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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"Enter 77" Insights and "Par Avion" Spoilers

[Listen to this episode!] [Subscribe to the MP3 feed via iTunes]

Mikhail Bakunin (who has commonly been called "Patchy" by fans) claimed that he was "the last surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative," although he quickly conceded that he was lying when Sayid called his bluff. However, Mikhail later told Sayid that everything else that he said about the DHARMA Initiative was true. Could one of those truths be that there are no surviving members of the DHARMA Initiative? Or is it possible that any remaining members have been assimilated by The Others? (More speculation about this later.) Mikhail also said that the "hostiles" (who we can probably assume are The Others) were on the island for a very long time prior to the DHARMA Initiative—which jives with Ben's claim that he's been on the island his whole life—and he claimed that the two groups went to war against each another.

It is unknown whether the glass eye found in the Arrow Station belongs to Mikhail, although it wouldn't be surprising.

Some fans speculated that Mikhail's cat, Nadia, may have been the same cat seen in Sayid's flashback (or at least a mysterious manifestation of the same cat, much like "Kate's horse"). However, a closer examination of the cat's markings reveals that it is not the same cat. Nadia, by the way, means "hope" in Mikhail's native Russian language [source], while in Arabic (with which Sayid would be familiar) Nadia means "delicate" [source].

We finally learned in this episode what "the cable" that leads from the jungle into the ocean is for. According to Mikhail, it leads to an underwater sonar system used for submarine navigation.

In the Russian conversation between Ms. Klugh and Mikhail, she ordered him to shoot her. Among other things, she said: "You know what to do. We cannot risk it. You know the conditions. They captured us. We will not let them to get into the territory." I believe we'll soon find out about this "territory" that Ms. Bea Klugh died trying to protect.

According to Dr. Marvin Candle's instructions, entering 23 in the Flame Station computer would initiate a supply drop. Do the supply drops take place at regular intervals regardless of whether someone manually requests them? If there is not an automatic drop schedule, does this indicate that Mikhail manually initiated the supply drop in the episode "Lockdown"? If so, did he do it because he knew that Ben would use it to his advantage to gain Locke's trust? Did he do it to enable Ben to pretend that he didn't really push the button, thus causing Locke to lose faith in the button and cause the Swan Station to implode? Or are the supply drops mentioned on the Flame Station computer completely unrelated to the supply drops at the Swan Station? My own speculation is that the supply drops are one and the same, for two reasons. First, Mikhail's alcohol had the Swan Station logo on it. Second, in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead," the writers made a point to show Nikki and Paulo discussing the fact that they were starting to run low on food; I don't think they would have taken the time to make a point about this unless it was significant to the plot.

When Locke entered 77, the Flame Station exploded shortly thereafter. Why wouldn't Mikhail and Ms. Klugh have removed the explosives from the station? For their own safety and to ensure that The Others would continually have communication with the outside world, it seems like it would have been in their best interest to ensure that the station was kept intact. Some have speculated that The Others planted the explosives themselves. I wouldn't rule this out as a possibility, especially since Ben lied to Locke about whether he pushed the button during the lockdown in the Swan Station. What was Ben's motive for tricking Locke into thinking that he didn't need to push the button? Was it part of The Others' agenda to let the hatch get destroyed? If so, was it also part of their agenda to con Locke into destroying the Flame Station? While I certainly think it's possible, I can't imagine why The Others wouldn't have just destroyed the stations on their own.

So far there has not been any conclusive evidence to prove whether Dr. Marvin Candle (from the Swan and Flame Stations' video segments) and Dr. Mark Wickmund (from the Pearl Station's video) are the same person, although the real-life actor is the same. Since we've been told explicitly by the producers that we "will never, ever hear the word 'clone' on LOST," it's doubtful that they're clones, and with different last names, it seems questionable whether they could be twins. Additionally, while there were twin Others on the boat when Walt was stolen, Damon Lindelof has stated that "twins have nothing to do whatsoever with the mythology of the show." So what's the deal with Doctors Candle and Wickmund? The Pearl Station seems to have been an experiment on its inhabitants, based on the fact that the pneumatic tubes simply dropped all the logs into a pile that was exposed to the elements and was never actually collected by the DHARMA Initiative. Since we've now seen Dr. Candle's image in two different hatches, the first hatch having proven conclusively to have had a legitimate purpose in spite of what the Pearl video claimed, perhaps "Dr. Wickmund" is merely a fictitious identity used by Dr. Candle in the Pearl video.

A lot of fans are starting to suspect that Danielle Rousseau hasn't been completely truthful with the Flight 815 survivors. For example, Danielle claimed that the reason she was alive was that she avoided confrontations with The Others. In stark contrast with this claim, in Season 1 she went out of her way to capture Sayid thinking he was an Other, and in Season 2 she caught Ben Linus in a trap and confronted him. Why would she go out of her way to capture them if she didn't think it was safe to confront them? Also, Jack from the Jay and Jack podcast pointed out that when Danielle captured Sayid in Season 1, Sayid had been following the cable from the beach. We found out in this episode that the cable led to the Flame Station. Surely sometime within the 16 years Danielle has been on the island she would have followed the cable and found the Flame Station, but she told Sayid that she had never been there before. To give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe part of the cable was buried and thus she couldn't follow it all the way, or perhaps she was afraid it was a trap and stayed away from it. However, another indication that Danielle may be a liar is that she stole Aaron in Season 1 and took him to the black smoke, and we were left to wonder whether The Others really started the smoke and just never showed up to collect Aaron, or whether Danielle started the smoke and lied to the Flight 815 survivors about it. It's possible that all of these questions about Danielle's integrity are red herrings, and in the end Danielle may still prove to be a more or less faithful friend to the castaways.

In a recent interview with Damon and Carlton, several interesting pieces of information were revealed. (Some minor spoilers are ahead.) First, Damon said that the revelations about the Hanso Foundation that were uncovered by Rachel Blake in The LOST Experience are officially canon. Carlton explained that it's no coincidence that Hurley's imaginary friend and his absentee father, David, both had the same name. Carlton said that Dr. Marvin Candle from the Orientation films will not have his own storyline, although Damon stated that "we might be seeing Marvin Candle somewhere other than a DHARMA film at some point before all is said and done." (Perhaps he was recruited or assimilated by The Others?) They revealed that Season 4 of LOST will begin around the beginning of 2008, and that rather than splitting the season into two segments, the plan is to have each episode air a week apart with no breaks in between. When asked whether it would be possible for fans to figure out the overarching mysteries of the show at this point, Carlton said, "I don't think so," and Damon said that fans might be able to figure out some pieces at this point, citing that some fans have come "alarmingly close" to figuring out what the smoke monster's "origins were, how it functions, what its purpose is, but they weren't able to go to the next level... what does that mean in the grander scheme of what the island is?" Damon also revealed that "the real hardcore intel about the island is going to start to reveal itself toward the end of this season as we learn more about The Others."

The remainder of this post contains spoilers.

The official ABC synopsis for this week's Claire-centric episode, "Par Avion," is as follows:
Claire becomes suspicious of Charlie when he exhibits peculiar behavior after she comes up with an idea that could get everybody rescued. Meanwhile, tensions mount between Sayid and Locke as they continue their trek to rescue Jack.
Christian Shephard is my FatherThis week, the list of guest characters may be spoilerific in and of itself; one guest appearance will be made by none other than Christian Shephard, Jack's father. Fans have speculated ever since the Season 2 episode "Two for the Road," when Christian confronted a blonde Australian woman about seeing his daughter, that he might be Claire's father. We'll find out for sure in this week's episode, in which we'll meet Claire's parents. When USA Today asked actress Emilie de Ravin whether Christian Shephard was Claire's father, de Ravin only smiled and said "You'll see." Order your "Christian Shephard is my Father" gear now! ;o)

Mikhail will return in this week's episode. However, since he is not listed in the credits for next week's episode (while Danielle Rousseau is), it's possible that Mikhail will either die or escape in "Par Avion."

There's a spectacular scene which appeared briefly in the preview trailer at the end of last week's episode. At some point in their journey, Sayid and the gang come to a series of mysterious obelisks, about twice the height of a human, that appear to be spread out in a line as far as can be seen. This might be the entry to "the territory" mentioned by Ms. Klugh in the Russian conversation.

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