Monday, May 12, 2008

Lost: Cabin Fever... More Thoughts
I'm back... as many of you know, I was in dial-up hell at my parents' place until Friday afternoon, and I posted my review of Cabin Fever, checked in a couple of times, but let you guys do the talking. Then I got home, ready to jump on with my handy dandy high-speed... and there was NO signal. Turns out Bell had sent someone out to our house to "install high speed" (said the work order I found stuffed in our mailbox hours after I'd called Bell and sat there for 30 minutes while the technician could find nothing wrong with my line) where we already HAD high speed. But, as Bell does, they just played around with the phone lines a bit and screwed up a line that had previously been working just fine, thank you very much. (Weird thing: The phone lines are in the backyard, and we have a locked fence they'd have to go through to get to it. How did they get there??) Anyway, they said the issue would be resolved in 48 hours, and by 56 hours we called them back, and they said don't worry, we have a technician coming around tomorrow to your house to check it from the inside at 5. From the inside? And you didn't think to call us to set up this appointment?

I'd switch to Rogers, but I think they're the seventh level of Hell. Bell's only the fifth.

Anyway, the guy fixed us and we're back online as of today. Why couldn't they have done this on the Meet Kevin Johnson episode, where I didn't have much to say? I have had a chance to watch the episode again, and I have a LOT to talk about, but you guys have been covering many of my thoughts brilliantly in the comments section. So, I wanted to talk about a couple of things and post some theories and just extend our discussion of this amazing episode. I can't stop thinking about it.

First of all, let's talk about Emily. There's been some discussion about Locke's mother having the same name as Ben's, and as I said in the comments section of my post on Cabin Fever, when the episode opened and the mother was yelling at her daughter Emily, I thought it was Ben's mother. Here's a pic of the actress playing John's mom, and you can see an incredible resemblance between her and Swoozie Kurtz, the actress who played Locke's mom in Deus Ex Machina. (Yay, casting! Great job...)Locke's granny is a real piece of work, attempting to light a cigarette near her preemie grandson in an incubator while asking how they can set up the adoption papers, and we see early on that Emily is a selfish brat, something that doesn't change even in her later years.

But I can't help but keep thinking of the fact that her name is the same as Ben's mother, and in this episode, where we go right back to Locke's childhood, we see his early years were similar to Ben's, too. What is the meaning of that? Do I think they're the same women? No, but what if John and Ben are representative of two paths a life could take? Each one is what the other could have been had he chosen a different path. That said, their paths have been quite similar so far:

Both have mothers named Emily. Both Emilys have red hair.
Both boys are born prematurely.
As John is being wheeled away from his mother, she yells for them to call him John; as Ben's mother dies, her last words are to call him Ben. (Interesting that both mothers are insistent on naming their boys something, like it was predestined and meant to be.)
Neither one is raised by his mother.
There is a link to the island surrounding both their births; Horace Goodspeed shows up moments after Ben is born... Richard Alpert comes to see John a couple of weeks after Locke is born.
Ben is raised by a nasty father; Locke by a nasty foster parent.
Both are visited by Richard Alpert early in their lives.
Ben comes to the island through his father (and when his father is given the job of "Work Man," it's obvious Horace wasn't convincing Roger to come, but just wanted Ben there and needed to convince Roger to make that happen) where Locke comes there through a plane crash after earlier attempts to get him to the island a little less bumpily fall through.
Horace is a huge influence on Ben; John is visited by Horace and directed to Jacob's cabin through him.
Ben follows an image of his mother into the jungle and meets Richard Alpert; Locke chases his mother through a parking lot, which leads him to Cooper, and ultimately the island.
Both men blame their fathers for destroying their lives.
Both men kill their fathers.
Both believe the island has spoken to them and that the island is something bigger than just a physical place.
Both have uttered the phrase, "Don't tell me what I can't do!"
Both have been in wheelchairs.
Both survived something that could have killed them.
Both have heard Jacob's voice and seen him.
Both have been "chosen" by the island.

What does it all mean? There's a lot of talk that Christian is the original Adam of the island... could Locke and Ben be the Cain and Abel?

One thing I thought the moment I watched the scene of Locke in high school: they certainly found a young actor who looks a LOT like a younger Kevin Tighe, the actor who plays Locke's father, Anthony Cooper. I have a picture of a young Tighe when he was a heartthrob (for reals) in his Emergency days in my first Finding Lost book, so the moment I saw the actor I couldn't believe the resemblance. Here's a pic of Tighe (he's the guy on the top) in those days... there's definitely a resemblance. Of course, this episode raised the question of whether or not Alpert might have been the baby's father. Either way, I think Granny Locke knew who Alpert was, and there was no love lost between them. (Was anyone else reminded of Mamma Petrelli on Heroes?? That's totally who I thought of when they showed Emily's mom. It made me wonder if the Others and the DI have generations of people who have been leading up to this moment.)

Another theory running around these days is who Abaddon is. I watched the scene with him again today and I was struck by a line I somehow completely missed both times I watched it on Thursday (the first time my daughter ran in, and I thought Lost was probably inappropriate for a 3-year-old so I paused it to take her to bed; the second time my stepmum walked in and I didn't want to spoil the show for her) but Abaddon asks Locke if he believes in miracles, and when Locke says no, Abaddon says one happened to him. What could he be talking about? Many fans are speculating that Abaddon is actually a grown-up Walt who is time travelling. While I love that idea -- just think, the miracle could be him getting off the island or something happening to Walt that we don't know about yet -- I don't see any resemblance between the two at all. Reddick has darker skin; longer, gaunt facial features, and Kelley has a wider face and wider nose. It just isn't believable to me on a physical level. On a plot-level, that would be pretty cool. It's interesting to note, as some other people have already, that as Abaddon is wheeling Locke down the hall, he calls him "Mr. Locke" the whole time, just like Walt always did. Also, it's an awesome idea that somehow Walt grows up and then comes up with the idea to time travel back to help some of the people get off the island. It makes Abaddon's enigmatic line to Hurley, "Are they still alive?" even more mysterious.

A few other things that interested me in the comments or on other boards in the last day or so:

• Someone in my comments suggested Keamy is wearing a heart rate monitor that would blow up the island should he die. Interesting. I thought it was a direct bomb trigger, but I like this idea more.
• Another reminded us of that note that Sayid and Desmond got a few episodes ago that said, “Don’t trust the captain.” Yet Sayid’s jumped into a boat and is heading off, helped by the captain. Should he have done that, or is he falling for something?
• (I was just scrolling through the comments and saw that KeepingAwake did a list of some similarities between Ben and Locke, and I somehow missed it… great minds think alike!!)
• A few of you have pointed out that Aleister Crowley wrote The Book of the Law and Richard’s Book of Laws could be a reference to that. In The Book of the Law, it’s about Crowley’s wife Rose, who invokes the Egyptian god Horus. Since we’ve got a Rose on the island, and Horace was one of the Others, it’s an interesting connection. But despite having similar titles, it’s not the same title. I think it might be an ancient text that belongs to the original tribe on the island… the one that built the big statue that we will apparently NEVER find out about. Sheesh.
• A couple of people asked about the Dharma logo on the front of the booklet that Keamy was reading. As I watched the episode, I thought, “Hmm, Dharma logo. Looks like the Orchid.” And then, didn’t actually write that down. Type, Nik, TYPE. Anyway, it’s the logo for the Orchid station, which would suggest it IS the time travelling place we all think it is. Keamy says all the people on the island could escape to one place, so it would stand to reason that’s the place he thinks they’re headed to.
• The comic book that Richard shows to Locke is a real comic, and not one made for the show. I saw on one posting board, someone said it’s in the comics price guide at $115. I wonder if any fan has posted images from it yet?

What else am I missing?


Anonymous said...

Nikki, I had wondered whether the flashforward of Ben in the desert in Tunisia is him actually escaping Keamy and tribe through the Orchid Station. Maybe that's how he hurt his arm. Not sure, but doesn't he convince Sayid to kill Omar? For something that happened on the island?

Anonymous said...

Another Great Post!

My initial response to the contraption on Keamy's arm was also a sort of heart monitor connected to explosives on the island... or explosives on himself. It really seems like this guy does not want people to know who he is and what he's done. So I wouldn't be surprised if he blew himself up to keep his identity secret.

Or, it could be some sort of contraption similar to the security fence to keep Smokey at bay, creating some sort of personal field/safety area/date comfort zone around him. I figure that since he could be working for some sort of Neo-Dharma Initiative operation, the technology could be available to him. [This idea came to me after dwelling on it for another half hour. Lost - the most intelligent think-laden show EVER]

Question: has anyone else been wondering about the rest of the Others since they fled their homes? I hope that's resolved in the next few episodes, like actually see them; its been on my mind since they left.

K J Gillenwater said...

With these similarities between Locke & Ben, it could also fit the parallel universe idea. That Locke & Ben are the 'same' in that they are each other's opposite. Locke was the child born in one universe of existence; Ben in another. Same mothers, different fathers...with different results. In Locke's world Emily (his mother) survived but abandoned him. In Ben's world Emily (his mother) died leaving him abandoned, in a sense.

I don't just was an interesting thought.

yourblindspot said...

Regarding the 'Mystery Tales' comic issue:

Unknown said...

I just wanted to point out that in line with the Walt/Abadon idea that in Season 1 when Locke and Walt first hang out Walt mentions to Michael that Mr. Locke told him a secret and that a miracle happened. So If Abadon is grown Walt he will already know about the future Miracle of Mr. Locke and might be referring to that miracle

Anonymous said...

I like Walt/Abadon theory and wouldn't get too hung up on a lack of physical resemblance to the actors. Tony Todd played a grown Jack Sisko on Deep Space Nine, and even though he doesn't look like Cirroc Lofton, it was an amazing episode. They could just be casting for talent.

Mighty YT said...

Hi Nikki! I am a first-time poster, but have been reading your reviews since the first batch of Season 4 episodes. I enjoy reading your thoughts, discoveries, and musings each week and I have begun to incorporate them into my lengthy discussions on LOST with my family and friends. With the latest development of theories and ideas following “Cabin Fever,” I could not resist any longer and had to jump in to the intense discussion (plus, I figure you are the best one to share my ideas with)!

(Also, sorry my post is so long! This show just really gets my brain cookin’!)

Now, here’s my two cents:

1. Keamy's new gadget & torching the Island (plus a cool idea for one of the final scenes for this season's finale):

• Keep this quote in mind - while speaking to Captain Gault about the "secondary protocol," Keamy said, "'Cause he's a very smart man, and if Linus knows that we're gonna torch the Island, there's only one place that he can go."
• Although I agree with sdbrian that the contraption on Keamy's arm is a heart rate monitor that acts as a trigger to some massive explosive device, hence Keamy's "torch" remark, we differ on where these "explosives" are located.
• What kind of explosive could Keamy carry on his person that could supposedly "torch" the whole island? I am guessing they will either take an explosive device with them that has the required amount of firepower on their return chopper ride to the Island or the device could trigger the launch of a missile from an off-island location that would be sent to Keamy's location and wipe out everyone on the Island. I realize the latter suggestion may be a little far out, but it would be a cool way to end the season.
• Just imagine it...
Ben & Locke are having a standoff with Keamy...
They shoot and kill Keamy, knowing that they should have at least a little time before the missile reaches the Island (although Ben and Locke have not been informed of Faraday's "payload" experiment and how objects travelling to the Island take longer than expected)...
Ben & Locke "throw the switch"/pray to Jacob/pay homage to the giant, four-toed Island Gods/sacrifice a polar bear & a numbered rabbit to appease Smokey (a little Lost humor), in order to begin the teleportation process of moving the Island, so that it will not be hit by the incoming missile...
Meanwhile, the 6 Losties who have just finished boarding the freighter (plus Desmond, Michael, and the remainder of the ship's crew) watch in shock & awe as a missile flies over head...
The missile is headed straight for the Island and the second before it hits, WHOOSH!, the Island disappears and the missile hits nothing but ocean, making a huge explosion of fire and water (or for a more humorous follow-up to my comments earlier, maybe some giant, four-toed Island Gods will show up, pick up the Island, and move it out of harm’s way or Smokey will grow to the size of the Island, envelop it, and take it somewhere else)!

2. Speculation that Abaddon is actually a grown-up Walt who is time travelling:

• First off, this idea is awesome and mind-blowing and makes me wish I had thought of it!
• Nikki already pointed out the line about Abaddon experiencing a miracle, but another line that really intrigued me was Abaddon’s final line.
• Just before the elevator door closed, Abaddon said, “When you're ready, Mr. Locke... (presses elevator button) you'll listen to what I'm saying. And then when you and me run into each other again... you'll owe me one.” If this theory turns out to be true, then is Abaddon/adult Walt referring to when they run into each other on the Island and it is at that time that “Mr. Locke” will owe young Walt a favor? If so, does finding Vincent, by using the little whistle Locke carved (Season 1, Episode 3, “Tabula Rasa”), qualify as the favor or debt repaid, seeing as how much young Walt cared about Vincent? Or could Locke have simply returned the favor by being a friend to Walt, taking him under his wing, and teaching him how to throw knives?

3. Richard Alpert’s item test & little Locke’s drawing (an aspect that has received minimal attention):

• The thing that most intrigued me about Richard’s test for young Locke was when he elaborated upon his original question and said, “No, no, John. Which of these things belong to you already?”
• “Already?!” Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Richard? Is Richard implying that Locke is a reincarnated Jacob or some other chosen one/“special” person who we have yet to meet? Although, how could Locke, or anyone for that matter (other special/chosen people: Ben, Walt, Aaron), be a reincarnated Jacob if Jacob’s spirit is already hanging out in Horace’s “Afternoon Delight Cabin?” If not Jacob, then is he a reincarnated four-toed native of the Island?
• As for the choosing of the correct vs. incorrect items, I believe 5-year-old Locke was “tuned-in” to his “previous-life-self” at first and was on-a-roll with the vile of granular material (most likely sand), the compass, and he even lingered his gaze on the “Book of Laws,” but the little 5-year-old boy in him took over and selected the knife, against his first intuition & better judgment. It is possible that to a little boy (especially one who thought he would get to keep whatever he chose), the knife was just too tempting because: (a) it is sharp and (b) dangerous and obviously, little kids think that means it is cool. I am probably stating the obvious right now, but if you look at the items from a 5-year-old mindset, Richard presented 3 “cool” items (baseball glove, comic book, & knife) and 3 “boring” items (“Book of Laws,” vial of sand, & compass). After all, what 5-year-old would not want at least one of the “cool” items?
• His stubbornness and insistence on not being placed in a certain category (hence, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”) could also be part of the culprit. User brian douglas touched on this topic and said, “Locke has often embraced the "hunter" rather than the "farmer," which is what Richard was looking for in Locke. He just wasn't counting on Locke's stubborn will.”
• Finally, the drawing that 5-year-old Locke drew could be a past experience with Smokey, but it seemed more premonitory to me. If you look at it closely, it appears as though Smokey is bursting from a hole in the ground and hovering above someone, looking like it is ready to pounce. This is obviously very reminiscent of when Locke wanted to get a better look at Smokey in Season 1’s finale, “Exodus, Part 2,” and after a tree was uprooted behind him, Locke fell and was looking up at Smokey while laying on his back. Locke of course would try to run, only for Smokey to trip him, grab him by the ankles, and attempt to drag him down the hole/vent from whence he may have come. Locke seemed to have a moment of clarity that relieved him of his fear of being taken down the vent and pleaded with Jack to let him go. Could the sudden belief that he would be ok come from that 5-year-old premonition that it was meant to happen?
• Also, user henry briefly mentioned this when he said, “Locke has memories that haven't happened yet, such as the smoke monster picture he drew... did anyone else think that it looked like Locke's own first encounter with Smokey on the island early in the series?

Brandon Kotowski/ job: fan of LOST said...

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but what if Locke has to move the Island by using the Orchid Station's teleportation methods? I just don't know if the Orchid can move the Island itself or just things within the station, but judging by the Orchid symbol on Keamy's notebook, that's where I think Locke has to go in order to "move" the Island.

I was also thinking about that darn four-toed statue. What if the original Island natives had only four toes, and are "special" in some way that they are ruled by Jacob. I mean, we've never seen Richard's feet, so it's a possibility, right?

Perhaps by moving the Island with the Orchid, that may be why Jack is having such a hard time finding it again. Plus, wouldn't Keamy's Kill Squad be on the Island with the survivors, who were all moved with the Island (if the Orchid does indeed do that)? I think that's why Jack says they need to go back. Everyone else is in danger of being killed! Or perhaps the Oceanic Six just escaped, and it's only a matter of time before Widmore finds it during his war with Ben.

To finish, I think Keamy's thing on his arm is a life monitor of sorts, and if he dies, then some type of gas or something is released to kill EVERYONE as a failsafe. It could also insure him against mutiny.

Jazzygirl said...

Okay I've ready EVERY post between this thread and the other. I have only watched it once (I know, I know) but I was away this weekend. I made sure to watch it before I left but unfortunately I won't be able to watch again before tomorrow. Ah well. That's why I have a DVR.
ANYWAY, I can't add much more to what everyone has already said. But, I do want to bring up a couple of things that have been mentioned in passing.
First off...Christian's clothes. I noticed immediately. It's not the suit and white sneakers but casual camping clothes. No one has offered thoughts on WHY. We know it's not just a change of wardrobe.
Claire...a lot of you said that she was perhaps really killed in the house explosion. But how then does that explain how Sawyer picked her up and took her along? Yes, her face was eerie as hell. Borderline evil and sublime. I am now convinced even more that somehow Jack WILL find out that she is his sister. Somehow it's going in that direction.
The doctor...this time warp thing has always messed me up. I thought the island was only off by about 30 minutes? Seems the events on the ship were longer than that??? So his dead body goes back in time yet in "real" time he's still alive? Eh??
SO many Gasp moments...especially Abbadon. So confused now. Yes, I thought he was going to throw John down the stairs. It seems that so many people are involved with the chain of events.
Yes, it does seem Locke will be successful in moving the island because Jack can't find it again. I am not sure that Ben jumps back forward in time into the desert while escaping Keamey to find Sayid. This would imply he ALREADY knew what would unfold in the future?
Anyway, GREAT episode. All the shows seem to have benefitted from this strike. I have to wait til Friday to watch it but I can't wait!!!

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey guys: Great comments!

Karolyn: The guy Sayid kills isn't Omar (unless he's changed his name, but I don't think it was the same actor...) but I agree; I think Ben might have landed in Tunisia only moments after the fit hit the shan in the epic battle to come.

sdbrian: The last we saw of the Others was in the season 3 finale, when Ben was telling them to go to the temple. Alpert was heading them up at that point, and I wonder if the writers avoided them for a while waiting for Carbonell to come back. I hope we see them in the finale at some point.

Kristin: exactly what I'm thinking -- these are two possible tracks one life could have taken, and they can't diverge too much because there would be certain constants, but the differences are what makes Ben Ben and Locke Locke.

Joshua: Wow, thanks for the link! Man, that person selling the copy on email must have been seriously stoked when it was on Lost. I'll post the picture today.

redeem: I agree, we have to accept that casting has its limitations. But these two don't look ANYTHING alike. I mean, we'd certainly be raising our eyebrows if they had Harvey Keitel playing an older Walt, so just because they're both dark-skinned, why does that make them believable as the same person? It just irks me. That said, I love Lance Reddick, and I'm so happy he's on here.

Josh: Good catch!

Mighty YT: Welcome! I'm glad you posted. :) Great post, by the way, and there's a lot to think about here. I agree the picture of the smoke monster hasn't gotten much discussion anywhere, and it reminded me of the scene in Exodus, too. The face of the drawing had the same horrified look that John Locke had in Exodus when Smokey turned out not to be the sweetness and light he was anticipating.

Brandon: I agree, they're going to the Orchid. Whether it's in the basement of Ben's place is another question, but I'm sure we'll find out this week.

Jazzygirl: I think death means something else on the island. Many people come back to help do things after they're dead, like Boone appearing to Locke or Yemi to Eko (though we all think it's probably the smoke monster, and by the looks of it even HE hates Nikki and Paulo so much he won't take on their forms). Remember Dave? He wasn't actually there (no one else could see him) but when he slapped Hurley, Hurley felt it. Again, when Charlie appeared to Hurley, he hit him and Hurley felt it. So death seems to have a physicality to it that it doesn't elsewhere. Claire could be dead, but still not ephemeral. Hmm...

DanM said...

Darlton shot down the notion that
Claire is dead. They said the question we should be asking is what changed to make Claire leave her baby? Christian told Locke that Aaron is where he's supposed to be.

It seems clear that Claire believes that there is some great plan for Aaron and that he should be raised by someone else. Obviously not Jack.

Emilia said...

I like the idea that Christian allowed Claire to time travel to the future, see that Aaron grows up to be cared for and safe (with Kate?), and is moved enough to leave Aaron behind. She must have been shown something pretty powerful, maybe whatever it is Aaron is destined to do, to actually be so calm about abandoning her child.

Unknown said...

Has anyone noticed the other person in the cargo hold with the Oceanic 6? In the opening scene, as the Oceanic Airline rep is leaving the cockpit to enter the cargo hold, she looks to her left and acknowledges someone with a smile. Then a bald head enters the scene for just a second. Just a few frames later, as we see her talking with the Oceanic 6, just behind her in the background is a man sitting in a chair. Somehow it reminds me of Jacob sitting in his chair in the cabin. I don't have any theories to offer on his importance to the story. I just found it really curious that this would be included at all. Could someone else gotten off the island that we do not know about? Any ideas?