LOST EPISODE 6.16 – “WHAT THEY DIED FOR”

Jacob explains what they died for....

In what is dubbed the “penultimate episode” (next-to-last), Jacob passes his torch on to Jack after nearly 2,000 years of service to the island. I think we all knew it was going to be Jack, but I kept expecting them to throw us for a loop. But maybe they still will. Jack drinks from the blessed cup and his eyes nearly pop with revelation. I wonder just what island secrets were downloaded from leader-to-successor in that moment… Looked pretty intense!

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Jack wakes in his apartment, and has another mirror moment. This time the nick on his neck is much bigger than on the Oceanic flight, and it’s bleeding quite a bit. I think they are showing his “symptoms” are more pronounced… He’s getting ready to cross-over to his island self. Showing a mirror incident from the season 6 premiere is indicating we’re about to come full circle on the season.

Jack's mysterious neck wound is still there... And it's getting bigger. Thanks Sideways mirror!

David prepares breakfast (cereal), and while they eat, they discuss going to the concert later. Jack asks if David’s mom will be there, and as they’ve kept her identity a secret all along, I think this was thrown in to get us wondering who she will be… So it’s someone important. Rule out every Sideways woman we’ve seen so far, and I think we’re left with… Juliet. And I believe that’s where she and Sawyer will reconnect (Sawyer said he wasn’t going if Charlotte was, but I bet Miles talks him into it.)

Shephard family breakfast, a hearty bowl of Super-Bran.

Claire joins them for breakfast, and while a quick scene, I liked how awkward it seemed… That they are all just strangers that are thrown into a family situation and getting used to having each other around. Jack gets a call from “Oceanic Air” (aka Desmond) saying they found his father’s coffin. Why would Desmond wreak this havoc in Jack’s life just as he’s finally getting over the whole thing? Perhaps he saw Jack getting too comfortable with his life with his loving son and new sister, and was trying to irritate Jack’s natural angst and destabilize his grounding in Sideways to keep him open to dabbling in his island life.

Desmond, fresh from running down Locke, is back on the scene getting his Candidates together in Sideways. As he spots Locke and starts the car, Ben recognizes and catches him, and Desmond beats the crap out of him. Desmond appears to do this to spur Ben’s memory. The experience (though not a near-death one) flashes Ben momentarily to his post-island 2007 self, who was once in that very same situation, getting pummeled by Desmond on the dock after his attempt on Penny’s life, again referenced later this episode (“Dead is Dead”). Ben seems moved and perplexed by his vision for the rest of the episode. Calmly Desmond tells him that he is not there to hurt him but to help Locke “let go”.

"You want to know who I am?"

Ben is being treated by the school nurse (who previously played an ER nurse who treated Desmond for his gunshot wounds in 2007… Ironically, wounds Ben himself inflicted!)

ER doctor/school nurse

Ben is having his Sideways mirror moment, fresh off his island vision, when Locke comes in. He tells Locke that the man was trying to get Locke to “let go”, not to hurt him, and that for some reason Ben believed him.

Locke is sporting a Sideways head wound, like Keamy, Jin, Sun, and now Ben.

Miles and Sawyer are discussing the benefit concert that evening at his father’s museum, Miles asks Sawyer to go as his “date” (I thought Miles was seeing someone?), but Sawyer declines because Charlotte will be there. Desmond arrives and turns himself in for running down Locke and beating Ben. He smiles as he joins Kate and Sayid in the holding cells. All is going according to plan!

Alex runs up to Ben, now sporting a sling and beat up pretty bad. She compares Ben to Napoleon because he holds his arm near his stomach as a result of the sling he wears as Napoleon was reputed to do. Napoleon was referenced earlier this season in teacher Ben’s classroom in “Recon”. Shots of Ben in a sling also recall injured Ben during his Swan hunger strike.

Ben's sling. Now I know there are a TON of color references in this show, but I totally noticed at the school that everyone was wearing red, blue, and purple. Including Ben, Alex, and Rousseau.

Alex is incredulous at the prospect of anyone wanting to hurt “the nicest guy ever” (cough cough). Alex insists that her mother give him a ride home, and as Danielle greets him they both insist he stay for dinner. Danielle words it, “even if we have to kidnap you.” (“One of Them” and “Dead Is Dead“). Nice to see Rousseau with heels, a dress, and combed hair! After dinner, Danielle says Alex’s father died when she was two, and Ben is the closest thing to a father she’s ever had. Ben’s eyes start to well up (was he connecting with his island self?) He passes it off as the onions, but Danielle says NEXT TIME she won’t use so many. And I love this storyline, because getting romantic with Danielle means he gets a second chance at both love and being the father he wanted to be to Alex.

Alex's fated-to-be father figure.

Locke stops by Jack’s office and explains that he doesn’t understand why, but it seems he’s meant to be fixed by Jack. He observes that his encounters with Jack have been serendipitous: he and Jack were on the same flight; when he was hit by a car, of “all the doctors in Los Angeles” he happened to be treated by Jack; the same man who ran him down beat up a teacher at his school and said that he wasn’t there to hurt him but to help him “let go” – and that these were the same words Jack had used when they were last together. Jack suggests that he is mistaking coincidence with fate (nod to the “Don’t mistake coincidence for fate” line spoken by Eko in “What Kate Did”). Locke says whatever it is called he is ready to get out of his wheelchair. We get the feeling his change of heart has to do less with walking than finding out the meaning behind all these darn Oceanic 815-related incidents.

Doc Jensen:
But more than anything, it was a choice. Like Island Jack, Sideways Locke seized the opportunity life had given him: the chance to decide who and what he wanted to be. […] In the Sideways world, Jack will fix Locke’s spine and facilitate Locke’s awakening. On The Island, Guardian Jack will defeat Fake Locke and protect the spiritual circuit between the ”real Lockes” of both worlds. It’s sweet happily ever after… but I worry about the implications of what we saw in the opening moments of the season some 15 weeks or so ago, an ominous image that has been left for the last episode of Lost to explain: The Island, dead and underwater.

At the police station, the 3 criminals are being transferred. Kate makes a last ditch effort to flirt her way to freedom with Sawyer. While he looks tempted, he ultimately tells her it ain’t gonna happen. In the back of a holding van, Desmond proposes an escape plan, but in exchange for their freedom, he says he will exact a promise of each of them. They both agree skeptically. Just then, the van pulls over and Ana Lucia (still a dirty cop in this timeline as well), lets them go.

Sweet freedom!

Hurley arrives (in his Sideways yellow Hummer) with her payoff and instantly recognizes her as Ana Lucia. He asks if she’s coming too, but Desmond says she’s not ready yet. ”It was nice not knowing you,” Ana Lucia said, speaking more truth than she realized.

"Not ready yet." Not now, or not ever?

Hurley’s Camaro (that he originally got from his father) is parked nearby. Desmond hands Kate a dress. Recall this is the second time someone is handing her a dress to wear for a specific purpose, a la breakfast with Ben on the island in Alex’s dress then being held in the cages in “A Tale of Two Cities”, which coincidentally introduced us to Juliet (ahem, David’s mother). Desmond tells them they’re going to a concert. Aha, the concert is where it all goes down in The End! Desmond’s scheming Island Enlightenment on a GRAND scale, with everyone, all together at once. Perhaps a rousing rendition of ”You All Everybody’‘ will do the trick?

Kate's new cocktail dress, inset with her new dress for breakfast with Ben.

Known concert attendees:

  • Jack
  • David
  • David’s mom (who may or may not be Juliet)
  • Claire (might possibly tag along with her brother and nephew)
  • Desmond
  • Kate
  • Sayid
  • Hurley
  • Miles
  • Charlotte
  • Pierre Chang
  • Eloise (planning it)
  • Widmore (financing it)
  • Daniel (playing in it)
  • Penny (on the guest list)
  • Charlie (supposed to play as the rock act)
  • Sawyer (who I think will change his mind, despite Charlotte, and go with Miles)

So who’s missing? Sun is still in the hospital and Jin is by her side, but if she is released, they could be there. Maybe Jack mentions something to Locke about it. And maybe, just maybe, this will be Ben and Danielle’s first date (wink wink!)

Doc Jensen:
”What They Died For” gave us a scene in the Sideways narrative that could be seen as a metaphor for the Jacob/Loststance on the relationship between free will and fate. Desmond, the Jacob analog, broke Kate and Sayid out of jail — but they had no idea they had been liberated until Desmond spelled it out in the van. And even then, they didn’t really believe it. Kate and Sayid had been oblivious to Desmond’s machinations, but they were also powerless to stop the prison wagon from reaching Desmond’s destination for them. Still, during the trip, they retained total authority over their inner lives, and upon their arrival, they had the freedom to do as they wish. Their actions may have forced Desmond into a response, but at no point did anyone hold a gun to their heads. In fact, the only manipulation Desmond used was holding them to their word to do as they promised — to have integrity, to be people of their word. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our response to our circumstances..

On the Island (2007)

BEACH AND JUNGLE:

On the beach, Jack prepares to stitch Kate up, which is definitely a nod back to the very first episode of season 1 when Kate needs to stitch up Jack. Kate had asked which color thread he preferred and he replied “basic black”, which is the same color he used on her last night.

Thread of choice? "Basic Black."

In the Pilot, Jack told her the story of counting to 5, which is how his father had taught him how to manage fear during crisis (“Pilot, Part 1“). Kate reflects on Ji Yeon, and remarks that Jin had never even met his own daughter. They both decide that “He” must be killed.

Jack stitches Kate.

Pieces of the destroyed sub and the red life vests wash up on shore, heartbreaking. Kate leans on Saywer’s shoulder and everyone pauses to mourn Sayid, Sun, Jin, Frank. Which was nice, because as last week was Jacob and the MIB’s story, they really didn’t give the castaways any time to deal with the loss of their friends.

Doc Jensen:
Perhaps they were also silently bidding adieu to the dream of returning to the home sweet home that lies somewhere across the sea. I think when you decide to kill the devil, you have to make peace with the prospect of not coming back alive. This isn’t a Fantastic Four story — this is a Suicide Squad mission. Did you see Kate slump against Sawyer? Was that Lost‘s way of telling us that Kate had ”made her choice”?

Reflecting on their loss.

At Jack’s urging, they set off in the jungle looking for Desmond. Because if the MIB wants him, they they’re going to need him. Sawyer, looking completely defeated, starts to take responsibility for the deaths on the sub by attempting to diffuse the bomb despite Jack’s advice. Where in the past, these two would normally settle their problems with their fists… It’s definitely different now. Jack interrupts Sawyer’s sad-sap admission, and says, hey, “I’ve made mistakes too.” They’ve come this far and finally made their peace with each other. Finally allies after all these years, just in time to team up for the final showdown.

Hurley sees a vision of boy-Jacob in the jungle, whom notably Kate cannot see. Yet. The boy demands the bag of ashes, then runs off. I think this is the first time they’ve shown a physical aspect to Hurley’s apparitions… He was able to grab an object from Hurley.

"They're mine." (PS - nice snaps on your vest, authentic Roman garbed boy Jacob!)

As Hurley chases him, he comes across adult Jacob seated at a fire. Jacob tells Hurley that the ashes are in the fire and that when the fire goes out, he will not be seen again. This is very reminiscent to the rules of The Source itself (if its light goes out, everyone will die). Good thing Ilana knew to save those ashes! And good thing Hurley found them. It was a convenient chain of events that led to a final scene with Jacob’s “essence” so he could pass the torch to his next Candidate. Jacob adds, for good measure, “We are very close to the End“.

Jacob proudly welcomes his remaining Candidates.

Hurley leads the others back to the fire, and Jacob greets each of them by first name. Hurley is surprised that they can all see him. In the Big Scene of the night, Jacob provides them (and us) with some definitive answers: He did indeed create the smoke monster, it has been trying to kill him ever since in retaliation, and since Smokey succeeded, one of them must replace him as the island’s protector. Jacob didn’t drag them all out of a happy existence — they were all flawed. He chose them because they were all like him – alone, all looking for something that they couldn’t find.

Doc Jensen:
From a timeless, spiritual perspective, the castaways are better off than they were before they crashed on the Island. Yes, they have suffered, yet their adventures together have brought them to a place where they find themselves more self-aware and liberated from ruts of self-destructive behavior. Jacob has also given them something which I’m not sure they yet fully recognize and appreciate, at least not in the Island world: a community of fellow souls deeply invested in each other’s survival, growth, and flourishing.

We find out Kate was crossed out because when she left the island, she became a mother (while the rest of the Oceanic 6 remained flawed/incomplete). But she could still have the job if she wanted it. Jacob explains that they must do the one thing he couldn’t: kill the smoke monster. Jack wonders if this is even possible, and he says he hopes so. But how does one kill a cloud a smoke, a spectral being that’s made up of one angst-ridden soul? The answer will surely be one of the series’ biggest revelations.

In closing, Jacob says he is offering them a CHOICE about assuming this role, something he never had. Jack immediately steps up, knowing that this is what he’s on the island to do.

Jack eagerly takes the job on his own free will.

Jacob leads Jack to a stream in the distance, explaining that while Jack has never seen the light before, he will be able to find it now that he has been chosen to protect it. Jacob says it’s just beyond the bamboo field where Jack landed when he fell from the sky. Jack is disbelieving, but it appears he just didn’t have the eyes to be able to see it before, just like the Lighthouse he didn’t see until he was looking for it.

Doc Jensen:
I am reminded of the C.S. Lewis novel The Pilgrim’s Regress, about a spiritual seeker who has a dream as a child of an island offering the promise of great meaning to his life, but after years and years and years of searching, he discovers that the place he’s looking for… is right back where he started. See, Jack? You had the magic inside you all along…

The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis

Which actually makes a lot of sense… The Source, for Jack, is in the location where he first arrived on the island; just as the Source for Jacob was at the stream where Claudia delivered he and his brother. The Source can change locations depending on where it all began for its designated guardian.

Jacob says an incantation and takes some water into Jack’s cup and offers it to him. Before he drinks, Jack asks about the duration of the job – “as long as you can.” Jack drinks, Jacob embraces him and says “Now you are like me.” Interesting that it doesn’t have to be wine, the same cup, or even in front of the light of the Source to make this protector-deeming ceremony official. The other 3 watch from fire, and Hurley says ”I’m just glad it’s not me.” Famous last words… I’m now highly suspicious that Hurley might end up with the guardian-gig by the end.

Doc Jensen:
The Island needs The Source — but does The Source really need The Island? We’ve been told that a little bit of the light exists in everyone. Well, why not take a cue from Hurley’s Parable of the Hatch Pantry and just divide the rest of The Source equally among all people? Why not make humanity itself the exclusive dwelling place of The Source? It’s time to decentralize! It’s time for Mystic Reformation! That’s my theory of Desmond. I think super-Buddha is going to get dropped into the Holy Wormhole and will absorb all the energy into himself and then redistribute it throughout all of mankind. The Source needs a guardian. But what it needs even more is for all of us to guard it. And as I finish the preceding parenthetical, another one hit me. What if once upon a time, The Source did reside within all of humanity? What if we stopped believing in The Source, or we convinced ourselves that The Source stopped believing in us, so much so that now The Source exists as an anomaly that’s hidden away from us — as something lost that must be found. The Truth Is Out There — but once, The Truth Was In Here.

AT THE BARRACKS:

We finally see Richard, Ben, and Miles’ group again after a 3-episode absence. They are taking Ben’s shortcut to the Barracks to pick up some C4 to blow up the plane. In a big nod to the Sideways story, Miles senses Alex’s resting place, and Richard admits to burying her. Ben looks stricken for just a moment, and after only saying a quick “thank you”, offhandedly continues on to his secret room. He opens the safe and takes all 6 bricks of C4 (to “blow the plane to hell”), and when Miles asks about this other, secreter room, he said he thought he could summon the monster from here, although he later realized that the monster was summoning him.

Doc Jensen:
This is interesting to think about. If Ben has always been wrong about being Jacob’s chosen one for a period of time, then that means his tenure as the leader of the Others was fraudulent and invalid — which means that Charles Widmore was probably quite sincere in his persecution of Ben. Megabucks Chuck never wanted to get back to The Island to exploit it. He wanted to get back to The Island to save it from Ben’s corrupt administration.

Collecting the C4. I'm guessing this will come in handy for the MIB (or Team Jack?) in their final mission.

They hear a noise in the kitchen and discover the world’s most awful actress, Zoe. Charles immediately appears and holds them at gunpoint while Zoe goes to check on the outrigger. She sees the MIB approaching and runs back. Charles, upon learning of their plan to rig the plane with C4, tells Ben he’s “three steps ahead”, as usual. He reveals Jacob visited him shortly after Ben destroyed the freighter and told him all he needed to know “for this exact purpose.”

As the MIB approaches, they all scramble about what to do. Miles runs, Charles and Zoe hide, and Ben says he will do neither because it’s no use. Richard decides to try talking to Smokey, but he overestimates Smokey’s desire for Richard’s help anymore and is immediately pummeled by the creature.

Well, I guess he didn't need Richard anymore after all!

Ben turns, wide-eyed, and very deliberately sits on the porch. The MIB comes around the corner as Locke to speak with Ben, “just the man he was looking for.” And he cuts right to the chase: He needs Ben to kill some people, and in return, the whole island could be his. Ben agrees, and the first order of business was to give up Widmore’s hiding spot. When MIB suggests he wait outside, Ben says he wants to see this.

"You can have the whole island to yourself." I'm wondering if Ben is genuinely joining him...or if he realizes he's being played, and merely playing along with hopes of conning the MIB back in the near future. Ben saw that he was needed... MIB was coming to him out of weakness, not strength. I hope Ben is playing upon that. Because I'd like to think his Sideways arc as "the nicest guy ever" proves his apparent island redemption in recent weeks wasn't all for naught.

Ben sarcastically apologizes to Charles for giving him up. MIB asks who Zoe is, and before she says anything, Widmore tells her not to speak (rendering her pointless). MIB reacts by cutting her throat. Bad-ass, and thoroughly awesome (hated her!!)

She even looked terrible dying... Good riddance!

Threatening Penny’s life, MIB gets Charles to talk. He whispers just what he needed to know (about Desmond’s usefulness) before Ben fires multiple bullets at Widmore. His reasoning? Widmore doesn’t deserve the chance to protect his daughter. Payback’s a bitch! MIB says that Ben never ceases to amaze him but luckily Widmore had already told him what he needed to know. Ben then asks whether there are some “other people to kill” (awesome, classic Ben). Locke gives a gloating look.

Ben finally takes his revenge on Widmore.

AT THE WELL:

MIB takes Ben to the well where he threw Desmond. Ben wonders why MIB chooses to walk, when he could just fly as the smoke, but MIB likes to feel the ground under his feet… It makes him feel human again. One wonders if his desire to feel human, or reignite his feeling of humanity, will be his downfall (the key to killing him). They arrive and surmise Sayid helped Desmond escape instead of killing him. MIB reveals Widmore’s secret: Desmond was a fail safe. That if he killed the “beloved candidates” he was one final way for Jacob to be sure that he would never leave this place. In 2004, Desmond turned the failsafe key and destroyed the Swan hatch. In 2007, the MIB believes Desmond is the Island’s failsafe that can destroy the island.

Ben wonders why he is happy that Desmond is still free, and he replies when he finds Desmond he will get him to do the one thing he could never do himself: “Destroy the Island.” (dum, dum, dummmm…) So now we know he’s not only trying to leave it, but also destroy it. By the way, nice blow to Ben: The MIB offers Ben the job of leader of the island, yet not long after reveals that he intends to destroy the island instead. Nice con, MIB.

Desmond is one in-demand guy right now!

—-
Needless to say, I am beyond excited for the 2.5 hour finale, aptly titled “The End”, now just 4 days away. I’m also, like so many others, completely unprepared for the entire series to be over! It’s both rewarding, and bittersweet. I was thinking earlier back to the first time I saw “Pilot: Part 1” back in 2004… I was about 3 weeks late jumping on the LOST bandwagon, but quickly got into it and caught up, thanks to the insistence of my stepbrother John, who was telling us about the premiere weeks before it aired! It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago, this all began… And so much has happened in life since then: Three houses, a dog, and a husband later, I’m just as intrigued with the show as I was from Day One. And I think that’s really something special.

Now, off to decide which character I’m going to dress up as for the finale party! Suggestions?

Happy FINALE-watching… *sniffle*

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark



LOST EPISODE 6.15 – “ACROSS THE SEA”

"For an episode that many fans allegedly disliked, “Across The Sea” has inspired some of the most spirited and thought-provoking commentary I’ve ever seen from Lost fandom." --Doc Jensen (And I couldn't agree more!)

Well, we finally got the history between Jacob and his twin brother, “He Who Shall Remain Nameless!” The story played out in one continuous narrative, à la the “Ricardos” episode earlier this season. The story was both mystical and intriguing, as it painted the forces of “good” (Jacob and his mother) as somewhat malevolent and prone to dabbling in the dark side from time to time… See Mother killing Claudia with a rock as soon as the twins were born, bashing MIB’s head against the cave wall, killing his people and burning their camp to the ground, as well as Jacob killing the MIB (sending him downstream to a fate he knew only as worse than death), and thus he himself creating the island’s resident killing machine, the Smoke Monster. The side that has long been associated with good, white, lightness, God, benevolence, etc. has had its image tarnished. And I thought that point of view was intriguing.

Doc Jensen:
”Across The Sea” promised oodles of noodle-cooking Island mythology, and we got just that — which is to say, a yarn that played like myth, albeit with a mean deconstructive streak. You got the sense that the drama that unfolded in this hour left some indelible grooves on the psychography of the living Island, laying track for all future drama to follow. Did the Mother/Jacob/Man In Black drama curse this world like the Biblical fall of man? Did this tragic trio doom future Island visitors to suffer through adaptations of their same sad story? So many shared elements. Shipwrecked castaways. A deadly first encounter with a supernatural Island entity. ”Special” children and child abduction. Ghosts. Suspicion and conflict with Others. Mystery boxes and games. The war between faith and reason. Betrayal and murder. Does the current iteration of this repeating myth involving Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the rest of the surviving Oceanic 815 lot represent one more manifestation of the cycle that will continue forever and ever, Amen? Or is the great twist of the entire Lost saga is that everyone, friend or foe — from the castaways to Fake Locke to Dead Jacob — are actually striving toward the same end from different angles: reversing the curse; breaking the chain; cleaning the slate; reboot. We shall see.

Ancient Roman (?) Times

Claudia washed ashore approximately 2,000 years before the crash of Flight 815. She is immediately shown with a billowing RED dress, and heavily pregnant. She is now the 3rd woman to arrive on the island with an advanced pregnancy (Claire and Rousseau are the other two). She immediately finds a stream to have a drink of water, and in the reflection (how very Sideways world) of the water she sees a woman. They first converse in Latin, then switch to English, but as Claudia’s questions get too numerous, the woman tells her to get some rest. ”Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.’‘ I’m sure a lot of us would agree that’s the overarching theme of LOST, a source of much intrigue and frustration over the last 6 years… Probably the reason I’m writing and you’re reading this blog in the first place! (wink wink)

But Claudia quickly goes into labor. Jacob is born first, quiet and swaddled in a WHITE cloth. Claudia has chosen his name, and decides on it definitively. And then came the unexpected twin, the Baby in Black! Born agitated and restless, he is is swaddled in a BLACK cloth while his mother, stumped, says she has only chosen one name. But she doesn’t have time to decide on one, as the woman says “I’m sorry” and kills Claudia with a rock. Brutal!

Content Jacob, restless Baby in Black.

It is unclear as the story unfolds if the Baby in Black was ever given a name, as he is always referred to with pet names (“My Love”, “Brother”) and personal pronouns. Previously, Ben stated that “[they] don’t even have a word” for the Smoke Monster. Now we learn that he is literally nameless.

Doc Jensen:
We’ve been told repeatedly that names mean something on Lost. So what does a mean for a life to be denied a name? It suggests to me a life without meaning or challenged by meaninglessness — fitting, given the life in question was destined to lose his humanity and decohere into polymorphic smoke. Still, I’m going to say that Mother did give the Babe In Black a name and Lost decided to keep it from us to keep the character something of a blank slate for us to project ideas upon.

Thirteen Years Later

The Boy in Black (here on out, known as BIB!) finds an ancient Egyptian game on the beach called Senet, which is the oldest known board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. For the BIB, the Senet box was exciting and exotic — proof of the “something more” from across the sea that Mother said did not exist.

Senet. Note that this is the same black beaded bracelet that Sideways Sawyer wears in his desk at the police station.

The BIB says he “just knows” how to play, and makes Jacob promise not to tell Mother they found it. However Jacob immediately tells Mother about the game, because as she says, Jacob “doesn’t know how to lie.”

I think this was a really important line for the show because it confirms that everything Jacob has ever said has been the TRUTH. And as she was comparing the two boys, one would assume that she mentioned this because the BIB does tell lies. She refers to his qualities as “special.” Besides being deceitful, he exhibits special insight such as intuitively knowing the rules to Senet, predicting the weather, and knowing that the wheel mechanism will help him leave the island. She tells the BIB she left the game for him to find, which I am not buying. It washed ashore, and saying it was her doing was damage control to keep him from thinking there was somewhere else to go.

He questions what is out across the sea (she says nothing), he asks what dead means (she says something he’ll never have to worry about). Interesting. At this point, she was hoping the BIB would take her place as island guardian. But as she herself AND Jacob can attest to… The island’s guardian is a mortal that may have stopped aging naturally, but can be killed. She knew her own death was imminent… So why wouldn’t he have to worry about death?

The boys chase a boar, but it is killed by three unknown hunters. They demand an explanation of the Others from Mother, and she says they’re not like them, “we are here for a reason.” (Sounds a lot like the original John Locke.) She tells them the Others are dangerous because “they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same.” (Sounds a lot like the MIB on the beach.) She tells the boys that she has made it so they can never hurt each other. So SHE is the reason they can’t kill each other, but they can urge others to kill them on their own free will.

The boys being led blindfolded...

They arrive blindfolded at the cave of light, The Source. The BIB says that it is beautiful, she agrees and tells them that a little bit of the same light that is in the cave is inside every man but that people always want more. Mother says that while the other people can’t take the light, they might try and if the light goes out here it goes out everywhere. I think this is exactly what will (or will attempt to) happen in the final act of the series… Widmore and others have come to take more of the light. They can try to possess it, but attempting to do so will put it out. If it goes out here, Sideways world (where the inactive island lies at the bottom of the ocean), will be the consequence: putting out the light of the world. But the Sideways characters are connecting with their island world counterparts… Does this mean the light can be put out, but not for good? She has protected the place but when she no longer can then it will have to be one of the twins who protects it.

The Source, bathed in light. But the light also harbors the darkness of the world, aka Smokey.

”I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with truly a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.” — Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

Some time later, the boys are again playing Senet, and the BIB tells Jacob that he can’t make a move because it is against the rules. He says that one day Jacob can make up his own game and then everyone will have to follow his rules.

Doc Jensen:
BIB took delight in his power… but in that moment, I was reminded of the scene in ”The Substitute,” when Ghost Jacob stood over Fake Locke and reminded him of the rules of his game, and Fake Locke raged: ”Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Turnabout’s a bitch, ain’t it, Nameless? The bottom line is that there is no bottom line when it comes ”the rules.” ”The rules” are, for the most part, pure whimsy — an expression of the unique interests and will of The Island’s guardian. They are arbitrary inventions of The Island’s custodian. And I suspect he or she can reinvent them any time he or she wants. I am reminded of the scene in season 4, when Keamy assassinated Alex and Ben said, ”He changed the rules.” I always thought Ben was referring to Charles Widmore. But after ”Across The Sea,” I’m thinking that Ben was talking about Jacob.

The game is interrupted by the BIB’s vision of Claudia in the jungle. Notably, Jacob can’t see her. BIB abruptly leaves to follow her. She reveals she is his real mother, and she was killed by Mother. Enraged, he wakes Jacob in the middle of the night and tries to persuade him to go to the Others’ camp. The boys fight, and the BIB leaves while Jacob stays behind with Mother.

Thirty Years Later

Jacob's weaving, in Candidate BLUE.

Jacob finishes a piece of cloth, and leaves for the other side of the island to visit his brother for a game of Senet. The MIB says Jacob is mistaken about his people seeming to be good since he is “looking down from above”, and crazy Mother was right — these people are BAD (the irony of his own greedy-manipulative-untrustworthy-selfishness went unacknowledged) — but he needs them to leave the island, they are merely a means to an end. He wildly throws his dagger at a well they’ve been working on, and it is magnetically pulled to the wall. This illustrates his method of leaving. Jacob insists on staying, as the island is his home. The dagger is the same one the MIB gave Richard to kill Jacob, Dogan gave Sayid to kill the MIB, and the MIB used to kill Mother.

Electromagnetism.

Doc Jensen:
”She’s never going to die!” MIB: ”Jacob! Everything dies!” This was a provocative exchange, and it made me wonder how much of this conflict is relevant to the castaway drama. Smokey’s conspiracy to kill the candidates is also a means to an end. But I wonder if the villain uses Jacob’s unhealthy denial of death to rationalize his evil. This could be Smokey’s defense: Jacob’s touchy-feeling tampering and his idealistic redemption schemes have undermined castaway free will and kept them alive longer than what is right and proper. Seen from this point of view, MIB’s assassinations are more like mercy killings and affirmations of the natural order of things. I’m not excusing MIB’s actions. But if my assessment of Jacob is correct, I think MIB’s critique is valid.

Jacob tattles to Mother about the MIB’s intentions, so she pays him a visit while he’s working down in the well. When she first arrives, she is bathed in light but he is tinkering in the darkness. She wonders how he knows that constructing a wheel mechanism will work (and does not deny that it WILL work), and he says he knows because he’s “special”. She feigns a goodbye hug, knocks his head against the wall, then kills the rest of the Others and burns their camp to the ground. The well is filled in, and the MIB is enraged. We know that the wheel chamber does eventually get built… So I’m thinking Smokey finished the job after taking the MIB’s body.

Early stages of the donkey wheel.

A very upset MIB with his hopes dashed, his livelihood in flames around him. A tragic aftermath of epic Smokey proportions, in fact! Just what WAS Mother... something of a smoke monster herself, perhaps?

Sure now that the MIB is not the chosen one, she takes Jacob to the cave of light and as she says, “You’re going to protect it now,” she symbolically passes her torch to him. Although she first asks Jacob to choose to protect the Source, Mother finally tells him he really doesn’t “have a choice.” She adds that she realizes “it was always” meant to be Jacob who would replace her (therefore cementing his fate regardless of his free will). In a ceremonial display, she makes him the island’s guardian. Drinking wine from the chalice and her incantation were almost exactly like the Catholic Holy Communion. With that, they were “the same”. Jacob asks what is in the cave, and she replies: Life, death, rebirth; it’s the source, the heart of the island.” To go down there would “be so much worse than dying.” (umm, yeah…you get Smokified! i.e. forever bound to the island, your immortal soul gets severed from your mortal body, and you are held captive for all eternity.) She tells him “It’s going to be you,” sensing that her death is approaching; Sayid says the same thing to Jack after telling him to rescue Desmond just before the C4 explodes. Hint, hint.

Doc Jensen:
Jacob tried to fight her on it. He called her out on preferring MIB over him. ”You wanted it to be him,” Jacob barked. ”But now I’m all you have!” Mother tried to convince him otherwise. She said if she had been grooming MIB for the job, she had come to realize she was wrong and that Jacob was always supposed to have the job. I don’t know if I believed her. I think at best, she was pulling an Obi Wan and telling the truth ”from a certain point of view.” I think she always saw her boys as a means to an end; she just didn’t know which one was going to play which part. I truly believe she wanted one of them to become The Island’s guardian — but I also think she wanted one of them to put her out of her misery. That misery? Loneliness. Madness. The endless dead end job of being Island guardian. Or maybe, just maybe, the fate-worse-than-death damnation of being a smoke monster. (!)

"It's going to be you."

When they arrive back, Mother finds the camp wrecked, says a “storm is coming”, and sends Jacob off for firewood. She finds the Senet pieces, and as she lifts the black piece, she is stabbed through the chest with the MIB’s ancient dagger. With tears in his eyes, he asks why he is not aloud to leave, and she says, “Because I love you… Thank you.” Sooo… Was he able to physically leave, but she just wanted to keep him there? And by killing her, and incurring Jacob’s revengeful wrath, did he cement his own unwanted fate of being forever bound to the island as Smokey? Very interesting… Mother was also killed per the same instructions we’ve heard given before — “Kill [the Monster] before [he] has a chance to speak… [He] can be very persuasive.”

Doc Jensen:
With her dying breath, she thanked the son she loved the most, the one that was most like her, the ”special” one with the angry spirit — the dreamer; the gamer; the liar; the cynic — for stabbing her in the back and through the heart. Were the boys nothing but an escape plan? Did she raise one to take her job and the other to take her life? Is this the way The Island works?

Backstabbed, and grateful.

Jacob discovers the MIB hovering over Mother’s dead body, and in a rage drags the MIB through the jungle to the cave of light. Production note: Titus Welliver (the MIB) broke 2 fingers in this scene because of Mark Pellegrino (Jacob)’s rough dragging. Jacob says he has no intention of killing him. Nope, worse than death in fact! The MIB is thrown into the stream, hitting his head on a rock…as he enters, the light goes out, and Smokey emerges. As does the MIB’s dead body. Makes me think that Smokey wouldn’t have been able to take the MIB’s form if he was alive when he entered the cave. That little unintended accident had very unfortunate consequences for both of them…

Smokey is born. And after Mother's peculiar and Smokey-esque story, we're left to wonder, does anyone who go down the chute to the Source emerge as a smoke monster? Are we dealing with multiples?

And just as Room 23’s brainwashing slideshow predicted, Jacob’s actions produced a major cause of his own suffering for many years to come.

That fateful day, Jacob (avenging his Mother's death), tossed the MIB down to the Source, and Smokey emerged to haunt the island's protector for more than a century.

As the MIB is laid to rest by his regretful brother, we get a big answer! The Adam + Eve skeletons were actually the MIB and Mother. The black and white rocks were their Senet game pieces. Jacob placed them next to each other and had them hold hands. On September 28, 2004, Jack and Kate discover the bodies at the caves, hides the rocks in his pocket (is this important?), and Locke comments that they’re our “very own Adam and Eve.” In the original scene, Jack says that judging by their clothing, they’re about 40 or 50 years old. But the likelihood of any clothes surviving unprotected in a tropical environment for 1500 years is nil. Details, details!

Admittedly, I was slightly let down by this revelation… I was hoping that either (A) it was Rose and Bernard, or (B) Hurley was right when he speculated that it was them, and they died here while time traveling. Though, upon further consideration, I suppose the fact that it was NEITHER of the options I was expecting, I’m glad the show can still keep me on my toes, haha…

The original Adam + Eve skeletons discovery.

Overall, we learned in this episode that the MIB seems to subscribe to a scientific worldview, associating with men who want to use technology to harness the power of the Source. Jacob faithfully follows his mother’s teachings. This makes the MIB the “man of science” and Jacob the “man of faith.” However, in a twist of irony, the MIB eventually assumes the form of John Locke, the “man of faith.”

I’m still in shock that the finale is less than a week away!!! Excited, sad, nervous, etc… Up next, the 2nd-to-last episode, the setup for the story’s endgame: “What They Died For.”

Thanks for reading!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark//



LOST EPISODE 6.13 – “THE LAST RECRUIT”

Reunited. And split. And reunited some more!

Well this week we got a story that furthered along the Sideways arcs of ALL our castaways in one fell swoop. And I’m beginning to think it’s also impossible for them to die in Sideways, as it is on the island (fate/the island/Jacob/God/etc. isn’t done with them yet, which was reiterated by Jack to Sawyer in this episode)… See Sun and her baby surviving a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and Locke being saved by Jack the surgeon after surviving being hit by a speeding car.

The title “The Last Recruit”, I think referred to quite a few people. Desmond seems to be hopping all over Sideways gathering up as many Oceanic passengers as he can, at least the ones he recognizes from his Island timeline. In that way, I think he’s been recruiting the castaways to open their eyes to their other timeline. Also, Jack ended up staying behind with the MIB, he is likely the most important recruit, and the last to arrive in MIB’s camp. Jin was also the only one not in MIB’s group at the end of the last episode. And Claire was wanted by some but not by others on the sailboat… Kate said she wasn’t leaving without Claire, so she hopped aboard. And what about Desmond himself… He was busy in Sideways recruiting others, but on the island, Widmore sure did want to get him back!

Doc Jensen:
‘The Last Recruit” didn’t blow me away. Some of it really bugged me, actually, but it was a necessary staging episode for the final act of the season (and the series!), and I won’t judge it too harshly. But can I just say that the Lapidus quip ”Looks like someone got their voice back” was maybe the most cornball line ever uttered on Lost? (Like I said: not too harshly.) Still, there were plenty of meaty things in this busybusybusy outing to chew and savor. Jack’s torchlight chat with [MIB] was dense with significance. (Mystery Resolution Alert! Christian Shephard has always been a Smokey apparition! But did you believe M-T’s claim?) Sayid’s wellside conversation with Desmond also captured my imagination (do you think Mr. Designated Assassin executed his kill order?), as did Sideways Sun’s freak-out over seeing Sideways John Locke. And then there was the set-up for the next episode: Sideways Jack’s scramble to save Sideways John’s life. That passing reference to Locke’s obliterated neural sac was a nod to the classic moment in the pilot when Jack recounted his most harrowing moment as a young doctor. It led me to wonder if Lost is about to come full circle and give Jack an encounter with mind-clouding fear in both worlds. Count to five, folks: I think things are about to get scary.

Some quick thoughts from each story:

Sideways Locke, Jin and Sun:

Sun exclaims in Korean “It’s him! It’s him!” as they are wheeled next to each other at the hospital. Seeing as how they haven’t run into each other in Sideways at all, she was most likely crossing over into her island life through her traumatic brush with death.

"It's Him!"

And I think Locke was having a similar experience in his traumatic state. In the ambulance he said “My name is John!” (just as his mother insisted “His name is John!” the day he was born), but he also remembered that he was supposed to marry Helen Norwood. The pathetic past tense of that statement is all John Locke, but as soon as Sun recognized him he smiled: MIB.

Also in this scene, the paramedic suggests Locke’s wheelchair probably saved his life. Just as in the island timeline, his missing a kidney saved his life after being shot in that very spot.

Sideways Sawyer, Kate and Sayid:

At the police department, Sawyer waltzed to his desk biting into an apple… symbol of the Tree of Knowledge, of course. Sawyer and Kate flirt but don’t hit it off like their island counterparts.

Sayid is on the run after killing Keamy and his men and heads back to Nadia’s to pack. Sawyer and Miles see Sayid on video surveillance footage and states: “That’s our bad guy.” As he escapes out the back door, he’s tripped by Sawyer holding a taut garden hose. This is reminiscent of Rousseau’s trapping methods used to catch Sayid back in season 1.

Sideways Desmond, Claire and Jack:

Desmond catches up with Claire, his next target, and creepily pushes her into Ilana the lawyer’s office so she can bring Jack and Claire together at the reading of their father’s will. Jack is taken aback, but gets called in to work to perform a complicated surgery. In other words, he is forced to abandon Claire at the lawyer’s office just after reuniting with her, just as he abandons her in the jungle on the island. But… Duty calls! At the hospital, Jack sees Locke’s reflection in the mirror (Sideways mirrors), and recognizes him immediately.

Island (2007):

Jack and MIB talk civilly apart from the group. We find out for sure that the MIB can only impersonate those who are dead, and whose bodies are on the island. He said he took the role of Christian simply to show Jack where to find water. Not sure we can believe this completely, but sounds plausible…

Doc Jensen:
”Because you needed to find water,” he said. There was an implied ”Duh!” in there, as well as some implied irony. Back in season 1, Ghost Christian was a storytelling device that revealed Jack’s character and solved a castaway survival issue (finding water) — but did it mean anything more than that? Did the writers really know that Ghost Christian was a manifestation of The Monster, or was that something they decided after the fact? I know many of you are debating the question today, and my answer is that I don’t really care because either way, I am satisfied with resolution of the Ghost Christian mystery.

Claire was following them, and when she gets time alone with her big brother, says cryptically that because Jack let the MIB talk to him, whether he likes it or not, he is now WITH HIM. So then all the rest of the castaways are with him too… right?

Doc Jensen:
To be honest, I think the Jack-Claire twist hasn’t panned out to be as cool as it first seemed to be. Making them related by blood nourished the important thematic idea of interconnection between characters that existed prior their Island meeting. It also ratcheted up Jack’s angst over abandoning the castaways and during his Oceanic days. Perhaps there’s time to squeeze more out of it.

Zoe comes into the MIB’s camp threatening to get Desmond back by nightfall (though she doesn’t refer to him by name. Widmore’s team refers to him as the “package”, MIB keeps him hidden from the rest of the Candidates, everyone’s trying to keep his presence on the island hush-hush).  Zoe has a warning shot fired using her radio. She leaves the device with the MIB, who promptly smashes it. Just as Locke smashed Naomi’s radio from the freighter. He says “here we go” and lays out an elaborate plan for the group to split up, get the sailboat, and meet at Hydra. Sawyer has plans of his own, based on his deal with Widmore (why on earth did he still think that was valid??), and recruits Jack, Kate, and the rest of the castaways to steal the sailboat, rendezvous with Widmore, and take the sub off the island. Good point about the plane plan not working… Everyone comes and goes via sub!

Sayid goes to kill Desmond, but Desmond (presumably) talks him out of it. Sayid lies to the MIB later and says the job is done, hoping he’ll trust that it is.

"What will you tell her?" Desmond's question breathed life back to zombie-Sayid. Doc Jensen: Nadia's reaction (''Did you hurt someone?'' And then, chilling: ''What did you do, Sayid?'') only confirmed what Island Desmond had said to Island Sayid about the cost of reunion.

Jack decides that this “doesn’t feel right”, and after talking to Sawyer, jumps off the sailboat and heads back to the island. This is reminiscent of their last escape attempt via helicopter… Frank urged them to drop all the weight they could, when Sawyer decided one less passenger would help them make it out alive.

Doc Jensen: "We were brought here because we were supposed to do something, James. And if Locke — if that 'thing' — wants us to leave, then maybe it's afraid of what happens if we stay?'' In that line, it seemed to me that Jack was applying several lessons of his Island experience, including all the hard lessons Ben had taught him over the years about Island bad guys. Island bad guys figure out what you want most in life, then exploit it. They motivate you with fear and urgency, and make it sound like you share common interests, but in most cases, whatever it is they want you to do is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

The sailboat arrives, and Sun and Jin are finally reunited after 29 episodes apart… yay! And with her constant back, she’s able to speak English again. The celebration is short-lived when Zoe gets word that Widmore’s deal is off and holds them all kneeling at gunpoint.

Jack makes it back to the beach and is met by Locke and his group, who guesses that Sawyer took his (well, Desmond’s) boat. After saving Jack from the explosions, he reassures him: “You’re with me now.” Eek! Also: Jack is saving Locke’s life in the flash-sideways timeline, while in the original timeline, the fake Locke is saving Jack’s life.

Sidenote: We didn’t see Richard, Miles, and Ben at all this episode. Methinks their quest to destroy Ajira over on Hydra will be key to the endgame!

Miscellaneous:

• Trailers for this episode featured the Pendulum song “Through The Loop“. The song features samples of The Rowing Song, as spoken by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which was again adapted from “The Rowers”, a 1959 poem by Roald Dahl. In the movie it is part of the selection process of choosing a Candidate to succeed Willy Wonka.

• Ilana’s office where Desmond, Claire, and Jack go is on the 15th floor.

• Drinking the Kool-Aid: Sawyer tells Kate that Claire can’t come with them because she “drank Locke’s Kool-Aid.” This may be a reference to the Jonestown cult mass suicide of 1978, when over 900 followers of Jim Jones committed suicide at their Guyana camp. Jones had cups of Flavor Aid or Kool-Aid dosed with cyanide.

Jonestown Massacre

• Regarding MIB’s role:

Doc Jensen:
My recap hinges on a reading of Lost that I’ve had since ”Ab Aeterno.” In the climactic scene of the episode, the Man In Black vowed to kill Jacob and any of his replacements. It’s been my stated theory since then that MIB has been lying to the castaway candidates about getting them off The Island alive. Instead, what he’s been conspiring to do is get them killed by either trying to escape — or by trying to stop him from escaping. MIB can’t kill the candidates himself, per the implied rules expressed by the Ghost Boy that’s been haunting him, so he needs to manipulate Widmore into slaying the castaways, or trick the castaways into killing each other. All this said, MIB’s homicidal ambitions may not be ”evil.” I have previously speculated that the castaways have lived long past their natural expiration date and need to pass into the afterlife, which may or may not be represented by the Sideways world. Thus, killing the castaways isn’t wrong, but rather the means to end their unnatural state of being. Among the flaws in my line of thinking: it does seem to be increasingly likely that the Sideways world is some manufactured reality that represents the pay-out of MIB’s happily-ever-after promises to the castaways. The following recap leans more on the latter perspective, though it doesn’t quite square with my characterization of MIB as a tough love angel/afterlife traffic cop. Indeed, with each passing week, it does truly seem that MIB is as Satanic as we fear him to be.

• Regarding Hurley’s role:

Doc Jensen:
Should we be skeptical about the legitimacy of Hurley’s ability to see and converse with the dead? Ghosts have visited Hurley since ”The Beginning of The End,” the season 4 premiere, when Charlie’s specter visited him at the mental hospital in the flash-forward time frame and began wooing him to go back to The Island. That was also the episode where Hurley got lost in the jungle and stumbled upon Jacob’s haunted shack and peeked in the window and saw Ghost Christian in a rocking chair. Then an eyeball popped into the frame and glared right back at him and scared the hell out of Hurley. Or maybe it scared the hell into Hurley. Assuming that Jacob’s haunted shack didn’t belong to Jacob at all, but was instead a prison for The Man In Black, I wonder if the dark man literally got into Hurley’s head in that eyeball moment and has been messing with him ever since. Consider Ghost Jacob. In the season premiere, he instructed Hurley to take Sayid to The Temple for healing. How did that turn out? Sayid came back to life and helped MIB lay waste to The Island’s spiritual epicenter. In ”Lighthouse,” Ghost Jacob instructed Hurley to take Jack to the lighthouse by evoking his father’s memory. (”You have what it takes.”) How did that turn out? The experience left Jack convinced that Jacob was a perverted voyeur who had been spying on him since childhood and further convinced him that The Island was not a place where he’d find healing for his brokenness. Putting Jack in such a place helps MIB’s cause because it sets Jack up for one of his Faustian bargains. What do you want most in the world, Jack? Reconciliation with someone you love? Your father, perhaps? Because I can do that.

~ I wonder though if this can be true because (A) Hurley saw ghosts off-island in the original timeline before he came back to the island, and (B) Ilana mentioned quite a few episodes ago that the MIB is now stuck in John Locke’s body. We’ve since seen him turn into the smoke monster, but he hasn’t inhabited anyone else but Locke since then…

• Sawyer refers to Lapidus as a guy from a Burt Reynolds movie… People are saying this points specifically to the Burt Reynolds movie, Deliverance. I’ll be exploring this option eventually (as I’ve never seen the movie), but in the meantime I’m pointing you in the right direction. Take note!

Deliverance could hold some Lost clues.

Next week: “The Candidate” …But which one? I’m guessing another Jack episode, but we’ll see!

Sorry so short this week, I may add in if free time allows! Lost is taking a week off next week, and I wish they left us with a bigger cliffhanger to explore for 2 weeks, but maybe things will reveal themselves the longer I mull them over! Thanks for reading, as always. Comment and share!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark



LOST EPISODE 6.10 – “THE PACKAGE”
April 1, 2010, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Episode Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jin sees his daughter for the first time... touching.

Well, we found out what the package was — our good friend and constant, Desmond! Jin is also shuffled around from group to group as a sort of “item” to be traded (a package). What was the other one? That pesky little tomato…

Doc Jensen:
The dream of a happy ending for Jin and Sun died in me last night. Maybe it was the dispiriting experience of watching Sun’s systematic deconstruction across two different worlds in a story in which it seemed the God of all possible worlds had declared war on her. On the Island, she lost her voice — the consequence of dark magic that stripped away her English. In the Sideways reality, she was brought to the brink of losing her very life, plus the life of her unborn child, and was left to dangle there, her fate to be determined another time, in someone else’s story. Maybe it was the discouraging experience of watching Jin get so easily jerked around by some very powerful, very charismatic villains who could cloud his mind by playing to his heart. On the Island, it was Charles Widmore, promising him reunion with his family and deliverance from evil. In the Sideways reality, it was Martin Keamy, who mocked his romantic ideals to his face and managed to get him to say ”thank you” for doing so. But mostly, my despair comes from not knowing how the hell to parse the parable of the tomato, the lone living vegetable from Sun’s ravaged Island garden. Is it a symbol of stubborn hope? Or is it just a symbol of stubbornness? Is it a symbol of valentine red love? Or is it a symbol of blinding red rage? Do Jin and Sun need to learn to hold on to their dreams at all cost — or do they need to learn to let go lest those dreams damn their individual souls? Damn inscrutable tomato! Thou doest vex me!

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Sun is in a waiting room at LAX. The customs officer brings Jin out and returns his suitcase and the watch but explains that for the $25,000 to be returned to Jin, he’ll have to complete the necessary paperwork. They leave and Jin says he has missed the meeting at the restaurant. When Sun asks what all the money was for, Jin says that her father gave him the money and watch to be delivered and that he didn’t ask questions but just did what he was told. At first you think Sideways world is a lot like the original for these two… They are traveling together, Jin tells her to button her sweater like a jerk, and he’s delivering shady stuff for her father. HOWEVER… At the hotel, the desk clerk finds the booking for a room for Paik on the 8th floor and assumes it is for Sun and Jin. Jin corrects him, explaining that they are not married, and the desk clerk finds the second reservation for Kwon (number 842, 8th floor and Jacob’s designated number for them, 42). Guess we know why the customs lady called Sun “Ms. Paik” back in Sayid’s sideways story! ”The Package” took elements of the combined Jin/Sun narrative and scrambled them into a provocative, ironic new history for their Sideways counterparts….

Yes, watch. No, money. Note the RED passport (?) case...

Yes, watch. No, money. Note the RED passport (?) case...

Jin knocks on Sun’s hotel room door and says he is going to the restaurant to deliver the watch. Sun brings him inside and explains that as it is late, no one will be at the restaurant. She explains that the man works for her father so everything will be alright. Jin asks why she would care as she is in LA on a shopping trip. She asks if he thinks that that is the only reason she came to LA. She starts to flirt and unbuttons her top. ”Nobody is watching us,” she cooed, her line ringing ironic in an episode in which EVERYONE knew what they were up to. The boss’ daughter… Tisk tisk! Interesting how in the original, Mr. Paik hired Jin so he’d have a suitable job to support Sun after they are already romantically involved, and in Sideways, Mr. Paik willingly gave Jin a job (because he presumably earned the position), yet later finds him unsuitable for his daughter. Reminds me a LOT of the Widmore-Desmond-Penny debacle…. which I’m sure we’ll hear more about next week (yay!)

Meant to be together?

Sun and Jin awake in bed. Sun says they should elope using money in a secret account she has. I thought this was interesting because in the original timeline, she also has the secret account, but instead of starting a life with Jin in America, the money is for leaving Jin for her English-speaking beau, Jae Lee. In Sideways she doesn’t know English, so Jae Lee doesn’t exist in her life… But she’s still fulfilling a secret romance with her husband-from-another-life, Jin. Paik killed Jae Lee to preserve Sun’s life with Jin, but now he’s trying to kill Jin.

That's a whole lot of RED in their room...

Sun is about to tell Jin something (that she’s pregnant) when there is a knock at the door. Jin hides in the bathroom and as Sun checks herself in the mirror she gives a long quizzical look at her face…what is it with Sideways world and confused looks at mirrors?? She looks like she didn’t expect to see something about her appearance, such as her hair being so short (vs. her long hair on the island).

Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors!

At the door is Martin Keamy, the creepy crook with the Mayan death-god last name. He says that he is a friend of her father’s and pushes in saying she has something for him. Sun gives him the watch, but he asks for her bodyguard, Mr. Kwon, who has some money for him. He sees 2 champagne glasses and tells Omar to check the bathroom, where he finds Jin. He teases a bit that he was BUSTED with the boss’ daughter, but still demands the $25,000. Since neither of them speaks English, he tells Omar to call Danny’s friend Mikhail (who speaks 9 languages) to translate for them.

Our favorite Russian, Mikhail, is called in to translate.

“Danny” could refer to Daniel Faraday, which I think is most likely… Also Danny Pickett, one of the Others… Danny, the former lover of Ana Lucia… Or even Dan Norton, Ben’s attorney.

The "Danny" possibilities.

Mikhail is of course Mikhail Bakunin, the creepy Russian of Other security fame. In Sideways world, he doesn’t have a missing eye causing him to wear an eyepatch like his original-timeline counterpart. However, by the end of the story he ends up getting shot in the eye by Jin. Whether or not Mikhail survived this injury remains to be seen.

Doc Jensen:
Mikhail Bakunin is named after the historical Mikhail Bakunin, a philosopher and anarchist who believed in non-violent revolution and the abolishment of all government and religion. Leadership, if any, should come from an enlightened elite that benevolently and invisibly guided the masses. Famous sayings: ”Absolute freedom and absolute love — that is our aim; the freeing of humanity and the whole world — that is our purpose”; ”The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty, and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, in theory and practice”; and ”If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish Him.” Basically, the real-life Mikhail Bakunin would have admired Jacob’s kinda-sorta hands-off approach to human redemption and moral freedom — but he’d want Smokey to kill him, anyway. And then he’d want Smokey to kill himself and leave all of us alone.

Mikhail gets shot in his right eye, just like his island counterpart.

At any rate, Mikhail translates Sun’s explanation about where the money is. She offers to get the money from the bank. Keamy agrees that Mikhail will take Sun to the bank while he takes “Casanova” to the restaurant. Jin asks that Keamy not tell Mr. Paik about his relationship with Sun. Keamy says the secret is safe with him. Ironically, Jin’s loss of the money appeared to jeopardize his life, yet it is the reason that Keamy has to stall on killing him, so he was saved by fate.

Giacomo Casanova

The bank officer says that Sun’s account was closed. Sun is surprised as she says no one knew of the account but the Bank Officer says it was closed by Mr. Paik. When she asks Mikhail why her father wold close the account he says, “Why do you think?” Apparently Jin and Sun’s affair wasn’t such a secret after all. Turns out Mr. Paik put a $25,000 bounty on Jin’s head, a bounty he himself was supposed to deliver to his killer. He emptied Sun’s bank account so they couldn’t escape. BUT he didn’t think through this plan far enough to realize you can’t bring $25,000 in cash on an airplane… Doh!

The account was closed by Sun's father, who transferred all the money to his own account in SEOUL (hint, hint... sounds like "soul"...)

Meanwhile Omar hauled Jin into the cooler, but as he did, Jin’s head banged against the steel door, making a gash. Just like Island-Sun’s English-killing head gash. When we saw bound Jin sporting that cut in ”Sundown,” we assumed torture. Wrong! Accident. Keamy washes Jin’s forehead and tells Omar to pick up the Arab. Keamy messed with Jin’s mind by doing a very mean thing: He told him the truth, but in English, so Jin could never understand. As he tapes Jin to the chair, Keamy says, “I’m going to strap you in here, just in case you figure out what’s about to happen to you… can’t have you freaking out.” He secures Jin’s bindings and tells Jin how unhappy Mr. Paik was when he found out about Sun and Jin. He tells Jin that the $25,000 was his fee to kill Jin. Keamy was no doubt again indulging his unique brand of racially charged humor, as ”the heart wants what it the heart wants” is most famous for being Woody Allen’s infamous defense for cheating on his wife, Mia Farrow, with the actress’ Korean adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. Keamy says that he’s sorry but that “some people are just not meant to be together.” Yet in the original timeline, they are/can/will be. Jin thanks him, as he think Keamy understands being motivated by the heart, and Keamy puts a strip of tape over his mouth.

"Thank you"?

Locked in the storeroom Jin hears the confrontation and fight between Sayid and Keamy and his men. In ”Sundown,” whose title now stands as ominous foreshadowing of Sideways’ Sun’s fate, we saw Sayid shoot Keamy dead in the kitchen of his restaurant and then find Jin tied up in the freezer. After hearing gunshots Jin kicks at the door. Sayid opens it. Jin asks for help but Sayid of course doesn’t understand him. After telling Jin that this isn’t his business Sayid starts to leave but then takes a box cutter off a shelf and puts it in Jin’s hands then wishes him luck and leaves.

"Good luck!"

FYI: During the Jin-Keamy scene, Jin got his own mirror moment, his image reflected in the steel of a freezer — but Jin didn’t notice. Significant?

Later Mikhail arrives at the restaurant with Sun. They discover the carnage. Mikhail asks Keamy who did this, Keamy croaks that Mikhail should look behind him as Jin points a gun at Mikhail’s head. Mikhail asks who did this, then deduces that it was not Jin, otherwise Jin would already have shot him. He decided, perhaps incorrectly, that Jin was no killer despite being a hit-man for Paik. Mikhail and Jin struggle and Mikhail gets off two shots before trying to attack Jin with a carving knife. Jin shoots him twice in the right eye. Sun is seated on the ground crying. She has blood on her hands and is holding her abdomen. As Jin picks her up she cries that she is pregnant.

In the original timeline Sun shoots Colleen in the abdomen. In the flash-sideways timeline, it is Sun who is shot in the abdomen.

Sun, with a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Doc Jensen:
Had Jin escaped from evil? Yes. But Sun had been touched by it, perhaps fatally. One if not two of those discharged bullets blasted into her abdomen, threatening her own precious package. ”I’m pregnant,” she told Jin, finishing the thought that had been interrupted by Keamy’s fateful arrival into their lives earlier that afternoon. We left the lovers lost in Los Angeles, one them dying, the whole of their love imperiled. Cliffhanger. Paging Dr. Jack Shephard! Paging Dr. Jack Shephard! Stop picking Sun’s Island tomatoes and report to your Sideways ER, stat!

Original Timeline – Island (2007)

MAN IN BLACK’S CAMP:

Night glasses observe MIB’s camp, as Sawyer offers Kate a cup of cocoa, and Claire and MIB are shown.

Night vision MIB. This was an odd scene for Lost, very disorienting. Reminded me of the episode that started with sub footage of the sunken fake Flight 815.

Jin bandages his leg and MIB joins him. MIB suggests that Jin should leave the bandages off and let the wound air out. Jin says he’ll do that, but continues wrapping anyway… He clearly doesn’t trust MIB.

He asks Jin whether Sawyer had told him about the names written in the cave. MIB explains that only a few names remain which haven’t been crossed off and that Kwon is one of them, though he is not sure whether it refers to Sun or Jin. (Apparently no one knows!) MIB says that the only way that they can leave the island is if all the names that are not crossed off (the remaining Candidates) leave together. When Jin points out that Sun is not with them Locke says that he is “working on it.” (He’s also missing Jack and Hurley.)

Jin keeps on wrapping despite MIB's suggestion.

MIB tells Sayid that he is leaving and that he will back in the morning, and for Sayid to keep an eye on the camp. Sayid says that he doesn’t feel anything — anger, happiness, pain. He confessed that he felt profoundly numb. Actually, Sayid sounded like he was… dead. Yet his lack of feeling alarms in him this current feeling of emptiness. So he clearly does feel something… MIB says that this (Sayid’s feeling of desensitization) may be best to get through what is coming… The impending war. MIB leaves. Jin and Sawyer see him leave and Jin immediately packs his kit. Sawyer asks him what he is doing and Jin says he’s getting out before “that thing” comes back. He berates Sawyer for just listening to whatever MIB tells him but Sawyer reminds Jin that he has a deal with Widmore. Jin says it doesn’t matter because he is going to find Sun. As Jin tries to leave he, Sawyer, Kate, Claire, Sayid and the rest of the MIB’s group are struck by darts and all pass out. Widmore’s team step amongst the bodies until they find Jin and Zoe (that god-awful actress / Tina Fey lookalike) says to take him.

MIB's group after the attack. Reminds me of the group of dead bodies over on Hydra that Widmore insists they didn't kill.

MIB returns to his camp and finds everyone unconscious, and pulls a dart from Sayid’s shoulder, revives him (a little TOO easily), and asks what happened. When Sayid says he doesn’t know who attacked them he asks “Where is Jin?”

"Where's Jin?" MIB = pissed.

MIB tells Sayid that he is taking the outrigger and asks whether Sayid is a good swimmer. He gives Sayid a gun and tells him to wrap it in plastic. Sawyer overhears. Locke asks Claire if there is something wrong and referring to the names on the wall she asks if her name is there too. Locke says it is not but that he still needs her and that there will be ample room on the plane for her too. She says that when they get home Aaron will not know her, thinking Kate is his mother. She asks if Kate’s name is on the wall. Locke says it isn’t but he needs her because she can help get the three people he needs to get off the Island. He adds that once Kate has helped get those people, then “whatever happens, happens“… A regularly spoken phrase in the series, always by Daniel Faraday… He’s getting a lot of references in this episode, eh? wink wink, nod nod….

“If we try to do anything different, we will fail every time. Whatever happened, happened.” – Daniel to Sawyer (“Because You Left“)

“Doesn’t matter what we do. Whatever happened, happened.” – Daniel to Miles (“LaFleur“)

Episode title (“Whatever Happened, Happened“)

“Can’t change the past. Can’t do it. Whatever happened, happened. All right? But then I finally realized… I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables.” – Daniel to Jack and Kate (“The Variable“)

MIB and Sayid start to leave, when Sawyer asks what they are doing. MIB says they are taking a boat to the other island, and with this, MIB implies that the Smoke Monster can’t go over the water. He’s confined to the main island but can take a vessel to leave (i.e. outrigger or plane). When Sawyer asks, MIB explains that Widmore took one of “his people” (Jin) so he is going to get him back. Ironic that he is referring to Jacob’s people as “his” people…

42-KWON on Jacob's wall.

MIB arrives on Hydra Island to find an array of sonar pylons lined up along the beach. Shots are fired and Widmore’s armed team jump out of the bushes. MIB grins as he says “I come in peace”… A joke about being extraterrestrial, also he clearly doesn’t come in peace, he declares war seconds later.

"I come in peace."

They walk down the beach with MIB remaining outside sonar fence. Widmore comes down and asks whether he knows who he is. Widmore replies that he is obviously not John Locke. Widmore asks why he came and MIB says that Widmore took one of his people – Jin Kwon. Widmore denies this, and MIB says “A wise man once said that war is coming to this island. I think it just got here,” referring to what Widmore himself told Locke in The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham“.

Two Sides of a Fence. Notice that they are wearing the exact same colors but opposite (MIB in brown shirt/black pants, Widmore in black shirt/brown pants.)

Sawyer sits next to Kate at her fire. She asks him why he is not worried but he admits he is, but also that he has a feeling that “this” is almost over, thinking that Widmore has captured MIB. The euphoria doesn’t last because just then MIB walks back into camp alone. Sawyer asks where Jin is and MIB says that he doesn’t believe them when they said they didn’t have him. Sawyer asks whether he had lost Sayid too, to which he replies by asking about the locked room on the submarine and then states that he doesn’t like secrets. He sent bad-Sayid to do a little “recon”.

BEACH CAMP:

Miles and Frank are playing cards while Ilana is cleaning her rifle and Ben asks what are they waiting for. Ilana says that they are waiting for Richard to return, to which Ben replies that he would bet, given what Richard said about being in Hell, that they will never see him again. Ilana says Hurley will bring him back. Miles is disparaging about Hurley’s ability to track anyone not covered in bacon grease (HAH!), but Ilana says Jacob has never lied to her and that therefore Richard knows what to do. She is convinced that Richard will come back and until he does they will wait. She has been blessed with Jacob’s unyielding faith. But we can’t say the same for his Candidates…as Sun walks off angrily.

Sun (wearing Jacob-WHITE) is clearly not a fan of waiting.

Sun goes to her vegetable garden, now overgrown. Jack joins her and reflects on when she planted the garden and that it seems like a 100 years ago. Jack tells her about Jacob’s lighthouse and the List but Sun says she doesn’t care about being a Candidate, or their “purpose” or “destiny” and she asks to be left alone. Jack sees this as a challenge… He needs to shepherd his errant flock, and fast! The war is coming and he has to rally the Candidates.

A little gardening to blow off steam.

Sun is weeding and cuts her finger on a leaf, and her hand is bloody just like the end of this episode’s Sideways story. “Blood on your hands” is also a metaphor for the guilt associated with killing someone, and in Sideways, Ji Yeon’s blood is on her hands.

Sun has blood on her hands.

MIB startles her by saying: “Bad day?” In “…And Found“, when Locke enters Sun’s garden, she is ripping it apart in frustration, and he asks her, “Bad day?” Here, she apprehensively steps away from him. He says that he found Jin and that he was keeping his promise to reunite them, though it took longer than he expected. He tells her that he is with his people at his camp across the island. He offers his outstretched hand (hopefully to get her to make a deal with the Devil via a handshake) but Sun says she doesn’t believe him, that he killed the people at the Temple. MIB says that those people were confused and lied to and they could have come with him. He says “I would never make you do anything against your will, please, I am asking you to come.” MIB is all about exploiting people’s weaknesses for his gain, but the rule is they must do it on their own volition, their own free will. That is how he convinced Ben to kill Jacob. Sun runs and the MIB chases her until she runs into a branch and falls.

Doc Jensen:
UnLocke got pissy and ran after her — on foot. Why didn’t he convert into a raging column of smoke and blow past her? Hmmm… Sun looked back. Oops. You never look back when you’re running from the devil (see: Persephone and Hades)

RED FLAG! Bright plant in the background in Candidate-guiding-RED serves as a warning for Sun. I also like how her shirt is PURPLE this episode... The equal mix of guiding-RED and Candidate-BLUE. So which is she? A little of both? Neither? TBD.

Ben finds Sun passed out while he is gathering mangos. She revives and speaking in Korean asks where “he” went. Ben asks that she speak in English and when he asks who did this to her she replies “Locke.” Ben’s redemption arc continues!

Jack is looking after Sun’s head wound. Ben is sensitive to a look Ilana gives him and asks why she won’t believe him that Sun was already unconscious when he found her. Ilana replies that it’s because Ben is speaking. Ironically, he’s telling the truth. Jack tells Sun that she has concussion and although she understands English she can only speak Korean. Jack thinks she has aphasia which affects the language center of the brain but that the condition is usually temporary. I find her inability to speak English after merely hitting her head a tad overdone for the on-island narrative (she can, after all, still understand and write in English). BUT. I can’t help but think she is reverting or morphing into her Sideways self as this impending war approaches. As I’ve been saying all along, Sideways world would be the result of the MIB being unleashed from his island captivity, possibly (most likely) taking the form of Sideways John Locke. So MIB’s success of getting himself and the Candidates off of the island puts Sideways into motion. And Sun is getting a head start by already losing her ability to speak English.

Doc Jensen:
Doc Shephard diagnosed her with aphasia; I diagnosed her with Genesis 11. The story of the Tower of Babel goes something like this: Once upon a time, there was a city unified by culture, language, and audacious human ambition: to build a tower that could reach heaven. God was alarmed by humanity’s outsized hubris and decided to humble them — and divide them up — by ”confusing their speech,” i.e. igniting an outbreak of foreign tongues. The denizens of the city dispersed into separate communities, cultures, and nations. Hence, The Bible’s mythic explanation for a world of difference and Otherness. However, different religious traditions tell slightly different versions of the story. In the Kabbalah version, for example, the Tower of Babel isn’t a tower at all — it’s a giant flying machine. The relevancy to Lost? It’s all about Fake Locke’s plan to get the candidates killed. Remember last episode that Richard had a spiritual revival in the Island’s Garden of Eden, underneath a massive Kabbalah-esque Tree of Life. Remember that Fake Locke witnessed that moment. Clearly, he knew Richard would be returning to the beach with a new sense of mission — a mission that I’m now beginning to wonder if Fake Locke/Man In Black gave him. A number of you last week speculated that when Isabella was speaking to Richard via Hurley, she was being controlled by — or was a manifestation of — Smokey. I didn’t want to believe that at the time, but I find myself believing in it now. Consider what Richard said when got back to the beach last night. He surmised that Fake Locke plans to flee the Island via a giant flying machine — the Ajira plane. The mission: Blow up the plane. My thinking? Fake Locke is basically running the same con that Sawyer’s been trying to run on him. He’s trying to bait Team Richard into making a move on Ajira so Charles Widmore will kill them. A more dastardly thought: Smokey is conspiring to get everyone onto that plane — specifically the candidates from his group plus the candidates from Richard’s group — in hopes that Widmore will blow it out of the sky. So why take away Sun’s speech? Because after she declined his offer, he knew she’d try to talk her friends out the plan — which she did try to do. Either that, or Fake Locke wasn’t thinking short term at all by taking away Sun’s English, but rather was planting a seed designed that will bare him fruit down the road when Team Richard executes its plan. In other words: Look for Sun’s loss of English to prove costly at a pivotal point in Operation: Ajirasplosion. But here’s another idea for you. There has been one other instance on Lost in which a character mysteriously lost the ability to communicate verbally. The episode was ”Further Instructions,” and the victim was Locke himself. The Island had taken away his speech in the aftermath of the Hatch explosion as a kind of punishment for his big season 2 sin: Straying from his Island mission and becoming obsessed with pushing the Button, abandoning the natural world of jungle for the unnatural environs of The Hatch. Stripping Locke of his speech was part of the Island’s way of dressing down its unfaithful servant and reminding him of who he was and what he was supposed to being doing. Perhaps Sun was stripped of her English for similar reasons. After all, she learned the language in order to run away from Jin. Moreover, she learned it from a man that became her lover. Sun’s English had once saved her husband from the false charge of setting fire to the raft. It helped her build bridges with the castaways. Otherwise, her English must be something of a bitter talent. To use a phrase from Dogen, she must ”hate the way it tastes on her tongue.” Regardless, she doesn’t need it anymore. Her future is in Korea, with her husband, with her daughter, and with a mother and father that need her forgiveness. So maybe losing her English wasn’t a psychic assault. Maybe it was a movement of the Island to reminder her of who she is — and what she needs redemption for.

No English.

Ilana smiles as Richard strides into the camp with Hurley following. Richard tells them all to pack their bags because they are leaving. Richard’s on a mission: STOP MIB FROM LEAVING! Miles is annoyed at Hurley for bringing Richard back, while this pleases Ilana by renewing her faith, just as Richard has just renewed his.

"Pack your bags!

When Jack asks where they are going, Richard asks Ben where MIB is. Ben tells him that he said he was on Hydra Island. Richard checks with Frank that that is where his plane landed. He says they are going to stop this “man” by destroying the plane. Sun says in Korean that the plane is the only way they can get off the Island. Richard asks why she is speaking in Korean and Jack explains that she was injured when “Locke” chased her. Richard asks her about “Locke” but Sun says that he is insane if he thinks he is going to destroy their only means of getting off the Island. She adds that she came to get Jin not “save the world” (what pushing the button was jokingly doing) and that, as Ilana thinks she is important, Richard needs her and he should understand that she is not going with them.

At night, Sun is staring out to sea by a fire. Jack suggests that she try to write in English because an aphasia patient he once had could still write. He says he went back to the garden and while looking for Locke found one perfect tomato (wrapped up very “Package”-like, hint hint) although all the vines appeared dead. He says no one told the stubborn tomato that it was supposed to die (referring of course to Sun and Jin’s relationship).

A nice ripe RED tomato! A special "package" meant especially for Sun to renew her faith in the island and especially finding Jin.

Sun writes that she didn’t go with “Locke” because she doesn’t trust him. When Jack asks Sun whether she trusts him, she nods. Jack asks her to come with them and promises that he will help her to find Jin and get them both on the plane; he offers his hand and Sun takes it. And with this scene, I think this solidifies what I’ve been suspecting all along: That Jack is indeed Jacob’s replacement. He has positioned himself as the island’s man of faith, and garners the trust and support of his flock. He seals the deal with Sun via a handshake, instilling upon her Jacob’s touch.

Jack and Sun's fireside "chat".

WIDMORE’S TEAM:

Jin wakes in a locked room (Room 23) with an array of loudspeakers. Jin throws a switch, the room darkens, and on screens are projected film with titles including “We are the causes of our own suffering” (free will), “think about your life” and “everything changes” (over a picture of BLACK and WHITE piano keys), accompanied by flashes of images and a discordant soundtrack. The only other time we saw Room 23 in use was when Karl was being punished by Ben for… dating his daughter Alex. Sideways Jin + Sun = Island Karl and Alex, both of whom were shot and killed by… Keamy.

brainwashing...

Jin throws the switch again. Zoe is in the room and says that they are in Room 23 and that the DHARMA Initiative were doing experiments on subliminal messaging in this room. As Jin goes to leave Zoe feebly zaps him with a stun gun. She apologizes, saying they went through a lot of trouble bringing him here. She shows him a grid map which DHARMA used to identify pockets of electromagnetism. She says that whoever signed the maps could help her out and that the signature looks like “Jin-Soo Kwon” . She asks whether it is him but Jin says he will only speak with Charles Widmore. Zoe says that Widmore would like to talk with him too.

Map of electromagnetic pockets.

In Hydra station, Widmore chastises Zoe saying that this should not have happened for days, with Zoe saying that he should have put a mercenary (ahem, Keamy, who failed) in charge instead of a geophysicist to which Widmore replies “what’s done is done”… A commonly used phrase:

“So, what’s done is done?” – Jack to Locke (“Lockdown“)

“What is done is done.” – Yemi to Eko (“?“)

“What’s done is done.” – Sawyer to Juliet (“The Little Prince“)

“What’s done is done.” – Uncle Doug to Sawyer (“The Incident, Part 1“)

“What’s done is done.” – Sawyer to Jack (“The Incident, Part 2“)

Realizing that Jin is watching, Widmore asks Zoe to get the Package from the submarine and take it to the infirmary. Widmore apologizes and introduces himself. He gives Jin a camera that Widmore found in Sun’s luggage at the Ajira plane. The camera contains shots of Ji Yeon, their adorable daughter:

Ji Yeon, wearing Candidate-guiding RED...

Ji Yeon, wearing Candidate BLUE...

Why is Ji Yeon's birthday banner in English?

Ji Yeon, looking ultra-cute, clutching a YELLOW flower, and wearing the same PURPLE her mother is currently wearing.

Widmore says he has a daughter too (Penny) and knows what it is like to be kept apart. Widmore explains that being reunited with Sun would be short lived if that “thing” ever got off the island. He says “your daughter, my daughter, everyone we know and love would simply cease to be.”

Note that he says their daughters and everyone they know and love, not the more broad EVERYONE…

Which, for me, solidifies the THEORY I’ve been saying for weeks: That Sideways world is the timeline that is the result of the MIB getting off the island, still in the form of John Locke. The proof: If MIB gets off the island, Sideways world starts… Sun is pregnant, but she accidentally gets shot in the stomach. So in Sideways, Ji Yeon is conceived but is never born, hence she ceases to exist, and Sun may die from her gunshot wound, so Jin would lose her too. And if in Sideways the island doesn’t exist, then Widmore probably didn’t have his off-island tryst with Penny’s mother, hence she’d cease to exist as well. We saw Sideways Desmond on the plane, where he wasn’t supposed to be originally, with a wedding band on. He is likely married to someone else in Sideways. Which I think is what Widmore is going to use to motivate Desmond to join in the fight to stop MIB: losing Penny and his son Charlie forever because Penny would never have been born. (Sidenote: Sawyer called Widmore “Charlie” in this episode, I didn’t even think about Des + Penny’s son being named after both Charlie Pace and Charles Widmore). The thing is… How does Widmore know what will happen in Sideways world if it hasn’t happened yet??? MY GUESS: Widmore is from the future. He knows MIB won the war, escaped the island, and infiltrated the real world posing as John Locke. And with Eloise’s help, he managed to get back to the island in just enough time to stop the MIB. Just my guess!

But back to the story…

Jin asks how Widmore is going to prevent the MIB from leaving, and he replies that it’s time for Jin to see the Package, which is a “who” not “what.” Cut to Sayid surfacing near the sub dock. Zoe and Seamus are pulling someone out through the hatch. They drop the body and Zoe admits she gave him too much (tranquilizer for the sub ride). DESMOND opens his eyes as his head hangs over the edge of the dock. He and Sayid look at each other for a moment, quizzically, before Desmond is carried away, wearing Candidate-guiding-RED. Desmond has one thing in common with Sideways Jin: they both have fathers-in-law that want them dead. Might Desmond Hume actually be Sideways Desmond Hume? TBD. But I think Charles wants the Desmond who is in love with Penny to use him in his Master Plan.

Desmond... The "package", the constant... Who's the variable? Methinks either Dan Faraday or Kate.

—-

Next week: DESMOND! My favorite. The title: “Happily Ever After“… Not sure that bodes well (mid-season), but we’ll see!

Thanks for reading, share if you can, and leave your comments below!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark



Lost = Mouse Trap?
December 22, 2009, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Doc Jensen Notables | Tags: , , ,

Jason Grieves of St. Louis writes:
”Everyone has always talked about ‘Lost’ as a game, usually as chess or backgammon. I’ve got another idea. In his second flashback episode, ”Deus Ex Machina,” Locke explains to a little boy about his favorite game, ”Mouse Trap.” The kid asks how to play and Locke replies, ”You start with all these parts off the board, and then, one by one, you build the trap. Shoe, bucket, tub. Piece by piece, it all comes together. And then you wait until your opponent lands here on the old cheese wheel…and if you set it up just right, you spring the trap.” To me, that could fit perfectly as the game that Jacob and the Man in Black are playing. Which character is setting the trap is up to debate (maybe both), but the fact that the description came from Locke can’t just be a coincidence, can it?”

Doc Jensen:

I think the ”Mouse Trap” thing could have been an even more dynamic clue than any of us realized, considering the other meanings of the word. Consider…

THE MOUSETRAP BY AGATHA CHRISTIE
The Mousetrap, a popular play by the fabled English mystery author, was first produced in 1952. It’s one of those murder mysteries where at the end of the story, the detective gathers all the suspects and formally accuses the culprit. But in this iteration of that classic plot, there’s a big twist (SPOILER ALERT!): It turns out that the detective is actually the killer and his chief suspect is an undercover cop investigating the case incognito! Applications to Lost: Role reversal. Who is really good and who is really evil? Who is conning who? Something to think about as we crunch Jacob/MIB theories.

”MOUSETRAP” APPAREL
In apparel lingo, a ”mousetrap” refers to a device or feature on a piece of clothing that prevents the wearer from removing said piece of clothing. For example, small kids with a nasty habit of disrobing in public might need a ”mousetrap” of their threads, like ”buttonhole blockers” or ”zipper blockers.” Another example of a garment loaded with ”mousetraps:” a straitjacket. Pieces of clothing that are tricked out with ”mousetraps” are also called — no joke — ”Locking Clothes.” Hmmm. ”John Locke.” ”Locking Clothes.” Surely there’s connection here, no? I also find it ironic that we identify the Man in Black by his apparel — a guise he wore at a time when he was searching for ”a loophole” that would liberate him from a situation that inhibited his desire and restricted his freedom and movement. Put another way: MIB’s very life was akin to ”Locking Clothes” and he was desperate to find a way to unzip or unbutton that one ”mousetrap” that would spring him free. It’s doubly ironic that whatever that loophole was, it involved putting on the body of John Locke — figurative, fleshy Locking Clothes.

Okay, maybe I’m stretching the fabric of logic the way I used to ruin my sweaters by nervously pulling on them back in my angst-wracked, self-conscious high school days. Back on point, re: Mr. Grieves’ Mouse Trap scholarship: I have a feeling that if one were to go back and re-watch all of Lost, one might see a lot of foreshadowing-in-retrospect. (I know many of you are engaged in such ”rewatching” — yes, like YOU, Mr. Stueve at randomcommands.com.) The significance of the Mouse Trap scene makes me want to go back and study specifically all of John Locke’s arc and look for clues or foreshadowing of the Jacob/Man In Black conflict. For example:

LOCKE’S PREMATURE BIRTH
Episode: ”Cabin Fever” (season 3)
Locke’s pregnant teen mom, Emily, was struck by a car driven by an unseen individual. Emily went into labor and Locke was born three months early. Question: Who was behind the wheel? Might we learn that the mystery driver was Jacob or MIB, trying to shape or alter Locke’s destiny?

YOUNG LOCKE’S DRAWINGS
Episode: ”Cabin Fever”
When Richard Alpert visited Young Locke to test him, the ageless Other noticed a scribble drawing Locke had made of a boy being attacked by a swirling column of black smoke. Intriguing at the time — chilling now.

LOCKE GETS SCAMMED OUT OF A KIDNEY BY HIS FATHER
Episode: ”Deus Ex Machina”
From the same episode as the ”Mouse Trap” business: Locke’s long-MIA biological father Anthony Cooper re-emerged, needing a kidney transplant. Cooper drew Locke close by giving him what he wanted most in life — a father figure; a sense of belonging — but then abandoned his son after getting his kidney. That sad, tragic back story now registers as analogous to Locke’s Island arc. Based on what we’ve seen and can surmise, it appears Locke was seduced and betrayed by an Island force that lured the Man of Faith with purpose and meaning and then exploited and ruined him.

LOCKE TEACHES WALT HOW TO PLAY BACKGAMMON
Episode: Pilot
Just watch it. In retrospect, perhaps one of the most important scenes in the Lost saga. The ”older than Jesus Christ” line evokes mythic themes that are timeless and universal. The discussion of dice made of bones chills me to the bone: If we think of Jacob and MIB as gods playing a grand game, then what are the castaways to them but dice made of bone to be rolled or pieces to be moved. The line ”You’re having a bad month” makes me laugh — and the line ”Do you want to know a secret” just chills me. Amazing that Lost is a show that can do both those things in the span of a two-minute scene. Watch. Study. Enjoy.



Lost Underground Art Project
December 22, 2009, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Doc Jensen Notables | Tags: , , ,

”This is crazy!” I must have heard that assessment from a dozen different people at last week’s opening of the ”Lost Underground Art Project” at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. Hundreds of Lost fans showed up. The line began forming in the wee hours of the morning. (At least they had Golden Apple Comics — one of my fave places on the planet — right next door to keep them plied with time-killing entertainment during the wait.) Attendees were treated to a complimentary print and a visit from exec producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, who were promptly mobbed. They spent more than 90 minutes signing autographs and taking photos with fans. Also there: Members of the Lost writing staff (including previous ”Totally Lost” guests Gregg Nations, Eddie Kitsis, and Adam Horowitz) and all around Bad Robot dude Bryan Burk. Fans also got a peek at the 16th and final poster in the LUAP campaign, which we explicated in detail last week. I’m told artist Tyler Stout’s work contains two teasers for season 6, though I am bound by oath to not reveal what the teases are specifically, so you’ll have to do your best to decipher the poster on your own.

THE CRASH Eric Tan's contribution to the 'Lost' Underground Art Project

Olly Moss's "Don't tell me what I can't do" Locke poster.

Tyler Stout's season 6 teaser poster.