Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Whatever Happened, Happened" Instant Reactions

Brian's One Word Review: Setup.

To all those who read this week's episode preview, I apologize. Unfortunately, that episode played out exactly as I predicted (for the most part), so while it was an enjoyable episode, there wasn't anything too surprising in it... until the final two minutes. Here's what we confirmed:

  • Sawyer indeed told Kate to go visit Cassidy and take care of Clementine.
  • Kate indeed had a secret friendship with Cassidy in her three years off-Island, which contributed to the end of her engagement with Jack.
  • Kate indeed left Aaron with his Carol Littleton, his grandmother.
  • Jack indeed refused to operate on Young Ben, leaving only Juliet to do her best.
  • Kate indeed had to take drastic measures to save Ben... taking him to the Others.
And that's where it got really interesting. I proposed the potential of having the Others save Young Ben, but determined that if they had some magic power to save lives, they would have used those powers to save their fellow Others over the years when shot by our Survivors (see: Ethan and Tom) - but according to Alpert, they do have the ability to save people - at least "outsiders" - but it comes at a cost...

"If I take him, he's not ever going to be the same again. What I mean is that he'll forget this ever happened and his innocence will be gone. He will always be one of us."

For one, this explains why there wasn't any awkward interaction between Sayid and Ben in prior seasons - apparently Ben doesn't remember any of this! Talk about an easy way out of dealing with an apparent storyline inconsistency from three years ago! More intriguing is that somehow this process "transforms" him into an Other. Does this mean that all the Others are some kind of reincarnated race of people given a "second chance" on the Island in return for becoming a devout follower of the Island? Remember how we saw Ben born in the woods outside Portland, Oregon - yet he claims he was born on the Island? Maybe he means "reborn". Very intriguing.

The other interesting part of this scene? When Alpert proposes taking Young Ben, another Other tells him "You shouldn't do this without asking Ellie. If Charles finds out..." 

To which Alpert responds with "I don't answer to either of them."

Looks like we got our confirmation that Charles Widmore indeed is the leader of the Others in 1977, Ellie is indeed some type of "second in command" / lover / assistant to the regional manager for him / Widmore is off-Island and Ellie is his representative on-Island... and it confirms that Alpert doesn't think he needs to answer to them. Is the "rift" among the Others already starting?

...and that's about it for the episode. Pretty uneventful for a Damon and Carlton penned episode, but it looks to simply be a setup for next week's mind-blowing, season-defining episode (let the overhyping begin!). For those who didn't watch the episode preview, sucks to be you - but here's why we should all be very excited...

  • After four weeks away, it looks to be a Ben and Locke-centric affair!
  • It showed hints of Ben flashbacks on-Island (with CFL!) and off-Island (at the marina with Desmond and Penny waiving a gun!)
  • Per Ben: "I broke the rules John. I came back to the Island to be judged."
  • Ben and Locke entering some type of "temple" on the Island that looked pretty similar to the one that Alpert carried Young Ben into at the end of this week's episode.
  • Per Ben: "What's about to come out of that jungle is something I can't control." Did someone say SMOKEY?!?!
So it looks like we're due for a whole lot of answers and new questions next week - and potentially will receive Ben's turn at the "fill in all the holes in your backstory" theme we've seen over the past two weeks... and I have to admit, that should be far more interesting than Sayid or Kate!

But I digress. Let's save the discussions about next week for next week. For now, let's try to find stuff to discuss from this week's episode. For starters, let's discuss how fantastic all the scenes involving Hurley and Miles were. They referenced Back to the Future, which seems to prove that Damon and Carlton read this Blog, right? I also felt like they were living through the hundreds of conversations that people have had about "whatever happened, happened" works on the Bog, which made me smile. Hopefully everyone is all straightened out now :)


Katie said...

Ellie - Eloise!

Meh said...

Yes, I loved Hurley staring at his hands waiting to disappear :)

Sam said...

what about Kate admitting that she went back to the island to find Claire - I thought that was interesting.

But even more so, how about Jack refusing to operate which leads K&S to take Lil Ben to the Others, and set him on a path of evil. If Jack had operated, perhaps Ben would have grown up to be a veterinarian or a pre-school teacher. Jack has poor instincts.

nicholas said...

I hadn't read your episode preview of "Whatever Happened, Happened." But it looks like you helped write the episode. Good job with that.

While it did play out without any major surprises, it was still a great continuation of a great story.

Next week, though . . . next week will be something.

Overdose of Awesome said...

Was I the only one who noticed that Ben's bullet wound appeared to have magically moved to his right side? Sayid definitely shot him in the heart, or pretty darn close to it. Definitely wasn't the right side of his body. Seemed like a rather glaring continuity error.

mark said...

i think my favorite part about this week's episode was learning that kate's reason for returning to the island wasn't for jack or sawyer, but to find out what happened to claire. kate has truly changed for the better. kate is still motivated by her feelings for aaron, but not to fill some hidden need of her own, but to find claire so that she can be reunited with her son. awesome.

i also loved kate and sawyer's conversation at the creek. i was afraid that sawyer and kate would fall back into the pattern of the way things were, but am glad to see that they BOTH have grown, changed, and moved forward.

it's ironic that what will undoubtedly become a pivotal moment in ben's life (his rebirth at the hands of smokey?), was triggered by jack's deliberate decision to refuse to act, to refuse to try and fix things. i have to wonder what would have happened if he tried to operate on ben? would the universe have found a way to course correct so that ben would be brought to the others anyway?

Jordan said...

I also definitely think Kate was lying to Claire's mom when she said she was returning to the island to find Claire. When has she ever told the truth?

timcourtois said...

Love the growth Jack & Sawyer have showed in recent eps. Their characters are really being redeemed!

Yes! I also noticed lil' Ben's bullet wound magically moved to the other side! That was dumb.

Wish somebody would have just killed little Ben. What is wrong with these people!?!?!?

Ever since we saw CFL's friends get brainwashed by Smokey, I've suspected that the same thing happened to Locke when he encountered Smokey in Season 1. Guess we can now say the same about Ben, too. Man, I wonder how many people on this island are just brainwashed versions of their former selves?

Andre said...

It seems we can take Kate off of Death Watch until she finds out what happened to Clair.

Becca said...

Maybe they will answer this for me later... or maybe I'm misremembering something... but didn't Ben go back to Dharma-ville? He gassed his father in a Dharma van right before the purge, which suggests to me he returned to work for Dharma.

mark said...

ok, further thoughts on kate and her conversation with claire's mom.

if she truly is going back to the island to find claire, why does she turn around after giving up aaron and goes off, finds jack, sleeps with him, and then barely wants to look at him when they're on the plane to guam?

and i agree with andre's comment. i don't think anything will happen to kate, sayid, or any of the other O6.

one other random question... so we think we know kate's reason for coming back. what about hurley? why would he come back? maybe to find out the truth about the numbers? could it have something to do with all the visits he has with charlie and the other island ghosts?

Geez said...

Anyone else kinda disappointed that Ben will forget everything. I was liking that he remembered 815ers from Dharma days..
Interesting that Richard seems to independent of his leaders. He was with Ben in the end. Will he do this to Locke eventually?

Jordan said...

Becca - Ben did go back to Dharmaville, but he was basically a spy for the Others. He was just waiting around, pretending to be a good little Dharma-ite, until it came time for the Purge.

Lizzy said...

Do you think that whatever brainwashing took place in the temple with CFL's people and now possibley Ben is the same brainwashing that we saw Karl undergoing? Maybe the whole "reborn" thing makes it so that you only age to a specific point (Alpert's age?) and then are stuck there unless you leave the Island (Widmore & Eloise).
Also, although I think the whole love quadrangle is a little over the top, I loved it when Sawyer told Kate that he was jelping Ben for Juliet!

Salvar said...

One thing I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet: Jack turning into Locke. I've suspected for a while that Jack and Locke would start to switch places, ideologically, and although I haven't noticed it with Locke yet, they're definitely doing it with Jack. I am referring of course to his bathroom conversation with Juliet.

Erin Blair Gobin said...

I can't believe nobody has mentioned yet the temple that the Crazy French Lady's crew went into, and came out evil and crazy. Same temple Ben went into right?

So the big irony in this episode is that Sayid's shooting little ben isn't only what ultimatley took him to the Others, but also what ultimatley turned him evil since they had to take him down in the temple to save him.

Very ironic that Sayid thought his mission was to kill Ben in order to prevent all the evil that would unfold, but actually his shooting Ben is what set those wheels in motion. Interesting stuff.

jack said...

my 1 word instand reaction to "whatever happened, happened" would be...forced. I enjoyed it but found some aspects may have been conveniently written to make plot lines work. The main thing I am referring to is Richard saying that Ben will change and have no recollection of these events. Also, the idea that Kate....and Sawyer....took sick Ben to the Others seems terribly forced with the writters failing to give us an understanding of why Sawyer and/or Kate would believe the Others could or would save Ben in the first place.

Kris C said...

Jack - Kate & Sawyer took little Ben to the Others because Juliet suggested it. Juliet knows the power of smokey since she was an other for over 3 years

Jamie Tatum said...

Yes, it was disappointing that Ben will not remember being shot by Sayid. This line of reasoning also assumes that nobody (Dharma or Other) will tell him what happened. There were a lot of ways that they could have explained Ben's reactions to Sayid - he's the most calculating manipulative guy on the show, for one - that didn't involve him forgetting what happened.

Sawyer placed the noobs under house arrest leading to that fantastic scene with Miles. (But what Miles scene hasn't been fantastic? Ahem...) This was done for appearance's sake. Despite this, Horace still noticed an out of place Kate in Dharmajail chit-chattin' with Sawyer. Paranoid Phil has noticed things in previous episodes too, usually to be minimized by Sawyer's machinations. Perhaps it's just me but it seems like the stress on Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Jin's assumed life increases. What's the endgame? Will things fall apart, with the survivors getting caught (Phil putting the pieces together and going to Horace) and kicked out of Dharma, will they leave on their own, or is the mystical Dr. Chang going to help them?

Rebecca said...

I loved the convo between Miles & Hurley but was waiting for Daniel to come out with a chalkboard and really explain it all! lol I LOVED the look on Ben's face when he saw Locke. Next week's epi looks great! I have mixed feelings about Kate leaving Aaron with Carol. And why hasn't anyone asked Kate where Aaron was since she got back?

All of this is Jack's fault, him not doing surgery is what "changed" Ben. Sayid shooting him played a role too but I mostly blame Jack. ;)

EddieBrick said...

Where is faraday!?!??!

J-Bos! said...

I really enjoyed that episode. Granted some of it was predictable but I’m totally OK with episodes like these whose purpose is mainly to get us up to speed (and answer some of the many questions we discuss on blogs like this each week) while still adding a few surprises (although it sounds like a lot of you would disagree).

The Miles/Hurley stuff was fantastic! It really felt like it was a shout out to the fans from Darlton.

Although both me and wife went “Nooo!” when we saw Locke for all of two seconds and then the Lost logo came up and realized it was the end of the episode. I can’t wait for next week.

Dave Harty said...

Well for me, this was an either really good episode that is the start of a new arc, or a really bad episode designed to mop up some messy story lines.

If the conversation between Miles and Hurley was to express in no uncertain terms the concept of "whatever happened, happened" and then to explain away a continuity error from 3 years ago...than it didn't add much to the story.

But I saw it from another perspective.

I thought that by having Hurley's question stump Mile's explanation of "whatever happened, happened", the writers signaled that there was more to explore within that concept. So while whatever happened, happened, whatever will happen is still to be determined. And maybe the events we've just seen can affect the 2007 Ben in a positive way - either by triggering a memmory of those events or by offering some sort of redemption.

My guess is that 2007 Ben might begin to change (and that's why I think they showed adult Ben waking up right after they showed young Ben being taken into the Temple to be healed).

Matthew said...

I agree with all. This episode was kind of a toss out. I noticed the "moving bullet wound" right away, since Sayid initially appeared to shoot lil' Ben right in the heart.
The one thing I did enjoy, which they are keeping relatively consistent, is that Hurley represents the viewers apprehension of concepts. He always states the questions that WE are asking, like WTF is up with all this time jumping? And last week, he called out Juliet and Sawyer's relationship.
One last thing. Locke looked AWESOME! Kind of like a creepy looking Saint of some kind. Plus, it's always great to see Ben with fear in his eyes!

Venessa said...

Wasnt the temple Ben was brought into the Black Rock? No one else mentioned so maybe I am wrong.

falcon said...

As others have noted, I grow ever more frustrated that the time skipping group doesn't just sit down with the Ajira crashing group (out of sight from Phil) and debrief each other on what they've been up to for 3 years - who knows, maybe they'd learn something useful!

Also, has there ever been much discussion of the submarine on this blog? It seems to be conveniently available or unavailable, depending on which advances the plot more easily. Where does it sail from? Is it really that easy to operate a submarine in international waters with no one noticing? And I don't think Ann Arbor has a port!!

jack said...

Kris-C.....thanks for clearing that up. I forgot that Juliete was the impetus behind the decision to bring young Ben to the Others. however, I still find a bit implausible (if the idea of "plausability" is even relative on LOST?!!!) that Sawyer/Kate would believe so easily that the Others can redeem him.

Dirty have some terrific insights in your post that needs further reflection and contemplation.

Hobbes said...

No real big surprises, mostly just loose-end and plot-hole fillers.

Although from the Namaste Instant reactions:
jon. said...
Hobbes: Well unless the Lost writers later add some factor that makes young Ben forget then I think that the older Ben should remember Sayid from the 70's.

Well Jon, I guess that answers that question, lol. ;p

And your right Brian, it's hard not to mention next week but I can't wait. Ben broke "the rules" by doing you know what to you know who. While "judgment" may mean his end, I like Dave Harty's suggestion, possibly his redemption. Aside from all of that, I have been waiting for the moral code of conduct for the Others to be revealed. Is it some form of Temporal Prime Directive? Or more like a non-aggression pact between Others (ie, Widmore and Ben)? In relation to this episode, is a consequence of becoming Enlightened naturally result in the loss of "innocence" (as Alpert put it)?

VictorC said...

The episode was good, it felt a bit like a letdown to me but that was probably because of the hype.

NEXT episode however... oh man... I'm exercising some restraint in not talking about it yet. I feel your pain Hobbes! lol

Dave Harty said...

Does anyone think that, while opperating on Ben's back, Jack might have seen some evidence of a gun shot wound 30 years earlier? As you say Brian, I'm no doctor, but would there be some sort of scarring that Jack might have noticed?

Hobbes said...

ha thanks Vic, I think we've all been waiting for a Ben flashback forever; the longest week of my coming up.
Dave - I've noticed (but could be wrong) that since Locke's resurrection his eye scar is gone. So perhaps lil'Ben went a similer healing that will leave no scars. Chances are though, they won't touch on that mystery.

orangejack said...

Loved Hurley's convo with Miles. Hurley has been "our guy" on the island for a while now. He always says what the audience is thinking. He's our constant!

jack said...

anyone have any thoughts on why Kate answered NO to Mr Linus (Ben's dad) when he asked her if she had kids?

orangejack said...

@jack - Kate denied having a kid because that was part of the cover of being back on the island. If she has a kid, where is he? She doesn't have him with her, and she wouldn't leave him before joining Dharma, right? At least that's the thinking, I'm sure.

jack said...

OrangeJack....I get what you are saying but not sure i buy it. Kate was talking to Ben's dad, in an emotional moment, and denied to him in having a kid.

I took it to possibly mean that she has reconciled the fact that Aron was never her child and is not now. I didn't take it, in the context portrayed in that scene, that Kate was being anything other than simply candid and honest.

Just a quick side note btw....notice how the women in the supermarket that found Aron when he and Kate seperated appeared from the back identical to Claire? Strong symbolism there....any thoughts?

Steve said...

Quick thoughts(a day late)

Hmmm.. take Ben to the Temple, and he forgets... he becomes one of them. Kind of like CFL's shipmates.... what SHE defined as the Sickness.

Almost makes me think that the "others" are not good. Or at least this conversion process doesn't necessarily make good people. Look at CFL's people and Ben. Now look at Juliet and Locke. I don't think Juliet was ever converted at the temple.
Any why? Ben had the power to make her not want to leave?

This could also be the reason why Juliet skipped in time while the 'others' apparently didn't.

And now, I must say that I was wrong about my whole Ben theory. I Thought I had it nailed, that he was so calm as he knew these people would be at the island in 1977 so he knew he was safe. But that would have suggested that he recognized Sayid.

Well, in my theory, he COULD have. Why would he tell Sayid that he shot him in 1977? I feel there is a sort of Destiny involved and that Ben(or CFL) might not show recognition for the same rason Locke didn't visit himself or Sawyer didn't talk to kate.

But back to my point, if Ben 'forgets' then there goes Ben theory, and the destiny theory as well(at least, in how I explain the characters fate in the show).

Personally the "ben doesn't remember" is pretty weak stuff. It's not quite as bad as the 'it's all a dream' excuse, but it's really not far from it either. Come on.. let there be something bigger... or at least a better way of explaining.

Steve said...

Did anyone notice that the temple was a little more overgrown in 1977 than it was for CFL in 1988?

Steve said...

Was it just me, or did the temple scene give anyone else a land of the lost feeling? The door opening was sort of cheesey(I don't say that about lost.. ever)... but I half expected Enik the Sleestack to be in that room.

Hmmm.. I had never thought of that show in relation to Lost. But as a kid, I was into that show for the mythology. Time portal, mysterious 'pylons' on the island that could manipulate things on the island. A lost city of an ancient culture. A quest to get back home.

OK. back to lost discussions now.

Can't wait to see Ben be 'judged' next week! (does this clear me for the blasphemy I posted above?)

Hobbes said...

Steve said...
Did anyone notice that the temple was a little more overgrown in 1977 than it was for CFL in 1988?

Two different places I believe. I recall D&L mentioning something to the effect that the place smokey inhabits is more of an outer wall perimeter and that the "temple" is actually further in.
Now it could totally be that in the previews for next week, what we see is not the temple and where Richard took Ben IS the same place that CFL lost her crew, which would make you absolutely correct (I did notice the overgrowth compared to the CFL event but chalked it up to it actually being separate places).

Good call on Juliet though Steve, I like that theory. Plus she has the "mark" and it makes sense with Locke too. I wonder what would have happened to him if Jack had let smokey drag him down the hole. Would have he turned out more like CFL's crew?

VictorC said...

Steve, your theory on Ben could still be accurate.

When Alpert told Kate that Ben won't remember this, I didn't take it to mean that Ben would forget everything that had happened to him prior to that point.
I took it to mean that he simply would not remember what Alpert was about to do to him, that he wouldn't know why he was all of a sudden changed.

Plus, if you look at CFL's crew, they did't forget CFL after Smokey took them, her husband still remembered being her husband and still remembered her.

Hobbes, comparing episode screen shots, it looked to be the exact same place CFL and Jin were next to (also, look here It simply looked like it finally had received some maintenance during young CFL's time.

VictorC said...

One reason the temple may have been covered with trees could be because the producers didn't want to make the set look younger, as it looked considerably old in the 80's, when Jin time traveled to it, lol.

jack said...

I never thought about it but Richard explaining how Ben would be "changed" and will "lose his innocence" is really key to help make more plausible how and why Ben could possibly become a ruthless killer starting with the purge. Nothing else may have really bridge this gap between sweet, yet unhappy young boy to a Monster who can "justify any means to achieve his ends".

MelloMoose said...

Maybe the temple is like the Micmac burial ground from Pet Sematary -- it heals you, but you come back off. Not as extreme as the zombie-demons from the Stephen King book, but you return with new allegiances (to the Island? The Others? Jacob?). Also, it might compel you to convince other people to use it. Juliet had some internal thing going on before she told Kate to take Ben to Richard -- was she Jud to Kate's Louis Creed?

Another thought... Maybe it's this change that caused the Others' issues with pregnancy. If Smokey's worked them over with his mojo, there might be a conflict with the baby being an innocent and the mother being whatever she's become?

Steve said...

Hobbes! Wow, I completely forgot about the MARK! Thanks. But I don't see how a Mark would affect the time jumping.

One of Carlton and Damon's joke list of names for the big season finale final scene(last year was Frozen Donkey Wheel). One was 'The Zeigarnik' or some such. This is a principle about short term memory, states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed ones.

But also:

To confuse people, give them lots of things to remember by starting to talk about something and then, before completing it, start some other story. After four or five of these initiations, they will be so busy trying to remember the starts of the stories they will put less attention into countering the arguments and ideas you are putting forward.

I thought this was a fun little poke at all the storylines in lost that we've long forgotten.. such as Juliets Mark.

Other cool names were "fork in the outlet", "The droids your looking for", "the fifth toe", "the spanish inquisition"(no one expects it!), and "THE JOOP"(which, if you remember, was the 100 year old orangatuang from the first lost experience game)

It's my understanding that ABC is not permitting such a code name this year.

Steve said...


"Maybe the temple is like the Micmac burial ground from Pet Sematary -- it heals you, but you come back off."

Hmmm... maybe there will be a ZOMBIE season after all! Or at least a spinoff... Other Zombies from the Lost Temple.

(If you've ever listened to Carlton and Damon in the podcasts, this is a running joke along with playing banjo's, Carnivore(Werewolf crime fighter in computerized talking car),not wearing pants, and "Ezra James Sharkington")

jack said...

In the previews for next week, Ben says he is back to the Island to be "judged". Could this mean Smokey??????

Anonymous said...

A few things:

First, I am almost shocked at how many people still think that the "Whatever happened, happened" things doesn't apply. Believe me, the writers are beating us over the head with this for a reason ... because it's true. There's not going to be some alternate future.

Second, next week's episode description mentions Smokey ... nice.

Sarah said...

I am a long time reader, never posted before, but I LOVE this blog! Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has thoughts on why, when asked about Aaron, she is so vehemently adamant that noone "ever talks about that"...when it seems like she has left him in capable hands. I guess she could just be emotional, but it seemed a little melodramatic for what really happened.

Oh Sheila said...

i do not post much but I am a big follower of this site, not just because I am a huge LOST junkie and this site is the best LOST evaluation and commentary, but also I am originally from Dayton OH area and love the references to Cinci and the Dayton Flyers. Thanks Brian!

Anyway, I think Hobbes mentioned Juliet’s MARK. I wonder if this will ever come up in the future if it one of The Others sees it and recognizes that as one of their MARKS.

Also I counted the number of Others that had their guns pointed at Kate and Sawyer (7) and the number of others who were there when Richard popped up (7). Without advanced communication systems and no one leaving the group how did Richard know they were looking for him? Telepathic?Sawyer seemed as surprised as I was.

Will we find out all of The Others powers sometime beyond healing and resurrection --that we know already?

Also, when Ben goes to be judged at the temple, that "was the last safe place on the island" he told his few remaining followers to stay put. I wonder if he will encounter Richard and the ‘taily’ flight attendant from season 2/3 and the ‘taily’ children in season 2 that were abducted by The Others and living in the colony with The Others in a brainwashed state saying that this was a good way of life? They have not really shown them or referenced them much, just like Rose and Bernard. thoughts....

jon. said...

Kate losing Aron in the supermarket in the end helped her come to the decision to leave Aaron to his grandmother and to return to the island to look for Claire.

That scene might have an additional function though. Many have said that the woman holding Aaron's hand looks like a bit like Claire. But I'm thinking that it looks much more like Jill with a whig and a lot of makeup!

She was apparently played by a different actor than the one playing the Jill character, so it will probably not turn out to be Jill in disguise though. Using different actors COULD be a clever way to hide that connection for now of course. But I doubt it. Still, the facial similarity is there.

jack said...

Jon....I think it is a stretch to think that the women who found Aron was Jill. IMO, I thought it was very obvious that the writers wanted us to think it was Claire...from behind.

Mrs. McGoo said...

LOVED the quick inserted reference to The Office when you were describing Eloise! Very nice.