Hello my dear friends -
See, don't you appreciate Hurley's episode all the more now... after having to sit through MORE violence yet again in "Enter 77?"
But at least, to many people's enjoyment, there was finally some plot progression - and someone (Sayid) finally did something smart by TAKING A MAP from the hatch, so they now know the way to Othersville. The majority of people I have talked to, as well as the better amount of people on the boards, liked this episode. I, however, was quite disenchanted with it because it made my man Locke look like a total idiot. But more on THAT later...
And while there wasn't as much going on along the lines of "free will vs. fate" as there has been in recent episodes, there definitely was another major theme of the series touched upon again: "People can't/don't really ever change," or, as Sawyer has said, "Tigers don't change their stripes." Through flashbacks over the course of the three seasons, we've seen Jack as the Reluctant Leader, Sawyer as the Con Man with a Heart of Gold, Locke as the Kind of Pathetic Drone with High Aspirations of Greatness, Kate as the One Who Will Always Run Away, and Sayid as the Conflicted Torturer. This episode showed that Sayid cannot really escape who he is... he was a torturer in his past, he used his methods again years later on the island on both Sawyer and Benry, and my bet is that he WILL torture or kill Patchy when push comes to shove. Remember when, after he had tortured Sawyer to try and find Shannon's (R.I.P.) asthma medications, Sayid went off into the jungle and told Kate that he had vowed to never torture again and was disappointed with himself for doing so? Well, that didn't stop him from kicking Benry's ass just a few weeks later! And remember, characters who actually DO find redemption end up getting killed off... So let's hope that Sayid remains a bad, bad man for a long, long time.
I will apologize upfront that I had about 1/10th of the time I usually have to devote to this write-up, so prepare to be underwhelmed. I am also going on a short vacation this weekend, so I will most likely not be able to get next week's post up by Tuesday night as usual.
Now that that's out of the way...
THE JESUS STICK SAYS...
When they were burying Eko and John noticed the new inscription on the Jesus Stick, I called that John was going to take that as "a sign" to go north. I didn't realize that he would also use the Bible chapter and verse as the compass bearing, as well... which explains this exchange:
LOCKE: Are we still on course?
[Sayid pulls out a compass and checks. His expression is condescending]
SAYID: We are still heading North on a bearing of 3-0-5. Yes.
LOCKE: I'm sensing a lack of confidence.
SAYID: We've been walking for 2 days...following a compass bearing provided by the carvings on a stick!
SAYID: You really think we're just going to chance upon where The Others are?
LOCKE: I don't know what we're going to chance on, Sayid, but...my bearing is the only bearing we've got.
TWO LIVES DOWN, SEVEN TO GO
I was pretty convinced that Patchy's cat was the same one that Sayid had encountered in Paris when he was held captive behind the restaurant. Helllooooo, it was even named Nadia (Sayid's long-lost love from Iraq)?!?! And because we have already seen Jack's Zombie Dad, Kate's black horse and Dave's slipper (Hurley's imaginary friend) on the island, I just figured that this was another example of something from the characters' past lives showing up inexplicably in the jungle. I also supposed that an explanation for these things would come with the overall "big answer" about what is going on on the island, probably not until the series' end.
However, most people on the boards seemed sure that in this case, the cat wasn't from Sayid's past. It was simply a very similar-looking cat that reminded Sayid of his experience being held captive, which influenced his decision to not kill Patchy at the end. Fans pointed out that Nadia was a female and that the woman holding Sayid hostage referred to her cat as a "he."
I still think they look exactly the same!
HE'LL ALWAYS BE 'PATCHY' TO ME...
We now know the identity of the mysterious "Patch-man" who Locke, Sayid, Nikki, Desmond and Paulo previously saw on a monitor in the Pearl Hatch. He is Mikhail Bakunin, and it seems very likely that he is an Other.
Once again we have a character whose name has meaning... "the real" Mikhail Bakunin was a well-known Russian revolutionary, and is often considered "the Father of Modern Anarchism."
I am going to continue to call him Patchy, however, because if nothing else, it is easier to type.
After shooting Sayid in the shoulder, Patchy lets the Lostaways into the Flame Hatch and quite easily and quickly starts giving them a whole bunch of information. Despite lying upfront that he was the last living member of the DHARMA Initiative, apparently everything else he said was true. While there are a few different scenarios that I think are plausible now that we know he had a connection to Ms. Klugh, I think the most obvious explanation to believe at this point in time is that Patchy is an Other.
While I was quite confused about what was true and what was a lie from what Patchy said when I first watched the show, upon reading the transcript, it became much clearer.
Things that are probably true:
- By and large, Patchy lived alone. Ms. Klugh may have come to forewarn him about Sawyer and Kate's escape, or to tell him that something had gone awry with the communication system after the failsafe key was turned, but it truly doesn't seem like he had a lot of regular contact with anyone at all. He even seemed to avoid whatever huge conflict "The Purge" was:
MIKHAIL: They're all dead, of course. They foolishly initiated a war against the Hostiles. A "Purge" they called it.
SAYID: And how did you survive this purge?
MIKHAIL: By not participating in it. I told you...I like being alone.
- His aversion to conflict and interaction with other people seemed eerily similar to Danielle's when she said: "I have no interest in that man inside the house. I have survived on the island precisely by avoiding these types of encounters."
- He used to be in the Soviet Army, had been stationed in Afghanistan, and came to the island 11 years ago.
- The purpose of The Flame hatch WAS to communicate with the outside world... but the satellite atop the building apparently hasn't worked for years.
- If the guard of The Flame thought that the hatch had been compromised, he or she had the means to destroy it (via the explosives lining the lower level).
- I actually do believe that there is a third group of people whom we have not met yet, and they are "The Hostiles." The reason why I do not think (but admittedly am not sure) that The Others are The Hostiles is because I think we can assume that Patchy is an Other (from his connection to Ms. Klugh), and he was obviously thought Sayid was someone to be scared of at the beginning. There are also too many references he makes to The Hostiles for them to not be a separate group.
- Sayid believes that Patchy is an Other: "The reason they let him stay here is because he is not DHARMA. He is one of them."
- The DHARMA Initiative members are all dead (or at least Patchy truly believes they are). And they were all killed by "The Hostiles" during "The Purge." Now, we aren't totally sure if The Hostiles are who we've come to know as The Others, and we're not really sure what The Purge was, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
- The Flame hatch was "the hub" and had cables running underground to all of the other hatches, including an underwater station that emits sonar pings to help guide submarines to the island.
- I *think* Sayid believes that The Hostiles were the DHARMA Initiative members (which I disagree with). It seems like Sayid now believes that since Patchy hated DHARMA, but was initially trying to fake like he was in the Initiative, he just used the term "hostiles" to describe DHARMA:
MIKHAIL: I was never a member, but everything else I told you was true. I moved into this station after the purge.
SAYID: The purge in which a group of scientists attacked your people?
MIKHAIL: Believe what you want, but that is what happened.
I think Sayid meant "a group of scientists" to mean the DHARMA Initiative. I at first thought he may be talking about Danielle's original group of scientists, but since she stated from the time Sayid first met her that she never SAW anyone else on the island, but only heard "whispers," I don't think she was lying. So I don't think her group ever had some big face-off with The Others. And I still think The Hostiles were NOT the DHARMA Initiative members.
Confusing things Patchy said:
- When Sayid first attempted to come near The Flame hatch, Patchy yelled out: "I didn't cross the line! We had a truce! This is my land - you said I could stay here!"
This immediately made me think of when Zeke (back when he was Hillbilly Zeke with the beard) told Jack, Locke and Sawyer that they could never cross past the area in the jungle where they had captured Kate, and that it was "their island" and they were only letting the Lostaways live on it. Zeke is an Other... and we can only assume now that Patchy is an Other, so why did Patchy act like he had been given a similar ultimatum? What group did he assume Sayid was a part of in order for him to act so truly scared? Once again, I can only assume that there is a third group of people out there who are The Hostiles.
MIKHAIL: After it was over, 4 men appeared in the yard. They offered a truce. They said to imagine a line that extended all the way around the valley. As long as I did not cross it...I would be left alone.
Perhaps The Others learned the "don't cross the line!" technique from The Hostiles?
- Something that then made me doubt that The Others were different from The Hostiles was this comment from Patchy regarding the submarines: "Yes. The Initiative used one to bring us here. But I can imagine only that the Hostiles have either destroyed or commandeered it by now." We know that The Others DO have a submarine (it was mentioned early this season by Colleen (who got shot by Sun))... so either Patchy is an Other but is so out of touch with them that he doesn't realize they have a submarine, or The Others and The Hostiles are the same group.
- What was the true purpose of the chess game? If the hatch guard was actually in trouble and needed to blow up the building, it seems kind of ridiculous and time-consuming to expect that they would have to win the chess game in order to be able to enter in the self-destruct codes. However, perhaps Patchy and/or his predecessors were trained on the right moves to make in order to win the game. Perhaps Locke was THAT SMART that he figured it out on his own (I have to try to redeem him!).
Or... perhaps Patchy himself never knew the hidden commands in the chess game at all. As he claimed at the end to never be a part of DHARMA, maybe he took over an abandoned hatch, was allowed to live there by the hostiles, and simply never beat the chess game:
MIKHAIL: Heh, don't waste your time. For 10 years I have tried to defeat that game.
CHESS GAME: Ready To Play?
MIKHAIL: But it was programmed by 3 grand masters. And...it cheats.
- He mentioned that he met the DHARMA Initiative members after responding to an advertisement in the Kiev newspaper after the Cold War ended. The ad apparently read, "Would you like to save the world?" Since he later admitted to lying about being "the last living member of the DHARMA initiative," and actually said that he was NEVER a member of DHARMA, it is unclear how/why he got to the island in the first place. Kelvin had used the phrase "... just saving the world" to Desmond before when explaining the purpose of the button, and had also talked about "joining the DHARMA Inititative" after he left the U.S. Army. So... was Patchy familiar somehow with how DHARMA actually recruited people, as his story sounds very similar to Kelvin's? And also noteworthy is that both Kelvin AND Patchy used the term "the hostiles":
DESMOND: Well, if you don't want me to go crazy, next time let me go out.
KELVIN: Well, you want to go out there with the quarantine and the hostiles?
DESMOND: I haven't been outside for 2 bloody years! Yes, I want to go. I was in the army for God's sake!
Since Kelvin actually admitted to being in DHARMA and I don't think he had any reason to lie to Desmond, this once again proves to me that DHARMA members were not "The Hostiles."
MOTHER RUSSIA - BERZERKER!
So is Russian known by all Others? Somehow I can't imagine Zeke busting out any Russian. But Ms. Klugh and Patchy were obviously fluent. Here is what they were saying during the tense scene at the end, which concluded with Ms. Klugh getting shot:
Klugh: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do.
Mikhail: We still have another way [out].
Klugh: We cannot risk. You know the conditions.
Mikhail: There is another way.
Klugh: They captured us. We will not give (or let, or betray) [unintelligible].
Klugh: You know what to do. It is an order.
Mikhail: We still have another way!
Klugh (in English): Just do it, Mikhail.
Mikhail: Forgive me. (shoots)
HURLEY: Must have landed in the jungle when the hatch exploded.
SAWYER: I thought the hatch collapsed?
HURLEY: Look dude, all I know is the sky turned purple. After that I don't ask questions.
KATE: How do you know he isn't alone?
SAYID: The horse outside is still saddled and the stirrups are set up for someone much shorter than this man.
LOCKE: You think the others sent someone to keep him company?
SAYID: They sent someone out here because they lost communications.
LOCKE: Maybe when the sky turned purple.
So two times in this episode alone (and at least 2 other times this season that I can remember off of the top of my head), a character mentioned "the sky turning purple" - an event also known as "Desmond turning the failsafe key." Desmond's action obviously had some effect on communications with the outside world... we know that Penny's guys in the tent at the end of Season 2 finally detected "an electromagnetic anomaly" at that moment, and then Zeke also alluded to a communications issue when he was helping Jack with Benry's surgery. Now Locke is putting two and two together.
DID HE OR DIDN'T HE?
There was a lot of contention on the boards as to whether or not Sayid actually tortured that woman. I thought it was very clear that he did... and that his flashback paralleled what was happening on the island with Patchy initially pretending to be someone he wasn't. But some people thought that he was just agreeing with the woman in the hopes of being let go, since apparently all she wanted him to do was confess. I'm not really sure why what he REALLY did matters - we know he has copped to torturing many people in his past, so I think this controversy all boils down to some Sayid fans who were holding out hope that he "would never torture a woman" or something like that. But I would ask those people to remember his very first flashback, where we essentially knew that he was going to have to torture Nadia (even though they didn't show it on-screen). Like I said at the beginning of this post, Sayid is a bad, bad man!
WOE IS ME
What in the heck is happening to Locke? How lame was it that he LEFT THE PRISONER to go finish his computer game of chess? And then he enters in codes without having any idea what would happen... very dumb. While I will defend him and say that he honestly had no idea that the place would BLOW UP if he entered 77, it still was pretty risky to just start following the video instructions like that.
My friend LI believes that there is a possibility that Locke has been "compromised"... that perhaps when he was spending all that time with Benry in the original hatch, that Benry gave him some sort of instructions to follow. The line he uttered in this episode was definitely suspicious:
LOCKE: Well...I've played a lot of computers and I'm...pretty sure they don't know how to cheat. That's what makes being human so...distinctly...wonderful.
I find it hard to believe that Locke is working for The Others, however, and not just because I don't want to believe it. I just think that everything points to the fact that he was proven wrong with the first hatch (remember his famous words to Eko: "I was wrong..." as the hatch was falling victim to the magnetic force), and now he's overly anxious to be in the right again. Because he doubted "the island" before and it had disastrous results, he is now completely following all instincts without a second thought. Which isn't a good strategy, either... but I feel like he is so desperate to be a hero and to do something important, that he is essentially panicking into error. I think he truly set out to prove that "the sign" he received from the sun shining on the Jesus Stick was valid, and he really does want to rescue Jack. I think his stupid actions in this episode are either the result of really horrible writing, or him just thinking that he's "on to something" that could've proven helpful.
Although I have to admit that the previews for this week look hilarious - I think Locke essentially pushes Patchy into the force field - much to the frustration of Sayid. It's like Locke just doesn't give a crap anymore and is just doing whatever he wants!
FRENCH OR FAUX?
How many people thought that Danielle was going to end up knowing Patchy somehow? I thought that that was going to be the case (which is why they kept her away from The Flame for the majority of the episode), and then expected her to kill him as soon as she saw him. But, I guess I was wrong.
BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE
SAWYER: Uh, uh, uh. We need to do a little Quid Pro Quo first. I know I've been gone a while and y'all thought the general store was having a going out of business sale. But now I'm back, and I want what's mine.
NIKKI: Yeah, but it wasn't really yours to begin with.
SAWYER: A, it was mine when I took it. B, who the hell are you?!
[Jin and Sun converse in Korean]
SAWYER: Oooh. Looks like Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon got something good. Lay it on me.
SUN: No nicknames. If you lose...no nicknames for anyone. For a week.
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: [Speaks to the cat in Russian]...Nadia!
SAYID: What did you just say?
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: I told Nadia to be polite because you are my guests.
MIKHAIL BAKUNIN: Mmm. After Nadia Comaneci, the greatest athlete the world has ever known.
[Cut to beach at the ping pong table. A crowd has gathered. Sawyer is bouncing the ball on the paddle at one end of the table]
SAWYER: So! You really the number 1 draft pick, Grimace?
HURLEY: Sorry I beat you so bad, dude.
SAWYER: Sorry you hustled me, you mean.
HURLEY: My mom had a table in her basement and I played a lot at the insti...ti...place I...hung out for a while. I got kinda good.
3/14 - Par Avion, the Canadian TV preview, and the U.S. preview.
3/21 - The Man from Tallahassee
3/28 - Expose
4/4 - Left Behind
4/11 - One of Us
4/18 - Catch-22
4/25 - D.O.C.
There you have it, my friends. Here's to Locke regaining his awesomeness next episode...
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Hello my dear friends -