It's an easy week. For all those who have been beyond confused by the concept of "whatever happened, happened" and all the jumps through time, this episode should be an easier one to digest. Even though "LaFleur" featured two "skips" through time - they were both quick, and one seemingly permanent. Also - instead of jumping back and forth between what was happening on the Island in 1970 vs. 2008 vs. what is going on off the
If I had to guess, based on this episode, the time traveling stuff is going to go on the back-burner for a while, perhaps only to reappear one more time this season (to eventually reunite EVERYONE in the proper time period of 2008 - which I'm currently guessing will be tied into "The Incident" / Faraday in the Orchid… and will be the big event of the season finale). So, for the first time this season, we don’t have to start our discussions with advanced theories about the space-time continuum and the end of the world. Instead, we can start with something much easier this week...
Love! I know that some people absolutely hate the "Love Rhombus" storylines on Lost involving Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet - and want the show to focus on nothing but
Jack and Kate are both messed up. They're great for each other, and the original "couple" on the show. Sawyer and Juliet are both awesome and now have this super-unique shared experience that has brought them together. Plus, Kate is kinda crazytown. If Sawyer was smart, he'd give up on her and stick with the much more stable (and nearly just as hot) girl in Juliet! Even if it takes us another season and a half to get to this resolution, I just hope it ends with Kate-Jack and Sawyer-Juliet… or in a perfect world, Kate-Juliet.
But enough with the teenage girl drama, on to the bigger questions from the episode.
The Four-Toed Statue. After over two seasons of waiting, the Four-Toed Statue finally made a reappearance this episode, in all its complete, massive glory. Although we only got a fleeting glimpse of the back of this statue, it appeared to be Egyptian in nature since it seemingly had a headdress and was holding an Ankh (cross with a loop at the top - don't worry, we'll talk more about Ankhs later).
However, after doing some extensive research on Ancient Egypt on Wikipedia, none of the over 60 Gods and Deities were a perfect match to what our four-toed friend. Most websites are going with Anubis (the God of the Underworld) or Tawaret (the Fertility Goddess) as the closest match, but neither seems to match exactly. Check it out:
This reminds me of what happened the last time Lost sent me down the path of spending hours researching Ancient Egypt - trying to translate the hieroglyphics from the 108 Clock inside the Swan Hatch during the second season. After applying a lot of energy and brain power that could have been used solving the world's problems / writing the great American novel, we arrived at the general consensus that it meant "to cause death" or "die". We all felt pretty smart, and it seemed to fit with the meaning behind the 108 Clock.
However, a few months later show creators Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof would tell us that the countdown timer sequence meant "underworld", but was also "subject to interpretation". To me, that meant they didn't really intend for us to translate it quite as literally. So before we all get too crazy about analyzing the Four-Toed Statue and what it might mean (Anubis means they are all dead! Tawaret allowed the people on the
The one thing that the existence of the Four-Toed Statue proved was the overall timeline regarding the FDW. In "Ancient Egyptian Times" (read: old), there was just a rope in the ground, thanks to Sawyer holding onto it when a flash happened. This must have led to the well eventually being dug in that location (to figure out where the rope was leading). By 1974, the well has been filled up by dirt. This could have occurred before Dharma arrived (as a preventative measure by the Others to keep people from messing with time), or shortly after Dharma arrived (again, by the Others to keep Dharma from finding the FDW). It seems somewhat unlikely that Dharma themselves would fill it in, only to dig it up later when constructing the Orchid Station.
So, in summary…
Rope in the ground --> Well --> Filled in Well --> Orchid Station
Of course, this brings up the question - where did the FDW come from? The earliest point we have seen in the
Ankh. Before we wrap up the "Ancient Egypt" portion of the Blog, we need to talk about Ankhs (Ankhi?). After Paul died, the necklace that Amy removed from his body was an Ankh Necklace, featuring the same cross with a loop at the top that the Four-Toed Statue appeared to be holding in one or both hands. As I mentioned in the Instant Reactions, the ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyph for eternal life and fertility, which opens up the possibility for some pretty wacky theories.
Could this be why Amy was able to successfully give birth to a baby on the
It's a fun theory, but unfortunately, I think it's more likely that the Ankh Necklace was simply a plot device. Amy needed to have something of Paul's in her drawer for Horace Goodspeed to find - so that he would flip out about it and end up having the heart-to-heart conversation with Sawyer about "is three years long enough to get over someone?" - so that the audience could have a reason for Sawyer to talk about his feelings about Kate - leading up to their reunion at the end of the episode.
Having that object be a necklace that Amy removes from Paul's dead body is a neat way to accomplish this - but the object could have just as easily been something else. When you think about it, we've already seen a ring become the object of separated love with Sun and Jin and a watch be used as a plot device with Jin and Michael - so there wasn't a lot of jewelry left that could have been used without seeming repetitious to some degree.
Why make the necklace an Ankh Necklace? Well, Paul is a dude - and guys don’t really wear necklaces unless they are military or religious. Given the hippie roots of Dharma (did you catch the pot brownie reference?!), making it a normal cross would seem a little out of place. But making it an Ancient Egyptian Ankh makes Paul seem like a hippie who loves how "trippy" Ancient Egypt seemed. Personally, I would have went for Paul having a hemp necklace - but that might have been too blatant.
It would be cool if the first, wackier theory about fertility turned out to be true - but I'm guessing the second, plot-functional theory is the case. I'm reminded of the bracelet that Sayid pulled off Naomi in "The Economist". After people came up with numerous theories about how that bracelet connected to Elsa's bracelet in the flashforwards, Damon Lindelof responded that "there is no connective tissue. Sometimes a bracelet is just a bracelet." Maybe in this case, an Ankh is just an Ankh.
Babies. But what about Amy being able to give birth? Why was she able to succeed where so many Others had failed in recent years? The episode left it somewhat open-ended by saying that the Dharma women usually left the
- Babies conceived off-Island are able to be born on the
- Babies conceived on-Island are able to be born off the
- Babies conceived on-Island will kill the mother and child before the third trimester if on-Island (Juliet said so).
In Amy's case, we don't know if the baby was conceived on-Island or off-Island, since Dharma seemingly came and went from the
I think if Dharma had prior experience with their women dying during childbirth, there would have been a lot more precaution to ensure that Amy was off-Island well in advance of her due date - and I think there would have been a lot more shock and excitement once Amy actually gave birth. So either they were unaware of the potential danger of pregnant women on the
Who is to say that Others ever had the ability to give birth on the
In the end, I think it boils down to one of two explanations:
1. The Others have never been able to reproduce on the
But this would mean there is something that distinguishes an "Other" from someone else on the
2. The Others used to be able to reproduce, but something changed.
This could be something very straightforward. After the Purge, there could have been residual poison gas on the
Or, it could be something a little more interesting… like the Others falling out of touch with the
Cowboys and Indians. Let’s assume that back in the day, pre-Dharma, the Others used to be “one with the
Unfortunately, they realize that running water and electricity are pretty nice things to have – so instead of returning to their village (or
Irony! Much like Sawyer becoming the man he hated the most, the Others became the very civilization that they were trying to rid themselves of with the Purge.
The assumption here is that as the Others fell out of favor with the Island, they lost the ability to have babies on the
Finally, who is Baby Goodspeed? We didn't get a name for him in this week's episode, but based on the timing his character would be in his late 20's in 2008. Unfortunately, there really aren't any available characters to fit that bill where we don't already know other details about their birth, which eliminate them (assuming that Miles is Baby Chang, and Faraday's Mom is Ms. Hawking). Also, I've always assumed that Ben was the only Dharmite to survive the Purge, so unless Baby Goodspeed left the
The Truce. In the past, I've proposed that there was an internal debate among the Others about how to deal with Dharma. Some probably sided with Charles Widmore in wanting to "work with them" and some probably wanted to "kill them all". Alpert seems to be somewhere in the middle, and was likely the one to create a truce with Dharma while they sorted things out. There were probably specific guidelines about where Dharma could and couldn't go without suffering consequences - and I'm guessing that Amy and Paul stepped out of those boundaries for their little picnic. The fact that the Others would have so quickly killed them for breaking this truce makes me think that those Others were ones who sided with the "kill them all" way of thinking. This would confirm Richard's reaction and way of dealing with Dharma. He pretty calmly talked to Goodspeed and Sawyer, and asked for Paul's body as a way of showing his people that both sides suffered losses - probably in an effort to placate them and prevent them from storming the Dharma Barracks and killing more innocent people. Unfortunately, it probably won't be long before more situations like this occur and the situation continues to escalate until we get to the point where the "kill them all" Others become a majority… leading to the Others recruiting Ben to rid themselves of Dharma once and for all.
As I said in my preview for this episode, the fact that Alpert has now interacted with both Locke and Sawyer in the past has some pretty big repercussions on understanding how the Others dealt with the Survivors of Oceanic 815 in 2004. Alpert would have known that no matter what the Others did, Locke and Sawyer (at the very least) would survive long enough to start skipping through time - which may have prevented the Others from launching a full-out attack on our Survivors to wipe them out from the start. But I think the more interesting thing is that although Ben may have been "in charge" at that point, it seems like Alpert had become less and less of a fan of his actions over the years. The arrival of Oceanic 815 could have given Alpert the opportunity he needed to convince them that Locke was "chosen" (he has the ability to travel through time!), and this was the man destined to become their leader… conveniently removing Ben from the picture.
Boy, would I kill for a Richard Alpert flashback to confirm some of this stuff.
Okay, enough blabbering for this week. Sorry for the delay, but with Lost on a repeat this week, I figured this would give you something to chew on during the week. Also, this provides us with a good chance to do some Q&A - so if there are any questions that you have about this season thus far, or Lost in general, and want my opinions on them, feel free to ask them in the Comments Section, and I'll make a post with my responses either before my "Namaste" Episode Preview, or along with it.
Finally, and most importantly this week...
Finally, and most importantly this week...