Thursday, March 5, 2009

LOST 030: Statue Of Intimations

First of all, let's give it up for Josh Holloway for turning one of the least sympathetic characters in the series into one of the most sympathetic. When this guy is given an episode, he knocks it out of the park. Sadly, his hair looks comical when combed. But really, consider Sawyer. The man everybody loved to hate, the man who hated to be loved, the guy who paid Charlie to drag Sun by the hair so he could steal all the guns . . . that guy has become a credible leader, a man comfortable in his own skin, and a leading character who truly has earned the title "hero." When Sawyer saves the day, he does it because it needs saving, not because he needs to prove something to his dead dad or because he needs something from the island or from some shadowy guy in a shack. The amoral former con man is on of the few who seems to act completely without ulterior motives. Frankly, it might be the most impressive character arc in the show. I hated Sawyer at first, and more, I was bored with him. He seemed so one-note, so trite. The cad with the wounded heart. Now, he's fascinating. The scene in which he comes up to Richard and just blows his mind with the truth was pitch perfect. What a great scene.

Second of all, let's give it up for Elizabeth Mitchell, an actress that I've run hot and cold on, but who shined in this most recent episode. The way she conveyed Juliet's relief and joy at delivering her first-ever live birth on the island was masterful.

Third, let's give it up for a relatively quiet, character driven episode, and a romantic relationship involving Sawyer that I can care about, because it doesn't involve Kate.

Fourth, let's give it up for me. That's right, me. I done told you we'd see a statue in those time jumps. And what a statue it was. Looked Egyptian, didn't it? We haven't seen its face yet, but we will, my friends. We will. And it will be Vincent the dog.

As I've said before, what's fun about the show now is that it is giving us answers. Lots of answers. But (lecture from Eloise Hawking aside) they don't just come out and tell us. They show us something else, which leads us to extrapolate the answers to long-standing questions. Here, I'll show you.

What We Now Know

Our left-behinders have zapped back to Dharma days, and spend 1974 - 1977 waiting for Locke and their friends to arrive. This is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that now we don't have to worry about age discrepancy between the O6 characters and the Left Behind crew. This also means that Daniel Dae Kim can use his fluent English on this show, which has to be nice for him. This also means that we can get plenty of flashback for the LB as well as the O6. We're all the way back to Season 1 structure the rest of the way, I imagine, or at least for the rest of the season.

But here are some other things it certainly means. First, Richard knows Sawyer and Jin and Jack and Hurley and Kate and Locke and Daniel and Juliet and Miles, and probably Sayid and Sun and Frank as well. I would say it is likely that Ben (who is on-island in 1974-1977) knows them too. If Widmore wasn't lying to Locke about being the "leader" during Dharma days . . . well then, Widmore knows them too.

Now think about that. Back in Seasons 2-3, we see Ben meet our Oceanic survivors, and Richard too. When they meet them, our heroes have no history with Ben and Richard and the Others. BUT . . . the Others already have a history with our heroes. They know them well. Not OF them. They've spent time with them, either as friends or as adversaries. They lure Michael into a trap, capture him, and ask them to bring back Hurley, Kate, Jack, and Sawyer. Why those four specifically? Well, one reason is that they ALREADY KNOW THEM. They may already be friends with them. Or enemies. We're going to find out.

Is it starting to make sense how Richard and Ben have such fat dossiers on all of the Oceanic survivors?

Is it starting to make sense why they may have kidnapped Locke's father, to have him on-island for the proper time?

Is it starting to make sense why the major players may have manipulated these specific people to be on Ocean 815? It's for what they will do later in their lives, yes. But what they will do later in their lives, they will do at an earlier point in history. So, in a way, they are being brought to the island to fulfill what they have already done. They need to be on Oceanic 815, not so that they will come to the island, but so they will come BACK to the island. You see? To them, they are on the island for the first time. But for Ben and Richard, and who knows how many of the other Others? They are returning. They were already there in 1974. They need to be on the island because they were on the island.

As Faraday says, whatever happened happened. It's destiny.

Makes you wonder about this coming war that Widmore and Ben refer to. The one that they seem so sure that Locke and the Oceanic Six need to attend. Why are they so sure of the results? Why are they so sure that Jack and Locke and Co. need to be there? Doesn't it seem likely that this grand battle, upon which everything hinges, takes place in the past? That the reason our chess players know so much about what is about to come because they've seen it already?

So that is what we know. Those are the answers we've been given. And honestly, isn't this a much more fulfilling way to discover it, than to have Ben blab it all back in Season 3?

Grace Notes and Questions

* Jin's another character that started out highly unsympathetic and is now beloved. Nice turn of the screw, Lost.

* Consider that Sawyer spent about 180 days with his good friends the Oceanic survivors. He then spent about six times that amount as a member of Dharma. In fact, it seems likely that these three years were the longest that James Ford has ever spent in a single place, and certainly the most responsibility he's ever had or deserved. (Holloway really sold this change in Sawyer, by the way.) This is going to do very interesting things to Sawyer's loyalties. It's like he's been living in college and now, during his senior year, all his goony high school buddies and the girl who took him to prom and then ditched him during a Forever Young slow dance to make out with the star quarterback just turned up for a party at his house. He missed them all so much freshman year, but he hasn't thought of them in like forever. Now he's not sure he wants them to turn up. Kind of awkward.

* Juliet and Sawyer know about the coming purge, yet they choose to stay at Dharma? Guh? How does this play out? Is this the final confrontation for the future of the island? What part do our friends play in this? Do they assist it? Did I see a LaFleur jumper down in that pit of dead Dharmites with Locke back in Season 3? I sure hope not, but I've seen it somewhere, I do know that much.

* When are we going to see li'l Ben again, that little snakey weasel?

* So the left behinders spent three years lying, too. Sweet.

* What exactly was that truce-breaking confrontation between Dharmites and Hostiles all about, anyway? And, truce? What the . . . ? What eventually DID break the truce? Because, you know . . . pit of dead bodies.

* The sonic fence can't keep the Others out. Interesting. Is that because after it kills them, they come back to life, a la Mikail? The island won't let them die? Looking forward to having the immortality thing explained.

* Jerry and Phil like to party and they like their hash brownies. Tell us something we don't know. What a long strange trip it's been.

* The statue really does look Egyptian. So does the temple, where smokkee lives. So does Richard Alpert. Just saying.

* So Horace Goodspeed had a boy with new lady whose name I'll remember if she becomes important. Wonder who that baby is. Hmmmm. I'll say . . . Mr. Eko.

Join us in two weeks, when Sun says:

"Oh HAIL no my husband isn't in 1977!"

ETA: Look at that photo of the statue again. The boards say it looks like it is holding ankhs, but . . . are those crutches??? Or am I just too eager to have my theory that the statue has Locke's face proved right?

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Kristen said...

Love your commentary! The part that made my blood run cold was you saying you remember seeing that LaFleur jumpsuit before. They sure did pan long and slow over that sea of dead bodies in the pit (I think I remember seeing Horace there), but I don't remember LaFleur - interesting! Speaking of which, how DID Sawyer come up with that name? Even Juliet asked him and what did he say - it's Creole? How does that relate? He was born in Alabama, not Louisiana.

The baby? I think it's significant that we haven't learned Horace and Amy's baby's name - could it be someone we've met? I can't think who would be the right age, but I can't wait to find out.

1Queens Up1 said...

How bout this Egyption connection for some fun blow your mind stuff.

Horace = Horus

from wikipedia: Horus is a god of the Ancient Egyptian religion, most commonly known by the Greek version Horus, of the Egyptian Heru/Har. Horus was an ancient and important deity. He was also the son of Isis and Osiris. Some details of the character are changed or intermixed with other characters throughout the different dynasties and Egyptian cults and religions. For example, when Heru (Horus) fuses with Ra the Sun God, he becomes Ra-Horakhty.[1]

And he went balistic when he saw Paul's Ankh....

Julius_Goat said...

Good point, 1Queens. I almost mentioned that one (not that I had this insight, but I read it on various recaps and boards), but I just can't quite assign Horace with such importance to the plot. Yes, he has done a few key things (most notably building the cabin that would eventually become Jacob's), but he's been a very tertiary character. I believe this is the third episode he's ever appeared in. Still, the name + the Egyptian motif is hard to deny.

1Queens Up1 said...

Now that I think back though, remember when Horace appeared to Locke (in a dream or maybe in person?) he was chopping the wood for the cabin but appeared with a nose bleed! He did say he had been dead for 12 years (we see Ben shut his eyes on the bench)which would make the purge occur in 1992? Also meaning the Losties are with the Dharmites for 15 years-ish, pending something happening of course.

Wish i could formulate if that really means something or not..

Gunslinger said...

While the timeline of Ben's birth (apparently early '60s) and his arrival on the island (around 11-13 years old) suggests he should be there during this 3 year period, I'm very interested to see if this is true, or if we see him arrive (and the LBs reaction) in an upcoming episode. As you said, Sawyer was very comfortable in the community and his leadership role. Seeing how content he and Juliet were at the end there, I would be surprised if young Ben had already arrived during that time.

HighOnPoker said...

Another great one, Goat. Here's a thought: The Others are all ghosts, like Christian Shepard. That would explain the lack of aging, although I am not sure if Christian the Ghost could be touched or not (or whether we've seen Alpert actually touch anyone, for that matter).

lj said...

1queensup1 -- love the additions

goat, lovely as usual.

Anonymous said...

HighonPoker we saw Alpert patch up Locke's leg when he was climbing for the plane he wasn't allowed to reach. Interesting theory though.

I also seem to have missed the statue in this ep. I'll have to watch it again!

Anonymous said...

we also saw christian holding little Aaron....