Thursday, January 29, 2009

Party like it's 1954

The writers dropped an H-Bomb on us – literally. Widmore was an Other! Chah-lie returns, sort of. Desmond breaks and enters. Richard is really old (duh). Daniel Faraday may have met his mommy a few decades early. The Others secret language isn’t nearly as cool as Pig Latin. Juliet took her Others 101 final exam and is on the I’m an Other/You’re an Other Reunion Committee. We don’t check in with a single Oceanic Sixer. And Charlotte’s brain sympathetically melted along with ours at the revelation about Widmore being an Other.

Lost 5x03: Jughead

Cold open, Present Day:
Charlie’s back. Well, no, but we do meet Penny and Desmond’s baby boy named Charlie. The episode starts with Desmond frantically searching for a doctor in the Philippines. Turns out Penny’s giving birth to a little boy who they named Charlie. It’s a sweet sentiment from Desmond toward Charlie whose selflessness reunited him with Penny, but also a little odd that they’d name him Charles given the pain ol’ daddy Chas Widmore has inflicted on the two of them.

Des and Penny are sailing home to relay the information from Daniel to his mother in Oxford, but there’s no record of Daniel Faraday on the faculty. We learn later this is because Charles Widmore was privately financing his work.

Desmond surreptitiously breaks into the room Faraday had been using in the attic of the physics building, which was kept unoccupied by a caretaker. Good thing Oxford didn’t actually need that space.

Geek alert: Oxford Physics Building – both 42 and 8 appear on the sign in the hallway.

Back on the island:
1954! Turns out that’s where - er, when - the 815ers and freighter folk are. The British soldier who tried to cut off Juliet’s hands (Jones is on the uniform) and the American (Cunningham) are captured by Sawyer, Juliet and Locke. Turns out Jones is Charles Widmore! (*insert audience spit takes and gasps here*)

Charles and Cunningham speak Latin to each other. Juliet, being an Other herself, is in on it. (That was Others 101.) Just as Juliet get Cunningham to start to reveal where their camp is so Locke can see Alpert, Widmore snaps his neck. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just punch him in the head and tell him to shut up? From what we find out later, it seems Widmore doesn’t want anyone to legitimize Alpert’s leadership.

Charles Widmore is subordinate to Richard Alpert in 1954 who appears the same age. Asked how old Richard is, Juliet replies, “Old.” Locke chats with Alpert who doesn’t buy that he’s their leader until Locke pulls the “Jacob card”. That sufficiently squelches any objection Alpert might have had. John tells him where he’ll be born, which explains how Richard was there at the hospital when he was born in ’56. Also, Richard gave John the compass in last week’s episode at some point in 2005 or later, John gave it to back to Richard in 1954. The island flashes again and Locke doesn’t get the answer from Richard of how to get off the island in time.

Geek alert: The compass was in the test Richard gave John as a boy when he visited him again as a Mittelos Bioscience representative and asked him to choose which items were his from among a baseball mitt, sand, the compass and a knife.

Charlotte’s sickness is progressing and Daniel is concerned. At the end of the episode, she collapses and blood gushes from her nose. Questions: Why is Charlotte inflicted by the sickness, when none of the other freighters or 815ers seem to be? Will she finds her constant? Is Widmore Charlotte’s father? (CHARLes/CHARLotte?) And if so, who is her mother? She said she was born on the island.

Still in 1954, the Alpert-led Others had fended off a US military incursion. The military had brought an H-bomb onto the island for testing. In fact, the bomb was named Jughead, hence the name of the episode. Geek alert: Jughead was a name given to crygenic bombs from the mid-1950s. Several questions: Did the military know about the properties of the island? If so, were they trying to destroy the island? Harness its power? Why bring the bomb there? Could an event with the H-bomb have been “the incident” Marvin Candle mentioned? And was the bomb buried in concrete under the Swan Station hatch? Sayid did say when he and Jack were exploring it that hadn’t seen anything like that since Chernobyl. Would this have been the reason they needed to press the button every 108 minutes? To contain the nuclear radiation? Though this raises questions, as the hatch imploded so the bomb would have EXploded, which it did not as several people walked away from the hatch implosion. Unless Desmond turning the key launched the bomb to another time, in which case my brain just started leaking from my nose à la Charlotte.

Another "1954 Other", the young Ellie, captures Faraday, Miles and Charlotte. She’s sent with Faraday to try to diffuse the bomb. Because it’s already leaking radiation, Faraday says they need to bury it. But it’s cool, he’s from the future, so he knows they’ll be ok. ;) Ellie is short for Eloise, Mrs. Hawking’s name – a fact which was revealed in the replay of “The Lie” via a pop-up. Daniel said Ellie looked so familiar. That’s likely because Ellie – Mrs. Eloise Hawking – is Daniel’s mother. When Desmond goes to visit Mrs. Hawking in LA, he’ll surely recognize her.

Geek alert: Daniel’s rat in the time experiments at Oxford was named Eloise. That’s kind of – um – cute?

Question: Widmore left the island at some point and has been unable to get back. Why? My belief is that he was banned after some sort of falling out with Richard Alpert.

Random Question: Could the radiation from the H-bomb have been at least partially responsible for the cure for Rose’s cancer?

Back in the present:
Widmore seems to finally respect Desmond, though he is probably more concerned for her given Ben’s promise that he would kill Widmore’s daughter. It is odd then that he would send Desmond to find Mrs. Hawking in LA knowing that’s where Ben is. Though with only 70 hours, I doubt Desmond is going to be able to sail there from Great Britain. (Call me crazy, but wouldn’t it have been easier for Widmore to give Desmond her phone number?)

What do you think? Hit me up with some comments below.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost Season 5 Premieres! Break out the Hot Pockets!

Hurley hurls a Hot Pocket! Sayid sets his dishwasher to the DEATH cycle. The writers served up a dramatic dessert of Frogurt Flambée. The island is straight tripping. Mrs. Hawking fires up the TRS-80. When am I? It’s all relative. And… Oh, by the way…Libby says “hi.”

With two hours of material, there’s just too much to do an in-depth analysis today. (Perhaps this weekend.) So let’s review my top 16 moments from last night’s premiere double-header:

Lost 5x01: Because You Left and Lost 5x02: The Lie

16. Jack and Ben named their price to the Priceline Negotiator for a great deal on a room. As they prep to go gather the rest of the Oceanix Six and travel back to the island. Jack’s working with Ben, but Sayid, who in last season’s finale was working with Ben, doesn’t trust Ben any longer.

15. Yemi’s plane gives Locke a haircut and crashes on the island. Did the island showing up at that time cause the crash of the plane? That is, would the plane have gone down had the island not shown up at that time and place?
14. You may have seen Dr. Pierre Chang/Edgar Hallowax/Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund in such films as... Candle opens the episode to tape a training film for The Arrow station – one for defensive strategy and intelligence. (Ironic considering the flaming arrows shot at the 815ers later.) He’s got a baby on the island. Hmmm. And he appears to have both arms at this point, too.

13. Charles Widmore’s never heard of a phone. On her way to LA, Mr. Widmore sequesters/imprisons Sun in an airport examination room to find out what common interests they might have. If there was any question that he controlled Oceanic Airlines, this quashed that concern.

12. Past Desmond gets a hatch telegram. We learn via Faraday that Desmond is uniquely special and can somehow travel through time and even perhaps alter it. He gets marching orders to seek out Daniel’s mother in Oxford. Her name is… d’oh! Good luck with that, Des.

11. A mother always knows when you’re telling the truth. Hurley’s mom believes him. After yelling about the “dead Pakistani” on her couch, Hurley opens up to her and tells him the truth about the island and the Oceanic Six lie. And even though it sounds insane, she knows he’s telling the truth.

10. Sawyer doesn’t wear a shirt for a full episode. That one’s for the ladies.

9. When in the World is John Locke? John disappears from The Others and Richard Alpert…or is it they disappear from him? And then Alpert re-appears. John asks, “When am I?” Apert’s answer: “It’s all relative.”

8. The return of Ethan Rom - or rather Locke skips to see Ethan in the past - and Locke declares himself their leader to him. Bold attempt on John’s part and I’m surprised Ethan didn’t pop another cap in his ass.

7. Daniel Faraday joins a construction union. Seems Faraday was at the building of the Orchid station. Was he there just to observe the event as a physics/time travel nerd, or was he trying to influence the past he said couldn’t be altered even if he tried?

6. Sayid runs his dishwasher on the death cycle! In typical Sayid badass form, he throws one guy down several stories and kills another by impaling him on cutlery in his dishwasher. I hope he uses Jet Dry to clean out the blood from that appliance.

5. Hurley hearts his Shih-tzu.
And Weekend at Bernie’s 2 is his favorite movie.

4. Ana Lucia gets spiritually 5-0 on Hurley.
The very dead Ana Lucia pulls Hurley over to give him advice on what he has to do and help him calm down so he can get Sayid where she needs to go. Then she passes along a message from Libby.

3. Mrs. Hawking does advanced physics experiments in mysterious cloaks.
Hawking, the old lady from “Flashes Before Your Eyes” who told Desmond about the universe course correcting, is more powerful than Ben. He asks her what will happen if he can’t get Hurley back to the island in less than 70 hours, so he isn’t as omnipotent as it sometimes seems. Oh, and the computers she’s using to track this phenomenon were taken from my 6th grade class.

And the trip to the science museum continues with a pendulum. She’s somehow tracking multiple locations as the island skips through time and space.

2. What are you gonna fling? Hot Pocket!
Hurley’s so startled by Ben appearing in his kitchen, that he hurls his tasty microwave snack at Ben. Ben doesn’t flinch. Hurley takes Sayid’s advice and doesn’t trust him for a second and rather surrenders to the cops.

1. Forgurt on Fire! The writers gave us an Arzt-worthy death scene. Giving a background character, Neil Frogurt, a series of annoying lines only to have him killed in a spectacular way when a flaming arrow shot him. Awesome. While they didn’t apparently go that far back, it does seem odd that they would have used flaming arrows, no? Like something the original crew and passengers of the Black Rock slave ship might have used, no?

Questions to ponder:
  • Is Mrs. Hawking Daniel Faraday’s mother?
  • Was Dr. Marvin Candle’s baby a young Miles?
  • Was the British guy who was going to chop off Juliet’s hand Charlotte’s father? And could this explain what happened to Marvin Candle’s arm later on?
  • What will happen in 70 hours if they’re not all on the island? And were they trying to one-up “24” by putting a finite number of hours on Ben’s task?
  • Has John Locke been traveling throughout his time on the island? At some points, he’s seemed so at ease with the properties of the island, had he traveled back from a point in the future to another time there?
  • Who ordered Kate’s blood test? EW's Jeff Jensen noted the significance of the law firm, Agostini Norton.
  • Will going back to the island with Locke's body bring him back to a time when he was alive, resurrecting him à la Christian Shephard?
  • Could Daniel Faraday bear some responsibility for the island needing to move? Is he trying to fix it now?
Geek alerts:
  • The alarm clock that opened the episode is set to 8:15
  • There’s an announcement at the airport for a Flight 23 to Paris at Gate 15
  • Hurley’s dad was watching Exposé, the series starring the infamous Nikki of Nikki and Paolo. Razzle Dazzle!

What do you think? Comment back with some of your thoughts... or to debunk me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Season 4 Finale: Top WTF Moments

(Note - re-posting after original post went missing)

There was virtually no way the writers of LOST could top last season’s finale. That ending had all us fans, critics and bloggers floored for months. What they didn’t provide in a singular moment last night, they made up for with a string of pearls: from ass-kicking to kissing, from pause-and-rewind moments to heartwarming scenes. Summer may be just around the corner, but I can’t wait for winter. It’s gonna be a long eight months till next season, kids.

Lost 4x13 & 4x14: There's No Place Like Home (pts. 2 & 3)

Read on for the top 15 WTF moments from last night’s season four finale of LOST. And leave some comments with the ones you think we missed.

15. Sayid gets out-badassed! We haven’t seen much that Sayid fails at. But he seems to have met his ass-kicking match in Keamy. Just as Keamy was about to get the best of Sayid, Richard Alpert saved the day with a shot to the back.

14. Where’s Daniel Faraday? Last we saw of Daniel, he was ferrying a Zodiac raft full of islanders to the freighter. We didn’t see him make it there. But we also didn’t see them make it back to the island. So are he and the raft people stuck out in the ocean?

13. Juliet and Sawyer feel despair. Sawyer believes that Kate’s dead. We can assume they join Richard Alpert, Locke and the Others, but what are the awful things that flash-forward Locke tells Jack happened on the island, and did terrible things happen to Juliet and Sawyer?

12. Charlotte was born on the island! OK, we aren’t fully invested in Charlotte as a character yet, but Miles confronts her and says he’s surprised she’d leave after all the “time you spent trying to get back here.” Later, she tells Daniel she’s going to stay on the island and that she’s still looking for where she was born. Is she one of the few babies to have been born on the island? Or is she significant for other reasons? There’s some speculation that she might be related to Annie, young Ben’s girlfriend.

11. Hurley plays chess with Mr. Eko! Hurley told Sayid that he had been speaking to dead people. We assumed this meant Charlie, but turns out he’s playing chess with Mr. Eko, too. Props to Hurley for the line of the episode after Sayid tells him that they’re being watched: “The last thing I need is paranoia.”

10. Sawyer dives! While Skaters (Sawyer/Kate fans) might have been thrilled to see them kiss in the helicopter, I think their hearts probably dropped when Sawyer jumped to eliminate some weight from the rapidly falling chopper.

9. “We have to go back”…again! I was shocked that we revisited last season’s finale moment at the airport with Jack and Kate at the top of the last night’s episode. I figured the writers would have held that moment over us for another season, at least. More important than new information, we learn here there the mysterious Jeremy Bentham of the obituary had visited them both about going back to the island.

8. Ben stabs Keamy in the throat! “I Always Have a Plan” Ben wasn’t acting entirely on emotion here, as he said. He wanted the freighter destroyed, regardless of the consequences. The island must be protected at all costs. When Locke asks what he thinks about all the people on the freighter who are going to die now, Ben replies with an ice cold, “So?” (Can the people who give out the Emmy Awards just mail one to Michael Emerson’s house right now?)

7. Tall Walt is back…and taller! He looked older than Hurley when he visited him at the hospital. Is Walt one of the people that has to go back to the island, as well?

6. Kate gets a visit from Claire! Flash forward Kate awakens, the phone rings and she can’t make out what’s being said. She hears a rustling in the hallway, grabs her gun and runs to Aaron’s room to find someone on the bed with Aaron: Claire! Claire tells her not to take him back to the island. Geek alert: The phone call audio was backward-masked. It said, “The island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.”

So which is it? Is Claire acting on behalf of Aaron, is she the voice of reason and goodness, or is someone else using Claire’s image to convince Kate to stay away?

5. The freighter explodes and Sun’s heart breaks! Even with a room full of explosives, I’d figured Michael was safe since the island wasn’t ready for him to die. But Michael gets a visit from Christian, telling him, “You can go now.” And KABLOW! The freighter explodes and sinks. Was Christian supposed to be comforting, because I found it a little creepy. Though, was the elder Mr. Shephard shepherding Michael to the afterworld? Sadly, it seems we not only said goodbye to Michael, but Jin. Though there’s always hope that he was able to get off the freighter in time. Sun’s scream when the freighter blew up was completely heartwrenching.

4. The island actually moved! We saw it – or we think we did. The island appeared to disappear into thin air…or water. I’m guessing the island having moved in the past explains how an 18th century slave ship could wind up marooned in the middle of an island. I’m guessing the crew and passengers of the ship were a little freaked out when this happened. But did the island move in space or time...or both?

3. Penny and Desmond reunite! They’d teased an iconic kiss moment, but when Penny and Desmond were reunited, hearts melted and we got over our mourning for Jin – at least momentarily.

2. Ben takes a chill pill and pushes a donkey wheel! Ben shoves a whole bunch of metal junk in a totally retro looking chamber, but blows a hole in it and walks through a labyrinth of tunnels to an ice-filled room in the Halliwax parka he was wearing in the desert during The Shape of Things to Come episode. He manages to spin the wheel and move the island. Ben tells Locke that he’s doing this because it’s Locke’s turn to stay on the island, and he cannot come back to the island once it’s moved. Has Widmore done this in the past? Is this the reason he is not able to find the island – because he cannot go back. And will Locke do this in the future, explaining why he, aka Bentham, is trying to get them to go back?

1. Locke’s in the coffin! Ben tells ‘BeardJack’ that they have to go back to the island, but Jack can’t go alone. They all have to go back together, including Jeremy Bentham, aka John Locke. Question: If they need to take Locke back to get to the island, could Christian be a key to why Flight 815 crashed? Could it be that Christian and others on 815 were all going back to the island together, via Flight 815?

Geek alert: Jeremy Bentham is the name of a 19th century English philosopher who was influenced by John Locke (not the character on LOST, the philosopher whose name he shares). Bentham ensured his body was preserved in something called an Auto-Icon, basically a display case for his body with a wax head. Perhaps this is a clue that Locke is not really dead and his obituary was a means to gather the Oceanic 6 and encourage them to work together to get back to the island.

Honorable Mention:

  • Fake commercials! ABC ran a fake commercial for Octagon Global Recruiting a company recruiting for positions in a variety of scientific and not so scientific fields. The dates that they claim to be recruiting just happen to correspond to the dates for the Comic-Con festival in San Diego. The assumption is that this is the beginning of a new off-season-long game that the producers will use to keep fanatics engaged.

Geek alerts:

Heiroglyphs in the frozen underbelly of the Orchid Station:

Illustration of the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Aaron's room:

Drawing of an island and a boat at the hospital:

“There’s no place like home.” Dorothy famously uttered the phrase in The Wizard of Oz, and it’s also the name of last night’s episode. The difference is that Dorothy realized everything she needed was right where she left it before the tornado hit. The Oceanic Six, on the other hand, are conflicted and don’t all appear to be thrilled about being “found.” And as I’ll explain below, several of them come to realize that everything they needed was actually back on the island. Perhaps they may have been better off as castaways.

Lost 4x12: There's No Place Like Home

Jack is finally clued in to the show’s worst-kept secret, Hurley has a rockin’ luau, Sun owns Mr. Paik’s company and Mr. Paik gets ‘owned’ by her too, Sayid gets a blast from the past, On-Island Alpert finally makes an appearance this season, the freighter is raring to blow, Daniel goes from nerd to hero, Ben surrenders, and Jim’s proposal to Pam gets upstaged by Andy…oh wait - scratch that last one.

Full explanation after the jump.

Off The Island:

The episode begins on the Coast Guard cargo plane flying the Oceanic Six to Hawaii. An Oceanic representative, Ms. Decker, is explaining that there will be a press conference. Why would an airline want or need to use a military flight to return them to Hawaii? The pilot seemed to realize there was something special about the “cargo.” They land at military facility near Honolulu. (Barbers Point Coast Guard Air Station.)

Family members are there to meet them. Mr. & Mrs. Paik, Hurley’s mom & dad, Jack’s mom; but no one’s there for Sayid, Kate or Aaron.

The press conference reveals the story that after the plane crashed in the water, they drifted with life vests and seat cushions to an uninhabited island in Indonesia, and had the good fortune of having a pallet of food and supplies wash up on shore during a typhoon. They later made it to a nearby island and the town of Manukangga, where some fisherman took a photo of them arriving on shore. (While I guess it’s possible, what are the odds that fishermen would be carrying around their camera on a beach?) Their story states that everyone else either died in the crash or in the ocean before making it to the island.

The Oceanic rep tells Sayid that Noor (Nadia) Abed Jazeem, who was not on the list, was there to see him. (Was this a reference to Ben’s and Jacob’s various lists and the “good people” being on the list?) Nadia has made her way to Sayid. And Sayid, the romantic, is finally happy again. She was there with a police officer however, so it seems she’s there with protection or perhaps in custody – the CIA used her as a bargaining tool for Sayid’s loyalty at one point, though she was later supposed to be working as a lab tech in California, so it’s not clear why she’d need protection at this point.

Sun visits her dad at the office. Mr. Paik’s a bit freaked out about something to do with five banks. We find out that Sun has used her settlement from Oceanic to buy a controlling stake in Paik Heavy Industries. She’s going to call the shots now, as a payback for Mr. Paik’s place in Jin’s death.

Exactly how much $$$ could and the survivors and Oceanic have settled for – even if she received a payout for Jin as well? Isn’t Paik’s company a billion dollar enterprise? Could Sun being among the Oceanic Six be a part of the larger plot for control of the island? Perhaps she’s being bankrolled in order to throw off the power balance for control. She blamed her father as one of two people responsible for Jin’s death. Who is the other? Widmore? Ben? Sun herself? I’m holding out hope that she’s using his death metaphorically and Jin’s still alive on the island.

Next we see Hurley get home with a bag of food from Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack, the restaurant he bought – the one that was destroyed by the meteorite. The front door is open, and there’s a coconut on the floor. Next, we hear whispers – a clever similarity by the writers to the island’s whispers. His parents are throwing him a party – a luau, actually. His dad shows him the car they’d been restoring together, a project he finished. But Hurley bolts when he realizes the car’s odometer is at 48,151.6 and the trip meter is at 234.2. Are all of these things together too much of a similarity? Is his father trying to push him mentally over the edge, like when he paid the psychic to freak him out?

This scene contains the line of the night: Hurley was holding the statue, ready to hit whoever was whispering, and his mother was appalled and exclaimed, “Jesus Christ is not a weapon!”

Finally, we’re at Jack’s father’s memorial. Kate and Aaron are there, as is Hurley. But the real surprise is a visit from Claire’s mother. Claire’s mother dropped the ‘s-bomb’ – “sister” – on Jack, and revealed Christian was also Claire’s father. Tears began to flow. If the pills on the island weren’t the start of his spiral toward addiction, this news likely will be. Claire’s mother tells Kate how beautiful her baby is. Did she see similarities to Claire in Aaron?

Question: How exactly was Claire’s mother – who was on her deathbed in a coma – make it to Christian’s memorial service? When Christian visited Claire’s mom in Australia, he told Claire that she didn’t have to live like that. Perhaps the island’s magic helped her recover, even though Claire didn’t take Christian up on his offer.

On The Island:

Jack listens to the radio and hears Keamy’s team say “employ the Orchid” and “secondary protocol,” none of which means anything to him. But Daniel gets a little twitchy as he and Charlotte flip thru his marble composition notebook. Besides the phrases “Time Like Factors” and “Space Like Factor,” there is a large DHARMA Orchid logo as well. He tells them all they need to get off the island right away.

After meeting in the jungle, Jack and Sawyer set out to try and rescue Hurley. The interchange between them is pretty cool since it seems like they’re swapping places. Jack yells out “sonuvabitch!,” Sawyer’s catchphrase. And Sawyer tells Jack, “you don’t get to die alone”, reminiscent of Jack’s “live together die alone” speech. When they’re walking through the jungle, Sawyer asks him about the blood on his shirt, and Jack replies, “I’m separating.” Sure, it’s a term to describe his surgical wound coming apart, but there’s something more to that statement. (Anyone care to help me out with that?)

Ben, Locke and Hurley continue their mission to the Orchid Station. Ben finds a box he’d buried, in which there was a tin containing 15-year old crackers (Hurley eats them), a rope, a leather pack, and a mirror. He uses the mirror to send signals to the top of the mountain. He receives signals back. Was he communicating with Apert’s team at the Temple, Jacob, someone else?

Ben’s mirror had printing on the back and what looked like the crosshairs of a gun’s scope. I’m sure some intrepid bloggers have already isolated and transcribed what’s on there, but I’m not any closer, even with a hi-res screen-grab.


(pic credit:

After Ben sends his mirror message, they set out for the Orchid. Ben stops them in the jungle as they approach it. He realizes Keamy and team are already at the Station and Ben says they’re there for him. Locke confronts Ben about this and he replies, “I wasn’t being entirely truthful.” Locke retorts, “When have you ever been entirely truthful?” Locke’s not sure what to do next, but Ben’s confident. “When are you going to realize I always have a plan?”

Ben gives Locke the instructions on how to get into the Orchid Station and he goes to distract them. Instead, he walks right up to them and surrenders. “My name is Benjamin Linus. I believe you’re looking for me?” Keamy pistol whips him with his gun.

Question: Locke knows how to get into the station. But what’s he supposed to do once he takes that elevator down there? Ben hasn’t clued him in about anything.

On The Freighter:

Faraday’s first group of islanders makes it to the freighter, including Sun, Jin and Aaron. This is the first time they’re seeing Michael and you could cut the tension with a knife.

Michael repaired the engines and they start out toward the island with the freighter. But there’s a radio signal interfering with the sonar. Desmond goes to look for the source, and they find a room filled with C4 explosives. I guess we know what that arm thingy on Keamy is for now.

Sun makes her way up to the deck and we have to wait 2 weeks for the answers to what happens. Though we can at least be confident that Sun and Aaron made it off the island safely.

So, the episode was plot-heavy, mythology-lite one. But it’s probably not fair to judge it since we’ve only seen what is 1/3 of the finale episode. What did you think? Hit me up with some comments below.

Cabin Hopskotch - my brain just melted

(Note - re-posted after this post went missing)

“Game-changer,” “mind-blower,” “brain melter” – all of these designations have been used to describe various episodes of LOST. Last night’s “Cabin Fever” was all of ‘em rolled together: a hit of crack with a human growth hormone chaser!

Claire knocks back some lemonade with Christian, Locke gets locke(d) in a locke(r), Richard Alpert continues recruiting for the island’s new quarterback, Ben got chocolate in Hurley’s peanut butter, Hurley got peanut butter in Ben’s chocolate, Horace Goodspeed from DHARMA is stuck in a time loop for his impact on the environment, Keamy becomes even less likable, the freighter doctor catches up with time, Sayid takes a dinghy ride on the open seas, and Frank Lapidus sends a special delivery to the beach. Let’s drill down a bit.

Lost 4x11: Cabin Fever

OK, so let me start with my here’s my big theory. Locke and Ben are brothers. Both had mothers named Emily. Both were recruited by Alpert (Ben as a young boy in the jungle, Locke starting when he was the miracle baby in the maternity ward.) Both were born prematurely. Granted, we learn that Ben’s mother died in childbirth, though perhaps it is possible that she was whisked off and revived? Locke was abandoned at a young age and brought up by foster families. Alpert visited young John to test him, knowing that Emily’s son was special. Though when John picked the knife, Alpert believed he’d been recruiting the wrong son. So Alpert’s attention later focused on young Ben. Realizing well after the purge that Ben was actually the wrong choice, he/they helped arrange to get Locke to the island.

A big question: who is Locke’s dad, the man twice Emily’s age? Could it be someone we know? Alvar Hanso? Jacob? This scenario reminds me of “Rosemary’s Baby” or even “The Boys From Brazil.”

We are introduced to 15-year old Emily Locke in the late 1950s. She is fighting with her mother about meeting a man twice her age as she’s dancing to a Buddy Holly record. (Geek alert: Buddy Holly died in a plane crash.) After running from her house, she’s hit by a car. In the hospital, she reveals she’s six months pregnant and she goes into premature labor. Her baby, who she names John, was taken away in an incubator where he began a miraculous recovery to health from the youngest preemie ever at the hospital. Emily visits him a while later, but runs from the hospital.

Emily’s mother is talking to the nurse about adoption when she sees a man looking in on the nursery – Richard “Mothafarking” Alpert. (Dude!)

Geek Alert: Her mother was about to light up a cigarette. The nurse said, “You can’t smoke in here.” Is this another reference to the smoke monster, right as Alpert shows up?

Years later, Alpert visits a young John who’s playing backgammon with a foster sister. Alpert takes note of the picture Locke had drawn of a plume of smoke and a person laying down. He presents John with a test to see if he qualifies for a special school, laying out several items: a baseball mitt, a book titled “Book of Laws”, a vial of sand, a compass, a comic and a knife. All the items are laid next to each other, however he very deliberately places the knife upon the comic. Alpert tells him to choose the items that belong to him. Locke chooses the vial of sand and the compass which Alpert clearly approves of, and then reaches for the knife. Alpert storms off annoyed.

Check out the comic book. The floating city/island in the sky on the cover of this comic seems to be a nod to the idea that the island can be moved.


Geek Alert: When a new Dalai Lama is to be chosen, children who have miracles attributed to them are presented with a series of objects. If one chooses the items that belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, he is the Chosen One and the next Dalai Lama. Preemie Locke’s miraculous recovery seems to qualify here.

Later we see a teenage Locke being freed from a locker by a teacher at Cowin Heights High School. (Go Knights!) The teacher tells Locke that he got a call from Mittelos Laboratories in Portland about John to participate in a summer science program. John wants nothing to do with this. He wants to be cool. The teacher replies, “That’s who you are, John…you’ll never be a superhero.” John replies with his now-famous, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”

Geek Alert 1:
In Locke’s locker is a poster of Geronimo Jackson, the fictional 70s band who’ve been referenced several times in the series, as well as a picture. It appears the picture is of Sir Richard Burton.

Geek Alert 2: Mittelos Laboratories is the same name as the company Alpert was recruiting Juliet for (though it was then called Mittelos Bioscience). Mittelos is an anagram for “Lost time”.

Geek Alert 3: John’s high school team was called the Cowin Heights Knights. Dr. Gowin Knight invented process to magnetize steel in 1745 which they used in compass needles.

Much later in John’s life, we visit John post-fall from the building in the Delerue Center for Rehabilitation. An orderly tells him that he should do a walkabout in the Australian Outback. The orderly is Matthew Abaddon (!) – the same creepy man who was assembling the science team with Naomi, and the man who paid a visit to Hurley in the mental institution. Abaddon says to him, “Oh I’m a lot more than just an orderly, John…When you and me run into each other again, you’ll owe me one.”

On The Island:

Locke, Ben and Hurley are wandering through the jungle. Locke asks Ben where the cabin is and Ben says he was following Hurley. This is almost a Three Stooges moment. They set up camp for the night.

Tight close up on Locke’s eye. He awakes to the sound of wood being chopped. He follows the noise and comes across Horace Goodspeed. (Geek alert: Horace and his wife Olivia were the couple who helped Ben’s parents in Oregon when his mother had gone into premature labor hiking in the woods.) Horace appears stuck in a time loop. He tells John he’s building a cabin for him and his wife and that he’s been dead for 12 years, and that in order to find the cabin, John needs to find him. Horace’s nose was sporadically bleeding. This is probably a clue that he had “the sickness”, like Desmond and George Minkowski, though he appears to be locked in time even further.

Is Horace stuck like Sisyphus from the Greek mythology who had to push a boulder up the hill for eternity only for it to roll back down before he reached the top? Could his constant building of the cabin(s) explain how Hurley saw the cabin in numerous locations? And is Horace going to buy carbon offsets for all the trees he’s cut down?

Geek Alert: Horace Goodspeed appears to be the man that Locke saw in the cabin rocking chair in season 3’s “The Man Behind the Curtain”. Though at the time, I swore it was Locke with hair in the chair.

Locke awakes. Ben says that he used to have dreams. He’s jealous. They set off to find Horace’s corpse in the DHARMA pit. John finds a map in Horace’s worksuit and they’re off again. As Locke and Ben bicker in the woods, Hurley stumbles upon the cabin. Ben tells John that it’s his destiny to enter it alone. Actually, he utters one of the best lines of the series yet, “Destiny is a fickle bitch.” While waiting outside, Hurley and Ben share an Apollo chocolate bar in a dialog-free moment that was, honestly, cute.

Actually, weren’t all the scenes of them trying to find the cabin all kind of light hearted…a little like the Cowardly Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz?

Inside the cabin, John meets Christian who asks John why he’s there. John replies, “because I was chosen to be here”. Christian agrees. This was a freaky enough scene, but then John turns around to see a smiling Claire (!) behind him. She says she’s with Christian. Christian explains that Aaron is exactly where he needs to be and…oh, by the way, maybe you don’t want to tell anyone you saw Claire here. (Why should he voluntarily share relevant information? This is LOST.) Locke the asks Christian the right question: “How can I save the island?”

Question: So with Claire seemingly content without Aaron, does this mean she’s been dead since the house explosion? This could explain why she was barely bruised after the house came down around her.

Locke tells Ben that Christian told him what he needs to do: They need to move the island. Huh? But this theory that the island can move has been out there for a while. Given the comic book reference, too, it seems this was reality.

On the Freighter:

Keamy tries to kill Michael but can’t. The gun locks. One of the crew members gets the Morse code message from the island about the doctor, who’s still very much alive. Keamy takes care of that later, though, when Frank Lapidus says he won’t fly to the island when they appear to be loading up the chopper with military ammo.

Keamy had gotten a “secondary protocol” for taking over the island from Widmore. It had a DHARMA Orchid Station logo on it, so that seems to clinch it that Widmore works for or is related to DHARMA.

The captain helps Sayid get a rescue raft so he can get to the island and help save everyone there. Sayid sets off alone when Desmond says he cannot go back to that island.

The captain tries to stop them from taking off, and Keamy shoots him. Frank wraps a phone in a bag and as they fly over the island, he drops the bag to the beach for the Losties to find.

“Cabin Fever” had the most solid storytelling of the season. Absolutely killer episode. What did you think? Is your head still spinning like mine is? Help me out with this one with some comments.

The Resurrection of Christian Shephard

(Note - this is a re-post of an old entry - somehow went missing)

Like the black smoke monster in last week's episode, this season of LOST has mostly moved along like a freight train. Last night's episode, "Something Nice Back Home", was more like a leisurely double-decker bus tour of a city with the fanny-packed masses. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with straightforward storytelling and revisiting of the beach crew. It was kind of nice…quaint, even. But with a shorter than normal season, followed by a further truncated number of post-strike episodes, a storytelling episode is not what I was expecting.

Half-siblings Jack and Claire both got visits from Daddy, Jin pwned Charlotte, Kate scampered around in her skivvies, Claire leaves Aaron safely in a tree (huh?), Karl and Danielle were unequivocally taking dirt naps, Hurley plays the telephone game with Jack, Saywer's heart grew three sizes and Miles was still a douche.

On the beach:

Tight close up on Jack's eye, just like the season 1 pilot episode. Could this indicate that a new Jack woke up? (See Alice idea below…) Jack's got appendicitis and needs emergency surgery. Juliet sends Sun and Faraday to the medical station to retrieve supplies. Charlotte and Jin tag along.

When they return, Jin pulls Charlotte aside and says to her, in Korean, that he knows she speaks Korean and that she understood what he and Sun had been talking about. After some denial, Jin threatens to break Daniel's fingers one by one until she tells the truth. She answers him in Korean. While not out of the realm of possibility for an anthropologist to speak Korean, could this be a clue that she has some connection to Mr. Paik, Sun's father?

Jack's surgery was a success, despite less than sterile conditions and no anesthesia, and a surgical staff consisting of a fertility doctor, a dentist and a fugitive.

In the jungle:

Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles continue their journey back to the beach. Sawyer gives Miles a restraining order against Claire. (Sawyer's become very protective of her and has evolved pretty dramatically from his "every man for himself" days.)

Frank Lapidus comes barreling through the jungle and convinces them to hide because Keamy and his team right behind him. (Why weren't they killed by the smoke monster?) Frank convinces Keamy to keep going to the helicopter, despite Aaron's whimper almost giving them up.

In a clearing, Miles has a ghostbuster moment and can hear the last moments of Rousseau and Karl. He uncovers their bodies, which are barely buried.

After continuing their journey, they set up camp and Claire gets awoken by an unexpected visitor: Christian Shephard, who's holding Aaron. (Dun dun dun…)

When Sawyer wakes in the morning, Miles calmly says that she went off with someone she called "Dad", and Sawyer follows Aaron's cries to find him safely in a tree. Claire is nowhere to be found.

Will we see Claire again in the episodes ahead? Or will she be gone for much of the rest of the season, like when Ethan kidnapped her in season one?

Flash forward:

Jack and Kate are playing house, raising Aaron together. Jack reads a newspaper article about the Yankees sweeping the Red Sox in a 3-game series with a 5-0 win. Based on actual events, that puts the paper's date as August 31, 2007.

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Geek alert: Jack tripped on a Millennium Falcon, another ode to Star Wars.

Later, Jack is reading to Aaron from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" – "How queer everything is

today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!" The passage is not unlike Jack's transformation. We see the close up of his eye at the beginning of the episode. (Is this a new Jack?)

At the hospital, Jack is doing a consultation on a patient when he sees his father walking through the lobby. His colleague, Dr. Erika Stevens, snaps him out of it and Christian's gone. She asks him to review a patient's x-rays. It's an L-4 tumor – the same vertebra where Ben had his tumor. He gets a call from the administrator at Santa Rosa Hospital to come see Hurley.

When he visits, Hurley is despondent. He's claims that the Oceanic 6 are all dead and reveals that he's been seeing Charlie. (Seems this is a regular occurrence now.) Charlie's left a message for Jack: "You're not supposed to raise him." Hurley tells Jack that he'll be visited by someone soon. (Is this a reference to Dickens and A Christmas Carol with Scrooge getting visits from the 3 ghosts? Is the hope that he will change back to that pre-appendectomy Jack?)

Jack goes home and proposes to Kate, who accepts. Jaters rejoiced. Skaters booed.

Back at the hospital the next evening, Jack's reviewing the chart again when he hears a beeping outside his office. Turns out it's a smoke detector's low battery beep. He removes the battery from the detector and sees his dad again. Christian calls out Jack's name. He's startled. But his colleague, Erika, walks in and when Jack turns back, his father is gone. He asks her to write him a prescription because he's overworked and stressed.

Geek alert: Was the fact that the smoke detector was beeping some sort of wink from the writers that Christian is a manifestation of the black smoke monster? (Though it also vaguely sounded like the button timer beeping from the now-imploded hatch.)

Geek alert 2: Why is it that Erika shows up both times Jack sees his father? Is she somehow related? Or is she protecting Jack from him? And was the connection to her patient with the L-4 tumor a coincidence, or is she connected to Ben?

Geek alert 3: On the wall behind Jack are the names of the other doctors in the practice there. Directly behind him, are the names "Gardez" and "Evenson". Gardez is French for "keep". Was this a clue that Jack should stay with or keep Aaron?

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Jack arrives home to find Kate on the phone. He's suspicious and asks her who it was. Kate gets some water from the fridge, which is covered with kids' art. However, closer inspection also shows a monster-type cutout (black smoke monster?) on the freezer door and a shark, perhaps, on the top of the fridge door.

Geek alert: The flowers, ladybugs and butterflies on the fridge were the same as those on the wall in Hurley's hospital when Matthew Abaddon visited him in the first episode of the season.

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Let's discuss:

  • Why does Jack only marry people he saves? First, Sarah. Then Kate. And why does he turn on them when there's nothing left to save?
  • Rose posed the question, and it was a valid one: Why did Jack get sick on the island that heals people? Is he doing something he's not supposed to be doing? Is the island trying to keep him from getting people rescued?
  • Why didn't Smokey kill Keamy's crew?
  • Why would Keamy and his crew have buried Rousseau and Karl at all? If they didn't, who did? And why were they buried in such shallow graves?
  • Faraday asks Charlotte where all this electrical power is coming from. She says to add it to the list. Is this merely a list of the island's unanswered questions?

While I enjoy a break from the frenetic pace the show can take, I wasn't expecting a slower-moving episode just the second week after the strike-induced hiatus. Though at the end of the day, a mediocre episode of LOST is better than anything else on TV. What did you think? Were you disappointed? Or did you think the episode was killer? Comment below with your thoughts.