Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lost, "Jughead": How to dismantle a hydrogen bomb

Spoilers for "Lost" season five, episode three coming up just as soon as I find out what year this is...

"I won't leave you again. Not for this. Not for anything." -Desmond

As "Lost" season five continues to grapple with the unstuck-in-time nature of the island, it seems appropriate to have an early episode devoted to both our resident time-traveler and our resident time-travel expert. Other characters figure into the narrative (though none of the Oceanic Six, nor Ben, which gives the hour a more streamlined feeling than either of last week's), but really, this is the story of what Desmond is willing to do with the knowledge he gains from his flashes, and of what extreme, possibly reprehensible, lengths Daniel Faraday went to in order to master this outlaw brand of science.

Now, "Jughead" also detonates a hydrogen bomb-level piece of information about the show's mythology, as we find out that the British soldier from the end of "The Lie" is not only an Other, but a young Charles Widmore. This puts the Ben/Widmore power struggle into an entirely new light. Because Widmore moves in time (or, rather, doesn't move) when the setting shifts for Faraday, Sawyer and company, we can assume he's a native Other, too, or at least a long-standing resident of the island, or in some way immunized from all the time jumps. (The accent probably suggests he's a non-native, unless all of The Others somehow have their own individual dialects.) And that, in turn, makes it clear why Widmore believes he has a rightful claim to the island that Ben stole from him(*), and again raises new questions about who's the hero and who's the villain.

(*) Or did the island/Jacob make the choice, in the same way that Ben was cast out so that Locke could take over leadership of The Others? Does the timeline allow for Ben and Widmore to have co-existed as Others? He obviously had to be back in the real world with enough time to father Penny and build his business empire, but the time-skipping nature of the island allows for some flexibility. After all, Alan Dale (who plays Widmore) would have been a little kid at the time of the events of "Jughead," yet Widmore's a man in his 20s in 1954. So either Dale is playing older than he is, or we're dealing with some serious time-travel shenanigans. A lot of this obviously depends on whether Richard is the only Other who doesn't age -- an idea you could potentially extrapolate from Locke and Juliet's brief discussion of his age -- but it could be that Widmore was still a young man when Ben led the purge of Dharma, and then he got banished to the real world several decades earlier, at which point he began to age normally.

But back to the hero/villain question. Yes, Widmore sent his goons to take back the island by force, and they murdered Rousseau and Alex and blew up the boat with Michael and (maybe) Jin aboard. But do we ever want to taking Ben Linus' side of any dispute? Penny seems so terrified of her father finding out where she and Desmond are, but Desmond's visit to Widmore's office -- and Widmore's plea for Desmond to take Penny back to wherever they were hiding -- is a reminder that Penny really needs to be afraid of Ben, who's still seeking eye-for-an-eye vengeance for Alex's death.

And they are absolutely going to give me a heart attack waiting for something bad to happen to Desmond, or Penny, or both. It's amazing how this couple who've had a tiny sliver of the shared screen time compared to any combination of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle, or of Jin/Sun, have become the romantic pairing I care most about. That's a testament to Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger's performances, and to the brilliant heartstring-yanking climax of "The Constant," and to the way their story seems so integral to what the show is revealing itself to be about. I felt moved by the childbirth scene, even though I've seen variations on that about 9,000 times over the years, and I misted up a bit when I found out they'd named their son after Charlie (whose life Desmond had worked so hard to save, and whose sacrifice helped Penny find Desmond). As I watched Desmond steer his yacht, little Charlie on his lap, content as any man has a right to be, I felt a joy for him that I rarely feel for fictional characters, outside of maybe those rare moments where good things happen on "The Wire."

And as I felt happier and happier to watch these two, a voice inside my head got louder and louder with its warnings that something terrible is going to happen. No one on this show can be this blissful, this satisfied, with so much time left to go before the finale. I just know that Desmond is going to have to break his promise to Penny about going back to the island, or that Ben -- who's currently in the city that's next on the Hume family's travel itinerary -- is going to get to Penny before Desmond can stop him, and I'm not sure I can handle seeing that. (If my worst fears are proven right, expect that night's blog entry to be either a lot of incoherent wailing, or else a video like the crying Giants fan -- language NSFW.)

While Desmond and Penny are filling my heart with equal parts delight and dread, the episode deliberately left me unsure what to think about Dan Faraday. On the one hand, he manages to keep a cool head about him in the midst of all this island chaos, he seems concerned with helping everybody survive, and his feelings for Charlotte (and vice versa) appear to be very real. On the other hand, Desmond uncovers some disconcerting news about Dan's past as an Oxford researcher. We already saw from the 1996 scenes in "The Constant" that the younger Dan was kind of an arrogant SOB, so it shouldn't be that big of a surprise that he experimented on human subjects, or even that he'd abandon Theresa Spencer, the poor woman whose life he destroyed by sending her consciousness tripping back and forth through time.

But I'm assuming that Theresa was the woman in the photo Desmond found in Dan's old Oxford office -- that she was Dan's girlfriend, and that he talked her into being his guinea pig because he couldn't find anyone else to do it. That makes the abandonment more unsettling -- as Theresa's sister asks, "What kind of man does that?" -- and it also raises a whole lot of questions about Dan's relationship with Charlotte, who appears to die from the time sickness at episode's end, in the same way that Fisher Stevens did in "The Constant." Is there a chance that Charlotte has also played the guinea pig for Dan in the past? Or does her sickness and apparent death tie in to all the speculation that Charlotte was, like Widmore, born on the island? In previous seasons, I might be annoyed that they bumped off Charlotte before we ever got to find out what made her tick, but this season's chronological hijinx means that we almost certainly haven't seen the last of her.

How good is Jeremy Davies, by the way? There's a tendency to take what he does for granted because he specializes in playing this kind of twitchy outcast, but he more than deserves to be shoved center stage the way he's been this season. Just listen to the way he delivers a line like "Fantastic idea, really inspired" when Ellie the Other threatens to take a shot at him while he's standing near the hydrogen bomb; coming out of Sawyer's mouth, or Miles', it easily has a sarcastic undertone. But Davies' delivers it with complete exasperation, even exhaustion. Dan's mind is always racing faster than everyone else's, and you can see him doing all the mental calculus -- including the realization that the bomb problem will work itself out with or without him, because the island hadn't blown up 50 years in the future -- and growing frustrated that Ellie, like everyone else he deals with on the island, can't keep up with him. He's not cruel the way 1996 Dan was (though my opinion on that could change when we learn more about what happened to Charlotte), but he makes it clear how tiring it is to always be the smartest man in the room.

Again, this is definitely a Desmond/Daniel episode, but I don't want to gloss over the material between Locke (who has now definitively thrown in his lot with The Others) and the 1954 version of Richard Alpert. Operating under the show's closed-loop theory of time-travel, Locke takes the compass a future version of Richard gave him, hands it to the 1954 Richard and sets things in motion so that Richard will bring it along to "test" the young Locke in the scene we already witnessed in last season's "Cabin Fever." The Locke we see here has to remember how that meeting went, but he can't do anything to change it now -- per Dan, Desmond's the only character on the show with the ability to rewrite the timeline -- so I'm curious how this particular turn of events is going to help Locke find out the secret of getting off the island. I'm guessing we'll see Locke run into Richard in the '60s or '70s within another episode, and eventually Richard will believe the crazy bald guy.

The other day, I went back and re-watched season three's "The Brig" on ABC.com to see if there was anything in Locke and Richard's first scene together that played different in retrospect. And there definitely is: knowing that Locke encountered The Others in the past (and will probably do so a few more times this season) better explains why they're all so in awe of him around their camp, why they talk about "waiting" for him to show up, and also why Richard is so eager to help Locke subvert Ben's leadership. Richard knows that Locke is destined to be their leader down the road, and maybe Ben knows it, too, which would support his determination to get rid of Locke at every turn.

We talk a lot about whether Lindelof and Cuse had a master plan from the start, or whether they were making things up as they went along. We're not going to know that for sure until the series ends -- and maybe not even then -- but I think it's fair to say that there has been a plan in place going back at least to those meetings the producers had with ABC after everybody realized how much they hated "Stranger in a Strange Land" midway through season three. We may never get a satisfactory explanation of The Numbers, but I believe everything that's happened on the show for the last season and a half has been as meticulously plotted-out as it's feasible to do on a TV series. And the more I see of the new episodes, and on how they reflect back and amplify things we saw in the past -- the more I zip back and forth through time right along with Desmond, Dan and the rest -- the more confident I feel.

Some other thoughts on "Jughead":

• There was a lot of speculation last week that Dan's mother and Ms. Hawking might be the same person. Now that Widmore has said Dan's mom is in Los Angeles -- which is where we saw Ms. Hawking last week -- should we just assume that theory's correct, or do we need to be mindful of the Felix Unger rule about assuming?

• I was lucky enough to watch this episode a couple of weeks ago at the TV critics press tour, where ABC screened it on a couple of giant monitors right before a Q&A session with Lindelof and Cuse. Obviously, not everybody has the option of watching the show on a movie theater-sized screen, but I highly recommend the idea of the communal "Lost" viewing experience if you've never tried it. The collective "awwwww..." at the revelation of baby Charlie's name, and the cacophony of laughter, applause and gasps at the revelation of the young Widmore really enriched the hour, and was a reminder that television doesn't have to be watched in solitary fashion.

• Something else I was reminded of while re-watching "The Brig": what's happening to Cindy the flight attendant, and the kids, and anyone else The Others abducted from the tail section? Will they turn up at some point this season just as unstuck-in-time as Sawyer and company? Or is something at work beyond being a native, or being on the island a long time, that would have them traveling (or not traveling) with The Others, while Juliet (who was with the group a lot longer than Cindy) and Locke (ostensibly their leader) don't?

• I still don't completely follow how Desmond's exemption from the show's time travel rules works, but I like that Penny at least bothered to ask why he didn't remember meeting Faraday until several years later. Also, for the people still having a hard time following the show's closed-loop philosophy of time travel, I'd strongly recommend renting the movie "12 Monkeys," which operates along similar lines and does a pretty good job of explaining it in layman's terms.

• Sawyer and Miles would seem to be dead even in their battle for island comedy supremacy. On Miles' side of the ledger: him immediately pointing the soldiers towards Dan when they demanded to speak to a leader, and his "That's just awesome" response to Dan's suggestion that their predicament could resolve itself in 5 minutes or 5000 years. On Sawyer's side: "Hate to bust up the 'I'm an Other, you're an Other reunion," and his brilliant double-take upon getting a look at the bomb.

• And two more of the remaining Socks got lost in the dryer that is the island. (Credit/blame for that turn of a phrase goes to Dan Fienberg.) As Lindelof said a few weeks ago, the show has moved past the point where the Oceanic 815 passengers we don't know provide any value to the narrative, so I wouldn't get attached to anybody who isn't either a regular castmember or a beloved recurring character like Rose and Bernard.

• Maybe one of you can help me scratch a particular pop culture itch. Ever since I first heard this episode's title, my mind went not to Archie Andrews' asexual best pal, but to a random snippet of an '80s teen show or movie that I can't remember anything about, save that one character is acting crazy and introduces himself to someone else by claiming, "My name's Jughead. Jug. Head!" I want to say it's something Peter DeLuise did on "21 Jump Street," but that's a total shot in the dark. Ring a bell with anyone else?

One final note: this is the last of the episodes I've seen in advance, and I'll most likely be watching the rest of the season in real time with the rest of you. Early last season, I asked whether people preferred the ensuing reviews to be done fast or to be done thoroughly. The consensus at the time was you preferred depth over speed, but as the season moved along, people would start popping up to comment on other posts and complain that the "Lost" review wasn't done yet. So let me ask again: do you want something done as quickly as possible so you can start talking, or would you rather wait (usually until sometime late morning/early afternoon of the following day) for a more detailed review?

What did everybody else think?

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
greentara said...

OK, totally OT because I haven't processed the episode yet, but JOHNNY SACK is on Life on Mars! (and he's fat)

EOTW said...

I think the episode was incredible from start to finish. I'm a big fan of D&P, so I was thrilled to see they have a son and I'm sorry, but if you saw this and weren't touched that they named their son "Charlie," then you have no soul.

LOVED seeing the young Widmore there and for a second, I starte to wonder if Richard isn't some immortal but maybe he just time travels like everyone else does but the nJuliette said he was "very old," so I am stucking with that as my thinking on the guy.

How great is it that a show like this can not even show most o the main cast and still be compelling and not make you miss them (well, except for Ben) in the slightest? Pure genius tonight, folks.

Shambala said...

a middle ground between the two

Devin McCullen said...

I vote for complete over quick. Maybe set up a blank thread for people who really want to talk about it.

I am assuming that we are not allowed to discuss anything that showed up in the preview for next week's episode.

They just revealed Charlie's name at the end, right? I was actually going to be annoyed if he wasn't named that, although it did occur to me that Penny might not be too crazy about it.

EOTW said...

Alan, I didn't take it to mean Charlotte is dead. Yeah, she dropped to the ground and all but that hardly means she died, unless I missed something.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I am assuming that we are not allowed to discuss anything that showed up in the preview for next week's episode.

Correct. No preview talk.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, I didn't take it to mean Charlotte is dead. Yeah, she dropped to the ground and all but that hardly means she died, unless I missed something.

Again, if you compare what's going on with Charlotte physically as compared to what happened to Fisher Stevens towards the end of "The Constant," I'm thinking she's dead. I could be wrong, obviously, but that's the way it looked to me.

Alan Sepinwall said...

They just revealed Charlie's name at the end, right? I was actually going to be annoyed if he wasn't named that, although it did occur to me that Penny might not be too crazy about it.

Yes, at the end. And it's only just now occurred to me that Charlie is also another name for Penny's dad. (D'oh!) Wonder if that was an intentional choice when they introduced Widmore back in season 2.

Jennifer J. said...

I'm still reading, but have to stop and comment that at one point in the episode (or in the last time on) we learn that Mrs. Hawking's first name is 'Eloise'. That's the same name as Daniel's lab rat in "The Constant". I'm pretty sure she'll be his mother. :)

Will Eidam said...

A friend told me to read The Stand. Has this ever been mentioned before?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stand

Lester Freamon said...

I tuned in a little early, and on the enhanced version of "The Lie" the green bar referred to Ms. Hawking as "Eloise Hawking". Assuming the green bar knows what it's talking about, that leads me to think that Ellie, the Other who looked familiar to Daniel is probably a young Ms. Hawking.

If anyone's still having issues with the closed-time-loop theory, I would sum it up like so: You can't change the past, because you didn't.

It took me a second to register the significance of the kid's name because I just assumed at first that he was named for his grandfather.

Jordan said...

Loved this episode. IMDB says she appears again many times this season, but that could mean anything on this show. Either way, great great episode.

J said...

Hey, folks. I'm just popping in from a few hours from now when there are 320 comments in this thread. Frogurt on fire! Peace out.

BF said...

Worth mentioning for no real reason: Hanging on Widmore's office wall was a giant mural of a polar bear with the word 'namaste' scrawled across the top.

PS: can we talk about the teaser for next week?

Paris Nicholls said...

Always enjoy the posts, Alan. I definitely vote for more in depth write-ups.

Andy said...

Dude! Great Catch! You are 100% right! The rifle toting Ellie is Daniel's momma!

Jennifer J. said...

Done reading now.

Alan, I vote for wanting your in-depth coverage before posts.

I loved this episode. I even called that one of the 2 soldiers would be Widmore and that the baby's name would be Charlie (Charles = hell to the no!)

I know Ben wants to exact revenge by killing Penelope. I believe he'd do it if he could. However, I wonder if they're (Ben and Widmore) both what we'd call 'bad'? Maybe one's the lesser of 2 evils? If so, my money is on Ben as the lesser...but who knows!

Also, I don't believe that Charlotte is dead. It's hard to believe they'd kill her with us knowing so little about her, but then that applies to Libby, too, eh?

I do like the depth we saw to Daniel's character tonight even if it wasn't pretty.

I think Miles wins comedy-wise tonight b/c of his "I'm alright" lines after Dan only talks to Charlotte. Miles cracks me up...and I say that as a *huge* Sawyer fan.

christy said...

I am SO with you on with that gnawing sense of dread about Desmond and Penny. I spent half the episode muttering "don't kill off Penny, don't kill off Penny," and I meant EVER.

He obviously had to be back in the real world with enough time to father Penny and build his business empire, but the time-skipping nature of the island allows for some flexibility.

As does the fact that higher-up Others (which maybe he eventually becomes?) have the privilege of traveling back and forth between the island and the real world.

I totally forgot about Rose and Bernard! Where are they?

How cool that so much history between Locke and Richard just falls into place with that one meeting.

You ask a lot of good questions about Faraday, Charlotte, Cindy and the kids, none of which are answerable yet, I don't think. (Even for a person like me who likes to come up with implausible theories).

I myself do quite a bit of clapping and yelling watching the show all by my lonesome.

And finally...I really don't mind either way which way you do the blogs. Both are fine.

Jennifer J. said...

If Ellie is Eloise then I was right to believe that she was an "Other" once....

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happens in LOST world over the next 2 seasons, but Desmond & Penny need to have their own show! This episode was fantastic.

christy said...

"Eloise Hawking". Assuming the green bar knows what it's talking about, that leads me to think that Ellie, the Other who looked familiar to Daniel is probably a young Ms. Hawking.

AWESOME.

I also noticed the Charles/Charlie thing for the first time tonight, too! My thought was that if Charles ever meets his grandson, he'll be like "awwww, they named him after me," and they'll be like "SIKE, LOL."

Poor Poor Pitiful Me said...

Complete over quick!

And I just wanted to point out that when Penny asks Desmond to promise that he'll never go back to that island, he responds with "Why would I want to go back there?"

Which can only mean one thing!

Andy said...

Speaking of having their own show. If Lost was brought to us by the same folks that give us the CSI or Law and Order franchises you just know that the Socks would have their own spin off by now, lol. Actually, that might be interesting if you think about it.

Andy said...

The Socks would be all like, "Why do these d-bags get to make all the damn decisions around here?!"

Adam said...

There's another loop they close here -- now we understand why Richard Alpert shows up at the hospital when Locke is born in "Cabin Fever".

Anonymous said...

Loved the episode - I guess I'm not made of stone, but I did wonder why P&D named their son after her Dad ... before it hit me it might be Charlie too -

And the whole young-Locke seeing the compass shown by Richard which was given by Richard to Locke to give back to Richard to show again to Locke just makes me brain hurt.

Are we even going to go into why somewhat-present-day Richard tending to John's bullet wound knew that Richard wouldn't recognize Locke the next time they met?? I mean - exactly how many times has Alpert done this??????

My brain hurts - and can we have a show with just the following:
Ben, Locke, Miles, Dan, Sawyer, Des and Pen, Eloise, Hurley?? Everyone else is beginning to feel like a red-shirt - not important.

christy said...

'Course, Jack and John are versions of the same name as well...

xyz said...

Folks remember the hatch from season 2? There was this wall over which a ton of concrete had been poured over and Sayid mentioned that the only thing he had seen similar was Chernobyl, so is 'Jughead' behind the wall?

xyz said...

Are we even going to go into why somewhat-present-day Richard tending to John's bullet wound knew that Richard wouldn't recognize Locke the next time they met?? I mean - exactly how many times has Alpert done this??????
Richard Alpert knew that he would not recognize Locke because he remembers the conversation he had with Lock in 1954 where Locke gave him the compass and he was unable to recognize Locke.

Jordan said...

Ok, so what if Penny isn't Charles' daughter...but his mother?

MattB said...

+1 for in-depth reviews.

Jesus how annoying was Juliet and her need to prevent any sort of meaningful conversation between characters?

Locke: Hey, you're never gonna guess who shot me in the -
Juliet: Nope don't care tell us that interesting information another time!

Locke (dying for answers about Richard): Just how old is Richard?
Juliet: let me give you the most annoying non-answer I can to drag this mystery out as far as possible and not reveal any valuable insider information I've gathered over the past 3 years that you might really want to know and that might help us all: Old.

Its laughable at times, the need to suspend belief that any characters would talk to each other or even, yknow, ask each other some questions.

Other than that, I really enjoyed this episode. Daniel + Desmond + Penny + Richard + Widmore = awesome. I didn't even notice the lack of the Oceanic Six!

Anonymous said...

Open thread up during or immediately after, more in depth later.

Andy said...

We're definitely starting to get a lot of questions answered now. And what questions aren't totally answered are starting to reveal themselves like a game of Wheel of Fortune with a few vowels missing.

The H-Bomb will explain the hatch, and everything associated with it.

christy said...

Are we even going to go into why somewhat-present-day Richard tending to John's bullet wound knew that Richard wouldn't recognize Locke the next time they met?

Hmmm...well, we at least know that when Richard tends Locke's leg and gives him the compass, it can't be very far into the past because Yemi's plane has fallen down, right? (Locke's lying next to it). It's 2004 at the earliest, and possibly much later. So, maybe by that point in Richard's life, Richard and Locke have had the chance to sit down and compare timelines a little? Or at the very least he's had some time to mull it all over. Just a guess.

Toby said...

Thank you for mentioning Cindy and the Tailie kids and what may have happened to them when the time-shifting began. I was bouncing around the net last week bringing that up, hoping it bothered others as well. Whatever was done to keep them leaping, I would have expected Juliet to have been offered the same option as well.

I suppose "Jughead" is what was buried behind all of that cement in the Swan Hatch, although I think it will be always a matter of "which came first - cement hold or Jughead" arguments in the future.

With all of the time travel, I got a bit of a 'Doctor Who' twinge when Desmond burst into the poker game and asked, "Are you the Doctor?"

On my Facebook page, I mentioned that I'm glad to see so many little mysteries being explained, blanks being filled in. But at the same time, I miss the early days of the show when we looked forward to the next week's unexplained new mystery.

But it is time to begin providing the answers and there should be plenty to last out the next two seasons.

Anonymous said...

xyz -

Richard KNEW Locke then, Locke (being a child) didn't know him.

I was wondering about the scene from last week - when Richard tends to Locke's injury, he seems to know two things:
1. The next time jump is coming soon. Dan seems to be the only one making sense of the jumps right know and he didn't even know - so how does Richard?

2. Richard knows that the next time Locke jumps, he's going to go back 50 years - so Richard will not know him, but Locke will know him????

Like everyone is recommending - watch 12 monkeys. My brain is fried!!!

Oh - BTW - on the complete-v/s-quick vote - I like the idea someone gave - allow an empty thread, but Alan, please post a complete one.

christy said...

Locke: Hey, you're never gonna guess who shot me in the -
Juliet: Nope don't care tell us that interesting information another time!


LOL. You're so right. I really wanted to see Sawyer's reaction when he said it was Ethan.

Michael said...

I totally missed that it was a young Charles Widmore, but my father kept calling me and I no longer have my PVR (which i regret terribly). I'll have to go and watch the ep again.

I vote for the more in depth. But then, I usually just read your post and sometimes only briefly peruse the comments, so i prefer when there's a lot for me to read.

Maybe throw up a blank thread at 10, and then later edit it to add the post? Though, that won't refresh the RSS feed, so maybe that's not the best plan. But depth > quick, for sure

Andy said...

I was really concerned after last week's show that the show was creating too many new questions. I see now though a lot of the new questions from last week were introduced in order to provide answers to old ones.

Bryan said...

Great show - I have a hard time believing from what we've seen so far that Daniel's so heartless as to just leave his girlfriend/subject. If he took off I'm betting he had no choice or went to get help. (He's shown more emotion than just about anybody else on the island starting with his crying in his very first episode).

Also I really enjoy your in depth analysis so I can wait a few hours.

Toby said...

Oh. Forgot to mention this....

Because of John Updike's death I was rewatching the "Simpsons" episode in which he appeared, playing himself. And Marge was upset that Homer was about to use a cherry bomb to fix an end table drawer.

Homer asked her if she wanted it done right, or done fast. And she said that like most Americans she wanted it done fast.

Well, not me. Alan, you take the time you need to write your reviews of the episodes....

christy said...

Great show - I have a hard time believing from what we've seen so far that Daniel's so heartless as to just leave his girlfriend/subject. If he took off I'm betting he had no choice or went to get help.

Right and also at some point Daniel gets put on a boat by Widmore and sent to the island. I can't remember if the sister said exactly when Daniel abandoned them (remember Des is in 2007 when he's finding this stuff out), but even if it was a long time before 2004, it still might have been Widmore taking him away, and then paying for the girl's care to mollify her family. Sounds like Widmore was the boss of him, or at least the sister was under that impression.

ksquard said...

I definitely vote for in depth over quick.

I first thought the kid was named after the grandfather, not Charlie. I like naming him after Charlie better. I kept yelling at the screen "tell Widmore Penny's dead" so I guess I still think he's the bad guy. I am SO waiting for the anvils to drop on Penny and Des. I couldn't even enjoy the father and son moment b/c I keep waiting for a bomb to blow up the boat or something.

Totally did NOT see the young Widmore coming. And I really should have.

Others reunion - HA!

Of course Ms. Hawking is the mother. And I agree that Ellie must be her too. Just don't know how I missed that before reading the post/comments. Not on my game tonight.

Did I vote for in depth reviews yet. That's what I want...

EOTW said...

I just skimmed through that interview you linked to in tonight's review, Alan and one of the guys mentions that thereis MUCH MORE to explore with Charlotte, so unless the actress playing her got a DUI or something, my vote is she's still breathing.

Larry C said...

I wrote this last week in the comments, but I think it's more true now: I am seeing a lot of Doctor Who allusions in Lost.

It starts with Desmond's first english line to the physician: "Are you the Doctor?".

Everything else falls into place if you agree that:
1. Mrs. Hawking is a timelord (and perhaps also Richard)
2. The 'secret energy' under the island and tapped by the donkey wheel is from a crashed Tardis.

Andy said...

Alan, I agree with what everyone else seems to be saying. Post an open thread for discussion about the episode then an in depth analysis for us all to read and debate about as soon as you can reasonably do so.

Graig said...

Where does this leave us in the Richard and Ben/Widmore dynamic? Richard has to choose a side in season 4 between Ben and Widmore's freighter folk and he chooses Ben (or at least the island). Does that mean there was a falling out with Widmore and the 1950's Others? I know Widmore was constantly questioning decisions made by the Others, so they could be easily setting that up.

Laura said...

I've been re-watching "The Wire" this month, and it's been really difficult to switch between a show so focused on realism (in dialogue, especially) to a show like "Lost", where, as other commenters noted, characters rarely seem to talk about the important things.

That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, especially the revelation that Widmore was on the island. And I love Faraday, so ever scene with him is excellent.

I will say that while I definitely feel that the show has regained its sense of direction and momentum, I'm a little bothered by how much it has shifted focus from the original survivors to characters introduced far later, like Ben and Juliet. It just feels like the first season and a half were almost a waste of time, you know?

Bryan said...

Don't know what it means, if anything, but did anyone else notice how oblivious and skeptical the 1954 Others were about time travel? (Also and maybe it was the case last week but Richard didn't seem to notice the noise and light before the jump). Modern Others don't seem that naive.

Also - in the 50's and 60's an awful lot of people were able to find the island (Dharma, US military) was it always not hidden?

MattB said...

One of the comments above has reminded me of this question:

WHY was Faraday in tears the first time we ever saw his character, when he was watching the news report of the discovery of the fake wreckage of Oceanic 815 on the ocean floor?

mplsk said...

O.K. If Ellie is Daniel's possible mother, who is his father? Who is a young guy on the island who might have his eyes on Ellie? Possibly young Charles Widmore? It would possibly explain why the 70's Widmore financially backed Daniel's experiments, a father looking after his son.

Padraig said...

What do you make of Ellie telling Faraday at the creek, upon seeing he was the leader, "You just couldn't stay away" (or something to that effect)?

Bryan said...

"What do you make of Ellie telling Faraday at the creek, upon seeing he was the leader, "You just couldn't stay away" (or something to that effect)?"

Once we found out what happened I just took it to mean "even after we killed all your friends you still came back"

Christopher said...

+1 for depth over speed.

Richard knows where Locke is going next because he remembers Locke showing up and saying that he just came from getting shot in the leg and talking to Richard.
Not exactly sure how he knew where to find Locke as soon as Ethan shot him, but I'll assume that Richard gets enough info over the years (either from Locke, or otherwise) to have a decent idea of what's going to happen when (and where).

Also, I happened to catch "Frequency" yesterday on cable -- and that movie also seems to have a similar handle on the effects of time. Jim Caviezel's desk (in the future) shows the etchings that Dennis Quaid is doing (in the past) as Dennis Quaid does them -- even though it's 30 years in the past.
I think Faraday's and Desmond's timelines are still somewhat linked, so that Desmond didn't just "remember" what Daniel told him, but in fact just learned it, because Faraday just told him. In reality, Desmond probably should have "remembered" this a few years ago, but for the show purposes -- they happen in the same episode, and I'm alright with that.

Stef said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stef said...

Until told otherwise, i'm going to believe that Desmond's uniqueness is because he was right on top of the Hatch when it blew. Maybe that was his destiny already, but I think the huge EM/radiation exposure could be the easiest explanation. (Occam's razor and all.)

My guess is also that the Others didn't start time traveling until after "The Incident" that's first mentioned in the Orientation film. I haven't rewatched in a while so I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but the time period seems to make sense.

Also, I was just thinking about how much I *love* the way the LOST mythology and scope of the storyline has evolved. As viewers, we were just as clueless as the survivors in season 1, thinking it was just some creepy, maybe supernatural Island, but as time has gone on we've learned of the good/villain race between Ben and Widmore over the fate of the Island, and perhaps of humanity. I have great faith that D&C and the writers really have plotted this all out since the first year, so I'm constantly just amazed and how they've been able to bring us along for the ride.

Number Five said...

I know that we in the audience don't directly care about the redshirts, but within the context of the show, the main characters should logically care about the other people, or at least act like they exist. And I still think it's a more powerful story if the Oceanic Six have to go back to rescue everyone, not just Sawyer, the ghost of Claire, Juliet the Other, and a couple of freighter scientists. And while they weren't the focus of the show, they've had some good storylines in past seasons about Jack, Sawyer, Locke, etc. and leadership in regards to the 815 survivors. The way they handle it continues to bother me.

They are doing a great job with the temporal structure so far. Even the hatch is starting to fit into it - although the lack of (seeming) consequences when the button wasn't pushed and hatch exploded is a bit of a cheat. The pieces of the Island Magic Energy, the H-bomb, the accident that led to the need for button pushing, the concrete wall, etc.

The Widmore revelation was great...on the one hand, Widmore's sincere concern for Penny and Desmond did seem to suggest he may not be all evil. On the other hand, his 1954 self is a pretty nasty piece of work.

I vote for complete over quick as well.

I am looking forward to seeing Cindy and the surviving Tailies, and I'm hoping Rousseau and her team will show up at some point as well.

Mark said...

Jughead:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_17_nuclear_bomb

Steve Ely said...

This comment isn't really about "Jughead," but is kind of prompted by Laura's point that the storyline's progress has been draining the significance from the original-season stuff with the original characters.

While I would kind of like for ongoing events to eventually make more meaningful the roles of Boone and Shannon (and especially Walt), I also particularly want to see Claire get on a helicopter at some point, probably in the sixth season. Wasn't the vision of Desmond's that led Charlie Pace to sacrifice himself that if Charlie did drown out there, it would lead to Claire getting off the island via helicopter? Or am I remembering wrongly?

Seems like if that's a vision that comes true, Charlie's death is a lot more meaningful. Otherwise, what good would he felt he accomplished otherwise?

Fernando said...

did anyone else have a headache trying to figure out who had the compass first: Locke or Richard?

O Charles Widmore!

Anonymous said...

Ok, so what if Penny isn't Charles' daughter...but his mother?

Oh boy. I was handling all this time travel stuff pretty well, but you just gave me my head-exploding moment. Thanks.

I also wonder if Daniel's conversation with Ellie (if she is indeed Ms. Hawking) was what inspired her to investigate time travel in the first place. Closed loops abound.

Mathew said...

another for depth over speed.

Frogurt on Fire!

Steve Ely said...

Also, I think Number Five there makes a good point about the redshirts.

Unrelatedly, about Cindy: can we be sure she wasn't already an Other before the plane crash? She wasn't so much taken as disappeared from Ana Lucia's group and then appeared happily with the Others, right? Do we know she didn't just walk back to Otherton like she belonged there in the first place?

On the other hand, maybe that'd require her to anticipate both 815's crash and her survival, and that'd probably require some kind of time travel or something.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

"Ok, so what if Penny isn't Charles' daughter...but his mother?"

That doesn't really work for me - if that were true why would he be so intent on keeping her and Desmond apart.

Not to rush things at all - I really don't want to think about this show ending- but it will be cool in a few years if they come out with a special edition chronological Lost (ala The Godfather Saga).

the2scoops said...

Dan's mind is always racing faster than everyone else's, and you can see him doing all the mental calculus

I'm loving Jeremey Davies' portrayal of Daniel. Your analogy of how his mind works reminded me of the comic book X-Factor by Peter David, where speedster Quicksilver explains his arrogance from his perspective, that it's like the world is populated by the type of people who slows your life to a crawl because they happen to be in line in front of you and don’t know how to work the ATM. Daniel doesn't have the time or sometimes patience for everyone to catch up to him. Thus endeth the geekiest reference I've made all month.

Nate said...

Hey here's an idea totally out of left field.

Maybe Daniel is technically very young "now", but actually traveled back from "the future" when he was in his 30's.

If his mom is in LA, and Kate is in LA.... maybe Daniel is really the little baby that was born to Claire and that is why there were questions raised last week about who actually is the mother.

Brian said...

did anyone else have a headache trying to figure out who had the compass first: Locke or Richard?

See, this is the question that has been really messing with my head. Because Richard is first given the compass by Locke in 1954. Richard then uses it in the test he gives to young Locke asking him, "which of these things is already yours?" Then, as far as I can tell, Richard keeps the compass until he gives it to Locke in 2004 when he tells him to give it to himself again.

So, what is the origin of this compass?

Carmichael Harold said...

[i]That doesn't really work for me - if that were true why would he be so intent on keeping her and Desmond apart.[/i]

I'm not sure what, exactly, Widmore knows, but he may have learned at some point that Desmond turns the key in the hatch and, therefore, is responsible for the burst of energy that made Widmore able to find the island again.

Devin McCullen said...

I think Richard has 2 compasses now. The whole point of 2004 Richard giving Locke the compass is that it had to be something 1954 Richard would recognize as belonging to him.

belinda said...

Definitely in depth is better, especially for a show like Lost where writing a short one would seem somewhat pointless.

At least for me, I love how your recaps helps me keep things in line for a show that's jumping all over time.

In fact, your recaps and all the comments from everyone are kinda like my constant in watching this show. So, yes, please continue to write as in depth as you like.

My biggest gasp of the episode would have to be Widmore on the island. I did not expect that, and that certainly changes a whole lot of things in the past (and in the future).

One question though - Was it mentioned at some point when Desmond is at in the episode? Are we watching him on the same timeline as the oceanic 6? (which is exactly how long after the oceanic 6 got off the island? I forget sometimes.)

Jim Treacher said...

I think Alan Dale is playing older. And Terry O'Quinn is definitely playing younger.

Okay then... When Desmond suddenly remembered meeting Faraday on the island, that was in 2007, right? Even though Faraday knocked on the hatch, from his perspective, in 2004, right? I wonder if there's some reason the time-alteration or whatever took 3 years to hit Desmond, or if it's just one of those things they slipped past us.

Ellie! Eloise! Yep, gotta be Faraday's mom. As for how she ends up as some sort of timecop... oy, my head hurts. And if Faraday is Widmore's kid, a theory I like, that would mean Faraday should be on the lookout for revenge-driven Ben. Who Faraday came to the island to find. Did I mention the head, with the hurting?

I'm thinking Charlotte's dead, for the simple reason that Faraday professed his love and therefore doomed her.

I really wanted to see Sawyer's reaction when he said it was Ethan.

Yeah, I was hoping for something like:

Sawyer: Who shot ya?
John: Ethan.
Sawyer: Ethan? The guy Charlie killed?
John: You can imagine my surprise.

Bryan said...

One question though - Was it mentioned at some point when Desmond is at in the episode? Are we watching him on the same timeline as the oceanic 6?

Yes, it is the same time. Penny tells him after his dream that he's been off the island 3 years.

Rachel said...

Great episode. Most of my thoughts have already been said by others, so I'll just chime in on the thread question...

I love your in-depth posts, Alan, so I vote to wait for those. And while the idea of an immediate open thread seems appealing, I think that'll be a bit unwieldy having to follow two threads. There's also sure to be a lot of repetition.

jim treacher said...

The whole point of 2004 Richard giving Locke the compass is that it had to be something 1954 Richard would recognize as belonging to him.

No, the whole point of it was that he had to give the compass to Locke because he remembered getting it from Locke. It didn't have to be a compass, it could be anything. Classic sci-fi paradox. So much of the head-hurting I got...

Justin said...

Alan:

That Jughead line is from Police Academy 2:

ZED: "What's your name?"
MAHONEY: "Jughead. Jug. Head."
ZED: "Jughead?! My mothers' name was Jughead!
MAHONEY: "Oh, well i was thinking of changing it!"
ZED: "NO DON'T. It's a good American name!"

My girlfriend has always doubted that hours of watching the Police Academy series would come in handy. Thanks for the opportunity to prover her slightly wrong.

Andrew said...

Another great episode!
I vote for length over speed. Love the long review!

Michael said...

Clearly, Faraday can change the past, at least with Desmond. He went to the Hatch and talked with Des, creating a new event which Desmond only "remembered" after it had newly happened in the past. (The English language isn't particularly good at verb tenses related to time travel.)

I'm of the opinion that Richard Alpert isn't immortal or long lived, he just time travels somehow, which makes it seem like he's always been there.

Anonymous said...

MattB,
See Slaughterhouse-Five for an explanation on how being unstuck in time causes random crying.

SteveInHouston said...

So now, in addition to Hume, Locke, Faraday, Bentham, Carlyle, Burke, Rousseau, CS Lewis, Hawking and ... I'm sure others ... we can now add Spencer to our list of philosophers/mathematicians/physicists to our Lostverse.

Herbert Spencer (vis Wikipedia): "Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. As a polymath, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, religion, economics, politics, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology."

Nice job, Cuse and Lindelof. You continue to make me vaguely recall and then look up stuff that was extremely important during my college years.

dez said...

Great show - I have a hard time believing from what we've seen so far that Daniel's so heartless as to just leave his girlfriend/subject. If he took off I'm betting he had no choice or went to get help.

Which would explain his crying the first time we saw him, over his inability to go back and help his girlfriend, perhaps? But I agree--I don't think he abandoned her by choice.

Faraday has become my new favorite character and I don't mind spending more time with him than, say, Kate. Didn't miss her or Jack tonight, actually.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great breakdown, Alan!

While reading your post immediately after each episode airs has been my ritual, I vote for length/detail!

I value your insights just as much as watching the show.

And you perfectly articulated how I feel about Desmond and Penny. I find myself savoring each moment AND holding my breath when they are on screen.

*sigh*

I will be a crying mess if anything bad happens...

renton said...

Length over speed.

I can get speed elsewhere on the Web. I can't get your brilliant analysis - and I'm willing to wait for it.

(Plus, I'm unable to watch the show as it airs so I'm about 5 hours behind anyway)

Tyroc said...

Alam, quality over speed every time.

Take the weekend if you need it if it gets us such great critiques.

As for the episode, and Richard's aging very slowly, I'm thinking he arrived on the Black Rock and has been on the island ever since (outside of short trips to the outside world, during which he probably ages a little.)

Tyroc said...

I called you Alam.

I meant Alan, of course.

And again, please take your time on the reviews. They're worth waiting for.

Byron said...

It's great to see that Lost is still on track and doing well, but I think you're giving it too much credit with how complicated our characters are going to be. Ben is going to stay our sarcastic, sorta-anti-hero. Daniel used to be an arrogant jerk, but then he did horrible things he now regrets, and now he's struggling to make amends. Charles Widmore is evil in a greedy way. Lost has a lot of things going for it, including wonderful performances, but the characters don't go too far beyond "stock."

Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with whomever came up with the link that "Ellie" is actually Farraday's mother, Mrs. Hawking.

While walking out to the bomb she asks him why keeps staring at her.

He says she looks like someone he used to know.

She says quite the Romeo, are you?

He says, "No, far from it."

That's because he's looking at his mom.

Whoever came up with that was great.

Anonymous said...

And the young Widmore is straight evil.

He lies to Richard about the ambush that he happened at the end of "The Lie", saying that Sawyer, Juliet, Locke were with a group of people that ambushed him.

In reality he was about to have someone cut off Juliet's hand.

Tennis Watching said...

A vote for detailed. The brief review would be missing all the essential little things. Thank you for all the effort in the reviews.

Hillary said...

He says, "No, far from it."

That's because he's looking at his mom.


I don't think I thought it through that consciously, but as Daniel was talking to her by the bomb, I immediately thought, that's his mother, it has to be. I think I was so caught up in that idea that the Charles Widmore revelation just hit me from left field.

re: the Others and Desmond and how time travel affects everyone differently - how about considering how the shots fit in? Remember, Desmond was taking them during his time in the hatch. What if whatever was in those injections somehow manipulated his response to time travel? And didn't Claire get the same injections from someone? (Oh my brain hurts.)

What if the inability to bear a child on the island is a direct result of the inability of a fetus to survive the stress of traveling in time? A developing embryo might not be able to handle it. But Claire had the injections, so Aaron was okay?

There are so many things to re-think now, and I love it. Walt, appearing to Locke after he's been shot? All those times Walt appeared to poor Shannon? Forget the ghost theory, I am guessing Walt did a little of his own time traveling (but has he done that already, i.e., during his initial time with the Others, or will he return with the O6 and do it then?)

There were some questions last week on how, if you can't change the past, Locke could have killed the soldiers. To me it's clear: the soldiers were killed, so not killing them would have changed the past. By the time the plane crashes in 2004, those soldiers have already been dead for 50 years, even though Locke has not yet traveled back in time to do it. It's not like before 2004 they'd lived full lives and suddenly their timelines were eliminated.

Mike said...

Is it just a coincidence that "Life on Mars" at 10pm had a Jughead reference of its own? One character makes reference to Archie (Bunker) and Meathead, and another says no, Archie's (Andrews) pal is named Jughead.

Toby said...

"If Ellie is Daniel's possible mother, who is his father?"

Ever since Faraday showed up last season, I was hoping we'd get one of those Daddy Issues flashbacks for him. And that they'd hire Tom Skerritt for the role.

As I watch Faraday, I'm always seeing physical tics and hearing vocal inflections that remind me Skerritt.....

Anonymous said...

So 'The Lie' was on as an enhanced version? I hope they put that online. One of the best viewings of Lost for me has been going back and watching 'The Constant' with the green bar. It is good to read the comments of more adept watchers. When I first saw Ellie, maybe it was the tank top, maybe it was the posture, I thought we were seeing Rouseaux (sp? Roosew...RooSO...Ruso... anyway) when her original party came 16 years previous and her party died of the forgotten sickness. I am on board with the Ellie Eloise Farady Hawking Widemore theory, thanks to all of you people. Also, it is starting to rectify a quibble I had with The Constant. Penny is Desmonds constant because of an intertwined connection of their lives, be it romance, tragedy, or despair, Desmond is seeking out Penny which makes her a Constant in his life, and so seemed the rule set out by Daniel in the episode. Then at the end of the episode he just got to choose Desmond, the guy he just met and altered his own past with as his constant. Now with Ms. Hawking's connection to Desmond before Desmond even met Faraday, and Ms. Hawking guiding Desmonds time travel as her son will soon do, Desmond being Daniels constant makes more sense to me. Fun fun show, but thinking about closed time loops and 12 monkeys makes blood shoot out my eye, so its about a wash.

Hobbes

Alan Sepinwall said...

My girlfriend has always doubted that hours of watching the Police Academy series would come in handy. Thanks for the opportunity to prover her slightly wrong.

Thank you! Mahoney with the stupid fake mustache!

I feel much better now.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I just skimmed through that interview you linked to in tonight's review, Alan and one of the guys mentions that thereis MUCH MORE to explore with Charlotte, so unless the actress playing her got a DUI or something, my vote is she's still breathing.

But the time travel -- and the possible return of flashbacks -- allows for her to appear a lot even if she's dead from Daniel's perspective.

It's the same way Daniel Dae Kim can still be a regular castmember and yet we have no way of knowing if Jin is alive or dead.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, I happened to catch "Frequency" yesterday on cable -- and that movie also seems to have a similar handle on the effects of time. Jim Caviezel's desk (in the future) shows the etchings that Dennis Quaid is doing (in the past) as Dennis Quaid does them -- even though it's 30 years in the past.

No, Frequency operates on the other time travel model, where you can change the past/future and create paradoxes. On Lost, with the exception of whatever Desmond is able to do, the timeline is the timeline and can't be altered.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thus endeth the geekiest reference I've made all month.

If it makes you feel better, I was tempted to use the Quicksilver analogy as well, but then decided that last week's Guardian from Alpha Flight reference was enough comic book geekery from me for a bit.

Alan Sepinwall said...

What if the inability to bear a child on the island is a direct result of the inability of a fetus to survive the stress of traveling in time? A developing embryo might not be able to handle it. But Claire had the injections, so Aaron was okay?

This was a story point in "The Time Traveler's Wife," where the couple keep having miscarriages because the fetuses inherited their dad's time-travel power and would briefly disappear into the past or future and die outside the womb.

But in terms of island time travel, it doesn't seem to affect the native Others, and in terms of the consciousness travel, it usually doesn't affect people until they try to go to or leave the island on the wrong bearing. So I don't know if that's a factor in all the failed Others pregnancies.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

You know, it never even occurred to me that the baby was named after Charlie-who-sscrified-himself. I just kept wondering why they named him after Penny's dad when both Penny and Desmond seem to dislike him so much. Haven't come up with a reason yet, but maybe later.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

Interesting theory, mplsk--Charles Widmore as Daniel's father.

And I vote for in depth.

Erizu said...

I love how Locke is becoming a mediator in his own destiny. Locke was truly born for the Island.

It's totally plausible that Jughead was behind the concrete in the Hatch. We never actually saw the complete effects of the button not being pushed. In the S2 finale Desmond didn't not push the button, he turned a failsafe key, and when he caused 815 to crash he did manage to recover. It's possible the preliminary effects are the electromagnetism and possible time/space shifts ala the Donkey-wheel, with the practical inclusion of the button somehow regulating the leak of the H bomb.

Anonymous said...

Re: how old is Richard?

Is it possible that The Others all learn Latin because that was Richard's native language? I guess it would have been tough for anyone to reach the island almost two thousand years ago, but that's what first came to mind.

EOTW said...

One other thign I have always found interesting is that Richard allows outsiders like ben and Locke to be the leader of The Others, when he clearly knows more and knows the secrets of the island. Maybe there's a reason for that, but I am always wondering if he is really Jacob.

Michael said...

Whose graves did Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte walk across, who had been dead for four months? Four of them, three who had been shot, if I recall. What was happening four months ago?

MattB said...

did anyone else have a headache trying to figure out who had the compass first: Locke or Richard?

...

No, the whole point of it was that he had to give the compass to Locke because he remembered getting it from Locke.


And this is precisely why I hate time travel stories! Because in this "closed loop model", something has to start the loop - the compass had to originally belong to Richard or Locke at one point in time.

This whole idea is like a Möbius strip.

Frankly this is why I think time travel in reality is an impossibility, but that's a pretty unscientific theory of mine.

Anonymous said...

Whew, just made it through the episode and all the comments. This one really struck me, from Stef, though it may be basic to others:

My guess is also that the Others didn't start time traveling until after "The Incident" that's first mentioned in the Orientation film. I haven't rewatched in a while so I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but the time period seems to make sense.

My brain is still too boggled to make any more sense. Though I have to say I almost wept over little "Charlie."

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

Detail, A-Sepp, detail. You are a rock.

BF said...

Whose graves did Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte walk across?

Probably the guys who brought Jughead. My guess is Richard's band of merry Hostiles took them out and then stole their clothes & gear. It also explains how Goodwin got his knife.

Katie said...

Regarding Faraday - I assumed he professed his love for Charlotte to try ot make himself her constant - to save her. And, we don't know that he abandoned the woman in Oxford. His "running off to the states" may have been him getting on widmore's boat to go to the island to try to find answers that would help her.

Anonymous said...

Question for group - When Locke told Richard that Ethan shot him, he said something along the lines of, it's payback.

How would Richard have known that in the future, Locke & Co. would kill Ethan?

MattB said...

Question for group - When Locke told Richard that Ethan shot him, he said something along the lines of, it's payback.


Because Richard told Locke that after Ethan died.

After Locke was shot, he flashed forward to a time after Oceanic 815 landed on the island and after Ethan was killed.

Undercover Asian Man said...

The Man said: "We talk a lot about whether Lindelof and Cuse had a master plan from the start, or whether they were making things up as they went along. We're not going to know that for sure until the series ends -- and maybe not even then -- but I think it's fair to say that there has been a plan in place going back at least to those meetings the producers had with ABC after everybody realized how much they hated "Stranger in a Strange Land" midway through season three. We may never get a satisfactory explanation of The Numbers, but I believe everything that's happened on the show for the last season and a half has been as meticulously plotted-out as it's feasible to do on a TV series. "

I totally agree with this. I just think they made such a mess before getting the green light to end the series that there is no way they can make sense of Seasons 1-3.5, but will be able to 'fit in' things like Adam and Eve and maybe Dharma. It still pisses me off that they won't come clean about this. And I'm still betting that in retrospect, when viewed as a whole, the first 3 seasons will have very little meaning to the story as being told now and huge holes will remain (we can pretty much already say that the "Taillies" season meant a whole lot of nothing.)

I think the current mass killing of redshirts is indicative of how there was no master plan PRE-"Stranger in a Stange Land". If they knew where things were going from the start, they just would have had much fewer survivors of Oceanic 815 to begin with instead of giving us a bunch of indiscriminate deaths now that all the characters seem to ignore. Maybe just the Core players plus a handful of redshirts to kill of for drama during Seasons 1-3. Then again, the current redshirt deaths by mysterious arrow or landmine isn't really that much different than those by Russo or Echo or Libby or Anna Lucia - things that turn out to be meaningless anyway and doesn't seem to bother anyone on the Island in the least.

I don't get how the time jumping works. Why do Juliet, Sawyer, Charlotte, Miles, Daniel and Locke jump together? Certainly it isnt geography since Locke, Sawyer, and Juliet were far apart from the other three, yet still remain in the same timeline. If it is because they began in the same timeline when the Islands started jumping, why did Locke get separated from his group of Others who also started with him in his timeline? Remember, Locke emerges after seeing of Ben off and meets the Others to tell them he is the new leader. But after the first flash and jump, Locke is suddenly alone, in the same location, but it is now night time. Why didn't his group get to stay together? If it has something to do with being an "Other", then why is Juliet able to "stick" to Sawyer and not be separated as Richard's Others were from Locke?

Also, I do think a lot of mystery and intrigue is drained out of the series now that we have so many scenes off the Island. A certain sense of claustrophobia is good for nurturing mystery, which is now gone. And I bet Matthew Fox is grumbling somewhere about starting off as the Lead in the series and is now a bit player like Sun.

Alan Sepinwall said...


I don't get how the time jumping works. Why do Juliet, Sawyer, Charlotte, Miles, Daniel and Locke jump together? Certainly it isnt geography since Locke, Sawyer, and Juliet were far apart from the other three, yet still remain in the same timeline. If it is because they began in the same timeline when the Islands started jumping, why did Locke get separated from his group of Others who also started with him in his timeline?


Because The Others -- at least, Others of long standing like Richard -- seem immune to whatever's going on with these time jumps. Everyone who wasn't immune at the time Ben moved the island has been jumping around -- or else they're not moving while the island and the immune people are.

Ben said...

ok, i'm a little to this party - I didn;t know Alan opened up the site for comments right after the show. Sweet - but here were some of my thoughts right after watching the episode:

Wow, so much to cover...

1) How could we have not thought that one of the British soldiers was Widmore! It was obvious they were in the past. Duh. Sometimes I want to think about some complicated plot twist and its a simple one that gets me. Brilliant.

2) So now we know Richard came to see baby Locke. It wasn't simply that he was special, but John TOL:D him too show up.

3) Desmond namd his kid Charlie. awwww

4) So it is a bomb! When they first discovered the hatch, Sayind told Jack that he had never seen that much concrete poured except...over a nuke!

5) So the Hatch was all about not having the nuke not go off. And when it did, that failsafe key that Desmond turned did something to prevent a mushroom cloud, I guess.

Ben said...

more thoughts...

6) Richard called the female soldier "Ellie"; Mrs. Hawkings first name has been revealed to be "Eloise"; Dan tells the female soldier she looks so familar...I think that mystery is solved; Hawking is Dan's mom...now, I think the next step is verifying that Widmore is Dan's dad! Makes sense, based on the island timing, Widmore funding Dan's projects, etc

7) Ok, follow me here...when Desmond meets Mrs. hawking in the jewelry store, we all think she is just some kind of spirit guiding him through time. But...what if she TRAVELED back through time _ now that her son Dan has learned how to do it _ and talks Desmond out of marrying Penny.

- what did Dan say about time - you can't change it. no matter what you do, the end result will happen...which is just like what in fact happened to Desmond and Penny! Eventually, despite Mrs. Hawkings interference, the couple did get together.

- now, of course the question might be, why would Widmore/Hawking want to keep them apart? As we learn more about Widmore's motives, it can't simply be because he didn;t think Desmond was good enough for his daughter. Perhaps simply to ensure Desmond got to the island?

8) Last one, whew...

Mrs/ Hawking told Ben in a previous episode that he had only 70 hours to complete his mission. Now, i assume that means he has to get the Oceanic six in place to get to the island.

- So, my guess is....that compass gizmo think-a-ma-bob (that's my Rose impression) that Mrs. Hawking had running on the floor was telling her when the island would next be back IN REAL TIME! That was her success that Ben asked about.

- So, in 70 hours, Ben has to have them (the six plus Locke at least) at or around the island so when the isalnd becomes visable, perhaps just for a moment, the Oceanic six can go back

Chris said...

I'm definitely for depth.

So far I can still keep most things straight, but I know that as the season progresses there will be more and more details that I miss and will need you to help me notice.

John said...

I wonder if Latin is used as a common language because (1) Latin is a "dead" language, immune from regional differences, and (2) perhaps the Others come from all over the world, so they need something as a common language??

dez said...

But in terms of island time travel, it doesn't seem to affect the native Others, and in terms of the consciousness travel, it usually doesn't affect people until they try to go to or leave the island on the wrong bearing. So I don't know if that's a factor in all the failed Others pregnancies.


A friend was telling me last night about a theory floated elsewhere that the failed pregnancies may be a result of the leaking H-bomb buried on the island. That would also explain the mysterious "sickness" that claimed Rousseau's people--radiation poisoning. Sounds good to me.

Boone's Dad said...

It just kind of hit me -- and this is something the show hasn't dealt with much lately -- but would the time travel stuff explain why women on the island die when they get pregnant?

Anonymous said...

First time poster, long time reader (love the blog!)


I did have one thought: what if Desmond and Penny's baby Charlie is the SAME Charlie from seasons past...just all grown up (and having gone back in time)? Is that even possibly if we follow the show's rules? My head hurts thinking about it.

Mike

Andrew said...

Whose graves did Miles, Daniel, and Charlotte walk across, who had been dead for four months? Four of them, three who had been shot, if I recall. What was happening four months ago?

Those would most likely be the US Army personnel who brought Jughead to the island for testing.

Obviously, not everybody has the option of watching the show on a movie theater-sized screen, but I highly recommend the idea of the communal "Lost" viewing experience if you've never tried it.

And the converse-- watching with someone who inattentively watched a couple of episodes throughout the course of the series (and "doesn't want to think while watching TV") -- can be both helpful and frustrating. It can force you to actively watch and think about the connections to past episodes-- but having to explain all of the references to past events (and the time travel loop) might make you want to chop off a hand or two.

As far as the debate between quick and thorough, I want both, obviously. But the compromise of setting up an open thread at 10:02 and then waiting until sometime Thursday for Alan's proper review may give us the best of both worlds-- the in-depth analysis by the critic along with the immediate discussion with one of the smarter and more observant communities of viewers.

Timothy said...

Quick hits...

Great episode, I think having a firm end date has tightened up the writing and plot. C&L can move the story forward and also give plenty of shout-outs to the odd details that Losties want explained (ie - the nuke in the hatch).

Alan, more detail as opposed to speed is my vote.

Finally, I'd throw away any idea that Widmore is Daniel Faraday's father - that was 1954, which would make Daniel over 50 years old. Sure, you could say there was a long courtship, or whatever, but that kind of further character/plot entanglement just seems like overkill.

Anonymous said...

Please-keep doing your complete and insightful commentaries. I'm relying on them to point out the spots I need to rewatch and assimilate, and your reviews are really helping to focus my own thoughts. That being said, the commenters here are pretty the only ones worth reading on the internet, although at a certain point, the theorizing starts to hamper my enjoyment.

I don't think I've ever experienced a reaction to a TV show like this. It's not always satisfying lately; during a tough week, it's hard to get up the energy and concentration required for this show. But when I have the attention span and the proper suspension of belief, I'm finding the extra work the show requires to be well worth it. This show has to be on my DVR in case the phone rings. (My mother used to always drive me nuts, because she would always call Wed. at 9:05.)

I'll leave the theorizing to others who are more completely immersed in the show, but I would just like to say that as an educated, intelligent woman...I'm really appreciating the good-looking male characters in a show that doesn't make me roll my eyes (a la Moonlight). Even nerds need eye candy. Thank you, Lost casting director.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if someone else already asked this - BUT

That girlfriend of Dan's who's being cared after by his sister and Charles Widmore - why isn't she dead?? Now - don't call me a heartless b%$ch - hear me out. We've seen Fisher die (and maybe others) and now Charlotte is bleeding from the nose too. Dan was worried about Desmond (who also comes pretty close, doesn't he?)

So my question is - why isn't girlfriend dead?? It doesn't sound like she has a constant - she seems to be mucking about time the same way as Billy Pilgrim does in Slaghterhouse-5. Sure, she's bed-ridden and all that - but why isn't she bleeding from the nose, if Dan did in fact try to "move her brains through time" like he did with Eloise the lab rat???

Side note - from The Dark Knight - scary to realize Slaughter is Laughter with an S!!!

Michael said...

Lostpedia notes that the secretary in the Oxford library who said that there were no Faradays there is the same person as the one who "was previously employed by Oceanic Airlines and was in charge of the boarding gate at the Sydney Airport".

Dunno if that's just using the same actress or if it's the same person.

Word verification: SPOFF, which is the sound my brain makes when thinking about time travel.

Rae said...

I'm not sure I can get on board with the idea that Penny might be Widmore's mother. HOWEVER, to explore it a little:

1. I don't think it's a coincidence that we have two/three people named Charles.
2. Theoretically the reason Widmore needs to prevent Desmond from being with Penny is not because he doesn't want them together but that it's not the right time. Look at how he's now he's more concerned about them not being involved than keeping them apart? Desmond has to travel to the island before they can get together for everything to happen as it should. AND, the events won't be able to correct themselves like they would with anyone else because we know Desmond is one of the exceptions to that. So, Charles Widmore keeps Desmond from Penny and enters him in the boat race to put him on the path to the island.
3. If the theories that Daniel could be Widmore's son are true and that Ms. Hawking is Daniel's mother, then it explains why she is also keeping Desmond and Penny apart. She, like Widmore, knows that Desmond must travel to the island first.
4. Charlie is mixed up in here because he is also key in reconnecting Desmond and Penny (as is Widmore, if you think about it). The way things are playing out now makes me want to go back and watch when/how Desmond was remembering things around the time he realized Charlie was going to die. Either way, Charlie's involvement in bringing them back together is what leads to them naming their son... Charles.

In weird way, it COULD work. Just not sure I'm on board. It's already been mentioned above that Desmond and Dan already have more of a connection than we first realized which explains why Desmond is Dan's constant. Though I never thought it was a choice. It has to be someone who can help anchor you in time. If the theories that Dan is Widmore's son, there would be even more of a reason that Dan and Desmond are connected since they'd actually be related.

But, again, just exploring there. Not sure I actually buy into it.

I like the idea, also mentioned above, of little Charlie being the same Charlie we see later. Especially with the blonde hair Desmond and Penny's boy had. But I don't understand the time travel stuff enough to reason out if that's even possible not to mention not remembering enough of what we learned about Charlie's family in earlier seasons to see if it could work.

I'd be a little disappointed if Charlotte is dead if only because that may mean I never find out if my unsubstantiated theory that Ben is Charlotte's cosntant is true or not.

Throwing my vote in for more in-depth reviews. Love being able to read an almost instant reaction from you but prefer you have time to think about an episode and where it fits with the mythology.

Lester Freamon said...

I think the concrete under the Swan isn't the bomb, it's the effects of the bomb having gone off. I suspect the Dharma Initiative didn't know the bomb was buried, then went digging to build the Swan and the bomb went off, and that is "The Incident".

Ryan said...

Regarding the specifics of who is impacted by time-jumping:

My theory is that it has something to do with when they arrived on the Island. I would wager this is not the first time the Island has been moved using the donkey wheel. My suspicion is that people are affected by the time-jumping if they have arrived between Island moves. In other words, Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, etc. all came to the Island before Ben moved it, but after whoever the previous Island-mover was (Dharma polar bears?)

But here's the kicker of my pet theory: independent time-jumping only affects people if there are a different number of people on the Island after the move as there were before the move (sort of like a "law of conservation of matter" thing) - so that's why the Oceanic Six & Co. have to go back.

That probably only makes sense in my head, but I like it.

Anonymous said...

When they showed Libby in Santa Rosa with Hurley, she had kind of a spaced out look about her, similar to what Theresa Spencer had last night. Could Libby have previously been connected to Faraday's research, and that is why she is in Santa Rosa? Or is Libby long gone from the story?

Bryan Murray said...

Take your time Alan--I think we can all wait a few hours for an in-depth review. Plus I'm on the west coast so I won't have to wait as long...loved this episode quite a bit more than last week's two eps. I didn't miss the Oceanic 6 at all either; I think that storyline needs to get more interesting.

This may have been deliberate on the writers part, but I completely thought the young Other Ellie was going to be Rousseau. Regarding the above theory: wouldn't Daniel recognize his own mother even if she was young? Not sure about that theory but I like it.

1 point for Sawyer the comedian: when Ellie asks if he is from the future as well, he looks at Dan incredulously, "you told her?" But how about the funny man Richard: "I certainly don't want to contradict myself..."

Andrew said...

Back when the US Army brought a hydrogen bomb to The Island, were they able to chart the Island? Was it possible for them to easily come and go to and from the island? Could the Dharma Initiative? Or must the Island be approached from a specific bearing relative to when and where it is?

christy said...

So my question is - why isn't girlfriend dead??

Perhaps modern technology/Daniel's research/Widmore's seemingly unlimited resources can provide a way of stabilizing someone with the time travel sickness? I think everyone we've witness or heard about dying from it (Fisher Stevens, maybe Charlotte, almost Desmond, maybe Roussau's colleagues) except for Eloise the mouse have been either on the island or on the boat, without much in the way of medical resources.

That's just a guess.

Jordan said...

It's still just a crazy idea, but Charles, from when he was a little boy named Charlie heard the story of how his parents got together and when he grew up after traveling in time, he knew the role he had to play, the way events would have to play out.

I've thought for a while that Des and Penny are the Adam and Eve in the cave, which would put Charlie/Charles at about the right age.

Charlie can't be Charlie Pace, because of what we know about his backstory...like his older brother Liam.

Rhonda said...

I usually just read rather than comment but I wanted to put my vote in for more detail, in-depth write-ups, Alan. Your insight as a writer and as a Lost fan is worth waiting for.

I really enjoyed the a-ha! moments of realizing why Richard had that look on his face as he watched baby Locke through the hospital door, and why an old compass was in the group of items Richard presented to young Locke (and why Richard told him one of those things belonged to Locke). Pure poetry!

I also enjoyed the pieces falling into place with the intro of Ellie/Eloise to Daniel and, later, the revelation of young Charles Widdemore (so contemptuous of the "old man" Locke leading the group of intruders) being a young Other.

Grateful for the pleasure of seeing Desmond, Penny and little Charlie together as a family, too. Putting my two cents in, I think naming little Charlie was simply a loving gesture toward the man responsible for bringing D and P back together.

Last but not least, after The Lie, we have a brand new exclamatory remark when reacting strongly to something on Lost: Flaming Frogurt!
as in "Flaming Frogurt! That was an amazing episode!"....

jim treacher said...

Dunno if that's just using the same actress or if it's the same person.

On this show? Same person.

Anonymous said...

Voting for In Depth.

Several thoughts:

How could anyone think the Des and Pen named the baby after Daddy Widmore, just the way Des said "Charrrlie" could only mean C. Pace, and yes I went "Awwwwww!".

Daniel named his lab rat after his mother Eliose. Other with gun = Ellie = future Dan mom? Sweet.

OK Jughead may be buried under the Swan (and may be related to the Incident)but Puff's Law of Drama states that when you reveal an H-bomb in Epi 3, it must go off by seasons end (or in this show's case, by the series end).

Losties and hangers on jumping thruogh time - The Others don't raises the question How do you become an Other (Richard implies it takes some time and process) and how do you become an ex-Other?
Cindy and the Kids must have been initiated to full status (because they were judged good or was on Jacob's list) quickly, so they are Others. John Locke hadn't had the time to be inititated, so he is still a Lostie, although he has thrown his lot in with the Others.
Juliet, however, has been marked as the result of an Other legal process. When she was branded with the mark (whether dictated by the Other Rules or by Ben's subterfuge too make Juliet a double agent), she was made nonOther and thus subject to time unstuckness...

Puff

Jared Larson said...

Alan, I believe the movie you are thinking of is "Police Academy 2". Steve Guttenberg is undercover and says his name is Jughead.

I also thought LOST was great last night. When they revealed Charles Widmore on the island, well, that was a great LOST moment.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - I like your theory of conservation of matter. I'm just concerned that the 6 were already off the Island when it moved (unlike Sawyer, they weren't even in the blast radius, so to speak).

But I like the theory - it's simple, it's clean - and usually, that's what works in good TV

Anonymous said...

Vote for more depth, later -- but put a marker post so that comments can be posted ...

Joshua said...

If Oxford deleted Faraday from their database and otherwise tried to make it seem like he never worked there, i.e. incinerating all the experimental mice, why would they just lock the door to his old lab and throw cloths over his equipment? Why not just destroy everything? I thought that was weird.

Jennifer said...

Everybody needs to go read this website and think about time travel stuff:

http://www.mjyoung.net/time/

Man, I wish he updated/did TV shows, but it's still the best time travel discussion I've ever seen online.

The Time Traveling Fetus Theory just wigged me the hell out.

Count me in as another person who thought earlier in the episode, "Man, I hope they didn't name the kid after her dad, who's trying to kill them." Then they did and I had a cow...then it was pointed out it was Charlie. Oops. If it's the same guy I will be skeeved out though.

Melissa said...

I don't comment very much, but I need to throw my vote in for in-depth reviews. This one was particularly EXCELLENT, Alan.

Michaela said...

It's possible the preliminary effects are the electromagnetism and possible time/space shifts ala the Donkey-wheel, with the practical inclusion of the button somehow regulating the leak of the H bomb.

Only on this show can a sentence like this make sense. (It reads like some of the spam I get.)

dez said...

Obviously, not everybody has the option of watching the show on a movie theater-sized screen, but I highly recommend the idea of the communal "Lost" viewing experience if you've never tried it.

I "watch" the show with two friends online (one lives in San Diego and one in Irvine, so it's not feasible for us to get together in person on a worknight), and it's really a lot of fun. Of course, many of our conversations deteriorate into "WTF?" back-and-forthing, but that's what you get with this show :-)

OK Jughead may be buried under the Swan (and may be related to the Incident)but Puff's Law of Drama states that when you reveal an H-bomb in Epi 3, it must go off by seasons end (or in this show's case, by the series end).

"The Sopranos" showed you can introduce a weapon (in this case, a grenade) in the first act, have it never go off and still create tension and drama, so I figure "Lost" can get away with that, too.

Anonymous said...

Fast, but then add a more detailed update later in the day...

Taleena said...

Let's step through this. Desmond is Daniel's constant because Desmond met and influenced Daniel while skipping through time.

Daniel then begins human experimentation on his girlfriend, thinking that because they are in love he would be Theresa's constant, a la Des and Penny.

Theresa has a bad reaction with the nosebleeds and the what not and Faraday tries the experiment on himself to go back and make each other their constants. Daniel doesn't realize that Desmond is his constant.

Whidmore, knows he has to keep Daniel from destructing and so moves him to the US and smooths over the lawsuits and stuff with money , keeping Faraday and Theresa alive with top notch medicine.

Faraday is better off because he has a constant and Theresa doesn't. Faraday is still spacey and inclined to need close supervision but gets better as he approaches the initial catalyst of the time loop - Desmond on the island turning the fail safe key.

Anonymous said...

So we now know that Desmond and Penny have spent at least part of the last three years in the Philippines...

Darren

Anonymous said...

Suppose Des and Penny's son "Charlie" turns out to be her own father Charles Widmore.

My head hurts.

Sean L said...

I just think they made such a mess before getting the green light to end the series that there is no way they can make sense of Seasons 1-3.5, but will be able to 'fit in' things like Adam and Eve and maybe Dharma.

The 'making it up on the fly' versus 'planned out in advance' debate seems like it could go round and round without getting anywhere, especially before the end of the show.

However I've always been on the 'planned' side of the coin, and this season is reinforcing my faith. Right from the appearance of Adam and Eve it seemed obvious to me that time-travel was going to play an important part, and that A&E would transpire to be characters we'd already met at that point - probably Jack and Kate. And hey presto, we have time travel.

The DI has seemed like a key piece of the mythology since it was introduced, and nothing so far suggests that has changed.

Now it seems very likely that Jughead and the Swan hatch are connected, in which case the Chernobyl comment in Everybody Hates Hugo implies the nuke was planned all along.

I'm pretty sure they've had to make some significant course corrections en-route though, Eko was originally going to be a much bigger part of the story for instance. I've seen nothing though that suggests to me they're not still headed to precisely where they were planning to head when they put together the overall arc after writing the pilot.

Of course YMMV.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for depth.

Anonymous said...

alan, you're thinking of police academy 2 when mahoney goes undercover in zeds group and the name he chooses is "jughead"

jim treacher said...

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that they had the broad strokes planned out, but it's just unrealistic to expect them to have worked out every single plot point and piece of characterization from the beginning. That's just not how serial television works. You don't know which characters will take off (Ben) and which will flop (Ana-Lucia), you can't predict which actors will even want to stick around (the guy who played Mr. Eko, whose name I'm not even going to try to spell), and you've got to allow for your creative staff to be, y'know, creative. Have there been red herrings and dead ends? Sure. That means the whole thing is a wash? Not to me.

And if Matthew Fox is grumbling about not getting enough screen time, he should just be happy he has a job. Just when they finally made him interesting by making him a hairy, lurching drug addict, they had to shave him down and put him on cold turkey. Pbbbbbhhht.

Anonymous said...

The story of young Widmore as an Other would have been much more entertaining and informing if it had been an old school Lost flashback focusing on Widmore himself. Instead, the show used time travel to fit Locke and Faraday and the rest into that very story and barely told us anything about young Charles. This time travel nonsense seems to be just a device for the writers to tell stories about the island’s past that still star the show’s main cast members. Its fun at times but already wearing thin for me. If they want to tell the story about Widmore’s past on the island, then make it about Widmore. Don’t make it about Locke’s random encounter with the guy. There's no point in that except to keep the likes of Terry O’Quinn involved.

jim treacher said...

The story of young Widmore as an Other would have been much more entertaining and informing if it had been an old school Lost flashback focusing on Widmore himself. Instead, the show used time travel to fit Locke and Faraday and the rest into that very story and barely told us anything about young Charles.

I didn't realize this was the final episode. Bye, Lost!

Anonymous said...

"I didn't realize this was the final episode. Bye, Lost!"

Its not. I've seen the final episode, and its very good. I hopped back in time to complain about this particular installment.

Lizbeth said...

I liked this episode better than the first two -- but then I always love Desi-centric episodes.

However, I laughed out loud when Desmond is telling his son a beautiful story about how mum and pop fell in love and Penny swoops in and says something to the effect, "don't forget to tell him about the time his grandpa hired a freight full of guys to kill you and everyone on the island."

What mom would say something this horrific in front of a two year old? That tot is going to have nightmares for years. LOL.

Penny's been at sea too long, she could really use a parenting class or two.

AndyW said...

But here's the kicker of my pet theory: independent time-jumping only affects people if there are a different number of people on the Island after the move as there were before the move (sort of like a "law of conservation of matter" thing) - so that's why the Oceanic Six & Co. have to go back.

I like that a lot - it also might explain the baby deaths.

I keep getting hung up on Ben setting the island time-hopping to save it - but that his action ends up endangering the island. Did he not know, or did he know that he would have to clean up his mess after spinning the wheel?

And - another time loop - if the 1950s Others didn't know about time travel, did the island ever hop before Ben sent it hopping?

jim treacher said...

Its not. I've seen the final episode, and its very good. I hopped back in time to complain about this particular installment.

So they never mention the young Widmore again, or explain how he got from there to here? Oh well.

Anonymous said...

"So they never mention the young Widmore again, or explain how he got from there to here? Oh well."

I can't tell you that. It might change the timeline. There are rules that must be followed, yadda yadda yadda.

I suppose I better time shift myself a few more weeks into the future to a point when a couple more episodes have aired. By then I'm sure more fans will begin to realize whats happening. Season 5 isn't about time travel any more than Season 1 was about flashbacks. These are simply devices being used to tell the real story. The mysteries that this show still needs to explain are mainly in the past such as the Black Rock, Others, 4 toes, dharma, Rousseau's team, etc. But the show needs Juliet looking hot and Sawyer cracking wise, so they get sent back in time. Its the only way to accomplish all the writers objectives at once. By the end of season 5, this device gets tiresome, ratings drop further, abc and the fans get restless again, and the real story resumes in season 6.

Oops, my nose is bleeding. I've said too much...

pgillan said...

I've got to disagree about the guy who plays Faraday. Everything he says in that low, breathy tone sounds condescending, and grates on my nerves. He reminds me of some weird cross between a new-age hippie and a used car salesman.

I don't think Alpert's a time traveler; I think he's (for all intents and purposes) immortal. I don't recall him having any knowledge of the future, only the past.

If Widmore was 20 in 1954, he'd only be 73 in 2007, which seems totally reasonable. The actor may not be that old, but he looks like he could be.

My vote is that neither he nor Alpert are doing any time traveling. Maybe one of the properties of the island is that people don't age while they're there- that would certainly explain why Alpert appears immortal, and why Widmore would be so desperate to get back.

Sean L said...

Season 5 isn't about time travel any more than Season 1 was about flashbacks. These are simply devices being used to tell the real story.

I disagree but I think it's an interesting question.

I see it more that time travel has always been a part of the show, right from the first flashback to Jack being given a covert top-up by Cindy on the plane. The only change is that now the characters sometimes move in time with the narrative.

But anyway your point reminds me of the way that time travel was originally used in Doctor Who - as a means of getting the cast to an interesting setting for a story rather than as a plot point in itself. It's only with Genesis of the Daleks and some recent Moffat scripts that the potential for interesting stories built around time travel itself was realised.

You are suggesting that Lost will transpire to have been more like classic Doctor Who. I think there's more to it than that, but time will tell (bwahaha).

BIG JER! said...

DEPTH and THOROUGHNESS! Fantastic blog! LOST RULES!!

Undercover Asian Man said...

I'm all for creative wiggle room in a TV series, but not for introducing things just for shock value that make no sense inside or outside the story. Like making someone enter numbers into a computer every 108 minutes instead of automating it (with the very computer it is attached to) when the people who created the system of discharging (the people who designed it so that the computer and number sequence would cause a safe discharge) would have had to known what it was for and how it works. So their conclusion for the best solution then is to have a fallible, sleepy, REM-sleep-needing human do it? When waking up every 108 minutes would drive him insane? Or the people who gained control of the Island after the Purge - Ben and his gang - would keep a crazy Desmond in charge of that computer instead of killing him and taking control themselves? Or that after Desmond turns the key and triggers the fail-safe, there doesn't seem to be any effect of NOT having the discharge anymore (so why didn't they turn the key much earlier, since the discharge didn't mean anything to the Island's existence?). This isn't 'creative maneuvering', this is just dumb plotting. Just like "THE NUMBERS".

People really have short term memories. There was someone in the comments a few weeks back that said he just watched the first 4 seasons over winter in time for the start of season 5. I wonder how he feels about the time he spent wondering about Echo's church, Karl's brainwashing, why Russo was given such prominence if she dies without ever explaining her being allowed to live, all the stuff with Claire and Sun needing to be kidnapped (when Others could leave the Island and recruit/enslave people easily, like Juliet), why the Others thought it would be a good idea to have their leader let himself be captured and tortured on purpose when they had the complete upper hand versus the Losties (full knowledge and the element of surprise), why Polar Bears were needed to turn the Donkey Wheel when a more docile Donkey could be trained to do it (Ben alone was strong enough to turn it and survive the cold long enough too), why if the hatches were built with true functions, they had a system where a pneumatic tube would just dump into a field allowing thousands of them to pile up unattended, why they made up a virus and corresponding shots etc, etc, etc.

I know I'm repeating myself, but it just shocks me that, if the audience is given new, now meaningful stuff in the here and now, how willing they are to just forget things that happened just a few years ago. And like I said, they will be able to shoe-horn some of these things into their current explanation (allowing people to say I TOLD YOU THEY KNEW IT FROM THE BEGINNING), but I think other writers will be able to detect what is going on and when exactly they went from making things up to having a coherent plan.

Ok, to get into the spirit of things instead of just being the resident complainer, I offer this:

If the show is brave enough, the most interesting thing that can happen is if the Island jumps far into the future. It would be cool to see a bunch of high tech being on the Island using futuristic toys. Also cool to see who or what occupies the Island in, say, 2095.

I also have another question about the time jumping - are the Losties the only ones doing it? If not, the Island will eventually get very crowded. For example, say the Island jumps to 2095 and a battalion of future Red Army soldiers are occupying it. Our heroes interact with them for a while. The Island jumps again, back to 1952. Does the Red Army of 2095 also go back to 1952? If so, the Island, with enough jumps, will become packed with people as anyone who has ever been or ever will be on the Island gets caught in the jumps. If not, the Losties should treat everyone they meet during these jumps as ghosts since they will never see them again (save for an exact jump back to the same time, which probabilistically is very unlikely given that the Island has infinite time points to choose from.)

Jordan said...

Ben grew up on the island, so you can definitely age there.

jim treacher said...

"I'm all for creative wiggle room in a TV series, but not for introducing things just for shock value that make no sense inside or outside the story. Like making someone enter numbers into a computer every 108 minutes instead of automating it (with the very computer it is attached to) when the people who created the system of discharging (the people who designed it so that the computer and number sequence would cause a safe discharge) would have had to known what it was for and how it works."

Considering the jokes they've made about it, I'd say the writers agree.

There was someone in the comments a few weeks back that said he just watched the first 4 seasons over winter in time for the start of season 5. I wonder how he feels about the time he spent wondering about Echo's church, Karl's brainwashing, why Russo was given such prominence if she dies without ever explaining her being allowed to live, all the stuff with Claire and Sun needing to be kidnapped (when Others could leave the Island and recruit/enslave people easily, like Juliet), why the Others thought it would be a good idea to have their leader let himself be captured and tortured on purpose when they had the complete upper hand versus the Losties (full knowledge and the element of surprise), why Polar Bears were needed to turn the Donkey Wheel when a more docile Donkey could be trained to do it (Ben alone was strong enough to turn it and survive the cold long enough too), why if the hatches were built with true functions, they had a system where a pneumatic tube would just dump into a field allowing thousands of them to pile up unattended, why they made up a virus and corresponding shots etc, etc, etc.

Probably the way I feel after reading that sentence, except with more of Evangeline Lilly's midsection.

Look. These guys were writing an open-ended series. They did a lot of vamping. Some of it sucked hard. Some of it sucked even harder. Then they got an end-date and started focusing on that. Some of the stuff you mention hasn't been explained. Some of it might not be. Or it might. At this point we don't know.

I realize how painful this whole thing is for you, but there's always According to Jim.

pgillan said...

Ben grew up on the island, so you can definitely age there.

I was assuming the common sci-fi immortality rule of "grow to adulthood, then stop aging". This rule is usually only suspended if said immortal is also a vampire. I don't believe anyone on the island is a vampire, but we still have 2 seasons to go.

Sean L said...

I also watched the first four seasons over winter and I have to say I'm feeling pretty entertained. Which after all is the primary purpose of the show, non?

Yes, clearly there's evidence of directions the writers headed in that lead nowhere (Eko's church - the actor left; Libby - they decided to kill her to heighten the impact of Michael's betrayal and now it seems the actress doesn't want to come back). On other points it seems the audience has to accept that the Others take some 'creative' (read wacko) approaches to problem solving - but I don't particularly mind that.

And yes, clearly also there's some retconning going on. The polar bears are an explicit example of that - the first bear appeared in the pilot, and the writers admit that they didn't plan out the arc and mythology until after that. But what great retconning that was! They were being trained to turn a frozen donkey wheel that unseats the island in spacetime and banishes them to the Tunisian desert. I certainly wouldn't have included that on a list of possible explanations in season 1.

But I still maintain my belief that the overall story arc, and where we'll end up at the end of season 6, is a result of planning that took place in 2004. And to be honest, unless they do something really stupid to make it obvious that isn't the case, I'm happy to give them some wriggle room on that whilst I'm being entertained as highly as I am.

And if you're more irritated than entertained by the show, well sucks to be you!

the Stanfield Org. said...

Haven't read all the comments, but looks like I'm in the majority in voting for "complete, in-depth" recaps.

Completely irrelevant point from the episode in the context of the grand story arc, but was the Others' camp in the same spot as Hurley's eventual golf course?

Anonymous said...

Who are the two bodies in the cave? With all of the time travel now, could they be a couple that we know?

Anonymous said...

A couple thoughts on some minor points, but ones that have come up recently...

First, Cindy and the kids. I think Ben sent them and the rest of the Others to the as-yet-unseen DHARMA station called the Temple. The place was apparently safe enough that Ben also sent Alex there when the island was under attack, saying that it was the last safe place on the island. Could it be that the Temple is somehow shielded from the time jumps?

As for the time loops that people are trying to wrap their brains around, here's an interesting example involving antimatter. Antimatter (reduced to a Michael Scott-level explanation) is the evil twin of matter, and when matter meets antimatter the two annihilate each other. Positrons (the anti-electron and an important component of PET scans and android brains) were once postulated to be electrons traveling backwards in time. In this interpretation, the electron-positron annihilation is really the point at which the electron changes direction in time. From the electron's point of view it has simply changed direction. However, the outside observer sees two particles, an electron and a positron, approach each other, collide, and disappear. Taken as a causal relationship, to the electron the "collision" causes the positron; to the observer the positron and electron cause the collision. Although this theory is no longer widely accepted in the physics community, it does serve to illustrate that when time is involved, even cause and effect can depend upon your reference frame.

FilmFan said...

I also vote for complete over speed. Excellent work, as always.

FXKLM said...

It's certainly no surprise that Widmore was on the island at one point, but it was great to see a number of the future big shots there together in their younger days.

Am I the only to think that Alvar Hanso is in that group as well? Something seems to have happened to turn the 1950s-era Others against each other. It makes sense that the Hanso/Dharma faction would date back to that conflict as well. Does that work with the timeline? Hanso would have been older than Widmore, but he still may have been there at that time, right?

groovekiller said...

I think we may now know why the island jumping around is so dangerous and "god-help-us-all-worthy". For now, it's just jumping in the ocean...but what if it jumps into the middle of Iowa with a freaking H-bomb buried 100 feet in the ground. Nuclear armageddon.

Undercover Asian Man said...

A message from Damon Lindelof from 2005:

"Lindelof said that a DVD set of the first season will come out this summer, before a second season begins in the fall. As the show progresses, he added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be ... firmly ensconced in the world of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel."

Ooops. I'm sure that was just public misdirection because he knew the master plan all along. Right? RIGHT?

I wish someone would compile a series of Cuse / Lidelof interviews that shows how much they've changed their tune. Though I don't have quotes, I do know they went from (paraphrasing) 'Everything is going to be explained' to 'Not everything can be explained' to 'Nitpicking details will drive you insane, so dont..' over the last few years. Maybe Lostpedia will compile the interviews sometime soon.

JDSTL said...

I would have to go back through season 2 to exactly remember and check, but wasn't there a flashback where Libby met Desmond somewhere and sold him her husband's boat and that was the one he used for the race? Was Libby married to Widmore perhaps at one time? Anyway, I think there is a Libby - Desmond connection and wonder if that plays into the grand scheme. Or if Libby was also a time traveler that got "sick" and that was a reason she was in the nut house with Hurley?

RSR said...

I'm not sure if anyone posted this theory or not (considering there's over 150 comments and to read all of them immediately would take time) but did anyone else notice how dan did a double take on that girl who walked him to the bomb? He said that he recognized her....My (very random completely out there guess) is that she is in fact Dan's mom (who i also think is miss gray haired lady). If that complete guess is right that could be interesting for some Widmore/Faraday relations going back as far as the 1950's. Again, complete guess but what does everyone else think? Am I reaching a bit far?

dez said...

Ooops. I'm sure that was just public misdirection because he knew the master plan all along. Right? RIGHT?

That was then; this is now. Seriously, they've spewed some prime bullshit since S1 (like the stuff about their "plan" for Walt's growth spurt), but I don't let it bother me anymore. I would kindly suggest that if it bothers you that much, you should ignore it :-)

As for feeling cheated about the events of the first few seasons because of what's happening now: I don't. I'm willing to wait until the end to see how it all fits and if they leave out an answer to something worth bitching about at that point, I'm sure I'll bitch.

@JDSTL, yes, Libby sold Desmond the yacht and I think you're right that it's the one he used for the race.

jim treacher said...

DAMON LIED, REDSHIRTS DIED

I would kindly suggest that if it bothers you that much, you should ignore it :-)

Don't say that! The sudden drop in blood pressure might kill him.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel."

Or maybe the key word here is "yet"?

Anonymous said...

UAM said, among many very good points: "why Polar Bears were needed to turn the Donkey Wheel when a more docile Donkey could be trained to do it (Ben alone was strong enough to turn it and survive the cold long enough too)"

When did we find out that the polar bears were intended to turn the wheel?

Rachel said...

When did we find out that the polar bears were intended to turn the wheel?

I can't remember if it was outright said or only implied, but I think we learned that in the finale last season.

I could be misremembering, but didn't Ben have to climb a ladder down into the donkey wheel chamber? Not sure a donkey could pull that off.

Personally, I loved the polar bear retcon.

Anonymous said...

jim treacher says:
"I realize how painful this whole thing is for you, but there's always According to Jim."

Why the nasty? UAM is writing intelligently about his take on the show - disagree with him all you want but why so nasty?

That quote "...But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel." is also what bothers me. I'll keep watching and I appreciate the show now and it's writing. But it's the smugness of Cuse/Lindelof that grates, talking now about people not handling it being a "genre" show etc etc. If they would just admit it's not the show they've been selling (i.e., a show where they did the very hard work of creating such a cool show with crazy stuff happening that DIDN'T rely on supernatural, time travel, etc.), I'd feel better because they make a big deal about caring about viewers/fans and what a great job they've done being the geniuses behind the show and such but actually treat the viewers/fans like fools/dupes.

Makes me feel bad for taking the show as a such a quality show as I had. Same as how I felt about Heroes (though Heroes was/is a more comics-like show obviously) - Tim Kring ended up not knowing where to take the show and screwing it up, and then had the nerve to lash out at the viewers.

debbie said...

Like making someone enter numbers into a computer every 108 minutes instead of automating it (with the very computer it is attached to) when the people who created the system of discharging (the people who designed it so that the computer and number sequence would cause a safe discharge) would have had to known what it was for and how it works. So their conclusion for the best solution then is to have a fallible, sleepy, REM-sleep-needing human do it? When waking up every 108 minutes would drive him insane?

But wasn't the DI also setting up stations so they could observe how people in the other stations would react to situations like pushing a button every 108 minutes? It's like killing two birds with one stone.
Also, I kinda like to think that the clunkiness of Dharma designs is due to it being a conception of the '70s. It's part of the DI's charm, heh.

why Russo was given such prominence if she dies without ever explaining her being allowed to live

Yeah, when Rousseau was killed, I was absolutely crushed because she was my favorite character and I'd been waiting for her flashback since her first appearance. BUT with this time-traveling mechanism, it gives me hope that the island will "hop" into her time period and we'll see just what happened there. (Oh please, oh please, oh please *fingers crossed*)

I really like this whole question of who the greater evil is...Ben or Widmore. Maybe that mural in Widmore's office was supposed to show Widmore's really an activist for the polar bears' rights on the island...especially with that ironic "Namaste" written on the top. (From Wikipedia: Taken literally, it means "I bow to you.")
I was writing that as a joke, but it's kinda making sense to me! I guess that means I need to take a break from this show for awhile.

radiomd said...

Again, if you compare what's going on with Charlotte physically as compared to what happened to Fisher Stevens towards the end of "The Constant," I'm thinking she's dead.

What's happening to Charlotte physically is distinct from what happened to Stevens and to Daniel's Oxford subject, unless Charlotte's 2007 body stays in 2007 while her consciousness wanders through time (and Daniel's etc.). But that doesn't appear to be what's happening to this new group of time travelers.

jim treacher said...

Or maybe the key word here is "yet"?

Whoops.

When did we find out that the polar bears were intended to turn the wheel?

It's a pretty good theory, don't you think? For what polar bears are doing on a tropical island?

Why the nasty?

Where's the nasty? These, I say, these are the jokes, son.

EOTW said...

I went back, after watching "Jughead" twice and rewatched both "The Constant" and "Cabin Fever" and I just get chills at how they have crafted the mythology of he show, especially in regards to Richard, who continues to be so mysterious and awesome.

Am I the only one who thinks that same actor could've played Don Draper if Hamm hadn't gotten it?

KB said...

Regarding "there is no time travel" comment by Lindelof.

First of all, he's a liar. Thats been clear for some time if you follow his interviews and watch the show. I don't care, its part of what makes him a good story teller I guess. However, in the very first episode that Rousseau appeared when she captured Sayid, its been well documented by various sources that in the original script Sayid asked Rousseau what her team was studying and she answered "time." The line was removed as they determined it gave away too much too soon. That was about 1/3 of the way into season 1.

Does that mean they had everything planned out all along? I don't know. I doubt it. I figure they had some ideas but kept their options open. It doesn't matter to me. Judge the story for what it is, not what they may or may not have planned it to be.

Brendan McCarthy said...

I'm with UAM. I don't/can't believe they had everything planned out. A lot of it probably was, but realistically this just doesn't happen in TV. There are too many factors to screw that up. As mentioned before: you never know when an actor might leave, get a DUI, etc. You also never know what the network is going to allow or not allow. For example, the four toed statue was "too weird" for ABC, one reason for delaying the answer to that mystery (Source: http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/03/20/abc-says-that-four-toed-lost-statue-was-too-weird/).

To be honest, though, I'm not complaining. A lot of the first three seasons was filler. I don't think I have to bring up Jack's tattoo in this thread. I'm perfectly fine leaving a lot of that behind. In fact, when I try to get skeptics involved in the show, I tell them to just start at season 4 and look up whatever doesn't make sense to you. Since setting an end date the show has become more clear, focused, and confident. If Cuse/Lindeloff want to abandon the muddiness of 1-3.5, I'm behind them 100%.

Sorry, gotta nitpick one thing: However, in the very first episode that Rousseau appeared when she captured Sayid, its been well documented by various sources that in the original script Sayid asked Rousseau what her team was studying and she answered "time." The line was removed as they determined it gave away too much too soon. That was about 1/3 of the way into season 1.

I'm sorry, but deleted scenes don't count. I deleted a few sentences from this post. Does that mean I still said them? No. The finished product is the episode, and only what's in the episode is canon. If they don't count the short webisodes or the training videos they show at comic con as canon, a line of dialog that was literally thrown in the trash cannot add or take away from the story.

pgillan said...

I'm sorry, but deleted scenes don't count. I deleted a few sentences from this post. Does that mean I still said them? No. The finished product is the episode, and only what's in the episode is canon.

While that's true, I'd argue that it speaks to their intent, which is actually what we're talking about. If, in the future, we were discussing whether or not you hated everyone here, it might shed some light on the discussion if we knew that one of the sentences you deleted was "Geeez, I hate all you people."

As far as my take on what they knew or didn't know, it's silly to speculate. They had to know what the island was on a fundamental level, who the different factions were, what they were trying to accomplish, and what the passengers of Oceanic flight 815 would find when they crashed- that's pretty much it. The detailed history of the different groups, which characters would do or find what, who was in charge, who was really in charge (and who was really, really in charge), these are all things that could be figured out after the fact, based on whatever made sense when they got to it.

Sean L said...

Brendan,

I don't know if what you're saying is really the same as what UAM is saying. In any case I agree with your take, like I said they have obviously had to 'course-correct' from time-to-time, but I still think - for example - that the time-travel aspect was planned from the (post-pilot) outset. The deleted line reinforces that.

UAM - as regards Lindelof's quote, yes obviously he is a liar. I've always gone on this quote from David Fury in 2004 (although he ain't involved no longer):

"Despite the surreal, bizarre aspects of the island, there will be an explanation for it. It may not come for a very long time, but certain information about the island will explain how things are possible. We'll try to root it in real science or real pseudo-science."

'Pseudo-science' allows for a lot, and thus I've never expected it to be fully 'mundane' in the SF sense of the term.

KB said...

"I'm sorry, but deleted scenes don't count... If they don't count the short webisodes or the training videos they show at comic con as canon, a line of dialog that was literally thrown in the trash cannot add or take away from the story."

They do count the webisodes as canon, according to Carlton Cuse in one of the recap shows last year. I think he said the original Orchid video counts as well, but I don't remember. I'm not keeping close track of the canon like you. Of course, they could change their mind and say otherwise at any time. Lindelof and Cuse lie and deceive on purpose. They are under orders from ABC, and they don't want to give anything away. One of the great things about Lost is how everyone has their own theories. The last thing the writers want to do is destroy that by revealing their future plans for the show.

As pgillan said, the discussion was about intent: whether the series' story, particularly time travel, has been planned from the beginning. And I was responding to the Lindelof quote, which of course is not actually part of the show either. You can choose to ignore the scene I described as irrelevant if it doesn't suit you. All I'm saying is there is some evidence that time travel was intended from the very beginning. "A Wrinkle in Time" would be another clue, but not all the literary references are clues so take that however you want. There is also plenty of evidence within the show itself which indicates a great deal was made up as they went along. I'm not disagreeing with that by any means.

If you want another good example about intent, there is a great story about how JJ got the idea for the hatch based on a Stephen King theory about writing mystery and horror. I won't go into the details here, but it was quite revealing as far as the story writing process. I'm fairly sure I heard this on one of the DVD commentaries. If anyone cares, I'll try to track it down.

Brendan McCarthy said...

KB,

You're right about the canon point. I was a little confused due to Linelof saying the episodes are the only true canon, but they do consider the supplemental material as such. (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lostpedia:Canon)

And I agree: we have to be reluctant to take anything the show runners say as truth.

I'm right there with you in believing the writers had (some of) the broad strokes planned. If it was planned as far back as episode three, I'm not so sure. During those early stages of a show, you're lucky if you make it through the first season. I don't know if they'd be deleting lines because they reveal too much about season five.

Emphasis: I really don't know the answer to that, just going on what I've learned about the business.

But KB and pgillan, you're both correct. It does come down to intent. We have no idea if, say the show was canceled midway through season one, they would have jumped right to the time travel storyline for the series finale.

Whatever the real deal is, it's clear they have a plan now and it's really enhanced the series.

lizvelrene said...

As Hurley would say: Dude.

Charlotte is sick because she is time traveling physically to a location that she already exists in.

Miles revealed last season that Charlotte has already been to the island and is coming "back". She was probably born there. She is also probably the little girl that Ben was crushing on, although I don't know if the timeline works out right for that (how old is Ben supposed to be?)

Remember the bunny video? When there were suddenly two bunnies, because the first one traveled back in time and is now overlapping himself, Dr. Candle freaked out and the tape was shut off.

Charlotte = bunny. You can't physically exist in the same place twice. That's what's killing her. I think Daniel has guessed this and that's why he went to Desmond right away to try to stop the time skipping.

Desmond's adventures (and Fisher Steven's death) involve traveling through their *own* timeline mentally, not physically, so that's a different situation.

KB said...

Brendan McCarthy,
Whoa, the Lost 'canon' is far more complex that I realized. I thought I remembered Cuse saying it was show + webisodes + Orchid video and specifically not the ARGs (or Bad Twin). But its far more complicated than that and apparently depends on who you ask. We were both exactly right, and yet both totally wrong. You gotta love this show! Good luck to anyone interested in sorting the canon out. And yeah, seems we basically agree on the other points.

lizvelrene,
I buy that theory. But on the other hand, it seems like Charlotte's symptoms got progressively worse with each jump, and I'm not sure that fits your theory unless she exists on the island during all those different times. Richard seems to, so its possible. Either way, I agree its different than what happened to Minkowski and Eloise.

Andy said...

"I was a little confused due to Linelof saying the episodes are the only true canon"

What he really said was that the episodes are the only true things you need to watch to follow the show. Mobisodes and other stuff are extras.

Matthew L said...

And this is precisely why I hate time travel stories! Because in this "closed loop model", something has to start the loop - the compass had to originally belong to Richard or Locke at one point in time.

So here's one idea. Richard comes into possession of a compass in, say, 1950. In 1954, Locke turns up and gives the same compass to Richard. Richard now has two versions of the same compass. Years pass, eventually Richard meets Locke and gives him the original compass. Locke travels back to 1954, and Richard is left with only one compass, the version that Locke gave him.

When did we find out that the polar bears were intended to turn the wheel?

I think the basis for the theory is that Charlotte found a polar bear skeleton with a Dharma collar in the Sahara desert. Similarly, after turning the wheel Ben was transported in time to the Sahara.

Jeff W. said...

I vote for in-depth over quick. There are other forums for instant tv discussion, but only yours for the full Alan analysis.

Anna said...

Alan,

My first thought wasn't that Danial was bad for leaving Teresa but that he went to get help from his mother who seems to hold answers. Teresa's sister said he left for America. Perhaps he went to see his mom in LA and she told him he had to go back to the island.

Also, perhaps Widmore is looking for the island because is his getting older and knows that there are people on the island who don't age.

Nathan said...

I didnt read all the comments, so Im sorry if this was said already,

but is it possible with al this time travel that little Charlie can grow up to be THE Charles Widmore, essentially fathering Penny?

Mark B said...

200 comments. You have a great audience Alan. I was going to write something about the wave particle duality and how it is thus not inconceivable an individual could be simultaneously two places in time, but I’m going to hold that thought to see how the season evolves. Fiction is the constant aspect of Science Fiction and as long this aspect remains intriguing there is no need for the science to be cleansed of mystery.

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