Sunday, 8 February 2009
Lost s05e04 - Discussion - Udder udders
This episode involved a lot of setting-up, moving characters around to be in the right place for future events. There's a lot to ponder and speculate over though, so I'll get straight to it.
On-island the survivors decide they're going to race back to the beach to ride the Zodiac dinghy around the coast so that Locke can kill himself travelling in time at The Orchid. Quite how they're so sure the little boat will still be there when time itself is falling apart around them I'm not sure. Apparently objects they had with them when Benry Gale moved that giant icy wagon-wheel around are travelling too, meaning that a gun, it's limited ammo, some hairspray and half a sandwich are also getting a whirlwind tour of the history of the island. Why didn't the camp move? What would happen if you held Richard Eyeliner's hand when the flash of light struck? Would you yank that from his never-aging arm and take it with you to 1988? What if Daniel would have followed through on his mother's assumption that he fancied her and made a move? If the sky turned white during would he literally have snogged her prim little face off?
On a more serious note, but still musing on the ludicrous idea that anyone could ever travel in time, how come Cindy isn't travelling along with the other survivors? Just to refresh the memories of those who don't browse Lostpedia as diligently as myself, she's the 815 stewardess who crashed in the tail section, was abducted by Others and was last seen staring at Jack in a cage. Her affiliation is now with that group, and not our plane-crash based 'Losties'. This might explain why Juliet is time-travelling whilst other Others aren't, since she officially joined their camp at the end of season three.
Locke spots Desmond's light, signifying that time-wise an angry season one him is sitting on top of the hatch banging his fists in anger. So rather than see another perspective on an already perfect scene, (and my personal favourite of the whole series) instead we get an all very convenient re-play of Kate helping her future adopted son being born. Sawyer watches on longingly, and a million female fans stop the fast-forwarding they've been doing since episode one where he took his top off. Lit by candlelight he's almost tearful, looking but not able to touch, like he's a customer at a particularly niche stripclub: 'Watch women pulling objects from each other's vaginas in a jungle'. Hang on, the next 'flash' is to 1988 right? Who's to say he doesn't steal Aaron, take his top off again and become the original Athena Poster man?
Later, he confesses to Juliet how affected he was by the whole ordeal. Although refreshingly frank for a show where none of the characters seem to discuss the amazing events that happen to each other, why are characters waiting until now to do so? Was Jack not equally shocked when he saw his father in the woods, both emotionally and because he's dead? Or when Jack met Desmond, a man he recognised from ten years previous whilst running up and down stairs at a stadium. Perhaps I've answered my own question there. Jack is a dick, and should be considered seperate to any theory about the show.
Off-island Jack is still being a dick, albeit one who's understandably in need of a drink. Quite how he's coping with keeping things together without falling back to his very recent ways I do not know. Amid the resuscitation and custody battles, I keep expecting him to turn to camera like in Airplane, saying "I chose the wrong day to give up prescription drugs and alcohol". He seems fine though, and sets off investigating who's trying to claim custody of Claire's toddler Aaron. I can't have been alone in assuming it was Ben all along. Claire's mother doesn't have the acting abilities to have more than a guest role, and we haven't seen that chap from The Wire at all this season. It all ends with everyone apart from Hurley at some docks, where the actors all stand around smugly realising their show is looking increasingly like an episode of 24.
On-island the survivors finally make it to camp, only to find that it's been ransacked. They find a bottle of a drink that they linger on far too long for it's name not to have some significance, and then head off on their 'outriggers' (canoes). Once at sea, a mysterious group behind them paddling on their own giant canoe starts shooting at them. This scene is mysteriously devoid of any real clues as to deduce who their attackers are, which leads to me to believe this is a significant new plot thread that the characters are just stumbling through. Like the sea-billies on the boat in season one we're only given a glimpse of these people, but they'll become hugely important in the large-scale story of Lost. There's a whole website about Ajira Airways for fuck's sake, so we know this is going to be big.
Briefly, here are some theories about where the survivors are, and who their attackers were:
-They're the older Oceanic 6, who've just re-crashed on the island on a flight from India. They're shooting at Sawyer, Juliet et al because they don't recognise them and think they've stolen their boat.
-It's the exact same boat only slightly in the future. They are shooting at themselves. Theory falls down on the difference in their canoes. Our chaps' one is a double, whilst theirs is a single.
-The crash is an alternative Oceanic 815. Because events in the past have been changed, the flight Sawyer and Locke boarded never crashes. This one from India does, and so it's passengers assume everyone on the canoe to be 'Others'.
The bigger issue that none of these theories seem to mention though is where did all the the canoes come from?
This all pales into insignificance compared with the first major character-related 'reveal' of the new series. After a further flash the survivors are greeted by an almighty storm, and paddle ashore. Our attention is suddenly turned to a small group of people on a circular raft, who appear to be speaking French. They spot something just out of reach, a figure on a piece of debris. Pulling him closer whilst facedown, (so as to delay seeing his face until the music kicks in,) we see that the man is Jin, who's been un-knowingly time travelling for the past few days. His rescuers are of course a lovely 1988 round faced Danielle and her team of scientist explorers, and it seems after four years of spouting mental stories from her little island shack we're finally going to see her backstory.
The details of her past, or that which we know about it, are quite sketchy. We know that her crew got the 'sickness', and that a chap called Montand lost his arm. Then apparently they all started killing each other. But this was way back in season one, where the details of the island's past and mythology hadn't been thought through yet. Since then we've got Purges and Incidents, Hostiles and Hatches coming out of our ears, and it was never quite sure how Danielle's vague story fitted in between them. More confusing was her relationship to Benry Gale, who seemed to be the father of her daughter Alex. In season four, before watching her get a bullet in the head, Ben confesses that he 'stole' Alex as a baby from an 'insane French woman', excusing the writers for some elements of the contradicting plot. Her story might be false, or elaborated. Whichever, it'll be interesting to see how they weave it into the rest of the island events. Are the whispers she hears in the woods our time-travelling survivors? Are our hero's somehow involved in Alex's kidnapping?
It was a nice comic touch to have Jin land on a beach again, not speaking the language of those around him. After finally learning enough English to discuss bomb defusal in season four, he's time travelled back to season two thematically. His understandable confusion, and from the way Montand was acting a bit agro toward him, leads me to think we're going to find the reason for the frenchman's arm falling off by the end of the next episode.