Posted by: cousinbrandon | January 21, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episodes 1 & 2: “Because You Left” and “The Lie”

Well, well, well…

Here we are, once again, ready to delve into yet another season of the best show on television.  I’m all giddy.

And, of course, if you’ve not yet watched last night’s season premiere, which combined the first two episodes into two hours of pure joy, you probably don’t want to read anymore of this email, as I’m going to spoil the hell out of the episodes for you.  As always, these are stray observations on the latest episode(s) of LOST, so quit reading now if you don’t give a hoot.

To quote Dave D.:  “Let it begin!………………”

1. Marvin Candle.  Or Edgar Halliwax. Or Mark Wickmund.  I mean, pick a name, really.  I still haven’t figured out why the “same” person exists under different pseudonyms.  If I had to guess, I’d say that, like the Others (originally), Candle is playing a role, as did the Others back when they were wearing make-up and disguises.  On the other hand, I’m not so sure that Marvin Candle, Edgar Halliwax, and Mark Wickmund aren’t three different people.  That is, Candle, perhaps, is the original, while Halliwax and Wickmund are clones (or alternates) (or twins) of Candle.  There’s a great book out there called The Man Who Folded Himself.  It’s about a guy who travels through time via a belt given to him by his “uncle.”  He’s capable of traveling to any time and any place via the belt.  The catch?  Every time he time travels, he creates an alternate version of himself, to the point where he eventually sits down at a card table and plays poker with alternate hims.  If we apply this theory to LOST, perhaps Halliwax and Wickmund are alternate Candles?  On the other hand, perhaps it’s all a ruse.  And speaking of Candle…

2. The Opening.  Did anyone else notice the parallel between last night’s opening sequence and the opening sequence of Season 2, when we discover we are inside the hatch watching Desmond prepare himself?  The most obvious corrolary was the record player.  I, for one, completely expected “Make Your Own Kind of Music” to come bursting through the speakers.  Instead, we not only got a different song, but a skipping song.  (Gee, do you think that was a giant foreshadowing to Daniel’s analogy to Sawyer, in that he explains their time traveling in the metaphor of a skipping record?)

3. Candle’s Baby.  Maybe this a reach, but if there’s one thing that LOST has harped on relentlessly is the fact that all of us — or at least all of the people in the lives of the cast — are somehow connected, whether they know it or not.  Seeing as how that’s the case, any guesses as to whom Candle’s baby might be?  Sure, it could just be a baby, and, yeah, maybe this is stretching it, but what if Miles Strom was the baby?  Clearly he’s got some sort of supernatural ability, whether it’s “ghostbusting,” locating the bodies of Alex and Rousseau or returning to the island with a dead boar.  Seeing as how the Dharma Initiative was supposedly interested in ESP and other supernatural abilities, would it not stand to reason that Miles, as a child, was a part of this testing?  That he grew up as a Dharma subject?  We already know that Charlotte has been to the island before.  Why not Miles, as well.

4. Faraday in Flux.  Um, which do you find more alarming:  the fact that Faraday was in the past, on the island, with Candle before the Orchid Station was ever built, or the fact that he “jumped” to a time at will?  What I mean is that his being there was no accident.  Clearly Faraday figured out a way to do a controlled time travel, thus allowing him to be “undercover” on the island with the Dharma Initiative.  The question, then, is why?  Is he there to discover just what in the hell “exotic matter” is and how time travel works?  Or, is he there to somehow harness the power of the island and the frozen donkey wheel for his own purposes?  Granted, if there is no such thing as cheating fate, and all that will happen has already been determined, why return to the past at all?

5. The Timeline.  Okay, I suspect things are going to be somewhat difficult to follow this season, at least initially.  I mean, Faraday is on the island with Dharma, Jack, Sawyer, Ben and the rest are in the “now” off the island, and we’re following the “three years ago” storylines, when the island disappeared and Locke and the rest who stayed behind are jumping through time, a la Desmond.  It’s the jumping through time on the island that may end up creating the greatest bit of confusion, though, as Locke’s “leap” takes him to before Yemi’s plane crashed on the island (which, by the way, was awesome, as I initially had no idea whose plane that was until I saw the Virgin Mary statue).  And that leap also meant that Sawyer, Juliet and the rest of the gang were on the beach before they had actually established anything on the beach.  In terms of keeping things straight, this is going to be tough.

6. Leaping.  If this uncontrollable leaping is now affecting all of our pals on the island, what does this mean for where the show can go?  That is, we’ve seen Locke leap into a past where Ethan is still alive, and another past where he is informed he won’t know Richard.  Additionally, we’ve seen the folks on the island leap into a past where the hatch is still intact and the Dharma “soldiers” patroll the island.  So, does this mean they can leap into a past to watch, say, The Black Rock crash into the island?  Or find out what the four-toed statue is all about?  I mean, doesn’t this mean they can venture into any event that’s transpired on the island?  My question, though, is this:  why is Charlotte suffering from the “sickness” when no one else is?  Why don’t the rest of them need a constant?  And speaking of constants…

7. Desmond.  So Faraday managed to coax Desmond out of the hatch on the island, armed with a gun and clad in his yellow jumpsuit.  He informs Desmond that he’s somehow special, that, perhaps, he does have the ability to change the past and cheat fate, despite telling everyone else such a task is impossible.  Daniel tells Desmond to find his mother in Oxford.  Cut to Desmond waking up next to Penny, in what we have to assume is the same “now” shared by Jack, Kate, Ben, etc.  He tells Desmond he was just on the island, and that they’re going to Oxford to meet Daniel’s mother.  Only one problem, though:  who is Daniel’s mother?  Could it be…

8. Ms. Hawking.  Clearly there’s some greater implication with this woman.  She didn’t just show up at some point to inform Desmond of course correction and the inability to change destiny.  What’s more, her monk-like appearance in the church toward the end of the episode was downright creepy.  I mean, just what in the hell was she doing?  Locating the island?  Is that why Ben only had 70 hours before his window closed?  Furthermore, how do she and Ben even know one another, and what does she have at stake in all of this?  So, as Mitch suggested, if she is Daniel’s mother, what’s the greater implication here?  (I can’t help but think of her broach of the snake devouring itself, by the way, in the scene where the “leaping” Locke meets Richard, and Richard gives Locke the compass.  What does Richard tell Locke?  “What goes around comes around.”  Dynamite!)

9. Richard.  He gave Locke a compass, which is a callback to last season when he gives a very young Locke “the test.”  The compass was one of the items.  Also, he told John to make sure it’s pointing North, which is a callback to previous episodes, particularly ones dealing with Mr. Ecko and the plane in the trees.  I guess the bigger question here is this:  if fate is already pre-determined, and the universe has a way of correcting itself despite any changes you may or may not make, why does Locke need to do any of the things Richard instructed him to do?  That is, wouldn’t those who left the island leave regardless, and wouldn’t Locke assume his role of leader of the others, and so on?  Or, is this how all of it happened the first time, so we’re just seeing a replay of how it’s supposed to (or did) transpire to begin with?  I mean, if time is a loop — a record, so to speak — and what goes around comes around, then has all of this already happened?  Dang!  I’m confusing myself.  What’s crazy cool, though, is that Richard tells Locke that Locke will have to die.  I mean, we already knew Locke dies, but the fact that he was more or less instructed to die is fascinating.

10. Ana-Lucia.  While she actually looked pretty good, feh, I say!  As soon as I realized the cop was approaching the car, I knew it would be her.  I love the idea of having another “ghost” speak to Hurley, but she was never my favorite character to begin with, so seeing her didn’t make me all that excited.  “Oh, Libby says ‘hi’,” she tells Hurley.  Again, not really necessary, but whatever.

11. Truth vs. Deception.  Have we witnessed another enormous theme of the show?  I mean, we’ve always had the whole light vs. dark, fate vs. self-will, science vs. faith.  Now we’ve got the battle between truth (Hurley) and deception (Locke/Jack).  Clearly Hurley is and has been totally rattled by having to lie about what happened on the island, as witnessed by the scene on Penny’s boat (which, by the way, was pretty cool, particularly Hurley telling Sayid that one day he wouldn’t be there for him).  When he finally spills his guts to his mother, I’m not sure how we’re to take that scene.  I mean, here’s Hurley, who has spent a good amount of time in a mental hospital and is now wanted for murder.  He tells his mom about smoke monsters, Others, hatches, and a slew of other highly improbable shit.  Part of me in that moment inhabited the perspective of the mother, who is assuredly thinking, “You, sir, are batshit crazy.”  In other words, what happened is so improbable that it does sound like the rambling of a lunatic, and not something that actually happened.  Granted, this speaks to the whole Scooby Doo/it was all a dream kind of crap that the writers swore off.  Still, you have to wonder why it’s the “crazy guy” who spills his guts.  I mean, obviously it’s because it’s so easy to dismiss his “ramblings,” so how much jeopardy is he really putting the island dwellers in, right?

12. Cheech.  Way too much focus on Cheech Marin and the hi-jinks that ensued at Casa Hurley.  However, I love that Hurley through a hot pocket at Ben, and then bolted out to the cops to screw Ben over.  That was great.

Look, I know I missed a bunch of stuff here, including Widmore and Sun, Kate and Aaron, Ben and the Butcher, etc.  I just have too much to do right now, so have at it, you vultures!

BD

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