Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Case of the.... Lost - Episode 5-9 Revisited

Before I even get to the reader mail, I’m going to leap right into the deep end with an absolutely awesome observation that went entirely unmissed by the vast majority of the audience (including me), and that’s the subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance by Claire. Or, at least, a blondish, ghostly woman that most people assume is Claire.

In the scene at the barracks, when Christian is explaining to Sun that her husband and friends are in 1977, there is a mysterious gust of wind that quite purposefully opens the cabin door and enters the room. Seconds later, the camera pans over Sun’s shoulder, where you can see a woman with blond/dirty blond/red hair sitting in the corner in the darkness. You can clearly see her turn her head. Here, watch this great YouTube clip, which helpfully lays the scene out for you:

So, what do you think? There’s definitely somebody there, but do you think it’s Claire? Really, who else could it conceivably be?

Anyway, let’s take a look at the e-mail inbox and blog comments, shall we?

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

I received an e-mail from a new reader named Rafael, who writes:


Recently I've been reading your reviews regarding Lost Episodes and truly..., GOT MY ATTENTION....!! Congratulations...!!

In spite of that, I'd like to drop a few lines for you to think about....:

Frank lands the airplane on a visible track. Could that be the one that Sawyer and Kate helped to construct back in 3rd (or 4th) season ??
Jacks name was on the list, but Kate and Hurley's wasn't till Juliet brought the list? How could that be? Maybe something happened in mean while ?

Congratulations on your posts.....

Can't wait till 5x10...!!

I don’t think it’s disputed that the runway the plane landed on is the same as the one Ben had Sawyer and Kate working on. I think the bigger question is whether Ben had it constructed for this specific purpose. Did he have some sort of foresight that he would need that runway to survive a flight back to the island, or did he just think, “you know, a plane is a lot more practical than a submarine, let’s build a runway”? With this show, a cigar is very rarely just a cigar, so at the moment I lean towards the former. And, if that’s the case, one could speculate as to HOW Ben knew he’d require the use of that runway.

Regarding the Dharma list, was there any indication that Hurley wasn’t on it? I don’t recall. However, some have speculated that this was Juliet’s way of making Kate sweat just a little bit. It also very well could have been an oversight, or the result of having to secretly add their names to the list in a short period of time. I’m not sure there’s more than meets the eye in this case.

Over at the blog, “The Blog of Steel(e)” comments:

I'm thinking Sun may have been on the island before as a baby, based only on the fact that her father's company, Paik Industries, had ties with Widmore Industries, and it's been established that her father and Widmore are friends. Maybe a visiting Paik family and his child were on the island in 1977?

While this may be possible, I think the theory that two people from different time periods cannot be at the same place at the same time was disproved. As we saw earlier this season, Sawyer and Locke traveled back in time to the period that their crew first crashed onto the island, and there wasn’t any sort of temporal prevention there. So while I’m not completely forsaking that possibility, I don’t think it’s THE reason why they didn’t travel back.

Part of me feels like it has to do with the sins they’ve committed since leaving the island, but that seems unlikely considering that Sayid successfully traveled back. Of course, maybe remaining in the present wasn’t a punishment. Instead, perhaps they didn’t travel back in time because their presence was necessary in 2007. Think about it: If Frank had vanished from the plane, it surely would have crashed, killing everybody else on board. In time, we may learn that Sun, Ben, and Locke will play equally as important roles.

Kyle offers the following:

It's possible Danielle just didn't remember Jin either. They weren't together that long, it was at an extremely stressful time, and I don't really recall them interacting tons in the present day. She may have remembered "That Korean guy who we found" but I don't know if she'd remember him so well that decades later she'd be able to point him out.

This is entirely possible, and I think the writers have purposely made it ambiguous. I think it’s been rather deliberate that the only people the Oceanic survivors met in the past are either dead or Others (who are prone to lying). They’ve effectively made it impossible – at this point, anyway – for the viewers to determine if memories of meeting the Oceanic survivors in the past are “new” or not.

Here's a question...why am I supposed to care about Ethan? I don't know, it just seems like he keeps coming up but always in relatively minor ways (oh, he and Juliet had a thing). It's like they really want to keep him in our minds and I don't know why, because as of right now I just don't care about Ethan. He doesn't seem to have any real meaning to the overall background of the show (yeah, he's Horace's son, but so what?), but they just keep mentioning him. Do you think they're going somewhere with it? If present day Ethan wasn't dead that'd be one thing, but he is. So where are they going with this?

I’ve joked about the Ethan thing for a while now. Here’s a guy who appeared in, what, like three episodes before being killed? And since then, he’s appeared every single season in various characters’ flashbacks. He’s neck-in-neck with Christian in that regard. But why? As Kyle asks, what makes him so special? Is he simply the go-to wink-wink guy? Based on the flashbacks we have seen, it doesn’t even appear that Ethan was that high up the Other totem pole. It is rather strange that he’s virtually insignificant, yet constantly alluded to.

However, one of the readers on the EW.com Lost review brought up a fun point: Ethan played a part in recruiting Juliet to the island. Meanwhile, if not for Juliet’s expertise in the past, Ethan likely would never have been born.

Incidently, here's something I'd like to see discussed...it sure looks like somebody changed the future, possibly in relation to the Purge. When the plane is crashing, it's not Danielle's transmission (or, nothing, as that was turned off), it's the Dharma one. And when Sun and Frank show up at "Othertown", it sure doesn't look like the Others took off a few years ago, it looks trashed, like Dharma disappeared awhile ago and nobody ever moved in. Unless the Others seriously left Dharma pictures up on the walls.

Something's definitely going on here. This is not the same "timeline" the Oceanic Six left in the first place. Is this why they had to return? Does the Sawyer/Juliet/Jin/Miles group do something to screw up the timeline, and the Oceanic Six have to correct it? What do you suppose got changed? Is the Purge stopped, or pushed forward so it happens earlier? Love to see some discussion on this.

I read this observation elsewhere as well, and it’s definitely interesting. Indeed, the barracks looked awfully Dharma-ized....almost as if the Others never lived there. This could suggest that, due to intervention from our now Dharma-employed heroes, the purge has been prevented and never occurred and, as such, the Others never came to live in the barracks.

One must also wonder: What exactly happened on that island between 2004/2005 (when the Oceanic Six left) and 2007/2008 (when Flight 316 landed)?

Before I close this up, there are a few miscellaneous observations I have about last week’s episode. In particular, I take issue with the tense confrontation between Sawyer and Jack at the conclusion of the episode. Sawyer noted that Jack used to just react, and that his leadership got a lot of people killed. With all due respect to Sawyer – who I think has a fair point about sitting back and considering a plan re: Sayid instead of just acting impulsively – but his team was a whole lot bigger than just him, Juliet, Jin, and Miles. Remember those 20 somewhat redshirts that were killed when the island was all time loopy? How about when Young Widmore and the Others were able to make an attack because Sawyer yelled out where they were going? And under Sawyer's watch, Rose and Bernard have apparently been missing for three flippin' years! In fact, the only reason ALL of them aren't dead is because of Locke's plan to go to the Orchid station. If they had done what Sawyer wanted – which was what, go to the beach? – they all would have died. Like Charlotte did. So I’m not entirely sure Sawyer is in a position to judge. Along with that, when Jack was the leader, their obstacles were a whole lot scarier than dealing with angry hippies.

And, finally, there's one last idea I would like to discuss. I find it interesting that Sayid is the one who meets past Ben, because it seems like he’s the most hostile towards him in the future (aside from Sun, who's still in 2007). A lot of people (myself included) have wondered if Sayid could or would bring himself to harming the young man to ensure that he's not around later in life to cause the death and misery he’s destined for. If anybody is capable of such a deed, it’s Sayid.

I have a more pleasant solution, though. As we learned from one of the first Ben-centric episodes, he wasn't born a bad person. And there are several moments where it seems like he doesn't even necessarily WANT to be a bad person. He just grew up with a cold, harsh, psychologically damaging, alcoholic father, and he turned to the Others, who made him feel special. But what happens if Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Kate, Sawyer, and the rest embrace Ben while he still has good left in him? What if they essentially give him the compassion and acceptance that he would later get from the Others? That would dramatically alter the future, for sure. If nothing else, it would certainly prevent the purge.

And, as always, here’s the latest installment of Lost! Untangled:


Kyle Litke said...

I'd definitely say it's Claire. Like you said, who else could it be?

Where do you stand on the idea that Claire was essentially killed when the Freighter people blew up the house she was in, and that she was one of the "walking dead" ala (possibly, we obviously don't know exactly what he is since he could be the smoke monster in human form or something) Christian Shephard? I remember Miles acting extremely weird around her after that, he kept trying to take the baby from her, and then she up and disappears and ends up with Christian, which I really, really can't see her doing if she's still alive (would she seriously have abandoned Aaron like that?).

Matt Basilo said...

I 110% believe that Claire is dead, and that she's a spirit, like Christian. It seemed odd that Miles seemed so overly concerned about carrying Aaron after the mercenary attack. And, as you noted, she vanished and left Aaron alone in the woods.

Another thing to consider: Kate got a vision of Claire during her Oceanic Six days. So far, aside from Walt, the only people that have appeared as visions are those who have passed.