Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LOST...in 815 (or fewer) words: "The Substitute"

Welcome, dear readers, to LOST...in 815 (or fewer) words. This is a variation on last season's series of Lost posts on Red Pen, Inc.--the main difference being that these posts are less rambly. However, I'm still counting on the rest of you to talk to me in the comments about your thoughts/theories about last night's season premiere--so ramble on, you guys, OK? ;)

Last week's episode, "What Kate Does," was not a holy shit type of episode.

This week's episode, "The Substitute," more than made up for that.

This episode wasn't huge on answers, but it was big on making us feel like the answers are on their way. For instance, we don't know quite why the numbers--you know, those numbers--are written on the ceiling of a cave alongside names of some of the 815 passengers. Flocke says it's because said people are potential "candidates" (to lead the Island), but let's face it--who's gonna trust Flocke a whole lot these days? Lost is a show brimming with unreliable narrators, and we have nu guarantee that characters on this show actually speak the truth--in fact, they generally do quite the opposite (a-hem, Ben, you lying rat, telling Ilana that Flocke killed Jacob when we all know you helped!). But the numbers being on the ceiling does seem to hint that we'll understand why the numbers were so important in the first place, and also insinuates that the people whose names are not crossed off the list are all special for some reason. I'm not taking Flocke at face value, though--there's no way in hell that in the fourth episode of the final season, with more than 10 episodes left to go, that they're spilling the answer to why these people are on the Island so soon.

We got handed another mystery tonight: Who's that blond kid in the woods? My theories:
a. It's (young) Jacob.
b. It's (a slightly older) Aaron.
c. Jacob = Aaron somehow (sideways universes colliding?), and this child is that entity.

Flocke seemed spooked by that kid, didn't he? Which leads me to believe that kid is absolutely connected to Jacob in some way or another.

We got to see a different side of Richard Alpert during this episode. We saw this man, a man who has not seemed to ever age and who generally seems to be confident and knowledgeable, look absolutely petrified. We saw him get dumped out of some sort of trap/bag-like contraption, and then later we saw him desperately trying to avoid Flocke in the woods. The normally unflappable Richard Alpert is acting all kinds of scared now.

We got to see the return of badass Sawyer. Tortured as though he may be, I've gotta admit that drunken Sawyer was delightful to watch. I'm getting the impression that he knows Flocke's bad news, but he wants to escape the Island so badly that he's willing to go along with Flocke. Loved the scene at the entrance to the cave, where Flocke seemed to tip the scale--a scale on which there were rocks, one side light and one side dark. (And where have we heard of such a thing before? That scene in season 1 where Locke--the real Locke--was telling Waaaaaaaalt! about backgammon--that scene that so many Losties think foreshadowed the point of the entire freakin' series...)

We saw some surprising familiar faces pop up in Locke's sideways timeline. Hurley! Rose! And...Ben? Teaching European history? That was just fantastic. I was convinced we were going to see Jack, too, but Helen tore up Jack's business card (and then made out with Locke--OK, is it just me, or did we see a little more Locke-related intimacy than we'd ever wanted to? Locke making out, Locke in the bathtub, Locke about to explain sex ed to a classroom full of kids... But Locke in Love? Truly and deeply in love, and having that love reciprocated? Now THAT was fantastic.).

I have no idea how or when the Lost timelines are going to collide or otherwise impact one another in a major way, but it can't be far from now. It looks like everyone on the Island is getting ready to head to the temple (some of them are already there, the Sun/Ben/Ilana/Lapidus group is headed there, and I'm willing to bet, now that Sawyer told Flocke that people were at the temple, that Flocke will want to head there as well...plus, we already know that those two other Others are probably going to be bringing Jin back there...), which would get everybody in the current Island timeline all in the same place at the same time. And what will happen then...?

What do you think, fellow Losties? Shout it out in the Comments section below!

20 comments:

michael said...

Okay I FREAKED OUT when this episode ended! Not long enough at all.

I think Nemesis might be telling mostly truth this time, except for the bit about there being nothing to protect the island from. My guess is, the "new" Jacob will have to protect the island from Nemesis, keep him trapped on the island. I'm pinging to here more about the "rules," though, and who is enforcing them? I feel like we're only being given a tiny, tiny window to a much larger picture.

Sudden new thought - in the alternate timeline with the Island sunk, where are Jacob and Nemesis? Never mind why the island sunk in the first place. If Nemesis was "trapped," is he free now? Or are they both dead?

Soo many questions! Also, I need to go back and watch that backgammon scene. I can't remember the exact conversation.

April said...

I know I said before that I am feeling that the conflict of the show isn't going to necessarily be good vs. evil but after last night's episode, I'm rethinking my position. Watching Flocke work last night really kept making me think of the Satan portrayed in the Bible and what I know of that from my own beliefs. I still think there is something to the faith vs. science aspect though, as with Jacob it certainly appears that he expects to be followed based on faith. His nemesis, the man of "science" or the evil one if you will (note I am not saying science is evil) likes to exploit that, taunting those who have faith in Jacob. He even states that he would never keep them in the dark. That seemed very Satan-esque to me. I hope I am making sense because I have such a hard time communicating my thoughts clearly. I just got this distinct impression.

The cave scene was incredible. Though it wasn't answered directly I think there were a lot of answers in that scene. "Jacob has a thing for numbers" seems dismissive yet still informative. He assigns numbers to people, who knows why or what system he uses, but our Losties have been assigned this particular set of numbers. Here's what I deduce from that scene based on what we've seen before: there is a repeating set of events that keeps occurring and Jacob, though his goal isn't terribly clear just yet, seems to be bringing people to the island to fulfill roles and I think that the numbers may be indicative of just what their role is supposed to be. I imagine a system of numbers, like a lottery, that pulls what numbers will be next to come to the island to carry out these events and that's how our group ended up together.

I could be way off base but that's what I imagined.

I saw a great comment last night while I was in a discussion thread that I think is the perfect way to end my rambling... "what really doesn't make sense here, though, is why Sawyer is wearing a shirt." :-)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Michael: I'm right there with ya! I could not believe how time FLEW with this episode.

Yeah, I definitely didn't believe that there's nothing to protect the Island from. After all, there's that (presumed) baddie Widmore who wants...well, SOMETHING regarding the Island. And I'm liking your idea about the Island still needing to be protected from Nemesis...

If the Island sunk, I have no clue what happened to Jacob and Nemesis. We have seen (bullets bouncing off Flocke/Nemesis) that these entities can't always be killed by conventional means. Yet Jacob's death is proof that these entities can, in fact, be killed. So would drowning make these beings die? Or would they somehow not die if the Island sunk? Hmmm...

Here's the link to that backgammon/Locke/Walt scene...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg2tB_xTt9I

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ April: I may have to hit you up for religion-based Lost theories (I'm agnostic and have no religious background whatsoever, so a lot of religious references go right over my head). :) Don't worry, you're describing everything coherently!

The cave scene was really well done. I love your idea about it being a lottery type of thing. I can't wait to find out more details about the roles of the people who were assigned numbers...

Haha, I totally agree with that Sawyer-related comment! :) The blue shirt really did look great on him, though...I mean, if he really HAD to wear a shirt...

April said...

I'll think on it a while and see if I can come up with a coherent way to explain the parallel I am seeing.

Interesting point Michael brought up about what has happened to Jacob and Nemesis if the island has sunk.

I definitely didn't believe Flocke when he said that there was nothing to protect the island from. I think he's mostly telling the truth, or at least enough of it to make Jacob seem like a bad guy and he the good one, but that one was a bold lie in my opinion.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

New theory! I saw this comment on a People.com article. This intrigues me...

A friend of mine thought that maybe the Shephard on the list was Kate after a future wedding. The reason for this guess was that when Jack operated on Ben in the Season 3 episode, “The List,” one of the others yelled, “But he’s not even on Jacob’s List.”

Dave said...

Ok, where to even start? Last nights episode was good, and although it wasn't an omgwtf episode I have to agree with you that it feels like some answers are definitely on the way. Interesting theories about the little kid btw - I still think the kid is somehow a younger version of Jacob. Furthermore, here's who I want some closure on another words, how they tie into the story:

Desmond (The Constant)
Penelope
Charles Widmore
Eloise Hawking
Waaaaallllttt!!1
Richard (Maybe He's Born With It) Alpert
Claire/Aaron (Or Clairon)

Anyone I missed? I think we should be able to determine the fate of everyone else, but it will be awesome to see how all of this plays out....

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

On that note, I want to also find out more about Ji Yeon (Sun and Jin's child)...and I'm also curious to know if Sawyer ever gets to know his daughter Clementine. I don't think the Clementine stuff is terribly important to the storyline--I just think it's interesting--but I can't help but suspect that Ji Yeon will somehow turn out to be a signiicant character...

michael said...

That backgammon scene was epic. "Dice made of bones" = human element of chance = people with assigned numbers, for starters. As to the "Shephard" comment (I read the same article!), I think that might be stretching it. While we know about Sun and Jin's daughter, it would make more sense for "Kwon" to refer to her, because Jacob touching both basically means he "touched" any future children. But they showed us the flashback of Jacob touching Jack, and I have just enough blind faith left in the writers to think they wouldn't try something that misleading. Though it isn't strictly impossible, there hasn't been any indication that they would marry. Besides, I don't see a being like Jacob using a future reference to a man-made custom, if you follow me.

And Dave brings up a good point about closure. I don't think Whidmore would spend so much of his life obsessing over the island if it was only because Ben kicked him off. Though Ben seems largely ignorant at this point, he does know slightly more about the workings of the Island than anyone else, except Richard. But he's special.

Other new thought/general warning: this episode has generated a lot of discussion surrounding lines with potentially vague pronouns. "You know the rules; you can't kill him." Could be referring to anyone. Richard? Sawyer? (can't directly kill a candidate)

Sidebar: Speaking of candidates (yeah I'm rambling, deal with it), I wonder if Ben, Whidmore, Desmond, Dogen, or anyone else we've met on the island were candidates.
End sidebar

Also, "He's not even on Jacob's list!" Weren't all of them on the list Jacob gave to Dogen via Hurley? But SOMEONE wasn't on the list, which makes me wonder why they're there at all.

SOO many questions!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Some of the comments on that People article were hilarious. Stuff like "OMG that Jacob guy looks like Rita's jerk of an ex-husband on Dexter, so I can't believe he's a good guy!" Uh, yeah, he DID play that character, but that doesn't mean he is incapable of playing the role of a GOOD character, too! *headdesk*

I agree--I think there's more to the Widmore story than we know about right now. I have heard he'll be an important factor later in the season...that's all I know about that, though!

You're absolutely right about the vague pronouns and rules that the characters know about but we viewes are not yet aware of. They do indeed have so many questions to answer... :)

Anonymous said...

okay i just happened upon your blog, so i hope it is ok for me to jump in here. am i the only one who feels like jacob might not be the benevolent one in situation? if he is keeping the man in black, or whatever you want to call him, trapped on the island. think about some of the language we have heard him use- when speaking to the group outside the statue flocke said " you are free now, you can go" or something to that effect, indicating to me that whatever hold jacob had over them was broken and the use of the word free in this case i think is very telling.you arent freed from situations you want to be in! i agree with you that no way we have been given the real answer yet as to why they were called to the island. the desperation in flocke's voice says to me that he would say or do whatever it takes in order to get out of there. since he had to enlist ben to kill jacob and he seems to need sawyer to help him leave the island, i am guessing he either isnt strong enough to do these things himself or it would be breaking whatever code they seem to live under for him to do so. so it is doubtful he isnt just giving sawyer whatever version of the truth he feels will further his cause.
we have dvr and we slowed down that scene in the cave and saw lots of names- but most oddly we saw Littleton up there and it was crossed out. what does that mean? what happened i wonder that made claire an unfit candidate?

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Hi, Anon! It's more than OK for you to jump in! :) I like your analysis of Jacob's language. I have heard other theories about how Jacob might actually be the bad guy--I think it's very possible that those theories are valid. Personally, I don't WANT those theories to be correct--but they very well may be. Guess we'll just have to keep watching and find out! :)

The folks who had their names NOT crossed out, except for Locke, were all alive (unless Sayid is actually dead--not sure about that yet). Flocke then crossed out Locke's name. This leads me to believe that only living people can be considered candidates. There's been a lot of speculation as to whether Claire is alive or not--seems like a lot of folks think that she died in that attack on the Dharma house she was holed up in during Season 4, and since then, she has been "claimed." If that's the case, then she must be dead, and therefore not a viable candidate...or at least that's my theory on it so far...

michael said...

Well "claimed" seems to be something that Jacob's people aren't exactly big fans of, so it would makes sense that even if she wasn't dead, as soon as she was "claimed" she would no longer be a viable candidate.

And Anon, certainly something to think about, but I caution that just because Jacob keeps Nemesis trapped doesn't automatically make him bad. There are definitely people who need to be kept under lock and key, and I wouldn't qualify any of them as good. However, I would consider that neither of them is a "good guy," but are more or less indifferent. They have their own rules to go by, which may not sit in human ideas of morality.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

Ooh, good point--yeah, if Claire's claimed, they're definitely not going to view her as a candidate!

I think Nemesis and Jacob are both manipulative in various ways, although I feel like Jacob's motives are at least more altruistic...at least from what we've seen so far. Doesn't necessarily make him good, although I would say it probably makes him *less bad* than Nemesis.

Anonymous said...

i agree- not all situations are cut and dry- so it is possible that keeping nemesis under control is the best thing for everyone. so many possibilitites, i love this show!
on a side note- i want bad ben to come back!! i miss being freaked out by his very presence...

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I miss bad Ben, too! Well, sort of. My stance on Ben is that he's a very Professor Snape-like character--one that we're meant to think is bad the whole time, but turns out to be not so bad (and rather misunderstood). My prediction: Ben's going to have to sacrifice himself to save...something (the Island, or perhaps another person), and will achieve redemption through this.

Anonymous said...

let me know if you think this is completely out there- but i keep thinking we will again see the scene where farraday is watching the crash footage on the news and crying. when he was asked why he was crying he said "i dont know". i have thought since we first saw that scene that it was an important piece of the puzzle and that we would see it come up again. maybe in some kind of his memory if starting to come back, kind of way. i do not think any mother would knowingly send her own son to die, as we have been led to believe eloise hawking did. i think it is possible that island farraday may have died, but that his alternate timeline version is alive and kicking. i have thought alot about the concept of being reborn, and it is funny that you bring up the harry potter reference because it is exactly the movie i was reminded of. jacob fell into a fire and turned to ash, illana gathered some of his ashes, a circle of ashes seems to protect you from the smoke monster, etc, and it reminds me of the phoenix being reborn from the ashes of its former body. could there be a connection there? and id also like to mention how miles heard juliet say "it worked" after she died. could this mean she was reborn into another timeline? maybe you have to die in this current reality in order to escape it?

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I've read other theories regarding how that scene may be very important and very telling, so no, I don't think you're totally out there for thinking that. That being said, if that IS really important, it may very well mean everyone on that flight is dead, and I think the Lost writers would be taking the easy way out if they pulled something like that on us...so I really do hope that theory is wrong! ;)

I like where you're going with the phoenix idea. I'm interested to see what happens with the ashes...

I don't think we've seen the last of Juliet. From what I heard, she is in more than one episode this season. So maybe somehow she'll show us what she meant when she said "it worked"...

michael said...

I remember people joking after season two or three that everyone on the Island was dead, and the Island was Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory all rolled into one. They moved away from that in the past few years, but that theory is starting to come back with a vengeance. I would feel cheated if that were the case!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

I remember that too. I also remember Darlton saying that the Island isn't purgatory. If it turns out they were lying this whole time, I'm gonna be pissed!