Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lost - "I Do" (Fall Finale!!!)

(This is it. The last episode of Lost until next year - February 7, 2007, to be exact. That’s a whopping ninety-one days without any sort of fix for our Lost addiction. So what does that mean? It means this better be good. They’ve pitched this six episode “mini-season” as a full story arc, so I’m expecting an episode of Season Finale proportions!)

Episode Title: “I Do”

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: When you see a title like “I Do”; the first thing that logically comes to most people’s minds is weddings. I know we have the whole “Kate-Sawyer-Jack” love triangle on the Island, but I really don’t see that ending with marriage in any way this week, so I think we can rule out any wedding action on the Island. However, this is a Kate-centric episode, so it’s not out of the question that we might see some sort of Kate wedding flashback. Although she definitely seems single now (yes!), given her sketchy past on the run from the law, a prior marriage would fit her character – especially if it temporarily gave her some shelter and protection.

But if weddings are ruled out, where’s the connection of the episode title to the action that’s actually taking place on the Island? Well, I think you can point to two things:

  • Kate choosing Sawyer over Jack. (Jack: “Do you love him?”, Kate: “I do.”)
  • Jack making his decision regarding helping the Others. (Juliet: “Will you help us?”, Jack: “I will.” – okay so that’s not “I do”, but it’s an affirmative, so that’s close enough right?)

Anyone who has paid close attention to the preview for this episode saw the hot Kate on Sawyer clothes-stripping, baby-making action inside the cage. If that doesn’t signify her “choice”, I don’t know what does. The funny thing is? Kate really made this decision a long time ago… and I think the Others knew it.

Remember “What Kate Did” last season? In it, Kate symbolically “picked” Sawyer over Jack (read my ramblings here: http://lost-and-gone-forever.blogspot.com/2006/01/lost-hunting-party-plus-what-kate-did.html ) , and there really hasn’t been any reason to think that she would have switched sides since then. Sure, Sawyer went a bit jerkface on her, but we all know that girls love bad boys. Deep down inside, he was still the one for her. The writers have tricked us into thinking that this “love triangle” still exists by isolating these three characters, but I really don’t think it’s existed for quite some time…

…and the Others know it. Why did they kidnap Jack, Kate, and Sawyer? Well, the obvious answer is that they needed Jack to perform a surgery. They needed Kate to talk Jack into doing it (because Jack still hearts her, even if she doesn’t heart him in return). They needed Sawyer to get Kate to convince Jack (because she hearts him, even if he doesn’t fully heart her in return). Thus, Sawyer becomes the punching bag. Putting his life in danger makes Kate do what the Others say, which in this case is to sweet talk Jack. It’s almost too easy (more on this later).

In the other potential title-deeper-meaning, we have Jack finally deciding if he sides with Juliet, sides with Ben, or sides with neither. There are all sorts of questions here about who is telling the truth, who to trust, and who are the “good guys” vs. the “bad guys”. If we’re truly looking at the conclusion of this mini-story arc, there are one of two logical conclusions: Jack sides with the Others, helps them out, and effectively betrays the rest of the Survivors (making the story arc “the turning of Jack”) or Jack goes against the Others, stages a breakout, and burns any friendly bridges he had with the Others (making the story arc “the beginning of the Others vs. the Survivors”).

I really have no inkling as to which was this storyline is going to go. I know we’ve been promised a shocking finale here, and what would be more shocking than Jack switching teams? However, he’s our resident hero, and him siding with the Others would seemingly go against everything he’s been doing for the previous five episodes (that being a complete jerk to them every chance he gets). Either way, I think it makes for a great setup for the spring season – and out of nowhere, Jack is quickly becoming one of the more intriguing characters on the show.

TV.com Description: Jack makes a decision regarding Ben's offer; Kate feels helpless when it looks like Pickett is going to make good on his threat to kill Sawyer; Locke discovers a hidden message that may help unlock the island's secrets.

TV.com Breakdown: It’s intriguing that the episode description words it “Ben’s offer” and not “Juliet’s offer”. I suppose they are somewhat one and the same – since the decision really comes down to performing the surgery on Ben or not performing the surgery on Ben – but there’s an added wrinkle. Even if Jack decides to perform the surgery, does he have a slip of the knife and take out Ben, his seeming arch-enemy for the past season? Or does he save him, hoping to earn favor with the mysterious Others that can be used for not only his, but the rest of the Survivors’ benefit? There’s a part of me that feels like this whole thing is a setup for Jack – that Ben doesn’t really have a tumor, and this is more of a test of Jack’s “goodness” (more on this later).

Meanwhile, it looks like the newly widowed Pickett has gotten the green light from Ben to take his frustrations out on Sawyer… or has he? This could just be a clever ruse by Ben to get Kate fearful that Sawyer’s life is truly in danger – which would make her more likely to try and convince Jack to do the surgery on Ben. Remember, Ben said something along the lines of “we’re not finished with (Sawyer) yet”. If Jack does perform the surgery, his usefulness would theoretically be gone, and then it might be open-season on Sawyer hunting.

Lastly, we have Locke discovering a hidden message that may “help unlock the Island’s secrets”. It sounds like an ABC commercial to me. Where does this message come from? Patchy via video monitor? Not likely, as it looked like he ended the transmission during last episode. Eko’s dying words? I don’t see that helping unlock any mystery. Is there something else inside the Pearl Hatch that we missed? Will they stumble across something on their journey back to the beach? Or – more likely - will they decide that it’s too dangerous to head back to the beach, and venture somewhere else on the Island, where they find this message?

I’m not sure. Frankly, I’m pretty excited to not have much idea what’s coming in this week’s episode, other than the intense preview and promise of greatness. It’s definitely not a predictable episode, which once again gives me that hope for greatness that I pray for each week!

Previously on Lost…

Speaking of greatness, the more I think about last week’s episode, the better I realize it was. Why? Think about how many fundamental questions about the very nature of the show that were raised, changed, or revealed last week. After watching last week’s episode, you were forced to go back and re-evaluate a large number of episodes over the past two seasons – and that’s saying something. It was exactly what this season needed – an important episode that gives the fanatics among us some new meat to chew on. If this week’s episode does the same, we’re going to have plenty to keep us busy over the next few months…

Eko. With Eko's death, we can consider his story "complete". Granted, there's always the chance he'll show up as a "vision" to Locke (which I think is actually a given), or in other characters' lashbacks (a la Libby - but I think it's less likely with Eko since he was in Africa most of the time... and a drug warlord. You don't usually run into them in coffee shops), but for all intents and purposes we can close the book on him and accurately review who he was.

In the end, the big shocker for me was that Eko was never a "changed man" in his pre-Island life. After his last flashback, I assumed that Yemi's death prompted him to turn his life around - to pick up Yemi's cross and live the life that he might have had, were it not for a fateful day as children where Eko picked up a gun and killed a man to save Yemi from doing so. But he didn't. After Yemi's death, Eko might have taken his position as a priest, but he was still the same Eko, dealing and stealing drugs and medicine for profit, standing up to anyone who challenged him, and not afraid to kill anyone who gets in his way. I don't doubt that Eko was a religious man all along, but he was a clearly survivor first. He didn't think twice about killing someone if it meant he would continue living.

However, something definitely changed when he crashed on the Island – he became more religious, feeling remorse for killing those two "innocent" Others that tried to abduct him the first night on the Island (thus the silent treatment for forty days). He became concerned with things like helping others on the Island get over their sins and did things like baptizing Aaron. Maybe he felt like he was given a second chance at life and was going to do some good this time around - but he wasn't full of agony and regret over the life he once lived... and that seems to have led to his demise. The closing shot of him walking with Yemi as kids summed it all up - that life was all that Eko ever wanted, and on his deathbed, he seems to have found the peace to return to that place and find peace.

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Which puts him in the same boat as Boone, Shannon, and Ana-Lucia. Each character found their peace, and then shortly thereafter died. The difference is that Boone, Shannon, and Ana-Lucia's death were each a direct result of the actions of another character on the Island. It wasn't the Island deciding that they had completed their journey and killing them, it was merely coincidence that each of them died (well, coincidence and storytelling heavy with symbolism). But Eko was different...

Smokey. Which brings us to Smokey, who we can now view in a totally different light. We always knew that Smokey was powerful, and assumed he was the one responsible for the death of the Pilot, grabbing Locke, etc. - but we've never seen this "personality" in him, taking form, showing logic, and seemingly passing judgment on Eko. So what the heck is this thing? It looks to be a living, breathing, morphing creature. I thought the Lost creators are on record saying that it's not Nanobots, but that's pretty much the only thing that makes sense at this point (if they intend to keep this rooted in science, as they claim). It would be easy to debate this aspect of Smokey for paragraphs and paragraphs, but there are far more interesting questions raised about him after this episode.

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For example, a more intriguing question revolves around the control of Smokey. Does Smokey have a brain? Is Smokey some experiment run amok? Is Smokey under the control of someone (like maybe the Others)? If I were a betting man, I'd say we're looking at a Frankenstein situation here where the Dharma Scientists somehow created Smokey for some specific purpose but lost control of him. Or perhaps they never intended to create him in the first place, he's just a product of some other experiment gone awry. Either way, I think Smokey is a product of science, and not some voodoo creature that has always resided on the Island - and if he's a product of science, I'm looking to Dharma as being his creator.

The most intriguing question is what is motivating Smokey's actions. Why did he spare Locke? Why did he spare Eko the first time he faced him? Why did he kill Eko this time? As crazy as it sounds, Smokey seems to have an agenda - he's not just some wild animal-esque killing machine that mangles anyone who enters his territory. Also, keep in mind that although the Others appear to be on Alcatraz right now, when Flight 815 crashed, they were living on the Main Island. If Smokey were just some crazy killing machine, this seems like a bad place to vacation, no matter how good of a deal they got on the timeshare. If the Others aren't afraid of Smokey, they must understand these motives, and be confident that they are safe from harm.

Think back to Eko's first encounter with Smokey last season. Smokey seemed to be sizing him up, coming face to face with him and "scanning him", picking up images from Eko's memory and learning about his past. Suddenly Eko is seeing visions of his dead brother Yemi, and being told to "repent". Is there a correlation there? If you follow the logic, it seems as though Smokey learned about Eko's past, gave him an opportunity to atone for his sins, and then, when Eko refused, tossed him around like a football on Thanksgiving.

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It's a little crazy, a little religious, and way, WAY out there - but it just seems to fit right in with the Others, doesn't it? All along, they've been very concerned with people being "good". They "saved" the Tailers that were "good" (whatever happened to them anyways?). Those left, including our Survivors, all have spotty pasts full of actions that could be considered "bad". Last week, Ben said he "wants Jack to want to save him", which makes it sound like he's more concerned with Jack finding his redemption (becoming a "good person" who "saves" his "enemy") than he is with getting his tumor removed.

What if Smokey is merely acting as the judge, jury, and executioner for the Others? Not a heartless one, but one that gives people a chance to right their wrongs before penalizing them. You know all those purgatory theories that were going around when the show started? Well even though our Survivors aren't actually dead and in a literal purgatory (as the show's creators have confirmed), but are instead in a pseudo-Island purgatory, where they are still being judged for their past sins and working on their redemption. If they succeed, and end up "good", they are welcomed into the Others' circle of trust, home of cheeseburgers, movies, and free tickets home. If they fail, Smokey kills them. It's harsh, but wacky religious cults always are!

I admit, this theory is WAY out there, but if you run some of our other unanswered questions through it, they give some pretty satisfactory answers. And, for a show that has always had a TON of good/bad, light/dark symbolism, wouldn't it be great that the biggest force on the show (Smokey, not Kate's hotness) was operating based on the same principles?

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We also have to assume (although if you think about it, we never REALLY saw this) that Smokey can take the form of different people and things - which brings up a whole new batch of questions...

Visions. So are we to assume that all the visions our Survivors have seen on the Island are attributed to Smokey? The Lost creators told us that we saw Smokey last season without knowing it, so I think this is the most logical assumption. Off the top of my head, here are the "visions" that people have had on the Island, and the result of having these visions:

  • Jack - His Dead Dad - Led Jack to water necessary for life, along with his father's coffin which helped bring closure with the symbolic "shattering of the coffin".
  • Kate and Sawyer - Black Horse (and a cherry tree) - Helped Kate realize she wasn't going crazy, and that she couldn't run away from her "dark side" or past, but needed instead to come to terms with it.
  • Locke - Dead Boone - Gave Locke a purpose on the Island (and in life), warned of Boone's impending death, put Locke on a path to save Eko from the polar bear.
  • Eko - Dead Yemi - Helped Eko (and Locke) find the Pearl Hatch, tried to get Eko to repent for his sins.
  • Boone - Shannon - Helped Boone get over his obsession with his sister.
  • Shannon and Sayid - Walt - Warned about the dangers of button-pushing.
  • Hurley - Dave - Tried to get Hurley to kill himself to "wake up" from the dream world he is allegedly in.
  • Charlie - Got Charlie punched in the face when he tried to save Aaron from a yet unknown danger.

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Is there a common thread there? Well, the three that don't quite fit with the rest are Charlie, Hurley, and Shannon and Sayid's visions. However, I think we have to throw each of these out the window anyways. Here's where it gets confusing, but I think there are multiple sources of the visions on the Island. For example, you could easily chalk Hurley's vision of Dave up to Hurley being crazy (in a non-like a fox way), since he was having visions of Dave pre-Island. You can probably chalk up Charlie's vision to numerous years of heavy drug use and church attendance. As for backwards-talking Walt? Heck, it's been documented that Walt had weird super powers - he probably had the ability to teleport himself or send visions of himself, or something weird anyways - so I'll eliminate that as well.

What we're left with are a number of visions that all resulted in something positive happening for the person having the vision. They all worked to help the person overcome some drama from their past and drop off some of the baggage they've been carrying around. Smokey might be responsible for two violent deaths on the Island, but he also might be legitimately trying to save people. Another fundamental theme of the show - redemption - ties in nicely here.

(Here's a question that I haven't had a chance to research, so I look to you, obsessive Lost Internet friends without jobs or families - have any of our Survivors had a "vision" without coming in close proximity with Smokey at some point prior? Jack, Kate, Charlie, Locke, and Eko all clearly did. It's a little fuzzy if Boone actually did, or if he was already in a drug trip due to Locke's peyote when he saw Smokey. But it could be that you need to encounter Smokey once for him to "scan you" and find out what you need saving from - before you start seeing the visions.)

Speaking of saving...

Ben. This week's episode seems all about the Benjamins (what). While there are a ton of questions surrounding the Others, who they are, and what they want – they all seem to be embodied in Ben. He’s their leader, he seemingly is the most deceptive of them all, and he seems to be the man with the master plan – which makes it all the more intriguing that he’s the one with the tumor (allegedly). Lots of stuff here…

First, why does Ben have a tumor at all? As many have asked, how could the Island have seemingly cured Locke’s paralysis and Rose’s cancer over the course of two months, but allowed Ben (a lifetime Island resident) to be near death due to a tumor. Something doesn’t add up.

For example, while Ben’s “God sent me a spinal surgeon from heaven” speech was nice, if he can truly come and go to the Island whenever he wants – why is this a big deal? As soon as he found out he had the cancer, he could have hopped on the slow boat back to civilization and gone to a real doctor, with state of the art facilities. It’s also in direct opposition to his “Even God can’t see this place” speech from last season. Fishy.

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But, for the sake of argument, let’s assume Ben truly does have a tumor that is aggressively growing. There are two possible explanations:

Remember what Isaac, the creepy Professor X looking guy in Australia told Rose and Bernard? Everyone responds differently to magnetic fields around the Earth. Just because one location heals one person, doesn’t mean it will heal everyone. Maybe, by unfortunate ironic luck, Ben is living on an Island that heals everyone else except for him. Bummer.

Perhaps the healing powers were tied to the unique magnetic properties of the Swan Hatch. Maybe due to their close proximity to the Hatch, Rose and Locke were healed – but due to Ben living far away from it (potentially even on another Island most of the time), it never affected him. If you’re looking for an explanation of why Ben allowed himself to get caught last season, this is it. Maybe it was a last ditch effort to try and soak in the effects of the magnetism by getting as close to it as possible – inside the Hatch.

But does Ben really have a tumor? While all signs indicate that he does (including his angry speech with Juliet last week, which seemed to be out of earshot of Jack), it wouldn’t be out of character for him to find out this is all just a ruse to try and see how willing Jack is to trust them.

Juliet. Speaking of trust, there was something very odd about Juliet’s video message to Jack last week. She told him that Ben is a liar, is dangerous, and that there is a faction of Others who want him gone (Yes! Rebel Dharmites! Finally!) – but here’s a question: if Ben is so close to dying from this spinal tumor, why do you need Jack to perform the surgery and then “accidentally” kill him? Why not just get Jack to refuse to perform the surgery and let Ben die naturally?

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If Ben truly has the tumor, the only thing I can think that would tie together the gaps in Ben’s story and the missing logic of Juliet’s story is this – Ben has the tumor, but it’s not progressing. The Island may not have prevented the cancer from coming, but it’s stopping the cancer from getting to a fatal state. Jack, used to “normal medical science” sees the X-Rays and assumes it is going to quickly grow to a fatal state. Little does he know that it isn’t getting any bigger – the Island is using its healing powers to keep it in check. Juliet truly is a Rebel Dharmite and wants Ben dead, so she’s telling Jack the truth. Ben is using this as a test to see if Jack is willing to help him (“the enemy”) out. The only question is, how far could Ben take this before knowing if Jack was on his side or not? Isn’t it an extremely dangerous position to put yourself in to determine the allegiance of someone?

If Ben is footloose and tumor-free, and the X-Rays are fake, this is all just a long con of Jack, put forth by BOTH Ben and Juliet to see which side Jack is really on. Perhaps they are curious if he would side with a “Rebel” (Juliet) or an “Other” (Ben). The problem is, if the Others didn’t want Jack because he was a surgeon, why did they want him? And Kate? And Sawyer? If Ben has the tumor, these answers all fall in line neatly. If Ben doesn’t, we’re no closer to having any answers than we were at the end of Season Two – and this six episode arc has gotten us nowhere.

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…and with that, I’m spent. For as crappy as this season started out, I’m legitimately pumped for this “Fall Finale”. The past two episodes have come strong and left me very satisfied (that’s what she said) – if this week’s episode is the same, I’ll look back fondly on this six-episode arc, and be giddy with excitement for the promise of seventeen nonstop episodes come February.

Questions? Comments? Hate-filled Diatribes? Leave them below!

(Footnote: per TV Guide, the decision for Eko to be killed was that of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, the actor who plays him. Apparently there were personal things going on in his life that made it hard for him to be in Hawaii, and the writers chose to accommodate his wishes to leave the show. So you can stop writing hate mail to the writers about “jumping the shark” and “killing Eko to make room for Paulo and Nikki”. It’s just a case of them putting someone’s real life ahead of a story. I think we should respect that.)


Anonymous said...

I wonder if Sayid and Shannon's vision of Walt telling them not to push the button means that for some reason Smokey didn't want the button pushed? Could the release of the magnetic field in the hatch have had some effect on Smokey's power so that Smokey wanted it destroyed? I haven't thought this through yet, but your post made me wonder ...

Brian said...

You know, I initially had a few paragraphs written about how Smokey's "goal" was to get Locke into the Hatch, to ensure that the button would continue to get pressed, and therefore the "protective shield" around the Island would remain up - which in turn would help protect Smokey from the outside world... but I couldn't get the facts to match up. There were too many loopholes and inconsistencies, so I deleted it all. But good thought!

Anonymous said...

Ok, I know this doesn't have a strong impact on the story lines at the moment...but why has NO ONE asked about Michael and Walt? Obviously our "love triangle trio" knows, but no one at the beach has said a word about them. Just kinda buggin me. Keep on rocking these posts in the free world Brian! WHO DEY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think Eko really wanted to sell the medicine. My understanding was that he spread the word he wanted to sell knowing that the militia guy would hear about it and come back to confront him. He didn't seem to want any of it when it arrived at the end (that was the "twist" of that episode - it baits you into thinking that he's still bad but all he wanted to for the village to keep the medicine)

I also quite liked the "Now you owe Yemi a church" speech and Eko deciding to pay his debt on the Island later on.

Eko moving to London? That can't be a coincidence - you can count on him appearing on a Charlie flashback down the road.

Finally - I'd put my money on the tumor thing being a long con. The "we had a intricate plan now it's ruined" speech Ben gave makes no sense in a storytelling perspective - why would writers do that? Jack knowing about the tumor was part of their plan, clearly. Now Jack has to choose, and they'll know if he can be trusted.

WDoG Winston P said...

Finally! I've been waiting all week for your analysis and thoughts, checking the blog religiously.

I can definitely see Ben's tumor being complete bull-crap. With all the deception that has gone on from the get go with the others this tumor thing seems fishy.

BUT, if it is a "ruse" then what the hell do they want J/K/S for? *ponder* I don't know.

Smokey - I'm "lost" (haha....) on this one. I can see him judging people and that he kills when people's stories are complete. I still can't figure out him though. I can see him as a Daharma project gone crazy. Cool though.

This half season finale better be good. Can not wait!

Great blog as always Brian

Anonymous said...

Persoanlly i think eko did become religous after his brother died, but they had to make him out as a bad guy to kill the character off

Anonymous said...

More and more it seems to me that the entire show is about two basic concepts:

POLARITY: In the second episode of season one Locke explains backgammon to Walt as "the oldest game in the world" between TWO SIDES: "one is light, one is dark".
On the island as well as in the flashbacks, several references have been made about being good or bad. Locke has been frequently been refereed to as a "good man" (undercover cop on the Marijuana farm, Ben to Locke in the hatch). Nathan (the guy locked up by Ana Lucia), on the other hand "was not a good person. That's why he wasn't on the list." (Goodwin).
Also Ben makes references to be "good", "no murderer" (the thing with the rabbit), etc.
Thus, all characters are tied between the poles good and bad, light and dark.

They get the chance to come to terms with their past, to start fresh on the island. Depending on how they behave, if they feel remorse for what they once did or for what they are responsible for on the island, they are sooner or later all judged - by smokey.

The second main concept of Lost, CHOICES, is the tricky part. Does a free will exist (Juliet), or is there a master plan (Ben holding everything together, Locke still believing in fate)? I believe that even the others are trying to live a good life in order not to be doomed by smokey. In fact, they are living in such a deep humility to the rules set to be good, that they have given up their free will and their right to choose and passed it on to their leader: Ben.
Juliet and her alleged comrades are tired of this, want to break free again. Now it is up to Jack to choose whom to trust and follow: Ben or Juliet.

Eko probably had the chance to get away by confessing an repenting his deeds. However, he chose not to, he even showed pride for what he did - and was doomed.
Concerning the "you are next" (Eko's last words): if this means that the time of the survivors is up and smokey has made its final judgment, I cannot help wonder why? Has there been a major sin collectively committed by the survivors? Maybe the blowup of the hatch?

Puuh, just some spontaneous thoughts after having watched the last episode...maybe some of them even make sense ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe the writters will explain Smokey as a Dharma experiment....I submit it will remain unexplained and a mystery of unknown origin of the Island. In other words, no plausible explanation that is "rooted in science" can or will be offered. How can it be?

Anonymous said...

We know Kate was married before. When her and Sawyer were playing 'I Never' back in season 1, he said I've never been married and she took a small sip saying that it 'didn't last very long'.

Anonymous said...

Why is no one talking about Ben's comments to Jack regarding Juliet - something along the lines of her resemblence to Jack's ex-wife?

In my opinion, this opens HUGE doors into the lives of the Others, what they do, what there motives are, etc.

Anonymous said...

I really must disagree with you regarding Eko's personality and goodness. You assume first that he continued dealing drugs following his brother's death, and I dont recall seeing him do so. The dealing in vaccines was to set up the perpetrators, and not for his own good or his own survival. He finished them off, as he did certain others, to protect the lives and well being. It wasnt for him, and I dont think he needs to confess for these things -- certain other things, like the drug dealing and what may have gone along with that sure.

Brian said...

Wow - I never got the impression that Eko's plan to sell medication was a setup for the other drug Lords, but that's a good option too - and would shift his "turnaround" back to Yemi's death instead of landing on the Island. Good thought. I guess the end result is the same, though. He was bad, he became good, he died.

Anonymous said...

excellent point about Ben's comment regarding Juliette looking like Jack's ex-wife. What do we think this means? Why did Ben say that? Was Ben implying that Juliette was aware of this resemblance and is using it to conn Jack? Very interesting and you are right in saying it needs further analysis here.....

Anonymous said...

Eko selling the medication to the drug lords was something that was unexplained and poorly edited or poorly written. However, I think it is very safe to assume that his purpose in doing this was not for personal gain but, as suggested above, to set up the bad guys. However, how would Ekko doing this accomplish that goal? Perhaps, by causing them to come after him justifying Eko to defend and kill them all. Again, poorly edited and/or written I'd say.

Anonymous said...

One of your best entries in a while, excellent points raised across the board.

The idea of the hallucinations of different characters being tied into one entity is very interesting, although as you point out, Hurley seeing Dave happened prior to the island. We still don't know the exact nature of what Walt could do, maybe that was Smokey, but that would have a large contradiction at this point: smokey didn't want the button to be pushed, but then becomes more aggressive after the hatch implodes?

It didn't seem to give the pilot an opportunity to repent, and it is strange that it would wait so long after initially "scanning" Eko to decided that he needed to repent or die. So that would leave you to believe that Smokey was allowing Eko to live so he could continue to push the button, and then punished him for failing. Ofcourse it would not have had that opportunity if Locke didn't save Eko from the polar bears.

More than likely it is tied into the research being done on the island and the others know how to avoid incurring its wrath. Unfortunately this seems like another case of bringing up 50 more questions before answering the basic ones (like how the hell did Locke/Desmond/Eko end up scattered from an implosion?)

SinkingDeeper said...

Yeah, I think Eko was setting up the drug lords as well...that is how I read his comment about "...only God can tell..." or whatever it was exactly. I read that to mean that although some of his individual actions were not "good," his final intent was based on bring about good.

Anonymous said...

About the hallucinations being linked to Smokey: (all of this is assuming that the Others or Darhma have control of Smokey)

The only time (that we know of) Hurley saw Dave prior to being on the island was when he was in the hospital. We also know that Libby was in the hospital with him. If Libby is linked to Darhma or the Others,like this blog has speculated before, and she was there to gather information about Hurley, who's to say she didn't bring Smokey along with her?

If Smokey has the ability to fly around, blow up airplanes, transform into people, and absolutely manhandle Eko, who was the biggest badass on the show; I'm pretty sure Smokey is also able to be packed up into a suitcase and be carried around the world.

melodrama said...

About Ben saying that he wants Jack to WANT to save him, I would feel the same way in that situation... if the doctor doesn't really WANT to save you, he may not try as hard, do a good job, etc. But if the doctor WANTS to save you, I would think you would feel more comfortable and optimistic about survival.

I say Ben has the tumor. One thing I've learned about the show is that a lot of times, when we predict something too complex, it's usually not true. Things are simpler than we sometimes think, it's just a matter of introducing some new info that we didn't have before that shows us how simple it is.

If Jack purposely killed Ben in the surgery, that would be too easy. And he would have that on his conscience, which would not be likely for this show since it seems like it's going to have an optimistic ending for the main characters. I say Jack performs the surgery to the best of his ability -- maybe Ben lives, maybe not -- and then the Rebel Dharmites are now worried that he'll spill their secret to Ben or his loyal Others. That would also put some tragedy/conflict in Jack/Juliet's relationship, which could last until the end of the show.

Also there's no way Sawyer's going to die. He hasn't had a chance to do his redeeming act yet, and my guess is that it's going to be related to killing the original "Sawyer" (which I think is Locke's dad... Sawyer's reason for being on the island is to meet Locke to get to him).

Good explanation of the Eko incident Brian, I fully agree. However I still just can't make sense of Smokey. I hope it's not too out there, as I'm trying to get my non-sci-fi-liking friends to watch LOST!

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that Kate is going to betray the losties. I think that Ben has given her a choice like he gave Jack and she has chosen to betray Sawyer and Jack

Anonymous said...

Re. anonymous 1:45pm: Smokey might be portable, but it seems unlikely that it was at the hospital, as no one else seemed to see Dave besides Hurley. Unless Smokey can be visible to one person and invisible to another, but that seems like a stretch...

Anonymous said...

I am willing to guarantee that Walt and Michael will be back on the island by the end of this season for a couple of reasons...my bet would be the season finale of the spring series.

For one Walt spent around twenty days with the others (Idk the exact number). He even said to Michael "They're not who they say they are." This kid knows more about the Others than any of the other Islanders are even close to knowing. One of the easiest ways for the producers to provide us with answers about the Others would be through a Walt flashback.

Also I didnt start reading this blog until this year so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not but on the season finale of last season right before Michael and Walt left, Ben said to Michael something along the lines of "We got way more than we bargained for with Walt." That to me is a HUGE statement. They obviously had some kind of breakhrough with whatever they are doing because of Walt. What did they do to Walt and what did they gain by doing it? I think the answer to these two questions would go a long way in providing answers about the Island and the Others.

Also we know that Michael will do anything for Walt. If Walt starts acting weird (not that he isn't already, the kid is a freak) because of what the Others did to him I guarantee Michael will turn the boat around and come back to the Island looking for answers.

One last thing, someone mentioned seeing Eko in a Charlie flashback. Walt also lived in London, I would be much more interested in seeing fake priest Eko dealing with freaky Walt rather than seeing another Charlie flashback.

Anonymous said...

hey....the executive producers, on the LOST blog already said that Walt and Michael will be back at some later date.

Anonymous said...

ooops, I meant LOST podcast

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Spoiler

Brian said...

Official Ruling: if it's on a Lost podcast (read: from the mouth of Lost creators), it's not a spoiler. I'll allow it. They're not going to give away anything too huge, and definitely not give away any details that would distract from viewing.

Anonymous said...

from the ABC LOST website........

Executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof take you into their world! Watch the first ever official Lost video podcast now, and get the jump on Season 3.

Brian said...

Ummmm - they've been doing video podcasts all season long, so there's actually like six of them on there. They are usually pretty light on info, and pretty heavy on sarcasm from Cuse and Lindelhof, but a good way to waste fifteen minutes of your day.

Anonymous said...

I posted about the To Kill a Mockingbird angle if you're interested. The link is here.

Brian said...

James - good stuff. I totally wanted to write about the symbolism of "To Kill a Mockingbird" for this episode, but ran out of time.

I think the obvious connection is that the theme of the book is saving an innocent man sentenced to die. The question is, on Lost, is this innocent man Ben or Sawyer?

One hour to go!

Dave Estupinan said...

hey just a quick thing about smokey and the visions. Remember when Sayid, Sawyer and I think even Ana Lucia and charlie heard some kind of whispery voices in the jungle? This happened when Sawyer was chasing the boar, when sayid found that cable in the beach before meeting Rosseau, and even in the season 2 finale when jack, kate, sawyer and hurley were near the pneumatic tube things right before they get shocked by electric tasers. I think you can even hear the name "elizabeth" being whispered. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

speaking about the scene when Juliette has Jack watching "To Kill a Mockingbird"....wouldn't Ben find it odd or curious or, worse yet, suspicious, that Juliette asks Jack to watch a movie while she is telling him what a good guy Ben is and how important it is for him to save him? What would be her motive to have him watch a movie while having this chat, so far as Ben may be concerned?

Hobbes said...

I disagree with the idea that Eko's had good intent when selling the vaccine (and is it a Hanso Foundation Vaccine?). After it all went down in the church and he slaughtered the gangsters. His talk with church lady went:

Eko:"I see you have your vaccine!"
She replies:"Do you expect me to be grateful? I know what you were planning to do!"

Which I think that Eko was planning to sell the vaccine for himself before he flew off to England on Yemi's ticket. And then he tried to cover it up with a well I got rid of the bad guys. But she basically throws that back in his face too. Nope! if Eko was a good guy as you suggest he should have stayed in the village to help protect them from the next group of thugs and to rebuild a church. But he didn't, he was only worried about himself. A tragic character, not a redeemed one.

I've been thinking that maybe smokey is part of an initiation process or test for one of the other "Other" factions (perhaps the Bad Guys;that is if Ben's group are the "Good Guys"). At the end Eko's declaration to Smokey-Yemi, it says to Eko "You speak to me like I am your brother" and then of course kills him. Maybe this has to do with the sickness Daneille spoke of? Maybe Eko was sick. Maybe all this was about was smokey's way of screening members for their side?

I agree with Melodrama, that Lost isn't as complex a show as we think. Let's take a few things a face value for tonight.
- Juliette allowed for Jack to see the Xrays.
- Juliette makes a point to Ben that it was Ben who confirmed to Jack that they were Ben's Xrays and not her.
- (this is where I suspect that Ben realizes something is up with Juliette)
- Ben decides to throw a wedge into Juliette's plans by letting Jack in on the plan to break him by creating "invested interests" for Jack and for the need for Jack to want to save Ben.
- Juliette counters that move with the whole to Kill a Mocking Bird scene to communicate incognito with Jack while under the watchful eye of Ben.

I don't think Ben would be really willing to put his life at risk by going under the knife just to see if Jack is a good guy. So I really doubt that this is a setup by Ben & Juliette working together to test Jack.
Lost has been building to a slow boil for a long time now and at the risk of pumping up tonight's show too much, things are about to get thermal.

All the Best.

As for Nikki & Paulo. They actually seem like us, as in the viewers. That's why they don't fit in with our survivors. They are playing their roles too well. When the hatches were first discovered, didn't we make as viewers make comments that if any of us had found those hatches that we would be exploring every floorboard for answers. Well let's be happy she finally made Locke realize how "stupid" he was being.
It's like when Locke was in charge of the hatch he didn't take the time to find things out like the detonation switch under the floors.

---Ok it's a weak but someone had to try to give them a yes vote.---

Anonymous said...

Sorry for not logging in...

Nice coment on Paulo and Nikki!

Ok, tonights episode was da' bomb!

Anonymous said...

Ok. That Season Finale has me wanting February 7th right now.

One of the biggest question I have is: Who is Jacob(s)?

Pickett said "Sheppard wasn't even on Jacob's list." I assume they are talking about the list of the four names that they gave to Michael: Jack, Hurley, Kate, James

Is Jacob the "HE" that Ben mentioned last season when he was in the hatch? Or am I just being stupid not seeing an obvious answer?

Anonymous said...

What a disapointment! Terrible episode, Terrible clifhanger.
Nothing happened until the final 5-10 minutes.

I'll tell you what.. I really don't care what happens to Kate, Jack or Sawyer at this point. You know what? I CAN wait until 2-7... they'll have to pull something out to convince me that this was good story writing. What a clusterf.

Speaking of disapointments:
Secret message? Lift up your eyes and look north? He read that in "further instructions". What message?

The only interesting things revealed were that Locke feels like Eko died for a purpose, and that there is a Jacob that may be above ben, or be "Him".

Anonymous said...

Thanks immeasurably for your insightful blog. I love reading it so much.

I have been lurking for awhile but just have to post this ludicrously long jumbled up train of thought.

Does smokie or the island have an intelligence you ask? Of course. Does it have to do with experiments gone awry? Of course!

The Dharma Initiatives experiments did not fail in the way we think they did. They were successful in completing the equation...the by-product? The Island's unique properties, i.e. curing cancer and paralysis as well as supporting murdering smoke monsters as well as introduced Polar Bears... and that is only the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended, of its unique powers.

I now think the island has become almost a type of Bad organic earth Robot. I am not talking Rodale's gardening here. I mean that the island with smokie and all the other weirdness is some real gaia force that no one can control or understands. Or maybe a few do.

What made it that way? What the heck am I babbling about? Is the island really "bad"? The experiments, both magnetic and psychic, messed with something -- it did way more than just getting the "data" needed to shift the values and save the world -- it actually caused a global "shift" - starting on the island. (read Brian's The Numbers Explained)

This may explain why the island, i.e. smokie, seems to choose who lives and when - and as you say who is good and bad. Smokie, like the island itself, has gotten the message of the equation: right the world and its human variables so existence in the world can continue.

This means that the island is now by itself trying to manipulate humans and what choices they make. People make dumb choices and those choices mean life and death for themselves and future generations. But why do people make bad choices?

How about hate, distrust, science gone wrong, greed, lack of principles, lack of self control, adultery, murder, self hatred, gluttony, jealousy, lack of forgiveness and lust for power, to name a few ...I mean these are the real reasons we have nuclear war, over population, pollution, global warming - well you get it. What is the island going to do with those human issues if it has to save the world? It has got to right the situation somehow. Maybe 30% of the people will die...

What began as a group of Dharmites dedicated to saving the world through science became a nightmare as an island tropical paradise manifested into a place of mistrust, murder and horror as the island starts to mess with peoples minds. Dharmites gone paranoid with each other not understanding it was the island doing things to their environment...
Other stresses on the Dharmites such as just living with the same people on an island day in and day out, doing less than moral medical experiments, killing an est. 30% of test subjects, malcontent with the hatchies - no doubt, plus unexpected visitors including French scientists ... all the while the island is still trying somehow to right the situation by trying to get them to look at themselves and their deepest issues. If they are brought to a place wher the island believes they have repented or changed they may be left alone - some will not change and BAM they get killed. Some may just be gotten rid of because they would of had too many babies and started to over-populate the island. Who knows?

Others are left totally alone for whatever reason - no wonder we have two groups of Dharmites. Or do we? In any case, no one saw the forest for the trees and suspected that the island itself was up to something - they just kept accusing one another and doing more testing on each other for the cause. and they still are. Now today we have the Others who are still trying to keep up with some kind of lame experiments. Duh!

Locke is always giving the Island the humanoid and godlike attributes one would expect a man of faith to give to a thinking entity, "The Island needed a sacrifice" or "The Island told me" etc etc. HGI/Ben is also seemingly unphased by the island's strangeness. He has been there, or on the new island (?) since he was born. Maybe it's only Locke and Ben who get the island. But maybe just Locke and Rose - after all the island has not chosen to heal Ben, if indeed he really is the one with a spinal tumor. We know he is a big liar!

As far as the "He" -- this is troublesome. If there exists another "He" and maybe yet another level of power then maybe the Island in control theory is dead in the water.

Now that we know that the numbers are variables - quite sneaky of the writers I must say -- does that rule out that the numbers in and of themselves having some power. I do not think so.

That Italian dude either missed something or created an E-bomb, where E stands for End of the World because messing with this equation does cause stuff to happen, esp. to Hurley - that is undeniable. Maybe in the end, there has to be yet another variable in a higher equation that cancels it out or fulfills it. Let's call that variable the variable of human free will.

The island, curiously or maybe chillingly, has "needs" which seem to center around humans and our choices; our free will coupled with our beliefs. It is something that the island senses in people?

Sorry for all the rambling!
- Web Buffy

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you Tom I'll admit there were some slow parts but the fact that there is possibly someone higher than Ben and that Jack was not on the original list throws out so many more questions.

All of the theories that Kate and Sawyer were there just to convince Jack to perform the surgery are wrong! They have a bigger plan for Kate and Sawyer and we have no idea what that is. I think whatever Kate and Sawyer were helping the Others build is a lot more important than we think. I think that was a great episode. Easily best of the year.

Anonymous said...

was this episode extra heavy in commercial time or was it my imagination?

Jack said...

Holy !

First off, he big question, Who is Jacob? I have three theories:
1. Goodwin - possible because he was an other that infiltrated a lostie camp.
2. Ethan - a bit more likely because he infiltrated the main camp, however most likely...
3. Another Other. Not Eye Patch Man, but someone either above Ben, OR the leader of Juliet's Rebels! I believe that the leader of the Rebel Juliet group is named Jacob, and has some connection to Miss Klugh (Where the heck has she been this season?) I believe that Pickett and Juliet are really planning a seperation/death of Ben.

Therefore, that severely hurts Jack's escape plan for Sawyer and Kate....
1. Jack doesn't know that there are two seperate islands, and Tom had no clue that Pickett had Sawyer at gunpoint.
2. Pickett, if rebel, doesn't care what happens to Ben, he wants him dead, so killing off Sawyer is no problem for him.
3. Why didnt Kate say the islands thing?

Locke ...
He will find the island, and Sayid and he are on their way to a rescue mission.

Alex/Danielle ...
Danielle is oblivious to the situation for over a decade?
Her story is going to be REALLY interesting, however I do not think it will be solved until late in the show's existence. I think that Ben is Alex's father (or at least father-figure).
Did she really "catch" Ben? Setup?????....
It was a setup that Ben promised Danielle that she could see Alex.

Ben's going to die...
The Rebel Others, who are worse than Ben, take over, led by Jacob....
Sawyer is likely killed...
Locke and Sayid go to rescue them....
War on Alcatraz!!!

Anonymous said...


I like your theory about Alex/Danielle a lot. That would make perfect sense that Ben had an arrangement for Danielle to "catch" him in exchange to see or talk to Alex. If Ben really did just accidently get caught in one of her traps why would she go to the passengers? I'm pretty sure she would give him the same treatment she gave Sayid when she thought he was an Other.

But I think Jacob is actually above Ben and not apart of the Rebels. I think that if Ben were actually the leader he would've been the one making the list and not Jacob. I think Jacob gave Ben the list of Kate, James, Hurley and then Ben added Jack for his own benefit.

Anonymous said...

"Lift up your eyes and Look North."

I'm not familiar with any maps of the Island but I assume this would mean that "Alcatraz" is off the North Shore of the Island.

Anonymous said...

The catch is, I don't like the kate Kate and Sawyer characters. As long as they seem to have a large bearing on mythology of the show I can deal with them but as characters, I can't stand them, Kates hottness be damned(Then again, I think Juliet is more attractive). In my opinion, they're a drag on the show. I am so tired of the kate running flashbacks... So what if she was married. OK, so it might explain why she doesn't want to run when Jack asked her to.

We have a great reveal with the "jacob" comment, but one word towards the mythology in 40 minutes of programming? Just another question with no answers. I think that's it, we got no answers this show, just a lot more questions. I also liked his comment about 'Alex'. There is something there.. could he be an age accellerated child from CFL group?

We have really had very little of the others revealed to us. We have more names and faces. We know that they have book clubs and cheeseburgers, have a separate island and a submarine, but we know nothing about who they are, why they are there, and what they are doing than we ever did, and quite frankly, I'm getting a very flustered with the show. Such a great leadup last week, then BAM.. this crap.

Web Buffy has a great ramble. Which gave me a thought. Maybe the Smoke Monster IS the 'disease'. Perhaps the medication takes away the effects that smokey can have on you? Reading minds/thoughts/visions?

Anonymous said...

Not a long post from me... yet :P but loved the write up and I had the exact same theory about smokey..

To add even more evidence to the 'judge, jury and executioner' theory, see Locke. He saw 'smokey' way back in 'Walkabout' then, in Exodus, was 'attacked' by smokey..

I'm gunna go out on a limb (terrible pun) and say that Locke losses the use of his legs then goes forth and seeks vengence on the one who caused it. Hence why smokey 'judged' Locke as a 'bad person'..

Great stuff as always ;)


Josh Long said...

Note Juliet's card, "Some of us want a change." If Juliet can be believed, then this certainly implies that there's a revolt brewing against Ben, and one could logically infer that Juliet must be a leader of the revolt if she's trying to get Jack to murder her rival. I've posted a lot of information about where each of The Others' loyalties apparently lie (with a fancy-shmancy character chart) here at the JoshMeister's LOST Blog.

BTW, I found out about "Lost... and Gone Forever" through James Brush's blog, where he's posted an interesting analysis of ties between LOST and To Kill a Mockingbird, which is what Juliet claimed to be putting on for Jack to watch when she pulled the cue card stunt. You can check out James' analysis of TKAM here.