Lots of analyzing to get to this week, so there's no time for an introspective, witty introductory paragraph. We need to get down to business!
Smokey. Out of nowhere Smokey made a surprise guest appearance this episode and revealed how integral he was to the CFL storyline. Remember how afraid I was that we wouldn't be able to get proper resolution to the CFL storyline due to the impending skip in time for Jin? I never imagined he could simply skip a few months into the future to give us a neat summary of the CFL Saga! This week, we learned the following details:
- Smokey killed Nadine.
- Smokey grabbed and pulled Montand into a hole in the ground (similar to what it attempted to do to Locke in Season One).
- Once underground, Montand called out to his fellow Frenchmen to come help him.
- CFL is the only one who did not follow, on Jin's insistence.
- After this incident, Robert knew that Smokey was "not a monster, but a security system for the temple".
- CFL shot and killed Lacombe and Brennan.
- Robert tried to shoot and kill CFL, but she had removed the firing PIN.
- CFL shot and killed Robert.
When you think about it, this pretty much wraps up the CFL storyline. Aside from seeing Alex being born and "stolen", we've seen the major events of her life on the
So what did we learn from her story?
It's curious that Smokey killed Nadine, but grabbed and dragged Montand into a cerberus vent. Initially, you would think that Smokey would have either killed them all, or killed none of them - but instead, he was selective about who lived and who died. It makes you wonder if Smokey is really the one who determines who is "worthy" and who is not - and things like "Jacob's List" are created based on Smokey scanning people and learning about them (a la Eko in Season Three). Or perhaps - Smokey's initial instinct is to "kill" anything that intrudes on his Island, and only later calms down once he has a chance to learn if they present any harm or not. Remember, Nadine's death is pretty similar to what happened to the Pilot when Flight 815 crashed on the
Back in Season One, when we spent hours a day trying to figure out what exactly Smokey was (using pseudo-science), the best answer anyone could come up with was that he was a cloud of nanobots. Someone on the Blog recommended that to learn more about nanobots, we read the Michael Crichton book "Prey" (since reading is for nerds, I instead listened to the book on CD). I won't get into all the details of the story - but pieces of the cloud of nanobots had the ability to "inhabit" a person in a sort of symbiotic / parasitic relationship, where they could control their thoughts and actions. Seeing "The Sickness" this week, it was the first thing I thought of.
Although it's possible that Smokey dragged the members of CFL's crew underground and held an informative Q&A session about the Island, what he was, and why there was nothing to be afraid of, I think it's more likely that there is some degree of brainwashing / body-inhabiting going on. Smokey pulled Montand down, then used him to lure the other members of the crew down. Once there, Smokey "infected" them, turning them into Others / mindless zombies / soldiers for the
The nice thing is that this provides a pretty logical explanation to what "The Sickness" is (in CFL's eyes), and it has nothing to do with the 4-8-15-16-23-42 Injections that Ethan was giving to Claire, or cold-sweat hallucinations, or bleeding from the nose - which explains why we didn't see any of our Survivors come down with the symptoms in the three months they spent on the Island, even though CFL's crew became infected within the same period of time. It's not a product of shoddy writing and an abandoned storyline after all! In fact, this could be the explanation of what happened to Locke when he came face-to-face with Smokey in Season One, and how he gained such a deep respect and understanding of the
The one confusing piece to this puzzle is why Robert would be trying to kill CFL. It seems that she should have been either deemed "not worthy" - in which case, Smokey could have swooped in and killed her like Nadine - or she would have been deemed "worthy" - in which case Smokey would drag her underground to turn her into another happy member of the Others. But had she not pulled the firing pin from Robert's gun, he would have killed her. This may indicate that an encounter with Smokey might have some unintended side effects - aggression, urge to kill your love, ED, etc. I'm not sure if we'll ever get a firm answer to this last question - but on the whole, I'm pretty damn satisfied with the CFL storyline resolution we got in this episode.
If you operate under the assumption that only Others are immune from Smokey's wrath (because they are "chosen ones" in his eyes), it would explain why, when Karl asked if our Survivors could go with them to the
But for such a powerful and special place, it sure doesn't look like the Others have done a lot of upkeep on the place. It kinda looked like only two walls remained, mostly overtaken by Jungle. Maybe it's just the fact that Smokey lives underneath that makes it so special / important, rather than the building itself. Because if it looked like this in 1988, I can't imagine how shoddy it looked in 2005 when the Others went there for protection. I hope they brought their tents and supplies!
We should note that this could all be a gross misassumption (is that a word?) on our part, and the crumbling ruin on top of Smokey’s Lair is not “The Temple” that we have heard referenced thus far in the series. But when you factor in Ben’s assertion that it’s the safest place in the
began to demonstrate the same symptoms as Desmond and Minkowski, her mind jumping around through her life. Charlotte
- She confirmed that she grew up on the
Island(but doesn’t say if she was actually BORN there or not).
- She mentions the Dharma Initiative, which confirms her family was Dharma, and not Others.
- She left with her mother, who then tried to convince her that the
Islanddidn’t really exist.
- She spent her life searching for the
Island… and her father.
- Faraday visited young
Charlotteand told her to leave the Islandand never come back or she would die. told Locke to look for a well if the Orchid doesn’t exist. Charlotte
- She warns Jin “don’t bring her back. This place is death.”
Seriously, we learned more about
The good news is that we should find out who Charlotte’s parents are within a matter of episodes, since we still need to see the scene of Faraday running into young Charlotte, warning her to leave the Island and never come back – and eventually proceeding to the Orchid to explain this season’s opening scene (more on this later).
How did she know about the well? I’m guessing that the well existed when Charlotte was a kid on the Island – heck, maybe even she discovered it playing in the Jungle someday – and once reported back to Dharma, which kicked off the construction of the Orchid as a way to harness the power there (so I’m thinking it went rope in the ground, which led to people digging in that spot in the first place, then well, then Orchid).
Did the manner in which
I don’t think so.
The fundamental difference between Desmond/Minkowski and our Skipping Survivors is that our Skipping Survivors are actually, physically jumping around in time. Desmond/Minkowski were physically firmly existing in the present, and only their minds were jumping around in time. Even though towards the end,
The moral of the story is – I don’t think Constants have any bearing on our Skipping Survivors, even if the symptoms are similar.
At the end of the day, many are asking “so what was the point of Charlotte?” Initially, it doesn’t feel like her character had a lot of impact on any of the major storylines on Lost, making many question if her original purpose was lost due to the writers’ strike last season (the show’s creators did mention that she probably would have gotten more backstory last season if they had more episodes to work with). But I don’t think so.
I think that
Faraday. This week, I started thinking about what the “big bad” of this season was going to end up being. In the first season, we had the impending danger of the Others coming – which drove the suspense and action of the storyline leading up to the season finale. In the second season, we had the Swan Hatch and Michael’s treachery. In the third season, we had the Looking Glass and contacting Naomi’s people. In the fourth season, we had the Freightors. But the more I think about the fifth season, the harder it is pinpoint what the “danger” is going to be that builds up towards the finale. It seems like the skipping in time has to be resolved fairly soon – or else all our Survivors are going to die like
What if that scene of Faraday that kicked off the season was the start of him attempting to expose himself to the high levels of “unique magnetic properties” on the Island so that he would gain the same abilities as Desmond, allowing him to somehow save
How is this going to drive the storyline? Well, as I’ve mentioned before (but up to this point I was always applying the theory to Desmond), changing the past might accidentally bring about the destruction of the world, the shattering of the space-time continuum, and the end of existence as we know it. Faraday is thinking that he is saving the girl he loves, but in reality, he’s risking bringing about the end of the world. Remember that whatever happened, happened. If Faraday is able to make that no longer be true, it’s going to be bad news for everyone. That sets up a second half of the season where our reunited Survivors have a new mission – stopping Faraday from ending existence (in addition to figuring out the mysteries of the
We’ve always had good vs. evil, light vs. dark on Lost. Under this scenario, we could have Desmond vs. Faraday – both able to change time, one who is attempting to do it, one who is working to stop it. I think it could work – and it would help explain why it is so critical that the Oceanic Six return to the
Yeah – it’s a wacky theory, but I think it works in many ways. Let’s remember that as this episode ended, Faraday was all on his own with Dead Charlotte. There’s no one there to talk reason with him. He could easily come up with this insane theory in his head and have no one normal there to tell him how crazy it is. Of course, for any of this to happen, our Survivors would have to be in the past, which brings up another big question from the episode.
Time. Since when Ben turned the FDW, it was accompanied by a bright light that skipped all our Survivors in time (and space?), it’s reasonable to think that when Locke righted the FDW and it was accompanied by a bright light, it would have skipped all our Survivors again. The question is – with the FDW now back on its axis, does the skipping stop? I think there are two possibilities:
1. The Skipping Stops. In this scenario, our Survivors are “stuck” in 1980 or earlier. Why this timeframe? Because we know that at some point, Faraday is inside the Orchid while it is being built, and visits a young
This raises the question – would they continue to age, or would they stay the same age until they “catch up” to their proper time? If they do not age, we might have an explanation for why Alpert doesn’t age – because he’s from some future timeline and just got sent way back in the past when someone turned the FDW. It also would allow our Survivors to live a full life on the
If this were true, in order to survive on the
Basically, this is the “fun but complicated” theory – like that hot girl full of wacky emotional issues and baggage. Then there is the other option:
2. The Skipping Continues. If the skipping continues, then our Survivors are still in big time trouble. Eventually, they are all going to suffer the same fate as Charlotte unless someone can figure out how to make it stop – and if Locke “fixing” the FDW didn’t do it, then I’m guessing nothing on the Island can actually make it stop, and we’re somehow relying on the Oceanic Six to return and make everything better (logically, how this would help, I have no idea!)
But under this scenario, it offers a simple conclusion to the open storylines. At some point, Faraday is in 1980, talks to
It works – but definitely isn’t as sexy as the first option, in my mind. It’s a good option to take home to mom and marry, but not as much fun.
Wrap-Up Thoughts. Okay, once again I’ve rambled on far too long and still have a number of things to mention, so we’ll do it quick and dirty:
- Huge irony that Jin gave the ring to Locke as a way to prove that he was dead, but Ben turns it around and uses it to prove that he is alive. Jin is going to be pissed at Benjamin Linus when he returns to the
- We’ve now had Ghost Claire tell Kate “don’t bring him back”, and Creepy Charlotte tell Jin “don’t bring her back.” We all assume the first one meant Aaron, so should we assume that the second one means Ji-Yeon? Or Sun? What is going to happen if they come back to the
- Christian Shephard definitely appears to be the “new Jacob” for Locke. Since he came to the Island dead and became the spiritual advisor for the leader of the Others, does that mean that Locke will come back to the Island dead and become the spiritual advisor for the new leader of the Others (Walt / Aaron / Jack / Ben)?
- I’ve posed this question before – but did Ben intentionally break the FDW when he turned it? Is this just another example of him outsmarting Locke and finding a way for him to “need” to come back to the
Island(bringing the Oceanic Six)? You could argue that he talked Locke into turning the FDW for him, possibly because he knew what the results would be. He went from being a leader on the outs to being a leader who could save the Islandby bringing the Oceanic Six back. But how could he possibly know what was going to happen?
- When Ben blew up on Jack and Sun in the van, he mentioned “how much he’s done to protect them and their friends”. Have they really been in danger all this time, with Ben (and Sayid) working behind the scenes to protect them? Or is this an example of Ben saying the right thing at the right time to gain sympathy and ensure he doesn’t get killed? Hopefully we’ll learn more about this in the next few episodes as we learn what happened when Locke left the
- At the end of “The Lie”, Ms. Hawking (who is now confirmed to be Faraday’s Mom) said that if Ben couldn’t bring all the members of the Oceanic Six back within 70 hours, then “God help us all”. This week, Ben tells her that Jack and Sun are the best he could do, and she says “all right, let’s get started.” Huh? How could something go from “we need everyone or God help us all” to “Eh, two out of six ain’t bad. Let’s do it.” I’m guessing there are going to be repercussions if not all the members of the Oceanic Six are included (like people will die or things get more complicated). We also still don’t know how Desmond fits into all this – even though I would argue he’s the most important person to go back to the
Islandso that we can have the battle of “Specials” that can change the past.
- Oh – and for everyone complaining about Desmond not freaking out and recognizing Ms. Hawking as the person from “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, give it time. I would expect that recognition to come early in next week’s episode. He only saw Ms. Hawking in the last minute of the episode, so there wasn’t a ton of time for him to freak out… but I would expect it’s on the way!
Okay – enough about me, what about you? Let’s discuss.