'Lost' Dueling Analysis: There's No Place Like Home, Part 1
In which Jen Chaney and I ask that you get us some lemonade while you're up and, please, keep in mind that Jesus Christ is not a weapon.
Liz: So, Jen, don't you know by now that Ben Linus always has a plan? Duh. But, now that we've got that out of the way, I'll leave it up to you to detail -- using specific terms and a PowerPoint presentation if necessary -- exactly what that plan may be. Because me, I'm not so sure I get what good being cold-cocked by Keamy's gun butt is going to do to help Locke and Hugo. Lots to talk about from last night's jam-packed episode -- but let's start with the cucumber cool Mr. Linus.
Jen: Last night's episode was a case of Benjamin Linus Interruptus. I so wanted the finale to continue so I could see exactly what was going to happen next. I do have a theory about why Ben is at the Orchid, though, and it relates back to that video of the Orchid Station shown last year at Comic-Con and all over the Internet.
If you recall the video, Dr. Marvin Candle (or whatever his name really is) held up a rabbit with a number 15 painted on it. And in the midst of the orientation vid, another rabbit suddenly dropped from the ceiling behind him. I'm not 100 percent sure what this means, but I suspect it signifies that a time machine may be in the station or, at the least, the capacity to mess with the space-time continuum is something that only can be done at the Orchid.
Liz: Or that the place is literally overrun with rabbits. Which can be a real annoyance, unless you happen to be a huge fan of hasenpfeffer.
Riddle me this, though. If the Orchid is crawling with Keamy's murderous thugs, how did someone manage to answer Ben's mirror signal as they approached the station? This leaves me to wonder if someone on Keamy's crew is perhaps in cahoots (there's your word again) with Ben. Another mole, so to speak.
Jen: Yeah, I wondered about the mirror. Although -- and this is in keeping with the video -- is it possible Ben was communicating with another version of Ben who had traveled back in time? That might be too nutty a thought, especially at this early hour of the a.m. But I'm just throwing it out there so the commenters can eat me alive.
Liz: Maybe we should back up. After all, this episode that gave us some forward movement (Jack learns Claire is/was his sister, Sun gets all '80s evening soap melodramatic on her dad) and lined everyone up for this season's final battle.
Jen: Indeed, maybe we should start at the beginning, with the Oceanic Six on the Coast Guard plane.
Much more after the jump...
Liz: Yes, and if the Six's Oceanic escort looked familiar, it's because we've seen her before. She's Michelle Forbes, who you may recognize from "Battlestar Galactica" as Admiral Helena Cain or, reaching way back, as David Duchovny's girlfriend in 1993's "Kalifornia" (you know, the one where Brad Pitt played a creepy country-fried serial killer).
Jen: I also recognized her from "24," a show that practically half the cast of "Lost" has appeared on.
Jack seemed very keen on telling the concocted story about how they survived the crash. Everyone else looked utterly spent, especially Kate. I know this will sound like blasphemy to you, but I felt sorry for her when she got off the plane and had no family. I think it may explain why she develops such an attachment to Aaron.
Liz: Yes, and not everyone seems to be completely aligned with his thinking. Sun, for one, seems particularly unnerved. She tells Jack they are in shock and seems to almost come unraveled at the press conference
And I have to come clean: I felt for Kate at that moment, too. I thought the least Jack could do was bring Kate over to share in his welcome from Victoria Hamel and her huge collagen-enhanced lips.
Jen: Sun's comments, I think, led me to believe Jin really is dead. Just not under the circumstances she described. I suspect we'll finally see Jin's death next week.
Liz: Yes. Something tells me Michael may join him in that fate and, I'm hesitant to say it, but things aren't looking so good for Des, brotha.
Jen: No! Why do you say that about Desmond?
Liz: Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but is Desmond not currently in a room with Jin, Michael and enough C4 to blow the freighter sky high? And you can't tell me that no one on the freighter saw a Ford Fiesta-sized pile of explosives until this moment.
Jen: But, um, Des could live even if they die. Right? Brotha? Anyone?
I do think Des is a goner eventually, because he already had his "moment" with Penny and Ian Cusick seemed to suspect it, too, when I asked him about it. But I am hoping he still has a little more time, if only to sneak in a few more brothas for posterity.
Liz: Though if the freighter was moments away from annihilation, I'm hard-pressed to figure out how Sun survives the blast.
Jen: I have some questions to raise about Faraday. He seemed to be aware that a secondary protocol existed. Charlotte, on the other hand, did not have any idea what he was talking about. How would Daniel be so looped in?
Liz: I wondered the same thing, but I keep coming back to the notion that Daniel is a time traveler. He had the Orchid logo drawn in his journal -- the same journal he's referred to in previous episodes to jog his memory about past/future time travel experiences.
Jen: Yes, it's important to look at the notes in Daniel's journal, courtesy of these screenshots. If you look at what he has written there, it refers to Eddington-Finkelstein, which is an equation related to black holes. On another page, he also has a bunch of formulas written out, one of which says, "Possible!" Another says, "Incorrect!" We've suspected this for a while, but this seems to confirm that the island exists in a black hole of some sort. If you read the basic description of a black hole it talks about the gravitational pull on light -- remember Faraday's focus on how the light was bouncing around? -- and electromagnetic factors. So the properties of the island may mirror the properties of a black hole -- I know we touched on this during our brief journeys into Hawkingland.
The spaghettification that happens when some objects slip into a black hole would explain why Minkowski and Desmond get all scrambled up when they travel onto and away from the island.
One more thing -- if you look at the logo for Oceanic Airlines, the series of circles? It kind of looks like a black hole.
Liz: Yes, and we know that the island has some strange electromagnetic properties, as evidenced by the mega magnet in the original hatch. And speaking of that logo, this blogger seems to think it is a version of the Orchid logo.
Jen: And to bring this all back to the current plot: Daniel's notes imply that it may be possible to move or expand/contract the black hole but it's also possible to supremely screw things up. And I suspect Locke will supremely screw things up.
Liz: Which brings us nicely to the next point I wanted to tackle: If Locke is on the cusp of supremely screwing things up and quite possibly sealing the fate of those left on the island, how in the world do the writers plan to get the Oceanic Six together and off the island? We've got members of the Six currently spread all over -- beach, jungle, captured by Alpert, Orchid, freighter.
Jen: I was wondering how they all get off the island together, too. That Alpert thing -- did not see that coming. It's also possible that Ben could have been sending mirror signals to Richard, I suppose.
Liz: Right, though would you agree that Ben led Locke (and us) to believe that the signaler was none other than the elusive Jacob?
Jen: He said something typically Ben-ish like, "Who do you think?" when Locke asked who he was communicating with. I don't know if he wanted Locke to think it was Jacob or if he was just messing with Locke in general, making poor John feel stupid for not being smart enough to know what Ben was doing. Because Ben always has a plan. And, as Locke pointed out, he's never entirely truthful.
Liz: I'd like to take this opportunity to call out my favorite lines from last night:
Ben's "You know those crackers are 15 years old" to Hurley and Sawyer's "Hold up, you don't get to die alone" to Jack.
Jen: Ben's line: Funny, but also potentially revealing. How did he know exactly how old they were unless he left them there himself?
Liz: Right, and I also I think Ben's reassertion of his mastery (or illusion of mastery) over the situation ties in nicely to our debate last week. You thought there had been a metaphorical passing of the baton from Ben to John. Although we had a literal passing of Ben's baton (aka his arse-whooping stick) last night, Ben is keeping firm hold of the reins, I'd say. Lesson learned: Never count this man out.
Jen: Oh, absolutely. I didn't mean to suggest we should count him out. I did think he was starting to worry. But perhaps Locke's assertion that we they should move the island made him realize John has no idea what he's doing. Ben was clearly in control, and Locke and Hurley were just his flunkies. "Hand me the binoculars. Duck down. Clean the dishes, Cinderelly."
Liz: I've got one more observation, referring back to the rabbits you mentioned earlier... Interesting that you brought them up because rabbits -- or rabbit parts -- figured twice in last night's episode. Both the pilot of the Oceanic Six's Coast Guard flight and Hurley were toting white rabbit feet good luck charms. Might've been a visual reference to jog our memories back to the show's previous rabbit references -- in the Orchid video, as you mentioned, and in the episode where Ben savages Sawyer with a white rabbit emblazoned with the number 8. Or perhaps it was merely a sadistic plot to get Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" stuck in my head.
Jen: Oh, and also -- and this is another lovely segue into another subject we should broach -- rabbits figure prominently into one of the first important "Lost" novels: "Watership Down." The maps of the Indonesian islands where our Six supposedly drifted and eventually came to shore? Reminded me a little of the maps in the beginning of "Watership" as well as the book, "The Wizard of Oz," that provided the ep's title, "There's No Place Like Home."
Liz: And, of course, we mustn't forget the rabbit that figures so prominently in "Alice and Wonderland."
Jen: I wasn't sure what the significance of the various places mentioned was, though. I did some searching around and did not immediately see thematic connections.
Liz: Right, the closest reference I can find to "Membata" is the Indonesian word "membata-bata" which is loosely translated as "ambivalent."
Jen: Any thoughts on those Indonesian islands or the fishermen who found them? I wonder if one of them could have been Jin's dad, since they made such an issue of Jin's shame over his father's profession.
Liz: I don't know. The previous images we'd seen of Jin's dad seemed to paint him as an inland fisherman in Korea. Pretty far away from the fictional Membata.
Jen: True, but we also thought Christian Shephard was dead. So you know, I take nothing at face value.
Liz: Watch out, here comes a double segue...
Jen: Is that like a double dog dare?
Liz: Perhaps it's more of a "choose your own segue":
1. I wasn't crazy about the Sun future-flash storyline of a hostile takeover of Paik industries from dad. Struck me as very "Falcon Crest." Seemed lazy.
2. Since we saw Jack eulogize his dad in last night's show, we know that the funeral he attended at the end of last season could not have been (as some speculated) for his dad.
Jen: 1. It was very "Falcon Crest." But I kind of enjoyed the dig at her dad. And the only reason I didn't think it was lazy is that Paik Industries, if memory serves, had some financial involvement with Widmore. So if Sun has controlling interest in the company, she may have some capacity to influence Charles Widmore as well.
2. Yes, Jack's eulogy does prove that Christian wasn't in the coffin at end of last season. (Which I didn't suspect anyway.) We're also supposed to find out who is in the coffin this season, which means we should know the answer to that question on May 29. Speaking of the funeral, Claire's mom showing up -- that was random. Jack needed to find out, somehow, that she was his sister. But I thought Claire's mom was on the verge of death. I guess she recovered.
Liz: Indeed, though she may have some kind of malignant growth on her chin.
Jen: I was very happy to see the numbers return last night, especially in Hurley's car, of all things. This explains why he was so hellbent on crashing that thing when the season started. The numbers are bad, and that car needed to be destroyed.
I also noted that the numbers on the Coast Guard plane -- 1717 -- add up individually to 16, one of the "bad" numbers. Now we just have to wait two weeks to find out if Ben is knocked unconscious. Stupid "Grey's Anatomy" finale.
Liz: Yet again, there's a lot we didn't get to here, but luckily we'll have a full hour to pick this apart at 2 p.m. ET. Though, sadly, the show will be off next week to make way -- as you said -- for a gratuitous two-hour "Grey's Anatomy" finale before returning for its own fully-justified two-hour blowout the following week.
So, in two weeks:
"There's No Place Like Home," Parts 2 & 3 - The face-off between the survivors and the freighter people continues, and the Oceanic Six find themselves closer to rescue, on the two-hour Season Finale.
Geez, very revealing. We'll discuss this lame promo and more at 2. See you there.
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