crazy French People encounter on the beach would be pretty amazing, I would think. Heck, maybe seeing our Skipping Survivors suddenly vanish before their eyes with the next skip would make the Non-Crazy French People think that they are "going crazy". Or maybe we'll get lucky and the next skip in time will be to like 1990 and we can revisit CFL and Friends. My fingers are crossed.
PS - are we ever going to see Rose, Bernard, and Vincent again? I understand that they would be dragging down some of the "action" right now since they're older and slower, but I'm still curious as to what they are up to and how they are dealing with all these time skips!
Also, I know I haven’t really discussed this at all yet this season, but we are also owed an explanation as to what is happening to the members of Oceanic Flight 815 who were on Jacob’s list – Cindy, Zack, and Emma. Are they skipping through time as well? Did they go to the
There was a great thought from Don in the Comments Section about this topic:
Remember back in "...And Found" when Jin and Eko hid in the jungle while a group of very savage-looking others walked by. Several of them were children and one -- presumably Zach -- was carrying a mutilated teddy bear.
But then remember in "Stranger in a Strange Land" when Cindy came by to see Jack and Zach and Emma -- and Zach's teddy bear -- were all fine.
This never made any sense to me. Why did was Zach's teddy bear so damaged already? Did they give him a new one later? Did they give him a fake one then to make him seem more savage? etc.
But now with our survivors skipping through time (presumably along with the tail-section survivors like Cindy, Zach, and Emma) is it possible that we were seeing a Zach and Emma from the future flashing back? If so, it seems like they're in for a hard time between then and now.
Is this possible? If so, it might be the one solid "See, they've had it planned all along." moment we've all been waiting for.
I like that A LOT. Nice work FOB Don!
Nosebleeds. Okay, this Blog is getting surprisingly long for not having that much to analyze, so let’s hit the last big discussion point… this episode confirmed that it's not just Charlotte who is in danger - it's everyone. According to Faraday’s musings, it's somehow based on how much time you have spent on the
- These Nosebleeds seem to be different than those that affected Desmond, Minkowski, and Theresa since we have shown no signs of
thinking she was in a different period of her life (i.e. – becoming “unstuck in time”) Charlotte
- Is there a direct correlation to how long someone has spent on the
Islandand when they begin to be affected by the Nosebleeds? Juliet first arrived on the Islandin September 2001, meaning she’s been there for roughly three and a half years. Everyone (myself included) is betting that the baby crying at the start of the season must be Miles, which would confirm that he has been on the Islandbefore as well. Does this mean he spent about three and a half years on the Islandas well? Does this mean spent a lot more time than that on the Charlottes Islandin her youth? Or just a little more? It all depends on the formula, I suppose.
- Who is affected by the Nosebleeds and who isn’t? Obviously Ben spent thirty years on the
Islandwithout seeming to have any nasal problems, so what is the overall cause?
Initially, my big explanation for the Nosebleeds was that if you come and go to the
Keeping this in mind, the Nosebleeds seem to be a direct result of the skipping through time. Which means that there really is a sense of urgency to stop the skipping – or else our Survivors are going to start dropping like flies. I anxiously await Faraday’s explanation as to what is actually causing this to happen. It seems like there is an easily acceptable explanation waiting for us along the lines of “your mind can’t handle existing in different times and the longer someone has spent on the Island with its funky time, the less grounded in time it is.” I don’t know how much sense it really makes, but I’m thinking it’s about all we’re going to get.
In the end, there seem to be two forces at play – deadly Nosebleeds that are caused by skipping around through time on the Island, and deadly Unstuck-in-Time-ness that are caused by having your consciousness (not your physical body) skipping around through time. The cure for Unstuck-in-Time-ness is a Constant. The cure for Nosebleeds is to stop the skipping – which seems to be exactly what our Survivors aim to do in heading to the Orchid.
Wrap Up Thoughts. We’ve now had two Oceanic Six “obstacles” that seemed to exist merely for the sake of eating up time. First, Hurley was arrested – which seemed to throw a HUGE wrench in the 70 hour timeline to return to the Island – but now we find out, he’ll just be released tomorrow morning. Then, we have Kate and Jack thinking that Claire’s Mom knew the truth about Aaron – but it turned out that was either an elaborate red herring setup by Ben, or a crazy coincidence, and Ben was behind the request for the blood tests all along, in a ploy to get Kate “running”. Just further proof that we need the Oceanic Six either involved in good off-Island storylines (involving Ms. Hawking, Abaddon, or the science / rules of how they are going to return to the Island), or back ON the Island as soon as possible. Thus far, we’ve had two other storylines for them – and both were somewhat filler.
One last note - the name on the side of Ben's van, "Canton Rainier" is an anagram for "reincarnation". If there is any doubt about Locke coming back to live in some fashion once they return to the