Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lost - Part 7

At the peak of his career Muhammad Ali would arrogantly and playfully use the ‘rope a dope’ on his opponents. Winding up his powerful right arm, he would make it look like he was going for the knockout punch only to land a left squarely in the guy’s face. Rope him in one way only to hit him from another direction.

Magicians do the same thing. Misdirection.

I can’t help but feel ‘Lost’ is doing the same thing to everyone watching.

After learning how Jeremy Bentham really died and Locke’s post island tour, the show has been boiled down to one simple question. See below for what that question is.

How’s that for a teaser?

What Happened

Dude from the plane (who I knew would be back) is seen scrounging around a room. He finds a flashlight and a sawed off shotgun, both of which he tucks in his duffle bag. He also finds blueprints of a familiar pattern of underground bunkers. Looks like he’s on the island and found one of the Dharma hideaways. The woman who was escorting Sayid comes in and asks what he put in his bag. He tosses her the flashlight while keeping the shotgun to himself.

‘We found a man. He was just standing in the water wearing a suit.’

They both head to a very familiar looking beach and there is one John Locke. Alive and…um…hooded? What was with that getup? He pretending to be a monk? In the background we see the Ajira plane has crashed on the beach.

The next morning, Locke is standing in the surf looking at another island across the water. The woman gives him a mango and asks where he came from. He wasn’t on the passenger list so he couldn’t have been on the plane. And why are you wearing that suit? Locke says he doesn’t remember being on the plane, either, and he thinks the suit was what he was going to be buried in. You see, the last thing he remembers is dying, which is inarguably the strangest thing ever said to a woman bearing mangos.

Let’s backtrack, shall we? We cut back to Locke at the frozen wheel, Christian is there again (still didn’t see what he was wearing on his feet), he turns it, disappears and wakes up in the same desert Ben came to in last season. Unfortunately his leg is still broken, but he notices cameras watching him and yells for help. About 12 hours later, a pickup truck arrives and Locke is roughly handled into the back, to a hospital where his broken leg is not so daintily set. Yeah, I was wincing, too. Before he passes out, he sees the same black dude that was his orderly during physical therapy, visited Hurley in the mental hospital and still makes time to run an FBI department on ‘Fringe’.

He wakes to find his old buddy Charles Widmore by his side. Widmore, he says, monitors that desert site because he knows it’s the where people wind up when they leave the island. Widmore asks how long it’s been since they first met. Locke tells him it’s been four days for him. Widmore says ‘I was 17 when we first met and here you are looking exactly the same’. Widmore also had a specialist fix up Locke’s leg since the third world, ‘bite down on a piece of wood and like it’ hospital needed some further medical training.

When Locke asks why Widmore was monitoring the exit spot, Widmore tells him that he was afraid Ben would convince Locke to leave the island the same way Ben fooled him. See, Widmore – not Ben – was the leader of The Others (‘I just think of them as my people’) before Ben kicked him off the island. Widmore explains that when he was in charge, they protected the island peacefully for 30 years. Then Ben took over and it all went to shit.

Locke explains that he left voluntarily to bring back the Six. Widmore tells him 3 years have passed and they’ve all moved on with their lives, but he will help Locke track them all down. ‘Why would you help me?’ Locke asks. ‘Because,’ Widmore answers, ‘there is a war coming and if you aren’t on that island the wrong side is going to win.’

Da Da DUHHHHHHHH!!!

Later on Widmore gives Locke an passport (Jeremy Bentham lives!), money and his butler to drive him around. He explains that he’s been keeping an eye on the Oceanic 6 and will get Locke to them. Locke, still not trusting Widmore, asks why he’s been watching the 6 and he says ‘I’m invested in the future of the island’. He then tells Locke not to mention Widmore to the other 6 as they must think horrible things about him due to Ben’s lies and him sending a mercenary crew to wipe out everyone on the island and all.

So Locke is off with the ‘Fringe’ dude (anyone else feel horrible when the wheelchair was pulled out?) and they first visit Sayid in Central America working for Habitat for Humanity building houses. Sayid tells him ‘Thanks, man. I’m good’ when Locke explains they need to go back.

Off to New York where old friend Walt makes an appearance. He now looks 40 and tells Locke he’s been having dreams about him. Locke does not tell Walt about Michael going BOOM and leaves without telling Walt his real purpose. Ominously, Ben is watching from down the block.

Hurley is the next stop and, in the best scene in the episode, is convinced Locke is dead. ‘Sorry you didn’t make it, dude’. After confirming from the nurse that he is indeed talking to ‘Dude in a wheelchair’, Hurley flips out a bit and gets away from Locke in a hurry. Not before pointing out that ‘Fringe’ dude shouldn’t be trusted.

Back in the car, Locke asks Fringe dude what he does for Widmore. He answers ‘I help people get where they’re supposed to go’.

Sidenote: One of my frustrations with Lost is the inability of most characters to ask a logical follow up question. In this case wouldn’t all of us have asked ‘And how do you know where people are supposed to go’? Instead Locke says nothing. Thanks, needed to get that off my chest.

Locke visits Kate next who gives him a much needed reality check when she refuses to go back. ‘Haven’t you ever loved anyone?’ she asks him. Yeah, once a long time ago. He tells her that an obsession got in between them. Kate coldly replies ‘How far you’ve come’.

Another sidenote: In the last two episodes, Kate has dropped a line that hints she may be either the smartest character on the show or she knows more than she’s letting on. On the Ajira flight she tells Jack ‘Just because we’re on the same plane doesn’t mean we’re together’. I’m predicting Kate’s back story on how she got on the plane could be the most important one we see this season.

After Kate’s ‘Oh SNAP!’ moment, Locke visits his old love’s grave. She died of a brain aneurysm. They go to get back in the car and Fringe dude is gunned down. Locke – showing amazing agility for a guy with a huge cast – jumps into the front seat and drives away, gets in an accident and winds up in Jack’s hospital. Jack coldly refuses to go back to the island. Locke then says ‘Your father says hello’. He’s figured out Christian is Jack’s father, but Jack doesn’t believe him and tells Locke to stay away from everyone. He then ingests some drugs and goes all girly. We don’t actually see this, but I know that’s what happened.

Depressed, Locke heads to a hotel to hang himself only he’s interrupted by that busy bee Ben. Locke tells Ben that he’s failed; he can’t convince any of them to come back. Ben tells Locke that isn’t the case – Jack just bought a plane ticket from LA to Sydney. He’ll help him convince everyone else. Locke tells him that Mother Faraday will help them get back to the island and that Jin is still alive. Ben thanks Locke by choking him to death, stealing Jin’s wedding ring and making it look like Locke hung himself after all. Ingrate!

After that lovely turn of events, we’re back on the island where Caesar (I looked it up, it’s the name of the dude that was on the plane) brings Locke to a tent where all the injured survivors are being kept. Included is none other than Ben.

‘You know him?’ Caesar asks? ‘Yeah,’ Locke answers ‘that’s the man that killed me.’


What We Learned

- The Ajira plane did crash

- Hispanic dude’s name is Caesar. Anyone else know if they told us the girl’s name?

- Both Caesar and other girl handle the news of Locke’s death surprisingly well considering it’s Locke telling them about it.

- Widmore was leader of The Others. Or so he claims.

- He was also the one helping Locke track down the Oceanic 6.

- Fringe dude won’t be collecting double paychecks anymore. Have I beaten that joke into the ground, yet?

- Jack, Kate, Sun, Hurley, and Sayid were white flashied away before the plane crashed.

- Landing on the island apparently makes people lie to each other. As evidenced by Caesar hiding the shotgun from the girl.

- Medical care in the desert leaves a lot to be desired.

- Locke suffered a serious lack of confidence (faith?) just before Ben choked him to death. Big baby.

- Frank the pilot and ‘another woman’ took one of those canoe thingys, leaving two behind.

- If we take Locke at his word, people don’t remember things when they’re dead.

- Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley were all DEAD SET against going back to the island. Adamant doesn’t even get close to how they felt about that idea.

- Widmore remembers Locke from their first meeting.

- Being off the island hasn’t stopped Ben from being a murdering son of a bitch.

- The survivors of the Ajira flight are probably the ones that shot at Sawyer, Locke, etc while they were canoeing.

- Widmore knows about Mother Faraday and told Locke who in turn told Ben. The flow of information in this show is dizzying.

- Locke likes mangoes when he comes back to life.

- Ben was totally out of the loop regarding the ‘Jin is still alive’ gossip.

- Locke didn’t kill himself. Ben did it for him, which was probably the most considerate thing he’s ever done.


New Questions

- Was Widmore really leader on the island? Or is he blowing smoke up Locke’s cast?

- Why did Ben kill Locke? What did Locke say (Jin’s alive? Mentioning Mother Faraday?) that changed Ben’s mind about Locke remaining alive?

- What changed everyone’s mind about heading back to the island?

- How did Widmore know to monitor that exact spot in the desert? Were those cameras there when Ben emerged three years previous?

- Remember last season when Christian appeared to Jack? Do you think that happened after Locke’s visit to the hospital? If so, was Christian also trying to convince Jack to go back to the island? Maybe Jack is the one the island wants and not Locke.

- Why didn’t Walt ask how his dog was doing?

- Why was Sayid killing off members of Widmore’s group and what made him stop and break ties from Ben? Was it because he had to kill that hot chick he was sleeping with?

- If the Oceanic Six were white flashied off the plane (and presumably back in time) why wasn’t Locke taken, too? Is it because he was dead?

- Why doesn’t somebody just put a bullet in Ben’s creepy looking head?

- Did Locke’s one true love really die of a brain aneurysm?

- Was Locke really dead? Interesting thought posed at lunch today by fellow Lost addicts. There was an episode two seasons ago that involved two new cast members. They were on Oceanic 815 after a diamond heist and spent a lot of time trying to hide the diamonds on the island. Both were bitten by a spider that had a venom that didn’t kill you, but made it seem like you were dead. It paralyzed you to the point where the heart rate is slowed way down and breathing was undetectable. Both wound up being buried alive by the other survivors because everyone thought they were dead. Could Locke have been dosed with this same venom in order to appear dead? When Ben brings the casket to the shop doesn’t he say ‘I have a package that needs to be well cared for’? Could that mean the woman needed to keep dosing Locke in order to make him appear dead?

- When is the dude with the patch over his eye going to show up again? I predict we see him very soon.

- Why doesn’t Christian save everyone some time and just say what’s on his mind and what needs to be done? Stop being vague and just spit it out!

- Since we’re here, I’ll ask it again: Is Christian really dead? Or is the Christian we’re seeing a time traveler?

- Finally, we come to the most important question. After what we’ve heard from Ben and from Widmore we are now presented with a he said, he said situation.

So….

Who do you believe?


Today's distraction: 20 of the weirdest album covers of all time. I apologize in advance for the Sour Cream and Other Delights. And what's with chicks and dummies? The 60s were a strange time.

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