LOST: There’s No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3)

Now we know why the creative team nicknamed the season finale “frozen donkey wheel.” Who knew it would be so literal? More discussion of the final two thirds of the LOST season 4 finale (including spoilers, of course) after the break.

Links and miscellanea

  • This Time article argues that this season was better because of the writer’s strike (less LOST is more, apparently). This seems to be the meme of the moment among TV critics. I’m not linking any of the other half-dozen or so articles I found because they all say basically the same thing. And I’m not sure I agree—I think the ratio of good to less-than-good episodes was pretty similar to last year (approximately 3:1, by my count). But I can go along with this theory if it would mean that the networks are willing to take a chance on less volume, higher quality series with known beginnings, middles and ends, like what we see in British dramas.
  • LOST Director Jack Bender will be directing a new pilot for next season (“The Prince of Motor City.”) Bender, in my opinion, is the most unheralded, but crucial, member of the LOST creative team. The show doesn’t get enough credit for just how great well directed it is. The stub doesn’t say anything about whether Bender will continue to work on LOST.
  • Dark UFO put together a sequence of video clips attempting to put each of the flashforwars in chronological order.
  • USA Today has an interview with Kevin Durand (the freakishly evil mercenary Keamy)
  • Michael Emerson talked to TV Guide about the season 4 finale. (Part 2 here)
  • Apparently, LOST’s scripts contain a lot of cussing that isn’t ever heard by the television audience. Also, these words from Lindelof and Cuse about the newest aspects of Locke’s backstory: “’We would basically advise those who have time on their hands to look into Buddhist traditions and the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. We used a lot of that back story in the creation of this myth.’ ‘Or if you have a lot of time on your hands, become a Buddhist,” Cuse quipped. “Read the Bible; that’s always good. You might get some clues about Season 5 and some general spiritual enlightenment.’”
  • Take The Hardest LOST Quiz Ever. (via Pop Candy)
  • Look for more LOST-style sci-fi in next year’s TV schedule. It seems like they tried this two or three years ago, with poor results.
  • EW’s Doc Jensen in this column relays information from Cuse and Lindelof that we’ll find out more about the odd location of the flight 815 crash site (Indonesia? That’s not between Sydney and LA!) next season.
  • McSweeney’s: Opening Act, from the Original, Unused Teleplay of Lost’s Pilot Episode. Exhibit A in the argument of why too much exposition is a terrible thing.
  • I skimmed this week’s official podcast, and here’s what I got: stormtroopers are just bad; antipodal wormholes are good theories; Cuse’s favorite character is Sawyer, but Lindelof’s is Jack.
  • The comic book put in front of Young Locke by Richard Alpert has been purchased off of eBay and is being posted online.
  • And finally, Jorge Garcia (Hurley) has a blog: Dispatches from the Island.

Observations and speculations

  • All of the setting up two weeks ago was well worth it. This was a fantastic two hours of television, some of the best of the series so far.
  • Starting the final two hours at the exact place that last year’s season finale left off was a brilliant move and good storytelling. We come around full circle to where we were, and we actually do know so much more.
  • Now we know that John Locke, going by the alias Jeremy Bentham, spent his last days visiting the Oceanic 6 trying to convince them that they needed to return to the island to be safe. Jack and Kate have very different feelings on this issue.
  • By the way, I rarely do this, but I nailed it so I’ll indulge. Jeremy Bentham? Told you so (a year ago!).
  • Jeremy Bentham, of course, is a philosopher influenced by John Locke, famous for his views on utilitarianism and, among other things, having his body preserved for display by the University College London. He was also known for his theoretical invention of the “Panopticon,” a circular prison in which the prisoners are in the center and always being watched.
  • Nice Sawyer nickname moment (to Jack): “So what’s the plan, Sundance?” I guess that would make Sawyer Butch Cassidy. (Coincidentally, Sawyer’s lost love and the mother of his child is named Cassidy.)
  • Locke has a very different approach than Ben ever did. He’s much more of an evangelical. He really cares about Jack (who, we might remember, wasn’t even on Jacob’s list) staying on the island and appreciating its mystical powers. Ben was always more of an elitist.
  • Richard Alpert and the rest of the Others seem to have Ben’s knack for manipulating people. That’s the best explanation for how they were able to enlist Kate and Sayid in their plan to rescue Ben so quickly.
  • Keamy must have at least twelve inches of reach on Sayid. The mans a giant. But then, Sayid has the Legs of Death. When Richard Alpert shot Keamy, I wondered why he didn’t put a bullet through his brain. I mean, what were the odds that he wasn’t wearing body armor?
  • Before Walt and his grandmother go to visit Hurley at Santa Rosa, Hurley is just about to eat a Molly Fisher Fruit Roll-Up (a fictional brand). Molly Fisher Rock is a large stone boulder, a megalith, near Kent, Connecticut where some indecypherable ancient inscriptions appear to be written. According to local legend, Molly Fisher was a mysterious healer in Colonial times who used to visit the rock, and her spirit still haunts that location. This account gives some details that make Molly Fisher sound not entirely unlike Jacob. Also, it’s notable that there are some stones with ancient writings scratched into them beyond the “exotic matter” cave that Ben crawls through later in the episode.
  • When Hurley told Michael that the Oceanic 6 are lying to protect the people left on the island, he was probably being truthful. On the other hand, when he added, “yeah, like your dad,” that was a lie because Hurley surely knew that Michael died in the freighter explosion. He probably just wanted to spare Walt’s feelings.
  • Locke tells Jack: “Let bygones be bygones.” Ever notice how quickly people on LOST seem to get over their differences and ally themselves with each other as soon as circumstances change?
  • Great exchange between Locke and Ben: “Couldn’t find the anthuriums, could you?” “I don’t know what they look like.” Both actors have great comic timing.
  • Micheal gets creativity points for thinking to freeze the battery with liquid nitrogen. I have no idea if this would work in real life. I kind of doubt it. If disconnecting the battery means “boom” why is freezing it okay? Still, nothing like an imminent explosion to add suspense to a season finale.
  • The exchange between Miles and Rose about the peanuts seriously cracked me up.
  • In fact, Miles just cracks me up. “Oh no, you’re very dire. But I’m still going to stay.” Miles must think the island and its ghosts are a playground for him and his paranormal gifts.
  • Miles knows things about people. For instance, he knows that Charlotte has been trying to get “back” to the island. It seems that Charlotte may have been born on the island, then unable to return. This may mean that the island’s tendency to kill off pregnant women has not always been the case. This should also put to rest the popular fan theory that the scene at the first of the season with Charlotte and the polar bear skeleton in Tunisia was actually a flash-forward. Charlotte has been obsessed with DHARMA and Oceanic 815 because she thought (correctly) that these clues might lead her back to the island. I think we’ll learn a lot more about Charlotte in the future.
  • Yet another great Locke and Ben exchange: “Is this the magic box?” “No, John, it’s not.”
  • We saw a different version of the Orchid orientation film than was previously available, including our introduction to “the vault.” We also see Hollowax (aka Candle) talk about a “pocket of what we believe to be negatively charged exotic matter.” From Wikipedia:

    Exotic matter is a hypothetical concept of particle physics. It covers any material which violates one or more classical conditions or is not made of known baryonic particles. Such materials would possess qualities like negative mass or being repelled rather than attracted by gravity. It is used in certain speculative theories, such as on the construction of wormholes. The closest known real representative of exotic matter is a region of pseudo-negative pressure density produced by the Casimir effect.

  • Ben voiced his contempt for DHARMA and their “silly experiments.”
  • Keamy is big and certainly scary, but he’s not the smartest mercenary around. He gravely miscalculated when he assumed that Ben would care about the innocent people on the freighter. Ben couldn’t care less about the freighter. In fact, he views it as more of a threat than anything.
  • Here’s what I suspect Sawyer whispered to Kate before jumping out of the chopper: “Find my daughter, Clementine Phillips, and make sure she’s okay. She lives in Albuquerque.” Or words to that effect.
  • We’ve now seen Sawyer come 180 degrees from the “every man for himself” hording conman to the guy who is all about helping people and self-sacrifice.
  • How awesome is it that Hurley was playing chess with Mr. Eko? Pretty darn awesome, that’s how.
  • Sayid believes that the Oceanic 6 are in physical danger, most likely from the Widmore faction. That may make him easier to convince to return to the island, especially with Nadia gone. Hurley is resistant to returning to the island, though. Also, there was something very Harry Potter Book 7 about the way that Sayid did not let Hurley say Locke’s name. Yes, in part it was to keep the suspense going, but it also reminded me of the way Vold—er, He Who Must Not Be Named—tracked down the members of the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Anybody else notice that Frank Lapidus patched up the chopper with duct tape? Nice.
  • Watching Jin go down with the freighter was pretty gut-wrenching.
  • Christian Shepard again, releasing Michael from his island duty just before the boom. Is this really Jack’s dad, or some manifestation of the island/Jacob/the Smoke Monster?
  • Sun’s flashforward could mean that she’s not aligned on the same side as Sayid in the future. That could be interesting. Managing director is a pretty impressive job title that Sun has given herself at Paik Industries.
  • We know exactly why Ben is icy and wounded when he lands in Tunisia now. The entrance to the island’s worm hole is frozen, and he cut himself when the ladder broke.
  • I wonder why the person who moves the island can never return. That seems like an arbitrary rule.
  • For the record, on the island when it disappeared: Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Charlotte, Locke, Richard Alpert and a cast of Others, possibly Claire.
  • On the freighter when it exploded: Michael, Jin, and assorted freighter people.
  • On the chopper: the Oceanic 6, plus Desmond and Frank. I have a feeling that both Desmond and Frank will continue to be a part of the story going forward.
  • It was unclear whether Faraday and that final group of survivors on the Zodiac made it to the freighter before it exploded. Based on not seeing him on the boat, I’m guessing he was still in transit. But did he make it back to the island before it disappeared? Probably not. I’ll miss Faraday.
  • When Kate gets her late night phone call, the voice on the other end is heard in reverse (similar to the way Creepy Walt communicated in season 2.) I recorded and reversed the audio. You can hear it by clicking here (I reversed only the backwards talk in the audio clip). It’s a male voice, sounds like a young man, saying: “The island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.” It’s curious that the voice on the phone is working at cross-purposes to Claire, who insists that Kate not take Aaron back to the island.
  • On the wall of Aaron’s bedroom, the White Rabbit, looking at his pocketwatch. Yet another Alice in Wonderland reference.
  • The appearance of Penny’s boat at the end of the finale was another nice tie-in to last year’s finale, where we first learned about Not Penny’s Boat.
  • Now is a good time to point out that Penelope was the name of Odysseus faithful wife who waited for her husband to return from his long, strange, perilous journey. Yea for Desmond and Penny. We know their future is still in jeopardy, but at least they are happy for how.
  • Jack tells Desmond, “I’ll see you in another life, brother,” a callback to the first season, when Jack and Desmond first met. I think Jack will see Desmond again under still different circumstances.
  • When Jack goes back to the funeral home, he is listening to The Pixies “Gouge Away” on his car stereo. Awesome song.
  • Ben proposes that all the survivors must return to the island, even the corpse of John Locke. The island requires all of them to go back.
  • Locke told Jack that after Jack left, “some very bad things happened.” I guess that we’ll find out more about that in the next couple of seasons.
  • Jack trying to return to the island by riding passenger planes, hoping to crash, reminded me of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the notion that once that story was over, the kids could not return to Narnia via the wardrobe. Ben has a few ideas about how they may return, though.
  • Although I missed it at the time, a commercial for Octagon Global Recruiting apparently aired during the show.

Well, as you can tell I loved the finale. Even in the strike-shortened season, Lost managed to pack in quite a bit. Interestingly, very little time passed on the island this season, yet it seems like we learned so much, a lot of it during flashforwards.

NOTE: My apologies for the multiple typos in this post. A technical glitch erased half of my post somewhere around 1:00 am, so I did a lot of hasty rewriting.

I’m really looking forward to the next two seasons. What did you all think?

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87 thoughts on “LOST: There’s No Place Like Home (Parts 2 and 3)

  1. Greg,

    Starting the final two hours at the exact place that last year’s season finale left off was a brilliant move and good storytelling. We come around full circle to where we were, and we actually do know so much more.

    Indeed, that was brilliant. It tied the story up beautifully.

    Keamy must have at least twelve inches of reach on Sayid. The mans a giant. But then, Sayid has the Legs of Death. When Richard Alpert shot Keamy, I wondered why he didn’t put a bullet through his brain. I mean, what were the odds that he wasn’t wearing body armor?

    I was wondering that too. I attribute it (and most of the plot holes) to speedy writing by the writers.

    Locke tells Jack: “Let bygones be bygones.” Ever notice how quickly people on LOST seem to get over their differences and ally themselves with each other as soon as circumstances change?

    I attribute that to speedy writing, once again. These writers are writing a beautiful story, but they are leaving much carnage behind.

    Micheal gets creativity points for thinking to freeze the battery with liquid nitrogen. I have no idea if this would work in real life. I kind of doubt it. If disconnecting the battery means “boom” why is freezing it okay? Still, nothing like an imminent explosion to add suspense to a season finale.

    Another writing carnage…why exactly does Keamy think that holding the freighter hostage will convince Ben to listen to Keamy?

    Watching Sun go down with the freighter was pretty gut-wrenching.

    You mean Jin?

    Christian Shepard again, releasing Michael from his island duty just before the boom. Is this really Jack’s dad, or some manifestation of the island/Jacob/the Smoke Monster?

    Island/Jacob/Smoke Monster

    It was unclear whether Faraday and that final group of survivors on the Zodiac made it to the freighter before it exploded. Based on not seeing him on the boat, I’m guessing he was still in transit. But did he make it back to the island before it disappeared? Probably not. I’ll miss Faraday.

    Faraday’s group was heading back to the Island when it disappeared. Don’t know if they made it back into the magnetic dome that envelops the island. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of Mr. Faraday.

    Now is a good time to point out that Penelope was the name of Odysseus faithful wife who waited for her husband to return from his long, strange, perilous journey. Yea for Desmond and Penny. We know their future is still in jeopardy, but at least they are happy for how.

    This is still my favorite part of the show, the Desmond/Penny subplot. Beautifully written. I look forward to Ben’s attempts at taking Penny.

    Finally, I just want to say that this finale was brilliant. However, I still have major qualms about Locke, and I don’t think the writers are making him into any sort of good guy. I certainly would not want to follow him around. He throws a knife into the back of an unarmed woman, killing her. That is very dramatic in the heat of a story, but it just doesn’t make any sense at all to do. Then he tells the survivors, “Come with me if you want to live.” This is highly important because most of those that go with him die. Not only that, but Locke doesn’t seem to care one bit. When Keamy’s group heads towards the Others’ housing unit, Locke does absolutely nothing at all to protect all of those who go with him instead of with Jack. As such, most of them die. They are mere canon fodder for Keamy’s group. Locke does not protect them, even though he promised that they would live if they go with him. Does that not sear his conscience? You can’t tell; the writers continue the story without a single mention. He then goes on to continue supporting Ben EVEN AFTER Ben, in a fit of rage, has people on the boat killed! WTF?!?!?! Locke is a whacked character, and I blame the writers for not watching him more closely.

    Further writing carnage…each group (Locke and Ben, the boat folks, the beach folks, the Others), working in their separate areas (with little communication between them), somehow know the events taking place in the other groups. Their omniscience is puzzling in reality. One may assume this or that about another group working independently in another area of the island, but one cannot actually know what they are doing because one is not omniscient. The writers are, and they are thrusting their omniscience on the characters they write. This is bad writing. The biggest example is: just how does Locke know anyone from the Island is already at the boat when Ben kills Keamy? He doesn’t. He assumes. But he is written as if he has the knowledge that the viewer has (which is an omniscient third-person knowledge that only viewers and readers have). Characters within the story do not have that kind of knowledge. They can’t, unless they are omniscient.

    These kinds of writing issues are starting to grow on me (and not just with Lost, but with books I am reading right now too). Am I analyzing too much?

  2. I agree it was fantastic. I too think we’ll see more of Faraday and hopefully Jin. Michael, I’m not sure about. Was Christian telling him he could die now?

    Locke – I was shocked it was him. Why would the island allow him to be killed? He’s been my favorite character and I although I was afraid he wasn’t going to have a happy ending, I’m bummed that it looks like he’ll go out frustrated and unfulfilled as he has his whole life.

    Locke’s priority may be the island, but he was desperately trying to save Keamy to save his friends. He killed Naomi because he knew full well what her true intentions were. She wasn’t innocent.

    He’s always tried to do what was right for everyone, they just don’t know it (yet).

  3. When Sun told Mr. Widmore they both knew there were others that had gotten off the island I thought she was talking about Faraday and whatever group of people he had with him.

    The Penny and Desmond reunion was awesome. If everything else had been crap, that would have made it all ok. But everything else wasn’t crap thankfully.

    Locke in that coffin was no big surprise to me. Evidently being chosen is still a b*tch.

    And what was up with Claire’s not having an accent in Kat’es dream scene?

    By the end of this I got the feeling there are two main supernatural powers (Jacob and ?) working in opposition to each other.

    Oh and thank goodness Sawyer isn’t dead. 🙂

  4. When Sun told Mr. Widmore they both knew there were others that had gotten off the island I thought she was talking about Faraday and whatever group of people he had with him.

    I assumed she was talking about Ben.

  5. David,

    He’s always tried to do what was right for everyone, they just don’t know it (yet).

    Really? Was it right for Boone to die? Was it right for all those who believed Locke that going with him would save their lives only to die a few days later because Locke could not protect them against Keamy’s men? I understand that the writers are trying to portray Locke as the savior of the survivors, but his actions speak quite differently. Locke has consistently put the interests of the Island (and may I mention that the Island is also quite murderous—Mr. Eko, Boone, and many many others), over the interests, lives, and safety of the survivors.

  6. Dan,

    I always thought Locke was unfairly blamed for Boone’s death. Locke told him to get out of the plane when it became apparent that it was going to tip over. Boone refused to leave and stayed. Locke was going to into the plane, but I now think that Locke’s legs gave out b/c the island couldn’t let him die then. Locke didn’t kill Boone, despite what Jack thinks.

    Locke tried to lead the people away from the freighties. However, it was Jack who brought them to the island. Locke didn’t know that having Ben with them put a big target on them. When Sawyer told Jack what happened in “New Otherton,” Jack seemed to shrug off that he was wrong and at fault.

    So how is Locke responsible for these deaths? As he said in this season’s premiere he’s only done what he thought was best for everyone. He apparently died trying to do so. I think he’s been given a raw deal and misunderstood.

    The conflict of faith and objectivism between Locke and Jack is obviously one of the big themes of the show. I think it will pay off in the end that Locke was right or at least more right (Lost would never be so unambiguous). It sure looks like Jack is finally starting to reconsider.

  7. When Sun told Mr. Widmore they both knew there were others that had gotten off the island I thought she was talking about Faraday and whatever group of people he had with him.

    I assumed she was talking about Desmond.

  8. I could have sworn one of the creators sad in an interview we’d know more about the four-toed statue after the finale. Another victim of the strike?

    And I’ll be happy next year when problems in scripts, and hurried plotlines can’t be blamed on The Strike anymore.

    I enjoyed the episode, and knew Jin was going to die, but still felt sad when it actually happened.

  9. I don’t think the writers have set up Locke as a savior at all. His intentions are good, but his main character trait is extreme credulity. He’s easily manipulated by his father, Ben, Jacob. I don’t think it’s a stretch to have him allow Ben to do what he wants since he believes it’s Jacob’s/the Island’s will. Sometimes his faith seems to be justified, but more often it’s led to disaster.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, of course, is Jack, who knows everything already, won’t listen to anyone else and thinks he knows what’s best for everybody. That approach doesn’t seem to work out very well either.

    Ben is a good foil for both of them.

  10. Any thoughts on Widmore having previously moved the island himself and thus not able to return?

  11. Any thoughts on Widmore having previously moved the island himself and thus not able to return?

    That’s a pretty cool theory. I like it. I wonder if the inability to return is a physical limitation, or whether it simply has to do with being sucked through the wormhole and not being able to find the island again.

  12. Why would Hurley have told Jack earlier this season, in a flash-forward, that he shouldn’t have gone with Locke? It doesn’t seem like there were any reasons for him to say that, at least not that we know. Or am I wrong?

  13. David,

    However, it was Jack who brought them to the island.

    You mean the Freighties? No, it wasn’t Jack who brought them there. Jack did nothing to bring Naomi to the Island. She made it there by herself.

    So how is Locke responsible for these deaths? As he said in this season’s premiere he’s only done what he thought was best for everyone. He apparently died trying to do so. I think he’s been given a raw deal and misunderstood.

    Like I said, I think the writers are trying to convey this, but because of speedy and sloppy writing, are having Locke make some really deadly fateful decisions. Locke did indeed say that all he was trying to do was what was best for everyone, but once he got everyone at the Others’ homes, he did very little to actually protect them when endangered. He convinced those that went with him that they should go with him if they want to live. That’s a very strong promise to make. The writers wrote Locke in such a way that he failed on that promise, quite badly. Most of those that went with him died. Most of those that went with Jack have lived (so far). I again, blame the writers. Maybe they’ll take a break over the summer and get some rest before jumping back in. Maybe then they will realize some of the major plot holes in their story.

  14. …or maybe, Dan, they want Locke to be a tragic character whose blind faith and credulity lead to disaster. Nothing so far suggests we’re supposed to see him as a great hero.

  15. Why would Hurley have told Jack earlier this season, in a flash-forward, that he shouldn’t have gone with Locke?

    I think Hurley feels guilty about being disloyal to Jack by choosing Locke. I don’t read much more into it at this point.

  16. Dan:

    I again, blame the writers.

    I strongly disagree. I think your main gripes are with your expectations for the characters, not with the show’s writing. I think the writing this year has been excellent. All the TV critics seem to agree that the strike actually sharpened the writers’ focus, rather than hurting it.

  17. You could be right Greg. It just seemed like at the time, there were going to be serious repercussions from having chosen Locke over Jack.

  18. I’m very intrigued by Locke’s sudden appeals to Jack to stay on/return to the island. It seems that Locke recognizes his own limitations and wanted Jack there to balance him out and provide the leadership that he lacked. That’s a very interesting angle.

  19. I agree that the post strike episodes seemed rushed. I didn’t like the finale quite as much as everyone else. But it was good.

    I’d thought Michael was in the coffin but about halfway through this year I moved to the Locke line.

    Ben’s hard to figure out as he’s so manipulative. I halfway think he intended to destroy the boat.

    While Locke might not be completely blameworthy for what happens to anyone who follows him, he’s so naive that he deserves some blame. It’s kind of a repeating pattern. Although I think blaming him for not rescuing everyone at Other-central is silly. He had two minutes before the RPGs started coming.

  20. Locke certainly is frustratingly naive. But his blind faith is sympathetic in light that the island cured his paralysis.

    I find his character more sympathetic and no more blametworthy than Jack. As BTD Greg put it well, Locke is “evangelical” about the island whereas Jack tried to blow his head off. They are two extremes and it will be interesting to see how “Jeremy Bentham” finally starts to persuade Jack.

    Dan,

    Naomi got to the island by herself but if it wasn’t for Jack’s phone call, the Freighties never would have made it to the island.

    By your logic, Jack is responsible for the deaths of all those who were taken to the freighter and blown up. I don’t think that works either.

  21. Do we know for sure Michael, Jin, etc. are dead? I’m just wondering if maybe I missed something more than just seeing the freighter explode. It seems that if we were going to know for sure, we would have seen more.

  22. Greg,

    #20,

    While I fully agree that overall, the fourth season has been a phenomenal season for LOST, and most of it is attributable to the faster pace in writing, one of the drawbacks is that the writers have cut many plot corners to get their characters to where they are. I have to go back to the finale in Season Three and ask again, was it really necessary for Locke to murder Naomi? It doesn’t make any sense at all. What about all the dire predictions from the likes of Ben who said “you’re all gonna die.” But we find out that Keamy’s group isn’t that invincible after all. The Others easily took them out. And what about the strangest episode of this season, when Faraday and Charlotte go to the gas station to stop it from going off. Huh? There is no explanation for that. Someone supposedly turned it on to gas the island (presumably Ben), and Faraday turned it off. There are many such plot points that were rushed by the writers so that they could get to a point, but upon looking back, some of these things just do not make any sense at all.

  23. Tim,

    Michael for sure is dead.

    Jin, well, we don’t know at this point. Perhaps Faraday’s boat went back to see if there were any survivors.

    David,

    No, Jack is not responsible for the deaths of all those who went to the freighter. That would be Ben. It was Ben who made the decision to kill Keamy, not Jack. Jack had no idea there was a bomb on the boat (and I don’t think Sayid did either). Besides which, Jack never promised anyone that “they would live” if they came with him. He only said that he would work to get them off the island. That’s quite different than Locke stating that if they want to live, they should come with him, and then he doesn’t provide the security for their lives that he promised.

  24. I really enjoyed it. And as always, thanks for all the tremendously geeky insights that escape me. Two questions:

    1. When Ben says everyone has to go back, does that include Desmond? And if so, how are they supposed to pry him away from Penny?

    2. My assumption is that Locke will be resurrected once he returns to the island. Agreed?

  25. When Ben says everyone has to go back, does that include Desmond? And if so, how are they supposed to pry him away from Penny?

    How’s this for a wacky, definitely half-baked theory: Desmond and Penny are already on the island. This is based on two random observations and a large helping of unwarranted speculation.

    One, there was definitely something in the nature of “never-say-never” about Desmond’s statement on the freighter to Sayid that he’s never going back to the island.

    Two, when Charles Widmore told Ben Linus in his bedroom that Ben would never find Penny, I think there was something more to that comment than it seemed. The island would be an interesting place to hide Penny, and she may have some sort of ancestral claim to the island as a Widmore.

  26. My assumption is that Locke will be resurrected once he returns to the island. Agreed?

    To answer your other question, Kevin, I think no, but yes. I don’t think he’ll be literally resurrected, but he may be able to attain Jacob/Christian Sheppard/Clair (?) status as a supernatural being. Somehow, I think having your corpse reside on the island is a prerequisite for that sort of thing.

    And you’re welcome for the tremendously geeky insights.

  27. Locke certainly is frustratingly naive. But his blind faith is sympathetic in light that the island cured his paralysis.

    It’ll be interesting to see if the writers clue Locke in that the island probably gave him his paralysis.

    Which raises the bigger question. If Locke can’t die how is he dead? Does the island merely keep you alive until you aren’t needed anymore? (Is this what happened with Michael? – or will we find Jin and Michael alive next season?)

    BTW – I think we now know were Sun got the money to take over her Father’s company. Widmore.

    That’s quite different than Locke stating that if they want to live, they should come with him, and then he doesn’t provide the security for their lives that he promised.

    I think that’s a bit much though. Locke thought they were going to kill the survivors. Plus Locke was following the guidance the Island was giving. Of course by now you think Locke would have learned some skepticism about the island’s motives.

  28. I have to go back to the finale in Season Three and ask again, was it really necessary for Locke to murder Naomi? It doesn’t make any sense at all.

    If the initial plan was for the mercenaries to sweep in and kill everyone then yeah, it made a ton of sense. The big question was whether they had Ben with them. By Locke killing the girl (who was a mercenary herself remember – and Ben knew this) and then Locke taking Ben with him the survivors were saved temporarily.

    Edit: I should also note that by killing the girl Locke had saved everyone. It was Jack’s fault for calling the ship again. (Someone else noted this, but I wanted to show the connections)

    Locke’s big mistake was in not following the warning signal. Although that’s Ben’s fault for keeping information so close to his chest. (Which, let’s be honest, everyone in this show does. Resulting typically in disaster as everyone has complained about.)

    Had Locke told Ben about the phone message or Ben told Locke about the warning system then Locke could have evacuated the village.

    Locke’s fault was in not seeing that if the boat was after Ben that maybe having Ben around wasn’t the wisest move. (Although to be fair Locke didn’t know they had heavily armed mercenaries with RPGs)

  29. Michael is dead. His story-arc is complete. He was told by Christian that he’s done. He’s done. Jin on the other hand may very well be floating in the water again (a la season 1 finale).

    Clark, I don’t think Sun got her money from Widmore. She was already managing director of the company before she spoke with him in London. My speculation is that she either got it from Hurley or Ben (and is now using it against him).

  30. Clark,

    Even if the plan was for the mercenaries to sweep in and kill everyone, that still doesn’t excuse Locke from throwing the knife into the back of an unarmed woman. It just didn’t need to happen. If I were in that very situation, I would probably have killed Locke, or tried to, for doing such a heinous thing. What was wrong with “taking her prisoner?” You can easily take the phone away from her. She is badly outnumbered. That incident forever made me think of Locke as a bad character. He is a murderer. And he sides with a man who is flippant about the deaths of innocent people. There is really something sinisterly wrong in Locke’s mind.

  31. Michael is done in what sense though? I think we’ll see him again. We’ll see though. Certainly the line Christian Shepherd told him makes it seem like his wish of death was granted.

    On Sun, good call. I missed that. What is she doing with Widmore then? My initial call was Hurley but now I don’t know.

  32. During the Orchid training vid, the man says that the test subject may “seem to disappear, but in reality—.” The video then begins to rewind. I’m convinced that the missing portion explains what happened to the island when it “seemed to disappear.”
    He also explicitly states not to place metal in the vault—yet Ben throws in every piece of metal he can find. Any theories as to why??
    Was he trying to sabotage future attempts to utilize it?

  33. Dan,

    Who was going to let Locke imprison Naomi? It was a split-second decision to shut her up was it not? Or am I misremembering?

  34. Tim,

    Doesn’t it seem weird to you that Locke would throw the knife into the back of an unarmed woman to stop her from calling the freighter, but then when pointing the gun to Jack’s face doesn’t pull the trigger when he makes the call? Why exactly did Naomi need to die? If, truly, the Freighties were that much of a threat to Locke and the Island, why would Locke not sacrifice Jack as well to protect himself and those around him and the Island? Why would Locke let Jack make the call?

    Bad writing.

  35. Ken, I thought he put all the metal in the chamber to blow a hole in it so he could crawl behind/below the orchid.

  36. Clark,

    Michael is dead. That is how he is done. Would we see his ghost or flashbacks? Probably. But once dead, they stay dead, and I think that would include Locke.

    Ken,

    I think that Ben needed to break through to the other side of the “Box” in order to get to the true controller of the time machine.

  37. Ken,
    That’s not a bad theory about the disappearance of the island. Regarding the metal, it looked like he did it in order to blow into the wall that lead to the frozen donkey wheel. But if that’s the case, how was it done in the past? Do they keep rebuilding that wall inside the chamber? That didn’t make much sense to me.

  38. Ken in the ‘outtake reel’ from that training film shown at Comicon last summer (and available on YouTube) the rabbit reappears at an inopportune time scaring the tar out of everyone. That suggests there’s a problem when they appear and may be why Ben can’t return to the island.

    The metal is presumably to ‘prime’ things so the island can move instead of other people moving. But I considered what Ken said as well.

  39. clark:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the writers clue Locke in that the island probably gave him his paralysis.

    Huh? I thought Locke was paralyzed because his father, Anthony Cooper, tossed him out the eighth floor of a building. Are you saying that the island made him do it?

    TimJ:

    Okay, Michael’s done. Got it. I don’t think Jin is dead though.

    I think he is. Even if he did survive the exposion, which seems unlikely, there was no island to swim to once it disappeared. I guess we’ll see.

  40. Incidentally, good riddance to Michael, his character is probably the most annoying ever to appear on lost, and that’s saying something when you consider that Nikki, Shannon, Jack, and Sun are all in the running.

  41. Couldn’t Faraday, on the raft en route to the freighter, have found Jin?

    Dan, it’s a lot easier to kill someone, at least I guess it would be :), that you don’t know, than someone you do.

  42. So have all the log-carrying people been eliminated at this point? All the ones with Locke seem to have been killed and the ones on the beach were all on the freighter when it exploded. Are there any others that we’re missing? Perhaps a few stragglers on the beach with Juliet?

    Oh, and that’s going to be another interesting plot-line for next year, the Juliet/Sawyer duo. There’s absolutely no chance there will be a romantic link there, but I like both characters and it could be interesting to see them team up in whatever new dimension or year they end up in next season.

  43. Are there any others that we’re missing? Perhaps a few stragglers on the beach with Juliet?

    I haven’t been able to determine what happened to Rose and Bernard.

    Oh, and that’s going to be another interesting plot-line for next year, the Juliet/Sawyer duo. There’s absolutely no chance there will be a romantic link there, but I like both characters and it could be interesting to see them team up in whatever new dimension or year they end up in next season.

    Why no chance? Juliet isn’t exactly prudish. In fact, she’s almost downright easy. You could say the same about Sawyer (the only one on the island that we know for sure has had sex with multiple women on the island). I don’t think a Juliet/Sawyer hookup is much of a stretch at all.

  44. The training film indicated that the rabbit would seem to disappear but was actually moving in time, right? Could the island also reappear in the same spot but a different time?

    RE: dead Claire–I didn’t notice the loss of an accent, but I did notice her ghot has gained weight. I’ll blame that on the strike.

  45. Greg, yeah, I’m saying Locke’s whole dad situation was manipulated by the island. (Let’s not forget where dad ended up – and is dad really Locke’s dad at all? I’m going to guess a Widmore connection though)

    Regarding the boat and the island I think the ship was caught up in the anomaly. (Otherwise what other folks are on the island? Not many – and what about Jin?)

  46. I just noticed Greg’s reference to Molly Fisher, which is some pretty darned good spying. Expect more carvings and monoliths in future eps! Also, how did you get the recording to play the right way, Greg? Awesome.

  47. Now, I’m just thinking about this, but why would Jack and the Oceanic Six not want to reveal the details? It would seem to me that the less secret the place is, the less opportunities there are for murder and death. Widmore and Linus would not be able to kill whoever they want all the time of the whole rest of the world knew about it…

  48. I think the main reason for Jack’s decision is that he’s realizing that Locke was right. That’s partially why he’s the only one at Locke’s funeral.

  49. I loved it. Great episode. I don’t really have anything else to add. Oh, except I, too, say, “Thanks, Greg!” KB is the best place to read about and discuss LOST.

  50. Thanks, all.

    I’ll probably do a season 4 recap post sometime next week, then it’s no more LOST blogging until 2009.

  51. So does anyone know what Michael accomplished that finally pleased the island enough to let him die? Was it that he bought enough time for Sun and Desmond to get off the boat? I can’t really think of anything else he did that would change his status from trapped-in-life to “you can go now, Michael.”

    Also, I’m also trying to find some deeper reason why Hurley regretted going with Locke. I just don’t think it can be as simple as Greg’s assumption. He said it with so much emotion, like so much turned on that decision. What turned on that decision? Is it that Hurley’s following Locke convinced others to go? Does it have something to do with causing Claire to . . . end up in whatever condition she’s in? Anything to do with Aaron?

    Do you think we now know why Jack was so vehement about not having anything to do with Aaron, around the time of Kate’s trial? Are we to believe that the mere revelation that Aaron is his nephew somehow pushed him to fear being around him (maybe out of weird Daddy issues?) Or would it be something we haven’t seen yet?

    Also interested to hear a more fleshed out rationale for why Jack is so desperate to get back to the island. ‘Bentham’ visits him and tells him that everyone back on the island is suffering now because Jack left. ‘Everyone’ is really only Locke, Juliet, Sawyer, and maybe Claire. Is his savior complex really that huge that he can’t be happy knowing that they’re in trouble? What else might Bentham have told him? Based on what we know, I’m not seeing sufficient motivation to make him so crazy to get back there.

    By the way, I don’t see how anyone can want to nitpick these writers. What they’ve done this season is on a whole other level from anything else on TV. Truly incredible. Desmond is one of my favorite characters of all time. Can’t wait to see him switch into feral defender mode when Ben comes knocking for Penny. I sort of hope those two end up being Adam and Eve somehow.

    Greg, your recaps were the highlight of me week. Tremendous job. And tremendously geeky, of course!

  52. I thought it was pretty good. Nothing really negative to say about it, but nothing that really grabbed me either.

    I did have goose bumps when Desmond finally met up with Penny. That was well done. I also think Sawyer has arched well while still holding on to his sarcastic side.

    The Rose and Miles thing was totally silly in my opinion. Rose was leaving the island. What does she care about peanuts. Seemed like a forced way to get a sassy line into that part of the episode. This just reinforced my belief that Rose and Bernard are completely useless characters. But this is a minor complaint.

    I guess I’m cold hearted, but I would have thrown Sun out of the chopper for endangering everyone around her by spazing out about a situation nobody could do anything about.

  53. Can I just say, I so called most of this episode. Let me refer you to comments I made on last episode’s thread.

    “Michael=Dead. Jin=Dead, with slim chance of survival. I see Jin and Michael in a race against time to defuse the bomb on the freighter and Michael does something redeeming before it blows up, killing him. Maybe Jin is blown clear and makes it to the island, so he can reunite with Sun and his child at the end of season 6.”

    “The other person responsible for Jin’s death could be Ben, which would set up Sun going over to the Widmore camp, and put her in eventual conflict with Ben and Sayid down the line.”

    “I see all the mercenaries dying either in a fire fight, or when the island “moves.”

    “There will be a group of people left on the island to crack it’s mysteries. Locke, Sawyer, Miles, Faraday, Charlotte, Juliet, Lapidus maybe. Desmond, I’m not sure about, I think he might end up in a different category, off-island, but not grouped with the Oceanic Six obviously.”

    “In season five Juliet and Sawyer will strike up some sexual chemistry I bet.”

    Sorry, couldn’t resist, but Greg started it.

  54. Let me just say that although I totally disagree with what Dan has been saying on this thread, especially slamming the writing of the show, his disenchantment with Locke’s characterization does not surprise me.

    I think a lot of Lost fans, especially those of a religious bent, were drawn to Locke because he epitomized faith early on in the show. That’s definitely why he was my favorite character in the beginning, and still is.

    I think that it would have been safe for the writers to keep him in that place, but they were bold enough to take Locke through the change and growth that come through a commitment to faith, i.e., doubt, fanatacism, recommitment, errors in judgment, leading when revelation is not forthcoming, etc. I think a lot of religious viewers may be disappointed to see this character that represented their world view become a killer, but the truth is that it is consistent with his character, and that the changes in his character we’ve seen this season make him all the more compelling and all the more real.

  55. Wow, that was some good prognostication work, Brian G. If I didn’t know it was impossible, I would almost suspect you of having previewed the finale before it aired.

  56. Brian,

    Side me with Jack and the disappointment on Jack’s face when his gun didn’t go off after Locke killed Naomi. I am a man of faith and a man of reason, and I really think the writers have not done a good enough job to explain why I should follow Locke. I know that’s what they want me to do, but they keep making Locke do some really stupid things. He is too overly trusting of a murderous island, solely because it gave him his ability to walk. The writers simply do not portray Locke as worthy of being a leader; and promising that they would live if they went with him and failing to live up to that promise is a fatal blow to his leadership role.

  57. I think their portrayal of Locke is intentional. And I think it’s about to get a lot worse, if the season finale is to be believed.

    It is interesting the main producer said Jack was his favorite character. Despite all the fan hate.

    I agree with a lot that Brian said about Locke. Although he is sometimes just such an idiot that your eyes roll. But given his background I can at least understand why he is what he is.

    The one I never understood and I still hope they’ll explain is Charley and Claire who made no sense in any of their actions. That, more than anything else on the show, bugs me and demands an explanation. Most of the rest I can understand.

    BTW – Rose and Bernard should still be on the beach since they weren’t leaving the island and they weren’t going with Locke. I suspect there will be a few others as well.

  58. But Dan, that’s part of my point. The writers don’t need to show you Locke is a good leader. Why would they?

    They’ve chosen not to. They’re showing you what they want to show you. They don’t necessarily want you to feel like you should follow Locke. What you’re feeling is exactly what they want you to feel–that he’s put faith beyond reason in an island that may not have his, or anyone’s best interest at heart. Again and again, from his father to Ben to the island itself, Locke has put faith or trust in people or things that do not necessarily merit it. His characterization is one of the most consistent on the show.

    He doesn’t need to be a good leader anymore than Jack does, who, I believe, has shown himself to be equally crappy, and gotten just as many people killed. Thematically the writers have been developing a faith vs. reason dichotomy as represented by Locke and Jack for seasons now, and I think what they’re saying is not that faith/Locke is a good choice, or reason/Jack is better, but that the dichotomy is a false one. Faith and reason can work together. I believe by the end of the show we’ll see Jack and Locke working hand in hand like faith and reason should to kick some total ass.

    Mark my words.

  59. And to answer Ryan’s question regarding what Michael did that pleased the island into letting him die, my feeling is that by delaying the explosion, he saved Aaron, and that’s who the island really cares about most.

    My current operating theory is that the story will all ultimately be about saving Aaron. When all is revealed, said, and done, 90% of the plot will revolve around saving Aaron because he will one day save the world.

  60. Dan,

    I’m puzzled about your complaints. It seems to me that you are upset at the writers are not writing Locke into the box that you have put him in. The writers have never said that Locke should be admired or followed. They never said he would be the great leader. That seems to be something that you had crowned him as.

    I think Brian has explained the character pretty well.

    I have been as hard on the writers as anyone, but in this respect I am not bothered at all. He is who he is, and that is a character doing his best on feel – yet he is still fallible.

    Why did people on the island follow Locke as opposed to Jack? They were scared. Charlie gave a warning. People were afraid that those who were on the boat might be there to harm them (and they would be right.) I think it was more a case of them being against Jack’s naiveté than trusting Locke as some great leader.

  61. I’m looking forward to some Weekend at Bernie’s-style hilarity in season five when they try to transport Locke’s dead body to the island.

  62. I believe by the end of the show we’ll see Jack and Locke working hand in hand like faith and reason should to kick some total ass.

    Mark my words.

    How will that work, exactly? Are we talking about Zombie Locke? Or apparition Locke?

    And to answer Ryan’s question regarding what Michael did that pleased the island into letting him die, my feeling is that by delaying the explosion, he saved Aaron, and that’s who the island really cares about most.

    I don’t know about saving the world, but I do think that Aaron is key. I’m particularly interested in why the different factions care so much about whether or not Aaron returns to the island. This is the one thread that has been carried through since the beginning (“He must not be raised by another/an Other”) that could really pay off in the end.

  63. I think both Aaron and Walt will be very important next season. I’m not sure they are ‘the key’ but I think they will be quite significant.

  64. I have a theory about Ben and Jack lugging Locke’s corpse back to the island: some combination of the Island, Jacob and/or the Smoke Monster can inhabit or use the personage only of corpses that physically exist on the island. Thus, the island could use Christian Shepard (his casket fell on the island from Flight 815), Yemi Eko (corpse in the Nigerian drug plane), Libby (shot in the Hatch and buried on the beach), Charlie (died off the coast), Claire (assuming she’s now dead), and anyone else whose dead bodies reside on the island.

    Of course, the one major downside to this theory is that it could potentially mean we see visions of Niki and Paolo.

  65. There’s only about a zillion ways that Locke could not be dead, and/or be available to fight alongside Jack. For one thing, he could have faked his death. There could be a clone/twinning effect going on. Or he could be resurrected once his body hits the island, as you suggest in your last comment, Greg, which is very astute, by the way.

    Or he could have dies a long time ago, long before the death that put him in the coffin. In fact, a lot of the cast could already be dead.

    As long as we’re suggesting theories, here’s one of mine. One event has been conspicuously skipped over in the Lost timeline in a major way–and that’s what exactly happened when the hatch exploded. It’s very suspicious. I think it’s possible that Charlie, Desmond, Eko, and Locke all died in the explosion. At least they died in the sense that we’re familiar with, and since then perhaps, they’ve been existing in a different way.

    What has become increasingly clear is the show’s writers are playing fast and loose with the concept of death.

  66. Am I the only one who liked the Niki and Paolo episode?

    I wouldn’t mind finding out they are stuck underground in a half alive/dead state. It’d be an interesting episode. Although all the evidence suggests that the body remains where it is despite ghostly movement. (See for instance Eko’s brother)

  67. I think you really might be the only one to like that episode.

    I think Locke being a part of the show going forward may have something to do with time when they return to the island. Who knows “when” they will be returning to.

  68. I liked the idea of one off episodes. In the X-Files the only episodes I liked were the one off ones. I was excited that Heroes was going to do one off episodes as well. (And I hope they return to that idea this fall)

    Plus, I really thought it was a cool story and riff – an new twist to a classic Alfred Hitchcock episode.

  69. I actually liked the Niki and Paolo episode okay, but I didn’t really like the whole Niki and Paolo concept. It was clunky and poorly executed. The writers have admitted it was an experiment that didn’t work.

  70. I wouldn’t mind finding out they are stuck underground in a half alive/dead state.

    If it involves their perpetual suffering, I wouldn’t mind it either.

  71. I don’t mind the idea of a one off episode either. But the characters and story stunk in my opinion. There isn’t much left for me to like after that.

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