Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spend Your Holiday Cash on a New LOST Book (or Win a Copy, If You're Lucky)


Hello my dear friends -

First and foremost, Happy Last Day of 2009. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready to move on to 2010 already.

The reason I'm posting this fine afternoon is because I wanted to tell you about something that will not only help you pass the time between now and the LOST season premiere on February 2, but also thoroughly prepare you for The Final Season -- even if you've been participating in a LOST Rewatch. It's a book by my extra-awesome friend and fellow LOST blogger and DarkUFO recapper Vozzek. Vozzek is one of the few LOST bloggers that I've actually had the pleasure of talking to (yes kids, ON THE PHONE) and he is truly a great guy. I certainly wouldn't have survived some of the ups and downs of this year without him.

So here's the deal -- he has a book of completely new (and spoiler-free, of course) material and it was published last week: Things You Never Noticed About LOST: Past Perceptions and Future Theories. I just returned home from my holiday travel yesterday, found my copy waiting for me and let me tell ya, it's GOOD.

Vozzek spent the hiatus watching Seasons One through Five again and forming several overarching theories about what could be going on with our dear Oceanic 815 survivors. He's got over 244 pages of ideas that will make you pause and say to yourself, "Wow, I never thought about it that way." In the short time I've had the book in my possession, there have already been three things I read that have made me want to pop in certain episodes and see some of the curious things that Vozzek's pointed out for myself.

Things You Never Noticed About LOST is $11.95 plus shipping (and yes, he ships internationally). If you order it here from his site, there's a box you can check during the purchase process if you want him to sign it, and he'll inscribe it with whatever you'd like as well. Or you can order it from Amazon (but the inscription/autograph option isn't available there).

OR you can win one of three copies I'm giving away. He'll write a note and sign the book for all three winners, and the contest is open to anyone, anywhere. All you have to do is tell me something tongue-in-cheek that YOU'VE noticed about LOST over the past five seasons. You know, like "I've noticed Sawyer tends to be shirtless an awful lot." I'll pick my favorite three and announce the winners -- or maybe I'll let Vozzek pick his faves? -- on Monday, January 4, so get your submissions in (to this blog... nothing sent via Facebook or Twitter will be considered) by 9 AM Central Time that day, please. And just one entry per person. I won't publish anything rude or offensive, either, as I'm sure you all know.

Eminent LOST theorist Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly featured Vozzek as a "super-fan" recently; the interview starts about halfway down the page here. I highly recommend checking it out to learn more about Vozzek and his book... but of course I had to ask him a few questions of my own, so here they are:

e: First off, congratulations on publishing the book -- I know it was no small undertaking. What made you decide to write it?

V: People who've read my recaps have been asking me to put them in some kind of book format for a while now. I never wanted to do that - it seemed a little cheesy (okay, a lot cheesy). Still, the thought of writing a book about the intricacies of LOST was pretty attractive to me. You can read a lot of books about what happened during the last five years of LOST, but not a whole lot of them explore why it happened. That's my favorite part.

e: What was the hardest part about writing it?

V: Believe it or not, rewatching the show. Having seen through the end of season five, any viewer doing a rewatch is a lot more educated. There are so many new things to notice... so much important stuff happens, it's hard to pick and choose what you want to talk about and what you need to leave out. And with all the repeating themes, scenes, and dialogue? It's just a lot of research. I could be writing about a scene that happens in season four, but also need to make references to near identical scenes in seasons one and two. Breaking the book down to individual chapters helped a lot when it came to keeping focus.

e: Did any of the theories you’ve had significantly alter once you rewatched the last five seasons?

V: The way I perceived John Locke changed an awful lot. Once you know he ends up being "occupied" by the man in the black shirt, you start to wonder how far back that control goes. Even as early as the first four or five episodes, you start getting the impression that John was being used as a vessel (for lack of a better term). But at the same time, he was still Locke, too. I also started exploring the signs that Locke was manipulated by more than one opposing force.

Jack's character also becomes a lot more interesting during the rewatch. From the moment the plane crashes to the very first decision Jack makes (choosing the color of thread Kate sews him up with), there's evidence that Jack is very different from the rest of the Flight 815 survivors. Stranger in a Strange Land doesn't just refer to Jack's vacation to Thailand. Isabel's words to him are a lot more important when you start thinking that way.

e: Yeah, you know, the only season I watched again was Season One, and I was really struck by how much crap Jack had to deal with -- it was RIDICULOUS how much everyone relied on him for absolutely everything. I think many people have forgotten about that over the years. But now we've come to the LAST season for the show. How do you feel about the series coming to an end this year?

V: Excited, but of course sad. Like everyone else I can't wait to see how the show ends, but I'm going to miss watching new episodes. I keep consoling myself with the fact that the show's fanbase is way too enormous to just go away once the final credits roll. No matter what, we're going to have 120+ amazing episodes of LOST. There will always be boards, forums, and people who want to discuss ideas, concepts, and theories. I have a feeling we'll get some overall answers to the bigger questions by the time the show ends, but the writers will still leave a lot of things open to interpretation.

e: OK, one last question, but it's a biggie: How do you think the show will end?

V: With the LOST logo. ;)

e: D'oh! You're totally right -- you heard it here first, folks!

OK everybody, get your Things I Noticed contest entries in by Monday, have a happy and safe New Year's celebration, and come back next week to see who the lucky three winners are. Or if you can't wait until then, just go ahead and buy Vozzek's book right now -- I promise you, you'll love it.

Oh, one more thing: I will still be running a January contest on the site (and a bonus Twitter-based contest as well -- so follow me, won't you?) and it will probably commence next week, so stay tuned.

Until then,
- e


Monday, December 07, 2009

Give It Up for the December Contest Winner

Hello my dear friends -

First and foremost, thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for the limited edition Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit. I absolutely loved reading why you thought Dharma should come to your hometowns. But all you want to know about right now is WHO WON, right?

What I did to pick the winner was assign a number to every entry (per the order in which they were received). Then I found a web site that generates random numbers, entered in the appropriate range and waited to see what the Internet pixies came back with. The number returned was 69 (if you click on the picture below you'll be able to see the page more clearly), and so the winner is... ERNIE.

Ernie said that Dharma would love Baton Rouge because they could use the underground tunnels at Louisiana State University, would feel comfortable around the "out-there, hippie researchers on campus (similar to the DeGroots)," and could make Mike the Bengal tiger their new mascot. I think you've convinced them, Ernie.

I have to admit I was really pleased that a longtime fan of my sites won this awesome DVD set. How's that for good karma? Ernie's been one of my most faithful commenters over the years, and in the summer of 2007 he started a blog of his own, Gulf Coast Offense. It's a sports-focused site on which he also shares his Lost thoughts every once in awhile, so be sure to check it out. Congrats, Ernie!

And I truly thank everyone who gave this contest a shot and submitted a creative entry. If you have a few spare minutes, I highly encourage you to check out the thoughtful and often hilarious responses to the question, "Why should Dharma set up a station in your city?" I also thank the fine folks at Buena Vista Home Entertainment, who made this giveaway possible -- they rock, no?

Remember that if you really have your heart set on the special Dharma version of the Season Five DVDs, you can order one here while supplies last. The regular set of DVDs can be found here. They hit shelves tomorrow!

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at a few particularly cool extras that are part of the bonus features.

This one is a deleted scene from "Namaste," and it brings to mind the debate that episode inspired among viewers at the time it aired: did the gang stuck back in the '70s do something to change the future? Because these barracks that Frank and Sun were at with Christian looked totally different than we'd ever seen them. This clip shows even more evidence of something fishy going on, with all the boarded-up doors and windows and whatnot. Of course we now have the benefit of having seen the rest of Season Five and knowing that the time-traveling Losties very well might have changed things when Jughead was detonated, which would explain the drastically different appearance of Dharma's Island headquarters.

Courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios.

Building on that, here are Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (and Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Jeremy Davies (Faraday)) discussing the possibility of Jughead giving our Lostaways a "do-over."

Courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios.

Sounds like the perfect set-up for Season Six, huh?

Speaking of Season Six, it's barreling toward us now, and I have yet to post my thoughts on what went down at Comic-Con this summer. I haven't even shared pictures of Zap2Locke Con or my recent venture into Lost ARG territory. I truly hope I'll get to these things ahead of February 2, but it's doubtful I can crank out any more posts before 2009 draws to a close. So check back in January for the next Long Live Locke contest and perhaps a few show/theory-based posts for the first time in a long time.

Finally, as a reminder, in addition to the January contest I'll run here on the blog, I will hold a Twitter-based contest as well, probably starting shortly after the calendar rolls over to 2010 (is it just me, or does that just sound so... futuristic? 2010!?!). Therefore, if you're on Twitter, be sure you're following me at

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season and I will "see" you all in the new year. At that point we'll have only one more month until Season Six begins. Can you believe it?

- e

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The December Contest: Dharma Comes to Town

UPDATE: It's 10:34 PM CST on 12/6 and this contest is now closed. I'll post the winner at some point tomorrow.

Hello my dear friends -

Some of you who've been reading my blogs for a while might remember my dreadful experience with the Great Condo Flood of '07 (during Lost's hiatus, thankfully), as well as another invasion of sewer water I had this past spring, a mere two hours before "Follow the Leader." That incident was such a mess that I was forced to have to cancel my Season Five finale party a full week later. Can somebody say "bitter"?

Now that Season Six is only two months away, I've decided that I have to protect my Lost viewing experience by any means necessary -- I can't chance having it ruined again by Mother Nature. (Because as Ben might say, Mother Nature, like Destiny, is a fickle bitch). Therefore, I currently have contractors at my place, digging up my front yard (if you can call it that, it's like a three-by-nine patch of grass) and installing an injector pump that will hopefully keep my downstairs dry every time the torrential rains hit Chicago from here on out.

Why am I telling you this? Because 1) I thought you cared about me, dammit! and 2) The pump project is the reason I'm late in posting the December contest today -- the workers had to cut the electricity to my DSL router for several hours. My yard's still in ruins but my connection is back, so here we go:

Up for grabs this time is what might be the coolest thing I'll ever give away: A limited edition Season Five Dharma Initiative Orientation Kit. Check it out:

This is not your normal Season Five DVD set. The regular set can be found here... whereas the Dharma version is being offered in extremely limited quantities and features unique packaging -- complete with old-school floppy disk holders for the DVDs and an honest-to-goodness Dharma Orientation VHS tape.

The DVDs are Region 1 format, so unfortunately this contest is only open to those in the U.S. or Canada (or those in other areas who happen to have an R1-compatible player).

Here's what you have to do to have a shot at winning the kit: Tell me why Dharma should set up a station in your hometown. If I were entering, I'd say something like, "The Dharma Initiative would love the polar bear at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo and the sharks at Shedd Aquarium, and would have a ball running psychological experiments on Cubs fans, as they clearly have a higher tolerance for pain and disappointment than most other human beings."

I'll hold a random drawing for the winner, so no need to kill yourself over a crazy-creative reply, but in order to be eligible you definitely do need to write something about why Dharma would like your 'hood.

One entry per person, and remember, only those in the States and Canada this time around.

I'll close the contest around 10 PM Central Time Sunday, December 6 and will announce the winner Monday, December 7. Both the normal and limited edition Lost Season Five DVD sets will be available for purchase on December 8.

Best of luck!

- e

PS - In addition to the January contest I'll hold here on the blog, there will be a bonus Twitter-based contest, so if you're interested, you can follow me at

UPDATE: It's 10:34 PM CST on 12/6 and this contest is now closed. I'll post the winner at some point tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

e on Video: The November Contest Winner & the December Contest Prize Revealed

Hello my dear friends -

I thought I would take advantage of my beautiful Island-like vacation surroundings and conduct the drawing for the November contest winner on video. (Something about doing it from my condo once I'm back to cold, dreary Chicago didn't seem quite as fun.) I didn't venture too close to the camera because I'm giving Kate a running for the nickname of "Freckles" right about now. Actually, Sawyer would probably call me something like "Bugbites" or "Weird Sunburn Pattern Chick" instead, but I digress.

I announce what's up for grabs in the December contest (which I will post on December 1) as well, so press play below for the details. It's a very large file, so it might take a while to load.

I'll be back soon with the details for the next contest. Congrats again to the latest winner!

- e

Monday, November 16, 2009

The November Contest: "Thanks to Lost for..."


I vowed to post the November contest in the month of November (unlike, say, what happened with the October contest), and I'm stickin' to it!

This time, we're going back to a luck-based format, but I'm still going to make you work just a teeny bit. Since Thanksgiving is around the corner, let me know what you're most thankful for in regard to Lost. It can be funny or serious... like, "I'm thankful for Shirtless Sawyer" or "I'm thankful to have met other Lost fans" or whatever. I'm just going to draw the winner out of a hat (though I might feature a few of my favorite entries in my next post)... so all you have to do to qualify is write what aspect of the show you appreciate most. There is no specific format I'm looking for, sentence-wise.

Since the September contest winner, DWTenent, picked the Shannon action figure (he already had the Kate figure), Kate is back up for grabs in this contest.

If you do not want the Kate action figure but still want to submit a comment, PLEASE write: "DO NOT WANT TO WIN" in your entry.

I will close this contest the night before Thanksgiving at 6 PM Central Time, November 25.

I'll accept just one entry per person. Even though Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday, ALL Lost fans obviously have something to be thankful for about the show, so I'll leave this contest open for anyone, though I reserve the right to negotiate with the winner if he/she is internationally based and the shipping costs end up being outrageous.

So there you have it... good luck!

I will announce the winner at some point between November 26 and 30th.

In the meantime -- to all of my American peeps -- Happy Thanksgiving!

*** And heads up... one of the next contests I run will be Twitter-based, so if you are on Twitter you can follow me at @erikaolson to get the details next month. (And don't worry, I'll still have blog-based contests going at the same time.)

- e


Sunday, November 15, 2009

"2010: The Year Of..." October Contest Winner

Hello my dear friends -

I have to admit that I'm starting to regret running these contests because it is SO hard for me to pick a winner. Last month it was easy since that one was completely luck-based. The month prior (for the caption contest), my trusty board of advisors was able to come to the same conclusion, thankfully. But this time everyone had a different favorite, which left the final decision up to me.

So before I announce who won, let me encourage you to scroll through all of the entries -- there were some extremely creative and funny submissions -- proving once again that Lost fans are the smartest and wittiest people on the the planet.

To refresh your memory, I asked people to submit a Lost-related ending to this sentence:

2010: The Year _____________ .

And the winner is... DIRTE, who said:

"2010: The Year Someone Finally Tells Locke Something That He Actually CAN'T Do."

When I read this, I laughed out loud because I immediately had this vision of Locke throwing one of his, "Don't tell me what I can't do... EVER!!!!" fits and then suddenly pausing, looking all sheepish and adding, "Crap, you're right. I can't do that. My bad."

So congrats, Dirte, please send me a message through the site or email (my address is linked from my blogger profile page) and we'll go from there in order to get you your 2010 Lost Calendar.

To everyone else who played -- thank you so much for your submissions, I had a ball reading them. You made this decision very hard for me, but I can't say I'm surprised!

I will be posting the November contest shortly, and it will be luck-based once again so that I don't get all stressed out about choosing a winner. So stay tuned...

- e

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The October Contest is Here! (But Maybe I'M the One Who Needs a LOST Calendar?)



Yep, I know it's November 5th. But I'm still calling this the October Contest. Because it's my site and I can do whatever I want, so there.

The hiatus has been flying by, hasn't it? Before we know it it's going to be January 2010, the month of Lost's return. So I figured that this might be a good time to give away a 2010 Lost calendar -- either the wall-hanging kind or the page-a-day kind -- it will be the winner's choice.

What do you have to do to get it? Give me a high-level, tongue-in-cheek prediction about the show's final season. TO BE CLEAR: I'm not looking for something that might actually happen on the show, nor will I publish anything that's spoilery. I'm thinking along the lines of,
"2010: The Year Vincent Finally Decides He's Had It with All the Drama and Takes a Bite Outta Someone's Ass."

You know, just silly.

Uninspired entries like "2010: The Year Lost Ends" (duh) ain't gonna cut it, my dear friends. Don't make me publicly shame you!

I want to get the November Contest up sooner rather than later, so I'm going to limit this contest to somewhere between 30 and 50 entries, assuming I even get that many. I'll add a note at the top of this post, and in the comments section, when the contest closes.

I hope to have a winner announced within a week, and then get the next contest up before I leave for a tropical island that is unfortunately not THE Island on November 20th. (On a semi-related note, last Thursday was the one-year anniversary of my Oahu encounter with Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson. Ah, the memories.)

I better repeat the rules, lest someone yell at me because they didn't understand the deal:

- If you don't want a 2010 Lost calendar, please don't enter. There will be no other prizes offered for this contest.

- This contest is open to anyone in any country as long as it's a country ships to for less than the value of the calendar itself. Otherwise, it's just kinda silly.

- Only one submission per person. Anonymous commenters obviously cannot win, so please put enter in a name for yourself if you want to be considered.

- Only entries on this blog via the comments section below this post (before I announce the contest is closed) will be considered -- Tweets or Facebook comments will not. There will be Facebook and Twitter-based contests in the future. I think. I hope?

Are you ready to help me fill in the blank?

"2010: THE YEAR _____________________"




- e

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Congrats to the September Contest Winners... See, the Numbers AREN'T Always Bad!

A few weeks ago I posted a contest based purely on luck. Those whose comments landed in positions 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 would win a set of Dharma Beer koozies -- all they had to do was list their favorite Lost character.

Here are the lucky winners:

4. Dolce, who is a fan of Jack

8. judgem0811, who's on Team Locke

15. Jason, who's hoping for the return of Mr. Eko

16. Billie, who wants to Get Lost with Sawyer

23. Eric Belair, who wants to stay on Jacob's good side


42. Miss Lynn, who had a bit of her favorite character's (that would be Hurley) luck with her for this contest

I loved reading everyone's faves -- and found it fascinating that each of the six winners above listed a different character. I do realize how hard it was for everyone who played to pick just one character from a show that is wonderful precisely because its entire cast rocks the house. So thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts with me... stay tuned for the October contest, which will be posted within the next 2.5 weeks.

And congrats again to the winners! Some of you are connected to me already via Facebook or Twitter and therefore I've already gotten in touch with you, but everyone else who won needs to send me a message through this site with either your email address or your mailing address -- I will not publish it.

Until next time,
- e

P.S. Some of you have asked me where I bought the Dharma Beer koozies. I actually didn't buy them anywhere... my husband designed them for the Zap2Locke Con event (which I will write about and post pictures from one day!) and we had them custom-printed, so the kind I am giving away are not available for purchase anywhere.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

August's Caption Contest Winner, The September Contest, and Other Stuff

It's all about the "just-in-time" posts over the past few months here on Long Live Locke. It's the last day of September, so that means I can still technically run a "September contest" and keep to my promise of one contest a month until May 2010.

But first, I need to let you know who won the August contest!

This was the image from "The Constant," and below is the panel of judges' favorite entry. Since I took so long to announce the winner, I'm going to give Dharma Beer can koozies to the two runners-up as well.



Desmond: "Be my motha lover... brotha."
Justin Timberlake: "It would be an honor to be your new stepfather!"

(If you don't know what the above is in reference to, you really need to watch this Emmy-nominated skit -- if you're not easily offended, that is...)

Yay for DWTENET! He/She gets to pick between a Kate and Shannon action figure... and I will throw in a few koozies as well. Just email me through the site or leave a comment with your email address (I will not publish it) and we can go from there.)


JEREMY with:

"After only talking a mere thirty seconds with his lover who he had not seen in three years, Desmond was immediately reminded why he left in the first place."



"Desmond was overjoyed to hear that the last four seasons of The X-Files were saved on Penelope's Tivo."

Thanks to everyone who participated! I really had a great time reading through everyone's responses (you can see them all here) and so I'll most likely run another contest like this one again in the future.

But for today and the September Contest, I'm keeping it simple:

Tell me who your favorite Lost character is in the comments section linked directly below this post, and those who are in positions 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 will win a set of the Dharma Beer can koozies. I'm going to post responses in batches, so there will be no way for anyone to know what position they might be in before submitting their entry.

(Speaking of, I do intend to write up the event and post some pictures from it, but that will have to wait. In the meantime, check out what Ryan from Zap2it's Guide to Lost said about the night here and here!)

OK, now for the contest rules:

- If you don't want Dharma Beer can koozies, please don't enter. There will be no other prizes offered for this contest.

- This contest is open to anyone in any country.

- Only one submission per person.

- Only entries on this blog via the comments section below this post will be considered -- Tweets or Facebook comments will not. There will be Facebook and Twitter-based contests in the future.

Good luck!

Finally, and this has absolutely nothing to do with Lost... but most of you know that my writing gig for DVD rental company redbox came about because of this blog. So I thought I'd mention that this Friday, shortly after 9 AM EST, I will be doing a live radio spot for redbox on KPAM in Portland. Anyone can tune in to it via the "Listen Live" link on the upper-right of KPAM's site. I'll be talking about new theatrical releases Zombieland and Whip It, as well as titles that are now out on DVD, including Monsters vs. Aliens, The Brothers Bloom and Management.

I'll be back at some point in October with The Numbers contest winners and yet another chance to take home some Lost-related goodies...

- e

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Big Day is Here: Zap2Locke Con Begins at 7 PM!

Just a quick reminder that if you're a Lost fan in the Chicago area, I hope to see you tonight at Zap2Locke Con at The Dark Horse in Wrigleyville. All of the details you'll need are in the post below!

As for August's Caption Contest winner, I'll be announcing that after I get through tonight... there's been a lot of fun preparation for the event so I haven't had much extra time to confer with my esteemed panel of judges. But hopefully I'll post the winner over the weekend.

Stay tuned...
- e

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Help Me Spread the Word about Zap2Locke Con:
Be There or Be a Dharma Octagon-Thingy!

Hello my dear friends -

Since I last wrote about Zap2Locke Con, Ryan from Zap2it's Guide to Lost and I have hammered out a ton of details for the event, and I have to admit that I'm really excited for it. I haven't asked you for much over the years, but I am asking you now to help me spread the word. If you're not in Chicago but know of other Lost fans who are, by all means, please send them the link to this post or to the Facebook event page and encourage them to stop by. And if you are in Chicago and are able to make it, then I can't wait to meet you and get our nerd on together. We're hoping that everyone who thinks they might come will either RSVP on the Facebook page or email Ryan and/or me to give us the heads up.

Here are all of the logistics, plus a sneak peek at a few of the things that will be going down the night of Friday, September 18th:

LOCATION: The back patio (walk straight through the bar to the back) at The Dark Horse Tap & Grille, 3443 N. Sheffield in the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. The area we have outside is not only spacious, but also equipped with powerful heaters in case it's chilly, a cover if it's raining, and two huge screens that will be showing the Cubs game (which is away, for those of you worried about home-game traffic -- you're in the clear).

DATE/TIME: Friday, September 18th. We've set the official start time at 7 PM, but we'll definitely be there before that for those of you who might want to come straight from the office.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Mostly we just wanted to use Ryan's trip to Chitown as an excuse to throw a little shindig and meet some of the readers of our sites. But there are a few special things we have in store above and beyond standing/sitting around and talking about Lost for hours:

- There will be periodic Dharma food drops of Katesadillas, Paulo's Pulled Pork Nachos, Hurley's Hummus and Mr. Cluck's Chicken Wings. This is not a joke, there will be the aforementioned appetizers circulating... until funding from the Widmore Corporation runs out.

- Ryan's fellow Zap2it blogger, Andy (aka "The Bloopmeister"), has secured us wonderful drink deals: $3 draft beers, $3 well drinks and a $3 Lost-themed special (we're still deciding on a name for that one). Widmore's not paying for drinks, though, so everyone's on their own as far as beverages are concerned. There will of course be other options for both appetizers and drinks if you want to order anything else The Dark Horse offers. (Did I mention we're going to kick out anyone who can't handle their booze and starts acting like Hillbilly Bearded Jack?)

- I'm going to be handing out small tokens of appreciation to attendees, but supplies are limited, so it's first come, first served for those goodies. The Zap2it folks might have a few swag items to dole out to some lucky people as well.

- We're going to hold a raffle later in the evening, and the main prizes are three sets of Lost Season 1 and Season 2 Blu-ray DVDs, generously donated to Zap2it by ABC. Woo-hoo!

I have to save a few surprises for those who are able to join us, so that's all you're getting for now. If you can't be there physically but want to be there in spirit, you can follow the festivities the night of the event by using the #Zap2Con hashtag on Twitter. We'll try to upload pictures and send updates between talking about our favorite episodes. And by the way, Ryan might be holding more of these get-togethers in other cities in the near future and will continue to use that tag for anything else he throws together in, say, Boston or NYC.

OK, now send this to all of your Windy City Lost-loving peeps! And if you can make it, remember to either email me/Ryan OR RSVP on Facebook here... pretty pretty please.

Can't wait to meet some of you...

- e

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just in Time: August's Contest

UPDATE: Comments closed... the winner will be announced... um, eventually.

UPDATE: It's 9/8! The contest ends tonight at midnight... I'll accept about five more entries before closing the comments.

UPDATE: We're at about 80% as of 1 PM CT on 9/3... room for about 20 more submissions...

UPDATE: The entry limit halfway point has been hit as of 9 PM CT on 8/31... there's room for about 50 more submissions!

Hello my dear friends -

How's this for the last minute? I vowed I would run one contest a month between now and the Lost series finale in May 2010, so here's what we have for August:

Think up a witty caption for this classic Lost image from "The Constant" and send it in (via the comments link immediately below this post) by September 8th:

Now here are all of the other rules, please read them carefully!

- A panel of judges (consisting of a few friends I will bribe into helping me out) will choose the winner. I will NOT be picking the winner because I'd be too stressed out about hurting people's feelings. I don't need to worry about angry Lost fans firing flaming arrows at me or threatening to beat me with their Jesus sticks.

- It doesn't matter how long the caption is, but I'd venture to guess that if it's more than a few sentences, you'll probably lose the attention of the judges. It also doesn't matter if the caption has anything to do with Lost. All that matters is whether the judges think it's funny and/or clever enough to win.

- In the immortal words of Jeff Probst from Survivor: "Wanna know what you're playing for?" The winner gets to pick between a Kate action figure and a Shannon action figure (both new, unopened and in their original packaging. Click the links in the next sentence if you're interested in the specifics; scroll down to the product details section). If you don't want to take home Kate or Shannon (get your minds out of the gutter), please don't enter. Or I guess you can still send in a caption, but at least add in "Just doing this for fun, I don't want to win" somewhere in your comment. Otherwise you'll invite bad Dharma karma, I'm sure of it.

- Very important: If you win this contest you will be out of the running to win some, but not all, of the other nine contests I'll hold over the coming months. So once again, if you don't want a Kate or Shannon action figure, please don't enter or please indicate you're not interested in the prize.

- This contest is open to anyone in any country.

- Only one submission per person.

- If two people enter in a similar caption, only the first submitted will be up for consideration.

- Only entries on this blog via the comments section below this post will be considered -- Tweets or Facebook comments will not. I have to keep this easy for my judges. There will be Facebook and Twitter-based contests in the future.

- This contest will close on midnight Central Time (Chicago time) September 8 OR upon receipt of 100 entries, whichever comes first. I want everyone who enters to actually have their caption read, and if there's more than 100, well, that might be tough. I will provide updates at the top of this post and on Twitter if I'm nearing that mark.

- Finally, let's keep it clean, folks, let's keep it clean. I have some young readers out there, so if your captions are nas-tay then I'll just delete them in order to save future generations from being influenced by your perversity!

Geez, you'd think I was giving away a lifetime pass on Oceanic Airlines or something! Sorry for all of the rules, but my experience is that sometimes peeps go a little crazy when there's free stuff at stake. I appreciate your patience and understanding.

A huge thank you to long-time LLL reader Scott Moore, who makes up one-half of Dr. Awesome (which is indeed an awesome -- and hilarious -- site, check it out), for suggesting this contest idea to me.

I'll be back shortly after September 8 to announce the winner... in the meantime, have those of you in the Chicago area RSVP'd for Zap2Locke Con? Details are in the post below this one, and you can RSVP either on this event page (preferred) or by sending me a comment/email if you aren't on Facebook. We reeaaaaally need people to let us know if they'll be coming (you can RSVP "Maybe," too) just so we can ensure we have enough space staked out.

It's less than three weeks away and I'm really excited for it, so I hope I can see you there.

Until then, good luck with the caption contest!

- e

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicago Meet-Up!
Blog, Facebook and Twitter Contests!
It's All Fun & Games... Until Someone Gets Eaten by Smokey

Hello my dear friends -

As Bananarama might say, it's been a cruel, cruel summer. One that has gone by much too quickly -- how did it get to be mid-August already?

In years past I would've made a comment right... about... now where I told myself that it's all good because each passing month brings us that much closer to the Lost premiere, but since this time around we're approaching the series' final eighteen hours, I am actually in no hurry for Season Six to begin. I'm one of those people who gets all depressed before I go on vacation because I start thinking about what a bummer it's going to be to return to the real world afterward, so I simply can't bear to think about the grand finale of our beloved show just yet.

Thankfully, there are a few things to keep me occupied and prevent me from falling into despair anytime soon.



The first is Zap2Locke Con, a mini-con (short for "conference," for those of you who don't know your Comic-Cons from your kamikaze shots) right here in Chicago. OK, so it's not really a conference in any way, shape or form, but it still sounds cool, right? Behold its magnificent logo!

This means all you Windy City area peeps need to come by and witness one of the few times I'll ever be away from my laptop for more than a couple of hours. My good buddy Ryan from Zap2it's Guide to Lost is going to be in town, and in his infinite wisdom he proposed that we try to bring together readers of our sites and any other Lost fans that we can round up in the vicinity.

Details are below... but if there's absolutely no way you can make it to Chicago for the event, then you can jump down to this spot, where I'll explain what else I have in store for other faithful LLL readers.

OK, so for those of you who are in Chicago or close enough to justify a trip into the city for this most momentous of occasions, here are the details for Zap2Locke Con:

The Dark Horse Tap & Grille in Wrigleyville, 3443 N. Sheffield. Chosen in honor of the enigmatic black horse Kate saw both on and off the Island. (Think they'll ever explain THAT mystery? No? Me neither.)

Friday, September 18th, at 7 PM (but Ryan and I will definitely be hanging out on site earlier than that)

Myself, Ryan from Zap2it's Guide to Lost, our respective spouses, bloggers from Zap2it's other channels, and anyone else who enjoys Lost and wants to hang out for a bit. You do not need to be an uber-Lost fan or anything; there will not be a quiz with 108 questions that you must ace in order to join us. There will not be judgments passed by the likes of Smokey. There will not be snowman riddles you have to answer. Jacob did not give us a list of pre-approved attendees. We just thought it would be a fun thing to do while Ryan was in town.

Um, we'll just show up at The Dark Horse, find a spot in the outdoor garden area, and wait around for people to come by. If nobody does then the Zap2it folks and I will have no choice but to drown our sorrows in MacCutcheon's whiskey.

Because you KNOW you want to see if I'm as big of a freak as you've imagined me to be! And because you need to at least think and talk a little bit about the show during the hiatus or you're going to forget everything by the premiere next year. And because we'll be giving away stuff! Ryan has a dozen or so bigger-ticket items that will go home with a few lucky attendees and I have a couple of small things in store -- but alas, I didn't finagle a Terry O'Quinn appearance. The promise of some free stuff is better than no free stuff, though, right?

If you think you can make it and you are on Facebook, please please please RSVP through this event page so that we can keep a semi-accurate count.

If you can make it and you're not on Facebook, either leave a comment below and/or write me at just to give me a heads up.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few Long Live Locke readers in the past and we've always had such a great time, so I really hope that if you're in the area you will be able to join us!

Finally, for those of you who've not yet had the pleasure of reading Ryan's musings on our favorite show, you need to click on over to Zap2it immediately. Ryan is seriously one of the most -- if not the most -- hard-working Lost bloggers on the planet. He cranks out four completely original posts on our favorite show each week -- yes, even during the break. One of my all-time favorites includes scenes from a Lost musical he dreamed up (sample lyric, set to Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child o' Mine," in reference to Zeke: "He's got a beard that seems to me, reminds me of Gorton's fishery." BRILLIANT!) If you like my writing style, you will definitely like his; anyone who was able to join one of our live chats saw first-hand how he and I will often make the same comments simultaneously -- it's like we are of one mind. Which is a scary thought indeed.


I was sad not to be able to make it to Comic-Con in San Diego this year for the last-ever Lost panel, and was also disappointed when one of the events for the latest Lost viral game was held out in LA, so I wanted to be sure that I still show a little love to everyone who reads this site and is not near my hometown and therefore can't attend Zap2Locke Con (read: the vast, vast majority of you).

I haven't figured out all of the details yet (and am open to suggestions, so if you have any cool ideas, let me know), but what I am sure of is that I intend to run a series of games, contests and online events between now and the series finale so that I can not only "meet" more of you, but also dole out a few small tokens of appreciation for the time you've spent reading my posts, leaving comments, writing to me and enriching my Lost experience so, so much over the past five years.

Some of these contest-game-thingies will be held solely on this site, others might be Facebook-based and still others might be Twitter-based. I'm proud and envious of anyone who has resisted the temptation to give in and join Facebook (which I actually like) and/or Twitter (which I kind of despise), so rest assured that there will still be ample opportunities for you to participate in many of the (most likely bizarre) competitions I dream up even if you only check this blog and nothing else.

That being said, if you ARE on Facebook and/or Twitter and haven't yet connected with me, you can do so here and here. While not all of the games will be time-sensitive (as in, "the first person to respond gets X!"), you'll definitely be made aware of what's going on more quickly if you're linked to me through FB and Twitter.

I will also be sure that a good percentage of the games will be open to those outside of the U.S. -- I'm a sucker for your accents even if I can't actually hear them.

So stay tuned for the first Long Live Locke contest... I'm hoping to have it up before the end of August and then continue with at least one new game or event per month until next May. Remember you can sign up for the email notifications or the RSS feed of my posts through the links in the right-hand column so you don't need to keep checking back.

(I can't end this section without giving a huge shout-out to LLL reader, FB friend and graphic designer Mair Daliessio for creating the "Locke in a LLL t-shirt" graphic above! Thanks!)


Before the first contest is announced, here's a little something to keep you entertained. I sent this out via Twitter a month or so ago, but I wanted to make sure that all of you have seen the very impressive and equally hilarious video below called "The John Locke Rap." I've come across so many Lost spoofs that as I pressed play and settled in to watch this one, I figured I'd probably only be able to deal with it for about thirty seconds before deciding that it was too lame to continue wasting my time on. But lo and behold, these guys really went all out with their rhyming skillz and I was thoroughly entertained for four and a half minutes. (The video may take up to a full minute to load, be patient... it's worth it. Here's the direct link to it on YouTube, as well.)

Those guys are like Lost fandom's version of Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake, no? I emailed them to tell them how much they rock and they wrote back and said that one of them is in a band called My Broken Hero, and that their second album was entitled "Man of Science/Man of Faith." Love it! If MySpace kills your computer like it does mine, you can check out their Facebook fan page here.

OK, since it took me a full week to finish writing this relatively short post, I better wrap it up and get working on the first contest, since the end of August is almost nigh.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far! And yes, I do still plan to write about what went down at Comic-Con (or what I learned went down, as I wasn't actually there -- sniff), but I have no idea when I'll get to that. Oh, wait, yes I do: before January.

More within 1.5 weeks,
- e

Friday, June 26, 2009

Over Six Weeks of the Hiatus Have Passed... Who's Ready to Chat about LOST?

Hello my dear friends -

First and most importantly, I hope you've all been having a wonderful summer (or winter, I guess, depending on where you live) so far. I've been as busy as ever and -- over 1.5 months after the finale -- am finally getting to enjoy a weekend at home without writing about Lost for eight hours on both Saturday and Sunday.

I'm still planning to publish a few posts with additional thoughts about Season Five during the hiatus, but in the meantime I am really excited to be joining my man Ryan from Zap2it's Guide to Lost for another real-time text chat this coming Tuesday (June 30th) at 7:30 PM ET. We've had an absolute blast on other chats and I'm sure this time around will be no different, especially since we've all had some time to better digest everything that went down on our favorite TV show between January 21 and May 13.

So come Tuesday evening, be here or be square!

Hope you can join us,
- e

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

S5 Finale - The Incident

Hello my dear friends,

Let me start off by saying that yes, this post is ridiculously long. But guess what? You have until February to finish reading it.

With that out of the way... I'm happy to report that a full nine days after "The Incident" originally aired, I finally got a chance to watch it again. The good news is that it was much more enjoyable the second time around, but the bad news is that I'm only slightly less confused than I was when I hurriedly typed out my initial thoughts on May 14th. Thankfully, however, you guys were able to set me straight on a few things over the past several days:
1) There are no clones (reader Niwram reminded me that the two rabbits in the Orchid video were the result of time travel, not cloning),
2) The man taking Locke's form probably also doubles as Smokey,
3) Jacob might not be the good guy like I previously assumed, and
4) According to ABC's episode recap, a hidden code in the May 2009 Wired magazine (edited by J.J Abrams) and an interview with Michael Emerson (Ben), the statue is Taweret. (At least I guessed right the first time.)

I think the easiest way to tackle this two-hour episode is to start with the Jacob-centric scenes, move to the present-day Island events, follow those with the 1977 action, and then end with a bit of speculation about what could possibly happen in Season Six.

Also, since I could write a full post about each of the little clues spread throughout the finale, I'm choosing instead to provide links where appropriate to web sites that offer greater detail about, say, the book Jacob was reading. Otherwise I'm never going to be able to finish this write-up.

And now, let's begin at the beginning.

(Note for new readers: rolling over any of the pictures in this post will reveal a caption)



Within the first few minutes of "The Incident," we were not only introduced to the long elusive Jacob (he's... just... a regular-looking dude?), but we also got a much better glimpse of the four-toed statue. It became clear to me from the opening scene that this was going to be an extremely strange finale; the series had suddenly been swept into a new -- although not entirely unexpected -- context. Jacob and his mysterious adversary had some sort of long-running bet about the nature of mankind, and everyone who came to the Island (or, should I say, was lured to the Island by Jacob) unknowingly became part of this squabbling duo's experiment.

MYSTERY MAN: I don't have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?
JACOB: You are wrong.
MYSTERY MAN: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

The mystery man then proceeded to tell Jacob that he'd eventually find a "loophole" and kill him. And Jacob was like, "Bring it on."

The first time I watched the finale, I automatically assumed that Jacob was "good" and the mystery man was "evil." It seemed to me that the mystery man believed people were inherently bad, while Jacob was intent on showing him that humans deserved a chance. Many of you wrote to me with the opinion that I should not jump to the conclusion that we can easily categorize either of these age-old beings. Perhaps they don't represent good versus evil or fate versus free will or science versus faith or anything that clear-cut.

Upon watching the show again, I can definitely appreciate how some of you are hesitant to slap labels on these new characters. However, the practical side of me thinks that they do represent two distinct sides, because the "light versus dark" theme has raged throughout this series since the pilot episode, and so it would make sense if Jacob and his adversary were the physical representations of this theme. This series needs to be wrapped up in seventeen more hours, and I think that when everything is said and done, it must be clear to the average viewer what Jacob and his adversary stand for (as in, one of them must be "the bad guy" and one of them must be "the good guy"). But does the fact that Jacob was wearing a white shirt automatically mean he's not the villain? No.

On my second viewing, I couldn't help but wonder if what I originally perceived to be evilness was actually just the mystery man's frustration with Jacob for messing with people's lives -- if perhaps he was more sympathetic to those who were reeled in to the Island, and knew that the only way to spare others in the future was to kill Jacob.

To complicate things further, we have the series of off-Island trips Jacob took in order to visit the 815ers at critical points in their lives...


When Jacob was revealed to be the man offering to pay for the lunchbox Little Kate swiped, I got chills. I thought that we would then see a bunch of flashbacks in which Jacob interacted with the Lostaways when they were kids, and that we could therefore conclude that he somehow drew all of them onto Oceanic 815. But that's not exactly what happened -- Jacob visited both Hurley and Sayid after 815 but pre-Ajira 316. So what other reason could there be for these encounters?

Let's take a quick look at each one:

- When Little Kate stole the New Kids (Joey McIntyre 4EVA!) lunchbox, Jacob was there to prevent the shop owner from calling her parents and the police. He then gave her a little tap on the nose as he told her to "be good." So was he trying to set her on a straight and narrow path for the future... or was he subtly sending her the message that she could get away with doing bad things and evading the law?

- Little Sawyer was in the process of writing his vengeful note to the man he would later spend a good part of his adult life trying to hunt down and murder... but then his pen ran out. Jacob handed him another so that he could keep on scribbling. Was he trying to encourage James' quest to kill The Real Sawyer?

- Jacob called Sayid back from the intersection where Nadia was hit. Did he save Sayid from also being struck? Or did he actually orchestrate Nadia's murder in order to put Sayid on the path of working for Ben? On a related note, I found it extremely interesting that in the recap episode ("A Journey in Time") which aired prior to the finale, the producers stated that "Sayid 'believed' he was assassinating Widmore's men" while he was in cahoots with Mr. Linus. Notice how they used the word "believed" -- it makes me question whether it was really Widmore's associates that Sayid was offing. (I picked up on this because last year Carlton said that Sun was "consumed with grief because she believed Jin was dead" -- that was a little hint that Jin wasn't gone for good). So now I think there's a chance that the people Sayid killed were actually decoys set up by Jacob, and that even Ben had been fooled into thinking they worked for Widmore. The fact that Ilana was the one to trap Sayid and that she knew about the man he killed at the golf course supports this theory (now that we've seen Jacob ask Ilana to "help" him).

- Right before Locke had his eight-story fall, Jacob was just chillin' on a park bench nearby, reading Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge. Once Locke landed with a sickening thud, Jacob calmly walked over to him, put his hand on John's shoulder, and said, "I'm sorry this happened to you." I'm in the camp that believes Locke had been dead until Jacob did his thing. Unlike the previous three flashbacks, nothing about this interaction struck me as dastardly.

- The same can be said for Jacob's time with Jin and Sun. He showed up at their wedding, emphasized how they should never take their love for granted (in perfect Korean), and then disappeared into the crowd.

- Next came Jack -- he had the quickest encounter... simply receiving an Apollo bar from Jacob (immediately following the harrowing surgery he described to Kate in the pilot episode -- kind of cool to get to see that).

- Finally, Hurley got his visit. After he was released from prison, just a day before Ajira 316 departed, Hurley shared a cab with Jacob and was the only 815 survivor to have a bit of a chat with the enigmatic man. Jacob reassured Hurley that he was not crazy, and that he should look at his ability to see and speak with his dead friends as a blessing. Before he got out of the cab, Jacob made it clear that returning to the Island was Hurley's choice. And even though Jacob claimed the guitar case wasn't his, it was surely put there by him to remind Hurley of Charlie... and hopefully nudge Hurley into showing up at the airport.

The majority of Jacob's interactions with the Lostaways lead me to believe that my initial hunch about Jacob was right -- he's "the good guy." His talk with Hurley was what really helped convince me that Jacob's not out to ruin anyone's life -- he's a proponent of free will, and hopes that the people he visited will make the right decisions in their lives.

There's no obvious connection between any of Jacob's visits, except for the fact that all of the people were on Flight 815 (duh)... and that he physically touched Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Locke, Jin and Sun. By doing so, I can only assume that Jacob transferred some sort of power to them... or -- perhaps like the mutant Rogue from X-Men -- took a bit of their essence and/or memories for himself. Since Locke seemed to be revived after Jacob came to him, though, I'd say it's probably the former. But how will Jacob's encounters with the 815ers affect things going forward? And how did he know to visit those specific people at those exact times in the first place?

I'll attempt to provide answers to the above questions at the end of this post. First, it's time to review all of the bad stuff that went down in the present-day on the Island.


This finale did not show us who was involved in the outrigger shoot-out against the time-travelers; add that to the heaping pile of Mysteries To Be Resolved In 2010. Instead, Bram, Ilana, a few other randoms and Lapidus safely made it to the shore of the main Island with their huge metal crate in tow. Both Bram and Ilana tried to reassure Frank that he was with "the good guys," but I don't blame our favorite pilot for remaining suspicious. I also wonder what they consider him to possibly be "a candidate" for -- my only guess at this point would be a member of the army they might need to call upon in the upcoming Island war.

Anyway, after showing Frank what was in the crate, the group took off for Jacob's cabin. Since we saw a flashback of Jacob visiting Ilana and asking her to help him, we can assume that this group is on Jacob's "side" (and not part of a Dharma resurgence, like I originally believed). Did you see how Jacob wore gloves when he talked to Ilana in the hospital? More proof that when he touches people, something happens. I'm very curious to know how Ilana ended up in the heavily bandaged state she was in when Jacob talked to her, but obviously that answer's going to have to wait until next year, too.

In the meantime, we know that once Ilana rummaged around in the cabin, she quickly came to the conclusion that Jacob hadn't been there for a while, and that someone else had been using the dilapidated shelter. The group was going to have to keep looking for their leader, but at least he'd left a clue: a drawing of the statue.

Later in this post I will talk about how I think we have to reinterpret all of the previous cabin scenes that have aired to date, but for now let me mention that both Bram and Ilana were on edge when they saw the big gap in the ring of ash that encircled the shack. They also found it appropriate to torch the cabin once they learned Jacob was no longer there, despite Lapidus pointing out that the entire jungle may go up in flames. (Anyone else think that this may actually happen next season?)

So Ilana and crew headed out to Taweret, but Locke, Ben, Sun, Richard and the Others had a big head start. After a quick rest stop at the 815ers old camp (so glad Sun found Charlie's ring! And so hoping that her doing so was meant to foreshadow the return of the Island's most celebrated rock god...) and a few more snarky exchanges between Locke and Ben, Richard finally led the Others to the four-toed statue and informed Locke that Jacob could be found inside. After a weak attempt to stop Locke from bringing Ben along, Richard helped the two men find the secret entrance, and then stepped aside.

Shortly thereafter, Ilana's group finally caught up to Richard and showed him what was in the crate. The lyrics below pretty much sum up my reaction.


After Richard told Ilana that what lies in the shadow of the statue was "Ille qui nos omnes servabit," or "he who will protect/save us all," I started to get the sinking feeling that I wasn't going to be happy when I saw what Bram and his buddies had been hauling around the jungle. As I don't think we have been given any reason to believe that Richard is "bad" per se, and since Ilana specifically asked for him by his presumably old old name (Ricardus), meaning that she might have known or heard about him way back in the day, I extend my "probably not bad" assumption to her and her small group (especially since Richard told the Others not to attack). Which would mean that Jacob -- their ultimate boss -- is also good. And because we knew Locke's intentions were to have Ben kill Jacob... and since Locke had definitely been acting stranger and stranger after he returned to the Island, I braced myself to see him roll out of the crate.

And that's what happened. Real Locke was dead, and had been that way ever since Ben strangled him at the end of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" (making my memories of running across filming for this episode in Oahu very bittersweet). Once Ajira 316 landed on Hydra Island, the mystery man had taken on Locke's form. I realize now that there didn't have to be a clone of Locke's body in order for this to happen (unlike what I assumed in my Initial Reactions post)... Mystery Man could've just shapeshifted into a Locke lookalike. You know, just like we've seen Smokey do several times before.

So does that mean Mystery Man is also Smokey? I'm not totally sure, but I'm definitely leaning toward that explanation. Smokey had an encounter with Locke just a few days after Oceanic 815 crashed. At that point in time, it most likely scanned his mind (like we've seen it do with other characters) and came to the conclusion that this was not only a "good" person, but one who was easily manipulated. If Mystery Man is Smokey, he might have hatched his plan of how to use Locke as a pawn in his fight against Jacob right at that moment. Whatever Locke saw that "was beautiful" when he looked at Smokey might have been a fake vision of him triumphantly leading everyone on the Island, or some other similar scene that would convince him that it was his destiny to be there and that he needed to heed whatever signals the Island sent him.

We've watched Smokey take the form of Yemi (Eko's brother) and Alex, and can assume that he's also masqueraded as Christian Shepherd and possibly even Claire. Since we know Yemi's body was badly deteriorated in the drug plane yet Yemi appeared to Eko as Eko remembered him, it's clear that Smokey does not need an actual body to do his shapeshifting. Once Ajira 316 touched down on Hydra, Smokey could've easily noted how Locke looked in his coffin and then assumed his form from that point on.

In retrospect, the monster's arrival in the underground chamber with Ben in "Dead is Dead" -- perfectly timed with Locke's comings and goings from that same area -- was another hint about what was really going on. I just couldn't bring myself to accept it at the time.

So yes, I've processed the fact that Real Locke as we've come to know him is dead. And as Long Live Locke reader Will P (who spent half the day golfing with Terry O'Quinn two days after the finale aired) sent me this article in which Terry himself voices his belief that Locke is a goner, I'm positive that my favorite character won't be around at the outset of Season Six (Not Locke doesn't count). I don't think he's going to be resurrected, either. But I do think we'll see Real Locke again -- somehow, some way -- over the course of the remaining seventeen hours in the series. More on that later.

For now, we need to finish off the present-day scenes with the showdown at the statue.


After Locke and Ben entered the chamber (the same one in which Jacob was getting his weave on at the beginning of the episode), Ben wandered around the room and took a look at the tapestry before both men were startled by Jacob's voice. Color me just as surprised as Ben was when Jacob peeked out from behind a column, still human in appearance. Since we saw (or thought we saw) Jacob in weird spirit-like forms in the cabin in seasons past, I'd assumed that something had happened to him along the way that turned him into a helpless ghost.

But there he was, standing in front of the fire pit, fully aware that Locke wasn't really Locke at all, but rather his old rival who had finally found a "loophole." The loophole must have been for Mystery Man to either manipulate someone else into killing Jacob, or to specifically get the leader of the Others to do the deed. As Real Locke was dead, Ben was the de facto leader.

Ben was thoroughly shocked to finally come face to face with the man he'd been been taking orders from throughout the years -- so much so that he almost forgot why he was asked to tag along in the first place... until Not Locke reminded him.

JACOB: Benjamin... whatever he's told you, I want you to understand one thing. You have a choice.
BEN: What "choice"?
JACOB: You can do what he asked, or you can go, leave us to discuss our... issues.
BEN: Oh... so now, after all this time, you've decided to stop ignoring me. Thirty-five years I lived on this island, and all I ever heard was your name over and over. Richard would bring me your instructions--all those slips of paper, all those lists--and I never questioned anything. I did as I was told. But when I dared to ask to see you myself, I was told, "You have to wait. You have to be patient." But when he asked to see you? He gets marched straight up here as if he was Moses. So... why him? Hmm? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?!?
JACOB: What about you?

Jacob's response to Ben was definitely the "Oh no he didn't!" moment of the night. Talk about the wrong thing to say, huh?

I truly felt for Ben during his speech -- it was yet another brilliant display of Michael Emerson's immense talent. I should be hating his character with the passion of a thousand blazing suns now that I know he is responsible for Locke's death, yet I still pitied him. Ben is completely alone, having lost everything he ever loved to the Island. To come to the realization that he was just a nobody in the whole scheme of things was simply too much for him to bear. And so, he carried out Not Locke's plan by stabbing Jacob in the heart.



Any doubt I had about Mystery Man/Not Locke being evil was totally removed once he kicked Jacob into the fire. The look on Not Locke's face while he watched his enemy burn was just chilling -- I almost expected devil horns and a tail to sprout right then and there.

You'd think that Not Locke would've at least cracked a smile or allowed himself a few seconds of celebration after the moment he'd been waiting hundreds of years for finally came to pass. But Jacob's final words -- "They're coming" -- seemed to disturb him deeply. Most people believe that "they" are the 815ers who Jacob touched in the past, and I agree. Another plausible option is Ilana and her people, even though right now there only appear to be about five of them.

Regardless of who "they" are, what exactly is Mystery Man's plan to fend them off, now that Jacob is seemingly dead? I mean, what's his ultimate objective? Is he going to kill everyone because he just wants to live on the Island by himself? Is he going to turn everyone into his own personal slaves? Could he possibly manipulate the Others into thinking that he is truly their leader, now that they've all seen Dead Locke? Was he trying to change or stop the events of a time loop and is still in danger of that not happening? I'm kind of at a loss for what Mystery Man's next move is going to be or what he's trying to achieve overall. But since Widmore warned Real Locke that a war was coming to the Island, I can only assume that killing Jacob isn't the only thing Mystery Man needs to do in order to "win." Whatever this war is about, it's undoubtedly going to be epic in scale -- an event that Mystery Man has been plotting his entire life to bring about.

I'm not completely done talking about the present-day scenes and what they might mean for Season Six, but since the time-traveling 815ers are obviously also critical to how the show will progress, let's review what happened to them in this episode before trying to pull everything together.


On the submarine, Kate informed Sawyer and Juliet of Jack's plan to nuke the Island. However, Sawyer held firm to his decision to continue on to the "real world"... until Juliet assaulted one of the sub's crewmen and arranged for the trio's escape. And escape they did, right to the beach where Bernard, Rose and Vincent had been enjoying "retirement" for the past three years.

There's a theory that Rose and Bernard are already dead, and that's why they were acting so extremely chilled out. An offshoot of this theory is that the couple somehow knew what was going to happen to Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, which is why Bernard pushed for them (focusing on Ms. Burke) to stay for a cup of tea. (And yes, I did notice Juliet's hand resting on her stomach -- not sure if that's a hint that she was pregnant or just another instance of us Lost fans overanalyzing every move these characters make.)

Others think that the Nadlers are still very much alive, but that we probably won't see them again on the show until it's discovered that they are the Adam and Eve skeletons. I'm not buying this, though, because Jack had said that the skeletons looked to have been there for 40 to 50 years, and even if Rose and Bernard died immediately (perhaps because of The Incident), that would still only leave 30 years before Jack and Kate find their remains in a cave in 2004. Plus, I think we'll see whomever the skeletons belong to alive and with the black and white stones before the series is over. So the debate about Adam and Eve rages on... as does the talk about whether or not we'll ever get to hear any of Rose and Bernard's witticisms again.

If we stop trying to figure out what will become of the dentist and his wife for a second, however, what's left is a scene about two people very much in love, who can't figure out why their fellow survivors keep raising hell all over the Island. Can you blame them for not wanting to get involved?


Over at (or should I say under?) Dharmaville, Sayid disassembled the bomb according to Faraday's instructions while Richard asked Jack about his old nemesis, Locke.

RICHARD: Over twenty years ago, a man named John Locke, he walked right into our camp. And he told me that he was going to be our leader. Now I've gone off the Island three times, to visit him. But he never seemed particularly special to me.
JACK: You said you had a question.
RICHARD: You know him? Locke?
JACK: Yeah. Yeah, I know him. And if I were you, I wouldn't give up on him.

Now that Locke's fate has been revealed, Richard's words support the idea that the ex-box company employee was never special -- he was simply a pawn in a game between Jacob and the Mystery Man... a gullible loser with delusions of grandeur who was easily manipulated by wilier minds.

Jack's words, however, provide a glimmer of hope that Locke's life did (or does) mean something important in the grand scheme of things, and that perhaps his story isn't completely over.

After Sayid had the bomb's reactor in hand, the foursome traveled further along the underground tunnels until they reached the area near Horace's house. Richard hammered through the wall... and then knocked Ellie out and announced that the two 815ers were on their own. Two things I wish we had learned from Richard before he left were: 1) how exactly did the Hostiles get the 20-ton Jughead underground in the first place? and 2) why was he OK with letting these yahoos potentially nuke the whole Island? Was he certain that they'd fail, or was he somehow positive that none of his people would be hurt? It doesn't seem like "because Ellie approved of it" is a very strong reason. But then again, Richard followed all of Locke's demands even though he didn't like them, so maybe his "adviser" role prohibits him from disobeying the current leader.

As Richard dragged the unconscious Ellie away (meaning that, despite what he told Sun, he was definitely not around to watch the 815ers "die"), Jack and Sayid stole some Dharma jumpsuits and almost made it through the Barracks undetected. Revenge was sweet for Roger Linus, who didn't give a crap what Sayid was carrying in his backpack... he just wanted his son's attacker dead. (Speaking of Little Ben, since he never returned to Dharmaville before The Incident and we heard Richard say that he wasn't going to have any memory of his shooting, it's possible that Adult Ben never recalled meeting any of the 815ers during his childhood.)

Roger got Sayid right in the gut, and then Jack had to attempt to lead his injured friend through a hailstorm of bullets. Things looked pretty darn bleak for our compadres until Hurley saved the day once again with his Dharma Van Driving Skillz. Did you catch the quick smile Jack flashed when he saw who had pulled up in the nick of time? It was very cute, I must say.



The van didn't get too far before it was blocked by the submarine escapees. Jack and Sawyer decided they were going to settle their differences the old fashioned way through a knock-down, drag-out brawl. You already know from my other finale post that I wasn't a fan of the love quadrangle's decision-making processes in this episode. Each of them seemed to have pretty shaky reasoning for doing what they did. The most puzzling was Kate, who had been completely against Jack's plan to erase their pasts... but then when the time came for him to literally drop the bomb, she was all of a sudden OK with it (and she hadn't even heard his true reasons for doing so). If Kate was just going to go along with what Jack wanted to do, why did she leave him in the jungle in the first place? Oh, yeah, because the writers needed a way to get Sawyer and Juliet back on the Island.

Before you accuse me of being a cold-hearted, unsentimental fool who can't comprehend the power of love, let me assure you that I have absolutely no issue with Jack realizing that he wanted a second chance with Kate. And I get how Juliet must have felt when she realized that she just wasn't meant to be with Sawyer... just like I get how Sawyer wasn't going to fight with his woman once it was clear she'd made up her mind about letting Jack follow through with his plans. My issue isn't with their feelings, it's with when and how the writers chose to have these characters express their feelings -- namely, in ways that could potentially destroy the lives of hundreds of other people.

In "Follow the Leader" -- which took place just hours before "The Incident" -- Jack basically told Kate that the vast majority of the past three years had been "misery." During that conversation in Ellie's tent, he had a chance to admit he screwed up their relationship and that he didn't want to lose her forever; she was practically begging him to tell her that their time together hadn't been a waste. But instead he let her believe that he was OK with erasing their memories of each other. Yet shortly thereafter he goes and tells Sawyer (not Kate) that he's following Faraday's instructions in the hopes of getting another try with Kate, and then proceeds to do something that he knows will probably kill everyone remaining on the Island. Whatever happened to "Do no harm"?

Anyway, I'm not going to moan on and on about how I didn't like everyone's flip-flopping, because the only thing that matters is that in the end, they were all on the same page. They wanted Jughead to have its way with them and were willing to suffer the consequences of whatever transpired as a result -- be that death, erasing three years of their lives, or something else.


Before Jack could do his thing, however, Radzinsky was wreaking some havoc of his own down in the Swan's construction pit. The guy really is mental, isn't he? Even if he truly believed that his work was going to "change the world," what's the harm in taking a few deep breaths and listening to Chang's warnings? But nooooo, Radzinsky was all "drill, baby, drill!" and sure enough, the electromagnetic pocket was pierced.

I don't know exactly what I was expecting The Incident to look like, but I was impressed with what I saw... it was similar to what happened when Locke destroyed the Countdown Timer o' Doom in the hatch... times ten million. Jeeps were dragged across the ground, towers crumbled, tools and weapons flew through the air -- it was mass chaos. And of course, Phil did not survive. Which death by arrow was better -- his or Frogurt's?

We also saw Chang's hand get smashed in the collapsing machinery, just like we expected it would (as he had a prosthetic arm in some of the orientation videos). Luckily, Miles was there to save dear ol' dad from a much worse fate -- I thought that was a nice touch.

During the commotion, Jack successfully threw Jughead's core down into the shaft. Sayid had supposedly rigged it to detonate upon impact... but nothing happened. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I absolutely loved the insanely tense few seconds where everyone braced for an explosion... and then when it became clear that the plan had failed, Sawyer quipped, "This don't look like LAX."

However, bomb or no bomb, the magnetic force was still sweeping anything and everything metal into the crater, and Juliet found herself entangled in a huge chain. As soon as I saw that, I almost couldn't bear to keep watching the television screen. I knew that she would be dragged into the pit, I knew that Sawyer would grab hold and try to pull her back up, I knew that Kate would tried her damnedest to help, and I knew that it would be all for naught. Awful, awful, awful. But at the same time, this really was a wonderfully touching scene, and both Elizabeth Mitchell and Josh Holloway brought it. I couldn't reach for the Kleenex fast enough, that's for sure. Remember back in "This Place is Death" when I was so crushed by how Sawyer frantically started digging at the spot where Locke had disappeared down the well? This was like that... times twenty million.


When Juliet explained to Sawyer why she wanted Jack to go through with Faraday's plan, she said, "If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you." Well, lo and behold, in the final scene of the season, we got to see that Juliet was not kidding around. Above ground, Kate and Jack were tearing a grief-stricken Sawyer away from gaping hole that was still sucking in dangerous chunks of metal, while down, down, down at the very bottom of the pit, Juliet suddenly regained consciousness. We're never going to get an explanation for this, so I'm going with "the Island wanted her to detonate the bomb." Because let's face it, it's highly unlikely she would have otherwise survived that fall if the Island didn't have a purpose for her once she reached the bottom.

Whether or not the Island intervened, if Juliet wasn't convinced that Jack's plan was going to work, I don't think she would've started banging on the detonator. Why? Because even though she probably realized she was a goner, she wouldn't have wanted to chance anyone else getting blown to smithereens. So she would've only tried to make the bomb explode if she truly believed that it would erase the past three years and give everyone a second chance -- even if she still died in the process.

Therefore, she grabbed a rock and went to town on Jughead's core in the hopes of giving her man and his fellow survivors a "do-over" beginning in 2004. After eight tries, an explosion was heard as the screen faded to the first-ever white end title screen. And then... we all realized that we hadn't exhaled for the past few minutes.

First things first -- is there any way that Juliet could've survived the blast if it did not work like Faraday assumed it would (meaning that the past three years did not reset)? I sincerely hope so, but when I watched the episode again I noticed that her lower half appeared to be crushed underneath a ton of metal and she definitely seemed to be in a pretty bad state. What makes this all so much worse is that none of the other characters will ever know about her brave act. So here's to hoping that something in the timeline does change and we get to see a happy, healthy Juliet again at some point in Season Six.

One last comment before I attempt to start throwing out some grand, all-encompassing theories: The bomb did detonate. There was some debate about this early on, but I replayed the end and you can definitely hear an explosion. What's less clear is what effect the bomb will have on the 815ers, the Island and the overall timeline. So without further ado, allow me to try and figure out how what we learned in the last two hours of Season Five might shape Lost's final (sniff) seventeen episodes.


You know all those times we thought we caught glimpses of Jacob in the cabin -- an eye here, an old dude in a rocking chair there? The joke was on us; I don't think that was Jacob at all. Ilana believed her leader hadn't been in the cabin for "some time"... and I have a hunch that "some time" is probably more than three years. Maybe Jacob did putter around in the rickety shack at one point, but he'd probably returned to the statue before 2004 rolled around. Therefore, I'm betting that Mystery Man was behind all of the weirdness that Ben, Locke and Hurley witnessed in the cabin on different occasions.

My guess is that something caused Mystery Man to lose his human form quite a while ago. He dissolved into a bizarre spirit-y state and was held captive (by Jacob or Jacob's people) in the cabin thanks to a magical circle of ash. Somewhere along the line, the circle was broken -- either intentionally or on accident.

Now, if you believe that Mystery Man has also been taking the form of Smokey, then you're probably on board with my theory that the circle of ash must have already been broken by the time Locke and Ben went to find what they thought was Jacob in "The Man Behind the Curtain." How else could this spirit be simultaneously trapped in the cabin AND terrorizing the 815ers as Smokey and various apparitions out in the jungle? In fact, it looks like you can see a break in the line (near the bottom) in this still from "TMBTC" (although we can't be totally sure):

If it wasn't Mystery Man's spirit in the cabin, or if it was him but he wasn't able to get out because there wasn't a break in the ash by the time 815 crashed, then I remain totally confused about everything having to do with what we've seen go down in the cabin, and would also be less confident about Mystery Man doubling as Smokey. So let's just assume that the ring of ash had been broken by September 2004.

Then what we'd have is the essence of Mystery Man running all around the Island, being able to take the form of any corpse he came across. That may be the reason the Others chose to cremate their dead out at sea (remember how Jack witnessed this at Colleen's funeral in "The Cost of Living" when everyone was all dressed in white?) -- they'd started seeing their loved ones reappear and realized it wasn't a good idea to bury anyone on the Island.

So back to the cabin... when Locke was able to hear "Jacob" and Ben wasn't, it was really all part of the elaborate ruse that Mystery Man had been working on for quite some time. He needed Locke to feel special... and he needed Ben to be insanely jealous.

As for being able to shapeshift into others, however, I don't think that was solely the realm of Mystery Man. I think both Jacob and his adversary could transform themselves into anyone who had died, and that's why we've been so perplexed about the conflicting messages that all of the Island apparitions have been sending. In a post I wrote right before Season Five began, I said, " seems as though there are two forces, communicating through a bunch of ghosts, that are fighting about where and with whom Aaron should reside, and it's damn confusing." Along these same lines, my man Ryan over at Zap2It's Guide to Lost noticed something about Zombie Dad's appearances: sometimes he wore a blue suit, and at other points he was dressed down in brown. You can read Ryan's theory about what that might signify here, while I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that "Suit Christian" was Jacob and "Cabin Christian" was Mystery Man all along. (And for the record, I officially feel sheepish now for proclaiming during our live chat that there's no way anything as subtle as Zombie Dad's change of clothes would ever have significant meaning on the show.)


So let's run with the assumption that both Jacob and his rival have the ability to morph into other forms. And next let's ask, "Why would they want or need to do that?" I believe the answer lies in this exchange they had during the opening scene:

MYSTERY MAN: ... It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

I'm interpreting this bit of dialogue to mean that there is indeed a time loop -- that these two supernatural beings have seen some span of time play out over and over and over again. Mystery Man is annoyed because Jacob keeps holding out hope that either a) humankind isn't going to destroy the planet when it's all said and done or b) a specific, shorter period of time that keeps looping will one day have a better outcome. I'm not sure if it really matters how long the loop is; I think the most important thing is that the Lostaways are clearly critical -- in Jacob's mind -- to changing things for the better. As he's seen the entire span of time, he knew exactly when it might help for him to pop into certain characters' lives and subtly influence their decision-making. He didn't lead them to be on Oceanic 815... he visited them because he already knew that they were on Oceanic 815 -- it's another chicken/egg situation.

But Jacob must not have liked the original outcome of events. Or perhaps he was certain that the "original" outcome of events was tainted because Mystery Man had manipulated certain people, and that's why he had to step in and try to provide a counterbalance. The result was Jacob and his adversary both trying their hardest to make the ultimate "ending" support their personal beliefs about mankind. They want to prove each other wrong, but the ultimate winner will be decided by the Lostaways' actions.

Which leads right back to the Whatever Happened, Happened debate.


Mystery Man finds his loophole in the form of Dead Locke and manipulates Ben into killing Jacob, but at the exact same time thirty years prior, Juliet detonates Jughead. So did all of this already happen, or did Ms. Burke blast the whole crew into a new timeline?

Something tells me that the events of 1977 didn't change anything at all. Miles had it right -- setting off the bomb was The Incident. The Swan is still going to be built over that spot. Flight 815 is still going to crash. And Juliet's actions will most likely send her time-traveling friends back to the present day, which is something that also probably happened in that exact same manner countless times before. The past three years will remain intact for everybody.

BUT that doesn't mean all hope is lost for our beloved characters as they (probably) careen back to the future only to end up in the middle of the Island battle to end all battles. Like I stated earlier, Not Locke sure seemed concerned when Jacob said "They're coming." This leads me to believe that the benevolent loom-master anticipated his own murder and prepared a "Plan B" of sorts as a last-ditch effort to defeat his centuries-old adversary, and I'm pretty sure that part of that plan involved him making physical contact with all of the time-traveling 815ers.

Perhaps the magical powers of the Island will transfer over to them now that Jacob has died. Perhaps they'll be safe from whatever nonsense Mystery Man tries to pull next. I really have no easily explainable ideas for what Jacob might have planned for our Lostaways, but my gut tells me that he was a smart fellow and had no intention of going down without a fight. The fact that he pretty much just stood there when Ben stabbed him supports my belief that he knew this scenario had to play out. Think about it this way -- what if the part of the time loop Jacob wanted to change is something that hasn't happened yet... something after the end of 2007? What if it's something that's left up to the 815ers to handle in Jacob's absence next season?

The theory above is part of the reason why I believe that we haven't necessarily seen the end of dear old Locke; I can't accept that Jacob saved him after his paralyzing fall only to set him up as a pawn for the enemy with no further purpose. (And -- I swear to you -- I would still feel the same way if any of the other major characters had rolled out of the crate.) We now have several months to think through the possible ways the last seventeen hours of the show could play out, but there's one thing that won't be happening over the hiatus: a name change for this blog!


RICHARD: Ben told me that he strangled you.
LOCKE: That is my recollection, yes.

ROSE [upon seeing Kate, Juliet and Sawyer on the beach]: Oh, hell no.

[Locke walks over to Ben, sitting on the beach.]
LOCKE: Everything alright?
BEN: I was enjoying some alone time.

LOCKE: Do you mind if I ask you a question?
BEN: I'm a Pisces.
[e: Ben's birthday is widely believed to be December 19, meaning that this is yet another lie and he's actually a Sagittarius.]

MILES: Jack! So this bomb is supposed to what, blow us back in time?
JACK: We're not going back in time.
MILES: Right, because that would be ridiculous!

JAIL CLERK [discharging Hurley]: One wallet. $227 cash. One ballpoint pen. One fruit roll-up. Sign here.

JACK [as he passes by Juliet and Sawyer on his way to the Swan site with the bomb]: See you in Los Angeles.

SAWYER [after the bomb failed to detonate]: This don't look like LAX.

SUN: Do you have any alcohol?
RICHARD: [Chuckles] No. Sure wish I did.


I thought it would be appropriate to share a few Lost-related pictures with you all before wrapping up this post. First off, we have some shots from reader Michael K, who was recently in Nigeria and reported the troubling news that Oceanic has branched out into banking there! Just what the world needs during this economic crisis...

Next we have a shot of Terry O'Quinn bounding up the rocks while on break during the finale shoot. Ed Kos, owner of Kos Hummer Tours (you know, the marvelous tour I wrote two posts about last fall) was able to see Terry, Michael Emerson (Ben), Yunjin Kim (Sun) and Nestor Carbonell (Richard) that day. Does he have the best luck or what?

The rest of the pictures in this section brought a smile to my face and prevented a full-on depression over Locke's death from sinking in. First we have Terry on the first day of the BMW Charity Pro-AM in South Carolina. Reader Will P was lucky enough to spend a ton of time with him (only two days after the finale aired) and sent along these awesome photos.

The next day, reader Brooke B caught Terry at the same event and graciously shared her wonderful pictures.

He looks alive and well to me, folks! Here's hoping we can say the same thing about Locke before the credits roll on the final episode of the series.


Believe it or not (though if you've read my site for any length of time, I'm sure you believe it), there's a lot more I could've said about "The Incident." However, I had to draw the line somewhere, and decided to save the rest of my commentary for another time.

My plan for the hiatus is to start by giving myself a break from all things Lost for the next few months. I have literally thousands of messages from you guys to reply to and I've felt awful about neglecting those emails... so if you've written me this year and never heard back, please know that I'm going to try to respond -- starting with the poor souls who contacted me at the outset of the season in January.

As for Long Live Locke... I'll probably post here again in early August, once I've had a chance to absorb whatever comes out of Comic-Con. So be sure to check back then... or, you can friend me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter, where I'll be sure to provide updates on my plans every once in awhile.

I also hope you'll follow my movie-related posts over at redblog -- I usually publish two pieces a day and would love to hear from some of you over on that site (if you didn't know that I write for national DVD retailer redbox, check out my post about getting the gig here). Finally, I do plan to get According to e rolling again over the next few weeks, too.

So one way or the other, I hope you'll check in with me and stay in touch over the hiatus. It's been an absolutely crazy (in a good way) season, but something tells me that the best is yet to come. As always, thanks for reading this site, for sharing your thoughts and for your general support of my writing endeavors over the past five years. You all are the best! (Or is it You All Everybody?)

- e