Wednesday, April 25, 2007

S3Ep17 - Catch-22 (Desmond's third flashback)

'Sup, brotha?Hello my dear friends -

Q. Why does Desmond always add "brotha!" to the end of everything he says?

A. Because he used to be a monk. OBVIOUSLY, DUH?!?!?

Ummm, I have to admit that I think they were really reaching there to make Desmond's previous (and from what I could tell, VERY brief) stint in the monastery be the reason why he always says, "brotha!"

I have many weird phrases that I am somewhat known for, and there's no explanation for any of them, so I never really even questioned why Desmond kept saying "brotha" in the first place. Note to the Lost writers: It's OK if you don't explain every little thing! I mean, are we going to learn the back-story of why Kate actually has freckles at some point in time? It's too much.

But don't think that I didn't like "Catch-22," because I most definitely did. While it wasn't as information-packed as the previous week's episode, it did keep moving the overall story along on several fronts, and since Desmond is my second-favorite character on the show, I was bound to be happy about his extra screen-time. It can also be stated at this point in time (as objectively as possible) that Locke and Desmond have hands-down had the best flashbacks of all characters - three-for-three with Desmond and six-for-six with Locke. You won't find any crappy story lines about cursed tattoos with those two!

Most people I talked to thought the episode was fine, but they COMPLETELY MISSED the BIGGEST CLUE in the episode! You can see if you can be counted in with those people or not shortly, and then see if your opinion of the episode changes.

Translation: I am one scary mo-fo!But before we get into that... how could anyone not love Jin telling the ghost story, complete with the flashlight to his face? That was, honest to God, one of my favorite scenes in the entire series thus far. Totally classic. Many people also enjoyed the "Colonel Bogey March" whistling scene as the guys trekked along the beach.

And I always like it when the title of the episode is especially clever. Not only is "Catch-22" the book that fell from the parachutist's backpack, it is also a term used for a "no-win" situation... when you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. And that's definitely what Desmond found himself struggling with - should he let Darth Hoodie die in order to be reunited with his true love? Or could he not bring himself to be responsible for someone's death when he knew he could prevent it - even if that meant forsaking his happy reunion and possible rescue from the island?

Let's move into the analysis... and get the lame love-quadrangle update out of the way first.


TROUBLE IS A WOMAN

I will spank those tattoos right off of you with this paddle.I am very much OVER the Sawyer-Kate-Jack-Juliet sub-plot. They all have a lot of other things to be worrying about, wouldn't you think? Juliet needs to worry about why she can only make one facial expression - and why Smokey took pictures of her. Sawyer needs to worry about all of the nicknames he needs to unleash with a vengeance after his punishment is lifted - and why he threw $8 million worth of diamonds into the ground. Jack needs to worry about why he now sucks so badly - and how Sayid is going to usurp his Lostaway Leader title. And Kate needs to worry about not being the next one to get pregnant - and why Juliet was able to karate-flip her in the game room. A Phil Collins Greatest Hits tape is going to do no one any good when The Others return!!!

While we will cover more about Penelope much later, since this section is all about love, I will include here a fan's note about the significance of Penelope asking/telling Desmond to help her take the wine to Carlisle:

"In traditional folklore, "The Lady of Carlisle" was beautiful and virtuous and would not give herself to any man unless he could prove to her that he was of "high honor" and "High degree." Two men vied for her heart, one a soldier and one a sailor. She "threw her fan into the lion's den" and said that whichever man was brave enough to return her fan would gain her heart. The soldier would not risk his life for her love, but the sailor said he would return her fan or die. He entered the lion's den, retrieved her fan, and won the lady fair!

When Penny mentioned the city of Carlisle I thought immediately of this legend - Desmond being both a soldier and a sailor. As a soldier he was running from Penny, but as a sailor he was prepared to risk his life to "prove himself worthy" of her."



'95 WAS A GOOD YEAR (BUT THEN AGAIN, NOT REALLY!)

So my original plan for this section was to list all these cool things to remember about 1995, and then mention the Monk Wine along with them, all sneaky-like. But then I actually looked up 1995 to jog my memory, and a whole bunch of pretty depressing stuff happened in that year. Even the things I could refer to from pop culture ended up having not-so-funny things happen with those same topics in later years, so... I got nothin'.

Except that it's when we know Desmond's flashback took place because it was the year on the wine label.

Other people on the boards said that it was in 1996 that he broke up with Penny (this was gathered from his previous flashback), and after that proceeded to join the Royal Army, go to jail, and then enter the sailing race. I was quite surprised that they went even further back in Desmond's life rather than showing us, say, his time in the Army and perhaps why he was kicked out (as most people figured they would do), but I'm really glad they showed us how he and Penny first met. And how he basically ran away from his previous girlfriend (actually, fiancée) right before their wedding. Speaking of that...


BITTER RUTH

When the guy busted into the monastery and clocked Desmond in the face, I thought, "Oh, I get it, he was just using the monastery as a hiding place because he had been involved in some sort of crime and people were looking for him." But, I was wrong. He had actually bailed out on his attacker's sister, Ruth, right before he was supposed to get married to her:

Who's gonna pay the DJ's deposit??DESMOND: OK, yes, I was scared about the wedding, so I had a few pints too many, maybe I, I raised my eyes, and I asked am I doing the right thing, and that's the last thing I remember. And when I woke up, I was lying on my back in the street, and I dunno how I got there and, there was this man standing over me, Ruth. And he reached out his hand and he said to me, can I help you, brother. And the first thing I noticed was the rope tied round his waist, and I looked at him and I knew, I knew, I was supposed to go with him. I was supposed to go with him, I was supposed to leave everything that mattered behind, sacrifice all of it, for a greater calling.
RUTH: Well it's a good thing a bloody shepherd didn't help you up, or as I suppose you'd be off with the sheep, wouldn't you? Next time you want to break up with someone, Des, don't join a monastery. Just tell the girl you're too bloody scared.

There were five things I thought were of note in this scene:

1) Ruth is NOT cute and was not a good fit for our favorite Scotsman!
2) The ten bazillion crosses hanging all over the place - definitely playing up the religion theme again big-time with this episode (more on that later).
3) The fact that Ruth challenged Desmond to be upfront when he was going to leave his next girlfriend, rather than just running away. We know that he didn't follow that advice in his relationship with Penny when he randomly broke up with her for no good reason.
4) Ruth mentioned that if he had been found by a shepherd, he'd be off with the sheep now. Many people on the boards mentioned that he IS now with a shepherd... Jack Shephard, and has become part of the "flock" of Lostaways (hey, I just report what I read, OK?), and...
5) Desmond's explanation for how he ended up with the monks (he blacked out and awoke with a monk standing over him) was very bizarre AFTER having noticed THIS on Monk Guy's desk:



Do not tell me this show cannot afford professional PhotoShop experts.

Say it with me now, "BOO-YA!!!"


WHEN IS A MONK NOT A MONK?

When he has a picture of Freaky Jewelry Store Lady on his desk!

Before I get into this, I just need to give MYSELF some major props for spotting the picture (which was shown for two milliseconds rather than the usual one millisecond to MAKE SURE people noticed it) without the aid of Tivo - shout-out to KG and EG for kickin' it old-school in their condo! Anyway, I nearly choked on my own gasp of breath after witnessing the picture flash by. And I was shocked by the number of people I talked to the next day - at least a dozen - who had not seen it.


HAVE I NOT TAUGHT YOU PEOPLE ANYTHING?!?!

Really, I give up.

Click to see the picture in the context of the scene when Desmond was leaving the monastery.

McFlllyyyyyy!For me, this moment made the entire episode. I can only assume that the producers allowed such a horribly-pasted-together picture to be used as a prop because they wanted people to notice it and start theory-mongering. As a funny side note, there is actually a theory that the photo was purposely made to look fake because depending on what happens in Desmond's life, the people in the picture change out "Back to the Future with peeps vanishing from the family photo"-style! Do I think that could be the case? No, I do not.

Other people think that the picture was made to be so obvious because that way we would know that Desmond himself probably saw it several times, and that therefore his previous flashback ("Flashes Before Your Eyes") was just a jumble of memories from his past, and that woman from the monk's picture was inserted into his trippy experience as the Freaky Jewelry Store Woman. Do I think that could be the case? No, I do not. This one I have more to go on, because the producers confirmed in a podcast that Desmond DID experience those things and go back in time. So I can only trust that they are not trying to mess with us.

[Pause]

I can't believe I just said that.

So what DO I think is the significance of that woman being in the monk's picture? While I am not going to spend time thinking of who exactly she is in relation to the monk (sister, etc.), I think that there are a few plausible explanations for why he knows her and how, if at all, it has relevance to Desmond:

1) It has no relevance, it was just another one of those coincidences of characters being thinly linked by a common acquaintance, none of which have proven to be hugely significant in the show so far (because remember, it's usually only the viewing audience that knows about the link, not the characters themselves).

2) Both Freaky Lady (I can't keep writing it all out) and Monk Guy have the ability to see the future and/or jump around in time, and they know what is supposed to happen with Desmond, so they ensure that he doesn't get married to Ruth (which is why Desmond doesn't actually remember passing out - they probably drugged him to ensure Monk Guy was standing over him when he awoke) and also ensure he meets Penny. Does that seem evil for a monk to do? Not if he knows that there are bad consequences if Desmond's life doesn't unfold as planned. Remember that Freaky Lady had told Desmond that if he didn't do his thing pushing the button on the island that "every one of us" would die. You may ask, however, "Why would they need to ensure anything with Desmond if the universe is always able to "course correct" itself?" Because maybe they learned that sometimes the universe does NOT course correct, and they only learned that when Desmond himself started being able to jump around in time after he turned the fail-safe key.

Yes, this is all very complicated, but basically the premise is that at some point in time after Desmond turned the fail-safe key, he was able to jump around and relive different parts of his life. And when he did so, he started changing things, which ended up causing a domino effect with other events changing later as well. So people like Freaky Lady and Monk Guy need to step in more and more to make sure things go the way they "should." In this theory, FL and MG (getting really lazy now) are not even affiliated with anyone from the island, they are just kind of lone rangers protecting the universe, if you will.

3) Another theory keeps much of what is discussed above the same, except that FL and MG ARE affiliated with either DHARMA or The Others or some other group related to the island. In this scenario, much of Desmond's life has been orchestrated, even his meeting of Penny, as Widmore Corporation, her father's company, was hinted at having a long-standing relationship with the monastery. Some even wondered if his "vow of silence" was actually a subtle training tactic for his excess of alone time in the hatch years later. There are too many variations on this overall theory to write them all out, but some of the most important things to think about include:
- If FL and MG are somehow affiliated with the island, is it because Widmore Corporation (as well as Mr. Widmore himself) also has something to do with the island? Did Penny's dad want Desmond to end up on the island? And if so, was that because he thought that it would be a way to keep Desmond away from his daughter for good, or was it because he actually wanted Desmond to find something out about the island (unknowingly - like he was part of an experiment)?
- If you believe the above, then is it possible that Penny was a part of the scheme but then ended up falling for Desmond? Or was everything about Penny fake from the beginning - she was just with Desmond as part of the master plan, which is why she came back to find him years later after he left prison rather than just staying out of contact.
- Was perhaps only Freaky Lady involved with the island, but she influenced Monk Guy (because of whatever relationship she has with him) to get Desmond to join the monastery and then ensure he met Penny?


I am not sure what I make of this whole mess. I would like to believe that Penny is good and has perhaps now (in present time) found out what happened to Desmond, knows that her father is involved somehow with his disappearance, and therefore was able to figure out that she needed to look for an electromagnetic anomaly to find him again. So I don't really buy the fact that absolutely EVERYTHING was a set-up, including her relationship with Desmond. However, I think there is now a high possibility that either FL or MG had been involved in Desmond's life from an early point without him even knowing it, but I am not sure if they are connected to the island necessarily.

Anyone else have any other ideas?


I'M SETTING BOOTY TRAPS.
YOU MEAN, 'BOOBY TRAPS?'

THAT'S WHAT I SAID! BOOBY TRAPS!


Can we make Goonies 2 already?  You know you want it!I want everyone to thank me right now for NOT including the nas-tay picture of Charlie with the arrow through his neck that is on all other Lost blogs. No one needs to see that again.

Including Desmond, apparently. At the ultra-last second, he decided that he couldn't go through with his plan of just letting Darth Hoodie suffer Death by Crazy French Chick's Arrow-Trap.

I do think that starting off the episode with Desmond's premonition (thereby fooling us into thinking it was actually happening) was a powerful tactic. It made me feel even sorrier for Desmond for being cursed to see the future. Who wants to see violent scenes like that all the time? Perhaps that should be the motivation for him to just let Darth Hoodie kick the bucket - no more gruesome visions!

Or maybe Desmond just needs to pay closer attention to his own visions - because many fans pointed out that, as you can see here, Charlie is still shown in the parachute flash. So if he had actually died because of the arrow, he shouldn't be in that future flash, since their rescuing of the parachutist happened after the trek through the jungle when the arrow trap was sprung. Some people took this to mean that Desmond was shown the arrow flash in order to prevent Charlie from dying, and the parachute flash proves that he was meant to still be alive later. I'm not sure about this one - quite honestly I think this could just be a film-editing goof.

Or... they are just getting frickin' lazy! Seriously, check out this comparison of screenshots from this episode and Desmond's previous flashback!

When I first saw the series of flashes, I thought to myself, "those looked like PAST scenes with Penny." Now when I look closely at the comparison in the link above, it seem certain that all they did was turn the background green to make it appear that Penny and Desmond were being reunited in the jungle or something. Stuff like that MAKES ME MAD! They better address this on the next podcast, that's all I have to say! But for now, we are left to wonder which of these scenarios is the correct one:

1) All of Desmond's flashes are from the future, and even though the producers were totally lazy in reusing a past frame of Penny and not chopping Charlie out of the parachute flash, the bottom line is that Charlie WAS meant to die and Penny WAS meant to show up on the island. Because Desmond saved Charlie, someone else showed up on the island.
2) Some of Desmond's flashes are from the future and some are from the past, but he was just so blinded by wanting to see Penny again that he wasn't paying close enough attention. So the parachutist was never supposed to be Penny in the first place, he was seeing old flashes of his time with Penny. It should also be noted that ALL of Desmond's flash sequences have a weird tint to them, so maybe this was truly supposed to be a flash from the past and people were just reading into the greenish hue in the background.
3) Desmond's flashes can be of both things that are going to happen no matter what, and things that can he can change, and if you pay enough attention, the flashes can even subtly show the outcome of how Desmond chooses to take action on his visions. This is why they showed both Charlie dying and being alive at a later point in time.

I just really wanted the arrow to hit the guitar instead because Charlie is NOT a good musician, OK?I am going to run with Option #1 above just for simplicity's sake. Yeah, right - it's still not simple! Because if we assume that all of Desmond's visions were from the future and chalk those two points covered above up to just being mistakes, then I still do not understand WHY Desmond thought that letting Charlie die versus saving him was going to have an effect on WHO the parachutist was? That just makes no sense to me. Surely Desmond didn't think that whether Charlie lived or died at that one moment could that have CHANGED who was under the helmet? I mean, the person was already on the island by that point in time. So did the bodies suddenly switch out or something? I didn't really get what the connection between the two events was, other than that, at a very high level, Desmond seemed concerned that he wasn't able to bring himself to let the visions happen as he had seen them. He seemed to be thinking at the end of the episode that it was a "test from above" that he was failing because he kept trying to save Charlie. When I would actually look at that the opposite way - wouldn't he fail if he let Charlie die when he could have done something about it? I think Desmond is drawing faulty conclusions.


BIBLE SCHOOL


One of the biggest debates on the boards this time around was regarding the parallel that many people drew between the Bible story Monk Guy discussed with Desmond about Abraham being tested and Desmond himself being tested by his visions:

[He looks at the “Moriah Vineyards” label]
DESMOND: Moriah. I find the name the brothers have chosen for the wine made here interesting.
MONK: And why is that brother?
DESMOND: Well Moriah's the mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac. It's not exactly the most festive locale, is it.
MONK: And yet God spared Isaac.
DESMOND: Well one might argue then, God may not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.
MONK: Well then it wouldn't have been much of a test, would it brother? Perhaps you underestimate the value of sacrifice.

... and nine years later on the island...

DESMOND: Because if I'd told you the truth you wouldn't have come.
CHARLIE: Oh and you needed me to come. Cause I was part of your vision. You thought that the only way you could get your girl back was if I took an arrow in the head. You would have sacrificed me!
DESMOND: If the flashes don't happen exactly how I saw them, the picture changes. I was supposed to let you die, Charlie.
CHARLIE: What's that supposed to mean?
DESMOND: It means it's bloody pointless. I keep saving your life, and what good has it done? It's just gonna keep happening again and again, maybe that's the point, eh? Maybe it's a test.
CHARLIE: Test?
DESMOND: Like God, testing Abraham, except I failed, because I changed what I saw.

Blame it on the rain!The scenes above have caused a lot of people to jump to the following conclusion:
Desmond is Abraham and Charlie is Isaac. Therefore, Desmond is supposed to "sacrifice" Charlie in order to fulfill his visions, but Charlie WILL END UP BEING SAVED by either divine intervention or some other means. The key is that Desmond absolutely cannot intervene, but he keeps doing so.

You may be thinking, "Hmmm, I can see that, but didn't e write a few months back that she thought that the show would be taking a pretty depressing stance on existence if Charlie actually dies, therefore proving that "you cannot change your fate and everything is pre-determined?"" Yes, I did write that, and I still believe that. Although I wouldn't be sad if Darth Hoodie was sent to the Big Hatch in the Sky, I do think it would be a somber turn for the show if he was to actually die because he was "supposed to." Soon, word would spread across the Lostaways that Desmond had foreseen Charlie's death and wasn't able to stop it, and Desmond would become even more of an outcast than he already is, and everyone else would probably lose any motivation they have left since their fate is apparently already sealed.

There is proof, however, that they could be leading the viewing audience toward another Charlie Dies!-fake-out. And the third time will most surely be the charm (the first was when he was hung from the tree by Ethan, the second was the arrow vision (we didn't actually SEE the other visions, so they weren't fake-outs for the audience)).

Shout-out to my brother for unearthing this crazy clue (among many others in this write-up)...

Back in Hurley's last flashback, Charlie was wearing a "Bob Dylan's Highway 61" t-shirt. You may be like me and think, "I don't know what that is - I don't like people who mumble and don't comb their hair!" But then you would not know that the Mumblemeister's song in question has these suspiciously-relevant lyrics:

Why couldn't I have had on a Big Pimpin' shirt on or something?Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No." Abe say, "What ?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done ?"
God says. "Out on Highway 61."

It is moments like this that the writers and producers redeem themselves for all of the other little mistakes they make on the show. Because if they really did have Charlie wearing that t-shirt back in that episode so that some nerdalicious geek would realize the connection to the Bible story discussed on the show months later, then that is pretty damn brilliant. Just like when Charlie was singing "And maybeeee, you're gonna be the one that saves me...." from Wonderwall when he met Desmond in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." I love that stuff.

Lastly, one other smaller point that I don't want to lose sight of is that in the Bible, the son of Isaac is Jacob. And we all know that The Others love them some Jacob!


IT'S DEFINITELY NOT A BIRD *OR* A PLANE

For people majorly into comic books, the "Superman vs. The Flash" debate between Charlie and Hurley spawned an onslaught of theories about the "deeper meaning" of why these fictional heroes were included in the dialogue. I didn't even realize that The Flash was played by four different characters within comic-land, so I am not going to do justice to any of the theories. Just know that most of them have to do with time travel and parallel universes. If you MUST know more, then you can get your Flash fix here.



ALOHA!!

So Charlie doesn't kick the bucket just yet, and they continue on in the jungle to rescue the mystery person trapped up in the tree. On the way, they find a Hula girl doll on the jungle floor, and various other items in a backpack. People were FREAKING OUT on the boards that we had seen this doll before, and then a race ensued to see who would be the first one to find the screenshot from a previous episode. Except that no one did. Some people were positive that a similar doll had been in Hurley's Hummer, or in Kate's truck... but no proof was found.

If YOU have actual proof of this doll appearing before in the series, then leave a comment with the link to the screenshot and you will be a hero to thousands.

ARDIL is an anagram for LIAR! OK, LIARd.  DIALR?  I give up.For now, we can only concern ourselves with the things that appear to be more immediately relevant: the picture copy, the book, and the phone (click here to see a collage of all backpack items).

- The picture copy: There has been a raging debate on the boards about whether there were two copies of the Desmond/Penny picture, or only one. The producers settle that debate below in the Podcast Debrief section. To me, the obvious meaning of the picture is that whoever this chick is, she was most likely sent by Penny, especially since she said "Desmond..." at the end and he didn't seem to recognize her.

- The book: The book is in Portuguese, yet another clue that the parachutist was most likely sent by Penny, as the dudes in the tent at the end of Season 2 who called her to report the electromagnetic anomaly also spoke Portuguese. Why they appeared to be in the Arctic remains a mystery.

- The phone: Two things about the phone: It appears to be a phone that is more modern than they would have back in 2004. Also, before it went dead, it was getting "three bars" for its signal. The overwhelming consensus is: "Sayid can fix it!"


THE ISLAND NO LIKEY AIRCRAFT

This chick looks like a mouse and it is freaking me out!One thing I am consistently amazed by when reading the message boards is how much "stuff" all these random people know. There's always some doctor who is chiming in or some psychologist or, in this case, someone who knows a lot about helicopters. Apparently helicopters do not have the ability to fly very far. And people typically do not parachute out of them, either. This has lead people to wonder if there is some sort of base nearby that the helicopter came from, and if the woman actually knew she was going to have to launch herself out.


I personally wondered, "What made the helicopter crash?" There was definitely a grinding metal sound, so I thought either the engine died or... the helicopter ran into an invisible force field! But then I wouldn't be able to explain how the woman got through the force field. Unless it was just some sort of field that messed with machinery... or maybe the magnetic forces on the island were wreaking havoc on its navigation system. Who knows.

All I do know is that there is a lot of debate on the boards about who the girl is. I already stated my opinion above - I think she was sent by Penny. Others think she is somehow connected to Ben because they claim she was in a picture in his office. Since I cannot find a clear shot of it, I can't include it here. I saw a marked-up screenshot, and I do not think it is the same woman in the slightest.



PRE-D.O.C. THEORY ROUND-UP

If you don't know what D.O.C. stands for yet (the title of the next episode), it is covered in the Podcast Debrief below. I will give you a hint - it ain't about eyewear!

It seems from the previews that the next episode is going to center around Sun after she learns what happens to pregnant women on the island. Many people anticipate that we may get an answer to the "who is Sun's baby daddy" ongoing debate. So in preparation for that possibility, here is a recap of the most prominent theories:

I don't think we're going to find a paternity testing kit amongst the luggage... at least, I hope we won't.1) Sun was having an affair with Baldy (real name: Jae) before leaving for Australia, and therefore the baby is his, especially because Jin was infertile.
2) Even though Jin was not able to father children (which he doesn't even know, he thinks Sun was sterile) in the real world, the island performed yet another miracle and the baby is actually Jin's.
3) Shout-out to K.O. for the theory that The Others impregnated Sun via injection, as we know Juliet has done before with the male mouse and with her sister. While we have not seen any evidence that this was done, there are a lot of other things that have been revealed via flashbacks that we didn't know beforehand, either. So it is a possibility.
4) It is "The Island's" baby. No one physically impregnated Sun, she just "became" pregnant.
5) It is someone else's baby that we don't even know of yet. Because we all know that Sun is a play-ah (from the Himalayaaaaas!).

Regarding the problem of pregnant women dying on the island, my dear friend B.K. offers this very plausible theory: "In the psuedo-science of LOST, perhaps there is a correlation between the pregnancy problems and the cancer cures. The island soups up the immune responses for anyone living on the island, getting rid of any cancer in the bodies of people on the island. Didn't Juliet mention that the mothers' bodies were rejecting the fetuses because their bodies were attacking the fetuses as if they were something foreign? Well, perhaps that same biological response working in both cases."


I think this is a very possible explanation. Benry could actually know about this phenomenon (and didn't necessarily share it with Juliet), which is why he was ultra-surprised to find out that HE had a tumor (which still would be inexplicable).




OFFICIAL PODCAST DEBRIEF

As in previous posts, this section was written in transcript format, covering the official podcast done with the producers where they make random comments and answer fans' questions. It does contain what could be considered minor spoilers about whether we will or will not get answers to certain questions, and it even actually answers a few questions. But skip it if you don't even want to know what will eventually be covered in the series. Rest assured that I left out anything that *I* wish I hadn't heard.


Q. Did someone push Jae (Baldy) out of the window?
A. I can see how someone would have thought that, but he did have the pearl necklace. From the script, it was clear that he committed suicide. But the way they edited it, I can see why people wondered. I think the character who played Baldy wished there was more to it, but there's not. He is dead and he jumped himself, no one pushed him.


Q. Did Desmond change things by letting Charlie live?
A. He did probably change things, so there may be new iterations of how Charlie is supposed to die now. The real question is, "Are they just postponing the inevitable? Is there some way for Charlie to lift the premonition that he's going to die? What if Desmond were to die and the flashes stopped - would Charlie then still have to die?"


Could they not have laminated the pic to make a proper bookmark, at least?There were TWO copies of the pictures at the end of Flashes Before Your Eyes - Desmond had one, Penny had one. In the book was a copy of Penny's picture.

You will find out who the parachutist is very soon.

The cable is the same one that Sayid found way back in "Solitary" in Season One, and that Hurley found again later when he was going back to find Rousseau to get the battery. We are surprised that no one is asking the question, "What is this wire?!?!"

We promise you that you will find out where that wire leads this season.

D.O.C. stands for Date of Conception. Sun is going to just open up an envelope and it will tell her who the father is [e: they are joking about that part].


Q. Was Ben conceived in a test-tube or does he have human parents? Was he conceived on one of the islands? Who was the father of the baby of the woman who died on the table in "One of Us" - was it Ben?
A. Ben was not conceived in a test-tube, he has human parents. He says he was born on the island, but he has never mentioned his own conception. Not sure if we can believe him about being born on the island. Ben was not the father of that woman's baby.


Q. Did baby Aaron say "Claire" in the last episode?
A. No.


Q. Since it would be odd to travel by a submarine all the way from Miami to the South Pacific, is it reasonable to believe that a flight was taken to some intermittent stop where they then got on the submarine?
A. That would be a reasonable theory.


Q. Is Jacob like "The Cobra" on Exposé? Is Jacob going to end up being someone we've seen before that we're shocked to find out is actually Jacob just like Hurley was shocked to find out that Mr. LaShade and the Cobra were one in the same?
A. It would be awesome if Jacob turned out to be Billy Dee Williams, but that is not true. But it will be a shock. [e: see how they did NOT really answer that question?]


Q. I am so sick of people saying that Jack's father, Christian Shephard, is not really dead. Please confirm that he is dead.
A. He is dead.


Q. Why is the art so similar between that in Desmond's apartment, that in Widmore's office and that created by Claire's boyfriend, Thomas?
A. Well... busted! This is because our producing director (Jack Bender) is an artist. And he decides to add his touch to the show. That is his artwork in both episodes, and that's why it looks so similar. Nothing more. The hatch mural, the artwork in Widmore's office, it was all him.


Q. Are we ever going to see a Rousseau flashback? If so, please include Montand and his missing arm.
A. We want to do one, we just haven't gotten there yet. But if we do, it will definitely not be complete unless we see Montand. rent "Wages of Fear," which was the inspiration for Montand.



BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE


DESMOND: Hey. Where's the wire?
HURLEY: D'you eat those mushrooms Jack warned us about?



[Jack grabs the kit and gives it to Desmond]
DESMOND: Thanks.
[Jack notices Hurley staring out into space]
JACK: Something wrong Hurley?
HURLEY: Nah, uh uh, just, keeping Desmond here company. Cause... we're... friends.


SAWYER: You know, did you tell the Doc? About you and me.
KATE: No. But he knows. He saw us on one of those surveillance monitors.
SAWYER: Thought you said the camera was broken?
KATE: Well they had another camera.
SAWYER: [Mumbles] Perverts.
KATE: Anyway, he knows.
SAWYER: Well now that, that's out the way, maybe a little afternoon delight.



JIN: Camping?
HURLEY: Yeah, you know, like sleeping under the stars, fire on the beach. Marshmallows.
JIN: [Nodding] Camping.
[He stands thinking]
JIN: Yes.
HURLEY: [To Desmond] Everybody likes marshmallows.



RUTH: Desmond. You can never begin to explain what you did. You left one week before the wedding, everything was planned bought and paid for. You just disappeared completely.
DESMOND: I had a calling.
RUTH: We dated for six years, and the closest you ever came to a religious experience was Celtic winning the cup.



[At the beach, Juliet is working on her tent with Jack]
JACK: You a doctor or a carpenter?
JULIET: What, your dad never taught you to use a hammer?
JACK: No, my dad taught me how to drink.
JULIET: Oh, at least it's something.
SAWYER: Hope I'm not interrupting. You two arguing over who's your favorite Other?


JIN: Walkie-talkie!
HURLEY: [Taking it] No dude. That's a satellite phone.
[He turns it on, but it quickly turns itself off]
HURLEY: Crap, it's dead.
CHARLIE: Shocker.



No, I actually don't know what Sussudio means, either, now that you mention it...KATE: What's this?
SAWYER: Your mix tape.
[Kate laughs]
SAWYER: Well, you gonna take it or ain't ya?
[Kate does so]
KATE: The best of Phil Collins, huh.
SAWYER: Don't get picky. And if Bernard asks, I don't know a thing about it.


JIN: Who's Penny?
HURLEY: She's this chick Desmond used to date. And now he thinks she fell from the sky. So we're gonna go save her life, and she's gonna get us rescued. Dude, even if I spoke Korean it wouldn't make any sense.





WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- Is it just me, or is Desmond channeling Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees?
- Those character moments, like the whistling of the "Colonel Bogey March," or Jin's ghost story, were why I fell in love with this show in the first place. Great, great stuff!
- And holy crap on the opening! And the tent sex! So that's why they moved the show to 9:00...
- Monks crating wine. Awesome!
I'm popping up EVERYWHERE... bwah hah hah...- I was not expecting Sanjaya to show up though, that was cool.
- Nice to know Bernard is still alive.
- After Catch 22 I began to think that perhaps Desmond's visions were being sent to him by some outside source. I started thinking about this because of the paradox presented by Des' flash. He never would have trekked into the jungle if he hadn't seen the vision in the first place. The vision did not in fact predict the future, but rather created it. This is known as a predestination paradox.
- One other thing we learned in Catch 22 is that Desmond's life has been directed and adjusted according to some third-party's idea of what Desmond's life should be like. The fact that brother Campbell was in on it shows that this conspiracy goes really deep.


UPCOMING EPISODES

4/25 - D.O.C. - Preview 1, Preview 2 and Preview 3! Each has a slightly different part at the end.
5/2 - The Brig
5/9 - The Man Behind the Curtain
5/16 - Greatest Hits (previously called 'The Truth About Lying')
5/23 - Through the Looking Glass - TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE and special episode afterward


We've arrived at the Final Four! Can you hear my brain melting down from there?


Forewarning: I am going to be traveling until Monday, so there is a good chance I may not get the "D.O.C." post up the night of May 1st. I will leave a short message on the site if this is going to be the case.

Until then, enjoy the next episode,
- e

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

S3Ep16 - One of Us (Juliet's second flashback)

I am NOT dressed appropriately.Hello my dear friends -

I received many emails the morning following "One of Us" - most people wanted reassurance that it was, actually, a really good episode, right? Yes, indeed, it was a great episode. At the end of the hour, I was struck by how much Juliet is actually like Jack, and how the title, "One of Us," was so clever. Both sides have a reason to think that Juliet is "with them," but she is really on no one's side but her own. Similarly, if you remember at the end of the sixth episode, before the show went on hiatus, we were left wondering what exactly the Mad Doctor's plan was - as he seemed to be following his own agenda entirely. He didn't just complete the surgery like Benry (and Kate, for that matter) asked, and he didn't fake a screw-up and kill Benry like Juliet had asked, he took a middle road on his own and ensured Kate and Sawyer's escape before sewing Benry back up. And then he only agreed to help Benry's recovery after ensuring a promise that he could go home.

We now know that Juliet and Jack have that one desire in common - to get off of the island (remember, the majority of the other Lostaways may not have that same motivation). Benry has been holding threats about Juliet's sister over her head for three years, and it's obvious that Juliet is going to do whatever it takes to get back to see little Julian. But Juliet hasn't always been playing along with Benry, since it was her idea to try and get Jack to botch the surgery. And she did kill Pickett, and she did receive the brand (more on that later). I think that at this point, Juliet is going to work with whomever she thinks can provide her with the best chances of escape. And it was in the last few minutes of the episode when we saw that, for now, she was back to thinking that person was Benry. Yes, I am The Mole! Now where's Anderson?How many people were shocked that we didn't have to wait until the finale to receive confirmation that Juliet was indeed infiltrating the Lostaways' camp as part of Benry's plan? We didn't really even get the proper time needed to drive ourselves nuts debating it?!?!?

Back to the episode at large - as always, there were a ton of things I missed upon my initial viewing that the geniuses on the boards brought to everyone's attention. And for the first time in a long time, the flashbacks actually provided us with MUCH MORE important information than the actual island happenings did, so I will focus on the island scenes first and get those out of the way. I will also say that some people out there are really nuts, and I will cover a few of the theories from people who I can only assume are on crack.

Without further ado...


SAYID FOR PRESIDENT!

I think my mouth actually dropped open when Sayid wasted NO time once he was alone with Juliet in starting to ask all of the major questions that any normal person would be wondering about:

Juliet: OK. Let's have it.
Sayid: I want to know what you people are doing on this island. Why you are terrorizing us, making lists, kidnapping children. I want to know everything. But the first thing I'd like to know is...who are you?
Juliet: If I told you who I was, if I told you everything that I know...you'd kill me.
Sayid: What do you think I'll do if you don't?

Definitely one of the Sayid's best lines ever. But then of course the Mad Doctor had to continue his ultra-annoying streak and ruin the whole thing:

Is that a CHALLENGE, Jack?Jack: Leave her alone.
Sayid: Sooner or later she'll answer my questions.
Jack: She'll answer your questions when she's ready. And you'll wait until she is. She's under my protection.

Now, who else besides me was rolling their eyes at Jack's machismo at that point in the episode? Ummm, I have a secret to tell you, Jack - Sayid could kick your ass with a blindfold on, one hand tied behind his back AND his feet tied together. Many tattoos does not a tough guy make! It was on the verge of ridiculousness that they even had Jack attempt to appear like he could protect Juliet from Sayid should Sayid really want to do something to her. But I guess for now Sayid decided to play along.


REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO ... AWKWARD

Since we've been so exposed (some would say over-exposed) to the Mad Doctor this season, it is hard to keep things in perspective about why in the hell anyone else would be happy to see him. However, for everyone on the beach minus Kate and Sawyer, it has been about three weeks since he left on that fateful journey to retrieve Waaaaallllt. Since he IS a doctor and WAS their de facto leader, I guess I can see why there would be a collective sigh of Cue swooning by the lady fans.relief that he had returned in one piece.

... Except that he brought "one of THEM" along.

There were several people rejoicing on the boards over Kate and Sawyer's emotional hug. I must say, at this point there is no way she should ever be making goo-goo eyes at Jack again.





I WILL TOLERATE CLAIRE'S WHINING ONLY BECAUSE SHE WAS BLEEDING OUT OF HER MOUTH

Stop stealing my thunder!Charlie and Claire are honestly the most annoying couple ever. I know I was supposed to be all concerned for Claire, and they definitely did a great job of making her look like hell... but consider this: if she died, then we would never have to hear her say "bay-bee" again, and Charlie wouldn't continue to be a total idiot and nearly be killed several times over because of her, and, well, that wouldn't be so bad, now would it?

But Claire survived to see another day thanks to Juliet (yeah, right). I thought *I* was a planner!?!? No, BENRY is a planner!!! He had thought to implant Claire with a device that could be triggered remotely months later to make her fall ill if need be? Color me impressed. We will cover if she ever would've gotten sick without the implant or the injections a bit later.


I PREDICT A DUDELICIOUS MELTDOWN

You look eerily like my island lady friend who got shot...For the past few episodes, I have had a sinking feeling that Hurley is going to lose it at any second. He had been careless in his quest to get the VW working (and didn't seem to care that he was putting in danger the one person predicted to die), extraordinarily suspicious of and irritated by Sawyer, overly concerned with the dynamics of the camp, and just seems to be on edge all-around. Now he's pulling out the bad-ass card with Juliet (not that it's not warranted):

Juliet: They send you over here to keep an eye on me?
[Hurley nods]
Juliet: OK.
Hurley: [Making a subtle threat] The last one of you guys that came over here? Ethan? He kidnapped Claire and...Charlie got upset. [Pointing down the beach] We buried him over there.

I think we need to keep an eye on our favorite comic-relief-provider...

On to the flashbacks.



MMMM, TRANQUILIZER!

I think there's a clue in there about Nike somehow.So many theories about the airport scene, where to begin?

I will begin with the fact that a lot of people don't think the airport was real at all. If you remember, Juliet and her sister didn't recall an airport even being in that area before. Some people thought that the planes outside of the window looked fake. Others thought that they never even took Juliet on a plane. And still others thought that they never actually took her anywhere on the submarine. It was pointed out that a trip from Miami to the South Pacific would take several hours - more than that cup of tranquilizer would keep Juliet down for. Yet when she awoke, she was at the island already. One probable theory is that no matter how Juliet actually got to the island, they probably kept pumping her with drugs to keep her asleep until she arrived.

Bottoms up!I personally think that she probably never did go on an airplane, and that the submarine was used for the entire trip. As Mikhail said (and the producers confirmed it was the truth), they brought people to the island via submarine, being guided in by an underwater sonar beacon. Miami is on the ocean, so...


Another big topic of conversation was: what meaning, if any, were we to apply to Herarat Aviation?

Here are the three leading theories:

1) Herarat is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Juliet: "Her a rat," as exposed at the end of this episode.

Leave me in peace!2) Herarat is an anagram for "Earhart," as in, Amelia Earhart, who, as it were, disappeared in a plane over the South Pacific.

3) It may be a reference to Mt. Ararat, believed to be the site of Noah's Ark's landing by some. This may be significant in the "repopulating of the planet" sense. Polar bears, check! Wild Boars, check!


OK, so back to #2 above. There is a sub-theory there. Are you ready for it? Huh, huh, are you?

Drumroll, please...

Absolutely Ridiculous Theory By People on Crack #1:

That Nancy Reaganish-looking lady from the book club scene at the beginning of the season IS Amelia Earhart.

OK, now... stick with me here. First let me say that I truly hope this is NOT the case. But unfortunately there IS evidence that it could be...

Go back to that book club scene at the beginning of this season. Guess what Nancy Reagan's character's name is listed as in the transcript (and remember that this is not something that most viewers would ever see or know, unless they had on closed-captioning or unless they are freaks like me and read the transcripts)?:

Just say no!Adam: It's not even literature. It's popcorn.
Amelia: And why isn't it literature Adam? I'm dying to know.
Adam: There's no metaphor. It's by the numbers religious hokum-pokum.
Amelia: No metaphor.
Adam: It's science fiction. Now I know why Ben isn't here.
Juliet: Excuse me?
Adam: I know the host picks the book, but seriously Julie, he wouldn't read this in the damn bathroom.

Oh Lord, help us all. Her name is Amelia.

And now consider that the real Amelia Earhart's whereabouts are still debated to this very day. In fact, an article came out on CNN.com just a mere few weeks ago about this very topic: Was Amelia Earhart a doomed castaway?

(by the way, forget what you think about this Lost-related theory... definitely read the article, it is fascinating even though it's long)

It has also been mentioned on the boards way before this Amelia Earhart business that the island is perhaps on one of the twelve "Vile Vortices" in the world. So now people are applying that to Amelia Earhart's flight and thinking that the island is where she actually crashed.

You may be thinking - "The crash in question was 70 years ago. Amelia would therefore have to be around 100." And to that, the proponents of this theory would say, "But we all know time moves differently on the island..." (more on that later, too).

I myself don't know what to think. At first I totally blew this theory off... but after seeing the name in the transcript... well, needless to say, I'm a little worried.



DIVINE SECRETS OF THE DHARMA-MA SISTERHOOD

There are a lot of people on the message boards who really like Juliet, and who were totally duped by her and therefore shocked at the end of the episode. I am not one of those people - I don't like her at all and I will add that I think she and Jack have ZERO chemistry. But I will admit that the scene where she was shown the video of her sister was very heart-wrenching and therefore convinced me that she would put up with a hell of a lot from Benry to ensure her sister's well-being.

But the question of the day is - did her sister's well-being even need to be ensured?

When Juliet was not able to save Sabine (the woman they showed on the operating table), she had been on the island six months and it was alluded to that she had seen several pregnant women die already at that point. She wanted to give up, and she told Benry she wanted off the island. That is when he told her that Rachel's cancer was back, and that she could leave to go be with her sister in her "final days," or she could stay on the island and continue to work for a solution to The Others' problem in return for the almighty Jacob curing Rachel's cancer.

At that point in the show I was definitely hollering "Say whaaaaaaa?" really loudly. I mean, is Jacob supposed to be God? If Jacob knows how to cure cancer, why doesn't he CURE CANCER in the real world, become a trizillionaire (I just made up that term), and then use the money to find the remedy for the island's problem with pregnant women? Therefore, I was also yelling specifically at Juliet through the TV: "DEMAND TO TALK TO YOUR SISTER, FOOL!!! DEMAND IT!!!" I guess she didn't hear me. Or I guess she is easily tricked. All it took was Benry to throw a few charts at her and claim that they were Rachel's - "proving" the cancer was back - and Juliet crumbled like the proverbial cookie.

Now, I hesitate even bringing this up because I actually pray that this WAS just a production error (the prop people are NOT perfect, as has been proven in the past), but if you look closely at the files Ben gave Juliet... ummm, well... it says that Rachel is a MAN.

This island is SWINGIN', baby!It's a MAN, baby!

The file folder has Rachel's name on it, but the paper itself lists a male of 197 pounds.
Which leads us to the:

Absolutely Ridiculous Theory By People on Crack #2:

Rachel WAS a man, but had a sex change operation, which is why it is even more miraculous that Juliet was able to get him/her pregnant. Let us not forget that Juliet was first brought to Mittelos Bioscience's attention because she impregnated a MALE mouse!

Oh Lord Baby Jesus, PLEASE do not have this show go that way. I beg of you.

It doesn't stop there.


Absolutely Ridiculous Theory By People on Crack #3:

An off-shoot of this "she's a man" theory is that she is a Chimera. You know, a Chimera!!!

What's that, you say? You don't KNOW what a Chimera is?

I have pepper spray and I am not afraid to use it.OK, I will give you a hint. Dwight Schrute on 'The Office' is a Chimera:

"When my mother was pregnant with me, they did an ultrasound and found she was having twins. When they did another ultrasound a few weeks later, they discovered that I had resorbed the other fetus. Do I regret this? No. I believe his tissue has made me stronger. I now have the strength of a grown man and a little baby."

That's right, a Chimera is actually a real thing, and I know I'm not going to be able to do its definition justice, but in the case of where the condition applies to a whole person (as opposed to just an organ), it can be explained as "an individual consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution." There have actually been court cases related to this - you HAVE to check this out - this woman is a Chimera and they realized it when her own DNA did NOT match that of her three kids??! And get this, the condition was named after the mythical beast who was the... wait for it... sister of Cerberus (Smokey) and Hydra (hatch on Falcatraz).

My brain is going to explode! Make it stop!!!

So what do I think? Just like the "Amelia Earhart is living quite peacefully now on Craphole Island" theory, I can only cross my fingers that the "Rachel is/was a man or a Chimera" theories do not turn out to be true. Those are just waaay out there, even for me (which is saying a lot). But just like we all know Simon Cowell will be back on American Idol even if Sanjaya wins, we also know that I will not abandon this show even if both ridiculous theories turn out to be true.

This Chimera bullshit is NOT funny. One glimmer of hope is that you would THINK that if Rachel really was/is a man, that Bushy-Eyebrows-Long-Eyelashes Guy would've mentioned that as the main miracle when discussing Juliet's accomplishments and trying to justify why she wanted to work for Mittelos: "You took a woman, your own sister, whose reproductive system was ravaged by chemotherapy, who was...sterile, and you made her pregnant."

Notice he did not say "... and on top of that, she is actually a he!"

So for now, we will turn to three much more likely scenarios (which both assume that the sex and weight part of the file was just a prop error), any of which I think could actually end up being the case:

1) Rachel's cancer really did return, and somehow Jacob could cure it, or
2) Rachel's cancer really did return, and Ben was just bluffing that Jacob could cure it, and he lucked out with the fact that she went into remission later anyway, or
3) Rachel's cancer never returned in the first place.

I believe option #3, which was why I was yelling at the TV. As my brother summed up:
"I do not think "they" have the power to cure Juliet's sister's cancer, but more importantly, I don't think Juliet's sister actually got sick again. Ben knew Juliet wanted off the island and the way to convince her to stay was to tell her that her sister's cancer had come back and that he/they could cure her. Showing Juliet footage of her sister healthy years later doesn't mean she was cured of anything. It just means she's healthy. Now if Ben had shown Juliet footage of her sister dying when he was trying to convince her to stay, THAT would be different story. But he didn't. He showed her some charts. Some doctored charts he had made up to con Juliet. Because her sister was completely fine. He can cure her sister's cancer but not his own? Not buying it. The guy's a dirty liar and his pants are on fire."


Also, I want to take a moment here and address something I got wrong in a previous write-up. You may recall me absolutely freaking out over this hidden video linked from a supposed "email from Rachel" on the Mittelos Bioscience's web site. In my write-up, I stated that Rachel was fine and ended up having a girl. So imagine my confusion when Benry stated that Rachel had a healthy son named Julian. I went back and watched the video again, and it doesn't actually SAY anywhere that the kid's a girl, I just assumed it because of all of the long hair. But hey, just take one look at Kate Hudson's son Ryder, and you will see evidence of a girly-looking little boy! So, my bad. Everything still lines up with the hidden video.



JACOB, JACOB, WHEREFORE ART THOU, JACOB?


The Others have slowly but surely been name-dropping "Jacob" to us throughout this season. In Season Two, we knew of a nameless "him," who The Others, including Benry himself, seemed in awe of.

Then in this season, we have seen/heard the name Jacob in the following instances:
- Pickett muttered that "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list" as Jack began Benry's surgery.
- We saw a flash of "God loves you as he loved Jacob" in the Clockwork Orange Rave Room.
- Karl (Alex's boyfriend) repeated the statement above when they were in the rowboat back to the main island.
- Ben mentioned to Juliet that Jacob would take care of Rachel's cancer himself.

So the big question is... who is Jacob? Many people think that "Jacob" could just be a big hoax made up by Benry. Let us remember that there have been several parallels to "The Wizard of Oz" in this series (remember Benry originally claimed to be Henry Gale, who was Dorothy's uncle in the movie), and then let us consider than one of the remaining five episodes is entitled "The Man Behind the Curtain."

If I had to bet, I would bet that Jacob and Benry are one in the same. Benry is a smart guy, and I think he knew that if he created this all-powerful-but-never-seen "leader," he could more easily manipulate the rest of his people.

But for all I know, Jacob could be Vincent. I really actually have no idea. I can't decide if I HOPE that Benry and Jacob end up being the same person or not. In a way, it would be cool if Benry just totally tricked his own people for years. And I can't say I'm wishing for yet another character to be introduced at this point. I also don't think they could ever make Jacob as a stand-alone character live up to the high expectations they've built for him. So perhaps I do just hope it ends up being a "con" by Benry.

Patchy seemed to be about to say that Benry was NOT their leader in the scene below (which I guess proves nothing unless we knew that Patchy had actually seen Jacob):

Patchy: The man who brought me here...who brought all of my people here... he's a magnificent man.
Kate: [Sarcastically smiling] If Ben's so magnificent, then why did he need one of us to save him?
Patchy: Ben...Ben is not...I will try to make this as simple as I can. You are not on the list because you are flawed...[to Locke] because you are angry...[to Sayid] and weak...[to Danielle] and frightened.

It also seems like Juliet wouldn't have bought into Ben's quite huge promise of Jacob curing Rachel's cancer unless she had already met Jacob for herself.

And the conclusion still is: I have no idea what's going on with Jacob.

But I do have a screenshot of Ben's office for you, because it doesn't fit anywhere else in this write-up!



TIME, TIME, TIME... SEE WHAT'S BECOME OF ME

Do you believe EVERYTHING you see??? Oh, you do?Ben: Hello Richard, can you hear me? [to Juliet] Notice today's date. This is live. Okay Richard.

OK now... For all of you who think that just because Patchy showed "real world" footage from the day of the plane crash (September 22, 2004) and Ben said that it was "today's date," that that means that any sort of time warp/time loop/time manipulation theory has been debunked, I say "That is EXACTLY what they wanted you to think!"

Think about it - what does that prove? Nothing. It proves that in the normal world outside of the island, it is September 22, 2004. And that perhaps on the island, they are also calling that day September 22, 2004. And that is it.

Perhaps you may be thinking, "Well, Juliet knew that she was there about three years at that time, and so therefore she would know what the "real" date should be." Correct. But what if a "day" on the island - as in, the time that passes between sunrises - is not 24 hours? How would Juliet know that? The Others could just go along with the normal world's calendar because the island also technically has days and nights, but perhaps once someone is on the island, his or her body becomes adjusted to "island time" and they therefore do not realize that the time between sunrises is actually only 7 hours... or maybe 7 days... when compared to that of the normal world. I don't know if I think time is moving more quickly or slowly on the island, but I definitely still think that something is going on with time (there have just been TOO MANY references to it) and I think that their video connection to the outside world doesn't prove anything to the contrary.

As if to remind us of that, consider Bushy-Eyebrows-Long-Eyelashes Guy's passing comment to Juliet, as she was lamenting being away from her sister for six months:
Richard Alpert: I know that, uh, 6 months sounds like an eternity, but you're going to be amazed at how time flies once you're there.

HELLO, PEOPLE!!!! That is a hint!

And if the way time passes on the island is the same way it passes in the real world, then that still doesn't mean that 1) they haven't found a way to time travel like Desmond did, or 2) that there isn't a time loop going on overall.

I hope you all realize that until the SERIES finale's final credits roll, I will not be giving up on my "Something is Going on with Time, Dammit!" theory.




GOOGLE'S GOOD, BUT IT AIN'T *THAT* GOOD


What else did we learn from the scene in the Flame Hatch with the video monitors?

- Flight 815 made headlines with its disappearance, and there was a search underway for the plane.

- Patchy saw the plane crash on his own and had already begun his "assignment" of researching the background of the passengers

- On that note about Patchy, until this point, we weren't actually SURE that he even knew about the plane crash, since he definitely was living in isolation by and large. But now we know that he knew all about it, and therefore he knew exactly who was approaching the hatch in this scene:

Sayid: [Lying on the ground in great pain] I'm not...I'm not who you th...who you think I am! My name is Sayid Jarrah! I was on a plane that crashed here months ago!
Patchy: A plane?
Sayid: I'm unarmed, I swear!
Patchy: Stay right there!
Locke: Drop the rifle! Drop it right now!
Locke: Back up. Back up!
Kate: Are you all right?
Patchy: You really did crash here?
Sayid: Over 40 of us, yes!

And we also know why he knew the full names of everyone (when he spooked everyone out by calling them their names right before he was pushed into the Forcefield of Doom) - because he himself looked them up.

I will order this tree to attack you if you don't back off.However, what this scene didn't explain is how The Others could have known, as Juliet mentioned in her threatening speech to Sayid and Sawyer when they tried to stop her from going back to the camp with the medicine for Claire, that Sawyer killed a man the night before the plane crash. No one was around, it wasn't on the news, and that's not why he was being deported (he had gotten into a bar fight with an Australian politician). So how could they have known that? I believe that almost everything else they've found out about the Lostaways could actually be discovered via intense research (and remember, they pretty much had two months before they started interacting with the Lostaways). But that little morsel definitely threw me (and it definitely threw Sawyer, as you could tell from his reaction).

- One thing that has long been debated about the show is whether or not the people on Flight 815 were on that specific flight for a reason, or if it was just random. All of the connections they had back in the real world could be chalked up to coincidences, or could be hints that they were all connected in a larger way that still remains unknown. People have often wondered if the Lostaways were somehow "chosen" by DHARMA, or whomever is really in control of the island, and were manipulated to be on that exact flight. I personally have always thought that it was just bad luck that they were all on that flight. And from the scene in the Flame Hatch (as well as from the instruction Benry gave Ethan and Goodwin about infiltrating the camps), it didn't appear that Benry had previous knowledge about the people on the plane. But then again, his comments marked in italics below could be interpreted literally, or they could be looked at as "knowing" comments:

It's not the Sox winning the World Series, but still.Juliet: [Crying] Oh. Oh my God.
Ben: [To the uplink] Okay thank you, Richard. You'll wanna get back here as soon as you can. We may have some new visitors.
Juliet: [Crying] Oh God! No! No! No!
Ben: I'm not a liar, Juliet.
Juliet: [Crying] I want to go home.
Ben: That's not our agreement. You need to stay here until your work is finished.
Juliet: [Crying] It's impossible. The mothers keep dying.
Ben: Then we'll find more mothers. Who knows...maybe there's even one on that plane.



NO SHOES, NO FOOTPRINTS, NO BABIES

I just realized that Goodwin is nas-tay!We learned the reason why Juliet was brought to the island, and it was because all of the women who get pregnant on the island ended up dying during their pregnancy. I'm assuming that Ben wants to keep his Utopian society of Othersville going, so he has a strong motivation to figure out what is wrong.

However, Juliet tells Jack that they performed tests on Claire's blood, and that she, too, was going to come down with this illness and die if she hadn't been injected with Juliet's miracle serum via Ethan:

Juliet: For some reason, the women here can't have babies. The mother's body turns on the pregnancy, treats it as a foreign invader. I saw it happen over and over. Every pregnant woman on this island died. That is, every pregnant woman until Claire.
Jack: What did you do to her?
Juliet: One of our people infiltrated your camp and began taking blood samples, right after your plane crashed.
Kate:[Realizing] Ethan.
Juliet:Even though Claire didn't conceive on this island, we found that her symptoms were consistent with the previous mothers, so we tried to save her life.
Jack: By kidnapping her.
Juliet: No, that wasn't supposed to happen. She was our control case. I had developed a serum that I thought would reverse what was happening to her. Ethan was administering the injections... but, then you found out that he wasn't on the plane. So, he improvised. He kidnapped her on his own. That was never the plan... Look, I know how this sounds, but without those injections, Claire would have died. Without the serum she's going into a form of withdrawal and if I don't treat her quickly, her immune system could shut down entirely. Jack, I can fix this. I just need the serum. Ethan kept a stash of the medical supplies near the caves where you used to live. If I go right now, I can be back before it's too late.

So the big questions are:
- Is she lying about the whole thing? Was Claire really showing the symptoms during her pregnancy, or would she have been fine without any of the injections? Because it does appear that Juliet was lying about Ethan's actions... above she says that he was never supposed to have kidnapped Claire, but below we have a scene from Claire's flashback "Maternity Leave," that suggests they were always going to take Claire:

Zeke: What the hell happened? You were supposed to make the list and then bring her in. Was I unclear?
Ethan: It's not my fault. They knew I wasn't on the plane. They had a manifest.
Zeke: What am I supposed to tell him? You know what he's going to do when he finds out. Damn it, Ethan.

- Were the injections that Claire was given the same stuff that Desmond was shooting into himself in the hatch which he later told Charlie "did nothing"? It would actually make sense if they did nothing to Desmond if they were meant for pregnant women...

- When Rousseau mentioned "the sickness" in previous seasons, did those people she saw get sick actually just have a similar implant in them like Claire did?

- Is there a chance they put a similar implant in Sawyer when they performed his Faux Pacemaker o' Doom surgery?

See the podcast debrief section below to see when we'll learn more about the pregnancy issue on the island.

I will say that I feel like there must be other things on the island that Juliet has seen that have caused her to become so entrenched with Benry and The Others. Because I highly doubt Bushy-Eyebrows-Long-Eyelashes Guy was referencing the pregnancy problem when he made the following remark to Juliet before she left Miami: "You'll see things there that you never imagined."


WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE FRENCHY?

Everyone was freaking out on the boards because Juliet did not mention Rousseau at all in her discussion of what has happened to pregnant women on the island. Rousseau was in the same situation as Claire - her baby was conceived off of the island, but born on the island. And we all know that she is still alive and kicking. Let's take a walk down memory lane to the season finale of Season One, which started out with this chilling speech by Rousseau:

"The Others are coming. Our ship went aground on this island 16 years ago. There were 6 of us... my team, 6. At that time I was already 7 months pregnant. I delivered the infant myself. The baby and I were together for only 1 week when I saw black smoke... a pillar of black smoke 5 kilometers inland. That night they came they came and took her... Alex. They took my baby. And now, they're coming again. They're coming for all of you."

This has lead to two theories:

1) Juliet doesn't know about Rousseau, and Benry doesn't want to tell her because he raised Alex as his own. There is a possibility that NONE of The Others actually know the real story about Alex.

2) Rousseau struck some sort of deal with The Others, or was one of them, and made up her entire back-story that she told the Lostaways. Her baby was born way before Juliet arrived, so perhaps if the baby is conceived off of the island, the mother would be safe. That would explain why Rousseau survived, and would also mean that Claire would've been fine without The Others interfering... which means they wanted her for other reasons than to save her. That's what I believe.


AREA 51?

When Juliet went to get the hidden medical supplies, she followed a marking carved into a tree. Some people thought this was the same mark that's on her back. If that is the case, then "the brand" is probably not a bad thing to have, because why would it be used as a signal elsewhere on the island?

I think I see the Virgin Mary in her scar?!?

I, however, do NOT think it's the same mark, I think it's just similar. Juliet's brand has straight lines that all intersect closer to the bottom of the main vertical line, like an asterisk. The tree marking has curved lines that do not intersect.

Trust No One (least of all Juliet)


You can read
the various meanings of the tree symbol here. The best is that the mark is used in Ummoism - this freaky series of supposed UFO communications made on Earth. Is that awesome or what? I would highly support aliens on the show. I want a Mulder - Locke showdown!






A MOLE AMONGST THEM

Ben: Let's go over it again.
Juliet: I know what to do.
Ben: Let's go over it again, just to be sure.
Juliet: I drag Austen out into the jungle, handcuff myself to her, then tell her I was gassed, just like she was.
Ben: If she catches you in the lie?
Juliet: I'll admit to it, tell her it was the only way to earn her trust.
Ben: Good. What then?
Juliet: They'll take me back to the beach.
Juliet: I know you want me to go there, but after everything we've done to them... it's going to be a problem.
Ben: We've activated the implant in Claire. She should be symptomatic within the next 48 hours. By the time you get to that camp, you'll have a nice big crisis to solve.
Juliet: I'll need supplies.
Ben: Pryce is already on his way. He'll hide the case at Ethan's old drop point. Tell Jack that you can save her. He trust's you.
Ben: Are you alright?
Juliet: I'm fine.
Ben: See you in a week.

Seriously, why didn't he just say, "See you in the finale!"

Pure Eeevil.Now knowing that it was part of The Others' master plan to leave Juliet behind, I feel that she was a tad careless in her statement to Jack below. She specifically left out being gassed (and we now know she never was gassed, despite what she told Kate about "making tea when the canister came through the window").

Jack: They'll come around, just give them some time.
Juliet: My people kept Sayid chained to a swing set for 3 days. Then I dragged Kate to the jungle, handcuffed myself to her and lied about it.

Also, regarding the "was Juliet shown at the beginning of the last episode with the gas mask peeps?" controversy covered in last week's write-up... I don't think we'll ever know for sure. Yes, we know that she was given a mask and has blond hair and had on a blue shirt like the woman Kate saw through the window, but I think that would've been very careless for her to have been walking around with The Others right before trying to convince Kate that she, too, was left behind.

So what is going on? What is Benry trying to learn about the Lostaways that he doesn't already know? And what is Juliet going to get out of this?

I may be wrong on this, but from what I can remember, there is no way that any of The Others should know that Sun is pregnant, as she herself found out while on the island. Therefore, Benry could not have been sending Juliet back with the Lostaways for the sole purpose of kidnapping Sun (although if they find out she's pregnant, I think that is just what they'll try to do). So there must be something else. The only thing I can think of is that they are going to try to get baby Aaron once again?

Why would Juliet go along with this? I think this leads back to my man Locke. I still don't think he blew up the submarine. And I think Benry knows it. So I think that Benry has promised Juliet once again that she can leave the island if she does this one last favor.


IS JACK REALLY THAT DUMB? MAYBE HE IS... AND MAYBE HE *IS*

Despite my rugged appearance, my brain is quite soft.An aspiring Toastmaster, Ms. MG, is convinced that Jack knows that he's being played by Juliet, but is going along with it because he has "a plan." Because, as she said, "He can't be THAT stupid."

Oh my dear friend, you give the Mad Doctor too much credit.

Personally, I would love to see Jack surprise us all and have something up his sleeve to spring on everyone when Juliet's traitorishness is finally made public. He definitely needs to be redeemed, because ever since the awesome season opener, he has gone steadily downhill in most fans' eyes. Unfortunately, he seems to have a history of getting involved with women that just do him no good.



OFFICIAL PODCAST DEBRIEF

Here are my notes from this week's ABC.com podcast with the producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse - I tried to get as many direct quotes as possible, so this section will be transcript-like:

It started off with an interview with the actor (M.C. Gainey) who plays Zeke!!! I must say, he seems like a very cool guy in "real life."

He (M.C.) knew Carlton Cuse from a previous show - a Western called 'Brisco County (the Adventures of)' that he played a character on and Carlton was the producer for. He went to Hawaii without a script and no idea who the character Zeke was. "And here I am three years later, with still no idea."

"During the off-season after I kidnapped Walt it was really awful... people were coming up to me going, "What are you going to do with that little boy?""

"I didn't even realize I had a fake beard until I got the script saying that the women found my beard and theater glue in the medical hatch. I thought I was actually a guy running around in the jungle barefooted with a beard."

"I got to Hollywood in 1977 from the regional theater. I used to do all of the usual plays. I get to Hollywood and they looked at me and said, "Give him a gun." I've always played a bad guy. The strangest role I've ever played hands-down was the naked man who ran down the streets in Sideways. THAT WAS STRANGE."

[e: NO WAY! That was ZEKE?!?!]

He said that besides Lost, "Con Air" is the work he's most recognized for:

"'Con Air' is apparently a movie that has been seen by every adult male and female in our society in the last two generations."

"After the campfire scene where I said, "Stay on your side and you'll be OK," I've been seen as more of a benevolent character. I really haven't done that much to people. I'm conversational with people - I haven't been hitting them while they're in the cage."

"If you take the attitude that you don't want your character to be killed, then your character will most definitely be killed. And hell, on this show, if you get killed, you're still going to come back 10 more times anyway, so what's it matter?"

They asked him what M.C. stands for...

"It stands for Mike Connor. When I joined the Screen Actors Guild in 1977, Mike Connors was still around, so they wouldn't let me use my real name, so I picked M.C.. Little did I know that that would become one of the most popular cultural initials in your generation (not my generation)!"

After the talk with M.C., they moved on to a conversation with the producers, who had just finished writing the finale episode. They wrote the finale in 8 days and finished this past Sunday night. Now they have to shoot it, which is essentially like shooting a movie (in 6 weeks).

Q. What's going on with Sayid and Sawyer distrusting Jack's opinion?
A. Well, now we've seen that they agreed with the rest of America, and that they were right.


Q. Do you think that Ben actually cured Rachel?
A. I'm not so sure that she got sick again in the first place. I mean, he hands her a folder and it's like 'this is conclusive proof that she has cancer again.' Like the guy doesn't have a copy machine and white-out? But I will say this... every time we have thought Ben was lying, he has turned out to be telling the truth. I would be hard-pressed to think of a time when he actually lied... except when he told them that he wasn't an Other and his name was Henry Gale and that he was from Minnesota. But you know, that was a WHITE LIE.


Q. When are we going to get back to the whole "pregnant women dying on the island" thing?
A. The week after next (episode 18 - D.O.C.)



Q. I don't understand the purpose of the filler episode, "Exposé." What did that have to do with anything?
A. Exposé has probably, more than any other episode we've ever done, definitely had the biggest fan reaction of any show. We had an idea to introduce Paulo and Nikki, we wanted to show what the background people were up to. We introduced them and there was a violent fan reaction. So we decided to show what we HAD planned out for them, but all in one episode.
It is unrealistic to expect that a show that is 72 episodes in is going to have every single episode and scene be advancing the plot forward significantly.

Nikki and Paulo ARE dead. They will not be back until Season 7 - the Zombie Season.


Q. Was there something in the pilot episode that was a major clue that we all missed that isn't obvious at this point?
A. This is a false rumor that's going around. There is nothing "hidden" in the pilot.


Q. Why couldn't Smokey go over the fence like the humans did?
A. Smoke monsters can't jump. That's the bottom line. The sonic barrier is something the DHARMA Initiative determined would stop it.


Q. Can you confirm or deny that the Lost video game is coming out this year?
A. CONFIRM! For XBox 360 and PS3 and it's PC-compatible, too.


They also stated that, while they know we've been "teased" about this in the past, "
Something significant is going to happen in 'Catch-22.' You will not be disappointed."



BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

Charlie: Hey, whoa! That's too much water. It's going to be all soggy.
Hurley: It's oatmeal, dude. It's supposed to be soggy.
[Sawyer walks up]
Sawyer: Well, if it ain't 3 men and a baby.
[Charlie and Sawyer look up, confused since it's only the two of them]
Sawyer: I counted Hugo twice.



[Cut to shot of Juliet sitting on the beach alone, close to the water's edge. Hurley walks up and sits beside her]
Hurley : Hey.
Juliet: Hey.
Hurley: Sooo. You're like...one of Them, huh?
Juliet: I'm Juliet.
[Hurley has a scowl on his face and is not happy]
Hurley: I don't remember you from the dock. Where you put bags on our heads. After you shocked us.
Juliet: I had the day off.
[Juliet's joke doesn't go over very well]





Jack: Look, the fact that I trust her should be enough.
Sayid: It's not.




Sawyer: They were gonna let you go?
Jack: Yeah.
Sawyer: Said who?
Jack: Ben.
Sawyer: Ben... whose life you saved.
Kate: Sawyer, lay off.
Sawyer: Should've let that bug-eyed bastard die.




Sayid: Step back.
Juliet: It's full of medical supplies. They're for Claire. Jack knows all about it.
Sawyer: Jack ain't here right now, is he?
Juliet: I'm telling you the truth.
Sayid: You said earlier if you told me everything you knew, I'd kill you. I'm going to test the validity of that statement.




Ben: [Speaking into a walkie-talkie] Mikhail, we're here.
Ben: [Grumbling to Juliet] He never has his walkie on.




Ben: Mikhail! It's Ben! I'm here with Juliet! We're approaching the house! Don't SHOOT us...




WISE WORDS FROM THE BOARDS

- Favorite episode in ages.
-
What is the opposite of Jumping the Shark? Whatever the opposite of Jumping the Shark is, this show just did it.
- Under Jack's protection? Um, Hello Jack, have you met Sayid???
- The fact that Ethan obviously put some kind of implant in Claire early on IS one indication though that Ben likes to contingency plan.
- Poor Jack - the guy has the worst judgment ever. He should probably just start doing the opposite of whatever his instincts say with regard to trusting people.
- The implication made in this ep is interesting: if none of the Losties were pregnant, the Others probably wouldn't have bothered with them.
- Juliet is the new Snape.
- I desperately wanted Sayid to shoot Jack after that "she's under my protection" bullshit.
- I will never understand why on earth they listen to Jack. He is almost always wrong or messing up. Other than surgery, he has to be one of the most consistently incompetent people on this show. And with Charlie being there, that's saying a lot.
- Alex's birth predates Juliet's research by about 13 years. So I think it just might be island conception that's fatal. Which raises the 'Who's the Daddy' stakes for Sun to a whole new level.
- Favorite scene was the Council of Jack's Stupidity. When Claire walked up and interrupted all the smack down tension all I could think was, "Go away Claire - bleed on your own time - Sayid and Sawyer are about the take Jack down a notch!"
-
Jack explains to Kate that he has nothing to talk about. In the prospect of ‘going home,' he just kept his head down and did what he was told and never asked any questions. This provides a great deal of insight into the rest of this episode. If Jack is able to allow himself to just ignore what has been done to him, his friends and the rest of Flight 815 in order to buy a ticket off the island after being there for 80 days, imagine the entire realm of possibilities that exist for someone who has been there for three years.



UPCOMING EPISODES


4/18 - Catch-22. Note that this preview shows scenes from the next FOUR episodes, from what I can tell.
4/25 - D.O.C.
5/2 - The Brig
5/9 - The Man Behind the Curtain
5/16 - Greatest Hits (previously called 'The Truth About Lying')
5/23 - Through the Looking Glass (newly named!) - TWO-HOUR SEASON FINALE and special episode afterward


While I am now seriously trying to avoid spoilers because it definitely lessens my enjoyment of the show when I know certain things beforehand, I unintentionally keep seeing a little bit of what is to come when I check on the episode titles. This time, when I saw that the season finale had been named, I also saw that they had changed the background-story/flashbacks for some of the final episodes, as well.

I think from this point forward, I'm going to STOP looking up the episode titles, and just assume the ones above are final since I don't want to ruin anything more for myself. One thing I will say is that no matter what the episodes are called and no matter whose flashbacks they're going to cover in the remaining five episodes, I think it's fair to say that we're in for a wild, intense ride!

- e