LOST: “The Brig”

Even if you did anticipate where the main plot of tonight’s episode was going ahead of time, I think most people would acknowledge this was a pretty strong episode.

Spoilers from tonight’s episode and other LOST-related stuff after the jump.

Links and miscellanea:

  • A lot of information came out of this week’s official podcast, including:
    • Once again, the island is not purgatory and the Flight 815 survivors are not dead.
    • There are basically two scenarios: 1) Naomi is lying; or 2) there’s a conspiracy afoot to make people believe that the wreck Oceanic Flight 815 was found without any survivors.
    • We’ll soon find out how Mikhail survived his encounter with the sonic fence.
    • Locke has been trying to “inculcate himself into [the Others’] society.”
    • Cooper (aka, Locke’s Dad) will tell us in his own words how he got to the island.
    • In “Numbers” (episode 1.18), Carlton Cuse’s voice is heard during a news report on Hurley’s winning.
    • Something other than the EMP caused by Desmond’s failure to push the button is causing craft to crash on the island (e.g., the Black Rock, the Nigerian drug plane, Naomi’s helicopter), though for something like a 777 to be brought down, it probably took something extraordinary.
    • We will revisit (probably soon) the psychic’s prediction about Claire’s baby, Walt’s ability to affect future events, and the Others’ obsession with children with special abilities.
    • There are two factions of Others on the island, which will become very apparent soon.

  • According to the NY Times, LOST gets nearly twice the audience of American Idol when you look only at those who watch the shows via DVR, even though it gets less than half of AI‘s live TV ratings. Not surprisingly, LOST is the most DVR’d show on television.
  • Doc Jensen at EW.com has an in-depth analysis of reactions to Naomi’s bombshell from last week (“There were no survivors … They were all dead.”)
  • Ever wondered how modern physics might relate to the LOST island? Check out this well-written post on LostBlog.net.I’m starting to think it’s going to require some similar elaborate explanations to explain the island’s mysteries.
  • It’s been announced that Matthew Fox (Jack) will play Racer-X, Speed’s mysterious protector, in the Wachowski brothers’ “Speed Racer” movie. (†Lost Blog)

Observations and speculations:

  • At the beginning of the episode, we see Locke on board The Black Rock reading Sawyer’s file (although we don’t know at this point whose file it is). He’s got Cooper/Sawyer locked up in the ship’s brig. He then burns it, in a fire he’s built in some sort of cylindrical container. At this point, I have to question Locke’s judgment in starting a fire on an old ship that he knows is full of unstable dynamite.
  • I wonder about the significance of the “old place” where Ben took the Others. It was a green valley with a single column that didn’t seem connected to any other structure. It reminded me of the four-toed statue from the season 2 finale—an ancient relic disconnected to its surroundings.
  • Cyndy the flight attendant certainly seems fully integrated and invested in The Others’ society. When she says to Locke, “We’ve been waiting for you,” you get the idea that The Others are some sort of Messianic cult.
  • Ben travels with a writing desk and small bookshelf. That’s a lot of extra weight for someone to carry.
  • Ben continues to insist that Locke is the one who brought Cooper/Sawyer to the island, but it seemed pretty clear to me, from Cooper/Sawyer’s version of the events that he had been abducted and brought there by the Others. It would have been strictly in keeping with Ben’s M.O. to have someone like Locke’s dad/Sawyer’s nemesis on the island, because he likes to manipulate people by finding out who is important to them, then using that information against them.
  • Naomi’s full name is “Naomi Dorrit.” In the official podcast, Carlton Cuse mentions off-hand that this is a “very Dickensian” name. The name is a reference to Little Dorrit, a novel about a family that is forced to live in debtor’s prison. The LOST creators have mentioned before that they feel a kinship to Dickens because he was writer of popular fiction who wrote his books in serialized form, not unlike a serialized dramatic TV show. In addition, Dickens’ novels often involve interlaced characters’ stories, much like the multiple “crosses” we see in the LOST characters’ backstories. Other Dickens references on LOST: Desmond carried around with him a copy of Our Mutual Friend, the only Dickens book he hasn’t read and the last book he wants to read before he dies; episode 3.1 was named “A Tale of Two Cities.”
  • Naomi’s story seems to be pretty much what I expected. She claims to be part of a search and rescue team, hired by Penny Widmore, to find Desmond based on geographic coordinates received that led her to the island.
  • Ben’s ploy to embarrass Locke was typically brilliant. But why did Richard Alpert feel that it was appropriate to clue Locke into Ben’s purpose? Well, in a way, this is also a part of Ben’s methodology: when plan A fails, fess up and try plan B to achieve the same purposes. Tell Sawyer the truth about the bunny. Have Juliet admit that handcuffing and dragging Kate out into the jungle was a ruse. Certainly, the tactic used by Richard was successful. I believe that Richard’s approach was planned and approved by Ben all along.
  • I enjoyed the cameo by Rousseau. She’s just dropping in to get some dynamite, no questions asked. Or at least, she’s not going to press anyone for answers. Typical Danielle.
  • Kate is officially the last person you want to tell a secret to on the island. She can’t even be trusted to tell something to Jack and make him promise not to tell Juliet. Of the A-Team, Kate and Jack are at the bottom of my list at the moment.
  • How funny is it that Sawyer’s first name was Tom? Also, to add to the many biblical references, we now know that Sawyer’s mother is Mary—Mary, mother of James.
  • Every now and then, LOST likes to echo dialog from earlier episodes. Here, we have Ben telling Locke, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do, John.” This phrase, and variations on it, has been said by Locke, Jack, Jin, Claire, Charlie and Eko. It was first uttered by Locke at the end of “Walkabout” (episode 1.4).
  • Probably the biggest, and most obvious, mystery from this week’s episode is what Juliet and Jack were talking about when they were debating whether they should tell Kate. If I had to speculate, I’d say that it has to do with knowledge they have about why communications from the island are impossible. Why were they keeping this information from Kate? And, more specifically, why did Jack want to continue keeping it from Kate, even when Juliet wanted to disclose it?
  • We now know that Locke has no allegiance to the other survivors and that he’s on his “own journey.”

This was a great episode, but I do wish that the Locke’s Dad/The Real Sawyer thing wasn’t quite so obvious. (I’m pretty sure we all figured out this one even before we realized that Claire was Jack’s half-sister.) Next week, if the previews are any indication, looks fantastic. This season will be over before we know it.

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29 thoughts on “LOST: “The Brig”

  1. I’m a bit curious about the connections between the accident that brought Locke’s father to the island and the one that brought the 815 survivors. If Ben’s telling the truth, Locke is responsible for bringing his father there. Ben says the “Magic Box” thing is a metaphor. Perhaps the power of Locke’s hatred for his father is enough to bring him to the island, which is why the Others all think Locke is so special. If this is the case, who among the Others is similarly powerful enough to have brought the survivors?

    This is hardly a well thought-out theory and I’m sure it’s full of holes. It just kinda occurred to me.

  2. The scene with Danielle was probably in my top five Lost moments ever. Hilarious. And tense.

    I am not at all sure Richard was acting under Ben’s orders in handing Locke Sawyer’s file. What if he’s manipulating Locke for his own reasons or trying to undermine Ben’s leadership for his own gain?

    Whether or not Locke’s still being duped by craftier people (I vote yes), I was pretty disgusted at the way he manipulated James/Sawyer into doing his dirty work for him. But hey, it’s all good, because now he can continue on his path of special-ness.

    Also, Kate! Stupid, stupid, stupid. It’s like she suddenly has no survival instinct whatsoever.

  3. “Whatever you need to say to me can be said in front of her”

    Come on. This is just stupid. It makes me think they’re going to kill Jack off at the end of this season because they’re doing everything they can to get us to not like him. But not only do I not like him anymore, but I feel like their efforts in getting us to feel that way are lame. This is just not something that anyone would actually say, especially in that position.

    Also, I immediately thought that the “thing” they were holding from Kate was that she’s pregnant.

    And Sayid continues to be the coolest character in the show.

  4. “It makes me think they’re going to kill Jack off at the end of this season because they’re doing everything they can to get us to not like him.”

    Yeah. He’s becoming Michael-like in his annoying jerkitude. I’m more upset that Kate is becoming less awesome through interacting with him. Stupidly.

  5. I thought the thing they were keeping from her was that communication with the island was next to impossible. After all, both Jack and Juliet want off as much as anyone else does.

  6. Wait, so do you guys think that Jack is in on it with the Others? Do you think that he knows of their plans to come to the camp in three days?

  7. I immediately thought that she was pregnant too. Fertility rates are high on the island, and Sawyer and Kate have been getting busy a lot…

    I too am not all that happy with Jack. Maybe we are being built up for some crazy twist though, so i’m not going to start counting my chickens on that one.

  8. At first I thought Jack thought they were dead as well. But then I figured that couldn’t be it. (Although there definitely is a Dantesque feel to everything)

  9. I was very glad to see Sayid actually asking questions that a normal person would ask, which seems to be a very rare quality on this show.

  10. I am not at all sure Richard was acting under Ben’s orders in handing Locke Sawyer’s file. What if he’s manipulating Locke for his own reasons or trying to undermine Ben’s leadership for his own gain?

    In my opinion, Richard’s actions reeked of Ben’s puppet strings.

  11. I thought the thing they were keeping from her was that communication with the island was next to impossible. After all, both Jack and Juliet want off as much as anyone else does.

    So why keep it from her. In my opinion Jack’s almost overnight change is the most annoying thing on television right now. The transformation that has taken weeks in our time is only a few days in LOST time, how does that happen? Other than that, great episode.

    I was very glad to see Sayid actually asking questions that a normal person would ask, which seems to be a very rare quality on this show.

    Ok, I take it back, the habit the writers have of having characters not ask normal questions is the most annoying thing on television. Jack’s transformation is the second most annoying thing.

  12. I agree that Richard’s actions suggest Ben at work. But then I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover a conflict between the two of them in next week’s flashbacks which are supposed to be Ben’s.

    As to Jack’s change, I think he knows something significant enough that it completely affects his values and so forth. Whether this will turn out to be (yet an other) lie of Ben is up in the air. While the sure money is on the info being no communication off the island, I can’t see him hiding that.

    Kate’s “transformation” isn’t really a transformation in my eyes. I think her character is pretty established and she’s in tune with it. She really wants loves she can’t have.

  13. Something else that has bothered me about Jack is how chummy he became with the others. Playing catch and spiking a football?!? I’ve never seen a good explanation for that behavior.

  14. I like the idea of Jack not as the doctor-leader, but as just another self-interested person trying to (get laid and) get off the island. that whole story arc in the beginning of him being a natural leader, it just fell into an aaron sorkin-esque hero worship of doctors/lawyers/polticians. The big question for me was, if Hugo is a kingmaker, why didn’t he go for leadership himself? Oh just realized that one episode where he didn’t want to distribute food, OK.

    I too thought Locke was fulfilling his true character, as I saw it, in that he has always been out for his own journey on the island and not that concerned with others: evidence being, namely, Blaine (did I get that name right?) So I was very suprised when he tells Sawyer he has Ben all kidnapped and bound up. Highly unlikely. I like the recap with the mention of the fire in the ship! I totally missed that.

  15. Jeff, but he was playing football with Mr. Friendly. (grin) BTW, the interview on the podcast with Mr. Friendly was one of the funnier ones I’d heard. Despite being the leader of the Others in the first season until we meet Ben, he really did try and act like his name.

    A lot of people back in the last Jack-centric episode suggest Jack is like Moses and thus has to become friendly with the Others. Although Locke appears to be fulfilling that role better.

  16. After having thought about it a bit, I think what Jack and Juliet were going to tell Kate was that the outside world thinks their all dead.

  17. It’s surprising they are making a change to 16 episodes.

    However other shows (cough BSG cough) have had trouble maintaining quality with 20 – 22 episodes. So perhaps the 16 episodes will allow them to be more focused?

  18. “After having thought about it a bit, I think what Jack and Juliet were going to tell Kate was that the outside world thinks their all dead.”

    If it is that, that will be pretty anti-climactic. After all, it was from Naomi that we got that information. I think there must be more to it than that.

    Latest rumor (purported source: Damon Lindelof) is that the last five minutes will be “game changing” for Lost–i.e., it will change everything we know and how we think about everything that has happened for 3 seasons and what to expect in the next 3 seasons.

  19. Make way for the zombie season! The showdown will be between the zombies and non-zombies. The russian supposedly killed by the fence is the first of the zombie nation!

    Mark my words.

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