Conributed by Ricky L. Escoto – consultant and “LOST” expert extraordinaire:
“Confirmed Dead” – 02/07/08
So was it just me, or did last night’s amazing episode of “LOST” seem like the shortest ever? And yet there was so much going on.
Let’s start with the flashbacks and our introductions to the four new characters: Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), the physicist; Miles Straume (Ken Leung), the ghost-hunter/psychic/spirtualist; Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader), the anthropologist; and Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) the allegedly drunken pilot, formerly of Oceanic Airlines, no less.
All of the flashbacks (with the exception of Naomi’s and Miles’) involve the new characters (we’ll call them “boat people”) finding out about the discovery of Oceanic Flight 815 by the Christiane I (the boat in the Find815.com online interactive game, by the way) under the ocean at the bottom of the Sunda Trench. Each of the 4 new boat people are particularly, and very curiously, moved by the news. Daniel starts crying uncontrollably, Charlotte can’t stop reading about it and looking distressed and despondent over it and Frank gets upset and calls the airlines to tell them that the dead body they are claiming is the pilot of Oceanic Flight 815, Seth Norris (Greg Grunberg), is not really Seth Norris. Frank claims that Seth was married and always had his wedding ring on and that it was not possibly him. He then confesses that he knows this because he was in fact supposed to be the pilot on Oceanic Flight 815 that day! As a side note here: The Sunda Trench is nowhere near the Sydney-LA route of Flight 815; why was wreckage found there and not in the Pacific?
Despite the fact that Miles is some weird “ghost hunter” and Charlotte found a polar bear fossil with a Dharma collar on it in Tunisia, I found Frank’s to be the most exciting flashback of the five. Why was he not on Flight 815? Is it because he is a drunk and he was to sauced to fly that day so Seth stepped in? I don’t know – maybe, but I’m sure it wasn’t out of sheer coincidence; I think we all have learned that there are no coincidences among the people and events surrounding the Island and our castaways’ arrival there. By the way, the name “Frank Lapidus” is an anagram for “Farads link up.” The Farad is a unit of electrical capacitance, named after physicist Michael Faraday.
Now what the hell was a polar bear’s fossil doing buried in Tunisia? How long has it been there? Okay forget that for a moment – how the hell did the dead animal get a Hydra collar around it’s neck? Remember, the Hydra was the Dharma station on the “other island” that Ben and The Others were holding Kate, Sawyer and Jack captive at. So how did a polar bear get from the Island to Tunisia? Furthermore, why was Charlotte so happy to see it? By the way, the name “Charlotte Staples Lewis” (which was a season 4 clue word in the Find815 online game) is a reference to the British writer and scholar, Clive Staples Lewis. Lewis is better known as the author, C.S. Lewis, who among many other literary works, is most famous for his series of Christian-themed children’s books entitled, The Chronicles of Narnia. Both Charlotte and C.S. attended Oxford University (according to Ben Linus’ detailed account of Charlotte’s personal details). Miles Straume shows up at some old lady’s house, “Mrs. Gardner” to expel the ghost/spirit of her murdered grandson. He does this with the use of a vacuum cleaner, which apparently, as it was rigged, is a device that makes and spreads cold air. It’s apparently a “common device” that real-life “ghost busters” use to flush spirits out of their hiding places. Using this device, he is apparently able to communicate with the dead grandson, whom I can only assume begs Miles to let him stay. Miles agrees to lie to the grandmother if the spirit tells him where a huge wad of cash is. Miles takes the cash and leaves, telling Mrs. Gardner that she can have a 50% refund and tells her that her grandson is gone and at peace. By the way, the name ‘Miles Straume’ is a play on the word “maelstrom”, which means a powerful whirlpool or a swirling mass of water. Could that be a telling of things to come? Miles seems very troubled and certainly proved to be the most dangerous of the 4 new boat people.
Daniel Faraday seems to be the “weakest link” of the bunch and this is made very evident to us when we first seem him crying over the discovery of Oceanic Flight 815 and all the dead passengers. He can’t explain why he’s crying when asked by his wife. However, “Daniel Faraday” has the most interesting connection to the Island. It could be that Daniel is named after Michael Faraday (Died: 1867) was an English physicist who researched electromagnetism. Michael Faraday’s discoveries led to the development of Faraday cages, an enclosure used to block outside radio and electromagnetic waves. James Clerk Maxwell (can anyone say “Maxwell Group”?) took the work of Faraday, and others, and consolidated it with a set of equations that form the basis of modern theories of electromagnetic phenomena. This triumph of 19th century physics led inevitably, in combination with the mathematics of Minkowski (what’s the name of the guy who keeps answering the phone on the boat?), and others, to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Coincidence? I think not. The Island, is after all, heavily grounded with electromagnetic waves. In fact, the Dharma Inititative was there studying it and how to use and control the electromagnetic energy housed by the Island.
We also find out that Naomi Dorrit (Marsha Thomason) was hired by Matthew Abbadon (whom we met last week when he visited Hurley in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Clinic). Now I highly doubt that Matthew actually works for Oceanic Airlines (I don’t think any of us believe that) but who then is he working for? What is his organization’s purpose in hiring Naomi to lead Frank, Miles, Charlotte and Daniel to the Island on a freighter boat? The most interesting thing about the flashback conversation between Matthew and Naomi was that Naomi knew that the plane found in the Sunda Trench was not Oceanic Flight 815 (at least not the real one) and Matthew had to correct her and insist that there were no survivors of Flight 815. Note as well the actual dialogue between Naomi and Matthew: She thinks the 4 new boat people are not the right for this “mission” as they lack military or field experience. She says it’d be a disaster without protection. “You are their protection”, Abbadon says. Naomi replies that it’s a “high risk, covert operation in unstable territory, especially with four untrained operatives” and is worried about what to do if she runs into survivors of the real flight 815. Now that’s intriguing.
Why these five people? What purpose could they each serve? Does Abbadon’s organization know about the Island’s special properties? Do they know about Jacob? Could Miles be there to commune with the Island? Daniel there to figure out how to work with the electromagnetic field on the Island? What’s Charlotte’s role? And pilots must be a dime a dozen – why a drunken one who probably got fired from Oceanic Airlines for flying drunk and that’s why he wasn’t the pilot of Flight 815? Who is Naomi? A hired mercenary or a “Michael Clayton” at Abbadon’s organization who gets assigned “messes” to “clean up”?
We now know that Naomi and her band of misfits were sent to get Ben. Why? Is the Hanso Foundation and/or the Maxwell Group after Ben because he killed all the people from the Dharma Initiative? Have they finally found the Island and this is their big chance to get him and stop him from whatever it is he’s doing there? Or maybe this is their chance to take back the Island and continue their own plans with it. Who then are the real bad guys here? Are Ben and the Others really doing something good for the world and Abbadon’s organization is trying to stop it? Or is Abbadon’s organization the real heroic group and they are trying to stop Ben’s “Pinky & The Brain-esque” take over the world/enslave the human race campaign? Franky, I don’t trust either of them. Could Abbadon’s organization be the Maxwell Group? If so are they a faction of The Others that disbanded and is now trying to kill Ben and take over the Island? Are they “rivals” of The Others, both working towards the same goal but the Others have control of the Island and Abbadon’s people need it?
Here’s another enigma, if the helicopter was coming to “rescue” or “find” the castaways, then why were each of the boat people “pushed out”? Was it really crashing? I am wholly skeptical of this in light of the fact that after all the “chaos” (as Charlotte so eloquently put it) we saw at the beginning of the episode, Frank was able to calmly and safely land the helicopter in the perfectly-sized clearing on the Island. Maybe there are no coincidences on the Island, but there sure is a lot of convenience. The helicopter is struck by lightning and is on its way down, three of the passengers have to abandon ship, scattering all over the Island, and then at the last minute, Frank is able to recover and land it just fine? Where did the bump/cut on his head come from? How was he knocked unconscious then?
Jack and Kate find Faraday at the end of last week’s episode. Daniel uses the satellite phone to find the other boat people who fell out of the helicopter. When they find Miles, he attacks Jack and holds them at gunpoint until they bring him to the body of Naomi. Apparently, Miles wanted to make sure that Naomi hadn’t been murdered by Jack, Kate or the other castaways by speaking with her spirit or communing with the dead body somehow. After he’s satisfied that at least Jack nor Kate did Naomi any harm, they are ambushed by Sayid and Juliet carrying guns. Together they all search for Charlotte but it’s too late as Locke and his crew have already found her and are holding her captive after Locke ties Charlotte’s tracking device to Vincent’s collar and sends him running through the jungle. It is only after Jack, Kate, Sayid and Juliet find Frank that they discover why the boat people are on the Island really (at least partially). When Juliet introduces herself to Frank, he quickly realizes that she was not on Flight 815 and has been on the Island for some time, calling her a “native”. This news enrages Miles who pulls out a very old picture of Benjamin Linus, shoves it in Juliet’s face and demands to know where he is. Flash back to Locke and his crew now becoming very interested and suspicious of Charlotte – Ben especially as he steals Karl’s gun and shoots Charlotte in the chest. Sawyer attacks Ben and beats him yet again. Locke realizes that Charlotte is still alive and helps her up. He then takes Sawyer’s gun and decides it is finally time to end Ben’s life but not before Ben riddles off all the personal information about Charlotte and her three other companions. Informing everyone present that they are here for no good and that they are here for Ben. How does he know this? He has a man on the boat!
Who is this mysterious man that Locke has on the boat? Hmmmm? Very interesting to say the least. My theory – it’s Michael. It makes sense and the timing works out. In fact, if it’s not Michael, I may be disappointed because I think that the way the episode ended last night is a perfect build up to a climactic boom – welcome back Michael. So I figure Ben and Michael have a side deal to intercept the boat, get “rescued” by it on its way to the Island and then filter information about the boat, it’s inhabitants and their mission to Ben. It would be so awesome and further justify my contempt for Michael. It would be a perfect story line for Michael: gets his son – crashes on the Island – son gets kidnapped – he gets his son back with a special deal to screw over all of his fellow castaways after killing two of them and agrees to intercept the boat and help thwart their plans for the Island by filtering information to Ben – gets off the Island (as per he and Ben’s agreement) as one of the “Oceanic 6,” then dies of something that the Island probably would have cured him of and no one attends his funeral but Jack. I love it!!
Okay, an important part of the story that I didn’t forget about but didn’t work into my stream of thought above. When Locke’s group is wandering across the Island through the jungle, Sawyer realizes that they aren’t going to the barracks and Locke says they are going to the cabin first. Did you see the look on Ben’s face when Hurley told Locke that he thought the shack/cabin was in the other direction? Priceless!!! Ben is not happy about finding out that Locke and Hurley have had experiences with Jacob/the cabin. Ben couldn’t handle that Locke was “special” too like he was but now so is Hurley? You know that has to be killing him – I love it! So Sawyer asks Locke who told him that the boat people are bad people. Locke responds that it was Walt, only TALLER!! Sawyer asks Locke what he meant by “taller”? So this is how they are handling the whole Walt aging 4 years in 94 days thing. LoL. It is either “genius” or corny but I thought it was hilarious. Locke then adds that Walt told him that he had “work to do” and that he had to “stop Naomi from bringing the rest of her people”. Sawyer asks why he didn’t ask any questions and he says because Ben shot him and Walt saved him. Sawyer is doubtful but Locke lifts his shirt to show his wound, saying the bullet went through him and he’s lucky he doesn’t have a kidney where the bullet went through or he’d be dead. Hello! Again, no coincidences! Had Locke’s dad never stolen his kidney, he would have died in that open grave! I love the “butterfly effect”.
Okay, that’s it for me today. Now discuss and tawlk amongst yourselves. I’m eager to hear your thoughts and theories.