Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let the (Mind) Games Begin...

Hello my dear friends -

The wait is over. After more months than I care to mention, Lost is back tomorrow night with two new episodes to kick off Season Five. As those of you who have read my last few posts and/or connected with me on Facebook know, the premiere just so happens to fall on my birthday -- hence the party hats to the left.

Amazingly, I'm still spoiler-free... except for watching the inescapable previews that have been running for a while now on ABC. (That rhymed.) While I had intended to share my thoughts on those clips in advance of the new season, I have since realized that I'd just end up covering the same information again in my upcoming episode recaps. So what I thought I would do instead for this last post before the premiere is talk about five of the biggest overarching mysteries that remain in the series.

I'm not going with the obvious ones (Where is the Island? What is Smokey? What is the Four-Toed Foot statue?) because they've been analyzed and theorized to death already. Instead, I'm choosing to remind you of five questions you may have forgotten you had:

1) Who were Adam and Eve, and what's up with those black and white stones?

"Adam" and "Eve" are the nicknames Locke gave to the skeletons Jack and Kate found in a cave in Season One. These skeletons have never been seen or mentioned since. Do you really think there isn't going to be some sort of twist that involves their identities?

Assuming that a little space-time bending will come to pass, I'm still going with Jack being the male, as it looked like (though it's not certain) he kept the pouch of black and white stones from the remains. Meaning that -- unless we see him pass them off -- the stones are more likely to be on his person than anyone else's in the future. I used to think that the female would be Kate, but now I think that Juliet is also in the running. Other guesses are Sun and Jin, Rose and Bernard, Desmond and Penny, the DHARMA initiative founders, Gerald and Karen DeGroot, or (of course) a couple we haven't met yet. Don't ask me how Jin could come back from the dead or why Penny would ever be on the Island -- I'm just naming off the major couples, OK?

However, if Lost's rules of time travel don't end up allowing for living people to see or coexist with their own 50-year-old skeletons, then the DeGroots become my top guess. There's also a small part of me that doesn't think the writers would let The Mad Doctor (Jack, for you newbies to my site) meet such an undistinguished end, which also ups the chances that Adam and Eve are either the DeGroots or characters that haven't been introduced to date.

Wait! I just thought of another possibility... what if the skeletons are somehow Nikki and Paulo? That would be like the ultimate episode of Punk'd (the Lost writers being Ashton Kutcher and the audience being the unsuspecting Justin Timberlake), and therefore we'd probably be treated to another tongue-in-cheek Nikki and Paulo flashback in order to understand the significance of the black and white stones. You heard it here first!


2) How did Montand lose his arm?

I'm pretty sure there's a good percentage of you who are reading this right now and thinking, "It's more like, 'how did e lose her mind?' Adam and Eve? And now Montand?"

That's right, folks... I said Montand. The rest of you may care about the numbers or the Frozen Donkey Wheel or the whereabouts and inhabitants of Jacob's cabin, but I want to know about Crazy French Chick/Danielle's armless friend, dammit!

In the first part of the Season One finale when a subset of the Lostaways gathered dynamite (RIP, Dr. Artz) from The Black Rock, Rousseau said, "This is where Montand lost his arm." So I can only figure that if we are shown exactly what happened to Montand, we'll learn more about Danielle's past in the process.

Things I'd love to know about Danielle and her crew include:
1) What was "the sickness" everyone on her team became infected with? Was it what we now recognize as the effects of becoming "unstuck in time" à la Minkowski and Desmond? Or was there something else that did them in? Or did Rousseau make the whole thing up because she killed them all because she was the "sick" one?

2) Did Danielle truly never encounter any of the Others in her sixteen years on the Island, as she claimed to Sayid when she first trapped him in Season One? I ask this because there are a lot of inconsistencies in what she's told various 815ers over the four seasons. Methinks she DID mingle with the DHARMA peeps and/or the Others back in the day (I could actually see her hitting it off quite well with Patchy) and they had some sort of falling out that left her alone and Alex in Ben's possession.


3) Is Aaron the Spawn of Satan?

When "Raised by Another" first aired, tons of people on the message boards were all riled up because they thought that lil' Turniphead was meant to be the Antichrist. The psychic dude that Claire visited did go on and on about how all of these terrible things would come to pass if she didn't stick with her bay-bee for the long haul. Now that Claire is chillin' with Zombie Dad in Jacob's cabin and Kate is acting as a mother to Aaron off of the Island, is the whole of humanity in peril? Is something about this young boy inherently evil or what? Thankfully, the kid they have playing Aaron in the flash-forwards doesn't look like he's straight outta The Omen or else I just might have to stop watching the show. You may think I'm bluffing, but I've said several times that I have no tolerance for evil-freaky children and I mean it.

For now let's assume that I am not forced to abandon our beloved show. What are the biggest questions surrounding Aaron as we head into Season Five?

1) I'll be curious to see if there are any weird things that beginning happening when he's around... like birds dropping dead or rain stopping and starting on his command or polar bears appearing in his presence. He might be "special," just like Walt.

2) Is he "supposed" to go back to the Island with the rest of the Oceanic Six, or not? Because right now we're getting mixed signals. The psychic first said that Claire had to raise Aaron. But when he gave her the tickets for Flight 815, he told her that a "nice couple in LA" were waiting to adopt him, and that they were "not strangers." Some now wonder if that was his weird way of alluding to Kate and Jack, who would eventually end up with Aaron in Los Angeles (for a while, at least). I, for one, still think that the comment about the LA couple was just a random remark and that the psychic put Claire on the flight because he foresaw that it would go down and she'd be forced to raise her son.

Claire was indeed very attached to her bay-bee once he was born... making it all the more strange that she'd go on to abandon him simply because Zombie Dad beckoned her into the jungle (unless, that is, she left because she's actually dead). Apparition Claire then visits Kate off-Island and says "Don't you DARE bring him back," and Dead Charlie tells Jack (through Hurley) that he shouldn't be involved in the boy's life. To me, it seems as though there are two forces, communicating through a bunch of ghosts, that are fighting about where and with whom Aaron should reside, and it's damn confusing.

3) If Aaron DOES end up being raised however in the hell he's supposed to be raised, will we at least find out what havoc he would've wreaked on the world had another scenario transpired? 'Cause I've got this crazy Apocalyptic vision in my head and if that wasn't what was going to go down then I hope someone goes back and tells that psychic that he's kind of a drama queen. On a related note, when is someone fully "raised?" If Kate's had Aaron for at least three years and wasn't supposed to, how much does that count in the whole scheme of things? I've got to stop thinking about this now.

Crap, there's one more thing: when Desmond was seeing flashes of the future, he claimed to have watched Claire and Aaron board a helicopter and leave the Island. We all know that's not what happened. So was Desmond seeing something in the future future? Is Kate going to bring Aaron back to the Island and then he'll eventually leave again with Claire? Did Desmond confuse his long-haired leading ladies? Or was he just fibbing to Charlie in the hopes that the idea of rescue for Claire and Turniphead would be enough to motivate Darth Hoodie to sacrifice himself in the Looking Glass station?

4) What face cream has Ageless Richard been using?

He of the Bushy Eyebrows and Long Eyelashes has sported different hairstyles over the decades, but, as proven by Ben and Locke's flashbacks, he hasn't aged since at least the 1950s.

We know that Richard is an Other... or what the DHARMA Initiative would refer to as a "Hostile." The Others seem to have been on the Island since before DHARMA arrived; with the help of Ben, they eventually came to overthrow those pesky scientists in a slaughter termed The Purge. As the years passed, Richard had also been watching -- and sometimes visiting -- Locke, and now seems content that ol' baldy is taking what would seem to be his rightful place as the Others' new leader.

From a conversation he had with Locke, we know that Richard wasn't too interested in Ben's attempts to save pregnant women on the Island. The Others as a whole ARE interested, however, in protecting their home, snatching "good people," and watching Jack freak out in a cage when the opportunity presents itself. I have a feeling we're going to learn a lot more about their background in Season Five, so here are some questions I hope we get answers to during the next few months:

1) Why are the Others seemingly ageless -- or is it only Richard who's so lucky? After all, we haven't gotten proof of anyone else's agelessness but his. Long Live Locke reader JhP wrote me this fall with a theory on this issue, based on the 1973 novel by René Barjavel entitled The Immortals (or Le Grand Secret in its native French). Since this book is now pretty hard to locate (I found a used copy on Amazon), I'll summarize the part that might have had a hand in inspiring Richard's story line on Lost, as Executive Producer Damon Lindelof stated during Season One that he spent some time in France (where this book was extremely popular). This is just a theory, but if you still don't want to read about it, skip to #2 below.

For those of you still with me... in The Immortals, a scientist creates a serum that provides for everlasting life, but as soon as he realizes the consequences of his discovery, he tells a few of the world's most powerful leaders and they come up with the idea to send anyone who's taken the serum (or become "infected" by those who have) to a secret island in order to avoid overpopulating the world (their children are born immortal as well). The people are essentially frozen at the age they were when the virus takes effect, or only grow to be teenagers if they're born on the island. However, in the book, no one can leave the Island because they'd infect others with immortality... which doesn't really jibe with how Ageless Richard has been seen off of Lost's Island. But I do think that the whole "immortality serum" and "international conspiracy" aspects of the book may still be relevant to the show.

Another thing to consider is that this same author, Barjavel, also wrote a novel called The Ice People in which scientists discover the ruins of a 900,000-year-old civilization along with two people living in suspended animation in an underground hatch. If that weren't enough proof of the possible influence of Barjavel on the show, if you read his Wikipedia entry, you'll see that in 1943 he wrote "the first novel to present the famous paradox of time travel: if one goes backwards in time and kills one of his ancestors before he had children, the traveler cannot exist and therefore cannot kill the ancestor."

Innnnteresting.


2) Who, if anyone, besides Ben came over to the Others' side from DHARMA? Or was Ben the sole DHARMA survivor of the Purge? Speaking of the Purge, what happened to Ben's childhood crush, Annie?

3) Who was the leader of the Others up until December 2004: Ben, Jacob, Richard or someone else? Ben told Jack that he "made the decision to kill over forty people in a single day," but then told Hurley that the overall Purge was not his idea. Ben has also said that no one besides him has ever seen Jacob, even though the rest of the Others seem to somewhat worship the cranky cabin-dwelling spirit thingy.

4) Who helps the Others off of the Island -- where do they get all of their money and resources? And why are some people like Charles Widmore, the as-of-yet-unknown "economist," and possibly Abaddon working against them? Is everyone fighting for control of the Island, or is something more going on?


5) How did "Jeremy Bentham," aka my man Locke, end up in a casket?

It still pains me to think about those final seconds of Season Four when the camera panned back to show that the man whose death Jack had been lamenting was none other than his old nemesis, John Locke.

Some think that because of clues provided in the Comic-Con 2007 Orchid Station video, Bentham is actually a clone, or another "instance," if you will, of the guy we've come to know and love on the Island. Meaning that the "real" Locke isn't actually dead but rather still fighting the good fight back in the jungle. I'm not too sure I buy that theory, however, because if that were the case, why would Ben tell Jack that they had to bring Bentham back to the Island with them? If Original Locke is still there, surely no one would want two Lockes running around, would they? And if Bentham didn't come back to life when he was returned to the Island AND Original Locke was still there... then what would be the point of bringing Bentham back?

Further, if Bentham was a clone of sorts, then I don't think any of the Oceanic Six were in on the secret. Near the end of "There's No Place Like Home," Hurley asked, "And why are you calling him 'Bentham'? His name is ---" before being shushed.

Finally, I just really, really, really hate the idea of clones becoming a part of the Lost story. Clones are right up there with "evil twins" for me. As in, any mystery that's explained by evil twins or clones usually seems like a total cop-out. So perhaps I'm dismissing the clone theory because I simply dread that it could be proven correct. Until it is, I'll continue to assume that the Orchid Video was meant to introduce the time-shifting abilities of the Island, and nothing more.

So what do I think happened to Locke, then? In a nutshell, I think this situation is exactly what it appears to be. Locke took on an alias of "Jeremy Bentham" after he had to leave the Island because of the "very bad things" that transpired once the O6 left. Since he doesn't have the super-spy skillz of Sayid (or the lovely, long-flowing locks, for that matter), he screws up and gets himself killed, but only after he's had conversations with Walt, Jack, Kate, and possibly Hurley. Although Ben has supposedly been banished from the Island after turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, he must know of a way to get back into its good graces and figures he'll take Dead Locke along for the ride. The only reason Ben would do this is because he's confident that Locke will come back to life (in some form) once reunited with the Island -- and that he'll play a critical role in setting things right.

(For the record, I do think time travel is involved in all of this, but I'll write more about that topic in the new episode recaps. And yes, I am OK with characters coming back to life and traveling through time, but not with clones or evil twins. Don't try to understand what goes on in my brain, people!)

Of course ten million other questions remain, but we'll have ample opportunity to discuss those in the coming months, now won't we?

In the meantime, ENJOY the two new episodes, and wish me luck in finishing posts for both "Because You Left" and "The Lie" before the 28th.

And if you haven't already, you better wish me a "Happy Birthday," because I'm needy like that!

- e

43 comments:

Kelly, UK said...

Thank you for a very interesting post - I had forgotten all about some of those issues. But don't even joke about abandoning Lost! What would we do without your insight?
I already wished you happy birthday, but I am sure it will be awesome! No need to ask what you will be doing...

Crista said...

Wait a second e-
What do you mean you wouldn't want two Lockes running around the island? Stuff would actually get done! One Locke build shelters and kill animals with his crazy nija-hunting skills while the other keeps the calm and a shirt on Sawyer. Geez!

And Happy Birthday!

-Crista

Ernie said...

Great post e, I can't wait until tomorrow night.

Happy Birthday too

Aaron said...

God I love this blog. Awesome write up as always. I can't wait until tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday! Hope you enjoy the party that ABC is throwing for you (on screen, of course! LOL)

One thing we keep telling ourselves in this household is "Because Ben Lies...."
We assume a lot of things, because we take Ben at face value, like the fact that he can't return, that they all need to go back or bad things will happen...but Ben lies.
Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
Have a good one -- Sarah M. in MI

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add: I finally subscribed, because I TOTALLY missed the Locke-encounter. HELLO!
My kids were geeked and jumping around the room when they saw the picture. [2nd. generation LOST-lovers, be still my heart.]
We think that ranks as one of the COOLEST vacations EVER!!!

Sarah M. in MI

Scott said...

Doc Jensen had an interesting theory about the two "Aaron-related" quotes you mentioned.

"You're not supposed to raise him"
"Don't you dare bring him back"

Hmmm...whom else would need to be "raised" to be "brought back?" Your man Locke, maybe?

Great to have you back, E...looking forward to taking another season long journey with "Long Live Locke!"


And Happy Birthday!!

Craig said...

Wow, the premiere on your birthday? That is an awesome present.

Have a good one!

teach3 said...

Happy Bday! What a great gift we will all be getting on your special day! Love your posts! Especially the comments on the photos. Have a wonderful day!

Scott said...

Thanks for setting the tone for tomorrow night. I'm fired up. And like the commenter said, please don't joke (you have to be joking) about abandoning the show. I'd be lost without your insight.

Happy LOST birthday.

Emily said...

Happy Birthday, e! What a great day it will be!

I originally thought Adam & Eve were Jack & Kate back in Season 1. However, as more time passed on the show, I changed my mind to Sawyer & Kate. I'm sticking with them, as I think they have shown that these two are more likely to be together in the end. Remember: Sawyer said he has nothing to go home to and pretty much wanted to stay on the island. I think when Kate goes back, she decides to stay on the island with Sawyer at the end of the series.

Can't wait to see your write-ups again. Thanks for all of you hard work

another e

JediJohnson said...

Happy Birthday to my favorite Redboxer and Lost commentator!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday E! This is the best week ever!

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday :) I am pretty sure LOST premiering on my birthday would be the only gift I want lol I can not wait to read your recaps and thoughts about tomorrows episodes :)

buffyfan145 said...

GREAT blog e!!! :) It's Amanda from FaceBook. We've made it!!! :)

Really like the idea of you going back on some of the unanswered questions!!! Here's my thoughts:

1. I have thought for awhile and still think that Jack and Kate are "Adam & Eve". Even more these time jumps, I've just thought with the theory that it could be them. Plus, we have a whole thread on Lost-Forum.com dicussing Jack and Kate as A&E and it works with our Bible references and with the book "Paradise Lost". Recently there was a LONG post on the story of "Paradise Lost" and the discriptions of Adam and Eve fit Jack and Kate to a T. ;) It works.

2. I think we'll see Danielle's story and Montand loosing his arm. ;)

3. Aaron is not Damien. LOL But I do think the Shephard family is VERY important to this show and hopefully we'll find out why this year. :) Intresting about the Desmond flash and maybe we haven't seen that yet.

4. They've got to explain why Richard doesn't age. I hope it's not the time travel thing again, cuz it would be really cool to see Richard doesn't age. Plus, we HAVE to find out what happened with Annie. I've heard a theory that Charlotte might be Ben and Annie's daughter. ;)

5. I can't wait to find out what happened to Locke. That was a shock and that's going to be one good episode. :)

And have a very Happy Birthday!!! :)

BLindy said...

happy bday!

Cris Tokoloshe said...

always expecing your fine and well written comments about the 5th Season. Greetings from Guatemala.

Lani said...

Another great post, e! I too had forgotten a lot of those questions. They better bring us some answers- didn't I read in one of the podcast transcriptions that ALL the questions won't be answered?

And Happy Birthday! I'm hoping I'll be able to find a way to watch the episode (maybe online?) before your next write-up. Otherwise it will be torture trying to exercise the self-control to not read it.

Jennifer Doherty said...

Hi Erika, many happy returns for your birthday. Thanks as always from Ireland for your great analysis....always thought provoking and funny (love the captions on the screen caps!). Someone else mentioned that you are the only person that they now read for all things Lost....I have to agree with them. You seem to be on the same wavelength as me and you've even met Terry O'Quinn (which is fan-fabulous in itself!). Can't wait to see the new eps (although I may have to wait a few days to download from internet...new eps showing in Ireland on Sunday) and to read your post-eps analysis. Keep up the GREAT work! Jennifer in Ireland

Tori said...

Okay, first - Happy birthday and great write up!

And second - Do you really think Jin is DEAD?? His DUI was over a year ago?

-t

Anonymous said...

Erika,

First off, happy birthday. I like the reference to the French book. Much like Slaughterhouse 5 and Lost Horizon, I agree that the writers have borrowed concepts/themes from the French book.

Another book that possibly gives some insight into the Others/Hostiles is CS Lewis' Prince Caspian (not so much the movie). The last few pages of PC, where Aslan gives the Telmarines (who were originally shipwrecked pirates) the option to return to Earth where they reached Narnia from an uninhabited island in the Pacific that "other men of that world have not yet discovered".

Another thing giving credence to this is Charlotte's full name:
Charlotte Staples Lewis. CS Lewis's full name is Clive Staples Lewis.

Scott

Islandgirl said...

Nice, thoughtful post. I'm so excited it's actually here! Happy Birthday!

-islandgirl

Ana Maria said...

.I don't think there's anyone out there who covers Lost with such love and detail, so...many thanks, and a Happy Birthday!...7PM today; I still can't believe it...

Joyce said...

Enjoy your day!

elaines630 said...

I'm so glad I found your blog! It totally helps me keep track of everything that goes on! There's so much its easy to forget!

Happy birthday! I hope you enjoy it!

Peter said...

Thanks for writing about Lost. You really make the show 100% better for me! I look forward to the upcoming recaps.

Enjoy your Birthday

Nicole Aquino said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, E!!

Great post, I've really been wondering about Danielle's story as well. I know you've mentioned it on previous posts, but do you think a flashback is still possible?

I am very much looking forward to reading your blog for the upcoming season. I've been following you forever. I don't need to tell you to enjoy ur bday, because I know you will!

evie said...

happy birthday, wish u the most mindblowing season ever. Post the recaps as fast as you can.Make them even longer, funnier, awesome.

Katie Kat said...

HAPPY B'DAY E!!!!!!

Great lead up to the episodes tonight - I am SOOOO revved up for the return of LOST!

I'll be back for the recap...

MikeNJD said...

Hope you have a Happy Birthday e. Mine is next Thursday, fellow Aquarian! 31, ugh. Anyway, I can't wait for tonight and your recap next week. In fact, with some inspiration coming from you, I have started my own blog on entertainment and politics at www.acceptusomnis.blogspot.com (I think I'm going to change the name). Long Live Locke is on my Blogroll, and I gave you a shoutout in my first Lost post. I need to get back to posting on it. Maybe after tonight. Anyway, enjoy your day and the return of our favorite show, Lost!

Kim said...

I cannot wait for more of your recaps!!

Happy 21st Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Props! love your writing and insight! Tonite will be truly marvelous!

Kelly said...

Happy Birthday E!

I've been an avid reader of your blog for a long time!! You're an amazing writer with a great way of reminding me of all the great things the episode had!!

Keep up the great work!

Christy G said...

happy birthday!! hope you are having a wonderful day thus far!!

Andrea said...

I've been lurking on your site for a very long time. Love, love, love it! I'm looking forward to seeing what you write this season! Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Have a happy birthday -- my daughter turned 4 today, too!

Melissa Fortune said...

Happy birthday E! I can't wait to read your write-up on tonight's episode. Locke is so not truly dead dead, not really. Ha.. What a great present for you! I've been reading your posts for a while. I'm excited to read another season's worth of insights!

Anonymous said...

So I think tonight's premiere episode proves that the two skeletons found in the caves in Season 1 belong to two of the castaways. I also believe that Charles Widmore was one of the original sailors on the Black Rock and must have ended up in the future. I believe during the auction for the ledger from the Black Rock something about the Widmores was mentioned. Not to mention that I think Allan Dale would totally rock as a pirate.

Jovatov said...

I hope you had a happy b-day, but with such great episodes I'm sure you have.

Also I think we've seen hints to a at least two questions answered.

A big hint to Montand losing his arm, it probably were those soldiers (whoever they are).

Also a hint to time travelling, which Richard might have been doing, allthough I'm not sure about that.

Looking forward to your recap!

lost and back again said...

Aloha e!

Hauoli la hanau! That’s Happy Birthday in Hawaiian!

Love your post. Here are some thoughts I’ll put out there.

Does Ben want to bring back dead Locke so he can arrive at Others camp with a body bag – just like Locke did with his dead dad?

Is Mrs. Hawking “The Economist”?

If Mrs. Hawking is Daniel Faraday’s mother, and he has a different last name and an American accent… was he raised by another?

Could Charlotte be Mrs. Hawking’s daughter? What if they’re not related; but Charlotte was raised by Mrs. Hawking? Could Daniel and Charlotte be like Luke and Leia (i.e., bro and sis)? If Charlotte is suffering from “the sickness” and Mrs. Hawking is her constant, will Mrs. Hawking go to the island to save Charlotte’s life?

Will Marvin Candle’s baby turn out to be Miles? Who will be Miles’ constant?

Do the O6 “have to go back” to the island because they and the survivors they left behind are each others’ constants?

Is the reason Ben and Widmore can’t kill one another because they’re constants to one another?

Are the people Ben had Sayid killed his actual targets? Or could they be the constants of people Ben actually wants killed (e.g., the baddies from the Freighter)? If so, does that mean that Ben is intentionally causing changes that he knows will lead to “very bad things”? Along that conspiracy theory, did Ben know that Hurley would run outside and get arrested? Hm. It’s possible.

Anonymous said...

happy belated birthday.

sweet80pea said...

I've always loved your recaps and I just found your blog from your latest one about Because You Left from darkUFO. Keep up the great work, congrats on meeting Locke and getting that awesome picture with him, and Happy Birthday!!!

senyorcitoninja said...

Am I the only one that thinks that Adam & Eve are Rose and Bernard?. White and Black. They are alone "right now", maybe they found the caves and stay there waiting for the others, maybe they die there.

Great blog btw...

Linda said...

first of all, GREAT blog.

I am rewatching season's 1-5 right now, and I just started. and I have to say, the imagery from the pilot episode of Locke holding up a "light" and "dark" on either side of his head hit me like a ton of bricks!! and i had forgotten about the black and white stones! the attention to detail and the writers abilities to bring something from episode one, and manifest itself in season 5 with jacob and the other dude (i am blanking on a name at the moment...) is totally mind blowing. sweet jesus, i love this show :)