February 26, 2010

lost connections: the substitute and lighthouse

Work, travel, and an Olympics trance has left this blog shamefully neglected through the month of February. This is unacceptable, I know. But, I will make up for it in these last days of the month, I promise.

First, a BIG blog on Lost. The last two episodes - "The Substitute" and "Lighthouse" - have been all about revealing connections between the Lost cast of characters. All of this coming together to (hopefully) start bringing us some answers as the conclusion quickly approaches. I still haven't come to terms with that. Let's look at some of those connections...

Starting with connections we see in the "The Substitute":

In new LA, Locke comes home to his lovely Helen, who's planning their wedding! How amazing does Katey Segal look? Just when I thought Locke's new life looked quite nice, he's fired from his grim cubicle job. Back in new LA, Locke runs into Hugo, who coincidentally owns Locke's former company. Always lovable, Hurley offers him a job through the temp agency he also owns. And that brings us to Rose! She's running the temp agency, and she's just as awesome off island. The interaction among all three of them is all about what the island took away from them - Locke's situation due to his disability, Hurley's fortune due to his luck, and Rose's outlook on life due to her cancer.

Most importantly, Locke has another connection in new LA. In his a new job as a substitute health teacher he meets NONE OTHER THAN WHINY, NERDY BEN LINUS, EUROPEAN HISTORY. How perfect is the character of new LA Ben Linus? It's exactly what I would imagine non-island Ben to be doing when he grew up.

We learn about the connection among "the candidates" as described by Smoke Monster Locke. After he recruits Sawyer for his mission to the cave, we discover the names of the candidates written all over the wall. We are to believe that the uncrossed names are the remaining candidates: Shephard, Reyes, Jarrah, Kwon, Locke, Ford. What about Kate?

Of course, this is all linked to the connection between Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke). In the cave, they find a balance - made equal by one black rock and one white rock. I think the symbolism is fairly obvious. Jacob and the man in black (now Smoke Monster Locke) where maintaining some sort of equilibrium on the island. By killing Jacob (and throwing the white rock into the ocean), the man in black has tipped the scale in his favor.

On the beach, a new pack has emerged: Ben, Frank, Sun, and Ilana. I imagine we'll start to see more about the significance of their connection. They bury Locke's body and head to the temple where Ilana promises Sun she will find Jin if he's alive. Ben's eulogy for Locke was very touching. Sorry I murdered him. Beautiful words

And now the connections in this week's "Lighthouse":

This time, we see Jack's life in new LA, and this story mostly revolves around the connection with his surprise son David. Throughout our time with Jack, we've seen the theme of paternity. A constant struggle with his feelings of responsibility over the fellow survivors. Most obviously, his reason for being on Oceanic in the first place - bringing his father's body home. These feelings are what eventually bring him back to the island. The connection between Jack and his young son is obviously strained until Jack is able to convince him that he could never fail in his eyes, and he just wanted to be part of his life - words he never heard from his own father. But what if Christian's treatment of Jack was preparing him for the island all along? When we will know the true history behind Christian's connection to that island?

David brings us to perhaps the most surprising connection of the episode - Jack running into Togan at the piano concert. A fellow father with similar worries for his young son - both men are leaders on the island with the well-being of their followers resting on their soldiers. There is definitely a kinship between the two men - now we see this on and off the island.

We also have a brief connection to Claire when she is mentioned in Christian's will. I expect we'll see more of Jack getting to the bottom of this mystery in new LA.

The first connection we see on the island this week is the psychic one between Hurley and the seemingly dead Jacob, who needs Hurley to help "someone find this island". We later learn this was all about helping Jack better understand his place on the island. As a way of convincing Jack to join this journey, Jacob instructs Hurley to tell him: You have what it takes. Something Jack never heard from his father. During their way, Jacks says: "I came back here because I was broken, and I was stupid enough to think that this place could fix me." What if it's his job to fix the island?

During Jack and Hurley's journey, we have small connections to the other survivors coming across Shannon's abandoned inhaler and Kate herself. The obvious rift between Jack and Kate at this point is tough to watch - it's obvious Kate agreeing to follow Jack's plan to detonate the bomb was her last time following him (at least for now). She has her own mission now - to connect with Claire.

When Jack and Hurley arrive at their destination - a never-before-seen lighthouse, we see the connection between the candidates presented in a different way - as degrees on a compass. It seems Jacob used this as some sort of tool for find and tracking the candidates.

Back in the jungle, Claire has been scrapping around surviving for the past three years. Looking very Rousseau-like indeed. She has been disconnected from the rest of the survivors all these years - namely Aaron - until she finds Jin. She helps free him from an animal trap. But apparently, she's built up quite the reputation among the temple people. And she claims that Christian (her father) and her "friend" told her that the temple people have her baby. Jin tries telling Claire the truth about Aaron - that Kate was caring for him for the past three years - but after she kills another one of the temple people, he decides it's best to lie for now and try to get them back to the temple.

  • What's the ultimate purpose of the candidates? Are they supposed to keep going until only one is left? Is the last one Jacob's successor?
  • Did Smoke Monster Locke choose Sawyer or was coming upon him in Dharmaville a coincidence?
  • Who was the young boy that Smoke Monster Locke chased into the jungle? Was he one of the kids at the temple? We know Richard couldn't see him, but Sawyer could. He has blood on his hands, but we assume it isn't his.
  • Will Ilana collecting some of Jacob's ashes have any significance?
  • By leaving the island, is Smoke Monster Locke trying to use Sawyer as some kind of vessel to return to the real world? What will they find when they get there?
  • Which Kwon is a candidate? Should we assume Jin since Sun didn't time travel with the others? But Kate did, why isn't Kate a candidate? Or Rose or Bernard?
  • What about Jack discovering a scar that he doesn't seem to remember having? Will we start seeing more clues of island life among those in new LA?


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