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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 03/10/2010

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Dr. Linus'

By Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen and Liz debate the finer points of one Benjamin Linus, who -- like the rest of us -- is possessed of good and evil and ugly sweater vests. Join them at 2 p.m. ET to continue the discussion in the weekly "Lost" Hour chat. In the meantime, visit "Lost" Central -- our one-stop spot for all things "Lost" related.


Dr. Linus, we presume? (Michael Emerson). (ABC)

Liz: Jen, I feel like Leslie Arzt. Why? Because, apparently, we both got Ben all wrong. Midway through tonight's show, when Ben was all Machiavellian maneuvers and power plays Arzt said, "Linus you're a real killer." But as it turned out, Ben wasn't. He wasn't willing to put his hunger for power ahead of student (and cosmic daughter) Alex. And once he made that decision, turns out it felt pretty good. And all was right with Ben Linus -- in sideways world and back on the island where he finally broke character, came clean about killing Jacob and received absolution.

But before you go gloating -- let's remember that this is not the Ben Linus of yesteryear who was evil through and through. Somehow sideways world is influencing what happens on the island and even changing the character of the, umm, characters.

Jen: What, me gloat? Even though, in some ways, this proves my larger point about not only Ben having the capacity but anyone, given their circumstances. The thing that strikes about sideways world is that, so far, our key characters who are having important epiphanies also have more solid relationships with their fathers than they did in the L.A. timelime we saw before. I don't know if there is a causal relationship there, but the fact that Ben is caring for his dad -- and, we now know, they didn't stay long in Dharmaville -- has made him a less powerful man. But he's a more noble one who still has a tendency to lose his moral compass at times, but has the capacity to reset it in a way that he hasn't on the island.

Much more after the jump...

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Liz: Well, and that relationship works both ways. Not only is Ben caring for his father like a doting son. His father, Roger Linus (aka Uncle Rico) seems to be a genuinely caring father who only wanted the best for his boy. Perhaps growing up in a nurturing environment, rather than one where dad broke your glasses for taking a sandwich to a prisoner, makes a difference, too. Nurture vs. nature and all that.

Oh, and before I forget -- I'm still not convinced we're as on track, plot pacing-wise, as I'd like. Last week we both agreed the show was weak. And despite the action-packed, revelation-rich last 10 minutes of tonight's ep, I think we got about 30 minutes of filler in the bargain.

Jen: Probably true. But at least I found this week's filler more entertaining than last. A Ben-centric episode rarely lets me down, even when it feels a little like a teen movie. Where to now? The fact that Locke -- whether he's a substitute teacher or possessed by evil forces -- is always pushing Ben's buttons to make him take charge?

Liz: Yes, let's go there. But that's an interesting way to phrase it because I would have said something more like, "The fact that Locke is pushing Ben's buttons to make him take charge, much in the same way that Ben pushed Locke's buttons a couple seasons back." But, you first...

Jen: Well, I think it's fair to say they both push each other's buttons. But I guess I was thinking about the moment when Locke forced Ben to take him to Jacob's cabin. He was really testing him to see whether he really had what it took to be in charge or was just faking it. Currently, I think MIB is just telling him what he wants to hear, as he's done with everyone: "Sawyer, we'll get off the island. Claire, you'll get your kid back. 'Lost' fans, we'll stop going to the temple. ... aw, just kidding about that one."

The Locke in L.A. was, I think, genuinely trying to encourage Ben. He has no idea who he's dealing with yet. But here's something I noticed. Ben mentioned the name Dogen when discussing Sayid having killed him at the temple. Do we think Ben has known Dogen for a long time?

Liz: I picked up on that, too. It did sort of imply that Ben knew of Dogen's existence before the current excitement started to unfold. Maybe he knew about that lighthouse, too. You know, the one that suddenly materialized on a bluff two episodes back.

And I think you're right -- MIB is just going around making promises he has no intention of keeping in order to further his own ends. He's not to be trusted. But then, neither is Jacob, according to Richard Alpert.

Jen: Well, Alpert is having a massive identity/life crisis right now. What I can't figure out is whether Jack -- who was willing to sit there and let a dynamite stick potentially blow up -- is demonstrating a faith in Jacob right now, or is just so wildly ambivalent about what's going on that he simply doesn't care if he, or Alpert, explodes. I think Jack's behavior demonstrated a certain level of faith, but not of trust, if that makes sense.

Liz: Sure, faith might have something to do with it. Faith in the absurdity of the situation in which he (Jack) finds himself. I'm not as convinced that he's on team Jacob yet since his little dynamite-enabled game of Russian Roulette came hot on the heels of his smashing Jacob's mirror in defiance.

Jumping back to the Locke/Linus relationships in tonight's ep, one more thing I wanted to mention: Sideways world Ben actually mirrored many of the character traits of Locke tonight. He was unhappy with his lot in life (example: I'm just a teacher, but dammit I have a Ph.D. I'm special.), he was ripe for manipulation (by John, no matter how innocuous the intention) and he was unsure of himself. At least up to the point where he made his decision to put Alex ahead of himself. That's all.

Jen: Very true. But I think that's always been true of Ben and, again, it's why he and Locke push each other's buttons so effectively. Both want to be considered special, worthy of taking on a leadership role, and both are capable of being manipulated. Re: Ben and Alex -- he's acting like a father figure to her even in sideways world, although he isn't technically her father. Her last name is still technically Rousseau ... think Mommy is Danielle and Daddy is Robert, minus the "sickness"?

Liz: Yep. And it was kind of heart-warming to see Ben make things right re: Alex. No matter how horrible the guy is/was, it was always clear that he loved her with that kind of all-enveloping, blind parental love. The universe gave him a second chance and he made the right decision this time.

Which brings me to another point. Two characters in the episode said variations of the same line: "How different life would be if..."

Roger Linus said this to Ben when musing about how different things would have turned out for Ben if they'd only stayed in Dharmaville. Frank Lapidus said something similar when explaining, to Ben, that he was meant to pilot Oceanic 815 but overslept. It strikes me that "How different life would be if..." is kind of a theme of the season so far.

Take last week -- Sayid chose, both off and on island, to give in to his darker nature. And life (or death) is certainly different for him. Maybe the writers are trying to tell us something. That all that came before can be rewritten.


Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) confronts Ben (Michael Emerson). (ABC)

Jen: I think that's a given. But hang on, back up a sec. I want to touch on something you said about the universe giving Ben "a second chance."

It seems that way from our perspective because we've seen a version of events where Ben stayed on the island and he eventually let Alex get killed. But technically, in the sideways timeline, this wasn't a second chance because none of it ever happened. So -- and this gets to your second point -- the issue isn't so much getting a do-over or rewriting history, it's that circumstances dictate so much about who we wind up being as people. And when our circumstances are better or more stable, perhaps we have the ability to do the right thing more readily than we do when we're forced to be perpetually mistrustful of others (and Others), or we have daddy issues, or whatever. That nature vs. nurture thing, as you said before.

Liz: Indeed. This is a good place to discuss Richard Alpert, who was "nurtured" by Jacob for years on the island, but seems to be having, ahem, daddy issues with him.

Jen: As does Ilana. But let's stick with Richard for now.

Liz: So we got a bit of an explanation about Richard's ability to never age. He was "touched" by Jacob. What does that really mean? And why has he so violently lost faith in the man? After all, is it Jacob's fault he was killed?

Jen: But if just getting touched by Jacob keeps you looking young and smartly dressed, then how come everyone who was touched by Jacob also doesn't age? That's where I'm a bit confused. And as to Alpert's loss of faith, he may see it as Jacob's fault that he was killed, yes. If he promised Alpert that MIB would never return in any form, then it's understandable for Alpert to feel betrayed. Better question, though: when Richard first showed up in the jungle, Jack asked where he had come from. And Richard said he wouldn't believe him if he explained it. Where do we think he was coming from?

Liz: I took Alpert's meaning to be more abstract. As in "You'll never believe where I came from originally, the Black Rock, and that I'm actually over 150 years old." Literally, I think Richard explained where he had just come from -- the temple, where he found everyone dead.

Jen: Well, not everyone.

Liz: Let me clarify: Everyone who was still there. Stickler.

Jen: Well, even Richard said some people could have escaped. And they clearly did. I'm just sayin'.

Liz: Hey, what'd you make of Ben's Napoleon lesson plan? Any parallels there? Another insecure power-hungry man stuck on an island?

Jen: Yes I think those obvious connections between Napoleon and Ben are there, for sure. I also find this description of Napoleon's eventual escape from Elba interesting:

With English surveillance lapsing due to the absence of Colonel Campbell who had left for Livorno, the Brig "Incostant," under the command of Captain Chautard set sail with Napoleon on board.

I think the underlying point of that little speech was that Ben in sideways world has avoided the island. And, perhaps, his Napoloeonic tendencies. Since the scene appeared early in the episode, I also have the impression that he might actually die (he did utter that line about Napoleon being better off dead), but that didn't happen.

Liz: Oh, I thought it was the bit about the ship being well fortified with aquavit and wine.

Interesting, also, that the history he was reviewing with Alex centered on the Dutch East India Company... a company operating in the exact same period when the Black Rock was plying the South Pacific waters.

Jen: Yes, that is interesting.

In other richly rewarding cultural references, Ben found a nudie magazine and a couple of books in what appeared to be Sawyer's former tent. One of those books was "The Chosen." Rather than analyze the plot and try to draw parallels, I actually think this may have been a case where the title alone was the joke. Ben has always wanted to feel like The Chosen one, and so has Locke. (The book is about two brothers, for what it's worth.)

Liz: That Sawyer, so well read. But I do love that he tempered his highbrow library holdings with girlie mags. It's all about balance.

I wanted to briefly mention the "candidates" -- this notion came up again tonight when Ilana mentioned to Sun that she wasn't sure whether it was her job to protect Sun, Jin or both of them since both have the last name "Kwon."

Ilana said there were six candidates left. The question is, do we include Sayid in that number at this point? If not, then that leaves -- by my reckoning -- both Jin and Sun in the roles.

Jen: I also wonder whether Aaron should be on that list. He seems pretty candidate-worthy, and he was a member of the Oceanic Six.

Liz: True, though somehow Aaron strikes me as somehow being above the candidate fray. After all, he's -- says you -- appearing on island with bloodied hands to instruct Locke in how the game is played. Meanwhile, the candidates we're sure of all seem rather clueless about said game.

Jen: Good point.

So this is apropos of nothing, but as I have been doing throughout this season, I also thought about what happened in episode seven of season one that may correspond with what we saw tonight. That episode was "The Moth" and it was Charlie-centric.

Different episodes, for sure, but in that one Charlie redeemed himself by (seemingly) leaving his drug addictions behind. Ben also seemed to have redeemed himself tonight. But Charlie had some slip-ups, and I wonder if Ben will, too. In that last scene, he was clearly so isolated from the group when Hurley and Jack made their signature "Lost" slo-mo re-entrance on the beach. That isolation -- coupled with the arrival of Widmore that was revealed -- can't be good for Ben's emotional state.

Liz: Speaking of Widmore, that whole last 30 seconds was so "Hunt for Red October" -- but I have to say, I let out a "whoop" when I knew it was Widmore making his return attempt to the island. Why? Because finally the writers are tying in Widmore's large-ish role throughout season 5 to the events unfolding on the island now.

But, dude, I think we've gasbagged long enough and can safely table the discussion until 2 p.m. ET when the "Lost" Hour chat kicks off.

Jen: Fair enough. See you there.

By Liz Kelly  | March 10, 2010; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

Another contender for best line:

Hurley - "If you need me, I'll be like a mile away."

Posted by: NotDoc | March 10, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the analysis. I don't agree that original Ben was all evil. Very ruthless, but this Ben could be that too. Remember even when Ben got Alex killed he didn't know or think that would happen, he thought the rules would protect her. It's not like he just traded her away for ambition.

BTW, there's no real reason sideways Ben couldn't continue on with his original blackmail plot once the principal has committed himself with a good recommendation.

I think what made the episode more satisfying than last week's was the inclusion of a storyline (Jack/Richard) that was a bonus to the Ben stories. Last week's was too Sayid-dependent. If this week's had had no Jack (or the sub) and had been ALL about Ben and Arzt and Alex, it would have been a flop.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Let us not forget that Ben committed genocide. Genocide, people. It's not just about whether he "let his daughter be killed" or not, he killed an entire group of people ruthlessly including his own father.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Regarding candidates...could someone refresh my memory on how to get to six without using both Sun and Jin? I have Sayid, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, and at least one Kwon. Why not both, even though Sayid is apparently still a candidate? Am I missing someone?

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ok, now that I got that out of the way, I still don't think the bloody kid is Aaron. And I am so happy that we got some more info about Richard. I like your "Daddy issues" theory, it seems to hold with both Richard and Ilana right now. We'll see how that turns out.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I had to stop the DVR and let out a big exclamation when Richard explained why he never ages - because Jacob "touched" him.

Haven't we been making a big deal about who Jacob touches, and how his touch is all it took to change the lives of our losties forever?

Does that tell us that the losties are now un-aging as well? Could that be the reason Sayid came back to life? And what implication would that have on Locke being killed by Ben, off-Island (same person who killed Jacob)? And wouldn't the explosive not exploding put Jack on the same "boat" as Richard (Hence why Jack was so comfortable letting time run out)?

I also want to comment on when Ilana told Sun that whoever is chosen (from the candidates) would then find out what Jacob's job is ... My first question is, who choses? Is it the young blonde boy? And my second comment is - Maybe part of Jacob's job is keeping MIB trapped - which is why MIB would rather Ben take the job, who's not an official candidate.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Jen and Liz - Ben has clearly known about and likely has often dealt with Dogen for quite some time, since the "Temple-folk" were also "Others." If you recall, after the Others abandoned New Otherton (f/k/a Dharmaville) near the end of Season 3, Ben sent one group to assault the Losties' beach camp and told the rest of the group to head to the Temple and wait there while he carried out his mission at the transmitter (when he tried to convince Jack not to call the freighter).

The fact that the Temple people and the "New Otherton" people were all part of the same group/society known to us as the Others could also be seen in Dogen's reaction upon learning from Hurley that Jacob was dead -- in addition to securing the Temple, Dogen also ordered his people to fire off signal rockets to warn those elsewhere on the island of the danger.

What is interesting to consider is the nature of the relationship between Ben and Dogen. My guess would be that while Ben was the acknowledged "political" leader of the entire group, Dogen was the "spiritual" leader with domain over -- and extending no farther than -- the Temple and its grounds. In other words, Ben and Dogen were like the king and high priest, respectively, of the "Others" society.

Posted by: NotDoc | March 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Let us not forget that Ben committed genocide. Genocide, people. It's not just about whether he "let his daughter be killed" or not, he killed an entire group of people ruthlessly including his own father.

Posted by: smynola06"

Yes, but he did that under Jacob's orders, and Jacob's the good guy, so those were good killings. Sometimes you have to destroy the Dharma village in order to save it.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Unique, here's a list and more info on Lostpedia - http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidate

Here's what they say are the non-crossed out names: At least nine names are not crossed out: Ford, Reyes, Shephard, Jarrah, Austen (though only on the lighthouse dial), Kwon (probably either Jin or Sun), Haasra , Grimwault, and Kysea.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

While I liked the Locke episode earlier this season, this was really the first episode where I thought, "Yay! They've finally brought the show back!"

Re: Ben knowing about Dogen-- I think this makes sense. When the team of mercenaries stormed the island, Ben instructed most of the Others to seek refuge at the Temple. It seems safe to assume that Dogen was already there maintaining the joint..

Posted by: distance88 | March 10, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

How are you so sure it was Jacob's orders? And that he's still the good guy?

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I was just happy to see the reunion (well, indirectly, as they had no scenes together) of Lazlo Hollyfield and Professor Hathaway. Though I think that means Ben is Val Kilmer. Or something. (You can think of Roger Linus as Uncle Rico, but he'll always be Lazlo to me.)

And NotDoc is right about the Quote of the Week.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Intersting points, Mia. I wouldn't trust anyone who'd take on a job without knowing what it was...but maybe you don't even have/get to accept the job. They were all chosen as candidates without their permission being asked, so maybe someone can be crowned the winner and then be informed (s)he has been awarded the lucky prize of getting to spend the next 5,000 years on the island as MIB's new jailer.

The Elba story is really a reversal of Ben's situation: it was on his island that he was powerful, unlike Napoleon. When Ben turned the wheel and left the Island, he lost his power base. I thought that the Elba story might have been partially intended as a reference to MIB's situation.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I think another great line that was left out of the voting was Jack's "so, you you want me to light another stick"? (of dynamite). Otherwise, I chose "Ut Oh" by Miles, laughed out loud at that.

Posted by: kgreg1 | March 10, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, filler is a mild word. There are such a vast quantity of questions that, apparently, will not be answered at the pace the show is going at. I realize that the producers have stated that the questions they will answer are those questions the characters would want answered but all the questions have been questions the characters wanted/needed answered at some point in the show. To say that they don't 'need/want' them answered now is to negate the intellectual/emotional meaning of the previous seasons.

Also, Jack's conversion to faith in Jacob sure was fast and convenient (and unbelievable as there was no context); did not flow from his character at all.

Why do I get the feeling that Smokey/Jacob are the same person? For example, the whole Ben/gun scene was created to show Ben's understanding of the bad choices he has made. We had learned earlier that Jacob believed in Ben right up until the end. That knowledge seems to drive Ben's choice. But why would Smokey lead him to that choice and that understanding?

Smokey doesn't need that from Ben- but Jacob does. Or maybe it is just a vibe I am picking up...

Posted by: bokun59 | March 10, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, smynola06. Interesting that Ilana specifies that there are exactly six candidates left.

I was being facetious regarding "good." As for how much of what Ben and his other disciples do/did Jacob personally ordered and how much people like Ben and Richard and Widmore may have interpolated their own plans into Jacob's orders, we don't know exactly. But certainly some very bad things have been done by Jacob's people in his name, and he never seems to have removed leader status from those such as Ben who ordered and performed them - in fact, Ben was advanced through the ranks after his murders, not demoted or cast out.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

bokun59, it's interesting that you thought this was filler. I thought it was less filler-y than we've seen in weeks, because it actually moved things forward, or at least set up important elements: Jack teaming up with Alpert, Ben joining Ilana, the reunion at the beach, the imminent arrival of Widmore -- and a more intriguing view of the relationship between the Island reality and the Sideways one. Though time is short, I felt as though we're finally going somewhere.

Now, if next week's episode fails to move things farther along, I'll revise my opinion.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 10, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I thought the episode was excellent. Both story lines in the show were good in and of themselves. And the reappearance of Widmore, which I kept expecting the entire show because the name of the actor playing him, Alan Dale, was in the opening credits, set the stage for the upcoming "war." I actually thought that Widmore was going to show up at the school where Ben and Locke teach. The actual ending was much better. I suspect we may end up seeing Desmond on the sub or somewhere else soon as, again, his name showed up in the opening credits.

I think the point of Ben's history lessons to Alex concerning the Dutch East India Company may be a prelude to the upcoming Richard-centric show. I think the Black Rock will be identified as a Dutch East India Company ship. While they were a global trading company, one of their significant traditional trading cargos was slaves and I believe we'll see that Richard was one of the slaves. Certainly that was forshadowed in his looking familiarly at the chains in the Black Rock.

I think there must be a different effect when one is "touched" by Jacob. I don't think we'll see that Jacob's literal touching of someone gives them longlife because all of the lostie candidates were touched at different times in their lives and it didn't impact their aging. Thus, Richard's statement that he was touched by Jacob probably means something else methphorically rather than actual touching. We have yet to see why Richard was selected as the "guide", if you will. And what his being a guide means. I think it means simply that he was to guide the selected leader of the Others until a new candidate was selected to replace Jacob.

Best line was Miles statement of "uh oh" when Ilana said Jacob was like a father to her. I do agree with NotDoc's selection of Hurley's comment about being a mile away if Jack needed him was a close second.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 10, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

This week, coupled with last week's ending, accomplished a lot in aligning most of the remaining chacaters on one side or another. Maybe too easily and hurriedly in cases such as Jack's, as bokun59 found unconvincing. But at least they're finally choosing up sides, a necessary precursor to the final struggle. Of course now a wild card is coming on the scene via submarine.

Yeah, I think it's a bit strange that Jack is reacting to the revelation that Jacob has watched and maybe controlled Jack his whole life by throwing in with Jacob. MIB successfully used that same revelation to recruit Sawyer, which I think is a more natural reaction. And it was certainly Jack's first angry one when he smashed the mirrors...what has changed?

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I just wanna say before I forget, my favorite thing on last night's episode wasn't a line.

It was the visual of Ben caring for his father by giving him oxygen. Instead of donning a gas mask and poisoning him. Bloody brilliant.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 10, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I've been on a Desmond desert. I hope to goodness you're right that Desmond is on the sub.

I agree that the Jack faith was a little forced, I mean, what exactly did he see whilst sitting staring at the ocean?

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Was Ben's question about the (British) East India Company or the Dutch East India Company? I don't think the Dutch had trade control of all parts of India but one in 1813; sounds more like the Brits.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The only thing that could disprove my comment that our losties haven't been aging, is that Jacob touched Kate when she was younger. But I don't think that alone dismisses it (it could only work on the Island, or it could be that it kicks in after a certain age)

And Unique - I wasn't asking who would chose to take over Jacob's job - I was asking who would be the ruling authority that choses one of the candidates to do it. I agree that I don't think they would have the option of turning it down.

And I'd like to throw in the mix that I don't think the young Blonde boy is Aaron at all - he'd have to have aged significantly quicker than normal humans - and I don't think the show is about that. One doesn't age, the other ages quicker? It's not like he was ever touched by Jacob... (hehe).

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I didn't read anything into Ben knowing who Dogen is/was. At the end of season - oh crap, 4?, whenever Ben turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel at any rate - he sent the Others to the Temple. Which, to me, implies he knows it was a sanctuary. And it wasn't going to be a sanctuary without Dogen, apparently.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 10, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Ilana thinks there are only six candidates left. She was just told (by Ben) about Jarrah killing Dogen, so she probably eliminated him from contention. That leaves Ford, Sheppard, Reyes, Kwon (one or the other), Austen and Frank. Ilana and Bram thought Frank was a candidate. We haven't seen Frank's name at the cave or lighthouse, but we don't have a complete list of all 360 names. Austen was not crossed out at the lighthouse and not seen at the cave. There were too many production errors between the two lists (cave and lighthouse) to take either as gospel, but the first four (Ford, Reyes, Sheppard, and Kwon) have been consistently confirmed by various characters. Jarrah was a candidate, but given that Dogen tried to have him killed, and Ilana's concern that Ben was sure of what he saw-- Jarrah seems to have been eliminated.

I still think MIB is looking for a replacement as well (so he can go home) and thus would explain why the two different lists are not the same.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 10, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Napoleon = MIB, not Ben.
Widmore is on MIB's side, not Jacob's.

Ben is one of "the good guys."

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Nitpicking: Robert may have been Alex's father in the sideways world, but he's not there anymore. Alex said that she had a single mother (I think the line was something like, "My mother has to work two jobs to support me.").

Posted by: jf76 | March 10, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Mia, I caught your meaning but like you I don't think we have enough info to say who chooses Jacob's successor. Most (not all) of the crossed out names that we know are of the dead, so maybe it's simply a matter of last person standing being the successor...except that we still don't know how some living people such as Kate get their names crossed off. I was just speculating on another point about the royal succssion that your post made me think of.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 10, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ben has largely always wanted to do what is right. He has had his purely selfish moments at times, but he essentially wanted to do good and thought he was, but he had a twisted idea of what is right and what is wrong, leading him to do things like kill and kidnap, probably because of being misled for a long time by MIB, who he mistook for Jacob.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the six remaining candidates are:

Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate, either Jin or Sun, and Sayid. If Sayid is now out because he "died" then it could mean that Jin and Sun are both candidates. And if not, the only other person I can think of is Claire but I have seen no evidence during the life of this show that she would be a "candidate." Aaron, maybe, but not her. Come to think of it, Aaron might be the 6th remaining candidate; Claire was just the vessel to bring Aaron into play.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 10, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Daddy issues are turning out to be more like god-the-father issues. The way the characters are being manipulated and tested is classic mythology/Biblical tradition. The Greek and Roman gods always used humans as pawns, often to gain advantage over their fellow gods. And we all know the story of Abraham and Isaac which came to mind in Ben's reference to Alex's Island sacrifice. The doubts that Ilana, Richard and Ben express toward Jacob are right in line with the uneven relationship between god(s) and humans. Faith and certainty are constantly being challenged.

Posted by: CafeBeouf | March 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Janine1: When I mean filler, I mean in relation to what has transpired the previous 5 seasons- if those seasons still have relevance and/or meaning. In terms of this season's plot, yes, we have moved forward to a degree; but the flash sideways have given us no insight about the previous seasons. Now, either the previous seasons 'count' or they have been filler for this season's plot.

For better or worse, we have all been led to believe that everything that happened on the island has a meaning- we just don't know that meaning- but we will- someday...

Now, I am not one of those fanatics who think ALL questions should be answered. However, at this point in the last season, I am hard pressed to tie what has happened before to what is happening now. Just two example:

how does the electromagnetic 'problem' on the island affect Jacob's/Smokey's plans and why do those particular numbers have such import on the problem?;

the producers have said the story is about the love between Desmond and Penny. Really? How has this season helped explore that?

Posted by: bokun59 | March 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

And about Jack joining Team Jacob too quickly or easily - It hasn't been easy or quick at all. Jack realized on the mainland that he needed the Island. He gets to the Island and takes a back seat role, observing, reflecting, and questioning all that went on inside the temple. After he smashed the mirrors in the lighthouse, he was staring out at the ocean and thinking for a very long time - long enough for Sundown to come and for the sun to rise. He realized that Jacob had been watching him all his life - and even though he was dead, found a way to let him know that he had been thinking about him all this time. I think we're just starting to see that Jack is taking on a more faithful attitude (like the Locke of yore) and less of a cinical and rational one.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Jack didn't think he would die since he was unable to die off island? If that's the case, was Michael a candidate?

Posted by: mannc | March 10, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, great, great episode this week. Loved the Ben redemption story, choosing the "good" (for Alex) over his own power. Also think we caught MIB in his first official lie -- telling Ben not to give Ilana a chance to shoot, because she certainly wouldn't give him one, when in fact that's exactly what she did when Ben came clean and was honest.

Also loved the Miles/Ben, "no, dude, he was really hoping you wouldn't do it, right up until the knife went into his heart" interchange. We've speculated a lot about what Jacob meant/wanted, so it was nice to get some actual evidence of that. Same with Richard and the Black Rock -- not a surprise, but at least elliptically confirmed.

I guess I didn't see the Jack "conversion" as so sudden. We left him mulling things over broodingly on the cliff face, trying to figure it all out. Jack's a smart guy, so it's a surprise that he figured out that Jacob had manipulated him to get him to the lighthouse to see the reflection? To tell him that he was special, that he had a purpose?

I think that realization rekindled a little of Jack's faith. And that new faith precisely countered Alpert's recent loss of faith on that very issue. I got the impression that that interaction with Jack perhaps rekindled Alpert's faith a little, too; that seeing Jack, he started to believe that maybe his purpose didn't die with Jacob, that he was intended to help/protect Jack finish Jacob's plan. I thought Jack's dynamite "test" was a nice metaphor for the melding of faith and science -- Jack was at once expressing his new-found tentative faith (he was pretty sure Jacob had a purpose for him) and following the scientific method he had been trained in (testing that hypothesis; if I don't die, guess I was right).

And then the Widmore topper, with ambiguous-looking Ben on the fringes -- dude!

Posted by: laura33 | March 10, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Mia,

Jacob also touched Sawyer as a boy at the church following the death of his parents. Clearly Sawyer aged as well so I don't think a literal touching stops the aging process.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 10, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Sayid should be crossed off as a candidate. He is alive afterall - regardless of the reason why.

And he has the role of the traitor on the cast photo - perhaps it is MIB who will be betrayed.

It also crossed my mind that maybe Ben orchestrated this whole thing somehow just to be the last one standing and in charge of the Island (kind of how he almost took over the Pricipal's job)... And widmore knowing this, has been trying to find the Island to stop it.

Could Widmore be the one who will sink the Island with his battleship (submarine)?

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

And now we know how MIB intends to get off the Island -- Widmore is giving him a ride on his submarine, possibly in exchange for Widmore taking control of the Island.

Too bad for both that Desmond will be coming to the rescue.

(Desmond is still whom Jacob said is coming, even if Widmore has come also.)

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

oohya32 - nice! I like that idea.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

We keep referring to the other timeline as "sideways" or alternate. But I've been wondering lately if that's true. Instead, I wonder if we're seeing the epilogue. Once they get to the end of the season with the big finale, I've been thinking about how they are going to show what happened to our characters, and how unsatisfying it would be to not know whatever became of our characters. Could it be that's what we're seeing now? It's not a fully-baked idea, but it's one I'm throwing out there for consideration.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | March 10, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok per another blog, this is an interesting interpretation of the dynamite scene:

"That's why Jack failed in all his suicide attempts back in season three. So besides Jack and Richard, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Jin, Sun and Locke had all been touched and would also be/have been similarly unable to kill themselves."

So, Jack sat with Richard not because he knew that Jacob would save him, but because he knew he could not kill himself, so the dynamite would not ignite ---thereby saving Richard.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I thought the best line was not spoken but was the slo-mo run-and-hug of Sun and Hurley.

Re next week, I hope it's something Charlie-ish, the preview left me with a flavor of Sawyer and Kate and I don't really want to face that.

Posted by: HardyW | March 10, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Richard, Dogen and Ilana's lives have been "touched" by Jacob in a different way than the Candidates. Richard wasn't allowed to age so he could shepard the "others" though the decades; Dogen was given monster repellant to provide sanctuary; and Ilana is just a bad ass. Jacob's touching of the Candidates however was to manipulate them to get to the island.

Ben obviously knew about Dogen. Ben has had a lot of insider knowledge about the island.

But obviously Ben has been receiving orders from MIB when he thought it was Jacob, so the genocide and other killings may not have been ordered by Jacob. I have always though that Ben and Widmore (and even Richard) have been unknowingly working for MIB, and the Dharma initiative was actually something Jacob brought to the island--to further human progress (so MIB had to have it destroyed).

Posted by: KevinAF | March 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I hate to admit this but I actually cried when Ben said He (Locke) is the only one that will have me!

Best line was Hurley "The guys crazy and I know crazy"

Posted by: momof2ku | March 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Dr_Bob, I don't think so -- not only because the characters don't recognize each other, but also because their histories don't match up -- Sideways Jack has a teenaged son, while Island Jack doesn't have kids; Sideways Ben lives with the father that Island Ben killed 20 years ago (and is Sideways Alex's teacher, rather than her grieving adopted father); Sideways Claire is pregnant with Aaron, who was already born on the island...

bokun59, I get what you're saying, and I'd agree with all that.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

The six candidates left when Ilana signed up for this job and if we believe The Numbers have significance were:
4-Locke
8-Reyes
15-Ford
16-Jarrah
23-Shepard
42-Kwon

Since Ilana arrived on the island we saw Locke crossed out by MIB/Locke and we saw Austen not crossed out at the lighthouse.

Posted by: wojoko | March 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

When Illana said there were 6 candidates left, I was confused, not because of Sayid, but Locke. She knows Locke is dead.... she doesn't know about Sayid, and she was overly concerned where Sayid was when Ben appeared, because she has to protect him. So why she said 6... if shes counting both Jin and Sun, even though she just said shes not sure which one she has to protect.

Also, in the Jacob flashback episode, weren't there some people he didn't touch? And how was Locke able to die if he did touch him? Was it because he was off the island?

All I have are more questions!

Posted by: needmoredesmond | March 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a continuity problem with Richard's age. Black Rock is supposedly a slave ship and assuming that meant African slaves that would mean the lastest it could be from would be early 1800s. But Richard has also been called "Ricardus" which sounds like ancient Roman and could imply that he is much much older. Also add to the mix that crates of dynamite were found on the Black Rock, but dynmite was invented by Alfred Nobel in 1867.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"I agree that the Jack faith was a little forced, I mean, what exactly did he see whilst sitting staring at the ocean? "

I think this is classic Jack - he has many times in this show swung wildly, impestuously from one belief to another, always completely sure that he is right in his new belief, always triggered by some revelation that upsets his past, certain belief. It's what's so irritating and yet compelling about him, I think.

And really, in some ways it seems to be the same thing that drives Lock and Ben - he wants to feel he has a purpose and is special, and so he will go through radical shifts in his view of the world to find that role.

Posted by: LizaBean | March 10, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It seems like Kate should be the 6th candidate. She was morphed to the 70s along with the others that are known to be candidates, while Sun stayed behind.

Posted by: oogiejonz | March 10, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Bob, that's what I've been thinking all along this season. I think that this last bit on the island is playing out Jacob's "it only ends once" from last year, and that the choices we are watching them make now on the island are writing what their characters will be back in the LAX story.

In other words, it's not the fact that Ben chose Alex over power in LA that then enabled his redemption on the island -- I think that is exactly backwards. When he faced Ilana, he faced himself. It was his willingness to admit to Ilana (and himself) that he made the wrong choice before, and to accept the consequences of that decision, that then enabled him to choose Alex back in LA, which led to a much happier outcome.

Side note is the interesting off-island theme of learning to be happy with what you have. I was struck a few episodes ago when Locke was able to accept that he was going to be in a wheelchair, and that acceptance gave him peace. Then this week starts off with Ben and Ben's dad yearning for "greatness"; but then Ben forsakes his chance at power to save Alex, even gives up the status symbol parking spot. Yet in giving up the chase for power, he seems to find a peace that he didn't have before.

Posted by: laura33 | March 10, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I hate to admit this but I actually cried when Ben said He (Locke) is the only one that will have me!

Posted by: momof2ku

--------------------------------

You weren't alone in your tears momo, I was tearing up then too & actually shed a tear when Ilana said "I'll have you."

I never thought I'd see the episode of Lost where I'd cry for Charlie & yet I did, same for Ben, never thought I'd cry for Ben & did just that last nite.

If Emerson doesn't win another Emmy then there is no justice.

Posted by: wadejg | March 10, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Lying Smoke Monster and Tempter: "They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same."


He Who Will Save Us All: "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress."

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

THE line of the night:

"I'll have you."

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

What? No mention of Miles hearing from Nikki and Paolo of how they were buried alive with $8 million worth of diamonds?

Posted by: GreenRich | March 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ilana -- not fully and completely forgiving (yet), but indicating that she is willing to move towards fogiving Ben (as Jacob would want her to).

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Bob=
We keep referring to the other timeline as "sideways" or alternate. But I've been wondering lately if that's true. Instead, I wonder if we're seeing the epilogue. Once they get to the end of the season with the big finale, I've been thinking about how they are going to show what happened to our characters, and how unsatisfying it would be to not know whatever became of our characters. Could it be that's what we're seeing now? It's not a fully-baked idea, but it's one I'm throwing out there for consideration."

We know its a sideways because if you watch the previous week's episode before the new one, the pop ups call them "sideways."

Posted by: Osteph | March 10, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

More great lines (but may not be exact wording):

At least he's not stalling -- Jack

Wanna try another stick? - Jack

If you change your mind, I'll be like a mile away - Hurley

He was standing over their dead bodies holding a bloody dagger, so yeah, I'm pretty sure - Miles

You sure know how to get along with people - Frank

…when you're finished in the library - Frank

I remember that plane breaking in half like it was yesterday - Ben

Because he is the only one who will have me - Ben

I'll have you - Ilana

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Jack was touched by Jacob:

Jack thinks the dynamite won't explode because it's not his destiny to die at that moment. But in fact it may just be that he can't kill himself, just like Richard and Michael and Locke (and Jack himself on the bridge that one night). Not that I remember Michael being touched by Jacob...


The submarine is MIB's path off the island:

What that means in the bigger picture is beyond me, since Jacob seemed to want someone to be able to make it to the island in The Lighthouse episode. Does Widmore know that MIB plans to take his submarine -- are they in cahoots or no? Is his last name actually Wallace/108?


Who will replace Jacob:

Could be Ben. Jacob reached out to touch him after being knifed. Ben has the most experience for the job and it would be a great redemption story. Plus we love Ben, right? What a great role this had been for Emerson!


New possibilities & puzzles to ponder:

So if Ben and his dad were on the island in the LA X timeline, does that mean there is a whole contingent of ex-Dharma folk in LA X who know one another and keep in touch?

Ben never met Rousseau and left the island at a young age, so not recognizing Alex makes sense. But depending on when they left, he might have still have been shot by Sayid and saved in the temple waters.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Overthinking the show:

Turns out candidates are exactly what MIB said they were, and Jacob is probably good and MIB at least not so good. Reminds me that, as Freud put it, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Bob and others--
It's sideways AND the epilouge. In the first five seasons the characters were the same, moving through time, but always the same. They are diferent in the sideways world. What we're seeing in the sideways world will be the result of something yet to happen on the island (an epic battle), that will sink it and the "gods" in the 1970's timeframe. Remember that electromagnetic energy can take the island into any time, back to the future.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 10, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps I've missed something...but why couldn't candidate #6 be Jin and Sun's daughter?

Posted by: cici1 | March 10, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The mayor in Ghostbusters!

That's where we've seen the actor who plays the principal. Remember Bill Murray's great line to the mayor about the environmental nazi guy: "Yes it's true. [pause] This man has no d!ck."

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Wow - people had a hard time placing William Atherton?

He's kinda made a career out of playing slimy !@#$%^&*s. Not only was he in Ghostbusters, he was the reporter in Die Hard.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0040472/

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 10, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

In reference to the genocide... Ben lies, a lot, so I have no doubt that many times he has done something that "Jacob" has told him to do. Nobody has seen Jacob, nobody has heard from Jacob (in Dharmaville) except Ben. Why wouldn't they believe and follow him and accept that it was Jacob who told Ben this must happen.

I loved that little quick moment where we saw Miles holding the diamond. Just want to know how he could get into the graves of Paolo and Nikki without Ilana seeing. While Sawyer is absent, Miles' one-liners are a terrific substitution.

Posted by: jems2 | March 10, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Question: Did Jacob intend for Hurley to signal Widmore to find the Island by using the lighthouse? I know the lighthouse wheel never made it to 108 degrees as directed by Jacob, but still...Does Wallace (the name at 108 degrees)= Widmore?

Posted by: gershomatl | March 10, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Jen - I definitely don't think the placement of "The Chosen" is meant to be a joke soley about the title of the book. It is a book about two friends, not two brothers, who grow up in very different worlds - one secular, one very religious. They start off hating each other and then they become friends - although that friendship has a lot of ups and downs. Sound familiar? The boy from with the religious background is very intellectual and eventually leaves that world to study psychology in the secular world. At the same time, the boy from the secular background decides to become a rabbi. In essence, they switch places. To me this is definitely an interesting reference to Locke and Ben's relationship. Plus, the title helps too!

Posted by: y1776 | March 10, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Genocide?

The word has lost all meaning.

Posted by: member5 | March 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Are we done w/Walt, Michael, Rose and Rose's Husband?

Posted by: dablues1 | March 10, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that Alex has a touch of Walt's Disease?

It wasn't huge, but she clearly looked older than her Island counterpart.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

When Locke met Widmore off island and gave him the Jeremy Benthem identity, Locke asked why he was doing this for him and Widmore responded that there was a war brewing and he needed to make sure that Locke was on the right side or something to that effect. So I think that Widmore is on MIB side and was working to help him get Locke on that island so he could do his thing.

Posted by: BabaBoohi | March 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Jack has decided yet to join Jacob. He has just acknowledged that Jacob has plans for him, and so would not allow Jack to kill himself.

Posted by: Ghak | March 10, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Llana doesn't know that Sayid has been killed or possessed or whatever he is so I think she is counting as a candidate still.

Posted by: BabaBoohi | March 10, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Rose and Bernard . . . I saw someone on aother website post the theory that the bones in the cave don't belong to them, but to Jin and Sun . . .

Posted by: pfallsgirl | March 10, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Regarding The Chosen: Jen said, "I actually think this may have been a case where the title alone was the joke. Ben has always wanted to feel like The Chosen one, and so has Locke. (The book is about two brothers, for what it's worth.)"
WRONG! Seriously, it is not about two brothers and it does have relevance as a novel - it's about two eventual friends who have spiritual disagreements, destiny, and daddy issues. C'mon you should know something about a book before commenting on it!

Posted by: lsglickman | March 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

A favorite line with respect to failed suicide attempts, from Tom to Michael:

"Did the gun backfire, or did the bullet just bounce off your skull?"

Posted by: Ghak | March 10, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"The only thing that could disprove my comment that our losties haven't been aging, is that Jacob touched Kate when she was younger. But I don't think that alone dismisses it (it could only work on the Island, or it could be that it kicks in after a certain age)"

The age of being marketable as a TV star...

Posted by: HardyW | March 10, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

A favorite line with respect to failed suicide attempts, from Tom to Michael:

"Did the gun backfire, or did the bullet just bounce off your skull?"

Posted by: Ghak | March 10, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

**Sawyer will look at Jack and say "Do you know how badly I want to kill you?"**

Huh?

For one thing, James hasn't been "Sawyer" for three years. For another, he's been good ever since Hugo conned him into being likeable.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 10, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm with ooyah32. I take Illana at her word that they are the good guys. And I think Ben is now one of the good guys, BUT he had to redeem himself somehow.

I think the island is a place where the candidates are given an opportunity to make choices that influence their lives in the real (non-crash) world. The creators of the show just chose to show the events in the real world first and the events that shaped them (on island) second. But I think the island is this outrageous place where certain people (candidates) are given the chance to make choices that are then reflected in the real world. If Sayid chooses dark and twisted on-island, it is what he becomes in the real world.

But I don't think we are done with Sayid yet. He still has a choice to make with Jin somehow. Perhaps on-island he will save/help Jin and thus redeem himself in the real world?

And the "guardian of the island" keeps creeping into the back of my mind. Isn't there some Neptune or Titan myth about some Greek island where someone had to live his whole life as caretaker of an island and right before he died he had to select a successor? Ringing any bells?

Posted by: a68comeback | March 10, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Richard, aka , Ricardos, is a vampire!! yeah....from Rome..."made" by Jacob...and then trapped in chains ala Black Rock...but "saved" by Jacob..yeah, another deal made, come to the island and guide my candidates for all eternity...until it ends.

yeah! that's the ticket!

:)

Posted by: smd520 | March 10, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if this has been posited before, what if the sideways timeline completely changed everyone's backstory because blowing up the bomb changed it somehow.

Also, the "current" timeline on the island is affected by the sideways timeline, because it's "what would've been" somehow.

I think somehow, both timelines will merge later in the season.

Posted by: monkeywrench2 | March 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

smd520, are you channeling the twilight series here? lol.

I'm intrigued by the widmore discussion. Yes, he wanted Locke to come back to the Island, which would put him with team MIB... but didn't he also help Locke try to recruit the rest of the Oceanic 6 to come back to the Island?

MIB is trying to take the candidates off the island.

And besides - yes, Widmore's been a bad guy - but let's not forget his origins. He loved the Island and didn't want to leave. Maybe he's been bad only to get revenge on Ben.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

oooh - how about this -

Jacob's "touch" is only "activated" once on the Island - which is why Locke was healed as soon as he landed there.

This would explain why Kate and Sawyer could be now un-aging even though they were "touched" as children.

And on another subject - MIB and Jacob being the same would explain how MIB knew what Locke was thinking when he was hung off-Island - Jacob had touched him (and if you want to get religious here) Jacob's spirit was inside Locke, giving him eternal life on the Island... Since MIB=Jacob, MIB's spirit was also in him, which is how he knew. Far fetched, I know. But it could work.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

This really bothered me about the episode:
Sideways Ben had incriminating emails that would destroy his principal's marriage and career. The principal had a recommendation request.

Why the hell didn't Ben just force the principal to resign AND write the recommendation in return for being quiet? There was no parity between the two men's threats.

Posted by: progressivePragmatic | March 10, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

progressivePragmatic said: "Why the hell didn't Ben just force the principal to resign AND write the recommendation in return for being quiet? There was no parity between the two men's threats."

Ah, but you're thinking like Island-Ben. "I have power, he has power, how do I subjugate him to my power?"

But that way of being in the world is what got Alex killed.

An honorable person doesn't dabble in power games when a young person's life is at stake. Ben made the choice that guaranteed Alex a glowing recommendation. The only thing he gave up was his own self-interest.

Not a bad bargain to retain one's soul, I'd say.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So now Jack cannot kill himself. He's like Richard. Given a gift by Jacob. And Jack now understands his position. He IS special, was meant to lead and has a mission. It appears this is what Jacob wanted since the pivotal point was Jacob telling Hurley to bring Jack, and only Jack, to the lighthouse. The question though is what will Jack do next? Will he be the leader of the good guys? I'm not sure just what Jack's purpose is in all of this, and maybe Jack does not know either, just that he is chosen.

Also, there has been talk of the name Wallace as a candidate. Wallace is a Scottish name, Scottish like in Desmond is Scottish. Now Desmond's last name is Hume, but is it really? Did we ever get a back story on Desmond about his parents?

I like the idea someone mentioned that the sub was there to take Widmore off the island. I'm not sure if that is why Widmore is there but its an interesting idea since I've been wondering how MIB would get off the island. But the guy in the sub told Widmore that there were people on the island and Widmore said to continue the plan, or something like that. I think Widmore is there to sink the island. Yea, I'm in the "Widmore is a good guy" camp. Now that Ben knows he was following MIB and not Jacob, Widmore and Ben may join sides against MIB. What a war that will be!

Posted by: Fate1 | March 10, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

In Part 2 of the premiere (I think) Richard was confused about "candidates" when MIB asked him about it. I am betting that Richard's faith in Jacob will be restored once he learns about the candidates - probably from Ilana.

Jack seemed like he was ready to take over island duties last night.

The arrival of Widmore seems to answer "who's coming to the island?", but I still find it odd that Jacob referred to the "someone" as "they," not "he" or "she". And didn't MIB also refer to a singular "they"? Is Widmore what he appears to be?

Posted by: patrick4 | March 10, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

could Wallace 108 be Desmond? both are Scottish names.

Posted by: alisamkeith | March 10, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I do not subscribe to the idea that Jacob and the entity in the shape of Locke are the same individual. But watching the Locke character tempting Ben to escape, run 200 hundred yards and there find a rifle, I couldn't escape thinking that the Locke character was actually Jacob, testing whether Ben showed remorse and understood what he had done and, at the same time, testing Ilana, whether she would go through with punishing Ben.

Otherwise, I don't understand why Locke wouldn't place the rifle closer, or even kill Ilana as he did with Bram. I think the whole thing was a test.

Posted by: for33 | March 10, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I think someone asked if Widmore could be coming from sideways timeline, which I doubt. If anyone is coming to the island from sideways world it would be Faraday.

Posted by: richarde1 | March 10, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Couple of points:

1. Ben couldn't replace the principle AND write the letter of recommendation himself for Alex because it would carry more weight coming from a Yale grad which the principle was (if I'm recalling correctly). Ben was a graduate of State U or some other lesser institution of higher learning. The principle was holding an effective weapon over Ben's head.

2. Alex did look older (and hotter actually!). Clearly has matured since she died last year or whenever she was last on the show. She also looked college age not high school age. Definitely a Walt thing going on.

3. I am becoming more convinced that
the Christian manefestation we have been seeing isn't MIB but is Jacob, or at least manefestations of both of them at different times. I'm thinking of this because of Michael's run in with Christian on the freighter before Michael successfully blew it up. Before that, Michael couldn't die (because he had been touched by Jacob? or because Jacob had a purpose for him?). Michael was able to die only after Christian said on the freighter that it was "time" or something to that effect. Blowing up Widmore's freighter would seem to be a defensive effort by Jacob against Widmore, not by MIB against Widmore. The freighter was there to extract Ben who supposedly was doing the bidding of Jacob, not MIB. This would seem to imply that Widmore is on MIB's side, not Jacob.

Posted by: dojemc | March 10, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

If Jacob is now appearing as Locke then there is no way we can follow this story. I can't believe the writers would do this to us. I think it was MIB and I do agree it was a test for Ben, to escape and also kill Ilana. As MIB has said, we all have choices. Ben did not make the choice MIB though he would make (me either).

Also, Jacob says someone is coming, which we assume is Widmore. How does he know? I've been assuming Jacob knows what is happening based on a time loop. Are we still within a time loop? I'm guessing yes. The compass is also in a smaller one (1954-2007). The bigger loop may be hundreds of years long, starting before the Black Rock arrived. So MIB has not gotten out of a time loop but he has gained his freedom. Maybe he believes he is out of the loop.

I'm also moving away from the Jacob-MIB being one person/thing. And if Richard is really Rickardus, then he is probably not from the Black Rock. I'm guessing he was an original inhabitant of the island and was taken as a slave by the crew of the Black Rock when they landed. Jacob created a tsunami and stranded the Black Rock inland, freeing Richard. I think Richard is originally Roman or Egyptian.
(yea, still sticking with the ancient gods theory...)

Posted by: Fate1 | March 10, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Fate1: Surely Richard was on the Black Rock. I never thought so before last night, if only because he isn't black. But I know others have been saying it for years. And they appear to be correct.

This is one of the broader lessons I re-learned last night -- when faced with two possible answers on Lost, go with the simplest one. There's no shortage of mysteries here, but when the writers have already suggested a solution, it's usually proven to be true.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

dojemc: That's a fascinating point you raise about which entity was using the image of Christian Shephard to communicate with Michael on the freighter.

Christian's avatar has been crucial to so much of the higher level gameplaying that we don't understand. If either Jacob or both Jacob and MIB have been speaking as Christian -- i.e., not just MIB -- that would "change everything." (I'm intentionally imitating those overblown promos for Lost and the Forsaken or the Foresworn or whatever that Christian Slater show is called.)

Great observation!

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Another thing I'm realizing is that, except maybe between noon and 2:00 on Tuesday afternoons, I don't think Jen and Liz read any of these comments. Their dueling analysis certainly doesn't suggest that they read the comments from the week before.

Which is totally cool with me. Frankly, it would be mind numbing to read all this at once -- and we know reporters have no free time to spare.

But really, we are talking to one another here. That's great for me, since the national sites are a little too big league for me to post in. People there really know their stuff.

So I for one am grateful to have the rest of us you to talk to. And grateful to Liz and Jen them for providing us the vehicle to do so.

Finally, unlike just about every other commentary section on the WaPo website, people here are civil to one another. That's not something to take for granted.

You guys rock.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I also figured they weren't reading the posts, since we've had so many great ideas recently and none of them were brought up in discussion!

Frankly, that is probably better for us anyway - we get to share our thoughts with other passionate individuals without being intimidated or pressured.

Besides - sometimes it drives me a little crazy how they'll bring up some really interesting points either in discussion or analysis - and then not explore it very far before moving on.

And I TOTALLY 100% agree about the simplest solution being the right one... Can you explain it in a simple sentence without repeating yourself? Can you find evidence from across the seasons that support your claim? You're probably on to something. Everything that's been revealed to us so far hasn't been rocket science... except for maybe "the constant" and Faraday's explanation of "Whatever Happened, Happened"!

Posted by: Mia13 | March 10, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

3. I am becoming more convinced that
the Christian manefestation we have been seeing isn't MIB but is Jacob, or at least manefestations of both of them at different times. I'm thinking of this because of Michael's run in with Christian on the freighter before Michael successfully blew it up."
Posted by: dojemc

Remember, Michael received instructions to wait, so it was not just blowing up the freighter but blowing it up at a particular time that was Michael's mission. And I believe Widmore is good, so that would make Christian be MIB since he also almost took out the Lostee's on the helicopter too. And MIB (smokey) also killed the soldiers from the freighter after Ben called him. So All the killing of the freighter's crew was most likely MIB.

"Before that, Michael couldn't die (because he had been touched by Jacob? or because Jacob had a purpose for him?)."
Posted by: dojemc

Maybe his purpose was to hold off blowing up the freighter giving our Lostees time to get off and before the helicopter landed. So he had to live so someone else would not blow it up at a worse time. See, this story is so convoluted anything is possible :-)

"Michael was able to die only after Christian said on the freighter that it was "time" or something to that effect. Blowing up Widmore's freighter would seem to be a defensive effort by Jacob against Widmore, not by MIB against Widmore. The freighter was there to extract Ben who supposedly was doing the bidding of Jacob, not MIB. This would seem to imply that Widmore is on MIB's side, not Jacob.
Posted by: dojemc

Ah but I think we mostly agree on this board that Ben was following MIB, though not knowingly. I think that is why "Jacob" had Widmore tossed off the island. It was MIB telling Ben to toss Widmore. I also believe it was MIB who engineered the "genocide" of Dharma. Remember, it was the sonic fence that kept smokey (aka MIB) out. So, overall, I think Ben kicked out Widmore mistakenly because he thought Jacob said to do it but it was really MIB. Widmore is good and working for Jacob against MIB, who Widmore believes Ben is willingly following. I hope if they meet up they will realize the situation and join forces against MIB.

Also, do you remember who was sitting with Christian in the cabin? Claire, MIB's friend. We also no longer see Christian because now that MIB is Locke he, for some reason, cannot change. I think Ilana explained it that way.


Posted by: Fate1 | March 10, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, unlike just about every other commentary section on the WaPo website, people here are civil to one another. That's not something to take for granted.
You guys rock."
Posted by: MeriJ

Well, I was going to bring up the obvious fact that MIB is a right wing republican and Jacob is a flaming left wing liberal, and both are probably gay having lived on that island for centuries, and probably married, and like all married people who have lived together for centuries now hate each other.

Not to mention the socialist aspects of Dharma and the obvious influence of the gun lobby on the island. And if Rousseau wasn't a teabagger I don't know who fits the description better!

But, naaaa, lets keep this site civil ;-)

Posted by: Fate1 | March 10, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Monkeywrench2...I agree that the timelines will merge at the end. I think that when they do, that person will either be dead with an overwhelming balance of darkness, alive with better balance/self-actualization than before, or the chosen one.

I ran my Locke/Jacob as one entity theory by a few people, and my wife had a really interesting take on it. She was thinking it would be more like the movie "Jacob's Ladder" in that Locke/Jacob are one entity, but that it is plastic, or an empty vessel taking on the form that the individual wants or thinks they need at that moment. Each person has the choice of the difficult, delayed gratification offered by Jacob, or the instant gratification offered by Locke. The balance of these decisions will ultimately determine each candidate's fate at the merge of the timelines.

Posted by: terpinNE | March 10, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

"And I TOTALLY 100% agree about the simplest solution being the right one... "
Posted by: Mia13

Can someone explain how Sun has completely lost her accent? She speaks like she grew up in California, which the actress probably did. But though there are mistakes like that, and sometimes the props are cheesy (Paper Hurley Bird anyone or that fake sub last season?), the story is what really matters and it blows away everything on TV today and probably the last decade. Reality TV sucks (except Cash Cab, which is terrific!). Give me a well written story any day (Thank you Lost and CSI's).

Posted by: Fate1 | March 10, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

> That's great for me, since the national sites are a little too big league for me to post in. People there really know their stuff.

I just realized how hilariously insulting that is. Whew. I need to stop laughing so I can go to sleep...


>Each person has the choice of the difficult, delayed gratification offered by Jacob, or the instant gratification offered by Locke. The balance of these decisions will ultimately determine each candidate's fate at the merge of the timelines.

Clearly, you married wisely.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

>Can someone explain how Sun has completely lost her accent? She speaks like she grew up in California

Actually the funny thing is that she is Korean -- this may be her first English speaking role -- whereas Jin is the guy who was previously on various American TV shows and, I believe, had to brush up on his Korean for this role.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 10, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly, you married wisely."
MeriJ...can you take down your post please? I can't let my wife see that she is getting compliments:)

Posted by: terpinNE | March 10, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I know we are primed to think Widmore must be on Smokey's team. And yes, he told Locke that there was a war coming, and if Locke wasn't on the Island then, the wrong side would win. So it would seem he was working in MiB's behalf, to get Locke into a position where Smokey could assume his identity.

But what if that's not the case? What if Widmore is indeed Jacob's man?

If Widmore were working for MiB, why would he have sent Locke to enlist the Oceanic Six and get them back to the Island? It seems that the only person who would really want them back would be the person who specifically enlisted Hugo to get on Ajira 316, and that was Jacob...who also enlisted Ilana to help him on this mission by protecting his "candidates."

I think both Ben and Widmore have at some time in their lives been "touched by Jacob," and that's why they cannot kill each other: It is against "the rules."

Posted by: jesharris | March 11, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"cici1: he mayor in Ghostbusters!"

MeriJ: Wow - people had a hard time placing William Atherton?

"He's kinda made a career out of playing slimy !@#$%^&*s. Not only was he in Ghostbusters, he was the reporter in Die Hard."

And, as smynola06 already mentioned, as Dr. Hathaway in Real Genius, alongside fellow Lost cast member Jon Gries (aka Roger Linus) as Lazlo Hollyfeld.

Back to the analysis...I've held since early in the series that The Island=Myst. The two brothers (with father issues??), both imprisoned for atrocities committed throughout the various "ages," looking for someone to take their place so they can go free...at this point, I'm sticking to my belief that Jacob/MIB=Sirrus/Achenar. In this scenario, the correct choice to side with is... ;)

Posted by: MukwaKwe | March 11, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

These days, I'm pretty much just enjoying the ride on Lost, along with Mr. Sully and Charlie "Die Worm." BUT I did want to put a few things out there:

*Richard and the Black Rock. People have assumed the Black Rock was a slave ship because of the shackles, but it could also have been a convict ship. England had a nice habit of stuffing their criminals on ships and sending them to Australia for a good while. So Richard may have been a transportee originally.

*Is Widmore or Ben on Jacob's or MIB's team? I think they both think they're on Jacob's team. Again, the conclusiong I have come to is that everyone THINKS they know what the island and this war are all about, but I think no one does... except Jacob. Everyone else is guessing, just like us.

*LOVED the Ben episode. Loved loved loved. That moment when he almost weeps saying "No one else will have me," and the expression on his face when Ilana says "I'll have you"... That alone should earn him an Emmy. Emerson is just fantastic. I will so miss this show and moments like that when it ends.

Posted by: PQSully | March 11, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

>Can someone explain how Sun has completely lost her accent? She speaks like she grew up in California

Maybe she was dunked in the tank of the temple...


But, seriously - Widmore tells Locke he has to get back to the Island or the wrong side will win. He gets back to the Island and MIB assumes his likeness. We're automatically led to believe Widmore is on team MIB. What are the implications if that's not the case? What if, by coming back to the Island, Locke is actually furthering Jacob's plans? I just want to explore that a little, since it may lead us to an Eureka moment. Or not.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

PQSully! Haven't chatted with you since last season! I completely agree with your post about Emerson in this episode. I was expecting this ep to be lame because it was directed by Mario Van Peebles, but it turned out to be a successful ep to me. My $.02 anyway.

And to Meri and Mia: Last season, we had quite a nice little community posting on WaPo. Lots of love. I am so happy to see it is starting that way this season too. Losties are very special people. :-)

Posted by: a68comeback | March 11, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

P.S. to the Sullys... give Charlie (aka Die Worm = Widmore) a hug! Bet he's all grown up now!!

Posted by: a68comeback | March 11, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Charlie "Die Worm" is a whole year old and thinks he's VERY big, although he's only 18 pounds. AND two weeks ago, we adopted a sister for him, 3-year-old Rosie. And I second what you say about this community: so fun, so friendly, a great bunch!

Back to Lost: I don't think even MIB really knows what's really up with Jacob and the island. He seems to believe that Jacob is dead, but Jacob is still influencing events in a big way. And where MIB is still able to be surprised (for example, by the tousled kid telling him he can't break the rules), Jacob seems completely at ease with everything that happens, whether it's his own murder or Jack presumably upsetting his plans with the lighthouse.

Posted by: PQSully | March 11, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Well... I guess now we know he was a tiny bit surprised Ben Killed him.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Yes! MIB seemed confused and dismayed when the young (Jacob/Aaron/?) appeared with his bloody hands and rule-reminding. But I also kind of think MIB appears to be convinced he is the one calling the shots now. (I guess that if I could turn into a serial killer smoke monster at will I would feel like I was calling the shots too.) Locke-as-MIB appears very confident when he strides out of the jungle.

Congrats on Rosie! (Not Claire? 'Charlie & Claire' would be so perfect!)

Posted by: a68comeback | March 11, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Mia13--yeah, true, but i took it more as he was hoping Ben wouldn't kill him for BEN'S sake. he didn't seem to distressed about being killed, and it apparently hasn't interfered with his continued manipulation of events.

Posted by: PQSully | March 11, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

hee! we thought "Claire" would be too, too precious. So we ended up with Rosie and Charlie ala "African Queen." Although of course Rose is also a Lost name. And Rosie's middle name is Penelope. We are so lame!

Posted by: PQSully | March 11, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Both Widmore and Ben were working for MIB since at least the 1970s. Jacob seems to know this and is using MIB's plan to further his own. Ben has realized he was working fo MIB, we'll see if/when Widmore finds out (or he may have already and is already in cahoots with MIB).

I continue to believe that all the dead people appearing on the island are/were MIB.
All the appearances of Christain Shepard (on the island/freighter) were MIB.
Christain's appearance to Sun and Frank at the Barracks was before MIB took on the body of Locke. However, MIB took on the body of Locke and then appeared to Ben in the "judgment" chamber as Alex.

So when Ilana said that MIB is "locked" into being Locke, it seems to be because of Jacob's death. So although Hurley will continue to see dead people, no one else should see any dead people on the island, including seeing Christain Shepard again, if I am correct.

Off the island there have been fewer appearances of dead people-- almost all of them have been seen by Hurley alone, except for Kate's dream of Claire, and Jack's alcohol-induced visions of his father. Jacob apparently could travel off the island whenever he wanted, and did so as himself (when he was alive).

Posted by: KevinAF | March 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

smd520:

That actually was Hurley's best line of the night, AFTER Richard said, "no, I'm not a cyborg." Hurley said, "Vampire?"

I'm pretty sure Richard said no to that as well though.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | March 11, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

It's possible that MIB can still project images (of dead or living)while as smoke monster ... but they're just that, images.

He's locked in Locke (hehe) in physical form.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

dojemc: "That's a fascinating point you raise about which entity was using the image of Christian Shephard to communicate with Michael on the freighter."

Damon & Carlton said in last summer's ComiCon panel that Jacob has never appeared to our LOSTies as anyone other than himself, including Christian Shephard, Alex Rousseau, and Yemi. So I took that as confirmation that it is MIB/Smokey who has taken the form of those people.

Posted by: womanofscience | March 11, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

As stated by others, the island is in a big timeloop (like the compass is), and MIB is a prisoner in/on it and now thinks he has found a way to get out of it ( a loophole).

MIB doesn't care about getting anyone off the island except himself, so he makes promises and lies to get people to help him get off the island and out of the timeloop. He'll kill them if they doin't help him. Jacob seems to not be concerned, since it has happened before and he expects the timeloop to continue, people to progress, until there is finally an end. MIB has finally gotten things to the point where he thinks he has a good chance of succeeding this time. Perhaps it's by gettting all the candidates disqualified, so he recruits some of them in hope of disqualifying all. I assume there is a reason that MIB is imprisoned (like Jesus imprisoned Satan for a 1,000 years), but at the moment I'm not convinced that Jacob (the manipulator) has the best of intentions either.

BTW I still think Bernard and Rose are Adam and Eve (black and white) who are caught in another time shift- back to 1954 or sooner.

So it could be that MIB succeeds and we are left with the sideways world without a timeloop, or Jacob and MIB are both destroyed and we have the sideways world without a timeloop.

Regardless, something on the island will destroy the island in late 1970's that results in the sideways world. Something that is still playing out on the island in 2007, but will loop back to 1970's to be destroyed.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 11, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

It's getting boring with Liz and Jen phoning in that each episodes sucks. This one was excellent.

Jack's arc to man of faith seems finally complete and totally believable - he was sweating that dynamite, not at all sure he was right but putting his complete - and now perhaps slightly fanatical - trust in the idea that there is indeed a man with a plan. Excellent work by Foxy.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | March 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there are actually rules on who can kill who. Candidates have killed candidates (Ben killed Locke)and they have killed non-candidates (Kate killed her step-dad, Ford killed Sawyer). Non-candidates have killed candidates (Alex and Danielle Rousseau and Karl Martin were killed by the mercenaries, and Desmond killed Inman).

There may be a rule about candidates unable to kill themselves (Michael couldn't, Jack couldn't). Richard couldn't kill himself either but he's not a candidate. But there doesn't seem to be any other rule that sticks. Keamy could not kill Michael on the frieghter with a gun (not Michael's time), but that may be an exception not the rule, since Keamy also killed Alex and later killed Michael with explosives.

Sayyid (and poss. Claire) were killed, but were special cases, and were resurrected/infected/possessed.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Where does it say that Ben, Alex and Danielle Rousseau, Karl Martin, Michael and Claire are candidates?

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidates

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Merij that it is often best with this show to go with the simplest explanation for a possible answer to a question. With that in mind, I'm wondering if we should focus in on simpler questions. For instance, most of us seem to feel that Jacob and MIB are at loggerheads. Certainly, all evidence seems to point to that. (This would even apply to those who think that Jacob and MIB are flip sides of the same personality.) But, think of it, aren't their ultimate goals seemingly the same? I think we all can agree that Jacob's "plan" seems to be to find a candidate to replace himself on the island. We don't know why he is on the island or what his role is on the island or why he can't leave until he finds a replacement, but his plan appears to be to scheme his way out of his job. (Strange thing to be doing in today's economy!) Presumably being successful will result in him being able to really die or at least leave the island permanently. If that is the case, why then would MIB be opposed to that plan? MIB's plan also seems to be to get off the island. How does MIB's goal not coincide with Jacob's goal? If they have the same goal, why aren't they working together?

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

And Merij, I thought the Washington Post Lost blog was a national site! Even if it's not, I'm more than happy to hang out here : - )

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 11, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Mia13: "Where does it say that Ben, Alex and Danielle Rousseau, Karl Martin, Michael and Claire are candidates?"

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidates

Exactly-- the website has the names at the bottom, next to their numbers.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 11, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess I only consider the current 6 candidates actual candidates. Those were the only ones we saw Jacob touch. The rest haven't been developed very much if at all (candidate-wise), so I just don't see anything coming out of that (for instance, no explanation about the candidates using Michael's candidacy as an explanation). You're totally right though, sorry about that.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, let me clarify myself a little futher -

The only reason we know all these other people are candidates, is because someone with fancy equipment got still shots of the cave/lighthouse and took note. Locke didn't read their names out loud, and they weren't made obvious otherwise.

With the few discrepancies from one list to the other, I have to think that the rest of the names were scribbled hastily by the production crew without a whole lot of specific instruction.

In other words, I think they wanted us to see that there have been a lot of other candidates, but not necessarily analyze who all the other candidates were.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Ladies, I had a slightly different take on Jack, Richard Alpert and the stick of dynamite. I was it less as "faith" and more as resignation to the idea of predestination (as opposed to the agency of free will). It was fatalistic: No matter what I do, I seem doomed to play a part in this guy Jacob's panto. So let's see how it plays out.

Not unlike games of Russian Roulette or religious snake handlers. As to the latter, if you are a "good" person - you believe firmly there's no way that snake will bite you or God would let it. If you get bitten, then boy, were you self-deluded that you were so "good".

Some of us calling running out in traffic tempting fate; but others might spin it as a "test" of God's Big Plan for Me.

I think Jack had less "faith" and was simply testing the depth of the destiny waters.

Posted by: jqw3827 | March 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

But doesn't it take faith to believe you have a destiny? :o)

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps this was said, as I didn't have time to read all the comments, but here goes:

Jacob's gift is different for each person - for Richard, it was eternal life, for others, something else. It may also be a mark of protection (a la Mark of Cain) so that their purpose might be fulfilled. Jack showed tremendous faith - and solidarity! - with Richard in that he refused to let him die alone (remember his promise on the beach in Season - perhaps Episode?? - one!!?)

The 6th Candidate is now Wallace, #108 - the sum total of the numbers (since Locke is no longer a candidate, but still served a purpose in getting us to 108, which will symbolize completion).

Wallace will be our hero (I think this is Desmond - our constant).

But will Wallace replace Jacob? All the characters have been saying this, but I don't think that's Jacob's meaning "it only ends once." Jacob's not looking for a replacement - he's looking to break the cycle of retribution/revenge/eye-for-an-eye/the battle he's in with MiB!!! THAT'S progress...

I do agree alt/sideways/off-island stories will come together on-island somehow, hopefully not in a simple white flash (!). That would we leave me disappointed. But I still have faith that "What's Happened, Happened" and yet still there is room for redemption, always a chance for forgiveness and starting anew... how it will all tie together, I'm eager to find out!

(and as assured as I sound, I'm probably wrong - what makes this show so great)

Posted by: bevobevans | March 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Who's side is Widmore on? It can't be MIB's because MIB as Smokey killed all of Keamey's guys (who Widmore had sent) in Dharmaville. If they were on the same side, why would MIB kill his consigliere's henchmen?

Also, I find it interesting that sometimes folks look into what's said or done so much that it misinterprets a simple conversation or action. For example, in last week's episode when Doogan told Sayid to stab MIB/Locke before he spoke, it didn't mean that once MIB/Locke said hello all bets were off. Similarly, when Alpert said that he was touched by Jacob so he doesn't age, I don't think it meant that everything/everyone Jacob touches gets eternal life.

Frankly, I'm not even sure the name Wallace means anything or that anyone is coming to the island since Jacob made it clear the whole reason for going to the lighthouse was so Jack could see the reflection of his childhood house. The trip was for Jack, not for Mr. "108" Wallace.

Finally, why would anyone assume that Jacob and MIB are the same person when we saw the two of them having a conversation with each other? I mean, sometimes I talk to myself, but come on...

Thoughts?

Posted by: AndFound | March 11, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

>>>"Who's side is Widmore on? It can't be MIB's because MIB as Smokey killed all of Keamey's guys (who Widmore had sent) in Dharmaville. If they were on the same side, why would MIB kill his consigliere's henchmen?"
Posted by: AndFound

Well there you go. MIB killed Widmore's men. Why does that make Widmore on MIB's side? I think Widmore was after Ben because Ben was following MIB though Ben *thought* he was following Jacob.

[...]

>>>"Frankly, I'm not even sure the name Wallace means anything or that anyone is coming to the island since Jacob made it clear the whole reason for going to the lighthouse was so Jack could see the reflection of his childhood house. The trip was for Jack, not for Mr. "108" Wallace."
Posted by: AndFound

I think Jacob was referring to MIB going to the temple. I don't remember Jacob saying a bad man was coming to the island, but I was drinking a beer and eating popcorn at the time, so I could be mistaken.

>>>"Finally, why would anyone assume that Jacob and MIB are the same person when we saw the two of them having a conversation with each other? I mean, sometimes I talk to myself, but come on...
Posted by: AndFound

In Lost anything is possible. The two are in balance as the numerous scales of black and white have shown. One seems to be all good, the other all evil. Add to that phylosophies of ying/yang and I can see why some are speculating they are parts of a whole, but I don't think it matters. They are acting individually so we might as well take them as individuals. If in the end they are one entity, cool, but right now it does not matter.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 11, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, wonder if Wallace is Jacob's last name.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 11, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

AndFound: I agree with your points on Widmore not being on MIB's team. I also think he has too much vested in the Island to side with the guy who obviously doesn't care for it.

I also agree with your warning of over-analyzing things on the show (like my previous post about over-analyzing the names of the candidates in the cave and at the lighthouse). But I did take it literally when Richard said he didn't age because Jacob touched him - Even the enhanced episodes have brought up Jacob's "touch" as something to be particularly noted. The fact that the explosive didn't blow up for Richard and Jack solidified this in my mind.

I agree, Wallace might not mean anything. I think they were just putting the first names that came to mind for the crossed out candidates. I don't think they matter (the camera would've focused in on it during the show if it did).

MIB and Jacob could be alter egos (Good and Evil Consciences) belonging to the same supernatural being (the young boy?)- and as such, would be able to talk to each other (Fight Club?). The story itself doesn't lead to that conclusion (but then again, that's the point of a plot twist), but I think us proponents of that theory are going on the fact that he wasn't able to kill Jacob himself, they haven't mentioned his name yet, and even his own followers did not know to tell them apart. I also think that when Dogen said that every man has a scale, some are tipped toward evil... it went right back to the scene where MIB takes Sawyer to the cave, looks at the balanced scale and throws out the white rock, saying "Inside Joke". I don't think the writers would mention/show a "scale" twice in a couple of shows as a coincidence.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Fate1: Wallace as Jacob's last name... NICE! That would be an awesome revelation. He's the sum of all of them :o) AND the reason why Jacob was so sure he'd find some other way to the Island!

Posted by: Mia13 | March 11, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe Richard is Richard Wallace and he's keeping his mouth shut because MIB is killing the candidates. But Ilana calling him "Rickardus" is really not making much sense, especially if he is from the Black Rock. Maybe he is Spanish or Italian? If so Wallace would not make sense. Nothing makes sense, so at this point its par.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 11, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Mia13,
I agree that MIB not having a name is very good evidence that MIB and Jacob are alter egos of the same ... thing. But so far that is all I have as evidence that this may be what is happening. And if this is the case, and it appears Jacob and MIB are not able to lift a finger and MIB can only kill in his smokey way, and both seem to need others to do what they want/need, then it seems all that is happening is a couple of alter egos working to get our Lostees to do their bidding, good and evil. My questions is, so what? What if everyone just went back to the beach and ignored Jacob and MIB? But we've heard from the beginning this is about saving the world. How is Jacob or MIB winning this war going to save or ruin the world?

And the dynamite might have gone out because Richard is still needed by the island, not Jack. Jack may now be thinking he's there for a reason when he isn't. Hope he does not light another stick of dynamite when alone. It just might go off!

Anyone want to take friendly bets on who's sideways story will be on next week? I think it will be Jack, but I'm really hoping for Richard. I think the more we learn about him the more we'll get to the bottom of this whole riddle.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 11, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Richard will get his back story told and soon. I'm not sure if it is this week but it would be great if it was.

Some predictions:

1. We'll see Vincent again.
2. We'll see Walt again but as a teenager off island.
3. Sarah will be the mother of David.
4. Everyone dies

Just kidding about the last one, I think.

Posted by: dojemc | March 12, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The fact that Ilana was looking for Richard, and asking him "What lies at the shadow of the statue" strongly suggests that both her and Richard belong to the same group, a group that has both on-island and off-island charters. This group could perhaps be understood as the "traditionalists" Others. I think Ilana referring to Richard as Ricardus, and getting his answer back in Latin, is because (as per Juliet) Latin is at the core of the Others culture (I think Juliet referred to Latin as Others-101). But maybe I'm getting confused.

Another idea is that in certain situations when a character fails to killed, it is not so much because the character cannot be killed, as it happened to Michael (suicide attempt and Keamy), or Rousseau (attacked by Robert), or Jack (suicide attempt) or Sawyer (when rescuing Ethan's mother), but instead because Jacob is preventing the aggressor from becoming a murderer. Cases in point seem to be Jack failing to kill Locke (end of season 3 or beginning of season 4), Jack failing to kill Richard, and Ben trying to kill Charlotte.

Posted by: for33 | March 12, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I think I agree with Mia13 that the candidate lists in the lighthouse and the cave are just a list of the characters (major and minor) that appear in the tv series, and the names on the both lists themselves hold no special meaning other than for the 6 main characters (Locke, Reyes, Ford, Jarrah, Sheppard, Kwon), even Kate seems to be an after thought. The other names aren't important other than to show that other "candidates" were considered, and the six "numbers" had a meaning. As far as when someone can die or be killed, it's up to Fate to determine, and by Fate I mean mainly Jacob and MIB who seem to be manipulating most of the character's lives on and off the island.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 12, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Also I just saw on another blog, that the next episode is about Sawyer, "Recon" as in Re-Con, similar to the one featuring him before, "The Long Con". Apparenly there is a sneak peak of the flash sideways for next week.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 12, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

KevinAF - Yeah, I just think that if it was important it would've been a little more obvious. Not everyone has access to the screen shots...

Fate1 - If MIB/Locke end up being "two sides of the same coin", I don't think that'd be enough to make them both powerless - specially if they're two sides of a powerful creature. Maybe the losties or the candidate will save the world by keeping MIB trapped on the Island. Who knows, we're all speculating here. I agree with what you've been saying in all your posts though, they've been acting as separate entities and the "one and the same" card right now would be nothing but a cool plot twist.

As far as the dynamite not going off ... yeah, there are probably several good possible reasons why... only time will tell.

for33 - Ricardus is Richard in latin, the language of the others. I agree! I don't think we should overthing this one.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 12, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Mia13 -

No, I don't think faith and fatalism are the same thing at all.

Fatalism is a resignation that, no matter what you do, events are pre-determined and unalterable. So if that stick of dynamite didn't have Jack's name on it - where he lit it or headed for the hills was irrelevant.

Faith is a trusting acceptance - resignation isn't "trusting" it's just acquiescence.

Original John Locke had faith in the island's power to heal - to help him self-actualize, etc. Ultimately, he had faith in his own ability to make choices through free will which would alter events.

I have no sense that Jack now feels whatever role he plays out will necessarily be "redemptive" - simply that it is unavoidable and that his continuing to try to fight it is totally futile.

Posted by: jqw3827 | March 12, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"I have no sense that Jack now feels whatever role he plays out will necessarily be "redemptive" - simply that it is unavoidable and that his continuing to try to fight it is totally futile."

I agree with that. In fact, the dynamite scene makes much more sense when thought of in that light.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 12, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with jqw as well. The look on Jack's face was one of complete and utter acceptance.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 12, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Agreed. Jack didnt suddenly have faith in Jacob's master plan; he wasnt enlightened. He just finally sucked it up and accepted the fact that there is a master plan and he must be part of it because he's been watched by Jacob his whole life. ...almost the opposite of Alpert's emotion in that scene.

Posted by: AndFound | March 12, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

>

Isn't that the definition of faith? (I am not a person of faith so I'm asking.)

I never thought faith = necessarily agreeing with the plan, which is what some people seem to be saying. Faith means ceding control to a (higher) being or purpose, right? So I still say by that measure the dynamite scene represented Jack's full conversion to man of faith.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | March 13, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"He just finally sucked it up and accepted the fact that there is a master plan "

What I was trying to quote in the above post and it did not make it.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | March 13, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Course, the dynamite and fuse were over 100 years old. Jack could have just been lucky, in which case he is now operating on a false sense of purpose and invincibility.

If Richard is now a believer in Jack maybe he'll share with Jack, and with us, a little about what has been going on for the past 100 years on this island. But I won't be surprised if Jack doesn't ask the obvious questions we are all screaming at the TV each week.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 13, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Not to be too mushy. I think the best quote - Llana: "I'll/We'll have you..."

Posted by: JoeBlo | March 13, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

I think that if someone's faith is solely based on the inevitability of one's situation, that is a very shallow faith.

IMO, a deeper faith is one that accepts and embraces the higher power's authority and willingly submits to it, knowing that doing so will result in the best possible outcome, because said higher power is believed to be omniscient.

Posted by: smynola06 | March 15, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

SO... an episode about SAWYER tomorrow!!! this should be good :o)

It should tell us a lot about where the changes in sideways flash world started from - will he still be looking to find the man that killed his parents (Locke's now (apparently) nicer father)? Will he still be called.... SAWYER??? ah, the questions are too many. Would a Sawyer by any other name smell as sweet? Yes, I think so.

And if Sawyer wasn't looking for his parents' killer - why would he go to Australia?

Any predictions ?

Posted by: Mia13 | March 15, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

... According to IMDB, Charlotte and Liam (Charlie's brother) will appear in tomorrow's episode... how intriguing!

Posted by: Mia13 | March 15, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I think I've figured out the strategy behind Lost. No one knows what is going on but in the end we will. Then, knowing what is going on we will have the opportunity to watch 6 years of reruns, with many details we ignored jumping out at us, making sense (Nikki and Paolo for example). Just think, six more years of going "Ah Ha!!!, That's why Ben shot Locke!" or "So that's what the Hurley Bird was about!".

Can't wait!

Posted by: Fate1 | March 15, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte and Liam? Wow, that ought to be interesting. I wonder if Charlie will be alive. And any additional information about Charlotte would be useful. But I have no clue how Liam could provide any info. Of course, this is Lost and the whole plot may revolve around Liam in the end, so I guess I'll pay attention :-)

Posted by: Fate1 | March 15, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

There's speculation that in tonight's episode Sawyer (Ford) is an undercover cop in sideways world, I guess we'll know soon enough, but that may be why he went to Austrailia.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 16, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I can totally see James Ford as an undercover cop. He seemed a lot more confident and happy with himself in the sideway flash than when we met him originally.


Un-related, but If you like small spoilers, this is super interesting!

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Lost-Producers-Means-1015991.aspx

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Thirteen-Clues-End-1015552.aspx

And, an interesting comment from the link below (might help the black vs. white debate here :o)

http://www.tvguide.com/News/Lost-Producers-Questions-1014514.aspx

TVGuide.com: Are there teams? Are there people that are going to take sides this season?
Cuse: People are going to take sides, but that doesn't mean they're not going to switch sides later on. It's a little bit like baseball pre-season. You're on a team, but there's a lot of trading going on.
Lindelof: I think one thing to keep in mind though is that just because one guy wears white and the other guy wears black, don't make immediate judgments over who's good and who's evil. Jacob has kind of put our guys through the wringer in a lot of ways, so it might be interesting to see what the Man in Black has to say for himself.
Cuse: He might have a good perspective.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 16, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

>There's speculation that in tonight's episode Sawyer (Ford) is an undercover cop

That's not speculation, Kevin. That's a spoiler. Luckily I didn't read it before watching the show.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 16, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

How awesome was last night's show?? I hope Liz and Jen don't complain about this one again...

And I was thinking - IF the flash sideways represents a big reset for the losties before Jacob made them candidates/touched them... would the one who inherits the Island not be featured on the flash sideways (since they wouldn't get a reset)?

And, IF the above is somewhat correct - since we've seen pretty much all the major candidates in the sideways flash... does this mean a candidate wasn't found - hence why the Island was sunk (or vice-versa)?

Posted by: Mia13 | March 17, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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