Monday, March 16, 2009

Lost - "Namaste"

Episode Title: “Namaste”


Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: The word “namaste” is a good example of Lost making me a smarter person. Who says that TV isn't good for you? I'm pretty sure that I never heard or used the word "namaste" once in the first twenty-four years of my life, but after hearing it used multiple times over the past three seasons, it’s a word my brain comprehends… and that I could probably use in a sentence correctly. In your face, word of the day calendar! So what's the deeper meaning behind making "namaste" the episode title this week? Let's examine…


Officially, “namaste” is a common spoken greeting or salutation in the Indian subcontinent. Taken literally, it means "I bow to you". When spoken to another person, it is commonly accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. The gesture can also be performed wordlessly and carry the same meaning. In Indian and Nepali culture, the word is spoken at the beginning of written or verbal communication. However, upon departure only the wordless hands-folded gesture is made.


On Lost, the Dharma Initiative has taken the word and turned it into their catchphrase (much like “Aloha” to Hawaiians or “Who Dey” to Cincinnati Bengals fans) – it means, “hello”, “goodbye”, “I hate Pittsburgh”, or any number of other common phrases. We’ve mostly seen it being used in the past by Pierre Chang on the Orientation videos – but have also heard it being used mockingly by Kelvin Inman inside the Swan Hatch. I'm going to guess it's a word that is used quite liberally among the more "devout" Dharmites, so its appearance this week makes a lot of sense. After all, as we saw last week Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Miles (and assumedly Faraday) have become Dharma over the past three years on the Island (which is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it. Remember at the start of Season Two when we first learned about Dharma and wanted to know all about it? Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought "oh, we're going to learn all about it through the eyes of our Survivors in Season Five, since they WILL BE DHARMA." I love Lost.)


At the end of the last episode, Sawyer and Jin discovered that Kate, Jack, and Hurley had somehow returned to the Island - so taken quite literally "namaste" could mean "welcome" to these newcomers to the Island in the year 1977.


***For those who don't want to speculate based on the episode preview, you'll probably want to stop reading now. In fact, you probably shouldn't be reading any of this! What's the matter with you?***


The curious thing is that based on the preview, it looks like Sayid trips some sort of security system and is "captured" by Dharma (which is really, really ironic given the past history of Ben being captured / tortured by Sayid in Season Two). In the brief scenes we've got in the preview, they aren't talking about "a group" of people being captured - but only one - Sayid. 


So where are Jack, Kate, and Hurley? They're safe and sound with Jin and Sawyer. The way I see it, there's two ways that Sawyer can explain the sudden arrival of these strangers on the Island:

  1. Claim they are the long-lost "crew" that he has been searching for over the past three years, who he suddenly found.
  2. Sneak them into Dharma.


The first scenario would require a lot of explaining - like how they survived on the Island unnoticed for so long, why they are so clean-cut looking, why they are wearing modern clothes, etc - so although it might have worked in the first few days or weeks after Sawyer and Co. met up with Dharma in 1974, it probably won't cut it in 1977.


On the other hand, assuming that the submarine is still coming and going to the Island every week or so, bringing people to and from the Island, it would be easy for Sawyer and Co. to work the names of Jack, Kate, and Hurley into the manifest of expected arrivals and sneak them into the group of gawking newbies arriving on the Island after a long trip on a submarine. Plus, it just adds to the delicious irony that more and more of our Survivors are "becoming" Dharma!


So, it seems as though "namaste" not only refers to a welcome of Jack, Kate, and Hurley to the Island in 1977… but also as a welcome to the Dharma Initiative itself! Not the deepest title ever - but still pretty cool.




Guest Stars: John Terry as Christian Shephard, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Francois Chau as Dr. Marvin Candle, Said Taghmaoui as Caesar, Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana, Reiko Aylesworth as Amy, Sterling Beaumon as young Ben, Patrick Fischler as Phil, Molly McGivern as Rosie, Eric Lange as Radzinsky, Dan Gauthier as co-pilot and Sven Lindstrom as photographer.


Guest Star Breakdown: Wow - there's a lot to be really excited about in this week's Guest Star listing. For starters, it seems to confirm that we are going to start having a dual-Island-storyline going on - one focusing on the 316ers in 2008 (Frank Lapidus, Caesar, Ilana) and one focusing on our Survivor-Dharmites in 1977 (Candle, Amy, Phil, Rosie)… in a way, it's like the flashbacks and flashforwards since they are totally different time periods, and you could even use the same sound effects. Once again, Lost has found a way to keep the "flash" idea fresh! We should finally be able to confirm who was with Frank on the Outrigger (it's going to be Sun, just trust me), and what happened when they got back to the main Island. Will we see the other side of the scene where Juliet shoots a Backrigger this week? I'm going to guess that will take at least one more week - since we need to allow time for at least a few more 316ers to get over to the main Island, as there were definitely more than two Backriggers that we saw earlier this season. But what we might see is what Frank and Sun discover when they reach the old Beach Camp, and where they go from there. Will they attempt to enter the Jungle? Will they run into the Others? Will they give up on Jin and build a sand castle? I can't wait to find out!


But the far bigger guest star news starts with the inclusion of both Young Ben. Could it be that we'll see the scene of Young Ben arriving on the Island again, this time from the perspective of our Survivor-Dharmites? I don't think they would recognize him, but they could totally see his name on some sub manifest! I know that "whatever happened, happened", but I can imagine someone like Sayid flipping out and attempting to attack Ben - couldn't you? If nothing else, the dropped jaws and shocked glares between our Survivor-Dharmites and Ben will be nothing short of amazing. Here is this meek, nerdy little kid that will eventually manipulate and attempt to ruin all their lives… and get a number of people killed in the process. It's a damn good thing that Desmond didn't end up on Ajira 316 - and in 1977 with Jack, Kate, and Hurley - if he really does have the power to change the past, you better believe he would use it to squeeze Young Ben's little neck (assuming Ben attacked / killed Penny, of course - which reminds me, are we going to see any more Desmond this season? With so much on-Island action to take care of, I'm afraid we won't see him again until next season…)


Finally, the biggest guest star this week (for me, at least) is none other than Radzinsky, a guy who thus far on Lostpedia has been represented by this picture of stained blood on the ceiling of the Swan Hatch:




For those who don’t remember, here's a brief refresher courtesy of Lostpedia:


Radzinsky was Kelvin Inman's partner inside the Swan before Desmond crashed on the Island. Kelvin told Desmond that Radzinsky was the originator of the blast door map, which he worked on with the aid of his photographic memory. He discovered how to fake a lockdown incident, which made it possible to work on the map more deliberately. Radzinsky is also responsible for having edited the Swan Orientation film. Kelvin explained to Desmond that, while he was asleep, Radzinsky committed suicide by putting a shotgun in his mouth and firing it, causing a blood stain on the ceiling. Because of the protocol, Kelvin had to bury him within 108 minutes.


Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Radzinsky:




It's going to be somewhat sad to finally meet poor Radzinsky, since we already know how it all turns out for him… poorly. He's going to be a "prisoner" inside the Swan Hatch that eventually goes crazy and kills himself. But his existence on the Island in 1977 does raise a number of quite intriguing questions:

  • Since Kelvin seems to have learned much of what he knows from Radzinsky, did Radzinsky teach him to keep up the "quarantine" hoax? Or did Radzinsky actually think that something happened on the Island to cause the conditions to change, like the Purge? Clearly he's walking around in 1977 with the other Dharmites without any concern for his health.
  • What happened to turn Radzinsky into a "Rebel Dharmite", as I long ago reasoned he must be, based on the things written on the Blast Door Map… and what would be the point, if all of Dharma died in the Purge, but Radzinsky survived thanks to being stuck inside the Swan Hatch? Was he simply recording everything he knew on the Blast Door Map so that someone in the future could pick up the work of Dharma on the Island? If so, why make that information so hard to find?
  • Given that Radzinsky lives on the Island before the Swan Hatch was built (and the Orientation Video made), he should know all the details surrounding the Incident and the reason for entering the 108 Numbers. As we saw when Locke didn't enter the Numbers, it's bad news… so why would he eventually edit the Orientation Video? Wouldn't all the information contained within be pretty important?
  • Did Radzinsky voluntarily enter the Swan Hatch, thinking he would be relieved of duty in a short period - but then the Purge happened, stranding him all alone in the Swan Hatch with the weight of the world on his shoulders to keep entering the Numbers? Was Kelvin with him from the start, or did he come along later?


Many questions… and since it's only 1977, we probably won't get any of these answers this week… but maybe we'll get some before our Survivors skip back to 2008 (since I'm assuming this will be "The Incident"). At any rate, it'll be nice to get to know another character in the Lost universe that we first heard about three seasons ago.



Episode Description: When some old friends drop in unannounced, Sawyer is forced to further perpetuate his lie in order to protect them.


Episode Breakdown: Before we attempt to tackle this week's episode description, I think we better revisit last episode's description, since this week seems to build on it:


"Sawyer perpetuates a lie with some of the other island survivors in order to protect themselves from mistakes of the past."


Looking back on "LaFleur", the first part of the description makes sense - Sawyer and the other Skipping Survivors lied about who they really were, and said that they arrived on the Island due to a shipwreck… but I'm still not sure about the second part. What are the mistakes of the past? It seems like the alternative to lying about their origin is to tell people that they are from the future and skipping through time. Did the Skipping Survivors, aside from Locke, ever tell this to anyone on the Island? I can't think of any situations where their identities were questioned, especially from Dharma. Even with Locke telling the truth, there were no real negative repercussions as far as our Skipping Survivors are concerned - and you could even argue that there were some real positive ones since it put Locke on the path to be the leader of the Others, allowed Sawyer to talk Alpert into keeping the truce, and eventually led to stopping the Skipping on the Island (in a roundabout way). If anyone else understands what this means, please enlighten me in the Comments!


But I digress - the important thing is that this week seems to hint that Sawyer will take his lie one step further to protect Jack, Kate, and Hurley. Initially, this sounds like he'll claim that they are his long lost missing crew members to protect them from being captured by Dharma (like Sayid) - but as I discussed above, sneaking them in as Dharma seems like the much more logical and fun way to deal with their arrival… and if I can't make sense of last week's episode description even after watching and analyzing the episode, there's probably a good chance that this week's episode description isn't 100% accurate either - so I'm going to stick with my instincts and chalk up the episode description to being another week of vague inaccuracies, designed to keep the true action of the episode secret… and that's perfectly fine with me!


Lastly, as promised I'll tackle the questions that were posed in the Comments from my "LaFleur" analysis… in case anyone cares!


Sam said...

Brian, I think you are missing the main point about Paul's Ankh. it is a direct allusion to Paul Anka, who wrote (according to Wiki) such (Sawyer-centric) hits as: "You Are my Destiny," "Lonely Boy," "I Miss You So," "Puppy Love," "One Man Woman/One Woman Man," "I Don't Like to Sleep Alone," "It's Hard to Say Goodbye," and my two favorite Lost-centric titles, "Times of Your Life" (can you say 'time loop'?) and "(You're) Having my Baby."


Brian says…

Absolutely fantastic. I wish I had come up with that.


NathanColquhoun said...

could the baby have been Karl?


Brian says...

2004 - 1977 = 27 Years Old. Karl was Krazy, but he certainly didn't appear to be any older than late teens / early twenties. Possible, but not likely.


singhy said...

However my question for you - just to get your thoughts - is "What do you think the repercussions (if any) of Miles being a Dharmite at the same time he is born, and our survivors being present at the same time Benjamin Linus is a Dharmite, are?"


Brian says...

Seeing our Survivors mingle around so freely with Dharma makes me think that maybe running into yourself won't bring about the end of the world like I initially thought - although, it's fair to say that Miles will never come in close contact with himself (who would let a creepy security guy near their newborn baby?). Like I said, the implications of Ben (or Alpert) running into our Survivor-Dharmites is far more interesting, since if they are able to put together who they are once Oceanic 815 crashes on the Island, they would know that there was nothing they could do to prevent them from carrying out their destiny of time-skipping (since "whatever happened, happened").


omanni said...

Have you thought that why Richard thinks Locke is the leader of the Others?

Locke didn't success in those tests that Richard did to him when he was young.

I think the only reason that Richard thinks Locke should be the leader is that Locke said it to him in 1954. So it's a loop. Maybe Locke shouldn't actually be the leader?


Brian says...

I think Richard Alpert was skeptical about Locke's claims from the start. He saw nothing "special" about young Locke when he visited him in his youth, but eventually realized that Locke was telling the truth (in part thanks to Sawyer corroborating his story last week in 1977). Even if Richard doesn’t believe it, he knows that he has to make Locke believe it - since that is what led to Locke going down the path he did, eventually bringing him to 1954 to talk to Alpert. It will be interesting to see if Locke is really special once he reunites with the Others on the Island in 2008. Will they greet him with open arms? Did he already complete his "mission", and is now of no more use to them than Ben (who also carried out his "mission" in the Purge)? Locke has a history of being used and abused, but I'd hate to see it happen to him yet again on the Island. Give the guy a semi-happy ending!


pete said...

In the episode where Ben was born on the side of the road and his mom died, it was Horace Goodspeed and his wife Gloria that stopped to help Ben's dad. Horace later helped Ben's dad get a job on the island with Dharma, after Ben was older.

 In this episode, Horace's wife is AMY.

So what happened to Gloria? Or Amy? Why was Horace on the mainland when Ben was born? Was it before or after Sawyer and crew showed up on the island? And is it possible a young Ben Linus is in the Dharma camp with Sawyer and crew?


Brian says…

Yeah, I probably should have addressed this in my analysis. It seems like a pretty glaring continuity error. We know that Horace and Amy are hot and heavy in 1977… and it seems like this will be the year that Ben arrives on the Island – meaning that Gloria will be teaching him about volcanoes on the Island in the very near future. What gives? I think the logical explanation is that Horace has multiple lady-friends. It was the 1970's, after all. Free love, rock and roll, and pot brownies for everyone! Does Dharma know how to party or what?!


Dave Harty said...

My big question from this week is what made Julliett decide to stay longer than 2 weeks? Was it her feelings for Sawyer or something else? She seemed pretty determined to return to the real world when that sub left in 2 weeks.

Also, did Juliett know about the purge and how Dharma came to its end?


Brian says…

The sappy romantic in me wants to say that Juliet stayed because she was falling for Sawyer… or maybe Sawyer just kept coming up with excuses for her to stay "just a little longer" each time and eventually won her over. We've seen no evidence that Juliet know about the Purge, although one would think that a smart girl like her could figure out that if suddenly this huge group of people suddenly "left" the Island, there was something sketchy that caused it involving Ben and the Others.


Matthew said...

What if the Others at some point jumped back in time, like WAY back, and are having to "wait" for their current time to age normally? That would explain Alpert,at least. Also, remember when Juliet was working with the birthing mothers, and she said that one of the birthing moms' wombs was that of a 75 year old? Maybe their inability to birth is due to the fact that their bodies are very old from a time skip, but their outward appearance stays normal. What say you?


Brian says…

I had the same theory a few weeks ago - until I realized that if this was the case, Alpert shouldn't have been so surprised by Locke's claim that he was from the future. It's still the most "scientific" explanation for Alpert not aging - but it seems like there are already holes in it. Blasted!


jack said...

the age old question remains "what happened to the FTS from the past (it was a full statue) to the present (it is just a foot)"? how did it get destroyed? what is its' significance?


Brian says…

I'm going to assume that it suffered the same fate as many ancient structures - erosion from wind, rain, the ground settling beneath it, and being shot by soldiers during WWI for target practice eventually caused it to fall to the ground.


David's Honey said...

Did any of the bodies in the pit from "the incident" have their jumpsuits on w/ a name of LaFluer? Or were all the jumpsuits deteriorated too much?

What was the name of the Dharma man who was building a house in the woods that one of the Losties (Locke?) saw?


Brian says…

The only visible name on the jumpsuits in the Purge Pit was Horace… as in Horace Goodspeed… who happened to be the same Dharma Man perpetually building a cabin in Locke's dream.



I think that just about covers it.


Happy Losting!


control said...

Gloria=Olivia ????

Nice preview Brian.

Rebecca said...

My vote is for building sand castles. I think that's one thing our survivors haven't done to pass time on the island ;) I like the new Q&A portion of your post.

Hobbes said...

When it comes to Juliet and Sawyer, makes me kinda wonder how much they have shared with each other. It has been three years lovey and dovey. Well ok more to the point how much has Juliet told Sawyer about her time with the Others, what they're about, their philosphy's, her banishment scar the Others gave to her for killing some of their own; things like that.

Had a eureka moment a few days ago before drifting off to sleep and thanks to Brian just now remembered it. Sad I know -- Not that I think about Lost before I fall asleep because I know you all do to;) Sad because I'm getting old and it took me three days to remember. It's about Amy and Horace's son. Any chance it could be Hurley? (pause...wait for it...) "Huh?!wtf?" you say.

Well I never really thought Hugo Reyes really looked like his parents nationality. Granted that could just be a casting/actors thing. But I was also thinking that since Mr.I.C.DeadPeople (as Sawyer put it) was (we are assuming) born on the island. And since Hurley can see dead people on occasion too, perhaps he was born on the island as well. Ergo! son to Horace (could be the hair too -- but I thought that was going to be the connection to Charlotte before we found out it Horace had a boy). I think the age lines up fairly well. Ok maybe it's a thin line (no pun intended Hurley, xoxo)

glf said...

Being a preview fan I felt I should comment to ensure ongoing support of this 'service' you very kindly provide us out here in cyberspace.

1) Very excited about Radzinsky - never thought we'd get the incident/Swan back story.

2) Juliet and Ben - if Ben is arriving in DI island world - she must interact with him ("you do look like her") another back story coming as to why he was obsessed with getting and keeping her????

Makaha Studios said...

Yay! We’ve come back to The Mystery of the Blast Door Map. Sounds like a groovy Scooby-Doo epi!

The map is what led me to your blog, Brian. Time loop!

Brian said...

In that screen shot of Sayid, I'm betting that's Jin's hair in the foreground...

Lisa said...

What if the alarm going off while Ben and Annie are in class was set off by Sayid, and that's how he gets caught?

Unknown said...

Hey Brian,
Remember that Kelvin taught Sayid how to torture during the Gulf war. So he had to come to the swain hatch after the early 90's.

Unknown said...

Regarding the Four Toed Statue(FTS) I think there is a very good possibility that its Faraday. Has anyone else noticed in the Season 5 PROMO picture, where they are all in the apartment that looks like a jungle, Faradays LEFT Foot is missing? Just something to think about.

jack said...

it would be very cool and freaky for Sayid to meet Kelvin on the Island.

Jana said...

Has anyone read The Time Traveler's Wife? I think the way time travel works in that novel is the same as on Lost - whatever happened happened, even if a character from the future goes back and does something in the past. The main character even knows when and where he's going to die, but he can't do anything to stop it. I think when all is said and done, that's how things will work out on this show.

Kris C said...


Freaky that you mention Time Traveler's Wife. Just this morning I mentioned to a friend that the Other miscarriages were similar to the book's. Will be interesting to see if they are directly related to time travel.

jack said...

the entire concept of time travel on a sci-fi show is very tough to wrap your head around. so many rules, laws and easy to "shoot the gap" with scripts that are often wrought with exceptions, continuity errors and the such.

Clearly, with LOST, the writers struggle with the issue of free will vs fate. It seems like the "whatever happened" mantra illustrates how we don't really have free will and that fate drives our actions...dictates the outcome.

all of that said, so I guess that "whatever happened, happened" means that the folks from the prior timeline have only lived 1 timeline. in other words, if Sawyer and Company came back with Sawyer rescuing the gal from the hostiles, that is the way it always was. Right?

Dave Harty said...

I have a hard time coming to grips with the "whatever happened, happened" concept. I'm ok with the course correction of the universe, but I can't accept that Sawyer ALWAYS saved Amy.

To get to point "B" you must pass point "A" first at some point in the cycle.

Chicken or egg theory I suppose.