Lost: The Shape Of Things To Come

Welcome back from the long, cold, solitary hiatus. It was kind of like the Writer’s Strike only self-imposed exile.

Anyhow, here’s the bare-bones recap of tonight’s episode of Lost: The Shape Of Things To Come:

  • The Shape Of Things To Come
  • Clearly Lost is laying down “new rules” a la Ben and changing our perception of the series.

    First and foremost, it seems as though Widmore & Ben had a previously peaceful truce. Why Widmore saw fit to change that fact or, ultimately, why Ben thought he could talk his way out of Alex’s murder will hopefully be answered in the future.

    Suffice it to say we now have the very explicit, tangible struggle between two men and the things they hold dear: their families and the island. Of the two, Ben seems more craven (he did dare Keamy to kill Alex) but I think that’s only because we’ve seen more of him.

    Widmore did fuck with Desmond and he has a drinking problem (MacCutcheon again!) because of nightmares, so I’m guessing his interests aren’t above reproach.

    I also like that we’ve closed a loop started this season: Sayid’s “employment” by Ben. Why Ben has to be so conniving (character trait/flaw? he likes it?) in indoctrinating/employing Sayid is another point, but again, part of the growing, flash forward, off island narrative. And whatever Ben’s reasons it’s great storytelling to have Sayid ask to be a part of the whole thing/Ben not have to tell him what to do to get him to do it.

    Am I dreaming if I want Seasons 5 & 6 to take place off-island in the “present” and the flashes all occur on the island? Have I mentioned this before? Is this time travel?

  • Time Travel?
  • Yet again Daniel Faraday can’t answer a straight question about how long ago things have happened and the island and the boat seem to be out-of-synch. It’s a minor plot point in tonight’s episode but it’s still there and it’ll likely be a major part of the endgame, whatever the hell that is, though Cuse & Lindelof say it isn’t a one-sentence deal, which makes the USA Today call for short-form theories and their eventual display all the weirder.

    But I digress. ABC’s gotta market the excitement and curiousity. I can’t begrudge them that; I’m in the same business.

    Anyhow: time travel. LOVE that Faraday still hasn’t come clean but I’m betting he gives up some of the goods before Season 5.

    Hoping, actually.

  • Smoke Monster
  • Cuse & Lindelof deliver on their promise to bring back Smokey but I wouldn’t have guessed that a little axle grease and a Temple of Doom style secret passage would be involved.

    Plus, kudos to Ben for having said secret passage behind another secret passage. Layers, people. Layers.

    I’m really torn here. Ben holds himself up as some paragon of responsible, moral behavior but he can let his daughter die and then sic the Cerberus metaphor on dudes with guns? Maybe this belongs in the Widmore/Ben bucket above, but I’m really curious to see just how white or even grey we can make a once black character.

    You get my drift. Maybe the smoke monster is *that* metaphor as well: a completely ambiguous force of nature that people use to justify their own morality. The ultimate embodiment of vengeance and self-righteous anger that is colored by the forces that control it.

    Or maybe I’m jumping off the cliff here.

  • Little Things
  • All the finer points and Easter Eggs we noticed. Certainly not a complete list.

    1. 1623
    2. The code Alex inputs on the fence

    3. Code 14J
    4. We all got this one. It’s this week’s “open” bingo square

    5. Halliwax
    6. Ben’s jumpsuit name. Also one of the many pseudonyms of Orientation video dude.

    7. Red shirt dies in gunfire
    8. I love it when JJ Abrams includes a Star Trek reference in Lost. JJ’s doing the new Star Trek movie and the ensign in the red jumpsuit *always* dies on away missions.

      But you knew all this already. Didn’t someone recently do an actual scientific analysis of this effect already? I’ll update in the AM.

  • “Australia is the key to the whole game”
  • Sure they were playing “Risk” or “Stratego” or “Axis & Allies” and it was a toss-off line by Hurley, but I think it’s telling. Clues and such have been hidden less artfully.

    I think this is the Producers telling us that the beginning of our story – Oceanic Airlines Flight 815’s departure of Sydney – is the key to the whole mystery.

    Now what that *really* means is anyone’s guess. Not mine. Anyone else’s. I just start the thoughts here, I hardly ever finish them.

    Or I could just be sleepy. Maybe I’m reading to much into it.

    Still, with the “game” changing rules and this being the “shape of things to come” would it really be that weird of the narrative to look backward yet again? At least from a resolution/explanation standpoint.

Bonus Links:

Onion AV Club Interview w/ Cuse & Lindelof
Jimmy Kimmel Interview w/ Cuse & Lindelof – Part 2 available Friday.
Notes from the ‘Lost’ set
Lost: Nine ways to die on The Island – Needs to be updated to include Alex’s death.

UPDATE: Best. Doc Jensen. Article. Ever. Seriously, I’m a rank amateur compared to this guy. The break has hobbled me. I’ll do better next week.

7 thoughts on “Lost: The Shape Of Things To Come

  1. I actually gasped out loud multiple times during the episode. So, so, so, so good.

    I’ve read Lostpedia cover to cover but help me out here; I don’t get the relationship of 14J (the code to warn “the others”) to Bingo. Is there a viral site I missed somewhere?

  2. Russell, I’m just saying it’s the only “clue” that was out in the open quite so obviously. In Bingo the center-most square is always free, you don’t need a number to mark it.

    14J is yet another number to add to the growing list of numbers the show uses. I honestly have no idea *what* (if anything) it means.

    Bingo was a joke.

  3. Anne Fitzgerald says:

    So maybe I’m blind, but there was a huge gaping hole in last night — the Army-fatigued freighter guys on the island. Widmore’s whole pain so far was finding that island and how to get back to it. Yet Charlotte, et al have found a way to get on it, the Mercenaries last night got on it…so what’s Widmore waiting for?

    Other thoughts:
    – The doc’s dead on the island…but not on the boat.
    – How does Ben have all this money? My guess is that when Ben time-travels off the island, he takes items from the Black Rock, sells them at auction (e.g., the ship’s ledger we saw a few eps ago), and pockets the money. Which, if you think about it, would be quite delicious – Widmore bought the ledger to find the island, but in reality, is unknowingly funding the very man who’s trying to keep him from the island (Ben).
    – The cold-blooded death of Ben’s daughter was shocking, but not as shocking as Ben’s reaction. There are parliamentary rules? Really? Hmmm…interesting.

  4. Annie, I think you’ve just answered a big question for me. Is it possible that the Mercenaries killed the doc while they were all en route to the Island the Freighties don’t know about it?

    Also, via the previews for next week, it looks like they may have come via Frank Lapidus & the helicopter. Was the doctor pushed?

    I think some of your thoughts are best addressed by Doc Jensen here: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20195369,00.html

  5. Wow. Just…wow.

    Again, Ben Linus morphs into Jason Bourne, taking down armed men in the blink of an eye after popping up in winter clothes in the middle of the Sahara with a handy passport.

    As a former avid Risk player…Australia really is the key to the game time after time. That and Kamchatka.

    I think my favorite moment was Ben’s conversation with Widmore. The idea of them having a personal struggle and knowing everything about each other fascinates me. Widmore’s line about knowing who Ben really is, and that everything Ben has he stole from him, etc…I’m dying to know what the whole history between the two of them is.

    Any takers on an eventual showdown between Sayid and Desmond over Ben’s plan to kill Penny? (assuming of course that Desmond is off the island and not part of the Oceanic 6).

  6. Hunter Maxin says:

    sorry, I’m a little late to the party as I was traveling last week…

    Am I the only one who thinks Ben materialized in the Sahara an instant or two before we started the episode? And that the “method” of materialization caused enough of a disturbance to bring the armed men?

    My theory is that Ben has a time-travelly way (a door of sorts) of popping on an off the island, that there are a couple of (moving) whens but fixed wheres he can end up when he does exit, but that he doesn’t know which where or exactly when he’ll arrive.

    In other words, for example, he can exit the island, but he might end up outside Tunis or just as easily Laos, Paraguay, or Iceland. (these last 3 were just random locations) He’ll know that when will be sometime “later” than the last time he left/arrived, but he won’t now exactly when.

    It seems he’s got a hotel set up near each exit, and, basically, a standing reservation. But he clearly isn’t positive of where or when he’d end up.

    The parka, etc, would cover the worst case scenario pop-out (my Iceland, for example). The passport would be connected to each hotel reservation. He probably had multiple currencies on him.

    This might also explain how a polar bear would end up in the Tunisian desert in Ep2, if, say, they were running experiments on where the door lets out (or any of a number of other explanations).

    In other news…Ben seemed to indicate to Widmore that there was a bigger deeper reason he couldn’t kill him. Something beyond both of their control, not just a set of man-made rules (as in a treaty).

    I don’t know…much to think on.

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