Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Rewinding Season 5: The Little Prince & This Place Is Death


The Little Prince had two of the strongest time-skipping scenes: Locke seeing the light from the hatch the night Boone died and he banged on it and saw the light Desmond shone from below. And Sawyer witnessing Aaron's birth, with Kate helping Claire.

We also got to see Rousseau and her team arrive on the island and find Jin.

And we got the weird outrigger scene when the Losties find their Zodiac raft gone from the beach. Instead the two outriggers we now know were brought over from Hydra Island by Ilana and Bram's crew are there. And while the Losties paddle away to get to the Orchid (where Locke is now convinced he should turn the wheel himself) they are shot at by somebody. We still don't know who. Crazy options include:
  • The losties themselves will eventually time skip to this time after the incident and end up shooting at themselves.
  • Ilana and Bram are shooting at them in some scene we have yet to see.
  • Jacob's nemesis or his allies are shooting at them.
  • Fake Locke is shooting at them with Ben at his side.
Whoever is shooting, their identity is big enough of a reveal to be saved for next season.

There's also a lot of "shipper" stuff going on in this episode. We see some beginning movements of closeness between Sawyer and Juliet when Sawyer talks to her about what he saw in the jungle. Imagine that! Two people on Lost actually talking about what they experienced and how they felt about it! Will wonders never cease!

Off-island at about the same "time" (I think... lol), Kate and Jack have a heart to heart about Aaron aboard Penny's boat. Kate says that she wants to keep Aaron for her own. Jack goes along with it. She goes along with lying about what happened to 815. And this is the significant exchange:

KATE: After everyone we've lost--Michael, Jin, Sawyer... I can't lose him, too.

JACK: Sawyer's not dead.

KATE: No. But he's gone. Good night, Jack.

JACK: Kate... If we're gonna be safe, if we're gonna protect the people that we left behind, tomorrow morning, I'm gonna have to convince everyone to lie. If it's just me, they're never gonna go for it. So I'm gonna turn to you first. Are you with me?

KATE: I have always been with you.

Ok. Right there, she totally sounds like she immediately gives up on Sawyer and professes that it's really Jack that she is "with". Of course, later in the season, we get the psycho babble about her keeping Aaron to get over Sawyer. And then Kate sleeping with Jack because she's "so angry" at him for making her go back to the island. Is it any wonder I, and many others, think the writers are wrecking Kate as a character? Vacillating that much is just ridiculous imo.

Yes, the triangle/square/shape from heck just will not be put down by the writers. They keep flogging it and flogging it, and I can only imagine that they do so because they KNOW it matters to a lot of people. Yet it drives me nuts. JUST PICK ONE KATE! And stick with it. Or rather: writers, let her pick one and stick with it. The way they just HAD to stick her into the Juliet/Sawyer pairing this year and have everyone make evil eyes/googly eyes at each other was ridiculous. But anyway.

On to This Place Is Death. The episode where we got to see Rousseau's buddy Montand have his arm ripped off as the monster tried to drag him into its lair. And then we got to see what Danielle meant when she said her crew got "sick". It seems they came out of Smokey's lair altered in some way which made them willing and able to kill her. It's Jin who stops Danielle from entering just before he flashes out again.

Then, Jin gets dumped into Danielle's confrontation with her husband, Robert:

DANIELLE: Laisse-la! Pose-la! Pose ton arme! [Leave it! Put your gun down!]

ROBERT: Danielle, fais pas ça, c'est moi! [Danielle, don't do this, it's me!]

DANIELLE: T'es pas Robert! T'es changé! Cette machine t'as changé! [You're not Robert, you've changed, that thing has changed you!]

ROBERT: Danielle, je t'en prie. Pose ton arme. Je t'aime, pourquoi tu agis comme ça? [Danielle, please, put down your gun. I love you, why are you acting like this?]

DANIELLE: Parce que t'es pas Robert. T'es malade. Ce monstre t'a rendu malade. [Because you're not Robert, you've changed. That monster changed you.]

ROBERT: Mais il n'y a pas de monstre. C'est un système de sécurité qui garde ce temple, c'est tout. [There is no monster. It's just a security system that guards the temple, that's all.]

ROBERT: Maintenant, pose ton fusil. [Now put down your gun.]

[Danielle hesitates.]

ROBERT: Je t'aime, Danielle. Je ne veux que rien nous arrive. A toi, et à notre bébé. Je t'en supprie - fais pas ça. [I love you, Danielle. I don't want anything to happen to us. To you, or to our baby.]

[Danielle slowly lowers her gun. Suddenly, Robert cocks his gun and fires, but it does not work. Danielle shoots Robert in the head.]

Great scene. I loved this "flashback" to get Rousseau's backstory, which also gives us some things to chew on when it comes to the monster. Getting up close and personal with Smokey seems to change people. Or is it that the people really aren't themselves anymore, but impersonated by Smokey somehow. And further: did something similar happen to young Ben when Alpert takes him into that same area we saw Danielle's crew at, but this time to "heal" him? Did Ben get "infected" then in the same way Danielle's crew was "infected"?

Robert seems to have aquired some new knowledge too: he tells her the monster is just a "security system" tied to the temple. Is that what it is? We still haven't seen the temple itself on the show, but Alpert told Locke some of the Others live there. What is the temple (I know I've asked this many times)? A real temple? Something high tech that "makes" the monster? What? The fact that we haven't seen it yet has to mean that it is a pretty huge reveal.

The other absolutely myth-drenched scene is Locke, falling down the well (which Charlotte somehow knew would be there), breaking his leg and meeting Christian Shephard. A Christian dressed NOT in his funeral suit and white sneakers. A Christian who won't help him up. And a Christian with very specific instructions:

CHRISTIAN SHEPHARD: Hello, John.

LOCKE: [Amazed] You! What are you doing down here?

CHRISTIAN: I'm here to help you the rest of the way.

LOCKE: I... I don't understand.

CHRISTIAN: You came to see me in the cabin. You asked me how to save the island and I told you you had to move it. I said that you had to move it, John.

LOCKE: But Ben said he knew how to do it! He told me that I had to stay here and lead his people.

CHRISTIAN: Since when did listening to him get you anywhere worth a damn? The good news is that you’re here now. You ready to go?

LOCKE: I don't... I don't... I... I don’t know... what to do once I get there.

CHRISTIAN: There's a woman living in Los Angeles. Now once you get all your friends together--and it must be all of them, every one who left--and once you've persuaded them to join you, this woman will tell you exactly how to come back.

LOCKE: Who is she?

CHRISTIAN: Her name is Eloise Hawking.

LOCKE: What if I can only convince some of them to come back?

CHRISTIAN: I believe in you, John. You can do this.

LOCKE: Richard said I was going to die.

CHRISTIAN: Well, I suppose that's why they call it sacrifice.

LOCKE: All right. I'm ready.

CHRISTIAN: Good. Now, on the other side of this column here is a wheel, slipped off its axis. All you have to do is give it a little push.

LOCKE: [Winces in pain as he attempts to stand] Could you help me up?

CHRISTIAN: [Bluntly] No. Sorry. I can't.

Whoever Christian is or is working for at this moment, he knows about Eloise, he knows about the pendulum in LA and he wants the O6 back on the island. He wants Aaron to come back too imo. IF this Christian is Jacob's nemesis, then I think that the plan is this:

  • The time skipping has given Nemesis his chance at crafting the loophole. Time traveling Locke has gotten Alpert interested in checking out Locke for possible recruitment and leadership.
  • Locke needs to be off the island to die.
  • Locke to know about Hawking because she can get him back on the island. And Locke has to die to bring everyone back, because then Nemesis can take Locke's place somehow and get Ben to kill Jacob.

But I'm still not sure about any of this. Why would Nemesis need all the other Losties back on the island? To make sure no one with a connection to the island remains in the outside world? Jacob too seems to want the losties all back on the island. And the huge question: WHAT made time start to skip? Ben turned the wheel and time went wonky. This gave Nemesis the chance he needed to open up the loophole and give instructions to Alpert who gave them to Real Locke who then gave them to Alpert again. Yea. Totally in a little loop of its own there. I really hope we get some sort of explanation of this in S6!

Christian Shephard and Hawking seem to want the same thing. Is that what Jacob wants? Both Ben and Locke are following the orders of these people, yet neither seems fully aware of what is going on. Like Desmond so succintly puts it later:

These people--they're just usin' us. They're playing some kind of game, and we are just the pieces.

This I think, is at the heart of what has been going on throughout S5. Someone is playing a game, and we still don't quite know the rules, the desired outcome or who the is using what playing pieces.

Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia and lost-media.



Monday, June 01, 2009

Rewinding Season 5: Jughead


The main thing I got from this episode has to do with Alpert: he seemed genuinely surprised about the whole time-travel thingie. By all accounts he's been on the island a looong time and he himself doesn't seem to age. Yet the possibility that Locke and the losties are skipping through time seem to utterly bewilder him. Maybe he's faking it? Maybe the way the actors play these scenes doesn't really matter because they haven't been told everything. But Alpert really, truly does not seem to know about time travel in the way that Locke is experiencing.

Does that mean that Alpert didn't know about the donkey wheel? Or didn't know the donkey wheel could cause time skipping? Were the others not aware of the donkey wheel until Dharma found it? Because Ben sure seemed to know about it!

Does Jacob know about the donkey wheel? Who built it anyway?

Now, it is possible that once Alpert had been made aware of time-traveling, that the Others then started looking for reasons for it and eventually, maybe through Dharma, they found the donkey wheel. Still, Alpert's incredulity over the donkey wheel initiated time-skipping intrigues me. Especially since it seems Jacob's nemesis has specifically used the time-wonkiness the wheel create the loophole he needed to kill Jacob. What is going on with all that?

Is it possible that just like the compass, knowledge of time travel and the donkey wheel are in some kind of loop?
  • Locke and the losties time skip because of what Ben does to the wheel.
  • They end up in the 1950s and the Others become aware of time travel as a possibility.
  • This leads to The Others researching the matter, and eventually to Dharma becoming aware of it.
  • Then the wheel is uncovered and then Ben knows about it and tells Locke.... and so on.

More mind-bendiness in the episode: When Desmond goes to Oxford searching for Daniel's mother, a lady at the university helps him look on the computer for Faraday. This woman is played by the same actress who also played one of the airline employees checking people on to flight 815. Does she work for Widmore? Was she part of the conspiracy to get the losties on that plane?

Meeting young Widmore in this episode is interesting. He's arrogant, brutal and violent. But Richard totally orders him around.

Also interesting is the exchange with Locke:

LOCKE: I expect you to tell me how to get off the Island.

RICHARD: That's very privileged information. Why would I share it with you?

LOCKE: Because you told me that I had something very important to do once I get there. And because I'm your leader.

RICHARD: You're my leader?

LOCKE: That's what you told me.

RICHARD: Look, I... certainly don't want to contradict myself, but... we have a very specific process for selecting our leadership, and it starts at a v--very, very young age.

LOCKE: All right. All right. What year is it right now?

RICHARD: It's 1954.

LOCKE: All right. May 30, 1956--2 years from now--that's the day I'm born--Tustin, California, and if you don't believe me, I suggest you come and visit me.

Right here we see a lot of things coming together. We understand why Richard went looking for baby Locke, and why he subjected kid Locke to some testing. We also understand why Richard was later somewhat inclined to think that Locke was supposed to be important. Also interesting: leaders are selected starting at a young age. Which means Widmore and Ben as well as Eloise went through this process?

Also, Alpert knows of a way to get off the island. How? Submarine? Or something else?

And this is also in some ways the start of the con, the con perpetrated by Jacob's nemesis. Right here seeds are sown that will eventually lead to Locke becoming the leader of the others and then ending up dead, with Ben as a willing tool to dispose of Jacob.

Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia.

The sickness and the vaccine


I've been re-visiting Season 1 and 2 a lot lately, and wondered more and more about the mysteries that were introduced back then. One mystery that has yet to be explained is the vaccine. Desmond kept injecting himself, then seemed to eventually think it was all some kind of ruse. Yet we later saw Charlie quite convinced that Aaron needed it when he got sick. And after testing it on himself, Aaron was injected.

Ethan also injected Aaron in the womb when he had abducted Claire.

Then there was the whole weird ruse of Claire getting super sick and bleeding and Juliet claiming then that it was because she needed the vaccine. Yet the truth was revealed to be that Claire had been fitted with an implant controlled by The Others and that's what triggered her illness.

But the question remains: What was the vaccine for?

Now, the one "sickness" that has been referred to throughout the show was the sickness Danielle said her crew contracted on the island. We no know that her crew was sucked in by Smokey and somehow altered. After that they looked like themselves yet wanted to kill Danielle.

One sickness, one vaccine?

What if the vaccine actually WAS to prevent this sickness? What if the injections somehow prevents "tampering" by Smokey, or whatever else it was that "infected" Rousseau's people? Is this why Charlie was sent visions to get the vaccine for Aaron? To prevent anyone tampering with him?

Or, was the vaccine somehow related to other dangers of the island, like protection from radiation? Or protection from time-related weirdness?

Anyone else have any thoughts about these issues? I really do hope we get an explanation of some kind for the vaccine, but since it seems to have been mostly forgotten, I am starting to worry that it won't be addressed at all.

Who was injected with the vaccine on the island? As far as we know:
  • Aaron
  • Charlie
  • Desmond
  • Kelvin
  • Claire