Peggy: That? May well have been the fastest-moving episode of Lost ever.
"Pay no attention to: the numbers, Claire's psychic, Lostzilla, Nadia, not-dead Mikhail behind that curtain! Look at all the shiny new questions to wonder about!"
Mark: Although I really liked the lip-service attempt that Locke made, on behalf of us fans, by asking Ben a direct question: What is the monster? It happened so fast and was so out-of-character that I half-expected Ben to answer John. Heh. They almost had me there, for a second.
Peggy: That really did seem calculated on someone's part. Perhaps they thought they were throwing us a bone, but the general internet buzz seems to be a resounding WTF? I wonder what question Ben was expecting, since that so clearly wasn't it.
Mark: Yes, that was it. It was that Ben wasn't expecting that question, either. I was sharing Ben's wonderment at the out-of-the-blueness of it all.
Bottom of the ocean floor? Man...I don't need this. We're only two episodes in. I really don't need this.
Peggy: Polar bears in Tunisia? Ancient polar bears in Tunisia? Check out Lostpedia on the topic of vile vortices.
And do keep in mind those 2 bunnies in the recent Dharma video.
Mark: That's a nice theory, and that's what I meant about the fans doing all of the work for us. Wow.
No, I think it's modern polar bears in ancient Tunisia, and this was part of the big 'accident' that made the island burp every 108 minutes. Either that or the island, as I suspected, is a hotbed of theoretical physics, including bifurcating timelines that allow one polar bear to remain on the island and get shot in season one, and another polar bear to end up buried alive in the sand in season four.
Peggy: And speaking of the internet doing our heavy lifting for us, according to the EEFP at TWOP, the original Henry Gale's balloon was from Widmore.
They also point out that the pictures on Grandma's wall where Miles was ghostbusting change, in both content and framing between when he goes up to the room and when he comes down. Before. After.
And one more: the episode was titled "Confirmed Dead," referring, apparently, to the passengers of 815 and also to Naomi. However, as we know, the passengers of 815 are not dead (at least not all of them), so maybe Naomi isn't, either (which would make her having a flashback more reasonable).
Mark: Wow. That's a lot to absorb. You know, there was a time when that stuff could just be written off as a prop gaff. But not this show. It's so deliberate--but, why? To what end? I've got these theories in my head now, each more improbable than the last, and I just KNOW that there's a more simple (yet still clever) explanation to it all. This is television, after all, and before this show was pounced upon by all of the fans, they still had to sell it as a way to move tampons and dish soap--and that means an ultimately simple concept that the flapping head-studio execs could understand. I just know there's a forest here, but I can't see it because all of these damn trees are in the way.
Peggy: Popular internet theory # infinity: When the purple light killed Oceanic 815, what it really did was split off an alternate timeline wherein 815 really did crash and everyone really did die. Our Losties are survivors of an alternate 815.
I'm not sure if I want to go here, or at least not yet. For some reason although I have no problem contemplating vile vortices, temporal anomalies, time travel or teleportation, I am having difficulties going all the way to alternate timelines/universes, perhaps because I am, shall we say, concerned over TPTB's ability to sustain that explanation.
Mark: Oh, yeah, I'm with you, there. Anything BUT alternate realities, please. I really like the vile vortices idea. Years ago, when writing comics for Absolute Comics, we came up with a planet called Axys, which was the center of the universe and where all of the various black holes and worm holes and such ended up. It was the septic tank of the universe. The Lost island could be the planet's septic tank! I would love that.
Peggy: Of the new 4, I like Dan (although clearly I’m supposed to, which makes me wonder. I both love and hate that about this show), I'm amused by Angry!Miles (who had some great lines), I like Lapidus, the pilot (although by casting Jeff Fahey, they raise the possibility of some explosive Crazy yet to be revealed), and I dislike Charlotte (She creeps me out. Big time. She has too many teeth when she smiles.).
Mark: Well, the second I saw Jeff Fahey, I yelled, "Cyboman!" I like Miles the bestest of the new bad-guys. He got the best lines (love the smart asses!) and he also seems to have a genuine whoo-whoo power without being on the island. This now begs a question: were THESE people kicked off and have been trying to get back? With the exception of Dan, everyone else seemed either relieved or pleased that they were there. And if they had been previous occupants, it would certainly explain the hostility towards Ben. He seems to engender that.
Peggy: Popular internet theory # infinity +1: The Breakfast Club ("a headcase, a Ghostbuster, a scientist, and a drunk" --nickname via TWOP) were all "supposed" to be on 815 and somehow missed their flight. Thus they're supposed to be on the island, and don't return with the Oceanic 6.
Mark: Nah, I don't buy it. Miles was way too pissed off at Ben. My wife, Cathy, thought that maybe they were the children of the people Ben murdered from the Dharma Initiative, which would make Spooky Guy the remnants of said Initiative. Again, it would explain the ire towards Ben, and there had to be some folks from Dharma NOT on the island to maybe piece it together. Anyway, it's a theory that may have some legs.
Peggy: How did we get a Naomi flashback if Naomi is dead? Is Naomi dead? Why was she even bringing up Oceanic in her discussion with Abaddon (who was still scary, but not as creeeeeeeepy this week)?
Mark: Yeah, I was initially tossed, wondering if we were getting a "real" flashback, or a flash forward. Turns out it was just a flashback to set up the four people. And it handily confirms that Abaddon was real and not a Hurley figment. And also was working with the Freighter folk. So, that's one small mystery tied off, there, leaving only the freighter folk to concentrate on.
Peggy: The TWOP folks have advanced the theory that the "they" that Abaddon was asking Hurley about were his team, who never make it back. I guess this assumes that somebody (Sayid?) manages to fly the Oceanic 6 off the island.
Mark: They train the shit out of those Republican Guard, don't they? Torture, helicopter piloting, etc. I'll betcha Sayid bakes a mean bundt cake, too!
Peggy: I really wanted Lostzilla to shake Charlotte out of that tree. Shouldn't he have shown up by now?
Mark: If only to get the newcomer's reactions to the roar, yeah, I'd like to see Lostzilla come back.
Peggy: Their reactions would be key, I think, as would Ben's.
"If I still had a kidney, I'd probably be dead." Pure awesome, and just perfectly designed to feed Locke's idea of his own special-ness in being chosen.
Mark: Also, the first time that Locke has been more-or-less straight with anyone regarding the island. No, he didn't tell them he used to be in a wheelchair, but he could have hidden the bullet wound and just played the strong, silent type. I think he knows he's going to have to talk about some stuff or no one will trust him at all.
Oh, and Hurley's not fooling anyone. Not Locke, nor Ben. Did you see that scary look in Ben's eyes? Helter-skelter, man.
Peggy: Ben was definitely freaked right the fuck out at the idea that Hurley knew where the cabin was, but I couldn't get a read on Locke's reaction. Was it "How the hell does he know about the cabin?" or "Ixnay on the abin-cay alk-tay, ummy-day!" If Locke knows that Hurley saw the cabin, why did he use that as an excuse when clearly going in the opposite direction of the last cabin sighting?
Mark: IF that's the theory they are floating--ghosts are people out of phase with our reality, and schitzos and mediums can see 'em--then it's not a new one, but it would certainly work as a larger part of the quantum puzzle.
And then there's the possibility that the cabin itself moves about, but I don't think that's very plausible. Maybe Locke was just backtracking to a different reference point, or something inane like that. Clearly, that scene was meant to convey that (a) Hurley saw the cabin, and (b) he now joins a pretty exclusive club comprised of Locke and Ben, and (c) they all know it, too.
Peggy: Although Jack bugged less than usual (and even got a funny line!), how lame was his posturing with Miles over the satellite phone:
"Tell me what I want to know and I'll give you the phone."
"Give me the phone and I'll tell you what you want to know."
Mark: I think it's funny that even when they get it right (Sayid in the jungle) you can just tell that it's about to all cave in on them. Like a cloud hanging over his head. Thunder is coming. I just know it.
Peggy: I realize that it's something of an unpopular opinion, but I like Juliet. I still don't trust Juliet, but I do like her, and it was nice to see her as accepted by the Losties (presuming they don't give guns out to just anybody).
Mark: I like her too, from the specific point-of-view that Jack has. They are a lot alike, and certainly a better match for each other. But Juliet has learned how to play Ben's game, so she is still capable of being sneaky. I think (rather, I hope) she's still got a few twists and turns left in her character arc.
Peggy: Oh, yeah. In fact, I kinda hope she turns out to be Eeeeeeeeevil.
And why oh why must Kate lose her Kick-Ass!Kate-ness whenever she's around Jack? She narcs out Locke immediately, and she (the one who correctly tracked Naomi yesterday) misses both Sayid and Juliet, yet Jack manages to see them? Ick.
Mark: It's how she first saw Jack--the protector and savior. She's reverting to type. When she first encountered Sawyer, it was as an equal. And remember, she's trying NOT to be the outlaw, even as it's clear to everyone that she is born for criminal behavior.
Peggy: I repeat: ick.
That said, excellent recall of the Jack and Tom meeting in the woods, this time with our Losties as the Others. It's been bandied around ever since Ben identified the Others as the good guys that maybe we just had a skewed perspective, so this scene really resonated.
Mark: Yeah, and considering how the first three or four episodes of the last two seasons have drug out, it's nice to see them getting on with things, moving the plot forward with minimal distractions.
Peggy: Heh. Only on this show would the introduction of 4 out-of-the-blue characters with shadowy or strange backgrounds be considered a “minimal distraction.”
So we’re both still firmly ensconced on Team Locke, eh? And eagerly awaiting the revelation of yet another piece of the Oceanic 6 puzzle. As frustrating as this show can be, I still love it. I think I’ve managed to convince myself that if I just try hard enough (and have enough discussions with my Imaginary Internet Friends), I can figure it all out. I’m an idiot, of course, but at least for now I’m a happy idiot.
Mark: My poor wife watches the show with me, I think, out of survivor’s guilt for something from her past. Otherwise, why willingly torture yourself like that? Yeah, I’m still pro-Locke, and get this, I’m also pro-Ben right now. It’s SO obvious that leaving the island screws at least Jack and Hurley up. So anything that would keep them around is going to be better than anything taking them away. And best of all, we know that some of them make it off the island, so we’re watching things play out with a kind of inevitability. That’s another big mystery answered: YES, some of them DO get off the island. Me, I’m still reveling in all of the other mysteries.