Thursday, 5 February 2009

Lost s05e03 - Discussion - Lock, Stock and a funeral

I think we can call them 'flash-middle-backs', these leaps back to three years previous that make up the third narrative timeline in season five of Lost. The gap between 2005's rescue and 2007's imminent returning excursion is being filled in much the way Flashbacks did for all characters' lives pre-crash. So now we get to see that Desmond knocked that Penny up pretty sharpish on his return, and that the island's magnetism hasn't harmed his plentiful scottish seed. Cue plenty of 'I love you Penny's, and a happy audience. As I've said before, Desmond has become the stable heart of the show. Where others have dabbled in prescription medication or become a hired mercenary, he's still just trying to be 'a great man'.

Desmond sets sail to Oxford via London, as obviously it's a suburb of the city. He parks his boat on the Thames, and before you can say 'cor blimey Mary Poppins' he's amongst the worst English accents television has to offer. What is it with Lost and the British? It seems an intelligently constructed show, but does no-one British live in Hawaii at all to give them some advice? If you use the word 'honour' in a poster for the Scottish army, there's a 'u' in it for fucks sake. Pubs don't look like 'Irish' pubs in the US, and certainly don't have Union Flags draped over the walls unless it's good old BNP meeting-place. Desmond does suffer from National stereotyping in that being scottish he's earthy, honest and a drunk, but certainly isn't written as shamelessly hammy as the people he encounters, who appear to be either cockneys or horribly toitey posh people. I hate to reciprocate in stereotypes, but are American scriptwriters and casting agents' entire knowledge of the UK based on watching Richard Curtis and Guy Richie films?

The woman Daniel seems to have left comatosed, and presumably drifting in time, is named Theresa. Is this the same Theresa that was Boon's nanny during the 90s, who died going up and down the stairs? He might have only briefly mentioned that back in season one, but as I've said previously this season is aimed purely at the eagle-eyed nerd. If nationality and hair colour are significant hints at character backstory I'm sure their actual names are moreso.

On-island the survivors are mistaken for the US army-men who have apparently confronted the 'native' islanders recently whilst trying to carry out Hydrogen bomb tests. This explains why their rifles and knives have been knocking about on the island since season two. Goodwin's knife was 'US army standard', back when we gave a fuck about the tail section survivors. It also explains pretty much all of that season's 'hatch' plot in a couple of lines of dialogue. The bomb dangling precariously on string must be buried as it has a leak. It will best be contained behind concrete and underground, and be released periodically every 108 minutes to the music of Mama Cass.

It'd be funny if during these 'flashbacks' they try to explain away other long-standing mysteries of the show very quickly and dismissively. Imagine if we stumble upon the primitive 'hostile' colony that communicates between tribes using smoke signals. Daniel Faraday Quantum Leaps into the scene and drops something scientific into the fire. Explosions occur, and he creates the smoke monster!

I'm being cynical of course, which is inappropriate for Desmond episodes because he's by far the most genuine and lovely character in the show. When watching this installment I was chopping onions at the time, which explains the odd 'time-displacement' occurrence that happened near the end of the episode where my eyes began producing water. Whilst arguing with Penny, Des reveals that he named his child Charlie after our favourite Hobbit Martyr. He died so that everyone else could survive, let us not forget. However, part of the premonition that lead to his death involved Claire getting on a helicopter too. Desmond not only carries guilt, but the knowledge that his involvement in this story is far from over.

On the island Locke is once again taking matters into his own hands, marching into mini-Otherville to demand to speak to the never-aging Richard Eyeliner. Just as he said himself in the future, Dicky doesn't remember Locke at all. He needs more convincing of Locke's leadership skills than the old 'Your future self told me' line. Locke tells him to go and witness his own birth in two years, and hands over the compass future-Rich gave to him. This means the compass is officially stuck in a time loop! Richard will keep it for the whole fifty years before handing it to Locke again, soon after which he'll hand it back again. Whatever that things made of it too doesn't age. Perhaps it's ability to last forever will at some point lead to an explanation about Alpert.

The chap called Jones is indeed a young Widmore, as predicted last week. He's a very angry young man who's not afraid of snapping a comrade's neck for the good of Otherdom. This also gives an explanation as to why Locke couldn't shoot him, if we are to believe their time-travelling adventures can never interfere and alter things they know to happen in the future. Locke doesn't say anything to Widmore of significance about his future though, perhaps because the news he has to endure fifteen years playing playing Jim Robinson before getting a decent acting role will cause him to snap his own neck.

The origin of more familiar characters are revealed when Daniel gets escorted off to the bomb site by an austere tight-lipped English-accented Other. She says he looks familiar and comments on his continual stares in her direction. Turns out Daniel's not demonstrating his lack of commitment to his just-revealed love Charlotte, and that it's a family resemblance he's checking the girl out for. She's his mother, the one-day Ring lady and basement-dwelling scientist friend of Ben. This being Lost, I'd hazard a guess that his father is somewhere on-island currently too. My money is on him being Widmore, for the following reason.

All three 'freightees' were born on the island. Miles was indeed the baby in Chang's crib in the first episode, and Charlotte stated she was in the season four finale. Seeing as in 2004 no-one's able to live through pregnancy on-island I'd guess these characters were the last babies that did. Their significance is the same reason the Oceanic Six must return to the island, as there must be some rules in the universe about not being able to 'create' life on an island that moves in time. Anything that's created has to stay within the crazy little world of the island, and so these three must return.

Charlotte's got a nosebleed now though, which doesn't look good. She's just been told by Daniel that he's very much in love with her, which is normally indicative that her plot loose-ends are being tied up and she's ready to be being bumped off.


  1. I have to say you picked up on a lot there that I missed - good work Tobes.

    Good to meet the early Widmore, and if Daniel has just met his gun toting mum, than that thickens the plot too.

    Maybe I'm thick, but I totally didn't get the bomb in concrete hatch bit. If that is the case, why the hell would they have to press a button every 108 minutes? Something Daniel told them they had to do maybe?

    And if it is the bomb, how come Desmond hasn't got radiation poisoning as it was leaking? Perhaps some kind of radiation shizzle is what has made es 'special'. Actually, now I think of it, wasn't the hatch super magnetic as opposed to radioactive...

    I'm not sure I'm geeky enough from a detail point of view to get get the most out of this season...don't forget the rest of us JJ!!

    Still enjoying it though, especially as I've got The Wire season 4 on the burner too. Add masterchef into the mix and you know I'm a happy man.

  2. I have 5x05 but won't put it up till Toby's ready.

    I haven't actually got around to watching 5x04 yet. But 5x05 has a very exciting title.

  3. Is Lost deliberately hiring hammy actors? Claire's mum has a bizarre accent and do not get me started on Daniel's 'mother' I am not a sufficient lost-brain to recall her name, I shall call her Helga, was that an English accent?! I thought she was German, even her braided hair suggests as much. Helga, nein!