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?
I don't think you've
missed anything, Maggie. Let's look at the scene in question, in the Season 4
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
LOCKE: What consequences?
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.
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
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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:
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
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
Because sometimes, sickly weird sex is just sickly
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