Two episodes into the new season of Lost and already it feels as if all the blood in my body is rushing to my brain. Don’t mistake me, I love Lost. I love Lost so much that sometimes I even want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant (that’s your 30 Rock reference for the week). But sometimes when I’m faced with a good forty-five minutes’ worth of ultra-complex mythology, it can be a proper pain in the posterior to try and write about. This week is one of those weeks. As always, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s focus first of all on what we definitely know:
1. Somebody wants Ben. And bad
In the final flashback of the night, we saw Naomi – she of abandoned chopper and knifed back – in a super-duper secret meeting with the mysterious Matthew Abbaddon – he of thinly-veiled-threats and piercing stare – in an abandoned and empty office block. She was handed an important part in a mission to find Benjamin Linus, who we know as former top dog of the Others and world-class manipulator. So now we know what the main priority of the freighter people is, we have to wonder why he is wanted so badly? And by who?
In Naomi’s mission briefing, Abbaddon said her job was to “prevent anyone from getting killed”. Could this mean that whoever he works for knows of the Others? Most of the Other loyalists (Mikhail, Tom, the Looking Glass team) are dead or missing from the plot now, but had they been alive at the time of the helicopter team’s arrival, this would have meant bad things – hence Naomi effectively acting as a bodyguard. My theory: Alvar Hanso, founder of the Dharma Initiative, wants revenge for those Dharma folks Ben killed as a result of his “purge” and Abbaddon is a Hanso loyalist. Maybe he’s wanted even for his knowledge of the island. But even if this is true, Naomi can’t carry out her task due to a comedown of the deaditis (to quote Scrubs). So the task to snag Ben is all down to…
2. “A headcase, Ghostbuster, anthropologist and a drunk”
Respectively: Daniel Faraday, Miles Strom, Charlotte Lewis and Frank Lipedis. (Or if you will: that guy from Saving Private Ryan, Kid Omega, a model and The Lawnmower Man.) Chosen by whoever the powers may be for specific purposes regarding the capture of Benjamin Linus. Newbies to the Island and to Lost.
In flashbacks, we were offered brief glimpses into the off-island lives of these new characters and while they were short, we were given some ideas as to why they were drafted to the island. First off, Daniel Faraday, an endearingly jittery physicist who we saw parachuting onto the island at the end of last week’s episode (thus disproving my presumptions that he was Minkowski). Sat at his home in Massachusetts in jammies and robe, he snivelled at the news that Oceanic 815 and its 324 passengers were found in a trench just off of Bali. His wife asked him why he was crying; he didn’t quite know why. Reason for employment: he emphasizes with the crash victims? This cat’s a bit murky. I can’t help but feel that behind all that nervous energy everyone should be worried. First appearances can be deceiving.
Next, Miles Strom, the most mysterious of the four new Island natives. Off the island, we saw him at work as a spirit channel – an odd addition to “what I do for a living back home” conversations and probably why he told Sayid he collects soil samples, but handled pretty well. And really damn cool, especially when he “talked” to Naomi to determine how she died. He’s a pissy one and doesn’t seem to trust many people so far. Reason for employment: aside from being able to communicate with the dead (which I theorised Hurley could do last week), he mentioned that he knew someone on the Inglewood police force. Is he a hired gun for the police? Seeing how he took the money from the house, is he a conman, even? I’d recommend keeping an eye on him – he looks like he is certain on carrying out this mission. And I wonder why he needs to answer to Minkowski…
Frank Lipedis: professional pilot, living in the Bermudas and reminiscent of the grizzly mad-eyed guy who would happily tell you conspiracy theories all day in the pub. So why is he part of the team? Because he was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 on that fateful November day in 2004. Watching a report about the salvaging of the aircraft, he noticed that the pilot was not wearing his wedding ring, something he had done since meeting his wife as a teenager. Lipedis seems like he had been obsessed in the case before even being hired by Abbaddon, which leaves us all to wonder just how much he knows about the island and the circumstances of the crash… Could he be on the island to know what has happened to his friend? Or out of genuine interest?
Talking of genuine interest in the island, meet Charlotte Lewis. On an excavation site in Tunisia, we were introduced to the cynic of the Oceanic 815 findings and apparent Dharma obsessive. Finding the remains of a polar bear in the middle of the desert didn’t seem entirely peculiar to her but a Dharma collar caused her face to light up. Does Charlotte work for a group looking for the Dharma Initiative? Or does she just take an interest in wacky cultish organisations? It seems she holds a great interest in the island and in the Oceanic case either way, judging by the way she talked to Team Locke – which probably got her the job. It seems that even being shot by Ben won’t stop her from finding out more about Mystery Island – does she know more than she’s letting on with her giggly wonderment? Ben certainly knows about the British philanthropist, having spilt the details of her resume to keep Locke from shooting him. And just how did he get those details?
3. The ship has a leak
In the final moments of the episode, Ben revealed the reason he knows so much about the intentions of the helicopter team was because he had an informant aboard the ship. And who could that informant be? The sensible money’s on Michael, purely because Harold Perrineau’s been listed in the credits for the past two episodes. Who else could it be? It can’t be Richard Alpert because (A) he was walking to the Temple at the end of season three and (B) Nestor Carbonell’s fate on the show is uncertain. Maybe Abbaddon? I hope we find out soon…
4. Naomi was telling the truth about the crash all along
…Kinda. And what was that about the seabed being “full of anomalies”? Electromagnetic anomalies?
And that’s everything that’s totally certain. As for everything else, well… there’s evidence to suggest that maybe Taller Walt gave John some sort of power – just watch how he predicts the rain ending a la Mini Dawson. And now there’s the Holy Trinity of People Who Have Seen Jacob within Team Locke. Did you see how crushed Ben looked upon hearing that Hurley had witnessed the Shakey Shack? I expect a rift to materialise between Locke and Hurley over the whole Jacob deal. Watch this space.
Sawyer and Locke now have this awful connection between them due to the events in last season’s “The Brig”. Pointing a gun at Ben at point-blank range, he whispered “do you want me to do it?” Sawyer seems to be caught in a downward spiral at the moment, confronting his inner turmoil with violence. However, his insistence on stopping Karl from harming Ben shows that there’s some humanity inside him – same with how he talked to Hurley in the wake of Charlie’s death. Can he salvage his soul before he goes too far?
I thought that this episode, entitled “Confirmed Dead”, was definitely a grower. I merely liked it at first, but the more I thought about it – and as you can see, there’s a helluva lot to think about – I liked it a whole lot more. What we’ve learnt in the past two episodes is, by Lost standards, a megaton mass of information. Shows some neat focus on the show’s behalf, especially after season three’s slow first few episodes. Whatever comes next week, I can’t wait for it. Even if it’s a pain to try and recap like this week’s ep.
So, some final things to ponder: has so much been said with the wink before Matthew Fox started using it? Will Jack and Juliet happily give up Ben to the freighter, even though the flashforwards show it promises doom? Do you dig the new characters as much as I do? And wasn’t the big reveal of the mock Oceanic 815 like a season opener in itself?
Til next week, I’m Lost.