Sunday, August 14, 2011

LOST Redux: S3E22 Through the Looking Glass

(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.)

“You gotta be a risk takah,” he growled while shaking his hand in the manner of former President William Jefferson Clinton. The rough edges of his enunciation both demonstrated the strain repetition had taken on his vocal chords and emphasized the importance of the statement to him. Clearly, though time had forgotten him as it does us all, he would not forget it through time. As all great men do, he held steadfast to sureties and was inequitably punished for it. Apparently, conviction is only a virtue for a prosecutor in a court of law.

The above paragraph is my initial reaction, column wise, to the third season finale of LOST. My initial reaction is represented by the quote at the beginning of the paragraph. “You gotta be a rish takah” is a phrase I randomly started saying a few years ago. I used it heavily over the first few months of the phrase. It may be a reference, but I am reasonably sure I am not. Regardless, the key to this voice is the delivery. The hand motion and the described tone of voice are essential to the meaning. One must convey the notion of a washed up and tired old man delivering crucial advice to a tentative youth in order for the phrase to have any entertainment value. It is also often delivered in a snide way, demeaning someone who took a risk and failed or demeaning someone who didn’t take a risk and failed. The rest of the first paragraph is a description that intentionally parallels part of this episode of LOST. However, you guessed it, we’ll return to that later.

The writers took a huge risk tonight. They not only flipped LOST on its head, but they flipped conventional television storytelling on its head. They also made a bold statement about LOST, confirming what the show is about, although it is one I have been saying since I started this column. I’ll get into some character discussion later, as for now, let’s chat about the subject on everyone’s mind: Flash Forwards. Some of you probably loved it, some of you probably hated it, but what we’re going to discuss is my feelings on the writing choice. Why? Because The Midside belongs to me.

It’s a giant relief to me that the flashbacks are done. I had been saying all season that the back stories seemed to be running out of steam. Most notably, I was critical of Jack’s Oriental Vacation, John Locke as a Pot Farmer, and John Locke’s previous nine days on the island. I also wondered how many other angles they could look at the Jin and Sun romance from. I don’t believe the writers were forced out of the necessity of the previous criticism to switch to flash forwards. No, rather, as always, I believe that this twist was the plan from day one.

Consider the sketches we now have of these characters? Did you not find it odd that some characters got so many flashbacks while others only received one or two a season? Take the characters of Rose and Bernard, Locke, and Sayid. Rose and Bernard are minor characters. The actors who portray they have never been, and may never be, series regulars. Still, they had a flashback episode. That episode contained their entire story as to who they were, what was unique about them, and how they ended up on the island. There is not anything relevant left to tell in the form of a flashback. Therefore, they only ever had one flashback episode.

Now turn to the character of John Locke. He is such an important and complex individual that out of all of his flashbacks, three per season, maybe one was unnecessary. Each episode revealed a part of his character that explained how he was acting on the island. Then finally, the scourge of his life is killed. There is nowhere left to go with his flashbacks. He is a changed man and his past is defeated. With him, they even decided to hold off the big reveal until Season 3.

Finally, turn to the character of Sayid. I am sure I am one of many that feel he was treated pretty poorly this season. However, now I understand why. In Seasons 1 and 2 had seemed to be a very important character. Then, he was absent from the first part of Season 3 AND had only one flashback. However, consider how important of a flashback it was for him. It was the moment he had to reconsider to make him no longer torture people anymore. He’s still a communications officer, but no longer a violent one.

What I am saying is, the writers sat down and decided what ideas they wanted to tell us about these characters. No, they didn’t come up with exactly how many flashback episodes to have about each character. However, each character presented three main things to be told: who they are, what makes them unique, and how they ended up on the plane. As each of these three things were explained, other stories became important to tell as well. Locke’s being in a wheelchair got him on the plane, but how did he end up in it? Kate’s crime got her on the plane, but what did she do? These stories were told to set the stage for the present and the future.

Take, for a final example, the character of Sawyer. I wondered why The Brig wasn’t his flashback episode. We now have our answer. There wasn’t any back story left to tell for him. We know who he is. His future story has been set up. He impregnated Cassidy and she was forced to raise the child alone making her feel like she fell in with the wrong guy. Will he do the same to Kate? Notice how Kate’s last flashback was also used to establish this story. Not so coincidentally, it was called “Left Behind”. What has Jack consistently done to Kate over the series so far? He has left her behind. What did Sawyer do to Kate for the first time in this episode (the complete opposite of how he’s always treated her)? He left her behind.

Over the last few episodes, the writers have deftly transitioned us away from the past and into the future. The main question in my mind going into this episode wasn’t what happened on the island, but what will happen on the island. They used Locke and Sawyer to symbolically kill off the past. They used Ben to give us the back story of Dharma and the Natives (I know, I know, there’s more mystery, but what will happen will reveal what some people tried to have happen). Finally, they used Charlie to put a fitting capstone on the flashbacks.

Charlie Pace fans, do not bow your head. Do not feel mistreated or disrespected because your favorite character died. Not only did the character do a complete 180 in Greatest Hits and this episode (going from passive wimp to emboldened hero), but his send off was the send off for the first half of the series. Charlie had no flashbacks throughout Season 3 because his story was complete. We knew about his faith. We knew about his drug addiction. We knew about his family. There was nothing left to tell us to make us better understand him. Likewise, there was nowhere left for his character to improve in the long run. He kicked his drug addict. He found his family and took care of them in the ultimate way (both Claire and Aaron and the general Survivors). His actions will lead to their ultimate rescue. In many ways, he is more of a hero than Jack will ever be, although Jack certainly reaped the benefits of Charlie’s actions by making that call. Finally, Charlie’s faith was restored as only he, the musician, could have entered that code and thus he was meant to be there (at least in his eyes). If there’s any character that became iconic this season, it’s Charlie Pace for embodying what LOST is about.

Rarely in any story, but especially entertainment, do you see the entirety of the characters’ lives. Usually, one special moment is explicated and you are left to assume that their world will be changed forever from then on. It is true that prequels and sequels have become extremely popular as of late (but look how even Shrek is running out of steam with Shrek 3), but I would argue the one medium that gives such a holistic view of its characters is comic books. With the number of issues and stories they write, everything is known. Why do you think comic book junkies get so mad at comic book movies? It’s impossible to carry the entire story over from one medium to the other. Now return your thoughts to Charlie. We know what happened when he was young, when he was older, and when he ultimately died. We know who he loved. We know what was most important to him. There is nothing we didn’t know about Charlie Pace.

Most notably, with this episode, the writers finally took a stand and declared this show to be about the characters. Yes, the island is mysterious and has changed all of these characters, but it’s not important what the tools are, but what the affects of those tools are. It’s fun as heck to speculate and theorize about what the island’s nature is, but we may never know, and if we don’t, does that lack of knowledge devalue the journeys of the characters? If you answered that question with a yes, then I have to ask you if life is devalued to you because we may never know the nature of the world (especially not in our lifetimes)? See how LOST becomes a nice metaphor for life?

To sum up my initial reaction, I turned to the example of the Star Trek Voyager finale (which Jack’s flashforward really reminded me of). Voyager was stuck in the Delta Quadrant and the show was the story of the crew’s journey back to Earth. The final episode saw them return to Earth. However, Earth was the final shot of the series and what happens after the ship’s return is left open (save for a series of companion books). Something about that ending always sat poorly with me and now I know what it is.

The writers of Voyager tried to explain their ending by having the character who most wanted to get home Ensign Harry Kim reflect on their trip right before they knew they’d be getting home. He said, “Maybe it’s not about the destination. Maybe it’s not about the journey.” This line set the stage for the ending. The writers were putting forward the series as a whole rather than the final episode. I can see why they would make such a move, especially considering Star Trek is not as character based as LOST. Often the allegories, metaphors, and discussions are more important than the characters.

In contrast, this episode of LOST put forward the characters rather than the answers. Yes, the answers are important, but what’s more important is how they affect the characters. Take this episode for example. We were given the answer to who Jack was calling on his cell phone. Yes, it was nice to know who he was calling, but think about what that information told us about him. Likewise, the cause of Locke’s paralysis wouldn’t have been nearly as engaging if they hadn’t built up his relationship with his father.

Therefore, in honor of the new direction of LOST, and out of necessity to retire the old heading, the new heading for the first section of my column will be “Maybe it’s not about the answers. Maybe it’s about the characters.” This section will discuss the flashfoward from that episode and how what we learned affected the character.

Well then, let’s get on with it and delve even deeper into The Midside…

(See what happens with a doublesized episode. You’re going to end up with a doublesided journey into The Midside. If only we had doublestuffed Oreos. Then we could take them apart and make quadruplestuffed Oreos.)


(Note: It saddens me that I must retire the Duncan McLeod heading, but you gotta do what you gotta do.)

In this episode’s flashforward, Jack really reminded me of Admiral Janeway. When did Captain Janeway become an admiral? In the final episode of Voyager, of course. At the start of that episode, there was a reunion for the anniversary of Voyager’s return to the Alpha Quadrant. Their journey had been successful. However, Janeway was not satisfied. The crew was not complete. Specifically, Seven of Nine had died. Due to Voyager being a Science Fiction show, Janeway then traveled back in time to bring Voyager home years earlier than it had originally gotten home. In other words, no matter how many years passed, Janeway was still the Captain of that ship. Actually, in the episode, part of the plot was Janeway coming to terms with the fact that she was no longer the Captain.

Jack was as troubled as Janeway was. He couldn’t let go of the past. Clearly, things went wrong, as Ben predicted, when they were rescued from the island. Jack was unable to be the hero he saw himself as. This failure in his mind was symbolized through the mysterious death of the person that no one went to his/her funeral. We were lead to believe that person was a Survivor, but all we really know is that something about him/her struck a chord with the ill fated doctor.

Jack was worse than Janeway. Heck, Jack was worse than House. He was addicted to pain medication and an alcoholic. As if those problems weren’t enough, he was severely depressed. The only way he could be who he thought he was is by accidentally causing a car accident and then saving the woman and child and offering to operate on her. His hero complex needed to be satisfied.

As already noted in this column through my discussion of Charlie’s demise, I am open to a change in a character. I thoroughly enjoyed Charlie over the last two episodes of this season. However, with Jack, I feel extremely satisfied with his condition in this flashforward. He’s made no progress as a character on this show. Now, I’m not someone who believes people need to change, but when you hate your father as much as he does why would you allow yourself to continue down the path you’re on which leads you to becoming your father. Make no mistake about it, Jack was the evolution of his father in this flashforward. The worst part about it was, he still believed his father to be out of his mind. We finally figured out why it seemed like Jack had been hiding something for the final part of the season. He’s gone off the deep end. He’s a nutcase. I enjoyed him flipping out on Ben, but it’s clear that in the future he loses even more of his marbles. The icing on the cake is that not only does he never get Kate, he stills pines away for her as she is his only semi-human connection still left in the world.

This eventuality of Jack’s character re-establishes my faith in the writers. If you’ve read any of my column at all, even just this column, you know I strongly dislike Jack. In fact, I have disdain for his characters. His hero complex is tiresome. No, belay that order, Mr. Kim. His hero complex is despicable. I love people who do the right thing at the right time. I once again reiterate my appreciation of Charlie over the past two episodes (although, my friend wisely pointed out that Charlie was so convinced of his own death, he caused it. He could have gotten to the other side of that door and shut it in time.). However, the problem with Jack has always been that he needs to be the hero so badly, that he acts like it at all times. He needs to be better than his father, better than everyone, to the point that he has take control and save everyone all the time. As long as Jack is around, no one can make their own decisions. His flashforward demonstrated this character trait perfectly. When Jack is on the island, he feels there is a need for him (when there really isn’t because everyone is replaceable…except Tom Brady). When he’s no longer on the island, no one needs him, not even his hospital where he is replaced by a new head of surgery who doesn’t even let him do operations anymore. The fact that the writers can identify this trait as so debilitating shows they’re above the members of the audience, the members of the American public, who exalt people like Jack. It shows that they are going to right this story in a way that isn’t unplatable because it is so dumbfoundingly misguided.

The brilliant part about using the flashforward technique is that no character’s story has to end on a tragic note. Sure, Jack is a tragic figure in this flashforward, but think of how much of his life is left. As my friend pointed out, this flashback was about three years in the future due to the cell phone he had. Therefore, let’s assume the flashforward occurred in our present day when the finale aired (May 23, 2007). Just as September 2004 was the start date for the LOST timeline, what if May 2007 is the start date for the flashforwards timeline. Season 4 can be all about what is happening to the characters in May 2007. Regardless, as I want to save some of this discussion for the LOSTology section, so many stories could be told about Jack with what’s left of his lifespan. He could sober up and go on to cure cancer. Of course, he could also commit suicide in his next flashforward. Who knows. I guess we’ll have to keep watching.


Upon the revelation at the end of this episode, I realized how belittling the title of the second section of this column. If this show is about the characters, then it’s not an “at least” thing when they have small scenes featuring character building moments. As for this episode, there were so many big moments for so many characters. I’ll try to address each as best as I can.

Juliet has officially crossed over into Survivor country. She is truly “one of us” now. This transition is confirmed by the fact that Ben basically declared her an enemy combatant and she was an enemy combatant when she helped Sawyer kill her former allies. With that one choice, she became allies with one of her staunchest opponents, Sawyer, and rescued the other one, Sayid. My only concern is she has the same flaw that Jack has (that Ben also shares). They feel the need to keep everyone else out of the loop because it is “better” for them. If she intended on allying with the Survivors all along, why didn’t she tell them the truth to begin with? By withholding the truth, she only made herself appear to be untrustworthy to the Survivors. Sadly, the reason she didn’t tell them is she believed they would only mess up her plans. She had the greater good at heart, she was just misguided about it. I mean, she learned from Ben and loves Jack (the kiss was a nice touch for her character in the finale and shows one of the major reasons she “turned”), what do you expect?

Sawyer took an interesting turn this episode. He is in complete self loathing mode and it shows why he was absent from Greatest Hits. Then he turns around and treats Kate like Jack always treats her. Jack pointed out that from his perspective Sawyer was trying to protect her. Considering that she may be carrying his child, he very well may have been. However, I also believe he was trying to distance himself from Kate. He knows treating her like a lesser person is insulting to her, so he insulted her. He also seems to be trying to discover “who is he” by no longer using the “Sawyer” persona (notice how he didn’t call Kate Freckles), which is a big mistake. Eventually, I bet Kate will convince them that he is who he is and that doesn’t change no matter the name he uses or profession he has and they end up together as he is the “he” Kate was referring to in the flashforward.

Hurley’s big moment was awesome and shows the direction the writers have been taking his character in. He is not a leader. He is not a major character, but he is a force to be reckoned with. Slowly but surely, he has been gaining the confidence that he so lacked off the island that put him in an aslum and he him working at a chicken shack. Then, he thought the answer to his problems was money. Well, everything was taken away from him and he is finally learning how to prove that he is worthwhile, actual curse or not be damned. Even though Sawyer told him he was useless, in an attempt to distance himself from his best friend on the island besides Kate, he used his street smarts to drive the van over some Others. It also shows how well planned this show is. A lot of people thought Tricia Tanaka is Dead was a pure fluff episode. Turns out it was kind of important, huh?

Ben got his comeuppance, huh? He turned into the Boy Who Cried Wolf. He’s lied so many times, and claimed he wasn’t lying, that the one time he was actually telling the truth (Naomi wasn’t sent by Penny), Jack refused to believe him AND punched the snot out of him. It was also a noble gesture that Ben reunited Alex and Danielle. However, the jury is still out on the second part of Ben’s claim. He and Locke both seem to firmly believe that rescue was a bad thing, therefore he could have been telling a half truth and a half lie. Yes, Naomi wasn’t from Penny’s crew, but the rescuers may not be a bad group. The guy seemed awful nice to Jack and Jack and Kate seemed unharmed in the flashforward.

Did anyone else pick up the parallels between what happened to The Others and what happened to Dharma in Ben’s flashback? Ben’s voice dripped with disdain when he told Locke Dharma couldn’t even coexist with the island’s original inhabitants and basically insinuated that problem led to their purge. Well, The Others couldn’t coexist with the Survivors and it led to their purge. I don’t know if they’re all dead, but they probably are. Season 3 was said to be about The Others and now that it’s over, they’re over. I don’t know how they could go on. Why intend on keeping them around and kill all the ones we have come to know, such as Tom? Of course, with the apparent immortality of Mikhail, who knows who’s really dead or not. I kind of hope Tom isn’t dead. He had some great lines such as, “It only took the bears two hours.”

I would like to point out that Richard disappeared after the first 20 minutes of the episode. When the fighting was imminent, he disappeared. It makes me wonder if the writers were just trying to make me believe he is very important or if he actually is very important. If he wasn’t, I think they probably would have killed him. I hope to see more of him next season and figure out who he exactly is and what makes him so important. I grew to like him over the last few episodes. It seemed he was allied with Tom though.

Hmm, that’s all I can think of for other character thoughts. If I forgot your favorite characters, I’m sorry, but Claire, Sun, Jin, Sayid, and Bernard were largely props in this episode. OH, I do have to say I have a new favorite LOST quote and it wasn’t spoken by Sawyer, it was by Rose. “If you say the words 'live together, die alone' to me Jack, I'm going to punch you in the face.” Words to live by.


The use of flashforwards opens up some interesting possibilites for the show. I already addressed one in the discussion of Jack’s flashforward. The pure amount of story there is left to tell is ridiculous. I don’t think the flashforwards will ever run out of steam the way the flashbacks seemed to.

Another interesting idea is the relativity of time. Commonly in time travel movies and shows, the present is considered to be the time the traveler begins his journey in. However, realistically, the present is whatever point the character exists in. In other words, time is relative to where you exist. For instance, presently, I am writing this column and presently, you are reading this column. However, my present is your past and your present is my future, get it? This notion raises an interesting quandary for the way the LOST story could be told. What is the present? Is it on the island or is it the flashforwards? By the use of the term flashforward (which should be considered canon because the name of the funeral home Jack visited was an anagram from flashforward), the writers are stating that the present is on the island. This claim makes the most sense, as it stays consistent with what has happened over the first three seasons of LOST. The problem exists for us. I’m sure some people will have trouble with the fact that they know the Survivors will be rescued and that Jack and Kate don’t end up together. Seriously though, did you ever think they wouldn’t be rescued? The suspense was never in what would happen, but how.

The other interesting idea is that of time travel. While it is arguable, Desmond apparently time traveled in Flashes Before Your Eyes. What if, knowing he has such a dismal future, Jack makes like Admiral Janeway and travels back in time to change what happens? Maybe the last episode of the series will be Jack getting back to the island or traveling back in time to either “save the day” or possibily “save the day.” Regardless, the important question is: Can the future shown in the flashforwards be changed? I’m sure debate over the answer will be rampant until something changes with the fabric of LOST (if anything changes at all), so I am going to firmly throw my hat into the “No, the future can’t be changed” group. While I don’t intend to settle the debate over determinism and free will, all fictional characters do NOT have free will. The writer controls them. You can say that, “I let my characters do what they would naturally do as I write” but you are still setting in stone what there actions are like creating a prophecy. Their past, present, and future is a fictional subset of our present. In other words, it doesn’t hurt the story of LOST that these characters futures are determined, it’s just being honest about the nature of fiction writing and using it in a ballsy and realistic way. It would make sense that such a self referential and meta show as LOST would be the one to make such a move and that’s why I love it.


-It’s been such a hardcore season and I can’t wait to watch it all again. Good thing I have all the episodes on my computer. I still miss Eko, I miss Nikki and Paulo, and I even might miss Charlie a little, but anyone who denies that we’ve been on one heck of a worthwhile roller coaster ride is out of their ever loving mind. This season has been mind boggling, emotional, revelation laden, and, most importantly, well plotted. It sucks that we have to wait until February to see where it goes next. Hey, if I can stand the wait for 24, I can stand it for LOST, right?

-I’ll be seeing you all here next February, but if you miss me before then, you can check out my official MySpace at and my official blog a And don’t tell anyone, but if you poke around on youtube, you might find a special treat.

And if you STILL think this show isn’t planned, then there’s only one thing to say to you:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

LOST Redux: S3E21 Greatest Hits

(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.)

IT’S A TRAP! Mark my words with little white stones. It’s a trap. What is it? The trek to the radio tower. Do you really think that it wasn’t planned the entire time? Waiting there will be an entire group of…people I don’t even know how to classify anymore. But that analysis is best saved for later (as there really wasn’t much happening mythology wise this episode so I have to overcompensate in other areas like buying a sports car).

Seriously though, you know it’s a setup because of the string of punch in the gut endings we’ve had in the last eight episodes. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a quick recap:

It’s Locke’s Dad trapped in a closet (sans R. Kelley)!
Nikki and Paulo are buried alive (with diamonds)!
Juliet actually was left behind too!
Wait, no she wasn’t…and Ben is coming in a week!
Wait, that isn’t Penny…but she still knows who Desmond is!
They’re all dead!
Locke’s father is dead!
Locke is dead (maybe)!
Charlie isn’t dead (yet)!

Except for Left Behind and maybe The Brig, all of those endings were built up to in such a way that they appeared unlikely in the episode. Arguably, the ending to One of Us was somewhat predictable (I certainly predicted it), but the episode was still written so we’d identify and trust Juliet and then have the rug pulled out from under us. I still don’t think we’ve gotten the full story there (and will hopefully get it next week), but that thought is beside the point. If the end of the season has been built up in such a way, won’t the season finale have to top the build up? Isn’t such a culmination not only the way television shows are marketed, but good storytelling? Maybe they’re setting us up to think things will be huge and the season will end with a whimper. In like a lion and out like a lamb, right? Oh, that’s March, isn’t it? My mistake.

Well then, that’s march on into The Midside…

(Yeah, that transition was so cheesy you loved it.)


At first, I thought Charlie’s flashback was going to be another about the band. When they were arguing on the side of the road and he said he quit, I was thinking, “Great, this episode’s going to be about how he overcame obstacles to reach his pinnacle of fame.” Frankly, I couldn’t have cared less. Then, there was a nice twist to the scene. If you’ve ever read an article or interview that talks about a band first hearing themselves on the radio, that scene played pretty much how the event is described or at least how I personally imagine it from how it was described. However, the scene then ended and I wondered where this flashback was going. Would we see the story of the band’s rise to fame? That’s not much of a story, is it?

Then, the next flashback scene was young Charlie being coaxed to jump into the pool by his father and I was all confused. First off, the two scenes felt extremely disjointed. Obviously, young Charlie learning to swim has nothing to do with old Charlie learning to be a rock star. Er, well, nothing in common besides the parallel structure of that sentence. Second, what happened to the whole bad father thing? Charlie’s father was made out to be a bad father in early flashbacks and most of the characters have had some sort of negative relationship with their father. Is the point that on your death bed you’re only going to remember the good things or is Charlie’s father not as bad as we were first led to believe? Maybe the point is to remind us that the negative aspects of these characters lives are focused on so much for a reason, but they all have had wonderful memories as well. Happiness doesn’t make for a good story, only a good chick flick and even then the guy has to be a dirt bag and reform himself for there to be any bliss.

Then, they introduced the idea that Charlie was fore fronting these memories in the form of a list and I thought it was a clever storytelling technique. It at least gave an excuse to show more of Charlie’s past. I mean, is there anything left to tell with this character? To me, he’s been stalked by the Grim Reaper since the end of season two. If you remember correctly, I predicted his death in the season two finale because his story was over when he chucked the Virgin Mary statues full of heroin into the ocean. Well, hold onto that thought (and your hats) because we’ll return to it in a couple seconds.

Before we return there, I would like to point out the one negative to the flashback technique in this episode. It allowed for the seemingly seamless inclusion of that random “6 Hours Ago” flashback. What was that scene? Whose flashback was it anyway, Alex’s, Karl’s? Why can’t this story just be told in order anymore? Oh no, we can’t show you what Locke’s doing so we can have a flashback for him (instead of Sawyer) when his father is killed. Oh no, we can’t show you what Ben is doing so Karl’s arrival on the Survivors beach will be more dramatic. Ok, ok, maybe this flashback was sort of necessary because there was no way to show Ben arriving back to “his” camp in time order without sacrificing the ending to The Man Behind the Curtain. However, couldn’t the episode have just started with Alex finding Karl? It would have emphasized their relationship and role in everything. The one incredible strength of that scene is the possible irony of Ben being done in by the same gun he shot Locke with. Alex hands the gun to Locke. Ben steals the gun from Locke. He shoots Locke and gives the gun to Alex. She gives the gun to Karl. He gives the gun to Sayid because they need more than two guns. Wait, what happened to Sawyer’s stash? Anyway, Sayid shoots a pile of dynamite and Ben is standing nearby. Ben goes boom via the same gun he shot Locke with. It’s not going to happen, but it would be nice.

Returning to the season two finale prediction though, I am going to make the same exact prediction for the season three finale. Charlie is going to die in the season three finale! I don’t think anyone has plausibly made a prediction about a character dying in two sequential season finales before. Put this one in the record books under Jayemel. I’m making it and it’s going to happen. At least, it better happen after the roller coaster we went through this week.

I’ll admit it, by the end of the episode I actually liked Charlie. He was being a complete badass. He was volunteering, he was saying his goodbyes, he was writing lists, and he was smacking Desmond in the face with an oar. He believed he was a hero and was going to do something heroic. Of course, then there’s the whole debate over whether a hero can consider himself a hero or not. Isn’t that arrogance how the Venom symbiote took over Peter Parker in Spiderman 3? Anyway, that discussion is tangential.

I liked Charlie by the end of the episode…until the final scene! All of his badass and slick actions were completely negated by his stupidity in the final scene. He rushes to the bottom of The Looking Glass, swims under it, finds an opening, pops up on the deck, and yells, “I’m alive!” First, what led him to believe there was no one manning that station? If Ben was blocking signals, he needed to make sure that the signals stayed blocked. The only way to make sure is to have someone constantly monitoring the technology, therefore at least one person in the station. Second, did I miss him flipping the yellow switch or something? No, I didn’t. Did he forget already that Desmond said he would die after flipping the switch? There’s no reason to celebrate being alive before you’re supposed to die. Third, he just left the ring in Aaron’s crib without telling anyone. This action not only pretty much insured that it would be lost but that the meaning behind it being a family heirloom would be lost. Why not tell Claire the story so she could tell Aaron when he’s older? I know, I know, he didn’t want her to know he was going to die. Finally, what made him believe Desmond was telling the truth about how he would die? The story seemed pretty plausible, but he conveniently left out the part about the two people in the station. Maybe he was omitting certain facts for Charlie’s benefit the way Charlie was omitting certain facts for Claire’s benefit. Then, he mysteriously wanted to go along with Charlie. I’m betting the whole thing about Claire and Aaron getting on a helicopter was a load of rubbish to get Charlie to let himself die. What better way is there to trick a man into dying uselessly than to say, “Your death will result in the ultimate benefit of the woman you love and her child you have taken on as your own.”

What a waste of all that buildup. If they kill him in the season finale, would it even have the same emotional impact it would have if he died this episode? I actually felt sad throughout the episode. If he dies in the next episode, it will almost be like Arzt blowing up, “Finally!”


I can’t wait until next week because I am sick of waiting to figure out what is going on with Jack. Suddenly, he too decides to be a badass (did I really just call Jack and Charlie badasses in the same column?) by blowing Ben and Company to hell when they attack camp. He even enlisted the help of the resident island explosives expert Rousseau. I also have to wonder how she knows so much about explosives. Wasn’t she supposedly on a scientific research vessel? There’s got to be more to her past. Hopefully she’ll get a flashback episode because right now she’s little more than a prop in the show. Ha, take that women’s rights activist, the crazy French chick who misses her daughter is nothing more than a prop used to progress the plot. Take heart though, her daughter is a complete and utter badass.

Jack finally reveals his big secret and it’s the explosive ambush plan. The problem I have with this story is, it’s not enough to lie over. It’s not enough to conceal the truth over. If Juliet is truly a double agent and the ambush was the plan all along, all he would have had to do was explain it all when they first got back to camp (especially after the Claire “sickness” where everyone “learned” to “trust” Juliet) and everyone would have either understood or had the extra few days to digest what Jack was saying. Heck, no one was even really that mad in this episode, why would they have been mad back then?

Consider Juliet as well. Her actions were unnecessarily deceptive too. Why did she need to test Sun at all? Why did she have to go about gathering information in such a concealed manner? Yes, I understand that she needed to record the tape in order to keep Ben unaware of the ambush, but couldn’t she have just lied on the tape and said “Kwon and Austen are pregnant”? Furthermore, if she had told Sun she was a pregnancy expert and what Ben wanted her to do, but that she wasn’t going to do it, Sun’s own curiosity about the health of the baby and who the father was would have likely caused her to ask for Juliet’s help. Have all these people (from Ben to Juliet to Locke to Jack) been inundated with the need to manipulate for no reason?

Something doesn’t add up. Look at the way Jack reacted to some of the statements that were made. When Kate asked him about getting off the island, he avoided giving a direct answer. Then, he used his “leader” position to act more like a bully than a leader telling people what they were going to do (ok, so he has always told people what they were going to do, but never so forcefully). Finally, Sayid called him on his antics.

Remember one of the main rules of LOST: Sayid is a lie detector. The reason he didn’t want Jack to stay behind is that he knows Jack is up to something. Notice how hard Jack fought to stay behind. Either he wanted to stay behind to complete the plan or he didn’t want to go to the radio tower because something is going to happen when they get there. Either way, Sayid knew he needed to introduced an uncontrolled variable into Jack’s equation and did so by throwing Jack’s leadership demands back in his face. “You want to be a leader, then do what any true leader would want to do.”

I’m still hot on the Richard and Jack conspiracy trail. Notice how distressed Richard got when Ben said the attack was going ahead early. Ok, so he wasn’t incredibly upset, but have we ever seen Richard not in cool calm and collected mode? No, we haven’t and the reason he wasn’t is that the attack going ahead early jeopardized his plan with Jack. Lucky, Alex and Karl were acting as agents for him without his or their knowledge.

The sad truth of the matter is, Jack no longer wants to get off this island. Richard told him the island’s secrets. Or maybe he’s part of the island’s secrets. I’m leaning towards the former. Now, Jack wants to stay on the island for whatever reason he was told be it replenishing the numbers on the island, saving the world, or whatever else. Saving the world, do I smell a Heroes crossover? If so, I want a death match of Cute Blonde Girl vs. Cute Blonde Girl, Claire vs. that cheerleader who has the Unbreakable power.

Is it me or has Kate devolved into a nonentity over the course of this season? She started off as an angry and emotional wounded fugitive and has become an erratic teenager. “Watch as Kate sleeps with Sawyer and then whimpers as she tries to win Jack’s favor again!” Considering that the season supposedly started out with her making a decision, she needs to make an actual decision NOW before this triangle last any longer than it has to (if it hasn’t already). However, if she does end up with Jack, I may find myself offended, not as a fan of Sawyer, but as a moral person. Not only did Kate sleep with Sawyer at the beginning of the season, but she has slept with him several times since. Yes, yes, people make mistakes and sex isn’t necessarily tied to love. Wait, no, I don’t agree with that statement. Get that politically correct crap out of here! If you’re not sure who you love, don’t sleep with anyone until you get your head straight! If her and Sawyer is a mistake, she’s made it one, two, three times that were acknowledged in an episode. Oh yes, it all progresses the plot, but it’s still ridiculous.

Speaking of Sawyer, why was he a nonentity this episode? He went from Sayid’s investigated partner and the voice of reason to a background player. Did Sayid get more screen time rather than Sawyer because Naveen Andrews complained earlier in the season about not getting enough (and if complaining about not getting enough works, I may have to start complaining)? Also, did it seem to anyone else that Sawyer was going to the group to the radio tower? What happened to his being on the frontline? If they needed a shooter, they should remember how well he picked off one of Ben’s crew in the season two finale. I thought was pretty good aim. But no, Sawyer’s character was put on the backburner in The Brig and now is a nonentity. It worries me. I mean, Bernard is a shooter over him?

I would not be shocked to see three characters die in the season finale. My top three are Charlie, Bernard, and Sawyer. I think they may kill Bernard at this point just because he’s the only tail section Survivor left. Maybe the only people who were supposed to survive the crash were the middle section Survivors and the universe is “course correcting” by killing all the tail section Survivors. The only two people who definitely know the Black Smoke actually killed are the pilot (a front section Survivor) and Eko (a tail section Survivor). Either way, Bernard is dead next episode. Rose is supposed to be on the island and he is not. The setup in this episode was completely for his demise.

Did anyone else notice Rose’s minidreads? Did Jack look different to anyone else? One of my friends said his hair was a little longer. What’s the deal with these continuity errors? I’ll never forget Claire’s sudden hair change halfway through the season (see ladies, I do pay attention). My friend also noted that in her and Charlie’s first meeting she had her new hairstyle and not her original hairstyle (ok, so maybe I don’t pay attention). I’m willing to let these errors slide because even genius is imperfect and if something has to be messed up I’d rather is be, as a guy, the hair than the T and A. Of course, maybe these observations aren’t errors at all but hints the show is all in someone’s mind or something. I don’t know how they can keep their hair so nice when they’ve been missing hairbrushes for 90 some odd days anyway!


Is it just me or was there no mythology this week? If there was, I’m going to leave it up to you, my loyal readers, to bring the discussion into The Midside this week. You’ve been hitting the comment box hard, keep it coming!


-As I write this column, I’m flipping through the 2007 Maxim Hot 100. Yunjin Kim is #95 (
)! I still can’t get over the fact that “jin” is in her first name. I’m sure Evangeline Lily is even higher on the listed. I’ll keep you all posted.

-Remember to check out my non-LOST blog (

And, as always, before you open you mouth, remember:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

LOST Redux: S3E20 The Man Behind the Curtain

(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.)

My apologies for a second straight late column. I don’t have an excuse this week, as I don’t like to make excuses, but I will offer u an explanation. I slipped. For the first time in the airing of LOST, I did not watch an entire episode the first time it was ever possible. I was out all day and missed the first fifteen minutes. Thus, I needed to download the episode to be able to write a proper column. It’s a good thing I did too. The first fifteen minutes gave me new insight into who The Man Behind the Curtain really is. You adept viewers and readers should know where I’m leading this column now.

Anyway, enough, we’ve all waited for awhile for this, so let’s journey into The Midside…


Apparently, Ben is Harry Potter. I know there aren’t many parallels in the stories, but young Ben certainly looked like young Harry, didn’t he? Ok, I just had to get that out of the way. Now we can get onto the real analysis…

This episode’s flashback provided some great insight into the mind of Ben. It is now my belief that he is as much of a mark as any of the other Survivors. Why? Well, first we have to delve into his psyche his little bit and then we can transition to discussing who the real Man Behind the Curtain is and then we can transition to a new and improved theory on the history of the island. Seeing as how the show is more than half over, it would make sense that our picture of the island is getting clearer.

We learned too important things about Ben this episode. First, he is evil. Second, we learned his obsession. As always, I’ll start with the first claim first. Yes, that last sentence was incredibly redundant, but that was obviously my intent. How can I say Ben is evil? Well, over the course of last season and this season, you’ve seen me question the motives of The Others. I even mockingly nicknamed them The Good Guys based upon Ben’s response to Michael’s question, “Who are you?”

The fact of the matter is, the things The Others do, the things that Ben orders are downright bad. Just recently, he told Locke to kill his father. What kind of good guy advocates a person taking justice into his own hands, no matter how much Cooper deserved his fate? What kind of a person advocates kidnapping children and pregnant women rather than giving them a choice? I’ll tell you what kind of a person: an evil person.

Half of this flashback chronicled the affect of Ben’s mother’s death on he and his father. In a way, their individual transitions over their lives ran parallel to each other. The difference came in the deciding scene where, in cold blood, Ben murdered his own father.

Roger Linus began as an extremely sympathetic figure. It was obvious he loved his wife and was hoping to take care of his future family. Although, I have to question, is it smart to take your seven months pregnant wife hiking? Regardless, in that first flashback scene and the second flashback scene where he is welcomed to the island by his friend Horace, we saw a genuinely kind and gracious man. Then, when he is given his job as a “janitor” his story turns tragic.

Over the rest of the flashbacks, Roger is seen drinking, arguing, and yelling at Ben. Basically, he is the stereotype of the abusive drunk dad, without the actual child abuse. Yes, once again, a character has a father issue. Could there be significance to that commonality after all? Maybe the island (or The Man Behind the Curtain) seeks out people with father issues to provide them with that missing father (Jacob?). Regardless, Roger’s story ultimately ends with his own son gassing him and watching him die. Well, it really ends with Hurley, Sawyer, and Jin, which can’t be all bad, but forget that fact.

Conversely, Benjamin Linus’ story is one of empowerment. He begins his life as the stereotypical geeky boy who doesn’t speak. He is too afraid of life and too intimidated by his father to do anything. Then, Annie begins to befriend him. Then, “the island” reaches out to him in the form of his dead mother (interesting that her body was never on the island like Christian or Yemi). The first scene where he talks a substantial amount is in the woods with Richard.

The conclusion of the flashback sees Ben taking emotional pot shots at his father and not only killing him, but watching him die painfully and slowly. It takes a special type of person, an evil person, to kill his own father in such a way. It is clear at this point that Ben has transitioned from a lost little boy to psychopathic murderer. Apparently, he couldn’t get over the fact that people forgot his birthday. No wonder Alex was so adamant about wishing him a happy one.

The second thing we learned is that Ben is obsessed with pregnancy and the fact that women can’t survive child birth on the island. Why is he? Well, first off, his mother did giving birth to him and his dad never let him forget it. Second, I am going to make a prediction here. Annie disappeared part way through the episode, but the opening scene where Ben is clutching the doll she made him shows he still harbors some sort of pain in regards to her. It is my bet that he fell in love with her and she got pregnant and died. Thus, he is so obsessed with solving the pregnancy myth to cure his own guilt because he believes he killed the only two people that ever loved him.

Finally, it is my belief that Ben intended to shoot Locke all along. Alex handing Locke a gun and saying he’d need it made it seem like she knew “meeting Jacob” meant being killed. However, I am not sure Locke actually was killed. He definitely was struggling to breath, so he was shot in the lung, but I doubt we’ll discover his fate until next season.


Besides Ben, the other main character in this episode was Locke. In fact, it was the second episode in a row that Locke was an incredibly crucial character. That fact is why, with only two episodes left this season, I don’t think we’ll learn the fate of John Locke until next January. Regardless, now would be a good time to discuss the Ben and Locke dynamic.

I believe that Ben was interested in Locke because he had a “communion with the island” that Ben no longer experiences. In the flashbacks, we saw how Ben had experiences similar to the Survivors early in his life. There is no indication that he has had these experiences lately. Thus, he tells The Others about Locke and they believe Locke is an important person. However, I don’t believe Ben ever intended to bring Locke into the fold.

All Ben ever wanted to do was eliminate Locke. He knew that his communion with the island brought him his power over The Others. Logically, he would fear that Locke’s communion with the island could bring him the same. At first, he tried to kill Locke without having a hand in it. He told Locke to kill Cooper and left the two behind. Cooper had previously pushed Locke out of a building paralyzing him. It was a logical conclusion that Cooper would win again. However, Sawyer interfered in the situation and we began to see the master plan.

Ultimately, in this episode, Locke seemingly completed his journey. He had faith and himself in the island. Do I believe he is dead? No, though he was a very powerful and self confident figure in this episode (you had to enjoy his making Ben squirm), I believe his journey is not complete. Arguably, he could be the one to take over for Ben as leader of The Others.

Other characters with minor development were Sawyer, Sayid, Sun, Naomi, Juliet, and Jack. The two headed monster of Sawyer and Sayid continues to grow and I don’t believe they’ll be impressed by Juliet’s “flip the tape over.” First off, they shouldn’t be. Second off, their reactions were never shown. We don’t know how they digested the information.

Sun, on the other hand, continues to represent those who trust Jack. She said he was Jack, he would never do anything to hurt them. Are you sure about that Sun? What if the greater good is at stake? I mean, he certainly has no qualms concealing the truth from you in that case.

Jack said he didn’t tell them because he hadn’t decided what they would do yet. Excuse me? You hadn’t decided what everyone would do yet? Does anyone still question my distaste for this character? I will admit though, without him, there would be little to no plot. He certainly always riles up the Survivors. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t realized that though.

Then there’s Juliet. Mysteriously, she knew what was on the other side of the tape. Here’s the thing, Ben said that he had recorded his response to Juliet a day ago. That means that Juliet had yet to hear Ben’s response. Maybe she got lucky and Ben happened to mention the abductions, but I doubt it. If he had just talked about “taking samples”, it wouldn’t have been that damning. The raid is what sealed the deal. This event was exactly like Claire “getting sick” when Juliet came to camp, except instead of saving the day, she dispensed insider information to make the Survivors feel privileged.

So how did Juliet know what was on the tape? How was the tape intended to end up in Sawyer’s hands? It’s very simple. Consider the first scene of the episode. Richard calmly asked Ben what he wanted him to do with the tape and Ben flipped out. The truth is, Richard was just covering his own ass. He had already made sure the tape fell into Locke’s hands to he would give it to Sawyer (who he made sure would kill Cooper) and Juliet could re-establish credibility with the Survivors. That’s right, Richard is working with Jack and Juliet. Why? Because Richard is The Man Behind the Curtain!

(Oh, and Naomi is still confused as to what the heck is going on with everyone. She’ll probably be very important in Season 4 though, as I expect the plot to revolve around being rescued.)


Ben has never been the leader of The Others. He has been a mark from the beginning. I still question whether Jacob is a ruse by him or whether it is a ruse intended to manipulate him, but it’s irrelevant. Jacob isn’t real (though it was interesting that for a split second someone was sitting in the chair). Richard is The Man Behind the Curtain.

When Juliet’s husband was hit by a bus, who was there? Who was likely the man that smiled at Cooper? Who is there whenever Ben does anything? The answer is Richard. In fact, I expect the secrets behind these scenes to either be revealed in the season finale (as Richard explains his plans to Jack to get him on his side) or in a Richard flashback next season.

There are a couple important scenes to explicate at this point. At the end of the flashbacks, Ben gave his first “order” to Richard. However, notice how it wasn’t really an order. Richard asked Ben if he wanted them to get his father’s body. That request is simply courteous, but the way it was asked and the way the response was given was like a order. Richard was leading Ben to feel like a leader. He had already used Ben to protect himself and the other Natives from Dharma. Go back and watch how it was mentioned how the code to the sonar fence changed every day and notice how “the island” (or is it Richard) used the image of Ben’s mother to manipulate him into wanting to join the Natives.

The other insanely important scene is that of Ben’s first meeting with Richard. Obviously, it is important to note Richard’s age. It is my bet that Richard is either immortal or if you truly have a communion with the island you live a very long time. I would also be willing to bet that Mrs. Hawking from Flashes Beyond Your Eyes is just like Richard and Cindy may very well be too.

The other thing I want to note is what Richard said to Ben:

“Whoa, I didn’t mean to scare you. Wait, wait. Are you lost? Wait.”

Ben was lost both literally and metaphorically and Richard comforted him. Wait, isn’t this show called LOST? That’s right, it is. You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that line of dialogue is the most important line of dialogue spoken so far in the series.

How does all this play into the history of the island? It’s very simple. There is a tribe of people who have always lived on the island in peace. However, Dharma came and threatened their harmony. Dharma even instigated a war, killing a bunch of the Natives. Something had to be done. Richard used Ben to eradicate Dharma and seize control of the island again. However, there was a problem.

The number of Natives was sorely depleted and they can’t reproduce. Through Ben, Richard used the guise of the continuing Dharma Initiative to recruit people. The Russian truly was the last living member of the DI. He continued to communicate with the outside world as if Dharma was still alive, ordering palette drops and the like. The financial backer of Dharma would easily believe him because the DI was made to be independent and self sufficient beyond minimal communication.

The plane crash and all the subsequent events have been manipulated with the intention of restoring the number of Natives on the island and the balance between the Natives and the island. Notice how most of the Survivors have either nothing to go back to, something to run away from, or reason to stay. Richard (or perhaps he is just acting on behalf of the island) has been trying to find LOST people and give them a home. The exact group of people on Flight 815 were picked for this series of events to unfold. Notice, Locke, Sawyer, Cooper, and the undermining of Ben’s power. You better believe that Jack and Claire’s blood ties will be very important in the future.

I’m sure there’s much to elaborate on, but I can’t think of anything at this point, so let’s cut to the end.


-So LOST officially has 48 episodes (3 seasons of 16) left after this season. Really, it’s only two seasons. Season 1 had 23 episodes and 24 hours. Season 2 had 22 episodes and 23 hours. Season 3 has 22 episodes and 23 hours. Do the math. 24 and 24 is 48. Apparently, the writers and ABC have been hashing out a deal to finalize an end date to this series all season.

-Have you been wondering where my columns have been the past two weeks? Well, after last week’s fiasco, I decided to open an official Midside MySpace at . There, you’ll find any updates as to what I’m doing in The Midside, but I would like to stress it is not a personal MySpace. It is intended to act as an informational page.

-I’ve also opened an official blog at I’ll write there about any other subject I feel the urge to write about. There’s already an entry up titled “The Myth of Meaning”. Take a look. If you’re wondering, I’ll be announcing updates to that blog on The Midside MySpace as well.

As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week as we mourn the death of Charlie Pace. And well, if you think Charlie is going to die, then all I have to say is:

Remember Boone?

I’m kidding:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

LOST Redux: S3E19 The Brig

(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.)

Before I begin this week’s column, I’d like to apologize. I’m not sure how reliable my commentary is going to be. As always, I will try to be as deceitful and biased as possible, but I just don’t know if I can pull that off tonight.

In all seriousness, I always try to look at the episodes with a keen eye for the story and with a fair hand towards their individual story. However, I need to be upfront, because I just don’t know if it’s possible for me to do that for this episode.

I’ve made no apologies about being a Sawyer fan. I will never make any apologies for being a Sawyer fan. But as a Sawyer fan, I can’t help but feel done in by this episode. As I think back over the first two and 82.6% seasons that have aired, I find it hard to think of a character that has been treated as poorly as Sawyer was tonight. Maybe Boone. Maybe Shannon. Maybe Eko. Maybe Sayid. Maybe Libby. No, there were arguably missteps with all those characters, but I’m not sure any of them were as grievous as what was done to Sawyer tonight.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, because this is my space to write about whatever I want concerning LOST for whoever wants to read it. On a little deeper level, it’s not fair to you, the reader, who has come to trust my thoughts (I hope). How can you continue to trust me if I write a column with a cloudy head and don’t tell you? Wouldn’t you know if my usually consistent ideas were suddenly off base?

In other words, do not be surprised if my thoughts are all over the map tonight. Part of my scattered brain is due to the intentions of the writers. We seem to be in a transition stage in the plot (I’ll return to this idea later). The other part of my muddled mind is what I have already explicated. That note being hit, I will, of course, endeavor to entertain you in the same manner and capacity as I always do, just please cut me a little slack this week, ok?

Oh yeah, no animals or plant life was hurt during the composition of this column. All celebrity references are done without license or consent. In fact, I don’t even have permission from myself to write these words. The only person I do have permission from is your Mom (and your face!).


The first bone I have to pick with this episode is how minimal the flashbacks were. Usually, flashbacks reveal some back story about the character. No, I’m not talking about some giant reveal that alters our complete view of the character. What I mean is that the character experiences something on the island that mirrors an experience they had in the past. The most obvious objection to this view of flashbacks is that not every flashback has been used in this manner. Fair enough.

I acknowledge this objection and grant it. This episode was not your typical flashback episode. Instead, this flashback explained what had transpired in Locke’s life on the island over the past however many days on the island (I think it was six). Therefore, let’s compare this episode to another episode that used exactly that technique.

The two episodes I can think of as similar to this episode are Expose and Three Minutes. I would put forward that Expose is unlike The Brig. True, it did have flashbacks that occurred on the island, but the important thing to note is where the flashbacks began. The back story for Expose began off the island. Some might argue that the episode was written in this way to write unpopular characters off the show. I disagree, but that point is irrelevant anyway. Nikki and Paulo’s flashbacks weren’t explanatory flashbacks. They were to establish the relationship between the pair. Oh yeah, and the other important difference between The Brig and Expose is that this episode didn’t have a hot chick in it. Boobs would have at least made this episode a little more interesting. Why? Because boobs make everything more interesting. Well, except for Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and the like. (I would have said Paris Hilton, but she doesn’t have any.)

Three Minutes is the closest thing we’ve had to a flashback like this episode. In order for us to understand the actions of a character in present day (in island time), the writers took us back to the last moment we saw the character. With Michael, the technique was particularly effective. With Locke, it was not. Why you ask? What is the important distinction? Well, in turn, I ask you: why even ask me? You know I’m going to explain it.

The important distinction has to do with the time passed over the flashbacks. As already explained, Locke’s spanned six days. I don’t remember how long Michael’s lasted in island time, but it was about half of Season Two. Michael disappeared in The Hunting Party and returned the episode before Three Minutes (episodes are approximate). That disappearance was a large chunk of time. Anything could have happened during it. And anything did.

When Michael returned from The Others camp, he was as shaky and out of his mind as a minor character pointing a gun at the villain in an action movie. But it was more than that type of cliché action. He was shady too. He was making demands. Well, demands beyond, “We’re going to get my son back.” He left a one dimensional one note character and returned a complicated and conflicted enigma. We wanted to know what happened to him.

With Locke, the same can’t be said. Nothing close to that can be said. Locke’s last big moment was The Man from Tallahassee. We found out why he was in the wheelchair. Then, in a big reveal, Locke saw that his father was on the island. The next time we saw him was in Left Behind. He was apparently aligned with The Others and saying goodbye to Kate because of it. The thing was, when I saw him acting that way towards Kate, I wasn’t surprised at all. Why wouldn’t he go with The Others? Ben showed him something he wanted and told him he was special. Hasn’t that been the way to manipulate Locke all along?

So Locke shows up in camp and he’s supposedly there with Ben. He “accidentally” runs into Sawyer first, who just so happens to be the person he’s looking for. Well, you know what happens next. It was pretty obvious he never actually had Ben too. I called it from the previews.


It is currently noon on Saturday. I am returning to writing this column after a couple days off. Why did I need the time off? Well, if you remember this week’s introduction, I felt I needed the distance in order to properly evaluate the episode. Additionally, I seriously weighed the opinions of some of closest confidants. No, I have not seriously weighed the opinions of message board posters. That’s like strolling into the Democratic National Convention or interviewing Howard Dean. You don’t do those things if you’re seeking out rational thought.

Taking into account, the perspective of others on this episode, I have determined that I am wrong. Contrary to the beliefs of other though, those three words were not hard to type. Let it never be said that I think my opinions are infallible. I am nowhere near that arrogant. Ok, well, maybe I am that arrogant because I’m going to tell you my thoughts anyway on the off chance that the world could actually be round and not flat like everyone else is saying.

As this week’s episode progressed further and further, I found myself more and more upset and confused at the fact that it wasn’t a Sawyer episode. What did Locke do besides sit around? He was essentially a prop. He didn’t even feel like the main character of the episode. This episode was the first time in LOST’s run that I felt a flashback episode belonged to another character.

Furthermore, from day one, Sawyer’s big moment has been built up to be his confrontation with Mr. Sawyer. In the first half of the pilot, his only appearance is him reading the letter. In his first flashback episode, the twist to the on island story is Kate figuring out that the letter wasn’t too him, it was by him. All of his “problems” and pain all stem from the one moment in his life. The one moment that has now passed and gone without as much as a second thought.

Don’t get me wrong. I thought the scene was done wonderfully. If this episode were a Sawyer episode, I would probably be singing its praises (assuming the flashbacks were as good as the on island action). While locked in The Brig, the exchange between the two con men was so intense. Cooper never seemed like more of a dick than he did in this episode. Truthfully, I don’t even think Sawyer intended to kill him, but when he tore up the letter, he signed his own death certificate. Sawyer then strangled him to death and it was over. Although, this episode did show why Sawyer is my favorite character. Cooper tried to push him around in the same manner as Locke. Sawyer wouldn’t stand for it though.

To a certain extent, this episodes make Sawyer feel like a second tier character now, more so than any other character. How can I make that claim? His story is now only an element of Locke’s. Suppose, for a moment, that they were all brought to the island for a reason. Could it not be argued that Sawyer’s entire purpose was to kill Cooper, so Locke could do and do whatever it is Locke needs to do now? I don’t think it’s such a farfetched notion. Although, I will say the following: if early (I mean the first four episodes again) next season the writers have a Sawyer episode where he is essentially “directionless” because his big moment is gone, then they can fix the character. I guess I just don’t understand why we needed a third Locke episode when the last one was only six episodes ok and we haven’t had a Sawyer episode since episode four.

In other island news, the Survivors are all lined up against Jack. Gee, I wonder why that is. I never saw that coming or anything. But wait, I can hear it from miles away. The whining of the Jack supporter’s is echoing across the LOSTiverse. It is their contention that Jack is conning everyone and their evidence is the scene where Juliet says they should tell Kate. What’s the big secret? Jack is a douchebag. There, I said it. Can we move beyond it now? In all seriousness, I’m not ready to declare Jack as the still ultimate good guy. I think by season’s end something will be revealed that will flip us all on Jack. Maybe he’ll be continuing his father’s work or something. Of course, that probably means I’ll think he’s a badass or something. But that’s not possible…is it?


It is becoming more and more apparent to me that the “answers” to LOST are supernatural. Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I think the island is special. The geologically unique electromagnetic energy is helpful to science because it’s, well, unique and science is all about discovering patterns that exist within nature. This energy heals people, hurts women, and keeps the island largely hidden (unless dispersed in large bursts a la the Fail Safe, but even then someone has to know what she’s looking for). Therefore, I see the timeline of the island as follows:

There is a super special island. Historically, it has been consulted by many different tribes, religions, countries, etc to heal people or do whatever other crazy stuff they think it can do. In the 1970s, The DeGroots discover the island and decide they’re going to use it to save the world (because that’s what hippies and academics think they’re always doing). With the help and money of Alvar Hanso, the couple forms the Dharma Initiative to do research on the island.

Here is where I’m unsure of exactly what happens. I see two distinct possibilities. First, it is important to establish that no one could be living on the island unless they were brought there because conception is impossible on the island (unless that health problem is a myth perpetrated by Ben, which I don’t believe it is). Therefore, either Dharma split in two or people were brought to the island to combat against Dharma. Either way, I see the following happening: For some reason, Hanso decides what he was doing with the Dharma Initiative is incorrect or immoral or something. He goes renegade and begins “The Purge”, only allowing his chosen few to remain alive. The Black Smoke is a part of that Purge, as it scans people and makes sure they are “chosen” and if they are not, kills them.

To this day, Hanso still exerts influence on the outside world. The Survivors were not controlled from day one of their lives (some of them are older than Dharma itself), but they were all manipulated from a certain point on in their life to bring more and specific subjects to the island. Need a pregnant woman? We’ll get you the young single mother who’s mother is in a perma-coma and whose father is dead. Why are these people all so connected? Well, the connections are either a result of the manipulation to get them on the plane or the reason they were put on the plane. Need Locke’s dad killed? Put the con man whose life he ruined on the plane. Need an amazing spinal surgeon on the plane? Well, the pregnant woman just so happens to have a half brother who performs miracles. Once he finds out they’re related, he’ll do anything to help her.

Now, supposed Hanso was not the only incredibly wealthy backer of the Dharma Initiative. What other very wealthy families have we seen? Sun’s family was very rich. More importantly, so is Penny Widmore’s. Penny is probably as rich as Hanso himself. That means, Hanso has finally met his match. Anything he can do, she can do better (or at least equally). He fakes a plane crash and she exposes it as fraud. I’m not saying things will happen exactly that way, but money offsets money.

So where does this leave the Survivors? We finally know what the split will occur over. As was said in Season 1, the people who stayed on the beach were still hoping for rescue, while the people in the caves were packing it in and giving up. The former group will remain the same while the latter group will be comprised of people who want to stay and save the world (you know Jack will be part of that group). However, I also wouldn’t be surprised if the former group finds out that the work the latter group is doing actually hurts the world, so they are morally obligated to stop them. I just can’t buy into the fact that Ben and his followers are “the good guys” when they kill indiscriminately and kidnap and the like.


Thanks to my good friend who talked to me immediately following the episode. I really needed to hear that other perspective and to digest the episode with someone else immediately. Also, an apology to another friend who likes to get mentioned. That sentence is as far as that discourse will ever go again, but I’ve done my part. Sometimes, there are just people you can’t talk to anymore due to differences in world perspectives.

I’ve got no witty way to lead to the catchphrase this week. Of course, I could always say that if you still think this show is supernatural, then there’s only one answer for you:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

LOST Redux: S3E18 D.O.C.

(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.)

Calm down. I know. The ending to this week’s episode was crazy. I assure you though, they’re not dead. The island is real. They haven’t traveled backwards or forwards in time. They’re not in a parallel universe. The last line of the episode was simple an example of the amazing writing on this show.

I’ll admit it. I flipped out when the Rescuer said that line to Hurley. My first reaction was to scream “NO!” and bemoan the fact that the Purgatory theorists would remerge with a more intensified vigor. Hours later, when my west coast friend finished watching the show, I received a text message that read “Whoa” I simply replied “Whoa indeed”.

After thinking about the episode for a few minutes, listening to a smart theory from a friend, and sleeping on it, it has become apparent to me that the writers used one shocking twist to create the perception of another, when really there is not one. It’s similar to how on 24 that the writers need to make every important happen at the top of every hour. In reality, they only need to create the perception that important things are happening at the end of every hour so the viewer will tune into the next episode. Then, when the next episode begins, something simple can happens that explains it away. For instance, if Jack Bauer were captured at the end of the episode, he would escape quickly at the beginning of the next. Now consider how often in 24 Jack Bauer does something daring and ridiculous. The magnitude of the current escape seems less, no?

The writers had the Rescuer say that line at the end of the episode because it would be emphasized for several reasons. First, events at the end of episode are always emphasized, especially with the LOST sound effect. Second, the actual shocking twist of the Russian being alive naturally, but illogically, leads us to believe that the Survivors (named changed from 815ers due to peer critique) too died and were brought back to life, but who is to say the Russian ever died? I will return to death on the island later in this column. Finally, the understood setup of a Jin and Sun episode is very slow and dramatic. I don’t believe there has ever been a huge mythological revelation in any of their episodes. In fact, all we ever seem to learn is that Sun’s a lair. Those comments are for the flashback section though, so let’s not waste anymore time and jump into The Midside…


I don’t know what it is about Jin and Sun episodes. I certainly wouldn’t call it bad writing. I certainly wouldn’t claim that they aren’t entertaining. But, I always feel some sort of a disconnect with them, most notably with the flashbacks. The most obvious explanation is that they’re speaking Korean and the translations are in subtitles. That immediate understanding of the action isn’t there. My perception is filtered through someone else’s perception. Let’s not delve into communication theory though. It’s interesting that the writers would choose to have such characters and make them more and more prominent as the series progresses. It provides a unique challenge to make the audience invest in the characters. Of course, every character has been a unique challenge, some of which have succeeded wonderfully (Locke), some of which have failed miserably (Charlie). And if you don’t think Sun is hugely important after last night’s episode then, wow.

Much of the time, I pride myself on being able to see twists and shifts in the narrative coming. I can usually read into why the writers are showing us certain scenes or why they wrote a certain line in a certain manner. After this episode, I feel like a blockhead. As Sun was talking to Jin’s father, I found myself thinking “Is she going to seek out Jin’s mother now?” It never occurred to me that the lady demanding the money was Jin’s mother. It should have been inherently obvious. How else would she know about who Jin’s mother was besides if she was Jin’s mother (especially considering there wasn’t some huge scandal about it)? I don’t know why I didn’t figure it out. Maybe it has to do with the disconnect I was noting. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Jin and Sun flashbacks tend to be overshadowed by the action in the episodes and thus I don’t invest in them as much. Maybe the former factor influences the latter factor. Or maybe I can stop making excuses and simply applaud the talent of the writers.

(Soap Box: I don’t buy the “I gave birth to him, I’m not his mother” babble. Giving birth to someone is the definition of being their mother. A mother is not simply a mother who raises you. That distinction is why terms such as “Foster Mother” were created. Jin’s mother simply wanted to make herself feel better for disowning her son.)

I’m not really sure what the point of the flashbacks was besides to provide reasoning as to Sun’s reaction when she found out the Date of Conception (D.O.C.) of her child. We learned two things. First, Sun loves Jin madly. Notice how they had her say it about three times and Jin even asked her if she loved him madly one time. This “revelation” made it believable that she would cry tears of joy at finding out the baby was Jin’s. Although, I would argue that the tears were more from relief. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t cheat and you won’t face this problem (unless, of course, you’re on a primetime drama and it’ll make the story more interesting). I put the word revelation in quotes because I’m not so sure we didn’t already know that she loved her husband that much. Although, admittedly, they probably felt the need to remind us after all the action surround the Golden Child. I do have to admit I’m kind of disappointed though. I’ll never get to write about the Golden Grandchild now.

Second, we learned that Sun is a liar…again. Heck, she’s one hundred thousand whatever-the-name-of-Korean-currency-is a liar. Like it or not, paying someone off to conceal the truth is a form of lying. It’s a sort of twisted sense of morality to believe that concealing the truth from your husband proves that you really love him. Of course, maybe I’m just crazy, but I would always rather know the truth, especially to keep myself out of debt, especially to keep myself out of the kind of debt that turns you into a hit man. Think of how happy and pleasant Jin’s life was before he was promoted to Mafioso member by Sun’s father. Then, the series of events unfolded until he was stranded on a mysterious island apparently in the middle of nowhere. Is Sun really the best thing that ever happened to him? Would he still believe she was if he knew everything we knew? Probably. He would spout some line about how she is worth all the pain in the world ever, ever. Oh, cheesy over-the-top romance, how do I love you? Not all that much, actually. And it would be so easy for me to make so many derogatory remarks here, from comments about whipped guys to women to spoiled rich girls to Koreans, so I’m just going to shut my mouth because it’s obviously way too easy for someone of my intellectual prowess (or powerless).


Something must have happened to me. Maybe I got hit in the head and don’t remember it. Maybe I’m on drugs now and don’t realize it. Somehow, I am beginning to appreciate Charlie. He had the balls last night to stand up to Desmond. Of course, after standing up, he promptly sat down, but at least he did something. Of course, Jin was more of a badass, running through the jungle twice and beating the crap out of the Russian once. Did you see that kick? Why wouldn’t Jin know karate? He’s Asian!

I’m also not so sure I agree with Desmond’s assessment of the situation. “By my count, you’ve killed more of them than they’ve killed of you.” First off, his use of the word “you” obviously refers to the general, so he was referring to all of the Survivors. Second off, his words show a complete lack of understanding of the context. Yes, the Survivors have killed five of The Others (Ethan, Goodwin, Colleen, and two nameless and faceless ones). Yes, their actions also led to the ultimate demise of two of them (Ms. Klug and Pickett). Then there’s the Russian who we just can’t classify at this point anymore. On the flip side, The Others have technically only killed one of the Survivors (Scott or Steve), but they spent spies into camp, kidnapped children, kidnapped Claire, tried to hang Charlie, kidnapped Jack, Kate, and Sawyer and treated them like animals, and sent Michael off the deep end. Their actions also resulted in the deaths of Nathan, Ana Lucia, and Libby. If someone walks up to me and tries to kill me and I shoot him, am I the immoral person because I hurt him more than he hurt me? No, he is the aggressor. His bullet wound was brought about by his actions. Likewise, the casualties The Others have suffered were brought about by their own actions. If you defend yourself against someone else’s aggression, you are not taking immoral action.

You know what’s crazy, we had an entire episode without Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, or Locke. Furthemore, Kate was a minor character in the episode, only participating in one scene. Episodes like this annoy me when people make claims like “the women on LOST on weak.” Yeah, they’re so weak that they go on treks through the jungle on their own and build relationships without the guys that will have a direct influence on the outcome of the series. When Sun marched across the beach and demanded answers from Juliet, that action was so weak too, right? The other common response is that the women all do stereotypical female things like get pregnant. Last I checked, it isn’t a stereotypical thing because only women get pregnant. Why is pregnancy such a big thing on LOST? Because this series is slowly becoming about the continued existence of the human race. The human race continues to exist through children. Children are born through pregnancy. Pregnancy occurs in women. It is a tragedy and undesirable for the women to all die, hence why The Others brought in a fertility doctor.

Oh, Juliet, now that I have transitioned to you, you have spent way too much time with Jack. That “I hate you” after the tape recorder stopped recording was so passive aggressive and childish. It is exactly the way Jack acts towards his father. It also reminds me of when Cartman said, “God, I hate you guys” on South Park. What does Ben have on her that she continues to comply with his orders? Is being with The Others that much of an advantage to being a regular old Survivor on the island? I don’t understand why she doesn’t just tell him to get bent and move on with her life. Is she pregnant by Goodwin and needs to stay with The Others to use their equipment to hopefully heal herself? She can’t possibly be because Flight 815 crashed over 90 days ago and she would be showing by now, wouldn’t she?

(Side Note: If impregnated women take the morning after pill or have a really early abortion, would it save their lives? I’m not advocating abortion, just wondering about the exact “science” of the deaths of these pregnant women.)


The main thing that intrigues me about this episode is the notion of death. When Locked shoved the Russian into the electric fence (Don’t whiz on the electric fence!), we assumed he was dead. The most obvious answer to this entire quandary is to simply say that our assumption was wrong. The Russian somehow faked his own death. However, we do know that the electric fence did something. Juliet turned it on in Left Behind. Since she turned it on in that episode, it may have been off in the previous ones. We have no way of really knowing (besides being shown in a future flashback). There are some other subtleties that make it possible he actually died and came back to life. Either way, I don’t really care. I really like the Russian’s character and am glad he is back.

First, I’d like to note how Ms. Klugh told the Russian to kill her. Now, I believed that this demand was just the writers’ way of demonstrating how committed to the cause The Others are. However, what if she knew she wouldn’t actually be dead for that long and thus him killing her wasn’t a big deal? Is that why he also asked to be killed so quickly, he knew he would be coming back? There are lots of interesting implications to this idea, not the least of which being that Jack’s Dad and Yemi aren’t dead.

Remember how the writers said Nikki and Paulo would become iconic characters? Remember how I said Expose was a microcosm of the show? Nikki and Paulo were literally buried alive. Well, what if that was symbolic of how the writers always make a point of showing us that the dead are buried by the Survivors? What if they didn’t bury them, they would come back to life? The symbolism of Nikki and Paulo has grown.

Likewise, a quote from Expose stands out even more. Locke said that things on the island don’t stay buried. Are all the dead going to come back at some point? Is LOST going to have the largest ensemble cast in the history of ensemble casts? How pissed off would Ana Lucia be when she came back? It would make so much sense if Libby came back after dropping her storyline like it was hot. It would also be the single greatest smokescreen in television, all this crap about Ana Lucia, Libby, and Eko being killed off for off screen reasons would be a lie. You want another quote? Remember when Hurley and Charlie were burying Ethan in S1? Hurley said he thought Ethan was going to pop back to life…

What about the symbolism of the eye opening? Is that the characters literally coming back to life? In the Pilot, Sayid said it would have been impossible for anyone to survive such a plane crash. I, and many others, always assumed that to mean that the plane crash was a controlled situation or was planned. What if it means that they DID died and the island reanimated them? The eye opening is them being reanimated! Is there a list somewhere of all the characters that have opened their eyes at the beginning of episodes? It would be interesting to read.

The reason I picture the eye opening in this way is in the Highlander whenever an Immortal is “brought back to life”, their eyes open suddenly. It is the symbolic gesture that represents the essence of life still enduring in the character because if you’ve ever looked into the eyes of a dead person (at a wake or otherwise) they just seem empty, especially if you knew them well. That’s it! I’ve solved LOST! The island is The Source from Highlander. I smell an extremely lucrative crossover. Maybe that’s why the new Highlander movie (appropriately title Highlander: The Source) keeps getting pushed back. If Adrian Paul shows up on the island, I’m flipping out…


I’m expecting big things out of next week’s episode. I’ll admit to watching the previews and it’s so obvious that Locke hasn’t kidnapped Ben or abandoned The Others. Rather, he has his Dad and is going to test Sawyer to see if Sawyer will kill him. In other words, it’s going to be a ridiculous Sawyer episode. I’m betting they’ve had a confrontation before and that is what the flashback will be as well. Although, I hope the episode doesn’t end in Sawyer dying because he gets over his problems…

I’m so sad, the season is almost over. And if you think I shouldn’t be sad, I’ve only got one thing to say:

Shut up, you’re wrong.

LOST Redux: S3E17 Catch-22

(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.)

The Midside S3E17: Catch-22

It’s been a long week. If you’ve talked to anyone at all or turned the news on for about 30 second, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t done either of those things, why are you wasting your time reading my column? My musings are enjoyment spawned from enjoyment. Do you really need that much leisure in your life? Apparently I do, so to get on with the fun, I’ll skip the bullshit and get straight to the necessary ethos establishing eulogy. My condolences and sympathies go out to all the Hokies in the world. I could never be a Hokie or understand what you’ve been through, but if you need anything, just give me a ring.

LOST made this week even longer. No, I don’t mean emotionally, thank God. Last night’s episode was an intellectual investment…and a half. Immediately after the episode aired, a friend and I spent a large amount of time trying to understand what the Catch-22 of the episode is. Thankfully for you, I finally figured it out, so I’ll have something to write about this week (although, if you hate my column, my discovery of the answer is a bad thing, but if you hate my column, why are you reading it? I’ll never understand the internet.).

Alright, enough with this short winded introduction. Into the Midside…


In order to discuss this week’s flashbacks I must first make sure we all understand two things. The first is rather obvious and easy to all LOST fans. The conflict of Desmond’s character is to not be a coward. When he turned the fail safe key, he, and all of us, believed he was being brave, but was he really? That thought is one I will return to later. Before that discussion, let me explain the other concept.

A Catch-22 is when in order to accomplish A one must do B and C, but if there is B, there is no C and if there is C, there is no C. Got it? No? I understand. The logical relationship is a bit tricky. Let me explain it in simpler terms using an example that many of us face in life, an example that I recently faced. In order to get a job, you must have work experience, but in order to get work experience, you must get a job. Do you see the Catch-22 there? The end result you are trying to accomplish is A (Get money, get money), by getting B (work experience) and C (a job). However, needing to get work experiences implies you don’t have a job, while getting a job implies that you don’t need work experience.

How does this logical cyclical relationship apply to Desmond? His perception of the world is a Catch-22. He knows that his character flaw is that he is a coward. He tries so hard to overcome it that he makes it impossible to overcome. Let me say it in Catch-22 terms. Desmond believes that in order to do something with his life, he must be brave, but in order to be brave, he must do something. I would like to emphasis that this Catch-22 is Desmond’s perception and thus all in his mind. In actuality, doing nothing would be the brave action. Let’s take this idea and apply it to this episode.
Desmond joined a monastery. The question is, why did he join it? His excuse was that it was his calling. However, the responses of others contradict his excuse. First, his finance believed he was lying to break up with her. She saw the bullshit he was slinging. What she didn’t realize was that he was slinging it to himself more than anyway. Similarly, the monk deemed him unfit for the monastery. He was fired. But if it was really his true calling, would he have been fired? No, the monk saw through his façade, mainly because he got drunk off of his ass, and realized the truth. So if his excuse was that it was his calling, why did he really join it?

Desmond was afraid of getting married so he pulled a Kate and ran away to the monastery. He spun it in his head so the action would seem brave, when really it was extreme cowardice. “I was shunning my entire life in favor of God’s plan!” No dude, you had cold feet, wussed out, and ran away. I’m Bill O’Reilly and this is the No Spin Zone and you’re a bitch!

Now let’s apply this idea to the action on the island. Desmond is shown flashes of the future. In these flashes, Charlie dies. Constantly, Desmond makes the decisions to save Charlie. Really though, he isn’t being brave. He is being shown a plan (arguably God’s) and rather than trusting in it and doing nothing, he takes action and sabotages it. Consider how the story of Abraham and Isaac was told by the monk. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah (notice how that was the name of the wine the monks bottled). Abraham intends to, but at the last minute is stopped by an angel. In other words, God was testing Abraham. Is whatever force testing Desmond and does not really intend to kill Charlie? Or does it intend to test Charlie and figures it can use the situation to test Desmond? I’ll return to this idea later.

How about applying this idea a little further back? How about my theories about Flashes Before Your Eyes? Well, obviously those theories have been disproved as someone found the island and that person was looking for Desmond. How could Penny have not been the one who found the island then? So what was that episode all about if it wasn’t the island course correcting so it wouldn’t be discovered? Whatever force is testing Desmond was testing him then. The jewelry lady told him that the fate of the universe depended on him getting rid of Penny, so what did he do? Rather than standing up, giving the middle finger to Penny, and riding off into the sunset, he was a jerk to her and scared her away. He took the cowardly action by acquiescing to the larger plan just as he did with running from his marriage and saving Charlie. I ask, what did Jack Sparrow when Davey Jones, the ruler of death, came for his soul? He formulated a plot to stop Jones from taking his soul. What did he do when the Kraken was poised to devour him? He jumped towards the fate of death with his sword drawn. Jack Sparrow is a hero. Desmond is a coward.

How about applying this idea to the failsafe key? Desmond believed he was being brave by turning the key. He kissed it and said, “I love you, Penny” as if he was sacrificing his life. He believed he was dying for The Greater Good of the world. However, wasn’t his action really cowardly? Sure, he didn’t know what would happen when he turned the key, but do we ever really know what is going to happen? No, and the much more intriguing outcome would have been to NOT turn the key and saw what happened when The Swan finally imploded. We would have learned the exact logistics of the plane crash, the station, and the geologically unique electromagnetic energy. Instead, Desmond got to run around the island naked, look like hippie Jesus for an episode, and receive the “power” of future vision.

On a final note, the scene where Penny and Desmond met for the first time was very nice. It was well written, acted, and filmed and it made me smile. My only question is, was Desmond even being a coward during the episode? Penny was the one who introduced herself and offered that he could help her unload the wine at her destination when he was the one who was so initially mesmerized. She was the forward one and he was along for the ride. I guess we know the final outcome of Desmond’s storyline. Penny loves him, but he doesn’t yet deserve her because he always picks the cowardly route rather than her.


I’m so glad they didn’t kill Charlie. It’s well known that I’m not a fan of the character. However, I don’t think I could have dealt with any character dying this week. It would have been too emotional. I have to admit as well that Charlie has gotten a lot last annoying when I don’t have to deal with his flashbacks. Entire episodes of Charlie feeling sorry for himself and doing nothing about it are too much to handle, but debates with Hurley over who is faster between Superman and The Flash are, dare I say, endearing. Ironically, this death storyline with Charlie has made me want him to die less than I have any other time of the series. Maybe it’s because he’s not on drugs anymore. In his flashbacks, the time he was the least annoying was when he was clean cut and annoying.

What’s with Hurley suddenly being a liar? In the beginning of the series, he was sweet and naïve. Heck, in his most recent episode, he was innocent and simple minded. I’m not saying he’s dumb, he’s just not very well educated. Now, he has conned Sawyer into being nice and lied to Jin to get him to go “camping”. Has Hurley been acting dumb this whole time or is he suddenly changing? Way back in S1 he did say that he was considered a warrior by some back where he came from.

Ok, I’ll try not to rant here, but I am worried about the prospects of the quadrangle in relevance to what it means to LOST. This episode didn’t feature much development in the Jack and Juliet department. Juliet was essentially a prop and Jack was Jack, doing what he felt like and being warm to Kate and Sawyer when they talked to him. What interests me is the way Kate and Sawyer acted.

Kate’s actions are a lot easier to understand than Sawyer’s. She was acting very childish. I would compare her choices to that of a teenager. When one guy she likes finds another girl, she goes to the other guy that she is attracted to and she knows is attracted to her and uses him as an ego boost. It is very interesting to me how Kate can be so intelligent, clever, and strong at times and so weak, insecure, and childish at others.

It was nice to see Sawyer be so mature in this episode too. He knew Kate was using him as the Crutch Guy, called her on it, but then whitewashed the whole thing by saying she didn’t need to use him, she just had to ask. To me, that line was basically saying, “I love you, but I know you don’t love me, so I’ll be here for you if you need me.” His actions towards Kate weren’t what were interesting to me. I wonder why he chose to play ping pong with Jack. Was he really just trying to be friends with Jack? I don’t think so, as such an action is not one his character would take. Rather, I think he wanted to find out why Kate was crying. The logical explanation was that she was crying because of something Jack did, either intentionally or unintentionally. What is the best way to find out what Jack did? Strike up a friendly conversation with him. Eventually the small talk will turn to the event. Sawyer did exactly that by asking Jack to play ping pong.

What does all this quadrangle crap have to do with the eventual end of LOST? I fear that LOST will end with Sawyer sacrificing himself so that Jack and Kate may be together. Such a move would be disrespectful to Sawyer and anyone like him. Sawyer does not need to be redeemed. It is frustrating to have to continually defend him and plead his case because people have decided he’s a jerk and won’t let their minds be changed otherwise.

On the other hand, would it really be a good move to kill Jack and have Kate and Sawyer end up together? Wouldn’t that be just as disrespectful to Jack and the people like him? Maybe, but isn’t the difference between Jack and Sawyer that Jack has always made it a point to go out of his way to harm himself for the greater good. I mean, he was giving all his blood to Boone before Sun stopped him.

The other option, of course, is to have Kate die. Thus, Sawyer and Jack would finally come together as co-leaders and save the rest of the Survivors. I’m actually leaning towards this outcome of the series. The whole Kate thing is getting to be played out. I’m ready for it to end. Hopefully, it will be by the end of the season, especially so I can decide if I want to keep watching LOST or not. Although, with how good LOST is, I can’t see the producers doing something as stupid as killing Sawyer for Jack and Kate, but I’ve learned to never underestimate the stupidity of people.


The main topic I want to discuss this week is the testing of Desmond. Typically, we do not have evidence of immediate and forceful testing by whatever force tests the Survivors. However, with Desmond, the mode of the test is implanted right into his head in the form of visions. Do this visions represent a legitimate view of the future or a fake view in order to manipulate Desmond? I’ve already put forward that his flashbacks in Flashes Before Your Eyes are fake, why couldn’t the visions be?

Say, for instance, that whatever the force is uses the layout of the island to create a false storyline. The cable was always there. The trap with the arrow was always there. They didn’t necessarily have to find the trap or the cable. Why would they have even gone “camping” if Desmond hadn’t asked them to? I’m not so sure they would have. The easy answer to this question is that the crash of the presumed helicopter and the Flash vs. Superman conversation demonstrate that the visions he’s given are of the future. I think they really are visions of the future, but are only given to him as a test.

The next question is, what is the point of this test? As explained in the flashback section, Desmond is intended to overcome his cowardice. What happens when he overcomes it though, does he die? The main example I always turn to when overcoming their main conflict and Eko and his death. Demonstrated by his silence following the plane crash and his building of the church for his brother, Eko had a deep guilt for the life he had lived. In the end, he overcame that guilt and realized he had nothing to ask for forgiveness for because he did not take those actions out of sin, but love. He never once killed a man out of a malicious action. Once he stopped believing himself to be bad, the Black Smoke killed him.

Similarly, Desmond believes himself to be a coward the needs to be redeemed. Jack believes he’ll never be good enough. Sawyer believes he is a bastard child unworthy of love (Kate doesn’t help that complex much). Similarly, Kate believes she has to earn love. When these people see their value and self worth, is that when they die? Is it when they overcome being a bad person that their death is imminent? Charlie has seemingly overcome his addictive personally and whatever the force is is trying to kill him. But what kind of a force kills good people? Are The Others really The Good Guys? Should we have known from the minute we saw The Black Smoke that it was essence of pure evil?


Alright, I’m done. See you next week. I know, I know, it’s just that by the time I get to the end every week, I’m so drained, this week especially. Do you really want me to go out of my way to scribble some bullshit down that makes no sense? If your answer to that question is yes, then you know what I have to say:

Shut up, you’re wrong.