Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Official Podcast Debrief

Hello my dear friends -

Before I get into the audio podcast debrief, I wanted to mention that there is also a new video podcast on It focuses on one of the set directors, who showed scenes from the freighter and talked about the challenges of filming ALL scenes for the show from Hawaii (yep, even the ones that are supposed to be in London... or Berlin... or Manhattan). Very interesting. It's only five-and-a-half minutes, if that helps in your decision whether or not to check it out.

Now onto the 21-minute audio podcast with the producers. As always, I've cut out anything I deem to be too big of a spoiler (or too lame to mention), but have left in general comments about the show, as well as answers to specific fan questions about "The Shape of Things to Come."

Here we go... transcribed as best I could...

Q. How did Ben appear in the desert wearing a parka? Was he in the exact same spot the polar bear was found?

A. First off, the Dharkas will be available this fall for purchase. [e: They were joking, damn!] How Ben appeared in the desert will be answered over the course of the series. But this one is a long set-up. We see him in the desert, there seems to be some sort of vapor rising from him [e: I KNEW it!], he appears disoriented. No, it was not Vicks VapoRub. But we probably will see Ben in the Dharka again and then everyone will be able to piece together what was going on. He did land in Tunisia, and that's where the polar bear was found, too. Was it the exact same spot? I'm not sure. But I think that the fact they were both in Tunisia is not a coincidence. There are not many "coincidences" on this show.

Q. Does Ben have control over the smoke monster? And where did Ben go when he went into the secret room?

A. Obviously, Ben went into that room, and when he came out he had soot on him [e: once again, I knew it! And I don't even have HD] and then shortly after Smokey comes through the barracks. So was there a monster hotline in that room? [e: These guys SO read the message boards and blogs...] Was there a bat signal down there that Ben flashed for the monster? Hurley specifically asked if Ben called it. We can confirm that there was definitely NOT a bat signal that was shot up into the sky for Smokey. But it is reasonable to deduce that Ben did summon it. Although it's clear that Ben doesn't outright control the monster, because he still looked pretty nervous and was like, "Let's skedaddle." So Ben wasn't telling the complete truth when he told Locke that he doesn't know what Smokey is.

[They then broke from the question and answer format for a few minutes to talk about a few other random things...]

- The Widmore/Ben scene at the end was one of the only scenes we've ever shot outside of Hawaii in the entire series. This was actually shot in London because Alan Dale, who plays Widmore, couldn't make it to Hawaii because of another acting commitment. But even before when Des threw Penny's ring into the Thames, that was in Honolulu!
- This was our version of the Pacino-DeNiro scene from Heat. This was our climactic scene between two of the biggest forces on the show.
- They referenced "changing the rules" and the fact that Widmore "couldn't" be killed by Ben. So do they have rules between each other, or is there some larger force governing things?

[Then they went back to questions and answers.]

Q. Do fish and birds go through the time-warp when they fly or swim around the Island?
[e: What the...? Who in the hell is submitting these questions?]

A. If they are flying or swimming at the right bearing, then they'll be OK. But if not, then they'll be susceptible to time-warping. What about Ezra James Sharkington (the Dharma shark)? All we will say is this: he was born in the year 1805. That means he's 203 years old. That's a lot older than most sharks. [e: I couldn't tell if this was a clue or a joke?!?!] But in all seriousness, what does this mean for the carrier pigeon that Claire released last season? When and where will that show up again? [e: OK, now I feel like a jerk. I totally forgot about that bird. Good question, random fan.]

Q. Can you confirm whether or not Harper was the REAL Harper in the jungle when she warned Juliet about Daniel and Charlotte going to the Tempest in "The Other Woman"? Was she perhaps the Smoke Monster?

A. It was the real Harper. And the fact that people are thinking that she could've been the Smoke Monster is making me have pains. There were whispers before her arrival and after her departure, so maybe that's where the confusion is coming from.

[e: WHOA. They just acted like they were surprised that anyone thought Harper could've been Smokey in disguise. I certainly had considered that possibility! Now that they've just confirmed that it was the flesh-and-blood doctor, a whole new host of questions come to mind. How did Ben contact Harper? (Remember that he was tied up at that point.) How did he know about Daniel and Charlotte going to the Tempest? How did Harper find Juliet in the middle of the jungle? How did she come and go so quickly? And why WERE there whispers surrounding her appearance? ARRGHH!)

Q. Are we going to ever see anymore traditional Lost flashbacks... meaning flashbacks that are about any of the 815ers before they came to the Island?

A. All bets are off... we reserve the right to do flashbacks, flash-forwards, flash-sideways, and none of the above. We have some interesting things in store for the final hours of Season Four, and we wanted to make it so that you'll remain curious over the eight months between the finale and the next premiere, because we will be going into radio silence once again during those months. You'll be wondering, "What are they going to do for Season Five?"

And on THAT note... I leave you to ponder the possibilities!

Enjoy "Something Nice Back Home" Thursday night,
- e

Monday, April 28, 2008

S4Ep9 - THIS is "The Shape of Things to Come?" Lord Help Me.

Hello my dear friends -

I don't think there could've been a better way to pull us hiatus-weary Lost fans back into the thick of things than to unfurl the action-packed ninth episode before our unsuspecting eyes... "shock and awe," indeed.

The funniest thing was that I had a friend visiting who doesn't follow Lost. After it was over and we sat in silence digesting all that had happened in the past hour, she summed it up quite appropriately: "This show is intense!"

There were two things on my mind as the credits rolled: 1) "I can't believe they killed Alex," and 2) "I really think this means Rousseau is dead, too." Unlike the vast, vast, vast majority of fans out there, I didn't love this episode. Alex's murder totally depressed me and I found it hard to muster enthusiasm after that point in the show. But I'll whine more about that later on.

Island events first, then Ben's flashes. And a shout-out to CJ, SC and SM who watched the show with me this week.


The episode began with Kate performing a strange strip-tease of sorts on the beach while shooting "come hither" eyes at The Mad Doctor. And even though an alien is apparently eating him from the inside out, Jack paused to appreciate the scene and shoot back some "You lookin' at me?" eyes in return. In retrospect, there could not have been a more bizarre and misleading start to this episode.

But the lovefest was soon shattered as Vincent (VINCENT!!!) began barking his head off and Bernard (BERNARD!!!) hollered for help.

None other than Doc Ray had washed up dead on the shore. He had fresh stitching over the scar we'd seen before on his cheek, and his throat had been slashed. But when Daniel communicated via Morse code to the freighter crew later in the episode, they claimed that the Doc was fine.

So what in the heck is going on? In past episodes it seemed like we got confirmation that the date on the freighter was the same as on the Island (the calendar showing December 2004). But we knew that something went awry with the passage of time when people or things came to or from the Island (Daniel's rocket experiment, Desmond and Minkowski's "side-effects," the perception of how long the helicopter had been gone by those on the Island, etc).
However, now we have people on the Island encountering a dead Doc Ray, while people on the freighter report that he is alive and well.

The three main explanations are:
1) The freighter crew is lying. Who in the heck is the one typing back the Morse code from the freighter, anyway? We've seen half of the crew leave the ship or die trying--who's left? Regardless, they have good reason for waiting to maintain a front that everything is peachy-keen on their Ship 'o Doom. Especially since we now have confirmation from Daniel that there was never any intention of rescuing the 815ers, and we know that Keamy and crew are in the process of carrying out their orders to kill everyone on the Island.

2) There are somehow two instances of Doc Ray--one who is dead on the beach, and one who is still alive on the freighter. Remember the Orchid Video?

3) Maybe at one point the freighter and the Island were moving at the same pace, but now they're not. The Island is now ahead of the freighter, and the Lostaways are seeing Future Doc Ray, who has been murdered. But it hasn't happened yet on the freighter. So there are not two instances of Doc Ray--the Island and the freighter are just at two different points on the same timeline. How Morse code can be transmitted through time, I have no idea. But I do believe this theory is the best explanation, considering that Daniel said that "'when' is a relative term." Many people believe that when Desmond turned the fail-safe key, it "unhinged" the Island along the space-time continuum. Meaning that sometimes the Island may be moving at the same pace as the real world, whereas at other times it's either moving more slowly or more quickly. This is consistent with what we've seen during Daniel's rocket experiment (Island time was behind) and while the Losties waited for word from the helicopter crew (Island time passed faster). (I personally don't think the fail-safe key had anything to do with it, I think the Island was always "special" in this way.)

A clue lies with Doc Ray's scar, which we saw healing in a past episode, but appeared badly stitched up when he washed ashore. I think the screenshot of Dead Doc Ray is too gross to include, but if you'd like to see it for comparison purposes, click here.

A related, but slightly different, theory is that the Island is actually jumping around between the past, present and future, much like Desmond's mind did in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant."

I think either version of this theory would help explain why those not on the Island struggle to find it.


Locke's group is playing Risk, Benry's pounding out Rachmaninoff on the piano, and then the fun and games are over when the Phone No One Noticed Before rings and alerts the Othersville inhabitants to Code 14J. You know, Code 14J! That's the one that means Ben has no choice but to share with the Lostaways his many guns hidden in piano benches, behind paintings, under accent pillows and above curtain rods. (As opposed to Code 14W, which simply means that more wine-in-a-box is being dropped from the sky.)

All hell breaks loose, and while Locke, Ben and Hurley try to fortify Ben's apartment, Sawyer runs around trying to warn people and find Claire. I can only guess that the producers were attempting to be humorous in the scene where three redshirts (one was even wearing a red shirt!) went down in succession while Sawyer escaped unharmed--it was nothing short of comical when Sawyer's like "Get inside!" BOOM. Redshirt down. "Hey you, go back!" BOOM. Another redshirt down. "We're being attacked, fool!" BOOM. Number three bites the dust.

On top of all that, the enemies mysteriously stop shooting while Sawyer searches through the remains of Claire's blown-up house. He finds her alive (???) and then the shooting resumes, but they are luckily protected by the magical picket fence that separates them from the Evil Freighties.

How many people thought that Claire was a goner, and that this would be how she came to be separated from Aaron? I sure did.

I was not loving Locke or Ben when they were prepared to let Sawyer and Claire get shot while trying to get back inside. I WAS loving Hurley for throwing a small couch through the window to help the two to safety. This should go without saying, but Sawyer was absolutely awesome in this episode.

Perhaps my favorite scene of the hour was when the doorbell rang. It was played brilliantly, as everyone looked at each other with "Huh?" expressions and then scurried about trying to figure out what to do. And then there stood freakin' Miles. Brilliant. It was the Lost equivalent of a Land Shark at the door muttering, "Candygram..."

A few random things to note from these scenes:
- When playing Risk, Hurley has a few telling lines: "This is exactly what he wants--to fight amongst ourselves," and "Australia's the key to the whole game." Regarding the latter comment, not only did Flight 815 take off from Sydney, but Ayers Rock (where Bernard took Rose to see that Shaman-like guy) is in Australia. That guy told Rose of certain places on Earth that have special energies. I've always thought that the Island is obviously one of those spots.
- Hurley was told repeatedly to get Aaron away from the window. I couldn't help but think that those lines were meant to foreshadow something that will happen in a future episode (like maybe Claire will have Aaron near a window and that's where they end up getting separated).



After learning that the invaders had Alex, Ben began his showdown with Keamy. And we all know that it didn't end well. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I was truly, truly shocked that Alex was killed. I know it's just a show and everything, but she was a 16-year-old who had just seen her boyfriend and recently-found birth mother killed, and the last words she heard were her "adoptive" father proclaiming that she meant nothing to him. That's rough.

When Waaaaalllllllttt was kidnapped at the end of Season One, so many people wrote me about how disturbed, or even nauseous, they were after that scene. That's how I felt when Alex was shot, because I knew it was final. And I knew that Rousseau must probably be dead, too. Quite sickening.

As soon became obvious, Ben also didn't think that Keamy would actually kill Alex. From his silent shocked horror after the shot rang out, to his tears of sorrow over his daughter's dead body, to his vow of revenge against Widmore at the end of the episode, it was clear that this was the first time in an extremely long time that something didn't pan out the way Ben had planned. Now many more people are going to suffer as a result of "the rules" changing.

I will end this section by saying this: Writers of Lost, if you can hear (read?) me, you better eventually kill off Keamy. And when you do, it better be good. Because right now, I do believe he is the #1 most-hated character on television.


The next thing the Lostaways (and Miles) knew, Ben busted out to his secret closet. We viewers got a glimpse of yet another hidden door behind a bunch of Brooks Brothers jackets--this door had hieroglyphics all over it.

Shortly thereafter, Ben (looking slightly sooty) reemerges and tells the group that they have to make a run for it. As they go outside, Smokey 2.0 (looking bigger, badder and faster than ever) rages over Othersville buildings and engulfs any Evil Freighties in its path. Hurley once again voiced what everyone was thinking, "Did you just call that thing?"

After Ben had his sad goodbye with Alex, the group split into two after a tussle between Locke and Sawyer over who "got" Hurley. Miles, Sawyer, Claire and Aaron headed for the beach, while Locke, Ben and Hurley intended to find Jacob's cabin.

Here is what I deem to be important from these scenes:
- Obviously, the Hieroglyphic Door means something. We've seen tribal masks in Ben's apartment, we know the Four-Toed Statue looks ancient, and I can only assume that all of those things are connected. Good thing Charlotte, the Studier of Ancient Civilizations, is on the Island, huh?

- Ben was able to summon Smokey. I hope we eventually get to see the Smokey Phone that must be inside that Second Secret Room. It doesn't appear that Ben can outright control Smokey, though, or else he would've had it kill the helicopter crew as soon as they landed.

- At one point Claire said, "I'll live" and Miles quipped, "I wouldn't be so sure." There's only two possible meanings for his line: 1) He can not only talk to the dead, but he knows how people will die, and Claire's time is up soon (hence her eventual separation from Aaron), or 2) the writers know everyone's assuming Claire will die, so they are messing with us. I actually think #2 is what's going on. How can Claire die after she just miraculously survived her apartment blowing up? All that being said, if TPTB had no qualms about killing off an innocent 16-year-old, then they definitely aren't going to blink an eye at offing a bay-bee's momma. I had previously thought that the show wouldn't get that dark, but I was obviously completely and utterly wrong.

- Both Locke and Ben have faith that Hurley can find Jacob's cabin because they know that he's seen it before. That's all fine and good, but what I can't figure out is why Hurley, of all of the Lostaways, is the one who can see the cabin? And why can Locke no longer find it? Along these same lines, I kept wondering why Hurley ends up regretting going with Locke. At first I thought it would be because Claire gets killed. But now I think Hurley's regret will stem from helping Ben and Locke find Jacob. My Dread-O-Meter is at its highest setting right now--it's only a matter of time before we find out what goes down to make Hurley so remorseful.

- If you're anything like me, you're now even more confused as to how the Oceanic Six get off the Island. Claire is now WITH Aaron and Sawyer, they're heading toward Sun, Kate and Jack on the beach, Hurley has left Aaron, and Sayid's already gone. How is this going to work?!?!

- Does anyone else think that Miles will still somehow end up going to Jacob's cabin? I mean, isn't that kind of his thing--talking with ghost-spirits?

And now, to the even more perplexing flash-forward scenes...


I had no idea that it was going to be a Benry-centric episode, so I was pleasantly surprised when we first saw him gasping for air in a parka (?) as he landed in the middle of the Sahara. (By the way, the Dharma parka is being referred to as the Dharka on message boards, hee hee.)

I immediately noticed several things about the first few moments of this initial flash:
- It was Dr. Halliwax's jacket. He is the scientist that has gone by several names in the various Dharma videos. He used the name Edgar Halliwax specifically in the Orchid Station video.
- Many people think that the new Dharma logo on the jacket is therefore from the Orchid Station.
- It was a parka... meaning that Ben either thought he was going somewhere cold, had just come from somewhere cold, or... knew that the desert gets extremely cold at night. I thought I saw cold air dissipate from the area around his head when he "landed."
- Ben's right arm was bleeding.
- Ben threw up an orangey-yellow liquid. Most people think he drank the same stuff that Ethan gave to Juliet (she was told it was orange juice) before she came to the Island. Which would lead you to believe that this liquid is necessary to prevent the "side-effects" that would otherwise occur when coming to or leaving the Island.
- The polar bear skeleton that Charlotte visited was also in the middle of the desert in Tunisia.

Shortly after Ben lands, two men ride up on horses and threaten him. Little did they know that they were dealing with Indiana Ben, international adventurer and man of mystery. Instead of a whip, Indiana Ben uses an ASP baton and quickly dispatches his enemies and then rides off into the sunset on one of their horses.

Next, we see him check in at a Tunisian hotel as a "preferred guest" (imagine the points he must have!) with his Dean Moriarty passport. He asks the attendant (who seems either in awe or fearful of him after learning his identity) what the date is... and also wants to know the year. It is October 24, 2005.

Questions arising from these scenes include:
- Was Ben teleporting, or time traveling, or both? I think that, as with the Dharma-collared polar bear that wound up in the Tunisian desert, Ben was transported from the Island to Africa by some unknown method. My guess is that there is a wormhole of sorts in both locations. Ben was definitely NOT time-traveling in the sense that Desmond was... Desmond's consciousness jumped around to different points in his own life. Whereas Ben was physically transported elsewhere. The reason he wanted confirmation of the date was because of what was covered earlier... time on the Island is either moving at a different pace than it is for the rest of the world, or the Island and those on it are constantly jumping around in time and can never be sure what date it is in the "fixed" world.

- Where did Ben learn those ass-whuppin' skillz? The man knows his way around an ASP baton. (For two seconds, I thought that small black thing he was holding was a lightsaber, and I was really excited.)

- Where/when did Ben come from, how did his arm get hurt, and why is he in Halliwax's Dharka? I am fairly positive that when Ben ran into his secret closet during this episode, he was calling for Smokey and was NOT teleporting to Tunisia. More on the timeline of things a bit later.


Poor Sayid. The writers give him no love whatsoever. I can't say I was surprised to learn that Nadia had been killed--I figured as much when we learned that He of The Black Tank Top wound up working for Ben in the future. But it was still sad to get confirmation that she was ripped out of his life for good after they had finally been reunited.

There were several things I found interesting about the few flash-forward scenes that he and Benry shared in this episode. I think everyone had figured that Ben had guilted Sayid into working for him, but as it turns out, just the opposite occurred. Ben actually warned Sayid against being motivated by anger, but Sayid pretty much begged to do Ben's dirty work, without so much as asking a single question.

Although we found out how Ben became Sayid's boss-man in the future, more questions were raised in the process:
- What was Ben's original motivation to leave the Island on this "trip?" Was he surprised to see Sayid on the TV monitor and then improvised from there--deciding on the fly to reach out to Sayid in his time of grief? If so, what had he been planning on doing on the mainland if he never saw the TV shot of Sayid? Or had Ben already been coming to recruit Sayid because he learned of Nadia's death while on the Island? (Remember that Ben has always been able to find out about mainland events even while on the Island.) He landed in the desert after Nadia had already been killed, so how did he get his hands on the picture of her supposed assassin in L.A?

- Why did Ben lie to Sayid about how he got to Iraq? We all know he did NOT take the Elizabeth off of the Island. But Sayid seemed to buy his story, which leads me to believe that the Oceanic Six have no idea about the Island's teleportation abilities. Now that I think about it, I guess it's pretty obvious why Ben lied about his method of transportation: he doesn't want anyone else to know about it. If Crazy Bearded Jack Of The Future knew about Ben's comings and goings, he'd be wanting to join in.

- What was "the heart before the head" event that Ben referenced in "The Economist" when he bandaged up Sayid's gunshot wound after Sayid killed Elsa? Recall this dialogue:

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 what they did 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.

From what we now know of their first off-Island encounter, Ben didn't really recruit Sayid. Sayid jumped at the chance to work for Ben. So what were the two talking about above?

I have three ideas:
1) Sayid later finds out that he played right into Ben's plan to get him to become an assassin.
2) Something happens to one of the Lostaways because of Sayid at a later point, and we don't know what it is yet.
3) All of the Oceanic Six were told to not contact people from their lives before the crash, in addition to being ordered to keep quiet about what really happened on the Island. Sayid broke one or both of those rules by seeking out and then marrying Nadia, and so whoever is behind the O6 cover-up had Nadia killed.

- The final question raised from the Sayid/Ben future scenes is: Did Ben have Nadia killed? When Ben walks away from Sayid, he clearly smirk-smiles to himself. It was definitely a "everything is going according to my plan" expression. Is it possible that Ben had Nadia killed, knowing that Sayid would then want revenge on whomever Ben claimed was behind her murder? I really hope not, but that smirk is worrying me. Most people on the boards don't believe that Ben had Nadia killed, and instead think that the group responsible is the same group that wants the O6 to keep quiet. Ben could be smirking simply because getting Sayid on board was a lot easier than he expected. Or perhaps Ben did intend to get Sayid to kill that one specific guy in Iraq, but never considered an arrangement where Sayid would continue to carry out orders from Ben, so he was smiling and thinking, "Sweet! Now I've got a kick-ass employee!" But I can't shake the feeling that perhaps we are ALL getting fooled into believing that Ben really is "the good guy" in the Ben vs. Widmore fight.


The second-biggest shock of the night came when Ben went to visit none other than Charles Widmore in the final scene. How many other people thought we wouldn't see a confrontation between the two for a long, long time? Color me surprised.

As Ben referenced the fact that he had just been in Iraq, I think we can only assume that his London jaunt came on the heels of the Tunisia and Iraq trips... meaning that they all took place about ten months from the current time on the Island. It definitely seemed like this was the first time that Ben had seen Widmore since Alex's death, as that was the main topic of their conversation. But what was perhaps more surprising was that it was clearly not the first time the men had spoken to or seen each other. When the episode ended, I got the sense that the Lostaways had fallen into the middle of a high-stakes "game" of sorts that has been going on for a long time between Ben and Widmore. A game that has established rules, which Ben accused Widmore of changing when Alex was killed. As a post I read on the boards said best: "Is this all just a fight between two rich white guys over real estate?"

Have you ever seen the movie The Game with Michael Douglas? If you haven't, you should, because it rocks. But anyway, that's what I was reminded of when "The Shape of Things to Come" ended.

There are so... many... questions (again) that arose from the final minutes of the episode. Here are the ones I think are most important:
- Why did Ben wait ten months to confront Widmore about Alex's death? If we are to believe that (more or less) the same amount of time had passed on the Island as it had in the real world, what took Ben so long? It doesn't seem like Widmore is in hiding or anything, so I don't think he was particularly hard for Ben to find. Was Ben not able to leave the Island any earlier? Or did Ben not actually want to leave the Island, but did so because he was under attack there once again (hence the cut on his arm when he landed), and then he figured he'd knock a bunch of things off of his To Do list whilst back on the mainland? Or as I said earlier, maybe Ben left the Island because he had heard about Nadia's death, and then just rolled his visit to Widmore into his off-Island itinerary. And by the way, even though Ben asked for confirmation of the date in Tunisia, I do think that roughly the same amount of time had passed on the Island as it had elsewhere. Ben most likely knows of the slight time-distorting nature of the Island and just wanted to make sure "when" he was... but judging from how he looked, I would say that he definitely made the trip after the O6 had left the Island (and Sayid obviously confirmed this as well).

- Why does Widmore claim that the Island was once his and that Ben stole it? Most people think that this means that Widmore was either behind the original Dharma group that Ben killed in The Purge, or that he was possibly a member of the Black Rock crew (which would require him to not age, like Ageless Richard). I definitely got the sense that Widmore had in fact been to the Island before. Regardless of why Widmore claims that the Island was once his, it's now clear why he wanted the Black Rock journal. It's also pretty likely that Libby was working for Widmore, and that the "gift" of the Elizabeth boat to Desmond was a set-up. Widmore wanted Des to land on the Island, but he probably thought he'd be able to easily find him afterward... my bet is that the ship may have had a tracking device on it.

- And now that we've been reminded of Ageless Richard... where in the hell is he, and how does he fit in to all of this? That goes for Jacob, too. Does Widmore know about Jacob? And if Widmore claims the Island was once his, what kind of connection does he have, if any, to Richard's group of supposed "hostiles?" And are Richard and his peeps at the Sanctuary clued in to the war that's going on over in Othersville? It would be awesome if Keamy met his demise by way of Ageless Richard of the Bushy Eyebrows and Unnaturally Long Eyelashes jumping down from a tree and attacking him "Island native-style."

And by the way, despite what others on the message boards seem to think, I definitely believe Ben can get back to the Island again just as easily as he left. From his words to the hotel clerk in Tunisia, it's obvious he's done this sort of thing before. The question is, did he ever go back to the Island after the trip to recruit Sayid and visit Widmore? Sayid's flash-forward in Berlin was most likely significantly into the future, and Ben was there to sew Sayid up. Had he gone back to the Island in the meantime?

- What's up with Widmore apparently not being able to be killed?

WIDMORE: Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?
(Widmore sips the whiskey.)
BEN: We both know I can't do that.

Most people seem to think that, just like Michael not being able to die off-Island, Widmore can't, either. And the reason would be because the Island won't let these people be killed. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe one of "the rules" is that Ben and Widmore can't kill each other. But I'm leaning more toward the Island explanation, because if Ben thought Widmore had cheated in killing Alex, then it seems like all bets would be off. I also think the Island still has a hold over Widmore because of the nightmares he mentioned.

- Will the last name Ben gives Sayid on the Assassination List be Penelope Widmore? And if it is, will Sayid kill her? I think that Ben WILL give Sayid Penny's name, and that it will be one of the climactic scenes near the end of the series... a "will he or won't he?" moment where it appears that Sayid is actually considering doing the deed. But I don't think he would go through with it. He was witness to Desmond's end of that crazy Christmas Eve phone call that would've melted the heart of The Grinch. Plus, Sayid knows what it's like to lose the love of his life. I just don't think he'd do that to Desmond.

- Perhaps the bigger question regarding Penny isn't whether Sayid (or Ben) will kill her, but rather, where is she? Widmore told Ben he'd "never find her." Is there some other hidden Island out there Ben doesn't know about? Where in the heck is Penny in October 2005? And is Desmond with her?


The more I thought about this episode, the more it messed with my head. There are a few miscellaneous topics I wanted to cover that didn't seem to fit neatly elsewhere in this post, so here they are:

- Some people figure that Jack's serious illness will be what leads him to become one of the 06. "He's got to get off this Island or he's going to die!" They think that his weak condition would explain why he wouldn't want someone else to leave in his place... with his savior complex and all. I definitely don't buy that argument. Remember that Jack had no qualms about leaving the Island via submarine with Juliet before Locke blew the sub to smithereens. Whether Jack would've actually gotten off the Island in the sub doesn't matter, he truly believed he was going to get out of there. So it's not like he's never considered leaving without insisting that others (say Claire and Aaron) also get to go at the same time. I think Jack's illness is going to be wrapped up some other way and will have nothing to do with why he becomes one of the O6. What I still can't figure out, however, is why Jack initially has his "we're never going back!" attitude shortly after returning home. It seems like, considering what we now know must go down on the Island, he would've felt guilty immediately after returning home.

- Why is everyone on the mainland so shocked when they learn of Ben's identity? WHO IS BENJAMIN LINUS? How did he go from a newborn baby in a forest in Oregon to a nerdy kid on the Island to an international man of mystery and power? The hotel clerk looked freaked out when she read his record in the register, and even the guy that Sayid killed paused a beat when Ben identified himself. Widmore said to Ben, "I know who you are... what you are." Miles had previously said something similar: "Like I don't know who you are... or what you can do." What does all of this mean??? Is Ben like Al Pacino in The Devil's Advocate? (Another great movie...)

- And as far as Charles Widmore goes... there is obviously now a big question mark over his background as well. We know that he runs Widmore Corporation and is Penny's father, but the exact nature of his involvement with the Island is up in the air. Before we just thought he was trying to find the Island and exploit it (which is what Ben told Locke), but now it seems that he once controlled it. Some people thought that Widmore is "the economist" who Elsa was working for, but I don't think that's the case. Sayid and Ben were trying to find the economist, and there's never been a problem finding Widmore. Plus, Elsa was also trying to figure out the identity of Sayid's employer. If the economist was Widmore, he would know that Sayid was working for Ben, especially after Ben told Widmore that he'd just been to Iraq (and the Sayid/Elsa flash-forward happened after that point). So I still maintain that there is another group or person that is involved in the battle for the Island.

- If you are confused about the timeline of the flash-forwards, Lostpedia has constructed a good guesstimate of how they fit together here.


AUTOMATED FEMALE VOICE: (Over phone) Code 14-J. Code 14-J.
HURLEY: Who is it?
LOCKE: I think it's for Ben.

SAWYER: Let me guess... "14-J" ain't the code for the pizza boy.

MILES: They told me they were just security.
LOCKE: Security for what?
MILES: (Indicates Ben) For him. Once they got him, to escort him back to the mainland.
BEN: Well, Miles, sounds like you're not gonna collect your $3.2 million.

HURLEY: You guys go back to the beach. I'll catch up sooner or later.
SAWYER: (To Locke) You harm so much as one hair on his curly head... I'll kill you.

MAN: Surrender! Surrender!
BEN: Oh, so you do speak English.
(Ben hits knocks the man unconscious with the butt of the rifle.)

(A silenced gunshot, and Bakir falls forward, dead, revealing Sayid behind him with a gun. Sayid turns the gun down, away from Ben, toward Bakir. Another shot, and another, and another, and another, and another, click, click, click, click, click, click, click.)
BEN: That should do it.

WIDMORE (to Ben): Don't stand there, looking at me with those horrible eyes of yours...
[e: Whoa, he went there!]


As you all know, I am vehemently anti-spoiler. Over the past week, I have been forewarned by countless people that spoilers are all over the web about the rest of Season Four... so much so that many sites actually just assume fans have now heard certain things and no longer feel the need to warn readers before referencing what will come to pass on the show. For this reason, I am not reading any other episode reviews or going to any site-related message boards for the balance of the season... I just enjoy my spoiler-free status too much. I also haven't read things like the fan theories that were graded by the the producers in USA Today, because quite frankly, I don't want to know who's close to figuring it out! My brother has been nice enough to pass pre-screened ideas and thoughts on each episode to me so that I can keep a proverbial finger on the pulse of the unspoiled Lost fan community. But I felt that I should pass those spoiler warnings on to others who want to remain surprised over the course of the next month.

So here is my in-the-dark guess as to what is going to happen next week. I think there's actually a chance that Jack will die. I have no idea how it could work since we know he is one of the O6 and is obviously alive in the future, but I just have a weird feeling about it. Either that will happen, or they're going to somehow get him to the freighter where Not-Yet-Dead Doc Ray is going to perform emergency surgery. Or knowing The Mad Doctor, he'll perform surgery on himself. Either way, it's bound to be interesting...

Until next week,
- e

Sunday, April 20, 2008

DHARMA Invades Disney World... and Other Tidbits While U Wait

Hello my dear friends -

I hope you have all had a nice 5-week hiatus from Lost. But now, it's time to get serious again... the show returns this Thursday (April 24th), an hour later than it aired before: 10 PM EST.

Those of you who have been keeping up with me via According to e know that I recently went to Orlando, and while I was on the "It's a Small World" ride in Disney World, I snapped the picture above. They have a ton of signs for common greetings from all over the globe, and the one for "Namasté" caught my eye. Dr. Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund/Edgar Hallowax would always say this in the myriad of DHARMA films we've seen over the course of the series. I'm pretty sure that means that DHARMA has infiltrated the Magic Kingdom! Further proof: I was told that in Disney's Hollywood Studios, there is a "Down the Hatch" fish sandwich on the menu. Alas, I did not see Locke at any of the theme parks.


I wrote a recap of the latest podcast with the producers below, but I thought I would put some other news about the show first, for those of you who want to avoid even the very teeny spoilers contained in the next section. So here are a few noteworthy things I've come across over the past month.

- Charlie's not dead! (To Kate, at least. In real life.) Dominic Monaghan and Evangeline Lilly are back together after breaking up for a while. Previously they had dated for three years and there had even been engagement rumors flying around. I always thought they seemed like a strange couple... so I am surprised they are back together. But hey, whatever works--at least we know that in real life, Kate doesn't go for guys who are anything like Jack or Sawyer!

- has launched an online game of sorts called LOSTscape. I clicked around in it for a few minutes but haven't spent enough time on it to say much else... it looked pretty cool, though. Supposedly there are 34 "objects" from the show you are supposed to collect and there are hidden sneak peek videos for upcoming episodes as well.

- The remainder of the Season Four schedule has now been set in stone:

Episode 9 - The Shape of Things to Come - 4/24

Episode 10 -5/1

Episode 11 - 5/8

Episode 12 - The first hour of a three-hour finale - 5/15

ONE WEEK BREAK (which is good, because then I can go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on opening night, May 22!)

Episodes 13 and 14 - Parts 2 and 3 of the 3-hour finale - 5/29

When I saw this schedule, my reaction was "D'AHHHH!" I am traveling on both 5/15 AND 5/29. I guess ABC didn't feel it necessary to consult me before finalizing these air dates. But the good news is that we are actually getting back one of the three hours that the producers had dropped from the schedule this season because of the writers' strike (the two remaining hours will be added to Seasons Five and Six).

- Here is a new video released by ABC entitled "Everything you need to know about Lost in 4:24." (4/24... the date the show comes back on the air... get it?) This video includes clips from Season Four... they are especially funny, and start around the 3-minute mark. The best is: "Flash-forward to an unspecified time in the future: Jack has a beard."

- And finally, here's the preview for Thursday's mini-premiere, also known as Episode 9: "The Shape of Things to Come." It's the same clip that played at the end of "Meet Kevin Johnson" five weeks ago, but I tell ya, when Aaron scream-cries, I still get chills.

The podcast below does not contain any information that I would consider to be a spoiler. All they do is say whether or not we will learn certain things in the coming episodes--they give no specific details. But if you don't want to know even the smallest bit of intel, then bid this post adieu and check back next week for my Episode 9 write-up.


This podcast was actually in video form, and fans taped themselves asking the producers questions. It was about half of the length of the typical audio-only podcasts.

Q. Is the Smoke Monster (aka: Smokey) controlled by the Island, or are the Others controlling it?
A. We are not going to directly answer your question, because you will learn something about Smokey, and about the control of Smokey, in the next episode. It probably won't totally satisfy you, but you'll learn more.

Q. Did Ben intentionally send Alex, Karl and Rousseau to the sanctuary because he knew there were people waiting out in the jungle who would ambush them?
A. That's the $64,000 question... were they caught by the Others, or was someone else? You will know who shot at them by the end of the next episode. [e: Notice they didn't address whether or not Ben knew he was setting them up... which was the girl's actual question.][e: p.s., don't watch any previews for the next episode (other than the one I posted) or you will be spoiled on this topic... I am mad that I watched another clip online and ruined it for myself.]

Q. Now that Danielle is "allegedly dead," are we ever going to get the promised flashback on her? Will we ever find out if her last name is even really Rousseau or if she just swiped some guy's jacket? And are we ever going to find out what happened with Montand and his arm?!?
A. You will know definitively Rousseau's fate in the next episode. But no matter whether she is alive or dead, you will learn more of her character's back-story at some point. It doesn't matter whether you're dead on Lost, there are always flashbacks you could pop up in. We've talked way too much about "the sickness" and Montand's arm that it would be cheating not to directly address how it all went down at some point.

Q. I would like to know which of the camps (Jack's or Locke's) some of the lesser-known survivors went to... such as Scott/Steve (whichever one is still alive) and Neil Frogurt. Also, given the chance, which camp would Ezra James Sharkington (aka: the Dharma Shark) and Joop the Orangutan (from the original Lost Experience game) go with?
A. Those are some hard-hitting questions! Frogurt stayed with Jack, he's a very loyal Jack supporter. Frogurt hates Hurley, so he stayed with Jack. Steve is dead, Scott is alive, and he went with Locke. [e: Even Carlton mixed them up! Steve is the one who is still alive.] The shark would stay at the beach with Jack... he's a shark! (They didn't completely clarify where Joop would go, sorry... but I think they also thought he would stay at the beach with Jack.)

Q. I would like to know more about Mrs. Hawking. She freaked me out when she told Desmond that he couldn't buy the ring [e: she was the lady in the store in "Flashes Before Your Eyes"] and then we saw her again in a picture with the monk at Desmond's monastery. Will we see her again?
A. It is Ms. Hawking, not Mrs. Hawking. She is unmarried. [e: To me, this means the monk guy is definitely her brother] Anyway, she's kind of a "Doc Brown" character (from Back to the Future)... you need characters like that to explain complicated things, like with Desmond's time-travel-like episodes. In "The Constant," Faraday kind of played that same role. We will probably see her again.

There you have it, my friends. If you need to refresh your memory as to where the show left off, my "Meet Kevin Johnson" analysis is here.

Here's to hoping the rest of this season blows our minds...

- e

PS - Shout-out to my dad, whose birthday is today!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Miss Me Yet?

Just a reminder... if you need to read something during the day to avoid doing real work for The Man, check out my other site, According to e, where I post pretty much every day.

Three weeks and one day until the return of Lost on April 24th!

- e