Thursday, April 22, 2010

Christian Shepherd = Smokey?

JACK: Look just like him.
LOCKE: Does it bother you?
JACK: No, what bothers me is I don't have any idea what the hell you are.
LOCKE: Sure you do.
[Jack kneels.]
JACK: Why John Locke?
LOCKE: Because he was stupid enough to believe that he'd been brought here for a reason. Because he pursued that belief until it got him killed. And because you were kind enough to bring his body back here in a nice wooden box.
JACK: He had to be dead before you could look like him.
LOCKE: That's right.
[Jack nods.]
JACK: Who else have you looked like?
LOCKE: Jack, what do you really want to ask me?
JACK: The third day we were here I saw... I chased my father through the jungle... my, my dead father. Was that you?
LOCKE: Yes, that was me.
After Smokey told Jack in the latest episode, The Last Recruit, that he was the one appearing as Christian Shepherd, aka Jack's dad, speculation on this already much-speculated mystery has gone into overdrive. Was Smokey telling the truth? The issue is further complicated since we know that a) Smokey can't leave the island and b) Christian has appeared OFF the island after his death: once to Michael before the freighter blew up and once to Jack in a hospital in LA.

So what's up?

The fact that Christian sometimes has appeared wearing the suit he was buried in and sometimes in other clothes has also been a subject of speculation. Are there two versions of Christian? I do seem to remember, way back in some thread at The Fuselage, that the Damon and Carlton had said that the choice of different footwear for Christian was significant somehow. (I know I've mentioned this several times in the past here.)

So, some footwear related facts:

  • Christian was put in the coffin wearing Jack's sneakers.
  • He has appeared wearing Jack's sneakers but also wearing more hiking-boot like foot gear.
  • When John Locke was put into his coffin, Mrs Hawking made sure that Jack put his father's shoes on the corpse. Supposedly because Locke's corpse was a "proxy" for Christian's corpse on the original flight.
  • The show then made a point of showing us Smokey-Locke tying Christian's shoes on his feet when he had crossed over to the island from Hydra Island with Ben.

What's that all mean? Who knows? Hopefully we might, soon.

Now, I don't doubt that Smokey has been taking Christian's shape at times. The issue is if it's ALWAYS been Smokey. I don't think so. I think that sometimes it's been Smokey and sometimes it's been dead Christian appearing just like the other dead people we've seen appear: Michael, Jacob, Isabella and so on. Sure, Hurley seems to be the one who sees dead people most easily, on and off the island, but I do think it's certainly a strong possibility that Jack has this ability too, at least when it comes to his dad.

So much of the early days of Lost was all about Jack and his daddy issues. If that is going to be resolved in the show, it won't be through Jack talking to the being who faked being his dead dad. No, it will be by Jack talking to the dead dad himself. Damon and Carlton once said that Christian was "undead" (this was when they were classifying things as either Smokey-appearances, undead or ... whatever else it was). So I do still hold out a strong hope that while Smokey didn't lie to Jack, he wasn't telling the whole truth either. If Jack is going to resolve his daddy issues on the show, he needs to meet his real dad: and I'm guessing at some point he will.

Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia and Lost-Media.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rock/hard place = Smokey/Widmore

I liked this episode. No, not the best episode ever or of the season, but definitely good. Jack getting all John Locke on everyone and swimming back to the island was great: I didn't see it coming either, but I definitely understood Jack's feelings. His actions have little or nothing to do with Smokey imo, and more to do with the fact that he already DID leave once and realized it was the wrong choice. And while Smokey calls Locke a sucker, I'm not so sure that is ALL Locke was. Jack saw the lighthouse and he knows now that the island is special: just like Locke always claimed.

I'm also not sure I 100% believe that the apparitions of Jack's dad were ALWAYS Smokey. Something in that exchange with Jack made me think that Smokey was lying about that. I do think he has been Jack's dad on occasion, but not always. And now they've set it up nicely so that if we ever see Christian Shepherd and Smokey at the same time we'll definitely know something's up!

I liked Jin and Sun's reunion and was so scared that one of them would get shot before they hugged! Or while they hugged...

The Zoe-creature with the fake glasses still bugs the heck out of me. So does Claire's "hair". And yes, Kate and Sawyer are OVER: just stop beating that horse already! Their interaction in the alt was terrible and it was almost as bad in the on-island timeline. Whatever chemistry was there once upon a time is spent and the storyline just needs to go away.

I did like that Kate convinced Claire to come on board. Nice touch.

Man, do the choices suck for the losties now: hanging out with Widmore or Smokey? Not great either way imo. Sawyer's about to find out.

So what are the chances that Sayid actually killed Desmond (nice fake-out with the previews on that btw, because they totally made it look like Sayid really did shoot him). And I thought there was a glimmer of old Sayid in the exchange with Smokey: could it be that Desmond is bringing people "back to their senses" in both timelines?

Favourite scene in the whole episode? Sun recognizing Locke when they were both wheeled into the hospital. Just one question: did she still remember it when she woke up after surgery?

The kid playing Jack's son is totally growing on me and I'm more convinced than ever that Juliet is his mom. We haven't seen Juliet in the alt (and we've even seen Ilana there now!) so I figure she's being saved for best and last when she will also get to meet up with Sawyer in the alt.

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So what was all that about?

Still not feeling last night's episode, "Everyone Loves Hugo". Clunky dialogue, forced plot-points, over-the-top acting (did they just rush this episode through somehow?) and crappy music: everything was disturbing. But today I read one theory about why Hurley would want to go see Smokey, and if it's true then that kind of makes some things in this episode make more sense: Hurley looked through Ilana's stuff and found that pouch of Jacob's ashes. Hurley has also seen the ring of ash that once surrounded the cabin where Jacob or Smokey was playing house. So what if Hurley now has a super-secret plan involving that ash? Kind of like a long con I guess. Hopefully that's what's going on, because just having them all decide to go see Smokey on a whim seems lame.

Also: why did Desmond run down Locke in the alt-verse? Seems to be two main theories here. Either Des wants to do to Locke what Charlie did to him and make Locke remember the other timeline. Or Des KNOWS that Locke is bad news and is trying to kill him. The fact that Desmond told Ben that his (made up) son's name was Charlie is also open to interpretation. Does Des remember that he actually has a real child called Charlie, or did he make it up because he'd met the palm-writing Charlie Pace?

And what about that HUGE HUGE MEGA-HUGE reveal that the whispers (read the transcripts here) are actually whispers by dead people who "can't move on"? It was the worst scene in an already weak episode (Hey! I know what this great mystery is! It's dead people who can't move on! Now let's keep walking and not refer to it!) but I'm not really complaining about the revealed information. I'll have to go back over those whisper transcripts and see if they make sense in this new context.

I'm also wondering if this clumsy reveal was made so as to set up another, bigger reveal: namely the mystery of Jack's dad traipsing about the island for so long. Is there one "real dead dad" and one "Smokey sock-puppet-dad"? Maybe. Sure are a lot of dead people around right now. And Hurley can see the dead off the island and on-island, and on-island he can see people who didn't die there (and he can see people who died ON the island when he is OFF the island.... argh... complicated). But the whispers are then only people who died on the island and can't leave for whatever reason? Oy. I really do hope that more of this mystery will be revealed once we find out what Christian Shepherd is really all about.

I really wonder what Desmond is all about. Is he living in both timelines at the same time? Does he have full awareness of them both at the same time? He sure seems like a mega-enlightened being all of a sudden. Has he now become something akin to Ms Hawking/Widmore? Or like Jacob? Influencing events to push them a certain way?

I'm hoping for better dialogue and acting next week, but as usual, even a weak episode of Lost curls my brain in a way no other show could.

Finally, RIP Ilana. You looked like you had potential and you looked like you ought to kick some serious tail. You got one awesome scene with Ben and then you got to blow yourself up stupidly. The island, or at least this writing team, was done with you. RIP with all the other potential female kick-assers: Rousseau, Alex, Sun-who-talked-and-seemed-important-for-a-couple-of-scenes, Charlotte, Juliet, Naomi, Ana-Lucia... I won't belabour the point, but it is kind of sad to see so many potentially strong and important females written and written out in such unsatisfying ways. It's one of my few problems with this show. Missed opportunities and all that.

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What the...?

Ok, I kind of hated this episode. And that makes me sad. I actually think it might have been one of the worst episodes of Lost I've ever seen. Not so much the plot developments in it, because I did like to see Jack explain why he's sitting back now, and wow even hearing Hurley explain the whispers in a throwaway sentence and Desmond meeting Locke (in both timelines) and then (kind of inexplicably really) Hurley deciding it's a good idea to hook up with Smokey. But I thought the acting sucked tonight, which is not something I usually think about ANY Lost episode. The whole episode felt odd and disjointed to me. Add to that that the music, at least on my TV, sounded totally f-d up and I was even more upset.

The whole scene leading up to Ilana's pathetic demise was just bad imo, with the characters all over-acting and acting out of character at the same time. And while I usually like Hurley, I thought he was the weak link for a lot of tonight's ep. And why oh why did Libby wear so much makeup as a mental patient? That bugged me, mainly because by then lots of stuff was bugging me.

I wonder if the weirdness of the episode partly came from that all of a sudden the characters had to go and meet up with Smokey. Now, imo, there is no reason why they would ever do that willingly. Why would Hurley think that? Michael told him not to blow up the plane but no one told him to go talk to Locke. It just felt like a forced plot-point. I'm kind of fine with it happening, but I just didn't think they sold the reasons for Jack et al to go along with Hurley.

Desmond and Locke saved the episode for me, but just barely and mainly because I think this part of the story will be hugely significant: why is Desmond willing to try to kill Locke in the alternate timeline, and why is Smokey trying to get rid of Desmond on the island?

My main questions after tonight are:
  • Did sideways Desmond and island Desmond switch places during that electro-magnetic shower? Or is Sideways Des just somehow "remembering" Locke from the other timeline?
  • Smokey is SCARED of Desmond, and he knows or suspects why Widmore brought Desmond to the island: whatever it is Des can do, it probably has to do with getting rid of Smokey.
  • What does it mean that Richard and his little gang have broken away? It'll be interesting to see where that all goes...

And finally:

  • Why oh why did Libby remind me of Britney Spears????

Screencaps thanks to Lost-Media.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Des! Charlie! Hawking! Faraday! Penny!!!

Holee frigging crap! Just excuse me while I cool off my over-heated brain.

This episode rocked the alternate and the on-island universe. Desmond was awesome as usual, and add in creepy Ms Hawking/Widmore as the all-knowing sphinx/mistress of ceremonies who make it sound as though she has personally organized everyone's life... and the flashes of Charlie's hand in the underwater and Des' flashes when having the MRI and Daniel's journal (now different). This was a truckload of really, really great WTF!

How does Ms Hawking stay aware of all different time-lines? Does it mean Widmore is informed of various time-lines too? At least in the alt? I have to say that it now seems way less likely that the alt timeline will be the eventually remaining one... though maybe not? Maybe the timelines can somehow merge in the alt and everyone can get a real happy ending with some consciousness of what went on on the island?

Did Daniel Faraday, back in the 70s, help Eloise to build the weird pendulum station we saw once upon a time? Did she somehow convince him, or he convince her, that "Whatever happened happened" was NOT necessarily the truth? We all know that when Daniel came back to Dharmaville, he was all convinced that past and future COULD be changed and that Jack should blow up the bomb etc etc leading up to what we have now. This has to tie in with what's happening now.

And how much is Widmore in on? Does on-island Widmore know about the alt? I don't think so judging by his surprise at Desmond's change of heart. Will Desmond now keep passing out/waking up in the alternate timelines?

Is the alt actually Ms Hawking's perfect world? Sure, she sacrificed (and killed!) her own son Daniel Faraday in the regular timeline. But because of his actions, the new timeline was created and in it, Daniel is alive and a musician. Was that her plan all along? Maybe even Daniel's own plan from the 1970s? But somehow it isn't "perfect", at least not yet: because they are still connected to the old "future" we see play out on-island. Does the alt need to be obliterated? Or does it need to merge with the on-island reality somehow? So that everyone is aware of what they all gained there, while still remaining alive?

What I'm wondering is basically: does Widmore really know what he's doing on the island? Is he doing it in collusion with Hawking or does she have alternate plans? And are they, separately or together, working for Jacob's side? Widmore sure seems partly to be less "evil" this season, but on the other hand he showed no concern for the death of his employee... There is a "greater good" for him for sure, but is he totally aware of everything that is going on with the alt too? Does Hawking in the regular timeline know about it?

This ep totally blew my mind. What a farking show. Even with crappy Zoe the fake-eyeglass wearer (why didn't Sayid shoot her???) it's getting awesome now. I think the tempo will definitely be cranked up from this point on.

Interesting that Des didn't mind going with Sayid: maybe he figures things will just somehow work out for the best? And is he now the only person on-island who is aware of the alt? What will that mean?

I liked having Charlie back, but his total change of character based on his near-death experience was a little much. He shed the entire junkie persona for some kind of born-again mentality? Does he just want to die now? Or does he want to find his perfect woman, aka Claire?

LOVED this episode. And harrowed, freaking out Desmond is so, so, SO much more attractive than calm, put-together Desmond... Like Viggo Mortensen, grime and stubble totally become him.  :)

Finally, I did recognize Desmond's driver and knew we'd seen him before, but couldn't place him. Of course he was George Minkowski, who died from nosebleed-timetravel-syndrome on Widmore's freighter.

Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia and Lost-Media.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The new alternate/sideways -verse

DocArzt has an excellent point about what the new 'verse is and how and why it may be affecting the losties we know in the on-island timeline:
What is OtherLOST trying to tell us? The timespace for OtherLOST is 2004, while LOST Is taking place in 2007. Time travel has not stopped after all. If 2007 LOST is converging with 2004 OtherLOST, does that mean that a new past is being written? If consciousness is now skipping across time and space and theoretical multidimensionalities, then it’s not really a Schrodinger’s cat situation any longer. It’s not like the cat is both alive and dead until we make a final deciding measurement. It’s more like the cat itself is ping ponging through quantum states, interfering in the mechanics of its own hypothetical dilemma. I’m starting to get the real sense that the reason they’ve referenced Alice in Wonderland so often on this show is they want us to just shut up and bathe in the pure nonsense of it.
In essence, to me, this would mean that (for example) Sun's loss of her English is because in the new past, she never learned to speak it. So what will happen if she dies in the alt? Scary for her and Jin (and their daughter!) I think... And we've already seen the present affect this new past: Jack couldn't remember how he got his appendectomy scar for example.

I think in the end, that what Juliet said (according to Miles) in the season-opener is hugely important: "It worked." They DID change the past, but for some reason their present has not changed with it. How will that be fixed so Juliet and Sawyer can go for coffee again? Not sure, but I bet we'll see that scene!

Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia and Lost-Media.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Interesting thoughts by Vozzek69

Vozzek69 over at Dark UFO always has an interesting take on Lost episodes, and I especially like his column this week. I wasn't crazy about the latest ep, but the more I think and read about it, the more I think it has a HUGE reveal in it about connections between the alt timeline and the island timeline. Vozzek analyzes this better than I could:
Before we talk about what happens here, we have to examine the circumstances leading up to this flash-sideways. On-island Sun is knocked out cold, and off-island Sun is just waking up. We've seen this happen time and time again, most noticeably when Jack gets put under for his on-island appendectomy and immediately wakes up in the Oceanic Six timeline.

How many times does this have to happen before it becomes more than just a convenient plot device? Unconsciousness has always been associated with enlightenment. It's always worked as a transition between scenes and storylines... but what if it also acts as a transition between worlds? Remember sleeping Claire waking up in her flashback car crash during Par Avion? Remember Desmond hitting his head on the freighter and waking up in one of his flashes? I could list dozens and dozens of examples here, but there's really no need. The link between unconsciousness and making these journeys is as plain as the big frosty glass of Orange Julius they made Desmond drink on the sub-ride over.

"See you on the other side..." - Ben's words, right before Jack puts him under. Think he's just being cute here? Do you really think, when Sun looks into the mirror this episode, that she's not actually looking into the other side? That she really doesn't start to remember her past self? Do you think it's coincidence that Keamy's knock conveniently and pointedly pulls her back into the 'real' world, exactly the way Juliet got pulled out of her own little mirror staredown by the island burning her cookies?

I said it a few weeks ago, and Sawyer said it again last night: "Of course not. Because that would be ridiculous."

Watch Keamy's reaction as he introduces himself to Sun: he cocks his head and squints a little bit, almost as if to say "Don'tcha remember me?" There's actually a lot off about Keamy this episode - much more than usual. As a criminal we can all agree he's creepy awesome... but as someone who potentially knows things, he's got some pretty odd knowledge. Much more of this gets revealed later on, during his encounter with Jin in the walk-in fridge.

"She hits her head and forgets English? Are we supposed to buy that?" No Miles, we're not. I mean, yeah, some people may be buying it... but not me. And if you're reading this, hopefully not you either, because the mental transition from island to LAX back to island again hasn't caused Sun some obscure medical condition where she can no longer speak English, no matter how deep Jack digs into his patient history. No, what we're seeing here is the first concrete evidence of the next major reveal:

BIG Answer #3: The ALT Timeline is Actually Bleeding Through To the Island's Current Events

We're seeing LAX_Sun's non-English speaking skills carrying over to island_Sun, and at this point there shouldn't be much of a debate about that. The more important question to ask is this: how long has stuff like this been going on? Is Sun losing English the same thing as season one Claire losing her memories? As post-Swan Locke losing his ability to speak? As Desmond losing his clothes? Is this what's been happening to characters we've seen reset or rebooted, and if so, when did it start?

So many questions get potential answers here, it's actually kind of frightening. Were Desmond's "flashes" really just him experiencing the ALT timeline, but we were thrown off by this because he was visiting a past version of it? And while we're at it, exactly how many different timelines exist? Just because our LAX characters seem to have blasted themselves into the "Jughead" universe, it would be ignorant to assume there's only one. Was the Oceanic Six season nothing more than another alternate timeline, one in which Flight 815 really did hit the Indian ocean? Did Ben/Jacob really cure Juliet's sister's cancer, or was Mikhail pointing the Flame's monitor at a different timeline, in a different universe, on a different playground where that cancer didn't exist?

If Sun's memories starts crossing over from the ALT universe, where will they stop? Will all of our on-island characters begin 'remembering' their LAX lives? If so, it makes sense that everyone on the island would end up enlightened by their own off-island experiences. This might be what drives them to make the right decisions - ultimately breaking the seemingly endless cycle of repeating their own mistakes, and thus being the cause of their own suffering.

And if the two timelines merge, will it go both ways? Will the LAX characters gain sudden knowledge of their on-island experiences, and use them to move on with their lives? Is this where everyone's consciousness ends up when they die? Is this how on-island Juliet and on-island Sawyer can eventually go out for off-island coffee?

These are all tremendous questions. The floodgates have been opened here, starting with Sun smashing her head into that tree branch. The possibilities are endless. The stories can wind in any virtually direction. The merging of character consciousness allows for both timelines to remain relevant, and for both timelines to mean something. It seems to be the answer as to where everything is going, and yet at the same time it also seems to be something that's always been there.
I love these ideas. Whether things will play out exactly like this I don't know, but I definitely think that Sun losing her English was WAY more than some goofy, soapy plot device (as has been suggested by frustrated fans in some places). I've always had the feeling that Desmond's "CTT" (aka Consciousness Time Travel) had to be a set up for something bigger coming along later. Could this "sideways universe" bleeding into the "island universe" be the final twist in what was set up with Desmond's CTT? Maybe. It is certainly a really intriguing thought.
Screencaps thanks to Lostpedia and Lost-Media.