The episode '316' has

sure divided Lost fans in half. Many of you loved it pieces, while

just as many called foul at the show's exposition, structure, and

explanations. I'm still in the camp that 'The Lie' is easily the

weakest Season 5 episode, but I can understand people's complaints

about this past week's ep. I'm not here to lecture anyone on what

episode they should or should not like: not only is that not my job,

but it's entirely beside the point. What I want to focus on today is

what questions we can reasonably ask at this point, and which ones

are basically unfair to pose at this juncture.

I thought that

Ben wasn't allowed to return to the island because he moved the

island. What have I missed?
Maggie

I don't think you've

missed anything, Maggie. Let's look at the scene in question, in the Season 4

finale:

LOCKE: Jacob told me what we had to do. You don't get

to make all the decisions–

BEN: He told you what to do, but

he didn't tell you how because he wants me to suffer the

consequences.

LOCKE: What consequences?

BEN: Whoever

moves the island can never come back.

Trying to square this

with Ben's off-Island pursuit to return has been difficult, as Maggie

points out. But in seeing how Jack, Kate, and Hurley return, it's no

longer impossible. Remember, it's my assertion that Cabin Christian

does NOT speak for Jacob, and therefore Jacob does not want Ben to

suffer the consequences of leaving the Island. CC just wants him out

of the way, and is playing on Ben's knowledge of Island lore against

him. If the Island really, really wanted Ben to never return, he

couldn't. But I think post-Tunisia, Ben realized he'd been played,

making a return to the island a possibility.

Secondly, look

at the Oceanic 6 as the equivalent of a hot chick in line at a

nightclub. Ben and potentially other people on the plane are trying

to exploit the Oceanic 6 to gain access to Club Island. If flying on

that plane at that time yields access to the Island for the Oceanic

6, maybe it'll yield access to them, as well. They are piggybacking

off Oceanic mojo. (As much as this analogy tickles me, now I sadly have the image of Ben Linus in a silver suit bopping his head to "What is Love?") To what ends are they piggybacking? Glad you asked, since reader Tee

kinda wants to know that as well.

So it appears the Lamp Post seems to be the best

way to find the island. And Widmore knew exactly how to find the Lamp

Post because he gave Des the address to find Faraday's mother. So why

did it take so long for Widmore to find the island? Why didn't he

just get the coordinates from someone working at the lamppost years

ago?
Tee

I think asking that question yields the obvious

answer: he didn't know about the Lamp Post, otherwise he wouldn't

have taken the 20 years or so Miles estimates it took him to find it

the first time around. But you're also right that he knew just how to

direct Des directly to the church. He didn't just say, "She's

somewhere in Los Angeles, good luck."

I have a possible,

convoluted way in which all of the machinations between Widmore,

Hawking, and Linus make sense, but that would read like fanfic, not

hard-core analysis. (Long and short: Hawking discovers the Lamp Post

after the Oceanic 6 leave, thanks to a time-travelling son's message,

with Widmore finding out about it after Locke arrives in Los Angeles

post-donkey wheel inside the church, thanks to the similar energy

there and the Island. Just because I like this version doesn't mean

there aren't thirty other equally viable ones, though.) The takeaway

is this: the three have very different agendas, and are using the

survivors of Oceanic 815 in precisely the way described by Des inside

the Lamp Post: as pawns in a game. Of course, I instantly thought back to the game of Risk, thanks to its presence in New Otherton.

Why are

we so convinced that Kate = Claire? I've had several people tell me

that Kate is pregnant, presumably with Jack's child, but I've seen

nothing to provide any evidence of that. Just because they had weird

sex when she was all sickly in bed?
Johnny Bench

"Kate=Claire!"

and "Jin taught a young Charlotte Korean!" tie for this

week's "Really Stretching It" Award, an award I'll try to

bestow when possible on theories that might sound really good until

you actually think about them. (Really? Charlotte can't remember her

childhood, but fluently speaks Korean taught to her during this

unremembered period? Jin introducing her to the language I buy; him

spending long hours being her personal Rosetta Stone? Heck no.)

What

gets my goat is not the theory that Kate and Jack might have

unwittingly spawned a child that wants to come with you to fix

things; it's that people insist that she got intentionally pregnant

in order to facilitate re-entry into the Island. That take is posed as thus: just

as someone told Hurley to bring a guitar, someone told Kate to get a

bun in the oven before takeoff. I know this is highly ironic coming

from a guy that writes about the show five times a week, but I'll say

it anyways: we all really need to stop over-thinking the show.

Now,

by that, I don't mean we have to stop THINKING about the show. But we

(and I do mean myself included) have to stop instantly making

connections that are formed in the heat of a particular moment as

opposed to the history of the show in general. Here's the line that's

got everyone in a frantic tizzy, spoken by Eloise:

"If

you… want to return, you need to recreate as best you can the

circumstances that brought you there in the first place. That means

as many of the same people as you are able to bring with you."

My interpretation of this line: do your best, but don't feel

the need to slavishly reproduce this for it to work. And while some

events parallel directly (a dead body, a man rushing to the gate

after almost missing his flight, a person in handcuffs), not

everything does…nor could it possibly. Now, in a way, this is the

show's own darn fault, another example of the "Sometimes a

bracelet is just a bracelet," problem. But while I hated on the

show for giving that excuse after prominently featuring two bracelets

in "The Economist," then scoffing at us for trying to make

connections, I'm supporting the show here is saying they explained

the nature of Hawking's plan enough for us to not automatically assume Kate is now

knocked up.

Why do I think Kate's not pregnant? Because I look

at her actions in Jack's condo the night before the flight from a

character-based, not mythology-based, perspective. And when you do so, her

reasons are much more believable. When's the last time she kissed

Jack like that? After seeing a ghost. A ghost of a horse. A tactile

ghost, but a ghost all the same. So what she saw in between leaving

Slip 23 and arriving at Jack's house was a ghost. This ghost told her

something that scared the living hell out of her, and caused her to

give up Aaron in some fashion.

But I have an almost

impossible time believing that this ghost ordered her to go get

pregnant before taking off towards Guam. Why? If you insist on the

mythological viewpoint, why not get Walt if you're so keen on

recreating the flight? Or find someone else fairly pregnant?

Secondly: the show would completely kill any affection the audience

would have for its nominal heroine if we learn in the future that she

abused Jack's feelings for her in order to facilitate a return to the

Island. Whether or not you actually like Kate as a character is a bit

irrelevant: the show wants to sympathize with her. If she

intentionally got herself pregnant, that sympathy ends. Unless you're

that lady who just had octuplets. Then Kate is suddenly your all-time

hero, replacing "all those teenage girls from Gloucester"

atop your list.

The advice I've given myself this season I'll

now impart here: let the show come to you. It's insanely fun to

speculate, but only really build a bungalow in Theoryville when you

have more evidence to back things up. I've tried really hard to own

up to what I don't know here, and being wrong when venturing guessing

is par for the course here. But being "wrong" is sometimes

just choosing a path different than what the writers ultimately did.

And I'm more than OK in admitting that they know what they're doing

with this story than I do.

So looking at what they've done in

the past is possibly the best way to predict what they'll do in the

future. Looking at Kate's past reveals 1) a flawed woman who

occasionally turns to Jack or Sawyer in times of emotional distress,

and 2) someone devoted to Aaron both as a parent and protector of

what was lost on the Island. I can easily buy a scenario in which she

left Aaron behind out of the latter character trait, which directly

led to the first character trait rearing its head soon after. What I

cannot buy under any circumstance is a premeditated plan on Kate's

part to replace Aaron with a newly fertilized egg inside her

uterus.

Because sometimes, sickly weird sex is just sickly

weird sex.

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude. He invites you to join the hundreds already in Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group. He also encourages you to subscribe to the Zap2It's Guide to Lost Twitter feed.

Posted by:Ryan McGee