LOST: Every Man for Himself

After a week apart from the Others, it’s back to Benry (hereafter to be referred to as Ben Linus, or just Ben) and his crew, bringing the evil as only the Others know how.

More (with spoilers from this week’s show) after the break.

Links and Miscellanea

  • The hatch (aka Swan Station) may have imploded and become more than a crater in the jungle, but now you can buy a poster print of the hatch’s mural online for $75. If you want a signed and numbered print on canvass, that will set you back a cool $1200.
  • Apparently clued in to the hours and hours of time that LOST fans spend in analysis and decoding, the NSA has decided to target the show’s viewers as a part of its recruitment efforts. (†PopWatch)
  • There’s been a lot of talk (maybe, maybe too much talk) lately about the fact that LOST seems to be losing its audience. The ratings numbers probably don’t lie, and I suppose this is a natural consequence of creating a serial drama that is so complex and esoteric. This article puts the noise of the naysayers into context by pointing out that even if LOST is losing viewers, it remains hugely influential.
  • On the other hand, the results of this study suggest that at least some of the drop-off in ratings could be due to viewers watching the show online. Add to that the fact that LOST is the second most popular current TV series in the world (behind CSI:Miami—who knew David Caruso was such an international draw?), and it’s clear that there is no shortage of people who continue to watch.
  • Via Google Maps, here’s an arial view of Mokule’ia, the Hawaii North Shore location where much of LOST is shot. It looks much, much more domesticated than what we see in the show. The crew must travel to a lot of remote areas for the establishment shots.
  • If you’re already stressing out about the upcoming LOST hiatus (only two more episodes to go), here’s a bit of good news: According to Televisionary, ABC has shortened the hiatus by one week, with the show set to return on February 7, 2007, instead of February 14, as previously anticipated.

Observations and Speculations

  • I liked the parallel storylines of Sawyer as prisoner. They worked quite well, with Sawyer being conned in one case, and getting conned in the other.
  • There may be two islands, but I don’t believe that the Others are on a different island from the Losties, though Ben clearly wants Sawyer to believe that. Remember during the season premier, Ben sent Ethan and Goodwin to the crash sites and told them, “You run, you can make that shoreline in an hour.” Ben didn’t say anything about swimming or piloting a boat. Another possibility is that the Hydra Station is on a separate island from both the Other’s village and the Losties’ beach.
  • In support of the latter theory, the first words that Ben spoke in this episode (after “Juliet, I need you”) were: “The sub is back, we have a situation.” From that, we can infer that in addition to Desmond/Libby’s boat and the fishing boat that Michael rode off in, the Others have access to a submarine. This would explain why Sayid’s plan last week to ambush the Others at the dock never played out, and how the Others were able to board the boat without Sayid or Jin noticing. It would also explain how the Others killed Scott (not Steve) in episode 1.15 even though the Losties had set up a guarded perimeter around the beach. (According to Locke, the Others came in from the water.) So the Others may be using the submarine to commute back and forth to the smaller “Alcatraz” island.
  • So Sawyer’s fondness for reading included his time in prison. We also know that Ben is found of literature, and Steinbeck in particular, though not so much Stephen King.
  • We also know that Juliet is (or claims to be) a fertility doctor. You just know she must have been there in the medical station when the Others were preparing to take Claire’s unborn baby.
  • I have to say, I’m not that crazy about the trajectory of Kate’s character this season. So far, she’s been an object of lust and more than a little on the co-dependant side. The Kate of season 1 would have been pretty receptive to Sawyer’s “every man for himself” credo.
  • Desmond’s little “experiment” seems to be about whether, having the ability to see the future, he’s capable of changing it. Desmond knew that a thunderstorm was rolling in, and my theory is that he saw the domicile of Claire/Aaron/Charlie catch fire, probably killing the occupants. With his makeshift 5-iron lightning rod, Desmond was able to divert the disaster and cheat fate. Cool.
  • The Other known as Danny Pickett (the one Sawyer called “Chinatown”—love that) claimed that Colleen (the Other that Sun dispatched) was his wife. So now we know that some form of husband and wife relationships exist on the island.
  • Jack, with his “Who am I hear to save” line raised the interesting question about whether the Others were responsible somehow for bringing specific persons to the island. Could it be possible that the Others brought Jack to the island—caused him to arrive there—so that he could perform surgery on one of their own? Could this be what Ben was talking about when he told Jack “if you do what I tell you when the time comes” at the end of last episode? The degree of influence of the Others on external events is unclear right now, but that seems to be the implication at work.
  • As I mentioned in the comments to last week’s post, I believe that the significance of Juliet’s name is that she and Jack will soon become star-crossed lovers. I also suspect that a Juliet defection is possible.
  • Sawyer showed his soft and squishy side in at least two respects this episode: in his obvious concern for Kate’s well being and in his selfless act for his daughter, Clementine.
  • The new characters introduced last week (Paulo and Nikki) appear to be actual cast members. They still seem like redshirts to me.
  • The preview for next week was chock full o’ spoilers including (highlight if you’re interested): Ben Linus is the man with the spinal tumor; Locke and Eko get into a scuffle; Locke, Sayid Desmond and Redshirt Nikki (and probably Eko) will return to the Pearl Station, where they will see a man with an eye patch (Candle/Wickman) on the station’s monitor—and he’ll see them; and Sayid, Charlie and Hurley appear to run toward some kind of burning/floating funeral pyre on the beach. Or something.

This was a good episode. Sawyer’s flashback wasn’t as complex as some of his we’ve seen in the past, but it served its purpose, and the storyline, well. I certainly didn’t find this episode slow paced or uneventful. And next week’s episode looks to be pretty exciting as well.

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15 thoughts on “LOST: Every Man for Himself

  1. It’s quite possible that there is an underground passageway beneath the two islands.

    However, it still seems really odd to me because they’ve sailed around much of the island.

  2. I’m wondering how many people will read or re-read “Of Mice and Men” as a result of this episode. I think I’ll be picking up a copy somewhere.

  3. First of all, I don’t believe that Sawyer has a daughter. I just don’t. I think the girl he conned was tipped off to the prison doings and figured that she could get some money out of it.

    Second, I think that Jack was chosen from the Losties because he is a spinal surgeon, but I don’t think that the Others had control over the crash and who was on it.

    I agree with you about Losteria Lane and Desmond’s experiment. Also the red-shirtitude of Nikki and Paolo. And any cast member who has a movie coming up or a has had a recent run-in with the law.

    Finally, I have that cartoon on a videotape at home. My son used to watch it all the time.

  4. The show really didn’t clarify for sure whether or not Sawyer has a daughter. What seemed clear is that Sawyer has a heart after all. Maybe that was obvious to others but until that moment, the jury was till out in my book. If he cared enough to give the money to a daughter that might not have existed, then that stands for something.

    Perhaps we should give Sawyer credit for making a judgment call on this one. Being the con man that he is, he seems to read people well and figure out how to fool them. If his con victim told him that she had a baby, and he believed it, then maybe that tells us that the baby was in fact his.

  5. Here’s another thought:

    What if the preview was misdirecting us (as previews so often do) and the x-ray is not Ben? What if Jack only thinks it’s Ben? What if the x-ray is really Locke? What if the island cured Locke’s tumor just like it cured Rose’s tumor?

    I think this is a real possibility. If the Others can have Jack’s dad’s autopsy report (as they claim they do), they could also have Locke’s x-ray. The producers have also said that we will find out why Locke was paralized this season.

  6. If were one of Lost’s producers, I think the thing that would give me the absolute most pleasure and satisfaction would be reading about people’s theories, etc.

    As for me, well, I stopped trying to figure things out a long time ago.

  7. Greg,
    It looked like Jack was talking to the person with the tumor. I like your theory but I don’t think he’s going to meet up with Locke within the next couple episodes.

  8. Bryce, I think that is a very interesting question. There is a woman who has been talking to Jack a lot … (i never get the names down of all the characters). The same one who Ben spoke with, saying something like “I guess I’m not part of the book club anymore.”

    My guess is that she’s the one Ben cares about.

  9. I thought this episode was weaker than the rest this season. But it was still good.

    My prediction is that the other island is the *same* island. They’re in a kind of weird warp which is why no one can leave the island. (Remember Desmond’s attempts)

    I missed the first minute of the show (dang ABC starting it 2 minutes before the hour). Did Desmond have a vision of the lightening?

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