Sunday, February 03, 2008

S4Ep1 - The Beginning of the End (of my sanity)

Hello my dear friends -

Here we are again, wondering what in the hell just happened on Lost. And it's about time! When the premiere started rolling, it was like the painful memories of the show's eight-month hiatus just dissipated into a puff of (black) smoke; I was sucked right back in to where we had left off with our beloved Lostaways. However, if I had to sum up the Season Four premiere in two words, I would have to turn to one of my favorite phrases: "Saaaaaay Whaaaaaaa?" If I was given only a sentence to express my thoughts, it would be: "Well, at least now we know what all of those "6"s embedded in the promos meant..."

But I have a whole post to analyze the episode, so let's get into it. First and foremost, the premiere left me unsettled--and not just because a loud, beeping "Winter Storm Warning" message kept drowning out the show on television stations here in Chicago, which caused me to experience several mini heart attacks out of fear that I was missing something. I just received a comment from a reader in NYC who said that emergency broadcasting tests went off during the show in his area around the same time. Who are these evil people trying to kill Lost fans?!?! They must be stopped!

I watched the premiere twice the night it aired... the first time attempting to relax with friends and the second time scribbling notes frantically (I have since watched it a third time). After seeing it "live," I felt slightly let down--I thought more would have happened on the Island than it did. The previews made it seem like the "rescuers" were going to land right away and be in most of the episode (damn you, ABC Promo Monkeys!). I also initially felt like there was too much time spent on the Lostaways wandering around through the jungle. But upon second viewing, the reasons for some of the trekking became clear, and my mind started cranking away.

This was a hard post to organize, so let me explain the way I chose to handle it: I'm going to cover the opening scene first, then the Island happenings, then go back to the flash-forwards, and then wrap up with some over overall questions raised by this episode, in addition to some of the other sections I usually save for the end.

Since I know it's not always possible to read these write-ups in one sitting, this year I'm going to make use of anchors (kind of like bookmarks for web pages) so that if you need to finish reading the post later, you can jump down to a certain spot quickly. Here they are (not all sections are covered by these links, though):

S.O.S. (Rescue Me)

Oh No He Didn't!

So I Look to My Eskimo Friend

You Know What 'They' Say...

For those of you who are new to my write-ups, be advised that I also put some extra "analysis" into the captions of each picture (mouse over to see them).

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way...


THE BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS

Come on, who DOESN'T pour some vodka into their OJ every morning? Just a teensy bit? Don't even try to tell me only The Mad Doctor does that. I'm sitting here with a screwdriver right now as I type this.

I loved the first few moments of the opening scene. I was also extremely happy that we knew right upfront that it was a flash-forward, and didn't have to spend the entire hour wondering if we were seeing something from the past versus the future. When Jack muttered, "Dammit," I knew that he was worried about Hurley--not about his safety, but about him having gone berzerker and spilling whatever secret it is they're both keeping. Remember that in the Season Three finale, Jack cry-shouted to Kate, "I am SICK of lying." So we knew at that point that those who got off of the Island were covering something up.

The question is, when in the overall timeline of the story arc did Hurley's flash-forward take place? We know from the newspaper clipping Jack had in "Through the Looking Glass" that the Season Three finale's flash-forwards took place approximately 2.5 years into the future (from the point we are on the Island right now: 91 days after Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on September 22, 2004). Obviously, the flashes in "The Beginning of the End" were closer to Jack and Hurley's return to the real world. What happened in between those two points (besides Jack growing his hillbilly beard, which he so awesomely referenced at the end of the episode) to make The Mad Doctor become mentally unhinged? I'll speculate on this topic a bit later, fear not.


I WISH I NEVER KNEW HER, EITHER


So we now know that Hurley saw, or thought he saw, Dead Charlie in the convenience mart, and that's what led him to speed away in his Camaro, and subsequently become the target of a police chase. Then we were treated to yet another character cross-over when Ana Lucia's former partner in the LAPD, Mike, was the one to question Hurley. But Hurley denied ever knowing Ana Lucia. So... did he do this because, like most of us, he was just trying to push all memory of her out of his mind? Or was the fact that he had in fact met Ana Lucia on the Island part of what he is supposed to be covering up?

Obviously, I do realize it's the latter, but still, you know that Ana Lucia was poop and it brought Hurley pain to be reminded of her, just as it did with me. I think the way in which Mike asked the question to Hurley was a clue: "Maybe you met her on the plane, before it took off?" Notice he didn't ask, "Or maybe she was among the survivors on the Island?" This leads me to believe (once again, I know this is pretty obvious) that not only are Hurley, Kate and Jack covering up the fact that some of the passengers of Flight 815 are probably still living on the Island, but they are also hiding the fact that many more were initially alive after the crash but then were killed in the three months before the supposed rescuers arrived.


THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING SWEATY JUNGLEWEAR

I'm going to deal with Hurley's vision of Swimming Darth Hoodie a bit later, but for now, let's get back to the Island. How many people thought that The Island brought Naomi back to life when her body went missing? Raise your hands. I did.

But that was not the case. Instead, I think it is safe to assume that Naomi must be some distant relative of Patchy, and can therefore miraculously overcome near-death experiences that would kill others in a mere instant. She willed herself to pull the proverbial and literal knife out of her own back and crawl into the jungle, away from the people she now thought were intent on harming her.

The whole Naomi storyline in the premiere really bothered me upon first viewing. I did not understand what the point of it was. If the rescue peeps got a fix on the Island's location from the initial call, why did they need to keep calling back? Why did they need Naomi to change the phone's frequency? And then she still ended up dying?!?! I didn't get it.

Ah, the power of watching the show more than once. Now it is crystal clear to me why all of the Naomi stuff went down. Here are what I deem to be the two major reasons:

1) Naomi needed to clear the Lostaways of any wrongdoing. If she had died after Locke threw the knife at her, when the crew from the freighter showed up and found her murdered, they would've had a good reason to turn against the Flight 815 survivors. But Naomi covered for them and told her team that she was dying from a landing injury. Her actions also had the effect of making her seem "good." Not only did she ensure that the rescue team would still arrive and not hold the Lostaways responsible for her death, she also came off as sympathetic when she asked George to "tell my sister I love her" before keeling over. While I was suspicious of Naomi up to this point, now I am starting to believe that she was actually trying to get the group rescued. We know that Penny doesn't know of her or the freighter, but that doesn't mean that Naomi is bad... she could have at least thought she was doing the right thing. Someone could have told her she was working for Penny and trying to rescue Desmond, and she believed it.

Oh, and aren't you pretty sure that we'll end up meeting her sister at some point? Duh, WE WILL. Or she wouldn't have mentioned it! That's how this show works, people!

2) The switching of the frequencies meant something. Remember when Sayid didn't want to use the walkie on the beach (before Hurley tossed it into the ocean) because he thought the rescuers may be listening to their communications? Well, what if another group had also latched on to the phone's channel? There was a guy named "George Minkowski" who was on the other end of the line sometimes (and if you haven't read the significance of the name Minkowski, you better check out my analysis here), but during one of the calls the voice sounded much gruffer, and the person never identified himself as Minkowski. Could there now be two groups that have the Island's location? I'm thinking there might be, or else the whole "changing the frequency" thing seemed kind of pointless. They could've just called and demanded to speak to Naomi before landing without having to go into the frequency discussion.


S.O.S. (RESCUE ME)

Before I go any further, does anyone else out there remember the Disney movie The Rescuers? With those mice (Bernard and Bianca) and that dragonfly Evinrude who totally rocked the house? That movie was awesome. I kept thinking of it every time the Lostaways were talking about getting rescued. Now I can't get "Rescue Aid Society" out of my head! R-E-S, C-U-E... Rescue Aid So-ci-e-ty!

So this weird thought came to me after watching the premiere twice in a row. I'm not checking the message boards or other Lost-related sites anymore because there are way too many spoilers out there, so perhaps unbeknownst to me this is a major theory everyone's already dissected... but what if "the rescuers" on the freighter are actually a group of people who are trying to get back to the Island? Who, just like Future Jack and Future Hurley, had once lived there and were desperate to return? When Naomi said "tell my sister I love her," I got the sense that she thought George was going to see her sister on the Island. Kind of like, "Tell my sister this when you see her when you get here." This would still jibe with everything I said in the section above, and more. Consider these points:
- When Naomi first landed on the Island and needed Patchy's help because of the branch puncturing her lung, remember that I thought she acted really fishy around him (to refresh your memory, my take on their meeting is here). She was specifically trying to communicate with him in a language the Lostaways wouldn't understand.
- If she knew she was going to die, but believed that Kate was telling the truth that Locke was the sole bad apple of the group, then she would still think it was OK for the rest of her team to land. If they were all desperately trying to get back to the Island, she wouldn't let one random crazy dude get in their way, now that they were so close, so she would choose to cover for Locke rather than throw off the mission.
Didn't they take ANY other pics together?!?- If her sister is still on the Island, that would be another reason she'd want her crew to get there... not only so that they could finally return as they'd been trying to, but also so that they could deliver her final message to her sister in person.
- Naomi's group could've found out that Penny was also searching for Desmond, figured out that Desmond was believed to be on the same mystery Island on which they had once lived, and used Penny's story as a front to get close to and gain the trust of the Lostaways. Someone could've stolen the picture of Penny and Desmond (that Naomi was carrying a copy of when she landed) and made a copy of it easily.

Now, we obviously know that at least three of the 815ers get off of the Island, so they're getting outta there somehow, and I'm sure it's going to happen soon. But maybe it's not via this "rescue" crew that's on its way. Perhaps the rescue team will get there and be like, "Word up! We're finally back! Benry--how's it hangin'? Come here, Smokey, we've missed you. Jacob, you're lookin' old!" It could happen.


HOBBITS HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO HAVE THAT EFFECT ON PEOPLE

On the other side of the Island, a different kind of drama was unraveling. I will start this section by admitting that while the character of Hurley never bothered me per se, he hasn't been one of my favorites over the past few years. When he radioed Jack to ask about the rescue near the beginning of the episode, he was especially annoying. That being said, I thought for the remainder of the episode he was better than he had ever been in the rest of the series. I liked how he got his moment of happiness with his cannonball plunge into the water--right before he heard the awful news about Charlie. And my heart absolutely broke when he demanded to know "WHERE'S CHARLIE???" above all the other bickering when Desmond returned to the beach.

But good God, when he delivered the news about Darth Hoodie's death to Claire, I lost it. Tears began to flow down my cheeks. I was selfishly happy that they broke up that scene with another flash-forward, or I would've continued to bawl like baby Turniphead for about ten more minutes. Even Sayid looked upset, which killed me. Hurley officially stole the Best Man-Crying award from The Mad Doctor in this episode. Well done.


SUSPICIOUS MINDS

But right before he met up with the rest of the group near the Oceanic cockpit wreckage, Hurley had a very strange experience that probably caused Tivos across the nation to break from incessant pausing, slo-mo-ing and rewinding. After blowing off what might have been one of only approximately three attempts Sawyer has ever made to be nice, Hurley gets himself lost in the jungle and stumbles upon Creepy Manor. He peers inside, sees that bizarro dog painting, notices Zombie Dad rockin' away in a chair, and then comes face to face with The Eye. No, not The Eye of Sauron, dorks! (Though that would've been THE BEST!) The eye of what we can only assume is Jacob.

Recalling the first time we as viewers saw this pathetic cabin, there was a flash of an old dude in a chair (and it did not look like Christian Shephard that time), and then we assumed that the camera zoomed in on the chair-guy's eye. Because we saw an eye back then, too. But in this episode it seems as if the eye belongs to someone different than the person in the chair: Zombie Dad was in the background when a man whose face was obstructed appeared right in front of Hurley. Here are screenshots of Christian and the eye. If you'd like to see a comparison of the eye from "The Man Behind the Curtain" and the one Hurley just saw, go here. And if you think you can make something out of the whispers that preceded this whole scene (I couldn't), listen to them here.





I seriously cannot even begin to attempt to cover all of the possibilities that this scene raised. The biggest questions are: whose eye is it? Is it Jacob's? If so, is Jacob someone we've never seen before, or is he actually someone we already know? I have seen arguments for why the eye belongs to Desmond, Jack, Locke, Patchy, Christian, the Asian rescuer guy from the previews, Magnus Hanso, Alvar Hanso, Hulk Hogan, and Alice Cooper. Suffice it to say, I don't think we're going to figure it out any time soon. My personal opinion is that we've never seen the person in the picture above.

Further, I do not think that Jacob is a physical being, but rather some sort of weird spirit that can take the form of others. Notice that Christian is in the same outfit that he had on it in the So It Begins "Missing Pieces" video. (If you haven't seen that video yet, check it and my analysis of it out here, it is critical!)

So maybe Jacob hangs with all the zombies on the Island or something? He and Zombie Dad were just chillin' in the shack, trying to enjoy a nice night by lamplight, and Hurley ruined their peace.

But what was up with the cabin switching locations and disappearing and reappearing? That was strange. When Hurley last saw the cabin, its door swung open. Next thing you know, the cabin's gone, Hurley falls into a small hole and finds Locke standing above him. In the following scene, Locke questions why Hurley was yelling for help, but Hurley doesn't tell Locke what he saw. I felt like Locke was trying to gauge whether or not Hurley had indeed seen the cabin and/or Jacob.

And why was Locke right there? Was he perhaps in the cabin as well... is that who was coming out of the door? We still don't know what happened between the time Locke lay paralyzed in the Skeleton Pit and heard Six-Foot-Five-College-Freshman Waaaaaalllt tell him he had "work to do" and his appearance at the radio tower to kill Naomi. Methinks Locke is now in cahoots with Jacob.


OH NO HE DIDN'T!

Finally, all the Lostaways are reunited in the jungle. Jin and Sun embrace, Rose calls Bernard "Rambo" again, even Juliet and Alex hug. Hurley tells Claire that Charlie is gone, and then... The Mad Doctor attacks Locke, pounces on him, grabs his gun and holds it to his beautiful bald head. Now, I'm not saying that Jack didn't have a right to be mad at my man. But for him to have actually pulled the trigger?!?! That was IT for me. The Mad Doctor is dead to me. He actually thought he was going to shoot Locke in the head at point blank range--he pulled the trigger! That bastard! I am GLAD you end up a chubby, hairy, drugged-out loser, do you hear me, Jack?!? Do not MESS with Locke!

Once I recovered from the shock of what Jack had attempted to do (you could tell that Locke was surprised as well), I then became very confused. Locke looked at Jack in bewilderment and said, "It wasn't loaded." But... wasn't that the same gun he had used hours earlier to shoot the ground near the phone back up at the radio tower? It clearly was loaded then... And if it wasn't loaded any longer, then why would Locke have immediately thought to grab it out of its holster when he saw Jack going for it? I can only help but think that one of two things is going on: 1) the producers made a mistake (it's been known to happen every once in a while) and somehow forgot that the gun was loaded not too long ago, or 2) The gun WAS still loaded, but when Jack attempted to shoot Locke, The Island wouldn't let that happen, and Locke then said what he said to make Jack feel guilty.

Anyone have any thoughts on this one?


A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

After Locke almost got killed for the bazillionth time, I was SO glad that Hurley told the rest of the group about Charlie's ominous final message. When the survivors were reunited in the jungle, everyone was standing there fighting about the freighter people, and I was shouting at the TV, "WHY IS NO ONE TELLING JACK ABOUT CHARLIE'S MESSAGE?!?!"

Why in the hell didn't Desmond say anything, he was freaking THERE?!?! But whatever, the "Not Penny's Boat" warning was made known, and that's all that matters. It was great how Hurley said (in so many words) that he was fed up with both of the supposed leaders--Locke AND Jack: "I'm listening to my friend. I'm listening to Charlie."

Later in that same scene, when Benry had his great line, "Jack, with your permission I'd like to go with John," and The Mad Doctor LET HIM GO, was anyone else perplexed? Earlier that very same day, Jack had told Rousseau that he didn't trust Benry to be out of his sight. Now he's going to let him go, just like that... and on top of it, with his #1 enemy? It made no sense to me. Perhaps he thought that since he knew where they were going to go, he would rather have them both out of his hair so that they didn't screw up the rest of the group's chances of getting rescued any more than they had up to that point. But it still seemed very odd to me. AND... Benry had tried to kill Locke not too long ago, too! Why would Locke agree to let Benry come with him?

And finally, Rose choosing to stay with Jack was weird to me as well. She had said before that she never wanted to leave the Island because it cured her cancer. I guess she technically doesn't have to leave just because she and Bernard chose to stay with Jack, but it seemed off to me.

Sawyer left with Locke for no other reason than to cause drama for the Kate-Jack-Juliet-Sawyer love quadrangle. I thought it was very unlike his character to not stay and fight.


A SIX-PACK OF LUNACY

When Hurley proceeded to join Locke's side, along with Claire, Aaron, Sawyer and some other randoms, my theory about who the Oceanic Six were was blown all to hell. In the first minutes of the premiere, when Hurley shouted, "I'm one of the Oceanic Six!", I had figured that the remaining three (knowing Jack and Kate also got off the Island) were Claire, Aaron and Sun. Why? Because Desmond said he saw Claire and Aaron getting into a helicopter in the same flash in which he saw Charlie drown. While I had initially thought Des was lying to Charlie and was cruelly leveraging Charlie's love for Claire against him to ensure he completed the mission, I no longer believe that. Desmond volunteered to dive down to the Looking Glass at the very last moment before Charlie knocked him unconscious, and nothing else that Desmond has done leads me to believe that he is "bad."

To complete out The Six, I figured that since Sun is definitely pregnant and will die if she stayed on the Island, I thought everyone would agree to let her go--thus ensuring another heart-wrenching "Sun/Jin Good-Bye Scene" à la the Season One finale. My overriding theory for my picks for The Six was that the Lostaways would be told or would discover that, for some as-of-yet unknown reason, only six of them could leave the Island. I thought that the Lostaways either chose among themselves or plead their cases to their rescuers and The Six were picked that way or something.

But my own theory didn't even make sense to me (a sure sign that one has thought up an awful theory), because I don't know why Hurley would've ever been chosen, instead of, say, Jin, so as to not break up the married couple.

I also can't help but wonder if more people than just The Six leave the Island. Because I still strongly believe that Benry was the one in the coffin in "Through the Looking Glass," and he would never be a part of the Oceanic Six as he was never on the Oceanic flight in the first place. That is why I think the Oceanic Six represent something other than simply the survivors of the crash. But I'll get to that theory in a later section.

Oh, and one more comment about the coffin... shout-out to reader "Bob," who emailed me to point out that if any of the Oceanic Six were in the coffin, someone would've shown up to the funeral, as they were celebrities. This is more evidence as to why it could be Benry who dies 2.5 years in the future.

Returning to the subject of who makes up The Six, I'm really back to square one after seeing how the Jack/Locke camps broke out. Obviously The Six will not be determined by whose side they chose. Especially since, in the final flash-forward, Hurley apologized to Jack for going with Locke (yet he still wants to get back to the Island... WHAT?!?! I can't take it?!?!). And as my friend FC pointed out, maybe Claire and Aaron DO board a helicopter, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are going back to the mainland.

DAAAAAH!!!!!

The Six could be Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Larry, Moe and Curly for all I know at this point.

So here's a novel idea: I'm going to try to stop thinking about it. I know for a fact that there are spoilers out there about who The Six are, and I suggest that if you don't already know, you should follow my lead and try to keep it that way. I unfortunately had accidentally read that the premiere episode was about Hurley seeing frightening visions in the future, and that Jack was also going to be in the flashes. I think that knowledge greatly diminished my enjoyment of the episode, and dammit, there are only seven installments left and I better be surprised during them! That being said, if you have any COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY UNSPOILED ideas as to who the other three of The Six are and why, I'm all ears (or, eyes).


THE DUDE WHO LOOKS TOO MUCH LIKE CHARLIE

One last thing to cover from the on-Island scenes--the final moments of the show. You know, first they had a ton of blonds who all looked alike: Penny, Sarah, Juliet, Bonnie in the Looking Glass, et cetera. Now that guy who just parachuted in looks like Charlie, in my opinion. Assess for yourself:


Anyway, if you've been playing the Find815.com game, then you already know the name of the guy who just landed. If you don't, it's not spoiling anything to tell you that it's not Minkowski, the guy who kept identifying himself on the phone. But obviously this latest arrival on the Island knows he's looking for Jack, because he says, "Are you Jack?" Which leads to dumb stares and silence from The Mad Doctor and Kate. What, are you not so sure you made the right call anymore, doctor-boy?

Anyway, the only thing I'm wondering about this final scene was whether or not the helicopter crashed onto the Island, or if that dude just parachuted out of it and the helicopter had a different driver who then took off. It seemed like the helicopter was having issues in the sky, and we know that Naomi's helicopter went down, most likely because of the magnetic forces on the Island. I guess we shall soon find out.


SO I LOOK TO MY ESKIMO FRIEND

Now back to the flash-forwards.

First things first: did you notice the chalkboard behind Hurley in the mental institution?


I don't think the drawings of the palm tree, water, boat and shark have any significance, but if you missed them, then you need to get your game back on for the next seven episodes! Perhaps the chalkboard was just a warm-up to make sure we were paying attention a little bit later and saw this:


That's right, my friends... we saw the image above for a split-second when Hurley was sitting outside before he was approached by Dead Charlie With a New Haircut.

My first thought was that this was a drawing of the guys we saw in the Season Two finale, who called Penny after they detected the electromagnetic anomaly brought on by Desmond turning the fail-safe key. Here they are again to refresh your memory. Notice how they are playing chess, and that the set looks very similar to the set two pictures above (though that could just be the same prop and have no significance whatsoever).


Perhaps The Six didn't go straight back to L.A. after they left the Island; maybe they swung by to hang with the two guys above for a bit first? I can't think of any other reason why Hurley would be drawing an igloo (and I'm sure those guys weren't even in an igloo, but the guy on the right's outfit matches Hurley's drawing). Yeah, there was a polar bear on the Island at one point, but no igloos...


AM I CRAZY? OR AM I SO SANE THAT I JUST BLEW YOUR MIND?

It is time now to discuss one of the biggest questions the Season Four premiere raised. Is Hurley even sane in the first place? We know that he had been in a mental institution long before he landed on the Island. That stay was supposedly brought on by the fact that Hurley thought he was responsible for the death of a few people after a deck he stepped on collapsed. He was particularly sensitive about anyone calling him "crazy" after that. At one point in Season Two, he also thought he saw his imaginary friend "Dave" on the Island. Then he sees Jacob's Cabin and it appears and disappears in different locations.

Now that he's off of the Island, he's having visions of Dead Charlie. First, when he was being interrogated by Mike after his car crash, Hurley saw the two-way mirror turn into water and saw Dead Charlie hold up another ominous message before seemingly causing the holding room to flood.


He had seen Dead Charlie in the convenience mart at the beginning of the episode, and then he finally has a conversation with him on the institution's grounds. But remember, another patient alerted Hurley to Dead Charlie's presence. So does that mean Charlie was really there?

And note that Charlie admitted that he was a goner. "I am dead. But I am also here."

At that point in time when I was watching the show live, I literally felt a pain inside my skull. Something in there imploded, I'm sure of it. I'm going to go get it checked out after I finish this post.

When Charlie smacked Hurley, it reminded me of something that happened in the "Dave" episode, where Hurley thought he was seeing Dave again on the Island. Dave threw a ball at Hurley and smacked him, and Hurley picked up Dave's slipper. It's making me wonder if perhaps Dave, or something parading as Dave, really was there, now that we saw Dead Charlie pull the same tricks.

So what is going on with all this? Hell if I know! I only have two theories:

1) Smokey and/or Jacob is disguising itself as Charlie (and had been Dave, as well as Zombie Dad, and other visions people saw on the Island as well). The only reason why I think this is most likely the case is that Charlie called Hurley "Hugo" at the end right before he disappeared, and I don't think the real Charlie would ever address Hurley that way. It seems like he is working on behalf of the Island or something. If this is the case, though, then I am really confused how Smokey/Jacob could survive OFF of the Island?

2) Dave was either Smokey or just a figment of Hurley's imagination (while on the Island), but Dead Charlie actually really is Dead Charlie, and he is coming back to Hurley via some time-jumping power that can be harnessed on the Island. Yeah, I know, I know, Charlie drowned. It is almost impossible for me to explain in written words what I think could be going on here, but as you all know, I am convinced that something bizarre is going on with time
on the Island. I don't care if this series ENDS and nothing about time-jumping or warping is ever revealed, I still won't believe it, that's how sure I am. I'll be like, "Just you wait--in Lost: The Movie, they'll confirm my theory!"

All I can say is that I still think that Charlie is "the musician" who programmed the code in the Looking Glass, and I think that at some point in his life he learned (or was taught) the ability to jump around in time. The part I can't explain is why he seemed to not know about it during any of his time on the Island that we saw during Seasons One through Three. I also can't explain why he would look so different when he visited Hurley in this latest episode than we ever saw him look before (though I did dig his new 'do and shades). Even if it is revealed that Dead Charlie was just Smokey or Jacob (or perhaps Smokey and Jacob are one in the same?), there is STILL something weird going on with time. I AM SURE OF IT!

(By the way, I'm not copping out here by refusing to detail what I think is going on. I already did so in my Season Three finale post, where I laid out six theories. If you would like to review those, click here to jump straight to them in a new window. Theories 1 and 6 have since been derailed by the producers, who stated that there is only one timeline and that what we saw of Jack and Kate in the future does actually happen.)

One last thing to say on the "is Hurley insane?" topic. Both on the Island when he saw Jacob's Cabin, and then in the yard when he was talking to Dead Charlie, Hurley used a technique that made his visions go away. He basically convinced himself that his visions weren't real, and they disappeared.

When talking to Dead Charlie, however, it was like Charlie knew what was coming. Hurley started counting to five, and Charlie said, "Don't do this," like he knew that Hurley had control over the situation with his mind. And sure enough, Charlie vanished when Hurley opened his eyes again at the count of five.


YOU KNOW WHAT 'THEY' SAY...

Charle's latest hand-message said "They Need You." The weird dude who was obviously not an Oceanic lawyer asked Hurley, "Are they still alive?" Later when Hurley talked to Charlie, Charlie repeated: "They need you. You know they need you."

So, who are "they"? One obvious theory is that "they" are the Lostaways left behind on the Island. But I feel like that is a bit too obvious. Why would fake-lawyer-guy care about the rest of the 815ers? While it's possible that when someone mentions "they" to Hurley they are wanting him to think of his friends who were left behind on the Island, it seems like the fake lawyer would perhaps be more interested in if, say, the DHARMA peeps were still there. Or the rescue crew. Or the Others (if it was discovered that they were the original inhabitants of the Island). Or some other group. Who knows, but I find it hard to believe that this sinister-sounding and looking man has the welfare of people like Jin and Bernard and Rose in mind.

By the way, a lot of people think that a black puff of smoke followed that guy out the door of the institution, but I replayed it a few times and think it may just be shadows. I am not 100% sure, though.


PLEASED TO MEET YOU, HOPE YOU GUESS MY NAME

Oh, and Fake Lawyer's name?

Michael Abbadon (spelled two different ways in various Lost press releases, so I'm not sure which one is correct). Either way, guess what many biblical scholars think Abbadon means?

Could it be... SATAN?


CELEBRITY SKIN

When I watched the Season Three finale again, it became apparent that, even though it was 2.5 years into the future, The Mad Doctor was still being treated as somewhat of a celebrity. Sure, he had just saved a mother and her son from the car wreck on the bridge, but a guy in the pharmacy line called him a "hero" and had recognized him, and the chief surgeon at the hospital referred to him as a "hero, twice over." Then when Hurley was in the interrogation room with Mike, Mike asked him if he was trying to use his "celebrity" status. Then at the end, Jack joked that people were still asking for his autograph when he went out for coffee. All of this is making me think that "The Oceanic Six" aren't just six people from Flight 815 who were miraculously found alive again. There's got to be something else (perhaps in addition to being survivors of the crash) that they were touted as upon their return, perhaps to stop people from asking too many questions.

Which leads to...


WELL, HELLOOOOOO, DOCTOR!

I forgot about my newfound hatred for The Mad Doctor for about 5 minutes near the end of the episode. Because, damn... he was lookin' good! The Mad Doctor cleans up well!

But looks can be deceiving, as we all know. All was not right with Jack. First off, we know he had already begun his descent into alcoholism from the opening scene of the episode. Secondly, he was clearly worried that Hurley was going to spill the secret they're both hiding. Thirdly, you could tell in Jack's face when Hurley said that they may have done the wrong thing that there was a split-second of doubt. It was like Hurley had voiced what was in the back of Jack's mind. But we all know how Jack hates to admit he's wrong, and so, at this early point in the future, Jack can't bring himself to agree with Hurley. And of course he has to go overboard and say "We're NEVER going back."

I now find it hard to believe that anyone Jack would've even remotely cared about was left behind on the Island. Because if they had been, wouldn't he feel like he needed to "fix" the situation and still get them back home? So something else is going on, and it is bugging the bejeezus out of me.


IT

Let's analyze the final conversation Hurley and Jack had, to see if it holds any other clues that may bring me some peace:

Hurley: Sorry. [pause] I'm sorry I went with Locke. I should've stayed with you.
Jack: It's water under the bridge, Hurley.
[Jack starts to leave]
Hurley: I don't think we did the right thing, Jack. I think it wants us to come back, and it's gonna do everything it can to--
Jack: We're NEVER going back.
[Jack leaves]
Hurley: Never say never, dude.

Dude, I will crush you.So, as I mentioned earlier, it really confused me when Hurley confesses that he should've stayed with Jack. That, combined with the fact that Jack doesn't seem to want to go back at this point, makes me wonder if perhaps everyone else DOES get killed. Something must happen to Locke's group that makes Hurley regret his decision to go with them. But even so, he feels the need to return to the Island... perhaps to make whatever went wrong right again?

And of course the biggest reveal in the conversation is the use of the word "it." Not "they" want us to come back... "IT" wants us to come back. At the end of the episode, I realized that perhaps Hurley knew that he wasn't really seeing Dead Charlie... it was this "IT" that is "gonna do everything it can" to entice the Six to return.

The question is: what is IT? Is "it" Jacob, Smokey, the Island, or something else we haven't met/seen yet?


JIGSAW FALLING INTO PLACE

Whatever transpired between Jack, Kate and Hurley's rescue and their time back in the real world has had a profound effect on all of them. They are all acting in ways that are completely opposite of their normal characters.

Kate, who always was on the run, finally wants to stay put.
Jack, who was always in control and sure of his decisions, becomes a drug-addicted alcoholic, convinced he made a huge mistake.
Hurley, who never wanted to be labeled as "crazy," begs to return to a mental institution.

Something very bad has happened to all of them. And I honestly don't know if I can bear to watch it reenacted over the course of the next three seasons. I think that's the worst part of all of this--we KNOW we're going to find out something awful happened. And we're most likely going to watch it happen on-screen, as all of the puzzle pieces of Lost are put together. Now, of COURSE I'm still going to tune in for the show, but it may be with two hands over my face, peering through my fingers as we learn how The Six became The Six.


BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE


Hurley to Dead Charlie: I'm tryin' to buy some jerky and a Slushee, and suddenly you're standing there over by the Ho Hos.



Jack to Hurley: I'm thinkin' about growing a beard.


OTHER STUFF

- Did you notice all the "H" and "O" references in the episode? You have the Ho Hos, and the game of HORSE being played by Jack and Hurley, who never get past O. Guess what numbers H and O correspond to in the alphabet?

- The Mad Doctor isn't the only one who cleans up well off of the Island. Alex does, too.



- There are some awesome new Lost-related t-shirts out on Café Press. Guess which one I have my eye on...

- As far as I know, ABC will be playing the remaining seven episodes back-to-back. Meaning that on February 7th, we get our next installment. All I know about it is what I saw in the previews--yay! I can't wait to be surprised. I do know its title as well, but I consider it kind of a mini-spoiler, so I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you want to check your Tivos or TV Guides to learn what it is.

- No new word on the writers strike.



SHAMELESS PROMOTION

A lot has happened to your dear blogger friend "e" over the last eight months... did you know that I no longer work for The Man? That I survived a crazy ordeal at a Van Halen concert? That I was on one of the rescue ships in Antarctica for the boat that sank in November?

If you don't know these things, then you haven't been keeping up with According to e! I post almost daily, so if you need your "e" fix before the next Lost write-up, you know where to find me...

Time to go put some ice packs on my wrists...

Hope you enjoyed the return of the show, and welcome back to Long Live Locke!

- e

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

did anyone notice when hurley was
talking to dead(?) charlie there was a women with a long braid at a picnic bench with her back to them over to the right? and when the camera pulled back after charlie disappeared there was no one there.

Anonymous said...

Great write-up, e! Very interesting theories, lots for me to consider. Thanks for your hard work!

One thing about Naomi. After her actions in this episode, I also thought she maybe was "good" and was being used by the other freighter people. But, upon further reflection, I think she may have just been acting nice and good like the bearded dude that is coming and Minkowski.

The reason? The freighter people know they are outnumbered by the Losties, so they need to play it "nice" in the beginning when they get to the island or risk being killed or captured. They can't come in with guns blazing and go against 40 plus people. They need to earn their trust. What do you think?

Your theory that there might be more than one group coming to island is also interesting. We'll see...

another e

Anonymous said...

Okay, e, I have 2 questions:
1. How did Locke know about Charlie being dead and Naomi's freighter people? Did I miss something? Jacob's cabin-shot and in the pit-"work to do" Walt-knife Naomi in the back...he hadn't been to the beach or with Jack's crew.

2. How did Sayid know what Locke had done (knifing Naomi) when he had been at the beach, not with Jack's crew, after Jack attacked your man Locke and said "Do you know what he did!" and Sayid interrupted "Yes I know!"...?

Anonymous said...

I think that the person at the mental hospital who pointed out Charlie to Hurley may have also been a figment of Hurley's imagination, like Dave was.

How I loved Hurley in this episode though! I also cried hard when he told Claire...sniff, sniff

Glen said...

Where was the comparison between hurleys slow motion running on the beach and the film 10 with Dudley Moore where bo derek is running on the beach!. I was thinking after the show about the first ever lost episode back in the day when the only question we had was what is moving the trees on the island! ahhh life was so simple back then.

Love the write up but I need to know what the whispers said its killing me and I know if I start searching i'll end up reading some spoilers!

Glen said...

Sorry I almost forgot I thought you would have mentioned something about Kate's line at the end "It feels like a hundred years ago that we came out here together. How did this happen?"
As I know you love your time/space theories!

Glen said...

http://www.liquidgeneration.com/Media/Games/Quizzes_Puzzles/Personality_Quizzes/Which_Lost_Character_Are_You/

Have you tried this link (no spoilers) it tells you which Lost character you are after you answer some questions! Turns out I'm Desmond (Quite happy with that) and no cheating e just so you end up being locke! Answer them honestly!

justsayno2w said...

The Hoody - it's all about the Hoody. I think the "eye" in jacob's cabin is Charlie - the eye has a hoody on!

The_Other_Other said...

Hey, great write-up ... fantastic. I think that more than 6 get off the island, but it is only six that the public knows about. It seems like Kate is hiding and should not be out at the end of the season 3. If she did get out and was famous they would be able to make the connection that Kate is who they had been trying to catch all along. So because of this I think that more get off than just 6; it is only 6 that the public knows about.

Some of the whispers say:

*Spoiler*

"You have to believe it's me, Nikki"
"Shush"
"Did anyone say something?"
"I said nothing"
"You better not say a f**king thing or talk about Desmond"
"It's Me"

"I'm not going to listen to them"
"It's January 7th"
"I see somebody"
"Do you recognize him?"

*End Spoilers*

Anyways, awesome work, this is the first time I've come across this blog and I will be returning frequently.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff.

Haven't seen anybody else notice this so will mention to you. In the scene where Jack visits Hurley and plays HORSE and mentions "I think I will grow a beard"....

At the beginning of the scene, Jack is clean shaven, perfect teeth. After he mentions growing a beard, he changes... more stubble and more stubble as the scene goes on and teeth are no longer perfect. I heard the teeth mentioned before but the stubble is what gets me... he was growing that beard awfully fast. Leads me to believe it may not really be Jack??? Maybe it was but hmmmm.... left me and the hubby perplexed and we purposely rewatched the scene several times to make sure we were not seeing things.

Curious what you think!

e said...

1st Anon - Hmm, didn't notice the braided chick. Sometimes there are honest goofs by the directors regarding that kind of stuff... but with this show you never know what is a mistake and what is a clue! Aaah!

2nd Anon - Very good reasoning about why Naomi might have acting nice because she was outnumbered. Other people have since mentioned to me that her final comment about her sister may have been a "code phrase," meaning that she was under duress and that the Lostaways were bad--to warn the freighter crew.

3rd Anon - I assumed that Waaaaallllt (or Jacob, or someone who Locke saw in between the skeleton pit and the radio tower) filled Locke in on Naomi. Time elapsed that we didn't see.

Regarding how he knew about Charlie... that we DID see. After he found Hurley in the jungle, they sat down and Locke said, "So you're sure he wrote Not Penny's Boat?" and Hurley confirmed it. Then Hurley said, "Jack shouldn't have called those people," and Locke said, "I couldn't agree more."

As far as Sayid goes, I also just assume that someone told him and they just don't show us everything. Last season there was an ep where they kind of tried to make a point that the Lostaways talk amongst themselves and share info and we don't always see it. But I agree that there wasn't much time for anyone to tell Sayid anything as Jack's attack on Locke was very soon after they all were reunited.

4th Anon - Yes, they both could've been imaginary. But I really think Charlie, in some form, was there.

Glen - I thought Hurley's running scene was more like Baywatch. : ) And yes, I was thinking about the "100 years" comment (esp since I still think that Jack and Kate are the two skeletons in the cave) in the context of the whole time-space theory, but I thought my readers would revolt if I mentioned it one more time. I have taken the Lost character quiz and think I was Jack because I am so Type A, but I will take it again soon and let you know.

You must be very cool if you are Desmond, brotha!

Finally, someone posted the whisper transcripts above. I don't consider them spoilers. I have seen various transcripts that are more or less the same. I didn't glean anything major from them.

Justsayno2w - More hoodies! That is what is needed in this show!

The Other Other - Good point about Kate seeming to be in hiding. Perhaps she ISN'T one of the 6? And yes, I also think maybe more than 6 left the Island. Thanks for the whispers transcript.

5th Anon - I checked the HD screencaps (blown up) and his stubble looks the same to me throughout. Perhaps they shot the scenes over a few days and in between he got caps on his teeth or something? : ) But as I said above, you seriously never know with this show. I will watch it on my TV one more time to see what I think when it's all in motion, rather than screencaps.

Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

- e

Anonymous said...

I must say, I've waited very impatiently for your write-up, but it is so worth it! Great job!

You say the freighter people may be folks trying to get back to the island? Maybe it is actually Jack from the future!!! And that's how the guy knows Jack's name????

Lula said...

Oh e, e, how we've missed ye! Your weekly recaps, that is. Thanks for the great write-up. Now I gotta go back and reread it a couple more times. By Thursday night I'll be ready for a another new (hooray!) episode...and by Friday morning, I'll be anxiously awaiting your next brilliant installment here. Thanks for all the hard work!

Anonymous said...

when did locke every shoot his gun into the ground? you're confused. locke never fired that gun.

it was never loaded.

e said...

To the Anon three above this post - That would be AWESOME. I LOVE that theory. My mind would explode if I saw that happen on screen.

Lula - Thanks for your nice note! The next write-up won't be this quick as I have family staying with me from Thurs-Sunday... but I will try my best to crank it out after that...

To the Anon right above this - I know sometimes I screw up, but not about this one! Locke DID shoot the ground with that same gun when Jack went to reach for the phone at the radio tower, after he had already thrown the knife at Naomi. That's when everyone knew he was serious... and Kate was like "Oh crap," and Benry was yelling "DO IT! SHOOT HIM!" He proved it was loaded then. He also turned that same gun toward his own head in the skeleton pit when he thought he was paralyzed again, so HE thought it was loaded at that point, too. But he proved it at the radio tower.

- e

Anonymous said...

From Watch With Kristin's blog on E! online:

Janet in Eugene, Oregon: That was a great Hurley interview, but you forgot the biggest question of them all. What was with the Eskimo watercolor painting he was drawing? Was that an Easter egg?
Funny. Jorge himself brought that up and said that if anyone asks, he wanted everyone to know that that painting is hugely important because it was drawn by...Jorge himself. “I just thought to myself, what would Hurley be drawing? And given that he didn’t want an ocean view and wanted to be as far away from the island as possible, that seemed like the farthest place.” That's all it meant, according to J.G.

Merlin said...

Here is another easter egg you forgot to point out. Remember Locke's boss at the paper factory and also worked with Hurley at the Chicken Shack?

Check this out!

http://www.buddytv.com/articles/lost/more/lost-easter-eggs-episode-41-th-16285.aspx

so tired of Jack said...

Great Posts......glad to see you Lost and you back at it!!! I was home from work and i couldnt find your site thru google..... i kept putting in: "i love locke, blog, lost, recap" and differnent variations of those words. Your site on my work computers internet fav list was the one good thing to greet me at the job this morning!!! (i've since emailed myself the link).

-A Fan

fuzzman said...

E you still haven't said a word about the "Oceanific clue"??is what I think you would call it. ABC aired it right after the end of the new show that was on after lost. It showed a stewardess from oceananic airlines and it kept flashing to a guy who looked like he was watching a monitor that I think was scanning the bottom of the ocean and, he says we found it! Than they show a picture of a fuselage and, it looks just like the one that the lost crew is standing next to on the end of season 4 premiere.Other than that I love reading your write ups.

Ernie said...

Fuzzman, that's all from the Find815.com online game. That was the end point of the game. They just used it on the commercial for everyone else to see.

SAM I AM said...

found you on facebook. just became a huge fan.
keep it up

Brasco said...

The Oceanic commercial caught my attention and on the www.flyoceanicair.com is a press release at the bottom that they are flying again to only nine limited destinations, I believe that the locations are all vital to figuring out who makes it off the island, I am not 100% on residences, but observe the following:
LA- jack Hurley
Tustin CA- Locke
Ames Iowa- Kate
Miami- Juliet??
New York- Michael and Walt, Rose/Bernard
Portland OR- significant for obvious reasons
Knoxville Tn-Sawyer
Seoul Korea Jin/Sun
Sydney-Claire
Also, Kate probably used somebody elses name to be able to walk away from the rescue and not be put in jail (maybe Libby, a loaner, or Nikki) another lie and typical for Kate to use another ID, and would fit fine with the cover up. Love your site!!!!

e said...

Anon regarding Hurley's eskimo painting - Hmmm...I totally don't believe it. Just like I don't believe Matthew Fox's interview with EW where he said the producers told him that people who are all drugged out sometimes think dead people are alive again (to explain to him why his character kept referencing his dead father like he was alive in the flash-forward). Do not underestimate the sneakiness of the Lost cast and crew!

Merlin - Yes, I did see that Randy easter egg after I did my write-up... I was trying to avoid looking at other sites beforehand, so I missed it. It either means nothing, or he is a part of DHARMA - there's no in between!

So Tired of Jack - Phew, I'm glad you found me! How can you forget "Long Live Locke," though!?! And here I thought I had made a memorable site name. : ( Thank God for bookmarks... glad to have you back with us.

Fuzzman - I am sorry about forgetting to talk about the Oceanic thing during Eli Stone. Or perhaps I consciously chose not to talk about it... I had heard that it was promoting the find815.com site yet again, and I just can't keep up with that game. Check out DarkUFO's find815.blogspot.com which summarizes everything everyone's learned about the game, including a link to a podcast that was aired after the game officially concluded. I couldn't keep up with it all!

Sam I Am - Welcome! My site is way better than Facebook's Lost page, don't you think? : )

Brasco - That is a good point. I had heard that the billboards for Oceanic were all in places that had connections to Lost characters, but I never took it a step further to think it could be connected to who gets off the Island... And yes, Miami is connected to Juliet. I also thought Portland was connected to Ben (but may be wrong).

- e