Things I Noticed - LaFleur
Every once in a while, we get a break from high drama and are given an episode that's straighter than the arrow on Horace's jumpsuit. LaFleur was one of those breaks. It's our own personal flashback to the straight-up storytelling days of S1, before we were peppered with a dozen new mysteries per show. And where it could've been jammed with more filler than storebrand hot dogs, it was packed with lots of great character development, interaction, AND it advanced the island story three whole years... all this plus sex, gunplay, and girls baking brownies in 3-quarter length sleeved 70's tees. Damn I miss those T-shirts. Things I Noticed:
Yeah, I'm still pitching last night's tent for the 4-toed statue. And I'm sure the producers are still laughing their asses off, too. It was incredibly slick and happened so fast... and MAN the timing on that flash just totally sucked.
But hey, at least we got a solid glimpse of the ass side of it. The statue is clearly Egyptian, and it's holding the rounded loop of an Ankh in the right hand. The elf-like ears jive well with many of Egypt's gods, who were often represented as crosses between a man and another animal. I had mentioned Anubis in my review two weeks ago, but the Jackyl-God's ears would be taller. Another good guess would be Horus, Egyptian god of the sun (and of war?). There are some good arguments for him being the best candidate, the first being that this episode had a whole lot of 'Horace' in it to begin with. The popular eye of Horus symbol could also be a reference to the glass eye found in the arrow station back in S2. Horus was even half falcon, and falcons have four talons on each claw. But there's also a big argument against Horus: falcons have no ears.
With all the white/black, dark/light, good/evil parallels in LOST, maybe it's not too far a stretch to consider that the ultimate battle at the end of the show takes place between the Egyptian gods themselves. And who will they turn out to be? Richard? Locke? Ben? Widmore? Amon? Horus? Set? Anubis? Is Kate Osiris? Is Hurley Ra? Hehehe... I'm kidding. Sorta.
Seeing the statue was awesome, and they really made it into a cool scene. Still, I think I'll be a little disappointed if it turns out to be nothing more than an icon of a standard Egyptian god. I really want it to be Richard, or Locke, or Sawyer, or even Jack's dad Christian. I don't care who it is, as long as it's not Paulo.
This Episode was For the Birds
On the subject of falcons, another bird made two solid appearances in last night's episode: the owl. First we see a wooden owl in Amy's house, during the scene where she's going into labor. Later on we see another wooden owl hanging from the wall in Heather's home. After 90 seconds of research, I've uncovered nothing important about the owl in Egyptian mythology, other than that it represents the letter 'M'. So if anyone else can come up with something, me and the 4-toed statue are all ears.
Daniel... Starting to Annoy Me Again
Dunno why. On one hand I feel badly for him losing Charlotte, but on the other hand the whole 'decent into madness' thing has me rolling my eyes. We've seen our other characters go through a lot more crazy shit than Dan's had to handle so far, with his not-even-a-love-interest dying in his arms. Remember that Hurley took Libby's death like a man, and Shannon got over Boone in like what, twelve hours? And they'd known each other a lot longer and a lot more intimately than just a freighter trip.
Faraday's assertion that he's "not gonna do it" obviously refers to his future/past warning to young Charlotte. Yet going by his own rule of 'whatever happens has already happened', he knows inwardly that he's going to warn her anyway. Mourning aside, this is the real reason he's going crazy right now. Daniel's fighting the urge to grab that little red-headed girl and shake the island out of her... but at the same time his ever-logical mind knows he can't stop it from happening. Grief. Turmoil. Inner struggle. Ooooh!!! I wonder what happens?
Did the Creepy Guy from Mulholland Drive just say 'Hootenanny'?
And has he even once trimmed his eyebrows since that movie? Damn. He looks like the eagle from the Muppet Show.
And Another Thing... That SOS Sign you Made Sucks!
Fine, I'll bite. Just where the hell are Rose and Bernard? Did they crawl off to the caves to become Adam and Eve, like most people are theorizing? Wherever they are, I'm sure Bernard is doing something the 'wrong' way and Rose is bitching him out about it. For more fun along those lines, go watch Everyone Loves Raymond. Which episode? EVERY episode.
There are Two Types of People in this World: Those Who Have Guns... and Those who Dig
A seemingly normal practice has started to intrigue me, very subtly, when it comes to LOST. To put it out there, I'm amazed at how almost everyone who seems to die on the island ends up in pretty much in the same place - and that place is buried.
Now I know Amy's insistence on burying the dead Others had good reasoning behind it, but I'd imagine burying a full grown man (much less two) without a shovel would be pretty time-consuming. And considering the Others' ridiculously TV-esque jungle tracking abilities, I'd also imagine they'd find evidence of such a burial. If you can pick out a broken leaf in an overgrown forest, you can definitely pick out the disturbed soil of a recently-dug shallow grave. Just saying.
And the way that Danielle and Karl got buried has always bugged me. I couldn't imagine Keamy's freighter jocks taking time out of their busy mission of tracking down Ben Linus in order to bury two people they just killed - especially when they could just as easily be pushed into some thick undergrowth and covered with those giant jungle leaves. That, coupled with the eerie way they looked when their bodies were found, led me to believe less and less that they were buried and more and more that the island 're-claimed' them.
The Marshal, Boone, Shannon, Ana Lucia, Libby... all buried. Ethan got buried. The tail-enders buried their own dead. Locke buried Eko. Nikki and Paulo even got buried alive, and all the Dharma purge-victims ended up in a giant open grave. The American soldiers got buried. Someone even buried poor Henry Gale - he got a makeshift tombstone and everything. In fact, the only person I can think of who never got buried (besides Arzt, who got evaporated) would be the one and only Christian Shephard. And he's still walking around.
What does this mean? Probably nothing. Especially since I just thought of 4 more people who never got buried (Ben's dad, Adam, Eve, the skeleton in the bear cave). But on the island, one way or the other, almost everything seems to return to the ground.
Hell Yeah He's Dharma Material
The on-islander's Dharma backstory was an incredibly awesome way to span the 3-year arc between the time the O6 left and returned to the island. Not only was it done with great storytelling, but it also let us know that time *does* pass parallel in both the island and off-island universes. Although everyone might've been on different songs, the length of those songs were apparently identical.
Sawyer has always been in the front-running for the most transformed character on the show, but after this episode there can be no doubt. We've watched his name go from Sawyer to James, and now even his last name is adjusted to LaFleur. He's gone from a loner with no accountability to the head of Dharma security, and he's taken on an extremely Jack-like leadership role. Traditionally, Sawyer's trudged around the jungle following everyone else, grumbling complaints, and dropping sarcastic/hilarious remarks. Yet LaFleur leads others, makes quick decisions, and takes decisive action - and with all the funny comments to boot.
More extensively, Sawyer's undergone radical emotional changes. He cares for the well being of the people around him, from telling Amy he's sorry for her husband's death in 1974 to trying to preserve Horace's image in 1977. Even the way he went after Locke at the beginning of the episode was pretty telling. Sawyer went from waking up on a couch with Horace standing over him to watching over Horace as he woke up from his own couch... then went on to comfort and console Horace with relationship advice and haunting tales of lost love. When Sawyer shot the polar bear between the eyes all those years ago, did you ever imagine you'd see him picking flowers and putting his reading glasses on his night table? Me neither. But it's really, really cool.
Juliet's Got Sawyer's Back.... And his Front. :)
The hooking up of Sawyer and Juliet was surprisingly awesome, made even more great by all the tough stuff they've been through together. While the O6 were off boring me to death in the real world, these two have been time-jumping and dry humping. Juliet turns out to be the type of girl who can drill someone through the heart from 50 yards away, deliver a baby with a #5 scalpel, and then go out and rebuild your transmission. Let me tell you guys something... when you find that type of girl you STICK with her.
Honestly, I never thought I'd like Juliet paired with anyone. Overall she just seemed too nondescript and unremarkable. But with Sawyer, I think she's great. I don't think either of them have ever had someone who's backed them up the way they are able to do with each other. The things they've faced together have bonded them in ways the O6 won't ever know, and they both seem genuinely happy for it.
The Jet Lag on a 30+ Year Flight is a Total Bitch
Sorry, but when Kate stepped out of that van she kinda looked like dogcrap. I found myself sappily hoping she doesn't screw up the whole Sawyer/Juliet thing. While I know that a love triangle is probably essential to some viewing interests, I'm pretty tired of all the flip-flopping. Kate, who's character I really liked at one point, seems to be responsible for most of this wishy-washy crap, and I hope it stays pretty much where it is. I'd rather get to the good stuff, and I'd rather get old Kate back.
Reaction-wise, Kate's return is certainly going to throw Juliet for a loop. And although the Sawyer/Juliet hookup will surprise Jack, no one's going to be more pissy than when Ben finds out. In fact, it got me thinking: Maybe Ben already found out. Is this why Ben mated Kate and Sawyer at the Dharma beating zoo in the first place, like a pair of wild animals? Because he was hoping to get Sawyer so involved with Kate that he wouldn't want Juliet later on? This would imply Ben knew in advance that the two of them would play Dharma house together. But then again, I think by now Ben knows he's going to end up alone... a bitter, single old man popping pringles and watching
Twilight Zone episodes while sneering at their predictability.
Okay, I Think I Know Why They're Using a Sub.
Now that we know Dharma can come and go from the island pretty much as they please, the question becomes: why do it by sub? Compared to a motor-driven ship, a submarine would be pretty damned slow and it's carrying capacity downright sucks. So what's the deal?
My guess: the 'window' to the island lies underwater. At least currently, while the island is in its present time and position. We've seen reference to certain compass bearings in order to get on and off the island, but those have always been two-dimensional representations of a 360-degree circle. What if the island's radius of accessibility is a three-dimensional sphere, and the window that allows entry (which Dharma has determined is open only once every two weeks) happens to lie on a plane of reference that is beneath the surface of the water? That's my new sub theory and I'm sticking to it. For now, anyway.
3.2 Million Dollars
In three year's time, how much accumulated knowledge should Miles have regarding the lost/dead souls he can commune with on the island? If I were him, I'd be taking notes.
Sawyer Takes Richard to Time School
This was the best scene of the week. The whole way Sawyer handled Richard was excellent - it's no wonder Horace makes him the head of security. "You still think I'm in damned Dharma?" "No, I guess I don't". Priceless.
The plot of LOST is always evolving, but the best parts are role reversals like these. For so long we watched the 815'ers bungle through the jungle - knowing less than nothing - while the Others smirkingly held all the cards. That's why it's so wholly satisfying to watch Richard drag his gigantic brass balls into the middle of Dharma-town... only to have Sawyer come up and stomp all over them. A complete turnaround - it's like suddenly the home team is finally winning. I love that shit.
Interesting to note here is mention of a truce between the Others and Dharma. Couple this with Widmore's words to Locke last week about ruling peacefully and for such a long period of time, and we know we're now squarely within young Charles Widmore's reign of power. Why Richard would give up rulership to anyone is a mystery, but I don't think Richard ever really did rule the Others. Somehow, I don't think he could - it's just not in the rules. So either the Others suffer a transition period without leadership - as I think they were in when Locke visited Richard - or they fall in behind someone chosen as their leader from a 'very young age'. I don't have the playbook, I'm just guessing.
Baby Horace... Someone Important? Uniquely Special?
Bet the farm on it. He's the one person we now know has been born *and* conceived on the island. We're specifically told that all other Dharma kids were born off-island. So with the birth of this child, as Sawyer smartly points out, whatever happens to prevent childbirth on the island hasn't happened yet.
I think that something is most likely the Incident. At the time Horace's son is born, the island hasn't yet been LOST. It's fixed in one particular place, and it must be fixed in the present time because those coming and going via the submarine are arriving from and going back to a 1977 world. Nothing is broken. Yet.
Later on, by his own admission, we know the Ben will hide the island in an attempt to keep it from Widmore. Ben tricks(?) Widmore into turning the wheel, causing "the incident" - a reactor problem that requires the button in the Swan hatch to be pressed every 108 minutes from that point forward. Somehow this ties in with the island being invisible once again: "God can't see this place". Ben and the Others then use Radzinsky/Kelvin/Desmond to effectively keep the island hidden, except maybe for pendulum-point intercepts that allow people on and off (Danielle, Desmond's boat, etc...) Yellow hazmat suits and threats of a 'sickness' keep them in there, diligently pushing the button instead of running buck silly over the island in an attempt to get the hell off it.
So then who is the son of Horace? We won't find that out for a while. But consider this: was he supposed to be born at all? If Juliet hadn't been there, would he have died otherwise? The other doctor looked like a total goofball. Was having Juliet travel back to Dharma time necessary for the birth of this kid? And if so, did Ben Linus knowingly recruit her to the island in the 1990's for this sole purpose... the whole 'solving the fertility problem' thing being something he knew she couldn't fix anyway? If so, I think we just saw something really important.
The brilliant part of the show is that none of us know what the hell is really going on. Half of us could make arguments for predetermination: nothing anyone does really matters because it's already done, determined, and finished. The other half could argue that, in fact, everything has changed. For example, why isn't Horace with Olivia? Is it that he simply hasn't met her yet? Or did Sawyer/Juliet's rescue of Amy lead to Horace falling in love with her, fathering her child, and marrying her instead? The answer is we'll never know, at least not until the end of the show. But if you're asking me, I'm on the 'we make our own fate' side of things.
For those of you who love a really thick NY accent, check me out: I'll be The ODI's guest next week on his podcast about this episode. For everyone else, see you in two weeks!