Friday, February 26, 2010

S6Ep5 - Lighthouse

Hello my dear friends -

Curse Chicago germs! I'm pretty sick, people. That's why I was kinda glad that -- in my opinion -- there wasn't a ton to talk about in "Lighthouse." (Unless you count all the mirror/reflection symbolism and little nods to recurring themes in the series, like Alice in Wonderland and rabbits -- but I really have no energy for that kind of stuff at this point - sorry!)

My nasty illness is also why I'm keeping this post more succinct than usual -- though I did throw in a section at the end about "the big picture."

But first, the flashes.



The biggest surprise of the night was that Jack has a teenage son, David. That means in the alternate timeline, Jack would've had to have hooked up with the kid's mother in the late '80s or early '90s for David to be in junior high in 2004 (this is of course assuming his son was not adopted at an older age). We can figure that Jack was born in the early '70s, which probably means he became a daddy right outta high school. (Remember, I'm not talking about Matthew Fox's age, I'm talking about the presumed age of the character Jack Shephard.) So it most likely wasn't Sarah that he married, had David with and then divorced, because in the original timeline Jack and Sarah didn't meet until her accident in 2001.

If you're confused about the timing of everything, just know that my point is that Sarah probably isn't Jack's ex. We might never find out who that ex is (though you can bet I was like, "Oh my gosh, who's going to be in that house?!?! Juliet... PENNY?!?! Did ALTJack dig the older chicks and get with Ms. Hawking!?!?!") because the writers have bigger fish to fry at the moment and there are already a lot of other 815 connections in the flash-sideways. To play devil's advocate with my own theory, though, it could still be Sarah that Jack married because -- hell, why not? Enough has changed for our characters in the alternate timeline that really, anything is possible. But I still think that either way, the identity of David's mom probably doesn't matter.

(If anyone could follow the above two paragraphs and is NOT on Nyquil, you should be very worried.)

I think the bigger question to ask about Jack's flash segments is, why would he have a son in this version of events in the first place? That's part of what I'll talk about at the end of this post.


After helping his mom find Christian's will (which listed Claire... who might be the connection that brings Jack and Kate back together in this timeline -- remember Kate still has Claire's credit card and could easily find her again), Jack returned home to find that David had vanished. After a little investigative work, Jack tracked him down at an audition. (I got a chuckle out of the "Welcome All Candidates!" sign in the entryway.)

I can only assume that David's character name was a shout-out to pianist extraordinaire David Helfgott (whose life was the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Shine). 'Cause he was tearing it UP on the stage. My first thought was that maybe this kid is the one who ends up programming the musical code into the Looking Glass station, but that doesn't really make sense since he's not in the same timeline, so forget I even mentioned it. My second thought I voiced aloud to my husband: "Oh crap, that kid is going to glance into the audience, see Jack there and then totally blow it and Jack will NOT be able to 'fix it.'" Thankfully, that didn't happen. What did happen is that David finished his piece successfully, and while Jack was waiting in the wings, who does he meet but Dogen. That was the second-biggest surprise of the night for me. You all know that I was not in love with Dogen in the previous episodes, but dammit if he hasn't grown on me. I was hoping he'd have the scroll necklace thingy on, but his shirt was too buttoned up to tell.

Will the Jack/Dogen encounter amount to anything more, or is it just another neato run-in in the flash-sideways universe? I'm thinking it's the latter -- I'm failing to see another circumstance that will bring those two together. For now I think Dogen's purpose was to remind Jack that, um, he's like the worst dad ever. David's in junior high and Jack has no idea how long he's been tickling the ivories? For shame!

Ah, but it was all made right in the end, when Jack had a very moving and heartfelt talk with his son in the parking lot. His words weren't quite up there with "We have to go BACK!" or "Why do you find it so easy?!?", but overall this scene is certainly a contender for one of the Top Ten Jack Moments of the series. He stopped himself from becoming like his father. Better late than never, right?

OK, Island time.


After Jack and Dogen stopped being polite and started getting real with each other, and after Miles and Hurley grew tired of playing tic-tac-toe (?!?), Hurley went back into the Temple, and there was Jacob, totally pouring something into the spring. No idea what it was -- maybe something to make the water run clear again?

Jacob's like: "What up, dog? Can you run an errand for me since I'm dead?" Said errand is soooo complicated that poor Hurley needs to scrawl instructions up and down his arm. Do you know how hard it is to wash off pen ink? Hurley's a good sport because I wouldn't have done it. Anyway, the point of the errand is to help someone find his or her way to the Island.

While Hurley's dealing with Jacob, Sayid's upset that all the Others are giving him the stinky side-eye. "Are they jealous of my tank top collection? I mean, they're pretty fitted to my body but I will totally share if that's what's causing the problem here." Jack tells him that no, it's actually that they think he might go loco at any given moment and that they'd wanted Jack to poison him with the little green pill. Jack also shares that the Others have seen this happen to "someone else," but stops short of naming Claire.

Now Hurley's trolling around some hallway o' hieroglyphics and Dogen catches him and demands that he leave. Jacob materializes (only to Hurley, of course) and tells Hurley to say "You are not the boss of me and I can do whatever I want so nyah nyah -- deal with it!" In response Dogen reverts to spewing Japanese and takes off. Then Jacob's like, "Uh, I told you to bring Jack," and Hurley says, "But he's such a freakin' DOWNER all the time," and Jacob replies, "Sorry, dude, them's my rules."



Hurley gets Jack to come along by uttering the magic phrase, "You have what it takes." That's just like somebody telling Locke all of the stuff that he CAN do. It works.

Along their trek to god knows where, they run into Kate. She does NOT want to tag along with them for once -- she's dead set on locating Claire. "I hope you find what you're looking for," are her parting words. I think that sentiment could apply to all of the characters at this point, don't you?

Next thing we know, Jack's stepping on Shannon's inhaler and Hurley's gazing upon the Adam and Eve skeletons, last seen near the beginning of Season One. He wonders aloud something that we've of course all been theorizing about: with the insane amount of time-traveling that's transpired, couldn't those skeletons be two of the 815ers? Why yes, Hurley, I imagine we'll find out that they are and that's exactly why Darlton wanted to plant that seed with the audience. "Normal" fans of the show would have forgotten all about Adam and Eve, so they needed to be reminded.

One note about the skeletons, since their identities are one of the mysteries I've been the most curious about: I rewatched "House of the Rising Sun" to be sure, and my memory served me correctly -- the skeletons did not used to be next to each other. Now they are.

If you want to see for yourself and have your Season One DVDs nearby, pop in Disc 2, go to HOTRS, and the scene in question is at the beginning of Chapter 4. Or you could 1) just trust me or 2) infer that the skeletons are not near each other in that episode because of Jack's comment (from the transcript) that I've bolded below.

KATE: Who is he? How'd he get here?

JACK: I can't exactly perform an autopsy but there doesn't seem to be any major trauma to the bones. There's another one over here. Someone laid them to rest here.

. . .

KATE: Any idea how long they've been here?

JACK: Long. It takes 40 or 50 years for clothing to degrade like this.

Let me first say that I do not think the movement of the skeletons is anything to get all worked up about. I think the easiest explanation is that their repositioning might've simply been a conscious production choice, most likely because the characters those skeletons belong to will end up being a couple. And it would seem kind of weird if a couple had been laid to rest across the cave from each other. The vast majority of Lost fans would've never noticed the difference, and if/when the skeletons are revealed to be Bernard/Rose, Jack/Kate, Sawyer/Kate, Desmond/Penny, Widmore/Hawking, Jin/Sun or some other couple then it will make more sense that they're side by side.

As for who *I* think the skeletons are? I've never bought into the Rose and Bernard theory because that would've meant that Rose and Bernard died immediately after we last saw them in 1977 at their retirement beach home. (And 40-50 years haven't passed since then, either.) I think it's more likely that the characters in question died in the '50s, or maybe there is something so bizarre happening with the time warp on the Island that it was impossible for Jack to be correct about how long the people had been deceased. All I know is that Jack was the last one seen with the small black and white stones in the pouch he removed from one of the skeletons, so he's still Suspect #1 in my mind. Thoughts?


(Shout-out to Kyle C for suggesting this section's lyrics!)

Lots of big revelations from Jack in this episode, huh? We've already talked about his "I love you no matter what!" speech to David, and then at the caves he not only told Hurley that his father was NOT in his coffin after Flight 815 crashed, but he also copped to returning to the Island because he thought it would "fix" him. I think that all of this self-reflection on Jack's end is clearly necessary in order for him to be able to fulfill his ultimate destiny, which is of course what Jacob also refers at the end of the episode.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Next, Jack and Hurley reach a lighthouse that nobody's ever seen before. Even though they had Jack acknowledge that fact, I was still kind of annoyed -- I mean, come on -- somebody would've seen this lighthouse by now. But I'm over it.

They climb up to the top and Jack grows increasingly pissed off because Jacob hasn't graced them with his presence yet. Hurley said that they're supposed to turn the big wheel in the middle of the room to degree 108. As they start doing so, Jack notices weird reflections in the series of mirrors behind the wheel. Let me just tell you that I was SO excited when I saw those buildings flashing by -- I thought it was going to be a portal into another dimension, kind of like in the His Dark Materials books. I thought the characters would be able to leap through the mirror -- you know, "Through the Looking Glass" and all that. Instead, Jack put the names on the degree markings together with the images in the mirrors and turned the wheel to his own name. Once he turned the counter to 23 and subsequently saw the home he grew up in, he decided that Jacob had been using the contraption to spy on him and -- like an exceedingly frustrated Lost fan -- demanded answers right then and there.



Jacob failed to materialize and dole out answers, so Jack did something I thought was kind of dumb -- he smashed all the mirrors. No otherworldly portals for YOU now, Jack -- good job. I'm not fond of when the Mad Doctor does things without thinking them through first. But, like the presence of the lighthouse, I'm over it.

The funny thing was that Jacob DID actually appear, it's just that 1) Jack was off sulking and 2) couldn't have seen him anyway. Jacob told Hurley that some peeps can just be told what to do ("Not that there's anything wrong with that, Hurley..."), while others need to be influenced a bit more subtly. Jacob said that Jack has "something to do" and that he needed to understand how important he was, so basically the entire errand he'd sent those two on was a set-up. Hurley's like, "But what about the person who needs to get to the Island?" I thought Jacob would say that there wasn't actually anybody coming, but instead he said that whoever it was would "find another way."


I'm sure most of you thought the same thing I did once you saw the lighthouse: "Oh, it must be Desmond who's sailing to the Island. YESSSSSSSS!!!!" He's been known to sing "I'm on a BOAT!", right? But when pausing on the wheel's 108 mark, the name there was "Wallace" (AND it was crossed out). Not "Hume."

Hmm. We know of no Wallace. Here's the thing, though... since Jacob really just wanted Jack to realize he'd been tracked his whole life, I don't even know if we can trust that Person #108 is who's coming to the Island in the first place. It sounds like the lighthouse wasn't even necessary to get that person ashore. So I'm still rooting for Desmond's return. And I'm definitely rooting AGAINST yet another new character being introduced.


Elsewhere on the Island, Jin was bleeding out thanks to Claire's bear trap. Man, those scenes were gross. He's resting in her Rousseau-ish tent and she's out retrieving Justin the Other, who wasn't actually dead like we thought he was. She kept interrogating Justin about where Aaron was, and he kept saying he had no idea. Finally when she was about to bludgeon Justin with an ax, Jin shouted, "Kate's had Aaron for the past three years... and, for what it's worth, he looks NOTHING like your little Frankenstein doll over there!"

But Claire still gives it to Justin in the chest. D'oh.

Then Jin has to cover and say that Kate did NOT in fact have Aaron, but rather the Others had him over at the Temple, and that she'll need Jin in order to get there. At that point Fake Locke pops his head in the tent and Jin's like "What the..." and Claire introduces him as "her friend."

The main question I have about all this is whether or not Claire's seeing "her friend" as Locke or as someone else, since it seems as though her friend has been guiding her for the past three years and the Man in Black has only been in Locke's form for a few days. I'm not sure we'll ever get an answer to that one, though.

Jacob did warn Hurley that some eeeevil was on its way to the Temple and that it was too late to do anything about it, so now we know that he was most likely referring to Team Clocke going in to 1) retrieve the baby who is not actually there and 2) raise all sorts of holy hell. It will be interesting to see what happens if/when Sayid and Fake Locke come face to face, if Fake Locke is indeed the entity that put a "claim" on our favorite Iraqi. And, you know, since the previews couldn't show us ANYTHING since the next episode is going to be SO CRAZY (seriously, how ridiculous was that preview?), I guess we'll just have to wait and see if that's what goes down.

That's it for my episode analysis. Now here's what I think is going on overall.


Before the season began, I figured that we would see an alternate version of events -- what the Losties lives would've been like had they never crashed on the Island. I also assumed that all of their lives would be significantly worse in that scenario. While we have yet to see what everyone is up to, so far -- with the exception of perhaps Rose and Bernard (since they were REALLY happy at their Retirement Beach Hut and Rose no longer had cancer) -- that prediction has not panned out.

As of right now in the flash sideways timeline:
- Kate is on the run, but not in jail like she'd feared she would be. And since there's a chance she didn't actually commit the crime she's accused of, she might escape prison (or at least get a light sentence) if she is ever caught. Plus, she made a friend in Claire -- awww!!!!
- Claire will most likely keep Aaron.
- Jack just turned a corner in the relationship with his son. And, um, Jack HAS A SON.
- Sayid appeared happy and was most likely going to meet Nadia after he landed.
- Hurley is the luckiest guy in the world and totally happy and chill.
- Sun and Jin... hmm, things aren't that rosy there, but we haven't seen much more of them so I'll reserve judgment for now.
- Sawyer we haven't seen enough of yet to know what's going on with him.
- Rose has cancer but is at peace with it.
- Locke is confined to a wheelchair but has made peace with it, has what appears to be a good relationship with his father, and is getting married to Helen, who rocks.
- Charlie - A drug addict, but presently still alive.
- Boone - Still dopey, but presently still alive.
- Arzt, Frogurt - Still alive.
- Ben's a teacher, Dogen's a dad.

So then I started thinking, "OK, they're showing us these two versions of how the 815ers lives could have been, and eventually each character is going to have to choose one version to stick with." But then I realized that that could never work, because it's not like off-Island Locke could just remove himself from the Island events and not have it affect what happened with/to the characters who might've chosen to stay with their Island lives. It's got to be an all or nothing scenario.

Then I thought that we just haven't seen enough of the off-Island events yet and that perhaps things are going to head south for everyone and it will be clear that the original timeline was what was "supposed to happen." Another idea was that events in the off-Island timeline would start (or eventually be able to) affect things on the Island -- but I'm still having trouble figuring out how they would communicate that to viewers now that we know the off-Island flashes are in 2004 and the Island events are years later. I guess they could always just cover 2005-2007 in the alternate timeline, too, and then everything would be synced up.

Most recently I got very worried that they're headed toward making ONE character -- Jack -- responsible for deciding everyone's fate. My problem with this scenario is absolutely nothing against Jack -- it's more with the fact that this would seem to fly in the face of the series' whole "free will versus fate" battle. It's not free will or fate if one person decides the fate of many. But since Jack had the nick on his neck, the weird reaction to his appendectomy scar and the faint memory of Desmond, I started thinking that he might end up being the only one who eventually has full recollection of BOTH timelines for ALL characters and then has to ultimately decide which one timeline should be kept and which one should cease to exist.

What gives me hope is that Kate also seemed to have a spark of recognition with Jack outside of the airport, and was also moved by the whale stuffed animal of Claire's (which, as I discussed in my "What Kate Does" post, she bought for Aaron herself in the original timeline).

So right now I'm just hoping that it's going to end up being the type of thing where all of the characters -- TOGETHER -- make a conscious choice to choose their Island existences over their No Crash existences. As my brother pointed out to me, when Jacob and the Man in Black had their infamous talk about how "it always ends the same... but it only ends once," what if the difference between the Losties and all of the other people Jacob's brought to the Island is that a subset of the 815ers actually chose to come back? So in a way, they've already taken a step toward deciding which life they want to lead.

Anybody got any other ideas? Like I said at the beginning of this season, I'm totally just rolling with things and am not getting too crazy about the various theories, but I figured now that we're 27.78% of the way through the season I'd let you know where my head was at.


"I just lied to a samurai." - Hurley


- In my last post I told you about how a fire consumed fellow blogger Vozzek's home. And I told you to buy his book already! He would like to thank everyone who did, and I wanted to pass along an update he gave recently on The ODI's podcast. I mentioned that Vozzek is one of the most positive people I know, and I think his upbeat personality really shines through in the linked clip.

- My husband and I went out to eat recently and were amused by the first cocktail listed on this bar menu. Of course we had to try it.

- My boy Zach D, LLL reader and writer, interviewed Michael Emerson (aka Ben) for and it's an absolute must-read -- totally hilarious and, of course, spoiler-free. Here it is!

- Matt R, a LLL reader who had a "super-fan" interview with Entertainment Weekly's Doc Jensen a few months ago, is best known for making incredible videos that serve as invitations to his Lost viewing parties. They're like movie quality, seriously. Now he's extended his creativity to a t-shirt design revolving around the Dharma Shark (that's Ezra James Sharkington to listeners of the Official Lost Podcast) and I thought it was very cool. If you want one for yourself, here's his CafePress page.

And with that, I'm off to find a spring to dive into that will hopefully cure my own personal version of "the sickness." Wish me luck.

Until next time,
- e

Thursday, February 18, 2010

S6Ep4: The Substitute

Hello my dear friends –

Every once in a while, something happens that makes you put life’s little day-in, day-out annoyances in perspective. Such a moment occurred earlier this week when I learned that one of the best Lost bloggers out there, my friend and fellow DarkUFO recapper Vozzek, lost his home to a fire. The good news is that his family and pets are all safe, he is currently in temporary housing, and an incredible support system of family and friends are helping him put things back in order. As he’s one of the most positive and coolest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, I’d like to ask everyone to send some prayers, positive vibes, extra-good karma, or whatever else it is you think might help his way. Some of you who read Dark’s post about Vozzek's situation have asked me if there’s anything else you can do – and my response is, “I think right about now would be a GREAT time to show your support and buy his awesome book!

I know Vozzek was counting on “The Substitute” to take his mind off of things for a bit, and I dare say that it probably did, as a lot of crazy stuff went down in that hour. Which means there’s much to cover, but first – as is becoming a bit of a Season Six posting tradition – let me revisit two issues from my “What Kate Does” write-up that I received a particularly high number of emails and comments about.

1) Some people thought that Jack recognized Desmond on the plane because of their previous encounter running up and down the stadium bleachers. But, as I said in my “ LA X (Part 1)” post, Des probably never trained for the Widmore-sponsored sailing race if Widmore went bye-bye with the rest of the Island in the alternate timeline. Further, in the original timeline, Desmond immediately recognized Jack when they saw each other three years later in the Swan hatch. Desmond did not recognize Jack on Bizarro 815. So my point is, Jack is experiencing some sort of latent memory of Desmond most likely because his “other life” on the Island is trying to reach out and make him remember. It’s even manifesting itself in physical ways, like that nick on his neck. But that doesn’t seem to be happening with Desmond.

2) Several people didn’t understand how I thought Sayid could be “claimed” by the Man in Black (MIB) since he was one of the 815ers that Jacob touched. I guess my reasoning with this one is simply that once one of The Touched goes and gets himself killed, all bets are off – MIB is then free to do some claiming. We’ve clearly seen this happen already to a much more severe extent with Locke, who had also been visited, and perhaps even brought back to life after his eight-story fall, by Jacob. Once Ben killed Locke, MIB was able to take his form. Now, am I holding out hope that Jacob instilled a special power in both Locke and Sayid that will prevent them from being completely taken over by the MIB (even though MIB isn’t in Locke’s original body)? Yes, I am. And I think we’ve seen some evidence of that already, which I’ll cover later.

OK! On to “The Substitute.” Island events first.


How cool was the Smokey Cam shot? (Dear Powers That Be at Disney: I think the “Smokey Flying Across the Island” scene could be leveraged into a very cool rollercoaster at your theme parks – hint, hint.) Are all you doubters finally satisfied that the Man in Black and Smokey are one and the same?

When MIB needed to chop Ageless Richard-in-a-Sack down from a tree, however, he had no choice but to transform back into Fake Locke and get to knife-wielding.

Richard was having none of Fake Locke’s crap and refused to skip off into the jungle with him. “I’ll never rule the universe with you!” he hissed. Or something like that. But Fake Locke didn’t even hear Richard’s defiant reply, because some bloody-armed mop-headed boy materialized in the middle of the jungle, freaking him out (and taking ten years off of my life in the process. You KNOW how I feel about creepy little kids!) Richard noticed Fake Locke’s wide-eyed stare and whipped around… but saw nothing. Now, I’m sure a lot of people are jumping to the conclusion that Richard was unable to see the kid. But I replayed that scene several times, and to me it looked like the boy had simply disappeared by the time Richard turned around. More on this in a bit.

Curiously, Fake Locke let Richard go. But he did warn him that “people seldom get a second chance,” which is of course the great irony of this season, since we’re seeing all of the 815ers do just that (in a way).


Next, Fake Locke set his sights on Sawyer, who was having a gay ol’ time guzzling down whatever Dharma Booze he could find back in his old house. I have to pause here for a moment and say that although Josh Holloway nearly took over as Man-Crying Champion in the last episode, he can’t even touch Matthew Fox’s Drunk-Acting skillz. If you want to see how Wasted, Bumbling Fool is done, check out Foxy’s manual (aka: every flash-forward in which Jack has a hillbilly beard). My husband was like, “Is the fact that Sawyer’s all squinty-eyed supposed to mean that he’s drunk?”

Clearly he wasn’t THAT drunk, though. Because within about 4 milliseconds he’d seen right through Fake Locke. It didn’t seem to bother him that some evil-ish being had taken on the appearance of his old friend, though, and when Fake Locke promised to be able to answer the mother of all questions – why the con man and his fellow Losties were on the Island in the first place – Sawyer was clearheaded enough to utter a line that dashed the hopes and dreams (nay, fantasies) of millions of women around the globe: “Well, I guess I better put some pants on.”

Once Sawyer was decent (subjective word, I realize), he and Fake Locke started making their way together across the jungle, and dammit if that spooky kid didn’t pop up and turn my blood cold once more. I thought it was HILARIOUS when Sawyer asked, “Who the hell’s that?” and Fake Locke was all surprised that Sawyer could also see the boy. Now, Fake Locke’s response could definitely be meant to confirm that the mystery kid was indeed invisible to Richard. Or it could just mean that, knowing WHO the kid was, Fake Locke simply didn’t think anyone else would be able to see him. Regardless, he went running after the boy, tripped, and then got all pissy after the towheaded pre-teen warned, “You know the rules. You can’t kill him.”

Though I haven’t had time to read through the message board or other Lost sites, I can only imagine that there are a ton of theories as to who this kid might be. To me, however, it seems like there’s really only one option: Young Jacob. As in, a vision of him, not a time-traveling version of the actual Young Jacob (this helps explain the initial shot of him with bloody arms, which were then clean the next time he appeared).

Here’s my reasoning:
1) Who else is going to make the Man in Black that agitated? MIB thought he was finally rid of Jacob, and then there his old rival is again, in all of his youthful splendor to boot, reminding MIB of The Rules.
2) I’d be willing to bet that Jacob and the Man in Black grew up together and therefore knew each other as kids. I’d also be willing to bet that Jacob appeared as a pre-teen because we’ll see him again at that age in a flashback where we’ll eventually get both his and the MIB’s full stories.
3) The blood on the kid’s hands in his first appearance is probably meant to remind Fake Locke that HE has blood on his hands from killing Jacob, and Lord knows who else during his moonlighting stints as Smokey.
4) The kid referenced The Rules. The Man in Black has spent several lifetimes trying to find a loophole around one of those rules – the one about how he couldn’t personally kill Jacob.
5) Jacob would have a vested interest in wanting to keep all of the people he visited and touched off-Island safe. As he touched Sawyer, this is why Sawyer can see him, even though Young Jacob is probably just an apparition.

You can go through every other male character who has blond hair and try to make a plea for why it might be him, but there’s no case as strong as the one above, in my mind. The only other option I might buy is if the kid is just simply meant to represent the Island overall. Older Aaron? Huh? Why would he be dressed like that? Younger Locke? Ditto (and we’ve already seen Locke around this age in a flashback). Younger Sawyer? Wouldn’t Sawyer recognize himself? I’m stickin’ with Young Jacob!


After the kid reminded Fake Locke about the rules, Fake Locke shouted Real Locke’s trademarked line – TWICE. I don’t know about you guys, but that – combined with the fact that the Man in Black somehow knew what Real Locke’s dying thoughts were (even though he isn’t in Real Locke’s body) – gives me hope that because Jacob’s healing powers were infused into Locke after his eight-story fall, Real Locke is somewhere deep inside of this impostor and is slowly but surely battling his way out.


While Fake Locke chased the Ghost Kid, Sawyer got a visit from Richard, who seemed extremely nervous about running into the bald baddie again. Richard tried to convince Sawyer to return to the Temple, but Sawyer was all, “Hell to the no.” Before he ran away, Richard warned Sawyer that Fake Locke’s goal was to kill the remaining 815ers.

In a cool shout-out to his time with Ben on the Hydra island in Season Three, Sawyer started talking about “Of Mice and Men” to Fake Locke, who mentioned that the 1937 novel was “a little after his time.” I thought that when Sawyer pulled a gun on Fake Locke he was going to reveal that he was TOTALLY on to his evil plan, but alas, Fake Locke sweet-talked his way out of the situation, thanks to claims of being “so close.”

Eventually the two climbed down Jacob’s ladder (get it?) and head into a totally random cave that appeared to have some sort of musical instrument and a scale holding one black and one white rock. (Those were not the same stones Jack found on the Adam and Eve skeletons in the cave in Season One, by the way.) As an “inside joke,” Fake Locke grabbed the white stone and tossed it into the ocean. And then he lit a torch and took Sawyer into the Cave of Names.

While I do think the Man in Black is “the bad guy” and that his plan IS to kill all of the 815ers, I don’t think he was lying about the Cave of Names. I think over the course of time, Jacob identified people (how? Not sure – maybe by wandering around the world and observing behaviors?) he thought could one day take his place, serve as the ultimate protector of the Island, and prove to MIB that humankind was inherently good. Then he found ways to get them to the Island. He kept track of them all in this cave and assigned numbers to them because he had “a thing for numbers.” And that, my friends, might be all the insight you ever get into The Numbers. (I actually don’t think it will be, but I’ve never been that interested in this particular mystery, so I’m OK if that’s the extent of the reveal.)

The gang’s all listed, with the glaring exception of Kate and the weirdness of not knowing if Jin or Sun was meant to be one of Jacob’s candidates. My first thought upon not seeing Kate’s last name was that I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that in the original pilot for the entire series, KATE was supposed to be the hero (and Jack was supposed to die). So maybe in the end Kate will still end up as the Island’s ultimate savior, and Jacob purposely didn’t list her because he knew that the MIB might use the information in the cave for eeeevil one day? Who knows. That really doesn’t seem like it would work, though, because Kate’s never felt a strong connection to the Island, like Locke and Jack (and even Hurley sometimes) have. Another idea is that Jacob simply didn’t write ALL of the names out because he knew that if MIB ever found the cave and went after everyone listed, he might kill all of them. If the “Harry Potter Horcrux” theory I mentioned in a past post is valid, then Jacob might’ve had reason to leave at least one name off of the cave wall so that there would still be part of his soul left within one or more candidates. I could seriously write for a loooong time about all of the possibilities the Cave of Names brings forth, but, um, I’d rather not. So let’s talk about Sawyer’s options.

Now that he knows he’s up for the title of Head Cheese, Sawyer needs to decide what he wants to do. The way Fake Locke sees it, there are three choices: 1) Do nothing and possibly wind up dead, 2) Take Jacob’s place (though I think Fake Locke neglected to mention that doing so would probably require a little more than saying, “Hey everybody, I’m the new Jacob and you will treat me with respect!!!”, or 3) Get outta dodge with a little help from Fake Locke.

Because we’ve seen a season of real-world events courtesy of the Oceanic Six, it’s easy to forget that Sawyer has been stuck on the Island for three years. He’s lost his ladylove, he is sick and tired of the other survivors, and we wants OUT. Does he know that Fake Locke is probably going to try and kill him? I think so. But does he care? That is the question. Sawyer has nothing to lose and might not even mind dying. So he might go along with Fake Locke’s plan, whatever that ends up being. Though I personally think that you can’t out-con a born con man, and therefore Sawyer would never let himself get played. I think he’s going to pull one over on MIB before it’s all said and done.

And once again, I DO think the Man in Black wants control of the Island and is therefore precisely who the Island needs protecting from. If he’s been alive THAT long, he has no home to go back to. He probably wants to totally destroy the Island out of revenge for whatever wrongs he suffered earlier in his life – perhaps when he was mortal. Recall that he mentioned being betrayed and losing someone he loved. I’m confident we’ll get those details in the next fourteen episodes.

MIB is clearly trying to manipulate Sawyer into doing something that will result in him (MIB) having more power. He’s picked off Locke and possibly Sayid, and now he’s focused on Sawyer. Anyone else with an uncrossed name on the cave wall will be next, just like Richard said. What has Richard ever done for us to NOT trust him, people? Look into those supposedly un-eyelinered (yeah right) eyes!!! Can’t you see he’s telling the truth?!?

Elsewhere on the Island…


Surprise, surprise… Ben LIED to a distraught Ilana and told her that MIB killed Jacob. Upon hearing that her boss was then pushed into the fire pit, she pulled out her handy dandy pouch and started pouring Jacob’s ashes into it. Which made me think, “Um, has Jacob died before? Is that where all of the other ash came from?” Kinda gross. But also kinda cool. That’s as far as I’m going to let my mind go with this theory right now, though.

Ilana informs the rest of the group that they best head to the Temple, but they decide to give Real Locke a proper burial first. Ben begrudgingly uttered the most inappropriate eulogy of all time (or maybe I’m not aware of the etiquette – is it OK to admit you murdered the guy being buried?) and then Lapidus grumbled the best follow-up of all time. “Weirdest damn funeral I’ve ever been to.”

Oh, geez, I almost forgot. Ilana gave us a key bit of information as they were putting Locke to rest: The Man in Black is now frozen in Locke’s form – no more shapeshifting into Zombie Dad or Alex or Yemi or whoever else he’s been over the years. Why? Who knows – it probably has something to do with Jacob dying. I don’t really care about the reason, all I care about is the fact that the burial of one Locke body and the existence of another one that isn’t going anywhere unless something drastic happens is enough for me to keep hope alive for my “Real Locke is in there somewhere” theory mentioned above.

Alrighty, then. Though bad things might go down if Sawyer leaves the Island, it doesn’t mean we can’t. Time for the flashes.


You can bet that I was prepared to be crying my eyes out during all of Locke’s off-Island scenes. Things certainly started out looking grim, didn’t they? He fell flat on his face trying to get out of his van and then got drenched by the sprinklers (which evoked happier times when he’d predict downpours on the Island). But then he laughed it off, out came Helen, and we learned that they’re happily engaged and soon to be married.

When she mentioned the wedding, she also mentioned getting her parents and HIS DAD to go to Vegas and do the whole shebang shotgun-style. And then Lost fans around the world cried to the heavens, “Saaaaaaay wwwwhhhhhaaaaaa???”

Now, like I can only imagine everyone else did, I assumed that the father in question was NOT the Anthony Cooper we’ve come to detest over the series. The guy who stole Locke’s kidney, pushed him out of a high-rise and left him for dead, and then mysteriously showed up bound and gagged on the Island, was revealed to be the Original Sawyer, and was finally ceremoniously strangled by Sawyer/James.

Surely it wasn’t THAT Bad Dad, right?


Thanks to the awesome Brothers Headington at, we have this screenshot from Locke’s cubicle, and displayed proudly is a picture of him hunting with dear ol’ pop.

NOW is the time we can all cry to the heavens, “Saaaaay whhhhaaaaaaaa?????”

I have NO IDEA what to make of this. Helen and Locke met in the original timeline because they were both at an anger management session. Locke was there trying to get over the whole “my dad stole one of my organs” thing. So if he’s got a picture of Anthony in his office and Helen’s talking about him coming to their wedding, it’s unlikely that he did anything to cause Locke to seek therapy. Helen and Locke must have met some other way. And I HIGHLY doubt Locke’s paralysis was a result of his father trying to kill him. Which probably also means that it wasn’t Orderly Abaddon who put the walkabout idea in Locke’s head. I repeat: I have NO IDEA what to make of any of this. Why would his dad be a con man in one timeline and not the other?


Since I skipped ahead a bit to talk about Locke’s cubicle, let’s stick with that scene for a minute. Randy Nations, representing all that is wrong with Corporate America and sending chills down my spine in the process, was still Locke’s boss in the alternate timeline, and was still an incredible prick. He found out that Locke hadn’t been at a conference in Australia and straight-up fired him.

But never fear, because there was a bright yellow H2 parked next to Locke’s van, and that could only mean one thing: Hugo Reyes had arrived to save the day. As he did in the original timeline, Hurley owned the box company Locke had been employed with, and – in an effort to make up for Randy’s douchery – hooked Locke up at his temp agency. Where Rose works. BOOM!


As I suspected in my “LA X” write-up, Rose has terminal cancer in the alternate timeline, since the Island’s powers aren’t around to cure her. She seems to be handling her situation well, but has no patience for Locke’s delusions. Even though their exchange about finding Locke a job that was “a little more realistic” ripped my heart into ten bazillion shreds, a teeny part of me was chuckling because I ran a contest in November where people were supposed to send in tongue-in-cheek ideas about something we’d see go down on the show in its final season. The winner, Dirte, entered: “Someone Finally Tells Locke Something That He Actually CAN'T Do." Whaddaya know, Dirte was right!

Once Locke had returned home, however, he toyed with the idea of having a consultation with the spinal surgeon he’d met at the airport (I loved when Locke explained to Helen that “He’d lost something, too”). But after dialing Jack’s office, he quickly hung up. Not before Helen heard the call, though, and confronted Locke about what was going on. Cue the arrival of the Case o’ Knives.

Locke spilled the truth about the walkabout and losing his job, and I was seriously afraid that Helen was going to dump his ass right there and then Locke would end up a sad, pathetic dude once again. Instead, she was like, “I love you for YOU!”, ripped up Jack’s card (yes, I shrieked in horror) and then gave her man a big ol’ kiss. She also reminded him that miracles DO happen. His initial assertion that “there’s no such thing” was of course exactly what Jack said on the Island at one point. The parallels were flying all over the place like Hot Pockets in this episode.

One last comment before we leave Helen… I never believed that she had actually died of a brain aneurysm in 2006 like Abaddon claimed she did in the original timeline when Locke went off-Island to try and convince the O6 to return. I figured that Abaddon just didn’t want Locke to be distracted from his mission, so he had a tombstone erected to throw Locke off of the trail. I really, really hope that she remains alive and kickin’ in this new set of off-Island occurrences, because my heart won’t be able to take watching Locke lose her now that he seems to have truly found happiness. ARE YOU LISTENING, WRITERS?!?!?

One more last last comment: I still have faith that Jack and Locke WILL cross paths again. They’ve got to.


In Locke’s final off-Island segment, we see that he’s found work at a school. During a break he goes into the teacher’s lounge and there’s some sniveling guy droning on about how no one ever brews a fresh pot of coffee. When Locke asked for Earl Grey I actually cheered, because anyone who knows me knows that there are two things in this world that I cannot do without: 1) Kiehl’s lip balm and 2) a cup of Earl Grey each morning. I got a huge kick out of Locke being a fellow tea-lover. Let me have my moment, OK? Sheesh, I had to endure his funeral earlier in the hour, remember.

Anyway, the big WTF moment in this flash was of course the reveal of Ben as the sniveling teacher. Cordial introductions are made. And… scene.

My initial point of confusion was how Ben could even be alive. When all hell was breaking loose at the Swan site in 1977, he was still deep within the Temple being healed from Sayid’s assassination attempt. I assumed that if the Island had been destroyed, Ben would’ve died. His presence in the teacher’s lounge makes me think that a theory I mentioned two write-ups ago might be correct: Jughead didn’t decimate the Island in the alternate timeline, but it might have caused some other chain of events to occur that still concluded with the Island sinking. In that scenario, Young Ben would’ve had time to evacuate. Would that mean that European History Teacher Ben has memories of his time on the Island? Or am I totally off base here and the alternate timeline veered from the original timeline’s course much earlier than 1977? It’s late and I can’t drink another cuppa Earl Grey or else I’ll be up all night, so I’ll let you guys tell me what you think could be going on with the Ben situation.

My final thought about this episode is this: when I heard that its title was “The Substitute,” I would’ve never guessed that it was, in the most literal sense, referring to Locke as a substitute teacher. “The Substitute” seems more in line with other episode titles like “The Constant” and “The Variable” – you know, algebra-y terms and whatnot – the “substitution method” to solving equations, yadda yadda yadda. That’s probably the real meaning of the title, what with all the talk about “candidates” being replacements/substitutes for Jacob, the MIB attempting to pass himself off as Locke, etc., etc. I’m not going anywhere else with this thought. Just felt like sharing.

That’s all for this episode, folks! Let me leave you with a hilarious picture that longtime LLL reader Wanders (from the awesome Mary Worth & Me blog passed along. This is an untouched photo of a very suspicious snow removal truck he spied in his office parking lot earlier this week. He wrote, "I have to tell you... When I saw it, I truly was jolted. Then I remembered, I live in the real world, and I was okay."

Hmm, I don't know, I think he should still be worried!

Until next time,
- e

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The February contest winner is...

... Marianne!

This just proves that it's never too late to enter a contest, as our lucky winner was actually the last one to submit her comment before the deadline yet was still the one chosen at random. She liked this Widmore Industries shirt best:

Congrats, Marianne... get a hold of me by Thursday night to claim your prize!

And thanks to everyone else for entering. There are new shirts being added all the time at the CafePress Lost store, and their design contest ends tomorrow, so keep on the lookout for cool items you might want to get before the series finale.

In semi-related news, this is a crazy week for me so all I can promise is that my write-up for "The Substitute" will be up by Tuesday.

Until then,
- e

Sunday, February 14, 2010

*NOW CLOSED* The February Contest: Win a Lost T-Shirt... or a Trip to Hawaii!

OK, so *I* am not giving away a trip to Hawaii.

But the fine folks over at CafePress are!

For you creative types out there, be sure you check out the ABC and CafePress Lost t-shirt design contest soon -- the deadline is this coming Thursday, February 18. The grand prize (picked by one of the show's producers) is a four-night stay for two on Oahu!?!?! WHAT!?! It's times like these that I wish I could draw something more impressive than stick figures. Ah, well.

They're also awarding five prize packages which include $200 gift certificates for, Seasons 1 - 5 on DVD, and a shirt signed by the majority of the cast. This is an INCREDIBLE contest for the artistically inclined. Get all of the details here. I would love it if a Long Live Locke reader won -- I know how crafty you guys can be. Good luck!

As for MY February contest, well, I'm not springing for an Island vacation for any of you -- I already used up all of my frequent flyer points doing that for myself for the Season Six premiere. While I was running around on the beach I actually had on a shirt I got from CafePress and tons of people asked me about it. Now you, too, have a shot at your own too-cool-for-school tee if you just do a few simple things by 8:30 PM EST this coming Tuesday, February 16th.

1) Look through the CafePress Lost store here, and find a tee that you like. Click onto its product page and copy the URL up top. There are lots of different items available (magnets, hats, bags, etc.), but let's keep it to the shirts for this contest, m'kay?

2) Let me know which shirt you liked the best by pasting its URL into a comment in the comments section for this post. While you don't have to put in any contact information, make sure I have some way to identify you if you win (as in, don't leave an anonymous post). And don't worry, if you win and you decide you like another shirt better, you can switch when the time comes for me to take your order.

3) Live in any country on earth. (Sorry, aliens. You know I love you, though.)

4) Enter only once. By 8:30 PM EST on Tuesday, February 16. As in, before the next episode airs on the east coast.

That's it! Good luck! I'll pick the winner at random and announce the lucky guy or gal at some point on Wednesday the 17th.

- e


Friday, February 12, 2010

S6Ep3 - What Kate Does

Hello my dear friends -

As I did last week, I'm going to kick off this post by tying up a few loose ends from the premiere:

1) A huge "Thanks!" to the approximately 1,457 people who reminded me that the gaping hole in the Temple's perimeter was caused by Ben's fall when he was on his way to be judged by Smokey last season...
2)... and that the chick who drowned in Season One was named Joanna...
3) ... and that in Korea, married women often keep their last name, so it might not have been any sort of clue when the security guard called Sun "Mrs. Paik."

Some people also wrote in to say that perhaps Fake Locke's reference to Richard's chains wasn't because Richard was on the Black Rock, but rather because he was originally a slave in ancient Egypt who was brought to the Island by Jacob (hence tying in the multitude of nods to that culture on the show over the years). Others thought the chains were just the metaphorical kind -- like now that Jacob's dead, Richard's no longer at his beck and call.

Since I am positive we'll get more background on the Ageless One before the final credits roll on the series, let's move on to "What Kate Does." I've heard some grumblings about this episode having "too much filler," "moving too slowly," and "not giving enough answers." I felt quite differently. Perhaps it's because I rewatched all of Season One this past summer (that's as far as my own personal re-watch got, though, unfortunately) and have a new appreciation for what makes an hour of Lost enjoyable enough that it stands the test of time. I'd forgotten how much simpler the show used to be -- hell, Jack spent half of "Deux Ex Machina" trying to figure out why Sawyer was having bad headaches (remember his classic line of questioning about STDs?) and melding together Harry Potter glasses for his rival.

And guess what folks? Whether you realize it or not, those were the kind of scenes that made you fall in love with the show and stick with it for the past five years. "What Kate Does" brought back that type of intimate vibe that is hard to achieve in a more action-packed episode. I'd take meaningful, heartfelt exchanges between characters over Smokey sequences and rumbles in the jungle any day. So what I'm trying to say is, I liked this episode. And for the record, I don't care if they dole out ONE more answer on this show. I mean it. I can explain everything we've seen so far courtesy of my over-active imagination. And that way I can still get some elves into the picture.

Now that I've made my plea to you all to just ENJOY the remaining hours of the show, let's get into the meat of this Kate-centric installment. Casual viewers (aka: "normal people") might have forgotten that in Season Two there was an episode entitled "What Kate Did," which clued us in to her (successful) attempt to blow up her mom's house... which contained her abusive stepfather. In "What Kate Does" she's still on the run for murder in the alternate timeline, but aside from the video played at Comic-Con, we have no other details about exactly what landed her in handcuffs.

So let's take the do-over/reset/reboot/bizarro world/if-there's-a-common-name-the-alternate-timeline-is-being-referred-to-across-the-messageboards-please-tell-me scenes first.



After Kate jumped in the cab with Claire, good ol' Arzt blocked their way with all of his dropped luggage. You can bet that I thought he was going to be run over since we all know he didn't meet a very happy ending on the Island, either. But he stepped aside, and only his luggage was worse for the wear.

What was more important about this part, however, is the weird look that flashed across Kate's face when she locked eyes with Jack as he stood outside the terminal and was making calls to try and straighten out his dad's non-funeral. Yes, Jack and Kate bumped into each other on the plane and he'd made googly eyes at her, but she was pretty busy stealing his pen and I don't think their quick encounter was anything that would've caused her to make such an expression of recognition when she saw him again a half-hour or so later. Jack also had a "Hey, huh, wha...?" air about him when he saw Kate from afar. Some people think that if this timeline was running concurrently with the timeline in which Flight 815 crashed, that by this point Kate and Jack would've met each other on the Island and that's why they're now seeming to recognize one another in this instance of events. That doesn't really explain why Jack would've already felt like he'd met Desmond before, though... and I'm honestly not sure that Jack and Kate met THAT quickly after the crash, but it's still something to consider.

I'm going with a more general theory that all of the 815ers are going to start experiencing some sort of nagging feelings... like they're meant to be somewhere else. Or they'll feel oddly drawn to certain people, much like we've already seen starting to happen between Jack and Locke, and now Kate and Claire.


After Kate left Claire stranded on the side of the road, she sweet-talked a mechanic into breaking open her handcuffs and then went into the body shop's bathroom to change into Claire's stuff. Except that there were no clothes in Claire's bag, there was just a bunch of baby stuff. Including the very same stuffed animal that Kate would end up buying Aaron in the original timeline in "Something Nice Back Home." I totally freaked out when I saw that thing.

So Kate then felt all guilty and decided to go back to get Claire, who was still in the exact same spot, waiting for the bus. Now, did the woman who stole Jack's pen, bashed the marshal's head into a counter, held a cab driver and pregnant chick at gunpoint and then manipulated her way into getting out of her 'cuffs strike you as the type of considerate lady who would have a change of heart about someone she screwed over that she didn't even know? No. Up until Kate looked in the bag, she had no intention of going back for Claire. I personally don't think she would've gone back even if she'd seen Claire's Polaroid or the pack of onesies. It was that orca stuffed animal, I tell ya, calling to Kate from a different dimension -- luring her back to be reunited with someone she was connected to in another life.


That otherworldly connection Kate and Claire share is probably the same thing that swayed Claire into hitching a ride with the very same woman who had hijacked her cab earlier in the day. How else can you explain that decision?

Since I had seen William Mapother's name on the Guest Starring list at the beginning of the episode, I expected that Ethan would be the adoptive father who would open the door when Claire showed up in Brentwood. When he wasn't -- and when Claire started going into labor after being delivered the news that there was in fact no happy couple waiting to adopt her baby -- then I knew Ethan would have to turn up in the hospital. Damn spoilery beginning credits!

And yep, there he was, Dr. Ethan Goodspeed. I've been asked to address how he could be alive in this instance of events, so I'll remind you all that when Miles had forewarned Daddy Chang that the Island might blow up, the Dharma peeps started shipping out all of the women and children. So baby Ethan would've been safe, as would've baby Miles, and toddler Charlotte, etc., etc. So see -- Faraday DID save Charlotte, the death of the skinny tie was not in vain!

But back to the hospital room -- Ethan's all nicety-nice and makes a point of saying that he doesn't want to stick Claire with needles if he doesn't have to. Uh-huh. She chooses to delay the delivery, and then Unnamed, Unborn Turniphead throws a hissy fit and the machine beeps out some sort of flatline. The second Claire shouts, "Is Aaron OK?", however, normalcy returns and the ultrasound shows that everything's just dandy. This was clearly not a coincidence. Later, Claire claimed that it was like she just "knew it or something" when Kate inquired about the fact that Claire'd given her child a name. Kate also threw in that she felt Claire "should keep him."

Now, let's think back a bit about what originally put Claire on Oceanic 815. The psychic -- who I truly believe WAS a psychic -- who felt so strongly that Claire must be the one to raise Aaron that he put her on a flight he knew would either strand her with her son on a crazy island or -- gulp -- kill them both. What if in this new timeline she visited the same guy and he put her on the Oceanic flight because he knew that even though the adoption would fall through and the plane would land safely in LA, Claire would meet Kate and the labor scare they went through together -- as well as Kate's words -- would ultimately lead Claire to raise Aaron herself?

Finally, before we move on to the present-day events, I want to address something I mentioned at the end of my "LA X (Part 1)" post. I'd speculated that the new Oceanic flight we were watching might have been taking place three years after the original, in order for the on-Island and off-Island events to be moving in parallel and things to some how sync up in the series' finale. But, besides Jack's old-school cell phone, I think we now have other proof that the rebooted flight took place exactly when it did before: 9/22/04. Why? Because on Claire's ultrasound there was a date: 10/22/04. Some peeps wrote in to Gregg Nations, who keeps track of each and every little crazy detail about the show, and asked if the 10/22/04 was a mistake or a clue. He said it was a bit of both, and in this thread on Lost's creative team's official site, you can all but discern that the date should've been 9/22/04 (the mistake being the "10," and the clue being the "04"). The crew's just human folks -- they can goof up every once in a while just like the rest of us. So moving forward I will be working from the all-but-confirmed assumption that the alternate timeline is taking place in the fall of 2004.

Let's head to the Island!







At the Temple, Sawyer glares at the rest of the group from the sidelines and informs Kate that he intends to escape. The Others return and demand some alone time with Sayid and Jack attempts to fight them off, but Sawyer starts firing shots in the air and lets everyone know that he'll be leaving now. Dogen the Japanese Other Leader decides that this would be an appropriate time to start speaking English and pleads, quite seriously,
"Please, you have to stay." Shuh, right! "James Ford" has totally reverted back to being Season One Sawyer -- hating on Sayid, out for himself, and just wanting to be alone. "Don't follow me," he warns Kate.
But OF COURSE Kate is going to go after him, and Jin -- sensing his chance to get closer to finding Sun -- offers to join her and two Others on the search mission. After a near-smooch with Jack (I really thought it was gonna happen), Kate takes off with Jin and Sayid is dragged away to a very Princess Bride-like Pit of Despair, minus the freaky albino wheelbarrow-toting guy.




When Lennon first informed Dogen that Sayid had awoken, did you notice how Dogen kept fingering that weird silver scroll pendant thingy around his neck? That's gotta mean something. I just don't know what yet. I also liked how he was corresponding with god knows who using a TYPEWRITER -- I think he was even pounding away at the keys one-finger style. I don't get these Others, they so crazy.

Anyway, once they get Sayid to the torture chamber, they do a bunch of stuff that 1) really reminded me of when Rousseau first captured Sayid back in Season One, and 2) is clearly related to the Man in Black/Smokey because Dogen was blowing ash all over the place. He shocks Sayid, brands him with a hot poker and then proclaims, "Nope, you don't have H1N1 -- that vaccine you got at Walgreens actually worked, whaddaya know!"

Sayid stumbles back out into the main chamber and Jack has just about had it when he learns that has friend has been hurt. My FAVORITE part of the episode was when Jack's all, "Step aside," to those two burly guards... and then they do it! He had a classic look on his face like "That worked?" before brushing by them. It reminded me of that little smile he had in "The Incident" when Hurley pulled up in the Dharma Van to rescue him and Bleeding Out Sayid.

Jack confronts Lennon and Dogen, who deliver the bad news that Sayid is "infected," and that if he doesn't take the green pill Dogen's whipped up, the "infection will spread." They stress that it's critical Sayid take the pill willingly and that Jack be the one who gives it to him. Dogen also mentions that since it's Jack's fault Sayid got shot in the first place (and reminds him of how so many others had been hurt or killed following him, their leader), this would be a good way to redeem himself.



Back in the spring room, Sayid is like "WTF just happened to me, for real," and Hurley's all, "Don't you remember? You signed on for the top-secret Zombie Season -- it's really gonna happen, just like Damon and Carlton promised! And you get to be the first zombie!"
Jack returns to have a quick private chat about the mystery pill with Sayid, whose attitude is, "I'll do whatever you want, bro. I apparently already died, what else could happen to me?"

Jack goes back to Dogen's lair once more and this time Dogen's messing around with a baseball. WHAT?!?! I was trying to remember if we've seen a baseball on the show before, but I've got nothing. We do know that Jack is a big BoSox fan, and one of the items that Ageless Richard had Young Locke choose from when he was "testing" him in "Cabin Fever" was a baseball glove, but that's all I could come up with. The mystery of the baseball gets added below the mysteries of the silver necklace thingy and the typewriter. But if the next time we see Dogen he's in a Snuggie, I will stop watching this show.

Anywho, Jack asks Dogen why he uses a translator when he doesn't need one, and Dogen gave a very diplomatic answer: "I have to remain separate from the people I'm in charge of. It makes it easier when they don't like the decisions I make for them." This immediately brought to mind the dreaded Episode About Jack's Tattoos, where we learn that one of the Mad Doctor's markings reads, "He walks amongst us, but he is not one of us." Ah, the life of a leader is often a lonely one. Dogen and Jack have a bit in common, it seems.

But they're not yet at the same level of acceptance about the power of the Island, though. When Jack asked Dogen if he's "from" the Island, Dogen looked very confused and replied, "I was brought here like everyone else," and then Jack was the one feigning ignorance.

Not for long, however, because when Dogen continued to refuse to tell Jack the secret recipe for not only Mrs. Field's Cookies, but also Coca-Cola, KFC chicken and the mysterious green pill, Jack straight-up popped the little bugger down his throat. I did NOT see that one coming. I think I actually yelled out, "D'OH!!!!"


Bad move, Jack. It was poison. Double-d'oh!

Thankfully, Dogen was up to date with his Heimlich training and was able to retrieve the "medicine." Then he had no choice but to explain, with Lennon's help, that Sayid had been "claimed." They said a darkness was growing in Jack's Iraqi friend and once it reached his heart, everything that we all love about He of the Black Tank Tops will be gone forever. Nooooooo! Jack asks, "How do you know this?" and they clued him in to the fact that the same thing had happened to his half-sis, and she'd officially gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. (More on that later.)

Elsewhere on the Island...




Kate, Jin and Others Aldo and Justin are tracking Sawyer, and Aldo confirms that all the hullabaloo at the Temple was in order to prepare the grounds against a Smoke Monster attack. Before too long, however, Kate finds a way to knock both of her captors out, and after a tense exchange with Jin ("Who do YOU care about, Kate?") she makes a beeline for New Otherton.

And dammit if Sawyer isn't there pulling up the floorboards to retrieve the engagement ring he'd planned to give Juliet. He allows Kate to come with him to the pier and she tries to convince him to help her find Claire. Their ensuing "some of us are meant to be alone" conversation was almost too hard for me to watch, as they each took turns blaming themselves for Juliet's death. But -- my dog as my witness -- I totally, totally lost it when Sawyer threw the ring into the water and then broke down once again... and then after he left KATE broke down. This show has championship-level criers, it always has. Matthew Fox still reigns supreme as the Most Outstanding Man-Crier, but Josh Holloway came close to swiping the title with this scene. It was beautiful and awful all at the same time. I'm glad they're not just having Sawyer "get over" everything. And it doesn't look like he'll be trotting after Kate back to the Temple any time soon, either.


Meanwhile, poor Jin's wandering around by himself trying to figure out how he can make it to wherever the Ajira flight might have landed when Aldo and Justin find him again. Aldo threatens to kill Jin, but before he gets a chance, he's shot down and then so is his fellow Other. By a very unkempt Claire. I've got to give props to Tom T for writing me milliseconds after the show ended and coining the nickname "Clousseau" for the Rousseau-ish Claire. I've since seen it elsewhere, but in my mind Tom T gets the kudos for that one.

So what's going on with Claire, and why are Dogen and Lennon convinced that whatever happened to her will also happen to Sayid?

When we last saw Completely Normal Claire, she was at her home in New Otherton before Keamy's team attacked. Her house was blown up, but Sawyer found her in the rubble and she appeared to be alive... though Miles was giving her funny looks from that point on, which made many of us think that she might actually be in some sort of undead state. That theory was strengthened once she up and left Aaron in the jungle and ran off with Zombie Dad to Jacob's cabin. Locke later saw her there and she was acting like she'd had one too many shots of MacCutcheon's since she claimed to be "fine" and that Aaron was "where he needed to be."

What can we make of all this?


Sticking with the "the easiest explanation is probably the right one" approach, I'm going with the theory that supports Locke and Walt's chat about backgammon waaaay back in the series' pilot. "There are two players: one side is light, one side is dark." On the Island, these sides are represented by Team Jacob and Team Edw--oops, I mean Team Man in Black. Jacob and his adversary have been lining up players for their various "armies" -- Jacob's got the Others and the 815ers that he visited and physically touched in the past. The Man in Black is able to pick off anyone's who's died and hasn't been properly disposed of (which is why, as we guessed before, the Others have always been so concerned with how to handle their dearly departed members).

This would lead us to believe that Claire did in fact die in that explosion at the barracks, and that the Man in Black got to her immediately. Same goes for Sayid. It doesn't matter that the Man in Black is also taking Locke's form right now -- he can be many places at once thanks to his ability to control the Black Smoke. At least this is how I'm explaining everything to myself in my own mind. Anyone else have any other relatively simple (key phrase) explanations?

Let me leave you with this thought so that you don't lose all hope for our favorite torturer: Dogen and Lennon generally seem to be telling the truth to Jack, it's just that -- like Ben -- what they say may often have a double or hidden meaning. So consider the fact that Dogen said the pill was made of poison. OK, we've got that, but at no point did he say that the pill would KILL Sayid. Now, think about how many medications are often actually poisons, but they double as antidotes if the person they're given to already has a disease or has been afflicted by something... that's essentially what ANY vaccine is. That's what chemotherapy is. So what if the pill contains poison that would've killed Jack because he's not been infected by Smokey, but it will actually help Sayid? I think there's some hope yet for him. There has to be.


Hurley: You’re not a zombie, right?
Sayid: No, I am NOT a zombie.

Miles: We’ll be in the food court if you need us.

Kate: ... I’m sorry, I never should’ve followed you.
Sawyer: Which time?


Back in August when the Season Six premiere title ("LA X") had just been announced, I joined other members of the DarkUFO team -- Karen from Karen's Lost Notebook, The ODI from and Vozzek from Things I Noticed -- for a fun chat about the show and our predictions about Season Six. At the start of our talk I give a little background about how Long Live Locke came to be -- I think this might be the only time I've ever shared the full story!

You can listen to it on ODI's site here, or download it from iTunes here. Our discussion starts at the four-minute mark. Enjoy!

Until next time,
- e