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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Tricia Tanaka is Dead" Notes, Assorted Theories, and "Enter 77" Spoilers

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In "Tricia Tanaka is Dead," Hurley finds a Volkswagen bus with a DHARMA logo on the front, tipped on its side in the middle of the jungle. In the vehicle is the dessicated corpse of a man, apparently named Roger, who was a "workman" in the DHARMA Initiative. It is not clear how Roger died or how the car got tipped on its side (although both of these questions may correlate with all the alcohol in the vehicle). It also seems rather strange that Roger's coworkers never came to look for him—he was apparently a DHARMA employee, driving a DHARMA vehicle. Inside the van is a map that appears to detail a road leading from the Swan station to some other part of the island. It would appear that the road passes through a mountain range.

Hurley is determined to get the vehicle running. Based on my (admittedly very limited) knowledge of how cars work, I was extremely doubtful about whether it was possible for the car to run after having laid on its side in the jungle for several years. In hindsight, I'm surprised that none of the four men thought about the possibility that fluids would have leaked out of the car or at least degraded over time. According to Jared on this week's Black Rock Podcast, there should have been no way that the car could have run. While many people saw this episode as very light on mysterious elements, I see this as a definite mystery of the island. Hurley being able to put his faith in the car starting, and then it actually happening against all probability, seems to strongly counteract the theme of hopelessness from the recent Desmond episode. Whereas Desmond was told that he could not ultimately change the course of the universe, and he believed that Charlie was doomed to die "no matter what I try to do," now it seems as though Hurley may have broken the curse of the numbers through his faith. Based on everything we've seen in Hurley's post-lottery flashbacks—and based on logic—the car probably should have crashed and Charlie probably should have died, but the car started miraculously at precisely the right moment.

Kate thinks she needs to save Jack, even though Jack explicitly told her not to come back for him. Perhaps part of the reason Jack said this was because he hoped he'd still have his ticket off the island after saving Ben's life, but certainly another reason is that Jack didn't want anyone risking their own lives to save him. It's interesting how Jack seems to feel the most fulfilled when he's saving other people's lives—or at least that seems to be when he feels he's living up to his potential. Jack set himself up as a martyr, putting his own life on the line to save Kate and Sawyer, and then he did the same for Juliet.

Here are a few theories not specifically related to "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" that I've been considering lately. A reader suggested the possibility that Karl was lying about never having heard of The Brady Bunch, but I believe that Karl was telling the truth and had honestly never heard of it. Why? Because I think that Karl has lived on the island his whole life, like Ben.

The question could be asked, if Ethan was The Other's surgeon, and Ben already knew before the crash that he had a tumor, why would he send his only surgeon into a dangerous situation? If fan theories based on Episode 1 of Season 3 are correct, and Ethan and Juliet had or were developing a relationship, it wouldn't be surprising if Ben was jealous about it since we know from Tom that Ben and Juliet have "got history." Perhaps Ben intentionally put Ethan in harm's way to spite Juliet, or perhaps he did it so he could be with her, similar to the story of what David did to Uriah in the Old Testament (see 2 Samuel 11).

A caller to both the Lost Community Podcast and Jay and Jack's podcast pointed out that the symbol on Cadbury creme egg candies is almost identical to the mark that was branded onto Juliet's back—an eight-pointed star with one ray longer than the rest. Since Cadbury creme eggs are most often sold around Easter, this symbol might have been an "Easter egg" joke by the writers.

For those who will be tuning out to avoid spoilers, don't forget to add me on MySpace and take my short podcast listener survey!

The remainder of this post contains spoilers.

The official ABC synopsis for this week's Sayid-centric episode, "Enter 77," is as follows:
Locke, Sayid and Kate investigate a strange structure and its mysterious inhabitant. Meanwhile, Sawyer competes in a ping-pong competition to get back his belongings.
The "strange structure" may be the Flame Station, which we're supposed to see for the first time this season. The "mysterious inhabitant" is the guy fans have been calling "Patchy," the guy with the eyepatch that Nikki and the gang saw on the monitor in the Pearl Station. We'll see Ms. Klugh again for the first time this season, and we'll also see the return of Dr. Marvin Candle (it will be interesting to see if he has yet another name in this episode). Other guest appearances include Danielle Rousseau, Paulo, and Nikki.

An audio clip from this week's Official LOST Podcast reveals that the "strange structure" (which Kate calls a "house") has a very large satellite dish that Sayid believes can transmit thousands of miles, and Danielle says that she's never been there before. Sayid decides to enter unarmed, and Danielle keeps her distance, believing that some of those who enter the building may not come out alive.

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