'Lost' Dueling Analyses: Eggtown
In which Jen Chaney and I again reveal ourselves to be insufferable eggheads.
Jen: Here is what I am loving about this season of "Lost": It's just bombshell after bombshell after bombshell. In the first episode, we find out about the Oceanic Six; in the second, we learn that there is a second plane (which, courtesy of the HO HO theory, many of us suspected for a while); in the third, we discover that Sayid eventually enters a partnership with Ben; and now, "Eggtown" tells us that baby Aaron leaves the island and Kate becomes his mother. That may be the biggest bombshell of the season so far.
Add to that some intriguing literary references and, in my favorite moment from the episode, a nod to "Xanadu" and you've got a solid hour of television. Even that "Xanadu" mention has some significance since, as any self-respecting child of the '80s knows, that movie was about a woman from another dimension who pushes through time and space to enter the regular world. If this means Hurley and Sawyer are going to open up a roller disco on the island, this will officially become the greatest show of all time. What do you think? Do you have to believe this episode was magic?
Liz: I feel as if I'm suspended in time with you, Jen.
I haven't been paying attention to ratings, but I hope the show is picking up some of the viewers that checked out last year during the unfortunate Nikki/Paolo arc. Every episode in the season so far has ratcheted up the tension and somehow made an already rich mythology that much richer. Seriously, these guys deserve a special Emmy or some kind of medal for raising the level of series TV to this level.
As episodes go, last night's was not heavy on Easter Eggs. As a guest blogger over at Time's Tuned In blog put it, it was a very self-referential episode... full of shout outs to the audience. For instance, when John Locke told Ben he might learn something from rereading his book, it was a clear reference to the penchant "Lost" fans have for watching (and re-watching) every episode in search of new revelations.
You mentioned literary references. Shall we start with Sawyer's light reading, "The Invention of Morel?"
Jen: Yes, I caught that about Locke's line, too. I almost wonder if calling this episode "Eggtown" and then inserting few Easter eggs is a little joke on the writers' part, too. I want to delve into "Morel," but I also want to note something: The first line spoken in this episode comes from Locke. He tells Ben: "These are the last two eggs." Obviously he is talking about breakfast, but it made me think of Aaron and Sun's unborn child. Are they the last two "fertilized eggs," if you will, to ever result on the island?
Maybe we can come back to that since it obviously deals with this whole Aaron issue.
Liz: Could be. Kate seemed to be certain that she wasn't pregnant. But to quickly delve into "Morel"... Apparently the book was a French sci-fi novel about a man on a semi-deserted island who creates a machine capable of reproducing reality. And that main character also "knows that the island is the focus of a strange disease whose symptoms are similar to radiation poisoning." And, apparently, one possible use for the machine includes the ability to resurrect people.
Not sure how this one slipped through our Book Club net, but I'm going to check it out. Sounds like "Papillon" spiced with a little "Island of Dr. Moreau."
Jen: Exactly. If we resume "Lost" Book Club at some point, this seems like required reading. Last night the link on Amazon was letting you "look inside!" to read an excerpt, but it seems to have disappeared. Another one for the book club: "Valis" by Philip K. Dick, the book Locke handed to Ben.
It's a complicated sci-fi story, apparently Dick wrote several volumes. But as the summary on that page tells us, it's about people seeking spiritual truth who realize some mechanical intelligence is influencing them. I also like that in the book they go to a rock musician's estate to find the Messiah. Charlie, anyone? I always knew "You All Everybody" had religious undertones...
Liz: One more thing about last night's literary references. When we saw Sawyer reading in his boxers -- ahem -- he almost seemed to hold the book in full view of the camera for a few seconds; as if the director had instructed him to make it a little bit easier for the Lost-obsessed to get their screen grabs.
And puhleeze -- enough Driveshaft! But since you mention Charlie, maybe we should transition into talking about baby Aaron and Claire -- who I'm now guessing won't be one of the Oceanic 6. (By the way, producer Damon Lindelof told EW's Doc Jensen we'll know the identity of the entire six by the end of the seventh episode.)
Jen: They clearly are mindful of the screen grabs. I wonder how the production designers deal with that. It's so much extra pressure. And yes, at that exact moment millions of women (and certainly a few gay men) had to reach for a Kleenex to wipe the drool off their chins.
I was so glad Lindelof said that about the Oceanic 6. This is what I mean about bombshells. They just aren't messing around this season.
Liz: Yes, his comments to EW show an incredible level of foresight into where the show is going. He also, as mentioned last night in the live chat room, said there was no significance to Naomi's bracelet.
Jen: Thank you! I suggested they weren't the same last week and everyone insisted they were. So there, America!
Liz: Right. Mea culpa. But you can hardly blame us for thinking everything on this show has a hidden meaning.
Jen: Not just you culpa. Many peoplea culpa. (That really is Latin, you know.)
Of course I can't blame. Five minutes ago I just argued that "Xanadu" has a deeper meaning, for God's sake.
Liz: Xanadu's deeper meaning is that roller disco is deader than a doornail.
Jen: It's so not though. It could be revived, Liz, with a little moxie, Gene Kelly (if he were alive) and a dream.
Anyhoo, about Aaron...
Last night several people in the chat (myself included) thought at first glance it appeared he might have Down Syndrome. Apparently we were not alone; I noticed commenters in other blogs puzzling over the same thing.
After looking closely at the screenshots, it seems clear that the child does not have Down Syndrome; he was just waking up. Nevertheless, I do wonder whether a child born on the island might encounter some serious health issues or other problems by making the trip back home. Or, could he be a superhero of some kind?
Not to turn the show into "Heroes" (please, don't let that happen), but I wonder if Aaron will turn out to be special in some way, either good or bad.
Liz: I have to admit I didn't get that vibe from little Aaron. I just thought he looked a little sleepy. Yet to be revealed, I guess. My question is why, in the scene right before the big Aaron reveal, were we led to believe that Jack and Kate had produced a kid and that Jack can't seem to face that kid? And, knowing it's actually Aaron, why is he refusing to see him?
Also, one random thought: Is he actually Claire's Aaron or did Kate have a child and name him Aaron in homage to the original?
Jen: Here is my theory on that. I wonder if, as part of this whole absurd story, Jack and Kate have said this child is theirs. It would explain why the prosecutor asked Jack if he still loved the defendant, which I thought was the most random cross-examination question ever. But it isn't random if the jury would already know their story, that they were "together" on the island and allegedly produced this child.
Others posed the theory that it could be a different boy named Aaron, but I don't think so. The way it was revealed with that "da-naaaa" music made it clear to me that we should assume this is Claire's son.
Liz: Yes, the courtroom scene was kind of a soap opera-ish moment if you ask me. Also, an aside, courtesy of Time.com's TV blog:
But probably the best "wink" at the audience came in Kate's flash-forward, with her lawyer Duncan Forrester, played by Shawn Doyle. Did you recognize Mr. Doyle? In a 2000 Dennis Quaid-Jim Caviezel movie called "Frequency," which involved communication via short-wave radio across a 30-year time continuum, he played a character named... wait for it... Jack Shepard!
Liz: I recognized the actor, but from "Big Love," not from "Frequency."
Jen: As far as why Jack doesn't want to see him: One, he probably feels guilty about whatever circumstances forced them to separate Claire from Aaron. Second: He may have realized that Claire is his half-sister. And that may raise some emotional issues for him regarding his father.
We know about many of the connections between the "Losties" but it's easy to forget that the characters do not know these things.
It's obvious that Kate is very attached to Aaron and really treating him as her son. Maybe Jack disapproves of that, too. By the way, did you notice how gray his hair had become, even in the time that passed since we saw him with Hurley?
Liz: Speaking of Hurley -- he seems to have been re-relegated to comic foil for Sawyer. Though he did deliver another great line last night, this time to Kate: "You totally Scooby-Doo'ed me."
Jen: Don't feel sad for Hurley. He and Miles both provide excellent and much-needed comic relief. He'll get to emote again soon, I'd bet. The Scooby Doo line was indeed excellent.
Liz: I wanted to make a quick observation about Sun and Jin:
Last night we saw them debating over where to settle once off island. Jin was for the U.S. -- Albequerque specifically -- and Sun for Korea. We know that (hardly anything) is a throw away on this show so that scene got me thinking. I don't know why, but I have the impression that Sun and Jin will make it off island but NOT be considered part of the Oceanic 6.
Totally random, I know. Just a feeling.
Jen: How could they not be considered part of it? They would go into hiding? I still think they get off the island, so I am not dismissing the theory.
Liz: Yes. Or they manage to leave the island in some other way than the rest of the official survivors. Remember, Jin is a handy boat builder.
Jen: Hmmm ... interesting. I believe we may find out more about this in episodes seven or eight of this season.
Liz: Okay, next mystery. Daniel Faraday and his bad memory. Any speculation as to why he had trouble remembering three cards?
Jen: The guy obviously has mental problems of some kind. We know this because of the caretaker in "Confirmed Dead." Didn't Charlotte say he did "a little better that time" because he remembered two cards? I wonder if the island is starting to heal the issues he was having. As to why he has memory problems, I am not sure.
Liz: Yes, and we know from last week's episode that Dan is in no hurry to leave the island. Last night we were given the same impression by Miles, who told Kate he was "exactly" where he wanted to be.
Jen: Oh, that's an interesting interpretation of that line. Speaking of Miles, my antennae went up when he told Kate: "Who knows, maybe you didn't even survive the crash?" I wonder if that was the writers just playing with us again. Or if he was just playing with her paranoia and uncertainty about what exactly is happening on the island.
Liz: Clearly Miles knows something about the outside world's perception of the Oceanic crash and that there's some wiggle room regarding what they find (and choose to reveal) about the island. Though I can't imagine $3.2 million would do Miles much good if he plans to stay on the island indefinitely.
And, as Ben asked -- why $3.2 million? Is there a significance to that figure or were the writers just playing with us again?
Jen: I suggested that 3.2, or 32, is 23 in reverse, 23 being one of the numbers that never get discussed anymore. There may be additional significance but that was the first thing that popped into my head.
I also don't understand why he wants to extort money in the first place. Is it part of his con man agenda (remember the money he took out of that vent in "Confirmed Dead")?
Liz: I think he wants the money because money is what drives Miles. At least right now... he may end up being a Han Solo kind of character: a mercenary who discovers he has a heart and ends up on the side of right. But for now he's clearly gone through life using his powers to line his pockets.
Jen: What's he going to do with it, buy a much better Dustbuster to detect ghosts?
Liz: Well, he obviously needs one. Maybe he should move up to a Dyson. It's got some kind of vortex technology.
Jen: The final character I want to bat around is Locke. Locke has basically become Ben. He heard Jacob's voice, suddenly thought he was supposed to be in charge and now he is turning into a mad dictator who wants to tell everyone what to do.
In that last scene with the grenade, Terry O'Quinn's voice and gestures seemed more manic than usual, as if he is cueing us in to how severely Locke is unraveling.
Liz: Yes, he's reacting badly to feeling as if he's not in control. Last night's warning to Kate that he'd shoot her if he were a dictator was pretty chilling. Also, why kill the chicken that continues to provide eggs?
Jen: Plus, booting her out of the barracks? Really? And barging into Kate and Claire's abode without even knocking?
Liz: John needs some serious management boot camp. Maybe a little role-playing, a catered lunch and lots and lots of Power Point.
Jen: That chicken question is one for the ages. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Locke doesn't have time to figure it out, so he'll just gut the chicken and move on.
Liz: So, in next week's episode title "The Constant," we'll find out the fate of the copter crew: Sayid, Desmond, Lawnmower man and dead Naomi.
Jen: Next week is going to be a mindblower, I think. The helicopter obviously did not make it to the freighter, and I think time-traveler Desmond plays a major role. As does, hopefully, a flux capacitor.
Liz: Noooooo! Enough with the '80s references already. We get it writers, you're Gen Xers!
Until next week, then.
Jen: There are never enough '80s references. To prove it, I close by saying: "Xanadu your neon lights will shine ... for you, Xanadu!"
Liz: You're hopeless. Utterly hopeless.
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