Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 14 June (Sunday)

Lost Rewatch, Lost 1×08, Confidence Man

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

Sawyer off-island working a con

Sawyer off-island working a con

The majority of the action in this episode revolves around Sawyer and introduces us to a number of key facts about his life and sets the stage for key relationships and rivalries for many episodes to come.    Of course this is where we find out that Sawyer was a con man off-island who got in the business by taking on the identity of the man who conned and caused the deaths of his parents.

Sayid demonstrating his skills as a "Communications Officer"

Sayid demonstrating his skills as a "Communications Officer"

On Island animosity is stoked as Sawyer appears to have Shannon’s asthma medicine (which she is badly in need of) but he’s holding out.  This eventually leads to the infamous scene where Sayid tortures Sawyer with Jack looking on.  Sawyer agrees to reveal the location of the medicine, but only to Kate.  He extorts a kiss from her only to revel that he never had the medicine in the first place.  So we’re introduced to the complex character of James “Sawyer” Ford. We also see for the first time the infamous letter that Saywer wrote when he was a boy to the original Sawyer with the pen provded by Jacob.  Kate’s the only one at this point who knows his secret.

One other scene of note is important following last episodes incident with Sayid being knocked out in the jungle.  As I stated n my previous post we find out two seasons later that it was Locke in fact who knocked out Sayid.  Well, in this episode Locke lies through his teeth and shifts the focus of Sayids investigative attention squarely on Sawyer possibly contributing to his being tortured.    Here’s the transcript of Locke’s conversation with Sayid (courtesy of Lostpedia):

[Shot of a knife sharpening a stick to a point.]

SAYID: Locke, where were you last night, around sunset?

LOCKE: Well, I’m afraid the only witness to my whereabouts is the boar that I was skinning for our dinner. I heard you were trying to send out a distress call. So it would seem whoever attacked you has a reason for not wanting to get off the island. Maybe someone who is profiting from our current circumstances? And from what I’ve seen you and Mr. Sawyer share a certain animosity.

SAYID: No, he has an alibi. Just before I was struck, he set off a bottle rocket, a signal we had worked out — 2 kilometers away. He wouldn’t have the time to go. . .

LOCKE: Unless he found a way to time delay the fuse on his rocket.

SAYID: How could he possibly have. . .

LOCKE: Anyone who watches television knows how to improvise a slow fuse. Use a cigarette. [Locke offers Sayid his knife] Just in case there’s a next time.

Locke shifting blame from himself to Sawyer

Locke shifting blame from himself to Sawyer

Three things jump out at me:

  1. Locke’s alibi – well, ultimately how did he go knock out sayid and skin the boar for dinner?  Is it possible he had help with the boar?  Smokey anyone? (however looking back on the previous episode it appears that he was skinning the boar earlier in the afternoon)
  2. Locke gives his reason for knocking out Sayid as Sawyers, “whoever attacked you has a reason for not wanting to get off the island”  A little truth goes a long way.  Intriguing though that Sawyer does eventually become someone, like Locke, who wants to stay on the Island.
  3. Locke’s subtle manipulation of the situations at hand – playing up the animosity between Sayid and Sawyer, and actually giving Sayid a knife – you know  – just in case.  This seems to be the same knife Sayid uses when torturing Sawyer and eventually puts through his arm, hitting an artery.

So right from the start we have future rivals saving each other’s lives.  Locke saving Jack and now Jack saving Sawyer.

Also, isn’t it also ironic that Sawyer’s namesake is none other than Locke’s con man dad and here’s Locke conning Sayid into believing that sawyer was the one who nocked him out.  Of course, nether Locke nor sawyer know of this connection at this point, but it does make one wonder.  Boy what a small world, eh?

Or is it?  The Anthony Cooper sub-plot always intrigued me, especially when it intersected both Locke’s and Sawyer’s lives.  And then there was when he showed up on the island and was executed in the Black Rock.  I always thought that was pretty strange.  I wonder -was it really Anthony Cooper?  Or could it have been Smokey appearing as Cooper.  Of course that would be the first and only time he appeared as someone off-island and let someone touch him.  Ok, there’s other issues with that too – let’s nix that idea.

But how was it that Cooper was  involved so intimately in both Sawyer and Locke’s lives.  I almost wonder if Jacob’s nemesis had also made the rounds off island and had visited one Anthony cooper (or whatever his real name was) putting him on the course to ruin both Sawyer’s and Locke’s lives.

Michael in an Orange Shirt - dead man walking?

Michael in an Orange Shirt - dead man walking?

A couple of amusing and/or probably trivial thngs:

  • The husband of Sawyer’s con asks, “Is there some kind of loophole?” If he only knew how important loopholes would become in this series
  • Michael has been wearing an orange shirt for a couple episodes and Claire has an orange rabbit’s foot (remember the orange and death connection ala “The Godfather”)
  • Jack says to Kate when she asks him what’s stopping him from killing Sawyer, “We’re not savages, not yet.”  Hmmm – if body count were a sole indicator of who’s a savage and who’s not I think the Losties are gong to fit in that category sooner than they might thin.
  • After Jack talks Shannon down from an asthma attack Hurley says, “That was lie a Jed move!”  And he hasn’t even started writing Empire Strikes Back yet.
  • But the funniest line of the episode goes to Sawyer after Kate asks if he is serious about her giving him a kiss to get the location of Shannon’s medicine: Baby, I am tied to a tree in a jungle of mystery. I just got tortured by a damn spinal surgeon and a gen-u-ine I-raqi. Of course, I’m serious.
Could you two get a room?  Oh, right I forgot that's not how you roll.  But we won't know that for awhile . . .

Could you two get a room? Oh, right I forgot that's not how you roll. But we won't know that for awhile . . .

This post written while listening to:

fireworks in the neighborhood.

While watering my garden and enjoying the night air.

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 14 June (Sunday)

LOST Rewatch, Lost 1×07, The Moth

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

I’ve run out of time on a self-imposed deadline, so this one is going to be quick….

Jack and Hurley rebuff Charlie's offers to help.

Jack and Hurley rebuff Charlie's offers to help.

This episode centers around Charlie, his drug addiction and the backstory about his band, Driveshaft.  John Locke continues his role as Charlie’s drug-rehab counselor.  As the on island action unfolds Charlie is experiencing worsening withdrawal symptoms and is sidelined by people from helping as it’s obvious he’s not feeling well.  This seems to eat at Charlie’s sense of worth.  Locke is still in possession of Charlie’s drugs and tells Charlie he won’t give them back until he asks for them the third time.  It’s then up to Charlie to decide what he will choose – the drugs or sobriety.

Some people I know found Charlie’s storyline annoying – but I thought it was compelling.  I mean what does a drug addict do if stranded on a Pacific island?  That’s gonna be a problem.  It’s noteworthy that Charlie’s addiction was not healed upon arrival at the Island like Locke’s paralysis or (apparently) Rose’s cancer.

Locke preparing dinner as he sets up Charlie's detox program, what a renaissance man!

Locke preparing dinner as he sets up Charlie's detox program, what a renaissance man!

Numerous studies have shown that drug addiction has genetic factors, and in fact physiological changes take place within the user brain which make stopping difficult or, in some cases, nearly impossible.  Yet the show moralizes Charlies drug addiction in that it is his choice to make whether he wants to continue to pursue this lifestyle (which after finding the Beechcraft would be entirely possible).  Obviously drug addiction involves choice, unlike cancer or paralysis (presumably).  But I wonder if the Island healed the genetic and physiological factors contributing to Charlie’s addiction?

In the midst of all the melodrama Jack is caught in a cave-in and in the end Charlie contributes to freeing him (of course one might make the case that he was responsible for the cave-in after making the ironic statement, “I was a rock god!”)  by following a Moth to a hole in the roof of the cave.  After this Charlie asks for his drugs for the third time.  Locke complies and charlie tosses them into the fire.  Point scored for Guru Locke.

The Transmitter

Sayid and Kate are joined by Sawyer as they try to locate the origin of the French distress signal

Sayid and Kate are joined by Sawyer as they try to locate the origin of the French distress signal

The other interesting activity in this episode revolved around Sayid, Kate, Boone, Shannon, and Sawyer trying to place three antennas in the jungle to locate the source of the French distress signal.  (Yeah good luck on that one! )  Sawyer knows about Jack being trapped in the cave-in but withholds this information from Kate for quite some time.  When she finds out she is angry and leaves her antenna for Sawyer to put up and runs back to the caves to try to help Jack.  As the agreed upon time to turn on the antennas (being careful of limited battery power) arrives Sayid is knocked out by an unknown assailant before he is able to do anything.  His antenna is destroyed by the unknown attacker.  The writers do a good job of making us think initially that the attacker is Sawyer.  It will be many, many episodes before we find out that the identity of the assailant is none other than our resident Lifecoach and Drug Counselor John Locke.  One does wonder how he has enough time to get out to Sayid return to give Charlie back his drugs and also prepare some boar for dinner.  And wasn’t he worried about poor Jack trapped in the cave-in?   Hmmmmm….

Hey Sayid - watch out!  Duck!

Hey Sayid - watch out! Duck!

Oooo - there it is!

Oooo - there it is!

Ouch!  That's gonna leave a mark!  (I tried to warn ya dude!)

Ouch! That's gonna leave a mark! (I tried to warn ya dude!)

Locke-smiling-into-fire-at-episode-conclusion count: 2

Locke-smiling-into-fire-at-episode-conclusion count: 2

This post was written while listening to:

The Ballad of Ira Hayes by Johnny Cash, and

Take Me as I Am by Mary J. Blige

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 14 June (Sunday)

Lost Rewatch Lost 1×06, House of the Rising Sun

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

Episode Quick Summary

Sayid comes to Michael's rescue, tackling Jin

Sayid comes to Michael's rescue, tackling Jin

  • Sun is featured in flashbacks, that include a glimpse into her and Jin’s past – he a waiter, she the debutante daughter of a wealthy businessman, yet Jin wins her hand in marriage by pledging to be her father’s assistant/hitman (unbenownst to Sun)
  • Their marriage steadily declines as the stress of in doing daddy’s dirty work mounts.  Sun arranges to leave Jin for good at the airport in Sydney but doesn’t follow through on it.
  • On Island: Jin apparently uprovoked attack on Michael causes Sayd to handcuff Jin to part of the wreckage in the blazing sun.  Sun later speaks to Michael in English revealing that he has a watch that belongs to Jin.  Michael returns the watch and releases Jin, but they are still bitter rivals.
  • The exodus to the caves begins, but the camp is split.  Of the main cast Jack, Locke, Hurley, Charlie, Sun, and Jin move into the caves with Adam and Eve (see below).  The rest stay to keep the signal fires lit and await rescue – HA!

Finding Adam & Eve

Jack examines "Adam & Eve" as Kate looks on

Jack examines "Adam & Eve" as Kate looks on

Kate stumbles upon two decayed human corpses in the caves after running from the bee swarm from the hive that Charlie split open by accident.  Jack investigates and estimates that it would have taken 40-50 years for the clothng to decay (but this may be questionable) and he finds a bag with a black stone and a white stone in one of their pockets.  Charlie and Locke also investigate and Locke dubs them “Our very own Adam & Eve.”

The question of Adam and Eve’s itrue dentities has been a source of much debate over 5 season, and like many I hope we find out in season 6.  Here are the most popular theories:

  • Bernard & Rose: This has been my favorite theory all along.  Black and white stones, black and white couple; and after the season 5 finale they seem to be homesteading it happily in the jungle.  Of course they are only 30 years in the past and who knows how they ended up dyng in the caves.
  • Jack & Kate: This one always seemed unlikely to me.  But there is a moment on the beach in this episode when Jack and Kate are dscussing her moving to the caves.  Kate replies that she doesn’t want to become Eve and Jack says that no one is asking her too.  Wouldn’t that be an ironic twist?
  • Sawyer & Juliet: After Sawyer settled down so well in Dharmaville and essentially went native it seemede possible for awhile that once things went south at Dharmaville (which was bound to happen) Sawyer would move to the caves with Juliet.  This now seems somewhat unlikely.

hrs stones

It’s interesting to note that Adam & Eve have a black and white stone with them, almost like the stones that Locke held up from the backgammon game when he refered to the opposing forces of light and dark.  Also interesting that it is Locke who dubbed them Adam and Eve – perhaps this is a bit of misgudance – who’s to say that these bodies belong to a happy couple?  Maybve Locke (under the influence of Smokey or Jacob’s nemesis) knows something about this couple even at this early point.

Charlie’s Drug Addiction

John Locke confronts Charlie about his drug problem

John Locke confronts Charlie about his drug problem

Locke calls Charlie out on hs heroin addiction, much to Charlie’s surprise.  They have a bit of a tense interchange about it which ends up at Charlie’s love for music and his guitar which has gone missing in the crash.  Locke asks if Charlie wants his guitar more than the drugs, because f he does and he gives Locke the heroin then Locke will help Charlie find his guitar.  When Charlie hand’s over the drugs John points up and Charlie sees his guitar resting in the hillside above them.

Did Lovcke simply see it there before the conversation, or did something more mysterious happen.

In Conclusion:It seems likely that Adam & Eve will turn out to be some well known members of the cast who expired in the past (oh – I just had an idea – what about Charlotte and Faraday – ok that’s just to weird and convoluted to prove), showing that even at this point in the series Abrams/Darlton knew where they were going with it.  As far as Locke goes, right now he is in what I will call his guru phase.  He seems to have specialized knowledge that is very helpful for the Losties – boar hunting, water finding (sort of), drug counseling, etc.  Pretty impressive for a washed up gamer and Box Co. employee, eh?

Funniest Line of the Episode

Charlie to Jack (re. Jack & Kate flirting and then about Locke): If you guys are finished verbally copulating we should get a move on. There’s a whole beach of people waiting for us to get some drinking water for them. And the great white hunter’s getting restless.

The "Great White Hunter" prepares to hike to the caves

The "Great White Hunter" prepares to hike to the caves

Two side notes: See the compass on Locke’s vest.  This is not the compass, but one that Locke passes on to Sayid later in the series.  Also could Great White Hunter be a play on words in that Locke becomes the great White (Jacob) hunter?  Oooooo . . . .

This post was written while enjoying a cappucino at Port City Java.

Posted by: BC | 2009, 12 June (Friday)

Lost Rewatch, S01 Ep05, “White Rabbit”

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

Young Jack trying to save his friend from a bully

Young Jack trying to save his friend from a bully

This episode begins with a close-up of a child’s eye and we soon find out that it is none other than Jack’s during a flashback to when he tries to save his friend from a schoolyard bully and gets trounced in the process. Later in the episode his Dad, Christian Shephard, calls him in and while sipping some liquor gives Jack the sage fatherly advice to not try to save them all. Much of this episode revolves around developing Jack’s character an especially beginning the backstory of his strained relationship with his Dad.

For me, two major elements of the episode were compelling:

  1. Jack’s continued siightings of the apparition of a man in a suit, who we first discover in this episode is none other than his Dad, Christian Shephard.
  2. John Locke’s rescue of Jack and their subsequent conversation about leadership and the nature of the Island.

Jack Seeing Christian Shephard

I remember these sghtngs being some of the most chilling and intriguing scenes early on in the series.  Christian always appeared by himself standing stock-still in the distance in a business suit and white tennis shoes.  And until this episode we had no idea who he was.  Kinda creepy.

Jack sees his father in the surf

Jack sees his father in the surf

...and in the jungle

...and in the jungle

Through the flashbacks we had an “AHA!” moment and realized who the apparition truly was, but stll had no answer as to if it was a hallucination or somethng more.  When Jack sees him for a moment in the surf and Kate turns to look and he’s gone she, like most of us probably, assume Jack has been suffering from sleep deprivation and the stress of beginning to lead this fledgling group of survivors (oh and the fact that his rescue attempt of a woman in the water failed earlier that day).

Jack almost touches the appariton twice . . . but not quite . . . hmmmm...

Jack almost touches the appariton twice . . . but not quite . . . hmmmm...

Jack is strongly resisting the leadership that people seem to be expecting of him and when the water shortage is discovered he doesn’t want to make decisions about what to do.  Shortly thereafter he sees his father agan and runs into the jungle and almost touches him, but falls backward in shock and fear as he is within feet of his  father who he presumes to be dead.   Later he again chases the apparition into the jungle and lunges for him.  Tripping over a fallen tree, Jack tumbles headlong over a cliff and holds on for dear life to some vines or exposed tree roots.

Knowing what we do now it seems unlikely that this is a hallucination.  It is literally the reanimated body of Christian Shephard.  But the question remains reanimated by what or who?  For awhile it seemed like it was simply a mysterious and miraculous property of the island that brought Christian Shephard back to life.  But was it?  It seems likely by the end of season 5 that it is n fact Jacob’s nemesis that has reanimated Jack’s father – but for what purpose?  Why is he showing himself to Jack?  What is Jacob’s nemesis tryng to accomplish?

Looking for Water

Locke encouraging Sayid and Kate and 2nd string leaders behind Jack and inferring his esoteric Island mojo

Locke encouraging Sayid and Kate and 2nd string leaders behind Jack and inferring his esoteric Island mojo

When the water shortage comes to a head and Jack is MIA Sayid and Kate go to John for his input.  The leadership roles among the survivors are beginning to take shape.  John immediately asks “where is the Doctor?”  When Kate and Sayid have no answer John volunteers to go look for water.  The other two offer to go as well, but John asserts that with Jack gone the other survivors need Sayid and Kate to stick around.  Locke is recognizing and reinforcing their developing leadership roles.  Almost as an aside he comments that he knows where to look for the water.  Is this simply Locke being Locke as we once assumed or after his encounter with Smokey is he privy to some secret Island knowledge?

John Rescues Jack

While viewers might have expected Christian Shephard's body to be attached to the hand that reached out to save Jack - it was in fact Locke.  Or was it?

While viewers might have expected Christian Shephard's body to be attached to the hand that reached out to save Jack - it was in fact Locke. Or was it?

As Jack dangles from the cliff a hand reaches over the top and I remember assuming that it was Christian Shephard reaching down to save his son.  But, no – it was none other than John Locke.  This is the second time now that John and Christian have appeared n close proximity to each other already – how intriguing.  After this near death experience one of the most amusing scenes of the season takes place (in retrospect) as John and Jack lay on the ground next to each other and Jack begins to laugh uncontrollably.  Can you imagine the John and Jack of Season 2 laying on the ground like this?

A touching moment between future (or is it past) rivals...

A touching moment between future (or is it past) rivals...

Their subsequent conversation is so interesting I’ll put it here in it’s entirety (note what Locke says below in Red) :

[Shot of a drop of water coming off a plant into a water bottle. Wider shot shows Locke’s arms.]

JACK: How are they, the others?

LOCKE: Thirsty. Hungry. Waiting to be rescued. And they need someone to tell them what to do.

JACK: Me? I can’t.

LOCKE: Why can’t you?

JACK: Because I’m not a leader.

LOCKE: And yet they all treat you like one.

JACK: I don’t know how to help them. I’ll fail. I don’t have what it takes.

LOCKE: Why are you out here, Jack?

JACK: I think I’m going crazy.

LOCKE: No. You’re not going crazy.

Locke pushing Jack towards leadership

Locke pushing Jack towards leadership

JACK: No?

LOCKE: No, crazy people don’t know they’re going crazy. They think they’re getting sane. So, why are you out here?

JACK: I’m chasing something—someone.

LOCKE: Ah. The white rabbit. Alice in Wonderland.

JACK: Yeah, wonderland, because who I’m chasing—he’s not there.

LOCKE: But you see him?

JACK: Yes. But he’s not there.

LOCKE: And if I came to you and said the same thing, then what would your explanation be, as a doctor.

JACK: I’d call it a hallucination. A result of dehydration, post traumatic stress, not getting more than two hours of sleep a night for the past week. All of the above.

LOCKE: All right, then. You’re hallucinating. But what if you’re not?

JACK: Then we’re all in a lot of trouble. (If Jack only knew how true this statement will become!)

LOCKE: I’m an ordinary man, Jack, meat and potatoes, I live in the real world. I’m not a big believer in magic. But this place is different. It’s special. The others don’t want to talk about it because it scares them. But we all know it. We all feel it. Is your white rabbit a hallucination? Probably. But what if everything that happened here, happened for a reason? What if this person that you’re chasing is really here?

JACK: That’s impossible.

LOCKE: Even if it is, let’s say it’s not.

JACK: Then what happens when I catch him?

LOCKE: I don’t know. But I’ve looked into the eye of this island. And what I saw was beautiful.

[Locke gets up to leave.]

JACK: Wait, wait, wait, where are you going?

LOCKE: To find some more water.

JACK: I’ll come with you.

LOCKE: No. You need to finish what’s you’ve started.

JACK: Why?

LOCKE: Because a leader can’t lead until he knows where he’s going.

A couple conclusions I’ve drawn from this conversation:

  1. John Locke is in some way responsible for pushing Jack towards leadership of the survivors – something that we will soon forget as the two seem to be polar opposites as the series progresses.  Why?  What was his purpose in doing so?
  2. What exactly did Locke see when he saw the monster that was so beautiful and compelling?  Is Locke operating on his own will or has something already happened to him?  Is Jacob’s nemesis influencing him already at this early stage of the game?  It certainly seems like a good possibility.

Oh, and . . .

Jack's "Live together or die alone" speech

Jack's "Live together or die alone" speech

Locke said he new where to look for water to Sayid and Kate but ultimately he shows up in just the right time and place to rescue Jack.  When Locke takes his leave of Jack he also says he’s off to look for the water.  But in the end it is Jack who finds the cave and the spring.  When Jack comes back to the camp with newfound determination.  He makes his now famous we have to live together or we’ll die alone speech.  But where is Locke?  Nowhere to be found.

Locke did know where to find the water.  He found Jack who found the water.  But where was Mr. Locke when he took his leave of Jack in the jungle supposedly on his way to find water?  Where indeed?

Maybe he was off for a Meet & Greet with the former occupant of this box!

Maybe he was off for a Meet & Greet with the former occupant of this box!

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 9 June (Tuesday)

Lost Rewatch, S01 Ep04, “Walkabout”

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST.  If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

John Locke looking at his now motile foot

John Locke looking at his now motile foot

Right from the beginning of the series John Locke was one of my favorite characters.  Maybe it’s because of this picture.  I have the exact same black socks with gold colored toes.  Or maybe it’s just because Locke was such an enigma right from the start.  On the one hand smiling and helpful (think finding Vincent and making a cradle for Claire) on the other hand brooding and ominous.  Boar hunting and breaking Charlie’s drug habit – I mean who is this guy anyway?  Right from the get-go Locke seemed to march to a different drum.   And perhaps in this episode we find out a clue to why.  As a Lockie, there’s so many interesting things in this episode but I will try to keep to my 500-800 word limit.

But first . . .  I need to explain a little theory of mine about Locke in light of Season 5

The Long-Con of John Locke

Throughout the series Locke is famous for being the “Man of Faith” in that he above all the other survivors believes that there is something special about the Island.  He senses that the Island has a will and is exerting that will over the survivors and the other inhabitants of the Island.  The seed of this belief is found right here in Episode 4 of Season 1 – John Locke appears to have been miraculously healed upon arrival on the Island.  I mean think about it – if you had been stuck in a wheel chair without use of your legs for years (not sure of the exact timeline on that but seems reasonable to assume) wouldn’t you be completely beside yourself if you were able to miraculously walk upon arrival on the Island?  It’s no wonder that Locke’s disposition towards the Island is more one of wonder and excitement rather than despair.

Over time Locke learns of Jacob, the mysterious but unseen overseer of the Island and the Others.  Jacob apparently speaks to John asking for his help.  John has visions (even before meeting Jacob) that enable him to do/find things on the Island (for example, finding the Beechcraft).  Although challenged at times, John’s faith in the Island and his special relationship grows throughout the series.  When Left for dead by Ben in the Dharma mass grave, it seems that John is once again miraculously healed and is encouraged by a vision of Walt that he has work to do. Eventually he is appointed as the new leader of the Others (apparently at the Island and Jacob’s bidding).  He begins to see Christian Shephard who says he speaks on Jacob’s behalf.

When Ben Linus sends the Island skipping through time, John is rescued at one point by Richard Alpert who tells Locke that he has to bring everyone back to the Island and that he’ll have to die to do it.  This message is echoed by Christian Shephard right before Locke turns the wheel and leaves the Island.  In the end Locke does die and is brought back to the Island.  He appears to be resurrected (like Christian Shephard before him who arrived on the Island dead in a casket too) but by the end of Season 5 it seems that this is a fake Locke that may be none other than Jacob’s ancient nemesis.  It was at this fake Locke’s request that Richard gave time-jumping Locke the message that he would have to die.

Ok – I’ve gone on about this – but it’s important.  In summary here’s what I think we can deduce from season 5.

  • Jacob’s Nemesis is somehow connected with the Smoke Monster
  • Jacob’s Nemesis is in someway responsible for the reanimation of Christian Shephard’s and John Locke’s dead bodies once they arrive on the island.
  • Jacob’s Nemesis had been cultivating Locke’s belief in the Island and (misplaced) trust in Jacob all along in order to activate the loophole necessary for him to attack (and possibly kill) Jacob.

I haven’t outlined all the reason’s why I think this hear.  But as the re-watch unfolds I’ll discuss more.  Now on to Walkabout.

John Locke moments after the crash

John Locke moments after the crash

Crashback

This is my term for flashbacs that have to do with the crash of Oceanic 815.  The episode opens similarly to the Pilot, Part 1 with a close up on Locke’s eye – as opposed to Jack’s.  As the 2nd eye close-up in the series perhaps this is a foreshadowing of Jack and Locke’s relationship and competition for leadership.  On the beach and surrounded by debris, Locke looks at his feet, wiggles his toes, sits up and picks up his shoe which had come off but was laying nearby.  The crashback is ended by Vincent’s barking and we transition to a scene at night by the fuselage.

Locke's knife narrowly misses Sawyer

Locke's knife narrowly misses Sawyer

Boar Hunting

As it turns out Vincent is barking because of a rustling noise in the fuselage.  This ends up being wild animals that run off through the camp causing chaos.  In the midst of it

Locke waxing eloquent on boars

Locke waxing eloquent on boars

Locke walks out with a strange grin and declares that they are boars.  A day later when Hurley and Sawyer argue about a stash of peanuts, the last remaining food, Locke throws a knife with deadly accuracy striking a tree next to Sawyer’s head.  He declares that they need to go boar hunting.  After what will later become recognized as a very Locke-esque speech (this time on the facts of boars and hunting them) he reveals his case of rather sharp looking hunting knives.  This leads Hurley to

ask, “Who is this guy?”  If Hurley only knew how important this question would later become!

Flashback

Rather than an extended section of prose, I’ll just list what we find out about Locke in the flashback:

  • He’s a rather harried employee at a box company.  Although we don’t find this out now, Hurley owns the box company (an investment made for him after his lotto jackpot).  Locke’s Boss Randy also used to be Hurley’s boss at Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Shack.  Hmmm – small world.
  • Locke is a bit of a social outcast – he plays a risk-type war game at Lunch with another employee who calls him “Colonel>”  He also has been having a telephone “relationship” with some sort of chat-line operator.  He has bought a ticket for her to accompany him on an Australian walkabout – which she refuses.

    "Colonel" Locke being mocked by his boss Randy

    "Colonel" Locke being mocked by his boss Randy

  • Despite his paralysis John is convinced that going on a walkabout is his destiny.  Later in the series we discover that this notion was planted in Locke’s mind while in physical therapy by Widmore’s assistant Matthew Abbadon who is posing as an orderly.
  • Locke’s classic line, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” is introduced – once when Randy is taunting him about the walkabout and again when the tour operator denies Locke’s application for the walkabout due to his paralysis.
  • Oh yeah – it’s in that scene (at the tour operator’s office) that we first learn of Locke’s paralysis.
  • Perhaps the most interesting thing – while Locke is in his cubicle using his calculator we again hear the same (or at least very similar) clicking noise that is associated with the Smoke Monster on the Island.  Hmmmm . . . .

Boar Hunting Part 2

The unlikely trio of Kate, Michael, and Locke venture out to find the boars.  When they do, Michael is charged and injured.  Locke leaves Kate to deal with the wounded Michael and heads after the boar on his own.  2 things about Locke come out here – he’s not exactly a team player concerned for the welfare of others and when he’s on task he’s go a singular focus.  Not long after the trip split up the monster show’s up (off-screen) thrashing through the trees and making all sorts of scary noises.  Kate and Michael make it back to the camp, but she tells Jack she thinks that Locke is dead; that’s there is no way that Locke could have escaped the monster.

John Locke stares into the face of the monster and survives

John Locke stares into the face of the monster and survives

In the jungle we find a different set of circumstances.  Locke is tracking the boar which disappears into a thicket.  The monster shows up in the same thicket soing it’s usual Monsterish stuff.  We assume it’s Locke’s early ticket off the Island, but our POV strangely changes to that of the Monster itself.  It is peering down at Locke who looks up at the Monster without a trace of fear, but more what could be described as amazement.

Back on the beach while Jack is distracted by Kate’s news of Locke’s demise by a “vision” of his father Christian Shephard standing in the distance under a tree. Jack is visibly disturbed.  Christian disappears for a moment but then reappears and enters a grove of trees.  Jack runs after him, only to discover a somewhat dazed and bloodied Locke emerging with a dead boar.  At this point we need to remember a couple of things:

  • Upon first viewing we know nothing about Christian Shephard at this point in the series.  I remember the first time I saw this episode thinking “what the heck was that?!”
  • However after season 5 it’s reasonable to assume that this apparition is in fact being animated by Jacob’s Nemesis
Jack sees Christian Shephard standing under a tree

Jack sees Christian Shephard standing under a tree

Later that night as Claire reads off names of the deceased at the memorial service Michael congratulates a somewhat confused Locke:

[Shot of Michael next to Locke.]

Locke is tight-lipped about the boar and the monster

Locke is tight-lipped about the boar and the monster

MICHAEL: Nice work.

LOCKE: What?

CLAIRE: Millicent Louise D’Agostino

MICHAEL: The boar. Nice work, you know, killing it.

CLAIRE: …Teaneck, NJ.

MICHAEL: Just thought I should say something. So that thing, the monster, whatever. She said it was headed right towards you. Did you see anything? Get any kind of look at it?

LOCKE: No.

[Close up of Locke.]

Hmmmm . . . curiouser and curiouser Mr. Locke.

What exactly happened out there with Locke and Smokey?  We know that the Monster has no problem with killing who it wants to (remember the Pilot in the pilot).  But it spared Locke who stared it in the face and showed no fear.  Strange.  Why is John so non-reactive to Michael’s compliment on killing the boar?  Could it be that Smokey killed it for him?   And what about the bit about Christian Shephard disappearing into the same thicket Locke emerged from.  Is it possible that the real Locke was already dead at this point? Perhaps not.  BUt it seems more reasonable that the long-con is on and Jacob’s Nemesis used this encounter between Locke and Smokey to his full advantage, whatever that may be at this point.

This episode is one of my all time favorites and I’m excited to see/rewatch what happens to Locke as the series unfolds.  BTW – the episode closes with another enigmatic close-up of Locke.

John Locke smiles as the fuselage burns behind his discarded wheelchair

John Locke smiles as the fuselage burns behind his discarded wheelchair

This post written while listening to:

Little Boxes & The Legionnaire’s Lament by The Decembrists

While enjoying some Triple Cherry in my Handcrafted  Bjarne.

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 5 June (Friday)

Lost Rewatch, S01Ep03, “Tabula Rasa”

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

Jack and Hurley see the mug shot of KAte that the marshall had been carrying

Jack and Hurley see the mug shot of KAte that the marshall had been carrying

With a title like “Tabula Rasa” one might have thought that this episode would center on John Locke, after all this was a popular notion of the character’s philosopher namesake.    However,the episode centers on Kate Austen and, in fact, features the first major pre-Oceanic flashbacks.  Different people count the flashbacks differently including the small ones from the pilot in the tallies.  For me it seems that this episode is the bona fide beginning of the flashbacks.  Is there significance to the fact that Kate’s character is the first to have one?  Dunno.

Kate smiles as she's offered a fresh start by Ray on his farm in Australia

Kate smiles as she's offered a fresh start by Ray on his farm in Australia

The title “Tabula Rasa” means blank slate and refers to a belief by certain philosophers (like John Locke) that everyone is born with a brain like a blank slate with no knowledge.  All mental content is then built from experiences and what is percieved through the 5 senses.  What is the significance of this title for the show?  Perhaps that our survivors are starting over here on the Island.  They have a blank slate.  Their previous life makes little difference in this mysterious and dangerous jungle, the rules of life are new.  No one knows who you are, or in Kate’s case what you did and you can build a new identity and life on the Island.  Or can you? The survivors will be wrestling with this notion for years.  But, of all of them Kate seems to have the most reason to forget the past and carry on with the new blank slate, building a new identity and future.

A fresh start

In one flashback Kate the fugitive is offered a fresh start by Ray the farmer in Australia, but it ends up being a dead-end as he turns her over to Marshall Edward Mars for $23,000.  Towards the end of the episode Jake and Kate sit on the beach and have the following exchange in which Jack refuses Kates’ offer to tell whha she did to become a fugitive, offering her another fresh start (episode transcript here):

[Shot of Jack looking out to sea. Kate joins him.]

KATE: I want to tell you what I did – why he was after me.

JACK: I don’t want to know. It doesn’t matter, Kate, who we were – what we did before this, before the crash. It doesn’t really—3 days ago we all died. We should all be able to start over.

KATE: Okay.

JACK: Okay.

Jack doesn't want to know what Kate did offers her a fresh start

Jack doesn't want to know what Kate did & offers her a fresh start

3 days ago we all died. This sparked a lot of speculation the first time around, spawning theories that the survivors were actually in the afterlife.  Inever really bought that.  It seemed that Jack was simply saying that we should have been dead, but we’re not, so life essentially is starting over for all of us.  But this time around these few words stuck in my mind more.  Iam vry curious now about who has died, how and why.  Charlie’s random comment in episode 1 echoes this when he said to Kate, “we were dead.  And then Jack pulled me up.” This was when they were being chased by the Smoke monster.  I’m not trying to say anything more than these statements are now intriguing to me in light of the rest of the series.  Time will tell if they are truly significant or not.

Amusing yet significant comment from Sawyer

While on an expedition to try out the transcevier Sawyer and Sayid get into it about the gun that Sawyer had been carrying, but Boone had swiped.  Sawyer says sarcastically (in reference to Sayid), “Yeah, give it to Al-Jazeera, he’ll protect us.”  Charlie comments off-hand that Al-Jazeera is a television network.  Literally “Al-Jazeera” means “The Island” (I should know, I’m studying Arabic right now).  OK, I’m sure Sawyer was just being Sawyer and throwing around nicknames, but I’ve got to believe the writers knew the double meaning of this phrase.  A bit of foreshadowing?  I would say that the survivors would trust the Island to protect them about as much as Sawyer trusts Sayid right now.  But is the Island really out to get them, or not?

John Locke

John Locke looks on as Michael reunites Walt and Vincent

John Locke looks on as Michael reunites Walt and Vincent

A couple of key scenes this episode.  He carves a whistle and calls Vincent out of the forest.  After this he ties up the dog and tells Michael where he’s put him so that Michael can get the credit for finding and returning the dog to Walt.  John seems geniunely warm and concerned in these scenes.  But the episode ends with an intriguing scene.  While some light music plays in the background scenes of happiness and reconciliation play out – Charlie taping his fingers, Claire on the beach, Jin sitting with Sun, Sayid giving Sawyer an apple, Boone handing Shannon some sunglasses, and Michael and Walt laughing over his playful reunion with Vincent.  John Locke watches the father and sun from a distance and the camera pans around to show his face.  At best pensive, at worst downright ominous considering he worked hard to reunite boy and dog and cheerfully gave Michael the credit.  You can’t help but wonder what’s going through his mind.  And . . . . if you listen carefully you can hear the tell-tale clicking noise that usually accompanies Smokey . . . I never noticed it the first time I watched, but Oooo – I got goosebumps when I heard that on the  re-watch!

John appears ominously in thought as he watches Walt reunited with Vincent.

What is going through John Locke's mind?

This post written while listening to:

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, and San Quentin by Johnny Cash, among others.

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 5 June (Friday)

Lost Rewatch, S01Ep02, “Pilot, Part 2”

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

We’re introduced to a lot of interesting stuff in this episode that will stick with us for many episodes to come: Kate is a fugitive, Charlie is a drug addict, Sayiid was in the Republican Guard, Walt and Michael don’t get along (and neither do Sun and Jin for that matter(oh – or Boone or Shannon – yeesh!)).  Sawyer reads his infamous letter on the beach and later shoots a polar bear in the steamy jungle.  And of course they discover Rousseau’s 16-year looping distress call.  Priceless!  But for me the most important scene is the following between Locke and Walt (Transcript from Lostpedia):

[Shot of Locke with the Backgammon pieces. Walt approaches, curious.]

Walt approaches Locke while he plays backgammon on the beach

Walt approaches Locke while he plays backgammon on the beach

WALT: What is it, like checkers?

LOCKE: Not really, it’s a better game than … checkers. You play checkers with your Pop?

WALT: No. I live in Australia with my mom.

LOCKE: You have no accent.

WALT: Yeah, I know. We move a lot. She got sick. She died a couple of weeks ago.

LOCKE: You’re having a bad month.

WALT: I guess.

LOCKE: Backgammon is the oldest game in the world. Archeologists found sets when they excavated the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia. Five thousand years old. That’s older than Jesus Christ.

WALT: Did they have dice and stuff?

LOCKE: [nods] Mhhm. But theirs weren’t made of plastic. Their dice were made of bones.

WALT: Cool.

LOCKE: Two players. Two sides. One is light … one is dark. Walt, do you want to know a secret? [we don’t find out the secret this episode]

Two players . . . Jacob and his Nemesis?

Two players . . . Jacob and his Nemesis?

That gave me chills when I saw it this time around.  I could picture Jacob and his Nemesis sitting not to far away on another beach in their light and dark shirts.  Two players.  Two sides.  But the question is: what is the game?  (And who’s peices are whose?)  And is John Locke being moved around the board at this stage in the game?

This post written while listening to:

Star Wars – The Battle of Good and Evil by John Williams, and Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron & Wine

While drinking a frosty: Iced Almond coffee (ground, brewed, flavored, and chilled in my own kitchen)

Posted by: lost42chap | 2009, 5 June (Friday)

Lost Rewatch, S01Ep01 “Pilot Part 1”

WARNING: The content of this blog is based entirely on Seasons 1-5 of ABC’s LOST. If you have not watched all 103 episodes and don’t want your fun spoiled,then please do not read this blog until you’ve caught up!

Like I said on the front page of this blog, I don’t want to get into all the picky details of each episode.  I’m just going to write on a few things that were interesting and stood out to me.  Hopefully you will find them interesting to.  Please comment if you have any thoughts.

John Locke

Locke's Orange Peel - Harbinger of Death?

Locke's Orange Peel - Harbinger of Death?

In this episode we are introduced to a little of John Locke’s initial quirkiness.  He’s helpful and other-focused on the beach, helping Jack extract someone from the wreckage.  (Some have commented elsewhere that this is the last time they willingly work together for quite some time).  Shortly after Locke warns Gary Troup to stay away from the turbine before he he is sucked in causing an explosion, one of the more shocking moments early in the pilot.

The next time we see Locke is the odd but memorable moment captured in the picture here.  Kate has just been told by Jack that if she wants to come on the expedition to find the transciever in the cockpit that she needs different shoes.  She reluctantly scavenges a pair of hiking boots off a dead body.  Looking around nervously Kate sees Locke watching.  They make eye contact and Locke flashes her the famous, if somewhat disconcerting orange peel smile.

When I first saw this scene, I just kinda figured Locke was one of those people who does weird things to try to make the best of stressful situations.  But, Kate seems more disturbed than reassured by the grin.  And maybe with good reason.  I was later reminded of the fact that in the Godfather, Don Corleone has an orange in his mouth when he dies of a heart attack in the garden.  Oranges are subsequently used before moments of death in the rest of the Godfather movies.  And it has been theorized that the Lost creators use the color orange in a similar wya in this series as a nod to the Gofather.

So why did Locke flash the orange peel smile to Kate? It maybe as simple as Locke was watching Kate take the shoes off a dead body.  Or perhaps the fact that she is about to leave on a mission to the cockpit that will involve the death of the pilot of 815.  Or perhaps it’s a foreshadowing of Lockes own demise?  Or is he already dead?  Of course it could just be that John Locke  is one strange dude!

Jack in the Bamboo Grove

Jack Shepherd wakes up after the crash of Oceanic 815 in a bamboo grove

Jack Shepherd wakes up after the crash of Oceanic 815 in a bamboo grove

This one has been on my mind since The Ajira 316 crash episode in season 5.  If you remember, the episodes start almost identically.  There is a close up of Jack’s closed eye, which opens and as we zoom out we see he is laying on his back in the thick jungle.  As a matter of fact when I first saw 316 I thought initially that some bizarre twist had put Jack right back to after Oceanic 815 and that he and the other O6 would be working from that point in time to put things aright.  Of course, that was not the case.  Jack, Kate, and Hurley had time-flashed off the plane and ended up in the 1970s, soon to be found by Jin who’d been stuck there for awhile.  When comparing notes on what happened aboard Ajira 316 Jack asks Kate and Hurley if they remembered what happened.  None of them do.  One minute they were on the plane and then they woke up in the jungle.

Flashforward to 2004 (and back 4 seasons for us – boy time travel is confusing) and Jack and Kate have a very interesting conversation about the crash of Oceanic 815.  Kate remembers the whole crash, including the tail section being ripped off (right behind her).  Jack on the other hand doesn’t remember anything and says that he blacked out.  Perhaps it’s nothing, but is it a little odd that Jack ended up in the jungle seperate from all the other survivors.  Perhaps this was simply a dramatic way for our hero to enter the series – set apart at first, but running to the aid of the other victims.

But, I find it extremely intriguing that he arrived exactly the same way from Ajira 316 and in that case we know he was flashed off the plane.  Was heflashed off from Oceanic 815 rather than crashing with everyone else?  It doesn’t seem that he flashed through time after the 815 crash – but perhaps he did by a few hours.  Why?  Maybe Jacob or BSG had a reason.  Thoughts?

Smokey

Kate sees Oceanic 815's pilot's dead body reflected in a muddy pool

Kate sees Oceanic 815's pilot's dead body reflected in a muddy pool

By the end of the first hour of the pilot we are introduced to the fact that this is no regular uncharted Pacific Island.  “The Monster” makes its debut by making a lot of noise and rattling trees in the jungle striking fear in the hearts of the survivors. There’s a somewhat Jurassic Park feel to the scene and the question of “what’s out there?” is immediately front and center. Of course we don’t know the form of the Monster at this point which makes it all the more terrifying, especially as Smokey’s first victim (the pilot) is ripped from the cockpit and in one of the most chilling scenes from Season 1 is left mangled, dead, and bloody in a the top of a nearby tree.

The question of what the monster is continues to unfold throughout the series.  But right from the start our band of Survivors learns that it is a deadly and fearful force.  I wonder why it killed the pilot, though?  At this point it just seems to be a rampaging beast.  But we know that’s not the case.  Was this simply a ploy by Jacob’s Nemesis to strike fear in these people who Jacob (potentially) brought the the Island?  Or was this particular pilot a risk for the Island that needed to be exterminated.  Also remember that Kate runs from the monster and ends up standing in a bamboo grove as it apparently swirls around the area and then leaves her unscathed.  Surely the Monster could have done the same to Kate.  Or could it?  Rememebr that Kate is one of the one’s Jacob touched?  And also that in a later episode Juliet and Kate end up in a similar situation with the Monster swirling about and then leaving them unscathed.  At first I thought it was because Juliet was an other, but what if Jacob’s touch imparted some sort of protection?  Hmmmm . . . only time will tell.  Ok – I’m 240 words over my word limit per post.  Time to go on to Part 2.

(in honor of my friend Stanford)

This post was written while listening to:

Plane Crash in C by Rilo Kiley,  and Hannes by Sigur Ros, among other things

And while drinking a refreshing glass of: Mirinda Orange Soda

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