Saturday, February 09, 2008

S4Ep2 - (My Brain Cells Are) Confirmed Dead

(To reader "East" - I hope I caught you in time... Be safe.)

Hello my dear friends -

You know, it's a bittersweet thing, writing these posts. When an episode of Lost is action-packed and contains a ton of new information to obsess over, as a fan of the show I am very happy. But as a Lost blog-writer, I am scared to death. There was much to digest in "Confirmed Dead," so if I ever want to get this write-up done, I need follow Jack's instructions: let the fear take over for 5 seconds and 5 seconds only, and then move forward.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5....

Wow, that worked.

And now... IT'S GO TIME!

I'm going to analyze the four freighter people first, and then the on-Island events.


This episode kicked off with a video of the ocean floor. If, at that point, you did not immediately realize that we were shortly about to see an Oceanic plane that would appear to be Flight 815, then there is no other way to tell you this: you are dumb. (Less obvious was a split-second shot of a small metal box near the wreckage... I'm sure that will come into play in the future.)

Next, we see a news report about the supposedly recovered plane, and learn that everyone on board has been confirmed dead. The camera pans back, and we see Daniel Faraday, the first of the four "rescuers" that arrived on the Island at the end of the last episode. He is shaken and crying at the footage of Flight 815, and admits to his wife (?) that he doesn't know why.

So what is going on here? I will first say that of the four new arrivals on the Island, I like Daniel the best. Truth be told, he reminds me of a friend I had in high school crossed with Quentin Tarantino... but you don't care about that, do you? I also like him because:
1) He is definitely a nerd--the first official nerd of the Island! No, Benry cannot be considered a nerd, because he is too evil. True nerds are innocent and would never do anyone harm. That is my initial impression of Daniel. He is in way over his head versus the rest of his own team, not to mention the Lostaways. I love how he paid no attention to Kate and Juliet--hot, sweaty chicks in skimpy tops... he was too busy analyzing the light patterns on the Island or worrying that Miles was going to beat him up.
2) He rocked the skinny tie. One MUST give props to that! Bring back the '80s, Daniel, bring 'em back!!!
3) I no longer think of Dead Charlie when I see him... Daniel's voice is too different and his quirkiness has already established him as his own, unique personality among the rest of the crew on the Island.
4) Naomi refers to him as a "head case," and I have a weakness for head cases.

Did you notice how we didn't actually see the woman who was in his flashback? She either doesn't matter, or, knowing this show, she is a character we've met before. I noted a wedding ring when she tried to console Daniel in his chair at the end, so that is why I assumed it was his wife. On the Island, however, he is not wearing a ring (which doesn't necessarily mean he's not married, but...). Since he IS a nerd, he could be living with his mom, or maybe his sister. The woman we heard and saw from the waist down had a young air about her, it didn't seem like it would be his mother. I didn't recognize the voice, either. Any other ideas?

And what was up with him not knowing why he was crying? My initial thought was that he has some sort of repressed memory about the Island. So he didn't understand why he was so upset because his subconscious mind was at work. However, thanks to my brother, who dared to brave the message boards in my place in order to pre-screen information for me so that I remain unspoiled, I know of a few other theories about why Daniel was crying:

- He was supposed to be on Flight 815, so he has "survivor's guilt."
- He was somehow involved in the cover-up of the crash... meaning that he helped get a fake plane and other dead bodies down in the ocean to make it look like Flight 815.
- He is involved in some other way--with either Dharma, or Widmore, or some other organization, and feels guilty about it.

I'm sticking with my original theory. I think he looked like he really didn't know why he was crying. And we've learned already from his short time on the Island that he is basically incapable of lying. I refuse to believe he is "bad" just yet. And unlike some of the other new arrivals, I don't think Daniel has been to the Island before. He seemed too amazed by everything.

Finally, let's not forget that names mean a lot on Lost. A scientist with the last name of Faraday was, according to Wikipedia: "A famous British chemist and physicist of the 19th century. He studied electromagnetism (one of the supposed properties of the Island) and observed the effect magnetic fields can have on rays of light" (something Daniel appears to comment on later in the episode).


On to Miles. Before I write anything else, I need to take a moment to go call Black & Decker and ask them why the hell my DustBuster doesn't enable me to talk to ghosts. Maybe only the high-tech Dyson brand models do that? Either way, I'm disappointed. Because, as I am sure you are not surprised... along with aliens, I also believe in ghosts.

When Miles first entered that lady's home and the camera zoomed in on the picture of her grandson, I was thinking that the kid would be someone we knew. Even though the directors seemed to want to be sure we noticed several more pictures of him at the end of the scene, I can't say I think this kid will come into play in the future on the show. Some people think he is related to Mr. Eko. Mr. Eko: The Next Generation! That would rock, but unfortunately, I think all we were supposed to learn from this scene is that Miles is some sort of Ghostbuster. Which would've been a lot cooler if he had the official uniform and theme song and everything. But I would be remiss if I didn't point out that many people noticed the different picture frames that were used in two shots of the same picture. A clue or a production mistake? You be the judge.

But seriously, what did his DustBuster thingy even do? Some people thought he only used it to drown out noise so that the grandmother wouldn't figure out that Miles was trying to find money. The fancy machine made it look like he was doing something impressive. This could be the case... if you noticed at the end of the little séance, Miles had already turned the machine off when he said "You can go now." Does that mean he never needed the machine in the first place in order to talk to the kid's ghost? He certainly didn't have it with him when he visited Wax Figure Naomi in the jungle...

Whether or not the DustBuster actually did anything, it's clear that Miles has some sort of gift, or power, if you will, that lets him talk to the deceased. But he is not an upstanding guy... he came there knowing the kid was into drugs so that he could get all of the drug money. Sure, maybe he didn't want to upset Grandma by revealing that her precious grandson was a dealer, but the whole thing was still shady.

One other theory on Miles' ability to talk to the dead is that he is somehow manipulating either light rays or time (or both) in order to do so. When Miles went into the grandson's room, he seemed to check the light for a second. The camera panned around the room, but two shots were primarily filled with light-filled windows. Then, as Miles went into his trance, streaks of light were quite bright in the room (one was over his head and hit the camera at an angle that created a bright ray). Was that machine something that messes with light? Or slows down time, affecting the speed of light? Or can Miles do that on his own without the machine? Or does his ability have nothing to do with light or the passage of time?

Considering some of the other tongue-in-cheek lines of dialogue we had in this episode, I really wish that when Miles was "listening" to Dead Naomi and Kate was grumbling about what he was doing, the scene had ended with Miles looking up and whispering, "I hear dead people."

But alas, that moment has passed, and we moved on to Miles feeling a fool after Sayid and Juliet ambush him and Daniel in the jungle. He continued to be all hotheaded and sarcastic after that, though. And then referring to Dead Naomi as "meat" later on? That was just plain gross. So far, I do not like Miles. Although when I watched the episode for the third time, I noticed that he gave Charlotte his bulletproof vest because she couldn't find hers when the helicopter started acting up. Chivalry is not dead, ladies.

On a semi-related note, if you want to see one of the most unintentionally funny videos of all time, check out the ABC Videocast with one of the show's wardrobe designers. Miles' clothes were supposedly inspired by Keith Richards. Umm... Captain Jack Sparrow being inspired by Keith Richards? Yes. I buy that. Miles Straume? No. That is silly.

Wikipedia's take on his name: "The name 'Miles Straume' is a play on the word "maelstrom," which means a powerful whirlpool or a swirling mass of water." Wow, Wikipedia. You are really stretching on that one. But then again, maybe not. Not if you believe the "Vile Vortices" theory, that is (which I do, and I explain it later in this post). Considering that a maelstrom is a vortex, perhaps Miles' name is indeed a huge clue for us. (By the way, I've seen his last name spelled 'Strom,' too, but I'm sticking with the Wikipedia/Lostpedia version for now.)

Finally, shout-out to my military peeps and otherwise in-the-know readers who called that Naomi's "tell my sister I love her" phrase was a code for "These mofos just killed me."


When we first meet Charlotte Staples Lewis (yes, her name is a nod to C.S. Lewis, of The Chronicles of Narnia fame (you know, the books where time moves at a different pace in Narnia versus the real world, and where the children can't get to Narnia unless it wants them to come visit), especially since the C.S. stands for Clive Staples), she is attempting to act like a bad-ass by shoving a wad of money at an excavation site manager in Tunisia, and then proceeds to dig on her own. Surprise, surprise, the skeleton she is focused on is that of a polar bear. And Charlotte seems to be purposefully looking for, and subsequently happy to find, its Dharma Hydra station collar.

Charlotte annoyed me right away. I'm not sure why. It bothers me that she looks a lot like Miranda from Sex & The City. But I think mostly I was turned off by her cocky attitude. Since she appears to be no stranger to paying people off, combined with the fact that she was obviously searching for the collar, some on the message boards assumed she worked/works for Dharma or Widmore. Others think that she is a descendant of Dharma members and used to live on the Island, and now is trying to get back. In this theory, it is assumed that the polar bear skeleton and Hydra collar were planted in Tunisia by whomever wants her to recruit her for the freighter team, to get her all hyped for the mission.

I will cover one of the biggest "huh?" moments of the night, the fact that there was a polar bear's skeleton in Tunisia, in more detail later on in this post (because I don't buy that it was planted there by Dharma).

Once on the Island, Charlotte became a little more bearable. When she splashed down into the water from her precarious position on a tree limb, she seemed not only happy to be alive, but also flat-out ecstatic to be on the Island. Like it was either a place she'd been trying to get to all of her life and couldn't believe she was finally there... or a place she had been to before, to which she was relieved to return.

She seemed genuinely shocked that Locke and crew didn't want to be rescued. But one thing I couldn't figure out was, if she came to the Island to find Benry, why didn't she notice him standing among the group? It seemed weird that they never showed a "reaction shot" to her initially recognizing him. But clearly, when Benry called her out later, she didn't deny his accusations.

Two other questions about Ms. Lewis:
1) Does she know about the problem with pregnant women on the Island? That's immediately what I wondered when she specifically asked Claire whether Aaron was born on the Island...
2) What was the award she was shown holding in the picture Abaddon gave Naomi?

Some people on the boards wondered why she would have on a bulletproof vest. I wasn't surprised by that at all, once we learned the true nature of her mission. I don't think they were expecting Benry to leave the Island without a fight.

Of the four rescuers, Charlotte is the one who I think has either been to the Island before, or is at least the most knowledgeable about Dharma and the unique properties of the Island.


The final member of the freighter crew, Frank Lapidus, appeared to be in a small travel/tour shop in the Bahamas when he saw the report about the newly discovered wreckage of Flight 815 and called to report that the body wasn't the pilot's. (Did you try calling the number, by the way? It works: 888-548-0034.)(Also, Frank was right, in Season One, the pilot was shown with a ring on right before he dies.) Frank loves to sport the short-sleeve palm tree-adorned button-downs, which means he is probably a Jimmy Buffett fan. Therefore, I am cautiously optimistic about him.

But he is definitely the most mysterious of the four, wouldn't you agree? Here are the strange things about him:

1) His facial hair. Just when I started missing Zeke's fake hillbilly beard, we get some REAL facial hair--a full beard, a mustache, and a mop of stringy, unkempt hair that rivals Nick Nolte's. And since we haven't seen Ageless Richard of the Bushy Eyebrows lately, we get an eyebrow fix from Frank, to boot. Awesome. His light eyes are kind of freaky, though.
2) His job. Um, if he was a pilot for Oceanic, what is he doing in the Bahamas? And what made him miss Flight 815? And why was he referred to only as "a drunk" by Naomi? Did he perhaps show up to work intoxicated on that fateful day in September 2004 and had to bow out of the flight?
3) His condition. He claims to have landed the helicopter safely (which we see evidence of)... but yet he is all bloody, can't find his phone, and loses consciousness on the Island twice. Something isn't adding up here.
4) His memory. He remembered that the pilot always wore his wedding ring? And he remembered over three hundred names on the Flight 815 manifest? I can't even remember what I had for breakfast most days.
5) His close encounter with what seemed to be a domesticated reddish-brown cow. Hmmm. I was about to give up on this one, but then I realized that...


There is speculation across Lost message boards that the four freighter peeps are supposed to represent the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We even had an Apocalypse Now reference from Sawyer, when he called Locke "Colonel Kurtz." For those of you who need a refresher on Armageddon, read about the Four Horsemen here. The most prevalent guesses match up our new arrivals with the Horsemen like so:

Miles = Death (duh)
Daniel = Pestilence (he is wearing a black tie and vest, symbolizing the black horse)
Charlotte = War (she has red hair, and the War horse is red. And remember in the previews how Sayid said "War is coming"?)
Frank = Conquest (also assumed to be the Antichrist - yikes!)

Another religious symbol, coming to us from Judaism, is the red cow. You can read about what the red cow can be interpreted to mean here (scroll down a bit on the page for the "answer," and, if you can't figure it out, "Mashiach" means Messiah).

Whether or not you believe that there is any biblical symbolism going on, you can't deny the resemblance between Frank and the Old Dude in Jacob's Chair from Locke's initial Creepy Cabin visit. His profile is a closer match than any I've seen so far. We know there are several religious meanings for "Jacob," and even within the show we've seen the phrase "God loves you as he loved Jacob" several times. If Jacob is really Frank, and Frank is supposed to represent the Antichrist, then Jacob would also be the Antichrist. Benry and Locke really need to start questioning who they're taking orders from. Geez. When you take all of this symbolism into account, and then combine it with the fact the four rescuers brought gas masks and guns along on their trip, it's pretty freaky. I don't read too much into all the religious references in the show, but I am pretty convinced now that the arrival of the four freighter people is not going to be a good thing for our Lostaways.


So we met the four rescuers, and then learned that Naomi was meant to lead the operation, and was hired to do so by none other than Fake Lawyer himself, Matthew Abaddon. Man, that guy is creepy. Anyway, while we still don't know who Abaddon works for or what exactly he wanted this group to achieve when they went to the Island aside from getting Ben, we do know that Naomi was not pleased to be associated with any of them. But she accepted the mission, and was in fact the one who was supposed to guarantee everyone's safety.

Did Abaddon perhaps set her up? One theory is that Abaddon and the group he's working for wanted all five of these people (and perhaps others on the freighter) to disappear. Maybe they knew something they shouldn't have, and needed to be silenced. So Abaddon sent them to the one place he knew they'd never return from: the Island.

I personally don't agree with that idea. To be blunt, if Abaddon wanted anyone to disappear, I have a feeling he would just have that person assassinated. Therefore, I think Daniel, Miles, Charlotte and Frank were each chosen for a specific reason, perhaps unbeknownst even to them. And they all must have been motivated to come to the Island, for some personal reason above and beyond finding Ben. I also believe that each of them knows different things about the true purpose of the mission, and that some of them may have hidden agendas. Miles and Daniel certainly did not seem close--who knows how long ago they even met?

Back to Abaddon--he seemed annoyed that Naomi would question whether anyone from Flight 815 had survived. That really confused me, because why would Naomi even bring up Flight 815 in the first place when talking to Abaddon? Perhaps she knew that the Island was close to the spot where they found the wreckage or something? But still, it seemed random to me that she would bring that up, especially if the mission had to do with finding Ben, and she was given a picture of Desmond (who we know wasn't on the flight).

Abaddon is obviously with the group who planted the replica of the Oceanic plane, along with the replacement dead bodies. That's right, I am positive (as should you be) that what was shown on the news was not the real plane. It's a cover-up, and I'm glad they didn't string that storyline out (since they had Frank question the authenticity of the wreckage right away). Now the question is, who is trying to cover up the crash? It's obvious that it's the same group that ends up threatening the Oceanic Six years later since Abaddon visited Hurley in the asylum... but two major questions remain: What is this organization, and who are the "they" it's so concerned about?

Obvious theories are that Abaddon is working for Dharma, or Widmore Corporation. I think it's the latter. If Abaddon is working for Penny's father, he could've easily gotten a copy of her picture with Desmond. Naomi is in on the whole thing, so everything she told Desmond about Penny organizing a search party was a lie. Finally, some people interpreted Abaddon's repetition of the phrase "There were no survivors" to mean that he wanted Naomi to kill any survivors that she might come across... to ensure that there actually end up being no survivors of Flight 815.


Now we come to the on-Island events. I'm going to chunk almost everything having to do with my man Locke into the next two sections, because there is a lot to say about his actions in this episode.

The first time we see Locke in "Confirmed Dead," he is striking a familiar pose, smiling up at the pouring rain. And he knows, as he has in the past, exactly when the storm is going to end. One-With-The-Island Locke is back in full force, my friends.

I mentioned in my last write-up that Locke had questioned Hurley about what he saw when he got lost in the jungle, and Hurley declined to share his run-in with Jacob's cabin. In this episode, once again, Hurley lets on that he knows the location of the cabin, and Locke immediately questions him. And Hurley covers up his knowledge like he did before. Two interesting things happened in this scene:
1) There was a weird look on Locke's face that ended with a small smile. I couldn't tell if he was happy Hurley seems to have seen the cabin, or concerned, or fearful.
2) But I could tell what Benry was thinking: "YESSSSSS!" Benry's eyes lit up and he couldn't help from flashing his trademark cocky smirk when he realized that Hurley, too, was in on the whole Jacob thing. Perhaps that gave Benry hope that he could win Hurley over?

Also, Hurley thought the cabin was in the opposite direction from where Locke believed it to be. And when Hurley initially came upon the shack in the jungle, it moved spots. What is UP with this cabin?!?! Can it actually move around?

I deduced from Locke's conversation with Sawyer that College Freshman Waaaallllt must have taken Locke to the cabin before, or why else would Locke think he needed to go back there? But I'm glad that everything is out in the open now about Waaaallllt, why Locke knifed Naomi, the cabin, Benry shooting Locke, why Locke didn't die, and Locke's reasons for not killing Benry. A lot of information was shared amongst the Lostaways this episode... a lot. And some might say that it was fate that Papa Locke had stolen Locke's kidney, since the absence of that kidney is what ended up saving Locke's life.


I fear that Locke has grown a little over-confident. Whether I care to admit it or not, Ben is smarter than Locke. Unbelievably, Locke was benipulated yet again, and didn't end up getting rid of Benry once and for all. Benry blurted out information about Charlotte at the very last second, after being unable (or unwilling) to tell Locke what he really wanted to know: "What is the monster?" (Some people think Locke now knows what the monster is, and was testing Ben.) (I also can't help but wonder what Ben wanted to tell Alex before Karl and Sawyer shushed him a few minutes earlier in the episode.) I fear that Sawyer's prediction that Ben is going to "get" them is going to come true.

Something that struck me about this final scene was that Locke really did seem ready to commit murder (as did Sawyer, again). I think Locke's encounter with Jacob and Waaallt has convinced him that he is the Island's Chosen Son, and he's now willing to kill in order to protect that status. It hasn't been that long since he needed Sawyer to do his dirty work with Papa Locke... but now we have Locke taking a gun from Sawyer and saying, "It's my mess, I'll clean it up." That's a pretty big transformation from the Locke we saw in "The Brig."

And it doesn't seem like everyone is down with this new breed of Locke. Wouldn't you agree that the group with Locke is very doubtful and splintered, versus the group with Jack, that is working as a cohesive team? Hurley's words from last episode are haunting me to no end: "I'm sorry I went with Locke. I should've stayed with you." I honestly don't know if I can watch the next episode. Something bad is going to happen!!!!


The final scenes of the episode were chock-full of shockers: Ben has a mole on the freighter? Miles has a scandalous picture of Benry in a God-awful vest? Sayid knows how to fly helicopters? Minkowski mysteriously "can't come to the phone?" Eyes around the country glazed over at the end of the episode... Too... Much... Information. CANNOT PROCESS.

Here are my thoughts on the last few moments of the episode.
- Who is Ben's "man on the ship?" Obvious choices are: Michael, Patchy and Minkowski. I think it's Minkowski, and the freighter people are now going to be abandoned. That's why Minkowski is no longer coming to the phone. I think Michael would be too obvious of a choice, and I really think Patchy is dead this time. But Patchy had been the one to pull together the "files" on the Lostaways, and it sounded like Ben had a file on Charlotte and the other three from the helicopter. So maybe Patchy has risen once more.
- What's up with that picture of Benry? I think it is HILARIOUS, for starters. He looks like he's about to bust out some Saturday Night Fever moves at any second. Some people noticed that the monitor isn't plugged in and thought that the picture looked staged. Others wondered if this picture was taken off of the Island, meaning that Ben lied to Jack back in the Hydra hatch when he said he's been on the Island his entire life. I am not sure what to think. That picture could've been taken somewhere in the barracks--we do know that the Others have computers.
- Why do the helicopter people personally care about finding Ben? Miles seems especially bent out of shape about the whole thing, more than he would be if he was just being paid to complete a mission to which he had no connection. I have no ideas outside of what I've already speculated about Charlotte possibly having been on the Island before.
- If Sayid ends up piloting the helicopter, he will win the Most Awesome Being on The Planet Earth award.
- How is anyone going to get off of the Island? Minkowski's not returning calls, Frank warned that the helicopter doesn't have much fuel left, only four people were inside of it on the way to the Island, yet we know at least six Lostaways leave. And one of them's Hurley... who is not exactly the lightest guy in the world. How is this going to work?

I'll end my analysis of "Confirmed Dead" with these final comments:
- I enjoyed this episode infinitely more than the premiere, because this time I was unspoiled. I am unspoiled for the next episode, too--hooray!
- It was interesting to me that while all of our Lostaways were each back in prime form (Jack=cocky and confident, Locke=having faith in the Island at all costs, Sawyer=doubting and reckless, etc.), they also have changed dramatically since their arrival on the Island three months prior. Did you notice the stark contrast between Kate and Jack navigating the rocky beach to approach Miles, versus the awkward trepidation of Daniel? How everyone with Locke was immediately suspicious of Charlotte's questions about the survivors (Hurley: "Why do you want to know?"). How it used to be Jack and Kate getting caught in traps and ambushed by the Others, and now they're turning the tables on the freighter crew? The Flight 815 survivors are at home on the Island. And I don't think the Island is going to be pleased if any of them leave... Remember Jack and Locke's fight in the Season One finale?
Locke: Do you really think all this is an accident? That we, a group of strangers survived, many of us with just superficial injuries? Do you think we crashed on this place by coincidence... especially, this place? We were brought here for a purpose, for a reason, all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason.
Jack: Brought here? And who brought us here, John?
Locke: The island. The island brought us here. This is no ordinary place, you've seen that, I know you have. But the island chose you, too, Jack. It's destiny.
(a few moments later...)
Jack: I don't believe in destiny.
Locke: Yes, you do. You just don't know it yet.
- With the addition of the helicopter team and the deepening mystery surrounding Abaddon, I cannot claim to be completely comfortable with the direction in which the show appears to be going. That's all I'm going to say on that subject for now, because I hope my worries will be diminished with the next episode.

Let's wrap up with a few theories raised by this episode, and then, of course, end with the Best Lines.


I am going to give you the gist of this theory, and then leave it up to you to investigate it further, should you be so nerdily inclined. Entire sites and books are dedicated to these concepts in the "real world," so I cannot possibly do justice to how they may relate to the storyline on Lost. Plus, I've touched upon these ideas in past posts, so they shouldn't come as a surprise. But there have been some hints this season that warrant another look at these theories. Here are a few key points to get your mind whirring:

- In the Season Four Premiere, some people thought that the mention of three "Hos" (Charlie standing by the Ho Hos, and Jack and Hurley playing HORSE and only getting to H-O... get your mind out of the gutter!) was a reference to Santa Claus, who, as we all know, lives at the North Pole. And who also makes a list of "bad" (naughty) versus "nice" children (similar to the Others' list of "good people").
- What else is near the North Pole? Polar bears. And, one might imagine, igloos, like in Hurley's painting. And snow. Remember Desmond's question to Locke when they first met: "What did one snowman say to the other?" And recall how Penny's tent dudes seemed to be somewhere really cold?
- What else is special about the North Pole? It has magnetic properties. Just like the Island. And it is believed to be one of the twelve vile vortices in the world.

So take all of the above, and then consider the possibility of a hollow Earth, and you have a lot of evidence for the Vile Vortices theory (this link leads to a ton of info...).

The Oceanic logo looks a lot like Edmund Halley's hollow earth diagram, does it not?

What if there were certain points on the globe that provided "quick transportation" of sorts to other special spots on the Earth? What if Flight 815 hit one of those spots and ended up on the Island? The Hollow Earth/Vile Vortices theory would explain how a drug plane from Nigeria with not much fuel could end up somewhere seemingly in the tropics. It would explain how the Black Rock ended up in the middle of the Island, rather than on the beach. And it might explain how a polar bear with a Dharma collar could end up in the middle of Tunisia. One more thing... way back in Season Two, in my write-up for Juliet's "One of Us" flashback episode, I brought up vile vortices because it has been speculated that the Nancy Reagan-looking lady in Juliet's book club is actually Amelia Earhart. Some think Amelia's plane (in real life) flew into a vile vortex. Apparently in the game, there was another mention of Ms. Earhart. I'm telling you, vile vortices are going to come into play somehow! Do you buy it?


Three other quick ones...

- Some Lost fans are positive that the "HO" references in the premiere were not meant to invoke thoughts of Santa, the North Pole or vile vortices, but rather of holmium. You know, holmium! What, you can't remember everything from your high school chemistry class? Holmium's periodic table symbol is... drum roll please... HO. Guess what holmium's claim to fame is? It's the most magnetic of any naturally occurring element. And we know how the writers of Lost just loooove magnetic forces! I still don't really get what the point of the Holmium Theory is, but if you want to try to figure it out, check out this site or this site.
- Shout-out to MS who wrote me with the Time-Traveling Polar Bear Theory. Similar to how Desmond traveled back in time during "Flashes Before Your Eyes," perhaps a polar bear from the Island was sucked through a wormhole in time and got stuck in Tunisia way back in the day? If we believe that something is going on with the space-time continuum on the Island, then we can't apply this theory only to humans. No polar bear discrimination! I have a feeling we will understand the importance of the Tunisia location later in the series.
- A similar theory comes from Matt From Dallas, who speculated that perhaps the polar bear teleported over to Tunisia (teleportation is the most awesome superpower there is, by the way. Should you ever be in the situation where you must choose a superpower, choose the ability to teleport. Trust me). If Jacob's Cabin is hopping around, and Waaaallllt is appearing and disappearing all over the place, maybe one of the polar bears caught on and wanted to check out the desert?


Sawyer: What the hell do you mean, you saw Walt... in a dream?
Locke: No dream. It was Walt... only, taller.
Sawyer: Taller? What, like a giant?


Ben: Why'd you leave Kate behind?
Sawyer: You're wastin' your time, Yoda.

Locke: ... And because, apart from his mouth, he's completely harmless.
Sawyer: His mouth put that hole in your gut?

Sawyer: It's only a matter of time before he gets us, Johnny. And I'll bet he's already figured out how he's gonna do it.

Jack's wink.

Jack: I don't know, Miles. How stupid are ya?

Sayid: You say you're not here on a rescue mission, and that the world at large believes us to be dead. But here we are, alive and well, and you don't seem remotely surprised to see us.
Miles: 'Oh my God. You guys were on Oceanic 815? WOW!' That better?
[Sayid smirks.]

Charlotte: What? We need to stay where we are, so that they find us!
Locke: See, there's your problem. We don't want to be found.

Locke: Whatever they came for, it isn't us. We need to keep moving forward as planned.
Sawyer: Sure, who are we to argue with Taller Ghost Walt?

Miles: I'll tell you what we're doing if you give me the phone.
Jack: Don't say anything about your sister.

Ben: John, listen. I have information that you need. I have answers.
Locke: [Pauses] What is... the monster?


I have family visiting and staying with me the night of the next episode until Sunday the 17th. Meaning that I am not going to begin writing my post until after they leave. Meaning that I probably won't get my write-up for "The Economist" uploaded until Wednesday, February 20th. My family claims to be coming for a wedding in Chicago, but I do kind of fear that they're organizing some sort of "intervention" for me because of my Lost obsessiveness. Wish me luck.

And yes, I have heard that the strike is over. Word is that three to six more episodes of Lost may be able to be produced this season (beyond the six more they already have completed). I am cautiously optimistic about everything, but will believe it when I see it reported everywhere on TV. The WGA hasn't even met to discuss the new terms yet, so let's not jinx the situation, people!

- e


Anonymous said...

Hi e,

Thanks for the great write-up this week (and early!). I checked your site today out of curiousity, but didn't expect to see anything until next week.
Here's an Entertainment Weekly article I just read. The guy compares the Freighter four to the Fantastic Four, which I thought was pretty cool. I just watched the Fantastic Four with my kids two weeks ago - can't believe I didn't think of that. There are some other theories in the article, as well.,,20177008,00.html?iid=top25-20080208-''Lost''+recap%3A+New+hostilities

Can't wait to see this week's episode...

Ernie said...

I saw on the boards that speculation is that Miles' ghost busting machine was an air chilling machine. I guess cool air makes it easier to speak to ghosts.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful breakdown as always. I just have one to add to your quote list:

Karl: Shut up, Mr. Linus.

Ben:, if you’re going to sleep with my daughter, at least call me Ben.

I ROFLed good and hard at that one.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you I LOVE reading your blog. It's the best Lost blog I've found so far! Keep it up!
One more thing I found odd about Daniel's female companion in the background when he was crying that you did not mention - she called him "Sam", not Daniel. I believe she said "Sam, why are you crying?"

Stacy M. said...

hey e,

i just wanted to let you know that i think your lost blog is amazing! i love your insights in to the show, especially since sometimes i am so overwhelmed i don't even know where to start, hahaha. anyway, thanks for all the awesome work you put in to it every week! i definitely appreciate it. :)

Surly said...

Come on...what are you so nervous about? I ask because I, too, am Locke-obsessed and constantly worried that he will either a. turn evil or b. be killed off by Jack and co because they "just don't understand him." So far the writers have proven themselves better than my fears. Early on Darlton stated that in a way, Lost is the story of Locke's journey, or something like that. Unless they've had a total change of heart, I'm gonna put my sanity in their hands and remain cautiously optimistic. BTW, your thoughts on possible Charlotte/Locke "heat"? There are fan rumblings to that effect...

Erika (aka "e") said...

Smitten - Yes, I WAS early this week... to make up for next week where I will be very late. : ) I always read Doc Jensen's EW Lost article (after I write mine so as to not be influenced), and I did this week as well. I am not into the Fantastic Four at all, so my eyes glazed over at all his comparisons. What can I say, I don't like Jessica Alba...

Ernie - Hmmm, have not heard that one. But it doesn't seem like the air on the Island would be very cool, and he talked to Dead Naomi...

Electrophile - Yeah, I only included the "KAAARLLL" part at the beginning because that's the part I was dying laughing at... he just said it with such gusto!

Carmen - I did also wonder if my ears were playing tricks on me, because I could've sworn she said "Sam," too. I just chalked it up to muffled audio because she was in the other room, and figured Sam and Dan sounded very much alike. When the transcripts come online I will check it out since I wasn't the only one who noticed it...

Surly - Charlotte + Locke = Me possibly throwing up. That is NOT cool at all. Regarding my fears about "something bad," it's more about Locke causing something bad to happen to the group or someone else, rather than anything happening to him at this point. I think he won't do anything to intentionally harm anyone who doesn't deserve it, but someone he's involved with obviously goes awry, because of Hurley's future regrets. I can't deal with the not-knowing! I hope my imagination is worse than anything that actually transpires.

- e

Erika (aka "e") said...

Stacy - Oops, I missed your comment on my reply to the others above... thanks for your nice words. I enjoy writing, I enjoy the show, I enjoy writing ABOUT the show, but I enjoy everyone's reactions to my posts more than anything else. So your comment is greatly appreciated.

- e

Anonymous said...

Hey e,

Great write-up! The hollow earth idea is very interesting. I had not considered this at all. Definitely gives me something new to chew on.

I've definitely been leaning more towards the weird time stream/time travel stuff as accounting for what's happening (the rabbit video kind of cemented this for me). I think the polar bear slipped into a different time stream or time traveled sort of like Desmond and also like the rabbits in the experiment.

I am so curious where this is ALL going! It's killing me because I know it will be SO long before we really know.

One other thing. I think that Daniel was upset about seeing the wreckage because he was supposed to be on the plane like Frank L. Survivor's guilt, etc. I have seen on the boards where other people are thinking this, too. But who knows?!

Looking forward to next week and your write-up!

another e

Anonymous said...

I've seen your and others' speculation that Charlotte may have been on the island before.
But I haven't seen anyone wonder if she might be that little Dharma girl that Ben was sweet on as a kid.
Was she (the little girl) confirmed dead in the massacre scenes?
If not, does my speculation make sense to anyone else?

SAM I AM said...

E, I really love your write ups!!!!I just cant get over how thorough it is . It gives me a better understanding of all the events that take place each and every eppy, I regret that I found your blog this late into the series. (thats enough butt kissing for now, but you should know i really mean it)
Now onto this whole vile vortices theory. The only thing that dosent make sense about it is if its true than how could benry know how to leave when he wants. unless he knew where to go (the exact location in the water )in his sub. to get on to the real world .it wouldent make sense.but hey ya never know... and why dont you like the direction the series is going? btw i think we need a mister ecco appearance dont ya think?

SAM I AM said...

justlookin, thats brilliant

Anonymous said...

In response to him being called sam...if you play the game, isn't it about sam? and i swear that's him. i dind't really play the game, but I sort of recall that sam had a special relationship with the flight attendant? and possibly had an engagement ring. of course, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I watched a video or two and noticed that...

Unknown said...

The last episode of LOST, "Confirmed Dead" was one of the most amazing of the series, and I have heard that it is the favorite of the writers of LOST. Anytime there is a writer "favorite" episode, that usually means that something really significant to the overall cannon of the show has been revealed.

I'm convinced the team of "rescuers" was assembled for a specific reason based on their professions and potentially special abilities. Part of me believes that the scary black dude is part of Dharma, and thus is sending special ops team made up of a ghostbuster, an anthropologist, and a physicist (forgetting pilot and Naomi right now) to pick up where Dharma left off. Well, first they need to get rid of Ben.

But, from an audience standpoint, I think this new team is going to give us insight into the true "answers" over the next few seasons. Mr. Ghost Whisperer can talked to Jacob, Tall Ghost Walt, and Zombie Dad Shepard, find the spiritual significance of the island. Anthropologist lady can fill us in on the four-toed statue and the Black Rock. And the physicist can speak to the magnetism and time travel possibilities.

My current "theory" on LOST is that there is an impending apocalypse that Dharma is and has been trying to prevent through their experimentation, but they are finding it nearly impossible because, after all, the future tends to find a way of "course correcting" itself. The island is in some sort of protective "bubble", maybe underwater, maybe a weird time/dimensional bubble, which somehow causes the weird things like healing, life extension, compasses going wacky, hidden from the outside world. And because of this "bubble" the island will be the ONLY thing that survives this apocalypse (severe climate change? a green message here), which is why people are so desperate to get back.

Or at least that will be my theory until next week, when they change everything all over again.

Anonymous said...

i just wanted to suggest you, if you haven't see it yet, the movie "Million dollar Hotel". if you like Dan and, well, "head cases", you can find dan completely gone crazy in that movie. i loved it.
about grandma's picture.. not only frames changed, but pictures did too.
you can see it when miles walks upstairs. something similar happened in ben's house, if i remember fine..

Surly said...


Yeah, I agree, it wouldn't be too cool. I always thought Locke seemed like more of an a** man. Charlotte got no back. Plus, she's annoying as all get out. But it's out there. There's even a ship with its name.

There is an outside chance (with fingers crossed) that Hurley is sorry he didn't go with Jack mainly b/c Jack's peeps are in more danger, and he coulda done something to help them. However, given the writers' insistence on Locke having to flex the same damn character flaws over and over, I can see why you'd be worried. He's probably in over his head, as usual. But I'm still holding out hope that Season 6 ends with him crowned some kind of benevolent island king, complete with dancing girls and drinks in coconuts. No?

...maybe not.

Emily said...

great analysis, as usual. Just one thing: I noticed that there is something in the LL corner of the picture of Ben that the freighters had... I think it's either a) a butt, or more likely b) a pregnant belly? Didn't know if this was significant or not...

Emily said...

UGH nevermind, the picture wasn't coming in fully on my monitor... damnit. i see that it's someone's fingers. ha.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for the time you put into these write up's e, I read them from over here in the UK and look forward to reading your write up's almost as much as I look forward to the next episode! Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

I'm coming late to this blog, but has anyone ever noted that only dead people appear in visions to the Lost people? Jack's dad... Ben's mom... Charlie to Hurley... Ecko's brother, etc. Which means, in my opinion, that Walt is dead because he appeared to Locke (and that he died several years after he left the island, which explains taller ghost Walt). Forgive me if this has already been pointed out.

Anonymous said...

GREAT post yet again! I usually don't get this into all these scientific theories, but I had to ask what you thought about this. When I followed your Wikipedia link to hollow earth, I found a book by Willis George Emerson called "The Smoky God." I started reading clips of the book that I could find online, but didn't get all the way through, although I'm reeeeeally intrigued! Smoky????!!!!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone remember when Desmond has his seeing of the future that charlie needs to die for people to get off the island, didn't he see
Claire getting in to a helicopter? Or was that someone else I rememeber seeing a helicopter picking up.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Emily - Yes, I mentioned that one possibility was Daniel having "survivor's guilt"... but the whole thing seems even stranger than that, though. And I agree that there MUST be something going on with time...

Justlookin - Charlotte is too young... she was born in 79 so she's not even thirty... whereas Ben was the same age as Annie. She could, however, be their love child. : ) Annie was never confirmed dead, and did have reddish hair...

Sam I Am - I think that perhaps the show's writers took aspects of the vile vortices theory... the ones that were most convenient! So perhaps maybe the vortices are always open, or could be manipulated to open and Ben knows how to do that, etc. Regarding the direction the show is going... I guess I miss when it was just the core group on the Island. I don't like the addition of so many new characters (even though I like some of them) and more and more of the mystery coming together OFF of the Island. It is starting to lose its level of escapism when so much is taking place in the normal world. So, yes, we need a Mr. Eko appearance to make it right.

Julez - Yes, the game was about a character named Sam, but he was played by a totally different guy. He was going to get engaged (I think) to a stewardess on Flight 815. I checked the transcript that's up now... it says "Dan." I also watched it again and I think part of the confusion was that at first she says, "How do you want your eggs, Dan?" and the "s" from "eggs" carries over to his name. She then says "Dan" clearly a few more times a bit later. Mystery solved, it is definitely "Dan"!

Tristess00 - I think your theory sounds pretty well thought-out! I agree about the potential purpose of the three helicopter people--both in terms of what they will do on the Island, and how they can be used to reveal answers to the audience. We do know that the numbers were all about an equation that predicts the end of mankind... so it fits.

Pollywood - I had put all memory of "Million Dollar Hotel" out of my mind (sorry, I HATED it!), so I don't even remember him being in it. I don't think I could bring myself to watch it again! But I did see that he was in an episode of Melrose Place, and two of The Wonder Years, which may be worth digging up. Regarding the frames... if it's a production error, then it's a pretty big screw-up for a show like this. But you are right, even the pictures move places.

Surly - That WOULD be an awesome ending to the entire series! One big party for King Locke!

Emily - These are the dangers of over-analyzing every little thing on the show. : ) I've been there many times myself.

littlet - The UK rocks... I am jealous of you and your accent. Are you guys a full week behind, or just a few days behind?

Dawn - The "only dead people in visions" idea hasn't really been discussed... but remember that Walt did appear to Shannon when we knew he was alive on the other side of the Island (being held by the Others). But that could've really been Walt, since we know he has "powers." All the other things could be Smokey's way of trying to freak people out... by only appearing as people they thought were dead. For some reason I don't think they would kill off Walt... a LOT of people were upset when he got kidnapped and thought that was too dark for the show, so I highly doubt they would kill him. At least I hope they wouldn't.

Courtney - The Smokey thing certainly is a weird connection. If nothing else, we'll all have learned a lot after this series is over! I feel like I'm getting a PhD in quantum physics.

Anonymous - We (as the audience) never actually saw that vision of Claire getting in the helicopter (I'm pretty sure)... Desmond only TOLD Charlie he saw it. That is why for a long time people thought Des was lying, and just saying that to Charlie in order to get him to complete the mission in which he knew he would die. If someone else remembers differently, let me know...

- e

Erika (aka "e") said...

I just looked through the old transcripts - there is never a scene where it shows Desmond seeing a flash of Claire and Aaron getting into a helicopter--he only describes that flash to Charlie...

- e

Anonymous said...

Ah I had forgotten about Walt appearing to Shannon. That may throw a wrench in that theory. But I also just remembered Boone (dead) appearing to Locke. And Anna showed herself to someone, who I now can't remember, within minutes or hours after she died. I hope Walt's not dead, but I have a bad feeling.

la p'tite frisée said...

Hi e,

Great post! I just discovered your blog through Darkufo. Your recaps are very well-written, funny and cover most important points. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Hey e! scroll down to the Lost section. Looks like with the writer's strike ending, we will get more LOST this season!!!

Surly said...

I think tristess00 is on the right track. I can go crazy trying to remember all the plot threads that have been dropped (hopefully to be picked up again now that the writers have an end date in sight), but why WOULDN'T Dharma (if it's still around) be trying to assemble a gang to take out Ben? I mean, he and the "island's original inhabitants" basically Sarin-ized the Initiative's ass and threw their bodies in a pit. From what I could glean, Patchy's job, besides monitoring peeps off-island at his satellite station/dude ranch , was to keep up the front that Dharma was still operational so the food and supply drops would keep coming (or was this Inman/Desmond's job in the original recipe hatch?). Did I make that up, or was that info actually given to us at some point? But the "purge" seems to have happened awhile ago (when Ben still had quite a fab head of hair going). Why would it take Dharma so long to figure out what happened?

And one more thing--why the heck would Locke say that "other than his mouth" Benry is "completely harmless," when not only did the little weasel shoot him and leave him for dead...but in a big ol' pit full of his purge victims? Or did he not imply that he was the one who put them there? Is Locke really just selfishly keeping the guy on hand because Benry , through his power-of-1000-suns hatred (to cop a line from e), somehow reinforces his "I'm special" thang? Or is it just, you know, cuz Michael Emerson rawks and the writers are scrambling to figure out how to keep from killing him off?...

...I mean, if headcase, surly, skinny and drunky really only came for Ben, and Ben is a sociopath d**k with a habit of gassing entire populations...why not just hand him over?

Argh, my brain.

Smitten said...

Hey again,
Just read an update re: Season 4 which says they plan to put out another 5 episodes now that the strike is ending. That would mean 13 episodes for this season. It sounds like they want to keep the season's original story-arc as planned, but with 3 less episodes.
Not sure how I feel about this...On one hand, that's three less (great!) hours of Lost, on the other hand, the shows we get will be packed with action and answers (I hope)...
Any comments on this e?

Islandgirl said...

Hiya! I also came across your blog through Dark's site. I really enjoy your commentary. Thanks for making it interesting, intelligent, and fun.

Regarding the Freighter four: I have the feeling from their reaction to the island (Charlotte and Daniel, mostly) that they were told that they were going to a special place. And whatever they were told was probably tailored toward what interested them most - in much the same way Alpert appealed to Juliet during her recruitment. I agree that they were each chosen for a specific reason and each has their own reasons for being there as well.

Erika (aka "e") said...

La p'tite frisee - Thanks! Glad you found me!

Anon - Yes, I will be posting about the strike stuff tomorrow... more news and details keep rolling in...

Surly - It's hard to be sure of what Patchy's real purpose was... I read back through some old transcripts and he explains some things, but then later we find out that he was lying about half of what he said. But I think that it's reasonable to assume he was trying to keep up the Dharma front, and that the heli peeps are back for revenge.

I'm pretty sure the WRITERS are keeping Ben around because he has gotten such a strong audience reaction. No sane person would actually keep him around on the Island!

Smitten - They keep changing the number (latest was 5 new eps)... I will comment on what I know about it tomorrow...

Diana - Glad you found me as well! Yes, the simplest explanation is usually the one that is right... C and D were most likely simply TOLD they were going somewhere cool, and that is why they're all amazed when they actually get there.

I'm sure all of these theories will be blown to shreds in 30 hours...

- e

Anonymous said...

Hehe, you didn't caught me in time, but I got myself another weekend at home, yipee!

Now, I've got some reading to do. :)

Anonymous said...

I love everything you do...keep up the amazing work. You truely have a gift.

I know it's a stretch...but Miles is Latin for "soldier"... a could also be used to discribe a armed horseman

Just a thought

maddawgsmom said...

Where are all the others who weren't killed at the beach? I forget where they are hiding. Sort of strange that there hasn't been any mention of them...

Anonymous said...

I was standing in front of Cynthia Nixon and her son at my Whole Foods at Columbus Circle the other day. The new woman on LOST totally looks like here! But I like Cynthia/Meranda better!