Monday, April 28, 2008

S4Ep9 - THIS is "The Shape of Things to Come?" Lord Help Me.

Hello my dear friends -

I don't think there could've been a better way to pull us hiatus-weary Lost fans back into the thick of things than to unfurl the action-packed ninth episode before our unsuspecting eyes... "shock and awe," indeed.

The funniest thing was that I had a friend visiting who doesn't follow Lost. After it was over and we sat in silence digesting all that had happened in the past hour, she summed it up quite appropriately: "This show is intense!"

There were two things on my mind as the credits rolled: 1) "I can't believe they killed Alex," and 2) "I really think this means Rousseau is dead, too." Unlike the vast, vast, vast majority of fans out there, I didn't love this episode. Alex's murder totally depressed me and I found it hard to muster enthusiasm after that point in the show. But I'll whine more about that later on.

Island events first, then Ben's flashes. And a shout-out to CJ, SC and SM who watched the show with me this week.


DON'T YOU WANT ME, BABY?

The episode began with Kate performing a strange strip-tease of sorts on the beach while shooting "come hither" eyes at The Mad Doctor. And even though an alien is apparently eating him from the inside out, Jack paused to appreciate the scene and shoot back some "You lookin' at me?" eyes in return. In retrospect, there could not have been a more bizarre and misleading start to this episode.

But the lovefest was soon shattered as Vincent (VINCENT!!!) began barking his head off and Bernard (BERNARD!!!) hollered for help.

None other than Doc Ray had washed up dead on the shore. He had fresh stitching over the scar we'd seen before on his cheek, and his throat had been slashed. But when Daniel communicated via Morse code to the freighter crew later in the episode, they claimed that the Doc was fine.

So what in the heck is going on? In past episodes it seemed like we got confirmation that the date on the freighter was the same as on the Island (the calendar showing December 2004). But we knew that something went awry with the passage of time when people or things came to or from the Island (Daniel's rocket experiment, Desmond and Minkowski's "side-effects," the perception of how long the helicopter had been gone by those on the Island, etc).
However, now we have people on the Island encountering a dead Doc Ray, while people on the freighter report that he is alive and well.

The three main explanations are:
1) The freighter crew is lying. Who in the heck is the one typing back the Morse code from the freighter, anyway? We've seen half of the crew leave the ship or die trying--who's left? Regardless, they have good reason for waiting to maintain a front that everything is peachy-keen on their Ship 'o Doom. Especially since we now have confirmation from Daniel that there was never any intention of rescuing the 815ers, and we know that Keamy and crew are in the process of carrying out their orders to kill everyone on the Island.

2) There are somehow two instances of Doc Ray--one who is dead on the beach, and one who is still alive on the freighter. Remember the Orchid Video?

3) Maybe at one point the freighter and the Island were moving at the same pace, but now they're not. The Island is now ahead of the freighter, and the Lostaways are seeing Future Doc Ray, who has been murdered. But it hasn't happened yet on the freighter. So there are not two instances of Doc Ray--the Island and the freighter are just at two different points on the same timeline. How Morse code can be transmitted through time, I have no idea. But I do believe this theory is the best explanation, considering that Daniel said that "'when' is a relative term." Many people believe that when Desmond turned the fail-safe key, it "unhinged" the Island along the space-time continuum. Meaning that sometimes the Island may be moving at the same pace as the real world, whereas at other times it's either moving more slowly or more quickly. This is consistent with what we've seen during Daniel's rocket experiment (Island time was behind) and while the Losties waited for word from the helicopter crew (Island time passed faster). (I personally don't think the fail-safe key had anything to do with it, I think the Island was always "special" in this way.)

A clue lies with Doc Ray's scar, which we saw healing in a past episode, but appeared badly stitched up when he washed ashore. I think the screenshot of Dead Doc Ray is too gross to include, but if you'd like to see it for comparison purposes, click here.

A related, but slightly different, theory is that the Island is actually jumping around between the past, present and future, much like Desmond's mind did in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant."

I think either version of this theory would help explain why those not on the Island struggle to find it.


WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
IT GETS WORSE HERE EVERY DAY

Locke's group is playing Risk, Benry's pounding out Rachmaninoff on the piano, and then the fun and games are over when the Phone No One Noticed Before rings and alerts the Othersville inhabitants to Code 14J. You know, Code 14J! That's the one that means Ben has no choice but to share with the Lostaways his many guns hidden in piano benches, behind paintings, under accent pillows and above curtain rods. (As opposed to Code 14W, which simply means that more wine-in-a-box is being dropped from the sky.)

All hell breaks loose, and while Locke, Ben and Hurley try to fortify Ben's apartment, Sawyer runs around trying to warn people and find Claire. I can only guess that the producers were attempting to be humorous in the scene where three redshirts (one was even wearing a red shirt!) went down in succession while Sawyer escaped unharmed--it was nothing short of comical when Sawyer's like "Get inside!" BOOM. Redshirt down. "Hey you, go back!" BOOM. Another redshirt down. "We're being attacked, fool!" BOOM. Number three bites the dust.

On top of all that, the enemies mysteriously stop shooting while Sawyer searches through the remains of Claire's blown-up house. He finds her alive (???) and then the shooting resumes, but they are luckily protected by the magical picket fence that separates them from the Evil Freighties.

How many people thought that Claire was a goner, and that this would be how she came to be separated from Aaron? I sure did.

I was not loving Locke or Ben when they were prepared to let Sawyer and Claire get shot while trying to get back inside. I WAS loving Hurley for throwing a small couch through the window to help the two to safety. This should go without saying, but Sawyer was absolutely awesome in this episode.

Perhaps my favorite scene of the hour was when the doorbell rang. It was played brilliantly, as everyone looked at each other with "Huh?" expressions and then scurried about trying to figure out what to do. And then there stood freakin' Miles. Brilliant. It was the Lost equivalent of a Land Shark at the door muttering, "Candygram..."

A few random things to note from these scenes:
- When playing Risk, Hurley has a few telling lines: "This is exactly what he wants--to fight amongst ourselves," and "Australia's the key to the whole game." Regarding the latter comment, not only did Flight 815 take off from Sydney, but Ayers Rock (where Bernard took Rose to see that Shaman-like guy) is in Australia. That guy told Rose of certain places on Earth that have special energies. I've always thought that the Island is obviously one of those spots.
- Hurley was told repeatedly to get Aaron away from the window. I couldn't help but think that those lines were meant to foreshadow something that will happen in a future episode (like maybe Claire will have Aaron near a window and that's where they end up getting separated).





WAR! (HUH)

GOOD GOD, Y'ALL

After learning that the invaders had Alex, Ben began his showdown with Keamy. And we all know that it didn't end well. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I was truly, truly shocked that Alex was killed. I know it's just a show and everything, but she was a 16-year-old who had just seen her boyfriend and recently-found birth mother killed, and the last words she heard were her "adoptive" father proclaiming that she meant nothing to him. That's rough.

When Waaaaalllllllttt was kidnapped at the end of Season One, so many people wrote me about how disturbed, or even nauseous, they were after that scene. That's how I felt when Alex was shot, because I knew it was final. And I knew that Rousseau must probably be dead, too. Quite sickening.

As soon became obvious, Ben also didn't think that Keamy would actually kill Alex. From his silent shocked horror after the shot rang out, to his tears of sorrow over his daughter's dead body, to his vow of revenge against Widmore at the end of the episode, it was clear that this was the first time in an extremely long time that something didn't pan out the way Ben had planned. Now many more people are going to suffer as a result of "the rules" changing.

I will end this section by saying this: Writers of Lost, if you can hear (read?) me, you better eventually kill off Keamy. And when you do, it better be good. Because right now, I do believe he is the #1 most-hated character on television.


LOOK OUT!
HELTER SKELTER... HELTER SKELTER

The next thing the Lostaways (and Miles) knew, Ben busted out to his secret closet. We viewers got a glimpse of yet another hidden door behind a bunch of Brooks Brothers jackets--this door had hieroglyphics all over it.

Shortly thereafter, Ben (looking slightly sooty) reemerges and tells the group that they have to make a run for it. As they go outside, Smokey 2.0 (looking bigger, badder and faster than ever) rages over Othersville buildings and engulfs any Evil Freighties in its path. Hurley once again voiced what everyone was thinking, "Did you just call that thing?"

After Ben had his sad goodbye with Alex, the group split into two after a tussle between Locke and Sawyer over who "got" Hurley. Miles, Sawyer, Claire and Aaron headed for the beach, while Locke, Ben and Hurley intended to find Jacob's cabin.

Here is what I deem to be important from these scenes:
- Obviously, the Hieroglyphic Door means something. We've seen tribal masks in Ben's apartment, we know the Four-Toed Statue looks ancient, and I can only assume that all of those things are connected. Good thing Charlotte, the Studier of Ancient Civilizations, is on the Island, huh?

- Ben was able to summon Smokey. I hope we eventually get to see the Smokey Phone that must be inside that Second Secret Room. It doesn't appear that Ben can outright control Smokey, though, or else he would've had it kill the helicopter crew as soon as they landed.

- At one point Claire said, "I'll live" and Miles quipped, "I wouldn't be so sure." There's only two possible meanings for his line: 1) He can not only talk to the dead, but he knows how people will die, and Claire's time is up soon (hence her eventual separation from Aaron), or 2) the writers know everyone's assuming Claire will die, so they are messing with us. I actually think #2 is what's going on. How can Claire die after she just miraculously survived her apartment blowing up? All that being said, if TPTB had no qualms about killing off an innocent 16-year-old, then they definitely aren't going to blink an eye at offing a bay-bee's momma. I had previously thought that the show wouldn't get that dark, but I was obviously completely and utterly wrong.

- Both Locke and Ben have faith that Hurley can find Jacob's cabin because they know that he's seen it before. That's all fine and good, but what I can't figure out is why Hurley, of all of the Lostaways, is the one who can see the cabin? And why can Locke no longer find it? Along these same lines, I kept wondering why Hurley ends up regretting going with Locke. At first I thought it would be because Claire gets killed. But now I think Hurley's regret will stem from helping Ben and Locke find Jacob. My Dread-O-Meter is at its highest setting right now--it's only a matter of time before we find out what goes down to make Hurley so remorseful.

- If you're anything like me, you're now even more confused as to how the Oceanic Six get off the Island. Claire is now WITH Aaron and Sawyer, they're heading toward Sun, Kate and Jack on the beach, Hurley has left Aaron, and Sayid's already gone. How is this going to work?!?!

- Does anyone else think that Miles will still somehow end up going to Jacob's cabin? I mean, isn't that kind of his thing--talking with ghost-spirits?

And now, to the even more perplexing flash-forward scenes...


A FOOL OFF HIS GUARD
COULD FALL AND FALL HARD
OUT THERE ON THE DUNES

I had no idea that it was going to be a Benry-centric episode, so I was pleasantly surprised when we first saw him gasping for air in a parka (?) as he landed in the middle of the Sahara. (By the way, the Dharma parka is being referred to as the Dharka on message boards, hee hee.)

I immediately noticed several things about the first few moments of this initial flash:
- It was Dr. Halliwax's jacket. He is the scientist that has gone by several names in the various Dharma videos. He used the name Edgar Halliwax specifically in the Orchid Station video.
- Many people think that the new Dharma logo on the jacket is therefore from the Orchid Station.
- It was a parka... meaning that Ben either thought he was going somewhere cold, had just come from somewhere cold, or... knew that the desert gets extremely cold at night. I thought I saw cold air dissipate from the area around his head when he "landed."
- Ben's right arm was bleeding.
- Ben threw up an orangey-yellow liquid. Most people think he drank the same stuff that Ethan gave to Juliet (she was told it was orange juice) before she came to the Island. Which would lead you to believe that this liquid is necessary to prevent the "side-effects" that would otherwise occur when coming to or leaving the Island.
- The polar bear skeleton that Charlotte visited was also in the middle of the desert in Tunisia.

Shortly after Ben lands, two men ride up on horses and threaten him. Little did they know that they were dealing with Indiana Ben, international adventurer and man of mystery. Instead of a whip, Indiana Ben uses an ASP baton and quickly dispatches his enemies and then rides off into the sunset on one of their horses.

Next, we see him check in at a Tunisian hotel as a "preferred guest" (imagine the points he must have!) with his Dean Moriarty passport. He asks the attendant (who seems either in awe or fearful of him after learning his identity) what the date is... and also wants to know the year. It is October 24, 2005.

Questions arising from these scenes include:
- Was Ben teleporting, or time traveling, or both? I think that, as with the Dharma-collared polar bear that wound up in the Tunisian desert, Ben was transported from the Island to Africa by some unknown method. My guess is that there is a wormhole of sorts in both locations. Ben was definitely NOT time-traveling in the sense that Desmond was... Desmond's consciousness jumped around to different points in his own life. Whereas Ben was physically transported elsewhere. The reason he wanted confirmation of the date was because of what was covered earlier... time on the Island is either moving at a different pace than it is for the rest of the world, or the Island and those on it are constantly jumping around in time and can never be sure what date it is in the "fixed" world.

- Where did Ben learn those ass-whuppin' skillz? The man knows his way around an ASP baton. (For two seconds, I thought that small black thing he was holding was a lightsaber, and I was really excited.)

- Where/when did Ben come from, how did his arm get hurt, and why is he in Halliwax's Dharka? I am fairly positive that when Ben ran into his secret closet during this episode, he was calling for Smokey and was NOT teleporting to Tunisia. More on the timeline of things a bit later.


TAKE MY HEART, TAKE MY EYES, 'CAUSE I NEED THEM NO MORE
IF NEVER AGAIN THEY FALL UPON THE ONE I SO ADORE

Poor Sayid. The writers give him no love whatsoever. I can't say I was surprised to learn that Nadia had been killed--I figured as much when we learned that He of The Black Tank Top wound up working for Ben in the future. But it was still sad to get confirmation that she was ripped out of his life for good after they had finally been reunited.

There were several things I found interesting about the few flash-forward scenes that he and Benry shared in this episode. I think everyone had figured that Ben had guilted Sayid into working for him, but as it turns out, just the opposite occurred. Ben actually warned Sayid against being motivated by anger, but Sayid pretty much begged to do Ben's dirty work, without so much as asking a single question.

Although we found out how Ben became Sayid's boss-man in the future, more questions were raised in the process:
- What was Ben's original motivation to leave the Island on this "trip?" Was he surprised to see Sayid on the TV monitor and then improvised from there--deciding on the fly to reach out to Sayid in his time of grief? If so, what had he been planning on doing on the mainland if he never saw the TV shot of Sayid? Or had Ben already been coming to recruit Sayid because he learned of Nadia's death while on the Island? (Remember that Ben has always been able to find out about mainland events even while on the Island.) He landed in the desert after Nadia had already been killed, so how did he get his hands on the picture of her supposed assassin in L.A?

- Why did Ben lie to Sayid about how he got to Iraq? We all know he did NOT take the Elizabeth off of the Island. But Sayid seemed to buy his story, which leads me to believe that the Oceanic Six have no idea about the Island's teleportation abilities. Now that I think about it, I guess it's pretty obvious why Ben lied about his method of transportation: he doesn't want anyone else to know about it. If Crazy Bearded Jack Of The Future knew about Ben's comings and goings, he'd be wanting to join in.

- What was "the heart before the head" event that Ben referenced in "The Economist" when he bandaged up Sayid's gunshot wound after Sayid killed Elsa? Recall this dialogue:

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? I have another name for you.
SAYID: But they know I’m after them now.
BEN: Good.

From what we now know of their first off-Island encounter, Ben didn't really recruit Sayid. Sayid jumped at the chance to work for Ben. So what were the two talking about above?

I have three ideas:
1) Sayid later finds out that he played right into Ben's plan to get him to become an assassin.
2) Something happens to one of the Lostaways because of Sayid at a later point, and we don't know what it is yet.
3) All of the Oceanic Six were told to not contact people from their lives before the crash, in addition to being ordered to keep quiet about what really happened on the Island. Sayid broke one or both of those rules by seeking out and then marrying Nadia, and so whoever is behind the O6 cover-up had Nadia killed.

- The final question raised from the Sayid/Ben future scenes is: Did Ben have Nadia killed? When Ben walks away from Sayid, he clearly smirk-smiles to himself. It was definitely a "everything is going according to my plan" expression. Is it possible that Ben had Nadia killed, knowing that Sayid would then want revenge on whomever Ben claimed was behind her murder? I really hope not, but that smirk is worrying me. Most people on the boards don't believe that Ben had Nadia killed, and instead think that the group responsible is the same group that wants the O6 to keep quiet. Ben could be smirking simply because getting Sayid on board was a lot easier than he expected. Or perhaps Ben did intend to get Sayid to kill that one specific guy in Iraq, but never considered an arrangement where Sayid would continue to carry out orders from Ben, so he was smiling and thinking, "Sweet! Now I've got a kick-ass employee!" But I can't shake the feeling that perhaps we are ALL getting fooled into believing that Ben really is "the good guy" in the Ben vs. Widmore fight.


BANG AND BLAME

The second-biggest shock of the night came when Ben went to visit none other than Charles Widmore in the final scene. How many other people thought we wouldn't see a confrontation between the two for a long, long time? Color me surprised.

As Ben referenced the fact that he had just been in Iraq, I think we can only assume that his London jaunt came on the heels of the Tunisia and Iraq trips... meaning that they all took place about ten months from the current time on the Island. It definitely seemed like this was the first time that Ben had seen Widmore since Alex's death, as that was the main topic of their conversation. But what was perhaps more surprising was that it was clearly not the first time the men had spoken to or seen each other. When the episode ended, I got the sense that the Lostaways had fallen into the middle of a high-stakes "game" of sorts that has been going on for a long time between Ben and Widmore. A game that has established rules, which Ben accused Widmore of changing when Alex was killed. As a post I read on the boards said best: "Is this all just a fight between two rich white guys over real estate?"

Have you ever seen the movie The Game with Michael Douglas? If you haven't, you should, because it rocks. But anyway, that's what I was reminded of when "The Shape of Things to Come" ended.

There are so... many... questions (again) that arose from the final minutes of the episode. Here are the ones I think are most important:
- Why did Ben wait ten months to confront Widmore about Alex's death? If we are to believe that (more or less) the same amount of time had passed on the Island as it had in the real world, what took Ben so long? It doesn't seem like Widmore is in hiding or anything, so I don't think he was particularly hard for Ben to find. Was Ben not able to leave the Island any earlier? Or did Ben not actually want to leave the Island, but did so because he was under attack there once again (hence the cut on his arm when he landed), and then he figured he'd knock a bunch of things off of his To Do list whilst back on the mainland? Or as I said earlier, maybe Ben left the Island because he had heard about Nadia's death, and then just rolled his visit to Widmore into his off-Island itinerary. And by the way, even though Ben asked for confirmation of the date in Tunisia, I do think that roughly the same amount of time had passed on the Island as it had elsewhere. Ben most likely knows of the slight time-distorting nature of the Island and just wanted to make sure "when" he was... but judging from how he looked, I would say that he definitely made the trip after the O6 had left the Island (and Sayid obviously confirmed this as well).

- Why does Widmore claim that the Island was once his and that Ben stole it? Most people think that this means that Widmore was either behind the original Dharma group that Ben killed in The Purge, or that he was possibly a member of the Black Rock crew (which would require him to not age, like Ageless Richard). I definitely got the sense that Widmore had in fact been to the Island before. Regardless of why Widmore claims that the Island was once his, it's now clear why he wanted the Black Rock journal. It's also pretty likely that Libby was working for Widmore, and that the "gift" of the Elizabeth boat to Desmond was a set-up. Widmore wanted Des to land on the Island, but he probably thought he'd be able to easily find him afterward... my bet is that the ship may have had a tracking device on it.

- And now that we've been reminded of Ageless Richard... where in the hell is he, and how does he fit in to all of this? That goes for Jacob, too. Does Widmore know about Jacob? And if Widmore claims the Island was once his, what kind of connection does he have, if any, to Richard's group of supposed "hostiles?" And are Richard and his peeps at the Sanctuary clued in to the war that's going on over in Othersville? It would be awesome if Keamy met his demise by way of Ageless Richard of the Bushy Eyebrows and Unnaturally Long Eyelashes jumping down from a tree and attacking him "Island native-style."

And by the way, despite what others on the message boards seem to think, I definitely believe Ben can get back to the Island again just as easily as he left. From his words to the hotel clerk in Tunisia, it's obvious he's done this sort of thing before. The question is, did he ever go back to the Island after the trip to recruit Sayid and visit Widmore? Sayid's flash-forward in Berlin was most likely significantly into the future, and Ben was there to sew Sayid up. Had he gone back to the Island in the meantime?

- What's up with Widmore apparently not being able to be killed?

WIDMORE: Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?
(Widmore sips the whiskey.)
BEN: We both know I can't do that.

Most people seem to think that, just like Michael not being able to die off-Island, Widmore can't, either. And the reason would be because the Island won't let these people be killed. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe one of "the rules" is that Ben and Widmore can't kill each other. But I'm leaning more toward the Island explanation, because if Ben thought Widmore had cheated in killing Alex, then it seems like all bets would be off. I also think the Island still has a hold over Widmore because of the nightmares he mentioned.

- Will the last name Ben gives Sayid on the Assassination List be Penelope Widmore? And if it is, will Sayid kill her? I think that Ben WILL give Sayid Penny's name, and that it will be one of the climactic scenes near the end of the series... a "will he or won't he?" moment where it appears that Sayid is actually considering doing the deed. But I don't think he would go through with it. He was witness to Desmond's end of that crazy Christmas Eve phone call that would've melted the heart of The Grinch. Plus, Sayid knows what it's like to lose the love of his life. I just don't think he'd do that to Desmond.

- Perhaps the bigger question regarding Penny isn't whether Sayid (or Ben) will kill her, but rather, where is she? Widmore told Ben he'd "never find her." Is there some other hidden Island out there Ben doesn't know about? Where in the heck is Penny in October 2005? And is Desmond with her?


LAND OF CONFUSION

The more I thought about this episode, the more it messed with my head. There are a few miscellaneous topics I wanted to cover that didn't seem to fit neatly elsewhere in this post, so here they are:

- Some people figure that Jack's serious illness will be what leads him to become one of the 06. "He's got to get off this Island or he's going to die!" They think that his weak condition would explain why he wouldn't want someone else to leave in his place... with his savior complex and all. I definitely don't buy that argument. Remember that Jack had no qualms about leaving the Island via submarine with Juliet before Locke blew the sub to smithereens. Whether Jack would've actually gotten off the Island in the sub doesn't matter, he truly believed he was going to get out of there. So it's not like he's never considered leaving without insisting that others (say Claire and Aaron) also get to go at the same time. I think Jack's illness is going to be wrapped up some other way and will have nothing to do with why he becomes one of the O6. What I still can't figure out, however, is why Jack initially has his "we're never going back!" attitude shortly after returning home. It seems like, considering what we now know must go down on the Island, he would've felt guilty immediately after returning home.

- Why is everyone on the mainland so shocked when they learn of Ben's identity? WHO IS BENJAMIN LINUS? How did he go from a newborn baby in a forest in Oregon to a nerdy kid on the Island to an international man of mystery and power? The hotel clerk looked freaked out when she read his record in the register, and even the guy that Sayid killed paused a beat when Ben identified himself. Widmore said to Ben, "I know who you are... what you are." Miles had previously said something similar: "Like I don't know who you are... or what you can do." What does all of this mean??? Is Ben like Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate? (Another great movie...)

- And as far as Charles Widmore goes... there is obviously now a big question mark over his background as well. We know that he runs Widmore Corporation and is Penny's father, but the exact nature of his involvement with the Island is up in the air. Before we just thought he was trying to find the Island and exploit it (which is what Ben told Locke), but now it seems that he once controlled it. Some people thought that Widmore is "the economist" who Elsa was working for, but I don't think that's the case. Sayid and Ben were trying to find the economist, and there's never been a problem finding Widmore. Plus, Elsa was also trying to figure out the identity of Sayid's employer. If the economist was Widmore, he would know that Sayid was working for Ben, especially after Ben told Widmore that he'd just been to Iraq (and the Sayid/Elsa flash-forward happened after that point). So I still maintain that there is another group or person that is involved in the battle for the Island.

- If you are confused about the timeline of the flash-forwards, Lostpedia has constructed a good guesstimate of how they fit together here.



BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE


AUTOMATED FEMALE VOICE: (Over phone) Code 14-J. Code 14-J.
HURLEY: Who is it?
LOCKE: I think it's for Ben.


SAWYER: Let me guess... "14-J" ain't the code for the pizza boy.


MILES: They told me they were just security.
LOCKE: Security for what?
MILES: (Indicates Ben) For him. Once they got him, to escort him back to the mainland.
BEN: Well, Miles, sounds like you're not gonna collect your $3.2 million.



HURLEY: You guys go back to the beach. I'll catch up sooner or later.
SAWYER: (To Locke) You harm so much as one hair on his curly head... I'll kill you.



MAN: Surrender! Surrender!
BEN: Oh, so you do speak English.
(Ben hits knocks the man unconscious with the butt of the rifle.)




(A silenced gunshot, and Bakir falls forward, dead, revealing Sayid behind him with a gun. Sayid turns the gun down, away from Ben, toward Bakir. Another shot, and another, and another, and another, and another, click, click, click, click, click, click, click.)
BEN: That should do it.



WIDMORE (to Ben): Don't stand there, looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours...
[e: Whoa, he went there!]



A NOTE ON SPOILERS AND A GUESS FOR THE NEXT EPISODE

As you all know, I am vehemently anti-spoiler. Over the past week, I have been forewarned by countless people that spoilers are all over the web about the rest of Season Four... so much so that many sites actually just assume fans have now heard certain things and no longer feel the need to warn readers before referencing what will come to pass on the show. For this reason, I am not reading any other episode reviews or going to any site-related message boards for the balance of the season... I just enjoy my spoiler-free status too much. I also haven't read things like the fan theories that were graded by the the producers in USA Today, because quite frankly, I don't want to know who's close to figuring it out! My brother has been nice enough to pass pre-screened ideas and thoughts on each episode to me so that I can keep a proverbial finger on the pulse of the unspoiled Lost fan community. But I felt that I should pass those spoiler warnings on to others who want to remain surprised over the course of the next month.

So here is my in-the-dark guess as to what is going to happen next week. I think there's actually a chance that Jack will die. I have no idea how it could work since we know he is one of the O6 and is obviously alive in the future, but I just have a weird feeling about it. Either that will happen, or they're going to somehow get him to the freighter where Not-Yet-Dead Doc Ray is going to perform emergency surgery. Or knowing The Mad Doctor, he'll perform surgery on himself. Either way, it's bound to be interesting...

Until next week,
- e

33 comments:

faramirlives said...

Hi e,
I too was really disgusted about Alex. I hoped that Danielle was not dead, but I thought that she was, because right before she was shot she said Alexandra I love you very much, bingo, end of her story!And now Alex is dead also, NO happy ending here for anyone. As a fan of happy endings, at least SOME happy endings, this was a bummer. I'm with you and the dread-o-meter's high reading. I'll continue to hold out hope for Desmond & Penny, but I'm really starting to worry about Sawyer, his heroics may get him killed. NOOOO. (I love this show)

Anonymous said...

After Daniel contacted the boat by and said the Doc was alive and well, Bernard told everyone that he was lying!!! He knows morris code and Daniel was covering something up!

e said...

Faramirlives - Love the screenname... an LOTR reference perhaps? Did you see my LOTR location pics on my other blog? Anyway, I, too, continue to hold out hope for Des and Penny. I can't imagine they would kill Sawyer or there would seriously be millions of women storming the ABC offices. For real.

Anon - Nope, you've got it the other way around. Here is the transcript from that part of the show:

DANIEL: Okay. They didn't exactly say what happened to the doctor, but your friends are fine, and the helicopter's coming back in--in the morning.

JACK: Well...

BERNARD: He's lying. What the message said was, "What are you talking about? The doctor is fine."

DANIEL: (Discomfited) You know Morse code.


(OK, this is e again). Daniel didn't want to tell the Lostaways that the freighter peeps said that "The doctor is fine" because Daniel KNOWS about the time differential and doesn't know how he could possibly explain it... no one would believe him, anyway, most likely.

Hope that helps!

- e

erin said...

how can the cut on docs face have stitches while his neck is cut and then be healing in another scene when he is alive. wouldnt he be dead? not following how that would work.

e said...

Erin - I don't get it, either. But they're in the exact same location, so it seems to be some sort of clue (at least that's what most people on the boards seem to think).

Lula! said...

e, I was so saddened to hear that you didn't love this episode. Because I thought it rocked a million times over. Nevetheless your recap was as awesome as ever. It's good to be back, huh?

The brilliance that is Michael Emerson never fails to amaze me. Give this guy his Emmy already! (Yes--Terry O'Quinn justly deserved it last year. This year it's all Mr. Emerson's.) Based on the final scene between Ben & Widmore I am now really pondering the "Adam & Eve" skeleton issue...could they be Desmond & Penny? I tend not to get sucked into the mushy-gushy stuff on our show (excluding the "hawt" cage lovin' last season!), however how can you love Lost and not root for Des & Penelope? I mean, seriously!

While Saywer was the hero of the evening (yep, there's a reason he's my "boyfriend!"), Widmore had the absolute best line of the episode. Thanks for referencing it..."looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours." YES! He so went there. I love it!

Looking forward to next week--thanks again, as always, for the great recap.

Anonymous said...

Hello!
Two thoughts:
1. When Ben entered Widmore's room, did you notice how many lamps were scattered ALL around the room? It's got to mean something....
2. I thought all the flash forwards were in reverse chronological order? They've changed the rules!

carmen said...

I definately think Ben killed Nadia or had her killed in order to get Sayid to help him kill the people behind the freighter. That was the first thing I thought after Ben's smirky little "My Evil Plan is Working" smile after Sayid killed Bakir.

jilly bean said...

Thanks for the great review - I always eagerly anticipate your episode recaps.

This episode was insane. I'm sure I said, "WOW!" or "WHAT?!?" at least a dozen times. I needed every commercial break to simply digest what I had just seen.

I did think it was a great episode, but I also think it was laying the groundwork for MANY things to come.

e - I want to give you a huge THANK YOU for remaining spoiler-free. Your site is the only one I dare to visit because there is just too much out there. So much more fun to watch episodes without knowing the answers. I enjoy reading theories, but deep down I really don't want to know until the last season.

Oh, and I was so overwhelmed during this episode that I missed the stitched wound/scar on Doc Ray!! Big clue, I think, although I can't figure it out either... But I also think Daniel doesn't know either.

Craig said...

There are spoilers all over about the rest of the season? I'm glad I haven't accidentally run into these like I have in the past. I'm pro "teaser" but very against true spoilers.

Great catch about the healing wound and the stitches. I have no idea what it means, but it means something. Previously, people thought the boat was ahead of the island, but if Doc Ray is dead but alive on the boat (and only time differential is the cause for this confusion) that would mean that the island is now ahead. Then again, who's to say that when his body did the time warp again on its way to the island it didn't get sent back a few days. Still doesn't explain the fleshwound, though, does it. I'm so confused.

I understand what you mean about Alex dying. It was horrible, and I was completely shocked. I really thought they wouldn't do it. At the same time, I understand that something like this needed to happen to make those of us in the audience who have always seen the (evil?) manipulative Ben start to sympathize with him. His reaction there as well as when he tells Sayid from experience that when your grief turns to anger you cannot get rid of it did a lot for moving people (or at least me) toward feeling maybe he isn't all bad (as did his eventual confession to Locke that he, Locke, must survive. I guess John is special after all.). However, once I began sympathizing with him, they pull the rug out and have him threaten to kill one of the few true innocents of the show.

One interesting thing about "you know I can't do that." that I have read in a few places is the theory that Ben and Widmore may have dealt with time travel at some as yet unseen point and that through their hatred and their games they have become each other's Constant. If so, killing one could/would have catastrophic effects for the other.

As always, there is much more to discuss, but my brain has been melted, so I must stop now.

Burgertime said...

The fact that Alex was killed makes this show what it is. The writers are not fearful of killing off lovable characters...thus why Kate has not died a horrible death.

I hear that a dancing spider makes love to a polar bear next week. Those kooky Lost writers!

cinematicallycorrect said...

I too try & remain spoiler-free. One of the best things about "Lost" is their take-no-prisoners plot that wants to constantly surprise you.

I wasn't disgusted or disturbed by Alex's death. I think it was a necessary evil to show that Widmore & his peeps are definitely big time scumbags.

You are so right lula! I think Terry O'Quinn won because he had to win at least one Emmy for his work on "Lost". This year, it really has to be Michael Emerson's to lose. HE IS THE MAN.

I write my recaps without spoilers...if I can self-promote at all.

Kevin said...

i still think there is reason to believe that Benry's flash-forward happened shortly after his daughters death and his running through the ancient egypt door.

if this is the case, then perhaps he spent weeks, or months, in the future, dealing with the loss of alex. also in this time, he may have gone to that artic station we had seen at the end of season 2 (hence the dharka) and found out more about penny, because the artic station had contacted her before. then a quick warp to iraq, some business with Sayid, and a final warning to widmore, and right back to the island to kill the freighter guys via smokey.

Anonymous said...

You asked why Ben didn't call smokey out earlier when the heli landed? I think the problem with smokey is that when he's out he cannot be controlled. He's probably some sort of last resort tool and hard to coral back in. When Ben was saying good bye to Alex smokey can really close to him when the soldier was running away but smokey never threatened Ben.

As for Widmore. I have a feeling that he's an old school Dharma boy and wants Ben and all people killed in revenge for what Ben did to the Dharma group. They had probably agreed that they won't harm each other or family.
What was wierd is that charles stated that everything Ben has came from Charles. It shows you that Charles is in Charge. Haha. had to throw that out there.
One note is that they threw out that Risk clue. You sort of feel that Ben and Charles are playing a real life version of Risk and Charles wants his Island back. This was a great episode and its nice how fast paced it was. It was sad as to how the three extras died. Oh well. To know them is to love them and I never had the chance to know them.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thanks for the no spoilers. Just a quick comment....If people on the island has been healed...(Rose, Locke)Then why is Jack getting sick? Any thoughts?

cgicgi said...

Hi e,

it's great having your recaps. Helps so much!

What I think was awesome is the Ben/Charles scene. The light was shining on their faces in a way that made them look black and white. I think this is a symbol for them neither being 100% good nor 100% evil. They both know that the other one is not completely bad, but they both have their good (and maybe morally founded) reasons for their actions.

I like the idea of Penny and Desmond being Adam and Eve.

One more question is answered: The O6 didn't escape with Desmonds boat nor did so anyone else before them. Otherwise Ben could not have used the boat as explanation to Sayid.

What was it that Jack wanted to discuss with Bernard? Was it a "do you know morse code, can you keep an eye on Daniel?" or was it something else?

Anonymous said...

E, Love your recaps, my sister and I are faithful to your site for the great spoilerfree chat.

One question, you said that Keamy gets killed....isn't he dead? Didn't Ben take care of that when he sent smokey out?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant to say, you said "I hope that Keamy gets killed" and I think that he did by smokey?

Burgertime said...

I just wanted to add that the scene with Charles and Ben reminded me of when Luke Skywalker was hiding out in ROJ and Vader was reading his thoughts...just the lighting and everything.

It could be that Ben actually worked for Charles but realized that Charles was evil or something.

Ernie said...

Doc Jensen at EW.com's clue word before this episode was Dharka. He put it out as a challenge for readers to figure out what it meant.

e said...

Hello everyone -

Thanks for all of the comments... a few responses on ideas/questions that have been brought up:

- While many people once thought that the Adam and Eve skeletons would end up being Jack and Kate via a time loop, now the tide seems to be turning toward Des and Penny (if the skeletons are indeed someone we know, courtesy of a time loop)

- Never thought about all of the lamps around Widmore's room... that probably does mean something. And remember, Jacob didn't seem to like light, either... hmmm...

- I have not read anything about the flashes being in reverse chron. order. All I heard in a podcast was the producers said that the flashes would always be in order WITHIN an episode, but they said we as the audience would need to figure out how all of the various future-flashes fell together. So I don't think they're in any sort of order.

- I do think it's POSSIBLE that Ben and Widmore know that they are each other's constant, so they can't kill each other... but I don't really what's going on. I don't think either of them is time traveling. Teleporting, maybe, but not time traveling. We shall see.

- The reason I feel so sure that Benry wasn't teleporting when he ran through the door is that he looked completely different in Tunisia/Iraq/London. He had no scars or marks on his face, whereas in the present time on the Island he's lookin' pretty rough! Plus, since Smokey came so soon after Ben got back (and it was clear that Ben KNEW Smokey was coming), I really think that was what he was doing in the secret room--calling Smokey. Also, as I said below, I just don't think Benry is time-traveling... so Sayid wouldn't be around in Iraq just yet.

- Not sure why Jack is getting sick while others have been cured... but remember that Ben was pretty shocked that he developed a tumor... It will be interesting to see how they explain why the Island cures some and not others.

- I, too, wondered what it was that Jack talked with Bernard about. I can only assume it was the Morse code thing. If not, we'll find out soon!

- It wasn't Keamy who was shown getting taken by Smokey. So I believe he is still at large.

- Some people consider the previews to be spoilers and don't watch them... so I'm not going to post comments about the previews for now. I don't go that far (meaning, I watch the previews), but I will not mention them just to keep it totally totally "safe" for everyone on this site!

- e

Anonymous said...

Hi e,

Thanks for the awesome write-up, as usual!

I loved this episode. Though I, too, thought it was awful that Alex bit the dust, I was stunned by all of the info they gave us, the new questions raised, the wire-to-wire action, and the incredible acting job done by the entire cast (even the redshirts did their part! Just kidding on that...)

Anyways, I am SO looking forward to the last 5 episodes and your summaries. I wish I had something new to add to the thread, but it looks like you all have already covered the bases--and then some!

Take it easy,

another e

Glen said...

I know where Bushy Eyebrows is! I was watching an old episode of Cold Case called Static and there he was playing Scotty Valens Brother! So he must be able to get off the island!

P.S Another great write up!

Burgertime said...

Don't forget Benry also had a bad cut on his arm when he was in Tunisia implying that he had just been in some type of tussle before he landed. I think this could imply that someone dropped him there and it was not planned. He looked quite confused when he awoke....if this was some type of teleportation deal why would he look confused or be in such bad shape?


My guess on the skeletons is that it is Benry's love who was implied in the first Ben flash back. Perhaps Ben ran her off and she "disappeared" with her other lover. Remember that the psychologist had to have some reason to fear Ben being extremely jealous. Perhaps she knew. Ben also has a penchant for hiding bodies.

Also Ben totally allowed Alex to die, which means he has no ties at all to anyone when it comes to the Island.

Anonymous said...

How many times must Daniel and Shar-Lot lie to these guys before they actually seem upset about it. They lie and lie and guys like Jack and Dr. Sexy just gie this wierd stare.

One thing I'm wondering is if Jack will die. Since we all seem to think Jacob is his dad based on those still photos from the past that he wants Jack to join him. His Character will be around but Jack himself will become something more supernatural on the island. Just a crazy idea of mine.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to post and say I hope you keep up with these amazing writeups of the episodes! This is now my one-stop Lost recap/analysis center.

I only had one semi-original thought from the latest episode - why did they gloss over how Sayid found his long-lost wife? It felt just kind of thrown in with no emotional build up. I know it was a Ben flashback, but I was still surprised they chose that route. Wouldn't a Sayid episode showing them reuniting create a more powerful emotional pull? Was this an area perhaps cut by the writer's strike?

Anonymous said...

anon. I agree. The Sayid being all sad and vulnerable was kind of out of character for him. For him to just jump onto Ben's bandwagon of killing was kind of forced. I would have expected more of a struggle and for sayid to have his anger built up before ever considering his merger with bencorp.

I guess that's going to be expected when they tried to cram in 24 episodes into 16 then take 8 of those and cram it into 5 episodes.

bongzilla said...

LOVED this recap, Erika. Best one on DarkUFO's site again, hands down. It's refreshing to have intelligent commentary on the show without trying to shoehorn one's own pet theory into new contortions each week (see Vozzek68).

I too am remaining spoiler-free. I looked at Dark's spoiler page for about half a second and then said, "No way." I gave in last year and the Snake in the Mailbox -- which I had guessed, believe it or not (flashforwards aren't exactly a new plot device) -- was defanged completely. No, not again. It's like uncorking a good wine and letting it sit for a month before tasting it. This show is way too good for childish instant gratification.

***

My first comment is about your questioning of the Dharka and the frost that comes off Ben. I'm NOT going with teleportation or wormholes just yet. That image of Ben on his back showed him in some kind of interesting terrain. I'm no deserty specialist, but it looks like either a dried river bed (deserts do get heavy rains sometimes, so I've read) or a road. What if Ben was deposited there by a truck? Maybe a refrigerated truck? Maybe the cold inhibits his mystical abilities. He COULD have taken the Elizabeth and left the island and then fallen into captors hands, who dropped him into the deepest part of the Sahara (because, you know, he can't be killed and all). Only the unforseen Bedouins gave Ben a way out of that trap. I know it's a stretch, but I think the show begs for real-world answers before it flies into the fantastical sci fi realm. We don't know the scene in the desert before Ben opened his eyes.

Or alternately, maybe the Orchid station is unpredictable, so travel through time to another spot on earth's timeline in space is inexact, so for such a risky distance/time-shift journey, one had better dress warm in case one winds up in Antarctica instead of Tunisia? Or course, he'd probably also have had a life preserver since the earth is 3/4ths ocean. However I do agree that the Orchid is the likely means of transport. I just think it has to do with time only and not travel through the other three dimensions. Ben steps into the Time Tunnel, sets it to launch him to somewhere around fall 2005, zips up his parka and whooosh, when/where he lands is very approximate.

***

Poor Sayid indeed. Nadia was a plot device from the beginning, and we never got to know her, but it's clear that her demise was the key to elevating Sayid to a remorseless anti-hero, what we've all wanted for so long. Total badassery. I woulnd't be surprised if Ben gives Sayid a name like "Samantha" to exterminate and Sayid tracks her down, only to find it's the woman from Desmond's photo, inspiring Sayid to be the one who kills Ben after figuring out the elaborate rat trap he became ensnared in, and which violated many tenets of his Muslim religion. I think that'd be the end of Sayid as well. His story looks to be perhaps the saddest of the major characters. And yes, I think Ben had a hand in the events leading to Nadia's death. But as usual, Ben's not directly involved. This won't matter to Sayid in the end, nor should it.

***

Regarding the Widmore apartment scene, you reference to The Game is very good. I can see that. I don't imagine it's a situation similar to Michael's apparent deathlessness with Widmore, however. Ben wants to maintain his own version of the moral high ground. He wants emotional weregild for Alex. An eye for an eye. Killing Widmore would not be the same as making him suffer by killing Penny. And yeah, Widmore is almost certainly not The Economist who is not an economist. Since I doubt any new villains will be introduced, I'm guessing that person has to be Mr. Paik. Or someone else we've seen or heard of before but not fully understood. And yes, I'm calling my shot. The Economist is Frogurt.

Long live Long Live Locke. Long live LOST.

Anonymous said...

I love your posts, but I don't want you to forget that we've seen Ben's lightsaber stick before in "Every man for Himself". He beats Sawyer with it!

Dee said...

Thanks for another great review!

I just wanted to say that I watched it again, and I think Claire was hanging clothes in the backyard, when the house blew up, and that is why she was ok...it seems there was a clothes line next to her..what do you guys think?

Sawyer may have stepped OUT of the house frame, before he found her..

Burgertime said...

I never thought about Claire hanging clothes but that would explain why Hurley had Aaron. I hardly doubt a mother would just let her baby away from her side for something like sleep....then again Mom's need sleep.

AC said...

Hi,

Loving the blog!

Just wanted to say something I discovered in this episode. But first, a reminder.

In a Walkabout flashback (the 2nd one) Locke said: "Patience, the quality which you lack, GL12, is the hallmark of a leader". He was playing RISK.

At the beinning of this episode, the following conversation occurs:

HURLEY: We're all gonna die.
SAWYER: Calm down, Chicken Little. The sky ain't falling just yet.
HURLEY: This is exactly what he wants--to fight amongst ourselves. You're making a big mistake, dude.
LOCKE: It's his to make, Hugo. (To Sawyer) Let's get on with it.

And they were playing... you guessed it... RISK! And Locke seemed just a little bit... impatient. And now he is a leader! So, any ideas what this means? I find it hard to believe for the writers to have them playing Risk for the very second time in the show, and it be a coincidence.

AC

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great recap, e! I especially liked the "I was wrong" thing. Alex's death was totally horrible, I couldn't believe it! When Ben dissappeared to his secret room I actually thought that he had a time machine there, and that he'd go back in time to prevent her murder. But no, he "only" summoned Smokie. Ben is my favourite and it was great to see him do all sorts of cool stuff in different places...but I really couldn't enjoy the episode as much as I wanted, the execution of a 16-year-old was just too cruel.

Sayid mourning over a woman is not out of character, this is actually the third time he looses a lover, and Nadia was the love of his life. I'd like to see him happy for a change but apparently that's not going to happen.