Lost – ‘Namaste’ – 5.9

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Like those crafty numbers, strange forces are conspiring to prevent me from getting these weekly dispatches into your grubby little mitts. Two weeks ago, alongside episode 5.8 ‘LaFleur‘, my trusty screencap site decided to withhold the crucial giant statue shot.

And then this week, the island’s influence infected my DVR and chose, among the 60+ programs slated for recording during the week (99% of which belong to the Backyardigan variety), to tease me by starting a recording of Lost at 9:00 p.m. EST Wednesday night and ending it at 9:01 p.m. EST. A measly one-minute recording that I then spent the better half of 60 additional minutes pausing and rewinding to insure I wasn’t missing something. I checked and rechecked Lost on the Prioritization schedule and there it was, sitting pretty at Number 1. I also checked all other recordings scheduled that evening and they all kicked off without fail.

I blame Seacrest.

See, Wednesday night was the first night that Fox chose to migrate American Idol from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. aiming to knock Lost from its perch.

Here’s my conspiracy theory.

What if Fox has found a way to send a signal to homes that have both American Idol and Lost set to record and essentially cause the Lost recording to cancel out – thus insuring an all AI ratings victory. Now, we all know AI is a ratings juggernaut but they have slipped a bit this year. And Lost may not have the lofty numbers they enjoyed early in their run but among DVRs and downloads, they lead the league week after week. And Nielsen has begun capturing those numbers and providing a comprehensive total. If a % of homes had their recordings stop at 1 minute while AI kept on recording, it would give the appearance that those homes had tuned in and then switched the channel and watched AI.

Or my DVR could have just been a bitch that night. But c’mon,. this is a Lost recap so the clandestine dealings are so much more fun to posit. Anyway, Xbox Live came through and allowed me to watch Episode 5.9 –  ‘Namaste’ in all its HD glory. Better late than never, right.

With that said, on with the show. Let’s get Lost.

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1.   A few week’s back, I discounted the crackpot Internet theory that the supposed runway we saw Kate and Sawyer forced into building while under Ben’s control in Season 3 had anything to do with Frank’s Captain Sullenberger impression. And not more then 30 seconds into this episode I am proven completely wrong. Why are you people even reading this site? I’ve got zero credibility now. Maybe I can find another show to cover. Is Small Wonder still on the air?

2.   Time line check. We’ve got official confirmation (thanks to the 30 years Earlier title card) that Sun, Frank and Ben (and Locke) are in 2007 and the rest of them are in 1977. Now, I’ve been right on the money with my time line coordinates all the way through so that aught to restore a little credibility.

3.   We’ll tacke the 2007 stuff first and then plunge headlong into 1977.

4.   We also got confirmation that the man Sun headed off island with was Frank. I assume that Ben will follow along once he wakes up (thereby accounting for the 2nd boat that we saw when Locke and company first flashed to that time period). Which begs the question – who was shooting at them? My guess – Caesar found some more armaments on the island after having scored that shotgun a few eps back. There’s something sinister about that dude.

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5.   On the real island, Frank and Sun are welcomed by Smokey – or at least, Smokey retreated enough to allow them safe passage to the DHARMA compound. And waiting for them is Christian Shephard, who has apparently become the official spokesperson for the island. The thing is – we’ve seen Smokey’s little body snatcher act before (he was Yemi to Mr. Ecko) so I have a feeling that Smokey is just the Island’s Angry Eye and Christian is the island’s suave Billy Dee Williams – the smooth talker that just makes you feel comfortable. In other words, they are one in the same, there’s just a little Sybil going on here. 

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6.   I thought the scene at the abandoned cabin was a nice, creepy little segment. Christian offers up the Class of ’77 shot and then proclaims “You have quite a journey ahead of you.” Now, I’m not so sure Christian is sending Sun back 30 years. In fact, I’m pretty damned sure that there are reasons why the group got split between the two time zones. This island works in mysterious ways. My guess is that one group was sent back to ’77 to get reunited with their brethren and either do something/fix something that went wrong on the timeline or simply because they need to be together to do the island’s bidding. Meanwhile Sun and Frank were kept in 2007 in order to perform some act that will pull them back to the present. So, my guess is that Sun’s long journey has less to do with a time warp and more to do with a trek on the island – likely to the temple – to pull them back to the future.

7.   The writers have been doing a good job of referencing the things were thinking about. For instance, the coming Purge, which Hurley wisely recalled is right around the corner. To which he pressed Sawyer, “Aren’t you going to warn them?” Sawyer’s response – “Faraday is fairly convinced there are things we can and cannot change.”

8.   Speaking of Faraday, Sawyer confirmed our suspicions last week. Faraday was with them but is not anymore. Dead? A Hostile? It’s going to be interesting to see this play out. As this episode was built around Sawyer scrambling to fold his old friends into his new lie/life, it makes me think that there are forces in control of DHARMA that are meant to be feared. Sawyer looks like he has an idyllic life but at the same time, he was fairly well panicked at the notion that Jack and co. need to adopt this lie or else. Is there a darker nature behind DHARMA?

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9.   There were a number of little Easter Eggs sprinkled throughout this episode that built upon plot elements from the past. Most notably, the original hatch (The Swan) was seen in its planning stages – with The Flame technician Radzinsky working on the model and becoming exceedingly distressed that a Hostile may have seen it.

10.   Besides the Swan, there’s the presence of Radzinsky himself – one of the first Hatch inhabitants who manned the button before Desmond washed ashore. Radzinsky has never been seen but has been referenced twice. In Desmond’s initial flashback episode, where we saw Desmond arrive at the hatch, he inquired about a massive blood stain on the ceiling. His hatchmate Kelvin responded “That’s Radzinsky“. The dude had blown his head off after going mad down in the hatch.

11.   Also, in the episode Lockdown, the one where Locke gets pinned beneath the security doors and for a brief moment, spies a map of the island painted in black light paints on the ceiling, Locke discovers that Radzinsky painted that map. The map had coordinates of the other hatches on the island as well as the first references to ‘The Temple’ and an inscription ‘Cerberus – Security System?’. So, I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Radzinsky.

12.   It’s a bit poignant that Juliet assisted in Ethan’s birth. While Ethan was first shown to be a complete monster in his infiltration of the camp back in Season 1 – we’ve since seen the kinder, gentler side of him – and he has been a crucial figure and friend to Juliet in her flashbacks. So, it’s a bit bittersweet that she aided in his birth.

13.   So superdoc Jack’s aptitude test makes him perfect for the role of Janitor. Perfect!!!

14.   That scene with Jack and Sawyer near the end of the episode was very well done. We’ve seen Jack bash heads with Locke as the Man of Science v. Man of Faith. And here, he pulls the Man of Action bit on Sawyer and gets knocked down a peg. Sawyer is completely right. Reaction only gets you so far. In 100 days, Jack’s actions and reactions have led to a number of untimely deaths and combative situations. On the flip side, Sawyer’s ability to think through situations (the key to the con) has kept his crew alive and well for 3 full years in an alien environment. As he underscored, even Churchill read every night – all through the Blitz.

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15.   And finally we get to Sayid’s encounter with Harry Potter who apprently left his Petronus spell at home, else he could have rid Sayid of those pesky bars. Young Ben was particularly interested in Sayid’s status as a Hostile. With the purge coming, my assumption is that this visit falls between Ben’s initial contact with Richard Alpert in the woods and the actual extinction event. I called it last episode and the events of this episode just add more meat. We’re being primed for a season ending Purge and extraction. 7 more eps left if you can believe it.

16.   Last thought – I think young Ben’s presence neatly explains why Ben didn’t jump back in time. The rules of time travel on this show won’t allow a future self to encounter a past self – or vice verse. Essentially, you can’t co-exist in the same time line. With young Ben scampering about, rocking out to Teenage Wasteland while planning Armageddon, you can’t have that Bug Eyed Bastard mucking things up.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week, on time, for Episode 5.10 ‘He’s Our You’.

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Comments now closed (14)

  • you need a TIVO! 🙂

    great write up! i thought the same about why ben didn’t travel back.

    hey, in that first picture, is sayid in the picture as one of the recruits?

  • I had a good laugh when that runway showed up. So, did you think Ben knew at the time when the island/Jacob instructed him to build it that it would be for the safe return of his rival Locke? I am bummed to find out that it was Sun with Frank. It did make the most sense, but I was hoping for a faster reuniting for her and Jin I guess. Since Ben pointed Sun in the direction of the sub pier, my guess is the other two boats were under the direction of Locke since they landed at the trashed 815er camp. That then begs the question if Locke was shooting at himself, but then, wouldn’t he know that? This Caesar guy is not to be trusted and you have to wonder if he is a Widemore guy or on his own. If on his own, would Ben recruit or manipulate him for his own ends?

    So our name changing, video orientating Dr. friend is still present on the island, but yet, Horace is in charge. What do you think is up with that?

    Odd that the Swan is still under construction if the purge is this close. You’d think it would be long done already and me thinks The Hostiles/Others wouldn’t have completed it given its initial inhabitants. Based on the teaser for next week, you’d think Sayid thinks his purpose for being there is to kill Ben as a child before the purge, etc. Would this change the time-line so that it happens earlier rather than later and then the Swan isn’t completed and that really changes everything? You’d think Sayid won’t kill young Ben, but what does happen? Then, didn’t Christian hit a couple years after 77? I thought I at least heard or saw 78. Maybe the purge isn’t that close.

    My thoughts on Daniel are he has gone and joined the Hostiles or he’s living a Ben Kenobi style hermit life. I really want to find out what is up with this guy these last three years.

    Lastly, the Jack and LaFleur meeting at the end there was very telling. LaFleur was right about what he told Jack, but then, I don’t want to give the guy too much credit. How many people was he able to integrate into Dharma? Just his pack of five or did that include other 815ers still in that timeline (or maybe they are dead or didn’t flash with them)? If just five people, then a bit easier to manage over three years than Jack with at least 10 times that over 100 days with an unknown environment etc. Anyway, you get the feeling that Jack is just fine with it for now. He doesn’t know what he’s doing there yet so I’d do the same and sit back and see what is what. Also, you know that Juliet assigned him as a janitor to keep him out of the spotlight and not necessarily to put a man down. She also assigned Kate to her area so she can keep an eye on her and away from LaFleur. That’s her man now.

  • I think the Doctor is in charge of Scienc-y thing and Horace is in charge of more security related matters. That was my take. And I think they all report to a higher, unseen, authority.

    Maybe the purge isn’t that close. It’s just something that is coming. The show could easily throw us a few more years into the future and catch up with the full group having successfully integrated into the Initiative.

    You’ve got to give LaFleur some credit. Instead of reacting immediately back when they first were captured by the Dharma folks, he thought it through and bought them two weeks. And later, 3 years. Jack’s MO has always been to act first and think later. So that was LaFleur’s point. Instead of rushing frantically to spring Sayid, LaFleur would rather stop for a spell and think it through. It just shows Sawyer/LaFleur using his particular strengths with dealing with people as well as som character development on his part. I just found it all very compelling and it made me look at both guys in a different light.

  • I think Horace is just plain in charge, although his jumpsuit says Mathematics on it, right? He seemed to be when they arrived in that time and also now. I never thought he was security and now we know LaFleur is in charge of security (Head of Security on his jumpsuit).

    I totally agree with you on the Jack/LaFleur thing and specifically that he’s been playing it smarter, but again, it is easier to do that given these circumstances rather than having just crashed on a hostile island. I guess I think it is hard to compare the two situations, no matter how much LaFleur would like to in hindsight. Remember, three years prior and it was always that Sawyer guy reacting to everything and not always giving things thought. He’s definitely changed over the three years and maybe that’s what he was trying to make more clear. His initial encounter with the Dharma folks was just his con-man chops showing off and not necessarily this new strategic/planned approach he’s got going on now. Just my opinion anyway.

  • As far as the Purge goes, was Ben still a young kid when it happened? I thought he was an adult. He put the gas mask on and gassed his father in the van. If that is the case than it is many years away. You figure they have build the Swan as well. I think it makes sense that Ben didn’t flash back to 77, but I am still find it odd that Sun didn’t. I guess your reasoning that the island has a plan for Sun and Frank to take care of business in the current make sense.

    I too find it odd that the other 815’ers that were jumping in time with Sawyer and the gang have not been heard from since they were attached with flaming arrows.

  • Good catch by Chris. Ben was indeed older (more like his 20’s) when he helped The Others execute the Purge so it likely happened sometime in the 80’s – giving them plenty of time to build the Swan. The DHARMA initiative – by this point – has obviously found out certain aspects of the island as they are building this in secret to study the island. Notice how they didn’t want The Hostiles learning about where they intended to build it.

  • Thought on Faraday – first thing this season, we see him going to where the ‘time dial’ is – Maybe he had flipped out, was going to blow it up, got caught, and ‘got in trouble’ (not sure if Dharma believes in capital punishment, but if they want to kill Sayid just for showing up out of the woods, then well, maybe Faraday was an ‘absolute persona non grata’ )

  • @Kristen – You do realize that your proclamation is now part of the Internets FOREVER!!! Watch out. These things can haunt.

  • @ED – In your opinion, do you think the writers figured out an ending ( or a couple of them) and are working backwards to make it happen? I just picture this massive storyboard with a zillion post-its on it with little colored strings cross-referencing every little detail…

    Last year, I was CERTAIN they were making this s**t up as they went along…

  • I’ve heard them say on multiple occasions that they’ve had the end in mind (meaning – the defined point of the island) since the beginning. That said, as they began working on the show, they had no idea how long it would run so they started adding texture to the story. The same beginning and end were always there but any number of B plots could/would be introduced that would require tying up.

    During Season 3 – where they started receiving criticism that it felt like the show was spinning its wheels – they negotiated an end date with ABC. That’s sort of unprecented on American TV – usually a network will run a show until its no longer profitable. But they argued that if the show were allowed an end date – they could tell the tale they want to tell without meandering and the show could go out on top. It’s rumored that they likely included themselves in negotiations (that they would help build a new property once Lost was done).

    Anyway, they asked for 3 more seasons of 16 episodes each (6 in total) with the show ending May 2010. They said that they had the entire story arc planned out for a proper ending in that period of time. ABC gave it to them.

    So, I think somewhere in Damon Lindelof and Carleton Cuse’s office is that bulletin board or show Bible or something. At this stage, none of this is made up as they go along – but very deliberate to get to the end. As of this past week’s episode, there are on 23 left.

  • ed, did you see my comment from above? i can’t see the picture that well, but i’m wondering if sayid is in the recruit picture from 1977 – if so, that kind of tells us that he gets to be part of dharma, right? let me know what you see in it….

  • @Sarah – I see the guy you are talking about and checked back at the original before I resized it. That’s just some random 70’s dude.