yeah, i cried.
written by: damon and carlton
directed by: jack
this was a perfect episode of lost. i don't think it beats 'through the looking glass' as best overall episode, but it does stand as the epitome of everything the show is about - genre bending sci-fi suspense/mystery with a rock solid emotional core.
- minor gripe
1. wow was i surprised to see that calendar on the boat. i had been awfully irritated that no one bothered to ask naomi "what's the date??" just so that we could have some confirmation of on/off island time differential. in this week's jeff jensen interview, it looks like there is no "constant" deviation for these time differentials - the island is in flux - so the time difference here (island time is one day faster than freighter time) may not be fixed.
this may account for aaron looking 2 years old in kate's future. the only way kate could pass off aaron as her own, is if the survivors were reasonably on the island long enough for her to have had the baby there - it's only been about three months, so it's still impossible - unless they return to the mainland and find that they've gained 6 months or even a year.
i'm gonna guess that the correlation between the color of that mouse-light, and the failsafe key ignited sky are not coincidental.
this was also the first episode of lost that did not have any wooshing flashbacks. in fact, it had no flashbacks at all, since even though we were bouncing around in time with desmond, the timeline of the storytelling (and of desmond's consciousness) remained unbroken.
so what exactly are the rules of this time shifting? farraday had no memory of desmond, though it's unclear if after his meeting with des in the past, he suddenly acquired memories of the encounter (which brings us to the pre-boomer, later).
in 'flashes before your eyes' i was uncertain as to whether we were supposed to understand that desmond was was merely having a lucid memory, or if he did, in fact, travel to that point, and have the ability to affect outcome.
also in 'flashed before your eyes,' desmond goes to visit a physicist friend of his. he tells this friend all about the island - and i speculated at the time that this meeting would be the proverbial 'butterfly under the boot' (that's a 'sound of thunder' reference) from which desmond's future destiny would spring from. the physicist friend would tell penny everything desmond had said about the island, and this would be how penny would know to look for an island, and specifically, an electromagnetic anomaly.
but instead we have daniel farraday! who, like desmond's friend, is also a physicist who teaches in england. it makes me wonder if the daniel character was initially intended to be desmond's friend, donovan.
2. ahh love. i'm posting this late, which means i've already discussed it with many of my friends, read the talkbacks, etc, and there is a lotta love for this episode. the final phone call scene was a cathartic payoff over two years in the making. many have commented on how interesting it is that there seems to be more investment in desmond/penny than in jack/kate/sawyer. and while i agree that there is a lot to root for in penny/desmond, i think we're feeling this way because their story is so simple, uncluttered, told in 4 episodes, rather than, say 74. it's really a testament to these two actors - just one episode of bernard/rose flashback is enough to make me never want to see the socks suck face again.
a fantastic timeline tidbit is that at the beginning of the season 2 finale, 'live together, die alone,' we see desmond released from military prison. stamped on his paperwork is the reason: desertion. and now we know that it's because he left to find farrady. fan-fucking-tastic.
in 1996 charles widmore is buying the journal from the black rock, previously owned by magnus hanso. the hanso foundation was established as a part of the dharma initiative, so we can assume that whatever secrets previously known only to magnus hanso (and by extension, dharma) are now in the hands of charles widmore. this is where i think the boat, naomi, and penny come into the picture. widmore knows something about the island. maybe we'll get a flashback in which we'll see widmore specifically direct desmond toward the island - if widmore needs an expendable, dedicated pawn to be the first to break the island, desmond is a pretty good choice. then he sends naomi after him, though we never find out to what end. we'd better find out what the hell naomi actually wanted from desmond.
4. there are a lot of new questions to ask about these people on the boat. like, what made fisher stevens vulnerable to the timeshifting? why wasn't farraday, who had been exposing himself to electromagnetic radiation for years, affected? who is ben's man on the boat? and - is ben's man the person who destroyed the communications room? is ben's man the same person who unlocked the door, or are there multiple agendas going on?
here's my theory: ben's man on the boat is someone new that we haven't met yet. an insider at widmore, who has been a mole for many many years now. if ben can operate through mittelos bioscience, or herarat aviation, it's easy enough for him to plant someone on that boat.
the person who unlocked the door, though, is michael, who may have been intercepted by any of the others on the trawler. what happened to walt though, i have no idea. i still think we'll only see him in flashforwards, and visions.
ah, there are many different kinds of episodes of lost. one of the many beauties of the show is the great variety of storytelling styles we get, depending on whose flashback it is. and every once in awhile we have a preboomer that is not built entirely on inevitability and surprise, but on intrigue. sometimes it will underscore an emotional moment (as at the end of 'the other 48 days,' which concludes with the two camps becoming one, and jack and ana lucia facing each other for the first time since their drink at the airport bar).
we could easily have been given a preboomer from any of the people on the boat, or hell, juliet could say something like "that whole thing about pregnancy was a lie." (speaking of.. can't wait to get a little more juliet in the show.. )
but the point is that with such a strong emotional climax, a shock and awe preboomer would only serve to diminish the very carefully constructed moments we'd just experienced. so instead, daniel's discovery in his journal sets the stage for farraday's season 4 journey, one in which something horrible will surely go wrong, and where he probably won't be able to find his constant, desmond.
i do wonder though about that expression on his face as he reads it. is he remembering that he wrote it? or is he discovering that it's magically been written in his journal? which is it?
if farraday had no memory of desmond visiting him, why was he crying when he saw the crash had been discovered? desmond's on-island first meeting with farraday needs to rewatched for clues. it makes sense to me that farraday has been waiting years for desmond to return, and upon seeing the crash discovered, knows that his future meeting with desmond is imminent.
6. minor gripe. this is about as minor as it gets. but.
the location used for 'oxford:'
is the same location used for desmond's monastary:
i'm sure it's a case of the only place in hawaii with old, vaguely english-looking archetecture, but it stuck out as conspicuous mostly because the same locale is being played as two places within the same character's story. it would have closed off the establishing shots a bit, but i would have just cut to the action on the pathway where he meets farraday. there must have been no other option. i'm sure there's a location scout in hawaii who tore their hair out over this one.
written by: elizabeth sarnoff and gregg nations. sarnoff has co-written a good handful of episodes, some of them great (the man behind the curtain), some of them terrible (jack's tattoo episode. i'm still holding that one against you, elizabeth sarnoff and christina kim). gregg nations is the script coordinator for the show, and is in charge of the show bible and master timeline. i'd sure love to get my hands on his notebook. i'd sure like to have his job.
directed by: stephen williams. jack bender and stephen williams have been trading off directing duties since the s4 premiere. and jack is directing next week's. the streak doesn't break until episode 6.
the answers are being handed out like candy. candy to ambiguous babies.
- edward mars
- the "story"
- first shot
- best lines
- minor gripe
- major gripe
the opening shot of the flashforward, with kate sitting next to her slightly out-of-focus lawyer is practically a duplicate image of kate sitting next to mars on the plane. check it out:
it echoes the imageplay in the season opener with the pile of fruit. tease and reveal within the same shot.
i thought the prosecuting attorney looked really familiar - it's because she was a recurring guest star on star trek: the next generation, as dr. leah brahms, recipient of creepy stalker-love from geordi.
here's a weird bit of trivia from lostpedia: shawn doyle played a character named jack shepard in the movie frequency, also starring elizabeth mitchell.
i think it's safe to assume that kate's 'he' who would 'be wondering where i am' in the season 3 finale is in fact aaron. it crossed my mind briefly when they cut to a shot of aaron right after kate said she didn't want her son involved in the trial. then they faked us out with some sawyer sex and baby talk, so i wasn't completely sure.. then they show us a fat-headed blonde baby, which sure could be sawyer's. wait, aaron is blonde too. then kate drops the bomb.
the future is a crazy crazy place. let the theories fly. i really was not expecting to get this answer this soon. the lost of seasons 1-3 would only give us kate's son, and then drop that he's aaron 23 episodes later, when aaron is in college or something.
3. jack refuses to see aaron. why? it's easy enough to understand when we thought the baby was sawyers, but what is the awful awful thing that happens that would alienate jack from aaron?
don't forget that jack and claire are half-siblings. judging from the fact that christian shepard has been appearing on the island not only to vincent, but also to hurley, it's not impossible to surmise that at some point down the line, christian will pop up in front of claire, at which point she'll say "dad? why the fuck did you follow me out to this island in the middle of nowhere?" and christian shepard will say "oh, didn't you hear? i'm actually dead. this is a manifestation caused by jacob and the smoke monster in the form of your father. also, the guy jack is also my son. so yeah, he's your brother. good thing you didn't make out with him like luke and leia, huh?"
4. is claire dead? stranded? so, if the discovery happens on-island, once jack and claire put the pieces together, claire will die. or something awful will happen that forces kate to take aaron off the island. i'm imagining a sophie's choice-type situation. ryan predicts that women who give birth on-island, die as soon as they leave, and maybe this is discovered on the boat. but what on earth would make jack never want to see his nephew? a baby he delivered himself?
maybe future jack doesn't yet know that he is related aaron and claire, and perhaps the discovery of this is actually the event that causes jack to finally need to see aaron.
OR discovering that he unwittingly left his half sister behind is the event that finally cracks jack, and becomes the reason for his desperate need to "go back."
5. jack's moment on the stand was riveting for no other reason than knowing that finally, we are going to hear the 'official' story of the crash. yes, they did apparently crash on an 'island,' and 8 of them survived - so who are the two "survivors" who "died?" before they had a chance to become part of the oceanic 6?
6. locke. what an ass. he tells ben that he's 'cheating' by using technology on the island, and then runs right to the barracks, living in ben's own house. ben had better call him out on that little bit of hypocrisy. don't think we'll really see any movement on the locke storyline until his flash back/forward episode. it's quite entertaining to see him struggle with leadership. not so easy is it?
7. the freighties. in this fantastic article from jeff jensen at EW, we have confirmation from d&c that this season is -about- the survivors relationship to the freighter-folk. ken leung is great, just great. now, what was going on with the esp testing charlotte and daniel were doing? and what happened to the helicopter? is it merely a result of the timeshifting we saw with daniel's beacon experiment?
8. our first opening eye opening shot of the season, and it's locke's, and it's deliberately shot differently than the other opening eyes. the focus here is on locke's scar. where most of the opening eye shots seem to emphasize the theme of perspective, this shot emphasizes locke's vulnerability, and uncertainty. even the way his eye opens - usually the eye shots are big, wide awake openings. but here it's more of a whimpering awake. interesting. not sure what it means yet, but it's clearly the result of very deliberate efforts to make this one different.
9. "enjoy your breakfast."
"why not 3.3? 3.4?"
10. preboomer: some would say 'i saw it coming!' well of course you saw it coming. because unlike last week's m. night shayamalan ending, this one was properly set up. the ultimate preboomer must be both surprising and inevitable. my problem with last week was that it was surprising, but not inevitable. this week i'd say we have a preboomer ranking of 80% inevitable and 60% surprising. we're presented with both possibilities of kate's baby being either sawyer's or aaron. and at the end, we're given the answer, which is a much more intriguing, story-filled choice. no endless teasing (yet another gem they could have held onto for a full season). i vote this second best preboomer of the season, after 'i have a man on their boat.'
11. minor gripes. the kate/sawyer dialogue was weak, lovey dovey crap. elizabeth sarnoff, hand over the writing of sawyer to drew goddard, thank you.
12. sideline major gripe: rob k. brought it to my attention last week, that in the 'enhanced' repeat airings of the episode - infuriating, pseudo-canon information is doled out - like when miles holds up the photo of ben, the ticker says "proof that ben has been off the island!" well, no. it's not necessarily proof of that. when desmond's hawaii photo with penny can be taken in england in front of a backdrop, on 'lost,' no photo is really proof of anything. why ruin/muddle a mystery like this?
also, in that same jeff jensen article, it's been revealed by the producers, coming out of radio silence, that the entirety of the find815 game is NOT canon. i suspected as much after reading this new york times article spelling out the producer's disinvolvement in both the game, and the "enhanced" episodes. i think the enhanced episodes are a good idea, but not if they're a: providing misleading information, b: going to actually ruin future surprises, or c: going to become -truly- canon, and required viewing for additional information on the show. at this point, lostpedia should not be including information revealed in the ticker as canon.
sometimes damon and carlton are too snarky and self congratulatory, but having their weekly breakdown of each episode has been crucial to understanding the greater story of lost.
kate is officially one of the oceanic six. no tricks about her having an assumed identity. though the remaining 2 'are very tricky.'
the identities of the full 6 is coming soon, and is not an 'end of the season' mystery.
the time shifting revealed by farraday's experiment will prove to be important (duh)
will we see hurley's deck collapsing incident in a flashback? "all of season 5 will be dedicated to the deck collapsing." thanks, guys.
will we see libby again this season? yes.
smoke monster and hurleybird resemblances to hindu culture are coincidental.
how does a polar bear w/ dharma collar get in the middle of the desert? he got on a boat. he stowed away. he hitchhiked. properties of the island are potentially capable os shall we say transporting things from the island off the island.
ah ha! the orchid station training film IS important!
the cow belonged to patchy. not a hallucination. after the flame station exploded, the cow, svetlana, is now homeless and wandering the island. season 6 will be dedicated to "the adventures of svetlana."
narnia themes are relevant to lost. charlotte's c.s. lewis initials are not accidental.
well well well. the developments just-a-keep comin.
directed by: jack bender. my hero.
written by: edward kitsis and adam horowitz. they are the heroes of the socks. i think they're pretty good writers, though we do have them entirely to blame for arnzt, nikki and paolo.
- the experiment
- the forwards
- the economist
- the man on the boat
- the warring factions
- the 6
- the others/hostiles
- the pre-boomer
- the coffin guy prediction
- the minor gripes
before we get to sayid and all that, let's first talk about the little experiment that daniel was running. island time:
31 minutes, 20 seconds. curiouser and curiouser. i love that the physicist and the archaeologist totally want to stay on the island. this place is playtime for them. fuck the physicist, let's get charlotte over to that giant 4-toed foot already.
has time indeed been moving faster off-island? or is time slower on the island? remember when penelope first picked up that phone at the end of season 2 and the talkbacks exploded with speculation about -when- penelope was (spurned mostly by an off the cuff comment by damon at comicon that year). well now we have some confirmation beyond desmond's interactive flashback that there are some real time issues going on here. d&c have been fairly clear that time "travel" is not a factor in the show, but there could easily be a sort of time "warp." it's just a jump to the left and a step to the right. i love the idea that perhaps time on the island has been moving at the same speed as the actual show. this occurred to me with last year's flashforward potentially being placed in the timeline at roughly the same time the episode aired (based on the date of the newspaper (which is not necessarily canon, since the date was derived from the actual page of the LA times used in the episode, and not because the date was shown onscreen).
it's not unlikely that -real- time will play a role in the show, since -real- time was used as the show's start date. the pilot episode premiered on september 22, 2004, the same day as the crash. i'm gonna predict right now that the events of the series finale will take place on the same day that the finale actually airs in 2010.
2. which brings us to those flashforwards. we've had 3 now, and it's very interesting to look at how they work dramatically as a storytelling device. aristotle tells us in 'the poetics' (mamet says it too) that what defines character are moral choices (not the quirky way in which they hold their cigarettes). the encompassing theme of 'lost' is that we are watching characters, all of whom are morally 'lost' due to moral choices made in their past, working their way towards inner peace. it seemed at first that getting off the island was a metaphor for finding that peace, but it's very clear now, that like life, reaching your goal doesn't mean that the journey is over. it seems clear that the true journey is going to be very different for each person, and perhaps for jack, it means returning to the island.
but about flashing forward: previously we would see a character on the island faced with a choice, then flashback to a time in their life when they were faced with a similar dilemma, and usually made the wrong moral choice. the island provides them with the chance to make better choices. but now with flashforwards, with perspective, the island scenes are now the arena in which the crucial moral choices are made, with disastrous repercussions in the future. sayid says 'the day i trust him (ben) is the day i sell my soul.' hurley chooses locke's side over jack's. jack decides to ignore locke's warning and call the boat. each person that gets a flashforward will make crucial choices on the island that deeply affect them in the future.
3. who is elsa's boss? abbadon? i'm willing to bet that elsa was named after indiana jones' double-crossing love interest in 'last crusade.' elsa has a similar bracelet to naomi's. what does this mean? are the bracelets from the 'economist?' is the economist "R.C." from the inscription inside naomi's bracelet? or is that "R.G."?? stupid font.
it's not matthew abbaddon, unless they're using codenames. it's possible the entire inscription is a code.
4. what is happening on that boat? on the phone, they seem just as sketchy as our survivors - 'uh, naomi's out fetching wood.. with a knife in her back.' last week minkowski was 'in the bathroom,' and this week we hear frank tell daniel to hang up if minkowski answers. it reminds me a bit of all the teases we got about jacob at this point in the season last year: major plot point downplayed as incidental until a crucial moment/reveal.
so who is ben's 'man' on the boat? is it minkowski? or regina? or michael? with this revelation that ben has tons of cash, multiple passports, and has been off-island, i'm leaning against it being michael now. it seems more likely now that ben simply has one of his people out there, as part of a larger operation, rather than having further manipulated michael into doing his bidding. i can't wait to see zoe bell as regina. have you seen 'death proof?' girl kicks ass.
5. so we have two factions of assassins, funded by multinational corporations, in an international war over the island: presumably those that seek the island (abbadon, possibly part of dharma), and those that seek to protect it for themselves (ben, and the hostiles). is this war going to be a major theme of the series' third act (a la the ultimate showdowns of good and evil in 'lord of the rings,' 'harry potter,' and 'star wars?')? and if so, which side is even the "good" side?
somehow sayid is able to be both a celebrity and an assasin, now something of a james bond. it seems that the oceanic 6 are under oath never to talk of the island's existence, so anyone who knows that the island is out there would be very very interested in talking with them.. hence abbaddon approaching hurley in the asylum. and who are sayid's targets? what is ben's ultimate aim? is ben hunting down alvar hanso himself?
6. jack. kate. hurley. sayid. two more to go. i actually wasn't positive that kate was one of the 6 until seeing the commercial last night. looks like we get a kate flashforward next week, and looks like it's all about how she deals with coming back to the real world, and being a celebrity. perhaps we'll find out how she gets out of prison? or maybe she -does- go to prison? wouldn't that be cool. who are the other two? it won't be desmond or juliet - as they weren't on the plane - so really it could be anyone at this point. i'll throw out a guess and say michael, who is probably on the boat, and, oh, how about cindy, just to mix things up.
7. uh, where did the hostiles go? remember richard alpert, and cindy and the kids and everyone heading off to the 'old place?' we haven't even had a reminder of that plot point. will they pop up unexpectedly?
8. the pre-boomer:
sayid: they'll know that i'm coming now
and it wasn't the usual boom. did you notice that? it was more like a crash, with different instrumentation in the score.
let's just talk about the ben reveal, though. it's not that i saw it coming, it's just that i don't feel like it was quite properly set up. they gave us an answer before they even set up a mystery! it was almost -too much- of a reveal. and maybe this is just because i'm used to having to wait long stretches of time before getting answers. i actually thought last week's simple pre-boomer was better.
a big mystery here is how we're meant to feel about sayid's new position as ben's underling. does this mean we should trust sayid less, or ben more? sayid says "the day i trust him is the day i sell my soul," so perhaps we're meant to think that sayid is not fighting for the right side - helps that ben is such a creepazoid. but i can also see how at some point, ben will truly reveal what he knows, blow everyone's mind, and they will have no choice but to fight for him, and with him. which brings us to:
9. coffin guy: it's ben. now more than ever. coffin guy cannot be one of the oceanic 6. the media would have been all over it. even if no one came to coffin guy's funeral, reporters would be there reporting on how no one was there, especially after jack had just appeared in the news. another oceanic 6 story would be irresistible to the press. the man in the coffin's death drove jack to suicide, presumably because coffin man would have some knowledge of how to get back to the island. ben totally fits. if ben can convince sayid to kill for him, i completely buy that jack would jump off a bridge because of him.
10. minor gripes: as i said, the ben reveal was not a skillfully handled as i would have liked. it's a huge huge moment. just think it could have been a little more effective.
the post-show commercials tell us way too much. last week it gave away that we would be watching a flash forward. this week it's giving it away again. by the time we actually get to another flashback, it actually -will- be a surprise.
info from carlton cuse about the future of lost, season 4 here.
looks like we will get a 13 episode season instead of 16, cramming 8 episodes of story into 5, ending at the planned finale story-point.
of all the possible post-strike outcomes, this isn't bad.
though i will be really disappointed if this means that we no longer get rousseau's flasback.
yes! seth norris, the pilot, played by greg grunberg, does indeed have a wedding ring on in the pilot episode.
photo from losteastereggs.
you see. patience. we have officially entered the meaty interior of the expository phase of the dramatic arc of season 4.
if only we could have had a 2-hour premiere, and seen these eps back to back. this is the feeling you want to walk away from a major episode of lost with. but the events of the finale had to be dealt with. once done, we're now in the season.
i'll say it again. i keep saying it. i'm a damned 32 year old man who works in reality tv. this is the best show in television history. and that is because television is changing, and the show is changing television.
but i digress. let's talk about the episode.
directed by: stephen williams, who i would call jack bender's #2. after jack, stephen has helmed the majority of the series' best episodes.
written by: drew goddard (cloverfield), and brian k. vaughn (y the last man)
and we begin with the finale of the find815 viral game, in which the wreckage of flight 815 is discovered. i must be honest, i did not pay any attention to find 815, because the producers had nothing to do with its development. i must say though that i am impressed with how seamlessly it fits into this episode.
from there we are treated to a single, brief flashback of each of the 'rescuers.' and a MAJOR rule was broken tonight. it's in the show bible, that no one dead gets a flashback, and yet we see naomi's crucial scene with mr. abbaddon from hurley's flashforward last week (nikki and paolo seemed to get a port-mortem flashback, but we didn't discover until the end of that ep that they were not technically dead yet).
so here's the weekly laundry list of puzzlements and commentary worthy thoughts:
- rescuer connections
- the discovery of juliet as a 'native.'
- mr. abbaddon
- photos photos photos
- taller ghost walt
- asking the audience's questions
- ben's man
we are seeing some serious momentum here. let's look at each.
daniel faraday: jeremy davies as a physicist (or is he? naomi caled him a mental case in her flashback piece). fantastic. his flashback was briefest. all we know is that he cared enough about flight 815 to cry when they found it. we sure have come a long way from the days of thinking the island was purgatory, haven't we? his name references michael faraday, who studied electromagnetism, a moderately important factor in fight 815's crash.
miles straume: i found this rather interesting. the show rarely confirms supernatural ability in the way his brief flashback and moment with naomi's body does. even the 'psychic' who tried to convince claire to raise her baby had his ability thrown into doubt. but here we seem to have objective camera-omniscient verification of a character's physic ability. now, it's totally possible that they'll undermine it later, but it definitely gave me pause. for now, the show is treating his ability as fact. i freaking love ken leung. his few bits in the last few eps of 'the sopranos' were riveting.
charlotte staples lewis: kristin bell was offered this role. and you know, i'm glad she didn't take it. i was pissed at her for choosing (the far inferior) heroes over this. but she's a fag hag and wanted to hang out with that homo zachary quinto instead. fine. i'm much happer to have rebecca mader. exotic. unknown. mysterious. sympathetic. she's the new libby (speaking of, we've been promised a libby wrap-up this season)! having her land in proximity of locke's team was a stroke of genius. the vest. brilliant. her desert scene is obviously inspired by a very similar scene in close encounters of the third kind, in which francois truffaut finds a ship in the middle of the desert (shades of the black rock, yes?). she's sort of an indiana jones. she clearly knows something about what dharma is - and dharma now clearly has a global presence. her name: c.s. lewis.
fank lapidus: time to go back and re-watch the pilot. get it? huh? get it? re-watch the pilot? har de har har. no seriously. did the pilot (jj abrams' best friend greg grunberg, prisoner of heroes) in the pilot have a wedding ring on? someone will check. i'll let you know. ok so frank was supposed to have piloted the plane that day. i should have been watching the set decoration more closely during frank's flashback, but i'll be honest with you here. i paused the dvr and immediately called the 1-888 number on the in-show tv screen. yes, i'm that guy, stop judging me. want to hear the oceanic hotline? 1-888-548-0034. was the cow he saw a monster-vision?
now. think about it. you run a very expensive colony on a distant island. you know that this colony is in the midst of some very strange phenomena. one day, contact with that colony disappears. who do you hire to investigate?
- the island has a mystical quality. we need a proven psychic.
- the island is home to en electromagnetic anomaly. we need a physicist.
- the island is home to an ancient civilization. we need an anthropologist.
- the island interferes with electronics. we need a great pilot, with personal motivation for success.
- the situation is going to be incredibly dangerous. we need a military, or field ops professional.
2. there's nothing greater that seeing characters instantly shift objectives. frank's instant deduction that juliet was not on the plane was as riveting as -our- season 1 deduction that ethan wasn't either. in fact, seeing frank, daniel, and miles have that moment filled me with a small bit of empathy, remembering the thrill and fear that accompanied that initial discovery.
now. let's talk about 'the natives.' dharma knew of the natives. so much so that there was a special code to input in the computer if 'there has been an incursion by the hostiles.' it makes complete sense that after the anomaly, after the sky turned purple, after losing contact with the island, they would realize that the entire initiative had been compromised by the hostiles. what they didn't realize is that it had been going on undetected for 16-17 years.
3. so it stands to reason that mr. abbaddon is part of the current incarnation of the dharma initiative - whatever part of the initiative is still flying over the island and dropping pallets of food whenever the proper code is entered. having lost contact, abbaddon's assembled a team to go in and take out the traitor. how they would know the traitor is ben is beyond me at this point.
4. but there is that photo of ben.
and it sure doesn't look like it was taken on the island. ryan has an elaborate theory that every one of ben's actions can be tied to his childhood girlfriend annie. i agree wholeheartedly. ben kept the doll she carved him after all these years. heed my word. at some point, before the end of the show, a woman in her 40's will appear, and in some jaw dropping moment we will discover that she is annie.
interesting that miles has the photo of ben, and naomi had the photo of desmond. from her rule-breaking flashback, naomi was hired as the leader of this rag-tag team, why wouldn't she have a photo of the primary objective? (and why would she have it as a bookmark in a portuguese copy of catch-22?). for all the excitement that accompanies discovering that they're after ben - we can't forget that naomi seemed to be surprised about finding flight 815 survivors and passed herself off as working for penelope, using her photo of penny with desmond as proof. was the truth kept from her? was naomi telling what the thought was the truth?
and while we're talking about penelope.. how is it that her signal appeared as soon as charlie turned off the jammer?
5. reference to walt. taller. this is huge. it was unclear if we were supposed to 'notice' that walt had aged significantly in the finale. but yes, he's aged. i think if we see him again, it will only be in flash-forward. is he one of the oceanic 6? is he in the coffin? who knows.
6. thank you. what i love about this show, is that when it works best, the characters are all asking the same questions i'm asking. even if they don't get answers, the fact that they are sharing my experience is the essence of skillful storytelling. locke points the gun at ben and says 'what is the monster.' brilliant. just to have him ask that, i'm so appreciative.
7. ben's man on the boat. now how was that for a pre-boomer? (a pre-boomer is the last line of the episode that immediately precedes the ending 'boom' of the lost logo. last week's pre-boomer: weak.) and we must know who ben's man is, yes? hands up for michael.
prediction: michael's flashback will take us back to even more moments unseen before he left to collect jack, kate, hurley, and sawyer. ben has some greater leverage over michael, what it is remains to be discovered. i'm going to guess that ben shows michael that his influence reaches off-island (reinforced by juliet's confrontation with michael in the missing pieces where she revealed that ben allowed her off-island sister live). ben convinced michael that even though they get off the island, he still has the power to kill walt, or do whatever. this leverage forces michael to continue to play out ben's plan, making him 'ben's man.' the boat has been in the vicinity for awhile, and mikhail has been monitoring their communications. ben has known of everyone on the boat for some time now.
minor gripe of the week: um. i'm honestly having trouble thinking of one. a lot of rules were broken this week. it's the first time we've had location titles, flashback of the dead. it's not a gripe. you get the feeling they're breaking rules because they just don't have the time anymore. which is the greatest reason to break the rules ever.