LOST: “The Man Behind the Curtain”

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Or, if we get to use an alternate title, Rocky-and-Bullwinkle style, “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.” Let me catch my breath from one of the series’ best episodes yet, and then join me after the jump for spoilers from tonight’s episode, as well as other random diversions.

Links and miscellanea

  • The official podcast was rather uninformative this week. Not a lot of notable comments. Cuse and Lindelof mentioned how they thought the Anthony Cooper/Tom Sawyer cross was rather obvious and that they were surprised that so many people didn’t see it coming. (Yeah, me too.) Cuse said that Richard Alpert is an “Iago-like” character, attempting to manipulate the Others’ power structure from the inside. This may have been misdirection though. We’ll see.
  • The big news this week was that LOST now has an end date. The show will not follow the usual trajectory of TV shows that linger until their ratings drop off and are canceled, but will continue for three more seasons of 16 episodes each, with the episodes running consecutively from February through May, with the final episode to air sometime in May 2010. The reaction seems to be mostly positive among fans. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse appeared in various media outlets to assure everyone that the series’ mythology has largely been mapped out according to this time table and that all the important questions will be answered by the end.
  • Here’s a LOST vs. Heroes comparison I hadn’t seen before: Which show is weirder. (†Lost TV.)
  • Looking for some chic LOST accessories? Here’s a Hydra station tote that will go well with that DHARMA jumpsuit hanging in your closet.
  • Michael Emerson’s (Ben Linus) wife, Carrie Preston, played Ben’s mother, Emily in tonight’s episode. (†Lost-Media)
  • Apparently, some Korean viewers aren’t very impressed with some of the Hawaii-for-Korea shooting locations.
  • I think I may have linked to something similar in the past, but here is a recent article about speculation regarding LOST geography using Google Earth.
  • Proving that some Ivy League students are even more arrogant than everyone assumes they are, this reaction to the news that Matthew Fox (Jack) was scheduled to speak at Columbia University’s Class Day: “‘He must have been like the 29th choice,’ one student told the campus paper, the Columbia Daily Spectator. ‘This is an insult and an embarrassment to the students who have put in four years of hard work and the parents who each have put in enough money for the speaking fees of a whole slew of respectable choices.'”

Observations and speculation

  • The episode’s title, of course, is a reference to the “Wizard of Oz” and that scene where Toto sniffs out the Wizard, who isn’t nearly as Great or Powerful he appears. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” He’s the one off stage pulling the levers and turning the knobs. Other Wizard of Oz references from LOST: Henry Gale, Ben’s alias, was Dorothy’s uncle; the real Henry Gale arrived at the island by balloon, which is how the wizard got to Oz; and a man wearing red shoes is crushed during Desmond’s flashbacks in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” (episode 3.x) just like the Wicked Witch of the East at the first of the movie.
  • The “man behind the curtain” also begs the question: is Ben still faking it with theatrics and spiritualism, or is Jacob the wizard who rules the island? I’m going to state for the record that right now, the situation is still a little bit ambiguous, but I lean toward the existence of Jacob. But more on that later.
  • The opening scene got me. That temperate rainforest outside Portland looked an awful lot like the island jungle we know and love. As noted above, Ben’s mom is played by Carrie Preston, Michael Emerson’s wife. His dad is played by Jon Gries, better known as “Uncle Rico” in Napoleon Dynamite.
  • Add Ben to the long list of people on the island with daddy issues (including, at least, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Hurley, and Sun.) As far as I know, Ben and Kate (and, I guess, Locke) are the only one’s who have killed their own fathers.
  • When Ben asks Richard, “You do remember birthdays, don’t you Richard?,” it infers something that we couldn’t have picked up on when Ben says it. Richard is much, much older than he seems. He appears to benefit from little or no aging. No doubt, this has something to do with the island’s mysterious properties.
  • Why does Ben lie and tell his people that he is “one of the last” that was born on the island? Clearly, Richard knows he wasn’t born there. Ben says that this is why Jacob talks only to Ben—he’s sort of a shaman for the otherworldly Jacob, if we take him at his word.
  • Once again, I have to pause and state that watching Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson face off is pure dramatic bliss.
  • Ben arrived on the island like Juliet—via the sub. He and his father arrived with a group of DHARMA recruits, none of which seemed to understand what they were in for.
  • Knowing that LOST doesn’t name it’s characters randomly, I have to wonder about the significance of “Horace Goodspeed,” the DHARMA initiative person who brought Roger Linus and his son to the island. Horace might refer to the classical Roman poet. Or maybe not.
  • Annie, Ben’s cute girlfriend, gives Ben an Apollo candy bar, which you might remember from the Hatch’s pantry. It’s one of the few DHARMA foods (perhaps the only one) that isn’t branded generically as “DHARMA.”
  • How unexpected was it that Roger “Work Man” was Ben’s father? And now Hurley has driven his van and listened to his 8-track.
  • Ben’s plans are beginning to unravel because he doesn’t know everything. He didn’t know that Mikhail wasn’t dead. He doesn’t know what happened to his tape recorder. He doesn’t know anything about the parachute woman, Naomi, or her rescue ship. And he can’t understand why Locke is able to commune with the island. (As an aside, I guess we can put to bed any theory that Naomi is another Other planted with the Losties.)
  • Mikhail’s demise has now been explained: the “pylons were not set to a lethal level.” Okay, then. That makes sense, I guess.
  • It’s satisfying to see Locke kick some butt. It’s also interesting to see the Others defer to his decision to “beat Mikhail senseless.” They seem to believe that Locke really might be “special.” And Locke seems to have learned how to gain their admiration.
  • Olivia, the woman teaching young Ben and Annie about volcanoes, appears to be the same woman who was with Horace when Roger and Emily Linus emerged from the woods outside Portland with newborn Ben. Just fyi.
  • There are few “gotcha” scares as creepy to me as a face staring back outside a darkened window. Between that and the ghost shack, this episode is by far the creepiest of season 3. In fact, it might be the creepiest of the series so far.
  • Annie and Ben seem to be sitting on the same swingset that Sayid later finds himself handcuffed to. Othersville used to be DHARMA village.
  • The “whispers” seem to be associated with the hostiles/Others/Jacob. Also, it seems that the Black Smoke manifestations are controlled by Jacob (or whatever force is calling Ben out). For young Ben, it manifests as his mother, who he only knew from photographs. (To review, some manifestations we’ve likely seen in the past include Eko’s brother Yemi, Kate’s horse, Sayid’s victim’s cat, and Christian Shepherd.)
  • I’ve no idea what the substance is that Locke stoops down to pick up as he approaches Jacob’s ghost shack. It looks like it might be gun powder, and it seems to run in a line around the perimeter of the ghost shack.
  • The drama at the beach really took a back seat. I guess Jack is absolved because he was working on his plan all along, with Juliet’s help. That’s so like Jack to make all the decisions without consulting with anyone else. Jerk.
  • Kate is indeed suspected by the Others to be pregnant, and is therefore a target.
  • The code that Ben enters into the security fence is “54439,” which seems random and not related to “the numbers.” Strange. The white rabbit he brings with him to test out the fence is part of a rabbit motif: the “White Rabbit” episode from season 1, the rabbit used to con Sawyer on Hydra island, and Watership Down.
  • When young Ben meets same-age Richard in the jungle, Richard seems impressed that Ben has seen and spoken with his dead mother on the island. This may be because he suspects that Ben is “special” and can commune with “Jacob.”
  • Ben tells Locke that Jacob feels like Locke does about technology. Is this legitimate, or is this a part of a ruse to set up the scene for some seance-style theatrics: dim lighting, shaking, objects seeming to fly around the room? I think it’s at best ambiguous. Ben didn’t want to take Locke to Jacob’s ghost shack during the day, and may not have wanted Locke to look around carefully.
  • I went through the ghost shack seen frame-by-frame and here are some of my observations: the chair appears to be moving though we don’t see anyone in it; the lantern is knocked off the table and starts a fire, which later seems to just go out; some colorful object—green and blue and yellow, almost like a butterfly— comes in through a broken window; after Ben says “that’s enough” and is pushed back against the wall, we finally do see a figure sitting in the chair, almost apparition-like, but it’s unclear whether Locke sees it. Overall impression of the scene: That. Was. Awesome!
  • Incidentally, the voice of Jacob sounded an awful lot like Executive Producer Carlton Cuse, who has done voice cameos on the show previously.
  • Now we’ve seen the “purge.” That much of what Mikhail told Kate, Sayid and Locke was true. Why did the Hostiles take Ben in? Were they attracted to him because he was a psychopath? Perhaps.
  • The DHARMA mass grave really capped of the episode in terms of creepiness.
  • I was glad to see that Locke was at least quick enough to unsheathe his knife when he realized that he was being threatened by Ben. The fact that he insisted on hearing what Jacob said suggests that Jacob is real, and not a parlor trick.
  • While Locke’s certainly not in a very advantageous position, I don’t think he’s a goner quite yet. A bullet wound to the gut isn’t enough to kill you on LOST island if the island decides it’s not your time to go.

Wow. Just wow. I, for one, am glad to see LOST go back to the scary stuff. It’s been a while. I was mesmerized and delighted by tonight’s episode. I’m interested to hear what other people think. As different as this episode was, I think the more steeped one is in the show’s mythology, the more rewarding it was. I think this was my favorite episode of the season, even though we’ve had at least a half dozen almost perfect episodes in season 3.

I’m happy, I’ve finally caught my breath, now it’s off to bed, where I’m sure I’ll get the chills again thinking about the ghost shack. Great stuff.

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64 thoughts on “LOST: “The Man Behind the Curtain”

  1. This was right up there in creepiness with Season 1!

    – I think the ring of gunfire is to protect the ghost shack- or is a remnant of an earlier failed system? Ben paused at it too- like it was either new to him, or he saw a footprint.

    – There’s this weird shot of Locke with moonlight on his face, the moment he heard “help me”. I thought at first that it was jacob, but on review realized it was the moonlight on his face. That is great photography-hitchcock-esque. Most of the effects of that scene, editing, etc. are done so well. Looks great on HD too.

    Naomi: “Don’t any of you want to be saved?” Curious comment, since she told them they were all dead.

    Horace Godspeed: Horace coined/wrote “carpe diem” in the odes, and combined with Godspeed being both “fortuitous journey” and a Leif Garrett band… perhaps some random hippy factor?

    Ben’s dad says to Horace: “I want another $30,000” after witnessing the civil war and asking for “hazard pay”. Does that refer to some earlier bribe or blackmail? Am I reading too much into it or is there some more backstory iwth H. Godspeed & the teacher, from their Portland times?

    Is there any significance that Ben was born 2 months early, and whether that parallels the pregnancy issues on the island, and his obsession with curing them (Dr. Eyeliner – love that nickname- refers to his fixation in earlier episode).

    Also- the doll scene where slightly older Ben takes Annie doll and puts it in his bag. Where is Annie? Did she die? Does she escape somewhere? I think that’s what happened- they had a sad parting and he gave her the Ben-doll for her to remember him.

    Significance of Alex remembering Ben’s birthday?

    Nice parallels in Dr. Eyeliner asking Ben “what did your mother say” (if the mother is Jacob) and Ben older asking Locke, “what did Jacob say.” Also good parallels with dr. eyeliner to ben: “You have to be patient.” and Ben to his dad, “It required me to be extremely patient” (before killing him).

    The fact that Ben could kill his father with no regret, to me, shows that he’s pretty loco.

    Do people think that Juliette is still double-spying or has she gone completely over to Jack’s side.

    Jack is a jerk. How naive is Sun: “Jack wouldnt’ do that.” (well unless it meant he coudl get off the island, he’ll do pretty much anything.)

  2. Locke is definitely not dead. If he was going to die, they would’ve shown it. The fact that he was still alive when the episode ended give pretty good odds for his survival.

    Besides, there’s no way they’d kill off Locke. I’d be really impressed and surprised if they did it, but I seriously doubt it. He’s too central a character and too much a part of the island mythology to get rid of.

  3. How did Ben’s “daughter” know enough to give Locke a gun?

    The gun Ben used to shoot Locke, was that Locke’s gun, did Ben take it off him somehow; and did Locke not have a gun when he was shot?

  4. So where does French woman fit in here? Was she a part of that original group that was wiped out? I seem to remember her talking about how her entire team was killed, could that be what she was talking about? And how did her daughter Alex become Ben’s “daughter”?

  5. I just thought of something, could the gunpowder that French woman came to get in last weeks episode be what was on the ground outside of the ghost shack? Maybe she isn’t a Jacob fan and that’s why he was asking for help…

  6. Wow. One of the best episodes ever. Unbelievable.

    I kept thinking about Desmond and the hatch. Did Ben not know of his existence and what he was doing in the hatch?

  7. “So where does French woman fit in here? Was she a part of that original group that was wiped out?”

    No, Danielle Rousseau was not a part of DHARMA, but was part of a separate research team that came to the island after hearing the numbers transmitted. She apparently killed (euthanized?) all the other members of her team after they all became “sick.” Alex is her daughter and Ben’s adopted daughter.

    “I kept thinking about Desmond and the hatch. Did Ben not know of his existence and what he was doing in the hatch?”

    In one of the podcasts, Cuse suggested that Ben and the Others did not know about Swan Station. The Hatch was apparently isolated from the other research stations.

    “Any thoughts on what Ben meant when he told Locke to hope that Jacob helps him?”

    I took this to mean that Locke will need help if he expects to survive his gunshot wound. Otherwise, he’s one more corpse in a common grave.

  8. Is Richard Alpert real? I know he’s interacted with Ben but I can’t remember whether or not he’s had conversations with the Others. He doesn’t seem to have aged at all and I am wondering now if he is an imaginary friend or something like that.

  9. “In one of the podcasts, Cuse suggested that Ben and the Others did not know about Swan Station. The Hatch was apparently isolated from the other research stations.”

    See, they say that, but remember that the hatch was monitored by way of the pearl station, which the other did occasionally frequent. That’s how Tom, way back in season 2, was able to tell them what they had been doing in the hatch.

    As for Ben’s shooting Locke, I’m not sure whether he meant to kill him or not. Surely Ben knows that a single gun shot probably won’t do the job. Could he be “helping” Locke find Jacob? Or is he just in a power struggle like when he was willing to let Juliet leave the island in exchange for his life, contrary to what anyone thought Ben would be willing to do?

    I was also wondering about Mikhail and his relation to the purge. He said that he was part of the Dharma team. Does that mean that he cut himself a deal or something?

  10. Also, it didn’t look to me like Ben got shot in the gut – i thought he was shot in the mid–left-chest about where the heart would be. He should be a goner.

  11. Jeff, if he was pushing someone around in a chair, that would confirm it. I couldn’t figure out why Ben had aged so much and Alpert hadn’t aged a bit. He still looks very young and has too much eye makeup.

  12. One big question I have is this: does Ben want Locke to die? If so, he could have easily finished him off, so I’m guessing that he wanted Locke out of the way for a while, but not dead. I don’t know why he wouldn’t want him dead, though. He seems to be a very real threat to his power. Maybe he fears how the Others, or maybe Jacob, would react to his killing Locke.

  13. Richard is real (he’s interacted with Juliet, Ethan, Locke and Ben, young and old).

    Mikhail lied about being a member of DHARMA, but not about the purge. He was recruited to the island by Ben.

    I think Ben shot Locke in the gut intending to kill him as soon as Locke told him what Jacob said. (His gun was still raised at that point.) Then, after Ben heard about “Help me,” he didn’t have the will to follow through and decided to leave Locke to his fate.

  14. I was confused as to why the Others were surprised and angry that Ben was taking Locke to see Jacob. At first, I thought it was jealousy.
    And, when Alex gave Locke a gun, I thought that it was to protect Locke from Jacob. But, what if “going to see Jacob” is synomous with “Ben has decided that you must die?”

    Also, there clearly is a theme now with “kill your father to be free.” I think that Dr. Eyeliner had given Ben that assignment to test him, just like Ben had given the assignment to Locke. But, did you notice that Ben seemed really surprised to see Locke? Ben looked off his game last night. Perhaps that is what he wants us to think.

    Yeah, and if he wanted Locke dead, he would have shot him again in the head.

    What puzzles me now is how they are going to try and weave Michael and Walt back into the story. It almost seems too late in the game to try and reintroduce them.

  15. Maybe Jacob (whatever/whoever he is) will somehow help Locke. That whole scene was very strange but it wasn’t clear to me that it wasn’t Ben speaking in another voice. When the voice came on – were Ben and the chair in the same picture or were we looking at Locke? I thought we were looking at Locke – which means we don’t know where the voice actually came from.

  16. DANG IT!!! I was so busy last night with upgrading my computer that I didn’t realize the time until 10:30pm. AAAARRRGGGGGHHHHH!!! So I missed the first half. But the second half was so good, that it was okay. I’ll get the first half tonight when i get home on the internet.

    I don’t think Locke is dead. I think Jacob will heal Locke, because I think Jacob really thinks Locke is the only way he will be helped. There is a reason why Jacob said “help me” to Locke. Note that while Ben could hear Jacob, he could not hear the two words Jacob said to Locke. I believe Ben is controlling Jacob in some way that we cannot understand.

    As far as Jack is concerned, yes, he’s become a real pain in the butt as a character. It is really hard to trust him.

  17. danithew, we were looking at Locke, who had turned his back, when we heard “help me.” That was part of what made the scene ambiguous.

  18. It could all be a ruse…

    Ben was nervous when Locke started closely examing the powder surrounding the Ghost Shack.

  19. Thank goodness for DVR. At first I thought it might have been the ghost from Three Men and a Baby.

    But, after having looked at “Jacob,” he looks like Kris Kristofferson.

  20. Wow. So Ben has a real Oedipus complex.

    Regarding Hawaii as Korea – I have to admit in that last set of flashbacks it was pretty bad. Egregiously bad and somewhat out of character for the show. I’m often surprised at just how well they do the faux location shots. (Although the jungle shots are getting really repetitive now – how many times do we see that same damn creek “pretending” to be somewhere else?)

    Jacob = Prospero. Mark my words.

    I agree that we’ll see a Jacob + Locke faction. The big question is whether, by the end of the season, Jack and company largely eliminate the Others and then create their own factions.

    Anyone note the connection between Ben’s ghost mom and Jack’s ghost dad from season 1?

  21. BTW – regarding the Jack as jerk. Note that this “keeping it close to my chest” is exactly what he did regarding the hatch. Jack never trusts giving others in the group information. This is totally in character.

    Next week I suppose we get Jack flashbacks from his capture with the Others.

  22. My co-worker just blew my mind with his little theory.

    Jacob is Locke.

    The way he sees it is that the big hint was in the Expose script when a friend of the other characters for four years turned out to be the big bad guy, which might mean we’ll be in a big surprise at the end of the next season.

  23. Locke DOES NOT = Jacob. That would be an awful move…unless it has something to do with being blown up in the hatch, putting him in some time warp with Desmond.

    Is it significant that Ben was born at the 7 month mark and all pregnant women on the island die at the 7 month mark? That seems too convenient. Perhaps Ben is implanting all women?

  24. While I don’t think Jacob = Locke it is possible that Jacob is the subconscious manifestations of various people. (Sort of like in Forbidden Planet which I think everyone agrees is an influence) In that case Locke’s being in tune with the island may be subverting Ben’s control.

    The women dying at seven months may be due to Ben’s subconscious. I’d never noticed the premature birth connection to when women die.

  25. Am I reaching too far in seeing a biblical parallel in this episode? Ben’s mother names him as she dies in childbirth, as the biblical Benjamin’s mother does. Although Rachel does not name him Benjamin, her husband Jacob changes it to Benjamin. Also, Ben answers to Jacob, and the biblical Jacob was the father of Benjamin. I just don’t think that the naming and circumstances of Ben’s birth are coincidental.

  26. Floyd, I think you are exactly right. The names on Lost are never coincidental. Almost always, they are derived from literature, the Old Testament or classical/enlightenment philosophy. I’ve discussed the Jacob/Rachel/Benjamin symbolism before in my posts.

  27. The only thing about the Benjamin symbolism is that it does very little to explain anything about Ben the LOST character – except to tell us that his mother died during Ben’s childbirth. That’s all we get out of it.

    Many of the things we do know about Ben the LOST character do not jive at all with Benjamin the Biblical character. So it’s a pretty shallow symbolism.

  28. Yeah, but it could be foreshadowing lots of other things to come. What do we know about the Biblical Benjamin? That he was framed . . . that he was young (echoes of the island’s life-extending properties?) . . . that he spent most of his life in a land where he was not born . . . that his family were a bunch of people who didn’t share his mother, i.e., he spent his life as an ‘other.’ What else do we know about Benjamin?

    I just have to say that the scene where Locke beat the living crap out of Mikhail while Ben ordered Richard and Tom to stop him, to no avail, was maybe my favorite Lost scene ever. For some reason it made me laugh and laugh, maybe because of all of the different character strokes being played in that scene. How awesome to watch Ben slowly lose control over his little following. And I’m glad to know the tape theft was accidental.

    Why did Alex think Locke needed the gun? Did she think Ben meant to harm Locke, so she wanted him forearmed to fight Ben off? If not, does she think Jacob is dangerous? Do we have any idea whether Locke actually saw that person that appeared in Jacob’s little shack?

    I’m telling you, I have never desired to physically hurt a television character before I came across Jack Shepard. Oh how I detest that man. I would string him up if I could.

    And on the flip side, there has never been a greater character than John Locke. I would follow him anywhere. I tell this to my wife every Wednesday evening, about 9:40 or so. She mostly just laughs me off, but she doesn’t understand that if Locke called and asked me to join him, she’d lose me forever.

  29. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Locke right now. He seems to be pretty selfish, as is Jack. I used to love Jack for his selflessness, but he seems to be turning around. The previews for next week appear to have him waking up from his slumber however.

  30. Haven’t seen this yet because, for whatever reason, iTunes doesn’t have it. Anyone else having this problem? I’m generally able to buy it first thing in the morning, often at 6:30 AM, PST. It’s now afternoon and still no sign of it. Frustrating.

  31. As I said, I think both Jack and Locke are pretty consistent in their character. What’s different is that last time Jack did this sort of thing we, the viewers, were “in” with him. This time the writers (wisely in my view) left us “out” so we’d know how the rest of the castaways felt. Next week is the Jack flashback which I’m sure will restore hope to all you former-Jack lovers. (I always felt him rather problematic – more so than Locke or Sawyer)

  32. I think that Ben suffers from multiple personality disorder and that the entity known as Jacob is his other personality. I also think that he is able to exhibit psychic powers (like Walt) through his “Jacob” personality. Hence, the poltergeist hijinks in the shack.

    Whatever entity people thought they saw sitting the chair for a fleeting few seconds was probably designed to trick viewers because Locke gave no indication that he saw anything.

    Anyway that’s my theory. This episode blew me away!

  33. The circle is easily understood. Didn’t any of you watch Buffy or read some Ann Rice? The witch types use circle to protect against spirits…or to trap them. Ben can see ghosts and so can Locke; hence eye-liner man’s interest.

  34. I may have missed it, but are the producers still claiming everything that happens in the island is scientifically plausible? Because Jacob is a whole other level.

  35. Until the producers get their physics phds, I’m not listening to them about what is or is not “scientifically plausible.”

  36. I’m betting it’s all going to be at least *pseudo-scientifically* possible. Like, ESP/astral projection/psychokinetic abilities as a result of ethically unsound genetic experiment, yes, but ghosts/volcano gods, no.

  37. I think there is a good possibility that Richard and the other “hostiles” are descended from the pirates that were on the Black Pearl. Note that their clothing when they come into the Dharma compound has a “pirate” feel to it. We see that Richard doesn’t age — maybe the island grants immortality or fountain of youth like powers. They probably wanted to take over Dharma in order to get off the island — but perhaps have to return periodically to “recharge.” Maybe they get to be immortal, but can not reproduce either hence their interest in kids.

    I think the powder ring around Jacob is either Smokey waiting to rise (Jacob =Smokey)or some protective barrier that the Hostiles can not cross, but that people born off island like Ben and Locke can.

    Will it come back to burn Ben that Sawyer actually killed Locke’s dad? Sort of like the old myth where someone can’t be killed by someone born of woman, but is killed by someone born of a c-section.

  38. LOL. Just for the record, the producers lost “scientifically plausible” when they had those tear gas canisters that were instead filled with some knock out drug that never overdosed. As the Russians found out when they stormed an opera house that had been taken over by terrorists – its very hard to give just enough drug to knock someone else. You typically either give too little or too much.

  39. The producers have said that it is all plausible “within the realm of science and/or pseduo-science.” So, ESP and the like.

    Writer David Fury said:
    “”This is not a show about the supernatural, despite the fact that we have a very huge creature that likes to eat people. Despite the surreal, bizarre aspects of the island, there will be an explanation for it. It may not come for a very long time, but certain information about the island will explain how things are possible.
    We’ll try to root it in real science or real pseudo-science. There will be no mystical reason or an island of monsters.”

  40. I too think Jacob is the black dust. The gunpowder seems to be Rousseau’s plan to blow someone to smithereens. Dr. Eyeliner- I was also worried about his lack of aging, but maybe Ben is supposed to be younger? He doesn’t seem to age much too.

    Friend just sent me a link to another site that is claiming Annie is Kate. WTF??? http://www.freewebs.com/tyco815/

  41. I thought about the Annie as Danielle thing (which would account for Alex’s parentage), but the fact that Annie seems entirely devoid of an accent kinda put the kibosh on that theory.

  42. At first I thought that Annie was Isabelle (sheriff lady). But Annie seemed a little younger than Ben and Isabelle looks older than Ben.

  43. Well I don’t know about Jack Sparrow (LOL!), but a lot of attention has been paid to this mysterious pirate ship which someone is using to store munitions in… I think it plays into the story more than it just happened to crash there a long time ago.

    As far as Annie is concerned, let’s not forget that Dharma folks apparently went back and forth off the island via the sub to the real world and were getting shipments from the mainland. Ben was an adult when he kills his Dad. It is possible that Annie was back on the mainland going to college or visiting headquarters or whatever…(And she could end up being anyone now — although probably not Danielle due to the accent.) It will be interesting to see them explain how the Dharma folks back on the mainland who were arranging food drops, etc… reacted to the Hostiles taking over the island.

    Also people on this board and others keep talking about Danielle getting gunpowder off the Black Pearl. I thought she told Locke she was getting dynamite because he warned her that it was unstable. So I don’t think Danielle laid the powder around Jacob’s cabin.

  44. If you want to get some really CRAZY chills, check this out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Marley

    The character from Scrooge whose name is Jacob. Read the portion under spoilers. The lines that most caught my eye were:

    “Marley contracted an unspecified illness and died on Christmas Eve. After his death, Marley’s spirit was condemned to walk the Earth for all eternity. As punishment for his shutting out of his fellow man, Marley’s ghost could observe, but not interact with, living beings.”
    –as well as
    “At first Scrooge did not believe that Marley’s ghost was real, to which Marley asked, “Why do you doubt your senses?” Scrooge explained to him that he was nothing more than a figment of his imagination-“”

    If that’s not eerily similar, I don’t know what is. Maybe Jacob WAS a pirate on the Black Pearl and his selfishness got them shipwrecked on the island? I’m thinking that quip about Jacob helping Locke at the end of the episode was a reference to the book, and ALSO that it might actually come true. Could Jacob come to help Locke in some way, and Locke then be visited by the ghosts?

    We can take this idea, and relate it to the fact that Locke does not want to leave the island because on it he can walk. His life doesn’t seem pointless, and beforehand, his father could never find him there. Therein lies Locke’s greed which lead him to explode the submarine, he doesn’t want anyone jeopardizing him getting off the island. Is Locke, as greedy as he has been, supposed to be the savior of those on the island? And do the other’s see him as their savior from Ben who seems to be battling everything and their mother to retain control over them?

    So much to think about, I don’t want to even toss in the idea that Desmond could be Christmast Future ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_of_Christmas_Yet_to_Come ) who can be seen in robes much like Desmond was an episode or two back.. woops, I did 😛

  45. Item #1:
    Special people are people who get hallucinations. What Ben doesn’t get about the Lostaways is that so many of them have had visions.

    Item #2:
    I agree with the thoughts that Jacob and the Smoke Monster are connected

    Item #3:
    I don’t think that Jacob is a pirate, but I think that Richard very likely is

    Item #4:
    Jacob/The Island/The Smoke Monster have their own agenda and they think that Ben is becoming weak; he isn’t just defending his control, he is fighting for his very life.

    That’s what I think anyway.

  46. Alright, so is it just me, or does Jack’s plan to blow the others up seem more than a little extreme? While the other certainly haven’t been hospitable to the Losties, their goal has never been to kill them. As Tom said, “What kind of people do you think we are?”

    I personally think that Jack is not being honest with the Losties. Either that, or he has gone absolutely insane.

  47. Jeff, I agree somewhat. On the other (Other) hand, Jack has presumably learned more about the Others’ actual intentions from Juliet, so maybe the response isn’t as extreme as we might think. Or maybe Juliet’s the real evil genius.

  48. I don’t know. If that’s true, then he should have shared this info with the others rather than simply saying that “they would keep coming”. (BTW, in case anybody couldn’t tell, this is from the sneak peek.)

  49. My cousin found this on the web today. Ben’s last name is Linus, just like the Peanuts character. Since we know Lost is big on names, there may be some significance. Here’s what he found:

    Linus is the only one who believes in the Great Pumpkin. Though he occasionally convinces other characters the Great Pumpkin is real, they always lose faith, while Linus keeps his.

    Replace the words slightly:

    Ben is the only one who believes in the Jacob. Though he occasionally convinces other characters Jacob is real, they always lose faith, while Ben keeps his.

  50. “While the other certainly haven’t been hospitable to the Losties, their goal has never been to kill them.”

    Really? They were going to kill Claire. They left Charlie strung from a tree. They killed Steve/Scott. They had Michael kill Ana-Lucia. Goodwin killed the poopy guy. They killed the original Henry Gale. They are planning on kidnapping the women. I think that the Beachies have a fairly accurate idea of who the Others are.

  51. Right, but all of these killings were only derivative to their other, more primary goals of experiments, protecting their cover, etc. I’m not trying to justify the others’ actions. I’m only saying that the others’ actions do not justify blowing them all to high heaven. As Desmond said, the losties have already killed more others than others have killed losties. Charlie’s response that “they started it” isn’t terribly persuasive.

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