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

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LOST EPISODE 6.12 – “EVERYBODY LOVES HUGO”

The episode’s title, “Everybody Loves Hugo”, is a nod to the season 2 episode “Everybody Hates Hugo” both were written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Ironically, in the island timeline, not everyone loves Hugo after he blows up the Black Rock and leads the group right into the MIB’s clutches.

Whereas in the original timeline, Hurley’s lottery winnings only brought him bad luck and despair, in Sideways he uses the money not to buy fancy cars and houses, but to give back to the community. The whole experience is fully rewarding for him… But he is still unlucky in love and feels unfulfilled. Until Libby comes along (again) and changes everything…

Everybody Loves Hugo

Sideways Timeline (2004)

The off-screen master of ceremonies, Pierre Chang, narrates over a short retrospective film and slideshow of Hugo Reyes’s life. Hurley didn’t get a conventional Sideways-mirror moment, but rather a retrospective film. Despite no apparent connection to the DHARMA Initiative or its orientation films, the Pierre Chang of Sideways world is nonetheless narrating a video presentation. He describes Hurley’s success at establishing Mr. Cluck’s empire and his philanthropic undertakings. The slideshow features Jorge Garcia’s actual baby pictures and his dog Nunu.

Hugo... What a guy! Noteworthy... He and everyone else are dressed in BLACK.

Mr. Cluck's ribbon cutting – Hurley and the kids in WHITE, everyone else in BLACK, also lots of RED.

Wow... Photoshop!

He announces that a new paleontology wing of the Golden State Natural History Museum (the museum where both Pierre Chang and Charlotte Lewis work) is being named after Hugo Reyes. Hugo is introduced as the Man of the Year. He stands up to the audience’s applause and accepts his sweet T-Rex award.

Doc Jensen:
The Sideways Hurley of ”Everybody Loves Hugo” leveraged the wealth, power and privilege generated from his ”lifelong love affair with chicken” to feel cherished and adored. ”Hugo and giving became synonymous,” Dr. Chang said in his ode to Hugo. What he didn’t mention was the unhealthy psychological return he got on his investment: a fraudulent sense of self-worth. Ah, the things we do for love.

RED tie. WHITE dino.

[re: T-Rex] An interesting allusion for an episode about leadership, but also an ominous symbol for a season that finds the castaways shuddering under the dark cloud (literally) of potential extinction — provided, of course, you actually believe Charles Widmore and Richard Alpert when they say that some kind of reality-blotting catastrophic event will occur should Smokesaurus Rex succeed in escaping The Island. Yet the psycho-spiritual-celestial-quantum mechanics of the Lostverse seem to allow for the continuance of mind and/or spirit provided that one has love in their life. The best articulation of this Good News comes to us in Penelope’s ”Live Together, Die Alone” epistle. Bottom line: The castaways need a constant, a better half, an Eve to their Adam or vise versa. […] ”Please don’t give up, Des. Because all we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us. And you have her. I will wait for you. Always. I Love you, Pen.” — The closing lines of Penelope’s letter to Desmond, ”Live Together, Die Alone,” Season 2

After the ceremony, Hugo walks out with his mother, who says everybody loves Hugo except women and that he needs to meet a girl. Harsh! He says he doesn’t have time. She then tells him she has set up a lunch date with a neighbor of friends, Rosalita.

RED flower + lipstick.

The next day Hugo is waiting at a Mexican restaurant, Spanish Johnny’s.

Doc Jensen:
FUN FACT! Spanish Johnny is a character in a novel called The Song of The Lark, about an opera singer’s rise to artistic self-fulfillment. Of course, Spanish Johnny is also a character in the Bruce Springsteen song ”Incident at 57th Street,” in which the young romantic is described as being ”dressed just like dynamite.” You can find the song on the same album that includes the song that shares its title with the name of the woman Hurley was supposed to meet at the restaurant: Rosalita.

Libby tentatively walks up and asks if he’s Hugo. He jumps up saying he wasn’t expecting someone so pretty. She admits that she is not Rosalita, his blind date. She takes his hands and asks whether he believes that two people can be connected like soulmates, and asks if he remembers her. Her doctor, Douglas Brooks, interrupts and takes her away. Hugo follows them out and watches as she gets into a van from Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he himself used to live in another life.

Libby wore a whole lot of PURPLE this episode (as well as Ilana), which I theorize is the exact muddled mix between Candidate BLUE (Hurley's Sideways color) and Candidate-guiding RED (Hurley's island color). But purple is also a prominent religious color, specifically during Lent. Purple is the color of the garment that covered Jesus, when he was taken to the crucifix. Jesus Christ's face and eyes turned purple in color when he was tortured during crucifixion. Purple sashes are draped over crosses during Lent, leading up to Jesus' resurrection on Easter. So does PURPLE in Lost = Resurrection??

Hugo moodily orders a family size “bucket” at a Mr. Clucks store. And judging by the preview for next week (which contained the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory psychadelic boat trip song) his ordering a bucket was a pretty direct nod to the story’s star: Charlie Bucket.

One Bucket Please...

Charlie Bucket

Sidenote: Any Freaks & Geeks fans?? Did you catch NEIL working at the Mr. Cluck's counter?!

As he eats he sees Desmond staring. He has clearly procured the flight manifest over the past week and is tracking the passengers down, one by one. He comes over and asks if he was on Oceanic 815. Hugo explains that he eats when he is depressed, and that he met an awesome woman at the restaurant but there is one problem, she lives in a mental institute. She said they already know each other and that Hugo would certainly remember her if they did. Desmond tells him he should follow his gut and try to find out how she thinks they knew each other before he gives up on her. Desmond leaves when his order #42 comes up, having successfully sent Hugo on his mission to connect with his island counterpart. Well… that was easy!

Mission accomplished... Surrounded in guiding RED...

So off he goes to Santa Rosa to find Libby. Her psychiatrist (who also used to be his), Doctor Brooks, is reluctant to let Hugo see her because she has issues with reality. Hugo writes a donation check for $100,000 as a bribe to meet with her, and it works. (Fun Fact: Jin’s mother also demanded $100,000 for not revealing to the public that she was a prostitute.)

Dr. Brooks' office: BLUE and BLACK

When Hurley walks in, we see a chalk drawing of an island on the blackboard, butterflies on the wall (the Butterfly Effect?), and a patient playing Connect Four. It’s not Leonard, but in the original timeline, Connect Four was the game played by Leonard Simms, who played both colors at once while repeating the numbers over and over.

Leonard Simms

Island drawing, butterflies, and RED and BLUE plastic bins on the table.

Hurley asks where Libby thinks she knows him from she admits the explanation will not make sense. She saw him on TV a lot of memories came rushing back from her life, except that it was another life. She says there was a plane crash, that she was on an island and that they were there and they liked each other. She also believes he was at this clinic. He still doesn’t remember, but asks her if she wants to go on a date. She agrees, because she is after all in the clinic voluntarily.

Hugo refers to Libby’s knowledge of a “bizarro alternate universe”. “Bizarro World” is an alternate version of Earth in the DC comics (Superman) universe. It has all the same people as the original Earth, but everyone acts opposite to how they act on the original Earth.

Bizarro World

The picnic from another life.

On a beach, Hugo and Libby set up a cheese picnic. She says that being at the beach with Hugo is familiar, like a date they never had. He asks why she would want to be with him, and she says because she likes him, they kiss, and Hugo immediately has vivid visions of the time they had on the island. He hesitantly says that he thinks he remembers stuff, and he doesn’t think she is crazy after all. Similar to Desmond’s experience, Hugo is recalling future events from the original timeline.

Flashes of their island romance.

Desmond watches from a car nearby, looking pleased, then drives off. Blooper alert (?) When Desmond was watching Hurley and Libby on the beach the license plate was 4PCI264, when he runs over Locke it is 2FAN321.

Later, Desmond sits in his car outside the school where Ben and Locke work, watching Locke wheel himself across the parking lot. Ben knocks on his window, suspicious, asking him what he is doing. Desmond lies about moving to the neighborhood and looking for a school for his son, Charlie. (Was Des remembering his island-timeline son, pulling the name from his recent inspiration from Charlie Pace, or adding another nod to Charlie & the Chocolate Factory? All three? I thought so too!) Desmond keeps his eye on Locke and dismisses Ben politely, starts the car, and races across the parking lot and runs Locke down. He appears to be seriously injured but still alive. Ironically, Locke is murdered by Ben in the original timeline, but Sideways Ben is the first to run to his aid:

Ben to the rescue.

Well, this shot sure looks familiar....

Locke also lay on the verge of death, face up, with blood running down his cheeks, after he was pushed out the window by his father and Jacob showed up to revive him.

And just like that, Sideways Locke just bought himself a one-way ticket to the hospital… St. Sebastian’s hospital… To meet again with his island nemesis, Dr. Jack.

My Theories: I believe Desmond, now connected with his island timeline counterpart, knows that Locke now isn’t really Locke and is the masquerading evil MIB who pushed poor Desmond down the well. Each of Desmond’s characters has figured out what his ultimate purpose is: to stop the MIB… to make Sideways a reality… to destroy Sideways… Whatever it may be! So he has begun rectifying the situation. Personally, I think he is trying to keep the island INTACT with a new guardian in lieu of Jacob’s death (my money’s on Jack), which in turn creates a NEW timeline, similar to Sideways, but devoid of the MIB because the island that was keeping him contained is no longer rotting at the bottom of the ocean. The new timeline has our heroes connecting with their doppelgangers from another timeline, and leaves them free to decide if they will stay on the island and help the Jacob-replacement… Or begin anew in Sideways with a preserved memory of their past experiences in both timelines, allowing them a “new lease on life” to move forward in the direction of their choosing using experiences they regretted in the past. If the events of Sideways aren’t desirable (i.e. Sun getting shot), they may choose to stay on the island. It’s up to their own free will. After all, “whatever happened, happened” and cannot be changed. Therefore, I think Kate will stay with Jack on the island, as her life on the run doesn’t suit her anymore; Sun and Jin will sacrifice Ji Yeon to stay together; Sawyer will connect with Juliet in Sideways and have coffee; Hurley will stay with Libby who is alive in Sideways, etc. etc. etc.

Doc Jensen:
Again, another scene that left me chilled and baffled, which made me dig it even more. I think we have to wonder if Sideways Desmond is now fully self-aware with all of his Island memories, past, present and future. I don’t think Desmond ran down Sideways Locke for revenge. I think it’s possible that Desmond tried to kill Sideways Locke to prevent Fake Locke from migrating into Sideways Locke’s body, but that strikes me as cruel that Desmond would basically murder an innocent man just to prevent his future corruption. So I’m thinking the most likely scenario for a hero like Desmond is this: I think Fake Locke has been inside Sideways Locke all along, and Desmond tried to kill him to force Fake Locke back into the Island world.

— That’s what I’ve been saying all along, folks (pats self on back, hehe).

Original Island Timeline (2007)

Hurley is at the survivors’ burial ground, placing a flower and talking to Libby at her grave. He asks why she hasn’t visited him, like Charlie, Ana-Lucia, and the others have. I think she doesn’t have anything keeping her in limbo, she was allowed to move on.

RED flower

Ilana interrupts and asks if he is ready to go to the Black Rock where they will get dynamite to destroy the plane. She isn’t sure that it is the right thing to do but it is the only move they have. Hurley tells her Libby was murdered before their first date. The Whispers precede Michael’s sudden appearance. He has come to stop Hurley from getting everyone killed. Hurley doesn’t trust Michael, as he murdered Libby, but Michael says that it doesn’t matter because if Hurley blows up the plane a lot of people will die and, due to the fact that people are listening to Hurley now (Jacob’s right-hand-man in persuasive/guiding RED), it will be his fault. Jack arrives and hurries him along.

Michael appears, but whose side is he on? If his wardrobe is any indication, he's on Team Jacob (WHITE). Also his arms are outstretched like Jesus/the mysterious blonde boy.

At the beach camp, Ilana arrives saying that they must make it to Hydra to destroy the plane before nightfall. She tells Richard that she has 4 sticks of dynamite. Hurley overhears and says this isn’t a good idea, especially since the dynamite is so unstable. Ilana says she must protect them, prompting Hurley to ask how blowing up the plane will protect them. Ilana thinks it’s the only way to prevent that “thing” from leaving, and repeats that Jacob said to follow Richard, and Richard says to blow up the plane. But as she speaks she drops her pack and the dynamite explodes, killing her and knocking the others down. Ilana had just finished talking about how she has “trained her whole life” to protect the candidates when she is suddenly killed by her careless handling of dynamite. Not so sure the island was “done” with her… Left to their own devices, the Candidates marched themselves right into MIB’s camp! They clearly still needed her.

So long, Ilana... Nice knowing you!

Hurley goes through Ilana’s possessions and finds a small bag, looks inside it and then keeps it. Jacob’s ashes.

It's assumed to be Jacob's ashes, since Ilana has been known to carry them around.

He also finds a book… Notes from Underground, a Russian-language copy of this 1864 short novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It deals with the conditions of existence of the individual and their emotions, actions and responsibilities principally attempting to validate free will as opposed to determinism.

Notes From The Underground

Doc Jensen:
This isn’t the first time this season Lost has cited a seminal text in the canon of existential lit. In ”LA X,” Lost cited Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard, a writer whose fingerprints seem to be all over the season. For example, have you noticed the conspicuously repetitive practice of presenting characters would either/or choices? Kierkegaard’s oeuvre includes a work called Either/Or. (And Repetition, too. And before I get the e-mails: Yes, maybe The Sickness Unto Death has something to do with The Sickness, as well.) But I think last week signaled an even deeper dive into existential thought with that rabbit named Angstrom. ”Angst:” a word that comes to us from Kierkegaard. ”Angstrom:” a unit of measurement in electromagnetic radiation and other natural sciences. It’s almost as if Lost is now declaring existentialism as the philosophy that fuels its intellectual engine, especially here in the mirror-fixated season 6; a key tenet of existentialism, be it the Christian brand endorsed by Kierkegaard or the godless kind represented by Jean Paul Sartre, is the idea that reflection creates identity. Perhaps The Island isn’t a magical place that traps souls or spirits. Maybe its unique physical properties allow it snare energy patterns of consciousness. Heck, maybe ”trapping” and ”snaring” are the wrong verbs. Maybe The Island unlocks, cultivates, or even makes consciousness. […] But it was also an apt choice for an episode that offered a comic take on Dostoevsky’s tale of a not-so romantic date from hell, and also illustrated the author’s philosophy of the mind: tortured and tumultuous, torn between action and passivity, a riotous collection of conflicted voices that’s close to could be called neurotic and has been often likened to schizophrenia. In other words: chaotic. Or: ”highly unstable.”

As you read the following excerpt from critic Richard Pevear about Notes From The Underground, think of Spiritually Numb Sayid and Spiritually Alive Hurley — points on an upward arcing curve of existential heroism, from sleepwalking to waking life, from lost to found:

”The one thing that [Dostoevsky’s] negative characters share, and almost the only negativity his world view allows, is inner fixity, a sort of death-in-life, which can take on many forms and tonalities, from the broadly comic to the tragic, from the mechanical to the corpse-like… Inner movement, on the other hand, is always a condition of spiritual good, though it may also be a source of suffering, division, disharmony, in this life. What moves may always rise.”

Richard tells Hurley that they must get more dynamite or Ilana’s life will have been in vain, but Jack says the message is the dynamite is too dangerous to handle. He adds that he has promised Sun to get her off the Island, to which Richard replies that he wishes that Jack hadn’t made that promise, adding that Jack should put the blame on him for breaking it. Hurley speaks up authoritatively saying Richard is right and that it is the only choice they have, he looks Jack in the eye and asks him to trust him. After a long pause Jack agrees. After all, Hurley would never steer them in the wrong direction. It’s all about trust!

As the group treks to the Black Rock, Ben cynically says that Ilana, hand-picked by Jacob to protect the candidates, tells them who they are and then blows up. He adds that the island was done with her and he wonders what will happen when it is done with them. They arrive at the Black Rock to find Hurley running out of the ship, shouting to run. The Black Rock is destroyed.

Poof! Richard's bad memories are gone forever.

Richard demands to know why Hurley did it, to which he replies that he is protecting them. Ilana was done, and now Hurley is stepping up to the challenge. Richard storms off, and Miles also asks why he did it. Hurley says that Michael told him to, though Miles doesn’t know who he is talking about (he knows Michael but as Kevin Johnson). Hurley says he is one of the dead people who come and “yell” at him. Miles wonders why he just does whatever the dead people say, and Hurley says the dead people are more reliable than the living. Aha! It seems most of the people still living don’t really know what they should be doing, they’re blindly following one island power or another, unsure of their purpose or intent. Even Hurley is now blindly following ghost-Michael even thought it was clear he didn’t completely trust him. Plus, Miles was noticeably skeptical of Hurley’s encounters with the ghosts. He clearly hasn’t had the same experience with them.

Jacob's over there. Richard calls Hurley's bluff.

Jack suggests they should talk about it, but Hurley (falsely) says that he knows what they need to do and it is to go talk to Locke. Ben says he is trying to get them killed and Hurley points to a place in front of them, saying Jacob has told him that they have to talk to Locke. Hurley used the magic word: Jacob. Richard is disbelieving, he claims Hurley is lying because Jacob doesn’t tell people what to, yet ironically Jacob had recently given Ilana and Hurley specific instructions to carry out. Hurley approaches and, as he stands alongside Richard he says that he doesn’t have to prove anything to him, that he can either come with him or keep trying to blow stuff up. Jacob (as well as the MIB) are all about free will and not forcing anyone to do anything they don’t agree with. Which makes me think that the times Hurley thought he was talking to Jacob’s ghost was actually the MIB in disguise (giving him instructions). Richard adds that if that “thing” leaves the island, it’s over… Everything. Now I’m skeptical of what Richard says because we saw his backstory episode, and he knows about as much as we do at this point!

Richard asks for help to destroy the plane, and only Ben and Miles join him. Jack trusts Hurley and says they should talk to Locke. Sun and Lapidus join them, hence the group breaks up. With Ilana gone, the group ends up confused and in shambles.

On their hike, Sun writes a note to Frank asking whether they have made a mistake and he says "probably" (foreshadowing).

Hurley asks what they should say to Locke, Jack says not to worry because Locke will do most of the talking. Hurley admits that he didn’t see Jacob back there, which Jack already knew. He explains that ever since he got Juliet killed that all he wanted to do was to fix it.  Jack muses that the lesson of all his failed attempts at fixing things is that he really ought to “let go” (a regularly spoken phrase).

Jack makes it clear that he is going to trust Hurley about talking to Locke. And just as any trustworthy individual would do, Hurley adds that he has no idea where they are going, haha. Just then the Whispers start and Hurley runs off to speak with Michael. Hurley asks if there are others like him. Michael says they are the ones who can’t move on. Yay, an answer! Unfortunately, it sounds a lot like purgatory… Damn you, Lost writers!! So does Hurley hear only the whispering of lost souls that are relevant to his mission? And why is Michael lingering behind… Is he being held for his relevance to the island’s endgame (guiding Hurley), or truly unable to reconcile his inner demons even though he appeared to before his death on the freighter? TBD. Michael shows Hurley where Locke’s camp is, and tells him not to get himself killed. He adds if he ever does see Libby again to tell her that he is very sorry.

MIB/Locke is working on a large wooden stick, Sawyer asks him if he is fashioning a spear, but Locke says he doesn’t know…when the time is right it will tell him. This reminds me of Mr. Eko’s inscribed walking stick, reminding Locke at one point to “look to the north”.

It will tell him what it is when the time is right. Cryptic much?

Eko's stick, an appropriate reference in an episode featuring 2 of Eko's tail-section pals: Michael and Libby.

Locke explains to Sawyer and Kate that they are waiting for Hugo, Sun and Jack to join them, because just as they needed to be together to return to the island, they also need to be together in order to leave “this god-forsaken rock”…interesting choice of words, it has been forsaken by God. Kate expresses doubt about the others joining them, just as Sayid returns from his mission and asks to speak with Locke in private.

Sayid says Widmore didn’t see him but that his people did. He didn’t see the point of killing them when he had what he came for (Desmond, who is tied to a tree, and the rope is wrapped around his chest 4 times.).

Desmond, sporting RED and needlessly being held captive.

Locke apologizes for tying him up and frees him. Desmond calmly says he understands, but he has nowhere to run anyway. Locke accepts it as a good reason against captivity and cuts his bonds. He took a second to consider this, as surely he was referring to himself being held captive on an island for hundreds of years… Nowhere to run? Clearly he wants to leave the island, but by this point he has nothing left in the outside world to run TO.

Locke asks Desmond why Widmore brought him to the Island. Desmond says that he was kidnapped (brought against his will), so that question will have to be directed to Widmore; he adds that he was thrown into a wood shack and blasted with a huge amount of electromagnetism, which he knows from “experience.” Desmond, perhaps not knowing yet or just playing coy, says that the MIB is John Locke. This prompts the MIB to take him for a walk. He offers his hand to Desmond and pulls him up saying that there is something he would like to show him.

Locke asks Desmond to remind him of long it was that Desmond was in the hatch pushing the button. Desmond says three years. Reflecting that here he is, back again, Locke says that if he didn’t know better he would say the island has it in for Desmond. Desmond says that there is nothing special about him and that the Island has it in for all of them. Locke agrees, and gets distracted by a mysterious boy standing nearby. Desmond asks who it is but Locke says to ignore him. As Desmond looks at the boy, the boy catches Desmond’s gaze, smiles and runs off. The boy in this episode had dark hair (MIB?) opposed to the blond in The Substitute (Jacob?), although the 2 boys are played by the same actor. Methinks they are supposed to be the same boy; one younger, one older.

The creepy boy is back, with darker hair.

Mysterious blonde boy who appeared earlier this season, in exactly the same pose as Michael appeared to Hurley at Libby's grave in this episode.

Doc Jensen:
I thought it was the same ghost kid, but older. My theory is that the ghost kid is Jacob, and that he is changing and growing rapidly on the Island and that when he reaches adulthood Jacob will become incarnate again. The ghost kid then is a kind of ticking clock for FLocke; I think he has to accomplish whatever it is he needs to accomplish before Jacob is restored to power.

Locke leads Desmond to a well, one of several on the island. The existence of the well implies the presence or previous existence of another energy pocket in that location, just like the Swan and the Orchid. He drops a torch down and shows that it is very deep, then explains that the well is very old, that it was built by hand by people who were looking for answers. They had noticed that compass needles spun at points like this location. I think he was one of the people that dug the well looking for answers, thus became bound to the island forever.

Bad prop, guys!

But he says that digging the well did not give them answers, and that he brought Desmond to the well because Widmore is not interested in answers, that he is only interested in power and that Widmore has brought Desmond back so he could help him find what he was looking for. Desmond expresses doubt that this is the only reason Locke brought him to the well. He knows what’s coming. Locke asks Desmond why he isn’t afraid. Desmond asks what is the point of being afraid, and Locke pushes him into the well. We see in the previews for next week that he lives… whew! It seems Desmond’s island fate is to always end up in some kind of electromagnetic hole in the ground (a setup for Desmond’s coming need to time-jump and save them all). And while Locke pushes Desmond down a well, ironically Sideways Desmond runs over Locke with his car.

Doc Jensen:
You know what I loved about The Well? I can’t explain it. I literally have no idea what the hell happened there. I spent a lot of time researching the significance of Desmond getting thrown down the well. I found so many rich allusions, beginning with an Chinese folk tale called ”The Man Who Was Thrown Down A Well” that just feels so dead-on Lost and so specific to this episode that it gave me goosebumps. It tells the story of an unredeemed soul who gets unjustly thrown into a well where he encounters spirits who are trapped and yearn to move on into the afterlife. They help do his penance and become a better person, an then after three years (the same amount of time Desmond spent in The Hatch), he returns to the surface world, forgives the man who threw him into the well and fulfills his promise to the lost, trapped souls. Then again, there’s ”The Man Who Lived Underground” written by Richard Wright, a provocative existential novel whose anti-hero protagonist has a pretty irresistible Lost-esque name: Damon Cross. Then again, there’s the story of Joseph, the seer who was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery, just because they were jealous that Daddy loved him so much to give him a technicolor dream coat. Daddy’s name? Jacob. And then there are number of ancient gods who resided deep below the Earth. They were known as Chthonic deities, and they include such names as Hades, The Furies, and Iacchus, born in the Underworld and considered the ”torch bearer” of mysteries and herald of the goddess Demeter. You know how the ancients paid homage to Iacchus? By tossing a torch. And what did Fake Locke do right before he told his strange tale of mystery hunters (Dowsers?) who dug in the dirt searching for answers and finding nothing? He tossed his torch into the well.

Locke returns to the camp and tells Sayid that they don’t have to worry about Desmond anymore. Hurley walks into the camp and hesitantly calls for a truce so no one is killed. Locke gives Hurley his knife and his word. Frank, Sun and Jack then show themselves, but Locke only greets Jack and they stare at each other. Jack shows concern, Locke shows satisfaction. So by Hurley’s rash decision to go talk to the MIB instead of blowing up the plane, he unwittingly furthered the MIB’s plan to get the rest of the Candidates together, and even hand-delivered the PILOT who’s going to fly the Ajira plane home. DOH!!

MIB gains 3 Candidates and a pilot in his supergroup.

Ahh, the Man of Science vs. the Man of Faith: Round 2!

Last thought — Plato’s concept of Anamnesis could be exactly what the characters have been experiencing the last  couple weeks. It means “recollection, reminiscence”, literally “loss of forgetfulness”) is a term used in medicine, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion first used by the Greek philosopher Plato to equate learning with remembering.

Doc Jensen:
The epiphanies produced by anamnesis bring us closer to that which Plato and pals called ”The Good.” The emotional response to these discoveries: euphoria. In Plato’s dialogues, Socrates says that knowledge recovered by anamnesis is the only knowledge worth knowing, because the knowledge connects us, or rather reconnects us, to spiritual, eternal realms. Socrates says that any other kind of knowledge doesn’t matter. Think: Charlie’s testimony of secret knowledge, his experience of consciousness-altering love — and his zealous belief that ”nothing else matters” except to gain even more of that secret knowledge and remain in the light of transcendent revelation.

Raphael's Plato

Doc Jensen:
It means to recollect or remember. But it’s a special kind of recollecting or remembering. When a doctor asks you to recall your entire medical history for the sake of compiling a complete patient history so he or she can know how to treat you, that’s anamnesis. (Think: Smokey’s psychically probing the castaways; the Others and their extensive case files on each castaway.) When Christians partake in the Eucharist, i.e. Holy Communion, the remembrance of Christ’s ”last supper” with his disciples, that’s anamnesis. Or so Wikipedia tells me. (Were Lost‘s ”Last Supper” promos meant to point us toward anamnesis?)

The Lost Supper

Next week… AWESOME preview:

The title is “The Last Recruit”. Now that the MIB has the rest of his Candidates, sounds like he’ll be off to recruit his last guy: Jin. The song from the preview was pulled from this creepy RED/BLUE-heavy Willy Wonka boat scene:

The complete Roald Dahl poem recited:

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction they are going!
There’s no knowing where they’re rowing,
Or which way they river’s flowing!
Not a speck of light is showing,
So the danger must be growing,
For the rowers keep on rowing,
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing…

Other Charlie & the Chocolate Factory references:

  • 5 Golden Tickets in the candy bars. The Oceanic Six in the island timeline received Golden Tickets good for lifetime free flights after they were rescued.
  • One of the other ticket winners was the gluttonous overeater Augustus Gloop, while this episode was centered around Lost’s “gluttonous” golden ticket winner slash depressed overeater, Hurley.
  • The Golden Ticket winners in both stories were huge celebrities.
  • In the chocolate factory, the tour turns into a punishment for the bad children as one child after another falls victim to his or her particular vices and is removed. The MIB and Jacob appear to be exploiting the castaways’ vices as a sort of test of viability.
  • Charlie is the only child who does not misbehave throughout the factory. Seeing that he is the only one left, Wonka announces that he has “won.” He receives the entire factory and will take over the company after Wonka retires. The reason Wonka had sent out the Golden Tickets was to find a child to be his heir, as he himself has no family to carry on his work. Sound familiar? (wink wink)

There's no earthly way of knowing, which direction they are going!

Sorry this was posted so late, but thanks for sticking with me!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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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

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LOST EPISODE 6.08 – “RECON”
March 17, 2010, 10:40 am
Filed under: Episode Recaps | Tags: , , , , , , ,

recon re·con (rē’kŏn’)
n. reconnaissance
v. to con again

Doc Jensen:
It seemed to me that Fake Locke was pulling another con, too, one that may have revealed his true character. The episode was called ”Recon,” which itself was a con. We were clearly supposed to assume it was short for ”reconnaissance mission.” But ”Recon” was also a pun for ”Re-con” — as in ”a previously executed con, done again.” The story flicked at all of Sawyer’s classic con man stories, from ”Confidence Man” to ”LaFleur.” I think FrankenLocke picked one of those scams to repeat anew — and I think I’m pretty creeped out by the implications.

Also:
…like a certain red-headed archaeologist who found great booty while digging through James Ford’s sock drawer, I found much to treasure and ogle within ”Recon.” I was riveted by the return of Sawyer to the narrative mainstage and loved the trickster, long-con storytelling; every line seemed to be possessed with double meanings, every scene seemed to be pregnant with possibilities.

No ‘Previously on Lost’ this time… wonder why?

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Sawyer is in bed with Ava, a new character in the series, when he looks at the clock and sees it’s 8:42 (the numbers), he realizes he is late for a meeting. (8=Reyes and 42=Kwon, and as of last night’s episode, Hurley and the Kwons were the only Jacob candidates who have not gotten a Sideways episode yet.) He rushes to gather his things and drops his briefcase, where it falls open and Ava sees the stacks of cash. Sawyer says that she wasn’t supposed to see the money, and explains it’s for a ‘potential investment’.

…And right from the very beginning of the very first scene, we know this episode is meant to mirror the very first Sawyer-centric episode of Season 1, “Confidence Man“. In the first flashback scene of that episode, Sawyer is in bed with a young woman, Jessica. After he declares his love for her, she realizes he is late for a meeting. As he rushes to leave, his briefcase falls open, revealing thousands of dollars in cash that she apparently was not supposed to have seen. Sawyer tells her about a too-good-to-be-true oil deal, in which the government will triple his money if he puts $300,000 towards a share in a rig. The only problem is that he has a mere $140,000 and needs someone to put in the remaining $160,000. Jessica suggests she might be able to supply the remaining money. Let the conning begin! But, Sawyer abandoned the ruse, however, upon seeing Jessica’s son… who presumably reminded him of the murder-suicide of his own parents after his mother fell victim to Anthony Cooper’s con.

But Ava is no Jessica… She knows what Sawyer is up to, and pulls a gun on him. He says the whole situation is a set-up, that there is a van outside, the room is bugged and is surrounded by cops. He explains that the cops just want her husband. Ava calls his bluff and Sawyer says the code word “La Fleur” and the police (including his partner Miles) burst into the room.

So we find out a few things at this moment:

1. In the original timeline Sawyer is a criminal, whereas in the flash-sideways timeline he is a police officer (who is still planning to commit a criminal act — murdering the “real” Sawyer.) Although it seems that he is still a con man, he is actually a cop working undercover posing as con man.

2. The code word, “La Fleur”, directly points to the redemptive time Sawyer spent on the island as 1977 Dharma’s chief of security. In that position, he was a confident leader and did his job well, with one exception: when his friends arrived, he conned Dharma into thinking they came on the sub, then continued conning the other Dharma leaders until the truth was eventually revealed. He also conned his way into his position as Dharma’s head of security by using a false backstory and name. Which makes me think he cheated his way into this position as detective for the LAPD, and perhaps still has a criminal past. But the Sideways timeline allowed him redemption, just as the 1977 time-jumping timeline did.

3. Miles and LaFleur still end up working together, but in Sideways they struggle with being equal partners, while in 1977 Dharmaville, Miles was unquestionably submissive to his boss (Jim LaFleur).

4. “La Fleur” itself obviously means “the flower” in French…. I’m not sure what the significance is to Sawyer that he chooses this as his code word and fake name in both the original AND Sideways timelines… But I’m guessing that since in both timelines his parents were conned and died horrifically, it’s probably something symbolic that reminds him of his mother, such as her favorite perfume maybe? At any rate, both in the episode “La Fleur” and in last night’s episode, Sawyer brings a woman a flower. Last night it was a sunflower for Charlotte, and back then it was a yellow lily for Juliet. Both were yellow flowers (like Sayid’s bunch of yellow roses earlier this season)… Yellow flowers meaning friendship. Sawyer’s sunflower, however is meant to be an apology for Charlotte, and his lily was a congratulations for Juliet.

Speaking of Charlotte… She now works at “the museum” with Miles’ dad, Pierre Chang. WHICH IMPLIES that the island either wasn’t blown up in 1977 in the Sideways timeline, but is STILL at the bottom of the ocean….OR he safely evacuated like the Linus men, which was mentioned in  Ben’s sideways-flash with his father last week… They confirmed the island still existed in the not-too-distant-past, and they were able to leave it willingly at some point during Ben’s childhood. I personally don’t think the bomb was what set Sideways in motion… I think it’s an event that hasn’t happened yet… One put in motion by the upcoming war between the MIB and Widmore. The same one that gets MIB off the island and into Sideways Locke’s body!

But back to Charlotte… She is now a globe-trotting archaeologist, a la Indiana Jones, just like we saw of her in her original timeline backstory (uncovering the bones of a Dharma polar bear in Tunisia…the same polar bear that once resided in the cage Sawyer visits later). The show goes to great lengths to compare her to Indiana Jones, so I did a little digging around on the Indiana Jones wiki entry… Seems the Indy character was modeled, first and foremost, to be a REAL character, very relatable… Spielberg said there “was the willingness to allow our leading man to get hurt and to express his pain and to get his mad out and to take pratfalls and sometimes be the butt of his own jokes. I mean, Indiana Jones is not a perfect hero, and his imperfections, I think, make the audience feel that, with a little more exercise and a little more courage, they could be just like him.” Relevant to Charlotte? Maybe… But this part definitely is!

Indiana lacks a proper father figure because of his strained relationship with his father, Henry Senior. His own contained anger is misdirected at the likes of Professor Abner Ravenwood, his mentor at the University of Chicago, leading to a strained relationship with Marion Ravenwood.

Sounds like Charlotte’s Indiana Jones comparison is hitting pretty close to home for, not her (well maybe her) but also…Sawyer!

Psst… Charlotte has guiding-Candidates-in-the-right-direction-RED hair, and on the second day she’s wearing a red shirt. On a related note, the photo she finds of the Ford Family show Sawyer’s parents in protector-red and young Sawyer in Candidate-blue.

Were Sideways Charlotte and Miles born on the island? TBD. I’m betting they were, despite seeing Miles apparently isn’t using his island “gift”—talking to dead people—for personal gain anymore. But we’ll see!

Things get hot and heavy between Charlotte and Sawyer, and afterwards she asks for a T-shirt. She snoops around his dresser (typical archaeologist, always digging up the past, wink wink!)… But, is she merely a nosy girlfriend, or is she a con-artist as well? At any rate, she finds 3 books: “Watership Down” by Richard Adams, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, and “Lancelot” by Walker Percy. ALL THREE books have been seen in the show before, being read by Sawyer in the original timeline….

Lancelot…
Shared theme: The book is about Lancelot Lamar, a lawyer who, when he discovers that he is not the father of his youngest daughter, kills his wife by blowing up their house. Kate also killed her stepfather by blowing up his house. He ends up in a mental institution with his memories, where reality and the past get blurred for him (Hurley?) Sawyer was seen reading it on the beach in Season 1:

Watership Down…
Common theme: The book is often seen as a social commentary done using a group of rabbits as the main characters. The rabbits find what they think is utopia, but discover that it is a farm with traps and snares. They find that they have to live together or die alone (Jack’s popular saying), while establishing new rules by which to live. In last night’s episode, Kate says she is eating rabbit at the very end of the episode. The book originally belonged to Boone, with his luggage. Kate finds the book by the beach with Sawyer’s belongings, and he tells her, “Hell of a book. It’s about bunnies.” This was all in the aforementioned Sawyer-centric episode, “Confidence Man”. He is seen actually reading the book in 2 subsequent episodes. And last night, Miles tells Sawyer that he doesn’t want to “die alone”.

A Wrinkle in Time…
Shared themes: The story is about two children, accompanied by a friend, who search through space and time for their father, who is a scientist being held prisoner on an alien planet dominated by a large dark cloud called “The Black Thing”. It involves an evil that is expanding through the universe, “tesseracts” and multiple dimensions, culminating in a happy ending. This is one of the novels that Sawyer reads on the Island.

Charlotte rummages in the top drawer and finds a folder marked “Sawyer”. A family photo slips out and while replacing it she sees an old newspaper cutting about a man killing himself and his wife and their nine year old boy surviving. The photo in the clipping is the same as the one Charlotte found. She puts 2 and 2 together, but Sawyer comes in and flips out.

The next day, Liam Pace comes to pick up Charlie at LAPD on a drug charge (doesn’t he live in London?) Sawyer, while under arrest in the original timeline, had passed by Boone, a brother inquiring about his sister in the Sydney police station. Sawyer, the cop, passes by Liam as he is inquiring about his brother Charlie in the L.A. police station.

Miles pulls Sawyer aside and asks if there’s anything he wants to tell him. Sawyer thinks he’s referring to his treatment of Charlotte, but he’s actually talking about Sawyer lying about going to Palm Springs and going to Australia instead (Miles specifically mentions Oceanic Flight 815, so we know the Sideways plane was indeed the same flight). Sawyer lies about his trip to Australia, just as Locke did in “The Substitute“. Sawyer refuses to fess up about why he went, Miles leaves in a huff, and Sawyer smashes a mirror, just as Jack smashed the Lighthouse mirrors. Mirrors have been a major theme this year, I think most predominantly to show how the Sideways world mirrors the original. There have been mirrors prominent in every Sideways-flash so far this season (Jack, Kate, Sayid…)

That evening James arrives home, and watches an old episode of “Little House on the Prairie”. An inspired, perfect choice for a guy who, like the tragic hero of his favorite novel, Of Mice and Men, dreams doomed dreams of home and hearth and living off the fat of the land with family and friends. Laura Ingalls tells her father, Charles, that she would be devastated if anything ever happened to him and her mother. Charles tells her that “if you live your life worrying about the future, life will be over before you know it. People aren’t really gone once they die, and that you hold on to their good memories until you see them again.” Sawyer told Kate back in season 1 that he watched Little House when he was a kid, in “Tricia Tanaka is Dead”.

After his failed apology to Charlotte, she tells him to get “lost”…

Doc Jensen:
This seemed to take him aback — or perhaps startle him awake. He had lost his partner. Now, he had lost his mojo with women. No more charmed life magic-word salvation. No more sexual escapism. No more ”La Fleur.”

Sawyer decides to let Miles in on his little secret. He tells him about the “Sawyer” folder (in Candidate BLUE), and how he has been hunting down Cooper ever since he left the Academy.

Doc Jensen:
Sawyer’s vendetta was not unlike the dream of vengeance Fake Locke gave Claire: it was something that held his world together, gave it meaning, gave him purpose. Also see: the long con that Sawyer pulled in ”The Long Con”: creating a false nemesis to rally a community to order.

The sound of a police siren approaches, and a car (also Candidate BLUE) slams into Sawyer’s car, and someone gets out and immediately starts running. He catches up with her and it’s… Kate! Somehow since her last episode she’s ditched the cab and gotten a hold of another car.

The exact same theme music that is used as Kate makes her escape from LAX in “LA X, Part 2” is playing moments before James catches Kate running out of the alley.

Doc Jensen:
Kate’s hoodie was conspicuous. In the episode ”The Long Con,” the big twist — SPOILER ALERT! — was that Charlie had assisted Sawyer in his fake-crisis, fear-cultivating, gun-grabbing power coup. Charlie, wearing a hoodie, revealed that the only reason why he partnered with Sawyer was to humiliate Locke, who had humiliated him episodes earlier. Fittingly, ”Recon” re-teamed redeemed outlaw lovers Sawyer and Kate (now playing the Charlie role) in a bid to subvert Fake Locke and Nautilus away from the Island. They better hurry. As it happens, I think there was another reading of Little House on The Prairie we were meant to find. Did you know that there was a two-part episode of Prairie called ”The Lost Ones”? In those episodes, two siblings watch their parents die in a horrible accident. Now orphans, they yearn to stay with Charles, but he can’t afford them. The kids wind up with a man who says he’ll protect them… but he winds up abusing them and using them as slaves.

The first words that James speaks in the original timeline and the last words he speaks in the flash-sideways timeline are: “Son of a bitch.”

Doc Jensen:
The first line of the episode came from Island Sawyer as he burned himself on a coffee pot: ”Son of a bitch!” Of course, those were Juliet’s final words before detonating Jughead. Juliet’s name was never spoken in the episode, but she haunted the proceedings via association, as did several other dead friends, including hobbity dope fiend Charlie Pace and especially fate-screwed whiz kid Daniel Faraday. In fact, I was reminded of Eloise Hawking and her snake-eating-its-tail ouroboros broach when Sideways James issued the last line of his L.A. Confidential arc as he pinned fugitive Hoodie Kate against a fence: ”Son of a bitch!” ”Recon” spiraled through space and time and passed through metaphorical realms of limbo and worse to tell a story about Sawyer choosing to let go of the hell in his heart and replacing it with a dream of heaven.

Island Timeline (2007)

Sawyer is making tea at an open fire outside Claire’s camp. He wakes Jin and says they’ll be back by sunrise. Sawyer knows it’s not Locke, but sticks by him so he can finally get off the island. Jin says he has to stay and keep looking for Sun, and Sawyer vows to help. MIB and his new team (20 in all) waltz into camp, and Kate and Sawyer are reunited. She asks if he’s with Locke now, to which he replies he’s not with anybody.

Kate sees Claire seemingly caring for a creepy makeshift skeleton baby in a cradle and asks “What is THAT?” Claire chillingly replies, “It’s all I had.”

Doc Jensen:
Faux Baby — skull, button eyes, stuffed animal fur — totally looked to me like the infant version of Frank the Apocalyptic Bunny Suit Monster from Donnie Darko. (Those who know Donnie Darko well have seen many Lost parallels in the movie, i.e. plane crash, time travel, and alt reality interpretations; we shall investigate at another time.)

Claire mysteriously takes Kate’s hand, and Kate reacts with uncertainty. (Dwelling on this and then dwelling on the handshake between Widmore and Sawyer later makes me think this was a clue…)

MIB gets to a coastal clearing and suggests they make camp for the night and to get enough water because they’ll be there for a couple days. Sawyer, agitated, wants to know when they’ll “get off this rock”. MIB, annoyed, sends him over to Widmore’s team on the Hydra island to do a little recon. Sawyer asks what to do if he finds people over there who want to harm him. The Man in Black tells him that he’s not worried, because Sawyer is the best liar he ever met. Which is kind of odd, because the MIB literally just met Sawyer… So was he speaking as Locke again in that moment? At any rate, MIB tells Sawyer that he’s the best liar he’s ever met, whereas in the flash-sideways timeline, James seems to be a rather lousy liar who is called on it by everyone he meets.

Kate sits down to talk to a distant Sayid. She asks him if he believes Locke can get them off the Island and Sayid says yes but not him. She asks if he is okay and he says that he is not. Claire suddenly attacks Kate from behind, trying to stab her in the throat with a large knife. Kate screams for Sayid to help her as she is overpowered, but he looks on disinterestedly. MIB roughly throws Claire off of Kate, saying that Kate did what she had to do by taking Aaron when she couldn’t find Claire. He slaps Claire full in the face and grasping her, says her behavior is completely inappropriate. Kate is distraught and when the MIB asks her if she’s alright she angrily yells that she is not. She looks on in disbelief.

Sawyer finds the plane. Since I’ve been eagle-eyed lately looking for the colors RED and BLUE, I noticed that the Ajira plane (which carried Bram + Ilana) is protector/guidance-RED, while Oceanic’s plane (which carried the Candidates) is Candidate-BLUE. Neat!

Doc Jensen:
The plane, slightly jackknifed off the make-shift runway, resembling a proud, gleaming Pegasus waiting to be mounted and flown away. (Frank Lapidus! Paging Frank Lapidus! Your purpose in the season 6 narrative just arrived!)

He checks its condition and then finds charcoal from a fire. Drag marks in the sand lead him to a pile of decaying bodies. Reminded me of the mass grave as a result of the Purge.

Sidenote: forgot about this, but when I was just reading about the Purge, it said that when inhaled the toxic gas resulted in violent spasms, bleeding from the nose, and death. Sounds a lot (well, exactly) like the castaways’ time-skipping experience, and what ultimately killed Charlotte.

Sawyer hears someone and finds Zoe (Greek for “life”), saying she was the only one left alive from the Ajira flight. She asks a ton of questions, but hesitates when Sawyer asks her why she was going to Guam. This tips him off and he pulls his gun, but she whistles and her team rushes to her aide, just as Sawyer’s police team did when he used the code word “LaFleur”.

Kate is sobbing in a grove apart from the others. MIB joins her and apologizes Claire’s attack, saying he has to take responsibility because he told Claire the Others had her baby. Kate asks why he would say that and he tells her that because Claire was devastated without Aaron, he gave her something to hate in order to keep her going. That sure was nice of MIB to divert Claire’s anger away from Kate! But why is he protecting her? Methinks the MIB wants to protect Locke’s old friends… (more on this in a second)

Doc Jensen:
Strategy? I think Smokey sent Sawyer to the Widmore Zooropa — in part — to get Kate’s guardian angel out of his no-hair so he could isolate her for a Claire attack, then save her from it, so he could get a chance to spin her under this thumb.

MIB explains he knows what she is feeling because his mother was crazy. He says that a long time ago, before he looked like he does now he had a mother who was very disturbed and as a result of that he had some “growing pains” and problems that he is still trying to work his way through, problems that could have avoided had things been different. Kate asks him why he told her this story, he replies: “because now Aaron has a crazy mother too”. This story also refers to Crazy Claire and Aaron, Crazy Rousseau and Alex, maybe even Crazy Mrs. Hawking and Daniel and/or Crazy Emily and Locke…

Which makes me think the MIB is speaking AS Locke most of the time (crazy mother = Emily, lost love = Helen, he knows Sawyer’s a good liar, and wants to protect his friend Kate).

Doc Jensen:
To me, it sounded like he wanted Kate to move off the dream of reuniting Claire and Aaron. To me, it sounded like he wanted Kate to think about saving Aaron from Claire. To me, it sounded like FLocke was… setting Kate up to murder Claire.

As Sawyer is taken to the submarine (Another dagger to the heart: the last time he boarded a submarine, he and Juliet were being deported by Dharma back to the United States to continue their happily ever after away from the Island), he notices workers installing pylons similar to those surrounding the barracks to keep the smoke monster out. They are preparing for the upcoming war. Sawyer then negotiates a ticket off the island if he tells the MIB the coast is clear for his arrival on Hydra. So we find out that Widmore is on Team Jacob, which begs the question: If Widmore and Ben were both following Jacob, then why are they engaged in a war of their own?

Doc Jensen says, of last week’s Elba reference in “Dr. Linus”:
[Sawyer] made the acquaintance of the smaller island’s new regent, exiled uber-Other Charles Widmore — a little Elba for the Island’s deposed Napoleon.

Sawyer relates the entire plan back to MIB upon his arrival back on the main island, to MIB’s delight. He thanks Sawyer for his loyalty, but “a deal’s a deal”… MIB needs to get Sawyer off the island.

After nightfall, Sawyer sits down next to Kate who is poking at a fire…. She says she’s having “rabbit, i think” (which I noted earlier was a nod to the book, Watership Down). Sawyer tells him his plan, when MIB and Widmore are fighting it out they’ll take the sub and get the hell off the island. Seems that dress he found earlier in the Hydra cage had quite an effect on him! He’s remembering their hot cage lovemaking, pushing her up against the bars… Just as the Sideways story ends with Sawyer pushing her up against a chainlink fence.

Doc Jensen:
Standing in his old cage, Sawyer recalled the moment everything began to change for him — the moment when he began to change, into a lover, a hero, and even if he never wore the ring, a husband. He remembered his redemption. He remembered a vision of heaven to guide him out of hell.

Next time, on LOST! “Ab Aeterno”… FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY we get a Richard back story!

Ab Aeterno (latin)

  1. Since the beginning of time.
  2. (figuratively) Since a very long time ago.

How appropriate!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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LOST EPISODE 6.07 – “DR. LINUS”
March 10, 2010, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Episode Recaps | Tags: , , , ,

Doctor Linus, as he insists he be called (a sign of his wannabe superiority to other teachers), finally atones for his sins in this episode, and lets go of his constant striving for power. In the original timeline, Ben sacrifices his daughter to maintain his power. In the flash-sideways timeline, he sacrifices his power to save Alex. Ben is redeemed.

Doc Jensen:
[In the episode] ”Expose,” a.k.a .the Nikki and Paulo vs. the Spiders episode, and the moment of truth came when Juliet asked Ben how he intended to get Jack to operate on his tumor-choked spine. ‘‘Same way I get anybody to do anything. I find out what he’s emotionally invested in and I exploit it,” Ben said, sounding sadly resigned about his own nefarious nature, as if his conniving character was innate and immutable, or at least fixed and unchangeable. In the divine election of all possible worlds (”divine election” being a fancy theological term of predestination), Ben Linus is forever doomed to manifest as some Machiavellian devil, some power-grabbing Brutus, some Jesus-betraying Judas, no matter the reality, no matter the world. Right? Wrong. In ”Dr. Linus,” Ben Linus was exposed as a soul who only has himself to blame for his woe-is-me bad self, whose corrupt nature is an accumulation of freely made choices. Which also means that Ben is also fully capable of resisting evil and selecting virtue, as well.

Another, more obscure title reference to Nash Bridges: William Atherton (Principal Reynolds) played Dr. Linus Mills in one episode of Nash Bridges, which was produced by none other than Lost’s Carlton Cuse!

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Ben is teaching his European history class about an island where everything became clear: Elba, where Napoleon faced his greatest test, his loss of power. Napolean was exiled to the Italian island in 1814. During the months Napoleon stayed on the island, he carried out a series of economic and social reforms to improve the quality of life, partly to pass the time and partly out of a genuine concern for the well-being of the islanders. Napoleon stayed on Elba for 300 days. Elba is the basis for the famous English language palindrome: “Able was I ere I saw Elba.”

It is made to seem as if he were talking about the Island and his relationship to it (with particular emphasis on having and losing his power).

Doc Jensen:
Something to also think about: after Napoleon got booted out of power again, he was exiled to another, less desirable island, Saint Helena [HYDRA?], where he would die of stomach cancer/ulcer/poisoning. Foreshadowing for Smokey or Widmore’s final fate?

At the end of the class Principal Reynolds requires that Ben supervise detention all week. Ben explains that his after-school History Club (aka ALEX) needs him, but Reynolds says the class is really about Ben, not the students. Ben remarks to himself that “It’s ‘Dr. Linus.'”

“Reynolds” happens to be one of the names on wall in Jacob’s cave… So Principal Reynolds may have been a Candidate!

In the teachers’ lounge, the science teacher, Dr. Leslie Arzt, is complaining (go figure! it’s what he does best!) about a formaldehyde stain and his outdated lab equipment. Arzt was seen wiping off his shirt. In “Exodus, Part 2“, people were wiping Arzt off their shirts (gross!) after he blew up from the unstable dynamite (referenced to in this episode by Hurley).

Ben makes an impassioned statement about the importance of learning and “taking care of the kids” (on the island he used to steal kids), and that the head is merely an administrator not a teacher (he always has to be in charge). Ben says he refuses to give up his principles. Substitute teacher John Locke overhears and says that maybe Ben should be the principal because it sounds like Ben cares about the school. When Ben asks who would listen to him, Locke waves and says, “I’m listening.”

Doc Jensen:
Is Sideways Locke actually…
THE MAN IN BLACK/SMOKEY/FAKE LOCKE…

Throughout his Others reign, Ben insisted he was hearing the voice of Jacob and heeding his will. He justified everything by putting it all on his Island god. But the time has come to begin wondering how attuned to Jacob that Ben has been — if he’s been attuned to him at all. In our real world, there are those who claim to know God and hear God’s voice in their lives, but they could be wrong. Doesn’t mean there isn’t a God, just that God ain’t talking to them. I suspect Ben is one of those people. ”What about you?” Jacob asked Ben last season. It sounded so dismissive. But Jacob could have also been challenging Ben on his self-deception, or basically saying, ”I’m sorry. Do I know you?” Ben’s either been faking his rapport with Jacob, or (and this is my theory) the supernatural entity that’s been speaking to him all along has been the Man In Black. Ben thought he was serving Jacob the Christ, but he was most likely the victim of a long con perpetrated by a snake oil-selling false messiah, Smokenstein the Anti-Christ, who was just using Ben in his master plan to escape the Island and live anew as a man in a separate reality, one with no Island and no Jacob to trap him: the Sideways world.

Whoa! Dead. On. The MIB, on the island, we know was stuck in Locke’s body. Perhaps after rebooting the timeline, he still is. Sideways Locke at first shows some embarrassment and frustration over his disability, but then comes to accept it. Maybe it isn’t actually Locke, but the MIB having to adjust to life in a wheelchair. At first, it’s annoying, it’s inconvenient, and maybe even degrading. However, it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative — being trapped on the island! He then finds amusement in his limitations. I’d like to think it was Real Locke having an epiphany, but it also fits that it was the MIB inhabiting Locke’s body.

At home Ben is microwaving a frozen turkey dinner for his father, Roger (who had some fantastic makeup work done, by the way!) Ben reflects that with his qualifications he is babysitting burnouts in detention, and sometimes feels that he is a bigger loser than they. He adds that maybe he is more a loser when he’s at home. For a second, we thought Sideways Ben and Roger also had a strained relationship, but Roger says he wished better for Ben and that is why he signed up with Dharma Initiative and went to the island. Aww, how sweet… He says “Imagine how our lives would have been if we’d stayed… Who knows what you would have become?” Well, Roger would’ve been dead in the 80’s at Ben’s hand. Not so great! Interesting exchange though… They still initially joined the Dharma initiative in Sideways world… I wonder what made them leave?? What he said indicated they had a CHOICE in the matter.

Doc Jensen:
Until last night, it had been safe to assume that both the Island and Sideways worlds shared the same history until 1977, which is when the time-traveling castaways detonated Jughead. But the Linus men of the Sideways world blew up that thinking. I took the story to mean that Sideways Roger and Ben left the Island prior to its sinking. But Island Roger and Ben were still on the Island when Juliet banged the bomb. Implication: If the two worlds share a common history, the fork in the road is sometime before 1977. Rebooted Theory: The divergence begins on that fateful night when some phantom stranger struck John Locke’s teenage mother, causing her to give birth three months early. That phantom stranger? I’m saying it’s Charles Widmore.

All the while he has been changing his father’s oxygen bottle. He looks to have cancer, and from their exchange, it could be likely if he stayed on the island he wouldn’t have gotten sick. He might also be dead, but that’s besides the point! In Sideways world, Ben is CARING for his father, instead of killing him… He gives his father life-saving gas, versus deadly gas in the original timeline.

The doorbell rings and Ben greets Alex Rousseau who has come to ask where Ben was for History Club. She is disappointed to find out about the change in plans especially because she was hoping Ben would tutor her for a test. Ben offers to help her the next morning in the library.

Alex is still a Rousseau, which means Danielle likely raised (or continues to raise) her. The fact that she’s using her mother’s last name and not her father’s likely means that Robert is out of the picture in Sideways as well. I think this is why she’s clinging to Ben (however ironically) — daddy issues. Curiously, Alex doesn’t have her mother’s French accent, and they reside in the LA area, not France. Wonder how they ended up there…hmm… The following morning, when she can’t answer a question she becomes frustrated and then describes the importance of her succeeding given her mother’s sacrifices.

Ben is giving Alex a verbal test about the East India Trading Company. It was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China. The Company was granted an English Royal Charter by Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600. I’m not quite sure what this has to do with Lost, other than the illustration resembling the Black Rock!

Ben recruits Arzt, who agrees to hack into Nurse Kondracki’s email account for a better parking spot and lab equipment. When Ben confronts Reynolds and blackmails him for his job, Reynolds counters by threatening to “torch” Alex and her future if Ben proceeds with his threat. He wonders if his job, his power is that important to Ben. Perhaps to Island Ben, yes, but Sideways Ben, redeemed, chooses Alex over himself. I couldn’t help but wonder though, even if the Principal wrote a scathing letter, couldn’t she just not use it? And if Ben then became Principal HE could be the one to recommend her? Details, details, haha…

But this scene is important because Ben attempts to blackmail the school principal with knowledge of an illicit affair in order to usurp his position, but the principal threatens Alex causing Ben to relent. While on the island, Ben blackmailed Widmore with knowledge of his off-island affair (with Penelope’s mother) in order to usurp his position by exiling Widmore off the island, and Widmore retaliates by threatening Alex, but Ben calls his bluff, and Alex dies. So Ben gave up his power to benefit Alex, instead of giving up Alex to keep his power.

In this scene, Reynolds and his office were primarily BLACK and WHITE, then Alex’s shirt was RED:

Ben’s plan to get the Principal’s position didn’t work, but the redemptive quality of the Sideways timeline gave him a chance to choose between his beloved Alex and himself, and this time he chose her. Arzt also didn’t get his parking spot… But Ben offered him his. Whiner.

Doc Jensen:
We were left to wonder why Ben chose as he did. As a historian, Ben probably is familiar with the phrase from George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Maybe Sideways Ben was able to avoid duplicating the fate of his Island world counterpart because of some genetic or past life memory bubbled into his consciousness. Maybe he gleaned a lesson or two about power, priorities, regret and responsibility from what his otherworld avatar had learned in the trial-and-error spiritual classroom of the Island.

Island Timeline (2007)

BLACK ROCK:

Jack wakes Hurley who is sleeping in a field of flowers. See also: the poppy sequence in The Wizard of Oz

Jack is in a rush to get back to the Temple. Hurley, knowing trouble was brewing tries to divert him with breakfast and a “shortcut” (i.e. the long or wrong way). Jack wants to proceed the way they came. It was hard to hear these lines and not think Lost was saying something about its two-track, parallel world structure.

None of these work though, and Jack only gives up when Richard Alpert appears (wearing Candidate BLUE along with Jack). Jack asks where Richard came from and Richard says that they wouldn’t believe him if he told them. INTERESTING… He says after this that he was at the Temple and everyone was dead, but where was he before that?? Jack says to try him but Richard says “Not yet” and leads them off. Hurley, having never met Richard before, asks Jack if he trusts him. Jack says to Hurley “at least he’s not stalling”… Ouch Hurley!

Richard leads them through the jungle and Hurley asks him how it is possible that Richard looks the same as he did 30 years ago (having apparently heard of Richard and his eternal youth). Richard says Jacob gave him a gift. Jacob touched him, just like he did the Oceanic Candidates. So just like Richard, the Candidates apparently have eternal life.

They arrive at the Black Rock, and find out Richard lied about going to the Temple (he just came from there and there were no survivors). Hurley says that Jacob had “hinted” at it. Richard is surprised and says that whatever Jacob said, not to believe him.

Richard has been a follower of Jacob’s for “longer than he can remember”… a very faithful follower at that. All that was shattered the moment Jacob died. The all-mighty, all-powerful leader of the Island left Richard hanging, after all his years of faithful service, Richard is now a lost soul, with no apparent purpose, in a thankless position as Jacob’s right-hand-man. He views Jacob’s gift as a curse… He’s trapped here, in his body, for eternity. Richard goes back to the Black Rock in order to try to kill himself, which ironically is the vessel that brought him here, to the island, to Jacob, and brought him eternal life… And of all people, Jack Shephard is the one to bring his faith back in the powers of the island, and their purpose for being there. Jack is again shepherding his straggling flock, and instilling in them a sense of importance. Methinks Jack is poised to take over the island, but we’ll see what the next 9 episodes bring!

Compare and contrast: Richard’s description of following a man who claimed everything happened for a reason before discovering the man had died without any resolution to his plan, feeling his life was worthless, also describes Jack’s relationship with Locke, Locke’s death, and Jack following Locke’s instructions to return to the island, where nothing has gone right.

Inside the hull Richard touches some chains and tells Jack this is the first time he’s been back since coming to the island. He’s evading his past as a prisoner on the ship. Nice to have confirmation to the speculation this is how Richard arrived on the island!

Richard gets Jack to help him ignite the dynamite, but Jack has faith that nothing will happen… He wasn’t brought here to blow up in an abandoned ship with Richard. See also: Season 2, when Jack dared Ben not to press the Button, and the recent episode in which Jack swallowed the poison pill and said, Let’s see how far trust gets us.”

This scene was EXACTLY like suicidal season 3 Jack, about to jump off a bridge but called away by heroic duty, AND what Michael experienced when he tried to kill himself off of the island in “Meet Kevin Johnson”… He crashed his car but survived, he even held a gun to his head and pulled the trigger…and nothing. Seems Michael had received Jacob’s gift as well. And when his purpose was fulfilled (blowing up the freighter), he was finally allowed to die. Which is odd because it was Christian (a supposed guise of the MIB) who appeared to Michael on the freighter. Is Christian actually a puppet of Jacob, not MIB… Or is it MIB who is bestowing eternal life and youth to his proteges until their destinies are fulfilled? TBD.

Also, this scene seemed to be overshadowed (literally) with a bad lighting choice… But was this intentional? Perhaps it was a nod to Caravaggio’s “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas”, which was shown last season in the episode “316“… According to the Gospel of St. John: Thomas missed one of Christ’s appearances to the Apostles after His resurrection. He therefore announced that, unless he could thrust his hand into Christ’s side, he would not believe what he had been told. A week later Christ appeared, asked Thomas to reach out his hands to touch Him and said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Which really speaks volumes about Richard’s state of mind right at this moment.

Jack shows huge relief before offering to try another stick. Richard says no, but that as Jack seems to have all the answers, now what? Jack says they should go back to where they started. Which would be…… THE BEACH CAMP! They’re going back to the beginning, a fresh start, new beginnings, yadda yadda…

BEACH CAMP:

Ben frantically runs through the jungle and catches up with Ilana’s group. The first thing she asks is where Jarrah is. Her apparent job is to protect the Candidates, and she looks upset that she has another man down. She asks Ben if he is SURE Jarrah won’t be joining them, and he replies “Since I saw him standing over the dead bodies with a bloody knife in his hand, I’m pretty sure.” This is the same position Ben was in after murdering Jacob:

Speaking of which, now seems a good time to mention that when Ben stabs Jacob, he falls into his killer, therefore touching him. I’d bet Ben is immortal now too… Unless different people get different gifts…

Anyway…

As they head for the beach, Miles falls back to ask Ben what “that thing” back there was. Ben says it was what killed his friends back at the statue. Ilana adds, “And Jacob, right, he killed Jacob too?” Ben stammers, “Yeah, of course, and Jacob too”. Ilana picks up on the inappropriate “of course” and she calls on Miles to find out what happened. Miles has that “look” and for a moment you think he’ll try to protect Ben… But no, he dimes him out: “Linus killed him.”

Ben instantly makes denials, but awkwardly, with nothing like his usual confidence and believability. Miles sarcastically retorts that “he was standing over the body with a bloody knife, so I’m pretty sure.” Ilana turns to Ben in quiet fury and says that Jacob was the closest thing she ever had to a father. So she has daddy issues too! Welcome to the club, Ilana.

Arriving back at the beach camp, Ben pokes around in Sawyer’s tent and finds an Oceanic water bottle, and a new book! “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok (1967). It tells the story of the friendship between two Jewish boys growing up in 1940’s Brooklyn. Reuven Malter, who has a mind for mathematics, wants to become a rabbi and follows modern methods of studying Judiasm. Danny is a genius son of a Hasidiac Rabbi, Reb Saunders, who expects him to take over his position as tzaddik eventually. Danny’s phenomenal mind compels him to seek knowledge outside what is permitted by his father (hint hint). They meet for the first time as rivals in a baseball game between their school teams that turns into a spiritual war. In the end, Danny is finally set free, and Reuven and Danny taste profoundly the pain in life, and the consolation of deep friendship.

”It makes us aware of how frail and tiny we are and of how much we must depend upon the Master of the Universe.”
The Chosen by Chaim Potok

He also finds an issue of Booty Babes (snicker) and a book bearing the name Benjamin Disraeli: Justice and Truth in Action and muses, The things people bring on a trip.” No author’s name was shown on the dust jacket. It may be simply a prop, a mock-up, rather than an actual book. “Justice is truth in action” is a famous quotation of his, not a book title.

Benjamin Disraeli was the first Jewish British prime minister (1874-1880) and a literary figure. He mainly wrote romances, of which Sybil and Vivian Grey are perhaps the best-known. He is full of notable quotes, including: “Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.”

Sun approaches Ilana repeating her catch phrase, “I have to find my husband, Jin”. She finds out Ilana shares the same goal while adding that she doesn’t know if she should be protecting Sun, Jin, or both. If Jacob’s touch is any indication… It’s both Kwons. Sun asks how many candidates there are, to which Ilana replies grimly, “There are only six left.” Hmm… Ilana knows Locke is dead, she knows Sayid has been taken by the MIB… So I’m guessing she’s counting both Kwons, but we’re still 1 short.

Ben remarks that he remembers Oceanic breaking apart like it was yesterday. Lapidus says he sounds nostalgic and Ben agrees (he was living a nice life in Dharmaville with his daughter still alive). Frank says he was supposed to pilot the flight but had slept in. He wonders how different his life would have been. Ben quips wryly, “How different would it have been?” and points out regardless, the Island still got Frank in the end. I like how they tied this line into Roger’s line earlier about how different their lives would be if they stayed on the island.

Ben is shackled (ahem, just like another big player in this episode was: Richard!) and instructed to build his own grave by Ilana. Miles approaches with food, and informs Ben that Jacob DID care about dying, saying that “right up until the second the knife went through his heart Jacob was hoping he was wrong about you”. I think Jacob touched Ben as he died to steer Ben in the right direction, and judging by his actions since that moment, I’d say it’s working.

Poor Ben was forced to dig a grave with a piece of bamboo. Bummer!

MIB arrives, first as the smoke monster then as Locke. He says he’s been looking for Ben and wants him to join his team. See, when MIB and his group leave the island for good, they need someone to be in charge, and he can’t think of anyone better than Ben. Ben, at first enticed by that power, breaks free, leads Ilana on a chase, then holds her at gunpoint. BUT, having been touched by Jacob, he can’t pull the trigger. He laments that he really doesn’t know what to do, as no one will have him. Ilana says she will (just as Locke said he was “listening” in Sideways world). Island Ben has redeemed himself, just as Sideways Ben would have, and chooses what’s right over his own personal gain. A wonderful moment for Ben!

Doc Jensen:
This time, Ben made the right [choice] — fulfilling, perhaps, Jacob’s dying thought hope that Ben had the capacity for change. Has Ben the flip-flop artist truly embraced redemption? If so, would his redemption have been possible without Jacob’s death? If so, did Jacob know that when he offered his chest for Ben to puncture?

…And I think I am narrowing down what the color RED means… In this episode, we’ve seen Ilana and Hurley in red shirts on the island. Both are protecting/steering someone in a certain direction. Hurley was protecting Jack from whatever danger was awaiting them at the Temple, and Ilana was saving Ben from the wrath of the MIB. In the Sideways flashes, Alex was sporting a red shirt on 2 different days. She was Ben’s constant reminder to do what is best for her (symbolically), instead of following his own selfish whims. She kept him on a righteous path. And another major instance of red this season was everyone’s clothing, etc. at the Temple. They were protecting their new visitors, the Candidates and their friends, from the invading MIB. Until the border was breached, at any rate. So I think RED = protection and guidance.

Ilana and Ben arrive back at the beach camp. Ben helps Sun with her tarp (what a good guy!) Frank adds wood to the fire (I think Ben instilled in him a sense of purpose). Miles holds up one of Nikki and Paulo’s diamonds (did he really just exhume the bodies???) A drained Ilana holds her pouch of what’s left of Jacob (maybe realizing he had his faults too). Jack, Hurley, and Richard appear and there’s a tearful reunion. All is right with the world! Right?

Wrong! Just offshore a little periscope pops up, surveying the group on the beach. WIDMORE! He’s arrived at the island just in time for the war (how convenient!), even though Ben told him he never would find the island again. When viewing the group on the beach, the periscope is pointed at the starboard (right) side of the submarine, at almost a 90° angle. Thus the submarine is traveling parallel to the beach. He tells the operator to “proceed as planned.” Uh oh!

Doc Jensen:
This moment was staged to deliberately echo the scene from the season 3 episode ”One Of Us,” when Jack, Kate, and Sayid returned from New Otherton, bringing Juliet with them. When the beach crew saw her, the happy-huggy moment abruptly ended, and everyone gave her the stink-eye (especially, ironically, Sawyer) — just like Jack and Ben traded suspicious looks in last night’s episode. We learned at the very end of ”One Of Us” that newbie Juliet was indeed shady; she had been sent by Ben to spy on the camp. (The moment was mirrored, I think, by having ”Dr. Linus” end with Widmore’s submarine spying on the castaways.)

Here’s a thought: On Jacob’s List, there was a “Linus”, but that could’ve been referring to either Roger or Alex (both have died) and not Ben. Regarding the ambiguity as to whether Linus and Rousseau refer to Alex: That would give a plausible explanation to why Ben said that Widmore “changed the rules” when Alex was killed, and why Linus was therefore crossed out. Sounds right to me!

Sorry again this week’s recap is a day late… Hopefully it’s still insightful nonetheless! Leave your comments!

Shameless plug: I’m entered in this honeymoon contest to win $500… There’s only 4 days left and I need your votes for my Iceland honeymoon! There’s no registering, just click “vote for this trip” and your done! Just takes 2 seconds. Vote once in each browser you have and that’s even better, hehe… Appreciate your help! Share if you can! Thanks!

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Jen / desmondismyconstant.

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Lost Episode 6.06 – “Sundown”
March 3, 2010, 5:18 am
Filed under: Episode Recaps | Tags: , , ,

The title, as all titles so far this season, has a few possible meanings. The obvious was the sundown deadline the Man in Black set for the Temple folks to either follow them and be saved, or stay and die… an important ultimatum. It could also reference the 1974 Gordon Lightfoot song, “Sundown”, which was inspired by his then girlfriend, Cathy Smith, whom he says is “the one woman in my life who most hurt me.” In a Sayid-centric episode about his timeline-crossed love and loss of Nadia, and his fight to get her back despite her dying in his arms… I think this is an appropriate choice. The album artwork also goes with the YELLOW theme in this episode (which I’ve noted throughout)… If you’re interested, here are the “Sundown” lyrics.

Doc Jensen:
“Sundown,” reminded us that for all his spirituality, and for all his protest-too-much bleating about being a ”good man,” Sayid has never been able to make peace with his past as a torturer for Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, as well as the CIA. He’s more than mired in his quagmire; he feels like he deserves it. To quote Joseph Conrad, Sayid is a man infected with a self-mortifying, self-corrupting ”fascination with abomination.”

Sideways Timeline (2004)

“Uncle Sayid” arrives at Nadia’s house (in a yellow cab), carrying a bouquet of yellow roses… Yellow roses symbolize friendship, but the color yellow also means cowardice. Other clear association of Sayid and the color yellow: his T-shirt at the job site in Santo Domingo for Build Our World, when he tried escaping anonymously to a faraway place to get over the death of Nadia and try to be a better person.

Doc Jensen:
He walked up to Nadia’s door and rang the doorbell. This being Lost‘s season of mirrors, we saw his reflection in the glass — but he did not. Instead, Sayid looked right through the vision of himself as he watched Nadia approach and welcome him into her home. It was like we were being shown a window into Sayid’s heart. Inside, we saw an idol. Nadia, his beautiful muse and inspiration for redemption… but also his unreachable standard and reminder of his damnation. In the Sideways world, Nadia doesn’t complete Sayid — she negates him. She is not his constant — she is his scale. Poor Nadia. Sayid told her he didn’t deserve her, and he’s right: no woman should be treated like a reward for being ”a good man,” much like an unapproachable, unattainable goddess.

It is revealed that his one true love is married to his brother, Omer Jarrah. At dinner, Nadia mentions Omer just opened a second shop, which he brushes off and then takes a private “business” call in the other room. While he’s out, Nadia asks whether Sayid got her letters and asks why he didn’t write back (aforementioned cowardice). The kids find boomerangs (Sayid’s life is like one giant boomerang?) from Australia in Sayid’s bag, as well as a photo of Nadia. It seems well-known to everyone that Sayid is still in love with Nadia, even Omer, who is watching this unfold from the other room looking mighty displeased.

Omer wakes up Sayid at 2:30 am (the numbers) and says the man he took a loan from is after him and asks Sayid to help. He knows what Sayid is capable of, and tries blackmailing him using his feelings for Nadia (just as the MIB later uses Nadia to blackmail Sayid into helping him). But Sideways Sayid (sporting Candidate BLUE) insists that he is not that man anymore”, which was last spoken by Jin in “Ji Yeon”… Coincidentally, Jin and Sayid who both insist they are “not that man anymore”, find themselves in Sideways world wrapped up in shady business deals and violence, respectively.

The scene between Sayid and Omer reminded me of the first (and only other time) we saw Omer… When the two of them were kids, Omer was tasked to kill one of the chickens, but he “chickened” out (coward,yellow”), so Sayid stepped in and snapped its neck. Seems even in adulthood, Omer still expects Sayid to step in and save him.

Sayid sends the kids off to school (on a big yellow bus!), and Nadia frantically rushes out of the house yelling to Sayid that Omar is in the hospital, seriously injured.

The two arrive at St. Sebastian and pass Jack in the hallway, who is again wearing his Sideways signature Candidate BLUE whilst walking down a blue hallway:

Nadia returns home and Sayid is repairing a vase broken by the children (NOT the same vase as his yellow flowers were in, I had to check!)

They talk about why Sayid pushed Nadia towards Omer, and Sayid explains that he has spent 12 years dealing with his guilt for all the horrible things he has done and that he can not be with Nadia because he does not deserve her. He is atoning for his sins… But it doesn’t last long, because the very next morning, the OTHER Omar (spelled differently, one of Keamy’s mercenary friends from the freighter) shows up in a BLACK SUV. Sidenote: Sayid passes a minivan bearing the exact same license plate number as Jack’s off-island Jeep (2SAQ321).

Interesting that Keamy and Omar work together whether the island exists or not. They take Sayid to Keamy at same restaurant kitchen Naomi took Miles to recruit him to join the Kahana in “Some Like It Hoth

A big deal is made about Keamy frying some eggs (also yellow): Fried, scrambled, or even poached — in his opinion, he can make some very good eggs indeed! Which immediately made me think of the episode, “Eggtown” which opens with Locke frying some eggs in Ben’s house at the barracks. I’m thinking there’s definitely a clue here… In that episode, Locke commented to Ben (being held captive), that they were the only 2 eggs left in the house, and Ben belittles him for not knowing what to do next (coward?). Also in that episode, it is also revealed that Kate is raising baby Aaron. And on the other hand, this could also be a reference to the aforementioned episode (“He’s Our You”) of the Jarrah boys as kids tasked to kill a chicken…eggs… ANYWAY…

Keamy also uses Nadia and the kids to coerce Sayid into paying Omer’s debt. Sayid declines, and ends up doing some fancy moves to kill Omar and the other man and holds Keamy at gunpoint. Keamy suddenly offers to forgive the debt, so I’m guessing Keamy also knows what Sayid is capable of (i.e. his interrogation time in Iraq). Sayid, back in true form, kills Keamy.

Sayid then hears a ruckus in a freezer, where Jin is being held captive, and says in Korean: “Don’t Kill me. Please. Let me live.”

Jin and Sayid are ALSO wearing Sideways Candidate BLUE, which supports what I was saying last week that blue means Jacob’s still-viable candidates are surrounded in it, on-island, and in Sideways world (Jack and Jin)… BUT only until they are taken over by the MIB (Sawyer, Sayid, Locke).

Island Timeline (2007)

Sayid barges into Dogen’s chambers while Dogen calmly reads a book, “Deep River” – Shusaku Endo’s 1993 novel about four Japanese tourists on a trip to India, which is interrupted by the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Ghandi. Each of these tourists goes to India for different purposes with different expectations, and each finds their own spiritual discovery on the banks of the Ganges River.

Sayid asks about the tests he was put though, and Dogen tells him that for every man there is a scale and on one side of the scale there is good and on the other side evil (Dogen is wearing a black glove on his evil hand, while his good hand remains white). The machine tells them how the scale is balanced and Sayid’s scale tipped “the wrong way.” Kinda like the scale in Jacob’s cave, when the MIB tossed the white stone in the ocean and the scale tipped “the wrong way”… BLACK.

It should be noted, though, that Dogen didn’t say ”tipped toward evil”… Should we be wondering if Lost wanted to invite debate what the ”right way” might be?

Egyptian Book of the Dead: A writing of Egyptian origin that described their belief of the afterlife and the trials that awaited the deceased. One of the trials, conducted by the jackal-headed god Anubis, involved weighing the deceased’s heart on the scale of Maat, counterbalanced by the feather of Truth. Only if the heart was lighter than the feather (i.e. not weighed down with evil) could the soul move to the reward of the afterlife.

Dogen is about to stab Sayid in the throat but is distracted by his baseball which has fallen to the floor and has a moment to reflect. We find out in another scene that the baseball belonged to his son and reminds Dogen of taking him to practice off-island. Also, as I mentioned in my past recap for “What Kate Does”… In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the commander of the station (Benjamin Sisko), used to have a baseball prominently placed on his desk throughout the entire run of the show. In the pilot episode, he used the baseball as a metaphor to explain the nature of linear time to the inhabitants of the wormhole, who experienced time all at once

The MIB is standing just outside of the circle of ash with Crazy Claire (FUN FACT:”Sundowning” is another term for dementia), convincing her to deliver Dogen a message because he cannot do it himself. He uses Aaron to coax her into implementing his plans, just as he later uses Nadia to coax Sayid, and previously used a ticket off of the island to coax Sawyer. I wonder if the MIB is merely promising a ticket to Sideways world. Plus, all of these exchanges remind me of the Serpent in the story of Adam + Eve, which was of course alluded to last week when Jack and Hurley came across the Adam + Eve skeletons in the caves on their trek to the Tree (er, Lighthouse) of Life…

Wikipedia:
Genesis 3 introduces the Serpent, “slier than every beast of the field.” The serpent tempts the woman to eat from the tree of knowledge, telling her that it will not lead to death; she succumbs, and gives the fruit to the man, who eats also, “and the eyes of the two of them were opened.” Aware now of their nakedness, they make coverings of fig leaves, and hide from the sight of God. God asks them about what they have done. Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent. God curses the snake (which must have been able to walk before this since vs 14 says “upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”) God then curses Adam and Eve with hard labor and with pain in childbirth, and banishes them from his garden, setting a cherub at the gate to bar their way to the Tree of Life, “lest he put out his hand … and eat, and live forever.”

Claire delivers the message that “He” would like to speak to Dogen. Dogen knows as soon as he steps outside the circle of ash, MIB would kill him. MIB knew he’d say this, so Claire suggests sending someone he won’t kill. Dogen first asks for Shephard and Reyes, because apparently the MIB cannot kill Jacob’s Candidates. Sayid, formerly a Candidate, will have to suffice. Now taken over by the “darkness”, Dogen knows he is no longer protected and sending him is a death trap. He gives Sayid a ceremonial dagger, prattling on about the MIB being “evil incarnate” (the Serpent) and this is Sayid’s chance to redeem himself and prove he is still “good”. Just like the MIB’s trickery, Dogen plays to Sayid’s weakness to coerce him into killing the MIB, but on his own free will.

On his way to meet the MIB, Sayid meets Kate in the jungle and tells her to ask Miles about what’s going on. We then see Miles playing Solitaire, which appears to be a nod to the Sayid-centric episode “Solitary” from season 1, where we first find out about Sayid’s torturing past and his feelings for Nadia. Sayid’s true love tells him in the interrogation room that he was ”pretending to be something I know you’re not.” After Sayid orchestrated her escape, Nadia fled after writing a message on a picture of herself in Sayid’s dossier: ”You will find me in the next life, if not in this one.”

There is rustling all around Sayid in the jungle, the smoke monster sounds are heard, and then the MIB appears as Locke. Sayid was told to stab him before he spoke, but the MIB managed to say “Hello Sayid” before being stabbed in the heart. Despite this being the same method that the MIB used (via Ben) to kill Jacob, it didn’t work on MIB. This may be because the MIB was allowed to speak before he was stabbed… It may also be because the MIB is a different entity than Jacob was (as he does commonly shape-shift to the smoke monster, and used to take the form of other people – Christian, Alex, Yemi, etc.) It appears the MIB cannot be killed in the conventional sense. AND when he removes the dagger and hands it back to Sayid, it’s the same exact camera angle and motions of when Jacob was conspicuously touching his Candidates…

The MIB says he wants Sayid to deliver a message and offers Sayid anything he wants, anything in the entire world, to do so. Sayid replies that the only thing he ever wanted died in his arms and that he will never see it again (obviously meaning Nadia, but could also refer to Shannon, who died in his arms after being shot by Ana Lucia in season 2).

Additional references from this Sayid/MIB exchange:

  • The Temptation of Christ: After being baptized, Jesus enters the wilderness and is approached by Satan who offers him dominion over the world if he follows him.
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: Anakin is told he will be able to save Padme if he converts to the Dark Side. Anakin’s first act as a Sith is to go to the Jedi temple and to kill the younglings.

The MIB seals the deal by rhetorically asking Sayid “What if you could?” in response to an impossible hope. It mirrors what Desmond asked Jack in regard to fixing Sarah’s spine. In both timelines Sayid is asked by someone to kill another person. In the Sideways timeline he refuses but is forced to do it, while on the island he agrees to do it but is unable to… So, accepting the challenge, Sayid publicly announces to the Temple-dwellers that Jacob is dead and because he is gone none of the Temple dwellers have to stay here anymore. He says that the Man is leaving the island forever and that those who want to go with him should join him before “sundown” and be saved, or stay and die. The final plague in the Bible talks of God sending the Angel of Death to Egypt and would kill the firstborns, but would pass over those who stayed true to Him and obeyed him. (Passover)

Sayid says he is returning Dogen’s dagger, and we hear about Dogen’s past off-island life as a successful banker with a drinking problem, who killed his son in a car accident. But Jacob magically appeared and offered him a bargain: His son could be saved, but only if Dogen would come to the island and work and never see the boy again. This is similar to Juliet’s deal in which she came to the Island to find a cure for her sister’s cancer, but was unable to leave the Island afterward. By contrast, the MIB offers Sayid the opportunity to not only bring the woman he lost back from the dead, but to be with her again. Sayid notes to Dogen that Jacob drives a hard bargain… I think this was supposed to be a bit snarky, since he realizes that Jacob makes people SACRIFICE for the ones they love, while the MIB does not.

At any rate, Sayid keeps up his end of the bargain with MIB by killing Dogen, ironically in the same way Dogen’s men killed Sayid trying to SAVE him. And we are left to wonder: (1) how was Dogen’s presence (alive) keeping the MIB out, despite the circle of ash? and (2) will Dogen come back to life, taken over by “darkness” as well, or is it only Jacob’s Candidates?

Kate forces Lennon to let her speak with Claire. Claire is sitting in the pit being creepy and singing “Catch a Falling Star”, which has apparently become Aaron’s official theme song throughout the series. The song also later plays as Claire, Kate, and Sayid walk through the Temple after Smokey attacks, as rain begins to fall, surveying the damage. Jacob’s efforts to “catch” those falling souls appeared to have been in vain, as they are now on the side of the MIB, entranced by his false (?) promises.

And with that, I think we know why the color RED was so prevalent at the Temple… They were setting Jacob’s followers up to be a mass of “redshirts”… Refusing to join the MIB by sundown by staying true to Jacob, most of them incurred the wrath of Smokey. The Temple massacre reminds me a lot of the Purge, initiated by Richard and Ben against the Dharma folks using poisonous gas.

As Sayid walks through and surveys the carnage, a structure that looks like a cross is seen burning, which is sacrilege to Christians, and I think supports the longstanding theory that the MIB represents the Serpent/Satan.

Finding the secret passageway that Jacob described to Hurley, Ilana leads Miles, Sun, Lapidus, and Ben to safety, and they escape Smokey unscathed. The symbol on the door (which we first saw last week when Jacob told Hurley about it, and I forgot to look up!)… is a Shen Ring, an ancient Egyptian symbol of eternity and protection, with shen literally meaning “encircle”. The symbol could be stretched to contain other objects (ahem, the ring of ash), which were then understood as being eternally protected by the Shen Ring. In ancient Egypt, the Shen Ring also represents dual concepts of time; the cyclic line of periodicity and lineal time (into infinity). The Shen Ring is most often seen carried by the falcon god Horus (Goodspeed)… Oh and Nadia was wearing a very Shen-like necklace…

At the end, we see the MIB leading his newly-assembled team of Jacob’s former followers and Candidates out in the jungle, hence beginning the war that we’ve been constantly told is coming. Ilana, Miles, Sun, Lapidus, Jack, Hurley, Jin, and Ben comprise Team Jacob, which is actually pretty ironic since Ben was the one who killed Jacob.

Doc Jensen:
Remember earlier when I talked about how Saul saw Jesus, was blinded with scales, and then three days later the scales fell off and he could see clearly again? From that day forward, Saul became a new creation. He called himself Paul. Now, check this out. Remember before the season began, when ABC released a trio of images that had the cast of Lost replicating Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper? According to tradition, Jesus’ final meal with his disciples occurred on Thursday evening. The next day, on ’’Good Friday,’’ Christ was crucified. Jesus was taken off the cross at sundown (although it had been oddly dark all day) and placed into a tomb. From there, the Christian messiah, God’s only begotten son, is said to have descended into hell to give Satan the finger. Sundown. Son Down. Now, think back to the season premiere, ’’LA X.’’ The castaways arrived back on the Island in the evening. Last night’s episode was the first time we’ve seen evening on the Island since then, and based on what we’ve seen, I think it’s safe to say that only one day has passed since Team Jughead was uploaded to Island 2007. Oh, and in case you weren’t keeping track, Lost’s last season is now one-third complete. Six hours of Lost 6.0 = 1 day on the Island. 18 hours on Lost 6.0 = 3 days. If we say that ’’LA X’’ was Maundy Thursday, and if ’’Sundown’’ was Good Friday, then will the show’s final hour be… Easter Sunday. And you know what happened on Easter? Resurrection. I’m telling you, folks, Alpha, the god of beginnings is coming back to balance the scales, but this time he’ll be wearing a whole new body, because he’s going to be a whole new creation: the resurrected John Locke.

With so many references to GOOD and BAD (especially in this episode) when talking about MIB and Jacob, I almost think that having it so clear-cut (Jacob = good and MIB = bad) means there’s going to be a twist. I think they’re throwing us off… And this seems to be pretty spot on:

Doc Jensen:
Think about the wondrous things associated with Jacob. Richard’s eternal youth. The resurrection hot spring. And, if you believe Ben from season 3, a cure for cancer. Jacob isn’t ”good,” per se — he’s just capable of giving life. Put another way: Jacob is the god of beginnings. He is The Alpha. The Man in Black? Not evil — he’s the god of endings. He is the Omega. The beginning and the end. Polar, warring opposites, but absolutely necessary for life to bloom (Alpha) and to have form (Omega). Both are necessary for anything to have meaning. Jacob unchecked leads to chaos; Man In Black unchecked leads to annihilation. Both need to exist in balance; both need to be equally weighted rocks on the scale.

Leave comments and feel free to share… Thanks for reading!

Jen / desmondismyconstant.

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Lost Episode 6.05 – “The Lighthouse”
February 25, 2010, 5:51 am
Filed under: Episode Recaps | Tags: , , ,

This show marked the 108th produced hour of the series, with the number 108 (the sum of the numbers) playing an important role in this episode’s plot. Jack, number 23 on Jacob’s list, and 23 degrees at the lighthouse, had his own centric episode on February 23rd. Neat!

Sideways Timeline (Friday October 24, 2004)

Jack arrives at his apartment after work and changes his shirt. He looks in the mirror (“mirroring” the lighthouse mirror later in the episode), and notices an appendectomy scar he didn’t remember from when he was about 8 (the numbers). This was another moment when Jack appears to be thrown into this Sideways life without having 100% bearing in this new life. The scar actually parallels the scar he received from the appendectomy Juliet performed on him on the Island. So in the other timeline, he didn’t have the appendectomy as a kid, therefore he doesn’t remember it.

Doc Jensen:
Now, we all know that the castaway version of Jack had his appendix removed on the Island back in season 4, and I think Lost wanted us to once again wonder if these Sideways characters are psychically linked to their Island counterparts or possess their memories somewhere the backs of their fogged-up minds. Consider this: If we assume that Jack is about as old as Sawyer, then that means it’s very likely that Sideways Jack had his school collapse/appendix episode the very same year that a certain group of time traveling castaways were blowing up Jughead on the Island. What if Young Jack’s collapse was caused by Castaway Jack’s mind/soul getting blown into him?

His mother Margo calls and asks about the lost coffin. We hear later on David’s answering machine that the date is the 24th, so as of now the coffin is still missing 2 days later. I’m thinking in Sideways world, Christian’s body will forever remain missing. And Jack doesn’t seem to upset about it… He consoles his mother, but it appears Locke’s words rang some truth in him: They didn’t lose your father, they just lost his body.

Jack leaves to pick up his son at St. Mary’s Academy. The Virgin Mary (St. Mary), was referenced before in the show… When Charlie sees Claire as the Virgin Mary in his dream… And when Eko smuggled heroin in Virgin Mary statues, which Charlie steals. Claire’s bassinet (later in the episode) is also the same colors as Mary’s garb…

Jack’s son is David Shephard. David from the Bible was a shepherd and musician. One of his most famous songs is Psalm 23 (Jack’s number): “The Lord is my Shepherd”. David is known as the young warrior who slew Goliath before gaining power and ruling his kingdom. See below, Caravaggio’s depiction of David and Goliath… Caravaggio was shown in the Season 5 episode “316” when Ben and Jack are in Eloise’s church.

Back at Jack’s apartment, he tells David he can watch the Red Sox (while walking into David’s room, decorated with 2 photos of baseball fields.) It’s clear immediately that David is not interested in sports, but rather music and books. Which made me think about teenage Locke, who was a man of science but longed to be into sports and cars… And also young Faraday, who was a musical genius, but was told to give it up to pursue science.

David is reading The Annotated Alice, The Definitive Edition, by Lewis Carroll. Jack reminisces about reading it to David when he was younger (which made me wonder if he was having another out-of-body experience to another timeline and remembering reading the same thing to young Aaron, as seen in Season 4’s “Something Nice Back Home”…which also happens to be the episode about Jack’s ruptured appendix, in which Juliet performs the surgery with Jack supervising via a…MIRROR!) Jack mentions Alice’s 2 cats “Kitty”, a BLACK cat, and “Snowdrop”, a WHITE cat, from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

David gets angry and says, “We only see each other once a month… Let’s just get through it.” And Jack realizes he’s become the terrible father that he once had, and which damaged both Island Jack and Sideways Jack.

At Margo’s house, looking for Christian’s will (in an episode about free will!), Margo offers Jack a drink (from her bar stocked with McCutcheon’s whiskey), and Jack declines. Sideways Jack has gotten his act together! He successfully avoids the demons that corrupted his father.

When he gets home, David is missing…. So let the “white rabbit chase” begin! Jack looks for David at his mother’s house. Her identity is of course kept a secret, but I think there was a clue at her house. The house number is 233, and last week there was a #233 written on Jacob’s wall: JONES. Jones is the name of a US Army solider that the Others (Widmore and Ellie’s group) presumably killed when they arrived on the island. Widmore then wore Jones’ uniform. Perhaps David’s mother is a descendant of the 1950’s US Army Jones. Or maybe it’s Juliet? They obviously aren’t together anymore, which leaves her free to go dutch on coffee with Sawyer (wink wink!)

Jack finds the house key under a pottery rabbit (just like Miles did when he was a boy snooping around at the apartment-showing when he discovered a dead body in one of the apartments). This is also a nod to Alice, with the book shown earlier, as well as the looking glass shown at the lighthouse (more on that later).

In David’s room, it’s filled with the things he loves and Jack pokes around, getting to know his son. He finds a vast array of music and recording equipment, as well as:

A “Meat Coat” poster… Season 1’s “The Moth” shows Charlie in Australia trying to convince his brother Liam to reunite their band Driveshaft. Charlie has a deal for the band to open for “Meat Coat” on tour. Lots of Charlie references this episode!

“M. Gold” poster… Not sure exactly what this references, but the color GOLD could refer to the Golden Pass that the Oceanic 6 received, the gold Pontiac that caused numerous car accidents in the show, Driveshaft’s record went gold, the Black Rock was on a gold mining operation in the South Indian Ocean, GOLDstein was a name listed on Jacob’s wall, etc.

“Stillborn Skies” poster… This is an actual band based out of Honolulu, HI.

“Justice Calling” poster, B+W soccer ball, BLUE desk lights, RED siren lights…

“Fantasie-Impromptu” by Chopin (which is what young Faraday was playing in his flashback in Season 5’s “The Variable”)…

A big blue poster of Beethoven, and on the ceiling, “The Who: Maximum R&B”

Photobooth pics of David and Jack, having fun together (note: David is wearing a Dodgers hat, not Sox), and both are wearing blue.

David’s phone number is 734-235-6787. Turns out 734 is the area code for Ann Arbor, MI where Daniel Faraday was sent to work for the Dharma Initiative’s headquarters. They are clearly making David out to be a young Faraday.

Jack heads over to Williams Conservatory (the sign he sees while walking in says “Welcome all Candidates”) to catch David playing Chopin’s “Etude in C minor” (aka The Revolutionary Étude) during his audition. The étude appeared around the same time as the November Uprising in 1831. Chopin was unable to have a strong participating role because of his poor health, and allegedly he poured his emotions on the matter into many pieces that he composed at that time – the Revolutionary Étude standing out as the most notable example. Upon conclusion of Poland’s failed revolution against Russia, he cried “All this has caused me much pain. Who could have foreseen it!”

Dogen’s son compliments David’s playing, then Dogen says “it is hard to watch and be unable to help” and adds that David “has a gift” (similar to when Juliet told Michael that Walt was “special”.)

Jack waits for his son outside. David says that he did not tell Jack about the audition because he did not want Jack to see him fail. Jack tells his son that at David’s age his father did not want to see him fail either and that he said that Jack “didn’t have what it takes”… In the Island timeline, Hurley gets Jack to follow him to the lighthouse by saying he “HAS what it takes.”

Doc Jensen:
And so he told him: ”When I was your age, my father didn’t want to see me fail, either. He said: I didn’t have what it takes. I spent my whole life carrying that around with me. I don’t want you to feel that way. In my eyes, you can never fail. I just want to be part of your life.” I was moved by Jack bid at reaching out to his son — and I was struck that his words included some extraordinary grace for his father. To me, it sounded like Jack understood his father loved him, even if he had a clumsy way of showing it, and that he himself bore some responsibility for choosing to believe in his dead father’s judgment.

This story ended with Jack looking into the episode’s most unusual and most miraculous of mirrors — the eyes of his son, David. What he saw in them was the very thing his Island self should have recognized in the Lighthouse: an invitation to let go of the past and move into the future.

Island Timeline (2007)

I: The Lighthouse Expedition

Jack is looking at his reflection in the pool in front of the Temple. This again “mirrors” the mirror theme of this episode. Jack is constantly looking at his reflection and trying to find out what he is really all about, what his purpose is.

Jacob appears by the pool and instructs Hurley to get Jack, leave through a secret passageway, and take him to the lighthouse. He says, “Someone is coming to the island, and I need you to help that someone find the island.” It is actually a quest for Jack to find his purpose on the island.

Dogen finds Hurley wandering a hallway, and Hurley stands up to him, playing the Candidate card (he “lied to a Samurai”, haha… This actor actually played a samurai in The Last Samurai)… Dogen responds angrily in Japanese: “You’re lucky that I have to protect you. Otherwise I’d have cut your head off.”


Hurley rallies Jack with the “you have what it takes” line, and they are off  on their trek through the jungle, where they soon encounter Kate. She’s now on a (doomed) mission to find Claire. ”I hope you find what you’re looking for,” she wishes her former lover as he follows his white rabbit hunt to leave his painful past behind.

They come across Shannon’s inhaler and realize they’re at the caves. Hurley speculates that Adam and Eve might be the remains of some of the 815 survivors who have been sent back in time. More support for Adam + Eve being… Rose + Bernard!

Jack and Hurley’s “old school” trek through the jungle to the lighthouse may be an allusion to Virginia Woolf’s 1927 book To the Lighthouse. Large parts of Woolf’s novel investigate the means of perception, attempting to understand people in the act of looking.

Jack and Hurley arrive at the Lighthouse. Jack, determined to talk to Jacob, breaks the door open. Inside they discover a wheel surrounding a fire bowl and a series of mirrors to reflect the firelight. They have to turn it to 108 (the sum of all the numbers). Jack starts recognizing some of the names on the wheel, and we find out where the number assignments came from for the Candidates list we saw in Jacob’s cave last week. WALLACE was again listed as 108. Wallace is an unknown character, but I believe this is unimportant since the quest to get person 108 to the island was just a guise.

Here are the additional names shown in the lighthouse that weren’t shown in the cave:

Rousseau crossed out at number 20.
Austen at number 51. Austen is not crossed out and was not shown in the scene in the cave in “The Substitute.”
Burke crossed out at number 58.
Faraday crossed out at number 101.
Lewis crossed out at number 104, which is different from The Substitute where she has number 140.
Rutherford crossed out at number 32, which is different from The Substitute where she has number 31.
Wallace crossed out at number 108.
Friendly crossed out at number 109.
Linus crossed out at number 117.
Dawson crossed out at number 124.
Littleton crossed out at number 313.

THE FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES LISTED IN THE CAVE AND LIGHTHOUSE

After seeing the temple in Korea where Jin and Sun got married (more proof that 42-KWON, I think, is actually both Sun AND Jin), the church where Sawyer’s parents’ funeral was held, and then Jack’s own childhood home reflected in the mirror, Jack angrily smashes the mirrors with a looking glass when Jacob fails to appear for answers. I think he was half-expecting his father to appear, instead of Jacob. The mirrors themselves were looking glasses into each Candidates’ former life. And, as Jack seems to notice little “kinks” in Sideways World by looking in a mirror (cut on his neck, appendectomy scar he doesn’t remember)… The lighthouse mirrors show him the life he left behind.

Jacob appears and Hurley apologizes for failing in his mission and that the plan for the people to find the Island is “totally screwed”. Jacob is unperturbed, and it is implied that no one was ACTUALLY coming to the island, it was just an exercise to get through to Jack.

Jacob also explains that Jack is here to do something (reset the timeline? Kill the MIB?). To get some people to do something you just tell them, but for people like Jack you need to “let them look out at the ocean for a little while”. He also explains that he had to get them away from the Temple, because someone bad is about to arrive there. Hurley wants to warn the people at the temple but Jacob explains that it is already too late. I’m thinking he knows Sayid has been compromised, so Jacob ushered his other Candidates to safety, while leaving the rest of his crossed out followers to die.

II: Claire’s Camp

Jin wakes up in Claire’s creepy hut, and sees: bloody clamps, Dharma mayo and ale, an oar, plane seats, baby books (Wish Upon a Star… Similar to “Catch a Falling Star”, Aaron’s song), explosives from the Black Rock, a compass (Locke’s?), and a bright blue bassinet holding a makeshift doll Claire constructed from an animal carcass, confirming her insanity.

When Claire is tending to Jin’s bear trap wound, she states that one of the jungle’s killers is “infection”. Ethan had kidnapped her to vaccinate her against the “infection”… And of course Rousseau killed her own “infected” teammates.

Claire, having lived in isolation and corrupted by an evil spirit, killed Justin with an axe to the chest. This is similar to the movie version of “The Shining” where Jack Torrance, having lived in virtual isolation in the Hotel Overlook and corrupted by the evil spirits within, kills Dick Halloran with an axe to the chest when he returns in an attempt to save the family from Jack’s madness.

It’s interesting that Claire doesn’t remember abandoning Aaron in the jungle when she followed her dad to the cabin. She is convinced the Others took him, which is what the MIB has told her in different guises (Christian/Locke). So MIB is using her to implement his will: Killing Jacob’s followers and Candidates by manipulating her with Aaron. At some point she was captured and put through the same tests as they performed on Sayid. She clearly failed, then escaped.

When Jin says Kate took Aaron to save Justin’s life, Claire kills Justin anyway and Jin knows she can’t be trusted. He backtracks on his story to save Kate, but Claire doesn’t appear to believe him. The Kate/Claire run-in next week is going to be… Interesting!

Miscellaneous:

Colors are VERY prominent again this episode….

RED: clothing of everyone at the Temple, numerous items in Christian’s old office (books, etc.), front door of Margo’s house, Margo’s sweater and fingernails, McCutcheon’s bottle, Williams Conservatory signage and stage drapery, Hurley’s T-shirt, Claire’s explosives, the X’s in tic-tac-toe, Alice book, the framed pic of Jack and his dad, etc.

BLUE: Jacob and David’s bright blue eyes, Sideways Jack’s hospital scrubs, dress shirt, and blazer, David’s school uniform, his Dodgers hat and shirt, Claire’s plaid shirt, the fabric on the roof of her hut, the baby bassinet, Island Jack’s T-shirt, Kate’s backpack, the siding on David’s mom’s house, Sideways Dogan’s tie, David’s blue Beethoven poster, Jack’s golf bag, ink on Hurley’s arm, the reference to Virgin Mary, etc.

Back in season 1, while leaving a trail in the jungle, Locke marks the trees with strips of RED fabric and says it shows the “progress” of their trek. This should ring some bells, as Jacob (while talking to the MIB on the beach in a very compelling scene last season) was an advocate for the “progress” in bringing people to the island. So perhaps it’s reasonable to say RED can be associated with Jacob, who stands for “progress”. So Jacob’s progress = RED and Jacob himself = WHITE (which he continues to wear posthumously).

Now, for the BLUE… I think there are 2 possibilities. Claire’s hut was filled with blue items, and she is now known to be the right-hand woman of the MIB. Sawyer was also wearing blue last week when he decided to help MIB get off the island. So one thought I had is that BLUE can be associated with the followers of MIB, the opposite of progress, and stifling one’s free will to help MIB further his plans. My other idea has to do with the prominence of blue in the Sideways timelines so far, especially last night in Jack’s story. He was wearing blue shirts in each scene (blue scrubs, then blue dress shirt), David was always wearing blue, and his room was filled with blue. And last night Jack was wearing blue on the island as well. There was an emphasis in Locke’s story last week on blue, but Locke is dead on the island, so it’s hard to tell if this is the same connection (other than Locke’s corpse wearing a blue dress shirt)…but… I think that the people in blue might be indicating Jacob’s leading Candidates (now Jack and Sawyer), and their connection to the alternate Sideways reality, because I think that’s what they’re unknowingly working towards: resetting their lives to make Sideways their eternal reality. This whole experience will subconsciously affect everyone and their judgment, and it helps them make better decisions for a more fulfilling life. So I think either BLUE means the stifling trickery of the MIB, or the success of Jacob’s will (resetting the timeline). You be the judge!

There were several references in this episode (the 5th episode of this season) to Season 1, Episode 5 “White Rabbit”:

  • In order to motivate Jack, Jacob tells Hurley to tell Jack he “has what it takes.” This motivates Jack because Christian once told Jack he didn’t have what it takes.
  • Jack explains to Hurley that he discovered the caves by following a vision of his dead father.
  • David is reading an annotated edition of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Jack finds the key to David’s mother’s house under a ceramic white rabbit. The key and the rabbit also reference “Some Like it Hoth”, in which Miles finds a key under a rabbit during the flashback.
  • Jack reminds David he used to read Alice to him when he was younger. In a flash-forward in Season 4, Jack reads the same story to Aaron.
  • Two of Jack’s centric episodes are named after Alice stories: “White Rabbit” and “Through the Looking Glass”. Last night’s episode shows both a white rabbit and a looking glass.

”Through A Glass, Darkly,’‘ a poem written by Gen. George S. Patton…
Through A Glass Darkly
is an abbreviated form of a much-quoted phrase from 1 Corinthians 13 in the Christian New Testament, “For now we see through a glass, darkly”, meaning clarity on a situation is often obscured, like looking at something with a darkened mirror.

So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.
And I see not in my blindness
What the objects were I wrought,
But as God rules o’er our bickerings
It was through His will I fought.
So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore,
Dying to be born a fighter,
But to die again, once more.

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to leave your questions + comments below.

Jen / desmondismyconstant.

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