Sunday, July 10, 2011

LOST Redux: S2E17 Lockdown

(At the request of a reader, I will be reposting old editions of my LOST column as they no longer appear on the internet. I will not be making any edits to them, so please be aware that they represent a moment and time--my thoughts and analysis after watching an episode's initial airing.)

Imagine the following, if you will, for a moment. It’s Wednesday and three of your favorite television shows air tonight, LOST, South Park, and Mind of Mencia. You can’t deny being excited anymore than you can deny how lame it is that you’re excited because all three of the shows are airing new episodes (and there was a new House yesterday and there’s a new Survivor tomorrow!). The one thorn in your side is that you’re scheduled to work until 10 PM, so you do the only rationale thing and program your VCR. From 8:55 to 10 it will record ABC and from 10 to 11:05 it will record Comedy Central. When the recording is finished, you will put the tape into your VCR and enjoy about 80 minutes of entertainment bliss, or so you think.

You put the tape in the VCR, press play, sink into the couch, and escaped into the world of Craphole Island. Locke’s father dies, Locke’s father is alive, you resign yourself to believing that Locke’s father is the real Mr. Sawyer even though you really want it to be Robert Patrick, and laugh as Locke nearly loses his legs again. You reach the climactic scene. Jack, Ana Lucia, Sayid, Kate, and Darth Chuckles burst into the hatch. Jack pins Henry Gale against the wall. Locke says he let Henry out of closet because there was some kind of lockdown inside the hatch and he was helping. You laugh that the writers actually had Locke say lockdown. Henry asks if they found the balloon. Ana Lucia says that they did and Sayid launches into the following speech (that was brilliantly delivered by Naveen Andrews I might add):

“We did find your balloon, Henry Gale, exactly how you described it. We also found the grave you described, your wife’s grave. The grave you say you dug with your own bare hands. It was all there, your whole story, your alibi. It was true, but still I did not believe it to be true, so I dug up that grave…”

You may be asking yourself, why didn’t I type the rest of the speech? The answer is simple. The exact point where I stop typing the speech is the exact moment my VCR switched over to Comedy Central. Sayid said, “so I dug up the grave…”, the screen showed “snow” for a second, I sat up and yelled, “What’s in the grave?”, and Gerald Broflovski drives on screen in his new hybrid car acting so smug it nearly leads to a Global Laming catastrophe.

My solution was to download the episode (yes, I know it’s illegal, shh!). It took about six hours. I passed the time by playing Kingdom Hearts 2 and let me tell you, rest assured, there is more convoluted storyline out there. After six hours I still have no idea what is going on and will probably play it again after I finish writing this column even though I should probably sleep. Anyway, I downloaded the episode and discovered that I only missed about a minute, but it was probably the most important minute of the last three or four episodes.

“…and found that there was not a woman inside, there was a man, a man named Henry Gale.” A black man from 815 Walnut Ridge Rd, Wayzata, MN 55391. Notice the 815 and how the zip adds to 23. How much do you want to bet the producers made that random number, went into Google, and used that town? I know it’s a real town because I was the 3,678th visitor to their historical site at Notice how those numbers add to 24 and that’s 42 backwards, creepy (not really). Oh, and if you’re wondering how I know Mr. Gale’s address, since I downloaded the episode I can pause on certain frames and I paused on the license Sayid showed The Character formerly know as Henry Gale

Anyway, let’s go onto the flashbacks before I make this introduction any longer.


If I were to rank the Locke flashback episodes, I would rank this episode last. If I had to rank the flashbacks (just the flashbacks, not the entire episode the flashback was featured in), I would rank this one pretty much near the bottom (though still probably ahead of Darth Chuckle’s dreadful debauchery). My problem is, the flashback had no resolution and had no relevance to the episode. The last scene we see is Anderson Cooper (I know his real name is Anthony, thank you) driving off in a taxi, a plane flying over Locke’s head in a bit of cosmic foreshadowing, and him closing the box on the engagement ring. I guess that this flashback was the story of him losing Helen, but it still felt incomplete. Let me explain further.

I guess one could argue that the point of the flashback was to show Locke being taken again by his father right before he is taken by The Character formerly know as Henry Gale on the island. I can understand if the point was that Anderson Cooper intentionally tried to hurt Locke again like he did the first time when he stole a bodily organ. I won’t deny that Anderson acted with a complete disregard for Locke, but he did try to give him $200, 000, (which, I’m sorry, it bugged me that we never saw if Locke took it or not) but the main reason Locke lost Helen is Helen. As far as I’m concerned, he’s better off without her.

Hey, the obituary for your father who swindled you out of a kidney and that I made you choose me over him is in the paper, how about we go to the funeral? Yeah, it doesn’t sound like a good idea, I know. Somehow though, Helen thought it was a good idea. If it were me, I would have told Helen she was nuts because she is in fact nuts. It got worse too. At the end of the episode she gets even nuttier and thinks that even though Locke pulls out an engagement ring, he chose his father, his father that she made him think about again, over her. Yes Peggy, Locke bought an engagement ring to a meeting with his father in a seedy motel to pull one over you in case you followed him. I understand that he lied to you, but no one’s perfect and he had the ring since before the lie.

You see, Helen was battling Anderson Cooper in her mind as much as Locke was. She thought that in order to win Locke so he would be hers, she would have to eradicate any connection he had to him. Locke knew that and it was the entire reason he lied to her. Now, I’m not excusing Locke for lying, clearly he was wrong to do that, but maybe the entire point of this flashback is that Locke is a normal well meaning guy (he does appear to be awful weak in flashbacks) who gets taken by very unstable people. He does let Jack run rough shot over him and he never really stands up for himself. Though, I have to say, I was very happy when he told The Character formerly know as Henry Gale to shut up when the alarm was first going off. I was wondering how long it was going to take him to be a jerk and yell, “Shut yo mouth, fool!”


Wow, first off, let me say, we had only two storylines in this episode. I am impressed. We had the “A” storyline, which was Locke and The Character formerly know as Henry Gale in the hatch and the “B” storyline, which was the World Poker Tour Craphole Island edition. You could argue that the balloon hike was a “C” storyline, but that only book ended the episode.

Moving on, even though I really don’t want to because it hurts me to type the following, I have to give it up to Jack. He outplayed Sawyer and won back the medicine he needed. I give him a big old well done. He is starting to deal with Sawyer the way Sawyer should be dealt with. Jack should a good amount of savvy when Sawyer tried to con him with the rigged deal. However, I would like to point out the following. In a serious game of poker, you do not call an All In with a pair of fives, even if you think the other player is bluffing. Notice how Sawyer said, “Well alright, I call.” I don’t think Sawyer really cared about the medicine and was just more interested into getting into a pissing contest with Jack. Which is a good segue way to…

Kate’s ruler line was hilarious. It may be the funniest line she has spoken, especially considering how true it is. The jack and Sawyer dynamic has always intrigued me because we’re supposed to believe the fight for leadership is between Jack and Locke, but Jack seems more threatened by Sawyer than he is by Locke. Locke doesn’t seem to be more than an annoyance to Jack. Notice how Jack responded to Sawyer asking him why he didn’t ask for the guns as stakes. “When I need the guns, I’ll get the guns” (which he punctuated with a nice little stare). Does anyone actually believe it would be that easy for him to get the guns? Realistically, all he did was piss Sawyer off and we know what happened last time he pissed Sawyer off. Ok Jack, you won at Texas Hold ‘Em, congratulations, but it’ll take a lot more than a card game to convince me you can compare to Sawyer. Besides, if someone calls with trip Queens and loses to trip Kings, it has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with luck (which is why poker is a joke to begin with).

I will admit though, that I was disturbed at another development. At the beginning of the episode, Hurley said he wasn’t in the loop and then he ended up playing cards with Sawyer and Kate. I thought the three of them were bonding into some sort of outcast group. Then, at the end of the episode, Kate tried to weasel her way back into the hatch. My question is what was her intent? Has she suddenly swung back into Jack chasing mode? Was she just trying to buddy up to Jack to be in the loop again? She has been spending time with Sawyer, even after the long con. But why did she say she was glad Jack beat Sawyer? Was that her way of flattering Jack to get him off guard? How bad is it that I can’t even decode a fictional woman’s intentions? My answer is simple. I think she enjoys the fact that the two are fighting and imagines they are fighting over her so she intends to egg them on, plus she wanted a shower and wanted the insider information so she could change her stock portfolio before the new laws come into effect like senators and congressmen do.

Oh, did anyone else notice Jack drinking out of a trendy liberal Nalgene bottle? I knew he was a Democrat!


I’ve gone on the record, not with Greta Van Susteran, many times saying that I think the LOST producers wrote the beginning and the ending to the show first and are winging it through the middle of the series. Episodes like tonight make me think twice about that claim. The blast doors come down and scribbled on one of them in paint that can only be seen in black light is an octagonal blueprint that could be considered by some to be a map of the island and will surely be considered by most as a map of the hatches. The blueprint isn’t what impressed me though. What impressed me was the awesome shot of the blueprint in the middle of Locke’s eye, revealing to us why many of the first season episodes began with a shot of a character’s eye. This unique shot, of course, made me think.

I can’t shake the controlled nature of the island. There is a food drop, but there is apparent chaos on the island to the point that a crazy French lady (oh, she’s crazy) can run around with a shotgun and catch people in trees? Clearly whoever dropped the food has an active interest in the island. Not only do they have to transport the food, they have to order (or produce) and package it. Someone in Dharma or who has taken over Dharma, as all the food is Dharma, labeled has an active interest in the events unfolding on the island. Either that or they want to make sure Hurley stays fat.

You’re probably asking yourself why I talked about the food drop when I led with the overlapping shot of blueprint and eye. I wrote the previous paragraph to prove that someone is watching this island, be it from on it or off it. I know it’s a television show, but everything is too perfect. Everything fits too well. Here’s what I’m thinking…

Some of the 815ers are part of the Dharma experiment. Who exactly, I have no idea. If you go back and read “Jayemel’s List” you can see my trying to decipher some of the pattern. Maybe they were genetically engineered and now they are being tested. I don’t know. The eye blueprint overlap proves that there is some type of design to who is there. The symbolism is just too obvious. Also, to be fair, I am allowing my thinking to be clouded by another coincidence from tonight’s episode.

The bank that Locke went to for the safety deposit box was the same one Kate went to for her safety deposit box. I have now officially seen one coincidence too many and am leaning heavily towards a Truman Show type explanation where they have all been in a controlled environment their whole life. It would explain a lot, from the numbers to why Hurley was on Korean TV when he won the lottery, to how these characters can be from different places in the country and world yet share bosses, companies, hospitals, and banks. I just realized the irony that Hurley owned the box company that Randy, his former boss at Mr. Clucks worked at.

I also think a lot of the people on the island are actors. I think that Desmond is an actor used to manipulate Jack. I think that the crazy French lady is an actress used to manipulate Sayid (and a few others if she can). I think that Ethan was intended to be a mole to manipulate the camp. I think that Goodwin was intended to be a mole to manipulate the camp. I think that The Character formerly know as Henry Gale is whomever is in charge’s attempt at trying to insert a new mole into the camp. I think them trying to insert a new mole shows that some of the 815ers aren’t supposed to be on the island and mess with the formula (Ana Lucia? She did kill Goodwin) and that will ultimately be the key cog in the show, the unaccounted for variables being Dharma’s downfall.

I still do think though that Dharma is evil and out to harness some ultimate power of the universe like the power of Castle Greyskull or something and the 815ers will thwart their evil plans and save the universe. Or maybe that’s just what I hope. I’m not quite sure anymore. I’m starting to feel like I’m as much of a character in LOST as the 815ers, and not in the I’ve gone delusional sense. No, what I mean is, maybe LOST is just a big joke where Dharma represents the producers and the 815ers represent us.


-Because I downloaded the episode this week, I didn’t see the previews for next week and it makes me even more excited. Nothing has been spoiled for me and every second of the episode will be new to me. It’s going to be awesome.

-Speaking of previews, did anyone catch what the five events were that would change everything? They found the balloon and grave, the blast doors went down, Locke saw the map, the food was dropped, and we found out that The Character formerly know as Henry Gale isn’t the real Henry Gale. That list is five events, but are those the five events? Does anyone have another list? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Nick?

-Jack Bauer’s not dead. He’s just taking a nap in the car. BAMFs need sleep too. Except for me, I’m so BAMF I may stay up all day, or at least until I see a Disney character in Kingdom Hearts 2.

-Are we ever going to find out how Locke ended up in a wheelchair? Who wants to bet that episode is going to be a huge one?

Alright, that’s all I’ve got, it’s 8 AM Eastern Time here right and I don’t really want to keep going anymore. Honestly, all I want to do is to tell you:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

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