Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lost - "Jughead"

Episode Title: "Jughead"

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: After two pretty straight-forward episode titles to start the season, we now find ourselves with one of the more mysterious ones in quite some time. "Jughead" isn't a commonly used word (at least not in my lexicon), but it does have two official definitions in the dictionary:

  1. Noun (slang) - a stupid or foolish person.
  2. Noun - an acronym for Jonzy's Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display.

What the heck does that second one mean? According to the Internets, Jughead is a search engine for Gopher sites. Apparently, a “Gopher” is a system that pre-dates the World Wide Web for organizing and displaying files on Internet servers, presenting its contents as a hierarchically structured list of files. Over time, as the Web became more popular, many gopher databases were converted to Web sites which can be more easily accessed via Web search engines.

So - it sounds like it's a Google for old fashioned websites.

A quick Google search also reveals the most popular “pop culture” reference to “Jughead”…

Forsythe Pendleton "Jughead" Jones III is a fictional character in Archie Comics, first appearing in December 1941. In the earlier comics, Jughead's real name was a running gag mystery, and many episodes involved various characters trying to discover his real name, and Jughead thwarting their efforts. He is named after his ancestor who is an American hero. Jughead started to use his given name for a brief time in honor of his ancestor, but after learning that he was married nine times, reverted to his nickname.

Lastly we have Wikipedia informing us that "Jughead" is a 19th century slang term meaning a mule - or the nickname for a Mark 17 Nuclear Bomb.


We're clearly all over the map with the episode title. None of the options I found really jump out and grab me, but I could easily stretch some into a pseudo-logical reference to something currently going on in the Lost Universe. For example…

  • In Faraday's eyes, someone like Sawyer could be called a "jughead" since he's not as brainy. Or, this could easily be some nickname that Sawyer would use on another character… but that's not very deep. I doubt they’d pull the episode title from that.
  • Ms. Hawking's crazy "search engine" for finding the Island might be called "Jughead", as it could be sorting through Gopher site information that pre-dates the good ol' WWW… more relevant to the current storylines on the show - but that seems a little nerdy, even for Lost.
  • Desmond himself could be a "jughead", a nickname for a nuclear bomb, because with his time-traveling abilities, he could accidentally destroy the world - just like a nuke… but that seems to be a bit of a stretch, even for me.

In the end, the best comparison might be to the silly comic book reference. The fact that "Jughead" in Archie Comics wasn't the character's actual name, but was used to hide his real name could easily be applied to a character on Lost. Remember, we spent all of last season wondering who “Jeremy Bentham” was before finding out that it was John Locke. Last episode, we had the reappearance of Ms. Hawking - who might really be Ms. Faraday if some of the Internet theories prove true. Once again, the Lost writers may have been using a fake name as a way to disguise who the character really is for a few episodes.

That’s a decent deeper meaning guess, but I think I’ll take this same concept one step further.

If you recall during the preseason commercials, there were definitely some shots of what appeared to be Penny giving birth to a baby. The preview clip for this week's episode again featured the scene, and by the looks of the guest stars, and the way "The Lie" ended, I'm guessing this episode will be very Desmond-centric, even if true "centricity" of episodes no longer exists in Season Five.


As skilled as Desmond is, I don't see him being able to deliver Penny's baby by himself on a boat floating around in the middle of the ocean. I would think they would need the help of medical professionals. Unfortunately, since they both went undercover to keep "The Lie", their reappearance would draw the attention of Widmore and possibly the wrath of one Benjamin Linus, who promised to Widmore he would kill Penny - although it's unclear if Penny and Desmond are aware of this. So, if they are going into the “real world” to deliver this baby, they would likely need to use fake names at a hospital… just like “Jughead”.

Wow – this is a stretch, even for me. I’m not proud of this work. But I think this is the best “deeper meaning” I can come up with for this week. I'm sure it will end up being something that there would be no way of predicting ahead of time - or it might even be one of those episode titles we don't understand after it airs (like "Eggtown"). But I did my due diligence and gave it the old college try.

However, this does raise a more interesting question - when is Penny pregnant?

If you look at the scene of Penny from last week's episodes, she seemed very non-pregnant (and mega-hot):


And as Lisa pointed out in the Comments section of last week’s analysis, this scene was taking place three years after getting off the Island (2008). Given that we have 70 hours until the world comes to an end (or something), I don’t think it takes place after last week’s scene, which means it must have taken place between 2005 and 2008 – were Desmond and Penny living on a boat with Baby Jughead? It would add an interesting dynamic to Desmond’s decision to try and save the Survivors back on the Island. He already promised Penny that he would never leave her, and told Jack that he would never go back to the Island – but if he is going to save the world, would he also have to leave his newborn child? That’s a pretty tall request, even for our hero Desmond.

This would also mean that Lost is kicking it up a notch in complexity, and this episode might feature the Survivors on Island in pre-2004, Desmond flashbacks to 2005 – 2008, as well as “current” scenes of Desmond and the Oceanic Six in 2008. Whoa. That’s just what we needed.

Episode Description: Desmond goes in search of a woman who could be the key to helping Faraday stop the island's erratic movements through time, and Locke discovers the identity of the unknown forces who have been attacking the survivors.

Guest Stars: Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Sonya Walger as Penelope "Penny" Widmore, Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte Lewis, Tom Connolly as Jones, Alexandra Krosney as Ellie, Imelda Corcoran as Abigail, Matthew Alan as Cunningham, Dan Hildebrand as custodian, Mary Ann Taheny as Moira, Raymond Ma as Efren Salonga, Sarah Farooqui as Theresa and Tuli Roy-Kirwan as secretary.

Guest Stars Breakdown: Not a lot of surprises here. We’ve got Penny and Widmore for the Desmond storylines, Alpert for the Locke storyline, and a slew of new characters who will probably be featured in minor roles.

The two most interesting characters are probably Jones and Cunningham, two of the soldiers who attacked Sawyer and Juliet last week before getting ambushed by Locke. Here’s hoping that we find out some answers about who they are. As I theorized in last episode’s analysis, I’m pulling for them to be a part of Widmore’s original crew to takeover the Island. That would be a pretty interesting development. Some others have guessed that they might be CFL’s original crew, pre-sickness – but their lack of French accents makes that seem unlikely. The only other option for these two blokes would be for them to be honest to plain ol’ Island Originals or Dharma. But the combination of wearing uniforms with names (un-Island Original-like) but without Dharma logos (un-Dharma-like), makes both options seem unlikely.


Episode Breakdown: Well, this episode preview seems to confirm that Desmond decides to follow Faraday’s advice and find his mother in Oxford. It also seems to confirm that somehow, someway she is going to hold the key to stopping the Island from skipping. I have to say, this puts a lot more evidence in the “Ms. Hawking is Faraday’s Mom” column – since I can’t see any way that Faraday’s mother would know what is going on with the Island… and Desmond doesn’t either – he just knows there is danger. It would be nice and neat – and quickly get Desmond back into the fold with Jack’s mission to return to the Island – but I’m still not sold.

Let’s pretend that Ms. Hawking does end up being Faraday’s Mom. After his freaky encounter with her in “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, wouldn’t Desmond turn around and run away immediately after meeting her? Or wouldn’t she try to kill Desmond on the spot, if he really is a “wild card” capable of destroying the world by changing the past? It just seems like it would be too easy to have it all tie together like that. But if it’s anyone else, how could they possibly be able to help with the Island skipping through time? And if it is Ms. Hawking, why isn’t she listed as a guest star this episode? I could understand leaving her off last week (for shock value), but now that we know about her, I would think she would be listed if she were guest starring in the episode.

Your guess is as good as mine at this point. We do have a few other guest stars who could end up being Faraday’s Mom – Abigail, Moira, or Theresa (all of which sound like they would go well with a last name of “Faraday”), but there’s nothing that points to one any more than the other.

The other portion of the episode preview deals with Locke discovering the identity of the “unknown forces” that have been attacking the Survivors. As I mentioned above, the Soldiers seem like likely candidates to be working for Widmore… however, the flaming arrows raining down on our Survivors last week? That certainly smacked of Island Originals, since the Soldiers had more advanced weaponry. We also see a brief clip of the potential arrow-firing culprits in this shot from the episode preview:


I think the ideal situation would be for Locke to find out about both. Discovering that the Soldiers are working for Widmore would confirm how long he’s been working to capture the Island, and the lengths that he has gone to, solidifying his place as the “Big Bad” of the show. On the other hand, finding out that the Island Originals are attacking would provide the next step in understanding the Island skipping – since it could present Locke with a chance to show Alpert the compass and prove to him what is going on. Maybe at that point, we as the audience can start to get some answers about how the skipping is working as well.

…and that’s it. No mention of the Oceanic Six or their antics, although I’m sure we’ll get at least one or two scenes with them. Pretty short and sweet post this week – but something tells me that the episode analysis will be anything but.

One final note – a big shout out to Molly and the Digital Team at Empower MediaMarketing for making this sweet Dharma Cookie Cake for the Lost Season Premiere. I wish my co-workers were this fun. An even bigger shout out for sending me the delicious Dharma-y center of the cake to eat. Let this be a lesson to the rest of you out there. If you want to make the Blog, all you have to do is provide me with delicious foodstuffs! Or cash, of course :)


Happy Losting!



TheycallmeVic said...

Brian what makes you think that CFL's crew must all be French?
I never thought of them that way, and neither do I think they all have to be.

Just a thought.

Brian said...

Since CFL is French, and left the distress signal in French, I assume that the rest of her crew would be French as well - but I suppose they could have been an International Crew. Being all French just seemed more logical.

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with the whole 3 different time frames for this episode. Just think how much better the show has gotten since, stranger in a strange land. That in my opinion is when the show hit bottom for it's standards. Ever since then it's been nothing but Awesomeness since then. I cant wait until wednesday.

Anonymous said...

What do you guys think about Locke getting off the island? Since there is no sub, the island is jumping around in time and space, it's going to be really interesting to see how they get Locke off the island to visit the Oceanic Six. Do you think Desmonds boat will be involved at all?

Anonymous said...

A see a glaring inconsistency in this episode. After the wheel was turned and Locke was all alone, why did Juliet not disappear like the Others/Richard? She is one of them!

For those that say she was brought to the island, then why did people like Cindy (flight attendant who joined the Others), and Zac/Emma (captured kids) not stay with Lock

Anonymous said...

any thoughts on what Ben removed from the hotel room vent?

Brian said...

Bob - if I had to guess, I'd say Locke would get off the Island by doing something involving the FDW again - since that could both get him off the Island, and put him into the proper time period to interact with the Oceanic Six.

Anonymous #1 - Juliet isn't an "Island Original", so that may explain why she is skipping. However, Cindy and the kids should definitely be skipping. Maybe they are, and we just don't know about it since they were at the Temple when all this started... or maybe somehow they have become "nationalized" as Island Originals through some wacky ritual? Although, then you would think Juliet would have had to have gone through the same ritual at some point.

Remind me to Blog about this in my analysis!

Anonymous #2 - I had notes about this during last episode's analysis, but all I had written was "Ben removes a box from the hotel room vent - this will probably be important... or Ben is like Dexter, and it will contain blood samples from all the people he's ever killed."

I agree that it will be important later, but we really have nothing to go on now for determining what is inside. It could be money, passports, a gun, or some wacky device that Ben will eventually use to help the Oceanic Six get back to the Island.

Andrew Steger said...

Why can't they be BOTH CFL's Research Team and Widmore's early attack team. Widmore's new freightor team was both Military and Research. Why couldn't the old team be.

TheycallmeVic said...

Ahh yes I forgot about that French distress signal. If the whole crew wasn't French it would seem kind of dumb to make the distress signal in French. Perhaps that isn't CFL's crew then.

As for how Locke will get off the island: didn't Alpert tell him he has to die to accomplish that?
At least that's what I remember, I need to watch these episodes again.

Alec said...

official forum thread is up: clickity click

Anonymous said...

Brian, I noticed how the last name of one of those Brit soldiers was Jones -- the last name of Forsythe P. Jones aka Jughead.

It may be nothing, but ya never know.

Rebecca said...

When you were talking about Jughead possibly being a nickname that Sawyer calls some one (could see that) I thought it would be funny if they named an episode "Freckles" LOL. I don't see them naming an epi after one of Sawyers nicknames but it made me laugh anyway. The internet definition would seem to make sense. I'm REALLY hoping that Des can bring Penny & the baby back to the island...he'd have to if they are Adam & Eve right? I know we don't know who Adam & Eve are but I like the idea of it being Des & Penny. I'm excited to see that Locke will get information - as long as WE get that information too! Less than 10 hours until LOOOOOST!!!!!

Rebecca said...

VictorC - I think Alpert told Locke he would have to die in order to convince the O6 to return to the island, not in order to leave the island. Though I may have misunderstood.

TheycallmeVic said...

Rebecca, after looking up the transcript, you understood it correctly:

RICHARD: No, they're fine, John, and they're already home, so you have to convince them to come back.

LOCKE: How--how am I supposed to do that?

RICHARD: You're gonna have to die, John.

The question was will Locke have to turn the FDW in order to do it.
I'm thinking Locke will die in the island and won't have to turn the FDW. Otherwise he'd have to die right after turning it, because I don't see him dying off the island and still being able to appear to the O6.

TheycallmeVic said...

Crap I just remembered something, was Bentham the name they saw on the newspaper?
If it is then that answers the question.

Anonymous said...

I'm leaning towards Jughead being the Nuke. We've been focusing on time being torn apart, but could the island have a failsafe to destroy iself if this were to ever happen? Or maybe it's the incident if it's not a nuke. I'm guessing island failsafe.

Anonymous said...

They've got to be Widmores men.

Anonymous said...

who is Faraday's mom??? The clues are: 1. she is a woman (duh), and 2. she is a Brit. Could she be... Penny? Maybe that's why they don't have Hawking listed as a guest star - because she is not mommy. So, when Des opened the hatch last week, and asked if had met Faraday before, it was b/c he was his dad.

Anonymous said...


Jughead = Jones (nice one Kyle)
or perhaps
Jughead = Mule = Frozen Donkey Wheel?

Happy Losting everyone.

Jana said...

The island is not only hopping around in time, it has leaped completely off your RSS feed. I was reading this in Bloglines, and any place the word "Island" was supposed to be it was just blank.


Anonymous said...

hey Anoym....wacky theory that Desmond is Daniel's dad. very litte doubt that Mrs Hawkins (sp?) is his mom. After all, she's the time travel expert....why else would Faraday ask Desmond to find his mother?? On that note however, I wonder what Desmond will tell her, if or once he finds her? Faraday was unable to give any instructions as to what he should say or ask her.

Anonymous said...

My bet is on (I'm usually wrong though) that the english 'soldiers' are Widmore people - when he owned the island (remember he told Ben that the island was his and was taken away) pre-Dharma. Dharma (then the Others) came and took the island away from Widmore...

Can't get excited about whether Mrs Hawking is really Daniel's mother or not. MORE interested in what it was that turned Sayid against Ben. Is Ben really a baddy or like Brian speculates - he has a plan to get himself back to the island and lead again.

PS Sick of that arrogant attitude that Others have (like Jill). Where does Ben get these bores?

Anonymous said...

We know that Locke got off the island somehow, went by the name "Jeremy Bentham", and spoke with at least Jack, Walt, and Hurley. So he doesn't die to get off the Island--he dies later.

the Other Brian

Anonymous said...

I think Faraday must have said more to Desmond than what we heard... He was in the jungle for 2 hours, remember?

Anonymous said...

I love the multiple meanings of the title... I had no idea it meant "a foolish or stupid person", and when I read that, I laughed and thought "YES! That is so appropriate!" But not because I thought it meant Sawyer. True, he did get called an idiot, but he wasn't that crucial to the episode for the title to be referring to him.

The reason I thought it was appropriate is because one of the things I loved the most in the episode is that young Widmore was such a moron! :D "Their leader is some sodding old man, he'll never be able to track me back" made me LOL, and "We were outnumbered" made me ROTFL. :)

ninja raiden said...

Hey, Brian! Could Theresa Spenser be the infamous Annie from the Dharma Initiative? Her sister says she wakes up looking for her "dolly" (Ben's doll?). Plus she has a different reaction to the "sickness". Plus, with what we've seen of Widmore, could it be that he would be so spiteful of Ben that he would lock Annie away with the help of a possibly unknowing Faraday? What do you guys think of that theory?

Anonymous said...

hmmmm - perhaps my interpretation....
but at the end - casually thrown in - desmond says the kid's name is Charlie...
granted he may have named the kid after Charlie - his 'friend' on the Island but you would think that would have been shown in a moment between him and Penny and him saying he wanted to name the child after his mate....no - nothing like that....it was just casually thrown in...the child's name is Charlie.
Perhaps it means nothing - but perhaps it means EVERYTHING!

Desmond had a weird connection with Charlie on the Island....why???
and why could Desmond see Charlie's death over and over again...????

and since this season is all about time travel......and for some strange reason there is a focus on penny giving birth in this episode with no real explanation....you have to wonder WHY?

the birth scene / the kid name charlie / time travel / desmonds connection with charlie on the island.....does THIS not pose some very interesting questions to all....

and jughead - My interpretation - Jughead from Archie comics always kept his eyes closed...always. Meaning - he wouldnt look. What are we or arent we seeing in this episode???