Saturday, April 18, 2009

LOST: You owe me a fish taco.

The story of Miles

A really great Miles episode. Maybe a little pat, but in ways I didn't see coming. *And* STAR WARS! =)

Miles Strohm was born Miles Chang, son of Pierre Chang of the DI. Miles never knew his father. His mother only ever told him that he abandoned them when he was a baby and that he's now dead, and has been for a long time. When Miles asks where his body is, his mother tells him.

Mom Strohm: Somewhere you can never go.

Doesn't this sound/feel familiar? Charlotte's deathbed recollection of her childhood on the Island, of her father working on the Island, of her mother taking her off the Island and telling her it wasn't real. Charlotte's mother threw up static every time she tried to talk about her father or the Island. I wonder if there was a model cover story given to parents who left the DI with their children. Maybe the DI saw the danger, or a danger, coming, and families made decisions about saving children.

Charlotte didn't seem nearly old enough compared to Miles to be 7-ish in 1977 while baby miles was still basically zero. I suppose she might have had a really good skin care regimen...?

Miles discovers his ability to read the dead as a child. His power seems to work best/most cleanly/clearly when he's near the body. We HAVE seen him work his mojo in the home of the deceased, but it seems like the dead boy's mother experienced something that clued her, and Miles, in to the notion that his spirit was lingering in his bedroom.

As a child, he seems unable to ignore or block the voices of the dead, but as he grows, he learns to, or at least learns to cope. The piercings make sense in a subculture way, but also in an experiential way. Imagine not being able to shut off the voices of the dead.

As an adult, he makes a living off of his ability, connecting the living with the dead, as a medium and a cleaner (at least, that's what we've seen so far). The job he takes for Mr. Gray seems like it could be a throwaway, another example of how much of a schmuck he could be, faking a reading of Mr. Gray's dead son and charging him double for it (altho if Miles ever felt he needed to defend his actions, he might rationalize it as giving the man closure and peace of mind). I hafta say I was blindsided by the follow-thru. He drops in on Mr. Gray before heading out on the freighter and returns the money, admitting that he faked it. This isn't a change of heart, tho. It's about Miles dealing with the father who abandoned him.

Miles: If you needed your son to know that you loved him, you should've told him when he was still alive.

I really like that.

But, whoa. Back up. Between the two visits with Mr. Gray, we get to witness Naomi's recruiting of Miles, as well as a counteroffer by the competition.

Naomi takes Miles to read a body, for his audition.

Miles: Name's Felix. He was on his way to deliver something to... a guy named... Widmore.
Naomi: Deliver what?
Miles: A bunch of papers, photos, pictures... of... [whispering continues] empty graves. A purchase order... for an old airplane.

Have we met Felix? Or heard his name before? Sounds like this guy was carrying the photos and papers that Tom shows to Michael, to help convince him that Widmore's the bad guy. Of course, it's still ambiguous who is actually responsible for the fake 815. Felix might have been investigating the fake FOR Widmore and tracked down the graves and the plane purchase order implicating Ben. Felix gets wacked by Ben's people before he can deliver the proof, which finds its way into Tom's hands, altered and spun to suit the Others' needs. OR—and this does sound a bit thin—Felix might've been Widmore's accountant, and conscientiously keeping track of all his records.

I'm gonna go with Widmore being not guilty of the 815 set-up. Which brings us to "the competition."

After accepting the $1.6 million offer to go Ben-hunting on the Island, Miles is abducted by a van full of Shadow agents. They ask him to reconsider, to change sides. They're talking the talk of True Believers, not mercenaries...

Bram: Do you know what lies in the shadow of the statue? Then you're not ready to go to that Island.

I was wrong about the shadow question being DI-like. It works the same way as the snowman question, but it comes from some level of faith or religious/cultish experience, not just the logic of a passcode.

Miles says that he'll do it for double Widmore's pay. The Shadow guys (the guy riding shotgun is Alanna's lieutenant on the present-day Island) dump him and tell him that he's working for the wrong side.

Bram: You're playing for the wrong team.
Miles: Yeah? What team are you on?
Bram: The one that's gonna win.

The Shadow Pact

Now I'm thinking that THESE guys, these Shadow agents, are the ones who faked 815. I'm also thinking that they are the other team in the war that Widmore warns Locke about in Tunisia.

When Miles does get to the Island, he negotiates some alone-time with Ben in New Otherton. He then tells Ben that he'll keep his mouth shut for $3.2 million, the same number he gave Bram. I don't remember Ben giving away any clue that he recognized that figure, so assuming Ben was genuine in his apparent surprise (I know, when is he ever genuine? but work with me here), whether he knows it or not, Miles has figured out that Ben isn't behind the Shadow agents.

In fact, I'm hoping/looking forward to seeing the three Island leaders (the Jacob appointees Widmore, Linus, and Locke) all team up to fight off these other Others. Even if they're all in the wrong. I can quickly imagine this being a struggle between native Islanders and Blackrock Islanders, similar to Native Americans and early North American European colonists. The natives, and their god-prophet, help them survive, only to have the newcomers betray them (perhaps with the help of a native turncoat named Richard?), and in a massacre or war, seize all that was theirs for ages, unseat or replace their god-prophet, and take over the Island, nearly exterminating the natives and their culture. Now, the natives, or their descendents, scattered off Island, are mobilizing to retake their ancestral home. Something in Widmore's expression or manner when he tells Locke about the coming war, and how "the wrong side will win," gave me the impression that he might be referring to history. So, I'm wondering if the Shadow pact might be in this to change history, or at least, the history of the Island, and prevent the Blackrockers from destroying their ancestors.

And y'know what? I think that if that's how it plays out, Locke will be a pivotal player and make a decision to save the culture of the natives and oust the Blackrockers and any outsiders.

Yes, it may be crazy talk. I *LIKE* crazy talk! I *LOVE* that this show inspires it. =)


Will blog more on Miles's story before the next episode. There's a lot of good crack in here. Frack, I didn't even get to the EMPIRE STRIKES BACK goodness! =)

Keep on keepin on~

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