Sunday, November 06, 2005

Lost - "Abandoned"

(I’m back! In my absence, I know there were rumors of me being eaten by a gator in Florida, having my computer shut down by the Feds, or finally getting a social life and quitting the Blog business, but I can assure you none of them are true! The truth of the matter is, I didn’t have the Internet in Florida three weeks ago (when “…and Found” aired), and by the time I got back a week later, I really didn’t have anything to write about – more on that later. Rest assured, as we enter sweeps, there’s more to write about than ever. So let it be written, so let it be done…)

Episode Title: “Abandoned”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Well, this is a Shannon episode (the last Shannon episode ever?! More on that later), so the obvious deeper meaning is how she has been abandoned in life by pretty much everyone. Let’s review…

In “Pilot, Part II”, we learned that Boone and Shannon were step-brother and sister. Shannon’s dad married Boone’s mom when they were children. So right off the bat, something happened to Shannon’s birth mother, but she died very early. Abandoned once.

In “Hearts and Minds”, we learned that Boone’s mother screwed over Shannon when her father died, giving the Wedding Planning Business to Boone. Now Shannon has no mother or father. Abandoned twice.

In “Do No Harm”, Shannon found that Boone had died, leaving her alone on the island. No family left. Abandoned thrice.

The only real connection she has to anyone else on the island is to Sayid, and he’s kinda been breaking ties with her, now that he thinks she’s crazy for seeing Ghost Walt. No real friends left. Abandoned four times (fource?).

Add it up and we see that Shannon is now an island in the world (pun intended). She has no real connections to anyone or anything, and is now being tormented (it seems) by visions of Ghost Walt. When you have no one to ground you, relate to you, or love you, you’ve got nothing to live for. This makes Shannon a great candidate for murdering someone or getting herself killed (much more on this later).

Whatever happens, it’s going to be because she has been abandoned.

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TV Guide Description: Sawyer's wound becomes life-threatening as he, Michael and Jin make their way through the interior of the island with the tail section survivors. Meanwhile, Shannon is once again haunted by visions of Walt, and Charlie becomes jealous of Locke's interest in Claire.

TV Guide Breakdown: In your face, nurses and doctors who read the Blog! I’ve heard numerous comments from people in the know about medicine who say “Sawyer’s wound would totally be infected”. Looks like they’re keeping it realistic on Lost! Does this mean that Sawyer is the one who dies? How can they possibly treat it? I don’t think the Tailers can, so all the sudden the rush to get to the rest of the Survivors becomes more important. They’re going to need Jack and his bag o’ medicine to keep Sawyer from getting Boone’d. (Can I make that a valid expression?)

We can also infer that Michael has “abandoned” his search for Walt on his own, and has now accepted that he can’t find Walt by wandering around the jungle by himself. Also, if they’re going through the interior of the Island, are they going to come across the Black Rock? The Island’s “Security System”? The “Dark Territory” full of Others? There’s a lot of potential for them to encounter some serious obstacles, but something tells me that they’ll make it the remainder of the way without much trouble.

It also looks like Ghost Walt is going to be visiting Shannon again. Will he be talking backwards, telling her again about the dangers of pressing the button? Will he be warning her of some new danger? Why does he only appear to Shannon? Is it just in Shannon’s head? Lots of questions.

My professional opinion is that Walt is somehow channeling his “knowledge” – aka his ability to see things before they happen in his mind’s eye – in hopes of protecting the other Survivors. Why Shannon? If you remember, he gave Shannon his dog Vincent prior to hopping on the Raft, a symbolic passing of power. You’ll notice that the first time Shannon saw Walt, Vincent basically led her to a particular place in the jungle where she saw him. Look for that to happen again.

Or… is the power really lying in Vincent all along? Sully, here’s your obligatory “Dog is God backwards!” theory. Did Walt ever really have any power? Or did Vincent have it?

What is Locke’s interest in Claire? My bet is it’s actually an interest in Aaron. Locke knows there is something special about children on this Island, and now that Walt is no longer there, he’s going to start monitoring Aaron for signs of mysterious powers.

Previously on Lost…

Michael breaks away from the group to find Walt. Jin convinces Mr. Eko that they need to go find him, while the rest of the Tailers continue their march towards the Survivors’ base camp. We get a brief glimpse of the Others walking by, and eventually the three meet in the jungle and convince Michael to return to the group on their march.

Sun loses her wedding ring only to find it buried with the bottle of letters. We learn that she met Jin after giving up on an arranged marriage, thus adding to the “…and Found” theme of the episode.

It was the weakest episode of Lost yet. I was actually very disappointed in last week’s episode. That’s right, I don’t just blindly think that anything Lost does is fantastic, I’m actually still watching and judging each week. Thinking back to Season One, there were a few episodes that I kept referring to as “spinning their wheels, waiting for something to happen.” Well, between Hurley’s episode (which I actually enjoyed, but nothing really happened) and this Sun / Jin episode (It was a nice enough love story, but it really didn’t move any stories forward), I’d term them as “wheel spinners”. It’s frustrating, but now that we’re in Sweeps, those days should be behind us until 2006. We should see four knock your socks off episodes, starting with this week.

Others. They do exist!

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They’re barefoot and they move with stealth through the jungle! Per Mr. Eko, you can’t find them, but they can find you. Their clothes look ragged, there were both males and females, and there appeared to be only about four or five in this particular group. Is this the sum of the Others, or are they just a part? I’m thinking there has to be more of them, and they’re maybe living in separate “clans” on the Island.

Teddy Bear. So how creepy is this picture?

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Three schools of thought on this:

1. The teddy bear is being taken to Walt. This would mean Walt is now a captive of the Others. Maybe they’re bringing him a “toy” in hopes of calming him down. But this would mean that the people on the boat were part of the Others, which I don’t really buy – I still think they are Scientists – or that the Others somehow stole him from the Scientists. Also, if the Others are as savage as they’ve been made out to be (see exhibit A below)

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why would they care about comforting Walt with a Teddy Bear? Therefore, this is a stupid theory…

2. Or… it could simply signify that the Scientists were doing experiments on kids many years ago as part of the Dharma Initiative… and that’s what the “Others” are – an experiment gone terribly wrong. Think about it, if you were a kid, and were being experimented on, then broke away, you would totally go “Lord of the Flies” on the Island, because you would have no sense of how to function and survive – those skills are obviously learned in college through drunken nights and countless hours of movie watching.

3. Or… the teddy bear was Alex’s as a child, and the now grown Other keeps it as a memento of her past. This is a pretty strong theory, since Alex was stolen away as a baby, and would likely have some sort of stuffed animal toy.

Brian’s Official Stance: Alex is now an Other. This is going to prove critical, as I could foresee some future episode where we have to rely on CFL reconnecting with her daughter in order to save the Survivors from an Others attack.

Nigerian. Were you lost when I referenced “Mr. Eko” earlier? Well, he’s this guy:

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But who is Mr. Eko? I really don’t buy that he was one of the Tailers. I don’t remember seeing him on the flashbacks to the plane, and he just seems… different. He’s too strong, and doesn’t seem as shell shocked as the rest of the Tailers. Also, remember this summer when he was cast and his description was as “a Nigerian”? I still can’t shake this feeling that he was a part of the smaller plane that crashed with Nigerian drug smugglers, and has been living on the Island as a rogue Others killer all these years… but that still doesn’t explain how his co-smugglers could already be skeletons when he still seems pretty young. Is there some sort of time warp going on? I don’t know, but he intrigues me very much.

Found. The “deepest” part of the last episode was a minor little scene between Locke and Sun…

SUN: I don't think I have ever seen you angry.
LOCKE [laughing]: Oh, I used to get angry all the time. Frustrated too.
SUN: You are not frustrated anymore?
LOCKE: I'm not lost anymore.
SUN: How did you do that?
LOCKE: Same way anything lost gets found -- I stopped looking.
Think about that for a minute. It’s so true.

Locke spent his whole life looking for some sort of meaning and purpose to his life. Growing up as an orphan, first he tried unsuccessfully to rekindle a relationship with his father. Then he failed to maintain a relationship with a lady friend due to his festering obsession with his estranged dad. He was working in a dead end box factory job, but he still had a shred of hope - he was working towards going on a walkabout, where he could reconnect with nature and turn his life around. Unfortunately, due to his handicap, he’s denied the opportunity.

At his lowest point, where he’s at absolute rock bottom, we could assume that he’s pretty much “given up” attaining any of the things he’s wanted in life. Then Flight 815 crashes. He is now able to walk, one with nature, and a person that is respected – everything he was always looking for.

In a way, almost every one of the Survivors was lost… but has found exactly what they wanted on the Island, whether they know it or not. I won’t re-hash it again, but think about how Kate got her fresh start, Michael got all the time he could dream of with his son, Jin got out of the mafia, etc. These “wishes” were all granted when they were at their lowest points, brought about by the plane crash.

(Also, I’m willing to bet this will be the same way that Walt is found. Once they abandon hope of finding him, once the group can convince Michael that he’s dead or that they can’t take on the Others to rescue him, that’s precisely when he’ll turn up.)

Death. I hate ABC and their promos. I really cannot believe the creators of the show permit ABC to run commercials saying “One of the following characters will die.” Are you kidding me? This should come as a huge surprise, not as something everyone is expecting and then nonchalantly says “Oh, so that’s who died. Neat”. No! It should be a jaw-dropping event, like “I can’t believe they killed him / her!” Want to see a perfect example of how to kill a main character on a TV show? Check 24’s Season One Finale. Out of nowhere, shocking, and powerful. Want an even better example? Check Buffy’s Season Five Finale. Unbelievably good and sad. Honestly, after that episode aired, a friend called me hysterical about the death. I would love if Lost was the same way. Unfortunately, ABC probably is more concerned with ratings than storytelling, and a way to artificially drive up ratings is to promise something drastic is going to happen. Sigh.

I’ll get off my soapbox. Since we know it’s coming, let’s check out the top five candidates to bite the big one this week…


Why? The episode centers around her, so it would make sense. She has little to contribute and has very few connections to anyone else on the Island. Also, given the Walt visions she’s now having, she’s likely going to go crazy. What if she committed suicide, as she couldn’t handle the visions anymore? That would be a twist… Finally, there isn’t much of her backstory that’s a mystery anymore.

But - Maggie Grace (Shannon’s for real name) just bought a house in Hawaii. And if she dies, who is going to see the Walt visions? Who would take care of Vincent? Who would provide eye candy by prancing around the Island in bikinis? Plus, can you kill both a brother and a sister?


Why? He’s got an infected gunshot wound, and he’s wandering around through the jungle. In addition, Ana-Lucia has already threatened to kill him. Plus, we have a plethora of males on the island, and a dearth of females, so a male dying would make more sense.

But – he’s so dreamy! They couldn’t kill him and lose all the female viewers who just watch to see him! Also, there are still a ton of unanswered questions about his past.


Why? It would be absolutely heartbreaking to deny the viewers a Sun / Jin reunion, which would make good TV drama. Like Shannon, there isn’t much of her backstory that is a mystery.

But – she serves as a “nurse” to Jack’s doctor. Who would tend to the herbs and vegetables that she planted in her garden? Let’s be honest, deep down, we’re all high school girls who can’t wait to squeal in joy as she and Jin reunite and warmly embrace.


Why? Killing her would give Charlie’s story a needed boost as he’s left to care for Aaron, fighting to keep Aaron away from Locke’s influence. Again, what else do we need to find out about her past?

But – could they kill the only Australian on the show? I’m assuming she’s breast feeding Aaron, and Charlie couldn’t take care of that. Plus, if she doesn’t raise Aaron, he’ll turn out evil – remember what the psychic said!


Why? We don’t care about her enough to count her death as a true loss, so killing her would keep all our favorites safe. She’s marching through the jungle ripe with Others and the Monster. She has a pugnacious attitude that could get her into trouble.

But – we barely know her. There is a rumored Ana flashback episode coming up. It would be a cheat out of the promise to “kill a major character”.

Official Pick: Shannon.

Killers. So someone is going to die – but who’s going to kill them? As much resonance as the death will have on the show, who kills him / her will have even more resonance, because that character will be forever changed on the show. Here are my best guesses:

Shannon. Just because it would be great if that “suicide” theory I came up with out of nowhere came true. Also, it keeps everyone else on the show as a “good guy”.

Ana-Lucia. She’s a fighter, like Christina Aguilera. She has a gun, and doesn’t seem like the type of person who would get along well with other females, especially the pretty rich type.

Locke. He could be killing to keep a secret that Ghost Walt is trying to spill. We still don’t know his master plan or what he’s willing to do to keep it in motion. He indirectly killed Boone.

Sayid. He's the closest to Shannon of all the remaining people on the Island, and he was right with her after she saw Ghost Walt last time. If she starts going crazy after seeing Ghost Walt again, it might be on Sayid to take her out to protect everyone else.

Kate. We know she has a sketchy past, but she’s always been a good guy in our eyes. This could totally throw her character in a new, very interesting direction. Plus she’s already killed all men a little bit by dating a freakin’ hobbit in real life, might as well kill someone on the show too.

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(I hate you Dominic Monaghan, I hate you!)

Jack. Jack’s been awfully clean on this show, relatively speaking compared to the other Suvivors. How great would it be for him to suddenly become a killer, to give him some more depth and layers as a character?

An Other. Maybe Vincent leads her a little too far into the Jungle and she is killed by an Other? Or would this make Vincent the killer? Or Walt?

Nature. Who says it has to be a person? In the wild jungle on the Island, it’s much more likely that you’ll fall to the cruel hands of nature than anything else. We’ve already seen rockslides, freak rain storms, and the Island is full of high cliffs and things. What if a vision leads her off a cliff?

Official Pick: Sayid.

Lastly, I can’t wait until it comes as some big shock that the person who died in the car crash during Jack’s flashback turns out to be Shannon’s dad. Come on people, read the Blog – we went over that many weeks ago in great detail J

It’s pretty doubtful that Jack remembers the name of the person who died while he was working on Sarah, and since Shannon wasn’t there, I don’t think the two of them will ever realize their connection – but we as viewers will, and we’ll have another example of how everyone on the Island is somehow connected to each other in their former lives…


Lex Friedman said...

Great analysis! I wouldn't be surprised if some of the "Others" whose legs we've seen turn out to be captured / "turned" children from the flight.

Lost Blog

W Riley said...

You're way off - the hobit's going to die protecting Claire/Aaron. Nature or an other will be the cause of his demise.

Brian said...

Dominic Monaghan made some comment on the Season One DVD commentary about "I always feel pretty safe on the show, like they won't kill me off - due to the Lord of the Rings movies, I helped the show draw a large audience in foreign countries."

Which makes him sound pretty untouchable. However, given that the show is now in its second year, I think the fanbase is built in, and they can kill at will.

We already had the "fake Charlie death" by Ethan last season, so I don't think they go back to that. Plus, with him hitting the H again, there's all sorts of cool storylines they can do.

The Hobbit lives.

Brian said...

I just had another thought - what if Claire dies? Then Aaron would be "Abandoned", like the episode title!

What if Locke kills Claire to get Aaron to turn evil?!

Just a thought...

Jenn said...

I just have to add that I don't think any flight 815 passengers will be killing off any other passengers. There are just way too many other bad things/people around on the island to give that job to. I totally vote for Claire to die, too. But her past DOES have some really good stuff in it, unlike Sun and Jin, who seem pretty basic other than the whole mafia just makes Wed. that much more exciting.

bengalsfan said...

I agree that they shouldn't be telling us people will die. I think they have the fan base they need and it would be awesome for TV just to have a main character die without early notification. That said, The best characters to see die to cause additional craziness on the island would be Jack or Claire. Claire's would cause great issues with her baby and Jack needs to be something other than the hero. It is like the WWF when something gets old, just change them from a good guy to a bad guy. They have done it with Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, Honky Tonk Man and now Jack. That is what you do.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Also, some theories from today's issue...
1.) It's the number of stiches on a major-lague baseball. (This ties into the Yankees' reitred-humber theories also).
2.) It's a sacred number in Buddhism; a prayer strand traditionally has 108 beads.
3.) It's approximately the number of minutes some satellites take to circle earth.

stinkowoman said...

Add another vote for Claire. The prophecy line about someone else raising the child is just too delicious not to pursue. I also agree that ABC should shut up. Good analysis! I'm sorry to hear about your Lily loss, but the hobbit is kinda cute...

Brian said...

stinkowoman - It's okay, I did find a Kate of my own, so I'm happy...

However, this further solidifies my theory of "upchicking", that being that in the history of man there are no examples of a more attractive male going out with a less attractive female.

I challenge you to try and think of one.

Evangeline and Domanick are an example of a HUGE upchick for him, so I suppose I should congratulate him on his work.

stinkowoman said...

Brian, no, that's not true... my hot exboyfriend married one ugly woman. :)

Rebecca said...

Your LOST blog is the best on the web. I truly enjoyed reading through them. Please contine to post for people like me who love LOST but have no imagination (ha). Thanks again. RIPIZZO

Anonymous said...

i love lost! and your theories are alright... you need to pay more attention! some of your stuff is wrong! everything was alright until you said you hate Dom! HE ISN'T A HOBIT PEOPLE! FREAK! NO ONE CALLS ORLANDO BLOOM AN ELF SO WHY CALL DOM A HOBIT! have you ever met him? has he done something to get back at you? or are you just blaming him because you couldn't get Evangiline if you tryed? HONESTLY IF YOUR GOING TO WRITE THEORIES THEN WRITE THEM, DON'T DRAG YOUR STUPID REASONS FOR HATEING GOOD PEOPLE GET IN THE WAY! it's people like you that have made me stop reading and comparing theories. if you dont want someone to rag on you then don't say you hate someone and then back it up with a stupid reason.