How have you all been?? Well it has been about a month since the Season 4 finale aired and most of you are just itching for your LOST fixes. Well our good friend Anna was battling some health related problems right after the finale aired, but was finally able to crank out her special finale recap and once again it is a great read.
The blog might be a little long, but is worth the wait and read. Once again she uses a great mix of screencaps and elements from the finale and previous episodes. Also, if you are a Pink Floyd fan you get an extra bonus.
Hope you enjoy and don't forget to leave some feedback for her:
INTRO: Coming Back to Life
I know, I know, this an exceptionally late recap. I sincerely apologize for the delay and really appreciate everyone’s patience. After the finale aired, I was so excited I immediately started my writing and prepared to churn out one heck of an Essay for you all. Well, as if I too had now somehow lost favor with the Island, I suffered a sudden flare-up of sciatica, a VERY painful condition in the lower back. I am starting to think the Island has something against the lumbar spine. To make matters worse, 48 hours after my initial doctor’s visit, I fell victim to some type of sickness that ravaged every system of my body for more than 2 weeks. This dual-combo of body torture, Island-style, made things just a tad difficult for someone with Work to Do. Where is Taller Ghost Walt when you need him?
This is an exceptionally long recap as well. Seriously. I have tried to keep it as brief as possible but it is difficult not to have something to say about every part of the episode. I promise my next installment will be shorter, as I plan to do a focused, in-depth exploration of some of the Island’s mysteries up until season four.
Right now I am still not 100% back to my old self yet, but as the saying goes...
The Show Must Go On
It would seem that the Wheel has made another revolution, as we begin where we ended in the season 3 finale. What great mirroring once again; Kate drives off at the end of “Through the Looking Glass”, and then screeches to a halt and throws her car into reverse at the start of our season 4 finale. Evangeline Lilly’s acting was really spot on in this scene. When Kate tells Jack off in so many words, a lot of people thought it was one of Kate’s best “you go girl” moments.
However, I have sympathy for both of these characters now that we have seen the events that led up to this moment. Sure, Kate was burned by Jack to the point where she seems to despise him now, but Jack has not been taking being haunted by the Island very well either. I’ll let all the shippers out there debate the more intricate details of this scene as it pertains to their coupling. My main focus was Jeremy “John Locke” Bentham, who is confirmed as the mysterious man mentioned in the obituary that had Jack ready to take his own extended stay at the Coffin Motel. Locke had apparently visited both of our O6’ers, and as we slowly discover, it won’t be the last time his alias is mentioned, either.
Another Brick in the Wall
Jack and Locke have really grown to despise each other during their time on the Island, and when they meet once again at the Orchid Greenhouse, they discuss “leader stuff” while standing on opposite sides of an old plant rack, representing exactly where they stand in their ideals. Not to mention, we have been due for another Man of Science vs. Man of Faith debate for some time now.
This time it is Locke who shows himself to be the better man and is willing to forget the fact that Jack almost shot him in the face. As he crosses over to Jack’s side of the greenhouse, he makes one final attempt to convince Jack to stay on the Island, again trying to make Jack understand that they were all meant to be there. Of course as usual, Jack mocks and dismisses what Locke says to him. It is interesting to hear these two debate again now that we know at some point in the not-so-distant future, Jack does indeed become a believer.
Maybe even at this point he is beginning to feel the tingling sensation of the truth that Locke speaks. And perhaps this is why he eventually decides to go with Locke’s suggestion to lie about their entire experience on the Island when they return to the “real world”. I know many of us have been theorizing various complex conspiracies that must have been in place to force the O6 to have to lie about the crash. What a great twist it was to find out it was Locke’s idea all along. How very Ben of him I must say, thinking so far ahead like that…
A Saucerful of Secrets
In “The Shape of Things to Come” there was a conversation in Charles Widmore’s bedroom that seemed to allude to Ben for some reason or another not being able to kill him. Widmore says to Ben, “Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?”, and Ben replies, “We both know I can’t do that”. At the time I supposed this would also be akin to breaking the “rules” that Ben had referred to several times.
As Keamy and the now captive Ben are walking through the jungle back to the helicopter, the opposite is suggested. Keamy says, “I'm curious as to why Mr. Widmore would pay me so much money just to come out here and capture you and bring you back alive.” I am curious as well, since we know the kind of man that Keamy is. I wonder if it’s the Island that will not allow them kill one another. Perhaps there is some sort of balance that must always be kept between the two, so the only thing they can do is try to wrestle the Island away from each other.
Oh yeah, and apparently now murder each other’s family members as well.
The Dogs of War
Not even ten minutes of the episode passed before we got to finally see the Others vs. Freighters melee that part of the plot was building towards. Kate was served up as bait, and as the mercenaries circled the helicopter, the Others and those oh-so-familiar whispers circled the mercenaries.
Boy, did the Others go old-school! Jumping out of trees, breaking necks…wait, was that a bolo I just saw?! Electrically-charged darts!? Love it! Seeing the chaos as their chance to flee, Kate and Ben take off into the jungle. After punting a grenade away from himself and in turn exploding one of his comrades, Keamy grunts, puffs, and charges like some wild bull after them.
I could almost hear the superhero trumpet fanfare, as Sayid leaps out of nowhere and knocks Keamy right off of his hooves, I mean, feet. I think it is safe to say that the Keamy and Sayid scrap-off was the highlight of the entire battle and probably the best choreographed fight scene on LOST yet. The edits were tight, there was no CGI, and it was rough just like the classic German-at-the-airplane battle from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
Even though we did not get the frighteningly-awesome leg action Sayid used last season to break a man’s neck, he did manage to get quite a few nice moves in; a great flip, a hearty stab, and a good ol’ fashioned log beating. It also brought to mind the big fight scene from John Carpenter’s “They Live”. In the scene, the protagonist tries to get his new friend to put on glasses that allow the wearer to see that in reality, we are all surrounded by aliens that have been controlling us through means such as subliminal messages in our media. The fight is absolutely insane and literally goes on for about 20 minutes. I would not have minded this approach at all, as I was entirely captivated and not just sitting on the edge of my seat, but falling off of it!
Just as we think Sayid is about to be overtaken by Keamy, Richard Alpert arrives at just the right moment and shoots Keamy four times in the back. Maybe it’s just me, but on LOST one thing they have taught me from season one is that anyone is fair game, so I really did for a second think that Sayid was a gonner. Ben is distantly polite to Richard as he thanks him, and actually did seem a little surprised that he even showed up. Richard in turn just seemed annoyed to be there in general.
In exchange for their role in helping to free Ben, Kate and Sayid are granted leave from the Island. Both of them seem stunned with disbelief, understandably, and Kate even asks to be sure, “So we can go…off the Island? That’s it?” Ben pauses for a moment, then replies in that low, quick voice of his, “That’s it.” I think the look on his face was saying the exact opposite, as we all know just as Ben does, that’s not at all it…
For one thing, we still have that huge bomb made of tons of C4 still on the freighter that everyone is now heading towards to worry about. But that’s ok, because Michael, Jin, and Desmond are on the case. After Desmond and Jin’s thorough investigation, we discover that the bomb was constructed in such a complex way, no matter what they try to do to disarm it, “Boom.”
Things I Learned from LOST #214: When it seems like there are no possible means of diffusing a bomb, and Sayid isn’t anywhere to be found, always remember a canister of liquid nitrogen will at least stall the explosion so that everybody else can get away.
Wish You Were Here
Back in the future, we were given a very surprising (and depressing) reunion between Hurley and Walt. I would really like to know why not one of the O6’ers visited the poor kid. Also I would like an explanation as to why he is so calm and collected. We all know that Walt is SPECIAL. Yet he seems so normal…no birds were crashing into the windows, he was totally dry, he wasn’t talking backwards, or even asking were Vincent was. He was just a bit too well adjusted to be someone who was separated from one parent and then the other, survived a plane crash, was kidnapped by a strange group of scientists dressed like hobos, and even subjected to brainwashing in Room 23.
Perhaps it was because of his visit from Jeremy “John Locke” Bentham that brought a bit of comfort to Walt. Or possibly he just confused the boy even more. That man sure gets around when he’s off the Island and sure seems to have an effect on people. Walt dragged his poor grandmother all the way across the country so that he could ask Hurley why the O6 were lying about what had happened to them. This is strange to me, because I would assume Locke would have told Walt exactly what had gone down and why they needed keep the Island a secret in order to protect everyone. I mean, it was his idea in the first place, right?
I hope that we get to see more of Walt now that the writers have brought him back into the story, especially the meeting between him and Locke when under his Bentham alias. I believe Walt still may have an important role to play, whether on or off the Island.
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
When Hurley, Jack, and Sawyer, and return to the helicopter we get an awkward reunion as Sawyer first flirts with Kate, and then Kate approaches Jack instead, making Sawyer visibly jealous. It’s always something with these three! But this mini soap-opera is quickly dissolved when they pile into the helicopter and begin to lift off the Island for the first time since they had crashed.
The score was truly lovely during this scene, as each of the castaways began to process the overwhelming weight of what was happening to them. Their emotions seemed to progress from anxiousness, to disbelief, and then finally to pure joy as they made their long-awaited journey towards the freighter, and towards rescue. I have to admit, even though I knew they were headed for potential disaster, I allowed myself to pretend as if I didn’t know their fates for that moment, and was honestly moved to tears.
I also just have to mention that Sawyer’s “Kenny Rogers” nickname for Frank Lapidus was so out of nowhere, and so absolutely perfect, I think it is now in my top 5 Sawyerisms ever. I am giggling now even as I write this…really I am!
Welcome to the Machine
As Ben and Locke make their decent to the true Orchid Station, I am once again reminded of the concept of the underworld so often referenced in the show. Most of the Dharma Stations we have seen have been underground, except for the Arrow, since even the Flame had its underground component. It would seem that much of the Islands mysteries do indeed lay beneath the surface. Dharma just came and built their research areas right above or adjacent to the already existing “anomalies”, such as the strange Glyph passage at the Barracks, or the Swan Hatch with its electromagnetic power source. When I was researching orchid symbolism, I found an interesting tidbit: orchids are what are called epiphytes, which means they grow by attaching to the top of another living plant. I figured that sounded like a good metaphor to describe what Dharma seems to have been doing on the Island.
As Ben begins fiddling with switches and paperwork, Locke begins asking silly questions about Dharma’s silly experiments. He’s absolutely stupefied as he stares around the room asking, “Is this the Magic Box?” The Vault actually reminded me a bit of the egg-shaped teleportation pods from David Cronenberg's “The Fly”. However, it was not teleporting flies this magic box was used for but rather, time-travelling bunnies.
Like a parent trying to get their pestering child out of their hair for a moment so that they can concentrate, Ben uses the modern babysitter, television, and sits Locke down in front of the “very informative” Orchid orientation video. However, this time we get to see the actual version versus the “outtakes” released at last year’s Comic Con.
While Ben continues about his business, loading the Vault with all types of metallic, inorganic objects from the around room, Dr. Halliwax warns on the video that what Ben is doing is exactly what no one should ever do, not ever. Locke is almost speechless as this is occurring, but I think most of us were not worried because of the fact that Ben always has a plan. Besides, we have already seen the Pearl station and the lies Dharma created around it, so I figured there was something we were still not being told on that tape.
However, it would seem that Ben did not plan on seeing the elevator door close and the lift begin to bring someone else down into the station to join them.
Careful with That Axe, Eugene
As we have learned many times on LOST, just because someone gets shot repeatedly, or impaled with a harpoon, or has their brain cooked, or gets knifed in the back, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get back up at some later time and continue about their business. So it was not a huge surprise that Keamy found his way down to the Orchid, bleeding profusely, limping through the darkness, yet still for some reason bragging about his body armor. Although I giggled at the reference to Richard being Ben’s “boyfriend”, the string of taunts that Keamy spewed forth in reference to Alex had me gritting my teeth and quite anxious for the moment that we all knew was coming.
But first Locke had to try to play intervention. I’m not really sure why Locke thought he could reason with that brute, unless it was part of Ben’s plan to distract Keamy so that he could then attack. Which he did, indeed. In a display almost as disturbing as the murder of Alex, Ben beats Keamy and then viciously butchers him in the neck with a knife. Even though my stomach was churning from that scene, I am glad that Ben stopped that beast once and for all. The consequences of killing Keamy, however, would not be anything to be glad about as we would soon find out.
Not that it mattered to Ben or anything…
Your Possible Pasts
One of my favorite parts on the entire episode was the exchange between Miles and Charlotte, moments after Daniel asked them to take the next Zodiac raft trip back to the freighter. Miles is turning out to be one of the most intriguing of the new characters, which I will delve into more with the next article. He is also quite hilarious. The way that he hinted to Charlotte that he knew it was not her first trip to the Island was quite clever, and at times his sarcasm reminds me of the same brand that Sawyer occasionally demonstrates.
However, this revelation about Charlotte had already been in the back of many of our minds. When she first landed on the island, plunged into the water, and then splashed about, she seemed to be ecstatic. She acted as if she was thrilled to finally find the Island, or more appropriately, as if she was giddy to finally be back. Once again we have the mirror and water symbolism coming into play, as when she landed she ended up hanging upside down above her own reflection. In addition, her re-emergence from the pond after she dropped from the tree could also be interpreted as a kind of rebirth
Her position is also reminiscent of The Hanged Man, a Tarot card originally designed around the symbolism of the death of St. Peter, who was crucified hanging upside down. A. E. Waite, the creator of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, wrote:
I love all of the theories that surround Charlotte and who she might possibly be related to as well. Was she actually born on the island? When she asks Daniel, “Would it make any sense if I told you I was still looking for where I was born?” it certainly seems to be a major clue. Some people believe she is Ben’s childhood flame, Annie, but I would say she would more likely match the age of Annie’s daughter if she had one.
Could she be Ben and Annie’s daughter, one of many DHARMA children possibly rushed off of the Island to safety before the Purge? Did Annie have to leave when she was pregnant with Charlotte to avoid the typical fate of pregnant women who try to give birth there? Or is she related to the Others in some way? Was she a child that Widmore stole when he was once on the Island? This could perhaps explain her accent as well. At one point I even thought she was working for Ben. Now I believe she is connected not only to Widmore but also more than likely has worked for Sun’s father, Mr. Paik, due to her knowledge of Korean. And since we know now for a fact that Widmore and Paik are connected, well, it seems like we already have a nice little family here.
While the rest of the beach crew was gearing up for the next Zodiac run to the freighter, the helicopter with Frank, Jack, Hurley, Kate and Sayid was already well on its way there. That is, until the engine started to cough and it was discovered to be leaking fuel like an open spigot. I think that is when the mysterious lump formed in my stomach. As the panicked group tried to toss out gear to reduce the weight they were carrying, the tension grew. And as we saw the somewhat ashamed look on Hurley’s face as everyone was trying to minimize the load, that mysterious lump moved to my throat.
Once the camera panned over to show the expression on Sawyer’s face, I give my props again to Josh Holloway’s acting because I immediately knew what he was thinking and began to get choked up. I started yelling at my television, “Noooooo! Not sawyer!!! Don’t do it!! Nooooo!” That entire scene tore me to pieces. Even though there was a chance that he would make it back to the Island safely, it was the emotion of the moment where once again Sawyer risks his life for someone else that was so overwhelming. (I am a wimp when it comes to these kinds of scenes if you haven’t already noticed!)
By the way, I didn’t see Jack trying to fight with Sawyer over who would jump, like Charlie and Desmond wrestled over who would swim down to the Looking Glass Station in last season’s finale. So what, Sawyer doesn’t count when Jack says he has to get EVERYONE off of the Island? Sure does seem to be the case, doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem to matter that Sawyer had just risked his life to follow Jack back into the jungle after Hurley. However, what burns me up the most is that during this scene we learn Sawyer didn’t “choose” to stay on the Island as Jack said to Kate in “Something Nice Back Home”. He returned to the island to save the lives of everyone on that helicopter, including Jack who has just been revealed to be more and more of a selfish jerk as the season has progressed. I suppose it just has to do with good old fashioned competition for the woman you love, and Jack is all about Number One, as we once again witness once they reach the freighter.
It is Sayid who next visits Hurley in the flash-forward at Santa Rosa, right after shooting a man who had been sitting in a car outside stalking the place for a week. As if Hurley wasn’t already creeped out enough, Sayid tells him they are being watched, and they must move to a safer place. Sayid doesn’t seem to believe the official story that Jeremy “John Locke” Bentham” died via suicide. I would trust Sayid since he seems to be watching the watchers. In addition, I do believe Sayid when he told Hurley he wasn’t taking him back to the Island, and don’t think he knows yet that they all must return. Remember he is still working for Ben in order to keep the remaining survivors safe from being discovered. Or so he was told by Ben.
It is interesting to note Hurley’s chess game with “Mister Eko”. Hurley was shown as the black side, which to me seemed to reflect his inner self that has been darkened by his fear of the Island’s constant draw, and the fact he has been seeing dead people.
Goodbye Cruel World
Luckily, Hurley also saw the freighter had ended up behind them, as they literally were flying on empty. Our good friend Desmond was also already there on deck to guide them in to safety. Wait, you mean he wasn’t waving them in, shouting the traditional freighter-people welcome, “You’re the bomb! You’re the bomb!”? Oh. Well, I guess I was way off on that one.
Anyone who claims that John Locke does not care about the lives of others just needs to re-watch the scene where he fervently tries to keep Keamy alive so the freighter does not explode. This time the roles of parent and child almost seem to be reversed, with Locke trying to act responsibly, while Ben sits stoically and throws out bratty statements such as, “It’s not my problem, John.”
Once the bomb’s light turns red, things on the freighter stop being polite and start getting REAL. Life-preservers are flying, Frank is barking orders, fuel is pumping, duct tape is being applied in copious amounts; it’s always a wild time on the Kahana! However, Sun still hasn’t seen Jin come up onto the deck yet, and once more in another brilliant baby-dodging move, Kate gets out of having to hold Aaron and offers to run off to look for him instead.
Down below in the bomb room, Michael made one final gesture to show us that he really isn’t a bad person, and that he did not want to see yet another family broken apart so tragically like his own was. When the nitrogen begins to run low he tells Jin, the man with whom he once fought with what seems like so many times on the Island, “Hey, come on. It's over. I'm almost out of this stuff. Listen, you are a father now. Get to your wife and get her home.” I was so moved by this moment, both with the excitement that Jin would be able to reunite with Sun, and for the bittersweet sacrifice that Michael was about to make.
It’s an incredibly tense scene as Jin races up towards the deck at the same time that Frank is starting the helicopter. Just as it seems that Kate is about to go meet him, Jack grabs her and almost forces her to come with him, because he’s not leaving without her. Once again, Jack shows his selfishness even as Kate tries to tell him that Jin is still below. However, it could also be seen from the perspective that if Jack had not acted in this manner, Kate may have been left behind as well.
They scramble aboard and the helicopter takes off without Jin, just as he finally makes it on deck. Jin runs towards them and does his best to signal, while Sun squeals that they must go back for him. However, they could not go back with such little fuel, and so my hopes for a reunion were also left behind on the freighter.
As the nitrogen tank finally empties, the sound of the whispers can be heard once again and in a flash Christian Shepherd appears, still in his cabin attire, in front of Michael. “You can go now, Michael,” are his only words. I believe this was the Island releasing Michael from its grip, as his Work was finally Done. These were also the same words also used by Miles in his flashback as he was leaving the ghost grandson’s bedroom. To me, this just reinforces the idea that the Island was indeed keeping Michael alive to carry out this specific task of staying behind, making peace with those whom he had betrayed, and making sure the right people get to safety. He had indeed at last redeemed himself, and is now giving his life in an unselfish manner. The Island may have been also teaching Michael that suicide is not the answer, and is the coward's way out. Hopefully, someone will someday tell Walt of his bravery.
Just as quickly as Michael can mutter, “Who are you?” the freighter explodes.
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Just as quickly as the freighter explodes, Sun loses her mind. The rest of the gang had to keep her from literally diving out of the helicopter into the burning, sinking wreckage. I am not sure if I have ever seen an actress scream like that before, and it was one of the most convincing emotional scenes of the entire series in my opinion. I think Yunjin Kim is a highly underrated actress, and I hope that her portrayal in this episode of such raw anguish and utter despair for the loss of her husband will continue to be highlighted.
However, are we sure that Jin is really dead? This might be one of the most heavily discussed topics of the finale so far. And I must say there is convincing evidence on both sides of the debate; so much so that I continue to remain pretty much on the fence on this subject. However, if I were to go with my gut feeling, I would stick with the idea that he is alive that I have held since the episode “Ji Yeon”.
At some point in the future when Ji Yeon is old enough to speak to mommy on the phone, we learn that Sun has tracked down Mr. Charles Widmore in London. As she approaches him, dressed in her classic black and white, I got the feeling that this was a spider weaving a web around her prey. Whatever “common interest” that the two share, I believe Sun is only using Widmore to find the Island.
This is part of the reason that I believe Jin is still alive. It is very possible that Locke as Bentham visited Sun and told her he had made it. This could also explain why it took so long for her to go after Widmore, as the connections with her father were obvious and she could have found him at any time. Whatever the case may be, I believe the look on her face as she walked away from Widmore tells us she is not at all looking to team up with him in any way, but rather she is most likely looking to destroy him.
The Hero's Return
Back on the Island, the freighter explosion could be seen from the beach, and Juliette nurses a bottle of rum like Captain Jack Sparrow himself. This is the second time her means of leaving the Island has been blown to smithereens, and this time Locke wasn’t even involved. In fact, for once Locke had been trying to stop it!
Cue the saucy, shirtless Sawyer, who swam up to the shore and staggered onto the sand. What lady’s spirits wouldn’t be lifted by that scene? There was a glint of something in Juliette’s eyes as well as Sawyer’s, and a slightly flirty undertone to their initial conversation. However the overwhelming emotion returned to the sadness of what Juliette had witnessed, and when she fills Sawyer in on what happened he stares in despair, while she drinks on. Sawyer would more than likely assume they had all died on the freighter, as those on the Island had no way of knowing that the helicopter had actually made it away in time. Overall, things were looking pretty hopeless from their point of view.
Not Now John
Once Keamy is dead, Ben returns to more important work, such as blowing up the Orchid Station Vault and then changing into that lovely winter parka we saw him turn up in the Sahara Desert wearing in “The Shape of Things to Come”. It’s time to move the Island.
Unfortunately, however, Locke is not invited. Ben tells him that although John was told what to do with the Island, he was not told how to do it because Jacob wants Ben to “suffer the consequences”. According to Ben, whoever moves the Island can never return. My guess is that this is another one of Ben’s half-truths, as the reason why one cannot return is probably because once the Island has been moved it becomes almost impossible to find.
Locke is informed that it is now his duty to take Ben’s place alongside Richard and the Others, where they will now be totally willing to share their secrets with him and follow his every command. Ben also apologizes to Locke for making his life “so miserable”. I think there was something genuine to that apology, but it also hints that somehow Ben, or perhaps even Richard’s intervention, might be responsible for some of the less positive things that have happened to John before he even reached the Island. The scene where a pregnant Emily Locke gets hit by a car is certainly one thing that comes to mind, as there still remains something suspicious about that “accident”.
In their last moment together before parting, Locke asks of the Others, “What do I tell 'em to do?” Ben replies, “You'll find your way, John. You always do.” I’ve had to really think about this statement, and whether or not there is actually some respect that Ben has come to have for John Locke, who in a way has “beaten him” for the seat of the Island’s Chosen One. Nah, probably not. More than likely Ben, who always has a plan, once again knows something that we do not, and that these words could actually reflect the opposite of what is about to happen when Locke takes the helm.
Everything so far that we have seen of Locke’s past seems to make Ben’s statement even more ironic. We have been shown a man who has mostly been trying to find himself in others, so now it only makes sense that he finds himself at home among The Others. Locke has certainly found his way through life, and yet somehow always continues onwards no matter what the obstacle. He has found his way into being manipulated, but he has also found his way into being healed by this Island. Whatever the reason is that the Island wants him now, Locke seems to really like the idea of being a leader, just as he has always fancied himself to be.
Something tells me that “very bad things” might happen on the Island because of Locke’s newfound position, and his willingness to be believe so completely.
The Thin Ice
As Locke settles in at New Camp Otherton, yet another layer of the Orchid station is peeled away and Ben enters through a hole in the Vault wall that resulted in that explosion he caused. Here we are once more traveling through some dark cave that leads to yet another “hatch” of sorts, going down even deeper underground. However, the hole at the bottom is frozen over, and Ben must break through with his foot to continue his descent. Unfortunately he slips on what seemed like a very old ladder and we see him cut his arm in the same place we had seen in “The Shape of Things to Come” when he appeared suddenly in the middle of the Sahara.
Yet another seemingly ancient place has been covered up by Dharma, and its power harnessed for their own purposes. Ben collects himself after his fall and lights an old lantern hanging upon a stone obelisk, which is covered in hieroglyphs just as we have seen on the secret door in Ben’s closet back at the Barracks. Finally, it is revealed that across from Ben is a giant wheel, just as the producers had promised.
I am still laughing at this joke on us all, as throughout the season they had been referencing the big finale twist as “The Frozen Donkey Wheel”. Each season the show’s creatives choose a “codename” of sorts to refer to the moment at the end of that is supposed to blow our minds. Last season’s amazing flash-forward shocker was aptly called “The Rattlesnake in the Mailbox”. But I don’t think anyone could have considered the possibility that this season’s secret codename would literally be a Frozen Donkey Wheel! The only difference was that Ben was the Donkey!
It is obvious that Dharma at least knew about the chamber, as we have the parka with Dr. Halliwax’s name embroidered onto it. I then start to wonder how they would have come to learn exactly what the wheel did upon turning it. There was most likely that first, unfortunate test-subject, who ended up suddenly in the middle of the desert after taking a spin. But then I consider the polar bear that Charlotte Lewis found in Tunisia, with the Dharma collar still lying in the sand. A polar bear could certainly be comfortable down in a frozen cave such as this chamber, and we know that they do seem to be now living in the caves on the Island. In addition, we have been told back in season three that the polar bears that were kept captive by Dharma were fast learners. However we were never told why Dharma was keeping these bears, or what they were ultimately trying to teach them. Is it possible that the polar bears were being taught to be the wheel-turners in order to move the Island without having to forfeit a human life?
The frozen chamber also has that rickety ladder and gas lamp, items I do not believe Dharma would have placed there. Could this place have been used by the other visitors to the Island as well, such as the crew from the Black Rock? If Charles Widmore is indeed Magnus Hanso, or some other member from that ship, is it also possible that he could have turned the wheel at some point? Did Ben somehow trick him into turning it, knowing that as a result Widmore would be cast off the Island? Is this why Widmore claims the Island was stolen from him, and why he cannot find it still to this day?
It is also interesting to note that when Ben ended up in the Sahara, it seemed as if he had been there previously, and was even a preferred guest at the Tunisian hotel. How has Ben been doing all of this traveling? It now seems as if there is indeed some other method we do not know of besides turning this wheel, which I believe is truly for moving the Island. We know Ben has a closet full of currencies from different countries as well as a fake ID. However what we do not know is how Ben, as well as Tom, Richard, and Ethan, have been able to move back and forth from the Island. In “Meet Kevin Johnson” a perplexed Michael asks Tom, “So you people can just... come and go?” Tom’s response was quick as he says, “Some of us.” There is something odd about that answer as it implies that certain Others have a different ability or knowledge the rest do not. I definitely do not believe the submarine that Locke exploded was the only way of coming and going.
SIDESTEP: Interstellar Overdrive
When Ben begins to turn the wheel, an extremely loud, screeching mechanical sound can be heard all over the Island and as far away as the helicopter. Immediately some sort of ancient machinery comes to mind, something with lots of gears similar to what one would expect to find in a forgotten temple, or like one of the mystical contraptions from the Indiana Jones series. The old wheel, the hieroglyphs, the constant references to Greek and Egyptian cultures, the underground tunnels that the smoke monster Cerberus inhabits, and the giant four-toed foot all seem to point at some strange ancient culture (or cultures) that was able to somehow figure out how to use the forces present on the Island to manipulate space and time. In fact, what if the Island itself is basically one big time machine?
Or to take it one step further, what if the Island was the perfect escape pod, designed to sustain life and also avoid any potential disaster by altering its place in this dimension?
On the Orchid orientation video, Dr. Halliwax explains, “This is the vault, constructed adjacent to a pocket of what we believe...negatively charged exotic matter." After placing a rabbit in the vault, he continues to discuss the actual process of what happens when they decide to, “shift the test subject 100 milliseconds ahead in four-dimensional space.” However, before we learn what really happens, the video tape suddenly decides to rewind itself. This was odd indeed and seemed to me to have some sort of significance. This is not the first time in the show, nor in this episode that reversal has been a theme. Could it be suggesting some sort of unpredictability when attempting to control this power of the Island? Or is it a clue to where the Island has been before, in the past?
Now, allow me to add on to the idea of the Island as Escape Pod. Let us now consider the possibility that the Island’s origins are not ancient, but rather futuristic.
What if the Island’s powers originate from some future point in the timeline where these high-level, currently theoretical concepts such as time travel had already been conquered? What if their advances in genetics altered the human body, resulting in feet with only four toes, yet also allowing these “new” people such blessings such as immortality?
I am thinking then at some point a disaster occurred, the “end of the world” future where “every single one of us is dead” as Ms. Hawking put it. This might have caused the Island’s inhabitants to have to move the Island back in time, to see if they could alter the timeline somehow, just as Dharma was trying to alter something called the Valenzetti Equation, a mathematical prediction of the precise moment when life on Earth will cease to be. Maybe they moved it very far back, so far back that civilizations such as the Egyptians were still in their prime.
Various ancient groups may have indeed then found the Island and discovered its properties. Perhaps some of them learned to harness the Island’s powers as well, marking certain areas with glyphs and instructions, almost as if they were worshipping this place as something more than just an Island. I could continue to discuss the relevance of the constant Egyptian references and the Underworld, but I will also save that for a future installment.
At some point the Black Rock meets the Island, and the Hanso family is introduced to its powerful properties. Three generations later the great-grandson of the ship’s captain, Alvar Hanso, forms the Hanso Foundation, from which the Dharma project is born. It would seem the Island was then turned into a secret research facility, but perhaps in their blind curiosity, they did something very wrong.
What if this was the “incident” that is sometimes referred to? Could they have possibly distorted the Island’s timeline, or even opened up some other dimension? I wonder if an event like this could be responsible for Jacob’s current state of being and explain his hatred of technology. Maybe he even tried to stop Dharma, or became caught up in their experiment-gone-wrong, and now he is trapped in between existence and non-existence.
If the Island has a “future history”, this could account for the way that Ben seems to already know what is to happen so very often. This circumstance might also relate to why the O6 need to return to the Island because they are forever connected to its destiny. They are indeed like pieces on a chess board, where the game is pre-determined and the “rules” are actually the moments of a certain timeline that need to be played out if the world is to be saved.
Overall, I believe it is possible the good guys are either trying to “reset” the Island back to its true course and timeline, or they are trying to close a dimension Dharma accidentally opened that they never should have in the first place.
More on that last thought in a bit…
Goodbye Blue Sky
With a blinding light and a low thud, the Island disappears from view and leaves only ripples in its place. As the helicopter crew wipes the explosion of white from their eyes, the horrifying realization sets in that there is no more Island anywhere to be found, just wide open ocean. One of the things I really like about LOST is that it constantly puts its characters in very real danger and you never know when a major player is going to die. As the remaining survivors rushed to put on life vests Frank screamed for everyone to brace themselves, and I certainly did for one of the wildest helicopter crashes I have ever seen portrayed.
But crashing flying objects into the water is old hat to this crew, and after splashing about and regaining their senses, they one by one climb into the life raft that Sayid had so thoughtfully tossed out in the nick of time. That is, with the exception of Desmond, who had to be hoisted, unconscious, into the raft where he is given CPR by a very panicked Jack. Once again it seems that the water and Desmond’s consciousness become connected, and as he is revived and starts looking around with an expression of both fear and amazement, I cannot help but wonder if Desmond did any “travelling” or had any “flashes” while he was knocked out.
I do have to say one thing more about this scene because I really cannot help it. How in the world did Aaron survive that crash? Is it just me, or does that seem like an extremely unlikely scenario for a baby of his age? I don’t think he was even crying when they got him to the raft! Perhaps I’ll just chalk this one up to something along the lines of the Island wouldn’t let Aaron die.
The Post War Dream
Maybe that is not such a bad explanation, however, when we consider what happens to Kate at some point in her future as mother to the boy.
In the middle of the night a sudden phone call reaches Kate with backwards voices telling her, “The Island needs you. You have to go back before it's too late.” Seconds later she hears creaking noises in her hallway, and the sound of Aaron’s door being opened. I love how Kate then instantly goes for her gun and without hesitation bursts into the room in a cop-like stance.
To her surprise and ours, it is Claire beside Aaron’s bed, and she turns to forcefully approach Kate stating, “Don't bring him back, Kate. Don't you dare bring him back.” Suddenly Kate snaps awake from what seems to be a dream, and runs to check on Aaron in his room. It is interesting to note that the lighting in this scene is specifically on the boy, as he is the only thing in the light surrounded by shadow. This seems to reflect what the psychic had originally told Claire in “Raised by Another”, as he said specifically that, “danger surrounds this baby.”
I believe there is something not quite right about this dream-message to Kate. For one thing, we have two conflicting messages. Second, this message came to Kate in her unconscious dream state, while the other O6’ers have seen their “dead but here” Island messengers while they were awake. To me there is something sinister about the way this whole thing went down, especially the way Claire did not at all seem to be like the Claire we have grown to know. If the message came from something other than the Island, it might make sense that it would use Kate’s unconscious, and that any messages to her from the Island trying to intervene would come through as reversed.
This feeds into my continued belief that there is some other dark force at work on the Island, trying to move against the O6 and their return. I believe this force is what will ultimately manipulate Locke and result in the “very bad things” that happen on the Island once the O6 leave. Perhaps it is indeed something that has come through from some other dimension that Dharma is responsible for as mentioned previously, and at this point it does not want to return.
In addition we have another relationship to this dream and the episode “Raised by Another”, however this time it is Claire who is the dreamer. Lostpedia provides a great description for those who might not remember:
There is a lot of symbolism layered in here, including the Tarot itself, but overall I believe it points to Aaron needing to return to the Island, and not the other way around. Once again there is heaviness to this child and how I believe he might tie into this story. Furthermore, I am thinking that Claire would have never have given him up, nor would she want to keep him away, unless she was no longer just Claire.
Is There Anybody Out There?
Speaking of giving up, I started to wonder how long before the helicopter-turned-raft crew would decide to begin eating each other, when out of the hopeless night came the lights of Penny’s boat, the Searcher, sent off towards the Island with the hopes of finding Desmond.
In the darkness, surrounded by nothing but the endless waters, the two found each other once more. Odysseus was reunited with his Penelope, and the look on her face when she saw him was priceless. It was a lovely little bit of closure in such an intense episode, and a great reward for fans of this love affair through time. And yes, I got all teary eyed during the scene.
I also really liked the parting words between Jack and Desmond, where this time things are reversed and Jack is the one who says. “See you in another life, brother.”
Now that we have learned how the O6 faked their arrival on the Indonesian island of Sumba, the puzzle is complete, from the beginning of the lie to its results in the future as we know it so far. The entire cast did a wonderful job during the scene when they arrive, as each one reacts in their own way and the realization that they finally made it begins to settle upon them.
Bring the Boys Back Home
The final reveal of John Locke as the man in the casket was definitely a shocker. Ben’s sudden appearance in the funeral parlor along with Jack was also sudden and more than likely more than coincidental. “The island won't let you come alone. You have to do it together. All of you.” says Ben to Jack as they stand over yet another Box of Locke. It’s like a reflection of Jack’s own catch-phrase, “Live together, die alone”, has come back to haunt him.
And once again Jack is to arrive on the Island with a coffin in tow. I wonder if there will be a pair of white tennis shoes waiting for Locke once he gets back. Will a new, “dead but here” Locke take the place of Christian as the resident Island spoke-spirit? I am sure he will certainly be back in some form or another once his body reaches the Island once more.
That is, if he is even dead. We already know there is something fishy about the official story that was released about his apparent suicide. In addition, I would not put it past Ben to be behind his death in order to gain entrance back to the Island. Once more I wonder if this is not what Ben did to Widmore and tricked him off of the Island, except Locke was not as lucky as to get to continue living.
Why did Locke leave the Island in the first place? If there was something horrible happening there, is it possible that Locke tried to move it as well and was cast off just like Ben was? Or, could Locke and Ben be in on this plan together? They both may share a common interest and may truly need all of the O6 in able to return to the Island. In addition, we know from Locke’s past that his own father faked his death, and so it is possible that a little bit of that con artist rubbed off on Locke as well.
As we navigate the interpersonal drama and intense action of season four, LOST continues to also dig deeper into the great philosophical questions, while also reaching further into the world of science fiction, especially that which borders theoretical physics and quantum mechanics. Of course we love it because it also touches on those archetypes that storytellers have been engraining into the consciousness of humankind for ages upon ages. And it does so with wit, humanity, intelligence, and deeply engaging writing of the greatest television mythology since the X-Files.
It is important to note that the structure of the show itself has changed over time, where past, present, and future have seemed to finally meet in one place, and then get tumbled about. The show seems to be symbolically spiraling in on itself, just as the Orchid Station logo design suggests. More and more often we find familiar scenes being mirrored, situations being reversed, and characters becoming the opposite of what they were. Enemies are now working together. “Common interests” are being pursued, and some of our castaways seem to even be working for the "Greater Good".
Once again I hold on to my trusty Wheel of Time concept as a reminder that events may no longer be played out to us “in order”, and we may even find ourselves having to guess more and more where we are in the timeline. That is our problem. We cannot help but see time as a line. However it is nothing of the sort, and I believe that the show will continue to tease our perception of when to reinforce the idea that, “When...is kind of a relative term”, as Daniel Farraday tells us.
Who knows, this crazy Island may have been bumping and jumping back and forth through time and space for a good long while now. Perhaps I too have been looking at it wrong, trying to speculate about the Island’s origins as either ancient or futuristic, trying to place it into some tangible point in time…
Perhaps instead, just maybe, the Island is from no time...
Once more I want to thank you all for your support as a new recapper with Dark UFO. I am so very honored to be able to share these thoughts with so many fans.
I will hopefully see some of you at Comic Con with Team ODI, and the rest of you at Dark UFO next season. In the meantime you can stay in touch here at my blog, The Four Toed Foot.
Big Orange LOST Love!
*I write about LOST because I love the challenge of deciphering the clues and adding the pieces together. My thoughts are based solely on the show, the LOST Experience, and random research, as I try to avoid spoilers, promos, and even future episode titles. I love to guess what is going on, but I also like to do so in a way that leaves some of the conclusions still up to you. I do not know the answers and am often wrong. Whatever the truth turns out to be, it has been the journey that has meant the most to me.*
Posted By: The ODI