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Holy Smoke – 5.12 “Dead is Dead”

By Fishbiscuit,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 41

People need to believe. Faced with unanswerable questions, people seek the security of answers that can never be questioned. Unless they find religion, most people seem to feel quite … lost.

In honor of mankind’s perpetual quest to describe God, Lost has explored almost every known religious tradition. From Namaste to Dharma, from heroin filled Virgin Mary’s to cautionary tales of Doubting Thomas, from the Pillar of Smoke to Native American sweat lodges, from Aboriginal walkabouts to Casteneda’s New Age head trips, from the ouroboros symbol of the alchemists to the hatch logos designed after Taoist bagua, from the Qu’ran to the Bahai Book of Law that Richard tests little John Locke with, the Lost writers are equal opportunity believers. At one time or another, all the spiritual and quasi-spiritual adventures of humanity have gotten a shout out.

All across the vast timespace continuum of human existence, mankind has invented religions. On our magical mystery Island, the indigenous people seem to all have a blindly obedient belief in a religious system that we can call, for now at least, Jacobism. In this religion, Jacob is the Word and the Law. The will of the island is that The Will of The Island be done. And The Will of The Island is only revealed through Jacob. Whoever he is.

Blind faith in an unseen super power. It’s hard to see how this became the ultimate answer to the infinite puzzlement of human existence. So, why, then? Why has mankind incessantly created religion?

“Religion is the human response to being alive and having to die.” – F. Forrester Church

It’s not just pagan religions that were obsessed with death. In the Western world, this very weekend, the return of spring is heralded by ceremonial remembrance of the gruesome crucifixion murder of God’s only son. Our curiosity to know what happens on the other side of the great looking glass of Death is killing us. It’s clear that whoever designed the septic system for Craphole Island had death on the brain. The interior design of the central Island infrastructure was heavily influenced by the ancient Egyptians, death fetishists extraordinaire.

The Egyptians were history’s greatest undertakers. They preserved the vessel of the dead body because they believed the soul would still need it, as a kind of home base, during its travels in the eternal afterlife. Mummification might have even been an old hobby of Ben’s. The shelf behind his abandoned desk at the Hydra had a museum curator’s feel to it. A stuffed bird, a pinned butterfly, fossilized animal teeth, flasks and beakers and paraphernalia of taxidermy.

He must have felt it very natural then to discover a picture of Anubis carved into the wall of the Monster’s basement home. Anubis is the Egyptian God of the Underworld, protector of the dead and escort of lost souls into the eternal afterlife. In this picture, Anubis has stepped outside of his own mythology and appears to be having an existential battle of the gladiators with Old Smoky, who is himself a representative of the longlost mythic figure, Cerberus. The underworld religion of the Others is a kind of Greek-Egyptian Hybrid.

“A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.” – James Feibleman

It’s not such a mismatch to find Anubis the jackal and Cerberus the dog sharing the Jacobist mythology. After all, we know from the art hanging on his wall, that Jacob is a dog lover.

And finding all this Egyptian style idolatry here in the tropical South Pacific isn’t such a mystery either. The Exit Spot for the Island’s Donkey Wheel transport system is located in Tunisia. Maybe a few hieroglyphic tablets fell into a vile vortex on one of those interdimensional time warps. The fantasy world of Lost is large enough for us to explain almost any bit of thematic flotsam or jetsam the writers choose to add to the swirling cultural mix, and hieroglyphics are something Lost fans got used to a long time ago.

Fear of death may explain the Why of religion, but religion does also come with a useful side effect. Religions make up rules for their followers to obey, rules which come in very handy when it comes to maintaining social order and control. The Rules of Jacobism, however, are more than a little difficult to figure out, especially since right and wrong don’t seem to have any particular importance.

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln

The Island, for instance, does not seem inclined to hold Ben accountable for this

or this

or even this.

The Island doesn’t seem bothered by any of the assorted psycho-tortures and unprovoked killings Ben has been responsible for. Torture, bondage, patricide – even mass murder – do not appear to be sins of any great magnitude in the Jacobist doctrine.

Perhaps this is because Death isn’t all that proud on this Island. The Living and the Dead seem to enjoy an easy coexistence here. It gives new meaning to the phrase that was repeated again in this episode, when a forty something Charles Widmore told young Ben Linus that he’d have to go back to his Dharma buddies. He told Ben that he could live among them but be not of them. Sound familiar?

The hits from that classic Tattoo Episode keep coming. Don’t let anyone ever tell you it wasn’t a pivotal episode. Ben returned to his people after being reborn in Jacob’s Temple, but he was no longer one of them. He crossed over, not from Life to Death, but from Them to Us.

And from that point on, his loyalty to the Island was the only unbreakable law he ever had to try and abide by. Widmore also believes he is doing the Island’s Will. It was a little sad, kind of anticlimactic, to see that Widmore left via boring old submarine, instead of some cool new turning of the Dharma Donkey Wheel, but wherever he is, whatever he is doing, I do believe that Widmore also thinks he is always doing what he thinks the Island wants him to do.

We know Jacobism does have Rules, because we saw Widmore banished and Ben judged for breaking them. But what are the rules of Jacobism? While some religions try and regulate human conduct down to the smallest minutiae, like the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah, banning everything from praying on smooth stones to eating worms found in fallen fruit, Jacobism is modeled after more rudimentary moral codes. Jacob’s Island seems to have only Two Commandments. The first is Thou shalt do whatever Jacob tells you. And the second is Thou shalt not kill a kid.

The sanctity of children remains a constant on Lost. Ben was sent to murder the Frenchwoman, but the sound of her helpless infant stopped him in his tracks.

Motherhood as an amulet against death was echoed later in the episode, when the sight of little Charlie Hume froze Ben’s finger on the trigger that was all set to kill Penny.

Charlie’s appearance was itself a reminder of an earlier time in our story, when Sawyer was unable to complete his intended crime when he discovered a child would be harmed by it.

Perhaps the Island spares children because, in an Island overrun with Afterlife, children are from the Land of Beforelife. Children come just recently from that mysterious place where the life spirit dwells between death and rebirth. Why then would Widmore claim that the Island wanted baby Alex dead? It is interesting to note that just as someone tried to run over Locke’s pregnant mom,

after Alex’s father Robert had been infected by the Monster, he also tried to kill his unborn daughter.

Did the Island want this one child killed, or was Widmore misreading the Will of the Island? Men may invent the gods that issue them commandments, but that doesn’t mean they always understand what the gods they’ve created are telling them to do. So deciphering Jacob’s wishes joins the long list of mysteries that befuddle us on every Lost episode. This one brought the usual harvest of impossible riddles. Why did Ben tell Rousseau to run if she heard a Whisper?

If the Island is a giant toilet, whose God lives in a clogged drain, might that mean that Jack’s job of Janitor has more power attached to it than we imagined?

Did the Prop Department recycle Jack’s old wig

to try and make the fiftyish Ben look twenty something?

What is in the box that Ana Lucia’s clone is so fiercely protecting on the beach?

Is it the weapons of the coming war? Another Jughead? Is it a trap for the Smoke Monster, like the Ghostbusters use before they transport the ghouls to the Containment Grid? In keeping with the religious theme of the episode, is it a kind of Ark of the Covenant, the vessel of some holy relic? The men were affixing bars to the sides and appeared ready to carry it away in similar fashion.

The Mystery of the Third Canoe is just about settled. Who left the Ajira water bottle in the outrigger that Sawyer and Juliet found on the Island during their brief visit to 2007? Sun and Frank took the first one, Ben and John the second. That must mean that Ilana or one of her goons were the ones winged by Juliet’s gunshot.

What were we to make of the word clues in this episode? Just as the boats warned us in past weeks that Ben’s plot to return to the Island was an ILLUSION,

this week they reminded us (if we needed any reminders) that Ben, however the Island may judge him, is a goddamn SAVAGE.

And what to make of Desmond’s boat, OUR MUTUAL FRIEND?

This is the title of the last book that Desmond, great Charles Dickens fan that he is, planned to read before dying. It gave me an ominous feeling to see that he had named his boat after that book. I’m not following the annual finale death spec all that closely, but it made me wonder – could Desmond’s time be up? He seemed strong enough beating the crap out of Ben, but why does Ben want Sun to apologize to him? I’m worried for Desmond.

The biggest riddle of the episode, of course, was the actual riddle that Ilana asked a thoroughly bewildered Frank Lapidus. “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”

This was a throwback to the password riddle “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” asked by Desmond of Locke when the hatch was first discovered. Somehow I don’t think the answer to this riddle is going to be as funny as “Smells like carrots”. The statue of Anubis is gone for one thing. Is this like the Arthur Conan Doyle story, The Musgrave Ritual, where a shadow’s location must be recalculated after the object that created the shadow is long gone?

If so, I’m thinking that it sure looked like The Well was in the shadow of the statue that Sawyer’s band of time travelers briefly spotted. The well in which was buried the Dharmachakra Wheel of rumbling, tumbling time travel.

The last mystery in my head watching the episode was a rather mundane one. Where was the power being generated for all the lights that were being switched on in the Ghost Town of Otherville?

I know it’s kind of a silly question, but no one’s been living in Othertown for years, where are they getting the juice? Does the Island have an infinite power supply? It was eerie to see Ben’s house again, with the picture of EmilyAnnieJuliet still hanging on the wall.

The Risk game sat on the table,

untouched since Sawyer and Hurley stopped playing it the day that Keamy’s murderers descended on them.

We know that, whatever has transpired since the day the Island moved, not a soul has moved to reinhabit Dharma’s old yellow digs. Time has frozen since the fateful day that the Island’s Will (or Charles Widmore’s will, depending on how you’re reading all this) was carried out against poor, innocent Alex.

“All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.” ~Cathy Ladman

Now Ben has to crawl through the Island’s wormholes down into the dungeon of judgment to finally pay for what happened that day.

The only murder that Ben needs to repent is one he didn’t actually commit. In the death of Alex, Ben’s sin was one of omission, not commission. But Ben’s failure to obey the Island was the only high crime he needed to repent for. Once our grown up Harry Potter had found his way to the Chamber of Secrets, the ritualistic judgment began.

There was a Wizard of Oz feel about the whole thing, from the big blowhard bitching Ben out

to the visitation of old regrets.

It’s enough to make you wonder if one of these days, our own Toto-Vincent is going to run around and pull back the curtain on this Jacob charlatan once and for all.

Ben wasn’t the first man on the Island to have his life pass before him in a puff of smoke. Watch this gif slowly, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

When the Monster looked into Eko’s soul, it came to a quite different conclusion than it did when it searched Ben’s. Why? Maybe there is a clue in the ancient Egyptian ceremony known as the Weighing of the Heart. As seen here, Anubis weighed the heart of the deceased against the feather of Ma’at, which represented the concept of truth, order and balance.

If the heart was found blameless, quite literally lighter than a feather, then it was returned to the mummy, so that the soul could make use of it in its further Adventures in the Underworld. A failed test meant the heart was eaten instead by the gluttonous Ammit, the goddess of divine retribution. A heavy heart meant the soul ceased to exist, the worst fate an Egyptian could possibly imagine. In this mythology, if I’ve got it straight, the goal of every lost soul was to reunite the Ka, or universal life source,

with the Ba, or individual personality,

in order to exist eternally as the transfigured immortal spirit of the Akh.

I’m just guessing here that Richard is one such triumphantly undead. There has to be some explanation for his perpetual youth. Clearly he is special. The only other person on the Island who may be able to compete with him in beatific luminosity may just be this guy.

Afterlife is looking good on Locke. Getting killed seems to have done wonders for his self esteem.

He may be putting on a dead man’s shoes, but by tapping them three times, he was reminding us that, as Dorothy of Kansas was told, there’s noplace like home.

John Locke has definitely come home. When Ben returned to his office at the Hydra, like a fired employee sheepishly cleaning out his old desk, John confidently sat himself down in the old boss’s chair and put his feet up.

It was most entertaining to watch Ben sputtering with frustrated indignation. Gradually it dawned on him that although he may have killed John Locke, he had permanently lost the upper hand in their ongoing battle of wills.

While Ben was still able to skillfully run his cat and mouse game on clueless redshirts like Cesar, John’s feigned naivete had Ben completely off balance.

It seemed obvious that John knew Ben Lyin’-to-us was lyin’ when he said he’d known about the Island’s power to resurrect the dead.

Locke seemed to have supreme confidence in his newfound “knowing” of the Island’s Will. He knew where the Monster lived when Ben did not. In fact, when Ben summoned the Monster, and warned Sun that the thing to come was beyond his control, it was no accident that the thing that came through the bushes, from the exact place we’d once seen the Monster emerge, was the very handsome and jaunty John Locke himself.

So, is John the Monster now? Is he God? Not sure about that, but post-dead Locke is a decidedly higher order of being than pre-dead Locke. John the Resurrected reminds me most of Gandalf the White. He’s exactly the same, only now he’s about ten times more magnificent.

He seemed to know that Ben would be forgiven if he would only confess his sins to the beast. Even after being strangled to death by the little weasel in his no tell hotel room, all that beatific John Locke wanted from Ben Linus was an Apology. I must say, Jacobism seems like the most lenient religion ever. Murder, torture, cruelty and deviance of every kind all pass without penalty. The only sin is failure to submit to the Will of the Island. And even then, if you’re really really sorry, the Island forgives you. Like Anubis, once the heart has been weighed and found feathery, the Island lets the doomed soul live…so long as they repent.

Ben emerged from the wormholes of judgment , sworn to follow his new leader. John has found his first sworn apostle.

?“Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.” ~George Santayana

What happens in the Temple? We still don’t know. This week we went under the Temple. We still have not gotten into it.

We’re still a preposition short of full disclosure. The suspense continues to build. I really don’t want to lay any extra added pressure on our intrepid Lost creators, but I have to say: the longer we wait, the more we travel, the more we all really need for this secret, once we learn it, to knock our socks off.

“Then said he to me, ‘Fear not, fear not, little one, and make not your face sad. If you have come to me, it is God who has let you live. For it is He who has brought you to this isle of the blest, where nothing is lacking, and which is filled with all good things. “ – The Egyptian Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor

From TVFrenzy:

  • Great recap, as usual.

    One thought. Do you think the boat behind Ben being named “Savage” was as much a description of Ben’s behavior as it is a comparison to the character in Huxley’s “Brave New World?” In Huxley’s novel, the Savage was the only character in the utopian society who had knowledge of fine art. He read Shakespeare. His conversation with Mustapha Mond served as the centerpiece to the novel as they discussed the nature of society and power. In a sense, this episode was a similar discussion between Locke and Ben.

    Please check out my blog at pop-culture-pundit.blogspot.com for more thoughts on LOST. Thanks!

  • Cecil

    Excellent work!

  • Hipster Doofus

    Frank returned on one of the kayaks, and there were two at the beach…so yeah, we can assume Ilana is making an expedition with two boats.

    I’m in the apparently small camp of people who thinks that Ilana doesn’t know crap about “the” statue, and was just making up some BS passphrase for her people. I basically think that the new survivors are just a cautionary tale for what could have happened to our survivors if they’d had a more militant leader.

  • Dolce

    As always, fantastic review!

  • chad

    Super as always…

  • jennrocks

    That’s it. My next dog’s name is Toto-Vincent!
    Excellent read! Keeps my monkey mind fed until next Wednesday.
    I really appreciate the intelligence of the writers on this site.
    I am usually a book person, who is now addicted to Lost. Difference is I can’t finish Lost in 2 days like a book. (I finished the last three dark tower books in 19 days while working full time)
    I would really like to get some reading suggestions from all of of Doc’s writers for the summer. I know, I don’t want to face the WAIT either.
    THANKS!

    • Dolce

      The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever.
      The Language of Cats ( a collection of short stories )

      • Dolce

        Thomas Covenant was written by Stephen R. Donaldson.
        The Language of Cats and Other Stories, written by Spencer Holst.

  • Jangras

    FISHBISCUITISM!!!

    “Afterlife is looking good on Locke. Getting killed seems to have done wonders for his self esteem.”: Best Line Ever. To be carved in stone.

  • DM

    There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t jive with me in this recap:

    1) Jackals and dogs belong to the same family.

    2) Some of the transgressions attributed to Ben are not his to claim:
    Ethan is responsible for nearly killing Charlie.
    It has been hinted that the death of the DI was not Ben’s decision.
    I’m not really sure how capturing Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley is a sinful act comparable to some of the other acts of violence in the story.

    We don’t even have enough information to call anything “unprovoked.” That’s a little bit of stretching. It worked to create the illusion of a villain, but it’s really time to reassess the perception of that character.

  • Retchie

    “Is this like the Poe story, The Musgrave Ritual, where a shadow’s location must be recalculated after the object that created the shadow is long gone?”
    Musgrave Ritual is written by Arthur Conan Doyle and features Sherlock Holmes. It is not a Poe story as you have quoted.

    • Oops! Fixed now. Thanks for keeping me honest.

  • Mac13

    “We’re still a preposition short of full disclosure. The suspense continues to build. I really don’t want to lay any extra added pressure on our intrepid Lost creators, but I have to say: the longer we wait, the more we travel, the more we all really need for this secret, once we learn it, to knock our socks off.”

    Eh, I’m of a very different viewing philosophy. I don’t feel the writer’s are building suspense so much as articulating the answers gradually. Big revelations are great if they’re as well-done and unexpected as the season 3 finale. But I’d much rather have the big answers be slowly uncovered like at an archaeological dig. When it comes to these mystery shows, we usually either get something like BSG, where mysteries are never expounded upon and the answers hinge upon a final, disappointing revelation; or Heroes, where questions are quickly given answers so we can move on to new questions and none of it’s really interesting beyond the simple satisfaction of curiosity. On Lost, at this stage, we aren’t getting teases or new questions, but articulations of existing questions. The four-toed statue wasn’t a new mystery, it was brushing a small piece of dirt off of the overall mystery that was the island’s history. In “Lafleur,” we brushed off more dirt. We’re learning about the monster, the statue, the temple, how they operate, how they’re contextualized in the mythology, how they fictitiously relate to real world history, how they’re all interrelated. As long as the answers keep making interesting sense, I don’t need my socks knocked off.

  • cheyroze

    I’m only about halfway through and I just have to stop to tell you how sweet your articles are…consistently and by far my favorite.

  • Erikire
    • MoniquE

      I love the pictures Fishy puts with her reviews. They’re like her own special kind of easter eggs.

      • meems

        I love them too!!! That picture made me LAUGH! Fishie’s picture choice to her accompanying text are nothing short of brilliant.

        By the way, I love how you related Locke to Gandalf the Grey turning into Gandalf the White. I had thought of that comparison myself, and it’s an honor to see you made that equation too! 🙂

  • cap10tripps

    I’m starting to think that Smokey is Locke. Locke mysteriously disappeared and returned just as Ben says, “I can’t control what comes out of that jungle.” Then Locke knows the way to the underworld, and subsequently disappears while Ben is judged. Perhaps it is certain people’s destiny to be the human form of this “god.” Jacob (who was the vanishing human form of Smokey) says, “Help me.” The only one who hears this is Locke, because it is his destiny to be Smokey (who will eventually have a more appropriate name). Richard and the others look to John to light the way for a very good reason. He was destined to be (and now is) a deity…

  • Leah Kate

    Wow, Fish! Since it didn’t feature Sawyer or Kate, or even Jack or Juliet, this ep didn’t have a lot for me personally to get excited about, but I think I appreciate it much more after reading this. I love how you used religion itself as the framework for trying to understand all the Island’s muddled creeds and spiritual issues. The quotes sprinkled throughout were perfect.

    Really interesting idea that on the Island, death isn’t such a huge issue, since the living and the dead can coexist fairly peacefully. I’d never considered it from that angle before. But it’s true that, as the writers say, being dead doesn’t necessarily mean you lose your job on this show.

    I didn’t even notice that Richard’s words to Ben about living with them but not being ONE of them echoed Jack’s tattoo message about walking among them but not being of them. What will that ultimately mean for Jack? Ben was not “of” his people, and because of that he ended up massacring all of them. Presumably Jack is not going to go that route, but will he instead die to save all of his flock? Is that how he’s not really “of them” – because he’s only there to shepherd them, but not to remain with them? Moses himself never made it to the promised land, it was Joshua who brought the people that last leg of the journey. (Interesting that we don’t have a character named Joshua yet.. do we?)

    Last but not least, that Wizard of Oz manip cracked me up. The ugliest Dorothy ever! LMAO. And I thought of that scene too during the episode. The cultural references were just stacked in layers for this one – which makes reading the recap almost more fun than watching the episode, for me at least. Great job!

  • gloss

    Excellent recap, as always.

    This passage really worked for me: Time has frozen since the fateful day that the Island’s Will (or Charles Widmore’s will, depending on how you’re reading all this) was carried out against poor, innocent Alex. This is one of your great strengths (in addition, of course, to animated gifs and the like :P): stating what was clear in the episode but highlighting such that now the facts are inextricable. Ben’s Achilles heel for kids was made clear by the ep, but you strengthened that fact by tying Alex’s death to time freezing. *Awesome*.

  • Unbeliever

    I liked the recap and it does remind me of other TV shows and movies. I saw Cloverfield a while back. It really impressed me with the hints at mythology and the mysteries that were uncovered by folks on the internet. It almost gave me the idea that something like that could almost have happened. I think mining religious text has become very popular in recent times to make our entertainment seem like oh so much more. The problem is that the TV shows never deliver the answers and ultimately people feel cheated or disappointed. Like X-Files.

  • k

    just worried…in all of this who is good bad blah blah…we forget the damn island…i just don’t trust the damn island itself…i think it wants man off for good to leave it be…look how man has come to nothing but war over the islands power…bugger off is what i would be saying if i were the island…

  • methosrocks

    Excellent recap, as usual, Fish!

    I’d forgotten how much religious imagery we’ve seen on this show, so I particularly liked your animation showing some of it – and how varied are the origins of it.

    Like you, I was a little suprised that Smokey gave Ben a pass on all his other bad deeds. Apparently, the Island separates the personal from the political. His personal hubris led to the death of Alex. For the rest, it seems he was just doing his job. That seems bizarre to me, but I guess we’ll have to keep it in mind as we watch Locke’s behavior in future.

    It was an episode giving us much to reflect on, and you’ve certainly done it justice in your very thoughtful recap. Thanks!

  • YOU GAVE ME SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT; LIKE HOW DID WIDMORE KNOW WHERE THE EXIT HOLE FROM THE FROZEN DONKEY WHEEL WAS IF HE LEFT BY SUBMARINE? THIS COULD JUST BE ANOTHER HOLE IN THE SCRIPTWRITNG AND CONINUITY OF THE SHOW, WHICH THERE HAVE BEEN A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF LATELY. LIKE ETHAN WAS ONLY 27 WHEN 815 CRASHED? AND HE WAS BORN ON THE ISLAND? AND HE HELPED BEN KIDNAP ALEX? AND SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY HE FOUND TIME TO GO TO MED SCHOOL? AND ASIDE FROM BEING A FERTILITY DOCTOR, HE ALSO WORKED IN THE CHEMICAL PLANT WITH GOODWIN? BAD SCRIPTWRITING TO GIVE FANS ANOTHER GLIMPSE OF A COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT CHARACTER AND TRY TO MAKE HIM MORE IMPORTANT.
    SIMILAR CONTINUITY PLOT HOLES ALSO HAPPENED WITH MR. FRIENDLY WHEN IN THE WHOLE MONTH THAT TOOK PLACE IN SEASON 3, HE IS ON THE ISLAND PLAYING CATCH WITH JACK AND EVENTUALLY MURDERED IN THE FINALE BY SAWYER. BUT WHEN THEY FINALLY REVEAL WHAT HAPPENED TO MICHAEL AFTER HE AND WALT LEFT THE ISLAND, MR. FRIENDLY (TOM) IS STAYING IN A PENTHOUSE FOR A WEEK WITH HIS GAY LOVER AND COHERSING MICHAEL ONTO THE FREIGHTER; AND IF YOU DO THE TIMELINE MATH OUT, ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO MICHAEL OFF ISLAND MOST LIKELY COULDNT HAVE HAPPENED IN THE SHORT TIME THAT HE WAS GONE! OH AND REMEMBER HALFWAY THROUGH SEASON 3, JUST ABOUT THE NEXT DAY AFTER JACK PLAYS CATCH WITH FRIENDLY, LOCKE BLOWS UP THE SUBMARINE!!!! SO HOW THE HELL DOES FRIENDLY DO ALL THIS?
    THESE KIND OF HOLES IN THE STORY REALLY UPSET ME, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE BEFORE BRIAN K. VAUGHN (WHOSE WORK I LOVE BTW) BECAME A WRITER ON THE SHOW, CONTINUITY HASN’T BEEN AS IMPORTANT IN THE SCRIPTWRITING AND THERE HAVE BEEN SOME BIG GOOF-UPS. AND THEY ALL COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN AVOIDED BY USING DIFFERENT CHARACTERS OR TELLING THE STORY A BIT DIFFERENTLY. DOES ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE AGREE WITH ME?

    • DarthBubba

      Maybe what you percieve to be “goof-ups” are really mysteries to be explained later. For example, we really don’t know why Ethan looked as old as he did when 815 crashed nor do we know how he became so educated. We are dealing with a place that allows time-travel and exists in a different time than off-island (remember Faraday’s rocket experiment). Perhaps the answers lie there or maybe Ethan had to go through the “resurrection” process himself. Judging from Ben, it ages a person. We could even speculate that this “resurrection” allows for old-souls to enter one’s body giving them skills and memories from the soul (kind of Jim Morrison-esque, but still). Anyway you look at it there could be answers, however if it is truly that bothersome, perhaps an easier show to follow would better suit you. Try old “Brady Bunch” episodes or something. Their continuity is quite easy to follow. Also, on a side not, YOUR CAPS ARE ANNOYING!!!

      • Look dont get me wrong, I love Lost and I love that you need to be able to think to foolow it. This is why I find it insulting when they write these holes in the story that dont make sense, and I hope that u r right about Ethan, but I seriously doubt it, unless the writers read posts of people like me complaining about these continuity holes and realize the mistakes they have made and decide to fix them next season (i.e. Ethans age having to do with time travel or something). Dont get too defensive, u gotta admit that I have made some valid points and if you are more a fan of the story instead of worshipping the writers than you should be as bummed as I am.

      • BTW; sorry about the CAPS

    • professorstotch

      First, please stop typing in caps. There’s no need for it at all.

      Second, I doubt anyone will agree with you. As Darth Bubba already said, you can’t chalk up what may be a mystery as a continuity error. Just because you don’t understand it, and you havent figured it out, doesn’t mean its an error. It just means you need to sit back, watch the show, and wait to see how things play out.

      And Brady Bunch is a bad suggestion. He’ll end up trying to figure out how Marcia breaks her nose in one episode, and is fine the next.

      • Okay, if I’m so wrong about this stuff, which I may be about Ethan( but probably not), than I dare either of you guys to come with a valid plausible explanation behind the Mr. Friendly issue. And before you come up with him leaving by the frozen donkey wheel, keep in mind when that is done the person can never return and I’m pretty sure he never knew about it anyways.

        • DarthBubba

          There definately seems to be a third way off and on island that we havn’t seen yet. Perhaps it is located in the Temple that is really 1/2 mile behind the wall of what we thought the Temple was. Besides, it’s physics law that in order to travel through time, one must travel through space as well. Perhaps, the Orchid station and/or donkey wheel even plays a role.

          • DezziesOtherLifeBrotha

            If there isn’t a third way off the island I, for one, will be sorely disappointed.

            Yes, the Magic Box was a metaphor, because if you rewatch the Man From Tallahassee, while Locke is in the closet holding Alex at gun point, Tom and Richard are in Ben’s room speaking with Ben in bed. Ben clearly orders Richard to “Go get me the man from Tallahassee…”

            Later (in the Brig, I believe) when questioned, Anthony Cooper describes how he remembers arriving on the island. Goes something like this “I was driving on I-90 and a car pushes me into the guard-rail and as I come to a paramedic looked at me and smiled and then I woke up here” If that’s not Richard GETTING the Man From Tallahassee than I will eat my hat!

            I’m telling you, there’s something to everyone being knocked out before they travel to the island by sub…. Mark my words… there’s something more to that and I’m not convinced that sub is really going to and from the island.

      • DarthBubba

        Mr. Brady (to Marcia): In this house there is a box, Marcia. This is a magic box and anything you wish for will appear in this box. . .

        • Wow, now I know why some people actually believe in Scientology. Some people will believe anything they want to believe. BTW, you still never gave me a valid plausible explanation. You are trying to pull an explanation out of thin air. Nice try though. And Ben had also later told Locke that the magic box was just a metaphor.

          • DarthBubba

            Yes, I made something we humans call a “joke”. You see putting someone like Mr. Brady in the shoes of Ben Linus. . . I guess if you have to explain it, the joke looses something. Anyway, I do remember Ben’s conversation w/ Locke re: the box. Also, I’m fine that it wasn’t “plausible”, many things that have happened on this show are often not “plausible” by normal standards. Besides which, it was simple fan-speculation. You’ll find that from time-to-time around here, especially when one is dared to try.

            BTW: How do you explain Widmore’s and Tom’s off island excursions since there were times they couldn’t have used the donkey wheel nor sub? I think there is an as-of-yet unrevealed third way on and off.

      • cap10tripps

        Haven’t we already found out that time doesn’t work quite the same on the island? So Michael leaves the same day Jack, Sawyer, Kate, and Hurley are captured, then convincing and surgery ensues. Let’s say a week or so of on island time passes between this day and Locke blowing up the sub. That could give Mr. Friendly all the time in the world to do what he needs to. Remember it seems as though it’s possible to visit different points in time off island and/or time slows on island. Even though time travel theories in reality are highly speculative at best, this show allows us to suspend our disbelief and consider the possibilities. It’s what engrosses us so…

        • DarthBubba

          You’re right! That just made me remember that Ben had all those different passports from different time periods. . . some were even prior to his birth weren’t they?

          • Were the passports from different time periods? I dont remember that. I though they were just from different countries.

        • Good theory, EXCEPT that Mr. Friendly is on the island every single day from the time Michael leaves til the time Locke blows up the submarine. So once again, there is still no valid explanation.

  • Kryton

    Im glad to see someone else question the lack of any confirmed power source on the island. It was during this episode I started thinking about it. The amount of power required to run all of the stations and othersville would require something more than a compact honda generator.

    The difficulty that Dharma seem to have for making regular deliveries make me wonder how they manage to keep a contant supply of fuel to run any sort of power generation.

    My guess is that we will never find out and this will be left as one of the unexplained mistery.

  • Nice work around there. I can use portions of this for my own situation..