'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Some Like It Hoth'
In which Jen Chaney and I discuss our awesome theories about "Lost," a show we love so much we talk about it ad nauseum. Oh, and we even created this obsessive-friendly "Lost" hub. And we'd appreciate it if you'd join us at 3 p.m. ET to help feed our obsession in the "Lost" Hour chat.
Liz: We're moving closer to "the incident." We saw Hurley's fateful numbers embossed on the hatch door. We were teased with the tantalizing revelation that Ilana and her henchmen work for neither Widmore nor Ben Linus. And we're off next week.
But we have to start with Miles. We finally found out his back story, thereby filling the empty hole in my soul. But where the producers worked overtime to answer our time continuum questions last week, they kind of left us to work things out for ourselves in this episode. How is it that adult Miles and three-month-old Miles can co-exist on the same island at the same time? This is something we talked about earlier this season -- I think we used Charlotte as an example of a potential space/time continuum exploder. I know you didn't go to Ann Arbor, but you've probably been there at least once -- explain this to me, please, Jen.
Jen: Okay, before I address the time travel thing, I need to just paint a picture. I am typing my side of this dueling analysis while drinking tea from a "Desmond Hume is my Constant" mug, with my laptop in front of me and a copy of "The Empire Strikes Back" Storybook lying next to me on the sofa. If that doesn't officially earn me the title of Queen Nerd, I really don't know what will at this point. Frankly, though, I'm not sure it's a title I should really embrace.
But let's leave that aside. I know I keep referring to the novel "The Time Traveler's Wife," and I know that it's hardly the only work of fiction to address time travel. But I keep coming back to it because I read it very recently and the way it addresses the sort of sticky issues that you just mentioned -- bumping into a younger version of yourself -- makes a lot of sense to me.
Much more analysis after the jump...
Liz: By the way, Queen Nerd, I'd prefer to be addressed as "Java Kumala."
Jen: Fair enough. Who doesn't want to be named after a cup of coffee and ... whatever a Kumala is?
So 2008 Miles Straume saw 1977 three-month-old Miles Straume. It's totally possible for that to happen, if I use "TTW" as a reference point. It doesn't explode the space/time continuum, but it does mean that the version of a person farther along on the timeline has knowledge that other people still in, say, 1977 do not. But you can run into your younger self. Because it's as if time is bisected. They are running on parallel tracks. Is this making any sense? It makes sense in my head. And when Miles explained it to Hurley a couple of weeks ago.
Liz: Sure, knowledge like, say, the plot of "The Empire Strikes Back."
Jen: In other words, older Miles is still living out a 2008-forward timeline, he just happened to have been sent back to 1977. Baby Miles is living out life from 1977 going forward.
Liz: Though I can't help thinking that one would go insane or have his face melt when confronted with one's self in another time. But let's table that for now. I'm interested to see what everyone else has to say.
Jen: I'm sure our readers will tell us if we're totally off base. They're good like that.
Liz: I have another Miles-centric poser, though. It's about all those trendy piercings.
Okay, not. I'm interested in his mother's motivation in leading Miles to believe his father did not care for him. I'm extrapolating here so this is not a spoiler, but I figure Pierre is going to bite it in the incident, which motivates Mrs. Chang to take baby Miles and leave the island. I understand telling Miles his father is dead to avoid any questions, but why not say "He's dead, but he cared for you very much"? As things stand, it sets up Miles for a lifetime of daddy issues -- and we've got enough of those already on this show.
Jen: I'm not sure he does bite it in the Incident. Unless the dates were doctored, Chang appears in some Orientation videos dated in 1980. In one, he even talks about what happened in The Incident, so I would think he survives it.
Liz: Good point -- I got my timeline confused. This is what happens when Miles changes his own diaper.
Jen: Actually, my guess is that Chang (aka Candle/Halliwax) may still be alive on the island, or somewhere, and she simply doesn't want Miles to go looking for him. It's also possible he dies in the Purge.
Liz: Or his mom knows Chang is buried on the island and she doesn't want Miles to be able to hear his beyond-the-grave thoughts.
Jen: Right. When she said he was buried where he could never get to him, that thought occurred to me, too.
Speaking of Miles, let's talk about what we learned about our sarcastic friend this evening.
1. As we already implied, we got official confirmation that Chang is Miles's father. Which I can only mini-gloat about since my original theory after this season's premiere was that the little baby was Jin. But for the record, I also floated the idea that the baby could easily be Miles and that if it turned out to be, I would pretend it was my idea all along. So yeah, I was right from minute one! Suck on that, world!
2. The infamous $3.2 million. A lot of us were scratching our heads last season when Miles said he would tell his boss that Ben was dead if Ben would kindly gave him $3.2 million. Seemed like a random figure, other than being the reverse of one of the numbers (23), as well as double one of the numbers (16.) But that double thing was the crucial clue: Miles's fee from Widmore for going to the island is $1.6 million. So that wily Miles was merely trying to double it. So smart, he is.
Liz: So motivated by money, he is, Yoda. It fills the empty place in his soul.
Jen: Kind of like Han Solo! But I'll get back to that later.
There is a slightly less enticing third thing we learned. And that's that Miles's theories about time travel and not being able to change things seem to be breaking down.
The title of this episode was "Some Like It Hoth." We all know Hoth is the ice planet from "The Empire Strikes Back." Which, contrary to popular belief, was actually written by Hugo Reyes.
Liz: Who actually once ate a Tauntuan (sans special garlic mayo).
Jen: The whole idea that Hurley would try to rewrite "Empire" -- with "tweaks to make it better," mind you -- is not only a pretty funny joke, it's a commentary on Hurley's mindset. He thinks you can change the future, and you can repair things with your father, and that even Ewoks can be stopped if a young Jedi and his Dark Side daddy would just talk it out.
Miles didn't believe that. But I think it was clear that once he saw his lil' self reading a sweet polar bear story with his loving father that he was beginning to realize sometimes the things we think we know -- the truths we've held onto our whole lives -- can turn out to be dead (no pun intended -- oh, wait, pun kinda intended) wrong.
Liz: Interesting. And, as we said last week, the most direct statements made on this show seem to be the ones that are time and again revealed to be false.
Jen: This is also true.
Liz: I don't believe you!
Jen: You're right. I'm lying. Or am I???
Liz: Since we're talking about "Star Wars," I think you had some ideas about Miles vis-a-vis one Han Solo. Have enough breath yet to talk about that?
Jen: Okay, this may be a bit of a stretch. But I see some parallels between Miles and Han, as well as Miles and Luke (the Jedi, not my son). Han Solo was a smuggler. What was Miles asked to do last night? Smuggle a corpse to the Hatch construction site. This one's obvious, but Miles is also sarcastic as hell, as was Han.
Liz: So does that make Hurley Chewbacca or R2?
Jen: I gotta go Chewie there, just because it's so easy.
Liz: And who is Luke (besides your Star Wars-named kid)?
Jen: I also see Miles as a Luke figure -- as are several people on the show -- because he didn't know his father and, in a reversal of "Star Wars," has been told bad things about him that may turn out to be good. The daddy issue thing, as you know, is a recurrent phenomenon.
And for the record, my son is not named after "Star Wars."
Jen:We actually named him after Luke Wilson! (Again, I am joking here...)
Liz: Indeed, and I was thinking about the notion, too, that we have many potential Luke figures on the show -- Ben, Locke, Jack. Even Walt. But it's especially interesting when you think about Luke growing up not knowing who he was and some of our characters having a similar experience.
Jen: And was I the only person who immediately knew what Hurley was doing when he asked how to spell bounty hunter?
Liz: No dude -- I was so there. I said to Mr. Liz, "He's writing "Star Wars," just like how Kathleen Turner tried to give Nic Cage an as yet unwritten Beatles song in 'Peggy Sue Got Married.'"
Jen: You see my "Back to the Future" with a little shot of "Peggy Sue Got Married." Well done. (P.S. "Back to the Future" is way better.)
But there are some things we still don't know about Miles yet, but I think we can guess about a couple of them. Why is it that Miles can hear dead people? That has to be because he was born on the island, right?
Jen: But why would that be? Why would the island give him that power?
Liz: This island has a thing for kids -- Walt, Aaron and Miles. Even Charlotte. Maybe the electro-magnetism or, more likely, Jacob's gift. Which makes it all the more interesting that Mrs. Chang was able to get young Miles off the island.
So let's round out our Miles-related topics with a little bit more Pierre Chang. Or should I say Marvin Candle? Why is he using a different name on the Dharma instruction tapes when the current Dharma recruits know his real name? My thought was that the current 1977 batch of Dharmas were there preparing the island for another wave of recruits who would not know for whom they work.
Jen: Or is it possible that Chang goes rogue at some point? I sense that he lacks confidence in what Dharma is doing, between his comments a few episodes back to Jack about how "disorganized" they are, to his comment last night about the ridiculous experiments being conducted at the Hydra Station.
And -- because I can't let this Star Wars thing go -- that would make Chang a "rebel." And little Miles a member of his "rebel alliance," if you will. I also have to wonder if Chang might actually be fully aware that older Miles is his kid.
Liz: Well, we know he's clearly way more dialed in to the island's properties, but I'm not sure. If he did indeed love his son as much as we were led to believe last night, I should think he would have given Miles some indication in the three years he's been on island.
Jen: True. I could be off base on that one. It just crossed my mind for the same reason you said: He knows about the island's properties and the time issues. And the guy is named Miles and sort of looks like him, which could be a red flag. I don't know, just food for thought that may not be worth eating.
Should we talk about dead people now?
Liz: Let's. As long as you agree right now to keep Haley Joel Osment references out of this conversation.
Jen: Sweet! You said nothing about avoiding references to M. Night Shyamalan. So I'm just going to M. Night all over the place.
Liz: Ewww. That sounds messy.
Jen: So Alvarez, the guy who died because his filling got randomly yanked by something? Clearly another casualty of the electromagnetic anomaly. That's pretty obvious, but I thought it was worth saying, just in case.
Liz: Absolutely. Though it did look as if he had a gunshot wound in his head, which was a little odd.
Jen: Right. Miles noted that initially, but when he recounted what he heard, he said nothing about a gun.
Liz: Right. So was Alvarez shot post-death for the benefit of whoever else might see his body? So it could be blamed on the hostiles?
Jen: Maybe. Also, right after Miles asked his dad, "Hey, what happened to the body?" Candle said: "What body?" Was that just his way of saying "We shall never speak of this again"? Or did something else happen to Alvarez?
Liz: Good question -- one that hit me at the time, then instantly left my head. Why would Miles need to take a dead body to Chang at the Orchid? Why would Radzinsky not bury it somewhere near the hatch construction? That was definitely curious.
Jen: What did you make of the dead dude Naomi -- or Naomi With the Wig -- took Miles to see?
Liz: Well, obviously Felix was probably one of Ben's off island agents who had been planning to blackmail Widmore after finding documentation that he'd staged the Oceanic 815 wreckage featured on the news.
Jen: See, I wasn't sure if Felix was acting as blackmailer, or if he was delivering the props Widmore needed. First option makes more sense, I suppose.
Naomi used an interesting phrase when speaking to Miles. She said something to the effect of, "There are dead people residing on this island." That was an interesting choice of words, wasn't it?
Liz: I noticed that, too. But she did say that these dead people were all killed by "this man," who we assume to be Benjamin Linus. So, was she talking about those that perished in the purge or certain hostiles?
Wait -- okay, I'm thinking out loud here:
Naomi said Miles's special skill was needed to help find Ben Linus. We know Miles's special skill to be the ability to talk to dead people. Aside from hearing a few dead soldiers talk about radioactivity when he was careening through time with Sawyer et al, Miles has only sought guidance re: Ben's whereabouts from people who we assume to be alive.
Jen: Okay, what Naomi said was, "This island has a number of deceased individuals residing on it." And that "this man" is responsible for their being deceased. Is it possible she is talking about our Losties?
Liz: I think we're both getting at the same thing. People we assume to be alive = Losties.
Jen: And re: Miles: on at least one occasion, he did pause in the jungle and hear whispers. And he passed over that dead soldier earlier this season, too.
But you're right, the people they knew about, that they were looking for, were Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the whole gang.
Liz: I think it's up for discussion -- we'd have to fit in the whole wrinkle of the Oceanic 6 getting off island and returning to society.
Jen: The wrinkle being: on the island = dead. Off island = alive. Or something.
Liz: So the other really interesting bit of tonight's show was the Miles taco stand kidnapping scene. He's abducted by what appears to be four men. And one of those men is Bram (another interesting name), who we already know as one of Ilana's henchmen, who we last saw carrying a gun around the beach of the Hydra island.
The obvious question is who are Bram and Ilana working for, if anyone? Or are they, as I am starting to suspect, some kind of sect of spiritual guardians of the island's mysteries, like the descendants of the Knights Templar guarding the Grail?
Jen: Well, Bram made a point of telling Miles he'd be playing for the wrong team. To this point, we've all been largely assuming there is Team Widmore and Team Ben, but maybe, as you say, there is a third party at play here. And apparently they are very fixated on what lies in the shadow of the statue.
I think we need more info to know for sure.
Liz: One interesting tidbit from that Lostpedia Bram page
They have transcribed the supposed casting call for his character:
"Brian, any ethnicity, late 20s to mid-30s. Smart, charismatic and clever with the ability to be physically imposing. He is wise beyond his years. Capable of genuine charm, he is also the first person you'd want to help you out of any serious jams."Doesn't sound too sinister.
Jen: Well, okay, but he kidnapped a guy while he was eating a fish taco and threw him in a van. So I wouldn't say he's all sunshine and roses all the time either.
Liz: You didn't find that genuinely charming?
Should we move on to the man in black? I'm referring, of course, to Daniel -- who has somehow managed to return to the island on the sub, though I'm not sure how he actually left in the first place.
Jen: See, when Miles went to go get a corpse, I thought for sure that would be Faraday. Then I thought they'd see him at the Swan construction site. But when they said new scientists were coming from Ann Arbor, I said, "Okay, this has to be Faraday." So he must have hitched a ride on one of the subs and gotten off the island. I am assuming he disappeared not long after the flashes ended, when they landed in 1974.
Liz: Hopefully we'll get more clarification in two weeks, but it is nice to see him back. He adds a certain quiet hotness to the show.
Jen: A skinny hotness, if you will.
I also think Faraday may be responsible for The Incident in some way, or at least play a role in it. So his character will be crucial.
Liz: One more Daniel point: When Desmond visits Theresa, the woman turned into a vegetable by Daniel's experiments, her sister says his research was funded by Charles Widmore. I'm thinking that at some point Daniel is going to make contact -- and some kind of agreement with -- the island Widmore.
Jen: Theresa, yes. I believe she returns in an upcoming episode. And not just the very special Troy McClure-hosted clip show we get treated to next week.
Two more issues on my end:
1. Sawyer and Juliet tying up Phil? No good can come of that.
2. Did you get a look at the chalkboard in the classroom ("Dharma students make learning fun!") where Janitor Jack got into that scuffle with Drunken Roger/Uncle Rico?
As this screencap reveals, Jack was erasing what appeared to be a lesson about Egyptian history, complete with some hieroglyphics that looked kind of familiar.
Liz: Re: Sawyer and his rope. I think his belief in his ability to lead is slipping and that shows in the untenable decision to detain Phil. And he seemed downright relieved last night when Jack told him he'd taken care of Roger Linus's suspicions re: Kate. I think he might be ready to turn over the reins. After all, he feels like a little Dutch boy.
Jen: Putting his finger in a ... Doc! Sorry, that little bit of wordplay amused me.
So I just wanted to share an interesting tidbit that a very nice reader from the University of Iowa, Tom Snee (how can you not be nice with a name like that?), passed along. In addition to noting that Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson went to rival colleges in Iowa (O'Quinn attended the University of Iowa and Emerson went to Drake), Tom recently forwarded a really interesting biblical point.
He noted that 316, our flight number for Ajira Airways, probably refers back to the passage of John (3:16) we discussed here before: "For God so loved the world he sent his only begotten Son." He further noted that perhaps Oceanic 815 refers to John 8:15: ""Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man."
His conclusion, which I rather like? "Oceanic 815 brought the passengers to the island to be judged; Ajira 316 brings them to redeemed."
Liz: That is very well put. I will forego sharing my 4:20 theory. I will, however, remind everyone to vote in this week's Quote Poll.
Liz: So shall we suspend the discussion until this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET?
Jen: Well, not suspend. People can comment. But you and I will start running our online mouths more actively at 3. How's that?
Liz: To quote Hurley, "awesome."
In two weeks (April 29) on "Lost": "The Variable" -- On the show's milestone 100th episode, the time of reckoning has begun when Daniel Faraday comes clean regarding what he knows about the island.
| April 16, 2009; 11:25 AM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Nadya Suleman Wants to Trademark 'Octomom'; Mel Gibson Spotted with Another Mystery Blonde
Next: Heidi Klum Expecting Fourth Child; Woman Arrested on Britney Spears's Property
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AmitDC | April 16, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bluesette01 | April 16, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: HardyW | April 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chombie13 | April 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: anotherex-reader | April 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HardyW | April 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: peteyamama | April 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: L8yF8 | April 16, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kschoen | April 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: chombie13 | April 16, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kschoen | April 16, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sdp001 | April 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: L8yF8 | April 16, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: laura33 | April 16, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: otherliz | April 16, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 16, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bontster1 | April 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: btisinge | April 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 16, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: qwerqwer1 | April 16, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Iowahoosier | April 16, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SpikeiRule | April 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hodie | April 16, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eet7e | April 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PQSully | April 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: SpikeiRule | April 16, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UniqueID | April 16, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: HardyW | April 16, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: stive21 | April 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: eet7e | April 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ghak | April 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wadejg | April 16, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: stive21 | April 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cep37 | April 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bproulx45 | April 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jqw3827 | April 16, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pcvhawley | April 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ooyah32 | April 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ooyah32 | April 16, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 16, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jes11 | April 16, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 16, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 16, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kschoen | April 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 16, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Fate1 | April 16, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MrMerkin | April 16, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Eludium-Q36 | April 16, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gordogato2 | April 17, 2009 2:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MrMerkin | April 17, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 17, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: eet7e | April 17, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 17, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MrMerkin | April 17, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: MrMerkin | April 17, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dojemc | April 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: apfromal | April 17, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 17, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Matt_in_Austin | April 17, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: PindarPushkin | April 17, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 17, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gvlahos9 | April 18, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Makaha | April 19, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 19, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 19, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 20, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 21, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PatAbroad | April 21, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 21, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1ofamillion | April 21, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 21, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 21, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 21, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: a68comeback | April 21, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 22, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 22, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: tjkass | April 22, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 22, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PatAbroad | April 22, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: NotForYou1 | April 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 23, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: camis | April 23, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: bevjims1 | April 23, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.