Posted by: cousinbrandon | January 28, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 3: “Jughead”

Okay, so of course all I could think about were the old Archie comics, seeing as how last night’s episode was entitled “Jughead.” For the life of me, I was stumped until the actual reveal as to what the title referred to.  And considering what then transpired from the get-go, I was immediately led to believe that “Jughead” was, in fact, some sort of nickname for:

1. Desmond’s Baby.  Seeing as how they didn’t reveal the name of Desmond and Penny’s (Des & Pen’s) baby until the end of the episode, I was initially convinced that little baby was, in fact, Daniel Faraday.  Stick with me, here.  Considering all of the interplay between Desmond and Faraday, and seeing as how the two of them are the kings of time travel (what with “The Constant,” and such), discounting Richard Alpert and Ben, of course, I thought for sure we’d find out that Des and Pen were somehow Daniel’s parents, and the “mother” Des was to search out at Oxford was, in fact, Penny.  Of course, that theory was quickly disproved (I think), but for one reason or another it made total and complete sense at the time.  What’s more, I couldn’t shake the similarity between “Jughead” and “Egghead,” and considering Faraday is an “Egghead” to the extreme, it seemed like a natural fit.  By episode’s end, though, we learned little baby’s name is Charlie, named after one (deceased) Charlie Pace, right?  Right. But hold on a sec.  Isn’t “Charlie” short for…

2. Charles.  As in Charles Widmore, who we not only rejoin in this episode, but “meet” for the first time.  My mind is officially blown with this one.  First off, it would be impossible to learn that Des & Pen’s son Charlie is actually Charles Widmore, right?  I mean, we never actually had any discussion of Penny’s grandparents or Widmore’s parents (who would be one in the same), but I have to assume that baby Charlie is not, in fact, papa Widmore.  We know that Des is doing everything in this episode, per Penny’s instructions, to avoid bumping into Widmore in Oxford, as he’s the man who essentially tried to destroy Des.  Yet it’s the old rule in literature:  if, in the first scene, a rifle appears, hanging over the fireplace mantle, by story’s end the rifle must go off.  It’s a little thing known as foreshadowing, something LOST is obviously known for.  Since we see repeatedly how upset Penny is with Des’ decision to return to Oxford for fear of being found by her father, we know we will, in fact, see her father.  Otherwise, it’s all a red herring, something LOST fans worry about often (e.g. Libby).  But I digress…

3. Charles Widmore, Old Man.  Okay, this is a continuation of the last point.  So we find out that Modern Day Widmore has been covering the expenses for Daniel’s ex (which parallels Christian Shephard covering Claire’s mother’s expenses after the car accident, yes), who I can only assume is in this comatose state as a result of the experiments Faraday was conducting in his secret lab in Oxford.  (I would also assume that he was having her conscience travel through time a la his mouse, Eloise, and this woman, who I believe had the surname Spencer, is now “jumping” a la Des and the other folks who jumped through time.  She clearly, though, has no Constant, which is why she’s in this state.  And the sister, who glibly suggests that she’s “in and out,” having conversations with their dead father, is absolutely wrong in her assessment.  The woman is, in fact, doing just that, as her mind is traveling through time.  I have to assume, though, that she is still alive thanks to the medical care she receives.)  Now, there are two possibilities as to why: 1) Widmore’s connection to the island prompts him to want to keep her alive in the hopes that he can learn more about the island and discover the true secret to the whole time leaping thing; or 2) Old Man Widmore is looking after his son.  His son?  Sure, you know his son…

4. Daniel Faraday.  Think about a couple things here for a minute.  First, when Des bursts into Widmore’s office and demands to know the whereabouts of Daniel’s mother (who we can only assume is Ms. Hawking), Widmore’s got her address right at hand in his little organizer.  Second, if Ms. Hawking is English, would it really come as any sort of surprise to discover that Faraday’s father is also English?  Daniel is, after all, working at Oxford.  (And, yeah, he doesn’t have an accent, but so be it.  Overlook that for a moment.)  Third, seeing as how Daniel had the ability to conduct these experiments on the Oxford campus, armed with what would have to be expensive equipment, yet there is no record of him at Oxford, someone had to finance this research, right?  And, finally, we discover an unbelievably cool little bit of information to be true in this episode, something we already assumed from previous seasons:  Charles Widmore has, in fact, already been on the island in the form of…

5. Jones.  At least that’s what his “Other” jumpsuit reads on the name placard.  He holds a rifle to John Locke’s back, and because he refuses to lower his rifle, Alpert tells him that it’s a “direct order, Widmore.”  Um, I’ve heard that name before, no?  And our pal Locke confirms it is, in fact, Charles Widmore, English accent and all.  Holy hell!  But why the name “Jones” on his jumpsuit?  Well, this could be a stretch (though I sincerely doubt it), but there are two reasons:  1) These “soldiers” are, perhaps, wearing the uniforms of the murdered American soldiers, and their names don’t actually (obviously) correspond to who they actually are; and 2) Remember the title of this episode?  Well, we find out that “Jughead” is the name of the bomb dropped on the island.  Know what else?  “Jones” was the last name of the character “Jughead” in the Archie comics.  Well played, LOST.  So, we’ve now got Faraday’s father on the island.  And why am I so convinced?…

6. Parallels.  Think about this for a moment.  I just pointed out that Widmore took care of that Spencer broad a la Christian taking care of Claire’s mother.  Well, we also found out that Claire is Christian’s daughter, and secretly Jack’s sister.  So, would it be so alarming to discover that Widmore has an illegitimate son in Faraday, and that he and Penny are brother and sister.  They are, after all, ridiculously connected through Desmond.  What’s more, if Ms. Hawking is, in fact, Daniel’s mother, there’s yet another huge plot point that would seem to confirm this to be the case, what with the introduction of…

7. Ellie.  You know Ellie.  She’s the “Other” who holds Faraday at gunpoint and marches him to the bomb. The one who looks familiar to Daniel.  The one with the English accent.  The one who was on the island at the same point as Charles Widmore.  The one who was apparently the same age and nationality as Widmore.  The one who would have firsthand knowledge of the island as she’s been there before.  The one, like Old Man Widmore, who will grow up off-island and desperately attempt to find and reclaim it again.  Put this one in the bank, folks.  Ellie is, in fact, Ms. Ellie Hawking, mother to Daniel Faraday, love to Charles Widmore.

8. The Compass.  No, not The Golden Compass, thought it is gold-like.  I’m talking about the compass Locke gives to Richard, which was given to him by Richard, which was presented by Richard to Locke in the past…I mean the future.  Wow.  So, as instructed in the past, which was actually the future, Locke strolls into the camp and calls out (literally) Alpert from among the tents.  (This, by the way, takes place after Locke informs us he couldn’t shoot Jones because Jones was one of “Locke’s people.”)  Locke tells Richard about Jacob, and explains to him that he is, in fact, their leader.  All of this happens just as Richard told Locke it would, in that Richard wouldn’t recognize Locke.  (And in one of the great lines of the episode — of which there were many, incidentally — Alpert says something along the lines of “Not to contradict myself,” which was great.)  Locke asks Richard to confirm the current year, and instructs Richard to visit him two years from now in California on the exact day of his birth (which, as we know, Alpert will do exactly).  All of this, then, gives so much more meaning and joy to the Dalai Lama scene, in which Alpert tells Locke to choose what is his.  We now understand Richard’s disappointment that much more, as Locke should have chosen the compass, the one Locke gave to Richard, the one Richard gave to Locke.  And speaking of this time stuff…

9. Intentional Leaping.  Part of me couldn’t understand, or didn’t give much thought to, the “whens” the island was moving between.  Sorry, that is the leaping of the characters through island time.  There seemed to be a sort of randomness to it.  Now, though, and with anything in the LOST universe, I can say this:  what the hell was I thinking?!  There’s no such thing as random on this show.  The island is “leaping” all involved to exact moments intentionally, thereby staying on course with the overriding idea of fate vs. free will, in which fate appears to be winning.  Why do I now think this?  Well, how else would Richard have known that Locke would meet up with him again and not know him?  And to that, why was Richard already prepared to remove the bullet from Locke’s leg?  And why are they “moved” to a time to introduce Locke to Richard and so forth?  Everything is happening this way because the island needs these things to happen.  That is, it’s a form of self-preservation initiated by the island.  We’ve already learned that this island is, in a sense, alive.  We know the island is special.  The island, then, is moving them to specific times in order for the island to protect itself and ensure its “place in the world,” so to speak.

10. Jughead.  So there’s some sort of radiation emanating from the bomb, which is curiously dangling from a cable and looks awfully menacing.  Just a thought, and maybe wildly off base, but could this “radiation” be harnessed in conjunction with the “exotic matter” on the island?  Are they one in the same?  And what about Faraday’s instruction to simply bury it?  Well, if they did, in fact, bury it and the “leak” went unfixed, we could infer a couple things:  1) As Daniel points out, the island will still be there in 50 years, so it doesn’t matter what they do with the bomb.  Again, this lends to the theory that everything is pre-determined/fated/course-corrected.  In his mind, then, would it matter if it blew up, was buried, or anything else for that matter; and 2) If the bomb is, in fact, buried, perhaps that feeds, again, into the whole exotic matter idea.  In the season opener we see Daniel in the not-yet-completed Orchid Station, as a bunch of workers drill about around the frozen donkey wheel.  Well, they’re clearly underground, the bomb was clearly leaking, and radiation has been known to affect people in strange ways.  Just pick up a copy of Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, etc.  Sure, they’re comic books, but it’s not like we haven’t seen comic books appear on LOST before, right?

11. Faraday Redux.  So, he’s kind of a dick!  Well, perhaps that’s rather strong, but I’m starting to have some very strange suspicions about our ol’ pal Daniel.  First, we learn that he abandoned that Spencer woman following her unfortunate “accident” which left her comatose and bed-ridden.  Second, we’ve seen him lie on this show repeatedly to multiple characters.  And third, he let Charlotte (seemingly) die.  Huh?  What I mean is this:  Daniel knows all about the need for a Constant to kill off the effects of “leaping,” yet he does nothing to establish this with the “woman he loves” (Charlotte).  Rather, he hints around the fact that he knows what’s happening to her, and allows her to experience the headaches and disoriented feeling that overwhelms her.  So, seeing as how he loves this woman, and that he would never do anything to hurt her, the question, then, is this:  why?  I can only guess that Daniel needs Charlotte to die, or knows she will die regardless.  It depends on which Faraday you subscribe to:  the one who thinks that everything is pre-determined, or the one who bangs on the hatch door and instructs Desmond to find his mother.

12. Miles.  I think it’s safe to say he is now, officially, the funniest character on the show.  I believe it was last week when he commented, in regards to Juliet, “That chick likes me.”  This week’s gem came at the end of the episode, when he said something along the lines of “Yeah, I’m fine, too,” after Daniel confirms that Charlotte is okay.  And after watching yet another bout with Miles’ telepathic ability (knowing they walked over the burial ground filled with 40(?) soldiers), I’m once again convinced that he’s the son of Marvin Candle.  Think about it:  the Dharma Initiative was doing all sorts of tests, and if memory serves, one of those tests fell into the category of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), or something along those lines.  Miles, who knows that Charlotte has been on the island before, has to be a product of that testing, and was exposed to the “power source” on the island as a baby/child.

13. Juliet.  While it was interesting to discover that she, along with all the Others, learn Latin as part of their indoctrination, so to speak, her act is growing somewhat tiresome.  What I mean is this:  if Juliet really is so concerned with getting off the island, why does she insist on keeping so many secrets from the rest of her newfound “friends”?  Sure, it’s easy to argue that it’s a choice by the writers in terms of pacing and information release, but if you’re toting Juliet around as “one of the good guys” now, and she’s accepted into the crew of those trying to get off the island, why would they not insist she come clean about everything by now?  Furthermore, as she continues to divulge new secrets, why not take a step back and say, “You know what, lady?  Until you tell us everything, we’re torturing you Sayid style.”  After all, Jack is no longer there to protect her from the LOST-ies wrath.  Granted, they’d have to deal with her new (emerging) boyfriend, Sawyer.  At least it looks that way.  Dang, these people are horny!

As always, I know I’ve omitted tons of details and plot points, but I simply don’t have the strength to go on.  I do have an actual job, after all, which sometimes requires my tending to.  Can’t someone just pay me already to watch LOST all day and do corresponding write-ups?  This world is an evil bitch goddess.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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