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Posted at 10:46 AM ET, 03/ 3/2010

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Sundown'

By Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen and Liz register their complete dissatisfaction with Tuesday night's episode. Agree? Disagree? Add your opinion to the comments section below, then join J & L for the 2 p.m. "Lost" Hour live chat. And, in the meantime, check out the exhaustive "Lost" Central.


MIB (Terry O'Quinn) removes a pesky dagger from his heart. (ABC)

Jen: Liz, maybe I'm just fatigued, overworked, distracted or all of the above. But I wasn't particularly thrilled by tonight's episode. As a matter of fact, when Sayid -- evil incarnate model? -- killed Dogen after that random story about picking up his son from baseball practice, I was kind of glad. I'm sick of Dogen, sick of Lennon (who I guess also bit it) and sick of the temple. Me? Ready to move on.

Liz: I know we're supposed to be "dueling" here, as per the headline, but Jen -- I am so with you. Tonight's episode was "ho hum" at best. In fact, we didn't even have enough good quotes to generate a "best line of the night" poll. And this after last week's promise that tonight's ep would be so revelatory. Meh. I guess if anything positive did come out of the 40 minutes it is that Dogen is dead, most of the costume-clad extras are either dead or dispersed and we seem to be finally moving away from the temple.

Much more after the jump...

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New! Text "LOST" to 98999 to get The Post's latest "Lost" news -- and our weekly post-show dueling analysis -- sent directly to your phone.

Liz: Of course we did have Mr. Sayid Jarrah who tonight, for better or worse, succumbed to the dark side. The mildly interesting thing about that is that not only did he make that decision on the island, but in the sideways timeline, too, where he gave up 12 years of trying to "wash his hands" of his misdeeds and killed Martin Keamy.

Jen: Wasn't it nice to see Keamy again? Kevin Durand is so creepy-sexy-freaky. And boy, can that guy fry an egg. (BTW, Lostpedia noted that the egg scene was probably a reference to the fact that Keamy was first introduced in the ep following "Eggtown.")

Of course, when Sayid offed him, I couldn't help but flashback to the moment when Ben made a similar call at the end of season four. Sayid and Ben -- they really are two sides of the same coin. So much so that in the island timeline, Ben recognized immediately that Sayid had most definitely gone to the dark side.

Liz: Familiar territory for Mr. Linus, though, truth be told -- their dark sides exist on two different planes of evil. For Ben, the dark side he turned to was duplicity -- he was willing to kill, lie and generally behave like a spoiled dictator in the hopes of furthering his own rat-like existence. In Sayid's case, he's surrendered his life in a final "I have nothing left to care about" flip of the bird to the world.

MIB, though, seems to be assembling a healthy stable of Losties: Claire, Sawyer... and now Kate?

Jen: Kate looked a little confused to me at the end there. (Reserve your jokes, please.) I got the sense she was going along primarily to follow Claire. She came back to the island to find the Aussie -- otherwise known as the chick Miles still thinks is hot -- and she's going to follow her wherever she goes, it seems to me.

Liz: Agreed -- she sees her salvation in somehow rescuing Claire. It's just unclear at this point whether or not Claire is beyond salvation.

And -- not to harp on our dissatisfaction with tonight's show -- but much is still unclear at this point and, as the promo at the end of the show helpfully pointed out -- we've only got 10 episodes left until the finale. Earlier this week, LindeCuse admitted that there will be many mysteries left unresolved because they -- umm -- ran out of time, but that's a bit hard to digest when they seem perfectly willing to squander tonight's episode by not giving us any answers.

Jen: Agreed. That "10 episodes left" promo made both sad and panicky. Look, I don't want answer to everything. In fact, there's a lot that could go unresolved and I'd be fine with that. And yes, that includes the Hurley bird. I just want solid, intriguing, surprising story-telling, the sort of thing we got from the Locke episode two weeks ago -- or, hey, from most of the series before now -- but haven't gotten consistently from the rest of this season.

Liz: Well, our protests are duly noted, but I do feel a bit at sea. After three-plus years of doing these analyses, we're accustomed to wringing larger thematic truths from each episode and, well, there's no there there this week. I'm lost, I tell you.

It wasn't even all that exciting seeing Jack turn up in the hall of the hospital or that big of a reveal to find Jin confined in Keamy's freezer.

Jen: Well, there was a tragic bit of parallelism in seeing Jin discovered in L.A. and Sun back at the temple. Both in the same episode at practically the same moment, but missing each other. Hmmm... maybe we should talk about this whole business of Sayid killing MIB/Locke. He claimed he did his best to commit that murder. But he didn't really. I mean, he let the guy say hi first.

Liz: True story. But would it really have made a difference if he had not been allowed to say "Hi" before Sayid knifed him? Is this yet another "rule"?

Jen: For some silly reason, I took Dogen at this word. Don't let him say a word, just stab him. And Sayid let him say a word. Of course, Dogen was so vague about what form MIB would take, I thought for sure Sayid would pierce the chest cavity of the first familiar face he saw. Which technically was Kate. But nope.


So long, Dogen. (Hiroyuki Sanada) (ABC)

Liz: I know. My heart skipped a beat when she stepped out of the jungle. Foiled again, though.

I took Dogen at his word, too, but MIB's bit about Dogen sending Sayid out to be killed by him made some sense, too. I'm thinking Sayid Jarrah is not long for the world. He's given himself over body and soul to the dark side and that never ends well.

Jen: So how much can we believe about what MIB promises? He told Sayid -- it appears -- that he could be reunited in some fashion with Nadia. And he promised Claire she'd get Aaron back. I'm kinda thinking neither of those things will happen.

Liz: I'm with you, there. The thing is -- and I'm not sure whether or not this is another critique of the writing or not -- but I'll give it a shot: MIB seems to have a talent for finding the weak spot in each character that will help him bend each to his will: reuniting Claire with Aaron, re-vivifying Nadia for Sayid, promising Sun a reunion with Jin, etc.

But, dude, those things are all so obvious. So obvious that I kind of find it hard to believe that all three would be led so easily down the garden -- or jungle -- path. Where is the nuance? The awareness in these characters that they are being played?

I'm obviously determined to find absolutely nothing positive about tonight's show. I'm hoping the readers will come through with some juicy bits of storytelling we missed.

Jen: Clearly we've become infected.

Let's talk briefly about Jin again. He appears to have been held hostage by Keamy. Which would lead me to believe that all that money he had in the airport may have been intended for Keamy, or as a payoff to Keamy. Is it possible Jin isn't even working for Sun's dad in this revised scenario?

Liz: Well, here's my similar -- yet wholly different -- take.

Keamy was the intended recipient of the gold watch Mr. Paik was sending to an American business partner via Jin. The money was Jin's and he intended to use it to break free, once and for all, from the life he hated and build a new life for himself and Sun using those funds. Unfortunately, he decided to go ahead and deliver that watch first... and look where it got him.

Jen: Hmmm ... interesting. I like it. Only issue, which I think other readers may have raised before, is that he seemed a little surprised to see the money when airport security unveiled it. At least, that's one interpretation.

So should we switch gears and launch into what I'll describe as Random Observation-o-rama?

Liz: By all means...

Jen: First random observation: Sayid, an Iraqi who once served in the Republican Guard in a previous life, now translates contracts for an oil company. Oh, and that is revealed while in the island narrative, he's turned completely evil. Political commentary, perhaps?

Liz: Perhaps, though it feels like a stretch to me. Like the rest of the episode.

Second random observation: Telling us Dogen's sad back story was utterly pointless.

Jen: Yes, except for one thing.

Mentioning that he had a son who had baseball practices gives me the impression that the dude definitely didn't come over on the Black Rock. And it also tells us that Jacob recruited him as well. Other than that, though, I'm not sure why we needed to get to know Dogen. How is he relevant to the broader narrative? Not saying he isn't, but I just don't see it yet.

Liz: That was my point. And you're right about it giving us a clearer idea of when Dogen arrived, but again, does it ultimately matter? That little peek into his pre-island life felt like a lame attempt by the writers to get us to actually care about the guy before he was offed. Mission unaccomplished.

Random observation no. 3: Why were Cindy and so many other temple red shirts willing to flee the temple only on Sayid's word? It struck me as odd that they'd be that quick to believe this guy who had been labeled "evil" by their leader.

Jen: Cindy just wants to get out of there so she can get her kids a McDonald's meal before her husband does. (Sorry, just referencing that commercial she's in that aired 8,000 times during the Olympics.)

Random observation no. 4: This season is very "Wizard of Oz-y." I mean, more so than usual. The notion of people we recognize from the island appearing in L.A. in different contexts reminds me a lot of how the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion are completely different people on Aunt Em's farm.

Liz: True, though inserting the characters in those contexts -- like Jack's appearance at the hospital -- is kind of a cheap Easter Egg.

Jen: It only seems cheap now because we're used to it, so it doesn't seem as fresh or surprising.

Liz: Random observation no. 5: When nutso Claire is confined to the hole in the temple (did anyone else want to say "It puts the lotion in the basket?") she's singing Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star" to herself. Not for nothing, that's the same song Claire had insisted Aaron's potential adoptive parents sing to him. Could the fact that the episode ended to that tune signify that Aaron isn't so far away after all?

Jen: Oh, he's not far away. I said it before, I'll say it again: The kid with the bloody hands is Aaron. If he's not, I'll eat Keamy's fried eggs.

Liz: Careful there, Chaney. I seem to recall you once making a similar offer when you were convinced that Pierre Chang's baby was actually Jin.

Jen: But I added the caveat that he also could be Miles. So I was, like, one-eighth right!

So should we adjourn until 2, and also pray that next week's episode is more inspiring?

Liz: Yep. Let's stop here and turn this over to the readers. I, for one, am hoping to read something revelatory in the comments before we start the 2 p.m. chat.

By Liz Kelly  | March 3, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

I don't know guys, but I totally disagree with you about this being a horrible filler episode. First, I wasn't annoyed by the Dogen backstory. Because it relates to what we have seen of Dogen in the LA Reality, but also because it shows that MIB and Jacob you eerily similar ways to "recruit" people. Maybe no one is good or evil, maybe they both just are playing a game, saying what they have to say to "recruit" people. Secondly, Claire and Sayid are "infected" (whatever that means) so I don't know that they were so easily swayed to MIB's side...Sayid died, and Claire went on a ghost walkabout with her dead father, so I think it was easy for MIB to persuade them because of the infection. You have to admit the ending was startling (with Smokey hurtling through the supposedly sacred temple, defiling the temple) and showed a clear power shift in the island. And the moment when Kate told Claire the truth about Aaron...creepy! I thought this show was fine, had a few gems, and really moved the island storyline forward.

Posted by: bmmarr | March 3, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with the ladies. I thought "Sundown" was strong and dark, with the added benefit of closing the loop on the whole Temple arc. Sayid's final descent into the dark side was great stuff.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | March 3, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I was definitely with you on the lotion-in-the-basket thing.

My greatest disappointment with this episode (though I agree it was dissatisfyingly uninformative) was that it dashed my lingering hope that MIB would not simply be evil. It's partly that I like counterintuitive twists, and partly that Jacob has not appeared unambiguously good (particularly in last season's finale), but I really did hope that MIB would turn out to be the good one, or that neither would be wholly good or wholly evil. But now, given the carnage at the temple, it does look like the writers have chosen to go with a pure, black-and-white (ha!), Manichean conflict. Yawn...

Posted by: Janine1 | March 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I could not disagree more with your analysis. I loved last night's episode and was riveted the entire time. I thought te Nadia story was compelling, and that Sayid in all timelines and all realities is a tortured person who cannot forgive himself for what he's done. But I do agree with yo, I too was glad to see Dogen and Lennon get killed and done with.

But I didn't see Dogen's story as irrelevant at all. To me, the most interesting thing about that story is the juxtaposition of Dogen and Sayid. They were both being jerked around by Jacob and MIB, both sides establishing conditions for help. Sometimes it's implied that Jacob=good and MIB=bad, but I think this episode shows that isn't the case.

I don't think MIB was lying, Dogen WAS trying to kill Sayid. So MIB has been more truthful than Jacob, who tells Dogen he can't see his son again, who was dismissive to Ben's pain at the end of last season, he asks people to give up their entire lives to go live in a temple never telling them why.... Jacob so far hasn't done anything to show he's worth following.

My prediction: when LindeCuse say not everything will be answered, I'm betting the Walt storyline is the main casualty.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | March 3, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

oh, and didn't MIB's spiel about how he could give Sayid what he wants most sound A LOT like Ben's "magic box" speech to Locke in "The Man from Tallahassee." Makes me wonder who Ben was really working for...I thought the first Sayid v. Dogen fight was pretty cool too.

Posted by: bmmarr | March 3, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Janine1: I don't know if last night's episode revealed that MIB is fundamentally evil. I think Smokey in the Temple was reflective of Sayid killing Keamy. He did what he thought he had to do in order protect what he loves. (We don't know what that is yet, but still...)

I still think both Jacob and MIB are gonna be a little bit good and a little bit evil. Even scale.

Posted by: klm352 | March 3, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I think the MIB will grant Sayid's wish, but like any Faustian bargain, it won't be _quite_ what Sayid thought. Remember, Shannon died in his arms, too! Maybe she'll come back instead of Nadiya?

Another thought--maybe the alt timeline shows that Sayid's wish is granted and Nadiya is alive. It's just not quite what he wanted.

My husband thinks it's a "Pet Semetary" kind of deal, and they will come back to life, but Changed Somehow. Hm. That might be a good explanation for Claire and Sayid in Island time.

Posted by: beta1 | March 3, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I just want to say that I thought last night's episode was the best so far this season. Perhaps that's just because it started off with the ass-kicking between Dogen and Sayid - we haven't see action like that in a long time.

Also, I think the Dogen back story was interesting because, for the Losties, Jacob came and "touched" them and possibly influenced them on a sub-atomic "butterfly effect" level. But Dogen said that Jacob introduced himself, told Dogen about the island, and convinced Dogen to take a new "job" on said island. It's like Dogen got the Ilana treatment from Jacob. Why does Jacob openly collaborate with some people off island and not others?!?

Also - does it mean anything that in some sideways stories (like Jack's), the character is morally a better person but in other sideways stories (like Sayid's), the character is still fundamentally flawed?!?

Posted by: dalrympj | March 3, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"But Dogen said that Jacob introduced himself, told Dogen about the island, and convinced Dogen to take a new 'job' on said island. It's like Dogen got the Ilana treatment from Jacob. Why does Jacob openly collaborate with some people off island and not others?!?"

Maybe he can't "openly collaborate" with candidates.

Posted by: Janine1 | March 3, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

We got a couple of Sayid fight scenes, so that's a plus. And the look on his face when he tells Linus it's too late for him - with that subtle yet chilling facial expression - was perfect, even though I didn't want him to go to the dark side. I'm wondering if this is his karma - that no matter how much he wants to be a good guy, he won't be able to get redemption for his past actions.

That was a very interesting look Un-Locke gave Kate when he noticed her following Claire & Sayid. It was like he was trying to figure out if he had a use for her and decided that he'd let her tag along, but I don't think he sees her as one of his recruits.

I don't remember Ben Linus getting back to the secret passageway before it was closed.

Posted by: mat00 | March 3, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

That episode bit the big one. Liz and Jen are right. It was terrible. Since when is Lost an action movie? It was dumb. Very disappointing.

Posted by: Roxie1 | March 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I had to go back and watch "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" to see what exactly Widmore tells Locke about the coming war. He said, "there's a war coming John, and if you're not back on the Island when that happens, the wrong side is going to win." After last night, the war is clearly on...is Locke on the right side (according to Widmore) or did his death allow the wrong side the upper hand? I guess the answer to that will just tell me where Widmore comes down in all this (Team Jacob or Team Smokey), but I feel like all these off-Island players are going to have to come into it sometime soon.

Posted by: gobluegirl | March 3, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I missed something, but where is Sawyer? Where was Jin (on the island) last night? Have they both been recruited by Flocke, or are they in some holding pattern?

Posted by: PolarBear75 | March 3, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I thought that at the end Kate had become Zombie-Kate... she looked all messy-hair, glazed over like Rousseau / Claire. Did it happen when she was in the hole with Claire?

Posted by: MostOffensive | March 3, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Did not like last night's episode at all. It was a total waste of time and basically filler. However I did like the LA story line. In every episonde this season I have liked the LA scenes far better than the Island story. Frankly, the entire season should have just been the LA story line. All this Temple, Dogan nonsense has been a huge disappointment.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 3, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

MIB can grand everyone's wish.
Sayid and getting back to Nadia... OR Claire having Aaron.. Sawyer back to mainland and everything. The way to do this is just to tell them that "Guys you are already there (in the alternate timeline), everything promised is happening in the ALT timeline. WE on the Island are living a dummy life that is no use and as promised y'all are having the actual life as u desired and wished."

The only thing maybe to make this more stronger is either the mainland or the island characters to realize of their alternate life. The main-land characters can knwo that they were on the island and faced all these issues, but MIB came helped them rewind to 2004-Then helped 816 land without crashing making everything happen. (and the remembering can just happen by 1 white flash OR all the folks just have a dream of the whole island thing, a dream strong as a memory).

Posted by: thetruckguy | March 3, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And about the episodes/season being not giving as it used to be..
I guess most of the secret will be in the finale. If most secrets are out for us to figure out what the mystery is, then who is even gonna stick and watch the finale? So I guess the writers are playing it off slowly this season cause they they know this season finale is the one that will give the answers.

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

I disagree with you ladies! I thought last night episode was great. I really liked seeing the backstory on Sayid and Nadiya. And watching Sayid's descent into the "dark side" was very compelling. As for Cindy and the other temple inhabitants, I think they were so ready to leave the temple for several reasons: 1. Dogen never really gave them much information; heck, he didn't even speak English in their presence. So when you leave people in the dark, you remain the uncommunicative aloof leader, people doubt your authority and they tend to want to follow those who they perceive as sharing information. Sayid came in and gave them timely information about what was about to happen and gave them a choice. 2. Mob mentality. Once the most vocal among them started speaking, the rest simply followed.

I greatly dislike the fact that the writers aren't tying up all the loose ends and answering all questions before the show officially ends. I hope they're not purposely doing that so as to leave the door open for a "Lost" movie.

Posted by: daphy9551 | March 3, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I loved this epi too. Thought it was the best of the season so far.

Posted by: Lizka | March 3, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I would disagree that Kate was zombie-like at the end. She was the most sane looking person in that group. I think she looked a like confused - "why are all these people here? what's going on now?".

I do think Sayid looks a little possessed at the end. Blank, cold stares. Maybe he really was taken over by evil when he died in the temple pool.

Posted by: dalrympj | March 3, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I thought last night’s episode was not bad. As I recall from last season’s finale, Jacob was at least partly responsible for Nadia being killed which certainly helped push Sayid into the evil category. So does this mean that having Sayid becoming evil is part of Jacob’s master plan? I’m curious to see if this will be resolved…

Posted by: kcp1 | March 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I too was very disappointed in this episode. My first thought when MIB offered to bring back Sayid's love was the return of Shannon! He loved her too and we know she's scheduled for a reappearance...

Also hoping to see no more of the silly Temple of Doom.

Posted by: sdavis7 | March 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

RE: "Jacob was at least partly responsible for Nadia being killed"

Ever think that if Jacob didn't pull Sayid over to the side of the road, then BOTH Nadia and Sayid would have been killed that day?

And why would Sayid remember that encounter with Jacob - a total stranger he met for a mere second?

Posted by: dalrympj | March 3, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

didn't Kate also sing Catch a Falling Star to Aaron when she was tucking him into bed after they left the island?

Posted by: ALLOST | March 3, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea that maybe Jacob nor MIB is truly good or evil. That would be an interesting twist. I also agree with the others who say the Dogen scene was not filler and definitely showed us that both Jacob and MIB have their ways of convincing people to do what it is they want them to do.

I also enjoyed the episode, I'm surprised both of you weren't into it.

One thing I noticed this morning that is somewhat interesting is if you take a look at the season 6 promo poster of the "Last Supper" the cast members are clearly divided (with Locke in the middle). Those on the right side are all still on what we think is the "good side" with Jacob and those on the left are the ones who have turned and are with MIB. Interestingly, Richard and Ilana are with the MIB group in the photo.
(http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Last_Supper#The_Lost_Supper)

I wonder if that means anything???

Of course one of the other season 6 promo posters is set up differently and Claire actually appears on the right side in that one and Miles is on the left

Maybe I'm just looking too much into it! :P

Posted by: smynola06 | March 3, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Here's an observation that may or may not have any meaning whatsoever.

+ Nutso Claire was singing "Catch a Falling Star" to herself and as y'all have pointed out, this song has been mentioned before.
+ In regard to Evil Locke / MIB making all these promises, leading decent people down these dark paths to achieve his own ends, I don't think the similarities to the devil can be ignored.
+ There is a passage in the bible (Isaiah 14:12) that likens the morning star (Lucifer then, we know it as Venus now) to both the King of Babylon and also the great Adversary (Satan) that I will paraphrase here:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cast down to the earth, you who laid low the nations of the world!"

Considering this connection, is it a stretch to think that Aaron's purpose is to "catch a falling star" and somehow stop MIB's metaphorical fall (escape) from Heaven (the island) to the Earth (the world off the island)? Or is this a foregone conclusion at this point?

Or I could be manufacturing a connection where there is none, but isn't that the fun of the analysis? :-)

Posted by: daward74 | March 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

**I took Dogen at this word. Don't let him say a word, just stab him. And Sayid let him say a word.**

That doesn't make any sense. That if MIB speaks, that he suddenly has this power of immortality? Either he had it before or not, speaking didn't make it so. And besides, how could you stab someone before they speak if they are 30 feet away when you first see each other?

No, what Dogen meant was is that MIB is a liar and a tempter, he is The Liar and The Tempter, and if you allow him to speak to you, he will turn you -- he will twist and distort the truth and tempt you with "the entire world" to get you to do his evil.

What is sad is so many of the Others could be so weak in their faith, and would so readily join forces with the Evil One.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I liked this ep., but I have a crush on Naveen Andrews and so I am favorably disposed toward any ep. that involves Sayid.

I'm starting to think that Jack's purposes will be to shepherd together the "lost" souls that have drifted toward MIB. Can Claire and Sayid be pulled back from the "dark side?" I sure hope so.

I do wish the ep. had told us where Island Jin and Sawyer are.

I also liked the conversation between Dogen and Sayid where we learn that Jacob drives a hard bargain. For some reason, that's what solidified in my mind that Jacob is the "good" one. MIB offers the heart's desire, but doesn't explain the consequences if you accept his offer.

I will say it's getting tiresome how the writers are being coy with the name of MIB. I mean, we've known about Jacob for a long time now -- why so coy about the other one. Just call him Bealzabub, or Old Scratch or whatever.

But overall very good ep. To me, best of season so far.

Posted by: NW_Washington | March 3, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not sure I understand everyone's willingness to characterize Jacob vs. MIB as good vs. evil. What exactly is so good about Jacob? Doesn't he manipulate people too? Are we sure at this point which one is ultimately good and which one is evil? Perhaps MIB turned into Smokey to fight against Jacob's evil? After all, Ben was a Jacob disciple and he wasn't exactly a good guy. And didn't Smokey show up to smite the evil mercenaries?

I think Kate looked spacey and confused because her appearance was supposed to contrast with the beautific believer look that had taken over Sayid's previously skeptical and definant face. He's in -- she's not sure.

Posted by: fmjk | March 3, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Was Jacob really the one who recruited Dogen?

I'm not sure we can take his word for it. As he was describing it, that was something that Ben would have said and done, or maybe even Richard. Jacob has no need to make quid-pro-quos like that. So, it could have been someone merely saying that he was Jacob or that he was acting on Jacob's behalf.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I, too, have to disagree; I rather liked all of the episode, including Dogen's back story.

The reason it was important: Jacob asks people to sacrifice (Juliette can never see her sister again; Dogen can never see his son again; people who leave cannot return; etc.), whereas Ol' Smokey makes no such condition. He's all about gratification, not the sacrifice required to achieve it.

And it's a good bet that Ol' Smokey doesn't (and probably can't) deliver on any of his promises, either. He's all about telling people the lies they want to believe, whereas Jacob tells them a harder truth.

Yes, both Jacob and Ol' Smokey manipulate people, but Jacob seemingly does so toward some broader goal, while Smokey does so to fulfill his own desires.

We're seeing the "good vs. evil" line being drawn more clearly between them; to take Dogen's "scale" metaphor, Jacob and Ol' Smokey would be at the opposite ends, and the Losties fall out at various points along it. Sayid, well, unfortunately he's once again been pulled to the dark side. More machine than man now, twisted and evil, I suppose.

Posted by: exerda | March 3, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Was it just me, or did Kate have a smile on her face when the black smoke went rushing past her... She looked like she was enjoying it. I wonder if she saw anything in there.

Posted by: Osteph | March 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

There are no shades of gray between Jacob and MIB. One is Light, the other is Dark, one is good, the other is evil.

And there is no power shift. Jacob is in control as always, even if he allows MIB to play his little games. Think the Book of Revelation, where the Evil One is allowed to have full sway over things for a while, and many former believers end up falling away.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Does it appear that MIB can only control people who have died and or take their form? We are told that Sayid was dead for two hours. Jack's father was dead and I presume that it was really MIB posing as him that Claire went off in the jungle to find and that Locke was talking to in Jacob's cabin. As Christian, he told Locke that he would have to die when he went back to the mainland, presumably so that he could pose as Locke. This leads me to wonder, did Claire die at some point when she went off to follow her dad or is there still some hope for her? A last example of people dying before MIB controls them, I presume he killed Russo's party when they were drug down in the whole before returning to try and kill her.

Posted by: kcbg | March 3, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read all the comments yet, but having just read the line about Kate being the first person Sayid met I did want to point out Dogen told Sayid the person he needed to use the knife on would be someone who's died. Last time I checked, Kate hasn't died (yet) so would not have been a likely person.

Posted by: Jypsycat | March 3, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The creepy "Catch a Falling Star" that played at the end reminded me of the pageant in Love Actually. Don't all the children/sea creatures sing that?

Posted by: notinportland | March 3, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I also wondered where Jin was (was he not headed for the temple with Claire and UnLocke?), as well as Sawyer (wasn't he on board with UnLocke too?) in the island narrative.

One thing we did learn for sure last night that we didn't before: the Ajira people (Sun, Ben, Ilana, Lapidus) are indeed existing in the same time as the rest of the bunch who survived the 1977 bomb and were thrown through time once more (Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Miles, Jin, Sawyer). Before this episode, that wasn't definite. They're all together, and probably in 2007.

Posted by: dbs3p | March 3, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Still not sure who's good/evil. I thought the exchange between Sayid and Dogen was telling. Dogen said they needed to test where Sayid's good/evil scale was. Sayid, said something along the lines of...you got me wrong, I'm a good man. Dogen never really answered, he just went all Bruce Lee.

I think we'll find out the line between Good and Evil is pretty narrow. And going a step further, who's to say BOTH sides of the coin aren't evil, perhaps just to different degrees?

Posted by: db_in_va | March 3, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I suppose one should not be surprised to hear people say that Jacob has not appeared unambiguously good.

They say the same thing about God -- "Why doesn't God do this? Why doesn't He do that? Why doesn't He do more to stop evil? That God doesn't do more proves that He is a little evil Himself."

Make no mistake about this -- Jacob is "he who saves us all." He is ultimately still in charge -- and good will win in the end.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I really loved the Sayid LA story. A small a-ha moment: when Sayid and his brother were children, Sayid killed a chicken for his brother when the father was berating the brother for his inability to kill. Now as adults, the brother is inciting Sayid to once again save his bacon by going after his enemies. I wonder if these parallel events are just two of many, and whether Sayid was pushed into living on the dark side by his brother (and the brother used Sayid to avoid having to take on that dark role himself). This could also explain Nadia's vehemence that Sayid NOT help his brother--because she's witnessed this destructive pattern all their lives.

Posted by: PQSully | March 3, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Okay - one more comment. Shannon also died in Sayid's arms. As Sayid didn't specifically reference Nadia - Smokey might bring back Shannon, and you have to admit that would be a sure form of punishment.

Posted by: Jypsycat | March 3, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Best line of the night: Claire ordering Dogen, "Speak English," as bored and irritated by his stupid act as the rest of us are.

Glad you're finally getting a little more skeptical of filler episodes like this one, ladies (though I have to tell you, there have been others just as bad that you have defended because of the presence of Sawyer. At least his absence allowed you to see this one for what it was).

The one thing I disagree with is that sideways Sayid turned to the dark side and that the killing of Keamy is somehow equivalent to the gratuitous killing of Lennon (or Claire axing that guy last week). Sayid did the "right" thing in accepting Nadia's urging not to go after the loansharks. He didn't go looking for trouble. It was only because Keamy's men showed up and threatened the kids that he went along in the first place.

Then at the end, the deal was that Keamy had gone after Omar, and even though he'd say whatever it took to keep himself alive, if Sayid had been dumb enough to let him go after killing his two henchmen, Omar's and Nadia's and the kids' lives wouldn't have been worth five cents afterward. And someone like Sayid understands that. Keamy dug his own grave. Now if Sayid blew Jin away for no reason, that would be proof that sideways Sayid is also infected.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 3, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Found the episode very creepy. My Questions are: A) Where are Sawyer and Jin? I thought Jin was leading Claire into the Temple? B)What was the condition of the Pool? If the water was clear maybe Dogen and Lennon aren't as dead as you might think. C) I have long thought Widmore was out for his own interests, not the good of the Island, so my guess he would be "for" an evil MIB win. Back in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" he was setting John up to go back and help in the defeat of Jacob and getting use of the Island for monetary profit. After all, he hired Keamy - how good can Widmore be?

Posted by: lostein | March 3, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I thought this was the worst episode of the season so far. The on-island stuff was just off somehow. However I really enjoy all of the flash-sideways and how the characters are fundamentally the same and dealing with their same internal struggles even though circumstances are different.

No great quotes but I think we can have a poll on the best look of the episode. I nominate:
1) Ben's face as he slowly backs away from crazy evil Sayid
2) Kate confused look as she follows Sayid, Claire and MIB/Locke's army.

My vote is for #1.

Posted by: wojoko | March 3, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm sick of these 3-4 episode character arcs. Cesar, Bram, Dogen. We're led to think that these guys are important to the storyline because they interact with various main characters at different points in the story line, but they get thrown away three episodes later. I'm not saying I want them to stick around; I would have rather they not been introduced at all! Would it really have made that much of a difference if, instead of Dogen, Aldo was leading the temple folk? Or Cindy?

I believe the kid isn't Aaron, it's another incarnation of Jacob. That's why he knew the "rules" and why MIB/Flocke seemed so shaken by him.

Posted by: eet7e | March 3, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Prediction: The two parallel universes are being pulled together, causing events on both sides to line up with each other.

Therefore: Juliette is dead in both universes; Jack will end up hanging out with Hurley, Jin and Sayid will hook up on the island, and most significantly, Locke is still a presence within the Smoke Monster.

Dogen (and Lennon) may not be dead, as they feel into the same pool as Sayid (dark side Dogen?)

Things seem to be moving towards a climax which reminds me of "The Stand", by Stephen King (I haven't read his magnum opus, which I've heard is similar to Lost)

PS-did anyone notice in last week's episode how, when Jack was looking at photographs of him and his son that the two hats his son was wearing in the pictures were different?.

Posted by: neophyteamongstexperts | March 3, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

For me, the exchange between Smokey and Sayid affirmed Smokey's evilness, because Smokey's offer of giving Sayid whatever he wished for reminded me of the part in the Bible when the Devil tempts Jesus in the desert by saying that the Devil would give Jesus all that he wants. Smokey is cunning, telling everyone he can give them what they want, which is want the Devil/Evil does.

Yet what bothered me by last night's episode was how easy Sayid was suckered in to doing Smokey's bidding. OK, so Sayid stabbed Smokey and saw he was still alive. But you'd think the man would have at least a little skepticism after what Dogen told him.

Posted by: whyohwhy1 | March 3, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

ooyah, I'm curious why you think this is a Christian allegory (or Judeo-Christian) when the producers and writers have made it pretty clear both in the show and out of it that they don't subscribe to that point of view. Given a choice between western philosophy and eastern mysticism, they've gone with the latter at every turn.

I wouldn't disagree that Jacob and MIB represent light and dark, (obviously) but IMO the producers would regard the idea that light=good and dark=bad as childish and simplistic. They seem to see the world as slightly different shades of grey and light and dark as necessary to each other as Yin and Yang are.

Would you say that Ben for instance has fundamentally represented a "better" entity than Widmore has? Is he a different class of killer? Dogen's people were ready to kill our Losties until Hurley whipped out the guitar case, just because they didn't know who they were.

And I have to agree with MIB: Jacob hides things from people who trust him (Richard, Ben, Hurley). No one is ever better off for having blindly folowed him (anymore than they're better off for having followed MIB). The real "moral" of Lost is not to be a blind follower of anyone - Jacob, MIB, Farraday, Dogen - and whenever someone tries to do something drastic just on the unexplained authority of some Great Leader, this drastic action is always shown to have been ill-advised: sticking a knife in someone's chest, detonating a nuke, or even turning a wheel.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 3, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

A few random thoughts, if I may:

Sayid's Death. IIRC, when Jack, Kate, Sawyer, et al, first arrived at the temple, didn't the note from Jacob to Dogen say something like "if he [Sayid] dies, we're in big trouble"? Well, Sayid did die and, sure enough, big trouble is happening.

Where Kate Is. I'm not entirely sure Kate is still with us (us being the good guys). When Smokey traveled over the hole (where she was hanging on the ladder), it appeared as if there were images in the smoke that seemed to have an effect on Kate. Harken back to the episode where Smokey and Locke face off. We're not privy to what Locke saw, but whatever it was was beautiful and something that gave Locke a new outlook on things.

Dogen's Backstory. This mechanism gave us the information we needed to stop wondering who he was (and what the baseball symbolized). Had he died without sharing this information, we'd be left wondering what his backstory was. We now know he was somewhat unimportant in the grand scheme of the Lost timeline. I looked at his backstory and his death (and the ensuing temple destruction) as a nice tidy bow wrapping up this segment of the story.

Overall, the episode served it's purpose: it got rid of Dogen and John Lennon, got us away from the temple, and served as a pivot point so that the rest of the story can take place on the rest of the island.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Not only as a fan of the story, but as a fan of the process. But what I'm *really* looking forward to (and hopefully LindeCuse will accommodate my wishes) is learning about the retreat where this whole idea of Lost came about. What conversations did they have? What was the storyline from the get go? *That* is the real mystery to me.

Posted by: SamFelis | March 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Sayid killing Keamy and the other mobsters does not make him evil in the LA story line. He initially refused to help his brother. Keamy and his thugs basically kidnapped Sayid and the shootout was self defense. Also, if he let Keamy go then Keamy surely would have come after them again.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 3, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to sound like a broken record like all the above posts, but I to have to disagree with both of you about this episode. How could both of you have gotten up on the grouchy side of the bed yesterday? I thought this brought the two parallel worlds closer together and brought the story line closer to the war that is coming between MIB and Jacob. You couldn't even muster enough enthusiasm to create a quote poll, and yes there were plenty of quotes in this episode.

Posted by: Rob35 | March 3, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I also was not disappointed last night, granted, still many questions remain, but enjoyed the additional cross overs in LA.

Here's a consideration: Did Claire kill Kate while in the hole together? She's been unrelenting in that message, so I wonder if she took the opportunity to kill or "infect" her, which would explain the pretty mellow, rifle-retrieving Kate that fell in line with the MIB crew.

Another perspective: I really had a hard time understanding the timeline and Sayid's relationship with Nadia.

Final: Is Ben transforming even more? I loved the slow backing away from Sayid and noticed being called "Linus" instead of Ben, assuming new identity perhaps?

Posted by: VAjyd | March 3, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Sayid is a "double agent" and will play a major role in Jacob's battle against MIB. Why would Jacob have Hurley bring him back to the temple if Sayid was going to kill the only one who could keep MIB out? I think Sayid is "posesed" by something allied to Jacob. Miles told Sayid that he was dead for 2 hours and as Ben said dead is dead. I think that Jacob finds characters who are not important are expendable. I think Sayid killed Dogen and Lennon because they were no longer important to Jacob's plan and they could reveal to Flocke that there is something strange about the way Sayid died and came back to life (I don't remember Flocke asking Sayid to kill Dogen). Of the other people who knew about Sayid, Jack and Hurley were led out of the temple before smokey, so they were safe. Miles, wasn't a candidate so he was expendable in Jacob's plan. Kate and Jin were not around when Sayid awoke.

Posted by: adam_peritz | March 3, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

SamFelis - they said something in a recent interview where they revealed that the studio had an old script lying around of an Aaron Spelling show of buxom babes stranded on an island. They reworked it and now we have Lost. Isn't that crazy? Aaron Spelling had something to do with the original concept.

Posted by: Roxie1 | March 3, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I too wonder if Sayid is a double agent. On the Lostpedia page for the "Last Supper" poster (mentioned in an earlier comment), it notes that Sayid stands in the position of Judas... hidden meaning anyone? Perhaps Sayid will betray Flocke/MIB?

Posted by: dalrympj | March 3, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This ho-hum episode got me thinking about all the questions that will remain unanswered. It was inevitable that the show would eventually start to disappoint, the magnitude and expectations were just too great.

Remember when...

- we called ben, "benry"
- Eko was the character that defined good, i miss him
- the others dressed up in professional hobo costumes and messed with the losties for no reason. NO REASON!
- that mysterious door was discovered on the other side of the island by the docks?
- you couldnt give birth to children on the island, and last night they were all over the temple?

Posted by: The_Dude_Abides1 | March 3, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

This may seem a bit out there (if even remotely possible for this show) but I thought of Field of Dreams, of all things, a couple of times during this episode. The first was when the baseball fell off the desk. All I could think about was the James Earl Jones speech during the film on the "one constant through all the years" being baseball. In that same speech, he said "the fans will be dipped in magic waters" because baseball "reminds us of what was good and could be again." Another similarity came in when Locke and Sayid where in the juggle and Locke asked him what he wanted and in response something along the the lines of "and what would you say if I were the one that could give that to you" (not sure of the direct quote). Anyway, that was very similar to the scene in the movie when Ray finds Doc Graham and offers him a way to fulfill his dream of getting an at bat in a game. Not the literary depth of some of the other references made in this series, but perhaps a nod to another story that dealt with time travel and redemption.

Posted by: moondust | March 3, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I think there were two important bits of info in the episode:

1. What kind of "good" guy asks you to prove your "goodness" by committing murder?

This "good vs. evil" is not, in fact, so BLACK and WHITE. It's very smokey grey.

2. The sideways world seems to represent your heart's desire - or fondest wish.

In that respect, Sayid's alternate story seemed almost noble. He would so rather Nadia be alive that he'd even imagine a scenario where he sacrifices any personal chance for a fulfilled love relationship with her to protect her from himself (because I don't really believe for a minute he was translating oil contracts in that life).

All the other sideways stories seem to be "fondest wishes" - Jack for a chance to be a better father than his own was; Dogen for a normal relationship with his son; Kate to escape perhaps "better" - at least not killing the agent and Claire being able to keep her own son.

It's easy to see deals with fake Locke as "bargaining with the devil". You could have also subtitled last night's episode as Jethro Tull's "Bungle in the Jungle". Here are the lyrics:

jethro tull bungle in the jungle

Walking through forests of palm tree apartments ---
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole --- drunk every friday ---
Eating their nuts --- saving their raisins for sunday.
Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows ---
Theyre fast but theyre lazy, and sleep in green meadows.
Lets bungle in the jungle --- well, thats all right by me.
Im a tiger when I want love,
But Im a snake if we disagree.

Just say a word and the boys will be right there:
With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air.
Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder?
Thunder and lightning couldnt be bolder.
Ill write on your tombstone, ``i thank you for dinner.
This game that we animals play is a winner.

Lets bungle in the jungle --- well, thats all right by me.
Im a tiger when I want love,
But Im a snake if we disagree.

The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
And he who made kittens put snakes in the grass.
Hes a lover of life but a player of pawns ---
Yes, the king on his sunset lies waiting for dawn
To light up his jungle
As play is resumed.
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune.

Posted by: jqw3827 | March 3, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Several mentioned that Shannon, not Nadiya, would be the love returned to Sayid. But I was thinking that "not Locke" would appear to Sayid as Shannon. Recall that Dogen said he would appear as, approximately, "someone you know to be dead."

Oh well, that would have been a cool moment in an otherwise blah episode.

Posted by: Dink2 | March 3, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I too drew a parallel to The Stand with FLocke as Randall Flagg, the Travelin' Dude, Sayid as his Lloyd Hendrix, and Claire as his Nadine Cross. I think Rose will be Mother Abigail.

I also drew a parallel to another Biblical story about Jacob. Laban told Jacob that if he worked for him 7 years, he would give him his daughter to wife. But he gave him plain Leah instead of beautiful Rachael. Jacob had to work 7 more years to marry Rachael. I think Shannon, not Nadia, will be Sayid's reward.

And, yes, I thought of the Gospel (from 10 days ago) for the first Sunday of Lent, which is about the temptation of Christ by the Devil.

This was an excellent episode. Not as good as The Substitute, but excellent nonetheless.

One question: Where is Richard? He wasn't at the temple. He wasn't with Ilana & the others. He refused to follow Flocke. So where in the world is he?

Posted by: imzadi | March 3, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I liked the episode and think it advanced the mythology quite a bit even if we don't understand how all the pieces fit just yet. Ten episodes plus the finale = a lot of time to spin out the rest of the story.

Dogen's backstory seemed especially important in demonstrating that Jacob, like Smokey, engages in "deals with the devil", if you will. Jacob got Dogen's loyalty/captivity in exchange for Dogen's son's life, just like Smokey got Sayid to kill in exchange for the promise of his true love's resurrection. I think the writers are just pointing out that while we're trying to label one side as good and one side as evil that the story is more complex. This has been a recurring theme throughout the show with all of our characters, that they are both heroic and horribly flawed at the same time. As UniqueID points out above, it's about yin-and-yang rather than unambiguous good versus evil.

We may not like or understand the pacing of the season right now but I do trust these amazing writers to bring us to an end we can respect.

That said, I am glad that the whole Temple storyline appears to be concluded, and I did wonder where Sawyer and Jin were (in the island storyline).

Posted by: womanofscience | March 3, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Someone asked if Claire died-- it appeared that she did when Keamy and his men attacked the Barracks and blew up her house. "strangely she appeared unharmed"
Sawyer found her laying on the ground. She said she was OK, but Miles (who hears dead people) told her "I won't be too sure about that" It wasn't long after that that she went off with her father. So a case can be made that "infected" disciples of MIB were dead at some point.

As to Kate having a confused look on her face, she just found out that Locke (or someone who looks a lot like him) appears to be ALIVE. She last knew he was DEAD in coffin on the plane. That would confuse anyone, and given that Claire is following him and Claire seems to know what's going on (being safe in the pit from Smokey), Kate is going with the flow for now that will keep her alive. MIB seems indifferent to her.

But why can Ben kill Jacob with a stab to the heart, but Sayid can't kill MIB? Both are/were candidates. Ben was a leader, so that may be the difference.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 3, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I could not diagree more...I thought last night's episode was great. There was a ton of action (Dogen vs. Sayid , Smokey laying waste to the temple), a thematic character study with all the regret, guilt, and darkness infecting Sayid's parallel lives, AND advancement of some of the larger mythological issues (the scales of good against evil, and what it means to be a soldier/hero). The last scene looked like the aftermath of a terrorist attack. To have "Catch a Falling Star" playing behind all the carnage was creepy and brilliant. I just wonder...what else are you guys looking for? What other show provides this much depth? Your abject negativity is a huge turn-off.

Posted by: eltigero12 | March 3, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Why Sayid succumbed in both timelines:

Hard to determine cause and effect, but the feedback probably goes both ways. Character evolution in LA helps the cause of Jacob back on the island, and visa versa.

However, Sayid's current 815b/LA X timeline leaves open the possibility of redemption, if only because that's where Nadia is. The Sayid-Jin angle could go either way, since they don't know each other there. But I'm betting on this being a temporary set-back for Jacob, with an ultimate redemption opportunity for Sayid.


Subtle looks: MIB at Claire and Kate & Sayid at Ben:

Like mat00 and wojoko said, I loved that side-to-side glance MIB/Locke made between Claire and Kate at the end -- like, "what the hell is going on with you two being together?"

And that creepy smile on Sayid's face was unforgettable. I could barely recognize it was the same actor.


Don't let MIB talk before stabbing him:

I agree with ooyah32. Even before the failed stabbing, I took that instruction to mean, once he starts seducing you with promises or appeals to your pain/bitterness, it's all over, babe.

But it was odd that the very thing that killed Jacob did not kill MIB.


The departed Dogen and Lennon:

As bmmarr, Dr_Bob, smynola06 and especially exerda said, Dogen's backstory revealed something important about Jacob. Just as he did with Juliet (as communicated by Richard, or Ben?), Jacob made an offer that could not be refused concerning a dead or dying loved one. But unlike MIB, Jacob's offers included the stipulation that the bargainer could never again be with the loved one they saved. It felt like a more honest bargain.

Lennon was supposed to be annoying to us, I assume. That same actor was totally calm and amazingly endearing as Sol Star in HBO's Deadwood. (Same show I first saw the actress who plays Juliet's dying sister, btw. She was brilliant as Calamity Jane. Hell, every actor on that show was brilliant.)


Getting answers: be careful what you ask for:

As the season winds down, some of the ambiguity that we love will fade as certain things become known. "Getting answers" is often less satisfying than "pondering the mysteries for years at a time." One way or another, the series ending will be painful for many of us. Harden your hearts! And be very grateful they don't intend to answer everything.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we should be so quick to assume that Dogen and Lennon will not survive there apparent deaths. After all, they were both left to stew in the temple's healing pool, weren't they?

Posted by: Lopaka2 | March 3, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Both Sayid and MIB view themselves as righteous and are willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals. MIB kills dozens of people who can't possibly harm a smoke monster with rifles. Sayid commits murder, assassination, and torture, all for the righteous path and all while insisting that he is a good person. Sawyer as a good person. Maybe. But Sayid? Really? Just look at the body count. I suspect he is in a dead heat with MIB.

Also, MIB can appear as any dead person. So we can reasonably assume that Shepard's father was MIB, even in Jacobs shack as the ash line had been broken.

Posted by: chrisp339 | March 3, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the Temple story is over along with Dogen and Lennon (I hope).
It's interesting that Ilana, Dogen, and Richard are somehow closer to Jacob than other "Others" and it appears that Jacob offered them quid pro quo to serve him (Ilana and Richard inferred owing something big to Jacob). This technique is now being employed by MIB with the candidates.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 3, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The "deals" are more different in degree than kind - which is why it all looks more "grey" to me.

Jacob promises - but asks for personal sacrifice: agree never to see your son
, and he will live

Fake Locke promises - and asks for something that is apparently no real biggie for you - I will raise your loved one from the dead - and all you have to do is go kill a guy and we both know that's not so hard for you.

Sometimes God, er Jacob, asks for a sacrifice as a test: Take your beloved son up to the mountain and sacrifice him.

Back to Jethro Tull: The same god who gives you kittens also gives you snakes.

The Devil would promise you a kitten-filled Hello Kitty! world - and keep from you the truth that it might be a sort of King Midas type double-edged sword deal: sure, everything you touch will turn to gold (oh - but you'd better watch out, because if you touch your beloved daughter, she will become a golden statue, too - of course I won't tell you that, because it will be such fun to watch it happen.)

Whereas, the faithful believe, God takes really no pleasure in seeing you have a mental meltdown over sacrificing your child. And gives you the snakes all the better to appreciate the kittens, my dear.

Posted by: jqw3827 | March 3, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"That same actor was totally calm and amazingly endearing as Sol Star in HBO's Deadwood. (Same show I first saw the actress who plays Juliet's dying sister, btw. She was brilliant as Calamity Jane. Hell, every actor on that show was brilliant.)"

Totally agree. I think we've covered this before, but so much Deadwood talent has shown up on Lost -- Kim Dickens as Sawyer's ex/Kate's friend, William Sanderson as "Our You," and best of all, Titus Welliver as MIB. (And didn't the actress who played Sol's girlfriend show up as an Other or something?)

Find some cameos for the woman who played Alma Garrett (I'm blanking on her name), Timothy Olyphant, and Ian McShane, and we'll have a pretty complete set. I still miss that show...

Posted by: Janine1 | March 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

What struck me about this episode is that MIB was kept out of the temple until Dogen was dead. Lennon says to Sayid something like "what have you done? Now it can get in." It seems to me that this is significant. As has been discussed by others, Dogen made a bargain with Jacob to save his son but he had to devote his life to Jacob. His sacrifice somehow makes it impossible for the evil to get in. The ashes are still around the temple but now MIB can get in. That doesn't really fit with what we have seen before when the bodyguards from Ajira are protected by the ashes. I can't think of a way to resolve this inconsistency but the parallel between Dogen sacrificing to help someone else and Sayid bargaining to help himself is striking.

Classic Christian imagery seems particularly appropriate. The devil can seem very reasonable and doesn't necessarily need to resort to lying to get people to do evil things. I can't think of where MIB has out and out lied to anyone. He tells them what they want to hear in their shellfish nature.

I also can't help but be reminded of how in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy is the only one who sees Aslan. In Lost Hurley is like the child (Lucy) who can more easily believe in Jacob and thus see him.

Posted by: hrnnnnn | March 3, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Jacob was responsible for Nadia's death. I think that Jacob is responsible for Sayid being saved from dieing along with Nadia.

Posted by: Ghak | March 3, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

**it was odd that the very thing that killed Jacob did not kill MIB**

Who said Jacob was killed? In a superficial sense, perhaps, but that is clearly a risen Jacob who appears to Hugo. Jacob, the weaver of the tapestry of life, is beyond life and death.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Kate have that look of shock because she thought Locke was dead?

Posted by: randiann1981 | March 3, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Jen- you will be eating fried eggs. I guarantee you!

This epsi was good, but not in "season finale" kinda way. Seeing Sayid turn bad was good- but I think, hope, he's got a grand plan and will get out of whatever deal he made.

Posted by: Guest1234 | March 3, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

It is my belief that Claire died when the house she was in in New Otherton was blown up by Keamy and Friends.

Posted by: Ghak | March 3, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

**It is my belief that Claire died when the house she was in in New Otherton was blown up by Keamy and Friends.**

I had thought so too, but ghost whisperer Miles' lack of any great shock or alarm at seeing her at the Temple makes me wonder.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we didn't get quite enoguh out of Dogen to warrant his position on the island.

However I thought it was quite a good episode. I don't know how anybody can have been a fan of Sayid (Andrews) and not have enjoyed it. It explored the complexities and depth of the character, and put a bow on the "infected" thing. Not to mention the darkness of the last 15 minutes (Death, claire, Ben/Sayid). Also ended the temple as a safe home base...back to an island free for all baby.

Kate appears to be in no mans land right now, and since her name wasn't on the cave wall, it's possible Smokey doesn't know of her importance or candidacy nomination.

Only annoyance I could find, by looking, is the disappearance of Jin and Sawyer.

Posted by: chrisgraul | March 3, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking again about the Richard doesn't age question. Could it be that he is living flash-sideways-back-and-forward lives simultaneously and his strange quirks of recognition are like what happens in the LA timeline to the losties?

Posted by: MostOffensive | March 3, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Not the most riveting episode perhaps, but the majority of an hour with Naveen Andrews in a wife beater? I'm pleased. Perfection would have been Henry Ian Cusick in his barely buttoned Desmond-shirt...

Okay, seriously, the one thing I noted was how Sidewards Sayid was very protective of the kids. I don't think they were his based on his discussion with Nadia, but I think he saw them as the kids he should have had. And while he wasn't willing to kill Keamy for the sake of his brother or for Nadia, he was willing to kill them once they overtly threatened the kids.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 3, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

KevinAF wrote: "But why can Ben kill Jacob with a stab to the heart, but Sayid can't kill MIB? Both are/were candidates. Ben was a leader, so that may be the difference."

Ben was alive. Sayid had died (for 2 hours) and come back. Sayid may still be dead but infected and not able to kill MIB. I actually agree with MIB, Dogen was hoping MIB would kill Sayid.

I also wondered how MIB could get past the ash line. Lennon said killing Dogen would let it in. Is there some commection between the ash's powers and Dogen? And I too am worried that Dogen and Lennon falling into the pool will ressurect them. If so there had better be a good reason for that because they were getting tiring.

Agree, Claire died when the New Otherton house blew up. Of course, none should be alive after the plane crashed, and maybe that is part of all of this. The only ones alive were brought there, like Juliet, Ben etc. Everyone else is dead but resurrected as Sayid was, some by MIB, others by Jacob. Or something like that.

Forget where Sawyer/Jin were on the island, where are Rose and Bernard, and more importantly, Vincent?

In the last episode Jacob said someone was coming to the island. Desmond was told by Eloise that the island was not finished with him, so I think we'll see Desmond soon, and probably with Penny and little Charlie in tow, either with Widmore or Widmore following close behind.

I think Widmore's beef with Ben was that Ben and the Others were not following Jacob but were following MIB, who tricked them into making them think he was Jacob. There is no functioning Looking Glass station and the Swan is gone, so nothing can keep the island hidden. Widmore should be able to find it easily.

Where is Walt? Him showing up to look for his dad who I presume he does not know is dead, would be a nice angle, even if it was just used as a filler.

And where did the stewardess and the kids go when they left the temple? Maybe they will hook up with Illana, Jack, Hurley, etc. The war is on and no one can stay neutral it seems.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

1. The Sayid fight scenes were AWESOME.

2. What happened to Ben after he ran away from Sayid @ the pool?

Posted by: esmith22015 | March 3, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Where do dumb theories go to die? I don't mean bad theories or wrong ones, but ones that simply make no sense for anyone to have ever somehow latched onto them in the first place? (Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they're always wrong).

But I'm thinking specifically of how five weeks ago, half the people here and on lostpedia were insistent that Smokey's home was the Temple and that's where he was dying to get back to so he could lounge around in his favorite recliner. Turns out that as the other half suspected, Smokey's only interest in the Temple was due to his enemy's minions being holed up in it. But where are the devout Templars now?

Along the same lines is this obstinate insistence, based on nothing and flouting all common sense, that Dogen and Lennon and so on must have come from the Black Rock. Even though most European slave ships of two centuries ago carried very few Japanese men or scraggly hippies. Even though there was no sign of them on the Island in 2004 and the natural assumption would be that they have arrived since.

Now it looks like people, including Jen and Liz, are finally getting past the Black Rock idea after Dogen's baseball/driving revelation. But I'm not sure I agree any more with stating that the "theory" has now been disproven than I am when a non-starter like this is just airbrushed out of the past.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm in agreement regarding what some of the other posters mentioned about Dogen and Lennon being killed and left floating in the pool. Why won't they be revived?...Unless Sayid got the last of the reanimation juice.
As for the good versus evil debate...I hope it doesn't turn out to be a redux of the end of the alien war in "Babylon 5" where the Losties will just refuse to participate in the war.
I am hoping, as someone else suggested, that Sayid will be a double agent and will seek redemption in the end and turn against MIB. I also think James Sawyer may not have drunk MIB's Koolaid and may become an ally with Kate (and Sayid, provided he seeks redemption) in the enemy's camp.
How can anyone argue that MIB can be anything other than evil given his unrelenting slaughter of the inhabitants of the temple? On the other hand, what kind of "good person" (Jacob) tells a man he can save his boy's life but in return, he can't ever see the boy again? That's "good"?

Posted by: olivertray | March 3, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

For the first time, I think ever, I disagree with your takeaway. I LOVED this episode. Best of the season so far.

Posted by: MomofFour | March 3, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

**Where do dumb theories go to die? I don't mean bad theories or wrong ones, but ones that simply make no sense for anyone to have ever somehow latched onto them in the first place?**

I know what you mean.

Despite the fact that, since the VERY FIRST EPISODE, they have REPEATEDLY been making this BIG DEAL about light vs. dark, white vs. black, good vs. evil -- all in stark opposition to each other -- we still have folks pushing this silliness that Jacob and MIB are both shades of gray.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

You all are missing the point. It's late 2007 on the island. The show will end in early 2008 when Obama comes to the Island for the 57th state primary and brings everyone together.

Posted by: member5 | March 3, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I don't come to this site to hear you two complain about how you hated the episode. I come for your dueling analysis. I think you can still give great insight into the episode even if you hated it. It seems you didn't put much effort in this time because you hated the episode. Very disappointing this time.

Posted by: Rob35 | March 3, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

**The show is losing the allure of the moral grey-areas it once placed the characters in.**

"the allure of moral grey-areas"?

The only allure to moral gray areas is that of a dictatorship of relativism.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ooyah, this is meant as an observation not an attack on your beliefs. But every character has been painted in shades of gray and MIB and Jacob are no exceptions. Though you may end up being correct, you're approaching this from a Judeo-Christian point of view while the writers clearly pull ideas from many different philosophies. Frankly, I think the idea of the show being a battle between pure good and pure evil makes it less interesting. In the real world such a thing rarely - if ever - exists.

Posted by: Skeeterrific | March 3, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

The writers are good at drawing symbology from a variety of mythologies and religions. But they focus more on the more ancient ones like Egyptian mythology that don't simplify the world down to black and white terms. The later (christain, etc.) religions simplified things, so I guess the writers may be trying to get us to see the complexity of faith. Eventually.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

About Jacob telling Hugo to save Sayid --

Remember Jacob told him to take Sayid to the Temple to save his life. He did NOT tell Hugo to go driving around and do a bunch of other things and then eventually get to the Temple. Hugo spent so much time doing other things, rather than get the dying guy with a gunshot wound to where he needed to be, that by the time they got to the Temple, Sayid was too far gone.

If Hugo had gotten Sayid to the Temple sooner, things might be different.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

And Skeeterrific, you are approaching this from a morally relativistic point of view.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused because I thought that Dogan said that Jacob was the one who visited him after his son was killed and then immediately he told Sayid that this is same person who is waiting for him outside of the temple. I guess I took that to mean that the MIB and Jacob are the same. Two parts of the same...the good part and the bad part...the white rock and the black rock on the scale. Did Jacob kill off his good part to let his bad part have control (making him then evil incarnate). I'm guessing since no one else has commented on this that I heard wrong. Anyone else think this?

Posted by: Sassyfras | March 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't deny that the writers are using a variety of religious and mythical themes, but that doesn't mean that they are not using one particular theme that has been explicitly highlighted repeatedly in addition to the Egyptian mythology and eastern mysticisim.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Sassyfras -- the dualistic Manichean theory has been often contemplated. It still may be a case of black and white are two sides of the same coin, rather than one (good) is greater than the other (evil), but it is abundantly clear that we are dealing with either/or, and not a little of both.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I know what you mean.

Despite the fact that, since the VERY FIRST EPISODE, they have REPEATEDLY been making this BIG DEAL about light vs. dark, white vs. black, good vs. evil -- all in stark opposition to each other -- we still have folks pushing this silliness that Jacob and MIB are both shades of gray."

LOL, including me you mean. For the record I hate moral relativism so I haven't been expressing my preference for what the creators should do but merely my belief about what they are doing. Similarly I'd like nothing better than to see Sawyer and Kate both locked up for good for their various violent felonies...but I'm pretty sure the last scene we'll be treated to will be Freckles hopping into shirtless Redneck Fabio's El Camino and riding off to Kalifornia on another fun crime spree.

But really from the very first episode they've made a point of having the contending sides switch defining traits periodically. Remember when Locke started acting (relatively) rationally and Jack took over as the man of faith? I'm not denying that during one period of time Jacob might seem "better" than his nemesis, but that doesn't mean that's a fixed property anymore than various qualities were fixed for Ben or Locke.

Posted by: UniqueID | March 3, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"It still may be a case of black and white are two sides of the same coin, rather than one (good) is greater than the other (evil), but it is abundantly clear that we are dealing with either/or, and not a little of both."

Well in your universe that's clearly the case. But in this TV show it's not. Or at least it hasn't been. If they end the show that way after five seasons of moral relativism (despite your personal beliefs) then more the pity for dumbing down the show.

Posted by: Skeeterrific | March 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to take a breath. First, stop thinking that this show will answer all of life's questions. This is a network television show. Yes, maybe the best of all time. But still. Second, I think that everyone is upset because they are not getting the instant gratification of watching the next episode right away. This whole group just spent months watching episodes whenever they want. Now, we have to wait for a week for the story to progress. Just be patient.
This was by no means a filler episode. It pushed the action on the island forward in a way that no previous episode this season really had. Now, we really do see two teams here. Whatever happens, happens. Just enjoy it and stop being babies.

Posted by: peteyamama1 | March 3, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

The fact that the characters themselves have been morally relativistic does not mean that we have had "five seasons of moral relativism," especially when we have seen how screwed up those characters' lives have been. Those who have not been morally relativistic, e.g. Hugo, have known hardship, but they are not totally messed up, like a certain doctor is and who is most responsible for getting the most people killed -- at least prior to last night.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Indeed, another of the major themes of the show has been redemption -- moving from the bad to the good. The theme has NOT been that all choices are good, that you were perfectly fine in your past life, no need to change. If everything is gray, there is no redemption, nothing to change to.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 3, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

End-of-series audience tension:

(This starts with a cross post of my comment on the Lisa De Moraes blog, in which many expressed rage and disgust that the producers will not be answering every question raised over five and a half year of great storytelling.)

>I have watched the show obsessively for over five years now. I've spent absurd numbers of hours pondering its mysteries. And I am entirely OK with not having everything spelled out for me in crayon by the end.

>Hello, the magic is in the ambiguity!

My point in light of today's conversation is that, indeed, we will feel loss as some many of these ambiquities are resolved. It's much less interesting to know that "the explanation for all this is X" than to wonder whether it's X or Y or Z and to search for clues and share theories with one another.

We want them to *not* wait till the end to answer the big questions. But I'm telling you, each answer will take away some of the joy.

I gave up the theory that MIB might be "good" some time ago. But seeing it confirmed is still a loss for me. I would have been happy to have been wrong.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

So will Dogen be resurrected as the Hurley Bird?

Posted by: HardyW | March 3, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Something off about this episode:

I thought this was a excellent chapter and one that definitely moved us closer to a conclusion.

What was "off" about it was that evil won. That's not fun to watch. It was a disturbingly heavy episode, with two characters we have cared about for 5 years succumbing to the dark side.

Why was Kate dazed? Have we become that jaded? Think about what she was experiencing, walking through a courtyard filled with dead and mangled bodies.

This was our The Empire Strikes Back.

Hence, not much emphasis on clever one-liners.

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

1)Naveen Andrews clearly can carry his own in an action movie. And while I was not a Dogen fan, I was chilled by Sayid's sudden lion-pounce attack on Dogen after he finished that story, which was the first glimpse of Dogen seeming human.

2) I also wondered how Jacob could simply be stabbed to death yet Sayid was unable to stab and kill the MIB. I keep going back to the "rules". The MIB needed Ben to be the one to kill Jacob because of the "rules" but Ben most definitely did NOT kill Jacob. After Ben stabbed Jacob, he tells MIB/Locke "They're coming" and then MIB/Locke shoves him into the fire, which is what ultimately took his life. Seems to me like that was in blatant violation of the "rules" they've had to follow and Ilana even mentions that MIB is trapped in Locke form after Ben tells her the MIB/Locke killed Jacob. I wonder if MIB/Locke wants to be mortal and killing Jacob has trapped him in immortal form, preventing anyone from killing him (this is a stretch).

3) It's also interesting to note that while we've seen MIB/Locke flustered at least once (when confronting the blond boy), I can't remember a time when Jacob seemed surprised or flustered by ANYTHING that has happened. Even when Ben stabbed him, he was unbelievably calm about the whole thing and almost seemed to encourage it happening. Jacob gets Hurley to bring Sayid to the temple by saying that it could save him, and that's what ends up infecting him. Jacob has yet to express any concern about that. Jack smashes the lighthouse mirrors and again, Jacob is not concerned. We eventually found out that was because that lighthouse excursion was not about setting the dial to 108 degrees - it was about making sure that Jack saw those things in the mirrors.

I think Jacob has been in control this whole time....he has always had a plan. The grand scheme is still piecing together but he needs for certain events to take place to drive the "storyline" in his favor. These events, at times, seem to run counter to his goals (examples: Jacob's death, Sayid's infection, shattered lighthouse mirrors). But ultimately they will all bring about the desired outcome. I think Jacob needed the MIB to push him into the fire, because he knew that would trap MIB in Locke form. The MIB thinks and appears to have the upper hand because that's what Jacob wants him to think at this point.

4) What is the deal with this "infection" that resurrects people from the dead? It arguably raised Claire's body from the dead after her house blew up in season 4 and now it resurrects Sayid. I always thought the water was brown because it was tainted by this "infection", but if the MIB is presumably the source of the infection, how could he have tainted the temple spring if he wasn't allowed entry? Also, how did Dogen's death allow the MIB entrance into the temple?

Posted by: linswilliams | March 3, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Once Ilana's group (Miles, Sun, Frank, Ben) catch up with Jack and Hurley we'll have the two sides of the conflict completed. One led by Jack/Jacob the other led by "Locke". Somehow the reunion of Sun and Jin will resolve the conflict. I think they are "Adam and Eve". Not to be sappy but their love will be all that matters in the end.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 3, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

what i find interesting is that contrary to what a lot of people are saying after last night's episode - its been dumbed down to good (jacob team) vs. evil (smockey team), the fact that SO many people loved it and just as many hated it PROVES that it isn't dumbed down.

nothing is inherently good or bad, it all depends on the viewer's perspective. that's what's so great about LOST and this episode in particular. lots of interpretations means that it was written to not be obvious and dumbed down. if it WAS obvious, i.e. empire strikes back, then we would all know who was good and bad and who to root for. i mean, did anyone after star wars or empire, root for darth vader? or see a possibility where he would be good? no because lucas spelled it out for us. darlton are not spelling it out for us, the previous seasons were easy, losties vs others. its not that easy anymore.

Posted by: livetogether | March 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

A comment made in the chat today struck me: someone said that the teams the Losties pick (Sayid and MIB, Jack and Jacob) effect their lives in the "alternate reality" (the 2004 no plane crash reality) and so then Kate and Sawyer will be resigned to living out this choice, always running, always conning, while Jack and Hurley will be rewarded with self-awareness and contentment and the ability to make things 'right'. But what I find interesting is in the flashfowards from seasons 3, Kate is the basically the only one who did fix her life. She's paying her debt to society for killing her dad, she's raising Aaron and living a normal life whereas Jack is an alcoholic, Hurley's in a mental institution, Sayid is killing for Ben, etc. Also, I want to say that if Desmond doesn't come back soon (I think he's the one Jacob is waiting for) then I'll just DIE!!

Posted by: emilyrubinson | March 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"I guess I took that to mean that the MIB and Jacob are the same. Two parts of the same...the good part and the bad part...the white rock and the black rock on the scale. Anyone else think this?"

Yes, at one point last night I turned to my husband and declared that Jacob and MIB were the same "person". He responded with a blank stare, so I guess the idea didn't resonate with him. Nevertheless, I think you and I are on to something, Sassyfras.

Posted by: vida23 | March 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Vida23, that is funny because when I suggested it to my husband I was given the same blank stare! I should watch it again with the pop-up bubbles next week and see if there is any mention of this. It certainly seemed that Dogan referred to MIB as Jacob.

With regrades to why MIB didn't die when stabbed and Jacob did--Perhaps Jacob was able to be killed because he died willingly (perhaps giving himself as a sacrifice).

Posted by: Sassyfras | March 3, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Two quick theories on why this season has been a tad bit "off:"

1. Like many a great show before it ("The Sopranos," in particular; "The Wire," in a way), LOST has killed off too many good characters. Besides the ones that actually "died" (Boone & Shannon, Michael, Tailies, Charlie, Juliet, Jeremy Bentham, to name but a handful), many more have essentially ceased to exist: the real Locke, the Claire we would have recognized from 2 seasons ago, Desmond, Penny, Widmore, and even Ben Linus and others have been either non-existent or conspicuously less relevant in these Season 6 episodes. And, on that note, all of the core characters seem to be on precious episode-chewing frolics of their own, so there is no longer any of that camping-out-on-a-beach camaraderie (or, even, Sawyer-Juliet-Miles in 1970s Dharmaland camaraderie) to orient us in semi-normalcy against the incomprehensibility of the Island.

2. Call me crazy, but I actually found the Dharma Initiative pretty intriguing: from the Hatch to the bizarro film reels to the black-light map to "The Incident", the Dharma Initiative's studies of the Island always seemed to increase its mystery. Plus, having constant interaction, in whatever time period, among Dharma, the original Charles Widmore/Ben Linus-lead Others (not this more recent poor man's version), the LOST heroes, and the Island itself, seemed to provide ample amount of mystery that a viewer would want to try to figure out amidst all the madness.

Now, however, as someone mentioned in the chat today, we're down to Jacob v. the Man-in-Black, two characters, who were, essentially, introduced in the season finale of Season 5. (Obviously, Jacob and unnamed MIB substitutes have played a role far longer than that, but, as active/physical individuals, they are newcomers.) Thus, all those questions that I hoped, at one point, would be answered and that intrigued me so much for the better part of 4-5 seasons have seemingly been lost in the shuffle, as we debate the existence of amorphous "rules," such as whether or not the MIB can be killed if he's stabbed before he speaks when you meet him for the first time in the jungle...which, quite frankly, just doesnt do it for me.

Posted by: BilboB2 | March 3, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

livetogether, Darth Vader DID turn out to be good.

Posted by: member5 | March 3, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Sassyfras said:

"I'm confused because I thought that Dogan said that Jacob was the one who visited him after his son was killed and then immediately he told Sayid that this is same person who is waiting for him outside of the temple."

I didn't see it that way, despite having posted (after the season premiere) the notion that Jacob and MIB might be aspects of the same person/entity. I thought Dogen used his own story to set up the question to Sayid about whether he had been made a similar offer.

But earlier he had urged Sayid to action, saying that because *Jacob* was now dead, the man outside was no longer trapped and that this man was evil incarnate.

I thought he was guessing that MIB would have a made a offer similar to the one Jacob had made. Pretty amazing offers, if you can deliver!

If Jacob and MIB are two aspects of one entity, I will definitely be crowing about it. But I haven't seen anything since the cave scene in the premiere that continues to lead me down that path.

At the time, I was thinking of the movie "Identity," with John Cusak and those other people all trapped in a motel. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't, no spoilers here!

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, I must disagree, maybe for the first and only time in years of reading the dueling analyses. I found "Sundown" to be dark, disturbing, intense, tragic even. LOST is taking a turn where evil seems to be on the ascendancy, and it was very sad to see Sayid succumb to the darkness growing within him.

As for no "best line of the night"...

"I've been banished. Apparently, I'm evil." - Sayid

"Now, why'd you go and do that?" - UnLocke

"That Australian chick's back. The blonde one that had the baby? Yeah, Claire. She just strolled in here a couple of hours ago, acting all weird. But still hot, though." - Miles

"We had an unfortunate incident involving a boomerang." - Sayid

"Sawyer sent you packing, huh?" - Miles

"I think it would be best if you were dead." - Dogen

"You were dead, man, for two hours. Trust me, when you sat up, they were just as surprised as the rest of us." - Miles

Posted by: jesharris | March 3, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Kate appears to be in no mans land right now, and since her name wasn't on the cave wall, it's possible Smokey doesn't know of her importance or candidacy nomination.

Only annoyance I could find, by looking, is the disappearance of Jin and Sawyer.

Posted by: chrisgraul | March 3, 2010 1:48 PM

Chris, there's a video out in which Carlton says that Kate's name is on the wall and crossed out; it just wasn't shown on the episode. I'll try to find the video and post a link to it.

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 3, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

>If Jacob and MIB are two aspects of one entity, I will definitely be crowing about it. But I haven't seen anything since the cave scene in the premiere that continues to lead me down that path.


Although, as NW_Washington and others have noted, it is rather strange that the oh-so personable MIB is withholding his name. So, who knows?

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think that one possible interpretation of what is happening in LA-2004 is that it is a possible resolution of people's lives, mostly those of the Oceanic 815 passengers, as being "worked out" (or "planned") by Jacob after events in the island are resolved and one last "going back in time to the plane" takes place. Jacob is aware that he has caused enormous wrong on many people in order to receive help from them, as is rearranging people's circumstances to give each one a better, but fair, opportunity at redemption off-island.

It is intriguing that practically all characters that we see in LA are known to us (and therefore known to Jacob). He is picking the protagonists in each story and he is creating the opportunities for their interaction in the hope that the outcome will be for the better. What we see in the 2004-LA timeline hasn't happened; Jacob is trying to find the best "combinations" of people/situations, so that Oceanic 815 and other "islanders" lives have better chances after the final reboot.

There are some constraints to what Jacob can do, though, as otherwise the universe will self-correct. Therefore Jack's son has to be a baby that was born as the main story unfolded (seasons 1-3 and flashbacks). Aaron can't be the son because Claire-2004 is expecting him in the 2004 timeline. Ji-jeon can't be because she's a girl, or Ethan, because he's in LA. The only other baby we've seen is Juliet's sister's, which Jacob in season 3 was said to have saved. So in my view Juliet's sister has to be Jack's wife in the 2004-LA timeline.

There's not much to support the proposal above, but at least to me at this time it makes a little sense.

Posted by: for33 | March 3, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Clearly this episode has touched many of us based upon the depth and breadth of the above comments. It certainly doesn't appear to have been a throw-away episode or a disappointment. Jen and Liz must have had another deadline more pressing today to have missed what the rest of us have found in this episode. I am on the side of those who think this was a very good espisode, though, I must admit, the initial fight scene between Sayid and Dogun felt hokey to me and I was concerned about it not going to be a good episode. Hokey in the sense that one minute Sayid and Dogun were talking and suddenly in the next they were going rambo and zen master on each other.

Now, to choosing sides on the good vs evil vs. grey/moral ambiguity debate. I have to side (perhaps with my head firmly stuck in the sand, or elsewhere) on the side of Unique ID and SkeeTerrific rather than on the side of Ooyah and others in that I think that the show isn't going to come down to be a stand simply between good and evil. And, if it does, I would not be surprised if MIB ends up on the side of "good", whatever that means in the context of this show. Someone (Jacob) who can blissfully declare that bringing unsuspecting people to the island to play some life-altering game where they end up killing each other, and that just being "progress," is not easily identifiable with "good" to me. Someone (MIB) wanting to get off an island that he has been trapped on for eons because he has to observe or participate in some life-altering game, and who is obviously sad at the loss of his "humanity," is not easily identifiable with "bad" to me. My point is, I don't know what the life-altering game is and why Jacob and MIB are "stuck" in playing it by observing/influencing the actors (the Losties/Dogun/the Others/etc.), but until I do know why they are there I can't determine who is "good" or "bad" in this story. Finding out why those two are on the island, and why the Losties are "candidates" and what they are "candidates" for will undoubtedly be the final reveal for this show. All the other little mysteries which aren't solved will just be "progress" towards bringing the story to a conclusion. Progress in teh form of so many deadends.

Minor notes: I think Kate is not dead; her look was one of puzzlement/confusion when seeing unLocke alive. Why she picked up a rifle when she already had a pistol is probably nothing more than Kate never wanting to pass up a good opportunity to have serious firepower on hand.

Walt's not coming back. Or if he does, it will have to be in the Alternate Universe as a teenager, now living in LA rather than NYB, and not as the boy from season one.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 3, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

How could Jack's kid have been born when the Losties crash landed in 2004? Even if his piano audition was set in the present 2010, he'd only be around 6 years old by that way of thinking!

He's obviously about 12-14 years old!! Jack must have been very young and pre-med or early med school when he was conceived and born because Jack is about 35 years old, right?

Posted by: jrtfan | March 3, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

A couple of questions about Kate's name not being on the cave wall:

Didn't Kate marry Jack after they were rescued? Or did it not go that far? I just can't remember at the moment. If they were married, even for a moment, Jacob may consider her to be "Shepard".

Wasn't Kate once married to an abusive guy? Again I can't remember but it was in an early season. I think she killed him. Her name may be on the cave wall as his last name.

Just trying to figure out why Kate's name is not on the wall. I think it is, just not Austin.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

>Wasn't Kate once married to an abusive guy?

Sorry, Fate1. You're thinking of the no-good drunken step-father that turned out to be her real father. Him, she kilt entirely, as my big sister used to say.

She later married a really sweet policeman(well-known to fans of the tv show Firefox, which I never saw, and its movie version, Serenity, which I did see and thought was exceptional, especially considering that it slipped by practically unnoticed). But she left the sweet guy high and dry and certainly not dead.

ImTresbien noted above that "there's a video out in which Carlton says that Kate's name is on the wall and crossed out; it just wasn't shown on the episode."

Very cool. I will admit that I like both Jack and Kate, making me persona non grata with many here. They're totally screwed up and are frequently annoying, but, then, who amongst is not?

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

So what was the policeman's name?

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh man we got a spammer on here...

I checked out the name of the policeman Kate married (lasted 6 months). It is Kevin Callis. She drugged him so she could escape, so didn't kill him.

Anyone see "Callis" on the cave wall?

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Did I say the TV show was called Firefox? Firefly!

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Sure good to know about those clothes and neat accessories. Thanks so much.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 3, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

This must be where our Lostees get there clothes. I think the peasant look is out.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Free shipping ... bet they can't find the Island!

Maybe Desmond will have himself shipped there, in an appropriate Desmond shirt of course.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 3, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I thought I had figured out the reason for the Dogen backstory scene, but with no one else suggesting it, maybe I'm wrong. But here goes:

Dogen was answering Sayid's question. Sayid's question was, "Why didn't you kill me yourself?" Dogen then launches into a long story about the deal he made with Jacob, a deal which allows his son to live, a deal he is reminded of by the baseball he keeps.

It seemed obvious to me, after wondering why he told that long story in response to Sayid's question, that it was the answer: part of the deal is that Dogen can't kill anyone. Therefore, he had to have Jack or MIB do it for him, voluntarily. He almost did it himself in the fight in the office, but was reminded of the deal when the baseball fell off the desk.

Posted by: charodon | March 3, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

BilboB2, I think you've nailed it. This season is introducing lots of new elements instead of wrapping up old elements.

Posted by: charodon | March 3, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I think the point of Dogen's story was to show that Jacob is the alter ego to MIB/Locke/Christian Shephard and that they are the same entity. All of the examples we have seen of Jacob intervening in people's lives have consisted of subtle manipulation of vulnerable people. In this episode we saw Locke offer Sayid a devil's bargain. This was soon followed by Dogen's story of a similar bargain, except that he said it was offered by Jacob. This would play into the balance theme that Dogen talked about re: Sayid's torture. The rational/compassionate/super-ego of Jacob is gone so the vengeful/destructive/id/ego takes over via an unfettered Locke. Sayid died, so his inner killer took over once the penitent side was gone. As was said before, Claire must have died too. Speaking of Claire, I think the blonde boy in the woods is Aaron, or at least Aaron in the form of a dead Other or Templeton. With Aaron having been born on the island, he should have some of the same body-snatching capabilities of Jacob. This would mean that Kate is right that he's home with Grandma, but that Claire is also right in saying he was kidnapped.

Posted by: terpinNE | March 3, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

BilboB2, I completely agree. Sometimes I feel like this season (and parts of the previous one) feel like an entirely different show than the first few seasons. Some of that is good and interesting, but some is really disappointing. As a friend said to me after Tuesday's episode, "Remember when Lost used to have science in it?"

I for one happen to miss the all-together-in-the-jungle-ness and the ways the Losties used to negotiate with other people and ideas and plans and histories, not just with smoke monsters and temples and reincarnated dead bodies.

Posted by: clr5f | March 4, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

terpinNE: Hmmm... Another independent subscriber to the alter ego theory of Jacob/MIB. Fair enough. I need to rewatch the season thus far with that thought in mind.

Fate1: The Lostpedia folk never found Kate's name in their screencaps of the cave, but it was clearly visible (and crossed out) on the Lighthouse wheel.

charodon: I love your Dogen theory, or at least the part about him not being able to kill Sayid due to his own bargain, as symbolized by the baseball. But maybe it's just that the bargain forced him to submit to "the rules." Sayid was a candidate, at least until he died for TWO HOURS (which, btw, we didn't actually know before last night).

Incidently, Ben never said Widmore "broke the rules" when Alex was executed. What he muttered, in shocked disbelief, was "He *changed* the rules!" As if they were not immutable laws so much as agreed upon behavior between opposing parties.

As to the show introducing new elements instead of resolving old ones, well jeez, that's what they've been doing for five years now!

Reminds me of Michael O'Donoghue's short story writing advice in The National Lampoon: Introduce a new character in every sentence, and then when it gets too complicated for even you to follow, have them all suddenly killed by a truck. The End. My buddy Peter Goldman used that advice in our 6th grade class, but Miss Aikens was not amused and gave his English paper an F. That and Jimi Hendrix dying left a very big impression on me that year. But I digress...

I'm willing to trust the show creators to show us what they've got. It's been pretty darn good so far.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ - Amen. I'm willing to let LindeCuse unravel the show as they intended.

Not so much here, but in the chat there seemed to be a lot of complaining about how things are so black and white now and all the wonderful "moral ambiguity" is gone. Ok first, I don't think its entirely gone yet - there's still plenty of people who are unsure about what Jacob and MIB represent, who's good and who's evil. We don't really know where Jack stands right now - he's not even really aware of the good/evil struggle going on on the Island. And we're not entirely sure that Sayid is 100% working for MIB. There's a lot about this sudden descent into darkness that we didn't see and don't know about. He ran into MIB in the woods and now he's all onboard? Sayid's not that shallow, I think.

But mostly - hey lighten up people! Was this not always where the show was headed??? Two years ago Widmore told us there's a war coming to the Island - things would have to resolve eventually, into one side against the other. Well, here we are. It's war folks. MIB's got his gang. Jacob so far only seems to have Hurley. Well, maybe Illana and Ben too. Not entirely sure who represnts what yet, but the lines are being drawn.

I'll say though - I'm not a fan of episode-eating focus on just one character. We certainly could use more of the Island plot moving along and less of the character-centric sideways stories. I wasn't a fan of the flash-forwards so much either.

Posted by: DaveB2 | March 4, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I have enjoyed this post for quite a while with a few entries over time. Here is my thought:instead of interpretation [inductive reasoning],state a motive and see if the facts fit;[deductive reasoning]. To wit: Smoke Monster is the spirit of Lucifer that somehow got away from the archangel Michael.{the spirit only]The Island is the gateway between Heaven and Earth. Smoke Monster wants to get off and into our world. Jacob is an archangel sent to keep him in chains on the Island. To keep Lucifer's spirit on the Island requires the help on mankind.

Posted by: johnkingbv3s | March 4, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I apologize if his has been asked and answered already, but how did Sayid know Locke was dead?

Posted by: twinbrook | March 4, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Sayid was on the mainland when Locke died, we're assuming he's caught up with other Losties on what's up.

I want to start by saying that I don't understand why everyone thinks Aaron is the blonde boy - That boy is way too old! Besides, Aaron being born on the Island means he has powers and can rule over Jacob and MIB? I think we're over-analyzing here. Now, while I'm not completely convinced, it would explain Jacob and MIB being alternate egos (the boy is the owner entity of both). Would also explain why MIB hasn't said his name and why Dogen asked Sayid if he'd been made an equivalent offer to that of Jacob.

Moving on, I think that flash sideways are not only what would've happened if 815 had landed, but if Jacob hadn't "touched" them. I agree with previous posters, Jacob finds a way to right his wrongs and do a major reset - putting people back as if nothing had ever happened.

I also think Jack's son is Juliet's sister's. The age is about right, we know it's someone we know. Makes sense.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Sayid was on the mainland when Locke died, we're assuming he's caught up with other Losties on what's up. Mia13
-------------------
But he was being dragged onto the plane and didn't have a chance to chat with the others until after it crashed bringing them back. He went into the past, but didn't land with Kate, Hurley and Jack.

Posted by: twinbrook | March 4, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Ok, you got me. But does it matter? Sayid stabbed him right away anyway, with good intentions.

And by the way, I take it back about Juliet's Sister's son being Jack's. According to Lostpedia, his name was Julian and Ben showed Juliet a video of Rachel pushing him on a swing in 2004 - and he was a little toddler. So too young to be a pre-teen in 2007.
Whoever the mom is, it's gotta be someone who already has a kid with Jack when they crash the Island. If it's someone we know, who does that leave???

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Not sure whether this has been brought up but I gasped when Nadia's kids pulled out the photo Sayid had been carrying -- it's not the one he had on the plane, it's the one the CIA took of her.

Confirming that in his sideways life, Sayid ended up being forced to work for the CIA, just as he had when he got off the island as one of the Oceanic 6.

Posted by: PortlandMaine | March 4, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Few things that popped into my head...

-Ben said Jacob would heal Juliet's sister if Juliet agreed to stay on the island, and Ben provided video proof that her sister was ok. Another bargain with Jacob but made through Ben. So far only Jacob has been seen off-island. I don't think MIB has been able to get off the island since he was imprisoned in the shack with the ash around it.

I think we're due for some more time traveling. The numbers being broadcast on the Island's transmitter were likely read by Hurley, but we have not seen Hurley read the numbers, yet. The Lostees have seen the names/numbers both at the lighthouse and cave. The future (past) reading of these numbers by Hurley may be a code to our Lostees used in some future plot.

As for Austen's name being crosed out on the lighthouse wheel, and if that means she's dead, she may be as dead as Claire. There must have been many times Kate could have died, but when?

And is it possible that people die but only die dead when the people around them believe they are dead (maybe the lesson of the seemingly unnecessary Nikki/Paolo episode)? For example, if Claire is blown up in the house in New Otherton and dies but someone looks for her hoping she is alive, she is alive thanks to their hopes and wishes (but they're really dead). But when someone gets shot and the person with them thinks they will die, they die (and are really dead). So what may be keeping Claire alive may have been Kate's wish to reunite her with her son. What is keeping Kate alive is Jack and Sawyer wanting her to be alive, etc.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Twinbrook:

Ben tells Sayid that Locke is dead when he goes to see Sayid, who is working for Habitat for Humanity, in the Dominican Republic in season 5. Sayid is actually the one who told Hurley that Locke was dead right before he broke Hurley out of the mental institution in season 5.

I am intrigued by this theory that Jacob and the MIB represent two sides of the same entity. At one point, I thought that the blond boy might be Jacob re-born, but I now think that he is something/someone else entirely...possibly the island itself, or its "soul" (I know, stretch). Expanding on the "two sides of the same entity" theory, could Jacob and MIB/Locke be the good and evil sides of the blond boy/entity? The boy seemed to almost be the "referee" of this "game" going on between Jacob and MIB, reminding MIB about the "rules" and MIB was clearly not the one in control in that encounter.

Posted by: linswilliams | March 4, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Fate1:

I don't think that everyone whose name is crossed out on the cave wall or dial list is dead. I'm pretty sure Miles' last name (Straume) was on the cave wall and crossed out and he's still around. And of course Kate, who I don't think is dead.

I think the bewildered expression on Kate's face was shock and confusion. The smoke monster massacred everyone at the temple, which was traumatizing enough. Also, far as Kate knew Locke was dead. So it's only natural that she's stunned by seeing him "alive and well". And, she was also probably confused by Sayid, Clare, and everyone else following Locke so religiously all of a sudden after all of these people have been killed.

Posted by: linswilliams | March 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"Whoever the mom is, it's gotta be someone who already has a kid with Jack when they crash the Island. If it's someone we know, who does that leave???"
Posted by: Mia13

The sideways timeline is obviously not what has been described, that it is what would have happened had they not crashed. Not sure how not crashing could have changed things long ago (Jack marrying and fathering a child around 1992) but I keep remembering that chance meeting with Desmond in a very early episode (see ya in anotha life brotha). It could be their lives were changed long ago, not just since when the plane crashed in 2004, and what the sideways timeline might be is what would have happened had they not been interfered with, as Locke was by Richard since he was born and the visits by Jacob to the Lostees, some when they were very young.

If something caused Jacob/MIB to never exist, the Americans might have detonated the bomb in 1954, possibly sinking the island (though I doubt that). In other words, enough has happened in the distant past thanks to the Island/Jacob/MIB that the sideways timeline may be what would happen in 2004 had there never been a Jacob/MIB. That they are showing us this timeline may mean that, in the end, Jacob/MIB will not be killed but might be made to have never existed. But the experience will have changed our Lostees a little for the better. Progress as Jacob would say.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUeUktObPXA
Here's the video in which Carlton Cuse said that Kate's name is on the cave wall -- it's right at the beginning of the video.

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 4, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

A flurry of posts! Yay. I don't have time to go to other Lost chat places, so you guys are it for me. And I love hearing what you have to say.

PortlandMaine: Great catch on Sayid's photo of Nadia being the one the CIA gave him, not the one he had from long ago.

Fate1: I don't think being crossed out necessarily means you're dead.

It means you've been eliminated for whatever that list represents for whoever is maintaining it. If MIB was telling the truth and is correct in what he believes, the names in the cave are candidates to replace Jacob. The list in the lighthouse might be exactly the same, or it could be Jacob's own list of candidates to replace himself, or candidates for something else that we don't know about.

We did see, however, that the number/name combinations in the two locations are similar but not identical. So either they are indeed different lists, or the one in the lighthouse reflects changes made since we visited that cave with MIB and Sawyer.

Personally, I'm finally coming to agree with those who believe the cave is MIB's dominion (down) and the lighthouse is Jacob's (up).

I don't go nearly as far as ooyah32 in seeing Lost as a biblical tale. But the borrowed elements seem rather striking. So up and down make sense.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I do agree that the flash sideways has something to do with the absence of Jacob. But I don't think a whole new life (David) would be introduced, just because there's no "Jacob's Touch". Especially since Jack meets Jacob so late in life.
I think Dogen's story of his son confirmed this (we saw his Son at the audition and said "Hey! Dogen has a son!" ... turns out he always had one).

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

But now, given the carnage at the temple, it does look like the writers have chosen to go with a pure, black-and-white (ha!), Manichean conflict. Yawn...


Let's not forget that the orignial "Others" who recruited Ben and followed Jacob as their spirtual leader did, in fact, wipe out the Darma people. So is Jacob really "good"?

Posted by: Chris22315 | March 4, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think people need to take a step back from the whole black-white-gray (brown?) debate... there's still 10 episodes left to make that call where a lot can happen ... and besides, it could end up a scenario where the characters (MIB/Jacob/whoever) think that they are black & white, but the writers are showing us (the viewers) otherwise ... a la omniscient narrator.
Are we really going to judge a show on whether it's black & white or gray?

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"Let's not forget that the orignial "Others" who recruited Ben and followed Jacob as their spirtual leader did, in fact, wipe out the Darma people. So is Jacob really "good"?"
Posted by: Chris22315

Hmmmm, the same people who made the sonic barrier to keep smokey (MIB) out? Who were killed by the Others who smokey never bothered and actually assisted (helped Ben in killing Keamey's men). I don't think Jacob had anything to do with wiping out Dharma. I think it was MIB and MIB was fooling Ben into thinking that he was Jacob. Remember when Ben took Locke to see Jacob in the cabin, the cabin surrounded by ash. No reason for Jacob to have ash around his cabin but it would hold MIB prisoner. And the ghost in the cabin's violence when pressed by Ben I think also shows it was MIB in the cabin, not Ben. So I blame MIB for leading Ben to destroy Dharma in the name of Jacob, who Richard and the Others believed Ben was talking to.

I also think, though I need to do some research, that Widmore understood Ben was not following Jacob, and stood up to him leading to his eventual banishment. That would make Widmore a good guy fighting those who unknowingly were following MIB.

The real question though is who/what is Richard. An "advisor" according to MIB, who is not afraid of him and Richard seems to know who/what MIB is and is terrified. Could Richard have been the gatekeeper of the island, keeping MIB and possibly Jacob under lock&key, until men came to the island and presented MIB with a way to break out?

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it makes sense that the others via Ben had been followers of MIB all along (hence Christian in the cabin, who I totally believe was actually MIB).
Also would explain why smoke monster did not kill the candidates (Like the first time Locke looked straight at it) when it could've very easily. Would also explain making Locke the new leader - someone refresh my mind, who was the first one who told Locke he would have to die to come back?
I'd also like to think Widmore is a good guy. He got kicked out for leaving the island and having Penny, which isn't such a bad thing.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

From Lostpedia

"In 1989, Widmore assigned Ben and Ethan to kill Danielle Rousseau. When Ben returned to camp with Rousseau's baby, Alex, he was angrily confronted by an aging Widmore, who demanded to know why Ben was holding a baby. Ben was angered that Widmore had not informed him of the baby prior to accepting the mission. Widmore demanded that Ben kill her, claiming it to be the will of Jacob. Ben refused, and instead proposed that if it were indeed the will of the Island, Widmore should be able to do it instead. Scoffing, Widmore turned his back and walked away, leaving Ben holding the baby. ("Dead Is Dead") "

More Evidence Widmore in on Team Jacob ... Ben is not... Jacob wanted Rousseau dead.
The popups last week were saying Claire was just like Rousseau - so Rousseau was also on team MIB, also why smokey did not kill her the entire time she was on the Island.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Mia13 It was Richard who told Locke he'd have to die in order to come back.

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 4, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Are good vs. evil stories less interesting?

Sorry for what will be a looong post.

I totally get what many are saying about the battle between Jacob and MIB being less interesting -- with everyone else being diminished to gamepiece roles -- compared to earlier seasons where our long-time cast members seemed to be in greater control of their choices and fate.

But I don't agree. And I say that as a person with no religious faith. Even if this turns out to be a strict biblical story, which I really doubt, the best such stories are highly nuanced. Despite the heavy hands of the big boys playing at the top, even the most minor characters have choice and are thus in control of much of their fate.

And the nature of the choices are much more nuanced than in the typical TV show or movie. It's more like what the rest of us face in real life. Or in Hollywood, more like the dramatic choices two young policemen faced in the movie Crash. (Matt Dillon and Ryan Phillippe)

The good-evil storyline is neverending. There is a daily struggle for the soul of every person on the planet.

In the biblical version, God and Satan use different approaches to win converts: broad appeals to goodness and faith with little other explanation vs. direct appeals to self-interest and quick-path removal of pain, bitterness or loss.

But God often seems uncaring or capricious -- far worse than that, actually, in Old Testament stories such as the tale of Job -- and the outcome often seems highly unfair. Unless you buy the "it all works out in the after-life" angle.

For me, the most meaningful stories include opportunities for redemption by those who have previously fallen. Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities would be my all time fave. But also Edmund in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Darth Vader in Star Wars, and Gollum in LOTR, to name only a few.

That Judas never had that opportunity was always a disappointment to me. But I'm thinking that Sayid will. Jack is already on his way, back in LA X.

Despite all their power, Jacob and MIB's fate lies with the many decisions, big and small, made by our Losties in their daily lives on the island and in LA X. I think that's pretty cool.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe it’s just a video game played by two aliens. Using swarming nanotechnology.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree 100% with the recap. I dont believe Sayid would get the love of his life to marry his brother---he would just not marry her himself if he felt unworthy. I feel like Dogen and the temple people were a second Nikki and Paulo. I don't feel like we got any answers. Great recap guys.

Posted by: edj1 | March 4, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Just a thought but maybe Dogen was ready to die and be done with his obligations to Jacob. Certainly he proved earlier that he could hold his own with Sayid and I find it hard to believe that he couldn't have put up more of a fight if he had chosen to. Perhaps letting Sayid kill him was yet another sacrifice that Jacob asked of him and letting Smokey into the temple was a part of a larger plan.

Posted by: kcbg | March 4, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I had asked earlier who first told Locke he would have to die. ImTresbien said that it was Richard - but it was not. It was MIB.

Consider this re-organization of events taken from http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Locke - which proves MIB was the one who wanted Locke dead all along... and needed the candidates to come back in order to get access to the temple?


"Upon Flight 316's landing on the Hydra Island, The Man in Black took Locke's physical form and infiltrated the Others, assuming leadership. After leading Ben and Richard to the Beechcraft airplane to give the real, time-skipping John Locke the compass [and further instructions], he returned to the Others' camp and led them, along with Sun and Ben, to the statue of Taweret with the purpose of having Ben kill Jacob.


Locke was shifted to the year 2007, and heard someone approaching. At first scared, he kept silent, but soon saw it was a friendly face: Richard Alpert. Richard removed the bullet from Locke's leg and gave him a compass and told him to give the compass back to him on their next meeting, in a different timeframe. He also told Locke that the only way to save the Island is to get those who left back. In order to do that, Locke was told that he would have to die. ("Because You Left")  ("Follow the Leader")


Later at night, after another time shift to 1952 (two years before Locke was born) ... Locke refused to shoot "one of his people." They then followed "Jones'" trail to the Others' camp. There, he spoke with Richard Alpert and relayed the information as he had been instructed to do so previously... He explained his predicament to Alpert [,and gave him the compass], who was somewhat skeptical. Locke countered by asking him to visit him two years in the future when he is born. He asked Alpert how to get off the island in order to retrieve the Oceanic 6, but was unable to find out before another flash took place. ("Jughead")

John Locke was born to Emily Annabeth Locke and Anthony Cooper on May 30, 1956. His mother was 15 years old when an unknown driver hit her, forcing an early delivery. Three months premature, John survived numerous illnesses; his nurses called him a miracle. While John's grandmother discussed adoption with a nurse, Richard Alpert smiled at baby John from an adjoining room.

In 1961, when John was five, Richard visited, saying he ran a "school for very special children" like John. He noticed John had drawn black scribbles attacking a stick figure.

... However, his apparent ability to commune with "Jacob" made John a threat to Ben, who shot him and left him for dead in the DHARMA Grave. The Island, in the form of Walt, rescued Locke and told him that he still had work to do. "

Except this was not Walt - it was MIB.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

>His mother was 15 years old when an unknown driver hit her, forcing an early delivery.

There's been a lot of that going around, eh? I would advise any character in this show never to stand in the road while off-island. Or, in the case of Shannon's father and Jack's future wife, never drive on one either!

Mia33, you rock. And where would we be without Lostpedia? Totally lost, that's where.


Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Think the best summary of events is by LostINZ here: http://forum.lostpedia.com/wouldnt-richard-telling-locke-die-t47338p2.html

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

OK, something's wrong. I liked this ep! I felt like we finally got to the action. everyone's out of the temple, MIB has made his move, and the "infection" finally caught up with Sayid.

I like the temple! Will miss it :-) I also liked Dogen, and hope he comes out of the water alive and w/ Jacob inside!

Posted by: cwhere | March 4, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

YES, Richard telling Locke he had to die would prove all this already happened. I've thought it from the beginning - The hatch button had to be pressed because of "The Incident" ... which was the bomb blowing up by the hands of Jack/Juliet.

Gosh ImTresbien, way to say there's a better summary of events out there! I'm offended ;o)

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Mia, thanks for the lostpedia recap. I have problems with your Christian is MIB theory however. The only way that could be is if MIB can also leave the island like Jacob can. Recall that Jack saw Christian (his father) off-island in the hospital one evening when he was working late (in the lobby I believe). So either MIB can leave the island or both Jacob and MIB can impersonate dead people (very likely) or Christian was inhabited by Jacob on-island, or Christian is able to come back to spectral life on his own somehow. I simply don't know which it is.

Merij, your alien comment, even if tongue in cheek, resonates with me. I just finished reading Stephen King's latest tomb, Under the Dome. Without spoiling the ending, the source of the dome isn't manmade. Enough said.

Mia's recap also reminded me of a question I had last year which I suspect is one of those questions that will never be answered. Where did the compass exchanged between Locke and Richard come from. Richard gives the compass to Locke in 2007 who gives it back to Richard in 1954 who gives it back to Locke in 2007, ad infinitem. Kind of a chicken and the egg scenario.

Posted by: dojemc | March 4, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm with MeriJ and others - I loved the latest episode and have totally enjoyed the season. I think all the people whining are being silly. Seriously, did you think they were just going to mechanically feed us answers for an entire season? How lame would that be? The whole fun of Lost is knowing you're being taken for a ride - personally, I'm glad that ride is being so nicely stretched over the season. It's like I can almost see the peices coming together but I still can't quite figure it out, and that's the fun part.

I also think it's funny when people complain about characters not talking to each other, or this season being so different from last season. Seriously, when have the characters EVER given information freely? And every season has been totally different from the last. The beginning of Season 2 felt like an entirely differnt show.

Anyway, my Keamy theory - Jin still intended to break free of Mr. Paik in the alternate timeline, and did so; Mr. Paik sent Keamy to bring him back.

Posted by: LizaBean | March 4, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Dojemc - I did remember Christian and Jack's meeting at the hospital... however, since the other worker didn't see Christian, I assumed Jack was losing it (drunk Jack! hehe).

And yes, I also did come across the paradox last year, as well as this time around. Very chicken and the egg circular reference. The writers did that, not me though :-)

Posted by: Mia13 | March 4, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking that the compass is a solid clue, pointing to how MIB made the loophole.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"Except this was not Walt - it was MIB."
Posted by: Mia13

But Walt is alive in LA. How could MIB take the form of a live persno? I thought he could only take the form of dead people.

I do like your post though. It shows what many people are still confused about, how the compass seemed to be in a circular loop of existence. That is only true of there is one Locke, but we now know there were two, and the compass was the clue to there being two different Lockes way back then. I would imagine other clues have been given to us that we may not recognize until we get closer to the finale. Love this show.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

>Gosh ImTresbien, way to say there's a better summary of events out there! I'm offended ;o)

Nice one. I like your style. If this were a movie, you two would surely end up as sweethearts.

So the compass is a well-known time paradox? I guess I should get out more.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 4, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, I wonder if FakeLocke, introducing the compass into a time loop could have created the conditions allowing FakeLocke to continually change situations in the next loop around until he got it right. If so, once he got it right, such as right after killing Jacob, he should destroy the compass so the loop will break and he will not loop again. The term "loophole" may be a clue to the compass creating a continual time loop allowing MIB, and possibly Jacob, to try different things to change the future, Jacob giving a pencil here, meeting Locke after as was pushed out a window, etc, with the "hole" being able to get out of the loop. When we saw Jacob and MIB on the beach we were at the beginning of the loop, the compass having come from the Black Rock.

If this is how Jacob and MIB, seem to know the future and what is happening elsewhere, lets not forget that Ben also seems to know this, having pre-placed objects he just happens to need in places when he just happens to need them. If so then Ben may be on par with MIB and be able to fight him on equal terms in the loop. Next week I need to take some notes.

I feel sorry for future students who will have to study Lost for dramatic writing or other studies. It will be right up there with some of C. Dicken's writings, which gave me such a headache.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 4, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Fate1, you may be on to something. You are absolutely correct that there were two John Locke's in the circular loop involving the compass, not one. In 2007, MIB/Locke gives Richard the compass and tells him to give it to "himself", the wounded, real Locke and to tell Locke to give the compass back to him (Richard) the next time they meet. Real Locke subsequently time jumps to 1954, meets Richard and gives him back the compass. There the loop actually ends because, correct me if I am wrong, we don't actually see Richard give the compass back to MIB, do we? Nevertheless, 2007 MIB has the compass to give to Richard to give to real Locke. I am now starting to think that the compass may indeed have something to do with the "loophole" as Fate1 says. If so, then we may get an answer to this question before the end of the show's run (which is coming way to soon now in retrospect). This is simply a terrific show.

Posted by: dojemc | March 5, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

"But Walt is alive in LA." I thought Walt was living with his Grandmother in New York City, not LA. If he is actually living in LA then this supports my theory that we might see Walt before the season ends but this time as a teenager in the LA alter-verse.

Posted by: dojemc | March 5, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning!
Hmmm... yes, the "loop" of that apparent circular logic may very well have something to do with the "loophole" that allowed MIB to kill Jacob.

BUT - What about Faraday and Heloise's telling us that you can't change the past/future? Does that matter? Someone told me the writers say that there is only one timeline... can any one confirm?

And - Just to add some logic here... If it's too complicated, it's probably not right. I like where this is going, we need to find a simple way of explaining it/putting facts together.

Also, about the objects - did Jacob give each "candidate" an object? Does the lunchbox he gave Kate count if she already had it on her? Sawyer = Pen. Jack = Candy bar. Hurley = Guitar Case. Sun and Jin? Sayid? Locke?

OOOhhh - Maybe the loophole was MIB posing as Christian convincing Ben to move the Island, knowing it would start time skips, thus being able to influence Locke from a vantage point in the future? Is that too complicated? lol.

And yeah, I was totally waiting for someone to remind me that Walt wasn't dead - Smoke monster can project whatever image he wants pre- permanently stuck as Locke? Or this may be part of Walt's "power" which will probably never be explained.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 5, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Support for my last post about the loophole possibly being time travel
from - what else - Lostpedia

"After walking the whole day, Locke decided to make camp. At night he had a strange dream, in which Horace Goodspeed asked Locke to find him, commenting that Jacob has been waiting for him for a really long time. After that Locke made his way to the mass grave, where he found Goodspeed's corpse. In his pocket Locke found a map to the cabin, which he immediately followed with Ben and Hurley, successfully. Both refused to enter the cabin though, and Ben told Locke that his (Ben's) time as the leader was over and Locke's time had begun. Inside the cabin, Locke found Christian Shephard and, much to his surprise, Claire, who seemed to act very strange to him. Christian, speaking on the behalf of Jacob, said to Locke that all minor questions he had would very soon not matter since the freighter people were already on the way back, and convinced Locke to ask the only question that really mattered. Locke asked "How do I save the Island?" and by the reaction of both Christian and Claire it was clear that he asked the right question, as the answer turned out to be that Jacob wanted Locke and his group to move the Island. ("Cabin Fever") "

I would also strech this a little further by saying MIB can give people visions/dreams - Horace, Christian, Walt, Alex, Eko's brother and partners, etc.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

OK, here's why it's not circular logic:

We've been thinking that MIB told Richard to give the compass at the end of the time skips, 2007. BUT, re-reading my post yesterday with the recap of time skips from Lostpedia -

2004 - Oceanic 6 leave Island, Ben turns wheel (at Christian's direction), starts time skips.

skip - Uknown recent past - Locke witnesses beechcraft crash, gets shot by Ethan

skip - 2007 - Ajira flight lands, FLocke takes over, gives Richard directions. Elsewhere in the Island, Richard Removes bullet, gives Locke instructions and Compass.

Skip - 1952 - Locke gives Richard Compas back.

Skip - Uknown time - Locke turns the wheel (at Christian's direction), stops time skips. Exits the Island in 2007, right before Ajira landing.

The reason it's not circular is that Locke went to the future before he gave Richard the compass. I think in this case, the Compass did nothing but make Richard believe Locke was a good guy.

To counter myself - Why couldn't MIB just have killed Locke in 2004 on the Island and assumed his Likeness then? Time travel seems like an un-necessary complication.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Think it's in the official ABC podcast following LA X that Darlton discuss the word "alternate" and say there's no alternate timeline or reality.

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The compass is *not* a temporal paradox:

I went "elsewhere" to read up on what apparently was a big thread last year. None of what I'm posting below is my own thinking.

Unless I'm mistaken, the alleged paradox of the compass no longer appears that way. A weird overlapping time loop, yes, but not a paradox.

In 2007 or so, Richard first gave the compass to Locke. He explained that when Locke travelled back to 1954 he should give it back to Richard to prove that he was really was a time traveller -- that being the first time they'd have met, in absolute terms.

Locke handing over the compass was presumably meaningful to Richard in 1954. The simplest explanation would be that the same compass was already in Richard's pocket -- i.e., that he already owned the original compass in 1954. So from 1954 till 2007 or so, Richard had TWO COPIES of the same compass. The extreme weirdness of that overlap is how he knew Locke was the real thing.

From the viewpoint of the compass, life began in a factory prior to 1954 and passed normally till 2007 or so. Then it looped back to 1954 and overlapped in the timeline till 2007. From 2007 on, it continued as a single object in time. (Richard had two copies up till 2007, he gave one to Locke and thus kept one for himself going forward.)

Since Ben turned the donkey wheel, we have already seen numerous examples of the cast overlapping in time -- witnessing themselves doing things we first saw in season one, for example. Ditto for the compass. It just had a much longer period of overlap.


Posted by: MeriJ | March 5, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Good thing compasses can't get nosebleeds, eh?

Posted by: MeriJ | March 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm still intrigued by Last Supper poster, and who each character may represent based on their position with Da Vinci's painting. Of course LOST interweaves many, many other themes, philosophies and allusions (& illusions!), but I wanted to explore this particular line of those to see if anyone else has comment...

If each Lostie is a disciple, then of who? how? and compared to the disciples of Christ, are there any similarities that will give us clues to how this all ends?? probably a futile endeavor, but exciting to go down the rabbit hole nonetheless.

Sayid = Judas (as mentioned before, but betrayer of who?) Remember: DaVinci's Last Supper scene allegedly occurs after Christ predicts that one of them will betray him, throwing the whole ceremonious dinner into disarray. But perhaps we've gotten it all wrong, as Sayid seems to be in Peter's place, not Judas (see Kate = Peter below).

Locke = (Anti)Christ (still ambiguity here, I think, and possible two-sides of the same coin... but how to tell?? Esp. with a shape-shifter like MIB... tho yes, he's frozen into Locke, thus reducing his deceptive powers - a Jacob victory - yet his Smokey form is quite powerful, as seen in Sundown)

Sawyer = John (the loner & lover, for sure)

Jack = Thomas (haven't seen anyone post this, but after Jack's "show me Jacob now!" demand to Hurley and Hurley's response "it doesn't work like that, Jack," I'm convinced of the connection)

Kate = Peter (so she's the chosen candidate/rock on which Jacob/Jesus builds his church??? highly unlikely from what we've seen, yet Peter's the one who defends Jesus with a sword and has a knife in his hand at the table... feisty like Kate!) Altho, to throw in a twist since it appears we've all made a mistake... it's Kate who's in Judas' place (Judas is not with knife but with bag of silver in right hand on table, with left hand reaching for plate- the bread in which he dipped in with Christ, signifying his betrayal) - so will Kate be the betrayer/flip sides? She certainly has been known to do so! Peter was a leader, too, neither of which we've seen from Sayid or Kate... Ben as Peter, rather than Philip, would make more sense, perhaps.

Jin = James (got nothing - one of the first to follow Jesus, and one of 3 at transfiguration - along with John & Simon Peter)

Ben = Philip (?)

Hurley = Matthew (lottery & taxes connection??)

So the analogy definite breaks down at a certain point, and thankfully so for creativity's sake!

A final note: the 2nd Last Supper poster reshifts people, showing whose positions doesn't change and thus is most important (or who switches sides!) but which is which is too hard to tell right now (with Jack/Hurley & Illana/Richard on opposite sides - can't see that happening!).

Also: all the characters are looking at us, the viewer, as if to say, "Who do you say that he (Locke/(anti)Christ) is?" or "Where do you stand/sit?"

Anyway, it's been and is a fun ride!!

Posted by: bevobevans | March 6, 2010 12:46 AM | Report abuse

I think you guys are missing a huge point on the Adversary's promises. They are being fulfilled ... in the Sideways world.

Posted by: syael | March 6, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ, The only problem I have with the analysis you read is my recollection is that MIB/Locke gives the compass to Richard in 2007 and tells him to give it to Real Locke. If so, that means that Richard didn't start the compass loop, MIB did. I'm starting to doubt my recollection now, however. Can anyone recollect the sequencing of the compass handling in 2007 any better?

Posted by: dojemc | March 6, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

"I think you guys are missing a huge point on the Adversary's promises. They are being fulfilled ... in the Sideways world."
Posted by: syael

An interesting observation syael, but I don't think there is enough evidence, yet, for saying this is what is going on. Kate has made no bargain and is free in sideways world. Sayid, who made the bargain, has seen his brother almost killed and his niece and nephew threatened. So though I don't think the evidence is there yet it is an interesting idea, that sideways world is the result of the bargains made with MIB. Time will tell.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 6, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

bevobevans says Jack = doubting Thomas:

Indeed, it would be hard to dispute that one. ("Others, you have to let sit and stare out at the ocean for a while.")

I agree that the writers draw from many mythologies, there being so many great ones to draw from. But the Last Supper poster suggests that Judeo-Christian is at least one of them. And all these references to David's 23rd Psalm (the God is my Shephard one) and Jack being candidate 23 do seem intentional.

But as one of my (many) favorite commentors here said several weeks ago --probably linswilliams or PQSully -- some of the religious themes we're seeing might just be the humans on the island attempting to comprehend things based on whatever mythology they brought with them. So Black Rock slaves or earlier visitors see Egytpian mythology, while most of the flight 825 crowd see biblical allegories.



Posted by: MeriJ | March 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

flipflop on the compass as paradox:

This time, it's not even my own words, but those of a Facebook poster named Sierra who backs up what dojemc just said:

"2007 Flocke gives the compass to Richard and Richard gives it to time traveling Locke, tells him to give it to him the next time he sees him because he, Richard will not recognize John."

"John gives the compass to Richard in 1954, Richard doesn't recognize the compass because Flocke hasn't given it to him yet. Richard keeps the compass until 2007 when Flock strolls into camp with dinner on his back and asks Richard if he still has that compass he gave him."

"The compass seems to have traveled in a loop that started and ended with Flocke. The real John only had possession of the compass from the time skip where Richard took the bullet out of his leg until he time jumped to 1954 to give Richard the compass back."


Also, Lindelof has supposedly said that the compass was intended to be a time loop paradox, with no point of orgin.

So certain somebodies here are looking good with their MIB loophole theories.

It hadn't occurred to me that the word loophole might be literal.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Excellent Lost Supper analysis here

http://www.docarzt.com/lost/lost-spoilers/a-lost-supper/

raises some interesting questions about Flocke and Jack the Shepard; which one them may end up to be the hero of our story?

That site presents a detail of a painting of St. Thomas (doubting Thomas, aka Jack, in Leonardo's painting) examining one of the wounds Christ sustained on his right side during the crucifixion... reminiscent to me of Jack looking at his own appendectomy scar in astonishment in sideways world. Jack's redemption arc possibly still underway-

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

Jen and Liz should check out this thoughtful and amusing recap of Sundown:

http://www.docarzt.com/lost/lost-recaps/the-dark-side-6-06-sundown/

Thanks for the tip, PortlandMaine. I don't these other sites well enough to wade through them. But that was great. It sums up a great deal of what we've been discussing here, but with pictures!

Posted by: MeriJ | March 6, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks MeriJ & PortlandMaine!

Posted by: bevobevans | March 6, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Alt-reality" + history gap from 2004-2007:

ImTresbien said: "Think it's in the official ABC podcast following LA X that Darlton discuss the word "alternate" and say there's no alternate timeline or reality."

Darlton's actual quote: "…we don’t use the phrase “alternate reality,” because to call one of them an “alternate reality” is to infer that one of them isn’t real, or one of them is real and the other is the alternate to being real."

Just clarifying...

BTW, anyone notice that most of our Losties were not on the island during the period between the end of 2004 and 2007?

They all either left in Dec '04 (as the Oceanic Six, or passengers on Penny's boat or via the donkey wheel) and then returned in 2007 via Ajira (to 1977 or 2007, depending on whom we're talking about); or were whipped back in time to 1974 if they didn't get to leave the island at all, where they lived normally until the Ajira time travellers reappeared.

The two groups who were thereby reunited in 1977 were transported forward by the bomb to reunite with those whose Ajira flight crashed normally in 2007. So there's a mystery gap from the end of 2004 till 2007.

What happened on the island during those years? In LA X, the island is under water, but the Otherton barracks had still been built in the 1970s, etc.

In what we think of as the original timeline, Claire and numerous Others continued to live on the Island during those years. And maybe Rose, Bernard and Vincent. But otherwise, it's a mystery gap in the timeline.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 7, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Smoke monster as Alex in the temple?

Various people have asked how MIB could have been in the temple previously -- to judge Ben and give him commands in the guise of his daughter Alex. Supposedly, MIB could not enter the temple until Dogan died.

I don't think that first location was the temple. They got there via a hole in the ground near one of the temple walls. Jin showed them how to use that same hole to get to the temple, but they still had to pass through the gates to enter the temple proper.

Posted by: MeriJ | March 7, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Late post - I think its still likely that MIB is the good one vs Jacob. Through time its always evil or the devil that has to be clever and trick people into doing its bidding. pursues a straight forward path to do the right thing. MIB promising everyone that they can get what they want is fairly straight forward, Jacob used a lot of manipulation to get people to do what he wanted. So I think things may still turn out to be a surprise.

Theres even a line in a James Bond movie about evil having to always be smarter than good, evil has to always out think good to stay ahead.

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

Jack's son mom: I see a lot of speculation, and as per the age of the kid.. here is my guess.. wasnt jack involved with some chick in indonesia or something? where he went and got his Tatoo? forwhatever reason it didnt work out for him in the life we saw, but in the Alt timeline, it worked out! Yay!

About Jacob and MIB being the same person, is very possible. No wonder they havent given a name to MIB yet, because its still Jacob. :) and no wonder they say Jacob had trapped him, coz Jacob had suppressed his evil ideas inside himself, then what we saw at the end of S5 the MIB was Jacob's conscience.

About Jacob has a plan: I dont think so, jacob only provides options, but its up to the subject to make the choice. Even when Ben was about to kill him, he did not welcome it, he told Ben that he has a choice and Ben chose to kill him.

Posted by: thetruckguy | March 8, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I don't think the Asian chick is the mom, is that David has no asian features. none.

MeriJ - I had TOTALLY noticed that there was a gap on the Island between 2004-2007! I just wasn't sure what to make of it. It's gotta mean something, right?

I told my brother my theory of the "loophole" being time travel and he challenged me that it still didn't explain anything.

So this is what I told him as a last ditch effort - I'm just going to paste it here in case I'm a tiny little bit right in the end- for there to be proof! lol.


1. Smoke Monster/Jacob are bad/good consciences of young blonde boy.

2. Young boy is supernatural keeper of the Island, a place with some sort of mystical/spiritual significance

3. Young boy needs a replacement (every few hundred years?). Finds people who need help in their lives, who don't have much to lose and would have a better life on the island. Finds a way to bring them to the island to evaluate them and choose one. These are his candidates. He's already gone through this several times (it only ends once. everything else is just progress) and hasn't found his perfect replacement yet.

4. bad conscience of blonde boy doesn't care about the Island - he wants to be free, destroy it and leave for good. Finds a way to time travel to the future (if you think about it... no one was on the Island between 2004 - 2007. Oceanic 6 were on the mainland, everyone else in the 70s) and kill good conscience.

5. Ann-Arbor Dharma sinks the Island to stop the madness, and so that no one can ever find it again in a big reset that sends everyone back before time skipped (with Desmond's help). All living candidates reset back to their lives as if the young boy had never "touched" them. Because the universe self-corrects, Hurley still won the lotto - but with different numbers, since this time Jacob was not involved. Kate is still a run-away. Etc. But there are subtle differences due to the fact that Jacob had influenced their lives - and now that influence has been removed.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 8, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Very good explanation to the hypothesis that MIB/Jacob are the same person:

http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Sundown/Theories

In Dogen and Sayid's conversation, Dogen claims that inside everyone is a spectrum of good & evil, and it all depends where the pointer is. Jacob can therefore be both MIB and himself, the good and evil inside of him! The "inside joke" when MIB took the white stone from the scale and threw it into the ocean, was a reference to MIB has killed Jacob (his 'good' side), thus his scale is now fully tipped toward darkness. Dogen's actual wording was "every man has a scale within him", which symbolizes that Jacob & MiB are not warring externally, but internally.


This accounts for the notion that MiB is "trapped"; he's unable to leave the island by himself and Jacob will never leave willingly, so he is confined to wherever Jacob is.


In addition, it explains why MiB's name has been carefully avoided to this point; his name is actually Jacob.


Posted by: Mia13 | March 8, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Mia13 said: "Young boy is supernatural keeper of the Island, a place with some sort of mystical/spiritual significance."

Yeah, that's what pretty much what linswilliams was saying. I don't know. How would that explain the bloody arms?

I'm still thinking more along the lines of the young boy being MIB's guilty memory of Jacob (or himself) when they were young and MIB did something awful, like kill their father or knock over their mother's favorite Ming dynasty vase.

But hey, we're all just guessing at this point. Just have to wait and see.

I misspoke, btw, in bragging that I was thinking dual/dueling personalities during the season premiere. It was during the cave sequence in What Kate Does. But except for the otherwise loquacious MIB not sharing his name with anyone, I don't sense further movement in that direction. However, yes, MIB's "inside joke" reference would certainly be funnier if that were true.

What *is* clear is that if you throw out enough wild-ass theories, one of them is bound to end up true and then you get to take victory laps and shout "I told you so, I told you so, nyah nyah" for the next three weeks. Not I would ever do that.

Have I mentioned my theory about how the island might be Purgatory?

Posted by: MeriJ | March 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The more I thought about what I thought the show would end like, the more "purgatory" circled around my mind (although not exactly in it)... It definitely has its merits, it's a simple answer, and I'm sure we can find enough facts to support it. I just don't see it being that kind of show - Because if they are in some spiritual limbo, the writers can just write whatever they want and back it up with - hey! it's not real life! And I think we would be a little disappointed. That's my only counter :-)

But as far as the boy being a guilty memory - It's possible that MIB thinks that he is - but Sawyer saw him (to MIB's surprise), which means he can't be in MIB's head only. But you're totally right. I forgot about the bloody arms. Maybe he was burying Jacob? Maybe he's the one who got the fountain dirty? hehe. Or eating some bore! j/k.

It just really strikes a chord with me that Dogen said "Every man has a scale within him..." and then MIB throws out the white stone from his scale.

I absolutely cannot wait until tomorrow's episode to test out whatever we can get against all our theories!

Posted by: Mia13 | March 8, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that's the same reason I think (or hope) that David has to exist in the original timeline as well as the flash sideways. Because if not, the writers have a carte blanche to do whatever they want without having to explain any of it ...

Posted by: Mia13 | March 8, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I was joking about Purgatory! That was The First Theory, or perhaps The Original Theory, proposed by many during season one -- however, it was debunked by the Creators eons ago.

Sorry my humor is often obscure.

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

I'm starting to be convinced the Jacob/MIB are the same ... thing ..., a balance of good/evil which has now become unbalanced. Its not really that important me thinks since they are acting separately, one killing people at the temple, the other having Jack smash mirrors, both at cross purposes. We must still think of them individually since they are acting individually, but still a cool idea and probably right.

As for the time loop, something is not right. MIB introduced the compass into the loop by giving it to Richard who gave it to Locke in 2007 and that is where the loop starts, Locke goes back with the compass to 1954 when Locke gives it to Richard, who holds onto it until he gives it to FLocke who gives it back to Richard to give to Locke in 2007, if I got that right(?)

This time looping allows Jacob to try out things at every loop, give a pen here, buy a lunchbox there, manipulate conditions until things turn out his way. He calls the whole thing progress, which makes sense when you are doing trial and error each time to change events when you know the future, while MIB is looking for a way out of the loop. A hole out of the loop, a loophole. But it seems MIB created the loop, so I'm a little concerned about this really cool time loop. If MIB wants out why did he create the time loop? And Jacob says to MIB in the foot that MIB found a loophole and MIB says that he would not believe what he had to go through to make it.

Considering the sequence of events, it seems the hole in the loop occurred right after MIB gave the compass to Richard to give to Locke, since that is when FLocke says they need to head to the foot to have Ben kill Jacob. So could making the time loop with the compass been the way out of the loop for MIB?

Maybe its not the time loop but the compass that is the key. By placing the compass in a never ending time loop, it has no beginning and no end, a paradox. That essentially destroys the compass before 1954 and after 2007 and it only exists between 1954 and 2007. Maybe it could not be destroyed, but now that it no longer exists, MIB is out of a different loop, one that went much longer in the past and future. It seems the loop starts before the Black Rock arrives, which was well before 1954. Maybe the compass was a key to another loop which FLocke has placed into this smaller time loop and essentially destroyed, freeing him from the larger loop.

Oh my nose is bleeding again!

If this is how MIB escapes the loop, how can Jacob contain him? My guess is he needs someone to go into the time travel to the period between 1954 and 2007 and either bring the compass back or in some way break the paradox of the compass. So far I don't see a plot leading to that, but we have like 10 more episodes. If we see someone time traveling again I think that will be telling. And I think we will since we have not see Hurley read the numbers over the transmitter, which it seems is his voice. I think Hurley will go time tripping, read the numbers (candidates) over the radio for some reason and get the compass from Locke, returning it to post 2007 and closing MIB's loophole.

Ok, now I need a pint, and I am not talking about blood. Cheers!.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 8, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, why did Jacob get Jack, through manipulation, to break the mirrors? What purpose could they serve now? The lighthouse seemed to be a telescope to see the off-island lives of the candidates. Its also clear the number of candidates is very large, too large for the Lostees to be the only people on the list. I think the candidate will be the one who agrees to repair the time loop and once again trap MIB. That is why both Jacob and MIB are working to find this candidate, and why MIB is out to kill as many people as he can, crossing off the names as he goes.

My pick, Hurley, the guy who almost did not make it on the plane and, if you look back at that early episode where he is trying to get to the plane, fate steps in over and over to stop him, first traffic, then people at the airport getting in his way, etc. He finally makes the plane with a lot of effort at the last minute. His troubles getting to the plane were created by MIB working to keep him off the island and thus to not be a candidate.

Posted by: Fate1 | March 8, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Hmm... Fate1, I like your idea that both MIB and Jacob are racing against time to find the candidate before the other - Although I don't think MIB can kill candidates, supported by the young blonde boy telling him "You can't kill him!"... and we haven't seen him kill any other candidates yet. Have we? So maybe he's just trying to recruit them to his [Dark] side (hehe).
Also, could be that Jacob had the mirror smashed because either a. He already knows who the replacement is and doesn't need any more candidates, or b. Since he's now dead, can't protect them any longer - and doesn't want to put anyone else in danger.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 9, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

I hope we get some answers tonight and not more questions.

I don't believe this is about good and evil, but two manipulators trying to get their way.

The compass was significant in that it helped Richard to believe that Locke was special and the leader so that he took Flocke to see Jacob. Flocke got Ben to turn the wheel (and also later Locke) so he could manipulate people in different times on the island. Jacob manipulates people off the island as well.


It all comes down to Jack's belief in having a Destiny (or not) and taking on the role of Jacob (or not). Or will Jack make his own fate? He will doubt MIB (like doubting Thomas) but will make a choice that affects all the Losties.

So far I haven't seen anything different in alt-world that happened before the 1977 nuclear incident. Jack lost his appendix in the 1970's, it probably was after 1977 since he was seven.
Alt-world seems to be a world without Jacob's manipulation after 1977. So the island sank around 1977 and Jacob is not around to muck up life for the Losties. I have not seen any proof yet that there are any changes to the timeline before 1977.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 9, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

As long as Ben and Ethan left the island during the incident--then the alt-world is would be what happens if the island sank in 1977 and Jacob could not manipulate anyone after that.

Posted by: KevinAF | March 9, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I have been pondering upon Jacob's "There's something Jack has to do" when talking to Hurley at the lighthouse... what? I'm sure it's going to be a big deal.

And I totally agree with KevinAF - sideways flashes are different post 1977 (perhaps after the bomb was detonated?) and sans Jacob's influence.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

About KevinAF's Ben & Ethan comment - I was thinking that their Dharma moms would've evacuated the Island with them before the bomb went off? And if so, they would've never switched sides to join the Others... and would've led normal lives in the sideway flashes.

Posted by: Mia13 | March 9, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Clearly from the above, this episode engendered a lot of thought, theories, and speculation. People, you better get your theories in if you want to claim to have guessed the ending first : - ) As for me, I'm enjoying the ride. I do think we will get some real answers when they show the Richard-centric show in a few weeks. Tonight is going to feature Ben. Can't wait to see how he mucks up History classes. Or whatever he teaches.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 9, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Re Richard-centric show, I think we will learn how and why the Black Rock was brought to the island; why Richard was in chains; and, perhaps, why he alone of all the characters except for Jacob and MIB presumably, never ages. I also expect to see Richard interact with Jacob and MIB, if they are in fact separate entities since he seems to have some relation to them or at least knowledge of them. That is a show I can't wait to see.

Posted by: Emcdoj | March 9, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I am wondering why Richard didn't know about the Candidates (while even Dogen did). And now that I read the transcript ( http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Substitute_transcript ) - this is, I think, VERY interesting:

[Locke kneels next to Richard and offers him a canteen]

LOCKE: Thirsty?

[Richard drinks deeply]

LOCKE: Richard, I'm sorry I hit you in the throat and dragged you off the beach but I had to do something.

RICHARD: What do you want?

LOCKE: What I've always wanted. For you to come with me.

RICHARD: Why do you look like John Locke?

LOCKE: I knew he'd get me access to Jacob. Because John's a candidate. Or at least he was a candidate...

[They both stand]

RICHARD: What do you mean? What do you mean a candidate?

LOCKE: Didn't Jacob tell you any of this?

RICHARD: Any of what?

LOCKE: Oh, Richard... I'm sorry. You mean, you've been doing everything he told you all this time and he never said why?

[Richard does not reply]

So can we say, based on this, that the loophole was to, by time travel, get Locke to leave the Island and come back dead, so that Locke could be impersonated without anyone's knowledge, and be able to convince Richard to take him to Jacob?

I had earlier hinted at something like this, but asked why couldn't MIB just kill Locke on the Island - why create the hassle of Time Travel? I think that'd be the answer - To confuse everyone, so that no-one would know?

Posted by: Mia13 | March 9, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

MIA13, I think it was explained fairly obviously by Jacob and MIB that MIB couldn't kill both on the island or any of the candidates, of which Locke was one, Ben actually killed him and that is the loophole that allowed MIB to take his life or dead form as Jacob says, you found your loophole. This is also reiterated when Flocke is with Sawyer in th jungle and young Jacob or Aaron say to MIB/Flocke you know you can't kill him....IM guessing again because Sawyer also is a candidate...

Posted by: danstep43 | March 10, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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