Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lost, "Namaste": A day at the improv

Spoilers for tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I tell you who my recruiter was...
"It's how I like to run things. I think. I'm sure that doesn't mean that much to you, because back when you were calling the shots, you pretty much just reacted. See, you didn't think, Jack, and as I recall, a lot of people ended up dead." -Sawyer
God, can we just stay in the '70s for the rest of the series?

I've been loving this season overall, but "LaFleur" and now "Namaste" feel like a cut above the rest, because the 1977 version of Sawyer may be the most appealing version of any character in "Lost" history. The three years in the Dharma Initiative has mellowed him and given him time to mature. He's the Sawyer we know (still tossing out nicknames, still chesty with Jack), but he's smarter, and sneakier, and every bit the leader that Jack mistakenly believed himself to be, and that Sawyer himself never believed he could be. When he dresses down Jack and says he's going to find a way to get Sayid out of his present predicament, I believe him. Sawyer-as-LaFleur just puts a damn smile on my face and leaves it there for the rest of the hour.

With Sawyer and his group now well-acclimated to life in the Initiative, "Namaste" was about culture shock, both for the four Ocean Six'ers cast back into the '70s, and for Sun and the other Ajira 316 folk who didn't travel through time.(*)

(*) And if there was any doubt that Caesar and the gang were on Alcatraz sometime after the freighter blew up, there shouldn't be anymore. We see Frank land on the runway that was being built during the season three polar bear cage arc, Ben knows where the outriggers are kept, and New Otherton is still as wrecked as it was after Keamy's forces blew threw and then got thrashed by Smokey. And, of course, we got the series' trademark whiplash sound effect (connoting a shift time) when we cut from the Dharma action to our first glimpse of Sun on the beach. Oh, yeah, and Christian implied that Sun had a long way to travel to find her man.

Entertaining as it was to see Jack have to dance to Sawyer's tune, and even to half-acknowledge that they're better off with our resident reader in charge, Kate does raise a good point while she's waiting with Jack and Hurley on the cliff: what the hell do they do now? Locke told them they had to come back to the island to stop the time shifts, but they had already stopped by the time they got there -- and in the wrong decade, at that. This is not going at all to plan, and my one fear about the situation is that Lindelof and Cuse are showing Sawyer to be so awesome just so they can take away his happiness and coolness. We can already see here the awkwardness when he's around Kate, and Juliet can see it, too -- her play-acting with Kate at the orientation center had a chilliness to it that goes beyond pretending to be a stranger. I don't want to see Sawyer's relatively perfect world fall apart, but the way "Lost" works, is there any way that it won't?

Certainly, introducing Sayid to the kid version of Ben Linus isn't going to make things easier. Sooner or later, Sayid's going to get out of that cage, and sooner or later we're going to find out more about Ben and Sayid's falling-out circa 2006, and Sayid hasn't spent a whole lot of time listening to Dan Faraday's theories about how the past can't be changed. He may try to kill that kid, and even though he can't succeed, he'd no doubt mess up Sawyer's situation.

And there's still the larger issue of what Ben's going to do with the Hostiles 15 years from now, which Hurley brings up on the magic bus ride to the Dharma village. Sawyer has no interest in that -- he's here to protect his friends from 2004 and only them, plus he's been an unwilling student of Professor Faraday -- but surely we're not going to spend all this time in the golden age of the Initiative without getting a different perspective on the fall.

I don't know that I buy the theory that episodes that take place solely on the island are automatically better than ones that split their focus (in recent vintage, "The Constant" and "Jughead" were pretty wonderful even though we spent a lot of time in both following Desmond in the real world), but these episodes have felt more focused than a number of the ones preceding them, even as the cast remains separated in two eras. I can't wait to see what's next.

Some other thoughts:

• After getting a few brief glimpses last time of Jin after his English language immersion course with the Dharma folks, here we get the full treatment, and you can see how much more comfortable Daniel Dae Kim is finally getting to work in his native tongue, and not just using pidgin English. Not that he was ever bad in the show's earlier years, but there was a level of assertiveness to his performance tonight that I haven't seen from him before in this role, as if he was finally getting to act without that huge weight he's been lugging around for four-plus years.

• If the name Radzinsky (the guy running The Flame and building the scale model of The Swan, aka the hatch) sounds familiar, it's because Kelvin spent a lot of time telling Desmond about him during the flashbacks in the season two finale, "Live Together, Die Alone." He had been Kelvin's partner at The Swan before Desmond, and painted the map of all the Dharma stations on the blast doors. Assuming that one of The Others didn't assume Radzinsky's name after the purge, then The Swan was still technically under Dharma control in the 21st century, which might help explain why Dharma planes were still doing supply drops after the Oceanic 815 crash.

• When Jack asks if Faraday's with them, Saywer shakes his head and says "not anymore. Something tells me Charlotte and her mom left the island by 1977. And while we're on the subject of unseen people whom Jack and company left behind in 2005, it's time for my regular query about the whereabouts of Rose, Bernard and Vincent.

• Getting back to Dan, one thing I neglected to discuss in my "LaFleur" review was how Sawyer only wound up in charge of this group after Locke went down the well and Dan lost his mind following Charlotte's death. Those two had more or less been tag-teaming as the leader during the time-skipping, due to Dan's scientific expertise and John's mystic connection to the island. But when the island stopped moving, Locke was gone and Dan was incapable of taking care of himself, let alone anyone else, and so the mantle was passed to a reluctant Sawyer again.

• I caught "The Muppet Show" on one of The Flame monitors. Were any of the others showing '70s TV?

• Christian sometimes comes off as menacing even when he's being friendly -- coming back from the dead and acting as the island's spokesman will do that to you -- but am I being a naive Jin/Sun fan in reading him as having more benevolent intentions when he interacted with Sun and Frank?

• Those of you who guessed that Amy and Horace's baby would be Ethan win the pool.

• We don't get to spend much time with the other Ajira 316 passengers, or get more clues about whether Caesar knows more about the island than he's telling or is just this plane's equivalent of Sayid, but I did catch another familiar face in the crowd. When Caesar's arguing with Frank over going to investigate the nearby buildings, we see Brad Henke, late of "October Road" but forever Ungalow from "Going to California" to me.

What did everybody else think?

179 comments:

Carmichael Harold said...

I agree that Sun, Ben, et al. seem to be in a post-New Otherton time, but isn't it weird that the building Christin took Sun into still had all the signage (and pictures) from the DI processing room? Wouldn't the Others have repurposed that room for something else?

Groovekiller said...

Did any of you catch the shadowy woman behind Sun when Christian tells her about her "long journey"?

Is that Claire or Charlotte?

http://s5.tinypic.com/szc0ux.jpg

Alan Sepinwall said...

Wouldn't the Others have repurposed that room for something else?

Given that Ben seemed to have talked The Others into trying to live as if they were Dharma folk (moving into the village, having book clubs, Bakhunin wearing the jumpsuit, etc.), I wouldn't be surprised at them leaving up some or all of the Dharma decor.

Anonymous said...

My favorite little bit of the night was Juliet's hot potato reaction to finding out the baby was Ethan. It went from "looky looky at the cute widdle babeeee" to "eeek! Here, you take him!" in about 2 milliseconds. Ha.

I think maybe Sun didn't flash out because she didn't sufficiently replicate someone on the original 815 flight, as per Mrs. Hawkings' instructions.

Carmichael Harold said...

I meant to mention that I liked Ben coming to visit Sayid in the lock-up. He treated Sayid much better than Sayid treated him in the Swan when the positions were reversed.

Jordan said...

I think it's interesting the way the writers of this show have set up the leadership of the survivors. The people who take control aren't necessarily the best leaders. It's clear that Sawyer should have been in charge since the start, but he's not ready until now.

All in all, a very well acted episode. Even if nothing big and Losty happened, it was just a great hour of drama.

Myles said...

I love how the episode technically has a whole bunch of catty moments of interpersonal conflict that didn't become a soap operatic focus of the episode: Juliet leaving Kate's name off the list at first so as to initiate her personally, Sawyer sticking Jack with janitorial service, etc. As I note in my review, even Sawyer and Jack's confrontation at episode's end is all about leadership, not about Kate, despite that definite undercurrent when Sawyer steps outside and has that small moment with Ms. Austen.

It was a really intelligent choice for the writers, and let us orient ourselves with this scenario a bit more before trying to have every character start living in the past.

I'm with you, Alan - 70s Forever.

Anna said...

One of my top 10 favorite episodes ever!!!

"1977 version of Sawyer may be the most appealing version of any character in "Lost" history"

AGREED AGREED AGREED!!!

Can we give a nice shout out to Josh Holloway who is just nailing it every week?!?!?!?

I really liked that when Sawyer was telling Juliet about the Jack and company returning he made a statement about how he didn't want to ruin the life he had there. For the first time (probably in his life), Sawyer isn't angling for a better situation. (or atleast not appearing to)

Please don't let them take this Sawyer away from us!!!

David said...

I am loving Lost right now, and loved that Sawyer finally called out Jack for his horrible leadership decisions. I know that they're going to make this love square try and work, but I really just want Sawyer and Juliet to stay together. They seem to have Way more chemistry than any other set of combinations of Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet.
This episode raised several questions for me:
How does Ethan survive the purge of new othertown?
Where has Claire been all this time?
Why would the flash on the plane not take Sun?

I'm loving where this season is going!

Alan Sepinwall said...

I meant to mention that I liked Ben coming to visit Sayid in the lock-up. He treated Sayid much better than Sayid treated him in the Swan when the positions were reversed.

Yeah, and I meant to mention that Sayid got put in a couple of different role reversals tonight. Ben treats him well in lockup, and Sawyer gets to (pretend to) interrogate him.

KC said...

Loved. It.

Sun's retort and expression after whacking Ben with the oar. Priceless.

Interesting how Frank so quickly abandoned his passengers to take off with Sun.

The island set episodes have an edge the off island episodes seem to lack.

Hurley on finding himself in '77. "Ah..whah???"

Hypotamoose said...

I'm not sure...I vote Claire...does anyone have a better screencap than the one posted by groovekiller above.

If so, that's pretty damn spooky. Like Season 1, Season 2 spooky.

And what is she holding in her hand?

Lewis said...

While this last few episodes have been compelling in their own character-driven sort of way, I'm a little worried about the fundamental lack of purpose in the 1977 story arc. I suppose that it will all become clear once we've rounded up and sorted out the Oceanic 6 and Sawyer has had time to do his "thinking," but the fact remains that, currently, there just isn't much reason for Jack, Kate, etc. to be around.

In fact, the only ones that need any saving are themselves, and it can't be very fulfilling for them to realize that, now that they're stuck in 1977, their only purpose is to get the hell out of 1977. It could be that John/The Island/Christian has more macro plans in mind for them: maybe they're going to work against Faraday's everything-left-alone mantra and tweak things such that the Dharma wipeout will never occur, Oceanic 815 will never crash, etc., but that creates all kinds of time loop problems...

I like that young Ben has been introduced, but he's really only the latest in a long succession of younger versions of people we know from the future. The show has been pulling this trick for what seems like a while, and so far it hasn't done much with it. We've seen young Charles Widmore, young Charlotte, and young Rousseau, but none of them served much more purpose than chronological cameos. I imagine (and hope) that young Ben, being Ben after all, will serve a greater purpose.

Something that's been nagging at me while watching the last few episodes: Sawyer, along with Horace, is essentially spearheading the Dharma Initiative at this point, and has been for three years, but we are still completely in the dark as to what the Dharma Initiative actually does. We know that plans for The Swan, for instance, are being laid out and that Sawyer is well aware of them (and presumably The Swan will come prepackaged with a cryptic save-the-world numbers/button combo), but if he has any clue as to what any of it means, he's keeping quiet and no one is asking.

Devin McCullen said...

Just a wild guess, since I don't really remember how constants are supposed to work, but I wonder if Sun didn't jump through time because she had a stronger connection to someone in 2007 (Ji Yeon) than any of the other four did.

One thing that I was disappointed about, kind of, was that for the first few minutes I thought we might be getting Frank flashbacks.

Sam Hobart said...

Leaders in general seem to be an interesting proposition on this island. I don't know that we've seen a group dynamic in which the person taking charge is best suited for the job in anything beyond a "get us through the next five minutes" role.

While I think Jack tends to be somewhat unfairly maligned as a leader (both by viewers and by Sawyer here), he was on the whole a failure once they got past the "how are we going to survive on this island" phase and discovered the hatch. It will be interesting to see if he will actually take a back seat to "Lafluer."

Locke has never really been particularly effective leading a group of people (the stay in New Otherton was not exactly a roaring success). He's always been a bit too caught up in his own relationship with the island to worry about anyone else.

Whether it's Dr. Candle/Chang/whatever or Horace who's actually in charge at Dharma, it doesn't seem that they have a particularly firm grasp on how to deal with the Hostiles (and it certainly doesn't end well).

Sawyer seems to be successful now that he's grown into the role, but as Alan pointed out, the odds that something isn't going to derail him soon as slim to none. Again, though, I'm curious to see how he and Jack interact regarding decision making and if maybe Jack doesn't take on something of a Locke role, following his own agenda the rest of this season.

Then there's Ben, arguably both the most and least successful leader we've seen on the island. While he certainly seems more than capable of keeping his people safe, I'm not sure that Richard isn't as big a part of that as Ben is. And as Richard pointed out when he first met Locke, Ben has been leading the Others into chasing their tails (and apparently mimicking Dharma).

The one person I always thought should be in a leadership role but never really has been, is Sayid. He's almost always right and certainly seems to be the most pragmatic member of the main cast.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm not sure...I vote Claire...does anyone have a better screencap than the one posted by groovekiller above.

I can see her a bit better on my high-def TV, but my screencapping tech has her all in shadow. On the TV, the hair definitely looks red, though.

Maybe Lost Easter Eggs will have something up later, cause that's damn spooky.

Mark B said...

Having read a number of post-Namaste comments, a couple points strike me as ringing true. First, Sawyer’s leadership development begins only when his life of revenge ends. I like the idea he now holds a leadership position as a man of logic and reflection, as opposed to Jack’s man of science and John’s man of faith.

Secondly, Sun was the one Oceanic Six member John Locke did not directly contact about coming back to the island. It is a difference that may explain why her path through time varies from the rest.

Anonymous said...

Lewis just gave me a thought. Hurley's lottery numbers are the numbers to save the world because Hurley chose them for the Swan. Or something.

Jennifer J. said...

I loved this episode just as much as I loved last week. I love LaFleur. He is a natural leader.

I know this was a set-up type episode, but it left me and the husband-unit with so many questions...then that led us to other questions from this season that have not been answered. Too many questions to even begin to list.

I think my head might explode and Wednesday cannot come soon enough!

Guess Jack will be working with Ben's dad. That could be interesting. Looks like Kate will be working with Juliet. Not sure what Hurley will be doing, but definitely want to find out.

Again...brain hurts! OWWWWWW!

Alan Sepinwall said...

One minor complaint I didn't raise earlier: the special effects during the crash sequence look really, really cheap.

Anonymous said...

I believe there's a little Radinski above those blast doors.

Puff

Ginny said...

Thanks, Alan! I thought that was Owen from October Road. Also, the co-pilot who bought it was Dan Gauthier making him the second One Life to Live-er to show up on LOST. (Jeff Fahey as Frank being the first.) Is Ben not in '77 because he's already there as a kid? And, if so, what about Miles, who so many guessed was Marvin Candle's baby? And now I have to go search for Shadow Woman who I did not see first time through.

Jennifer J. said...

Sam Hobart: Plus, Sayid is totally bad-ass. Don't forget, "Dude". like Hurley totally didn't want to walk in front of Sayid as he'd seen him do his leg lock ninja moves of death.

Sayid has great instinct. Maybe everyone can put their superpowers of leadership traits together at some point? ;)

Steve said...

I normally like LOST episodes more than others, in that when there's an episode that some people think is a let down, I would still love it because it's LOST.

However, this was the first time in a while where I was disappointed in the episode. It was just meh. It seemed like every big reveal was obvious. Yes, it was clearly Christian, and it was clearly Ben at the end. Compounded with the fact that I've waited two weeks for a new episode, I found myself relieved that I enjoyed South Park.

The only part I really liked was the Smoke surrounding Christian's place. I mean, the Sawyer/Jack conflict played out very well, but that storyline is so far down the list of things that I want to see/learn.

Anonymous said...

Hurley's job classification: Chef!

This was a classic episode.

Puff

hatibu said...

We've been led to believe that it was Richard that attracted Ben to the Others, but maybe it was Sayid all along that first made the connection. So Sayid will wind up "making" Ben and can't change that (according to Dan). It is precisely his anger towards 21st Century Ben (and Ben's awful Dad) that sends 1977 Ben scurrying into Richard's arms. Just another punishment for, and failed chance at redemption by, Sayid...

Hypotamoose said...

There's a video of Claire/Charlotte behind sun in the cabin on youtube now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxeLpOAJG3E

I forget the timing, is that after the door blows open and the mist/smoke comes in? Darn, I shouldn't have deleted it off my DVR.

Lester Freamon said...

I agree that Josh Holloway has been excellent lately, and I hope he manage to snag an Emmy nomination. I've been thinking: I wonder if James Ford still even thinks of himself as Sawyer. From his perspective it was only about two or three weeks between his killing the original Sawyer and becoming LaFleur. It seems like it would be easy for him to just put that all behind him.

I'd also like to see more acknowledgement of the Redshirts. Not just Rose and Bernard, but everyone else. It's great that Hurley and Sawyer had their reunion, but between flaming arrows, exploding boats, and a commando attack, as far as the Class of '77 knows only a small handful of the original 71 survivors of Oceanic 815 survived. It would have been great if Sawyer had pointed that out.

(and presumably The Swan will come prepackaged with a cryptic save-the-world numbers/button combo)

If you'll recall the original orientation film, the Swan was built for another reason and only after the Incident was it repurposed into the Hatch we know. I suspect this season is leading up to the Incident, and that that's what the finale will largely revolve around.

(*) And if there was any doubt that Caesar and the gang were on Alcatraz sometime after the freighter blew up, there shouldn't be anymore. We see Frank land on the runway that was being built during the season three polar bear cage arc, Ben knows where the outriggers are kept, and New Otherton is still as wrecked as it was after Keamy's forces blew threw and then got thrashed by Smokey. And, of course, we got the series' trademark whiplash sound effect (connoting a shift time) when we cut from the Dharma action to our first glimpse of Sun on the beach. Oh, yeah, and Christian implied that Sun had a long way to travel to find her man.

Plus the title card. That was my first clue.

Siddhartha said...

Also, we're supposed to assume that when young Ben handed Sayid a "sandwich", it was some kind of key or knife or gun, right?

I thought they telegraphed that a bit...plus timeline-wise, I think Ben has already been meeting and forming an alliance with the Hostiles.

Jordan said...

It's actually what I like about Lost. The telegraph a lot of their minor reveals so rather than being shocked we get to see how the characters react to them.

Dave said...

Re: New Otherton - this episode left a LOT of uneasy feelings for me, in particular all the talk we've received about whatever happened happened. Did Ajira 316 get flashed into some alternate universe? When Frank (or the copilot, I forget) made the mayday call, the numbers came over the radio. That means no Rousseau and, potentially, no 815 finding that signal. Then, I think it was definitely a different New Otherton we saw in 2008 than we saw in Seasons 3 and 4. The Others didn't leave things like registration signs up, and I thought they had turned the registration room into some sort of rec room (the one where Kate was being held when she came back for Jack in S3).

I'm going to trust the producers to make sense of this, but I'm feeling pretty uneasy after this one.

Dave said...

Re: Ben and Sayid - Ben knew Sayid wasn't a Hostile as soon as he didn't respond correctly to the mustard code. The fact that Ben's apparently already working as a spy on the inside for the Hostiles is interesting... based on what we saw in S3, you'd think that Richard meant for Ben to wait till he was more of an adult before enlisting/promoting him.

Hal Incandenza said...

Great episode, but quick question: is there any reason--aside from it being inconvenient for the writers--that the O6 (minus Sun) wouldn't be on the island present day (albeit 30 years older)? All I can think of is: they're dead in 2007, or have left the island by 2007...but should I be thinking that at all? Is there some sort of multi-verse at work? (This would seem to contradict the closed-loop rules we've been offered so far.)

Bob Timmermann said...

The Dharma Initiative has spelling issues or else I've been making mistakes by not spelling "inoculation" with an extra N.

Bill Kaminsky said...

I have different take in regard to the question Carmichael Harold posed in the opening comment of this thread:

Wouldn't the Others have repurposed that room for something else?

than Alan's answer:

Given that Ben seemed to have talked The Others into trying to live as if they were Dharma folk (moving into the village, having book clubs, Bakhunin wearing the jumpsuit, etc.), I wouldn't be surprised at them leaving up some or all of the Dharma decor.

Namely, my take is this: If you believe as I do that the Lost chronology is self-consistent despite time travel*, and if you believe that the people who've lived on the Island since at least the 70's like Ben and Richard have gotten to experience it straight through (in sharp contrast to the Oceanic 6 who didn't realize until after 2007 or so that returning to the mid-70's lay in their future), then wouldn't it make sense that people like Ben and Richard would keep around mementos of the Dharma days like the initiation photos so they could keep this whole crazy-but-consistent chronology straight?

Now, if the answer to that rhetorical question is yes, then all sorts of weird things from prior seasons of Lost have new meaning---for example, looking back on Season 2, we now must ask did Ben make his list of people Michael had to deliver to him (i.e., Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley) because he knew they were on the Island back in the late 70's? (Yes, I know the writers probably hadn't even dreamed of this twist yet. But do the writers now intend us to interpret such Season 2 events in this light?)

My mind boggles. :O

Footnote:
* Well, I mean the chronology we've viewers have gotten to see is consistent thus far. It's seems pretty darn likely the remainder of the series will be about trying to change history, and maybe this has already begun. Most notably, Daniel in his pre-Charlotte's-death-drove-me-crazy days clearly believed Desmond was special and could change things. And now that Daniel is crazy (and off the Island by 1977), my money's on him being an overachieving mad scientist and really ripping the space-time continuum a new one so he can save his beloved Charlotte. :)

Jennifer said...

Wow, still a pretty good episode even if Jack and Kate are in it. Jack got pwned by the true and most awesome island leader ever, Jim "Churchill" LaFleur. Awesome. Am less thrilled with the future Kate/Juliet smackdown to come, but oh well, what can you do. Really loved Sun's paddle smack. This is the first 70's show (hah) I think I ever loved watching.

Poor Sayid, it's not looking good for him here.

jim treacher said...

Sawyer the thinker vs. Jack the impulsive hothead. I like it!

They've done some much-needed character repair to Sawyer. The one thing that's always bothered me about him: Aren't con men supposed to charm people and persuade them to do stuff, instead of bullying them and stomping around scowling all the time? Finally, Sawyer is who he's supposed to be.

Which is why I'm sure they're going to kill him.

When Jack asks if Faraday's with them, Saywer shakes his head and says "not anymore. Something tells me Charlotte and her mom left the island by 1977.

I think he's still underground helping build the Swan, like we saw at the beginning of the season. Radzinsky had the scale model in his office and was worried about Jin seeing it, so presumably it's still under construction.

Tyroc said...

Hal,

I think the reason they're not on the island is because they make it back to the future at some point (my guess is at the season finale.)

In the current moment, though, once they have Sayid free shouldn't the plan be to get Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid off the island and back to civilization? (I still don't quite understand why Miles stayed on the island. While I could see Sawyer, Jin, and Juliet feeling they had nothing to go back to, he doesn't seem the type to sit still.)

I interpreted some thing differently than Alan did. First off, I didn't see Juliet as messing up with Kate on purpose. I think she saved her and seemed quite friendly but in character when she said hi to her-- I didn't get a cold vibe.

And I found Sawyer to be kind of a huge jerk in that final scene. Fine, he's still mad at Jack -- maybe because he thinks Jack got to end up with Kate and he didn't -- but he seemed a bit nasty and ominous to me (referring to the Dharmas as "my people".) Old wounds that haven't healed I guess, but seems strange he wouldn't immediately fill Jack in on why they stayed on the island, who the Dharma are, and also ask Jack what happened when he got back to civilization (and Kate too. Wouldn't he want to know if Kate finished the mission he asked her to do before he jumped off the helicopter?) Seemed very odd to me.

It also seemed really odd to me that Juliet would leave them alone. Wouldn't she too want to share info with Jack? She doesn't seem the type to leave the men alone for serious talk while she goes into another room. Odd.

That said, I did like Sawyer's reaction when Jack told him he was actually okay having Sawyer lead for a bit. Jack took away his victory. Nice moment.

The Rush Blog said...

"We've been led to believe that it was Richard that attracted Ben to the Others, but maybe it was Sayid all along that first made the connection. So Sayid will wind up "making" Ben and can't change that (according to Dan). It is precisely his anger towards 21st Century Ben (and Ben's awful Dad) that sends 1977 Ben scurrying into Richard's arms. Just another punishment for, and failed chance at redemption by, Sayid..."


I suspect that you're right. What will happen to Ben, post-2007? Or Sayid? I wonder.

Moski1213 said...

Alan!

Ungalow! You know Ungalow?!?

I thought I was the only person in the world who remembered Showtime's 2001 blink-and-miss-it Going to California. I came into that show late but once I discovered it I REALLY loved it. I mean, I hated it got canceled. I'm glad to see Brad Henke & Sam Trammell (Space) finding working and exposure on big projects -- even if it's 8 years after the fact. That show needs a DVD release, quick!

--Ray

The Rush Blog said...

"In the current moment, though, once they have Sayid free shouldn't the plan be to get Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid off the island and back to civilization? (I still don't quite understand why Miles stayed on the island. While I could see Sawyer, Jin, and Juliet feeling they had nothing to go back to, he doesn't seem the type to sit still.)"


And back to 1977? Granted, the Oceanic Six were not needed to save Sawyer, Juliet and the other LeftBehinders - well, as far as I know. But isn't there a reason why Daniel's mother was determined to send them back to the island? A reason we have yet to see?

Girly said...

There is definitely dense smoke that comes in the door. It sneaks in at the top of the doorway and then goes behind Sun!

I really hope that New Otherton does not become Melrose Place now.

And it seemed weird that they would let a child deliver a sandwich to a security risk.

I wonder if Juliet really didn't get a chance to switch that guy's roster OR wanted to make Kate feel indebt to her.

Alan, can we mention stuff from Comic con or would that be considered spoilerish?

Oaktown Girl said...

I'm a Lost fan, but not a Lost geek, meaning I'm not up on all the minutiae. But from what I remember of Ethan as an adult, does anyone beside me think he's a little too old to have been born in 1977? To my eyes Ethan appeared to be in his 30's, but that math doesn't add up with a 1977 birthday, does it? Or perhaps he just looks older than he is?

Girly said...

And sadly, goodbye co-pilot who was the hunk from Teen Witch. I guess a pilot had to die just like one did in the Season 1, and it couldn't be my Lawnmower Man.

Michael said...

How many more new episodes do we have before the season finale? I think it was 17 episodes this season and another 17 for next season, the final one, right?

sonofabitch said...

We've now seen Sayid meet Ben in 1977. We still haven't seen what caused Sayid to stop working for Ben off the island nor why he left the Dominican to go get Hurley. This may mean that in 2005 or 2007, Ben revealed to Sayid that he knew him as a child as well as something about what happened between them in 1977. If Sayid really did facilitate Ben joining the Others as it has been suggested, Sayid may refuse to believe it when told and then turn on Ben, thinking him insane. Of course, that means that since the time we first met Ben in Season 2, he's known who Sayid was and much more. It would also explain why the producers have put off explaining these gaps in Sayid's off-island story.

I'm totally convinced that that was Clare in the background behind Sun, deposited there by Smokey.

And how the hell does Desmond work his way back into this story!?!

I'm going under the assumption that Rose and Bernard are somehow with Cindy and the Others at the Temple, which may be a place somehow outside of time.

I don't think that the 1977 folks will reunite with the present day people before next season. This means that Jack, Sawyer, etc. will spend the rest of this season still believing that Locke is dead and the Sun/Jin reunion will be a long time coming, but I have little doubt that it will (Adam and Eve anyone?).

Matthew said...

gonna read some comments here in a sec, but in response to a paragraph in the review:
"and sooner or later we're going to find out more about Ben and Sayid's falling-out circa 2006, and Sayid hasn't spent a whole lot of time listening to Dan Faraday's theories about how the past can't be changed. He may try to kill that kid, and even though he can't succeed, he'd no doubt mess up Sawyer's situation."

1. my first reaction was that Ben was there with a sandwich that was poisoned to kill Sayid. Ben was so unloved as a kid and he looked CREEPY as hell. First time we saw young Ben, we could pity him, now? He looked like he was there to murder Sayid and watch him die. Or that was what they wanted us to think.
2. but now reading this, here is my second reaction, I dont think Sayid would think about it necessarily, he isn't a RASH kinda guy. But hten again he reaaaalllly hates what Ben has done to him. But more importantly the only things in that scene were
a. Ben going to see him
b. Ben asking him if he is a hostile
c. Ben trying to make friends with sandwich.

As in - does this then lead to Ben meeting mr eyeliner then Jacob, then taking the charge of killing Dharma, and ending the truce definitively?

James said...

There are plenty of things to wonder about in this episode, but in true Lost fashion, we must hold our tongues because all the plot holes will probably be filled next week, but one thing really bothered me...

Sayid is in handcuffs, running through Dharma territory! The first thing I think if I'm Jin or Sawyer is "Ah! He must be defecting to our side! Right?" *wink wink*

Hell, Sayid should have come up with it as soon as they asked him if he was a Hostile.

How could they *not* think of that?? And why has no one asked who put him in handcuffs?

Anonymous said...

anybody catch the blood sweat & tears ref with sawyer mentioning churchill and ride captian ride song playin?

Anonymous said...

I am *so* glad that we finally have a scene where Sawyer gets to tell Jack what a crappy leader is. Because real leadership on this show means hoarding necessary supplies and being a dick to everyone 24/7, instead of at least trying to take care of other survivors and search for water and supplies to share with others. Next time, I guess Jack should be a total unhelpful dick and sit back and wait until the situation becomes easier, and then step forward and be considered a great hero.

Shaun said...

Thank you anonymous for saying what I was about to say. Some fans hate for Jack really blinds them to the facts. Did people really think Sawyer circa 2004 would have been a great leader? Plus, the show really hasn't proven that Jack and 'em leaving really caused all the problems that happened on the island since they left.

belinda said...

Love! No crazy weird unexpected reveals, but it goes to show how great this show is at simply telling a story with compelling characters without having to shake us up. Great episode.

And, I've got to see that last scene again to try and catch a glance of Claire (or whoever it was). Thanks for pointing that out.

That being said, my head, as per usual after an episode, is filled with questions:-

- Love how Sun took out Ben. So, I can understand why Frank and Ben did NOT go back in time, but why didn't Sun? Given how adamant they were about recreating the same scenario with the same people to get back onto the island, I'm scratching my head as to why Sun (and to a certain extent, Locke, who we saw with that guy on the plane in an earlier episode on the side island, so he also didn't travel back in time; though that might be explained by
him being dead and whatnot) DIDN'T make the timeshift. I don't have a clue as to why that is, so that should be interesting to see unfold.

- I'm a little surprised that neither Kate, Hurley, or Jack felt ripped off at getting back onto the island. They went in thinking they needed to save everyone, and once they're back, nobody knew what to do, and everyone seems more or less fine. I love how Sawyer's all "son of a bitch!" to the unexpected guests, and his words to Juliet "I have to make sure they don't screw everything up." is pretty telling as well.

- Jack being a janitor. :D Gotta love that a bit. And of course, Sawyer's showdown with Jack. I can't tell yet, but I do wonder what Jack thinks about all this, given all his old supporters - Hurley, Kate, Juliet, Jin, etc - are now following Sawyer. Did anyone else think Jimmy looked a bit suspicious when Jack asked him for directions to "James LaFleur"?

- Could Sayid be the one who brings Dharma Ben over to The Others Ben? That would explain so much more about their future relationship with each other.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I left out some things:-

- I mean, why is Sun and Locke left out of the timeshift away from the original 'oceanic 6'?

- And I'm still thinking that Rose, Bernard and co. (who were time shifting along the last we saw them, right?) are now with the Others. We just haven't seen them yet. *fingers crossed, because if they just shift them out of the show for no apparent reason, then grr!* Unless, that whole Adam and Eve theory comes through, and they already died in that cabin. (though, I cannot remember what they found on the bodies way back in season one.)

Brian said...

I always thought the reason that Sun didn't go back in time is because she was the only one that Locke didn't invite back. Locke made the conscious decision to tell every one of the Oceanic 6 that they need to go back to the island except for Sun. Maybe since Locke is in charge of the island, Sun wasn't supposed to go back unless Locke's asks her to go back.

Dave said...

Given that Ben seemed to have talked The Others into trying to live as if they were Dharma folk (moving into the village, having book clubs, Bakhunin wearing the jumpsuit, etc.), I wouldn't be surprised at them leaving up some or all of the Dharma decor.

Yes, but we've seen them use the registration building for something else. Wasn't that the building they had the ping pong table (or was it a pool table?) where they kept Kate (and other people they needed to keep locked down, but Kate comes to mind) in Season 3?

We're also ignoring the fact that the Numbers were still playing when they landed the plane. Yes, the runway was built, but I think that in 2008, we're seeing an Island without Ben as the Other leader. And that leaves me with a bad feeling in my gut.

BF said...

I think he's still underground helping build the Swan, like we saw at the beginning of the season.

Faraday was helping to build The Orchid in Ep. 5.1, not the Swan. As for what happened to him, I'm thinking Polar Bear accident.

Stef said...

I love the 70's! "Don't call him James - he hates that."

For all the great character stuff throughout, that scene with Sayid and little Ben was my favorite. As so many commenters have already mentioned, it just raises all kinds of questions about Ben's motivations and timeline. It makes me want to go back and rewatch Sn 2 when "Henry Gale" first meets Sayid the torturer in the Hatch. Michael Emerson doesn't give much away as an actor, Ben's so tight, but I wonder if there's any little twinge of recognition. Either way, I'm hoping we'll see a lot more Sayid the rest of this season.

I also loved the role reversal scene when Sawyer interrogated Sayid, showing how much things have changed since Season 1 and the asthma inhalers.

Tyro.k.y said...

This episode was quite annoying. Everything could have been chopped down into ten minutes and sped the story up faster. How many times did they have to show Hurly asking what year it was?

I also think it's not fair to criticize Jack's leadership style. In situation's like that you can't kick up your feet and read a god damn book, you have to react.

1. A plan fucking crashed, no one stepped up to the plate
2. there was a mysterious creature
3. people started to disappear
4. there were the others

While Sawyer was talking to smack to Jack what did he do to fix the problems in the first couple of seasons? Nothing, in fact, he was a large part of the problem.

I loved how Jack was like "yeah, i'm cool you get to be the leader." Sawyer looks annoyed that he submitted so easily.

If the only reason Kate came back was for Sawyer I"m going to bash my head in. Arghgh, it's soooooo stupid. I was never a fan of the love triangle and I'm not one of this new one.

Anonymous said...

I think the reason Sun did not make the time jump with the rest is that she did not exactly re-create her circumstances on the return flight, she was with Jin the first time and alone the second. Maybe the fact that she was not with Jin was enough to keep her in the current time.

Anonymous said...

Sawyer The Great.... Please, don't make me laugh.

After the plane crash, lets horde supplies and use them as ransom toward the other survivors to get what I want. Great leadership James Ford.

When the survivors split to either the beach or New Otherton, you made the wrong choice to go to New Otherton and as you say "alot of people died." Great leadership James Ford

Then last week, you are stuck in 1974 no matter what you do. You can leave on the sub and be in 1974 in the safer world. Or stay in 1974 on the island where everyone has died and where you know a death purge is coming. Great leadership James Ford.

James Ford, a leader of men... dead men.

Beebo said...

That photo of the Dharma Class of '77 us eerily reminiscent of the Minutemen 1940 group shot from Watchmen.

K J Gillenwater said...

"One minor complaint I didn't raise earlier: the special effects during the crash sequence look really, really cheap."

And I was going to say that the whole plane going down/crash was incredibly nerve-wracking and well-done. I was on the edge of my seat. The only 'cheap' quality I saw is when the plane was coming down on the runway and hit the trees. The trees looked fake. But the rest? Careening around the mountains? Wow!


I wonder if this time in Dharma land is how Ben knows so much about the major players in the present when he first meets them? He knows Jack is a surgeon, they know stuff about Locke, Kate, etc. Could it be that this knowledge was from Ben's own childhood memories of these people? Rather than investigative work? Ben knew exactly what to do when the plane crashed back in 2004. How to play it.

I thought it looked like the ghost figure was Claire cradling a ghost baby.

spiderpig said...

Yeah, I'm with anonymous above laughing at how people are calling Sawyer The Great Leader. I am definitely not a fan of Jack, but all Sawyer is doing is what Sawyer does best. He's running a long con on the Dharma people (and probably even on Juliet) just like he did before he got on the island. He's good at lying and being sneaky and manipulating people. Good for him. Great leader or taking advantage of everything for his benefit as usual? But OMG those are some damn sexy dimples! :)

I LOVED how Jack very simply said "yeah" when Sawyer asked him if it was a relief not to have to be the leader.

How cool would it be if that '77 new recruit photograph would have been seen in a previous season during scenes that took place in Otherton?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Would Sawyer have been a good leader after the crash? No -- at least, not unless Jack and Locke and Sayid and all the other alpha males were gone and he felt he had to step up. (And maybe not even then.)

Was Jack the right leader back then? Absolutely. But there came a time when basic survival took a backseat to strategic thinking, and we've seen over and over how bad Jack is at that.

I've said a few times that Sayid is probably the optimal leader, but under these weird circumstances, and having so much time to mature, Sawyer's doing quite splendidly.

K J Gillenwater said...

"1. A plan fucking crashed, no one stepped up to the plate
2. there was a mysterious creature
3. people started to disappear
4. there were the others"

I am going to stand up for Sawyer, here. In the very first few episodes there was a creature IN THE JUNGLE. And where does Jack want to move everyone to? THE JUNGLE. Sawyer was staunchly in favor of staying on the beach...why you would move people into a creepy jungle where there is a monster and no way to look for a rescue plane????

Jack made bad choices from the start.

The food hoarding, etc. all came later after a lot of other stuff went down...and Jack treated Sawyer like crap...which, for a character like Sawyer, only makes him want to live up to the bad name he's been given unfairly. The kind of guy who says, "Screw it. If they think I'm a bad guy, I'll be the dang bad guy."

Anyway, Sawyer at least has made changes and redeemed himself by growing into his leadership position. Jack took the leadership role and went downhill with each bad decision he made.

BF said...

"One minor complaint I didn't raise earlier: the special effects during the crash sequence look really, really cheap."

The only frame of reference I have to compare is the final scene of Air Force One and the freeway landing in Season V of 24. This was better than both of those.

rks said...

If Sun aligned herself with Widmore in realtime, perhaps the island considers her to be hostile towards its plans. Maybe that's why she didn't make the jump with the rest of them and also why she has a longer, harder journey ahead of her to find Jin. I find Christian to be more menacing than friendly most of the time but especially so last night.

Speaking of menacing, there was surprise on Ben's face when he took his arm out of the sling. Maybe he wasn't expecting the island to heal him. Of course Sun gave him a new injury to make up for it. Never cross Sun.

Yes, Anonymous, Juliet's reaction to holding baby Ethan in her arms was priceless, as though she expected his eyes to start glowing.

Having finally met Radzinski I wouldn't blame Kelvin if he helped him become a stain on the ceiling. Imagine sharing close quarters with a pompous misery like that.

Hard as I try I can't see either Claire or Charlotte standing behind Sun in that screencap. All I can make out is what appears to be a burly cameraman or assistant. Time to visit the optometrist, I guess.

Sam Hobart said...

We've seen the rec room that Kate was kept in during season 3 during our trip back in time: it is the room in which Sawyer wakes up and talks to Horace after being taken out by Amy at the sonic fence. While I'm beginning to think that something in the past may have changed, as far as I know we've never seen the assignment room post Dharma.

Justin Pitts said...

What about the transformation of Miles as a character? Last season, this guy sneakily tried to tell his employers that Ben was dead for 3.2million dollars. It felt like this guy was more about himself than anything. Now the guy seems likable, even with the sarcastic humor.

Dave said...

@Sam - that's a good point, I had forgotten that we've seen the rec room. I still don't buy that the Others would just leave the Registration sign and all the DI pictures and stuff.

I was also thinking about what we saw of the Hydra in The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham, and that didn't look like it had been used in quite some time. Did the Others leave copies of LIFE magazine from the 70's just laying around?

As much as it implies a Back to the Future time model, it looks like the 2008 we're seeing is a separate timeline than the Island they left in 2005.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I thought the direction, editing, sound, music, etc., of the crash sequence were very well done. I'm just saying that the green screen effects (what was outside the cockpit windows), and the CGI effects (the plane itself trying to land on that runway) looked very fake.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

This episode and "LeFleur" are my two favorites so far. The earlier part of the season felt like moving a lot of chess pieces around, but now the writers have created this delicious situation, in which it's almost as if we're in the upside down reverso world of the one into which we crashed in the first episode of the first season. Jack and Sawyer have switched leadership roles; instead of battling Dharma, or the Others, they ARE Dharma; we even had a plane crash sequence AGAIN to open the show. (And I thought the crash's effects were fine enough so that I didn't think about them at the time; I thought, whoa! That plane's crashin'!

I've got my minor complaints; if I didn't I wouldn't be a Lost fan. I think Sun has become less interesting since she's become more scheming and vengeful; her reunion with Jin, whenever it comes, is unlikely to provide the same punch as the Des & Penny one.

Oh yeah, Des. What ABOUT Des?

Future episodes, I presume, will visit Des & Penny-- and I hope give Des some sort of reason to still be in the plot. His last appearance was a dud, from a scriptwriters' point of view-- he travelled halfway around the world to tell Mrs. Faraday, help them, and she was like, Dude, I AM helping them. and he was, like all: okay. Excellent. Guess I"ll just go now.

I still think Mrs. Faraday was the low point of 1) this season, and 2) the whole show's run.

I'm also imagining we have shows ahead to show us the transit of Hurley and Sayid.

I wonder if Christian will enable Jin and Frank to go back to 77 and meet our crew. Is there some other magic door he's going to reveal to them? If so, does it work the other way? How will they get everyone back to the present for what I assume will be the Final Battle with Widmore in season 6?

And yeah: I do feel sorry for Sayid and Jack and Kate and Hurley. They've come all this way, risking everything, for what now seems like no clear reason. Everyone they thought they were saving appears to be dead, except Sawyer and Juliet. And Myles. (And Bernard and Rose and Vincent, who are-- uh---) (And all the Others & Richard, who are, uh--) And yeah, mrs. faraday "didnt' mention the part" about them all winding up back in 1977. D'oh!


Anyhow, I'm enjoying this part of this season as much as any in Lost's history. They've managed, once again, to delightfully turn the whole show inside out. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking...remember back in the first season when the psychic told Claire that she had to be the one to raise Aaron? Well now he's basically been raised by Kate. Are they ever gonna address that?

Mike said...

Anyone else think Ethan is going to have to kill his father Horace in order to become an other? He looks creepy enough to have done something like that.

Dave said...

Horace dies in the Purge, sitting on a park bench. Ben shuts his eyes out of respect.

Davy said...

Bill Kaminsky wrote:
Now, if the answer to that rhetorical question is yes, then all sorts of weird things from prior seasons of Lost have new meaning...
I agree.

Remember that painting in Ben's cabin in New Othertown, the one which caused Harper to say that Ben liked Juliette because she reminded him of "her?" At the time, I thought it had to be a grown-up Annie, but now it's sure looking like the "her" that looks like Juliette is the actual Juliette when she was in 1977. I forsee some Juliette/young Ben drama coming soon.

Mike said...

Dave: "Horace dies in the Purge, sitting on a park bench. Ben shuts his eyes out of respect."

Still, doesn't that make Ethan complicit in his father's death if he becomes an Other?

ddm said...

Going back to the plane crash, did anyone catch the sound of the radio while it was going down? While the co-pilot was calling 'mayday', I swear I heard a male voice repeating a series of numbers in the background. I totally meant to go back to that last night but forgot about it until now. Oops!

As best we can figure, though, Desmond, Sun and Frank (and Ben and John) are all in the same time period, no? That's still a pretty good mix of folks to work with, as far as engineering a reunion between Sun and Jin.

Dave said...

Still, doesn't that make Ethan complicit in his father's death if he becomes an Other?

This is true. Ethan would have only been about 15, so it could have been a coming-of-age thing. I was about to say that killing your father is a very un-Other-like thing to do, but then I realized... no, it's not.

Andrew said...

One of the problems with CGi in environments that resemble real life (as opposed to imaginary worlds like BSG's space battles or the stylized characters and landscapes of Wall-E or The Incredibles is that the real-life environment is harder to get right. So the crash looked more like the Flight Simulator recreations of the USAir controlled ditching in the Hudson than the first-rate cinematic look of the aftermath of the Oceanic 815 crash in the pilot. After watching the season 3 premier again, A Tale of Two Cities, last week, the view of the Oceanic plane exploding over New Otherton also looked slightly computer-y.

Lost is generally effective with what it leaves out. Smokey was terrifying during season one because it was off-screen the entire time. That said, as distracting as the departures from realism were in that scene, it still was an effective action beat taking us into the episode.

If you're plane has just crashed on an island, wouldn't one of the first things you do be to gather up supplies and ration them? Maybe if Jack was a better leader, he would have done the same.

And even if you credit Jack's leadership immediately following the crash* and put up your "Mission Accomplished" banner, by the time the Lostaways discovered the hatch and the Others, Jack's leadership was anything but considered and effective. LaFleur's verbal smackdown of Jack was certainly deserved.

*(After which, the original Pilot script killed Jack off.)

Where are Rose and Bernard?

Dave said...

I just realized how unclear my last comment was. What I meant to convey is that yes, killing your father as a rite of passage is definitely an Otherly thing to do.

annie said...

Continue to be distracted by the absence of basic conversational catch up. Wouldn't Jin have asked Kate, Jack, Hurley while they were standing on the mountainside waiting for Sawyer "has anyone been in touch with Sun? and what have you been doing for 3 years?" and wouldn't Kate, Jack, and especially Hurley been asking a thousand questions about what's what on the island and how each person left behind is doing? Does this bother anyone else or am I just an overly chatty type that would be interested in everything?

I also think Jack gets a bad rap. I do believe the writers inserted some ridiculous story lines for him after the crash fallout stabilized. Do like the exploration of leadership styles. We've got lots of male leaders, not sure why none of the women have emerged as leaders. Juliet does fine as a right-hand person but seems to have the communication skills, critical thinking and fearlessness to have emerged as a more dominant leader.

Dave said...

@annie - I think we've all gotten frustrated at some point or another when the characters don't ask the obvious questions, and the producers have addressed that before. Their view is that if the characters always asked the right question, they'd have a very short show :)

So yes, it's frustrating, but I guess it's just part of suspending our disbelief.

arrabbiata said...

I'm one of those enjoying Sawyer's newfound leadership skills and personal growth, and at this point he does seem a more effective leader than Jack, but I'm not going to pile the criticism on the doctor. I don't have the dvd's to look back on, but as I remember it, he was really the only choice early on to be any kind of leader. Sawyer and Locke were each too much into their own thing, Sayid more a soldier than a commander, Jin had a severe language barrier (and Sun was pretending to have one), Kate seemed more interested in contributing behind the scenes, Claire and Michael had their kids to worry about, Charlie had his addiction and generally fried brain, and Hurley too easy going to take command. Jack was cool in the craziness on the beach right after the crash, and played an important part in keeping people alive in the early days on the island. There's a great tradition of turning to a man of science in crisis situations- on Gilligan's Island, the skipper thought he was in charge, but whenever something was happening they all ran to the Professor to solve the problem.

I think a lot of the Sawyer love is because most of the others have been on a downward trajectory for a while. Kate's gotten wimpy, Jack fell into addictions, Locke has seened confused and made some baffling decisions, Hurley essentially checked himself into a mental institution, Sayid and Sun have allied themselves with some dangerous people. In comparison, beginning with jumping out of that helicopter, Sawyer has been taking responsibility, handling crisis situations, and looking out for others. I'm sure he'll have his chances to stumble before long, but until then I'll enjoy seeing him in this new role.

Jordan said...

I've been thinking that Ben leads the others because future ben tells past richard it's so. So he gets put in while waiting for john locke to come in and fix things.

christy said...

Every time Sawyer smiles I lose my heart. Sayid will always be my number one guy, but DAMN can that boy smile.

Having Jack meet Dr. Chang was neat. It almost felt like meeting a celebrity, seeing our people interact with him after seeing so many of his mysterious training videos.

Regarding Miles: we're still in the dark about his motivations, but didn't he choose to stay on the island once before? Remember, when they're shuttling people to the freighter in the zodiac, and he says to Charlotte something about how he's surprised she wants to leave? How that'll tie in to his demand of $3.2 million or anything else remains to be seen. But I'm not surprised he didn't want to just hop a sub back.

Sun was the one Oceanic Six member John Locke did not directly contact about coming back to the island. It is a difference that may explain why her path through time varies from the rest.

This is the first possible explanation I've seen for this that makes any sense at all. Locke asked Hurley, Jack, Kate, and Sayid to go back. He didn't ask Sun or Frank or Ben to go back. Much more logical than falling back on Hawking's vague "unpredictable results" thing.

Wouldn't he want to know if Kate finished the mission he asked her to do before he jumped off the helicopter?

That was my biggest question too. I guess it falls into the larger "why aren't these people asking more questions?" question, and I get why Kate and Sawyer would otherwise want to keep their distance at first, but I thought one of them would bring that up pretty early in the reunion.

Ben knew Sayid wasn't a Hostile as soon as he didn't respond correctly to the mustard code.

That's what I thought, too. Then I questioned myself. Which makes sense--this is Ben we're talking about, after all.

Then, there was "Nama-wha?" My Indian husband got a kick out of that.

Dave said...

Switching gears - Radzinsky didn't exactly fit the image of how I imagined him. In hindsight, he reminded me a lot of Daniel. He's apparently brilliant, pretty neurotic, and even the hair was similar (or maybe it was just the beard).

As silly as the show can get with parents and children and siblings and cousins, it makes sense that if Eloise was an Other/Hostile, she could have conceived with someone from the DI, especially since the Swan was in Other territory.

kolchak said...

I don’t quite get why so many folks are concerned about the whereabouts of Bernard & Rose. For me, they both became kinda shrill and uninteresting characters after they got back together & had their flashback ep. What is so important about them to you? As for the last member of the “Where Are They Now?” trio, I think the writers really dropped the ball with Vincent (& Walt, of course)—after being so important early on, I am left scratching my head and wondering “WTH was that all about?”

Q Ball said...

"Uhh....what?" - Hurley

My favorite line from the episode. : )

But really I don't like to choose sides, but the fans and LaFleur are giving Jack too hard of a time. While I admit I've always been in the minority of being a fan of Jack, I also agree with Alan that the LaFleur version of Sawyer may be the best character yet.

People need to realize that Jack has always been the reluctant leader. He was put in charge early on and when Locke started to challenge him, Jack tried to do what's best for the people on the island, he never had any power trips. Did Locke and Sawyer ever handle those eulogies? No. Jack has always been the one to step up, which is why I found it refreshing that after Sawyer tore him a new one last night, Jack just smiled because he was finally relieved to not be the one calling the shot.

I also have a theory relating to that LaFleur/Jack convo about why these last two episodes have been so awesome. The beginning of the season had some exciting episodes, but most of them had the time-jumping characters reacting to the situation and Hurley/Sayid reacting to all of these assassins. Now there are so many things simmering under the surface like "How much are the Dharma guys suspicious?" I think that Jimmy is definitely suspicious of Jack and I have a feeling Amy is going to be the one to put the pieces together as well.

The modern timeline with Sun and Lapidus is starting to get interesting as well. I haven't forgotten about Ben/Locke either and I have a feeling Cesar is going to have something to say about Locke/Ben/Sun/Lapidus sneaking around and not telling them the whole story.

I can't wait for the show to get back to Faraday and Desmond because they have a purpose yet to be revealed and whenever those two are on the screen they really hold my attention.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don’t quite get why so many folks are concerned about the whereabouts of Bernard & Rose.

Not only do I like them as characters, but they're apparently the only surviving Oceanic 815 people to not be accounted for as either 1)Part of Sawyer's group, 2)One of the Oceanic Six, or 3)Assimiliated into the Others (ala Cindy and the kids). Therefore, their whereabouts may give us another piece to the puzzle of what's been happening to the island, why some are affected and not, etc.

Or else they'll just turn up early in the final season and explain that they've been roughing it in an isolated spot on the island all this time, not paying attention to the time jumps.

Lane said...

maybe Ben and Sun didn't go back to 1977 because their younger selves were already there? We know young Ben is there, and maybe Sun is the baby that Dr. Chang had in the prior episode from this season? A lot of speculation was the baby was Miles, but perhaps it is Sun?

We know Widmore and Sun's dad in Korea are familiar with each other..

I Dat Ninja said...

@Lane, interesting theory. When we flashed "back" from 1977, it was to a shot of Jin's ring in Sun's hand. I suppose she was just thinking about him, but since the shot was only of the ring, I have been trying to tie the ring into a reason Sun is in 2007. Haven't come up with anything yet...

Bob in SA said...

Every time I see the security assistant who was in Mad Men last season, I get flashbacks. Is he supposed to be a comedian or a security guard? And notice how he is suspicious of Jack and how Jack wants to see LaFleur. And his suspicions even when Juliette shows up with the updated manifest. I have a feeling he will play a significant role in the anarchy to come.

And Little Ben? That kid sure has the eye-stare thing going!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Plus the title card. That was my first clue.

Well, yeah. This is what happens when the computer eats my elaborate notes right before I need to write the review. Sigh...

Jillian said...

Clearly I'm dense - I wrote off young Ben asking Sayid if he wanted mustard as the type of thing an odd kid would ask, not a code. Have we heard this code before? Lostpedia has nothing on mustard . . . Also, was anyone else hoping Sayid might ask for some milk?

Dave said...

The reason I assumed it was code was because Ben said it completely unprompted, and made it into a question. And is mustard that regular of a sandwich condiment that he would ask about it? /shrug

We'll find out eventually anyway :)

Russ said...

A thought on the Swan: Presumably, based on what we now know, whatever magnetic/energy force the Swan's "button" is used to contain circa 2004 either (1) doesn't exist or doesn't pose a problem in 1977 or (2) is being dealt with in some other fashion. I'm going to assume based on what we've heard that it's much more likely (1) than (2). So, what unleashes the force that the Swan folks must then deal with until 2004's implosion? Is something uncovered or disturbed during the Swan's construction? Is there a connection to Jughead?

Russ said...

Also, I presume (as someone suggests above) that Hurley or another 815 survivor plays a role in selecting the numbers for the Swan's "botton." Will we learn that the musician who programmed the code in The Looking Glass was also a time-displaced survivor? I've assumed for a while that it was Charlie, but of course bringing Charlie back would require more than simple time travel. Unless, of course, Charlie is (1) Charles Widmore or (2) the son of Des and Penny or (3) both.

dez said...

Faraday was helping to build The Orchid in Ep. 5.1, not the Swan. As for what happened to him, I'm thinking Polar Bear accident.

I'm thinking he's running around the island, babbling like a lunatic.

Also, the co-pilot who bought it was Dan Gauthier making him the second One Life to Live-er to show up on LOST. (Jeff Fahey as Frank being the first.)

The chick playing Amy was also on OLTL as Rebecca, the girl who thought she could save Todd with religion.

Also, didn't Eloise say things could be unpredictable because they couldn't *exactly* replicate the original crash? I'm not sure why people are blaming her for Jack, et al, not knowing they could wind up in 1977.

This is fitting for a Lost post: my captcha is "fables."

Anonymous said...

I suspect this season is leading up to the Incident, and that that's what the finale will largely revolve around.

I have a slightly different take. I think the Incident will happen in a few episodes, and whatever it is will propel our characters forward in time to shortly before the Purge. The finale will center around the Purge itself.

Bobman said...

Every time I see the security assistant who was in Mad Men last season, I get flashbacks. Is he supposed to be a comedian or a security guard?

Funny, even after Mad Men, I can't see that guy and not think of his scene in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive".

maybe Ben and Sun didn't go back to 1977 because their younger selves were already there?

We've kind of been down this road before, assuming that people cannot inhabit the same place/time as another iteration of themselves, but we know that Locke was in the same place at the same time as another Locke when he saw the beam of light (another him was standing in front of that beam of light in Season 1 / 2). Sorry for the poor wording of that sentence; I can't write very well across space-time, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Sawyer rules. What he said to Jack was shocking as hell. I'm glad the writers are putting Jack in his place, but I hope he comes back stronger. I think it works better when Jack/Sawyer are both strong. And the reunion was a bit anti-climactic between the two groups. That said, I like Jack and Sawyer as friends... not frienemies. Hope they get back to them working together again.

Again, Sawyer pwns! He must be in every episode from here on out! Do you hear me Darlton!!

Oaktown Girl said...

Well, so far it seems I'm the only one who could not suspend disbelief about Ethan being born in 1977 (I said in my comment above the actor playing him seemed at least in his 30's, and that math does not seem to add up for 2004/5 era episodes). Oh well, guess it's just me. Not that I won't roll with it, it just kind of jarred me out of the story for a bit.

Bobman said...

Well, so far it seems I'm the only one who could not suspend disbelief about Ethan being born in 1977 (I said in my comment above the actor playing him seemed at least in his 30's, and that math does not seem to add up for 2004/5 era episodes).

As someone who is now 28 and has looked old for most of his life, I coudl totally see Ethan of earlier seasons being in his late 20's. An older-looking late-20's, but late-20's nonetheless. Being born in 1977 would put him at 27 in 2004. (The actor who played him was in fact more than a decade older than that, so your point isn't invalid by any stretch).

Of course, there's always the possibility that it's another Ethan.

jim treacher said...

Maybe Sawyer is a better leader now than he would've been back then because he's no longer haunted by the man who ruined his life?

debbie said...

Bobman said...
Every time I see the security assistant who was in Mad Men last season, I get flashbacks. Is he supposed to be a comedian or a security guard?

Funny, even after Mad Men, I can't see that guy and not think of his scene in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive".


ME TOO!!! That's why I can't stand that actor because of that creepy scene! No matter what.

I loved seeing the DI in full 70s swing, but immediately after the episode I was kinda disappointed that nothing really shocking happened. Clearly, though, lots of stuff is being set up, so that's awesome.

With Jack being put into a submissive role, maybe he'll turn into surly Jack. That could be sweet.

And I agree with Q Ball that Amy will be the one to figure out something fishy is going on w/ the extra recruits. She's a pretty skeptical chick.

Anonymous said...

So,

what about the DeGroots?

Tyroc said...

Everyone keeps asking why Sun didn't go back in time, but neither did Locke. Instead he came back to life in the present.

I think Farraday's mom said that unless they all went back things might get "unpredictable" and they didn't all go back (Walt stayed in the present.) So things got screwy and some of our group went back in time.

And its more dramatically interesting if the Sun/Jin reunion is put off for a while.

Also, someone asked how Desmond will be brought back into the story. Well, we know Ben went to his boat before getting on the plane to kill Penny and something violent happened... so at some point we'll get to see what occurred. I just hope poor Penny is still alive...

Alan Sepinwall said...

I think Farraday's mom said that unless they all went back things might get "unpredictable" and they didn't all go back (Walt stayed in the present.)

We don't know that Walt was supposed to come back; just the Oceanic Six -- in which case, maybe it's Aaron's absence that caused the wonkiness.

Or, perhaps more simply, the island needed some of the Six to wind up with Sawyer in the '70s, and needed Locke and Sun to be in the present.

Bobman said...

Everyone keeps asking why Sun didn't go back in time, but neither did Locke. Instead he came back to life in the present.

Locke is so obviously different from everyone else (both from an Island mythology standpoint and because he was dead when he got there) that it's not really a mystery why something different would happen to him. Sun on the other hand isn't much different so everyone is curious what MAKES her different.



By the way, I love that the Dharma people never NAMED the Island... they just call it "the Island". "Welcome to the Island."

Anonymous said...

See, you didn't think, Jack, and as I recall, a lot of people ended up dead." -Sawyer

Really Sawyer. Lets see, when the flash happened I seem to remember many of the 815ers still being left behind on the island with you. Where are the rest of them besides the four of you.

Looks like a lot of people ended up dead under the rule of Sawyer The Great.

But I guess Sawyer is doing, what is the word I'm looking for, splendidly.

Gopherannie said...

The figure behind Sun and Christian bears a resemblance to Charlotte. That brings up a clash of facts in these episodes. When Charlotte was introduced in Season 4 her birth year was given as 1979 and her place of birth in England. If that little red headed girl we saw on the island in 1974 was Charlotte, what happened? That girl was about 6 or 7. Is this a continuity problem or has time on the island already changed?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Really Sawyer. Lets see, when the flash happened I seem to remember many of the 815ers still being left behind on the island with you. Where are the rest of them besides the four of you.

I'm not saying Sawyer's a saint, but I don't know that any leader (not even Sayid) could have prevented the flaming arrow attack, or the ambush by the river, or Charlotte succumbing to the time sickness.

christy said...

Oaktown girl: it's not that it's not a stretch, but this being LOST, Ethan being 27 is more believable than Kevin Tighe being Terry O'Quinn's dad, or Raymond J. Barry being Matthew Fox's grandfather.

jim treacher said...

Faraday was helping to build The Orchid in Ep. 5.1, not the Swan.

D'oh! So was that done by 1977? I figured he was off doing that, but maybe not.

Rachel said...

I'm not saying Sawyer's a saint, but I don't know that any leader (not even Sayid) could have prevented the flaming arrow attack, or the ambush by the river, or Charlotte succumbing to the time sickness.

Yes, but Alan, I think that's kind of the point -- so much crazy sh*t goes down on this island that no "leader," not Jack, not Locke, not Ben, and maybe not even Sawyer, is ever really going to be able to keep the body count down.

I'm going to reserve judgement on Sawyer's leadership skills until we see some of the results. Although I do like that he's finally gotten a good shave.

Anonymous said...

Ajira in alternate 2008:

Flying deep into the night until bright flash, suddenly jet is breaking clouds in broad daylight and Island appears.

Unless they suffered same effect as Dez and Sayid on the helicopter, some kind of time compression.

Puff

Joe said...

I like Sawyer... don't get me wrong. But C'mon, Sawyer's big claim to fame as a leader is blending in to the Dharma Initiative circa 1974, coming up with some fancy nom-de-island...

oh, and hooking up with Juliette.

Bobman said...

oh, and hooking up with Juliette.

There's a campaign initiative I can get behind.

Anonymous said...

On leadership:

I think the discussion of leadership among the Lostaways has always been interesting, now more than ever as we watch Sawyer come into his own and become a better version of himself.

But what about the women? Has Juliet or Kate ever run things?

J.J. said...

A couple thoughts...

- I guess Juliet's intervention during the delivery is what allowed Ethan to be born when he wouldn't have been born otherwise. Which means these time-travelers aren't changing the way things played out; they're just playing a small part in things going the way they were always meant to go. So hopefully this ties a bow on the whole What Happened Is What Happened theory, as it relates to them wanting to change the future as they knew it. The way they saw the island and the others in 2004 obviously wasn't changed by their presence during the '70s. Hopefully now they won't waste precious remaining episodes on the premise that they can change it.

- I'm pretty sure Kate was wearing the blue jumpsuit which was labeled for a worker in the "Motor Pool." We saw Juliet also wearing a blue jumpsuit when she was working as a mechanic with their motor vehicles. So... does this mean we're going to be drowned in all the love triangle stuff with Kate and Juliet working together? Aye.

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

After people behaved well the last few episodes, I stopped including the request at the end of each review that people actually make an effort to at least skim the previous comments so that they're not making "Hey, did anyone here ever notice" comments about things that have already been brought up by 12 other people.

Looks like I may need to bring it back.

Remember, people: if you're repeating points that other people have raised as if you're the first person in the world to ever think of them, it's both insulting to the previous commenters and annoying to those of us who try to read every comment. Read before you post, or don't post.

jim treacher said...

Well, who's doing better in life 3 years later, Team Jack or Team Sawyer?

J.B. said...

I also have problems with the new baby Ethan being the one who will grow up to be Tom Mapother. Aside from the fact that adult Ethan looks older than a man in his late 20s (even accommodating the poster who mentioned you can look older than your years), two other discrepancies bug me:
1) Didn't he give his name as Ethan Rom when asked by Hurley when the latter was doing his manifest research (or did I totally invent that last name? I swear I heard it....) Not that he couldn't lie, but Goodwin didn't lie about his name, b/c the 815 survivors would have no reason or need to know otehrwise.
2) Also, don't we find out much later that adult Ethan was a doctor (I think it's when Juliet is helping Jack prep Ben for surgery, and Jack asks why the Others don't have a doctor, and Juliet, in her quiet way, alludes to the fact that they had one but that the 815ers killed him - so if that's the case, how could Ethan have trained, on-island or off, and come to be a full-fledged doc at such a young age, presuming he's a few years past the end of his training by the time we meet him as an adult?

Whew. Long, but wanted to get all details in.

Jordan said...

Someone made a point about Charlotte's age, and the writers just addressed this. In the script she's born in 1970. The actress changed it to 1979, since she didn't want to seem a lot older than she really was. The writers weren't on set to catch it and hadn't told people everything that we'd eventually learn about her character, and it slipped through in editing. It's a mistake.

Steve B said...

Count me among the many who were extremely frustrated that no one was talking. I think we can safely assume that some talking is done off camera, (it should be safe to assume that Sawyer and Jin got Sayid up to speed on their car ride to the compound) but at the same time, Jin didn't know that Sun was on the plane. Seriously? Jack, Kate, and Hurley wouldn't have told him that in the 15-20 minutes they were all alone before Sawyer woke up, got dressed, and drove to where they were? What else would they have had to talk about? The weather? The material on Jin's jumpsuit?

That's the kind of forced implausibility that can drive me nuts about this show. I still love it, but don't make us assume the characters are in suspended animation when they aren't on screen.

In regard to the leadership debate that's going on around here. I agree with Alan's point that Sawyer wouldn't have been a good leader when he first came to the island. But he's grown and matured in such a way that he has quickly become one of my favorite characters. Of the Losties, only three main characters haven't really regressed since the boat blew up and some escaped. Jin, Sun and Sawyer. After getting off the island, Jack turned to drugs, Hurley went nuts, Sayid had his world flipped upside down, Kate had her trial/tribulations, Locke hit his low point and then got killed. That leaves Sawyer, Jin and Sun. Jin and Sun are obviously, and appropriately, most concerned with each other. Sawyer alone is left to be the leader, and he's obviously done a tremendous job. Since he's taken that mantle, he's integrated his people into Dharma, used negotiation to placate Richard and the others, and not suffered casualties. I'm not holding him responsible for the flaming arrow attack or ambush. He doesn't want Jack to come in, act hard-headed, and ruin his carefully laid plans. Plus, if it's true that reading helps to keep your mind clear and improve your decision-making, Sawyer is unmatched.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what book Sawyer was reading in last night's episode?

christy said...

Also, don't we find out much later that adult Ethan was a doctor (I think it's when Juliet is helping Jack prep Ben for surgery, and Jack asks why the Others don't have a doctor, and Juliet, in her quiet way, alludes to the fact that they had one but that the 815ers killed him - so if that's the case, how could Ethan have trained, on-island or off, and come to be a full-fledged doc at such a young age, presuming he's a few years past the end of his training by the time we meet him as an adult?

Yes, Ethan's a surgeon. He would have had to join the Others/Hostiles at a pretty young age in order to have survived Ben's purge. The Others have their own ways off the island--the sub, after the purge, for instance, but Richard implies in the 1950s that they have a way then, as well--and Others seem to travel back and forth quite a bit. For instance, Tom Friendly visiting Michael off the island. So, maybe the Others simply sent Ethan to the mainland to become a doctor and then return.

On the subject of people not talking and catching each other up--we also haven't seen anyone tell Jin about Ji Yeon's existence. Hurley's even met her! I'd think Hurley at least, if no one else, would really want to tell him he has a daughter.

Anonymous said...

What about the transformation of Miles as a character? Last season, this guy sneakily tried to tell his employers that Ben was dead for 3.2million dollars. It felt like this guy was more about himself than anything. Now the guy seems likable, even with the sarcastic humor.

Miles is to me what Sawyer should have been - he makes the sarcastic comments but we don't have flashbacks about his woobie pain and the actor doesn't say every line with a smirk or through a clenched jaw. And he looks like he occassionally takes a shower.

I don't care if a character comes down on Jack making mistakes. Lord knows he's made quite a few. I object to Sawyer being the one to do it. He took his sweet time participating in island activities besides reading and making life difficult for the other characters, and steps up when he's good and ready to, and he lectures JACK, who has at least tried to be helpful since day one? I guess the show wants me to forgive Sawyer for being a jerk early on because he was in such paiiiin due to his bad childhood. Well, every other character on the show has issues or has suffered pain, and no one else was so thoroughly a pain in the ass, so that excuse doesn't fly for me.

Anonymous said...

I thought Matt Fox did a good job. The writers clearly were looking to knock him down a peg and answer fans concerns about his actions over the last few years (smart of them). Hopefully they will build him back up now.

The scene where he becomes a janitor with a low IQ was funny. You could see him struggling, but then he is clearly chilled out and at ease when Sawyer explains he has things under control and to let him think his way out of their jam. Sawyer's good running a con, but what will happen when the con is up? Will Jack have to take charge again?

Dave said...

So my buddy Dave (no relation) gave as good an explanation as I can imagine for the New Otherton phenomenon: it's an apparition for Frank and Sun, a la the burning/hopping cabin. It's a pretty cheap trick, but it does make a lot of sense (we did see Smokey move in ahead of them).

I suppose better a cheap trick than totally destroying the show's model of time.

Anonymous said...

My theories:

My theory about why Ben and Sun didn't flashback with Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley is that the same person can't exist on the island in the same time period twice. We know Ben is already there as a kid, and I'm betting somehow Sun is there, as well (Dr. Chang's kid from the season premiere, perhaps).

The island is an alien spaceship.

Richard is a really, really old Egyptian. Possibly the one on the statue (have we ever seen his feet). Or he is an alien, along with the others, sent to actually protect earth from something dangerous either naturally occuring, man-made, or caused by these aliens. Kind of like the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Caesar may be an old Egyptian too if Richard turns out to be that. Or he's Richard's son possibly.

Alien tech. would explain "Smokey" though.

Anonymous said...

Also, the pregnancy problems are because, im my opinion, Kate is pregnant with Jack's kid. She will give birth to him in the past, even though she conceived him in the future. It will create some kind of temporal flux that will prevent new babies from being born on the island when she tries to give birth to the kid. She may die in childbirth and the Losties decide to say screw it, let's go ahead and change the past to save her/others.

littlegirltree said...

"Clearly I'm dense - I wrote off young Ben asking Sayid if he wanted mustard as the type of thing an odd kid would ask, not a code. Have we heard this code before?"

Yep:

"What did one snowman say to the other snowman?"

Derric said...

Re kolchak's comment: I think the writers really dropped the ball with Vincent (& Walt, of course)—after being so important early on, I am left scratching my head and wondering “WTH was that all about?”

While I've been enjoying these recent episodes I find myself thinking that it's probably much easier as a writer to create all that mythology than it is to try to explain or sustain it over multiple seasons. The polar bears on the island, for instance, were originally tied to Walt's reading of his comic book, which implied that Walt had some kind of psycho-kinetic power. Once we got around to finding out the origins of the polar bears, however, it turned out they were some kind of Dharma Initiative science experiment or something.

It would be interesting to go through all the episodes of Lost and create a list of all the mythological elements and start checking them off as explained or unexplained, and if explained, which are continuing threads and which ones were "lost" somewhere along the way. I think Alan did some similar in his Battlestar Galactica blog. At least the BSG writers were honest that there were many elements of the story that they simply made up as they went along. The Lost writers have always argued otherwise but as we move through these concluding seasons I hope we won't be disappointed how it all plays out. Somehow if it just turns into some sort of electro-magnetic breach in the space-time continuum it would seem a little disappointing.

BTW, Alan-- This is my first time commenting but I've been following your reviews all the way back to the days of your NYPD Blue site and I have to say sometimes I'm not sure what I enjoy more... watching the show or reading your excellent reviews and insights afterwards!

christy said...

Regarding the possible mustard code:

It's not that mustard resounded for any reason. It's just that I remember Ben meeting Richard at a young age, and it just seemed a very Others thing to do, if young Ben had already aligned himself with them or expressed interest in doing so, that Richard might set up a way for him to identify captured members of his group from inside by assigning a very specific answer to a benign question.

Like:
"Do you want mustard?"
Answers of "sure" or "no, thanks" would mean they're not Others. But an answer like "No, thanks, mustard reminds me of my crazy aunt Mildred," they're an Other.

Kind of like Naomi's "tell my sister that I love her," remember?

But I'm not sure it was a code. It might be that Ben believes Sayid, and his obsession with the Others leads him to try to bust him out. Or something.

Tyroc said...

I think young Ben is very smart. Therefore he realizes that almost every sandwich is made better with mustard.

Charlotte K said...

I think that Kate was assigned by Juliet & Sawyer to the motor pool so that she wouldn't face questions alone from other Dharma workers. Juliet can look out for her if they work together. There is no benefit to Juliet & Sawyer at being caught out in a lie about the "new people."

Sawyer may have been digging at Jack by making him a janitor, but it's a good way for Jack to lay low. As a doctor he really isn't qualified for other Dharma type jobs--he can't do engineering or communications; he's not a weapons expert (no matter how many guns he handled as a "lostie", he doesn't know how to pilot a sub. He's not even qualified to teach school. I guess Sawyer could have put him on security with Jin, but there may be other reasons he needs to be in the "workman" category. Jin was an "enforcer" in another life, after all. Sawyer THINKS, he's not out to get revenge with a job assignment.

I think Sawyer's not worried about Hugo as a chef even if he's with other Dharma people. Hugo's cool; he'll deal (but can he cook???)

jim treacher said...

Anyone know what book Sawyer was reading in last night's episode?

How to Make Friends and Influence People!

ED said...

Maybe the Others kidnapped Ethan from Dharma, when he was young, and he grew up with them. Maybe he doesn't know, or didn't remember being with Dharma.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

This may have been posted already, didn't read through everything.

Here's a hint: if your comment includes a phrase like that, it's gonna get deleted.

Anonymous said...

ED said...

"Maybe the Others kidnapped Ethan from Dharma, when he was young, and he grew up with them. Maybe he doesn't know, or didn't remember being with Dharma."

Good possibility. Just like they kidnapped Alex from Danielle Rousseau some years later.

PaulRW said...

re: " it's gonna get deleted."

Thank you! I am always amazed when people post, in effect "I won't be bothered to read what others wrote, but I want everyone to read me."

As for this episode: It had the problem of being "all middle" -- big stuff last time, probably big stuff next week -- this time, set up. All middle.
[And people not talking.]
Still very good. Just not great.

Archie said...

Ok - this has NOTHING to do with this specific episode. But I just saw something bizarre - something that might just be an inside joke.

Am watching re-runs of Veronica Mars (yeah, long time ago) - and guess what???? Early Season 2 she gets a fortune cookie from her ex-boyfriend Duncan and they start up again. Towards the middle of that season is an episode called Donut Run when Dunca takes off for Mexico with his daughter by Meg Manning.

End of that episode, you finally see the fortune cookie. It has - wait for it - THE NUMBERS!!!!!

On VM, the numbers on the fortune cookie she gets are - 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. I've watched, rewound and taken a good long look.

It's the numbers.

I know for a brief time they were in the Universe together - but what's going on?????

John Coulter said...

I caught the muppet show. I think the other one with the shot of the interchanges was ChiPs?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTDOLoDiOcg

J.J. said...

"My theory about why Ben and Sun didn't flashback with Jack, Kate, Sayid and Hurley is that the same person can't exist on the island in the same time period twice."

I notice a lot of people speaking as if this is a possibility, but I'm fairly certain this has been disproved.

During the flashbacks, they went back to the night Claire gave birth (and Boone got hurt). Sawyer, Locke, Juliet -- all of them had a double walking around on the island at that point.

For what it's worth, my theory is that Ben and Sun didn't flash to the '70s because they weren't supposed to come back (since Ben made it sound like whoever turns the wheel can't come back, and because Locke had already promised not to bring Sun back). The Island didn't expect them. If that makes sense.

Undercover Asian Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Archie said...

Undercover - I really should try that, shouldn't I??? I'll definitely try to post a screenshot - Alan - any ideas how I can here?

I'm looking forward to watching the internet explode - and better yet, bringing VM back!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hey, kids! Want to know another way to get your comments deleted? Try showing up repeatedly in the discussion of a show you have repeatedly expressed your disdain for, with the sole purpose of ridiculing the people who like it.

Archie said...

Ok - color me stupid cos I missed something there. Does UAM not like Lost?? Sorry - I don't pay too much attention to commenters.

Sorry - but I'm definitely not in the camp that hates Lost. So hope I'm not banished.

And no, I promise, none of this is sarcasm. Alan - apologies if I've stepped on any toes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Archie, don't sweat it. UAM just likes to come into the "Lost" threads to start trouble.

Undercover Asian Man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
UAM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Juliet delivered the baby soon after she arrived. (At least I thought so.) Yet the baby (Ethan) is almost a newborn. And that's three years later ... or am I missing something?

J.J. said...

Juliet delivered the baby years after they arrived. Remember, Sawyer (LaFleur) had already worked his way up to being in charge of Dharma's security.

I think it happened the night before the plane crash.

annie said...

SteveB - thanks for your 2c on the lack of obvious conversation b/w the characters. I truly get that the writers need us to just go along, but really, last night's episode approached silly to me (and I love the show, not looking to find fault with it). Call me overly left brained - but I needed some bone thrown to me, even a simple "how is everyone?" and a reply of "that's a long story" or "you should be asking when is everyone" would have helped.
Okay, letting go. Look forward to next week's episode.

Damien said...

What could UAM possibly have said to get his comments deleted? Frankly, I enjoy reading his posts and have always found them to be well balanced with concise examples given for his views. Surely this blog can handle some constructive criticism and a dissentive point of view? Unless UAM overstepped the bounds of constructive criticism, I'm disappointed that his comments wee censored.

laura said...

RE: Polar Bears

I thought it was already established that the bears were there to be trained to turn the donkey wheel. Given the cold, the hard labor, and their relative expendability, it made sense to me. Plus explains why one shows up in the desert of Tunisia.

Lester Freamon said...

Theory brainstorm: The Incident will be caused by some scheme Daniel cooks up to use the Orchid to get everyone back to the future.


I thought Ben was oddly familiar with Frank. Isn't that the first time they'd met? Frank spent most of Season 4 on the boat. Come to think of it, why was he even on that mission? He didn't bring any skills to the job that Naomi didn't.

jim treacher said...

Now that's undercover!

Christy said...

About the issues of Ethan's age -
Didn't Daniel's experiments when he first arrived from the freighter demonstrate that time moved more slowly on the island? Would Ethan training off-island de-sync him from his chrono age?

Of course, the 70's Dharma Island seems synchronized just fine with the outside world, so who knows?

Alan Sepinwall said...

What could UAM possibly have said to get his comments deleted?

He broke Rule #1.

Sam Hobart said...

I'm generally not a fan of particularly restrictive posting rules but in Alan's defense here, UAM has been posting his scathing critiques of Lost on almost a weekly basis going back at least as far as season 3 (I've been rewatching and reading Alan's reviews as I go). Having not read this comment, there were certainly some comments in the past that were as much an attack on the people who would watch a show this "bad" as on the show itself. To be honest I was shocked someone would subject themselves to weekly viewings of a program they hated so much -- much less respond to blog comments about it. That said, I do enjoy the back and forth that you often find in the comments here so I hope we all disagree amiably in the future.

Anonymous said...

Have to strongly agree with Damien - UAM, though occasionally perhaps too sharp, has always struck me as someone who recognizes the tremendous potential in Lost and points out where the show falls short. I didn't see the comment this time either, so of course it's up to Alan to do what he thinks best, but reading these comment threads each week I look forward to UAM weighing in and challenging us to think more deeply.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, let's get back to discussing the episode. As you say, you haven't read the comments in question, which to my mind crossed the line into belittling other posters. Let's move on.

Jennifer said...

Re: Veronica Mars: that was basically a writer in-joke, done with the permission of C/L. Doesn't really have crossover significance beyond that (if you see VM3).

I suspect that Charlotte and Ethan's ages are just pure writer cock-up at this point, and would require some heavy fanwanking/time travel for the show to fix at this point. They probably thought, "Hey, that seems cool!" in S5 and forgot what had come before.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Sun did not travel back in time because Ji Yeon is not with her? I realize that Aaron also did not go back. However, Aaron isn't really Kate's child so that might allow Kate to travel back to '77 with the other Oceanic 6.
Ben didn't leave the island the same way and had obviously left the island prior to the donkey wheel.
Just a thought.

Club4911 said...

Confused on the impact/relation of time travel ...

(1) When Faraday knocked on Desmond's door at the hatch - it was only after that "happened" in the past that Desmond woke up remembering exactly what happened. He did not have this memory until Faraday knocked on his door.

(2) If this lays the basis for how memories are created by people traveling back in time - then how would Ben/Charlotte, etc.. remember the Oceanic 815 crowd growing up in the Dharma initiative?

Is this a paradox between the two experiences or are we to dismiss Desmond's memory as misplaced/faulty?

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Charlotte and Ethan's ages are just pure writer cock-up at this point

On the latest podcast, Cuselof admit that Charlotte's supposed 1979 birthdate was a mistake. It was written as 1970 in the script, but the actress didn't want to play 10 years older, so she asked the director to have it changed to 1979. The writers weren't on set at the time and didn't catch it in editing (which seems a bit hard to swallow, but whatever). Her 5th season appearance as a young girl in 1974 reflects their intent.

With Ethan I guess we just have to assume that he's aged badly.

Wirdcher said...

Des is "special" according to Faraday.

Also, as I was reading through the comments (per the roolz), I came up with the kinda same theory as Anonymous at 10:58 AM:

Either Sun doesn't end up in 1977 because she is fundamentally different than when she left (i.e. non-pregnant) or b/c Christian/the Island hates Ben - remember Locke was supposed to turn the wheel but Ben did, Locke was supposed to convince Sun to come back but Ben did instead.

Also, my two cents, Juliet ties Rosario Dawson as the most attractive Muppet-looking lady in Hollywood right now.

Anonymous said...

Which muppet does she look like? Was there a super hot one I missed?

Rafael said...

Episódio sensacional. O melhor dessa temporada e um dos mais fodas de todo o LOST!

Omagus said...

Wirdcher: Also, my two cents, Juliet ties Rosario Dawson as the most attractive Muppet-looking lady in Hollywood right now.

Funny. Elizabeth Mitchell is a pretty lady but I never found Juliet particularly attractive until the scene where she intercedes to save Kate from Jimmy's suspicions. At that point I was thinking, "Yo, she's kinda hot..."

I have been SxSWing all week long so I didn't get a chance to watch the episode until last night. All the theories that popped into my head seem to have been brought up in the comments section (I always read every single one, Alan) so it's a bit gratifying to know that many of us are on the same page.

Here's something to consider though: is it possible for a person to be time displaced into the same time period multiple times? Ok, I know that sounds confusing but what I mean is that one theory going on is that Ben and Sun did not travel back to 1977 because they already existed on the island as younger selves (we know Ben is there, and Sun may be Dr. Chang's child). I'm pretty sure that a younger version of Locke is not on the island or he would have had some recollection of that. But what if, later on (2007 or beyond) Locke is sent back to the mid-70 and becomes leader of the Hostiles or something? Would that prevent the resurrected Locke in 2007 from traveling back to 1977?

Ok, wow...after that rambling confusion, my word verification is "palin."

Adam said...

One thing I don't think anyone else has commented on...

Yes, the moment when Jack was assigned to be "Workman," was funny... but I think it also served a definite purpose.

Who else on the island do we know is a "Workman?"

Roger Linus.

And who is Roger Linus?

A drunk. A hopeless alcoholic. A type of person Jack knows very, very well.

How will Jack react when he realizes Ben's dad was much like his own?

Anonymous said...

About the time travel and "what happened, happened." If the O6 are in 1977 and always were in 1977, why don't they recognize each other in 2004 when they're getting on the plane and why don't they recognize the island when they crash there? It must mean that the 1977 they're in is a "new" version of 1977, yes? I think Daniel is wrong about "what happened, happened."

Omagus said...

Anonymous: About the time travel and "what happened, happened." If the O6 are in 1977 and always were in 1977, why don't they recognize each other in 2004 when they're getting on the plane and why don't they recognize the island when they crash there?

Because even though 1977 is obviously before 2004, they were not present in 1977 until AFTER the events of 2004. From their perspective, the events of 1977 are happening after the events of 2004.

Laura said...

I'm a bit behind on all this (currently studying abroad in Australia and doing my best to follow the show at the American pace), but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.


Dave said:
Yes, the runway was built, but I think that in 2008, we're seeing an Island without Ben as the Other leader. And that leaves me with a bad feeling in my gut.

I thought something felt really funny about the lead-up to Sun and Frank's encounter with Christian. The place looked at first glance like it did after the Ben-Smokey-Keamy drama, sure, but the signage and some of the wreckage seemed, to me, a bit different. I wouldn't be surprised if this theory (or a variation on it) turned out to be correct.

To echo another commenter, I'm not a huge fan of vengeful Sun.

I would have loved some kind of exchange between Hurley, Kate and Jack while waiting for Sawyer to return with the outfits - something along the lines of "It's so freaking weird to be back!"

Michael Giacchino continues to do wonderful work on the score - I loved the piece playing over Sawyer and Kate's shared glance after the confrontation with Jack. Beautiful.

Oh, and, this might just be me, but I find it really obnoxious when characters are so liberal with calling Sawyer "James". It's a complex shared by Juliet, Locke and Kate, I think - whenever they say it an air of superiority creeps into their voices. (After typing that out, I think that it's definitely just a personal pet peeve.)