Ostrich Didn’t See Shit!

Police questioned the only witness to a murder in front of a beachside Sno-cone stand that took place last night. Lenny, an 8 year old male Ostrich was present but apparently oblivious to what police have said must have been “blood curdling” screams. According to Detective Sergeant James O’Halarahan the witness claimed to have been unaware that anything took place at all. “We have no leads at present time,” O’Halarahan commented, “that ostrich didn’t see shit.” When approached for comment, Lenny flapped his wings and tried to snake his neck through a car window to eat some McDonald’s french fries left in a bag.

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What rhymes with ‘Pounds Sterling’?

One would have to be daft indeed to be currently unaware of the plummeting value of the United States Dollar on the global exchange market. Not always mentioned in conjunction with the “sub-prime meltdown” and the “likely, impending, certain, oh-shit-maybe-it’s-already-here…or-is-it” U.S. economic recession, the decrease in the USD’s worth worldwide is nonetheless inextricably linked to these phenomenon. In a wonderful example of the wholly unfortunate, in fact, the frantic blind punches being thrown at the recession by Washington are almost certainly contributing to the dollar’s 2007 New York Mets-esque trajectory to the toilet.

 

Ben Bernanke’s capitulating swipes at nearly every main Fed rate can only mean inflation in the long run, assuming that they succeed in doing that which they are supposed to – making the dollar less expensive to borrow and encouraging its being spent at the cost of those who tend to save. The recently-passed tax rebate checks, which I’m frankly surprised aren’t being delivered in the form of Best Buy gift cards, do the exact same thing, and have the added benefit of being tacked on to our standing national debt. Mike Huckabee, a favorite son of this blog, took a moment to stop lambasting perceived immorality to point out that borrowing more than $150 billion from China in order to purchase $150 billion in Chinese-manufactured goods hardly does the U.S. economy and real good. Douchebag has a point.

 

So, things have long been looking down. I mean, even the Canadian dollar is beating the USD, and it’s called a Loonie! Nonetheless, I have seen no better testament to the dollar’s impotence than the one with which I was presented last week. (Now, I’ll here be forced to admit that I don’t keep it as real as I once did with respect to the pop-music scene, so this may not be news to all.) In his recent video “Blue Magic,” Jay-Z prominently features sizebale stacks of money. Big deal, right? The Jigga Man (SP?) has long provided verification of his wealth through the visual presentation of cash in his videos. Well, in this particular instance, the currency in question happens to be the Euro.

 

Currently trading at 1.4674 USD, the Euro is indeed a sound investment for its stability, largely the result of being tied to a diverse array of economies. Nonetheless, it is more than a little troubling to imagine wealthy rappers – perhaps one of our country’s only currently viable exports – dropping the fattest of stacks of American currency on the market in favor of holding in Euros. Fuck the Fed rate; if the self-proclaimed American Gangster has is dumping his dollars on the global market, we are in some serious trouble. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that Jay-Z owes the U.S. anything in terms of loyalty, but out of a purely self-interested sentiment, I can’t help but wishing the nostalgic appeal of Benjamins still held sway. I seriously doubt Diddy could tell you whose face was on the 100 Euro note, much less seamlessly weave that leader’s given name into a catchy tune. He’s busy re-making the band, anyway.

 

Ricky’s “LOST” Weekly – 02/15/08

Another contribution by Ricky L. Escoto – consultant and “LOST” expert extraordinaire:
“The Economist” – 02/14/08

OMG…BEST…EPISODE…EVER!!!!

So let’s just tackle the white elephant in the room right off the bat because I just cannot contain myself any longer: Sayid’s a hired assassin working for Ben? WTF? I totally did not see that one coming (oh and by the way, apparently Sayid is another one of the “Oceanic 6”)! Holy s**t! I find this particularly intriguing given Sayid’s own statement in just this very episode: “The day I trust Ben is they day I’ve sold my soul.” Irony! Another ironic observance is that while on the Island in this episode, Sayid is using diplomacy (with Locke re: Charlotte), he is calm, reasonable and wanting to handle things without blood shed. He is also making a point to honor a dead woman’s body (Naomi). Off the Island in the future, he becomes a cold, calculated and pragmatic assassin – for Ben, no less. I do so love the irony on this show, I mean it’s in such abundance! In addition to the irony though, I think that there’s a lot of “returning to his roots” going on with Sayid in this flash forward; remember, as Jack reminds us in this episode, Sayid was a torturer for the Iraqi Republican Guard prior to his beginning the events that lead up to his arrival on the Island. He’s used to being a “hired gun” for someone else’s cause. So perhaps it’s not so unfathomable that he could be coerced by Ben (who let’s face it, could probably talk an Eskimo into buying an air conditioner) into traveling around the world and killing off his enemies. So it would appear, by his own words, that Sayid has now sold his soul to Ben. However, it would appear as though he still has some heart and humanity with him as he is able to fall in love with Elsa in Berlin, whose employer he is supposed to be finding and killing, and when Ben is fixing his bullet wound later at the veterinary clinic, Sayid expresses reluctance in killing yet another person for Ben as he tries to give Sayid another name. Ben asks him, “Do you remember what happened the last time you followed your heart?” and reminds Sayid that the work they are doing “protects your friends.” So his soul may be “gone” but his heart and humanity would appear intact as he not only reluctantly goes about his business for Ben but does so in order to protect “his friends,” whom we can only assume are his fellow castaways, many of which were evidently left behind on the Island. This would be in correlation with my theory that Michael is Ben’s spy on the boat. Clearly, Ben (well, through his Others) was able to convince Michael to betray the other castaways and kill Libby and Ana Lucia in order to free Ben and then again to lure Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley into the Others’ capture in order to save Walt and get off the Island. It would not surprise me further to believe that Ben could have convinced Michael to intercept the boat and be his spy on it in order to “save his friends,” whom he has now betrayed twice. I must admit, it makes for great television and all but I am sorely disappointed that Ben is still alive “post-Island”. I was really hoping that he would get what he has coming to hm in the form of a bullet to the brain at the conclusion of all of this but it doesn’t look like it. Oh well. Also, I would just like to point out a continuity issue probably due to some bad editing but when Sayid kills “Mr. Avellino” on the golf course he never puts his gun away and yet it’s just all of the sudden gone! Trust me, I re-watched that snippet several times and he never puts the gun away nor does he leave it behind and yet it magically disappears as he walks off the green.

So Sayid is the fourth person from the plane crash to officially (or at least publicly) get off the Island. We know now that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid are among the infamous “Oceanic 6,” which individuals are apparently well known around the globe (or at least the story of their return is). And yes, I did say that Kate is among them because if any of you saw the preview for the next episode during the credits, they elude to what must be a flash forward of the Oceanic 6’s arrival back to the “real world” and Kate’s face is clearly shown among several photographers and press. So four down and two to go; we may possibly find out who they are in this next episode. If we continue with my current theory that Michael is Ben’s spy on the boat and ends up being one of the Oceanic 6 (beautiful irony after betraying all of his friends over and over again) then he is number 5 and I can only assume Walt will be number 6 (don’t you think Walt would bring Vincent with him? If so, perhaps that should be the “Oceanic 7,” unless they aren’t counting the dog). I am not forgetting the possibility that the “Oceanic 6” are not the only ones on the Island who may return home, just the only ones from the plane (at least that the world knows about). Sayid was not the only one to get on the helicopter with Frank at the end in order to go to the boat looking for answers; Desmond went with him. It is possible that Desmond too gets off the Island, possibly even Juliet (although something tells me she doesn’t make it back to the “real world,” especially in light of Jack’s complete breakdown at some point in his future off the Island. I just feel like if Juliet were off the Island, she’d be with him somehow). Sawyer is another possible “6” member as he and Kate have grown closer (and apparently sleep together again in Ben’s bedroom, as shown in next week’s preview). We have all alleged the possibility that Sawyer is the “he” to whom Kate refers to when telling Jack that “he will be wondering where I am,” in Jack’s flash forward from last season’s finale, “Through The Looking Glass”. We know Kate and Jack don’t end up together, that’s probably why.

Another possibility is that Ben is the “he” to whom Kate is referring. If Ben is able to secure Sayid’s services, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that he has Kate under his thumb as well. It could be that Ben does not have Jack in his employ and Kate could be in trouble or something for associating with Jack off the Island. It could be possible that there was a split among the “6” much like there was among the castaways on the Island between Jack and Locke. Perhaps in the series of events that will transpire between now and the flash forwards he have been privy to (which we do not know when in the future they occur) something happens that requires the people on the Island to choose between Ben and Jack (or Ben and nothing) and that decision leads to the “6” as well and continues off – Island. It is also entirely possible that on some level, all of the “6” have become “Others” and are working for Ben as his people “in the real world,” continuing his “mission” off the Island (a la Richard). I know it may now sound like I’m grasping at straws but another thought I had is that if we follow this and correlate it with Sayid’s reluctance of heart, perhaps at some point, Sayid reneges on this deal and decides he just can’t kill anymore. For this Ben may have him killed and he could be the one in that casket at the funeral only Jack attended. For his betrayal, Kate could be pissed off at him and that could have prompted her “why would I go to the funeral, Jack?” response in Jack’s flash forward from last season. That’s just a random thought, I know. I don’t know who could have died, the news of which would spark Jack’s suicide attempt but I’m still trying to hold on to my “Michael storyline” that he ends up being the spy on the boat, getting off the Island and then dying at a funeral that no one attends, including the castaways because they are all still mad at him for his betrayal.

So who are the people that Ben is having Sayid go around and kill? Clearly Elsa and Naomi worked for the same people (since they shared that bracelet). Well, that might not be as clear so much as an assumption but they did make a point of showing us both bracelets on both women. So Elsa and her employer probably work for the same company (maybe Elsa’s employer is Matthew Abbadon?) that employed Naomi and sent the boat to the Island. The same company that I had suggested was either part of the Others at one point and broke off from them; or is the Hanso Foundation seeking revenge on Ben and the Others; or is this elusive Maxwell Group, which we know that Penny Widmore’s father has ties to. Whatever this company is, they are Ben’s enemies and stand in the way of whatever his plot to take over the world is. Oh and at what point did Ben become a veterinarian? I mean, I realize that was a cover but since when does Ben know how to stitch up a bullet wound? I don’t know, that just perturbed me for some reason in spite of the timing of it with the awesome revelation that almost made me shit my pants (even though I was repeatedly exclaiming, “OMG, it’s Ben! OMG, it’s Ben!” over and over again throughout the whole scene prior to the revelation).

So on the Island, Jack discovers a photo of Desmond and Penny among Naomi’s things and tells Juliet, Kate and Sayid about it. He asks Juliet to go back to the beach and bring Desmond back to the helicopter with her since he assumes that the boat people are there for Desmond. Remember, Hurley, Charlie, Desmond and Sayid kept Naomi a secret from Jack for like a couple days and so he never knew about the photograph that she had with her. Sayid decides to “honor” the body of Naomi and put her to rest, finally closing her eyes (OMG, that was driving me crazy for the last two episodes) and pulling the blanket over her face. He discovers the bracelet, identical to the one he later sees on Elsa’s wrist, and notices an inscription “N., I’ll always be with you, R.G.”. Who is “R.G.”? Boyfriend? Lover? I found a couple of really ridiculous theories on Lostpedia hinting that it could be “Regina” from the boat and Naomi is a lesbian, or that “R.G” were the initials of the dead boy that Miles went and communicated with in his flashback and he could have been dating Naomi, which I also find ridiculous. So we’ll just have to wait and see on that one. Obviously, it is someone in her company because the initials are engraved on her “company bracelet”. Anyway, this prompts Sayid to demand he be taken to the boat and he uses Miles’ insistence that they go “rescue” Charlotte as collateral. He tells Frank that he will go and get Charlotte from Locke if he will promise to take him to the boat, to which Frank agrees. Sayid takes Kate and Miles with him to track down Locke and his “team”. Let’s not forget the great conversation that takes place between Jack and Kate here. After Sayid tells Jack that he is too “violent” (more irony) to take on this mission, Kate consoles him and tells him that now he knows how she feels. He jokes that maybe he should wait 20 minutes and go anyway and then tells Kate to go with Sayid. He says that he’s not worried about anything happening to her because Sawyer won’t let Locke hurt her, which prompts a realization on both their parts that this is a “complicated” situation between the three of them (or if you count Juliet, it’s a “Love Quadrangle”) and Kate sets off with Sayid and Miles, who Sayid is all to happy to have along. I was skeptical at first but when we find out that Sayid has cunningly “traded” Miles for Charlotte in order to fulfill his end of he and Frank’s agreement, I laughed.
Sayid, Kate and Miles arrive at the barracks to find them seemingly deserted and they find Hurley abandoned, tied up in a closet (very reminiscent of when the Others abandoned the barracks and took Locke with them leaving Juliet behind). Hurley tells them that he tried to protect Charlotte from Locke so they left him behind and he doesn’t know where they went but for stopping at Ben’s house first. Hurley even had me fooled. He was the perfect patsy. Who could possibly accuse or suspect Hurley of deception? Well apparently not Sayid either because when he, Kate and Miles explore Ben’s house they are ambushed by “Team Locke” but not before a very cool discovery by Sayid.

While rummaging through the house looking for clues (and finding a copy of the Holy Quran on Ben’s bookshelf) he sees that the bookshelf in the living room has been moved. Sayid moves it and discovers that there is a secret room filled with nice suits and clothes. Sayid finds a stash of currency from around the world (a really cool note here, apparently, among Ben’s foreign banknotes is an original Series E £20 note issued by the Bank of England, withdrawn in 2001. The design incorporates the face of Michael Faraday, whom you may remember from last week’s email is the English physicist for whom our character “Daniel Faraday” is named after and who made many discoveries regarding electromagnetism) and several passports. Sayid opens one of the passports revealing Ben’s photo with an alias, “Dean Moriarty” (by the way, any of you who are as much a fan of mysteries as I am will recognize the name “Moriarty” as Sherlock Holmes’ arch-nemesis – one of the greatest and earliest literary “super-villains” of all time). So this is Ben’s secret room. What the hell has he been using all of those passports for? How often does Ben get off the Island? What is he doing off the Island when “outside”? I am now more than ever excited to find out who the hell Ben really is and what the hell he and the Others are up to. What is their goal, their purpose?

After Sayid is held captive with Ben in the same game room that Kate was held captive in (the last time she and Sayid were abducted trying to infiltrate the barracks and save Jack) with Ben, no less. Locke comes in and chats with him. Sayid is able to convince Locke to hand over Charlotte (in exchange for Miles) because he does not trust the boat people either and if he brings Charlotte back, he has made an agreement to obtain passage to the boat itself, where he will be able to infiltrate the boat people and ascertain who they are, why they’re here and what they want. Sayid returns to the helicopter with Charlotte, sans Kate and Miles, just after Juliet has arrived with Desmond. Desmond confronts Frank about the picture of he and Penny that Naomi had. Frank denies knowing anything about it or Penny. Desmond demands that Frank take him on the helicopter to the boat, which he consents to. So Sayid throws Naomi on the helicopter and he and Desmond join Frank for a trip back to the boat but not before Daniel warns Frank to make sure he stays on the same bearing that they came in on, not deviating at all.

This warning by Daniel is presumably prompted by the unsettling discovery he made during his little “experiment” earlier on the Island. He sets up a beacon on a tripod and asks Frank for the satellite phone. Frank asks him why and Daniel responds that he wants to call Regina on the boat. Frank reluctantly hands the phone over but is insistent that if “Minkowski” picks up that Daniel hang up immediately, however. Why? Why does Frank not want Daniel to speak with Minkowski? Interesting… Anyway, Daniel asks Regina to find the signal from his beacon and send a rocket to it, which she does and counts out the number of kilometers until it’s arrival but when it “lands” on her radar at the target, Daniel cannot see it anywhere, which he finds very odd. Daniel is confused for awhile, but when the missile finally arrives, he becomes intrigued. He compares the times on the missile and the tripod to see that they are different by 31 minutes. When Daniel calls Regina again, she is confused at the result – claiming that it was “weird”. Daniel becomes very concerned, stating that this “goes beyond weird”. But a difference of 31 minutes would still not account for Walt’s aging or anything else that’s been alleged. Regina’s equipment told her that the missile arrived, 31 minutes before it actually arrived. It suggests that the island is somehow at a point 31 minutes behind the real world in the time-line. The subjective experience of time on or off the island is a totally different thing. I can only assume that the Island’s special electromagnetic properties somehow disrupt the normal properties of time in its vicinity as it relates to the rest of the world – or at least how time is calculated. A simple difference of 31 minutes could not be constant, for one thing, the voice calls are in real time, and for a second thing, time running at a different pace would result in a different period of lag at all times, instead of a constant 31 minutes. At best, the Island causes a disruption of everything going on on the Island as it relates to the outside world. Regina’s equipment said the rocket had arrived but the Island’s electromagnetism kept Regina’s equipment confused. That’s what I’m going with, that the Island just screws everything up and that’s what Daniel is there to discover and learn about it.

Okay that’s my spiel for this week; I think I hit everything important and fun. I just want to reiterate that I think this was by far the most exciting episode for me. I loved it!

Barack Force Ones

awesome.
 
 
 barack1.jpg barack21.jpg

barack3.jpg 

  • Topic of Discussion (yes, I was a fifth grade teacher in another life) :

 If Hil-bag and McCain had their own shoes, what would they look like? (photo courtesy of Barack Obama’s Campaign 

I Owe Vince Gill Daps

I didn’t expect to watch the Grammy Awards last night, perhaps just flip to it a few times in curiosity. Two hours later, I had to admit I was pretty engrossed. Maybe it was just nice to see an actual award show, and not tabloid TV show correspondents telling me who won and then attempting (and failing) to comment either intellectually or humorously. Or maybe it was Tina Turner showing that Damn, she’s still got it. Beyonce seemed like she was just trying to keep up with her.

As we came to Best Rap Album of the Year, I had a feeling that Kanye was going to win. Truth be told, Graduation was the best album of the nominees, so I assumed he was going to get up and give some cocky-ass acceptance speech. Sure enough, he did.

“It definitely feels good to be home at the Grammys…” he starts off saying. Home, eh? “We snuck in about four or five years ago, and now we basically made this our new place of residence.” What?? No audience response–except for possibly a guy buried in the bleachers, or just some mild audio feedback.

He goes on to say, “A lot of people said hip-hop is dead, not just Nas, but a lot of people just said that the art form wasn’t poppin like that anymore, you know. I wanted to cross the genres and show people how can still express ourselves with something fresh and new, and I think that’s what hip-hop has always been out, coming out with new sounds and stuff…” Some applause. Okay, I feel that, Kanye–but then he exclaims, “I always told Common, like ‘Man, you gotta time the album out better. You can’t drop one the same year as me.’ You gotta…This is my award.” What the deuce? He really just said that, didn’t he.

Then the music started, to which I chuckled, thinking the director was indicating, Okay, moving right along… “C’mon, you’re going to play the music on me?” Kayne asks, before continuing with, “For Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse, if I don’t get to get up here for Album of the Year, you deserve it just as much as me. I deserve it too.” Cut to Mark Ronson in the audience, smiling and raising his hand in acknowledgment (even though Herbie Hancock later pulled off the Grammy).

The music continued to play as Kanye says, “And just to say something about my mother, I appreciate all of the support. I appreciate all of the prayers–it would be in good taste to stop the music there,” and BAM, within three seconds the hurry-along march was silenced to a thunderous applause. “I appreciate everything, and I know you’re really proud of me right now, and I know you wouldn’t want me to stop, and you’d want me to be the number one artist in the world, and all I’m going to do is keep making you proud.” He hoists his Grammy in the air and ends with, “We run this.”

Yes Kanye, you are one of the best hip-hop producers out there, but would it kill you to show a little humility?

I was thinking about changing the channel later in the evening when Ringo Starr presented the award for Best Country Album of the Year to Vince Gill. A little shocked, Gill walked on stage and accepted his Grammy. “I just got an award given to me by a Beatle,” prompting an audience chuckle. He then casually turns to the left and says, “Have you had that happen yet, Kanye?”

YES! Hysterical. One day, I hope to give Vince Gill daps for that.

And then Amy Winehouse found five dollars. And by dollars, I mean Grammys. The end.

Some Things Change…

There are always a number of infectious and completely arbitrary ideas floating around electoral politics. Most have a hugely temporal quality; they last only until the next contest, primary, debate proves them no longer useful. The most prescient of these in the current race for the Democratic presidential nomination, for example, is that of “Change” (I capitalize it here to stress its catch-all quality, but one may see it printed in any number of fonts and formats, depending on the strategists behind its presentation).

 

After the exit polls in Iowa registered this particular and wholly abstract concept as the number one reason for Obama’s victory, it was a complete fucking free-for-all as to determine who had the greatest commitment to shoving the term down the throats of all watching or listening to any candidate speak. All had signs printed that featured the word itself prominently. Barack, hoping to capitalize completely on the apparently very Iowan notion that he represented the personification of Change itself (though, the good or bad specifications of said change were not specified), changed the entire motto of his campaign to “Change We Can Believe In.” No one, to my knowledge, has pointed out to the Senator that the proper way to arrange this credo would be “Change In Which We Can Believe,” as the aforementioned ends with a preposition. In a campaign appearance preceding the New Hampshire Primary, Clinton began a lengthy answer question and answer session with by assuring the crowd that she “want[s] to give you a president who will give you change you can count on.”[i]

 

Unfortunate grammatical errors aside, one can certainly appreciate the straightforward and value-neutral aspects of these phrases. After all, I for one “believe” very strongly in he existence of negative change, as in Change For The Worse; it does, in fact, seem to be the most prevalent sort. Nonetheless, the term began to inundate the field so entirely that even George W. Bush was heard to make a valuable point when he observed that change in inherent in any campaign, as political and social situations themselves are by nature dynamic (I have paraphrased here so as to avoid being forced into any more digressive musing on improper syntax, the probability of which, with a Bush quotation, is akin to that of Dennis Kucinich pulling out of a Presidential race in time to try to keep his job as U.S. Representative). I actually half-expected to see a candidate, at the emotional acme of his or her speech, make pennies rain down from the ceiling of some New England town hall, a là Gob Bluth in Arrested Development: “YOU WANT CHANGE?!?!?!?.”

 


[i] See immediately preceding comments on grammatical issues concerning Obama’s slogan.

Ricky’s “LOST” Weekly – 02/08/08

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.