Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LOST Thoughts from The Substitute (6x04)

Hot damn! Without a doubt, The Substitute is easily the best hour of Season 6 so far. Screw Claire, Jack, Kate or the Temple. Give me Locke, Richard and the show's extensive mythology.

Locke's story in the alternative timeline was flawless. The amount of raw emotion pulling our heartstrings was only matched by the intensity of the revelations we were given. Locke is friends with his father? The MIB used to be an ordinary human? The all knowing Richard Alpert is completely clueless as to what is happening? The fact that Ben has no hesitations to conceal his emotions when it comes to murdering Jacob, but simultaneously pours out his regrets when attending Locke's funeral (combined with Frank's comment at the end) was absolutely priceless.

This episode is a 9.5 out of 10. Not quite as tightly organized as The Constant, but it's a worthy successor to Walkabout, Locke's first centric episode.

Now, back to my predictions...

Claimed = In The Smoke Monster's Army
We know that the Temple Others appear aligned against those who are "claimed", so it's a safe bet that being "claimed" means you are effectively recruited into MIB's side. Odds are Claire was claimed after MIB (in the guise of Christian Sheppard) led her away from Aaron and into the cabin. She's definately not on Jacob's list anymore, as the cliffside cave ceiling showed "313 Littleton" crossed out. While a number of fans are speculating this references Aaron, but in my book, it's Claire. Just like how we've endlessly speculated about Walt's "specialness", I don't think Aaron is going to have nearly as crucial of a role in this show as some people theorize. IMO, the key players in the end are going to be the folks they've been showing us week after week.

This isn't Jacob's handwriting on the wall
Speaking of the cave ceiling, I don't believe MIB when he said that Jacob wrote the names on the ceiling. The cave doesn't strike me as Jacob's, but rather MIB's. Jacob has his home-under-the-statue/foot, so odds are this is MIB's home away from home. If that's the case, odds are this is MIB's hit list. He has been writing down the names of Jacob's candidates, and then has been systematically having them killed (such as telling Locke that he needed to die) or "claimed" (as in the case of Claire & Sayid).

I've said it before, "The Candidates" will replace Jacob and the MIB
My theory that the "Candidates" are Jacob's replacements just got a big credibilty boost. Biggest issue with it is that it was revealed by the MIB (who is a master manipulator), but the best lies are often couched in truths... Additionally, MIB also revealed that he used to be an ordinary human before becoming what he is today. It should be interesting when Frank asks Ilana what the hell Bram meant about him being a candidate. Given the flashbacks with Jacob, I seriously doubt that Frank is a candidate, but he doesn't know that. More importantly, this is LOST, so nobody ever asks a logical follup question.

Invisible Jungle Ghost Kid is Jacob
The only two who appear to know what the rules are seem to be Jacob and MIB, so my money is that invisible jungle ghost kid is a manifestation of Jacob. The invisible jungle ghost kid clearly said "You know the rules, you can’t kill him." This seems to be a reference to killing Jacob, however it could very well be about Sawyer (and all other Candidates).

Kate's Number Is Significant
Given that Kate is a canidadate, I'd be surprised if her name and number wasn't on the ceiling. The fact that they didn't mention it makes me think that to reveal her number would have clued us into something the writers want under wraps. If her number was 12, we'd be celebrating that she'd isn't special enough to get one of the show's magic numbers (and give us hope she might get killed off before the end). If it was 108 or 815, we'd be howling with rage that one of the most annoying cast members has such a significant number attached to her.

Richard lost his training wheels and only has his faith in Jacob's instructions to sustain him
Richard doesn't know a damn thing about the inner details of the conflict between Jacob and MIB. He knows a lot about the island and the Others, but honestly, the Others seem mostly in the dark about the mythology of the show half the time. He clearly has a previous history with MIB, which undoubtably will be covered in detail. It's apparently enough to convince him that he shouldn't abandon Jacob's instructions, and is staying as far away from MIB as he can. The scene showing Richard and Sawyer talking was priceless, as Richard was completely terrified of his current circumstances. (After all, his life has just gone to hell after being pretty stable for centuries...)

Final thoughts.... I had no idea that the fortune teller that Hurley's dad took him too was in the episode until someone pointed it out to me. She was the employment councillor in the Alternate Timeline that asked John what sort of animal he would be. The fact that the writers are focusing on details like having obscure characters show up in the alternate universe makes me feel more confident that they actually have a coherent plan as to how this will end.
Speaking of obsure characters, when Locke rolled into the teacher's lounge, the woman in the foreground looked a lot like Harper (Goodwin's wife). Nobody has mentioned it, so odds are it isn't. Still, a boy can dream.

Anyway, it was an excellent episode that reminds me why I watch this show in the first place. I can only cross my fingers and pray that the rest of the season is this fantastic!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Others can't be trusted. News at 11.

I'm amazed that people are complaining about how the Others are acting in Season 6. Hello? Did you watch Seasons 2 and 3? Don't you remember how The Others in those seasons constantly attacked and betrayed the survivors while *always* saying that they were the good guys or that the survivors needed to trust them?

The big difference between Season 3 and 6 is that the survivors (like Jack) aren't putting up with the bullshit by the Others this season. When they wanted Sayid to go with them privately, Jack put up a fight after the Others wouldn't answer his questions. Same with the pill. Saying, "Trust us" isn't enough to get Jack to hand an unknown pill to Sayid.

Back in Season 3, Jack & crew would whine about the others and sit there and accept it when the Others got angry. Take Danny Pickett for example. He got pissed off because Sun shot his wife, yet at no point did Jack or any of the survivors say, "Gee, I guess you shouldn't have attacked us, then. I mean, what do you expect when you attack us? Isn't that exactly how you react to us? Turnabout seems like fair play to me."

If Jack (or Sawyer... or Kate) said that back on Hydra Island, I'd have liked the first half of Season 3 so much better...

LOST Theory - Ben is Claimed

It makes so much sense now. The reason why the sweet little Young Ben became the sociopath we know and love today is because Richard took him to the Temple to be "Claimed".

Ben didn't get the spring healing treatment from Richard in 1977, but rather was infected with the sickness and turned into what he is today.

Being "Claimed" seems to have the same issue that Richard mentioned would happen to Ben: Ben would lose his innocence, never be the same again, forget the whole event, and "always be one of us".

That's my theory, and I expect to be proven dead wrong next episode.

LOST Thoughts from What Kate Did (6x03)

I hate Kate, and even though it was a Kate-centric episode, I loved it. New answers about the mythology were injected into the story (the sickness), the characters were 100% believable, a few actors pulled off some amazing scenes (Sawyer in this case), and Kate didn't make me want to kill her during every scene she was in. Heck, I even liked this episode better than the premiere.

Specific comments:

Damn, Josh Holloway has risen to the status of one of the best actors this entire season. (Welcome to the club that Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson have dominated all this time.) His performance as Sawyer has been simply amazing in both the premiere and this episode. The scene where he blames himself for Juliet's death and throws the ring into the water was probably the best scene I've ever seen the guy do. Simply amazing.

My guess is that being claimed is the same as what Rousseau described as catching "the sickness". Remember how her husband tried to kill her after having gone under the Temple? I'm willing to bet it's the same thing, and the outstanding question is how Claire became one of the claimed/sick.

I'd like to say that Ethan existing in the 2004 bizzaro world is evidence of the nuke not killing everyone, but it could have been that Amy and infant Ethan left via the sub when Chang evacuated the island. Presumably if that happened, Ethan is somehow called back to the island as a teenager, as seen in Ben's flashbacks.

I'm definitely looking forward to next episode. If a Kate episode was good, you know the next one is going to be great!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More LOST predictions!

I already blew my prediction about the Whispers and most likely my answer about Smokey is dead wrong.

Let's try more predictions before the third hour of Season 6 starts tonight...

Jughead sinking the island
While detonating Jughead set off the chain of events that resulted in the island being submerged, I don't think that happened immediately after the bomb exploded. Detonating Jughead probably set off a chain of events that triggered whatever sunk the island. The best way to confirm that would be seeing an Other or a Dharma person in the 2004 bizzaro world, and I'm optimistic that we'll see Ben in bizzaro world. He's too popular a character to not have an even more convoluted backstory. :) Of course, that just my ten cents and if my track record is correct, I'll be proven wrong during the next episode. ;)

At this point, anything is possible why my favorite torturer is back from the dead. Presumably the healing waters did it, but the dirty water means there are "complications". Who knows? My only guess is that Alpert's line in 1977 about losing one's innocence, not remembering, etc. will apply to Sayid.

Since I believe that Widmore & crew left the island before it was submerged, I think Penny is alive... and hopefully married to Desmond, given that he wore a wedding ring on flight 815 in the 2004 bizzaro world.

I think his "uniqueness" means that he'll become aware of the different timelines, perhaps by waking up in 2007 and realizing that the 2004 bizzaro world exists... just like what happened in Season 5. While he is only a guest star this season and not a regular, he'll probably be in the background while the character drama/soap opera of the main characters play out, and then he'll Suddenly-Appear-to-Mention-the-Important-Plot-Device, and then die or receed into the background. You know, just like Daniel did in Season 5.

I also think Desmond will physically flash between both timelines, so one moment he is on the plane in bizzaro world, and the next he's physically in 2007, and then he flashes back to bizzaro world...

Cassidy & Clementine
Wouldn't it be surreal if bizzaro James Ford is actually living with Cassidy & Clementine in a normal life, but working for law enforcement as an undercover agent who tracks down people like Anthony Cooper and other con men? Given Juliet's line about going for coffee, odds are against it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pre-Season 6 Predictions regarding LOST

As of right now, there is just under 29 hours until the Season 6 premiere of Lost, probably the best television show I've ever seen. If you don't know, the name of the show doesn't refer to the characters being physically lost, but the viewer being lost in trying to decipher the narrative. In theory, the conclusion of the final season will either provide a extremely satisfying conclusion (similar to how Battlestar Galactica ended), or it will rapidly collapse after being revealed to be a shifting house of cards (like how the X-Files ended). If this show goes the X-Files route, IMO, it will be the single biggest dissapointment in TV history. I'm optimistic that they are aiming for a great ending, but it ain't over until it's over.

That said, given that their advertising campaign is swearing up and down that (in a booming voice) "answers will be revealed!", I assume that the major questions that have arisen from the Jungle of Mystery will be addressed in Season 6. Half of fun of the show is the cerebral exercise of trying to figure out what the hell is going on, so while I also expect answers to things like, "Who shot at Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, etc. while in the the canoe in Season 5", but I'm really interested in the answers that tie directly into the mythology of the show. The numbers, smoke monster, why Desmonds is so special, etc.

As such, I figured it would be a good idea to post my guesses regarding what is happening on the show. Odds are, I'll be proven wrong in just 29 hours...

Question: What's the connection between the Swan and Orchid sites? Why do they have massive pockets of electromagnetic energy, and why are they linked
My Theory: That's where Jacob and the MIB are buried. They are already dead, and they simply manifest as various ghosts. (Somehow I doubt there is a charred corpse for Jacob in the fireplace, or that the campfire was an instant-cremation device.)

Question: Why was it so difficult for the MIB to kill Jacob?
My Theory: Jacob and the MIB can only die (or in this case, "cease being ghosts") under certain specific circumstances. MIB managed to fufill Jacob's requirement (to be murdered by a leader of the Others). The main characters will end up killing the MIB in Season 6.

Question: What the the Whispers?
My Theory: It's heard whenever Jacob and the MIB are nearby and before they manifest.

Question: Why did Jacob touch a handful of 815 survivors (John, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Jin, Sun)?
My Theory: Everyone Jacob touched is a "candidate", which will ultimately take Jacob's place as the leader of the others and spiritual master of the Island.

Question: What the heck are "candidates" for?
My Theory: I think that the island always needs a guardian and a rival, and since Jacob's 'reign' ended in 2007, the MIB's will end by the time the season ends. Both of them will ultimately be replaced by one of the main cast. (Locke or Jack to fill Jacob's shoes; and Ben or Sawyer to fill MIB's shoes.)

Question: Who is Christian Sheppard?
My Theory: Beyond Jack's dead father? The guy walking around looking like Christian is a manifestation of either Jacob or MIB. Most likely the MIB.

Question: What is the Smoke Monster
My Theory: The monster is someone who screwed up his chance for redemption a long time ago. Just as Jacob made Richard ageless, he made the other guy the Smoke Monster. His job is to be the defense mechanism for the island, protecting the Temple, judging those who might be worthy, and obeying Jacob. Like my theory on Jacob and MIB, I believe this person will be released from service and then replaced by one of the main cast. (My guess is Ben Linus or Sayid.)

Question: What is the Temple?
My Theory: It's the only spot on the island which is not only safe, but purposfully beyond the reach of Jacob and the MIB. They agreed that those in the Temple were not to be used as tools in their conflict against each other, so that's why the innocent (Cindy, Zack and Emma, etc.) were kidnapped and taken there, rather than enduring the rampaging Smoke Monster and the machinations of the other denizens of the island. When Jacob dies, the agreement between him and the MIB regarding the Temple ceases to exist, and thus everyone in the Temple is in danger from the MIB in Season 6.

Question: What is going on with pregnant women post-1977?
My Theory: I don't think it was caused by the destruction of the statue, given how it wasn't around in the 70's. I believe the problem regarding delivering children on the island started after The Incident (after both the Swan and Orchid released a huge amount of electromagnetic energy). The events of the Incident triggered something, most likely angering the MIB enough to have him cause the problem in the first place. He doesn't like people on the island, so why not prevent children being born? Perhaps he damaged a sacred spot of Tawret's that requires the main cast to either restore this place, or perhaps "killing" the MIB will restore the natural order. Regardless, the main cast will do something during Season 6 to allow children to be born on the island again.

Question: What happened to Claire?
My Theory: When Ben turned the wheel and the main cast started jumping through time, she didn't. She found herself alone on the island, and living a life almost identical to Russeau for over three years (2004-2007). The rest of the main cast will find her living in the jungle, as hard-core as Russeau was. As an added bonus, she'll blame them for taking Aaron and leaving her. With luck, Kate will step in a bear trap that Claire set.

Question: What the heck are the Numbers?
My Theory: I don't expect a clear answer on this. What we know is that those who are exposed to the numbers and do not or cannot reach the island (like Leonard Sims) are slowly driven crazy. Those who deliberately use the numbers (like Hurley or Sam Toomey) are plagued with bad luck until they either make it to the island or are driven insane. My guess is that if Sam Toomey had gotten on a boat or plane after using the numbers, he would have ended up on the island. Regardless, we know that the numbers are mentally corrosive and has driven numerous people who are exposed to them nearly went crazy (Hurley and Desmond), over-the-deep-end crazy (Leonard Sims), or suicidal (Radzinski, Sam Toomey).

As for why the numbers are in the show (beyond a neat coincidence), is that they are most likely linked to however Jacob summons people to the island. I imagine there will be a structure on the island with the numbers on them, most likely under the Temple, guarded by the Smoke Monster.

Question: Why is Desmond uniquely and miraculously special?
My Theory: Desmond is the key to the entire show happening, as 815 would have never crashed without him failing to press the button, however he is special for reasons beyond just this event. Desmond is uniquely and miraculously special in regards to time travel, because he turned the fail-safe key and was exposed to the massive discharge of electromagnetic energy under the Swan.

This blast of electromagnetic energy changed his relationship to time, allowing him to not only experience precognatitive flashes (such as Charlie's death or of Locke's speech), but to twice project backwards in time (once after he turned the key, and the other when Lapidus couldn't exactly follow the course Faraday gave him.) He also appears to be the only time-traveller who has successfully found his Constant. Desmond alone appears to have survived the process of time travel without serious side-effects, unlike Faraday, Theresa, Minkowski, Brandon (the guy on the raft with Minkowski) and the cast of main characters who were left behind on the island as it skipped throughout time in Season 5.

In fact, turning the fail-safe key appears to be the defining moment of his life. Due to this one event, the island has influenced his destiny (before and after turning the key), similar to how the Island prevented Michael from killing himself off the island. The Island (which is virtually the same thing as saying "destiny") insured that he had the desire to sail across the ocean (to get his honor back from Widmore), to obtain a boat (miraculously given to him by Libby), to crash on the island and push the buttom (in order to learn about the failsafe), to cause the Oceanic 815 to crash on the island by causing the system failure, was unable to escape the island even after he got his boat back, and ultimately was shown the printout from the Pearl Station to convince him of the need to throw the failsafe key.

Similarly, I expect Seasion 6 to involve an alternate timeline, where the button was never needed, and Desmond never crashed on the island and Oceanic 815 safely landed in LAX. When this alternate timeline occurs, I expect Desmond to be the only person aware that the timeline is different. Unaware of

The lives of the rest of the main characters (Jack, Kate, Sawyer, etc.) will be much like their lives in Season 4, a complete wreck for having not gone to the island. I expect them to encounter something (Jacob? Desmond?) that allows them to witness how much their lives have fallen apart and then are presented the choice to correct the timeline to it's proper course.

So, Desmond is special because his unique experiences in time travel mean that he is the only one who can allow the 815 passengers the choice to reset the timeline to it's proper course.

Other than that, I'd like to know what the backstory is with the Black Rock, Richard Alpert, why Walt is special, or why Miles talk to dead people. I expect answers about Richard Alpert (and lord knows what they are), and most likely we'll learn about the Black Rock, but I'm not holding my breath about the rest. I'd love to know why Walt was special or the reason for Miles' ghost whisperer powers, but just like trying to figure out where all these Dharma stations get their electricity, I don't expect any answers in that department.

Anyway, the episode will be released soon enough, and the season will come to an end after nineteen hours of new material comes to a conclusion. We shall see exactly how wrong I am. Given my previous track record, I'm probably going to be proven wrong after the first ten minutes. ;)