Saturday, January 24, 2009

S5Ep1 - Because You Left

Hello my dear friends -

Something strange happened the night of January 21st after the Lost premiere ended. I actually heard my fingers speak. They cried out, "We have to do TWO write-ups within seven days?!? Noooooo!!!!"

Though it may not have been clear to everyone (or at least the people who aren't mega-mega-fans) tuning in last Wednesday night, the Lost premiere was comprised of two separate episodes, and so this post only covers the first hour. For my fingers' sake, I'm going to get right down to business. I think it's only appropriate to begin our analysis with a closer look at the opening scene of the season, don't you?

(Oh, and since in years past I was often asked to identify the various lyrics I use as section titles, I'm going to put that information in the comments section of every post from now on.)

Here we go!


YOU SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND, BABY, RIGHT ROUND
LIKE A RECORD, BABY
RIGHT ROUND ROUND ROUND

When "Because You Left" kicked off, my friends and I thought we were seeing Future Future Sun in bed with Jin... or at least we were hoping it was Jin. "HE'S ALIIII-- oh, no, wait... damn." Alas, it was Mrs. Chang and her hubby Pierre Chang, also known as Dr. Candle/Halliwax/Wickmund from the DHARMA videos.

Like me, Chang is not a morning person and was all bitter about getting out of bed when his alarm blared at 8:15 (dun dun DUN!) AM. He puts on a little Willie Nelson ("Shotgun Willie" from 1973)... and in a not-so-subtle shout-out to the speech Daniel Faraday would make a few scenes later, the record starts skipping.

We then see a baby who we can only assume is the same baby that was crying off-screen in the video that aired at Comic-Con this past summer (which you really need to stop everything and watch if you haven't yet, because it's very much related to what's going on so far this season). In that video, Chang indicated that the infant was a boy, which made a lot of people jump to the conclusion that it must be none other than our favorite ghostbuster, Miles Straume. They contend that once Miles grew up, he blamed Ben for killing Daddy Chang in the Purge and is now out for revenge. But how did Miles himself escape the Island and the Purge? Apparently Chang is without his wedding ring in later videos (I have not been able to confirm this yet), so perhaps his wife divorced him and took their son with her -- assuming it was possible to even leave the Island.

If this theory about Miles is true, it would certainly give a whole different twist to the words he shouted at Ben in "Eggtown": "Do not treat me like I'm one of them... like I don't know who you are ... and what you can do!" I had sensed that Miles and Ben had some sort of history during that scene (the one that concluded with Miles demanding $3.2 million), however, despite all of that "evidence," I'm still not convinced that Miles is Chang's son.

Yes, Pierre and Miles are both Asian and yes, Miles has weird "powers," but since it's already been alluded to that Charlotte might have been born on the Island (and we seem to have gotten more evidence of that in this episode), wouldn't it be overkill if both she and Miles end up having that history in common? Don't get me wrong -- if Miles is revealed to be Chang's kid I will think that's kind of cool, but right now I feel like people are jumping to conclusions simply because both actors are Asian.

For now, I'm sticking with what I said this summer -- maybe we'll never find out who Baby Chang grows up to be because it doesn't matter; the only reason he was in the scene was to prove that, at one point, pregnant women gave birth on the Island without complications. Here's what I thought about this issue at the end of last season: "Perhaps pregnant women started dying on the Island in the first place because of Ben... because he stopped devoting himself completely to the Island and got too wrapped up in Annie. As a punishment, the Island made it so that no one else could ever have children and Ben would have to bear the guilt of that situation."

If we assume the opening scene was from the 1970s when the DHARMA Initiative was thriving on the Island (and Lil' Ben had just arrived), and if we also assume Baby Chang was indeed conceived on the Island, then there's more reason to link the pregnancy issue's origins to one Adult Benjamin Linus.


WALK WITH YOUR FRIENDS
BUT STEP TO YOUR ENEMIES
AND MAKE IT LAST WITH A MEGA-BLAST
OF ENERGY

Next, Pierre heads off to film yet another DHARMA video -- this one's for the Arrow Station. Back in Season Two, everyone on the message boards called this station either "Hatch Lite" or the "Ghetto Hatch" because it was totally beat down... remember that? Oh, how I miss those kinder, gentler seasons past and all of the funny nicknames they brought with them. Anyway, the tail section survivors used the Arrow for a little while as their shelter. Surely you haven't forgotten the weird box they found there -- the one which contained a glass eye (that better get explained one day), a Bible with the rest of the orientation film from the Swan hatch hidden inside of it, and a two-way radio (which Bernard used for his infamous "'We're the survivors of Flight 815'... 'No, WE'RE the survivors of Flight 815!!!'" exchange with Boone). I think we can now confidently say that at one point in time the Arrow Station was surely the Ghetto Fabulous Hatch!

Although both Goodwin and the glow-in-the-dark Hatch Door Map led us to believe that the Arrow was just used for storage, Candle's latest video insinuated that the Arrow was once used as a defense station. Might that be where Smokey was first developed? Many are convinced that Smokey was created by the DHARMA team as a security system to keep the Hostiles out of the Barracks, but then there was an "incident" that resulted in Smokey taking on a life of his own. Whatever went haywire with Smokey was most likely also what led to Chang losing an appendage (in later DHARMA videos, he mentions "the incident" and clearly has a prosthetic arm).

I have a feeling we're getting closer to learning more about this mysterious event, because the filming of the Arrow video gets interrupted by a workman who begs Chang to come to the Orchid Station. We see the Orchid all shiny and new-looking, and find that the DHARMA crews have encountered major issues while trying to complete its lower level. They have a printout of what lies behind an impenetrable wall... namely, the good ol' Frozen Donkey Wheel (FDW).

None of this seems to come as a surprise to Pierre, who's like, "Duh, don't you know about the überpowerful energy trapped behind that wall and how we can totally manipulate time with it?" And the other guy's all, "Say what? Like we could go back and catch Woodstock this time around?" and Chang goes, "As if! There are RULES, moron! Just stop drilling, OK?" and then runs off in a huff, almost knocking Faraday over in the process.

What the -- STOP!

Folks, we have arrived at the first "rewind" moment of the night: He Of The Skinny Black Tie trolling around in underground chambers with DHARMA, official uniform and all.

Which brings us to the on-Island events...


IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME,
IF I COULD FIND A WAY

Not too long after Ben "moves" the Island, we see the remaining 815 survivors (minus Locke), Juliet, Miles, Charlotte and Daniel reunite at the beach. Only Faraday is not shocked to find that their camp no longer exists. When Sawyer demands an explanation, Daniel says, "You have no idea how difficult that would be for me to try to explain this... this phenomenon to a quantum physicist. THAT would be difficult. So for me to try to explain whatever's happening... " and then is cut off by a smack to the face.

As I watched this scene, it became immediately obvious to me that the writers of this episode (who also happen to be the executive producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof) were trying to set expectations for us crazy fans. Daniel's speech was their way of telling us, "Look, people... there's no way that the remaining 34 hours of this show are going to make perfect sense, so just deal with it and enjoy the ride." I personally feel that this disclaimer of sorts was unnecessary, because the millions of people who are still watching this show five seasons in can clearly suspend disbelief with the best of 'em. Consequently, don't expect me to spend too much time picking apart the time travel stuff. I'll only do so when I think there are legitimate questions to be raised that don't fit with "the rules" that both Chang and Faraday clearly want us to understand.

The impression I'm under right now is that, whenever the FDW (or failsafe key) is turned, the island itself moves in some manner. That's why it seems to have disappeared to those on the helicopter, and why (as Miles whispered to Charlotte in this episode) Widmore hasn't been able to find it for the last twenty years. (Along these same lines, remember the Vile Vortices and Amelia Earhart theories?)

In addition to the Island shifting locations, its newest inhabitants -- the cast of characters mentioned above (and the stuff they were physically touching and/or had on their bodies when Ben turned the wheel) -- are now skipping through time... and voilà! We've got ourselves a way to piece together what happened on the Island before the Flight 815 crash. The story of Montand's arm can't be too far off, hooray!


DANIEL, YOU'RE A STAR

Three important things happened as our ragtag group moved through time in this episode:

1) Faraday stated that the main "rule" of time-shifting is that it's impossible to change the past. If something didn't happen the first time around, it can never happen...

2) ... However, then we see Locke encounter Ethan at the site of the newly crashed drug plane. How could that meeting have transpired? Wouldn't Ethan have freaked out when he sees Locke again at the Lostaway's camp after the crash in 2004? (A lot more on this one in the next section.)

3) Sawyer doesn't have any patience for Faraday's babbling (surprise, surprise) and proceeds to bang on the Swan hatch's back door. No one answers. Eventually, everyone heads back to the beach save Daniel. HE now bangs on the door, and HAZMAT Desmond comes out. Desmond clearly heard all the ruckus, but did not answer until Daniel was the only one waiting -- thus proving (in a roundabout way) the "rule" we learned earlier.

The short encounter between the two men gave us some compelling stuff to ponder:
- Daniel indicates that Desmond is "uniquely and miraculously special" and that "the rules don't apply" to him. This may mean that Desmond is the ONLY person who can actually change the past and therefore affect how things turn out in the future.
- As the next flash approaches -- Daniel tells Desmond that in order to save everyone, he must go find Mama Faraday at Oxford once he's escaped the Island.

I'll talk about the possible identity of Faraday's mother in my next write-up, so for now, let me ask you this: "How much does Daniel rock this season?" The answer is, "Even more than he did last season." Is there anyone out there who doesn't like Faraday? Might we have our first unanimously loved character? If Lost fans are able to come together and agree on just this one thing, then world peace is surely possible.

The last issue I want to bring up about Faraday is that, judging from the opening scene of the episode, it looks like he's either been time-jumping without the rest of the group, or has been able to break away from them for extended periods of time in order to sneak around with the DHARMA crew. I'm very excited to see how he came to be in the Orchid station in the '70s, aren't you?


KNOWING ME, KNOWING YOU

Let's revisit the Locke/Ethan encounter again, because this short scene helped more pieces from the puzzle of seasons past fall into place (for me, at least).

When Ethan first saw Locke scrambling up the cliffside to check out the Crack Den Plane, he obviously didn't recognize who it was because he opened fire. Once Locke and Ethan were face to face and Locke proclaimed that Ben had designated him to be the new leader, Ethan was like, "Shut your mouth, fool!" and went to shoot him again, but then was foiled by another flash. That's all fine and good... but shouldn't Ethan have recognized Locke later on when he infiltrated the 815ers camp? Or more importantly, wouldn't Ethan have marched straight back to Ben and told him about the off-his-rocker bald dude he'd come across in the jungle?

Here's what I think is going on with all of this craziness. Bear with me through this section and the next, because I promise you, it's worth it:

1) Let's say that Ethan and Locke met at the site of the drug plane crash when it was 2001 to Ethan (don't get hung up on the exact year because as long as we agree this event took place before September 2004, it doesn't matter) and December 2004 to Locke's body. As we've seen in past episodes, however, time travel seems to affect one's mind in weird ways. To make any sense whatsoever out of this, I have to assume that even though Locke's body was still acting like it was 2004, his consciousness recorded his run-in with Ethan as if it actually happened in 2001.

2) When Locke meets Ethan again in October 2004 after Ethan has passed himself off as an 815er, perhaps they DID actually recognize each other, but kept it hidden from the rest of the Lostaways. I reviewed the second recap I ever wrote for this show ("Raised By Another" back at the end of 2004) and found this little gem: "I cannot believe that no one has brought up the fact that Ethan and Locke went to the jungle ALONE in the last episode, leading me to believe that Locke knows what’s up with Ethan."

That's right, my friends. In episodes nine and ten of Season One, Locke and Ethan spent a heck of a lot of time hanging out by themselves, supposedly hunting wabbits (shout-out to Elmer Fudd). I think it's very conceivable that they each remembered their initial encounter and were able to talk privately about it before Ethan made off with Claire. If Locke eventually comes to understand "the rules," he would know that he'd have to let everything run its course and couldn't intervene in either Claire's abduction or Ethan's death.

3) What about the possibility of Ethan reporting his Locke sighting to either Ben or Richard in 2001 -- wouldn't that have screwed something up? I have two possible guesses: 1) Richard intercepted Ethan before he could say anything to Ben. Richard tells Ethan that he cannot under any circumstances let Ben know about the bald guy in the jungle that disappeared into thin air. Ethan agrees, Ben never finds out, and the meeting of Ben and Locke unfolds as we witnessed it in the last half of Season Two. Or... 2) Ethan does tell Ben, but that's OK, because Ben has also time-jumped before (perhaps as a result of him coming back to the Island with the Oceanic Six) and therefore already knows that he'll eventually meet and then be replaced by Locke. No harm, no foul.

What I'm trying to say is that I think that Locke was still able to "remember" his meeting with Ethan from 2001 (at the drug plane) even though it technically hadn't happened in October 2004 (when they meet after the 815 crash) because he didn't start jumping back in time until December 2004 (after Ben moves the FDW). I believe Locke's mind was suppressing his memories from the time-jumps and filing them as having taken place in the year it was on the Island, not the year it was to Locke's body.

If you need more proof, read on... because I don't think Locke is the only character this has happened to...


DIDN'T I BLOW YOUR MIND THIS TIME,
DIDN'T I?

Are you ready for some insanity? Too bad if you're not, because I'm about to unleash some insanity on you.

Who are the only characters left from Season One that remain on the Island in Season Five and are now drifting through time? Locke, Sawyer and Rose. There are reasons to believe that all three of these crash survivors had buried memories of their time-jumping experiences from the moment they landed on the Island.

(Yes, Bernard and Juliet were also on the Island during that timeframe, but we didn't get introduced to them episode-wise until much later in Seasons Two and Three, respectively. So I'm going to leave them out of this analysis because it's confusing enough as it is).

As the saying goes, ladies first.


Rose

In the pilot episode of our beloved series, when the Losties first heard Smokey in the jungle and saw trees swaying and crashing in the distance, Rose said, "That sound that it made, I keep thinking that there was something really familiar about it."

You may also recall that Rose was absolutely adamant that her husband was alive elsewhere on the Island. At the time we all attributed this to Rose's strong faith. But what if she actually knew about both the monster and the fact that Bernard would eventually be found because these memories were in her mind from the time-jumping?


Sawyer

Some of you probably remember me harping on and on over the years about an offhanded comment Sawyer made in "White Rabbit" (episode five of the first season). Kate tackled him because she thought he was hoarding the group's water. He replied, "It's about time -- I made this birthday wish four years ago."

I thought it was a totally bizarre line in 2004, and now I am absolutely convinced that it was there on purpose -- to prove the existence of either time travel or a time loop for the characters from the very beginning. (I'll attempt to explain the "four years" part later in this post.)

But here's the kicker: I don't think that either Rose or Sawyer were even conscious of these buried memories or the fact that they may have gone through certain events on the Island more than once. The comments they made in Season One that seem suspicious could be compared to when something comes out of your mouth before you had a chance to think about it too much. Obviously Sawyer and Rose would've acted much differently throughout Seasons One - Four if they were actually fully aware of what transpired during their time-jumps. But I can't be as certain about Locke...

Locke

Locke's the easiest one to explain. How many times has he known when it would stop or start raining? How many times has he told people what they were or were not "supposed" to do? Locke has shown multiple signs of having been on the Island before, so to speak. While I think he's always figured that he's been following some strong gut instinct, what may have actually been happening is that because he's more connected to the Island than Rose or Sawyer are, his time-jump memories are more accessible to him.

And yes, if you've inferred through all of this that I think the Lostaways are going to repeat the crash, or at least that those three characters will live through it again because of their time-shifting, then you are right -- that's what I believe. The Time Loop Theory will not die... not on my watch!

If you need one last bit of evidence that these "memories" could be affecting the characters' thoughts and actions before the events technically transpired, look no further than our first flashback of Daniel Faraday.

Surely you remember him sitting at home in his tired-looking robe, sobbing at the footage of the Flight 815 wreckage on TV. A woman in his kitchen asks him why he's so upset, and he replies, "I don't know."

But WE now know. Even though Faraday's body wouldn't start time-jumping for a few more months, Daniel's mind had already been to the Island and Lord knows where else in the past, all in the name of his time-travel research and DHARMA Initiative investigation. His suppressed memories were making him weep. And therefore I think we have good reason to believe that Locke, Rose and Sawyer were in similar situations once they landed on the Island.


IN THE DARK, FOR A WHILE NOW
I CAN'T STAY, VERY FAR
I CAN'T STAY, MUCH LONGER
RIDING MY DECISION HOME


OK, here's the last bit of time-jumpiness we have to discuss for this episode. When Ageless Richard removed the bullet from Locke's leg during one of the flashes, he confirmed some of what we'd already learned: Locke was skipping through time (but Richard wasn't) and in order to set things on the right path again, he was going to have to get the O6 back to the Island. To do that, Locke was going to have to die. Richard then gave Locke a compass, presumably the same one he'd laid out before him at age five, and told Locke to return it to him the next time they met because Richard wasn't going to recognize him.

There was something else that Richard said, though, that I think was pretty important. It finally clicked to me this morning (three days after the premiere aired). I'd been confused as to why, at the end of "Because You Left," Desmond popped out of bed with a "memory" of his exchange with Daniel at the Swan hatch. If Daniel's time-jumping started shortly after Desmond left the Island on the helicopter, why did it take three more years for Desmond to remember it? Shouldn't it have hit Desmond before he even reached Penny's boat at the end of 2004?

I couldn't figure this out until I watched the episode again and realized that Richard had given us a clue. Everything we saw go down on the Island in this episode seems (key word) to have transpired in only a matter of hours (at the most). Originally, I had assumed that during that same time off of the Island, the Oceanic Six, Frank and Desmond were floating on the raft at sea... or maybe had just been found by Penny's boat. Richard, however, told Locke that "they're already home, so you have to convince them to come back."

Between Richard's comment and Desmond's memory of his encounter with Daniel not kicking in for three years, I now think that everything we've seen on the Island between episodes one and two (and most likely the next episode) happened over the course of three full years in Outside World Time. As "The Lie" gave us more hints about how time on the Island is moving, I'm going to table this issue until my next write-up. But needless to say, it could help explain Sawyer's "four years" comment in Season One.

Aaahhh... We still have the Los Angeles events to cover, for the love of all that is holy!


NOBODY TOLD ME THERE'D BE DAYS LIKE THESE
NOBODY TOLD ME THERE'D BE DAYS LIKE THESE
STRANGE DAYS, INDEED!
MOST PECULIAR, MAMA


Because this post is already so long, and because I will focus more on the the off-Island events in my analysis of the second episode, let's just hit the two key things that happened in LA during "Because You Left":

1) At the end of Season Four, Sun told her father that he was one of the two people she blamed for Jin's death. From her conversation with Widmore at the airport, it seems that the other is Ben. We have yet to learn exactly what Sun and Widmore talked about during the rest of their rendezvous.

2) Before he gets darted all to hell, Sayid tells Hurley that he was working for Ben. As in, he had been working for Ben in the past but wasn't any longer. He goes on to warn, "Listen to me, Hurley. If you ever have the misfortune of running into him, whatever he tells you, just do the opposite." Clearly Sayid and Ben had a falling out since we saw them working off-Island together in "The Economist," and I'm hoping we get to see what their tiff was all about later this season.



BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

[Sawyer slaps Dan across the face.]
CHARLOTTE: Oy! What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?
SAWYER: Shut it, Ginger, or you're gettin' one too!


SAYID: I'm not taking any risks after Bentham died.
HURLEY: You mean Locke.
SAYID: Yes, I mean Locke.
HURLEY: I need a cool code name.

RICHARD: ...You need to pay attention. Next time we see each other, I'm not gonna recognize you, alright? You give me this.
LOCKE [taking it]: What is it?
RICHARD: It's a compass.
LOCKE: What does it do?
RICHARD: It points north, John.


SAWYER [as the event begins to occur]: Son of a...
SAWYER [after it has occurred]: Bitch.


MILES: Hey! Where you goin?
SAWYER: Back door. To get us some supplies.
DAN: James, wait, not a good idea.
SAWYER: Sky can flash all it wants but I ain't startin' over, Dilbert.


SAWYER [beating on the door to the Hatch]: Open the damn door!
DAN: It won't work.
SAWYER: Sure it will. You open up, it's the Ghost of Christmas Future!


JULIET: We should get back to the beach. It's been a long day.
MILES: Why are we going back to the beach if there's nothing to go back to?
JULIET: So stay here.
MILES (as Juliet walks away): That chick likes me.



THAT'S IT!

I can't take it anymore, I must stop typing and go soak my fingers in ice (and ease my stress over the pending second write-up with ice cream).

If you think there's something I didn't cover, chances are I'll be mentioning it in my next post, so stay tuned...

Until then ("then" being sometime before the morning of Wednesday, January 28),
- e

56 comments:

e said...

Here are the songs from which I took lyrics for the “Because You Left” section headings, in order:

“You Spin Me Around (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive

“Energy” by Kid ‘N Play

“If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher

“Daniel” by Elton John

“Knowing Me, Knowing you” by ABBA

“Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” by New Kids on the Block (and originally by The Delfonics)

“I Can’t Stay” by The Killers

“Nobody Told Me” by John Lennon

- e

Anonymous said...

oooh my head is spinning again... and i like it! :P

i missed your lost write ups!

*kristYn from CALI*

Lula! said...

More than NKOTB or The Delfonics, you have completely blown my mind this time...

Sawyer's "four years ago? comment from Season 1 is starting to make sense. But I would have never caught onto that had you not mentioned it here. You are a genius. As per usual.

Another year, another fun Lost journey with you, E. Thanks for being faithful to this blog--you just don't know now it adds to my enjoyment (and understanding!) of this most excellent show.

Lisa said...

Excellent analysis as always Erika! I so agree with you that Daniel is the coolest character ever created on Lost and anyone who doesn't agree is insane. Can't wait to read the next writeup!
Lisa

Anonymous said...

To further the "Ben being responsible for the pregnant women dying" theory: Ben's mother was a pregnant women who died, and Ben's father continuously reminded him that Ben had killed his own mother. So I think it would be an extraordinarily fitting punishment for all the babies to kill the mothers...

Rhea said...

Great recap! Very insightful and thorough. Thank you!

au-carol said...

What a great review!!! Love your thoughts on several things! (The Sawyer birthday comment always had me wondering also!)

Looking forward to the next post!

Tracy said...

I reviewed the second recap I ever wrote for this show ("Raised By Another" back at the end of 2004) and found this little gem: "I cannot believe that no one has brought up the fact that Ethan and Locke went to the jungle ALONE in the last episode, leading me to believe that Locke knows what’s up with Ethan."

You rock, e!

Abigail said...

e:

wow. Great recap to start things off! My jaw just dropped when I saw the picture of Rose, and I knew that what I was about to read was going to be so very perfect. Even if the time-loop isn't quite correct, your evidence is just spot-on.

Shaggysteve said...

Very good recap, Erika. I especially like your theories, in particular the time-looping our characters are experiencing. Looking forward to your next entry.

surfmadpig said...

"If we assume the opening scene was from the 1970s when the DHARMA Initiative was thriving on the Island (and Lil' Ben had just arrived), and if we also assume Baby Chang was indeed conceived on the Island, then there's more reason to link the pregnancy issue's origins to one Adult Benjamin Linus"

OR... It's because they haven't started to manipulate time yet.

Ann said...

Thanks to you and your tired fingers for this post. Your commentary enriches the "Lost" experiences for all of us!

I expected this exchange to make the "best lines" list, so I'm hereby nominating it --

Hurley: "Want a fry?"
Sayid: "No, thank you."
Hurley: "You know, if you ate more comfort food, maybe you wouldn't have to go around shooting people."

Matt in Dallas said...

Amazing E! I really thought you were chasing your tail on the "four years" comment from Sawyer four years (geeez!) ago, but alas, your madness is truly genius. Great job, and I echo everyone's thanks for your dedication to the blog. The show wouldn't be the same.

Christy G said...

e- you rock. thanks for your insight. as always it is excellent! i must agree with you the daniel faraday should be loved by all. i also agree with the time loop theory!! every since the end of season 3 i've had the same sneaking suspicion that jack and kate are indeed adam and eve, and that charlie is the musician that programmed the keypad. i also think that if there is a time loop, there is a possibility that locke could be jacob. craziness. well, i guess time will only tell!!

m said...

wow! I had already read lots of comments (on other blogs) about this episode, so I expected your writeup to be a pleasingly well-written revisiting of ideas already encountered. but no, in addition to covering just about everything of interest with attention & good sense, your observations about Ethan & Locke hanging out in season one, and about Sawyer's "birthday wish four years ago" line (which I never thought of as begging any question, but just passed me by as a typically Sawyer-style quip) are totally new to me! I love your detailing of how Rose, Sawyer, and Locke -- the complete & exclusive three we knew in season one who are still on the island & doing the time-jumping now -- all seem likely to have had future-past memories from the beginning. very cool.

Dwane Lay said...

Nice recap. I went back and watched the linked vid from the summer with the good doctor. Knowing what we now know, especially with the opening of the season premier, I am will to state without a doubt that the camera operator in that video is our man Faraday.

Watch it again, listen to the voice. And note, the only time he speaks is when Chang is trying to get whoever sees the video to send help or warn someone, and only then to tell him it won't work, and to keep going.

So not only was Faraday there, he somehow ends up involved in Chang's business and knows what is going to happen with the purge. And, presumably, more...

Jana said...

I discovered your new post just as I started watching the Saturday night rebroadcast of LOST. Your analysis brings so much clarity to an awesome, though at times overwhelmingly confusing show. Thanks e!

Wanders said...

Wonderful first write up of the season, e. Thanks for dedicating more time to this show than most of us could ever manage. Because of your work, I get to enjoy LOST on an entirely new level: e-level.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff e ... welcome back and Happy Belated Birthday. Spank Spank Spank.

I was listening to Cuse/Lindelof explain that many clues were left in the first 4 seasons that would start to make sense and it looks like you nailed a few of them. You are good.

The Other E

P.S. oh and I'm still dealing with the envy of your Oahu trip. I'm bummed I lived there before lost was even born. Timing is everything.

Anonymous said...

Was it Desmond's turning of the failsafe key that made the rules "not apply" to him? Consider the fact that when he encountered Mrs. Hawking in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," she seemed genuinely worried that he would stay with Penny and not end up pushing the button. If "the rules" applied to Desmond, it wouldn't matter, as he would have to end up on the island due to fate. Remember also that it was Desmond's postponing Charlie's death that allowed the survivors to contact the freighter and the O6 to escape... an event that probably wasn't "supposed to happen" in the grand scheme of things.

collyer said...

Great stuff - as usual, I must say.

A couple of thoughts:
Daniel didn't ever "work" for Dharma to build the Orchid, but during one of the island's time flops, he went to where the Orchid was/was-to-be/is, and slapped on a hard hat & masqueraded as a worker. While there, he convinced ChangWickCandleWax that he was from the future - hence the ComiCon video with Faraday as DP (listen to the voice).
The reason Rose & Sawyer made their statements you referred to was not because they had been to the island "before", but because the island's flopping landed them pre-815 crash by 4 years, and linear time brought them into sync with the crash with "real" time. Of course, the paradox of 2 Sawyers on the island at the same time would be too large of a sarchasm to cross.
Or not.

Cris Tokoloshe said...

I loved the "THIS IS THE PHANTOM OF THE FUTURE CHRISMAS!!!!!!!!!" soo funny.

Good review, I will read it again to understand your explication about the Locke/Ethan stuff and the Locke/Rose/Sawyer one...

Still: We have to go back!!!! at least this was a good beguining of the season

From Guatemala City.

Jovatov said...

Great write-up E!

Very interesting catch on the whole time-traveling bit and consciousness, which actually makes sense seeing the constant and the memory of Desmond.

One thing though, the reason that Rose recognizes the sound of the monster is that it's makes the sound of a taxi receipt thingy. This was on some extra in the first DVD (maybe the commentary on that specific episode). They more often use sounds from everyday objects and place it on the island to freak us out.

Otherwise very informative write-up, keep up the good work!

SergioFX said...

I enjoy reading your articles than any other on the entire web. Amazing stuff like always, nothing makes my LOST experience complete than coming here and get more insights from you.

You really blew my mind with the Rose/Sawyer/Locke moment. I would have never saw that coming in a million years.

I thought of couple of things regarding what we saw in the episode.

1st, we can now "hopefully" explain the weird sightings of Walt to Locke when he was in the death pit. Perhaps, like our islanders, Walt will find a way to travel back to time and appear to Locke at that exact moment. It doesn't have to be a manifestation of Jacob/Island/Monster, but more likely a time travel phenomenon, much like Locke appears to Ethan...


Also on Locke and Ethan, I figured that their encounter is what made the Others wait for a certain "John Locke" to come and take over. When The Others saw Locke, they were very excited.
This can be due to the fact that when Ethan met with Locke, he wasn't time traveling, which means that it did happen in Ethan's mind and body. (unlike Locke). So he reported back Locke's words to Ben: "Ben made me your new leader."
This would have made Ben realize that in the future, he will appoint a "John Locke" as the new leader, hence, starting to act with or against it.

This argument works well with what happened, because Ethan saw John in his own past. He wasn't time traveling, so this means that he didn't only see it in his mind. He really saw a man appear to him in the jungle.

It's only in Locke's mind that he jumped through time and met Ethan, so now that it happened in his time line, his mind has processed it.

That's what I think happened anyway.

Cheryl said...

Fantastic write-up, as usual. I loved what you picked up about Rose/Sawyer/Locke's comments in season 1 - I had always wondered about them, but I think you've got it. My favorite quote was Hugo's mom: "Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?".

Joanna said...

Great post, and Happy Belated Birthday!
One of many things I still don't get, though, is why the Others aren't time jumping too. When Ben turned the FDW, why did only Locke move in time with the Island, while the Others disappeared? The Sawyer, Rose, Bernard, etc. group stayed together ... Where did the Others go??

Julie said...

Great theories!

Honestly I completely forgot about that comment that Sawyer had made, and what you said really makes sense. The Rose comment about the noise that sounded so familiar, I always thought it was of because of where she said she was from right after she said that. She said she was from the Bronx. One of the noises Smokie makes is the same noise that the taxi cabs make when they are printing off a receipt.(same noise that Lockes calculator made in one of his flashbacks) I giggled to myself when I heard the same noise on my trip to NYC last fall. Your theory makes a lot of sense though, perhaps they were trying to throw us off a bit with the Bronx comment.

I love your theories! They are really getting my brain juices flowing! :) Lol

Desiree said...

Great Recap E! I can't wait to go back and watch some old lost episodes, thanks for providing more insight into the "4 years ago" comment. Your posts actually prove to be meaningful and are entertaining. Infact, I'd like to hire you to narrarate my next lost party!! =)
You Rock.

e said...

Hi everyone -

I'm probably not going to be able to keep up with all of the comments this time around, but a few thoughts on some of the points people have raised:

- I agree that the problems with pregnancies could've also been related to the manipulation of time which might not have begun until after the Orchid was completed.

- Definitely still agree that Charlie is the musician who programmed the Looking Glass code somehow

- I now admit that it was Faraday's voice in the Comic-Con video

- I will have much more about Ms. Hawking and what I think Des can and cannot change in the next post.

- Agree that Daniel never worked for DHARMA but was just masquerading as part of the crew to get more info.

- I did know about what the producers said about the sound of Smokey being taken from NYC cab receipt printers and that they thought it would be funny to therefore have Rose be from the Bronx, and it would be like an in-joke as to why she recognized the sound. But I think they were also covering for the REAL reason for her line -- why would they want people to get suspicious in Season One? Also, these are the same guys who said there would be no time travel. They WANT to throw us off, people! I don't blame them.

- I like SergioFX's additional reasons that the Ethan/Locke encounter works with the overall plot. (And yes, though I fear I didn't make this too clear in my post, Ethan WAS NOT time-traveling, so he definitely registered his encounter with Locke in 2001 and didn't have a suppressed memory about it or anything -- it happened when it happened on his end.)

- Richard claims that he was NOT time-shifting (probably because he's native to the Island and therefore not affected by these things? Who knows). I can only assume that means the rest of his original group wasn't, either... but have no idea what that means for the likes of Cindy and the kids the Others' swiped from the Tailies camp...


More soon,
- e

PenguinJosh said...

Yay, I've been looking forward to this review since Thursday!!

A great review which has given me so much to ponder!

Bless your amazing mind!

Josh :D

Anonymous said...

Another fabulous write-up e! Nothing ever gets past you. You put me to shame!

The only thing I noticed (and someone may have commented on this already), is that after the first time shift, no one called Sawyer "Sawyer" anymore. Everyone called him James. Daniel, Juliette, and (as usual so this one didn't throw me)Locke. I thought it was a little odd. I don't know why it stuck out to me, but it did.

Can't wait for the next one.
Crista

PS Anytime you reference NKOTB is awesome.

Matt Nightingale said...

e - magnificent as always. thank you so much for the time and thought you put into this. it really does take the experience to a new level.

Tarah said...

E, I have a thought regarding the compass that Richard gives Locke, instructing him to give it back to him the next time b/c he won't recognize him. When Richard visited Locke as a boy and asks him to select something that belongs to him.....wasn't there a compass? Locked picked the knife then, but a compass was one of the three options! Do you think it might be that meeting Richard is referring to? Is it the same compass from that scene?

Loved your write-up, as usual. I'd been obsessively checking.....

Tarah said...

Another thing I wondered....who is the credible source Chang refers to in the comic con video? Could it be our apparently seasoned time traveler, Daniel Faraday?

Anonymous said...

Hello e!
I looove your recaps, I enjoyed them since last year when I discovered your blog!
Your theory is great, crazy :-), but that' Lost I guess! However, I have a doubt... If we assume that Locke recognized Ethan at the time he was trying to take Claire, and they both agreed to not reveal they're already met to the other losties, shouldn't we think John remember the circumstances? But when he timejumps at the plane crash, he looks quite surprised to see Ethan "alive" (and there I suppose he starts understanding he's probably time-travelling). Shouldn't Locke remember also this was going to happen, as he already probably discussed with Ethan at the hunting time? Not sure if I figured out my point... :-)

Thank once again for your great analysis and knowledge of the show (that you said about Sawyer in season I is just great!!)

Ale

Allison said...

I've been waiting for this since Thursday too! Awesome summary!

One thing I'm still trying to figure out is why Juliet, a former Other, moved with the 815ers. Is it because she came to the island in 2001? That doesn't quite make sense since some of the 815s were taken in 2004. Or was she somehow excommunicated from being an Other so that's why she moves through time now too? Maybe that question won't be answered, but it is interesting.

Melissa said...

If my mind wasn't going to explode before, it is now. I love this show. I'm so glad there are people like you who are way smarter than me to analyze all the craziness that is this show. I would never pick up on all this stuff. It makes my head hurt. You are purely genius. Thank you.

beta said...

great recap as always e. im not sure i agree with the sawyer "four years" thing. i think it's something else, im still trying to figure it out tho.

to the girl who mentioned the sawyer/james thing:

i noticed it too! i think the writers made it on purpose to indicate the big change the character has gone through. he is james now.

but also, maybe it's just a coincidence, locke has always called him james, as has juliet.

Mair said...

::APPLAUSE:::

Mair said...

oh, and WELCOME BACK!!!

lost and back again said...

e –

I’m already e-loving Season 5 and your e-analyses!

When Locke and Boone first encountered the Beechcraft in Season 1, Episode 13, Locke temporarily lost the use of his legs. Was that incident somehow related to the gunshot wound from Ethan?

In that same episode, Locke gave his compass to Sayid. Did he no longer need it?

Garry in UK said...

Hello, I am going to be late for work now!! Started reading the latest blog and "time" seemed to march on without me.

First of all amazing write ups e, keep it up, unfortunately for us Brits, I had to wait until Monday morning to read the latest. We don't get the latest episode until Sunday night.

It is worth the wait.

Just something I thought of that backs up your theories.

If anyone else has already mentioned this, then I am sorry, I am in a rush to get ready for work and haven't read all the replies yet.

Anyway, Locke's time travel subconciousness thingy must have been playing a part when he supposedly "dreamed" about seeing the beach craft crash and also knowing about Boones Nanny dying on the stairs. I know this is an easy thing to remember, but I didn't see it anywhere so I thought I would back up your theory with it.

I watched the episode the other day when Sawyer says he has been waiting four years for this, I just thought he must have been with another woman at the time and blew out his candles and made the wish, but now that you think of it in the time travelling sense, it makes a bit more sense.

It totally helps to try and understand what is going on by reading your blogs.

Keep it up "Freckles" :-)

Hessel said...

Hello Erika!

I love your recaps! They're very informative and funny as hell :-)

I love your theory about Locke. This new insight totally sums op with the ideas of the philosopher John Locke who whas a rationalist at heart. I couldn't connect the seemingly metaphysical Locke on the Island and the literary anti-metaphysical philospher Locke.

Now the connection with Jeremy Bentham in the series and in real life, I don't see it yet :-)

Anonymous said...

Ok, so this is soooo unrelated to this episode but it is still a question that I have yet to see anyone else ask. Epsiode one, Kate is involved in a robbery at the bank she work at,and kills her boyfriend. Why has this never been brought up anywhere again?

Roland said...

My current thinking about LOST Time Loops: S1-S4 showed us the Penultimate Time Loop. In various previous TL’s, there were no survivors of the Flight 815 crash, Mikhail met a Paralysed John Locke (of whom he had a “fleeting memory” in “Par Avion”), Charlie programmed the LG jammer and Juliet received her first three shoulder dislocations. In a previous TL, Ford made his up-close-and-personal-with-Kate Birthday Wish and Rose found out that Bernard had survived the Tailie crash (way to go, Erika)

Ms Hawking and her team have been “tweaking” these Iterations, getting them progressively closer to success in a “run ten tests and get ten different results” kind of way - and there are small and large differences between Iterations. Small changes would include the Swan crater being full of debris (as seen in 501) as opposed to the gaping empty hole we all saw in S3 ... also ... Sawyer stepping on a nail instead of a dart ... and the compass Richard gave John in 501 being similar but not identical to the version he showed Young John. Large changes would include “actual survivors” of the plane-crash.

Seasons 5 and 6 will show us the Final Iteration of the Hawking/Linus Strategy - in which everything will (finally) work out right.

Anonymous said...

Excellent discussion, as always! : )
Ok, one theory I have seen thrown around is that the reason Locke can't walk when Charlie and he go by the plane, is because that is where he is shot by Ethan. His leg is reliving this memory???

My 14 yo daughter has a theory - When Ben says Widmore changed the rules, he means the rules of time and space.
She believes that Ben had been to the future and seen Alex there, so was confident they wouldn't kill her. Yet, they do.
So, Ben realizes that "the rules of time and space" aren't the same anymore. [I'm so proud, sniff.]

I think that if it's true no one is calling him Sawyer anymore, it's because he is now being recognized and respected as one of their leaders, and, perhaps, a nod toward redemption?

Looking forward to your 2nd episode re-cap!

Sarah M. in MI

beta said...

also e,
i was rewatching eggtown last night, and there's that strange scene with daniel and charlotte with the cards. he gets 2 right but misses one... and he gets upset.

at the time we didnt know what that was, but now it starts to make sense... i wonder how much charlotte knew already about the island and time travel

Stephen said...

Great review as always E. I'm surprised that you missed a big revelation about your man Locke though. A few others have mentioned this since I first read through the comments and thought about it but I will still add my two cents. I went back and watched Deus Ex Machina, where Locke and Boone first discover Yemi's beechcraft plane. In that episode Locke has a "vision" of the plane crashing. This now seems to now be clear evidence of his time traveling. He had already seen the plane crash because he travelled back in time to when it originally happended. In his vision he also sees a bloody Boone which lends credence to your Time Loop theory. He has lived thorugh this series of events before and knows Boone is going to die. As they find the plane he loses function in his legs, which may have something to do with him being shot by Ethan when he first finds the plane but I'm a little fuzzy on how that works out. It could also be a way for the Island to prevent him from climbing up into the plane and dying.

Another cool little teaser in that episode - Sawyer is reading A Wrinkle In Time!

Someone commented about why Juliet is time shifting with the 815ers instead of staying with the Others. It may be just because she was brought to the island and is not a native, but it may also have something to do with her punishment for killing Pickett. She was branded with a tattoo that looks kinda like the frozen donkey wheel. Hmmm.

Can't wait for your review of The Lie (or for Wednesday's new episode). Lost is back baby!

Emily said...

Hey e,

Great job!

Something weird that stood out to me that I haven't seen mentioned yet is Ethan's reaction to seeing Locke. Before Locke "time-traveled away from the scene," Ethan had the gun cocked and ready to shoot Locke dead (it was pointed right at his head). This doesn't seem consistent to the way "the others" have acted throughout the series. Locke was not behaving in a threatening manner, so why would Ethan shoot him dead? He would have marched him back to Ben and let Ben (or Jacob, for that matter) decide what to do with Locke.

I can't decide if this a (horror of horrors!) writing/plot inconsistency (sorry Darlton) done for dramatic purposes, or if we will eventually learn a different reason for Ethan's uncharacteristic reaction to seeing Locke. I hope it is the latter.

Curious what you think.

Thanks,

another e

Nicole said...

Thanks e for your recaps. I'd be blindly enjoying Lost with out them.

I will break with the group and surmise that Ethan would not ever remember him and Locke meeting, while Locke would have the feeling that they did. As shown with Des, he did not remember seeing Faraday at the door until it happened currently. So a person cannot remember something from their past until it happens in the time line. And because Ethan is currently dead, he would not even make a blink about it, where as Locke would.

Also. This is will come out vague, but it might be worth mentioning so that greater minds can run with it. The island has manifested things for certain people. Perhaps what it has brought forth for Ben is his greatest tragedy: his mother dying in childbirth. Juliette assumed that it was a conception thing, where it could be a mystical issue brought on by Ben's mothers death.

And third, I noted that it was strange that Sun would show a picture to Kate of her daughter in infancy, when the girl would be a toddler at that time.

Emily said...

One BIG thing to ponder:

What if the spiders that bit Paulo and Nikki come into play to make Locke "die" when he goes back to retrieve the O6? Did Richard tell him about the spiders and how their bites could make Locke appear dead? Is that why Ben wouldn't actually tell Jack that Locke was dead? Is that why they are watching over his body so closely (because they will need to revive him?).

I came up with this idea after I watched the episode for a second time and noticed that the scene with Hurley's dad watching "Expose" on t.v. occurred right after one of the scenes where Locke's "death" is being discussed. Subtle clue, yet right there to picked up.

I've always thought that the episode about Nikki and Paulo had to be more than just a "throwaway or viewer revenge" episode. Everything happens for a reason on this show--right?

another e

Evan said...

In "White Rabbit", Charlie says "I don't swim". In "Looking Glass" he definitely does. Continuity error or something else? Perhaps Charlie's past was altered?

Aunt J-ha said...

Love your post. Thanks for sharing all your theories, I (and so many others) love reading them!!

Anonymous said...

If I ever had a daughter, need to call her e..something, that's warranty of genius!!! :-)
What Emily said about "Exposè" episode (till now I always thought "why that nonsense, for the show, story") can really makes sense to me, even if I'm not sure if I'd like they, after last season final, when they freezed me on the couch with Locke in the coffin, figure it out now as a fake.
But the face of Ben and that show on Hugo's television moments later could be really just a case? Well, in Lost I guess no...

Btw, I suppose we'll know more from e in her next recap (I'm definitely addicted :-)

Ciao,
Ale

Ps: hope my english is understandable, sorry for mistakes!

Melanie said...

Wonderful write up!

You've got me convinced on the sawyer line. I always just figured it was Sawyer acting the ass, that it was a comment on being jumped on by a hot chick. But you've got me sold on it.

One thing i personally loved, and i can't remember if it was this episode or in The Lie, was that when Kate decided to run with Aaron she had a huge wad of cash hidden in her wardrobe. You know Jack didn't have that in his cabinets!

bongzilla said...

Erika -- What do you think of my notion that the endgame of LOST is Desmond replaying some critical event over again and doing something differently? I'm thinking it is probably finding a way of saving Charlie's life in the Looking Glass OR doing something else instead of turning the Failsafe Key. I can see the show ending with Des saving Charlie and correcting a time anomaly.

Thoughts? Great stuff, as usual!