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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 03/22/2007

Lost Analysis: Un-Locke-ing Some Island Mysteries

By Liz Kelly

If you haven't yet watched last night's episode, "The Man from Tallahassee," you may want to do so before reading the following dispatch, in which movie editrix Jen Chaney and I bicker, make lame jokes and generally kvetch about this week's episode of "Lost."

John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) looks down the hatch of a submarine. (Photo courtesy ABC)

Liz: A week ago I was despondent after being subjected to the third in a series of weak episodes. Last night's revealing Locke-centric hour pulled me back into the fold, though. The writers again managed to craft a show in which the back story is integral to the events unfolding on the island and that, my friend, makes all the difference.

But since I can never be totally satisfied, I'd like to register my growing annoyance with Kate. Her insistence on stalking Jack to the Others' compound, her visible jealousy of Juliet, the way she melted like a tub of Dharma margarine when she happened upon Jack playing the piano and her tear-glazed longing stares -- is she on the island or at "General Hospital?"

Jen: I agree to an extent about Kate. It's a little confusing to follow her ping-ponging "love" for Sawyer and Jack; I'm really not sure who we're supposed to root for at this point. (Maybe not Sawyer since he clearly sucks at ping-pong?)

But I have to admit -- and feel free to make fun of me -- that I was actually moved by last night's scene between Jack and Kate. When he said, "I asked you not to come back here for me and I wish that you hadn't, but I will come back here for you," I got a little chill. That's largely a testament to Matthew Fox's performance. Love him.

Speaking of Doc Jack, did he really believe he was going home?

Much more after the jump...

Liz: Actually, I was right there with you re: the chills when Jack laid that line on Kate. But, as you say, that's a testament to Matthew Fox's skills, not Evangeline Lily's. It was nice to feel that chill, too, especially since -- as you've noted over the past few weeks -- the emotional connection to these characters has largely been absent of late.

I think Jack had to believe he was going to leave the island. As we've seen in the past, he's an instant gratification type of guy; he doesn't tend to think things through before acting. I think when he made a deal with the Others he saw this as his only option and whether it would ultimately succeed or not, he had to play it through to it's conclusion. I'm sure, though, he knew the chances of him leaving the island had to be miniscule. But having the illusion of being able to leave (much like the Others) allowed him to delay dealing with the larger issues for a few days and, you know, get in a few games of touch football.

Speaking of the Others, once again last night, Benry -- as skillfully played by Michael Emerson -- totally stole the show. Really, he does provide quite a contrast to the other actors with his deadpan, yet devilish delivery of lines like "There's no code for 'there's a man in my closet holding a gun to my daughter,' though there probably should be" to Locke and "What, you don't knock?" when confronted by Juliet and Jack. I want more Ben.

Jen: Totally agree. They should develop a spin-off about Ben -- "Everybody Loves Henry Gale," or perhaps "Ugly Benry."

I hear what you're saying about Jack. I guess, as a man of reason, I expected him to be more skeptical of the whole submarine thing. Clearly it was a sham, a way, as Ben explained, to maintain the illusion that the people on the island can go home again.

Before we delve further into anything else, it seems like we should discuss last night's money moment: The appearance of a gagged-and-bound Locke daddy at the end of the episode. Personally, I contend that Locke's dad isn't really on the island. In keeping with Ben's description of the mysterious box, I believe Locke is seeing whatever he imagines behind that door, whether it's reality or not.

Liz: "Ugly Benry" is genius, though I'd stop short of fitting him with braces and "B"-themed costume jewelry.

Locke's dad turning up certainly adds an interesting twist and I'm sure we'll get an episode sometime between now and spring 2008 in which John and his father build some kind of semi-healthy relationship. I'm sure Locke, being a man of honor underneath it all, will save his father in some way. I also predict that Locke's dad will somehow figure in a Sawyer flashback since they're both conmen. But I digress.

I think Locke's dad is really there. His presence on the island really wouldn't be any farther-fetched than the presence of the Losties. Especially since we've already been force-fed coincidences like Jack and Claire being unknowing siblings and miracles like John walking, Rose being cancer-free and Sun getting preggers. So, as much as I'd like his appearance to be a metaphor for John's conflicted psyche, I'm not sure I'm buying it. And since pops disappeared while John was still in the hospital, dad may have been on this island before the Lostie plane even crashed.

But to delve further into Ben's description of this box that seems to grant wishes, I assume you're sticking to the metaphor interpretation? No chance that he was describing an actual physical thingamabob?

Also, did you note the exchange between Jack and Tom when he let Jack into the rec center where Kate was being held? He said something like "Careful, they're listening." Does this mean that Tom is somehow in cahoots with Jack?

Jen: I did notice Tom's comment and thought it was strange. Maybe he's on Jack's side now? I wasn't sure what to make of that.

You're right about all the coincidences. Locke's dad showing up isn't that much more far-fetched. I guess I'm just toying with the idea that much of what the Losties are experiencing isn't real. It's real to them because it's their perception -- and real to us as viewers -- but may not be part of traditional reality within the context of the "Lost" story. Does that make sense at all?

Liz: It does if we're talking superstring theory.

Jen: I don't know if the box is real, but if it is, I hope my version contains a more coherent way to describe my ever-changing theories about "Lost."

Liz: I think I'd like my version of the box to contain "300's" Spartan army.

John, one of my favorite characters earlier in the series, is starting to turn me off. He seems to be risking a lot, like the lives of Kate and Sayid, to accomplish his mysterious goals. Is he suffering from delusions of grandeur or does he know something we don't know?

Oh, also, it seemed like Alex and John took about two minutes to walk from Benry's house to the sub. Is it just me who thought that the Others' village was in the middle of the island, ie nowhere near the shore? Is this some kind of Springfieldian convenience?

Jen: Good point about the proximity to the sub. I hadn't thought about that.

Speaking of John's goals, he apparently wants to stay on the island because there he has been healed from the sins of his father. (I appreciated that last night's episode again pitted him at odds with Jack; the man of science and man of faith once again seem to have very different goals). For some reason, Locke appears to be chosen in some way, at least in a way that intrigues Ben.

But isn't the same thing true of good 'ol Rose, who has been noticeably absent all season? Her illness was cured by the island, too, so Locke is not the only one to have that experience. And she didn't want to be saved either, though I doubt she would have blown up a submarine over it.

BTW, were you disappointed at all in the reveal re: how Locke ended up in the wheelchair? Being thrown out of a window reminded me a lot of how Sun's lover bit the dust last year.

The writers keep returning again and again to issues between the "Lost" characters and their fathers. The dads inevitably disappoint, either by not being there for their kids or conning them out of vital organs or simply by being Cheech Marin. No one seems to have such serious issues with their mothers. Given the religious themes in the show, I have to think this connects back to God (the ultimate Big Daddy) and that being on the island somehow is helping the Losties resolve their issues with him.

Liz: I knew his dad was going to be responsible somehow. Though I was largely annoyed by flashback Locke for showing his hand to his dad rather than going straight to the police. What did he have to lose by outing his dad? All he did by giving his dad a chance to leave on his own steam was the opportunity to kill that poor kid.

You've really hit upon something with the recurring theme about daddy issues, but being the cynical girl that I am I'd be more prone to attribute that to someone's personal emotional baggage seeping into the script rather than going right for the religious angle. Maybe I'm too literal.

Jen: Let's meld our two theories together, and assume that someone is letting their emotional baggage about religion seep into the script.

Liz: Deal. So, next week I believe we're due to finally get some clarity about Nikki and Paulo, though the tease for the episode said something about someone ending up dead. Any odds on who that might be?

Jen: I wasn't sure if that death teaser was just a ridiculous way to make us think someone is going to die. But I suspect we're going to learn that Nikki and Paulo were on the island long before we noticed them, and may have previously done something bad to one of the Losties we know and love. I also believe Boone is going to show up in this next episode, and I'm all for anything that involves Ian Somerhalder.

So we shall resume next week then?

Liz: Hold up. I just read ABC's press release for next week's episode and though I know you're looking forward to seeing Boone again, something worse than Cheech Marin is set to invade our show -- Billy Dee Williams. That's right, Lando Calrissian will guest star as a dashing intergalactic smuggler. (Okay, I made up that last sentence)

Jen: I saw that. Having guest starred on "Scrubs" not too long ago, I guess he's moving on to "Lost." This brings Sawyer's many "Star Wars" references full-circle. Perhaps the elusive Jacob is really Jabba the Hut? The mind reels...

Liz: Groan. Till next week. May the force be with you.

Continue the discussion in today's Celebritology Live chat at 2 p.m. ET.

By Liz Kelly  | March 22, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, TV  
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My husband and I think Locke has just lost it (no pun intended).

Maybe it was when he realized that Eko had a stronger faith. Maybe when he realized he was not unique because of Rose's continued health (and yes, where IS she? I loved that character). Who knows? It's Locke. The only clear thing is he doesn't want to leave the island, so he is willing to keep anyone from leaving the island to prevent a rescue.

Outside of the extended shot of Locke falling out the window (it was a bit cringe-worthy), I thought it was actually a good explanation for his paralysis and actions. His underlying anger, his total obsession with being independent the subsequent, absolute joy at his recovered self reliance. (And his therapist with the early echo of Locke's repeated "Don't tell me what I can't do" was great.)

I don't get why he didn't give his father up. I think it just goes back to the little speech he gave to his con man father - you make them feel like you're family. Maybe he was still hoping for family.

Don't know if Locke's father is the smoke monster or real. I'm just happy I got through the doldrums (what great story DOESN'T have some boring parts?) and things seem to be picking up again.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 22, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

You two are right on target about the father figurings woven into the story line. There's also the Alex and Benry relationship, too. One of the bigger reveals that you didn't mention was Ben's confession that he was born on the island. That's a new twist. I had thought everyone was an immigrant, voluntarily or by accident. And did anyone else think it strange that once Locke had blown up the sub, nobody seemed to really care much. No panic among the Others; no reaction from Ben. I was hoping we'd get a little bit more out of this episode, but the show is still maintaining its glacial progression. It's obvious they're going to take their sweet time spinning this tale.

Posted by: Not Shlomo | March 22, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree that I thought the bigger reveal was that Ben was born on the island (like Alex I believe). The other stuff was just too easy. I figured out that Locke was going out the window early on the episode because they kept showing windows that were high up. And as soon as Ben said go get the man I knew it was Locke's father. I feel like they are spoon feeding me so many hints that the shock and awe isn't there anymore.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ben made the comment "bring me the man from Tallahassee" early in the episode, so I think he IS on the island in a physical sense, and not just as a manifestation of what John wants to see.

They used the sub to get between islands and we assume Jack rode in it, so of course he buys into the idea of it being able to get him back home. And he said his plan was to come back and get them all. Why he thinks the Others would let this happen is beyond me, but he's always had some suspect judgements.

As for how/if it gets people to and from "mainland"...Ben indicated most of the group were new recruits. At this point, I'm running with the theory that the project/initiative is really a lot more sophisticated then we are led to believe, at least in terms of who's involved "beyond" those we see on the island. Remember, they had the World Series footage, know intimate details about the Losties, etc. Clearly, they have resources.

I keep expecting one episode to end with some shot of a NORAD-type control room, straight out of War Games, staffed by hundreds of scientists. Showing gigantic walls of monitors, sensors, maps, etc. Maybe the end of season cliffhanger?

Posted by: Girl from Ipanema | March 22, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Please give Locke's dad an IV with D5W and ringers.

Posted by: Emergency Lover | March 22, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

But -- and of course I can't remember which episode it was in -- we already knew Ben was born on the island. He'd hinted at this before.

Posted by: Liz | March 22, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Random existential question: would it really be better to stay on this isolated, dangerous island for the rest of your life just because you're "cured"?

Posted by: Cosmo | March 22, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Locke's dad - couldn't he be just like Echo's brother? Remember, right before Echo died we found out that that brother was something else (perhaps not even human).

Going out on a limb: There is a "box" of sorts. The monster scans the memories of people it encounters (remember Echo facing down the monster and the images inside of it from his flashback?), takes that information back to its source (the box), and creates things from the memories it sees (Echo's brother, Locke's dad, Jack's dad, Kate's horse, etc.) These beings are not what they seem, in the same way that our memories of people differ from the people themselves.

Posted by: Pragmatic | March 22, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"I also predict that Locke's dad will somehow figure in a Sawyer flashback since they're both conmen."

Duh! Locke's dad is the real Sawyer, the guy Ford went to Australia to kill but it turned out to be the wrong guy. Please don't tell me they haven't figured that out yet.

But a good episode. They seem to have righted the ship and gotten underway again. But they still have a big boat they could use to get off the island, at least if Ben told Michael the truth about the compass bearing to leave the island.

Posted by: SteveH | March 22, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

You're dead on SteveH. Also, remember Sawyer has made references to Tallahassee as well, much like Ben referred to Locke's dad as the man from Tallahassee.

Pragmatic, if your theory is correct, then this show is a bigger disappointment to me than before. Your theory is completely valid, but that just turns the show into something that is completely uninteresting to me.

Posted by: Chris | March 22, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think the whole show is a con being played out. The crash, the Others dressing up at first, then kidnapping Losties, etc. One large con the Others are playing on the Losties to get something, what I'm not sure, maybe Hurley's bank account and ATM PIN. :^)

I also noted that no one seemed to care that the sub blew up except Jack and Locke. So I'm thinking the sub was a fake and Locke had been setup to want to blow up the sub. They even provided him the C4 at the Flame station. Maybe Locke did them a favor? Not sure, but I won't be surprised if the sub was just as fake as the beards the Others use to wear.

If it is a con, my guess is Locke's dad is in on it. Never trust a con man, and Ben said he's better than Sawyer.

Posted by: Sully | March 22, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Nikki and Paulo might be the "hostiles" that Mikhail referred to. The show hinted last week there could be a third group, and although we are not supposed to believe Mikhail, the other things he mentioned turned out to be true. There's a reason these two were on the show, and if you notice all the new characters are never actually on Oceanic 815. I think they killed one of the original Oceanic passengers, but it was in the past, and we'll see it in the flashback.

Posted by: Bill | March 22, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Lost needs to provide some answers to some questions before they create new questions.

Posted by: Kamantha | March 22, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I really like the show, but I'm one of those people who starts to read a book and once I get halfway through, I turn to the last chapter to see how it ends...I'm starting to feel that way about 'Lost'. I need some major revelations (what exactly is Dharma, the monster, how did the 'others' get there, what is the connection b/w the 'losties' past, etc.) Give me something!!! Just way too many questions with very few answers!!

Posted by: fro | March 22, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I dunno...All kind of strange things. Locke is looking more and more deranged. Is it even his real father or just a con man making him believe he's his father?

As for Jack, I'm not crazy about him making a deal with Ben to leave the island. His comment to Kate that he would come back for her is, well, probably self delusional. And what about when Kate asks, "Who's side are you on?" Jack says, "I'm not on anybody's side." Okay, maybe it ties into the "He will lead but be apart" or whatever the tattoo said. (Quick side note: Sorry, gals, but I don't see what the big deal is about MF. He strikes me as a graduate of the WIlliam Shatner School of Acting.)

Finally, if the submarine was the last contact with the outside world, then its destruction could speed some kind of tribal merge of the Losties and Others.


Posted by: Monk0127 | March 22, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I posted this late last week, so I'll repeat myself, especially since there's a father-son line discussion. In the first season, whan Jack was following the ghost of his father and found his casket, and had to break it open (hence, it was not damaged) - his father's body was not there!

Posted by: oceana | March 22, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

The Lost writers said they used ideas from a Flann O'Brien book entitled "The Third Policeman." It has two ideas that I've found interesting:

1) Circular time, at the end of the book, the main character is back at the start. For a while I proposed that the Others were the Losties in the future (or their children) as they were in some sort of time loop. Now I'm not so sure.

2) There is a room where time stops. In the room is a box where you can wish up anything. The problem is, (due to some constraints I think are easy to overcome) you can't bring the products of the box out of the room.

They are definitely using the latter idea in some form.

I also hatched a new opinion. What if the box is called J.A.C.O.B.. Could Jacob merely be an acronym for some sort of computer? Maybe they wished for a list of Losties who are compatible/malleable enough to live with them.

Posted by: THC | March 22, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Monk0127 insofar as MF being a Shattner-esk actor. Those dodging-eye stares drive me nuts.

Also agree that the show needs to provide more answers instead of laying out piles of additional questions. Gotta incent the audience that they are making progress in understanding the larger picture if you want to keep them engaged through all the little details.

Posted by: CSH1 | March 22, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

What ever happened to the cop-kid Eddie? Did we ever find out if John shot him in the woods? Is the point that Locke could not 'pull the trigger' then, but he certainly can now?

Also, what is Lockes dad's name? Adam something? Do we know if that is is REAL name?

Posted by: Eddie? | March 22, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Because I know Liz cares, shouldn't it be "minuscule"?

Back to bean counting now. . .

Posted by: sen | March 22, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

maybe it's silly string theory.....

Posted by: b | March 22, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Best episode of the season. No filler at all.

Read on another blog about Capra's 1933 movie "Lost Horizon". Can't stop thinking about it today. The island is Shangri-La.

Just like in Lost Horizon, seems like Jack is destined to leave eventually; he will then be cursed to spend the rest of his life trying to get back. Locke is being groomed to take over for Ben when he dies. The only question is whether he will be a benevolent Utopian ruler, or will he succumb to the dark side.

Excited, also for the end of the season's "zoom out" moment where we are given big extra layer -- probably involving Penny.

Posted by: Bklyn | March 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think that Locke originally went to the Others' camp to blow up the Sub but, after talking with Henry and Alex's warning about being manipulated, Locke moved the sub (remember the comment Locke made about possibly being a commander in the Navy) and swam back to the dock. Henry seemed taken aback by that remark, as if, there were things they didn't know about Locke. So instead Locke rigged the dock to blow.

As for the others not reacting to the sub blowing up they didn't know about the Flame exploding either. Perhaps the pylons protect them from the sound so no
one but the people on the beach know that the sub was "destroyed".

Posted by: Anne | March 22, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to think the Losities are actually dead and the paradise island is purgatory. Those who have died on the show actually passed over and those remaining are coming to grips or pieces with their destinies, with Ben, admitting to be on the island forever, being a gatekeeper of sorts.

That would explain the healing powers, the mysterious mysteries, the biblical references and most all, Jacob and the list reference.

Most of the events happening would be the souls finding their resolution.

But hey, I admit to watching to much Ghost Whisperer.

Posted by: Slinger | March 22, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Another great episode! My favorite character, Locke, appears to be back on track -- the only character who appreciates the true mystery and wonder of what he is experiencing on the island.

A couple of quick points. First, the submarine thing was NOT a sham; Ben was telling the truth when he told Jack and Juliette that they could leave the island. Remember last week, the eyepatch guy told Locke or Sayid that there was an underwater beacon which allows the sub to find the island again, but that it stopped working when the hatch blew. Jack could have left the island, but he would not have been able to return.

Jack's last comment to Kate revealed his real reasons for wanting to leave the island -- he was trying to go for help and expected to be able to come back for her. As Locke pointed out (for our benefit, not Kate's), the guy who risked his life to save the survivors of the crash is not going to go all selfish and wimpy on us; he has a reason for what he is doing. Juliette is just a red herring -- of course Jack is still in love with Kate.

Also, it's worth asking whether or not Locke is being manipulated by Ben in this episode. Personally I don't think so, because Locke had plans to blow up the sub from the start -- his interests just happened to align with Ben's in this instance. Locke's real motivation is to force the Others to confront the mystery of the Island, without the safety nets of escape routes, outside contact, the comforts of home, etc.

Finally, to those of you who keep on whining about not enough revelations -- please give it a rest. Do you want everything all wrapped up for you in next week's show? What do you want to watch the week after that? If you want a tidy little plot with all the loose ends tied up before the credits roll, go watch CSI or something...

Posted by: Steve | March 22, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I read a while back that the producers have said that the island is not purgatory. Of course, if it's not purgatory, what the heck is it?!?!?

Posted by: estef | March 22, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Anne about the sub.

Locke did not blow up the sub. He hid the sub and then rigged the dock to explode.

1. He was warned he was being manipulated by Alex.
2. The camera showed him going inside the sub.
3. The next time we see Locke the camera slowly pans from his feet to his head. This is to show the audience that he is soaking wet (implying he just took a swim)
4. In the background explosion, you do not see the sub at all.

Finally, I also agree with THC about the time thing. Ben kept on emphasizing that he was born on this island. I believe he is claire's son. (He even looks like Claire's boyfriend)

Posted by: wcs | March 22, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The "mittelos" episode was supposed to include an "important anagram" "Lost time" would fit with today's time loop theory - very good, people!
To answer Cosmo's question posted so long ago - YES! Did you see Locke's life before he got to the island? I would do anything to stay in this wild n crazy place too.

Posted by: timewarp | March 22, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

So Ben is Claire's baby, and they had to inject him with something while he was in the womb in order to keep him from needing surgery in the future, or to make him stop talking in that creepy way?
Seriously, when it suits him, Ben is going to stand up and walk away from that wheelchair - it's a ploy of some kind.

Posted by: maybebaby | March 22, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Not sure if I am treading old water here, but about two weeks ago, I saw the 1937 movie "Lost Horizon" (based on a novel of the same name by James Hilton (1933)). If you are unfamiliar with it, its a story about a man (Ronald Coleman) so consumed with saving the world from itself (playing a British diplomat, who is world renowned), that he could only subconsiously dream about what would truly make him happy. Anyway, he is in a plane crash in the Himalayas, and is rescued by some monks who take him to a hidden city called Shangri-La. It later turns out that the monks brought him there on purpose -- the plane crash was no accident.

One of his companions, who is dying from some sort of lung condition, recovers fully in a very short period of time. Another is a swindler, who regains his sense of mission and decides to stay and help the inhabitants of Shangri-La. In fact, time seems to slow down there, and the leader/lama is a couple hundred years old. The catch is, that if you leave, time catches up in a hurry, and your pains form the outside world return (The reality of this was borne out in a subplot involving Coleman's brother and his Shangri-La GF, who upon leaving the valley, withers away).

I have been thinking about the similarities between the stories, and after last night's Locke and Benry's convo, I cannot help but be struck by all the parallels between the two -- plane crash, miraculous healing, remote sanctuaries, etc.

The mysticism invoked in this week's episode trumps all that has been laid out before: This is the first time that characters have openly spoken about the powers of the island, without the other person looking at the speaker as if he/she (Locke/Rose) was eating too many of the local mushrooms.

"Lost" is kinda like the movie, but only on halucinogens and more characters. Just thought I'd put that out there...

The downside to the story -- there really is no ending. Coleman briefly leaves Shangri-La, and barely survives his trek across the mountains. Upon regaining his strength, he does everything humanly possible to return there...and that's more or less wherre the story ends.

Sorry for the long post, but, thought I'd put it out there.

Posted by: LostieLostie | March 22, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I still want to know about the statue of the foot with four toes and the documents being spewed from a pneumatic tube sticking out of the ground. These writers have a penchant for throwing stuff out there and leaving us scratching our heads season after season. They seem to have plenty of material to keep the story going. Why not answer some the lingering "what the ----" questions before weighing us down with another conundrum. The biggest fear is that the payoff in the end won't have been worth our dedication to the show. Give us a reason to believe!

Posted by: Brandybuck | March 22, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse


Beat to the punch by Bkyln.

Do you recall the blog by any chance?

Posted by: LostieLostie | March 22, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

the blog where I read about the "Lost Horizon" parallels:

If the link doesn't work, go to and click on "comments" from this week's post (the link is tiny)

Posted by: Bklyn | March 22, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The anomaly (hatch implosion, discharge, purple sky, whatever you call it) was detected by people in the outside world - remember the polar station and Penelope Widmore?

Please, must we go through this every week!?

Posted by: NOT Purgatory | March 22, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

They're dead and in purgatory. Ben was "born" on the island because he is one of the angels in charge of purgatory. Their physical ailments no longer burden them. They cannot escape their destiny because it has happened -- they are dead and awaiting their ultimate fate -- either they redeem themselves or they don't. You can't leave the island because you can't leave purgatory. The producers deny it is purgatory because they don't want to give away their ending. duh!

Posted by: Colorado Kool Aid | March 22, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bklyn,

One thing about Capra's movie -- Coleman does return to Shangri-La. It's the closing scene, with Coleman/Conway looking down upon the valley...then roll credits. Typical happy Capra ending, I suppose.

Not sure how the book ends (my impression is that you never find out of Coleman gets back), but I plan on reading it.

Posted by: LostieLostie | March 22, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey LostieLostie - along the lines of Shangri-La: wasn't the song in the bus that Hurley started at the end of the episode a week or two ago Three Dog Night's "Shangri-La?" That's a hit-you-over-the-head kind of plot clue.

Also, was it me, or was Jack sporting a new tattoo in the opening scene when he leaned on the porch column to talk to Ben (wheeled onto the porch by Juliette)? From the Bai-Ling episode, we saw that the tattoo on his left arm was on the outside... this tattoo was colorful and on the INSIDE of his arm, below his sleeve. A Jack clone? Has he been marked? I didn't see any glimpses of the tattoo through the rest of the episode.

And, the box. Teleportation, anyone? I think that Locke's dad was there there there. The Others teleported off of the island, got him, and brought him back. I'm thinking that the teleportation device that can bring absolutely everything to the island (notice how no one has run out of ammo yet?), and therefore people can come and go, is the big reason that even IF the sub was blown up, no one really has their panties in a bunch because they can still get off of the island.

If Ben will allow it.

Posted by: I'm New | March 22, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Is it me, or did the shot of Locke peering into the sub replicate the shot of him peering into the hatch?

Posted by: another great ep | March 22, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If Locke were a Navy Commander or anything of the sort, I'm sure there would have been a record of it, the sort of records the Others seem to possess. I'm not saying he didn't move it (it explains the wet shirt), but there has to be some other explanation as to how he knew how to move it.

Posted by: THC | March 22, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Not purgatory but maybe limbo. My Catholic school upbringing certainly left limbo very vague. Purgatory however was defined nicely: temporary hell - "its gonna hurt really bad if you don't be good".

Now lets forget the whole purgatory thing ok?

I don't buy the teleportation thing either. You'd still have to find the guy and he had "disappeared". It will be interesting to learn, if we ever do, how the Other's brought him there. One thought is that they are not on an island but on a peninsula of a much larger country. Someone joked a while ago that one day the Losties would walk over a hill and see a Hilton Resort. Would you be surprised if it happened? I don't think the island has been circumnavigated by anyone. If they did they would have seen the sub and the foot before. Maybe they're on an island in the FL keys and someone drove to Talahassee to pick up Locke's father. Right now I think anything is possible.

Posted by: Sully | March 22, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm New:

Close, the song title is "Shambala." Of course it does refer to a mystical land in the Himalyas, so the terms are one in the same, with Shangri-La being Hilton's term for the actual place.

but if that song was a give-away clue, then it doesn't seem to have generated an overwhelming acceptance of the island being a tropical Shangri-La in blog discussions...

Did the producers shoot down Shangri-La as a possibility?

Posted by: LostieLostie | March 22, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

To: I'm New

I saw what looked like a tattoo on the inside of Jack's arm too! I even rewound to look again. I didn't see it in the scene in the billards room w/ Kate though.

hmmm, interesting.

Posted by: jlr | March 22, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice someone looking a whole lot like Michael come out with the group to get Kate when she was talking with Jack (after he was playing piano)?

Posted by: Fairfax | March 22, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Haven't watched the show in a while but keep up with the analysis. It sounds more and more like an extreme virtual reality simulation, very much like a old Philip K. Dick novel I remember reading years ago. Unconciously they feel the unreality of the situation they find themselves in so they are not continuously freaking out when weird and unusual things happen to them. It would also be an easy explanation as to why Locke can walk again.

Posted by: jch1953 | March 22, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice that the man who let Locke out of the handcuffs towards the end, was the man who offered Juliet a new job in Portland- from her flashback episode?

Posted by: B | March 22, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Also, any theories on who will die next week?

Posted by: Fairfax | March 22, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

In response to Steve's tyraid on those of us wanting some resolution on some things:
"Finally, to those of you who keep on whining about not enough revelations -- please give it a rest. Do you want everything all wrapped up for you in next week's show? What do you want to watch the week after that?"

I suggest you give it a rest. Here's what I'm waiting for:
I still don't know who the Others are exactly, or how they got there.

Who/What is the Dharma Initiative? What was it's purpose? Who funded it? Is this still part of it? Is it still going on?

What's Desmond's story? What's up with his girlfriend? Who were those foreign guys at the end of last season who seemed to pick up the surge from the "Hatch" and then called her?

While we're at it, what exactly was that, that happened in the Hatch?

Where are Michael and Walt?? How is it John can walk? How was Rose cured?

Steve, that's just a tip of the iceberg of things left unanswered. The reason viewers are leaving the show is because you're getting to need a PhD in Temporal Mechanics/ Computational Dynamic Mathematics to keep up with all the story lines! There is no way on earth, even if they started next week that they could wrap all that up in almost a season, let alone one show! I'd like some questions answered once and for all, without creating other questions. Do only a couple story lines at a time, resolve some things and then move on.

That said, I still enjoy the show, but wish they would make these things a little more clear.

Posted by: NoDharmaHere! | March 22, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

from wikipedia "There are a number of modern Shangri-La pseudo-legends that have developed since 1933 in the wake of the novel and the film made from it. The Nazis had an enthusiasm for Shangri-La too, where they hoped to find an ancient master race in a remote area similar to the Nordic race "unspoiled" by Buddhism. They sent seven expeditions to Tibet, the most famous one led by Ernst Schäfer in 1938. The experience of Austrian SS member Heinrich Harrer and Peter Aufschnaiter in Tibet are now best known through the book Seven Years in Tibet, and film."

The master race angle makes sense in this case (i.e. Juliette's previous discovery of making her sister pregnant), need for Claire's baby, the removal of kids. The project uses some sort of mix of mental reconditioning (alex's bf) and birthing that creates an ideal person? Buddhism would explain the statue with toes also.

Posted by: lc | March 22, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I think the box is like the mirror that Harry Potter found in the basement of Hogwarts that shows people what they most desire. When Harry looked into the mirror he saw himself with his parents (who he never got to know because they were killed by evil Voldemort shortly after he was born - - for the uninitiated). Dumbledore had to warn him that the mirror was useful for uncovering hidden desires but could easily suck one into fantasies that may never come true. Perhaps the Lost writers have been re-reading the Potter books before the final one comes out this summer?

Posted by: Cin | March 22, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Is Locke's father the same guy that Sawyer hooked up in conning his old girlfriend? Also, does anyone else think there's an "Alice in Wonderland" feel to this every time Locke looks down a hole (the hatch, the sub)?

Posted by: newcomer | March 22, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Tell me if this seemed like an inconsistency- Ben says the sub is important to maintain the illusion of departure for the others; then afterwards, we find that Ben wanted the sub destroyed to keep Jack on the island. So I assume keeping Jack on the island is more important than the illusion of departure?
Do I have that right?

Also- just another connected detail- the whisky John's father offered him was the same whisky from Desmond's flashback.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

What about seeing Michael in the background at the piano scene? I saw him too...does anyone think he didn't make it off?

Posted by: Lost of questions! | March 22, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts exactly NoDharmaHere! I want the truth!

Also, has anyone ever read the book "The Magus"? It takes place on an island and nothing is what it appears.

Posted by: fro | March 22, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

It sure did look a lot like Michael - same hair, same profile...but I wonder why Kate didn't react differently if it was him? I still think it could be him regardless!!!!

Posted by: Fairfax | March 22, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

So, after someone mentioned the connection between Shangri-la and the song in the bus "Shambhala", I typed shambhala into Wikipedia. This is what it says...notice the Dharma connection.

"An alternative view associates Shambhala with the real empire of Sriwijaya where Buddhist master Atisha studied under Dharmakirti from whom he received the Kalachakra initiation."

Posted by: K | March 22, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Has it been confirmed that the people who were walking thru the jungle in an earlier season are part of the others because maybe they're the hostiles. I think it was the season when Michael was looking for his son and someone in the group had a teddy bear. None of them had any shoes and they seemed dirty.

I'm leaning towards Locke moving the sub but how long does it take to move a sub? He had to find a place to stash it, make sure it was secure and then swim back. Can that be done within an hour or however long between Benry saying Jack would be leaving and them actually going to the docks?

Posted by: carmen | March 22, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

REgarding Locke's father

Is it possible that he was also on the plane, perhaps in the tail section? Maybe he was abducted early on by the others...

That would be a more plausible explanation than teleportation, submarine tunnels, etc.

Posted by: LostieLostie | March 22, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Way too many theories. However, I think Liz hit the nail on the head about a connection between Locke's father and Sawyer. My guess is that Locke's father is the con artist that ripped Sawyer's family of their life savings. That's right, the man Sawyer's (James) patterns his life after is Locke's father.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that whisky keeps popping up everywhere -- if it weren't a fake brand, we'd be calling bs on the product placement.

Though last night successfully lured me back in, I can understand the frustrations with the pace of information being released.

I think the most frustrating thing of all is this -- none of the Losties themselves seem as interested or as determined to "get to the bottom" of this as we (the fans) do.

Case in point -- Eyepatch says he knows all about Sayid, Kate, John. And they just stare at him. If it were me, or any of us, we'd be doing nothing but asking questions, like "How did you know that?! We're not moving another foot until you tell us everything!"

Only Jack seems more than a little interested in "what the hell is going on", but no character has the same drive to "figure it out" that the audience does.

Just my observation.

Posted by: Bklyn | March 22, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I don't know anything about c-4, but would it have been safe for Locke to stash the c-4 inside the sub & still get out in time or did he have to go into the water to place the charges on the outside of the sub?

Posted by: gburg | March 22, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

hey nodharma here:

many of your 'unanswered questions' have been answered, either on the show or during the lost experience. here's your answers, but you really should pay more attention before whining about "no answers":

DHARMA was a privately funded group supported by Alvar Hanso to do research to alter the core factors of the Valenzetti Equation. This equation predicted the date humanity would cause its own extinction, so they were trying to save the world. Ultimately they failed, possibly because they were wiped out by the others. Check out and search for 'valenzetti' and you will get all the details that you missed in the lost experience web game.

The stuff about Desmond, his girl, and the technicians in the arctic will be answered by the end of the season, according to the writers.

Regarding the hatch: the island has unique electromagnetic properties (just accept it, its a tv show). DHARMA was invesitgating it as part of their research and somehow screwed something up so they had to prevent the charge from building up or bad thigns would happen, like the plane crash. Desmond turned the failsafe that released the charge in one big EMP which disabled the islands communications and who knows what else.

Michael and Walt sailed off to apparent freedom. They may or may not pop up again.

Rose and Locke's miraculous cures will be answered at some point, but these are related to the fundamental mysteries on the island. Ben seemed to give a clue last night that you can will things to happen on the island.

Posted by: lostexpert | March 22, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see this? In the scene with Locke, Ben and Alex the clock changes from 12:35 to 4:12 and back to 12:35.
They show the clock several times and it doesn't change every time. You have to watch from when Alex comes in to when she and Locke leave.

Posted by: mebe | March 22, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: an earlier comment- Paolo and Nikki aren't "hostiles". Just because the writers didn't bother to include them until this season doesn't make them seperate from the original group. There are obviously many other "Losties" we haven't met.

I thought it odd that Ben could produce Locke's father at such a critical moment. Does he collect critical people in the Losties' lives and pull them out when necessary? How could be have known that Locke was approaching their compound and that they'd meet again?

Someone else addressed this already, but a nagging omission by Ben - the sub can't be the only way off if they previously used a boat to get Michael an escape...or was that all a sham?

Posted by: Leawood | March 22, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

One more thing for nodharmahere. Regarding the ratings, they are down primarily because there is a smaller viewing audience at 10pm than at 8pm or 9pm. Lost is the #1 show at 10pm on any network on any night for the 18-49 audience.

Posted by: lostexpert | March 22, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

My 2 cents' worth:
This is beginning to remind me of the acting in a soap opera -- lengthy "significant" stares, etc., etc., you know the drill. Jack seemed to be out for himself last night. Kate was NOT convincing when she was kneeling and talking to him. What's up with that? I think Locke was a con-man with his father and then wanted to get away from him. The fall from the building - I could not believe that anyone would survive that, especially as the guy was violently PUSHED. Benry is a total con man (not to mention a really creepy guy) -- and he contributes more soap opera acting. More crap piled on top of more crap - all the unanswered issues/plots could fill a bloody encyclopedia at this point. And the box with Locke's father was right out of a bad sci fi or horror movie - kind of cheesy to me. Locke's reasoning for blowing up the submarine is nonsensical. Even the idea of those people HAVING a submarine is ridiculous.

I say: just get on with it. This thing could be totally wrapped up in about 2 hours of film time, and they are just stringing along a bad thing to drive us all crazy. Never to forget, as one of my college professors once said: television does NOT exist to entertain or inform -- it exists to sell products.

Posted by: Pinky | March 22, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Leawood why would you think it was odd that Ben could product Locke's father? He knows everything about all the Losties, the have food, electricity, all the modern comforts. Where does all that come from? Thin air... the same place Locke's father came from.

Posted by: mebe | March 22, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

All of this speculation reminds me of another great t.v. show . . . Joe Millionaire. Yeah, I watched Joe Millionaire, what of it? As I'm sure you all remember, Joe Millionaire was the wildly popular show in which Evan Marriot, a lowly construction worker, went through a bachelor-style series in which the women were led to believe he was a millionaire. Joe Millionaire fever spread across the nation like wildfire, and soon people began proposing all kinds of crazy theories about the show. Evan Marriot was the heir to the Marriot hotel dynasty . . . the butler was really a millionaire . . . etc. Eventually the theories outpaced the creativity of the show's creators. In the last episode it was reavealed that Evan wasn't a millionaire, but the show's producers gave them a bunch of $$$ just for the hell of it. Across the nation there was a collective "What the f---??? That's it???" My point is, to paraphrase that Beastie Boys song . . . brace yourselves fools.

Posted by: Evan | March 22, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I have to play catch-up as 1 post I missed and the other one accidentally went to the Britney Spears Hair off comments! HA!?
-Locke is the quintessential man who; unfettered by his humdrum job, has found out that he is a Hero and a man of action.
-Charlie is the quintessential druggie rock star, ala Cobain,-which one of the writer's likes?
Charlie causes Locke and Desmond to question the purpose of entering the number-when they don't the whole island and world almost end in a black hole explosion.-time for Charlie to exit stage left.

Posted by: NoCharlie | March 22, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Of course HUrley informs the Losties that the Others have warned them away--BUT are LOcke and Sayyed going to stand for that-No Way!
Since Jack is critical for the Losties-He's their only Doctor!
Locke and Sayyed should logically have prepared an all-out 80-man Lostie assault raid on Otherdome!
The only thing holding them back is that they would have to recon their way to Other Village.
Big Question--How many times is Kate going to go running across the ISland with only a small group of 5 to 1 and keep getting herself captured by the Others??
Kate has been captured now Three (3) times. Once by herself, once with the Jack recon group of 4, and now once again with the Sayyed-Locke group of 4. Any character with normal intelligence after the first two-would say "I'm not going back across the Island unless every Lostie goes with me in a raiding party!! Since Locke and Sayyed would have already organized this-when Kate got back-she would have thrown in with that.

Posted by: NoCharlie | March 22, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess Kate likes being captured by the others; in some thrill kind of way-since there's not much else to do on the island.
Even when the other's point a gun at her she might say "You're not going to shoot-I'm going to escape and then lead another party back so's you can capture me again!?"
Ben says "We're getting tired of capturing you-next time send Claire and the cute Japanese girl!"-then Kate gets mad.

Posted by: NoCharlie | March 22, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyway; in a logical universe, Locke and Sayyed have led a 80-man Lostie assault on Otherdome and have captured it much the same way the Kate-French lady raiding party went.
As Locke stands in the Other grand plaza he tells Ben and the others "I ( indian name - like Spencer tracey in Northwest PAss )
have taken your village. OtherDome is no more-the age of Others has passed and the age of Losties has begun. Your houses will be torn down to provide wood for our ships and you will work as our slaves to build them--much as you made Kate and Sawyer to work. Our "intelligence Officer" Sayyed will question each of you for any Other knowledge we may need. The First Triumvirate of Locke, Sayyed, and Jack is in charge. I am First Consul."
The Others then have to work to build the Losties escape ships.

Posted by: NoCharlie | March 22, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice that when Locke was walking off the pier before being caught by the Others he was wet? I don't believe they actually showed the sub blowing up either- they showed an explosion at the end of the pier but that was it.

Was Locke able to move the sub from the pier, swim ashore, and set off a explosion on the pier, hoping to return with the other Losties to use the sub to escape the island?

Perhaps someone with TiVo can confirm-

Posted by: Anonymous | March 22, 2007 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Locke 'moved' the sub. He probably just submerged it, possibly giving the illusion of wreakage. Nevertheless, you would assume the explosion could be heard in the Other-ton.

Posted by: Hoa | March 23, 2007 6:42 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was pretty obvious why Locke never went to the police. It's the same reason he didn't tell the truth to that woman's son--he still craves acceptance by his father. Even after being thrown from a window, when he sees his father on the island, what does he call him? Dad. Someone who has it in for their old man doesn't call him "Dad". I predict John will yet again try to gain the approval of his father, and fail in some way.

The writers are obviously drinking the Freudian kool-aid...all the male characters seem to have classic Oedipal issues.

John--hates what his father does, but still wants his love and respect.

Jack--despises his father's drunkenness, but his motivation for everything he does goes back to a season one flashback when his dad tells him he doesn't have the guts to be a surgeon. All of Jacks actions are motivated by his desire for approval, and the conflict between that desire and his resentment for his father's failures.

Hurley--hates his father, but still keeps the Camero.

Jin (spelling?)--resents that he was the son of a poor fisherman, which he feels caused most of his problems as far as having to work for Sun's father, etc.

Sawyer--he's got a double-dose. Hates his father for being weak and getting conned, and, obviously, for killing his mother. Has adopted the name of the con-man that ruined his life, making himself a sort of proto-son to him. [am I the only one that thinks that Locke's dad might be THE Sawyer?]

Charlie--have we met Charlie's dad? There's probably something there, we just haven't found it out yet.

Henry--maybe he resents his father for raising him on the island?

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm liking this time loop theory! In a way it explains why The Others were so concerned with kidnapping Claire in Season 1. Maybe because Ben wanted to ensure that Baby Ben was safe? But don't they know anything about time paradoxes? What if Adult Ben did something to change the path of Baby Ben's life, and then the universe collapses on itself?!? Also, what was the deal with the vaccine? And if they're really in a time loop, why can Dahrma airdrop supplies to them?

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 9:01 AM | Report abuse

The women have father issues too:
Claire's father abandoned her
Sun's father has controlled her & ruined her marriage & husband, her lover too.
Kate's real father left her & her mother, so Kate got a drunken abusive step-father, whom she killed.
Shannon's father failed to protect her in his will, leaving her to the classic evil stepmother.
Juliet has an evil ex-husband (we don't know about her dad)
Penny's father breaks up her relationship with Desmond
We don't see Eko's father; his father was not there to protect Eko & his brother.
Similarly as to Said; we don't know about his father, but his country is a mess.
Anna Lucia seemed to have an okay mom, but we don't see her dad.
Michael was a non-dad for most of Walt's life (not totally his fault); we don't really know about Michael's father.

Rose & her husband seem really removed from this pattern.

Posted by: Lindytx | March 23, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

(1) I really liked this episode and the prior week's. I think LOST is back on track. Sure the lack of answers is maddening, but at least stuff is happening that engages my interest.

(2) to JW, who wrote: "The writers are obviously drinking the Freudian kool-aid...all the male characters seem to have classic Oedipal issues." It's not Freudian kool-aid, my friend, it's the human condition. You can poke fun of Freud all you want, but the power of father-son conflicts (and similar intra-family conflicts) still is a driving force (often unconscious) in many people's lives -- probably including yours. Certainly including President George W.'s.

(3) Re: "another great ep"'s posting "Is it me, or did the shot of Locke peering into the sub replicate the shot of him peering into the hatch". Excellent point. It really did seem like exactly the same shot (maybe it literally was, perhaps the show was running over budget!).

(4) Re: Once again, let me correct Liz's misimpression that Sun's pregnancy is a miracle. As clearly shown in a past episode, Sun had an illicit love affair with the hotel owner's son back in Korea. And although their doctor initially told Sun and Jin that she was infertile, the doctor later confessed that Sun was fine and quite capable of conceiving; it's her husband that's infertile. Unless babies come from storks rather than sexual intercourse between a man and a woman, I don't know why people keep assuming Sun's pregnancy was some island-related miracle!

Posted by: sjh | March 23, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Liz, just a note on the chats and your lack of reader questions/comments yesterday. I tried to submit one but the WaPo page freaked out, "this page cannot be displayed" or something, even on a second attempt, so I doubt it made it through. That's happened at least one other time. Anyway, the lack of chatter might not be due to you. ;-)

Posted by: Bat | March 23, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I was going to do the women too, but I figured it get way too long if I started listing them as well.

The clincher is that, like in Heroes, all their fathers work for Dharma. Or something like that.

Posted by: jw | March 23, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

All their fathers work for Dharma? That would be an X-files plot, where all the men-in-black give up their kids for safekeeping from the alien invasion (like Mulder's sister).

However I think we've seen that some of the Others are Dharma recruiters and that recruitment tends to be direct rather than through family. Why Dharma people would crash their kids' plane I just can't imagine.

Posted by: Ben | March 28, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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