Friday, April 25, 2008

L-O-S-T Season 4, Episode 9 (Apr. 24, 08)

Doc Jensen's Teaser Article...

As always, let's start with the Doc Jensen article.

Also, JJ sent a link to a Interview with the Head LOST Cheeses.

JJ got us started this week:

good morning everyone...

well i thought last night's episode was fantastic. it felt like a whole new beginning for the show to me. a completely new direction taking hold with a projected fight for the island between Benry and Widmore. excellent.

when they began the flashforward concept at the end of season 3 and the beginning of this season, i really could not envision how they could make it play out for three more seasons. well now i can. last night's episode truly crammed a great deal in and from the beginning many things were not only hinted at, but things were being paid off right away...

First, i want to say that the end scene between Benry and Widmore was excellent. the dialogue was awesome, the acting was superb, the camera angles totally set the mood and when Benry woke Widmore up and addressed him by his first name as if they were old friends, i immediately thought of Magneto and Professor Xavier from the X-Men. Widmore and Prof X even sharing the same first name. "Wake up, Charles." then Widmore proceeds to tell Benry he sneaks into his bedroom in the middle of the night like a rat. oh, it was great. that was good stuff. those two actors together are perfect and could not have been better cast in a million years. i loved it. [Widmore stating that Benry "took everything that was his" has me wondering if Widmore actually was overseeing Dharma. That's maybe Benry's genocide of Dharma and resting control of the island by joining the others is what Widmore is referring to... maybe. could Widmore be a descendant of Hanso and feels the island is his birthright? maybe... ]

so, on top of that, we have lots to think about... so there is a new "trinity" if you will of Locke, Hurley and Ben in communicating with Jacob. very interesting. all three are needed to find him and receive instructions? that's not a surprise necessarily with how the first episode of the season went, but it is certainly curious and i can't wait to see how Hurley and Jacob will interact. it was cool to see a little bit of take-charge from Hurley in stopping Sawyer and Locke from blasting each other...

speaking of which, the duel conflicts of Sawyer's will vs Locke's will happening in this episode at the same time Benry and Widmore begin their all out war for possession of the island was genius. i love it when they parallel themes within the show through multiple characters. it was nicely done and not overly obvious. Benry said when the freighter mercs arrived that whatever they did would make the group angry to force a split and make them sell Benry out... well he was right and it worked, but not exactly as he said. Sawyer and the rest abandon Benry in the jungle, nearly killing Locke over it. the freighter mercs plan worked (except for them dying by smoke monster in the process!)... or was it Benry's plan all along (with the exception of Alex's death)?

the smoke monster sequence was amazing. it looked huge! far greater than anything we've seen up to now. so did Ben really "let it out?" does the smoke monster live under Benry's little cottage in the strange dungeon looking chamber? did Benry let it out to kill Eko in season 3, to take Locke in season 1? hmmmm.

and speaking of plotting and manipulating: XinhXan thinks that Benry set Sayid up to work for him all along. That the whole murdering of Nadia, and maybe even making sure they got married first, was all within Benry's evil devices to get Sayid to be his trigger man down the line. That wry smile of Benry's seems to prove her right. i'm not so sure though... i am starting to wonder if Benry is a moment to moment manipulator. that he does certainly have some overall grand plans to screw with everyone, but when things go wrong / or unexpectedly -- he is immediately able to use it to his advantage. Like the whole taking Sawyer, Kate and Jack captive plan was a long, well thought out scheme, but he constantly had to change it as things did not go as he planned. and he still got what he wanted... more island power wish-fulfillment at work, or is Ben just that good at f-ing with people?

the execution of Alex was obviously not Ben's plan, but the new tack in revenge for her murder with Penelope Widmore is truly unsettling. think about the potential story ramifications: in this ep we saw Benry recruit Sayid to be his hitter, and Sayid is eager to move up the list of people to off without a thought. well, you know now that the top name on the list isn't Charles at all or even Abaddon, but it's Penny. Well, we also just saw Sayid witness first hand Desmond and Penny be "reunited" by phone on the freighter after eight years. Sayid has seen the photo of Penny. and Sayid's greatest weakness is that he's a lover... hopelessly prone to falling for the ladies. will this become his most difficult inner confilct? to kill Penny, knowing that she is Desmond's love and potentially starting a whole new Magneto/Professor X -- Benry/Widmore war but between Sayid and Desmond? i can see this becoming the driving force of all the flashforward story... this war between Benry and Widmore bringing into conflict men who once were friends and causing right and wrong to no longer be black and white. you guys know that Des is my favorite character and if anything happens to Penny... dude, i will NOT be pleased. i will side with Widmore and Benry and the lot of them can go screw! incidently - Benry could have said anything he wanted about the photo of that bald dude. he may have had nothing to do with Nadia's death. just an old Benry trick to get Sayid in his grip. or not.

ok, enough. so we also got the foreshadowing dialogue at the onset as the boys played Risk (awesome by the way) that gave us some cool hints, but one line really got me: Hurley said, "Australia is the key to everything." very interesting. lines like that are always intentional. XinhXan honed in on Benry's line during the raid on the Barracks about the mercs tactics being to make them angry enough to turn Ben over and she was on the right track. i think this Australia line is one of those, but for the whole scope of the series. that perhaps to FIND the island, you must start in Australia... The Black Rock, the Nigerian Drug Plane might have stopped Down Under and then headed in that direction, and of course Flight 815. But perhaps the island's "time" connections are linked to specific points in the outside world that can get you to the island or off the island, as we saw Benry "appear" in the Sahara desert in good all orientation man's coat. we saw the Dharma polar bear fossils in Tunisia (which was Ben's first stop after killing those dudes in the desert (but Ben's "not a killer." uh-huh). so maybe you can get on / off the island via this spot in Tunisia and that's how Eko's plane got there? did it fly over that spot and then appear on the island? or could The Black Rock and Rousseou's team have sailed into a similar spot in the ocean that "transports" you to the island. maybe it isn't just about coordinates and "bearing" numbers, but specific places on the earth. and maybe one of those is in Australia. and if the Losties in the future and Benry or Widmore want to "find" the island agian, they will have to find that spot in Austalia first. who knows. i'm probably wrong.

Sawyer was a total badass, taking charge and saving Claire, then calling them as he sees them with Ben and Locke and whoever Jacob is...
and once again Jack was a total tool. why doesn't he ask any questions about what the hell is going on? Arrrghh!!! i would have been grilling Faraday and Charlotte on day one! what is his damage? (besides the daddy issues, lack of faith, alcoholism, obsessive behavior, control-freakiness, lack of commitment, and self-loathing)

one last thing and i'll quit: Benry asked the date at the Tunisian hotel and the lady told him October or something 2005. the plane crashed on 9/22/2004 and Desmond made it to the freighter to make his phone call on Christmas Eve 2004, so island time is right around New Year's 2005 right now... something to think about with Benry's flashforward... Sayid and Nadia could not have been married for very long at all.

alright, let's go....

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Neil:

From the scene between Ben and Charles i got the impression that they have been playing this game for a long time, not to mention that we start off with the scene of them actually playing RISK and then later Ben saying he has changed the rules?

Anonymous said...

Frank:

One thing that JJ glossed over (for the most part) is the shifting/messing up time line issue we're going to have to start addressing.

A popular theory in Doc Jensen (and other internet sources) has to do with time line manipulation (for lack of a better word). Not only people being able to time travel, but the islanders being caught in some time line shifting.

The "changing of the rules" obviously has to do with something along the lines of "this isn't supposed to happen within the current time line" and/or Ben knowing whats SUPPOSED to happen and it changed. I've skimmed some stuff online that is one person's explanation of how this all is happening, but (lucky for me) I didn't quite grasp it, nor did I think this person was dead-on. Either way, we need to start asking ourselves that if when Ben went to his room, how long of his time was he in there? He could have been in there for months as far as we know - I half expected him to leave his hidden room with a scratch on his arm.

I'm ready to accept the fact that this show is going to start explaining the time travel/shifting/sticking/unsticking/moving/etc aspects. And over the course of 2 more seasons, I have faith they'll explain it well enough that all the answers will be revealed.

Specific to this episode, tho, I thought it was awesome seeing Ben kick some butt with his stick'o'justice™. I also liked it when he stood up from the piano, grabbed the sawed off shotgun and before Sawyer could beat him down or anything, he handed it to him. I thought the "get back inside"/kill, "get back inside"/kill, "get back inside"/kill stuff when Sawyer was running around was a bit hokey, tho. And for a minute there I thought I was watching the A-Team when all the bullets were missing Sawyer.

But like JJ said, this did feel like a new beginning. I think we're into a new era (pardon the 'time' pun) of LOST - and I think it started the moment we saw Ben 'blink'/zoom/zap into the desert.

Anonymous said...

JJ:

i agree about the A-Team, poor marksmanship action sequence at the beginning. the only weak part of the episode for me... as it went i too didn't like the domino effect of red shirts getting offed and then Sawyer being shot at by six mercenaries with automatic weapons and he is totally unharmed and uses a wooden table for cover? please.

as for timelines... i do think there will be many questions and details to keep track of. but the head writers have been saying since "The Constant" aired that they are not into paradox time conundrums. that in the world of L O S T, the future cannot be altered by time travel. i don't fully understand how they can pull that off, but they keep bringing up Ms. Hawking and the "course correcting" speech she gives Desmond in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." that the show does not work like Back to the Future. so, when we think of time travel within the world of L O S T, it will mostly be this timeline construction and keeping it all straight.

i don't think Benry's "special place" is a time portal at all. the way Benry wakes up in the desert with the wound in his arm and the new Dharma logo on his jacket has me thinking of the Orchid Station we heard about in the Dharma film you can see online that the writers showed at ComiCon last summer. they have also said that film is crucial to what happens this season... Buzz has emailed the link to that film in a previous email. stuff to think about when we talk about the whole time element on the show. who knows what they are really up to...

Anonymous said...

Xinh:

So, we didn't really see who was dressed up in the fatigues that attacked the island (and then got dragged off by the smoke monster)...we assume they came from the freighter, right? So did they leave Sayid and Michael on the freighter or did they have to suit up and join the attack, and get pulled into the jungle?

Anonymous said...

Julia:
The guy who shot Alex was shown on the freighter in the Michael episode...he was the one shooting stuff. But they didn't show the rest of the guys...

JJ, as usual, you've done a great job laying out the episode. I completely agree with you about Desmond/Penny. I will be VERY bitter if that storyline doesn't end happily...but I am prepping myself now for the fact that it won't.

Amazing episode...they are really setting a lot up for a wonderful final 2 seasons.

Anonymous said...

PK:

Yeah it was the freighter guy - i.e. the big defenseman (Tree) from Mystery Alaska.



If Hannibal and BA were there, they would have rigged some sort of cabbage cannon and kicked some arse.

Anonymous said...

Frank:
But Eko wouldn't have made it on the island at all.

Because "Eko aint gettin' on no plane, foo."

Anonymous said...

PK:
So we know that Hank and Jack would duke it out to be Hannibal. Sawyer (bless his heart) would be Face, Eko is now BA. Who is Murdoch?

Hannibal: [the team has been captured by a cult] Hey, Face, what do think these guys are wearing under their skirts?
Face: Uh, I don't know.
[to closest Cult Member]
Face: Garter belt?
[gets hit in gut with a rifle butt]
Face: Ohh!
Hannibal: [to closest cult member] Half slip?
[gets hit in the gut with a rifle butt]
Hannibal: Arrgh!
B.A. Baracus: I think you guys wear panty hose!
[gets hit. Doesn't react]

Anonymous said...

JJ:

one thing i forgot that i wanted to say was that Benry tells Widmore that he can't kill him. that was very telling with what we know now of the island not letting pull kill themselves if they have been there and left (since Michael could not kill himself when he tried and Jack was prevented from jumping off the bridge by the car accident that happened right before he was about to jump). so Widmore has to have been to the island and that means "the island is not done with him yet" as Mr. Friendly put it to Michael...

so can certain people NOT be killed as well? not just suicide, but homicide? Because Benry failed in his attempt to kill Locke and leave him in the Dharma pit. Locke was save by Taller Ghost Walt! does Benry know this about Charles Widmore as well? has Benry already tried to kill Widmore before and failed? has Widmore already tried to kill Benry and failed? who are the special people that fall in this category?

Anonymous said...

Frank:
I think it all comes back to a timeline issue. I don't think it'll be an instance where the island has powers (directly or indirectly), I think it has to do with "those that are from/been on the island are in a unique timeline".

strange things are afoot at the circle-k.

Anonymous said...

PK:
San dimas high school football rules!

Anonymous said...

Heather M:

First of all, the look of fear in the hotel clerk's face was interesting when he told hwr who he was. Is part of a hotel empire that Benry stole from Widmore part of the way the Others have such expansive resources.

If Ben controls the smoke monster...then maybe he was just messing with Eko with the images in the smoke...it isn't as sentinent as I previously thought. It also makes the chain noise interesting. But if Ben does control it, then why didn't he just use it to suck Jack down the rabbit hole rather than use a whole kidnapping scenario?

Iiked the use of Risk...the first season used backgammon...so it seems the complexity is kicked up a notch to meet the complexity of the storyline. Good catch on Australia...weren't they there for healing in one of the flashbacks from the first season? Likely a matching power source there and maybe in Tunisia too? Wonder if there is one in the US too?

I most definitely think that Ben killed Sayid's wife to rope him in as an assassin.

I propose one more theory... With the X-Men comparison between Dr X and Magneto...which is great...anyone think Widmore and Benry could be brothers? If so, Benry stole Widmore's mother when she died in childbirth? This is all a Gatsby-gets-revenge thing? Battling brothers might be an appealing draw for the writers?

Anonymous said...

Neil:

And what about the name Ben uses when he checks in? (Widely considered to be the first true example of a supervillain, Moriarty is a criminal mastermind)

Anonymous said...

Frank:

Ya, now they're just toying with us.

His next flashback will have him using the name Cruella DeVaderannable Lecter.

Anonymous said...

PK:

-men my tuckus. It’s more a hybrid of Highlander (There can be only one) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (2 men enter – 1 man leave)



Bust a deal and face the wheel. I pity the fool.

Anonymous said...

JJ:

i am thinking that the secret chamber in Benry's basement is the smoke monster's "cage," like how Jabba held the Rancor monster in Return of the Jedi. i remember the blast door map from the hatch had several boxes labeled "CVI, CVII, CVII, etc" and then hand written outside the hexagon one of them read "Cerabus Vents" and Cerabus is the Greek mythology name for the multi-headed dog that guarded hell or something is one of the Cerabus Vents within the Barracks perimeter?

also, you are right Heather M. -- Rose and Bernard went to Australia and visited the magnetic site in the desert to see if the mystic healer could channel the magnetism to heal her cancer and he couldn't. he then told her that that SPOT was not strong enough to cure her. but maybe another spot on earth was...

Anonymous said...

JJ:
yes! bust a deal, face the wheel.

Anonymous said...

JJ:

anybody else notice that Benry had what appeared to be "cold breath" when he woke up in the desert? it only lasted for a moment...

Anonymous said...

Julia:

Yep…AND he was wearing that parka (or, as Doc Jensen calls it, a Dharka)

Anonymous said...

Heather:

XinhXan is right though… they didn’t show who else besides the Mystery Alaska shooter guy was with the A-Team… it very well may have been Micheal, Sayid and/or Desmond along with them… they could have been forced or promised safe return for everyone if they helped get back Ben (and people from the boat would have killed the other survivors who got shot)? Maybe that explains why Sawyer didn’t get shot…

If my brother theory is right, maybe there’s something in a will or something like that that they can’t kill each other’s family? Since Ben isn’t Alex’s biological father that might exempt Charles Widmore from that part of the bargain possibly… but what will happen if Penelope is killed? When is Jack going to find out that Claire is his sister?

Anonymous said...

JJ:

i don't think Sayid, Michael and Des are part of the merc team at all...

if you remember, Sayid and Des go topside on the freighter and find the helicopter is gone. they ask where it is and are told by the captain or somebody to not ask questions. then Sayid makes Michael spill the beans about how he got there... that episode then ends with Karl and Danielle getting shot. i am pretty confident we are to understand that Lapidus choppered the mercs in to carry out their mission since Miles, Charlotte and Faraday are split up and have lost communication. Des, Sayid, and Michael are still on the freighter... and you know those characters are too important to have been taken out by the smoke monster without us knowing it.

Anonymous said...

PK:

Excellent point about the extremely close parallel to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. However, the very premise is faulty. We are introduced to a character named Rufus (George Carlin) living in a utopian society in San Dimas, California, seven hundred years in the future, in 2688. This world is based on the music of Wyld Stallyns, a band formed by the movie's main characters, Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves). But, according to Rufus, that won't happen if the boys fail history, and they are about to fail if they cannot get an outstanding grade on a history report. If they fail, Ted will be sent to military academy in Alaska, and the band will never exist.

If you've been following, you already see the problem. But let me present the problem for those just joining the discussion. Our understanding of time requires that causes must exist sequentially before their effects, even if they are displaced temporally due to time travel. This means that there must be an original timeline, a history, running from 1988 to 2688 before Rufus can travel back to 1988. But according to the premise, if Rufus does not make that trip, Wyld Stallyns will be just another obscure garage band, and the entire society based upon their music will never exist. Thus we have the problem that Rufus won't make the trip unless he makes the trip--he causes his own history. This is the reverse form of the grandfather paradox, the inevitability problem: if you appear in the past, you are destined to depart from the future. (For those paying attention to alternative time travel theories, this is insoluble in the dimension-hopping view, although it does work in the fixed timeline theory, because all actions by everyone are inevitable. This film may be an argument for the fixed timeline theory, but our discussions will be focused on unraveling it based on the theories presented on this site; we discuss the problems with the fixed timeline view in several places, most notably in The Science of Time Travel.)

Is it possible that without Rufus' intervention Bill and Ted might pass history anyway, or that failing history might still form the band at the right time and do what must be done? If this were so, Rufus would have no cause to make his trip, as the utopian society would have come into existence without his action. But everything we know about 1988 goes against that possibility: Bill and Ted are about to fail history; they not only don't know the answers to their history problems, they don't even understand the questions; and Ted's father is already gleefully making arrangements to ship him to his new school. No, there must be an original timeline AB in which the boys fail, Ted leaves, the band never forms, and the utopian society of the future does not come to pass. But in that case, Wyld Stallyns is less than a footnote in history, and there is no reason for Rufus to make his trip to correct what he could not imagine.

Yet with a bit of extrapolation, the premise is salvageable. Perhaps someone, probably someone named Rufus, made a trip back in time from the original 2688 (point B) to 1988 (point C, as history is inherently altered by his presence), and there encountered Bill and Ted. Not for a moment imagining that the grades of two dim-witted high school students on a history report could be of any significance whatever, he assists them in his C-D timeline with an introduction to real history. The details of this are the purest conjecture. If he gives them control of a time machine akin to the one we see in the film, it is likely that they will have adventures much the same as those we are about to unravel. On the other hand, he could take them on a sane, orderly trip through time, changing nothing of consequence, and creating a simple N-jump before 1988. However it happens, Bill and Ted are inspired to produce an A+ report, pass history, and go on to form their band. All of history from that point forward is altered, bringing about the utopian society. And the revered published biographies of Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and Ted Theodore Logan tell of the strange visitor from 2688 who changed their lives completely. Thus the rulers in 2688 have had time (seven hundred years) to determine who went back and what they did, and so to make an effort to intentionally confirm what was done accidentally in the C-D timeline, sending Rufus back from point D to create the E-F timeline. It is this history which we see as the film begins.

Anonymous said...

JJ:

Paul, that is a preposterous analysis of Bill and Ted. i cannot believe you tried to get that by us ; )

( and nice job leaving in the "on this site" phrase buried in the text from wherever you copied and pasted it from )

Anonymous said...

Frank:

Consider the letters in the name Rufus (R U F U S). Now add 4 letter to R, 8 letters to U, 15 letters to F, 16 letters to U, and 23 letter to S, guess what you get?

J A C O B

Anonymous said...

PK:

A most excellent point!

Even further, Bill and Ted introduce us to this idea: if they agree to do something in the future which involves changing the past, will those changes be effected in the present? My answer is yes and no; but we'll take it one step at a time.

Bill and Ted realize that to get their companions out they will need keys. They resolve to travel back in time and steal Ted's dad's keys (you remember that they had disappeared) and hide them behind the sign in front of the police station. But they haven't done this yet, so the keys aren't there. All is not lost--they still have Napoleon, and can talk about the others that they met to some degree, so they leave and go get an A on their project. But since they still have to restore all of the important people to history (remember, Lincoln's assassination never happened now) they still have to arrange the breakout. So this time they go back and take the keys, hiding them behind the sign, and creating an anomaly which should resolve to an N-jump (since they will make the trip next time to confirm that the keys are behind the sign).

This raise the issue of the keys. Where were they in that original timeline? There are two good possibilities. The first is that Ted's dad genuinely lost his keys somewhere else, but then Ted traveled back and stole them before they were lost. The second is that the keys were never lost in the original timeline, but that we never saw that history--in the history we know, Ted had already come from the future and removed the keys.

But there are more obstacles to cover. Once inside, they realize they need a distraction. They don't have one, but they concoct the idea of using the tape recorder on a timer. It doesn't happen, they go back and do their report with Napoleon, and this time when they travel back to get the keys they also set up the tape. Maybe they also leave a note for themselves on a typewriter by an unoccupied desk, but this is unlikely. On the next time through this history, they pick up the keys and the recorder activates on schedule, and in they go--but they get caught going by an unoccupied desk, and never complete the plan. Back to the Napoleon report, and back to the past, and this time add the note (or possibly add the word "duck" to it). On the next timeline they find the keys, the tape, and the note, and make it into the jail.

Well, this is very iffy at this point. Maybe they get out of the jail; maybe Bill does the report while Ted sits in jail, but they get an "A" on the project. Maybe Ted happens to make it out through the window and get the report going before his dad catches them. Maybe they convince dad that they need these people for their history report, or maybe they leave and do the report again with just Napoleon. Whatever happens, they agree that the trashcan idea Ted had at the moment of crisis was a good idea, and on their next trip back they install it. Now everything works, and they do the report with a full contingent of historic figures.

Anonymous said...

JJ:

BS

another con! you guys are hysterical.


you actually get VCUKP

Anonymous said...

Jamie:

So let me get this straight:



Ben is Rufus (guiding them along their journey)

Bill is Jack (the smarter leader)

Ted is Sawyer (the long haired other main guy)

The phone booth is Oceanic Flight 815 (the object that gets them into this mess)

The flashbacks are the different historical figures (this one is self explanatory)

The freighter is the high school talent show (where everyone is trying to end up)

The numbers are the music that Bill and Ted will write (the mysterious item that unites everything)



Paul - you may actually be on to something here.

Too bad I never watched "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" that can probably be broken down to tell us how LOST will end.