Hello my dear friends -
We've arrived at the end of the first run of Season Four episodes, and I, for one, think the show left us much to ponder as we head into a five-week hiatus. But others could not disagree with me more; it's been quite a while since I have seen an episode provoke such a wide spectrum of reactions. One of my friends emailed me that this episode was her favorite of the season. Another said that it "sucked." And many viewers were completely indifferent about the mini-finale.
I can't put my finger on why I am in the camp that liked "Meet Kevin Johnson," but I will admit that it was a pretty strange episode. It didn't have the feel of a normal installment of Lost. Maybe that's why I found it so interesting; it was just... different. It didn't hurt that the "previously on Lost" scenes included one of Michael's trademark "WAAAALLLLLLLT!"s. I got a good laugh out of that.
This episode doled out information left and right, so there is a lot to discuss. The order of this post will be: Island events, flashbacks, freighter events and then a podcast debrief.
LET'S GET TOGETHER, YEAH YEAH YEAH
The hour began with a meeting in the barracks; Locke inexplicably had a change of heart, and decided to parade Miles in front of everyone so that they could hear what he had to say. While the meeting only lasted for approximately two minutes (?), the most important thing that came out of it was that Miles didn't refute Ben's claims that the freighter team intended to kill everyone on the Island after they captured Ben. Michael's flashbacks later corroborated that assertion. So while Ben may not be the most innocent guy in the world, we know that many of the Freighties have bad intentions.
But most of the Lostaways weren't keen on taking Ben at his word... especially after they heard that Traitor Michael was his mole on the ship.
Further, Sawyer still believed that Locke was withholding information from everyone else. He confronted The Bald One about the $3.2 million deal that Miles tried to make with Ben (which I can only assume Kate told him about). Locke's response was that he never took that supposed agreement seriously... "As I didn't see a bank on the Island, I didn't think it was worth mentioning."
I actually think Locke's being straight on this one. While I fully admit that he's been acting shady this season, the fact that he gave Ben $1 in jest a few episodes ago supports the idea that Locke thought Miles' deal was so preposterous that it couldn't possibly be serious. The only thing that has been bugging me, however, is that in "The Economist," Locke caught Sayid just as Sayid was coming out of Ben's secret room (the door to the secret room was still open, I just re-watched that scene). You know, the room with all the passports and money in it. So shouldn't Locke have taken a look in that room for himself? Anyone who saw the contents of Ben's desk drawers would not have a hard time believing that Ben could get his hands on some serious dough. All I can figure is that after Locke took Sayid prisoner and then let him leave with Charlotte, he didn't go back to check out the hidden closet.
OR... maybe Locke is fooling everyone. We never saw what exactly went down when Sayid negotiated leaving Othersville with Charlotte. What did Sayid give to Locke in return? Locke may know much more than he's letting on, and perhaps feigning disbelief at Ben's access to cash (as well as letting Ben go free) is part of his master plan.
However, if Locke really is still naive enough to not understand Ben's level of power on the Island, Miles might have remedied that by reminding him that Ben seemed to be pretty good at getting what he wanted (which included pound cake). Considering what happened at the end of the episode, I think Miles' comments were pretty darn prophetic.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
So what did happen at the very end of the episode? Ben convinced Alex, Karl and Rousseau to take off for the Temple, where the rest of the Others have been hiding for a while. He said that the Temple was "not for" the Lostaways. He convinced Alex that, because she is his daughter, the freighter crew would try to use her against him if she were caught at the barracks.
So the three head out, and just as Karl confesses his gut feeling that Ben may be playing them, he gets shot by an unseen attacker. An attacker who is so skilled that he/she can shoot only one hole in a water bottle! Them's some mad skillz!
Rousseau proclaims Karl to be dead, and then gets shot herself. The episode ends with Alex taking her chances, raising her arms to the sky and shouting, "Wait, wait, don't! I'm Ben's daughter! I'm his daughter!"
Many questions arose from these scenes:
1) Are Karl and Rousseau really dead?
The consensus on the boards is that Karl is dead but Rousseau is not. No one seems to have any proof for either assertion, though. That being said, I tend to agree; the previews said that "someone will die," and Karl seems to have been the unlucky character. Rousseau got hit in pretty much the same spot as did Karl, but I find it hard to believe that her time on the show is over. So I hold out hope that her love for her daughter will end up giving her the strength to recover. Or maybe the Island will magically heal her.
2) Is Alex really Ben's daughter?
Many people picked up on the fact that this time, when Ben called Alex his daughter, Rousseau didn't object like she had back at the radio tower. I personally believe that we can chalk that up to the fact that Rousseau simply agreed with Ben's overall plan. It doesn't matter who Alex's birth parents are--all that matters is that Ben raised Alex and cares about her, and so an enemy of Ben will try to exploit that relationship. Ben knows it, and Rousseau knows it. So they both agree that Alex needs to get away from Ben and to a safer area.
However, those who think that Alex could be Ben and Rousseau's daughter (meaning that Rousseau lied about her back-story and was at one point an Other and involved with Ben) have at least one point that I agree with: Rousseau seemed to know that she was walking into a trap as she left the barracks. Not only did she not object to Ben calling Alex his daughter, she also shot him a quick look of understanding when he said that Rousseau should go to the Temple because she would provide protection. Since he just got done saying that the Temple was not for the Lostaways, he wouldn't think that it was a safe haven for Rousseau, either. But that wouldn't matter if he knew she was never going to make it there.
For the record, I still think that Alex is Rousseau's daughter and that her father is NOT Ben. At the very least, there's no way Rousseau isn't Alex's birth mother--they look too much alike; that was some crazy casting that they pulled off. It couldn't be all for naught.
The debate about Alex's birth parents is another reason why I think Danielle is still alive--there are just too many questions about her past that would be very interesting to reveal over the rest of the series. I guess that they could do that in flashback form, but for whatever reason, I think Rousseau will rise again. And when she does, she's going to be even crazier and more pissed off than she was before! And that will rock.
3) Did Ben orchestrate the ambush?
I can't help but think that Ben knew exactly what was going to happen to Karl and Rousseau when he sent them off with Alex to the Temple. He never liked Karl, so getting him out of the way would ensure for the time being that Alex wouldn't get pregnant and die. Getting Rousseau out of the way would pretty much force Alex to view Ben as her only parent once again. Only if she never found out he was behind the ambush, that is.
Think about it--who else could've shot those two but the Others? Miles is still tied up, Frank may have left on the helicopter again, but we know he's not going to kill anyone, and we saw Daniel and Charlotte at the Island Breakfast Bar in the last episode. I don't think Jack's going to let them out of his sight ever again, after what just went down at The Tempest. Karl and Rousseau have always helped the Lostaways, so the 815ers certainly weren't responsible for the attack. Who does that leave? The Others.
The silent shots seemed right up the Others' alley. Let's not forget how good they are at sneaking around in the jungle and carrying out quiet ambushes. If I had seen an arrow or dart sticking out of Karl or Rousseau, I would be even more positive that the Others' were behind everything, because I could just imagine one of them in their dirty khakis and bare feet, blowing poisonous darts out of freakin' straws or something like that. This attack also reminded me of how the Others' captured Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley at the end of Season Two. Remember that awful scene where they were all running up the hill and darts just started taking all of them down? Yeah, I'm more confident now that the Others' just killed one of their own--on Ben's orders. (Just to be clear, though, no arrow or dart could be seen sticking out of Karl or Rousseau. They were both hit on the right side of their chests with what seems to have been bullets.)
In the Others' eyes, Karl is now considered "bad" because he forewarned the Lostaways about the Others' plan to steal the pregnant women from the beach. That led to several Others getting blown up. So they'd have no problem taking him down. And Rousseau was the mastermind of that plan, so she's expendable in their opinion, too. OK, now I've totally convinced myself--it was definitely the Others who ambushed Karl, Rousseau and Alex.
I sincerely hope that it doesn't turn out to be another group on the Island that we haven't met yet! That would be really lame.
On to Michael's flashbacks...
I'LL BE COUNTING UP MY DEMONS, YEAH
HOPING EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST
In the first flashback, we see Michael in deep despair--writing out a suicide note and then trying to kill himself by crashing his car into a huge shipping crate (with Mama Cass (who also sang Desmond's "Make Your Own Kind of Music") crooning "It's Getting Better" on the radio). At this point, I thought it was a flash-forward.
Michael's plan doesn't work, and we next see him in the hospital, where Dead Libby makes an appearance and scares the bejeezus out of him. Then the real nurse enters the room, and asks if she should contact Walt. Michael looks confused, but then she explains that Walt was who the suicide note was written to. The nurse is told not to contact Walt.
At this point, I was still convinced that these scenes were in the future, as Libby couldn't have appeared to Michael before he had been on the Island.
Some people thought that the guy lying next to Michael in the hospital looked familiar--they believe he might be Alvar Hanso. I think that's a stretch, but if you'd like to see a comparison of screen shots, click here.
In the next flashback, Michael visits his mother's house. Christmas decorations are up, and his mother mentions that Michael and Walt had been gone for two months with no explanation, so we could assume with some certainty that Michael's scenes are shortly after Thanksgiving--late November or early December 2004.
Michael's mom goes on to say that she thinks it's really sketchy that she can't call him or Walt by their real names, and that she is concerned about Walt not wanting to speak to his father, on top of him waking up screaming in the middle of the night. She refuses to let him see "his boy," but he does catch a glimpse of Walt in the upstairs window. It was definitely Island-Age Walt (not College Freshman Walt who visited Locke), so I think that's one more nail in the coffin for the Time Moves Differently on the Island Theory. Anyway, Walt walks away from the window with nary a smile for his dear ol' dad, which leaves Michael even more distraught and intent on offing himself.
HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN
Next, Michael trades Jin's watch for a gun and bullets at a pawn shop. He creeps into a dark alley to try and kill himself once again, but is interrupted by none other than... Zeke! I was cheering when he showed up in his bad-ass black trench coat and slicked-back hair. No awesome mustache like in Juliet's latest flashback, but you can't win 'em all.
Perhaps one of the reasons I liked this episode is because Zeke finally put into words what, up until this point, only Locke had been crazy enough to suggest: the Island has some sort of control over the Lostaways. And I think that is the coolest thing ever.
ZEKE: I got some bad news for you, amigo. You can't kill yourself. The Island won't let you!
MICHAEL: (Panting) What'd you say?
ZEKE: No matter how bad you want to, no matter how many different ways you try, it won't happen.
(ZEKE hands the revolver back to Michael.)
ZEKE: Give it a shot if you don't believe me. You got more work to do, Mike. When you figure that out, I'm in the penthouse at the Hotel Earle.
Also of interest: how Zeke said that Michael had more "work to do." This is what Taller Ghost Walt said to Locke at the Skeleton Pit, and it's the same sentence Zombie Dad said to Vincent in "So It Begins" (a Lost Missing Piece)--referring to Jack.
But back to Michael... he takes the gun from Mr. Friendly and does indeed try to use it. Although it's loaded, it won't discharge bullets either time the trigger is pulled. Zeke, it seems, was right.
If the Island has some sort of power over the Lostaways, it would actually fit into the theory I made up on the fly last week about the Island summoning the 815ers to come help save it against "the bad guys." Way back in Season One I had another related theory that sprung up during "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues": that one of the Island's curious powers was that it essentially allowed people to "will" things into happening--from Walt willing the rain to stop so they could search for Vincent to Jack willing Charlie back to life after he was hung up in the tree by Ethan.
In light of this latest episode, now I can't help but wonder if, rather than the Lostaways unknowingly being in control of what they wished/willed to occur, the Island was. That would explain a much wider range of mysteries: how Locke can walk, how Rose's cancer was cured, how Charlie's guitar appeared out of nowhere, how Charlie could swim, how the Dharma Van's engine could run... the list goes on and on. Obviously, I use the word "explain" very loosely in the previous sentence, but I don't think it's worth trying to actually figure out how the Island can exert influence over the 815ers just yet. It seems that perhaps the Island knows that its chosen 815ers need to be at "full strength" in order to be able to carry out the mission it has for them (which they are not aware of yet). Now that Zeke specifically said that the Island would prevent Michael from dying, we can rest assured that this phenomenon will be explored further over the rest of the series.
I FIND... SOMETIMES IT'S EASY TO BE MYSELF
SOMETIMES... I FIND IT'S BETTER TO BE SOMEBODY ELSE
Sufficiently spooked after the gun wouldn't fire and after seeing the news report about the Flight 815 wreckage, Michael visits Zeke and his, uh, caterer friend, to understand what in the heck is going on. Mr. Friendly spills a lot of information in a short amount of time:
- Some of the Others can come and go between the Island and the mainland.
My guess would be that only the people Ben trusts the most are allowed to leave. At first I thought it meant that only a certain group that had "special powers" could make the journey, but now I believe it's pretty straightforward. Ben figured out the right bearing at which boats and submarines can leave and return to the Island, but he only lets a chosen few do so in order to carry out his plans.
- Widmore staged the crash. He dug up bodies from a cemetery in Thailand, purchased a plane and had it hauled out to the ocean.
Hmmm, OK, so maybe Widmore did stage the crash. I'm not 100% sold on this, though. Ben's people could've done all of those same things and then just changed the documents so that Michael would believe he was doing the right thing. I still think there is some sort of third party involved in all of this (and "the economist" belongs to that third group), but that could still be the case even if it was Widmore who was behind the fake Oceanic crash.
Because I strive to report all major theories out there, I feel inclined to mention that there are many people who believe that the original Oceanic 815 did in fact crash and everyone on it died, and that the plane that crashed on the Island was another instance of that plane that went into a wormhole and entered a parallel dimension. Meaning that no one staged the crash, because it's real. Those of you who have been reading my posts for a long time may remember that at one point, I was a big proponent of the MPU theory (MPU stands for Multiple Parallel Universe, duh!) until the producers essentially shot it down on the 9/21/07 podcast (and again in recent podcasts) by saying that there is only one timeline and that there will not be "multiple futures." In addition to their comments, I think that the writers are going out of their way now to make it clear that the 815 wreckage was staged--it's just now a matter of who staged it.
If there were any possibility that there are two parallel universes, one in which Flight 815 actually did crash at the bottom of the ocean and one in which the Lostaways survived on the Island, we would've gotten other major hints by now. The series only has forty episodes left, and I just don't think they're going to take that extremely confusing path. If they did, it would have to mean that all of the people coming and going from the Island were also crossing over into another dimension. There are enough mysteries they have to resolve already, don't you think? I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool if the plane went into a wormhole, because it would. I just think it's clear that the series is not going in that direction. But I'm telling you about this theory because I think there's a 4.815162342% chance that it still might prove to be correct. They definitely have provided many suspicious "clues" across the series to date that would support this idea.
- Michael can only redeem himself if he accepts Ben's mission
We've long known that "redemption" is a major theme in the series. Now Zeke came right out and hit us on the head with it:
MICHAEL: You want me to go undercover? Why the hell would I go back to work for you people?
ZEKE: Because if Widmore finds the Island, it's goodnight for everybody on it. He'll kill them all without thinking twice. You wanna redeem yourself for what you did? This is your only chance. You can save all their lives.
Combine the above with Zeke's earlier statement about the Island not letting Michael kill himself, and you've got mucho evidence for a strong force that wants the Lostaways to make peace in their lives above everything else. Especially when making peace in their lives will directly help save the Island from intruders.
I think it's safe to say that the Michael we grew so annoyed with on the Island is not the same Michael anymore. First off, he's not shouting "Waaaaalllllt" anymore. Secondly, in contrast to the cocky idiot he was on the Island, now he is a broken man, guilty and confused over the dismal turns his life has taken, and he's desperate to make things right. If he doesn't, Waaaalllllt will never talk to him again, and all that frickin' yelling will have been for nothing. So he agrees to become Kevin Johnson and kill everyone on the freighter.
COMMIT A LITTLE MORTAL SIN
IT'S GOOD FOR THE SOUL
Michael (as Kevin) heads to Fiji and we see him meet all of the Freighties: Minkowski before he started time-traveling, Naomi in her extremely low-riding jeans, and Miles. We learned that not only can Miles communicate with dead people, he can also tell when people who are alive are lying. Not sure why that hasn't come into play more on the Island... maybe he's keeping all of his abilities to himself for now (which would be smart, I guess).
Once the freighter sets sail, we see Michael meet Frank, and discover that Frank had no idea what the "science team" was going to do on the Island after he dropped them off. Additionally, we learn that he had somehow gotten in touch with Widmore and that Widmore "believes that 815 is still out there somewhere" and that the wreckage was faked, as does Frank. This scene inspired two thoughts: 1) When Frank called the Oceanic hotline and was transferred after he claimed that there was no way that the video on the news was of the real 815, I think that call is what eventually put him in touch with Widmore, and 2) Since we know that Widmore might have been the one to fake the crash (or at the very least thinks it was Ben who did so), I fear that Frank was brought on board in order to prevent him from telling his theory to the media (and to possibly get rid of him after he completed the helicopter runs). He is definitely one of the "innocent people" Benry referred to a bit later in the show.
Next, Michael opens his "care package" and, I have to tell you, I was so scared about what was going to be in that toolbox, I could barely look at the TV. I seriously thought that it was going to be reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where all those crazy spirits flew out of the Ark and everyone's faces melted off or exploded. I was positive that an unholy evil was in Michael's container, and that once it was unleashed, it would cause many on the ship to go insane. For a second, I thought that it might even be Smokey. Instead, it was just a fake bomb. But the scene was still pretty tense, despite its lack of ghostly horrors. (It also had the strange effect of making me even more excited for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull... but I digress.)
The important thing to take away from this scene is that Michael honestly believed that he was going to blow up the entire ship, and yet he went through with pushing the button. So was Ben really just testing him? Did Ben actually put the little "Not Yet" flag in the toolbox? Or was the Island somehow holding Michael off? After all, we did hear the whispers and a line from the same Mama Cass song that was playing on the radio when Michael drove his car into the dumpster, and Dead Libby did appear again to Michael right before he attempted to detonate the device. Ben may have just been acting like he put the note there, when in reality he was aware that it was the Island that stopped Michael.
It seems pretty strange that Ben would go to all of the trouble of sending the huge crate to the freighter (which could've possibly put Michael at risk for being found out) to just have it be some sort of test. But... if we take things at face value and assume that the Faux Bomb was nothing more than an attempt by Ben to ensure that Michael was committed, then the purpose of this scene was to convince us (along with Michael) that Ben isn't a complete mad man. He doesn't want to kill anyone who is unaware that they're in the middle of a battle.
I think it's safe to say that Minkowski and Frank weren't/aren't aware that the freighter crew is meant to kill everyone they find on the Island, and it's pretty obvious that Naomi, Keamy, Omar and the captain were/are. From Miles' silence during the barracks meeting at the beginning of the episode, I would assume that he knows of the plan, too. He may only know about it because of his ability to read minds, however. Because it honestly doesn't seem to me that Charlotte and Daniel (well, definitely not Daniel) would be comfortable with playing a role in a massacre. They may have just been told to disarm the power station in order to make the Island safer (and prevent Ben from carrying out another gas attack). After capturing Ben, they may just think that the freighter is going to take off.
So instead of having Michael blow up the Kahana, Ben orders him to make a list of everyone on the freighter so he can make a decision about each of them. I thought I loved lists! I can't hold a candle to Ben--that man loves him some lists. After Michael passed Ben's test by attempting to detonate the Faux Bomb, Ben informed him that he is now officially on the "good guys" list.
And finally, let's wrap up what happened in this episode by covering the real-time freighter events.
AND ISN'T IT IRONIC, DON'T YOU THINK?
When an alarm sounds, Desmond and Sayid run up to the main deck and watch the captain deliver a beat-down to yet another crew member who was trying to abandon ship. They learn that Michael will be in the engine room, so they go there and Sayid confronts him and demands an explanation for why he's on the ship. While the other Freightie who was with Michael went to the supply room for, oh, forty-five minutes or so, Michael whipped out a DVD player and showed Sayid all of his flashbacks.
Apparently the flashbacks weren't good enough for Sayid. After confirming that Michael was working for Benry, he marched "Kevin Johnson" into the captain's quarters and ratted him out. If you're anything like me, you were yelling, "Noooo! Sayid, don't!!! Why?!?!!? Whhhyyyyy???" And then a few minutes later, you might have realized the great irony of the scene. Michael was never going to be able to justify why he was working for Ben; Sayid hates Ben that much. But we all know that Sayid's going to end up working for Ben, too. Kind of embarrassing for He Of The Black Tank Top.
Did anyone else think that the captain did NOT look surprised by Sayid's claims? He was sitting there like, "Tell me something I don't know."
Why did Sayid do what he did? I think one of three things is going on with Sayid:
1) He is already working for/with Ben.
Recall the last time Sayid saw Ben (with Locke in the game room):
SAYID: I agree that these people are liars and they’re certainly not here to rescue us. But if I return safely with Char-LOTTE, they’ll take me to their ship. It’s our best chance of finding out who they are and what they really want.
[LOCKE sets his glass on the floor and gets up, walking toward SAYID.]
LOCKE: Well, then, I can save you a lot of trouble, Sayid, because Ben says he’s got a spy on the boat.
[SAYID stands up and approaches BEN.]
BEN: It’s a secret.
SAYID: Forgive me, but the day I start trusting him is the day I would have sold my soul. Give me Char-LOTTE. Allow me to do things my way. Or war is coming, which we will both be powerless to stop.
LOCKE: Why would I give you Charlotte for nothing?
SAYID: Oh, I think you misunderstood me. I never expected you to give her to me for nothing. (smiles)
If you think back to the previous episode, "Ji Yeon," when Sayid first met the captain and the captain just immediately spilled all that information about the fake 815 wreckage, the black box and Widmore's search, you could tell that Sayid was skeptical about how chatty Gault was. Recall this exchange with Doc Ray shortly thereafter:
RAY: So what do you think of the captain?
SAYID: He was surprisingly forthcoming.
That is Sayid-speak for "I'm onto him." In this scenario (Theory #1), Sayid takes over for Michael as the mole on the ship, but then his involvement with Ben ends for the time-being. It is not until he is back on the mainland and something bad happens (I personally think something is going to happen to Nadia) that he then begins to work for Ben "officially."
2) Sayid blew Michael's cover, which will lead to the Freighties coming to the Island, which will lead to bad things for the Lostaways, which will guilt Sayid into working for Ben to make up for it all.
This idea is pretty straightforward. Recall Ben's ominous line to Sayid when they were both being held captive in the game room in "The Economist," before Locke came in:
BEN: I lost a dollar, you know.
SAYID: How did you manage that?
BEN: I bet John that you wouldn’t be stupid enough to fall for your friend as bait.
SAYID: What do you know about friendship?
If Sayid really did jump the gun and turned Michael into the captain without thinking things through, then he will end up feeling responsible for whatever happens next. If the Freighties are able to carry out part or all of their plan on the Island, then Ben is going to remember what happened at the barracks: Sayid fell for his friends as "bait." Ben will therefore use the need to protect the rest of the Oceanic Six (in addition to anyone who may survive on the Island) as leverage over Sayid in order to get Sayid to work for him in the future. Here is some more proof from the final scene of "The Economist":
BEN: Why are you crying? Because it hurts? Or because you were stupid enough to care for her? These people don’t deserve our sympathies. Need I remind you what they did the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun?
SAYID: You used that to recruit me into killing for you.
BEN: Do you want to protect your friends or not, Sayid?
Unfortunately, I think whatever Ben is talking about above has not yet transpired on screen. But the tactic Ben is using--guilt over lost friends--supports Theory #2. In this scenario, Sayid doesn't start working for Ben until after something bad happens that drives him to do so--either on the Island or back on the mainland.
3) Sayid is already working for/with Ben, so he turned Michael in on purpose in order to become the new mole and to gain Gault's trust. But the Freighties still get to the Island and wreak havoc, so Sayid continues to work for Ben to attempt to "make it right."
In this scenario, Sayid essentially started working for Ben in the game room, and never stops. Their alliance only grows stronger as time goes on.
This is the way I'm leaning right now.
BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE
MILES: We're here for him. (indicates Ben)
HURLEY: Um, we kind of, like, knew that forever ago.
MICHAEL: Why would I help the son of a bitch who kidnapped my son?
ZEKE: We gave him back to you in one piece, Mike. You're the one who lost him.
ARTURO: Is this the guy who hit you with the champagne bottle?
LOCKE: Somethin' funny?
MILES: Linus will find a way to get it.
LOCKE: And how will he do that?
MILES: He wants to survive. And considering a week ago you had a gun to his head, and tonight he's eating pound cake... I'd say he's a guy who gets what he wants.
ZEKE: ...It's game time. Are you in or out?
MICHAEL: I'm in.
OFFICIAL LOST PODCAST DEBRIEF
(As always, there are what could be considered mild spoilers in this section. The producers talk about what will or will not be covered over the rest of the season, and give general hints as to what may be going on with some aspects of the story. If you would rather be completely in the dark, skip to the next bold heading.)
The podcast began with Lindelof and Cuse promising to reveal the code name for the Season Four finale at the end of the session. The previous three code names were: The Bagel, The Challah, and The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox.
They went out of their way to say that the code name is not for the final scene of Season Four; it's for a scene before the very end that is most significant. They reiterated that the final scene of this year's finale is NOT a jaw-dropper.
The funniest part of the podcast was that a fire alarm went off while they were talking and they needed to evacuate!
Once they returned, it was entirely a fan question and answer format. I did my best to summarize the questions and their respective responses:
Q. Who are the Oceanic Six?
A. We, on a past podcast, said that you would know who the Oceanic Six were by the end of the seventh episode. This morning, we debated about listing them out for you on today's podcast because we are loath to disseminate information that is critical to the show on a forum that is outside of the show. But we're in a catch-22, because what we didn't anticipate was that people would not be clear as to who the O6 were by now, because they always think we're up to shenanigans. We are not up to any shenanigans, you've seen Jin's gravestone, you've seen all of the Oceanic Six on screen, you should be able to deduce who they are, but yes, there is a scene in a future episode where you see all of The Six together, and it will be confirmed for you. We wanted everyone to go into the seventh episode thinking that they were seeing flash-forwards of both Sun and Jin, so that it wasn't until the very end of the episode that it's revealed that Jin is dead, and that his date of death is listed as the date of the crash, so at that point you would realize that his scenes were flashbacks. ABC did confirm the six members of the Oceanic Six at the trailer of the end of the eighth episode, however, which they ran by us first.
Q. Is Tom gay?
A. Yes. We have long hinted that there was a gay character on the show, and back in Season Three when he said that Kate was "not his type," that was a hint.
Q. Minkowski and Desmond have experienced side effects from the Island. Why didn't Desmond experience them before when he took off on the sailboat? Why aren't others experiencing them? I hope you have a coherent explanation for all of this. [e: If you remember, when Locke took over pressing the button in the Swan, Desmond busted out of the hatch and left on a boat... only to show up again later (drunk) because the boat just went in circles]
A. We think we have a coherent explanation, not all of which we can detail here just yet. But there is a difference between whether or not you are inside or outside the realm of the Island. When Desmond left before, he was just going in circles, so he probably wasn't outside the realm of the Island. And remember when Ben told Michael how to leave, he told him a very specific bearing to stay on. Faraday told Frank not to stray from a very specific bearing as well. It's basically like when space shuttles leave and enter the Earth's atmosphere, they have to do so at a very specific angle, otherwise they will burn up. Also, remember that Desmond did experience intense electromagnetic radiation when he turned the fail-safe key, which may make him susceptible to effects that others may not be susceptible to. These side effects may not be that different from "the sickness" that has been mentioned before on this show...
Q. Are we ever going to see what's happened to the hatch after Desmond turned the fail-safe key? Are we going to see how Desmond, Locke and Eko ended up outside of the hatch? Are we going to see a purple sky again?
A. We are not going to go back and replay any more details about the Swan hatch imploding. The characters were blown out somehow. Yes, we will have another electromagnetic event on the show, which causes the sky to turn purple.
Q. Will you comment on the significance of the visions on the show? Are they all the monster, are they apparitions, are they actual animals, or just in the characters' heads?
Ben's mother: Apparition
Wild boar (from an early Sawyer episode): Animal
Spider that paralyzed Nikki: Monster
Bird that cries "Hurley": No comment
Dave: Imagination and apparition
Patchy's cat named Nadia (like Sayid's Nadia): Animal and coincidence
Walt: The character of Walt is a person. When Walt appears to other characters, that could be an apparition and/or the monster.
Kate's horse: Undead [e: he also listed Christian Shephard and Yemi as "undead," despite what he said about Yemi above]
Q. Is Aaron in danger now that he is being raised by Kate? In "Raised by Another," the psychic told Claire that she must be the one to raise Aaron or something bad would happen. Now that Kate is raising him, is he in danger, and are others around him in danger? Does Jack perhaps know this and that is why he doesn't want to see him?
A. Yes, Aaron is in danger. The psychic did say that in Season One, but we did see the psychic again in Season Two, where he claimed to be nothing more than a scam artist (to Eko). So it depends on what you believe... if you believe he really did have a vision about the baby, then yes, Aaron is in danger. If you believe he was just a scam artist, then Aaron is perfectly fine. I said Aaron was in danger at the outset because Kate is a known murderer who blows up houses and the men in her life... well, she has a bad track record, so if I were Aaron, as soon as I could walk I would get away from her.
Q. Is Charlotte a cultural anthropologist (what Ben said her degree was in) or an archaeologist (since we saw her at the dig site)? Will we ever see a flashback about the Black Rock or the four-toed statue?
A. You will learn more about the Black Rock and the four-toed statue, but not necessarily in a flashback. Charlotte's degree is in cultural anthropology, but she's a closet archaeologist. The fact that Charlotte is a cultural anthropologist has meaning... those people study ancient civilizations. Ancient civilizations.
Q. What is the code name for the Season Four finale?
A. The Frozen Donkey Wheel. Seriously.
[e: from what I've seen on the boards the general consensus of the meaning of TFDW is: "A donkey wheel is a means of powering something, using a donkey (beast of burden) as motive power. So freezing it would stop it in its tracks." I personally think this means that either all theories are going to be blown out of the water by whatever happens in the finale, or... a more literal interpretation could be that whatever is powering the Island is going to be shut down and all hell will break loose.]
The moderator ended by mentioning that the name of the ninth episode is: "The Shape of Things to Come."
DON'T YOU... FORGET ABOUT ME
We now have a five-week break until Lost returns on April 24th (an hour later: 10 PM EST). There will be another podcast with the producers on April 18th, and a few days or so afterward I will do a post that will include the podcast debrief, in addition to a discussion of the bevy of theories and ideas that have arisen over the course of the season so far. I would expect that this post will be up around April 20th or 21st.
In the meantime, be sure to check in to According to e, where I will try my best to post daily on week days, and sometimes even on weekends. My review of Xanadu on Broadway is up, and in a few weeks I will be taking another vacation, from which I will be sure to post embarrassing photos of myself (hint: it will involve pirates... again).
If you don't want to read my musings about anything other than Lost, then I will see you back here in a month!