Friday, January 23, 2009

Because You Left & The Lie - Lost 5.1 & 5.2

Season 5 opened with perhaps the coolest sequence for a premier since Desmond's Season 2 appearance. Another tone-setting song greets us, as a faceless man prepares for work. Unlike similar openings, we already know this man. Holy God, it's Marvin Candle! Or is that Mark Wickmund? Or perhaps Edgar Halliwax? Really, it's Pierre Chang, ready to tape a Dharma Station orienation film. Then suddenly the action shifts to a problem in the Orchid, where the Dharma Initiative is trying to drill toward the room where Ben turned the infamous Frozen Donkey Wheel. Instead of breaching the chamber, the drill melted and Candle/Wickmund/Halliwax/Chang reveals the chamber contains "almost limitless energy" that will allow the DI to manipulate time. Aha, finally some insight about what happened to the island in Season 4.

But who is that masked man bumping into the doctor on his way out?

Somehow Daniel Faraday is back in the 80s crashing the party. And with this appearance marks the show's foray into time travel. Though the interesting momentum of a DI opening dissipates and we don't see Candle again, Faraday does set the stage for the new paradigm in Lost.

When Ben moved the island, we all wondered whether the island merely moved its physical location of if it instead also shifted on the line of time. "Because You Left" answers that question emphatically: both.

The group left on the island after its move suddenly find themselves skipping through time. Faraday explains the situation as if the island were a spinning record and, instead of a smooth turntable, the LP is skipping. Where the needle lands after a skip is anyone's guess. The first blip takes them into the past, where the camp has not yet been built and the hatch is still intact. Blip two moves them to the future, at least past the point of the crash, because the Swan is destroyed. In Faraday's words, there's really no stopping the events because what happened cannot be changed. Obviously, the story can't end there because, well, that would make for a really boring story. And we know the writers wouldn't leave things like that.

So, several factors on and off the island point toward things either working slightly differently than Faraday explains or specific people have the power to break the loop.

The first person to examine is Mr. John Locke, de facto leader of the Others. Just as Locke moves to take control, he moves through time, just like the rest of the survivors/freighter folk. The only problem is the Others don't move with him. When the first skip occurs, Locke finds himself alone. This moment is one of the most intriguing of the show, as Locke gets to witness the crash of Yemi's plane. As has been noted by several Lost commentators, this record-skipping mode allows the writers to answer a lot of the show's questions, or at least to have us witness them. Locke's move into the past finds himself on the wrong end of Ethan and his rifle. Ethan is about to blow off Locke's head when time skips a second time. This time, Richard comes to find the wounded bald man. Richard tells Locke he knew Locke would be there because Locke told him about it in the future. Though Locke does not understand what is going on, this sequence highlight a few important features.

Firstly, Richard obviously is not affected by the time skips, at least not in the way Locke and the survivors are. Does this fact mean he can manipulate time himself? Why did the Others, who were present on the island when it moved, not find themselves moving like the rest of the cast? Was Locke merely separated from the group for some reason and the Others moved too? Either possibility seems just as logical, when viewed through the non-logical lens of time travel. My money, however, is on a special ability of Mr. Richard Alpert.

The second issue Locke's interaction with Alpert brings up is the meeting the two had in Cabin Fever in Season 4. The test he gave Locke as a child suddenly makes more sense. We wondered exactly what the question "Which of these items already belong to you?" meant. In Because You Left, Alpert gives Locke a compass to use in a future meeting with Alpert, where Alpert says presumably past Alpert won't know Locke. Apart from the brain breaking inconsistencies this logic creates (why does present Alpert know that future Locke will visit past Alpert and past Alpert will not know of Locke at all? If Alpert has the ability to time travel, why doesn't past Richard know about Locke from the start?), the compass now seems to make more sense in Cabin Fever. Apparently Alpert wanted to see if Locke could sense which items he already owned in the future. Does this mean we'll soon see Locke with a baseball glove, a Book of Laws, or a cool comic book? I sure hope so.

(As a quick aside, I find it humorous and a bit ironic that Locke was dubbed to be the leader of the Others only to be removed from their presence nearly immediately upon inauguration. To add insult, Richard tells Locke he must now die in order to save the island. Shortest reign ever. Of course, in the end, I'm sure Locke will end up back in control once he becomes Lazarus and gets out of his coffin.)

That takes us to Desmond. Though Faraday believes events from the past cannot be changed, he somehow finds information in his journal that Desmond is special. Miraculously and uniquely, Desmond has the power to alter the "street" of time. Again, as noted by many others, this fact makes sense, since Desmond seemed to gain superpowers after the Swan imploded and he ended up nude in the jungle. Interestingly, 2008 Desmond dreams/remembers what happens in 2005/before 2005 (following all these dates?) when Faraday interacts with imperfectly-sealed-yellow-suit Desmond. Is this scene a mix between the time travel of Flashes Before Your Eyes, The Constant, and Because You Left? Desmond, therefore, has to be special if his future selves can somehow recall a "memory" that happened to him in the past that happened to Faraday in the present. Otherwise, Alpert would remember Locke the next time Locke sees him. More importantly, this act would violate the idea that nothing in time can be changed. Daniel's theory actually does not really involve time travel. The arrow of time to the players involved still points forward, just the plane of physical existence changes. Therefore, there future or past selves would not have any sort of residual memory and things could never be changed. If you could alter the future or past, then it would follow that your future selves would acquire new memories, a la Desmond. Apparently things can be changed and Desmond is the man for the job. All those slight differences in Flashes Before Your Eyes become more interesting now. I always surmised Desmond might be the central "hero" to the plot (I use the word hero lightly here, since true heroes have one supernatural father) and now it seems that could be the case.

Of course, these events lead us to another character involved in the time travel/course correction plot line, a character we wondered if we would ever see again: Mrs. Hawking. Begging to involve time travel from her name, Hawking showed up first in Flashes Before Your Eyes, telling Desmond that no matter what he did, he would have to end up pushing the button on the island. She leads him to believe that all attempts to change his past, to end up not on the island, would be futile. Because You Left suddenly casts this philosophy into doubt. If Desmond is special, then obviously things can be changed. Which brings us to the question, does Hawking know that Desmond can change things? Based on her almost-supernatural-seeming existence, I have to guess yes. Meeting Desmond in nether-time-travel land, showing up in a monk's photo in Desmond's monastery, and a connection to Ben leads me to believe she knows what is going on. So then we have to ask ourselves, why did she tell Desmond things couldn't be changed? Since we see her aligned with Ben in the present, we can only assume that Desmond's on-island actions benefit the island, the Others, or both. Obviously, if Desmond had married Penny instead of ending up on the island, her ends would not be met.

I find two points interesting in regard to Mrs. Hawking in "The Lie," other than the amazingly coolness of seeing her again. The first is that she is either the uber-Stephen Hawking or the most powerful player we have yet seen. Her mathematics and equipment lead one to believe she knows much more about what's going on with the physics than Faraday. She seems to be able to figure out where the island is going to be and when it will be there. This knowledge is something even Ben cannot discover on his own. Until these episodes, Ben and Widmore seemed to be the giants of the Lost chess board. They seemed on even footing when it came to finding the island, as Widmore had been looking for decades, while Ben now seemed unable to find it again on his own. Hawking, on the other hand, does not have those problems, which places her on a higher plane than both Ben and Widmore. Who exactly is she?

The second interesting point regarding Hawking comes from the supposition that she is the most powerful player yet. If we believe that theory, then why can she not do anything about the situation other than find the island? She does not seem to have Desmond's ability to change things. The best she can do is get ben to assemble the all-star squad to go back to the island that she found. When pressed with what happens if Ben cannot get everyone in 70 hours, she utters, "God help us all." So apparently she is not almighty. Still, I think she is a bigger player than we have ever thought. Which begs the question, is Brother Campbell, seen in a photo with Hawking, another big player?

Obviously, these time travel and power issues were not meant to be solved in two episodes. The arc of Season 5 seems a nice length to shed light on these issues. It's really confusing, but as far as I can tell there are a few big points to take away from the first two episodes.

1. The island moved in both time and space, at least once.

2. Those left on the island, seemingly other than the Others, are still skipping in time.

3. In general, you cannot change what has happened or what will happen. Your skips in time are your present and your life's time line still points forward.

4. Desmond is special and does have the ability to alter time lines.

5. Mrs. Hawking seems to be more in the know or powerful than Ben or Widmore, but still is not powerful enough to solve the problem.

I'd like to quickly address a debate I've seen in other articles and posts. Many people surmise the characters are moving in time and not that the island is also moving. They point to evidence that the terrain remains the same, but the things about the terrain change. Therefore, the island is not moving along with the characters. Sometimes that can be a subtle difference. For instance, the characters and island as it was when Ben turned the wheel did not suddenly teleport to the same time line in 1960, since the camp would still be there, just now they would all be in 1960. Instead, the island is the record and the characters are the needle. The island continues to turn, but the characters always end up in different spots on the island.

I believe this theory to be incorrect, at least slightly incorrect.

Obviously the island moved at least once in present time and space. The helicopter crew saw it disappear and it was not merely a cloaking ability of the island. Ben and Widmore obviously recognized what happened, as neither thought the other would be able to find it. If the characters were merely skipping in time, then the island would still be in the same spot and Widmore could send a new boat to the same coordinates. This possibility seems to be false. The island might no longer be moving in time or space, but it did once. After that jump, I believe the skipping for the inhabitants began, as if the initial jump of the island set the island's time dimension spinning like a tennis ball and every time the inhabitants hit that spinning surface, they skip.

Regardless, things are just heating up. We have our usual new batch of questions, but how things work are starting to take shape. Season 5's first two episodes were not the best in the series, but they were a solid opening.

Awesome, non-time-travel-related inclusions: Ana-Lucia and "Libby says hi," the new character, Jill, Miles declaring "that chick likes me" to Juliet, and a potentially new group on the island at some point, aka the flaming arrows.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

When Home's No Place Like Home - Part I

As the Lost world goes, "There's No Place Like Home" begins about as far away as it possibly could from the place where "Cabin Fever" ends. Locke's declaration that they need to move the island is decidedly disjointed from the briefing the Oceanic Six receive on their plane ride to Hawaii, especially when viewed on the linear storyboard of the series' progression. If a viewer watched the fourth season for the first time on DVD and saw the episodes back-to-back, I doubt they would expect the return to civilization immediately after Christian tells Lock to transport the island. This jump in the narrative appears a second time in Part I of "There's No Place Like Home," as the episode ends in seemingly disjointed fashion from the genesis. We know the six somehow end up together, but exactly how? Jack is with Sawyer tromping after Hurley, who is with Ben and Locke at the Orchid. Meanwhile, Kate and Sayid are nabbed by the roaming band of Alpert-led Others, who reappeared just in time for the end of the season. Further, Sun has Aaaron on the freighter, as Desmond, Michael, and Jin try not to mess their pants when they discover explosives line the ship.

How do the six reunite? Where do the six reunite? How do they reunite without Jin, Desmond, Michael, Sawyer, etc? Obviously, that point is one of the large setups of the first part of the episode. Many times the idea of entropy comes up when dissecting Lost and this episode could easily add fire to the flame. We begin with the ordered return to the world at large, build toward chaos as the six are scattered on the island, and will ultimately rebound to order when they reunite. That order-to-chaos-to-order progression obviously contains one cog too many for the natural universe, but it works well in storytelling. Figuring out a plausible way to get them all to the freighter or to have Sun get back to the island is daunting; there are many ideas out there, I won't even give it my best shot here.

"We're Not in Kansas Anymore, We're on Oahu"

Arriving in Hawaii was a touching and revealing scene. Hurley's parents are overjoyed and, true to his word, Cheech is still there. Sun embraces her mother, but seems awfully distant from dear old dad. Jack's mother probably received the best gift of her life, since she finally discovered she didn't lose his father and her son in one basic blow. Sayid understandably has no family, but he immediately finds warmth with clan Hurley. Kate, on the other hand, has no one but her "son," which is interesting when you juxtapose that idea against the fact that, later in the story, Kate seems to be the least willing to return to the island, meaning she is most likely the most fulfilled in the real world.

The abbreviated press conference features a well-woven lie and just one question for each of the six. Jack seems content with the story, perhaps indicating that he negotiated some sort of deal with whichever power forces the plot to arrive at the point where the six might escape. Hurley, retaining his humor, calls a female reporter a dude and remarks on his girth before renouncing his wealth. Sun appears to be the most ill-at-ease with lying, though she sticks to the story when asked if her husband made it off the island. Kate gives a succinct answer to how it felt to "give birth" on an island: "scary." Sayid receives the most important query. The reporters wonder if other survivors might have possibly escaped the crash and definitively answers, "No, absolutely not." I surmise that this answer is the key to the negotiation the six leveraged to go home. They agree to stick to the story that everyone else is dead and they can get back to their lives. The key question then becomes, which person or persons made the agreement? Ben? Widmore? Abaddon? A combination?

Doctor Dumbo or Doctor Common Sense?

Flashback to the island (notice how we're getting closer to the point where island time might very well become flashback fodder, with post-island time becoming the present), all those who took jabs at Jack for stating he thought the chopper wanted the beach survivors to follow now have their feet firmly implanted their mouths. Dumb idea, right? After all, he received confirmation from Daniel that the freighter crew never intended to save the survivors. So why follow to mercenaries with ill intentions? Stupid Jack. Except all those people forgot Lapidus in their judgment. Frank has a plan and, though it might ultimately fail, Jack wasn't acting as unintelligently as everyone expected.

When Jack and Kate run into Sawyer, Miles, and Aaron, Sawyer looks more fatigued than we've ever seen him. He is especially distraught as he relays the fact that Claire is missing. Though Captain Nickname and Doc Hero verbally spar, the scene shows just how similar the two have become. Though Sawyer does not possess the technical skills of Jack, he has grown into a protector and, based on his body language and mental state, he has realized it is not as easy as it might seem. Though he passes it off, Sawyer cannot let Jack go to the chopper on his own.

After all, in the past Sawyer confided to Jack that he was probably the closest thing he has to a friend on the island. The Lost world tends to separate Jack and Sawyer as opposites, largely due to their affections for Kate, but in reality they are extremely similar, right down to their taste in marooned women. The end of the first hour of the finale shows the two in tandem, attempting to save their friends, working as one to save Hurley, with Jack again muttering Sawyer's mantra: "son of a bitch" (the situation is obviously the child of fate, the fickle bitch).

Preservatives Work Well

Elsewhere, the well balanced trio of John, Ben, and Hurley move toward the Orchid. While Hurley chows down on 15-year-old soda crackers, Ben flashes a signal to an unseen person with a mirror. By the end of the episode, most people assume the message went to the Others, but really we have no evidence to corroborate any theory at this point, since Ben deflects questions about the sequence.

Later, Hurley poses an important question. He asks Ben that if they achieve the movement of the island, doesn't that mean Keamy and crew will move with them? Ben can only answer that he is working on that aspect. We also receive confirmation that the spot referred to in the second protocol - the place Ben would go if he knew a firestorm was coming - is the Orchid. This revelations strengthens the theories that Widmore and Dharma are connected.

The Ferry of Death?

Meanwhile, Consta-Necktie Daniel becomes ferry-man as he shepherds survivors to the freighter. Dan became extremely distressed when he heard Keamy was heading to the Orchid. Dan either knows about the second protocol, which would mean Gault was even more out of the loop than he seemed, or surmised a second protocol existed when he heard about the play on the Orchid. If he did know beforehand about the second protocol, the pure intentions many of the four freighter mainstays have exhibited might come into question. While they still seem to have the best intentions for humanity in general, the only character I'm absolutely convinced about at this point is Lapidus. He almost goes out of his way to help the survivors, while Daniel, Charlotte, and Miles all feature a self interest in some part of the island. My instincts tell me they will all turn out to be beneficent, but obviously only time will tell.

A great deal of viewers expressed wonder that Jin didn't knock Michael out within seconds of discovering him on the freighter. I find it illogical to think Jin would act in such a fashion; I would most likely find myself extremely shocked to see Michael on the ship and would probably tend to my exploding head before I thought about jacking him in the face. Michael managed to fix the engines, but the mountain of C4 and its wiring are interfering with the ship's computers, so they can't approach the island and its reefs until that problem is solved. The device on Keamy's arm seems unavoidably connected to the explosives. If Keamy's heart stops sending a pulse, the boat will go boom. I fear for Desmond's life, which would be an extremely difficult loss for the show. Is the island Michael reached in his story about getting to New York the same island we see in the photo of the Oceanic Six being rescued?

Power Finance 101 with Professor Sun

The first flash forward beyond the point of the press conference displays Sun on a financial tear. She waltzes up to her father, dismisses his flippant questions about the pregnancy before she tells him that she bought a "controlling interest" in his company with her Oceanic settlement. More than a few viewers scoffed at the ability of Sun to purchase 51% of the company with that sort of compensation, but stopped before they contemplated that perhaps her story is a cover. Sun could easily have received money from another interested party. Is it possible that the bond we see between Hurley and Sun in the "Ji Yeon" points to a combination of forces? Hurley certainly has a lot of cash at his disposal.

In "Ji Yeon" Hurley says something to the effect of "Let's go see him," referring to Jin. The duo visits his grave marker, but perhaps the statement was a larger sentiment about finding Jin, alive and on the island? Widmore and Sun's father have established ties (thanks to the Lost Experience), so perhaps Sun and Hurley have teamed to use his resources to relocate the island?

The Numbers are Back

It is no stretch to see how Hurley could have this motivation. Since the beginning of the season, he has displayed the want to return in flash forwards. His feeling begins almost immediately after arriving home, as he can't seem to escape the island or the numbers. At his island-themed birthday party, a DJ spins Geronimo Jackson as a kid with a shirt emblazoned with "42" walks by.

Shortly thereafter, Hurley's father shows him the restored ride, but before the giddy Malomars-lover takes it for a spin, he notices the full set of numbers on the odometer. Interesting to note, in the opening scene, one of the pilots holds a rabbit's foot for good luck because the cargo they carry is "bad mojo." Attached to the keys Cheech gives Hugo is a similar rabbit's foot.

Jack, Meet Your Nephew

Jack's flash forward, during his father's funeral, is chock full of interesting developments and lines. Jack mentions that he fittingly mapped out the eulogy of his father on the back of a cocktail napkin. The scene undoubtedly will give fits to the people who cannot understand Jack's father issues. Coupled with the compliment he gives Christian in "Something Nice Back Home," Jack tells his "deceased" father that he loved him. Obviously Jack has started to sort out his feelings for his father, which are much deeper and more troubling than many want to admit. What a lot of people also cannot understand is that these troubles, even when faults are forgiven, still leave lasting imprints that just cannot be "gotten over," as some suggest.

Still, the big bomb in the scene is that Jack learns that Claire is his half-sister. The news comes from the now-coma-less mother of Claire, who unknowingly, ironically notes the good looks of her grandchild. The info floors Jack, which perhaps points to the possibility that Claire is alive and still on the island, which triggers a guilt in Jack for leaving. This scene could be the first seed in Jack's psyche that the six indeed need to go back. Of course, the way he reacts could also simply mean that Claire is dead and Jack does not know how to comprehend the fact that his sister is already gone. Also, Jack turns around to view Kate holding his nephew.

Click Your Heels in Two Weeks

The reemergence of the Others was a great scene. The Ageless One, Richard Alpert seems to possess some inside information about the situation, of course unspoken. My guess is that Ben summoned them to the Orchid, at which point they will engage Keamy. I count at least 15 Others, including Richard, as they march during the scene that shows the disparate locations of the Oceanic Six. Ben gives himself up to the soldiers, knowing that their orders are to keep him alive. I find Ben's line to John to be one of the most comical in the show's history. Well, the line is really made by the look Emerson gives Terry O'Quinn, as if Locke is a precocious high school kid fresh out of the locker where he was stuffed. "How many times do I have to tell you, John? I always have a plan."

And that sentiment is the resounding coda of the first hour. In "Cabin Fever," Ben seemingly passed the Chose-One torch to John, but no one doubted that Ben might still be pulling strings. John might be the Chosen One, but his crown as the guy in charge lasted all of one episode, as he takes orders from Ben in "There's No Place Like Home." Who knows how it will turn out, but Ben still has a plan in motion.


Friday, May 9, 2008

I Have a Fever and the Only Prescription is More Cabin

Of all people, Buddy Holly opens Season 4's 11th episode, "Cabin Fever." The young performer, who is eternally stuck in time thanks to his untimely death, provides a timely subliminal, Lost-ian message. Not only does he signal a flashback, but the song also hints at the future: "Everyday it's a-gettin closer, goin faster than a rollercoaster." Not only are we nearing the end of the season, but, indeed, every day during Season 4 has been one closer for the next "Chosen One" to discover his destiny.

The Leader of the Pack

We discover the young lady taking in Buddy Holly is actually Emily, five or six months pregnant with someone familiar: John Locke. Like her son will do so many times in the future, Emily defies authority and hits the road for a date with a man twice her age. Unfortunately, her poodle skirt never made it to the sock hop, as a car cut her down as she sprinted away from Grandma Locke. The result was a trip to the ER and the premature birth of her son. As seems fitting for John's character, his mother never gets to hold him when he's born. John spends his first few months in an incubator.

Even when Emily gets the chance to hold John, she balks, unable to bear the weight of motherhood. Who would have thought the first parent to deny and abandon John wouldn't be his father? The long line of people walking out of John's life started early. But all was not lost, for waiting outside the viewing room was a face we've yearned to see for quite some time: Richard Alpert. That's pretty early in John's life for the unaging one to show up. Perhaps John is special, indeed.

The parallels between Locke and Ben's origins are now overt. Both were born early to mothers that suffered some kind of accident. Both drew attention from Richard, who seems to bend time and space at will. It might be important to note, however, that John's mother did not die and Richard seemed to stumble upon Ben in the jungle, instead of seeking him, as he did with John. Perhaps Locke is destined to be the greater "Chose One?"

Later in the flashback, Richard visits John in a foster home, under the pretense that he runs a school for special children. Two things to note in the pre-test scene: John's already playing Backgammon and he already drew a picture of the Smoke Monster, which obviously nets Richard's attention. Richard then lays out six items - a baseball glove, a book of "laws," a vial of sand, a compass, a Mystery Tales comic book, and a knife - and asks John to pick out the ones belong to him "already." The wunderkind starts off seemingly well, as Richard seems pleased that he selects both the sand and the compass. But when John foreshadows his love of knives, Richard immediately ends the exam and deems John not ready for the school. What is the significance of these items? Could the vial be full of the same sand that encircled Jacob's cabin in Season 3? Why is the knife an incorrect choice? Is there a third correct item and, if so, which one was it? The comic, by the way, is a relic of the Silver Age of comics, a period that would make it contemporary with the scene. A nice find for the writers, as the mysterious tale features a hidden city.

High-School John was stuck in a locker, Screech-style, before we learn that Richard Alpert is still keeping tabs on him. Check the inside of John's locker. Our old friend Geronimo Jackson and a black-and-white photo of a mysterious man adorn the locker. Mittelos Laboratories, the same "company" that recruited Juliet, wants John to attend their summer "science camp." John, however, whips out his mantra as the teacher/guidance counselor tries to tell him he can't be one of the popular kids: "Don't tell me what I can't do." While the line is inspiring when Locke uses it in the future, he just seems like a stuck-up wannabe here.

Rehabbing in an orderly fashion

The most interesting scene of the episode, in my opinion, centers around John's rehab after his father threw him from a building. While we might have expected Richard Alpert to show up in the episode, to our surprise the orderly telling John not to give up is Matthew Abaddon, last seen badgering Hurley at the mental institute and assembling the scientific Dream Team with Naomi. Some viewers have noted the abundance of Abaddon's usage of "Mr. Lock," which mirrors that of Walt. Is Abaddon connected to Walt? Is Abaddon a time-warped Walt? A short discourse on miracles leads Abaddon to suggest a walkabout to Locke. (Note that the poster on the wall as they wheel toward Locke's room says "Get back into the game.") Did anyone else notice that Abaddon has a patent on the creepy persona (nice, bloodshot eyes)? We learn a bit about the mystery man. The dialog seems rather important:

Abaddon: You know what you need, Mr. Lock? You need to go on a walkabout.

Locke: Uh, what's a walkabout?

Abaddon: It's a journey of self-discovery. You go out into the Australian Outback with nothing more than a knife and your wits.

Locke: I can't "walkabout" anything. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a cripple.

Abaddon: Is that what you are, Mr. Locke? I went on my walkabout convinced I was one thing and I came back another. I found out what I was made of, who I was.

Locke: And here you are. An orderly.

Abaddon: Oh I'm a lot more than just an orderly, John.

(elevator opens)

Abaddon: When you're ready, Mr. Locke, you'll listen to what I'm saying. And then when you and me run into each other again, you'll owe me one.

Not only do we receive some sort of confirmation that Abaddon is also a special character, but he knows John is special as well. Notice the only usage of "John" comes when Locke questions Abaddon's occupation. He breaks character as wise orderly just to let John know that something strange is afoot. He reverts to "Mr. Locke" to deliver the last bit of info: they'll see each other again. Also, note the walkabout reference to the knife, the same item John was not supposed to choose during his test with Alpert.

Lincoln Logs

On the island, future John, Ben, and Hurley trek through the jungle in search of Jacob's cabin. Both defer to John, the new "Chosen One," who has them bunk down for the night so he can receive instructions in dreamland. Locke's dilated pupil "awakens" to the sounds of someone chopping wood. A character we probably never thought we'd see again, Horace Goodspeed, is clearing a tract of land for, surprise, a cabin. His D.I. uniform fits well over the tie-dyed shirt, as he starts to chat with John. Horace informs John that he's been dead for 12 years and that Jacob has been waiting for John for a long time. Eerily, the tree he cuts down reappears upright twice and Horace repeats his greeting. This scene is yet another piece of the larger motif of circularity that permeates Lost. Not only are the dead still circulating in the jungle, but their actions and even seemingly-irreversible acts (cut-down tree) are all looping. With each instance, the circularity theory gains more and more credence.

Of course, Horace was all a dream. We see a second eye-shot and John wakes to find Ben already awake. In one of the funniest moments of the episode, John was dreaming of Horace while Hurley had visions of Mallomars. Ben, feeling left out, notes that he used to "have dreams," which shows he understands that his prophetic visions have shifted wholly to the domain of Locke.

John digs around in the pile of Dharma bones, the spot where Ben shot John at the end of Season 3. Ben notes to Hurley that the act was "pointless," perhaps a nod that Locke cannot be killed on the island. Interestingly from Ben, we learn that he was not the leader of the Others during The Purge. Locke pulls schematics for the cabin from Horace's body.

Ben and Locke then come toe-to-toe in another parallel. Locke cajoles Hurley to stay with the group, convincing Hurley in the process that it was his idea. Ben notes the similarity between the two, as this sort of manipulation is Ben's calling card. John retorts, however, "I'm not you." Ben has an excellent response: "You're certainly not." Apparently John still has a way to go.

The two share an intriguing exchange, as Ben for the first time airs his frustration with what has happened to him. Once the "Chosen One" himself, Ben then suffered the "fickle bitch" of destiny, netting a tumor and a dead daughter. John surprisingly offers apologies, but Ben realizes those outcomes were his fate, in stark contrast to High-School Ben who thrashes against any fate he can't stomach. John's on his way to embracing the fatalism of his life, however.

At the cabin, Ben and Hurley let John rendez-vous with the undead alone. John has fully assumed the spot as the man, while Ben and Hurley share an Apollo Bar (they have great on-screen chemistry). Of course, Jacob is MIA, but Christian Shephard appears in casual clothes, with legs crossed, passing the time until John arrived:

Locke: Are you Jacob?

Christian: No, but I can speak on his behalf.

Locke: Well, who are you?

Christian: I'm Christian.

Locke: You know why I'm here?

Christian: Yeah. Sure. Do you?

Locke: I'm here because I was chosen to be.

Christian: That's absolutely right.

Before we can grasp exactly what that means, creepy Claire shows up in the cabin. For the first time in the series, Claire appears older and bears an "I'm-in-the-know" grin. John wonders why she's there, but Christian implores him to ask the important question, you know, because there's not enough time, as usual. John discovers that to save the island, they need to move it. Another circularity: John, once unable to move even himself, is now tasked with moving the biggest thing in the show.

And that's when it's clear that Abaddon had complete foresight. Of course he knew John would not and could not embark on a walkabout in the Outback. John's entire trek, to Australia, on the plane, on the island, has been his walkabout. The dialog in the cabin shows he went in as one thing and came out another. Now John knows what he's made of, whom he is. Lost is John's walkabout.

Beating Kevin Johnson

An enraged Keamy discovers that Michael as Kevin Johnson informed Ben about his identity. Mirroring "Meet Kevin Johnson," Keamy tries to kill Michael, but his gun misfires. Again Michael couldn't be offed, which seems to indicate that the island has granted him death-protection. Why is this ability only available to some people? Why is Michael special? Is he forced to atone for his transgressions, invincible until he saves his friends?

Keamy is dead set on getting back to the island. He bullies just about everyone on the boat to make it happen, even usurping the leadership of Captain Gault. Apparently Keamy and the captain were both in control, as they each had a key to a safe that, by protocol, they were supposed to open together. Keamy seems to know more than the captain, however, as he knows the safe hides a second protocol, which features the Dharma logo for the Orchid and the place Ben will be going next. When the captain wonders how Widmore would know where Ben would head next, Keamy only replies, "he's a very smart man." Many people have speculated that this place must be the cabin, but it could really be anywhere, from the Temple to the Orchid (if they are different places). One thing is for sure, Keamy wants to wipe the island clean.

Armed with this knowledge, Gault shows a side we have yet to see. In "Meet Kevin Johnson," Gault was presented as a character in the know, fully on the side of Widmore. He believed Ben needed to be "extracted," which is what he was tasked to do. When Gault realized he wasn't privy to everything, he questions the entire mission. He then attempts to hide Sayid and Desmond, who would rather take the raft back to the island to ferry survivors to the boat.

The most interesting aspect of this scene, however, comes from Omar's pocket. In freighter time, he just receives the Morse-code transmission sent by Farraday two episodes prior. Another piece to the time conundrum. Obviously, the body of the doctor washes up on the beach before the Morse even reaches the freighter. Does time slow down as you move away from the island?

After his protective move in "Something Nice Back Home," Lapidus solidifies his role as a good guy in this episode. He wonders why Mike hadn't informed him about being a survivor, but balks at the idea of Widmore putting the plane on the bottom of the ocean. Perhaps this info is legit, but it could easily be outside of Frank's realm of knowledge.

The two see Keamy being armed with some sort of gadget to his arm. Not even the captain knows what it is. Bomb? A bit small to be overly explosive.

Ready to raft back to the island, Desmond tells Sayid he's not going with him. He'd rather wait for Penny on the freighter. Does anyone else think Desmond won't have a choice at some point and will step foot on the blasted island once more?

Omar tells the doc that he received a message about the doc's body washing up on the shore. The seeming paradox was answered as Keamy slits the doctor's throat in response to Frank's attempt at derailing the mission. Keamy then murders Gault as well. Lapidus hops in the chopper quick-like. He does, however, hatch a plan. As the helicopter reaches the island, he drops a pack with a homing device to Jack, Juliet, Kate, etc, at the beach. I'd love to know what the papers were in the pack.

Interestingly, the pack lands right next to Aaron's cradle. Obviously, the placement of John's wooden gift is not an accident. More foreshadowing of Aaron's importance?

Click Your Heels

In what seems a flash, the season is set up for another showdown in the finale. How will Locke and company manage to move the island? Will Jack become disillusioned again as he marches the survivors a second time toward rescue? Or will his wariness of the freighter folk prove useful in another way? The preview for next week's episode also promises more Oceanic 6. Nice, but I'd rather see more of the remaining Others and Richard Alpert. Regardless, Locke has been chosen and now he knows it.

One thing that sits with me after watching the episode, though: Ben seems resigned to being out of control. Yet we've seen him whipping through the real world, taking things into his own hands. How the balance between John's authority and Ben's know-how plays out will be very interesting.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Revisiting the Top 50 Lost Loose Ends #5

Part four of a series revisiting IGN's article, "Top 50 Lost Loose Ends." For part one and for more information about the original article and the series, point your browser here. In this edition, we'll discuss and throw a verdict onto 10 more of IGN's top Lost mysteries, #10 through #1.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

#10: The Disease

Little has been mentioned about the disease that ravaged Rousseau's people, if it ever existed. The connection between the Others' injections and the disease is probably non-existent, as we know the injections usually involve pregnant women. Still, the Others are able to make Claire sick and Desmond revealed that those in the Swan were into vaccines. Those the Dharma quarantine and vaccine could have simply been a way to keep the workers pressing the buttons, we really have no definitive explanation for any of it. I assume this mystery will go largely untouched by the writers in the future, but, as always, I could be wrong.

#9: The Healing Powers of the Island

This mystery will, most likely, be one of the ultimate reveals of the show. Obviously the island has some sort of strange hearing power, but its properties are limited and/or inconsistent. It can heal, but it cannot save absolutely. The Magic 8-Ball says, "I foresee an answer in Season 6."

#8: Locke's Legs

Although we do not know the answer to how the island brought back power to Locke's legs (see previous entry), we found out in grand fashion how he lost the ability to walk. Though I envy Locke's communion with the island, I do not envy any man's fall from a tower thanks to a push from his father.

#7: Dead Characters Appearing

I believe the ultimate answer to this will stem from the smoke monster, but to this point we have no solid leads. In fact, we really haven't seen a dead character's apparition in quite some time. I would love to see Eko reappear. Based on previews for Season 4, we could be in for a Charlie coda. Back on topic: the answer is still a big mystery.

#6: The Polar Bears

The IGN article cites the commonly-held theory that the bears came from Dharma experiments (thanks to the bear cages on the Hydra). Honestly, though, we have no confirmation about much other than the fact that the Hydra has bear cages...

I go with the article on this one: that answer is lacking.

#5: The Unusual Connections Between Castaways

Indeed one of the high mysteries of the show, well placed at number five. Playing into one of the central themes of the show, is it coincidence or fate that these characters, so extensively connected outside of the island, all board the same plane? My instinct tells me the answer leans toward the "fate" side of the equation, but of course that seems fairly obvious to most viewers. The answer to this question will probably be one of the most rewarding, well worth the six-year wait.

#4: The DHARMA Initiative

We received a glimpse of the Dharma Initiative late in Season 3 and some of the details about the group have emerged. They are now much less mysterious thanks to the fact that we know they were eradicated from the island by the Others. Still, the goals, dealings, and methods of the group are largely unknown. Why are supplies still arriving on the island? Is the Initiative alive and well off the island? All questions we have no answers to heading into Season 4.

#3: Walt's Powers

One of the most intriguing questions about the show, what in the hell is going on with Walt? He apparently had special powers before the island, but the Others were keenly interested in him. The most interesting part about Walt is that for all the knowledge of the island and its strange happenings, even the Others were baffled and overwhelmed by Walt. With the return of Michael for Season 4, hopefully Walt and his magic will return as well.

#2: The Monster

A great and overlooked aspect from Season 3 was the reveal from Juliet that the Others have no idea what the monster is. The sonic fence keeps him back, but that's about all we really know. The dude sounds like a roller coaster, scans memories like a copying machine, moves like the world's most agile snake, and apparently smokes 42 packs a day. Although the monster might turn out to be nanotechnology, a creation by humans, I believe the monster will most likely turn out to be an offshoot of the island itself. I think it would be amazing if all the apparitions and even Vincent turned out to be Smokey. This mystery will almost certainly be explained at some point; and I look forward to that day with delight.

#1: The Numbers

Rounding out an almost completely unsolved Top 10, the numbers certainly merit a spot at number one. Though their significance in the tale diminished greatly in Season 3, they seem to be the black-hole beacon of the island. From the Valenzetti equation to the Swan to the lottery to the radio tower, the numbers loom large over the arc of Lost. If the numbers turn out to mean nothing, I believe the Lost Nation will rise up and devour the offspring of every writer for the series. As the article notes, this aspect of the show is simply too large to go unanswered. One thing is for sure, I believe that 25 years down the road, the thing remembered most about Lost will be 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42.

A Glaring Omission - Vincent

I think the IGN article did an excellent job at covering most of the large mysteries of the show, at least those presented by the time of its publication. If I had created the list, I would have put Vincent in the Top 10. Something big is going on with that dog. Every time something strange happens, the lovable pup shows up. Vincent is there from the very first scene and then later peers ominously at the group heading toward the cockpit. Why? You got me, but I am certain the dog is significant.


Revisiting the Top 50 Lost Loose Ends #4

Part four of a series revisiting IGN's article, "Top 50 Lost Loose Ends." For part one and for more information about the original article and the series, point your browser here. In this edition, we'll discuss and throw a verdict onto 10 more of IGN's top Lost mysteries, #20 through #11.
Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

#20: Aaron

We might look back and be able to mark this "solved" before Season 4 by chalking the interest of the Others in Aaron to their fertility problems. Still, the deal with the psychic (though he claimed in Eko's flashback that he is a fraud) leaves me uncertain about that scenario. I used to think Aaron might turn out to be the most important character in the series, but then Walt's importance emerged and Aaron surged to the background. I think it's about 50-50 on whether Aaron will turn out to be Walt-esque or just a normal kid who garnered the attention of a bunch of baby-starved Others.

#19: Voices in the Woods

I absolutely love that the writers actually script the whispers. In terms of the mystery, however, we have absolutely no idea. My best guess would involved the smoke monster above all the explanations IGN ponders. Supposedly we will discover more about the whispers in the future and, as the article suggests, that discovery will certainly lend us a lot of info on the island and its powers/properties.

#18: Eko's Death

I agree with the article that Eko's death via Smokey has significant literary impact on the storyline. The article claims the monster had never landed a death blow, but they forget the pilot. Certainly the monster has a vicious side, as evidenced by the deaths and its chase after Kate and Juliet, but it has confusingly let some people live, most notably Locke. The Locke "white" monster, who lets him live, versus the Eko black monster will most likely reveal an ultimate truth about the island. The answer could be religious, as the article postulates, but I believe it will most likely have to do with "communion" with the island. The island and the monster are probably highly linked, if not the same entity, and Locke certainly finds favor with the island. Though Eko marveled at and respected the island, in the end he felt his life's purpose had reached finality. Perhaps the refusal to bow to the island led to the monster's ire.

#17: The Others' List

I think we learned enough about the list to slap a "partially solved" on this one. The list was indeed most likely Jacob's list and we now know Ben takes orders from the mysterious shack-man. I assume the list reveals those for whom invitation to live with the Others exists, but it could really be anything. We do not yet know the true purpose. A question I have always wondered about is why those on the list were all from the tail. Not one person from the beach was on the initial haul.

#16: The "Good" People on the Others' List

As with the previous entry, I assume the "goodness" of the people comes from the man with a list, Jacob. I think IGN's commentary in the second paragraph on this mystery is probably off base, but I have definitive answer with which to replace it. We will probably discover this answer in due time.

#15: Why Do the Others Want Children?

Easy: because they can't have any! The why is still uncertain, but we definitely now understand the obsession. Probably the most cut and dry answer in the entire article.

#14: Surviving the Crash

I highly doubt we will ever know the answer to this question. The most likely guess is outlined in the article: the island's properties. But we have clearly seen that the island cannot stop fatality, which would most likely ensue following a crash of 815's magnitude. As of now, I give it to the island and move on.

#13: Christian Symbology

Another mystery that will likely span the entire show. The Christian symbolism in the show is prevalent to a point that one has to assume it plays a major role in the crux of the plot. However, it could turn out just to be a large part of the story at the character level, just a lot of characters. Those who value the island the most - The Others - do not seem to be overtly Christian, so that outcome is a distinct possibility. But I believe Christianity has played too large a role to simply be a vehicle for character redemption.

#12: The Others' Master Plan

Ben seems to spend a lot of his time in the end of Season 3 defending the island from outside forces. Initially, those forces were limited to the survivors. Things started to spin out of control, however, and now most of the impetus of the show seems to hinge on the Others' protection of the island. Before the problems, however, can we say that was their master plan? From what we have seen to this point, I would say their master plan is simply to continue the existence of their people in harmony of the island. Perhaps that notion will prove to be far too narrow, but we have no proof as of now. It is interesting to view the progression of a viewer's take on the Others as the show moves from season to season. During Season 1, they were a completely unknown force. In Season 2 they were primitives before morphing into master tacticians and the most cunning of adversaries. In Season 3 we saw them as normal people who had a leg up on information before they almost wilted completely in strength, dying by the bushel and unable to stop an assault on the island. A very interesting arc.

#11: What Hides the Island?

I assume the electromagnetism of the island is what kept it hidden from the outside world, but that is nothing more than my best guess. We know the Penny's team detected the island after the implosion, but we still do not know the method by which the island remains hidden. A big mystery, for sure.


Revisiting the Top 50 Lost Loose Ends #3

Part three of a series revisiting IGN's article, "Top 50 Lost Loose Ends." For part one and for more information about the original article and the series, point your browser here. In this edition, we'll discuss and throw a verdict onto 10 more of IGN's top Lost mysteries, #30 through #21.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

#30: Ben's Always Lived on the Island

We discovered all we could handle on this sucker. First of all, Ben lied about being born on the island. Secondly, IGN's speculation about him coming to the island as a young boy via Dharma was spot on. Almost too spot on. The real payoff of this mystery came from how a young Dharma boy morphed into the leader of the Others. Can you say gaseous Purge?

#29: Where Was Desmond Hiding His Boat?

A great question. Though the island is larger than your typical I-can-monitor-all-shores isle, one would think a sail boat of that size would have found detection at some point. The Others certainly were wrapped up with some things (fertility, etc), but if Desmond resided on the island for three years, where was it hidden? I can understand the Others' lack of intrusion to the Swan much more than I can to a sail boat sitting at harbor for three years. This mystery will most likely never be answered due to its seeming lack of importance.

#28: Survivors Captured by the Others

Season 3 did give us the answer to the "where" part of the mystery when Cindy and the children talk with Jack in the cages. Cindy later interacts briefly with Locke after he has taken up residence in the tent town o'the Others. Although a slight insight into what the Others are up to and why they take/accept outsiders has been given by the writers, we still don't really know why they were taken or what the Others really want with them. Cindy seems to be sold on the utopia the Others peddle. I am sure time will sow many fruit on this question.

#27: The Dharma Shark

Juliet clues us in that the Hydra was the likely origin of Ezra J. Sharkington (nom de plume of Mr. Shark, says the official podcast), but how it got into the ocean or what its purpose was are still two unchecked boxes on the mystery list. I am sure the exploits of the Dharma Initiative and their infiltration into the wild (thanks to the Purge? But why would the Others want to unleash polar bears and sharks?) will emerge in the coming seasons.

#26: Libby

Damon and Carlton have hinted at big things with Libby's background, but we learned zilch in Season 3. Could she be Dharma-related? The Others? My money is on Dharma over the Others, but as is the Lost tradition, anything is possible. I strongly suspect we will learn more about Libby in Season 4, but are those answers included in the first eight episodes?

#25: The Black Rock

In my estimation, the biggest questions relating to the Black Rock still go unanswered. Why is it in the middle of the jungle? Tsunami? Purple sky? And how did it end up lured to the island? The Black Rock had no radio to snag those pesky numbers, the plague that afflicted Rousseau. We have learned a bit about the ship, however, mostly thanks to the ARG Find815. The survivors correctly assumed the vessel was a slaving ship, which was verified by the ARG. We also now know that Magnus Hanso was the captain of said vessel. The connections always become more complex! Does the Black Rock hold the key to the origin of the "natives?" My Magic 8 Ball gives me a murky yes.

#24: Michael & Walt

Two of IGN's questions were answered in Season 3. We know the Others were more than happy to boot Walt as far away as possible. Apparently Walt is a bit more of a special boy than they could handle, as evidenced in the Missing Pieces episode called "Room 23." It seems Walt really warmed it up for Karl. Also, we definitely saw Walt on the show again, as he convinced Locke to put the ancient gun down and finish his work. The larger mysteries of Michael and Walt, of course, remain unsolved, but some clarity seems imminent, as at least Michael returns in Season 4.

#23: Desmond Can See the Future

Most of the questions about Desmond's premonitions were answered in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and subsequent episodes. The implosion definitely triggered Desmond's abilities and they usually come in the vision form, not guided by a dead Lostie. Although most of the visions involved Charlie's death, they also managed to portent the arrival of Naomi. Whether Desmond will continue to see the future or not is still up in the air. To this point, IGN, Desmond's lack of clothes after the implosion has not been a foreshadowing of a survivor nudist colony.

#22: The Hatch Implosion

One of the larger conundrums of the island, how exactly does the electromagnetism function, what are its effects, and how did Dharma harness or control it? Further, what exactly did the fail-safe key do? Is the juice now constantly flowing? Or is it now out of the bag forever? The greater properties of the island will likely be one of the last major reveals on the show, so pack your bags for the journey on this question. To me, the electromagnetism, the hatch, the numbers, etc, have always been one of the greatest allures to the show, so I can't wait to discover the answer to this mystery.

#21: Christian's Body

I hear rumblings that this entry could move from unsolved to solved in the near future. Indeed, near nothing has been revealed about this question for quite some time. We have seen Christian alive via flashbacks inordinately more than Jack has wondered about his father's body, somewhat puzzling, especially since he followed his father's apparition into the jungle.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Revisiting the Top 50 Lost Loose Ends #2

Part two of a series revisiting IGN's article, "Top 50 Lost Loose Ends." For part one and for more information about the original article and the series, point your browser here. In this edition, we'll discuss and throw a verdict onto 10 more of IGN's top Lost mysteries, #40 through #31.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V

#40: The Skeletons in the Cave

I might rate this mystery slightly higher on the list, but the skeletons found in the cave are easy to forget since they have not been mentioned since Season 1. Sometimes I even forget the survivors ever went to the cave, it's been so long. We have little other than speculation as to the answers to the skeletons, though thanks to the currently-running ARG, Find815, the last sentence of IGN's guess, that the skeletons could be Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, do not seem as far fetched as they once did.

#39: Why Didn't Ben Take Jack Earlier?

The unsolved label on this question will probably remain that way for the rest of the show. Although I can see the plot aspects that elicited this question as stumping at the time of the article, this mystery does not exactly keep me up at night. My best guess is based on the line Ben delivers to Jack about wanting to Jack to want to do the surgery. Or perhaps Ben did not think he would necessarily need Jack, since he commented that Ethan was a fine doctor before he was killer. Maybe Ethan could have done the surgery? Another potential explanation lies with the island's healing powers. Ben could have thought he would simply heal and was waiting for it to happen. Perhaps not until Jack commented on the promptness of Ben's death would Ben really feel the need for Jack to perform the surgery. Regardless, I think we might never find a definitive answer, unless someone asks for specificity during an official podcast.

#38: The Significance of 108 Minutes

Another question I believe deserves a higher spot on the list of Lost's biggest intrigues. Although I suppose you would have to group the numbers and the Valenzetti equation in there to really cover the numbers. I fear we may never receive a satisfying answer to "why 108?" The IGN article channels Occam and his razor (who just happens to make an appearance in Find815) and the simplest answer here would be "because it is the sum of the island's numbers."

#37: How Long Have the Events on the Island Been Going On?

Although we learned that Ben's island-birth was indeed false, Season 3 also lent us some more less obvious clues that the island's mystique has happened for quite some time, such as the temple. I believe the ultimate answer will be "a long freaking time," but, as the article notes, I believe we will not know for a long freaking time.

#36: Who Is Christian's Daughter?

We finally nab a solved in this part of the series. This question was definitively answered in Season 3. Aaron will grow up saying, "Uncle Jack," because Claire is Christian's daughter, which makes her Jack's half sister.

#35: Where Is the Pearl's Crew?
UNSOLVED (but meaningless?)

Just a bit high on this ranking, no? Desmond was still in the Swan, yes, but because he was not a member of the Initiative, we cannot assume that other stations have survivors somewhere on the island. I never even asked myself about the Pearl's crew. We did see Ben and Juliet visit the Pearl when Paolo was hiding the diamonds, so the cigarette could easily have come from an Other.

#34: Black & White Symbolism

Again, I'm not sure this "loose end" is such a mystery. I don't want to downplay the black and white symbolism employed on the show, but I would guess that it largely stands for good and evil. Those issues are conflated quite a bit by the characters and the forces at work, so the question has relevance, but is it really something we will come to discover in the future?

#33: Jack Tossed from the Plane

Ah, a mystery we have pondered since the birth pangs of the entire series. To me, two huge questions erupt before we even see the beach or the plane. Why is Jack in the jungle and what significance does Vincent hold? The answer to Jack could end up being as simple as "he was just thrown from the plane somehow" or it could be a jaw-dropper. Vincent, on the other hand, I suspect will be a huge element to the show.

#32: The Supply Drop

Although we discovered that food drops could seemingly be requested via the Flame station, we really have no idea as to how they arrive, from whom they come, or how often they are scheduled. Theories on this mystery run the gamut, from time-travel implications to Hanso-funded cargo planes. Until the Initiative and all the forces attempting to control the island are fully explained, this question will most likely remain unsolved.

#31: Why Couldn't Desmond Leave?

We go 9-for-10 in the unsolved category during this segment. Perhaps when Michael returns to the show in Season 4 we will get a better idea on this one. Obviously, the island seems to funnel anything and everything to its bosom. Desmond and his boat had no better luck getting away from the pull than anything else. Though you could couple this question with compass bearing 325, I think it will end up being more significant than a 31st ranking merits.