Hello my dear friends -
First things first: Is that me in front of the Jughead tower?
Maybe it is... and maybe it IS!
As you can see, the Others clearly followed Faraday's advice and buried the bomb (hello, mysterious concrete area under the Swan hatch) because it's no longer precariously suspended from the structure... phew.
There once was a point in time, however, when the Island was very much in danger of nuclear annihilation. So let's kick things off with a trip back to 1954...
(And in case you missed the posts about my Lost tour of Oahu this past October, they are spoiler-free MUST-READS and can be found here.)
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
I was wrong; the angry British-sounding dudes were in fact Others. Others dressed in U.S. military garb... but Others nonetheless.
Juliet figures out what their deal is after "Jones" and "Cunningham" start whispering in Latin. Apparently, all Others must learn the dead language in order to be able to communicate when the going gets tough (even though Patchy and Ms. Klugh yelled to each other in Russian during their standoff with the Lostaways in "Enter 77"... but I digress). While it was obviously surprising to find out that these guys were Others/Hostiles, I felt the even bigger shocker was that Juliet knows a lot more about her old group than we might have previously assumed. Namely, she told Locke and Sawyer that "Richard's always been here" and that he's "old."
While we're sure that Juliet used to reside in Miami, we still can't tell if these, um, other Others also once lived elsewhere, or if they were born on the Island. (Since many have British accents, I can only assume Richard brought at least some of them from the outside world.)
That's going to be a pretty important thing to figure out, because...
SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME
Once Locke hears that Richard should be at the camp site, he charges down there like the badass he is and demands to speak with him. It's at this point we find out that "Jones" is not Jones, but rather Angry Young Charles Widmore. (While I was wrong about Jones and crew being soldiers, you must give me points for mentioning that their accents reminded me of Widmore's in my last post!)
For me, the highlight of the episode was Locke's huge "You've got to be kidding" grin when he learned Jones' true identity. Now it makes even more sense why Locke didn't shoot Jones when he escaped in the jungle -- he literally couldn't. The gods of time travel wouldn't let him.
Which is too bad, because Widmore was quite the little punk, wasn't he? At the very least he deserved a little nick in the bum, don't you think? From the looks of his tense interaction with Richard, it seems as though he didn't like being ordered around. My guess is that Widmore eventually got too big for his britches and was banished from the Island. Maybe he even tried to overthrow Richard or whomever Richard reports to.
On that note, who DOES Richard report to? Obviously the name "Jacob" meant something to him, because that was all he needed to hear in order to agree to a conversation with Locke. But Ben had told Locke that nobody -- including Richard -- had ever seen or spoken to Jacob except for him (until Locke also did). Granted, Ben could have been lying, but that doesn't make me any less confused about the mysterious Jacob. He was evidently a presence on the Island twenty years before Ben arrived, or Richard wouldn't have treated Locke so civilly.
I WANT TO BE
Just as Future Richard had forewarned, 1954 Richard didn't recognize Locke. I think we can say that this camp encounter is the first time Richard has ever met our bald hero. He's nowhere near ready to accept that Locke is his new leader (much less tell him how to leave the Island), and he informs Locke that the process of finding a Head Other takes a long time. In response, Locke -- right before the next flash occurs -- urges Richard to go visit him when he's born. We know from "Cabin Fever" that Richard did just that, and continued to find Locke at other points throughout his life.
I would have never guessed that Richard had been tracking Locke throughout the decades because Future Locke told him to, so I really got a kick out of that revelation. In addition, I think this scene may have proven two additional things:
1) No one had time traveled on the Island before the '50s
1954 Richard was like, "Oh, reeeally?" and came very close to making the "cuckoo" gesture when Locke tried to tell him about the instructions from Future Richard (I loved the "I certainly don't want to contradict... myself" line). Since Juliet said that Richard has "always" been there, you would think that he would not be fazed by Locke's comments if he'd ever encountered time travelers before (or had experienced time travel himself). But both Richard and Ellie (in a later scene with Daniel) don't appear to be buying into the "we're from the future" explanation. This leads me to believe that 1954 is the first year in which the Others become aware of this specific power of the Island (notice that I said "become aware of," not "use").
Now I have even more questions about the Frozen Donkey Wheel. If Richard has always been on the Island and the FDW moves the Island through space-time, shouldn't he have been well-versed in time travel by 1954?
Maybe... but maybe not. You may recall that the chamber in which the wheel is housed had hieroglyphics all over the place (like the ones on Ben's secret door). Perhaps the FDW was built before Richard was born? I mean, the guy had to have been born at some point, right? If this were the case, then Richard might not have been aware of the FDW's existence -- or what it did when turned -- if it had never been used during his time on the Island to date.
There's another explanation for why Richard isn't quick to believe Locke's time-traveling tale. Let's say Richard really has always been on the Island since the dawn of time and does know about the FDW. But since the turning of the wheel has no effect his people (as proven in this episode and "Because You Left"), he has no reason to ever suspect it would cause anyone else to start skipping through time. To Richard, the FDW is solely a means of protecting the Island from invaders. Whenever it had been turned in the past, the only people on the island were Others or natives (because they'd probably killed everyone else), so there had been no weird side effects, so to speak.
2) Richard really is ageless.
Previously, many wondered if time travel was behind Richard's unchanging appearance. While I think this is still a remote possibility, it seems less likely now that we've witnessed his talk with Locke and heard what Juliet had to say about him. We've seen Richard in at least four decades now -- decades that he definitely appeared to be living in and not just popping through -- and he's always looked the same. We actually have no reason to believe that any of the Others have ever time traveled, especially since they are staying put when the Lostaways and Freighties are skipping around and since they used to be able to come and go from the Island in the submarine. Therefore, I'm still calling him Ageless Richard until somebody gives me an extremely compelling reason not to.
WHAT'S YOUR NAME
WHAT'S YOUR NAME
Elsewhere on the Island, Charlotte, Miles and Faraday had been captured by a different group of Others. As they're being marched to the camp site, we see that Daniel fully understands Miles' ability to communicate with the dead -- something we may have suspected but didn't have proof of before.
We're also introduced to Ellie.
This is where I need to take a moment to throw a tantrum.
See, something was revealed in the "enhanced" airing of "The Lie" that gave us a major clue about Ellie. I can't really treat it as a spoiler, but since it wasn't included in a new episode I know most Lost fans didn't catch it. I think it's just awful that The Powers That Be handled doling out this information in such a way. The bad thing is, there's no telling when -- if ever -- this same clue will be given in an upcoming episode. So I've decided to talk about it, and if you don't want to know what it was, then skip ahead TWO sections to "It Ain't Me."
For those of you still reading, what we learned in the enhanced version of "The Lie" is that Ms. Hawking's first name is Eloise. By the way, we have never heard her last name spoken on the show, either -- we've just figured it out from transcripts. Grrrrr. Anyway, it would be really stupid at this point if the Ellie we met on the Island in 1954 doesn't grow up to be Eloise Hawking. There's nothing overtly spectacular about that idea except that it was most likely Daniel's talk of being "from the future" that led her to become interested in time travel at some point after 1954.
What's infinitely more intriguing, however, is the theory (which I briefly mentioned last week) that Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mother. Now that we've been introduced to Ellie, I'm leaning toward believing this one. Here's how I think it could all work...
HERE I GO AGAIN
Ellie -- who always had a soft spot for that strange dude with the skinny tie she captured in the jungle when she was a young woman -- gets pregnant several years later and decides to name her son after him. As in, she names her son after... her son (hello, Back to the Future). Some think that Widmore may have been the father, making Penny and Daniel siblings (or at least half-siblings). Ellie and Charles had a falling out (there could've been several reasons behind their split -- let's not pretend that Widmore's a nice guy), and they either left the Island together or separately. I think that while Charlies may have been banished, Ellie was probably dispatched to the outside world in order to become one of the off-Island Others that Richard -- and eventually Ben -- call upon for help. If she disapproved of how Widmore acted on the Island or perhaps knew of his plans to try and run the show, it would explain why she's now working with Ben.
But back to Baby Faraday...
For reasons unknown, Daniel is given up for adoption almost immediately after he's born. This would explain his different last name and lack of an accent. However, if Widmore was really his father, why would he choose to raise Penny and not Daniel? I don't have the energy to speculate about that right now, but suffice it to say that Widmore was aware of Daniel's research, regardless of whether or not he was his father. We learned in this episode that Widmore had been financially backing Daniel's experiments at Oxford and continued to care for his ill-fated test subject, Theresa. Widmore was also likely behind the selection of Faraday for the freighter's science team.
Although Daniel may not have had any contact with his father or even know who he was, at some point later in his life he was either reunited or had contact with his mother. The nerdy scientist genes were in his blood and once Ms. Hawking learned of Daniel's research, she realized that it was in fact her own son who had visited her on the Island all those years ago. She became even more determined to keep the Island safe, and intercepted Desmond at the antique store in order to try to convince him to fulfill his button-pushing destiny.
Daniel goes on to name the mouse that he uses for time-travel experiments after his long-lost mother (it's the thought that counts). The last time he'd seen or heard from her, she was in Oxford (once again -- all of this is just a theory, we actually have no proof that Hawking's ever been at Oxford), so that's where he instructs Desmond to go once the time-skipping starts on the Island. When Daniel meets the young version of his mother in 1954, he doesn't appear to recognize her, but does say that she looks like someone he "used to know." Daniel may have no clue that his mother's ever been on the Island herself... the only thing he's definitely sure of in the future is that she rocks a mean hooded cloak, has mad science skillz and knows a thing or two about the space-time continuum.
Back in the outside world in 2007, Widmore knows where Eloise Hawking can be found when Desmond comes to visit him. This could be because she's his ex-girlfriend/wife/baby mama or simply because Others have the tendency to keep track of one another. If we are to assume that Daniel's mother is indeed Hawking, then we know that Widmore's pointed Desmond in the right direction; the mysterious lady is now in Los Angeles... assisting Widmore's nemesis, Ben.
It kind of all makes sense, doesn't it? It does if you don't think about it too much! But if you have more questions, read on... I'm not totally done with the Widmore stuff.
But I am done with the on-Island events. Time for the outside world. I don't know about the rest of you, but I welcomed the return of the familiar one-character-focused format for the off-Island scenes. And since that character was Desmond, all the better.
IT AIN'T ME
IT AIN'T ME
I AIN'T NO FORTUNATE SON
About a year after he left the Island, Des became the proud poppa of one Charlie Hume. No, I don't think there is any way that this Charlie will somehow grow up to be either Charlie Pace or Charles Widmore, so banish those confusing thoughts from your head right now and never (do you hear me? never!) try to convince me that either scenario could transpire. I'll have none of it.
What I do think will happen, however, is that Penny's dad will eventually come to meet his grandson and this scene will go down:
WIDMORE: Why, you named him after me! I'm honored.
DESMOND: Are you CRAZY, brotha? He's named after a GOOD man, not after you, you evil bastard. He's named after a man who sacrificed himself so that his friends could live! Now can I get a round of 'You All Everybody' out of respect?
Is anyone else out there more than a tad worried for Lil' Charlie? I thought Penny was acting very weird in this episode -- like she understands a lot of what's going on but is hiding that knowledge from her husband. Then of course we had Desmond's totally obvious, foreshadowing response to her plea that he never return to the Island: "Why in God's name would I ever go back there?" (In TV Show Land, that means he's definitely going back.) By the end of the episode she's telling Desmond "we'll go with you" to L.A. in order to find Daniel's mother... but I got the sneaking suspicion that she and Lil' Charlie will also end up going back to the Island with Des. Which would drastically increase the odds of Des and Penny being the Adam and Eve skeletons, don't you think?
Finally, I feel like now is the time to mention a theory my brother's had for a long time. It's one I've never wanted to seriously consider, but this episode made me feel like things may be headed in this direction: Sun and Not Really Dead Jin will be the "happy reunion" of the series, but Desmond and Penny's relationship will end in tragedy. Think about it -- we already got our happy reunion of Des and Penny (two of them, in a way, if you count the tearjerking phone call in "The Constant"). How can it not be all downhill for them now? I seriously hope they live happily ever after, but I'm growing more concerned that Desmond's going to have to sacrifice himself to make things right in the universe. And let's not forget about Ben's threat to kill Penny in revenge for Widmore's men killing Alex. I weep for Lil' Charlie's future!
Presently, however, Penny and Lil' Charlie are safe on their boat while Desmond sets foot on that other island... Great Britain.
TURN OFF YOUR MIND
RELAX, AND FLOAT DOWNSTREAM
IT IS NOT DYING
IT IS NOT DYING
The year is 2007, and Des is hell-bent on finding Daniel's mother at Oxford. But the school has no record of a Daniel Faraday ever having worked at the esteemed university. Desmond doesn't give up, though, and instead busts into Faraday's old lab. Some beret-wearing dude who's keeping the lab under lockdown shoos Desmond away, but not before mentioning that others have come looking for the quirky scientist. He also gives Desmond the name of "that poor girl" Daniel had worked with.
Looking oh-so-smooth in his aviator shades, scarf and feathered hair, Desmond next pays a visit to Theresa Spencer. From what her sister says, it's pretty obvious that Theresa's consciousness has been doing some time traveling -- the same kind that Desmond experienced in "The Constant." It's unclear from the picture Desmond found whether or not Daniel and Theresa were simply colleagues or also romantically involved. (What was clear from that picture is that Daniel was once the Mullet King.)
Regardless, we can assume that she'd been working with Daniel on his experiments, something went awry, and now she's permanently jumping through time in her mind. Which can only mean that she's never found a constant... but shouldn't that also give her a brain aneurysm and kill her? How exactly is she able to be kept alive? And did Daniel abandon Theresa and leave for the U.S. because he thought he'd be able to find a cure for her condition there? Or did he simply flee out of guilt... remember that the only time we saw him in the U.S., he was looking pretty depressed and scruffy.
The most important information we got out of Desmond's time with Theresa and her sister was that Charles Widmore had been financially backing Faraday's research at Oxford and continued to pay for Theresa's care. Des came very close to having a Sawyer-like "Son of a..." moment when he heard Penny's dad's name once again. And then off to Daddy Widmore's office he stormed.
Before we turn away from Theresa, though, I feel like I should mention two other theories about her, even though I don't subscribe to either:
- Theresa used to be Boone's nanny, of "Theresa falls up the stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs" fame.
All we know about this nanny (besides her name) is that her accident happened in 1988 (when Boone was six) and she broke her neck... we don't know if she died. The two Theresas could be one in the same if she was fairly young in her nannying days: an 18-year-old in 1988 would be 37 in 2007, when Desmond's visit takes place. But even if they were the same person -- what does that mean? It might be another one of Lost's infamous character crossovers, but I don't think it holds much significance.
- Theresa is the same woman in the painting we've seen in two of Ben's homes in the Barracks.
Yes, both women are blond, but the timing doesn't work out -- Daniel's Theresa wouldn't have been born when Roger and Ben first came to the Island, and there's no reason to think that she ever physically time traveled in order to meet those two. I'm still going with the theory that the woman in the painting is Ben's mother.
Back to Desmond's quest...
AND I, GET SICK WHEN I'M AROUND
I, CAN'T STAND TO BE AROUND
I, HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU
I know I wasn't the only one who lost it when Desmond came face to face with Widmore. I was definitely expecting that two goons would pop out, put a bag over Desmond's head and carry him off to some dark chamber where he would be forced to spill everything he knew about the Island. But the exact opposite happened: Widmore gave him the address of Daniel's mother and pretty much didn't do or say anything else, except ask if Penny was OK and warn Desmond to stay out of the whole mess.
So what in the Holy Polar Bear Painting is going on?
Before I get into my theories on this one, I think it's worth reviewing the highlights of past Desmond, Penny and Widmore encounters:
- Penny meets Desmond at a monastery (right after he'd turned in his robes) -- she was there picking up wine for her father's company. (Let's not forget that at this same monastery, there was a picture of Ms. Hawking with Desmond's mentor, Brother Campbell).
- Desmond eventually informs Charles Widmore that he intends to propose to Penny. Widmore doesn't approve and tells Desmond that he's worthless.
- Desmond still buys an engagement ring, meeting Ms. Hawking in the process. She, like Widmore, tries to talk him out of proposing.
- Des and Penny break up. But while Desmond's consciousness is time traveling, he visits Widmore again (during an auction of the diary from the Black Rock's first mate) and asks for Penny's new address. Widmore gives it to him, but Penny and Des do not get back together.
- Desmond ends up in military prison and Desmond writes Penny letters during this time. Widmore intercepts all of them, and meets Desmond after he's released. Widmore attempts to bribe Desmond to stay away from Penny now that he's a free man.
- Desmond decides to "regain his honor" by entering the round-the-world sailing competition sponsored by Widmore Corporation. Penny knows that he's entering the race.
- Libby has a chance encounter (or was it?) with Desmond in a coffee shop and randomly offers him her recently deceased husband's boat.
- During the race, Desmond crashes on the Island.
- When Naomi lands on the Island, she's carrying a picture of Des and Penny. The freighter Naomi was on was sent by Widmore (even though Naomi herself was recruited by Abaddon, whose overall role we have yet to figure out).
When Desmond strides into Widmore's office in "Jughead," seven years had passed since the last time the two had seen each other (in Widmore's car after Desmond was released from prison).
Some people have always assumed that Libby was working for Widmore, who somehow "sent" Desmond to the Island via the sailboat in order to permanently keep him away from Penny. But now that we know so much more about Widmore and his decades-long search for the place he used to call home, I don't think that theory is viable. If Widmore knew how to get back to the Island in 2001, he would've either gone himself or sent the freighter team at that point, right? It seems more likely that, in keeping with an overarching theme in the show, it was simply Desmond's destiny to land on the Island.
YEAH, WE'RE PLAYING THOSE MIND GAMES TOGETHER
PROJECTING OUR IMAGES
IN SPACE AND IN TIME
As you may remember from my last post, I'm becoming increasingly convinced that Desmond's "free will" actions -- specifically his role in delaying Charlie's death -- are to blame for setting off the disastrous sequence of events that have transpired on the Island since December 2004. Both Hawking and Widmore have come to realize that Desmond is the key to making things go one way or the other, and so they've each tried to influence what he does.
When Ms. Hawking first met Desmond, she told him that he absolutely must abandon his relationship with Penny because his purpose in life was to go to the Island, push the button in the Swan hatch and save the world from destruction. She tried to convince him that he pretty much had no choice, because the universe would always course-correct.
Widmore, on the other hand, is using a much more subtle approach. In 1996, Desmond got Penny's new address from Widmore.
Without it, he would've never been able to learn her phone number and tell her to expect a call from him on Christmas Eve, 2004. And as we all know, if Des didn't talk to Penny that day, he was a goner.
Now Widmore's given Desmond even more help by providing him with Faraday's mother's address. I'm sure many people thought, "Wait a second, if he knows where this woman is -- especially if it ends up being Hawking who's working with his arch-rival, Ben -- why doesn't he bust over there himself and try to thwart their plans to bring the Oceanic Six back to the Island?" I think the reason why Widmore isn't taking any action on this one is because: 1) he's in (or thinks he's in) cahoots with Sun to kill Ben already, and 2) he knows that whatever Desmond will do will actually work to his advantage.
Widmore landed himself the #1 Most Mysterious Character title (and that's saying something) for me this episode. How did he come to be on the Island in his Other days? How, why and when did he leave? Was he ever there at the same time as Ben? Why exactly does he hate Ben so much? How did he go on to become such a powerful businessman? Who else is helping him in his quest to return to the Island?
Needless to say, I think we'll be learning much more about Daddy Widmore over the rest of the series. Who would've thought when he made his first brief appearance back at the end of Season Two that he would be at the center of so many mysteries on the show 2.5 years later? Not me!
BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE
LOCKE: Who are these people?
SAWYER: Well, gee, I didn't have time to ask that, with Frogurt on fire and all.
(After the group is captured and thrown into the Others' tent)
MILES: We are so dead.
FARADAY: Hey. No, no, no. We are not so dead. We're gonna be fine. We just need to keep it together until there's another flash. All right? Then all this disappears.
CHARLOTTE: And when's that gonna happen?
FARADAY: Could be five minutes. Could also be 5,000 years.
MILES: That's--that's just awesome.
SAWYER: So who taught you Latin?
JULIET: Others 101. Gotta learn Latin--language of the enlightened.
SAWYER: Enlightened, my ass.
CUNNINGHAM: The rest of your people are either captured or dead.
SAWYER: What? What makes you say that?
JONES: That idiot shouted out, "Meet at the creek." We knew exactly where they were going. We sent a group after them.
SAWYER: Well, maybe I should've said it in my secret language.
RICHARD: H--how did you escape?
JONES/WIDMORE: I ran.
RICHARD: And it never occurred to you that they might follow you?
JONES/WIDMORE: Follow me? Their leader is some sodding old man. What, you think he can track me? You think he knows this island better than I do?
SAWYER: I hate to bust up the "I'm an Other, you're an Other" reunion, but Faraday--the guy that's actually gonna save us--is being death-marched into the jungle right now.
LOCKE: Good luck with that.
SAWYER (to Juliet, after Locke leaves): What about you? You wanna stay here in Crazytown or help me rescue the geek?
(Richard approaches from one of the tents.)
LOCKE: (Sighs) My name is John Locke.
RICHARD: Is that supposed to mean something to me?
LOCKE: Jacob sent me.
(The two stare at each other for several moments.)
RICHARD (to jones):Put the gun down.
JONES: What? Richard, you can't seriously trust him.
(Richard walks over to Jones and slaps the rifle down.)
RICHARD: I said... put the gun down, Widmore.
LOCKE (to Jones): Your name is Widmore? Charles Widmore?
WIDMORE: What's it to you?
LOCKE (smiling): Nothing. Nice to meet you.
I'll wrap up this post with a comparison of how the Jughead area looked on the show...
...and what it looked like when I visited Oahu this past October (my picture was taken from the opposite direction -- notice the two small white trees).
At least the Others clean up after themselves.
Until next time,