Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lost - "Whatever Happened, Happened"

Episode Title: "Whatever Happened, Happened"


Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: It's like the writers knew exactly what was going to happen at the end of last week's episode (Ben getting shot), and named this episode as a way to immediately answer any questions people might have about the fate of Ben! Given that this week's episode was written by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (joy!), I think that's probably a pretty safe bet. We've all thrown the expression around for the past few weeks, but it still seems like some people are confused by it. In a nutshell, it basically means that you can't create a paradox of time. Meaning, Sayid can't go back and time and shoot Ben unless that has ALWAYS happened. You can't add new events to the past. You can't say "well, that didn't happen originally, but now that our Survivors are back in the past it's different." Whatever happened, happened.


Applying this theory to Sayid shooting Ben, it means that Sayid has always shot Ben, and somehow Ben still survives, becomes leader of the Others, messes with our Survivors, ends up off-Island, ends up back on-Island, and gets whacked upside the head by Sun with a Backrigger paddle. From there, who knows what happens to Ben - but at the very least we know that regardless of what happens in 1977 - all these events will eventually happen.


We debated exactly how Ben could survive such an apparent killshot, and I'm anxious to see exactly how the writers explain his survival. It seems to me there are two cards they can play - the Medical Card, or the Mystical Card. The Medical Card would have Jack / Juliet saving Ben, and having a medical explanation for how he was able to survive ("It went right through him without hitting anything major! It's a miracle!"). The Mystical Card could still have Jack / Juliet working to save him, but wouldn't be able to explain why he didn't die ("The bullet is lodged in his heart. He should be bleeding to death but he's not!") In the first case, we would have a scenario with a great deal of irony where Jack / Juliet end up saving the life of someone who will eventually cause such heartache and trouble for them. In the second case, we would have another example of the Island not allowing someone to die until it's damn well ready... which may actually mean Ben was somewhat "chosen" by the Island after all (at least to carry out the Purge). Either way, this event should result in some Lost-classic long wordless stares between our Survivors (I'm looking at you Jack and Kate) as they realize what happened (happened).


Guest Stars: Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Kim Dickens as Cassidy, Doug Hutchison as Horace Goodspeed, Susan Duerden as Carol Littleton, Sterling Beaumon as young Ben, Patrick Fischler as Phil, Jon Gries as Roger Linus, William Blanchett as Aaron, Sebastian Siegel as Erik, Candace Scholz as Debra, Susan King as sweet young woman, Miko Franconi as grocery worker, Scott Moura as manager and Olivia Vickery as Clementine.


Guest Star Breakdown: Anytime Richard Alpert appears in an episode, it's good news for me. The question is - will he be interacting with our 1977 Survivors, or our 2008 Survivors? Remember, we still have absolutely no idea what the Others have been up to from 2005 to 2008, so an appearance of Alpert in 2008 might be our first chance to find out... also, we seem long overdue to have some advancement in the 2008 storyline. Remember how important Locke was to the beginning of this season? We've now gone three episodes without seeing him. Does he finally make his way over to the main Island to reunite with Alpert and learn his "new mission"? On the other hand, a reappearance of Alpert in 1977 might confirm that he witnesses Ben's apparent "death" and "resurrection" in surviving Sayid's gunshot wound, which puts him on the path to becoming the eventual leader of the Others. I guess either way, it'll be good for the storyline. Dare I get greedy and hope he appears in both 1977 and 2008 to advance BOTH storylines? Probably an unrealistic request...


The other shocking guest stars all appear off-Island, most likely in the form of flashbacks. First we've got Carol Littleton (aka "Claire's Mom") and Aaron (aka "Claire's Kid"), which seemingly confirm that this week will be a Kate-centric episode, featuring flashbacks about what she did with Aaron before boarding Ajira 316... and it looks like the answer is "left him with Carol and told her the truth about who Aaron is"... which would absolutely blow the cover off "the lie" that the Oceanic Six have told since they returned from the Island... and might inadvertently lead to a whole new set of people finding a reason to hunt for the Island.


Then, we've got Cassidy (aka "Sawyer's Former Lover") and Clementine (aka "Sawyer's Bastard Child"). For those who don't remember Cassidy, she was a recently divorced woman who Sawyer hooked up with, then taught how to con before long conning her (that sounds dirty), took her money, and left her... even though it kinda seemed like he truly liked her. 


She would later interact with Kate in a few flashbacks and eventually meet Sawyer in jail to inform him that he had a daughter named Clementine Phillips. Remember the mysterious thing that Sawyer whispered into Kate's ear before jumping off the helicopter in last season's finale? Smart money was that he told her about Cassidy and Clementine, and asked Kate to "take care of them" or "tell them he was a hero" or "give them some money". Based on their inclusion in what seems to be a Kate-centric outing, it looks like she kept her word... and this was probably the person Kate was talking to on the phone when Jack got all paranoid in "Something Nice Back Home".


Remember last week when I said it looked like we filled in all the "holes" in Sayid's storyline, so I was afraid he might be on "Death Watch"? Based on the characters appearing in this episode, there's a good chance we're going to do the same thing with Kate, filling in all the "holes" (that's what he said?) - so she might be on Death Watch as well from this point forward... or there's just the possibility that with less than 25 episodes of Lost remaining, these are simply the first characters to start "wrapping up" their backstories in preparation for the inevitable ending... boy, that makes me depressed just thinking about it. This should cheer us up:



Episode Description: Kate goes to extreme measures to save Ben's life when Jack refuses to help.  Meanwhile, Kate begins to tell the truth about the lie in order to protect Aaron.


Episode Breakdown: Wow. Talk about your all-time backfires. I guess forget about all those times I referenced Jack saving Ben's life over the past week! Apparently he's throwing that Hippocratic Oath out the window and saying "Oh, Young Ben needs help to survive? Sucks to be him!" The irony here is that in 2004, Jack hated Ben, yet still saved his life by performing the spinal surgery on him. Yet in 2008, after Jack has been working with Ben to get back to the Island, seemingly on good terms, he's presented with a situation to save his life and refuses. Is Jack trying to change the past? Or has he really just become that hardened during the three years he spent off-Island?


At any rate, this forces Kate to go to "extreme measures" to save Young Ben's life, which is again ironic since less than a week ago she was the person who had such anger towards Ben, slapping Jack for talking about his funeral and walking away from their proposal to return to the Island at the marina. Is she trying to prevent creating a paradox of time, or does Young Ben just remind her of Aaron, which makes her a softy for saving the lives of children?


Either way, this episode description makes it seem like Ben's survival of Sayid's gunshot is going to be explained medically, rather than mystically. But this still doesn't help explain what extreme measures she could go through to save him. It seems like there are rather limited options on the Island to save him - especially if Jack is refusing to help. That leaves the shoddy medical staff in Dharma who couldn't even deliver baby Ethan (I guess this is before The Staff existed since that was a MEDICAL STATION), Juliet, or the Others. Since there's some obvoius tension between Kate and Juliet, would that qualify Kate going to her for help as an "extreme measure"? That seems like a stretch. Going to the Others to help Ben would seem "extreme" given her current position inside Dharma, but how would they be able to help? While this could explain Alpert's role in the episode, it doesn't seem like they have any super-doctor among them or magical healing fountain. If they did, wouldn't they have used either one over the past few seasons when our Survivors were killing Others left and right? Puzzling...


The second portion of the episode description appears to actually be a description of the flashback portion of the episode, where Kate begins to tell the truth about "The Lie" (about the Oceanic Six) in order to protect Aaron. I'm guessing this simply means dumping Aaron with Carol and saying "this is your grandson. He's was born on this mysterious Island that no one can find, but the natives may or may not think he's special. For some unknown reason, I'm going back there. Make sure Aaron doesn't go back there... even though technically his mother - and your daughter - might be alive and well on the Island... bye". This scene should be followed by Carol asking Kate if she is drunk and / or high, but probably will result in her accepting Aaron in the end.


So there you have it. Am I excited for this episode? Absolutely. As I mentioned, it's written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, which means we could receive some serious mythology or big picture revelations. In theory, all the writers on Lost probably know all the "secrets", but in my head, I picture Carlton and Damon revealing only what they need to each week, while keeping the major secrets locked inside their heads until they reveal them. I don't think they would "trust" anyone else to write an episode with a big revelation out of fear that the details might not match what they've envisioned inside their head - which is why they usually are the ones to write the season premieres and season finales, which many would call the "most important" episodes each season.


...and with that, I've sufficiently over-hyped this episode so that no matter what happens, people will be disappointed. You're welcome.


Happy Losting!



jack said...

can't wait. what else can anyone say!!!

Renee' said...

I'm so excited!
Can't wait to see Clementine..!
I'm hoping to see Alpert in both timelines too.

Laura said...

Sounds like a good episode!
I just found out that the actor who plays Horace was also Percy, the awful prison guard, in the Green Mile with Tom Hanks. Wow, what a transformation! He is a great actor.

Cathy said...

I don't want to sound stupid, but could there be a connection between young Ben's bullet wound and adult Ben's back "tumor"?

Brian said...

I'm no doctor, but I have to think that Jack, a spinal surgeon by trade, would be able to tell the difference between a tumor and a bullet - even if somehow the bullet was "lodged" in Ben's back.

Any medical professionals out there, feel free to confirm or deny.

EddieBrick said...

Jack would have to be able to tell the difference between a bullet and tumor, plus it looked like sayid shot him more in the chest... although im just hoping that somehow ben dies and futureben pulls a marty mcfly and fades away =P

P.S. i believe none of us object to more pictures of kate in your posts!

glf said...

Thanks Brian - the whatever happened, happened concept has finally crystalised in my mind so it's a no-brainer isn't it? Ben survives!

The only possible surprise maybe why Kate fights to save Ben (he helped her with Aaron & Claie's Mum?).

PS My original bet was that Aaron is with Cassy but it now lookslike he's with Grandma doesn't it so the Cassy story is what Kate motivated her to return to the island? (I'm sure I'll be completely wrong as usual.)

PPS Is Cathy asking if a bullet wound 'scar' (ie bullet has been removed) can eventually turn into a tumor?

TheycallmeVic said...

Should be a great episode, can't wait.

Strider said...

How could Ben survive? The answer is obvious. Sayid shot him in the heart ... but Ben has no heart! No vital organs were damaged. Just like John Locke. :)

Dharma Mayonnaise said...

I think I have the Whatever happened, happened thing straight in my head except for one thing – what happens to the time traveling survivors. Using Sayid as an example, obviously the shooting of Ben has always happened yet he clearly has no memory of it when they crashed in 2004/when he tortured Ben in the hatch. Would this memory of shooting Ben become clear to him in 2008?

If he were to live on the Island from 1977-2004 would he see himself crash on the island or is the assumption that ‘fate’ would lead him back off island and onto the Oceanic flight? I know we saw Sawyer view Kate from afar but can one view/interact with oneself? (I guess I need to watch 12 Monkeys)

Grimalkin said...

Your analysis seems right on, but I'm afraid that given the date, the episode title might be a red herring, and Ben's shooting really didn't happen before. I tend to agree with the "Whatever happened, happened" theory, but I'm afraid that given how blatant the episode's title is, it may be a complex April Fool's Day joke.
I hope not, but it's a possibility. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Dave Harty said...

J-Bos - Maybe that explains why Ben didn't travel back to 1977 with Jack, Kate and Hurley - because he was already there as a 12 year old. Could that be the reason? It would also explain why Charlotte died before the final flash back to 1974, because she was there too.

If so, maybe that is why Sun didn't go to the past. Do we know that Chang's child was a boy???

JillyB said...

Oooh Dave Harty! Good thought, maybe Changs kid is Sun! I haven't thought this through, but I like the idea.

Anonymous said...

Dave Harty, that theory doesn't really hold water. Remember, there was a scene earlier in the season where Sawyer saw Claire giving birth. Clearly, Sawyer was in that time period as a survivor of 815. Because of this, wouldn't Sawyer and Locke have to have died/not travelled to the time period that they were still in?

TheycallmeVic said...

J-Bos, what you're failing to understand is that yes, Sayid always shot Ben in the 70's, but Sayid had not done it until now. Because of that he can't "remember" such a thing, because he hadn't time traveled to the past on done it yet.
Now, the people that should "remember" such a thing are the ones that were always there in the 70's, people like Ben and whoever else was there in Dharma that survived the purge (probably just Ethan, but he was too young).

As for your question of Sayid seeing his 2004 self crash on the island, that's a good question, and it applies to all the other survivors as well. That's a question we won't have the answer to until most likely the end of the show.

Dave, Chang's baby was clearly a boy, Chang said to "shut him up."

jack said...

J-Bos....some folks shown in last episode were living in their organic timeframe (70's). For them (ie; young Benjamin Linus), he will grow up and remember whatever happened to him in that time. It was clearly implied that as a grown-up, he had first hand reason to know that Sayid is a "natural killer" given that he shot Ben as a young kid.

However, as for our time-travelers (ie; Sayid), they can only remember this chapter in their life after they live it. As a result, Sayid and others will only rememeber these events heretofore.

Clearly a tough thing to wrap your head around but that seems to be clearly what the writters had in mind so far as the dynamic of time traveling and the memory of those present in that time and those traveling in time.

A good example is when Sawyer asks Richard if he remembered John Locke visiting their camp several years prior and then, puff, disappearing? Richard held a memory of that event but Locke would only remember it after it happened in his lifecycle.

Make any sense?

Dharma Mayonnaise said...

Thanks Jack/Victor. I’m on board with what you guys are saying. I’m still confused about how things will play out when the time travelers reach a point that they’ve already experienced (i.e. 2004) or if they’ll just time travel past then to ‘present day’. But as Victor says, Lost’s version of the answer to that scenario has yet to be given…

TheycallmeVic said...

J-Bos, if Brian is right (and I have a strong feeling he is), the season finale will be our survivors causing "the incident," which takes them back to the present time, rejoining Locke, Sun and everybody else.

If that is the case, then the answer to your question is that they won't be on the island in 2004 to run into themselves.

Brian, have you looked at the episode descriptions for the upcoming episodes? or is that dabbling into spoilers?

Dave Harty said...

It makes sense that the time travlers will have to make one more jump, presumably before the purge, and jump back to the "present day" (2007?). How that happens, we'll have to see. By doing that they will skip over themselves after the Oceanic crash and join the Ajira survivors. Will they return to the "real world" then?

Imagine the publicity when 5 of the O6 survive another plane crash!

Assuming that all of our survivors are over the age of 30, does anyone have any thoughts on if/how their younger selves in 1977 might have some awareness of their older selves being alive at the very same time in another part of the world? Just as Ben is 12 or 14, so must Jack and Sayid and Sawyer be 12 or 14 somewhere, living their lives leading up to the time they got on the Oceanic flight.

Anonymous said...

I think that Brian is right because the name of the Season finale is "The Incident."

abby said...

My understanding was that Alpert said Ben will not remember this incident (ie being shot by Sayid) therefore future Ben will not recognize Sayid & maybe Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hurley & Juliet.

As for Jack - what an ass!

Up here in Canada the Space Channel is re-running Lost and looking back you see Jack being stubborn and continuously making the wrong choices. How ironic that his behaviour led to young Ben becoming really screwed up big Ben!