While other shows are in hiatus waiting for sweeps to come back around, LOST just keeps rolling with one great episode after another. Tonight’s Locke-centric episode was certainly no exception.
Links and miscellanea
- This week saw the return of Producers/Writers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof to the Official Lost podcast, with some fairly substantial nuggets of information, including:
- We should regard everything that Mikhail Bakunin told Kate, Sayid and Locke was true, other than that he was a member of the DHARMA Initiative. His recounting of the conflict between DHARMA and the “hostiles,” including the subsequent “purge” in which the DHARMA people were wiped out, is accurate.
- The Others did not know about the Swan Station or Desmond and Kelvin’s button-pushing activities prior to the Losties’ arrival on the island.
- We’re guaranteed to like next week’s Nikki and Paolo’s episode next week. (I know there are many doubters, but I’m inclined to believe.)
- “Jacob,” the unseen leader of the Others does exist, and we’ll be learning more about him.
- LOST really does take place on an island. It seems silly, but there was a persistent rumor during seasons one and two that the island wasn’t an island at all and that this fact would be revealed at the end of the show. (On a related note, last week’s podcast featured an interview with a co-executive producer who talked about how all of the scenes in the movie, including the Iraq scenes and a snowy Buffalo, NY scene, were filmed on Oahu. Creative use of locations and background matting are used to create the illusion that the characters aren’t in Hawaii.)
- There’s been a lot of speculation that Charlie palmed Claire’s note after he appeared to attach it to the migratory bird’s leg at the end of last week’s episode. I rewatched this scene several times on my DVR and can confirm that Charlie clearly was holding something that looked like a folded piece of paper in his palm at the end of that scene. But I’m torn on whether this was intentional. I think it may have been an unintentional production error that was either inadvertently or purposefully left in because it was the best of the many takes filmed for that scene.
- The argument for it being a production error: It is totally inconsistent with the tone of the scene and what we know about Charlie’s character for Charlie to have palmed the note. It just doesn’t work. If it had been Locke, or Rose, or Walt before he became Creepy (characters that have each expressed a desire not to leave the island), that might make sense. But we’ve never gotten any indication that Charlie doesn’t want to be rescued.
- The argument against it being a production error: the camera angles give the audience a clear view of Charlie’s slight of hand, and it seems unlikely that Dominic Monaghan didn’t know he had the paper in his hand when he was acting in that scene. As for the inconsistency with the mood of the scene, Michael Giacchino, the man responsible for the show’s musical score, has said before in interviews that he’s not privy to the LOST’s mysteries (and is, in fact, willfully ignorant of them) when he composes the background music.
- LOST seems to be doing better on the ratings front despite (or perhaps because of) the time change. If my weekly Google News searches are any indication of the current media gestalt, it does seem that the prophesies of doom have died down and been replaced with spoilerish scoops. That has to be a good sign for the health of the show. (See also this blurb clearing up the misconception that LOST is at risk of being cancelled. “
- You can buy a piece of the Oceanic Flight 815 plane at charity auction. The wreckage piece will be signed by Cuse and Lindelof, and the proceeds will go to fight AIDS and support democracy in Africa. Feel free to pick one up for me as well.
- Evangeline Lilly was named the hottest woman on TV by TV Guide. But we already knew that. Right?
- Also from TV Guide: this interview with Terry O’Quinn (Locke).
- Finally, a comprehensive list of songs featured on LOST from Lostpedia.
Observations and speculations
- Tallahassee has been mentioned on the show previously. Kate was on her way there when she was nabbed by the U.S. Marshall, who told her that it was “all strip malls and Waffle Houses.” (Couldn’t that be most any city in the South?). And Sawyer once commented that he picked up an STD in Tallahassee. (Ditto.)
- I think we can infer that John Locke’s father, Anthony Cooper, is “the man from Tallahassee.” It’s also very likely, I think, that he at some point went by the name “Sawyer.” (In this episode he was going by the name “Adam Seward,” which is close to “Sawyer.”)
- I like how the time period for Locke’s flashbacks can be measured by how much hair he has.
- I think Danielle has the right idea: the only way to survive on the island with the Others is to steer clear. It didn’t work out so well for Kate, Locke and Sayid to try to infiltrate Othersville.
- I searched in vain to find out what movie Locke is watching in his apartment when Peter Talbot comes to his door. Something about stolen Bolivian coal deposits, a villain named “The Cobra,” and a character named “Crystal.”
- I’m struck once again by the tasteful decorating that the Others use in their littel Othersville bungalows. The cream-colored walls, the beadboard paneling, the modern accessories. Also, their rec room appears to have a pool table, foosball, and two old-school pinball machines. Not bad.
- Locke has learned enough from his past to know when he’s being conned. But it was important enough for him to destroy the submarine that he didn’t care that he was being manipulated.
- Watching Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson square off is just great television.
- Ben Linus appears to have a star map on his wall, as well as several other interesting objects. He also has a black desk phone on his desk, which seems odd.
- Ben mentions that he’s already eaten most of the dark meat chicken, while Locke eats the white meat. This is a continuation of the light/dark symbolism that’s been in the show since the first few episodes. And note that the food in Ben’s refrigerator is all DHARMA branded. When the airdrops stop, so will his food supplies.
- How creepy is it that Ben keeps pictures of Alex on his wall, but told her that her mother was dead. I’m glad Sayid clued her in about Danielle. Alex still has a role to play in this show.
- Ben continues to insist that he was born on the island. I tend to believe him, even though he’s a lying liar who lies. It’s significant that Ben calls it an “illusion” that the Others can “leave when they want to.” I’m not at all certain that Ben was actually going to let Jack and Juliet go, nor that Michael and Walt were really able to leave.
- I loved the shot of Locke looking down the hatch of the submarine. It looked pretty familiar, didn’t it?
- Just before Locke’s father shoves him out the window, he grabs a bottle of MacCutcheon 60-year-old scotch and pours two drinks. Nice touch.
- Richard, the Other who is with Ben at the end of the episode, is Richard Alpert, the “Mittelos Bioscience Corporation” representative who recruits Juliet to the island.
- So how did Anthony Cooper/Adam Seward/Probable Sawyer get on the island? Did the Others abduct him because they knew how powerful having him as a pawn would be for one (and probably two) of the survivors? Or was he there all along and that’s how they found out about Locke’s background? He appeared to have been roughed up and didn’t seem to be there voluntarily, but looks can be deceiving. In classic LOST fashion, the final reveal left us with more questions than answers.
This was a fantastic episode. The acting alone was worth the price of admission. We found out that Locke’s got his own agenda, apart and opposed to that of the other survivors. We had a hint of this earlier, but now there’s no doubt. I think it’s pretty obvious now that Locke intended to blow up the communications station, just as he blew up the sub.
See you all next week, after the much-anticipated (and equally feared) Nikki and Paolo episode.