Arctic blasts that steal your breath away. Ice encrusted snow the color of television tuned to a dead channel. And three hours of Lost!!!
Ahh, January. The most wonderful time of the year.
Of course, the first Lost post always find me a little rusty but I can work my way through the mire fairly quickly. You see, I have total recall over most any piece of entertainment I’ve ever viewed (apparently remembering that it was WKRP’s Mr. Carlson who guest-starred on Different Strokes as a local deviant with designs on Dudley is my super power). So, I figure another paragraph or two and it’s like I’m back, pedaling that proverbial bike.
Here on this 4th day of the work week, I flip the calendar pages backward and find that it’s been 8 long months since we last saw the Jack Pack or Oceanic 15 or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves these days. In the interim, I’ve stained my deck, run a couple game shows, acted Off-Off-Off-Off-Off-Broadway where I worked my ass off in 16 rehearsals to insure the 23 minutes of stage time I had were pitch-perfect, gotten reacquainted with approximately 42 old friends via Facebook that I thought were lost to the ravages of time and then settled back down to ponder the meaning of all these lingering Lost threads that need tying before May 2010. Like the numbers, for instance, and their insidious way of working themselves into the most random of places. Some great meaning there or just a coincidence?
Well, with that out of my system, I’m feeling the juices flowing. When we last left off, Desmond and Penny were reunited, Ben was cranking a wagon wheel and present day Jack was charged with bringing the man in the box back to his favorite island destination.
With that said, on with the show. Let’s get Lost.
1. Because You Left marks the first chapter in Act 3 of this story and as proper fiction has taught us, Act 3 is where we get resolution to the main conflict. While a number of interesting plot threads were woven into the tapestry last night, it’s pretty clear that showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse know where this show will end – which is a far cry from the muddled mess that Chris Carter spun his once-great X-Files into when it neared its sunset years. Cuse and Lindelof have the luxury of knowing their end date – May 2010. Counting last night’s episode, there are 36 hours left to tell this tale and it would seem that over the course of those two hours, they have set their pawns in motion towards realizing their end game.
2. I’ll get into plot particulars in a moment but I love how so much of what we’ve theorized over the last few years is starting to bear fruit. Specifically, the time travel or time distortion aspect of the plot. While cryptic hints have been dropped throughout the past couple of seasons that the island’s location is not so much an issue of where but when, last night offered up proof positive in the first few moments.
3. That first scene, with a mysterious man awakening in a pastoral location brought to mind the opening segments of the last few seasons. Season 2 opened with Desmond tossing on a record (Mama Cass’ Make Your Own Music) before going through the rigors of a normal day only to end in the reveal that he was the man in the hatch. Season 3 began with a despondent Juliet tossing on another sunny ditty (Downtown) before the big reveal that she was an inhabitant of Othersville and now we have the Season 5 open, mimicking Desmond’s morning routine only to shake things up and reveal a man we’d only seen before on those cryptic orientation videos. A man possessing many inexplicable candle-related aliases (Dr. Halliwax, Dr. Wick, Dr. Candle) is actually Dr. Pierre Chang. Although he plays a doctor on TV he apparently serves a chief role in the DHARMA project, as he’s summoned to the under construction Orchid station to review a mysterious find.
4. And it’s there, upon reviewing the sonar imaging of a wheel shaped object buried in the rubble, that Dr. Chang spells it all out for us. Whatever power lays beyond that wall, holds the ability to alter time.
5. And to underscore that comment, our own time-tripper Dan “The Man” Farraday comes be-bopping along with some explosives a few moments later providing a great WTF moment to send us off on a commercial break. (Or me fast-forwarding through said break. I love my DVR – it’s like I’m a Time Traveler!!!)
6. So, there it is. The island isn’t lost in space. It’s lost in time. And anyone caught within the radius is tripping the rift along with it.
7. There is one catch. If you notice, anyone outside the radius was immune (i.e. The Oceanic 6). Almost anyone inside the radius are tripping together. Their surroundings change depending upon what time they land in, but they remain the same. We see that with the people on the small boat as well as those on the beach. BUT… Locke was hanging with his posse of Others when the light went bright and upon his awakening, he’s all alone.
8. My take – island visitors are impacted by the effects but indigenous people are not. I believe Richard and his band of merry men are the true inhabitants of this island – the true “Others” and they are immune to the effects. So, Locke gets pinballed from one temporal spot to the next but they stay put where they are/were. Now, I raised this to someone who called out Juliet but hear in mind, she’s not indigenous to the island. She was drafted by Ben’s shady corporation Mittelos Bioscience (Mittelos is an anagram of Lost Time, by the way) and brought to the island. Same as Ben. In fact, if Ben were there, my bet is he would be skipping along the space-time continuum alongside Juliet. But Richard has been shown to be ageless (he appeared to both Ben and Locke as children appearing exactly as he appears now). So that’s my theory. He’s a native.
9. We also see that the same sickness that impacted that dude (Fisher Stevens) on the freighter last season is impacting Charlotte. If you remember, the key to surviving time travel is to have a Constant. Faraday sees the blood running from Charlotte’s nose and that sends him back to his journal to confirm what we know. Desmond is his constant – his anchor. Which grants him the ability to reach out to Desmond and implant the power of suggestion.
10. If you recall last season’s time travel episode, the Lost brand of time travel involves a person’s conscience moving. Essentially, your body doesn’t physically move from one time to another (as that would eventually place two of you in the same place hence opening a paradox). Instead, Lost time travel posits that your conscience moves forwards or backwards in time and takes residence in your body – in a way, explaining déjà vu. So, when Desmond wakes and tells Penny that they need to head to Oxford to hunt down Daniel’s mother, he refers to it as a memory. A newly minted memory.
11. Daniel also refers to Desmond as special. He goes to great pains to explain that time travel follows string theory – in that the string remains the same connecting two points and that you can go backwards and forwards along it but can never deviate from the end result. Essentially, destiny. The road may change a bit but the end result will always be the same and no matter what someone does to change that destiny, course corrections will set in to insure the destiny is fulfilled. This has been an overarching theme on the show. Think back to the Charlie’s death from a few years ago. Charlie was destined to die and no matter what was done to avert that, there was always a new way for him to die. Try as hard as he might, Desmond realized he couldn’t alter Charlie’s course.
12. So, when Daniel says Desmond is different – I’m not sure he means that Desmond can alter time so much as small changes can be made concerning Desmond who appears to be in tune with time travel outside of the island. In other words, Desmond is something that can be influenced to cause future actions to occur.
13. The true key to the island’s power appears to be Locke. In fact, Locke ends up being the true barometer of where the island is in time. When he initially wakes in the jungle, it’s several years back – on the day that Yemi’s plane crashes on the island. Time table-wise, that’s likely in the late 90’s, predating the 2004 Oceanic crash by several years. As I’m writing this I’m rethinking my theory. Locke gets shot in the past and remains shot in the present and future. So, I don’t think its his conscience that’s traveling but his physical body. But, Desmond clearly had his conscience travel and not his body. So, that may be what makes him special.
14. Anyway, the following meeting with Richard proves that Locke is in the future. He’s still shot and Richard provides two key pieces of information.
15. First he gives him the compass. This is the same compass that was in the pile of artifacts that Richard showed a young Locke years earlier as a test to define what type of man he was. Remember, he told Locke, choose the item that belongs to you. Young Locke picked a knife which set Richard off – saying Locke had failed the test. Now, years later, he gives him the compass and says that the next time they meet, for Locke to give it to him – even though Richard won’t know him. My guess is the next time they meet is prior to that event – meaning Locke will travel back before the test, give Richard the watch which Richard then makes part of his test for Locke to choose what rightfully belongs to him. Where that goes, I don’t know, but I think it’s a personal test for Richard to prove that Locke is the “chosen” one and perhaps does change the future. If Locke picks the correct item as a child then Richard doesn’t storm out and perhaps Richard doesn’t settle on Ben as the Others leader later in life – thus changing the course of destiny.
16. Which leads into his second directive. That Locke must die. Now, Richard says that Locke must die to save the island. I think to complete the biblical allusion, Locke must die – and then be resurrected – to save the day. Yup, that’s where I think that is going. Again, it’s a plot thread for the rest of the season so how this all plays out is anyone’s guess.
17. Now, I’ll throw you a curve ball. We know there are at least two factions at work here. Ben’s group – the supposed “Good Guys” and Widemore – who I believe looks to this island as the proverbial fountain of youth. Miles dropped the note that Widemore has been looking for the island for 20 years. I’ve often felt that Widemore may have been a previous inhabitant of the island. He calls it his, often, and last season, was seen bidding on that painting and manifest from the Black Rock. What if he were banished from the island, an indigenous member, and is now doing everything in his power to get it back under his control.
18. But here’s the curve ball. Last season Jack was warned by Hurley who passed on the following message from Charlie – “You are not meant to raise him.” Then a ghostly Claire warned Kate “Don’t you dare bring him back, Kate!” We assume that both messages from beyond the grave allude to Aaron. What if they actually reference Locke. Don’t you dare bring him back. You are not meat to raise him… from the dead. What if Locke’s death and resurrection actually provide the catalyst for whatever terrible calamity will apparently occur. We know Locke is easily duped. Falling for Richard Alpert’s plea to die (and then be reborn) might be the ultimate sacrifice or it might be the ultimate con.
19. Before I get off all the time stuff, I have to focus in on that final meeting between Ben and that old woman. That’s Mrs. Hawking (allusion to Stephen who has a lot to say about black holes, worm holes and time travel) who Desmond encountered in his first time travel after the hatch blew. Even then, two years ago, she discussed his role in destiny – that he was meant to go to the island and push the button and save the world. And now, she’s here monitoring the temporal tea leaves looking for the next Event Window – which I assume will be the moment that they can get access to the in flux island, provided they are all in the right place at the right time.
20. Also, 10-1 she’s Faraday’s Mommy.
21. Now for some random thoughts.
22. I’d like to think the “I [HEART] Shi Tzus” shirt is just a goof but knowing this show, I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ll expect the Lost obsessives are already feverishly working to break the code.
23. What’s the deal with the creepy law firm and their Door-to-Door Blood Drive? My guess – they’re employed by Charles Widemore who is looking for leverage to break Kate and get her to divulge what she knows about the island or perhaps Aaron is key to the island and he needs him to get back.
24. When Sayid tossed that assassin onto the Dish Washer rack, killing him with the exposed knives, he realized my greatest household fear. Every time I open that thing, I just know I’m taking my life into my own hands.
25. I don’t believe that the fire arrow archers and the Brits that Sawyer and company later encountered are one in the same. I think the fire arrow guys reflect a visit further in the past (likely, the true Others). As for the Brits, I don’t believe they are DHARMA (the uniforms were different) so that’s a mystery to me. But what if Sawyer and company were in the future and that is a sign of things to come – of Widemore’s men!!!
All right, that’s enough for now. Let me know what you guy’s have.
I’ll be back next week for Episode 5.3 – Jughead.
Because You Left – 5.1
The Lie – 5.2