Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LOST: Poor Richard's Frontignac...

6.09: "Ab Aeterno"

Some scattin' on the Richard episode...


What's up with "the new world?" 1867 and a Spaniard refers to the Americas as the new world? I'm no historian, but it seems conspicuous, no? I feel like the use of the phrase calls attention to itself. There are the Americas as the new world, but then there's the Island, too, isn't there? And then again, in season 6, there is a truly new, alternate, world as well. Hrmm...

And here's a silly little stretch. Isabella... Not the queen, but sharing her name, like the queen, she "funds" her explorer Richard's unplanned journey to a new world... with her crucifix pendant.

Isabella's ghost/visitation. This seems similar to Ben's mother's apearance to little Ben. Which might be strong versions of other spectral projections we've seen, like Ana Lucia's to Eko as well and Boone's to Locke? Maybe the Island is like Spiderman with its granting of post mortem visits? "Everybody gets one."

What to do next...?
JACOB: Ask Ricardus. He'll know what to do next.
ILANA: So, Richard, what DO we do next?

If we trust Jacob, then what's next is the message Hurley passes on from Isabella (or IS it Isabella? =) ...
HURLEY: She said you have to stop the Man In Black. You have to stop him from leaving the island. Cuz if you don't... todos nos vamos al infierno [We all go to hell.]

Not a huge surprise as far as instructions go. No doubt Richard will hook Ilana and the Candidates up with Other/Island resources to help them.


Richard is not Ricardus, he's Ricardo. Boo. He's ages younger than I personally hoped. This also means that Jacob's phase of active meddling is just under 150 years old. That's not a short time, but seems short-ish, given his apparent immortality, no? I mean, Jacob DOES live, at last part-time, in a statue of frickin Tawaret, right? So, y'know, barring his being swept up in a massive time jump, he's lived thru and since ancient Egyptian times. That is a LONG TIME to be running his and Esau's Job-ian challenge in a laissez-faire manner, donchathink?

Where/when/whence do Esau and Jacob pick up their (as far as I can suss) 21st century North American English-speaking accents? Is that just how WE hear them? Or could it be a clue to their origin? Or perhaps it's just the influence of the time-travelling satellite TV dish hook-up they're pirating.

Priestly refuses to give Ricardo absolution. It moves the story along, sure, but Man, that seems conspicuously harsh. In the end, it serves as great preamble, set up, for a calculated follow-thru of selling him into servitude and making it look to Ricardo himself like a blessing. A stay of hell-execution, a chance to do the penance that will earn him salvation.

Captain Magnus Hanso dies. I had it in my head that the LOST mythology was that a Hanso was shipwrecked, survived, and found his way back to civilization. I presumed that he (and his heir/s) somehow parlayed his discovery of or experience on the Island into practical advantage in war, industry, and business. Perhaps the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated in his episode?


If we take his words to be true, he is saying that he, Esau, originally lived in the body that Jacob now wears. This implies that Jacob was a non-human being who required or desired a human body, and he took Esau's. Leaving Esau as the Monster. The body that he wears when speaking with Richard may be an Island loaner, the form of someone who lies dead on the Island somewhere. It's a body that Jacob is familiar with, as he describes it to Richard when he determines that Esau sent him to kill him.

I think this brazen attempt on Jacob's life would have been successful, too. Jacob may not have formalized his methods by 1867, but he definitely claims responsibility for bringing Richard to the Island, so Richard is one of his people, and we know that Jacob can be (and will have been) killed by one of his people, as long as it is the killer's own desire which drives him.

Jacob wins Richard in the way that Esau wins Sayid. The deck is stacked in Esau's favor by Infection, but the scenarios and process are remarkable LOST mirror images.

Esau and Dogen each give their agents the same weapon and nearly the same instructions—as soon as you are aware of him, strike to kill, before he can say a word. Sayid follows his instructions while Richard never gets the chance. Both end up engaged in conversation with their targets. I don't believe that simply hearing the sound of either's voice is the issue, it's letting them speak to you, charm, persuade, seduce, and influence you.


I wish that when we finally get to see Richard's assailant on the beach that it was Christian. O well.


Jacob's explanation of Evil and the Island using the wine, bottle, and cork. Also, as melodramatic as it was, Esau's smashing of the bottle. To me it implied a strategy for his escape (or perhaps the spread of the Infection beyond the Island) that bypasses the Island. Something that might result in the destruction of the pocket dimension or snowglobe. Now, what would that look like...? Sunken Island, anyone? Whether that's actually what's in store, well, I guess we'll hafta wait and see.

That Richard's story is a love story. I don't know why that appeals to me, exactly. Maybe because it's the last thing you'd expect given Richard's behavior and demeanor on the show so far.

I was half-hoping that Richard, before the Island, was kind of a screw-up. Maybe the Gilligan of his ship, the guy that causes them to be shipwrecked somehow.

That the going-to-hell framework is made to fit so well. Priestly's set-up of no absolution. The statue of Tawaret in the dark and stormy night. The Monster's attack. The ordeal of Ricardo's industrial arts project: escaping the Black Rock brig on his own. Highlights include the dripping rainwater being out of reach and the loss of his digging nail, thanks to a wild boar rush. The visit from Isabella. And then Esau's clunky manipulation of the situation.


We've seen two face-to-face meetings between Jacob and Esau so far. One on the beach, as part of last season's finale, and another in this episode, on Esau's log with a view.

When Esau visits Jacob on the beach, they talk about the arrival of a ship, visible on the horizon against clear skies and calm seas. At the time, I assumed it was the Black Rock. However, in this episode, we see that the Black Rock does not so much arrive as crash land in the middle of a massive nighttime storm.

When Jacob visits Esau at his log with a view, the timing seems to be immediately following his hiring of Richard. I gather this from Jacob's referring to the stone that Richard delivered to Esau. In this conversation, Esau seems to state or acknowledge his murderous intentions to Jacob for the first time.
JACOB: So you tried to kill me?
MAN IN BLACK: You expect an apology?
JACOB: No. I guess I'm just wondering why you did it.

So, this must have happened before that morning on the beach, right? Because in their discussion there, Esau speaks as if he's got a history of attempts on Jacob's life...
ESAU: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?
ESAU: One of these days, sooner or later... I'm going to find a loophole, my friend.

The ship on the horizon that day must have been a different ship, carrying a crop of Jacob's Good People.

But, that morning on the beach, Tawaret was complete and intact. The arrival of the Black Rock smashed the statue to bits.

Frack. I thought that talking it thru would untangle things, but I'm still unclear on the order of these two Jacob and Esau heart-to-hearts. In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter, except maybe to connect one of the ships' arrivals with one of the time-skipping flashes.


Maybe when we see him speaking wit Jacob Esau's wearing Magnus Hanso's body?

Doesn't the stone appear to be much brighter and polished than when Richard handed it over? Is this an indication of time having passed since that delivery?

Maybe Isabella didn't actually tell Hurley that last bit to pass on to Richard? Maybe that was from Jacob.

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, March 28, 2010

LOST: Isabella, my wife. She was here.

6.09: "Ab Aeterno"


Isabella appears to Richard on the Black Rock. How? I see three possibilities.
  1. As a hallucination.
  2. As Esau in corporeal drag.
  3. As her actual self, allowed communion via supernatural power or ability.

I'm gonna chuck Occam's Razor and for the sake of keeping things interesting, and (a kind of) consistent with her Hurley-mediated appearance at the end of the episode, I'm gonna nix possibilty number one.

As for possibility the second, well, I'm sticking with the Esau-can-only-wear-a-body-on-the-Island rule for that one. So, number two is, well, number two. (I'm going to do everyone the favor of restraining myself from conspiracy-theoretically going down the road of the Monster being in cahootz with the Spaniard priest and arranging for her body to be loaded onto the Black Rock with his indentured prisoners.)

Which leaves possibility number three. It seems that Isabella made a genuine post mortem visit to her man. This tells me that Richard is special in a way that many Island visitors seem to be. Special in the way we know Walt, several Candidates, and probably Aaron, are. At this laissez-faire stage of Jacob's meddling, Jacob may not have known that anyone special had landed in the Black Rock, but perhaps sometimes, when the Island wants what it wants, it really is the Island, and not Jacob, eh?

Anyhow, Esau seems surprised to hear that Richard saw Isabella on the Island, and that she was reportedly scared off by none other than himself (ack, unless there's another Black Smoke Monster... Jacob, perhaps? =). Aware of her significance to Ricardo (thanks to the flash-scan he ran on him earlier in Monster form) he clunkily assimilates her presence into his story, looking to increase Richard's motivation to kill Jacob, aka the devil...
RICHARD: Did you... Did you see my wife? Isabella, my wife. She was here. Then the black smoke came, and she ran.
ESAU: And she hasn't come back... That probably means HE has her.
RICHARD: Who...?
ESAU: I think you know who.

And later, over roast boar...
RICHARD: How, how can I kill him with this, he's...black smoke.
ESAU: No. I am.
RICHARD: My wife Isabella, she was running from you?
ESAU: She was running from him. I'm sorry. I saw him take her but I couldn't do anything to stop it.

Not very convincing to me, or Richard, it turns out, as he begins to question the not-so-consistent logic of Esau's storytelling. But when he attempts to get more on the whys and wherefores, Esau FOXnews-es him into focusing on all that *really* matters...
ESAU: I'm not the one you need to worry about. The Devil has your wife, and you are going to have to kill him if you ever want to get her back.

So, I think that Richard's vision of Isabella is genuine, not engineered by Esau, and in the end explains how little Ben's story of seeing his mother's body would especially impress Richard.


Richard's Isabella and Ben's mother. These two cases of Island reanimation/apparition feel like they're connected, because they both seem non-Monster-ous, thanks to the body-on-the-Island rule. I had to concoct quite a backstory to make Ben's mom's appearance a Monster thing, and I *like* my story, especially the part where Esau cuts a deal with Horace and the DI, but I'll admit it takes some stretching.

It occurs to me now that maybe I've been too hard on Ben. That the vision of his mother may have been genuine, and that Ben IS Island-special. I thought that the Monster would have had to fake the vision to give Ben the cred needed to get him in the Temple door and baptized into Other-dom, but maybe Ben was always meant to be an Other. After all, he certainly proved himself to be gifted in the arts of deception and manipulation to a preternatural degree, and mostly held it together as Leader in a very trying era of Other history. So maybe Esau didn't have to craft his loophole weapon from scratch, but rather identified Other-to-be Ben and his situation as making for the ideal clay from which to mold it.


I think it's an expression or a gift of the Island, meant to connect with a specific, special, individual on the Island. It seems obvious that the Island enlists Ben's mother to tell him what he needs to hear and know. It's his mother, but with the Island whispering in her ear about how he can be a great leader of the Island's people so many years down the line. I've said it before, but here it is again... The things she tells Ben lead him to leave the DI and meet Richard and the Others, and the story of her very appearance gives him potential Other cred, which leads to his being baptized as an Other, succeeding Charles Widmore as Leader, and ultimately playing his part as Esau's loophole against Jacob.

With Isabella and Richard, her interaction with him doesn't seem to give him all that much insight or foreknowledge. The Island might have whispered to Isabella that she is in hell, home to the devil, and her husband has been sent here as well. Or perhaps the Island didn't need to whisper anything, just allow her to see Richard's predicament and conclude for herself as to their location and the identity of the Monster. But consider her visit in the same light as Ben's mother's, as information he needs to know to move on and forward.

The way Esau stumbles while assimilating Richard's story about her puts doubt in his mind about the whole devil business. Esau even owns up to BEING the Monster, which pretty much scrambles the fear factor and logic in his framing of Richard's situation. And ultimately, Isabella's situation and insistence that they both belong in hell also leads Richard to make his fateful wish—to never die—making him the man he is today.

There's more to comment on, from Poor Ricardo's Almanac, it's true, but this is all I've had the time to bang out this week. Foo.

Thanks to JK for poking my brain about LOST this week.

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. I still say Richard should be ages-older than his story reveals, and Egyptian. Nyeah. : P

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

LOST: dancing with myself~

I dare you to follow me on an excursion thru the LOST subway in my head. We'll start at a station/topic/detail that I've wondered about for a long while but just ended up dismissing when other events pushed it farther and farther into background. Where we'll end up, I don't know. Enjoy! =)


On seeing the sunken Island in LOST2, aka reality outside the snowglobe, I got to wondering about Kelvin's fate in this reality, and then about his timeline in the first one, inside the snowglobe. He signed up for the DI after a tour in Iraq (crossover w Sayid), which means the 90s. When he arrived, whom did he relieve? To whom did he reply "Smells like carrots?" Pretty sad and impressive that Radzinsky chooses to "own" the Swan from the time of the Incident thru Kelvin's arrival.

What happened to the DI and Ann Arbor? Why didn't they send someone to replace Kelvin and/or Radzinsky? Were they shut down? Taken over/infiltrated by the Others. What about the pallet drops? Were the Others requesting pallet drops to resupply themselves? And was the DI knowingly letting them have them? Remember, drops could be requested via beating the computer at chess at the Flame...


Does the instruction "ENTER 77" (in case of incursion by hostiles) have more significance now that we've seen that the Jack, Hurley, Sayid, and Kate get bumped out of Ajira 316 back to 1977 by the last donkey wheel flash?


How many times do we know or believe the Island has been moved?

1. We saw Ben turn it, crappily, sending the Island skipping thru time.

2. We saw Locke turn it, pureheartedly, ending the time skips and pinning the Island to a new location in the Ocean between Los Angeles and Guam.

3. We saw evidence of a turn during the DI's era on the Island. Charlotte discovers the DI-collared polar bear in the desert of Tunisia, the exit point for Island wheel turners.


Charlotte was likely funded by Widmore, so that's probably how he learned about the exit point. His Other leadership apparently didn't prep him with that knowledge before his exile, or I'd wager he would've been using his resources to monitor it much earlier than he does. It continues to bug me that his actual timing is a bit hinky, because Charlotte discovers the bear before arriving on the Island, soon after Widmore's fake 815 is discovered, but Widmore only gets cameras in place in time to observe Locke's exit, and not Ben's. What up with that?

Why Tunisia? I say it's because it's the original location/manifestation of the Island, as a mysterious Brigadoon-like sometimes-there-sometimes-not real mirage of a desert oasis.


Other leaders seem to know about the wheel as a last-ditch strategy for protecting the Island, and they know that that protection supposedly comes at a cost. Being exiled from the Island forever.

Of course, we discover that there are special cases or loopholes to this rule. Ben manages to return by hitching a ride on the re-creation of Oceanic 815. Locke's body manages to return as part of the re-creation, but maybe the dead bodies of exiles wouldn't have been prevented anyhow. But what is it that enforces rules such as this? The short and vague answer is: the Island. But for some of these rules, we can be a little more specific...


Widmore is actively banished from the Island, and is unable to return to the Island until after Jacob dies. I believe that Jacob's life force/energy/will powered and enabled the enforcement of many rules that traditionally applied to the Others and other Island players. With his death, certain restrictions have been lifted (exiled leaders/Others can return freely to the Island) while other abilities have been disabled (the spring no longer heals and baptizes Others, Esau can only take the human form of Locke).

When speaking of powers and plans and wants, I don't think that Jacob and the Island are always interchangeable.


Esau, aka the Monster. He is able to assume the form of any person whose fire- and water- unmolested corpse (remember the Others' funeral rites?) is present on the Island, in the snowglobe. We've seen him take the physically interactive forms, AND personalities and memories, of Eko's brother (and Eko's gunmen?) to Eko, Alex Rousseau to Ben, cabin-building Horace Goodspeed to Locke, and Christian Shephard to Claire, Locke, and Michael (altho the fact that we haven't seen his body on the Island is a bit of a mystery that has me wanting to believe that at least some of his appearances may be Something Else).

Christian's appearance to Michael is strange, but maybe that's OK. It happens on the freighter, just within the realm of the Island snowglobe, I'd wager, when Michael runs out of coolant to spray on the bomb. He tells Michael something like, "You can go now," right? And then the C4 detonates. Esau doesn't need a form that means something to Michael to fire him, right? But when he does, he uses one, cuz remember, Michael is also visited by Libby, which computes for Esau because she's known to be buried on the Island and is the ideal choice to play on Michael's guilt.

Until the C4 goes off, Michael is unable to die, or at least, unable to kill himself. Whether someone else could kill him, we'll never know, because we never see an explicit attempt on his life after he leaves the Island. Tom Friendly asks Michael about how his suicide attempts have gone wrong, and ultimately tells Michael something like, "The Island won't let you." No mention of Jacob. Is the Island *aware* of Michael and tweaking the cosmos as needed to keep him alive? Or is this something that Michael has been imbued with, via Jacob's touch, sometime in his past? This would have made him a Candidate, subject to the rule that governs all of those touched by Jacob. And as a Candidate, as Richard spelled out for us on the Black Rock, you can't do yourself in.

There are other apparitions, tho, on the Island and off. Ana Lucia's ghost appears to Eko soon after she dies, telling him to help John. A less interactive and more phantom-like Christian appears to Jack, both on the Island (ultimately leading him to the caves), and off (haunting him for some time before Locke finds him). Maybe when you die on the Island, if you are special, maybe a Candidate, your spirit is required to serve the Island once before being set completely free. The Island gets to use a person's ghost once, maybe in accordance with the will or wish of the deceased, y'know, nothing that the individual wouldn't agree to. Given what we've seen the apparitions do and say, even in Locke's spirit walks, I like that explanation. Hrmm... Would that explain Claire's non-feral appearance to Kate in Aaron's bedroom, demanding that she not bring Aaron back to the Island...? The Island may have saved Claire's messenger card for three years to play at that moment. If that's the case, then the Island may have a Sayid and a Charlie messenger card each yet to be played.


I think I've solved a mystery that's been bugging me for a long time...

I'm certain that Esau wears Ben's mother's form to draw him out of Dharmaville and into Other-dom back in the 70s, but given the body-must-be-on-the-Island rule, I couldn't figure out the logistics. It makes sense that Esau would pose as Ben's mother, first to lure him into the Island jungle and Other territory, but then, more importanly, as anecdotal proof to any Other he encountered that Ben is Special. When Richard comes upon Ben in the jungle, he is impressed by Ben's story about being contacted by his dead mother, who never set foot on the Island. It is, for lack of a better term, a demonstration of a very Walt-y ESP ability, and for the Others a telling sign of Island potential. This is how Esau begins fashioning his loophole.

But... How does Ben's mother's body get to the Island?

Horace. He was there wen Ben was born, after all. Helped get Uncle Rico and Ben's mom to the hospital. Maybe Horace had to make a deal with Esau, as well as the Others, for the DI to move in onto the Island? Esau knew that Ben would be born, that Horace would encounter his parents, and charge Horace with transporting the mother's body to the Island in exchange for limited immunity from Monster attacks. Or maybe certian info or even Monster samples that led to the creation of the sonic fence technology?

I like that. And perhaps Horace builds his cabin as a place to meet with Esau for negotiations or even direction. Maybe he ultimately uses it to trap him, at least for a time.

I have a feeling that the key to Esau's foreknowledge of Ben lies in the slip of information from one or more of the time-skipping Losties, from their lips to the Monster's smokey ears. Or... Charlotte's body. Lost in a time skip on the Island and thus, at whatver time that was, fair game for possession by Esau.

Speaking of Ben's mother...


I forget who makes the remark—maybe it's the Other therapist, the crazy RESCUE ME wife and wife of Goodwin?—but when Juliet settles in on the Island as part of Ben's neo-Other collective, and it becomes obvious that Ben dotes on her, someone says something like, "Well, of course, she's the spitting image." I take that sentence to end with a silent "of his dead mother."

And we all see how Ben shamelessly checks Juliet out, right? Creepy.

Well, his obsession with her leads him to punish both Juliet and Goodwin in his own loving way. This history with Ben causes Juliet to want to push Jack away, because by getting close to him, she makes him the primary target of Ben's deadly jealous wrath. She really believes that that is a factor.

Now, I know it's been three years since then—well, two years and a few months for Ben thanks to the time shove of the donkey wheel—but I want to believe that Ben's obsession still lingers, even in the wake of his devastation over Alex.

I know Ben seems to be on a good path now, but how do you think Ben will react to the news of his Juliet being wooed and won by con-neanderthal Sawyer? And then that Juliet died because of Jack's insane plan? I would love for that news to break during some crucial moment and send Ben off the rails, maybe a wild card that Sawyer will play when he needs a distraction?

I wonder if Sawyer or Juliet might have had some fun scratching some unflattering graffiti into the walls or furniture of Ben's future bungalow in New Otherton? "Ben Linus sucks!" "Richard Rules!" "Locke #1!" "Ben's a nerd!" "KISS ROCKS!" =)

Speaking of fun with time travel...

AJIRA 316.

Who knew that Ajira 316 would need a runway to land on (and take off from) Hydra island? Ben must have ordered the project begun, right? On his own, like the fertility research? Or by Jacob's orders, via Richard. How would Jacob know? The same way he knew that Locke, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, Kate, Jin, Miles, and Faraday would be important. By paying attention to what's going on on the Island at all times. The dial on the Lighthouse might have helped him choose these Candidates while still children, but their appearance on the Island in the 70s certainly singled them out as special. Richard would no doubt relay all of his encounters with the Losties throughout his long life, including the stories of their various arrivals, equipping Jacob with the knowledge and foreknowledge to plan for events in the 21st century that would effect events in the 20th, like the construction of a runway for a crash-landing commercial jet.


How many times did Charlie die?

Following Ethan's abduction of Claire, Ethan lynched Charlie. He was dead when Jack and Kate found him. Jack attempted to resuscitate him but failed. In denial or hope, Jack went at it again one last time, and pounded on Charlie's chest until he came back. Minutes had passed since they found him hanging. I think it's fair to say that Charlie went pretty dark after that. Agreeing to help Sawyer "abduct" Sun, and in the end, taking revenge on Ethan with righteous extreme prejudice. After that, he seemed to find a happier place for himself by Claire and Aaron's side.

Later, after bouncing between gurus Locke and Eko, this Charlie survived the massively violent Swan implosion, basically unscathed except for a ringing in his ears. I swear his pixie-like attitude was darker again after the purpling of the skies. I was convinced that the Charlie that walked away from the implosion was a tainted version of Charlie, inhabited by, or even an incarnation of, the Monster, and I looked forward to someone finding Charlie's real body among some Hatch debris, beside a pile of smashed Geronimo Jackon LPs. Alas, not to be.

This Charlie finally died after multiple near-death saves by the Amazing Desmond. Charlie drowned in the Looking Glass after disabling the jamming signal and discovering that the freighter was not Penny's boat.

Was Charlie repeatedly reanimated by Infection, but then somehow cured? Perhaps his body's experience with drug addiction and rehabilitation allowed him to fight the advancing darkness of Infection in a way that other Claimed individuals cannot. Or maybe, more smarmily, having Claire and Aaron in his life to fight for helped him beat the darkness back, away from his heart and out of his body.

Kinda weak, I know, but I feel like Charlie's beating of the Infection could prove important to a turning of the tide when it comes to one of the new crop of Infected—Sayid and Claire—even if it's only for a brief, crucial, moment of empathy and clarity (a la Vader chucking the Emperor down the Death Star shaft in ROTJ). If it IS as hokey as love being the antidote, there's Nadia and Aaron to draw on. Or maybe Charlie's ring, now in Sun's hands. But those are just the desires that Esau's playing on to use them for his ends right now. It's got to be something more. Something else about Charlie, that he did, that he was exposed to. The implosion energies? But that was after Ethan's attack...

In any case, we know that Charlie IS dead now. He's appeared to Hurley as one of his dead visitors. There's been no mention of Infection by Charlie or thru Hurley, but that's not surprising. If his system managed to fight off Infection, Charlie might not even be aware that he was ever Claimed.


Off the top of my head, some bodies that might be available for manipulation by the Island. Maybe they were used by Esau before Jacob's death, but for now, are unavailable to him, "stuck" as he is, with Locke-ness. I wonder if Esau's got a surplus DI freezer somewhere stocked of w the bodies of his favorite skins on ice? Next door to the wheel chamber would be perfect, actually, eh?

Hurley seems to communicate only with those friendly and known to him already, but Miles might chance upon one of these bodies for a reading. Anyhow...

Kelvin (Sayid and Desmond know him)
Charlotte (somewhere in time)
Faraday (since 1977)
Libby (important to Hugo and Desmond)
Ana Lucia

I have a feeling that the rules say that Esau can't use the bodies of Jacob's followers, but they do have those funeral rites, so maybe if they haven't been given those rites, they're fair Monster game...? In that case.

the women in the Looking Glass

That's all I've got tonight.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, March 22, 2010

LOST: Do I know you from somewhere?

Okay. What's going to bring all our familiar Lostie friends together in the reality outside the snowglobe? A wacky MAD MAD WORLD car chase? Heh, I hope not. The premiere of a new Hugo Reyes produced feature film called FOUND? Alas, not bloody likely. A natural disaster? Hrmm... Maybe. Perhaps a robbery gone bad, perpetrated by a desperate alterna-Lostie? Maybe maybe.

What I like for the occasion of a 20-car destiny pile-up: Helen and John Locke's wedding. =)

John knows or has met... Jack at the airport, Hurley at the box company, Rose at the temp agency, Ben (and Arzt and maybe Alex) as the substitute.

Maybe Locke tapes that business card back together and goes in to see Jack for a consult after all. Whether Jack can offer him hope or not, not as important as the fact that they continue to connect, so Jack gets an invite. By this time, Jack and his mother might have tracked down his half-sister, Claire (maybe he sees her name on the board in the ER?), whom Jack can take as his +1.

Perhaps Hurley does a little snooping into Locke's situation and decides to pull some strings to help out financially with Locke's wedding. Maybe even on the sly, contacting Helen directly. In any case, I think Hugo gets an invite for playing career matchmaker for the just-fired John Locke.

Remember, Locke's also met Boone, on flash 815. With Hurley's backing, Helen might want to hire the Martha Stewart of wedding planners, Boone's mom, to help put together their special occasion. In that case, Boone might show up on the day of as the on-site consultant or whatever he is.

And given his connection with Rose, whose personal story served as something of a wake-up call, and who set him up with his fateful gig as substitute teacher, I'd say she's an easy invite decision. Bernard as +1.

From his new co-workers, Ben seems an obvious choice. Too creepy for him to ask Alex as a +1? And, in case we need a red-shirt at the ceremony to take the brunt of any explosion of violence, why not throw in Arzt, right?

JK reminded me that John actually has a framed photo of Helen, his father, and himself on his desk at work, so, I guess when he said his father was invited, he meant his actual, kidney-thieving father, aka Anthony Cooper. If he's at the wedding, I'd say that's more than enough motivation to get Ford and Straume to crash it. If they do it undercover, perhaps they'll bring dates. Anna Lucia and Juliet?

Out of our major players, who does that leave out?

Sun and Jin, Sayid, Kate, Desmond, Charlie, Frank, and Daniel. Maybe Penny, Widmore, Libby, and Eko. Am I forgetting any big names?

Hrmm... How about Eko presiding over the ceremony? And Desmond, Charlie, Frank, and Daniel as the wedding band? Perhaps Sayid's dry cleaning biz (previously Omar's) also rents out tuxes.

Or, the wedding is happening somewhere that allows for some chance intersections. I agree with JK that it ought to be something outdoors. I think Helen would want that, in spite of sketchy wheelchair accessibility. Hrmm... Could Jack perform miracle surgery quickly enough? But the reception could be in a banquet hall of a hotel, right? Or a giant tent in a park that anyone could pass by or thru, like Kate or Jin or Sayid in a getaway car...?

Hrmm... Then again, someone with the resources and the reason could stage an event that would invite or draw this unlikely collection of characters together. In the reality outside the snowglobe, that could be luckiest man in the world Hugo Reyes, global industrial tycoon, Charles Widmore, or perhaps, modestly successful supermodel and adventurer, the dashing Desmond Hume. I'm sure that someone with the connections and wealth of the Widmore we know from inside the snowglobe could definitely paint a single event, real or faux, in just the right different lights to be a can't-miss for anyone on the Lost roster, just the right false pretenses. Golden tickets to Charlie Widmore's Chocolate Factory?

Heh. Well, hopefully, we shall see...

It would be just too much for all of them to end up on another plane together three years later, right?


Keep on keepin on~

LOST: I was either gonna become a criminal or a cop. So, I chose cop...

6.08: "Recon"

This here's some rambling on the Detective James Ford storyline from the latest episode, in Los Angeles of 2004...


Who's up for a LOST spinoff series starring L.A.'s finest, Ford and Straume? The new VICE, only, L.A., not Miami, and fraud or whatever the department's called, instead of vice. Maybe our grizzled anti-hero cop will keep a rabbit Number Eight instead of crocodile Elvis? Holloway's contract will require at least one shirtless Sawyer scene per episode. Each show will kick off with a pre-titles scene that ends with him delivering the line, "Son of a bitch," in a variety of inflections, and at least one case will involve using the phrase literally. Title? I like LOST ANGELES, but would go with LOST ANGELS in a pinch.

I was *just* talking about this possibility—that Sawyer2 would be working undercover—w Zorky over the weekend, and had "called" it way early in the season with JG. I decided I had to let it go, tho, when I saw Sawyer help Kate dodge security in the airport. Damn Ford for being so cheeky with his lawmanship! The closest I was willing to go after his aiding and abetting Kate was private contractor. I should've known he'd be game for bending the rules for Freckles, tho, right? I loved the pleasant surprise in his "Son of a bitch" when he nabs Kate at the end of the episode.

And speaking of freckles, how wonderfully perfectly soft and fuzzy is that scene between Half-Pint and Pa Ingalls of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE? Which LOST creator's been walking around with *that* exchange burned into his brain since childhood? As a kid, I loved that show, and hafta own up to that scene having a powerful, touching, button-pushing effect on me. It's the perfect deus ex machina to push surly suspicious James Ford over to the sensitive-man-of-the-70s/90s Sawyer. Latchkey foster(?) kid, raised on television and all, seeing Sawyer in his Spartanly furnished apartment, in the corner of his couch, washing down his frozen dinner with a beer, in a dark living room illuminated by TVland or PAX on the television set... and having that clip really work him over. Just perfect!

I do not love that Ford's short-lived romantic interest turns out to be Charlotte. She's way more likeable in this version, true, and OK, it's a cross-reality logical choice, since Miles sets it up, and in the snowglobe they're both on Widmore's Fantastic Four... Altho... What were they both doing in September 2004 in the snowglobe, right? This is the first flashover that's involved comparatively *premature* delivery on fated meetings, right? That is, Sawyer, Miles, and Charlotte meet months earlier outside the snowglobe than they do inside. But, like JK said, with only the remains of a short season left, the writers are definitely playing to us a bit, choreographing as many LOST-reasonable convergences and conjunctions as possible.

In any case, it's only right that Ford blows it with Charlotte, leaving his dance card open for coffee with Juliet and Charlotte's for a set-up with another of Miles's friends, piano maestro (Jack's son's instructor? =) and science fiction writer Daniel Faraday.

Miles knows Charlotte because she works with his father at "the museum." So, Miles has grown up knowing his father. I'm gonna go with the idea that Miles and his mother were evacuated before the Incident and Pierre, after seeing how easily Radzinsky's ego and paranoia sent the D.I. into such chaos, and the grudging love and potential in his adult son from the future, left the Island and joined them soon after. Perhaps the presence of his father counters or wards off whatever happened in Miles's childhood the first time that triggered his latent dead-reading abilities. Or, maybe he's manifested a different ability, something that might have helped him, and continues to help him, in his law enforcement career—reading the living.

It's a bit of a stretch, but I think it's, well, poetically fair, y'know? The Miles we've met inside the snowglobe is, by default settings, all prickly and standoffish (when he's not just outright insulting), and looking out for number one. The Miles who's partnered with Ford asks after his partner, sets him up with a friend, and altho he doesn't know the details, can read Ford's unease and agitation about getting closer and closer to the man he holds responsible for the deaths of his parents. The ability to read the dead vs the living certainly would contribute to his character and personality in each reality, and the absence or presence of his father might have metaphysically contributed to which ability he developed. Yeah, like I said, maybe a of a stretch, but I like it.

Where does Miles get his last name Straume? Or does his name plate say Detective Chang?

Did anyone see a letter to Mr. Sawyer tucked into Ford's "Sawyer" file? That would tell us that Jacob visited him as a child and gave him the pen he needed to complete it.

Oh, hey, did you catch that when Ford asks why, if Charlotte's such a great girl, isn't Miles going out with her, Miles tells him he's already got a girl. Who do you suppose that is...? Naomi? Nikki? Oh, no way! LAPD? Anna Lucia?! Wack! Gotta be! =)

A sorta sad-making observation by JK—since Ford chose cop over criminal, it seems unlikely that he would've hooked up with Clementine's mom outside the snowglobe. Not that Clementine's had a huge impact on anything major, but I liked that Sawyer worked that mark in prison as part of a deal to take care of her. I actually thought that Sawyer's whisper in the chopper was about Clementine and THAT stash specifically, not just to make sure she was taken care of. Cuz Kate users part of her Oceanic settlement, and never mentions Sawyer's savings account. I still find that sketchy and annoying, much like Kate herself.

Interesting, catching sight of a clean-cut looking brother Liam looking to bail his brother out. What sort of divergence will we see with that relationship? Liam, the responsible, rehabilitated, family man? Charlie, the hopeless junkie? I wonder if, while he was dead/near-dead, Charlie actually saw or felt that he was fated to die in another reality, the way Juliet got to experience things in the other direction when she was near death. How does Charlie's story fit into any LOST-karmic framework, anyhow? Is he better off in this reality for just not dying? Will he meet Claire in L.A. and turn himself around and help her raise a proto-Jacobean Aaron?

A quick detour...


I don't love the idea that got dropped on us inside the snowglobe that Esau is a time-shunted (or reality-shunted?) "adult" version of an Aaron raised by another, in the snowglobe, while Jacob might be his counterpart, raised by his mother, outside the snowglobe. Light and dark versions of the same child. Allowing for a crazy Island discharge of some kind (traumatic enough to sink it?) that grabs two Aarons and shoves them way back in time, I'll admit that this theoretical poop shines up pretty nicely, but I don't think that it fits the tone and pace of the show as I know it, so I'm holding out for something else for now.

I still like my idea that Jacob elevated Esau to superhuman status as a lieutenant and/or companion, and Esau eventually turned on him when they came to a philosophical crossroads, perhaps somewhen/somewhere in ancient Egypt. Also, that Richard might have been Jacob's second attempt at such a creation.

Gotta say, I appreciated the thoughtfully punny goodness of the title of this episode, "Recon." There's Esau's sending Sawyer to scout out Hydra Island (every time I hear that, I think of a supervillain headquarters or global paramilitary baddies, a la Cobra =). Then there's Sawyer's playing both sides against one another. And then there's getting to do it all over again, and within that, getting to see him play a classic con again as well. Tasty puntabulous stuff. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

LOST: Aaron is Infected...

OK. This is a riff on a theory that I encountered online. As a rule, I avoid poking around online LOSTiness as much as I can, but I found out this site was directing people to some of my posts, so I had to have a peek. I ended up re-posting a couple of my blabs there... to little fanfare. What-EV.


The original theory posits that Aaron is actually the first victim of Infection that we get to meet on the show. Claire's baby passed away in the womb, the result of the shock, injury, and trauma sustained in the crash. The theorist cites Claire exclaiming that she hasn't felt the baby move, post-crash. The first time Aaron moves is after Jin gives Claire some sea urchin, remember? And she embarrasses him by pressing his hand against her belly to let him feel the kicking. A harsh basis for a theory, but one with logic and ramifications, both forward and backward in time, that I like.

Firstly, Infection is Bad. Infection until 2004 has apparently been limited to the Island, contained in the snowglobe. Infection sets in once a person dies on the Island. Its first order of business is reviving its host. Once revived, the host is apparently him or herself, unchanged, except, as time goes on, the individual's inclinations and behavior become darker and darker. They become dark versions of themselves, less motivated to follow thru on any of their selfless inclinations, Good intentions, and more likely to act on their darker urges, and more susceptible to selfish temptations, Bad influences. I know it's vague, but you get the idea, right?

The Others, once baptized in the Temple spring, are somehow immunized against Infection. Ben's dip was successful, back in 1977, saving his life and making him forever an Other. Sayid's dip in 2007, not so much. Jacob had been killed, robbing the spring of its vitality, before Sayid could be dipped.

I submit that for Infection to spread successfully and completely throughout its host, to swallow the individual's heart in darkness, the host must be an adult, must have had enough of a life and experiences to develop that scale of good and evil that Dogen refers to. So, in cases where the host is a baby or child, Infection does what it can to keep him or her healthy until s/he's "ripe" for complete Infection.

So, let's assume that three-year old Aaron, who was left in the care of Claire's mother by Kate in 2007 Los Angeles, is Infected. How does Aaron come to be that way...?

When we rewind Claire's story, we find that it's because in 2004 she listens to Aussie fortune teller Richard Malkin's warnings about the fate of her child. We gather that he sees that if he's raised by anyone other than Claire herself, he will be the cause of a Big Bad on the order of the end of the world. Claire insists that she can't raise him alone, and when he presents Claire with an apparent out, a plan to have her fly to L.A. to give her baby up to a "safe" couple, she agrees. Of course, this plan actually turns out to be a cover for his real plan—to save the world by tricking Claire into raising Aaron herself out of necessity, by trapping her on the Island at the time of his birth. We presume that Malkin sees that this will ensure that she will keep him and raise him, perhaps to adolescence on the Island, a very special environment. A pretty ingenious solution within the framework of the LOST story and a satisfying bit of early LOST unpuzzling for us. In retrospect, on the Island, Claire herself realizes this truth.

We should have known better, right?

Now, three years later, we know that things didn't go as the fortune teller had foreseen or planned... Or did they?

If we jump tracks to Richard Malkin's story, what do we find? He's met Mr. Eko, who is sent to Australia by the Church to investigate the merits of a proclaimed miracle—the resurrection of Malkin's daughter, Charlotte, dead by drowning. I can't quite place Eko's visit in time compared to Claire's fortune reading sessions, but given their Oceanic 815 itinerary, I think it's safe to say there's some overlap.

During the course of Eko's investigation, we find that Charlotte's return from the dead is pretty convincing as a genuine miracle—remember the audio recording of Charlotte's revival during the M.E.'s autopsy? But her father tells Eko that there was nothing miraculous about his daughter's recovery. Her mother insists that it's a miracle and Richard explains to Eko that she does that to berate him for his ongoing business as a fortune telling charlatan, admitting that he is a fake with no psychic abilities. At this, Eko decides that the girl's survival is non-miraculous. Later, the girl finds him at the airport before boarding 815, and she gives him a message from his brother Yemi, whom she met while she was "between places."

I think it's safe to say that we are meant to know that Charlotte's spontaneous resuscitation IS supernatural in origin. Malkin's daughter is brought back from the dead. Malkin tricks Claire into having her baby on the Island. Does anyone see a quid pro quo here?

I want to believe that Malkin is the real deal, with a seer's gift bestowed upon him by the Island or its agents, perhaps thru an Islander bloodline, perhaps thru Jacob's touch, or even a combination of both. As a psychic, he could foresee his daughter's death, and would know it to be final. At best, using his ability, he might repeatedly forestall the inevitable, the way Desmond does for Charlie, saving her from immediate danger and then dealing with cosmic course corrections as they come. Perhaps he's already been engaged in this for some time when...

One of the Island's bigwigs/aspects contacts him. Originally, I had Esau reaching out to him, but as far as I know, he's never been free to leave the Island or affect the outside world the way Jacob can. Unless... Can you imagine Esau placing a collect call from the Island? Right. But I don't see how it would suit Jacob to manipulate these lives to this Infectious end, so... I'm gonna go with the restrictions of the Rules, which don't allow Esau to leave the Island, and thusly...

Esau contacts Malkin thru an intermediary. Maybe it's someone in cahootz with Esau. Maybe it's someone who's being extorted by Esau. Maybe it's one a regular Joe Infected. Maybe Malkin's own abilities allow communication with the Monster from afar, perhaps even thru the visions of Claire's future themselves.

However he makes contact, Esau explains to Malkin that he will eventually have to let fate take Charlotte, but that he, the Monster, has the power to bring her back, and that's what he will do... if Richard does one thing for him. When he meets a young mother-to-be whose reading is "blurry," he must use any and all of his influence to persuade her to board Oceanic flight 815 on September 22, 2004.

Her presence on that flight leads to...
  1. Unborn Aaron's demise in the aftermath of the crash.
  2. Unborn Aaron's exposure to Infection on the Island.
  3. The birth of Infection-resuscitated Aaron on the Island. The first successful birth on the Island in a long time, perhaps since Alex Rousseau. (I'm okay w the possibility that she was Infected as well.)
  4. Claire's death by mercenary RPG.
  5. Claire's resuscitation by Infection and subsequent abandonment of baby Aaron.
  6. Kate raising Aaron as her own for three years off Island.
  7. The escape of the Infection from the Island, with Aaron as its probably superhuman vessel.

Even if Malkin's doomsday vision about Aaron is a fabrication, given his pedigree (Christian's grandson) and his singular experiences and exposure to who-knows-what energies and phenomena as a baby on the Island, I'm totally ready to buy him as an extrasensorally gifted individual. A potential Walt. If this was the Marvel Universe, he'd be an Omega class mutant, a Phoenix, destined to be a Dark Phoenix. So, I think it's safe to extrapolate that the release of an Infected Aaron into the general population leads to an end of the world.

Let's say you're some kind of superhuman somethin-or-other who views reality as your aquarium and the human lives within it as your pretty little fishies. You've discovered that your jerkass roommate has squeezed a drop of some kind of fish ebola into the water, certain to kill off all your pretty fish. Well, what are you gonna do? Set up a new aquarium, of course!

If you survived that lame analogy (I'm certain there's a better fit, but one's just not coming to me right now), hopefully you get that I'm talking about Jacob and Esau and LOST reality. By releasing the Infection into the outside world, Esau's gone and fouled it all up, so, Jacob sets things in motion that will reboot events so that that Infection never occurs, creating a reality in which the Island is submerged, and Oceanic 815 does not crash on September 22, 2004.

A long longshot here, but maybe Esau's long game here is to have tricked Jacob into RE-creating a reality that previously existed. The one from which Jacob originally plucked or seduced him. The home that he tells Ben he can no longer return to.

Frack. I'm puttering out on this. May return to it in a follow-up post or comments...

My thanks to JG and KP for digging up names and corroborating parts of my madness. =)

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. I was hoping to work in this weird hint at Kate's own specialness...
KATE: Oh, I think Choo Choo knows better than that. He goes into that tunnel, he's never coming back out.
... but couldn't quite crowbar it in. I see it as a sign that on some level that as secular and mundane as her story consistently seems to be, Kate may yet *know*, or be somehow in tune with,... things. I'll work it into a future post.

Friday, March 19, 2010

LOST: backgammon, anyone...?


When Locke introduces Walt to the game of backgammon early on in the series, he describes it as being about two sides, one light, one dark. He also shares with Walt that backgammon is the most ancient of human games, citing discoveries of the game in some ancient tombs or ruins. The framing of his backgammon lesson is pretty iconic, with Locke looking directly at the camera (as Walt) while delivering this info.

Are there any visitors/readers out there who really PLAY the game? I'm convinced that someone familiar with both the game play and the series thus far could draw a lot more comparisons and maybe even suss out some predictions and fun insights. I don't think the game and its rules are The Answer To The Show, some kind of single overarching driver of everything unfolding in the show, but I do think that it works as a kind of model or framework for how things look from Jacob and Esau's vantage points.

Just look at this, an excerpt from the top of the Wikipedia article...?
Although luck plays an important role, there is a large scope for strategy. With each roll of the dice players must choose from numerous options for moving their checkers and anticipate possible counter-moves by the opponent. Players may raise the stakes during the game. There is an established repertoire of common tactics and occurrences.
As GOB would say... COME ON!

We've seen the black and white game pieces, or stones, throughout the series. Locke holds one of each up when describing the game to Walt. Jack discovers one of each in the D&D dice pouch he finds on the bodies of Adam and Eve in the caves. Walt gets very good at it very quickly, whuppin Hurley in a match on the beach. Hurley, who once took 17th place in a tournament! A little thin and punny, but there IS the ship as well—the Black Rock. Is there a counterpart to that? A White Rock somewhere? Longshot—the Pearl station? Most recently, Esau picks up the white rock from the scale in the cave and chucks it into the sea. "Inside joke," he says.

I haven't played backgammon since I was a kid, and I had to look up backgammon rules online. Each player wants to move all its pieces from the far side of the board—the other's home board—around the board—thru the other's outer board, the player's outer board, and then the player's home—and then off the board completely (called bearing a piece off) to win. Each player rolls two dice to determine how many spaces to move his pieces. The outcomes of each die can be applied together to one piece or to two different pieces. A piece can only be moved to a space that has at most only one of the other's pieces. Landing on a space with the other's piece sends that piece off the board to start again far from home. Only when all fifteen of a player's pieces are in the home board can bearing off begin. Each space is designated by a number, and die rolls determine the space from which a piece can be moved.

The stakes of each game, in points, is determined by a doubling cube. A die with powers of 2 on its faces—2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. Depending on the agreed-upon variations in rules, a player can offer to double the stakes at certain points in the game.

If the dark and light elements, the ancient origin of the game, the pun of the "BEARing off" of pieces, the process and goal of moving one's pieces from one home to another mirror-image of the first, and then off the board completely, the game stakes encoded in a (alas, geometric) series of numbers, isn't enough LOSTastic fun for you, how about a gen-u-ine JACOBy Rule?

I doubt that my description is sufficient enough to get a game of your own going, so check out a decent summary of the game and rules here for more.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, March 15, 2010

LOST: theory and revelations in "Dr. Linus"

6.07: "Dr. Linus"

I'm bailing on a recap of outside-the-snowglobe events from "Dr. Linus" (you can check out my inside-the-snowglobe recap here, tho) and running with a ramble on how revelations big and small from the episode impact and inspire some theories as to what's next.

First, to give you some of my chosen LOST groundwork...


There aren't two complete realities. There's reality inside the snowglobe (the Island's pocket dimension) and reality outside the snowglobe. The Incident on the Island changes reality outside the snowglobe, but due to cosmic rules governing cause and effect, not inside it. So...
  1. Everyone, inside and outside the snowglobe, shares a common history until the Incident in 1977.
  2. Everyone inside the snowglobe shares a common history from 1977 to 2007 in which Oceanic 815 was knocked out of the sky over the Island on Sept 22, 2004.
  3. Everyone outside the snowglobe shares a common history from 1977 to 2004 in which the Island sinks sometime after 1977 and Oceanic 815 arrives safely at LAX on Sept 22, 2004.
So far in season 6, we've been observing events inside the snowglobe in 2007 and outside the snowglobe in 2004.

I refer to the Monster as the Monster, Esau (of the Bible's Jacob and Esau), or sometimes (less and less now), when he's wearing Locke's skin, Lockesau. Until we're given a name or nickname by a LOST character, I'm gonna stick with those options.

Okay. Now a survey of how events in this last Ben-centric episode fill in some blanks in what we know and hint at what may come...


We got some info about the Island timeline from Ben and Uncle Rico's discussion about their time w the DI. They were part of the DI and they made it safely off the Island, thus, the Island did NOT sink immediately as a result of the Incident. There was time enough for surviving DI and Others to make their way off the Island before it sank.

Ben was shot, taken to the Temple, healed, and likely in the Other recovery tent when the Incident occured. No doubt he was returned to the DI soon after. What effect did the Losties' mucking about have on Ben's life? When Ben recovered from the dip in the Temple spring, he couldn't remember what had happened to him (that Sayid had shot him). Also, the experience of nearly losing his son turned Uncle Rico into a more understanding and sympathetic father. That change in behavior and attitude on his side is reflected on Ben's side, too. He's a better, kinder man for it. Altho, we do see that he still has at least the kernal of his skills at manipulation and leverage. He just chooses to apply it for more selfless causes when challenged.

Alex's arrival on the outside-the-snowglobe scene helps narrow down the above-sea-level lifespan of the submerged Island. It sank sometime between 1977 and 1988. (It's possible it happened after 1988, but I'm gonna go with before.) Inside the snowglobe, Rousseau and her team are shipwrecked in 1988, drawn in by the Numbers transmission. However, with the Island underwater, well, no Island, no radio tower, no transmission, so Rousseau and her shipmates go about their sciencing, never get shipwrecked, and move on with their lives. I guess something happens to her relationship with Alex's father (corrupted by some addiction perhaps?), or maybe he dies, but in any case, Danielle ends up giving birth to Alex and settling down to raise her in Los Angeles.

The way Alex talks about her mom working two jobs to make ends meet makes me wonder at Danielle's outside-the-snowglobe CV. That almost cliched bit of personal infoshare screams blue collar stereotype, right? So... From research scientist to... bartender and stripper? Wah wah wah!~ I guess her high seas research was not the career-booster she'd hoped? Or maybe she was a professional (and/or relationship) casualty of the "motherhood penalty." Blerg.


Widmore's in a sub, inside the snowglobe, Island in sight. He ignores the people on the shore and tells his captain to proceed as planned. I see two likely destinations—the Hydra station on the small island or the dock at Dharmaville, the very same one from which he left the Island, banished by Ben. I think that he's brought his family with him. Remember, Ben called Charles to let him know that he was about to make good on his promise, a daughter for a daughter. He told him that he was looking at Our Mutual Friend while on the phone with him. Between the ship's name and Ben's gloating about returning to the Island, it would be a simple matter for a man of Widmore's means to track Ben, and thus, Penny, Desmond, and little Charlie, to Los Angeles, and then, when a report on the gunfire and incident at the marina is filed, to the hospital, where he encounters his ex, Island royalty, Eloise Hawking. I believe that Widmore knew that there would be a window of opportunity to return to the Island, and possibly that it would be the result of an event that would rewrite reality. The only shelter from the forces of this cosmic rewrite: the Island in the snowglobe. So, ostensibly, he shows up in L.A. to make sure Penny's safe. Maybe it's the first he learns of little Charlie? More to fight for, more to save. In any case, he's also really there to preserve his family and reclaim his throne, as leader of the Island. So, he rounds up the fam, packs up the sub, and sets off for the Island. Who better to navigate than custodian of the Lamppost herself, Eloise Hawking, right?

It certainly seemed like a Rule that, once banished, by decree or by turn of the Wheel, no Other is physically able return to the Island. It's a restriction mysteriously enforced by the Island in the way that those in service of the Island, such as Michael, Richard, and Jack, cannot kill themselves. True, Widmore's freighter made it to the Island, but Widmore himself did not put himself on his own boat. He knew that his very presence would have doomed his expedition from ever reaching the Island. However, he is convinced by something in Ben's gloating that there would be an exception to that Rule, allowing Ben's safe return, via Ajira 316 at a particular time and place. I'd guess that with Eloise's help, Widmore took advantage of the newly fixed and relocated coordinates of the Island to slip in via the golden heading (or a new one, for the new location?). Or, maybe Eloise and the Lamppost mapped out a window of opportunity that coincided with the 2007 echo of the 1977 Incident—the return of Hurley, Miles, Sawyer, Juliet, Jack, and Kate. A serious EM event seems unlikely, tho, unless Widmore or Paik industries developed a way to harden a submarine's electronics against its effects.


Once he's back on the Island, who is he going to fight for?

I think Charle's ambition and pride know no bounds. The only things or beings in the world that might humble him are the Island and its protector, Jacob. Even so, he risked his power and home on the Island by mucking about in the off-Island world, even starting a family with an outsider. If he's returning to the Island, it's to save it and/or rule it.

I know that he's ruthless, but I wanted to believe he was earnest in his dedication to the Island when he spoke to Locke after he turned the Wheel. Widmore enables Locke to begin his quest to round up the Sixers and return to the Island. Widmore tells Locke that he will do everything that he can to help him because a war is coming, and if he's not back on the Island in time, the wrong side will win.

Pretty frickin ominous. Looking back now, his desire to see Locke returned to the Island reads harshly when you wonder if he silently adds "dead" or "alive" in his head, eh? In classic LOST style, Locke no doubt hears Widmore's words one way, but Widmore might mean them the other. If Locke returns to the Island alive, he's one of Jacob's top Candidates and potential protector of the Island. If Locke returns to the Island as a corpse, he's the perfect tool for Esau's plans.

At the time, I thought and kinda space nazi-ly hoped he might mean something like a world war, maybe in the past, an altered past, y'know? The more LOST-conventional thought was a war between Island factions, Ben vs. Charles, and since they've been revealed, Jacob vs. Esau. For a while, before this season kicked off, I thought it might be a war between realities, different versions of key figures, either for survival or for control of the unique, singular, Island. I'm not so much about that now, altho I would like for a major player or players that we've already met to be revealed as being from another reality.

The War, it seems, is going to be played out on the Island, between the followers of Jacob and Esau. If those are our options, well, I guess that I want Jacob to win, cuz I'd rather my TV friends not die, even if they are leaving me in 8 weeks. Bleah.

Still, the ideologically/metaphysically "best" outcome would be a very STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES scenario in which the lowly humans get to cast off the yoke of destiny dropped on them by these manipulative superhuman backgammon players and take the Island and its gifts for themselves. Mighty Apollo (Bar), anyone? =)

But, of course, who's to say that's not part of the Jacob's plan in the first place, right? It only ends once, and everything until then is progress.


Not a huge revelation, but let's list just how this freshly minted reality delivers our Candidates' and Infectee's hearts' desires.

Locke. Is engaged to Peggy Bundy. And with her help, he's learned to leave behind his anger and obsession and apparently drop the don't-tell-me-what-I-can't-do chip from his shoulder.

Jack. Has a relationship with a son that his father never encouraged with him. He can stop trying to prove himself to his now-dead-father and move on with his son.

Kate. Saves / "reunites" Claire and Aaron. And in Claire's eyes is judged "innocent."

Claire. Keeps / "reunited with" her baby, Aaron. In this reality, the trauma of her adoption plan falling apart accomplishes what the 815 crash initially does—getting her to commit to raising her child, so that Aaron won't be raised by another.

Sayid. On paper, wish fulfillment doesn't seem like the order of the day in Sayid's life outside the snowglobe, but look a little closer, and maybe a little more coldly, calculatingly. Do the math. I think he's essentially the same man we've watched for 5 seasons, a born killer, and with that, for a Good man, comes the guilt, so, he would have to live with that even in the best of all possible worlds. But, what we see happening to Nadia, Omar, and himself in 2004 goes a long way to fulfillment of his our Sayid's wish. Now that Omar's shady dealings have been outed, Nadia's certainly not gonna stick with him. Disgraced, he's gotta get the boot. Creating room for Sayid to step in, respectfully, and—one-stop-shop—he's got his happy life with Nadia and—bonus!—two little rugrats who adore him.

Ben. Father issues resolved, or at least, way less bitter and volatile. Ben and Roger both appear to have gotten past the loss of his mother (which is what leads little Ben down the Other path in the first place). And, doing right by Alex. It's a remarkable set-up that leads to Ben receiving proxy forgiveness from Ilana. Ilana's forgiveness or absolution or acceptance or whatever was really well choreographed, with both Ben stories reaching a crisis point at the same time and setting Ilana up as a proxy for Alex... Jacob was like a father to Ilana, the way Ben was to alex... Had me fantastically wondering if she might be an alternate reality orphan herself, plucked from a previous timeline by Jacob to be his daughter and agent.

Hurley. Blessed with good luck as opposed to cursed. Details TBD. Could the catalyst for this luck be the same Numbers that we've seen inside the snowglobe? Did this Hugo ever check himself into a mental hospital? Was Libby there? Did he also hang out with her dead ex-husband Dave? Maybe he still possesses his ability to speak to the dead, and they are the key to his good fortune?

Ford. TBD. Gotta wonder if he dropped his Tom Sawyer vendetta when he had his gun to the head of the wrong guy (he doesn't know it at the moment) in Australia and realized he's not a killer. Still, doesn't mean he can't out-con the guy, perhaps at his son's wedding? Or, maybe he'll set his sights on the guy who gave him the bad info on his mark in Australia. Keamy, anyone? =)

Sun and Jin. TBD. Both had plans to escape when they left Australia, Sun to leave Jin, Jin to leave her father's employ. Seems like Sun's dad was never going to let Jin go, and set him up for a "mugging" or death by delivering that watch in L.A. I'd like for Jin's original plan to succeed, now w Sayid's help, and for the couple to meet with Dr. Juliet, who tells them that they are strong candidates for her procedure, which would help them to get pregnant. Somewhere in there, maybe Sun saves Jin's ass, or stands up to her father, and shakes Jin's chauvinistic husband-domineering attitude.


I will be unhappy with any series wrap-up that involves wiping memories and re-inserting the Losties into the rewritten reality outside the snowglobe. Astral projection comes in as a second in the unhappy ending race. The orchestration of the lives and events that result in the Incident in 1977 creates a world of realized wishes, potential rewards for those who serve the Island. But how can anyone on the Island actually experience and enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice?

Alas, I think that the best form of a reward that Jacob can offer is what he offered (and delivered to) Dogen. Dogen's wish was for his son to live, and Jacob says he can make that happen if Dogen agrees to work for him and never see his son again. This catch-22 is built in to all of the "rewards" that Jacob has arranged via string-pulling that led to the Incident. I have a feeling that Esau, less concerned with disturbing the spacetime continuum and actual human lives, is offering Jacob's delicately crafted rewards (tapestry woven of hand-made thread, anyone?) to his own recruits, but as his own, and without the catch. Meaning, if any of his recruits survive the coming "war," being a Monster of his word, he'll simply kill the version of the recruit living the happy life and replace him or her with his tainted version.

I don't know how to explain the cross-reality recognition and deja vu just yet. A mind wiping theory WOULD be a good explanation of that, unfortunately. Altho... Juliet's apparent vision/hallucination would be an exception. I'd think that the "direction" of deja vu would flow from the new reality to the old, and not vice versa. Rewritten lives could flash "back" to overwritten lives, but not the other way round.

What I would like to happen in the end is for the Losties to be given a choice of remaining or leaving and they choose to remain, content to know that a version of themselves is Out There living out their wishes. Perhaps they NEED to stay on the Island to preserve and protect the lives of their doppelgangers.

Lame, but maybe there's even a way—a magic box, perhaps?—for them to ride shotgun in the lives of their happier selves, a more visceral reward. A more immersive Lighthouse mirror experience? Yeah. Lame.

Yeah, so, I'm still uncommitted to a final endgame, altho I have thought about just what Esau might need to do to win and toyed with some clues to his defeat (click here =).

Before this season started, I believed that those touched by Jacob might need to be reunited with Locke's body to perform a Vulcan Katra ritual to restore Jacob's soul into a suitable body, but...

Actually, no. I don't see any problem with that. I still REALLY like that idea. =)

Keep on keepin on~

Sunday, March 14, 2010

LOST: I'm digging my own grave.

6.07: "Dr. Linus"

First of all, I have to say that I am simultaneously amazed and frustrated that this show can make me feel anything at all resembling sympathy or pity for Ben. I was OK with him as a Lex Luthory supervillain type for a long while, but when he strangled John just minutes after talking him off the ledge, I hated him. A credit to the the writing around Ben and Michael Emerson's amazing realization of the character. That said, into the episode, starting with events on the Island...


Ben runs from the Temple, from the scene in the pool room, of Sayid, over the bodies of Dogen and his interpreter. He catches up with Ilana, Lapidus, Sun, and Miles. Ilana pushes Ben on his Esau-killed-Jacob story. THIS is why she scooped up Jacob's ashes, pretty sweet—she has Miles read Jacob.
MILES: Linus killed him.
Ilana's mightily unhappy, even for a bodyguard...
ILANA: Jacob was the closest thing I ever had to a father.
MILES: Uh-oh.
It is daylight when they arrive at the Losties' beach camp. Ilana gives everyone various survival duties, everyone but Ben.

I see this group, armed with a couple of rifles, at the camp, and I'm thinking/hoping we're gonna see the other half of the time-skipping Losties' high seas outrigger pursuit! When will those canoes end up at the beach for time-skipping Sawyer, Juliet, Locke, Faraday, and Miles to find?

Wow. Ben is WAY off his game. He tries to talk Ilana into doubting Miles's report from the afterlife and it comes off like the saddest kind of high school loser attempt to talk up a cool kid.
FRANK: You make friends easy, doncha?
Ilana spells out some details for us theorists in an exchange with Sun about finding her husband...
ILANA: Trust me, if anyone wants to find him, it's me. But I don't know where to look.
SUN: Why do you want to find Jin?
ILANA: Because your last name is Kwon. So is his. And I don't know whether I'm supposed to protect you, him, or both of you.
SUN: Protect us? What are you talking about?
ILANA: You're candidates. To replace Jacob.
SUN: Replace him? To do what?
ILANA: If you're the one selected, I imagine you'll find out.
SUN: Wait... You said candidates. How many are there?
ILANA: Six. There are only six left.
Let's do that math and show our work, shall we? Start with the Numbers...

4 - Locke
8 - Reyes
15 - Ford
16 - Jarrah
23 - Shephard
42 - Kwon

Subtract Locke on account of deathiness. Subtract Jarrah on account of claiminess. Ilana would know that because Ben told everyone that Sayid killed Dogen and Saul. Add Kate on account of number fifty-one-dom.

That makes five... What more does Ilana know? I don't remember seeing Hume or Lapidus on the cave wall or the Lighthouse mirror dial. 108's Wallace is crossed out on the dial, so whoever that is, s/he wouldn't be counted.

Has Ilana seen something in Lapidus? Ben's reaction in his exchange with Frank makes me wonder...
BEN: Oceanic... I remember that plane breaking in half like it was yesterday.
FRANK: You sound nostalgic.
BEN: Maybe I am.
FRANK: Y'know, I was supposed to be flying it. Oceanic 815.
BEN: And why didn't you?
FRANK: I overslept.
BEN: Come on...
His visual reaction, more than his words. I think it could be read—surprise surprise—two ways. On one level, Ben playing at drinking buddy "no way!" disbelief, while in his "make allies" mode. On another level, showing, for just a second, and then covering, some genuine surprise and then assimilation of new gear-turning data. That this man who missed his fate as pilot of 815 may have been tagged as a Candidate. Their exchange finishes with a hint of that notion, as well as a bit of meta-commentary on the structure of this season's storytelling...
FRANK: Can you believe it? Imagine how different my life would be had it gone off.
BEN: How different would it have been? The island still got you in the end.
Will we be treated to a flashback of Frank's Sydney hotel bedroom on the morning of September 22, 2004? We see Frank sacked out in bed, his uniform on a chair and hanger nearby, and begin a slow camera move to the clock on the nightstand. The camera pauses as a hand reaches into frame from the side and flips the alarm switch on the Widmore Industries digital chronograph from on to off. When the hand pulls away, we see that the digits have just clicked to 815, of course. The camera cuts over to Frank's sleeping face, sideways on the bed, and the hand returns to frame again, index finger extended and pointed directly at Frank's nostril. The hand moves in close, then touches Frank's nose and pulls away. Again. Again. Again, until Frank flinches and instinctively raises his own hand to wave away the annoyance. Frank rolls over and away. We hear a little chuckle from off screen. Cut to the TV flickering on and being muted, then navigation of menus to adult PPV, four movies ordered and a charge of $30 to the room. Another chuckle. Cut to the minifridge, just enough time to read the rules (you will be charged for each item removed) before the door is opened. We see the hands reach in and pull a half dozen tiny liquor bottles and then shut the door. "Hmmm..." The door opens again and a hand reaches in to grab a Toblerone... pause... then an Apollo bar. Door closes. Cut to wide shot of room from the window wall side to the door side as someone closes the blinds, darkening the room. We barely make out a figure moving toward the door. The door opens a crack as the figure checks the hall to see if the coast is clear, then swings the door open wide, and in silhouette in the door frame we see the mannish figure of Jacob... outfitted in a housekeeping uniform. We hear the rumbling flashback sound effect, the hotel room door closes, and we're back on the Island.


Ilana finally gives Ben's idle hands something to do...
ILANA: Pick it up and start digging!
BEN: Digging what?
ILANA: A grave.
BEN: For who?
ILANA: You murdered Jacob. It's for you.
Ben is *literally* digging his own grave! =)
Miles :not exactly tearing it up on the digging front, are you?
I'm annoyed it's taken so long to let Miles really get to flex his dead-reading muscles, but now that he's finally showing off, I'm pleased he's not holding back. When Ben offers to make good on his $3.2M offer for his silence, Miles explains...
BEN: I can get off this island. And when I do, I have a vast network
of people and resources that will get you that money. All you have to
do is cut me loose.
MILES: Why would I need your money when there are a couple of jabonies under there named Nikki and Paulo who got buried alive with 8 million dollars in diamonds on top of them?
Love that! Even if I'm pretty sure he mispronounced "jabronies." (Ask the Rock =)

Also interesting is Ben's claim to a vast network of people and resources off-Island. I'm pretty sure most of them have been overwritten out, but I would've liked to have known more about them earlier, when events in the outside world were still able to effect changes in the Losties' lives, y'know?

Ben tries to point up the injustice of being punished for killing a man who didn't want to live in the first place, when Miles explains otherwise...
BEN: I can't believe you're just gonna stand by and watch this happen. Ilana's gonna murder me for killing Jacob, a man who didn't even care about being killed!
MILES: No, he cared.
BEN: Excuse me?
MILES: Right up until the second the knife went through his heart... He was hoping he was wrong about you... I guess he wasn't.
There's some of that sympathy for the devil I mentioned at the top.

This hints at another level of fate vs. free will, above the affairs of lowly human beings, at the level of Jacob and Esau themselves. Jacob seems aware of it, resigned to it, while Esau seeks to make his own destiny. In the end, Jacob doesn't fight his fate, but hopes against it right to the end. Frames within frames. Games within games.

HURLEY: Cheese carrots.
Heh. Has someone collected all of Hugo's Island-sleeping mumblings? Are they all of crazy food combo ideas?

In the jungle, Jack wants to get back to the Temple, Hugo... not so much. Richard shows up to break the tie and point them in the right direction. Or so he says...

On their trek, Hurley Hurleys on...
HURLEY: So... you're not time-travelling?
HURLEY: But... you look the same as you did thirty years ago. How's that possible?
RICHARD: It's not easy to explain.
HURLEY: Is this, like, a Terminator thing? Are you a cyborg?
RICHARD: No, I'm not a cyborg.
HURLEY: Vampire?
RICHARD: Jacob gave me a gift.
JACK: Jacob? What do you know about him?
RICHARD: I know he's dead.
And they arrive... at the the Black Rock!

Richard explains that there's nothing for them at the Temple anyhow. He had just come from there and there were no survivors. Jack puts it together that Hurley must have known about this and Hurley owns up to having inside info from Jacob. When Richard hears that Jacob's spoken to Hurley he offers him some advice...
RICHARD: You spoke to Jacob?
RICHARD: Well, whatever he said... don't believe him.
... before approaching the ship...
JACK: Where are you goin'?
RICHARD: There's something I need to do.
JACK: To do what?
Inside the Black Rock, Richard examines the shackles and chains. Esau DID say that Richard looked good in chains. That sounded like a clue that Richard was part of the ship's original cargo, but I really would rather Richard, aka Ricardus, is longer-lived than that. So instead, perhaps in denial, I took it to be a reference to imprisonment and/or punishment somewhere on the Island, perhaps in the Black Rock brig, collateral damage of the ongoing struggle between Jacob and Esau. Damn, in an earlier season, I'd say I smell a Richard flashback. Hrmmm... Maybe in the finale?

Richard explains that he was here once before, and in all the time that he's been on the Island, this is the first time he's returned. He's looking for the dynamite, the dangerously unstable dynamite. Richard explains that he can't kill himself, tho, so he needs someone else to light the fuse.
RICHARD: Even if I wanted to, trust me, I do. I can't kill myself. Which is why I want you to do it for me.
JACK: What are you talking about?
RICHARD: What I'm talking about Jack, is that... Jacob touched me, and when Jacob touches you... well, it's considered a gift, except it's not a gift at all. It's a curse.
HURLEY: Dude, seriously! Let's go now!
JACK: Why do you want to die?
RICHARD: I devoted my life, longer than you can possibly imagine, in service of a man who told me that everything was happening for a reason, that he had a plan, a plan that I was a part of, and when the time was right that he'd share it with me, and now that man's gone so... why do I want to die? Because I just found out my entire life had no purpose. Now if I light this myself it won't work, but you can light it for me Jack. I made the fuse long enough so you'll have time to get out.
Hurley doesn't want to stick around and get Arzted, so he gets scarce. Jack, on the other hand, agrees to help Richard. In this classic Island scenario replaying itself, Jack gets to play the true believer and Richard the doubter, the one whose lost his way.

Jack lights the fuse and insists on staying with Richard for the end. He shares with Richard his Lighthouse epiphany. Perhaps a little counter-intuitive, but really, just the thing to blow away the question marks that Jack's been walking around with for so long. What Jack saw at the Lighthouse was that he arrived on this Island for a Reason. That there was this impossible device designed to help Jacob keep an eye on him all his life, and that just couldn't be without a Purpose. He smashed the mirrose because he felt like a pawn, but staring out at the ocean afterwards, he realized that there must be a Purpose to all of the bleepity bleep that this pawn has been thru.

And he's ready to put that to the ultimate test. In just the way that Michael couldn't die until he'd done completed his service to the Island (now THAT is something that needs a little sorting thru after the fact, donchathink?), the Island/cosmos/rules/powers that be won't allow Jack to die.

I'm gonna assume that Jack believes that Richard is still part of the same plan that he's a part of, so he believes that BOTH of them will make it out of the Black Rock alive, and y'know, Richard doesn't get blown to smithereens while the deck planks above Jack suddenly give way and a giant iron cauldron manages to drop on top of him, completely shielding him from the blast.


Anyhow. Turns out Jack's got it right for both of them. Whew! Gotta say, I really enjoyed that scene. First, as a replay of the Locke-Jack witnessing we've seen before. Second, for seeing Jack finally in alignment with the Island stars. Third, for the way Matthew Fox actually delivered Jack's true belief.
RICHARD: All right Jack. You seem to have all the answers. So now what?
JACK: We go back to where we started.
Speaking of... Meanwhile, back at the beach...

The Monster SNEAKS into the Losties' cemetary to pow-wow with Ben.
ESAU: Hello Ben.
BEN: What are you doing here?
ESAU: Visiting. What are you doing?
BEN: I'm digging my own grave.
How awesome is that?! He actually SAYS it! =)

Lockesau plays dumb, getting Ben to whine about how he's the reason Ilana is going to kill him and are-you-happy-now? Au contraire, says the Monster...
ESAU: I don't want you to die Ben. In fact I went back to the statue to get you, but you'd already gone.
BEN: Get me? For what.
ESAU: I'm gathering a group to leave this place for good. But once we're gone, someone's going to need to be in charge of the island.
BEN: Me?
ESAU: I can't think of a better man for the job.
(Did anyone else hear, "except maybe Chuck Widmore" after that? =) He unshackles Ben, tells him where to find a rifle, directs him to join the Monster gang at the Hydra station once he's taken care of Ilana, and then sets off on his merry Monster way. Ben takes a moment to assess the situation. Perhaps Ilana senses something amiss...? In any case, their eyes meet across the beach, like Steve Martin's and Kevin Bacon's at the beginning of PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES, and Ben makes a break for it, Ilana in hot pursuit. Ben hustles, and there's enough time that I'm thinking that Esau's set him up, much the way Dogen set Sayid up, to die at the hands of another (which given the enigmatic rules, may very well be the only way Esau can effect Ben's death), but no, the rifle is there, as promised, and Ben does, in fact, get the drop on Ilana. Instead of ballistically turning the tables, Ben uses his upper hand to confess, to explain, to beg for his life, even if it's only to give it to the Monster...
BEN: I watched my daughter Alex die in front of me. And it was my fault. I had a chance to save her. But I chose the island over her. All in the name of Jacob. I sacrificed everything for him. And he didn't even care. Yeah I stabbed him, I was... so angry... confused... I was terrified that I was about to lose the only thing that had ever mattered to me, my power. But the thing that really mattered... was already gone. I'm sorry that I killed Jacob. I am, and I do not expect you to forgive me because... I can never forgive myself.
ILANA: Then what do you want?
BEN: Just let me leave.
ILANA: Where will you go?
BEN: To Locke.
BEN: Because he's the only one that'll have me.
ILANA: I'll have you.
At this, Ilana turns to return to the beach. Ben follows.

An excellent LOST moment for me. A why-I-watch-the-show-moment, y'know? When you get to watch characters that you love (and love to hate) grow and change before your eyes. Sure, Ben is at the lowest he's ever been, and if you want to look at his options coldly, well, any-not-infected-one's gonna choose Ilana over the Monster any day, right? But shut off the calculator and take him at his word, and at the commercial break, you will want to shake yourself for feeling anything, not to mention hope and sympathy and maybe even a little happiness, for this rat bastard who strangled John Locke. Happiness, cuz Ben has chosen to ditch the Monster and his promise of Island Protector, and Ilana's acceptance is for him a touching proxy for Alex's.

With all the Ben-and-Alex flash-over fun, Ilana's earlier declaration that Jacob was like a father to her had me thinking "alternate reality Alex?"

I wonder who will end up in that grave in the end.

Y'know, I usedta get a bit peeved at the slow-mo end-of-episode reunion or eve of destruction montage. It would eat up valuable minutes that should've been used telling us WTF the Monster was, y'know? But this time, I was cool with it...

Frank at the fire...
Miles checking out Ken and Barbie's diamonds...
Ilana crying - what is she holding? Bag of ashes?
Hurley, Jack, and Richard arrive...
Reunion! Like when Jin and Michael and Sawyer returned from the Tailies' side of the island, or like when Sawyer and Kate returned from the Others, right?
Jack shakes w Ilana...
Jack sees Ben...

The camera pulls back to the water, to a long shot of beach, then, the water. The periscope of a submarine breaks the surface...
CAPTAIN: Sir, there are people on the beach. Should we stop?
WIDMORE: No, proceed as planned.
CAPTAIN: Yes Sir, Mr. Widmore.
Widmore is subbing over to the small island! He's in cahootz with Esau! I'm such a naive romantic, I don't want to believe it—Why the F? Did Esau promise him the Island? That DOES make sense, but man, the Widmore we've come to know wouldn't put himself at the service of a Monster, right?

Man, this thing is a ramble and a half, and it's only half of the show. Hrmm... I'll try to bang out something a bit more concerned with developments and less about a recap.

Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

BTIES: TRON: LEGACY trailer in 3D!

Greetings, Programs!

I gotta say, ALICE was beautiful and clever and all, but, y'know, the best part of seeing it Monday night, in 3-D, might have been this...

(Click for Quicktime.)

Keep on keepin on~

LOST: How does Esau/the Monster win?

ESAU: Well that's the great irony here Ben, because I want the one thing that John Locke didn't... I want to go home.

RICHARD: You don't understand what you're dealing with! He doesn't just want you dead... he wants everyone dead! Everyone you care about! All of them! And he won't stop—

DOGEN: For years, he has been trapped, but now Jacob is gone, he's free. This man will not stop until he has destroyed every living thing on this island. He is evil incarnate.

Hyperbole...? Or detail? What if the only thing that keeps the Monster trapped on the Island is a rule that states that as long as it is inhabited, he must remain? He can only leave when there are no other human beings living on it.


I use the word rule to mean simply a condition of an agreement or perhaps an imposed sentence or duty. However, in practice, the enforcement of the rule might map to some kind of superscience-generated smart energy field, or system of devices, or a mystical spell/higher power's will, or maybe a pain-inflicting V-chip of some kind.


In order to wipe the Island clean of living human beings, Esau has to...
  1. Find a loophope and kill Jacob, removing the most powerful being from the Island and at the same time destroying the protection he gives to his baptized followers, the Others.
  2. Kill Dogen, the Other Shaman, who, while he lives, apparently powers the anti-Monster force field defined by the magickal ash.
  3. Thin the human herd. Keep some humans around, recruits, including the useful infected and any of Jacob's disgruntled Candidates.
  4. Manipulate the recruits into fighting and killing the other Candidates.
  5. Kill or transport/send off-Island any remaining humans or Candidates.
Then Esau will be alone on the Island, and according to the rules, able to leave. Maybe he plans on delivering on his offers to recruits somehow, provided they survive, maybe not.


or... Can two grown men live together without driving each other crazy? =)

OK. Let's say that long ago, Jacob and Esau were charged with certain duties by some higher power or powers, assigned as partners in the protection of the Island. Their situation resonates with that of Kelvin and Desmond in regards to the Swan station. Given a job that is described as hugely important, with only the word of the higher-ups to back that up, eventually, they outlive their superiors, and at least one comes to doubt the importance of their job, takes up other, tangential pursuits as distractions, and ultimately seeks loopholes and replacements to extricate themselves from it.

Of course, I've got lots of ideas about the Jacob-Esau-Island scenario. They might have been stationed on the Island as an honor, or as punishment, or perhaps simply because it was their turn. Or maybe one is assigned to be the other's warden or caretaker. Perhaps they themselves are the higher powers, and made an agreement to watch over the Island, but the terms they subjected themselves to have persisted for much longer than they planned, or at least, much longer than Esau likes.

In any case, Jacob has taken to meddling with humans in the outside world and drawing them into their snowglobe and onto their unusual Island, while Esau has come to despise the Island, longing to leave and return home, a home that I suspect no longer exists, either because it is of a time that has long since passed (ancient Egypt, anyone?), or of a reality that has been overwritten.

Esau tells Sawyer that he was once a man. Could he have been Jacob's first Candidate? Identified and chosen as a Good man and drawn to the Island, gifted somehow, by the Jacob and the Island, with his Monstrous aspect, changeling abilities, and forked tongue. Couldn't Esau be the result of Jacob's first attempt at creating an apprentice or successor? An attempt to give one being the skills and responsibilities currently shared by multiple followers/Others, i.e. leaders like Eloise, Charles, Ben, and Locke, an advisor like Richard, a shaman like Dogen, and the various lieutenants and soldiers we've seen in both the Other and Lostie camps.

Jacob is able to observe the world outside the snowglobe. Jacob is able to leave the Island and visit that world. Jacob is gifted at manipulating human beings, nudging them with just the right words or setup at just the right moment in their lives. Jacob can apparently bestow gifts to certain human beings, gifts of health and superhuman and/or paranormal ability. Jacob does not wish to kill Esau. Wether he can is uncertain. Jacob can be harmed and killed by one of his own people.

Esau can change into his nigh-unbeatable Monster form. Esau can take the form, memories, and character of any deceased person whose body is on the Island. Esau can be repelled by a line or circle of ash. Esau can be repelled by a sonic fence/sonic weapon. Esau has a dark talent for persuading human beings to do as he wishes. Esau cannot directly harm or kill Jacob. Esau cannot directly harm or kill any of Jacob's followers, aka the Others, while Jacob is alive. Jacob cannot kill any of the individuals chosen by Jacob to be Candidates.


Here are a few more somewhat connected bits and pieces before closing up...

What up with Richard, right? Zany thought—Could he be Esau's brother? Esau's reaching out to him as a first recruit, even if it was just purely because of Ricard's potential value as an asset, was played as as if there might be a family-comes-first notion behind it.

Just a little less zany thought—If Esau was Jacob's first Candidate, maybe Richard was his second, and went thru a stage of doubt and even rebellion as well, perhaps on his own, or perhaps under Esau's influence, siding for a time with Esau in Island politics and/or war. Of course, he's since returned to Jacob's fold, but apparently after some suffering at Esau's hands.

I've rambled on Esau's steps to victory, but what about the key/s to his defeat?

Having been in the form of Candidate Locke at the time of Jacob's death, Esau is currently "stuck" with it. This seems like a vulnerability to be exploited (classic, in supernatural goodguy/badguy lore), altho we haven't been given a clue has to how. He can shrug off bullets (the bodyguards' attack at the Foot). A knife in the chest is an annoyance ("Hello, Sayid" *thunk*). And he can still switch to Monster when he wishes.

Maybe he can't be killed, and the only option is to trap him on the Island. Perhaps this has happened before...? Jacob's cabin and the circle of ash around it... The scenario reminds me of one of those double images, like the silhouette of the vase that is also the profiles of two people facing one another, or that line drawing of the young lady in the fashionable ensemble that is also of the old matron with the shawl...

You look at it one way, and the circle of ash is protecting the cabin and its resident from an outside threat. You blink, tho, and the circle of ash is containing the cabin, and the threat within.

I hafta say that I found it weird/interesting that when he switched while under attack in the Foot, Locke's form disappeared inside the chamber, but the Monster appeared and attacked from outside. Maybe the Smoke is a body that exists apart from Esau when he's walking around in a human skin, and requires his will to animate it? Maybe when we observed the Monster becoming Locke when returning to the bagged Richard from spying on Sawyer, there was actually a shedding of the smoke and a materialization of Locke, and not a one-for-one transformation?

Perhaps while he's in a human form, Esau's Monster body can be separated or blocked from him. Collected in a treated jar or box. Mixed with charmed cement. Surrounded by a circle of ash.

Or... Maybe he can be destroyed, astrally discombobulated, by removing Locke's body from the snowglobe. He can only wear the forms of dead bodies on the Island. He is "stuck" with Locke's form. Whaddyathink?

Or... Better-stroke-crazier, yet... Rob Esau of a human vessel by reviving Locke! Or or... —If this worked, it could potentially bring up some annoying technicalities—bring substitute teacher Locke to the Island. Would that tilt short circuit the snowglobe system that allows Esau to wear a human form enough to reject him and his Locke skin?

Perhaps Esau's weakness is a simpler, more familiar sort of technicality, y'know, when it comes to possessing or body-swapping someone. "Stuck" as he is with Locke's form, Esau is limited by the rules that bound Locke. Rules of Candidacy which Locke were never told, but on the Island apply to him nonetheless. Maybe if Esau had taken a different, non-Candidate form, he could, in fact, kill the other Candidates. Alas, his plan required that he be Locke in order to bring about Jacob's death.

Or, even tho we've only seen the slightest hint of this phenom ("Don't tell me what I can't do!"), maybe the longer Esau wears a form that is not his own, the more qualities or limitations of that form he himself takes on.

Zany thought—What if the mass of the Smoke is the mass of all the duped dead on the Island? So, with each death, he gets stronger/more massive?

Perhaps the fertility problem was engineered by Esau to keep the human population down and force Jacob and his people to recruit rather than reproduce.

Keep on keepin on~