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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 05/ 7/2009

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Follow the Leader'

By Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen Chaney and I ask you to grab your box of Dharma-brand vanilla cookies and settle in for this week's penultimate season 5 analysis. Then lull yourself out of the cookie-induced sugar coma for this afternoon's "Lost" Hour chat at 3 p.m. ET. In the meantime, visit "Lost" Central or make your plans for next Wednesday evening's "Lost" Happy Hour.


John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) leads the way to Jacob. (ABC)

Liz: Last night's episode was all about trust. Or the lack thereof. John doesn't trust Alpert. Alpert doesn't trust John. Kate has no faith in Jack and Jack has placed his trust -- wisely or not -- in Eloise Hawking. And Pierre Chang has thrown all caution to the wind and placed his bets on the (now dead) Daniel Faraday's prediction of an island catastrophe. Perhaps none of us should be trusting Locke after all, but first a quick anecdote:

I was talking to an old friend earlier this week who said he'd stopped watching "Lost" midway through season 3 out of frustration. He wanted answers. I, of course, told him to come back -- that we were lousy with answers. But was I right? Aside from a few bones -- getting the back stories for Miles and Daniel, Ben facing the smoke monster, a rear view of old four-toe -- we haven't really gotten any earth-shattering, definitive answers this season. We just feel like we have because the cumulative effect of the details has filled in a lot of minor blanks in the timeline. So, I'm *trusting* that next week we'll get a bigger payoff.

Aside from that, tonight's show was chock full of more good details. So, where should we start?

Jen: Two points to raise about knowing answers.

First: "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams -- as he has stated in interviews, including one earlier this week on "Charlie Rose" -- is a big believer in the notion that the mystery of a narrative is the whole fun. Once you know all the answers, the mystery is all gone and so is the joy. In many ways, I agree with him. So while I think we have gotten a lot more detail this season -- although maybe not as many solid answers as we might like -- we still have some mystery left. And I am relishing that.

Second: On their latest podcast, LindeCuse referred to season six as "the season of many answers." So I feel like many issues will be resolved before all is said and done.

Where to start, though ... should we get to the heart of the matter with Jack and Kate?

Much more after the jump...

----------

Liz: Kate's refusal to follow Jack into playing with Jughead has thrown him into sharp relief as the new man of faith, or the new John Locke, if you will. Which would, of course, make John the new Ben.

Jen: Yes, as Kate pointed out to Jack when she pointedly asked, "Do you know who you sound like?"

Liz, I don't know who is right here. I honestly don't. This is the central argument of the season, really. Jack is taking the side of being able to change the future. Kate isn't, possibly for personal reasons, as we discussed last week. I think a strong case could be made to support either viewpoint, based on what we know at this moment. Kate strongly disagrees with Jack about the notion that forgoing the crash would be for the better. And I think that's because, in some way, her relationship with Jack led to her becoming a better person. If she never meets him, she'll still be a confused, unethical arsonist.

Liz: I'm not sure this matters too much, but it is interesting to note that Kate doesn't necessarily disbelieve that Jack can carry out the plan as laid out by Faraday -- to prevent one possible future from unfolding. She just doesn't want that to happen. So I suppose Kate isn't necessarily without faith -- she just prefers to, umm, not practice it.


Join Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly on Wed., May 13 from 5 - 8 p.m. at Adams-Morgan's The Reef for a pre-finale cocktail.

Jen: Well, she did say, "What if you're wrong?" So I think she recognizes the danger of doing something that might alter the future in perhaps a different way than Jack thinks it will.

I also find it interesting that Jack says not crashing on the island would give everyone a clean slate. In season one, the notion that all of them landed on the island was what seemed to give everyone the opportunity to start over. Now Jack is saying that the opposite is true, another reason why I am not sure if he is right. I do think it's possible to alter the future, as Jack and Faraday concluded, but I also think they all need to be on that island. Also, can I say one thing about Eloise?

I know last week I was taking more of a "Eloise might be good" stance. And she may be. But given what happened tonight -- and the fact that she met Jack and Kate in the '70s -- I am more convinced that she sent them back to preserve the timeline as it was, perhaps because that -- at least in her mind -- preserves the island.

Liz: So, wait -- are you saying she knew she would kill her son and let that happen (again) or not?

Jen: At this moment, I am saying she let it happen again on purpose. I reserve the right to change my mind about this, depending on whether Jack is right or wrong. Because if Jack is right and the future can be altered, then she may have sent Jack back in the hope that this time, what he told her in the tent was right: that she could undo the damage if they follow what Daniel wrote in his journal.

Am I making any donkey-wheeling sense?

Liz: You are making much Monday to Friday sense. But, two things: 1. I believe last week I argued that Eloise sent them back there knowing that her son would die at her own hand. So nyah-nyah. And 2. What's with you "reserving the right" to change your mind if you're wrong? Stick to your guns, woman. We (the readers and I) won't stand for another case of the TWJJT (Tragically Wrong Jen Jin Theory).

Jen: Um, excuse me, the TWJJT also included an IACBM -- It Also Could Be Miles -- clause. So I deserve partial credit, right? As far as reserving the right to change my mind, I say that because I don't feel like I can figure out why Eloise sent back the Oceanic peeps until I see how this plays out in the finale. I need more information!

I will accept your nyah-nyah, though. At least for now.

Liz: Okay, fair enough -- but I'm KMEOY (keeping my eye on you).

Anyhow, since we're with Jack, Kate and Eloise this is a good moment to mention the timely return of Sayid, who came to Kate's rescue just as "scuzzy Brad Pitt" (that's what Mr. Liz called him) was about to gun her down for leaving the gang. Where was he -- he looked invigorated and relaxed. Is there perhaps a spa somewhere on island?

Jen: Tell Mr. Liz I know Brad Pitt, and that guy is no Brad Pitt. (Though I like the vague connection to "Benjamin Button," a time-altered freak in his own right. So kudos, Mr. Liz.) And, yeah, I wondered that about Sayid, too.

Liz: Just yet another instance of characters who seem to have been kept on mothballs for a few episodes. And if we don't see Rose and Bernard next week, I predict a major backlash.

Jen: If they don't tell us where Vincent is, I think the "Lost" writers should fully expect to hear from the ASPCA. But let's shift gears to mention something about leadership, then talk about Sawyer and Juliet, and move on to Locke last. We need a moment to mentally prepare for John Locke.

Liz: Yes. John was an enigma wrapped in a mystery encased in a confounding TV show tonight. We should def. save him for last.

Jen: It's worth noting that tonight's episode was called "Follow the Leader," but in every scenario where someone attempted to play a leadership role -- Locke, Jack, Sawyer, Radzinsky -- it was unclear whether their choices were the right choices. As viewers, I think we're all looking for someone to lead the way for us as well, and resolve the sticky issue of whether our characters can alter their destinies. So far, no one, clear answer -- or one reliable leader -- has emerged.

But let's talk about our buddy Jim LaFleur. Sawyer morphed into something of an emotionally evolved Han Solo tonight. That moment on the sub with Juliet, when she said, "I love you" and he replied, "I love you back" -- it totally reminded me of that moment in "Empire Strikes Back" when Leia says I love you and Han Solo responds: "I know." The old Sawyer totally would have said "I know." But now he's man enough to express himself. Then along comes Kate...

Of all the CGI subs escaping from an about-to-implode island in the world, she had to walk into theirs.

Liz: The Sub was soooo CGI, I thought for a sec we'd jumped to a Navy recruiting ad.

Jen: I could almost see the visual effects supervisors creating the ripples of water around it as it submerged.

Liz: You see a lot. Tangentially, I was a bit tickled -- though that's probably the wrong word -- by Radzinsky's takeover of the Dharma power structure and his lack of hesitation in using torture to extract information from Sawyer and Juliet. Just many obvious parallels with current events and past administrations. That's all.

Jen: Also, the dude's name is Stuart? I can't believe Sawyer allowed himself to get beat up by a guy named Stu.

Liz: That's interesting about Kate, though. She doesn't belong with Jack. She doesn't belong with Sawyer. She doesn't want to return to a "clean slate" in 2004 and she can't possibly be happy on the island in 1977. She's a woman out of time. But, then, I suppose all of our Losties are out of time. Perhaps more so than we yet realize.

Jen: I think old Kate -- the woman she was before the crash -- belonged with Sawyer. (Old Saywer, anyway.) The woman she became post-crash and pre-rescue belonged with Jack. Once the donkey wheel turned, though, it seems like Kate got knocked out of alignment, as you said. She started trying to play a role that wasn't really hers, i.e. Aaron's mom.

Liz: And now she is superfluous. Which means she'll bite it in next week's finale.

Jen: I thought for a second she bit it tonight. But nope. Not to be terrible, but somebody better bite it next week. Otherwise all that hype about a long-standing character's death was just nonsense.

Liz: Ooh -- speaking of which -- did you also sense a major red herring when Sawyer had Juliet get into the sub first, then paused to look back at the island? I was convinced he was about to do something stupid and heroic.

Jen: Me, too! Especially after Hurley's comment that he "had a plan."

Liz: Yes. Apparently, though, his plan was to say "Good riddance" and get on the sub. Though, based on next week's previews, it doesn't look like they make it off island after all.

Jen: No. Juliet pretty much looked like she wanted to kill Kate, didn't she? She was all ready to set up life in Michigan and "be free," as Sawyer said.

Liz: That Kate. So annoying. To everyone.

Before we move on to our main course -- John Locke 2.0 -- I wanted to mention that last week we talked about the dissonance caused by Alpert seemingly not recognizing Daniel Faraday -- who he'd previously met in 1954. Turns out the hostiles did remember him after all. At least Widmore and Eloise, who ironically, are his parents.

Jen: Yes, that was interesting. I wonder if Alpert wasn't telling the truth and really did recognize him. You know, since island leaders and advisers have a tendency to lie and all.

Before we delve into Lockeland can we touch on Hurley and the boys for a second?

Liz: That sounds vaguely illegal.

Jen: Well, don't get too excited since this will involve a reference to "Back to the Future."

Liz: You can't see it, but I am rolling my eyes. Just so you know.

Jen: Oh, I know. In the words of Vincent from "Pulp Fiction," I feel your look. Anyway... I thought it was funny that Dr. Chang started quizzing Hurley and finally broke him with that question about who was president.

That was funny because 1. it references Doc Brown's question to "Future Boy" Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future" about who the president is. He was asking for a similar reason: to verify whether Marty was telling the truth about being from the future. And 2. Hurley was really worried about being asked that question when they first arrived at the Dharma barracks. Somehow he knew that would come back to bite him.

But the big deal there is that Chang now knows that Miles is his son, as we kind of saw coming after Faraday opened his big yap.

Liz: The reunion was given short shrift. At some point I have to think these two are going to have a heart to heart.

Jen: I also have to think all these theories about whether Dr. Chang lost an arm in the Incident will come to fruition one way or the other next week.

And now -- deep breath -- I suppose we need to talk about Locke.

Liz: Indeed. He kept everyone -- us included -- guessing tonight. I'm particularly intrigued by some of your thoughts on John. Care to expound?

Jen: I will do my best. The most mind-blowing reveal tonight -- aside from Sayid popping out of the bushes -- was the realization that Locke told Richard to tell The Other Locke that he needed to die and bring everyone back to the island. In other words, what Locke originally perceived as his destiny as dictated by Alpert, was actually just Locke telling himself what to do. He was controlling his own destiny.

Liz: The look on Ben's face when the other Locke disappeared was priceless. He was utterly at sea.

Jen: Ben seemed at sea but desperately trying to paddle back to shore throughout the episode. But let's back up and try to clarify something that may have been confusing (at least to me).

When are Locke, Sun and the group? Based on the fact that Locke was able to time it so he walked up right when he stumbled out of the jungle during a previous flash, it would appear they were in a post-Oceanic crash timeframe, probably around 2007. So I am wondering if Locke, Sun and Ben are living in an altered version of 2007, one in which Oceanic never crashed because of whatever Jack and co. are about to do back in 1977.

I noticed in that scene toward the end, when Locke is leading the posse of randoms (who ARE all those people?) to Jacob that the landscape of the island looked different. I noticed some large pine-ish trees in the background, for instance, and I don't remember that being the view from the beach before.

Am I totally crazy, as usual?

Liz: Well, that would perhaps account for the bombed out appearance of the Dharma camp. I'm trying to wrap my head around this...

If they are living in a future in which Jack's plan works and Oceanic 815 never crashes on the island, then would Richard have recognized John when he returned to camp and threw down that stiff, dead boar? Because by that logic, John never would have made it to the island in the first place.

Jen: Good question. The only answer I can come up with is that the future could be altered and have ripple effects we don't know about. So maybe John made it to the island through some other means.

Liz: Speaking of that boar -- was I the only one who immediately thought about the fatted calf and the prodigal son's return?

Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32)

Jen: I didn't think about the fatted calf. I saw that pig and though, oh great. Locke's going to give everyone swine flu. But look who's getting all biblical? Are you becoming a woman of faith? While I am a woman of nonsensical theories?

Liz: I hope you're not suggesting a role reversal. Which would mean I am usually the woman of nonsensical theories. If so, the folks who turn up for next week's "Lost" Happy Hour may see a cage match.

So is Locke turning into Ben -- or is it just that he who aspires to leadership on the island automatically becomes a lying, duplicitous rapscallion?

Jen: Locke definitely seemed to be adopting some Linus tendencies. Lying to Sun because he wants to kill Jacob? Seems he's turned very power-hungry and self-involved since becoming a "different person."

But hang on, I need to back up a second and talk a bit more about this whole matter of when Locke & co. are. Let's assume that small changes in the past can cause small changes in the future. Maybe some of the things that happened in the timeline as we knew it did happen. Maybe, for example, if Jack, et. al. change the future, 815 still crashes but not everyone that we thought was on it ends up being on board. Which would explain why Alpert still knew Locke and remembered seeing him before that flash, when he disappeared. I don't know, I'm just spitballin' here...

Liz: That reminds me of the theory outlined in last week's chat by one of our smartypants readers:

Charlotte, NC: Here's the thing about variables (says the statistician who never believed she'd be able to use her knowledge of multiple analysis of variance in discussing a television show!)...they're seldom parsed along a black or white axis, but rather along a gray continuum. Introducing variable X into the equation doesn't mean that a right turn becomes a left turn. Maybe it means that a right turn becomes a rolling stop before continuing right or that the movement switches to left but at a slower pace or that it doesn't change the turn at all but has a repercussive effect on something else further down the road after that right turn. Okay, straining the analogy, I know. But introducing a variable doesn't mean that the event is now opposite, just that you've changed the PROBABILITY of an event happening in a particular way. So maybe Daniel was always going to die but not necessarily shot by his mother, or that shooting her son now makes Eloise do something different that is the variable that keeps something else from happening or creates an event that otherwise would not have occured. Introducing variables changes probabilities.

Jen: Exactly. What Charlotte (from N.C., not the redheaded British girl) said is what I am suggesting, too.

Liz: Why don't Ben and Richard want Locke to meet Jacob -- or head in his general direction?

Jen: I wondered that, too. Supposedly, Jacob makes an appearance in next week's episode. At least that's the rumor. So hopefully we'll know more about this at this time next week. It almost seemed like Ben and Richard were worried that Locke might actually realize there isn't a Jacob.

Liz: Yes -- and I got the distinct impression that an attempt would have been made to keep Locke from continuing to try to reach Jacob if he'd listened to Alpert and slept on it. So he -- Locke -- smartly sowed the seeds of doubt in the rest of the Others by making his intentions plain and asking them to question Jacob and, by extension, Richard.

Jen: But bold of him to bring along everyone, isn't it? If Locke can't see Jacob, he's going to look like a colossal fool in front of a bunch of paid extras.

Liz: Or will he? It might actually be Richard and Ben who end up with egg (or Dharma egg substitute) on their faces. They'll be revealed as dissemblers of the highest order.

Jen: I don't know. I think Locke is headed for a fall. Since pride usually comes before those.

Speaking of Mr. Alpert, did you notice that he was playing with a ship inside a bottle?

Liz: Yes. It really put me back in mind of the Black Rock and Richard's cloudy lineage. That was a really beautifully framed shot, too -- Richard working on the ship as dark clouds loomed in the background over a dark sea.

Jen: It was definitely a nod back to the Black Rock. And I also could swear we have seen a ship in a bottle before, although I can't seem to pull the specific episode. Maybe one of our readers can recall when we've seen Alpert, or someone, working on some itty bitty sails before.

Much of the other imagery in tonight's episode toyed with visuals we've seen on the show before, too. Jack swimming down below reminded me of Charlie's swim to the Looking Glass. And then there was the black horse carrying a Hostile, which reminded me of Kate's horse flashback back in season two. She also saw that horse on the island, as did Sawyer. It was never explained, but having a saddled-up Hostile ride up to her and Jack tonight reminded me of that.

Liz: Good point -- and it definitely places horses on the island. And you know what happens when horses are left to their own devices on islands. Hello "Misty of Chincoteague."

Any final thoughts as we wrap up and turn this over to the experts?

Jen: A few. First, I thought it was telling that in the preview of next week's episode, Lapidus asks: What's in the box? Perhaps a reference to that YouTube video that (allegedly) has nothing to do with "Lost"?

I also have a couple of links to share.

First, a reader named Macgyver over at the Lost Blog has posited a theory about death and its effects that is worth reading.

Some of it makes sense (the Dharma drop explanation, for example.) Not so sure I entirely agree with his assessment of how the show will end, though.

Liz: Macgyver? Calgon take me away.

Jen: And lastly, as we prepare for this season's finale and the long wait until the final (nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!) season of the show, it's an appropriate time to listen to Previously on Lost's recently recorded summary of the entire show in two minutes.

Liz: Excellent. Until 3 p.m., then?

Jen: Yes, I'll try to sort out my Locke-is-in-the-altered-future theory before 3.

Liz: Oh, and don't forget to vote for your favorite quote:

Next week on "Lost's" Final Episodes of the Season: "The Incident," Parts 1 & 2 - Jack's decision to put a plan in action in order to set things right on the island is met with some strong resistance by those close to him, and Locke assigns Ben a difficult task, on the season finale.

By Liz Kelly  | May 7, 2009; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

I thought the best quote was Pierre Chang: "So you're 46 years old?"

Posted by: atl24 | May 7, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I guess when they people were time traveling, they were also going to the future as evidenced by Locke witnessing the event with the injured version of himself. Interesting how they tied that loose end up.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | May 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Gee, it's already 7:34 here on the West coast and there are only two comments. Maybe no one else cares either. I dont get "Lost."

Posted by: kabuki3 | May 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The last time we saw a model ship was when Desmond visited Widmore in his office - there was a model sailing ship next to his desk.

Posted by: nataliezundel | May 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The thing that struck me about Richard was his confidence seemed to be shaken. No matter who was leading the others, RA has always seemed to have this air of knowing what should be happening. Not the ability to stop the things that are wrong, however.

Locke coming in knowing exactly what he wants to do w/out any input from Richard seems to scare him.

Also, even those Smokey/Alex told Ben his purpose is to serve Locke, it appears to me he's still trying to serve Ben.

Posted by: jes11 | May 7, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I am now completely confused about Faraday's age. I was convinced that he had to have been born before 1977 (specifically, late '60s/early '70s), both because of the actor's age and appearance and because of his background -- even as an early-graduating prodigy, no way he's only 26-27 when he arrives with the freighter crew, with all of the Oxford experimenting, Desmond-meeting, crying-in-front-of-the-TV behind him.

But last night, when Charles and Eloise are talking after she shot Daniel, he put his hand on her stomach in a way that strongly suggests she was pregnant right then, in 1977.

There better be a darn good explanation for this glaring inconsistency at some point.

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Also, even those Smokey/Alex told Ben his purpose is to serve Locke, it appears to me he's still trying to serve Ben.

Posted by: jes11 | May 7, 2009 10:37 AM


ugh, should be even though... reminder, preview is my friend.

Posted by: jes11 | May 7, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Locke wants to kill Jacob to help him, as Jacob requested in the cabin when they met last season. Locke had to die to find his purpose, so maybe he thinks killing Jacob will allow Jacob to be free - since dead people don't always die on the island.

This made sense in my head last night...

Posted by: VT2003 | May 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think Locke is THE man now. I think he has the answers that neither Ben nor Richard have and knows exactly what they are going to find in their search for Jacob. The days of Locke's confidence being one-upped are over, in my opinion. Frankly, I'm entertaining the theory that Locke will turn out to be Jacob.

I think Ben and Richard were both revealed to be charlatans last night: Ben had to admit he had never seen Jacob and that the island never talked to him. And Richard! Not only has his previously demonstrated foresight been revealed to be given to him by John, he was shown to be confused and unsettled by John's appearance and confident demand to be taken to Jacob. Of course, he still appears to be ageless, I'm starting to wonder if my Richard-is-dead theory can explain what's been revealed as his LACK of ghostly knowledge.

DYING for next week!!!

Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the analysis. What makes everyone so sure Locke is lying to Sun and being candid with Ben? I can believe he's misleading both, or telling Sun a part of the truth, but I wouldn't stake a nickel on Locke being 100% honest with Ben, and why should he? He's pushing Ben's buttons.

I read the Jacob thing as, there is a Jacob. Whether he's Christian, or an older Locke who has done more time travelling, or whatever. But Ben thinks Jacob is merely a myth that Richard uses to retain power. Of course Locke's speech on the beach implied he suspects as much himself, but again he may not be being totally open.

"John doesn't trust Alpert. Alpert doesn't trust John. Kate has no faith in Jack and Jack has placed his trust -- wisely or not -- in Eloise Hawking"

Well, I wouldn't put most of it that way, Liz. What's with the John and Alpert stuff? 90% of the time we know them more familiarly as Locke and Richard. You wouldn't refer to Reyes and Austen unless you were trying to be consciously cute. And I'd say it the other way around, Eloise has placed her trust in Jack.

Janine, I think it's now clear that Daniel is ~26-27 in 2004. It's not the first time we've been misled by the true age of a casting choice. Charlotte and Ben are way off too, and the Charlotte thing caused major confusion.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 7, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

IMO, best quote: "You want the bullet" Richard to John after extracting the bullet from time traveling John's leg.

Posted by: messenger1 | May 7, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

What happened with the timing of the incident? Didn't Daniel say last week that it was happening in 4 hrs? And now last night, they said 20 hrs? Or did we mishear last week, and Daniel said 24 hrs?

Really interesting change in Richard; first time we've seen him not be the all-knowing, mysteriously wise man pulling the strings. Can't wait to see how the John/Richard/Ben role-reversal-reversal thing goes next week.

And, yeah, Ben's still playing every angle at once.

Posted by: laura33 | May 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought there was a lot of dialogue playing around the fact that Locke isn't really necessarily alive. Alpert also focused on the fact that it had been 3 years since he had last seen Locke. I feel like these are strong connections to Locke becoming a Jesus figure this season and we're now seeing him in resurrection phase. Christians believe that Jesus came to "take away death." They believe that faith in Jesus will bring them new life after death. So I think that Locke's comment about killing Jacob is to teach his followers that he has destroyed death and their faith has saved them. Plus the whole walking up the mountain thing is a reminder of Abraham and Issac's red herring. I wouldn't have gone here because I try to distance myself from my Christian past, but this entire season has been chalk full of biblical references and this just made a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: stive21 | May 7, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Locke is going to kill Jacob as a way of helping free Jacob, and most likely at the request of Jacob. But I did find it telling that in the recap portion at the start of the show, they quoted Ben saying that dead is dead and you don't come back from that, not even here on the island.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | May 7, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

UniqueID, I may have to concede the age thing. It's not entirely about the casting (though, being close to Jeremy Davies's age, I think I have a good eye for which of us can pass for 20-somethings and which can't) -- Desmond went to see Faraday at Oxford in 1996. And I find it especially hard to believe that Professor Faraday (done with not only college but a Ph.D.) was ~18 at that time!

As for Locke possibly believing Jacob is a myth, didn't he actually glimpse Jacob and hear him say "help me"?

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I think the Eloise question is complex. I believe young Eloise believes, because she wants to, that the future can be changed. This is not what adult (older) Eloise belives. I don't know when in her timeline it happens, but the first time we meet her she is instructing Desmond on the future. At that point, she firmly belives that you can change variables but it allways ends with course correction. So if paradoxes are not possible, whatever happens in the season finale will lead an older Eloise to believe in course correction and not the ability to change the future or the past. This means, she sent Daniel to the Island to die believing that if she didn't, he would just die another way and none of the important work he did in Ann Arbor would matter.

Posted by: L8yF8 | May 7, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Pretty sure we did see other horses on the island - IIRC, there was at least one at Mikhail's station, along with some other domestic animals.

What surprised me last night in the fauna category - I could swear I heard a bird in the background as Sawyer & Juliet got in the sub. Is that the first time we've seen/heard a bird on the island?

Posted by: Gonzai | May 7, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Vote for best quote: We'll buy Microsoft.

Posted by: afs213 | May 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

"There better be a darn good explanation for this glaring inconsistency at some point."

At Age 26-27, That would account for a full undergraduate education and 4-5 years of graduate work. For a regular person, not even a "child prodigy."

It's not really that much of a stretch.

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 7, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't think John is letting power go to his head; I think for the first time he is confident of his path. What struck me last night was that his death/resurrection seems to have transformed him, truly, at last, into "the leader." Thus, I think he plans to kill Jacob to resurrect Jacob and/or aid Jacob's plea for help.

I think that Jacob may be some sort of deity or manifestation of the island's magical powers which was damaged by the incident and needs help to be restored to its full capabilities. In the meantime, in its lesser state, Ben and Alpert have invoked Jacob's will to manipulate the Hostiles into carrying out their objectives. But I don't think Ben or Alpert really know Jacob's will, and the possibility that John truly will carry out Jacob's directives freaks them both out.

So it seems the central question of this season is: to bomb or not to bomb. Does the bomb cause the incident or prevent it?

Last week, Farraday (the on-island Farraday that is) had the same confidence and certainty that Locke possessed this week. But it seems crazy to use an H-Bomb to negate the release of "island energy."

Was this the first week where one episode switched freely between the 1977 and 2007 timestreams?

Posted by: NW_Washington | May 7, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

re: Faraday's age.
When Desmond was jumping around time in 2004, he jumps back to 1996. Was Faraday still a graduate student then, or was he already a PhD working with Widmore's grant money? A quick Google search found an article about a woman who got a PhD in math from Oxford at age 17.

If Faraday was born in 1977, he would be 19 in 1996. That seems plausible.

Posted by: Ghak | May 7, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Faraday is a Physics Doogie Howser!

Posted by: VTDuffman | May 7, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Poop sandwich, aka Kate, was in full effect last night. All she does is whine and complain and have that sour look on her face all episode!

Posted by: SpikeiRule | May 7, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Two other comments:

1. Ben tells Sun that Richard is a messanger. Reminded me of the arcangel Raphael who is used by Milton in 'Paradise Lost' to be the voice of god. You can get Raphael out of the letters in Richard Alpert but are left with extra letters that make no sense in English.

2. Richard tells Sun he sees her friends die. I think they don't die but they dissappear either to their own time or back to the plane pre-crash after the bomb detonates leaving Richard to believe they were evaporated and creating a great cliff hanger.

Posted by: L8yF8 | May 7, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Jes11 and others that Locke is on a mission and knows EXACTLY what he's doing. Since his "rebirth" or resurrection or whatever you want to call it, he's been very calm and in control and his decisions, unlike in the past, have been correct. He knew when and where to take Ben to see Smokey (even when Ben told him "it doesn't work that way". Ben was wrong), and he knew EXACTLY where to find his Other Self Who was Shot in the Leg (or since the ladies seem to like anagrams this week, his OSWWSITL). Since his rebirth he's been bang on with his decisions, and I think he knows exactly what he's doing by bringing the tribe along to see Jacob.

My fiance, who's much smarter than me, believes that when John said he's going to kill Jacob, that's he going to kill the idea of Jacob. There's been so many parallels to major religion on the show, I wonder if this isn't another one? I'm not a theology major, but for centuries the Catholic church had it's followers believe that they could not communicate directly with God- only the priest or leader could do that. Of course today, people who believe in God or Jesus now believe they can speak directly to Him through the Holy Spirit. I wonder if John wants to prove to his followers that they too can speak directly to Jacob and that everyone can have the same access to the knowledge of the Island that he has if they just believe?

Posted by: garton | May 7, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Best quote from last nite?

Alpert-"I think Locke is going to be a problem."

Ben-"Why do you think I tried to kill him?"

Posted by: wadejg | May 7, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I thought last week's episode made it clear that Faraday was younger than we thought. He mentioned upon graduating from Oxford that he was the youngest doctor to ever graduate from Oxford.

Posted by: stellalouise | May 7, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"At Age 26-27, That would account for a full undergraduate education and 4-5 years of graduate work. For a regular person, not even a 'child prodigy.'"

Sure, but he was supposed to be 18-19 when Desmond came to his lab in 1996, and he was already a professor, with Ph.D. in hand. Maybe that's possible, but if so, what an unnecessarily confusing casting choice they made.

I mean, at least when Olivia Newton-John went to high school in "Grease" and Kathleen Turner did it in "Peggy Sue Got Married," everyone played along because they were the stars.

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

First, I was SOOOOOOOOOO disappointed by the Sub CGI. They can make Oahu look like London, Iraq and Tunisia, but they can't make a submarine dive? Lame.

I'm probably the only one who's getting bored of season 5. I thought 4 was MUCH better with much bigger reveals and mysteries being raised. I'm with Liz, some has been answered this season, but definitely not enough, especially with only ~15 hours left on the show. I'm getting frustrated. But yet, I will continue to watch, hoping for some resolution.

My favorite exchange was
Alpert: I think Locke is becoming a problem.
Ben: Why do you think I tried to kill him?

Kind of reminds me of Jack's "I think we're going to have a Locke problem" from the earlier seasons (I might be misquoting here, it's a sleepy morning). It seems Locke is coming full circle.

Definitely getting sick of weak/whiny Kate. I understand that she has a newly-developed mothering instinct, but, woman, please! I loved Juliet's glare when Kate got on the sub, but I don't want to see the show devolve to a cat fight over a man - whereas the fight at the tempest was awesome.

And I think everyone's addressed this before, but everyone on the island is the opposite of what they are off the island.
Jack - on island is a strong leader, off island is a weak pill-popper
Kate - on island is more willing to follow and is more compassionate, off is a killer and liar
Sawyer - on island has gone from conman to good guy leader using his conman skills for good, off island is a murderous conman
Locke - on island is a strong man who always has a plan, off island is an invalid with confidence issues
Juliet - on island is strong and quick, while off island, she let herself get walked on by her cheating ex
I could go on and on about Sun, Jin, Charlie, Hurley, etc, but I think we can all see their on/off island changes.

Posted by: eet7e | May 7, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Back to Kate and Jack and altering the future. Kate has mostly a personal, subjective stake in whether the future/past is altered, as her future is a grim one of imprisonment and loneliness if Oceanic does not crash. Jack seems to see the issue more from a leader of a group perspective, as well as his personal pain from all the people who have died on the island. As a doctor he would like to find away to save those lives. Locke also seems to have the group perspective of wanting to save the group. It's almost like Bogart's speech in Casablanca, "the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of benas in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that."

Posted by: Lindytx | May 7, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Is that the first time we've seen/heard a bird on the island?

Posted by: Gonzai

no. In the third season, Claire wanted to catch the migratory birds so they could attach a note to one of them. It was connected to one of the flashes Des had about Charlie's death - Des saw Charlie trying to climb onto the rocks to catch one, but he slips and dies. In order to keep it from happening, Des shoots in the direction of the birds, claiming he was hunting.

Posted by: eet7e | May 7, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Was this the first week where one episode switched freely between the 1977 and 2007 timestreams?

Posted by: NW_Washington

I don't think so, there was the one where Sun and Lapidus found the cabin, Namaste.

Posted by: eet7e | May 7, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Liz, we have gotten a lot of answers this season, as always. The problem for people like your friend who gave up in season 3 is that we're still also been constantly given new questions. So you never feel like you're making progress when you find out three answers you've suspected anyway (Daniel's father, Miles's father, etc.) but you're presented with ten new puzzles to worry about. I figured we'd be finally having more questions answered than were asked by late this year, but it's not necessarily so. We still have this whole secret society of Ilana's to untangle, and most of the earthshaking revelations we have been given are things that were already strongly foreshadowed.

"Jen:...'Lost' creator J.J. Abrams -- as he has stated in interviews, including one earlier this week on "Charlie Rose" -- is a big believer in the notion that the mystery of a narrative is the whole fun. Once you know all the answers, the mystery is all gone and so is the joy. In many ways, I agree with him."

I think we'd all agree with you and Abrams there. But there are more than two possibilities. It's not just a stark choice between being immediately given all the answers or never being given any. What many of us want is a mystery we don't know the answer to right away but that we have confidence the writers can eventually explain sensibly.

The initial popularity of Lost was based on the tantalizing mysteries of the monster, etc., and what it could all mean. Then came the viewer disillusionment when the false starts of season 2's Tailies were an unproductive distraction, and when the show began to have an X-Files or Twin Peaks feel to many - that it was all tantalizing mystery and no answer. Thus the end scenario being presented to ABC and the firm timeline for the show's life was set, restoring some viewer confidence.

But I think the writers and producers need to follow through on that. It's not enough to assure us that you've assured the suits at ABC that there will eventually be answers. That's all pretty far removed from actually demonstrating that you're not making it up as you go along. They have enough unsnswered questions out there that it wouldn't kill them to resolve a few. Hopefully next week will be the type of bombshell finale that answers things instead of the cliffhanger type that just asks more.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 7, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Well said, UniqueID

Posted by: eet7e | May 7, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a theology major, but for centuries the Catholic church had it's followers believe that they could not communicate directly with God- only the priest or leader could do that. Of course today, people who believe in God or Jesus now believe they can speak directly to Him through the Holy Spirit."

Garton, that's nonsense. Save the anti-Catholicism for your next Klan meeting.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 7, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, very well said. I have to admit that, some weeks, I feel like I'm watching out of obligation -- having stuck it out this far, I have to ride it to the end to get some explanation. At least the last few weeks have provided some especially snappy dialogue, making it more fun to watch.

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I think pre-death Locke was indeed often proud and riding for a fall, and consequently was always getting smacked down (like many other characters). But I don't see that happening now. In fact, now it looks like Locke will be the tool that smacks down proud/manipulative Ben, and maybe Richard. They're the ones that will soon get their desrved commeupance, and the fact that it will come at the hands of the guy they thought was their pawn will make it all the more fit.

Posted by: UniqueID | May 7, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Best quote:

Richard: I'm starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble.
Ben: Why do you think I tried to kill him?

Posted by: ami00000 | May 7, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If Richard is only a messenger, as Ben said (and who knows if he's telling the truth) then Richard only knows the information of other people. Last night it was not Richard that was seemingly but Locke who knew how to fulfill his own destiny. Is Richard merely a vehicle to connect the destiny's of certain people who come to the island. If so then he is a slave...clearly a link to the Black Rock.

Posted by: stive21 | May 7, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

man i should have previewed that one. Last night it was not Richard who was omniscient but Locke who knew how to fulfill his own destiny. Make's more sense this way...hopefully. I'm just saying that Richard is beholden to others.

Posted by: stive21 | May 7, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Favorite quote John to Ben: "The island speaks to me, Ben. Didn't the island speak to you?"

By the way, what the heck does he mean by that? And wouldn't it creep you out if John smiled at you the way he smiles at Ben, or Richard, or Sun after he says something totally off the wall like that?

I too thought Kate was shot last night and was suprised when the commercial break was over and she was just fine. Luckily the hostile is a poor shot.

And I just want to say...Yay! Sayid's back!

Posted by: hodie | May 7, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the hostile ever got the shot off. The shots we heard were Sayid shooting the hostile. Like when Marion shot the bad guy in the bar in Raider's of the Lost Ark and even Indy thought he'd been shot, but he was fine, if that's not too much of a non-sequitur. Or, more to the point, when Juliet shot the Hostile earlier this season and saved Sawyer.

Posted by: talleyl | May 7, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

My favorite line was by Kate (of all people). Paraphrasing: "Oh, but it's okay to shoot children and set off hydrogen bombs?"

Posted by: NotDoc | May 7, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

"Or, more to the point, when Juliet shot the Hostile earlier this season and saved Sawyer."

I guess the writers liked their little "gotcha" so much they decided to repeat it. (Which I found a bit disappointing. BTW, I'm not anti-Lost, despite my whining today.)

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It does start to seem that the Hostiles are not necessarily BAD shots, they're really SLOW shots.

Posted by: talleyl | May 7, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"So I am wondering if Locke, Sun and Ben are living in an altered version of 2007, one in which Oceanic never crashed because of whatever Jack and co. are about to do back in 1977."

Due to the fact that the plane carrying Eko's brother was off the canopy and burned to a crisp due to Eko himself, I still the Oceanic Flight 815 crashes.

Also, here are a couple of my "calling its:"
-Richard Alpert = Villain
-Jacob WANTS Locke to kill him as a sort of a "freeing" process

Great work ladies, you brighten my Thursdays.

Posted by: WilsonWelch | May 7, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

WilsonWelch: I think you mean they "move your island." :)

Posted by: talleyl | May 7, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Jack is being Jack -- the impulsive has-to-be-in-charge fool who has a hyper-excess of hubris and always ends up screwing things up. He doesn't have a clue about quantum physics or temporal physics or nuclear bombs or just exactly what the hell this exotic matter is that is at the Orchid and Swan stations, but he suddenly has all the answers.

What an idiot.

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 7, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree there is some twist coming in the Locke "I'm going to kill Jacob" thing. He always says things with that twinkle in the eye that says "I'm telling you the literal truth, but it doesn't mean what you think it means."

I'm kinda going with the "Locke becomes Jacob" thing. Maybe he means he is going to kill himself to become Jacob (the Christ/resurrection thing). Maybe the "Jacob" that we will see will be a 90-yr-old version of Locke. It seems there have been at least a few clues along those lines. Hasn't the leader of the Others been portrayed as speaking for Jacob? And hasn't Jacob, in turn, been portrayed as speaking for the island? So last night, Locke saying that the island told him something directly -- wouldn't that imply that he was already sort of stepping into Jacob's shoes? (which, strangely, just reminded me of that first view of Locke lying on the beach, staring at his shoes).

Posted by: laura33 | May 7, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Love your analysis and enjoy reading it every week! But I have to ask, am I the only one who thinks that Jack, by detonating the H-bomb, will cause the incident? It seems everything they have done to prevent the future as they know it from happening has had the opposite affect, actually creating the future that they fear. Look at Sayid shooting Ben and Kate taking him to be healed. It seems to me they are creating a never-ending time loop? And HOW did Daniel know WHEN the incident occurs, since he dies before it happens? It doesn't seem to me his mother would tell him, or write it in the journal for his future reference.

Posted by: smd520 | May 7, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

You're right ooyah32, I missed Jack too.

Posted by: VT2003 | May 7, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

(a) What's Richard worried about? Locke is probably right that Ben has never really seen or heard Jacob, but Richard actually helped Locke take over, so it wouldn't seem he was in on that plot.

(b) Why are the hostiles living on the beach in 2007 (or whenever they are)? They've never lived on the beach before that we've seen. This gives credence to the idea that something has changed on the island, perhaps as a result of what Jack does. Maybe it's full of fallout now.

(c) JJ Abrams is right that mystery is exciting, but only up to a point. It's exciting in anticipation of the payoff. But the longer the payoff is delayed, the less interesting the mystery becomes. I got hooked on the show by the mystery of what was outside the door when Rousseau recorded her message. It looks like we may never get the answer to that one. (There was no mention of keys or anything else when she actually returned to the radio tower.) There's all sorts of minor mysteries like that one this series has dropped along the way. E.g., the numbers, which haven't been very important for almost 3 seasons now.

Posted by: charodon | May 7, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"So is Locke turning into Ben -- or is it just that he who aspires to leadership on the island automatically becomes a lying, duplicitous rapscallion?"

He who aspires to leadership on the island automatically becomes a provider or pork and pork accessories (ham).

Posted by: HardyW | May 7, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Liz - What's happening with the formatting? For this blog only (Lost Dueling Analysis), the comments go wider than the computer screen so I have to scroll to the right to read the end of each and every line, which is very tedious. Happened last week as well. Is anyone else seeing this?

Posted by: mat00 | May 7, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I noticed in that scene toward the end, when Locke is leading the posse of randoms (who ARE all those people?)

In the 1st flashnow scene (aka "30 years later...") Sun said that Locke said these are his people. Locke later said that he was now their leader & they had been following Jacob for a long time. So they HAVE to be the Others right? So in between Ben turning the donkey wheel they have relocated from the Orchid station or the temple to the beach? So if that is the case what happened to Llena & the Ajira 316ers .??

Posted by: skinsfan6465 | May 7, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Notice how Richard said "There's something different" about Locke? You guys are missing the boat on this one---Lazurus John Locke is really the Smoke Monster; what's in the box is the coffin containing John Locke's body. This is why Lazurus John suddenly knows nearly everything. John really did make a sacrifice, and dead really is dead, just like Ben Linus said.

Posted by: Seytom1 | May 7, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

mat00 - I've had this formatting problem too, but it always gets fixed when I click the "refresh" button on my browser.

Posted by: NotDoc | May 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

To the person hung up on Faraday's age.

Ruth Lawrence was 17 when she received her PhD in Math from Oxford in 1989 (not sure if she's the youngest). If, fictionally, Faraday is the youngest, that means that at most he was 17 when he got his PhD (though he looked much older, and had a full beard). If he was born in '77, that would put him at 19 doing Post-doc work at Oxford when Desmond comes to see him. Not unreasonable.

Posted by: boilermike | May 7, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Locke is Jacob.... Here's why...

It would be future Locke who becomes Jacob right, so why would Jacob in 2004 tell Locke to help him ?

unless Jacob A has John Locke kill him, and so then John Locke becomes Jacob B which releases Jacob A from his duty, revealing that original Jacob was somebody else.... does that make sense?

Posted by: tjkass | May 7, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

A few questions --

Is Christian a manifestation of Jacob or the Island or both or something else?

Are Jacob and the Island one and the same?

Is Jacob just some regular guy -- one of the current characters -- who somehow was placed in an altered state, out-of-phase with normal space and time, because of "the Incident" or some other Island anomaly?

Is Locke wanting to kill Jacob what Jacob wants also (to release him from this hell of being out-of-phase with normal space and time)?

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 7, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I've been having trouble writing on this site the past two weeks so I'm writing this without having read all of the comments above. Do we now know from last night's episodes that when the Losties were time-jumping earlier in the season that in at least one instance they jumped into the future? When Ben turned the donkey-wheel, it was in late 2004/early 2005, correct? When Locke/Ben/Sun relanded on the island it is in 2007, correct? Thus, when Locke tells Richard to go remove a bullet from the other Locke that has to have happened in 2007. So Locke, at least, jumped into the future during one of his trips. Not sure this means anything special except to prove that it is possible to timetravel to the future. Maybe we'll see other evidence of that in an upcoming show.

Posted by: dojemc | May 7, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

One question that I would like having answered at some point.... is what is the "purpose" of the others...

Why do they need a leader aka Ben, John Locke? John seems set on 'releasing' them... but why do the others (seemingly only Richard) focus on choosing their leaders...

Whats the deal with the others? What is their modus operandi?

Posted by: tjkass | May 7, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I thought the funny part was when Hurley said there's no such thing as the Korean war.

The CGI sub was laughable - scifi channel type quality.

Posted by: pugz1 | May 7, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Bingo! Thanks for the remedy, NotDoc!

Posted by: mat00 | May 7, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

A couple folks have said that Richard was a "messenger." That's not accurate. He was described by Ben as a "guide", I believe. There is a difference.

Posted by: dojemc | May 7, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"Garton, that's nonsense. Save the anti-Catholicism for your next Klan meeting."

UniqueID, calm down. I have no idea what this, or what I said, has to do with the Klan. All I'm saying is that we've been led to believe that the "Hostiles" have been always been blindly led by a leader who takes his orders from Jacob, and said leader, be it Ben or Widmore, is the only person who can talk to Jacob. Maybe Locke is trying show the "Hostiles" that anyone can talk to Jacob or be guided by the Island (Locke has said a number of times "the Island told me"), not just the Hostile's leader. I was not trying to offend you, although if you can't concede that the Catholic/Christian church did operate for many years in the way I described then that's not my problem.

Posted by: garton | May 7, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The others are on the beach, but I don't think it's the same beach our beloved losties landed on. It doesn't look the same, and don't forget they're on an island so there would be quite a bit of beach front property.

Posted by: jes11 | May 7, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

No, it's your problem, Garton, what with your anti-Catholic ignorance.

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 7, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Mat00,

I"ve had the same problem the past two weeks. They seem to have corrected that this week. It's been very frustrating.

Posted by: dojemc | May 7, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ben said Richard was an "advisor."

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not a theology major, but for centuries the Catholic church had it's followers believe that they could not communicate directly with God- only the priest or leader could do that.

It's absolutely true, the whole point of a priest is to intercede on your behalf. As a lifetime practicing Catholic I can't imagine why anyone would find this offensive.

Posted by: bproulx45 | May 7, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "best" phrase or dialog, but I thought it was funny when Sawyer referred to the submarine's captain as Nemo.

I must be the only one here, but I really like off-island John Locke better than the messianic on-island John Locke (lowest point when he broke the hatch's computer and Desmond had to save the world). Current John Locke, "I am the galaxy's center", doesn't seem much different to me.

Posted by: for33 | May 7, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Final moment of this season I'd like to see: the giant statue sinking in the ocean after the nuclear blast

Final moment of the show: Kate & Jack or Sawyer & Juliet meeting for the first time after the future is changed

Posted by: Lostie6 | May 7, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It is totally false, bproulx45, notwithstanding your trying to buttress your misinformation with "lifetime practicing Catholic" bona fides. I too know something of the matter, and not merely as a "lifetime practicing Catholic."

In any event -- it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Lost. So go take it elsewhere.

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 7, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to wonder whether Jacob is going to end up being "the man behind the curtain" a la Wizard of Oz. There certainly is that vibe going on right now.

Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I was assuming 2007 Ben/Locke/Sun are in a different timeline than 2004 post-crash; hence the Others on the beach rather than New Otherton, which doesn't exist at all (Dharmaville is simply vacant).

And why all the 20-something Others in Locke's parade, if they can't have kids on the island? Where do they come from, or are they all ghosty Black Rock alums like Richard Alpert? I get the sense they're not, but who knows.

Posted by: HardyW | May 7, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I believe Ben referred to Richard as an "adviser", not as a "messenger".

Posted by: MrDarwin | May 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Kate needs to get lost in the woods. Everyone is getting along fine without her. Jack made some new friends, then Kate decides to leave, resulting in someone getting shot. Sawyer and Juliet are ready to make their new life until…Kate once again shows up, here to ruin everything. And let’s not forget her insistence on saving little Ben. If Kate had just stayed home rather than getting on the plane, it seems like everything would be going along a lot better for everyone.

Posted by: Matt27 | May 7, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I have really given up hope on figuring out lost and have resorted to just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

A few questions though; why is kate on the sub? I understand sawyer and juliet punched their tickets by spilling the beans (and presumambly drawing a map), but radinsky was in a killing mood for kate and yet she ambles back into new otherton and she just gets tossed onboard? something doesn't jell with that story line.

I dont know why Jack isnt thinking more clearly. He already tried to change the past once by not saving lil ben, which only reinforced the path he was on (ben becomes a souless other). Now he is trying to change it again and he expects different results? Also, does anyone think "the tunnels" look an awfully lot like the temple?

best quote of the night:
Dr. Ghang - "So you fought in the Korean War?"
Hurley- "uhhh, no such thing."

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | May 7, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

New Otherton (previously Dharmaville) was mostly destroyed by Keamy and company. That's why the Others don't live there. Plus, I wonder if the Others used to live in New Otherton only because Ben didn't want to live in a tent.

Posted by: Ghak | May 7, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait!!! The Klan is anti-Catholic? Good thing I left religion blank on my application.

Posted by: wagz20 | May 7, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Could be irrelevant or previously mentioned, but seems pertinent now.

Richard Alpert was a Harvard Professor back in the 60's. He changed his name at one point to Ram Dass, whch means "servant of God", and eventually spent his life "spreading the message" of "everyone is a manifestation of God and that every moment is of infinite significance."

Thanks to Wikipedia for the quotes. The reference to his pre-Richard Alpert days was in Hunter S. Thompson's book 'Hell's Angels', where he was heavy into the LSD scene.

I think that this may have some key into who Richard Alpert truly is.

Posted by: heysuess40 | May 7, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

ooyah32 and UniqueID, I honestly did not mean for that to come across as anti-Catholic, or be offensive. We apparently have a difference of opinion and I'm not going to push it any further because this is not the time or place for it. My apologies for causing an unintented distraction from what is great discussion on a great show.

Posted by: garton | May 7, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Klan is anti-Catholic?"

Ardently, though I don't recall exactly why. Maybe because back in its heydey, Catholicism was predominant among waves of Irish and Italian immigrants? (Remember "no dogs or Irish"? Also, the Klan peaked in the early 1900s, when some people were freaking out about Italian immigrants.)

[Sorry to be off-topic.]

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, by "its heyday," I meant the Klan's, not Catholicism's.

[Now backing away before getting into (more) trouble...]

Posted by: Janine1 | May 7, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

heysuess40, that's great insight. I'm really fascinated by who or what Richard is (since he never seems to age), and after last night's epsiode, I'm now more interested than ever in his motivations. I had always thought he acted with the best intentions of the Island in mind, but now I'm left to wonder whether he has a personal agenda in all of this and what that is.

Posted by: garton | May 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

In any event -- it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Lost. So go take it elsewhere.

Sorry, you just seem VERY sensitive about a subject that is not that important.

Posted by: bproulx45 | May 7, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else find it unintentionally hilarious every time Eloise said "bom"? She must've said it 17 times. Bom Bom Bom. I couldn't stop laughing - kind of took the wind out of the dramatic effect there.

I understand that they're not going to be able to wrap up all the loose threads but, if I don't get some answers on that *^@%$#Q statue soon, so help me God ...

Posted by: Johnny_Zen | May 7, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"And HOW did Daniel know WHEN the incident occurs, since he dies before it happens? It doesn't seem to me his mother would tell him, or write it in the journal for his future reference."
Posted by: smd520

I'm presuming that Daniel learned about the plans in Ann Arbor. I mean, he is the physicist. You'd think he would know about the drilling plan. I thought that's why he came back to the island, because of the planned drilling. And I assume he knows about the incident just as he knew about other aspects of the island, like the Tempest and its poison gas. But I see you're point. Its as though Daniel has been watching all 5 seasons of the show. He seems to know more than he should.

Seytom1,
Interesting idea, that Lazurus Locke is smokey. This idea actually fits into my notion of the ancient gods. If smokey is an ancient god, Jacob may be also. The ancient gods use to fight each other all the time, but since they were imortal they could not kill them, so they imprisoned them. So Jacob could be an imprisoned god. Lazurus Locke, if he is smokey or another manifestation of a god, may want to either free Jacob or actually kill him. Locke being smokey also explains why Locke disappeared when Ben was "judged" by smokey, and after smokey went back into the ductwork Locke reappeared.

If not that then I'm going with the idea that Locke is going to expose Jacob as a fraud. A made up figure used by Ben and Richard to stop questions from the Others. But then I have to ask, why is controlling a handful of people on a remote island so important? My guess is Ben and Richard know how to time travel and are using the Others to do things for them, like kidnap Locke's father, like torture people, like protecting the island, the source of the time travel. Its basically using a religious tactic of an unseen power to keep people in line.

And I think Kate doesn't want to stop the incident, and it leading to the flight 815 crash, for a simple reason; if the plane never crashed on the island and instead flew to LA, she was going to jail for a long time. Remember, she was handcuffed to Edward Mars and being returned to the US to face justice for killing her step father. Kate has become the new Sawyer, only thinking of herself and her freedom.

Ok, one last little issue. Jughead is a H-bomb. Those things are 1000 times as powerful as the nukes that were dropped on Japan. It won't bury anything. It will rip a crater about 200 feet deep and obliterate everything withing a 10 mile radius, including mountains. The island is about that big. Jack knows nothing about H-bombs and the effect it will have on the energy. All he is doing is trusting that Daniel was right and his reason for being there to to carry out the plan. Jack is now a believer, which should make John Locke happy.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 7, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I heard "advisor," too, in reference to RA. Which firms up my belief that he is more of a Chief of Staff type character. The Rahm Emanuel of the island, so to speak.

Posted by: eet7e | May 7, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute: what if Jacob is some poor soul or spirit that is stuck in nosebleed loop and is waiting for his constant to come and save him????

Or not.

So how DO you set off an H bomb? And even if you know how to do it, will the island LET you do it? I think not.

WAIT A MINUTE: what if VINCENT is Jacob? Huh? Huh????

Okay. I admit it. I feel as gobsmacked as Ben looked at the end of the episode when John told him he was going to kill Jacob. Wasn't that great?

Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What did Desmond turning the failsafe key actually do? Maybe, after The Incident, Jughead was buried in the concrete under the Swan station and the failsafe key set it off, so that the energy of Jughead exploding and the energy overload resulting from the button not being pushed canceled each other out. So if they set off Jughead before The Incident, it will negate the energy before The Incident can happen.

Posted by: Ghak | May 7, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

God I love that little musical motif that occurs whenever a large group exodus happens..like the beach exodus last night (Bass + Cello)

Da Da dum dum da....da ditti da...da ditti da .. Da Da dum dum da (etc.)

(dumb) :) ..but I love it.

Posted by: jfu222 | May 7, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I call the exodus music "Walking Music". Even though it has also been used for boat travel.

Posted by: Ghak | May 7, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I might have to remix "waking Music" Ghak.. it's too cool :)

I was thinking last night ...maybe Jacob is in the shadow of the statue?

Than I imagined some guy (or girl) stuck there like desmond (a button pusher)

Only this time the "button" (or switch) was a course correction switch...when it's turned off you can change the past when it's on, course correction.

So Locke wants to kill him to turn the switch (or wheel or whatever) off and change the past (grab his pals, be the new switchboard operator ..etc)

Posted by: jfu222 | May 7, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Garton: "We apparently have a difference of opinion"

Again, no.

It is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of fact and your misstatement of fact.

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 7, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I am beginning to wonder whether Jacob is going to end up being "the man behind the curtain" a la Wizard of Oz. There certainly is that vibe going on right now.

Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009
pq
That is exactly what my wife and I were thinking. In fact when the "randoms" were being led by Locke we started singing Follow the Yellow Brick Road.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | May 7, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

It was nice of Lost to blow away my "all the Others are dead except the 2 Alperts" theory in the first 5 minutes. I didn't have to wait for very long hoping I was right.

That being said, on top of killing her own son, Eloise just didn't listen to him. He didn't tell her to put the leaking bomb in a hole at water table levels. He told her to encase it in concrete. So, *clap clap* Ms. Hawking, your son's a genius, you ain't.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | May 7, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Ghak -
LOVE your theory. (Although it makes my head want to explore a little bit.)

Posted by: kbockl | May 7, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

If Smokey could make what looks like Alex come back and physically push Ben around, how do we know that Locke isn't actually another Smokey avatar, and that the real Locke isn't still peacefully dead in his coffin?

Posted by: nancila_neu | May 7, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

the drug plane fell from the trees when Boone was in it. therefore, Oceanic 815 probably had to crash in order for it to be where it was when Locke came out of the woods and met with alpert. SO, I don't think sun and locke are in an alternate time where oceanic 815 hadn't crashed.

Posted by: csw2 | May 7, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Can we let the religious twits have their own show to squabble over? What does the Catholic/anti-Catholic rant have to do with anything that any sane person cares about?

Posted by: thrh | May 7, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Can't we leave snide political comments out of this?(The shot at the Bush Administration regarding alleged torture)?I want to talk about LOST not politics.

Posted by: maximus4 | May 7, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

at the risk of getting my head chopped off for something:

1. Somebody help me, I'm starting to feel sorry for Ben!

2) "I am beginning to wonder whether Jacob is going to end up being "the man behind the curtain" a la Wizard of Oz. There certainly is that vibe going on right now. Posted by: PQSully | May 7, 2009'

ME THREE! I was thinking the same thing, tho didn't have the wits about me to start singing "Follow the Yellow Brick Road, as I was busy trying to think of an appropriate Led Zeppelin song for the cheerful occasion. Mr. Merkin? 68?

3. GARTON -

I think I totally understood your point as it pertains to Lost. Ben, for example, has based his authority on the insistence that he has exclusive and direct communication with Jacob, and that Jacob IS the Island, or rules the Island, or decides everything, so Ben is in charge because Jacob tells HIM what to do.

When Ben and Locke went to the cabin that time, Ben seemed to be talking with Jacob and was stunned when Locke said he could hear Jacob too. That could have meant many things. But for now, the point is -

Locke might be trying to expose the status-quo- hierarchy on the island by revealing that EVERYONE can talk to Jacob for themselves; that it is not just a privilege reserved for the leaders, nor does anyone need to go through a leader to be in touch with Jacob. They can have a personal relationship with him.

Is that what you meant? If so, I think it's a really a cool theory. One of many good ones suggested here.

My studies (and a year at a Lutheran school) taught me the same history you're referring to - that the Protestant movement largely arose from the belief that people are capable of having a direct relationship with God without needing an intermediary (a Priest) . But your post was not about religion, it was about the show.... which is the whole point of this site.

Do Lost characters have to rely on their leaders to learn about what Jacob wants, or can they find out directly. And is that what Locke is about to reveal?

Leave Garton alone, he was just making a story comment. Let's get back to having fun here.

Posted by: camis | May 8, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

With their eye for detail the producers were undoubtedly aware, and more likely directly referencing, the 16th century Protestant Reformation as Locke led the Hostiles to directly communicate with Jacob. After all, one of the most fundamental points of the Reformation was that Protestantism, unlike Catholicism at the time, removed the absolute need for an intermediary (i.e., literate priests) between its followers and God. Further, a major driver for the Reformation was the general ‘corruption’ of the 16th century Catholic Church, perhaps something that the producers were also referring to.

Consequently, maybe we are led to believe that that Locke, in “Follow the Leader”, was playing the role of Luther or Calvin. On the other hand, we live in a country where [studies show that] only 50% of us can name one or more of the Gospels (John, Paul, George, and Ringo, right?!), so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into this…

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 8, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Just a minor thought. During “Follow the Leader” Ben seemed surprised, while standing next to present-Locke (and ageless Richard), that time-jumping Locke appeared out of the jungle and then disappeared before his very eyes. Was this feigned surprise because…

… we assume that Ethan got a close look at Locke in “Because You Left” since (a) he shot Locke in the leg, and (b) Locke subsequently told Ethan that, “…Ben Linus appointed me as your leader.“ Later in time (2004) Ethan spent many days with the mid-section survivors, including time hunting with Locke. We assume that (a) Ethan recognized Locke at this time (2004), (b) told Ben about both his encounters with Locke that were separated by several years, and (c) informed Ben how Locke had previously literally vanished before his eyes.

So, not only did Ben in 2004 (as Henry Gale, for example) know that Locke had/will jump back-and-forth in time, perhaps including the visit to Richard in 1954 (though presently we’re not sure if Ben will directly remember the Losties from their 1974-1977 visit), he knew what those jumps would look like.

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 8, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I just would like to suggest that perhaps the reason why the passengers in the submarine have not been sedated is that the submarine will make a temporary stop at the Looking Glass station before heading back to the "real world".

Posted by: for33 | May 8, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Daniel knows when the energy accident happens (even though he is killed by her before it happens) because Eleanor knows when it happens and writes it in his journal.
Regarding the timeline and changing the course of events...
Desmond couldn't save Charlie. No matter how often he tried to prevent him from dying, Charlie's Death Barge (my homage to the Egyptian theme of the show) was still traveling down that river. Desmond was just delaying the inevitable. Charlie eventually took control of his own destiny and chose the when and where of his death.
The variable in this case seemed to be the "where and when", not the "if".

Eleanor seems to be of the "You can't change past events" camp. We know this because if she thought she could change events in the past, she would have written in Daniel's journal for him not to bring a gun when he meets Richard for the second time (then she wouldn't have shot him). She would have done all she could to have prevented his death by her rifle.
But we know she didn't do this. (And what kind of mother does this make her!?)

Regarding Jack being a changed man...he had kept the bit of note from John who said "I wish you would have believed in me". Since his return to the island he has become a man of faith which is what Kate noticed. I think we'll see more of this faith in future episodes.

And just a little side note...Jack can be a nickname for John, ergo they're two sides of the same coin, perhaps?

Posted by: olivertray | May 8, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant to say "Eloise " not Eleanor in my post above.

Posted by: olivertray | May 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm taking bets on who will know how to detonate the H-bomb:
a) Jack, because he is smart.
b) Ellie because she somehow knows.
c) Sayid, because he worked with Saddam's (missing) WMD.
I mean, its not like it will have a fuse sticking out if it (I hope).

I don't know what to make of John going to kill Jacob. This could end up in many possible ways. I think Lost is wearing me down because I am willing to wait until next week without speculating.

I also think Kate will kick the bucket next week. She seems to have no more purpose in the show anymore, just like Daniel after he dumped all his knowledge about the bomb to Jack. And I'm guessing she will do it to save Sawyer, leaving Juliet in multiple emotional states, which she is good at.

How did all those people fit on the sub? This is a 1977 sub that can fit in a small lagoon. Maybe the people were all turned into cgi electronic bits, just like the sub.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 8, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

“Daniel knows when the energy accident happens… because [Eloise] knows when it happens and writes it in his journal.”

See, I think this is where the show will go. But why, for example, would Daniel then return to the island only a few hours before the incident? (The flippant answer is because that is what he always did and it says so in the journal… but the show should be better than mere flippancy). Do we think that the bomb (with Eloise’s help) is really what causes the incident and not the drilling? And that Daniel’s journal entry (highlighting the drilling), written by Eloise, just says what it has to to ensure Daniel follows through?

“We know this because… she would have written in Daniel's journal for him not to bring a gun when he meets Richard for the second time… But we know she didn't do this”

Do we? Perhaps the first time an unarmed Daniel meekly strolled into the camp, aroused suspicion by his nervous demeanor, and got shot (since he couldn’t defend himself). So Eloise writes in his journal, “son, for the love of [Jacob] be proactive and take a gun with you”. And then we saw the second gun-toting time (same outcome). Although I actually agree with your thought, I think Eloise thinks some important things can change (hence she talks about course correction and unpredictable results), but that she thinks/knows that there will be unfortunate outcomes (such as?) if these important things were somehow changed.

However, my overriding disappointment is that the producers haven’t clearly outlined their version of time-jumping after 15 episodes. For example, we’re still being misdirected with this idea of “[exactly] whatever happened, happened”, even though (i) such an immutable timeline makes for boring sci-fi, and (ii) we’ve repeatedly been exposed to evidence suggesting a mutable timeline (e.g., the idea of course correction, the notion of unpredictable results, and watching Desmond change the timeline on several occasions). My gut reaction is that the producers realized that time-jumping plots are always laden with story-danger (especially when getting into details) so they have, and will continue, to be rather ambiguous on the matter.

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 8, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Seytom1: Smokey-as-Locke is totally possible. It's impersonated dead people before, namely Eko's brother, and maybe Ben's mother (IIRC). But this would be the first time we've ever seen it manifest itself on the Hydra island, which is where Lazarus-Locke first appeared. Also, the previous encounters were sort of secluded and one-on-one. I'm sticking with the theory that it's really Locke, resurrected, and while he's telling the truth that he intends to kill Jacob, there's some non-devious reason for his plan.

Posted by: charodon | May 8, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

PatAbroad wrote: "Perhaps the first time an unarmed Daniel meekly strolled into the camp, aroused suspicion by his nervous demeanor, and got shot (since he couldn’t defend himself). So Eloise writes in his journal, “son, for the love of [Jacob] be proactive and take a gun with you”. And then we saw the second gun-toting time (same outcome)."

Ok, lets say this is the case and Daniel has to die. But now Ellie is preparing to set off a nuke. Lets say she does. How would this change anything if the universe can self correct? Michael put a gun to his head and the gun would not fire. Why would Dan think that he could get a nuke to fire?

Oh, and the line of people following Locke at the end was just a reference to the show's title "Follow the Leader".

I've never stopped thinking about where Ellie and Charles came from but I'm now ready to speculate. They are from a future time and, like our Lostees, were propelled back in time to 1954 or earlier, maybe as their anti-gravity car was flying over the island.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 8, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I also picked up on a) Alpert seeming to notice how "different" Locke appears and b) the fact that one of the opening clips was the clip where Ben tells Sun "dead is dead". I think the Locke we are seeing now is a manifestation and he is, in fact, dead (after all, "dead is dead"). While Locke has at times seemed confident in his choices/decisions in the past, there's something different about this confidence that makes me believe that that's not really Locke. A) He knew EXACTLY when his shot "past self" was going to stumble by when he, Alpert, and Ben were in the woods. And B) he told Alpert to tell his "past self" that he has to die to bring the others back. Those developments were both MAJOR red flags to me. He's shifted into the same role that Christian has had: namely, to guide the narrative in order to make sure that certain key events occur.

This island is a living entity that makes decisions and strategizes. Initially I thought that the smoke moster WAS Jacob, judging those who are a threat and helping those who are key to the island's survival. I thought that the smoke monster's job was not only to judge, but also to guide others through this narrative playing out, ultimately protecting the island. Now I think that Jacob is the island ITSELF, or it's "spirit/soul" and the smoke monster is a separate "bodyguard-type" entity that protects the island. I think we assumed that Alex was a manifestation of the smoke monster itself in the Ben-judgement episode, but what if Alex was in fact a manifestation of Jacob which appeared AFTER the smoke monster had finished his judgement? I write all of this knowing that minimum 90% will probably be disproved next week.

Posted by: linz2 | May 8, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

the show is wearing me down, too. But still... thoughts:

Nearly all the characters have evolved in some way, except for Kate, who remains as selfish as ever. there is surely a reason for this. She said she was going back to find Charlotte. Maybe via her sub ride? perhaps, but....

I still think Widmore threatened her in some way; maybe her real mission was to get Ben to the Others. Done. I think there will be a revelation style resolution before she goes.

Jack may be more of a man of faith now, but he seems to use his faith at random, with no clear center. And just because he has headed off to detonate the bomb doesn't mean he WILL detonate it. Most plans go awry here. And that creepy Eloise is not to be trusted.

do we know that the bomb is/was detonated at some point? I can't remember. i gather they want to detonate it to counter-act "the incident," but if they detonate it, that could BE the incident - once again proving that they are only creating the very future they think they can change.

But then, the bomb would vaporize the whole place even in whacky Lost Land.

NOW i think that Locke is "bad" and Ben is "good" - but has been used all along and is just realizing that. Richard is freaking out too, perhaps also questioning his purpose.

But young Widmore is hot! Good Bad Good Bad. Mixed.

The most important thing to me is - how is Charlie "Die Worm" doing?


Posted by: camis | May 8, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

“How would this change anything if the universe can self correct? Michael put a gun to his head and the gun would not fire. Why would Dan think that he could get a nuke to fire?”

I don’t know. Perhaps Daniel thinks he was just altering a ‘variable’ (seems unlikely). Perhaps, if indeed the hydrogen bomb is (miraculously!!) detonated, that it was always ‘meant’ to be so (Daniel knew he was just maintaining the timeline?). Though one might think detonating a hydrogen bomb on a small-ish island would show some side effects (changed vegetation at least) in 2004 (and in any time 1977-2004 we’ve seen, such as Danielle landing on the island). So maybe the bomb doesn’t go off after all and Jack and co simply disappear in a drilling-induced incident (i.e., time-jump) before Richard’s very eyes…

But what about “course correction” and “unpredictable results”? They both contradict [exactly] “whatever happened, happened”, but they are also antagonistic to each other. That is, how could “results” ever be “unpredictable” if “course correction” took care of everything?

Maybe the producers’ conception of time-jumping is that if one jumps in time and does not tamper with a ‘constant’ (e.g. the incident?), then course correction ensures that results are predictable (doesn’t fit Michael’s gun?) Conversely, if one challenges a ‘constant’, then results are unpredictable?

Personally, I still think the producers’ are going to remain vague (why change after 15 episodes?) to minimize their exposure to inevitable inconsistencies. The producers’ are correct that the mystery is what entertains us… but only for so long.

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 8, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

1) Thanks to Jen Chaney. For almost three weeks I haven’t been able to post (although I was able to enjoy what the rest of you had to say). I kept getting a message saying I wasn’t logged in, even though I WAS logged in! Jen was able to do in minutes what my emails to WaPo and phone calls haven’t been able to do in weeks. Thanks, Jen.

2) Many thanks to Liz for sharing the variable theory of the poster from Charlotte, NC. That explanation rang more true than any of the other variable theories I’ve read.

3) Laura 33: great catch in your May 7 10:56 a.m. post about the apparent discrepancy in time. (Gee, imagine a TIME problem in “Lost”!) I’m not sure if Faraday said “the incident” would happen in four hours or in six, but definitely more time than that has passed between Faraday’s prediction and when last night’s episode ended.

4) As for Locke killing Jacob, I’m not sure how literally to take the word “kill.” He might just be having some fun jerking around Ben. (Certainly Ben deserves a little payback from Locke!) Last season when Locke went to Jacob’s cabin w/ Ben, Locke heard Jacob plead, “Help me.” Whatever Locke has in mind is probably just his way of helping Jacob. I tend to trust Locke at this point mainly b/c he does seem to have such a vivid vision of his purpose and b/c he must really be in touch w/ the island if he could be so precise in bringing Ben & Alpert to that 30-second exchange in the huge expanse of time when Alpert removed the bullet from Locke’s leg at the Beechcraft airplane.

And Camis - the only Led Zeppelin song reference I can think of that even comes close to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" is:
"There are two paths you can go by,
But in the long run there's still time to change the road you're on." But, according to "Lost," CAN we change the road we're on and isn't the concept of "time" pretty slippery?

Posted by: MrMerkin | May 8, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Patabroad, I agree that the producers are stringing things out to prolong the mystery and like a couple of the posters above, I'm content now to merely enjoy the ride. That being said, I still hope they continue to provide us with some answers as we go along. Yes, what's the deal with the statute! I was hanging in there 6 or 7 shows ago with Bevjims theory about Egyptian Gods but the longer the show goes on and the closer it has gotten to the end of this season (2 hours left for crying out loud)I really don't think they are going to have time to develop that theory.

What I still want to know is where did Richard Alpert's compass come from. He gave it to Locke in 2007 (correct; we now know that Locke jumped from 2004 to 2007 where he met RA). Locke gave it back to him in 1954. Locke asks for it again in 2007 and it is now rusty. Where did the compass come from in the first place?

In this show we now have the same thing happening again though with the journal/notebook/diary/whatever it is. We've seen Daniel with it since the first time we met him last year. I assumed all along that he wrote the material in it, perhaps based upon his own time travelling/mind traveling experiences. Now we see that it was given to him by his mother who took it off of his cold, dead body in 1977. Did she write the entries in it? And then give it to Daniel after he grew up? But, if so, where did the diary/journal/etc come from in the first place? It's not a chicken and egg situation but where did it come from in the first place?

Posted by: dojemc | May 8, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

dojemc wrote: "What I still want to know is where did Richard Alpert's compass come from. He gave it to Locke in 2007 (correct; we now know that Locke jumped from 2004 to 2007 where he met RA). Locke gave it back to him in 1954. Locke asks for it again in 2007 and it is now rusty. Where did the compass come from in the first place?"

Now lets see what this compass-time-loop looks like (warning, I've had a few beers to celebrate predicting the nuke would be used after they buried it).

1) In 1954, Locke gives Richard the compass.
2) Richard keeps it until 2007, once showing it to young Locke in the early 1960s during the test he gave young Locke.
3) Locke (through Richard) passes this compass (now rusty) back to his “bleeding to death” self before he blips to 1954 again.
4) That still “bleeding to death” Locke gives the compass to Richard again. We are back at #1, except Locke did not give Richard a rusty compass in 1954. The compass could not have rejuvenated since we have not seen anything like that happening.

So, the compass Richard gives Locke in 2007, which he carries back to 1954, is not the compass he gives Richard. That, or when Richard goes over to give bleeding Locke the rusty compass, he gives him a different compass. The same compass cannot be in the time loop or as it loops it would continue to age endlessly and rust away after just a few loops.

The questions I have is why Locke would want to ensure Richard mended Locke and give him the compass with instructions to die.


Posted by: bevjims1 | May 9, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm still along for the ride, as somebody else said, but I think Lost is getting a bit to hung up on itself. I mean, What year is this? Is he/she dead or alive? Is he/she his/her mother/father?

It's just getting to be a bit much. Mies van der Rohe said "Less is more". I the case of Lost, I think just a bit less would be a lot more.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | May 10, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

It's just getting to be a bit much. Mies van der Rohe said "Less is more". I the case of Lost, I think just a bit less would be a lot more.
Posted by: bethesdaguy

I remember seeing one of the producers of Lost say that what makes a great show is the mystery. So they made Lost a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma. They know we want answers, that's why we watch the show. They know this. Their mission in life is not to answer the questions but keep us watching the show hoping for an answer. Like drug addicts we can't stop. Lost, the TV drug I just can't say no to.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 10, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

A thought:
Locke is dead. His body is now being used by Anibus, the god who guides the dead through the underworld and judgement by Osiris. That is why Locke told Ben he was there to guide him to his judgement before the Monster. Now Locke is going to kill Jacob. If Locke is really Anibus, why would he want to kill Jacob? My guess is Jacob is either a fraud perpatrated by Ben/Richard, or more likely, Jacob is a real person trapped in some sort of time prison, doing deeds for Ben and Richard. Once Jacob is killed (or freed), time looping will stop and our 1977 Lostees may possibly return to 2007.

Note that Richard seemed the most concerned with Locke's statement that he planned to kill Jacob. Richard's immortality may be dependent on Jacob's existence.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 11, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

some late thoughts,

Sorry about being a geek, but the half life of tritium (fuel used in H bombs) is only 12.5 years, so the explosion of jughead would only produce a Hiroshima size explosion, not the full Hbomb.

Also I have been wondering this since Jughead, but how and why did the US military place a H bomb on the island. Other parties have had difficulty finding the island, and I'm sure the military doesn't plan to detonate Hbombs on any island they come across

My guess on why Faraday knew when the incident occured is because he witnessed it in a previous time line and wrote it in his notebook. It seems even though he may not remember experiencing the incident, as long as it was recorded in the book it was saved in all time lines, otherwise, why would he bothered to write that desmond was his constant, if the information had a chance of disappearing.

I wonder if what Ilana and other survivors are bringing to the island is another nuclear bomb?

I wonder if the island is having Locke correct his mistakes. I think that when Locke blew open the Hatch, it caused the whole distortion in time. Remember, Hurley said they shouldn't do it, and to use Faraday's analogy that time is like a record, when the Hatch blew at the beginning of the second season, we saw the record playing in the swan(?) go completely out of groove. Could it be that Locke has to restore things to the way they were?

Posted by: adam_peritz | May 11, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

adam: wouldn't 'even' a Hiroshima size explosion vaporize the entire island?

We know that doesn't happen, we've seen the future there. I still don't think The Incident involves the bomb.

When Farraday climbed that ladder, he didn't seem freaked out that the bomb might detonate - he was worried about the corrosion and the radiation leak. I'm no physicist, but I think that bomb has lost its oomph.

I will be very surprised, and very wrong, if it goes off.

bevims - nothing personal, but I'm still not buying the Egyptian mythology interpretation. If they're going for a mythological/spiritual framework, (which I think they are), they have presented such a variety of imagery and thematic threads that i think they are going for a more universal approach involving numerous interpretations.

None of then right, none of them wrong, but a variety.

In fact, I think that the underlying theme is about how people attach Different interpretations to their Common experiences, in a search for a definitive meaning. It's about science, it's about faith, it's about the individual, it's about the group, it's about trust, it's about distrust. And it's about broader mythological and spiritual things.

I've seen as much Tibetan Buddhist imagery as Egyptian mythology imagery, for example. But not in conflict. And I'm sure there are other images I haven't even noticed.
All this might fit into "one" interpretation, but I think it is meant to show that things can have many interpretations.

My two cents, and I may need a bailout for it.

Posted by: camis | May 11, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Adam,
You are correct about the tritium. Also, the hydrogen and tritium are very hard to contain and therefore leak, and so need refreshing every year or so. So a H-bomb that is now over 50 years old would not only have little hydrogen to fuse, it would also have 50 year old uranium (plutonium?), making the possibility of the fission reaction suspect. Even the conventional explosive they use to drive the uranium together to make a critical mass might not work after 50 years. If they detonate it we might just get a regular explosion. That would be a dirty bomb, but if done underground might be ok for the surface.

And that's another thing. They need to get the bomb to the surface, what, 20 feet up? What is 20 feet of dirt to an H-bomb? They could detonate it next to the Swan or a mile away, it would be the same effect. Unless they know it will not produce a nuclear explosion, just a conventional explosion ... ah haaaa....

Camis, I also get the multiple religious aspects of Lost. But the archeology on the island is pure Egyptian. I'm guessing they are going for real gods that existed in the past and were interpreted under various religions in different ways. The island may have been near Egypt way back and therefore has the Egyptian religious aspects everywhere. But I think as you say we see references to multiple religions, a blending of them. I'm guessing these real gods were the source of all of these religions, which were very active over 2000 years ago but then sort of stopped or morphed. That's when I'm assuming the gods disappeared, maybe locked up on the island in some way. Richard may be the one keeping the gods locked up, like Jacob for example. If that is what is going on I'm not sure if releasing the gods would be good or bad. Look what they did to Odesseus and Jason and the Argonauts, playing with people like they were toys, causing grief and agony and death. The island may be where someone locked these ancient gods up, allowing man to advance not only in religion to more peaceful religions, but also in science. Its just one of a thousand ideas Lost has filled my mind with. Oh the nosebleeds!

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 11, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

bejims - "the archeology on the island is pure Egyptian'

true enough! something fundamental about that. maybe what I'm confused about (haha) is this:

there is concrete proof of Egyptian influence on the architecture, but that does not necessarily mean there is any involvement of ancient Egyptian GODS on the island.

I missed the first couple seasons so I missed a lot. Did the story itself every touch on the idea of Egyptian gods being around? Did any of the characters ever suggest it?

None of that would be needed for this to be a good theory; I'm just curious in my curious way.

Besides, if I can't understand the show, the least I can do is try to understand the theories here!

Your post helped a lot, so thanks.

Posted by: camis | May 12, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

camis,
I'm basing my theory about the gods on a few things that tie together:
-The massive amount of egyptian archeology.
-Richard does not age and thus might be a god of sorts. Ben called him an "advisor", which is not a bad term for a god.
-Jacob, a spirit of sorts who needs help and seems imprisoned in some way. The ancient gods use to imprison other gods who were their enemies because they were immortal, so the only way to get them out of the way was to imprison them. Locke saying he is going to kill Jacob would not make sense if this is the case, but freeing Jacob might worry Richard who may have imprisoned him in the first place.
-Richard was able to get off the island, when there was no apparant way to do so in 1956 and 1962 when he visited Locke as a baby and as a boy to test him.
-Smokey and his home being in the "Temple".
-The pictograph of Anibus and Smokey points to Smokey being on par with Anibus, an ancient egyptian god.
-Smokey's job of judging people, something deeply held as part of the afterlife in the Book of the Dead, a job performed by Osiris. And, Anibus was the god who would lead the dead person to Osiris for judging, after tests to prove your goodness. Now doesn't that sound a lot like what our Lostees are going through?
-The god-like abilities of Christian.
-The ability of the island to heal people, especially Locke's ability to walk, and kill people like Nikki/Paolo.
-Old four-toes likely being a statue of the egyptian god of fertility, Tawaret, which was destroyed, and now women cannot produce children on the island.
-Richard's quip that he "had to kill the Americans" was just so matter of fact, an attitude the ancient gods had as they played with humans. It even took Locke back a bit when he heard it.

So all of this leads me to an idea: What if those ancient gods, egyptian, greek, roman, carpathian and many others, which were very similar when you study them, actually existed up until around 2000 years ago, then suddenly disappeared. What if they were on a hidden island that people would stumble upon, maybe locked up by Richard, which allowed humans to deveop without the interference of these gods, many of whom were selfish and vindictive. Then imagine what would happen if the gods were released into the modern world.

Not the first idea I've had nor am I certain of it, but I'm being surprised by how the pirces are fitting together. The latest is the god Anibus, whom we have not seen directly, whose job it is to lead those to be judged to Osiris for judgement. And dead-now-live-Locke lead Ben to Smokey to be judged. I'm guessing Locke is alive because he is Anibus, maybe always was. If you squint your eyes and have a few beers, he even looks a little like a jackel.


Posted by: bevjims1 | May 12, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

“The same compass cannot be in the time loop or as it loops it would continue to age endlessly and rust away after just a few loops.”

I agree. We already pretty much know that we do not have an immutable timeline (i.e., “whatever happened, happened” is NOT true) due to, amongst other things, “course correction” and “unpredictable results”. Add to this the [single] compass; the compass has to enter the loop somehow, and leave the loop (destroyed or the loop ends). Objects stuck in a closed loop also appear to violate the conservation of energy law; for instance, what if Hawking (“next time”) gives Daniel a new journal AND his filled-out journal… and the “time after” this gives him a new journal and TWO filled-out journals etc…

Since this is too obvious for the producers to miss, one must assume that they have worked this “closed loop” into the plot. Perhaps (“this time”) the Losties are supposed to break the closed loop before the violation of the laws of physics leads to terribly “unpredictable results”? And perhaps Jacob needs help to get himself out of the closed loop (such as by death)?

As for the hydrogen bomb… the US detonated a (mostly non-tritium) hydrogen bomb (“Bravo”) over 1,000 times more powerful than Hiroshima on a Pacific Island (an atoll though) in 1954. Coincidence? The state of the H-bomb after 23 years is highly doubtful, as is the ability to detonate “Jughead” (required a fission-bomb at the time)… seems strange to write an H-bomb into a plot that [realistically] cannot be detonated…

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 12, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"The state of the H-bomb after 23 years is highly doubtful, as is the ability to detonate “Jughead” (required a fission-bomb at the time)… seems strange to write an H-bomb into a plot that [realistically] cannot be detonated."

Yea, but 99% of TV viewers will not be aware that it probably cannot detonate. And if it does detonate, well, I would have expected better fact checking by the writers. They have made mistakes, for example, during the scene when Jack calms down Ben's dad in the classroom, a modern periodic table of the elements was on the wall with about 8 elements not known to exist in 1977 and one only discovered a few years ago.

So if this nuke detonates and blows away the island I'll be disappointed. If they have been careful, it should create a large explosion that would damage part of Otherville for example, and that would be it. Enough to seal the energy though. Also, I would expect an H-bomb to release the energy under the Swan. Maybe Faraday, a physicist, knew the bomb was not going to work except as a large conventional explosion. My guess is he wrote that down in his journal since the writers will need a way to tell us why the nuke did not go nuclear when they detonate it, and they will detonate it. Too much effort bringing that nuke into the story for them not to detonate it. I mean, what TV director would have a nuke and not blow it up? Everyone likes to see stuff blow up. I'll bet it blows up real goooood.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 12, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

“So if this nuke detonates and blows away the island I'll be disappointed.”

Yes, a conundrum we have. If it explodes then we’ll disappointed by the producers science. On the other hand, fully-detonating the bomb and destroying the island seems poor story-telling (and casts a little doubt on season 6!) But would a small-explosion be exciting enough and justify putting a nuclear bomb in from the first episode?

What’s Locke’s role in 2007? Perhaps we see the bomb fully-detonated at 11pm tomorrow… but do not realize (until next year) that Locke (who really, really wants to crash on the island in 2004) happened to jump the bomb back to 1954 when the bomb was supposed to be tested? And maybe take Kate with it?!

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 12, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Prediction time. I've seen reports that a second "big name" person is going to die tomorrow. Signs are pointing to it being Kate (her perhaps responding to casting calls on other projects, etc). I personnally think its going to be Juliet. To be quite honest, her role the last half of this season since they got stuck in Dharmaville in 1974 has been to basically sleep-walk through her scenes. We've seen not much more than quizzical looks and Whistler's Mother's half-smiles. The only thing that can redeem her in my mind is if we find out that she has known all along what is going to happen (since she was an Other after-all in 2004 and presumably may have been told the history by Richard or Ben or someone else) or she is a mole and is in on some bigger plot. Any takers on who is going to die?

Posted by: dojemc | May 12, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

In the classroom, Ben's drunk dad called Jack "Matt"...another blooper.

Posted by: chunche | May 12, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

bevjims - thank for the further explanation. it does make more and more sense to me. and now:

the gods have been locked up. and trouble erupts when they are released. so - have they been released already? is that why some of the characters might actually be these gods? if so, when were they freed?

if Richard is afraid that Locke is about to free up the gods, that would make sense. but if Locke IS one of the gods, then the gods have already been freed up. i know this could get super complicated with the time travel and time loops - but cutting through all that, my question is -

when were/are the gods set free? and how?

(and how come they're not cavorting with the mortals? haha)


Posted by: camis | May 12, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"when were/are the gods set free? and how?
(and how come they're not cavorting with the mortals? haha)"

Its not a complete theory by any means. I'm guessing the other gods are somewhere, maybe imprisoned, maybe free, maybe our Lostees are gods and don't know it. Haven't a clue about the other gods, just Smokey (Osiris), possibly Locke (Anibus) and RA (Ra).

As for cavorting, well, there is a lot of cavorting going on. But it may be that the gods inhabit a human like what happened to Danielle's friends. Sounds too korny for Lost though.

As for who dies tomorrow my vote is on Kate. Juliet has a lot of possible plot left in her. She knows about the Others and may know about the gods and the past/future. Sawyer is safe since he brings half the female audience to Lost every Wednesday. Jack might bite the dust but he still has the reunion with daddy to go through. Sayid is a possibility. As for Miles, I'm still wondering why he's on the show at all, but since they just did a retrospect on him I expect he's around for a while. And Jin and Sun still need to reunite, so they should be safe. Yea, Kate's a gonner. Nice knowin' ya freckles.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 12, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I see the show taking the shape of John Fowels’s “The Magus,” which also shares its theme with the movie Groundhog Day. The Island is set on changing the destinies of the remaining castaways by making them into better people.

In The Magus and in Groundhog Day, a protagonist is faced with a series of challenges or course of events set in place by an Other. The protagonist tries to change the course of events, seemingly to no avail.

But, in trying to change the course of events over and over again, the protagonist himself changes, becoming a better person. By becoming a better person, the protagonist succeeds in changing his destiny, which was the point of the whole thing.

Posted by: Makaha | May 12, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

"I see the show taking the shape of John Fowels’s “The Magus,” which also shares its theme with the movie Groundhog Day. The Island is set on changing the destinies of the remaining castaways by making them into better people."
Posted by: Makaha

I agree, except that its not making them into better people but instead is giving them the chance to become better people. This is consistent with the travels of the dead in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, where redemption is possible after one starts traveling through the underworld toward judgement. Our Lostees may have died in the original crash, as did Ben when shot, and all are in a journey toward redemption. Even Ben stopped killing everyone he sees. All that man needs is a nice woman who likes ham!

"In The Magus and in Groundhog Day, a protagonist is faced with a series of challenges or course of events set in place by an Other. The protagonist tries to change the course of events, seemingly to no avail. But, in trying to change the course of events over and over again, the protagonist himself changes, becoming a better person. By becoming a better person, the protagonist succeeds in changing his destiny, which was the point of the whole thing."
Posted by: Makaha

Yes, I think something like that is happening, but why would any of that have anything to do with "saving the world". There is more to this island than just lessons to be learned and becomming better people. How are the Others saving the world? Eloise tells Desmond the most important thing he did in his life was push the button, but in the end the failsafe sealed the Swan and the button did not need to be pushed. As has been asked, why then even build a button to push if you could just seal it? I think we'll get an answer to that soon. But by pushing the button Desmond prevented the island from being detected, and possibly saving the island from what is happening now. Oh, and I expect to see Hurley reading the numbers into a tape to be played over and over at the radio tower. That ought to be fun. Can't wait for tomorrow night!

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 12, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

“I agree, except that its not making them into better people but instead is giving them the chance to become better people.” Posted by: bevjims1

Very well put. Thank you.

Using "giving people a chance to become better people" as a working hypothesis for survival, I'll venture that the castaways who demonstrate they will not change to become better people are the ones most likely to be off'd. Following that line of reasoning, and no other, here are my predictions for the castaways most likely to meet their demise at the close of Season 5:

Sayid (although it breaks my heart)
Kate (She's also the Jar-Jar Binks of the series)

"Yes, I think something like that is happening, but why would any of that have anything to do with 'saving the world'. Posted by bevjims1

Another good point. Perhaps "saving the world" will be the be-all, end-all for the Season 6 finale. I was originally thinking small. As for big thinking: perhaps the Island is not just instrumental in changing a few people; it will be directly/indirectly instrumental in changing the world.

Posted by: Makaha | May 13, 2009 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Makaha wrote: "Using "giving people a chance to become better people" as a working hypothesis for survival, I'll venture that the castaways who demonstrate they will not change to become better people are the ones most likely to be off'd"

Well, Charlie became a much better person before fate caught up to him. Sharron was trying to help Walt when she got shot. Eko was on a spiritual journey when he got smashed by smokey. Libby was falling in love with Hurley when she was shot. Michael was working to save the Lostees on the island, which he always regarded as second to his son in importance, when Christian said he could go. So it also seems that once someone changes for the better they are off'd.

Makaha wrote: "Kate (She's also the Jar-Jar Binks of the series)"

So true!

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 13, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse


it just better not be Hurley !

Posted by: camis | May 13, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

it just better not be Hurley !
Posted by: camis

Or Ben! What would the show be without Ben?

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 13, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

What lies in the shadow of the statue?

Ille qui nos omnes servabit - “He who will protect us all”

Posted by: ooyah32 | May 14, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

It was Juliet! Or was it?

Posted by: dojemc | May 14, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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