Monday, February 18, 2008

S4Ep3 - "The Economist": Not Just a Magazine for Snobs

Hello my dear friends -

We have been delivered yet another hour of Lost that contained a Hillbilly Boat-load of information, on top of a "That. Just. Happened." twist at the very end. I'm pretty sure I heard the Lost writers yelling "BOOYA!" in the background when Benry was revealed as Sayid's boss-man in the final moments of "The Economist."

But let's not skip to the end just yet. I'm going to cover Island events first, and then move on to Sayid's flash-forwards.


I immediately sensed that this episode was going to be weird when it kicked off with Sayid kneeling in meditative prayer, staring at Dead Naomi, and then going over to her body to shut her eyes. Up until that point, Sayid had close to no contact with Naomi... he wasn't with the original group that found her in the jungle when she crash-landed, he had only been shown talking to her for a matter of moments after she was brought back to the beach, yet now he was the one not only closing her eyes and inspecting her bracelet, but also suggesting that they use the extra room in the helicopter to return her body to the freighter. It seemed like Sayid had some sort of connection to Naomi that even he wasn't fully conscious of, just like how Daniel was crying about the Flight 815 wreckage and didn't know why. Later in the episode we see Sayid do the "close the eyes" move once again with Elsa, and discover that she had a similar-looking bracelet to Naomi's. To me, all of this is more evidence for the Time Loop Theory. What at first seems to be a connection between Sayid and Naomi might actually be Sayid's subconscious drawing him to Naomi because she "reminds" him of a similar situation that will unfold in the future with Elsa.

Naomi's bracelet read, "N, I'll always be with you. R.G." Some people think it's "R.C." (like the cola), but I think it's clearly "R.G." and I'm sticking to it. I read a post from some type-setter/ font expert who swore up and down that it was a G. I, too, consider myself somewhat of an authority on fonts after watching the documentary Helvetica. So G it is.

Unfortunately, though, I have no guesses (nor have I seen any that make sense) for who "R.G." could be at this time. But if it ends up being Ryan Gosling, Richard Gere or Robert Goulet (may he rest in peace), I'm going to owe a lot of people money on the message boards.

Regarding the bracelets overall, the two main theories are:
1) Both Naomi and Elsa were working for "the Economist," whose initials are R.G. This guy gives all the chicks who work for him the same bracelet (but hopefully with different inscriptions). I am on board with this theory.
2) Others think that Sayid ends up taking the bracelet from Naomi and giving it to Elsa in the future. That seems kind of tacky, no? Plus, wouldn't Elsa wonder who "N" and "R.G." are?

On a related note, some fans on the message boards believe that the inscription wasn't meant to be a sentimental note, but rather more of a menacing statement, kind of like, "I will always be watching you, so don't even try to pull anything over on me."

Finally, there are a few who wondered if "N" could also stand for "Nadia" (Sayid's long-lost love from Iraq, believed now to be in the United States), and if Naomi somehow got her bracelet. That makes no sense to me because, if that were the case: 1) Wouldn't Sayid have had a much bigger reaction to seeing the bracelet? 2) Who would R.G. be (and no, "Republican Guard" does NOT make any sense, either)? 3) Why would Elsa have a similar bracelet to one Nadia originally had?


When it becomes clear that no one knows what in the hell is going on anymore, Sayid decides to take matters into his own hands: "You people are idiots. I will go get CharLOTTE." Next, he breaks it down to The Mad Doctor something like this: "You are the worst leader I have ever seen, and trust me my friend, I have seen some horrible leaders in my day. Please stay out of the way now, you have done enough. If you screw up my plan, I will finish you. Make no mistake, I will finish you."

Jack tries to play it cool and shuffles off with Kate, who he then encourages to tag along with Sayid (after they joke about her always wanting to tag along, how meta).

In these early scenes, we also learned that Juliet never knew of Ben having contacts off of the Island, that Miles was simply hired to find Ben and doesn't know anything else about him except his name (destroying my theory that he had a personal vendetta against Ben), that Miles met Charlotte on the freighter, and that Frank considered Naomi "senior management." At this point in the show, I was just happy that He of the Black Tank Top was finally getting some much-deserved air time and that the flashes revolved around him (being spoiler-free rocks).


Once Operation: Retrieve CharLOTTE commenced, Jack and Frank were left to bond over sports talk as they looked for the margarita mix and blender Frank could've sworn he stashed in the back of the helicopter. Two things struck me about their short exchange:
1) Jack said, "I can't believe it's been 100 days since I saw a game." That was not supposed to be a throwaway line, in my humble opinion. I think it was meant to tie in with the time difference Daniel's experiment uncovered, which I'll get to in a bit.
2) When Jack told Frank where Sayid is from, I couldn't help but think that "Iraq" connoted something different to Frank than it did to Jack. But I fully admit I may have just been searching for clues... the "100 days" comment seemed more suspect than Frank's reaction to Sayid's home country.


My new crush Daniel was in his glory when he decided to run a nerdalicious experiment involving Regina shooting a canister (containing a small digital clock) from the freighter onto the Island. THE ABSOLUTE BEST part about this entire scene was when Jack got a "Oh, crap!" look on his face and started ducking when Regina indicated that "the payload" was supposed to hit Daniel's marker. Forget Smokey, forget Zombie Dad, forget Juliet's awful grilled cheese sandwiches, forget everything else he's witnessed on the Island... we now know what scares the hell out of The Mad Doctor: geeks running experiments.

If you didn't guess that the payload was going to show up much later than expected, then I really think you need to stop watching this show. It's only going to get more complicated from here on out, and you just do not have the mental ability necessary to keep up. I'm sorry. Don't shoot the messenger--I've been trying to tell you for years now that something strange is going on with time!

In this case, the strange thing going on with time was a 31-minute difference between the clock Daniel had on the Island and the one Regina sent from the freighter. The main theory I've read about this result is that it proves that time moves more slowly on the Island--duh. I was surprised to see only a 31-minute delay, to be honest (and apparently in the original script it was only 31 seconds). I've read a half-baked theory about how the farther a location is from the Island, the bigger the time differential between the two becomes. I completely do not understand this idea, so I can't explain it any further.

On a related note, remember that no one from the helicopter has ever commented on what year it is right now. To the Lostaways, it's almost the end of 2004, but perhaps to the helicopter team, it's 2006 or something. Maybe Daniel is beginning to piece together what's going on so that he can enlighten the rest of us. I can't even attempt to dissect any more about Daniel's experiment, because my mind will explode. Since I haven't heard that many other theories about this subject, I'm assuming other fans feel the same way.

Before leaving the experiment scene completely, there was one other part I want to mention; it made me think "What?" even more than the 31-minute delay did. It was when Frank told Daniel to hang up if Minkowski got on the phone, and Daniel acted like that was a no-brainer. In "Confirmed Dead," Miles was trying to reach Minkowski and was annoyed when Regina said that he couldn't come to the phone. But now Frank and Daniel are wanting to avoid talking to Minkowski, and felt fine carrying on the experiment with only Regina's help. What?

All I can figure is that factions developed on the freighter, and for whatever reason, Frank and Daniel don't trust Minkowski. This could give more credence to the theory that Minkowski is Ben's mole on the ship. Or it could mean that Frank and Daniel know about a part of the mission of which Minkowski and Miles are not aware. Regardless, it's very suspect.


When we first see Locke's group, they have just arrived at what used to be the location of Jacob's cabin (evidenced by the ashy substance in the grass). Benry can hardly conceal his glee when the cabin is nowhere to be found. Hurley once again comes close to spilling that he saw the cabin before in a different location... but instead tries to talk Locke into letting Charlotte go before they head to the barracks. He fails miserably; Locke tells everyone that it's his way or the highway, and even I thought he was sporting a little too much attitude.

The fact that his plan (to capture anyone from Jack's group who came after them) worked probably only boosted Locke's ego further. Who else was shocked to see that Hurley had been in on the scheme all along? When Hurley was found gagged and apparently left behind, I thought, "So that's why he ends up bitter at Locke in the future." But then we learn that he had willingly been a part of the trap! Obviously there's still something bad that's going to happen to cause Hurley to regret staying with Locke's group. I can't take it!

My sense of dread about what's going to go down between Hurley and Locke almost made me forget about something which is probably far more important in the whole scheme of things: it has been confirmed--Jacob's cabin MOVES. Jacob sets up shop wherever he damn well pleases. (Some people also think that Jacob doesn't like light, so his cabin will never appear during the day no matter what, even if someone is in the right spot).


After passing by several tribal-looking masks and statues and briefly pausing to notice the Qur'an on Benry's bookshelf, Sayid learns that those crazy freaks at California Closets will travel all the way to the Island to hook a brother up. Benry's got what appears to be a small Brooks Brothers store in this hidden room, along with--gasp!--some luggage, money in a bunch of different currencies (Japanese yen, British pounds, and Euros were the most prominently displayed), and a rainbow of passports. There's no way to deny it now... Ben has indeed been off of the Island in the recent past (and that the picture Miles is carrying of him was most likely also taken off of the Island, as many suspected last week).

One other thing to note about Benry's fabulous closet: the picture adorning one stack of money was none other than the scientist Michael Faraday (referenced in my last write-up when analyzing Daniel last name). The twenty pound note featuring Faraday was in circulation from 1991-2001, and make no mistake, it was shown prominently in Ben's drawer for a reason. And I'm sure that reason has to do with Faraday's accomplishments in electromagnetic experiments and technology.


The passport that Sayid picked up to inspect was from Switzerland, was issued in April of 2003, and listed Ben's name as "Dean Moriarty." Those who have read Jack Kerouac's On the Road might remember Dean as (the main character) Sal's girl-crazy sidekick. I can draw absolutely no comparisons between the characters of Dean and Benry--in fact they are almost complete opposites. However, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier (a graphic novel) speculated that Dean might be the great-grandson of Professor James Moriarty, who was not only the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, but who is also considered to be the first "supervillain." "Supervillain" sounds a little more comparable to Benry than does "womanizing beat poet."


After alerting Sayid to the presence of Locke's group in Ben's house, Kate finds herself trapped by Sawyer. He appears to be unarmed, but because (I can only assume) of the possibility of a Lil' Kate/Sawyer on the way, Kate does not shoot him. Rather, she sits down for a nice leisurely chat with him on Ben's bed (gross). Did you read the news story about how millions of women across the country fainted simultaneously at approximately 9:43 EST on February 14th? Sawyer's mushy plea to Kate was the culprit:

SAWYER: Why do you want to go back, Kate? Seem to recall you being shuttled off to jail before we landed here. So if you think there’s anything waiting for you back home other than handcuffs, you really don’t know how the world works. Look around us, Freckles. We’ve got roofs over our heads. Electricity, showers, beds.
KATE: Yeah, how long, Sawyer? How long do you think we can play house?
SAWYER: (lowers voice) Why don’t we find out?

All together now: Awwwwwwww. Shout-out to Valentine's Day!


With Sawyer guarding Kate and Miles being held "somewhere else," Sayid is tossed into the game room with none other than Ben. It was not too long ago that Sayid was beating "Henry Gale" to a bloody pulp in the hatch, and now here they are, both being held captive by none other than Locke.

The Bald One eventually comes in, and apologizes to Sayid for all the trickery. He tells Sayid about Ben's mole on the freighter, and obviously ends up agreeing to make some sort of trade... Sayid got Charlotte and Locke got... what?

I deem the scene in the game room to be pivotal, for two major reasons:
1) Sayid yelled, "...the day I start trusting him is the day I would have sold my soul" about Benry. Ummm... considering what we know happens in the future, those are some pretty chilling words. They foreshadow something drastic occurring that completely changes Sayid's mind about Ben.
2) Locke entering the room with iced tea was just like Patchy offering Locke, Kate and Sayid iced tea when they first came upon him at The Flame. While I'm not ready to proclaim Locke an Other just yet, I will say admit that he's getting really close. And it's freaking me out!

So what in the heck did Locke gain by giving up Charlotte? It certainly wasn't keeping Kate and/or Miles. I honestly don't think Sayid, Sawyer or Locke would've forced Kate to stay against her will, and it did indeed seem like Sawyer had gotten his point across to Kate about how only handcuffs would be awaiting her back in the real world. As for Miles, well, Locke already had Miles under his control, so he couldn't have been part of the trade. Sayid must have given or promised Locke something MAJOR. Could this have been the beginning of Sayid's employment by Benry? That seems hard to believe at this stage, too, because Sayid couldn't possibly have imagined everything that would unravel once the Oceanic Six returned home. Chalk it up to yet another mystery.


Back at the helicopter, Juliet arrives with Shirt-Unbuttoned-Down-To-Here Desmond (chest-hair-free and damn proud of it, brotha!), who beams at the sight of his ticket off the Island. But shortly thereafter, he tries to demand some answers from Daniel and Frank and shoves the infamous picture of he and Penny in Frank's face. Both men refuse to say whether or not they've ever heard of Penny. But when Des says Penny's last name-- Widmore-- did you notice their reactions? They definitely seemed to recognize that name. But they still kept mum. This scene made me even more confident that Frank and Daniel are in cahoots.

Sayid then returns to the scene with Charlotte... and no one else. Jack feels all foolish after he learns that Kate "decided to stay," and Frank seems happy that "pain in the ass" Miles won't be rejoining the group any time soon. (Although I must say that for us viewers, Miles was responsible for one important part of this episode... when he commented about the Othersville swingsets, he reminded us that Ageless Richard, Cindy, all of the kids and the rest of the Others are at the as-of-yet-unseen Temple. Don't count out Ageless Richard or his bushy eyebrows and long eyelashes!)


Des and Sayid are the two lucky winners of seats with Frank in the helicopter. Sayid suggests bringing Dead Naomi with them and has another strange moment with her as he covers her body with a blanket. Charlotte declines the invitation to leave, and Daniel warns Frank that no matter what, he must keep to the same exact bearing on which they approached the Island.

And with that, the helicopter takes off and Sayid and Desmond finally leave the Island. It was hard to believe it actually happened, wasn't it?

Now it's time for me to confess something: I didn't like this episode. I'll explain why later on, but for now I just had to say that the part where Sayid is shown looking out over the Island as the helicopter lifts off and heads out was the only scene that I did like. In fact, I got a little choked up. I thought they handled it really well and the awesome score (as always) perfectly captured the mixed emotions of the moment. The first of our Lostaways has escaped! But unfortunately he, too, ends up pretty miserable back in the real world, so his escape is not really an occasion to celebrate.


Miles is now being held captive by Locke's group. Charlotte was shot at, held hostage, and came face-to-face with Ben, but was then taken back to the helicopter. Yet she still doesn't want to leave because she has "work to do." Daniel also doesn't want to leave, claiming that he should probably stay with Charlotte (like he could protect her, which is doubtful). What is going on? Are Charlotte and Daniel going to try to go back to the barracks and free Miles and capture Benry (even though they have been stripped of their weapons)? Or are they actually glad that Miles is out of the way and that Ben's unreachable, so that they can each carry out their own hidden agendas? It's not adding up.

And now, it's time for the flash-forwards.


When we first see Future Sayid, he's living the life of a high roller, golfing at a private club in the Seychelles. A man drives up and makes a bet with Sayid about which club is better for his next swing. After this mystery man learns that Sayid is one of the Oceanic Six and is able to afford the club because of his crash settlement, he becomes all skittish and tries to bust out of there. But Sayid kills him first, and then walks off the course as sprinklers burst up out of the ground (a nice touch).

Here's what I thought was important about this first flash:
- We know the guy's name: Mr. Avellino. But since we haven't heard that name before, we don't know if it even matters.
- The ongoing black/white theme in the show was subtly played out in this scene, with Sayid sporting a white glove and Mr. A wearing a black one.
- Sayid obviously knew who Mr. A was, whereas Mr. A did not recognize Sayid. If the Oceanic Six were so famous, why wouldn't that guy have recognized Sayid? He said, "I remember reading all about" the crash, which made me assume that it was perhaps over a year after the Oceanic Six returned home, rather than right after they came back.
- If we are to assume (from the other flash-forwards in the episode) that Mr. A was one of the people Benry told Sayid to assassinate, then we can also assume that Mr. A is associated with "the bad guys" trying to find the Island. So it's doubly-confusing as to why Sayid was not recognized by this man from the beginning.
- I checked to see if the guy had a bracelet on like Naomi's and Elsa's, but from what I could tell, he didn't.
- Some people think this scene happened after all of Elsa's scenes, and that Mr. A was indeed "the Economist" who Sayid had finally tracked down. I personally don't believe that... I think Mr. A may not even be that significant in the whole scheme of things... that scene was there to help us piece together that Sayid's life off of the Island consisted of not much more than being a hitman for Benry. He was continually fed names of people to kill off, and Mr. A was just one of the people on Ben's list.


"Play on, playah!"

That's what I kept yelling at the screen whenever Sayid rocked his long, flowing locks and seductively murmured come-ons such as, "I'll tell you exactly where you know me from, if you let me take you to dinner." There's no shame in his game! I loved it.

We witness his initial encounter with Elsa, which ends with him leaving the restaurant in Berlin, and then calling Darth Vader to report that he has "made contact." Seriously, that deep voice on the other end of the phone was RIDICULOUS, especially after we learned to whom it was supposed to belong.

In the next flash-forward, things have progressed with Sayid and Elsa, and we learn that they are able to be on their fifth date because he's stayed in Berlin longer than he originally planned (but not because of her, she whines). We also learn that her employer, "the Economist," is very old-fashioned and contacts her via an old-school pager.

Then, in their final moments together, we witness Elsa's pager finally going off, and Sayid warning Elsa to get out of Berlin because he's going to kill her employer. But alas, Sayid has been played by Elsa, because she shoots him and then calls her employer (presumably) and tells him to leave the hotel he's at and to meet her at the "safe house." She also complains that he was supposed to call her at 10:30, and that she might as well kill Sayid because she knew he wasn't going to give up his boss's name.

Sayid had no choice but to kill Elsa, and after doing so he performs his patented "close the eyes on the dead woman's body" move and glances at her bracelet.

So, what did we learn from the Elsa scenes? We learned:
- If an attractive woman is involved in any way, shape or form, Sayid shouldn't be a part of the mission.
- Elsa referred to her employer as an economist who dealt with emerging markets. She said he was old-fashioned. And in the original script, she said that he was supposed to call her at 10 instead of 10:30 (the "at 10" part was deleted from the final cut of the episode). Sayid insisted that her employer was not an economist. Many people are wondering if her employer is Jacob, since we know Jacob doesn't like technology, and if he's calling from the Island, there might be a 31-minute time differential (which would explain the way the original script read). Others think that her employer is someone who is traveling around in time, and that he therefore needs a technology that exists in all of the years in which he's traveling, hence the pager. Some think her employer is Abaddon (who was also, at least for the Island mission, Naomi's employer). That may be true, but the similar bracelets would still have to be from someone with the initials R.G.
- No matter who it is that Elsa was working for, they knew that Sayid was on to them from the very beginning, but they played along because they were desperately trying to find out who Sayid was working for. Which would lead me to believe that perhaps it is not known by the world at large that Benry also leaves the Island. But then again, Benry HAS been leaving the Island, so maybe he is continuing to go back and forth, even though we see him in some pet clinic at the end of the episode. Regardless of where Benry is permanently residing in the future, it must not be obvious to "the bad guys" that he is the one behind Sayid's assassinations.


So we get to the final scene of "The Economist," where Sayid has dragged himself to what appears to be a veterinarian's office or pet hospital. The Darth Vader voice is back, and as Sayid explains that he killed Elsa, he is injected with something. When I watched this episode the second time, I wondered if this injection was the same injection that we saw used a few different times on the Island? Or maybe it was just something inconsequential to help with Sayid's bullet wound.

Either way, Sayid continues his conversation with the mystery doctor:

SAYID: She tried to get information from me.
MAN: What sort of information?
SAYID: She wanted to know who I worked for. She wanted to know about you.
MAN: Of course she did.
[The MAN is revealed to be BEN.]

Cue the "Duh duh DUN!" music!

Believe it or not, I did guess that it was going to be Benry, just because the Darth Vader voice still had Ben's trademark inflections. But I wasn't happy that I was right... in fact, I was really depressed. The whole episode had been a downer for me, and then the ending was the nail in the coffin. I don't like Locke being mean to Hurley. I don't like the Lostaways split into factions. I don't like seeing everyone all miserable in the future. I don't like Miles or Charlotte. I don't like the deepening future-off-Island mystery. Locke is going to cause something bad to happen, and now my #2 and #3 most favorite characters aren't even on the Island anymore. I want Smokey and force fields and Island miracles back, dammit!

Alright, that's enough ranting for one post. And before you feel the need to yell at me about not liking the new direction of the show, rest assured that my brother already took care of that. His exact words were: "You're insane. You knew that some of them were getting off of the island. You are just like Locke - too tied to the island. I think what is going to happen is pretty clear: They (Ben/Sayid) are hunting "the bad guys" and trying to figure out how to get back (Jack, on his own). But they will hunt down the bad guys and they will get back. And it will all come to a head back on the island, with both old and new characters. It is going to be awesome."

At least he compared me to Locke.

Let's move on to the balance of the final scene, which held some interesting clues:

BEN: Why are you crying? Because it hurts? Or because you were stupid enough to care for her? These people don’t deserve our sympathies. Need I remind you the last time you thought with your heart instead of your gun?
SAYID: You used that to recruit me into killing for you.
BEN: Do you want to protect your friends or not, Sayid? I have another name for you.
SAYID: But they know I’m after them now.
BEN: Good.


So here's what I think is going on: the Oceanic Six, and some others like Desmond and possibly Ben, leave the Island. I'm still not so sure that the freighter is going to take them directly back home, but for now, it doesn't really matter. The Six make some sort of deal with what they may believe to be Oceanic Airlines. Or perhaps the organization they make the deal with goes by another name--either way, part of this deal is that they vow to never tell anyone about the Island or what happened there. However, eventually, this secret starts to weigh heavily on some of them. While we know that 2.5 years into the future Kate still doesn't want to return, Jack desperately does. Something has driven him mad, and the death of someone around that same point in time (which I believe even more strongly now to be Ben) leads him to almost commit suicide. Hurley is affected by the secret much earlier, receiving visits from Dead Charlie (which are perhaps forced upon him by the Island itself, as he cries to Jack that "it" wants them to return).

Sayid is a different story. He is also one of the Oceanic Six, but from what we can tell so far, he doesn't necessarily want to return to the Island, he just wants to keep others from finding it. And he must have a really good reason for doing so, or else he would never have "sold his soul" to Benry. From the last lines of the episode, my guess would be that after Sayid returns from the Island, he does finally find Nadia, but then she is murdered by The Economist's goons. He now wants to avenge her death, as well as protect his friends. But don't jump to conclusions that Ben was talking about Sayid's friends who made it off of the Island. He may very well have been talking about those who wanted to stay hidden and who never left.

Sayid comments that Ben "recruited" him... which leads me to believe that Ben contacted Sayid at some point after Sayid left the Island, and that it was probably a surprise to Sayid that Ben found him. I don't believe that the rest of The Six have been put to work by Benry, but I do believe they know that he's still around, trying to fight the good fight to save the Island.

That wraps up my analysis of this episode. And now, a much-needed break from the gloom and doom that Sayid's flash-forwards brought upon us.


The winner of The Most Creative Theory award goes to MD, MF and BB (or, "two Christians and a Semite," in their own words), who wrote me with the Holiday Theory. The gist of this theory is that a battle of sorts is underway on the Island, and it's over which religious holiday wins out--will it be Christmas? Hanukkah? Or some bizarro Scientology holiday? Here is their reasoning:

- Jacob is Santa Claus, who can only be seen by "believers." He is losing his powers because the level of cynicism in the world is rising, and people no longer believe in jolly Saint Nick.
- The Island used to be located at the North Pole (thus the appearance of polar bears), but global warming caused everything to melt. However, the magical powers of Santa and his elves can still be found in spots on the Island, which explains some of the strange happenings we've witnessed there so far.
- The Others are Santa's adult elves (which explains why they don't age). But they've lost the ability to carry their babies to term because the Island is now too warm, so they are freaking out about the fact that there are no younger elves around to help build toys. They also hate humans (who caused global warming and led to the pregnancy problem), so they will fight anyone who lands on the Island. But they agreed to bring Juliet there in order to help overcome their pregnancy issue. Further, they kidnap kids in order to convince them to believe in Santa Claus, which helps keep Santa/Jacob from completely losing his powers and disappearing for good.
- The Dharma group was made up of Jewish colonists who wanted to take advantage of Santa/Jacob's weakened state in order to change the official holiday of the Island to Hanukkah, rather than Christmas. They built the Temple, at which the rest of the Others are now hiding.
- The Numbers are the exact proportions of the Dharma ingredients in the Best. Matzo. Ever.
- Naomi and her crew are Scientologists wanting to get rid of both Christmas and Hanukkah so that their own secret winter holiday can be #1 on the Island. This holiday will be revealed at the end of Season Four.

Before you dismiss this theory, consider the following evidence MD, MF and BB gathered to support their ideas:
- The game lead players around CHRISTMAS Island.
- Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet) stars in the Santa Claus II, as Mrs. Claus.
- “HO HO HO” is hidden in Episode 4.01 (as discussed in my previous write-up)
- Assuming that it was after midnight when Daniel Faraday parachuted to the Island, he landed there on Christmas Eve.
- Time travel is prevalent throughout the series... and how else could Santa deliver presents to all those houses across the world?

I think it's fair to say that the Holiday Theory is just as likely to be correct as any other, right? Great job, guys!


FRANK: We burned a lot of fuel coming in, it can’t carry much weight. I’ll take three of you.
MILES: In case you zoned out while you were tweezing your goatee, one of these yahoos took Charlotte prisoner.

JACK: Sayid, so how are we gonna do this?
SAYID: You’re not the best candidate for this kind of mission.
JACK: What kind of mission is that?
SAYID: I’m going to make Locke give me Charlotte. And I’m going to do it without any bloodshed.
JACK: As opposed to the way I’d do it.
SAYID: Last time you encountered him; you put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. That’s not good diplomacy.

MILES: Hey, Jarrah, you think you’re going after Charlotte without me?
SAYID: Of course not.
MILES: (surprised) Oh. Well, good.

[SAWYER shoves BEN]
SAWYER: You ready to give us the name, Gizmo?

LOCKE: He’s not going to tell you who the spy is on their boat, James.
SAWYER: Yeah, why not?
LOCKE: Because that’s the only thing keeping him alive.
SAWYER: Well here’s an idea: why don’t we take a gun, point it to his big toe and send that little piggy to the market?

KATE: Kinda sucks, huh?
JACK: What’s that?
KATE: Being told not to come along. Now you know what it feels like to be me.
JACK: Does that mean I should wait twenty minutes and go anyway?
KATE: Touché.

JACK: What’s his story?
FRANK: Daniel?
JACK: Yeah.
FRANK: Couldn’t tell ya. Half the stuff he says goes over my head, and the other half goes way, way over.

MILES: How about you stop babbling and just tell us what happened here, alright?
HURLEY: Who are you?
MILES: Where the hell did they go, Tubby?
HURLEY: Oh, awesome. The ship sent us another Sawyer.

SAYID: Where’s Locke?
HURLEY: He’s talking to that angry Chinese guy.
SAYID: I’m not going to hurt you, Hurley.
HURLEY: Yeah… I saw you snap that guy’s neck with that break-dancing thing you do with your legs. I think I’ll hang back here.


- In the "enhanced" version of "Confirmed Dead" that aired right before "The Economist," one of the pop-up bubbles explained that the mystery woman in Daniel's apartment was his caretaker. I consider that a pretty major piece of information and am annoyed that it was revealed in this fashion, rather than more directly during that episode or through future episodes.
- Click here to read the transcript of an intriguing deleted scene which dealt with one of my favorite parts of the show--the force field/sonic fence.
- The latest official video podcast features a short chat with Naveen Andrews (Sayid) and Michael Emerson (Ben)... I love Naveen's true accent.

Next up, we have "Eggtown." While I unfortunately know a little bit more about this episode than I should, I still have no idea what its title means (and I want to keep it that way). I think that from the previews, it's pretty obvious that the flash-forwards are going to be about my least favorite Lostaway, Kate. I really hope The Kate Hate Train does not need to be summoned for a ride. What is strange is that the voiceover said that "another member of the Oceanic Six will be revealed." But isn't it already pretty obvious that Kate is one of The Six, especially from the preview clip they showed of her being "one of the most recognizable faces in America?" Not to mention her scenes with Jack in the Season Three finale? The bigger question now is... if she agreed to stay with Sawyer in Othersville, how did she come to leave the Island?

I just hope that they get whatever bad thing that's going to happen between Locke and Hurley over with in "Eggtown," so that I can be free of this nagging feeling of dread.

Until next week,
- e


Anonymous said...

don't you think that now that locke has miles that miles can tell him
what is going on with jacob and taller walt and dead christian shepard -with all that ghostbusting that he does?

Erika (aka "e") said...

I think that would be awesome if Miles did indeed cooperate and share what he knows with Locke, but right now he seems to be a bit too angry to help out at all! Plus, remember, Locke doesn't know about his ghostbusting abilities yet (but Benry might...)

- e

Anonymous said...

Just a thought about Jack and Frank's small talk about baseball and the Red Sox. The Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Could this be a time reference Red Herring with Jack referring to the 2004 Sox and Frank assumming he is talking about the 2007 Sox?

Erika (aka "e") said...

Oh my gosh, that would be AWESOME! I will build a shrine to Cuse and Lindelof if that ends up being the case... (and then I'll take pics of my shrine and post them)

- e

erichapman said...

where are you getting all these wonderful screen shots?

you must be pretty lucky to have HD...

do you know the darkufo people? it's a wonderful blog.

Erika (aka "e") said...

erichapman - We pretty much all pull the screenshots from (although Dark is currently looking for new screenshot-ists, if that's an official title)... and yes, haven't you noticed that my posts are now appearing on Dark's home page? ; ) It IS an awesome site!

- e

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that the dog in the cage at the vet's office looked exactly like the dog in the poster hanging on the wall of the vet's office? I am starting to over analyze?

Lula! said...

e, you're so famous...on Dark's site (the best of both worlds for Lost lovers), as well as Humpy's. A big woo-woo to you!

Thanks for getting the recap up as quickly as you did. I'll build a shrine for YOU! And I loved this ep...but it's OK that you didn't. As hard as it might be to believe now, maybe this week's Kate-centric ep will rock...and the Kate Hate Train won't have to roll!

Anonymous said...

Great as always!! I agree its getting a bit hairy in Lostoverse...but keeps me coming back!!

Jake said...


I'm assuming I'm making something out of nothing here because there is no way you--and the rest of the Lost nerdosphere--would've missed this. However, when Sayid walked up to Elsa at the restaurant, I could've sworn there were whispers. I rewinded it and listened to it again and heard them a second time. I had my wife listen to it and she concurred. I just re-watched it on and heard it again. The whispering can be heard from 6:33 as he's walking to 6:43 just before he talks to her. It definitely could've just been background noise that happened to sound like whispers. However, it seemed pretty blatant to me. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

oh no kate hate please. maybe its because i have a girl crush on evangeline or maybe cause i think she means well and it must hard having two gorgeous men fighting over you ;)

i liked this episode but i didnt loved it as other people did. i too wish they would all stay on the island, i felt so sad watching sayid and des leaving (they are also on my top5 and i was hoping to see them on more island action).

i think you may be right about time, but i kept thinking about it... and there could be some problems with that theory, penny for example, how long has des been on the island? because if our losties 100 days are the equivalent of 3 years or so, than poor penny has been looking for des for how long, almost 10 years? i dont know. i looked for a screencapture of that tunisian newspaper to see if there was a date in it, but it was impossible to read... maybe that itself is a clue, they made it illegible on purpose... mmmm...

it would be awesome if the time really does goes slower on the island.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Frank, as a Yankees fan, would have reacted that way if they were referring to the 2007 World Series. The 2004 playoffs were much more painful for the Yankees, since they blew a 3-0 lead to the Sox.

Anonymous said...

Hey e,

Given that we know Kate is one of the Oceanic 6 and will end up leaving the island, the scenes with her and Sawyer last week combined with the promo for next week seem to be foreshadowing something: Their time together is coming to an end--NOW.

Maybe I watched one too many daytime soaps back in the day, but I think it looked like they were going to have one last "roll in the hay" before she goes back to leave the island with Jack and the other Oceanic 6, possibly to never to see Sawyer again.

I'm calling it right now: Next week, Kate and Sawyer will see each other for the last time on the island. Sometime in the future, when they go back to the island (because Kate ALWAYS goes back), she will meet up with him again. But until then, I don't expect to see many scenes between the two of them.

I could be seeing something that isn't there, but all of those hours watching "Days of Our Lives," and "General Hospital" are pointing me in the direction of the end of "Skate." Your thoughts?

another e

WriteTheWrong said...

I love reading your long commentary/theories about Lost and I have to tell you that I sort of agree about your feelings on this episode. I wouldn't say I don't like it but the show definitely has a much different tone then the more "spiritual," for lack of a better term, tone it was heading towards with Locke in the end of Season 3. Especially the "Secret Agent" feel of this latest episode. Fortunately, I have a lot of faith in the writers that they will bring us back to the questions that we have needed answered for the last two or three years...and hopefully the Others soon.

Burgertime said...

I don't think that Frank's disgust had anything to do with the 2007 Sox win since the Yanks really had little to do with it. In 2004 the Sox defeated the Yanks in 7 games, so Frank would be very angry at this.

No spoiler or maybe it is but one new person will be revealed this week, outside of Kate.

I think the person in the coffin in last years finale is "the economist". No one showed up because no one wanted to be killed by Sayid. My two cents.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SAM I AM said...

Here are my thoughts on the eppy and your write up.
If I repeate something that was already said forgive me.

The bracelets-I think that "The Economist" is that creepy guy in the suit (Naomis boss)

Bens spy- I still havent worked out this theory but I think at the end of the day Juliete is still in it with ben. I could see it now , with that wry smirk on her face. This doesnt meen that ben doesnt have another spy from the ship. But for some reason I still dont trust julliete.

Sayeeds flash forward- That whole final scene with sayeed and elsa reminded me of a typical scene from 24 . I wasnt suprised at all I was actually waiting for her to be bad.

Im starting to agree with you. I want some more supernatural things on the island to start happening again.
P.S. Kudos to you , The whole daniel time experiment has officialy prompted me to jump onto the "e" time theory band wagon.

Im looking forward to your next post.


Joe Fred said...

"Frank told Daniel to hang up if Minkowski got on the phone, and Daniel acted like that was a no-brainer. "

I was under the impression that He asked Dan to hang up if Minkowski called because they WANTED desperately to talk to Minkowski. He was using the phone to conduct the experiment....and had to hang up the line he was using if Minkowski called (sort of like hearing him call in on call waiting).

SKID said...


Read often but have never posted.

Love your thoughts.

Quick thought. I was wondering if that little house in the HATCH mural (looks to be a black and white or gray shack) might be Jacob's "mobile home." Look at the hatch mural! It seems that the little house which I assumed might be New Otherton at one point, might be the shack WHICH WOULD INDICATE that whoever painted that mural - could ALSO see Jacob or at least his house, or at least knew (maybe TOLD by someone)that it jumped around.

. . . and speaking of the mural, doesn't it appear that the black face in the mural (the one with the eye x'ed out) is wearing a priest collar???

Just curious as to yourh thoughts.

. . . and while I have your attention, you seem to be immersed into this enought to not dismiss the ONE nagging question that had bugged me since season one . . . there is a photo on the wall of the now imploded hatch. It was behind the couch where Jack and Locke watched the orientation film. IT did not seem to be a part of the island we had yet seen and I was so curious as to why it was there except to know that anyone buried underground MIGHT like SOME memory of nature. ANTHOW . . .After much research I found out that it was a Joshua tree (like in the U2 album)and that the significance of a Joshua tree is that you CANNOT TELL HOW OLD THEY ARE (unlike most trees where you count the rings.) This just seemed to be some shout out to Joop, Alpert, Life Extension Experiments, etc. Have you encountered ANYTHING like this.

Having said all that, I have WAY overstayed my welcome in the comment section. Keep up the great work.

. . . and just like in WICKED, Ben is going to be good (in the VERY end) and totally re-write our concept of good and evil.

Just thoughts.

Erika (aka "e") said...

Di in RI - I dare say you are starting to over-analyze. : ) But who knows, it could be the same dog or the same type of dog. If you watch the video podcast from last week (linked from my Confirmed Dead write-up), you will get to see the real dog they used for the painting.

Leigh Anne - I really wish that the Kate Hate Train didn't need to be fired up, so I hope you are right.

Matt in Dallas - At least you are coming back to the show of your own will. I couldn't stop now if I wanted to.

Jake - I have been having horrific Tivo issues, so I will have to replay that part later and let you know. But I haven't seen anything about it, and I would guess that perhaps it was just cafe noise... if the whispers leave the Island then I totally, totally give up trying to figure anything out anymore.

Luisa- Yeah, if there is something going on with time, it's going to have to be not so drastic of a difference so that Penny would've given up because it had been too long since Des left, I agree. Ten years for him to have been gone would be too long, I would think. But we know it's been at least three years for Des...

Anon - Yeah, you're probably right about it still being the 04 playoffs, but it would be awesome if it wasn't.

Next Anon - I think your reasoning is very solid... what is life, if not a soap opera? I'm not even a SKater, but it would make me sad if that's the last time S and K see each other.

Writethewrong - Let's hope you are right to have faith in the writers... I do as well, but I'm still a little worried. What is "cool" to some people is not very cool to others, hence my fear that they won't get back to the original tone of the show.

Burgertime - Hmmm, never thought about The Economist being in the coffin... why would Jack be upset about it? Esp if the Economist is "bad"?

- e

Erika (aka "e") said...

Sam I Am - Good call about that final scene with Elsa being like "24." Perhaps since we won't see Jack Bauer at all in 2008, the Lost writers took pity on us and threw in a little nod to the show. : ) And you are most likely right about Juliet... several other people feel the same way--not that she's the mole, but that she is still very sketchy.

Joe Fred - I don't think so, because when Miles called the freighter before, Regina answered and said that Minkowski couldn't come to the phone. It seems like there's therefore only one phone line they're calling. So Regina and Minkowski are together. I guess there is a slight possibility that they called Regina on a secret number, but doesn't it like they wouldn't have had Frank make that comment if there were two lines? It was like he was specifically saying, "Don't talk to Minkowski." If there were two lines, he would've said, "If Minkowski beeps in, you better get it," rather than "hang up"--I hope what I'm saying makes sense.

Skid - Crap, now I'm going to have to dig out my S2 DVDs and look at the mural again! I'll take a look and let you know. But from what you've said (after you obviously looked at it), it seems plausible that the Moving Cabin is in the mural. Also, I have never seen anyone mention the picture in the hatch of a joshua tree... that is very cool what you found out about those trees, and I am positive that it's a clue--good job! Where were you two seasons ago, dammit! I think your comparison to Wicked is right-on, too.

- e

Bibliograph said...

Today, there’s no point on Earth that hasn’t been visited, or at least photographed by satellite, but you clearly can’t get to the island just by knowing the coordinates. I think the “headings” that people follow to leave from and return to the island are supposed to be like the mystical “ley lines” of pseudo-archaeology. This is from the Wikipedia article on ley lines:

“According to claims by investigators of ley line theories, some points along the lines possess higher magnetic energy than the average geomagnetic intensity.”

If you don’t follow the lines exactly you’re just going to end up back in the same location in the spacetime continuum you started from. The island is out of phase with the rest of the Earth, and time moves more slowly there; so it’s never going to show up on any geodetic survey. The connection to C.S. Lewis is that, of course, time moves at a different pace in Narnia than it does in our world.

Jacob's cabin seems to be unmoored in spacetime even within the island. The salt/ash circle around the cabin is there to let you know where it’s going to appear periodically. It doesn’t do anything to hold the cabin or its contents in place.

Richard Alpert is an anomaly—he appears not to age at all, which is not the norm even among the Others. His agelessness may be the effect of Dharma biological experiments rather than having anything to do with the slowed pace of time on the island. Desmond’s clairvoyance, however, is definitely linked to the time displacement effect.

Unknown said...

Merely another observation about Naomi's bracelet. It looks like it's steel, so maybe it's a Sikh Kara bracelet?
The bracelets are one of the five symbols of Sikhism. They are for protection, a physical reminder of one's bond with God, and also a reminder of restraint from doing anything evil with one's hands.

Starkar Mace said...

Regarding Faraday's time experiment: unless the island is in a different dimension or otherwise not on Earth, time dilation, if that is the cause of the time discrepancy, would not result in the outside world's date being different than the date on the island. The Earth's rotation on its axis isn't affected by the time dilation; days would seem longer if time is slower on the island.

For example, at any given time of the day, the sun is at a specific point in the sky. The sun will be at that same point on the island, which is experiencing time dilation, as it is on the freighter, which is not. The sun's movement across the sky will just appear slower to the observer on the island than it will be to an observer on the freighter.

This is, as I initially noted, only if the island is actually on Earth, and not in some other dimension, which is, of course, possible, considering that a specific bearing is required to leave. Although the use of GPS transponders in the previous episode seems to suggest they are on Earth.

The primary issue I have with time dilation is we had three observers to the same event: the freighter, Faraday, and the missile itself. The freighter observed it reaching the island within thirty seconds as predicted based on its speed and the distance to the target; in time dilation, the freighter would observe it reaching the target the same time that Faraday observed it reaching the target. To Regina on the freighter, it would appear to increase speed as time slowed around it, as it would maintain its speed relative to the rate of time. Perhaps there is some note of this when Regina is recounting its distance from the target, I haven't checked, but regardless, if it was purely time dilation affecting the rocket, it would have arrived when expected from the perspective of Faraday, i.e. at the same time Regina saw it arrive.

This lead me to believe that there was a wormhole or something of the sort involved, and the island has some sort of event horizon surrounding it except at the wormhole. Perhaps the freighter's detection of the beacon was at the entrance of the wormhole, thus the once it entered it, it had reached where the GPS tracking on the boat saw the target as. This is incompatible with the usage of GPS to find Miles and the transponder on Vincent, though, as the GPS satellite would see all the transponders being at the same location as well. It would also preclude the usage of a satphone in general, simply because there would be no line-of-sight with the orbiting satellite.

In any case, I cannot think of another reason why the missile would arrive late other than the wormhole explanation, and that would function with the missile entering the wormhole, which transports it through space and time, so that it appears on the opposite end of the wormhole not immediately, but however long it took for the missile to finally arrive at the target from Faraday's observation. The episode was somewhat vague about whether it took an additional 31 minutes to arrive, or if it was a longer period of time and the 31 minutes was just the difference in the missile's clock/stopwatch/time measuring device versus Faraday's.

Another possibility is that the creators screwed up, and that it was a wormhole, but the island clock was supposed to display the additional 31 minutes that were seen in the rocket not arriving when expected; its clock would not reflect those 31 extra minutes it took. This interpretation is dependent on the time devices being clocks and not stopwatches, though.

hatchling23 said...

I have been a little bummed that we are three episodes in and no Smokey!

I imagine The smokester will make an appearance soon just to check out the newcomers and I can't wait to hear Faraday's explanation of that.

Also, one of the things nagging at me is why the ghosbuster isn't being whispered at endlessly by all the dead losties on the island. I would think he would hear them constantly.

Anyway, great recap! Best one I've read this week.

Anonymous said...

RE: Miles telling Locke all he knows: I don't think that Miles knows anything that he hasn't already told us. He's a hot head, but doesn't know much.

Anonymous said...

The Holiday Theory is one that appeals to me. Infact, I am not convinced that it can not dovetail with the Time Theory. But I am surprised that there was no mention of the 3:16 (the time on the stopwatch)...John 3:16 anyone???? What do you think?

notrightnow said...

here is a link to the time theory-this one answers lots and lost of questions-

Erika (aka "e") said...

bibliograph: I love everything you said and agree with pretty much all of it. Forgot about ley lines, you are on to something there.

Tish - Hmmm, that is an interesting thought. But then it can't be the same kind of bracelet Elsa had, too, because she shot Sayid (which I would consider "evil with one's hands!).

starkar mace - It pains me to say this, but I also can't help but assume that perhaps the writers haven't thought out all of these technical issues and that perhaps they did screw up with the time different stuff. But I've always thought a wormhole was possible, too, so who knows. A hint in S3 was the anagram "Lost Time" (for Mittelos), so there is definitiely something going on, whether or not there's a truly scientific explanation for it or not is yet to be seen.

hatchling23 - That is a good point, Miles should be going nuts with all the whispering and Zombies running around... what's up with that? And I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Smokey.

Addy - You are probably right - Miles is a loser! But, I think the other comment meant, will Miles tell Locke that he can speak to the dead?

Anonymous - Wow, you are right, I can't believe no one picked up on the 3:16, especially since there are always so many religious overtones in this show. Good catch.

Sublime Lazy - I read through the theory, and I agree that it explains a lot, and I would believe it IF it weren't for the fact that in one of the last podcasts last year, Cuse and Lindelof said that there is only one timeline and one "universe," so to speak. They said that they didn't want to go the way that Heroes went when people could go back in time and affect things in the future, so they said that what happens to Jack and Kate in the S3 finale definitely happens, and there is no changing that. So I don't think they would do the whole "two existences" thing--plus, it would be too confusing to try to explain on a primetime TV show, and it's very close to the whole "purgatory" theory that they hate so much. So I'm not sure if it could work. Then again, they may totally be lying to us to throw us off, which I would not doubt at all.

Thanks for posting it!

- e

tiff said...

you blow my mind! will read every word.

Anonymous said...

there's a literary technique called metalepsis which is used when writers want to mess around with time. it reserves cause and effect, where the effect that would've come from action actually comes before the action itself. it links the present, future, and past into a continuous circle rather than something linear.

i think this kind of goes along with something you mentioned in the post, so i just wanted to let you know that there's an actual term for it and all, so it's almost like it's legitimate lol

notrightnow said...

Sublime Lazy - I read through the theory, and I agree that it explains a lot, and I would believe it IF it weren't for the fact that in one of the last podcasts last year, Cuse and Lindelof said that there is only one timeline and one "universe," so to speak. They said that they didn't want to go the way that Heroes went when people could go back in time and affect things in the future, so they said that what happens to Jack and Kate in the S3 finale definitely happens, and there is no changing that. So I don't think they would do the whole "two existences" thing--plus, it would be too confusing to try to explain on a primetime TV show, and it's very close to the whole "purgatory" theory that they hate so much. So I'm not sure if it could work. Then again, they may totally be lying to us to throw us off, which I would not doubt at all.

yeah I re read the theory and you're right about the "Copy" aspect of the theory. However, I really think that it's onto something with the whole bending of time thing, and the explanation that Dharma did it to save the world from impending doom. The stuff about the "copy"/"parallel Universe" can be changed but the basic premise of the theory remains true (in my opinion anyway)

The_Other_Other said...

Hey e,

Still loving the posts and everything you do on this blog, I have a theory, well more of calculation, about the time issue and I want to know what you think. So here we go:

Payload away until touchdown: 28 seconds (By Regina's countdown over the radio)
Time Difference on Clocks: 31 minutes 18 seconds


1878 second difference / 28 seconds Regina observed leads to the conclusion:

For every one second on the island 67.0714 seconds pass in the real world; give or take a second due to errors in the calculation.

So if the trip from the island to the boat is twenty minutes (going on what Juliet said)
then we have:

1200 sec * 67.0714 = 80,485.58 seconds = 22.357 hrs actual time pass for the observed 20 minutes on the island.

Who knows it could just be that I'm bored right now and just reaching for things.

Anonymous said...

there's nothing like stating the obvious on the internet for everyone to see!

that's what i get for not using the google feature on my internet machine!


thanks for the hint to the lost-media site!

Mrs. T said...

The bracelet that Naomie wore said "N I'll always be with you RG"
and if you read all the initials toether the say the sentence, the N and RG says "Energy I'll alawys be with you"

NorthEasternGirl said...

hola! love the site. a few things.

i rewatched the economist episode, which was 'ehnanced'.

1.specifically, the time difference is 31:18, which is EXACTLY how it was put in the show.

2. the enhanced episode put the focus on somethings that i refused to believe were merely 'filling time.' like the fact that they SPECIFICALLY mention what kind of helicopter they flew in on (wiki huey helicopters).

3. 'don't trust Minkowski'. HAHAHAHAHA. this is funny because you need to go here. look into minkowski time or 'flat time'. now, i had to get a friend that worked for NASA to explain it to me, but seriously, i just laughted for 20 minutes.