Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lost, "Everybody Loves Hugo": Throw the Scot down the well

Still off through the end of this week, but I can't help myself from writing about "Lost," so a quick review of tonight's episode (along with some thoughts on where we are in this final season) coming up just as soon as I'm well enough for a fajita field trip...
"Whoa. Dude." -Hurley
Well, we're clearly cooking with gas at this point in the season. Desmond's return has goosed the narrative stakes in both the sideways universe and the real one, two of the three island factions have finally come together(*), stuff blew up left and right(**), Des and Locke are trying to kill each other in the two timelines, and the sideways world again was used well to bring back a character whose time on the show felt like it came to too abrupt an end in the real timeline.

(*) Albeit in an episode that saw the creation of another faction in the Richard/Ben/Miles group, since groups on "Lost" are forever picking sides and walking off, going all the way back to when Jack took half the Oceanic survivors into the caves back in season one.

(**) Albeit with explosions that continued this season's trend of unimpressive CGI work. Whatever cuts ABC's made in the show's budget the last couple of years, the digital FX department has definitely been a big victim.

My fear, though, is that it's taken us too long to get to this point.

In the early years of the show, a "Lost" episode and a "Lost" season tended to be constructed the same way: an exciting beginning, then a lot of narrative throat-cleaning, and then an exciting finish. Once Cuse and Lindelof got permission to set an end date and knew what they were moving towards, seasons 4 and 5 became much denser, both from week to week and over the course of each season. Season 6, on the other hand, has felt like a throwback, not just with the return of old characters like Charlie and Boone and, now, Libby, but with the way that we're heading into the home stretch with material that it feels the show would have been better-served to deal with sooner.

Though some of the early sideways stories were entertaining through the sheer force of personality of the actors/characters being spotlighted (Locke, Ben), there was nothing all that interesting about the sideways world itself until last week. By making Desmond aware of the wrongness of the world - and introducing other characters like Charlie and Faraday who also recognized this - we finally tied that world to the one we care about, and created some urgency to our visits to LA. But I'd have rather see this happen a few weeks into the season and not now, not only because it would have given greater purpose to some of those meandering flash-sideways stories like Jack's son or Jin's amazing adventure in the freezer, but because it feels like now that we have a sideways story arc (Desmond tries to nudge the Oceanic passengers into realizing that this world isn't right), the resolution of it is going to feel rushed.

But Cuse and Lindelof have earned some trust over these past few years. Even if I didn't love a lot of the first half of this season, I want to believe that they know just how much time they need to tell the remaining story, that even if "What Kate Does" hasn't retroactively gotten better, that we're heading towards a finish close to what a series this great deserves. Because I don't want the season to turn into one big dead end like Ilana ultimately was.(***)

(***) Even in death, Ilana amounted to little, as Arzt beat her to that particular punchline by five years. The Ajira crew ultimately added about as much to the series' larger mythos as the tailies - Richard or Jacob's ghost could have very easily explained the candidate thing with just as much detail as Ilana ever offered - and the tailies at least gave us Libby's romance with Hurley and Mr. Eko and his Jesus stick for entertainment value.

And in the meantime, Desmond's actions, as well as the resurrected Libby's awareness of her other too-brief life, gave Hurley's sideways story some juice, along with giving Jorge Garcia another chance to show he has far more to offer the series than comic relief.

In sideways world, Hurley's a man who seemingly has everything (his version of the happy ending deal all the island folk apparently got) but is incredibly lonely. In the real world, he's lost so many people while standing on the sidelines that he once again asserts himself and takes a surprising leadership role on the island. (And Jack, finally after all these years learning that he can't fix everything, seems okay with playing Hurley's sidekick for once, in a nice role reversal and good moment for the character.)

Garcia had a lot of good moments in this one, but my favorite came early on, when he tells Ilana that Libby was "murdered," and this tone of pained disbelief comes into his voice as he says the word. One of Hurley's most recognizable traits is his ability to discuss the most ridiculous events of the series in the most matter-of-fact tone, but with his delivery of that one word, Garcia makes it clear just how much this one particular event continues to rock his world, years later.

Libby's return didn't explain what she was doing in the mental hospital in the real world, and I suppose that's one mystery I can live without them explaining. But I'm hoping we'll get more of Cynthia Watros in the coming weeks, along with more Dominic Monaghan and Jeremy Davies and even Ian Somerhalder. Because if alt-Desmond's mission is to bring an end to sideways world so the real world can be saved, a bunch of people are going to have to accept that they're going to die again, and there's a lot of good material to be mined there - assuming there's both time and available actors for that.

As for the Locke/Desmond mutual attempted murder game going on in both timelines, I'm not assuming either real Des or alt-Locke are dead just yet. Desmond's fall down the electromagnetic well is one of those classic comic book-style "if you don't see a dead body, you don't have a dead character" moments, and alt-Locke is still breathing (and looking remarkably like Locke on the ground after his father threw him out the window in "The Man from Tallahassee"). I am curious, though, if alt-Desmond has a specific reason for targeting our poor, self-actualized substitute teacher - perhaps recognizing that damaging Smokey's host body in the sidways world hurts him in the real one - or if alt-Des is going more by instinct, and somehow knows in his gut that the man with John Locke's face has just tried to hurt him.

Anyway, we'll have more time to speculate on all of that once I'm working full-time again (and less sleep-deprived), so in the meantime, some other thoughts:

• Couple of notable guest stars this week: Samm Levine (from my beloved "Freaks and Geeks" had a brief appearance as the Mr. Cluck's employee who recognizes Hurley (and I thank the "Lost" producers for giving him more dialogue than Quentin Tarantino did in all of "Inglourious Basterds"), Bruce Davison reprises his role from season two's "Dave" as Dr. Brooks.

• So the whispers were the voices of all the souls trapped on the island because of the actions they committed there while alive. On the one hand, that's not a surprising answer; on the other, that's sort of the risk Cuse and Lindelof face in giving us answers to questions like that at this late date. After six years of speculation, of course most of us are going to have come up with an idea like this to describe the whispers, just as I'm sure the identities of Adam and Eve will wind up being something that's already mentioned on Lostpedia. But by tying the answer to a character moment - Michael asking Hurley to apologize to Libby for him - the revelation merited more than a shrug.

• I swear, every time a character with a gun talks about getting in an outrigger (here it was Richard), I turn into Millhouse in "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" whining, "When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?!?!?!?!"

• Another possible "Lost" spin-off: a game show called "How Do You Break the Ice with the Smoke Monster, Anyway?"

What did everybody else think?

150 comments:

Michael said...

I gave an "awwww" when we saw Libby. And another when they had their beach date.

Still wondering if we're going to get an alt-Nikki & Paolo episode.

padawansguide said...

Or was Desmond trying to jolt Locke into seeing that the sideway world isn't right, like he's trying to jolt the other Oceanic passengers?

Or is Smokey living his life as Sideways Locke, getting the things real Locke always wanted, and Desmond knows it?

Someone on other blog commented something about Locke's eyes changing color when he was on the ground, but I didn't notice it myself. Anyone else?

I wondered if Hurley had made a big mistake in leading the remaining candidates to Smokey. If he's got all of them, was he the one that planted them in this Matrix-like alt world, and only now are they being awakened to realize that their reality isn't really real?

Anonymous said...

When they finally gave an answer to the whispers my ma was so shocked she stated, "That's an answer!" It's funny yet sad that LOST has waited this long to tell us a straight answer.

I don't think Garcia can act that well so I felt this episode suffered due to it's reliance on the actor and a weak plot line of true love. I never bought into the Libby & Hurley love story. Too much too son.

I wonder if Locke dies in the alternate verse can man-in-black really leave?

Are you still sure this isn't an epilogue in advance?

I miss Michael, Walt, and John Locke's interactions. Plus, the dog. :( In a lot of ways LOST got LOST in itself.'

Still a stan of the show.

JWIII

Unreliable Narrator said...

But of course we know why Libby was in the mental hospital in the real world. It's because she was having memories of the sideways verse. Isn't circular logic wonderful?

Anonymous said...

When they finally gave an answer to the whispers my ma was so shocked she stated, "That's an answer!" It's funny yet sad that LOST has waited this long to tell us a straight answer.

I don't think Garcia can act that well so I felt this episode suffered due to it's reliance on the actor and a weak plot line of true love. I never bought into the Libby & Hurley love story. Too much too son.

I wonder if Locke dies in the alternate verse can man-in-black really leave?

Are you still sure this isn't an epilogue in advance?

It still feels like the alternate verse is what comes later as the characters speak of the experiences as memories.

I miss Michael, Walt, and John Locke's interactions. Plus, the dog. :( In a lot of ways LOST got LOST in itself.

I'm still a stan of the show.

JWIII

David Z said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
leopoldbloom said...

My take on the ending is that Desmond wants to send Locke to the hospital to meet Jack, potentially as a way to get them to bridge their timelines. The other possibility there is that Jack could be presented with a choice of either saving Sun or saving Locke. Either way will get interesting really quickly!

Chijip said...

I had always assumed that Libby was in the mental hospital because she had a nervous breakdown or something due to grief after her husband died. Her behavior way back in that Desmond flashback when she gave him her boat made it seem like she was really having a hard time.

Yellowdog said...

The writing this season is so disappointing. The best answer they could come up with after years of whispers were that they were ghosts? Oh brother. I remember a time when a lot of good actors were playing a lot of interesting characters. Now it seems like most are mere extras. The once great Ben character is now useless. Jack and Kate were basically the stars of the show and now they barely do enough to get a paycheck. And Sayid? Zombie Sayid is a waste of a talented actor like Naveen Andrews. So sad that they chose mythology over characters, and they didn't even do a good job with that.

mike said...

i think desmond was giving locke a near death experience to make him aware of his on-island life, much the way charlie did to desmond by driving his car off the dock.

HT said...

I laughed out loud when Richard looked at Hurley and said, "Ask him what the island is!"

medrawt said...

The whispers are answered!

But.

Early on in the series, a great deal of the mysterious goings-on was attributed, especially by Locke (who, granted, had no idea what was going on) to The Island. There was definitely an idea that in addition to having special properties (time-warping, time-traveling, electromagnetism-radiating, relocating from one place to another with the spin of a wheel...) The Island had some kind of conscious will. My sense is that this idea fell by the wayside with the emergence/prominence given Jacob and Smokey.

But it still seems clear that The Island has its own agenda, because there's a bunch of mystical stuff that can't be explained unless (a) Smokey's powers are much further reaching than we've seen, or (b) Jacob lied when he explained the rules by which he bound himself to Richard. And Richard confirmed that Jacob was still pretty much playing by them when he said that Jacob never tells you what to do. (But wasn't Jacob telling Hugo what to do earlier this season?) There's still some leeway here - I wonder if the mysterious little boy will play into it - and I wouldn't be surprised if The Island's conscious will was worked into it after all, but as it stands right now, it doesn't quite all add up. If nothing else, The Island having active powers of its own makes Jacob's rules kind of stupid, because if his whole stated purpose is to demonstrate free will, The Island in part deprives you of that. Michael couldn't kill himself until his purpose was complete. Keamy couldn't kill Michael when they were offshore. But Michael could blow himself up. (And who said that he could? Christian Shephard! Who is representing...whom, exactly?)

tvindy said...

Is there a rule against pointing out that one's comment is first? (Since mine was, and it was almost instantly deleted.)

I thought the reason Libby was in the mental institution was because she had become aware of the other universe and told people about it.

Tyler Stimson said...

It was an awesome episode. It really kept up the momentum of last week.

My first impression of Desmond running over Locke in the alt-timeline was Desmond was trying to do for Locke what Charlie did for him.

I also toyed with the possibility that Locke might suddenly be able to walk.

My deepest hope, however, is that we will somehow get John Locke again on the island, in the island timeline, and that ultimately he will be redeemed.

Regardless, I hope we see Desmond in every flash sideways from this point on.

He has become the key to the entire show, perhaps the most beloved character on Lost.

I really like the way this season was structured. I personally have loved the flash-sideways, even before last weeks episode.

I think Lost is definitely on track to give us a totally awesome ending. I have no idea what it will be, but I can't wait to find out. I personally hope there is some ambiguity to the ending. That is the lifeblood of this show, and is what makes it different and more compelling.

mike said...

@tvindy..

this is true for the flash-sideways.

in s2, in the island timeline, we see here in the mental institution, with no explanation ever given as to why.

Joe Coughlin said...

I think the reason alt-Des ran over alt-Locke was so he would be sent to the alt-hospital to be looked at by alt-Jack who might be able to alt-mend his alt-spine.

Alt.

Anonymous said...

Yellowdog, they didn't even choose mythology over characters. What mythology? They've more or less limited it to Good vs. evil while lightly mentioning choice vs. destiny. They've attempted to do both (example: richard) but it was a bore.

Like Alan's been saying from the start I wonder if the show will play back better once we know how it ends rather than patiently waiting. But, what difference does that make? It's execution is still off.

Remember the island wasn't purgatory well it turns out it is!

JWIII

Sam Hobart said...

"The writing this season is so disappointing. The best answer they could come up with after years of whispers were that they were ghosts? Oh brother. I remember a time when a lot of good actors were playing a lot of interesting characters. Now it seems like most are mere extras."

Yeah, I couldn't disagree more. If anything there's been an over reliance on character over plot this season. As with a lot of seasons we're watching people move around the island so they can end up at the place they're supposed to be for whatever comes next. Using characters from the past in essentially cameo roles has allowed for a nice bit of shorthand and very nice moments like Charlie last week and Michael asking Hurley to apologize for him.

Like Alan said, leaving something a mystery for 6 season pretty much guarantees that the answers will be less than satisfying but as long as those answers come with some emotional heft I'm on board.

Steve said...

Another fantastic episode... LOST has been on a roll and I think it's going to be non-stop until the finale.

I loved that we got to see a Hurley-Libby reunion. Hurley has become a terrific and likable character, and many fans have been awaiting his deserved reunion with Libby for a long time.

I also love the way it is coming to fruition that Desmond is the variable and is affecting all of the Lost characters' lives in the LA X timeline in helping them remember their other lives.

I continue to believe that the LA X timeline is the timeline that isn't supposed to happen as opposed to an epilogue in advance.

Finally, this is something that just occurred to me tonight. I'm probably not the first to think of this, but knowing that Damon Lindelof is a big Yankees fan, I think the numbers take their roots in historic Yankees, those whose numbers were retired.

4: Lou Gehrig
8: Yogi Berra
15: Thurman Munson (died in plane crash)
16: Whitey Ford
23: Don Mattingly
42: Jackie Robinson and soon to be Mariano Rivera.

I can't believe this never occurred to me before, but it all came together when Mr. Cluck's announced Desmond's order number 42... probably due to watching Rivea close out the Yankees home opener today with Yogi and Whitey in attendance.

Schmoker said...

I mean, you want to tell me the sideways world is evil OK. You want to tell me the sideways world is a blissful epilogue---OK. You want to say it's a mixture of both--I'm down with that, too.

I liked seeing almost all of the remaining surviving members of the original cast all link up for the first time in YEARS! It was only the one scene, but it was electric to see them all, minus Jin and plus Lapidus, giving each other the stink eye over a campfire again. The look that passed between Jack and Smocke was beyond the pale. Smokey had all sorts of confidence it appeared, while Jack looked sort of blissed-out and scared at the same time. ("I am Jack's Medulla Oblongata, and this is me letting go.")

Chrissy said...

The timeline with Libby's institutionalization didn't make much sense to me - a lot of stuff packed into "a few days". But I enjoyed seeing her again and had a definitely feeling of closure when she and Hurley got their date. At that point I wondered if the epilogue in advance theory actually was correct, and there was a way for the Losties (alive and dead) to reunite and live happy, healthy lives in the side-verse.

Then Desmond ran over Locke with his car.

I got a definite vengeance vibe off that, not a "goading you into greater realization" vibe. Locke could quite easily be dead. There are less fatal ways to near-death-experience someone. And, remember, Desmond on the island believes that Locke is Locke, and that Locke threw him down the well. If there is some sharing of consciousness between the two Des's, it might make sense that he would want him dead.

One interesting thing: they didn't mention Hugo winning the lottery during the opening montage, just his love of chicken inspiring him to buy into Mr. Cluck's and take it global. Of course, it makes sense that the Hurley of the side-verse wouldn't have the numbers, and wouldn't have had the "bad luck" to win.

greg said...

I think that the characters are remembering island moments when they interact or experience things or people that tie them to the island emotionally and strongly.
We know for sure that Desmond, Charlie, Libby, Hugo, and Faraday have had visions after interacting with people they love or a defining moment on the lost island. Charlie and Desmond are the only ones that had flashes without another person triggering it that we know of.
Now it gets to speculation. I think Desmond ultimately ran over Locke because Lockes defining moment was being on the ground after the crash being able to move his feet, and that we are seeing Locke flash back to the island right then without actually seeing it on screen. I'm not saying that smokey throwing Desmond down the well had nothing to do with it but I wouldn't be surprised to find out it was a misdirection. I also think we were actually seeing alt Kate flashwhen she sees Jack in the cab. And sawyer when he catches Kate.


Alan, you mentioned that the tran sition sounds like the mri machine but I have always heard a plane. Could be both.

Question Mark said...

With four main characters left without a centric episode and only three episodes left before the (presumably multi-character) finale, I was wondering who would get left out. Looks like it'll be Ilana. Thanks for playing, Zuleikha!

If Desmond's strategy of getting people to remember their alt-lives is to unite them with their true loves, it makes sense that he'd have to use a different strategy with Locke, who is already with his true love in the alt-verse.

Krista said...

I disagree that the Iliana character was a dead end -- I think she provided more depth
to the role of Jacob off island with people other than our Losties; she strengthened the ambiguity surrounding being a follower of Jacob...I am pretty sure we will see her in the alt. timeline too...plus, a classic Lost *boom*

What did Hugo see in Iliana's bag?

Why is Desmond so zen now...not scared...and willing to help widmore and hang out with Smokey alone at the well?

And why did Smokey seem so concerned with Jack at the end of the episode?

Wish we could watch the rest tomorrow - I am very impatient.

Ben said...

So at some point in the Alt-timeline, Kate kisses Sawyer/ or Jack. Whichever one takes her mind to the real world, thats her guy. Then we will know whether she is a Jater or Skater...

Based on Juliet's "let's go dutch and get coffee" and "it worked" lines to Sawyer, I'm guessing the Jaters win out.

overall, I was very happy with this episode. felt it was much better than the Richard-centric one.

Bobby said...

What if Desmond did it too get Locke and Jack together again. In hope that them together would trigger their memories of their other lives?

However, I like the theory about Locke's defining moment being him moving his toe.

Finally, why must we talk about other shows here? I have yet to see 24. Now the episode is ruined for me and others.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the final answer is that this is Samsara. We're watching Hinduism acted out.

JWIII

Question Mark said...

4: Lou Gehrig
8: Yogi Berra
15: Thurman Munson (died in plane crash)
16: Whitey Ford
23: Don Mattingly
42: Jackie Robinson and soon to be Mariano Rivera.


4: Gehrig/Locke = Two beloved icons of the Yankees/LOST who died before their time.

8: Yogi/Hurley = The nice guys of the Yankees/LOST who are beloved by everyone for their good nature and comedy.

15: Munson/Sawyer
16: Ford/Sayid = Man, this is where my theory breaks down. Had Sayid been 15, I would've noted how both he and Munson died before their time. And with #16, both guys are named Ford, that's simple enough. Maybe Sayid will be buried under a sea of pretzels in a future episode and we'll have a better connection for him and Whitey Ford.

23: Mattingly/Jack = Overrated stars whose leadership provided few results.

42: Robinson and Rivera/Jin and Sun = The only 'double' candidate on the list.

Beth said...

I also think that Desmond was trying to make Locke remember the Island (or, as others said, get him and Jack to meet again), not kill him. If he was trying to kill him I think he would checked to make sure he was actually dead.

LP said...

Great episode. I too thought that Desmond was trying to jolt Locke into seeing the island much as Charlie did to him.

Of course, he went much softer on Hurley than he did on Locke...

This was probably the most "serious" Hurley episode of Lost so far, but it was also the most significant when it comes to the plot of the show.

So who does Desmond still have to get their memories of the island? Sun, Jin, Ben, Jack, Kate, Claire...

Ben said...

The Alternate world is what you want most of all; essentially, this is what Eloise inferred when she echos the “You have the perfect life” line to Desmond, then tacking on “you have managed to attain the thing you wanted more than anything…my husband’s approval.”…Isn’t this true? Desmond leaves Penny the first time, not because he doesn’t madly love her, but because he wants to make his way in the world and show her pops, Chuck W. himself, that he is a man.
- Locke wanted Helen
- Sayid wanted Nadia alive;
- Ben wanted Alex alive;
- Jack wanted a family/love;
- Sawyer no longer wants to be bad
- Hurley wanted to be more uncursed, more confident
- Sun and Jin want to be together;
- Claire wanted to keep the baby;


Seems simple, but here is why we were thrown off…Kate’s alt story. I mean, compared to the others, her general story wasn’t that different at all. She is on the lamb, still apparently guilty of something and still helping people out even when she is on the move.

Now, why is this interesting…because Flocke said Kate is no longer a candidate. I think at this point she is on Jacob’s list, but not Flocke’s. That means something…Maybe Kate is bad…Maybe she sold her soul…Maybe those Kate as Secret Other rumors are true…OK, too far, but still…


So, the world meanders and gets you to where you need to be, but it appears rather joyless in most cases. But here is where the next part comes in….when Desmond travels in time during “The Constant”, he goes back and forth between the two worlds IN HIS MIND. Not his body…Now, we are told that Desmond is “special”. So, he is special because he can stay in both worlds and thrive. He survived a nuke blast, now two times, and has a Constant. Sounds like enough to me.

However, the rest of them, not so much. Because they are not special, they can’t seamlessly move between the two worlds. Instead, the soul (?) splits into two, one for each timeline. This is where they get what they want as mentioned above. But the thing is, its just a part of them, hence the joylessness. The other half is on the other timeline (maybe love stayed behind and that is why Charlie saw Claire, Des saw Penny, etc). Eloise knows this and just like when she once told Desmond to back to the island, she is staying on top of him of him in the other timeline so he doesn’t start to think about the world around him. The others don’t have all their mojo, but Desmond does.

Also, what about this…all the wishes are done in such a way so that the asker of the wish has to sacrifice in some way

- Locke wanted Helen, but still in a wheelchair and will be
- Sayid wanted Nadia alive; she is, but is with his brother.
- Ben wanted Alex alive; she is, going to college, but not his daughter.
- Jack wanted a family/love; has a son, but one that is a afraid of him
- Sawyer no longer wants to be bad; he is now a cop
- Hurley doesn’t want to be cursed, more confident; now he is a true business man, but still the good soul, beloved
- Sun and Jin want to be together; hey, guess what…they are
- Claire wanted to keep the baby; given the excuse of the people don’t want it anymore

tribalism said...

So the well is soooo old that the people who dug it didn't even have shovels. But they had compasses?

This was far and away the best Hurley episode since "Numbers". I think Miles brought up perhaps the most valuable point of all when he asked Hurley if he just listens to whatever the ghosts tell him to do.

How does Hurley know that any of the entities he encounters are benevolent? One of the problems with the castaways is that they never seem to ask the right questions. This extends to the two groups that are either following Jacob or the Man in Black. Now that all the candidates (save for Jin) are together, I'm really looking forward to what Locke has to say to convince him of his plan.

You can find more of my thoughts on this episode at my blog where I go into detail about why Island Desmond's (apparent) death down the well may be the key to the key to the Sideways dimension as well as how Michael's appearance gives hope to the rest of the castaways future (or lack thereof) on the Island. Click my username for the link.

Anonymous said...

Am I wrong or didn't the disembodied voices precede the smoke monster? Could it be that Michael is a Smokey fake-out of Hurley

Krista said...

Kate wants to reunite Claire with Aaron and she help Claire give birth to Aaron in the alt. timeline...

Anonymous said...

Another vote for Desmond trying to jolt Locke out of the alternaverse. THey wouldn't really have Desmond try to kill anyone (who's not threatening him or his family)

Hoosier Paul said...

The Oceanic passengers' annoying habit of turning down explanations reached an absurd new height in this episode, when Richard actually said outright that "Jacob told me a while back what the island is," and no one pressed him on it! Wowzer.

fgmerchant said...

@padawansguide I saw that post on EW so I went backed and looked at the last few minutes. I didn't see any eye color change.

Omagus said...

Desmond's fall down the electromagnetic well is one of those classic comic book-style "if you don't see a dead body, you don't have a dead character" moments

Speaking of comic books, last week I decided to start referring to the sideways world as the House of M. I guess that makes Desmond Layla Miller.

Anonymous said...

Krista said... I disagree that the Iliana character was a dead end -- I think she provided more depth to the role of Jacob . . .
What did Hugo see in Iliana's bag?


Nice observation about Iliana and I wondered the same thing about the bag. After all, it must have influenced Hurley to tell that whopper especially as he couldn't really know which action of his was going to endanger his friends - is he feeling lucky in both universes now? Also: have Richard and Jack lost their faith in their own indestructible natures? Why not insist on carrying the dyno-bag themselves? And again with the insufficient communication; this time by Hurley - annoying.

Also concur with qaba'iliyya above: sure, we can make a compass but a crude shovel? 'Hold on there, Einstein!' Snark! -anonymoose

Anonymous said...

Krista said... I disagree that the Iliana character was a dead end -- I think she provided more depth to the role of Jacob . . .
What did Hugo see in Iliana's bag?


Nice observation about Iliana and I wondered the same thing about the bag. After all, it must have influenced Hurley to tell that whopper especially as he couldn't really know which action of his was going to endanger his friends - is he feeling lucky in both universes now? Also: have Richard and Jack lost their faith in their own indestructible natures? Why not insist on carrying the dyno-bag themselves? And again with the insufficient communication; this time by Hurley - annoying.

Also concur with qaba'iliyya above: sure, we can make a compass but a crude shovel? 'Hold on there, Einstein!' (Snark) -anonymoose

Jon Weisman said...

No comment on Spanish Johnny's????

Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night
With bruised arms and broken rhythm and a beat-up old Buick but dressed just like dynamite ...

dez said...

Alt.

Shouldn't that be "AAAAAALLLLTTT!!!"?

And, remember, Desmond on the island believes that Locke is Locke,

I'm not sure he does believe that. I think he knows something's amiss, but he's got that supernal confidence now and he's not afraid.

I was certain the whispers were going to turn out to be the sideways world bleeding into the island world. Darn it!

Joseph said...

I am starting to think the Sideways world is not actually "wrong", and that the characters who are able to move on from the island at the end will have their "happily ever after" on Sideways-world once their alt-selves are made whole.

And, while I am enjoying this season immensely, I definitely think it will play much better upon a second viewing. I am loving the episodes as I watch them every Tuesday, scream in denial when the hour is up, but then when I start reading the various blogs/recaps and begin mulling over the episodes in my head I get confused and frustrated and worry that there is NO WAY Darlton will be able to wrap this up in a satisfactory way.

Jeff said...

I love reading your reviews, but that Millhouse quote took you to an entire new level. Nicely done.

bk said...

Sepinwall, how did you miss the ending so bad? Clearly the NDEs give folks glimpses into the other universe -- see: charlie choking, desmond drowning, and now locke being hit by the car.

Cotsos said...

Alan plz edit the huge 24 spoiler by David Z in an earlier post.
Come on people, be more careful!

Hatfield said...

Was I the only one who thought of Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea when Ilana blew up in the middle of a speech?

For the person who said they didn't say Hurley won the lottery, he said so on the plane in the season premiere.

Ok, so things are gonna get crazy and violent from here on out, as we can plainly see. I worry that Ben and Miles going with Richard will seal their fates, and that would be a huge waste of one of the best characters in Lost history. Yes, I mean Ben, though I do enjoy Miles.

Desmond is totally alive, if only because his whole moment of enlightenment from last week would be totally wasted. Also, he could see the kid, so he's clearly still important, even if he's not a candidate. I loved the way he approached his interaction with Locke, just taking everything in stride, and I especially loved the way it bothered Locke that he wasn't afraid. And then to see Alt-Des run Alt-Locke down? Who knows, and who cares, because that was one of those awesome moments that I can take without an explanation.

I hope Ilana doesn't prove to be a total waste, and that all this theorizing about why Jacob wore gloves when he came to see her is at least worth something. Also, she's a babe and I'd hate to lose her for the rest of the run.

Imagine you could go back in time to the season 2 finale with Desmond and Locke in the Swan and tell yourself that in a few years there would be a scene where Desmond hit Locke with a car. That would be awesome.

Michael said...

What did Hurley see in Ilana's bag? Jacob's ashes, remember?

Anonymous said...

Des hit Locke to wake him up.

Anonymous said...

@padawansguide (the second comment overall):

I saw the eye color change too, so I went back and watched it again - what seems to happen is that after he blinks, his eyes catch the sun just right so they appear to flash, and then you can see the color clearly. It implies a color change, but there isn't one.

Personally, I was disappointed.

Chris said...

What about the boy again, looked just like a young Jacob to me.

Wonder if the candidate who becomes the new Jacob has to die so that this Jacob running around can inhabit that body like Smokey did Locke.

Also, I'll throw out a half-baked theory that both universes we know are sideways. In the "real" timeline, the world is destroyed due to release of Smokey by Charles and Eloise way back when. They then sidewaysed to the timeline we know to fix things, which ended up spawning the sideways sideways timeline as the universe's ways of correcting things. Desmond, by crossing the two sideways universes, will somehow get Smokey released and destroy the world in both timelines merging together all three and eliminate much opportunity for spin-off shows :-).

Also, this theory somehow explains how Eloise is omniscient in the two timelines we know.

Tyroc said...

The boy was Peter Pan. We're in Neverland, filled by "Lost" boys.

Richard has stopped aging, just like Pan did.

And um... that's all I got!

3333/afa said...

I may have heard incorrectly, but I thought, after Marvin Candle's appearance, someone said Hurley was responsible for starting "The Human Fund." I wonder if Hurley started it because he wanted to avoid giving Mr. Kruger a Christmas gift?

Anonymous said...

so far - when we have seen character's realize the island universe, whether by love or near-death experience - there has been a kind of union, blending, or synthesis of the two different consciousness (island and sideways minds).

if des' hit and run causes john locke to remember his island existence...what is the effect? will he simply remember the island and that ben killed him? or will he be able to connect with, or battle against smocke's consciousness.

Scott J. said...

Considering that the wells are connected to electromagnetic pockets, and we previously had Zoe interrogating Jin about electromagnetic pockets, then Smokey may have inadvertently delivered Desmond to the very place that Widmore needed him to be.

drake lelane said...

I know talking about the previews is forbidden, but the music backing this week's preview is particularly worth mentioning (and isn't technically spoiler-y): Willy Wonka's "Wondrous Boat Ride"

It served as a nice nod to the parallel folks have brought up, in regards to Jacob's adventurous search for an heir. And it's just great hearing Gene Wilder with that chant that haunted me as a child: "There's no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going..."

drake lelane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurel said...

So the well is soooo old that the people who dug it didn't even have shovels. But they had compasses?

I think "by hand" means without machines, not like literally using their hands to grab clumps of dirt. You made me LOL at my desk.

Laurel said...

Also, YES Willy Wonka in the preview! I forgot to mention. I have never heard that song used outside the movie so it was a strange/interesting/surprisingly apt choice.

Regarding the actual episode, I think I am FINALLY at the point where I can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

Didn't we see ilana scooping up some of jacob's ashes and putting them in a little bag earlier in the season? That could be what hurley sees in the little bag, but I'm not sure why it would cause him to change his behavior - he doesn't know that it's special ash, right?

MPH said...

Why does Michael have to stay on the island? Wasn't he absolved of his sins by "Christian" once he sacrificed his life on the freighter?

NoName said...

@ Question Mark

First, take back the crack at Mattingly. He couldn't overcome Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint, et al.

Second, Bill Dickey also wore and had retired No. 8. So your theory about the only double number/candidate is off too.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

A big thumbs up from Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The LIbby/Hurley subplot has been my favorite all along--and my teenage boys--skeptics, the both of them--were charmed and touched (amazingly!) by last night's show. Cynthia Watros is awesome, period. And yes, all the nice touches showing that Jorge Garcia has acting chops.

I've never had any interest in Ilana-- did she not stand around for nearly a whole season asking, "What do we do next?" Then, Boom. I admit that her explosion did not provide the dark, dark humor that Doc Arzt's did. I just felt like, okay, so she's gone? Why was she ever here? Sort of the feeling I had when they shot Russeaux.

I agree that the reason Libby's was in the booby hatch was because she was having flashes of her "other" life. And yeah: what WAS in Ilana's bag?

Ding dong bell.
Desmond's in a well.
Who threw him in?
Smokey. Where is Jin?
With Widmore, on the run.
Where's his wife Sun?
Trying Jin to find.
"WHERE'S WALLACE?" Never mind.

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

also, it's possible to view the WHOLE SERIES as a metaphor for EVIL (Yankees) vs. GOOD (Red Sox.)

Red sox:

4 – Joe Cronin
8 Carl Yastzremski
15- Dustin Pedroia
16 - Marco Scutaro
23 – Mike Cameron
42 – Jackie Robinson

Sayid, I think, is Jonny Damon-- who had his soul sucked out of him.

Anonymous said...

The bag Hurley picked up was some of Jacobs ashes Ilana gathered, but what was the book he looked at? It was so worn down I couldn't catch the title.

Also, did anyone else pick up on the whispers in jungle saying Richard (right before we learn the whispers are the ghosts of people who can't move on)? My husband and I both heard it, but couldn't make out anything else.

Wondering did Des hit Locke to 1)kill him, 2)provide the opportunity for Locke to go to the hospital to meet Jack again 3) to give him the near death moment.

Granger said...

OK, so near-death in the alt-verse gives people "the sight." So isn't it possible that Sayid's near-death on the island has also given him the knowledge that he exists in another universe -- and that, sadly, he STILL doesn't have Nadia? Which is why he's all morose and resigned now -- he realizes that no matter which universe wins in the end, he's screwed. Maybe Kate is too, but she hasn't figured it out yet.

I also thought I heard the whispers in the jungle say "Richard" before Hurley saw Michael. And by the way, I thought the writers told us a long time back that the island is NOT purgatory. Seems an awful lot like purgatory to me.

BF said...

So if Hurley is so rich he can throw down 100K at the drop of a hat, why is he sitting in the back of the plane on Oce-alt-ic 815?

LOVED the Ben/Desmond interrogation.

Anonymous said...

One thing that bugged me about the explanation for the whispers - comparatively recently, we've seen Ben as a younger man kidnapping Alex, and his departing words to Danielle were "When you hear whispers -- RUN!"

Now, it's pretty clear how to explain this away. Ben has been revealed as someone who doesn't know nearly as much as he pretends to, and he may genuinely have been referring to the conspiratorial Others and not the ghosts that our castaways have occasionally overheard.

But it felt like a reference to the Whispers at the time, and it's somewhat anticlimactic for me now to hear that they were just ghosts, and his cryptic attempt to tie them to the Others was a nonstarter.

OldDarth said...

Based on this episode, Libby will have to die as well.

Annie said...

Has anyone considered (regarding the whispers) that Hurley got it wrong, or that Michael lied? If I remember correctly, when Shannon saw Walt, she heard the whispers too...and Walt is alive.

Swedge said...

The directing seemed off this episode, especially in the island scenes. Things were generally flat and lacking impact. Didn't hate the episode but it felt rushed and not up to the high standards of the series.

They don't need dynamite to disable the plane. Planes are pretty fragile. They could start by ruining the tires, it's not like there's a tire shop around.

Anonymous said...

Good episode, but...

If folks want to disable the plane, all they need is a stick (Eko's?) or a few big rocks. All they'd have to do is smash the instrument panel - no unstable dynamite required. Duh.

And I can't help but think that the alt-universe is what happens when Smokey is defeated.

Remember that the conversation is about how loosing Smokey is the End Of Everything - as in Armageddon.

Jonathan said...

So it looks like they will all meet at the hospital. Claire and Kate are there, Jin and Sun will be there, Ben and Locke will be there. They just need to get Sawyer, Sayid, and Hurley there, which should be pretty easy.

medrawt said...

It's certainly possible that the spirits visiting Hurley are lying. (I don't think it's possible that he's hallucinating them, certainly not all of them, because whether or not it was really Richard's wife a couple of episodes ago, that spirit gave Hurley real information he could not have had otherwise.) It's possible that Jacob was lying when he explained stuff about the island, or that Smokey has lied even when he seems to be telling the truth.

At this point, though, with five hours left to go, I doubt it. It would take up too much narrative air, at this point, for them to say "that thing you assumed was true because we explicitly told it to you? the character who said it was lying, and here's how it REALLY is."

Sam Hobart said...

RE: the whispers

For the mostpart they seemed to show up just before something climactic, and generally just before something bad happened.

The obvious reason for this timing being that they were trying to warn someone that something was coming or to draw their attention to something i.e. Shannon and Walt.

So while the explanation may be fairly simple for this show, it makes pretty perfect thematic sense, especially as a counterbalance to the way that Smokey uses the images of the dead to sway those who are still alive. Outside of Hurley, this is as close as the dead can come to fighting back against Smokey's appropriation of their form.

Anonymous said...

And why did Hugo go to Spanish Johnny's ?

To meet Rosalita !!

Somebody's a Boss fan

BF said...

when Shannon saw Walt, she heard the whispers too...and Walt is alive.

... or is he? DUN DUN DUN!

(Wacky theory: after the Walt-napping, the Others sacrificed him and immediately resurrected him via the temple. This explains both Walt being alive and being able to appear to Shannon & Pit Locke.)

And Kate is no longer at the hospital. She left and was subsequently apprehended by Sawyer & Miles.

Tim said...

When the writers disavowed purgatory they were talking about an explanation for the ENTIRE show -- the island cosmos and all its characters. Having the guilty dead existing in a kind of limbo WITHIN the overall show is a different thing.

Anonymous said...

This season is a little too much like Survivor. Two camps, alliances and recruiting, and then they merge. Even the ending scene at Locke's camp looked a little like the tribal councils on Survivor.

Sam Hobart said...

"This season is a little too much like Survivor. Two camps, alliances and recruiting, and then they merge. Even the ending scene at Locke's camp looked a little like the tribal councils on Survivor."

Kinda coming full circle then since that was the original pitch for the show.

P@ said...

YES!! I totally guessed what the jump line would be this time!

It was nice to have Jack mention Juliet (who?) again. Does Ben even know she's dead? Ben's character has been so diminished lately.

I was expecting Hurley to mention Michael's apology in side-ways world once he got his memories back.
And also surprised that Michael didn't mention WAAAALLLT at all. The writers truly have just dropped that character altogether, haven't they? [sigh] Hopefully we'll get to see Vincent again soon, though. (I miss that dog!!)

So, now Smocke has spoken to all of the candidates, yes? Interesting that the episode ended with him saying "Hello, Jack" (I was almost expecting it to end before he could speak to Jack.)

I suspect that Smokey is going to get off the island. And that's what the sideways world is. That's what happens when the war is over...and the good guys LOST.

Anonymous said...

Keep thinking that Lapidus is there for a reason--they need a pilot perhaps? Will Lost end with another plane crash that will leave us all wondering.......

Anonymous said...

@ Jonathan: Except Kate's not at the hospital. She is with Sawyer though.

Jim said...

Smokey wasn't trying to kill Desmond. He could have knifed him in the jungle. It's no coincidence that he threw him into a electromagnetic hole.

dez said...

What did Hurley see in Ilana's bag? Jacob's ashes, remember?

Jacob's already proving to be a phoenix, but maybe he needed the fire to make the transformation complete :-)

I also thought the little boy was very Jacob-like. That makes Sawyer, Des, and Flocke who can see him--am I missing anyone else?

The looke Flocke gave Jack at the end was wicked creepy. And Jack's return gaze was almost like real Locke's when he first saw Smokey. Hrm.

dez said...

I don't think Smokey can kill Desmond because Desmond can see the little boy, just like Sawyer, who Smokey was forbidden from killing because of the "rules."

Charlotte said...

After last night's episode I think the Alt-timeline is neither good nor bad, nor is it an epilogue. It was simply a reality created by the setting off of the bomb at the end of last season and could, possibly, cease to exist depending on the actions of the characters in the alternate (island) reality.

My feeling is that the theme of choice will play into which timeline 'triumphs' so to speak: all the candidates will be made aware of the parallel timelines (by Desmond) and be asked to choose (on the island, possibly by Locke) between the two realities. The choices won't be easy because in one or another of the timelines the characters will have fared better or worse and may possibly even die (eg. Alt-Sin).

Locke/Smokey can only get off the island with all of the candidates (their choice to go with him or stay could conclude the morality play set in motion by Jacob), however, I think it is important that Locke is not aware that Kate IS a candidate (perhaps Claire will revenge herself upon Kate? Perhaps Desmond is a wild card and can take her place?).

I also think it could be important that Shannon was the only passenger not on the Alt-Oceanic flight in the same way that Desmond's presence there signaled his importance: "It's always a choice, brother."

Perhaps these theories have been aired before? Sorry! Thanks! Really enjoy the blog and comments.

TheDude said...

With the way things are shaping up, I have a theory regarding the infamous outrigger scene from "The Little Prince". Not sure if this has been said yet but I think that it will be Richard, Ben, and Miles in that other outrigger. Richard or Ben will start shooting then Miles will realize that they are shooting at his time flashing group from 2004. By that time it will be too late and Miles is going to be the one to get shot by the return fire from Juliet.

There's got to be some sort of payoff to this scene and it now makes sense that an armed Richard, Ben, and Miles will be taking the other outrigger to Hydra Island to blow up the Ajira plane.

Stephen S Power said...

1. The mysterious kid on the island is Desmond.

2. Forget not blowing up the plane or disabling its instrument panel. How could anyone get it moving? There's no runway. They couldn't get the nose wheel out with the fuselage on the ground. They couldn't even turn it around to try to go out the way the plane came in. The plane's not going anywhere.

3. Re the whispers, the next question is: Why were these souls trapped on the island? What or who specifically trapped them there? Which souls are trapped?

4. "By hand" means not using machinery. It doesn't mean not using tools. And the Chinese invented the compass 2200 years ago. Curiously there's water at the bottom of this one (a splash is heard when the torch is dropped in), but there wasn't water in the one Libby/Locke fell into.

5. Locke's explanation of the compass going crazy at certain points confirms the island is crossed by ley lines. The blogger at HoboTrashcan discusses Lost and ley lines and includes a map of where they are in the world. You'll note there's a node just northeast of New Guinea, which is where the Island is supposedly located if you take Hurley's numbers to be latitude and longitude coordinates:

http://www.hobotrashcan.com/2008/02/14/lost-down-the-hatch-the-head-case-the-ghostbuster-the-anthropologist-and-the-drunk/

3333/afa said...

Will there be a new installment of "Firewall and Iceberg" today? I don't know if I can have a happy Wednesday without it.

annabel said...

I'm starting to get really concerned about Jorge Garcia's weight. I haven't watched past seasons in awhile, but he looks markedly heavier, especially around the middle, than he was several years ago. Can anyone who's watched old shows recently confirm this? At the beginning of this season I thought that Matthew Fox looked like he had lost quite a bit of weight, but that has not seemed so noticable lately.

Peter Onigan said...

Desmond's presence in and manipulation of the alt-universe made it instantly more interesting. It's frustrating that they didn't simply use this all along to make it clear that it was going somewhere. Even if it took him a while to start to succeed, the lurking presence of Desmond watching the 815ers could have been a pleasant reminder that something bigger was afoot.

Kelly said...

Just an observation in the beginning, but how does Chang show up in 2004 not only alive, but looking like he hasn't aged since the 70's? Maybe they overlooked it.

The kid that appeared, was it the same one? He looked a little different(darker hair) or maybe it was just me.

I'm going on the assumption that everyone has their awakening a different way. Desmond gunning down Locke might be the way to send him to the hospital to see their top spinal surgeon.

I agree with who mentioned that Ben is being underused. He steals any scene, as small as it is.

Schmoker said...

I though Ilana was losing it because of all the stuff coming down on her. Jacob was dead, which I don't think she ever expected, and the Candidates are split up and not listening to her, and she probably had her own doubts about Richard's mission. She was trying to follow Jacob's last order, but the candidates, who are all giving off their own heavy Jacob vibe (she knows, after all, that they are to replace him), were giving her static and causing a lot of doubt.

Man, woman, or child, that would make you emotional. And she popped a gasket at the wrong time and with the wrong bag in her hand.

And it was funny as hell. There is always that.

As far as callbacks go, Arzt got his butt blown up because he was popping a gasket, too. He started lecturing the Losties and lost his composure, waving the dynamite around right after he said he knew exactly how to handle it, just as Ilana did. I thought there was perfect symmetry there. And she had done her job.

What really made me laugh is Richard saying that Jacob doesn't get involved. That's a laugh. Jacob talks a good game of non-involvement, and he's been cryptic and absent enough to make people buy into it, but he has been pushing everyone since day one. He told Ilana what to do, and he told Hurley what to do, and he told and he told and he told. Jacob is like the guy who stands on one side of you and then reaches around and taps your other shoulder, then quickly pulls his arm back and stands there looking at the sky and whistling with a "who me?" look on his face.

Would it not be something if Smokey wanted off the Island so badly that he was willing to become a paralyzed John Locke to do it? Maybe that is why John has Helen but has no hope in him. His description of a walkabout was very Smokey instead of Lockey, and his talk with Jack about his dad in the airport was also very Smokey-like. Even his resignation to being in the chair forever, which John never accepted, was very Smokey.

And I wonder now if that scene with Locke picking up the phone to call Jack was about more than John's doubt and resignation to his situation. You could look at it as Smokey calling Jack's office, but then thinking better of it for just the reason we are now finding out: that too man connections between 815ers could lead to people waking up and possibly unraveling the sideways world.

So, Smokey elects to stay in the chair rather than risk that.

Anyway, if sideways Locke is Smokey, that is.

Another thing I have been wondering about is, where is Locke's ghost? Hurley wondered why Libby never came and talked to him like Eko and the other dead people do, but what about dead Locke? Why has his ghost not shown up?

Or has it, and we just thought it was Smokey?

555jay said...

I just want to see Juliet again, without having to watch 'V.' Is that too much to ask?

Target-Addict said...

Am I the only one that feels totally gypped by Illeana's death? They built her up as this discipal of Jacob's - someone who has answers and will lead the candiates in the right direction - and then they just BLEW HER UP. This smacks of the writers having too little time to wrap up all the storylines, so they conveniently and quickly ended hers. Ben got it wrong; the Island wasn't done with Illeana, the writers were.

Target-Addict said...

PS: two other things that bugged me about Illeana's demise...
A) it was done before, with Arzt blowing up in Season 1
B) it also smacked of another random death we've seen before in a Hurley-centric episode: Tricia Tanaka. Remember her??

Robin said...

Prediction: Des will get saved by Vincent (ala Lassie) :-)

Seriously, I loved the episode. I do agree about Ben's diminishment throughout this season. But as my boyfriend pointed out, Lost's writers have a history of not really knowing what to do with characters until they are ready to use them (witness Kate's continual pointless running around). So I suspect that they're just having Ben spin his wheels until his epic finale, where HOPEFULLY he will get true redemption.

Hollywoodaholic said...

I love these characters, too, but it's really beginning to feel like story advancement has taken a back seat to extended curtain calls so they can all take a final, long bow.

medrawt said...

I didn't feel "gypped" by Ilana's death - if the writers/Island had no use for her, then that's their call to make, I guess - but I did think the execution of it was a mistake. Lost han't been the sort of show that, like a Joss Whedon project, tonally establishes (for me) the idea that almost anyone might get killed instantly and with no warning, so the abruptness of it made me laugh. And I have to presume laughter was not the intended reaction, because Ilana wasn't a humorous character, and it would be uncharacteristically callous of the show to just mock someone in death who'd been a serious, if minor, character in life. In other words, she wasn't Arzt (whose life and death got me pretty ticked off at the writers, actually), she wasn't Frogurt, and she wasn't Tricia Tanaka. Blowing her up in such a tonally weird moment seemed to make clear that the writers were, indeed, just trying to clear her off the board as quickly as possible. (Ilana would create complications to the plan for going to talk to Smokey, so let's just kill her.) I sort of feel like writerly machinations shouldn't be so transparent, and for most of the past three years they haven't been.

Rodolpho said...

ok, I need to say I gave a lot of "awww" as lost's shows was going along.

I got myself surprised when I saw libby's back, at the Libby/Hurley date on the beach, when he realizes he wasn't any happy with all that money, and that especifically makes me wonder what side is he going to take (smokey or Jacob) b/c I can't see how good is his "happy ending" once he got all that money but doesn't have that happiness that normally comes along with a good decision, and neither his family/friends anymore.
So, if he decided to go along jacob's team I'm expecting to see how jack and the other one's are going to realize that all their lives at the sideway world is not that good and it's all wrong, what brings a bunch of new questions like:
- Who's the good one? Jacob or Smokey?
- When are they going to tell us what's the smokey name?
- Why do only some character' have realized what's going on as the sideway world's been showed off ?

and a lot of ones that I can't be fucked to say now.

So, I enjoyed last night Lost's episode even it wasn't any great as desmond's ones. But I still believe lost is heading an ending, I just can't say if is really a "happy endiong" as we want it to be...

follow me @rodolphocuenca

Michael said...

Regarding Ilana's explosive departure - look at it from the "gun over the mantelpiece" standpoint. If we didn't have Arzt telling us that the dynamite is unstable, and seeing what happens when you're careless with it, having Ilana's dynamite-laden bag explode when dropped would have not made sense without further explanation. Plus, it was funny when Arzt got blown up.

Jennifer said...

So, anyone thinking that alt-Sun having a near-death experience will bring on her island memories?

Nick Van Dyke said...

I like the idea of Desmond trying to jolt sideways Locke into seeing the sideways world isn't real. After all, that's how Charlie and Desmond both came to that same realization.

Let me just toss this little idea out there and see what sticks. Last week, sideways Desmond spoke with a number of people both alive and dead in the real world, but his really in-depth and insightful conversations came from Charlie (dead), his limo driver (dead), and Farraday (dead). This week sideways Hurley's main interaction comes from Libby, who is real time dead. I have no idea what this means or if it's intentional. Maybe I shouldn't be discounting the interactions Desmond had with Widmore, Eloise, or Jack but the entire episode I felt like I was watching a guy talk to dead people and that it had to mean something.

As far as Adam and Eve go, I'm convinced they're Rose and Bernard. We haven't seen them since the time hopping Sawyer, Juliet and co. did back in early season 5, right? I don't know if I remember correctly, but if they ended up getting stuck in the 70's and making the caves their permanent home, I could easily see Adam and Eve being their decomposing corpses.

Lomez said...

This season (and the last three seasons) are so disappointing. I can't help but think that the first two seasons were nothing more than the writers spinning their wheels of this big mystery. And when the time to solve the mystery came, they had no way of doing so without introducing a few more characters at a time until the show was so diluted that it didn't even matter anymore. The biggest disappointment for me is that I can't go back and watch Season 1 and 2 with the same sort of enjoyment, because none of it really mattered. At this point, I'll just be happy if Jack wakes up in the finale and it was all a dream. That would cut their losses, big time.

Alex Mullane said...

Great post, as ever, and you definitely outdid yourself with the Millhouse reference. Brilliant.

But please Alan, or Sarah (or whoever it was who is acting as caretaker, I forget), can you PLEASE delete the horrendous 24 spoiler near the top of the comments?

I hadn't seen the most recent episode and that has completely ruined it for me. I always avoid spoilers and this is one of the first times I've had something major ruined. Luckily 24 isn't a show I care intensely about, but it's still decent entertainment (or it is when you don't know what's going to happen...)

If it weren't for my respect for this website and you and your commenting rules I would be using far stronger language. Grr. Angry.

P@ said...

Strange realization - Hurley didn't have a "sees himself in a reflection" moment in the AltWorld, did he? Wonder what (if anything) that means.

Robin - LOL! "What's that Vincent? Dessie is trapped in a well?"

Anonymous said...

If they'd done this Desmond-tries-to-unite-both-realities plotline earlier than this week and last week, Alan, I don't think the calm before the storm that was the earlier parts of the season (in the sidewaysverse, at least) would have had the same impact. Perhaps the "calm" portion dragged on a bit longer than it could have, but they wanted to do a little ep showing "what if" (kinda) for each of the main characters on the island now (except Hurley, who had to wait till after Desmond's meddling began)... and I can see that. I think it was a good choice by the writers.

Alan: "Des and Locke are trying to kill each other in the two timelines"
Alan: As for the Locke/Desmond mutual attempted murder game going on in both timelines, I'm not assuming either real Des or alt-Locke are dead just yet."

No, but you're assuming that Desmond was trying to kill Locke. By running him over at low-speed in a parking lot? Come on, there are far more efficient (and likely to succeed) ways to attempt murder on someone. Desmond wasn't running Locke over to kill him, Desmond was running Locke over for the same reason he hinted to Hurley that he should meet Libby again. He's trying to trigger their memories of the real world, to break them free from the "Matrix" of the sidewaysverse. For Locke, it involved him ending up bloody, battered, and staring up at the sky in one of those "close-up shot of a main character's eye" Lost moments we've all come to know and love. I can't wait to see what "alt"-Desmond's plans are for Jack, Sawyer, etc. etc. (I say "alt" because with his "my son, Charlie" stuff, he's clearly become fairly integrated between both selves at this point. Credit to the island, to Widmore's E-M experimentation on him, whichever.

medrawt: "There was definitely an idea that in addition to having special properties.The Island had some kind of conscious will. My sense is that this idea fell by the wayside with the emergence/prominence given Jacob and Smokey."

Every time Smokey says the island is just an island, it pretty much signals to the viewers (or should) that the island is most certainly not JUST an island. Jacob/Smokey, whatever they are or used to be, are not the only reason for how things happen on the island. Ben's little monologue about the island being done with Ilana and wondering what will happen when it's done with the rest of us was interesting, because it makes us think that perhaps it won't be Smokey's choice how the candidates (and their non-candidate buddies like the pilot, Ben, Richard, Kate, Desmond, etc.) fare after they "help him," but rather a higher power than him at work. Jacob? Island? Something else? Whichever.

What I really want to know is... will Desmond be the next one to turn the frozen donkey wheel, following in Ben's and Locke's footsteps? STAY TUNED!

McNater said...

Alan,

Art imitates life or the other way around? Check this out, just a crazy new theory!

http://bit.ly/bGMmgA

~Nate

Anonymous said...

Oh, and also... for a couple weeks now, some people here were complaining that if love/soulmate-status is the bridge that unites the two "realities," that it's a bit sexist that it's Desmond pining for Penny, Charlie for Claire, Faraday for Charlotte, etc. etc.... well, this week we got Libby pining for Hurley, a bit of a gender inversion there.

Nice touch by the writers, even if they were only addressing those concerns by accident.

medrawt said...

Anonymous @ 4:38 -

Yeah, I think it's pretty clear that the Island has some sort of volition in the use of its mystical powers, and I think that'd be way too awkward to retcon for reasons I alluded to above - it's just too late in the game for the writers to get away with saying "We had a character tell you XYZ, and you believed it for several years, and the show operated under that function, but they were WRONG!" They can continue to explain the unexplained, but I don't think they can seriously contradict existing information.

Which, in a way, is too bad, because I think the Island having active powers of its own makes a hash out of the given parameters of the Jacob/Smokey conflict. It seems like at least one of the following must be true: (1) Jacob was lying about letting things take their course and not affecting people once they've come to the island (2) There are irresolveable contradictions even in the last two seasons of the show (3) Jacob's an idiot. I mean, I'm fine thinking that Jacob's an idiot, but unless they go the Babylon 5 route, I'm not sure we're supposed to think that.

Anonymous said...

Michael tells Hugo that essentially he's in purgatory, although he could be lying but I don't thing he was and ...

Didn't Darlton say a long time ago that the Island was Not purgatory?

I hate those guys!

Anonymous said...

The highlight of last night's episode for me was the Ben & Desmond scene!
The rest of episode was so boring!

Dot said...

a *yay..woohoo moment* for me..last night's episode?

When Hurley flashes back with his Libby-kiss:
there is a picture/flash-back of Jorge with his real life doggie = Nunu!!
I know it's Nunu 'cause I follow 'Dispatches from the island' (great blog)

..cool for Hurley and Nunu-lovers, alike!..nice touch :)

Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kishkeking said...

I have a good theory on how this is all going to end, but every time I reread what I had just written, it's gobbledygook. I give up. But I do think that Widmore and Eloise are going to be making a conscious choice to have or let Faraday die again in the flash/sideways.

When we saw Jacob touching everyone in the flashbacks last season, is it possible that those moments were flash-sideway moments for him as they now are for Desmond? In other words, maybe flash-sideway moments are flash-sideways for some, flashbacks for others and real time for yet even more?

Too confusing.

Media Mindset said...

What a fantastic episode again this week. Not to thrilled about Desmond going down the well but I think he'll be ok. I for one did not see the hit and run coming at all. I set out to do a quick blog post about the epsode on my own blog but ended up doing a long recap/review. It was too good not to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Des is CW's hitman and go to cleanup man in the alt world.

nickervision said...

@Michael
I don't think there's a chance we'll be seeing anymore of Nikki and Paolo.

@padawansguide
I just re-watched the last moments to confirm his eyes didn't change color.

This was a great write up about the episode, and honestly loved the episode too. Personally last weeks was one of my favorites ever. Penny and Desmond are amazing.

Curious though, I can't seem to figure out, what was the little satchel that Hugo opens and looks in moments after Ilana was blown up. I was thinking it was the diamonds, but I am not sure.

TreeHugger & LePewMan said...

I know I'm late in the conversation, but.....Jackie Robinson was a Brooklyn Dogdger...NOT a Yankee.

Steve said...

Tree Hugger,

Jackie Robinson's #42 was retired by Major League Baseball and therefore retired by all teams. The Yankees have a "42" in Monument Park for Jackie Robinson.

Mariano Rivera is the only player allowed to wear #42 because he was grandfathered into the rule book and as soon as he retires, the Yankees will undoubtedly retire the #42 again.

ScottyG said...

where's all the "Human Fund" love? i expected wayyyy more comments on the subject!

seinfeld shoutout!

Tyroc said...

So when Richard said Jacob had told him what the island is, why don't they knock him down and have Hurley sit on him until he tells them?

Granted, it was in the middle of a power struggle between Hurley and Richard, but still. Come on, people!

(Otherwise quite liked it.)

Anonymous said...

Is the boy that Smocke keeps seeing (and seems unnerved by) a higher power... the Island itself?He never seemed that way when it was MIB w/Jacob, and it might explain the talk of the "Island" isn't done with you. They never say Jacob's not done with you.

Greg said...

"Throw the Scot down the well, so my country can be free..."

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wodan said...

I loved that last 3 Episode

But for the Finale...

Some'd will be embarressed some glad.
Whatever the Writers have for an ending...

Didn't the writes said that since episode 1 they know the ending?
BIG FAT LIE

Bill said...

Anonymous said:

When they finally gave an answer to the whispers my ma was so shocked she stated, "That's an answer!" It's funny yet sad that LOST has waited this long to tell us a straight answer.


I couldn't disagree more. I hated the pedantic nature of this reveal. I felt like I was experiencing the voice over from the old children's Christmas classic, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town":

Child: "Oh... so that's why he wears a red suit."

Fred Astaire: "That's right Susie."


Hurley: "Oh... the whispers are like, dead people stuck on the island."

Michael: "That's right Hugo."


Please. If that's the method to which we're going to be reduced in getting "The Big Answers" the rest of the way, I'd rather not know.

dez said...

"Throw the Scot down the well, so my country can be free..."

I didn't see any horns for grabbing :-)

Meant to compliment you on the Borat ref, Alan.

Lepidoptera said...

As more of a liberally-artsy type, I had always been afraid in reading all of the high-falutin' scientific theories regarding the many mysteries of Lost, that the multiple layers of quantum physics, Everett's Many Worlds Theory, photovoltaics, and carbon regeneration were so far over my head, that I might never understand all of the brilliant riddles.

You can imagine my relief as we near the finish line that my fears were for naught -- indeed, the "answers" to the mysteries turn out to be obvious, easily-understood-by-a-near-average-four-year-old, and eerily reminiscent of the sort of answers that likewise brought an end to nearly every episode of Scooby-Doo.

I'll put my brain back in neutral now, and enjoy the ride. The whispers are dead people in Purgatory, even though the creators have told us for years that Purgatory has nothing to do with the island?? Oh, you tricky pair!!! Yee-haw.

kishkeking said...

Am I the only one who thinks sideways Locke will be wiggling his toes and walking next week without Dr. Jack's help?

Kyle said...

Great write up, Alan of what I thought was a great episode. I know I'm late to the party, but here's a theory I've been thinking about since Tuesday, and one I'm sure that will be disproven within the first five minutes of next week's episode... but here it goes:
So after Desmond woke up from Widmore's magno-machine and his adventures in sideways world, it seemed clear he had an understanding of what he had to do and what was going on (possibly even what was about to happen), so I think it's very important that when the Locke Monster asked Desmond if he knew he was, Des responded simply, John Locke. I also think as soon as he said that the Locke Monster told his new evil sidekick Sayid to head back to camp. Which leads me to my theory, the Man in Black/the smoke monster is now, and has always been none other than... John Locke. Besides Desmond saying "you're John Locke", here are a few other nuggets that may strengthen my theory...
1- When Richard visited a young John Locke in the episode "Cabin Fever" there were drawings on the wall of the island and the smoke monster... and in that same episode when Richard asked John what items were his between a compass, a knife, a book and some sand... and Locke chose the knife over the book which caused Richard to leave abrubtly.
2- Earlier this season when Locke was chasing the boy he uttered the famous John Locke mantra... "Don't tell me what I can't do!"... that was way to on point to be a coincidence.
3- Again earlier this season when Locke was talking to Kate about crazy Claire and how he too had a crazy mother. John Locke's real mother was institutionalized in Santa Rosa for schizophrenia.

Now, how is it possible that a man who was born in the fifties has been on the island for a very, very long time, I have no idea at all (which leads me to believe I'm wrong),but one thing I'm starting to become convinced about is there is a deeper connection between Locke and the Smoke Monster than merely the Smoke Monster took Locke's body because it was there... he didn't just need a body... He needed John Locke. So I know the popular theories are Des ran down sideways Locke to either jolt him (which I could totally see being true) or because it was the MIB hiding in Locke's universe, but I think based on my theory he was in fact trying to kill him because he knew he was the evil puppet master pulling the strings on the island timeline.

I'm sure I'm wrong, but it's been fun theorizing, probably the thing I'll miss most about Lost.

kishkeking said...

Kyle,

That totally makes sense that the Smoke monster is John Locke. Everyone has been wondering what his name is and it's been right there in front of us the whole time.

Kyle said...

kishkeking-
Very good point. I think the fact that the Man in Black hasn't been given a name could be another important clue. If his name was Esau or Pete or whatever, would there really be any reason to withold that info? The other thing I keep coming back to is in last year's finale when the Locke Monster told Jacob that he did find his loophole, and that Jacob had "no idea what he had to go through to get here". I don't know what that means, but living the life of John Locke might qualify as going through a lot.

kishkeking said...

How's this for the loophole: Jack's whole life has been about being in control and fixing things and people. What if in the sideways Locke is brought into his hospital and Jack has to make the choice of either helping him or not. Let's say he does and that was the loophole that gave Locke his abilty to walk on the island. Now let's say he doesn't? Does that close the loophole? Any which way, you're dead on that Locke has always been Locke. Why else the big secret?

dez said...

I don't think Locke was always the Smoke Monster. Smokey could be saying the same things Locke said because in addition to taking over his form, he's got some of Locke's consciousness, too. There's also the time Locke came face to face with Smokey. Granted, he said what he saw was "beautiful," but I don't think it was that he recognized himself in Smokey. They appeared to be two completely different entities then. Plus, Locke didn't make chain noises when he walked. :-)

Anonymous said...

As more of a liberally-artsy type, I had always been afraid in reading all of the high-falutin' scientific theories regarding the many mysteries of Lost, that the multiple layers of quantum physics, Everett's Many Worlds Theory, photovoltaics, and carbon regeneration were so far over my head, that I might never understand all of the brilliant riddles.

As a sciencey-type, I can assure you that none of those theories make any sense when applied to Lost.

(Also, astronomy, arithmetic, and geometry are three of the traditional seven liberal arts. I have a degree in Math/Stats from a liberal arts college, so it sort of bugs me when people say "I don't get science because I'm a liberal-arts type." An understanding of science is part of a liberal arts education. If you had said "arts-and-humanities-type", OK, that's a different story.)

(I apologize for the pedantry.)

Lepidoptera said...

Actually, Anonymous@ 6:12, I didn't say liberal-arts. I said "liberally artsy". I do feel when it comes right down to it, I am fairly liberal in my artsiness. I have never heard of a college that pushes this, but I can imagine the tuition would be quite steep.

I can tell that you definitely received a fine literal-arts education, because someone a little less literal might have recognized my post as somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Paul Worthington said...

Kyle -
I don't quite buy your theory, but I actually hope you are correct, or that something like it is the truth --

-- because otherwise, the 'real' John Locke, a favorite, pivotal character in the first seasons of the show, has been written out since his pathetic death, strangled by Ben in a rundown hotel -- two whole seasons ago.

The character I followed deserved better than that, and I want more for him.

I liked that the whole back from the dead / Locke being favored by the island was the primary long con in a show about con games -- but I'd hoped that, following the Smokey/reincarnated Locke revelation, we'd eventually see the actual John also come back to life in a way that surprised Smokey.

Failing that, I like your idea: even though he may have forgotten it while living as "John Locke" for decades, he was actually always the smoke monster, and the long con required him to live that life, not just pretend to be Locke for a few days.

kishkeking said...

Paul,

Why don't you buy Kyle's theory when your own words confirm, or at least support the theory of why Locke is Locke. For the reason you state....that the seemingly most important character died miserly in a motel room two seasons ago.....that alone is sounding off the alarms for me right now. Imagine how cool it will be if the fate of the world depends on a John Locke who has to live a sad, lonely, and crippled life for all time.

How cool will it be if the final scene of the show is John Locke, eternal prisoner of the island, standing alone on the beach staring out as he did in one of the first scenes of the pilot episode.

Kyle said...

I'm not even sure I buy my own theory, there are definitely wrenches that can be thrown in the thing, but I do think there's a deeper connection between the Locke we've known since the pilot and Man in Black/Smoke Monster that has yet to be revealed.

I totally agree with you Paul that if the real Locke that was so crucial to the first seasons really is dead, the characters demise really did get shorted. We still get to watch Terry O'Quinn every week, so for that reason its been different than Charley or other pivotal characters who have been killed, but still it would be a sad end to such a crucial character, and it would really make the character of the real Locke a fairly pathetic pawn in the whole game, which would be too bad because that character is so great. For that reason alone I hope my half baked theory is right, or at least on the track.

It's coming up with theories like this, and discussing them with people, and then usually being proven totally wrong is one thing I will definitely miss when Lost is no more... I really can't wait until Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I totally see where you're coming from. We just found it funny that the show gave a straight answer. That was the most surprising development of the season. Granted the way you pitch it has it a lot more condescending than how I saw it acted.

JWIII

Heather Li said...

@Schmoker

Another thing I have been wondering about is, where is Locke's ghost? Hurley wondered why Libby never came and talked to him like Eko and the other dead people do, but what about dead Locke? Why has his ghost not shown up?

Probably because Locke didn't die on or near the island, therefore his ghost wouldn't necessarily travel there. BUT writing that response, I now wonder how the hell Richard's wife's ghost ended up on the island (and Jack's father, Christian, too, for that matter). Neither Richard's wife and Christian on the island made sense to me anyway.

Jacob never said anything about bringing dead spirits to the island...

gih said...

I really missed the episode. I want the replay.. pls help.

Peter D Bakija said...

Kyle wrote:
>>1- When Richard visited a young John Locke in the episode "Cabin Fever" there were drawings on the wall of the island and the smoke monster... and in that same episode when Richard asked John what items were his between a compass, a knife, a book and some sand... and Locke chose the knife over the book which caused Richard to leave abrubtly.>>

Not that I have an opinion one way or the other with your main theory, but in the scene you are referencing above, John was supposed to pick the compass. As it was the compass that John gave to Richard in '54. The paradoxical time travel compass.

Holtz said...

Just think about this:

No Temple, no IIana,Dogen, Zoey/Tina Fey, no Desmond rounding up the gang in the sideways-

Darlton could have still given us answers, played out the Jacob/MIB story-line, given us a Richard flashback (maybe even a Lapidis flashback). So many interesting things on-island: Clarie, Sayid, ect.

The sideways could have then been revealed as an epilogue around 5 or 6 eps in.

I will always love and watch the show, and I have been there from the start, but I have felt so disconnected this year.

I do think Darlton made a grave mistake in the EXECUTION of the story, maybe they should have shortened the number of eps.

I never ever want to use the word "filler" but unless the story of the temple people somehow comes back, I really don't see the point of any of it. Similar story could be told without it.

Bringing in new characters and places only to kill them a few eps later feels almost offensive in the last season.

I am interested in answers, but I'm also interested in characters I care about. And most importantly, I just want to be entertained!

I am disappointed, but I support LOST and will continue to watch each and every week!

AFisch said...

WAIT A MINUTE PEOPLE!!!
don't you see? Hurley was kneeling next to Libby's grave in a moment of(apparent)vulnerability, really needing an outlet for his pain...and who shows up? SMOKEY of course, because smokey always shows up in some way or another to play on a character's emotional vulnerabilities at the crucial point when said character is trying to or will soon be trying to make a pivitol decision (Jack's father, Kate's horse).

Who better than Michael to manipulate that vulnerability in Hurley? He was an alpha figure to Hurley's beta back in the old days, so what he says still carries weight with Hurley AND he shares the experience of Libby's death, so is the one person who can actually help assuage Hurley's pain..."tell Libby I'm sorry?!" Not that the real Micheal wouldn't say that, but this is smokey manipulation to a tee.

I would also like to point out that none of the "real" dead people who visit Hurley are preceeded by the whispers WHILE SMOKEY (back when he was still just the monster in the jungle) was ALWAYS preceeded by the whispers. something's not quite right here and even Hurley knows it.

RE: Desmond...just a theory, but I felt all along in this episode that he knew who Flocke was and was just playing dumb, keeping his cards close to his chest in whatever game he's playing between the two timelines. Flocke, however, while seeming to believe Desmond's ruse, still knows he's a threat.
I think they're trying to kill each other so they will be "stuck" in one timeline. Maybe Flocke is also moving back and forth between the two timelines.
So Desmond wants Flocke stuck in the island reality and Flocke wants Desmond stuck in the alt-reality. Why? I have no clue, but it's a theory.

Also, my brain might be fried after all these detail-heavy seasons of Lost, but I don't recall actually seeing Michael dead...that was ambiguous, no? And if Micheal's not dead in the real timeline, then "poor lost spirit Micheal" is definitly Flocke in lamb's clothing.

Scott J. said...

@AFisch: Ilana said early in the season that Smokey is now stuck with his Locke form (presumably as a result of Jacob's death). Besides, we've never seen him to have the ability of being visible to one person while invisible to others. Also, when Hurley is talking to Michael about the whispers, Smokey is busy leading Desmond to the well.

I don't think Michael's death was ever in question. He was on the freighter, standing next to 500 pounds of C-4 when it detonated. There'd be nothing left of him to see.

drbristol said...

" I now wonder how the hell Richard's wife's ghost ended up on the island (and Jack's father, Christian, too, for that matter)."

Because none of them were the ghosts of those people. They were all Smokey (or perhaps even Jacob?)

---
Steve (and QuestionMark): Like the Yankee theory, and understand the 42 being the retired number of JR even though he was never a Yankee, but NO Yankee fan would ever skip over The Mick and #7.

---
Greg - Like you, I think the accident was to jar Locke's memory of his "defining island moment" of being on the beach and wiggling his toes...which will be recereated in the recovery room after Jack operates on him.

---
Hoosier, I screamed aloud at my TV as well when they let Richard off the hook AGAIN! Not asking him what Jacob told him is as silly as them not challenging him when he said "this isn't the time" in the jungle a couple of weeks ago.

---
I'm liking the rocket ride to the end of the show.

And I love reading all the comments/theories except when I read comments that start "Am I the only one that...??".

NO. You're NOT. Just post, ok?

drbristol said...

One more thing. What about that look that Jack gave Flocke when he arrived in camp? He looked like he just crapped his pants, much like Richard did on the beach when he saw Flocke and said "You!!". And Flocke had that same smug look on his face when saying hello to Jack and seeing his fear*.

Not understanding why, since Jack already knew that Flocke wasn't Locke. Perhaps it's the difference between knowing what to expect and then ACTUALLY SEEING IT...which could tie back to Flocke wondering why Desmond wasn't afraid.

Desmond knew Flocke wasn't John Locke despite what he said when tied to the tree, and Flocke knew it, which is why he led him to the well. It unnerved Flocke that he didn't have power over Des.

*So...is Jack freaked out? Or is he trying to play Locke by pretending to be frightened?