Looks like the Jack Pack ainâ€™t the only one doing the time warp back to those hazy, crazy days of peace, love and the Dharma Initiative. Yup, Iâ€™ve been tripping alongside them. Now, if only I could remember where I left that Constant.
Iâ€™ve got to give mad props and big ups (sorry â€“ still stuck in that 90â€™s groove after Fists of Flannel) â€“ anyway, a hearty slap on the back is owed Joe D. for putting in a little bit of overtime after his marathon Photoshop sessions for Flannel to place my mug on some Dharma digs. He crafted three of them for me and I think Iâ€™ll use these in rotation for each of the Lost posts.
Thanks again, Joe.
With that said, on with the show. Letâ€™s get Lost.
1.Â Â Not a lot of island activity this week but plenty of activity in getting those voted off back on board. This was a tight, fast-paced hour that once again, provided a good dollop of information and answered a few lingering questions while keeping the main mystery just off-stage. Iâ€™m repeating myself but for anyone who still holds on to the maxim that the Lost writers donâ€™t answer any questions, you must be stuck back in Season 3. If anything, this season has been akin to the scene in A Clockwork Orange where we, the viewer, have our eyes pried open and are being blasted with rapid fire information in a bid to retrain our brains. Some of the stuff theyâ€™ve thrown out there, especially the time travel stuff, is pretty ballsy for a mainstream hit show but I think itâ€™s awesome that ABC trusts in the producers to reward the loyal fans who have stuck by the show. They know that by now, the casual audience has jumped ship â€“ which leads to lowered ratings than the first season â€“ but consistent ones. And that frees them to tell their tale without compromise. So, for once, I applaud the network for letting these guys wave their freak flag proudly.
2.Â Â So, we know some of the Oceanic 6 is back on the island. At the very least Kate, Jack and Hurley made it intact. But what of Sayid, Sun, Ben, Frank and while Iâ€™m at it â€“ the entire plane? During one of Locke and companiesâ€™ flashes a couple of weeks ago, they came across their ocean front estate completely trashed. This is when they located those boats â€“ one of which had a bottle of Ajira Airlines water inside. So, did the entire plane crash or were just the key people transported from the plane to the island when it crossed the window
3.Â Â On the topic of windows, we got a good explanation from Mrs. Hawkins about the island. As we suspected, the island moves through time and space but along a sequence of waypoints (or windows) around the Earth â€“ usually located above areas of intense magnetic activity. This calls back to that episode from Season 2 where Rose journeyed to Australia to seek out a faith healer who had taken up residence in the shadow of a mountain that supposedly had a massive well of magnetic activity â€“ which may make that one of the islandâ€™s stops â€“ or at least, one of the entrance points to make your way to the island.
4.Â Â Also during her speech, Mrs. Hawking discussed a â€œclever fellowâ€ who came up with a series of mathematic equations and helped locate the island. We know that outsiders have been on the island as far back as 1954 (according to the US Army photo that Jack was looking at) so the question is â€“ who is this â€œclever fellowâ€ who found the island. Iâ€™d say we can discount Faraday as he wasnâ€™t born. And it doesnâ€™t sound like Mrs. Hawkins was describing herself. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s Richard Alpert or Joshua simply because I think they are indigenous to the island. And we know when Ben made his way there. My guess is that it is either Alvar Hanso â€“ the benefactor of the DHARMA Initiative â€“ or the DeGroots, those scientists he bankrolled to create this initiative. Letâ€™s go with them as the leading candidates â€“ and thus far, we have only seen them in a grainy orientation video.
5.Â Â That said, based on where this episode ends, with Jack and company apparently on the island sometime in the late 60â€™s or 70â€™s, I think there is the potential that they may come face-to-face with the DeGroots.
6.Â Â I know Iâ€™m skipping around here, but while weâ€™re on that tangent, that last scene â€“ with Jin rolling up in his brand new Little Miss DHARMA van proves that when Locke pushed the wheel, he put a stop to the time hiccups but didnâ€™t necessarily restore the island to present time. So, wherever we are in time, it appears to be before the Purge but it seems enough time has elapsed since Locke left for Jin (and presumably the others) to integrate the DHARMA Initiative. Which, suddenly, brings that opening scene of this season â€“ with Daniel Faraday working at the under-construction Orchid Station â€“ make a lot of sense. This will likely lead to Danielâ€™s presence in that time period warning a young Charlotte to leave the island.
7.Â Â So, now for a time table check. All of the main characters are together in the same time period and location. They are on the island â€“ lost sometime in the late 60â€™s/early 70â€™s. The rest of the world (including Widemore, Penny, Desmond, etc) are in the year 2008.
8.Â Â I was talking to my buddy and he mentioned that his wife pointed out that in this day and age, nobody could purchase 78 tickets without raising a red flag. Sheâ€™s got a point there but Iâ€™m willing to grant the writers a little dramatic license. Plus, it was a decent gesture on Hurleyâ€™s part to try and save a few more people from being victimized by a plane flight designed to replicate Flight 815 as much as possible. Then, there is always this argument. Iâ€™m watching a show about a time-traveling island that uses ghosts to pass MASH notes and dispatches a sentient cloud of smoke to bitch-slap its enemies so proper FAA conduct is the least of my worries. Just roll with it people.
9.Â Â The same guy also mentioned that there is the issue of Jack conveniently being called to visit his Grandfather at a nursing home â€“ which ends up producing the pair of shoes he needs to turn Locke into a makeshift Christian Shepherd. In this instance, Iâ€™m not so sure that is an issue of writerâ€™s convenience so much as additional evidence that the island works in mysterious ways. We saw this happen last season in the episode where Michael kept trying to off himself, off island, and was unable to do so. At the time, he was confronted by Tom, who told him â€œThe island wonâ€™t let you do it.â€ Michael kept pulling the trigger on a loaded gun and the gun wouldnâ€™t fire.
10.Â Â In fact, in last nightâ€™s episode, we were reminded of the islandâ€™s influence when Jack kept trying to leave Lockeâ€™s letter with the deceased and yet, the letter kept turning up. Jack started to buy into it, telling Ben that he felt the island wanted him to read that letter. And when he did, he got a simple, heart-breaking confession. â€œI wish you had believed me.â€ Now, the big question is, what is Locke referring to? Something he said when he returned to the mainland or is he focused more on his constant arguments for faith in the islandâ€™s power versus Jackâ€™s clinical approach?
11.Â Â Thus, those shoes appearing in his grandfatherâ€™s case â€“ and more importantly â€“ the summons he received on that particular day, do not seem as up to chance or convenience as we might expect. The long arm of the island touches all of them.
12.Â Â There was some nice foreshadowing of whatâ€™s to come â€“ in terms of Jackâ€™s need for blind faith â€“ with Benâ€™s discussion of the apostle Thomas needing physical proof to believe in the resurrection of Christ. Shades of Jack and a soon-to-be resurrected Locke?
13.Â Â And who knew Ben spent so much time in Sunday School? That guy continues to surprise.
14.Â Â So â€“ the Oceanic 6 may be back â€“ but I have a feeling weâ€™ll see some flashbacks to our new off island mysteries. Letâ€™s take a tally:
15.Â Â First up is Kate â€“ who crashes Jackâ€™s pad offering up a late night booty call provided he never asks her where Aaron is. Jack â€“ I know it was late and youâ€™re lonely but â€“ NEVER?!?!?!?!? Damn, we guys are all the same. Weâ€™ll say anything forâ€¦ oh, where was I? Anyway, the big mystery is what happened to Aaron. Iâ€™d say the smart money is that he is with Claireâ€™s Mom â€“ thatâ€™s the safe bet anyway â€“ but there was something eerie and creepy about Kate so who knows.
16.Â Â Second â€“ despite his assertion that he is not going to that island â€“ Sayid ends up in custody, alongside a federal marshal (shades of Kateâ€™s maiden voyage). Iâ€™m thinking that Benâ€™s connections pulled the strings on that one but why have him extradited to Guam unless itâ€™s for trumped up charges in Guam which is a good possibility.
17.Â Â Third, why is Hurley on the plane clutching a guitar. My buddy Joe thinks that Charlie got to him â€“ in one of his ghostly visitations â€“ and convinced him to join the crowd and to make sure Charlie was represented by clutching his guitar. Iâ€™d say thatâ€™s a great guess by Joe.
18.Â Â Incidentally, there was a cool little shout out to one of Lostâ€™s best writers â€“ Brian K. Vaughn â€“ who actually writes comics for his day job. Vaughn is responsible for Y: The Last Man, an amazing graphic novel that tells the tale of a world where due to some mysterious catastrophe, every single male being on the planet drops dead immediately â€“ all but one knucklehead â€“ and then deals with how society would break down and rebuild in the wake of that event. In the airport, Hurley was seen reading the Spanish-language version. Iâ€™m not an avid comic reader but Iâ€™m not a comic snob either and when my buddy Sean tossed that my way last year, I figured Iâ€™d give it a go. Hook. Line. And Sinker. An awesome, AWESOME book. A great read. And a fantastic story. Reading through it â€“ I instantly knew why Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse courted Vaughn to join their camp. His books read like a serialized show like Lost. I did a write-up on it over here so check it out and if you are a huge Lost fan or just want to see all men die (who doesnâ€™t â€“ am I right, bitches?) then check it out.
19.Â Â Fourth, who laid the smackdown on Ben? And what mysterious errand did he run off to do. If memory serves correctly â€“ he said, â€œI have to make do on a promise I made for an old friend.â€ It hit me. Last season, he promised Widemore that he would kill Penny as Widemore had been responsible for the death of his â€œdaughterâ€, Alex. Soâ€¦ DID BEN KILL PENNY??? As creepy as that is â€“ it would serve as inspiration for Desmond to travel to the island and get his revenge. As Mrs. Hawkinsâ€™ said, â€œThe island isnâ€™t done with you yet.â€
20.Â Â All right â€“ I think that about covers it. There was that random dude on the plane who spoke to Jack, offering condolences, and I donâ€™t think that was done to kill time. Iâ€™m wondering if that guy was planted by Widemore as a way of getting an â€œinâ€ on the island.
Thatâ€™s enough for now. Let me know what you guys have.
See you next week for Episode 5.7 â€“ â€˜The Life and Death of Jeremy Benthamâ€™.