Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Case of the.... Lost - Episode 5-3 Revisited

I forgot to mention this in my previous Lost columns, but I absolutely love this season’s subtle alteration to the Lost logo. As many of you may have noticed, the classic logo always featured the word “Lost” in front of an ominous sky, with either the jungle or silhouettes of the main characters in the foreground. This season, the image of a city skyline now appears within the word “Lost.” When set against the jungle scenery, this acts as a great illustration of the current Oceanic Six/Island time travelers story arc. Incidentally, I went to the ABC website in hopes of finding a great image of the new logo, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they’ve done something similar with their background graphic. On one side you have the Oceanic Six, Ben, and Desmond standing in a city setting. On the other side you have Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, and the freighter folk on the island. Very neat.

Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t receive any e-mails regarding last week’s episode (get on the ball, people!) which actually surprises me a bit, considering how chock-full of potential theories this episode presented us with. I suppose I’ll just have to take the driver’s seat on this one…

Click the "Read More" link for full column.

As noted in my review column, I love how the Others have been waiting for Locke to lead them – an idea that was set in motion by Locke himself. And that really got me thinking about two other popular theories. The first is that there are multiple timelines simultaneously occurring on the island, yet people aren’t able to see their past/future selves (hence the whispers). The next theory is that Locke is Jacob, an idea that gained popularity after a screencap of Jacob hit the internet. The prospect of Locke unknowingly being responsible for his own destiny got me thinking, maybe Locke is Jacob, only from another time period. And since the island won’t allow you to see yourself, this would also explain why Ben was able to see Jacob, while Locke only saw an empty room.

Naturally, this theory isn’t flawless. Wouldn’t Ben recognize Locke and Jacob as one in the same? You could argue that Ben does, and that his rivalry with Locke is actually motivated by his desire to usurp Jacob, but there are several instances throughout the series where Ben refers to Jacob, and it’s clear that he’s not referring to Locke (like in last season’s finale, when he parts ways with Locke and then curses Jacob). Nevertheless, there’s something to this idea, and I’m not giving up on it quite yet.

Now, onto some more obvious ideas. There were two names revealed during last week’s episode that I completely missed for some reason. The first was Desmond and Penny’s son, named Charlie, presumably after everybody’s favorite fallen rocker. I actually thought it was really, really touching that Desmond would name his son after Charlie Pace. Despite really only lasting a season, their friendship slowly became one of my favorites. So I found that little tribute very sweet.

Of course, you can’t overlook the fact that “Charlie” can be derived from “Charles,” which is Penny’s father’s name. There’s one theory out there that I completely disagree with, but is interesting and worth sharing. What if Desmond, Penny, and young Charlie return to the island, but in the past? What if Desmond and Penny are killed and become the island’s “Adam and Eve” (remember them?) From there, Charlie is raised on the island, becoming Charles Widmore of the Others. As it turns out, Widmore isn’t Penny’s father, but rather her son. This would explain why he’s so invested in keeping her safe, and adds a little flavor to the fact that he was actually directly responsible for Desmond ending up on the island in the first place. It’s interesting, but far too complicated for its own good.

The second name drop of the episode was the young female Other who was holding Daniel up with the rifle (the one that reminded Daniel of somebody he once knew). Her name is Ellie. As in Eloise. As in Eloise Hawking, the time traveling monk lady that we saw Ben conversing with at the end of the two-part premiere. She’s also the woman that everybody – including me – predicts will be revealed as Daniel’s mother. If that’s the case, Daniel was interacting with a young version of his mother, which would (a) explain why Daniel was so fascinated with her, and (b) make sense of why he was so insistent that Sawyer lower his gun. And for what it’s worth, I do believe that Daniel was aware that this woman is his mother. By the way, the observant viewer will recall that “Eloise” was also the name of the rat that Daniel had tested time travel on.

Now, of course, this has led many people to believe that Widmore is Daniel’s father, making our time travel expert Penny’s half brother. I’m resistant to this idea, to be honest. Sure, it may explain why Widmore would essentially bury Daniel’s mistake (with his time travel experiment gone wrong), but I just don’t see it for some reason. For whatever reason, revealing Widmore as Daniel’s father would take away the allure of Widmore and Penny’s father/daughter relationship, and Mrs. Hawking and Daniel’s mother/son relationship. That being said, I love the fact that Widmore (presumably) unknowingly sent his daughter (mother?) into his enemy’s hands by giving Desmond Mrs. Hawking’s address.

One matter worth mentioning that I don’t believe has been given the proper attention is the fact that there’s an active hydrogen bomb (presumably buried) someplace in the island. I can see this little tidbit having huge repercussions later on, possibly during the finale or final season. Another revelation that was seemingly brushed off: The U.S. military has been on the island!

I also have to mention something that has puzzled me. I’m really shocked that some people haven’t taken to the time traveling aspect of the series. Some have said it’s a bit too Sci-Fi for them, despite the fact that Lost has ALWAYS been a Sci-Fi show. I mean, in the first few episodes we found out a crippled guy can walk, there’s some sort of monster, and people are seeing ghosts. But time traveling? Well that’s just silly!

Along with that, in my mind, this whole time travel method of storytelling is how we’re going to get those answers we’ve been anxiously awaiting. I honestly believe that this plot device is going to give us incredible insight into the Others, Alpert, the Dharma Initiative, Rousseau’s science club, and the island itself. Look at how much we’ve found out already? And we’ve only seen three episodes. I’m absolutely loving this time traveling island bit. In my opinion, it’s a really clever way of providing the answers we’ve been waiting for (incidentally, a friend of mine used the word “convenient,” which has a much more negative connotation).

I’m interested in any thoughts you readers might have. Particularly, I’m curious about any (non-spoiler) theories you might have on the ageless Alpert. Send me an e-mail or leave a comment. And enjoy the new episode, I’m sure it’ll kick ass.

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