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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 01/22/2009

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: A Moving Season Premiere

By Liz Kelly

In which Movies editrix Jen Chaney and I resume our weekly over-analysis of what is, possibly, the most confounding TV show ever made. We welcome your theories in the comments section below and in a live chat today at 3 p.m. ET.

What inauguration?

"Lost" came roaring back to TV last night in a gripping two-hour premiere -- leaving some exhilarated and some more than a little confused. In the spirit of getting everyone up to date on where each character is in this multi-pronged story, we've written this handy companion to last night's premiere.

Rather than do this analysis as our usual back-and-forth debate, Jen and I have agreed to a brief detente in the hopes of better serving the "Lost"-watching faithful. Instead, we'll follow each character's story arc to flesh out the important take-aways from last night's show. And, because most of our "Losties" were last night paired up with another character, that's how we'll deal with them below. That way, we won't get sidetracked into any worm holes and we won't leave anyone behind.

What evil lurks in the heart of men? Ben Linus (Michael Emerson, right) and Jack (Matthew Fox) form an uneasy alliance. (Image courtesy ABC)

Liz: Jen, I think I'm gonna just say it: Last night's season opener was the best season opener since show one, season one. It helps to have feature film-length time in which to develop story and character arcs, but damn if the writers didn't make every single line, every single second count. For a group of people who claim to have not necessarily known how everything would fit together five seasons in, they're doing a fine job of making the parts all move together towards an inevitable, yet still mysterious, end.

Jen: This will surprise absolutely no one, but I completely agree. The first hour in particular struck me as very strong. The writers started to delve more into all that time travel mythology, wove together multiple key story lines and managed to stick in two killer action sequences. A guy getting stabbed by dishwasher knives AND a dude on the island being shot with a flaming arrow? That's just quality television, people. ("Heroes," seriously, are you paying attention? This is how it's done.)

Liz: Good point on the grisly bit -- in fact, I actually paused to wonder why it was that Sayid had a dishwasher full of steak knives. Had he just had some kind of safe house dinner party or was it a new order from Crate & Barrel? I guess we'll never know.

Jen: So much material to mine. Should we begin with our dead man, John Locke, and his partner in island-saving crime, Richard Alpert?

Liz: That sounds right since last season's finale ended with John revealed as the man in the box (cue Alice in Chains).

Much more after the jump...

John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) -- dead-ish, but not forgotten. (Image courtesy ABC)

John Locke & Richard Alpert

Jen: When we first reconnect with Locke on the shifting island, he has a pseudo-"North by Northwest" moment, nearly getting clipped by Yemi's plane. Then he comes in contact with everyone's favorite Tom Cruise cousin, good 'ol Ethan Rom, who almost kills him. Bottom line: Alpert eventually hooks up with Locke again and says (not in so many words), "Oh, P.S. you have to die in order to bring people back to save the island." But personally, I don't think the guy "dies" in the literal sense. I mean, that never happens on "Lost," right?

Liz: Right -- and Richard Alpert, along with Daniel Faraday (as you'll see further on) were apparently delegated to explain to us -- the clueless viewers -- exactly what happened to the island when Ben turned that Frozen Donkey Wheel last season. Thanks to Alpert's quick instructions to Locke, we know that the island is basically sling-shotting back and forth through time. The island -- or rather its inhabitants -- has become unstuck in time and unless and until the Oceanic 6 makes it back, it will continue to hurtle through the space-time continuum. Alpert tells Locke the only way to save the island is to "get your people back here and you'll have to die to do that."

Jen: Right. But here is why I think Locke is not dead:

Sorry this delves briefly into Ben territory on which we will later tread, but he made a point of telling Jack he needed to keep an eye on Locke's body. And he took the body to that woman, Jill -- whoever she is -- and told her to keep an eye on it. So I think there is more going on than just a simple "Locke is dead" type of thing. Jack asked, "He is dead, isn't he?" And cagey Ben, of course, gave no reply.

Liz: Yes, that was indeed a loaded moment. But breaking things down a bit more -- whether Locke is indeed truly dead or no -- we still don't know how it is that Locke manages to get off the island at all. I'm sure that will be his character's arc for the remainder of this season -- or at least much of the first half. And I still want to know who Alpert really is. A Black Rock sailor? Jacob? Ben's henchman?

Jen: The guy who played the mayor in "The Dark Knight"?

Liz: Jen, please try to be serious. This is important work we're doing here.

Jen: My apologies. It's "the Joker" in me. (Ba-dum-bum). Since we're trying to bring down the room, perhaps we should switch gears and talk about our next pair of characters: Ben Linus and Jack Shephard. Lord, how I missed Ben. And, for that matter, a clean-shaven Jack.

Ben Linus & Jack Shephard

Jen: Let's start with the question we always have to ask when Ben is involved: What the heck is he really up to?

Liz: I'm not so sure that was answered, but agreed. What we have is an uneasy alliance between Ben and Jack -- bearded-strung-out-Jack that would have probably sold his soul to the devil to get back to the island.

Jen: And he may have done just that. But let's take a closer look at Ben's most recent actions, shall we?

1. He turned the frozen donkey wheel. In my opinion, when he did that he put everyone on that island in jeopardy -- you know, since that's how he rolls -- because he doesn't want anyone to leave. If everyone is bouncing around through time, he can use that as his excuse to convince Jack and everyone else to go back there. And it seems to be working.

2. I also think Ben may be responsible for the arrival of the law firm of Agostini and Norton on Kate's doorstep. Ben knows the one thing that puts Kate's feet in motion is the long arm of the law (and her "son" being in potential danger). So if he can scare her into her fugitive mindset again, he's got her where he wants her.

Liz: 1. But is it because Ben didn't want anyone to leave or because he couldn't bear the thought of Charles Widmore getting control of the island?

2. As for the law firm of Agostini and Norton, I actually think they were sent there at the behest of Sun in order to scare Kate into moving into her sphere of influence. But we'll talk about that a little bit more below.

3. I'd just like to go on record as saying that another benefit of being a vegetarian is that I will never accidentally pick up a Locke steak from the butcher. Ben really should find a more sanitary place to store seemingly dead bodies.

Jen: In non-chronological order, which couldn't be more appropriate for this time-shifting episode, I say: 1. Good question. I think the latter is true, but that he needs everyone to be on that island for some reason, same reason Alpert is talking about. Exactly what that reason is? I suspect we will spend the next two seasons finding out.

3. Yeah, the butcher thing was another bit of grisly dark humor from the "Lost" writers. I like it.

And on 2. That is also a decent theory. But I am a little more convinced that Ben is setting events in motion that will make everyone desperate enough to do his bidding. Jack was an easy mark. I've already talked about the Kate/lawyer thing (at least my theory, anyway). And I also think Ben sent Sayid to purposely set up Hurley and make him look like a homicidal escapee. But what Ben didn't count on was Hurley -- genius, good-hearted guy that he is -- saying, "No way, dude." Which brings us to ... Hurley and Sayid, the baddest buddy team in crime caper history.

Liz: Oh, and 4. A little credit should go to Ben for flushing Jack's drugs down the toilet. Though I love how that combined with a quick shave was all he needed to get back to his old bullheaded self. Who needs NA?

But yes, let's move on to the odd couple.

On the run: Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and Hurley (Jorge Garcia). (Image courtesy ABC)
Hurley & Sayid

Liz: I never anticipated these two getting all "Starsky and Hutch" on us, but they actually did a pretty good job of keeping each other alive -- even if they did leave a string of dead bodies (and now useless steak knives) in their wake.

Jen: Seriously, would you watch a "Lethal Weapon"-style action comedy starring Hurley and Sayid? I totally would. I also must pause to give props to what may be my favorite line in the premiere, courtesy of Hurley, re: Sayid: "He is my friend. He's also got a crazy double life where he does ninja moves and spy stuff."

I think Sayid went to see Hurley under Ben's direction. He's still working for him, albeit begrudgingly. Which is why he tells Hurley to "do the opposite" of whatever Ben says. The whole second hour was about duplicity, if you ask me. Everybody said things that should not have been taken at face value.

Liz: Agreed. Though this is probably a good moment to mention Ana Lucia. She appeared as a spectral cop to warn Hurley not to be captured by the police. I'm wondering now if Hurley should have listened to her and not Sayid. After all, she's the dead-ish one. Also, I totally got chills when she said: "Oh yeah, Libby says hi."

We also should go back and talk about Hurley from the beginning of hour two. We see the Oceanic Six on the boat just before they are about to be rescued. Jack and Penny are encouraging everyone to tell a fake story about the Oceanic 815 crash. Hurley is the lone dissenter. He doesn't want to lie, but is eventually convinced -- and we're given to understand that as the source of his mental instability back home. And that's something that he is able to finally able to exorcise by the end of the show when he tells his mom the truth about everything. And she, oddly enough, believes him.

Jen: I loved Hurley's mom in that scene. She has lacked faith in her son pretty much since we first met her ("Who is on the phone for you? Is it Jesus?") But she believed him when he really, really needed her to. (I also enjoyed his explanation of the Hatch: "We had to push a button every 108 minutes. I wasn't really clear on that part.")

But something important about that opening scene of hour two: At the end Hurley tells Sayid that one day, when he needs him to be there for him, he won't be because Sayid wouldn't back him up. I don't know if we've seen Hurley betray Sayid yet, but that seems inevitable, right?

Liz: It does -- though it seems he hasn't yet gotten to the point where he's ready to sell Sayid out. In fact, he spent much of last night's show trying to keep Sayid alive. Or, maybe it is just that he is choosing the lesser of two evils (in his mind): Sayid over Ben.

One more point: Hurley's capture by police throws one of the major monkey wrenches into Ben's effort to get the Oceanic 6 back to the island: he allows himself to be captured by the police in order to thwart Ben. Shall we move on?

Jen: Yes, but not until I point out one funny little musical nugget -- you know, because we love "Lost" music so much. I thought it was funny that mentally unstable Hurley, right after seeing Ana Lucia, runs into a gas station convenience store where the song "Dream Police" by Cheap Trick is playing. Perhaps a track for vol. of our "Lost" iMix?

Liz: Good idea. In any case, I'd bet that wresting Hurley from the clutches of 5-0 is something that will be with us through at least the first few months of the season.

Jen -- I'm wondering, do you think it gets cold on the island at night?

Jen: Well, one would think. I think I know where you're going with this...

Liz: Yes, right to Josh Holloway and his killer pecs. Sorry, but I'd just like to thank whoever saw to it that Sawyer remained shirtless throughout the entire first hour. And additionally made the good decision to have the character winking at us the entire time by continually asking for a shirt. Well played.

Jen: Actually, let's give some credit to Daniel Faraday for that one. This is how I know that dude is smart: He not only knows a great deal about time travel and electromagnetism and quantum physics, he is also intelligent enough to REFUSE to give Sawyer a shirt. That's just solid thinking on all levels. And I think that brings us to ... Saywer and Juliet.

Liz: Though one couldn't help but note that Daniel Faraday wouldn't give Sawyer the shirt off his back. Is that some kind of message about Faraday's true nature?

Sawyer & Juliet

Liz: Sawyer and Juliet played the role of us -- or new viewers -- I think, in the season opener. Sawyer, at least, was largely clueless and continually demanded explanations from those around him for what was unfolding. He gave Faraday an audience for his brainiac explanations.

And we, of course, see Sawyer's first introduction to the freighter folk -- which seems odd, but is indeed the first time he's come into contact with them. And we further find out that Sawyer is still carrying the torch for Kate and that Juliet may be experiencing some kind of transference of her affections from Jack to Sawyer. Can't she pick someone unattached?

Jen: And, of course, Sawyer busted out some solid nicknames: "Ghost of Christmas Future," calling Charlotte "Ginger."

Is Juliet already transferring her affections? I can understand why she would, but I wasn't sure she had already done so. I mean Jack just left 30 seconds ago... then 20 years later ... then the next day ... oh, all that time-shifting is so confusing.

Liz: Who would blame Juliet? After all, she's thinking at this point that they're never going to get off that island. Carpe diem and whatnot. Aside from all that, though -- Sawyer and Juliet didn't move the needle too much.

So maybe this is a good time to note that Bernard, Rose and Vincent also made innocuous appearances in the opener as well.

Jen: As did Neil Frogurt, everyone's favorite Lostie! Too bad he got lit on fire and burned to death after being in the episode for about 30 seconds.

Liz: I was so glad to see that arrow hit him. I was briefly concerned that he was the season 5 version of Nikki and Paolo.

Jen: Don't think so, since it looks like he may be in future episodes. Shall we move along to our penultimate pair, Sun and Kate?

Sun & Kate

Jen: I know Ben said destiny was a fickle bitch, but he could just as easily have been describing Sun post-island. Since Jin died, she has turned cold, hard and manipulative. And, apparently, murderous. She really wants Ben dead, doesn't she?

Liz: She does. She's almost blinded by her rage -- so blinded that she may in fact be working against herself, or so you posited to me in a very interesting theory. Care to share?

Jen: Thanks for that lovely segue into what I will call the JCJT -- the Jen Chaney Jin Theory. Now, some of this has been posited before, but for reasons that really weren't supported by the narrative. But allow me to explain:

In the very first scene of the season five premiere, we see Marvin Candle and his wife wake up to the sound of their baby crying. Now that woman is not identified, but she looks a heck of a lot like the woman who bribed Sun back in season three and said she is Jin's mom but "didn't give birth to him." If that is the same woman, I think it's fair to assume that the cooing little child in the opening scenes is, in fact, a little Jin!

Evidence to back that up: He was born in 1974, and the Willie Nelson record we hear is from '73, so around the same era. And it all just fits: If Jin was conceived and born on the island, it makes sense that he would "heal" and be able to conceive a child with Sun once he returned. And it also sets up a really interesting potential scenario for this season:

Sun wants to have Ben killed because she holds him responsible for Jin's death. (Along with Kate, Jack and the rest of the free world.) But MAYBE Ben really wants to preserve the island, in part, so that folks like Jin can stay alive there. And by enlisting Widmore to help her kill Ben, MAYBE Sun is actually putting her husband at greater risk by helping Widmore find the island. It all makes for a juicy, potentially heartbreaking little scenario.

*Note: Some of you may see the opening of the premiere and wonder if perhaps that little baby is our favorite sarcastic ghost whisperer, one Miles Straume, since he is also of Asian descent and seems to have a deep connection to the island. To which I say: That, too, is very possible. But I am sticking to the Jin theory for now, simply because the implications I outlined above are so tantalizing. I reserve the right to jump into the Miles Straume Camp at any time in the future, with no notice and without the written consent of "Dueling Analysis" readers.

Liz: But if we go with the Jin theory, that would mean Ben is -- ahem -- a good guy. Which I know is also another concept you've been trying to peddle here for two years.

Jen: Oh, not this again!

Liz: You're the one who brought it up. I just somehow doubt that Ben is motivated by a desire to keep Jin happy and alive.

Jen: I've said it before, I will say it again. He's a freaky, misguided, often evil little man, whose intentions are good. His means to achieving them are sometimes regrettable.

Liz: Especially since we know he killed all of the Dharma people in his youth -- including, we have to assume, the Candles.

Jen: Oh, he's killed many. And jeopardized the lives of even more. He's not Capt. America or anything. But I think the ends he wants to achieve may be good for our Losties, possibly. I could turn out to be dead wrong, but I'll keep saying it until something proves otherwise.

Also, Jacob is Locke. Sorry, have to say that once per analysis.

Liz: Moving right along... As for Kate, her motivations don't quite reach the complexity of Sun's. Aside from running away from a pair of lawyers looking to clarify her relationship to Aaron, we don't learn too much more about Kate in this first episode. She's still got a gun. She'll do anything to protect Aaron. She decides against calling Jack for help. Though she seems to be completely taken in by Sun's manipulation. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for her to tumble to the fact that she's being used to somehow help Sun thwart Ben Linus.

Also, speaking of tumbling -- I wonder how long Sun will be able to keep up this hard, merciless facade. It's really not her true nature.

Jen: No, it isn't. I think it will crumble when she realizes Jin is alive but her Widmore shenanigans have placed him in grave danger. Anyway, my head is starting to hurt. And that means it must be time to discuss time travel.

Liz: Yes, and our final two characters: Desmond and Daniel. That sounds like the name of some twee emo group.

Jen: Yes. Though I'd prefer to call them The Constants.

Liz: That would be their first album: "The Constant." First song: "Nosebleed."
Second song: "Brotha Man."

Desmond & Daniel

Liz: As pointed out by Jeff Jensen over at EW's Pop Watch blog a couple of weeks back, Faraday has emerged as a prime mover in this season's story line. He may be the only one, aside from Ben, who actually understands just how broken things are and how to fix them.

Jen: And apparently he was a Dharma employee himself, as we saw in that corker of an opener. Like Alpert, he doesn't seem to age. And, as you have mentioned to me, he may be trying to save his lady love in much the same way Desmond wanted to reach out to Penny.

Liz: Hmm, wait -- was Daniel a Dharma employee or merely disguised as one to get near the Frozen Donkey Wheel? I got it into my head that he had infiltrated in the hopes of somehow ensuring something did or didn't happen.

Jen: He could have been disguised as one, that's true. Let's just say that other Dharma-ites believed he was one. But he can't change the future or the past. I mean, he knows this better than anyone.

Liz: Right -- though he seems to have been very motivated by Charlotte and her foreboding nosebleed. I know the showrunners have said in the past that this show will not go there -- they will not be about changing the past/future -- but I don't know. I think that perhaps Daniel thinks he can do so -- or is willing to try in order to save Charlotte. Hence his decision to bang on the hatch door until the ghost of Desmond past emerges pointing a gun in his face.

Jen: I disagree on that, and for the reason you just stated. The writers have explicitly said that the time travel rules don't function "Back to the Future"-style. Faraday can't go to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and make sure the McFlys end up together. And I think they made a very clear point of having Faraday say that explicitly in the premiere, so people would understand what the rules are. (And Candle also says, in that petulant way of his, that "there are rules.")

I guess the question is whether those rules go out the window once the donkey wheel turns.

Liz: Good point -- or if the point is that although Faraday knows the rules he is trying to buck them anyway.

Jen: Could be. Or door number three: That if Desmond is his Constant and "special," as Faraday says, then the rules don't apply to him. In fact, didn't Daniel say the rules don't apply to Desmond, in pretty much those words?

That might explain why Des could open the hatch door and see Daniel even though they technically have never met. But also have, since they spoke at Oxford before. See, this is where my brain starts to hurt even more...

Liz: I was just thinking about Ben's effort to save the island and what now seems like Faraday's effort to save the island, which both seemed to be moving along separate tracks throughout the premiere -- Ben working to reunite the Oceanic 6 and Faraday trying to reach across time to get Desmond to make contact with his (Faraday's) mother. But, of course, that theory was all shot to hell when we found Ben calmly talking to Faraday's mother -- who turns out to be none other than Ms. Hawking -- at the close of the show. So, could it be that Faraday and Ben are on the same team?

And, I'm sorry -- but I think the cloak was a bit over the top. That combined with the medieval setting were a little Harry Potter-ish.

Jen: Yes, it was. But I loved, loved that Ms. Hawking came back. She might have seemed like a toss-away character from one season three episode. But nope, turns out she's a little more important than that. Exactly how or why, though, remains to be seen. And why does she only give Ben 70 -- it was 70, right? -- hours to get his Oceanic you-know-what together?

Liz: My assumption is that she and Ben are working together to pinpoint the island in time and plan a precise return for the Oceanic 6. And perhaps the only window of opportunity is 70 hours hence

Which makes me additionally wonder: Will this season of "Lost" take place within the confines of that 70 hour limit -- allowing for flashes back and forward, of course.

Jen: That would seem like a logical narrative structure to me.

Liz: As long as I don't have to read "A Brief History of Time" again. Or, umm, for the first time.

Jen: I knew I missed the show, but you don't realize how much until it starts again. It's like an old friend ... an old friend that confuses the hell out of you and makes too many references to literature and scientific theory, but a cherished, wonderful old friend nonetheless.

Liz: Absolutely agreed. I was immediately sucked back into the vortex and again impressed by how much better this show is than other shows in the same sci-fi-ish genre (I'm talking to you "Fringe.")

Welcome back everyone.

Next Week on "Lost": Desmond goes in search of a woman who could be the key to helping Faraday stop the island's erratic movements through time, and Locke discovers the identity of the unknown forces who have been attacking the survivors.

The 'Lost' Hour: Join us at 3 p.m. ET to discuss last night's season premiere.

Hungry for more? 'Lost' Central

By Liz Kelly  | January 22, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Next: Morning Mix: 'Sex and the City' Sequel On; Clooney Reportedly Returning for 'ER' Finale


Death by dishwasher! I sat up straight and added a "h3lls-yeah!"

Posted by: CentreOfNowhere1 | January 22, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Favorite line of the show via Hurley to Sayid, "Maybe if you ate more comfort food you wouldn't have to go around killing people."

Posted by: Osteph | January 22, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

What a great week! First, the Inauguration, then the two-hour season premiere of "Lost", and now the Jen/Liz run-down on all things "Lost."

"I woke up this morning
Feeling brand new
'Cause the dreams that I've been dreaming
Have finally came true

It's a new day
It's a new day
It's a new day
It's a new day
It's a new day"

Welcome back, Ladies!

(With apologies to Wil.I.AM)

Posted by: pfallsgirl | January 22, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Note to the non-"Losties" out there -- the Morning Mix will be posted shortly. Stay tuned!

Posted by: Liz Kelly | January 22, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Two questions: Why would only the Losties be going back in time but the Others don't. They seem to be interacting with the Others at different points in time but the Others themselves are not moving since they don't recognize the Losties. Also, if the Island is moving in time why would it disappear to the people on the helicopter. Wouldn't it still have been there even if it was a different time?

Posted by: buffysummers | January 22, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

i liked the comfort food line, too, along with "I need a cool code name."

How do we know that Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mom? I missed that part. I liked the robe thing, witht he focault pendulum swinging in the scene. I really like Fionnula Flanagan, so I'm definitely glad to see her back?

Posted by: eet7e | January 22, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

"back." not "back?"

Posted by: eet7e | January 22, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Wait, if Ms. Hawking is Daniel's mother, is she at Oxford or in L.A., where I thought Ben was? If she's in Oxford, how did Ben get there so quickly? (Props to all the "Golden Compass" references last night, by the way.)

Posted by: paujwill | January 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

If you were a casual Lost viewer before last night I think that it is pretty safe to say that you won't be back for the remaining episodes. I consider myself pretty engaged in the series and I just don't know if I am ready, after a long week at work, to spend hours each week trying to figure out a televised Mensa test.

However, I did like the introduction and death of Neil Frogurt which tied up some loose ends.

Posted by: skipper7 | January 22, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

paujwill- please elaborate on the Golden Compass references...

I also missed that Hawking is Daniel's mother. Totally missed it.

Posted by: masterL | January 22, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it was mentioned in the show that she was Faraday's mom, I think that's just our collective guess & a good one at that. It just seems to be the consensus.

Posted by: wadejg | January 22, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Loved last night's episode(s), but I have two beefs with ABC:

1) Stop the commercials every 8-10 minutes. Just stop. Have longer breaks every 15 or something. It's getting annoying.

2) I can't be more clear on this: Stop ... listing ... the .... ENTIRE ... cast.

I have spent the past several months avoiding all trailers and spoilers - I really want to enjoy the "Oh !@#$%^&*!" moments. So I was extremely annoyed to look at the TV Guide online yesterday to confirm the time, and to have the little pop-up window list "Ana-Lucia: Michelle Rodriguez" in the cast spot. Or, even though I was trying to block out the cast at the beginning, to see William Mapother's name, so I knew we'd be seeing Ethan. (I must have managed to block Fionnula Flanagan, 'cause that totally floored me.)

I am sure - since the Joss Whedon shows did it more than once - that there's probably a loophole in the contract that says you can still get "top of show credits", by featuring special, highlighted cast credits at the *end* f the show, hence not ruining big casting surprises of recurrent characters.

And yes - I realize Daniel asked Desmond to meet his mother in Oxford, but I didn't make that leap either.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 22, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I wholeheartedly agree about Disney ABC and their commercial breaks. I think that in the last half hour of the second epi the commercial breaks were coming every five minutes and lasting for at least three. I've got it DVR'd and will time it out today. And thanks to the magic of DVR, my plan for the rest of the season is to wait until the episodes to watch it, so I can skip through. Sorry, ABC. I know you were trying to do right by your shareholders but I'm going to timeshift right through your revenue stream. (BTW, I stopped watching "24" because, after timing out content vs. commercials in the second episode in the first season, I realized that I was getting only "16". I hate getting short-changed time-wise.)

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 22, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, meant to say "until the episode's I can skip through the commercials."

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 22, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

buffysummers wrote: "Two questions: Why would only the Losties be going back in time but the Others don't. They seem to be interacting with the Others at different points in time but the Others themselves are not moving since they don't recognize the Losties."

My theory is that the island and the Others are connected but the Losties are not connected to the island. When the island moves, so do the others. The Other's timeline is normal, meaning they do not see the island actually shifting in time as the Losties do. I believe this is due to the island, and the Others coming from the future. As an analogy, imagine the island is a roller coaster. The others are in the coaster's seats. The Losties are on the tracks and the coaster goes past them now and then, they interact with the coaster and Others for a while, then the coaster moves on and they run into the coaster again at a different part of the track. Okay, not so great an analogy, but you get the idea.

buffysummers wrote: "Also, if the Island is moving in time why would it disappear to the people on the helicopter. Wouldn't it still have been there even if it was a different time?"

Good question. Here's my theory: The island itself is not moving but the time of its existence is moving. One idea is that the ship the Black Rock was in the water when the island moved to its spacetime, placing the Black Rock from the ocean onto the island. Can't wait to see that happen.

There was an important clue (given multiple times) last night when Faraday told Sawyer that you cannot change the past and even though they were in the past anything they tried to change would "not work". I think this is important since the Others keep saying they are saving the world. I think they are by continually trying to alter a worldwide disaster, and destiny keeps trying to right itself, so their job is one that must go on forever.

Best line: Hurley's comfort food line to Sayid.

Best setting: the lab with the pendulum.

Best scene: Neil getting hit by a flaming arrow as he screams that we can't even make fire! It was also satisfying since Neil was really getting on my nerves.

As for Faraday's mother, I doubt it is Hawking, because she is not in Oxford, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were somehow true. I'm betting Faraday's mom (Ms. Faraday) is a new character who is working for Widmore, thus how Faraday got on the freighter's mission. But I think Faraday is not evil and will end up saving the day. I also think Charlotte's days are numbered.

Okay, this is getting too long but one last thought. If the Losties are moving through time and are subject to the time shifting brain explosion syndrome if you do not have a constant (as seems to be happening to Charlotte), and Desmond is Faraday's constant, and Desmond is off the island with Penny, how will Faraday survive without Desmond, or will Desmond come back to the island and save Faraday?

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 22, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I didn't really see a whole lot of "Golden Compass" references either, except for the actually golden compass that Alpert gives to Locke - which is the same one we see on the table of things that Alpert presents to wee-Locke to identify.
Although, when Daniel pulled out the gold-toned contraption from his bag last night, I did wonder if it was related to Lyra's aletiometer.
I was definitely surprised that Hurley's mom believed him, yet, who could make that s*** up?

Posted by: eet7e | January 22, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I will keep my comments brief:
1. Jin's mother said, something like "just because I gave birth to him doens't mean I'm his mother." Anyway, your theory is still possible.
2. Ben is a probably virgin; this is why he is so OCD about the island, but also very inappropriate/immature around all women.
3. Locke took the spider venom that Nikki gave Paolo.
4. Charlotte is Annie.
5. Ben and Widmore also talked alot about rules in their bedroom encounter.
6. Why can't Daniel just give Charlotte a constant to stop her nosebleeds.

Posted by: happy_looker | January 22, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Was it just me, or did Sawyer look like he let himself go during the off season? He had some love-handles going on.

Posted by: sleepypirate | January 22, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Ugh. "Acutal." Obviously need coffee.

Bevjims, good thought on the connection to the Island, but hasn't it been said that Locke has a "connection to the Island?" I have the same question about the Losties moving, but the Others seeming to stay in one time. I'm guessing that the Others were there for a previous turn of the donkey wheel (loved it where they showed the scan of it buried in the rock). My own opinion is that Widmore is probably a previous turner of the wheel and was cast off the island, triggering his voracious quest to get back.

Posted by: eet7e | January 22, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

sleepypirate, yes i was expecting more definition. afterall, he just swam several miles after jumping out of a helicopter!

my question--weren't there losties who joined the others? are they now sailing through time or have they fully joined the others and are on their time table. remember the flight attendant and the children?

Posted by: mannc | January 22, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse


On 2 and 4:

Goodwin's wife Harper pointed out to Juliet that "she looked just like her" - it's been generally assumed Harper was talking about Annie (the only woman we've ever seen Ben be affectionate with).

While both Elizabeth Mitchell and Rebecca Mader are beautiful women, I don't look at one and see the other ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 22, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Widmore was the Captain of the Black Rock.

Posted by: jes11 | January 22, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

mannc: Good question about the Losties who are with the Others. No clue, maybe an oversight by the writers.

jes11: I agree, Widmore was the Black Rock captain.

Just had a thought... Charlotte is about to nosebleed to death because she does not have a Constant. But if she is really Annie, then its possible that Ben is her Constant and when Ben and the O6 return Charlotte will be saved as Desmond was saved when he spoke to Penny. Remember, according to Hawking they have 70 hours to get back to the island so not that much time to hold a nosebleed.

One other thought. If Faraday is correct, that Desmond is somehow separate from all of this, then it points to Desmond as being an Other, or the unknowing son-of-an-Other. Maybe this is why Widmore dislikes him so much. Desmond is Australian. Wasn't there a couple who lived in Australia that Hurley went to see in the 2md episode to get an explanation about the numbers, but found that the husband had died? Maybe Desmond is their son, the son of an Other who had left the island and is therefore "special".

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 22, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Desmond is not Australian, he's Scottish, brutha.

Posted by: cf07 | January 22, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I was just assuming that Charlotte's nosebleed was a reference to the nosebleed of the WorkMan ghost that Locke ran into earlier, implying that Charlotte was dead at some point on the timeline. But that doesn't jibe with the what happens can't be undone thing.

Posted by: HardyW | January 22, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@bevjims1: also, the australian guy was an operator at a code listening station, wasn't he? his wife explains that one night he heard the numbers coming in over the radio. so, the australian wasn't an Other.

Posted by: konflikt | January 22, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I stand corrected cf07. Maybe Hawking is Desmond's mutha, or Faraday's mom is also Desmond's mom making Faraday his brutha. Ok, now *my* head is hurting...

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 22, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

My theories:

1. Charles Widmore WAS the leader of the others, but like Ben was forced to turn The Wheel and so was banished from the island, as well as usurped by Ben as leader of the Others (remember, in the bedroom scene he accuses Ben of taking everything from him). So Charles is to Ben as Ben is to Locke.

2. The island is experiencing the same time shifting problem as Des last season, and needs a constant to stabilize (perhaps the Oceanic 6?).

Posted by: PQSully | January 22, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone notice that the mysterious box Ben kid in the motel room heat/ac vent was about the size and shape of something that might hold Daniel Faraday's weird gizmo?

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 22, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I buy the idea that Charlotte Staples Lewis, born in Essex, England, is Annie. That seemed to be everyone's first thought when Charlotte started talking about where she born, but it doesn't really fit with a lot of details.

Also, btw, it makes way more sense that Harper Stanhope was referring to Emily Linus, Ben's mother, when she told Juliet that she "look[s] just like her." I believe the PTB acknowledged as much on a commentary track or DVD extra somewhere, IIRC.

Posted by: jcrhoo | January 22, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

From Lostpedia's entry on Annie:

On the DVD commentary track for "The Man Behind the Curtain" Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse describe Annie and Alexandra as the two most significant women in Ben's life. Annie is described as a character that is going to play a "huge part" in upcoming storylines: "Annie is going to prove to be very significant in Ben's life," and that even the island's volcano will be "slightly less important than Annie, but still seismic."

I recognize his mother was also a slender blonde, but I think Annie is more important in the long run.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 22, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?"

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 22, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Hawking is not Desmond's mother. She sold him Penny's ring in a jewelry store. If she were his mother, it would've been made obvious in that episode.

Posted by: dbs3p | January 22, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

We know Hawking isn't Desmond's mother. We think she might be Daniel's mother.

Posted by: jcrhoo | January 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I've only gotten through part of your banter (a good term, btw), and after having watched Lost last night I'm more confused than ever. A couple of quick notes, tho:

1. You say "Ben has killed lots of people." Is that true, or has he had others do it for him?
2. Time travel: The movie 'Back to the Future' isn't the definitive time-travel conundrum. See Star Trek: The Next Generation for that one. And I'm pretty sure the writers of Lost have studied that show, and improved greatly on it.
3. What happens at the end of the last season? Here's my prediction: there is no island. Never was, never will be. And Flight 815 lands safely in Los Angeles.

Just a thought or two. See you at 3.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | January 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have thoughts on the numbers? There were a lot of flashes to various numbers throughout the episode. One that sticks in my mind was the number I think 342 when Ben took a ticket at the butcher shop. There were others that escape me at the moment.

Also, I think the medieval setting, pendulum, and crazy monk robe Ms. Hawking was wearing suggest that maybe a people (or secret society like from the DaVinci Code) has existed for a very long time with knowledge of the island and have been working to protect its secrets/keep it safe/save the world/blah blah blah

Posted by: BPal | January 22, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@Chas -- I agree that the rest of Annie's story is significant. She might be Charlotte. I'm betting not. Who knows?

Posted by: jcrhoo | January 22, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Awesome episodes and glad to see they are moving the story forward much faster than before.

I am amazed at the ability some people have to reference a relatively benign point in season one about Locke losing the use of his leg. Rather, it was benign at the time.

I love the idea of Jin being the baby born to the Candle's. I initially thought it was Miles, but Jin makes sense.

My favorite character by far is Faraday. He reminds me of a modern day Doc Brown from Back to the Future sans the white crazy hair!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 22, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

jhusson1 wrote: '"Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?"'

Yea, another great line. But I've been wondering about Hurley's parents. When we look back on other Lostie parents, some have a connection to the island. I'm wondering of Hurley's mom knows about the island. A "dead Pakistani" did not seem to bother her much, and she believed Hurley's story of what happened on the island as crazy as it seemed. Maybe it was more than a mother's love for believing him.

Another thought: The more I see of the Dharma people the more I believe they were trying to create an Orwellian society. The uniforms, Ben's dad being "assigned" the janitor job he did not want, the continual covert spying/testing. Maybe this was what the Others are trying to save the world from. After all, Marvin Candle seemed to know what the image of the donkey wheel was and the power of the island. I'm guessing he and many of the Dharma people are from the same place as the Others. Right now I'm, guessing it is the future, an Orwellian future the Others keep working to prevent and destiny continues to fix.

Oh, and I like Jen's idea that Marvin Candle's baby is Jin. Nice analysis.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 22, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

3. What happens at the end of the last season? Here's my prediction: there is no island. Never was, never will be. And Flight 815 lands safely in Los Angeles.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | January 22, 2009 1:01 PM

Would this be a 'dream' theory? Because I'm pretty sure they've promised it won't be that. Or is it a 'somehow they fix everything in the past & actually do manage to change everyone's history/future' theory? If it's the 2nd one does that mean Nikki & Paolo will be back? *shudder*

Posted by: jes11 | January 22, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I think that the leader of the Brits who are firing flaming arrrows is Widmore, ~25 years ago. Thoughts?

Posted by: chadlow22 | January 22, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Follow-up on commercials: this is rough, but I estimate "The Lie" had 37 minutes of content over 6 "content breaks", with five commercial breaks averaging 4 mins. each. That's not a lot of "Lost". If the writers are trying to write an hour-long drama around nearly half an hour of commercials it's going to wreak havoc on their story telling. And it's going to make for some very skimpy DVDs.

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 22, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Chadlow - Dang, I thought the same thing when I heard one of them speak with a British accent! Nice call!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 22, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Great exchange:

Alpert: 'I need to give you something..'
Locke: 'What is it..'
Alpert: 'Its a compass'
Locke" 'What does it do?'
Alpert: 'It points north.'

Posted by: csh1 | January 22, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

jes11: I'm laughing out loud. Cool points.

My theory is not the dream theory, but rather everything gets 'fixed' and the passengers wake up on final approach to LAX and says "Woah~! Now that was a cool dream..."

And, btw, I do believe we can change the future (Obama~!), as well as the past (everyone has different memories of the same event).

And, unlike they said in the show last night - there is always the present. And that allows us to look forward in hope and backwards in love. Yeah, yeah - sappy words, I know, but Zen.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | January 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

All's right with the world; LOST is back.

Another vote for this as the favorite line:
"Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?"

I haven't read The Golden Compass so I hate that I'm missing those references.

To all of you who write in your analyses - Thank You!

Posted by: mat00 | January 22, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

bevjims1 - thanks for the roller-coaster analogy, that helps me understand it much better.

"Golden Compass" -- I love those books, so I'm probably reading too much into it, but there was the actual compass, as noted, plus all the talk of going to Oxford to get answers/help in returning home (more of a "Subtle Knife" thing, so maybe I should have said "all the 'His Dark Materials' references.")

Now, if it only turns out that the polar bears can talk...

Posted by: paujwill | January 22, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So the island is swinging, pendulum-like, back and forth in time. Why does it leave the Losties behind, but take the Others along for the ride? Is it because the Losties’ bodily molecules are not yet attuned to the islands special frequency? But then, Juliet seems to be in synch with the Losties, so maybe it’s a willful discrimination on the island’s part.

Posted by: csteiger | January 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"And we, of course, see Sawyer's first introduction to the freighter folk -- which seems odd, but is indeed the first time he's come into contact with them".
Not quite!
Daniel is the only one of the freighter folk that Sawyer hadn't met yet. Sawyer was with Locke when they captured Charlotte on the way to new Otherton; Miles then accompanied Sayid to N.O. to retrieve Charlotte; Miles and Sawyer were then together on the trip back to the beach with Aaron and the now-missing Claire .
Sawyer of course met Lapidus when Lapidus was cuffed to the helicopter.

Posted by: Magisis | January 22, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Did I completely hear it wrong when Ben was lighting those candles in that room, and the lady came up...I could have SWORE he said something like 'nice to see you again Mrs. LOCKE'.

Maybe I'll have to go back on the DVR and watch again...

Posted by: luu00 | January 22, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Jen and Liz, we say this each week but "Thank you again for your analysis"
As for me my mind was a little sore after last night and the festivities of the day prior. However a few thoughts:

1) Hawking may be Faraday's Mom, but I don't have faith in that. It was too easy of a set up and purposeful by the writers to lead us to think that by putting the scenes in the same ep.

2) jhusson1- excellent catch on that "box" Ben was hiding...I was thinking the same thing

Lastly a few "did you see that moments"
1) Cheech was watching Expose!
2) Did the girl in the mini mart look "a little" (just a bit) like Alex?
3) not at all shocked that Dr. Candle/Halliwax/Wickinstien was "staging" those orientation films.

Posted by: deltaxi | January 22, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Faraday said that time is like a street...we can move forward and backward but we can't take a new street. He said that what happens has always happened (with the possible exception of Desmond). If his explanation is true, then the island always disappeared at that exact moment in time and space. But in order to disappear from that point, it must first exist at that point which implies it existed at that point in the past.

We know that the White Flash has physically displaced the on-island Losties (as opposed to just moving their consciousness as happened to Desmond and the rat in Faraday's lab) and while they are physically jumping to different points in the island's history, there is no evidence to suggest that island has physically moved to a new location.

Perhaps the island exists in its own pocket of time and its existence is like that of an always exists at all possible points within its orbit and only acquires a specific location in time and space when it is observed by an outside actor. If the Losties are the outside actors (as in, conscious minds created outside the island's time/space bubble) then their connections to the primary time/space continuum act as an anchor making the island stable and therefore accessible.

If the white flash is like a metaphysical shrug that disturbs the perceptions of anyone who is not part of islands fundamental substance (meaning the Others, being native to the island are unaffected), then the island itself would cease to have a specific location until such time as those perceptions were reattached to the larger space/time continuum.

Once disturbed, the Losties on the island need a constant to anchor themselves, they need a reference point that they can use to reattach their personal timelines, and as the Oceanic Six were off-island when it vanished, their return would allow the on-island Losties to reassert their perceptions of time and the island would be locked into existence at the point in the space/time continuum when the group was reunited. If true, this would mean that the island doesn't actually disappear, its still there but access to the island (which would include light, sound and other sensory information) has been disrupted. Access will reappear at some point in history and access points probably leapfrog throughout time whenever the wheel is turned.

At some point, the wheel was/is/will be turned and access to the island will reappear at the point when the Losties crashed, but that doesn't mean that it has to reappear at this point after this shift.

If the island exists in a bubble outside the regular time/space continuum, then everything that is part of the island (like the Others) are unaffected by regular time (hence the no aging). 

As for who built the wheel and the four toed statue? The most likely answer is some sort of extra dimensional beings but I really hope it wasn't crystal skulled aliens.

Posted by: Mattock | January 22, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Matt, Where were you when I was dragged to see the latest Indy movie???

Interesting descriptive device using the electron.

Posted by: deltaxi | January 22, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

BTW: I noticed over at Dark UFO a screengrab of Lupdis getting a beer from the fridge on Penny's boat ( . He's grabbing a Jekyll Island Beer. Other then the island in Georgia, anybody know the significance?

Oh and the skim milk on the bottom of the fridge is from Safeway/Vons.

Posted by: deltaxi | January 22, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

As for commercial time: I've recorded all the episodes on a DVR and edited them on a DVD recorder to bleep the extraneous stuff. They come out right around 40 to 42 minutes of program.

Posted by: thrh | January 22, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Who were the British military soldiers that captured Juliet and Sawyer at the end that Locke killed? They looked like WWII era uniforms but I wasn't sure. They said that this was there island. Are those the original hostiles or pre-Dharma?

Also maybe the crash of flight 815 wasn't a fake. If the island is moving in space-time then maybe something changes that makes the island move away right before the crash and the plane just falls into the Ocean.

Posted by: the_lee_dc | January 22, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

One more "what was that". did anybody notice that the two camera crew members filming Candle, didn't have the standard Dharma jumpsuits on?

The screengrab at DarkUFO ( shows that their suits are tan like everybody else but they don't have their name/position on the lower right pocket. You can see Erik/Construction on the guy who comes to get the Doctor and we already know about "Rodger/Workman"

Posted by: deltaxi | January 22, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The only question that didn't get answered or hinted at last night for me was about where Charlotte was born. She must think she was born on the island or that someone on the island will be able to tell her about where she was born. That's the last little nugget that didn't get any kind of satisfaction from last night's show. Otherwise, it was SUPER!!!

Posted by: flutterbyjen | January 22, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

didn't you love how Neil Frogurt was wearing a red sweater?

Posted by: apfromal | January 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

how was it determined that Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mother? I haven't seen that anywhere else, but here it was stated as a fact ... did they say that in the show last night?

Posted by: flutterbyjen | January 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

This was a great premiere episode, although I think I would have been just as happy had they divided it over 2 nights. The first hour was one of the best things I've seen on TV for a looooong time.

I second the comment about Sawyer - not quite as ab-tastic as we've come to expect, but the actor is probably laying around Hawaii sipping coconut-based beverages, so who can blame him? I'd be doing the same thing.

Also, what was up with the song that was playing while Marvin Candle was getting ready? Last few seasons have started with a record playing & usually the song has some meaning (e.g. when we were introduced to Desmond it was "Make Your Own Kind of Music" -- which seems even more fitting now).

Re: Desmond/Mrs. Hawking/Faraday's Mom
Don't forget that Desmond, personally, has done a fair bit of time shifting. So between he & Faraday, all bets are off as to what they know & where they are at time-wise. But Desmond did go to Oxford at one point to find Faraday during his time shifts in a prior episode... not sure what Farday meant by finding his mother? Did Desmond go to find his mother & actually speak to Faraday?

I think people think that Ms. Hawking is Daniel's mother because last time we saw her she was in London (close to Oxford), plus her activites in the scene before Ben entered made her seem like she had some physics training. Old lady + english accent + physics skillz = Faraday's physicist mother?

Posted by: allison777 | January 22, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

This was a great premiere episode, although I think I would have been just as happy had they divided it over 2 nights. The first hour was one of the best things I've seen on TV for a looooong time.

I second the comment about Sawyer - not quite as ab-tastic as we've come to expect, but the actor is probably laying around Hawaii sipping coconut-based beverages, so who can blame him? I'd be doing the same thing.

Also, what was up with the song that was playing while Marvin Candle was getting ready? Last few seasons have started with a record playing & usually the song has some meaning (e.g. when we were introduced to Desmond it was "Make Your Own Kind of Music" -- which seems even more fitting now).

Re: Desmond/Mrs. Hawking/Faraday's Mom
Don't forget that Desmond, personally, has done a fair bit of time shifting. So between he & Faraday, all bets are off as to what they know & where they are at time-wise. But Desmond did go to Oxford at one point to find Faraday during his time shifts in a prior episode... not sure what Farday meant by finding his mother? Did Desmond go to find his mother & actually speak to Faraday?

I think people think that Ms. Hawking is Daniel's mother because last time we saw her she was in London (close to Oxford), plus her activites in the scene before Ben entered made her seem like she had some physics training. Old lady + english accent + physics skillz = Faraday's physicist mother?

Posted by: allison777 | January 22, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Very glad to see that Vincent is still okay. Always looking out for my canine friend!

Posted by: liz33 | January 22, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The ending of Lost will be an homage to St. Elsewhere -- we will learn that the entire show has occured in Hurley's mind -- he made up everything in his phase as a mental patient.

Posted by: RBCrook | January 22, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

My biggest question from the season opener is why did Sayid tell Hurley to do the opposite of what Ben says? At the end of last season Sayid was working as an assassin for Ben. This season, however, Sayid and Ben seem to have drifted apart. First, there is Sayid's warning to Hurley. Also, tho, Ben seems very interested when Jack calls from the hospital to tell Ben Sayid has just been brought there. It appears that Ben had not known of Sayid's location until that phone call. Anyone want to weigh in on why Ben and Sayid seem alienated in the opener (even though Sayid is still killing presumably Widmore's men)? I'd appreciate the insight.
- Harry Merkin

Posted by: MrMerkin | January 22, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Faraday appearance at the Frozen Donkey Wheel in the beginning of the opener. I don't think he was a Dharma employee. If he had been Sawyer wouldn't have had to show him where the hatch was. He should have known where all the stations were.
With the island skipping about time, isn't it possible it jumped back to the period of the Dharma construction. Faraday realized "when" they were and took the opportunity to examine the wheel in hopes of bringing the island to rest in the proper time.

Posted by: carolfeather | January 22, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember Nestor Carbonell (Richard Albert) as Batmanuel on The Tick in 2001?

Posted by: dush3 | January 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I think you might be right, but I think the more likely possibility is that Widmore was building Dharma and Widmore had Faraday there due to his time travel expertise. In other words, that was Faraday in real time.

The question is whether he is still working for Widmore or is he, like many scientists, working for the science. I think, in the end, Faraday is a good guy using Widmore to get closer to the island so he can study it, so I see him acting in a good way. The question is, what is good and what is evil in this show. I wouldn't be surprised if Widmore was evil and Ben good, or visa versa.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 23, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Hurley: It'll all make sense.

Mom: It BETTER !!

As for Sawyer's love handles - the thing is that they practically had eight million close ups so we wouldn't miss it. Maybe it's another indicator that he is in a different time now.

There, got the superficial stuff out of the way. Man I'm glad the show is back. And all of you guys too. Missed ya.

Posted by: camis | January 23, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Ben shot Charlotte in the chest in season 4. Seems like he would be a little more kind if she was his childhood sweetheart, no?

Posted by: Joe_in_Raleigh | January 23, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Hello. I think it was a really nice start for the season. A few thoughts, observations, and questions:

1) At the very beginning of the first episode, when Mr. Candle is shown to be about to enter the building where the filming of the instruction movie for "The Arrow" station is about to be made, I think I see Ben standing in front of it, perhaps with something to do with cleaning equipment. I couldn't see clearly enough, though. Moreover, what do we know about the Arrow station?

2) At the very end of the second episode, when Ms. Hawkins is writing on the blackboard and doing something on the monitor, I get the impression that the monitor is of the same time epoc as the equipment used in the Dahrma stations. I suspect that it is not easy to come by with one of those monitors nowadays. Maybe this is too silly, but could it be that the sequence does not take place in LA, at the meat store, but rather in another place, perhaps the island?

3) I'm very ignorant on the subject, but I think the drawings that are shown (the straight lines that are drawn all crossing through at a point) are the type of drawings on maps in exploration ships in olden times, certainly before the 20th century.

4) In the brief explanation that Richard Alpert gives to Mr. Locke, I think he says that it is Locke (and I guess the rest of the people from the plane) are the ones that are moving through time. Does that mean that the island doesn't move in time, so it is always where it was? Wouldn't that imply that the island was never in the present time (and that is why it could not be found)? Perhaps when Ben moved the wheel just the people began moving in time.

5) I don't understand what distinguishes the people that move in time? It cannot be the plane people only, because Juliette was an "other", and Daniel, Charlotte, and Miles are boat people. Perhaps the only ones that are not moving in time are some type of "others", maybe the "original" ones (hostiles, perhaps)?

6) Finally, a question not about the new episodes. Last week I re-watched the last episode of the previous season, when Claire's mother tells Jack her relation with his father, and that his sister was in the plane, etc. Do we know if Kate knows about this, that Jack told her that he is Aaron's uncle?


Posted by: for33 | January 24, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Thought the show was great if a bit on the sensory overload side. However, that was corrected by watching it again on DVR in slo-mo as needed. It's great to have it back.


1. I believe the guys who attacked Sawyer and Juliet are original black rock sailors because of their British accents. I also believe that Widmore was the captain of the Black Rock who had to move the island in the past and was expelled much as ben has been. Widmore has been trying to get back again ever since. None of the three who made the attack could have been a young Widmore because they all seemed to be dead at the end of the counterattack by Locke and we know Widmore is alive off island.

2. Ben is working with an unknown group off island which includes Mrs. Hawking, the meatshop lady and someone that Ben and the meatshop lady refer to. What their overall association or purpose isn't known yet. Remember though that some of the Others (not the hostiles) were able to go back and forth from the island in season 3 including the bearded dude (forgetting his name now and Ben of course). Why Ben and Widmore can't get back to the island isn't clear/known when those other others could.

3. I don't think Mrs. Hawking is Faraday's mom unless Ben can teleport himself around the world (which maybe he can). Ben was in LA with Jack; Faraday's mom is supposed to be in Oxford. I'm assuming Mrs. H is in LA along with meatshop lady.

4. I believe that Marvin Candle's son is Miles. I didn't actually understand Liz/Jen's theory about Jin being born on the island to Candle. Remember, as far as we know only Claire's baby has been born on the island. We don't know that Candel's baby was born on the island. we don't know tha Annie was born on the island. Or do we? Anyway, Miles being Candle's baby explains why he wanted to get to the island (to find out about his past?). Being a baby on the island might explain how he got his ability to speak to the dead?

5. I think that Charlotte will turn out to be Annie. I think we will find out that Ben shot her either not knowing she was Annie or that he knew she was wearing a bullet proof vest. Ben needs to get back to the island because he is Annie's constant. Or vice versa.

6. I think during one of the upcoming time shifting episods we might see the French lady when she and her crew first arrive on the island. Only the French lady survives with her baby (Alex). At first I thought the guys who attacked Sawyer and Juliet might have been on her ship until they spoke with British accents.

7. Sawyer definitely has love handles now.

8. I can't figure out why Juliet is timeshifting with the rest of the losties. She was a member of New Otherton though she came to the island after many of them did. Shouldn't she be in the same category as Ethan? ie., a New Otherton resident who doesn't timeshift?

Sure am glad to have this show back on the air. Keep up the great posting.

GW Bush

Posted by: dojemc | January 26, 2009 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Forgive the randomness of my comments; I've been thinking a lot!

Island at its core is NOT an island; it is Jacob, its own entity. This explains the frozen center. Jacob has become stuck and is continually looking for a true ally to help it become unstuck.

The features of an island have built up over time as sediment, seeds, ships are magnetically drawn to it.
As people over the centuries have been stranded on the island, Jacob has chosen individuals that he hopes will ultimately “help me,” but is always disappointed as the chosen ones and other people interpret Jacob through their own experience—religious, naturalistic, or scientific. The result: people through the centuries attempt to control the power of the island/Jacob. For example, the Black Rock people relocate their capstan to what ultimately becomes the Orchid station in order to harness the island’s moving properties; the Dharma initiative recognizes the space/time implications and tries to quantify and control the island/Jacob through the Dharma stations and various experiments (for example, pressing the button to control the electromagnetic power of the island); the “Others” are perhaps the remnants of survivors through the centuries who have come to view the island/Jacob as a god-like force, granting immortality to the good, destroying the bad, and to be selfishly protected from the outside world.

In fact, the island/Jacob is not a moral force; the apparent moral judgments it makes on the individuals on the island are part of its process of judging whether each individual may be able to pay a role in ultimately “helping me.”

In summary, no one—not Ben, not Widmore—really understands the true nature of the island/Jacob. Jacob is hoping that Locke is finally truly The One who will and who will save it.

Widmore/Dharma find the island and try to manipulate it for their own purposes. When the purge takes place and Ben is in charge, Widmore is either off island or turns the wheel to move the island and thus is off island. This happened about 20 years ago, the amount of time Widmore’s been looking for the island. After the defeat of Dharma, the Others or Hostiles adopt Dharma’s technology and find for the first time a way to travel between the island and the real world—as long as the island is in that same location.

The commandos who attached Sawyer and Juliette: they were not wearing Dharma uniforms. Could they be part of Rousseau’s group?

All of Ben’s cohorts off island and indeed Widmore himself are tied to the island. Their fates are bound to the island. Thus, if the island “dies,” so do they.

Posted by: PQSully | January 26, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I kind of really like the theory that Mrs. Hawking is a member of a society that keeps the island safe...kind of like a Knights Templar with Davinci Code stuff. It would make sense, seeing how there is a struggle between people who want to capitalize on the island (I believe Widmore and also Dharma) and there are those who are there to protect its secrets (Others and this society off the island - perhaps also Others in their own right).

It will be interesting to see how many people out in the real world are connected to the island and Ben and help out for the cause...

Posted by: Ohyouknow | January 26, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Joe_in_Raleigh wrote: "Ben shot Charlotte in the chest in season 4. Seems like he would be a little more kind if she was his childhood sweetheart, no?"

Well, Ben killed the entire Dharma community with poison gas, made sure to watch closely as his father suffered the effects of the gas, shot Locke point blank and has a hit-list he prepares for Sayid. Shooting just one bullet into a long lost love seems about right for Ben.

But I don't think Charlotte is Annie. Neither Ben nor Charlotte seem to recognize the other plus Charlotte seems at least 10 years younger than Ben. But like everyone in this show she must be connected to someone. She doesn't seem to be like Neil Frogurt just waiting for a sensational flying arrow death. My guess is she might be Widmore's real daughter, and Penelope is not really Widmore's daughter, but was adopted to hide Charlotte from Ben's future promise to kill his daughter. That is why Widmore says Ben will "never find her".

The writers say Annie will play a big part in the show so the question is:
a)whether Charlotte is Annie,
b)we haven't seen Annie yet, or
c)someone else is Annie, someone we all know.
Lets see ... who has Ben made eyes at during this show? Can you say Juliet (you're mine!) and Kate (dinner on the beach)? My guess is one of them is Annie, probably Juliet.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 27, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

PQSully wrote: "Island at its core is NOT an island; it is Jacob, its own entity. This explains the frozen center. Jacob has become stuck and is continually looking for a true ally to help it become unstuck."

A neat idea. I don't think the island itself is Jacob. I think its a machine from the future which was sent here, with the others, to stop a future which is very bad (four toed statue). I'm waiting to see the Others without shoes since I think they are from millions of years in the future when people have four instead of the 5 toes we have today.

But as the Others manipulate events, fate and destiny correct it. They are working to find a way to permanently change what for them has already happened. And so they experiment. Jacob I think is the leader of this effort who has become trapped, sort of like our Losties are currently trapped, in an endless shifting of space-time. Without Jacob the Others have adopted leaders such as Ben, who saved them from the Dharma invaders, and now Locke, who I believe the Others have bred to be their leader, maybe even being the real philosopher John Locke or his clone.

Yea, I'm doing a lot of thinking too...

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 27, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

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