I honestly can say that I don’t know which episodes are harder to recap, the major league geek-fests like “The Constant,” “Jughead,” and the last three season finales, or the bridge episodes like “Something Nice Back Home,” “Greatest Hits,” or “Namaste,” that are more character-based drama while putting people in place for the next mythology and plot barrage. As an amateur Lostologist, the former seem to have too much meat to them, forcing me to pare down my synopsis and analysis for fear of losing people in the Lost fan-blog equivalent of War & Peace. On the other hand, the latter always make me think even harder to cull out the good bits in order to say anything exciting.
But, with “He’s Our You” looming mere hours away, I do think I have a few keen insights to glean from “Namaste,” impacting Lost’s past, present, and future and very much befitting a show with time travel at its core.
Like for example, notice that the ever-instructional Dr. Chang is seen wearing a Swan-logo lab coat in the new-DHARMA-worker orientation video in an episode in which we see Radzinsky actually designing the not-yet-constructed Swan station? Mere continuity blooper or…something more? (*dum-dum-DUMMMM!*)
That’s why I’m paid the big bucks…oh, wait, I’m a volunteer here. Blast!
It’s a big rock finish, a big finish…the plane is going down. It’s a Tin-Pan Alley grande finale, just seconds from the ground!
There are so many things on Lost we still don’t know, but one thing of which I’m 100% certain is that, if I’m ever in aeronautical peril, I want Frank Lapidus at the controls. Can that man fly or what? Notwithstanding the freak “leaf on the wind” outcome of his Ajira copilot, has he ever lost a passenger…even one? Not that we’ve seen in two completely insane chopper landings and one deeply adverse airliner set-down. Not since Catch-22’s bomber-pilot, Orr, have we seen any pilot so adept at crashing without casualties.
I mean, OK, he got the assist from the Others’ foreknowledge in building the runway on Hydra Island back at the beginning of Season 3, but it’s still pretty damned impressive. And, by the way, that suspenseful landing sequence gave us confirmation for the slow about said runway which the astute among us had picked up episodes ago.
Which, in turn, also verifies that the Others have had the aforementioned foreknowledge of the landing of Ajira 316 for several years…which we also already knew. I’ve been banging on about it for weeks now.
See what I mean about these bridge episodes?
Still, that was one exciting landing sequence. Serious kudos to Jack Bender for directing a scene that actually had us on the edge of our seats even though we knew exactly how it would end. That’s talent right there. There’s a reason he’s this show’s go-to director, you know?
(Side note: Anyone wanting to see more excellent work from both Mr. Bender and Lost’s own Kelvin Inman, the inimitable Clancy Brown, could do far worse than to spend about 24 hours of their life watching the brilliant—but tragically killed mid-cliffhanger—HBO series, Carnivàle. Layered storytelling, rich symbolism and allegory, slow-building creepy wrongness…it’s a Lost fan’s delight!)
And, in all fairness, we did get one tantalizing detail out of the landing sequence: hearing the Numbers on the plane’s radio as they were coming in to land. Someone at some point between the Lostaways finally stopping Rousseau’s recording in “Through the Looking Glass” circa 12/24/04 and Ajira 316’s landing in early 2007 actually turned back on the repeating broadcast of the Numbers that’s caused so much mischief over the years since the DHARMA Initiative started the broadcasts. I’ve seen some recappers say that it was either a continuity goof or else proof that some major alteration had occurred in the Lost timeline, but I’m not buying it when such a simple explanation functions at least as well. I like to keep my Occam’s Razor sharp.
Moles and trolls, moles and trolls, work, work, work, work, work. We never see the light of day. We plan this thing for weeks and all they want to do is study. I’m disgusted.
At long, long last we finally got to meet the storied Radzinsky…he of Blast Door Map fame, responsible for one of the biggest “TiVo moments” in the history of television. And he’s kind of an ass. The way he was acting toward Jin kind of makes feel OK with knowing that the station he was designing would eventually become his prison, then his mausoleum. It also makes one wonder if being moody was a requirement to staff the Flame station given the proclivities of its subsequent Other inhabitant, Mikhail.
But, clearly, the man had a grade-A cranium or else he wouldn’t have been designing a station with the ability to harness sufficient electromagnetic energy to cause an implosion large enough to leave this crater, cause passing jetliners to crash, and actually unstick the triggerer of its fail-safe mechanism in time.
Also, clearly, Radzinsky is going to be completely instrumental to the plot at least until the end of this season. If anyone’s going to be able to help (the seemingly MIA) Faraday and Chang beam a message to the future with 1970s technology, it’s Radzinsky. Likewise, he’s also obviously going to be the recipient of a hefty dose of future knowledge one way or another. Jin already piqued Radzinsky’s suspicions by asking about mysterious plane crashes that never happened, and both Sawyer (er, ‘scuse me, LaFleur) and Radzinsky isn’t dumb enough to fail to notice that both “LaFleur” and Jin were treating their captured “Hostile” in a rather unorthodox manner.
He’s onto ’em and he’s going to get to the bottom of things, mark my words. And hey, if anyone’s going to be able to grok something as quantumly-insane as time travel, it’s going to be the biggest of the big brains among the DHARMA Initiative, don’t you think?
Only someone with foreknowledge would have designed the protocols of the Swan Station exactly the way they ended up, complete with fake quarantine procedures and a blacklight-rich lockdown mode, the better for Locke to see his mysterious map about 27 years later. This guy is going to be up to his eyeballs in “The Incident,” even if he appears to survive it long enough to recruit and train Kelvin before finally having his spirit crushed by the inexorable gears of predestination.
Take it easy on the kid, SilverFox316; everybody kills Hitler on their first trip.
And speaking of predestination, poor Sayid hasn’t gotten the memo about the Grandfather-Paradox-free nature of time travel in the Lost universe quite yet. Our unlucky hero had the misfortune to be placed far enough away from Jack, Kate, and Hurley that he wasn’t getting rounded up by Sheriff LaFleur and passed off as a new DI recruit. The Island is being a perverse little land-mass in this, just as it is in seemingly-capriciously separating Jin and Sun by a few decades.
You can see it in Sayid’s eyes the second young, comparatively innocent, Ben Linus introduces himself while rather sweetly bringing Sayid a sandwich…even if he forgot the mustard. He’s going to go all Sarah Connor and try to prevent his dire future from happening, and thereby become extremely frustrated when he’s inevitably unable to do so thanks to the fact that we know Ben Linus manages to live at least until early 2007.
It’s actually enough to make me fear for Sayid’s safety. Team Darlton has a way of knocking off a major character or two every time we get to a season finale and trying to kill off DHARMA brat and the Others’ answer to Harry Potter isn’t likely to endear him to either of the major factions on the Island as of 1977. What’s more, Sayid’s story is looking more and more tragic and closer and closer to an end. Literature has never been kind to those who struggle against prophecy, now has it.
It also would explain why 2005-vintage Ben is so very keen to use Sayid as a killer catspaw later in his subjective timeline, but tragically earlier in Sayid’s. Time travel, as the man said, is a bitch…and this particular bitch has been spilling her guts to young Ben so that he “always has a plan” by the time he meets the still-clueless 815ers shortly after their crash.
Mephistopheles is not your name. I know what you’re up to just the same. I will listen hard to your tuition. You will see it come to its fruition.
So, much like Richard Alpert knew about John Locke and Eloise Hawking knew about Daniel Faraday for a good half a century, Ben Linus has known about several figures he would “meet” decades later since childhood.
Suddenly, the “her” to whom Juliet bears the striking reseblance commented upon by Harper Stanhope in “The Other Woman” might not be Annie or Ben’s mother after all, but rather Juliet herself. Suddenly, the selection of Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer as the group to be rounded up by Michael for the Others in trade for Walt in “Three Minutes” makes a lot more sense.
And over the rest of Season 5, we’re only going to see more and more examples of foreknowledge being given to Ben and to any other DI Purge-survivors who later become Others. I’m totally on board with the theory that elderly Other Amelia is Amy 30 years later now that we know her son—quite possible the last human actually conceived and born on the Island—would grow up to be none other than Ethan Rom.
And by the way, is it possible that the story of the intervention of a Juliet mysteriously (to Amy) wise in the ways of obstetrics and appearing in the nick of time would inspire young Ethan to take up medicine? He was the Others’ surgeon before Charlie shot him, don’t forget.
Watch out for Christian…he’s a dick!
Exhibit number 42 that the Island isn’t very nice: whooshing all the rest of the Oceanic 5 back to 1977 while leaving Sun, the one person with an actual spouse among those living in the past, stuck in the present and then telling her she had “a bit of a journey” ahead of her. And why? No doubt she’s got “work to do.”
I mean, I get that the stakes are high in this game. “God help us all,” as Ms. Hawking, among others, is so very fond of telling us. But still…to tantalize poor Sun and Jin like that? What’s more, separating them both from Ji Yeon. That’s just mean.
And that kind of cruelty still looks rather petty when stacked up against the Island’s rather impressive body count…the soldiers back in 1954, the vast majority of the DHARMA Initiative, all the 815 casualties to date, Charlotte, Danielle & Alex, the French science team, Karl, who knows how many Others, the real Henry Gale, the entire crew of the freighter Kahana, one can only assume the crew of the Black Rock, and John Locke (well, sorta) that we know of.
There have been actual wars worthy of the name—and even Arnold Schwartzenegger movies—with lower casualty numbers. If the stakes are anything less than the very fate of the world, I kinda hope that Jughead the bomb blows the hell out of the Island in the series finale…but only after all the remaining characters have cleared off of it.
In further Christian Shephard news, some eagle-eyed viewers managed to catch a glimpse of what looked like a blonde-haired woman crouching behind some furniture during the conversation beween Christian, Sun, and Frank. Could it be Claire? Or is it just a careless Production Assistant lucky enough to be nowhere near Christian Bale while getting into a camera’s sight line? Odds are we won’t find out anytime soon, given that Emilie de Ravin is unlikely to be seen before Season 6. But then, we’re going to need plenty of questions to occupy us for the final season, yeah?
Sonya’s “Aww, Yeah!” Moments of “Namaste”:
1. Sawyer laying the verbal smack down on Jack and proving he’s a better leader than the dithering Doc ever was.
2. Sawyer sticking Jack with Work Man duty. *snerk*
3. Ben snarking, “And how’d that work out for everyone?” at Frank after he’d reminded Sun that a whole team of commandos was sent after Ben.
4. Sun belting Ben with an oar. He had it coming for withholding the info that Jin was in 1977, which we know he knew!
5. Just seeing Sayid (reasonably) safe and sound after the Ajira crash. I’m such a mark for Sayid.
6. Seeing some good, old-fashioned Monster-based deforestation to greet the newcomers.
7. Hurley asking Sawyer why he wasn’t going to tell the DI about the impending Purge.
8. Sawyer’s reply that he wasn’t there to “play Nostradamus to these people.”
PS: Note to Darlton: More Desmond please! We’ve had too many episodes without hide or hair of our favorite Scot. And ditto Locke. You can’t resurrect a guy and leave us hanging regarding him for so long. It’s just not cricket! OK…I feel better for having vented.