Previously on Lost:
Last week’s story-driven episode caused a bunch of questions and sparked discussions and disagreements on the boards, mainly for a few things. The timing of the baseball game was one of them. Some are insisting it was the August 2006 series, as I suggested in my column, but a screencap shows that there’s a reference to that game as being a year earlier, so this would put the series at August 2007. Which means… that date we’ve all been clinging to that was on the top of the obituary that Jack was looking at in “Through the Looking Glass” – April 5, 2007 – was just a date that happened to be on the paper the props department used in the scene. Damn you, props department! That breakdown clearly happens after the flashforward of “Something Nice Back Home,” so it must be in 2008 or 2009. However, by suggesting the “Something Nice Back Home” stuff was 2007, it makes the casting of Aaron more plausible. As I’d said last week, that kid looks like he’s almost 3, and that would make him almost 3, so it works for me on that level.
Someone raised a point in the comments later in the week when the discussion had died down, and I wanted to raise it here: We’re all assuming that Hurley is referring to Aaron when he reads, “You’re not supposed to raise him” on the piece of paper. Hurley actually says, “Does he mean Aaron?” and Aaron is a focal point of the episode, so everything is pointing to him. But isn’t that usually what the Lost writers do when they’re trying to fool us? Could it mean something else? What if it meant, you’re not supposed to raise Christian from the dead? Hmm… (the poster also pointed out that Jack appears to be laid out like a corpse at the beginning of the episode, wrapped in a white “shroud” like he’s in a coffin.
Someone wondered if the name of the Santa Rosa Health Centre could be any reference to Rose on the island.
Another poster suggested that maybe Jack had a right to be worried and wanting to stay awake during the surgery, since Juliet, despite everything, is still one of the Others, and Bernard and Rose kinda want to stay on that island, so could there have been an ulterior motive at work that we didn’t see?
My favourite observation: When Sawyer and Miles and Claire were walking in the jungle at the beginning, Sawyer called him “Donger,” as in Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles. HA! That is officially my new favourite Sawyer nickname.
But now, on to this week…
Just when you thought we were done with flashbacks of the survivors, we get another one. And whoa, was it a doozy. For the most part, it told us what we already knew about Locke – he was in a foster home, his mother was a tool, he was a loser, he loved backgammon, and he had given up on ever walking again. But throw in a little Richard Alpert, Matthew Abaddon, and a Walkabout, and you have a whole series of “ga-WHA??” moments.
Oh, and have I mentioned that I love this show? Because I LOOOOOVE this show. I can’t believe how good this season is.
“He Was Always a Special Boy…”
So what to make of John’s flashback? The never-aging Richard shows up at the nursery to see preemie John, then keeps track of him until he’s an older child. He arrives at the house claiming to be a recruiting agent for a special school, and lays out on the table a baseball mitt, a book that appears to be a Bible but is called the Book of Laws, a vial of sand, a compass, a comic called Mystery Tales, and an old knife. He tells John to show him which things belong to him. John chooses the sand and the compass, both which seem to prophesy his future on the island. I thought the last choice was pretty much up in the air – it could be the knife, because that’s what John shows up with when he arrives on the island. The comic book is called Mystery Tales, and there’s a horrified man on the cover with “Hidden Land!” written above him, staring at a weird city, so that would also fit with the future, and the Book of Laws could very well be a Locke thing. You can tell by Alpert’s face that he wanted John to choose the Book of Laws. When Alpert attempts to get him again, with his Mittelos Bioscience pamphlet that lured in Juliet, Locke uses his now-legendary phrase, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” and there goes that option. Finally, Abaddon shows up and convinces Locke to look into a Walkabout, saying the next time he sees him, Locke will owe him one.
Widmore mentioned in “The Shape of Things to Come” that the island is his, and one wonders if he’s been there right from the beginning (could he be Magnus Hanso?), which means, like Richard, he hasn’t aged. Where does Abaddon come in, then? He’s working with the same motives as Alpert in this episode – getting Locke to go to the island. Abaddon also rounded up the freighter people to go to the island, and seemed to be working under the orders of Widmore. So far, John has taken out one of Abaddon’s people (Naomi) and he’s harbouring Ben, the guy Widmore rounded up the people to nab. Is it possible Abaddon was not working with Widmore, but against him? Widmore asked him to round up the people, and he did so, but with an ulterior motive? Hmm…
John Locke’s Progress:
I knew the moment the guy in Jacob’s cabin started speaking that it was Christian. He simply says he’s “Christian,” no last name required. (Now I’ll have to re-read Pilgrim’s Progress… I thought it was rather painful the first time.) So this brings us back to all those questions from a couple of weeks ago… is he dead, is he immortal, is he a ghost, etc. But more interestingly, what do we make of Claire? She seemed SO unlike herself, not worrying about Aaron, making faces we’ve never seen, calmly saying, “I’m with him” like he’s not the scoundrel who abandoned her for most of her childhood. Is she dead, too? He and Claire share a “look,” as if Locke asked exactly the right question. So… his mission is to MOVE the island? Didn’t see that coming. I’m assuming this is why Widmore can no longer find the island.
• This was definitely Hurley’s week. My first laugh out loud was when Hurley, Locke, and Ben were arguing about the whereabouts of the cabin, and Ben says he was just following Hurley. Hurley: “Oh, this is just awesome.”
• Locke saying the Dharma Initiative spent all day making the ranch dressing that Hurley likes. HA!
• Hurley: “Guys? Cabin.”
• Hurley: “Yeah, I’m cool with you going in alone, too.”
• Hurley and Ben sharing the chocolate bar. I was in stitches… for me, the funniest moment of the season.
• Ben’s impatient “Well?!” when Locke calmly says that Jacob told them what to do, but doesn’t elaborate.
Biggest “GASP!” Moments:
• Richard Alpert standing outside the nursery!!! (I shouted, “YES!” when they showed him.)
• The doctor being alive on the boat! This goes back to the whole Faraday experiment on the island, where the payload took a lot longer to arrive. Then, we saw a seemingly 5-minute helicopter ride take forever and a day to get back to the freighter. In this episode, the corpse of the doctor washes up on the shore of the beach BEFORE he is actually killed. Whoa. That’s a guy in dire need of a constant. So, I’m assuming we’re to believe the doctor was just killed, the body floated to the time-warp wormhole and whoosh, he was sent back in time to the shore. Do you agree?
• John’s childhood drawing of a guy being eaten by the smoke monster.
• Abaddon telling John to go on the Walkabout. I was so excited by this reference back to episode 1.4, I was giddy.
• Claire and Christian just hanging out in the cabin.
Emily says she’s 5 months pregnant, almost six… so that could very well mean that John was born at 23 weeks.
Did You Notice?:
• The opening of this episode, in another time, in a place we don’t recognize, with some music being started, was reminiscent of the openings of seasons 2 and 3. The lyrics of Buddy Holly’s “Everyday” seem to explain the series itself, and how each episode is getting us nearer to the end: “Everyday, is a-gettin’ closer/ Goin’ faster than a roller coaster.”
• Emily was hit by a car running from her mother, just as Locke was bumped by a car running after Emily many years later.
• The island really IS saving Michael’s ass (even if it’s not preventing him from feeling some SERIOUS pain). It jammed the freakin’ gun.
• We get a close-up of Locke’s eye, but it happens after the flashback, not before it. It’s right before the Horace Groundhog Day-type dream sequence.
• At the end of the dream sequence, Horace says, “Godspeed.” His surname is Goodspeed.
• The casting people actually put a real newborn baby in that incubator. On most other shows, they’d stick a 17-pound six-month-old in there and call it a newborn.
• Behind Richard, there appears to be a poster with the word CHOICE on it.
• Ben tells Hurley he should have known better than to shoot Locke and leave him for dead, as if he knows the island won’t let John die.
• When John steps out of the locker he’s been locked in, there’s a Geronimo Jackson poster on the inside of the door.
• John’s teacher (or guidance counsellor) tells him he’s destined to be a scientist, yet John has spent his time on the island arguing for faith over science.
• I was a little disappointed that Desmond didn’t accompany Sayid back to the island… it seemed like Sayid’s the sole superhero and Desmond is just sitting back and saying, “Dude, I made it off that island and I AIN’T going back.” But on further thought, it shows what a hopeless romantic he is. He’s just missed Penny for so long, he’s not going to screw it up now.
• “You’ll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen.” I thought Ben was really interesting in this episode. He tends to react to what’s going on around him rather than act, but once and for all he seems to have accepted that he’s no longer Jacob’s man on the island, and that John is the real apostle. I mentioned in my season 3 Lost book that I thought this season would have Ben finally conceding to that – the look on his face when Locke shows up to knife Naomi in the back seemed to suggest right there that he was looking into the face of the man who had taken his place. He says in this episode that losing Alex was his destiny (again showing an affinity to Locke), even though when it happened, he certainly didn’t act like that was destined. But he really seemed different this episode, stepping back to let Locke take the spotlight instead. Is it because he’s really accepted Locke as the go-to guy, or does he suspect something dangerous is about to happen and he’d rather Locke be standing front and centre? Or, has Alex’s death just taken the fight out of him momentarily? Michael Emerson was his usual brilliant self in this episode, and when he watches longingly as John walks up to the cabin, I actually felt sorry for the guy.
• The name of the rehab centre where Locke is recuperating is “The Delerue Rehabilitation Centre.” The only “Delerue” I could find of any note was a French film composer, and his only link with where Locke would be is that he died in Glendale, California. I’m sure there’s a more important link.
• When Abaddon puts Locke at the top of the stairs, we get a reverse scene from the season 3 episode “Further Instructions.” In that episode, I suggested that the scene looked like Jacob’s ladder from the bible, with Locke lying at the bottom of a set of stairs. In this case, Locke is at the top of the stairs, not the bottom. If the suggestion is that same image, that puts Locke in the position of God, interestingly enough.
• When Frank’s package dropped on the island, it crushed Claire’s tent (you can see Aaron’s crib beside it). Ominous?
• Is it possible the plane was brought down because Locke was on it? Is he the key to everything?
So Many Questions...
• Wait… Emily was six months pregnant? Okay, I’ll accept that Sun isn’t showing the tiniest bit of pregnancy because of all the people who emailed me last season to boast how they were 4 months pregnant and not showing. But 6 months and not showing, while you’re that tiny? I don’t buy it for an instant. Not even with those generous poodle skirts.
• So, did Horace really build the cabin for some afternoon delights? Seems like a strange place to become possessed by Jacob and the strong island spirits.
• Here’s where I need the closed captioning… did anyone catch what Hurley said when Locke tried to wake him up? I’m sure it was funny… it sounded like “Not on Mars,” but it could have been “Apollo Bars” for all I can make out.
• The nurse tells Emily that John has bounced back from everything that’s hit him, and no matter what, he beats it and keeps on ticking. Could the island forces have been keeping him safe right from the beginning, the way they’re helping Michael right now?
• Did Emily’s mother know Richard Alpert? She certainly sputters like she knows who he is.
• What is the Book of Laws? Is it an ancient bible of the Others? There was a Book of Laws in the Plymouth Colony in 1636, so perhaps this is something that new colonies establish for themselves. (Unless Alpert was holding the actual Plymouth Colony book… wouldn’t surprise me, somehow.)
• When Omar heads into the ship to meet Keamy in the armoury, as per Gault’s instructions, his satellite phone begins beeping. This seems like more than just a random happening. Does it have anything to do with the phone that Frank later throws onto the beach, but the time warp is giving Omar a heads up of something?
• What is the connection between Abaddon and the Others? He seems to be working with Alpert.
• What was Frank’s intention with the sat phone package? I think Jack might have been wrong… they’re not supposed to follow them, but to stay the hell away from them. That phone gives them the whereabouts of Keamy’s people at all times.
• Does Ben really believe that the island wants him to die and wants to save Locke, or does he just want to avoid going into the cabin? He survived his spinal surgery okay, all things considered, and I’m thinking if the island wants to get rid of you, it’ll get rid of you.
Next week: The Oceanic Six become… the Oceanic Six.
Just a note that I’m in transit tomorrow, and probably not home until 4, so I’ll leave the discussion to you guys. (I might be able to sneak on here in the morning, but the connection is s…l…o…w.)
UPDATE #1: I got back home today around 5, finally away from my dad’s dial-up, only to try to log on to the Internet and my modem is not working (the DSL line is not coming into the house). So now... I’m back on dial-up! Argh... I think the Dharma Initiative is effing with my ability to post. But anyway...
As countless people have posted, Hurley says, “Mallomars” when Locke tries to wake him up. A lot of people are wondering if Richard Alpert is actually Locke’s father. Someone else posted saying it’s interesting that Emily is the name of John’s mom and Ben’s mom. The interesting thing is, until Emily said, “Please call the baby John!” I actually thought it was a Ben flashback! I thought we were being treated to an alternative birth that would suggest Ben’s original flashback was a lie, that it was what he wanted us to think his past was, and this was the real one. So it’s interesting that others are making that connection now. Someone else (or maybe it was the same person) thought maybe it’s the same Emily, but since they’ve used different actresses to portray her, I would think it is two different ones. But you never know....
I was watching the first scene again, and someone mentioned that the doctor that delivers the baby sort of looks like Christian. I noticed the doctor wheeling her down the hall sort of looks like the guidance counsellor who talks to John later. Could it be the same guy?
I think one of the best posts so far is wondering if maybe this isn’t a flashback, but Richard Alpert time-travelling to change the course of events. I really like that idea, how about you?
UPDATE #2: Click here for some more Cabin Fever thoughts.