Nonficionado Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Lost: Draw Me a Hexadecimal

[Editor's Note — February 2nd, 2010: We're pleased to announce that J. Wood is back for the final season!]

[Editor's Note — March 23, 2009: We have another update on J. Wood's healthread it here.]

And with a flash and a splash, Jin rises from the dead.

He wasn't the only one.

"The Little Prince" is named after the 1943 children's novel by French pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a rather existential little book about a pilot whose plane goes down in the Sahara (not near Tunisia). When stranded, he meets a little blond off-world traveler; "If you please -- draw me a sheep."

The narrator relates the boy's story, who left his little asteroid and flower to travel across the universe. His seventh stop is Earth. Why did he leave his asteroid? That's a good question. Another question: Why does the narrator call this kid a prince? There is no explanation. As the boy makes his way from tiny planet to tiny planet, he meets a variety of adult representatives (a king, a businessman, a drunk), and is consistently frustrated with them; adults are consumed with facts over qualities, so they always ask the wrong questions, like this paragraph just did.

A strange thing then occurs in the sixth chapter; the narrative voice changes to second-person. The audience was in the third-person objective position, and is all the sudden being addressed as if the audience were displaced into the subject of the story. The switch from objective to subjective space is interesting, and it changes back to third-person objective in the seventh chapter. This is just one of the elements the story shares with Lost; like the island characters' experience of cut-up time mirroring the audience experience of narrative time, or how the characters' search for pieces of the overall puzzle is carried over beyond the show proper into the broader experience of the audience; this short chapter mirrors that unstable position where the audience falls into the fiction. Like the fox says in The Little Prince, words are the source of misunderstandings.

Who is the little prince meant to represent, if anyone? One character may be Aaron, the little towhead who is working his way back to the island. But the little prince can't make it back to his asteroid without the help of a snake's poison; if Aaron is the narrative cognate, he may have to deal with the solver of all riddles to make it back.

However, there are all sorts of characters who are trying to make it back to the island. One in particular, though, holds a little more promise. The little prince needed to get back to his asteroid so he could care for his flower. In the episode, Locke wants to beat a path back to the Orchid station, where the flowers are, to see if he can stop the time-slips. Locke also knows he needs to get everyone who left the island back, and to do that, he has to die. Like the little prince, Locke's way home means he has to abandon his shell, and "There is nothing sad about old shells..."

One more link from Saint-Exupéry's book points us toward more ghosts of the past. At the beginning of the story, the narrator states "I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612." In a sly nod, he notes that it was discovered by a Turk in 1909, but he wasn't believed because he dressed as a Turk. "Fortunately, however, for the reputation of B-612, a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume." The narrator doesn't name the dictator, but that was Mustafa Kemal, Atatürk. During the 1920's he threatened the post-Ottoman British Mandate of Mesopotamia, and nearly took Mosul in present-day northern Iraq. The current Iraqi borders were established out of the resulting Treaty of Lausanne, which separated a significant Kurdish population from their brethren in Turkey; this led to political unrest that was put down violently by Saddam Hussein in the 1980's and 1990's, which led to the Gulf War, and Sayid becoming a torturer.

But asteroid B-612 doesn't end there; B-612 is also Be-six-twelve, or BESIXDOUZE, the name on a can from Rousseau's 1988 scientific expedition (douze is twelve in French). On October 15, 1993, a new asteroid was discovered by Japanese astronomers Kin Endate and Kazuo Watanabe. As an homage to Saint-Exupéry's book, it was tagged 46610, which in hexadecimal form is B612. By way of this asteroid to Rousseau's scientific expedition and Montand's arm -- which he's about to lose (DHARMA shark debunked) -- we find our way back to the floating Jin, and one more ghost come back to life. But we never really knew if Jin was dead.


Hexadecimals are interesting; they're sometimes used to encode messages, and that was the case with the DHARMA Initiative Recruiting Project alternate reality game. One of its components was Ajira Airways, whose logo was on the bottle found in the outrigger. This one's for the code-cracking geeks and the book nerds: The source code for the Ajira Airways web pages contains embedded hexadecimal code, code that wouldn't show on the page itself. When translated, one block of code gives the famous biblical passage from John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Given the Catholic sub-themes, that's understandable.

But the hex in the source code for the flights page gives: "So off they started about Irish sport and shoneen games the like of lawn tennis and about hurley and putting the stone and racy of the soil and building up a nation once again and all of that." This particular line comes from chapter 12 of James Joyce's Ulysses, the "Cyclops" chapter, and the context seems apt.

The chapter is notable for its motif that Joyce extrapolates from Homer's Odyssey. In Homer's tale, the cyclops Polyphemus, like any cyclops worthy of the name, has only one eye. Odysseus manages to put that out with a sharpened, heated club (sort of like a primitive flaming arrow). The cyclops' name is also derived from the Greek poly, or many, and pheme, or rumor -- many voices. Joyce takes the ideas of monocular vision, blindness and many voices, and makes them the operating principles of his chapter.

Set at a pub, the narrative presents a variety Dublin drinkers, many of which tend to express singularly narrow-minded social and political views -- especially the character known as the citizen and the chapter's unnamed narrator, who constantly relates what others say and think. The chapter even begins with "I" (or one I/eye). But the tipplers' single-mindedness also blinds them to broader perspectives; their nationalism arises from a desire to be out from under England's colonial shadow, yet they fail to recognize that the Irish identity they champion is just a greenwashed version of how they perceive bully Britain's national identity. They were playing Irish, but their minds were still imperially occupied.

The structure here is what counts, and is what brings us back to Lost. Joyce prefers to show rather than tell, and enact rather than show, and he reveled in tinkering with the relation of the reader to the text and the possibilities of narrative perspective (or what the narrative nerds might call focalization). A narrator is generally either outside the consciousness of a character as third-person, or inside as first-person narration, but first person leaves the narrator outside the consciousness of other characters.

In Joyce's work, the narration often takes on the voice of the character it's relating, even when in third-person; it's almost as if the character influences the narrator, or the narrator is a little too deep inside the consciousness of the character. In his book Joyce's Voices, critic Hugh Kenner calls this the Uncle Charles Principle, after a character who exemplifies such narration in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: "the narrative idiom need not be the narrator's." This presents a wholly different model for narrative perspective and point of view, one that's not entirely objective or subjective, and it creates a vast range of possibilities for narrative voices.

Because Joyce allows the audience to witness events through various perspectives and multiple consciousnesses, we can compare different characters' actions and find the blind spots, even when they can't (as does the outsider of the "Cyclops" chapter, Leopold Bloom). Knowing that, even though the various characters of the "Cyclops" chapter display single-minded perspectives, the sheer number of voices the audience encounters in the text works against any single perspective being privileged. Rather than be handed the meaning on a plate, the audience is left to consider what the juxtaposition of perspectives might mean, and then to assimilate them into a broader understanding of the narrative.

This sort of variety of perspective is familiar to us today; its roots are in literature, but it's not an uncommon technique in film and television, and is clearly present in Lost. The narrative structure of Lost constantly moves in and out of different character's perspectives, their pasts, presents and their futures. When we see a Jack episode, we're generally getting a presentation that is sympathetic to his perspective, but with some outside information to temper that perspective (camera angles, dialog, other scenes that clash with Jack's intentions). Uncle Charles could be the cameraman.

But Lost also allows the audience to experience different takes on events that have already occurred. We saw a version of this in "The Little Prince" when Locke and Sawyer flash back to November 1, 2004. With the camera as our narrator, we see them each experience an event that we've all already seen in the narrative -- the light from the swan hatch and Aaron's birth -- only this time, we witness events through new eyes, and as with Joyce, no single overall perspective is privileged. We've seen this kind of play on perspective, before, like with the crash of Oceanic 815 (survivors, Tailies, Others), most of the Nikki & Paolo episode "Exposé," and with Desmond's flashes.

In a cinematic medium, the camera is also a narrator, and at times the camera/narrator of Lost even manipulates audience perspective without offering any clear signals that it is doing so. Consider the loop shot in the pilot episode, when Jack first makes it out on the beach: Jack is standing with his back to the jungle with the camera starts on his left. The shot then sweeps into his perspective and off to the left, showing the beach. But as the shot comes back around, Jack then appears on the other side of the shot, and the camera is now on his right. The camera was moving away from Jack and to the left; the only way for the camera to sweep so far around to end up on Jack's right side is if it swept behind him and into the jungle. But that's not what happens -- the perspective is always in front of Jack and on the beach. Something strange is happening here, as the camera tracks a Möbius strip pattern that displaces the audience, character and setting from their established relationships to each other. The camera/narrator starts with the audience in a third-person point of view, witnessing Jack, then shifts into a first-person point of view, but when it slips back into third-person, the perspective is the mirror-image of where it began. This is a very different take on multiple perspectives.

One particular Russian critic can help with such issues. In 1922, around the same time Joyce published Ulysses, Mikhail Bakhtin set to work on analyzing the multiple voices in the works of Dostoevsky, including The Brothers Karamazov and Crime & Punishment. His 1929 Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics offered forth the theory of 'the polyphonic novel,' an insight exhibited throughout Ulysses and Lost. Bakhtin's basic argument is that a traditional narrative privileges a singular point of view, usually that of the narrator over other characters. A polyphonic text -- a text with 'many sounds' -- is characterized by a "plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses," each "with equal rights and each in its own world" that combine but do not merge in the singularity of an event. Such a text breaks from traditional narrative by providing a multitude of perspectives without clearly privileging any of them, leveling the hierarchy between characters and narrator. (What would Bakhtin make of blogs and wikis?) Can Lost be thought of as a polyphonic text? Let's take Bakhtin's conclusion:

We consider the creation of the polyphonic novel a huge step forward not only in the development of novelistic prose [...] but also in the development of the artistic thinking of humankind. It seems to us that one could speak directly of a special polyphonic artistic thinking extending beyond the bounds of the novel as a genre.

A good narrative can't keep a good consciousness down; like in the world itself, multiple perspectives presented from various psychological, ethical, emotional and logical positions will persist.

Incidentally, William Faulkner was another modernist author who crafted polyphonic texts like As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury. Many of his works were set in a fictional region of Mississippi called Yoknapatawpha County. Over at DocArzt, they managed to clean up an image of the document Sun received and transcribe it. This line occurs near the end: "The client said she would call me if the subject was sighted at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center." This page may actually be a prop from another game, but if we learned anything from the little prince, it is that we need to look at qualities, not hard facts.

But back to Joyce: The Dubliner has a few other tricks in his tavern that have a bearing on this episode. First, take the hexadecimal line itself, which is a thought belonging to the unnamed narrator: "So off they started about Irish sports and shoneen games the like of lawn tennis and about hurley and putting the stone and racy of the soil and building up a nation once again and all to that." It's the last bit that gives it away, "and all to that"; it's like saying "and all that," or a more formal version of "yadda yadda yadda." Can we trust this narrator? It's hinted that he may actually be a police informer, manipulating his friends for his own benefit, so maybe his nationalist ideas are somewhat silver-tempered.

Of course there's that word hurley. At first one might think it's related to Hugo, but hurley or hurling is an old Gaelic field game still played in Ireland and in the Irish diaspora. There's no telling if it's related to the lovable Latino in lock-up. What the hexadecimal code doesn't offer, however, is the rest of that paragraph:

And of course Bloom had to have his say too about if a fellow had a rower's heart violent exercise was bad. I declare to my antimacassar if you took up a straw from the bloody floor and if you said to Bloom: Look at, Bloom. Do you see that straw? That's a straw. Declare to my aunt he'd talk about it for an hour so he would and talk steady.

The narrator's complaint is that Bloom overinterprets things, even the smallest things, which brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Umberto Eco. Bloom is the kind of person who would see a hexadecimal code and follow it down a rabbit hole and up a wormhole, even if it just brought him right back to where he began. Perhaps this code and the line from Ulysses is some sort of recursive diversion, a game that says stop playing so many games (yet nevertheless is productive).

But the hexadecimal reference doesn't stop yet; there are two more elements of this chapter to consider. For one, the citizen is the pivot point in the chapter. He's the guy Bloom needs to watch out for. The citizen is seething with an inflated sense of his own masculinity and patriotism, and he's irrational -- he doesn't like Bloom because Bloom's a Jew, but he also calls Bloom a bloody Freemason; back then, the Freemasons in Dublin, no Jews allowed. But the citizen says something in passing at the beginning of the chapter that may have some resonance. A drinker named Joe asks him "how's the old heart, citizen?" and the citizen replies "Never better, a chara."

A chara. Achara -- the Thai tattoo artist who inked Jack in a season two three flashback, defining him, not decorating him. They're not quite pronounced the same; in a way, they're slant homophones.

Yes, they're different languages. In Gaelic, a chara would be something like "my friend" or "my dear," sort of the in the way one might start a letter: Frogurt, a chara. In Thai, Achara is a female name. But isn't Achara Jack's a chara? This seems rather coincidental, but it's the second instance of recursive word play echoing out of that hexadecimal code: Achara, a chara. Like the fox tells the little towhead prince, words are the source of misunderstandings.

The world play doesn't end there. A key event in Ulysses is the funeral of Paddy Dignam. Bloom attends the funeral in the morning before he carries on with his day. Just after the citizen calls Bloom a bloody Freemason, the narrator is talking to another drinker named Alf, and asks him how Willy Murray is: "I don't know, says Alf. I saw him just now on Capel Street with Paddy Dignam." That's where it breaks: "You what?" "With who?" "Is it Paddy?" "You saw his ghost then." "They took the liberty of burying him this morning anyhow." And with that we have a ghost (not the first in Ulysses), or possibly a zombie, or was he reincarnated, like Ana Lucia, or Charlie, or Christian, or Walt, or Claire, or Jin? Could "death" at times be some kind of temporal displacement? "Dead! says Alf. He is no more dead than you are."

And so we have Ben's van, the side of which reads Canton-Rainier, Carpet Cleaning. Canton-Rainier is an anagram for reincarnation. We have an encoded reference to a passage in a chapter that has a dead man walking, and we have seen supposedly dead people do things like drive cop cars, work in hospitals, and hang out at an asylum. But when it comes to the question of reincarnation, the Ulysses chapter from which the encoded passage comes is more of a teaser than an answer.

Those are the main books for this episode, but there are still some questions. Why does Aaron need to get back to the island? Is he a reincarnation of someone? Many will be wondering about Ben's ulterior motive, or for that matter Sun's, and for that matter, where is Ji Yeon? Something from a while back may be playing a role: We know that Sun has taken a controlling interest in her father's business, Paik Heavy Industries (whose logo resembles the Orchid station logo). She's also carrying that pistol everyplace; remember Chekov's rule-if you show a gun, it has to be used.

Orchid - Paik

Back during the first alternate reality game, it was learned that Paik Heavy Industries was building some sort of special ship for the Hanso Foundation, the Helgus Antonius. It departed in 2006 for Sri Lanka. Sun was already back by 2005, so she may have learned something through her father's business. For all we know right now, that's how they get back to the island.

The Helgus Antonius is also a quarantine ship, and we're seeing people get sicker and sicker with that temporal displacement jetlag. Faraday's working theory is that prolonged exposure to the island brings on the jetlag, a kind of physical version of being jolted from third-person objective narration to second-person subjective narration, with neurological consequences. It was nearly confirmed that Miles is also Pierre Chang's son (after all, he got that snark from someplace). If exposure to the island is what results in the temporal displacement sickness, and now Miles' pipes are leaking, he may have spent more time on the island than he knows — which is what Faraday asks him. In season four, we saw that Charlotte seemed to be coming home when she arrived on the island; she played in the water like a kid, laughing and happy. So she too may have spent more time on the island than she even realizes, and that's why she's dealing with the displacement jetlag. DHARMA babies, both of them. So how did they get off the island? Were they raised by others?

A quick word about the dynamic developing between Sawyer and Locke: Sawyer has made a turn. He goes back to get Juliet when the flaming arrows rain down; he heads off to save the geek; he's concerned about Charlotte; when Locke asks him if he wants Kate to come back, Sawyer responds "It doesn't matter what I want." In The Little Prince, the fox tells the boy that to be tamed means to establish ties: "But if you tame me, then we shall need each other." Sawyer is becoming a different person, someone less selfish and with ties, someone being tamed. We already saw polyphonic above; the term is usually used in music. One composer, György Ligeti, helped introduce a different take on the idea, micropolyphony. This is where the changes from one sound/voice to another are slight and subtle throughout the piece; the changes can be discerned, but the lines where they occur are fuzzy. Sawyer seems to be a good example of micropolyphany taking place in Lost.

There's also something strange about the way Locke always calls him James. It's already been laid out how Locke is coming to represent a kind of mythic trope; he's the farmer-hunter, and he's going to die for the island, which fits snuggly with the trope of the dying-and-rising god (the god who dies each year, and his rebirth brings life back to the land and people). Is Sawyer becoming a kind of disciple? And if so, a disciple of what?

James is a biblical name, and one of the more popular biblical James is James the Just, or James the brother of Jesus. The biblical James doesn't seem to have much in common with Lost's James, but the biblical James is also thought of as a bridge or conduit between Jesus and Paul. With that, Sawyer's real last name, Ford, becomes a little more interesting; a ford is also a shallow part in a river or stream where one can cross over. In that sense, Sawyer is also James the bridge or conduit.

But again, to what end? Last week in the comments, Pedro Munoz mentioned Albert Schweitzer's 1906 book The Quest for the Historical Jesus. Schweitzer, an Alsatian philosopher, doctor and theologian, thought that Jesus and his followers believed the end times were at hand. Schweitzer writes that John the Baptist announces the end of the world, and

Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes Him. Instead of bringing in the eschatological conditions, He has destroyed them. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.

It's a gruesome image, and a far cry from the cross. It's also reminiscent of Ben setting the wheel of the island in motion, and bringing an end to all ordinary history -- at least for the islanders.

One reading of Schweitzer's parable is that the message is to live as if the kingdom of heaven had arrived (however that might look). It was the "irruption," or abrupt incursion, of the kingdom of god into history, creating a break with prior notions of waiting for the kingdom of god, or not worrying about it at all. This incursion idea was modernized by some later 20th century philosophers as the irruption of the other into the now, a different form of temporal displacement, or third-person to second-person narrative displacement.

For Lost, at least for now, what we have is the consistent abrupt incursions of the Others and the survivors into different points of history. Given how we've seen other such ideas literalized (Locke as hunter-farmer), and given that there is such a strong Catholic undercurrent to the narrative, we may be seeing something similar; Ben's turning the wheel caused the irruption and set the machinery in motion toward an eschaton, and Locke is the one who brings it all back.

Some final questions:

  • Who did the outriggers belong to? Rousseau's people? If so, they've been on the island for some time by that point.
  • Dan Norton is representing Ben and Claire Littleton; what does he know?
  • Has Jack finally made the turn back to old Jack? Just before he went to talk with Carole Littleton, he told Kate "I can fix this, Kate, I can fix it." That was the prelapsarian Jack, always trying to fix things even when his repairs lead to more problems.
  • How long can Faraday wear that tie?

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Little Prince
    Used Hardcover $12.95
  2. Ulysses Used Trade Paper $9.50
  3. The Odyssey
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  4. The Brothers Karamazov
    Used Trade Paper $10.00
  5. Crime and Punishment: A Novel in Six...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. Theory & History of Literature... Used Trade Paper $11.95
  7. As I Lay Dying
    Used Trade Paper $6.95
  8. The Sound and the Fury: The...
    Used Trade Paper $5.95
  9. Interpretation and Overinterpretation Used Trade Paper $12.95
  10. The Quest of the Historical Jesus New Trade Paper $19.95
  11. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Used Trade Paper $5.50
  12. Joyce's Voices New Trade Paper $13.25

J. Wood is the author of Living Lost: Why We're All Stuck on the Island

539 Responses to "Lost: Draw Me a Hexadecimal"

    chinadoll February 7th, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I loved this post! My brain is enjoying the break from time-travel...
    Just wanted to share a little laugh I got when I opened my copy of "The Little Prince" after watching this episode: Chapter III begins, "It took me a long time to learn where he came from. The little prince, who asked me so many questions, never seemed to hear the ones I asked him. It was from words dropped by chance that, little by little, everything was revealed to me." My experience of LOST in a nutshell!

    Messenger 88 February 7th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Thank you for another great post, J.

    I don't believe it's a coincidence that Aaron's birthday, November 1st, is also All Saint's Day.

    And while I definitely see a new mystery forming around the whereabouts of Ji Yeon, I wonder if that is not a diversion from the mystery of Claire Littleton. Not only is she missing, it's as if she never existed at all.

    Faraday’s Tie February 7th, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I'm needed in the show. Lay off me!!!!

    Actually on a serious note, as always this was a great blog entry. Best of luck with the illness and keep up the great work for our entertainment and enlightenment (well, at least mine, I am a tie after all).

    Some theories I've read suggest that those outriggers could have belonged to the Oceanic Six on their return trip and they were firing on Locke and Co. because they had no idea who they were. Juliet shot one of them. Probably Sayid, he always gets hurt.

    As I lay on Faraday's chest, all I could think of was getting closer to Charlotte. Me likes me some redheads.

    leah February 7th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    J., you mentioning how Locke calls Sawyer "James" reminded me of something I thought noteworthy while watching the show. When they're in the van, Ben says something about "Hugo" and Sayid interrupts him and very deliberately uses his name again, but calls him "Hurley." And I remember that Locke does the same thing: calling Hurley "Hugo," and calling Sawyer "James." And Ben always calls Locke "John," but now that I think about it, so does Jack. I'm not sure, but it seems there must be something significant happening with the names here. In this episode, it was too deliberate to ignore in that van scene. Of course, there have also been a lot of aliases going around, with Ben and with Locke and others. Any thoughts?

    amir February 8th, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Dear Mr.Wood,
    I follow your interesting comments on lost from the third season and after season four I bought your valuable book "Living Lost: Why We're All Stuck on the Island " which gave me very useful information about two first seasons .I am a journalist/translator and cause I have read many articles and books about this fantastic show and regard to many lost-die-hard-fans in IRAN,my publisher has asked me to translate your book into PERSIAN .
    As you know,unfortunately the books do not have copyright in IRAN so I decieded to have your permission for translating .
    on the other hand ,every book in IRAN must be authorized by Ministry of culture and islamic guide and we dont know yet what their answer will be.
    but it is important for me to have your word about this.
    I am looking forward for your answer by e-mail.
    With Regards,

    eric February 8th, 2009 at 4:29 am

    My brain hurts. Thanks!

    chad February 8th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    having studied math, this title kinda drew my attention! i guess to draw a hexidecimal you need to draw a hand with 16 fingers!

    James Cayon February 8th, 2009 at 6:35 am

    J, masterful offering - as always.....would like to e-mail you directly concerning some aspects of it that are of particular interest to me; can you please e-mail me at Thanks - much appreciated!


    LostMommyof3 February 8th, 2009 at 7:33 am

    *the Thai tattoo artist who inked Jack in a season two flashback* It's really insignificant, but it was actually a season 3 flashback. Stranger In A Strange Land.

    I'm excited to see the different takes on the Prince and who he is. It seems like we were being led to believe Aaron, after all he's seemed rather important since the beginning. Now given the book, it seems for fitting for Locke. We've been given a non-linear look at time on LOST and when you think about Locke's life in a non-linear way, maybe living backwards, he seems more and more like the Little Prince. He's always been lost. He's always been looking for his destiny and the moment he arrived on the Island he found it. Every day he spends there he falls more and more into that destiny!

    Regarding the sickness. I believe we've been given even more facts about the sickness. Enough that I think we have a nearly complete picture of what it is and how it's "cured". I put all the pieces together going back to season 1 and put it all together. That's my forte with LOST, putting together the pieces and making them into comprehensive theories!

    Porter February 8th, 2009 at 8:11 am

    "Who did the outriggers belong to? Rousseau's people?" - Can't be Rousseau's people, weren't the outriggers parked in the losties camp? That was either the present or the future, but not the past.

    Patton McGinley February 8th, 2009 at 8:27 am

    J. Wood,

    Fraking great analysis as always!

    "For all we know right now, that's [The Helgus Antonius] how they get back to the island."

    Or they take a Ajira Airways flight to parts unknown; which, of course, wrecks near an Island with a strong magnetic source. They eventually build two outriggers to get about the Island more quickly; and, they get pretty pissed off when some group of strangers ("Others") swipes one of them. Who knows?

    "Who did the outriggers belong to? Rousseau's people? If so, they've been on the island for some time by that point."

    Possibly, but they were sitting beside the long abandoned Lostie beach camp which makes me wonder if they weren't built by some of the people who got left behind and managed to avoid Ellie's brigade... er, and experienced a time-flash into the future... grr, time travel! Ack! Maybe that wasn't the DHARMA-brand beer from Hurley's bus. Maybe that wasn't the remains of the Lostie beach camp. Maybe that was a surreptitious get-away spot made by bored DI recruits. And, maybe, Team Sawyer is getting closer to pre-purge times.

    Sorry, despite my heritage I can't comment on the connections to the greatest, seminal work of Modern fiction; though, I've been fascinated by the use of second-person ever since reading Chris Baty's "No Plot, No Problem" where he warns aspiring novelists to never use it.

    The business about the shifting points of view (of Season's 1-4ish) compared to the shifting points of time is astute -- and is helping me reconcile problems I have with some the elements that Lost seems to have lost.

    Paul February 8th, 2009 at 8:29 am


    Terrific and insightful post, as always. One comment about Sawyer - his change begins earlier, I think. Recall from the end of season 3 he shoots Mr. Friendly on the beach after the latter gave up. Jump head to the first episode season 4, after Desmond returns and informs them that Charlie is dead, Sawyer is very solicitous of Hurley, asking if we wants to talk about it and offering to slow the pace of everyone else so Hurley can keep up. Sawyer behaves this way at many points during season 4, i.e., risking his life to save Claire when the Barracks are attacked, looking for her a day after she disappears, going with Jack after the helicopter, going on to the Orchid for Hurley, jumping off the copter to save Kate/his friends. What makes Sawyer's story especially compelling is how hard it has been. Recall from season 2's "The Long Con" how Sawyer lapsed back into his old ways after making some progress in caring about the groups as much as himself. At the end of that episode he tells Kate "You run, I con" and later Charlie that "I'm a bad person." I once felt this episode was simply "filler" necessary to keep the show going b/c it had no end date. Looking back, it fits into the overall character arc for Sawyer quite nicely.

    Re: Sun and her motives, I wonder if there is some misdirection going on here. In the season 4 finale, she tells her father, shortly after returning from the island, that she blames him and someone else for Jin's death. In this season's first episode, she informs Widmore that she wants Ben Linus dead, which would seem to imply that Ben is the second person she blames for Jin. However, when she confronted Mr. Paik, there is no way Sun could have known the Ben was responsible for the freighter explosion (when he killed Keamy) b/c no one but Locke knew this. She may have subsequently learned this if Bentham visited her, but that would still mean she didn't know Ben was culpable when she talked to her father. Moreover, in the season 5 premier, she reassures Kate she doesn't blame her for Jin's death, than asks immediately how Jack is. Finally, it just as easy imagine that the surveillance photos she has has are of Jack rather than Ben. I suspect that Jack is her target.

    D. Richard Lewis February 8th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    I am very much impressed by your comments on the books you analyzed...I would love it if you did the same to my novel that ties right in to your comments on Sanit-Exupery's novel, "The Little Prince." I say this because he is one of the characters in my sci-fi mystery novel: "TIME TRIP ON A MOEBIUS STRIP." My novel has even been compared to the TV series you also make mention of: "Lost." My story has 16 famous missing people of history in it, as does this TV show...And I wrote my novel more than 15 years ago...It also has a giant metal Moebius strip in my story which is later placed inside of a giant nautilus shell by the main character who is a marine biologist...He later meets up with the great-grand son of the inventor of the "Moebius Strip," who was one of the marine biologist's teachers in college. They both enter another dimension and meet these lost 16 people by riding the giant metal Moebius strip inside of the giant shell which is resting on a magnetic fault...There is also an angel in the story that the marine biologist hears in the shell as a boy and then sees in the shell later...The angel, who might also be the "Virgin Mary," is also seen by 14 of the lost people...

    When writing the novel I was stunned to discover that 5 of the famous lost people had a direct connection with the goddess Aphrodite, and 5 others with a rose, which is the symbol of both the goddess and the Virgin Mary...For example, the "rose" in Saint-Expuery's "The Little Prince." You will have to read my novel to find out the other rose and Aphrodite connections, which I promise you are simply uncanny and unbelievable, to say the least....To read a sample page from my book, as well as see many "Moebius Strips," made into furniture, jewelry, and sulptures, go to: And thanks again for your amazing comments on those books....

    Montand’s Arm February 8th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Dharma shark, my arm!

    A search for "Montand" on Lostpedia reveals the following:

    Montand was mentioned by Danielle as having lost his arm in the area when entering the Dark Territory on the way to the Black Rock. ("Exodus, Part 1")

    A search for "Dark Territory" reveals:

    One member of Rousseau's team, Montand, somehow lost his arm in the Dark Territory. ("Solitary")

    If Lostpedia isn't a credible enough source, then hear it from the writers themselves via the Official Lost Podcast dated April 19, 2008. Here is a sample of the transcript:

    Kat French: Hey Damon and Carlton, I'm Kat French, coffeecupkat on the ABC messageboards and I just want to tell you guys you're doing a great job on Lost, it's my favorite show ever and I have a question for you. Since as of "Meet Kevin Johnston" Danielle is alledgdly dead. Are we ever gonna get the promised Danielle flashback? Are we ever gonna find out if her last name is really Rosseau or if she just swiped some guys jacket? And are we ever gonna find out what happened with Montand and his arm? Enquring minds want to know. So in short, are we ever gonna get any closure on Danielle's backstory? Thanks and you're doing a great job.

    Carlton Cuse: Thank you Kat.

    Damon Lindelof: Thanks Kat.

    Carlton Cuse: That was nice.

    Damon Lindelof: It was very nice!

    Carlton Cuse: Yeah.

    Damon Lindelof: So here's the thing, you will know definitively what Rosseau's fate was next week, very close to the beginning of the tenth episode "Something Nice Back Home" we will answer whether or not she is alive or dead.

    Carlton Cuse: Correct.

    Damon Lindelof: That being said...

    Carlton Cuse: It doesnt really make a difference...

    Damon Lindelof: We haven't really seen the last of the character Danielle Rosseau because...

    Carlton Cuse: Being dead on our show isn't really uh...

    Damon Lindelof: Is only just the beginning.

    Carlton Cuse: It doesn't really make a difference, you could still work, you can still have your story told...

    Damon Lindelof: Rosseau's tale and the sickness and Montand and in Robert who she shot, just feels like ... we've heard so much about it, it feels like it would be neglectful of us not to revisit it at somepoint.

    Damon Lindelof: We talked about Montand's arm before...

    Carlton Cuse: We spent hundreds of hours in the writers room talking about Montand's arm, I mean there are sometimes weeks go by where we do nothing but discuss Montand's arm.

    Damon Lindelof: College Bands attention! Montand's arm is the most awesome name for your band. So if you wanna take it... it's all yours!

    P.S. Love the post. I'm so glad you tackled point of view!

    Perlandra February 8th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    But there's a narrative technique midway between first and third person: third person directed viewpoint in which the reader sees and knows only what the viewpoint character does. (JK Rowling uses this to great effect in HP, because Harry's observations are so often wrong.

    I think Locke calls Sawyer "James" to remind him of his true name (and thus identity) before he adopted his adversary's alias (and behavior). Not only does the alias "Frank Sawyer" give our studmuffin a personal duality, but his real name "James Ford" combines the names of Jesse James and his assassin Robert Ford. He's his own worst enemy.

    I heartily agree that Sawyer has gotten much more protective and less selfish since the late last season. Should we see something in his heel wound (beside a practical consequence of running around barefoot)? What about Genesis 3:15 and the Serpent striking at the Messiah's heel? (St. Jerome had the Messiah's mother crushing the serpent but he appears to have been wrong about the pronouns.)

    Thank you again for your fascinating commentary.

    Jaqui February 8th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Interesting analysis!! What do you think about the other characters in The Little Prince; those he encounters on the other asteroids before coming to Earth; the king, the conceited man, the drunkard etc. Is, Jacob, perhaps, The Little Prince? And, then there is the book, Le Petit Prince Retrouve, written years after the original and by another author, with the Little Prince being found by a shipwrecked narrator on a desert island. Thoughts? J

    SteveN February 8th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    As always, a splendidly-enlightening review. I always feels like I haven't really watched the episode until I read J. Wood's analysis.Very good find on the hexadecimal stuff; good use of Joyce.

    The consideration of perspective is very relevant now that we know different time phases are occurring simultaneously; I wonder how many times the characters have interacted with someone from another time phase without realizing it. Sawyer could have easily stepped in on the birth scene and offered a suggestion to Kate about what to do in the future; who is to say this hasn't been happening all along?

    I think somewhere in the dark recesses of the LOST writers' cave, they must be pounding their head in frustration: "Damn it! We thought Ulysses, which no human reader can understand in one lifetime, would trip him up, but J. Wood still got the references!" Either that, or the writers are Forrest Gumpish-clueless: "You mean there was a book called The Little Prince, too? Golly."

    James B– February 8th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Lost is just the text that keeps on giving, and unfolding, and mirroring, and, well, you get the point. Your analysis of Lost's most recent episode to the works of James Joyce couldn't be more apt. I noticed a number of Joycean techniques and juxtapositions that, as you put it, "tinker[] with the relation of the reader to the text and the possibilities of narrative perspective (or what the narrative nerds might call focalization)."

    Did you happen to notice the odd paralellism between the scene in which Sawyer and company paddle for their lives and then the scene immediately following wherein Jack and Kate follow the shifty lawyer to Ms. Littleton's hotel room? In the island scene, the time flash occurs, shifting our island crew forward/backward in time and placing them in the middle of a tumultuous downpour. Sawyer humurously curses their good/bad luck, "Thank you, God!" and then, "I take that back!" Witty dialogue aside, however, we cut to the conterminous scene of Jack stepping out of Kate's car...into the pouring rain. Now, I've only lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half, but it hardly ever rains in the city. And when it does, it rarely comes down like the massive deluge that soaked Jack through and through. Could it be that island events are shaping and influencing off-island events? The time-jumping reality of the island seems to be porous, i.e. events breaking out of the island narrative and unintentionally hijacking the off-island narrative -- what J. and Joyce would describe as "tinkering."

    It's unclear if there are other parallels that I'm missing here. We know that Locke will soon be making his own narrative incursion into the lives of the Oceanic Six after he presumably reaches the Orchid and "jumps" from the island narrative perspective to a new off-island perspective (with a name change to bat--Jeremy Bentham). Perhaps Lost has developed a split or fractured narrative, but unlike the fractured narrative that we're used to with the flashbacks, this split is trying to repair itself by bringing back Jack, Kate, Sayid, Aaron, Hurley, and Sun. These castaways have torn themselves out of the island narrative and have left a gaping hole in their wake.

    Oh, and speaking of intertextual incursions, it has been raining quite vigorously in L.A. these past four days. Creepy...

    Thanks for all of your exhaustive research, J. It keeps our minds sharp and reminds us mere mortals that TV and books are not mutually exclusive.

    A la recherche du temps perdu

    maureen February 8th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Great review as always. What are we going to do when Lost ends?

    "Who did the outriggers belong to? Rousseau's people? If so, they've been on the island for some time by that point."

    Rousseau's people were long dead by that time. The outrigger people were on the Losties' beach raiding what food they had left so it was 2005. Maybe they had moved into the deserted beach camp and Rose and Bernard etc took the Zodiac and got out of there when they saw the canoes. It isn't until the next flash that Locke and Co. come into Rousseau's time (1988). In a short two months time all of Danielle's people will be dead by her hand. Last week this is when the Losties went:


    "Dan Norton is representing Ben and Claire Littleton; what does he know?"

    When Norton talked to Ben he seemed (to me at least) to be more than Ben's lawyer. He seemed to be more deferential toward Ben than is usual for a client/attorney relationship. You notice he does not deliver Kate's offer of a deal to Ben like he said he would. If he was only Ben's lawyer, he would have done that. And he is representing Carole Littleton not Claire. I wonder if Ben hasn't manipulated things through Norton so she is here. A reminder to Kate she doesn't rightfully have custody of Aaron. He belongs to Claire.

    JMan February 8th, 2009 at 9:32 pm


    You comment about Locke as the dying-and-rising god got me thinking. Though most people know Oedipus as "the guy who slept with his mother," his story is so much more then that. The parallels to John Locke are rather striking (to me at least). Like Oedipus, Locke is tossed about by fate. He is made ruler of the realm and learns that to save his realm he must sacrifice himself. Both were abandoned as children and both kill their fathers (even if, in Locke's case, it is indirectly through Sawyer). Both suffer a form of crippling (Oedipus's feet are bound and pierced as an infant, whence his name). Through their suffering (typical of the Greek tragic heroes) these characters become enlightened. The Oracle decreed how things would turn out and no preventive measures could circumvent the inevitable. It is as if events "course corrected" regardless of the best efforts of all involved to avoid it. I can't find my source material on this, but I believe that the sacrificial sun king was typically hamstrung and, as a result had a very hard time getting around. Locke seems to continually have problems with his legs. It seems to be no accident that he was so recently shot in one of them.

    On a completely different note, I am starting to wonder if the mysterious whispers that we have heard throughout the series are time-lost people watching events unfold before flashing off again. It may be the current, on-island Losties or other victims of similar situations throughout he islands history.


    Jeffrey February 8th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I find it apropos that this Friday is Feb. 13th - the same day and date in (the future) 1976 of Billy Pilgrim's assassination in "Slaughterhouse Five" - a work very well known for its unstuck time and narrative shift from "I am the author of this book" to Billy's story. There is a Locke-type character (Roland Weary) and a Ben-type (Paul Lazzaro) who hires the hitman. (Just who IS the Economist, anyway?) Maybe those outriggers are the Tralfamadorians'.
    I don't think Jack sold his story well to Kate when he said that it was okay, "I'm with Ben" (if I remember right) and not "Ben is with me". Either way, not a good thing to tell her although "I'm with Ben" is a far-more meaningful statement.
    Great points on POV. I re-watched "Aguirre, The Wrath of God" today and got into a discussion with my wife on why Herzog left the water spots on the camera lens which was becoming de rigueur in 1970's cinema - along with sun over-exposures and the like. It cleverly takes you out of the story and at the same time deeper into it on a more visceral level...sorta like how Sawyer & Co. (and Billy Pilgrim) are being tumbled about with less respect for their intellectual bearings and even less respect for their innards.

    KatGirl February 9th, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Excellent analysis. Love your ideas of vantage point shifts. There is most definitely something to that.

    Re:Sawyer's arc. Am not sold completely. If he is supposed to be unselfishly acting at this point then why would he want Kate to come back to the island? Isn't going along with Locke to drag her back into the fray THE most selfish thing he can do?

    Jack has been massively changed. He asked for Kate's permission to talk to Carole. He listened to her reasoning. This isn't the stubborn Jack of old.

    105710v3r February 9th, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Thank you so much for your analyses. They are breathtaking and a true delight. Re: the whole first name/ last name, Sawyer/James, Hurley/Hugo and Jack/John events--what occurred to me while reading your insights is that Sawyer/James is always giving others new names or nicknames. I have gotten the impression that this was an ad-lib by the actor that caught on with the public and has been encouraged by the writers but maybe it is much more important to the story-line and was a deliberate concept by the writers. Of course, it could also be a little of both! I am still trying to tell if the info presented by the Cuse and Lindelof of the info that Jack's character was supposed to be killed off and that the Ben character evolved into more after seeing the actors interact seems to be questionable as both characters are so integral to the story. It is such a joy to have so much to 'chew on.' Thank you for your brilliant contributions.

    Junior February 9th, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Thanks for all the heavy lifting J. I think I like Ulysses much more when someone else runs it through the intellectual rock quarry.

    Here's my question after the episode. Now, I'm no lawyer, but how could Ben have a legal right to Claire's child? If it's not Claire's mom and the father doesn't seem to be in the picture (yet)...could it be that Ben is part of the Littleton bloodline? Again, no lawyer, but I just don't see how Ben and his lawyer can just swoop in and take someone's baby, legally.

    Side note: I would say that the people on the outrigger could have Keamy and company, but they wouldn't have missed. Judging by their accuracy they were storm troopers; maybe members of cobra command.

    Ryan February 9th, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Forget time travel, my mind is spinning thinking about J Wood receiving a request to translate his book into Persian. Lost as a work of art is transcending geopolitical time and space!

    I now consider Lost the best TV show OR movie of all time because of it's many hours of high production, quality acting, superb writing, and inspiring music. In a "trapped on an island" scenario, one would surely bring the catalogue of Lost episodes rather than any one 2-hour movie.

    @ Olivier and J Wood, thanks for the great responses to my post on Siste Viator. I suppose I'll have to live with the fact that Charlie had to die but was free to take any range of actions and delay his death until an arbitrary moment in space/time.

    As I read the various blogs and comments of Lost fans, I get the feeling that we could pick any classic book out of a library and begin making associations with the character names and plots. Granted, the writers of Lost seem to be fans of philosophy and literature and I know that the intentionally use themes and references (I've often wondered who leads the charge on this...Are Cuse and Lindelof the main drivers of this or do other writers delve more into philosophy? I'd love to know if JJ Abrams has that same love of literature or if he has any day-to-day involvement after all his time. If he isn't the one inserting references from The Little Prince, he should not be publicly credited with the ongoing creation of the show).

    However, to borrow a quote from the bible, "there is nothing new under the sun." Lost is tapping into the deep archetypes, the hunter/farmer being one of them. Because other books use these themes is not to say "Lost took this from X."

    And please no more Joyce! He hates his readers and puts obstacles in their way with no payoff.

    Perlandra February 9th, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Water--as the sea, pools, rain, or even a stopped up sink, is a recurring motif in LOST. Remember Locke predicting rain for Walt? Desmond's flashbacks? Water is a polysemous symbol: flow/change,cleansing, fertility/new life, but also chaos and death. Those watery scenes aren't in the show by accident.

    J. Wood (Post Author) February 9th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I'm going to try to comment a bit later, get some of the corrections added (the outrigger, Montand's arm, etc.). I'm also working on making a clean animated .gif of that loop shot that will fit a little better in the post; I also just need that for other purposes.

    But my eye is going a little wonky, so it will be a little while, and I may not get to the comments as soon as I want (but I am reading them).

    Jeffrey February 9th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I just saw Walt in a Tyson's microwaveable chicken appetizers commercial. Very creepy! Too bad Hurley probably can't get those in the slammer.

    PatrickW February 9th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    Re: James the brother of Jesus...

    Catholic theology holds that the two were not brothers, per se; Jesus had no earthly brothers because Mary remained a perpetual Virgin.

    Protestants point to the two being called brothers in Scripture, but both Hebrew and Aramaic use the word "brother" to mean any close male relative, such as cousin or uncle. We don't really know. One tradition holds that Joseph was a widower before being betrothed to Mary, so James could have been his older half-brother.

    In any case, don't forget the Mary statues that featured prominently in S1 and S2. We saw one again this season, in fact, falling out of Yemi's plane and almost beaning Locke.

    Paul February 9th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Katgirl says: "Re:Sawyer's arc. Am not sold completely. If he is supposed to be unselfishly acting at this point then why would he want Kate to come back to the island? Isn't going along with Locke to drag her back into the fray THE most selfish thing he can do?"

    In isolation, this may be true. Also, in "Jughead" Sawyer says they need to go save the "Geek" (i.e. Daniel) when it appears he's being death marched into the woods. Does he want to save Daniel b/c he's selfish, or b/c the Losties need him since he's the only one who knows what's going on?

    More broadly, when we look at the totality of Sawyer's actions over the Season 4-present timeline, he has acted selflessly many times (saving Claire when the mercs attacked the barracks, jumping from the helicopter, going after Hugo at the Orchid, etc). It seems to me that he is a changed man-or at least, changing in the right direction. However, given the multiple narrative and temporal perspectives the show uses, I suppose the same device can be applied to the characters? Is Sawyer really a good person? Is he really changing for the better? It depends in part on what the audience members bring to bear in terms of their memories of the show and their broader perspectives.

    leah February 9th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Junior: Maybe Ben and the "lawyer" aren't trying to take Aaron away; they just have enough information to scare Kate into running. Ben just wants her to go back to the island, so if he can get her running he's half way there. That's why it was such a big secret who the "client" was; if Kate knew it was Ben, she probably wouldn't have run.

    There is something fishy going on, though. I guess that guy is a real lawyer... but it is too much of a coincidence that he's representing Claire's mother who he just happens to visit right before going to see Ben.

    Ryan: I agree. With a show as long, complicated and multi-faceted as Lost is, it's impossible not to find lots of parallels with literature, movies, even people we each know in our lives in the show. I'm always amazed at the depth of J's analysis, and sometimes find it hard to believe that the writers have put all of that in there intentionally. Others have said, and J even mentioned in his book, that many references will come out unconsciously just because of the cultural background of the writers and the audience. Everything we do, see, hear and experience shapes us, and when we do something creative, those things will inevitably shine through.

    Hurley’s Waist February 9th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Dang! I was gonna be "Faraday's Tie" but somebody already beat me to it. As per an earlier comment; "A la recherche du temps perdu." In Search of Lost Time. I've read the whole thing, and try as I might, I can't find any similarity to Lost. Wm. Empson humorously claimed that Proust disappointed him because where he expected an apocalypse, he got instead that sometimes being in one place reminds us of being somewhere else so that... uh, oh what exactly did he say? I don't have "7 Types of Ambiguity" in front of me.

    In response to Maureen, as to Ben's right to take custody of Claire's child; well, I am a lawyer and I think Ben hasn't a leg to stand on. But that's not the point. Ben finds what someone is "invested" in and then finds a way to exploit it. In Kate's case, he started the proceeding just to make Kate run, which he knew she would do. The question is, how did he get a court order without cause. Maybe it was all just a bluff and there was no court order.

    Kay February 9th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Gender: Masculine
    Usage: English, Biblical
    An interesting note from a name website ( This has probably been said before, but James is a form of Jacob. Sawyer/James, then, may end up being not the disciple but the prophet.

    "Pronounced: JAYMZ (English) [key]
    English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov) (see JACOB)."

    Olivier February 9th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I loved this literary parallel!
    As always, overinterpretation is a risk, but, surely, when the creators go to the extent of planting so many clues, including in the source code of web pages, there has to be something-- even if it's only playing with the audience and puzzle-solvers, it has been carefully thought through.

    "I am starting to wonder if the mysterious whispers that we have heard throughout the series are time-lost people watching events unfold before flashing off again. It may be the current, on-island Losties or other victims of similar situations throughout he islands history."

    We have seen the time-shifters interact with "chrono-indigenous" people.
    Should they remain hidden in the jungle when they're about to meet themselves or their friends, what they say among themselves would be heard clearly, not as whispers-- and they would be pretty poor whisperers if they were actually whispering.
    It is a very tempting theory, but it doe snot seem to work that way: they can be seen adn heard and touched and interacted with normally.

    "I am still trying to tell if the info presented by the Cuse and Lindelof of the info that Jack's character was supposed to be killed off and that the Ben character evolved into more after seeing the actors interact seems to be questionable as both characters are so integral to the story. It is such a joy to have so much to 'chew on.' "

    There is no contradiction: they just found it would be a pity to lose such actors (especially Ben), and thus switched a few things.

    "Ben" already existed, albeit probably in a different form.
    Michael Emerson gave him a specific personality, and the writers decided that, rather than have this Other be just a lieutenant or a bit player in a short story arc, they should make him the leader they had thought.

    That's the wonderful, magical, supernatural (as it were) thing about casting, filmmaking and storytelling, and learning how it all came together.
    Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones, and you can hardly imagine anyone else in the role, nor the movies because just as good; he was perfect for the role, and obviously brought his own personality and charisma to the character. Yet he was the second choice, after Tom Selleck has to quit.
    The famous funny bit where Indy just shoots the bad guy in the marketplace came about because Ford was too sick to keep on working that day.
    James Cameron came up with the idea for The Terminator while lying sick in a hotel, almost delirious. What if he had not been sick?

    You might draw a parallel with Lost's course correction: little incidents, incredible coincidences, occur all the time, that lead to such perfect actor/character or director/movie associations; in the end, you cannot but wonder if someone did not arrange all these so that this specific combination could be achieved.

    "Now, I'm no lawyer, but how could Ben have a legal right to Claire's child? If it's not Claire's mom and the father doesn't seem to be in the picture (yet)...could it be that Ben is part of the Littleton bloodline? Again, no lawyer, but I just don't see how Ben and his lawyer can just swoop in and take someone's baby, legally."

    Then again, if the client had so strong a hunch, why not go to court? Claire's mom certainly could, but someone else might not (on what grounds, since they could not claim the right to keep Aaron)?

    Since it clearly is not Claire's mom, and Ben admitted it to it right away, this may just have been a clever ploy on his part; knowing people the way he does, knowing their psychology and reactions so well and possibly better than they do, he may have known that scaring Kate was the best way-- though now that she knows he's behind it, I don't see how he could convince her he's doing it for Aaron's good.
    (Now I am further down the thread, I see Leah & Hurley's Wait addressed the issue the same way while I was typing this.)

    "the writers of Lost seem to be fans of philosophy and literature and I know that the intentionally use themes and references (I've often wondered who leads the charge on this...Are Cuse and Lindelof the main drivers of this or do other writers delve more into philosophy?"

    I would love to know the story behind the story, how everything was put together, read a "making of" the story, how it started ,what the inital pitch was, how it evolved, how they fleshed it out over the course of the series, ...

    Miss Scarlett February 9th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    "How long can Faraday wear that tie?"

    Perhaps infinitely! Given his propensity for time travel...

    ruggerport February 9th, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Junior et al: There is a mysterious key character who could have a legal claim re Aaron through a blood relationship: Christian Shephard. Is he somehow connected to Ben and his plot?

    tinanettles February 9th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Your posts always blow my mind. Your head must be like a library inside! Hey, about James, I like your idea, but... The Bible says that Jesus' mother and his brothers approached him when he was ministering one day, about some earthly business he thought they were capable of handling themselves. So Jesus did have brothers. Mary did not remain a perpetual virgin, and after she bore Jesus, undoubtedly started a family of their own with Joseph. However, the disciple James (and writer of the book of James in the New Testament) was the brother of the disciple John, not Jesus' brother. And that John, was not Jesus' cousin John the Baptist. Just FYI. Still, I'm amazed I know something (anything) you don't, since I'm coming to believe that you know everything.

    asilgrass February 9th, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    I think it is safe to assume that the court order was a fake. Ben wanted Kate and Aaron to run. Less than 48 hours till another episode!!!

    asilgrass February 9th, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Oops! One more thing. In Jughead the woman at the records hall at Oxford was a flight attendant from Season 1 (she told Hurley he'd have to get 2 seats). Significant or casting snafu?

    Morgan Evans February 9th, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Just some observations/questions.

    I think it is entirely possible that Aaron is Locke reincarnated. Locke was premature, if Aaron was too, it'd be a blatant VALIS reference.


    I think the Islanders create "The Button"

    I believe that they bury this bomb, and do something to cause it to go off in 108 minutes. By resetting the clock every time, they ensure that the island is always 108 minutes before the bomb goes off. Because a hydrogen bomb next to exotic matter would probably implode the world. When desmond turned the fail safe key, all it did was move the island slightly, almost in a "save yourself, screw the future" type move.

    Which would explain the latest ARG and the Valenzetti Equation. We need to change one of the numbers, to ensure that the bomb does not go off.


    Perlandra February 10th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Maybe Faraday's tie will yet serve some useful purpose and that's why he keeps wearing it.

    I'll stick to my theory that Sawyer's true name was chosen from the Jesse James-Robert Ford connection. But of course James is a form of Jacob, the OT patriarch who stole his brother Esau's birthright. (Shades of Ben and Widmore?)The popular Hebrew etymology of Jacob is from "heel" (since he was supposed to have been born gripping his twin brother Esau's heel)and he was viewed as "the supplanter." A pagan Semitic meaning is "the god protects". Since LOST first introduced Jacob, I've wondered where their Esau is.

    Jacob was a very popular name in NT times so there are several men of this name in the NT: the Apostle James the Great, son of Zebedee, brother of John; the Apostle James the Less who may or may not be son of Alpheus, traditionally a cousin of Jesus; James the Just, leader of the Jerusalem Christians, author of the Epistle of St. James,martyred by Herod Agrippa II in 62 AD who may be a cousin of Jesus (instead of or distinct from James the Less).

    This blog is hardly the place to argue about the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, but for the record Catholics believe the "brethren of the Lord" were his cousins, Protestants say they were blood brothers, and the Eastern Orthodox think of them as step-brothers (ie older sons of Joseph by an earlier marriage).

    Anyone notice that LOST now has four young children in the mix: two boys and two girls, two born in wedlock and two not.

    Scandibaby February 10th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    A shout-out to all the bloggers who add to J. Wood's analyses of LOST. I anticipate reading the comments almost as much as I anticipate each new episode. None of my friends watch LOST, so you have all become my LOST buddies.

    Jeffrey February 10th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    "I may look like Robert FORD but I feel just like Jesse JAMES" - Bob Dylan

    Sawyer is a true rebel in everything he does to the point of contradicting himself. He zigs when you'd think he'd zag and vice versa. In this, I think he is more like King David, driven by lusts and thoroughly blessed. The con man who cons himself right into heaven. I don't think his are conscious decisions. He could never follow either team's game plan Good or Evil and since the very first episode I don't think he ever has. When he was up to no good he made Jack better, when he kills Cooper he gets Locke back on the path to redemption. An outlaw with many aliases for himself and others.

    Jeffrey February 10th, 2009 at 11:52 am


    Sawyer on the raft is an inversion of Jesus on the cross: "Thank you, God/ I take it back" as opposed to "Why hast Thou forsesaken me/ It is accomplished". Sawyer has already been given up for dead off the helicopter and crashed to earth in opposite direction of the Ascension.

    Olivier February 10th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    How about Truth, regardless of the name and its connotations?

    I have always assumed Locke called Sawyer by his first name because he believes in honesty down to the smallest details: he does not use nicknames, he does not lie about his own name, and he is so fundamentally honest that he trusts everyone to be so.
    Calling people by their name is a way of not playing games with them, getting straight to the truth of the matter: don't tell me any fibs, I know your true name.

    One's name is a very important and potent attribute.

    For starters, there is this belief that a name defines who you are: here again, free will may not be complete, as your parents chose a specific name (or set of names) because they were to, and your character traits and possible future are predetermined by your name.

    Numerology makes it a bit more detailed study of it by adding up the corresponding numbers (hey, a link to Lost!-- :p you really can tie anything to anything with a little imagination, can't you?).

    Peleg and Bildad (rather, one of them) tell Ishmael you cannot hold Ahab's name and its dark connotations against him.

    I hope someone can shed some light on this, but as far as I know from popular culture, knowing a demon's name is a major step toward exorcising whoever he possesses.

    Changing someone's name, reducing it to a number (as in The Prisoner, in more traditional penitentiaries, in concentration camps-- or in administrative papers), depersonalizes the person and your relation to them, alienates them, denies them a human quality (pets are given names).

    The name is thus seen as a key to your personality, and a way to control you, to cut you down to size.

    A nickname may be affectionate or degrading; an alias affords protection.

    Sawyer has a cynical, sarcastic approach to everything, and gives people nicknames; I guess psychologists might say it's a way of dressing up reality, of distancing it, of distancing yourself from others, out of insecurity, a way of controlling things and people by deciding how they ought to be called.

    Locke, however, deals with people squarely, honestly, and expects themp to do the same.
    Using the actual name is a form of respect, and a sign he expects only the truth from people.

    The problem with my interpretation, is that Locke does lie, if only by ommission.
    He does so on the Island, though, to protect everyone and the Island.

    Charlotte February 10th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I think Ben calls Sawyer "James" and Hurley "Hugo" because he first learned their named from the flight manifest that Bakhunin procured for him.

    leah February 10th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Olivier: I like your bit about names; but just wondering: Locke changes his name (alias) to Jeremy Bentham. What then is the significance of that? Or maybe we'll find out. However you look at it, it's not "honest," right?

    Maura February 10th, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Ahh, I'm so glad we're discussing the use of proper names because it really stands out. I think that Ben calls Sawyer "James" and Hurley "Hugo" because he understands the power of a person's name - Sawyer adopted his alias in response to trauma - Hurley (who people tend not to take seriously) was using a childhood (?) nickname - and both were somewhat secretive about their proper names. Ben, the master manipulator and charismatic leader, knew they'd respond better if he used their proper names (and showed respect they didn't think they deserved). Later, Locke adopted the practice. Is it a sign of his own leadership instincts? Or just a sign that he's aping Ben?
    (to J - This is my first comment but I've only recently found this blog and ate it UP. what a joy! I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis - it's just an anecdote, but my mother was diagnosed in her 30s, also with frightening vision trouble... she's now 60, full vision, and fully mobile. again - just an anecdote, but I'm sure a voracious researcher like you has read lots of them - be sure to seek out the happy ones as well).

    Polar Bear February 11th, 2009 at 10:12 am

    J. Wood,

    Don't you know this is all a daydream of an autistic boy looking into a snowglobe?

    Dave February 11th, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Picking up on your John the Baptist analogy.... Could it be that John Locke's true purpose was to pave the way for Jack Shephard (son of Christian), whose real destiny, whose "reason" for being on the Island is to save it? It's always seemed that, while there is a "savior" quality to Locke, that he cannot save the Island by himself, but that since Jack is his mirror opposite, they must save the Island together.

    Jason February 11th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    It seems to me that Claire's mom has been brought to LA by Ben - yes, as a way to manipulate Kate - but also as the person to whom Kate must entrust Aaron when she returns to the island. Ben needs Kate to return but it is not as obvious that Aaron must return. The one thing that Kate would rebel against would be taking her child back to such a dangerous place as that island. If she were assured that he were safe and in the hand's of his true family she would be more willing to return to the island.

    J. Wood (Post Author) February 11th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Messenger 88: All Saint’s Day as Aaron’s birthday, that’s a good point. It also means that the day before, the day of the dead (Halloween), may have something to do with events that occurred previously in “Deus Ex Machina” – which is the day the dead/ghosts walk the earth. One of the other things I like is how Nov. 1 was the episode “Do No Harm,” and it re=appears in “The Little Prince” – do no harm to the little prince (whoever that is).

    Leah: One thing Ben’s always done is over-use people’s first names. In the past, some have suggested how this is a way of subtly exerting some power over someone. It’s almost like when a parent uses your name – you know if they went that far, there’s some exercise of authority involved. Locke seems to do something similar, but he’s much more circumspect about it. Besides, Locke doesn’t seem nearly as insidious as Ben. As for the aliases, I feel like that’s one of the secrets that won’t be completely understood until we know how Hugo became Hurley. That will tell us a lot about how Lost is using aliases in general.

    Paul: You’re right, Sawyer has been changing little by little for some time (I went through some examples of that in the book). It’s kind of interesting to go back and track the changes, but that would take a chapter I another book. But in every one of those incremental changes, he becomes a bit less selfish, almost as if he’s learning something about himself, but refuses to admit it.

    Perlandra: One of the interesting things about using a camera to relate a story is all the new possibilities it provides for narrative perspective. That Uncle Charles Principle is also known as free indirect narrative (as opposed to third person directed). A camera can give us free indirect, third person directed, third person objective, second person, and all sorts of combinations. Strangely, one of the things written narrative can do that cameras have a hard time with is first-person. Welles tried with Heart of Darkness and gave up. Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze played with it in Being John Malkovich. But it gets real tricky to show that perspective for long in film.

    Jaqui: I see where you’re heading with the other characters in The Little Prince, and I’ve seen some other discussion about who those figures may represent. (Drunkard-Christian; King-Ben; Businessman-Widmore; etc.) I think the general themes can be applied broadly, but I’m not sure about one-to-one correspondences. What always makes me wary about that sort of thing is that the writers are generally pretty good about fake-outs and misdirection. I don’t know that they built in any correspondences, but if I saw one, I’d take a second skeptical look. (Example: Aaron seems like the de facto little prince, but Locke holds more promise as that sort of figure.)

    SteveN: One of the going theories is that the whispers in the jungle are actually the characters being in some other time period with their past or future selves. I like that idea; one of the things we can look at is some of the translated whispers (there are transcripts of them on the web), and see if we hear that same dialog from a regular character in the future.

    James B: That’s a great catch on the parallelism of the scenes. I think it rains enough in Hawaii to make it a useful symbol, but the idea of the island indirectly affecting events is worth considering. Many have wondered about Abaddon in that context; he has some unknown relationship to the island, and starting with Locke in the hospital (if not earlier), has been pulling a lot of strings to set the whole Rube Goldberg machinery into action. If he’s some sort of manifestation of the island’s consciousness, then we may be seeing that. What I like the most about that idea, though, is that it’s implied through paralleled scenes, rather than directly stated.

    Jman: Just thought I’d mention when my wife read over the draft before I posted it, she wrote a note next to the Cyclops stuff about how Oedipus also really pushes the blindness theme. In his way, Locke has been pretty blind to how he’s been used by people.

    Jeffrey: I haven’t seen Aguirre in some time. But one of the things I remember from it, and Herzog, is how that kind of “leaving the water on the lens” move has two effects: 1.) As you say, it brings the audience much closer to the content, and 2.) It reminds the audience that there was a lens there in the first place, and we’re looking at a film. That complicates the whole audience-art relationship; we’re supposed to give ourselves over to a narrative, but the narrative is constantly implying how fake it is. Scorsese toyed with this a lot, maybe no more so than in Goodfellas. After Henry Hill breaks that fourth wall in the court room and addresses the film’s audience, and then we see him almost wink at the camera while his narration complains about being in the witness protection program, it cuts quickly to Joe Pesci dressed in old clothes firing a gun at the camera – an homage to the 1903 film The Great Train Robbery. The story goes that when one of the robbers fired a gun at the camera, people in the theater (back then) ducked. There’s a similar story about the Lumiere Brothers short 1896 film The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station; they shot at an angle to the tracks so the train looked like it was heading into the camera. When the audience saw that, they (supposedly) yelled and jumped back. Since then, film has always been toying with the experience of the audience in relation to what’s on the screen; after audiences stop ducking at bullets and trains, reminding us that the film is artificial is one of those ways tinker with that relation.

    KatGirl: I think someone responded to your question already, but Sawyer seems more interested in keeping people alive than what he wants for his immediate gratification. According to Locke, Kate would be in danger if she didn’t return. Sawyer has less and less reason to doubt certain things he might have just dismissed in the past. We’ve seen him risk his own skin for Claire, Faraday, Juliet, and a number of others, including helping the O6 get off the island. I think you could call it a kind of magnanimous selfishness, where he’s not happy unless those surrounding him are safe and happy, so he’s willing to work toward that end.

    Ryan: As far as the books being used, that gets complicated in an interesting way. I think there were some really clear nods early on, but after fans started dissecting every single example, they started throwing in some ringers (like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.) People were picking apart the books like they were picking apart the other clues, and sometimes finding things that weren’t necessarily there. Lindelof once said something like sometimes people think they found an easter egg, when it’s just a colorful rock. Then they started tossing out a lot of colorful rocks – which is what Eco talks about in Interpretation and Overinterpretation. But that’s part of the experience; this is a show about conspiracies, paranoia, hidden histories, and other things that send some people to hole up in a Winnebago out in the desert. But rather than just watching the characters go through that, we’re going through that experience as well.

    I think this may be where Joyce is useful (sorry, can’t agree with the no payoff point, but that’s for a different discussion; suffice to say reading Joyce re-taught me to how to read). Joyce was playful, and once said he was going to pack Ulysses so full of puzzles that he’d keep scholars busy for [insert great length of time]. However, he wanted the book to hold together artistically, and more than enough scholarship shows how it does. But what to do with these other allusions? Not every one counts. I had a very good teacher once who trained us to read Joyce (and others) by looking for evidence of verification; if you see an allusion, maybe it’s meaningful, maybe not. How direct is it? If you see it again, look closer. Is it there a third time? Are there any themes, symbols, ideas, or other elements in the text that clearly relate to that allusion? If so, what does it mean? If not, was it meant to mean anything? Was it a colorful rock, and not an easter egg? Ulysses and Lost are full of easter eggs, but there are plenty of colorful rocks.

    I don’t think Abrams has a lot of day-to-day involvement with the show anymore. But Cuse and Lindelof are big readers, and I know that some of the writers (Kitsis and Horowitz) were at the same university I was at, at the same time; if they had any of the same teachers and exposure, they may be approaching the narrative in a way some knuckleheads like me are predisposed to recognize.

    But as far as archetypes go, they’re at the root of most narratives. If Lost points to a book (and it’s verifiable), and in that verification a parallel archetype is found, that would seem to strengthen the tie, not necessarily dismiss it.

    PatrickW: As far as James brother of Jesus goes, I’ve also seen him referred to as a kind of spiritual brother, the way monks will call each other brother. That seems a lot more likely in the grand scheme of things, but we can’t know until someone flashes back in time and hangs out with the fellas.

    Kay: Yeah, I love that link back to Jacob. Names are a real fluid thing; I’d love to know why my great-grampa was called Joley and I ended up with that name.

    Olivier: What you say about the writers adapting elements as the story develops has a lot to do with some other stuff I’m working on. It’s a safe bet to think that no writer ever has the entire story completely understood before they sit down to bang out a chapter or an episode, and as the story develops, the story develops. But as for what you said about Harrison Ford: Kurt Russel auditioned for Han Solo and didn’t get it; he took that Han Solo “mystique” and infused Jack Burton with it in Big Trouble in Little China. It’s brilliant.

    asilgrass: I don’t think that was a casting error; Widmore’s secretary has also appeared in a different role. They can’t be that hard up for bit-part actors.

    * Noorizadeh, you should be receiving an email from either me, my publisher or both.

    It’s raining and I have to take a motorbike through five miles of that drench, so I should probably end this. But there were a few observations I wanted to make, just to get them out there. The shot cuts have been suggesting who’s going to save them, who’s responsible for what, etc. It seems a little obvious, actually. But we’ve also seen misdirection before; I wouldn’t be surprised if what’s implied by some of those over-determined shot cuts don’t turn out the way we expected.

    By the way, wasn’t Jin also raised by another? His father raised him solo, and its unclear if Mr. Kwon is his biological father. He’d also be about the same age as Miles. I’m not saying that Mile’s isn’t Pierre Chang/Marvin Candle’s son, but we don’t yet know who Jin is really the son of (biologically speaking), and his role in relation to the island is getting a lot more interesting.

    Why is Sayid constantly being drugged? Who needs him knocked out?

    Patton McGinley February 11th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    As Tintin would say: Zoot alor, le bras de Montand!

    Ryan February 12th, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    I've had the Joyce debate with others. It's not the complexity that turns me off, as I enjoyed Heidegger's Sein und Zeit.

    Last night's episode was another home run. I could stand 5 more seasons of this.

    If you want an initial thought on book tie-ins, check out Flaubert's Salammbo. I happen to have just read it and got chills when Charlotte said "I know more about Carthage than Hannibal himself." Wonderful.

    (I wish the hieroglyphics in the hatch had been punic script.)

    Ryan February 12th, 2009 at 7:24 am

    p.s. Carthage reference, Egyptian hieroglypics, Roman-sandaled statue, a smoke monster called Cerberus, African drug plane, French team...all we are missing is a Mesopotamia or Indus valley reference.

    Are they teasing that every great culture has crashed the island?

    Montand’s Arm February 12th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Appelez-moi juste Smokey le bandit à un seul bras.

    Olivier February 13th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    "Locke changes his name (alias) to Jeremy Bentham. What then is the significance of that? Or maybe we'll find out. However you look at it, it's not 'honest', right?"

    Exactly; that's part of the problem I mentionned at the end. In this case, at least, one might argue he does it for the greater good, to protect the Island and the O6 from Charles Widmore. It might even be Ben's idea.


    "One of the going theories is that the whispers in the jungle are actually the characters being in some other time period with their past or future selves. I like that idea"
    (J. Wood)

    I love it, too, but here's the rub: when the characters encounter someone during their time travel, they can interact normally, can touch them, can speak normally and be heard.
    No whispers, thus.
    Should they whisper when getting close to themselves at another time, they would be more discrete, wouldn't they?


    Episode 5 was just as good. This is a very strong season so far.

    It's interesting how they keep beating up Locke now: he has been shot in the right leg, and now his fractured bone is sticking out of his right leg-- ouuuuuch.
    He was paralyzed before getting to the Island: he is meant to revert to his previous state (or a similar one) when leaving it? Will Jeremy Bentham be able to walk? At the very least, he'll be limping.

    As for literary references, I cannot but think of Ahab's splintered leg that nearly pierced him, but I think it's just me; I don't see any parallel between both characters (unless you count the facial scars).

    Kalia February 13th, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I have noticed that all the Others call Sawyer by his name, James and now Locke does too. I can't remember but I think the only exception is that Kate has called him James a few times as well.

    But it seems the people that seem to know the most about him are the ones who call him James while the rest call him Sawyer. I am surprised that no one mentioned that Juliette calls him James as well considering all the time those two have been spending together in the last few episodes.

    Maybe it is supposed to show that Sawyer is the old version of him, the con artist, the liar; the selfish version of himself. James on the other hand is his true self who is selfless and knows love like he once did as a child when he was James the boy and not Sawyer the con man.

    Also, there is theory that Ben is the father of Aaron. There is a screen shot and discussion of Thomas (the bf and father of the baby) on some blog or 20! They were saying that Thomas looks TOO much like Ben to be a coincidence, that Thomas is greek for Twin, Lost LOVES twins/mirrors, that the paintings he had in their apt. look way too much like the painting on the wall in the hatch, and now with all this time travel... So maybe Ben does have more claim to this baby than Carole.

    Who knows!

    Jan February 13th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I really enjoyed this column. Among archetypes and other characters, whom do you see as Constants?

    Jan February 13th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I meant, of course, characters from works other than Lost.

    leah February 16th, 2009 at 11:55 am

    As far as the whispers in the jungle go... haven't the Losties only encountered Others, Frenchies and Dharma people in their time-travel (that we know of)? It's possible that some interaction we've seen previously was with a time-traveler and not the present-person we assumed when we saw it (in previous episodes or seasons), but that's not the case that we know of. So, I'm just wondering, will we see the time-warped losties interact with the time-bound losties (themselves), or maybe the whispers are the time-warped ones because the rules of time travel/the island/smokey won't let them interact with themsleves? We'll probably find out soon.

    Jesse Custer February 18th, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Any thoughts on "This Place Is Death"?

    THE_3RD_ONE February 18th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    the beginning of This place is death, (the parts with the monster) seemed eerily reminiscent of "The Ruins"

    maybe it's just me but, it seemed to have a lot of very similar elements. I don't know if I'm just reading to much into it but in that story the natives that knew about the mysterious force that guarded the ruins feared and respected it and knew to stay away.

    I kind of wonder if that relationship is similar to the way the others interact with the monster. Ben was able to summon it, but he also hinted that he couldn't fully control it.

    i haven't read the book or seen the movie in a while but it's just a thought.

    Paul February 18th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Hey J,

    I live for your insight on Lost each week. Hope you are doing well, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on "This Place is Death." Hang in there...

    THE_3RD_ONE February 18th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I just read the plot summary for "The Ruins" on wikipedia.

    I forgot that the weeds invaded and infected the tourists at the ruins. the flowers that the weeds produced were also mimicking that soounds of birds cellphones and even the voices of the tourists.

    also of note is that one of the main points in the book has to do with going down a well to find rescue. one of the people that goes down into the well falls and breaks his back becoming paralyzed.

    Charlotte February 18th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    If it is paralleling "The Ruins", "Lost" is doing a better job. I loved Smith's "A Simple Plan", but "The Ruins" just annoyed me. Awful characters, and I just kept thinking "it's only plants". But then, I've never met a plant I couldn't kill.

    I, too, have been looking forward to J's take on this excellent and important episode, and I certainly hope that he is well. As for me, so much is falling in line. It's still dark and foggy, but I see the outline of a building, and there's a candle in the window. Is that you, Marvin?

    strymeow February 18th, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    The LOST week is not the same without you, J. I hope you're doing well.

    sosolost February 18th, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Hope all is well w/ you J Wood!

    While watching "This Place is Death" I couldn't help but think what you might write about it - lots of literal/mythical/symbol details. I look forward to your column on it if/when you're able.

    Take care

    leah February 18th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    And didn't those ruins looks just exactly like Angkor Wat?

    Barry February 18th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I keep hitting the refresh button every couple of hours waiting for something to pop up. Now I know how Desmond must have felt!!!

    Eve February 18th, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Yes, J, we are all concerned for you. I hope you are well. I know what it's like to have a debilitating illness. As many have said before me, I love your posts. You have broadened my horizons. Thank you.

    And for what it's worth, I think it's Ben sending Sayid the poison dart assassins. They must have had a falling out at some point. Sayid was more than cool to Ben when they met up at the marina. Ben knows that Sayid won't come back easily and Ben being Ben, well you know "he always has a plan."

    Patton McGinley February 18th, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    JW, all I can say after scoping Ben's 316 in-flight reading material is: You Totally Called It, Dude! Well, that and get better, we miss ya.

    jphimself February 18th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Like others, I missed J's comments on last week's episode, but I absolutely freaked when I saw Ben reading Ulysses on the plane. Great minds and all that.

    Jeffrey February 18th, 2009 at 9:36 pm


    I have just watched tonight's episode "316" and I think you hit the nail on the head esp. concering Ben's appearance and Sayid's situation per this episode. (No spoilers from me)

    arzt go boom February 18th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    i have been madly hitting the refresh button all week, hoping that J would help enlighten me on the tremendous episode, "this place is death". i hope you're doing ok, J. you consistently deepen my appreciation for this wonderful show. i have been filling my lost reading jones by going back and reading old columns i had never read for season 3 episodes that i recently rewatched. thanks so much. be well

    Annie February 19th, 2009 at 9:11 am

    We miss you J! We miss your magically delicious posts, but I'm sure I speak for all when I say we hope you're doing well - just to busy to write - and we hope to see you soon!

    OMG! Was that a great epi last night, or what? The Time Trippers are now part of the DI! Hope they get out before the Purge...

    Ginny February 19th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    My best wishes to your posts and insights. After "316" I now do not trust Ms. Hawking and believe Desmond that they are all pawns in some kind of game. It seems that the only ones trying to to do what is best for the island and to "help" Jacob are Locke and Richard. But now that Jack is coming around possible he will be the "man of science" leader and John will be the "man of faith" leader. This episode had so many paralells to previous episodes from the beginning. Lost just gets better and better!

    Charlotte February 19th, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    I thought "316" was a bit uneven, but it followed three exceptional episodes.

    My favorite part was Desmond walking through the swing of the pendulum, confidently striding right the center of the extremes of faith and reason, of past and future, of fate and free will. And it's always good to see Ben get beat up.

    leah February 19th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    A few thoughts on 316....

    Ya think Kate took Aaron to Claire's mom's, since we just saw her and where she was.... And yeah, why so sensitive about even mentioning his name?

    Wondering if John will wake up Christian-style now that they're back on the island. And will Christian and Locke interact, and how will that be?

    What's up with the numerology this season? Sun was on the 31st floor, right...? Where else have we seen these numbers? There's a 6 in the O6. anything else?

    Ambivalentman February 19th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I miss you, J. Your posts always give me reason to brag to my friends about how only "smart" people watch LOST. You have a way of making us see that this incredible show is not just great TV, but great literature!

    As for episode 5.6, "316," I was very impressed with the flashback device. It paralleled episode 2.7, "The Other 48 Days," and episode 3.19, "The Brig" by counting down days and hours up to the current point in the narrative. What does it mean, though?

    Also, it was appropos that Jack, Hurley, and Kate are the first ones we see back on the Island, as they were the first ones we knew actually got off. Will the Oceanic Six appear in order again?

    JMan February 20th, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Charlotte -
    I agree. I felt that the ep was uneven too. I think that, for me at least, Fionnula Flanagan's slightly over the top performance was what did it. The same words coming out of Michael Emerson's mouth would probably not have sounded so outrageous. Everything picked up after the first ten minutes or so though. So who else thinks that Charlie's ghost told Hurley about the flight?

    Scandibaby February 20th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I've missed your brilliance after watching the last two episodes. I'll light a candle for you (in a good way, not a Ben way).

    TimS February 20th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    J -

    I agree with many of the previous posts -- the LOST week is simply not the same without the level of analysis and tracing of literary allusions that your posts offer.

    Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Greg February 20th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Lost is worthy of erudite discussion, just as important books and interesting movies are. As far as I've seen, no other place allows for this discussion, at least one on this level. Your lectures give us fodder and intellectual stimulus. Thank you.

    Michelle February 20th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Like the rest of J Woods fans, I've been checking back here obsessively and thinking good thoughts for him! After I made sure I had read all of his entries on previous eps, I started to read the Popular Mechanics column about Lost and found Jorge Garcia's blog. They have been keeping me busy while awaiting J Woods' next analysis. Thought I'd share them here for like-minded who are latecomers to these sites like I am:

    Ginny February 20th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    I also think Kate gave Aaron to Claire's Mom or else Ben made her hand him over to his attorney. But there was something very upsetting to Kate regarding Aaron...did she have a vision or did she learn something about herself. I still believe there is something not right with Ms.Hawking...her demeanor seemed too contrived. So what about when whe told Ben "God help us all." What is that all about?

    Getting back to the h-bomb: could it be under the Pearl where that large question mark was? It makes sense that it is there because us military were testing all the time in the south pacific, but did it land there and the others placed it on the pallet or did the us military do that after finding it because it did not go off?

    Green Drake February 20th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    J....just a quick note of appreciation for your time and talents for this board and I just wanted to let you know that I and my family have you in our thoughts and wish you and your family well.

    j.b. February 20th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    J., we miss your commentaries and hope everything's OK. All the love from the blogosphere, looking forward to when you post again. Sending all good thoughts your way.

    Betty February 20th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I keep checking for my J. Wood fix but it hasn't appeared recently. I hope all is well with you. Obsessing about Lost isn't the same without you, man.

    105710v3r February 20th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    We miss you J. Woods. I hope you are getting better. Eye problems are terribly scary for those of us who live to read. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

    Sorry, this is going to be a long post.

    JMan--Yes, I think Charlie told Hurley about the flight. I get this from the fact that he brought along a guitar.

    RE: the H-bomb--I think it was buried and started to leak at some point which is why the Dharma Initiative people were afraid to breathe the air & wore hazmat suits when outside. So how/when did the leakage stop? Is this why someone originally left the island--to change something about the bomb? Is that what is buried beneath the station where they found Desmond? Remember how Sayid mentioned that the walls were super thick?

    RE: The "computer entry chore"--In the Dharma vault in the church, the bank of numbers that clicked after the pendulum swung reminded me of the numbers that readjusted after pushing the enter button. Is it possible that the entry of the numbers caused the island to move just a bit (or stay in one place) so that it couldn't be found? It wasn't until after Desmond inserted the key that the island was finally 'found' by those that had left it. Or does it keep it moving so the Bomb does not explode?

    RE: The Virgin Mary statue—Another one shows up in the church where Ben is lighting candles. And that is interesting. Why is he lighting votive candles which is generally done to remember someone dead or promote a petition that something happen.

    RE: I loved that Desmond strode across the Pendulum markings too.

    RE: Ben & Sayid & Kate--who beat up Ben? My initial reaction was Kate as she looked like she had been in a fight when she showed up at Jack's. And Sun had encouraged her to do "whatever it takes" to protect Aaron. Or was it Sayid? Is that why he is under arrest? Did Ben go to see him & Sayid beat him up so Ben then had him arrested and made something up about having to return him to Guam to get him on the plane? The interaction between Sayid & Ben was not one of surprise when they saw each other on the plane.

    RE: 2 new characters--OK who & why are there two new characters in first class with the OC6 & Ben? The guy who comments to Jack about the death of his friend and the woman escorting Sayid with handcuffs? It was good to see Lapidus again. I can't wait to see how he fits into the story aside from being the guy who was supposed to fly the Oceanic 815 flight.

    RE: Mrs. Hawking--I believe she is the young girl who held the gun on Faraday (her own son!) while he inspected the bomb. Is it possible that she & Widmore had a fling & produced Penny? And that Mrs. Hawking sired Faraday with someone else? Maybe Richard? (OK, I am getting a little goofy here.)

    RE: The Little Prince--before watching the show, I thought we would find out that the prince was Desmond & Penny's son who would inherit his grandfather Widmore’s company. And that Widmore was insuring that the child survives somehow. He was on the Island as a youth. Is Penny the daughter of Widmore & Mrs. Hawking when they were both on the island?

    RE: The others—how come the others have different accents? My thought that they were survivors of some Atlantis type group (based on the Latin and the ancient 4 footed statue) doesn't account for American and English accents. Unless they are like the mummy that spoke with an English accent because he was housed in the British museum...

    RE: Ben—I think he is manipulating everyone so that he gets put back in charge of the island instead of Locke. I think Widmore “stole” the island from Ben with the experiments done by Faraday & his Mom. But then, Ben had stolen it from the Dharma initiative. I don’t believe Ben, ever. He is only out for himself. This was capped by his response “Who cares?” to Jack’s questions about what would happen to the others on the plane to Guam.

    Gee I love this show!. And I miss J Woods to give me things to consider. And I appreciate all the posts here too.

    Charlotte February 20th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I think Kate may have had another Claire vision. Did she tell Kate that she had to return to the Island but leave Aaron behind (since Aaron was not yet born)? She might have given Aaron to Carole Litteton, but I thonk she would have told Jack that she had. I'm wondering if she instead gave her to Cassidy.

    thepuma February 20th, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    JW and crew!
    Re: 316

    This episode raised several questions for us to speculate. One scene I would like to discuss is the scene between Jack and Ben in the church. When Ben was discussing the the painting of Thomas the doubtful disciple, it was as if he was recalling a personal experience. On the other hand, It could have been directed to Jack the man of science to take a leap of faith. The scene could be interpreted both ways. Then when Jack asks Ben where he was going?

    Ben told Jack that he was visiting an old friend to deliver on a promise he made to him. Could he be referring to his promise he made to Charles Widmore to kill Penny?

    It is possible that Ben followed Desmond back to boat to fulfill his promise to kill Penny. Ben called Jack from what appears to be a dock. It is possible that Desmond may have caused Ben’s injuries. Was Ben successful only future episodes will tell? Let’s not forget Mrs. Hawkings’s departing comments to Desmond “the Island is not through with you.”

    PS a side bar: Thomas was also the name of Aaron’s birth father.

    the puma

    Eruption of Bears February 20th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    I love it that some of you have been very creative in thinking up names for yourself. Like "Arzt go Boom" for instance. I thought I'd add my comment about Mrs Hawking's little lecture - her manner in "316" was called "arch" by Jeff Jensen. I thought she was reading a script, in effect, for a Lamp Post orientation video. As though perhaps there was a crumb of truth in her little harangue - mostly it consisted of manipulation and misdirection like all the other Dharma orientation videos. The skeptical reactions of her listeners seemed entirely appropriate. But still, they did get on the plane.

    leah February 20th, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    A lot of people have mentioned the way the Mrs. Hawking scene was contrived/cheesy/badly acted. I'm wondering if the whole schpiel about them having to "recreate" the conditions of the original flight wasn't a lie to manipulate the O6 into doing what somebody (Mrs. Hawking? Widmore? Ben?) wanted them to do. If they tell them they have to go back and that's the only way to save their friends, and that the only way they can go back is to all go together, and recreate the original flight... this last part is just too outrageous. No matter what they do, they can't recreate anything. First off, the O6 were all sitting alone in first class (aside from the 2 newcomers). They weren't in first class originally, and the plane was full, going from Australia to LA. Nothing about that resembles the original flight, besides it being international and airborne. Okay, 6 of them are on the flight with some extra props, but who are they trying to trick/convince? They're trying to communicate with the island's timespace portal to take them (and maybe only them, since we didn't see a plane crash and don't have any evidence that any of those coach people are on the island). Disbelief is getting a little more difficult to suspend at this point, because it just doesn't make sense. Are they really going to personify the island inasmuch it would actually reach up and grab just those few people off a flight?

    I dunno.... maybe they'll pull it off. But I'm just wondering if the 'recreating the original flight' bit was some manipulation by someone to get the O6 to all go or whatever.

    THE_3RD_ONE February 20th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    I do think that Ben may have at least attempted to kill Penny. My gut feeling is that she is dead. If desmond had been able to stop him, I'm not sure Ben would have been able to walk away.

    Lets say that Ben did kill her. This might prompt Desmond to want to return to the Island, just as Mrs. Hawkings said he would.

    Also "Penelope" is the last chapter of Ulysses, which was the book Ben was reading on the plane. It seems symbolic to me. The last chapter of the book, and the last chapter of Ben's off-island adventure.

    Tyler Kramer February 21st, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Mr. Wood,

    Hope all is well. Hope you saw that Ben was reading Ulysses on the plane in 316, nice call from a couple posts ago. I really enjoy the whole savior vibe they are setting up, the parallels to VALIS have never been more clear. I am just hopeful that the Savior this time around doesn't happen to be Jack. Although I feel that the scene in the church with Ben and Jack placed Jack quite well within the overlying mythology.

    Everyone should take a chance to re-watch some of the first episodes. It is incredible the amount of information they pile onto us that has NO RELEVANCE whatsoever until so late in the show.

    The first thing Jack Sees: White shoe hanging from a tree.

    Locke talks about Backgammon's origination from ancient Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago and deliberately mentions that the game is older than Jesus Christ.

    And those are just now being addressed. Clearly the writers of this show have had this ending in mind from the beginning.

    I really do hope all is well Mr. Powell. Lost is my religion and your analysis is my gospel. I hope that you will have a chance to write the definitive book on LOST. If I may make a title suggestion: "The Religious Experience of John Locke"

    Keep it up!

    Kadayi February 21st, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I'm rather hoping that Ben didn't manage to kill Penny, as that would put a serious dampener on the show, though I supoose it would provide Desmond with a motivation to head back to the Island.

    Olivier February 21st, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    More friendly thoughts to you, J. !

    One interesting theory I found on another board: that Kate may now be pregnant by Jack, thus mirroring Claire on the flight 815 and doubling for Aaron-- all this accidentally, not on purpose.

    That she left Aaron with his grandmother is the most logical conclusion, but:
    - what made her change her mind? so drastically? another apparition?
    - why is she so upset, to the point of never wanting to address the issue?
    I can understand her being upset because she had developed a strong bond with Aaron, but leaving her with his grandmotehr should be a comforting thought, and there would be no reason for her not to tell Jack.

    Ben's comments on the painting made for a very interesting scene.

    I am now pretty sure that Locke really is dead, that it's no trick: he had to die because there had to be a corpse on the flight (ie, not only do the 06 need to return, the circumstnaces need to be similar)-- of someone related to the O6.
    This may also enable him to better serve the Island and "his people".

    Like Christian, he will surely raise from the dead in some way-- as an apparition or a living dead (Christian's coffin was empty, after all).

    The parallel with Jesus is obvious: the need to die to save his people & the doubting man.

    May Jacob be someone who went through a similar process?

    In their February 5 podcast, Cuse & Lindelof stated that "many of the hieroglyphs down in the donkey wheel have to do with Resurrection".

    How is the wheel related to resurrection (besides wheel -> circle -> endless cycle of life, death, life)?
    Is turning the wheel, thus moving the island, akin to resurrecting it in some way? It makes it disappear, then reappear, which I guess is somewhat like dying (in the present time & location) and resurrecting (in another place or-- better for the parallel-- back to where & when it was).
    Does the reference to resurrection concern the Island or the one who turns the wheel?
    Easy pun: we'll have to wait for one of the show's weekly resurrections to get those answers.

    How about Locke's note?
    "I wish you had believed me". Pithy.
    Jesus & Thomas, again.
    Then, the remaining fragment is "I wish".
    Desmond, for one, certainly wishes he had never listened to Mrs Hawking.

    Perlandra February 21st, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I certainly don't want Penny dead and hope she isn't. The show may simply want us to make that conclusion for its own devious purposes.

    In response to Leah above, Finnula Flannagan is too good and experienced an actress to give a hammy performance. That has to be deliberate, again for some devious purpose. The O6 don't have to recreate the fatal flight literally, just through symbols.

    Hope you're feeling better soon, Mr. Wood. We miss you!

    Eve February 21st, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Perlandra, true of Finnula being an experienced actress, as well as all of the cast being great actors. However, all of them seemed to me to be portraying sureal characatures of themselves. Everything about that episode seemed sureal to me. How they got back to the island was bizarre to say the least. I actually called out loud, "no not yet, not like this!" Kate giving up Aaron, can only mean that someone "threatened" her enough to make her do this. Sayid and Hurley showing up like that was also bizarre. I think something's going on behind the scenes, something yet to be portrayed to us. Probably Ben is connected to all up them showing up. He had 30hrs. to do his dirty work. And how about how no one, especially Jack, never asked Ben how he became so bloodied? Kate told Jack that they may all be on the plane, but that didn't mean they were together. Oh so strange, To me it seemed like some kind of "dress rehersal" for the actual event. Even when they saw Jin at the end, that felt weird. The only person that actually acted like himself, was Ben. He said "who cares" what happens to the other passengers. He was all beat up, when haven't we seen Ben beat up? He was as calm as could be. Ben as usual.

    Again, J, we miss you and hope you are well!

    THE_3RD_ONE February 21st, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Man I miss J.

    I have a few things that I've been thinking about, that I kind of want to mention.

    as far as jack being a savior goes, he is and always was the hero character and the leader. To see him become the savior at the end of it all, seems to make sense to me. I thought the way John signed the letter was interesting. I come from a comic book background and when I saw "JL" my mind immediately jumped to Jor-El, who was superman's father.

    also Locke rising from the dead is something I think we'll see. When Jack was putting Christian's shoes onto Locke's corpse the first thing I thought was that those we're some pretty big shoes to fill. I think that the shoes being the item is surely symbolic of that phrase.

    also does anyone else think the "J" in "J. Wood" stands for Jacob?

    Perlandra February 21st, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Maybe some of what we saw in this episode are false memories implanted in the participants to conceal their actual means of transit. The magician with his rabbit wasn't there in the beginning by accident.

    asilgrass February 21st, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I think Hurley was on the flight and bought the tickets because Charlie told him I to come and to take a guitar. I think Sayid was on the flight, as a fugitive like Kate, because of something to do with Ben and I think that was why Ben was beat up.
    I can't bear to think that Penny is dead! Maybe he'll kill Faraday instead and we'll find out that he's always known that Faraday was Widmore's son too.

    One major troubling question (one of many) - Ben told Jack to get everything he wanted to take because he was never coming back. Did anyone tell Sun this before she took off and left her baby and what about Kate? Clearly she's not coming back for Aaron.

    GREEN DRAKE February 21st, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    THIRD ONE -- NICE POST on the Penelope chapter. I, however, do not think Ben is up to murdering Penelope. At best, he would have one of his off island folk do the job (just as widmore didn't kill Alex directly). But I don't get the impression that killing people is up Ben's alley anymore. (Of course he may convince others to murder for him). Anyway, I think Ben could torment Widmore far more by keeping Penny alive and in his control. Doing something else to Penelope -- manipulating her, holding her hostage, Jedi mind trickes,pitting her against her father even more would be far more damaging to Widmore than to just waste her.

    Tyler Kramer -- I get this idea that we are watching an elaborate game play out. Perhaps, a big and complex game that goes back thousands of years? I recall when Ben sneaks in on Widmore and reminds him that he (Widmore)"changed the rules" when he had Alex murdered. Then, when we saw Widmore and Desmond in Widmore's office, Widmore said to Desmond on his way out the door that "he is getting involved in something that goes back "many, many" years."

    Charlotte February 21st, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I agree that it was an odd episode, and Ms. Hawking's scenes were very strange. Desmond acted in character, as did Hurley (loved that he kept as many people off the plane as possible). Kate, Jack, and Sun were odd. (Not enough info on Sayid.) I'm reserving judgment, as sometimes thinsg come out of these strange episodes that later catch the viewer by surprise. And yes, I've been watching season 1 again, so I'm really seeing a lot of these set-ups.

    As for resurrection, it predates Christianity, so ascribing Locke the Christ role is a bit narrow. Osiris in Egyptian mythology and Dionysus in Greek are both resurrected gods, with mythos involving fertility, harvest, and rebirth.

    Leah - I thought the 'recreating the original flight' theme was odd too, but someone who reads fantasy novels told me that it's not uncommon in that genre. And "Lost" does pull from many genres.

    leah February 21st, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Also, right before Jack and Kate got it on, Jack was with his grandfather, who asked about Kate, and Jack said, "we're not together." Then the bedroom scene, which would indicate they were back together (though with Kate who knows; she seems to have sex when she's upset). What I thought was interesting: on the plane where Kate says, "just because we're on the same plane doesn't mean we're together." at first it sounds like she's talking about the O6, but I couldn't help but think of Jack's earlier comment to Ray and wonder if she was speaking about Jack and Kate being "together" or not. Just a trivial thought, I guess.

    leah February 21st, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    And all I gotta say is, Penny better not be dead.

    Iczorro February 21st, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    You ok brotha?

    I'm eagerly anticipating your next post.

    Brian February 22nd, 2009 at 4:27 am

    I certainly hope that the reason for the dull pacing and portentous action of the Hawking scene was that she was trying to manipulate Jack, Kate, and Sun. I found that scene pretty dull; I read it as all exposition, something that should've taken 30 seconds of screen time, not 5 minutes.

    I feel that this season is shaping up as a sort of donut; sweet and tasty, but with something missing in the middle. I've said this before in another spot, but it seems like we're in a totally plot driven mode right now. I love the aspects of the plot, but a great plot does not guarantee great TV. The conflicts the characters are dealing with seem hollow; I feel like the show needs to invest a bit more in the continued development of the Losties, plus begin to develop the new characters.

    An example of what I mean . . . Compare Charlotte's death to Eko's death. Both characters were on the show for about 1 1/3 seasons (though Eko had more episodes, more screen time, etc.) Eko's refusal to admit any guilt to the Yemi-Monster, and his subsequent execution were powerful because we knew the backstory of his own difficult journey. Charlotte? All we know of her are plot points. Now, let's assume that Charlotte's death was not about Charlotte, but about Farraday. Again, it seems like it only is a plot point, foreshadowing Farraday's going a bit nuts in future episodes. It's hard to sympathize with Farraday's pain, because we hardly know him. Moreover, his love for Charlotte sort of just popped out of the plot in a couple of different episodes, and we just had to take it as a given. It didn't develop at all.

    It almost feels like the writers have decided that they have 40 episodes to go and - ohmigosh, we've got lots of plot to cover! I hope that I'm wrong, but what got me sucked into this show in the first place was that it had better characters than any other show on air. I have read and heard that Darlton wants to return to that kind of show in season 6, and that season 5 is necessary to set that season up. I hope so.

    I wonder, if you came to the show in season 5, and you were somehow effectively briefed on the storylines so that you knew as much about the story as anyone who had been with it from the beginning, would you still watch? Would the characters as they are being portrayed RIGHT NOW suck you into the show? My guess is that I might not.

    Brian February 22nd, 2009 at 4:28 am

    By the way, thanks to all the commenters on this blog. The best Lost blog on the web is J's; the second best blog on the web is the comment threads in J's blog!

    Rdeleon February 22nd, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Everyone is focusing on Narnia and Stephen King and other interesting books... But the Book really meaningful to any discussion on Lost is "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Echo.

    Is is obviously evident from the swinging apparatus central to "316" episode, but also from Ms. Hawking's comment on the Lamp Post Station being built above a pocket of energy, one of several interconnected in the globe. This sounds a lot like the "Telluric Currents" central to Echo's fake conspiracy theory presented in his book, which, by the way, required the use of a Pendulum to be located, and whose control would make it wielders control the world.

    Echo's "Foucault Pendulum" is, prima facie, a tale on overthinking lies, and how people may believe lies to be real, in a violent manner even.

    Don't you think Lost creators are yelling at us "STOP with the over analysis!"

    That's why I love the series and it's community, any meaningful discussion will relate to meaningful books, even when discussing the meaningless of it all.


    Nan February 22nd, 2009 at 7:20 am

    J. - as others have said, I have visited here a 100 times to see your comments and wish you the very best. Get someone to post us a note please, we care about you!

    The tying up of loose ends seems rushed. I guess we have the writers strike to thank for that and the fact they have to get as much in as they can in the time frame they agreed to.

    Why would Jack say he had no idea Locke committed suicide and Mrs. Hawking say newspapers don't always say things like that? From what I remember, the article did say Jeremy Bentham had committed suicide. I would expect Ben to say he had no idea either as lying to Ben just comes naturally.

    Why did they bring Jack's grandfather Ray into the mix? It would have been easier to have Jack go visit his Mother one last time, since Ben told him going back to the island would be forever, and get something of Christian's to give to Locke. There has to be a reason for Granddad! I actually wanted Jack to take Ray with him on the plane!

    In "The Shape of Things to Come" is when Ben pays a visit to Widmore and inform him he is going to kill Penny and the reason is he wants Widmore to know how Ben feels at the loss of Alex.

    We learned this season that Widmore was an Other and it appears that Mrs. Hawking was as well, if Ellie is indeed Eloise. Ben was part of the Dharma Initiative until he killed a large group of them and crossed over to the Others. So why is Mrs. Hawking with the DI. She brags about the smart man who discovered how to find the island, whether Hanso or Daniel. Why is she helping Ben?

    I believe Jack thinks Kate gave Aaron to Claire's Mom, it makes the most sense and Jack was there when they discovered her. Claire could have made an appearance to Kate as she did before and tell her what to do. I had thought there was too much to lead us to all these conclusions we are coming to but again, it could be the haste the writers are having to use this season. I actually understand Kate's refusal to talk about it. When I am in that much mental pain, I can't discuss things either and sometimes not for years!

    I was so moved by Hurley buying the seats. They are all wealthy now, any of them could have bought those seats!

    I believe the airplane does "land" or "Crash" - those Ajira water bottles in the boats that Sawyer's group took is why I believe that and it would be neat if the rest of the passengers arrive on the island in a different time frame. Talk about us being confused then!

    We have not seen Rose and Bernard since the arrow attack. I wonder if they made it to the caves and the caves somehow protects them from the flashes. They could be Adam and Eve!

    Patton McGinley February 22nd, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I strongly agree with Charlotte about Aaron -- Kate gave him to Cassidy. I think the strongest argument for this is Kate telling Jack to never again ask her about Aaron. This invokes the secret that drove the two of them apart during their post-Island relationship. She promised Sawyer that she'd never tell anyone about Cassidy and Clementine. She also may have assumed that Cassidy was her safest option acting under the impression that neither Ben nor Widmore knows anything about her.

    As for the unseen Ben-beating, I think "thepuma" called it: he was following Des to make good on his threat to Widmore. My first assumption was Des kicked his ass but now I'm thinking that may be misdirection. I speculate that agents of Widmore tailed Des, Penny and Charlie to LA. When Ben shows up they attack him and Ben manages to get away. The fact that he called from the marina seems like misdirection. I doubt Des and Penny sailed to LA.

    Ambivalentman: that was a great catch about Jack, Kate and Hurley showing up first.

    I suspect that Sayid's incarcerated presence on the plane will lead back to something set up by Ben. I've no idea what got Hurley to come around. Since he was lugging that guitar case, JMan's theory about Charlie's ghost convincing him seems likely. A friend of mine joked that Hurley didn't buy all the remaining tickets to save anyone -- he bought them for all the ghosts he's got following him around.

    JW, get better. We miss ya.

    BaronTR February 22nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    My best wishes to J Wood.

    The main thing that makes Mrs. Hawking a question mark is that she's working with Ben, but Widmore had her name and the church address in his dayplanner. She could be a double agent for one side or the other, or she could be working her own agenda, perhaps doing exactly what her son wanted her to do unbeknownst to either Ben or Widmore.

    Eve February 23rd, 2009 at 7:13 am

    THE THIRD ONE. . . "J" stands for "Joley." I was reading back on these posts and saw that the last time J posted was when he said he had to drive a motorbike 5mi. in a downpour. Wish someone could just tell us he's ok.

    HumaneBean February 23rd, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Best wishes, J! I hope you know how much your analysis of our favorite show enriches our day and enhances our appreciation for the creative brilliance that makes LOST something special in a cultural wasteland. We miss you and fervently wish for your speedy return.

    A couple of quick points:
    It seems to me that Jack denies knowing that Locke hung himself, not that he had committed suicide - which he learned about (as did we) by reading the obituary. Jack appears particularly impacted by Locke's method of suicide ... long before he reads the note given him by Mrs. Hawking.

    This notion that Kate may now be pregnant as she boards flight 316 does more than add to the 'recreation' of circumstances for the Lostaways return to the Island. As I've thought about this, it also helps to explain Kate's mood swings and actions in approaching Jack and later on the plane. Perhaps, after sacrificing Aaron (after visitation by Claire), she fully realizes how much she wants and NEEDS to have a child of her own - but recognizes that Sawyer is the man she wishes could father that child, not Jack. Yet, if she is now boarding a plane back to the Island, perhaps never to return, she MUST get pregnant by Jack before leaving - a pregnancy with Sawyer on the Island is doomed for her and her baby. This would explain her awkward and melancholy passion for Jack the night they sleep together, and her regretful posture and emotional distance the next day and after boarding the plane.

    "We're on the same plane, Jack ... that doesn't make us together."

    Andrew February 23rd, 2009 at 11:35 am

    J-- First post. Just want you to know how much I appreciate your work, and I hope you are doing okay. As much as we'd like to see a new post about Lost, what I really want to see is an update that confirms that you're okay.

    Experiment_626 February 23rd, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Yeah -- I'm beginning to get a bit concerned. Plus, I missing his insights into my favorite show.

    Charlotte February 23rd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Good point, Patton, about the marina being a misdirection. Why would Desmond and Penny sail to LA? It would take too long. I'm not sure if they were in any kind of a hurry, though. They did sail to London from wherever they were when Desmond got the memory.

    As for the symbolism of Locke hanging himself, it makes him potentially both Jesus and Judas, an interesting development for a show that seems to be moving from dichotomies to dualities.

    leah February 23rd, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Hello moderator to this blog: do you know if J is okay? We're getting a bit worried out here in the blogosphere.

    Someone asked why Mrs. Hawking is helping Ben. But with her attitude toward him, I wonder if he's not helping (or working for) her? Or is her subordinate, working for the same person? I also wonder, if she and Widmore are buddies/colleagues (he certainly knew where to find her, at the lamppost, so obviously he's somehow working with her), then is Ben also working for Widmore? But that doesn't make sense, given their bedroom meeting.

    Rdeleon: have you read all of J's posts for this season? a couple of posts ago, J did a long analysis on Foucault's Pendulum. Just thought you might find it interesting, if you haven't already seen it.

    There are so many literary references it's impossible to keep up. It's hard to ignore some of them, like the pendulum and Narnia, with the overt referencing. Didn't J say sometime last season he was working on a book just to cite all of the literary references in Lost?

    And I think I remember J saying his wife added to this blog by editing, or adding her suggestions or something. So, maybe if she's reading, she could let us know he's okay? No rush with the blog; just a word!

    thepuma February 23rd, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Nice call on the last chapter of Ulysses.

    Patton McGinley
    After I entered my post I did come to your summation. I think you are absolutely correct Charles Widmore would have been way out of character if he did not tail Des to get to Penny... That leads to Ben getting beaten by Widmore agents.

    My [post was just off the cuff to spark conversation, I hope Penny is alive and well. too,

    I would like to express my gratitude to the rest of you for our your mature and passionate entries, after reading and thinking of your posts last night my nose starting bleeding!

    j wood
    thank you for connecting us back to literature through your blog, you have given us such a wonderful gift. We all wish you well and love to know that you are OK.



    Powell’s Blog Moderator February 23rd, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hey, everybody — just an update here about J. Wood. We have heard from J, who wrote to us last week:

    Remember how I said in my first post that some weeks were going to be bad, health-wise? This was one of those weeks.

    And then my computer got hacked. I'm still working on it, but someone took over my machine as I was writing. Weird code kept popping up in the web search boxes, and I was fighting a ghost for control over my mouse. It's happened three times now, and I'm scouring my machine to find what happened. I have some ideas, but it's disconcerting to say the least.

    So I've had a piece in the works for last week's episode for days now, but my writing's been stymied; I'll have it up today.

    Unfortunately, that piece hasn't made it up yet. J wrote to us today:

    I'm still working through the mess, can't currently see out of my right eye and my hands a little shaky (MS stuff), and have 5 pages about ready to go (just chasing down a student right now with a missing test). The post for "This Place is Death" is nearly done, just needs some polishing, and I'll have the one for "316" up before Wednesday night's episode.

    I'm sorry about this; the tech crash happened right around the same time as a physical crash; I may need to go get a dose of steroids (that's what I'm supposed to do when physically everything collapses like this). Sheesh... two years ago I was pinning black belts on a judo mat. Now this.

    Like you, we wish J the best with his health — and we'll cross our fingers that the posts go live soon!

    sosolost February 23rd, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Thank you for the update on J!! Obviously we are all concerned about him and wish him the best!

    Some random thoughts…

    Charlotte: “As for the symbolism of Locke hanging himself, it makes him potentially both Jesus and Judas, an interesting development for a show that seems to be moving from dichotomies to dualities.”

    Could not agree more – I’ve said since almost Season One that I feared Locke might end up being a “Judas” (not necessarily on purpose, much like he accidently lead Eddie to the commune) w/ Abaddon being the one to have lead him that direction. I think, depending on which side successfully influences Locke, he could be a “Judas” (Abaddon influence) or a “Jesus” (Richard influence).

    Also re Hawking and the recreation of circumstances: I think there is possibly some type of prophecy at play behind everything; one that is written about in the hieroglyphics seen in the FDW cave. I think Flight 815 and Flight 316 were attempts to put the details of this prophecy into place.

    I think we can safely say there are Narnia parallels. That said, I am leaning toward possibility of Hawking being the White Witch. In “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,” the White Witch wanted Edmund to trick his brothers and sisters into returning with him to her castle; promising Edmund he would be a king (Ben=Edmund? Locke=Edmund?). Her real agenda was to trap them all in her castle so that the prophecy re “sons of Adam and daughters of Eve” would not be fulfilled. But, because Aslan (Aslan=Locke?) agreed to sacrifice himself, the prophecy is indeed fulfilled.

    I also don’t think Hawking is Dharma. She refers to Dharma as “they” as if she’s not a part of them. Maybe Dharma’s appearance on the island is what changed everything and has to be fixed?

    Charlotte February 23rd, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you, Powell's Blog Moderator! You have set our minds at ease.

    Annie February 23rd, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I'm so relieved! Thanks for the good word, Mod.

    ginny February 23rd, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I am also sooo relieved to hear about J. Thanks so much for letting us know and putting our minds at ease!

    Eko February 23rd, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you for the update, moderator. Patiently awaiting Mr Wood's next blog post while praying for his health.

    Julie February 23rd, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    J Wood,

    You have nothing to apologize for. We miss you, but we can wait.

    Keep on truckin'.

    Miss Gretchen February 23rd, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Two tidbits I noticed from the past few episodes: re: Ben's "Canton Rainier" Carpet Cleaning van -- I recently re-watched the film Twelve Monkeys, and at the end of the film, the Madeleine Stowe character goes to call the number Bruce Willis gives her which he says is an answering machine for his overseers in the future. She comes back to him and says, don't worry, it was only a carpet cleaning company (but it was of course the correct number for the future scientists.)

    And I was happy to see Zuleikha Robinson as Sayid's captor, since she had such a great role in the series "The Lone Gunmen." (And let's not forget the creepy pilot for "The Lone Gunmen," where a cabal in the US government plot to fly a plane into the World Trade Center.)

    I also wanted to mention the marvelous acting of Terry O'Quinn and Jeremy Davies (whom I've loved since The Million Dollar Hotel) in these past few episodes. Brian, I know what you mean about the fast pace of the plot in season five, but I've actually appreciated the fact that so much is being revealed. I found season 4 to be too "action film" for my taste, and wished that there was more of what I loved about season 1. As season 5 rolls on, I'm hoping that since we are getting a solid foundation as to what's actually going on, that we can have more of the character development which many of us fans value so much.

    A quick note about J's absence -- I think he was pretty clear in his first post that he might miss a week or two at times. I have someone near to me who has a chronic health condition, and it comes and goes. Some weeks, she is "not OK" but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's time to worry. It means that it's time to be patient, and time to avoid stressing her with expectations. Just thought I'd share my own experience -- everyone here is, of course, free to post what they like, and there is no doubt that everyone certainly means well!

    Daniel Hawking February 23rd, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    It's obvious that a conspiracy exists regarding J. Woods' health. The incentive for the moderators of this blog to keep him sick far outweighs the motivation to return him to health and a weekly post; surely, I am not the only one who refreshes this webpage at least three times daily while Mr. Woods has yet to update. The money Powells is making from his absence must be exponentially larger than the profit they were turning from his actual production.

    Or, of course, they could be telling the truth and we'll be getting our J. Woods on Lost fix sometime soon! Can't wait to see what you've got J, and your health is certainly in all of our thoughts and prayers! (Along with the health of your computer).


    Kybook58 February 23rd, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    J -
    along with everyone else commenting here, I have been anxiously awaiting your insights on the last 2 episodes. of course, getting your health back is the top priority, then get yourself a Mac.
    Cheers -

    Olivier February 24th, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Thanks, Moderator!

    J., what you describes resembles what I experiences a couple of weeks ago: any Google search result led to a bogus page.
    Using Yahoo, all I could find were people experiencing the same thing, but nothing to help; it was a whole new virus. Parasite busters, anti-malware software, ..., all were powerless.
    They (Norton et al) may have found a solution by now, hopefully; the only solution for me was reformatting. I wish you to find an easier way out.

    TimS February 24th, 2009 at 7:02 am

    J -

    Sorry to hear about the health and tech problems you've been dealing with this week, but I'm glad to hear that everything is ok(ish).

    Seems like we need to find a way to get you to the island!

    Can't wait to see what you have to say about the last two episodes.


    Eve February 24th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Thank you Moderator! I am continuing to pray for your health J and a cure for MS.

    Jerad February 24th, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Just wanted to say you are in my thoughts daily j wood. Stay strong and know we are all thinking of you and wishing you the best.

    Vicki February 24th, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I'm sorry to hear about the physical and technical challenges you've had recently! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Lost whenever you are up to it.

    Meanwhile, we'll "talk amongst ourselves." ;-)

    By the way, I had that weird typing happening on my computer awhile back and was worried about a virus. Turned out that it was a setting that automatically typed what I spoke -- my microphone was picking it up. However, the mic was fairly far away, so what was being "ghost typed" didn't make sense. Here is what I found to fix it:

    1. Open Regional and Language Options in Control Panel.
    2. On the Languages tab, under Text services and input langu­ages, click Details.
    3. On the Advanced tab of the Text services and input langua­ges dialog box, select the 'Turn off advanced text services' check box t­o turn text services off.
    4. Click Yes if prompted to confirm your selection.

    I hope this is all your technical problem turns out to be!!

    Lesley February 24th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    J, May the force be with you and glad to hear you are alright. I am sure we all agree that we are happy to have your valuable insight based on your schedule. (It's not like we all don't watch these episodes more than 2,3,4..... times, right?) Sending some energy your way in the meantime!

    THE_3RD_ONE February 24th, 2009 at 12:37 pm


    I'm unbelievably glad to hear that you are all right and (at the risk of sounding like a pre-crash charlie)absolutely can't wait for my next fix.

    with that said I'm sure that we will all be humbled by your amazing analysis of everyone's favorite show and appreciate your insight into it more than ever.

    Thank you & best wishes

    Aaron C February 24th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about these unfortunate events. Mr. Wood is a brilliant mind and I will easily wait for his work anytime. Take care of yourself and get well - Aaron

    Adam February 24th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I too am a long time reader of this blog. My Lost week revolves around the Doc Jensen EW columns, the show, and J. Wood's blog (which I consider to be the most important treatment of the show on the internet). J.'s insights are always appreciated and enjoyed, and I too wish him well. These past few weeks have not been the same without his thoughtful analysis. Best Wishes - Adam in Dallas.

    Eruption of Bears February 24th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I hope Powell's is making lots of money. I hope all independent book stores are making money. As to suspects for who was after Aaron. Hmm, what about Kate's mom. Last time we saw her, at Kate's trial, she seemed too interested in the baby. Why? She might want a blood test to know if she really has a grand-child. What else have we mostly forgotten from earlier seasons? What about Jin's watch, that he was supposed to deliver to someone in L.A.? Last we saw it, Micheal was pawning it for a gun in NYC. What about Kate's step-father, the soldier. Does he go back far enough to have been involved with the "Jughead" mission? Not unless he was time travelling. Finally, I wonder if we will get to see a contingent of DI workers digging that pit -- perhaps with the notion that it's gonna be a "trout pond." Sorry, that's really macabre.

    Koko February 24th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    I wanted to wish you well, J., and express my gratitude to you for writing the BEST "unpacking" of LOST to be found absolutely anywhere!! Your intellectual analysis both astounds and entertains.

    And I agree with the commenter who wrote (above) that the comments found on this blog are the "second best LOST blog" ever!

    jason h. February 24th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I agree with Adam completely! Doc Jensen and J. Wood have been a blessed compulsion of mine since the beginning of season 3. I look forward to the next two postings by Mr. Wood.
    I thought that was a damn funny comment Bears about the pond. Can't wait to see the Jeramey Bentham episode.

    Nan February 24th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for the update - stay well J. and know you are in our thoughts.

    thepuma February 24th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you moderator for the update.

    A thought I had is that maybe Daniel Faraday can travel through time like Richard. In the season premiere when he was apparently working for the DI he looks the same age. Charlotte remembers him as a little girl growing up on the island. It is possible that Charlotte could be his daughter. This would explain his devoted love for her as he proclaimed in Jughead.

    Miss Gretchen

    A friend of mine is very good with anagrams ‘Canton-Rainer ‘is an anagram for

    JW take care of yourself.

    What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters
    compared to what lies within us.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    James B February 25th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Dittoes: the comments found on this blog are the "second best LOST blog" ever"! With Mr. Woods being absent, hope he gets better soon, would anyone consider the Island as an Omega Point?

    The Omega Point is a genre time travel concept based on physicist Frank Tipler who wrote "The Physics of Immortalit", wherein he provided a mechanism for immortality and the resurrection of the dead consistent with the known laws of physics. Moreover, the Omega Point is a term invented by the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (famous for his science vs faith expositions) to describe a maximum level of complexity and consciousness towards which the universe appears to be evolving. It is autonomous – that is, free from the limitations of space (nonlocality) and time (atemporality). From the Wiki, “the implication of this theory is that this ultimate cosmic computer will be able to resurrect (via emulation) everyone who has ever lived, by simulating all possible quantum brain states within the master simulation. This will manifest itself as a simulated reality. From the perspective of its simulated inhabitants, the Omega Point is an infinite-duration afterlife, which could take any imaginable form due to its virtual nature.”

    Application to LOST: If the Island is the Omega Point, it encapsulates most religious points of view concerning a higher being; the Omega Point/Island is not restricted by time or space; and the Island/Omega Point appears to be a place where points in time, and planes of reality mesh. The Omega Point allows for the existence of Cerberus, smoke monsters, or the creation of any virtual entity. Finally, from the fictional Chronicles Of Fate game universe the primary god of goodness, Josh, (maybe JACOB) derives his 'divine' power from a set-up that one would describe as an Omega Point - his mind is distributed into the fabric of spacetime itself within the galaxies his empire controls, and he can alter matter, energy, and the laws of physics in any way he wishes there—similar to what we have seen the Island capable of.

    Ryan February 25th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Best wishes J Wood...hope you are healthy even if not posting.

    Last week's episode was not good. This contrivance of "recreating the flight" seems to me like a last-minute addition to justify the writers saying that "everyone must go back."

    There was nothing logical about "everyone must go back" just as there is nothing logical about "you must use Ben's body to recreate Christian Shephard's body." so many other things about the flight are different, for example no Sawyer, no Taillies, and no Rose and Bernard. Are we to assume that there are rose and bernard surrogates in the back of the plane? Lazy, lazy writing.

    I am shocked that Cuse and Lindelof wrote that one. I was sure it had to be the "B Team."

    Jeffrey February 25th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    J, when it rains it pours, huh? Best wishes and take your time!

    I've noticed a few fashion doodads that stand out prominently on T-shirts lately esp. a red cross on Hurley and a red star on the back of Jin - any ideas on this?

    In keeping with an apparel theme, Locke's shoes made me think of "Shoes of the Fisherman" which led me to Teilhard de Chardin and his connection with the Piltdown Man hoax. P.D. Dick quotes Teilhard in "A Scanner Darkly".

    Michael Emerson's (Ben) line reading of Doubting Thomas not being able to wrap his head around the Resurrection reminded me of two line readings in films that have an explicit and implicit connection: Expl. Martin Sheen's line reading of Col. Kurtz being "37 years old when he joined the Green Berets" (a man taking a leap of faith for a greater goal) and Impl. Kevin Spacey in "Glengary Glenross" about Mr.and Mrs. Patel - "I guess they just like talking to salesmen" which to me throws shadows on Ben's spiel to Jack. Of course I don't know if Emerson knew all this but it is there in a kind of actor's collective unconscience. I agree with Miss Gretchen on the acting of Jeremy Davies in particular who was quite moving in the Charlotte death scene.

    Jeffrey February 25th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    P."K". Dick, sorry. "Scanner" was on cable last night but I couldn't get into it with the animation although it is such a grim book I can see why they would want to put it at a remove.

    jason h. February 25th, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Ryan did you ever think that was on purpose? the fact that recreating the plane trip was never going towork fully? You do remember Hawking saying that if the flight wasn't recreated well enough that the outcome would be unpredictable? Well, we have 3 together on Island during Dharma time right now, but no idea where everyone else is. It seems we have engaged unpredictable.

    Gwen February 25th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I'm the one who is guilty. It's my fault. I'm J's wife, and I am the one who got him sick. I'm a public school teacher, and a horrible virus is running through the schools, so I brought it home with me. He is working hard to get his post up. When he does put it up, like always, it will be top of the line. Sorry everyone...

    Olivier February 25th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    - Ryan -

    If you can accept the concept that the Island won't let anyone it needs die (Michael, Tom, Jack), why not accept that it needs those people back, and that they should return in a way similar to how they first came?
    (No need for Rose and the others, still they are still there; it's just those who have left that are needed)

    - James -
    Thanks for your explanation of the Omega Point! It's very interesting.

    A few thoughts based on this and on "316".
    Mrs Hawking said there were several places like the Island; is the Island more special than the others and why?
    Is it the most powerful of those "unique pocket[s] of electromagnetic energy"?
    Is it the ultimate Omega Point of them all, maybe even the nexus of it all?

    ginny February 25th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Gwen...thank you for the update on your husband. Take care and we all look forward to when J can get the post up. I know it willbe well worth the wait!!

    Lost in Bend February 25th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Did anyone watch NCIS last night - Mira Furlan was on it - she is the actress who plays Danielle Rousseau. Her character on NCIS was an artist named Dini Risi. Same initials - just a coincidence?

    Ryan February 25th, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    jason h: That's possible, that because they did such a poor job of recreating the flight we are in "unpredictable" territory, but I took that to mean that they wouldn't get back to the island. The course of the plane would be "unpredictable." They clearly made it to the island.

    Olivier: I don't think your example of Rose and Bernard works because Christian Shepard is already on the island (at least his body is) and Mrs. Hawking wanted Locke to wear something of his.

    It seems odd that they can "trick" the island with a pair of old shoes. If we look at this from the point of physics, how "close" does the recreation have to be? Locke needed Christian's shoes but Sayid could freely substitute for Kate being a prisoner. Except, Kate was sitting nearby. You had two new characters which don't recreate anything.

    I hope that Hawking was just lying because the idea of matching everyone is dumb. Why not make papier mache versions of Sawyer and the Tailies and put them in the exact same seats???

    Nena February 25th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I would just like to be a bit of a jerk for a moment and say that many mocked me when I said that Locke was being portrayed as a Christ figure in Season 4.



    Beth February 25th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    How dare you, Gwen?!? From now on you will teach in a Level 4 bio-hazard suit.

    Pammy February 25th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Locke isn't Jesus but he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

    DoctorArtz February 25th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Kate is pregnant with a child of "Shepard" lineage thus taking the place of Clare and M.I.A. Aaron. There may be many other "substitutes" on the plane, with some characters representing more than one original element.

    Or, the shoes were just a test of Jack's new-found faith,,,

    jason h. February 25th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Ryan, 3 made it to the Island. We don't know yet where/when the others are. My first thought also was the destination of the plane when she said unpredictable but we already have an example of what unpredictable can mean from when Ben said it about turning the donkey wheel. Hawking gave no other qualifiers as to the meaning of the unpredictable nature of the flight if the circumstances were not recreated as close to flight 815 as possible. So I would say it is safe to assume that she didn't just mean the destination would be effected.

    asilgrass February 25th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    Olivier - I agree about the ones on the plane. The island only needs them back because they're not there. Although Sayid in handcuffs and Hurley with the guitar were odd, but Charlie and the Marshall are dead so... who knows. I also like Ryan's theory this the "unpredictable".

    I just finished watching the John Locke episode. My head is too tired to even comment, but I can't wait to hear what you all have to say.

    Scandibaby February 26th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Green Drake: "But I don't get the impression that killing people is up Ben's alley anymore." After the episode on Wednesday where Ben kills John Locke, have you changed your mind? There's a game changer, for sure. If Lock is a Jesus-like figure, is Ben Pontius Pilate?

    Val February 26th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I guess nobody is ever going to deliver that dollar bill goodbye letter to the real Henry Gale's wife.

    Sara February 26th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Oh, J., I know you're not feeling well, and I would never begrudge health-related delays but I neeeeeed my Lost Class!!!

    (Does this blog feel, to anyone else, a little like you've enrolled in a high-level undergraduate seminar, "The Island: Identifying and Analyzing Themes, Subtext, and Literary Allusions in LOST"? And don't you LOVE that?)

    P. Marreca aka Smokey Detector February 26th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Hi folks,

    For once I was right about something on this show. At the beginning of this season, when the
    left-behinders flashed to the 1950s and John Lock met Charles Widmore, I posted the following:

    My take on Widmore:

    At some point in the 1950s, Widmore was appointed leader of the Others by Jacob/Richard,
    or Puffing Billy for that matter. He reigned over the island for years until the Purge, when, for some reason the island had to be moved, and I'm guessing Widmore was the one who had to move it (that's the reason he can't go back to the island"). That's also the reason he said "the island was mine, Benjamin. Everything you have you took it from me."

    The thing I may be wrong about is the sequence up to the purge. At some point after the purge,
    Ben joined the island folks and their leader, Widmore. I just can't wait to get a flashback on
    Widmore, but that might not be until the final season. Gosh, I just don't know what I'm going
    to do in 2011:(. Watch reruns of Lost? Let's just hope no other screenwriters strike spoil our

    I found Ben's reaction really weird when Lock told him Jin was alive.

    Also, I'm getting more and more convinced that Ben did kill Penny.

    I did think that the survivors of 316 had crashed in a different time period, but was too lazy to post it here.

    I love Lost, but don't really like this savior stuff they're setting up. Same old, same old. Save the cheerleader, save the world. Neo is the one. Skywalker. Bla, bla, bla.

    J. and Gwen, I wish you both all the strength in the world to pull through this.

    Scandibaby February 26th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    J Woods and others have mentioned Joseph Campbell before, but I felt it was important to bring him to everyone's attention yet again. I know someone who thinks LOST is ONLY and ALL about God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. If there are correspondences to the resurrection story, they are also to be found in the myths from other sources.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Hero with a Thousand Faces (first published in 1949) is a non-fiction book, and seminal work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell. In this publication, Campbell discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world mythologies.

    Since publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell's theory has been consciously applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. The best known is perhaps George Lucas, who has acknowledged a debt to Campbell regarding the stories of the Star Wars films.[1]

    Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth. In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell summarized the monomyth:

    “ A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[2] ”

    In laying out the monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey. The hero starts in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events (a call to adventure). If the hero accepts the call to enter this strange world, the hero must face tasks and trials (a road of trials), and may have to face these trials alone, or may have assistance. At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help earned along the journey. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift (the goal or "boon"), which often results in important self-knowledge. The hero must then decide whether to return with this boon (the return to the ordinary world), often facing challenges on the return journey. If the hero is successful in returning, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world (the application of the boon).

    Very few myths contain all of these stages - some myths contain many of the stages, while others contain only a few; some myths may have as a focus only one of the stages, while other myths may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. These stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three sections: Departure (sometimes called Separation), Initiation and Return. "Departure" deals with the hero venturing forth on the quest, "Initiation" deals with the hero's various adventures along the way, and "Return" deals with the hero's return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.

    John Locke is that hero of a thousand faces. Or Jack, Christian, Aaron, possibly Sun (after all, the Egyptians worshipped Amun, the god of the sun). Peace.

    John Moustache February 26th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    When watching John and Ben talking in the Westerfield, it seemed to me that John mentioning that Jin was still alive was what made Ben decide, in a snap, to kill John. I don't think this was his plan, because he thought he needed John.

    When Ben learned that Jin was alive, he realized that this was all he needed to get Sun roped into his scheme to return them all to the island. He already knew that Jack had island-fever, with his flying back and forth over the Pacific. He seems to have had a plan in place to get Sayid on that flight under duress, but we'll see how that plays out later. Hurley could be manipulated a number of ways, but it was probably his steadfast loyalty to his friends that allowed ben to get to him. And Ben had Kate nailed with the Aaron situation. She's tenacious, but she loves Aaron, and Ben knows that, so he could have and probably did use that to reel her in. I don't know about Frank, but I bet Ben had some connections in the pilot scheduling department at Ajira that made it easy to get him on that flight.

    So that left Sun. Ben who was empowered since her return to the real world, who had struck an alliance of sorts with Widmore, Ben's rival. Sun was now moneyed and powerful and maybe immune to Ben's manipulations. Ben even mentioned her specifically to John.

    But as soon as John let it slip that Jin lives, he became expendable. And Ben did his business. If there was ever any doubt that Ben is absolutely using John and probably everyone else, it should be gone now.

    John Moustache February 26th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Third paragraph should say "Sun, who was..." in the second sentence.

    Green Drake February 26th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Scandibaby! Yeah, I sure blew that one! But here's what I can figure. So, Ben tried to kill locke once when he shot him and left his body in the mass grave of Dharma people. Locke arose. Then Ben kills him again last night. Why, then, if you are Ben, do you insist that Locke go back to the island. Surely Ben knows that the island could revive Locke. And, as the biggest Ben appologist in the world....I want to belive that Ben still has Locke's best interest at heart. But why did Ben have to kill him -- Locke was well on his way to doing it himself. Yeah, I guess Ben is a boring, bloodthristy bad guy. I had hoped he was one of those more sophisticated, alturistic bad guys. sigh! RIP Penny!

    Perlandra February 26th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    As I recall, some other elements of the Monomyth include: conflict with a brother (John v. Jack?), a dragon battle (hi, Smokey), and breaking the power of a Tyrant Holdfast (Widmore? Hanso?)so the world can flourish anew. In the '60s, it was quite the thing to analyze LORD OF THE RINGS in terms of the Monomyth but Tolkien studies has moved on.

    The acting of O'Quinn and Emerson continues to amaze.

    Eruption of Bears February 26th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    I tried to read Hero With A Thousand Faces once but was unable. I like what Campbell says, but he seems to make it soooo platitudy (not a word). Platitudinous? I just don't like the way he says it. I did, however, like Hamlet's Mill by Santillana and Von Dechund (probably misspelled their names).

    I've been thinking about Kate and Jack's child, presumably soon to be born on the island. Will this child turn out to be the ill-starred Karl, hated by Ben? Also, that dead bear in Tunisia: harnessed to the wheel by the DI as an initial experiment in moving the island?

    j.b. February 26th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Hi all - I have to say, though I've enjoyed Locke episodes before I've never been completely sold on him (which, to be honest, is a credit to the show and its writers - they do too good a job of painting an uncomfortable even sad life, and then lay on some freaky stuff about faith on top of that -including his screwed up actions towards Boone and reaction to B's death - I think I never knew how to take it....)... but I have no hesitation in saying this episode was absolutely brilliant. (Notwithstanding the realization that accompanied it that I guess that's all they'll ever give Lance Reddick to do it. RIP Cedric Daniels.)

    There's been a lot of discussion here on whether this season is too fast-moving in its plot momentum and development, or whether it's taken time to revisit deep character work that brought the show many of its fans in the first place. I thought this script did fabulously well at weaving together both plot developments such as revelations in the storyline *and* character development.

    Sidebar to last sentence, previous paragraph: I'm even more annoyed at the ill-explained story of why Kate wanted to leave: b/c she was in love?!?! With whom? Tom's dead. I can't buy she left island b/c she was in love with Jack - she might have loved him, but that never read as a motivation for her to leave. She never really answered Sawyer's challenge to her as to what she had back home that was so great - in fact, all more interesting a subject given her harshness with Locke in this episode.

    And for acting chops, O'Quinn pulled the rabbit out of the hat. Sorry for mixed metaphors, but just can't say enough about his work - really, really impressive. As someone who works with actors and narrative, I can't believe the work the show gets out of these actors. I hope TOQ gets more awards.....and remember, I said I always had a hard time feeling comfortable with Locke and his story trajectory, so I've come a long way....

    Random thoughts: I actually enjoyed having the vagaries reinforced of "quien es mas peligroso," Ben or Widmore, though Alan Dale did give us something to chew on when he told Locke why he should trust him: "I've never tried to kill you, for starters..." So even though he was a dick to Desmond all those years back, here he seems a more evolved sort. And speaking of Tunisia: I guess we can assume the two locals Ben killed in the desert were Widmore men too? I'll never forget that gesture and facial expression of Emerson's when Ben signals he's just getting this odd little harmless stick out of his pocket right before BAM KAPOW.

    And like all here, am waiting to hear what J has to say. Tough luck on the double whammy of tech & bio viruses....Come back when you can, and not a moment sooner.

    j.b. February 26th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    p.s. Questions I wish some of the characters (OK, Locke) would ask:

    Who in the Sam Hill is Richard Alpert in all this? Clearly, he was giving orders to young Widmore, and Locke witnessed this. Locke also was privy to Richard's behind-Ben's-back machinations when RA gave him the folder of Anthony Cooper/Sawyer.....

    So how much can the writers dance around on this? Either here or elsewhere I recall reading Richard might be like the Panchen Lama, in which he's a #2 figure, but so much more important than the ordinal # might imply.


    Sosolost February 26th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Oh I miss j wood!

    Scandibaby - thank you for bringing up Campbell and HOATF. I think it could be considered a primar for Lost watchers. Love Joseph Campbell! I've convinced myself that Locke is the "hero" based on the monomyth but have read good arguments that it could apply to jack as well (Locke the "willing" hero; Jack the "unwilling" hero?).

    And to the person who said reading this blog is like having signed up for an awesome college course - amen! I have learned so many new things as a result of watching Lost and reading J's blog.

    j.b. February 26th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Sorry - one last p.s. for the evening.

    Anyone notice that Locke's manner of death mirrors the manner in which Sawyer kills Anthony Cooper? And if you don't buy into the "Ben saved Locke from suicide by taking the death on himself" theory, then Ben's murderous impulse (seemingly) also stems from a pivotal moment - for Sawyer it was when Cooper belittled his mother and/or tore up the letter (I can't recall), and for Ben, it was hearing about Jin and/or Eloise Hawking.

    I don't actually know which theory to believe about Ben, but if he acted on impulse, then the parallels to the Sawyer/Cooper scene are multiple. The first connection, of course, being that Locke manipulated Sawyer into performing the murder, one which anticipates his own in its execution.

    To what effect, I have no idea.

    asilgrass February 26th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    J.B. - I think maybe Kate was saying that either she couldn't go back because she loved Aaron too much or the option I prefer would be to say that Kate meant she was in love with Sawyer, and leaving him hurt too much for her to risk her heart thinking she could get back to him. Just a thought.

    Marty February 27th, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Hi - new to the comments section. J, I wish you the best, and you and family are in my prayers. Really enjoy the blog - the comment about it being a college course is right on.

    Questions: Why did they show Ben cleaning up so thoroughly after killing Locke? I mean, one or two quick shots of him wiping fingerprints would've made sense, especially with the set up of him 'saying goodbye' while closing the door. But the camera even focused on the cleaning bottle for a second...perhaps nothing, but everything in Lost means something. I liked an earlier posted comment about how Ben's purpose might not be pretty, but he cleans up and pays attention to all the necessary details - or something to that effect. Either way, that keeps sticking in my mind.

    What station was Caesar snooping around? Was it a Dharma station or was it a military base (runway the plane crashed on nearby)?

    And what war is Widmore talking about? Is he talking about changing the course of events surrounding when the Purge happened at a moment in time? Is he talking about the US Military coming back? Or is he talking about (more likely) to different factions of 'others' going for control of the island (Ben vs. Widmore)?

    Olivier February 27th, 2009 at 4:41 am

    "I found Ben's reaction really weird when Lock told him Jin was alive."
    (P. Marecca)

    After months of close surveillance, Ben may very well know that Sun holds him responsible for Jin's death; finding out he's alive is thus very important news for him.


    "When watching John and Ben talking in the Westerfield, it seemed to me that John mentioning that Jin was still alive was what made Ben decide, in a snap, to kill John. I don't think this was his plan, because he thought he needed John."
    (John Moustache)

    No, Ben really snapped when Locke casually mentionned Mrs Hawking.


    Locke & Ben's scene was wonderful, and very nicely concluded on Ben's "I will miss you. I really will."

    The latter objects to the idea that Ben killed him knowing he would be resurrected by the Island.

    JMan February 27th, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I found it interesting that there was a whole lot of "The Last Temptation of Christ" imagery mixed with some "Don Quixote" themes in this episode.

    Phildo February 27th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    "Draw me a Hexadecimal" is now my least favorite 4-word phrase. Get better J.

    Messenger88 February 27th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I think the focus on Ben cleaning so thoroughly after killing John is meant to inform the viewer that Ben intended to kill John all along. He showed up prepared to scrub the crime scene of his presence...I seriously doubt he had to run out to Walmart for bleach and gloves... he just has to get some information from John and make sure that John didn't die by his own hand and in utter despair. The island probably would not have resurrected someone who willingly took their own life if Catholic ideals apply here...

    Ben was surprised to hear that Jin was alive, mostly because he could use the information as leverage to convince Sun to return to the island, but the mention of Eloise Hawking was the catalyst for "when" to murder John. The question of "if" had been settled before Ben ever arrived.

    And Terry O'quinn deserves an Emmy.

    Jeffrey February 27th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I agree...I knew there'd be trouble when Ben talked Locke down off his cross/table like the devil/little girl in "Last Temptation". I just didn't think it would happen that quickly.
    In "316" I noticed the Big Pearl sticker in Ben's phone booth at the harbor. I didn't know what it meant until I read Jeff Jensen (hey, I gotta go somewhere) at EW. He details "The Hymn of the Pearl" from Thomas' banned Book.
    I also agree with Messenger88 about Terry O'Quinn. He acted circles around poor Walt, Caesar, Ilana, and even Matthew Fox.

    Charlotte February 27th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I have a couple thoughts on Ben cleaning up so thoroughly, and why it was shown as long as it was. First, it could just another sign that Ben always has a plan, and is thus always prepared. Second, it could signal how much Ben wanted Locke's death to look like a suicide, possibly as a message to Widmore. Maybe it made it look like a 'change in the rules' from Widmore's point of view.

    The third is more symbolic, and fits in with the mythologem of the show. It mirrors Pontius Pilate washing his hands of Jesus' death. Locke is a Christ/resurrected god figure, though in a twisted, ineffectual way. He even had a Garden of Gethsemane moment with Abbadon in the cemetary, though even that was twisted as it ended in gunfire rather than just an ear getting cut off. And Locke did not submit willingly. He was denied four times rather than three (by Sayid, Hurley, Kate, and Jack - not Walt). He's a leader without any followers.

    So what does it mean? Is Locke's fate just a cosmic joke borne of his time-flashing? If so, why was he healed and why could he hear Jacob's cry for help. Is Locke's destiny so tied to the Island's that any attempt he's made at life off of it has been an utter failure?

    JJ Liftup February 27th, 2009 at 1:20 pm


    Like everyone else, I pray for your well being and look forward to reading your thoughts again soon. I wish you fortitude and know you will persevere.

    One thing I noticed, that I have not seen discussed anywhere is that the people that were "sucked off" the plane by the bright light (Jack, Kate, Hurley) are also the people on Beau Klugh's list back in the day. That said, I have no idea what to make of that and no idea where Sayid is... Maybe those three were the only ones the island really wants back because they are "good people" or maybe I'm just way of base and it's a coincidence. Just something for the J Wood faithful to chew on. Feel better J!

    P.S. Ben is a good guy.

    JJ Liftup February 27th, 2009 at 1:26 pm


    I think you nailed the clean up scene...very nice.

    Messenger 88 February 27th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Charlotte, good call on the Pilate link, when Ben knelt before John-on-the-noose, the Crucifixion definitely came to mind.

    Also, did anyone else notice that, aside from New York City, the other places on Locke's (Bentham's) itenerary were Santo Domingo, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, and Los Angeles (city of Angels)? It might be interesting to note the patronage of each respective saint...

    Also, it seems that happiness for all (adult) Oceanic Six members has been fleeting off island. With the exception of Desmond and Aaron, the island was not going to let anyone be happy because they were never supposed to leave and create an off-island timeline in the first place. Unfortunate effect of course correction, maybe?

    superego February 27th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Just found this blog and would just like to thank mr. Wood for his illuminating prose. Hope you get better brother.
    So many great comments to his pieces as well, bless you guys for sharing and tickling my imagination.
    Ben Linus = Saint Peter, innit?

    105710v3r February 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Gwen--Please stop worrying that you got J sick. It happened for a good reason. We just don't know what the reason is yet. Trust the universe to course correct!!! J. will rise again, even stronger & smarter.

    J.--you are worth the wait. Don't fret about us.

    Eruption of Bears--I was intro'd to Campbells'
    Hero with a 1000 Faces by a video/DVD where Bill Moyers interviews Campbell for the PBS show. It is really good at getting at the gist of the matter without too much pontificating. I rented it from Netflix & also found it at the library. I found the show very, very interesting. AND, the ideas are great for LOST as well as religion & sociology in general.

    Messenger 88-- Great catch on place names
    Domingo = Dominick
    Rosa = Rose.
    Who is Monica???

    I sure hope Desmond saved Penny and she is just beaten up.

    In my heart I want to hate Ben, but my brain keeps waiting for the LOST twist that will show his part in "correcting the path", even though he does it with evil/selfish intent.

    My 2cents regarding comebacks to valid questions--Ben responds to Jack that he is reading Ulysses because "his mother taught him to read". Which is false because his mother died giving birth to him. This response also mirrors Kate's response to Jack that the other OC6 members are on the flight because "they bought a ticket." "Bought a ticket" is a very loaded phrase on many levels--(asking for something, dying, deserving the outcome, etc.). "Because my mother taught me" is another multi-leveled phrase that assigns the outcome to something predetermined or even genetic.

    Thanks all for your scintillating insights. I actually get tingles sometimes as I feel my synapses light up over your contributions.

    105710v3r February 27th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    OH yeah, one more thing-- I love the REINCARNATION tip.

    Olivier February 27th, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I don't know how to get a screen capture from a movie ("Print Screen does not copy the content of Windows Media Player); has anyone gotten or found one of the papers Caesar was goign through at the beginning?

    The first one was a map of an island.

    The second one (1:59 into the episode) was a diagram of the connection between events, space, time, reality and imagination (identified as coming from Faraday's notes on Lostpedia; it might be, but why not Chang's? we need another sample of Faraday's notes for comparison) that was quite interesting.

    Several circles are not labelled but probably symbolize other events.
    Event A is connected to Event B by a line; another line connects the latter to Event C; a third line then connects Event C back to Event A.
    All three are connected to other Events.

    This seems to symbolize more than a direct causal sequence (A leads to B leads to C), but to the dependency of all events on each other (A may lead to B or C, and vice versa-- there are no arrows).

    Much more interesting are the labels on some of the lines:
    (1) Space-Time
    (2) Real Time
    (3) Imaginary Time
    (4) Imaginary Space

    Though one would imagine Space-Time represents both Real Time & Real Space, Real Time is specified, so I suppose another line is labelled Real Space off-screen.

    What can Imaginary Time & Imaginary Space be?

    There is no mention of Conscious Time, which could be related to mind time travel (Desmond) as opposed to physical time travel (Juliet, ...).

    Michael Emerson confirmed in his LostPedia interview that the writers had a very clear and solid theory of time travel; this diagram surely is part of it.

    Can anyone make any sense of it, or recognize some fundamental physics theories or reference to philosophy or science fiction literature?

    Cuse & Lindelof have long ago debunked the ideas of dreams, alternate realities, ..., so Imaginary Time & Space cannot mean that the whole series is just a bunch of hallucinations or mirages.

    We also know that the characters do physically travel in time, not only in their minds as Desmond did.

    Is "Imaginary" to be taken in the traditional sense, or in the mathematical sense, where i^2=-1 ?
    Are thus Imaginary Time & Space theoretical concepts imagined to account for experience and fill in blanks in the theory?

    Or do these Imaginary lines only connect together possible Events that might occur as opposed to actual Events that have occurred?

    I'm sure a metatextual reading is also possible, where actual Events in "our real world" (Real Time & Real Space) are used in the Imaginary world of the series (Imaginary Time & Space).

    sosolost February 27th, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    Hey Olivier,

    DarkUFO's site always has good screencaps up pretty quickly after each epi. Below are some links that you referred to, etc.

    1) -- an interesting comparison between Radzinsky's black light map in the Swan and Daniel's journal diagram.

    2) -- this includes screencaps from the portion of the epi you're interested in

    John Moustache February 27th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    "When watching John and Ben talking in the Westerfield, it seemed to me that John mentioning that Jin was still alive was what made Ben decide, in a snap, to kill John. I don't think this was his plan, because he thought he needed John."
    (John Moustache)

    No, Ben really snapped when Locke casually mentionned Mrs Hawking.


    Perhaps you are right, Olivier. It's just not the way I saw it. I think learning Jin was alive is where he snapped. Maybe I would change my mind upon a repeat viewing.

    Robbb February 27th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Yo J.! What gives? You die or somethin'?

    Enenra MacCutcheon February 27th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    @105710v3r Messenger 88-- Great catch on place names
    Domingo = Dominick
    Rosa = Rose.
    Who is Monica???

    ------Monica was one of Kate's aliases. All of the aliases Kate used were saints' names.

    Joseph February 27th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I was just thinking about lost, obviously, and realized that I can hardly think of any survivors who have any siblings that we know of. There's Shannon and Boone but they're not related by blood and that only leaves Charlie and his brother Liam.
    I don't know, just putting it out there.

    -J., I hope you are feeling better and our thoughts are with you.

    asilgrass February 27th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    So many comments on the awesome Terry O'Quinn, but to me the real emmy winner should be Michael Emmerson. I agree that he really snapped when he heard Eloise Hawking, but something happened when he heard Jin was alive. He's such an incredible actor that the light in his eyes changes when he hears it. He was riveting as a serial killer on the Practice and Ben is even more riveting. Someone above said that he's a "good guy". I don't know about that, but no matter how many times he lies I want to believe him. His best scene ever was way back in season 2 when he was being held in the hatch and he tells John and Jack how he would do this if he were an other. Then just when they're freaking out he goes back to eating his cereal. Or the scene where he's in the safe and he hears John hitting the walls and he knows he has him and he smiles that evil grin. I love him!!!

    On another note I've been loathe to get on board with any of the John/Jesus parallels. We fundamental Christians are not comfortable with such, but I was thinking about how Jesus came to earth to be crucified and die and be resurrected so He could provide salvation for mankind. And those who crucified him thought they were killing him, but actually they were just playing into the eternal plan. By the same token Richard told John he would have to die to do what had to be done, but he acted as if he was being defeated by death and Ben acted as if he thought he was winning by killing John. The major difference (besides the fact that Jesus is the savior of the real world and John may be the savior of a fictious TV island) is that Jesus knew he would be resurrected in
    three days because He was God's son and because it had been prophesied for centuries. John on the other hand had no clue what was coming.

    One more thing - did anyone translate the sign behind Sayid? My nephew, a high school spanish student, thought it said something about an island. Perhaps "return to the island"? I didn't even pay any attention. Any clues?

    Jeffrey February 27th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Back to the Big Pearl (sticker in Ben's phone booth): In the Mimi Rogers/David Ducovny film "The Rapture" a dreamed Big Pearl represents the Anti-Christ so I don't think Ben is an agent of Good.
    At Santo Domingo Build Our World site a nun is seen walking a dog: In Egyptian Nephandi i.e. "Mage" role-playing game the Nun are part of the non-existence before creation and dogs focus on certain goals - Dharma Initiative. There are Djinn locked in sealed vessels as well. Our "Jin" escaped his much to consternation of Ben.
    With all the modern architecture and technolgy in "Lost" esp. Dharma stations, cell phones, computers, etc. I can't help but think of the Andrei Codrescu line from his novel "Wakefield" - "The future is in ruins before it is built."

    wegottagoback February 28th, 2009 at 9:05 am

    "Draw me a Hexadecimal" is now my least favorite 4-word phrase"

    I agree with that Phildo.
    Get well soon J.

    Ginny February 28th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Messenger 88...good call about the saints and angels. Don't know the significance but Lost doesn't input details for no reason. Locke's scene with the doctor who resets his leg eerily resembles/mirrors the scene when Jack sets Boone's leg after he fell from the cliff in season 1. Then Boone died. Eventually Locke "dies". And I agree with all who have mentioned Ben cleaning up after "killing" Locke...he planned it all along!

    I also feel like I am taking a fantastic graduate class on "Lost and Literature"!!!

    Vicki February 28th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    "Draw me a Hexadecimal" is now my least favorite 4-word phrase. Phildo

    Phildo, I could not agree more.

    Feel better J.

    Olivier February 28th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for the links, Sosolost!

    John Moustache: Ben did react to the news of Jin's survival, but I believe it's the bit on Mrs Hawking that prompted the killing action-- otherwise he would have strangled John right after learning about Jin.

    Wanderlost February 28th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I will look up the screencaps that sosolost have linked us to in a moment, but let me throw out a question about "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" episode.

    Jack, Hurley and Kate appeared on the island in the previous episode. Jin's appearance at the end in a Dharma van, wearing a Dharma uniform, makes it look like they are on the island in the 70's when Dharma was active.

    The plane has landed with other survivors and Locke on the Hydra island and we have gotten glimpses of parts of the Dharma facility there. Are we to understand that those events are happening at the same time (the 70's with Dharma active), or have there been visual hints that they are there at a different time?

    What do you think?

    Wanderlost February 28th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    My comment above should read "that sosolost has linked us to".

    leah February 28th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    1. Didn't that office at the beginning of the episode look like Daniel Faraday's office at Oxford? I noticed the wooden filing cabinets, because they looked like the ones in storage when des was poking around looking for Mrs. Hawking. Maybe it's an office Daniel has set up for research on the island since the losties left? But from what we have seen, Daniel hasn't had much time to set up an office with all of his time-warping and jungle-traipsing. On the other hand, if it had been there all along, why haven't we ever seen it before? If someone who just crashed on the island found it right away it was pretty close to the beach and not well-hidden. hmm.

    2. We found out the plane did crash (or float from the heavens to land in some bushes all in one piece?). Is the island trying to kill Ben because he's not supposed to come back? On the other hand, John turned the donkey wheel too, so isn't he not supposed to ever come back? Yet the island resurrects him. And he seems way more human and alive than Christian Shepard, so what's the difference? We haven't seen Christian eating any mangoes.

    3. Ben killing John: what the heck? I really don't know why he talked him down just to kill him and then make it look like a suicide, when it really could have much more easily just been a suicide. It really looked like Ben was surprised by the two name-drops: Jin and Hawking, and either one or both caused him to kill Locke. I'm wondering if knowing that Widmore was working with Hawking was a shock to Ben, because if he's been working with her too, maybe he realizes he's being played, and used to do what Widmore wants (get the O6 back).

    Which brings us to 4. Doesn't it seem like Widmore and Ben have the same goals? They seem to be arch enemies but they're both trying to get the losties back to the island the same way, using the same woman (Mrs. Hawking). So why does Ben kill Abaddon, when all he's doing is helping Locke (Bentham) achieve the goal he wants too?

    5. Ben said Widmore had people watching all of the O6 (Widmore also confirmed this himself.) And depending on who you believe, he's watching them to help/protect them or to hurt them. Sayid killed someone watching Hurley in Santa Rosa. Probably Widmore's guy? Under the direction of Ben (or not)?

    6. I'm with the "who the heck is Richard Alpert and why doesn't Locke find out" crowd above. Sheesh, he's talked with Widmore and Ben, both self-proclaimed leaders of the Others. And why did Widmore dismiss Alpert's prophecy that Locke would have to die? Maybe he's just that egotistical to believe he can prevent a death and control everything? He seemed pretty down-to-earth with Locke, but we haven't seen much of him before and Ben can seem pretty cool when he turns on the charm as well. They're like Jacob and Esau, each trying to steal their "birth rights" back from the other.

    7. Wait, so Widmore was the leader of the others when Ben took over and "tricked" him? so then why did Richard alpert come to Ben as a boy and tell him to come back later? What exactly does Alpert thing of Ben? Of Widmore? Of Locke?

    I'm surprised when Ben or Alpert are surprised by anything.

    Ben is evil.

    Swan Station March 1st, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Get well jwood. Our thoughts are with you. I love your Lost insights but real life is much more important so take care.

    PauloMarreca March 1st, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Regarding Marty's question
    "Why did they show Ben cleaning up so thoroughly after killing Locke?"

    Here's my take on that:

    In S04E09(Season 4, epi09), when Kimy killed Ben's daughter. Ben stated, quite drammatically: "He changed the rules". I think that a pivotal moment in the show, a very important clue, which we may all have overlooked. Please, bear with me for a moment.

    I believe Ben had already lived through that moment before and the rule was "you cannot change the past in major ways, like - killing someone who had not previously died - for some reason that can catostrophic results.

    Locke's suicide had already happened in some timeline. Both Ben and Widmore knew that. Richard knew that. Christian knew that. Everyone seemed sure he had to die. Lock was the only one who seemed unsure of it. Ben had to carefully erase any trace of his participation in Locke's "suicide" because he did not want Widmore to know that he too changed the past in a major way. If he did indeed kill Penny, that would have evened the odds (an eye for eye: as I much hate it, we keep going back to the Bible), but killing John might be hard for him to explain away (to Jacob?).

    How else would Widmore know that "if John is not back on the island when the war happens, the wrong side is going to win"?

    Even Abbadon seemed absolutely certain that Locke had to die:

    "ABADDON: Helen is where she's supposed to be. As sad as it is, her path led here. And your path, no matter what you did or what you do, your path leads back to the Island.

    LOCKE: You say that like it's all det--inevitable."

    Another thing caught my attention:

    Abbandon kind of repeats one of Mrs. Hawkins' lines, not exactly:

    ABADDON: You may wanna step up your game, Mr. Locke, or we're all in serious trouble.

    In epi02 of this season, Ben asked Hawkins:
    "So what happens if I can't get them all to come back."
    Ms Hawkins replies "Then God help us all". And this line was somehow repeated in another episode.

    The fact that they have already lived through some of these experiences might account for their sometimes seemingly "weird acting".

    So, that's why I think Ben had to clean everything up so thoroughly. He knew he was not supposed to have taken part in Locke's suicide.

    Sara March 2nd, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Phildo: I'm right there with you.

    cj March 2nd, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Get better. I've loved reading your thoughts about one of my favorite shows. I just hope that you are feeling better soon. I know what it is like to have an illness affect your ability to do the things you love - take care and good luck. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on the last few shows.

    Jesse Custer March 2nd, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I am beginning to suspect that J. Wood has gone in search of the Island.

    Hoping you're feeling better, J. I was sorry to hear about your health problems, and all of us wish you and your wife nothing but good will. Whenever you are healthy enough to reappear here we'll all be glad and grateful.

    Now, please feed our hideous and pitiful addictions? Pretty please?

    Olivier March 2nd, 2009 at 9:43 am

    - Wanderlost -

    Caesar said that Hurley vanished in a flash of light: some passengers (though we have only seen three of them so far, most probably the O6-1) were chronoported back into the '70's; the rest crashed with the plane in the Present.

    The ships on the beach are those we saw in one of the time hops into the future; they were not damaged by time, and the litter of Ajira 316 objects Sawyer & Co found were not buried under the sand either; it was not too far in the future.

    Leah March 2nd, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I looked at the Celebritology blog, and I have been convinced from many comments that we could see clearly in the episode that John & Ajiirans landed on the "small/other" island. Apparently there were several shots to show us this (I was watching on my laptop and missed it). So, I guess the office we saw Cesar shuffling through was the Hydra station, and not an office Faraday set up like I speculated above.

    Re: the canoes on the beach that Sawyer & Co. found before they took one and got shot at.... All three canoes were then on the beach of the big/main island, right? With Ajira airways water bottles in them? So that would mean at least some of our Ajiiran Castaways were at that time on the main island with Sawyer & Co, but they didn't see them. Also, that bit was right in the middle of all of the time-warp flashes coming all close together. So shouldn't the Ajiiran Casaways be getting taken along for that ride, since they were already there on the island? If the island is moving through spacetime, and they are on it, should we be seeing them flash through time?

    Also, when Losties found the canoes on the beach by their campsite, the campsite was wasted, right? Like someone had gone through and taken everything, torn it up a little?

    Maybe we'll get more info to tie things together this week. I guess things are starting to come together, but it all seems very complicated. Hopefully the writers can pull it together so that it's very simple at the end, and not cheesy.

    I hope J isn't stressing about trying to "catch up." I'm sure we would all be happy with any kind of abridged version of an analysis. We understand you're having a rough time, so we don't expect you to wear yourself out!

    Nan March 2nd, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I think Ben killed Locke because he could not risk Locke talking to Mrs. Hawking. I don't believe Ben would have been allowed on the plane if she had met Locke. I also think Locke was "set up" to commit suicide, meaning he would freely give his life in order for the others to get back to the island. Locke did have to die, per Richard. Christian told Locke he had faith in him. Widmore told Locke he would do all he could to help him. You all have talked about what Abbadon said. Locke did not thank him though like Abbadon predicted he would the next time he saw him when he convinced him to embrace "the knife" and go on his walkabout. I think Ben did want Locke to live but once he heard Locke's news and maybe it was both news, both Jin and Hawking. Neither Ben nor Widmore are good and whoever Jacob is, he needs help.

    I can see how Locke had to be with the crash, Christian was after all. But Sun and Sayid should have gone to the same time that Jack, Kate and Hurley went to - early Dharma.

    The woman with Frank I have been thinking about and two possible passengers come to mind. Penny, who knows Frank and Mrs. Hawking. There were passengers behind Jack and Ben that Jack asked about. I am usually wrong when I speculate! :)

    Mrs. Friendly March 2nd, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    J - sorry to hear you are struggling with this. Hope you kick the MS creature into remission soon.

    Olivier March 2nd, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    "shouldn't the Ajiiran Casaways be getting taken along for that ride, since they were already there on the island? If the island is moving through spacetime, and they are on it, should we be seeing them flash through time?"

    Nope. Like the Others and Rousseau, they remain in the Present.
    When Sawyer & Co flashed into the future then back into the past, whoever was chasing them in another canoe remained in their own time.

    Ginny March 2nd, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I agree with whoever made the comment that the beginning of last week's episode looked like they were in Faraday's old office, but then the guys is interrupted by the new female character. He appeared to be looking for somehting on or near the desk. I think he's involved somehow with either Widmore or Ben. I think Lapidus landed the plane without it crashing but it appears they are in a different time period than Jack, Kate & Hurley. Hoping for J's remission! I think it's great that we keep on blogging!

    Eko’s Stick March 2nd, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Sorry if someone's already mentioned this, but along the lines of the whole Jack is Jacob theory, did anyone else notice that in "316", they were just sitting there on the plane until Jack read Locke's letter? Then, once Jack believed, they go back. Jack must have some powers or something to pull that off.

    J. Wood --- you are the master. You've made me love this show more with your illuminating analysis. I hope you're doing better, and know it might be awhile before you can post again, whatever's going on. We miss you though. Looking forward to being illuminated whenever you're able.

    GREEN DRAKE March 2nd, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Nan, your post got me thinking about a link between Hawking and Jacob....and by extension Faraday. If we can assume that Locke's instruction to visit Hawking came form Jacob via Christian. And this is plausible since it was established that Christian can speak to John on Ben's behalf, this connection is plausible.

    Ben's reaction to Locke when Locke mentioned Hawking was indeed weird and it looks as though it provoked Ben into killing Locke. Why? Because this insider info came from Jacob and Ben perhaps still thinks he (Leah?) has the birthright granted to him by Jacob.

    This also is consistent with Ben's jealous reaction after Locke heard Jacob's voice in the Cabin. Ben reacted oddly -- wigging out and then he shot John, evoking some Jacob jealousies as Locke fell into the Dharma pit left for dead. And also isn't Emily the name of both Locke's mom and Ben's mom -- same woman? Could they be half-brothers -- Locke being the older one.

    But all in all, I am very happy with these episodes this season. The writers have done a great job cultivating the Ben vs. Widmore story line over the last couple of years and I think we'll be starting to see some of these mysteries play out this season. I also think they are priming the pump for us to learn more about perhaps the greatest island mystery -- the origins of Alpert and his people.

    Widmore's warning to John that "Wars coming" seems to be a pretty significant game changer. I suspect this will be the new "need" of the islanders after they all are officially reunited -- gearing up for -- and then fighting this peculiar war.

    GREEN DRAKE March 2nd, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Oops, meant to say in first paragraph that Christian can speak to John on Jacob's behalf, not Bens.

    McCabe March 3rd, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Nice blog - I have to say though, in reference to poll at the side - the writers are clearly making it up as they go along! Not their fault though, it's the US networks fault for insisting on god knows how many seasons of 24 episodes...what's wrong with a nice square 10?

    Also - check out this book cover...nothing to do with the TV series, but anyone else see some similarities between their title text and another one we know? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......

    Ryan March 3rd, 2009 at 6:42 am

    Olivier, great term: chronoported. Never heard it before.

    Nan, I hadn't considered that Mrs. Hawking could be on the plane and the one who left with Frank. I don't think it was Penny unless Desmond was also on the plane which is doubtful.

    I'll throw another possibility out: Libby. They still haven't wrapped up her story.

    Terry O'Quinn is doing some amazing acting in the last episode.

    I am starting to agree with some of you that Ben's strange reactions will be revealed to be him "reliving" certain parts over and over. It's possible he turned the donkey wheel before and we could be seeing him at different ages in different scenes. It would be a fun thing to try to figure out.

    sosolost March 3rd, 2009 at 6:53 am

    I thought J's fans might be interested in this video segment from the Today Show re MS -- it might give you a better understanding of what he's going through. I knew a little about MS but learned some more from this segment...

    lostone March 3rd, 2009 at 7:23 am

    -Maybe Jack, Hurley, Kate and perhaps Sayid flashed into the past b/c they were never supposed to have been separated from Sawyer, and the others. If they had stayed on the Island, after Ben turned the wheel, they would have gone through all of the time-jumps with Sawyer's group. The Ajira passengers were never a part of that so they may have simply crashed into the present or into a different time than the losties/freighties.
    -But then I don't know why Sun (if it is indeed her) would be with Lapidus. Perhaps, if she was never supposed to leave the Island, it means that she was supposed to die in childbirth. So since she should be dead, she is not included. Or, maybe someone else is with Lapidus and she is with Jack & co.
    -That brings me to Ji Yeon. If Sun was never supposed to leave, she would have died along with Ji Yeon. So, does this mean that Ji Yeon was never supposed to have been born?
    -And about Aaron. Perhaps Christian knew what was going to happen with the time jumps and he knew that Aaron, and infant, would not be able to survive the jumps. Faraday's rat, Eloise, didn't survive very long. Aaron's small frame may not have been able to handle the time jumps. So maybe Christian sent him off for safe-keeping until some other time.

    Ginny March 3rd, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Locke and Ben can't be half-brothers because Ben's Mom died giving birth to him and Locke's Mom tricked him as an adult to meeting with his Dad. I sill am not sold that Christian is speaking for Jacob, but Jack does appear to be coming around to realizing he should not have left the island. I think the babies, Aaron, Ji-yeon, Charlie and whoever is yet to be born, play a very improtant part of the whole mystery of the island. I'm not sure exactly how yet, but I'm working on it.

    leah March 3rd, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Some on the celebritology board were wondering why, when John visited the O6 this last episode, none of them seem very surprised to see him. Even stranger, nobody (not even Kate) asked how the people they left on the island are doing. Another person speculated that maybe these visits we witnessed were the last of several visits to each O6 (at least Jack & Kate). That would help explain why they didn't act more interested when they saw John, and why they weren't concerned that he was banged up. From what we saw in the show, there was no evidence of this, but the way it was done was kind of strange. Any thoughts?

    leah March 3rd, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    A couple more observations about John Locke from the last episode.... He's always seemed pretty impressionable, at times gullible, especially when it comes to people he values/respects. He seems to have an inferiority complex, and maybe felt like he'd finally found his place in the world on the island. Where he could really be himself, the person he always wanted to be but could never quite achieve. He's ready to believe anyone who tells him he's special, but deep down he doesn't really believe it. That's what struck me when he was getting ready to kill himself. He was probably doing it for a couple of reasons.

    1. He wanted to save the island. But it seemed kind of wrong for him to kill himself in a hotel room as the "sacrifice." If Alpert and Christian had not told him he'd have to die, would he have even had that idea?

    2. It shows him ready to off himself right after the conversation with Jack (although we don't know for sure if it was closely following that talk or if that was the only talk they had). For all we know, those visit scenes could have been Locke flashbacks, dwelling on how he'd failed, before he got ready to kill himself. One thing that struck me was how harsh Jack and others were to him. They called him names and Jack basically told him he was useless. It seems John maybe took those words to heart, and maybe felt like he had lost his purpose and that's why he wanted to kill himself. He was only talked down by Ben telling him how special he is. He's like a little kid who can't think for himself. He just believes what anyone tells him. At least when he was younger he seemed to have a better sense of self.

    I still say Ben is evil.

    Eruption of Bears March 3rd, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    I had just assumed that it was Sun who went with Lapidus in the canoe. Her motivation? To get to Jin as quickly as possible. Lapidus' motivation? Dunno. I also don't know what time period the 316 survivors landed in. Maybe the putative future runway had been substantially completed by the time they arrived. Good foresight on the part of the others to put it there. A new question nobody has asked: why, if Widmore was paying Locke's travel expenses, was Locke staying in such a run-down looking hotel? Couldn't he have gotten something a bit less depressing? "Chronoported" is good.

    Olivier March 3rd, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    "the writers are clearly making it up as they go along"

    Consider this...

    In the second episode of Season 4, we were shown Faraday (whom we had just been introduced to) crying while watching news the supposed wreckage of Oceanic 815 had been located.
    This has not been explained yet.
    Season 4 introduced mind time travel.

    In Season 5, physical time travel.
    The first thing we saw was Daniel in the tunnel next to the wheel's cave, in what was to become the Orchid station.
    In both Seasons, we saw that new memories were "created" or rather (since what happened has always happened) resurfaced.

    The reason Daniel was crying will surely be accounted for by a combination of these time travels in a future episode, probably during the current Season-- a full year after this scene aired.

    Similarly, also at the very beginning of Season 4, Charlotte seemed to be returning to a place she already knew. This was explained a few episodes ago, one year later.

    For these scenes to air very early on in Season 4, they obviously had to have been shot, some weeks before, which also implied casting the actors even bfore this.

    Much more: for these scenes to be planted at the beginning of Season 4, with explanations to come a bit more than a year later, not only had they to have been written, but the whole back story of each character (Daniel, Charlotte, but also Mrs Hawking, as we know know she is Faraday's mom) and their role in the story (interaction with Daniel, ...) had to have been written; this supposed having the first rough ideas, discussing them, writing outlines, changing stuff, tweaking, rewriting, ..., which takes weeks.

    In other words, for all this to be possible, and those scenes to be shot and ready for as soon as the second episode of Season 4, all this ground work had to have been done during the first half of Season 3.
    That's two years before those scenes were explained (and some explanation is yet to come). Given the intricacy of the theory, the explanations, and the interactions (characters & events), this could not have been done at the last moment and miraculously come together nicely.

    There are many other examples, such as the quotations planted in the Ajira web site several months before the "316" episode.

    Another important example is that of the surprise flash forward at the end of Season 3, the announcement of Jeremy Bentham's death in the same episode, everything that happened in the Season 4's flashforwards as told in a very unchronological way, ...
    The mystery of Jeremy Bentham's life and death was only just solved last week, one year and a half after the character, his death, his impact on Jack, ..., were explained in detail.
    Here, again, for this flashforward at the end of Season 3 to be possible, the story of Locke/Jeremy Bentham and everything related to it had to have been thought of dring Season 3, two years ahead.

    Details scripts obviously are written much later, but the writers did not decided who Jeremy Bentham was at the last moment, nor did they decide last month that Ben would be responsible for his death.
    Some things can, and are, changed, but the whole basic (yet very complex) structure has to be there long before each episode airs.

    Olivier March 3rd, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    "Olivier, great term: chronoported. Never heard it before."

    Thanks. It may exist. It just struck me that teleported was not quite accurate, so I coined this term.


    I think Mrs Faraday needs to stay at the LampPost, to guard it and oversee everything.


    "Maybe Jack, Hurley, Kate and perhaps Sayid flashed into the past b/c they were never supposed to have been separated from Sawyer, and the others."

    Great point!
    Your idea about Sun is interesting.

    Montand’s Arm March 3rd, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Ben has drank the kool aid.

    John took a drink, but has yet to really swallow it.

    Jack just picked up the glass and put it to his lips.

    Ben's description of the Doubting Thomas painting coincides with his impatience with John and Jack.

    John is the flip-flopper. He is willing to go back to get the O6 even if Richard says he has to die to do it, but when the O6 deny him he loses faith. His suicide attempt is a fall from grace (no pun intended), while Jack is taking a leap of faith.

    Jack works with Ben to rally the O6. Jack puts his father's shoes on John's feet. When John's "suicide" letter finds Jack for the second time, he reads it. He not only reads it, but reads it on the plane that's supposed to somehow take them back to the Island.

    Ben is a believer. He does what the Island/Jacob tells him to do. If Jacob says the Island must be moved, Ben moves it. If the Island says John needs to die, Ben kills him.

    If you think the Island/Jacob is good, then take a great big gulp of kool aid...because Ben is good.

    Eric V March 4th, 2009 at 7:13 am

    I have a question that hopefully someone on this forum can answer regarding "Life and Death fo Jeremy Benthem". When John and Kate are talking in her kitchen, John tells her his "love" didn't work out because he was "angry and obsessesd". Kate replies "And look how far you've come." Was Kate being sarcastic or sincere? This is probably a trivial point, but I'm stuck on it. I'm usually good at detecting sarcasm, but this exchange has me stumped. Thanks!

    BornOfFire March 4th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    "The mystery of Jeremy Bentham's life and death was only just solved last week, one year and a half after the character, his death, his impact on Jack, ..., were explained in detail.
    Here, again, for this flashforward at the end of Season 3 to be possible, the story of Locke/Jeremy Bentham and everything related to it had to have been thought of dring Season 3, two years ahead." (Olivier)

    I agree. Bearing further testimony to this is the bit of foreshadowing that occurred towards the end of Season 3, when Ben shot Locke and left him in the Dharma mass grave. There's a very famous passage of Scripture, in the book of Ezekiel, where God gives the prophet Ezekiel a vision in which he places him in a valley of dry bones (a mass grave of slain Israelites) and tells him to command the bones to come to life. They do. The bones rise, tendons and sinews form, then muscle and flesh, and soon there is an army of resurrected Israelites. Originally I thought it might foreshadow the resurrection of the entire Dharma Initiative. Which I guess it did, in a sense, through the medium of time travel. But I didn't realize till the end of Season 4 that it, more significantly, foreshadowed the death and resurrection of John Locke, and even the fact that it would be Ben who killed him.

    jphimself March 4th, 2009 at 7:40 am

    John Locke - The Ultimate Butterfly

    Throughout the series we have seen, time and again, a multitude of examples of John's ordinariness. He had a painful childhood, is gullible, has followed an unexceptional career path and has had more physical injuries than Evel Knievel. He has failed every test of "specialness" thrown at him.

    At the same time he has an earnest, if not desperate, yearning to find a meaning for his life. And there has been no dearth of people perfectly willing to feed his very weak ego with tales of his status as the chosen one. His father was certainly willing to use him in this regard. Ben surely was. And Widmore is probably playing the same strings.

    If John, who by the way I love as a character brought to life by the talented Terry O'Quinn, is in fact not special and a bit of a sad sack, why then are Ben and Widmore constantly feeding him with a line of bull?

    I think the answer is that John has, at some point in space/time played a crucial role in the outcome they both seek. They are playing him to assure that he is back on the Island {apparently dead or alive is irrelevant} to perform his appointed role.

    In this respect, John is the ultimate butterfly, as in The Butterfly Effect. This is the notion, emerging from chaos theory, that an otherwise insignificant event, eg. the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Australia, can, through a series of connected events, be the distant cause of a major event, eg. a class 5 hurricane hitting the U.S. coast.

    Through their repeated living of events on the Island, rather like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, Ben and Charles have learned of John's centrality to unfolding events and are determined to assure his place in this unfolding saga.

    That, at least, is my theory for today. The management reserves the right to change, alter or otherwise renege on this point of view without further notice.

    Lynbie March 4th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Erik V asked: "Was Kate being sarcastic or sincere?" She was being sarcastic.

    Ginny March 4th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Leah...I agree that none of the 06 seemed surprised to see Locke. And you bring up a very good point about why didn't they ask about the ones left behind on the island? Did they not want to know? Or had they already asked that question? The time sequences and reactions seem off a little. And I especially like your synopsis of John and how he feels about himself. I agree that he knows he's not "special" but that he knows there is something very "special" about the island. We all search for meaning in our lives and for something that will live on after us and I beleive John found that on the island. But he still does not truly believe in himself and is therefor easily swayed by Ben and Widmore, or the 06. John is alive on the island where he should be and with that I believe he has changed.

    Bobx66 March 4th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    I didn't see it mentioned here so I thought I would throw it out there. 316 crashed next to a long strip of cleared ground next to the hydra. This is the same strip of ground that the others put captured Kate and Sawyer to work on. When asked what they were building they said it was a runway. I love this show. Get well soon.

    Sara March 4th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Hey mods -- any further word from J. Woods? Just concerned with his health...

    Eruption of Bears March 4th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Erik V asked: "Was Kate being sarcastic or sincere?" Sometimes ambiguity is intentional. On TV, perhaps, intentional ambiguity is not so common.

    Eruption of Bears March 4th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Pardon my flight of fancy, here, but it's been a while since J Wood has posted anything, and here I'll just indulge my fancy a bit. A few postings back I suggested that the polar bear skeleton Charlotte found in the Tunisian desert got there by way of a DI experiment. That is to say, the DI tranquillized the bear and then harnessed it to the "donkey wheel." When the bear awoke, it tried to move and turned the wheel, thus moving the island and transporting itself to the Tunisian desert. I can just see a LOST epi which begins with a close up of a polar bear's eye popping open. The bear is lying on its back, in the posture we all recognize by now, in the Tunisian desert. Thus begins the polar bear flashback episode of LOST. It's just the eruption of a single bear into the desert, but still.... I'll even bet Faraday that had a part in it. Well, like I began by saying; it's a flight of fancy.

    Pau; March 5th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Eric V asks: Was Kate being sarcastic or sincere? This is probably a trivial point, but I'm stuck on it. I'm usually good at detecting sarcasm, but this exchange has me stumped.

    My sense was that she was being sarcastic. She has long distrusted Locke: at the end of season 1 when Jack, Locke, Hurly, and Kate are going to blow open the hatch, Kate says she has Jack's back b/c of the "Locke problem", she goes with Jack at the beginning of season 4 when the camp splits, and so on.

    More broadly, Locke's entire mission to bring them back seemed like a fool's errand and a suicide mission. No one took him or his mission seriously. Sayid (come back and do so real good), Kate (look how far you've come) and Jack (you're a delusional old man) went out of their way to dismiss him, literally, to drive him to despair, to the point of choosing to take his own life. Although the Christ parallels are obvious, he reminds me a bit of Moses without help. In the Old Testament, Moses communicated directly with the Lord and was able to show both Pharaoh and the Israelites signs and miracles. God recognized Moses needed this-otherwise, as Moses says in Exodus at one point, the people will stone me to death unless they get water/food. Locke is trying to convince the O6 to come back, but he has nothing-no miracles-to show and persuade the disbelievers.

    After last night's episode, I suspect Sawyer, Juliet et al. hold Locke in much higher regard.

    Jesse Custer March 5th, 2009 at 12:01 pm


    I've officially got the shakes.

    leah March 5th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Eric V: I think Kate's remark was definitely sarcastic, though she didn't say it with any sarcasm in her voice, only pity.

    If I were one of the O6 and I saw John Locke I think the first question would be, "what happened to the island after it disappeared before our eyes?" and the second question would be, "How did you get off the island?" I think each of them expected he would tell them to go back when they saw him, because they knew him, knew how he felt about the island and that he'd chosen to stay there. But I know I would have a lot of questions about the island, the people there, etc.

    jphimself: if John were integral to the fate of the island, that would make him special, and what Widmore and Ben keep telling him true. It may be, however, that everyone just sees how needy he is for ego confirmation, and that he's the easiest person to manipulate. I think I said before, he's like a little kid. He believes whatever anybody tells him, especially when it's what he wants to hear.

    (I have a 3 year old. He can be very willful and stubborn, but all you have to distract him, or lure him away with something he wants/likes, and he will do what you say, even if he didn't want to do it initially. I see this as exactly what Widmore and Ben are doing to John).

    But who knows, maybe John is special and just doesn't know it.

    105710v3r March 5th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Miss you J.
    RE: Eruption of Bears March 3rd, 2009 at 2:53 pm
    I assume that it was Sun who went with Lapidus in the canoe. Lapidus' motivation? Dunno.

    I also think it was Sun who took off w. Lapidus. I think Lapidus' motivation was either money (from Sun to help her) or guilt over having left him to die when the boat exploded.

    RE: Ben's reaction to Jin news--I think Jin being alive is a surprise to Ben because he thinks he has the situation under control but Jin being alive death means he does not really know all the answers.

    RE: Ben's reaction to Mrs. Hawking news--I think the only reason he was keeping Locke alive was to find out how to get back to the island. Once he had Hawkings name, he killed him.

    RE: Ben good or evil--I think he does evil but it helps the good. Sort of a Judas figure. Christ could not have died and risen if he hadn't been betrayed. To me this is reflected in the fact that Locke is alive & well on the island while Ben is hurt upon returning. Is it Ben's fate to be evil???

    RE: Role reversals between Jack & Locke--I agree that it is interesting how Jack is coming around to Locke's "faith" approach. It was also interesting how Locke used reason to figure out the 'son' was Jack.

    RE: Locke visits to OC6--I felt that the scenes were just snippets of the visits that show when the various people say no, not the entire visit (except maybe Hurley's visit).

    RE: James/Sawyer--Love that now that Sawyer can be the responsible, loving leader type guy he really is underneath, he calls himself James. AND THEN THE PAST RETURNS. Who will he be now that Kate, Jack & Hurley are back, the good twin or the bad twin (Yes, this is a reference to the book he was reading on the beach a couple of seasons ago.)

    I am curious about the partial turn that Locke gave to the wheel that stopped the time travel & headaches & nose bleeds and stuck the travelers in 1954. Which makes it now 1957, 3 years later, and the baby lives.

    It also looks like James/Sawyer is responsible for keeping the 'truce' between the DI and Richard's group. And it was interesting that Richard's guys where such thugs with Amy and her husband. And of course, the statue. WOW. I kinda wish they had stayed in that time period for awhile. So Richard is really interesting. I was wondering if James/Sawyer calling him "the guy with the eyeliner" was a reference to him being Egyptian...

    Enough flights of fancy.

    Thanks for reading. Looking forward to your insights.

    Marty March 5th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    105710v3r: FYI - I think it's 1977 right now when Jin brought Kate, Hurley and Jack to meet up with Sawyer. The Dharma stuff seemed to be in the 70s, and Sawyer, while talking to Alpert, made some comment about how '20 years ago' you had a conversation with a bald man who said he was your leader. Referring to Locke talking to him when it was 1954 in Jughead. Then 3 years later, Sawyer meets Kate, Hurley and Jack, brought/found by Jin. Hence 1977.

    Who's the baby that Amy delivered going to grow up to be? Born in 1977, meaning when the plane crashed in 2004, that baby/now-a-person would be 27 years old.

    The Losties spent about 4 months or 100 days (as Locke recently said) granted, they went through quite an ordeal together, but 4 months is a short period of time. Sawyer, Jin, Juliet, Miles, and Daniel spent the last 3 years together with these Dharma folks, who by the looks of this recent episode, have befriended, lived with, gotten along. So where do the loyalties lie if push comes to shove when the Oc-6 come back? Sun is Jin's wife, so that's an obvious loyalty. Locke saved everyone's life, so that is too. But the others? Of course, we're all invested in these original characters, so ultimately we know who they will side on, but I can certainly see where it could get interesting (especially with Miles or Faraday).

    When Faraday was found wimpering in the jungle by Juliet/Sawyer/Jin and Miles, did that remind anyone else of when he was seen staring at the alleged wreckage of flight 815 on tv back in England (in an episode last season)?

    And how the heck did Richard Alpert get through the security/sonic fence and not seemed worried about it?

    Marty March 5th, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    My guess is the baby turns out to be Ethan...

    Montand’s Arm March 5th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    John 13:38

    Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

    How may times did Jack deny John in The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham?

    Montand’s Arm March 5th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    More Ulysses...John as Stephen and Jack as Bloom...???

    Among Stephen's nickname is the name "Kinch" which means knife; this is often interpreted as a reference to Stephen's quick, sharp mind. The fact that Stephen means crown indicates that, like Telemachus, Stephen has a royal potential that is presently unrealized.

    In contrast to Stephen's Aristotelian logic, Bloom expresses his thoughts in terms of simple science. Unlike Stephen, Bloom's thinks more on the mechanics of the physical world surrounding him.

    Paul March 5th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Marty asks how Richard got through the fence - recall from season 3 that Kate, Locke, and Sayid went over the fence. Perhaps Richard did the same . . .

    Jeffrey March 5th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Charlotte's....Well. No she isn't nor is that the E.B. White sequel but which well did she remember? The one that easily goes down to the donkey wheel or the filled-in one or was it just ornamental?
    1977 Dharma sure looks like a same-era kibbutz! Lots of sex, rock-n-roll, and oh yeah, guns to fight off the upset locals. Plus that stick o' dynamite looked like a Cheech doobie in Horus' maw.
    I've now noticed a moon on Miles' shirt to go with Sun's star and Hurley's cross 'though it wasn't red.
    Nice how we the viewers are flashing back and forth while they remain constant in real time 1974-1977.
    Nice too how Sawyer didn't give a rat's when Horus didn't think he was up to snuff for the Dharma Heads. Jack and John would've been shaken to the core by that bit o' news. Plus, he proves himself easily as a true leader, never giving in to compromise with Miles, becoming head of security! - of course with much support from Juliet which he returns the favor for the (not)ill-fated doc.

    Julia March 5th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    feel better, j! you are sorely missed.

    Eruption of Bears March 6th, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Marty asks: "And how the heck did Richard Alpert get through the security/sonic fence and not seemed worried about it?" Probably used one of those tunnels that the island seems to be honeycombed with. We've only had a few glimpses of the island's "underground." I'll bet there's more to see. I like the idea expressed by 105710v3r that Ben only wanted Mrs. Hawking's name from Locke. It makes sense.

    Jeffrey March 6th, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Sorry, Jin's star...all the cosmology is getting to me.

    Ginny March 6th, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Just my 2 cents...I think Amy and Horace's baby is Desmond. Do we ever hear about his parents or where he is from in past episodes? Missing J a lot!

    CIndee March 6th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Where the heck are Rose & Bernard?

    tsellen March 6th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    @105710v3r "I was wondering if James/Sawyer calling him "the guy with the eyeliner" was a reference to him being Egyptian..."

    Yes, let's talk about the Egyptian connection. Have I missed it, or has no one mentioned that the giant statue could be of the Egyptian god Horus (Horace)?

    He stands with one foot forward, wears the signature wrap-around sarong/skirt, appears to be holding the top circle of an ankh in his right hand, and could be holding a staff in his left.

    According to this site,
    the Egyptian god Horus had a variety of identities including

    - Mekhenti-irry (He who has on his brow Two Eyes) - the sun and moon representing his eyes, on nights when there is no moon. In this form he was considered the god of the blind. [this resonates with all the eye imagery going on in the show, as does the "eye of Horus" which is a symbol with one eye.]

    - Horus Behudety - In the form of Horus of Edfu, he represented the midday sun. This Horus was worshipped in the western Delta and later, as his cult spread south into Upper Egypt, a cult center was established in Edfu. Horus of Edfu fights a great battle against Seth and an army of conspirators. He is pictured as a winged sun-disk or as a hawk headed lion. [could this be the war Widmore referred to?]

    - Harsiesis (Horus son of Isis) - This Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was conceived magically after the death of Osiris and brought up by Isis on a floating island in the marshes of Buto. The child was weak and in constant danger from the scheming of his wicked uncle Seth, who sent serpents and monsters to attack him. But his mother, Isis was great in the magical arts and she warded off this evil by using a spell against creatures biting with their mouths and stinging with their tails, and the young Horus survived and grew. [grew up on a FLOATING ISLAND?]

    But if Horus is represented by a falcon, I am surprised we haven't seen more bird imagery in the show. Especially since in so many cultures, birds either represent reincarnation, or the soul ascending to heaven or the transition to the afterlife.

    And then there is Paul's ankh appearing...a symbol of immortality but also reminiscent of a crucifix.

    Eve March 6th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    To all those who think Ethan is Amy and Horace's baby. . .The actor who plays Ethan, is over 40yrs. old. No way can he portray a 27yr. old. Also, he is Dharma, Ethan was an Other. As far as the statue goes, maybe as someone else said, it may be a combination of past cultures. All the Egyptian statues were sitting becauce they did not have the technology to erect anything that tall that would remain structually intact. Also, does anyone remember the ending in the original Planet of the Apes? We were left gazing at the gigantic toppled head of the Statue of Liberty. Probably somewhere along the way TPTB will treat us to an equally shocking experience when they reveal the identity of the island statue. John Locke finally being "special" anyone?

    TCB March 6th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    There is the Hurley Bird...

    Be Healthy J.

    Olivier March 6th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    - Marty, Paul, EruptionOfBears -
    Richard said the fence could stop anything his people and him.
    No code, no tinkering with it, no McGyverism, no pole-vualting, no tunnel-- nothing: Richard can just walk through the activated sonic fence for some very special reason.
    He would never had told Horace such a thing had he merely been given a code or had he simply found a way around. His point was that he can go wherever he wants on the Island because it is his (or theirs), and because the Others and he are immune to the sonic fence, just as they are to the time shifts.
    That's quite a revelation.


    It bears repeating that this series is incredible, and the current season is excellent.

    105710v3r March 6th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Marty--thanks for straigtening me out time-wise!
    tsellen--love the Horus info. I too was struck by Paul's ankh necklace.

    Kim March 6th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Wait. Am I missing something? I thought one could get through with earplugs. Isn't that what Amy did? Or maybe she put it on the lowest power setting, before walking through with the ear plugs in place.

    Enenra MacCutcheon March 6th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    When I was watching Amy go into labor, I was speculating about who her baby could be and said out loud, "Who has brown curly hair?"
    My husband answered, "Hurley." At first I thought this was a ridiculous answer, but then I started to think about it.

    Amy's baby was born in 1977 and Lostpedia lists Hurely as being born in 1977, though I'm not sure where that date came from. I know we've seen Mrs. Reyes and she's not Amy. But what if Hurley was adopted? There are many characters on the show who were raised or partially raised by someone other than their biological parents. Walt is now being taken care of by his grandmother. Kate is raising Aaron. Jin was raised by someone who may or may not be his biological father. Someone raised Sawyer after his mother and father died. Ben raised Alex. Locke was raised in foster care.

    If Amy's baby is Hurley, maybe something happened to Amy and baby Hurley is taken off island and adopted. Or maybe Amy realizes that bad things are going to occur on the island and sends Hurley away for his own safety, like the children in the Chronicles of Narnia are sent away from London during World War II.

    If the baby is Hurley that means that Hurley's father is Horace, who built Jacob's cabin. Maybe that's why Hurley was able to locate Jacob's cabin. And maybe being born on the island gave him special abilities to talk to and see dead people, like Eko and Charlie.

    I know I'm going out on a limb here, but it's fun to speculate!

    leah March 6th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    So, O6 (or O3) + Miles, Dan, Sawyer, Juliet are all there in 1977, with no foreseeable way back to their own time. Do they get exterminated by Ben? But they know Ben will do it, so do they stop him? But it's already happened, so they can't stop him, right? Are they in the mass grave? Horace is. After living with DI for at least 3 years, it's hard to imagine they would voluntarily just up and leave them to die at Ben's hands. But who knows, maybe by 1992 (?) they've already gone somewhere else. But wouldn't they warn the DI?

    I was surprised to find Horace as the leader of the DI. Dunno why.

    I've never seen Sawyer so happy and contented. I also noticed that Juliet alternated between calling him "Sawyer" and "James," though that domestic scene at the end was "James." And she was not wearing a wedding ring when she hugged him.

    So when was the well? Charlotte knew about the well, no? We saw the well, then we saw there was no well there, then we saw the well was filled in, and that was 1974. But if that kid was Charlotte she was like 4 in 1974 (which is a whole other question). So I don't really understand this well. When (what year) did John go into the well? presumably before 1974... but then it was filled in and dug back up later? And the well is at the site of the future Orchid station, no? I wonder if they build the Orchid station because of Daniel (or Sawyer or Juliet). They know what's down there; maybe they made a suggestion? Doesn't seem like anybody knew about anything down there before they showed up in 1974, because all that was there was a filled-in well. But the well obviously went to the donkey wheel. Another thing: the donkey wheel was frozen when Ben turned it, but not when John did, right? Why?

    I wish they'd tell us more about Richard. In the beginning he seemed like an imminently reasonable person. He was friendly and helpful. In 1954 he "was forced to" kill umpteen servicemen. Now he can walk through sonic fences, and we know he doesn't age. And that eyeliner! What is up with Mr. Alpert?

    leah March 6th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I also wonder... if Ben knew Sawyer, et al on the island in the disco era, might that have something to do with why they all got to the island in 2004 when he was all grown up, and why he knew so much about them? Maybe he exterminates them and then knows that they were from the future, and then orchestrates them crashing on the island in 2004? This theory is not developed. This time pretzel thing is spinning my brain.

    Marty March 6th, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    re: Amy's baby
    I didn't realize Ethan was around 40, he looked a lot younger to me. And I did remember he was an 'Other' but Ben was Dharma at one time and switched sides, so that's what I was assuming.

    I like Ginny's speculation that the baby could be Desmond...

    Eruption of Bears March 7th, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Since either I or one of my internet alter-egos brought up Wm. Empson in relation to Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" recently, I feel the need to complete that thought. If you have no interest in Proust or Wm. Empson, or if you've never heard of either one, there's no reason to read further. But if you've slogged through all 5,000 pages, more or less, what Empson wrote is pretty funny. I suppose, the relation to LOST is pretty tenuous. What things there are in Empson's on Proust that seem LOST-like are these: The title, "In Search of Lost Time" seems LOST-like, there is the notion of being in more than one place at once, and there is certainly some expectation of LOST producing an apocalypse before it is through. So, now that I actually do have Empson's "7 Types of Ambiguity" in front of me, I can give the full quotation in case anyone is interested. I mean, this IS a bookstore website, after all. Empson: "you remember how Proust, at the end of that great novel, having convinced the reader with the full sophistication of his genius that he is going to produce an apocalypse, brings out with pathetic faith, as a fact of absolute value, that sometimes when you are living in one place you are reminded of living in another place, and this, since you are now apparently living in two places, means that you are outside time, in the only state of beatitude he can imagine." There it is. Five thousand pages boiled down to a sentence or two.

    Olivier March 7th, 2009 at 6:31 am

    - Kim -

    I'm not sure those are mere earplugs; they may produce a sound wave opposite to that of the fence, to nullify it.

    And then, as I said above, I doubt that Horace would be so surprised and that Richard would say it's no barrier to him if it was just a matter of plugging your ears (even with electronic earplugs).

    leah March 7th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Okay, now a Richard Alpert theory. Maybe he's been killed and resurrected, a la Christian and now John Locke.... if we take Christian as the model of this phenomenon, we know he seems to be able to travel at will, to and from the island, on the freighter, etc., delivering messages, appearing, disappearing to lots of different people. And though it's only been a couple of years, he might not be aging. Sounds like Richard. Though I don't know if John Locke fits this bill or not; he seems fairly normal, unlike creepy white-shoed Christian. I guess Alpert does too (seem normalish), but we haven't seen him enough to really know.

    Are we ever going to find out what happened to Claire?

    Nan March 7th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    J.Wood - I sure hope you are back soon, we miss you so much and want you to be well.

    I just reread J.'s post entitled Lost 411/114
    I encourage all of you to read it again. You want to talk about the statue? He gives plenty of reading that you will enjoy.

    BaronTR March 7th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    A thought to consider before trying to plug existing characters into specific additional roles.

    Look at the story of the Lord of the Rings in the context of Tolkien's overall writings on Middle Earth, particularly if you're only familiar with the movies or the novel. It was the final act in a war that had been going on for 3 ages covering several centuries.

    That could well be what's happening here. A dispute between sides currently led by Ben and Widmore covering decades if not centuries. Our heroes may be fated to play a crucial role in its resolution. A few of them (Charlotte and I suspect Miles) may turn out to have ties to the island pre 2004, but most will have come to the island for the first time exactly the way we've seen on the show.

    We certainly have reason to suspect the island has been inhabited dating back at least to the time of the pharoahs, and who knows what kind of fundamental disagreements devleoped over that period.

    I just think that they wouldn't be showing us this much of the old structures on the island unless it meant something.

    And like others, I'm really frustrated by seeing the same headline on the blog page. Hopefully J. Wood will get to feeling better soon.

    ts ellen March 8th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    thanks TCB! I forgot all about the Hurleybird!

    ts ellen March 8th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Question: The DI had no problem getting on and off the island via sub, or helicopter or food drops because they knew the coordinates. Does it seem strange to anyone that it took Eloise Hawking three years to find the island? I mean by this point the island has stopped hopping around in time and is stationary. Yet, Eloise tells ben they will only have this one chance to get the OC6 back to the island. strange.

    leah March 8th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    The Dharma drops don't make much sense to me at all. And what's the point of them, plot-wise, unless it's just a mystery they plan to explain? The DI hasn't been there at all for umpteen years and there are still regular drops? Who manufactures these goods? Who sends them? And yes, how do they send them if nobody else can find the island? Why are they still being sent if DI has been exterminated by the people who are currently benefiting from them?

    and the sub--if the island has been moving so that widmore couldn't find it for 20 years, how is it that a sub can go to and fro regularly?

    105710v3r March 8th, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Enenra MacC -- love the idea of Hurley as Amy's baby. I don't think it is the case but am intrigued as how it links Hurley to Jacob's cabin

    E o' Bears--I have always wondered about the name Clementine for Sawyer & Cassidy's daughter. Maybe it is a reference to Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" where a eating a cookie called a madeleine/clementine recalls memories and transports the writer to other times and places.

    lost and back again March 8th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Get well soon, J! Namaste.

    MD March 9th, 2009 at 3:53 am

    To "ts ellen":

    There seems to be more to Mrs. Hawking than meets the eye. Compare her appearance in Season 3's "Flashes..." to this year. In Seaosn 3, she seemed to be some sort of all knowing figure, perhaps some physical form of fate. Now, she seems to be tied to science, using technology to find the island. She's a hard one to figure out.

    Right now, despite the mountains of questions one could ask, I seem to be fixed on two different ones.

    A) Was the departure of the O6 from the island really an event that "wasn't supposed to happen?"

    Did this event actually change the timeline?

    B) Just why were our characters brought to Dharma inhabited 1977?

    Is there something they have to do there? (I think there is)

    Is that task something we've heard about before, but just didn't know the origins or details?

    Or, is this task something that changes the course of history?

    I keep going back to Hawking warning to Desmond in the already mentioned Season 3 episode: "If you don't (go to the island) then every single one of us is dead." We have yet to see anything so doomsday happen to justify such a warning. Was she being serious, or just melodramatic to snap Desmond back in line?

    Experiment_626 March 9th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    @ Ginny (post 215) -- That was the office we see being used by Ben earlier in the series; they're in the Hydra station. This was confirmed in the repeat of the episode with the "pop-up video" text trivia. You also said you "think Lapidus landed the plane without it crashing but it appears they are in a different time period than Jack, Kate & Hurley." Indeed, I think they didn't flash to a different time at all; it is 2007 (or whatever time it was on the mainland when the plane left) on the island for them. That's the Hydra, and it appears old, disused and deserted. If they were in 1974 or 1977, it would likely be up, running and fully staffed with Dharma Initiative personnel. So, how and when will they join Jack, Kate and Hurley (and presumably the rest of Sawyer's group) in one time? Or will they do that at all, other than waiting for 30 years to pass?

    Interesting to note that the three passengers who wound up in 1977 are the remainder of those on the list of those Michael had to deliver to The Others. Sawyer was the fourth, but he never left the island in the first place.

    ts ellen March 9th, 2009 at 8:51 am

    @ MD: such interesting question about what is "supposed" to happen or not. The losties appear to have saved Amy's baby TWICE now. Once by possibly saving her life by killing Alpert's men and the second time with Juliet saving the baby during birth. Either this baby is very important or this is all irrelevant. I am not sure this baby is all that important and may even be someone we don't know yet...since we wouldn't have met this baby in the present day until the losties had gone back in time to save it.

    having said all that, i do like the idea of the baby being Hurley tho, and with the cabin connection.

    Annie March 9th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Baron TR:
    I agree. I've 'known' since the middle of season 2 that a war situation would be revealed, and it's very satisfying to see I was right all along. (Oy! For years, I've been telling any and all who will listen; Hmmm...are Told-You-Sos in order? heh heh heh). And since we were shown the 4-toed statue, I have also been convinced that it is a war waged in the future (there is an evolution(ary!) theory out there that humans will one day lose the little toe because it is not needed, similar to the appendix and to a lesser degree, the tonsils, as I trust TPTB's statement that aliens will NOT be involved). Also, I am convinced that all passengers on flight 815 were put there deliberately because they are progeny of extremely important people to the outcome of the war, possibly to actually prevent or win the war. (So far, so good, given that the statue is (still) intact during the last time jump by the left-behinds.) And because Charlotte was sent back there, presumably by Widmore, one could assume that what Daniel said, 'What's done is done', might not neccessarily be true. She might be a needed person (to prevent the Purge from happening? to prevent the war? to simply be a footsoldier?)and her death might be able to be prevented.

    Just a thought: on 'Lost' chat forums, people have been speculating about what the very last scene will be. I'm hoping the last thing we will see at the end of Season 6 is "To Be Continued...". Now THAT would be a cliffhanger...

    Tim J. March 9th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery, J. We're all pulling for you.

    Amy A. March 9th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I noticed that Faraday was not seen in 1977 Dharma time. I belive that he is at the hydra station doing scientific work. I think he will try to do more time travel to save Charlotte, and will end up creating all the problems that are currently happening. I think he will set up the donkey wheel and I also think that he will cause the "event" that they discuss in the video. This leads me to believe that he is Jacob, and with all his scientific experiments gets himself somehow stuck in time in the cabin. Did Alpert ever explain how he talked to Jacob? That is the only problem, because Alpert would have seen both Faraday and Jacob, and one would think he would recognize him.

    Jesse Custer March 9th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Best wishes to you, J. Hoping you're resting and refreshing yourself.

    "Draw Me A Hexidecimal" is swiftly becoming shorthand for "be patient" with me.

    Montand’s Arm March 9th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    tsellen - I too believe the Horus theme is extremely vital to the plot. Thank you for reminding us!

    For some reason, Paul's necklace reminded me of the wooden dolls that lil' Ben and his childhood sweetheart Annie exchanged, but when I looked them up they look nothing alike. Regardless, we can't forget about Annie. She was revealed by Darlton to be crucial to upcoming storylines.

    If you look at the little actress who played Annie, she could pass for Kate. Also, Kate's middle name is Anne.

    I love the idea of Hurley as Amy's baby (thanks Enenra MacC). What if Annie is Kate?

    How crazy would it be if ALL of the O6 were born/had lived on the island before?

    Montand’s Arm March 9th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    A theory I found interesting on Lostpedia is that the 4-toed statue is of either Anubis (God of Afterlife) or Maahes/Wepwawet (Gods of War).

    Eruption of Bears March 9th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    105710v3r: I didn't know madeleines and Clementines were the same thing. But maybe the whole Proust thing is a stretch, non? MD: Maybe Mrs Hawking is a con-woman and the whole Foucault's pendulum setup is just farce - a "ludibrium" (if I recall my Francis Yates correctly) even? Amy A.: I think that Faraday will harness a polar bear to the "donkey wheel," but I doubt he set up the wheel. I don't take "the wheel of the Dharma" all that seriously in the present context.

    Tyler Kramer March 9th, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    For all of those discussing Horus take into account this: The ancient Egyptians believed that every single Pharaoh was Horus Reincarnated.

    Also I think that Horus may very well explain Walt's avian powers.

    leviathan1 March 10th, 2009 at 9:14 am

    this is a little off topic, but has anyone ever addressed why Richard Alpert (RA) appears all civilized in "Jughead" and "La Fleur", but was all shaggy and uncivilized in his appearance when ben met him as a child in, "The Man Behind the Curtain"? maybe he was just feeling lazy when he got out of bed that morning.

    and if anyone hasn't made the connection yet, RA ultimately replaces Horus in egyptian mythology much like Richard (RA) purges the Dharma initiative (Horus).

    Olivier March 10th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    "the sub--if the island has been moving so that widmore couldn't find it for 20 years, how is it that a sub can go to and fro regularly?"

    Good question, but I think we may safely assume that Dharma & the Others set up some sort of radio beacon to guide the sub back to the Island-- we have seen Ben communicate with Richard cross the ocean.

    While modern means (satellites, ...) may not locate the Island, messages sent from it seem to get across easily.


    "Was the departure of the O6 from the island really an event that "wasn't supposed to happen?
    Did this event actually change the timeline?"

    What has happened has happened, to quote Daniel.
    The time travellers are not changing the past and its future: they are making it as it has always been; the past already incorporated their actions.

    Contrary to our usual perception, time is not a one-way line, and events are not linked in a strict chronological way tied to each individual-- in other words, there is no "Desmond sees nobody why alone in the hatch" which is changed at one point by Daniel's visit, due to his being chronoported back decades later.

    When everything was created (the Universe), Time and History (all events) was created at once in one Big Bang, regardless of the "chronological" order you can consider them in when picking up the thread of cause and effect and following it around in time.

    As has already been pointed out here (by J. & in comments), all this raises the question of free will, which we may be allowed up to a certain extent, with the Universe correcting the course.

    Juliet & Sawyer saving the baby may be Fate suing them to correct things and reinstate the "normal", preordained chain of events, which was upset by something we are yet to discover, and has to do with the upcoming "war" and impending Doom Mrs Hawking tried to avert.


    "on 'Lost' chat forums, people have been speculating about what the very last scene will be"

    i hope it won't be a collection of mighty cliffhangers as the last episode of the outstanding [i]Twin Peaks[/i] was.


    "I noticed that Faraday was not seen in 1977 Dharma time. I belive that he is at the hydra station doing scientific work. I think he will try to do more time travel to save Charlotte, and will end up creating all the problems that are currently happening."
    (Amy A.)

    I think that may be the whole point of Charlotte and Daniel's love for her: not to have an inconsequential, tiny love story for the sake of a "oh gosh, she's dead! poor Daniel!" moment, but to set in motion things that we have witnessed so far.
    Even though he knows that the past and the future cannot be changed, Daniel's love for Charlotte will probably make him try anyway, and do something which he would otherwise deem irrational-- sense versus sensibility, reason versus emotion, ...

    "I think he will set up the donkey wheel"
    (Amy A.)

    The wheel already exists: in this Season's first episode, before we saw Daniel, we saw Chang examine a sonar/X-Ray picture of the cave beyond the wall, which clearly showed the wheel.

    In fact, if I am not mistaken:
    - John climbs down the rope
    - a flash takes them all (Sawyer & Co, plus Locke) back at an ancient time when the statue was still standing and the well had not been dug yet
    - the final flash is caused by Locke turning the wheel one last time to set it right, and Juliet & Co end up in 1974.
    This means that the wheel already existed at the time we saw the giant statue was still intact.


    An addition to the previous comments regarding the writing of the series, and how things had to have been decided & written two eyars ahead.

    I think it's like detective stories (it is one, in a sense), and everything is very simple: even though it may naturally have taken a bit of time to write the gist of whole story (ex: An ancient civilization harnessed the strange power of an Island; people crash on it; X will do this, Y will do this, Z will turn out to have done this, ...), what makes things complicated for viewers, and must take the most time to write, is that everything is presented in a very disjointed, unchronological, non-linear manner.

    That everything was thought out and decided two years ahead is not that surprising, therefore, since it just amounts to "The freigher crew wants to kill everybody, the scientists are good guys, time travel is introduced, Alex is killed, Ben leaves the Island by moving it"; mixing it all up and deciding when and how to reveal this or that, and keeping track of everything explained and remaining to be explained, must be a lot harder.

    This says a lot about our perception of simplicity, complexity, genius, and the amount of work writing such stories requires.
    If Holmes stories were told chronologically, à la Columbo, showing every action, showing the specks of mud falling from the shoes, the box being moved an inch, etc, the detective would not appear so brilliant; scrambling everything up and showing Holmes piece it all together from the tiniest details creates the magic; explaining it at the end debunks this magic-- but not Doyle's genius, because imagining it all, scrambling things up, and finding a way to reconstruct it in an ingenious way, take a lot of intelligence and work.

    Such a narrative (Holmes, Lost) is erotic in its proceeding: it teases you, shows a little something, unveils progressively, suggests; how sexy it is depends on the stripper-writer's unveiling skills; the final "disclo[the]sure" is satisfying but no longer titillating.
    While Holmes stories are akin to a mere undressing, Lost truly resembles a strip-tease, in which the stripper makes you think one tiny bit of clothing (revelation) is the last, but it actually conceals another (question/mystery); we all want to see her naked, but when she is, the show will be over-- and we don't want it to stop ever, while actually longing for the final veil to be dropped.

    leviathan1 March 10th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    btw, i'm referring to young ben, and the said encounter with richard as a "hostile" presumably happened somewhere on the timeline between jughead and la fleur.

    105710v3r March 10th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Olivier -- love the stripping analogy. It reminds me of how we come to understand life itself.

    Eruption of Bears March 10th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    "Time is out of joint. Oh, cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right." - Lockelet. But do we know for a fact that it was Ben who pushed too hard on the wheel and knocked it off its axle?

    Nan March 10th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Since they will be showing a repeat of LaFleur tomorrow, I have a couple things I would like for the readers to take notice of.

    The first, it is not at the beginning on the "previously on Lost" segment but actual event they repeat of Locke going down into the well. Christian Shepherd is not shown. Now they could have done this for time and also not paying the actor again, but the wheel is dark. There is no light - no flashes - not until Locke pulls it.

    Second is when our Losties come upon the Hostiles and Amy. We hear a shot, and screaming and when we see them, Paul is lying dead on the ground. Any chance Amy shot Paul?

    Montand’s Arm March 10th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I agree that the donkey wheel seems like an ancient contraption. It is reminiscent of how the Egyptian slaves built the pyramids in tandem and could be a piece of the Black Rock ship that's been repurposed as such.

    lost and back again March 10th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Nan - I too find Amy to be a bit shady. I think she could be an Other in Dharma clothing. Like Ben will be.

    Isn't it suspicious that Amy and Paul were picnicking in Other Territory? Was Amy's insistence on burying the bodies at the picnic site, which she claimed was a part of the truce, a sign that she’s really an Other? Did Richard want Paul’s body because Paul was an Other, too? And did Amy take Paul’s ankh necklace and keep it for years – not because she still loves him (like Horace thinks) – but as a symbol of her Otherness?

    MD March 10th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    The idea of course correction still needs to be considered. Desmond saving Charlie multiple times was not supposed to happen, so "fate" kept course correcting and ultimately getting its way.

    I still think our heroes have something specific to do. What if fate is using them to finish a course correction?

    Nan March 10th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    lost and back again - I did not consider that Amy was an Other -
    I actually contemplated she could be having an affair with an Other! I watch too much TV I guess! :)

    I thought Paul might have found the ankh necklace and Amy had to give it to him as if it were a gift. But it actually had been a gift to Amy from her Other lover!

    I thought another reason that Richard might have wanted Paul's body, in addition to it being that the Others got their revenge, is that if anyone examined Paul's body at D.I. HQ, they might have discovered something that would point to Amy as the murderer.

    I will say again though, I am almost always wrong when I speculate on what is going on with Lost.

    BaronTR March 10th, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    A couple of thoughts.
    One, since they had the abilty to predict where the island would be at a given time through the lamp post station, that would allow them to know where to send the submarine to rendevous with the island.
    Two, at some point, the donkey wheel was frozen in place, presumably by the Dharma initiative in connection with their experiments. I do wonder what effect that had on the island.

    Montand’s Arm March 10th, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    lost and back again - ooooh...good call - Amy as an Other. I like your logic because the big statue was holding an ankh in each hand and looked Egyptian. Sawyer called Alpert "the guy with the eyeliner" - possibly a reference to his being an Egyptian. Plus, LBH, Amy didn't seem all that broken up at first about Paul "her husband" being dead. Maybe she did keep Paul's ankh as a symbol of her Otherness - i.e., allegiance to Alpert.

    P.S. I can't wait for J's return!!!!

    Barry March 11th, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Along with some of the previous comments- if there was a truce, why would the Others have shot Paul? Wouldn't this break the truce?

    Horace could have told Richard "Your guys shot us first, and we defended ourselves." But they didn't, so: Who shot Paul? Why did they shoot Paul? And why the heck has Juliet been so quiet through all this- she's hiding something (but who isn't).

    Architect-X March 11th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Has anyone heard how J is doing recently? It's been a while since our last update on his health. Moderator, any news?

    Paul March 11th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Oliver states: "Was the departure of the O6 from the island really an event that "wasn't supposed to happen?
    Did this event actually change the timeline?"

    What has happened has happened, to quote Daniel.
    The time travellers are not changing the past and its future: they are making it as it has always been; the past already incorporated their actions."

    I'm not so sure about this. It appears that the 815 survivors were brought to the island for reasons that have yet to be clarified. So why have them brought to the island, then leave, then brought back to fulfill their destiny. This seems too convoluted, so the question of whether the 06 weren't supposed to leave is fair one. I think they weren't supposed to leave. How could this happen in light of Daniel's rules? Because Desmond is, according to Daniel, special and the rules don't apply to him. Once Des began having forward flashes of Charlie's death, he kept him alive long enough to turn off the jamming device in the Looking Glass station that was blocking transmissions off the island. Jack was then able to call the freighter and set off the chain of events that led to the 06 leaving. If Desmond hadn't done that, Charlie would never have lived long enough to turn off the switch, and the 06 couldn't have left. To me, this suggests that 815 survivors are also supposed to be on the island circa 2005 to fulfill their role, so further course corrections will ensue.

    Nan March 11th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I feel more and more positive Amy shot Paul. If anyone reads before tonight's rerun - pay close attention as Sawyer and group come upon the others. We hear two shots. We see Paul on the ground. Now watch the Other who is NOT putting that sack on Amy's head. He picks up a pistol from beside Paul's body and points it at Amy.

    John Moustache March 11th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    "What has happened has happened, to quote Daniel.
    The time travellers are not changing the past and its future: they are making it as it has always been; the past already incorporated their actions."
    The problem with this sentiment is how can it be reconciled with free will? If you take as a model that all time exists at once, then it could be true. What happened in the past is done, and what will happen in the future has been determined. So how does anyone decide to do anything at all?

    It seems to me that the more reasonable way to look at it is that the status of the past and present are variable relative to where you are in time. There was a time when Sawyer and company had not been with the DI, correct? The day they landed on the island, the past that existed did not include them being with the DI in 1977. But, later, after further events transpired, that did indeed become reality. We saw this situation with Desmond and Daniel. Before Daniel had spoken to Desmond at the Hatch's...hatch, Desmond had no memory of that because it hadn't happened yet. But then it did, and it became part of the past, and Desmond suddenly owned the memory.

    So it seems that the "what happened happened" stance can apply, but is only applicable to individual moments. Where the characters are at some moment in time and some place, they can say the past is past. And they can say that from another point as well, but the two pasts they are talking about could be different.

    Because of free will. The tricky thing is that free will can be exercised by all people at all times. Daniel in the future and Daniel in the past can each decide things, and these decisions pull on each other and the world around them like fingers pulling different ways on a spider's web.

    Gosh, now I am seeing the "what happened in the past happened" as more of a sarcastic statement, because the evidence we have seen from the show points to a fluid situation.

    Ok, I'm lost.

    John Moustache March 11th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    "Contrary to our usual perception, time is not a one-way line, and events are not linked in a strict chronological way tied to each individual-- in other words, there is no "Desmond sees nobody why alone in the hatch" which is changed at one point by Daniel's visit, due to his being chronoported back decades later.

    When everything was created (the Universe), Time and History (all events) was created at once in one Big Bang, regardless of the "chronological" order you can consider them in when picking up the thread of cause and effect and following it around in time."

    Olivier, would you expand on this a little bit? It's really fascinating and difficult to reconcile.

    Morgan March 11th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Any news on J Wood? Is he doing alright?

    Amy March 11th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Would love an update on the health of J. Wood; wishing him and his computer good health. Anyone where and what he teaches? Just curious. Too bad we don't get a new Lost tonight!

    Sawyer’s Blow Dry March 11th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    So when you ask 'Is it possible to get over someone after 4 episodes...' Well I knew a blogger once, heck I even checked on the website every hour for updates. But now I think of it I can't even remember his analysis..... So yes! it is possible to get over someone in just 4 episodes.'

    Just like our parting shot....I call... NOT TRUE.

    I'm still checking J.... come back soon!

    (p.s my first comment)

    Sawyer’s Blow Dry March 11th, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    'So when you ask "Is it possible to get over someone after 4 episodes?" I say, "I used to read a blogger once, heck I even refreshed my page every hour for more updates... but now.. well it's been 4 episodes... and I can't even remember his analysis...'

    Like the last gaze... I say NO Way.

    Here's wishing you well, J

    (first post on this excellent blog).

    asilgrass March 11th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    John Moustache-I think Desmond suddenly owning that memory is a testament to his "special gift." The reason I think this is that Charlotte remembered Daniel telling her not to come back to the island even though he had yet to be in 1970's DI time that we are aware of. I like your theory better so if you have an explanation please share.

    wegottagoback March 12th, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Pauls not dead. Paul is the Walrus

    Christina March 12th, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I, too, am hoping for an update on J's health...I check here every day to see if he's written anything, and it makes me sad to think that he's not posting because he's too sick. Let him know he's in our thoughts!!

    sosolost March 12th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    J -- we miss you!

    Trying to read thru some of posts...

    Leah said re Locke: "1. He wanted to save the island. But it seemed kind of wrong for him to kill himself in a hotel room as the "sacrifice." If Alpert and Christian had not told him he'd have to die, would he have even had that idea?"

    Something I caught when rewatching the Jeremy Bentham episode, during the scene in the graveyard between Locke and Abaddon.

    I think Abaddon planted the suicide thought in Locke’s head (at the cemetery) just as he planted the idea of the walkabout. He asks Locke something to the effect of is “death inevitable or a choice?”

    Just like w/ the walkabout "suggestion", Locke doesn’t consciously pick up on this suggestion (thinks these things are his idea).

    And the fact that Abaddon tells Locke something different from what Widmore told him re dying (Widmore told Locke he didn't have to die), says that, most likely, Abaddon really an independent (the "Economist?")

    Is this how Abaddon "gets people to where they're supposed to be"? By making "suggestions"?

    105710v3r March 12th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I would like to suggest that Paul was an Other who fell in love with Amy and joined DI. My reasoning is the ankh necklace he wore and the fact that the DI people had to give his body back to the Others. Maybe the attack on Amy & Paul was an attempt to kidnap them & Paul shot at them for protection & they killed him. That would explain why they picked up a gun next to his body. So they were going to kidnap &/or kill Amy? Why did they put the bag over her head other than to hide where they were bringing her? If they were going to kill her, then just shoot her and bury her body. Also, Horace tells Amy that he has known her for a long time, so I don't think she is an other. BUT, I have been wrong before. Maybe Amy is the other and Paul was learning secrets from her so the others had to kill him & return her to their camp. THOUGHTS?

    muchadoaboutnothing March 12th, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Regarding Juliet Burke; Wasn't it Richard Alpert that approached Juliet to come to the Island? And didn't she finally help Amy deliver a baby boy? Did richard succeed in this plan? Amy better not name this baby boy Paul?

    105710v3r March 12th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Eruption of Bears March 9th, 2009 at 2:01 pm
    105710v3r: I didn't know madeleines and Clementines were the same thing. But maybe the whole Proust thing is a stretch, non?

    I have searched & searched to try & find where the madeleine / clemetine factoid that had lodged in my brain came from and have had no luck. Madeleines are not also called clementines. SORRY.

    Olivier March 12th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    - John Moustache -

    Sure, but I'm no expert, mind you; I'm working from the theory presented in Lost, reflections upon it, upon Watchmen (which I am currently re-reading-- I first did at the beginning of the decade after seeing the movie), and whatever I may have read on the subject here and there over the years.

    Basically, the idea is that Time is like Space: events do not just pop up momentarily when you encounter them and disappear as soon as you've experienced them; the streetpost you've just passed by was there yesterday and still exists tomorrow; you can walk back to it and pass it again; the idea of time travel relies on the same idea that an event/era is not a fleeting, virtual, intangible nothing that can only be experienced once and immediately disappears, but something that exists forever-- and has always existed.

    Daniel's rule that you cannot change the past when time travelling is rather simple, really: since you are in the past, you are not changing anything but simply doing what will be known as factual history.

    The problem is that, being used to a one-way linear view of time and causality, the time traveler thinks that his presence (yes, there's a pun in there) in the past changes things, because he thinks in terms of his own chronology, and considers himself as the point of reference:
    "- I invented a time machine in 2008,
    - tested it in 2009,
    - arrived in 2000,
    - did something then, thereby I changed history".
    That's an anthropocentric fallacy.

    Actually, the true chronology is:
    - in 1999, things were a certain way,
    - in 2000 this person did something,
    - and in 2008 they invented a time machine
    - which they used in 2009.
    Thus, the 2000 event is not new at all (only in the time traveler's mind): it was there in 2008, in the History of Events, before he inventor created in time machine (or even thought of creating one).

    For all this to be possible (ie, for the 2000 event to exist enve though the machine making it possible is not created until 2008), both the 2000 event and the moment the inventor finishes the time machine and tests it have to coexist in time.

    This can be applied to any event and anyone, any time.
    Hence the idea that everything popped up at once in a Big Bang of Events, and its corollary: a timme traveller does not change History, but makes it what it has always been from the start.

    Now, again, I am no specialist and this is just my interpretation of all this, along the line of Lost and other theories.
    Theories of real world time vary to some degrees and may be utterly different-- to say nothing of reality.

    Olivier March 12th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Rather than try to rephrase it all as I try to do as much as possible when posting basically the same thing on different boards (not just here), allow me to merely copy my further reflections on Time, Free Will and Rules as posted on the Dharma Secrets message board (before the above message-- ha! how's that for mixing up chronology? ;) ).

    (Here's the direct link for a more pleasant read, with bold & italics; I'll replace the spoiler tags in the quotations from Watchmen by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ; I'm still copying this below in case you could not access the board at some point)

    (Sorry, it's a bit longish)

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    In alan Moore's Watchmen, Dr Manhattan's perception of time and his stance on fate are exactly what we're discussing here:
    - time is an unchangeable map on which everything coexists at once
    - he has full knowledge of everything past, present or future that has occurred in his life
    - therefore, any decision is somewhat irrelevant, since it can only lead to one thing; when he does something, he does so because he knows that a few minutes or hours from that point on, he will have done it
    For all his godlike powers and knowledge of his own future, Dr Manhattan is thus a rather impotent god figure, because of this circular logic-- I am doing or a going to do this because I already know that I will have done this.

    I reached Chapter IX in my re-reading last night, and it addresses all this most explicitly.
    [ (page number.panel number) ]

    [Jon / Dr Manhattan] Why does my perception of time distress you?
    [Laurie] Why ask? You already know my answer: it's stupid. When xxxxxxxxxxxxxx I left you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx , when xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Nova Express attacked you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, you were surprised.
    Why, if you knew it would happen?
    [Jon] Everything is preordained. Even my responses.
    [Laurie] And you just go through the motions, acting them out?
    Is that what you are? The most powerful thing in the universe and you're just a puppet following a script?
    [Jon] We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings.

    [Laurie] I mean, this is ridiculous. Why hold a debate when you alredy know the goddamned outcome?
    [Jon] Because...
    [Laurie] "Because that's how it happens!" I know, I know...

    [Jon] There is no future. There is no past. Do you see?
    [Jon] Time is simultaneous, an intricately structured jewel that humans insist on viewing one edge at a time, when the whole design is visible in every facet.

    Lots of things came through my mind reading and now typing this. I'll try not to forget any.

    1/ Regarding the notion that Jon is but a puppet acting out a script, including surprise when he actually had foreknowledge of it...

    This is obviously what the book is: everything is already written (and drawn), down to the tiniest details.

    It's even truer when you read it, and already know the outcome; you are then in the position of Jon, rediscovering everything you already know.

    You are even in all the character's shoes, yet with the addition of Jon's powers being granted to all of them, since when (re-)reading the book, you (re-)enact all the parts in your mind: you are Jon, Laurie, Rorscharch, The Comedian, ..., with the knowledge of all things past, present and future (with things past to be revealed or made clearer some pages later-- as is the case in Lost).

    2/ One step further-- even, actually, one step back in time...

    ... back to the story's creation.

    A recurring remark made by authors (in general) is that when the characters are well defined, well rounded, and the basic events and outline are in place, at one point, the author no longer feels that is has any control over anything: the characters react, things happen with an awesome inevitability, all by themselves; the characters come alive, the actions are in character, the consequences are logical and realistic (for instance, one of the good guys does not survive, however much you love them), so much so that the author cannot argue with it.

    Even though it is all his creation, there is this eerie feeling that he is but a medium through which the story is perceived, and the characters are truly alive in their own world that he can observe.
    According to one of the quotations attributed to Michelangelo, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it"-- or "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.", or in yet another guise, "The best of artists hath no thoughts to show, which the rough stone in its superfluous shell, doth not include; to break the marble spell, is all the hand that serves the brain can do."

    It's all there, all decreed, all preordained, all rehearsed, it's all happened, and the author is just reporting it.

    "This whole act's immutably decreed. 'Twas rehearsed by thee and me a billion years before this ocean rolled. Fool! I am the Fates' lieutenant; I act under orders. Look thou, underling! that thou obeyest mine."
    "Believe ye, men, in the things called omens? Then laugh aloud, and cry encore! For ere they drown, drowning things will twice rise to the surface; then rise again, to sink for evermore."
    (Ahab to Starbuck and the crew; Moby-Dick, Chapter CXXXIV, "The Chase-- Second Day")

    3/ Of Prophecies, Omens and Rules

    The second part of the quote I included because Ahab's unshakeable faith in his invulnerability is comforted by the prophecies the Parsee pilot of his waling boat tells him: he cannot die till two hearses are seen on the sea, and hemp only can kill him-- which Ahab understands as meaning the gallows.
    Naturally, as in Macbeth, this is all symbolical or incomplete; one has to consider all the possible meanings, litteral and symbolical, of a prophecy or an omen, to fully comprehend it.
    Two prophets were met earlier; at the beginning, Elijah tells Ishmael and Queequeg that the ship is doomed.

    Lost and Watchmen present a conundrum in the circular logic of the chain of causality and the limits of free will their model of time imply, and ultimately, a paradox: whether he foreknows it or not, a character acts such a way because it is known in the future that he acted this way-- "I deliberately broke the vase because my future self came back to told me I had, and I did not want to risk disrupting time's continuum by not breaking the vase".

    In the case of Juliet & Sawyer saving Amy, nobody knows, so there isn't any problem-- other than a predetermination they had no knowledge of.

    In the case of Daniel telling young Charlotte never to return to the Island, we have a problem: does he warn little Charlotte because adult Charlotte told him about it, or rather because he desperately wants to try to save her, despite the "What's past is past / everything that's happening has already happened / you don't change anything / you just act out something decreed eons ago" theory?

    Are Daniel and the characters trapped by this logic?
    Is this theory entirely correct?
    After all, it's mostly just this: a theory; as a scientist, Daniel must hypothesize, come up with theories, and test them.
    To what extent has is been able to test this theory through and through, enough to be perfectly certainly he's right? This would require hundreds and hundreds of experiments (or equations?), probably more than his young age would seem to permit.
    Surely, some other scientists (in Lost's universe) ust have other theories-- maybe not that different, but still different.

    There may be some margin left, as we have seen with Desmond.
    Desmond's special characteristic may be that the margin is wider for him, for some reason, and he can delay certain facts or alter the way they occur, up to a certain point (the date and way Charlie dies).

    And what of Ms Hawking?
    If Desmond is to go to and remain on the Island, why meet him, show him fate be altered, only delayed, rather than let it all play out till what had to happen happened?
    Was Desmond already altering the future and threatening that this necessary and normally unchangeable fate never come happen?
    Was it essential that this future occur as soon as possible?
    Is she as special as he is?

    Is it all an illusion?
    Is free will possible to a greater extent that this theory implies?

    Are the character truly inanimate wooden puppets, or are they Pinocchios, endowed with a certain amount of free will and power to truly determine the course of events?

    This might be why the O6's departure was such a catastrophe: through Desmond's intervention (someone else than Charlie could have dived to the Looking Glass, but only he had the necessary musical knowledge to decipher the access code), they were able to leave the Island; then, their return depends on their own will, and Ben must convince them to exert this will toward returning to the Island.

    - Update -

    Maybe fate & free will are not that mutually exclusive, but coexist and alternate? Maybe not actually, but in terms of interpretation.

    What I mean is that it may be like light: corpuscular and undular models are valid explanations depending on the experiment; in some cases, light seems to behave like a flow of photons; in others, it seems to behave like a wave; till we find a more satisfying model, both can be used to account for observation.

    Maybe "What's past is past / The future is set" and "No fate" (Sarah Connor) are the equivalent of corpuscular & undular models of light: it ought to be one or the other, but in some cases you can only explain what you observe with one theory, and in other cases only the other model can account for the results of an experiment.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Regarding Amy: durn, silly me had not thought placing a bag on her head (thus bringing one for this purpose) had nothing to do with killing her but was for abducting her.

    Ginny March 12th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    leviathin...good point about Richard looking scraggly when he first meets young Ben and then so civilized in the other time periods. Also, someone mentioned that RA was responsible for getting Juliet to the island and then in 77 dharma she delivers Amy's baby that would have died otherwise...makes you really wonder about that baby and his importance in the upcoming "war".

    Amy, an other? I hadn't thought of that but it could make sense. I found it odd that the 2 guys who were others would behave like we thought they did by shooting Paul and putting a bag over amy's head?! Just didn't make sense. your time stuff!! Just read Watchmen twice but have not seen the movie. The book is more than I expected and I loved it!

    muchadoaboutnothing March 13th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I still like the idea that Amys' baby could be Desmond "the Constant" Hume. Rules don't apply to him also.

    muchadoaboutnothing March 14th, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Thinking about it again.. "The constant " is Richard Alpert always the same age. And going back to those Skeletons in the caves...Adam and Eve. Christian and Claire? Jacob and ??? Lets ask Miles he might know? Or J. Wood? Were all wondering about Him.

    Leah March 14th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    All the discussions about free will in time travel remind me a lot of the classic arguments of free will vs. predestination (Calivinism) in the protestant church (baptist v. presbyterian). Calvin made the argument, based on several passages in the Bible, that God knows everything (omniscient) and is all powerful (omnipotent), therefore he predetermines everything. He could change things and He doesn't, so He has predetermined the things that will happen. Some go to the extreme that it precludes free will of humanity.

    The other extreme is that humans were created by God with free will, and we choose the actions we take. God may choose to limit Himself to give us this power of choice in our own lives. He is all-knowing, and may know the choices we make, but ultimately it is up to us and we can change the course of our lives.

    Every time I listen to this argument I find myself somewhere in the middle: Though God is omnipotent and omnipresent, He does not control what will happen. He gives us the choices of what we can do in our lives, and at the same time knows the choices we will make because, as His creation, He knows us so well.

    This can be applied to LOST, and possibly reconcile the time-travel conundrum of altering history and universe course-correction. For example, there is a verse in the Bible that states that God works all things together for the good of His children. As we have seen with Desmond/Daniel and others, free will can have a place, but the universe/island/God will use the evil or bad things that people choose to do and ultimately work them for the good of everyone (course correction). So, though we have a choice and a free will to do what we wish, even when we mess up things will come back around and be corrected so that good will prevail.

    SeattleKaren March 14th, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Hope you feel better soon, J. We miss you!

    muchadoaboutnothing March 15th, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I know that sometimes what I think isn't important to what "Others" are thinking but I do believe this: It takes a whole village (world) to create a good comedy!And damn if this isn't a good one. Shakespeare himself is laughing in "Whispers!!

    Vicki March 15th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    No, I will NOT draw you a hexadecimal. Please stop asking me.

    Get well J.

    BornOfFire March 15th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Good thoughts Leah. And of course, in Christianity, the ultimate course correction is the resurrection of John Lo . . . I mean . . . Jesus Christ. His death was an injustice. According to Genesis, death was a punishment for sin. Jesus was sinless, and yet he died. That's not supposed to happen. For him it wasn't a punishment, it was something he did willingly. And for that reason, death had no hold on him. It's almost like the grave spit him back out because he didn't belong there. And now God is course correcting our world, bringing it back to the purpose for which he created it. The writers of Lost have done an excellent job with their allusions. There are, of course, major differences between Locke and Christ, but it's funny how well the mythos of Lost interlocks with that of Christianity.

    LK March 15th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Watching my favorite show has become a bit less enjoyable without your great insights. I hope that you're back up and stretching my brain again soon!

    Ginny March 16th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I agree with some of the analogies of the Lost story and christianity such as JC and JL, however the Lost writers do a good job of incorporating other religous thought and/or beliefs. If you haven't read Watchmen please do. It's so much more than a "comic" book. It's really a novel with many philosophical questions of life and time and space and morality of inventions...etc. The faith that god or a higher power is within us all. Or somehow we are all connected with all time and all space because we are matter/energy, etc. I've been thinking some about Richard Alpert and Jacob and just cannot figure how they fit into all this. We have now seen Richard from 1954 through the present and he never chnages, never ages and does not really seem to be in charge of the whole group of "others" or island people, but then who or what is he? He doesn't know what will happen next, does not seem to have any special powers and never really explains himself to anyone. And why did he have a "truce" with the Dharma people in 1977 if he was able to kill all the US soldiers in 1954?
    He is more a mystery to me than Jacob is because so often he seems to be in control but does not actually "lead".

    Nan March 17th, 2009 at 4:19 am

    Ginny - Mr. Friendly told Kate, Jack and Sawyer "This is our island. We let you live on it" Might not be a direct quote but if you remember, he went to some lengths to explain about people that come into your house, eat your food and sleep in your bed."

    Richard explained the deaths of the 18 soldiers as well. He told them to leave but instead they attacked them. Would you want a group with a WMD to take over your home.

    Read what J. Wood said in Lost: Siste Viator - where he talks about Utopia and how they handle war. It made me understand the Purge better. They did allow the D.I. to set up camp and the truce was very important to keep. Obviously you don't step over that line that the Others draw.

    Can't answer who or what role Richard plays - maybe he is a clone!

    dharmabum March 17th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I'm starting to think that Richard Alpert is like Christian Shephard. (This may be raised by someone else also.) This is why he never ages, and almost always has the same outfit - he's not a real person, but a spirit, like Christian. I can't however explain how he manages to go off island - but the again, we did see that Jack saw Christian in his hospital, post-island.

    Ginny March 17th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    dharmabum...but Richard looked very real when he and Ethan met with Juliet in Miami to talk her into coming with them because they needed her fertility expetise.

    Nan...thanks for the tip in rereading Siste Viator. I know that there is the line you don't step over with the original people, but why allow Dharma to expand in the first place? Why not sabotage their plan before it could gorw so big? That's why I think that somehow Richard needed Dharma to be there at first. I just don't know what that need is. I agree that an all out war is not the answer because Ben once said they don't kill innocent people...but they did purge Dharma and I'm sure some of those people were innocent. Why the change of heart? Is it because the DI killed some of their people?

    Ginny March 17th, 2009 at 5:48 pm other thought about Siste Viator...did Ben act as Richard's mercenary when he agreed to purge the DI?

    muchadoaboutnothing March 18th, 2009 at 7:35 am

    It was James ford Sawyer that jumped from the Helicopter to help save the oceanic flight815 survivors left on the island.( He made a choice to stay) He was hoping that Kate would survive also for he gave her a message. What could he have possibly told her? And will he ever willingly want to leave the island ever again? He has almost always wanted to help others survive while protecting his interest also.He did shoot the polar bear!He now is head of Dharma security in 1977!He has stayed on the island when John Locke left. Now he's holding (Truce) peace with Richard Alpert.I'd say Watch Lefleur blossom. And then there is Desmond Hume the anomoly.Seemly running lost like a loose comet in the universe. And aren't comets the rouges of the universe?To whom it seem that rules don't apply. What if Sawyers' message was intended Desmond? Those two; Desmond and Sawyer Our loose Rogues. Certainly a little opposite of all those other antagonists on "Lost". But boy how a story needs good antagonists. !!!

    Jesse Custer March 18th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I'm concerned about J Wood. It's been some time since we recieved an update on his condition, and one would think that even if he were substantially behind in his posts, that at least one would have made it up here in the time he's been gone.

    Since that hasn't happened, I'm assuming he continues to have serious trouble at the least, and I'd be appreciative if the moderator(s) here could give us some word on his status. I've gone past caring if Wood posts more here - I'd just like to know that he's okay.

    Eko March 18th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Ditto that, JesseCuster.

    Sara March 18th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Amen, Amen, I agree. Please update us, it's been over a month and we're worried.

    Lynbie March 18th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    I agree with Jesse. I would like to know that J. Wood is okay. Does anybody have an update?

    Keelay March 18th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Couldn't agree more. As much as I miss the posts, the main concern is that J. Wood is okay.

    105710v3r March 18th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Yes, J. Wood, we are sending you healing thoughts.

    Architect-X March 18th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Moderator, fill us in please...

    Ginny March 19th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    I agree with all of you...I do miss J's posts and am very concerned about him. Please update us. We wish him well.

    Mr S March 20th, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Same here. I check back every few days to see if there is any news but am always disappointed.
    On another note - muchadoaboutnothing - I'm pretty sure Sawyer told Kate to go find his daughter and maybe give her a message or something. If you watch that scene very closely, I'm sure you can hear him say something along those lines. I really liked Namaste and did anyone notice Sawyer started calling him Jack instead of Doc? Almost as if Sawyer now considers them equals and has enough grounding to even be able to chastise Jack for his actions. I can't wait until next week, but am already getting a little sad that we are in nearing the final stretch of Season 5 :(

    BornOfFire March 20th, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Yeah, I've been really concerned about J as well. I friended him on facebook awhile back, so I decided to go to his page and see if there was any recent activity. If it's any consolation, he was posting stuff on there as recently as last Thursday. Judging by the posts, he seemed to be in good spirits.

    Messenger88 March 20th, 2009 at 11:52 am

    J Wood,

    You are greatly missed and we all obviously hope you are doing well and will be able to get back in the saddle soon...

    ...Personally, I did not realize just how much your posts help me put things into context with Lost until the posts stopped coming. I look forward to reading the next one, whenever that may be. In the meantime, take care of yourself...and Namaste.

    Perlandra March 20th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Until Master Wood is among us again...

    I fear that, as in Greek mythology, the returned 06 will unwittingly cause the tragedies they wish to avert.

    And as sweet as it was to see James flourishing as LaFleur after dropping the self-hating parts of his identity, that won't last. He'll backslide, thanks to Kate and Jack, and require further cycles of purification. What a contrast between the love offered by Juliette, a mature woman, and sentimental lust from perpetual girl, Kate.

    I'm not persuaded that revenant Christian is really benevolent. Amy is up to no good: she's an Other mole whose attempted kidnapping was a fake. Perhaps Ethan looked older than he should be when first met because he's spent the additional years time-travelling.

    jphimself March 20th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    I want to wish J. Wood the best again and hope for his speedy recovery.

    I also want to say that for me as a reader of this blog for several years, I would be more than happy if he returns with a comment on only the most recent episode. I hope he will not feel burdened with some feeling of duty to produce comments on all the missed episodes.

    He may have a book contract or editor who is demanding a full accounting, but for we readers who have come to value J and his thought provoking essays, we'll take whatever he can give us and be happy for the gift.

    Be well.

    Marty March 21st, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Ha! I was right, the baby is/was Ethan! And since Ethan was an 'other' than that just points very strongly to the fact that Amy is indeed an 'other' / spy.

    Also, did anyone else notice Sawyer's tone and language when talking to Jack? It wasn't just rubbing it in regarding the reversal of roles, but Sawyer seems to want to protect their current way of life. He seems to be stuck between the reality of knowing his life now is all a ruse, but also not wanting to give up what he has (leadership, respect, relationship with Juliet, etc.). Again it should be pointed out that loyalties will be stretched, considering Sawyer have been with DI for 3 years, but only knew the fellow 815 folks for a few months. It will certainly make things interesting from Sawyer's viewpoint.

    indefilm23 March 21st, 2009 at 12:12 am


    There's a few things we need to establish. *These are the facts:

    Frank is flying Ajira Airways flight 316 at night, in Jan 2008 (What I will refer to as present time, the present time in the narrative of LOST) *A flash*occurs*sending Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid to 1977. *Post-Flash the plane is flying during the day, and the co-pilot has a WTF? moment, while Frank is simply trying to land the plane. *Once they have crash landed the co-pilot has been impaled by tree branch. *We see the title card "Thirty Years Earlier". *

    This is why everyone is stuck on the idea that the Ajira Airways passengers are in present time, late Jan 2008. *But the title card really means to say "we are about to show you 30 years before this moment", not "when" they ended up.*I think it's completely rational to say that the flash from Night to Day insinuates that Flight 316 traveled through time, or , in even simpler terms, Ajira flight 316 is not "when" it was before the flash. *So I think it is false to assume that the Ajira passengers landed in Jan 2008. *

    If you swallow that, then there are two ways we can go. *We are before 2008 or we are after 2008. *

    Arguments for before Jan 2008:

    -The dock and surrounding area is full of old dharma stuff, kinda like post-purge looking and note: no sub.
    -The processing center's sign is swaying against the building while dharma signs are nailed to a few doors.
    -This does not really resemble the 2004 Othersville days of yesteryear. The others used the sub and this area regularly, juliet came in the sub. I highly doubt they would have left up the pictures of the people they had just gassed and thrown into a giant ditch.

    Arguments for after Jan 2008:

    - The runway is finished which we assume was Ben's construction project, we see Sawyer and Kate working on it in season 3 when they were sleeping in polar bear cages.

    The runway kinda seals the deal for me as a clear indication that we are post Jan 2008. How post? Damned if i know. A post where the dharma initiative was back in business or at least trying to appear that way. And Obviously from the look of things, it didn't work out...again.

    Was someone trying to play dharma with old props to keep up a lie?

    jphimself March 21st, 2009 at 12:16 pm


    I would suggest an alternative explanation for the sudden jump of the crashing plane from night into daylight.

    Remember when Faraday first came to the Island he conducted experiments that involved firing rockets from the ship to the Island. Those experiments established that there was a difference of several minutes, if I remember correctly, between the ship and Faraday. Faraday had crossed the Island's barrier, which we don't yet understand, just as the plane did as it crashed.

    Since the physics involved are, at best, arcane I can't fathom how to calculate any time variations but it would seem likely that we are talking about minutes or hours rather than years. A shift from night to morning seems to be enough to be consistent with Faraday's experience.

    Of course, all during the series "present" the Island and/or its inhabitants have been jumping from time to time. Where they stopped nobody knows. Place your bets ladies and gentlemen.

    My bet would be on some date in the late 70's or early 80's after the village is abandoned for unknown reasons by the Dharma group (which includes Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid, but before it is reinhabited by Ben and the Others to constitute the Otherville we saw in 2004.

    JoeV. March 21st, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Kind thoughts out to you J Wood.

    indefilm23 - I think you miss a key point. Some of the flight 815 people (and friends) have flashed back to 1977 - this represents a new wrinkle in the timeline. The history of the Dharma Initiative was originally written without the 815ers. With them there, the course of history as we've seen it will change. Essentially, everything we've come to know about Dharma will have changed. The 815ers - from the time Sawyer and friends flashed there in 1974, added Jack, Kate, and Hurley in 1977 - to the "new" present, constitutes an alternate timeline. We have very little idea now what happened to Dharma. Case in point - it looks like this week the village will burn down in the 1970s - in the "original" timeline, it had been kept pristine by the Others after they took it over and lived there through 2004.

    Ginny March 22nd, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I guess we need to be patient and hope that J Wood posts soon. I'm relieved to hear that he recently posted on his facebook.

    Namaste showed a very different Sawyer and I agree that he is closer to the group he has spent 3 years with as opposed to the 3 returning 815ers. But I also agree that the presence of the 815ers, Juliet and Miles will change the outcome of the DI. We are in a different time plane now.

    I think Faraday left via the donkey wheel because he was so distraught over Chrlotte's death and that is why we see him crying when watching TV and he sees the finding of Oceanic 815.

    105710v3r March 22nd, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Mr S.-- I also think Sawyer told Kate to go visit his daughter. I also wonder if Kate gave Aaron to Sawyer's ex-girlfriend to keep with Clementine while she went back to the Island. After all, she did know the ex-girlfriend & met her after Sawyer & she were split up but before she had the baby. I imagine there will be an episode showing Kate going to see the daughter and finding out she knew Sawyer's ex-girlfriend all along. That might be one of the reasons she decided to return to the Island. To tell Sawyer about his ex-girlfriend & daughter.

    Mr S March 23rd, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Joe V - I don't think we have alternate timelines in Lost. Faraday said the past can't be changed no matter how hard you try. So I think the 815ers were ALWAYS part of Dharma, but we, as the audience, only find out about it as the characters themselves do. It seems the 815ers influenced events in the 70s but have not changed anything and the events will transpire as they have always done. That's my understanding anywa.

    John Moustache March 23rd, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Mr S and Joe V have illustrated the central divide in figuring out Lost's time travel paradox, as I tried haltingly to comment on earlier in the thread. It basically comes down to this: Do you think that the picture of the castaways as part of the Dharma Initiative was there when Jack woke up in the first episode or not? Was the past in which they were part of the Dharma Initiative already written, or was there a change when they went back to the island?

    I think I am coming down on the side of the divide that says no, the picture was not there. But once the characters left the island, then came back, were zapped out of the plane, and took the photo that day, only then did that picture go up on the wall, and that became the new past.

    It's a real challenge to explain how I think this works. I've tried and failed before. Essentially, I look at the time-space of the LOST world as we have discussed it before: All time and all space exists as once, and all events and causes and effects are intertwined as an unfathomably complicated web, where actions or happenings link to both the past and future. Ordinarily, time and space are "normal," in that no one is hopping about in time. All things have happened, all things will happen, and we simply perceive the everything in a mediated way, which gives us our idea of normal time.

    This isn't to say free will does not exist. It does. It's just that the free decisions everyone will make already exist as part of the whole completed system. You can sort of picture it as a movie that has been made once, where all the decisions and actions are spontaneous and freely-made in an instant, "generating" the time-space reality that we then move through in mediated way. Our experience of time is us experiencing the instantly-generated time-space one frame at a time.

    This makes sense in light of what Olivier was saying a ways back: that everything was set up in the Big Bang. The exact physics of everything was determined based on the precise way that the Big Bang, well, banged. The paths of all particles and energy was predetermined, not by an intelligence necessarily, but simply by the way the started off. Infinite possibilities could have happened, but only one *did* and in this way all time and space was pre-determined.

    Think of a hugely complex system of mathematical equations with several initial inputs. Theoretically, infinite resolutions exist because infinite possible starting values can be input. And once you choose your inputs, the system will iterate over and over and over until the solution is reached. But the solution won't ever be different if the same input values are entered. The conditions of the Big Bang are the initial values, and the whole of physics are the governing equations. Once the big bang popped, each iteration in sequence of the final resolution popped simultaneously into existence.

    Which leaves us with one "correct" way for all existence to proceed: We have heard characters often claim over the course of this show that things were or were not "supposed" to happen. Only somehow, the one way was corrupted.

    It seems to me that this happened when human intelligence came into contact with the island's perverse energy weirdness. The island is home to, or embodies, some exotic power that is messing with its path through time and space. Now, without human intelligence interfering, maybe the island would have skipped about in time and space and nothing much would have come of it. But when humanity came in contact with that power, things changed.

    How could this corruption occur? If everything is pre-ordained, in a way, why would something change? This could only happen in two scenarios: One, that someone gained the ability to know other time-states and could thus use that knowledge and their free will in their present time to try to act to effect different results, either in the past or the future, as it's all connected in a web. We saw this play out with Desmond once he gained that ability after an extreme encounter with island energy. Two, that someone could actually move their entire person through time and wreak havoc with the "correct" path of events.

    And so we have the events of Lost. Somehow the one correct unfolding of the universe met a fork in the road in the form of this island, or probably in the form of a human utilizing the island's power. This forced a split in the path of existence; picture the straight trunk of a tree splitting suddenly into multiple branches.

    This is the way I envision that the one nice single solution set of time was corrupted and instantly split into an infinite set of possible realities. When people gained the ability to move through or become aware of time in the way that the Lost characters have, multiple, even infinite realities become possible, instead of the one set path. And the choices and actions they make become crucial to the path of time that results. They really become god-like in their power, whether they realize the scope of it or not.

    Some have realized the scope of the power and are trying desperately to influence or use it. The DI, the Others, Ben, Widmore. These groups have either stumbled into or have been introduced to the power of the island, which was opened like Pandora's Box some fateful time in the past. Are some trying to control it for good? For evil? Some may be trying to just control it and protect it, stopping the proliferation, hiding the island away from meddling. But now all these groups realize that the the island is the key to guiding the eventual outcome of the world, whether they are trying to right the ship or capsize it. They realize that infinite possible realities are in flux around them, waiting to be settled on after all the pieces on the chessboard have moved.

    Which brings to mind the discussions of Maxwell's Demon from before. J. Wood did a great job explaining the concept. Essentially, the idea is that one can create events which are illegal or improbable in the eyes of physics and chance if one can impose choice onto otherwise random events, if I understand it correctly. So many parties are vying to be the Demon to the island, to figure out the path (or loops?) of consequences from all the island's disruption so precisely, that they could then act to effectively "choose" the event path that would either straighten or finally break the Arrow of Time.

    John Moustache March 23rd, 2009 at 10:27 am

    So where does everyone come down:

    When 815 crashed on the island, was the 1977 Dharma picture with Jack and the rest on the wall, or was it not?

    Let's hear thoughts.

    John Moustache March 23rd, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Also, another question: Once people started traveling around in time, what determines the way they perceive events? For that matter, even in the unspoiled state of time-space, what determines our mediated experience of time in a straight line?

    Please, anyone with knowledge of actual theorizing or research in this area, weigh in.

    My guess, is that it has something to do with the oft-cited (and ill-cited) thermodynamic principle about the way complex systems degrade and move to chaos.

    I guess you can see the aging process is a progression in states of the complex system of our bodies and the maturation of our DNA's plan for us. I would say we, and the characters on Lost, experience time in the order of the thermodynamic status of our bodies, which gives an order from start to finish, rather than our consciousness skipping around to different parts of time, which exists all at once. Thus a straight line arrow from start to finish.

    So when the characters start jumping around through time, their perception still follows the thermodynamic state of their bodies and brains through time. The arrow becomes a zig-zagged line, but it still connects.

    asilgrass March 23rd, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I was firmly on the side of the 815ers always having been part of the DI and that picture always existing, but I'm starting to waiver and it's based on John Moustache's comment that characters are always saying "it was supposed to happen" or something like that. And that reminded me of Ms. Hawkings freaking out about Desmond and the ring telling him i"he wasn't supposed to buy the ring". If she'd known for sure that things would continue as they always had then what difference would it make if he bought the ring or not. I think they showed us that way back when to show us that they can change "history". Or maybe only Desmond can change "history". HEAD STILL HURTS!

    Greg D March 23rd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I was also in the camp that there's just one timeline and that the Oceanic survivors were always present in the 1970s. But now I'm not so sure. Could it be that in the initial timeline, Amy was captured by the Others and gave birth to Ethan...Ethan became an other because he was born in their camp and raised by them. But now, Sawyer, Juliette, et al, have changed the timeline by preventing Amy's caputre and delivering Ethan within the Dharma Initiative community. If this is wrong, there will have to be an explanation of how Ethan became an Other.

    Evidence of only one timeline and that the above is wrong: the only person capable of delivering Ethan was Juliette. If she had not been in the 1970s, the baby would have died and there would have been no Ethan...

    Also, the cabin where Christian Shephard shows Sun the Dharma picture with Hurley, et al, in it -- was that the barracks or was that just the greeting center? If it was the barracks, then its further evidence of an alternate timeline (b/c it shouldnt have all the remnants of dharma there). If it was just the greeting center that we havent seen before, then it doesnt really cut one way or the other.

    Bhoutros March 23rd, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    What is going on????

    I want to know more about desmond, Michael, Claire. Where is Aaron and Sun/jin's baby? Who is Richard? Why does Hurley carry a guitar?

    ARGHHH! (but in a good way).

    I am so confused, but I do love this show. (Never thought I'd say that about a TV program).

    Get better J. Wood. We do miss you. xoxo

    I hope that Powells will compile a printed version of this blog - wouldn't it be nice to have all these posts and comments in a readable version so we can go back and review and read some of the supplemental materials?

    In Search of Locke’s Time March 23rd, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I like what J. Moustache wrote, but it seems imbued with 19th century physics. The notion of "simultaneity" was thrown into doubt by special relativity, and "Laplacian" determinism of the sort that wants to predict the future path of the universe from the paths of all the particles at some initial point pretty much went away with quantum mechanics. Even the notion that the laws of physics might ultimately be reduced to mathematical formula is brought into question, at least in books like Lee Smolin's "The Life of the Cosmos" (which I can't recommend highly enough). I'm waiting with anticipation to see what the LOST creators have in mind for the last season and a half.

    leah March 23rd, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    If they have "changed" the timeline by being there in 1977 (which they had no control over: somebody/thing was pulling the strings there), then wouldn't it alter what happened later, like that Oceanic 815 would never have crashed? That would crash the system, because them being in 1977 on the island is contingent on the plane crashing and bringing them there in 2004. I dunno... the only thing that could explain it in that case would be the "course correction" theory, to just bring everything back into alignment.

    As far as Ethan... I hadn't thought of him being delivered by the Others and then becoming one of them because that would have been where he grew up. That makes a lot of sense. And all we know is that the Dharma folks had no one to deliver him... we don't know that the Others didn't have someone who could deliver a breech baby.

    It really bugs me that Ethan was born in 1977. That means when he was killed in 2004 he was under 30, and no way that guy was 20-something. Somebody explained he had been time traveling and aged... I dunno.

    I love how both Sawyer and Juliet asserted their control with Jack and Kate in this episode. That part where they didn't have Kate's name on the list... Juliet totally did that on purpose to make her squirm (Jack's name was there). And I love how they put Jack as a workman, and how he was miffed at that. (They could have listed him as a doctor, which they needed). And James's speech about thinking! That was quite awesome. Sawyer, the uneducated, but the thinker, vs. Jack, the educated, but who can't think but only react and make bad choices as a result. He and Kate really do deserve each other. And imagine Sawyer being in the most mature relationship on the show (besides Bernard and Rose).

    Why on earth would the island/the flash put all O6 except Sun in 1977 with Jin? She's the only one with a husband waiting for her. Seems ironic. Maybe the "island" has an agenda for Jin/Sun to accomplish before they can meet. Maybe it figures once they find each other they will hightail it back to Korea to be with their kid (or at least concentrate all of their energies on getting off the island instead of doing its work).

    Ginny March 23rd, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    J.M-I'm on the side that the 815s are creating a new past...the picture was added when they went back to the 70s DI, it was not there before. I loved your striaghtening the arrow example...not sure I completely grasp it, but that would give someone a lot of power to straighten it into the path they want.

    Eko March 23rd, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    @ Greg D - there's a problem in your logic: the Hostiles attacked Amy in 1974, when she was with Paul. And not pregnant.

    Amy birthed Ethan in 1977, sired by Horace. If the Hostiles take Amy in 1974, there never is an Ethan, since she would have been with the Hostiles and never gotten with Horace, who is Ethan's father.

    While I certainly understand why people are questioning the one-timeline rule, I still think the evidence is in line with that, and Ethan's birth was confirmation that what happened, always happened, and the 815ers always went back to the 70's and took the actions that they did which led to the future present that we've already scene. Darlton seem to have gone out of their way in interviews and podcasts to repeatedly tell us that there's one timeline... imo, the show is confusing enough as is, I'm all for trusting them on this one until/unless proven otherwise. So far, though some things may be ambiguous, I don't find anything inconsistent with the one-timeline rule.

    MD March 24th, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I think the questioning of the one timeline theory comes down to simple story telling basics. If all the characters are doing is something they've always done then it isn't as crowd pleasing. Now, if they had a job to do to change the past for the better... then that appears to be more interesting.

    I really hope that the writers really give us a compelling reason to be in Dharma time. If it is to just carry out events we already knew of, then I'm not sure how good that is going to be.

    Mr S March 24th, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Well, we've been told that there's a scientific explanation for everything and with quantum physics you can pretty much get anything to happen. Maybe there's another view which has some similarities with the way Lost has been created. Darlton have always said that not every little detail of Lost was mapped out. They had the main storyline and the key events they needed to hit in order to get there, but how they got there has changed somewhat since they began the show. You could view the universe in this way with one timeline. There are key events which happen in this timeline which will always happen, although the journey is subject to change. E.g. Charlie WILL die, maybe not in the first way Desmond saw it, but it will happen somehow. The DI will be purged, maybe not quite how Ben initially experienced it, but it will happen somehow. Ethan will be born, regardless of whether he is in the Others camp or with DI, because he has to be born in order to make other key events happen. This would allow both the one timeline rule and also the ability to change certain things without parallel universe theories.

    I think the key scene for me is when Faraday spoke to Desmond during the flash. He knew Desmond didn't know any of the 815ers before the hatch was opened, so there was no way they could speak to him, no matter how hard they tried. It just wouldn't be allowed to happen. Same way that Michael isn't (should that be wasn't? Is he dead?) allowed to kill himself. BUT he surmised that it's entirely possible that Desmond could have met him during the flashes as there was no evidence to the contrary. Hence he knocks on the door repeating "please let this work, please let this work" and Des opens it and they have a conversation. Which meant that Faraday was SUPPOSED to knock on the door and speak to Desmond, the universe allowed him to do it as it was supposed to happen.

    To me this supports the one timeline theory and the fact that certain events have to happen but we can change the way we got there. Hence course corrections. And if Desmond wasn't supposed to buy the ring, another event would occur to ensure that whatever was supposed to happen from him not buying the ring, actually happened.

    There has been some work done on quantum probability to try and get around paradoxes.

    So basically I am saying the picture may not have been there or may have been there (I'm still leaning to it always being there and that that was the greeting area), but whatever events it was supposed to lead to, will still happen. And thinking about it, I guess this may explain the pictures on the wall with Miles.

    Anyway, this is just one possible theory. A good scientist always accepts that there may be althernative explanations and nothing can be said with a 100% degree of certainty.

    Liz March 24th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I'm siding right now with the side that says the 1977 picture wasn't there when Jack woke up in the jungle. In addition to John Moustache's comments about characters saying "that's not supposed to happened", and asilgrass's comments about Mrs. Hawking's reactions to Desmond, I think we see evidence of the present incorporating "new" past occurences when Desmond "remembers" Daniel knocking on the hatch, and also when Daniel looks in his Dharma journal -- it always seemed to me he's continuously "learning" new things from it, like the fact that Desmond is his constant. However, I'm not sure how the scene where the dying Charlotte tells Daniel that she remembers him telling her as a child to leave the island fits in, since at that point, Daniel has't done that yet. The only attempt at an explanation I can offer is that she is dying, and in that state between living and death, perhaps all the timelines converge. Just as Charlotte was sometimes in the "present" and sometimes "in" the past, saying things as though she were still a young girl ("I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.").

    John Moustache March 24th, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Liz, that is a good point about what Charlotte said. It would seem to contradict somewhat the way I phrased my timeline hypothesis, but I also like your death-clarity idea as a way to account for the problem. Hmm, it's very confusing, isn't it.

    For every hypothesis, there seems to be contradictions that can be cited. I will stick by my thinking for now. There are bits of evidence that support it that we have seen in the past: The changed picture frames in Walt's flashback (right?), the changed picture on the wall in an Otherville house (remember?). Little hints like that I take as big signs that things are changing. J. Wood planted that flag a long time ago with Desmond's efforts to save Charlie.

    I think that the 19th century time ideas can still be valid for the purpose of discussing and understanding the timeline of Lost. For narrative sake, they may keep things on that level, or mix in a lot of different ideas from various times. We were told that things would have explanations, but we were never promised that everything was totally accurate in the view of current science.

    Also though, I think we may be too trusting of the producers, especially with the possible hoodwinking from the latest official podcast regarding Geronimo Jackson. Check the news at

    Amy March 24th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    So glad J. Wood is extra busy, but relatively healthy! Thanks for the update!

    Olivier March 24th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    That was interesting, John Moustache!

    I believe I still think that "whatever happened happened" and "nothing new can be done in the past" (or hardly anything new), but the record skips sometimes and things don't go as planned-- but how can people like Ms Hawking have such knowledge?

    John Moustache March 24th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Olivier, I don't know why Ms Hawking has such an ability, but I have a couple guesses. Maybe she had some sort of encounter with the island energy that allowed her to unstick in time a bit - enough to become aware of other time-states, like we saw with Desmond's visions after his encounter with the hatch explosion. Perhaps the Others have some sort of controlled exposure initiation process or something, to allow people to gain the ability, or curse, of being aware of other times or possible times.

    Or maybe Ms Hawking has seen these events play out before as she is traveling around in some sort of time loop. Maybe Ben is in a similar situation, looping around and around between times, trying to guide events to happen in juuuust the right way. Ms Hawking could be on a similar trip with him.

    Alpert? Who knows what's up with that dude.

    Short answer: I dunno.

    Brian March 25th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    I think the answers to many of these questions will be found in the structure of the story telling more than in the mythology of the island. For example, when Alpert first visited the young Locke, I recall most of the blogosphere believing that Alpert could travel in time and was going into the past to visit Locke. As it turns out, Alpert was moving right along full speed ahead on the timeline, and the way the story was told made us believe that he was time traveling.

    My hunch is that we will find out that many of these conundrum are more products of the style of story telling than a new layer of mythology about the island. For example, I'll bet Ben knows things about the 815ers because he learns it from them when he's 13, not because he's looping through time. Just a hunch, though . . .

    (speaking of Alpert, I think there has to be at least one more time jump for our crew, or at least for Locke. When Alpert met Locke, shot in the leg, Alpert revealed to Locke that Locke had already told him that he was shot, and that Locke was going to have to die. My guess is that Locke will trip back to sometime shortly before then, or maybe back to 1977 with the rest of the gang, and tell Alpert "hey, I've been tripping around, got shot by the yellow plane, died, was resurrected, etc." so that Alpert will know all this when finds Locke that night with a bullet in his leg. I'll bet Alpert wasn't being some sort of prophet when he said to Locke "you're going to have to die, John" but rather just gossiping about what he already knew will happen.)

    Geoffrey March 25th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    This to Brian. I think Locke told Richard that he'd been shot when the two met in 1954. I didn't re view "Jughead" to verify, but I think this is so. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    BTW, this is my first comment to this site.

    Brian March 25th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Right you are . . . I shall now banish myself, Sayid-style, to a counter clockwise lap around the island ;-)

    Ginny March 25th, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I'm still stumped by Richard and agree that he seems to know a lot about just the island like Ben seems to know so much about the 815s, but why does he never age? At first I thought it was because he wasn't really "living", then I thought that somehow he had found the "fountain of youth", or was a mythological character, etc. But I can't seem to get past him not aging! He's everywhere in so many diffiernt time periods. What if he is the island's constant? But then I thought why is he always having to find someone to lead their group? And who was their leader before Ben? Jacob? Who is Jacob? Why did he inhabit the cabin and then why was Chrisitan there later? Why does the cabin move around on the island? What happened to Jacob that made him ask Locke "Help me".

    Another point...I agree that the producers would not jsut show us the 815s in '77 DI to show us what they did to make things come out as they do in 2004-2007 that we have already seen. I belive Hawking when she says that something is going to happen if they do not get back to the island and then "God help us all." I'm so glad that J.Wood is ok, but I sure miss his insight about now! Happy Lost day everyone!

    muchadoaboutnothing March 26th, 2009 at 6:41 am

    If the younger Ben is now dead and the older been still alive, does this now mean that He also isn't privy to young Bens' memories??

    Lost Forever March 26th, 2009 at 8:14 am

    How big IS the Dharma Initiative, anyway?? I guess I can accept the cells (in case they capture a hostile), but to have a full-time interregator on staff seems just a tad much...

    Wow, another amazing episode!!!!

    Jason EG March 26th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Sorry that this is so long but I am catching up.

    @350 Mr S - You assume that Faraday is right. The audience has strong evidence to support the idea that the past can be changed. Look at the course corrections that we have witnessed. Charlie not dying several times, Claire not getting on the helicopter (yet?), Desmond setting up a phone call from the future to a past Penny, and Faraday himself sending a message to Desmond by interacting with him in the past when I had never done so before. Faraday may even be lying to try and minimize changes to the past that others would attempt to make.

    @351 John Moustache - Just to clarify the point you are making, from my interpretation of quantum physics I would say that all of the branching paths exist all at the same time. As concrete interactions occur specific branches are formally traversed and become our reality. Other branches still and always exist in a quantum sense but are not traversed. It would seem that the island (or something) has some mechanism to jump to other quantum branches thus allowing time travel.

    @352 I think the picture did not exist before.

    @353 I believe that the arrow of time that is often referenced is better used with regard to individuals instead of the universe as a whole. Each person's experiences occur in a linear fashion, even when traveling through time. For example when the island group was skipping in time they continued to experience and remember the events as they moved from one event to the next even though the events were at different points in time both past and future.

    You can think of space-time as a grid with four axes; three for space (x, y, z) and one for time (t). A person travels from position [1,2,3,4] to position [5,6,7,8]. Perhaps this is a "normal" movement or perhaps it was forward or backward in time. But the experience of the person was forward according to their personal timeframe. Right now I am here. Five minutes later I am at the hatch with Desmond (in the past) a little later I am at the Ajira crash site (in the future). The person moves forward along their personal arrow of time.

    @355 Greg D. - Good point. I had not thought of that option for Ethan becoming an Other. But genetically, wouldn't he need to be Horace's son to "be" Ethan? I think it was three years from when Amy was saved to when Ethan was born.

    @358 leah - Yep, that is the traditional paradox. The actions taken in the past preclude the actions in the future that allow the actions of the past to occur thus a paradox. The future events require the past events which require the future events ad infinity.

    @362 Mr S - You make two different arguments. One for a closed system where everything that is supposed to happen will happen. Ignoring the paradox issues this is a mapped system with no changes. The other describes course corrections as a mechanism to rewrite events thus changing the past (and effectively the future). The course correction theory would avoid a paradox by altering the continuum to accommodate any changes. According to the course correction theory the picture was always there and it was not. It was not there until the course correction and then it was there.

    Sara March 26th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    J., I sympathize with your exhaustion and I hope your health improves quickly, but... you MUST have something to say about paradoxes? Because Lost is about to get into a BIG one.

    John Moustache March 26th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    @Jason EG

    "@351 John Moustache - Just to clarify the point you are making, from my interpretation of quantum physics I would say that all of the branching paths exist all at the same time. As concrete interactions occur specific branches are formally traversed and become our reality. Other branches still and always exist in a quantum sense but are not traversed. It would seem that the island (or something) has some mechanism to jump to other quantum branches thus allowing time travel."

    Excellent thoughts all around. That is pretty close to exactly what I think. Thanks for helping to clarify my language. I believe that we are seeing what you describe, and I think the further twist is that various forces are acting in a Maxwell's Demon-type fashion and attempting to choose the path that reality will formally travel.

    Of course there are so many different areas of Lost to explore, and we are hung up on the time travel questions right now, to the exclusion of much else. But I think this Maxwell's Demon situation and the time travel questions are VERY important, and we all saw that with last night's events, these questions have moved to the forefront of the show.

    On that note, I believe that the death of young Ben, if he is in fact dead, supports the changing realities hypothesis. Sayid was not there in the "first" 1977. Unless there is some crazy explanation I am not seeing. Thoughts?

    Melanie March 26th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I came across something this week that may or may not have LOST relevance... In reading about the iconic 1970's spiritual teacher Ram Dass (he wrote Be Here Now), I discovered his birth name is Richard Alpert. His guru renamed him Ram Dass, meaning "servant of God". Could this be the inspiration for the character's name?

    Hail to the Victors! March 26th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Doc Jensen wrote: "Referring to Sayid's oblique reference to being a very talented assassin who's yearning for a career change, Ilana purred, 'When you are that good at something, there will always be people who tempt you to stay the same.'" So maybe Sayid wasn't being taken to Guam at all, but all along was being forcefully recruited to do Ilana's killing. If "Ann Arbor" had (and I assume that they were speaking of the city in Michigan and not the KFJC disc jockey) any real influence with the DI, wouldn't those VW busses be painted maize and blue?

    Jeffrey March 26th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Did aynyone else think of "Appointment in Samarra" with Sayid's fate? I like how Hurley's dipping sauces and Sawyer's stun gun are advances from future that they exploit Widmore style - albeit on a small scale.

    Mr S March 27th, 2009 at 4:39 am

    @Melanie - Some of the lost characters are named after real world figures. Richard Alpert and John Locke are examlpes of this, so yes, that was the inspiration for the character's name.

    @JasonEG - yep, that's how I understand quantum physics too, with the branching theory. But from what Faraday has said (and I know taking him at face value is probably not the best thing to do) I am still leaning towards a closed system. I only posited the other argument to explain how you could have course correction and events changing, but still have one timeline IF you measure a timeline by specific points on it which are interconnected and not by all events which happen in that timeline. So certain events have to happen, and yes, you can change things, but then other things will change in order for these required events to occur. Maybe time is like our weather system. If you influence it somehow in one part of the world, it changes in another. But there's still only one weather system.

    I guess I am happier believing Faraday as he's the one who seems to know the most on the show. At one point back when I studied astrophysics, I had a really crazy notion that there was no time at all and we were all just still images in the pages of a flickbook. Seeing as we can't prove time travel theories, who knows!!

    BTW, I don't think Ben is dead, and reckon the island heals him or the Others find him and heal him. Or maybe Sayid was a bad shot :)

    In any case, I am hoping a lot of our time travel questions and theories will be resolved in the next episode which is aptly titled "Whatever happened, happened".

    Greg D March 27th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Thanks to Eko and Jason EG who pointed out my error about Ethan suggesting the possibility of a new time line. I now agree with you.

    Some more thoughts.

    Very few time travel movies/tv end up satisfying.

    Time travel usually goes one of two ways.

    1) The past can't be changed. Past, present, and future are all already set. It's like a movie reel where each point in time is a part of the reel. No point in time is privileged. Movie examples include Terminator 1, but not Terminator 2. Twelve Monkies.


    (2) The past can be changed either (a) creating a new reality (back to the future 1) or (b) creating an alternate time line (back to the future 2).

    I think the time travel movies that typically have the most consistent internal logic are those that follow (1) -- what happened happened.

    I think 12 monkies is one of the better done time travel movies. The folks in the future know that the past can't be changed. They send Bruce Willis back to gather information about the virus that can be used in the future to cure the virus. Bruce Willis locates the origin of the virus and helps the future folks gather info to find a cure. It's also totally sweet that the 7 year old version of himself witnesses the 45 year old version of himself killed. That movie's internal logic completely holds up.

    Terminator 1 is also of type (1) - what happened happened. The irony is that when the machines send back the terminator to kill Sarah Connor so that John Connor isn't born, that causes the human resistance to send Reese back in time...which leads to him fathering...John Connor! If only the machines hadn't send Arnie back in time, John Connor never would have been born. The robots just don't get it.

    Back to the Future 1 is type (2)(a). Back to the Future 2 (also great) is type 2(b). But its not as good as the original because the alternate timeline thing is a little annoying.

    Terminator 2 is of type (2) and the notion that the future isn't set plays prominently. This movie also introduces a time loop paradox. The way that skynet develops its technology is by studying the part of the terminator (from terminator 1) left in that mechanical compress. The paradox is -- who created the technology in the first place?

    I fear that the time loop paradox is where Lost is headed. Rumor has it that the male voice we heard repeating the numbers (that young rousseau hears) will be Hurley. So, the numbers and their significance become reduced to a time travel loop -- they're important because hurley thought they were important and then traveled back in time and recorded them for the various folks to hear setting off a chain...It's a real putting the rabbit in the hat kind of trick. A Locke-is-Jacob thing would be very unsatisfying for the same reason.

    So -- the most recent episode. They want you to think that Sayid has killed Ben -- this is a bombshell b/c it defies Faraday's mantra that the past can't be changed. My guess is that next episode Jack Shepard will be called in for some emergency surgery and the young Ben will be saved. Otherwise, we're headed for some nonsense about (1) alternate timelines, or even worse, (2) the non-sensical "fate didn't mean for this and now there must be a course correction." As another poster said, that would be pretty hard to follow and my guess is that Lost will stick to one timeline (possibly with some exception for Desmond).

    I don't think we know whether present day Ben has memories of the oceanic folks in the 70s. He hasn't shown his hand one way or the other. My guess is that Ben does have memories of them and that this explains who was on the "list." The list are the people he knows must ultimately travel back to the past. This is what makes certain of the oceanic survivors so important -- that they will travel back to the past one day and give Ben crucial intel. So, Ben probably has been keeping tabs on these people in the 1980s and the 1990s. I think this will also be part of the explanation for why Alpert shows up when John is a boy to "test" him. The John Locke of 2004 showed up in 1954 and told Alpert when he'd be born and that he was their leader. etc etc.

    Back in season 2 when ben first encounters the Losties (when he is henry gale), ben doesn't react one way or the other when he meets sayid. That's consistent with ben keeping his cards close. It's also consistent with the writer's acknowledgement that Michael Emerson was originally cast only for a 4 episode arc. But he was so good that they turned him into the bigger character. So, even if the writers had the complete story in their head (dubious), Michael Emerson still wouldn't have known to give sayid an odd look when he first encountered him...

    I am concerned about the whole Desmond is "special" thing. It's completely unclear what this means or if it makes any sense. But part of the idea appears to be that he can change what he did in the past. I dunno. I didn't like the idea that he had a "new" memory in 2007 after the audience saw him interact with Faraday. Doesn't make sense...

    It's a high wire act. But its still the best writing on tv and I'm enjoying the ride.

    Jason EG March 27th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I agree that the internal logic of a set timeline, like 12 Monkeys, is better but I dislike the paradox of what came first. (The young boy sees the older him in the past but he has to grow up before he can be there.) Also, this implies that the entire universe is set in space and time and nothing can be change - fate instead of free will. Which does line up with Minkowski space and the Trafalmadorian view of time from Slaughterhouse Five, both referenced in Lost.

    As a living, thinking being I prefer to think I make my own decisions and not that I am merely following a preordained script written by God, the Big Bang, or some Alpha point moving toward an Omega. Obviously, this is more about my opinion so take it how you will.

    I do expect that young Ben is alive and will be tended to by Jack as much as I would prefer an alternate timeline. Also, it is unsatisfying in the sense that Sayid, who is such a proficient killer, would botch the job on an unsuspecting boy. It seems like a manufactured Hollywood event.

    Desmond being special is interesting. If the past cannot be changed, why did Mrs. Hawking talk Desmond out of buying the ring for Penny? Faraday essentially does the same thing by telling folks that they cannot change the past. These two people are acting as the time police. I find it interesting that they are mother and son. Is there a connection? Perhaps the past can be changed but they are guiding it to a specific point and don't want anyone screwing with the direction.

    @Greg D - That is not to say that your Ethan theory is wrong. The writer's intent may be that it is still the same Ethan even with a potentially different father. It’s how they want to write it.

    Jake March 27th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Feel better, J! We miss you, but your health is most important. =]

    Greg D March 27th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I really like Jason EG's comments. I agree that the logic of a set timeline dictates that the entire universe is set in space and time and nothing can change. There's a big debate about whether the fixed timeline is mutually exclusive with free will. I think the writers will have some modified version of the fixed timeline where small things can change or they can change only if desmond takes the action. (Which, btw, doesn't seem consistent with the fixed timeline idea.)

    I agree that, if Ben lives, it will feel very manufactured. If you want to kill someone on the island, you need use more than one bullet, burn the body, and scatter the ashes. Not sure how to gill their ghost...

    Re: the faradays as time police. I'm intrigued, but still not 100% convinced that Hawking is Faraday's mother.

    I've always wondered why a human was required to push the button in the swan every 108 minutes. Why not automate that process? After seeing Radzinsky two episodes ago, I have a theory. Part of the swan's purpose is a last ditch defense against the hostiles (or perhaps harnesses a power that dharma does not want the hostiles to have). So, the code must be entered every 108 minutes because that means that the good guys are still in control of the swan. If the bad guys get control, the code won't be entered, and the island will go kaboom.

    Olivier March 28th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    "I've always wondered why a human was required to push the button in the swan every 108 minutes. Why not automate that process? After seeing Radzinsky two episodes ago, I have a theory."
    (Greg D)

    I thought you were going to say it was a way of getting rid of this paranoid nut by keeping him busy in a hole.


    Young Ben obviously (?) is going to be saved some way.

    I think the whole point of this surprising event was not to have a cliffhanger, but to achieve introduce the lot more stunning revelation that Ben holds a grudge against Sayid, yet has spared him a long time to use him.
    That's a whole new layer of mystery and planning ahead.

    Horselover Fat March 29th, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    perhaps Richard and the Others are Hyperboreans. ;)

    Sawyer’s Blow Dry March 30th, 2009 at 5:21 am

    There was something about the darkness and atmosphere of the final scene when Sayid shot Ben which seemed to replicate the same conditions as when anyone on the island meets someone 'dead'(or island reanimated) most recently Sun and Frank meeting Christian.
    I think this is some sort of a neutral space where the events which take place within it are out of time/space reality a sort of a testing ground, effecting the 'actors' profoundly - but only those for when the island deems it is important, but not the larger events. So events therin may not impact on the normal flow of time?

    Ergo, Sayid has met with his destiny or purpose again and will begin a new chapter and transformation. Ben... who knows, he may be spared or indeed revealed not be THE Ben.

    That said,if we saw things as they happened to everyone on the island at the time, will Jin be held culpable?

    And what is Amy's agenda, because I think she clearly has one, beyone protective mother?

    Nan March 30th, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Back in Season One I was convinced Lost was going to end with Hurley or Walt going to their publisher, with the last episode of their comic book or novel finished. Lost only seems to make sense as a work of fiction!

    Liz, that's a great point about Charlotte as she went round and round from events it seemed in her life and with time traveling involved, it was not a life in linear fashion and all the timelines did converge.

    I am on the side of the photos of 1977 appearing too - I don't believe they were always in 1974 and I come to this conclusion among other things by Ethan. People leave out Daniel's first sentence as the time traveling guru, in what he said to Miles as they had come upon Amy with the sack being put on her head.

    Miles said we don't get involved, right Daniel and Daniel said, "It does not matter what we do. Whatever happened, happened."

    I was disappointed by it being Ethan that was born to Amy and Horace as I expected it to be someone special. So I got to thinking about why Ethan. We know from past episodes much of Ethan's past and so many have said Ethan would not have been born if Sawyer and Juliet had not been transported back to that time to save Ethan. I don't believe that to be true, we know Ethan was born. I think it is "it does not matter what we do, whatever happened, happened." Meaning it was Ethan's time to be born and his doctor might have changed but his birth did not.

    And thinking of Sayid shooting Ben. Is it not too strange that Sayid would have to live a full life with Ben killing his soul, just to get him to be the one who shot him as a kid?

    And Sayid speaking the truth that he was from the future. Why do we think the 06ers are the only ones from the future. We might have someone or more than one also from the future, way before the age we know, as in 2012 just to throw out a date and might that time traveler never seem to age?

    Mr S March 30th, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Did anyone notice the lighting change in the last episode? When Sayid leans in towards Horace after he's taken the drugs, the lighting goes very dark for a second. Every other shot subsequently still has the streaming rays of sun from before. If you watch the episode again, it looks very obvious, almost intentional. Did anyone else notice this? Do you think it was a production issue (maybe with the shooting) schedule or might it have greater significance. I thought it was just a technical issue, but on watching the episode again it does look very deliberate.

    Claudia March 30th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Hmm, that tie just might serve a purpose in a near future episode...

    Claudia March 30th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    About the lighting change, I thought it was intentional, and meant to reflect Sayid's altered state of consciousness.

    john March 31st, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    @Mrs S
    This lighting change thing has happened before. It happened when Sawyer was looking for Claire in season 4 after she left with Christian. The screen gets noticeably darker.

    S (not Mr. S) April 1st, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Ben has noted several times during the series that he has read a particular book "twice" (like Separate Reality in the March 25th episode). With all the time-loop stuff going on, does anyone think that these mentions are significant, i.e., maybe he didn't read them twice in the same loop, but knows or thinks he is doing everything again?

    S (not Mr. S) April 1st, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Further, if Ben knows he has read a book in multiple time loops, is he continuing to read it over again because he can't change anything, he doesn't want to change anything, or will he stop reading to try and change something?

    Kybook58 April 1st, 2009 at 9:54 am

    An interesting point made by the actor playing young Ben (from a NYT blog interview)
    "Don’t forget, way back in season 2, we saw Ben without his shirt on, and there was no scar".

    Jason EG April 2nd, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Well, I feel a little proud that I predicted a simple (and now but not then obvious) plot point that Kate would leave Aaron with Claire's mom. (See Jason @51.)

    The foreshadowing of Ben (via his lawyer) asking Kate for her blood followed later by Kate giving her blood to Ben in the past was an interesting touch.

    It seems pretty clear to me that we are in the "Whatever Happened, Happened" version of time travel, a.k.a. spacetime is mapped out. But I am not convinced that the character's have no free will and that the past is completely immutable. For one thing, we have the apparent course correction's of Desmond (who is "special").

    I loved the dialogue between Hurley and Miles arguing the same points we fans have been debating. A great shout out in my opinion.

    @389 Mr. S re:lighting change
    I felt the lighting change represented Sayid's state of mind as the drug's took hold. And his comment about the dose being just right meant that he had received some form of enlightenment (i.e. knowing what to do on the island). Possibly referencing the writings of Castenada (the author of the book Ben gave to Sayid in the jail cell).

    Barry April 2nd, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Regarding the time traveling, I decided that I wasn’t going to speculate because I didn’t know the rules. I figured that the writers would address them at some point and explain 3-4 rules of time travel which they were following, and that would allow us to understand what was happening.

    So, you can imagine my excitement when Miles channeled his inner-Faraday and tried to break it down for Hugo.

    And then you can imagine my the crushing disappointment when Hugo pointed out a flaw in his argument.

    So I’m wondering- do we take the Miles Rant as the rules of time travel (and assume that Ben not remember Sayid was due to his transformation to an Other; per Richard)? Or what?

    John Moustache April 2nd, 2009 at 3:59 pm


    I don't think Miles' rant was correct. I think that by having him rant and then having Hurley point out the flaw, the writers were telling us to not believe Miles. I don't know if anyone has exactly the right idea about what is going on, but I think Miles was wrong.

    I remain convinced that things are changing. The point about what the actor playing young Ben said is more evidence of that.

    But yeah, it's nice that some things were explained last night, like how the consciousness of the time travelers follows a crooked path through time, following their aging process, essentially. I was describing that earlier up in the thread.

    Another point: I've misjudged Ben's reactions before, but I thought in the closing seen we were meant to see that Ben was roused from his rest by the appearance of a new memory - the whole escapade with being shot and saved and entering the temple and all that. All of a sudden, that became the *new* reality that Ben lived. We saw this last time with Desmond recovering the memory of speaking with Daniel. That was a pretty small change, and it shook Desmond up, so for Ben to not totally flip out on having an ENTIRELY NEW life memory injected into his brain, he must be a pretty cool cucumber.

    Or he was just overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the change. I looked at him in that last scene, and it looked to me like he was almost "switched on"; that he instantly became this whole other entity that he was not before. Before he entered that temple.

    again, I dunno. Thoughts? Did Ben recover new memories like Desmond? What is Ben now? Something he was not before? Will Locke realize the change? Are these two titans about to seriously throw down in some major island conflict?

    Jenn April 2nd, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    "I don't think Miles' rant was correct. I think that by having him rant and then having Hurley point out the flaw, the writers were telling us to not believe Miles. I don't know if anyone has exactly the right idea about what is going on, but I think Miles was wrong."

    Why waste so much time having Miles explain something that's not correct? Why name the title "Whatever happened, happened"?
    Also, the flaw was explained by Richard when he stated that Ben won't remember what happened.

    DCMeads April 2nd, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I think Miles was mostly right except I believe Lil Ben was also in the present and the 2007 Ben was also in his present. We are all always in our present. To me its the sequence of events (miles calls them experiences) that shape a person regardless of what time period they happen.

    2005 Ben could never ever remember Sayid shooting him as a child because it didnt happen yet. But as soon as it did bam 2007 Ben woke up and remembered it.

    Mr S April 3rd, 2009 at 2:10 am

    @ Barry - Hurley's flaw was only a supposition. So it doesn't mean that Ben doesn't remember Sayid shooting him, as so far nothing Ben has done has contradicted that fact. Also, the thing with the scar - who know's how Richard healed him. That temple does look pretty ominous.

    @ Jenn - I think Ben not remembering what happened may be about how he was healed, rather than him getting shot. If it's the latter, it's a bit more of a cheap cop-out to explain Ben not remembering Sayid, if indeed that is the case.

    @John Moustache - yeah, I think I agree with you. It seems Ben has woken up remembering what may have previously been forgotten. I don't think them going to the past had anything to do with that, even though it caused the events, I just think that's the point he remembered. As for him being a new entity, I'm not sure about this but I do think he now knows more about what he has to do. Which I hope will involve a big showdown with Locke. I still don't believe in this *new* reality. New memories I can agree with, because they haven't happened yet in the chronological ageing order of the characters. E.g. Desmond gets off the island, and is living his life. Faraday is time hopping. So at the point Faraday goes back in time to speak to Desmond at the hatch, from Des' chronological point of view, he is living with Penny. So Faraday encounters hatch Des and speaks to him, ergo Des gets the memory. It's not a *new* reality, but just a new memory because in the sequence of events in everyone's lives, it hadn't happened until that point. And yes, Ben is a pretty cool customer, I think that may have been established before :)

    @John - Thanks for pointing out the previous lighting change, I'll go back and re-watch the episode. Oh, and last time I checked, I hadn't changed sex.

    @Jason EG - Looking back on it, I agree with you that the drugs probably helped Sayid figure out what he was supposed to do. It seems he has come around to the way of thinking that what happened, happened.

    And one thing I thought was cool, Jack's reluctance to operate on Ben a "second" time is what led to him joining the Others and becoming the man he does. If only Dr Shephard had been able to treat his own apathy, the events going forwards would have been very different. At least we know, according to Miles' logic, that Jack wasn't supposed to treat Ben.

    Also, anyone think Ben is in love with Juliet because she looks just like herself? I.e. the "she looks just like her" comments before were due to the fact that she was "her" but in the past?

    Nan April 3rd, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Richard takes Ben into the temple - instead of a FDW inside, there is something else there that can move them through time. Richard moves Ben to the day before he was shot by Sayid. Ben is healed because he was never shot. Now Richard moves the unshot Ben three days forward to current time. Whatever happened did not happen to Ben and Ben never remembers being shot -

    Now, to try to understand what Hurley and Miles said and I just loved it, it was plain fun.

    Did I get this right? Miles said Ben could not die in 1977 because it was Ben's past. But it was their present, so they could die. Meaning someone, probably Sayid will die in this timeline!

    S (not Mr. S) April 3rd, 2009 at 5:41 am

    So's Ben's joining the others while Charles Widmore is in some sort of leadership role with them. Widmore's said before that 1) Ben stole everything, and 2) John Locke has to go back on the island because a war was coming. Does that mean the war that's coming in John's future is the war that already happened to Widmore in the past? The war when Ben stole Widmore's position with the Others and somehow cast Widmore off the Island? So does that also mean that the Castaways will have to either help Widmore defeat the evil Ben, but in the process mess up their own timelines, or help evil Ben do despicable things, because that's what's happened already and they can't change it?

    @John Moustache: I also thought that Ben was suddenly remembering new events, ala Desmond. But it could also be the recognition of waking up and seeing a person you killed sitting in front of you, alive.

    Messenger88 April 3rd, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Hurley has consistently been the character used by the writers to give a true, if often very comedic, overview of what is going on. I think the title, "Whatever Happened, Happened" and the conversation between Hurley and Miles serves to end the debate amongst fans over the closed time-loop, versus the open, paradox-prone time-line.
    (Or it could be a huge set-up. This is Lost we are talking about...:)

    I think that Miles was correct. Yes, Hurley made a good point about Ben's "lack" of memory regarding his childhood encounter with Sayid...but, in case anyone here hasn't noticed, Ben can be a little bit deceptive sometimes. Just sayin'.

    Kelly April 3rd, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Has anyone ever read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger? It is interesting because the Time Traveler zig zags through time, while his wife moves through in a linear way.

    It definitely follows a whatever happened, happened pov.

    So my point, is @400 if Sayid shot Ben in the past, Ben would remember. Unless, like Richard says, he won't remember any of this. But then again, Richard could be lying, or Ben could have concealed his recognition when he first saw Sayid. It seems like Ben will remember Jack, Kate, Sayid, etc. when the first flight crashes since that is how he knows so much about them.

    I wish that Juliette would be more forthcoming with what The Others are. She lived with them for so long, it seems like she should have more info.

    Also at the, The Others mention Charles and Eli? Elly? as being someone they should check with before helping Ben. Charles is Charles Windmore, but I couldn't catch the second name was it Elli? As in Faraday's mother?

    JMan April 3rd, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Ellie is indeed Faraday's mother and the blonde woman that held him at gunpoint in "Jughead"

    Ginny April 3rd, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    JM: "again, I dunno. Thoughts? Did Ben recover new memories like Desmond? What is Ben now? Something he was not before? Will Locke realize the change? Are these two titans about to seriously throw down in some major island conflict?"

    I'm with you JM...Ben's face said it all. The losties actions in the past will create a new reality. They will each do something that will "course correct". But as Ben said in season 3 when he asked jack to operate on him, "I want you to WANT to do it." They all have to really want to do whatever the island wanst them to do because the action would lose its significance otherwise. Kate really wanted to do the right thing by giving Aaron to Claire's Mom as she wanted to save Ben.

    Ginny April 3rd, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    I still think that there is some changing going in the past or what would be the reasonf for the losties being there? Nan...I love your theory of Richard taking Ben back in tiem to just before he was shot by Sayid and then releasing him in regaulr time! Kind of like the "time turner" in Harry Potter where Hermoine is able to take them 3hr in the past to save his godfather.

    Ginny April 3rd, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Edit: "I still think that there is some changing going in the past or what would be the reasonf for the losties being there? Nan...I love your theory of Richard taking Ben back in tiem to just before he was shot by Sayid and then releasing him in regaulr time! Kind of like the "time turner" in Harry Potter where Hermoine is able to take them 3hr in the past to save his godfather."

    But I still think that the present losties actions in the past definitely change some outcomes in the future. Saying that really hurt my brain! :)

    amcorrea April 3rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Regardless of what Richard meant when he said that Ben "won't remember this", we need to keep in mind that Ben went BACK to Dharmaville and lived with them for about 15 years more before the Purge (with presumed contact with the Others during this time). At this point, it's not unlikely that the "castaways" are still there when Ben returns from the Temple.

    April April 3rd, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    So is this it? No more J. Wood posts?

    danawheels April 3rd, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I thought the look on Ben's face at the end was his surprise in seeing a "live" John Locke (who had killed.)

    And whoever made the comment about "Hyperboreans" - makes sense!

    dharmabum April 4th, 2009 at 1:49 am

    It seems that our understanding of what this story is about and what is going on changes with each episode. I'm not sure how this story will continue, but based on what we've seen so far, I think we can make some simple assumptions that are plausible. I agree with the theory of "whatever happened happened". When Kate says to Jack that maybe he was supposed to save little Ben, I realized that in fact, they were all supposed to get back to the island to make sure that things happen as they do. Sayid shooting Ben, then Jack refusing to save him, then Juliette having the idea of seeking the Others for help, then Kate taking Ben out there, then Sawyer helping, then both Kate and Sawyer agreeing to let Richard save Ben despite the consequences, these where all supposed to happen to make sure that Ben grows up to be who he is and ... whatever happens happens. If either of these events in this chain didn't happen, the future cannot be as we know it will be.

    The conversation between Miles and Hurley was a great shout out to the audience, as diverse as we are. Miles, the sci-fi know it all and Hurley the one asks may be dumb but sometimes pertinent questions that leaves the sci-fi guy without an answer.

    There's a simple explanation to why Ben doesn't remember Sayid (if indeed he doesn't - we don't know this for sure) : Richard clearly says that as a consequence of saving he "won't remember any of this."

    It will be interesting to see when and how the rift in the Others, between Eloise, Charles, and Ben occurs.

    I don't believe that older Ben's memories have changed, and that the actions of the back-to-the-past group created a new reality, necessarily. Based on what we've seen so far, we can't reach this conclusion. His reaction in the last scene, when he wakes up is completely logical - he sees before him the man that he killed, now alive and well.

    And, where is Daniel Faraday?

    Olivier April 4th, 2009 at 7:44 am

    "I don't think Miles' rant was correct. I think that by having him rant and then having Hurley point out the flaw, the writers were telling us to not believe Miles. I don't know if anyone has exactly the right idea about what is going on, but I think Miles was wrong.
    I remain convinced that things are changing. The point about what the actor playing young Ben said is more evidence of that."
    (John Moustache)

    Things are not changing, they are just happening.
    Richard is taking young Ben to the Temple to save him, and warns that he will be changed and will lose his innocence; given young Ben is agonizing and Richard's additional remark that he won't remember a thing, it is clear that what Richard is going to do is of the miraculous, magical kind.
    In short, he will not just revive him, but heal him and possibly reconstruct him in some way that takes all wounds away-- thus leaving no scars.

    ("reconstructing": that's because I can't help but think of the X-Files episode featuring a Sin Eater, that devours people to take away their illness, then regurgitates them in a perfectly healthy state.)

    The flaw Hurley picked up (Ben should have recognized Sayid in the Swan) is the one the audience did not understand, and is explained by Richard right at the end (which I have just mentionned above).


    "Ben was roused from his rest by the appearance of a new memory - the whole escapade with being shot and saved and entering the temple and all that. All of a sudden, that became the *new* reality that Ben lived."
    (John Moustache)

    Nononono; the episode's very title stated it again: "Whatever happened, happened".

    The cut to Ben's awakening was just a "cute" cut, but there is no actual direct link between those two events.
    Ben was to awaken at some point, and they were to show it at some point.
    Had they shown him awakening at the start of the episode or in the previous one, you would never have seen any relationship between young Ben being taken to the Temple and this scene, which occurs some 30 years later.
    Moreover, the producers/director could have cut to any of a thousand occurences of Ben waking up from sleep or a serious beating over those 30 years, without there still being no causal link between the scenes.

    What Ben reacts to is not a new memory nor a total recall, but the fact that Locke is sitting before him, alive and well; this is something he did not expect-- thus, as wondered back then, he did not kill Locke knowing that he would be resurrected, that he had to die (as Richard as said) and be resurrected, ...


    "2005 Ben could never ever remember Sayid shooting him as a child because it didnt happen yet. But as soon as it did bam 2007 Ben woke up and remembered it."

    Nope; no sooner was this memory created by experience than it was erased by coma & Richard's intervention.


    "Richard moves Ben to the day before he was shot by Sayid. Ben is healed because he was never shot. Now Richard moves the unshot Ben three days forward to current time. Whatever happened did not happen to Ben and Ben never remembers being shot"

    This cannot work.
    Locke hopped back in time a good 30 years (when he Juliet or Sawyer), but his leg remained wounded.

    Time travelling does not alter the traveller (body & mind) themselves; whatever the time period they are in, however many jums back and forth in time they may do, their bodies & memories keep working in a strictly linear way.

    When Locke goes back in the past after being shot in the leg, his leg does not magically heal just because he is now in a time prior to the shooting; he could not remember this (being shot in the leg in 19??) in Season 1 (2004) either, since it had not happened to him yet.

    There are two timelines (not in terms of parallel universes, but of viewpoints):

    - the historical timeline of events; 1974, 1977, 2004, 2007, ..., follow each other in terms of causality (what happens one year defines the future), but they can be experienced by a time traveller in any order; the time travaller does not change anything, he just acts; nothing is changed, it is just done

    - the personal, biological timeline; whatever the time (hour of the day, day, year, ...), the body and the mind always function the same way, in a unique "direction"; the body keeps aging, wounds heal progressively, the mind keeps experiencing and storing information, ...; the memories of events are not stored in the brain according to the historical timeline (1974, 1977, 2004, 2008, ...), but in the order they are experienced by the time traveller (2004, 1977, 2007, 1954, ...)

    The historical timeline is but a landscape to the mind and the biological timeline, just like the scenery; whether things happen on the Island or in Australia, in 1954 or in 1977 does not matter; the body and the mind keep on functioning along their own timeline.
    Locke's leg cannot heal just because he is chronoported a couple of years backward or forward, because for his body, only a few hours have elapsed, not years.
    Sayid could no more remember in 2004 shooting young Ben in 1977 than you can remember what you will do tomorrow, because he had not shot him yet and you are yet to experience "tomorrow"; the action and thus its memory were still in his future; it just happened to occur in a different time period, years before 2004 instead of years later.

    And then, there information is not disclosed all at once, whether to the characters or to us.

    The fact that we did not see the "Namaste" picture until now (with Sun & Lapidus, in 2008) does not mean it has just popped up into existence; it had always been there, for thiry years, but it just had never been shown.
    The confusion arises from considering that the narrative order and the way the episodes are edited correspond to strict chronology and cause-effect relationships, when they do not.
    The story could have been told another way, with the characters discovering this picture from the start, wondering how it could be, and eventually ending with the picture being taken.

    Brian April 4th, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I think Ben's surprised look upon waking was not because of a new memory of being shot (as has been suggested in a couple of places.) It was the surprise of seeing Locke alive.

    Marty April 5th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    So when the Other who said to Richard at the end of the show, 'shouldn't they check with Charles or Ellie first?'...and Richard's reply was that he didn't report to anyone or something to that effect. I found that interesting. Is Richard special sort of like Desmond? And if Widmore and Ellie were in charge back then, and Widmore and Ben are nemesises...why don't I get the feeling that Mrs. Hawking and Ben are also nemesises (she allowed and even helped Ben get back to the island)? Widmore knew Mrs Hawking/Ellie was back in LA when Desmond asked for her whereabouts...but yet she helped Ben get back to the island. So did her and Widmore have a bit of a falling out?

    Olivier April 5th, 2009 at 7:46 am

    "When Kate says to Jack that maybe he was supposed to save little Ben, I realized that in fact, they were all supposed to get back to the island to make sure that things happen as they do."

    I found a remark by a member of the Dharma Secrets forum most interesting and illuminating in respect to the imperious necessity of (as many as possible of) the O6 going back the Island, "what happened happened" and Desmond's special ability.

    The idea is that the past cannot be changed; it is only made once, and "whatever happened happened", so that you need not fear intervening; you do have free will, and this is what makes history.

    The problem is that Desmond acquired the ability to foresee Charlie's death after the Swan's explosion, and what he did led to the Mirror station being switched off, the freighter landing, and the O6 leaving before Locke could move the Island (he was the one supposed to do it).

    Had Locke moved the Island before the O6 could leave it, maybe the wheel would have gotten unstuck the same way it did, and Jack, Sawyer, ..., would have been sent back to Dharma time, when they would hav turned little Ben into the Ben we know, in probably roughly the same way.

    Since the O6 left the Island before the shifts occurred, and it was they who were responsible for Ben's change and its influence on events, they had to be returned, so that things could be brought back to normal; indeed, the moment they neared the Island, the ones responsible for Ben's change (Sayid, Jack and Kate) were sent back in Dharma time.

    Sawyer’s Blow Dry April 5th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    If Widmore and Eli are on the island in 1977, Ben is still a boy then.
    We presume (but have not seen) that Widmore is ousted by Ben after the purge i the early 90s, when Ben joins the others overtly. So I am speculating whether Penny was born on the island?

    Even if Charles leaves the day after Ben is taken into the temple in 1977 by Alpert, to be healed, for Penny to be born off island and never be on island she must be younger than 31... I am sure she is not meant to be. Or Charles Widmore regularly went back and forth from the island and maintained a life off island...keeping the island secret to those people, young Penny included.

    The implications if Penny did always know about the island, and especially towards her involvement with (special) Desmond are therefore, potentially big for what is going on.

    Mr S April 6th, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I'd like to think that the writers are more intelligent than coming up with a "he won't remember" to explain why Ben doesn't remember Sayid. I mean, this is the equivalent of a Chris Reeve kiss from Superman 2 (WTF was that btw). So I think Ben won't remember how he got healed and be placed back with the DI, but WILL remember getting shot by Sayid. Nothing he has said or done contradicts this fact so we don't know for sure yet. He does call Sayid a born killer by saying that's what he does. Information which would be heavily influenced by him getting shot in the first place. What I really want to know is how Charles and Ellie have somehow become the "leaders" of the group as back in the 50s they were much further down the pecking order. Charles has aged. Ellie has aged. Ben has aged. Richard has not, making him very special I would guess.

    Also, any idea as to how Miles knows about Ben turning the Donkey wheel and Hurley not asking too many questions about it?

    Montand’s Arm April 6th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I'm sorry, but I think Ben's shock is from the "new" memory.

    "Whatever happened, happened" is a great title because it pokes fun at us, the audience, and our attempts to figure out exactly how the time travel events affect the past. If you recall Hurley and Miles' conversation about Faraday's theory, Hurley debunks Miles' statement (i.e., Faraday's theory).

    Also, how do you explain Desmond's sudden memory (realized when waking from a dream - very much like Ben might have had) of Faraday's visit to the Swan?

    John Moustache April 6th, 2009 at 11:33 am


    "Ben was roused from his rest by the appearance of a new memory - the whole escapade with being shot and saved and entering the temple and all that. All of a sudden, that became the *new* reality that Ben lived."
    (John Moustache)

    Nononono; the episode's very title stated it again: "Whatever happened, happened".

    The cut to Ben's awakening was just a "cute" cut, but there is no actual direct link between those two events.
    Ben was to awaken at some point, and they were to show it at some point.
    Had they shown him awakening at the start of the episode or in the previous one, you would never have seen any relationship between young Ben being taken to the Temple and this scene, which occurs some 30 years later.
    Moreover, the producers/director could have cut to any of a thousand occurences of Ben waking up from sleep or a serious beating over those 30 years, without there still being no causal link between the scenes. "


    "Also, how do you explain Desmond's sudden memory (realized when waking from a dream - very much like Ben might have had) of Faraday's visit to the Swan?"
    -Montand's Arm


    Exactly, we have already seen this happen before with Desmond, so I think you should reconsider whether it's possible that Ben did experience a "new" memory. Cute cuts happen, sure, but I think we have learned from Lost that many times the cuts do mean something, and this one was exactly the same as when it happened to Desmond (awakened from sleep).

    Also, the point about Alpert saying Ben would forget that all that happened...I think that statement wouldn't necessarily cover everything Ben was about to go through for years. Maybe though, maybe he wouldn't remember being shot and being healed. But what about before? His time with Sayid the prisoner before the shooting? Meeting Jack and Kate and the group before the shooting? All of the years with Sawyer as LeFleur? And what about afterwards? If this temple visit really alters Ben that significantly - loss of innocence, never be the same and all that - won't he be changed afterwards? For the next fifteen-odd years, some of which will be among Jack et al, is this all forgotten as well?

    I don't think so. I think he remembers

    I also think it's probably foolish to believe Miles's rant just because he said it. This show is all about misdirection, and I take Hurley's stumper to be more important as a signifier what may be the truth. But I think the scene overall was meant to tell us to not trust any theories as solid while giving us debating it a huge shout-out. Maybe they are even watching this thread. Who knows?

    Also, Olivier, I found your post 417 to be really interesting, and I think you are probably onto a good idea of what is going on, but don't you think that viewpoint supports the idea that things are changing - that Desmond's ability is messing with the system?

    jphimself April 6th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but some people on this forum have used a reported quote from the actor who plays Young Ben as evidence for their view of the time issue. The actor, Sterling Beaumon, is alleged to have said in an interview that in another scene he appeared without a shirt and had no scar from Sayid's bullet.

    A review of Lostpedia reveals that Young Ben appeared in only one episode prior to Season 5, and that was Episode 3x20, "The Man Behind The Curtain". When I looked at screencaps on LostMedia there were no shots of him shirtless. Further, the episode, in which Ben and his father come to join the Dharma Initiative on the Island, takes place in 1973, again according to Lostpedia, four years before Sayid shoots Ben and leaves him with a presumed scar.

    It may be that the young actor has shot a scene for a future episode without a shirt, but it has not been shown to date. It could also be that this particular scene ended up on the cutting room floor.

    MD April 7th, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I think many of you are falling for the misdirection. Perhaps it is 5 years worth of mysteries and red herrings already. I seem to remember the season 3 red herring that they were all dead (when news of the discovery of the plane reached them).

    I think the evidence is clear that "whatever happened, happened"

    Faraday might be unrealiable, but he is the closest thing we have to an expert opinion. But also consider the other evidence:

    A) Saving of Amy and the birth of Ethan.
    B) Sayid's ineffectual shooting of Ben.

    We haven't seen the future changed at all yet- we are in fact seeing events happen as they always happened- hence "whatever happened, happened"

    I think the Miles and Hurley conversation is a sly wink at the audience, but also a reminder. The title of the episode is also a reminder. I think nothing short of a disclaimer before the next episode will be enough to convince everyone. I think the producers are even on record as not wanting paradoxes.

    As for Hurley's stumping of Miles- Richard's comment seems to solve it. Also, how do WE KNOW that Ben remembers or doesnt remember Sayid? He's certainly not the type to put all his cards on the table. He's certainly not going to tell Sayid "Hey, you shot me when I was younger" regardless.

    MD April 7th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    "Also, how do you explain Desmond's sudden memory (realized when waking from a dream - very much like Ben might have had) of Faraday's visit to the Swan?"
    -Montand's Arm

    Easy. A nice, cute "artistic" cut.
    There is no other explanation. Consider the the points of time we have with each character.

    A) Faraday visits the Swan and gives Desmond the message.
    B) Desmond wakes from a dream with the memory.

    Event A happens 1 or 2 days after Ben moves the island. During event A, Desmond was on Penny's boat with the Oceanic 6. They were just rescued. So, if the implication that Desmond received the memory as soon as Faraday did the event, he would have gotten it then, in Dec of 2004.

    Instead, we have event B- which occurs sometime in 2007.

    Jesse Custer April 7th, 2009 at 11:28 am J Wood done commenting on Lost?

    strymeo April 7th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    @jesse custer


    John Moustache April 7th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Kybook58 said:
    An interesting point made by the actor playing young Ben (from a NYT blog interview)
    "Don’t forget, way back in season 2, we saw Ben without his shirt on, and there was no scar".


    I admit I didn't check on this myself, but I interpreted that statement to mean that adult Ben, not young Ben, was who was shown in season 2 without a shirt on and without a scar. But I haven't checked, so I don't know.



    We already know that time passes way differently on the island than off of it. So two days after the island moved and Daniel spoke with Desmond at the hatch does not correlate to two days for the just-rescued Desmond. In fact, we have seen that short periods of time on the island actually translate to very long time periods off-island. And who knows what the hopping about in time does to that relationship.

    Still think it's a new memory.


    That said, I am really missing the literary-based analysis of Lost, rather than debate about the time-travel aspect - as much as I like it. Sadly, I am not that useful in that department. I REALLY am missing J's posts.

    Marty April 7th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Man, that really sucks that J Wood won't be commenting anymore. Obviously I completely understand, and really wish him the best with his health and otherwise. Like the rest of us, just really appreciated the college-course type commentary on the best show on tv. Here's to hoping he somehow guest blogs a season summary/review, and is able to pick up again next year.

    Meanwhile, with Jack opting not to save kid Ben, and Sawyer taking away his leadership...suddenly makes the doc's character a little more interesting.

    Montand’s Arm April 8th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    In lieu of J's (hopefully temporary) absence from this blog, why don't we all start reading? He practically left us a syllabus of books to read throughout his commentary. How about we each pick a book we've yet to read from the books he's mentioned in his posts (you'll find them listed at the end of each entry), read it, and open up a dialogue about the parallels you find within the book and within Lost? After all, there are a plethora of recurring themes in Lost that are no doubt present in the books J's mentioned. It could help us all inject some literary analysis into this blog. Whatya say peops???

    jphimself April 8th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    John Moustache said: "I admit I didn't check on this myself, but I interpreted that statement to mean that adult Ben, not young Ben, was who was shown in season 2 without a shirt on and without a scar. But I haven't checked, so I don't know."

    As you noted, in #422 above I interpreted the quote from the young Ben actor to refer to Young Ben. But John M. has a good point, he may have been referring to adult Ben's bare chest. Soooo, I started looking at screencaps from Season 2, "One of Them", the episode that introduced us to "Henry Gale".

    In that episode, when Benry is brought back to the Swan, Jack treats his wounds, the worst of which is an arrow that has pierced his back and is sticking out of his chest, just right of center. This url will take you to the picture in question:

    That wound would clearly obliterate any prior wound at the same location, or at least make it hard to see. It seems clear now that the producers chose the location of Sayid's bullet hit on Young Ben to coincide with this site, thereby eliminating any clue or question about time anomalies we obsessed ones might devine. Unless...can anyone remember a bare chested Ben from a time before his introduction to us as Henry?

    Olivier April 8th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    "don't you think that viewpoint supports the idea that things are changing - that Desmond's ability is messing with the system?"


    He clearly has such an ability-- and I have just thought of something: what is his real ability? It has just occurred to me that the discussions on Fate and Time Travel may have derailed us a bit.

    At the time of his first meeting with Mrs Hawking, it is she who makes the decision for him by strongly suggesting that he leave and not propose to Penny.

    After the explosion of the Swan, what Desmond gains is foresight; this enables him to save Charlie several times, but how can we know to what extent Desmond did change the future as he saw it?
    Did he just saw a possibility?

    What happened beyond Charlie's "death"? His visions saw the drowning or the arrow, but not that Charlie might have been saved otherwise. This was the future at this precise moment, but maybe something else could have occurred in the meantime to change this future-- someone else diving or warning him against the lightning, or being hit by the arrow, or saving him.
    Maybe the simple fact that Desmond knew beforehand changed things, without he even acting yet-- in a "Schrödinger's cat" sort of way: the mere fact of observing collapsed the system and reduced the number of possibilities to only one.


    Best wishes to J. Wood!

    JunoisPrego April 9th, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Wow - what an episode. Anytime that Ben or Locke, or both make up 95% of the episode, it's going to be the best, or top 3 episode of any season! Just brilliant.

    tom April 9th, 2009 at 7:43 am

    i have been noticing an unfortunate trend with some of the other in-depth lost explorers (the ones that actually know the stuff, like j. wood) on the internet: they've vanished. no one (that i can find) is doing full examinations of this seasons episodes. not to sound accusatory towards j. wood, i sincerely wish him good health, but i can't help from wondering if these guys have gotten too close. if abc and the lost producers have requested they refrain from revealing more about the show. if anyone knows of a still updating lost site on par with j. woods, i'll gladly put my foot in my paranoid mouth.

    Smokey’s Colander April 9th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Of all the lies Ben Linus told in Dead Is Dead, ''We don't even have a word for it'' surely is the most ridiculous. Humans have a word for *everything* we encounter: That's just part of our deal. The very notion that humans on the island wouldn't have a description of this manifestation is either a blatant falsehood or one of the least perceptive pieces of dialog writing ever perpetrated on Lost.

    BornOfFire April 9th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Smokey's Colander (434): I was thinking the same thing at first, but then I also thought that the lack of name was reminiscent of the way the Israelites considered God's true name, "Yahweh," to be too sacred to utter in everyday speech, which is a practice that the Jewish people still continue to this day.

    Also, another connection that I noticed between last night's episode and the Hebrew Bible was that yesterday happened to be the start of the Jewish Passover, which is a Holy Day that commemorates the day when God sent a plague on the people of Egypt while the plague "passed over" all of the Israelite homes and spared them. Similarly, Smokey "passed over" Ben and allowed him to live.

    Montand's Arm (429): I'd be down with that. I think Mr. Wood would probably get a kick out of it. I'm sure he reads all of our comments. I have a theory that, even though I'm sure that all of J's recent woes are unfortunately real, he might see this whole situation as an opportunity for some type of Dharma-esque social experiment that he can use for a research paper or a book. The idea would be to see what a wiki-like community of common contributors can put together in the absence of the established expert. Maybe he's still writing all his thoughts down and seeing if we come up with the same stuff that he does. And then maybe he'll post backlogs of episode analyses at the end of the season (semester). Though that's all probably just my own wishful thinking. I've been reading too many Lost blogs.

    tom April 9th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    in 'dead is dead' when Ben is walking through the temple and looking at the hieroglyphics, the depiction of Anubis summoning what looks like lightning with a monsters face reminded my friend of older images of the ark of the covenant. when i perused the wikipedia article under the biblical accounts of the ark, where it was placed in king solomon's temple and "When the priests emerged from the holy place after placing the Ark there, the Temple was filled with a cloud, "for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord" (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chron. 5:13, 14)." kinda sounds like smokey and aside from the ten commandments the ark was believed to have also housed the rod of Aaron, brother of Moses and high priest and the name of a certain blonde three year old.

    Perlandra April 9th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    In Mr. Wood's honor, we definitely should continue the conversation ourselves.

    Obvious move: read the Egyptian BOOK OF THE DEAD, wherein we learn (among other things) that Ra presides over the celestial version of the Afterlife while Osiris handles the subterranean. Also, even the gods and the blessed dead must wage constant war against Chaos, symbolized by a monstrous serpent.

    Assuming Desmond, Penny, and Charlie are still alive (and if they're not, we march on the studio with torches and pitchforks), they remind me a bit of the young family in SEVENTH SEAL who survive while the other characters go dancing away with Death.

    Olivier April 10th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    That's a very good suggestion, Montand's Arm-- I'm afraid I won't be of much help, though.

    The Book of the Dead explains that the dead's heart (represented by a scarab stone-- the heart is the seat of the soul in Ancient Egyptian beliefs) is weighed against a feather; if the soul is pure, the balance is struck and the dead is allowed to enjoy the afterlife; if not, the soul is devoured by... a monster!

    (A member of the Dharma Secrets board gave a link to a nice screen capture of the wall depicting Anubis & Smokey: )

    Brian April 11th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    It helps to remember that Michael Emerson as Henry Gale was originally thought of as a six episode arc. Anything that we might infer from those season 2 episodes with respect to the current Ben (e.g. recognizing Sayid, having a scar in his chest) would be mistaken because the writers initially never planned on the character of Ben Linus to stretch out over 5 seasons.

    muchadoaboutnothing April 12th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    So i can't help to wonder if it's Frank lapidus that gets shot bt juliet while (time) traveling in the canoes?

    THE_3RD_ONE April 12th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I really wish that J. wood will recover from this nasty fight. but I must honestly say, I am truly disheartened that J will not return to enlighten us with his analytical skills and literary talent.

    Olivier April 13th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    Nox I don't remember the exact sequence, but I believe this time we saw Ben awaken and find Locke by his bedside right after a flashback showing us young Ben & Charles-- surely, one cannot argue the former was a consequence of the latter, which might have created a new memory; in this case as with the one discussed before, it's just a matter of editing.

    I'm sure there are several things to be found on the following subjects that could enlighten us:
    - calling upon a superior being for judgment
    - asking that you be judged
    - summoning a supernatural entity & water
    - Anubis, the dead, judgment, devourers of sinners

    On this last point, an important difference here, besides the fact that Anubis is not judging Ben himself, is that Ben is not dead-- though he did have a very close brush with death in his youth.

    Jason EG April 13th, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Throwing this out there for now and I will come back to it later but what if both versions of time travel are occurring. The fixed time jumping time line where Sayid was supposed to (and always did) shoot Ben, Jack never operated on him and Richard always healed him. And the changing time line where events changed in the past change the future.

    So, we know that Desmond is "special" and can apparently change the past (e.g. saving Charlie's life several times). When Desmond is involved he causes a course correction, where the entire space-time continuum rearranges itself to accommodate the things he has changed.

    Now, everyone else is not special. When they go back and make changes they actually change the future, causing branchings (e.g. Ben in the present-future with the picture from 1977 Dharma where he states, Jack and co. were not there before).

    That's all I have for now but I think it would be very Lost for there to be two types of time travel going on causing the audience to never be able to quite figure out how it works.

    P.S. I have not caught up on all the comments yet so sorry if I missed a relevant post.

    Lost Forever April 13th, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Does strymeo (@426) speak for J. Wood?

    Do we know for sure J will not be back? I miss his insights, but wish most for his recovery!!

    strymeow April 13th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    no, he doesn't speak for j. he's just sad and bitter about (though understanding of) j's absence.

    rebeljew April 15th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    @Tom: As far as breakdowns of the show go, I've been reading this guy Brandon Dameshek who apparently blogs for ESPN:

    Pretty in-depth recaps and theory. It's no J. Wood in terms of uber-intelligence, but a good read nonetheless. The entire 5th season is there.

    Montand’s Arm April 19th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    What lies in the shadow of the statue?

    The underworld.

    Montand’s Arm April 19th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    I also think the Temple hieroglyphs contain "the recipe" for mummification and that Smokey is Anubis' device for weighing (or judging) souls.

    Montand’s Arm April 19th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Hoth. A reference to the Star Wars Empire Strikes Back (which Hurley is attempting to "help" write during this episode).

    Where are our Star Wars experts? This should be a fun comparison!

    Barry April 20th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    After deciding to not try to guess what's going on, I'm now ready to start speculating who the New “Other Others” are. And what role will they play in this pending "war"?

    It seems that there are 3 groups that we know of Dharma, Others, and Neither (this is the point where this post falls apart).

    It would be strange to find that the OONL's (other other's/new losties) would be part of a completely separate fraction. They would need to be related to either the Others or Dharma.

    But Dharma appears to be out of the picture, right? It seems that the players still involved in this game are all either pre-Dharma others, or post Dharma others.

    (Unless we are considering that Dharma was a front of some original Others.)

    So, fittingly, this all seems to tie back to an issue of ownership/protecting the Island. That seems to be the “spoils” of this impending war.

    Any thoughts on who these new guys are? Any better name for them?
    Is there a parallel – what lies in the shadow of the statue vs. what did one snowman say to the other snowman?

    Amy April 20th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    "Doc" Jeff Jesen has a good detailed Star Wars analysis at
    Here's hoping J. Wood is well!

    Chewbacca April 20th, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Check out this site for Lost episode commentary and theory:

    sophie April 23rd, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    i am basically in love with you.

    Messenger88 April 24th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    J, Hope you are faring well and know that you are greatly missed by your readers.
    Although this season of Lost has been one of the best, things do not seem the same without your insightful analysis. Here's hoping for a happy, healthy flash-forward!

    Annie April 25th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    The following is a bit from Doc Jensen's Friday 4/24/09 blog.

    "As part of my research, I've come across a science-fiction writer by the name of Greg Egan. Among his books, two seem great sources of Lost resonance: Distress and Quarantine. I'll tell you more about both books next week — but please, feel free to peek ahead by reading either of them (or scanning their summaries on Wikipedia, if you really don't have the time). But because I wish to leave you with something this week, I bring you this, an excerpt from an essay written by Egan that I found at his website: ''In quantum mechanics, alternative ways for the same outcome to arise are said to 'interfere' with each other: the possibility of something happening can just as easily be diminished as increased by the fact that it can happen in different ways.''

    Egan is referring (I think) to an aspect of something called ''quantum supposition,'' which deals with probability. This concept would seem to present some intriguing possibilities for Lost. If I'm understanding quantum probability correctly — and please, tell me if I'm not — then the more ways there are to achieve a singular outcome, the less likely that singular outcome will actually happen. If there are two ways to achieve outcome X, then outcome X is probably going to happen. Three ways? A little less likely. 100 ways? Now things are getting really dicey. Wrapping my mind around this, I started wondering: Could this idea be applied to the time-travel/time loop dynamics at play in Lost? According to the Lost Experience, Dharma was trying to save the world from certain, possibly imminent death, as predicted by something called the Valenzetti Equation. What if Dharma was trying to avert that catastrophic outcome by creating a time loop which, over the course of who-knows-how-many cycles that would produce so many different strands and strains of finely altered history (hence the name of Dharma's time-travel station: the Orchid), would eventually diminish the probability of said awfulness from ever happening?

    Like I said: Totally accessible!

    See you on Wednesday, with both a new column — and a new episode of Totally Lost!

    Doc J"

    I so love this... here are a couple of ideas I came up with based on Doc's theory, in no particular order whatsoever;

    1) The infamous numbers - 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 - are part of the Valenzetti Equation, so I think that these numbers are used to somehow keep track of all the 'strands and strains' of time during the iterations and loops (sort of like a numerical constant, an anchor, if you will), or... to reset time into it's proper setting after the certain death-for-everyone disaster is averted, or... both. I think these numbers not only represent the actual disaster mathematically, that it would indeed happen and how it would happen, but they also represent the time of the disaster, the all-important 'when'. Important because all the stands of time would need to be realigned, as well as running at the same speed, after the disaster so that time would run along one, singular 'groove in the record'.

    2) If Doc's theory is correct, we're left with lots of possibilities for what motivates Ben. Here are one or two; suppose that he knows that the disaster has already been averted, but he has been allowing the iterations of time continue until he changes something, maybe the death of his mother? maybe the circumstances that lead to Annie leaving the island? maybe ...? Point is, there are so many possibilities, including saving the island (blah, blah, blah... does anyone believe that?). Suppose that the disaster has not been averted yet, and he's simply taking advantage of the looping to accomplish whatever it is that he's trying to do. (I tend to think this alternative is more probable, but it's fun to play!).

    3) Maybe this is why the passengers on Ajira flight 316 had to so closely recreate the conditions of flight 815, so that the equation's balance wouldn't be off (? math, schmath...).

    4) The island is a place where miracles happen; maybe one of the island's duties is to supply a consistent number and quality of people to the island so that things will work out as planned. So it provides 'good' people, and it doesn't hesitate to heal one who has been injured or reanimate one who has died, or supply one who can perform surgery on a cancer victim (kind of like a computerized refrigerator that knows when you're out of milk and has a delivery sent from the market. Flight 815?).

    Here's the link,,1550612_20245769_20274570,00.html?xid=email-alert-lost-20090424-item1

    Ginny April 29th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    J...I hope you are fairing ok and that you may be able to post or write an essay or two about this season of Lost. I read EW, Doc Jensen's column and love it but without your insights I truly feel something is missing. :( Take care and look forward to hearing from you sometime in the near future.

    neoloki April 29th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    For people out there (like tom) who are looking for an intelligent (j.wood type) recap and analysis of Lost please check out these two bloggers. I read about 6 different people but these two are the best:

    The Luhks files

    Eye M Sick

    James B. April 29th, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I thought Dan's memory issues invoked some Faulknerian concepts, from Light in August, Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders. Knows remembers believes a corridor in a big long garbled cold echoing building of dark red brick sootbleakened by more chimneys than its own, set in a grassless cinderstrewnpacked compound surrounded by smoking factory purlieus and enclosed by a ten foot steel-and-wire fence like a penitentiary or a zoo, where in random erratic surges, with sparrowlike childtrebling, orphans in identical and uniform blue denim in and out remembering but in knowing constant as the bleak walls, the bleak windows where in rain soot from the yearly adjacenting chimney streaked like black tears.

    Brian May 7th, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Hey! My compass theory was finalized last night! The compass is a time loop artifact. No beginning, no end. Same as the advice Lock got from Richard. The idea of John dying is a time loop idea. Advice from nowhere.

    wegottgoback May 7th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I can't wait for Miles to meet up with Locke. I'm feeling a dramatic revelation.

    Strika May 7th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    J: This is the first time I will leave a comment here. This season for me has been a real disappointment. The show is not as good as it used to be. And then to cap it all we don't have your column anymore. I really miss it and, without it, definetly something is missing in Lost this year. I hope you are faring well and look forward to hearing from you soon. Greetings from Mexico. ;)

    Kelly May 8th, 2009 at 4:23 am

    What was with the weird music when Locke, Richard, and Ben came upon the drug plane and the looped Locke?

    99 May 8th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I agree with Strika. It just feels flat to me.

    Jeffrey May 9th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I've said this for the last several seasons but I'm convinced that Frank Black/Black Francis of the Pixies is on the producers' Ipods. Too many references that are in sync with some of his lyrics as well as their use of the Pixies' song "Gouge Away" when messed-up Jack is on his way to the funeral home - just picked up another one on his song "Ten Percenter" off his first solo album: "I'm just trying to be a guy/ Who's hailing from Ann Arbor". Seriously, your summer listening should include Mr. Black's albums esp. "Frank Black" and "Teenager of the Year".
    You can thank me later.

    Jeannie B May 9th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    First off: J. Wood, I (like many others) miss your insights, and are worried that you still aren't back to blogging. I sincerely hope that you get well soon and back to some semblence of normalcy. And second: Neoloki, thank you for the other LOST blogs. I checked them out and they're pretty good. Still miss you though, J!

    Brian May 14th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    May Heaven grant you in all things your heart desires.

    Chase May 14th, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    @Brian: what is this? Did J. pass away?

    tom May 14th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    brian was stating the translation of the greek writings in the tapestry that jacob was weaving in 'the incident'

    Jeffrey May 14th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    On my Feb. 25th posting, I mentioned Teilhard de Chardin who I see on Jeff Jensen's EW blog he ties him in with "Everything That Rises Must Converge" and idea that the characters are all parts of a redeemed sum to come. William Peter Blatty explored just this (Teilhard incl.) in his sequel to "The Exorcist" titled "Legion" (also a great "Red Dwarf" episode!).
    Jensen also mentions that perhaps Sayid had "cold feet" and sabotaged the bomb. This is in keeping with what I thought was rather odd behavior from the Bond-like Sayid: He threw up his hands in surrender, stating he had a nuclear device while Jack was walking around head held high with gun in hand and shooting when provoked. And Sayid with "Horace" coveralls? Really, how far could he really get if anyone got close up to him?

    Messenger 88 May 16th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    So, Jacob visited several of our Losties and made sure to touch each one of them...of all the flashbacks, he never showed up for Juliet. That, plus the red shirt and Elizabeth Mitchell's casting in the re-make of "V" makes me wonder if Juliet is done.
    Also, if Jacob is really the Biblical Jacob, what are the chances that his nemesis on the beach was Esau? His offer of something to eat would be pretty ironic...not to mention the daddy issues that would come with losing your birthright. Perhaps my theory is wrong, but Biblically, Jacob is a clear representation of free will and Esau a representation of destiny...

    Two other things stood out to me upon first viewing: Hurley still remains as the only completely blameless Lostie and could still be "the variable" (rather than Desmond). And Ben told another (seemingly useless) lie when he told Locke 2.0 he was a Pisces--he was born December 19th and thus is a Sagitarrius.

    Given the fish Jacob cooks in the beginning of the episode and this other off-hand reference to "the fishes", one has to consider the ongoing references to Christ, especially now that we know what lies in the shadow of the statue is "He who will save/protect us all."

    Leah May 16th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I've been off this blog for awhile as I was behind watching the episodes and didn't want to get "spoiled." So, thoughts on "The Incident?" Interesting that Jacob was weaving in Greek? Interesting that Jacob and whoever (let's call him Satan) were speaking standard, modern, American English at the beginning of part 1, even as they watched the Black Rock approach?

    Question: was the answer to the shadow of the statue question in Latin (the official language of the Others)? Who are Illana, et al.?

    So, John is clearly not John any more. (As clear as you can be in Lost). So it looks like he's Satan now (from the first scene in part 1). We're told he's always wanted to kill Jacob but can't until he finds a loophole. Awesome. And now that he's inhabiting John Locke's form, the loophole is that Ben can do it. Why? I have a theory.

    Perhaps... when Ben was shot as a boy and rescued by Richard and the temple... he was "inhabited" by Jacob in some way. (Richard said he would never be the same). But he doesn't know it.

    Perhaps... the loophole is that no one can kill Jacob except himself (suicide). Perhaps... Satan, taking the form of John, deceived Ben by first taking the form of Alex and scaring him **less, convincing him to listen and obey John Locke, who is actually Satan himself.

    Perhaps... Satan-John did all of this in order to accomplish his ultimate purpose of finally offing Jacob. He ordered Ben to kill Jacob, convinced him that he should want to kill Jacob, then let him make his own choice. If Ben is somehow inhabited by Jacob from childhood, this would create and fulfill the loophole that only Jacob could kill Jacob.

    yeah, it's a stretch, but we have like 7 months to find out if LOST ever even happened.

    I wonder... the "war" that Widmore and everyone were on about... is that the war between Jacob and this Satan? Are all of the "wars" we have seen: Others vs Dharma, Others vs. Losties, Widmore vs Ben, all iterations of this ultimate "war." between these two archrivals? Are they "good and evil?" "God and Satan?" Or ancient mythological gods?

    When did the statue get taken down? With the nuclear blast or something else?

    If the bomb did go off as it appears, everyone is dead. There is still another season, so is next season gonna start out with everyone back on Oceanic 815? Perhaps it will show the Black Rock landing on the island, and Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Richard and Juliet all disembark?

    We never see Jacob visiting several important people in the finale: Ben, Desmond, Juliet (even though she gets a flashback, hers is the only one that doesn't cameo Jacob, right?).

    What was Jacob's role in the flashbacks we saw? obviously we have too little info to speculate on who he is or his motivation, but what did he do?

    Kate: turns her from a pre-teen life of crime.
    Sawyer: gives him a pen so he can write his letter to "Mr. Sawyer." Sayid: distracts him so he won't get hit by the car that kills his wife (or distracts him so someone can kill his wife?). Sun and Jin: speaks to them in Korean... encourages their love for each other? Not sure what he actually does for them. Jack: gives him his candy bar (perspective?). Hurley: encourages him to go back to the island, he's not crazy (he's blessed). John: brings him back from the dead? After waiting calmly for him to fall from the window above.

    Is Satan Smokey? Smokey the shapeshifter.

    Leah May 16th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Incidentally, as we have all of this time on our hands, I think Montand's Arm had an excellent idea, about trying to read through the booklist. How can we organize this? Should we start a website/facebook page where we can claim a book and start our own threads? Let's do it. (Someone else organize it; I'll be happy to participate :) )

    ruggerport May 16th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Somewhere in the second hour of the finale I found myself thinking: I wish I had J
    Wood's blog to help me enjoy the complexities. LOST just hasn't been as enjoyable this season without your elegant analyses and literary references.

    A modest suggestion: Would you consider (now that the semester is over) writing on each episode this summer, as your health allows? Perhaps even through a Paypal accessed portal so that your effort could be rewarded. I've always thought that your contributions were worthy of compensation.

    Hope you are well.

    Leah May 16th, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    On another blog I saw some referencing to Jacob as a Christ figure (to be resurrected) and Satan, of course, is evil, and Ben as a Judas, which i may like more than the Ben-inhabited-by-Jacob and suicide theory i espoused earlier.

    Interesting that Jacob recognized Satan (others are calling him Esau, which is also a good name) immediately, not fooled by his non-Locke mask.

    Seems Satan could very feasibly be Smokey and all of the weird-o manifestations we've seen in the show so far, especially the dead people ones.

    did we reach a consensus on the whispers in the jungle? Do we think it was from the time-travelling losties? Or maybe something else? whispers of all of the other "iterations" of this battle that have occurred in the past (a la the 1st scene convo with Jacob and Satan).

    I'm really loving this new Jacob storyline.

    asilgrass May 18th, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I think we can safely assume that the reason Jacob doesn't appear in Juliet's flashback was to confirm that she doesn't figure into the same destiny as the LOSTIES. Satan/Esau/EVIL accused Jacob of bringing the ship to the island. Oviously he brought the LOSTIES to the island too- at least the ones we saw. It would have been great to se him with Shannon, Boone, Michael, Walt, Ecko, Anna Lucia, Libby and of course Charlie & Claire and all the rest I'm sure I'm forgetting. Anyway though, Juliet told Sawyer that even though they loved each other that didn't mean they were supposed to be together (just like her parents in the flashback). I think we were supposed to see that she wasn't brought to the island by Jacob, but by Ben. If Ben wasn't really communicating with Jacob then who's to say he wouldn't go out on his own and bring people on the island.

    On another note - do you think John was ever really the leader or do you think that all just started because Locke2 told someone in a time travel that he was the leader thus elevating his status. I can't wrap my mind around it all, but I've just never thought John Locke (aside from walking on the island) was really special and neither did Richard. Wouldn't it be a hoot if he wasn't, but it was just a rumor started by Locke2? But that's probably ludicrous.

    It's good to hear from some of you again. I'd love a J post like everyone else, but everyone's been very quiet lately.

    Jeffrey May 18th, 2009 at 9:46 pm


    I'm not sure of Jacob's motivations with the flashback Kate & Co. I totally read Jacob buying the New Kids lunch box as keeping Kate on the wrong path by not catching hell from her mother thus getting away with the "crime". And I saw his stopping Sayid only as a distraction ploy to make Sayid so downtrodden and wrathful that he would go back to his life of violence. Same goes with keeping Sawyer (Jimmy) on his path of transmigrated swindling. We know how Jin and Sun's marriage will be tested so Jacob's blessings are not entirely followed - they are actually met with confusion over who Jacob is and of his impeccable Korean. Locke's seeming resurrection was God-like but considering how he will be used and abused it seems more like Job's Avenging Angel. As with Jack, well who can figure that conflicted soul out anyway? Hurley's meeting with Jacob was pure motivation to get him back to the island. And as for Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell is the most subtle and most equipped of any TV actresses and should at least be nominated for an Emmy), I thought it was ominously heartbreaking that Jacob didn't bother with her at all.
    And don't forget, Jacob does have some kind of hold on Ilana who also got a flashback!?

    Mr S May 19th, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Hey all,

    It seems that Juliet will be in Season 6, but I don't think it will be as a regular. She's the only one Jacob didn't touch when he started paying his little visits. And I think we will find out more about whether Jacob has had any other off island encouters next season. Speaking of which, Richard mentions he's been off the island 3 times since he got there, and we know two of them were to do with Locke so any guesses on the third?

    I also kinda agree with Jeffrey about Jacob. We really don't know enough about him to conclude if he's the good guy or bad guy. The imagery is pretty obvious in the white vs dark, but I'm hoping the writers have a bit more than that up their sleeves. One thing that seems to have gone in under the radar was the exact phrasing of Esau / Smokey / Jacob's nemesis used. It wasn't "I'll find a loophole", I'm pretty sure it was "We'll find a loophole". Implying that there may yet be more players to this drama. And what had he just eaten when he visited Jacob and refused his offer of some fresh fish? Another soul?

    The book club idea sounds really good, I need something to do to get my Lost fix and trawling through message boards and forums only takes up so much of my time at work :)

    leah May 19th, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Jeffrey: I agree that Jacob's actions were for good, not for bad, for the losties.

    Several have said something to the effect that Kate didn't listen to Jacob but continued stealing, but I don't remember any evidence of that. She didn't get back into a life of crime until she killed her stepfather to protect her mother, right? And actually, if her mom had had her back there and wasn't hooked up on her abusive lover/husband, Kate might not have had to go on the run.

    With more pondering, I've become convinced that "whatever happened, happened." The reason is that scene where Satan John Locke is the one telling Richard to tell time-warped John Locke that he has to bring everyone back to the island and he has to die. At first that scene was disappointing to me because I had originally thought that maybe Richard is guiding Locke and knows something, but actually it's just Locke telling Locke what he already knows, perpetuating the loop. Now we see it was Satan telling Richard to tell John Locke that info. But if all of it had already happened, and John Locke didn't "remember" any of it, and it still happened the same way, then nothing can be changed, right?

    leah May 19th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    One other thing: I wonder why Satan John Locke wasn't the one that busted out of the jungle and told John that he had to bring the 6 back and that he had to die. John would have accepted that and since he was time-jumping, would have believed himself. I guess, plotwise, that would have given away the "resurrection." But I also wonder: did Satan not do it because John would have recognized him? Like maybe when faced with the real John Locke, Satan would have been exposed.

    But now with my conviction that "whatever happened, happened," I have no idea what will happen in season 6. They're all back on 815, beginning the loop? Can't be that; it would be a boring season. They couldn't have all died, becuase we do have another season. Remember when Richard told Sun that he watched them all die? What was that about?

    I think the only thing that could have happened is that the e-mag pulse with the bomb blast transported them all to another time. Maybe they'll be on the Black rock, who knows. But the bomb definitely could have killed Juliet before it set off the e-mag pulse that transports everyone else. If, however, we have to endure another season of this Jack-Kate-Sawyer ridiculousness, I might vomit.

    So, who's up for the summer book club? How can we set it up?

    leah May 19th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Okay, so obviously there are other Lost book clubs around... just like there are other blogs. I searched the complete referenced works in Lost and found this list:

    The ABC site has a "book club" but it looks like a list of books and a link to a message board where people don't do a lot of book discussion, from what I've seen so far.

    maybe we can choose a book and just post whatever here?

    tom May 19th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    yes. we should post here in honor of j. wood until his return.

    Jeffrey May 20th, 2009 at 6:25 am

    I think it bears out that Jacob/Others do some bad things in order to keep people on the (right or wrong) path. I just saw on Sci-Fi Channel last night the episode where Juliet's ex-husband gets hit by the bus and she is then persuaded to come to island by Richard and Ethan who she meets for "first" time in the morgue. As Richard says of Ethan: "He's a big fan of your work." As well he should be since she delivered him! (Hindsight critiquing is great!) This is same episode where Jack has Kate relate over Mr. Friendly's phone the story of how he counted back from 5 in order to save the patient he nicked during surgery while fixing his same mistake on Ben.

    As for Kate not going into a life of crime, didn't she and that boy she was with grow up to rob a bank or something? I can't remember details but the toy plane was important - I think it was in a security box. And Kate surely walks on the wilder side of life. She and that spot-on young actress who played her show a cool toughness that can be related to an outlaw personality. I felt this even while she shared a beer with the on-the-fringe Roger Linus - they had an easy rapport until he freaked out. The only one who trumps her on this outlaw image is Sawyer and he eventually becomes the Law and settles for awhile into domestic bliss. Kate's only chance at this was with Aaron but that was built on a lie. I'm talking "personalities" as Sayid is truly outside the law but he acts from an authoritative, reactionary place.

    JamesB May 20th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    In J. Woods Siste Viator, Feb. 2 2009, he writes:
    What's interesting about this is if Locke is an embodiment of the hunter/farmer mythic trope, then he should be used to different purposes by anyone who finds a use for him. If Locke is a walking myth, we can expect him to be manipulated for other people's intentions.

    Dang, that was an insightful prediction by Mr. Woods. Hopefully Mr. Woods has recovered and is perhaps inking some scripts for LOST Season 6.

    leah May 21st, 2009 at 9:52 am


    The robbing the bank bit was after Kate killed her father. I think it all began with that. She was already on the run. It went like this:

    *Kate blows up house with father in it.
    *Kate visits mom telling her to claim insurance on the house.
    *Kate's mom squeals.
    *Kate goes on the run.
    *Kate's mom gets cancer.
    *Kate visits her mom in the hospital, where old boyfriend (same childhood friend with airplane) works. (Boyfriend gives access to mom)
    *Kate's mom freaks out, alerts police.
    *Kate and bf get into bf's car to run, bf gets shot by police.
    *Kate is sad, later breaks into bank to steal toy airplane from safety deposit box.
    *Kate is out of control.

    That pretty much sums it up from what I remember. It's sometimes hard to put the timeline together, because it was all jumbled up in flashbacks over the seasons.

    Jeffrey May 24th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Leah, Thanks for rundown on Kate. I still think it all shows that she is one tough customer - I love how she rolled her eyes when Jack admitted to Eloise that they were with Daniel after he was killed. Again, I'm wondering why Ilana got a flashback with Jacob in the last episode. Will she be the white or black queen to the end game? From Jeff Jensen's take at EW Jacob is good and is waiting per Teilhard de Chardin for all the pieces to come together to save him: the "They" in "They're coming" being Jack & Co. As I referenced before, in Blatty's "Legion" per Teilhard the world is basically Lucifer shattered into a multitude of parts and as we (the multitude) do good and show kindness we eventually solidify thus bringing Lucifer to his completed sanctified self. Blatty uses "The Brothers Karamazov" as his other basis for this idea - a book cited on "Lost".

    Jeffrey May 24th, 2009 at 2:53 pm


    We All Everybody

    Eve May 27th, 2009 at 7:11 am

    You know, Jeffrey, just reading what you wrote regarding Jeff Jensen's comment that Jacob is waiting for all the pieces to come together to save him, makes me think of the title of the book Jacob was reading. Everything That Rises Must Converge. Jacob, may be rising, everything (all the pieces, Losties), must converge,(come together). I've been thinking that it may not be the so much the content of the book that we need to understand, but maybe the "title" is the clue?

    Leah, I don't post alot here, but am a constant reader. When you returned to the site you seemed so energized! I was hoping that you would help to bring new life here. It's so lonely without our leader, J. I liked your seconding of the idea for a book club. Maybe we should read Everything that Rises Must Converge and see if it is the "content" or the "title" that will give us greater insight. I am almost done reading The Red Tent. Coincidentally about the families of Jacob and Esau.

    Montand’s Arm May 27th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    I am totally down for book club. I am almost done reading VALIS and I've been planning on picking up Everything that Rises Must Converge ever since I saw it in Jacob's hands on the finale. Plus, I recently read The Time Machine and saw a lot of parallels there that were fun. I would like to do some research on Egyptian statues and the number of toes typically depicted, just out of curiosity. Doc Jensen had a theory about Jacob and the Man-In-Black that they are Set and Horus, which I found especially interesting. So, let's DO this!!!

    Montand’s Arm May 27th, 2009 at 7:41 pm


    You All Everybody

    Montand’s Arm May 27th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    P.P.S.S. Doc Arzt's crew is pledging to rewatch all of Lost, seasons 1-5, during the hiatus and has posted a schedule of weeks and corresponding episodes. I think this is a great idea, as they'll be re-discussing 3-4 episodes each week together, only this time with hindsight. If anyone is interested, here is a link:

    Leah May 27th, 2009 at 8:25 pm


    I think maybe the problem is many have slacked off from checking this page any more, since the season is over and no new J. posts... at times like this I wish we had some kind of email summons when someone posted, but that would probably get awful when people are posting a lot.

    I check back every day or two... but when nobody posts, it's hard to keep saying something. I'll read Everything that Rises Must Converge, and if nothing else, we two can talk about it. ;) Gotta get it first, though. I do hope we can get some discussion going, but with no new shows, it might be sort of unlikely.

    The Red Tent sounds very interesting too. I'll look that up. My book list is a mile long....

    Jeffrey May 27th, 2009 at 9:39 pm


    Good on ya! for reading "The Red Tent" as the "Lost" recap on ABC's site makes a connection between a certain goddess and a certain statue.

    leah May 28th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I read the short story itself (Everything that Rises Must Converge) online:

    I didn't really see anything relevant... still planning to get the book.

    Eve May 29th, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Thanks for the link, Leah. I went ahead read it. I also didn't see the relevance, but who knows? Maybe, as I said before, it's not so much about the contents of the book, but maybe the clue is in the title? I'm still going to get the book as well. I am recommending "The Red Tent." It's a great read, and it does mention Taweret and many of the other Gods and Goddesses that we've been speculating about.

    leah May 29th, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    So, I'm reading Slaughterhouse Five right now, and the references are obvious. The whole idea of being "unstuck in time" (even the terminology) and the way they did it all came from this book. Anybody have any other insights on it? No big revelations so far; the connections are really obvious.

    I like something Vonnegut said in the preface:

    "The British mathematician Stephen Hawking, in his 1988 best seller A Brief History of Time, found it tantalizing that we could not remember the future. But remembering the future is child's play for me now. I know what will become of my helpless, trusting babies because they are grown-ups now. I know how my closest friends will end up because so many of them are retired or dead now. Mary O'Hare is a widow now. I know what will happen to a divided Germany and to a monolithic Soviet Union because one has been reunited and the other has fallen to pieces now, and on and on. To Stephen Hawking and all others younger than myself I say, 'Be patient. Your future will soon come to you and lie down at your feet like a dog who knows and loves you no matter what you are.'"

    Jeffrey May 29th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Not to belabor this any but as Jeff Jensen at EW said the phrase "Everything That Rises Must Converge" comes from Teilhard and he - Jensen - feels it is the title and not the contents that is the easter egg. But O'Connor's a helluva read so why not?
    "Lost" did this with Judy Blume and countless other tomes; I guess they just like messing with our heads.

    Jeffrey May 29th, 2009 at 11:51 pm


    leah May 30th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I just finished Slaughterhouse Five, and a few shorter passages that stuck out to me... (There were a couple of longer ones I'm not posting):

    “The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.”


    “We know how the universe ends—“ said the guide, “and Earth has nothing to do with it, except that it gets wiped out, too.”

    “How—how does the Universe end?” said Billy.
    “We blow it up, experimenting with new fuels for our flying saucers. A Tralfamadorian test pilot presses a starter button, and the whole universe disappears.” So it goes.
    “If you know this,” said Billy, “isn’t there some way you can prevent it? Can’t you keep the pilot from pressing the button?”

    “He has always pressed it, and he always will. We always let him and we always will let him. The moment is structured that way.” (chapter 5)


    “Everything is all right, and everybody has to do exactly what he does. I learned that on Tralfamadore.” (chapter 9)

    Jeffrey June 1st, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Or as Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" has always been the caretaker of The Overlook - a great name for this kind of Tralfamadorian viewpoint. Perhaps that is why Kubrick didn't blow up The Overlook in the end as King does in the novel - the hotel will always exist.

    Messenger88 June 3rd, 2009 at 7:35 am

    So we have our answer to the riddle "What lies in the shadow of the statue". But the more I have thought about the answer, the more the question itself gives me pause. In many ways, the question is designed to resemble the riddle of the Sphinx.
    Beginning with the interrogative, "what" lies in the shadow...this does not suggest personhood, even though the answer was "He". Secondly, the shadow...the statue has no shadow at night and the placement of the shadow depends upon the time of day. The riddle is NOT "what lies in the foot" (Jacob) but rather what lies in the shadow. Did John Locke's body (a corpse,a "what"), when dumped from the crate, land in the shade?
    I think there are multiple layers to this riddle, even more so than the answer--very fitting for Lost. Our questions reveal more about us than the answers we seek...

    Jason EG June 4th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Sorry, I have not checked back in a while. Glad to see there are still some posters sticking around.

    I too am interested in a book club. I read Slaughterhouse Five several weeks ago and am planning a read of Valis soon. One thing to note is that in Lost we have two different types of time travel. The first kind is what Desmond experienced. His body was his old body and only his mind (soul) traveled between his bodies in different time periods. This is the kind of time travel that Billy Pilgrim experienced in S5, his body did not travel only his thoughts and he had memories of the past and the future. This is also what Minkowski experienced.* The second kind is what most of the Losties have experienced which is physically transporting their bodies (and local objects) in space and time.

    In S5 Billy never tried to change the past because he knew it was fixed. In fact, from a certain standpoint the "time travel" may only be an old man remembering his life with his now future memories mixed in thus muddling the times together in his recollection. Can't we say that we all time travel when we remember our past? It was interesting to note, that Billy is not very proactive about the time travel and the aliens until he has his accident. Then he is determined to tell the story to the world, much to the chagrin of his daughter.

    I believe that these two different types of time travel may also have different rules as to how they affect the world. Perhaps those traveling physically are part of the whatever happened, happened crowd. They cannot change things. And the out of body travelers, particularly Desmond, can change history (e.g. preventing Charlie from dying when he was destined many times). I also think that Ms. hawking may have this same time traveling ability and used it to prevent Desmond from buying the ring and proposing to Penny when he was time traveling.

    * It should be noted that Minkowski space combines time with the other three dimensions of space to create the manifold, spacetime. I believe that in Minkowski spacetime, future and past, are complete. Meaning that they all already exist and a certain point in time is simply a different coordinate on the grid.

    leah June 4th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    For S5... Do we know decisively what moment Billy Pilgrim is anchored in during all of this time travel? Towards the end it seemed like it was all in his mind while he was in the hospital the same time that his wife died. But at the end I wondered what his daughter wondered: was he just crazy? Was he making it all up? As for the memories from the past, of course those may have been actual memories. But the future part, and the alien part; it seemed to me that he made it up. Because remember at the end he goes in a bookstore in new york and starts to read one sci fi book he thought he hadn't read by that obscure author. then he realizes he had read it way back in that military hospital, and look, it's got aliens just like the ones that abducted me. and the story is almost the same as my experience. So I thought that meant maybe he'd transposed that sci fi novel into his experience, and that hadn't actually happened.

    But we don't actually know when "now" is in that book, right? Is it in the hospital after his accident? is it in the war? Is it as he lays dying after his assassination? He knows how he dies... so to me he either made that up because he's afraid it will happen, or that's what happened, and all of these memories are flashing in from his past. Not time travel at all.

    One valuable thing is that the idea of the way Sawyer, Juliet et al. got transported through time definitely came from this book, at least in part. But they were transported because they were on the island, with the island. Not one person, but a group, so it's hard to refute it by saying it's in their heads.

    As for Desmond, maybe he changed things because he knew it hadn't happened yet. He knew that it was still future, and it wasn't set. For example, if Billy PIlgrim is remembering all of this from his dying moment, of course he knows he can't change it, because it's all just memories, even if he imagines he is time-traveling. But the past part for Desmond: he didn't actually change anything in the end, right? (only the future stuff with Charlie). He threw the ring in the river and didn't give it to Penny and everything happened the same, right?

    kw June 5th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    I don't know if this has been talked about, but I have a couple questions about Man in Black's Loophole Plan.

    Who / what cured John Locke of his paralysis? Was it the Island vis a vis Jacob? Or was it the MIB as part of his Loophole Plan? Knowing that John Locke was the perfect candidate to be used to carry out his plan?

    If the detonation of Jughead erased all the events of Oceanic 815, then it would also erase MIB's using John Locke to get Ben to kill Jacob, meaning Jacob is still alive. I guess that's not really a question, just an obversation.

    Here's my What if scenario: What if MIB has tried the Loophole Plan before? Perhaps with men from the Black Rock i.e. appearing as one of the dead men, and getting one of them to try and kill Jacob? What if his plan has been the same for all the groups that Jacob has brought to the island?

    leah June 5th, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    kw: interesting theory. the thing that came to mind that tells me MIB probably hasn't done it before is that before Ben stabbed Jacob, Jacob looked at fJL (fake John Locke) and said, "I guess you found your loophole." That reference was from the convo on the beach as the black rock approached, over a hundred years before. So that makes me think that MIB/Satan had not found the loophole before that.

    I do have a feeling that we may be seeing echoes of battles past: at least MIB and Jacob have been "at war" for hundreds of years, conceivably longer, so their conversation hints that similar events have played out with each new group to the island. We don't have any evidence of that, but maybe we'll get a peek at the grand scheme, or at least some other pieces of the other stories, in season 6. I can't imagine where next season will start out, so that's exciting.

    Eve June 6th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Guys, if you haven't read this, you must.
    Please read "Three Black Swans," posted on Wed.June 3, 2009. This is an amazing theory.

    asilgrass June 7th, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I agree that this is the first time he's tried the loophole. I think that John was as ordinary as John feared he was, and that his whole "delusion" of being the "other's messiah" started from the conversation fake Locke had with Richard and then that Richard had with real Locke. It's a little mind boggling, but think on it. They've gone out of their way to show that he failed the test and that Richard saw nothing special about him, but why wouldn't Richard believe he was special since John appeared in his camp and knew him and told him to come see him in six years when he was born. You'd think he was special too, but MIB needed them to believe he was special so they'd follow him to the statue and he could kill Jacob.

    I too think that the war has played out time and time again, probably for way more than hundreds of years. What Jacob said is they only kill each other (or something to that effect) once. Everything up until then is progress. I believe he's weaving a tapestry that will someday lead to a utopian society. MIB is trying to prove that humans are inherently evil and therefore will always mess up and kill one another.

    It's tooooo long until January 2010. We must have a book club or something to keep discussing it. It's the only thing that will carry us through!

    JoeV June 8th, 2009 at 8:58 am

    I don't know if anyone has discussed this, but I would submit that, since the time loop has (seemingly) been broken with the detonation of Jughead, we must therefore pick up the story at the moment of the break.

    That being said, my ideal beginning to Season 6 would be: 1977, with say, a news story covering what would appear to be the explosion of a "lost" hydrogen bomb in the middle of the South Pacific. The initial story could focus on the losties (as kids or young adults) as they watch this news event play out. Then we fast-forward through their lives and watch the inevitable convergence as we approach the time at which they meet in Season 1 (Flight 815).

    In my fantasy timeline, Darma has effectively been destroyed in 1977 - as well as the hatch and the magnetic incident that Desmond initiates to down Flight 815 in 2004. What happens between those two dates? Is it fate that brings them together - or somthing (someone) else? What presence has carried on at the island since the explosion? Did Jacob know that the island would be destroyed, so he effectively touched, or "inoculated" some of the losties prior to the FL 815 crash, to get them "on track" to meet up? I know there are some inconsistencies here (i.e. Hugo was touched by Jacob after the rescue), but I think the writers could think up some "loophole" heh, heh.

    Were the Losties were meaningful to Jacob in some way, in assembling an army to fight Esau/Satan/Darkman with a "loophole" of his own? Is that why he went to them in the past?

    kw June 8th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I agree that this war between Jacob and MIB has been going on for a very long time. My only question is that why has it taken MIB so long to come up with his Loophole Plan? We assume he has been able to take on the appearance of any dead person on the island. If many groups have been brought to the island by Jacob to prove his point that humans can make the right choices in order to evolve past the hating / warring stage we can also assume that MIB has taken on previous appearances. I'll also assume the appearance he takes on now is of a dead man on the island, just who that dead man is I'm sure we will find out next season.

    It hursts my brain to think of the different scenarios that blowing up Jughead may incur.

    Jeffrey June 8th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    It has been said that not only do we live in the present and travel to the past through our memories (faulty, of course) but we also have the ability to travel to the future by playing out different possible scenarios in our minds - kinda of like having to go to the doctor's or give a big speech. And sometimes it turns out to be close to what we imagined it would be. We do this with our memories as well - finding the right words this time to tell off that jerk in 10th grade.

    I think the ongoing war/not-so friendly discussion between Jacob and MIB is that of God and the Avenging Angel (possibly Satan depending on interpretation) in the Book of Job with humanity (Losties) as Job.

    Eve June 8th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I just don't think that TPTB are really going to make this a bible thing. Just like they are giving us a mix of Egyptian, Greek and other cultures, including to my way of thinking, not really exactly Taweret, but a mixture of some other Gods. Jacob and MM definitely are some sort of supernatural beings combined of religion, myth, culture and science fiction.

    More than likely, when Jacob speaks of it only ending once, he is also speaking of the end of the "show," all the progress that is made are all the answers that we've gleaned so far. It could be that MM may not have been able to use the loophole before. We can see how much time and how elaborate it was for him to set this all up. I'm thinking that MM may have been incarcerated at different times throughout history, like he was in the cabin, and didn't have enough time to make all this happen. Don't forget, Jacob (if that was indeed, Jacob), went back to the 815ers childhood at least 25yrs in the past. They have been playing this game for eons. MM may have come close many times, but only now he thinks he has succeeded.

    leah June 8th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    It does seem pretty clear that there won't be a definitive allegory (such as, the last episode detailing how all of Lost was an allegory of the book of Job specifically) but I also think it's really great how LOST involves so many different cultures, religions, family backgrounds and ideologies into everything. No matter who you are or what you believe, there is something to identify with in this show. It can hook almost anyone. For sure, it is paralleling some kind of TRUTH... but we'll see how they resolve and form it next year.

    There have definitely been allusions and references to quite a few if not all of the world's great religious texts. It seems like, under all of the mystery and suspense, the writers are really trying to dig into the human condition. Why do we do the things we do? What would we undo if we could? How low can we go? When tested to the max, will there be any goodness found in us?

    To know why it has taken him so long to come up with the loophole, I guess we'd first have to know exactly what the loophole is, or at least get a rundown on the "rules." Apparently MIB/Satan didn't know what the loophole was before he dreamed up this plan with John Locke.

    But I wonder... is there something special about John Locke? In the finale, we see Jacob reading on a bench, waiting for John to fall out of a window. John appears dead and Jacob touches him, then he breathes in suddenly and deeply, giving the impression that he has just been resuscitated. Why did Jacob do this? We know now that Richard's quest to recruit him was misguided, but what about Jacob's bringing him back to life the first time? And do you think maybe it was this "touch of life" by Jacob that made it possible for John to be completely healed once he reached the island? And what about Abaddon? He was working for Widmore, right? So why was Widmore so intent on John and having him on his side? It seems there is more to it than it seems. (And I was always one from the beginning to think John Locke unspecial).

    So, anybody else have anything to say about Slaughterhouse five? Or if you read it feel free to comment. I'm about to pick up "Everything that Rises Must Converge" so I suppose I may have something to say soon. Anyone else read anything pertinent?

    Nan June 13th, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Have not read anything but have been thinking about an old Star Trek episode - it's the one with Frank Gorshin and half of his face is black and the other half is white. Weaved into Star Trek not only were the character stories but also the moral of the story. Twilight Zone did the same, just differently. Lost has been weaving us a tapestry, just differently. They have pretty much pulled and pushed every fiber of us humans into the story - and done so brilliantly!

    "Man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest"

    In the beginning, "They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt"
    You know who that sounds like being described? Us humans. Sounds like someone only sees our bad side.

    Jacob thinks that is wrong. He thinks the journey between the beginning and the ending is experience, learning from our mistakes, making the world a better place. Sounds like someone only sees our good side.

    So who is the bearded guy who only sees our bad side?

    I think his name is Jacob.

    Think of the month of January, the month of new - new year, new beginnings, hope for a new door in our lives. January, named comes from Janus, Roman God.

    Janus was God of gates and doors, beginnings and endings. He had two faces. Originally one of the faces was bearded - later they both have beards. But though he has two faces, he is one!

    One of the satellites of Saturn is named Janus. It has a twin satellite and they are co-orbital. They need each other.

    How could you kill your other half of yourself? Why would you even want to just to prove the other half wrong? What is the wrong side? Who should have nuclear weapons??? Will the world end in 2012? Or will it be a new beginning? Or will it be the same as it ever was?

    leah June 13th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Hey, anybody read anything good? I just finished The Red Tent (thanks for the suggestion, Eve, it was great!) and i'm in the middle of Everything that Rises Must Converge. Not much to add, except The Red Tent was way cool to depict what life may have been like in ancient Egypt at its height, and how the people may have interacted with the "gods" like Taweret and Anubis. Seems like there's more to ancient Egypt and the island that maybe we'll see in upcoming episodes.....

    Eve June 18th, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Your welcome, Leah. Yes The Red Tent was very cool. I hated when it was over. I am using this as my book club selection in my non-Lost life. We meet every 6wks. We just read "The Reader." Also very good, but depressing. Speaking of which, ETRMC. Very depressing. Not sure I want to even finish, but I will. I have read most of the stories which are very similar in theme. I realize that Flannery based her title on Tielhards The Phenomenom of Man and certainly the substance of his book regarding the Omega Point does come into play with regard to Lost.

    For all of you not so sure about whether the Man in Black is Smokie, consider this. The fact that he was un-named was obivously glaring to me. Now, remember when Ben and un-Locke were going to find Smokey so Ben could be "judged?" Ben told un-Locke that that "they" had no name for who Locke's people call "The Monster." A coincidence that Smokey and MIB have no name? Hmm....

    Ginny June 27th, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Anyone heard anything about J Wood lately?

    tom June 28th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    i'm starting to think we're never going hear about him. i've pleaded to to let us know, but they're either unconcerned or have nothing to report. BUT IF THEY WANT TO THEY CAN SINCE WE STILL CHECK THIS SITE PERIODICALLY.

    leah June 28th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    i got tired of waiting so i saw earlier that someone had friended him on facebook so they kept up with him there and could see that at least he was still active somewhere... so i recently did that too. i just checked, and his last post was on the 16th. a lot of get-well wishes from friends and such, so obviously he's still battling illness. but i don't know him personally, so if you want to friend him on facebook too, i guess he'd accept like he did for me.

    Bolton June 29th, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Hey Tom,

    Unfortunately, we've gotten no new updates about J's condition, so there hasn't been anything to report. All we can do, like all of you, is wish him good health.

    tom June 29th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    thank you, bolton.

    THE_3RD_ONE July 20th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    funny i came here to find out how the master was feeling. and; viola. even with J. not posting his blog is still giving me answers. anyways, i'm still pulling for you J. you are truly missed by all who still visit here every now and again.

    get well soon.

    l057l0v3r August 11th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, I love this blog. It is great even without J. Woods. Any word on his health?

    Francois August 19th, 2009 at 7:03 pm


    Did you know that the archives of your blog aren't accessible? If we click on "older entries" at the back of the first page, we always come back on this same first page.

    neoloki September 3rd, 2009 at 7:51 am

    It would be a shame to lose his voice going into season 6. Maybe Mr. Wood can make a guest appearance and comment on a few of the final seasons episodes.

    Miss Gretchen October 13th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    LOST fans might be interested in an article in today's New York Times about the Large Hadron Collider and the possibility that "the future" might be causing it to fail.

    Thanks to previous commenter Faramir for mentioning The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, I've just finished it and I can't recommend it more highly for LOST fans.
    I don't want to say too much about it because part of the fun is being along with the narrator as he discovers the secrets of his Island. It's very short but a fun way to spend the time before the last season begins.

    THEPUMA October 14th, 2009 at 8:48 pm


    eve October 22nd, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I am also watching Flashforward. I'm liking it and also enjoying Nik at Nite where she is blogging about it.

    leah October 29th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I'm watching Flash Forward too. I wonder how similar the theory is, or if there's really any insight into LOST with it.... Every episode I'm struck by the "loop" that is caused by the characters knowing that snippet of their future. They do things because they know they will happen. Plan weddings because that's what they saw, follow leads presented there.... you just wonder if that future could have ever happened if the characters didn't see it happen first. I don't know if it pertains to LOST or meshes with their theories of time travel.

    I'm also reading The Time Traveler's Wife. Similar things going on there... the future is inevitable, and not changeable. It will happen because it's already happened. Characters move forward, doing things because they know they will happen. It just seems sort of hard to accept.

    Food for thought.

    thepuma November 6th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    When I was discussing the format of the show I meant in regards to character developments and story line. In Lost we are introduced to characters and they are developed through their flashbacks. In FF we are introduced to Characters and they developed through their flashforward. We are given more information each week just like Lost. Lost gave us the foot statue to ponder. FF keeps showing us the Kangaroo.
    On a side note on V premiere I was humored by the opening scene Elizabeth Mitchell's( Juliet) eye looking into the camera. A friendly poke perhaps.

    Miss Gretchen December 10th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    re: J. Wood -- been watching the LOST Season 5 DVDs, extras etc, and it does make me wish that J. Wood will be here in Season 6 to guide us. If LOST ends up to be nothing more than "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma," then Season 5 was not confusing. If LOST ends up to be more, then Season 5 requires more brain power than mine, which has tried to learn during 2009 about CDOs and TARP and PPIP &c, can handle. Asking Santa and all other beings who accept wishes (four toed statues?) for this to come true.

    Paulo Marreca December 26th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Terribly missing J. Wood's comments. During the previous hiatus, I often enjoyed re-watching the episodes and rereading J's posts. Wishing you well, J.!

    TIM S January 19th, 2010 at 9:11 am




    Chris in Fort Worth January 20th, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I concur with Tim, PLEASE COME BACK. LOST needs you to guide us through this final season, you give it so much depth and clarity!!! I hope you are well and look forward to seeing you return soon!!!

    Chris J.

    Ambivalentman January 20th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    I hope we will get an update soon on your health, Mr. Wood. I'm sure I speak on behalf of most "Lost" fans when I say we miss your remarkable analysis of the show. Mostly, though, we want you to be healthy.

    thaifly January 25th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I really hope we get to enjoy Mr. Wood's great writing this season too.

    I wonder if the moderator could update us on J's situation? I'm sure everyone here would be extremely grateful..

    TheLama January 25th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Dear J,
    Like everyone else here I wish you the best of health and hope that you will be back to guide us thru the final season. Your insights and analysis have been inspiring to all of us. God Bless.

    Chris Bolton January 25th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Hey everybody — there's a bittersweet "Lost" sort-of-update in today's Book News.

    Sorry it isn't happier news — we wish we could get J. blogging again, too!

    Chris in Fort Worth January 25th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you Chris for the update. I wish Mr. Wood the best and will miss his writing.

    Miss Gretchen January 26th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I'm not an expert with this new fangled technology and all, but would it be possible for Powell's to give us a new post under J. Wood's name called something like "LOST Final Season not by J. Wood" so that the former commenters who have gotten to know each other over the years could now make some comments and check in with each other in J. Wood-ish style during the final episodes?

    Who knows -- perhaps Mr. Wood might chime in himself. It might be nice to create a space where he could do so with no pressures (from knowing people with chronic problems, it seems that time pressure is not a great thing for them.)

    Just an idea!

    Chris Bolton February 2nd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Miss Gretchen, we've got something even better (we hope):

Post a comment:

Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at