So guys, it’s been a while. Sorry about the lack of Lost analysis. I’ve been off abroad visiting family and catching up with uni. But most importantly to all of you, I’m totally caught up with Lost! And yeah, it’s been an awesome season so far… (Arguable high point: LaFleur, with The Little Prince a close runner-up. Agree/disagree?) Just a shame we’re over the halfway mark now. In a month and a half, we’ll be seventeen or so episodes away from the end, and seeing how hard both The Wire and Battlestar Galactica’s finales have – and in BSG’s case, will – hit me… ooft, I don’t even want to think about it. Traumatic.
Right then, Namaste. It was a super-solid episode last night, all about placing all the characters in the right places for upcoming episodes more than anything else. It wasn’t really a character-centric episode, but seeing just how much setup we had to cover this week, it wasn’t really a problem at all. And somehow, it simultaneously managed to be both the tensest and the most amusing episode in a while! Example: the Left Behinders’ and the Oceanic 6ers’ slack-jawed reactions to all the crazy they were having to deal with – best bit was when Sayid, usually the most certain character on the show, gave this look of utter flabbergastion* upon being held at gunpoint by Jin. Priceless.
Okay, let’s dive into what we can take from this episode:
1. ETHAN ROM = DHARMA?
In LaFleur, we were left wondering who the child of Horace Goodspeed and Amy would turn out to be – theories pointed towards Karl (too young), Miles (too, er, Asian) and probably because Lost fans can be pretty silly, Locke (ugh). Of course, it turned out that the baby’s name is Ethan. Ethan! I totally didn’t see that coming. And unless it’s someone else called Ethan that we’ve never met before, I’m guessing it’s the infamous Mr Rom that kidnapped Claire.
So, if Ethan was born into the Dharma Initiative, why did he partake in The Purge? Surely there’s something that turned him to this side – maybe it was Ben’s urging of him to take part in it? And what made him side with the people that would kill his parents? (Talking of which, do you think Amy will make it to the time the Purge occurs? I’m guessimating it takes place in the late Eighties or the early Nineties. Feel free to point me in the right direction.) Thinking of which, in the season premiere, Locke was shot by Ethan, who scoffed at the insinuation that Ben was the future leader of the Others/Hostiles. Maybe Ethan was the man who pushed for The Purge all along? Remember, Ben has said before it wasn’t him that ordered the genocide…
In this week’s podcast from Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the exec producers reveal that we will be seeing more of Ethan this year. I just hope that they sort out the age problem – Ethan did not look twenty-seven years old when he kidnapped Claire and was ultimately killed. Sorry, William Mapother, but I just don’t buy it… unless time travel comes into play. Or he just ages really fast, like Robin Williams in Jack.
2.RAZINDSKY AND THE SWAN
In any other episode, Razindsky would be a 10.0 on the redshirt scale: he’s rude, totally nerdy, and mercilessly dismissed by our favourite characters. Alas, he’s already died: in Live Together, Die Alone, we saw him as an old bloodstain on the ceiling of The Swan. Now (then?) it’s 1977 and The Swan hasn’t even been constructed yet. The Arrow (Mikhail’s base before it got blown up), however, is up and running, and Razindsky is running things.
So what drives someone like Razindsky to The Swan? We see him working on a model of it throughout the episode, so the station must be a labour of love in some way. But did he banish himself to the hatch following The Purge? Did he decide to play along with the psychological experiment that was The Swan? Things would be a lot clearer if we found out when exactly Kelvin Inman came to the island. And was Kelvin Dharma or what? Didn’t the Dharma Initiative die out before Kelvin’s stint in the first Gulf War? Was Razindsky trying to redevelop Dharma following The Purge? Thinking about it, The Purge couldn’t be the incident long referred to in the orientation videos, right? The continuity just wouldn’t work out. So what if Razindsky hid because of whatever the ‘incident’ was?
Pardon me for my dottiness: I’m going to try and rewatch Live Together, Die Alone this week to regain some insight, so hopefully some more on this in next week’s article.
3. AN M.I.A. FARADAY, PIERRE CHANG AND “THE OTHER SIDE”
Another episode passes by with no sight of Daniel Faraday. However, I’m thinking he’s been left out of sight intentionally (this is Lost, after all), possibly to work on The Orchid like we saw in Because You Left. Then why exactly does Sawyer say that he’s “not here anymore”?
My theory: he’s NOT ON THE ISLAND ANYMORE. He’s off manipulating time and space with Pierre Chang and won’t be back for a little while – Pierre Chang probably has people doing his dirty intra-dimensional work for him so in the meantime, he can come back home and be the public face of the Initiative. Hint, hint: Chang, when taking Jack’s details, huffs and puffs a whole lot about disorganisation on “the other side”. Other side = other side of reality = time and space. Yay, I better be right! Maybe all this toggles Daniel’s mind to a crazy amount, so that he ends up the way we saw him in Confirmed Dead – needing the help of a minder, totally unsure as to why things occurring in real time are affecting him. Lost in his head, lost in his mind, unstuck in time. It’d be ironic, especially considering what his research did to his research subjects.
By the by, the orientation video for The Orchid: is the warning about not placing metal objects in the thingamabob/portal/whatever-it-could-be-called foreshadowing what comes next? Is all this faffing about with time and space what causes… you guessed it… the ‘incident’? Is the ‘incident’ the collapse of the time/space continuu— (HEAD EXPLODES)
4. BEN IS A TIME TRAVELLER OR SOMETHING
–okay, okay, I’m back now. Let’s focus on something a little less gonzo (only slightly, though). Did Ben know that Ajira Flight 316 was coming back to the island in 2007 before he left? Flashing back to season three, we find out in Through The Looking Glass that the interminable breaking-rocks-with-sticks routine that Sawyer and Kate went through was for the purpose of building a runway. Nobody’s really mentioned it until now, when Lapidus landed his plane on said runway. (Speaking of which: so happy that Lapidus, the biggest in-joke in Lost history, is back.) So did Ben order the runway to be built because he had some prior knowledge of the future? And if that’s true, is that also how he knew where to find the kayaks? (Then again, that could just be prior knowledge. If they’re on Hydra Island in the – more or less – present day, then he’d find the kayaks where Karl used to keep them. Think about it, folks!)
If Ben knows the future/past/whatever, then there’s a good chance that explains how he’s eight steps ahead of everyone else at any given time. And maybe number six helps to explain that a bit more…
5. NEW OTHERTON, 2007 VERSION + TIME TRAVEL?
Sun’s off down the rabbit hole with Lapidus. Awesome. Only thing is, the décor (if you will) of New Otherton seemed a little odd. I mean, of course the place would be pretty much devastated after the mercenary attack in The Shape of Things To Come, but would there really be all that Dharma stuff lying around? The signs, the logos, the photos with the O6 in it?
Maybe I’m overthinking this one. If you can tell me whether or not those signs/logos have always been visible in New Otherton, feel free to tell me in the comments below.
6. BEN IS ALTERNATE REALITY HARRY POTTER OR SOMETHING
Our cliffhanger for this week saw Ben as a child, accosting Sayid on whether or not he was one of the Hostiles. Intriguing. Just some quick thoughts about this: seeing how Richard Alpert tells Ben that he can’t join the Hostiles/Others until he’s older, does Sayid meeting with Ben take everything that’s happened before (or in the current Lost chronology, what’s going to happen) out of whack? And what does it mean if Sayid turns Ben away from the Others and, eventually, his actions in The Purge?
And could Ben’s proximity to the O6 and the Left Behinders help him as a leader later in life? Are his decisions as leader nothing more than followed instructions? Does this jar with the lack of paradox we’ve been introduced to in the show (and are Daniel’s theories just… theories)?
By the by, the focus on the ‘incident’ this week was brought on by the Darlton podcast revelation that… the season finale title is The Incident and the SUPER SIKRET FINAL SCENE has been codenamed… whatever we want it to! Send your crazy ideas to: Let’s try and get it called “THE POLYESTER TABLET”. I think that sounds cryptic and gorgeous all at the same time.
Right then, Sayid episode this week. Let’s do it.
*it’s a real word now and I’m sticking to it