Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lost Ep 8: Flashes Before Your Eyes
In the most recent EW cover article on Lost, Damon Lindelof warned that this week's episode was going to feature a "flashback" that would be unlike any other, before or after. And was it ever. In fact, we could say this is the first episode that didn't actually feature a flashback at all.

Was Desmond's flashback really his life flashing before his eyes as he was imploding along with the hatch, or was it his mind flashing forward in the past, the way it does now? By the end of the episode, he confirms the former. "Flashes Before Your Eyes" gave us some flashes of his past, without showing us what really happened. Fionnula Flanagan guest-starred as a creepy fellow pre-cog who warns him that he can't change history. The old "step on a cockroach, change history forever" idea. Interestingly, Flanagan starred in Nicole Kidman's star vehicle, The Others, as one of ... gulp .... The Others.

In the "past," there were several indicators of life on the island, and little things hidden throughout:
-McCutcheon 60 whisky: this one is an interesting one, because he chuckles when Charlie shows him the bottle as if it really did exist in his past (which I believe it did) rather than him imagining it did
-he was painting the walls and ceiling red, which would have given it the same dark hue as the hatch
-the painting over their bed looked a lot like the mural in the hatch; same sort of unique strokes
-the digital clock says 1:08, which is what the countdown clock reverted to
-Pen tells Desmond it's not the end of the world
-the microwave beeps like the countdown clock (ooh, I have a great story about this. I was in a Loblaws a week ago and walking down one aisle, and all of a sudden I totally heard the countdown clock: same note, same tone, timbre, everything. I looked up from what I was doing, actually stopped shopping and followed the noise, and realized it was the scanner, and the cashier was putting the items through at exactly the same pace the clock would have using. Creepy.)
-the delivery guy at Widmore has a delivery for 815, two of the numbers
-in Widmore's office, there's another painting that looks similar to the mural. This one has NAMASTE written backwards on it (Marvin Candle says that at the end of the Dharma videos); there's a Buddha sitting upside down at the top of it, and a polar bear in the middle. A little row of roof peaks appears at the bottom, as if they're a row of houses, and on the hatch mural there's a row of houses at the bottom.
-the boat in Widmore's office is the one Desmond uses to race around the world in.
-running into Charlie and recognizing him from the hatch. Clearly this is before Drive Shaft, because if it were after, and this was Charlie Pace after the breakup of the band, when Des says, "Where do I know you from?" Charlie would have said, "Drive Shaft." Also, Charlie is fresh-faced and pleasant, and not snarly and drugged-out.
-hearing Mama Cass's "Make Your Own Kind of Music" on the jukebox

-why does Widmore act like he doesn't know who Desmond is, when Des has been with Pen for 2 years and they're about to move in together?
-Widmore tells Des he'll never be a great man. Is he just unnecessarily cruel? (I'd take a yes on that one.) Or does he also know Desmond's path somehow?
-what's with the British Indian physics guy on these shows? Couldn't Desmond find Mohinder Suresh in his moment of need? It's almost becoming a stereotype on genre television.
-what did the woman in the ring store mean when she said, "Every single one of us is dead?"
-is pushing the button really going to be the only great thing Desmond ever does?
-when Penelope says, "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout?" was anyone else expecting her to call him Willis?
-is the ring really sitting at the bottom of the Thames?
-can Charlie escape his fate?

-"Written by Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard."
-No Nikki. No Paulo.
-Charlie finding Sawyer's porn.
-Charlie singing Oasis's "Wonderwall" on a street corner. Hahahaha... since Drive Shaft is clearly an Oasis ripoff, that was hilarious.
-Charlie looking at the crowd and saying, "This is why we don't do drugs." IRONY.
-one commercial break had a clip of Gene Kelly doing "Singin' in the Rain." Ah. A reason to watch commercials.

Did You Notice?:
-when Charlie's going through Sawyer's stuff, he hands Hurley a stack of books and Hurley pulls off Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark, which is an early book by the author. It's the story of one man's downfall through a sexual obsession, and how he leaves his wife for a younger mistress, and eventually destroys his life. More fun beach reading for Mr. Ford.
-Desmond tells Widmore that he was in the Royal Shakespeare Company, which was where Henry Ian Cusick actually studied.
-he says he had to look after his three brothers after his father... and then he's cut off. Did his father die? Get put in prison? Leave the family?
-Des asked Donovan about time travel, and the physics of it, and last week we saw Ando, the guard for Carl, reading A Brief History of Time, which talks about time from a physics standpoint
-when Des first goes to the ring store, the woman tells him it's clear he's a first-timer, yet she knows he isn't.
-in the ring store, there are clocks everywhere, a huge indicator of Time as the theme of this, and many other, episodes of Lost.

-the picture we've seen Desmond fingering so often has him wearing a red windbreaker with much shorter hair. When they tried to recreate it here, he's wearing a red dress shirt and has long hair
-Des takes a long look at the Royal Scots recruiting posters, which say HONOR in big letters. In the UK, HONOUR would be spelled with a u (the same way us Canucks spell it). Also, why would there be Royal Scots posters in London?? Wouldn't they only be in Scotland?
-the photographer handed Desmond one copy of the photo of the two of them, yet at the end of season 2 Pen had that same photo on her bedside table. How did they get 2 copies of it?

Music: When Des is trying to tie his tie, you can hear Sarah McLachlan's appropriate "Building a Mystery."
You come out at night
That's when the energy comes
And the dark side's light
And the vampires roam
You strut your rasta wear
And your suicide poem
And a cross from a faith that died
Before Jesus came
You're building a mystery

You live in a church
Where you sleep with voodoo dolls
And you won't give up the search
For the ghosts in the halls
You wear sandals in the snow
And a smile that won't wash away
Can you look out the window
Without your shadow getting in the way?

You're so beautiful
With an edge and charm
but so careful
When I'm in your arms

Cause you're working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you're working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully

You woke up screaming aloud
A prayer from your secret god
You feed off our fears
And hold back your tears, oh
Give us a tantrum
And a know it all grin
Just when we need one
When the evening's thin

You're a beautiful
A beautiful fucked up man
You're setting up your
Razor wire shrine

Cause you're working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you're working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully

Ooh you're working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you're working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully

Yeah you're working
Building a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah you're working
Building a mystery
And choosing so carefully
You're building a mystery

The end of this episode was heartbreaking, as Desmond pleaded with the Fates to let him go back so he could change things. But the real shocker came with the revelation that Charlie's a marked man. All this time it seemed to be Claire he was saving. Does this make the earlier episode inconsistent? He walks up to Claire and tells her to move away from the tent, that she and Aaron should be elsewhere. When Charlie comes up, he just walks away. Why doesn't he tell Claire to take Aaron and Charlie?

Whew! What an episode!

Next week: Stranger in a Strange Land, a Jack episode, where we'll apparently find out about Jack's tats. Bai Ling guest stars. Here's hoping for a largely silent role.


poppedculture said...

I've read an interesting theory about physics recently about how the observing an experiment changes the outcome, which is what Desmond was doing. Seeing as he was aware of what was happening, it was changing the result.

As for the ring, it will sit at the bottom of the river until some hobbit swims down and finds it. Paging Charlie...

Anonymous said...

what's with the British Indian physics guy on these shows? Couldn't Desmond find Mohinder Suresh in his moment of need?

hahahahahaha! i was thinking that this dude was probably mohinder's cousin or brother or something. ;-)

as for the royal scots poster (oooh! that spelling drove me INSANE when i saw it!!) being in london, it's possible. as a scottish regiment, the royal scots technically do recruit in scotland only, because that's the locality of their regiment. that said, scotland's still part of great britain, and all armed forces in great britain and northern ireland (the united kingdom) are known collectively as HM forces (her majesty's forces) -- in other words, even though scotland's a separate country from england, their forces are considered part of the same british army under queen elizabeth. my father, who served in the british army for many years, says that some of the royal scots even serve at buckingham palace. so it's conceivable that there would be a poster for a scottish regiment in an english recruitment centre.

my mind is still racing, trying to process the 45 minutes of what i did get to see from the ep. it makes sense to me (now!) that busking charlie was a pre-drive shaft charlie, but why didn't he recognise desmond on the island, then, as the same crazy man who accosted him on the street in london? and why didn't desmond recognise him on the island as the busker he went loony in front of in london? (or did he, and i missed it?)

love, love LOVE fionnula flannigan (she was also in waking ned devine, if memory serves). but i still want to know how she knew desmond's whole life story ...

Anonymous said...

You're completely, 100% WRONG about the "flashback". When Desmond turned the key, he actually relived that. He didn't tell that verbatim to Charlie because why would Charlie believe him? I'm not even going to bother pasting the rest together for you, but let me just tell you this: Rewatch the episode, and listen to the end of the conversation Desmond's teacher friend has with a female student before seeing "The Scot" and then the converstaion he was with the Scot afterwards, where he even admits he's time traveling. How can you not have picked up on it?

Anonymous said...

I loved last night's show Nikki, not quite as much as last weeks though. I was also chuckling that Desmond "happened" to know an East Indian physicist who "happened" to be talking aboug time travel, how convenient!

The episode had such a Final Destination feel to it, no matter what you do, you can't cheat death. I wonder if I believe that or not...

Maybe Sylar will show up and lop off Charlie's skull and become a bad singer! LOL

Anonymous said...

i normally trust kristin/wanda about as far as i can throw her, but she has a theory about time-travelling that absolutely blew. my. mind.

Anonymous said...

When I heard Sarah MacLaughlin singing, I knew it was the end of the world.

There is of course already an Indian-British guy on the show, but he's an Iraqi.

glenn said...

I liked the twist at the end, too.

The ep reminded me of Stephen King's "Dead Zone" (the book), in which a likeable guy awakens from a coma and can predict the future to save people.


The Chapati Kid said...

Yup, the Indians are either taxi drivers, convenience store owners, or scientists.

Hey Niks, did you mean "Ando" or "Andy" in your Did You Notice section?

Finally, I was totally screwed up by this episode. It doesn't explain how he can see the future. He relives the PAST, right? And he knows what's going to happen because he's already lived through it. Does this mean that he's constantly time travelling into the future to see what happens and then comes back into the past and then tries to save Charlie?

Dude, I feel like my brain somersaulted about 50 times in that episode. I keep thinking, maybe I shouldn't question it. Maybe I should just accept it, and let it wash over me. But all this time, we've been questioning everything, so it just seems wrong NOT to. But then the more questions I ask, the more baffled I feel.

jbdean said...


The red shirt in the pix was not a windbreaker but a polo shirt ... just like he had in the re-make with Penny in London. The hair is a bit longer but they got the clothes right.

jbdean said...

Forgot to add this, Nikki.

The boat in Widmore's office is not the Elizabeth. That model is not even the same make of boat. You can compare the two here and here.

Gaz Holland said...

The word 'NAMASTE' is only seen backwards because the first view is infact a reflection of the painting ! When first in the rrom you see a shot from behind and the painting is not on the right side of the room ! then when whidmore goes for the whisky you see the painting to the left of desmond.....therefore the image you see has 'NAMASTE' backwards for a reason !

Nikki Stafford said...

Chapatikid: You know, I think I meant Aldo, actually... now I'm drawing a complete blank on that kid's name, but I think it reminded me of a shoe store. ;)

jbdean and Gaz: Thanks for pointing this stuff out. The downside to having to post so soon after the episode airs is that I get stuff wrong, so thanks for the eagle eyes. (This is why I love Lost fans!) :)

Connie [@ConStar24] said...

Im a bit late, but ive discovered this blog and am going through some old episode entries for LOST, which ive also recently discovered. awesome stuff, both the show and this blog. one comment though: at Widmores offices, the mailguy or whatever actually says three of the numbers. he says its for 815, but then Des asks him to repeat it because it sounds like 4-8-15.

and ill def be reading more of this blog and ur books, we like a lot of the same shows!