Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Lost Rewatch: 1x01 "Pilot, Part 1"

This is my first blog post of the Lost Rewatch, and I can't say that I'm not excited. Even though this blog will only be covering the first of 103 hours, I'm ready to start watching my favorite TV show from the beginning. We're going back to where it all began -- before the Others, before the flash forwards, before the time travel, before the Jughead. We're going back to "Pilot, Part 1."

As with every great series, Lost starts with an iconic shot that will come to define the series. After the episode starts off with that blurred Lost title, we get that shot: Jack's eye snapping open, dilating quickly. (Here's a fun fact: that pupil was actually the product of CGI.) This shot, in a way, remains relevant for the entire series. Not only does the eye, through its rapid dilation, convey the confusion and fear that will underline much of the mystery of the series, but it also shows that the show is more about the characters. Someone more eloquent than me once said that the "eye is the window to the soul," and surely this shot represents that we will be examining the very soul of these characters from week to week. Perhaps close-up shots of eyes have opened eighteen episodes and been seen in eighteen more. We'll see this particular shot of Jack's eye again in "316," in which Jack returns to the Island. In fact, this scene will almost be perfectly repeated, with Jack awakening in the middle of the jungle and running toward the sound of someone screaming. Does this have significance? If Jack landed in a similar place after being teleported out of Flight 316, does this mean that he was possibly teleported out of Flight 815?

As Jack is still gathering his bearings, he is visited by Vincent, who walks up to him slowly before running off into the jungle. If you watched the Missing Pieces mobisodes, you'll know that Vincent was told to go wake up Jack by who appears to be Christian Shephard (but I think is Jacob's nemesis). Jack then looks at the pocket vodka that Cindy gave to him while he was on the plane, and then begins to run haphazardly through the bamboo, eventually coming out on the beach, and noticing the large amount of flaming fuselage sitting further down the beach. But before he does that, he passes a white tennis shoe hanging from a tree. The shoe seems to match the ones that Jack gave Christian to be buried in, which he talked about with Kate in "316." Does this have any significance? Probably not. It's probably just some mildly symbolic item to hint that there's been a plane crash before we actually see the fuselage seconds later.

And as Jack surfaces onto the beach, we hear screaming, probably from Shannon. Jack dodges a turbine and runs through the wreckage of a familiar red, white, and blue plane: Oceanic Flight 815 is sitting on the beach. As Jack passes the open cabin, you can see a person hanging upside down and flailing in their seat. This person's hand will later hang into the frame as Jack looks into the cabin after the chaos subsides.

Jack looks over to a turbine, and we see the second person that will become a main character: Charlie, standing next to the turbine, in shock. Jin screams for Sun, Michael screams for Walt, Shannon screams for Boone, and a man screams for someone off-screen to stay away from the gas. This wouldn't be notable, save for the fact that this actor will appear once again as the mortician in "White Rabbit," the episode that will kick off next week.

A man trapped under a piece of metal screams for help (this man is played by Dale Radomski, a stuntman who appeared as an Other in season two and has conducted an interview with Lostpedia), and Jack rushes to his aid. Jack can't do it on his own, so he calls Locke and another man over to help him out. This is probably both the first and last time that Jack and Locke will work together for the same means. It was nice while it lasted.

And then there's Claire, eight months pregnant with her bundle of joy Aaron, screaming for help. Jack can hardly finish tying off the wounded man's tourniquet before he's rushing to help Claire, who, even though he doesn't know it, is his long-lost half sister, and the indirect season that he was even on the plane. It's a sad irony that won't be revealed until the season three episode "Par Avion," but it only adds that much to retrospective viewing.

Boone tries to perform CPR on an unconscious Rose, who, ironically, will outsurvive him for at least three years. Locke tries to warn Bad Twin author Gary Troup to get out of the turbine's way, but Troup is probably too busy worrying about his girlfriend, flight attendant Cindy Chandler (who survived with the tail section) to get out of the way, and instead stops and asks Locke to repeat himself, a mistake that costs him his life as he is sucked into the turbine, which promptly explodes. Of course, as that turbine blows, there's that flash of black swooping across the screen that many believed to be the smoke monster before it was confirmed to be just bad CGI.

Jack calls to Hurley, who is standing nearby, to stay with Claire. Hurley responds less than favorably, but I think we all know that the "you gotta be kidding me" line was referencing his bad "luck," not Jack's request for help. He asks for Jack's name, to which Jack replies Jack. After pointing out Boone's incompetence as a lifeguard and sending him on a pointless mission to collect pens (which we will see another angle of in "Expose"), Jack saves Rose's life. As soon as he tells her to take deep breaths, the wing sways and threatens to crush Hurley and Claire, who are saved just in the nick of time by Jack. Sure, he's being noble, but that need to fix things is very, very evident.

After that explosion, the debris of which nearly crushes Charlie, the hubbub seems to subside, and Jack wanders through the wreckage, shellshocked. He then looks into the cabin and sees the hand dangling over his head. It's a sobering moment for anyone just beginning Lost: the show is not afraid of death. Boone returns with a handful of pens, showing them to Jack. This is foreshadowing at its greatest; if Boone is dumb enough to think that the pens still matter, he obviously won't make it very long on the Island. And he won't.

Jack picks out the sewing kit, and runs away into the jungle to sew himself up. Kate appears (rubbing her wrists where the handcuffs were), and he tells her to sew him up. In a later continuation of this scene, Jack will tell her the "count to five" story, which we recently experienced firsthand in "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2." As you remember, right after that story went down, Jack met Jacob for the first (and maybe only) time. Jacob, one of the biggest mysteries of seasons three through five, has been right on the edge of one of Jack's biggest memories. The sewing scene also serves as the beginning of the Jack and Kate relationship that has been so hotly debated amongst fans. It's the beginning of a complicated and often fickle relationship. But this is one of the few episodes where Sawyer is not an obstacle in the relationship between Jack and Kate.

But he's introduced in the very next scene, lighting a cigarette next to the fuselage, and walking around angstily. In a deleted scene that originally took place within this one, Charlie came up and asked Sawyer for a cigarette. Sawyer gives Charlie the cigarette he is smoking, and lights another. Sawyer actually looks sad for a moment before continuing down the beach. Claire's standing near the surf, letting the waves lap over her feet. Kate would later call this practice "sinking," in the episode "Raised By Another," because the waves would carry the sand away. This shot of Claire would be reused in the mobisode, "Jack, Meet Ethan. Ethan? Jack." Meanwhile, Hurley sorts the food, a role he will once again have when the Swan station is discovered to have a large pantry. And there's the ever-mysterious Locke, staring out at the waves. Just this one shot let's us know that there's something...special...about him.

At twelve minutes in, we meet Sayid for the first time, building a fire with Charlie's help. And meanwhile, Rose holds Bernard's wedding ring, kissing it. She knows, somehow, that Bernard is alive, even though he's on the other side of the Island. I'm not suggesting anything supernatural, but Rose's faith is very solid. I think she'd be on Eko's side in the science vs. faith debate.

That night, Charlie writes "FATE" on his finger bandages, a somewhat iconinc moment for the character, and one that was immortalized with the Charlie action figure which is currently sitting next to me on my desk. Sayid begins to express discomfort about the rescuers' lateness. Shannon and Boone bicker, setting up the light rivalry between them, which will soon end, as they will be the first two main characters to die. Shannon references the plane's black box, something that Captain Gault later claims to have with him on the Kahana, though the box in his possession was a fake created by Charles Widmore, who we unfortunately will not meet for quite a while.

Walt's coldness toward Michael is shown as they lie in front of a campfire. Of course, at this point they hardly know each other. This relationship will come full circle, as Walt will eventually come to accept Michael before shunning him once again after learning of Michael's murders of Ana Lucia and Libby. It doesn't look like there will be another chance for them, because Michael was killed onboard the Kahana. Meanwhile, Jin establishes guidelines for Sun in a hard, domineering way. He's been changed by working for her father, but the relationship between Sun and Jin will drastically change over the course of the show. Sun shouldn't be pitied, she's actually more manipulative than he is. He may not be the best husband, but he never cheated on her.

Jack and Kate watch over the marshal Edward Mars, who was actually transporting Kate to Los Angeles to stand trial for the murder of her father, Wayne Janssen. Kate and the marshal have quite a history together, but it'll end soon when he dies from the shrapnel (well, fromSawyer's bullet and Jack's euthanization, at least). Later, Jack and Kate discuss their experiences of the crash. Jack blacked out, but Kate remembers vividly what happened, telling Jack that the cockpit and the tail both broke off, something we'll see from a better angle when Juliet's book club is interrupted in "A Tale of Two Cities." Jack says he wants to find a cockpit for the transceiver, a mission that they will go on the next day. Jack mentions having taken flying lessons, but it "wasn't for him." Kate volunteers to tag along, something she would do regardless of whether or not they actually want her to -- a personal flaw that will get the best of her in season two's "The Hunting Party." She says that she saw smoke. While that may have been from the cockpit, we also know that the monster frequented that area for a while.

And then enters the monster, the mysteriously Egyptian-related cloud of smoke that tonight terrorizes the survivors by uprooting trees in the jungle. That's not usually the monster's main objective -- usually it's more concerned with judging and killing people. It's obviously not a feral beast, but more of a calculating, judgmental beast whom I personally think is Jacob's nemesis. So is he just asserting his authority, or is Smoky doing something else entirely? Locke looks around at the jungle, hearing for the first time its mysterious qualities (aside from the healing of his paraplegia). Walt asks if the thing shaking the trees is his dog, Vincent, one of the dumbest lines of the entire series. Or is it? Vincent's always been enigmatic, but is this some hint that he's related to the monster? Walt's generally been shown to be somewhat smart and "special," and that question would be out of character for him if there's not something else behind that line. Charlie, deadpan as always, sarcastically comments "terrific."

And then we get our first flashback, the very first one in a very long line. It doesn't go back very far, though; just to earlier that day. Jack's on the plane, looking out the window at the wing that would later threaten to fall on Hurley and Claire. Flight attendant Cindy Chandler asks him how is drink is, to which he replies that it's not a very strong drink. She's charismatic and sweet, and hands him two small bottles of vodka, which he will later use to disinfect the gash on his back. She walks away, and Jack will not see her again until the season three episode "Stranger in a Strange Land," because she was kidnapped by the Others during her time with the tail section.

Jack dumps the first bottle of vodka into his drink and takes a rather large sip, perhaps foreshadowing to his alcoholic tendencies once rescued from the Island. He stands up to go the bathroom, but is passed by Charlie, who we find out in the next episode was running from the flight attendants in order to get a fix in the bathroom. Jack looks over, and he's sitting next to Rose, whose husband Bernard has gone to the bathroom in the tail section of the plane. Rose won't see Bernard again until the episode "Collision," when Bernard arrives back at the beach camp. The plane shakes, and for a brief moment, Locke is seen sitting behind Rose. Jack tries to reassure her, but the turbulence just gets worse. Jack promises to keep Rose company until Bernard gets back from the bathroom. Just as Jack tells her not to worry, the plane shakes, and some fool who forgot to fasten his seatbelt is flung into the ceiling. Masks drop, and the plane continues to fall until Jack presumably blacks out, ending the flashback.

Back on the Island, the survivors discuss what exactly the monster was. Rose said it sounded familiar to her, even though she grew up in the Bronx. This is a reference to the fact that part of the audio used to create the monster is rendered from the reciept dispenser of a taxicab, though this subtle in-joke is often taken by fans to mean more than it actually does. Hurley also says "technically, you know, we don't even know if we're on an Island." This is also an in-joke about the fact that if Lost hadn't been picked up, the producers jokingly stated that they'd have the show end with the survivors being in Florida.

Kate and Jack prepare to leave for the cockpit, but first Kate needs to get better shoes, which she morosely accomplishes by removing them from a corpse. Down the beach, Locke is eating an orange, and gives her the infamous orange-peel grin, which Kate does not appreciate. However, audiences did, because it has been lauded as one of the funniest moments of the series. Another funny moment comes a few seconds later, as Hurley misspells "bodies" (b-o-d-y-s) in an attempt to protect Walt's innocence, but Walt corrects his spelling. Jack then alerts them that he's going to look for the cockpit. Charlie, remembering that he left his drugs in the cockpit bathroom, decides to tag along.

On the way to the cockpit, they trek across the Mesa, a location that has been used multiple times: it was the location of the 1954 Others camp and it was where Ben killed his father during the Purge. Kate, finding Charlie familiar, discovers that he's a member of the band DriveShaft. She finds this coincidence interesting; Jack doesn't have time for such small talk. Kate says that DriveShaft was good, but Charlie insists that the band still is. He'll later accept that the band is no more in "Greatest Hits," when he says that they "had their moment in the sun." And as they walk on, Vincent watches from afar. Is he possessed by either Jacob or Jacob's enemy to look after the other survivors? After all, they both seemed pretty interested in the affairs of humans. It couldn't be hard to possess a dog, right?

It starts to rain. Charlie comments that this is "day turning into night" type weather (notice the black and white similarities there). Locke sits out on the beach in the rain, enjoying himself. He's always had an affinity for the rain, as later seen in "Confirmed Dead," when he was able to predict a coming rain.

And then the monster returns, knocking down the trees. Why is it doing that? But Rose knows there's trouble brewing, because Jack, Kate, and Charlie are still in the jungle. The cockpit is soon found, though, and they quickly get inside. It's on an incline, so they struggle to climb up. Jack opens the door to the cockpit, and out flies the co-pilot's body, who obviously died rather quickly. Isn't that familiar? The copilot dies first, while the pilot is left alive? Flight 316, anyone?

They look around for the transciever, but instead find out that the pilot, Seth Norris, is alive. He discovers that he's been out cold for sixteen hours (the numbers were popping up back before we even knew they existed). The pilot reveals that six hours in, the radio went out. They turned back to land at Fiji, but by the time the plane crashed, they were a thousand miles off course. No one would know where they were. Which, as we would later find out, wouldn't matter anyway, because the Island moves a lot. Seth shows them where the transciever is, and then they realize that Charlie's missing. He's actually in the bathroom, getting his drugs. Kate goes out to find him as Seth realizes that the transciever's not working. Suddenly, Charlie pops out of the bathroom, dodging her question why he was in there.

And then the monster lets out its signature howl. The survivors huddle in the cockpit for safety. After it looks like the monster is gone, Seth stupidly sticks his head out the window of the cockpit and is suddenly dragged out by the monster. Why did the monster do this? Did it judge Seth? This was again, one of the strange, almost senseless actions that the monster took in the first season. All I can say was that at least Frank couldn't make it onto that flight, or he'd be gone.

They flee the cockpit with the transciever after the monster knocks the cockpit down, and the monster pursues them. Charlie falls, and calls for Jack to help him. Jack, of course, having something to fix, turns around and helps. Kate flees into a bamboo patch (similar to the one Walt will hide from the polar bear in during "Special,") and screams for Jack. This moment will be immortalized in the Kate action figure. She counts to five to ease her fear, and appears to be a little calmer. Just as she seems to have gained her composure, Charlie appears, startling her. She fears for Jack's life because he hasn't showed up yet. Kate mutters that they "have to go back" for him, the first (but not the last) time this phrase is uttered on the show. Charlie argues, but she goes anyway, and he follows. While looking for him, Charlie expresses his jealousy that Kate didn't shout his name.

They see Seth's pilot ensignia in the mud, and then they see the reflection of a body in a tree. Jack appears and says it's the pilot, but the pilot's mangled body leads Charlie to ask how something like that happens. The body was originally planned to be Jack's, as a ploy by the producers to shock the audience, but this was eventually abandoned so that the audience was not alienated from the pilot episode on. However, this idea of killing off the supposed leader was revisted with Flight 316, when Caesar, the supposed leader of the survivors, was gunned down by Ben in "Dead is Dead."

As the pilot's mangled body is revealed, the all too familiar cut to black with the word LOST in white is shown, a formula that would continue until the season five finale, when the end title was inverted.

And thus ends the first episode of the Lost Rewatch. Sorry for the long post, but there was so much to cover. The next ones will be at least a little shorter, I promise.

You can discuss "Pilot, Part 1" in this forum thread. You can find others' reviews of this episode at the Lostpedia hub.

And also, don't forget to work on the "Pilot, Part 1" article on Lostpedia and improve it as much as possible!

Look for my review of "Pilot, Part 2" on Wednesday.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

LP Caption Contest #3

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lost Season 5 Review

Well it's been a few weeks since "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2" aired around the world, ending Lost's superb fifth season with a climactic and unforgettable cliffhanger. So now, I figured it would be a good time to do an all-encompassing review of Lost's fifth season, right before we engage in the five-season-long LOST Rewatch.

I will start by saying that this season has been my favorite season so far -- it has been full of shocking twists, intricate mythology, enigmatic time travel, and incredible character development. The writers have truly succeeded at creating a show that comprehensively explains mysteries and systematically improves.

Episode 1: "Because You Left"

In the epic and unforgettable first scene of the season, Pierre Chang is filming the DHARMA Orientation for the Arrow station (a station that is shrouded in mystery). I was very glad to see that the Arrow had more purpose than being an abandoned stocking and staging area for the D.I.H.G. The purpose of this station is to develop defensive warfare against the Hostile natives of the Island. During filming, Chang is interrupted and brought to the Orchid station where it's revealed that energy released from drilling too close to the frozen wheel has killed a construction worker. Unbeknownst to Chang, Daniel Faraday has snuck into the station, and knows that what just happened at the Orchid will soon happen at the Swan, but the energy there is 30,000 tmies greater than at the Orchid. The premiere this season dove full-force into the mysterious aspects of time travel. Time travel has been gradually and slowly integrated into LOST -- in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", Desmond time traveled after turning the fail-safe key -- in "The Constant", Desmond time traveled through consciousness intermittently between past and present -- and finally, in "The Shape of Things to Come" and "There's No Place Like Home, Part 3," the full story of Ben's time travel jounrey was complete. Ben had traveled ten months into the future, and started to work with Sayid.

"Because You Left" starts to slowly unravel something that has been foreshadowed for quite some time -- Jack is really "lost," and his only way to regain purpose is to return to the Island. This was a great start to a great season -- time travel was a very risky concept for the writers to employ, but I'm glad they did.

Episode 2: "The Lie"

This episode revealed that Hurley Reyes has had a long struggle with maintaining the "lie" that the survivors developed to protect the Island. We also get to see some amazing Neil Frogurt scenes (finally!). His scenes however, do not end well -- after scolding the survivors for not making fire, he himself is killed by flaming arrows shot by the Others.
One of my favorite scenes of this episode was Hurley's amazing conversation with his mother Carmen. Hurley spills the beans on their "lie" by giving Carmen an epic, comprehensive recap of everything we've seen on Lost thus far:

"Okay. See, we did crash, but it was on this crazy island. And we waited for rescue, and there wasn't any rescue. And there was a smoke monster, and then there were other people on the island. We called them the Others, and they started attacking us. And we found some hatches, and there was a button you had to push every 108 minutes or... well, I was never really clear on that. But... the Others didn't have anything to do with the hatches. That was the DHARMA Initiative. The Others killed them, and now they're trying to kill us. And then we teamed up with the Others because some worse people were coming on a freighter. Desmond's girlfriend's father sent them to kill us. So we stole their helicopter and we flew it to their freighter, but it blew up. And we couldn't go back to the island because it disappeared, so then we crashed into the ocean, and we floated there for a while until a boat came and picked us up. And by then, there were six of us. That part was true. But the rest of the people... who were on the plane? They're still on that island."
- Hugo Reyes

And of course, who could forget the amazing reveal at the end of this episode? It is revealed that Eloise Hawking, last seen with Desmond in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," (unless you count the easter egg at Moriah Vineyards) is invovled with Ben in the attempt to get the Oceanic 6 back to the Island.

Episode 3: "Jughead"

This will probably go down as one of the most epic Lost episodes of all time -- not only do we get to see amazing sequences of the Others, Richard, redshirts exploded, Desmond confront Charles, and Penny give birth to Charlie -- the on-Island events occur in 1954. I found it very enlightening and intriguing to view the Island in the perspective of 1954. A thought occurred to me after watching this season: what if the majority of the season took place in 1954 instead of 1977? I think that would be very interesting. We only got to see a small slice of the cake; I'm sure there is a lot more Island history we have't yet seen.

Of course, we get to see the hydrogen bomb "Jughead". This bomb will later come into play, and have an explosive (pun intended, haha) impact on the finale. I absolutely loved the off-Island scenes with Desmond in this episode. Desmond was on the sidelines for most of this season, and didn't get as large of a role as I hoped -- I was glad to see him be the spotlight and focus of things, even if it was just for one episode.

Episode 4: "The Little Prince"

Kate's struggle with the authorities continues in this episode, and her custody of Aaron is at risk. When Jack finds her, they follow Ben's attorney to Carole Littleton, who states that she doesn't know who "Aaron" is.

On the Island, we get to see some of my favorite scenes of LOST ever -- the survivors have flashed back a few months in time (to the era of "Deus Ex Machina" and "Do No Harm"). In my two favorite parts of the episode, Sawyer witnesses Kate help Claire give birth to Aaron, and Locke sees the light from the hatch in the distance. Every time I rewatch this scene, I wish that they would've been just a little closer to the hatch so that Locke could have heard himself yelling at "the island". John Locke also has one of my favorite quotes ever after Sawyer wonders why Locke didn't intervene with himself: "I needed that pain, to get to where I am now." Hopefully we will get to see the Ajira outrigger shootout in the future -- my guess is that Bram, Ilana, and the other statue people were the people chasing everyone in this episode.

Episode 5: "This Place Is Death"

It's the epic story we've been waiting for since early Season 1: Danielle and the French science expedition. I think that their story should have been throughout the entire episode, rather than just the first part. We get to see the science team shot right into action, seeing the mythology that has taken our Losties months to see -- Montand is dragged by the Monster to the Temple, where most of the team becomes "infected".

Charlotte dies from the time shifts in this episode -- I wasn't too sad to see her go, as she was one of my least favorite characters, and one of the least interesting in my opinion. In one of my favorite scenes, we see John Locke talk with Christian Shephard. He convinces John to turn the wheel, and that he must "sacrifice" himself for the islanders. I have a theory that Christian is really the mysterious man we saw with Jacob in the finale - and that he is also the smoke monster. I guess we won't know till Season 6, though. I absolutely loved seeing this episode unfold; we first heard about Danielle's story in Season 1 (in "Pilot, Part 2", "Solitary", and "Exodus.") This was a story we have all been waiting to see, and we finally get to see it. I thought it was nice to see Jin give Locke his wedding wing, to keep Sun away from the island -- ironically, that is the force that will eventually cause her to want to go back to the island. I found it a little odd, though, that Sun would so willingly leave her daughter Ji Yeon back home, and go on a trip back to find Jin.

Episode 6: "316"

Some of the Oceanic 6 make their long-awaited and epic return to the Island. With the help of Eloise, Jack, Kate, and Sun go aboard Ajira Airways Flight 316 to go through the 'window' that will get them back to the island. Sayid comes back to the Island unwillingly, along with Ilana (later revealed to be on a personal mission from Jacob). Hurley is also told by Jacob, who says that he has a choice, to return to the Island.

In one of my favorite scenes, Ben tells Jack the story of Thomas the Apostle, and how he had to actually "see" Jesus' wounds to believe that he rose from the dead. This relates to Jack and how he has made a large leap of faith -- man of science, to man of faith. This episode is top-notch in my book. Everything about this episode reminded me of the classic Season 1 -- the opening scene, the music, and the characters all made this episode one of the best ever. Jack has made a complete leap of faith -- what he did in this episode (putting Christian's shoes on Locke) is much like something Locke would do. It's amazing that Locke's words back from the Season 1 episode "Exodus, Part 2" have shown to be true:

JACK: I don't believe in destiny.
LOCKE: Yes you do. You just don't know it yet.

Jack has been told numerous times throughout LOST that he shouldn't leave the island -- Locke told him on several occasions ("Through the Looking Glass", "There's No Place Like Home") and Ben has also said that he may one day regret leaving ("King of the Castle"). Jack realizes he made a mistake, and that his destiny is on the Island.

Episode 7: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"

The long-awaited story of John Locke's perilous off-Island journey is revealed. Locke is unable to get any of the Oceanic 6 to want to return to the Island -- this of course, launches him into depression, and he is about to hang himself when none other than Ben Linus storms in, intervening. After watching the finale, I'm beginning to fear that Locke's off-Island venture was not meant to happen -- Christian Shephard and "fake Locke" (a.k.a. Esau, Flocke, etc.) both said that Locke had to die --- why? Probably so that Flocke could takeover Locke's identity, manipulate Ben into wanting to kill Jacob, and fulfilling his promise to find a loophole.

Anyways, back to this episode. I was glad to see that Locke had pursued his lost love Helen Norwood, who unfortunately had passed away. This episode shows us a great conversation between Jack and Locke -- Jack refuses to believe Locke's claims that his father is still alive, and completely refutes all of the "destiny" and "you have to go back" stuff. We all know that he will soon undergo extreme character developement. This episode contains one of the biggest and most shocking twists of all-time -- Ben Linus kills John Locke! And since Locke didn't get raised from the dead, we know that Ben actually killed Locke.

Episode 8: "LaFleur"

In one of the best episodes of the season, we get to see James "Sawyer" Ford undergo the greatest character development in Lost, ever. Starting as a con man on a mysterious island, intent on hoarding everything for himself, stealing guns from the camp, and always focused on himself - Sawyer has become the DHARMA Initiative head of security. He has a powerful position in the DI. I absolutely love this episode -- not only do we get to see the characters in DHARMA times, we see it from two points of view. In 1974, Juliet wants to return home on the sub, but Sawyer convinces her to stay. They end up falling in love (and become the best relationship in LOST in my opinion, Suliet...) The scenes with Sawyer and Juliet are awesome -- there isn't any drama and fighting like with Jack/Kate or Sawyer/Kate scenes. Juliet and Sawyer are a great match.

The DHARMA Initiative has been a compelling mystery ever since Season 2. We have seen bits and pieces of mythology relating to DHARMA, but this season (and particularly this episode) has given us great insight into the people, events, and mysteries related to DHARMA. Horace Goodspeed is a character only seen twice in the LOST before this episode ("The Man Behind the Curtain" and "Cabin Fever"). It is very interesting to learn more about these characters. Overall, this episode ranks as my third favorite from this season.

Episode 9: "Namaste"

This was probably one of the weaker episodes of the season. Not much happens, other than we get to see Jack, Kate, and Hurley brought in to the DI. Sayid is unlucky, and is caught by Jin and Radzinsky inside the Flame perimeter. This, of course, isn't good since Stuart thinks he's a Hostile. The best part of this episode was seeing Pierre Chang hand out janatorial duties to Jack. However, Jack doesn't demand a new job or go throw a fit, he is actually content with things, for the first time in a long time. This was very awesome to see -- I definitely like the new Jack (so far, at least). Rather than lead a group to a radio tower, go on a treacherous mission for dynamite, or give a speech about living together and dying alone -- Jack decides to sit back and make some sandwiches... Now that is some major character development.

Episode 10: "He's Our You"

This is probably the most underrated episode of the season. Not only do we get to see Sayid captured by Ilana, but we also get to see young Ben for the first time since "The Man Behind the Curtain". Ben has been living a terrible life, and his abusive father Roger isn't helping at all. Sayid is brought to Oldham, who is the "torturer" or the DI. He doesn't really torture Sayid, but he sedates him and gives him drugs that force him to tell the truth; and he does. He reveals the truth about everything -- Flight 815, Ajira 316, the survivors, and even Sawyer (LaFleur)... but Stuart seems focused on his Swan model over anything else. In the final scene we see one of the best cliffhangers ever -- Sayid shoots young Ben, knowing that he will soon grow up into the diabolical, manipulative man that made him an assasin. This is a fantastic episode that shows us the dark relationship between Sayid and Ben. I love to see the character correlations in this episode: In 1977, Sayid (in his future) shoots Ben (in his past) because of what Ben (in his future) did to Sayid (in his past). Yes, Lost can be confusing someimes, but it makes it all the more awesome.

Episode 11: "Whatever Happened, Happened"

This episode probably ranks as the best Kate-centric in LOST. This episode sort of takes off where "The Little Prince" left off -- Kate is continuously plagued by the guilt of taking Aaron. She goes to see Cassidy Phillips, mother of Clementine (Sawyer told her to do this, in "TNPLH"). Cassidy has no toruble reminding Kate that she took Aaron because she needed someone. She calls Sawyer a coward, claiming that the only reason he jumped off the helicopter was to escape from Kate. Back at the Barracks, Juliet attempts to save young Ben, who is suffering terribly from his gun shot wound at close range. Jack refuses to help with saving him, saying that he already did that once before (back at the Hydra, Season 3). Juliet knows the only way to save him is to take him to the Others. In one of my favorite scenes of this show, Hurley and Miles engage in an epic conversation about WHH (whatever happened, happened).

"Back to the Future," man. We came back in time to the island and changed stuff. So if little Ben dies, he'll never grow up to be big Ben, who's the one who made us come back here in the first place. Which means we can't be here. And therefore, dude? We don't exist.
- Hugo Reyes

This episode ends with great mythology -- Richard Alpert takes young Ben into the Temple without consent from either Charles Widmore or Eloise Hawking (two prominent Others). This, of course, is what saves him, and he grows up to be the Ben that we all know (and sometimes love...)

Episode 12: "Dead Is Dead"

This is definitely the second best episode of the season. To start things off, we get to see Ben shoot Caesar (who was expected to become a major character in the show) in the chest, instantly killing him. This allows him and Locke to make a journey to the "real island," and they make their way to the Barracks. They find Sun and Frank, who have been waiting for Locke (on the orders of Christian Shephard). Ben tries to summon the Monster, but it doesn't come -- Locke (who is really the fake Locke) says that they need to go to it. And he knows exactly where it is: the Temple. In one of my favorite sequences of the episode, Ben is judged by the Monster for letting his daughter Alex die back in "The Shape of Things to Come." The Monster lets Ben live. In flashbacks, we get to see very interesting chunks of island history -- we see Ben capture Alex from Danielle, much to the dislike of Widmore. We get to see Charles Widmore exiled from the Island, largely based on his relationship with an outsider. And we get to see Ben confront Penny (Widmore's daughter) at the marina; he almost kills her, but stops after seeing Charlie Hume. Desmond then beats him up, throwing him in the water. I absolutely loved this episode, and it ranks one of the best of the series.

Episode 13: "Some Like It Hoth"

Finally... we get a Miles-centric (even if it is one of the stragest episode titles ever). Miles is one of my favorite characters, and he has really grown over these past two seasons. I really disliked Miles in Season 4 -- he was annoying, selfish, and a just plain boring character compared to everyone else. Miles has evolved into a great character though, and I thought this was a genuine episode that revealed a lot of connections between him and the Island. It was revealed (not to my surprise) that Pierre Chang (a DHARMA leader who has appeared in numerous orientation films) is his father. I thought this was great work by the writers -- it was a perfect way to relate Miles to the Island. In one of the light-hearted aspects of this episode, Hurley is seen writing the script for "The Empire Strikes Back." He plans to send George Lucas the script when he's finish to save him some work. Miles and Hurley are a great duo, and I loved their scenes together. In another great scene, Hurley sees the Hatch being built, and once again he faces those ominous numbers: 4 8 15 16 23 42.

Episode 14: "The Variable"

It's episode 100 -- my expectations for this episode were tremendously high. This Daniel Faraday centric gave us a ton of insight on his family -- Eloise Hawking (leader of the Others in 1977) is the mother of Daniel. Daniel saw his own mother in 1954 during a time flash. To make things more complicated, Charles Widmore is his father! A disappointing aspect of this episode was the lack of Desmond -- Desmond has been at the sidelines for pretty much this entire season, and I wish they had put more emphasis on his character in this episode (considering that the episode title mirrors that of "The Constant," a prominent Desmond-centric from Season 4). At Dharmaville, things get messy when Radzinsky catches Kate, Daniel, and Jack collecting guns at the Motor Pool -- a shootout ensues, and they escape to go to the Hostiles. Daniel says that he has to find his mother, Eloise. In a shocking twist, Daniel claims that he has focused so much on the CONSTANTS and whatever happened, happened -- he forgot about the VARIABLES. Daniel says that free will exists; they make choices, decisions, and they can change things. He wants to detonate Jughead, the hydrogen bomb, in order to negate the hatch, destroy the electromagnetic energy, and prevent Desmond from every forgetting to push the button, and finally preventing the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. I thought it was interesting to see Daniel completely change viewpoints; he had been strongly focused on WHH, and suddenly he says that variables exist. At the end of this episode, we shockingly see Eloise kill her own son, Daniel. Daniel was a great character, and this was a great way for him to die -- telling his mother, "I'm your son."

Episode 15: "Follow the Leader"

The penultimate episode of the season can be described in only one word - EPIC. Flocke (also known by a variety of nicknames like Esau/Mr. X/Jacob's nemesis/Unlocke) goes to the Others' camp, where he finds the ageless advisor Richard Alpert. He says that they have an errand to run, and Ben must come along. Ben snarkily replies with, "afraid I'll stage a coup?" But Locke is no longer afraid of Ben. They go into the jungle to find the "real" time-traveling Locke; Flocke commands Richard to tell the real Locke that he must leave the island and die. This, of course, is all part of Flcoke's plan (I believe that Flocke wants Locke to die so that he can takeover his identity, hence manipulating Ben to kill Jacob -- this is probably the loophole that he's been aiming to achieve for more two hundred years). In 1977, Jack has seemed to takeover Daniel's mission -- detonate Jughead, and erase a substantial part of their lives. Kate is not so keen on this -- perhaps she thinks her life has been better because of the crash. If the plane hadn't crashed, she could still be in jail for murdering her father. We get to see Sayid return -- he's been absent for quite some time, and still thinks that he was able to kill young Ben.

Jack, Eloise, Richard, and Sayid venture into the tunnels, and prepare to find a way to detonate the bomb. I absolutely loved the Richard scenes in this episode -- he is present in two timelines spanning 30 years (1977 and 2007) -- he has always been one of the most intriguing characters in the show. I absolutely love the hilarious conversation between Chang and Hurley:

DR. CHANG: Your friend Faraday said that you were from the future. I need to know if he was telling the truth.
HURLEY: Dude, that's ridiculous.
DR. CHANG: What year were you born? What year?
HURLEY: Uh... 1931?
DR. CHANG: You're 46?
HURLEY: Yeah. Yes, I am.
DR. CHANG: So you fought in the Korean War?
HURLEY: There's... no such thing.
DR. CHANG: Who's the President of the United States?
HURLEY: All right, dude, we're from the future.

Hurley is just such a great character. I love funny moments like these in LOST -- it's amazing that LOST can be so dark, mysterious, and enigmatic and at the same time be funny.

Episode 16: "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2"

This episode is mindblowing -- it is the best finale and episode of the show ever, in my opinion. We get to see an incredible opening scene -- it reveals that Jacob has been alive since the 1800s, and he has a nemesis; this man has been searching for a loophole - a way to kill Jacob. The origins of their rivalry has yet to be exlpained. Jacob lives inside the four-toed statue, and we get to see a nice close-up of this age-old mystery. I am very glad to see that the writers introduced us to Jacob immediately, rather than waiting for some cliffhanger reveal. We don't just see brief moments with Jacob -- this is actually a Jacob-centric. Jacob is featured and seen in many of the survivors lives, including Sun, Jin, Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, and Sayid. In every one of these encounters, he appeared to 'touch' them -- perhaps a touch from Jacob somehow lures you to the island through the work of destiny? Flocke continues to lead the Others to Jacob -- he says that Ben is the one that will have to kill him. We also learn that Jacob's cabin has been used by someone else for quite some time -- perhaps all of those ominous apparitions we saw in Season 3 and 4 weren't Jacob after all. In an astonishing reveal, we learn that Locke has been dead since he was strangled by Ben in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." Flcoke has taken over his identity, and he manipulated Ben to kill Jacob. I still don't believe that JACOB, the ageless seemingly all-powerful island entity, was killed by Ben. I'm pretty sure that Jacob wanted to be killed, for reasons unknown. Back at the Swan site, Juliet falls into a massive hole, along with the bomb didn't go off with the fall. In her last effort, Juliet detonates the bomb. I'm curious to see what will happen next...

Overall this has been a captivating, compelling, and incredible season. There have been shocking mythological reveals and tremendous character development -- let's hope that Season 6 will fill the rest of this amazing story.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Lostpedia Interview: Francois Chau, Part Two

Today has been a day of important announcements on the Lostpedia blog, and this is no exception. Francois Chau, famous for appearing on Lost as Dr. Pierre Chang, has agreed to do a second interview with Lostpedia. His first, which happened about a year ago, can be read here.

Questions for Mr. Chau can be submitted a number of ways. On the wiki, questions can be submitted through the interview talk page. On Lostpedia forums, questions can be submitted through this thread. On Twitter, questions can be submitted using the hashtag #lpinterview.

We're all very excited for this interview, so submit the best questions you can! And look out for the Lostpedia interview with Leslie Ishii, who played Pierre's wife Lara, to be posted in the next few days.

Monday, May 25, 2009

LP Caption Contest #2

The last caption contest was a big success, so here's the second one.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

LP Caption Contest #1

In order to show off the enormous amounts of humor that I know you guys have, I've come up with the Lostpedia Caption Contest. Because there's no winner, it isn't an actual contest, but the name is alliterative and sounds nice.

Here's what you do. Take a look at the image below, and then add your own caption to the image that you think will be funny. It's sort of like the blog's take on "hedding," but the captions can be anything you make up. The general rule is that you keep it appropriate; if they wouldn't say it on Lost, don't say it here.

So let's give it a go, and see how it works out. It might catch on! So here's your first image:
Have fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Food for Thought: Live together, die alone

Lost only has seventeen hours left. That's the sad truth of the matter -- after those seventeen hours are up, no more Lost. The story will be complete, character fates resolved. And the sad thing is, most Lost fans will experience these episodes separately. The Lost community, I hate to say, is too divided. Fans affiliate themselves to one site and then do not venture to explore any other facets of the Lost community.

We have eight months until the season six premiere. Some are dreading this long hiatus, but I look at it as an opportunity to unite these different factions into one big fan community in time for the season six premiere. The sixth season will probably be the best season of Lost yet, and it'd be a shame for us to go about watching it divided into factions. The fanbase is such a thriving and diverse community that it shouldn't be segmented into different parts. It should be one big family that all happen to enjoy the same television show.

Now, I'm not saying that anyone should stop visiting a certain site and move to another. But spread out a little bit. Here's my challenge to you: venture out to a fansite that you've never visited before. Spend a little time with their community. Chat with them about the show. Invite them to spread out a little bit too, to check out other Lost sites (but don't advertise -- that's a big no-no). Help this great community become a little more connected to each other, because hey, live together, die alone, right?

The search for the new Lost

With Lost drawing to a close next year, it's time for networks to start finding their follow-up to the #1 serial drama on television. The networks have been trying to copy Lost's success for years, but this fall there are three new shows that might come closer than any of the others have. These three new shows, Day One, V, Flash Forward, and all have some of Lost's cast or crew, and carry many of the science fiction elements that fans of Lost are looking for. Will one of them become the new Lost? It's possible, but not likely.

The first of these shows is Day One. Unfortunately, it has absolutely no chance of replacing Lost, because it will only air thirteen episodes, forming an effective post-apocalyptic miniseries. The series, created by Lost alum Jesse Alexander, will also star Thekla Reuten, who you may remember as being Sayid's femme fatale love Elsa in "The Economist." Javier Grillo-Marxuach, a former Lost writer has been hired as a writer as well. The series is reportedly about "life on earth following a global catastrophe that has devastated the world's infrastructures. An eclectic band of survivors, all residents of one apartment building, embarks on a quest for survival." It will air on NBC in fall of 2009. Personally, I'm looking forward to this miniseries. While it will most likely not be on the same level as our favorite Island drama, it will likely solve as a nice replacement to the cancelled series Jericho. The fact that it's written by some Lost alumni makes it even more appealing.

Second up is the remake of the 1980's television series V. Starring Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost's Juliet) as Erica Evans, this series is a modern-day retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The show concerns contact with a seemingly peaceful group of aliens, who have secretly been plotting to take over the Earth for a very long time. Elizabeth Mitchell is not the only selling factor of the show: check out this trailer to see more about what everyone is so excited. V will air on ABC early next year.

Thirdly and finally is my pick for next year, the new show Flash Forward. Created by The Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer, Flash Forward is based off the book of the same name by Canadian sci-fi writer Robert J. Sawyer (great name, huh?) about an event in which everyone on the planet blacks out for two minutes and experiences a vision of the future. I'm currently in the middle of the amazing book, and I can't wait to see this turned into a television series. You may have noticed advertisements for this series in between episodes of Lost. The series will star John Cho, Joseph Fiennes, Jack Davenport, and Lost's own Sonya Walger, who we know as Penny Hume. Seth MacFarlane is also slated to make a cameo appearance. It will also air on ABC in the fall. If you're interested in finding out more about this series, please check out the Flash Forward Wiki on Wikia.

Will any of these shows replace Lost? It's not likely. Lost brought to television such a combination of action, mystery, theology, philosophy, and ambiguity that perhaps nothing will ever be quite the same as it is. But sometimes they get fairly close. Hopefully, one of these three will get the closest.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seasons 1 and 2 to be released on Blu-Ray

On December 11, 2007, Lost: The Complete Third Season was released on both DVD and high-definition Blu-Ray disc. Since then, fans have been chomping at the bit to get the two previous installments, seasons one and two, into their Blu-Ray connection. Now, one and a half years later, their wish is finally coming true.

On June 16, 2009, seasons one and two of Lost will be released on Blu-Ray for the first time ever. This means that you will be able to watch the entire series to date, seasons one through five, in high definition.

It's about time, I say. Even though I don't have a Blu-ray player (hey, we're in a recession!), I'm certainly looking forward to getting one in the near future, and what better to watch on it than Lost? (That was rhetorical; there's nothing better to watch than Lost).

Both seasons are marketing on Amazon for $48.99 each, a great price for twenty-four hours of nonstop excitement. Check out the Blu-rays of season one and season two on Amazon.

And speaking of Blu-ray, don't forget that season five will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 8, as well as an interesting "DHARMA Initiation Kit" that is available with both the DVD and the Blu-ray for twenty more dollars.

If you don't have your Lost collection complete, now is the time to do it! The sixth and final season is just around the corner, and perhaps... a rewatch should be in order.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Simeon Hobbes ARG is unofficial

To the surprise of some (but not many), it was revealed that the Simeon Hobbes alternate reality game, which began May 15 on Twitter, has been confirmed to be unofficial by the very creators of the game themselves.

In a blog post posted a few hours ago, the "character" of Elliott Graves stated that "in response to the recent news that this ARG is unofficial, I will confirm it." It is unknown who exactly is behind Graves, but whomever it is thankfully came out into the open, saying that they "felt the need to address it in light of the recent controversy and hijack attempts, because I don’t like the word “hoax.”

Of course, there is no harm in continuing to follow the unofficial ARG, which the creator has stated that they will continue, regardless of the loss of many followers. Honorably, the creator also stated that "in order to distance ourselves the controversy, and leave the way open for a possible official ARG revelation at Comic-Con, please refrain from using the #lostarg hashtag on Twitter. #simeonhobbes will do, in order to prevent any confusion."

While I must admit I am disappointed that the ARG is not official, I must applaud the creator for coming out into the open about it all. I'm sure all the players of The Lost Experience remember the strange annoyance that was BigSpaceShip1, one of the largest hoaxes the Lost community has seen. Thankfully, this ARG (which the creator is calling WISH?, an acronym for "Who is Simeon Hobbes?") did not become another one of these.

While Lostpedia will no longer report on this ARG, we welcome you to continue playing it to tide you over this long break until the beginning of the sixth and final season (or at least Comic-Con). However, don't feel like there's nothing to do; Lostpedia and friends have something very special coming soon for all of you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Deconstructing: Bram and Ilana

Bram and Ilana are turning out to be more important than we originally thought. Crashing on the Island through Ajira Flight 316, the duo were originally thought to be just new redshirts who would die soon (in the style of Frogurt and Arzt). However, they turned out to be much more important than what we first thought. But the question remains -- who exactly are they, and who do they work for?

Ilana and Caesar were originally introduced as the pair of important survivors of flight 316, but this was quickly disproven by Caesar's demise at the hands of Ben's shotgun. As it turns out, he was just a red herring, "just a clueless nobody, caught up in a game he wasn't equipped to play" (as Robert K S put it). Instead, the two people we needed to look out for were Bram and Ilana, who kidnapped Frank as soon as he returned to the Island, and asked him the question, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" which would be speculated about for the weeks on end until the finale.

Bram, who had hardly had two words up until that point, was suddenly thrust into the spotlight during a Miles flashback in "Some Like It Hoth," when he interrupted Miles' fish taco meal with a masked kidnapping, and tried to attempt him from ever boarding the Kahana, offering him numerous answers instead. Miles, however, being his hardheaded person he is, refused to listen unless money was involved, so Bram kicked him out onto the side of the road. Before he left, though, Bram informed Miles that he was on the "winning side," which was the first time we were even aware that there was a side. All we'd seen of Ilana before that was her abduction of Sayid, which didn't seem too out of the ordinary. I was more happy to find out the full name of the guy who Sayid shot on the golf course than to find out Ilana's past.

But then there was the large Ajira crate, and Frank's kidnapping, and I began to get interested in who these people were (well, I was interested anyway, Brad William Henke is one of my favorite actors). The community began to buzz about who these new people were: new Dharma? Ben's people? Everyone was anticipating the big reveal...

...but Ilana and Bram didn't show up for four episodes, eventually reappearing at the beginning of "The Incident," pulling up in an outrigger canoe that looked mysteriously similar to the ones Sawyer's group (pictured left) found in "The Little Prince." Will there be a shootout between the time traveling Losties and Ilana's group next year? I hope so, because to leave that unresolved would be just lazy on the part of the writers.

But just as soon as Frank wakes up he is discussed by Bram and Ilana as being a possible candidate. A candidate for what? Bram and Ilana won't say, but there are several possibilities. The most obvious of these is as a body for Jacob to move into. Jacob's nemesis has been shown to take the appearance of Locke (and, if you read my previous deconstructing post, possibly able to take over dead bodies), so it would make sense for Jacob to be able to do this as well. Perhaps Frank's candidacy is to serve as a body for Jacob to take over after his death. Of course, this has some obvious flaws, but with all the information we have now, that's the best solution I can come up with.

They then travelled to the cabin previously believed to be Jacob's, where they discovered that the ring of ash (previously noticed by Locke in "The Man Behind the Curtain") had been broken. What does this mean? Did the ash trap something (or someone), releasing it when it was broken? And who broke it?

Venturing inside, Ilana found only an illustration of the statue, and was able to determine that Jacob had not been inside that cabin for quite a while. So she burned the cabin to the ground, throwing caution to the wind when it came to starting forest fires. She probably came closer than Keamy to actually "torching the Island." As the cabin caught fire, it was one of the most sobering moments of Lost for me. One of the most iconic images of the show had just been destroyed, and by relatively new characters at that.

And then, we got the reveal that the Ajira crate contained the real body of John Locke, revealing that the post-316 Locke was actually Jacob's nemesis.

So it appears that Ilana and Bram work for Jacob, especially after Jacob visited Ilana after a very severe incident which left her entire face bandaged. Jacob asked Ilana for a favor, and it appears that she is still carrying out that favor on the Island. What is that favor? What is her past with Jacob? To me they carried the air of perhaps ex-lovers. What do you think? Who are Ilana and Bram? Will they be part of the regular cast next season? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitter ARG Update 2 -- Real or not?

Even since yesterday, there has been quite a lot of buzzing going about Twitter regarding several new Twitter accounts, including the aforementioned Simeon Hobbes and Epithet Alpha, as well several new and questionable Twitter accounts that may or may not be related to the ARG (which is itself quite questionable as far as "official" goes). Below are the new ones listed, as well as my take on if they are real or fake. However, I could very well be wrong on any or all of these, so don't unfollow or follow based on my opinion.

The first new account that may or may not be connected to this possible ARG is @elliottgraves, who popped up yesterday and accused @simeonhobbes and @epithetalpha of being responsible for his brother's disappearance. Graves' avatar, the number 27, corresponds directly to the video "Who is Simeon Hobbes?" on YouTube, in which the morse code spelled out 27 repeatedly. Out of all of them, this one seems most likely to be connected to the this possible ARG and not some extraneous fan concoction.

Even before Elliott Graves popped up, someone named Esau Solon (@esausolon) also appeared, with their first post reading "You burned the Bad Twin. Shames on you." The misspelling of "shame" seems perhaps a reference to Lawrence Shames, who ghostwrote the book Bad Twin as Gary Troup. This post was followed up by "Teneo , MEUS NOMEN EST LOST. VOS Ero ELECTUS 7.1.2009," and then by "The Tryon holds the question." Though this seems interesting, I'm leaning toward unconnected. Very recently (while I was writing this blog, in fact), Esau Solon posted a base64 code which translated to "The professor of film holds the question. Tryon is the way towards the Swan." The account then messaged @chutry, an apparent real-life and unrelated Twitterer, with the message "Dad, give them the question." It is unknown what is meant by that or if @chutry is even involved with the @simeonhobbes game.

Soemone named Edmund Cartwright (@edmundloom) popped up about 23 hours ago, with the opening tweet "
We Shed so that we may Pick. We Pick so that we may Batten. We Batten so that we may Take Up unto Completion." I'm not exactly sure how this is connected, but I want to lean toward unconnected on this account as well. However, this account was mentioned by Elliott Graves, so it may be connected. I'm going to go with questionable.

Graves also mentioned Menhit (@FleurDeNoire), whose only post has been "The Empire Never Ended," which is a reference to a Philip K. Dick quote. Dick, who wrote the book VALIS which was featured in the episode "Eggtown," had many dreams about the phrase "the empire never ended," leading it to become a recurring quote in his books, including VALIS. As for the legitimacy of this account, I'm going to say that it's too soon to tell.

Another name mentioned by Graves was Opet (@TheCruxAnsata), who most recently posted a Tweet that stated (in morse code) that "It begins tomorrow." What begins is unknown. As with FleurDeNoire, it's too soon to tell.

Meanwhile, it appears that @epithetalpha's Twitter account has been hacked (likely as part of the game) by a person naming themself as
Aidoneus, and posting a link to It seems likely to me that this Aidoneus is actually Elliott Graves, who apparently has a similar vendetta against epithetalpha and Simeon Hobbes. Whatever the case, Aidoneus certainly believes that epithetalpha and Simeon Hobbes are bad people.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this new Twitter based potential ARG yet. Is any of it connected to the show, or is it still a fan having fun? Stay tuned for updates.

Update 1: No sooner do I post that than a new account pops up, courtesy of @edmundloom. @mrsmarkham, or Elizabeth Penrose, posted a link to a YouTube video which featured paintings being shown to music. The paintings appeared to be about battles between angels and demons.

Update 2: It certainly seems that the only accounts actually connected to the Simeon Hobbes game are @simeonhobbes, @epithetalpha and @elliottgraves. Is it official? Still uncertain, but its certainly interesting to watch!

Update 3: Due to the content being posted by @esausolon, I'm almost 100% certain that account is not related to the SimeonHobbes ARG.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Deconstructing: Jacob's nemesis

Ah. Since the airing of the finale Wednesday night, I have posted four blogs. This will be the fifth since Wednesday, but the aftermath of the finale always poses questions that should be addressed rather soon.

The big question posed by "The Incident," revolved around the dynamic between Jacob and his as-yet unnamed enemy, who we met for the first time (or so it seemed) at the beginning of the episode, and was later revealed to have been a major character on the show since "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham." Talk about plot twist! It was easily the best moment of the show since the beginning of the season, and easily spurned the most questions/theories.

So let's start with the obvious: who is Jacob's nemesis? Well, that's the real question. Even though he's been playing such a huge part in the show since the midpoint of the season, we don't even know his name. He was known in casting as "Samuel," and has gained the fan monikers "Esau," "Flocke," "Un-Locke," and "Mr. X," though I will eat my hat if any of those names are actually correct.

What's more interesting to me is what is he. He's obviously a shape shifter of some sort, and is probably just as powerful (if not more so) than Jacob. Personally, I believe that he is the smoke monster. Why? Well, it's quite easy.

First of all, he changes shape, just like the monster. The monster has manifested as Yemi, Alex, and possibly many more. Each time, the monster only appears as someone who has died, and their body is on the Island. Now, one occurrence is hardly enough to make a trend, but the only person we've seen Jacob's nemesis manifest as is -- Locke, whose body was on the Island after the crash of 316.

My second reason is the monster's motivations seem to match those of Jacob's nemesis. The monster appears to be sort of a judge and jury of the Islanders, forgiving Ben but executing Eko for his sins. In the opening of "The Incident," the nemesis seems quite judgmental toward humanity, stating that it "all ends the same." This parallel between the monster and the nemesis seem to match up well.

Another parallel would be that if the monster manifests as Christian (which seems quite likely, considering that Christian obviously does not speak for Jacob as he claims), they have similar goals. Both Christian and the impostor Locke wanted to make it clear to the real Locke that he had to die ("That's why they call it a sacrifice").

There's also the Clark Kent/Superman dynamic between Locke and the monster. While Ben attempted to summon the monster, the Locke impostor wandered off into the woods. He later returned, stating he knew where the monster lived: the Temple. Once there, despite Ben's pleas, Flocke wandered off. It was only then that Ben met the monster, who strangely enough commanded Ben to listen to Flocke.

It would also explain the black/white parallels between Jacob and the nemesis in the first scene: Jacob was wearing white while the nemesis was wearing black. Does this mean that Jacob might also have a light form, if the nemesis has the black form? Didn't Locke see a beautiful white light during "Walkabout?" We'll investigate that later.

But what about this deadly game between the nemesis and Jacob? Why would anyone wait for two centuries just to find a loophole to kill someone? This loophole certainly reminds me of the rules established between Ben and Widmore in "The Shape of Things to Come." Did Widmore join the side of the nemesis, in order for the "rules" dynamic to be applicable between himself and Ben? Is Widmore to the nemesis what Bram and Ilana are to Jacob?

And what are Jacob and his nemesis competing for? My guess: to prove the other wrong. By killing Jacob through Ben, not only did the nemesis fulfill his wish to kill Jacob, but he also could have proven that humanity is inherently bad. Two birds with one stone?

Whatever the story behind the nemesis is, I want to see a backstory next season. A long, full-episode backstory between himself and Jacob. Titus Welliver, who portrayed him in "The Incident," was really quite good in my opinion, and it'd be a shame for us to see him only once (even though the character is in the overly capable hands of Terry O'Quinn).

So post comments, theorize, and be constructive! Until next time.


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