Wednesday, March 3, 2010

LOST...in 815 (or fewer) words: "Sundown"

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? ;)

I have a lot to say about last night's episode. Like, a LOT. My mind's still spinning, even now. Let me start off by saying this: I thought it was brilliant, epic, and a turning point for this season. These writers are finding new ways to surprise us every week. While they didn't answer a bunch of questions this week like so many of us have been hoping for, they did provide us with a truly compelling episode that was action-packed, creepy, and thought-provoking.

There are so many little details I'm tempted to focus on here--so many symbolic things I want to analyze like crazy, finding out that Nadia was married to Sayid's brother in the sideways timeline, how I'm fascinated by their consistent use of the word "raised" (in regard to Aaron, and instead of other seemingly terminology like "brought up"--I'm not sure "raised" in this context always means what we'd ordinarily assume it means), the creepiness factor (Keamy was creepy as hell, and don't even get me started on Claire...), the significance of the stone block on the wall that Ilana pushed so that she, Lapidus, Sun, and Miles could hide out away from Smokey (that symbol really resembled an omega, which is the last character in the Greek alphabet, and this place, too, was a "last"--seemingly the last place they could go to guarantee their safety).

But I'm going to pull my attention away from the little details and take a good look at the big picture, which seems to focus on:

a) "For every man there is a scale" that indicates a person's balance of the good vs evil inside them--and tonight we saw some beloved characters crossing over to the "evil" side of that scale. I am sure we'll be dealing more with the scales of the other major characters soon enough.

b) What the man of light (Jacob) and the man of darkness (Smokey/MIB) seem to be promising various characters is, in exchange for that character's loyalty/support/presence, a chance to transcend the boundaries of space and time, to allow those characters to bring back someone they have lost (according to Dogen, this is what Jacob promised him, and we heard FLocke promise this to Sayid--although it remains to be seen whether either, both, or only one of these men making the promises intends or even has the ability to keep them). So now I'm wondering--is this less a story of redemption and more a story of reconnecting with who or what one holds dear--or, perhaps, are those cause and effect (as in, redemption comes from reconnecting with who or what one holds dear)?

c) Something's coming--a few somethings, actually. Inevitably, a clash of timelines. Also inevitably, a clash of characters. Once-loyal characters like Sayid and Claire have fallen prey to the dark side. Characters like Jack and Hurley seem to stay on the side of the light. And then, in terms of who I'd consider major characters, you've got Kate, Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Ben, and Richard. Kate appears to be following the FLocke, but I'm not convinced she really is; although she looked appropriately mesmerized in the final scenes of the episode, FLocke looked at her with skepticism and contempt. Is Kate pulling a long con of her own? I wouldn't put it past her. Sawyer also appears to be on the side of Smokey, but speaking of long cons, I'm not really buying it. My gut tells me Sun and Jin are more on the light side, along with Richard. Ben, though--I believe he's a true variable. A supporter of Jacob for most of his life, he was the person who killed Jacob, and was also ordered by his dead daughter (presumably Smokey in disguise--not that he knows that) to be loyal to Locke. Only...FLocke isn't exactly Locke. So how literally will Ben take that order? What's he gonna do? (Next week's the Ben-centric episode, so I'm sure that'll be a good starting point to finding out what he'll do.)

On the mirror theme from last week, tonight's episode was a perfect mirror of some of the chaos we'd seen in Season 1; this is shaping up to be a Jack vs Locke (well, this time it's really FLocke) battle. It's castaway vs castaway. It's whispers in the woods. It's not knowing who you can trust. (And also on the topic of mirroring: When Sayid was walking through and surveying the destruction wreaked in the Temple after Smokey blew through it, it reminded me very much of watching Ben right after he'd gassed the whole Dharma village...)

One other thing I'd like to make a note of before encouraging you guys to comment your pretty little hearts out: I think it's incredibly significant that we have really not dealt with Aaron at all this season. We dealt with him a little bit in "What Kate Does," and he's (an invisible) part of the current storyline since he motivates Kate to want to find Claire (and Claire to subsequently want to kill Kate). But let's backtrack: he's been a Very Big Deal all throughout the show, and all of a sudden, they're not focusing on him very much. Anyone else suspect Aaron's gonna show up somewhere completely unexpected to do something completely unexpected...and major?

Now it's your turn. What did you think of "Sundown"? Talk to me! :)

26 comments:

April said...

I... yea... completely lost. heh.

My mind is spinning wildly out of control over this episode.

Going back to the religion theme I mentioned a few episodes ago, last night I definitely got a "temptation of Christ" vibe from the scene with Flocke and Sayid. He's promising Sayid the one thing he wants in exchange for loyalty.

What I think of that? You don't bargain with the devil no matter what he promises. He's a liar.

Anyone else get the feeling that what we see in Sayid's flash-sideways is what happens if he takes that deal? Sure the devil...err Flocke gives him what he promised but there's a big catch, she's married to his brother and just out of his reach.

But Jacob made a similar deal with Dogen didn't he.

So maybe, just maybe, Jacob and the MiB aren't as much separate entities as we have been led to believe? This is total speculation but perhaps the reason we haven't yet been told the MiB's name is because it is JACOB? Perhaps these two sides are linked to the same entity and these are the conflicts in his personality, one light, one dark? And that makes me wonder, how many of our characters are part of this one person?

MarieC said...

I think we're gonna have to watch this season a few times on DVD before I will really get all the stuff that is going on. Mind-blowing!!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ April: You're BRILLIANT. Seriously. You came up with the smartest theory I've heard yet--ie, the flash-sideways scenario is what happens when someone gives in to Smokey and does his bidding. Now, if that's the case for Sayid, is that also the case for the other characters? (I didn't feel like Kate really wanted anything specific during her sideway episode...except to escape, which she is more than capable of doing on her own, without Smokey's assistance.) And is this what HAS happened if a character aligns with Smokey, or a preview of what's to come for that character IF they align with Smokey (HAS happened vs what WILL happen in the future)?

Your "Jacob is MIB" theory is interesting as well. Hmmm...so much to think about! :)

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ MarieC: I agree! Especially the parts where Sawyer is shirtless. Those are PARTICULARLY confusing, and we only have a hope of understanding them if we watch them a minimum of 300 times each. ;)

April said...

Kate and Jack's flash-sideways leave big holes in that theory for me but for now I'm rationalizing that away because we know for sure that Jack is not aligned with Flocke but maybe Jacob offers a similar deal to Jack?

Kate's loyalty is still in question. I didn't get the sense that she's sided with Flocke, just curious. Her priority is Claire and I think she may be following her just because she wants to keep an eye on her.

My memory is fuzzy here, does Kate even know that Flocke is well... not Locke? I don't think that's been revealed to her just yet but I get details mixed up.

Dave said...

Last nights episode was amazing. It's been a while since we have been gifted with an kick ass fight scene and last night didn't disappoint at all. Dogan vs Sayid. That was pretty awesome. I am still trying to figure out why Dogan didn't kill Sayid after he bested him - something to do with the baseball that was highly significant? Does anyone have any theories on this? I think the baseball belonged to Dogan's son right? So apparently after that 'things changed'. My guess is that Sayid hesitated when Flocke confronted him, and it led to his downfall...he just wasn't quick enough or he was unsure. My head is still spinning from that cliffhanger ending last night - anyone else notice the burning cross in the temple ruins? Kate is in some serious trouble too. I think its going to be interesting to see how she handles this turn of events...if Flocke hasn't turned her to his side already (not sure if Kate's semi-trancelike expression at the end of the show was due to her shock at the events that unfolded or she was 'charmed', 'fascinated' whatever word you want to use (under his spell?) by Flocke? Scales are key I think...BTW I like your idea that the baseball floating to the surface of the water in Dogans death scene represents the out of balance scales. I still think it could also be interpreted as Dogan being 'released' from his job. Next weeks episode looks like its going to be mindblowing...

michael said...

I don't think the parallel universe necessarily represents what would happen if a character went along with Nemesis. Instead, I'd go broader, and say that it is meant to show us what these people are really like, regardless of situation. Firefly quote of the day: "You can live with a man for forty years...but only when you hold him over the edge of the volcano will you truly meet the real man." Okay, so I paraphrased more than a bit, but it still applies. Sort of. In this case, we've been watching these characters hanging over the volcano for five years, and now the parallel universe is showing us (more or less) what they would be like "normally." But then you have to insert the law that, ultimately, "people don't change," and you have the perfect explanation for the parallel characters. Whether he's on the Island or back at home, Sayid is a crazy mofo who can't escape his past.

Sidebar: I love how Keamy manages to be a totally different jerk in the parallel universe.

Anyway, I've been tangling with the idea that Jacob and Nemesis are representative of the same entity. Again, though, I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that they were the actual same person. In good vs evil situations, I'm always taken back to "Unbreakable." As Samuel L Jackson put it, every opposite has to be reflected over some common line. Basic geometry. In this case, both Jacob and Nemesis (why won't they just give him a name?! When Dogen said "you know who," I almost made up my mind to call him Voldemort) use the same means to recruit, but to radically different ends. If every person has a scale of good AND evil, and Jacob and Nemesis represent the pure sides, then something has to be tying them together. It's like magnetic poles - you can't have one without the other. Whether that means they are the same paranoid schizophrenic deity, or an unstable "Unbreakable" balance, or something else entirely, I hope we find out soon!

As to Aaron, I agree he's important, but I'm struggling to find a way for him to be reintroduced in the Island timeline. He's only three, so I doubt he's coming of his own power, and I can't think of anyone not on the Island that can bring him.

Closing thoughts: someone needs to tell ABC that "killing everyone" is not the same as "answering questions." Also, give Locke and Sayid every acting award in the book, because they both scared the pants off of me in this episode!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ April: I, too, think Kate is curious--particularly about Claire, or maybe she wonders if Sawyer's in FLocke's little horde and wants to find him...

Kate probably knows that Locke is dead, since she was on the plane that carried his coffin, but I don't think she knows that FLocke exists.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Dave: Damn right that was an awesome fight scene! :)

Regarding the baseball: When Richard Alpert came to see a young John Locke, one of the items he showed Locke was a baseball mitt. I'm sensing a parallel here but am only getting the tip of it, I think...a baseball goes in the mitt like a key goes in a Lock(e)...?

Great observation about the burning cross! Doc deals with a lot of religious-related symbolism in his recap of this episode (which you should totally read!).

I already cannot WAIT for the Ben-centric episode...

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Michael: I dig the (paraphrased) Firefly quote...good point. And didn't Keamy seem to be really creepy this time around? His facial movements, especially his smile...they all creeped me out, like he was some sort of nightmarish funhouse Keamy. (Sidenote: I was reading some Lost-related stuff on Gawker, and folks over there are saying that the dude who plays Keamy is actually a comedian in Canada...totally not what I'd have expected!)

I like your distinction between "same person" and "same entity" with regard to Nemesis/Jacob. The more I'm reading about last night's episode, the more I'm really starting to buy into that.

I can't help wondering if Aaron's going to eventually show up on the Island with, say, Desmond...

And I'd blame the marketing folks at ABC for the consistently misleading Lost commercials. ;)

sarah said...

sooo dissapointed in Sayid! Crushingly so. I didnt want him to travel down that path! And I am glad I am not the only one who got freaked by his creepy "others" face(thats what we call it when a character gets a creepy all knowing look on his face, like ben did way back in the day.)That said, I liked this episode better than most so far this season. I am getting a little more than bored and bothered with Claire- as in I like her but if someone wanted to beat the crazy off her I wouldnt stop them. I love the theory APRIL- excellent thinking about the parallel universes.
One thought that I had- Im still stuck on the whole mirror thing from last week as it pertains to Jack. It makes no sense to me that his number on the wheel showed his parents house, and Jack made a point of saying he hadnt lived there in a long time. Since we know very little happens in LOST unintentionally, I can only assume that this statement MEANS something.If Jack hadnt been there in a long time, what good would it do to watch that house for him? Im looking at it like perhaps the SHEPHARD on the wheel isnt Jack after all. Maybe it's Christian? David? If I am remembering correctly, wasnt there a scene in seasons past, forgive me for not remembering which one, where one of the others made the statement" he isnt on the list"?
On the flip side, I guess if you wanted to piss Jack off, few things could do it quicker than bringing up memories of his father. So maybe thats why the mirror showed his parents house.
When I heard FLocke tell Sayid he could give him anything in the whole world, presumaby in return for his loyalty, I also got a total Devil vibe off of him and can freely admit to screaming at the tv in annoyance when he didnt turn him down. Grr.
Off topic slightly but still relavent- Where is Sawyer? What did Flocke do to/with him?

The scene where Dogan stopped trying to kill Sayid after the baseball fell- Im thinking that ball falling sent a reminder to Dogan of what he would be giving up if he didnt "obey".
and while we are on the subject- I know I have said it before- but the writers are certainly doing their best to make us question if Jacob is good or not. Hearing that Dogan came to the island after enterting into an agreement with Jacob, and that it was conditional that he never see his son again? Anyone else get a Ben/Juliet vibe off that one? Sure I will help the one you love, if...
The language that is used when talking about Jacob "you are free", "you can go". that cant be meaningless. and once again, if you are willingly in a situation you cant be freed from it. No one seems to argue with FLocke when he says that either, no one sticks up for Jacob, pledging their loyalty and love to him or anything. Seems like they would argue if they didnt agree.
I noticed the Omega symbol on the wall as well- Omega means "end" .Interesting...
Id like to play devil's advocate for a second and say- if Nemisis was lured to the island and trapped there by Jacob I cant exactly blame him for being angry. Whatever he is doing now, the one thing I actually do believe is that he was stuck on that island and will do whatever it takes to leave.
Random thought of the day- do we know if "ADAM AND EVE" are really the remains of a man and a woman? is it possible they are two men? could it be jacob and nemesis? also, going along with April's theory that Jacob and Nemesis are one, maybe they were one; and what we are seeing is the good and the bad sides of this person. a lot has been made of this concept after all.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Sarah: I didn't want Sayid to travel down that path, either. I really want him to find redemption, as it's clear he has a HUGE guilt complex for many of the things he's done in his past. That being said, the season's not over, and I'm wondering if he can't be turned/claimed to/by the light side...

Yes--I do remember that episode (it was at some point in season 3, I believe) where an other said that Jack wasn't even on the list! Hmmm...

Heh. Any and all talk about sawyer, no matter how relevant (or not), is always welcome here. ;)

Great point about the "you are free"/"you can go" language. I agree, that very well may turn out to be meaningful...

Were the A&E skeletons holding hands? I can't remember...but I definitely got a "couple" vibe from them. Not sure how or why, though. That being said, I'd be pleased/intigued if they turned out to be Adam/Adam skeletons--that would make for a great twist!

michael said...

I think Doc Jensen had a good point when he compared the offers that Jacob and Nemesis make people - Jacob asks for sacrifice (your son will live, but without you), where Nemesis offers indulgence (anything in the world). Definitely a "temptation of Christ" vibe, just in time for Doc's "Easter" theory. It's a long article on EW.com, but I have to chime in with our friendly, neighborhood Grammarphile and recommend it to any LOST fan.

Otherwise, since no one else has raised the question, I'll shoot - why was Dogen the only thing keeping Nemesis out? When he died, why did the ash on the ground do absolutely nothing? For that matter, though no one knows the answer, why did the ash do anything in the first place? Some Raleigh joke about weighing smoke from the ash and the log...wait, I think I'm on to something. Jacob (the ash) and Nemesis (the smoke) are both products of the same body (the log). Raleigh claimed he could weigh smoke by subtracting the weight of the ash from the weight of the log. Using - wait for it - a scale. Credible theory or ramblings of a crazy man? You decide.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Michael: I LOVED Doc's Easter theory! I actually got chills down my spine when I read that. I think he's dead-on...especially since they have gone to the trouble of switching the finale from its normal Tuesday to a Sunday!

I'm really glad you brought up the point about why Dogen was supposedly the only one keeping Smokey out. I'd meant to mention that and forgotten to. So what's so special about Dogen that this could be the case? Obviously Lennon knew, but...well, he's not around to ask anymore, either (holy secondary character massacre, Batman!). And the Raleigh theory? LOVE IT. I'm on board!

dmo said...

Sorry, did not have a chance to read all the comments, but regarding "ben following jacob all his life". My theory is that ben did not follow jacob at all, but followed smokey. I think what we all thought was jacob's cabin, we can safely assume now was smokey's prison. when flocke demanded to be taken to jacob, they went straight to the beach, not to the forest. ben, having taken locke to the cabin previously, should have thought that the beach was not where jacob was if he were tricked into thinking the cabin were jacob's and thus, i think he knew he was serving mib the whole time.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ dmo: GREAT point. I think you're probably right. Thanks for explaining/clarifying/unraveling this issue so succinctly!

Andrew said...

Hey Nikki, great post!

I would have to say Kate is mesmerized at the end of the episode simply because she has yet to see Locke in an alive state since getting back to the island. Its getting hard to remember who has seem who after coming back!

Did you notice how creeped out Ben looked when he went to get Sayid to leave, but Sayid refused? I thought it was funny because Ben has never been the one creeped out, only the one doing the creeping!

Finally, I've thought about the same thing as one of the posters about the flashsideways. I think its merely showing the viewers what would have happened if the plane never crashed (or if the island never existed, since Ben, too, is in the new realm). And I think in the end, its going to show that each person meets a similar fate and becomes a similar person as they have in the current show timeline (i.e. Charlie will still die young, Claire will still give up her baby to Kate somehow, Sawyer will still fall in love with Juliet).

This was a great episode for action and for progressing the plot. Although no major issues were answered (my belief is that all major questions will be addressed at the VERY end and the next 6-7 episodes will just be pure plot), it was still a great hour of my life.

11 more episodes left!!!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Andrew: Thanks! :) ...yeah, that's true--Kate has not seen Locke (FLocke) "alive"! Heh, no wonder she looked so awestruck.

I love the funny creeped-out looks that Ben has! Granted, I really miss the "bad" Ben (as opposed to the "scared" Ben), but I still think he's brilliant no matter what mischief, or lack thereof, he's up to.

Yes, I loved how this episode progressed the plot! I'm OK with not getting answers to some of our big burning questions right NOW as long as it's obvious the plot is going somewhere interesting...and it DEFINITELY is!

I cannot believe we're almost at the end of this show! Thank goodness it ends during baseball season and I can use all that time that I used to watch/ponder Lost to watch the Phillies...if that weren't the case, I suspect I'd be reallllllly sad and not know what the hell to do with myself!

sarah said...

regarding the ash keeping the smoke monster out- maybe the ash was only powerful enough to keep smokey out if there was someone(ie jacob or dogan)of power behind it.
if DMO is correct and that cabin in the woods was never jacobs to begin with- well nemesis got out of there too, despite the circle of ash. after jacob died smokey was able to free himself from the cabin, and after dogan died he was able to enter the temple. kind of makes sense with my theory?
what if Dogan was the current protector of the island and all our favs were brought to the island as candidates to replace him?
i agree with you about Jensens Easter theory. I LOVED IT!
What are we going to do without this show?

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Sarah: Hmmm, if the candidates were all to potentially replace Dogen, I can't see him being too enthusiastic about him letting them in the temple--because if he needs to be replaced, then it probably means something has happened to him... (Which, unfortunately, it did!)

Doc Jensen has catapulted up my Favorite People EVER list. He writes some seriously amazing stuff and has such smart theories!

When this show is over, I don't know what I'll do in terms of finding another (non-baseball game) great show to watch. I also love Dexter, but I think Lost is so much better than even Dexter...

michael said...

@sarah - One problem: Nemesis escaped from the cabin before Ben killed Jacob. The "shadow of the statue" people (still not entirely satisfied on that one, by the way) went there first, but saw that the ash ring had been broken. I assume it was done unintentionally by Locke or Ben, but I'm not sure.

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Michael: Am I crazy, or did Hurley do something like trip and break the circle of ash around the cabin at one point...? Like back in season 2 or 3 or so?

michael said...

Sounds like something Hurley would do. So this conversation about ash and smoke is taking me back to one we probably had a few weeks ago, but bear with me. We know now that the Smokey and FLocke are Nemesis, and he was trapped in the cabin. I don't have the seasons on DVD, but I think we can safely assume that you're right about Hurley. I can vaguely recall the scene. So that would mean that any manifestations of Smokey or any dead people before that scene was not the result of Nemesis. Unless the Others (and how many times have we used that designation?) trapped him there during the course of the show and we didn't know it. My immediate conclusions are that Jacob also has appeared as Smokey, and he is most likely Christian.

Some things don't want to fit, though. First, if it was Nemesis who told Ben to do follow FLocke, why was he under the Temple? Second, if Nemesis was confined to the cabin, why did the Others under Ben need protection from Smokey? Second-and-a-half, if Ben thought Jacob was in the cabin (though, if I remember correctly, he told Locke that he never actually got instructions from there), why did Mr. Maybe-he's-born-with-it never speak up?

For a "simple" plot-driving episode, this sure is raising a lot of questions!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Michael: Yeah, if I remember correctly, it was Hurley, Locke, and Ben looking for the cabin, and Hurley messed up the ash somehow...the memories of that episode are a little fuzzy for me, but I'm pretty certain Hurley did indeed screw up the ash somehow.

Love your idea that Jacob is Christian! And I can kinda see Jacob being Smokey what with the "two sides of the same entity" theory...

I agree, some things don't seem to want to fit. I'm not sure if that's intentional (because our theories are slightly off, and there's another theory where all the pieces fit together nicely) or because the writers were inconsistent somehow with their facts/the plot.

Ha! I'd call this episode anything BUT simple. It was one of the richest ones we'd seen in a while, at least in terms of the on-Island storyline (I was much more impressed by that than by the Sayid sideways storyline--ooh, say THAT three times fast!--with the exception of the creepy Keamy scene!). :)

sarah said...

i read an excerpt from an interview with darlton today and am slightly alarmed. they both made a point of mentioning they have come to writing the series finale script and realized that there will be gaps in the story line that will never be filled in. all questions will not be answered, and that they will not be commenting on the show after it is over, saying they wanted to leave that up to the fans.
on the one hand we all know it isnt even possible to answer all our questions. someone out there will always want to know non plot related stuff and be all upset that they never got to know why sawyer's daughter was named clementine or some other such nonsense. but on the other hand- i hope they arent setting up leaving us hanging(think sopranos) or something stupid like that. and saying they wont comment on the show after its over- yikes. come on guys!

THE GRAMMARPHILE said...

@ Sarah: I don't believe them about not commenting on the show after it's over. I just don't see how that's possible--I can't see them shying away from all the attention like that! I'm cool with them not answering every little question about every little detail, but they'd better not leave us hanging when it comes to how the show ends! :)