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Saturday, May 19, 2007

LIVE "Greatest Hits" Discussion and Season 3 Finale Spoilers

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

Here are the show notes for the live post-show discussion of "Greatest Hits," including some additional commentary, theories, and spoilers as of today.
  • Karl is back, goes to warn the crash survivors on the beach
    • In the live podcast, Amanda pointed out that it's strange that Karl had to take a boat—we don't know of any characters that are still on the "Alcatraz" island
      • pretentiousgoon in the live chat suggested that it might have been faster to travel around the same island by boat than to go by foot
      • Did it really take Karl 6 hours to travel around the island?
  • We find out from Alex's conversation with Karl that she suspects that Ben is not really her father
    • Amanda pointed out that when Sayid was chained to the swing set in "The Man From Tallahassee," he told Alex that she looked like her mother, which obviously surprised her and perhaps made her start to question her parentage
  • We find out that Danielle Rousseau got the dynamite from the Black Rock to help Jack and Juliet with their plot to attack The Others
    • Why is Danielle risking her life handling dynamite for them? Does she think that attacking The Others will help her rescue Alex from them?
    • Rousseau's dynamite test was ridiculously loud and a huge waste of the limited amount of dynamite available to them—not to mention that The Others may likely have heard the explosion or seen the plume of smoke ascending, thus being tipped off that the crash survivors were making preparations for war
    • Why put so much dynamite in each tent? A single stick was enough to completely disintegrate Dr. Arzt in the Season 1 episode "Exodus, Part 2."
      • Josh suggests that perhaps the survivors still have the impression that The Others have superhuman strength, which many fans speculated early in the show based on scenes like when Ethan fought Jack—although Josh admits that this theory is very speculative
  • Jack said, "We're going to blow them all to hell"—a great line, but will Jack get his wish? (More on that later.)
  • Naomi told Charlie that after the outside world thought that he died, a Driveshaft "Greatest Hits" album was released
    • If Naomi's telling the truth, this is kind of strange since we only know of one hit, "You All Everybody," from their first album, and the band's second album didn't sell well
    • Naomi's comment inspired Charlie to write down the "greatest hits" of his lifetime (more accurately, his fondest memories)—the night he met Claire being #1
  • Sayid has a Dharma binder containing blueprints of The Looking Glass station (presumably Sayid retrieved this binder from The Flame in "Enter 77")
    • This is a completely underwater hatch (as opposed to The Hydra which is partially underwater), thus fully vindicating Jack from the Jay and Jack podcast, who has long held that the cable that Sayid found on the beach in Season 1 led to an underwater hatch
    • A caller theorized that when Locke went downstairs to get the C4 explosives, he may have found a manual for the submarine, which would explain a lot of things
      • Locke seemed to know his way around the sub when he entered it, and when we saw him on the pier later he was soaking wet, which has led many fans to speculate that Locke hid the sub, swam ashore, and blew up something else instead
    • "The Looking Glass" is a reference to the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and more specifically its sequel, Through The Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
      • This week's episode, the season finale, is titled "Through The Looking Glass"
    • Something at the station is allegedly jamming communication with the outside world, preventing transmissions from both Rousseau's radio tower and Naomi's satellite phone, which use very different technologies
  • Desmond claims that in his "flashes" he saw Charlie seeing a yellow flashing light, flipping a switch, and then drowning, and Desmond asserts that if Charlie does this, another flash will come true: Claire and Aaron will be rescued in a helicopter
    • Will only Claire and Aaron be rescued? Or did Desmond only see the two of them get in because only a couple people at a time can fit in the helicopter?
    • Is Desmond really sure that the person with the helicopter is going to save them? Maybe in the flash, Claire and Aaron just think they're being saved. In "The Man Behind the Curtain," Mikhail seemed interested in retrieving Naomi's helicopter, so we might see him flying it in the future
    • How does Charlie's flipping a (supposedly communications-related) switch directly correlate with a helicopter being able to reach the island without crashing like Naomi's did?
  • We find out from Karl that "They're coming right now!" as opposed to the following night as they presumed.
    • Did Ben distrust Juliet and put this plan in motion to spite her?
    • Kylene pointed out that since Ben knew the tape recorder was missing, he probably assumed that Locke had brought it to his fellow crash survivors and tipped them off
    • Ben claimed that Jacob told him that they should move up the attack, but it seemed apparent from "The Man Behind the Curtain" that Ben can't actually hear Jacob, so Ben is probably lying
  • In a Charlie flashback, Liam gives him the "DS" ring and explains that D.S. originally stood for their ancestor, Dexter Stratton, and they co-opted those initials when naming their band Driveshaft
    • The only Internet reference I could find to a Dexter Stratton was in Wikipedia's "Clan Straiton" article, which mentions a Dexter as a supporter of the Scottish Straiton clan (Stratton and Straton are given as alternate spellings of Straiton)
    • Charlie left the ring in Aaron's crib to sort of pass on his family tradition, assuming that he wouldn't come back alive
    • In the live podcast, Amanda suggested that the ring Charlie had in part two of the Pilot episode was different, and she posted a comparative screenshot so you can judge for yourself
  • In another Charlie flashback, the woman he saved from getting mugged was Nadia, Sayid's love (not Naomi as one particular spoiler suggested)
    • She called him a hero then—and if he dies in the process of flipping the switch in The Looking Glass, he'll die a hero as well
    • Josh suggested in the live podcast that Charlie playing "Wonderwall" in the same place as it started raining validates Desmond's time-travel flashback, because Desmond couldn't possibly have imagined the exact same scenario where Charlie actually had been in real life
      • Josh suggested that this Charlie flashback was from the original timeline, before Desmond went back and changed time
      • However, and this wasn't mentioned in the podcast, some have claimed that the outfit Charlie was wearing was different from Desmond's time-travel flashback, so the events must have taken place on different days even though the scenario was almost identical (same musician, same street corner, same song, rained just after the song ended)
      • Some also suggest that since Desmond wasn't seen in Charlie's flashback, this means that Desmond wasn't really there that day, but this makes a lot of sense if Charlie was wearing different clothes, meaning it was a different day
  • There was a shot where the camera was underwater and the whole screen was solid blue, and the camera came up out of the water to show Desmond and Charlie rowing toward the station. This may have been a reference to a Blue Screen of Death, foreshadowing Charlie's impending doom
  • Charlie's #1 "greatest hit" was the night he met Claire, and as Charlie handed the note to Desmond and was about to jump in, Desmond suggested that he should go instead, and maybe the way he could stop the flashes would be to go in Charlie's stead
    • Charlie didn't buy it, and knocked out Desmond with a paddle
    • Josh suspects that if Charlie had let Desmond go in his stead, Charlie would have died soon anyway without any warning
  • Obviously, the hatch wasn't flooded like Juliet said it was
    • Was Juliet lying when she said that Ben told her the underwater hatch was flooded? Or was she telling the truth, but she was just misinformed?
  • The brunette in the hatch looked a lot like Cassidy, and Josh joked that the blonde could have been a time-shifted Clementine
    • They're not, however, characters who have been on the show ever before (as mentioned in my last blog post, the ABC press release for the episode listed their names as Greta and Bonnie)
  • Desmond's flashes about Charlie's fate didn't come true the way Desmond described them
    • Was Desmond bending the truth to convince Charlie to go for some reason?
    • Was Desmond out-and-out lying? What reason would Desmond have to lie to Charlie (other than to eliminate the burden of having to save Charlie's life over and over again)?
    • Were the flashes wrong?
    • Did the future change because Desmond told Charlie what would happen? Case in point: If Charlie hadn't yelled out in shock and excitement about being alive, perhaps the Amazonian hatch women wouldn't have known he was there until after he flipped the switch
    • Did Desmond simply not see this part of the future in his flashes? Maybe Charlie will still flip the switch and die after all
  • Josh recapped Thursday's special, "LOST: The Answers," with credit to Lostpedia
  • Josh mentioned a theory from the LOSTCasts podcast that The Looking Glass station is the way The Others leave and come back to the island, (perhaps via teleportation or some other means) which would explain why they need a sub to get off the island
  • Josh commented that he wondered if Alex knew that Juliet had been working with the crash survivors, because Alex didn't seem concerned about sending Karl until she found out that Ben was going to move up the attack
  • On the Black Rock Podcast, an interesting theory was suggested that after Alex talked to Karl, she may have gone back to free Locke. This makes sense because after Ben returned (without Locke), he handed Alex the gun that she had given to Locke, so obviously Alex knew that Ben left him behind; perhaps she went to see if he needed help
  • The remainder of this post may contain spoilers.
  • From the preview for next week:
    • The Other named Ryan Pryce and his men quietly raid the camp with guns drawn
    • There's an explosion in a tent and at least two people go flying through the air (so at least part of Jack's plan worked)
    • Jack and Rousseau lead the exodus from the camp, and as they're walking, Ben nonchalantly stands there in their way
      • How did Ben know precisely where they would be? Did he utilize some randomly-placed jungle cameras (e.g. like the ones Juliet used to track down Alex, Kate, and Sawyer when they were on Alcatraz)?
    • Sayid, Bernard, and Jin (the three shooters who stayed behind at the beach) are all tied up in a kneeling position on the beach, very similar to when Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley were all tied up on the pier in the Season 2 finale
    • A woman from The Looking Glass punches Charlie as he's strapped in a chair
    • There's the yellow blinking light Desmond predicted
    • Desmond holds a long-barreled gun (apparently inside the station)
    • There are a few frames of Mikhail, who appears to be hiding in the shadows, and then the camera cuts back to Desmond holding the gun again
      • How in the world did Mikhail know to go there? Does Ben have a hidden microphone on Juliet, did she voluntarily phone home and tip them off, or something else?
      • Moreover, how in the world did Mikhail even get there? The Others no longer have their sub, it's an awful long way to swim, and there wasn't a boat floating over the hatch when Desmond and Charlie showed up. Perhaps someone could have taken Mikhail there in a boat and dropped him off
    • There's a shot where someone is swimming with a gun (perhaps it's Desmond a little earlier in the episode)
    • The final scene: Jack says "I love you," apparently to Kate
  • The entire ABC synopsis for the two-hour season finale, "Through the Looking Glass," is as follows: "Jack and the castaways begin their efforts to make contact with Naomi's rescue ship, on the season finale of 'Lost.'"
  • The list of guest characters from the press release is a bit more revealing: Tom, Alex, Richard Alpert, Karl, Mikhail, Jason (a minor Other), Penny Widmore (Desmond's girlfriend), Rousseau, Ryan Pryce, Naomi, a funeral director, a pharmacist, a customer, and a doctor (some of which make sense since the episode is supposed to contain Jack flashbacks)
    • It will be really interesting to see how Penny Widmore is connected with the episode. Carlton Cuse has stated that Desmond and Penny's story will be significant in the season finale episode
      • This is an even bigger connection with the Season 2 finale
    • It has been suggested that Jack's flashback might possibly reveal a darker side of his history
      • Is it possible that Jack could have killed someone? There's a funeral director in the episode, after all, but it really seems out of character for Jack
  • Back on January 18th, Carlton Cuse told Ausiello from TV Guide that "I think Penny and Desmond's relationship will become something that will be a part of the season finale."
  • Kristin from E! Online said that "sources" told her that the producers had been considering bringing back Michael on the show in the finale, but apparently the actor turned them down
  • Co-executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz revealed in LOST - The Official Magazine that "Hurley will be playing a central part in the finale."
  • On April 18th, Cuse told Ausiello: "Let's just say the end of the season features a showdown between Jack and Locke—a showdown long anticipated and a showdown with an extremely significant outcome for the future of the castaways."
    • Interestingly, Carlton Cuse revealed this before we saw Ben shoot Locke, so there was an early hint that Locke isn't dead just yet
  • Spoilerfix revealed on April 24th that the LOST crew was casting for a 40-year-old flight attendant, which character might appear in this episode
  • Kristin from E! Online said on May 9th that "The game-changer involves Jack and someone else. A fan favorite will sacrifice himself for the good of the rest of the Losties."
    • Who is the "fan favorite"? Charlie probably could be considered one at this point, especially after last week's episode, although many fans have disliked Charlie off and on
    • Charlie dying would also fit with the theme of "resolution followed by death" on the show
      • This wasn't the case with Libby, but it was the case with Ana Lucia, who (despite having murdered a guy named Jason in her past) changed her mind at the last moment about whether she should murder Ben
        • Of course, Ana Lucia gave the gun to Michael when he asked to kill Ben, which is almost as bad. I'm not sure whether it's significant, but this parallels Locke's recent story, where he found himself unable to murder his father with his own hands, but he didn't have a problem with getting Sawyer to murder him
  • In the May 21st Official LOST Podcast, it was revealed that if Jack's plan to fight The Others with dynamite and shooters at the beach was to work, it would have major repercussions. The executive producers also reiterated that the plot line involving Desmond's future-flashes about Charlie will be resolved in the finale, and that the shark will not make an appearance in the finale

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Minor Points from "Greatest Hits" - The Looking Glass Station

There are two women who run out holding guns when Charlie starts screaming in the "underwater hatch," The Looking Glass. In Sledgeweb's screen cap, the brunette definitely looks like Sawyer's girlfriend, Cassidy (say, would that make the blonde a time-shifted Clementine?? ooooooh!!! just kidding). However, the brunette is listed in the credits as Greta, played by Lana Parrilla (IMDB, Wikipedia), and the blonde is listed in the credits as Bonnie, played by Tracy Middendorf (Wikipedia, IMDB). If you're a 24 fan, you might recognize Parrilla as Sarah from Season 4. Middendorf has played small roles on 24 and Angel, but she's probably most famous for a role she played on Days of Our Lives.

Too bad the brunette's not Cassidy. That would have been an awesome twist.

The Dharma logo for The Looking Glass is a white rabbit that appears to have a black spot, or possibly a hole, on the side of its neck (click to enlarge; image courtesy of Lostpedia):

Sayid's Looking Glass Blueprint

Those familiar with Lewis Carroll will recognize both the white rabbit and "The Looking Glass" as references to his books about Alice's adventures in Wonderland. The hole on the side of the rabbit's neck might simply be a hole punched through the paper, as it does not appear on the outside of the hatch itself, as seen here. Or it might be a reference to a "rabbit hole," à la the first chapter of Alice, or The Matrix when Morpheus comments to Neo:
"I imagine that right now you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole? ... You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes."
"White Rabbit" is of course the name of the Season 1 episode where Jack thinks he sees his father, Christian Shephard, running through the jungle and chases him.

Those are just some additional thoughts I had after digging deeper into Sledgeweb's site shortly after recording tonight's podcast. Speaking of which, the live post-show discussion was great tonight! Stay tuned for the edited version and detailed show notes, coming soon!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

LIVE "The Man Behind the Curtain" Discussion - Part 2, LOST News, and "Greatest Hits" Spoilers

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

Following are notes based on the second half of the live discussion of "The Man Behind the Curtain," followed by some LOST news and highlights from the latest Official LOST Podcast, and finally some spoilers for the upcoming episode, "Greatest Hits."
  • Ben kills his father
    • Ben showed his brutal, unforgiving side in doing so; his father showed signs of repentance, saying that he would do his best to remember Ben's birthday next year, but Ben murdered him anyway
    • By contrast, Locke wasn't able to kill his father with his own hands, but didn't have any problem setting up a situation where someone else would murder him
    • Kate also killed her real father, who she thought at the time was her stepfather
  • Since Ben had access to the codes for the pylon fence, this could explain how the hostiles made it into the Dharma village
  • Ben chose to leave his father's body in the van rather than putting him in the mass grave
  • Ben shoots Locke once in the stomach and leaves him for dead
    • Why didn't Ben just shoot Locke again to make sure he would die? Ben knew that the island could heal him!
  • "OceanBeach"/Pam in the live podcast pointed out that Ben can be added to the long list of those on the island with "daddy issues"
  • Pam also pointed out that there may be some parallels between Ben and Annie's relationship and Alex and Karl's
  • Pam suggested that Rousseau might turn out to be Annie (which would mean that Danielle lied about how she originally got to the island, among other things)
I have a few notes that aren't specifically related to this episode, but they're worth mentioning. A blog reader named Rebecca asked me to detail the connection between Ruth and Naomi on the show since these names are connected in the Bible. On LOST, Ruth is the woman to whom Desmond was engaged before he became a monk, and Naomi is the woman whose helicopter crashed recently. In the Bible, Ruth was Naomi's mother-in-law, and the two women were very close (click the link for more information and related chapters). The only connection I can conceive that might exist between LOST's characters of the same names might be if Desmond's ex-fiancée Ruth found out about Penelope's plan to find Desmond, and then Ruth could have hired Naomi to double-cross Desmond rather than save him, but that seems really far-fetched and is completely speculative. Personally, I think Ruth will prove to be a very minor character on LOST, and I don't think she has anything to do with Naomi, but I agree with Rebecca that it's interesting that both of these names were introduced and associated with Desmond in the same episode.

On the Black Rock podcast, they recently brought up the Locke's sweat lodge dream sequence from the beginning of the season, and wondered how Desmond being the pilot ties in with what's going on right now. Is there any significance to Desmond being a pilot in the dream? Does this indicate that he will become a leader among the Flight 815 survivors? There are several other elements of the dream sequence that may also be worth reexamination since the executive producers told us that it would set up a lot of what would happen in Season 3. If you have any thoughts about the dream sequence, please post your comments here on the blog or e-mail me at thelostmeister at gmail dot com.

Another thought that I've mentioned briefly before on the blog: Is Juliet pregnant? She was with Goodwin, and with the five times higher sperm count on the island it wouldn't be surprising if Juliet is pregnant, too. If she is, she's probably keeping it secret so she doesn't become a test subject. Juliet being pregnant would be a very good explanation for why she wants to get off the island so badly: she doesn't want to die, and she hopes that by leaving the island she'll have a better chance of survival.

I didn't point this out in my live post-show discussion of Catch-22 because people started to figure it out later on, but in Desmond's flashes at the beginning of the episode, Charlie dies, and then there's another flash of him being alive when Desmond cuts Naomi down from the tree. Do Desmond's flashes follow different timelines? Does this mean that Desmond was destined to save Charlie after all? Or was this just a production error?

Could there possibly be any connection between Isaac of Uluru (the healer from Australia that Rose went to), Jacob, and Ben? In the Bible, Isaac was the father of Jacob (aka Israel), who was the father of Benjamin. It doesn't seem very reasonable that Isaac could be Jacob's father, and we know that Jacob is not Ben's father, so there's obviously not a direct correlation. I don't really have any good theories about how all three of them connect, but on the most recent Black Rock podcast, there's a lot of good discussion about how the characters Jacob, Ben, and Locke might be connected based on Biblical accounts of Israel, Benjamin, and Joseph.

The remainder of this post contains spoilers.

From the preview for next week:
  • Desmond says to Charlie, "I'm sorry, Brother, but this time... this time you have to die."
    • Will Charlie really die in this episode?
  • Jack says, "We stop hiding. We stop running. We stop living in fear."
  • Ben says, "If any of 'em get in your way, kill 'em."
  • Jack says, "When they show up, we're gonna blow 'em all to hell" and we see an explosion as someone on the beach puts two wires together
  • Some people practice shooting Dharma cans, and one of them looks like Rose's husband Bernard, who we haven't seen yet this season
  • Charlie and Claire kiss
  • Someone hands a gun to someone else, and the person receiving the gun has a bloody hand (it's a close-up shot of the gun exchanging hands, so we don't know who the people were)
  • Karl comes running out of the jungle toward the beach saying, "My people... they're coming right now!" and Sayid grabs him
  • In the live podcast, Amanda said that Charlie's Driveshaft ring can also be seen sitting on a blanket, perhaps in Aaron's bed, and someone is seen handling the dynamite (perhaps Charlie?)
The official ABC synopsis for this week's Charlie-centric episode, "Greatest Hits," is as follows:
While Jack devises a plan to do away with "The Others" once and for all, Sayid uncovers a flaw in "The Others'" system that could lead to everyone's rescue. But it requires Charlie to take on a dangerous task that may make Desmond's premonition come true.
In which "system" does Sayid find a flaw? Their means of hiding the island? Their tactical plan? Perhaps the system spoken of is their walkie-talkies, and the flaw is that The Others would probably speak freely over them since they don't know that the crash survivors have one.

The episode title certainly seems to be a hint that Charlie will die. Typically, "greatest hits" albums are released after a band is no longer together or a musician dies. My guess is that Charlie will sacrifice himself in a touching manner that will help the crash survivors beat The Others, and this act will demonstrate Charlie's selflessness and his love for Claire.

Also from ABC's episode synopsis press release, the guest characters listed for this episode are Alex, Karl, Richard Alpert, Danielle Rousseau, Ryan Pryce (an Other we've seen before), Mikhail, Naomi, Charlie's brother Liam Pace, a new character named Roderick, a Simon Pace (probably a relative of Charlie), young Charlie and young Liam, Rose and Bernard, Nadia from Sayid's flashbacks, and two new characters named Greta and Bonnie who will also appear in the Season 3 finale.

Danielle Rousseau being in this episode could tie in with the dynamite that she took from the Black Rock. Also, in an Official LOST Podcast the executive producers stated that when Rose and Bernard return this season, they will not merely come back as background characters. Rumor has it that the actors who play Rose and Bernard have been working on other projects this season, so there's surely a good reason for them to be back. I wouldn't be surprised if Rose protests Bernard's desire to help fight The Others; she seems like a generally peaceful person, while Bernard has already shown that he'll stop at nothing to keep Rose safe from harm (e.g. taking her to see a healer and donating a large sum of money to him, trying to get the survivors rescued so Rose wouldn't have to be trapped on a dangerous island, etc.).

This wouldn't be the first time that Nadia has shown up in someone else's flashback other than Sayid's. Nadia was also in a Locke flashback where he was an inspector, and she indicated to Locke that she was not married.

According to Kristin at E!Online, as of March 1st, actress Evangeline Lilly (who plays Kate and has been dating Dominic Monaghan who plays Charlie) said that Dominic didn't know at that point in time whether Charlie would die. On March 19th, however, Kristin reported that she had heard that Charlie would die. On April 3rd, Kristin reported that there would be a swimming pool scene (presumably in Charlie's flashback), and Kristin said she was worried that someone might drown.

Ryan Ozawa from The Transmission saw a flashback scene from the episode being filmed. He said that it seemed to be a continuation of the Desmond/Charlie flashback crossover from earlier this season. It's raining, and a woman is getting mugged in an alleyway. Ryan thought it was Naomi, but Amanda pointed out during the live podcast that it makes more sense for it to be Nadia since we know she appears in the episode. Charlie saves the woman from the mugger.

According to SpoilerFix.com, the episode was formerly known as "Truth About Lying."

Following are some notes from the May 11th Official LOST Podcast.

The executive producers confirmed a recent ABC press release starting that after this season there will be 48 more episodes of LOST, spread out over 3 seasons, which means 16 episodes per season. In total, there will be 6 seasons of LOST.

Carlton: "Jacob is more of a question for Season 4 than he is for Season 3."

Carlton said that more than one of the Dharma Initiative members survived. (While not explicitly stated on the official podcast, this leaves open the possibility that Annie could have survived the purge.)

They hinted that John Locke is not dead.

Carlton indicated that Ben took Locke out to see Jacob as a litmus test to see whether Locke was in fact "special"—to see whether Locke could see or hear Jacob—and when Locke was able to hear Jacob, Ben felt threatened "because he doesn't want his leadership of The Others challenged by John Locke."

Carlton: "When you watch the [Season 3] finale, you'll get a pretty good idea of what Season 4 is going to be about. You won't... necessarily know where it's going to go, but we do launch the story in the direction that will define what the bulk of Season 4 will be."

Damon: The part of the purge we saw in "The Man Behind the Curtain" was "only a taste of things to come."

Damon: "We will see how Dr. Candle lost his hand and we will find out how Montand lost his arm," hinting once again that there will be Rousseau flashbacks.

Carlton: "There's definitely going to be more about the history of the Dharma Initiative."

In response to a question about whether the powdery substance that Locke found on the ground keeps Jacob confined to his cabin, Carlton said, "I think that there's kind of a couple of possible explanations. One explanation is that yes, that substance combined with other things perhaps might be keeping Jacob confined. The other explanation is that the volcano that Annie was making spewed out a lot of ash, and that ash happened to fall in a nice symmetrical pattern around the cabin." While the comment about "the volcano that Annie was making" seems to have been an attempt at a joke, Carlton does have a good point that this episode introduced us to the fact that there's a volcano on the island.

Carlton: "[What happened to Annie] is a chapter of Ben's story that I think we very much would like to see in the show LOST."

Damon: We're going to see the Dharma shark again.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

LIVE "The Man Behind the Curtain" Discussion - Part 1

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

There was so much to talk about after watching "The Man Behind the Curtain" that I decided to divide the podcast into two segments again this week. This first segment covers from the beginning of the episode up to and including the "Jacob" scene.
  • We find out right at the beginning of the show that Ben was not in fact born on the island
  • In the live podcast, Amanda pointed out that the name "Emily" has been used twice in the show; it's the name of Locke's mom as well as Ben's (although Josh pointed out that a different actress plays each character)
  • Ben says that he's not the leader, Jacob is
  • "Spivvy" pointed out that the fan theory that Ben had intended for Locke to take the tape recorder was debunked when we saw Ben get frantic when he noticed it was missing
    • On the Black Rock Podcast this week, they pointed out that it's still possible that Richard gave the tape recorder to Locke as part of a conspiracy to overthrow Ben
  • Josh noticed that "Dharma" is not capitalized on the "Dharma Initiative" sign, even though it was revealed in The LOST Experience that DHARMA is an acronym for Department of Heuristics And Research on Material Applications
  • Horace Goodspeed is the name of the Dharma Recruiter who convinced Ben's father, Roger Linus, to come work on the island
    • Spivvy came across information on an Edgar Goodspeed, a liberal theologian, on Wikipedia
    • Pam pointed out that "Horace" may also be a religious reference to the Egyptian god Horus
  • Roger was upset when he found out he was going to be a "workman" (or as he put it, a janitor) instead of helping to save the world
  • Dr. Marvin Candle was seen again in a "welcome to the island" orientation video
    • He talks about the high-frequency sonar fence and the fact that they're there to study the properties of the island for the benefit of mankind
  • Ben meets a girl named Annie, who hands him an Apollo candy bar
    • Did Annie die in the "purge"? (More about this in the spoiler section of Part 2)
  • Mikhail returns to The Others for the first time since his non-death, which he explained by saying the pylons must not have been set to a lethal level
  • Mikhail and Ben both seemed genuinely surprised about Naomi and her cronies' freighter being not far away
    • Josh points out that this really makes Naomi's comment "I'm not alone" in Portuguese to Mikhail even more confusing—was she not really speaking to him covertly after all? And if not, why would she have said that? "OceanBeach"/Pam suggested that perhaps she was saying that she had friends, so they shouldn't mess with her
    • This also gives more support to Naomi's story that she is in fact working for Penelope Widmore to try to find Desmond
  • It's interesting that nobody seemed to care that Locke was beating up Mikhail, who should have been their ally and friend
    • Josh suggests that perhaps Richard, Tom, et al. are more interested in finding out if Ben is really going to take Locke to see Jacob, and since Mikhail was against Locke seeing Jacob they let Locke beat him up to put him in his place
    • Josh also suggests that perhaps Mikhail has no more purpose to The Others now that The Flame and their means of outside communication are gone, so he's useless to them
    • Pam suggests that this was more of a comment on how Richard and Tom didn't support Ben when he pleaded with them to stop Locke, which Josh finds interesting because Tom seemed to be Ben's friend previously
  • Has Richard Alpert met Jacob?
    • Josh suggests that he probably knows more about Jacob than we currently know (more about this later)
  • Alex gives Locke a gun, saying he'll need it if they're going to see Jacob—then to Ben she said "Happy birthday, Dad"
    • Alex obviously was siding with Locke, and it seemed as though she was also against her "dad" by her attitude and the look she gives him
  • After the scene where young Ben spies on Roger arguing with Horace about the unsafe situation with the hostiles, Ben turns around in his bedroom and sees his mother standing in front of him, and this shocks and frightens him
  • When Annie gives young Ben the two dolls, she says that Ben can always remember her
    • Why would Annie have any reason to think that they might be separated in the future? They were both stuck on an island together, and she didn't seem to be afraid of the hostiles hurting them
  • We find out that Ben has "daddy issues" like almost every other character whose back story we know
    • Ben's dad accused Ben of killing his mother, even though that was obviously not Ben's choice
  • As Ben goes to escape through the pylon fence, his mom appears again and tells him it's not time yet
  • Could Jack be considered a "bad guy" at this point since he hid the impending invasion from the other survivors?
  • In another segment of the flashback, young Ben somehow has the code for deactivating the sonar fence: 54439
    • How could Ben have gotten this code? The orientation film indicated that the code changes every day, so Ben would have had to find out the code the very same day he used it
    • In the episode "Left Behind," Juliet used the number 1623 (made up of two of the numbers from the sequence "4 8 15 16 23 42") to deactivate the fence
  • Ben has a white bunny that he uses to test whether the fence has been deactivated (perhaps related to the white rabbit with the number 8 spray-painted on its back in "Every Man for Himself"—presumably not the same one since rabbits have a lifespan of about 4 to 20 years according to Wikipedia)
  • Ben hears the whispers
  • Richard Alpert shows up, and he appears to be the same age in the flashback as he is in the present day!
    • Is he a ghost? Is he a pirate ghost?? Some fans suggest that he was dressed kind of like a pirate, so perhaps he's the ghost of someone who was on the Black Rock
      • Does this explain why there were whispers? Are the whisperers ghosts?
    • Do the island-native hostiles not age? Do they age slowly? Are they elves, like in The Lord of the Rings? Is there a connection with the legendary fountain of youth? Are they part of the ancient civilization of Atlantis?
    • Amanda points out that Richard is associated with "Mittelos Bioscience" (Mittelos being an anagram for "lost time")
      • The womb shown to Juliet was that of a young woman with a womb of a very old woman—rather the opposite of Richard, who seems to be old but not physically changing
    • The way Richard reacted to young Ben's story about seeing his mother may be a connection with why Ben was made their leader; perhaps they thought he could communicate with dead people, and perhaps Jacob is dead
  • The Jacob scene
    • Some people think it looks like the smoke monster was floating in Jacob's chair, but Josh doesn't believe it
    • Is Ben insane, or did he really see Jacob?
    • As Locke turned to walk out, he heard a gruff voice say "HELP ME," and apparently Ben didn't hear this
      • Can Ben see Jacob but not hear him, while Locke can hear him but not see him?
    • During the ruckus, there was a brief flash—just a few blurry frames—of Jacob's profile as he sits in the chair (image courtesy of Lostpedia; click to enlarge):

      • He looks quite a bit like Locke (especially the forehead and profile in general) with a very bad wig (brown in color, possibly Colonial-style) and a drab-colored outfit that's somewhat similar to what Tom used to wear with his fake beard
    • Amanda points out that there's also a brief flash of a dark brown eye that darts around
To be continued tomorrow...

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Initial Reactions to "The Man Behind the Curtain"

Right after seeing the episode, some of my initial thoughts were:
  1. John Locke's not going to die. The island will heal him as we've seen it do to him several times already. Ben should have known this; why didn't Ben shoot Locke in the head if he really wanted him dead?
  2. Ben's insane; there really isn't a Jacob (boy was I wrong about that one—more on this later).
  3. How is it that Richard Alpert didn't seem to age one bit while Ben has obviously aged significantly? And why is Richard following Ben instead of the other way around?
In last night's live podcast, we discussed these and many, many other topics surrounding the mind-blowing Ben-centric episode, "The Man Behind the Curtain." I'll try to edit the podcast and divide it into more manageable chunks as soon as I get a chance, and I'll post show notes along with each segment. Subscribe to the podcast or blog using the links in the sidebar and stay tuned!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

LIVE Discussion of Spoilers for "The Man Behind the Curtain"

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

Sorry for posting the spoilers kind of late this week. Following are a few notes from the second half of this week's podcast: the spoiler section. Please be aware that this entire post may contain spoilers.
  • From the preview for next week's episode:
    • Jack says "I think we've got some catching up to do," apparently speaking to the other survivors on the beach, as they appear to be looking at him wondering why he seems to have turned his back on them for an Other
    • John Locke is carrying his dead father over his shoulder, throws down the corpse in front of Ben, and demands, "You tell me everything I want to know about the island," followed by "Why don't you start at the beginning?"
    • There are lots of brief flashes (for screen caps, see Dark UFO's site)
  • The episode will be Ben-centric and we'll find out about his parents
  • We'll also learn quite a bit about the Dharma Initiative, and Dr. Marvin Candle will be back
  • We'll find out more about "Roger Workman," whose last name is actually Linus (the same as Ben's—which means they're probably related)
  • The Volkswagen busses will be seen in the flashback
  • The DeGroots might be back (although they're not listed in the credits as guest characters)
  • We'll also learn more about Jacob, and perhaps his true identity (although, again, there isn't an actor credited as "Jacob"—maybe this is to keep us from knowing what he looks like, or perhaps even because Jacob is actually someone we know already)
  • The official ABC synopsis is "Ben begrudgingly begins to introduce Locke to the secrets of the island, beginning with the mysterious Jacob. Meanwhile, Juliet's secret goes public" and the guest stars include "M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly/Tom, Tania Raymonde as Alex, Andrew Divoff as Mikhail, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Marsha Thomason as Naomi, Sterling Beaumon as young Ben, Jon Gries as Roger Linus, Carrie Preston as Emily, Doug Hutchison as Horace, Samantha Mathis as Olivia and Madeline Carroll as Annie"
  • Additional spoilers from SpoilerFix were also discussed during the podcast
  • Due to getting this post up late, there isn't sufficient time to type up everything that was discussed in the spoiler section of the podcast in detail

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

LIVE Discussion of "The Brig"

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

Several new listeners called in or chatted to discuss "The Brig" during the live podcast this week (show notes below). After that, if you're into spoilers, be sure to keep listening or reading for teasers of what we'll see next week on LOST.
  • The shot of the Black Rock was a bit confusing to some people at first. A closer look makes it a bit more clear that it was, in fact, the Black Rock slave ship (image courtesy of Lostpedia):
  • While we don't know for 100% sure that the file that John Locke burned at the beginning of the episode was Sawyer's, it's a fairly safe guess since Richard Alpert handed Sawyer's file to Locke in a flashback seen later in the episode
    • The fact that Locke burns Sawyer's file may indicate that Sawyer, like Locke, would soon be free of the burdens of his past (at least according to Ben's mentality)
  • Sawyer's file contained French writing, and appeared to be a prison document (thanks to Master Nak for his translations during the podcast). Presumably this means that Sawyer has previously been in jail in a French-speaking country
    • see another screen grab at Sledgeweb's site
    • According to Master Nak, "gendarmerie" means police station in French, and Nak thought he made out the French word for "jail cell" as well
  • This episode is like "Three Minutes" from last season, which consisted of all on-island, recent-history flashbacks. Last time we saw Michael's flashbacks of his experiences with The Others, and this time we saw John Locke's experiences with The Others
  • On The Official LOST Podcast, the executive producers reiterated that those on the island are NOT in purgatory, and presumably they're not dead, either—which would mean that they're not in hell, as Anthony Cooper assumed
    • How did Anthony get to the island, though? Was his story about getting in a car crash, being loaded into an ambulance, then waking up on the island the truth? If so, maybe Richard Alpert orchestrated the crash, and perhaps he was even the paramedic who smiled at Cooper in the ambulance
      • Any wounds that Cooper might have had from the accident could have healed quickly on the island
    • Maybe The Others have some kind of psycho driver-hitman who drives busses and golden Pontiacs ;o)
  • Naomi claims that Oceanic Flight 815 was found 4 miles below the surface of the water off the coast of Bali, Indonesia (see my analysis of possible crash locations, including a Google Earth file in my post here), and that all the bodies were accounted for
    • Does this indicate a massive cover-up, or was Naomi lying?
      • If it's a conspiracy, who would be behind it? Someone who didn't want anyone to find the island?
      • One piece of evidence that may indicate that Naomi might not have been lying is that Anthony Cooper seemed to be an independent source confirming that the plane wreckage was allegedly found and that there were no survivors
        • On the other hand, how can we really know whether either of them are telling the truth? Anthony Cooper had been taken captive by The Others and may have been coerced or offered money to lie about this, and Naomi might be working with The Others because she seemed to knowingly give a secret message to Mikhail in the last episode
    • Bali is very, very far away from the Sydney to Los Angeles flight path—so far, in fact, that it would be ridiculous for any search party to find the plane there, let alone to assume that it was the same one
  • Listener Kwame suggested that if Hurley's mom thought that Hurley had died in the crash, she probably would have given his money away to the Catholic Church. After all, Hurley's dad had been trying to talk him into getting rid of his money before Hurley went to Australia
  • Kwame also suggested that perhaps the reason that Juliet was supposed to leave tape-recorded messages for Ben was to serve as evidence against Juliet that Locke would be able to share with the other crash survivors at the beach; maybe Juliet was being set up
  • It seems unclear why Ben told Locke to only say goodbye to Kate; why not Sayid, who was also in the rescue party? Why not to Jack?
    • Listener "congested" suggested that maybe this was just to help the audience match up the timeline with "Left Behind"
  • It was implied in the episode that The Others have been waiting a long time for some prophesied "special" person, and many of them seem to think that it's Locke
    • According to Richard Alpert, Ben didn't want Locke to be someone special
      • What exactly is Ben's motive to want Locke to fail and to not be someone special? Is he afraid of losing his power to someone else?
      • Up until now, we had only been given evidence that Richard was a friend of and close associate to Ben
      • Josh points out that on the Official LOST Podcast the topic of two factions of Others was brought up again and reconfirmed; maybe Richard is part of another faction that opposes Ben and his meaningless agenda (Richard said to Locke, "Ben has been wasting our time with novelties like fertility problems. We're looking for someone to remind us that we're here for more important reasons")
        • Master Nak contends that Juliet's video tape from the beginning of the season said "some of us want a change"—perhaps Richard Alpert was working with Juliet and against Ben
      • "congested" posited that perhaps The Others are hoping that John Locke is Jacob, whose identity is still mysterious at this point, but the way all The Others speak of him with such reverence, he could potentially be a messiah figure to them
        • Josh counters that some Others act like they may have personally met Jacob (for example, Danny Pickett says "Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list" which indicates that someone must have had direct contact with Jacob at some point after the crash of Flight 815)
          • Amanda counter-counters that we don't even know if Jacob wrote the aforementioned list; maybe there's a "Jacobs list" of people who might be Jacob
          • Kwame asks whether Locke is on Jacob's list, and Josh suggests that this seems like a good possibility because of how The Others have treated him; Amanda points out that back in Season 2 when Ben was being held captive in the Swan hatch armory, he told Locke that the real reason he (Ben) was there was that he was coming for Locke
  • Naomi revealed that Penny Widmore hired her company to look for Desmond
    • Josh pointed out that this part of her story makes sense because the fellows from the Listening Station in the last scene of the Season 2 finale were also looking for Desmond and they spoke Brazilian Portuguese as well
      • However, it still bothers Josh that Naomi seemed to have been talking covertly to Mikhail
  • Naomi said that the freighter from which her helicopter took off was 80 nautical miles (92 miles, or 148 kilometers) west of the island
  • A "brig" is a prison on a war ship; the episode title has reference to Locke keeping the Sawyers trapped together in the ship
  • Danielle Rousseau has been missing for a while, and she showed up in this episode at the Black Rock to get dynamite
    • Presumably, she's going to use this dynamite against The Others, probably to try to get her daughter, Alex, back—or at the very least to try to get a chance to talk to her in person
    • "congested" suggested that The Others are now on Danielle's playing ground since she knows the island so intimately; however, the same could really be said of many of The Others, since they've been on the island longer than Danielle has
  • Even though Locke didn't kill his father, it could be argued that he's just about as guilty of murder as Sawyer is because he orchestrated the whole plot to kill him and set everything up for his murder to take place
  • As Kate gets frustrated with Jack's stubborn trust of Juliet, Kate blurts out in front of her what she knows about Naomi, and she reveals to Jack that nobody trusts him anymore because of his friendship with Juliet
  • Juliet then interrupts the conversation and says to Jack, "We should tell her." Jack says no, Kate asks "Tell me what?" and Juliet repeats her plea, and Jack finishes the conversation by saying "Not yet" as he gets up and walks away
    • What is it that Jack and Juliet are keeping from Kate? Do they know that Kate is pregnant? Do they know that someone working with The Others was planning to bring a satellite phone to the island so they could regain communication with the outside world? Or... stranger still, and I didn't think of this until after the podcast... maybe Juliet wanted to tell Kate that Juliet is pregnant with Goodwin's child, so Kate need not worry about competing for Jack because Juliet was going to die anyway
  • Before Locke leaves Sawyer behind at the Black Rock, he tells Sawyer that Juliet is a mole and he hands Sawyer the audio cassette recorder on which Juliet had left a message for Ben in the medical station. Locke also says that in three days, The Others plan to raid their beach and take all the pregnant women, and that The Others claim that "they don't want anyone to get hurt." Finally, Sawyer asks Locke if he's "going back undercover," and Locke says that he's on his own journey now
  • Note: The spoilers portion of the podcast will be posted later this week

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Google Earth: Where Oceanic Flight 815 was LOST

After recording my latest podcast episode on Wednesday night (editing in progress—check back here soon), I decided to download Google Earth and map out the locations we discussed. Here's a preview for what I came up with (click to enlarge):

I made a Google Earth (.kmz) file containing pushpins for:
  • 4.815 N 162.342 W
    • Longitude and latitude coordinates based on "the numbers," near Oceanic Flight 815's flight path
  • 4.815 S 162.342 W
    • A similar location, also near the flight path but south of the equator
  • A location that's roughly 1 week due east of Fiji traveling at a consistent rate of 9 knots
    • Desmond said in "Live Together, Die Alone" that "bearing due west and making 9 knots [he] should have been in Fiji in less than a week." If Desmond is correct, then the island is roughly 1,700 miles or 2,700 km due east of Fiji, if not closer. This site is roughly one week due east of Fiji at a consistent speed of 9 knots (about 10 miles per hour or 17 km per hour).
    • Also mapped is a line connecting that point to Fiji, indicating other possible crash sites that would be less than a week away
  • Republic of the Fiji Islands
  • Sydney Airport (aka SYD or Kingsford Smith International Airport)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (aka LAX)
  • The flight path for SYD to LAX (based on this information)
  • The approximate location where the plane turned around to head back toward Fiji, according to the pilot in the "Pilot" episode
    • 4.403 S 168.119 W, based on this analysis at Lostpedia
    • In the "Pilot" episode, the pilot said, "6 hours in. Our radio went out, no one could see us. We turned back to land in Fiji, by the time we hit turbulence we were 1,000 miles off course. They're looking for us in the wrong place."
    • Based on Lostpedia's estimated turnaround location, it's somewhat surprising to me that the pilot chose to turn back, because he could have just as easily continued in roughly the right direction and veered off to land in Hawaii if radio contact could not be reestablished. The Hawaiian islands (including Oahu, where LOST is filmed) can be seen near the upper-right corner of the image above
  • An approximate location where the plane might have crashed, based on the turnaround point and a comment from flight attendant Cindy
    • In "The Other 48 Days," Cindy said, "Before the crash, the pilot said we'd lost communication; we were turning back. We were flying for two hours in the wrong direction. They don't know where to look."
  • Bali, Indonesia
    • In "The Brig," Naomi said, "They found the entire plane off the coast of Bali. In an ocean trench four miles deep. They sent down cameras in these little robots to survey the wreck. The bodies were all there."
    • It would be very, very strange for Oceanic Flight 815 to have crashed near Bali because it's ridiculously far away from the flight path from Sydney to Los Angeles; what could possibly explain the flight crashing there, and how did anyone find it there?
    • It should be noted that Naomi did NOT say that the island was 80 nautical miles east of Bali. She said that the freighter from which her helicopter lifted off was 80 nautical miles west of the island, which is very far away from Bali, and thus this information is not terribly helpful in determining where the island is located
Download the Oceanic Flight 815 Crash Sites file (Google Earth .kmz format, 4K)

Don't have Google Earth?
*Thanks to Google Earth Blog for the tip, and to Inside Google for referring Google Earth Blog to this post.

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