Thursday, March 25, 2010

(32) - Welcome to Hell, My Friend

We got a treat Tuesday night with a Richard Alpert back-story. Finally! The man who has been the most mysterious, we got a fair amount of answers. But first, onto some past predictions that dealt with this episode (hint: I'm dece good).

  • Richard was a slave on the Black Rock
    • This episode definitively showed us how Richard Alpert came to be on the Island. He was sold as a slave to Magnus Hanso, el capitain of the Black Rock. Magnus is the great ancestor to Alvar Hanso, who co-founded the Dharma Initiative. Could all that have been to find his great great great grandfather?
  • Richard proved to Jacob that man can be inherently good and not evil, which in turn is why Jacob made him ageless
    • Ha! Read on to get a full breakdown of this argument.
  • Evil Incarnate/Locke Monster/Man in Black knows the consequences of his actions and that if he leaves the Island something bad will happen
    • Well, we're led to believe this at least with the last scene. More later.
  • The knife Sayid attempted to kill LM with is special
    • Richard attempted to kill Jacob with that same knife, using the same instructions Dogen gave to Sayid. Evil Incarnate said to stab him right away, do not give him a chance to talk. Once he talks it will already be over. Jacob beats the shit out of Alpert and grabs the knife from him, and screams/asks him who gave him this knife, even though he already knew the answer. This knife holds some special value, we're just not exactly what value yet.
The inherently good vs evil bit I'm particularly proud of. Anyways, let's start "Ab Aeterno..." (from the beginning of time). FYI, long one.

1. Well now we definitively know how Richard Alpert came to the Island, how the Black Rock ended up in the middle of said Island, and how Tawaret was downgraded to just a four-toed statue. THREE pretty big answers in the first twenty minutes, not bad. More was to come though. Ricardo was sold as a slave after he murdered a doctor trying to save his wife Isabella from TB. Isabella was the love of his life, Isabella was his constant. And he would (and still will) do anything to save her. During his trip to the New World from Tenerife in the Canary Islands as a slave, their ship (the Black Rock) got caught in a massive storm and headed to the Island, which according to Ricardo's slavemate, is guarded by the Devil (or just a massive statue of Tawaret, goddess of fertility and childbirth). The Black Rock rides a MASSIVE wave and runs straight into the top portion of the statue, destroying it, and then proceeds halfway into the Island. How big was that wave? Like, 150 feet? I'm willing to roll with it though. Once awake, the ships first mate comes down and begins stabbing all the slaves, because, according to him, if he let's any of them go it would only be a matter of time until they killed him. That sounds awfully LockeMonsterish/inherently evil to me. "It's kill or be killed, and I don't want to die." Just as he's about to kill Ricardo, the last of the slaves, the smoke monster appears and goes to town on everyone. It shimmies its way down to the lower deck and comes smoke to face with Ricardo, studying him, flashing on him, gathering intelligence. And then, it vanishes. Thus, Ricardo is left for dead, all alone, chained in the lower deck of the Black Rock.

2. After trying, for what seems like days, to pry himself free of the chains using a nail he dug up, Ricardo is on the precipice of death, knocking at the door. They really wanted to stress the point of how long he was down there. And then the love of his life appears, embracing him, telling him that he is dead and that they are in Hell together. Huh? The smoke monster appears, and he pleads with her to leave and promises her (again) that he will save her. She runs up the stairs and promptly gets swallowed by the darkness. It seems like another day has passed when someone walks down the deck and touches Ricardo's shoulder ala the way Jacob touched John Locke after his dad pushed him out of the window. But it is not Jacob this time, it is the Man in Black, Evil Incarnate. He explains that the Devil has Isabella trapped and if they are going to free her they'll need to work together. Ricardo agrees to do "anything" Man in Black asks for. This was an OUTSTANDING manipulation of Ricardo; he should get an award or a medal or something. He waits until Ricardo is ripe for the picking, dangles Isabella right in front of him and then promptly snatches her away. By the time he frees Ricardo he's willing to do anything he wants.

This is where things get interesting. So far we've seen throughout this season that Man in Black/Evil Incarnate/LockeMonster doesn't seem to or doesn't like to lie. So far he hasn't lied. But he also doesn't tell full truths, he omits certain information, and might spin something one way, but he hasn't really, fully lied. Which I find quite intriguing. He has helped Ricardo out of his chains, picked him up and carried him outside where he cooked food for Ricardo. Those words are bolded for a reason, we'll come back to them. He explains to Ricardo that the Devil has Isabella, and the only way to get her back and to escape this place (Hell) is to kill the Devil. So far he has not lied -- this place might not be Hell, but to him, to the Man in Black, that's exactly what this place is: his own personal hell and he cannot escape. For some reason or another, he is bound to this place. He hands Ricardo a knife, the same knife Dogen gave to Sayid to kill Evil Incarnate, and explains to him that he must kill Jacob right away, and that if he lets Jacob talk it is already too late. First, Ricardo is hesitant; the reason why he is here in the first place is because he committed murder, and he doesn't want to again. He just wants his wife back, etc. MiB says that we have all lost something, my body was stolen from me (we'll come back to this in a sec). Second, Ricardo doesn't understand how he can kill the black smoke with a knife, but Man in Black tells Ricardo that he is the smoke. Another truth. But wait, the next sentence, the way Man in Black words it is....odd. Ricardo says that Isabella was running from you. MiB says that no, by the time "I" arrived, "he" had already gotten her. Now, there are a few options to what is exactly going on here:
  • MiB is manipulating Ricardo. He takes the form of Isabella and then stages her "death," and then says the Devil (Jacob), has taken her away, and that the only way to save her and escape this place is to kill him
  • He is telling the truth. Maybe, and stay with me here, Man in Black and the smoke monster are two separate entities, sharing a host body. He says that his body was stolen from him. When MiB says that "he" has her, he means the black smoke. And by the time "I" got there, they were gone. What if, when they first merged, MiB wasn't fully evil. He was pissed off his body was "stolen" from him, and something evil had filled him inside, but he was not of the same mind as the black smoke. They had two different consciousnesses (not even sure that's a word). But over time, MiB slips up, and goes into smoke monster mode because the line between the two consciousnesses has become so blurred, he's not sure where he begins and the smoke monster ends. MiB keeps calling Ricardo "friend." Maybe because he is being honest, he wants a friend, he wants help. He wants to cast out this evilness from his body because he can no longer control the line between himself and the smoke, and he believes the only want to do this is to leave the Island. So if he is telling the truth, is Jacob in fact the Devil? Just a thought...
Either way, Ricardo wants Isabella back. So he's going to attempt the almost impossible, kill the Devil.
    3. And attempt he did, miserably might I add. Jacob absolutely demolished him. No contest. TKO.  Jacob beats the shit out of Ricardo and grabs the special knife from him, and screams/asks him who gave him this knife, even though he already knew the answer. It seems as though this is the first time Man in Black has tried to find a loophole to kill Jacob and escape. Jacob seemed bewildered, shocked, almost disgusted, even though deep down he knew MiB would resort to this someway. Jacob hated to admit that MiB tried to get another man to kill him. Jacob probably now understands his time on the Island is limited, and he needs to find his replacement (even though he wont really for another 140 years. That's probably a short amount of time to Jacob though). Ricardo asks Jacob where Isabella is to which his response is, "Who?" It seemed genuine and authentic. Jacob apparently has zero idea. But I'm not sold. This is Jacob, all knowing and such. Shouldn't he know who Isabella is? More in a second. Ricardo believes he is in Hell and that he is dead, to which Jacob dunks him in the water a bunch of times while screaming, "STILL THINK YOU'RE DEAD?!" Ricardo finally concedes and gasps that he wants to live, which is apparently the only sensible thing he has said so far, and Jacob throws him back on the ground. He then tells him to get up, because they have to talk (keep up with the bolded words).

    They have a pow wow, and Jacob flat out denies that he is the Devil. If both Jacob and MiB don't lie, then someone must be lying. Unless, Jacob isn't necessarily the Devil but MiB's personal devil, just like this Island is his personal Hell. Very probable. Jacob then goes on to say exactly what the Island they are on is. A question that was first posed in the series premiere episode by Charlie: "Guy, where are we?" Well Charlie, apparently you are (or were) on a cork. Not literally a cork, but you are on the one Island that stops Hell, evil, malevolence, darkness, etc from seeping out into the world and taking over. Jacob uses an analogy of a decanter of wine and a cork to explain this to Ricardo. The wine swirling around in the decanter is all of the above words (evil, darkness, etc), and the Island is the cork. It stops all of that from spreading.Very interesting. And I buy it as well. Jacob and MiB both don't lie.

    Jacob goes onto explain that MiB believe man is inherently evil, and that Jacob brings man to this Island to prove him wrong. And on this Island, their past doesn't matter (so redemption is possible...). So basically, they have a running bet going on. You bring man to the Island, and I'll prove to you without a doubt that they have evil deep in their core, at the root of their being. Jacob tells him others have been here before him but they are all dead. Why? Because Jacob wants people to help themselves. He doesn't want to interfere. What's the point of it if they don't figure it out on their own? Ricardo says that if you don't step in, he will, meaning Man in Black, which tip the scales in his favor. Apparently this never occurred to Jacob until Ricardo mentioned this. It was as if a light bulb went off in his head. So Man in Black has been cheating all this time? Not sure of this, but it seems Ricardo is the first person to prove man can be inherently good. In turn, Jacob offers him a job. He wants Ricardo to be the intermediary between himself and the people he brings to the Island. He wants Ricardo to "guide" or "advise" them against Man in Black. He offers this job before Ricardo asks what he gets in return. He only offers Ricardo a job, and Ricardo wants something in return. This seems to me like Jacob was funneling Ricardo towards choice three. Choice 1: Isabella. Can't do that, Jacob says (remember, dead is dead, even on this Island). Choice 2: Absolve all Ricardo's sins so he can go to heaven. Can't do that either, Jacob says. Just like the priest said in the beginning, that would be unfair. Ricardo needs to work himself back into God's good graces. Choice 3: Live forever, never die. Now that I can do, Jacob says. And with a touch of his shoulder, he is ageless.

    Ricardo returns to Man in Black, who immediately knows Ricardo now sides with him. He's not upset, he knows Jacob can be very persuasive. Which leads me to believe what I said a while ago, Jacob tricked Man in Black somehow, and that is how his body was stolen from him. Ricardo hands him a white stone, says its from Jacob, a little ha-ha I defeated you this round. The same white stone that LockeMonster threw out to the sea from the cave where he took Sawyer. MiB explains that he does not blame Ricardo, but that he knows he can never see Isabella again, to which Ricardo seems he has made peace with. MiB says that if he ever changes his mind, and he means ever, he'd love to have Ricardo on his side. MiB hands Ricardo Isabella's cross, says it must have dropped on the ship, and then promptly vanishes. Ricardo buries the cross, forever saying goodbye to his love.

    4. Richard Alpert has gone crazy, and wants to switch over to the dark side. We saw him storm off in the beginning of the episode, and through his back-story we realize where he's going -- to dig up Isabella's cross. He wants to see her again. He screams out that he's changed his mind, hoping LM hears him so he can see his constant again. Hurley has followed him and says that his wife is here on the Island, right beside him, and through a very touching scene, we see Richard turn back into Ricardo and calm down and compose himself. Isabella, through Hurley, asks Ricardo why he buried her cross, but we know why. When Ricardo buried Isabella's cross, it was his way of saying goodbye. Since he was going to live forever, he knows he'd never see her again so he had to forget about her. Bury the cross, and move on. Quick flashback to last episode, Alternate world James Ford is in his apartment watching "Little House on the Prairie." What was being said in that episode was something to the effect of, when people die, you hold onto them in your heart and in your memories, and you know that what happened is only temporary, and that you will be united with them again. Well, too bad that show didn't come out 150 years earlier so Ricardo would know that. The only way he could move on was to forget about her. Now that he knows they can be together her and now (in his heart and in his head), he puts on her cross, so he can always remember her.

    Hurley says one more thing. Isabella says that you have to stop the Man in Black. For if he escapes, we all go to Hell. And we know Richard/Ricardo will do anything to save Isabella, so he will not let this happen. Cut to a wide shot of where they are on the Island, and pan out to see LM looking at them. Craaaazy.

    5. I thought that was the end of the episode, but one last flashback with Jacob and Man in Black. MiB is sitting alone, looking out at the ocean when Jacob approaches. He asks you tried to kill me, and seemed offended. So this was the first time this happened. MiB responds if he expects him to apologize. MiB said he wanted to leave this place and would kill him to do so and anyone else who got in his way. Jacob handed Man in Black some wine (the same in which he used as an analogy for Richard) to "pass the time," indicating he'd be here for a while, and then says he'd see him around. Man in Black responds with "sooner than you think" and smashes the wine on a rock, spilling out the "evil" Jacob referred to in the analogy. So, Man in Black/Evil Incarnate/LockeMonster knows, that if he leaves the Island, evil will spill out into the world, and most likely into other worlds. Awesome.

    6. Last quick thought, read Luke Chapter 4. Basically a parallel for LOST (thanks Doc Jensen!).

    7. Predictions!
    • MiB is sharing a body with the smoke monster because he was tricked by Jacob long ago. He and the smoke monster are not one in the same, but because they have shared a body for so long the line between the two consciousnesses was blurred so badly he doesn't know who he is anymore.
    • If this is a place to earn redemption (like what Jacob said: bring people here to prove they are inherently good, their past DOES NOT matter), then Sayid and Claire are fucked. They cannot earn redemption. Their souls are LOST.
    Long, my apologies.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    (31) - The Name's Ford

    Sawyer really has turned into such a dynamic character. Through season one I wasn't quite sure what to make of him, but he's really had a great character arc. After season five I figured season six would be rebooted to the beginning, bringing our favorite LOST characters full circle. That's not really happened. They haven't come full circle but it's more like they're coming 180 degrees around. First some past predictions that had to do with this episode.

    • Sawyer is pulling the ultimate Long Con
      • Hmm. I mean, he sort of is, but not the way I want him to. I want him to turn on LockeMonster at the end, and be like, yeah, I am the greatest liar ever, I just OWNED you. Now that's not looking like it will happen. Sawyer seems to be playing every side possible. Being truthful to both LockeMonster and Widmore, he's just looking for a diversion so he can take the sub off this Island. More on this later.
    • The Island is special and needs to be protected from LockeMonster
      • LM himself touched on this. He said all he wants to do is leave. I believe him. But I believe he knows that if he leaves the Island something bad will happen. Whether it's this universe ceases to exist, or all universes cease to exist, something will happen. He's aware of it. It's kill or be killed he said, and he doesn't want to be killed.
    Ok, let's do some "Recon"

    1. Recon
    This episode was a filler episode. Not much happened. Not much was revealed. We already knew Widmore was at the Island. We still don't know why. We already knew LM wanted to leave the Island to get home. Still not sure on all of the reasons or the consequences. We knew Claire wanted to kill Kate. We knew Sayid is basically a zombie. We knew pretty much everything that went on. We were left to do some "recon" to figure out exactly how LOST will finish up. We were supposed to pick up clues along the way. Some that I caught:
    • Sawyer both begins and ends the episode with the words "Son of a Bitch" (more later)
    • Who/what killed all the people on the Ajira flight?
    • What/who is in the locked door on the sub?
    • Miles and Sawyer will always be partners, no matter the universe
    • Is Other Locke aware that Anthony Cooper is a con man/grifter/bad guy? Why is he still invited to the wedding?
    • Miles and his dad (Dr. Pierre Chang/Marvin Candle/Edgar Halliwax/Mark Wickmund) have a good relationship
    • Who is Miles's girlfriend? Juliet? Hmmm
    • LockeMonster is the master manipulator (more on this later)
    • James Ford (Other Sawyer) is an awful con man whereas Island Sawyer is the best liar LockeMonster has ever seen (stretch much? CON - more later)
    If I'm missing anything please post some comments.

    2. Re-Con
    So does this mean that we're witnessing a con that's already taken place? This episode totally messed with my head. Who is doing the conning? Who is aware of what exactly is going on? How many LONG CONS are actually going on? LOST is the master chess game, but with like more than just two players (LockeMonster, Jacob, Widmore, Sawyer, Jack?). Let's run through all the cons from last night quickly.

    • Island Sawyer conning LockeMonster
      • LONG CON
    • Island Sawyer conning Widmore
      • Not sure how this is going to turn out. A massive fight definitely, but we'll see. Does Sawyer know as much as he says, or is Widmore right, and he really has no idea what's going on? Widmore was definitely taken aback that Sawyer knew LockeMonster wasn't actually John Locke. Maybe there's more going on...
    • LockeMonster conning Island Sawyer
      • He knew that Widmore was on the Island and sent Sawyer over there on a recon mission to see the Ajira passengers. Sending Sawyer a message? Mess with me and I'll kill you. Did LM kill the Ajira passengers? I'm going to go out on a limb and say no. I still don't think LM can smokey his way over to that Island, and quite frankly there hasn't been enough time in the timeline to do so. So if it wasn't Widmore, who or what was it?
      • Does LM ever intend to let Island Sawyer go? Like I said, I think LM knows the consequences of his actions, and Sawyer is just a means to an end. He is evil incarnate.
    • LockeMonster conning Kate
      • The ol' send Sawyer on a mission, let Claire attempt to kill Kate so you can break up the fight, get Kate alone and reveal tiny bits and pieces about yourself so she'll side with you con. Classic. And LM pulled it off too. Almost. Kate doesn't trust him -- yet. She's still getting her feet wet. She wouldn't accept his hand when he offered to pull him up, so he had to dig a little deeper and talk about his mother, who was crazy. Now Claire is crazy he says and Aaron is going to have a crazy mother. Con you ask? Kate, you have to kill Claire, she isn't fit to care for her child.
    • LockeMonster conning Claire
      • He needed to give her something to keep living? Eh, probably. I still don't know what exactly happened with Claire. She was zombified, ala Sayid. But I still don't really understand that. She's a nutjob.
    3. Island Sawyer does not go by the name Sawyer. He goes by his actual name: James Ford. He became a cop simply as a means to end: find Anthony Cooper, and kill him. He revealed this to Miles, his partner, right before Kate literally crashed into him. Hmmm, coincidence? Let's digest this. James Ford is a shitty con man, everyone knows his tells. From the girl he slept with in the beginning, to Miles knowing he's lying, to Charlotte, to himself. He finally realizes he's done trying to play himself. He wants to give up, he practically begs Miles at the end to stop him. That's why he comes clean. He wants to change. And there it is, another story of a character willing to change. Jack wants and is trying to change, Sawyer wants to change but isn't quite sure how to, Ben is willing to change his ways, Other World Locke was willing to change, Kate can't change but that seems like it's a good thing (I don't mean her running, I mean how she cares for people. Bitch has to learn to sit still). Sayid cannot change, he will always be haunted by his past. So far the people who are willing/want to change seem to be on Jacob's side and the people who cannot change are on LockeMonster's side (in my head at least, I know right now Sawyer and Kate are literally on LM's side, but that seems like it will change. LM is a means to an end for Sawyer.). Sawyer takes a look at himself in the mirror after Miles dumps him as a partner, and smashes the mirror rejecting seeing what he is quickly becoming: the Island version of himself. He doesn't want that. He doesn't want to be alone. 

    So James Ford is willing to change, and then BAM, Kate comes crashing into him. There's zero chance this is a coincidence. Does this mean even though Sawyer will try and change he'll never be able to? Does this mean that Sawyer wants to change but he cannot because of Kate? Or does this mean he is destined to be with Kate? I'm not sure what it means. But I do know this. He catches Kate, pins her up against the wall ala when he pinned her against the cages at Hydra Station before going to town on her, takes off her hat and hood, recognizes her from the airport (EDIT: quick thought -- James Ford is a cop. Why does he let Kate go in the airport? He clearly knows what the code was that airport security said was classified. This doesn't make much sense, but maybe it does? Their connection? I have no idea), and says "Son of a bitch." The same thing Sawyer says on the Island in the beginning of the episode when he burns himself in Claire's creepy home. This also cannot be a coincidence. There has to be a literal "son of a bitch." Well there doesn't have to be, but I feel like there ought to be. So who could this "son of a bitch" be? LockeMonster? We know he said his mom was crazy, so that's a possibility. Jacob? We don't know his backstory? Widmore? We don't know his mom. There's a theory by Doc Jensen that LockeMonster is made up of all of the souls from the Island but that there are two drivers to this force, and those two drivers are Faraday and Juliet. I can't go into specifics because quite frankly I don't understand it, but that is a very interesting idea. The "son of a bitch" could be Faraday, his mom was freaking crazy. She knew she was going to kill him back when he was like nine, and still had to let it play out. And then that can lead to this...

    4. And behind door number two is.....? Well it's locked. It's actually double locked. So whatever is behind that double locked door on the sub HAS to be of importance, otherwise they wouldn't have mentioned it. First thing is, I think it's not a what behind the door, but a who. Widmore brought someone to the Island of much importance. Following on the theory above from Doc Jensen, IF LockeMonster has some sort of Faraday incarnation inside of him, then the person inside door number two is Theresa Spencer, Faraday's girlfriend and lab assistant who was in a terrible accident and almost died, had it not been for, ding ding ding, Charles Widmore. Widmore, on his own dime, kept Theresa alive for years after her accident, and we never found out why. Could this be why? Widmore knows how to defeat LM/Faraday and Theresa Spencer is the answer? I really like that theory a lot. My only problem with it: who the hell remembers Theresa Spencer? That'd be a weak way to bring down LM.

    My guess as to who is behind door number two: Desmond Hume. Remember, the rules do not apply to Desmond. He is special. Faraday told us this much. Widmore knows this, and he has Hume locked in that room and he's waiting to let him go. How can Desmond stop LM? Zero idea. But I like this thought, for now.

    5. Predictions!
    • Desmond is in the double locked door
    • Next week it looks like we're going to be given a boatload of answers with a Richard back story, color me excited. It's titled "Ab Aeterno" which translates to "from the beginning of time." Yes sir.

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    (30) - Oscar Results

    Sorry this is so late. My friends and I held an Oscar pool and I won the pool picking 17 of the 24 categories correct. I changed my original picks two days before the Oscars, so those results do not reflect my original picks that I posted on my blog. Lets see how THOSE picks did:

      • MY PICK: The Hurt Locker
      • WINNER: The Hurt Locker
      • REACTION: Very deserving. But in 10 years we'll look back and be like, how the fuck did The Hurt Locker beat Avatar?
      • MY PICK: Jeff Bridges
      • WINNER: Jeff Bridges
      • REACTION: None
      • MY PICK: Sandra Bullock
      • WINNER: Sandra Bullock
      • REACTION: None
      • MY PICK: Christoph Waltz
      • WINNER: Christoph Waltz
      • REACTION: None
      • MY PICK: Mo'Nique
      • WINNER: Mo'Nique
      • REACTION: None
      • MY PICK: Kathryn Bigelow
      • WINNER: Kathryn Bigelow
      • REACTION: Same as Best Picture reaction
      • MY PICK: Up In the Air
      • WINNER: Precious
      • REACTION: Huh? How? What?
      • MY PICK: The Hurt Locker
      • WINNER: The Hurt Locker
      • REACTION: I wanted Inglourious Basterds
      • MY PICK: Avatar
      • WINNER: The Hurt Locker
      • REACTION: Toss Up
      • MY PICK: Inglourious Basterds
      • WINNER: Avatar
      • REACTION: Makes sense. So gorgeous.
      • MY PICK: Avatar
      • WINNER: Avatar
      • REACTION: None
    I was 8 for 11 in the categories I predicted. Not bad. Not bad.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    (29) - They Called Me Dr. Linus

    Two words regarding last night's episode: EM, ME. Michael Emerson, welcome to your second Emmy (also in the cards, Emmy for Best Writing. Not sure who the writers were). Excellently portraying not one, but two Benjamin Linuses, Michael Emerson last night showed why Ben Linus has been if not my favorite character, in my top two since he came on the show. Last night's episode was rich with with mostly half-answers (kinda sorta answering questions we've wanted answered, but not totally). First let's recap my predictions and such.

    • Why are all the Candidates male?
      • Hmm. Maybe they're not all male. Illana wasn't sure if Candidate Kwon was Jin or Sun, so she was tasked to protect both. She also said there were six Candidates left. Locke is dead though. Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Kwon. She's probably counting both Kwon's as one Candidate, but just an interesting thought: Is there another Candidate? Kate? Or is she still counting Locke?
    • Richard was on the Black Rock
      • Well we finally got this answer. He was, and by the way he was holding and staring at those chains, he was a slave. Why Jacob gave him his gift we don't know yet. But I'm holding firm to the thought that somehow Richard showed Evil Incarnate man can be Good and not Evil.
    • Jack is Jacob's #1 Candidate
      • See below for some thoughts
    Now, let's dissect "Dr. Linus"

    1. Ben has always been one of my favorite characters not only because of how well Michael Emerson plays him, but because of how Ben is so rich with all of this mystery. I think last night we may have gotten the last of that mystery. Ben has always been multiple steps ahead of everyone, but in the last season and a half we've seen him level off with the rest of the characters. He's been touting since season two that he's one of the good guys, but we've seen him do some bad things (see: killing Locke, choosing the Island over Alex...). Were they a means to an end? Is he really good? Well last night Ben bared his soul to Ilana. Even though it wasn't his choice, he realized he had to come clean. If not only to clear his conscience, but in order to survive. And that's what Ben is about, or half of what he is about. Survival (the other half being Power/Relevance).

    Ben was given a choice last night by LockeMonster. He's now the fifth person on the Island to be given a choice by LockeMonster (Claire, Richard, Sawyer, Sayid being the other four). His choice: run 200 yards inland, find the gun propped there, kill Ilana before she killed him, join LockeMonster at the Hydra Station, rule the Island when LM and everyone else leaves. And for 200 yards or so, it looked like Ben decided that's what he wanted to do. He wanted to survive, and we know he loves his power. But instead, Ben came clean to Ilana. Ben renounced evil (this will probably cost him in the near future). Explained to her why he had killed Jacob, the closest thing she had ever had to a father. He was angry and upset that after all of his devotion to serving him, the only thing he truly cared about was taken away from him. He chose the Island over Alex and it cost him dearly, more than he probably realized. So flash back to season four, when Keamy killed Alex, what's Ben's reaction: "He changed the rules." Now in that episode at the end, we get the showdown between Ben and Charles Widmore with Ben explaining to him that he is going to kill Penelope after what "he" had done to Alex. But now I'm not so sure the "he" Ben was referring to was Widmore. Ben could have meant that "Jacob changed the rules." After all of his frustration with Jacob he stabbed him, after which, Ben is amazed that Jacob just let it happen. He could not understand it. Then Miles tells him last night, that right up until the second Ben stabbed him, Jacob was hoping he was wrong about him. He was hoping that Ben could change. And that's when it clicked:  Ben decided I'm going to change. I am a good guy. Fuck this LockeMonster (even though he said he was going to follow him, I doubt he was). Was he expecting Ilana to forgive him? Definitely not, considering his expression when she said, "I'll have you" and walked back to the beach. He gets back to the beach and immediately offers help to Sun. Ben has changed his ways. He has always wanted to belong, and now he does.

    Ben's sideways world proved what happened in the end of the episode with Island Ben: that Ben could change. Ben had a choice: he could blackmail the principal and take his job and power and at the same time kill Alex's hope of getting into Yale, or he could let that power go and help Alex get into Yale. Island Ben, without question, would have sacrificed Alex for the betterment of the school (we saw this happen literally, when he chose the Island over Alex). But Sideways Ben, he does not sacrifice Alex. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he did. So he gave up the power he could have potentially gained in order to see his favorite student excel in life. What does Island Ben do? Give up the power he could potentially have in order to belong.

    2. Abandon all hope ye who enter the Black Rock! Richard wants to die. Unfortunately he can't kill himself. So he tricks Jack and Hurley to tag along to the Black Rock telling them they're going back to the Temple. Once inside the Black Rock, Richard tells Jack and Hurley that for as long as he had been on the Island he had never once come back to visit the ship that brought him here. Richard probably gave up about 300 years of his life in servitude to Jacob with the hope that at one point Jacob would fill him in on the master plan. Unfortunately, Jacob died before he got the chance to share any information with Richard. After Richard's run-in with LockeMonster when he was informed about Candidates, Richard believed that he had wasted his life, that this was all for nothing. He needed Jack to light that fuse so he could finally die and be at peace. So Jack lit that fuse and then showed Richard just how far he had come. Old Island Jack would never have believed enought that the fuse would go out before the dynamite blew up. New Island Jack truly believes he is here for a reason. Jacob had been watching him since he had been a kid, he was brought here for something specific. He doesn't know what, but just like Michael, the Island will not let him die. This act of faith shows Richard that he did not waste his life, that it was not all for nothing. It reaffirmed his faith in Jacob, even though minutes before he told Hurley to not believe a word that man says. He was just venting, upset that Jacob had died without giving any answers. But now he is back on the path thanks to Dr. Jack, the #1 Candidate. Jack has faith now, he's changed. He believes.

    3. Let's go back to where it all began. The Beach. That's where Ilana's camp heads after the Temple Massacre. That's where Jack decides he's going after the Black Rock. Sun hasn't seen Hurley and Jack in three years and they all have a great slow motion hug. And then there's Ben. Everyone just sort of stares at him, not quite sure what to expect. Ben's ready to be part of the group. Jack's ready to believe. Ilana will protect the Candidates at all cost. This is shaping up to be sweet.

    4. Quick final thoughts
    • "They're coming." Who's coming? Well, we saw last night at the end Widmore has finally found the Island! How? No idea, but he's here. Does he want to exploit the Island like Ben believes? Doubtful. Does he want to live forever? Possibly. New Evil Incarnate? Hmmmm.... :-) 
    • Ilana tells Sun that the six Candidates left are there to replace Jacob, ruins the other theory that they were there to replace Evil Incarnate
    • How is LockeMonster able to leave the Island and travel to the smaller island with the Hydra station. There's lots of water inbetween the two islands. Am I missing something?
    • Where the fuck is Sawyer? On vacation?
    • Random: Why was the pilot of Oceanic flight 815 killed by LockeMonster in the pilot episode? Does this make any sense?
    • Has Ben been thinking he's serving Jacob when really all along he's been serving Evil Incarnate?
      • I only ask this because Sideways Ben was urged on by Sideways Locke to rise up and take down evil. Was Sidways Locke really LockeMonster? I highly doubt that. But maybe everything Island Ben has been doing was a Long Con set up by LockeMonster to press the right buttons inside Ben so when the time came he would stab Jacob and not change his mind like he did with Ilana.
    5. Predictions!
    • Ben renouncing evil will bite him in the ass. LockeMonster is going to take that as a slight and just like he told Claire he always does what he promises, he'll kill Ben by the end of the series because he does not like being rejected (same with Richard, LM really wanted Richard to join him and told Richard that he didn't want to hurt him but he would).
    • Widmore will be the new Evil Incarnate. He wants to live forever, and this is how it will happen. I'm guessing this is the root of the conflict between Jacob and Evil Incarnate. This is why he wanted to kill Jacob so badly. He tricked him into becoming Evil Incarnate. And now he wants to return home. And in the process will destroy the universe!
    Ok I'm out. Seriously, where is Sawyer?

    Friday, March 5, 2010

    (28) - What If I Told You...

    The lines have been drawn. The teams, set. Let's get it on. Previous thoughts/predictions:
    • Teams will be drawn -- Good vs Evil.
      • Check, sorta. Not necessarily Good vs Evil. LockeMonster is now free because Jacob is dead and cannot keep him in check, and he wants to peace the Island, so some people sided with him because they either don't want to die or they want to leave as well. Either way, if they leave the Island, I believe they, along with everyone else, will die. LockeMonster leaving the Island is BAD!
    Let's talk about "Sundown"

    1. Sayid is evil, or confused. However you want to say it, Sayid is clearly on Team LockeMonster. He drowned Dogen and slit Lennon's throat, dirty. Ben: "Sayid let's go. There's still time." Sayid: "Not for me." Dunzo. The darkness has reached his heart and taken over. Not only did he kill Dogen and Lennon, but when he killed Dogen he unleashed LockeMonster, and so all of the deaths caused by LockeMonster are on Sayid as well. He is a bad mothershutyourmouth.

    Alternate World Sayid -- Try as he might, he cannot change. He will ALWAYS be a torturer from the Republican Guard. He will never escape that. He's tried to for 12 years unsuccessfully, and that is why he says he cannot be with the love of his life, Nadia (ps. does anyone really believe Sayid translated contracts for oil companies? Nah). Also, awesome cameo by Keamy and Omar in this alternate world. After Sayid kills them, he finds Jin tied up in the fridge. Huh? Last time we saw Jin he was being taken away by customs. So what happened? Was Keamy the person he had to deliver the watch to? Hmmmm.

    So last week we see an episode where Jack finally takes the humble road, realizes his faults and accepts them, and begins to move on. This week, we see a man who cannot move on from the past. He is stuck there, trapped. Maybe that is why the darkness was able to take him over so quickly. He will always be stuck in the past. Whereas Jack was and is willing to change and has forgiven himself, Sayid, try as he might, will never be able to because he will never be able to forgive himself.

    2. So who is good, who is evil? Is it all relative to individual people, or are there specific sides? I'm still not sure. But this is what we know: To serve Jacob, you must give up a whole lot. See Dogen's story: Celebrated, got drunk, picked up his son from baseball practice, had accident where son was severely injured, made deal with Jacob to heal his son. The deal: serve Jacob on the Island forever, never see his son again. So when is a baseball not a baseball? When it belongs to and reminds you of the son you almost killed.

    On the flip side, to serve LockeMonster, he says he will give you what you want the most; your heart's desire. Claire -- her baby. Sayid -- his love, Nadia. Sawyer -- Juliet? We're not sure about this yet. But it seems LockeMonster's deal seems to be better on the surface, but my gut is telling me this just ain't true. These deals are messed up, he won't keep them, something will go wrong if these deals were to happen. Dogen says LockeMonster is Evil Incarnate, which is pretty trippy. Reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You can never kill Evil Incarnate, it will always be around. Jacob is needed to keep LockeMonster in check. Without Jacob, Evil Incarnate is free and can apparently leave the Island and go home. We still don't know where home is, but he wants to go there. And if he gets there, that's it. That's the end.

    Speaking of trying to kill him, the knife Dogen gave Sayid to kill LockeMonster, I guarantee that is a special knife. I'm not sure what, but I think it will be explained towards the end of the series. Also, did Dogen think LockeMonster would try and kill Sayid? I say no. I think he thought the knife would work, why? Claire came in with a message that LM wanted to see Dogen. Dogen balked at that idea, knowing he'd just die. Claire's response: "So send someone he won't kill." Dogen immediately sends for Shephard and Reyes, both of whom peaced out a few hours ago. So he asks for Sayid, the last remaining candidate. Dogen truly believed the knife would work, but it didn't, and I'm sure Dogen was confused as hell. Then LM plays mind games with Sayid, yada yada yada, I just explained what follows in the above.

    3. Watch out Kate. Claire is going to kill your face off. How creepy was Claire singing "Catch a falling star?" Loved it. That's it for this point, no idea what's going to happen.

    4. Kate walking out with Team LockeMonster at the end. Hmmm. LM clearly eyed her up and down. What's he thinking? Kate will now be reunited with Sawyer and help him pull of the Long Con. My thoughts at least.

    5. Illana, Lupidis, Miles and Sun were able to escape. Where did Ben go? He went to grab Sayid but after that was a lost cause, he just disappeared.

    That's it for this recap. I posted it quickly for my buddy Adam. Rough week where I wasn't able to post it yesterday. I'll be back on par next week. Thoughts!