This was a Kate-and-Aaron-centric episode. Sort of. Both the off-island and on-island plots are progressing.
Spoilers from tonight’s episode, and a bunch of other stuff, after the break.
Links and miscellanea:
- Now Nestor Carbonell himself (Richard Alpert) has confirmed that he does not wear eyeliner. Hopefully this will put this pressing issue to rest.
- Evangeline Lilly claims in this interview that she finds time travel confusing. Yeah, me too.
- This TV critic complains that Lost has made TV too complicated. That’s a bad thing? Personally, I love that Lost has brought complexity to prime time. You won’t find me pining for the halcyon days of “Murder, She Wrote” and “Three’s Company.”
- I like this approach much better: “I’m not going to even try to pretend that I understand everything that is going on or can remember all the tiny clues from seasons past that tie everything together. I’m simply not smart nor geeky enough. But I can still appreciate and enjoy the complexity of the show. And wherever, and whenever it decides to go, I am definitely along for the ride.” Sometimes I do like to pretend, though. And I probably am geeky enough.
- Then again, I’m probably not half as geeky as the members of Hoo’s Lost, the University of Virginia’s official Lost fanclub.
- More ratings wonkishness can be found here, if you like that sort of thing.
Observations and speculations:
- Here’s a theory I’m working on that may help explain what’s happening this season: Do you ever wonder why some people on the island are skipping through time, but others are apparently not? We know that there are essentially three types of Left Behinders traveling through time: Juliet (a former Other, recruited by Ben and Richard Alpert), the trio of Miles, Charlotte and Faraday (formerly of the freighter), and Sawyer, Locke and the other Oceanic 815 survivors—heck, even Vincent the labrador is skipping through time. However, there are additional people (Richard Alpert, the remaining Others—including, presumably, Cindy the stewardess and the two Tailee children kidnapped by the Others while they were under Ana Lucia’s care) who do not seem to be skipping through time. How come? It can’t relate to how the people arrived on the island because each of these three groups arrived separately. Even the Others (at least, according to Ben) were mostly recruited and were not born there. My theory is that they were shielded by the effects of the Frozen Donkey Wheel because they had taken sanctuary in The Temple. Remember the Temple? I can’t blame you if you don’t; we don’t know much about it yet. We know that the Others were headed there at the end of season 3 when Ben decided to try to talk Jack out of making contact with the Others. We also know that Ben tried to send Alex there right before she was killed. At the time, Ben referred to it as one of the only safe places left on the island. At some point, I think we’ll learn more about the Temple, but for now, I’m hypothesizing that it’s a place where someone can be protected against the island’s time-and-space-jumping eccentricities.
- The episode’s title, of course, takes its name from the novel written by Antoine de Saint-ExupÃ©ry. (He wrote it while living on an island, incidentally. And, of course, he was French, like the members of Rousseau’s research team.) Although the book is immensely popular, I’ve never read it. Wiki has this interesting note, though:
In The Little Prince, Saint-ExupÃ©ry talks about being marooned in the desert in a damaged aircraft. Without doubt, this account was drawn from his own experience in the Sahara. He also writes about this ordeal, in detail, in his book Wind, Sand and Stars.
On December 30, 1935 at 14:45, after an 18 hour and 36 minute flight, Saint-ExupÃ©ry, along with his navigator AndrÃ© PrÃ©vot, crashed in the Libyan Sahara desert en route to Saigon. They were attempting to fly from Paris to Saigon faster than anyone before them ever had; and all for a prize of 150,000 francs. Their plane was a Caudron C-600 Simoun nÂ° 7042 (serial F-ANRY). Supposedly, the crash site is located in the Wadi Natrum. Both of them had survived the crash, but they were then faced with rapid dehydration in the Sahara. Their maps were primitive and ambiguous. Lost in the desert with a few grapes, a single orange, and some wine, the duo had only one day’s worth of liquids. After that day, they had nothing. Both men began to see mirages, which were quickly followed by more vivid hallucinations. Sometime between the second and the third day, the two were so dehydrated that they stopped sweating altogether. Finally, on the fourth day, a Bedouin on a camel discovered them and administered native dehydration treatment that saved Saint-ExupÃ©ry and PrÃ©vot’s lives.
Interesting. A plane crash, marooned, lost, I’m seeing a pattern here. Also, remember that the island is somehow linked to the Sahara—it’s where Ben landed after turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, and it’s also were Charlotte discovered a polar bear with a DHARMA collar.
- Presumably, Aaron is the little prince. Maybe someone who’s read the book can tell me the significance of that.
- So Kate came up with the idea to claim Aaron as her own. I guess she didn’t want to turn him over to strangers. Remember the Malkin the psychic’s admonition to Claire that “You mustn’t allow another to raise your baby” way back in season 1? I wonder if Claire ever shared this with Kate. Probably not. In part, it was selfish, based on her feeling that she couldn’t lose another person close to her.
- Someone is giving Sun intell—most likely Widmore’s people—intel on Ben’s whereabouts and his movements. The folder Sun looks at in the hotel room is on letterhead for “Surveillance Data Investigations, Inc.,” suggesting a private investigation firm. Some interesting tidbit from the surveillance report:
Tuesday morning: “Except for one trip to the mailbox, subject never left on (sic) 35 Sundigue Drive, a single-story, wood frame home painted green and yellow. Three times, when subject had not passed a visible window for thirty minutes, subject answered the telephone and replied that Lee Chin did not live there.”
This basic information is repeated for other days, then
Wednesday morning: “Except for three trips to the mailbox, subject never left 103 Pinecrest Drive, when subject had not passed a visible window for thirty minutes, subject answered the telephone and replied that Lee Chin was dead, a victim of suicide.”
Wednesday afternoon: “Except for seven trips to the mailbox, subject never left 103 Pinecrest Drive, when subject had not passed a visible window for thirty minutes, subject answered the telephone, claimed that I was Melissa f***king (sic) with her and demanded to know when I mailed her the prints.”
Wednesday Evening: “Subject came out of the house at 8:15 am, set up a camping chair next to the mailbox and preceded to pace the front yard until the mail truck arrived at 12:02 p.m. Subject grabbed mail from letter carrier and ran into the house. Photographs are presented in attachment A. Attachment A is … public pending legal clearance.”
On the final page, it says
Was unable to locate subject. After determining that subject’s car was still parked in front, asked the clerk behind the counter if my sister had been in today, describing the subject. Clerk said she had and that she bought three cans of spray paint, one box of rubber gloves, and one tack hammer, paying in cash before leaving by the rear door. Clerk didn’t remember colors of paint purchased. I checked the aisle and discovered fully stocked shelves with empty spaces in the rows containing the colors black, green and red although I cannot positively confirm that the cans were stocked as indicated. I asked the store clerk if the register captured the part number of items purchased, but he said he hadn’t scanned the cans of spray paint since he knew the price. I left the store by teh rear door and checked the area by foot, but was unable to locate subject.
I returned to the store and again questioned the clerk. Clerk reported that subject used store phonebook to look up number of Oxford City Cab, then remained at counter and used her cell phone to have cab pick her up at Abner’s Restaurant, 438 S Lamar, and take her to animal clinic of Oxford, 2000 Harris Drive.
Drove various routes to animal clinic but did not sight subject. Visited animal clinic, receptionist stated that she had not seen subject. Returned to Ace hardware to find subject’s car had gone. I called client for instructions and was told to establish surveillance at subjects home. The client said she would call me if the subject was sighted at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center.
Isn’t HD great? On the other hand, if I didn’t have HD, I wouldn’t be up in the middle of the night transcribing a TV show prop. I don’t know if this text has anything to do with the story at all. According to what is written, the subject of the surveillance is a woman, but one would expect it to have been Ben. The photos don’t relate to the report at all, but show Jack and Ben outside the Hoffs/Drawler Funeral Home (the site of Locke’s funeral). Also, the reference to Yoknapatawpha County (the fictional county in Mississippi of many of William Faulkner’s novels) is an indication that the report might be dummied up and not relate at all to the story. Perhaps, if the writers are truly sadistic, they purposely created this red herring of a report just so that fans would overanalyze it. Mission accomplished, I guess.
- Sun also receives a box of Godiva chocolates, the kind with a handgun on the bottom layer.
- Faraday’s explanation for the nosebleeds is interesting. Apparently, traveling through time can cause a kind of brain-hemorrhaging vertigo related to the brain’s “internal clock.” Even more interesting is his hypothesis later in the episode that the effects might be more severe depending on the duration of time someone spent on the island. First we see Charlotte affected, then Miles, then Juliet. We know Juliet lived on the island for around three years before Oceanic 815 crashed. We also know that Charlotte lived on the island during her childhood, probably for several years. Miles, it seems, lived on the island for years but does not remember it. This is further evidence that Miles might be the baby that Dr. Chang/Marvin Candle lifted out of the crib in the season premier.
- Ben’s lawyer, Mr. Norton, is pretty efficient. I suppose you would expect that. It also makes sense that Ben was behind putting the scare in Kate. Ben’s m.o. has always been to use whatever a person cares most about to manipulate them (think Michael and WAAALT!), and what Kate cares most about at this particular moment is Aaron. He probably thought that scaring Kate might motivate her to flee to the one place were lawyers and custody battles could never find them—the island.
- Of course, visiting Claire’s mother appears to have been an almost successful feint to throw Kate off. And he would have gotten away with it too, if not for that meddling Jack.
- Locke is beginning to formulate a plan: get to the Orchid Station, decend to the bottom and try to get himself off the island the same way Ben exited. Then locate the Oceanic Six and convince them to come back. It’s a pretty rudimentary scheme at this point, but Locke’s moving it forward.
- Really nice easter egg: Dave—Hurley’s imaginary friend— is one of Hurley’s fellow inmates in LA County lockup. A guard leads him in a door while Hurley is talking on the phone to Jack. Awesome.
- It’s interesting that this episode is the second time (that we know of) that people have tried to tranquilize, but not kill, Sayid. Someone is very interested in taking Sayid alive, and incapacitated. Someone who was either also coming after Kate, or wanted Sayid and Jack to think that Kate was behind the attack. Lucky for Sayid, he’s half ninja.
- Numbers sighting: 42 Panorama Crest, Kate’s address.
- I enjoyed the shoutouts to the end of season 1: the shaft of light from the hatch and Claire giving birth to Aaron in the jungle. I’m a bit flummoxed by Sawyer watching the birth scene, though. Could he have interacted with Kate and Claire? Could he interact with his past self? Meh, time travel. What’s it all mean?
- Locke, true to character, is approaching time travel with a resolved fatalism. Unlike Sawyer, who is disturbed by the experience, Locke has no wish to change the past, but understands that the present cannot exist without the events that got him where is now.
- When the Left Behinds finally arrive back at the beach, they arrive at some time in the future. The camp has been ransacked (they even took Vincent!), and there are a couple of long pontoon boats are on the beach. One of the boats has a water bottle labeled with the logo of Ajira Airways, another fictional airlines. Here are some promotional videos created for Ajira Airways:
Here’s the “official” website (“Get lost in the world with groundbreaking promotions like Destination: Destiny that keeps your flight destination a mystery until you get there. Weâ€™re changing the way people think about travel – this isnâ€™t vacation, this is your life… escaped. Let us deliver your destination by revealing your destiny.” Ha.).
- If the Left Behinders were smarter, they would have taken both boats with them on their sea journey to the Orchid Station.
- So who are the Ajira pontoon boat people? Other others? No one seems to claim them.
- Claire’s mother thinks she’s dead. And, uh, so do I. I guess.
- Ben and Sayid are driving around in a “Canton-Rainier” carpet cleaning van. My guess is that this is an anagram for “reincarnation.” I think this is the same van that Locke’s corpse was driven around in. This is strong support for the theory that Locke will be brought back to life.
- Updated to add a new theory: Reincarnation is a key. Reincarnation explains the Others’ obsession with babies born on the island, and Richard Alpert’s fascination with Locke. Think about it, Alex and Aaron were both born on the island. Ben was so obsessed with Alex that he stole her from Danielle and raised her as his own. The Others sent Ethan to kidnap Claire, and were contemplating cutting her baby out of her at the Staff Station even if it killed Claire. The Others were also desperately trying to solve the problem of pregnant women dying on the island, which, let’s face it, is a bad problem in and of itself, but also may be preventing some reincarnated being from being born on the island. And then there’s the Locke/Jacob/Alpert relationship. We don’t know much about Jacob, but all signs point to some sort of disembodied spiritual force. He’s sort of like the Others’ version of the Dalai Lama (only malignant). The test that Richard Alpert gives to Young Locke is very similar to the test that’s given to children who are possible incarnations of the the Dalai Lama. My newest theory is that the Others are trying to watch for signs of Jacob’s reincarnation.
- As soon as the Left Behinders saw that the remnants of the wreckage included French writing, I immediately thought of Rousseau and her research team. In fact, I thought the final reveal dragged a bit. (Then again, maybe it wasn’t so obvious to more casual viewers—assuming any of them still watch.) It was only a matter of time before this story popped up in the time flashes. I didn’t expect that they would be the ones who rescued Jin, floating on a raft in the ocean.
- Speaking of Jin, he’s got to be just sick and tired of being shipwrecked off the coast of Lost island. Right?
I liked this one. It wasn’t as great as last week’s Desmond episode, but in reviewing it for this post, there was a lot of great stuff packed into it. The story is moving at a brisk pace, and questions are being answered.
Please share your pet theories and observations in the comments below.