Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Case of the.... Lost - Episode 5-7 Revisited

A few people pointed out a huge thing I had missed (nobody’s perfect), which is that Flight 316 didn’t land on THE island, it landed on the smaller island that houses the Hydra station. Here are some comments regarding that:

We didn't see a plane because they were on the main "We crashed flight 815 over this island" island. The island that Caesar, Locke, Ilana, Ben, Lapidus (maybe Sun?) were on was Hydra Island, which we know because Caesar was rummaging through the Hydra station from Season 3. They must have taken those canoes from Hydra Island over to the "main" island at some point, and that's when they encountered future-traveling Sawyer, Locke, Juliet, etc.

And, courtesy of Andy…

I'm going to write a more thorough e-mail a little later, but I wanted to at least mention one thing first. Flight 316 didn't crash on the Island... it crashed on Hydra Island. Specifically, it landed on the airstrip that Kate and Sawyer were working on back at the beginning of season 3. Cesar was rooting around in Ben's office in the Hydra station (shown in a season 3 deleted scene) when he found those maps. Lapidus and (presumably) Sun took one of the canoes — the same kind used by Kate and Sawyer when they left Hydra Island, and the same kind that the Losties found on the beach shortly before they were ambushed by the people shooting at them. So yes, I believe the people shooting at them were the 316ers, especially b/c an Ajira Airlines water bottle was found in one of the canoes by Sawyer. That said, it looks like the 316ers (with the exception of those who "flashed" out of the plane) aren't traveling through time, and are in fact in the present. When the Losties came upon those canoes and got attacked, they had flashed ahead to their future, which is actually the present. I think I just made my brain bleed

I am a bit ashamed for having missed something so “obvious” (relatively speaking), but sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. I often find myself so occupied with identifying the “Easter eggs” that I miss the softballs they lob at us.

Click the "Read More" link for the full column.

I think Andy is right on with his assessment of the Flight 316ers, though. For Sawyer and them, their “present” is 2005, I believe. For Jack, the Oceanic Six, and the 316 survivors, the “present” is 2008. So when Sawyer, Juliet, and the freighter folk were getting shot at, they probably “flashed” to 2008, which is ahead of their time, but actually the “real” present-day.

Wow, that really does make your brain bleed.

Another interesting tidbit: Some people may have noticed that there was a runway near the plane. If you recall, while Sawyer and Kate were being held captive by the Others, they were forced to do some grueling manual labor. Juliet would later reveal to Sawyer that they were working on a runway. This seems to suggest that Ben somehow knew that a plane would be landing there. How did he know?

Over at my blog, Kyle writes:

#1, I totally agree on the Bentham thing, I was thinking the exact same thing.

I believe this refers to the fact that Locke rarely referred to himself as Bentham, and actually never even told the Oceanic Six to refer to him as such. However, I think it’s worth noting that, at Locke’s memorial service, Jack indicates that Locke visited him a month before his death (I had forgotten this). That seems to suggest that a lengthy amount of time passed between the events of the episode and what happened during the climax, when Ben killed Locke. This show has never felt the need to hold the viewers’ hands when it comes to clarifying a timeline, but I have to admit that this seemed like some messy editing work. Consider that Ben implies that Jack just bought his first ticket to Australia, yet when Jack sees Kate at the airport (just days after Locke’s death), he tells her he’s been traveling every weekend.

In a lot of ways, I felt like this was the antithesis of “Meet Kevin Johnson.” That episode seemed like it had an unrealistic amount of story to tell in a short timeline (didn’t Michael recover from a severe car accident in, like, a month?), while this episode had trouble filling the gaps of a longer timeline.

#2, not sure if that confirms they were the ones doing the shooting, but it does seem likely to me that Sawyer and crew time jumped to a spot after this crash. Although, like you said, there didn't seem to be a plane...but the boats were there anyway.

#3, I'd have to guess the "woman" is Sun. Sayid's location is a big question mark too though.

#4, I kind of assumed that the plane crash people were in the present day, and that's why the plane and everything is there. Jack, Hurley, and Kate (at least) seemingly got picked up by one of the time flashes to the point where they disappeared right off the plane before it even crashed. So I figured the rest of them just crashed on the present day island. But then again I really don't know how the whole thing works yet, so maybe they can't actually crash on the present day island because the island itself is jumping through time too? But then the Others should be as well...well, that's time travel for ya.

I touched upon the whole Flight 316 crew above, but it is interesting that the Others are nowhere to be seen. We know they haven’t vanished, since Alpert has appeared numerous times. Very odd.

#5, I was also thinking it was interesting that Locke wasn't paralyzed. That means the island actually healed his back as opposed to just temporarily allowing him to walk.

This is certainly an interesting distinction.

#6, I'm fairly certain that Eloise Hawking is Ellie, the Other that Daniel and crew met. Remember that Daniel told her they were from the future...I'd bet that gave her an interest in it, which she passed on to her son.

I don’t think there’s any chance that Eloise Hawking ISN’T Ellie. It is interesting, though, that Christian (as a conduit for Jacob) dropped her name. Yet he seems to have disdain for Ben, and his order to move the island was seemingly a method to get away from the freighter folks, who were on Widmore’s payroll. How did she manage to leave the island unscathed?

#7, finally, I don't get the Oceanic Six having to return either. Like you said, the wheel was causing the flashes. I can see Ben lying about that so he can get back to the island by recreating the original circumstances as best as possible, but Christian says they needed to come back too. And why not Walt? I can somewhat accept Aaron since he wasn't born when the plane crashed, but the Six (or, I suppose, Five plus Ben and Undead Locke) weren't enough to recreate all the circumstances anyway. Say Sayid never showed up...would it have made a huge difference? They didn't have proxies for everyone anyway. And hell, why did they need Locke's corpse anyway? I can accept the idea that Ben only begged Locke to not kill himself because he needed to pump him for information (about Widmore and Eloise perhaps, Ben killed him as soon as Locke named Eloise) before he died, but even if Ben is the "good guy" (or, as you put it, lesser of two evils), I'm having a hard time believing he actually wants Locke to go back and lead the Others. So why not get a different corpse? Or did it have to be Locke specifically that acted as the proxy, and if so, why?

For the moment, I’m going to keep my hands clean from the whole “proxy” thing. What I do find interesting is that we KNOW that Jack, Kate, and Hurley “flashed” to the past, yet it’s been confirmed or suggested that Locke, Sayid, Sun, Frank, and Ben did not. Why? What makes the three of them so special?

I don’t know, but there is one thing about them that I find interesting. Of the Oceanic Six, as far as we know, they’re the only three that have seen ghosts/apparitions. Jack was visited by his father, Kate saw Claire, and Hurley has communicated with Charlie, Ana Lucia, and a host of other dearly departed friends. To the best of our knowledge, Sayid and Sun haven’t experienced such visions. Again, that doesn’t answer why they’re special, but it does possibly tell us what sets them apart.

Kyle then adds…

It was Charles Widmore who arranged for Locke to crash on the island.

Which implies a lot of things. First he must have known where the island was at that time to arrange for Locke to be on the flight. He must have had a good idea it would crash (because of our time traveling heroes perhaps? Even if he remembered Locke talking to Richard, that really shouldnt have meant much to him until now, when Locke reappeared in the present day). He must have some idea that Locke is needed for something.

Does this also lend itself to the idea that Charles might be the "lesser of two evils" over Ben? Both are claiming they want Locke to lead the Others, but Charles actually arranged for Locke to end up on the island, and gave him the files for the Oceanic Six, while Ben has screwed Locke over time after time after time. On the other hand, Ben did bring Locke's body onto the plane with him. And the fact is he could have had Locke move the island in the first place...unless he knew events would unfold the way they have and knew that the wheel would be knocked off its axis, moving the island himself doesnt seem to fit in with the idea of Ben simply trying to get rid of Locke so he can go back to running things.

One thing I can't remember though...did Widmore order anything as it pertained to any survivors of 815? I know he sent the freighter people essentially to get rid of Ben, but I can't remember if he wanted Keemy to get rid of any survivors or if he just went crazy on his own. Widmore's actions there might go a long way toward figuring out his overall motivations, because I'm having a hard time remembering Widmore actually doing anything bad besides being a crappy father and threatening Ben. I mean, it seems like most of the bad we've heard about concerning him came from Ben, who is about the least trustworthy person ever.

It is interesting that Widmore claims to not know where the island is, yet played such a large part (through Abaddon) to have Locke on the flight that crashed onto it. Does Widmore know more than he’s letting on? Or is Abaddon privy to information that his boss isn’t?

An interesting point is made regarding how Widmore’s encounter with Locke when he was 17 shouldn’t have been significant. In a lot of ways, this is true. It reminds me of how people are constantly saying, “Shouldn’t Locke remember meeting Alpert when he was little?” Why should he? I certainly don’t remember one-time interactions with people when I was a virtual infant. So, why does this memory register so deeply with Widmore?

I also like the argument about how Widmore – arguably twice – played a role in bringing Locke to the island. Yet Ben has attempted to kill Locke countless times.

My recollection of Widmore’s orders regarding the island was essentially to “burn it down” by killing everybody there.

Another interesting tidbit to consider: In the “real world” Widmore is exceptionally wealthy and powerful. And when Ben spied Locke in New York City, he was decked out in a nice suit. I find it intriguing that these two former Other leaders can integrate themselves into a normal society and go on to live such luxurious lifestyles. How did they achieve their riches?

Now, onto some other matters.

This comes from regular contributor Dan:

Jack would have known what Locke was going by because of his hospital chart. As far as why they need to return to the island, it could have something to do with either winning the war and protecting the island or rescuing everyone who was left behind. Locke had to be the one to turn the wheel, and getting everyone to come with him was the only way to get back. Did Richard say it had anything to do with stopping the time jumps?

The hospital chart would explain how Jack would know that Locke is going by Jeremy Bentham, but I still have issue with this. First off, why wouldn’t Jack ask Locke why he’s going by that name? Secondly, unless Jack was the one working on Locke (in which case, I think it would have been a lot more fun for us to see Jack’s reaction to Locke being brought into the emergency room from the ambulance), how would he know that Locke was even in the hospital in the first place?

I have come to realize that the reasons why the Oceanic Six must return haven’t been revealed to us yet. It just never seemed clear to me why Locke felt they needed to be brought back.

Here are a few comments that appeared on the EW website that I found particularly interesting:
I couldn't help but notice the Ben/Widmore parallels last night. Both had been leaders of the Others. Both turned the wheel and left the island. Both had people shadowing the O6 to "keep them safe". Both wanted the O6 back on the island. Both claim to have a great interest in the future of the island. Both seem to be very wealthy. Both have/had a daughter. Maybe that's what Ben meant when he said Widmore changed the rules. He took away one of their similarities, so Ben has to even things up.

There is a fun little arms race between these two characters, with one constantly one-upping the other as they attempt to get vengeance on what the other had taken. When you consider Ben’s comment that Widmore “changed the rules” and the fact that he had the foresight to create a runway makes me wonder how much he knows about the future.

Regarding Helen’s death:

The death date was April 8 or 4-8 as in two of the Numbers.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about the Numbers, huh? I’m not sure if it’s significant in any way, but the most interesting thing I found about that scene was how Locke seemed to believe, in his subtle manner, that if he had stayed – or if he had returned earlier – he could have saved her. An interesting hypothesis considering that she died of a brain aneurism (and not something “preventable” like murder or a car crash).

Things I think:
I think The war is the Ben War where he kills everyone. They went back in time during Darma. I think Widmore needs locke there to change things.
I also think Ben is not to go back but found out about Eloise Hawkings from Locke in the the 3 years worked his way into her confidence
The line that the future can not be changed is wrong. They are using Locke and the 6 to minipulate history.

I think this is an interesting take on the whole “who’s the lesser of two evils?” debate. It’s certainly very interesting that the Oceanic Survivors have essentially stationed themselves during a period where the seeds are set for a young Ben to take control of the island. Perhaps the “war” is referring to Ben’s purge, and Widmore is attempting to manipulate events to prevent that from happening.

Many are making assumptions here that I don't see evidence for. If you find some, please let me know.
A. We are assuming Ben knew (when he killed Locke) that he would need to bring his body back to the island.
B. We are assuming Ben knows that bringing dead Locke back to the island means Locke will be alive again.
C. We are assuming Ben knew that Locke had to die.

This is an excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT point. I was one of the many people who said “why would Ben bring back Locke when he knows he’ll be resurrected?” Well, how do we know he knows that Locke will be resurrected? Is there any indication that he’s even aware that Christian is a ghost on the island and acting as Jacob’s voice? I don’t believe there is, and as such, there’s no reason to believe that he could predict that the same thing would happen to Locke.

Further, I also think it’s worth noting that Ben likely had no reason to believe he’d need Locke’s dead body when he killed him in the first place.

By the way, I can't help but laugh about how every time we're introduced to a new adult, male, black character, everybody jumps up and claims that it's Walt all grown up. It's happening with Abaddon, and it happened when we first met Eko.

Enjoy the new episode tonight.

Also, enjoy the latest installment of Lost! Untangled:

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