“That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” ~Charles Dickens Great Expectations
Super-Duper Brief Recap
Season 5 Premier “Because You Left”- Off the Island, Grizzly Beard and Bug-Eyes are suddenly BFF and cavorting around the globe, attempting to convince the rest of the O6 to pack their shit and their dead frenemy “Bentham”, and take a joy ride through time back to a locale which no longer exists. That sounds rad.
Also, Sawyer, Juliet, the Science guys from the freighter and some random dude named Neil, are ripping through time on the supposedly-gone-forever-but-obviously-not-really, Island. It’s rough on them.
Dude, Sun looks…older
I won’t pretend that I didn’t think that Sun was in bed with some faceless, un-Jin-man during the opening sequence of “Because You Left.”
I won’t even pretend that I caught on that it WAS NOT some “future” Sun during my first viewing of the episode. I didn’t. But it wasn’t. It was an entirely separate character, known at the moment only as “Mrs. Pierre Chang”, whom I believe we will meet more intimately throughout the duration of the series. She and mysterious Dharma Orientation video-star, Dr. Pierre Chang and their child reside in New Other-ton and like Willie Nelson.
Where Have I seen This Before?
Sometimes, the producers and writers of Lost like to taunt and toy with their audience. They enjoy a good chortle at our expense. But sometimes, they REALLY want us to know that there is vital importance within a scene. The latter seems to be the case regarding the musical opening of Season 5. We’ve been down this road before. This scene is noticeably similar to the Season 2 opener, where we meet a still hatch-arrested Desmond, aerobicizing and injecting himself to the Mama Cass classic “Make Your Own Kind of Music”, and Season 3 opener which introduces Juliet (the Other) and features fun, Petula Clark ditty “Downtown.”
Both Desmond and Juliet become major characters with significant storylines and arcs throughout the show. Thus, it hardly seems presumptuous to think that the Chang’s plot is about to spike in a major way.
“Shotgun Willie” by iconic American country singer/ stoner, Willie Nelson is the soundtrack to Dr. Chang’s morning routine. Sadly, you “can’t play the record”, “can’t play the record”, “can’t play the record”, “can’t play the record”, “can’t play the record…”
And just in case you somehow missed the “skipping record” allusion in the first scene, we have trusty science whiz kid Daniel Faraday to spell it out for half-naked Sawyer. He explains that the Island is like a spinning record but something seems to have “dislodged” it and now it’s “skipping.”
Phew! Thanks Producers of “Lost” for breaking that down both physically and verbally within the first 18 minutes of the episode. Still, it may be important, so perhaps it’s good that we’re clear.
As an aside, I swear if heard one more Islander utter the words “When (pause, pause) am I?”…
Right…gotcha…we’re not so sure which time period the Island is in.
All Aboard! Train to Obvious-ville! All Aboard!
I’m on the fence about this whole “Choo-choo, tunnel” debacle. After Aaron indicates that the train is perilously close to the tunnel, Kate responds, “choo-choo knows better than that. He goes into that tunnel, he’s never coming back out.”
Thanks, “Goober”, your incoherent ramblings just cost me FOUR hours of internet searching, in vain attempt to identify a 2 and a half second cartoon clip, which I was sure had some obscure subtext behind it. I want my life back.
While I do fear that the Kate’s line was exactly what it seemed to be (an allusion toward the idea that if they go back to the Island, they can never leave), I’m still hoping that the spoils of my over-indulgent trip into the depths of hell known as Google, may be significant at some juncture, so I will share what I’ve learned:
* Kate refers to Aaron as “Goober” in this scene, which could be a reference to the mid-70’s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, “Goober and the Ghost Chasers.” Kinda like the ghosts that everyone both on and off the Island are habitually chasing? Hmph.
* I was sooooo pulling for this theory to work, but I think it may be one of those funny coincidences that I don’t truly believe exist on this show (or in real life, actually.)
There is a pop-up book called “Choo-choo Charlie: The Littletown Train,” which I would have loved to be able to link to Aaron’s superbly narrated description of “Choo-choo.” The ideas are so THERE. “Charlie” being the man who first acted as a father figure to Aaron. “The Littletown Train”: “Littletown” sounds a heck of a lot like “Littleton,” a.k.a.: Aaron’s biological Mother’s last name. Sadly, I can’t dig up any animated cartoon links for this, thus I must abandon this theory for now.
* There is also a bit of an “Alice in Wonderland” reference in here for me. The story has oft been referred to throughout the series and the idea that if Alice falls down the rabbit hole, she cannot get out (much as the train cannot come out of the tunnel) seems significant.
Ben Can’t Hide His (creepy) Lyin’ Eyes
Ben is a sick obsession for me. I find it impossible to despise him yet it is obviously tough to sympathize with him. Still, he seems to love that Island and I can respect a man who has hometown pride.
Which leads me to Ben’s latest “truth alteration.” Jack asks Ben when the last time he saw Locke was. Ben replies, “On the island. In the Orchid Station below the greenhouse. I told him I was sorry for making his life so miserable. “And then he left.” (The problem is, the clip clearly shows BEN (not John) “leaving.”
Why the lies, Benny? We know you “always have a plan,” but why is it so important that Jack not know that you left the Island before John?
Yes, Charlotte is hot and smart and interesting in that aloof, semi-snooty British way, but don’t go switching up all the “rules” just because you’re in love with her and she seems to be suffering the consequence of the frequent and sudden “flash travel.” We understand that it’s tempting to manipulate the gray areas in your theory and chat with the crazy-eyed hatch-version of Desmond, even though you just told Sawyer that he couldn’t. But there are tough decisions associated with being the smartest guy in the jungle. You may have to personally sacrifice for the good of the group. We’re sure your freaky Mother would agree (Huh?! What?! We’ll get there…)
~ Good Luck! And Namaste.
Ms. Hawking. Mistress of Time Travel. Foreboder of death. Mother of Faraday. Uh-huh.
This one actually feels a little obvious. Both Daniel and Hawking are deeply involved in the time travel aspect of the show. Both are named after famous scientists. Though Daniel never actually gets to tell Desmond his mother’s name before the flash changes the time line, he does tell him to go see her at Oxford. Daniel was a professor at Oxford but he’s not British (yes, I know you don’t HAVE to be British to work there) but Ms. Hawking does have a British accent… could it be that Daniel’s mom is his connection to England? Daniel’s phrasing as he explains that there are “rules” involved with time manipulation, is eerily similar to Hawking’s admonition to Desmond in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.”
She also controls the final scene with Ben at the end of “The Lie“. Ben seems genuinely intimidated. Could Hawking be closer to Jacob than we know?
*Did anyone else not realize that Sawyer had never met Daniel Faraday? Upon thinking about it, I recall that Sawyer was chillin’ in the Land that the Others Built as Daniel parachuted through time and space onto the Island, but his overt hostility toward adorably awkward Danny was a little surprising at first.
*Richard gives wounded Locke a compass. This is the same compass that John did NOT choose in the Season 4 flash back ep Cabin Fever, thus prompting Richard to declare that John wasn’t “ready.” Is he “ready” now or is he merely the martyr he’s always been?
*John Locke’s body is being kept at Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor. Hoffs/Drawlar is an anagram for “Flash Forward”
Super-Duper Brief Recap
Season 5 Episode 2 “The Lie”– Flashback to the rescued O6 on Penny’s boat debating the merits of lying to the world. Hurls thinks it’s a bad plan. The rest disagree. They win. Hurley’s mad. Hurley vows “not to help them” someday in the future when they really need it.
Then there’s a cool ninja scene involving some bad guys, Sayid, Hurley and a not-so-safe house. Poison darts fly and Hurley ends up wearing an “I (HEART) My Shih Tzu” T-shirt. Later, he throws a Hot Pocket at Ben, who seems unphased.
Neil gets extra-irritating on the Island.
Presenting the Top 3 Reasons Jack Shouldn’t Have Ignored His Gut
That gnarly ass beard.
Silly Oxy addiction
Creepy alignment with Ben “I’ll gas you if I have to” Linus
Season 4 episode “Something Nice Back Home” was mega-important (and not just cus we first glimpse the Grizzly Beard in a flash forward.) In this ep, Jack is sick. Kate catches him popping pills and asks him if he “has a prescription for those” (fun sign of things to come.) The conversation ends with Jack claiming that his “gut is telling him that they’re getting off the Island.” Kate observes that his gut is sick.
Jack and John Locke have long been pitted against one another as symbols of faith vs. science and free will vs. destiny, but in recent episodes Jack’s been portrayed as out of control, reckless and severely unsure of the very idea which anchored him to reality on the Island…that he needed to get everyone home, thus fulfilling his promise to save them.
Personally, I believe that Jack changed his mind about leaving the Island before the rescue boat even plucked them from the dinghy in the ocean…possibly even before they left the Island at all. Locke is a convincing dude, and in the S4 finale, he specifically warns Jack that he shouldn’t leave the Island. Once he realizes that his pleas are useless, he tells Jack that they’ll all have to lie.
Symbolically, the stomach is the center of emotion. Severe anxiety is said to physically manifest through stomach-related illness. Could Jack’s sudden appendicitis waaaayyyy back in “Something Nice Back Home”, have been a manifestation of his anxiety towards leaving the Island?
Back in the Lost school of religious references, The Bible contains several parables containing sickness of the stomach as an important symbol. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; Jacob (Jack’s father’s name) and his brother Esau; and Jesus Christ himself all endure ailing stomachs.
You may remember a dark period during Season 3 involving some randoms called “Nikki” and “Paolo.” I was actually the leader of the “Nikki and Paolo Un-Fan Club.” We mostly just got real incensed about the presence of these two non-entities and sat around complaining, but it was healing in some semi-disdainful way.
Therefore, the moment “Neil” showed up in all his cranky, whiny, “I don’t wanna start all over again” glory, I started digging out my old Club phone list from those sad N& P days.
And just as I find it, THWACK! bitchy Neil takes a flaming arrow to the chest! YAY!
That was one of those aforementioned chortles those writer boys seem to have at our expense. They wanted us to think that this dude was going to step up to that uber-annoying platform previously occupied by Nikki and Paolo, but his speedy demise almost seems like a final apology from them to us, for enduring those two clowns throughout the third season. And an implicit promise that they wouldn’t pull that stunt again.
Ben’s Merry Cult of Saints
Lost has always been ripe with religious references, but the names of Ben’s LA-based cohorts in this episode are significant:
Jill- Jill is the female form of the name Julian. Julian is a Patron Saint of Travelers and Shepard’s. In this scene, Jill refers to Jack as “Shepard.” Additionally, Jill Pole is a character C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. She is described as “a non-believer who is miserable in the “modern” world but can conceive of nothing else.”
Lost producers have said that author C.S. Lewis was the namesake of Anthropologist/ possible Island native/ apple of Faraday’s eye, Charlotte Staples Lewis.
Gabriel- sometimes regarded as the angel of death or one of God’s messengers. First mentioned in The Book of Daniel (Faraday?!)
Jeffrey- Meaning God’s Peace
*Tee-hee. Hurls’ father watches Expose’. Expose’ was Nikki’s crappy TV show.
*Ben’s ardent defense of Jack after Jill the Butcher’s crack about his pill popping was note worthy.
*Hurley and Sayid make a quick “comfort food” run on the way to the Safe House. They stop at a drive-up called “Rainbow.” As in “Over the…”
Just like fellow not-really-intended-for-children tale, “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Wizard of Oz,” has received frequent shout out’s on “Lost.” The parallel’s are too numerous to mention in this section, but episode names like “The Man Behind the Iron Curtain,” and three-part Season 4 finale “There’s No Place Like Home,” indicate that perhaps the stop at Rainbow was about more than French Fries.
*Did it strike anyone else that Aaron asks Kate if he can “push the button” in the elevator at Sun’s hotel?
*So, Sun seems…angry. And Kate seems to feel…guilty. Why do I think that Sun may just be attempting to manipulate sweet, Ms. Austen? I have an inkling that Sun may be more in control than we think. And it does seem convenient that she turned up in LA, just as Kate was about to hit the road to who knows where…
Aaaaannnndddd breathe! I know that was a lot. But we had lots to cover. “Lost” is one of those shows that can be digested on so many levels, that the possibilities become infinite and the gray area between relevance and irrelevance becomes massive. Which is cool, because in my humble opinion, life doesn’t happen in black or white, it happens in the massive abyss of gray.
“So, tell me John. How do you expect to pilot our submarine? I mean, it’s a complicated piece of machinery. You don’t just press ‘Submerge’.” ~ Ben Linus
Lyndsey has OCD. Lucky for you, in between color-coding her closet and using anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, she channels her mania into over-analysis of “Lost”. She believes the idea that “TV rots your brain,” is bullshit. She is sure her brain is not, in fact, rotten.