Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lost - "Through the Looking Glass"

Episode Title: “Through the Looking Glass”

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: This is it. Shockingly, it’s not only the last episode of the third season, but also the last two hours of Lost until 2008. It represents the culmination of what may be the greatest run of episodes any television show has ever had (pretty much from “Enter 77” on) and depending on what happens in these last two hours, we may be discussing where Season Three of Lost ranks against the all-time great seasons of any television program. Needless to say, it’s time to get excited. Months of training and preparation have all led up to this moment. Fire up that Jock Jams CD, it’s time to get the party started.

The excitement starts with the episode title. When I first read the episode title a few weeks back, it screamed to me. Unlike most episode titles that require a bit of thinking and research to find parallels to the show, this one struck a nerve. While Lost Season Finales have always had pretty solid titles (full of deeper meaning), this one definitely offers the most promise. In Season One, we had “Exodus” – which hinted at a departure for some from the Island (which happened, with Michael, Walt, Sawyer, and Jin on the Raft) and a departure of the rest of the Survivors from the Beach into the Hatch (which never really transpired). In Season Two, “Live Together, Die Alone” seemed to foreshadow that our Survivors would have to band together to overcome the mysterious “Others” and continue their peaceful existence on the Island (which never really happened either). So while both were solid titles, and led to solid episodes – neither hinted at anything that would fundamentally change the world of our Survivors and Lost as we know it.

“Through the Looking Glass” does.

It’s a phrase that is commonly used, but hard to describe - used to indicate entering some sort of “other side”. I foolishly always assumed it was a reference to “Alice in Wonderland”, but in doing my standard googling of the episode title, it turns out it’s actually from the sequel to that book, which is titled “Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There”. The premise of the book is that you can look through a mirror, but can’t see what’s on the other side of it. Alice wonders what lies behind her mirror, and ends going through it – winding up in “Bizarro World” where time runs backwards and everything is opposite. The book is also loosely based on a game of chess, played on a giant chessboard with fields for squares. Most main characters met in the story are represented by a chess piece, with Alice herself being a pawn.

While I haven’t actually read the book (reading is for nerds, cool kids watch TV), a few things should jump out to hardcore Lost fans right away. Little details like “time running backwards” seem like tantalizing clues to the “funky time” on the Island. In the story, there is also a book that can only be read when held up to a mirror (since it is written backwards), which sounds a lot like Ghost Walt’s freaky messages last season that had to be played backwards to understand. Heck, even the “Alice as a pawn” part could be a subtle refernce to our characters just being pawns in some much larger game – perhaps between the Others / Dharma / the Outside World. We think they are the main characters, but they’re really just bystanders to something much bigger and more important than we could ever imagine.

But rather than pick out individual similarities, I think it makes more senset to look at it thematically, simply that “Through the Looking Glass” means that everything is not as it seems. All season, Damon and Carlton have been hinting at some sort of “game changing” event. For me, as soon as I saw this episode title, I realized this episode would be it. This episode is going to take us “through the looking glass”, to turn the Lost universe as we know it on its head.

How? Well, while it’s tempting to be inspired by the book and look for opposites (“they’re not on an Island at all! It’s really a penninsula!”, “they’re all really dead after all!”, “Kate really isn’t that hot!”), after getting totally burned in the Deeper Meaning Guess of “The Man Behind the Curtain”, I’m approaching this method with caution. Really the only “opposite” that I could see happening is for a main character – with Jack being the chief candidate – that we thought was “good” turns out to be “bad”, working for the Others, Dharma, or the Monster. It’s out there, but not impossible to believe. But otherwise, I’m hard pressed to see any “opposites” that could logically be revealed.

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So what’s our “through the looking glass” moment? Well, if you think about it – our Survivors are already “through the looking glass”. They’re living on this crazy Island full of Smoke Monsters, people who don’t age, weird experiments, and freaky whispers. If we assume there is some sort of “stealthing” of the Island going on, making it invisible to the outside world, they’re the ones that are inside of the mirror, not visible to the outside world… which makes me think we’re looking at the episode title from the wrong perspective. It’s not our Survivors getting out – it’s someone else getting in.

If you remember back to early this season (maybe even before the season started), I was feeling pretty confident that Penny would show up on the Island as either the fall or spring cliffhanger. Since it didn’t happen in the fall finale, I’m putting all my chips down on it finally coming to fruition in the Season Finale… because if it doesn’t, man am I going to look like an idiot!

In my mind, if it is ever going to happen, now is the time. Ever since last season’s final moments with the two guys in the snow called Penny, we’ve had this dangling storyline out there of people (led by Penny) searching for Desmond (and therefore our Survivors). Between Desmond’s vision of Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter and Naomi’s arrival on the Island, the writers have done a good job of reminding us of the storyline – setting us up perfectly for the pay off for last season’s puzzling final scene. It just feels like everything is hurtling towards it as the logical conclusion.

And talk about giving us a “through the looking glass moment” – having these “outsiders” arrive at the Island would be nothing short of Alice going down the rabbit hole or through the mirror. Penny and Co. would suddenly be thrust into this bizarre world (that our Survivors have almost come to expect) on an Island that is invisible to the outside, full of strange people, occurrences, and history. More importantly, it would also mean that there is hope for our Survivors. You would think that once one crew finds their way to the Island, others can’t be far behind.

With the end date of Lost now in sight, this also makes total sense. We’re more than halfway through the series as a whole. If the writers truly have solid answers to the questions they’ve been throwing at us for the past three years, I would hope they would want to spend as much time resolving the storylines as they did building them up – and I think that resolution starts with understanding how they are going to get off the Island.

So those are the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head ever since I found out the episode title. What I didn’t count on was last week’s episode adding a mind-blowing literal twist to the meaning… which makes me evern more excited, if that’s possible.

Enter the Looking Glass Station. The place used to block all communication between the Island and the outside world, aside from that of the Others. A place that just might serve as a sort of Ellis Island for the Island – a port of entry that all pass through if they’re coming or going. I always wondered why the Others used a submarine as their transportation method of choice, but now it makes total sense. It’s the only method that would allow them to travel to and from the Looking Glass.

Want an extra helping of Deeper Meaning? How about throwing books and symbolism out the window and taking the episode title 100% literally? Going “through the looking glass” quite simply might mean escape from or access to the Island. Maybe it’s not so deep after all. Much more on this later…

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Episode Description: Jack and the castaways begin their efforts to make contact with Naomi's rescue ship. Guest starring are M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly/Tom, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Blake Bashoff as Karl, Andrew Divoff as Mikhail, Ariston Greene as Jason, Sonya Walger as Penny, Mira Furlan as Rousseau, Brian Goodman as Pryce, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, L. Scott Caldwell as Rose, Sam Anderson as Bernard, Lana Parilla as Greta, Tracy Middendorf as Bonnie, James Lesure as Dr. Hamill, Nigel Gibbs as funeral director, Loreni Delgado as pharmacist, Larry Clarke as customer and Kate Connor as doctor.

Episode Breakdown: Wow. You know how sometimes the episode description can seem to tell you exactly what is going to happen, giving away too much about an episode? Well not this time! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with the shortest episode description in the history of Lost.- one very vague line containing fourteen measly words. As someone who has criticized ABC in the past for revealing too much about episodes in their previews, this is a beautiful thing – it just builds up the suspense for the episode even more because it means that absolutely ANYTHING could happen.

As for this one sentence, it totally ignores the specifics of each of the three “side storylines” that are actually going on and just focuses on the underlying mission of all three combined. If you think about it, we’ve got:

  1. Sayid, Bernard, and Jin setting an explosive trap for the Others, who are attempting to steal their women and kill anyone who gets in their way.
  2. Desmond and Charlie trying to “flick the switch” in the Looking Glass to allow communication from Naomi’s iPhone to be possible.
  3. Jack and the rest of the Survivors heading to the Radio Tower to send a help message to Naomi’s crew once the jamming frequency is disabled.

So even though the episode description only directly mentions Jack’s portion of the mission, without all three parties succeeding, the odds of contacting Naomi’s ship are quite small. Sayid and Co. (which I’ll call “the Gunners”) need to succeed to prevent the Others from tracking and ambushing the rest of the Survivors before they reach the Radio Tower. Desmond and Charlie (which I’ll call “the Swimmers”) need to succeed or else it won’t matter if the other two groups are victorious – because they’ll still be unable to use Naomi’s phone to call for help. Jack and Co. (which I’ll call “the Marchers”) need to succeed or else the success of the other two parties won’t help them get any closer to getting off the Island.

(Note: doesn’t this kinda remind you of the Season One finale, where we had the Hatchers, Beachers, and Rafters?)

It’s a pretty complicated plan, and requires a 100% success rate, which puts the odds of success pretty low. But let’s break it down a little further…

Gunners. Sayid, Bernard, and Jin form one of the most unlikely trios of shooters I could think of – which worries me a bit. It seems like there are definitely other Survivors who seem more adapt at firing guns (Sawyer, Kate, and Desmond all come to mind), which make me wonder why Bernard and Jin were included in the mix.

On the one hand, you could argue that it provides Bernard and Jin with a purpose in the episode, rather than just being background characters in the march to the Radio Tower – and gives Rose and Sun an emotional investment in the mission’s success. On the other hand, it seems like an easy excuse to put Bernard and Jin on the chopping block along with Sayid, keeping other “main characters” like Sawyer, Kate, and Desmond out of harm’s way.

As for the mission itself, the preview (sorry New Zealanders who haven’t seen it) seems to show it’s both a success and a failure. We’ve got shots of Others being strewn in the air after explosions – but also of the Gunners being bound and gagged on the Beach. My hunch is that they get a couple of good shots in, but the crafty Others come in waves rather than all at once, and overtake them.

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So there’s strike one. As soon as the Others realize they were setup for a trap, they’ll radio Ben and the Others to warn them. This will effectively blow Juliet’s cover and alert them to the Marchers’ trip to the Radio Tower. Which explains…

Marchers. It seems that the Marchers don’t get very far until they run into Ben, attempting to stop them from continuing on to the Radio Tower. The weird thing is that Ben seems to be alone, and also seems to end up captured, being taken along with the Marchers on their journey. Isn’t that him on the right with his hands tied together? Could it be that the Others finally stood up to him and said “No”, leaving him alone? Or is this another sort of elaborate scheme setup by Ben and the Others to further hose our Survivors?

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Ben. After last week’s episode, I am leaning towards the Others giving up on Ben. He really seemed to be unraveling last week when questioned about Locke, Jacob, and moving the mission up a night. For someone who has thus far played it cool, calm, and all-knowing, this stood out to me as someone who realizes that their position of power is in serious risk. Even if Ben assumes that Locke dead, the fact that Jacob talked to him indicates that Ben isn’t the chosen one anymore. All it would take is for Locke to return and blow Ben’s cover for him to fall from grace among the Others.

Locke. Which brings me to Locke. Although the writers could easily torture us into not knowing his fate for the looooong hiatus after this week, I’m guessing we see John Locke alive and well during the finale. If Ben is ousted from the Others, it might even mean that he indeed showed up, exposed Ben, and took the leadership reigns of the Others… and although this has been my long-running theory for how the Locke vs. Jack showdown would go down (rhyme time!), I’m now wondering if it makes any sense. Because I got to thinking…

Would Locke even want to be the leader of the Others?

I know he brought he followed them, complying with Ben’s request to kill his Father – but that really wasn’t about “joining the Others” so much as “learning the secrets of the Island”. If you think about it, the John Locke we know and love really isn’t a team player. He’s on his own spiritual journey with the Island, and is willing to do anything to accomplish it. After his encounter with Jacob, if he assumes that Ben knows nothing about the Island after all, he may very well assume that none of the Others know anything more about the Island either – making them useless to him. On the other hand, perhaps Alpert can somehow prove to Locke that they do hold the key to the Island’s secrets, and only through joining them can he also gain full access.

It’s an intriguing thought, but it still wouldn’t explain why the Locke and the Others, who seemed a bit taken aback by Ben’s command to “kill anyone who gets in the way” during their raid of our Survivors’ camp, would lead some sort of assault on our Survivors. It’s not as though Locke hates the rest of the Survivors, he’s just indifferent to them on his quest. So what would make Locke join the Others and take on our Survivors?

Keeping the Island secret.

If you think about it, that’s the unifying mission between Locke and the Others. They want to protect whatever the Island Secret, whatever it is – and will do whatever it takes to do so. Keep in mind that in the past few episodes, Locke has blown up the Flame (which could communicate with the outside world) and the Submarine (which could take people to and from the outside world). What’s left?

How about the Radio Tower? Thinking it through, this seems like the logical place for Locke to make his grand reappearance with the rest of the Others, and would pit him face to face with the Marchers. The scene practically writes itself! Jack and the Marchers on the one side, with Ben in tow. Locke and the Others on the other side. Quips flying back and forth, Ben making snide comments to Locke, Ben, and the other Others in the background. Locke giving a speech about not being able to let the Marchers go through with their mission in order to protect the Island, threatening to destroy the Tower. A classic face off. It would be pretty powerful stuff.

It would also go a long way in explaining Jacob’s “help me” comment from a few weeks ago – assuming “me” is the Island, and the help it needs is to stay protected. It would symbolize Locke taking up the cause of Team Island, and bringing the other Others into the fold. Of course, for any of this to even matter, it would mean that the Swimmers were successful in their mission – which is a whole other story.

Swimmers. Probably the most interesting of the three sub-storylines involves Desmond and Charlie’s mission to “flick the switch” inside the Looking Glass. The first intriguing point – which I didn’t get to last week due to the lack of analysis – is the question as to whether Desmond’s flashes will continue now that he’s been knocked out again. Part of me thinks it would be hard to carry them on over the course of multiple seasons, and that it would be nice if they existed merely for the purpose of protecting Charlie until he could have a heroic death saving the other Survivors. On the other hand, it would be nice if they would stick around long enough to get some sort of explanation as to why they started in the first place and what it all meant.

Either way, it looks like Desmond awakes from his oar-induced coma, and makes his way down to the Looking Glass after all.

Looking Glass. So here we are – the long fabled “underwater Hatch”, the explanation for the cable on the beach, and the source of the communication jamming frequency that has thwarted our Survivor’s attempts to communicate with the outside world. Sporting a white rabbit logo (hello more Alice in Wonderland references!), it’s a Dharma station that didn’t even make the Blast Door Map.

Judging from the schematics that Sayid stole from the Flame (one assumes, though this was never shown) – the Looking Glass originally was floating on the water, but has since sunk. As Juliet puts it, there was an “accident” which left the Looking Glass flooded and deserted. Is she telling the truth? Yes. Well, at least she’s telling us everything she knows.

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Assuming the Looking Glass is the key to travel to and from the Island, it would make sense that Ben wouldn’t let Juliet in on the truth about it, since she would clearly attempt to reach it in an effort to go back home – which she wants more than anything. If the Looking Glass is a secret, it’s probably only known to people like Alpert, Ethan, and Ben – people who we’ve seen make trips to and from the Island. It’s secrecy might also explain the need for drugging people when they make the trip to and from the Island – to knock them out so they don’t have any knowledge about the gateway that is necessary for escape.

So what was the “accident” that sunk it? While the easy answer is the Purge, if Alpert is aware of the Looking Glass and its purpose, why would he sink it? To help make it more secret? Ben and the Others might have appreciated the secrecy that the communications jamming of the Looking Glass would provide – it would help control the flow of information (especially critically to keep Dharma in the dark post-Purge), and keep any unauthorized communication with the outside world that might lead to Island discovery.

I think the Looking Glass is extremely valuable to the Others for this reason, and it stands to reason that the rough looking ladies (named Greta and Bonnie) who approached Charlie when he surfaced inside are part of the inner sanctuary of the Others or Dharmites who sided with the Others in the Purge. They’re all on the same page.

Guest Stars. Speaking of Greta and Bonnie, I suppose we should analyze the guest stars listed for the episode. Sure, all the “regulars” are there – Tom, Alex, Krazy Karl, Alpert, Patchy, CFL, Naomi, Rose, and Bernard. Then there are the Others that we don’t really know yet – Jason, Pryce, Greta, and Bonnie. Since it’s a Jack flashback episode, it makes sense that there would be two doctors, a pharmacist, and a funeral director (although one should note there is no mention of Jack’s Dad or Jack’s wife – which makes me wonder when the heck this flashback takes place?). Oh, and then there is one other name – PENNY.

Jackpot. This seems to prove my crazy theory is true, and she’s made it through the Looking Glass to save Desmond! She and the rest of Naomi’s crew are going to show up in a helicopter as the season ends and save Claire and Aaron, just like Desmond predicted. Charlie succeeds in his mission! Hooray! At least that’s what I thought initially. Sitting here, mid-post, I suddenly realize the much more logical and likely explanation.

Keep in mind that Desmond is probably going to begin the episode in some sort of unconscious state as a result of his whacking to the head. It’s entirely possible that Penny simply appears in some crazy dream sequence that Desmond has – perhaps telling him to go and save Charlie, or that she loves and believes in him, or it could be just another flash back in time to pre-Island days for Desmondo.

When you recall that Naomi mentioned she never met Penny, it makes it all the less likely that Penny herself would be a part of the rescue crew. So does that mean that our Survivors aren’t going to get rescued, and the season won’t end with someone coming through the Looking Glass? Not at all. It just means that it probably won’t be Penny herself.

Charlie. Of course, for all of this to come true, it means that Charlie and Desmond have to succeed in their mission to power down the Looking Glass. The preview for this week showed a very tied up Charlie being tortured by the Looking Glass Residents – but I’m still sticking with my original theory from last week that Charlie will indeed “flick the switch” and save the day. You have to assume that Desmond will show up just in time to save Charlie, provide a diversion, and give Charlie the time he needs to get through the giant circular door of the Looking Glass. What will he find on the other side? It could be anything from Michael and Walt, to Naomi’s Crew, to a captive flesh and bones Jacob, looking for help – but it will also contain the switch.

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Like I said last week, the cruelest thing to do would be to have Charlie survive “Greatest Hits” only to have him die in “Through the Looking Glass”… and I’m betting the Lost writers get the same enjoyment out of these cruel twists as I do.

So without further ado…

Death Watch. Here it is – the long awaited, quite morbid listing of which characters seem safe and which don’t in the Season Finale. I’ve included most major characters on the show, listed in order from safest to deadest. If your favorite character is sitting near the bottom of the list, it might be time to start worrying.

Sun = Hella Safe. Sun fans rejoice! In thinking it through, no character seems safer than Sun. Why? Quite simply, she’s the only character whose health and well being is important to both the Others and our Survivors since she’s currently with child.

Claire = Really Safe. Aside from Desmond’s vision of Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter (which would seem to indicate that not only is she safe, but the first candidate to escape the Island), Claire’s death would pretty much mean Aaron’s death as well, since he’s relying on her for nourishment. I would also think the baby-hungry Others would love to get their hands on Aaron once he is able to survive on regular people food instead of boob food.

Locke = Safe. Although we’re supposed to be wondering if he’s dead or alive, it’s crazy to think that Locke would die before fulfilling his spiritual journey on the Island. I would place money on Locke showing up before the season is over. After one “close call” with death, having him actually die – while it would be quite surprising – doesn’t make much sense. He’s the one with the connection to Jacob, the power to expose Ben, and serve as the spiritual connection to the Island. He’s the soul of the show.

Rose = Storyline Safe. It would seem strange to bring Rose back for an episode, just to have her killed the following episode, especially since she’s basically a “face in the crowd” among the Marchers at this point. While she could end up as a casualty of the battle, it would seem to be nothing more than an excuse to get the apparently quite busy actress who plays Rose off the Island. In my opinion, she still seems to have some stories left concerning her potential cured cancer thanks to the Island.

Alpert = Hopefully Safe. Killing Alpert would probably anger me more than anything, because it would mean the writers teased us with this fascinating non-aging Island Original character, who clearly knows more than Ben about the Island, but that we never got a chance to learn about. Although the actor has recently been cast as the mayor in the upcoming Batman movie, it should film over the summer, allowing him to continue work on Lost.

CFL = Reasonably Safe. We still haven’t had our CFL flashback to help explain what really happened during her time on the Island, since her stories seem pretty inconsistent. Her sudden alliance with Jack is also quite puzzling, but would seem to further strengthen the notion that she has no loyalties to anyone, and is just crazy and wants her daughter back. Having said that, Alex is clearly her kryptonite, and I could see CFL jumping on a grenade to save her. But not yet.

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Alex = Pretty Safe. I can’t see Alex dying before she finds out the truth about Ben and CFL. We’ve got to have the sappy music reunion between CFL and Alex at some point, right? And we need Alex going crazy on Ben once she learns the truth. Plus, you can’t kill kids on TV shows, can you?

Hurley = Borderline Safe. Without Hurley, I’m not sure who would lighten the mood on the show and provide comic relief – which I think is critical when the show gets too dark. I also still don’t feel like we’ve gotten a good resolution to the Numbers and Hurley’s connection to them… even though they’ve been noticeably absent this season, perhaps as a symbolic result of the Swan Hatch Imploding. Hurley’s been wearing a lot of red lately, which worries a lot of people – and while his death would probably be the most gut wrenching and sad (i.e. – making for great TV), I don’t think it happens. If Locke is the soul of the show, Hurley is the heart.

Desmond = Safe, but in a Dangerous Situation. Underwater, trapped by the Others, having visions of your one true love? Sounds like a recipe for disaster right? The only problem is that I’ve got Charlie penciled in to bite the big one, and having both Swimmers die seems extreme. I think it’s more likely that Charlie dies saving Desmond, giving us a little Lion King circle of life action for all the times that Desmond saved Charlie. I’m counting on the Penny / Desmond storyline to be the driving factor behind the rescue of our Survivors on the show, and their love story to be the romance we’re rooting for when the show comes to a close – so unless Penny is really in the Looking Glass, and we get that tearful reunion, Desmond lives another day.

Kate = Shocking Death-Potential. This one would floor me, but the preview showed a little too many tearful shots of Jack and Kate saying they love each other to give me a warm an fuzzy feeling about their safety. There’s not a lot of backstory left for Kate, but without her, where are we going to get our gratuitous underwear shots? There is a definitely lack of hotties on the Island, and without Kate, we’d be down to three female characters on the show – which seems crazy.

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Jack = Slightly At Risk. That’s right – the main character that was originally supposed to die in the Pilot could finally meet his maker this week. Why? Well, I’ve still got this sneaking suspicion that Jack is up to no good. Remember last week, how he wanted to stay behind at the Beach, and Sayid basically forced him to go? Although Sayid gave the “the people need a leader” speech to Jack, I think it was more like “I don’t trust you, Jack”. Going to the Radio Tower wasn’t Jack’s idea either – he just seemed fully consumed with destroying the Others rather than getting off the Island. It’s these sort of actions that make me think he could do something careless to get himself killed. Plus, hello? It’s a Jack-flashback episode! Lost characters always die during their flashback episodes!

Sawyer = Toss Up. As I said a few weeks back, with killing the real Sawyer, our James Ford put himself in a precarious position on the Island because he faced and overcame his greatest demon. Factor in that he’s not really loved by Kate anymore, and his place on the Island doesn’t seem too secure. He was ready to sacrifice himself at the end of the fall finale before Jack intervened, so whose to say he doesn’t do it again, putting his life down to save Kate and the other Survivors?

Juliet = Toss Up. Both Sawyer and Juliet are Toss Ups. Either one could die, but not both. Why? In order to keep the “love triangle” alive, you need three players out of Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet. Juliet seems the more likely to go, since Sawyer is more of a fan favorite, but it would mean that she never got to return to her sister – kinda a bummer. I could see another flashback or two concerning some more of her experiences on the Island (and the rest of her conversation with Ben about joining our Survivors – what did he promise her in return?), but on the other hand, I could see her dying in the process of taking out Ben and revealing his true nature, giving her a sense of purpose.

Jin = Danger Zone. When Jin first volunteered for the shooting, I got a bad feeling about it. It’s like the writers are intentionally putting him in a really bad position, one where he’s likely to die, when we’ve never seen him have any sort of sharp-shooting experience in the past. Having recently reunited with Sun, he’s in danger of falling into the “when you’re happy, you die” trap that is popular on so many shows. The good news is that I could see both Bernard and Sayid dying before Jin – and I don’t see all three Gunners being executed. A tad too morbid.

Bernard = Minor Death Candidate. He’s almost in the same boat as Rose – a character just recently brought back to the show, whose death might free up the real-life actor – but unlike Rose, he hasn’t been healed by the Island. In a way, his story was a simple one, just about love, and it’s already been told. It would be a cheap way to get an emotional death scene out of a character without sacrificing storylines down the road.

Karl = Tragic Death-Potential. There’s almost a Romeo and Juliet feel to Krazy Karl and Alex’s relationship. Both are rebelling against their parents (the Others), they have a forbidden love, and unlike Alex, Karl doesn’t seem to have any major connections on the Island. His death might be just the thing to push Alex over the edge in hating her father – maybe to the point of killing him herself. You have to admit, it would be very Shakespearian. Sure, I’d like to find out where Karl came from, if he has parents, or why he was placed in the Rave Room – but there are about 1000 other questions I’d like to have answered more. He’s served his purpose in warning our Survivors about the Others’ attack, so his days may be numbered.

Sayid = Strategic Death-Potential. I’m hoping for the best, but fearing the worst. All I know is that if I was the Others, I would take him out. He’s the biggest threat, he’ll probably have killed at least a few Others before he’s captured, and with him gone, picking off the remaining Survivors should be easy. Since last week’s Nadia appearance wasn’t a vision, I have hope that he’ll make it through so that we can learn the rest of her story – but I’m still afraid for my favorite Iraqi.

Ben = Days Are Numbered. He’s falling apart. It’s almost sad to see – a formerly proud, powerful leader becoming a paranoid shell of his former self – but it sets the stage for an exit. If Locke does assume the role of leader of the Others, where does that leave Ben? He can’t join our Survivors, he can’t stick around with the Others, and if CFL catches him, she’ll rip him apart. It’s really not looking good for Ben, which is sad – because he’s been one of the more fascinating characters on TV in recent memory. There are still those pesky questions about the fate of Anne, and the missing teenage years that led to his part in the Purge, but those can both be easily told through the eyes of other Others, giving us the opportunity to see Ben once again through flashbacks.

Charlie = Dead Man Walking. Yes, it saddens me to write it too, since last week’s episode actually made me like Charlie – but that’s all the more reason why he’s a goner. You can’t go back from an episode like last week. What would his next flashback be, making a list of the five worst moments of his life? No, when you start taking a hard look at your life, writing down deeply personal things, and basically professing your undying love to someone else, you can’t top that. As beautiful as last week was, it allows Charlie to go out on a high note, with the character as beloved as ever in fans’ eyes. Charlie is going to flip the switch. He might save Desmond’s life. He might die as a hero, saving Claire and Aaron. But he’s going to die. Sorry Charlie (pun intended).

So there you have it. If I was a betting man, I’d expect Ben, Charlie, and someone like Bernard or Karl to die before tomorrow night is over. But as you can see from the list, there are actually very few safe characters right now. Assuming the show is about to go “through the looking glass”, it’s actually the perfect time to kill off a bunch of people to spin the show in a different direction.

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Who else is amazed that I wrote 6,416 words from a fourteen word episode description? I have a problem.

How do I think it’s going to end, you ask? Well, I’ve made it this far with my theory about a rescue team arriving, so I’ll stick with it. I think we’ll have a showdown in the Looking Glass, a showdown on the Beach, and a showdown at the Radio Tower. Each will result in some death. The Radio Tower might be destroyed, the Looking Glass switch might get flipped back on, and the Others might take control of our Survivors – but not before at least one helicopter sneaks through the Looking Glass, rescues Claire and Aaron (and others?), and takes off, promising to send more help. We might see good characters turn out to be bad, or bad characters turn out to be good. Heck, we might even find Michael and Walt tied up inside the Looking Glass. But whatever happens, I’m expecting to be blown away, and left wondering where in the world the show is going to go from here. I’ve got a hunch that we’re going to learn that there is something much bigger going on than just our Survivors finding a way off this Island – and that storyline is going to propel the remaining seasons of the show. After feeling disappointed with most of the other season finales this year, I’m ready to be blown away.

Enjoy it.

WARNING – about two weeks ago, I saw a few websites mention that spoilers for the finale were leaked to a few websites. Proceed with caution in reading Lost-related websites for the next 24 hours. I’ve basically cut myself off from all non-Blog Lost sites over the past two weeks out of a deathly fear of accidentally stumbling upon a spoiler. I recommend you do the same.

Complain about me waiting until the last minute to post and tell me how I'm wrong here!


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brian. Now I can finally get some sleep before waiting through all of tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

No complaints here...worth every minute...great post!!!

Sarah said...

You amaze me. I'm so sad that will be the last preview for (I don't even dare say how many days). Thanks Brian! I'm still rooting for Charlie to survive

PHG said...

Random question here. I know that Claire's baby was referred to as "Turnip Head" here on the blog back in the day. Was this ever from the show, or was it a creation of Brian a la "CFL?" Charlie called the baby "Turnip Head" last week. Is this normal, or a subtle shout out to Lost and Gone Forever? Just wondering.

max said...

so effing stoked i can hardly contain myself!
i'm keeping my fingers crossed for something totally unpredictable to go down. i want the script flipped in a huge way. next level. while i value your predictions, brian, i want this episode to show us something that nobody sees coming.... not even you.

Anonymous said...

Turnip head is completley normal and not a creation of Brain. It was what charlie was going to call the baby before Claire named him.. that goes way back to season one!

Oh and I don't think Charlie is going to die. It would be way to obvious, and the writers of Lost are never obvious.

Anonymous said...

I think some Others should be on the death list too...Such as Tom, Patchy, and this new guy. We DID see some dynamite blowing them up in the previews...Plus Patchy needs to go!

Anonymous said...

Brian, You are a legend!!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I can't comment. I read the spoilers who are usually foilers. It was written so badly that I thought for sure it was a fake. I find those foilers funny... unfortunately, it appears that these were real. I usually enjoy speculating on this site, and Brian did a great job as usual. I also usually like minor spoilers as it helps me to guess... but doesn't reveal. I'll enjoy the episode but I'm upset that this show will not surpise me.. and I have to wait until February to be blown away again.

I'll still enjoy it.. Again.. great job Brian. I'll talk in the analysis and lead up until next year. I truely hope that none of you have been spoiled like I have, and hope that this horrible thing never happens again.

Anonymous said...

Happy Tom will not die. He will turn on the Others. The question however is does he and Jack already have some type of deal?

I think we could have 4 factions on the island after tonite. Losties, Ben's Others, Locke's Others, old Dharmites.

The final shot of tonites show will be one of the following:
1) A helicopter exploding
2) Jack dies
3) Walt and Michael
4) A large ship appearing on the horizon

Stef said...

Woohoo! The big day is finally here! And I can't imagine starting it any other way than reading your great preview, Brian. (Even if it does mean I'm going to be late for work!)

How many hours left?!

Anonymous said...

Very good breakdown! Nice job!

One question has been bugging me since last weeks episode "Greatest Hits."

If you're tying to disable the looking glass station, why not start by severing the cable that leads to it?

It'll probably do one of two things....sever power or communication (throw in oxygen too, maybe?!?). I mean, when SWAT teams enter a building, they cut the power and the communications. It only makes sense to me.

Eric Antoine Scuccimarra said...

I read the spoilers as well. I am still not sure they are true as the final show was just delivered to ABC yesterday, long after the spoilers were released, and it would not surprise me if ABC was wily enough to realize that spoilers would get out so they shot multiple endings or released fake scripts or even released the spoilers themselves.

I usually like the minor spoilers we get on those sites but not the big huge, total ruiners those turned out to be.

I second the recommendation to avoid all Lost sites for the next 14 hours or so. TheTailSection is pretty safe from spoilers but the rest are not.

I can't wait for tonight.

Drudo said...

One of my coworkers stumbled into a spoiler and hates it. Be VERY careful. I'm SO excited for tonight. One other thought occurred to me. What if the ladies in the Looking Glass are part of Naomi's crew. She said "I'm not alone." Great review
Brian. I'm off to read the forums.

Anonymous said...

Ok. Here's the plan:

1) Popcorn - Check
2) Couch pillows fluffed - Check
3) Fresh batteries in the TiVo remote - Check
4) Phone charged so txt msgs may be sent and recieved - Check
5) AmbienCR ready to take 15 min before end so that I can eventually fall asleep - Check

Houston, we are good to go.

P.S - Fab preview analysis Brian

Anonymous said...

Brian -- You write, " the Looking Glass originally was floating on the water, but has since sunk." Where did you get that idea? It's been a week since I looked at the plans for the Looking Glass in hi-res, but it looks firmly anchored to the bottom in both the plans and when we see it as Charlie swims up to it. I have been assuming that it is some kind of portal that the Others use to get to the Island, then using the sub to actually head to their village. I'd be interested in knowing why you think it was once a floating station. My memory is that Juliet said there was an accident and it flooded, not that there was an accident and it sunk ...


Brian said...

Regarding cutting the cable to the Looking Glass to "disable it" - according to Sayid's blueprint, the cable was labeled as an "anchor", not a power source.

While it's a little crazy to assume that there isn't some sort of power going through the cable, it also seems that the writers could just as easily play the "anchor" card to explain why cutting it wouldn't do any good.

Anonymous said...

Just a random funny event:
Right now I was zapping and stopped in a channel that's airing the fourth season of "Alias", the episode in question was 04x22. For my surprise I just caught Jack Bristow, Victor Garber's character saying to a woman (I never saw "Alias" so I don't know who she is): "You really are through the looking mirror aren't you?". Eheh...

P.S. From my quick search I think he's talking to Elena Derevko.

amanda said...

Totally unrelated to Lost, I just have to give you a shout out for the Jock Jams reference...man, that brings back some sweet ass high school memories.

oh, and the Lost stuff was cool too.

Anonymous said...

Good catch...I didn't see that on the blueprint. Nevertheless, if you cut the anchor line, that could also cause damage to the looking glass (although it's probably a remote chance), cause it to surface (probably not due to the slack in the line) or drift away from or towards the island (again, slack in the line). At the very least, it'd make it easier to follow with a raft topside.

Question...why does an anchor line have so much slack in it? That station was definately anchored to the ocean floor (or weighed down). I question the accuracy of that label. They have to get their power from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

As an aside, I was wondering what the producers originally had in mind for casting Benjamin Linus and how that entire story arc would have gone. After all, they did say that Mike Emerson was not intended to play that part and was to be killed off playing HGI. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

great B as always u r truly enlightned...i think that u made an absolute great observation in that the guest star list has no mention of Christian, and Sarah...im wondering the same thing brian as 2 when in the hell does this flashback take place...do u think we should pay attention to this?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking Jack's flashback pertains to that lost week when he was with the Others...

Anonymous said...

Either I am a lot more stupider than I think I am, or the Looking Glass defies conventional physics... How could a chamber be underwater yet have a ten foot wide opening on the bottom (the moon pool)? Wouldnt the water simply fill up? If not, if somehow they defied the rule that water takes the shape of its container, then the pressure alone would make living in it unbearable.


Anonymous said...

The human body acclimates itself to pressure over time. Think about when you push a glass under water trapping the air. The water doesn't come up from the bottom nor is the pressure really intense (causing the glass to explode...no). Also, the hatch is not that deep under water. It can't be more than 40 feet under. However, if the hatch sprung a leak, that water would fill that chamber to replace the escaping air.

Anonymous said...

I'm coming for ya Charlie !

Anonymous said...

Dharma Shark.. every time you type that I bwaahahahhahah

Anonymous said...

Bye bye Charlie!!! Btw, the producers said that because of this finale we can only have 3 more seasonS of 16 episodes...just about to find out why!!! caaaaant wait! OMG OMG OMG!

Anonymous said...


That's all I can process right now.

Anonymous said...

This one did it. so many things.

Anonymous said...

Well that kinda sucked. As soon as I saw Jack in graying beard, I figured it was a future-story instead of a back-story, and then I spent the whole episode asking why aren't they showing us more about the future?!? Stupid Darlton.

So what does this mean? The next 48 episodes won't have back-stories? Now they'll all be in the future? That might be more interesting. TPTB said there would be a game changer, and since damned near nothing happened in this episode, I guess the game changer is telling future stories from now on?? Whatever.

Well, at least one good thing is... know I don't really care how long it will take for the fourth season to start, because it will just be more dreck!


Anonymous said...

If Jack and Juliet were in the future, why was Jack referring to his dad so frequently? Was he tripping on the drugs or is this an alternate reality? Well, we know that Jack and Kate are bulletproof....they're alive all the way up to the end. Kinda bummed that we know that now.

Anonymous said...

Jack and Kate...I meant.

Anonymous said...

Omg! LOST is fab! I love it!
Can't wait till season 4!
Have u all sen da final yet???
Cuz i dont wanna giv out ne spoilers.....

Anonymous said...

Me 2! It sucks dat we know dat Jack n Kate survive...i didnt wanna know!
So glad dat Juliet, Hurley n Sawyer killed da 4 others!!! Yeh!!