LOST: “Follow the Leader”

But who is the leader?

The full post is going to be delayed at least 24 hours due to business travel. Sorry about that. Meanwhile, I’ve posted some of the usual links and feel free to use this thread to discuss the penultimate episode of season 5. I’ll join you in about a day after I’ve had a chance to see it myself.

So, no spoilers in the body of the post (yet) but other good stuff awaits you after the jump.

UPDATED: the episode recap and analysis is now up.

Links and miscellanea

  • Here’s an appropriately timely parody: Star Trek – The Lost Generation:
  • Now that ABC and Hulu have a deal, you can get full Lost episodes on Hulu.
  • Jimmy Kimmel’s been a huge fan of Lost. Here’s some recent shtick from The Variable.
  • A few things from the Official audio podcast: the fundamental question at the end of season 5 is whether it’s true that what happened, happened; in an earlier draft of The Variable, Faraday used an object lesson involving throwing a pebble into a stream, then throwing a boulder into the stream to explain that small changes in the past won’t change anything, but maybe big changes will; Vincent is Jacob (woof!);
  • TV Guide asks: “Why is Jack such a jerk?” Actually, although I’ve been as critical of Jack as anyone, I’m kind of digging the returned Jack, he’s more humble, more intuitive, and less likely to act rashly.
  • I won’t mind a set of Lost nesting dolls.
  • Here’s a Lost font that can be downloaded from dafont.com.

Observations and speculations

  • As the episode opens, we have Jack and Kate debating the merits of “putting things back the way they were supposed to be” while Eloise Hawking executes her son. Of course, for Jack the way things were supposed to be meant attending his father’s funeral, then going back to his surgery practice. For Kate, it meant doing hard time for murder and various other felonies. No wonder they have a difference of opinion on the matter.
  • As Kate and Jack attempt to flee back into the jungle, Charles Widmore comes on his horse and smacks Jack upside the head. These Others seem to be the rightful antecedents to the Others we knew in seasons 1 and 2: brutal and decisive.
  • Charles Widmore’s plaid shirt and cargo pants don’t seem very 1977 to me. I’m just saying.
  • Cut to 2007 and Richard Alpert is building a ship in a bottle. Is this image supposed to link Richard with the Black Rock as some have speculated? Seems like an interesting hobby for an ancient, ageless Other.
  • An Asian female Other tells Richard, “He’s here,” referring to John Locke. At this point, Richard’s had a lot of interactions with Locke and clearly understands that Locke is special. How much he really knows about Locke is unclear, and Richard himself seems pretty uncertain.
  • These others are living in throwback-style yurts on the beach, drying fish and squid. Remember Yurtsville in season 2, the decoy village that we were all lead to believe was a ruse to keep the Oceanic 815 survivors guessing about the true nature of the Others? It had similar shelters and drying seafood. Yet here we are in season 5, seeing a very similar setup that is actually being used by the Others, with no apparent attempt to deceive. Odd.
  • Locke walks into the Other’s beach camp carrying a dead boar. This is the Locke of season one, except now he’s an Other, not a plane crash survivor.
  • Richard says “there’s something different about” Locke. Locke responds, “I have a purpose now.” Either that, or it could be, as some are arguing, this is not the same John Locke. He certainly seems much more confident.
  • Ben calls Richard Alpert “a kind of advisor” and says, “He has had that job for a very, very long time.” At some point, maybe we’ll know how long. (Incidentally, Wikipedia refers to this episode as a “Richard” episode. I suppose—after all, Richard is featured in both timelines—but it’s not what I’d call a Richard-centric episode, and other than this comment by Ben, we don’t learn that much about Richard.) So Richard is an adviser to whomever is the leader at any particular time, but Richard is not himself a leader. What kind of an “adviser” is he? Political? Spiritual? Does he have a shamanistic relationship with the island and/or Jacob? Remember, when he brought Young Ben to the Temple, he claimed that he doesn’t answer to Charles or Eloise, the presumptive leaders of the Others in 1977.
  • Responding to Sun, Richard claims that he met Kate, Jack and Hurley and “watched them all die” in 1977. This is a puzzler to me. I’m still partial to the “what happened, happened” theory, but this causes me to question it. If these people all died, does that mean that Faraday’s plan (now Jack’s plan) is essential to prevent the deaths of our main characters?
  • Richard claims that the compass that Locke gave him is “a little rusty, but she can still find north.” We learned earlier that compasses can’t really tell true north on the island, probably because of the island’s electromagnetic properties. Still, plenty of people have used compasses to navigate on Lost.
  • Ben is really out of his element. He taunts Locke about the possibility of “staging a coup” among his former people, but Locke assures Ben he’s not afraid of anything Ben can do anymore. Later, Ben tries to play Richard and Locke off of each other, whispering doubts about the reliability of either one to the other. It’s just Ben being Ben, and he doesn’t really seem to have a plan at this point. Plus, Undead Alex has already made him swear to do whatever Locke tells him to do.
  • Locke tells Sun, “If there’s a way to save our people [i.e., the remaining Oceanic 815 survivors], I’ll find it.” Later in the episode, he tells Ben, “I’m not interested in being reunited with my people,” implying that his true loyalty, is with the Island and the Others. I don’t think reuniting Sun with Jin is really his top priority.
  • Lots of beatings in this episode. Jack and Kate get beaten by the Others, and Sawyer and Juliet get beaten by Radzinsky and Phil. Ben’s probably just glad to have gotten an episode off.
  • Jack and Kate continue to debate their situations and preferences regarding wiping the last three years from their lives. Kate objects to Jack’s plan by pointing out that “It was not all misery.” I’m sympathetic to Kate’s point of view, even if it is a little selfish. I don’t like the idea of excising experiences from a life, even if some of them are bad ones.
  • Eloise was only 17 years old in 1954, when she took Faraday to Jughead. Interesting. How did a 17 year old come to be on the island, anyway, and in such a prominent role among the Others? That means Ms. Hawking is 40 years old in 1977, and 70 years old when she sends the Oceanic 5 back to the island in 2007.
  • Ms. Hawking has had just enough odd things happen to her that she’s willing to believe someone when they say they are from the future. That’s incredibly rare.
  • Best Kate line (when Eloise asks Kate if Jack knows what he’s talking about): “He thinks he does.”
  • Ms. Hawking tells Jack and Kate that Jughead is beared underground beneath Dharmaville. Later, we see Jack, Sayid, Eloise and Richard going through the Tunnels toward the bomb. Remember that we knew (or was it that we strongly suspected) that there were tunnels leading to and from Dharmaville?
  • Meanwhile, back in the DHARMA initiative, Radzinsky seems to have declared martial law and appointed himself the leader. Phil is only too willing to be a militant follower.
  • The video footage Radzinsky shows Sawyer on the security monitor of Kate reminds me of the infamous Patterson film of Big Foot. Something about the way Kate strolls off into the jungle, then looks back over her shoulder.
  • Radzinsky’s first name is Stuart, by the way. I don’t think we knew that before. He doesn’t strike me as a Stuart.
  • I really think Sawyer’s going to kill Phil. It’s been a while since Sawyer’s lived with vengeful purpose, but it’s probably like riding a bike.
  • We see Hurley stuffing DHARMA food (including vanilla wafers) into a backpack and carrying the guitar case we still know nothing about. Of course, we really do know what’s in the guitar case. It’s a MacGuffin.
  • “Dr. Chang, what are you doing here?” “I could ask you the same question.” “But we asked you first.” Ha.
  • Chang’s interrogation of Hurley was easily the funniest moment of the episode. “You fought in the Korean War?” “There’s … no … such … thing.” And Hurley never did bother to figure out who the president of the U.S. was in 1977.
  • Charles Widmore whispers to Eloise Hawking, “I’m worried about you. Not in your condition.” Eloise is most likely in the early stages of pregnancy—with Faraday, the man she just killed. The timing seems about right.
  • Both Richard and Ben seem disturbed when Locke asks Richard to take him to Jacob.
  • I really liked the scene where Locke sends Richard to administer aid to himself, in a time skip. Recall that Locke had just been shot by Ethan, then flashed forward in time. Locke (the resurrected Locke, not the wounded one limping through the jungle) really seems to be enjoying himself.
  • Ben comments to Locke about how his timing is impeccable. But what about Sayid’s timing? Is the island speaking to him, too? It’s a bit of an action movie cliche, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome.
  • Kate and Sayid have a major difference of opinions. Kate: “Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?” Yeah, we’ll just step off your high horse there Kate, wouldja? I think maybe Sayid decides to follow Jack because he thinks maybe he’ll get a mulligan in his quest to make things right. Remember that he too believed it was his destiny to change the future (by killing Young Ben) and that would give meaning to his return to the island.
  • Miles has a nice moment when he realizes that his father was willing to risk estrangement with his wife and child for their own protection.
  • The tunnels have the same sort of ancient stone architecture, scattered with hieroglyphs as the Temple. Clearly, the tunnels have been there a long time. There are some interesting objects in the tunnels—stone urns and a few objects that may even be ceremonial.
  • Back in 2007, Locke is really pushing for a midnight departure for a group field trip to visit Jacob. He asks, “Is this everyone?” Richard says, “Well, there’s another group at the Temple.” I wonder if these people have been at the Temple since Ben sent them there three years ago, at the end of season 3. This helps explain why we don’t seem to recognize anyone in this particular group: no Tail Section kids, no Cindy, the flight attendant, no Ms. Klugh or any other Others we might recognize from season 2.
  • In his speech to the Others, Locke seems to call the authority (and maybe even the existence) of Jacob into question. Yet, when Sun asks, Locke answers assuredly that Jacob can tell them how to bring Jin back to her, which seems to indicate that Locke doesn’t really doubt Jacob’s existence. Unless he’s just humoring her.
  • Richard: “I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble.” Ben: “Why do you think I tried to kill him.”
  • I do like that the Sawyer/Juliet/Kate love triangle has been very understated so far. I don’t like that it’s lingering and refuses to die.
  • I wonder why none of the people riding on the sub are sedated. I thought that was standard operating procedure.
  • After Eloise takes Jack to the bomb, she asks, “Now what?” Exactly. Somehow, I get the feeling that Jack really has no idea what’s in Faraday’s journal, and even if he had read it, it’s unlikely he’d understand any of it.
  • By the time Locke, Sun, Richard, Ben and the other finally get around to leaving on their field trip, the sun is coming up over the island. That means that the Others’ beach camp is somewhere on the southern/southwestern part of the island (assuming the Lost sun rises in the east, just like the real world sun.)
  • Locke has the final reveal of the episode: he’s going to see Jacob, to “kill him.” This is undoubtedly the most debated point of the episode. Some are theorizing that Locke’s journey is to prove that Jacob doesn’t really exist, which will kill the myth of Jacob. There’s some merit to this, but I think Jacob is a real person, or at least an entity. I personally have a different theory. I think that Jacob is being held captive on the island for some reason, in a state of existence that is not really living and not being allowed to die. Locke is “killing” Jacob to set him free, and it’s what Jacob wants, and also what the island wants.

I thought this episode was excellent and ranks up there among the best of the series. The lead up episodes to the season finales have always been really good, when the pace gets quick and the tension gets taut.

Next week, the two-hour season finale, “The Incident,” should be fantastic. It will be the Lost A-Team (Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof writing and Jack Bender directing), and expectations will be high. I fully expect another game-changing twist. I can’t wait.

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55 thoughts on “LOST: “Follow the Leader”

  1. Great episode. Nice build up to what looks to be an explosive finale. I like this Locke, who seems far more in control of what he is doing. Looks like dying was good for him.

    And I still lean on Ben being the ultimate baddie and not Charles Widmore.

  2. This Jack is about as bad as the old Jack. Both him and Kate should have been offed a couple of seasons ago. I think I like Paulo and Nikki better.

    I knew it was Sayid the moment the shots rang out, but I was still hoping that Kate was dead. Nooooo, we couldn’t have that, we have to restart a love triangle with Sawyer/Juliet/kate. Ugh.

    I really wish that Sayid would have asked Kate, “if you had been sent back to 1901 Germany and bumped into a 12 year old Adolf, you wouldn’t have killed him just because he was a boy at the time?”

    The rest of it all I love, great episode even having to put up with J&K. It really doesn’t get any better than the new Locke.

  3. Great episode. Fantastic season. I’m almost disappointed it’s already finale time.

    I’m more curious about Richard than ever as well as Locke.

  4. PS – count me in with the new jack until after Faraday got shot. Suddenly the old fanatic Jack is coming out.

    Also, what do you bet the Dharma food is the food Hurley took that gets caught in some weird time warp?

  5. I’m kind of digging the returned Jack, he’s more humble, more intuitive, and less likely to act rashly.

    You had to say that on the night he decides that detonating an atomic bomb is a good idea.

  6. So, does anyone else think that “Jacob” doesn’t actually exist, and when Locke says he’s “going to kill him” what he means is that he’s going to pull back the curtain and reveal that fact? Hence the need to bring everyone along, and the reason Ben has never seen Jacob.

  7. My favorite exchange of the evening (as I remember it).

    Miles: “Dr. Chang what are you doing here?”
    Daddy dearest: “I could ask you the same question.”
    Hurley: “Dude, we asked you first.”

  8. Brian,

    On Jacob, the thing is that Locke actually did see him in that cabin episode in Season Three.

    Locke supposedly told Ben (in this episode) that Ben had never seen Jacob. Going back to that cabin episode, Ben really didn’t see Jacob while Locke did. But Ben supposedly did communicate with Jacob. He said to Jacob something along the lines of “All right you’ve had your fun now” before Jacob hurls him across the room.

    To this point that has been our only actual encounter with Jacob. I hope we see more next week. I’m curious about what will happen with “The Incident.” Jacob told Locke in that cabin episode in Season Three “Help me.” I wonder if Jacob got trapped by “The Incident” which happened 30 years earlier. So I wonder which group will see Jacob first. Jack’s group with the nuclear bomb, or Locke’s group 30 years later.

  9. It wasn’t Jacob in the cabin. It was Christian.

    Jacob is real though, we’ll get to see him soon as he peeks in on everyone’s life before they came to the island.

  10. I don’t like this John Locke and furthermore I don’t think he is John Locke anymore. Jack’s plan is really stupid. He never thinks things through. I love Ben and Richard together. I don’t have a lot of theories right now but one question. Did it say “thirty years earlier” when it flashed to “John” in the “present” with Richard, Ben, Sun et al? Am I dumb for not quite understanding that? Also it made me extremely mad that “John” lied to Sun. I think “John” may turn out to be no better and maybe be far more dangerous and ruthless then Ben.

  11. You had to say that on the night he decides that detonating an atomic bomb is a good idea.

    In my defense, I hadn’t seen the episode yet. Maybe he’s really just the same Jack, and only his motivations have changed. He certainly still seems like he’s willing to do whatever he thinks is a good idea, regardless of the effect it might have on everyone else.

  12. So, does anyone else think that “Jacob” doesn’t actually exist, and when Locke says he’s “going to kill him” what he means is that he’s going to pull back the curtain and reveal that fact? Hence the need to bring everyone along, and the reason Ben has never seen Jacob.

    Yeah. Wizard of Oz. I’m really curious as to what will happen as clearly the island can form people. Plus there is that mysterious Jack Shepherd. (Reincarnation or Simulcrum?)

    Steve’s idea that Jacob is Locke is intriguing. But I think it’ll be Shepherd and we’ll find he’s time traveling. At least that’s the solution I’m heading to.

    The bit about “help me” is intriguing. As are the numbers which haven’t really been mentioned much.

  13. I found it interesting that Richard seems completely perplexed by the whole time-travelling thing. He constantly looks amazed when Locke shows up at different time periods. We now know that what Richard told Locke in the earlier episode (when he removed his bullet) were words given to him by a future Locke. (This scene, by the way, completes a closed time loop, where the compass passes from Richard to Locke – in 2008 – to Richard – in 1954 – and back to Locke.) So at the time this scene first appeared, it looked like Richard knew all about time travel, and more importantly, knew where and when Locke would end up in time. Now we know based on last night’s ep that Richard was only following a script given to him by Resurrected Locke.

    Now we have to reconcile Richard’s possible lack of knowledge of time travel with the fact that he was present at Locke’s birth, and visited Locke as a child (during which he showed him the same compass). Is it possible that Richard spent all of the 30 years from the time of the Incident to the present day and not be aware of the Dharma Initiative’s time travel experiments? (Clearly Ben knew about them, and Chang’s videos were scattered about the Island, easily accessible to the Others after the Purge.)

    Or what Richard surprised at something else, and hiding his knowledge of time travel? Maybe Richard was surprise at the fact that Locke knew *exactly* when Time-Travelling-Locke would arrive at the Nigerian plane? (Did it strike you odd that Ben didn’t seem to know even of the existence of this plane? How well did these people *know* the Island and what transpires on it??)

    I also found it strange that Richard seems to be souring so quickly on Locke, and even had the gumption to mention it to Ben. Maybe Richard is not the Kingmaker and puppet master we thought he was.

  14. BTD Greg:

    In my defense, I hadn’t seen the episode yet.

    I know; that’s what made your timing so funny (and yeah, I too was starting to think Jack had been cured of his Jackassness).

  15. Clark:

    Plus there is that mysterious Jack Christian Shepherd. (Reincarnation or Simulcrum?)

    The island, or Jacob, seems to have a thing for dead bodies. Remember that the Others wanted the dead body of Amy’s first husband Paul. What’s that about? And something about the way it was announced made me think it wasn’t the first time.

  16. I also found it strange that Richard seems to be souring so quickly on Locke, and even had the gumption to mention it to Ben.

    You are assuming Ben was telling the truth and not just trying to drive a wedge between them.

    I still like the new Jack, and he isn’t the old Jack. He has become the early Locke that I enjoyed so much.

    I think the dharma food drop is someone in the group making sure the group is fed while time traveling.

  17. Fascinating episode.

    Sayid’s motivations for going with Jack were not to understand. He stated them explicitly. But Eloise? Yes, Jack’s from the future, but she trusts him way more than is merited. He had just barely learned of the bare essentials of Faraday’s plan, and he hasn’t been completely honest with Eloise about that. Yeah, this Jack is annoying.

    I was also annoyed at the hint of more Sawyer-Juliet-Kate nonsense. So Kate’s on the sub. Big deal. Just endure the ride and head in separate directions once on the mainland (Yes, I saw the trailer for next week’s ep).

    John is crazy-go-nuts confident. He’s so confident he’s shaking up Richard, who up to now has seemed to be the pinnacle of confidence.

    He said the island was telling him things, yet he stated his intent to kill Jacob. To me that indicates pretty clearly that John believes that Jacob and the island are two different critters.

  18. John K. sez:

    “You are assuming Ben was telling the truth and not just trying to drive a wedge between them.”

    I was referring to the moment Richard told Ben that Locke will be trouble. Richard initiated that brief exchange with Ben, not the other way around. I fully expect Ben to take advantage of Richard’s misgivings.

    I also noticed a trend amound the Others in recent episodes: aside from the desingated leaders both past and present (Ben, Eloise, Charles, Richard, Locke), the rest all seem to be strangely compliant to whomever is in charge. They hardly speak, they accept new leaders with no dissent, and they follow their leader blindly without complaint. In other words, they are sheep.

    What’s up with that. In earlier seasons, the Others were populated with far more dynamic personalities: Tom, Ethan, Goodwin, etc. Why are the current crop such zombies? They didn’t even react when the Locke told Ben he planned to kill Jacob. Some of them were walking right behind him, fer crying out loud.

  19. I was referring to the moment Richard told Ben that Locke will be trouble.

    Oh, ok. I was thinking of when Ben approached Locke on the beach.

    the rest all seem to be strangely compliant to whomever is in charge. They hardly speak, they accept new leaders with no dissent, and they follow their leader blindly without complaint. In other words, they are sheep.

    What’s up with that. In earlier seasons, the Others were populated with far more dynamic personalities: Tom, Ethan, Goodwin, etc. Why are the current crop such zombies? They didn’t even react when the Locke told Ben he planned to kill Jacob. Some of them were walking right behind him, fer crying out loud.

    I’ve noticed this as well. I think it is a combination of time constraints and being lazy. It’s just easier to move them around as chess pieces than to develop more characters. Also, especially with the strike, I think they don’t have time for an additional scene or two to have some guy causing trouble with dissent. They probably figure they have too many factions and semi-factions as it is anyway.

    I found it funny that Kate said to Jack it wasn’t all bad. Yeah, that will convince him – your relationship worked out really well.

  20. Mudhead, I’m not sure they are sheep. Way back towards the end of season 2 there were indications there was more going on. Then the flashbacks of Juliet suggested the same. If anything the Others under Ben reminded me of Dharma-ville in the 70’s.

    Plus it seems to me that they are following Locke because they all had some skepticism about this mysterious Jacob.

    While I’m not keen on the Sawyer triangle I think he’ll pick Juliet and it’ll be uplifting rather than a mess disrupting the plot ala BSG and Starbuck.

    John, I agree that Kate seemed much more annoying than Jack. I mean Jack’s plan makes a lot of sense (even if the Relativist in me thinks the Back to the Future plan makes no physical sense and hopes the writers don’t go there). But Kate wants a couple of good years over all the death and pain folks suffered? What?

  21. Mark my words, Kate will die next episode. There just isn’t anything left to do with her character. The whole fugitive things done. The whole mother thing is done. The whole thing with both Jack and Sawyer is done. She’s a goner.

  22. The video footage Radzinsky shows Sawyer on the security monitor of Kate reminds me of the infamous Patterson film of Big Foot. Something about the way Kate strolls off into the jungle, then looks back over her shoulder.

    I thought the exact same thing! I have to wonder if that was the production team’s own little joke.

    I also think your idea that Jacob is somehow imprisoned/in purgatory and that Locke wants to release him is intriguing. I like the idea that he’s a god/Wizard of Oz to be unmasked as well.

    As for Jeff G’s idea that Kate will be killed – don’t count on it. This show has been about Jack and Kate since the beginning, and I think it will end with them. Sawyer, Sayid, Sun/Jin and Hurley matter as well, and the rest are supporting characters in Kate and Jack’s story.

    I suspect a good part of the final season will be spent ensuring that haters of both characters come around so that the ending will be satisfactory to the show’s fans.

  23. But what about Sayid’s timing? Is the island speaking to him, too?

    I suspect he’d been following them for a while. I actually expected him to pop up prior to Faraday entering the Others camp.

    Locke is “killing” Jacob to set him free, and it’s what Jacob wants, and also what the island wants.

    Interesting. I’d not considered that but it makes a ton of sense.

    Mark my words, Kate will die next episode. There just isn’t anything left to do with her character.

    The mystery of Aaron and why she came to the island doesn’t count?

  24. The mystery of Aaron and why she came to the island doesn’t count?

    I’m not sure there’s a ton of mystery there. Aaron is with his maternal grandmother, and Kate returned hoping to find Claire.

  25. I’m not sure there’s a ton of mystery there. Aaron is with his maternal grandmother, and Kate returned hoping to find Claire.

    Which means she still has her purpose: to find Claire. There’s also the question about Aaron, about whom Claire was warned never to let anyone else raise, and about whom Claire herself told Kate (in a dream) not to bring back to the Island.

    I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Claire, which means we won’t see the end of Kate. Nope, she will not be killed in the finale. All you Kate haters will have to cope with her well into Season 6.

  26. Yea, maybe the ring of ash around Jacob’s house is keeping him in. This would explain why Ben didn’t want to go see him and why Jacob asked Locke to help him.

  27. Kate used to be great. She used to really kick some ass. That old Kate needs to come back.

  28. Perhaps it’s a little bit of wishful thinking on my part about Kate. I guess a better guess for who will die soon will be Sayid. He pretty much asked to die this last episode.

  29. I think the mystery of death will be interesting and be the cliff hanger this week. i.e. everyone in 77 will die but will end up like Locke.

    BTW – the reason Kate is upset is because she finally got her act together after she left the island. I understand why she is upset even though she’s also being selfish. But then would you think the idea of detonating an H-bomb a good idea?

    Also, how did the H-bomb end up in the temple? Is there a teleportation device around? How Locke’s dad ended up on the island isn’t at all clear.

  30. Also, how did the H-bomb end up in the temple? Is there a teleportation device around? How Locke’s dad ended up on the island isn’t at all clear.

    It’s not in the Temple. It’s in the tunnels underneath Dharmaville.

  31. Good episode for the most part, but the manufactured Kate/Jack split felt obvious and annoyed me.

  32. I understand Kate’s reasons perfectly. Hers are much different than everyone else’s because of what was going to happen to her if they landed as planned.

    But her reasons for everyone else to go along with her way of thinking were pretty funny.

  33. Obviously that’s what the polar bears were REALLY for – hauling hydrogen bombs down to the tunnels. And we thought they were just for experiments…

  34. One thing that’s not ringing true to me is everyone’s reaction to the concept of detonating an H-bomb. Think about it – if someone suggested that to you, wouldn’t you think they were nuts, ask a million questions, and then fear for your life and everyone around you?

    And yet, Jack, Ellie, Richard and possibly Sayid are playing along without question, and even Kate was more concerned about arriving in LA in handcuffs than the potential effects of being within range of an H-bomb.

  35. Jenny, I believe the thinking of the pro-H-bomb faction is this: they believe detonating it will stop the time loop from reoccuring. They know that if they set it off, they will all die in this time loop; however, they — and everyone else on the original flight — will continue to live in the changed 2004 timeline, and avoid the plane crash and subsequent events. Their deaths when the H-bomb is detonated will simply wipe out three years of a life that they believe should not have happened.

    We’re all assuming the Kate is against the plan because she returns to being a hunted fugitive. I’m not sure that’s her reason. She knows that when she went on trial for killing her stepfather, she got off pretty easily — she has no reason to believe it wouldn’t happen again if they were able to break the time loop. I think a key to Kate’s motivation was in her dialog with Sayid; she does not believe that killing innocent people (or at least people who have not done harm yet in this time era, like young Ben) is morally justified.

  36. Having just watched Star Trek, I’m curious now about time travel in both JJ Abrams shows. In Star Trek, time travel was used to create an alternative timeline. In Lost, we are supposedly believing that the various people going back in time did NOT change what happened. Is that really the case? Could JJ Abrams (though I know he isn’t working on the show these days) really be wanting us to believe two different forms of time travel?

    This is the major flaw in using time travel in any environment. The person from the future supposedly already knows events happen in certain ways, but, as Faraday said, there is a variable, and the variable is the person who already knows how the future happened. The instant the person travels back in time, it no longer is the same timeline the person knew originally. Already it is an alternate reality. Hurley already knows the script of Empire Strikes Back. Sawyer already knows that the moment he gets back to the mainland to invest stock in Microsoft. It is a new timeline, and it has absolutely no effect on the original timeline.

    It’s one of the main problems Back to the Future faced. Lorraine Baines (at the end of the show) says, “Marty, that’s a nice name,” hinting that she would consider that name for her kids, but would she wait for her third kid to name that? Marty was her third child, not her oldest. In the alternate future (when Marty gets back), he would no longer be Marty, but something else. His oldest brother would be Marty. (I mean, that’s just one of the major time travel problems facing Back to the Future).

    The writers of Lost think they can survive all this time travel stuff (and what happens remains as what happened) by perfectly timing the deaths of “variables” (such as Faraday’s death), so that they can’t cheat the timeline. But I think it is already lost.

  37. Sawyer called Radzinsky “Stu” in He’s Our You (but at that point we had no way of knowing if it was a Sawyer nickname or his real nickname). I agree, Stuart doesn’t seem to fit him.

    I think Cindy and Zach and Emma are just about the only Others sent by Ben to the temple that we’d recognize. Ms. Klugh is dead (shot by Mikhail at her own request). The only remaining named Others from seasons past not confirmed dead are Harper Stanhope and minor characters Amelia and Adam. (If Lostpedia’s tally is to be trusted.)

    Great episode, and another excellent recap. I can’t believe this season is almost over.

  38. I think Cindy and Zach and Emma are just about the only Others sent by Ben to the temple that we’d recognize. Ms. Klugh is dead (shot by Mikhail at her own request).

    That’s right. I had forgotten.

  39. Jenny, I believe the thinking of the pro-H-bomb faction is this: they believe detonating it will stop the time loop from reoccuring. They know that if they set it off, they will all die in this time loop; however, they — and everyone else on the original flight — will continue to live in the changed 2004 timeline, and avoid the plane crash and subsequent events. Their deaths when the H-bomb is detonated will simply wipe out three years of a life that they believe should not have happened.

    I didn’t think that was possible – dead is dead. I thought that if you died at any point in time, that’s the end of your life no matter what year the rest of the world was at. If Kate and Jack die in 1977, they are dead at anytime, so in 2007, they just don’t exist.

    And if they are resetting time, how can it be that they’d go back to 2004 and pick up where the plane lands in LA? Wouldn’t everyone go back to the world’s and their correct time, which is 2007/2008? It’s not like the whole world is going to relive 2004-2007.

    Plus, if they set off the H-bomb, things will start changing right away – aside from the worldwide attention of a detonation in 1977, there’s also a lot of other effect among the characters we know: Penny grows up fatherless, Daniel is never born, Desmond never encounters Eloise, Juliet is never recruited by Ben, Locke is not influenced by Abbadon to go on the walkabout, the numbers stop being broadcast and perhaps never get in Hurley’s head …

  40. Jenny, Faraday considered all that that’s why he tried to get Miles’ dad to get everyone off the island. He seemed to have a slightly more thorough plan. Too bad Jack has taken over the plan because he never thinks things through. I love the questions that changing the future arise. Like is it worth never knowing/loving someone so that they can live? Sure Charlie would still be alive when the plane lands but he’ll still be a herion addict who never knew love. Shannon will be a completely vapid blonde who no one ever really cared about but she’d be alive. It’s a great debate. I don’t think Jack has really thought much of it through. Sayid eithjer. They just want to end their own personal suffering.

  41. Dan, the way time travel worked in Trek was already set though – both by the movies and the various TV shows. It’s kind of amazing how often Trek played the time travel card.

  42. Fantastic episode. But I agree. I have no idea what is going on unless this is paralleling God and Satan battling over Job on a bet. Is that really Locke? I’m guessing it’s the guy from the beginning.

    Wow.

    So none of my guesses as to what would happen were remotely near being correct. Normally I’m a good guesser.

  43. I knew it! I knew that wasn’t Locke. It was sad to see Ben as a pawn. I’m guesing “They’re returning” means all the 1977 Losties will be back in the present when season 6 starts.

  44. In one of the podcasts they said time travel would be over. So I assume the 77 Losties will be back – although it’s a big question about Sayid and Juliette. (And probably not Faraday either)

    I’ve been thinking about it and I’m not sure that isn’t Locke but it could be someone shape shifting. I don’t know. In either case both Jacob and his doppleganger have definitely been manipulating people. The comment that the people who say they are good probably aren’t is a good thing to keep in mind relative to Jacob.

  45. Note the reversed black/white at the end. This is pretty dang nuts.

    BTD Greg has sworn to me that he will be blogging this.

  46. I’ll save my post for the blog then…but, a lot of people are making the Jacob – Esau comparisons.

    I immediately thought of Romulus and Remus, mythical founders of Rome who fought for its control. And, the fact that the Others speak Latin adds some weight to that, no?

  47. or Osiris and Seth, or possibly the revenge of horus.

    they are already playing up the egyptian motif heavily, it seems quite possible seth is one of the two characters and osiris/horus being the other.

    I think the answer to the riddle was latin for he who will protect us

    very interesting stuff

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