Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lost, "Some Like It Hoth": Papa was a rolling stone

Spoilers for the latest episode of "Lost" coming up just as soon as I get another fish taco...
"Miles, I need you." -Dr. Pierre Chang
"You do?" -Miles
What is it about TV writers and father issues? And, specifically, what is it about "Lost" and father issues? Amongst the notably bad dads we've met and/or heard about over the years (and I'm sure I'm leaving out somebody like Boone or Mr. Eko's father):

• Jack's dad is a drunk with a God complex, who helped turn his kid into his exact replica before drinking himself to death.

• Ben's dad spent Ben's entire childhood blaming the kid for the death of Mrs. Linus, and slapped him around, to boot.

• Kate's biological father (whom she thought for decades was her stepfather) was such an abusive bastard that Kate decided the best way to deal with him was burning him to death.

• Hurley's dad abandoned him for years, and only came back after Hurley got rich (and he's probably the best of this bunch).

• Sawyer's father killed Sawyer's mom and then himself after they got conned by Anthony Cooper. And speaking of which...

• ...Locke's father was not only an evil SOB of a con artist, he even conned his own son out of a kidney, then threw his son out an eighth-story window.

• Walt didn't know his dad for most of his childhood, then his father killed two innocent people to rescue him from kidnappers and wound up blowing up on a freighter after Jack's dad said it was okay.

• Penny's father is either the chief villain of the series, or at the very least such an amoral, selfish monster that Penny is traveling the globe trying to hide from him.

Compared to all that, what little we know of Pierre Chang so far doesn't make him seem too terrible on the "Lost" Bad Dad Spectrum. It's entirely possible that he may be responsible for Miles' unwanted psychic powers, but it's just as possible that he's not, and even that he sent his wife and child away from the island because he knew bad things were coming (possibly being warned by Miles himself).

What interests me in looking at that list is how many of our characters have been given an opportunity to confront their father figures by being stranded on Craphole Island. Jack chased after his father's ghost, and may yet get to converse with Christian before it's all over. Locke came face to face with Cooper, then got Sawyer (who considers Cooper a perverse replacement for his real dad) to kill him when he couldn't. Depending on what you think the black horse from "What Kate Did" was supposed to be, Kate got to make some kind of peace with the father she murdered.

And now Miles, who has the power to talk to dead people, gets to meet the very alive father he spent his childhood wondering about, only now he's as disinterested in hearing from the man as he is in hearing from the memories of the recently-deceased.

Frankly, I'm amazed we've made it this far into the fifth season before Hurley compared a father-son relationship on the show to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

After the intense streak "Lost" has been on since "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" through last week's "Dead Is Dead," we were about due for a breather episode. And if "Some Like It Hoth" wasn't exactly a light comic romp -- even with Miles stuck in a van with Hurley for long stretches of the episode, and even with Hurley joining a nation of millions locked together in a shared hatred of Ewoks -- it was less mythology-driven and more singular in its focus than we've seen in a while. I'm okay with that for a couple of reasons. First, I felt like we needed a breather before heading into what I assume will be the typically apocalyptic final episodes of the season.

Second, Ken Leung has been such a great addition to the show in the last two years that he deserved a spotlight already. And he delivered, proving (as Josh Holloway got to a while back) that he's good for more than just sarcastic asides. He got to nicely transition from the pierced, painfully sincere Miles at his mom's deathbed to the guy who (claims to) care about nothing but money, and will even lie about his abilities to get it... except in cases of clients who may have been just as neglectful to their sons as Pierre Chang was to Miles. And Leung made the most of his big moment, dramatically lit and accompanied by the full Giacchino strings as Miles watched his younger self enjoy the kind of father-son moment he never knew about, followed by his voice breaking as he chose to read Chang's "I need you" as something much deeper than Chang intended.

Because this wasn't as ambitious an episode as we've had lately, and because I think I can hear my pillow calling for me, I'm going to be shorter than usual and head straight for the bullet points before opening up the discussion to all of you. Some other thoughts:

• So, Hurley says his version of the "Empire Strikes Back" script would have a couple of improvements. Given that "Empire" is the one "Star Wars" movie virtually everyone agrees is great from start to finish, what exactly would you improve? Other than Leia giving a French kiss to her brother, I mean.

• God help me, but I'm starting to like New Jack. I assume that's only going to last until the island tells him why he had to come back and he starts trying to lead through impulsive bullying again, but this mellow guy who's content to leave the driving to LaFleur seems okay in my book.

• Brad Henke's character gets a name, Bram, and an intriguing backstory, as he claims to represent not only a group that knows all about Miles' history and the origin of his powers, but the team "that's gonna win." Clearly, he and Ilana haven't fallen victim to island madness, but are there with some specific purpose in mind. He and Ben haven't interacted much on Alcatraz, and Ilana hasn't acted like she knows who Ben is (and vice versa), so I have a bad feeling they could represent a third faction: not Widmore, and not The Others, but... who? A reconstituted Dharma Initiative? A hardcore Geronimo Jackson fan club?

• Does anyone really want to speculate about the meaning of the polar bear dung experiments at the Hydra, or are we all much better off assuming the reference was just there for a laugh?

• We see The Swan being built, and The Numbers are, perhaps, just random serial numbers on the hatch. Is there a deeper meaning to them at this point in time, or is "the incident" going to give them a deeper meaning after the fact, one that's going to start the chain of events that leads to Hurley's unlucky lottery win?

• Dan's back! About time! For a half-second, I wondered if he might get out of the sub and not recognize Miles (implying that Dan, like Richard, doesn't age), but instead he's just been gone from the island for a while since the events of "LaFleur."

• Phil, Phil, Phil... if the subject of an apparently incriminating piece of evidence asks you if you've told anyone else about it, you say... "Yes"! Serves you right, getting knocked out and tied up at Casa LaFleur.

• Nice to see Dean Norris (as Mr. Grey) from the amazing "Breaking Bad" in a more prominent mainstream show. Also nice to see Marsha Thomason become the latest dead Lostie to pop up again in someone else's flashback.

• Good news, bad news about the music selections in the Dharma magic buses: you can hear the great "It Never Rains In Southern California," but you might also have to listen to "Love Will Keep Us Together."

• What, if anything, can we glean from the late Felix taking photos of empty graves to Widmore, vis a vis who (Widmore, Ben, or perhaps this third group) staged the fake Oceanic 815 crash?

• Is $3.2 million the amount that Miles asked Ben for to let him go when they were hanging back in New Otherton?

• At what point, if any, during season four did Miles start to get evidence that he might have, like Charlotte, been to this island before? He had his chance to try and leave during "There's No Place Like Home," but he wanted to stay as much as she did.

As always, let me remind you of two simple rules to follow when commenting: 1)No spoilers of any kind (including the previews for the next new episode, two weeks from tonight), and 2)Make an effort to at least skim the previous comments before making one of your own, out of courtesy of those of us who are actually reading them all. If you ask "Am I the first person that's thought of...?" about something that at least six other people have clearly already thought of, it's annoying, and it's going to be deleted.

Oh, and a third one: Be nice. You can disagree with people without attacking them for not sharing your opinion. Talk about the show, not each other.

With all that in mind, what did everybody else think?

127 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good all-around episode. I agree with you, Alan; good to get a breather and focus on a character who was long overdue.

Kinda makes me wish we'd gotten this kind of backstory from Charlotte, before they killed her off. Well, maybe we'll find something out about her now that Dan is back.

Matt said...

The guy who plays the security guard has been punched out by Don Draper and Sawyer in the span of a year. That's a hell of an achievement.

Good episode, not much to say... but I like the idea that there's a third group trying to get to the Island, and they all wound up on the Ajira plane. Or are they OG Dharma, looking to get back so they can take back the Island, continue their research , harnessing the Island's power for the good of mankind?

Rick said...

I would have enjoyed having Bram respond with, "We're the good guys, Miles."

Great episode- nice return to the original format.

Adam said...

Charlie (well, both Charlies) had/have pretty good dads.

And yes $3.2 million is the amount that Miles asked Ben for.

Roger said...

Yes, he asked Ben for 3.2 million dollars.

I'm going to say Ilana and Bram and company work for "The Economist". We still have no idea who that was, nor their motives. All we know about them is Ben wanted some of his or her associates dead.

Jordan said...

Not much to say other than this was a very enjoyable calm before the storm (with a lot of stuff thrown in for good measure, this is, after all, season 5). I'll add that Sun's dad is no peach and Jin's got all kinds of daddy issues. Ana Lucia and her mother kinda paralleled Jack and his dad. (And didn't Jack kinda let Shannon's dad die?)

One nice little tidbit: Jack was erasing something about ancient egypt on the board. I wonder how many clues are in that room, and in it the first time we saw a young Ben in it?

Michael said...

A good episode. the breather was very good and well deserved.

I get the feeling that the Illana/Bram group is some third group, and maybe Widmore and Ben will have to put aside their differences for the good of the island and deal with these people. Which is asking a lot from them, but still.

Michael said...

Is the next week's episode a clip show? They said something about "a different perspective" but then they said the new episode is in two weeks.

I'm glad you pointed out Bram's significance. I was wondering if he was supposed to be important. But we know he's not working for Widmore, and that doesn't look like Ben's gang of Hostiles/Others. Maybe they work for Eleanor's group?

As for Felix, is appeared as if he was bringing photos and papers about the faked 815 crash to Widmore. Naomi's response to the "test" indicated that she knew what was going on and knew what the "right" answer was supposed to be from Miles - she knew that Felix had the papers and was going to see Widmore. That could suggest that either (a) he was with a group opposed to Widmore and found out about Widmore's involvement and was coming to confront him, and was killed because he knew; or (b) he was on Widmore's side and found out what was going on, then he got killed by whoever set up the crash when he was coming to show Widmore.

word verification: "resquic", which can be used to make both life rafts and pancakes.

Andrew said...

Also nice to see Marsha Thomason become the latest dead Lostie to pop up again in someone else's flashback.I'm pretty sure she already achieved that in Michael's flashback from last season.

Jennifer J. said...

I just really enjoyed this episode. It was great to see the many facets of Miles. I got choked up watching his father reading to his 3 month old self. Didn't look like a Dad who doesn't care to me....

I just happened to watch the episode "?" which has Mr. Eko flashbacks to when he had to investigate a 'miracle' of a girl drowning and coming back to life. The father of the girl (who thinks it's bunk is the same "psychic" who told Claire to get on that flight. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that his daughter's name was...Charlotte.

Rand said...

Don't forget Jin's dad. Jin may have father issues, but it's not because his dad wasn't a stand up guy.

Overall, nice episode, but the way it balanced an A-plot of Hurley+Miles and a B-plot of important developments in the mythology kind of made things seem like they were being stretched a little.

But then again, as you pointed out Alan, we did need a breather.

Brian said...

Some more bad fathers to add to the mix: (1) Sun's dad who is involved of some form of organized crime and turned Jin into a hitman, and (2) Sayid's dad, who we I think we've only seen in the scene where young Sayid killed the chicken, but he seemed like a bit of a jerk.

Jennifer J. said...

We do also hear from Sayid's captured commander that his father was a loyal Iraqi soldier who would be dishonored by his son's actions.

Anonymous said...

Loved getting to see the Swan Station under construction! Also, the foreman and the guy engraving the "numbers" into the hatch covering... they had to be writers or producers in bit roles, right? Anyone know?

Re: Matt's comment: I like the idea that this third faction could be some offshoot or reconstituted Dharma Iniative, but does "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" sound very science-y? It's way too mystical to be the watchword for a scientific organisation, IMO.

Re: Alan's bullet points:

"So, Hurley says his version of the "Empire Strikes Back" script would have a couple of improvements. Given that "Empire" is the one "Star Wars" movie virtually everyone agrees is great from start to finish, what exactly would you improve? Other than Leia giving a French kiss to her brother, I mean."

Well, given that Hurley mentioned the Ewok problem twice, maybe mostly he meant he'll be slapping a note on the Empire script advising Lucas to NOT put the Ewoks in the 3rd movie. heh. There's not really that much to improve on with ESB, except that the ending is so unsatisfying and/or unresolved... but then, 2nd part of a trilogy and all.

"Does anyone really want to speculate about the meaning of the polar bear dung experiments at the Hydra, or are we all much better off assuming the reference was just there for a laugh?"

Well, maybe so, but I think that there was some real dismissiveness in Dr. Chang's voice about what goes on at the Hydra. Didn't he call the experiments they do there involving the bears (excrement-related or not) "ridiculous?"

Clearly there are different brain-guys in Dharma, and not all of them agree with each other on what direction to take island R&D in. The Orchid vs. the Hydra vs... soon, the Swan/Hatch, methinks. Lots of different seemingly-supernatural manifestations of the island's power being interpreted/harnessed differently by different brilliant scientists, I'd bet. Faraday's arrival only makes this even more interesting!

"What, if anything, can we glean from the late Felix taking photos of empty graves to Widmore, vis a vis who (Widmore, Ben, or perhaps this third group) staged the fake Oceanic 815 crash?"

I read elsewhere someone saying this confirms Ben set up the fake 815 crash site and that Widmore was merely getting intel on it, but... to me, the photos of the graves (of the bodies that were placed into that fake 815 plane) and... didn't Miles also mention an invoice for the plane itself? ... all of that might have been things this dead dude arranged for WIDMORE before he died. Still very unresolved, but I still think Widmore did the fakery till it's proven it was Ben or a third faction responsible.

"Is $3.2 million the amount that Miles asked Ben for to let him go when they were hanging back in New Otherton?"

Miles seems to think that twice the $1.6 million Widmore offered him via Naomi is the amount it'll take to get him to "switch sides," yes. Either in not getting on the freighter in the first place for this crazy 3rd party group's benefit... or in lying that Ben was dead for Ben.

Also, if Miles gleaning information from the dead was going to be such an important part of the freighter mission... why then did the only time we see him using his skills before the timechangery action began... was when he sensed Danielle and Karl's bodies? At least, AFAICR... were there any other times? The dead US soldiers was from when they were back in the 1950s during the timechangery flashes.

Love Miles, but I'm really impatient for 4/28 now... grrrr... damned clip show next week.

Devin McCullen said...

I think Miles got to see some of the village while he was being held captive by Locke - maybe he recognized it? I'm not sure how old he was when they left the Island.

I'd guess Hurley's changes to Empire would involve Luke and Darth talking things out instead of Luke, um, letting go.

And what exactly was Sawyer doing all day after he left Kate? I'm guessing it involved Sayid, but it doesn't seem to have gone very well.

SteveInHouston said...

No kidding on the bad-dad front. It's almost like it was Joss Whedon running this show.

EOTW said...

1)No new ep next week. That's BS.

2) The third group on the island are the Egyptians, coming back. Lana is Richard's daughter or wife or something and this is his backup plan for the war that's coming.

3) the 4-toed statue will be revealed as richard, Jacob or Locke, who will lose a toe sometime in the next four eps, but my money is on it being Richard.

4) This was, by far, for me, the funniest ep this season and on of the top funny ones of all time for the show. I'm looking for it all to kick ass hard in these last 4 eps.

Of course, this is all speculation on my part.

5) As Juliet said tonight: "Here we go."

Ryan said...

I imagine Widmore dug up the bodies and bought the plane, planted it all, and had his courier -attempt- to deliver the evidence....only to be killed by Tom. Tom then shows said evidence to Michael to convince him to go onto the freighter. It fits perfectly, and answers that arc completely.

jasctt said...

Or Widmore had the courier killed to keep him quiet.

Barry Hertz said...

I think that it's clear by now that the group Bram is with have to be a sort of reconstituted DHARMA Initiative. They aren't familiar or friendly with Ben (that' we've seen), and are definitely not with Widmore. Maybe they're the ones that have been making all those food drops over the years?

Nate said...

Wasnt it an ironic coincidence that Hurley knew the missing number was "42" on the same day that all the baseball players wore "42" in honor of Jackie Robinson?

Jordan said...

If Bram is short for Abram, then we certainly have another layer of this on our hands.

And my verification word was "faiters." Seemed appropriate.

Bitsy said...

Yeah, Naomi appeared in "Meet Kevin Johnson" long after she died in, I think, "Confirmed Dead." As for Empire Strikes Back, I would edit out all the new crap Lucas has put in, including the scene where Vader learns from the Emperor that Luke is his son, since he just couldn't figure out how to fit that in properly in Revenge of the Sith. Sorry, Ewoks never bothered me, but then again I was born in 1988, so I wasn't around to jump on the Ewok-hate train when Return came out. I'm not sure what it is about all the bad daddies. Lost certainly operates on a theme of parents and children, which can easily relate to destiny, and the fear of turning into a mother or father. And Lost of course has a lot to do with fate.

RWGibson said...

I liked the bit of irony with Naomi having Miles read the dead guy to prove himself. I wonder if it even crossed her mind, one of the next times he'd be using it would be talking to her corpse :-)

RWG (ah, these producers are so funny)

Matt said...

I thought "Bram" might've been a sly reference to Mr. Stoker, but Abram makes more sense.

Danny Cohen said...

This episode was very character centric, but not in the way Lost is known for using a character to tell us more about the island or raise more questions. The revelations of who Miles' dad is or what hatch was being built... any committed viewer could extrapolate that very quickly and it was not cut-to-commercial material.

What was more compelling was the slow unraveling of the 815ers life with Dharma. They need to get out of 1977 and back to present time, and having Dharma hate them is a good way to get them moving.

From my comment on last week's episode:

Ilana and these other people are part of a new Dharma team. They enjoy using word puz zles to see if some one is on their side or not. There was the whole thing this past summer about Dharma being reformed (Comi con stuff).

Ben said...

I do not believe that Miles had any idea he had been on the island until he was standing in line with his mother. When his nose started to bleed during the time jumps, Miles scoffed at Farraday's idea that he/Miles had previously been on the island.

I think Miles stayed in attempt to extract more money from Ben. Period.

As for the episode, I agree that a mini-break of intensity was needed.

Brian said...

For some reason the anachronistic lever-pop tops (rather than pull tops) on the beer cans bugged me and there was a big continuity error with the blackboard Jack was erasing (also a small continuity error with the stains on Kate's clothing). For a show that seems pretty meticulous this one seemed to be a bit sloppy.

Anonymous said...

I am longtime Lost fan, but its subtext on fatherhood AND femininity have always bothered me.

I have some DVDs out, and I'm staring at all the main characters, racking my brain to think of a positive father/father figure

And I can only think of Jin's dad, who loved him and raised him as his own. But the real father was unknown and the mother was a prostitute who abandoned him only to later reappear to blackmail Sun. Lost writers have a lot of issues.

Steve said...

1. Alan, I was hoping you would lead in with "as soon as I prevent global warming."

2. Nice Ghostbusters reference.

3. I am beginning to love this closed loop time travel. I hope that Miles is the reason that Chang separated from Miles and his mom. It's such an awesome notion that we are seeing these characters affect the history of the island because they always did that.

4. Jennifer, amazing catch about the guy's daughter being named Charlotte.

5. The numbers bit was such a tease; I want more numbers

pgillan said...

Regarding the list of bad fathers, Alan, you left out the fairly obvious Ben Linus himself, who did nothing to prevent his daughter's death at the hands of ruthless mercenaries.

Forrester said...

Pure speculation: Miles was told that his father died when he was a baby. What if he didn't die? What if he just disappeared? I bet Dr. Chang ends up jumping to the future with all the 815'ers.

Also, I think the phrase "what lies in the shadow of the statue" means that those are smoke monster people.

Anonymous said...

It seems like the question "What lies in the shadow of the statute?" is not just a code, but perhaps a principle or tenet of faith.

The way Bram said it and his conclusion that Miles was not ready indicate so. Like the Ancient Egyptian judgment of the dead: the weighing of one's heart against truth.

I have reservations about adding a third group to the mix, especially since we only have so many episodes left to the series finale.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you would lead in with "as soon as I join the circle of trust."


WordVer: Voizenta - The preliminary name of a major US corporation, before they decided that "Verizon" sounded better.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Felix suppose to be the guy we saw WIdmore catch in Season 4 when Ben shows Locke that tape when we are being set up for Michael's return. I assume Felix is that guy who was working for Ben that got caught and was therefore killed by Widmore which to me says that Widmore planted the place and took out the bodies.

Will Eidam said...

Before anyone says it, I just want to say Kudos for making a Ghostbusters Reference while talking about Phil. I was thinking the same exact thing.

"You say...YES!"

Anonymous said...

Alan:

Uninterested means not interested

Disinterested means impartial.

Anonymous said...

I was struck by the amount $1.6 million. Immediately made me think of The Numbers. But 3.2 consists of legit numbers but not in the right order.

In the scene when they were building the hatch, it looked to me like Jughead was hidden off screen just to the right.

I thought Juliette's "Here we go" referred to events beginning that she knew about in the future. But I'm unclear one what she did and didn't know when we first encountered her.

I like the idea of the third group being the descendants of the Egyptians.

Dan Coyle said...

"What is it with TV writers and father issues?"

Well, some are people who have genuine life experience in that area, and that's what they chose to explore.

Some are just nerds with no life experience beyond all the times they've watched Star Wars, and hey, daddy issues in THAT movie worked a lot.

Anonymous said...

Some day after playing "Love Will Keep Us Together" a show will find a way to play "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and I will be a very happy person. Arrested Development played it during their pilot, and I was crushed when the didn't play 'Tear Us Apart' during the series finale. Hopefully Lost does this for me.

belidna said...

Great character episode - breather episode perhaps, but one I definitely enjoyed watching. It's just great that in one episode they were able to give so much more in a character like Miles, whose backstory had gone unnoticed for long. I had been waiting for this for a while.

- Kate. Why is it that I knew she'd do something stupid like talking with Ben's dad?

- I like the ease in how both Sawyer and Juliet deals with the strange events, and it shows me why they are good for each other and are a 'power' couple on the island. Nothing says I love you more than "Bring me some rope". Though I can't imagine how Sawyer will be dealing with Jimmy there.

- I suspect as others do that Miles might indeed be the one who gets his dad to send his mother and him away from the island.

- I can't wait to find out exactly how Miles got this power of his. btw, Exactly which dead people were Naomi and co. specifically interested in chatting with on the island?

- Hank! That was my first thought in seeing him. Always nice to see good actors in a guest role.

- So, the numbers are just a serial number? I wonder what that means.

- I just loved the look Miles had when he was reading Hurley's 'diary'. :D

- I'm not sure if Jack wasn't a bit relieved that he is no longer the leader and had to deal with all this crap. It is also interesting that it only took them days to stir up so much drama in the Dharma camp.

- Dan! Yes, my first thought was definitely whether or not Dan recognized Miles. So, are we to assume that he traveled back to civilization from the submarine 3 years ago, and somehow found a way to return as a new recruit?

I suppose we'd have to wait 2 weeks to find out.

Maggie said...

I'm on the side of those who suspect Bram of being part of some kind of reconstituted Dharma (just add water!) When they tossed Miles from that black van and it pulled away, I kept expecting to see a Dharma logo or some kind of familiar symbol on it. As I was staring, the scene abruptly changed to the familiar blue/white Dharma van on the island. It could just be a stylistic editorial choice, but seemed more of a symbolic connection to me.

But I wouldn't say, like Anonymous 1:58, that a return of Dharma is "adding a third group to the mix" since Dharma has always been in the mix. You can't forget the food drops. Nor the fact that Ben is ex-Dharma, or that many of our Lostie heroes have now spent time as Dharma-ites. If we assume that Ben/Widmore together carry out the purge against Dharma (and, with last week's scene of Widmore being exiled after the Others are living in the Dharma houses, it appears they were united at that point), we have a strong enemy of both in Dharma. I would love to see them shake it up a bit - at this point, isn't a showdown between Widmore and Ben just a little too expected?

Will said...

Very enjoyable episode. I was getting impatient for a Miles flashback, and it did not disappoint. Two things:

- There were so many funny moments, as there always are with Hurley and Miles, but one of the funniest came when Jack, Sawyer, and Juliet were discussing Kate's boneheaded decision to talk to Roger. Jack says something like "Well, her heart was in the right place," and to me, it felt like they were all smirking about how dumb she can be. Made me laugh.

- Re: Miles's powers, Miles told Hurley he doesn't have conversations with dead people, he just picks up on things they did before they died. But in "Confirmed Dead," isn't he talking to the ghost of that dead drug dealer? Doesn't he tell him to stop haunting his grandmother and convinces him to give up where he hid his money?

James said...

A couple of thoughts:

1. I too thought the Bram group were egyptians returning to the island. Well, they look like they were cast because they could resemble egyptians anyway.

2. I think that when the Swan accident occurs, Dr. Chang has to input a code in the computer to set as the password to be pressed on a regular basis and saw the numbers on the door and used them. Sorry that sentence was so long.

3. Hurley pretty much said that he'd have Luke and Vader communicate more in Empire Strike Back because it could resolve that daddy issue and would lead directly to a different Return of the Jedi, one without Ewoks.

Will said...

One more thing: It's been a while since I've seen "Empire," but I think Hurley has the chain of events in the Luke/Vader scene wrong. Hurley says Luke freaked out when he learned Vader was his father, which resulted in his hand getting cut off. But Vader had already cut off Luke's hand when he revealed the truth. I know I'm being nitpicky, and really dorky, but I dispute Hurley's claim that he's seen "Empire" 200 times. I shake my fury fist at him!

Matter-Eater Lad said...

On $3.2 million not being one of he numbers: Sorta. But it is 23 backwards, and we're seeing more instances of numbers like that: Ajira flight 316 is a sequence you'd get counting backwards (42, 23, 16...), and the time on the microwave at the start of the episode also read 3:16.

MattB said...

Ilana and these other people are part of a new Dharma team. They enjoy using word puz zles to see if some one is on their side or not. There was the whole thing this past summer about Dharma being reformed (Comi con stuff)Can someone expand on this last sentence - what "whole thing" was there this summer about Dharma?

Bobman said...

Not much to add that hasn't already been said, but I do have to say that the scene at the Swan with teh numbers bothered me. Not necessarily because they were a random serial number with no inherent meaning at the time, but just the expository way the whole thing was done. "Hey, what's the serial number for this hatch?" I mean.... that's kinda silly, right? And why would a serial number be a string of single and double digit numbers rather than just a string of digits? WHy does a hatch door even NEED a serial number, especially one entered well after it has been constructed?

Stef said...

I just want to add a shout-out to the LOST casting crew. I wonder if they knew back when the show began that they would have to do so much casting involving fathers and sons or adult and child versions of the same characters. They're doing a great job - little Miles was great and totally believable to grow up to be Miles, and Chang and Miles (as shown in Alan's pic) absolutely look like they could be father-son. Just like little Ben is a great pick for Michael Emerson (or Harry Potter), and Matthew Fox and John Terry look alike.

BF said...

I personally liked teenaged Miles re-creating his X-Men 3 character.

Oh, and nice "Ann Arbor" reference on Faraday's arrival. If you'll recall from the hatch's video, that's where the Dharma Initiative was cooked up by the DeGroots.

Chris Littmann said...

Interesting note for those of you interested in exactly when we are right now in "Lost."

I did a post on this on FirstCuts which shows that the issue of SI that Miles was reading in the opening was from March 14, 1977. Fun little Easter egg there.

On the episode itself, I've got to say I enjoyed the Miles showcase, because he's one of my favorite supporting types. A rare Ben/Locke-less episode that I enjoyed!

I have no idea what's going on with the mystery van/new socks gang, but count me as interested. The island could use a new wrinkle like a reconstituted Dharma Initiative.

Joe said...

I took Jack's actions this week as almost a slap in the face to Sawyer. In fact I loved the brief interaction with Jack and Sawyer where Jack so subtly informed him he had taken care of an issue caused by Kate.

I think "Lafleur" might be a bit in over his head and is starting to realize it.

As far as Miles is concerned... the backstory was nothing amazing, but the acting was first rate... and yes that scene where Miles gets to view his dad read to him was touching, earnest, and one reason why I continue to watch this show.

Kristi said...

Am I the only one wondering how Faraday was able to explain away the fact that three years before he arrives on the sub as the "scientist from Ann Arbor", he had been with the Dharma folk when they captured Sawyer and Co? Wouldn't they remember a dazed little dude with a beard giving the creepy eye to little Charlotte?

I'm sure this will be explained, but I went to bed a little miffed.

Anonymous said...

I hope I don't elicit too many groans at raising this issue again but I think this episode puts the nail in the coffin of Sawyer's "leadership." For all the complaining about Jack's personality and leadership (which I think were quite good under the circumstances and given the information set he was dealt at the time), Sawyer's brought the lack of communication problem to new heights. From the beginning I could never figure out why "LeFleur" wouldn't leverage the good faith he (and the others) had developed at the highest levels of the Dharma initiative and reveal the truth to them. Every good con should know when it's time to lay down his cards and if anyone would believe in time travel, it's these people.

And, yes, I realize that making these mistakes serves the larger purpose of story-telling. Moreover, the other route of bringing Dharma into the 'circle of trust' would really test (the ultimate illogic of) the closed-loop time travel notion.

Nevertheless, at the point where he allowed Sa`id ("Sayid" is the erroneous transliteration they've given to that name - it's a different word entirely) to be tortured, Sawyer made it all but impossible to reveal the truth. After that action he was covering for his own f-ups as much as anything else. And now that Flower boy's decked his Dharma buddy, he's deadlocked in a useless cover-up. So I predict the Jack haters will soon have to put up with a leadership re-shuffle. My condolences.

I did like that Hurley joked about the central problem of the lostaways: lack of communication. Maybe Jack's learned that lesson now? Probably not: that would prohibit the illimitable convoluted plot-twists we all know are coming . . .
-anonymoose

Kristi said...

PS- Phil and Radzinski need to be purged for simply being annoying.

Anonymous said...

A few people have wondered how Dan Faraday got back on the island after leaving - I don't think he returned as a new recruit, but as an established member of the Dharma science team. So while Sawyer et. all were blending in on the island, Dan did so as well, but with the science folks, who go back to Ann Arbor at times. I thought this was fairly obvious because he was wearing the dark blue/black jumpsuit that Radzinsky and others working on the science projects were wearing.

Anonymous said...

any theories on what caused the guy's filling to shoot through his brain like a bullet?

The giant magnetic pull that eventually causes the crash of Flight 815, right?

Anonymous said...

I noticed someone made a comment about continuity errors when Jack was at the blackboard, but it was what was ON the blackboard that caught my attention.

It was a cliff notes version of Egyptian history.

Anonymous said...

What interests me in looking at that list is how many of our characters have been given an opportunity to confront their father figures by being straned on Craphole Island. There's the related idea that Hurley broaches ("if they had just talked about it, they could've avoided all that bad stuff"), which is that if they had resolved their daddy issues earlier, many of them probably never would've ended up on the island at all.

I was probably reading too much into it, but I had this weird idea that the writers were using Hurley to introduce the idea that resolving one's daddy issues is the key to changing the future.

Bryan said...

WHy does a hatch door even NEED a serial number, especially one entered well after it has been constructed?I think there's much going on here (on the island) than everyone knows about - just because a construction worker calls it a serial number doesn't mean that's what it is.

Along that line I agree with I don't think he returned as a new recruit, but as an established member of the Dharma science team,We saw last night there is a lot of secret stuff going on and I find it very possible Dan been on the island most of the time with then and they didn't know it (except for those in "the circle of trust")- We know from an ep earlier this year he spends time working underground with Dharma.

Steve said...

Can someone please explain this to me?

Why did Bram ask Miles, "what lies in the shadow of the statue?"

They knew Miles was a person unaffiliated with any organziation until he was recently hired/introduced by Widmore. Knowing that, wouldn't Bram then know that Miles would have no idea the answer to the riddle/code?

It seems as if Bram said only only so that the writers could affirm that using the line last week was indeed a code/riddle. Is there something I am missing?

Also, is anyone else confused that Sawyer/Juliet seem to care that much more about a group of people they were stranded with on an island for 108 days (much less for Juliet) than for the people they have been living with for three years?

Joe Beach said...

Got to be asked every time they do an ep set in 77 - where are Rose, Bernard, and Vincent???

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Bram and Ilana are a new "third" faction. My guess is that they work for the DeGroots, who have always been the true power behind the Dharma Initiative (the ones on the island are only workers--for any big decisions they always defer to "Ann Arbor". It seems to me that after everything they invested into the island over all these years they would certainly want to take it back from the "Hostiles", which includes both Ben and Widmore. The only surprise to me is that it took this long for them to get their dog into the fight!

Alan Sepinwall said...

There's the related idea that Hurley broaches ("if they had just talked about it, they could've avoided all that bad stuff"), which is that if they had resolved their daddy issues earlier, many of them probably never would've ended up on the island at all.

In at least the case of Locke, he tried, repeatedly, to resolve his daddy issues, and his daddy threw him out a window.

Anonymous said...

MattB,

In between seasons, there is usually a Lost ARG, an alternate reality game intended to expand the Lost universe/storylines.

Here is a link for background:
http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Lost_Experience

This past ARG began with the fake commercial "Octagon Global Recruiting" (aired during the season finale), and intended to expand the DHARMA story by recruiting and sorting fans. At Comic Con, DHARMA reps were there "recruiting." They even had admissions tests. We got to see a "stolen video" that explains the real motivation behind reforming DHARMA. Hopes were high after Comic Con, but ultimately, the ARG went was just not designed well and ...sucked...big time.

Scott Henderson said...

Sawyer (who considers Cooper a perverse replacement for his real dad)Maybe I caught your meaning wrong and I don't particularly want to nitpick Alan, but Cooper was the man who conned Sawyer's mom and prompted Sawyer's father to murder her and commit suicide. Don't know if his revenge kick relates in the way that you suggest, it's more a about self-loathing. I suppose though you could write an entire blog post dedicated to Sawyer's issues...

Andrew said...

Faraday came back to the island as part of the science team from Ann Arbor, not a new recruit. After time-travelling back to 1974 on the island, he became involved as a scientist with the Dharma Initiative and went back to Ann Arbor to do some work there before returning to the island. Clears up one of the questions I've had about the 1977 Dharmaville ark (That question being, "where's Faraday?" The other one is, "where are Rose and Bernard?" And my inner comic book guy would add, "and where's Vincent?")

Does anyone really want to speculate about the meaning of the polar bear dung experiments at the Hydra, or are we all much better off assuming the reference was just there for a laugh?There are likely two levels of research on the island. On one level, there are the hippy-dippy utopian scientific experiments and then on another level, there are the investigations into the unique properties of the island (time travel, electromagnetism, etc.) Some of the scientists and workers are down with the stated purposes of the Dharma Initiative (to make the world a better place) and doing work that's just a cover-- animal experiments at the Hydra or botanical research aboveground at The Orchid. But Chang (and Radzinsky and maybe Horace) are there to study the unique electromagnetic properties and time energy of the island. Is Chang the only person on the island who wears a lab coat instead of a DI jump suit?

the 4-toed statue will be revealed as richard, Jacob or Locke, who will lose a toe sometime in the next four eps, but my money is on it being Richard.Didn't we see the full statute when Sawyer, Juliet and Miles were jumping through time at the well after Locke went down to turn the wheel, which looked something like Anubis?

I'd suspect that this third faction has something to do with the Dharma Initiative, Alvar Hanso and the De Groots.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Cooper was the man who conned Sawyer's mom and prompted Sawyer's father to murder her and commit suicide. Don't know if his revenge kick relates in the way that you suggest, it's more a about self-loathing.

Sawyer modeled his whole life after Cooper, even going so far as to take on the name he knew Cooper by. Obviously, there were elements of self-loathing in there, as well as a desire for revenge and the belief that the best way to find Sawyer would be to become him, but Sawyer tries to step into Cooper's shoes in the same way Jack has always struggled to fill Christian's.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hey folks, something's gone wonky with the Blogger comments system, so anyone trying to quote previous comments in italics are finding the old stuff running into the new. Not sure what's causing this, but I've identified two workarounds:

1)Don't italicize the material you're quoting; just put it in quotes. That's simpler but not as easy on the eye.

2)After the italicized quotes, you have to insert two of the (BR) tag back-to-back, with brackets instead of parentheses.

AndyW said...

Isn't the $1.6 million just a retcon? Backwards numbers (after multiplying by 2, dividing by 6 and taking the square root of pi) aside, ghost-whisperer Miles doesn't seem to be doing so well that it would take more than a few hundred thousand to go wherever Widmore wanted.

Robert said...

Polar bear dung experiments aside, it was a nice touch that Chang/Candle was reading Miles a book with a polar bear on the cover.

Juanita's Journal said...

"So, Hurley says his version of the "Empire Strikes Back" script would have a couple of improvements. Given that "Empire" is the one "Star Wars" movie virtually everyone agrees is great from start to finish, what exactly would you improve?THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is great, but it is not perfect. It did have some flaws. Nor is it my ultimate favorite SW movie. Not anymore.


Exactly what great power does Hurley have? So, he had talked to Charlie. Jack has had non-verbal encounters with his dad both on and off the island.

Jordan said...

Two observations that make one thought: Empire wasn't exactly a happy movie. This was the second time in the last three episodes that someone referenced the "incident."

Something big and bad is on the horizon.

Juanita's Journal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juanita's Journal said...

Also, is anyone else confused that Sawyer/Juliet seem to care that much more about a group of people they were stranded with on an island for 108 days (much less for Juliet) than for the people they have been living with for three years?Because Sawyer and Juliet can be themselves with the survivors of Flight 108. They can't with the DHARMA folk . . . unless they're prepared to admit that they came from the future, like Sayid did. I wonder what would have happened to them if they had.

Matt said...

Hurley has talked to Charlie on and off the Island, but he's also been pulled over by a dead Ana Lucia, played chess with a dead Mr. Eko. And while Jack saw Christian, Hurley's been CONVERSING with all of these people who've bit the dust.

I'm sure they'll never get to it (what with 21 episodes left in the series) but I would love to see Hurley developing his ability.

christy said...

My thought about the shadow statue people is that they're with Hawking. It would make sense to me that Hawking would have her own separate group with its own motivations, since she has a lot of knowledge and interest in the island, but doesn't seem directly affiliated with Widmore or Ben. And she was apparently a former leader of the Others, as Widmore and now Ben is. She seemed so interested in ALL the 815ers going back on flight 316, that it seemed reasonable to me that she would have been the one to send Ilana to nab Sayid.

Of course, their being with Hawking doesn't preclude their being with the Dharma Initiative in some sense. After all, Hawking has access to an off-island Dharma station, a pretty important one. Perhaps Faraday himself, as part of the Ann Arbor science team, somehow sets in motion the later affiliation between his mother and Dharma (or at least her ability to take over that one station).

I think the Dharma drops were automated, (or controlled by someone at the Lamp Post station), and stopped because they were being summoned from the Flame station. In "Enter 77" (they showed it late night a few weeks ago) one of the other codes you could enter after winning the chess game on the computer was to send a food drop. Then Locke entered 77 and the entire place exploded. Funny that the panic code was 77...I wonder if that's because "the incident" happens in 1977.

christy said...

I also meant to say that their being with Hawking would also make sense of the "shadow of the statue" line sounding mythological and not scientific, because Ellie is probably a true Other, and buys into all their culty beliefs about the island and its powers and history.

christy said...

I actually thought Jack's behavior toward Ben's dad was unnecessarily aggressive and threatening. He could have said something similar, but in a nice way, and Roger might have actually thought, "maybe he's right, this has been a hard day and maybe I'm just looking for someone to blame." But he was all in his face "I KNOW her and she would NEVER do that and I think you may just be coming up with CRAZY THOUGHTS." Uh, very reassuring, Jack.

The numbers: I was a little disappointed to encounter them that way this episode, because it doesn't tie in that well to the idea that Hurley himself will introduce the numbers to the island, setting in motion the events that lead him to learning about them in the first place. I thought that was a neat idea. I wonder if we're going to end up going further back in time with these characters at all.

I have to say I also wonder that because of the hair on the head of the dead guy from the Swan station. His curly auburn locks looked just like Hurley's! That may be me being a little crazy but wow, not that many people have hair like that.

My favorite line..."How do you spell bounty hunter?"

Anonymous said...

The stuff on the blackboard must be meaningful. It seemed to be a summary of the development of language across the different periods of Egyptian history, not just a cliff notes of the history itself.

stacy said...

I think the shadow people are with Hawkings/Elle the Other. Like others had said, they don’t seem like the hippie/scientific DI people.
We know Hawkings knew what plane to be on and if she really is Elle then she would have some sort of connection to the island, it even seems like she was in a leadership rule in 1977.

Now, I want to talk real quick about the order of the nose bleeds. According to Daniel, it’s related to the amount of time spent on the island. Charlotte was the worst because she lived on the island for 6 years or so. But Miles nose started bleeding before Juliet’s, who we know spent 3 years on the island. Right now baby Miles is only 3 months old, and if you count the 9 months in the womb, that one year. So the baby needs to stay on the island for at least 2 more years to avoid any continuity errors.

Also, Dan never had a nose bleed at all, so it can be assumed that he never spent any time on the island. But if Elle is his mother, she must have had him off island and kept him off the island. She then came back to the island to help lead the others because Dan had to have been born before 1977 since he was a college professor in 1996.

littlegirltree said...

I wonder if Dr Chang kicks Miles and his mom out b/c HE is the cause of Miles's power of talking to the dead. What if Miles get his power from The Incident, just like Desmond did? I'm assuming that Dr Chang is invloved in the makings of The Incident (he already has one corpse to prove it). Then Dr Chang feels guilty and banishes his wife and son from the island for the sake of his family's safety?

Anonymous said...

In at least the case of Locke, he tried, repeatedly, to resolve his daddy issues, and his daddy threw him out a window.

True, though in Locke's case the island apparently really really wanted him to get there. Up to the point of going on the walkabout, Locke had managed to foil the island's wishes every time he had a choice; maybe actually trying to resolve his issues was just another way that he was interfering with what the island wanted.

littlegirltree said...

More daddy issues:

-Claire and Christian
-Aaron and his real dad
-Sawyer and Clementine
-Alex and her REAL dad (dad tried to kill Alex)

Good paternal examples:
-Shannon and her father

Kathie said...

Brian-I also caught on to the fact they were drinking beer, which didn't have pop-tops (remember getting cut on those)

Miles was able to look at himself with his dad as a baby.......how does this work in time travel? How can the same person be at two different stages of their life?

Kelly said...

So now that we've seen the numbers, there must be an upcoming episode that will reveal Hurley's former hospital mate Leonard on the island. He probably is one of the Dharma people working on the hatch. Great episode, the comic chemistry between Hurley and Miles is great.

toonsterwu said...

With the little scene today with Jack showing some emotion and strength with Roger Linus, I'm hoping Jack is back. I think they dragged the "break" Jack down and rebuild him thing too long, as I'm concerned about how it resonates, but Jack has always been the central character of this ensemble, and I look forward to seeing how he emerges as the hero to this story. I really loved Sawyer a few episodes back, but it's fairly clear that Sawyer is getting overmatched and not being able to keep up. Gonna be an exciting finish to this year, and looking forward to how they set Jack up for the final year and change. This mellow Jack served it's purpose, but he is the hero of this story, so here's hoping it resonates.

Miserable said...

First thought on seeing teenage Miles- Rufio!

Question- can you exist twice in time? Can Miles exist in 1977 both as an adult and as a child? I thought that was why Charlotte disappeared, because the child (and chronologically correct) version was already on the island??

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"Question- can you exist twice in time? Can Miles exist in 1977 both as an adult and as a child?"

Yes and yes.

Danny Cohen said...

RE Dharma Food Drop in Season 2. I think there is some difference in time between when the food drop was initiated and when it arrived on island. Think about Daniel's rocket experiment in Season 4. The rocket arrived later than expected. Maybe this is an exxagerated version of it.

Also, Charlotte's body didn't disappear, but is stuck in the time she died. She didn't time travel with everyone else.

Rose & Bernard are (a) with the Others or (b) just hanging out in 1977, as they've been time traveling just Sawyer & Co. have been.

BF said...

Wouldn't Hurley better spend his time writing "Grey's Sports Almanac" and sending it to his future self? He's not even changing history that much, he already ends up a gazillionaire. The only thing that (might) change is Tricia Tanaka would still be alive.

BF said...

"So now that we've seen the numbers, there must be an upcoming episode that will reveal Hurley's former hospital mate Leonard on the island. "

Not so fast. We already know that Leonard was stationed at some Australian listening post and that's how he came to know of the numbers. AFAIR, he never actually went to the island.

KarenX said...

I'm certain that Chang exiled his family for their own protection, and really thought he'd be able to rejoin them. If Mother Chang hasn't told this to young Miles, it's because she's 1) too sad to think about it and 2) too afraid of what her feisty son with crazy supernatural powers might try to do.

I'm wondering if her fatal illness is related to why they had to leave. If it is, and if there's a worry that Miles will contract it later (like some kind of radiation sickness cancer), then why would she burden a child with that kind of information? Nothing about her tone seemed angry to me. Not angry at the man, at least--more angry at the separation and the damage.

I think it's funny that rent is 4 hundred dollars and that the apartment manager wants 8 hundred dollars up front. Then we get the 1.6 million dollar figure later. Is there a 15 somewhere I missed between them? How old was dead football player son? (Probably not 15.)

I loved the Dharma onesie on Baby Miles.

annie said...

Adding to anon 9:47 re Miles learning a filling was propelled through dead guys head like a bullet. Then Hurley telling Miles the numbers brought the plane down. Was that for us, the audience, to confirm the electromagnitic power or will Miles/Hurley put 2+2 together and share info with 1977 Dan thus creating Dan's story arc.

Jack will still be the better go-to guy during a crisis. As much as I enjoy Sawyer, Jack is just better at crises. And I think Juliet recognizes that but loves Sawyer.

Bryan said...

"Jack will still be the better go-to guy during a crisis. As much as I enjoy Sawyer, Jack is just better at crises"

I don't know about that, I think who's the better leader can be debated but I do think- for all his wisecracking- Saywer is a better soldier and I think that's what Jack is supposed to be working on.

Karen said...

This is no help to any discussion of plot or character, but did anyone else notice that Miles talked about being "on line" behind his mother (not "in line")? Presumably that's Ken Leung the New Yorker talking, rather than Miles the Californian.

Dan said...

When do you think we will see Miles get locked up with Junior Soprano in the mental hospital? After he gets off the island?

John Coulter said...

On the "It Never Rains in Southern California" song, did you notice the first line?

Got on a board a west bound seven forty seven
Didn't think before deciding what to do
All that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true.

Steve said...

I wonder if something catastrophic will happen now that Miles saw his child-self.

Remember the Dharma video from The Orchid? Chang demonstrates the property of time travel with Rabbit 15, and when two versions appear at the same time it's a catastrophe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bTvAUVPyLI&

Shawn said...

I find it notable that Miles, to my knowledge, is the fist Lostie to run into himself in this time travel plot. I remember Sawyer saw Kate briefly from afar when the island's captin's wheel was off axis and farting out time changes over and over... but it's curious how the writers have avoided this awkward Marty McFly snag up until now, when it served Mile's character's development.

Also, from a writer's standpoint I'm convinced that too much personal character development has been invested in Ben Linus for him to not turn ot to be essentially a good guy.

7s Tim said...

Minor stuff that hopefully doesn't cause continuity problems later:

toddler Miles was seen in opening of this season, with Dan the worker-bee moving debris.
After Swan is completed they move on tho the Orchid? And does that mean that LaFleur manages to hide Phil tied up in a closet for a couple more years before whatever will inevitably bring all our losties back to the future?

Why does Hurley still struggle against the closed-loop theory? And even if we're in more of a Back to the Future timetravel world than we are in a Twelve Monkeys one, what horrible ramifications of his acions might he not foresee? If he insists on changing Empire, how bad could the Star Wars universe end up? How many Christmas specials will there be? Could Droids have been the most popular cartoon of the 80s and90s? Is Han revealed to be the "another" yoda makes reference to? Will the speeder scene from Return not happen? Will Admiral Ackbar never realize it's a trap? Damn it man, don't screw over the Rebellion just cause you don't like Luke crying like a sissy girl.

And Jesus, Miles! You're on a super secret circle of trust mission, and you bring jabber jaw Hurley? It's the nicest person on the island, but as far as secrecy goes...

Peter D Bakija said...

7's Tim wrote:
>>toddler Miles was seen in opening of this season, with Dan the worker-bee moving debris.>>

Correct. That hasn't happened yet (in the 1977 continuity); Dan has been off the island, presumably, for a while somehow. So he wasn't there when Miles is born (i.e. very recently, in the 1977 continuity). So the opening scene of the season hasn't happened yet, and will presumably happen in the near future (in the 1977 continuity).

>>After Swan is completed they move on tho the Orchid?>>

They are working on both at the same time--last night they went to the Orchid (under construction) and then to the Swan (also under construction).

>>And does that mean that LaFleur manages to hide Phil tied up in a closet for a couple more years before whatever will inevitably bring all our losties back to the future?>>

We don't know. Probably not.

Anonymous said...

"For some reason the anachronistic lever-pop tops (rather than pull tops) on the beer cans bugged me"

It's Dharma-brand beer, you know. Maybe they invented the lever-pop tops and didn't share it with Coke and Pepsi for a loooong time, eh?

"I am longtime Lost fan, but its subtext on fatherhood AND femininity have always bothered me."

You then went on to explain why the fatherhood subtext bothered you, but didn't even mention what femininity subtext bothers you or explain at all. I would argue that you're correct on the fatherhood part, since 90% of the father/son and father/daughter relationships shown on Lost are bad, but there is a full range of femalehood shown on the show, and I don't think the Lost writers tend in one particular direction when it just comes to... women. They certainly receive a much fairer treatment and a much less stereotyped showing than dads do.

"Regarding the list of bad fathers, Alan, you left out the fairly obvious Ben Linus himself, who did nothing to prevent his daughter's death at the hands of ruthless mercenaries."

Did nothing? He tried to convince Keamy that she, not truly being his daughter, wasn't the right bit of leverage to use against him, in the hope that he could A) stay on the island, and B) save her live. It didn't work.

But that's because it was Keamy. Might have worked on any number of other mercs, but not him. I wouldn't call that doing nothing, he just misjudged his enemy with his bluff.

"So, the numbers are just a serial number? I wonder what that means."

And a number later entered into the computer every 108 minutes... and a number later ensuring Hurley ends up on the island... and etc. etc. etc. We don't know that in 1977 that's all the numbers are, and even if that IS all they are in 1977, they certainly become much more later on.

"I'm not sure if Jack wasn't a bit relieved that he is no longer the leader and had to deal with all this crap. It is also interesting that it only took them days to stir up so much drama in the Dharma camp."

It's already been established that Jack is relieved not to be the de-facto leader, way back like 5 eps ago when he and Sawyer had that conversation upon 3 of the Oceanic 6's arrival in Dharmaville.

And they aren't the ones who stirred up the drama in camp, it was Sayid's fault for not playing ball by Sawyer's rules. And for getting caught by Jin and Radzinsky in the first place, of course.

"So, are we to assume that he traveled back to civilization from the submarine 3 years ago, and somehow found a way to return as a new recruit?"

When Miles asked Dr. Chang if they were going to pick up new recruits from the sub, Dr. Chang said no... scientists from Ann Arbor. i.e. University of Michigan, i.e. research HQ for Dharma. Faraday managed to convince someone, either on island or off island, that he was useful to the Dharma Initiative's mission. And clearly (from the flashback we saw a few eps ago of him in the Orchid basement)... he was indeed. I would like to see whether he managed this subterfuge way back in that first 2 week period where Sawyer and Juliet had their chance to take the sub if they wanted to or not... or whether he did it off island after taking the offer of a sub back (presumably to get away from Charlotte and his pain for a bit).

Anonymous said...

"Hurley pretty much said that he'd have Luke and Vader communicate more in Empire Strike Back because it could resolve that daddy issue and would lead directly to a different Return of the Jedi, one without Ewoks."

Actually, the way Hurley put it, if Luke and Vader had communicated, then ROTJ wouldn't even have happened. And I think the point is that while Hurley's advice works really well for actual real life familial relationships, it makes for really sucky dramatic fiction. And that's why his advice wasn't taken by Lucas, and why it won't be taken by the Lost writers, either.

"any theories on what caused the guy's filling to shoot through his brain like a bullet? The giant magnetic pull that eventually causes the crash of Flight 815, right?"

Indeed. Which lets us know there's something really special underground at the Swan Station even before it's constructed (or at least before it's finished being constructed/before the "incident"), which we might not have guessed for sure. Especially with a lot of people thinking that Jughead is there at the construction site. It very well may be, but clearly some innate property of the island is at play there as well.

"Also, is anyone else confused that Sawyer/Juliet seem to care that much more about a group of people they were stranded with on an island for 108 days (much less for Juliet) than for the people they have been living with for three years?"

The entire time they lived with Dharma for 3 years, they had to pretend to be people they weren't. Not only that, but those people are FROM THE PAST, and nothing they do will stop (most of) them from dying in the purge at the hands of Ben and Richard (and Widmore?).

"THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is great, but it is not perfect. It did have some flaws. Nor is it my ultimate favorite SW movie. Not anymore."

What on earth? You imply that one of the 3 Star Wars prequel movies is superior to ESB? That's... heresy!

Seriously, though, the only Star Wars movie in the running for actual art aside from Empire is the original Star Wars. YMMV, but eps 6, 1, 2, 3 were all downhill from the greatness of 4 and 5.

"Miles was able to look at himself with his dad as a baby.......how does this work in time travel? How can the same person be at two different stages of their life?"

The same way any person can be in any time they're not supposed to be in as a result of time travel?

I mean, if you accept a person can travel to either the past or the future... and survive it... then you've already accepted they can be present with a former (or future) self at the same "time."

"Rose & Bernard are (a) with the Others or (b) just hanging out in 1977, as they've been time traveling just Sawyer & Co. have been."

And we're to believe that Rose and Bernard managed to avoid running into either the Dharma folk OR the Others during those THREE YEARS when Sayid didn't even make it THREE DAYS without doing so? Sayid, who has 10 times the island skills of Rose OR Bernard?

Come on.

The only way I buy that is if somehow Vincent is acting as their guide dog and keeping them away from any other humans. Sheesh!

"Also, from a writer's standpoint I'm convinced that too much personal character development has been invested in Ben Linus for him to not turn ot to be essentially a good guy."

I see him continuing to be his interesting and wicked self until perhaps an on-screen death redeems him in most people's eyes (both in show and in fandom).

MattB said...

"Miles was able to look at himself with his dad as a baby.......how does this work in time travel? How can the same person be at two different stages of their life?"


I love when people ask questions like this!

How does it work? How does time travel in the first place work? No one knows the answer because no one knows if it is even possible! So, there are no set rules to time travel, no rules based in science and experimentation. There is only what years and years of movies and television shows has conditioned us all to believe must be "the rules".

Anonymous said...

The filling couldn't have been pulled through the dead guy's skull because silver/mercury (that's what the fillings would have been in 1977) can't be attracted by magnetism. Only iron and a couple of other elements like nickel and, I think, cobalt, are attracted to magnets.

pgillan said...

The filling couldn't have been pulled through the dead guy's skull because silver/mercury (that's what the fillings would have been in 1977) can't be attracted by magnetism. Only iron and a couple of other elements like nickel and, I think, cobalt, are attracted to magnets.They were special Dharma fillings, like the special Dharma pop-tops on the Dharma beer. Geez, keep up!

Jordan said...

Rose and Bernard are chilling with Vincent at the caves. They're getting up there in age, so they kick the bucket in the 80s, and are just skeletons by the time Jack and co. find them.

Toby O'B said...

Out of curiousity, I checked the ABC online store - they don't have the Dharma onesie for sale.... yet.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does anyone else got a james Bond villain vibe from the Dhrama worker bees. Between the burly guys carrying the dead body and the guy who calls out the hatch serial numbers, I just sensed they were henchmen.
Really digging the idea that Bram et. al. are working for Ellie, nice1 guys. Not much to add to all your great comments! Well done Sepinwall-fans!

JDubTrey said...

Although it overlaps greatly with the "father issues" theme, it's a slight oversimplification to say that Walt had "father issues". Michael wanted to be a part of the family but was forced out. He then killed two women in cold blood because he felt he was protecting his son. I'm not defending him, I'm just saying that the root of their issues were different from the issues that the other fathers and children had. When we last saw Walt, he seemed to long for his dad, did he not?

Anonymous said...

Radzinsky just gets more annoying as time goes on. Lost has been on a roll lately with new characters and you can tell that Radzinsky's not intended to be all that likable, but every time he's mentioned or grabs any screen time I start to wince.

Was also struck by the numbers appearing. I was okay leaving them for dead at this point, as the producers seemed to be doing, bringing it up at this point suggests to me that they're going to play in the finale. Then again, maybe it was just a fun callback, but the way it was done suggests more to me.

Anyway I definitely liked the episode. Makes for a good breather before things really ramp up and after a bunch of intense episodes. I absolutely can't wait for the next episode though, which is a Dan episode right? The only thing that's been missing for me in the past few episodes in Lost has been Faraday (I loved when he featured heavily in the first few season 5 episodes), but I knew it would pay off eventually and the day is almost here...

Anonymous said...

Sawyer has been falling apart the past few episodes, the way he always does. For all his bluster and con man skills, he has repeatedly shown he is as incompetent a leader/decisionmaker as Kate. See Season 2's "Long Con" wherein he can achieve the short cons but can't ultimately pull off the Long Con without his affections for a woman ("Dimples") diverting him from his goals. In 2004, it was "Freckles". In 1977, it is his new true love.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe he'll let you hold baby you...Maybe you can change your own diaper."

A lot of what Hurley said still made me chuckle today.
But then I remembered the Candle/bunny video from two(?) summers ago and Dr. Chang screamed: "Don't let them near each other!"

So while Miles and baby Miles obviously shows that two can exist at the same time, perhaps they can't touch each other? I dont knows....

Anonymous said...

Not to be a complete geek, but Darth Vader cut off Luke's hand before telling him he was his father -- not afterwards like Hurley says.

MattB said...

I think some of you guys are being unnecessarily hard on Sawyer and his perceived lack or failure of leadership - it's not like having your friends from 30 years in the future crash land on the island you've been living on for the past 3 years under an assumed name and keeping their origin and time-traveler origin a secret is a simple problem to tackle or anything!

Jin's English Tutor said...

"In at least the case of Locke, he tried, repeatedly, to resolve his daddy issues, and his daddy threw him out a window." Darth Vader threw Luke out of a window in ESB, too.

Nice to bring back the numbers. But if they don't give us a decent answer as to what they mean I'm gonna hurt somebody.

Word ver: Shooless - lacking the ability to disperse bugs or small mammals.

JamesG said...

The numbers were explained in one of the LOST Experience video and on the Lostpedia website, although it's never been brought up on the show. Anyone know if the LOST Experience videos are considered canon?

Here is the video:
LOST Experience

Ted Kerwin said...

Re: Luke and Vadar, the assumption by everyone is that it was Luke who needed to start the talk, Hurley wants to change the behavior of both the Father and the Son, Vadar figures out Luke is his son before the dramatic fight in Cloud City, but the evil in him requires him to beat Luke down before offering him the path of the dark side. Hurley likely wants Vadar to simply tell Luke he is his Father first.

"I actually thought Jack's behavior toward Ben's dad was unnecessarily aggressive and threatening. He could have said something similar, but in a nice way, and Roger might have actually thought, "maybe he's right, this has been a hard day and maybe I'm just looking for someone to blame." But he was all in his face "I KNOW her and she would NEVER do that and I think you may just be coming up with CRAZY THOUGHTS." Uh, very reassuring, Jack."

For a moment I thought Jack wanted Roger to go try and get ben back from the others so he might not be saved. So I agree, a little aggressive.

Whiskey said...

did Ben ever say anything to the O6about his old man beating him up? I didn't really find Jack's behavior "aggressive", but maybe it's because I know he was a mean, cowardly child abuser. So to me, it seemed reasonable for Jack to make sure his hysterics didn't result in him going after his friend Kate...

I thought it was funny that on Thursday I caught the re-run of the first Miles LOST ep on the SciFi channel. Miles definitely seemed to be communicating with the dead teen drug dealer in the boy's bedroom (no dead body around). The viewer was led to believe in that scene that the boy's spirit had not left the room and had told Miles where the hidden money & drug stash was. And Miles tells him to go as he's leaving and closing the bedroom door. In today's rerun ep, The Economist, Miles & Hurley meet and H says "great, we got another Sawyer". That made me chuckle.

I was a LOST hater for several seasons, when I felt Cuselof hadn't comitted to the scifi element and were trying to sell us on this being a straight-up drama w/ quirks. So I've missed plenty of backstory because I was either not watching or watching while doing other things (my husband was watching, so it was on for him). I thoroughly enjoy reading the comments here as they fill in some of the blanks. I do believe Shannon had daddy issues too, didn't he die and leave her at the mercy of her stepmother for the inheritance? Which basically left Shannon orphaned and penniless. As for Charlotte's life on the island, in yesterday's rerun ep Ben said she was born in Essex, England and raised somewhere in England as well... it seems funny to watch that now, knowing that she was a child on the island, and that Ben would have access to that information. Of course, her glee at finding a polar bear skeleton in the desert of Tunisia, along with its Dharma Hydra Station collar, makes more sense now. Also, her delighted reaction as she looks around after parachuting onto the island makes more sense in the context of her revisiting her childhood home.

Anyway, my favorite part of the ep was the small but perfectly acted moment in the bus when Dr. Chang reveals he prefers country music. The look Miles gives him, for just a split second was a mix of disbelief, surprise, and a smidge of pleasure at such a personal and significant revelation from a father he knows very little about.

Justin Nigh said...

Great episode. We knew/hoped a Miles backstory was coming so I was satisfied by Some Like It Hoth.

Last week I speculated that Ilana/Bram were sent by Eloise, given, as far as we know, she was the only person who had knowledge of flight 316. I still think it's possible; especially given the religious/cult-like "shadow of the statue" comment and Eloise's frequent religious associations. I too believe this isn't a code-phrase, but rather meant to represent a deep understanding of the island's history/purpose. If it is also literal, I can't wait to find out what truly does lie beneath the shadow of the statue.

Throughout the show, Eloise is frequently connected to religious themes. Her photo with the monk from Desmond's abbey (forget his name) and her church hangout in LA. It could make sense that she's the third element yet to be fully explained. I also find it interesting that she seems to represent the spiritual side and her son, Daniel, the scientific. Of course the science vs religion theme being a strong vein in the story thus far. Perhaps through her and Daniel there will be some reconciliation of these seemingly opposing ideas/beliefs; a balance of sorts, necessary for the island?

I'm not sure if anyone else has made the following connection. I've read the comments and don't recall seeing it, so please forgive me Alan if it has been mentioned.

The number of the Ajira flight, 316 occured to me to have religious significance. John, Locke, was key to the flight and access to the island. The biblical passage, John 3:16 has to do with eternal life.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John Locke had to make a 'leap of faith' or belief, which resulted in his undead status and perhaps eternal life like Richard?

I'm no biblical expert, but didn't Egypt play a prominent role in the bible? Then we have Aaron, son of Moses, who also played in the bible's history of Egypt. I suspect we'll find these connections will be significant to the mythology.

Thomas said...

I'm with Andrew, I reckon it'll be Hanso (or maybe Thomas Mittelwerk) behind this third group, something New Dharma type... another angry father figure if either Alvar Hanso or Gerald deGroot is coming back to spank all the kids that have made a mess of the island while he was out.

Nancy said...

Responding to what

"Brian said...
For some reason the anachronistic lever-pop tops (rather than pull tops) on the beer cans bugged me and there was a big continuity error with the blackboard Jack was erasing (also a small continuity error with the stains on Kate's clothing). For a show that seems pretty meticulous this one seemed to be a bit sloppy."

Actually a friend of mine's Dad invented the new pop-top back in '75 while working for Reynolds Metal. They were in production by '77 when this is to take place.

Here is a link...
http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/archivesmonth/2005/VHS/VHS_5.htm

:)

Anonymous said...

"Was also struck by the numbers appearing. I was okay leaving them for dead at this point, as the producers seemed to be doing, bringing it up at this point suggests to me that they're going to play in the finale. Then again, maybe it was just a fun callback, but the way it was done suggests more to me."

When were the numbers ever left for dead? They show up almost every time Hurley gets a flashback ep, either in the past or the present OR the future, and it's just that Hurley hasn't had any eps devoted solely to him in awhile, that's all.

Also, I didn't see anything suggestive about the way they revealed the numbers. The dramatic music that went along with it was only to highlight Hurley's own conflicted history with the numbers. They were simply stamping the numbers into the hatch, which we already knew they did seeing as how Hurley finds them before John and Jack blow it open and it's the reason he tries to stamp out the fuse on the explosives before being stopped by... whoever stopped him.

The numbers were to treat viewers to a little Hurley-feeling-creeped out moment, that's all. Note: the numbers freak Hurley out a TON more than finding a dead body does!

"I'm not sure if anyone else has made the following connection [Ajira flight 316, John 3:16 connection]. I've read the comments and don't recall seeing it, so please forgive me Alan if it has been mentioned."

There was some talk about the obviousness of the 316 number for the flight back during that episode, but I don't think there's been many (if any) comments about it since then. Late February or so. I think Alan's only concerned with repetitiveness within individual episode posts, so no worries, mate!

Anonymous said...

I think Ilana and Bram are probably with Ben. This comes from the interaction between the three when Ben walked by them on Hydra beach in "Dead is Dead." Ben took on his contrivedly casual tone when he asked them what was in the box and if they needed any help. He obviously knows what they're up to or else he would have hung around to find out. Also, this is the man who gave Sayid a "hit list" of Widmore's operatives and would have recognized a Widmore operation on the beach. Add in one last tidbit - Ben calling Widmore from the dock telling him he's going back to the Island - Widmore is genuinely surprised. Not the reaction of a man who has packed a cargo box and operatives on a plane set for the Pacific.

The evidence above suggests that Bram and Ilana are 1) not Widmore 2) probably with Ben and 3)much less probably with DHARMA, although option #3 would be a major new wrench in the works that intrigues me.

And one last thing - for those of us debating if Ben is bad or good. Let's please remember how viscious he was at the end of season 3 with orders like "kill anyone who gets in your way," and how he tries to kill Locke at every turn. I like how Sun deals with him, personally:-).

Anonymous said...

I know this notion might be off the wall... but we're talkin' Lost. Heh. I'm wondering if Jen might be Miles' real father. Jen's been there long enough, and Miles' mother said "Your father sent us away... before the (danger). ...and your father's dead (or so she thinks)." Couldn't she have been talking about Jen? He would have known the history better than the man Miles *thinks* is his father.

Besides, it would make all of the snarky remarks Miles made about/to Jen that much more funny.

Like I said, just my thoughts.

[and if anyone's posted this before me, sorry-- long night-- tired brain]

Olav said...

The deal with (male) writers who use father issues as a dramatic tool is: the worst thing a daddy's boy can imagine, is having a bad relationship with his daddy.