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.
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