Friday, February 27, 2009

LOST: Locke it up

So, Ajira 316 DID go down. Decent crash landing, too, Lapidus. Nicely done. And hey, whaddyaknow? Ex-Locke returns to the Island (actually, the smaller island, where the Hydra station is) and the Island brings him back to life. And not all weirdly darkly reanimated, speaking for the Island, but completely, wholly, himself. Alive! Not wax!

And all without any Vulcan shenanigans. O well.

So, Locke exits in Tunisia, just like everyone else who's taken a turn at the wheel (we've seen Ben and a Dharma polar bear and Widmore seems to claim a turn as well). Y'know, if I knew about this BEING JOHN MALKOVICHian trap door from the Island, I'd keep it watched, wouldn't you? It's almost disappointing that Widmore took this long to figure that out. Or, does his not setting up the cameras there sooner mean that he did NOT actually know about the exit until recently? Does it mean that when he left the Island, he didn't land in Tunisia? Didn't turn the wheel?

Charles fills Locke in on a story that we've all pretty much pieced together or guessed at. Widmore was once leader of the Others. Ben tricked him into leaving the Island, with no way to return. That certainly sounds like it means he turned the wheel. Ben could have easily manipulated him into doing it, taking advantage of some real or perceived threat to the Island, or maybe strategically garbling a communique from Jacob. Anyhow, with Charles gone, Ben took leadership, perhaps declaring that Jacob and the Island chose him next, when, in fact, Locke should have been next in line. And Ben led the Others down the path that we've seen, off the reservation, moving them into Dharma's village and stations and technology and reaching out, off the Island, to find a solution to the fertility problem. Not a direction that Jacob and the Island chose.

When Ben takes Locke to the cabin, we and Locke hear Jacob plead for help. Ben seems to be playing at having a conversation with Jacob, not actually communicating. Every chance he's gotten, Ben's been doing everything in his power to thwart John's ascendancy, even before he meets him, thanks to a time skipping run-in with Ethan. Ben's been playing false priest.

I like this story. It fits nicely. There are a couple of Big Questions that come to mind in light of it, tho.

1. What is Ben's motivation for taking control of the Others?

The only thing that I can think of is bringing back or saving his mother. How to do that? Time travel would be the best option. To actually go back and get his mother to a hospital in time to save her and himself. But Ben scoffs at Dharma's time travel research, perhaps because he knows that destiny cannot be changed. Until Desmond was granted his gift, of course. But Ben couldn't have planned on that.

Maybe he hoped that a next generation of Island children, completely native to the Island, would have gifts that would allow him to change destiny, or maybe just bring her back, the way the Island does, but whole, not as a pawn of the Island...?

* Theory. Others choose to leave the Island (maybe they were once forced to, at a certain age?) to join/return to the regular world, settle down, and have kids. Kids who would then, if worthy, inevitably find the Island themselves.

2. Why does Alpert rule that Locke fails his childhood "chosen one" test?

Alpert asks young Locke to choose his own things from a collection of items. From what I can remember, he correctly selects the items that he left behind at Camp Other back in the 50s on the Island. The compass is the selection that seems to result in his failure, and the adult Locke gave that to Alpert himself! Did semantics fail young Locke? At Camp Other, adult Locke tells younger Alpert that older Alpert gave it to him to give "back" to younger Alpert. Locke never says that it belongs to him, so Alpert could take the compass to be HIS (Alpert's), and not Lockes, which would render young Locke's selection technically incorrect...

But that is lame.

Someone must have gotten to Alpert. Used some screwy logic to explain that if young Locke chose the compass, that would be wrong, and he couldn't be the Island's chosen one.

Of course, there's the destiny factor. If he hadn't failed, he wouldn't have grown up to become the John Locke he is today, the man that the Island apparently needs.

Still, at the micromanaging scale, destiny would have Alpert make his decision based on his own judgement and free will. So, the question might be reworded as: How the heck did Ben poison Alpert in the past against choosing Locke to join and/or lead the Others? Even after meeting his time travelling adult self even farther back in the past?


Back to Tunisia... Widmore bankrolls Jeremy Bentham. That works out quite nicely. Charles even chooses his JB alias, knowingly. A philosophical contemporary of John Locke. Widmore believes that Locke's parents had a sense of humor when naming him. How wrong is that? His teenage mother insisted on "John" in the delivery room. Who knows if "Locke" belonged to either of his parents, right? But it's cool to see an acknowledgement of at least one of the very peculiar namesakes on the show, from within the world of the show.

* Here's a crazy what-if theory... What if each character with such a name got caught on the time skipping Island, but managed to leave the Island during a time period where s/he would live on to BECOME their historical namesake? Not gonna happen, I know... (Well, maybe once, right? =) ... but it's a fun idea, eh?

Widmore sends Locke out into the world to round up the Sixers. Charles intuits that that's the only reason that Locke would willingly leave the Island. He sends Abbaddon along as his driver. It's kinda sad and full circle when Abbaddon breaks out the wheelchair for John.

Charles doesn't seem to know that Ben is back until Locke tells him. That can't be true, tho, can it? Ben shows up at Widmore's place, promises to kill Penny, before Locke arrives, right? I suppose it's possible that that meeting could have happened after Charle sends Locke on his way... At this point, I guess I want to believe Charles's basic story, so maybe that's how it happened. Cuz if he did know that Ben was back, wouldn't he warn Locke, and even Abbaddon?

Weird, tho. Except for Abbaddon, whom I'm assuming is Otherly, with his gift as a "driver," Widmore's using hired help, henchmen, mercenaries, and self-unaware Otherly relations (Miles, Faraday, Lewis). Meanwhile, Ben's using the Others network. Maybe Widmore's exile carries with it some huge shame, an Other brand of "unclean" which completely cuts him off from all things Other? Sad, tho, as they're "his" people. He says it with more conviction than Ben ever has.

Armed with Widmore's files on each of them, Locke visits the people who have returned from the Island prematurely...

Sayid explains to him how he lived the best nine months of his life after getting off the Island. He does not explain that Widmore supposedly arranged for her death. Altho it seems more likely that Ben did, to manipulate him into working for him. He's done w the Island and asks Locke who's manipulating him.

He meets Walt, for just a few minutes, and chooses not to ask him to return with them. IS he really one of the ones the Island needs? Walt tells him about a dream he had, where Locke is dressed in a suit and surrounded by people who want to hurt him. In a very un-Locked moment, he dismisses Walts dream as "just a dream." Kinda lame. Of all the people on the Island, Locke would be most likely to take Walt's dreams seriously, as a kind of truth or prediction. Walt asks about Michael and Locke dances around an answer about the freighter. Walt has an understanding, tho. I'm surprised he hasn't TALKED to Michael, the way Hurley might. This exchange is way too short and dismissive. Classic LOST withholding. *sigh*

Speaking of Hurley... Hurley's painting the Sphinx in Egypt!

* Crazy talk/theory. I forget if I've blogged this before, but I have a feeling that the Island is connected to ancient Egypt somehow. That in a time skip, it appears in the desert there, as an oasis (any geographers out there? how far is Tunisia from Egypt?). Some people from the Island step off, maybe some people from Egypt step on, and the Island continues on. This is ridiculous, but my first push towards an Egyptian connection was Alpert's appearance, in particular, his naturally heavily mascara'd eyelids. The first time we see him on the show, it was just very striking to me, visually. He seemed the vision of a Pharaoh from an Abbot and Costello movie or something, y'know? And then of course, there's all of the heiroglypics we've seen around the Island, first, owned by Dharma (so could have been imported by them) but then, on the walls (I think) of the temple ruins, the place that the smoke monster seems to guard or call "home."

When Locke shows up Hurley's totally unfazed. He talks to dead people all the time...

Hurley: So, you didn't make it, huh? You're not the first person to visit me you know.

Heh. Too fun and perfct! Of course, he freaks a bit when he gets confirmation that Locke's alive and breathing in front of him...

Hurley: Excuse me, am I talking to a dude in a wheelchair right now?

Hurley begins to listen to Locke, but when he sees Abbaddon waiting and watching in the wings, he really freaks out. Matthew approached him in the asylum as a shady rep of Oceanic, leaving him on a menacing note...

Hurley: That dude is far from okay! He's evil! You should not be trusting that guy!

Hurley's not going anywhere w them. O well.

When Abbaddon tells Locke he'd better step up his game, or we're all in serious trouble (Matthew seems to Believe in Widmore's notion that a WAR is coming, eh?), Locke challenges him on his purpose, what he does, and does for Widmore.

Abbaddon: I help people get to where they need to.

That's Matthew's gift. Abbaddon had to know that his appearance would spook Hurley, right? Maybe as "driver," he's holding Locke back in his quest, knowing that he has to be led to despair to take the next step.

Kate flat out refuses to go back to the Island. Who cares if everyone they left behind dies? Bitch. She deflects Locke's "why?" by asking him if he's ever loved anyone. He gets it out of Locke that he has, but...

Locke: It just didn't work out.
Kate: Why not, John?
Locke: I was angry. I was... obsessed...
Kate: Look how far you've come.

This is the last pairing that I would've thought would lead to a revelation like that. It's a great and important admission and owning-up, a reminder to us, too, about how irrational and damaging Locke's behavior is.

Never mind that he's right. =)

That's why it's called faith. That's why they call it sacrifice...

Blerg. B.S. lines to avoid real explanations and move on to the next act. Annoying. Bleah.

Next, Locke visits the resting place of Helen (aka Leela), his one lost love. Died of a brain aneurysm. He imagines that things could have been different, which leads to an exchange w Abbaddon about Locke's foretold death, inevitability, destiny, and choice. Poor Locke.

Speaking of death, F-hole Ben wacks Abbaddon! Locke gets himself put in the hospital while trying to get away and regains consciousness to find Dr. Jack at his bedside. Nicely done.

Jack flat out rejects Locke's idea that he, or any of the LOSTies, is special. There's no great destiny, no great plan. He's about to make a lame dramatic exit when Locke snaps him out of it...

Jack: Have you ever stopped to think that these delusions, that you're special, are not real. That maybe there's nothing important about you at all. Maybe you are just a lonely old man who crashed on an island. That's it. Goodbye, John.
Locke: Your father says hello.

Locke brainteased it out. Christian told him to say hello to his son and given his mission, that could only be one of three people. Gold star for John! Jack still leaves in denial, but he's been staggered, which can be deadly to a spineless spinal surgeon.

Locke returns to his hotel room at the WESTERFIELD HOTEL (at night the sign only reads WEST RFIEL HOT L... LOST THREW LIFE?) in despair and ready to hang himself. Inevitable? Or a choice?

Of course Benhole shows up to stop him. He tells him again that he's important, he has work to do on the Island, he's special, and... Jack bought a round-trip ticket to Sydney. He successfully talks him down from the ledge/table.

Locke THANKS him for it.

Locke explains to Ben how he can't go after Sun, he promised Jin, and has his wedding ring as proof to deter Sun from returning. Ben's surprised to hear that Jin's alive. Then, Ben gets it out of him that once they've rounded everyone up, Eloise Hawking will tell them how to get back to the Island. Ben knows who she is, but apparently didn't know that she was important in this way.

Then, Ben is the gaping asshole that he is and strangles Locke to death. I suppose a Christian might say that he saved his soul, keeping him from committing suicide.

The f@cker.

Ben leaves with Jin's ring, but not Locke's note to Jack. Did he take the 2-3 international phone that Widmore gave Locke?

"Meanwhile," back on the little island. Caesar explains to Locke how some people on the plane vanished in midair. This gives Locke an idea of how he arrived at the Island. Then Caesar takes Locke to see the injured passengers and...

Caesar: You know him?
Locke: Yeah. He's the man who killed me.

Oh, I SO want Locke to baseball bat Ben's jaw clean off his head! But what I fear he'll do is something saintly. I mean, he has been frickin resurrected. It's clear the Island's with him. Isn't Ben nothing but a scurvy little spider?

Still. I think he'd look wonderful jawless, all periscope-headed.

We'll see...

* Hrmm... I wonder if Caesar is a paramedic...

* Ajira 316 as Bizarro Oceanic 815...? Caesar = Jack / Sawyer. Alana = Kate / Anna Lucia.

* Would Ben be able to fool Eloise into believing that he's on Locke's mission? Eloise can see people's fates, right? Maybe she's supposed to "help" him whether he's lying to her or not. She IS pretty ambivalent about Ben's lying to everyone else in her presence, i.e. about the Lamppost.

Lapidus and a woman (passenger?) took an outrigger, along with the passenger manifest. Lapidus might remember where the LOSTies camp was, right? So, he and this woman paddle over to the camp on the Island. Locke and Ben would know the camp location as well, which would get the outriggers there in time and place for the time skipping Sawyer and company to take one, to try to get to the Orchid faster.

Who's the woman? Sun should've been pulled back in time w Jack, Hurley, and Kate, right? Widmore, with his connections, could easily have found out that the Sixers bought tickets for Ajira 316 and arranged for someone to board as well. Or... Maybe it's Zoe Bell, the freighter hand who jumped off the ship? That would be cool with me. The Ajira flight attendant seemed to get a conspicuous amount of lines and time, maybe Lapidus has flown w her a few times?

Who else could've ended up on the small island after the freighter explosion? Just Others, right?

Keep on keepin on~

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