Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lost Episode 6.10: "The Package"

A pretty solid episode. I really thought tonight's show was going to be a disappointment after last week's great Richard-centric episode, but it wasn't. We learned a lot more, and right off the bat one of my Ten Lost Predictions (listed on the post below) was disproved. Shows what I know. Anyway, I liked it. But even as I write this, certain folks are texting me (Jay) and telling me that the episode sucked. I disagree. To me, it opened up some interesting theories. What I do agree sucked was the stupid "V" logo taking up the bottom right hand corner of the screen. THE ENTIRE TIME. Stupid Abc. I can only take comfort in the fact that they clearly have no idea how or why Lost is such a big hit and they will never be able to replicate it. Muhahahaha. Anyway, let's get into it, starting with the flash-sideways. WARNING: I did not proof this. Too tired. Must... sleep... sometime.


"NO ENGLISH": We opened on Jin in the airport, receiving the bad news that the government was taking the $25,000 he was transporting to his mobster friends. Can the government do that? Well, it's almost April 15th, so I'm sure a lot of you out there are learning that they can, and indeed will. Sun & Jin could have filled out some paperwork to clear it all up, however, in this time-line it appears that Sun can't speak English. She wasn't learning English in this timeline, because she's wasn't planning to leave Jin. I have an interesting theory about Sun's language skills that I'll save for later in this post, but I will just say it has something to do with Sun losing her English on the Island as well as in the Flash-Sideways...

SUN EXPOSURE: Next, we learn that Sun & Jin aren't married in this time-line (which readers of my blog already knew, because she was called Ms. Paik by the airline employee in the season opener, and because she wasn't wearing a ring.) So they get separate rooms, but it doesn't take long before Jin comes knocking and then Sun starts unbuttoning things. What's up with the flash-sideways turning into Cinemax after hours? First Charlotte was a victim of the Lost After Dark treatment with her clich├ęd red dress and sultry pick up lines (c'mon, she should have been more of a nerd than that) and now Sun gets the saucy treatment. Oh, Lost, you could rise above. I will say this about Lost, though, you see a lot more naked dudes than ladies, overall. They're at the least fair and balanced in their desire for peeking.

SUN LOOKS IN THE MIRROR: We next find Sun & Jin together the morning after, and Jin has unwisely skipped his appointment with Keamy, forcing Keamy to come knocking on Sun's door. Before Sun answers it, though, she looks at herself in the mirror. Remember my post about the main character in each flash-sideways looking at themselves in the mirror? At least I'm right about that. It happened again here. She even seems to remember something. Now, I didn't notice Jin looking in the mirror this episode, so if I had to guess, I'd say Sun is the candidate Kwon based on the ol' mirror test. Also, I should point out that Sun gives herself a really strange look in the mirror, like she recognizes something's wrong. That keeps happening to people. I wonder where it's leading?

JIN IS TERRIBLE AT HIDING: Keamy & Omar come in Sun's room, looking for Jin. Omar comes in and searches the place, and finds Jin by opening the door to reveal him standing there in the doorway like a dude from the board game Mystery Date. Nice hiding, Kwon. Sun & Jin try to talk their way out of it, and Keamy makes a TERRIBLE joke about Godzilla movies, then tells Omar to fetch... Mikhail. Who we all know as Patchy, from the Flame station.

PATCHY WITHOUT THE PATCH: is way less cool looking. Man, eyepatches. Is there any thing they can't do? Patchy takes Sun to the bank, where they learn Sun's secret account is closed. Patchy is not that surprised, because he already knows that Paik knows about the couple. I guess Keamy was hoping that Sun would actually be able to get the money, and that's why he tied Jin up, to wait until she got back to the restaurant with it. I guess his plan after that was just to shoot Jin right after getting the money.

KEAMY'S EVIL PLANS: Keamy starts monologue-ing Jin by revealing his evil plans, which is fitting, since he's about to get killed by Sayid right afterward in true villain style. Apparently, Jin was carrying his own hit money with him right to his hit man. Man, that Paik guy is pretty cold. Keamy says, "The heart wants what the heart wants" which is interesting only because it sounds really familiar to me. Did someone else say that on the show before? Is it from The Notebook? I can't place it. He also says "Some people just aren't meant to be together", but I guess we'll have to wait and see about that.

SHOT IN THE EYE: Sayid shows up, kills a bunch of folks, then gives Jin a box opener. Mikhail shows up with Sun and finds Keamy dying on the ground. Keamy's last words are "Look behind you, you idiot," which seems fitting for his character. Jin is forced to shoot flash-sideways Mikhail in the eye. I'm assuming he's dead now. There's a lesson to learn here, MIkhail: No matter what, fate hates your eyeball.

WILL SUN DIE? I know it's a little late to be adding predictions to my last post of Lost predictions, but one that I honestly forgot to add which I had thought of a couple of days ago was "A MAIN CHARACTER WILL DIE IN THE FLASH-SIDEWAYS". I wish I had remembered to put it on the list, so you guys would think I was cool instead of lame for starting with the Widmore theory right out of the gate. Anyway, I think that will happen. I think Sun will die in this time-line, and therefore Sun & Jin will not have their baby. Meaning their only hope in keeping the baby alive is in the island time-line, where they have to destroy the plane, the catch-22 being that this is their only possible means of escape. I think in the end Jacob will still help them get home to their daughter, though, somehow.

Ok that's the end of the flash-sideways timeline. Let's get back to ISLAND TIME...

TERMINATOR CAM: We open on some night vision goggles creepily watching Kate and Sawyer drink "cocoa". Looks like Widmore wasn't going to wait around for Sawyer to do his dirty work for him. And, I'm guessing since they've been watching and listening to Sawyer they already know how he told Smokey everything that happened on the sub.

COMFORTABLY NUMB: After Locke tells a quickly healing Jin that he's off to find Sun, he stops by Sayid on the way out, and Sayid complains, "I don't feel anything." Creepy, and sad. Locke responds that perhaps that is better to help Sayid "get through what's coming." This fits in really well with a theory I heard on the Jay and Jack podcast. A caller there suggested that Smokey cannot kill a candidate – only other candidates can. Therefore, Smokey needs Sayid in order to use him as a hitman, to kill all of his old friends. Could be scary.

DARTS IN THE NECK: Jin tells Sawyer, wisely, that he's going to get out of there before "that thing" comes back. Unfortunately, he's shot in the neck by a dart, like everyone else is. I thought the use of darts by Widmore's team was interesting, because we saw The Others do that to the Losties back in Season 2, and Widmore used to be their leader. Maybe darts are an old school others method of attack. Anyway, the cast of 30 Rock show up with hi tech gear and drag Jin out of there. For those who like to have names of characters, the girl is Zoe (not Zooey as I wrote previously) and her doughy companion is Seamus.

BEN IS PUSHING IT WITH ILANA: Ben sure has adopted a sassy tone when addressing the lady who hours earlier was making him dig his own grave. Just an observation.

WATCH OUT FOR THAT TREE: Sun gets angry that Ilana won't let her leave to find Jin, and runs off to find her old garden. Jack tries to console her, but Sun yells that she doesn't care about Jacob, candidates, Rick Warren or a Purpose-Driven Life. Right on cue, evil Locke shows up and starts talking his smooth-talkin' talk. Sun's not having it and dashes off through the woods, aiming for a tree from a mile off. And apparently, it was an Amnesia Tree, because she wakes up not remembering how to speak English. Now normally, I would cry foul at an amnesia storyline, and at first, I actually did yell my complaints at the screen. But, then a super-awesome theory hit me and I kind of liked it. Here goes...

MY AMNESIA THEORY: Ok, in the Flash Sideways, Sun can't speak English. AND, on the Island, she suddenly forgets how to speak English. On the island, when does this happen? AFTER she speaks to Smokey. Perhaps Smokey even touches her when she's unconscious, Jacob style. So here's my theory. I think that the Man in Black is from the Flash-Sideways time-line. It's his "home" that he keeps talking about returning to. In that time line, the island is underwater and he's free to enact his evil plan to wipe out the "guilty" human race by killing everyone. I think to prevent that catastrophe from happening, Smokey was somehow taken from that time-line and made a prisoner on the island, which was created to exist outside of regular time. (Using Frozen Donkey Wheel/Egyptian/Magnetism technology. You know.) Jacob is put there to guard him, and is trying to convince Smokey that people are good and shouldn't be killed. If this is true, the time-line from the first five seasons of Lost is the "good" time-line that Jacob wants to happen, and the flash sideways is bad, leading to the destruction of life as we know it. Think about what Widmore says to Jin later this episode. Jin is looking at picture of his daughter for the first time, and Widmore says if they don't stop the man in black, everyone Jin knows and loves will "simply cease to be". This is the first time anyone has used the phrase "cease to be." I think it means if the man in black escapes, he will eradicate the time line in which Jin's daughter exists, and the alternate reality will become the main one. And the alternate reality leads to the end of the world. Does that make sense? I think when Smokey got near Sun, someone from the alternate time-line and someone from the real time line got too close together and it had weird crossover effects, causing Sun to lose her English-speaking skills. What do you think?

ROOM 23 IS BACK: I thought it was cool to see good ol' brain-washing Room 23 again. Not sure why Dharma would build a brain-washing room, but it's interesting to note that if Dharma made the video playing in that room, than they may have known about Jacob, because the original video said "God loves you as he loved Jacob" in one section of it. Though it's possible that Ben made his own video to show in there when he took over Hydra Island with the Others. Also weird to think about now that we know Jacob's goals better: Why did the Purge happen? Why did the Others kill all of the Dharma Initiative if Jacob brought them there. I'm guessing because Ben wanted them dead? Maybe because Ben had been taking orders from Jacob's Cabin, which was possessed by the Man in Black? Weird.

DON'T TAZE ME, ZOE: Zoe comes in and tazes Jin, then asks him if he's the same Jin that signed the map of the islands pockets of electromagnetism. Cool to see another map of the island. I think the reason we were shown this is to remind us that Jin knows a lot about the island as a security guard. I think this is important because he would therefore know about any dormant volcanoes that may or may not come into play later this season. (See last post.)

"WE'RE TAKING THE OUTRIGGER": Meanwhile, back at Camp Evil, Smokey and Sayid head off on a mission to talk with Widmore, and they take an outrigger and a gun. I thought this was going to show us the scene from Season 5 where Juliet and Locke and Sawyer got shot at it from a distant outrigger, and that the shooter was going to be Sayid, but alas, it did not happen. Doesn't mean it didn't happen offscreen, though.

WHAT EVER HAPPENS TO KATE, HAPPENS: I thought it was creepy how Smokey basically told Claire that if she stuck around long enough to help him get off the island, then after they got on that plane, "whatever happens, happens." So he basically admitted he was using Kate and didn't care whether or not she lived or died. Also interesting to learn that Kate's name was on the wall, but then it was scratched off. Why was it scratched off? Because she didn't come back to the island for "Destiny" but because she came back to rescue Claire? I dunno.

"NO, CAUSE THAT'D BE RIDICULOUS" Sawyer got off a couple good zingers in this episode as he asked what I asked a couple of blog posts ago... why does Locke need a boat if he's made out of smoke. Locke says that he can't get to that island otherwise, and Sawyer quips, "No, 'cause that'd be ridiculous." The writers are really beating a lot of fans to the punch this episode. The same thing happened when Sun got amnesia, and Miles quickly commented on the ridiculousness of the situation.

RICHARD IS BACK IN ACTION: I love that Richard is back and instantly has a plan. Which I assume is: blow up the plane. Cool. Sun doesn't think so and freaks out again.

LOCKE VS. WIDMORE: It was nice to see Locke and Widmore chatting outside the sonic fence. Locke asks if he knows who he is, and Widmore responds, "I've heard myths, ghost stories, and jungle noises in the night." Which is a cool line. Locke is mad that Widmore stole Jin, and Locke throws Widmore's line back at him that "War is coming to the island." So, like I mentioned before, it looks like I was wrong about my Widmore theory, and that Widmore is a good guy. If so, then I think he was keeping Desmond and Penny apart on purpose, so he could get Desmond on a boat to go to the island. Because Desmond is important to stopping the "bad" time-line from happening, because he is able to cross between them and change things in time. I think Widmore was dead-set on removing Ben from the island because he knew that Ben had been corrupted by the Man in Black, who was disguising himself as Jacob inside the cabin. I don't think he told Keamy to kill his daughter. Or maybe he did, we know he wanted Ben to kill Alex as a baby, so maybe Widmore's kind of an EXTREME follower of Jacob who's a little too zealous but means well? I don't know, I guess the jury's still a little out on Widmore being totally good, but he's at least on the right side, like Ben is now as well. My wife would like me to point out that she's always thought Widmore was good, at least since last season.

"COLONEL, YOU'RE ON A ROLL." This wasn't a line from Lost, but it was a line from a KFC commercial that played during it which I thought was hilariously awful. Get it, 'cause the sandwich is on a Hawaiian roll. My apologies if I know you and you wrote that ad.

ZOE IS A GEOPHYSICIST: I only think this is interesting because there's a volcano on the island, as I keep mentioning. Both volcanoes and electromagnetism are mentioned on this Wikipedia entry for Geophysics. What does Widmore want her to do?

SUN IS A STUBBORN TOMATO: Okay, Jack pulling out the tomato was kind of lame. But, I do think Jack's line about "No one told it that it was supposed to die" was DEFINITELY the writers making an allusion to Sun herself. Because, as I mentioned before, I think we're going to see that she dies in the Flash-Sideways. I like the new self-confident Jack, he's a much better character this way. He even reminds me of Jacob in his calm coolness. Right after this scene my DVR died, and my heart almost went with it. Luckily, my DVR is not smart enough to remember that V is a terrible show, and it still recorded it. So oddly, that V counter in the bottom right actually helped me remember that I could switch to V to watch the end of Lost. And the V counter even showed me how many seconds of the show I missed... :06. Guess that V thing wasn't so bad, after all. But don't ever do it again, ABC.

THE PACKAGE IS A WHO: So, Widmore tells Jin that he's got a package on board, but it's a who, not a what. I immediately complained, "So if it's a who, why did you call it A PACKAGE?!" To which my wife responded "Some ladies would agree that Desmond IS the total package." Touche. So it IS Desmond after all. And Desmond must have been really confused to see Sayid poking out of the water near the dock. Things are going to get interesting next week.

THE PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK: Clearly, the next episode is going to be Desmond centric. The bagpipes alone told us that. The first shot looked to me like it was a shot of ruins in Scotland. After that we got a lot of old footage cut together in order to tell us nothing about what we're going to see next week. There was a shot of the Oceanic Six, a shot of Sawyer in the rain, and a shot of the freighter sinking in the water from Season 4. The supers make the word poem: "DREAMS LOST, LIVES LOST, LOVE LOST" and then Desmond's face is shown waking up as Widmore says, "I'm going to ask you to make a sacrifice. The island isn't done with you yet." Yikes. Sounds like it's gonna be an episode that will have me up typing all night.

Thoughts? Did I miss anything cool? Did you like it? Hate it? Love it? Only 7 episodes left...

Mid-Season Lost Predictions

Well folks, last episode was number 9 out of 18 (if you count both hours of the finale as two separate episodes), so we're right in the middle of the last season of Lost. What better time for me to make some random predictions about what we'll see before the end of the entire show. Here goes, listed in no order. Also, I make no guarantees, and am probably wrong about the majority of these.


1. WIDMORE IS A VERY BAD MAN: Widmore is not working for Smokey or Jacob, but wants to harness the power of Smokey as a weapon, or harness the powers of the island for profit.

2. JACK AND JACOB ARE RELATED: Jack Shepherd will be from the line of Jacob. Jacob's last name is possibly Shepherd. Or, Jacob is Aaron and Jack is his uncle. Either way, in some form, Jack and Jacob are related.

3. THE MAN IN BLACK'S NAME IS... actually, I think it's possible we will never learn the Man in Black's name. Because he's just all the evil in the world. "Please to meet you, hope you guess my name" and all that.

4. THE VERY LAST SHOT: I think the very last shot of the show will change everything. Duh, I know, but I just mean get ready for a game-changing ending. Somehow the curtain will be pulled back and reveal everything we've been seeing happen is actually happening inside... something. This isn't much of a prediction, but I definitely think the last few seconds of Lost will blow our minds, and I don't think the last shot will explain everything, but rather raise more questions and possibilities. Here's another Lost trivia bit that I find very fascinating: Matthew Fox is the only actor who claims to know what the last shot of Lost is. Why would the show runners need to tell him that? There's got to be a reason, and I feel like if you could figure that out, you could figure out the ending to the show. Did he need to know in order to prepare physically? Did he need to lose a lot of weight to play the part? Or, did he need to know to guide some of his acting decisions back in Season 5 and 6? Interesting.

5. BEN WILL KILL WIDMORE: I'm pretty sure Ben will kill Widmore. Revenge for Alex. My guess is that he'll have the option to let him live, and won't take it.

6. THE WHISPERS ARE RELATED TO THE FLASH-SIDEWAYS: I think we'll learn that the whispers are our main characters "other selves" trying to communicate and guide decisions made on the island.

7. THE VOLCANO WILL COME INTO PLAY: Remember when we first saw the Dharma Initiative in action in the 70s in Ben's first flashback episode? The teacher of the class was teaching about volcanos. Ever since then there's been a popular theory that there's a volcano somewhere on the island. I think it will come into play in Man in Black's plans to get off the island.

8. DESMOND KNOWS JACOB: Remember when Desmond told his ex-girlfriend Ruth why he joined a monastery right before their wedding? (In the episode Catch-22.) He told her that one night he was drunk and woke up on the street and a man "with a rope around his waist" offered him his hand and said "can I help you, brother?" I think this man was not a monk, as we were led to believe by the episode, but Jacob. And I think that this is the moment that Jacob "touched" Desmond. I also think that scene is very interesting, because Ruth says rudely to Desmond after hearing that story, "It's a good thing you weren't found by a shepherd or you'd be off with the sheep". I think he was found by a Shepherd. Jacob Shepherd.

9. ILANA'S STORY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK: I'm kind of hoping now for an Ilana flashback, mostly because she seems to know a LOT about what's happening on the island and who Jacob is. I don't think we'll get one, but I think her story is very important to getting some backstory that we need. Especially because she knows that the man in black is trapped inside Locke's body. How could she know that, unless Jacob has confided in her with a little more of what's going on? Which leads me to my last prediciton:

10. JACOB WANTED SMOKEY TO TAKE LOCKE'S BODY: Jacob is one step ahead of the Man in Black. He knows that Locke is stronger than Smokey thinks, and the fact that Smokey has put himself into Locke's body in order to escape has also made him more vulnerable. Now he can be killed. And, I think the person that's going to kill Smokey, and thereby save the entire world, is Locke himself. I think Locke's spirit will start making a resurgence inside Smokey and thwart him at the last moment, causing his downfall.

And one bonus crackpot prediction:

11. THE FLASHBACKS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM: I think we'll learn all of the flash-backs from the first three seasons (and possibly the flash-forwards, and flash-sideways) are not what they seem. I think the folks have been on the island LONGER than they think. And maybe haven't been off of it. Ever. The flashbacks are something the island is doing to them, trying to get them to become better people by putting them in various scenarios. But that's just conjecture. I have no proof. I just think it would be pretty mind-blowing if we learned that somehow. That said, I don't think the island is a psychological experiment of some kind. That would suck. I think the island is more spiritual in nature.

And last but not least, not really a prediction, but one thing I'd like to see:

12. A SCENE OF THE ISLAND IN ANCIENT TIMES: So far, the earliest we've ever seen the island is when the Losties jumped back in time to see the statue for a second near the site of the Orchard. That's the farthest back we've ever seen. I'd love to be able to see who built the statue and why, but I'm not sure if we will.

That's it for now. I bet at least one of these will be proved untrue in a few hours when we witness the next episode, which is called "The Package". The only prediction I have for that episode is that "The Package" refers both to what Jin is delivering in LA to Keamy and also to whatever it is that Widmore has locked inside the sub. My guess is still Desmond. I also heard a cool theory that whatever is in the sub is a device that will be used to trap Smokey. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Got any predictions of your own? Or thoughts on these predictions?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hanso & Mittlewerk = Jacob & Man in Black ??

Hey folks, just some random Lost thoughts for you guys. I was wondering why we didn't get to see Magnus Hanso, the captain of the Black Rock. His name was mentioned long ago on the Blast Door map, where the Black Rock was listed as the "known last resting place of Magnus Hanso". And then Whitfield, one of his officers, told Richard this episode that he now belonged to Magnus Hanso. So I was surprised when we didn't get to meet Magnus himself. Why haven't they shown his face?

We know that Jacob is responsible for bringing everyone to the island. Does that mean Jacob IS Magnus Hanso? At first I thought maybe so, but if that's the case how was Jacob on shore watching the Black Rock at the end of Season 5 and not on the boat itself? (By the way, the producers have confirmed in the official podcast that a storm kicked up right after the conversation on the beach in that episode.) I think, instead, it's more likely that Hanso works for Jacob, just like Richard.

And does Magnus have eternal life like Richard? We also know the name Hanso from its connection to the Dharma Initiative. Rumored to be a distant relation of Magnus, Alvar Hanso was shown in the Dharma film in "Orientation" as the CEO of the Hanso Foundation, and friend to the DeGroots, who started the Dharma initiative. The Hanso Foundation, interested in showing benevolence to mankind (not unlike Jacob) even funded the Dharma Initiative, making it possible for them to come to the island. Which had to be Jacob's will, knowing what we know now. Here's a pic of Alvar:

I think that both Magnus and Alvar Hanso are the same person. Like Richard, maybe Hanso was touched by Jacob and allowed to live for a long time in order to help Jacob defend the island. I don't think he really died on the Black Rock as was indicated on the Blast Door map, because otherwise we would have seen it happen this episode. I think he's still in service of Jacob, helping him bring people to the island to keep the world safe from the man in black.

Here's where it really gets interesting. During the alternate reality game between seasons 2 and 3 entitled "The Lost Experience", a woman named Rachel Blake tried to expose the Hanso Foundation as a corrupt company that claimed to be doing research about extending people's lives, but secretly were doing murderous tests on human subjects. But the shocking twist to that story was that Hanso was actually a good guy, who had been taken prisoner by a evil man named Thomas Middlewerk, who was now running the company with his nefarious intentions in Hanso's place. Rachel tracked down Hanso at his home, planning to confront him for his evil deeds only to learn this truth. Their conversation makes a lot more sense in now that we're deep into Season 6. Check out this part, in particular:


Alvar: The men you see here, work for the Foundation, they do not work for me. Their job is to keep me inside. To keep me from talking to anyone of importance. I’m a prisoner…

Rachel: No! You are not dodging the blame.

Alvar: No. I’m not. I am to blame. For training Thomas Werner Mittelwerk. For grooming him to be my successor. For giving him all the tools he needed to do the awful things he has. He cannot kill me, but he can keep me locked up while he kills millions of what…

(Rumbling from outside the room spooks both Blake and Hanso, and Rachel has to momentarily cover the camera)

Alvar: ..he is the one who has done all of the things that you have exposed. And much worse, all in my name.


Pretty crazy. Sounds like Hanso was training up his own "candidate" to be his successor: Mittlewerk. But Mittlewerk rebelled and started killing people under the name of the Hanso Foundation. And, for some reason, Mittlewerk was not able to kill Hanso, so instead he trapped him and made him a prisoner. Sounds like the opposite of the Jacob/Man in Black saga to me. Here's a pic of Mittlewerk, who's obviously evil:

Also interesting is what exactly Mittlewerk was up to. He was apparently testing a deadly virus on people in Sri Lanka. Was that test in order to later spread that same virus all over the earth, killing everyone, carrying out the will of the man in black?

Is this what happens when Smokey is unleashed into the real world, the "going to Hell" that Hurley warned us about? If not, why the similarities? It can't be an accident.

Or, Is everything happening on the island a reflection of this actual struggle going on in the real world?

Read the full transcript here (where, lamely, Hanso also turns out to be Rachel's dad ala Star Wars).

One more thing.

Who is The Economist? Remember when Sayid went on a shooting spree for Ben off the island as a member of the Oceanic Six? Ben said he was killing people that were a threat to Sayid's friends on the island. I've always assumed that Ben was actually having Sayid kill off his own personal enemies, or Widmore's guys, and I'm sure that's part of what was going on, but was Ben also telling the truth a little? Was The Economist someone who was out to hurt the folks on the island, someone who worked for the Man in Black? If that's the case, I'd say that The Economist could be Thomas Mittlewerk, Hanso's enemy.

Okay, I'm on the borderline of confusing myself, so I'd better stop. But I think I may be on to something. Or, I'm just going insane. Thanks, television! This is my last TV show for a while.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lost 6.9: "Ab Aeretno"

Wow. Pretty darn good. But it's a deep one, so get your theology waders on. I'm so glad Richard didn't switch over to the dark side. I thought it was realistic that Jack's dynamite trick from a couple weeks ago wasn't enough to keep Richard from a crisis of faith, he really needed a whole episode to work through it on his own. He deserves it, he's an awesome character. We also got a lot of answers this time (some more satisfying than others) and of course a lot more questions, too. Turns out Richard is apparently like an Old Testament prophet, kind of a Moses figure, which I will elaborate on throughout the comments below. Let's start breaking it all down.

ILANA'S EYEBALL: This episode surprisingly opened on Ilana, instead of Richard, and with another close up of an eyeball. Yet again, we see her suffering, covered in bandages. What happened to her? I guess we'll find out sometime. I'm kind of doubting she'll get her own flash back, but we'll see. She seemed to be ready to serve Jacob despite her wounds, but also a little shook up at the same time. Was she overcome with emotion because she was shocked to see Jacob off the island? Was she simultaneously realizing she was about to get healed? The second time it cut back to Jacob and Ilana's flashback, it appeared that they were in the same place and Jacob was wearing the same clothes, but that Ilana was completely healed. We get to see Jacob telling her to protect the six candidates and telling her to take them to the temple.They didn't show it, but I guess Jacob told her to put on some fancy boots and seduce Sayid in order to get him on the plane, too. Or maybe that was her idea.

RICHARD HELL: Back on the island, Ilana asks Richard what to do next, and he laughs a kind of pathetic laugh and then angrily runs off in the woods with a convenient torch to find Smokey and try and switch teams. Before leaving he brings everybody down by telling them they're all dead and actually in hell. Worst bonfire party guest ever. At first, I was pretty annoyed at the whole "hell" angle being brought back up. Locke's father Anthony Cooper already brought up that theory, so, like all theories brought up by people on the show, it must not be right. Richard brings it back up again, but thankfully, it paid off later in the episode as we learned more about what Richard's early experiences on the island.

RICHARD STEERS A MEAN HORSE: In a flashback, we quickly learn Richard is from the Canary Islands in 1867, thanks to a helpful super. There's already been some nerd debate online about whether or not this causes some continuity problems, because back in the episode The Constant, we were told at an auction (that Widmore was attending) that the Black Rock's final voyage was in 1845. Whoops. Surprising, because Gregg Nations was one of the writers of this episode, and he's the guy on staff who's main responsibility is to keep up with the continuity and to know EVERYTHING about Lost. That would be a formidable job, though. Anyway, we soon meet Isabella, Richard's dying wife, who gives him a golden cross to give to the doctor as a payment for his services... A process that has continued throughout time, up until today, when Obama signed the health care bill to change all that. A REALLY big deal, at least according to Vice President Biden and his overenthusiastic swear words.

THE DOCTOR IS IN...BUT HE'S A JERK: Richard bursts in on the doctor, who apparently became a doctor because he hates people and wants them to die. Worst doctor ever. Richard agrees and accidentally manslaughters the dude. Which is easy to do, at least if you're a character on this show. By the way, here's the first similarity in this episode between Richard and the prophet Moses. Moses accidentally killed an Egyptian in anger and had to flee from Egypt. Which I guess isn't exactly the same, but still, kind of similar. Richard rushes back home to discover his wife is dead, and the police are close behind. Richard is placed in jail, where he learns to speak English by reading the Bible. He's got the book open to Luke 4:37 when the priest comes in. Not sure what the significance of that passage is, but it's the part where Jesus comes back from the wilderness after being tested and heals someone who is possessed by a demon. Richard tries to get absolution by confessing his sins to the priest, who says, nope, you're going to Hell no matter what, you have to work for grace (not true) and instead sells him into slavery for a bag of coins. He even takes Richard's Bible with him when he leaves the cell. Worst priest ever.

MANGUS HANSO: I kinda wish my name was Mangus Hanso. It's a pretty awesome name. We learn from the new character Whitfield that Mangus Hanso was the captain of the Black Rock slave ship. We had seen his name before on the blast door map, where the Black Rock was listed as the site where Mangus was buried. I'm kind of surprised we didn't actually get to see him, but I guess there wasn't really time for that. His ancestor Alvar would start the Hanso Foundation, which funded the Dharma initiative. For some reason. Read more about Mangus here.

THE BLACK ROCK HITS TURBULENCE: So, this is probably going to be the most controversial part of the episode among fans. We see the Black Rock on the ocean in what I would say is a pretty decent bit of CGI for Lost. And the ocean is going crazy. I'm a little confused by this, because in the season 5 finale we saw the Black Rock approaching the beach near the island in the daytime on a pretty clear day. Did Jacob cause a storm? One of Richard's shipmates peeks through the ship's hull during the storm and spots the grotesque Tawaret statue and thinks the island is guarded by a devil, which I guess begins to plant ideas in Richard's head that make him think he's in Hell. Then the controversial part happens. The water kicks up really high and the boat smashes into the statue, destroying it and landing way inland. Um, what? Wouldn't the boat just crash on the statue? Aren't statues generally made out of stone? Wouldn't everyone in the boat die when hitting the statue? How far inland can a boat be pushed by a wave if it hits a statue on the way? My first thought was that they tried to actually show the mammoth wave so that the crash and the statue collapsing would be more believable, and that the CGI just didn't look good so they redid the scene with the ship point-of-view cam. Either that, or we'll get a better description later of what actually happened. But I do have to say I'm a little disappointed with the kill two birds with one stone approach used here. How the statue broke and how the Black Rock got so far inland seemed like two separate fascinating mysteries before. And now the answer is... a really bad storm. Hmm. Well, it was still an amazing episode.

SMOKEY FINDS THE BOAT: Richard wakes up to a long nightmare inside the hull of the ship. I have to say, Richard doesn't get a break this episode. Immediately Whitfield walks in and starts stabbing all the slaves. I thought at first that he got "the sickness" but then he explained his actions were more of a precautionary, practical nature. Worst slave driver ever. Oh wait, I guess they're all pretty bad. Scratch that last one. Anyway Whitfield stops when he hears familiar noises outside the ship, and Smokey violently answers his request to "Report!" by pulling him through the ship's grates. Then Smokey kills everyone but Richard. Is Smokey killing them because he didn't want them to come to the island in the first place? It's also really interesting after this point how Richard's experience inside the boat mimics the Losties experience upon first arriving to the island. He encounters the smoke monster, who kills off some of his fellow survivors. Then he sees a boar, then he starts seeing dead people. And then he witnesses sudden rainstorms on sunny days, like we saw a lot in seasons one and two. It was also interesting how the smoke monster came into the boat, looked at Richard, and then let him live. It could have been because Richard was praying, but it's more likely Smokey scanned him, got the memory of Isabella from him, and decided to manipulate Richard instead. Interesting to think that scanning people is possibly how Smokey gets to bring their loved ones back to life. Explains what he was doing the time he scanned Eko, which later led to Eko seeing his brother on the island, alive.

THE BUTTERFLY: One thing I did think was interesting was the CGI'd blue butterfly that flew into the boat and past Richard. Was that just a butterfly, or was that Jacob somehow checking on him? Remember, we've seen animals before that have been "magical", like the Hurley bird and Kate's horse. Were those Jacob? Because neither of those seemed to be evil in a Smokey kind of way.

ISABELLA APPEARS ON THE BOAT: So, Isabella appears and we know it isn't really Isabella. This brings up some questions. Was it the Smokey? If so, why would he make it look like the smoke monster killed her? And how could he be in two places at once, since we hear him coming from a distance? It could be some other force on the island, or the island itself, who is appearing to people as ghosts. Like Ben's mom. Or Eko's brother. But in this case it makes the most sense if it is Smokey, because the apparition tells Richard he is in hell, and that the devil is after her. Which is a story that Smokey later uses to manipulate Richard. Probably the best bet. And it makes sense because Smokey is always offering to bring people back from the dead in order to get what he wants. What's confusing is Hurley's ability to see ACTUAL dead people. Because I'm assuming the Isabella he sees later is really her, while the one in the Black Rock at the beginning is someone else, since Richard could see one and not the other. So the island can host both real dead people and fake dead people? Confusing.

RETURN OF THE MAN IN BLACK: It was cool to see this actor again. But I'd REALLY, REALLY like his character's name now. It seems more and more likely that his name is Esau, but who knows. Do you think it's possible they'll NEVER give us his name? I hope not. Anyway, Nameless Guy with Black Shirt begins conning Richard instantly, telling him he's in Hell and needs to rescue his wife from the Devil. He also gives Richard some water. When the butterfly went by earlier, it started to rain right afterwards, and Richard tries to reach the water to drink and cannot. Was that Jacob, in his "don't interfere" mode, trying to help indirectly? And yet the Man in Black is not above stepping in and offering water if it will get him what he wants? Interesting. Richard agrees to help Smokey and then Smokey repeats the line "It's good to see you out of those chains" which he said as Flocke to Richard in the season opener.

RETURN OF DOGEN'S KNIFE: Smokey gives Richard a shinier version of the knife we know later ends up in Dogen's possession (presumably after Jacob gave it to him.) Oddly, Smokey gives Richard the exact same instructions that Dogen gave Sayid. I'm guessing here that only candidates can kill Jacob. Otherwise Smokey could have done it himself or gotten someone who would. And I'm guessing that Richard's a candidate. Speaking of the knife, what is its origin? In this scene, Smokey also tells Richard that he is the black smoke, which, unlike Sawyer's reaction last episode, causes Richard to start asking all the right questions. So... you killed everybody? And my wife? Smokey responds by saying, "You aren't the only one that lost something. The "devil" (Jacob) betrayed me, he took my body, my humanity." What does that mean? I guess that Smokey was a person once, and to keep him on the island Jacob cursed him or something happened where he lost the right to a corporal form, hence the cloud of smoke. Richard says he can't kill Jacob, because murder is what got him sent to Hell in the first place. I like Richard's logic. The Man in Black gets all philosophically vague and starts to talk about gray moral areas like, "who knows what's right and what's wrong". You really shouldn't accept this kind of ambiguous talk from a man dressed in a black shirt that symbolizes his own complete dedication to evil. Just a little advice for life.

WRESTLING WITH JACOB: Richard goes to the statue and we get to see bits of it floating in the ocean. Jacob starts to beat the crap out of him, which made Erin and I think about the scene in the Bible where Jacob actually wrestles with God in order to receive a blessing. So, if this is the actual biblical Jacob, then it's no surprise that he's a pretty mean wrestler. Jacob doesn't have time for all the "this his hell, we're actually dead" theories that were only popular with fans back in season one, so he splashes Richard in the ocean for a bit until he begs for his life and comes to his senses. Maybe Jacob needs to work a bit on his people skills, but personally I'm kind of glad that they're not making him out to be a milquetoast kind of good guy, like the wimpy oil painting feminine Jesus that got top billing in all of my Sunday School classes in the 70s.

THE ISLAND IS A CORK TO STOP THE WINE FLOW OF EVIL: Jacob and Richard sit down for a talk, and we get more answers than we got in all of season 3 in one conversation. Here's a rundown of what we learned: No one comes inside the statue unless Jacob invites them inside. The statue being off limits without an invite is reminiscent of the inner sanctum in the Old Testament Jewish temple, where only the priests who have purified themselves from sin by sacrificing animals could enter without being killed. We also learn the island is a place to keep the Man in Black prisoner, and Jacob is tasked with keeping him there. If the evil there gets out, it will spread. The island is the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs. The Man in Black thinks everyone is corruptible because it's in their very nature to sin. But Jacob disagrees. He says when people get to the island, their past doesn't matter. Everyone he's brought to the island has been summoned there in order to learn for themselves the difference between right and wrong. He wants to do this without forcing people to do good, because without free will, morality is meaningless. But Richard, says "If you don't step in, he will". At this point, Jacob seems to honestly realize for the first time that Richard is right. He needs to take a more active role in what's going on. I think this scene is A LOT like Moses and God's conversations in the Old Testament. Moses pleads with God to spare the people who have betrayed him, and God actually listens and relents. Then for a while, God appoints prophets to go and tell His people His will. But then God changes the rules entirely in the New Testament by coming down to earth himself in the form of Jesus and REALLY getting his hands dirty. In the Old Testament, God lays out the laws and gives people a chance to be good by following written commands. But they can't hack it. So in the New Testament, God sends his son to pave a way for us, dying on our behalf to help us. I think Jacob's doing the same thing somehow when he allows Ben to kill him. Jacob's definitely got a plan to defeat the Man in Black, even from beyond the grave. Bare with me for a little more deep talk... Theologically, this conversation took a weird turn for me right at the end. Jacob says he can't forgive sins. Why is tht ? Is he God or not? I guess it's more likely that he's just a representative of God. Or he might even be the biblical Jacob. Whatever the case, this is probably the most theologically dense episode of Lost yet. Whew. Here's hoping there's a Hurley episode soon to provide a little levity before the final showdown. After Richard accepts Jacob's job offer, then he gives Richard eternal life, which for some reason he does have the right to do. Is it because he is the biblical Jacob, and he has a special blessing? Oddly, Richard's request for eternal life is because he's afraid to die and go to Hell for murder. If Jacob can't grant forgiveness for that murder, where then is Richard supposed to receive it? Because just about every one on the island has killed someone either intentionally or accidentally. Are they all out of luck, too? Or should they all just live forever to avoid the problem? Does Jacob want Richard to find real spiritual forgiveness in a more meaningful way while he's on the island, instead of just doling it out as fire insurance to the dude who doesn't want to go to Hell?

THE WHITE ROCK: Richard goes back to the Man in Black, who's sitting at the weird stone picnic bench. He gives the Man in Black the white rock. The Devil lets Richard know he'll always be there for him if he wants to be evil, then ironically hands him a cross. I think in this case the cross is a reminder of Isabella, and Smokey's unholy offer to bring Isabella back Pet Semetary-style. We then cut to the same location in present day, now overgrown, as Richard finds the cross in the dirt remarkably quickly and tries to call Smokey. Luckily Hurley comes out instead, and we get a really nice twist on the movie Ghost, where Hurley is Whoopi Goldberg, Richard is Demi Moore (they kinda look alike) and Isabella is Patrick Swayze. And the circle of life is complete. Does Richard start hearing Isabella at the end? It seems like it. I like how they ended this scene with Hurley saying there's one more thing that Richard had to do: Stop the Man in Black from leaving the island or "we all go to Hell". Scary.

ANOTHER CASUAL CHAT BETWEEN GOOD SHIRT & BAD SHIRT: We cut back to Man in Black and Jacob having a chat on a log. The Man in Black has been tossing around the White Stone so long that it's become smooth. I thought that was a nice touch to show how obsessive Smokey is. Irritated by losing Richard, the Man in Black says he will kill Jacob and anyone who takes his place. I wish they had cut after that, but instead Jacob leaves and Smokey smashes the glass bottle of wine on the log, which was a bit goofy. But, whatever. The rest of the episode was pretty darn awesome.

Thoughts? Unfortunately, my DVR didn't get the preview for next week, so I can't pick it apart like I usually do. I do know the next episode is called "The Package" and I would guess it's Sun and Jin-related, after the last cliffhanger where Sayid found Jin in that freezer. Sun and Jin episodes are usually pretty decent, so it should be a good one. See you then.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lost 6.8 "Recon" - Reflections on Reflections

Hey guys, getting excited about the upcoming episode focused on our favorite proponent of the purple-shirt, Richad Alpert? We are at our house. A couple nights ago, my wife and I rewatched the last episode, and I noticed a couple of things that I thought would be worth posting in the meantime:

MIRROR, MIRROR: One thing I noticed is that every flash sideways so far has featured its main character looking at their own reflection in some way or another. Cool, huh? This week it was less subtle (which is what made me notice it) as Sawyer symbolically punches his own refection in anger after Miles confronts him about lying. But it wasn't until I rewatched the Sayid episode "Sundown" that I noticed it happens in all of the flash-sideways. Sayid is waiting for Nadia to answer the door, and as he's waiting the camera noticeably pans over to reveal he's staring at his own refection in the glass door. In both the season opener and Jack's centric episode, Jack looks at himself in the mirror to check various scars. Kate looks in the mirror after changing at the mechanic's garage. Ben looks at his refection in the microwave as he heats up his dad's food. I haven't rewatched the Locke episode, but I'm betting it happens there somewhere as well. I think it's a pretty nice touch from the writers. Mirror imagery fits in nicely with the whole "alternate reality" angle this season has taken, and in fact, for a while now we've been getting "through the looking glass" references, so maybe those will make more sense as the season progresses.

CLAIRE HAS ANOTHER BUDDY: Here's another thing I noticed on the "Recon" rewatch. Take a look at the left hand side of the above image. Looks like Claire made herself another friend besides her creepy squirrel baby, a little tennis ball funnel coil guy. I would like to see a Mystery Science Theater type show where instead of the Satellite of Love it's Claire's Stick Shack, with her puppet buddies Squirrel Baby and Tennis Ball Eyes. Actually, that show would be horrifying.

PIERRE CHANG WORKS AT THE MUSEUM: Also worth noting: In the flash-sideways, Miles tells Sawyer that the girl he's setting him up with on a blind date (Charlotte) works with his dad at the museum. I didn't think about it the first time I heard it, but I guess that means Charlotte and Pierre Chang work together at a museum in LA somewhere as scientists. I wonder if Pierre has several different Museum badges for all his other aliases? Also, let me take this time to point out yet again that Sawyer and Charlotte made a HORRIBLE couple.

Can't wait for tomorrow's episode, which is entitled, "Ab Aeterno". Apparently that's a figurative expression in Latin for "since the beginning of time." Or another translaton, "Always wearing that purple shirt."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lost Episode 6.8: "Recon"

This was basically one of those filler episodes. Or, more accurately, a story-building episode. Seems pretty clear that they are setting us up for things that will pay off later. I get that episodes like this are necessary, but I'd put it somewhere above the Kate episode of this season if I was ranking my faves so far. Because some of what happened in this episode was definitely NOT necessary. But a okay episode of Lost is better than the best episode of any other show, so I'm okay with that.

I'm starting writing this super late, thanks to a late night at work, so we'll see how far I get. WARNING: It is not proofed. There will be run-ons and half-thoughts.

Let's start with the Flash-sideways stuff, off-island, which begins with:

JAMES FORD, GIGOLO COP: Is it standard for undercover cops to sleep with their target's wife? And, I'm pretty unsure of the cop's overall plan here. Was the plan that he would give her a briefcase to take to her husband with a camera in it? I'm no stake-out scientist, but couldn't they have found an easier way, more effective ways to get cameras in that guy's home? Send in someone posed as a cleaning lady or something? I dunno. Anyway, apparently Miles was listening in the whole time, which is creepy. And their code word was Sawyer old standby: "LaFleur". This is a huge opportunity for ABC to do a spin-off series of Sawyer and Miles doing car chases around LA as detectives. CODENAME: LAFLEUR? MILES & FORD? THE REDNECK FILES? Hmm. Needs work.

CALLING ANTHONY COOPER: So, next we see Detective James Ford at his desk, busy calling Anthony Coopers, trying to find the guy who conned his parents and destroyed his family. It's interesting to note that in this time line, Anthony Cooper is still a bad guy. But in the Locke flash sideways, he seemed to be playing the role of Locke's dad in a more healthy way. Does that mean that Locke doesn't know his dad is a con man? Or in this time line, did Cooper USED to be a con man but then had a change of heart and went straight? It will be interesting to learn what Anthony's story is in this reality. Interestingly, Miles sees through Sawyer's lies when he tries to cover up what he was doing on the phone. The woman in the opening scene also saw through Sawyer's lies. So, in this time line, is Sawyer a bad liar? Everyone seems to be able to call his bluff. Interesting.

CHARLOTTE AND SAWYER = CHARYER? SAWLOTTE? Clearly it wasn't meant to be. Not only because they were an absolutely terrible couple, but also because their names don't make any cool and easy mash-up name. Also, Charlotte should be with Daniel, the coolest nerd ever. I thought Charlotte was kind of a nerd, too. Here, she's playing kind of a different character. I didn't like this twist, it seemed like a different show – in a bad way. Also, is she up to something? When she looks for a T-shirt in Sawyer's dresser, it looked like to me she knew she would find something in there. Is she working for someone, or just really bad at recognizing a drawer full of pants when she sees one? Anyway, Sawyer kicks her out for finding his top secret revenge trapper-keeper. They're leaving us hanging in this one, I think. I still believe whatever decision folks make on the island determines their ability to remain at peace off-island, somehow. And the jury's still out on Sawyer. Is he at peace yet? Does he stay on the Man in Black's side? I'm guessing no, he'll ditch the man in black on the island and do the right thing at the last minute, and then he'll deal with his revenge bitterness in a healthy way later on in the flash sideways. I also predict he'll find Juliet in the flash sideways. Or will he end up with...

KATE ON THE RUN: Sawyer confesses to Miles sitting in their car that he's on a revenge mission, and that he wants to kill Anthony Cooper. Miles says he would have tried to talk him out of it, so I'm wondering if stays a good guy on the island. I hope so. A car crashes into them suddenly, and Kate pops out in a hoodie. And Sawyer catches her. Will they fall in love again. More importantly, is there ANY female in the cast that Sawyer won't end up sleeping with? Ana Lucia, Kate, Juliet, Charlotte... ? Who's next?

OH YEAH, THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE SCENE: I have no idea what to make of this little house on the prairie scene. It was very surreal. But, as my wife pointed out, it somehow was a very appropriate show for Sawyer to be watching. Very realistic in an odd way. I'm sure the dialogue of the show was significant, but I'm not sure HOW significant. It was referring to life after death, and obviously Sawyer was thinking about his parents. But was there more to the dialogue than that? Lostpedia claims that Sawyer mentions watching Little House as a child in the episode "Tricia Tanaka is Dead", so enjoy that delightful nugget of continuity.

Meanwhile, back on the island:

JIN HAS THE RIGHT IDEA: He wants to ditch the camp and head into the woods on his conveniently sized oar-crutch. He says he knows that Locke is not Locke, so I guess he took Claire at her word when she said as much. Locke and the straggling Others come back to the camp, and creepy evil Locke pretends to be a kind leader, and promises the kids he'll look after them. He also says that everyone at the temple was "killed by the black smoke." I thought Cindy and the Others knew HE was the black smoke, if they didn't know that, why were they afraid to let him in the temple? Confusing. Meanwhile, in a few short scenes, Claire does a bunch of creepy things including hold Kate's hand for no reason and check on her precious tom servo squirrel-baby.

"I'M THE SMOKE THING" Says Locke, and at this point It's hard to tell if the writers are trying to make sure we all get that. But I guess Sawyer didn't know that. Seems like he would be less likely Smokey after realizing he is the monster. I mean, the monster killed Eko. And If the monster wanted to get off the island, then why did he kill the original pilot of flight 815? Maybe to keep him from calling for help? Anyway, Smokey sends Sawyer on a mission to check on the other island. He SAYS for a recon, but I think he knows somewhat what's happening over there. Or at the very least, he knows about the dead bodies over there. Oddly he says "Some of the passengers want to do us harm." Is he thinking about Ilana and Bram? Because he already saw them. Maybe he thought there were more of them left near the plane. This episode was REALLY confusing on the bad guy front. There was never quite enough info to figure out who was really bad and who was really good. One more confusing thing... Smokey says he wants to fly the plane off the island. Um, really? My wife asked, is he going to drink a Sprite on the flight? Seems like a weird way for a magical smoke creature to travel. Why doesn't he just turn into a cloud of smoke and float over the water back home? I don't think he's really meaning to take the plane. I think he's just trying to get Sawyer to help him with Widmore, I think he knew exactly what Sawyer was going to do, con-wise.

SAWYER FINDS KATE'S DRESS: And remembers the time they totally made out in some cages. I was under the impression she put her dress back on afterwards, not sure why it's just sitting around in the cage.

KNIFE FIGHT! Kate sits down next to a VERY disturbed Sayid and starts to realize that she's joined the wrong camp. Claire jumping on her with a knife doesn't help. Locke violently breaks up the fight, but not before Kate picks up the gun by the barrel, apparently planning to use it as a club to defend herself. Pretty intense. Locke slaps Claire up a bit, and generally freaks me out because he's a weird and creepy dude.

THE MYSTERIOUS TRAIL TO A MYSTERIOUS PILE OF DEAD BODIES: I think that header would be a great title for a book. Or at least to a chapter in a book. What's up with the pile of bodies? And the trail? The trail was perfectly made. I guess there are a few options with this pile of bodies. Option one: Smokey killed them, then pushed their bodies over there. Option two: Smokey killed them, but Widmore's people dragged their bodies away from the plane. Option three: Widmore's people killed them. Option Four: Ilana and Bram killed them before heading off to take Locke's body to the statue. I don't want the last option to be true, I think Ilana is the good guy, but if you remember in the episode "Dead is Dead" last season, Ilana and Bram pointed a gun at Frank on the beach and asked him the secret question "Who lies in the shadow of the statue". Apparently they were taking charge of the camp with guns. My guess is that it was either Widmore or Smokey. I kind of want Widmore to be a bad guy, because the freighter folk he sent were so bad that I think he kind of has to be.

EVIL TINA FEY IS NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS: Again, good book title there. Sawyer finds a creepy lady near the bodies, and she weaves a pretty believable tale (for some reason) about what happened to the survivors. I guess her plan was to sneak into the enemy camp and count the number of guns they had? Or just get Sawyer to give her the gun count and then she would run away? I dunno. Either way, Sawyer doesn't believe her, and just like Sawyer did in the opening flash-sideways scene, she gives a whistle and her rather doughy goons pop out of the woods. Sawyer asks to be taken to their leader.

KATE HIDES IN THE TREES: I thought the setting for this scene of Kate crying was an interesting choice. She's sitting in the same kind of trees that the Losties used to run into in order to hide from the smoke monster. I think she and Juliet sat there once while the monster "scanned" them. What was that all about? Anyway, Locke comes over and tells Kate that he lied about the Others having Aaron in order to give her something to hate, to keep her going. I think this is insightful, if he is evil incarnate or Satan, it makes sense that he would think of hate a necessary tool to keep you going in life. Smokey then tells Kate he wants to show her where Sawyer went. Which leads to the most interesting info we got all episode, in my opinion:

SMOKEY HAS MOMMY ISSUES: So, sitting on the edge of the island, Smokey tries to win Kate over by sharing a little about himself. He says he knows what Kate's going through, because his mother was crazy. She lived a long time ago, and was a disturbed woman who caused him to have growing pains of his own, and prevented him to be able to work through all of his problems. He even says, wistfully, "had things been different..." Then he points out that now Aaron has a crazy mother, too. This is all super confusing, but there's lots of crazy possibilities here. First off, is Smokey actually Aaron? That's one possibility. After all, Claire was told that it was very important that SHE raise Aaron. And yet, she didn't. Did the loss of his mother, and then the loss of Kate as a second mother cause Aaron to get bitter? And then he grows up, goes back in time way to an eariler time on the island and somehow (and I have no idea how) becomes the smoke monster? When he slaps Claire, is he slapping his own mom? Or, is he someone else altogether? Or, is he pretending to be Locke to Kate, referring to Locke's actual mother, who went off the deep end, and had manic disorders? Very interesting.

WHAT'S IN THE ROOM? Ah, another 'what's in the box' mystery from Lost. They work every time. What did Widmore bring to the island? A weapon? Prisoners? A bomb? Guess we'll find out soon enough. I still can't believe the show is ending.

SIDE NOTE: Was one of the sub guys Michael Chiklis? Even Sawyer's kind of looking at him like, hey, are you that guy from The Shield?

WIDMORE THE GOOD OR BAD GUY: I really was hoping Widmore would claim allegiance to one side or the other in the conversation he had with Sawyer. Right now, he appears to be against Smokey. And we know he was against Ben, when Ben was leader of the Others. Is he loyal to Jacob, and Ben had him thrown off the island? Or is he only in it for himself, trying to capture the island for his own uses? I wish I knew. Instead, we have to guess. Sawyer makes a deal with him to get everyone off the island, but we soon learn his real plan is just to get Kate off the island with him. Unless he's lying to Kate. Man, it's a little hard sometimes to watch a show where you cant believe ANYTHING that ANYONE says.

CLAIRE'S CREEPY CONDOLENCES: Kate comes back from her chat with Locke, and Claire breaks down and says she's sorry, crying in Kate's arms. But she does it in a creepy way. According to Dogen, Claire is infected, and she did axe a guy in the chest, so I don't think this is a legitimate turning over a new leaf from Claire. I think she's just scared and confused, but still basically full of evilness on the inside. Just like Sayid seemed to be somewhat aware of his own not-okayness, I think Claire has some realization of that as well. Either that or Smokey threatened her if she didn't make up with Kate, because I think Smokey wants Kate on his side.

A QUICK SMOKEY THEORY: I had this theory last week, and forgot to post it. It could turn out to be just a wacky idea, or it could turn out to be true. (And it doesn't work if Smokey turns out to actually be Aaron.) Remember that bleeding blond kid that Smokey chased through the woods? I think that's Smokey's son. Remember how Smokey told Sawyer he was once a man, who lost someone he loved? And remember how Smokey told Sayid he could give him back someone he loved? We've seen a lot of dead people "brought back" by the island, and when they appear they're almost always brought back in a creepy Pet Semetary kind of way. I think that Locke is not the first evil person on the island. Just like Jacob, I think people in his role find other people, or "candidates" to replace them. I think Smokey is trying to find a replacement for himself, so he can leave the island. And I think the way he was tricked into staying on the island and taking on the evil role was with the promise of getting back someone he loved from the dead. I think he lost his son, and the evil person before him offered him his son back in exchange for being the evil entity on the island. But, when his son came back to life, it was in the creepy Christian Shepard kind of way. I think Christian Shepard and every other dead person we've seen is actually the Island itself, a third force in the war between good and evil. And I think Smokey realized that his son was really this other entity, and that he had been tricked into staying on the island. That's why when the island appeared as his son again, he chased it down, and it spoke to him about the rules of the game. Anyway, that's all confusing, and I may just be chasing rabbits, but it seems like a plausible theory.

SPEAKING OF RABBITS: Kate is cooking "Rabbit, I think" (which is one of the grossest possible things to say when someone asks you what you're cooking) and Sawyer walks up to her and starts calling her "Freckles" again. Guess all it took was finding Kate's shabby old post-lovemaking dress in a cage to erase Juliet from Sawyer's mind. He then says that he's planning for both of them to escape in the sub, and Kate's only concern is not "What about everybody else, including Claire" but instead is "Can you fly a plane?" Sawyer responds by saying they're going to take the sub, which is not really a solution unless one of them knows how to drive a sub. I actually think I'd rather take my chances flying a plane with no experience before I'd submerge a sub with no experience. At least there's a steering wheel on planes. Who knows what they have on a sub.

That's all for this week. Anything that I missed? I know Charlie's brother made an appearance in the flash-sideways. Anything else interesting?

Here's what I saw in the preview for next week's Richard-centric episode (which will be awesome, I'm sure): Richard stands up around the fire that Jack's losties are gathered around and says "want to know a secret, something I've known a long time?" Um, yes. I hope he doesn't get hit by a flaming helicopter right after saying that. He then follows that up by gesturing around him and saying "All this is not what you think it is." Which better not mean that this whole show has taken place inside a snow globe or something. Then they show a bunch of clips of Richard from past episodes, including his controversial non-purple shirt long hair phase. Then clips from next week, of him walking through an overgrown jungle and near some ruins or some headstones. Then Sun holds somebody's hand. Then my DVR cut off early, for some reason. Anybody remember anything cool after that?