Thursday, January 22, 2009

LOST: When are we?

Going thru tonight's (AWESOME) episode "chronologically" as best I can...

Begins with a flashback to the Dharma barracks (not New Otherton yet), and... who could it be, but... Mr. AKA Candle (AKA cuz he's taken different names in different orientation films)! And, whaddyaknow? He's shooting an orientation film! For station 2, the Arrow. That's the one that the Tailies took over, right? We never saw a film for that one, did we?

Dharma is constructing the Orchid station, the one with the time machine that's built next to the chamber/deposit/whatever of negatively charged exotic particles. Which happens to have a "donkey wheel" (thanks, Ellie =) that can apparently "move the Island." Anyhow, a worker have accidentally drilled into that deposit and was rewarded with, what? His hand being burnt? I kinda missed the details on that.

But, hey, who's that among the Dharma minions? Daniel Faraday! Only... How old would he have been then?

Okay, now we get to see Ben moving the Island from the POVs of people still on the Island. After the flash, Locke remains, but the Richard and the Others/Hostiles have disappeared, the Losties remain, but their camp is gone. Juliet remains as well. Faraday and the last load on the Zodiac were "within the radius," so they're still around, too. And what's going on? Why, time travel, of course!

Ben did say that moving the Island was a last resort, but he didn't mention that it would be an uncontrollable process. That kinda sucks. But, since he knows that it's do-able, doesn't that mean that it's been done before? When? By whom? I thought that the timing and geography of the Nigerian plane crash was a clue to a previous Island move. (But it turns out that it's part of THIS Island move... Pretty ingenious.)

Charlotte seems to have a clue about a previous move as well. At least, if you put together that Tunisia is where the Island discards those who turn the moving wheel (that's where Ben is deposited after moving the Island), and that's where Charlotte discovered the remains of a Dharma-tagged polar bear, and Miles has heard, apparently from Island ghosts, that Charlotte has been on the Island before.

OK, back to "present day." Ah... lawyers show up requesting a DNA test for Kate and Aaron to test maternity. Not often you hear "maternity test," eh? I'm happy to see the lawyers, tho. It fits in with my notion that for any mastermind, or cabal, or cartel, or whatever, to successfully manipulate so many people's lives across the globe (and across time, instructions left w law firms can outlive generations), you want to have a really old and established law firm at your disposal, and I'm pretty certain that we'll find that a single law firm has helped influence and facilitate important turning points in our Losties' lives... Claire's LA adoption arrangements, Walt's custody, Kate's "present day" defense (thx J), maybe even Jack's divorce and Hurley's estate. I remember seeing the same conference room architecture in meetings involving Claire's adoption plans and Walt's custody battle. Not sure if those meetings happened in different locations (Australia and LA?), but I don't think it's a coincidence.

Aww, Sawyer... When Juliet asks why he jumped out of the helicopter...

"Wanted to make sure she— wanted to make sure they got back to the boat..."

But y'know, can't have a vulnerable moment without a good bit of smack, right? So when Charlotte steps up when Sawyer smacks Faraday, he gives her...

"Shut it, Ginger, or you're getting one, too!"

Ha! Double points for that one in my book, cuz, GILLIGAN'S ISLAND Ginger, and, hey, red-haired girl, ginger! I really disliked her last season, but this season, knowing that Faraday's crushing on her, I'm already feeling a little less hateful.

Interesting that only the Losties, AND Juliet, are getting to ride the record skips. Those people, along with the clothes they were wearing and items they were using at the moment of the first skip—convenient mojo—and the Island itself, maintain their temporal frame of reference while jumping to different times on the Island.

I *think* Faraday says the Island is jumping, too. I hafta believe that's the case, tho, cuz the Island did, in fact, disappear when Ben turned the wheel. So now the Island, and the displaced Losties, are like that ghost city or something? The one that only appears once every hundred years? Is that from an old Gaelic/Celtic legend? Frack. I can't remember. Also, a ghost pirate ship, right? Frack. Can't remember the name of that, either. It's, like, a ride at Disney, isn't it? Nuts.

Anyhow... Back to Locke, who's trying to get his bearings. And hey! Wow! The Nigerian heroin and priest party plane! So his vision could've actually been sort of a Desmondian flash-forward. I wonder if there's anything he can retrieve from the plane that will help him right then, in the past. Or... anything he can LEAVE in the plane that he can pick up later, in the present or future...?

Locke tries to climb up to the plane. Someone starts taking shots at him, puts one in his leg, and down he goes! Who could be shooting? Could be anyone...


And what does he tell Ethan? He tells him that Ben Linus has named him his successor as leader of the Others/Hostiles. And before he can really explain any more, and before Ethan can put another bullet in him, he's time-skipped away.

Very interesting, that little exchange, tho. If you were Ethan, what would you do? You discover a guy at the crash site of a plane. He tells you that he's your leader, appointed by your current leader, and then disappears. I think I'd check out the wreck, make sure everyone on it is dead, do a bit of inventory, and then head back to Other Village and report. I'd tell Ben what this John Locke said, and then Ben would tell me to forget it, he understood what happened and would take care of it when the time came.

From Ben's POV, this would be a mean kick in the head. He knows that he's going to hafta hand over leadership to this John Locke character, which means that at some point in the future (from the time of the Nigerian plane crash) Jacob and the Island would find him to be lacking, and cause Locke to be named the new leader of the Island's people, the new speaker for the Island. And no doubt, he would resent it to the nth degree. And whenever he finally encounters his successor, he would do his best to make things hellish for him.

One of the last things Ben says to Locke, before going into the "donkey wheel" chamber, is something like, "I'm sorry for making your life so miserable." Perfect, no?

Back in the real world. Hurley's wanted for killing some guy outside his institution, who was actually wacked by Sayid, cuz the guy was armed and likely there to watch and kill Hurley. On the run, Hurley has them stop to get some chicken, cuz he loves chicken! =)

"Maybe if you ate more comfort food, you wouldn't have to go around shooting people."

Sayid takes Hurley back to a safe house that's not all that safe. I'm not exactly sure what it is he checks (tape or a cover to some wire? has power or phone to his room been cut there?) but Sayid figures out it's a trap and goes all special forces on the two guys waiting for them, taking a number of tranq darts in the process. One guy goes over the rail. The other guy—dishwasher knives! Awesome! =)

And now *cellphone camera shutter click* Hurley is wanted for three murders! Ha!

Back on the Island, when everyone is skipped to a time after the hatch imploded, Sawyer and Juliet consider taking advantage of possibly jumping into the recent past to warn their friends not to get on the helicopter.

"That's not the way it works. You cannot change anything. Even if you try to, it wouldn't work..."

Faraday gives his class a metaphor for the rules about time travel. Basically, time is like a string, and you can jump to any point along it, but you can't ever create a new string by changing anything. Everything that happens is/was/will have been meant to happen.

That's what I hate most about time travel... verb tense. Blerg.

This seems consistent with everything we've seen so far (despite some annoying details), and I hope that he speaks for the writers. That, combined with the explanation of fate and causality provided by the pawn shop Watcher we met in Desmond's jump-back (the pawn shop lady refuses to sell Desmond his engagement ring), explains how the Losties can/can't change events at any point in time.

Faraday reveals that he has detailed notes on Dharma's activities and capabilities on the Island, apparently from first-hand experience. Now, I'm wondering when that Faraday we saw at the beginning of the show is from... Was that a young Faraday (probably very young, to be at the construction of a station), or a time-skipping "present day" Faraday...? BUT, he has that journal with him on preeent day... So, a slightly younger version of him that time-slipped on his own...?

Nah, that's probably too twisted. Assuming that it IS his younger self that we see during the construction of the Orchid station, that means he infiltrated or worked with Dharma, that he might have even been there when Roger Linus and Ben Linus showed up to join the Initiative...

Frack. I dunno if that works out. Maybe a time travelling Faraday in the Dharma Initiative is not so twisted after all. I'll hafta watch again and pay more attention to how old he looks in that scene.

Meanwhile, "now," Locke is bumped to a time after the plane has fallen (and been burned?). Richard Alpert shows up, expecting him, and his wounded leg. Hrmm... this could be before Locke's told to kill his father. I wonder if Alpert makes any reference to meeting Locke before that time, or maybe walks off on his own with a medical pack...? Dammit. Will hafta go back and watch the old eps.

Richard is forever young, remember, so you wouldn't know what year it was by looking at him. Ha! Richard talks about Locke telling him about this situation in his own past and Locke's future. That's some time travel fun, right there. BILL & TED style fun. =)

Richard gives John a compass. Apparently it'll mean something to the younger Richard when Locke produces it. But... geez, if it's because it's Alpert's favorite compass from when he was a little immortal kid, that means there will be TWO compasses. OR... if Locke materializes next to Richard in the past in a situation where they need a compass to survive, Locke can produce it and tell him that Alpert's future self told him they'd need it. And then Locke would give that very compass to the younger Alpert who would hold onto it for so many years until he grew into the older Alpert who would show up and dress Locke's bullet wound and give him the compass to give to his younger self. Fun w paradox! An infinite loop compass. Wheee!~

Eh, what's safest is for younger Alpert to have a compass, then Locke produces the same compass to prove his story, and then The one that Locke has gets destroyed.

Or, actually, maybe he needs the compass for himself. Cuz Locke eventually gets off the Island and back to the real world as Jeremy Bentham. So, he must get bumped to a time when there are vehicles available on the Island, and now that he knows the magic compass bearing, he can safely navigate out of the snowglobe. I wonder if he has to go back during a time that precedes the 815 crash. Sets up a life in the real world that is just about waiting and waiting til the Oceanic 6 arrive and then become reachable. Sounds like he visited everyone over a span of time, and it seems like months, or even years, might've passed between him visiting Jack and Jack seeing his obituary and looking up his funeral.

And, in the next flash, John is sent back in time to when the Nigerian plane is still up on the cliff. Is it still actually smoking from the crash? Just after Ethan's left the area?

Throughout the episode, I'm hoping that a time jump happens that will allow the Losties to witness themselves. Like, maybe Sawyer gets to actually see Jack and Kate literally "caught in a net," or maybe Locke gets to see Eko face down the smoke monster, fun stuff like that.

Also, would be happy to see the smoke monster at all, and OK, maybe a hot young crazy Rousseau.

Say, Rousseau's not an Other or an Island native. Is she getting pushed around in time as well?

Meanwhile, Faraday and company experience the skip as well, and find themselves in a time when the hatch was still intact, before Locke discovers/uncovers it. Sawyer gets the most excellent idea to go knock on the front door/hidden entrance, and grab some supplies. Faraday's telling Sawyer it's impossible to change anything. Sawyer doesn't care, he's banging on the hatch doors. Faraday insists that he never met Desmond before the crash, so they can't meet now...

I think that's kinda bullstuff myself. As Desmond has experience, you can interact with people, but the universe will find a way to smooth out the ripples. But... maybe that's not even a factor, cuz, just how far back in time is this? Maybe it'll be pre-skullcracked Kelvin or pre-shotgunned Raszinsky who answers the door, right?

But alas, no. No one answers. And the field trip stomps off toward the beach. Just cuz. Faraday stops Charlotte for a second when he notices that her nose is bleeding. She says it's nothing and moves on. Faraday, however, recognizes it as a side effect of time jump madness, which left un-treated results in brain burnout. Charlotte is gonna need a constant to anchor her. Faraday lingers, consults his journal, apparently finds something, and begins banging on the hatch doors alone.

Yay! Desmondo!

"Do I know you?" Like when he met/meets Jack! =)

Apparently, Desmond is a wild card time travel-wise. His hatch implosion experience makes him an anomaly who is apparently allowed to remember and interact with people in time jumps forward and back, altho there's apparently some universe-smoothing memory blockage/time-release involved.

In the past, Faraday tells Desmond that he has to go (return) to Oxford and seek out his mother. Before we can hear her name, he's taken away in another flash.

Cut to, Desmond, beside his Penny, waking up from a memory-dream of his conversation with Faraday. He gets up and sets course for Oxford...

(Did I mention... Yay! =)

Blerg. That only gets me thru half of the two hour premiere. I've gotta figure out a better way to go thru this stuff. I'll try and cover the second half tomorrow evening.

All in all, AWESOME! I love me some good time travel fun. If you do, too, I hafta push an upcoming Brattle screening at you—TIME CRIMES. It played at the IFFB last year—a small, clever, crafty story about an average fellow, who, when attempting to evade a masked stalker, accidentally travels thru time—it's a lot of fun to watch. Full of surprises that aren't really surprises. Gotta love time travel, donchaknow. =)

Keep on keepin on~

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