With 5 episodes down (and only 11 remaining this season), I thought it might be good to keep a running tally of how many episodes we have left until Lost is no longer found on a weekly basis. After this week, there’s only 27 episodes left.
With that said, it’s clear that the creators are heavily diving into answer mode. While they’ve managed to befuddle a few people with their time travel hijinks, as I wrote last week, they’ve found a great mechanism to resolve those lingering questions that have hovered over this fantasy island ever since Flight 815 splashed down in ’04. And that device has led to some great forward momentum in plot development even as we keep slipping further back in time.
Last night’s episode was a great example of that. A number of questions were answered and we got some teasing hints into the true nature of larger mysteries. More in a moment.
With that said, on with the show. Let’s get Lost.
1. Last week we were reacquainted with a long-lost friend, Jin, who studied his Titanic and learned from Rose’s lead. If you ever find yourself lost at sea, just curl up on a nice, cushy slab of ship door and everything will be all right. And before the tears could dry from our cheeks at the site of our kick-ass Korean killer, we were reunited with another dear friend. Good ol’ Smokey wasted no time laying the smackdown on Danielle’s band of merry men.
2. And here’s where the teasing hints come into play. Way back in Season 1, Danielle referred to the smoke monster as a security system. That notion has been underscored throughout the seasons – with Locke calling it the same (although he also refers to it as the “heart of the island”) and Ben calling upon his private security force last season to rip those rampaging mercs a collective “new one”. And in this episode, we get definitive proof that it is indeed the island security system as Danielle’s main squeeze – who has traveled into its lair – corrects Danielle. It’s not a monster. It’s a security system. And what does a security system do (besides detach men from their arms)? They protect domiciles.
3. Or in this case – ancient temples. And, at last, we come across the temple that has long been mentioned by Richard and company but never seen until now. Last season, when the mercs were on their way to the island, Ben told Locke that Richard was leading The Others to the temple. He called it the safest place on the island. With a guard dog like Smokey standing sentinel, I’m not sure I’d want to be anywhere else but there (assuming I let Smokey infest my mind with the “sickness”.)
4. And there lies another answer. In the first season, Danielle told Sayid that she killed the members of her expedition when they became infected. This episode backed that up – with Jin getting a front row seat to the carnage. Now we know that the sickness derives from the temple. And it seems to be one of those assimilation things – i.e. Join us or die – as Danielle’s dude was ready to bust a cap into his pregnant wife the second she lowered her gun.
5. Which makes you wonder if The Others are all infected by whatever is in the temple. Or, perhaps, whatever is in the temple doesn’t agree with outsiders?
6. One final thing about the temple. It was dotted with hieroglyphics which were similar to those that appeared on that countdown in the first hatch as well as covered that secret door in Ben’s Othersville home last year. I think all of this ties into an ancient civilization and should likely tie back to that 4-toed statue that Sayid spied in the 2nd season finale.
7. Now, before I move on to other developments, we’ve got to address the elephant in the room. Specifically – why doesn’t Danielle recognize Jin when she first encounters him with the other castaways in Season 1. I think there are two ways to explain this. First is most obvious. She’s nuts!!! She’s been on the island for 16+ years (in this episode she says its 1988) and during that time has to contend with the smoke creature, the Others, complete isolation and loneliness, and no DVR. She’s detached from reality. And once upon a time, Jin appeared before her, disappeared and reappeared. I think by the time Flight 815 crashed on that island, she had seen enough insanity to just go with the flow of anything else that happened and not question it.
8. Then there is this theory. In the first episode of the season, we saw that Daniel confronted Desmond in the past and told him to find his mother. Now, the thing is – it didn’t really happen to Desmond. At least not in his traditional life. When Daniel journeyed back, he did something that hadn’t been done before even though Desmond had already lived a life where Daniel did not come banging on his door. Again, this works on the whole concept of the consciousness traveling through time, not necessarily the body, which is what Daniel subscribes too. So he knew he could implant a “memory” into Desmond’s mind which Desmond would suddenly, in the present, remember.
9. With that said, the same could hold true for Danielle. If she didn’t meet Jin in her natural life but now due to the time travel phenomenon, she has met him, it wouldn’t change anything because she is now dead. Had she still been alive, she may have suddenly had this new memory but with her dead, it’s a moot point. She’s not around to remember him and she wouldn’t have remembered him the first time she saw him after the plane crash because it hadn’t happened yet.
10. The other theory regarding all this time travel stuff is that the natural order of things aims for self-correction. That things are meant to happen the way they happened. So even though Jin had his little adventure with Danielle, it’s unlikely to change the way the rest of her life played out because fate would find a way to correct things to insure that things happened they way they did. That was illustrated in the episodes where Desmond was trying to save Charlie. No matter what he did, Charlie’s death was predestined. See, I did learn something from all those Final Destination flicks, after all.
11. Elsewhere, we got some more answers from Charlotte’s deathbed confessional.
12. First, there was the confirmation of what we long suspected. She had lived on the island before but was forced to leave with her mother when things took a turn for the worse. As she mentioned in her delirium, her Dad stayed behind and I’d like to thank my main man Sean for offering this theory. What if Charles Widemore is that Dad who stayed behind which would make Charlotte and Penny either biological sisters or step-sisters
13. She also appeared to be popping back and forth through island time in her last few moments and wherever she journeyed to, she came back with the proclamation. “This Place is Death.”
14. Also, we got further confirmation that Daniel has been monkeying around in the past – playing the part of a creepy, scary guy who came to a young Charlotte and told her to leave the island. Now, I’m not sure how scary he was back then but CREEPY is a certain if our fidgety Faraday was macking on an adolescent Charlotte in his trips. Where’s Chris Hansen when you need him?
15. Finally, we had Locke and his journey to the Orchid station – which conveniently disappeared the second Juliet opened her big mouth. JINX
16. I’ll get to Locke’s actions in a moment but I wanted to address Christian’s appearance. We know his body disappeared on the island and since then has taken to visiting Jack and Locke on a fairly frequent basis. My guess is that the island has co-opted him as its messenger. I think at the end of the day, we’ll learn that Christian (like Claire) is D.O.A. and that the island is just speaking through him – taking the form of something familiar.
17. So Locke’s been voted off the island but we know he has to come back. Of course, 3 years later he’s dead – having made his sacrifice as prophesized. When Ben first left the island, he said he could never return. I wonder if the laws for re-admittance are flexible – that alive you cannot return but dead is a different story and that Locke must die in order to be resurrected. Or, perhaps, Richard is going for the Christ allegory, having Locke give up his life for the betterment of others?
18. Last thing – and this has less to do with this week’s episode but may tie in to a big explanation. Another source of debate is centered around why the island disappeared from view when Sawyer and company were in the chopper. I think the answer to that is precisely why the island is so hard to find. Essentially, it’s always popping in and out of view (traveling through time and space) and therefore, it’s tough to get a handle on its true coordinates. That would explain why Eloise Hawkins is looking for the next “Event Window” when it will reappear and also explains that Season Finale a few years ago when those Antarctic Researches spotted an anomaly and called Penny to let her know the island was found. So, essentially, the island is always traveling through time. But when Ben moved the wheel he dislodged things so now the island is still traveling through time but the people on the island are out of synch with the island. Which explains why Christian had Locke move the wheel. Essentially, he had to put it back on its cycle and get the island inhabitants back in synch with the island. The interesting thing to see is if that left them stranded at a particular point in the island’s time.
All right, that’s enough for now. Let me know what you guys have.
See you next week for Episode 5.6 – ‘316’.