Wednesday, December 08, 2004

S1Ep11 – All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues (Jack’s second flashback)

[This message was initially sent as an email to friends, it was loaded into this blog 2.5 years later]

Hello again -

Here are the latest things to ponder from Lost:

1) Hurley - Theory on the boards, which I also immediately thought after his "warrior" and "I took 17th in a tournament, ... no, 17th is GOOD" comments is that Hurley was either a major "gamer" (someone who professionally plays videogames in tournaments, or into D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for you non-nerds out there), or was a big-time gambler. I literally cannot wait for his flashback.

2) Was Charlie's resurrection a cheesy "Oh... he's dead... Crap! Why, God, Why did you take the Hobbit? Oh woe is me, oh wait... yay, yay, he's alive!" attempt by the writers to fake us out, or was he WILLED back to life unknowingly by Jack, thus making it a supernatural/island mystery-type of event. I think the latter. I was surprised at how many people on the boards were annoyed because they thought the writers used an overly-done soap opera trick on us. I really, really, really think this has to do with the characters' ability to control events on the island through their minds. I think it will become more evident later. But that is just my theory. I think it explains how Charlie's guitar randomly showed up in the tree when he really wanted it, how it stopped raining for Walt when he wanted to go look for the dog, maybe even why Locke can now walk and why when he encountered the monster "what he saw was beautiful." Plus, if Charlie was really brought back to life by Jack's "CPR" attempts, wouldn't his ribs be broken, wouldn't he be barely alive, I mean, he was getting BEAT.

3) Some people think Ethan was the husband of the girl Jack's dad killed. They DID look similar, but you couldn't really see that guy's face, I looked. If it was Ethan then he's 1) trying to get revenge on Jack and 2) trying to get Claire's baby because he lost his own. I don't agree with this theory, but thought I would mention it.

4) Jack heard Claire screaming in the jungle and Kate did not. A lot of people thought that whole sequence did not really happen... that the screams were in Jack's mind, and that after he fell down the hill he did NOT really get the crap kicked out of him by Ethan, but just truly THOUGHT that it happened. I am on the fence here. At first I thought it definitely really happened, but now I'm not sure.

5) Every time Walt rolled the dice, he got what he wanted. Below in the board excerpts is more on this.

6) Interesting point was made that with Locke being such a supposedly great hunter, why did he go the wrong way? Maybe it was because he was SUPPOSED to find that metal thing. Or maybe "his gut" was really leading him toward something else that he needed to discover. People think the metal thing is a "trap door" to the "control station of the others." Ummm... I don't know about that.

7) Sawyer mentioned he was on medication...

8) Lots of people think Sawyer will end up being the hero. I'm not sure about that. But he was nice to Sayid and "kept his signal fire burning"...

9) Lastly, the actor playing Locke was ON Star Trek a few times, so the reference Boone made to Star Trek was an inside nerd joke.


- Not sure what's gonna happen with Charlie. He may still just be in shock, or there might be more. It all depends on who wished for him to not die. Was it Jack's wish coming true? Or Charlie's? And what would/did each of them give up to make it come true? (By the way, this is very similar to the series Carnivale in which one of the main characters can heal things, even bring people back from the dead, but the greater the healing he has to do, the more destruction or life he has to take from something else. Charlie gave up drugs to get his guitar. What would one give up to get his life?) Another thing I noticed tonight was mentioned above and that is the Star Trek reference. It could mean bad things for the character who brings it up as the creators of the show said when they first aired the pilot that they loved the idea of doing a reversal of the Star Trek idea. A scene where an unknown goes out with a main cast member, but it's the main character who gets killed, not the unknown. Interesting ideas abound. My two last thoughts: 1) Why the massive Sawyer defense. I don't care what he does to redeem himself, he's still a dick. And for the women who like him, if Hurley acted that way, you'd not spare one word talking about his goodness. It's just that he's got the bad boy good looks. He's still a jerk, even if it IS a coating. 2) Locke, another bad boy who people love. I have posted this theory on IMDB so I'll reiterate it here. Locke is being set up as the perfect super villain. Think of it...his backstory is one of being made fun of, laughed at, mocked, and being told he can't do things. He has an accident that gives him special powers (The ability to walk). He's good friends with the Hero (Jack, whom he has a long talk with in the first Jack centered episode). He also has the most to lose from this Island that's been so good to him. What lengths will he go to to stay? Perhaps befriend each member of the Island who's too weak of a character to fend for themselves? Who has helped so far? Walt (Who's too young to have any sort of molded persona), Boone (Who's only too happy to possibly share in at least a LITTLE of Locke's glory), and Charlie (Who Locke has now guided through a personal issue so large that Charlie is in his debt). I don't see his acts as those of kindness...his interactions with Walt are not what a kind person does. You don't teach someone else's son to hunt to upstage his father. You help the father if you're truly in it to help people and not forge your own, dare I say, army. Just some thoughts. I do feel the good vs. evil beginning to come into play...very much like The Stand. And Locke VS. Jack is a FUN battle.
- I tend to tackle issues in a random order as my thought shoot from my here we go.... Charlie not remembering and his hands being free yet he was hung.... Ethan obviously has access to some drugs, he DID try and inject Claire, assumably to render her unconscious to make her abduction silent, but she woke up. Ethan is an accomplished fighter, Claire would have put up little to no struggle, so he disables Charlie, injects him, then handles Claire....he drags them to a meeting point, the others help him hang Charlie and then they take Claire away. We mention Walt and his reading a comic with a polar bear, then the group encounters one. Michael tells Walt when it stops raining they will look for the dog, it immediately stops. Walt gets the EXACT rolls he needs, and Hurley is VERY VERY surprised, he finally says he has a "meeting" to go to. Obviously no meeting but he makes funny excuses to leave situations that are uncomfortable to him, remember the census and him getting away from Locke. And I can not put my finger on it yet, but when Michael is filling water and Walt and he are talking, Walt show much maturity beyond his years when he says to "listen to the man that knows what’s going on (I just paraphrased not quoted)" and Michael stared at him in almost awe, almost like he had to fight off a spell or something that was making him try and listen to Locke's logic. Keeping with Walt and getting what he wants/imagines/wishes for.... What if a child has more power in harnessing the magic of the island? Walt is clueless he is doing this. But the "others" know that when young it is easier to harness the power with less "cost" to you. So if they could "train" a baby to do their bidding, they could have much control over the magic of the island. That would coincide with the psychic saying that it needed her guidance, but it contradicts him getting her on the plane... :( I think Kate getting to Jack wasn't too slow. It was a downpour in a jungle, and a very difficult slope to go up, I'm sure very difficult to go down. Sawyer, I like him more than Jack. Jack went from not wanting to be "the man", to being in total control, and overbearing. Sawyer’s confrontation with Sayid has been one of the best scenes so far. It showed that Sawyer believes that Sayid’s signal fire was important, that Sawyer will contribute to a group. I think the reason he was letting Walt tag-along for a bit was maybe some guilt from what he almost did and what happened to him. Sawyer will shine as a hero at one point. It was nice to see Sayid admit his guilt to Sawyer. Locke... he does have a dark side that he seems to try and hide. When Sayid came back saying they’re not alone he seemed like a secret was let out. Despite having logic, he really did not seem to want Jack there. Almost like he wasn't searching for them. At the same time he seems to be helpful, but maybe only when it benefits him. I love the character, and will whether he is good or evil. My head hurts, that's all for now.

- e

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

S1Ep10 - Raised by Another (Claire's first flashback)

[This was originally just an email to friends, loaded into this blog 2.5 years later]

Hello my dear friends,

I have failed you in providing a recap of the latest theories on the message boards after last week's episode. Which is a shame, because there are a ton of new theories out there after the freak-fest that was Claire's flashback. I just ran out of time and now am too swamped in the new job.

However, I have pasted in below a stream of messages from the message boards that are actually a quick read and give a good summary of the current vibe from hard-core viewers. People are starting to become wary of the show after this latest turn of events...

High-level summary of issues:

1) Who is Ethan? Is he "Alex," one of "the others," or just some random freak? People were quick to point out that Hurley did not say Ethan wasn't on the list, he just said "he" wasn't on the manifest... Could Ethan actually be trying to SAVE the baby?

2) Is Claire having the Anti-Christ baby or what is up with this kid?
Many people think that if they did that they would totally alienate tons of viewers and people are all riled up about it. I will say that upon watching the episode again I did notice how Thomas specifically mentioned that Claire was on the Pill but still became pregnant (he was insinuating she went off of the Pill... but I'm thinking "divine intervention/demon child"?). While I do know of people that have gotten pregnant while on the Pill, it still seems odd that they specifically mentioned it, like it will come into play later.

3) Why was Locke in the dream? People said that the table and lamp he had in the dream was the same as the psychic's. Also, Locke was with Ethan gathering luggage in the previous episode, so Locke may know what Ethan's real deal is. Also, Locke had the black and white eyes, an ongoing theme in the show (good/evil).

4) People jumped all over the name of "Ethan Rom" - saying it was an anagram for More Than or Other Man. Also jumped on ROM (Romans) verse
8:15 in the bible (number of flight = 815), but that connection seems weak.

Posts from the boards:

- Or maybe Hurley doesn't want people to start asking the right questions. If you think about it, he's always popping up in important scenes and steering Jack to certain decisions. He takes on a lot of responsibility (going through bags, forming a list), all the while keeping the others in the dark (he revealed his real name to make the point that we don't know anything about anyone, including him). He's up to something...dude.
- Ethan is Alex!!!
- Walkabout was one of the best hours of television I've ever seen. It was so memorable that I compare every episode to that one, and as good as it was this week it didn't come close. Still great, but still...(e: “Walkabout” was Locke’s flashback episode)
- First, if Ethan wasn't on the plane, how did he get there? Assuming he was on the plane, how does he know about the pregnant chick? Assuming he knows (and follows) the pregnant chick, why doesn't fortune teller dude figure it out when he tells her to get on the plane? Why is it such a hurry, and why didn't he see Ethan on the Island. Why doesn't he explain the blur better? Why do the pens run out of ink? Was it divine intervention? If the girl was on the pill, how did she become pregnant? Was this an immaculate conception? Does this plot line remind anyone of the plot of Ghostbusters II? Did anyone else catch Ethan around pregnant chick when she woke up the first time? Is Ethan a manifestation of the "shore leave" aspect of this island? What was the point of Locke in her first dream? He seemed to suggest that she made some bad choice or something... something about blood on her hands. What the fuck happened to Sayid, and why did he come back so quickly? Why is Kate always standing on the beach looking out? Shouldn't people have longer beards? Shouldn't they smelling? Also, with construction dude and Jack at the helm, how come they haven't devised a sewage system? They have plans for an aqueduct, but where do they take a shit?
- As is made very clear in the last five minutes, Hurley collected everybody's personal info...and then compared it to the copy of the plane's manifest they have. he already has a list of everybody on the plane, so by figuring out how many dead bodies there were and subtracting that from the manifest he'd know how many people should be left alive. That's how he found out there was one more of them than there were people on the plane, and how he found out Ethan was the Other Man on the island. I mean, when some dude gives you a name that isn't even *on* the manifest, and there's one more dude than there should be, then...dude.
- Where the hell is that cable going? The one Sayid found? It's been providing power to the French chick for 16 years. Where is the power in the cable coming from?
- Yeah, the Anti-Christ scenario crossed my mind, too.......but, I don't think a Network TV show is gonna go there. And, yes folks, they're gonna drag this show out - they need a few seasons to syndicate - otherwise, this is a poor investment. I can only hope that all of the "red herrings" tie together in the end. And how the hell did anybody get Jack as being gay??
- I agree with the guy who said the cable is the biggest mystery (e: referring to the cable that Sayid originally found in the sand that he followed to the French chic) - although the cable might not be the power source. Notice it seemed quite damaged and exposed to seawater, yet wasn't sparking or anything. Also, that is one *fat* cable - if it was transported on the science vessel, it was a big investment that could easily have been supplanted by a portable generator (which would have run out of gas anyway in 16 years.) Perhaps it connected to a satellite uplink on the boat? Anyway, my guess is that whatever is powering the transmission has to be a mechanical generator, perhaps a water-mill. It was a boat full of scientists, after all. Also, I have to agree that Locke is one of the best written characters in the last couple of decades of television - so long as they don't screw him up. The whole "ancient man knew you need both light and dark pieces for an interesting game" spirit-guide take is superb. Also, he's a convincing badass. You've got to love the strong thinkers.
- Has anyone mentioned how the psychic knew Claire would survive plane crash? Stick with me... He read her palms and wouldn't tell her what he saw. When she returned, he never told what he saw the first time. Just that it was a blur. The second reading he tells her that only she can raise baby. Over the period of a few months, he calls with a plan. Then gets her on the plane. Isn’t it obvious to assume that he knew it was crashing because of a reading of someone else? Whether or not he saw this person surviving is irrelevant, did he see Claire in the vision? If he did, he wouldn’t have to intervene because that means she would be on the plane regardless. If he didn’t, that just means he wanted her to get on a plane that was sure to crash. I'm thinking that he couldn’t trust that she would truly raise the baby on her own and that whatever he saw the baby becoming or doing w/o her was so horrible, he figured it would be better if they both died. And what does Ethan want with her? (e: I think this guy makes a great point about how maybe the psychic read someone ELSE’s palms and saw that flight would crash, so that’s how he knew to put Claire on it. That would start the whole “six degrees of separation” thing.)
- THE BLACK ROCK. Wake up, people! The cable is just one of those cables that run along the floor of the world's oceans. It is obviously still a "live wire" because the French woman had power. The cable is a mystery because we don't know who put the cable their or for what purpose, but still the biggest mystery is the BLACK ROCK. What is the Black Rock? Is it causing the whispers in the jungle and Jack's hallucinations? Is the Black Rock the monster? Is the Black Rock alien or is it from earth? We know the Black Rock changed the rest of the expedition and the reason why Frenchy killed them. Did the Black Rock make Locke's legs work? I have no idea... but that's the biggest mystery... not the cable, or arguing about why Hugo wanted a list of the survivors! (e: The Black Rock was mentioned by the French lady when she talked to Sayid. Other people on the boards who know French said that “The Black Rock” was actually mentioned in the transmission but that Shannon interpreted the message incorrectly)
- I think it boils down to whether you are like Locke or Claire, believing in the supernatural, mystical, spiritual, or like Sayid or Jack, believing in rationality, science, logic. I am going to have to side with the logical/science camp here. I know many want to believe that Locke was really paralyzed before coming to the island and that it healed him, but I don't believe that either. There was too much suggesting in his flashbacks that the guy wasn't right in the head -- his "relationship" with the phone sex lady, his supervisor saying he found nothing about Locke's supposed military career, Locke's obsession with seeking his "destiny". The guy is not exactly sane, let's face it. So does a completely scientific explanation take away from this show? I don't think so. I think the show is about the personal and character drama. What's important is that some of these characters THINK that there is something more, something "meaningful", something "magical" going on in this environment: Locke, Claire and probably Ethan all feel this way about it. The island is a metaphorical Eden: It is providing apparently everything for these people -- food, water, shelter -- and here they can wrestle with their demons...this is their personal salvation, their second chance so to speak. But I think Prof. Pop Cult's theory may be dead-on: The Island is a secret military project, not on the charts, and is in a no-go zone. All the "monsters" are nothing more than zoo animals that have become affected by whatever is going on with this island. (This year, a giant silverback gorilla at the Dallas zoo went, uh, apeshit, climbed a 16-foot wall, and attacked people. So the idea that the pilot was mauled, but not eaten by a deranged gorilla -- gorillas not being meat eaters -- sounds possible.) The Frenchwoman is obviously deranged. And Ethan looks that way, too. The Frenchwoman spoke of "others" out in the jungle: Could she have been talking about shadowy military soldiers/scientists wearing hazmat uniforms that protect them from exposure to whatever is going on with this island? If the producers do plan on making the first five seasons span 9 months in real time for the characters, then it stands to reason we won't see the characters going completely nuts until much later into the series' run.
- Wasn't Ethan introduced in the episode before this one? I thought he randomly was shown with Locke, who said something like "This is Ethan. He knows how to hunt." Or was this at the beginning of this episode? I'm not remembering for sure. But if it was the ep. before, then "Lost" is doing just what the creators said it would do--focus on a small group and have others come forward for subplots as needed. At any rate, this show is awesome. (e: This guy is right, I cannot BELIEVE that NO ONE in any of the boards I’ve read until now 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. Locke and Ethan then returned with a bunch of luggage that they dropped in front of Hurley, when he found the golf clubs)

- e