Posted by: cousinbrandon | March 18, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 9: “Namaste”

And Namaste to all of you, as well.  I ask you:  is there anything better than a post-hiatus episode of LOST?  Seriously, whenever they take these little “breaks,” I turn into a pseudo-junkie in need of a fix.  So when they return with episodes like last night’s “Namaste,” I breathe it all in and my body goes limp, eased by the knowledge that my fix has been met.  Oh, LOST, you sweet, sweet drug.  All in all, last night’s episode was really well done, I thought.  There was a good bit of back and forth in terms of the plotlines/timelines, and yet they managed to hold it together.  And with that, let’s get it on with…

1. The First Opening.  First and foremost, did anyone else notice there was no “Previously on LOST…” this week?  I’m pretty certain that’s not the first time they’ve employed this tactic, but I am forced to wonder why they sometimes choose to do this.  I mean, I suppose it could simply be a time constraint, but again, in a show as well thought out and telegraphed as this one, nothing seems coincidental in my mind.  So, we open with Ajira 316 pre-flash/pre-crash.  A nervous Lapidus is informed by his co-pilot that the “big guy” in first class is one of the Oceanic 6, which, of course, is no surprise to Frank.  And just when he informs his co-pilot about lightning not striking twice, Boom!  The rumbles begin.  The plane is out of control.  The flash takes place and — huh? — it’s daytime!  Frank and the co-pilot suddenly find themselves in a powerless plane in the middle of the day.  As they come through the clouds, they realize they’re on a crash-course for an island.  Fortunately, the co-pilot spots what looks like a runway (which, of course, is the runway Kate and Sawyer were building way back in Season 3).  After “safely” landing the plane, we discover three things: A) There’s yet another dead pilot (thanks, tree branch); B) Ben is lucid and seemingly uninjured, which doesn’t jive with when we saw him with the other injured passengers; and most importantly C) Sun didn’t “jump” with the rest of the O6.  Why?  More on that later, but for now…

2. The Second Opening.  Forget about the “Three years earlier” card.  Here we get the “Thirty years earlier” jump instead, back to the reunion between James “LeFleur” Sawyer and Jack, Hurley and Kate.  I loved Hurley’s genuine excitement and greeting upon seeing Sawyer, not to mention the “clinical” handshake between Sawyer and Jack.  Perhaps the most interesting greeting, though, was the one between Sawyer and Kate.  There was no “Sawyer” or “Freckles”; rather, we were treated to this bit of dialogue:

Sawyer/LeFleur:  “Good to see you, Kate.”

Kate:  “You too, James.”

Yeah, this definitely seems like the sort of casual greeting between two people who have moved on from one another, right?  No stinkin’ way.  This was followed not only by a terse explanation that they were in 1977, but one of my favorite lines from the episode, as delivered by Hurley.  Upon learning the news that they’d traveled 30 years into the past, Hurley responds, “Oh, what?”  Good stuff.  This is followed by the news that someone else made the trip…

3. Sun.  Upon learning that Sun was also on Ajira 316, Jin takes off in the jeep, assuredly to go in search of the plane and his wife.  He’s bound for Radzinsky who’s monitoring things from The Flame, but before we get into that, why, once again, has Sun remained with the rest of the Ajira folk?  I suppose it would be simple to say that it’s a matter of not being time for her to go back, in that things have to happen this way due to predestination/fate.  On the other hand, I was also wondering if it had something to do with Charles Widmore.  After all, Sun not only spoke with Widmore off the island, but struck a shady deal of sorts with him in regards to Ben Linus, who can not return to the island because he moved it.  I’m wondering if her connection to Widmore somehow affected her ability to align herself with the rest of the O6.  I suppose we could table that for now and return to the long ago mentioned, yet never before seen…

4. Radzinsky.  So, this is the man who once, long ago (or long “to come”?), shared button-pushing responsibilities in The Swan with one Kelvin Inman (as played by my boy Clancy Brown) before supposedly splattering his brains on the wall.  And what do we find him doing upon our introduction?  Why, building a model of The Swan, naturally, which was downright fantastic.  Radzinsky didn’t strike me as the trusting sort, as we’d see later in the episode, which somehow suggests to me that he’s already thinking about The Swan as a secret hatch, of sorts, where a person could, say, store secrets of the island on a blast-door wall that mapped out the island’s hatch locations and such.  Oh, wait.  Anyway, Radzinksy is pulled away from his work (literally) by Jin, who insists that he put a call out to all of the stations to see if a plane has landed.  Radzinsky assures Jin it’s a pointless endeavor, but realizing Jin is a man of desperation, he obeys.  And while we wait, we cut back to…

5. The Other Island, 2007.  The survivors of Ajira 316 are gathering themselves on the beach, before a bloodied Frank Lapidus decided to give a speech about self-preservation and suggesting they all stick together in the meantime and wait for help.  Um, I swear I’ve seen this before, only with a different “leader” (Jack) and a different island (well, the other island).  There is, of course, a disseminating voice (Cesar), which parallels Sawyer post-815 crash, who suggests that they raid “the buildings” for food and information.  And while this mini-power struggle takes place, one Benjamin Linus slips away into the jungle, trailed by Sun.  And even I knew instantly that Ben knew he was being followed, another one of my favorite lines/exchanges takes place once Ben calls Sun out:

Sun:  “Where are you going?”

Ben:  “Back to our island.  You wanna come?”

Again, there is nobody on this show — heck, perhaps nobody on television — who delivers a routine line of dialogue better than Michael Emerson.  He’s just that good.  And speaking of Ben and island inhabitants…

6. Ethan.  Kudos to those of you who guessed the love child of Horace and Amy would be none other than Ethan Rom (Or, “Other Man” for those of you who dig the whole anagram thing.  And for those of you who do dig the whole anagram thing, I’ve got another one for you in a bit.)  Did you catch the strained look on Juliet’s face upon hearing the baby’s name?  Well done, Elizabeth Mitchell.  We learn that Amy, who is resting/recovering, is in charge of the sub manifest.  Juliet tells Amy to rest, thus allowing her and Sawyer to “correct” the list of incoming Dharma recruits so that Jack, Hurley and Kate can pose as “Those 70’s O6ers” and maintain everyone’s cover.  Not only is it nice to see Sawyer taking charge, but hatching an intelligent scheme.  Sawyer quickly returns them to “Recruitment Day” at Camp Dharma, which is overflowing with hippies, burgers, punch and good cheer.  Sawyer explains that he he’ll have their backs and will work them flawlessly into the group.  Miles pulls up and has to be quickly deterred by Sawyer, who tells Miles to quit staring.  And upon seeing Miles, there is mention of…

7. Faraday.  Um, where is he, anyway?  Good question, one that prompts, upon hearing his name, this exchange between Jack and Sawyer:

Jack:  “Faraday?  He’s here?”

Sawyer/LeFleur:  “Not anymore.”

This clearly didn’t strike me as meaning Faraday was no longer there in the physical sense, but in the sense that he’s lost his mind.  I think we can gather that Faraday is “gone” thanks to the death of Charlotte and spotting her as a little girl.  At this point, though, I’m wondering if 1977 Faraday isn’t something of a lunatic because of his dilemma of trying/not trying to change things in order to ensure that future Charlotte doesn’t end up dead?  He is, of course, torn because it is Faraday who so vehemently insists that what’s done is done.  Oh, the paradoxical dilemma.  But I’ve digressed (naturally).  Before Sawyer can be at the side of Jack and company to get their backs, his “walkie” blows up with a call that a hostile has infiltrated the Dharma perimeter.  Thinking/hoping it’s Sun, Jin runs out after this person, as well, only to discover that it’s not Sun, but…

8. SayidThere he is.  Jeez!  I was wondering what happened to our other O6er.  Unfortunately, the happy reunion between Sayid and Jin is short-lived, as Radzinsky, too, took off after the “hostile.”  Not wanting to blow anyone’s cover or have any harm come to Sayid, Jin treats Sayid as a hostile under the watchful gaze of Radzinksy.  They return Sayid to The Flame and stash him away in the closet (a la stashing Ben in The Swan when he was held captive).  Jin manages to sneak away and tell Sawyer via walkie talkie that the “hostile” is, in fact, Sayid, which forces Sawyer to The Flame.  In yet another parallel/reversal of previous events, we see Sawyer interrogating a captured Sayid, which calls back to Season 1, when Sayid interrogated/tortured a tree-bound Sawyer.  Thinking he’s a spy, Radzinksy wants to shoot Sayid.  In order to save him and buy some time, Sawyer, as head of security and seemingly BMOC, instead decides that they’ll return the “hostile” to the barracks.  And speaking of the mistaken identity of the “hostile”…

9. The Outrigger.  Back in 2007, Ben and Sun are on their way to the outrigger in order to return to the main island.  Ben can’t promise Sun that Jin will be there, but suspects she’ll have a better chance of finding him there.  Lapidus tracks them down and attempts to convince Sun that going with Ben is a mistake, that an entire team of mercenaries was sent to the island to retrieve Ben Linus.  Sun insists that she trust Ben because she has to, yet once his back is turned, she whacks Ben over the head with an oar, knocking him out cold.  Two things:  A) I guess we know how Ben wound up with the rest of the injured passengers (though I’m still not sure how he got there, since Frank and Sun split for the island); and B) Did anyone else notice that Ben nonchalantly removed his sling upon finding the outrigger?  My first thought was that he did so just so he could paddle more effectively.  My second thought was that he was faking his injuries to some extent.  But my final, and most likely correct thought was that he no longer needed it.  Why?  Because he was back on Fantasy Island, with its inexplicable powers of healing.  We then jump back to…

10. The Orientation.  Jack and Kate are inside the processing center where a screening of the Orientation video is taking place.  Sawyer instructed them to wait till their names were called and simply fall in line.  Jack sits down with none other than Pierre Chang, who apologizes for the confusion and disarray.  (And speaking of Pierre and the earlier mention of anagrams, has anyone bothered running “Namaste” through an anagram machine?  Namaste, which is a salutation of peace and the suggestion of inner light, quite interestingly forms several anagrams, one of which is “Me Satan.”  Hmmmmm.)  Ironically (but most certainly intentionally), Jack is assigned the role of “Workman,” as was Ben’s father, based on his aptitude.  Now, this is either A) a way to protect their cover in order to hide Jack’s true ability as a doctor a la Juliet; and/or B) Sawyer’s way of additionally embarrassing Jack to an extent to remind him of who’s in charge.  Either way, good stuff.  Kate, then, is approached by Mad Men’s Jimmy Barrett, who can’t find her name on the list.  Juliet swoops in with the updated passenger manifest and, sure enough, Kate’s on it.  In a predictably awkward exchange, Juliet and Kate greet each other as strangers, although it seemed unnecessary in my mind to have the deliberate “I’m Juliet,” “I’m Kate” exchange, as if anyone there was listening in.  Clearly that was for the audience’s benefit.  I mean, I realize they’re putting up a front, but that was a bit much.  The barracks of 1977 then lead us to…

11. The Barracks, 2007.  Frank and Sun have returned to the main island via the outrigger, where they can see everything is in complete disarray.  Standing on the dock, “something” (Smokey?) appears to cut through the tree line.  They suppose it’s an animal, but I think we know what’s what.  They arrive at the barracks which appear to be abandoned, when the whispers suddenly kick in, followed by a light appearing in one of the houses.  A male figure emerges from behind the front door, and lo and behold, it’s one Christian Shepherd.  Sun explains that she’s looking for her husband, to which Christian replies, “Follow me.”  Christian leads them inside, where he begins rattling off years such as 1976, 1978, before finally locating the framed picture from 1977.  The contents of the picture?  A group portrait of Dharma-individuals standing under a banner that reads “Namaste:  New Recruits.”  And among those gathered in the picture are Jack, Hurley and Kate.  “I’m sorry,” explains Christian, “but you have a bit of a journey in front of you.”  Okay, so much to say about this.  First, what do you make of the smoke monster transitioning to the whispers transitioning to Christian?  Is Smokey the collective unconscious of the island manifesting itself in the form, in this case, of Christian?  Or are Christian and Smokey two separate entities?  We’ve seen Smokey take on the form, say, of Eko’s brother, Yemi.  What’s more, in the episode where Jack “sees” his father in the lobby of the hospital, he first went down to the lobby to turn off the smoke alarm.  No way was that coincidental.  After all, where there’s smoke(y), there’s fire.  Second, in order to take the “journey” Christian alludes to, will Sun and Frank be forced to turn the frozen donkey wheel and once again put the flashes in motion?  And finally, and perhaps most disturbing, I highly recommend you go back and watch that scene again.  Why?  Well, I could be way off on this, but there appears to be a woman in the scene who isn’t Sun.  If you go back and watch, there is clearly a woman visible over Sun’s left shoulder.  My first thought was that it was Claire, as we’ve seen her with Christian previously.  It’s difficult to say at this point whether or not this was intentional or a mistake in the editing of the show, but someone is definitely there.  Again, I implore you to go back and watch.  It’s downright weird/creepy.  But enough about 2007 island living…

12. The Showdown.  Jack is wandering the barracks looking for Sawyer’s house, where an untrusting Jimmy Barrett appears and tells Jack, “Don’t call him James; he hates it.”  Okay, clearly Jimmy Barrett is going to be of greater significance, in that I predict he and/or Radzinsky will eventually be the ones to discover the truth about Jack and company.  Jack knocks on the door of Sawyer’s house, only to find Juliet at the door.  Thinking he’s got the wrong house, Jack tries to excuse himself.  Juliet assures him that he’s in the right place and invites him in, where we find Sawyer reading a book, calm and collected.  A confused and somewhat irate Jack questions Sawyer, wondering how he’s going to figure this all out by sitting and reading a book.  Sawyer reminds Jack that Churchill did this every night; furthermore, he reminds Jack that he’s the man in charge now, not Jack, and that things have been going just fine in Dharmaville sans Jack.  He shows Jack to the door, where we catch a glimpse of Kate watching from the next house over.  She and Sawyer exchange a discreet wave, and Sawyer returns to his house.  Now, aside from the fact that Sawyer downright killed Jack in this scene, my brain started reeling.  Seeing as how both Sawyer and Juliet now appear quite content with the little niche they’ve carved out for themselves in 1977, where Sawyer is in charge and respected and Juliet, his love, seems quite pleased to be at his side, is there any concern that the impending “war” might not be an external one, but, rather, come from within?  What if Sawyer is so threatened by the notion of the O6’s return to the island destroying what he’s built that he takes it upon himself to destroy them instead, thereby putting the “war” into motion?  And speaking of the war…

13. The Cell.  Sayid has been locked in small cell, where Sawyer must once again treat him as a “hostile” as opposed to a friend.  Upon leaving his cell, Sawyer instructed the guards to get Sayid some food, insisting that they’re not animals.  So, in the episode’s final scene, a boy of roughly 12 or 13 years old approaches the jailed Sayid, offering him a plain, brown-bagged sandwich.  He tells Sayid he could get his some mustard, but Sayid refuses.  The boy asks the man his name.  “Sayid,” he answers.  “What’s yours?”  Cut to the doe-eyed boy behind the glasses, who stares intently at Sayid and responds, “Ben.”  Holy hell!  I mean, we knew we’d see a young Ben Linus sooner or later, but this was downright fantastic.  Granted, I knew it was Ben as soon as I saw him entering with the food, but still a great “reveal” nonetheless.  (Kudos to Sayid, by the way, who did quite a bit of great acting in this episode via facial expressions and little else.)  Will Sayid and a young Ben somehow align themselves, as they did off the island in “The Economist,” or was this merely a way to re-introduce him back into the fold?  Only time will tell.  Get it?

Okay, you wild pack of dogs.  It’s feeding time.

Have at it, you vultures!

BD

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: