Monday, March 23, 2009

Crappy "Namaste" Analysis

You’ll have to forgive me for the delay and rushed nature of my “Namaste” Analysis. For me, the greatest four days of the year surround the start of the NCAA Tournament, and traditionally involve taking off work, drinking, and watching basketball for about 48 hours over the course of four days. This year, it was even sweeter thanks to the Dayton Flyers not only making the tournament – but winning a game in it for the first time in nearly twenty years. On top of it all, the wife scored us tickets to go watch the Sunday games live and in person back at the Happiest Place on Earth (UD).


Add it all up, and it equals no time for Lost for
Brian. I toyed with the notion of just skipping the “Namaste” Analysis, but had some base thoughts in my head that I figured should be posted or else you’ll be confused when I reference them later and you don’t understand what I’m talking about. So it’s going to be short and sweet this week – with “Namaste” Analysis tonight, and “He’s Our You” Preview tomorrow.

 

Take a deep breath, here comes the fastest episode analysis of the year…

 

Ethan. We learned this week that Ethan Rom is the potentially-miracle baby love-child of Amy and Horace Goodspeed. Why the different last name? How did he survive the Purge? Ethan would have been 15 at the time of the Purge – so it’s not as though the Others took him away at that time and raised him as one of their own (“Raised by an Other”, in your face Aaron!) – by that time, he would have probably been well on his way to becoming a card-carrying Dharmite, and probably would not play friendly with Ben and Alpert – who killed his parents.


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This must mean one of two things:

  1. He was taken away from Amy and Horace well before the Purge, and raised as “Ethan Rom” among the Others, explaining how he survived it. We’ve already seen Horace give up Paul’s body to keep the “truce” with the Others – what if they break it again and this time the cost is much steeper – like giving over Horace’s first born son? This theory definitely has a Biblical / Mythological feel to it, which would fit in with Lost.
  2. He became a Rebel Dharmite with Ben, and believed so strongly in their purpose that he was cool with killing his mother and father, along with a host of other innocent people. Lest we forget that Ethan was the same guy who hung Charlie, probably killed Scott, and threatened numerous other Survivors in Season One… plus he would have been in that rebellious teenage stage at the time.

 

This is one of those rare situations where I like both of my theories (as opposed to most of the time, when I like neither), but I’m not sure which is more likely. But depending on which comes true, it will definitely help shape just how “good” or “evil” Ethan Rom really was.

 

Faraday. We also learned this week why Faraday has been strangely absent among the scenes of our Dharma Survivors. After Sawyer briefly explained the “rules” about being 30 years in the past to Jack, Jack asked, "Faraday’s here?" to which Sawyer responded, "Not anymore."

 

Personally, I took this comment quite literally – like Faraday had left the other Survivors and Dharma. Others took it to mean that Faraday had mentally left the Survivors – reverting back to the crazytown state we saw him when we were first introduced to his weeping character in Season Four.

 

To me, it looked like the Faraday we saw at the start of the season, inside the Orchid, was altogether “there” and hatching some mischievous plan – not a basket case needing someone to help take care of him. I also think having Faraday leave Dharma provides him with a chance to interact with the Others, and give the audience a chance to learn a little bit more about them, their motives for carrying out the Purge, the nature of the truce, etc. We need at least one of our characters to interact with them to pull these answers out, why not make it Faraday, who might happen to be the child of two current / former Others in Ms. Hawking and Charles Widmore?

 

This would also keep Faraday as a “wild card” – who might be accidentally bringing about the end of the world in his efforts to save Charlotte… or might be the hero saving all our Survivors and sending them back to their proper time through his actions at the Orchid. I like keeping these options available!

 

Radzinsky. I think the biggest question from our introduction to Radzinsky this episode is “why was he so concerned that Sayid – who he believes to be an Other – saw his plans for the Swan?” It’s pretty clear that Dharma building the Swan Station is either in violation of the truce between Dharma and the Others, or that it is going to cause some sort of negative impact on the Others – which would explain why Radzinsky would be so concerned with keeping it secret.

 

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If it was as simple as a violation of a truce about where Dharma was allowed on the Island, these fears would seem pretty silly. I think it would be obvious the Swan Station was being built when they excavated the land and actually, you know, BUILT IT. It’s not as though that thing would spring up overnight. It would require a lot of manpower, a lot of hours, and make a lot of noise to create that concrete underground fortress we all knew and loved. So that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

 

The other option would be that the creation of the Swan would be a “bad thing” to the Others. Some have come up with some pretty wacky theories about the Swan Station being used to keep the Island from moving by releasing the Island’s “unique electromagnetic energy” every 108 minutes – which would be a “good thing” to Dharma (easy trips to and from the Island), but a “bad thing” to the Others (easier for the Island to be found by no good outsiders). The only problem with this is that according to Pierre Chang (as Marvin Candle), it wasn’t until after “The Incident” that the 108 Numbers became necessary – and “The Incident” didn’t occur until after the Swan was built and operational. Unless Dharma was really forward-thinking, this doesn’t seem to make sense either.

 

But if you keep in mind the original aim of the Swan Station – “to study the unique electromagnetic fluctuations” of the Island, you can begin to formulate a theory where Dharma used the Swan Station to get close to the gooey core of the Island – which might have been the key to understanding what it was, how it worked, and some other very fundamental things about the Island… things that the Others might take as very secret, important, and sacred. If Dharma was able to “figure out” these powers, they might have been able to “harness” them – for good or evil – and you could see how that would be something the Others would be against. Therefore, even though it was built on “their side” of the Island, if Dharma found out about it – they would almost certainly do everything they could to stop it from being built… which would explain the secrecy.

 

Or, maybe Radzinsky was just uber-paranoid about stuff and concerned about copyright infringement on his sweet designs.

  

Ben. I think it was pretty obvious that when Ben heard there was an Other being held in the cell underneath the Barracks, he put himself in a situation to interact with that mysterious Other – the question is whether this was his first contact with a “hostile”, or if he had already been in contact with Richard Alpert at this point.

 

Depending on the timeline, this interaction could lead to two very different repercussions.

  1. If it’s Ben’s first meeting with an Other, it could have taught Ben that there was nothing to fear about them, giving him the confidence to venture out beyond the Sonic Pylons and learn more about them. It’s Sayid’s fault that Ben turned into the creeptastic adult we all know and fear!
  2. If Ben has already been in contact with Richard, things get a lot more interesting. Then, he could be acting as a spy for the Others – reporting back to Richard about their “fellow Other” that has been captured, working to help him escape, and learning the truth – that Sayid is not an Other at all.

 

But for me, here’s the most important thing – I think we’re close to finally having the confirmation we needed that the Others knew a hell of a lot about our Survivors before they arrived on the Island. We now know that Ben met Sayid and Alpert met Locke / Sawyer (and talked to them about time travel). While they might not have enough to go on to actually work up the full life histories of these characters (yet – aside from Locke), they have about 30 years until they come back to the Island with the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, which is plenty of time to start researching EVERYTHING about them.


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How was Ben seemingly always one step ahead of our characters? Because he had full files about some of them before they ever arrived on the Island – because he knew they would eventually be there (especially true of Locke, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Juliet – who just conveniently happen to be the characters he has “messed with” the most over the years). While he didn’t know exactly when or how they would arrive, he knew they would eventually get there – which is why he quickly sent out Ethan and Goodwin to work up “lists” of the people who survived the Oceanic 815 crash. He probably did something similar each time ANYTHING crashed on the Island. He was waiting for them.

 

Runway. Of course, the one thing this prior knowledge doesn’t confirm is how the Others knew to start building a runway in 2004 in preparation for a plane to crash-land there in 2008. We have yet to see any proof that the Others themselves were able to hop around in time at ease – and things like Alpert being surprised and skeptical when Locke starts talking about time travel makes me think they never did. Was this a command of Jacob? Were the Others just planning on using a plane to go to and from the Island instead of the submarine? Or was it just a lucky coincidence / fate?


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Barracks. One item that seems to be confusing a lot of people (and making them question Faraday’s claims of “whatever happened, happened”) is that the buildings that Sun and Frank entered on the Main Island were way more derelict and boarded up than they were in 2004 (when Locke and Co. were living there), even though they are in 2008. But here’s the thing – those weren’t the Barracks. They were the “Processing Center”.

 

The Dharma Barracks are more in the “center” of the Island, whereas the Processing Center is near the shore. Aside from flashbacks we saw in Ben’s flashbacks, I don’t think our Survivors have ever explored the Processing Center – which means it could have fallen into shambles after the Purge, hiding those pictures of our Survivors in 1977 all these years… or maybe the Others found those as well at some point, which helped them do some research on our Survivors.

 

At any rate, I don’t think it proves that Sun and Frank are in a “new timeline”, or that the past has changed – simply that up until this point, everything was taking place at the Barracks, not the Processing Center.

 

Sun. When Christian tells Sun “I'm sorry, but you have a bit of a journey ahead of you." I instantly thought it was some type of journey to reunite with her friends… but why would Christian Shephard care about helping Sun out like that? Rather, I think this phrase means something far more cryptic – like Sun needs to do “her part” to help bring the Survivors back to 2008 (in preparation for the “battle for the Island”). I still stand by my belief that there will be only one more time jump on Lost – and it will involve everyone from 1977 coming back to the present. So to have Sun jumping around in time seems superfluous at this point.

 

Numbers. If you noticed, when the Ajira 316 co-pilot tried to place a mayday call, he briefly hears the Numbers broadcasting… even though in 2008, not only have the Numbers been replaced by CFL’s distress signal, but that was shut off by Jack in the Season Three finale. So what gives? I think it’s the same thing that happened with Sayid and Hurley picked up the “old time radio station” on the beach. The unique magnetic properties of the Island make radio signals bounce around and get “stuck” around the Island, making it possible to pick up things that haven’t been broadcast for years.

 

Creepy Girl. Finally, we have the mystery girl in the background of the Processing Station building that Sun, Frank, and Christian were in. On first glance, she looked like a blonde (Claire!). Upon further review, she seems a little “bigger” than Claire, and the hair might be more reddish than blonde (Charlotte!). While Claire would make sense – since we’ve seen her hanging with Christian in old cabins before, Charlotte’s inclusion would seem to give legs to the theory that “dead people on the Island come back as creepy spirits.” Although, that doesn’t explain why we don’t also see any of our other deceased Survivors walking around on the Island, so I don’t know that I’m sold on that one either… and it doesn’t actually look like either person.


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(Or maybe this is finally a case of us catching a “production mistake” and that was just somebody in the shot that shouldn’t have been. This is by far the easiest and most boring explanation, but it’s always an option given the rushed nature of shooting Lost.)

 

…and breathe.

 

Okay, sorry for the craptasticly rushed analysis. But it’s better than nothing, right?

 

Until tomorrow’s episode preview…

31 comments:

Stephen said...

this wouldn't be the first production error we've seen. there was a trainer's hand back when kate saw her special horse and a crewman in the jungle at least once previously. i'm betting after the "official lost podcast" for this episode goes up, we'll have our answer.

wgh said...

No way that was a production error... it seemed too deliberate. I think it's Charlotte.

LC said...

I agree with wgh. It's one thing to accidentally have a piece of equipment or crewman in part of a shot, but that person was deliberately in the shot. On sets, you don't just accidentally have a person in the background like that. It's not like that was a crewman holding a boom mike. That person was interacting with the set.

matchboxfan said...

The only thing that I think you didn't cover on your really really rushed blog is how Radzinski survived the Purge.

VictorC said...

Definitely better than nothing, and still quite good Brian.

Steve said...

Some quick comments:

Ethan is way too old to be Ethan. There's no way the actor who played ethan was even within 10 years of being 17. I'll let that pass.

As for Faraday.. I didn't take it that he was crazy OR that he had left, I took it that he was "skipping" through time mentally.

Sure, he could have left on the sub.. and came back again.... and that's possible. But if he started to jump through time, which was a concern of his(remember his short term memory lost at the beginning of season 4 and his concerns, enough to write Desmond as his constant?)

The problem is Desmond is not on the Island, and he's NOT in 1977... Well, he is.. but much younger.

Could Faraday have:

a - left the island to find his constant?

b - we now now the reason for Desmond to return to the island! He HAS to return to keep faraday sane to get everyone back to the present day. And how does the island make that happen? Get ben to kill Penny so that Desmond will return to the island to kill ben, AND be Faradays constant. Desmond would need faraday to get them to the present time to kill ben as he can't kill him in the past. They all need faraday to get back to the present time. And what if the island is only keeping Ben alive so that he can lure Desmond back to the island?

Is that too far fetched? Occims Razor here.. maybe the simplest solution is correct. He left the island? But it would be kind of cool to think the Ben was a pawn of the island to be kept alive to do it's bidding.

I'm thinking back to the spinal surgery in season 3... was Ben so calm because he knew he would be alive? Because he met jack in the past? (I'm assuming that he will this week)

Steve said...

Production errors happen all the time. From the Wizard of Oz(loose animals in the background led to urban legends of a hanging on the set) or the infamouse cardbord boy from 3 men and a baby.
Shoot, there are all sorts of goofs... right here in lost.. season 2 finally.. there were houses in the background that were visible to the geeks who cared to freeze frame and enlarge the HD photos.

To be honest, I didn't notice it.. sometimes, it is what it is.

Dragos "Poetru" Nica said...

What about this. Sorry if this is all over the place, but I'm just gonna put it out there.
It has to do with the building of the Swan/The incident. The incident is described as "a leak" and something that made the pushing of the button necessary. Sayid mentioned earlier that only at Chernobyl has so much concrete been poured over something.
This could mean that Jughead, the bomb from the 50's, leaked during the building of the Swan, and the button is being pushed to keep it from exploding. I don't know if this makes sense, but if this was true, than this might be the reason for the Losties to be in the 70's. They might have something to do with this leak, making the building of the button necessary. What do you guys think?

ribbonsandsugar said...

there's just no way it was a production error. it's way too easy to spot, and they could've easily taken it out with some quick CGI touch ups by darkening the background behind Sun for the 10 seconds the figure appears.

I could go do it right now in iMovie and have it done in about 4 minutes. I think we need to give the Lost editors a little more credit than to miss something like that.

I mean, I totally understand and respect your Wizard of Oz argument, but that was 1939, and they did notice it in post-production, but they had already torn down that set and couldn't do anything about it.

All that being said, it doesn't make sense how brief it is, and if it IS claire or charlotte, is it really that big of a surprise? It just doesnt make any sense in that regard. I can't see them specifically writing in the script that Claire is barely seen in the background for 2 seconds. What's the surprise? who cares?

Katy said...

it could also be a long haired dude in the background of the shot with sun. i think it's horace.

pete said...

Not sure what changed with your formatting but your post shows up as all white text in Google Reader. Never been an issue before but now you can't read it without highlighting everything.

Nicholas said...

Does anybody else think that the incident is going to be the thing that brings the 1970's survivors back to the present? Or am I just pulling stuff out my ass?

Matthew said...

Matchbox: I think Radzinski survived the purge because he was in the Swan, entering numbers and going slowly mad. He probably thought he couldn't safely go outside, which is why he would make short jaunts to try to reconstruct his memory of the layout of the stations/island. (on the blast door map) At least, I THINK that's how he survived!

jon. said...

If Sun also will jump back to 1977 then the runway mystery is solved - Ben somehow finds out about it from her.

I'm still thinking (nay, hoping) that we'll see the ancient days of the island unravelled (the medical term for that is "four toe statue obsessive compulsion"). It seems to fit more and more as the arc for the final season. At the end of this one, they all reunite in 1977 (including Sun, Ben, Locke...). Then escape the purge and jump way back.

Gibbo said...

Nicholas,

I agree, I think Brian mentioned that a few weeks ago as well.

It looks like the incident will be due to our survivors jumping back to the future.

LauraraKris said...

Steve, you're right, he wouldn't be within 10 years of 17. 1977 to 2004 is 27 years, so it works for our Ethan.

J-Bos! said...

I’d be all for the production error explanation except that, to me, it appears as if Christian clearly and purposefully looks up (and not in a way that suggests it is just part of conversational eye contact, unless he’s trying to creep Sun out).

Dave Harty said...

In the time line story, Daniel is seen on the island in 1977 and off the island in 2004 crying at the TV and then returning to the island via the freightor shortly after that (but looking the same in both time periods). The same is true of Miles.

Following the "whatever happened, happened" theory, is it a foregone conclussion that both Daniel, Miles, and maybe more, return to 2004 and leave the island?

And is that also true of any of the O6? And if so, will they encounter themselves in 2007 after they left the first time? Because Kate's trial and Jack's pill addiction all happened right?

Dave Harty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...

I think the incident will be the caged polar bear turning the wheel, as Dharma experiments to see its effects. When the bear does this, it will transport to the Tunisian desert (to later be found by Charlotte), while at the same time, the Survivors will skip back to the future! And this will happen right in front of the eyes of the Dharmites (like Locke/Richard in '54) - mayhem ensues within Dharma.

Marec van Wareck said...

One thing i was thinking about for a while: Is it possible that Smokey was created due to "the incident"? Have we any proof that Smokey was on the Island in 1977 or even before that time?
The sonic fence originally seems to be built to keep the hostiles away from Dharmaville, which explains why Horace is concered about Alpert walking through the fence without any problems.
I know that all the hieroglyph- and temple-things indicate that Smokey might be on the Island for ages or so. But is there any definite proof that these things are connected?
Oh well, keep up the good work.
Greetings,
Marec from Germany

Luke said...

After seeing that picture for the first time, the girl looks more like Juliet than either Claire or Charlotte. It's pretty clear she has blonde hair, so that seems to throw Charlotte out of the mix (unless she died her hair postmortem...which would be just weird). The seemingly straight hair (On the island, Claire always had curly hair), and the physical build of the woman's body both point more to Juliet than Claire, I think.

If so, does this mean Juliet will die once transported to 2008? It's pretty clear she doesn't die in the Purge, so that would be the only logical period of time for her to die, right?

Jagged Diary said...

I haven't read all the comments yet, but doesn't it look like the mystery girl is holding something? Looks like Kleenex, and I don't know if it's just the shadows on her face but it kind of looks like she has a bloody nose...which leads me to think it definitely IS Charlotte. And thanks for posting that, I could not see it on my TV screen!

Daniel said...

I think everybody has gotten completely carried away with "The fence can't keep us out" talk. It's just a fence and the others are intelligent humans. Heck, Kate got over the fence and she's an idiot.
The fence is just a Smokey fence and Smokey is a dumb animal/computer program/mystic force that can't figure out how to go over the fence or is too sensitive to its' effects to even try.

Joyce Saenz Harris said...

Brian, I think the Processing Center area we saw was indeed part of the Barracks. Remember what Ben told Sun and Frank when he was ready to take the outrigger from the Hydra island (before Sun clocked him with the oar)?

Ben said: "There's a small dock about a half mile due south, across the water. It leads directly to a town where I used to live."

Sawyer's Optician said...

Thanks Brian. I must say that I don't think the Creepy Girl (CG!) was a production error. I really didn't see her at first, but I did notice the door open, and a misty presence entered the building, (cabin?) I am reminded of our first visit to Jacob's cabin. There were a lot of creepy visuals that ran very quickly and were not obvious on first viewing. Then there was much speculation on who's eye we saw close up in the cabin on our second visit. It was Patchy, or Desmond, or someone else. Lots of other theories were flying around. It was never exactly clarified who it was. We still don't even know exactly who/what Jacob is, do we?
Looking at the enhanced photos, it looks more like Claire than Charlotte, Charlotte has very curly red hair. It's not her. Claire is blone, has wavy hair, that is more or less straight on the top. Juliet has Blonde hair, but she wouldn't be there I don't think. If it isn't Claire, who makes the most sense, then it is someone we don't know yet.

Hobbes said...

oh yeah that's the stuff. Thanks B. for my Lost... and Gone Forever fix... phew! all better now.

Nice call on the processing centre vs. the actual Barracks. I hope it's right.

Salvar said...

I have a theory about Faraday's condition and whereabouts. We know that at some point he was in the area where they were building the Swan, dressed as a Dharmite, and looking like he was going to do something sinister (or at least something that Dharma probably wouldn't approve of). We didn't see any of what he did, which means that it's still going to be revealed--and considering that he probably wanted to do it alone, Faraday is the only person who can provide us with that reveal. Thus there are two options:
1. Faraday is "not there" physically. In this case he's likely gone to live with the others, which means he'd probably sneak back in sometime soon when they start building the Swan. He also may have already done his thing, and ran away before Dharma could punish him for it.
2. Faraday is "not there" mentally. Based on what we've already seen, this must have happened after he did his thing--in which case I think it's very likely that his condition was caused by whatever it was he did with the Swan hatch.

I like the second option best, but it all depends on whether they've started building the Swan by this point. I think once we find that out, we'll have a good idea of where Faraday is.

Daniel said...

he was in the Orchid, not the Swan.

Salvar said...

Oh yeah... I forgot, the numbers and button and energy thing were in a different hatch from the FDW. Weird...

Chris said...

i dont want to do reveal any spoilers, but do any of you listen to the audio podcasts by the cuse and lindeloff?

they're free on itunes - anyways though they often hint at things to come and answer questions about the show - for instance charlotte's age being off was a kind of production error..... thats why it didnt match up w/ what ben said..

anyways the last one was especially revealing and i suggest everyone check them out if you haven't already..

the point of the post though was that they hinted that jacob knew the runway was necessary and basically they built it because jacon said so.

they also said some things about ethan but i won't give anything away - search for LOST on the itunes store if you're interested