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Monday, March 29, 2010

"Ab Aeterno" Discussion

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

the JoshMeister and fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 9, "Ab Aeterno".

Reminder: Please donate if you can afford it.  I don't intend to make a profit from donations, but I'm asking for donations to help pay for getting LOST on TV so I can continue doing the live show this season.

Season 6 Episode 9 "Ab Aeterno":
Unknown date, Ilana flashback:
  • Jacob: "Will you help me, Ilana?"
  • Jacob says he has 6 names of "people I need you to protect"
    • So Jacob gave her the exact 6 names, but she doesn't know if Sun or Jin is the Kwon?
  • Jacob: "They're the remaining candidates."
2007 on the Island:
  • Sun: "She said I was one of them. One is you [Jack] and one is Hurley."
    Unknown date, Ilana flashback:
    • Ilana: "After I have brought them to the temple, what do I do?"
    • Jacob: "Ask Ricardus.  He'll know what to do."
    • Richard: (laughs) "I have no idea what we do next. ... Because everything he ever said is a lie.  You want to know a secret, Jack?  Something I've known for a long, long time?  We're dead. ... We're in hell."
      •  Oh, great.  This scene was in the preview last week and we thought we were going to get a major revelation in this scene, but it turns out to just be Richard's own speculation—and something the executive producers have repeatedly shot down
    • Richard: "Maybe it's time we stop listening to him and start listening to someone else.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do."  (he walks off)
    • Hurley speaking Spanish to someone on the beach, and Jack wants to know what Jacob said
    • Hurley: "It's not Jacob, man.  Sorry, Jack, but this has nothing to do with you."
    • Frank to Ben: "So you're saying this guy doesn't age?"
    1867, Canary Islands:
    • Richard (Ricardo) speaks Spanish!
    • Isabella: "Siempre estaremos juntos." ("We will always be together.")
      • Was Hurley talking to his deceased wife Isabella?  (We find out later that he was!)
    • Richard: "Te voy a salvar." ("I'm going to save you.")
    • Richard accidentally kills the doctor — the same way Desmond accidentally killed Kelvin in the Season 2 finale, "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" (see the Lostpedia article Kelvin Inman; for a blast from the past, see also my original blog post about the episode)
    • Richard is reading an English Bible in prison
      • Prop error: the text in this Bible was far too modern for an 1867 edition (screenshot)
      • Very interesting: the passage he's reading is Luke chapter 4, which is about when the devil tempted Jesus; I mentioned this passage recently on the blog and podcast, and I thought about it again during this episode because of the things the MIB promised Richard later
        • "i really like when you talk about this stuff Josh, cause I know NOTHING about it.  I learn so much about the show." -Spivvy
    • The Catholic priest told Richard that he didn't have enough time to repent for murder because he was being hanged in the morning, and that the devil awaited him in hell
    • A man (named Jonas Whitfield according to the casting call) purchases Richard on behalf of Magnus Hanso and is taken as a slave aboard the Black Rock
    1867, the Island:
    • The Black Rock crashes into the statue, presumably breaking it and leaving only the foot behind
      • "wasnt the diary of the first mate of the black rock what widmore bid on at the auction? the auction where desmond confronted him?" -diesel929 (see the Lostpedia article Black Rock ledger; this scene was in Season 4 Episode 5, "The Constant")
        • "at that auction though, they said that the Black Rock set sail in 1845, and the journal was found in 1852" -Spivvy
        • "but someone told me that the MAIN issue was that Dynamite wasn't invented until 1866 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamite" -Spivvy
        • "BR left England in 1852, hijacted by slave traders, then took Richard in 1867" -nnnn803er
    • "Sir, Captain Hanso's dead."
    • Smoke monster saves Richard's life by interrupting Whitfield's killing spree
    • The smoke monster analyses Richard and chooses to spare his life
      • Why did it choose to save him?
        • Perhaps part of the agreement between Jacob and the Man in Black is for the MIB to allow certain people to live whenever a new group comes to the Island — people who have the potential of living righteously and not choosing war and destruction, so that Jacob can have a chance of winning the debate between the two of them
          • Not so; see later in the episode
      • "didnt we see Richard flashing?" -MsFlipper
    • As far as we can tell, Richard seems to have been the only survivor of The Black Rock
    • He tries to free himself but is unable to
    • Isabella visits him (or so it seems) and says they're in hell and she looked into the devil's eyes and saw only evil
    • The monster apparently kills Isabella, which is weird because she was already dead
      • Anthony Cooper also thought he was in hell when he was on the Island, and yet he died (again?) when Sawyer killed him
    • The Man in Black visits Richard and gives him water
    • Richard: "I am in hell?"
    • MIB: "Yes, I'm afraid you are. ... I was here long before your ship. ... I want to be free, too.  As luck would have it, I found these [keys] on one of the officers outside. ... You'll do anything I ask?"
    • Richard: "Yes, promise."
    • MIB: "Then we're agreed."
    • MIB: "It's good to see you out of those chains."
      • This is the same line as when he (as Locke) spoke to Richard after Ben killed Jacob
    • MIB: "I'm afraid there's only one way to get out of hell.  You're going to have to kill the devil."
      • The Man in Black tried to get Richard to kill Jacob, much in the same way as when he (as Locke) tried to get Ben to kill Jacob
        • This line also seemed very similar to Dogen trying to get Sayid to kill the Man in Black — it's almost as though there aren't good or bad sides, but just two players in a game
    • MIB gives Richard the same exact instructions (and perhaps the same dagger?) that Dogen gave Sayid when instructing him to kill the MIB, only this time the instructions are given by the MIB for killing Jacob
      • "If one is in Hell, can you kill the Devil, and thus escape it? yeah it was the reverse, and I think it's the same dagger" -Spivvy
      • "jacob wasnt dead after he was stabbed by ben, he was alve when mib kicked him into the fire. so really mib killed him, finished him off anyway" -didntbelievehim
    • MIB claims that Jacob took Isabella, even though we heard smoke monster sounds when she was taken or killed
      • Was Isabella an illusion, nothing more than a form of the smoke monster?  This is the same way the MIB tricked Ben; using his deceased loved one (Alex, in that case) to play on his emotions to trick him into killing Jacob
    • MIB: "The devil betrayed me.  He took my body.  My humanity."
      • "I think what happened is Jacob stole his physical form from him and he is now always the smoke. But he can assume human form as his old self(MIB)" -Spivvy
      • "he's manipulating a religious man and is using the devil thing to convince him Jacob is the bad one" -nnnn803er
      • "Why did he take his body? Do you think he has trapped MIB on the Island cause he's dangerous?" -Spivvy
      • "if mib wasnt evil then why wouldnt jacob just send himback to the real world and out of his way, much easier he let others leave like widmore&walt etc" -didntbelievehim
        • "Well I do think the Island needs both of them" -Spivvy
          • "i don't think the island needs either one of them. i think the island is special on it's own" -kane
        • Personally, I think it's somewhat like Pandora's box; Jacob is making sure that the Man in Black stays trapped on the Island because of the terrible destruction that the smoke monster would cause if let loose in the rest of the world
    • MIB makes the same promise to Richard that he made to Sayid: you'll get your deceased woman back if you do what I say
      • "during this whole episode i was thinking of the usual suspects...when they say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didnt exist. its not the same...but its like one guy is saying the other is the devil...but maybe he really is! :) maybe HE really is..the one who's saying it i meant" -thelostgringa
      • "i am say smoke and mirrors this season" -jennielyn
        • smoke monster and mirrors in the flash-sideways
    • Richard tries to kill Jacob, but Jacob fights Richard and proves to him that he's still alive by dunking him repeatedly in the ocean until Richard says he wants to live
      • "when richard was being dunked into the ocean by jacob did it remind anyone else of baptism?" -diesel929
        • I actually didn't think of that, but the executive producers specifically pointed out the similarity to baptism on The Official LOST Podcast
    • Richard: "Are you the devil?"
    • Jacob: "No."
    • Richard: "Then who are you?"
    • Jacob: "My name is Jacob.  I'm the one who brought your ship to this island."
    • Richard: "Why?"
    • Jacob: "Think of this wine as what yo're calling hell.... malevolence... if it did [get out] it would spread.  The cork is this Island and it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs.  That man believes every man is corruptible because it's his nature to sin.  I believe he's wrong. .. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything."
      • Ugh... "that man"?  We still don't get his real name!  Stop torturing me, LOST writers!  How can his name be so important or special that you have to keep it secret so long??
    • Richard: "If you don't, he will." (meaning, "if you don't force them to do something")
      • According to some Christian philosophies, taking away freedom and forcing people to act a certain way is Satan's plan
    • Jacob says he can't give Richard his wife back, or absolve him of his sins so he can't go to hell
      • Clearly, Jacob is not supposed to be God or Jesus.  In the Bible, Jesus openly forgave people of their sins
      • "so jacob isn't god. but he could be an angel" -kane
    • Richard: "Then I want to live forever."
    • Jacob: "Now that I can do."  He touches Richard on the shoulder.
      • "Jacob seems to want people to make the choice not make a trade" -jennielyn
      • "then again they had Sawyer and Ben say God has nothing to do with this,   Just sayin. they wrote that in twice for a reason ,  maybe. many themes are referenced, but only up to a point, then it's TV" -nnnn803er
    • "I'm not very familiar with the bible but could Jacob somehow me evil?" -baileybear
      • Based on what we've seen, I kind of doubt it.  Aside from the Man in Black's statements, almost all the evidence on the show so far points to Jacob being the good guy and the Man in Black being the bad guy
    • "idk, but jacob leaves the island all the time,lol" -kane
      • The Man in Black can't leave the Island but Jacob can; is Jacob more powerful than the MIB?
    • MIB: "I want you to know that if you ever change your mind, and I mean ever, my offer still stands."
      • Aha! That must be where Richard is going in the 2007 storyline
    • MIB gives Richard his cross necklace
      • Oh, the irony; the Man in Black giving Richard a cross necklace is akin to the devil quoting scripture in Luke chapter 4.  Evil has no qualms about pretending to be good.
      2007 on the Island:
      • Richard digs up his wife's necklace and says aloud "I've changed my mind.  ...  Does the offer still stand?"
      • Hurley: "Your wife sent me.  Isabella.  She wants to know why you buried your cross.  Isabella saw you dig it up, man.  She's standing right next to you."
      • Hurley passes along messages from Isabella, and then (it seems) Richard can communicate with her directly for a few moments
      • Richard puts on the cross necklace
      • After she leaves, Hurley tells Richard that she said something else: "She said you have to stop the Man in Black. You have to stop him from leaving the Island.  Because if you don't, todos nos vamos al infierno." ("...we all go to hell.")
      Flashback, presumably to 1867:
      • MIB says if someone else takes Jacob's place, he'll kill them too
        • "MIB gonna need a lot of loopholes!" -nnnn803er
      • MIB smashes the wine bottle
        • perhaps symbolic of the end of the world
      • "Do you think MIB is stronger because he is now in the body of one of the candidates?" -Lostgeek108
        • As a reminder, the Man in Black is not in Locke's body.  Locke's body was seen lying on the beach when the Man in Black (with the appearance of Locke) walked by.  At present, Locke's body is buried on the Island.
      • Theory: "He cant kill candidates, he is trying to manipulate them into killing each other" -nnnn803er
        • Why, then, did he not just let Claire kill Kate?
          • "he was using Claire. MIB saves Kate from Claire to gain her trust. he's recruiting her" -nnnn803er
            • Someone in the chat had the theory that maybe he gains power by bringing people to his side, building up an army to defend him
      • Theory: "kate will join illana and the others" -kane
        • I don't think so because she'll want to stick with Sawyer.  Also, she doesn't know the whole picture regarding the MIB, etc.
      • "I think MIB lies to everyone. he told Sawyer the island didn't need anyone, then he told Ben he could be the leader, which is it?" -nnnn803er
      • "do you think that MIB and Jacob are one? I heard it from Jay and Jack" -baileybear
        • "lol  that's Jack's Crackpot theory. Jay makes fun of him often for it  lol" -Spivvy
        • "i don't so either after seeing this episode" -baileybear
        • "maybe Jay and Jack are the same person  ;)" -Spivvy
      • "Can we assume it was a FlashBack not Flashside Ways" -Jeremy_Bentham
        • Yes; all of the flash-sideways have been in 2004 and based on changes that took place in 1977 (specifically, it seems, Juliet's detonation of the hydrogen bomb)
      • "People are saying that Juliet's Flash Back with her parents divorcing that was actually flash sideways. i think it's interesting" -Jeremy_Bentham
        • Interesting, perhaps, but not significant to the overall plot
      Screenshots and Easter Eggs:
      • The episode title, "Ab Aeterno", is a Latin phrase meaning "from eternity" or "since the beginning of time"
      • Ricardo's English Bible was open to Luke 4 (screenshot; read the full passage and see above for commentary)

          Preview for next week's episode:
          • MIB as Locke: "I come in peace."
          • MIB to Sun: "I found your husband.  I can take you to him.  Jin is waiting."
          • Sun lying on the ground
            • Does the Man in Black hurt her?
          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVSlFj40qlA

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              Tuesday, March 23, 2010

              Mother Jones Magazine "Recon" Chat, and Jay & Jack's Autism Speaks Charity Podcast

              Last week I was invited to participate in Mother Jones Magazine's weekly LOST chat, and we discussed Season 6 Episode 8, "Recon."  Several interesting observations and theories about the episode were discussed.  You can read the chat transcript here.

              Over the weekend I was also privileged to participate in Jay & Jack's 30-hour charity podcast.  Normally their marathon podcasts are live-only (meaning they don't post the whole 30 hours afterward) but if I can somehow get an audio copy of the segment I was on, I'll post it here on the blog and in the podcast feed.  You can donate to Jay & Jack's charity of choice, Autism Speaks, here.

              As a reminder, I record my live podcast right after each episode of LOST ends in the Pacific time zone.  Fans from all over the world are welcome to participate in the chat and listen live.  Just go to TalkShoe at the designated time and join in!  If you miss the live show, stay tuned to this blog or subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and I'll post the edited version of the podcast sometime during the week.

              Don't forget to follow me on Twitter for tweets about LOST and my other interests!

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              Wednesday, March 17, 2010

              "Recon" Discussion and lots more!

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

              the JoshMeister and fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 8, "Recon" and briefly review points from two Season 4 episodes, and discuss at length the revelations from this week's Official LOST Podcast.

              Reminder: Please donate if you can afford it.  I don't intend to make a profit from donations, but I'm asking for donations to help pay for getting LOST on TV so I can continue doing the live show this season.

              We'll get into "Recon" in just a moment.  First, I had the opportunity to rewatch Season 4 Episodes 9 and 10 this past week.  I chose those episodes because I was looking for any indication about when Claire became infected before she went off into the jungle with (who she thought was) her father, Christian Shephard.  Although I didn't notice any obvious indications of whether Claire was already infected before she walked off in the middle of the night, I ended up making some interesting observations about the smoke monster, who we now know is the Man in Black.  Here are some of my thoughts:

              Season 4 Episode 9 - "The Shape of Things to Come"

              How is it that Ben can summon the smoke monster to do his bidding?  How did Ben know it would only attack Martin Keamy's goons and not himself?  At the time, Ben (and the viewing audience) had no idea that the smoke monster was another form of the Man in Black, Jacob's nemesis.  So unbeknownst to Ben, he called on Jacob's nemesis for help—right before going to try to get help from Jacob to know what to do next.

              Season 4 Episode 10 - "Something Nice Back Home"

              Hurley said Charlie said that someone would visit Jack (referring to the apparition that looked like Jack's father, Christian Shephard).  Jack had already seen "Christian" in a crowd at the hospital before that, and the second time he saw his father was after hearing the smoke alarm's low-battery warning beep at the hospital.  The smoke alarm led a lot of fans to believe that Christian was a manifestation of the smoke monster.  Christian being the smoke monster is corroborated by Damon Lindelof's remark in the March 11, 2010 Official LOST Podcast about the smoke monster no longer being able to take on any human form other than Locke; the form of Christian was specifically mentioned by both Damon and Carlton as a form that the smoke monster could have been able to take prior to Jacob's death.  Additionally, in "Something Nice Back Home" we also saw Christian luring Claire into the jungle, after which she left her baby behind and eventally degenerated into an infected Rousseau-esque version of herself who considered the Man in Black to be her friend.  It would make sense that she came to be the Man in Black's friend because she originally got to know him when he had taken the form of her father.  At this point I think it's safe to assume that the manifestations of Christian Shephard have been the smoke monster taking Christian's form.  But if that's the case, how in the world did Charlie know that the smoke monster was coming to visit Jack?  Hurley's ability to see and speak with dead people is supposedly a gift from Jacob.  So did Jacob tell Charlie to tell Hurley to warn Jack about the smoke monster apparition of Jack's father?
              • "charlie was smokey visiting hurley maybe" -jennielyn 
              And now without any further ado...

              Season 6 Episode 8 "Recon":

              2007 on the Island:
              • Sawyer at Claire's hovel with Jin
                • Jin wakes up and says they need to leave before the man who looks like Locke gets back, and 
              • Sawyer says he's with "Locke"
              • Sawyer agrees to not leave the Island unless Sun can go with them
                • I wonder if this deal will come back to haunt him later
              • Sayid, Claire, and the rest come to the hovel, and Kate says hi to Sawyer, who replies "Hi yourself"
              2004 "flash-sideways":
              • Sawyer seems to be pulling a typical con, but it turns out he's actually a cop—and working with Miles!
                • Claire checks on her "squirrel baby" and Kate asks about it
                  • Claire seems agitated and angry about this.  Does Claire still want to kill Kate?
                • The Man in Black tells the surviving Others—including Cindy, Emma and Zach from the Oceanic Flight 815 tail section—that "the black smoke" killed those who stayed behind at the temple, but he promises to take care of them
                • Detective Ford is trying to track down Anthony Cooper
                • The Man in Black tells Sawyer the truth, that he's "the smoke thing"
                • Man in Black: "It's either kill or be killed, and I don't want to be killed."
                  • If he's concerned about being killed, he's either lying or else he must have a weakness.  If he has a weakness, what is it?
                    • Can sawyer kill him since he's following orders from the Man in Black, similar to how Ben who followed Jacob's orders was able to kill Jacob?
                    • "he is trying to con sawyer by telling half truths" -jennielyn
                      • "Sawyer is a better conman then Smokey" -baileybear
                • The Man in Black sends Sawyer to the Hydra island to do some recon at the Ajira plane
                • The date Miles hooked James up with is Charlotte Lewis, who is still an archaeologist
                  • Before seeing Charlotte's face, I thought that James would connect with Juliet and Juliet would give the same line about "going dutch" that she said on the Island before she died
                    • An alternate theory about Juliet: "i am saying juliette will be on a date with jack" [when she gives the line about going dutch] -jennielyn
                  • A theory from diesel929 (admittedly unfounded) about Charlotte: "she is jack's ex wife, David's mom"
                • Jim says he got to the point in his life where he was either going to become a criminal or a cop, so he chose to become a cop
                • Books on the dresser: Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, Lancelot (screenshot)
                  • All of these are books that Sawyer read on the Island
                • Charlotte finds a photo of Jim with his parents and a newspaper clipping about it, and Jim yells at her and makes her leave
                • In a later flash-sideways scene, Jim is watching Little House on the Prairie (which he told Kate in Season 3 Episode 10, "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead" that he watched as a child)
                  • Michael Landon's character tells a little girl that when someone dies, they're not really gone; you still have your memories of them that you can hold onto until you see them again someday
                  • Jim seems to be touched by this insight and seems to relate it personally to his own loss of his parents
                  • Afterward, Jim goes to Charlotte's to apologize, but she turns him away and says he blew his chance
                  • Sawyer finds the dress that Kate wore at the polar bear cage when they were together
                  • Kate talks to Sayid, asks "Are you all right?"
                  • Sayid says No, and then Claire attacks and tries to stab Kate
                  • The Man in Black pulls Claire off, smacks her in the face, and tells her what she did was inappropriate, almost treating her like a child (with the exception of smacking her of course)
                  • Sawyer finds the Ajira plane wreckage, then a pile of dead bodies, and a woman runs by
                  • Sawyer catches the woman and she says she's the only one left
                  • Charlie's brother Liam is trying to find Charlie, who has apparently gotten in trouble with the law because of his drug use
                  • Miles questions what Jim was doing in Australia instead of Palm Springs like he claimed
                  • Miles says he's no longer Jim's partner, and Sawyer puts his fist through a mirror
                    • "the mirror in this ep sawyer broke what do you make of that" -jennielyn
                      • "he doens't like his image in this world?" -baileybear
                      • There have been a lot of mirrors and reflections in the flash-sideways: "ben in microwave, kate in mirror" and Sayid's reflection as noted in the script — they all seem to be seeing relections of themselves; what is the significance of this?
                        • Perhaps this is a reflection (pun intended) of the way in which the two realities coexist, à la Through The Looking Glass
                      • "i think that the breaking of the mirror/glass is probably important." -baileybear
                    • The woman Sawyer caught says her name is Zoe, and in explanation of the dead bodies, she says she heard screams and when she got back everyone was dead (seemingly implying that the smoke monster killed them)
                    • Sawyer offers to take her back with the other group
                    • MIB apologizes to Kate and explains that he told Claire that The Others had her baby; he gave her something to hate
                    • Kate asks where Sawyer went, and MIB says "I'll show you"
                    • It turns out that Zoe isn't alone; a bunch of other people pop up out from behind bushes with big guns and make Sawyer surrender his weapon
                    • Sawyer: "Take me to your leader."
                    • The Man in Black says to Kate on the beach: "I know what you're going through because my mother was crazy. ... She was a very disturbed woman and as a result of that I had some growing pains, problems that I'm still trying to work my way through, problems that could have been avoided had things been different."
                    • Kate: "Why are you telling me this?"
                    • MIB: "Because now Aaron has a crazy mother, too."
                      • Does he want Kate to take care of Aaron?
                      • Or does this mean Aaron is going to become the next MIB?
                    • Sawyer is led to a sub; Zoe is part of Widmore's team (and it seems Zoe is her real name)
                    • "again I think our losties' friendships are really going to define the end of this show - the line at the end of season 5 "they come they destroy" — MIB is going to be wrong and their friendships run deeper then he thinks and it will start all over - new game" -jennielyn
                    • Very insightful theory: "Remember when Claire came to Kate and said don't bring him back to the island?  Do you think she was smokey? if you think that Smokey wants a normal Aaron that would make sense." -baileybear
                    • Sawyer asks what's locked up behind a door in the sub (screenshot) and doesn't get an answer
                    • Charles Widmore introduces himself to Sawyer
                    • Widmore claims he didn't murder all the Ajira people
                      • Who really killed them?  Widmore's people or Smokey?
                    • Sawyer makes a deal with Widmore to bring the Man in Black to Widmore so Widmore can kill him, and in return Sawyer get to take his friends unharmed off the Island; they shake on 
                      • So who will Sawyer ultimately decide to follow?  He has two ways off the Island, potentially:
                        • Widmore's way seems more certain since we actually know he has a working sub and knows how to get to the Island from the outside world, but as Saywer points out Widmore may not be trustworthy because he sent the freighter with mercenaries to the Island
                        • On the other hand, the MIB's plan seems pretty weak if he really expects to fix and refuel the Ajira plane.  How on earth could they do that?  Maybe Sawyer will go with the more logical exit
                    • Claire hugs Kate and apologizes sincerely, saying she knows Kate just cares about Claire and Aaron
                    • Sawyer tells MIB that they're setting up pylons "like the ones at New Otherton" that "can keep out that smoke thing"
                      • Sawyer gives MIB a lot of information; it seems at this point in the episode like he really is sticking with MIB's deal
                    • Jim hands Miles a book that says Sawyer on it, and Miles asks "Who's Sawyer?"
                    • He explains what happened to his parents
                    • Jim was in Australia (and on Flight 815) to find the man responsible, and that's where he heard the name Anthony Cooper
                    • He says he's going to kill Anthon Cooper when he finds him
                    • Someone slams into their car.  It's Kate!  Jim seems pleased to see her again
                      • Now we know how Sawyer knew that the code on the walkie-talkie in the airport meant that Kate was an escapee
                        • Someone in the chat pointed out that perhaps the reason why he didn't turn in Kate at the airport was that he might blow his cover and Miles might have found out that he had been in Australia
                    • Sawyer tells Kate about Widmore and that they're here for Locke
                    • Sawyer says he's going to "let them fight it out, and while they've got their hands full of each other, you and me are going to get the hell off this Island"
                    • Kate asks about the plane, and Sawyer says he intends to take the sub
                    Screenshots and Easter Eggs:

                        Following is a detailed discussion about several points from the latest Official LOST Podcast, some of which may be considered by some fans to be spoilers.  If you're very spoiler-sensitive, you may want to stop reading now.

                        Notes from The Official LOST Audio Podcast, May 11, 2010:

                        Carlton Cuse: "The big question that's hanging over the season is how are these two timelines going to reconcile and what are we to make of what's going on in the sideways. But...there's more information about those things coming as the season progresses."

                        Damon Lindelof: "Do you think that Charles Widmore is perhaps the person that Jacob was referring to back in 'Lighthouse' when he said someone is coming to the Island?"
                        Carlton: "Yeah, I mean, I think it's a good chance he could be referring to Charles Widmore. ... That would be my educated guess."

                        Carlton: "What does 'Recon' mean?"
                        Damon: "Technically, it means that reconnaissance, which is basically sort of sending someone behind enemy lines to figure out what's going on. But it could mean 'to con again.'  Like 're-con.' And he is a conman."

                        Carlton (reading a fan question): "In the episode 'Lockdown' who was responsible or behind the dropping of the palette of DHARMA food that lands on the Island?"
                        Damon: "The answer to the question is, we have every intention of answering where the palette came from. However, it might not happen in the actual show itself.  That's all we're willing to say at this point."
                        • This makes me wonder whether the writers and producers are planning to make some sort of special podcast, book, or documentary that resolves a lot of the loose ends and mysteries that don't get answered by the end of Season 6.
                        Carlton indicated that Annie is not an important character.  She was only meant to be in that one episode in Ben's flashback, and her character has no "vast mythological significance."  (Thus, I think we can assume that all the theories about Annie are probably moot.)  They did say that Annie probably left the Island before 1977 because we didn't see her or even hear any mention of her in that timeframe.

                        Carlton said that we're going to learn more about the volcanic and/or seismic activity of the Island "before all is said and done."

                        Regarding Kate's name not being crossed out in the lighthouse but being crossed out in the cave, "the show speaks for itself."  When the Man in Black brings Sawyer into the cave, is he telling the truth?  Damon feels that there's strong evidence on the show that Jacob wrote the names in the cave.  So why write in both the caves and the lighthouse?  "Is it possible, Carlton, that maybe he wanted his nemesis to find the cave, and that there's a little bit of misdirection going on here?  That maybe he crossed off Kate's name in the cave to throw the monster off his scent?"  Carlton: "I'm going to say that theory could live.  I think that is a possibility.  I think this kind of speculation is actually good speculation."
                        • Based on this, it sounds like Jacob might have secret plans for Kate to be the one who will ultimately replace him, and he doesn't want anyone—especially his nemesis—to know that.
                        • But does Smokey somehow know she's a candidate anyway?  He seems very protective of her and friendly with her in this episode.  Perhaps he's trying to get her to become a candidate to replace himself.
                        Ilana's comment about the Man in Black now being stuck in Locke's form has created confusion.  "It seems that if Locke—if he were stuck in this form, that would sort of rule out the possibility that the monster had been appearing as perhaps other dead figures on the Island: Yemi, Christian Shephard, etc.  So is there something that happened between the end of last season, you know, when Alex appeared to Ben, what happened, Carlton?"  Carlton: "Yes.  I think that the critical event was Jacob's death.  The Man in Black may have had the ability to take multiple forms, but after Jacob died, I think it's a very likely explanation that he was stuck in the form that he was in when Jacob died, which happened to be John Locke."
                        • Since Christian Shephard was specifically mentioned (first by Carlton and then repeated by Damon), I think it's fair to assume that the post-mortem Christian Shephard sightings have been the smoke monster in disguise, if there was still any doubt in anyone's mind about this.
                        Preview for next week's episode:
                        • Richard: "You want to know a secret?  Something I've known a long time? All this?  It's not what you think it is."
                        • Narrator: Now his incredible story will be revealed.
                        • 8 episodes left until the series finale
                        • Richard: "I've seen things on this island that you'd never imagine."
                        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_DoGTxgHj4

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                            Wednesday, March 10, 2010

                            "Dr. Linus" Discussion

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

                            the JoshMeister, Josh "Spivvy" from The Lost Flashbacks, Steve from The Smoke Hatch, and other fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 7, "Dr. Linus".

                            Reminder: Please donate if you can afford it.  I don't intend to make a profit from donations, but I'm asking for donations to help pay for getting LOST on TV so I can continue doing the live show this season.

                            On the podcast we first discussed some additional items about the previous episode:

                            Notes about S6E06 "Sundown" from Geronimo Jack's Beard:
                            • Script says "something's off" about Sayid's reflection in the opening scene
                            • Dogen's book (according to the script, but not clearly seen on the show):
                              • Deep River (Wikipedia, Amazon) by Shusaku Endo, a Japanese author (Dogen speaks Japanese)
                              • a novel which "traces the journey of four Japanese tourists on a tour to India. Each of these tourists goes to India for different purposes and with different expectations"
                                • Many religions are referenced in the book, and likewise many religions have been referenced on LOST
                                • Most of the people on Oceanic Flight 815 had traveled to Australia for different purposes (many of them were tourists), and virtually all of the people on the flight were traveling to Los Angeles for different purposes and with different expectations
                            • Jack is one of the doctors in the hospital where Sayid's brother Omer went (see this screencap)
                            Season 6 Episode 7 "Dr. Linus":

                            2007 on the Island:
                            • Ben runs from the temple, catches up with Ilana, Frank Lapidus, Sun, and Miles
                            • Ilana gives Miles the bag of ash, and Miles reads Jacob's last thoughts, revealing that Ben was in fact the one who killed Jacob
                            • Ilana tells Ben that Jacob was the closest thing she had to a father, and they all walk away from Ben
                            2004 "flash-sideways":
                            • Dr. Ben Linus: "[The island of] Elba is where Napoleon faced his greatest test." (refer to the Wikipedia article on Napoleon Bonaparte)
                            • Dr. Leslie Arzt works at the same school as Dr. Linus
                            • John Locke the substitute tells Linus that he should become the principal
                            • Ben takes care of his father Roger, who lives with him
                              • "he seemed to get along with his dad.  up to that time on the island he hated his dad didn't he" -baileybear
                              • "i wonder why they left Dharma" -baileybear
                              • "this was a HUGE confirmation to me. confirms that the split did occur at the bomb" -Spivvy
                                • I don't think it's clear whether this confirms anything or not; technically, the rift should probably have begun in 1974 when the Ajira Flight 316 passengers integrated into The DHARMA Initiative
                            • Alex is one of Ben's students in history club
                              • Alex was never on the Island in this timeline; in the original timeline Danielle and her team didn't come to the Island until many, many years after the Incident
                              • Ilana says to Sun that she doesn't know whether Sun or Jin is the candidate to replace Jacob
                              • Ilana says there are only 6 left

                                • We can safely assume that the first 5 are Reyes (Hugo, "Hurley"), Shephard (Jack), Austen (could possibly be Kate's father Sam, but it seems much more likely to be Kate), Kwon (Sun or Jin), Ford (James, "Sawyer")... so who's the 6th?
                                  • Is Ilana still counting Sayid even though he's been turned to the Man in Black's side?  If so, does she think he can be turned back to Jacob's side?
                                  • Three other names have not yet been crossed out, although we don't know who any of them are, so we can only speculate whether Ilana might be referring to one of them: Haasra (#56), Grimwault (#57) and Kysea (#60) — refer to http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Candidates
                                    • We don't yet know Ilana's last name.  Could she be a candidate in addition to being a bodyguard for the other candidates?
                                  • Incidentally, the only names left that don't correspond to the Numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) are Austen (#51) and the three names we've never heard of before
                              • Ilana takes Ben at gunpoint and makes him dig his own grave
                              • Ben tutors Alex
                                • "My mom works two jobs just to pay for rent."  Danielle Rousseau is apparently alive and well
                              • Alex reveals (and makes Dr. Linus promise not to reveal) that the principal had inappropriate relations with the nurse at school on campus
                              • Ben tries to bribe Miles with $3.2 million, and Miles says that if he wanted to he could dig up Nikki and Paulo's graves and get 8 million dollars' worth of diamonds
                                • When Nikki and Paulo were buried, nobody else knew this; Miles must have read their dying thoughts
                                • If Ben can get off the Island, why wouldn't he already have done so?  Was he lying about that?  Or could he leave the Island (say, via the donkey wheel) but nevertheless has chosen to stay because he feels obligated to make restitution to the Island for killing Jacob?
                              • Miles says that Jacob didn't think Ben would actually kill him until the moment Ben plunged in the knife
                              • Richard says of his non-aging that "Jacob gave me a gift."
                              • Richard tells Hurley not to believe whatever Jacob told him
                              • Richard says "There's something I need to do. Die."
                              • After hearing Dr. Linus' plan to take the principal's position through blackmail, Dr. Arzt says "Linus, you're a real killer."  Ben gets an odd look, and then the scene cuts to original-timeline Ben on the Island digging his own grave
                                • Ben's strange look seemed reminiscent of the moments Jack has had, and the moment Kate had, where they seemed to be confused or disturbed, almost as if trying to recall something that never happened in their own timeline but did happen in the original timeline
                                • On the podcast, Spivvy pointed out that Ben had been shot and taken by The Others to be healed; maybe he was reflecting on those moments
                                • This is the first flash-sideways that's centric to someone who has been to the Island in the flash-sideways timeline; Kate, Locke, Jack, and Sayid have never been to the Island in this timeline, but Ben has
                              • Richard leads Jack and Hurley to the Black Rock
                                • "i still hope they tell us or show us how the ship got in the middle of the island" -baileybear
                              • Richard says "this is the first time I've ever come back"
                              • Richard says "Jacob touched me" and he can't kill himself, and someone else has to do it for him
                              • Dr. Jack readily agrees to euthanize Richard Alpert (so much for Jack's Hippocratic Oath)!
                              • As the fuse begins to burn, Jack challenges Richard
                                • Jack tells Richard what he saw in the mirrors at the lighthouse and says that Jacob wanted him to see that; this is apparently a new revelation to Richard
                                • Jack says he's confident that the dynamite will not explode.  He closes his eyes, smiles, and the fuse fizzles out just in time
                                • This was quite a bold risk, much riskier than Jack probably realized.  We know that most of the candidates have already died, and Jack seems to think that he's invincible
                                  • "Jack seemed to turn into season one Locke" -baileybear
                                  • Theory: "candidates can't die UNTIL their names are crossed out" -Spivvy
                                    • However, the Man in Black crossed off John Locke's name after John died
                                • So why did the fuse fizzle out?  Did Jacob somehow stop it?  Was it coincidence/fate?
                                • "how come dogen could be killed but Richard could not be killed.  Was it only because Jack was sitting with him?" -baileybear
                                  • "I think Dogen let himself be killed" -jwatari
                                  • "the situation with Richard, reminds me of the situation with Michael.  The Island wouldn't let him die until he completed a task." -Spivvy
                                    • Or perhaps Jack is the person who the Island saved because his destiny was not yet fulfilled
                              • The Man in Black visits Ben
                              • "Once we're gone, someone's going to need to be in charge of the Island"
                                • On the podcast, Spivvy commented that it seems like the Man in Black is trying to set up Ben to be "like the next Jacob," except that he would be in league with the MIB
                                • Put another way, Ben seems to be a potential replacement ("candidate") for the MIB rather than for Jacob, so the MIB can leave the Island and leave someone in charge who's on his side
                                  • "a sucker to keep pressing the button, so to speak" -diesel929
                                • "Maybe there needs to be new candidates for both sides" -Steve from The Smoke Hatch
                                  • Here's a chicken and egg theory: perhaps there always was a "Jacob" and a "Man in Black," though perhaps not always by those names, and history keeps repeating itself through new Jacobs and Men in Black.  Or perhaps, at least, both Jacob and the Man in Black feel they need to be replaced so that their legacy and their "game" can continue on the Island.  If so, the MIB seems to be trying to set up Ben as the new MIB, not just to replace him but to become the new him.  This seems to be in the realm of possibility because we already know that Jacob has for a long time intended for one of his candidates to replace him (to become the "new Jacob")
                              • Ben's shackles open automatically
                                • Apparently, the Man in Black has the power to control inanimate objects with his own mind/will
                                  • Perhaps this is evidence that Jacob may have had the power to cause the fuse on the dynamite stick to burn out
                              • Ben blackmails the principal and demands his job
                              • The principal blackmails Ben, saying he won't write Alexandra Rousseau a letter of recommendation to Yale (from which the principal is a graduate) unless Ben drops his blackmail threat
                                • Ilana chases Ben through the jungle
                                • Ben finds a gun the in the jungle and makes Ilana drop her gun, and explains why he killed Jacob: Ben sacrified everything, most of all his own daughter Alex, to the Island in the name of Jacob, and Ben had essentially blamed Jacob for Alex's death
                                • Ilana asks where Ben will go, and he says "to Locke ... because he's the only one who'll have me"
                                • Ilana says "I'll have you."  She picks up her gun and walks off, and Ben is stunned, and after staring in disbelief a few moments, slowly begins following Ilana
                                  • This seems to be somewhat of a redeptive moment for Ben; he could have chosen to become a powerful leader of the Island on the Man in Black's side, but instead he chose to help make restitution for having been tricked by the Man in Black into killing Jacob
                                    • Unfortunately, redemption often seems to be followed by death on the Island...
                                • Ben didn't go ahead with his blackmail plan; it was more important to him for Alex to get her letter of recommendation
                                  • Why the heck not just play along and wait until after she got her letter and got into Yale, and then blackmail the principal again?
                                • Ben comes back to the beach and helps Sun put up the tarp for her shelter
                                • Miles dug up the diamonds!
                                • Ilana cries (presumably about losing Jacob, and possibly about her acceptance of Ben)
                                • Hurley and Jack reunite with Sun and give hugs and shake hands with their friends on the beach, very reminiscent of seasons long past
                                • This time instead of Juliet being the odd one out, it's Ben
                                • A submarine's periscope comes up out of the water
                                  • Man in sub: "Sir, there are people on the beach.  Should we stop?"
                                  • Charles Widmore: "No.  Proceed as planned."
                                  • "Yes, sir, Mr. Widmore."
                                  • Charles Widmore is coming back to save the Island!
                                    • Will Charles and Ben get along?  The submarine crewman's question may imply that Charles intends to destroy whomever he finds on the beach, and we know that Charles and Ben have a history of being at odds with each other
                                    • Maybe Charles will back whichever side will give him control of the Island again -Spivvy
                                Screenshots and Easter Eggs:
                                • Book next to Ben on the beach (screenshot):
                                  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok (Wikipedia, Amazon)
                                  • a novel "about two teenage Jewish boys who form a friendship, though they come from different worlds"
                                    • Once again, religion plays a key role in this novel, much like the novel Dogen was reading in the previous episode

                                    • Kate, Jack, and Sawyer are seen
                                    • Kate cries
                                    • Sawyer: "You and me are getting the hell off this Island."

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                                        Monday, March 08, 2010

                                        "Sundown" Discussion

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

                                        the JoshMeister, Congested from DarkUFOlogy and Audibly Lost, Josh "Spivvy" from The Lost Flashbacks, and other fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 6, "Sundown".

                                        Reminder: Please donate if you can afford it.  I don't intend to make a profit from donations, but I'm asking for donations to help pay for getting LOST on TV so I can continue doing the live show this season.

                                        Season 6 Episode 6 "Sundown":

                                        2004 "flash-sideways":
                                        • Sayid in taxi, going to see Nadia
                                          • Nadia is married
                                          • Sayid is a world traveler and a professional translator
                                          • Nadia's kids already know him and call him Uncle Sayid, and Nadia's husband calls Sayid "brother" (later in the episode it's confirmed that Sayid is in fact his literal brother)
                                        2007 on the Island:
                                        • Sayid demands answers from Dogen
                                          • Asks about torture machine
                                            • Dogen: "For every man there is a scale.  On one side is good, the other side, evil."
                                          • They fight until Dogen's baseball falls off the table, and then Dogen stops the fight, telling Sayid, "Go.  Leave this place.  Never come back," as he walks over and picks up the baseball
                                            • What is the significance of this baseball?  (We find out later in the episode)
                                        • Sayid was still an interrogator for the Republican Guard in the war
                                          • Nadia's husband Omer asks Sayid to "do something" about his unfair creditor and Sayid says "I'm sorry.  I am not that man anymore."
                                          • Miles to Sayid: "You were dead, man.  For two hours. ... So whatever brought you back, it wasn't them."
                                          • Claire wants Dogen to leave the temple, but Dogen refuses because he knows that the Man in Black would kill him if he left
                                          • Dogen asks for Shephard and Reyes but "Lennon" (the bespectacled translator) says they can't find them
                                            • What was Dogen's purpose in asking for Jack and Hurley?  Was he planning to send them out to speak to the Man in Black?  Was sending Sayid to the MIB merely Dogen's backup plan?
                                            • Did this conversation take place just to remind audience they weren't there?
                                            • Dogen to Sayid: "This man will not stop until he has destroyed every living thing on this island.  He is evil incarnate... No, I want you to destroy him.  He will come to you as someone you know, someone who has died.  Once you see him, plunge this into his chest.  If you allow him to speak it is too late."
                                              • The line "This man will not stop until he has destroyed every living thing on this island" is very reminiscent of Ben's claims about Charles Widmore
                                            • Omer is attacked, but Nadia wants Sayid to protect the kids and not retaliate
                                            • Kate comes back, hears from Miles that Claire came to the temple and was acting "weird"
                                            • Sayid encounters the Man in Black in the guise of John Locke, and the MIB says "Hello, Sayid," after which Sayid stabs him
                                              • The Man in Black calmly pulls out the knife and it has no blood on it, and he asks Sayid why he did that
                                                • Was Dogen wrong?  Or did it not work because Sayid waited until after the Man in Black spoke before stabbing him?  Or did Dogen just lie?  (From a later conversation in the episode, it seems Dogen may have just been lying to Sayid to try to get him killed)
                                            • Man in Black tells Sayid he can give him anything he wants, even Nadia back
                                              • Are the Man in Black's claims a deliberate reference to Satan in the Bible?
                                                • "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:8-10 (King James Version; view passage in other Bible versions/languages)
                                                • "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Luke 4:5-8 (King James Version; view passage in other Bible versions/languages)
                                              • "i was thinking of the 'magic box.' the magic box which will never be addressed again i presume" -diesel929
                                                • In Season 3 Episode 19, "The Brig", Ben told John Locke that the "magic box" was just a metaphor
                                            • Nadia: "Why didn't you want to be with me? ... Why did you push me towards your brother?"
                                              • Sayid: "I can't be with you because I don't deserve you."
                                            • Sayid delivers the message from the Man in Black, that Jacob is dead and that all of The Others at the temple (including Cindy, Zach, and Emma) are free now.  He says that they can choose to leave the Island with "the man" and they have until sundown to choose whether to go with the man or die
                                            • Claire is being held in a pit inside the temple, and she is singing Catch a Falling Star as Kate approaches
                                            • Kate tells Claire that she raised Aaron and that she came back to the Island to rescue Claire so they could be together again, which clearly makes Claire upset
                                              • Claire says that she isn't the one who needs to be rescued: "He's coming, Kate.  And they can't stop him."
                                              • Kate neglected to mention Claire's mother, who is no longer in a coma and who is raising Aaron while Kate is back on the Island trying to rescue Claire
                                            • The translator tries to get everyone to stay, but nobody listens to him
                                            • Sayid says to Miles, pulling out the knife, "I have to return this."
                                            • Martin Keamy is one of the badguys, and he offers to make some eggs for Sayid
                                              • Sayid kills Keamy
                                            • Sayid hears someone banging around in another room, so he opens the door and Jin is tied up and has obviously been beaten, and he speaks only Korean
                                              • Did Martin Keamy work for Sun's father, Mr. Paik?
                                              • Or does Keamy work for Widmore in this timeline?  Or is Widmore tied to Paik?
                                                • Congested thinks there were some connections between Paik and Widmore in a non-canon viral campaign a long time ago
                                                • Is Charles Widmore even alive in this timeline?
                                                  • Ben got off the Island, somehow—we saw him as a substitute teacher in a recent episode.  Did Ben leave the Island in the original timeline?  Miles and Dr. Chang's wife left and stayed off the Island in the original timeline, so did Ben leave with the other children and women but then come back?
                                            • Sayid doesn't kill Dogen
                                            • Dogen says he was a bank employee in Osaka and was very successful, and says he would go drinking with his coworkers
                                              • Dogen: "Every Friday, I picked my son up from baseball.  He was 12.  The accident was very bad.  I survived, but my son-- and then in the hospital a man came to me, a man I had never met.  He told that he could save my son's life, but I would have to come here to this island where I would have a new job, and I could never see my boy again."
                                              • Sayid: "Who was this man?"
                                              • Dogen: "His name was Jacob. ... The man outside, I take it he offered you a similar bargain."
                                                • Is Jacob also a badguy?
                                              • Dogen: "It is sundown.  Will you choose to stay or go?"
                                              • Sayid: "I'd like to stay."  Sayid then drowns Dogen
                                                • Sayid got his revenge for Dogen's group having killed him (and for losing the fight earlier in the episode)
                                                • The water had been bubbling.  Will Dogen come back to life for real?  Or as a "zombie" like Sayid?
                                                  • "was the water clear?" -bwoood
                                                    • not colorless, but somewhat see-through; Congested thinks it doesn't constitute "clear" water
                                            • "Lennon"/Translator: "Do you realize what you just did?  He was the only thing keeping it out!  You just let it in!"
                                              • Sayid: "I know." (He kills the translator with the knife)
                                              • Immediately the smoke monster enters the temple and begins killing people
                                                • So what the heck is the ash for?!?  Why does it no longer seem to keep the smoke monster out?  And why the heck did Lennon allow Sayid (the evil, infected guy who just talked to the smoke monster!) to hang out with Dogen alone?!
                                                  • The ash still worked after Jacob died, but it stopped working after Dogen died?! What the heck!?
                                                • Was Dogen a candidate?
                                            • Kate goes to rescue Claire
                                            • Ilana: "Where are Shephard and Reyes and Ford?  What about Jarrah?  Is he here?"
                                            • Ben goes after Sayid
                                              • Ben: "There's still time."
                                              • Sayid (with blood dripping from his knife and an evil smile): "Not for me."
                                              • Sun is there, too, and hears from Miles that Jin is still alive
                                            • Ilana opens a secret passageway and they escape from the temple just before the smoke monster comes by
                                              • "i love how ilana didnt wait for ben before shutting the door.  reminded me of when ben shut the door on juliet in the hydra. so now ben is in the temple alone?" -diesel929
                                            • Kate follows Claire out into the courtyard and sees all the dead bodies.  She picks up a gun and goes with Claire and Sayid outside
                                              • Will Claire kill Kate?
                                            • Is Jin or Sawyer there in the group with the Man in Black at the end?
                                            • Who is this young boy in the group?  He's been in previous episodes this season.  Where did he come from?  Dogen tells Jack that they all came to the Island the same way, implying that they all were born off the Island and were all summoned by Jacob
                                              • Pictures of the boy, courtesy of Congested:
                                            • "do you think claire got infected by the water?" -baileybear
                                              Preview for the next episode (potentially major spoiler):
                                              • The preview for next week implied that it's a very Ben-centric episode and that Ben might die
                                                • "so he is going to be judged.... again?" -diesel929

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