Tuesday, May 4

Lost: Season 6, Ep. 14 Discussion

InstaReaction:

Congratulations, Lost. You have emotionally devastated me. Not one, not two, not three, but four characters take a ride with the Reaper by the end of this thing, and while some folks are bound to cry 'overkill' (literally) this felt pitch perfect in it's clockwork-precise tragedy. Our friends in the UK haven't gotten the episode yet, so I'll warn those folks now - names are discussed directly below. Turn away, or be spoiled.

...So.

Goodbye, Sayid Jarrah, Frank Lapidus, and Sun and Jin Kwon. Watching as the figurative tumblers in Anti-Locke's gambit clicked into place (a gambit that I feel compelled, immodestly, to point out that I've been predicting throughout the season, though the specifics were better than anything I'd imagined) was awful and yet gruesomely satisfying at the same time.

I'm still trying to process everything here, and it isn't easy. I've remained emotionally invested in Lost's characters, and watching them topple like dominoes was a legitimately emotional experience for me. With Sayid dead the question of infection seems abandoned, which is going to irritate me in the future, but his selfless death and last-minute words to Jack went a long way toward making his arc enormously, tragically satisfying for me. I knew Frank was a dead man as soon as it was announced that the plane was so longer an option, since his sole purpose this season has been to serve as possible pilot. And what is there to say about Sun and Jin? Well, I'll tell you what my wife said: " yeah, that's tragic, but they just left their kid to be an orphan." My wife is smart. That's pretty selfish. But i bought their decision, selfish or not, and the way that the whole sinking sub scene recalled the flooding of The Looking Glass, Sun and Jin's drifting hands calling to mind Charlie's drifting body, gave me chills.

Some of you have let me know about Devin Faraci's new column on Chud, which apparently bemoans the circularity of the show's storytelling, among other things. Tonight, Sawyer's dialogue affirmed for us explicitly that this circularity is very much intentional on the part of Lost's writers. The Castaways have been traveling in karmic circles for six seasons. Tonight, those circles were renewed and shattered at once.

There's so much here - Widmore's seeming efforts to protect the Castaways, Anti-Locke's true plan, Jack's revisitation of his dynamite conversion and the failure of James Ford to trust, Kate's increasingly-serious wounding, the bleeding of John Locke's consciousness, Anthony Cooper's fate and the reversal of off-Island Jack and Locke's positions of Men of Science and Faith, Bernard's creepy-yet-warm knowingness, so similar to Charlie and Desmond.

At this point all of my Island questions are decidedly secondary to my concern for the fates of these characters. And that is, to me, the true feat of tonight's episode.


We're hours away from The Candidate, tonight's new episode of Lost. Loved having a week off, so to speak, but it's great to be back in the saddle again. So, let's recap where we left off: Sawyer and the castaways are on Hydra Island, and they've just been taken prisoner/positioned for execution by Widmore's team of surly Insurance Salesmen. Jack took a literal leap of faith and returned to the Island, where we promptly did his best "man near-exploded by a rocket" impression and was rescuedby none other than Anti-Locke. Sayid's still hanging around with the Man In Black, but it looks as though he's not following orders quite as zombirifically as he has been. Does this mean that Desmond's now roaming the Island? Still stuck in the Well? Have Richard, Ben and Miles made it back to Dharmaville yet? Will Ben end up damning himself? Will Jack figure out what he's meant to do? Will the timelines converge? Will it all be revealed as a Second Snake? The result of the MiB's escape? Will Widmore do some third party Castaway slaughtering? Will Frank Lapidus develop a purpose, besides being the resident quipster when Sawyer's not around?

With just five hours left (!) can Lost stick it's landing? And will tonight be interesting/emotional/exciting enough to distract me from the fact that next week brings what's arguably the most anticipated episode of the season, other than the finale itself?

Leave your thoughts, hopes, comments, criticisms and predictions right here. I'll be in after the show airs at 9 pm EST to give my InstaReaction. Enjoy the episode!

67 comments:

  1. Morse - Glad you are back in the saddle. I have missed the banter we all do each week.

    I can't even begin to speak about tonight's episode because I am so excited. I just really hope that they don't use tonight as a set up episode for next week. There is no time for a slow episode. I also hope they can stick the landing.

    May the 4th be with you!

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  2. Hey Morse, just wondered what you thought of Devin's latest THUD article over on chud? Because I for one think he's missed the point there - the flashforward and oceanic 6 storyline was a great way to prevent the show from getting stale and although overall we're right back to where we were at the end of season 3 (ie with everyone back on the island again), it's been a hell of a ride watching it all play out! Thanks for the column, I'll miss it when it's gone!

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  3. @Anonymous: Yeah, I think Devin's missing the point, too. This is a show about loops, repetition, circles, etc.

    Also, there's the point that Morse makes time and again: that this is also a show about communion. The Losties had it, and most of them tried again and again to leave the island thus breaking up the communion. The last three seasons have been about trying to get these people back together. That's where the dramatic and thematic tension comes from. That's what we all want, and that's what our characters need. "Live together, die alone" ...

    And, for me anyway, the introduction of MIB and Jacob have elevated the show to a level I always thought it was just hinting at.

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  4. May I add that Devin is has pretty much rendered himself null and void. He's a complete douche, and I don't give anything he chooses to write a second thought, especially anything LOST related.

    As far as tonight's episode is concerned: I obviously hope it's awesome. I loved The Last Recruit, but we don't need another set-up episode right now, we need to really start getting to the meat of The End.

    So bring on the revelations, LOST, I'm ready! :-)

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  5. I am nervous about this episode. No one important has died yet, died permanently at least. We are due for some major deaths I think. That scares me. I just hope Sun and Jin can make it till the end.

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  6. a.k.a.

    "The Mystery of Devin Faraci's Popularity (or how I learned to stop caring and just watch him bomb)"

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  7. Hey, all.

    Less than an hour to go....

    I have not read Devin's article, and to be honest, I probably won't. With four episodes left, I've got no interest in what sounds like a premature autopsy. Devin hasn't enjoyed Lost for several seasons, and so the value of that autopsy isn't much to me personally. That's with due respect to him as a critic - he's an intelligent writer.

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  8. I hate Lost. It's official.

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  9. Is that it for Sayid?

    Jin and Sun had my fiancée and I blubbering. So embarrassing ...

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  10. I cried harder at this episode than I cried when KU lost in the Big Dance this year.

    Way bad.

    For some reason, I thought Flocke would just 'know' when they were all dead. I didn't think they could trick him. Wonder what he's about to do!

    At least Desmond is alive, that's the silver lining for me. ... The only silver lining, this episode broke my heart :(

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  12. I have read Devin where he contradicts himself in the same article and I understand that you can't say much about him since everyone seems to hold him in such high regard at CHUD, but he is not a talented writer and as a guest on G4, all he does is giggle and sweat, so who cares what he thinks about Lost? Tonight was a heartbreaker in the best sense of the word. I'm glad Sayid turned from the darkside at the last minute and died a hero. Sawyer need to shut the hell up and do as he's told, because everyone who died on that sub's blood is on his hands. Sun and Jin....just knew that was doomed. Don't know why, just had a feeling. My only hope now is that Desmond and Penny make it. It's nice to see Anti-Locke show his true colors and be the BIG BAD that the series needs in the last act of the show. Brilliant.

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  13. Oh MY Loss For Words! I really am speechless. So much so that I had to delete my last post as it didn't make any sense.

    Colonel - My fiance and I were also blubbering idiots as well. Frank, Sayid, Jin and Sun ... R.I.P. You will be missed.

    So much to talk about and I am sure Morse is having real fun with the Insta-reaction! I need to re-watch this one!

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  14. That's right! Thanks, Darth Sillynous for pointing out that Frank died too. I know he wasn't a major character but he's been on the show for three years and he was a major character to himself and the losties with him, so it's sad to see him die. His last words were priceless too: Ah, hell.

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  15. Ahhhh ... but DID Lapidus die?

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  16. ABC to extend "Lost" finale by a half hour! Via The Hollywood Reporter: http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/2010/05/abc-expands-lost-finale-by-extra-halfhour.html

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  17. God I hope it's not just another 30 minutes of commercials for shows that are NOT lost.

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  18. My heart would be broken...if their deaths meant we would never see them again. This is the problem with the flash sideways world. We're going to see these characters alive again. It's almost like they get a do over. As sad as the scenes are, knowing we will still see them in one form or another kind of robs the scenes of their impact.

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  19. I beg to differ ANON. I still cried like a baby, especially when Sun just stopped trying to get away. Seemingly giving up. Circling back to their native Korean tongue as they started on this show. It was very tragic. In fact, as my fiance weeps behind me as I type these words, I cannot talk about it any further right now.

    I know what you are saying though, that we do get to see these characters again on the show, but they really are not the same characters AT ALL, as they had completely different life experiences that we are not all to familiar with.

    I agree with ya Morse, too much to process at this point in the evening. I will rewatch tomorrow. I can't wait for the discussions at the water cooler.

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  20. Love this season- a little bit of wasted time this episode that could have been much better spent.
    1. Locke's father and Bernard- unnecessary. Did these people get contractual appearances? Jack REALLY did not need to go, which meant visiting his DENTIST (accident that bad and he could not find records anywhere but the dentist???) and then later to his vegetable father? REALLY not necessary- I GET THE CONTRAST but still over kill when you have this much going on.
    2. Where in the hell are Miles, Ben, and Richard? Presumably, there are two whole days since their last appearance?
    3. Back to wasted time: sun and Jin's death. Moving yes, overly long... yes...
    Was I upset? Yes, because they were shortchanged. But beyond that, the footage of the sub sinking seemed to last interminably long...
    4. Hurley was amazing. Breaking down hearing that Sun and Jin did not make it. Just devastating! He truly is our stand in.
    Jack's reaction... could he replace Jacob? Hell no, this man cares too much

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  21. I think Sayid's death bothered me more than Sun & Jin's. S&J became such minor characters in the last few seasons and their big reunion kinda got its thunder stolen immediately by the rest of that particular episode. And then they died choosing to leave their daughter an orphan. I love my wife, but even pinned in a flooding sub, she'd still manage to get one foot loose to kick my ass off that sub and go raise our daughter.

    As for Sayid's infection, I'm guessing Desmond's got the ability to wipe it out somehow. That whole "don't let him talk to you or it will already be too late" kinda thing Jacob and the MiB have. Glad to see he was able to redeem himself.

    As for Frank, if he's dead, I'm not bothered by it much. He seemed like a character with potential, but he never got developed to a point where I cared.

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  22. :( This was definitely a heavy episode. I had a lump in my throat and was on the verge of tears when Sun and Jin were about go. (I probably would have flat out cried if I hadn't been watching with some of my loud and rather insensitive friends.)

    Sayid's death was good for me. He redeemed himself from being a soulless zombie for much of this season, and gave his life trying to save everyone else. I saw Frank get hit by the door, but I didn't really process until after the episode was over that he didn't make it to the surface, and had died too.

    I, too, am a little irritated by the flash-sideways "cheapening" the deaths of our favorite characters in some respects. While they are most certainly NOT the characters we know and love, it's still there. :\ I'm really not sure what to make of that, and although an eventual crossover to the flash-world seems likely, I'm not sure I like that as the finite conclusion.

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  23. Oh, also, I was disappointed by the sideways storyline. It seemed a little lackluster, especially compared to the last episode's multi-centric one. The only cool reveal was the Anthony Cooper situation, but even so, it seemed to drag out unnecessarily.

    And Miles, Ben, and Richard, hmm. They sure are taking their sweet time getting explosives.

    And as for those criticizing Sun and Jin for leaving their kid an orphan, I can really understand their mentality at the time. They were literally JUST reunited after 3 years of separation. Jin has never met his daughter, and therefore obviously feels more emotional attachment to his wife, whom he thought he would never see again. And in the midst of an explosion and rapidly sinking sub, I'm sure neither of them were thinking too clearly, to boot.

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  24. a show about loops repetition, circles?

    Isn't that what locke used to characterize the movements of someone who is "lost" in season 1/2?

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  25. I hope they don't hit the 'loop' and repetitions thing too hard to wrap this show up. I've been figuring it'd be very dark tower-esque but I thought the ending of that series was pretty weak. I'm not content with this 'it's all about the ride' cop-out when storytellers can't create good endings. That's because writing good stories is hard! Tolkien did it! Stephen King, not so much.

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  26. Quite an affecting episode. Part of me wants to see whether Jack's theory about leaving the bomb alone would have worked. I'm thinking it would have. I believed him when he said it, much more than I believed him last year when he said Jughead would reset the timeline (even though he may have been sort-of right there).

    As far as the deaths go, I thought they were effective (ie, they had a point) but hurried. Lost has somewhat of a history in this regard. Many of the deaths in the past have been both hurried and without a point. I don't criticize the whole "death without point" concept, as long as that IS the point you are trying to get across.

    Sayid's death was noble and a fitting end for the character, though I agree with you, Morse, that I want more explanation as to why he did the things he did. Was the infection something real, or just a state of mind? Doc Jensen (whose writing I have a love-hate relationship with) has some words from Cuse and Lindelof detailing their thoughts on Sayid's final character motivations, which are interesting, but not very illuminating.

    As for Jin and Sun, I agree their death was moving. I also agree that they were abandoning Ji Yeon to be an orphan and to be raised by Sun's awful parents, and that's not very cool.

    Another source, TWOP's interview with Daniel Dae Kim, throws some cryptic hints in that we maybe haven't seen the final wrap-up of their story, but doesn't expound. I for one hope Ji Yeon's fate isn't left up in the air.

    It took me until this morning to realize the import of Sayid's last words to Jack. "It's going to be you, Jack." Which I initially took to mean, "it's going to be you, Jack, who survives long enough to free Desmond." Combine that mis-interpretation with Sideways Jack calling Sideways Locke a candidate, and I thought we were being primed for Locke's resurrection. I hope we don't see this, honestly, as I'm not a big fan of character resurrection.

    But after thinking about it some more, I think what Sayid meant was that Jack is going to be The Candidate, Jacob's replacement. I have always liked this idea best. Locke never seemed like much of a leader to me. Morse brought this up several times during the rewatch. Jack has always seemed the one meant to lead, he just needed to wake up.

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  27. "At this point all of my Island questions are decidedly secondary to my concern for the fates of these characters. And that is, to me, the true feat of tonight's episode."

    This is what Lindleof and Cuse have been saying about wrapping things up: What matters for the characters. After last night, I couldn't agree more. So maybe some things aren't necessarily cleared up by the time the show ends, but in a way wouldn't that run counter to the show's celebration of both science and faith? Both are engineered to give answers, but both acknowledge that not everything can be answered, at least not yet. What's important is how the characters find THEIR answers.

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  28. This episode - while amazing - broke my heart.

    Still processing it. I'm a little stunned.

    Damn.

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  29. I totally think Lapidus was completely extraneous this season. In fact he hasn't had a meaningful moment since season 5 when he got the first peak at Locke's corpse. I hoped he would at least get to die in the cockpit of Ajira, or be pulled away by Widmore for some other purpose. He had no arc, and i think Lost wasted an entertaining actor. But with the sub gone, the Ajira plane may be back in the picture. Wonder how Ben, Alpert, and Miles are doing?

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  30. Still stunned and there is definitely a solemn mood here at work today. Still processing all the details. "Its going to be you Jack" rings out in my head as Sayid's last words. A lot can be taken by this, but by this episode's title, I am taking it only one way. Jack, after all, came to all the right conclusions in the sub. I also believe that if Sawyer had not touched the bomb, it would not have exploded. By rule, MiB cannot kill the candidates himself, but I knew he needed them all dead. Been barking that for a while.

    Sayid's redeeming act makes me believe that the "infection" is nothing more than influence. At his end, Sayid was infected by the words of Desmond. I think this is the only explanation we can surmise from the word "infection". Sorry Morse.

    I also thought that the sideways off-islandidate (coining this phrase) story went a little slow, but I was ok with that, it gave me a moment to process everything I was seeing on island. I needed the pace change for my blood pressure.

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  31. Some questions, one about character/plot motivation, another about screen captures:

    Why did Widmore need Jin and no one else? Just to throw off Flocke's game?

    Was Kate's name in the cave and crossed off? I seem to have missed that.

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  32. Speaking of screencaps, I'm trying to find a good one of Jack just before/as he's shoving Anti-Locke into the water. If anyone spots one can you email me the link?

    Erik, Kate's name was on the Lighthouse Wheel, but was apparently omitted from the cave due to an editing snafu.

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  33. Yes Kate's name was crossed off in the cave. I believe Jin was taken only because Whidmore found Sun's camera on the plane and maybe felt it would be easier to turn Jin to his cause.

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  34. I'm very intrigued to see how Sawyer is going to deal with the guilt of having killed his friends, or if he is at all. He was very quick to condemn Jack at the start of this season, I'm wondering if he'll acknowledge screwing up on this. I know a bunch of you guys think this too, but I have absolutely loved Jack's arc over this season.

    Just phenomenal television.

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  35. I stand corrected. After reading your last comment Morse, I did some research. Kate's name was not in the cave, at least in view of the camera. However, it was in the Lighthouse, as you mentioned, as number 51. It was NOT crossed off. Weird.

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  36. Wonder if sideways is a minigame (aka game within a game).

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  37. Forgive the wikipedia quote:

    "An infection is the detrimental colonization of a host organism by a foreign species. In an infection, the infecting organism seeks to utilize the host's resources to multiply, usually at the expense of the host. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning of the host."

    Flocke infects people at the expense of the host to "multiply" his numbers. In this case, to gather people around him.

    If that's all an infection is, could Flocke's words have infected Sayid? Kierkegaard had some stuff to say about silly "nonsensical Christian optimism."

    Again, forgive the wikipedia, but I'm too lazy to write it out myself:

    "Kierkegaard became acquainted with Arthur Schopenhauer's writings quite late in his life. Kierkegaard felt Schopenhauer was an important writer, but disagreed on almost every point Schopenhauer made. In several journal entries made in 1854, a year before he died, Kierkegaard spoke highly of Schopenhauer:

    'In the same way that one disinfects the mouth during an epidemic so as not to be infected by breathing in the poisonous air, one might recommend students who will have to live in Denmark in an atmosphere of nonsensical Christian optimism, to take a little dose of Schopenhauer's Ethic in order to protect themselves against infection from that malodourous twaddle.'"

    I'd imagine we could simply remove the term "Christian" and observe that "nonsensical optimism" is exactly what Flocke offers: For Sayid it's a return to the [dead] woman he still loves, and for Claire it's Aarron.

    Kierks is suggesting that an idea can infect someone as much as anything else and that optimism is as dangerous an idea as anything.

    I'd have to look into it further (again, too lazy) but this seems to suggest that the answers we crave about the infection have already been answered. The Infection, like so many of the terrible things that occur in the world, begin with an idea, spread, manipulate, control, and all of that other stuff. In this case, Flocke's words are more dangerous because of the powers he has at his disposal, namely his knowledge of each character's psychological weaknesses.

    I'm sure a bit more digging might help connect some of these ideas to existentialism and whatnot, but what we're left with is what Kurt Vonnegut provides as Kilgore Trout's epitaph in "Breakfast of Champions" (a novel almost as good as the very influential (to Lost) Slaughter House Five).

    "We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane."
    -Kilgore Trout's

    Sayid was not healthy. He was infected by bad ideas.

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  38. JDR22 Here...

    I'm still processing this episode as well, but I can tell you that I loved it. It was an expertly constructed time bomb that pulled a fake-out on us, the audience. Awesome.

    I didn't feel like the Sideways dragged at all. And why are some people saying that the Anthony Cooper and Bernard scenes were unnecessary? First of all, we haven't seen the rest of the season to see if they're leading somewhere; and second, they were scenes that enriched the experience for me as a viewer. Touching, relevant, and absolutely necessary.

    I am devastated by this episode, but totally love it at the same time. I re-watched the episode up until the big sub finish, which I'll wait to re-experience with my wife; it's just too much to watch over-and-over, I may end up a blubbering mess all day.

    This is one for the best-of list, yet I have a feeling it's only the beginning.

    Finally, if it's true that we're getting a 2.5 hour finale...OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!

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  39. JDR22 Here...

    Another quick thought I'd like to add regarding Jin's decision to die with Sun:

    1) He knew that the MiB tried to blow them up. If he leaves the sub to try and reunite with Ji-Yeon, it's more than likely that the MiB would hunt him down and kill him.

    2) Even if he ultimately escapes the MiB, how will he get off of the Island? He knows the plane won't work, and that the sub is sunk.

    He made a decision that I feel many of us would make in that situation. He's been waiting years to be with Sun again, and said he would never leave her. The chances of him getting off the Island are so small at that point that all he can think about is staying with her to the end.

    This makes sense to me, and it makes it all the more tragic. *sniff*

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  40. Lon,

    That's very well stated and well laid-out - thanks so much for taking the time to post it. I've suggested that "infection" boils down to an infection of ideas (back in The Last Recruit, I think), and I think that what you've posited here is very much on-point. I love the way that you've shown how that notion can be logically tied back to the philosophers and thinkers that Lost has introduced. I'll be crediting you in the column for this week as I ramble my way through my thoughts on this stuff.

    That said, my complaint is broader, and basically amounts to feeling as though the superstitious/creepy aspect of infection was so played up throughout the show via Rousseau, the Swan mural, the hazmat suits, the inoculations, Sayid's resurrection, testing and diagnosis, and Rousseau's beachside stand off, that the idea of "thought infection" needs to be confirmed or denied or in some way addressed within the series itself in order to make sense of the past and to make sense of what we've learned.

    Otherwise, all of that wonderfully eerie window dressing essentially means nothing. Speaking for myself, I need a connection between Robert's attempted matricide/infanticide and Sayid's condition, or an explanation as to why or how they are different.

    Put a different way: I see no reason at all for the writers to have "infected" Sayid in such a wildly-fantastic manner if the point of it all was to show him struggling between what he wants (Nadia) and what he's willing to do to get it - unless it was also to try and answer the notion of "infection" generally. And so far, in my eyes, they haven't done so.

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  41. Thanks Lon for elaborating. That was where I was heading when I mentioned it above:

    "Sayid's redeeming act makes me believe that the "infection" is nothing more than influence. At his end, Sayid was infected by the words of Desmond. I think this is the only explanation we can surmise from the word "infection". Sorry Morse."

    I didn't have time to do the research myself as I am at work :(

    I agree with you Morse that it does seem different than the infection of Dannielle's crew and gives no answers to why all the Dharma haz mat suits, inoculations, etc., unless that was just a mind game to keep them from venturing out of the hatches.

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  42. Morse:

    I have a feeling we'll get an answer to the "infection" question next week. It seems so integral to the Smokey mythos, and maybe the MIB himself turned out the way he is because of such the "infection."

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  43. Good thoughts, guys. I hope there's some form of explanation. Unlike folks like "fishbiscuit" and Devin, I'm still firmly on-board and loving the ride but I'd be dishonest if I pretended that the way this element of the show has been handled doesn't bother me at this point.

    I know three things, and three things only about next week's episode (none of which should be considered a spoiler): (1) It is called "Across the Sea." (2) It focuses on Jacob and the MiB. (3) It features Alison Janney (!) in a pivotal role (Janney's a wonderful actress).

    That episode should generate at least 1.21 gigawatts of electricity across the internet, allowing all of us to time travel back to the start of the show and experience it again, anew. Or something like that.

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  44. @JDR22 RE: cooper/bernard scenes
    Cooper- Touching, yes. Relevant? How? Other than to show Jack reverting to his old self? Enough time was spent with this in the hospital and Helen to address it- I realize it was partially to setup the Locke revelation in the alt that he hurt his daddy... but it felt very much like they were attempting to shoehorn the appearance in. Other than the rumored Locke wedding... why? Necessary? Even less so was the Bernard scene...
    it had the feel for sure of just having him there to have him there. Someone else pointed out elsewhere how crappy is Sawyer as a detective that he could not find Anthony Cooper but Jack found him after Bernard just gave him a name? Realize, it is a nitpick, but with this little time left for the show, they need to economize a bit and those scenes felt long (as many are indicating on here and elsewhere) if not extraneous...

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  45. JDR22 Here...

    @Todd Lyden,

    I feel that the Anthony Cooper scene was relevant and necessary to not only explain how Locke was in a wheelchair in the Sideways, but to show why he was so unwilling to have the spinal surgery. This is vital information, and it struck an emotional core with me.

    The Bernard scene was important because it directed Jack to Anthony Cooper, and further displayed characters from Oceanic 815 recognizing/connecting with each other. Plus, it was great to see Bernard again. Again, this is vital stuff to me as a viewer, and I found it all necessary.

    Now, you don't have to agree with me, but let's leave it at that. We can agree to disagree. :-)

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  46. JDR,

    Don't you know that the internet runs on a precise mixture of Spite and Bitter Feelings? Agree to disagree? Are you mad?!

    I very much appreciate the fact that folks keep a civil tone when you're here. I have zero interest in the sorts of "conversations" that seem to be the norm among online Lost fans at the moment - conversations that amount to "Lost sucks now, and you're a moron for liking it," followed by "Oh yeah? YOU'RE the moron!" Rinse. Repeat.

    It's stupid, frankly, and it's beneath many, if not all of us.

    So, thanks to all of you. You're the reason why this lil' blog continues to be a drama-free oasis.

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  47. First, no need to give me ANY credit. The idea was one generated/stolen from this kick ass blog. I'm actually not so sure I'd be enjoying Lost as much as I am without you Mr. Morse!!!

    I was simply trying to tie the infection to the themes proposed by your columns. Your extraordinary dedication has melted my brain over and over. Seriously, the fucking energy you must have. My research took about 45 seconds. I'm lazy.

    Anyway, I think you're right. Finding a complete answer isn't going to happen. One of the many sacrifices that the Island demands is not getting everything we'd like. Which I am super f-ing fine with. When has a show ever thrown more ideas at its audience? Hell, this is the most literate show ever.

    BUT!!! I think some of the items you list aren't actually plot holes that are explained by the “infection” proper. That is, hazmat suits and the like are mentioned in the same breath as the infection but are not tied to it.

    The idea of infection becomes an hegemonic device, where Dharma peeps assert power over Others. In this case, the hazmat suits and inoculations are a tool to keep Desmond bound to the Swan, are a tool of control. (Did Claire take "real" medicine? Or was Julia controlling them? Can't remember.) The irrational attempt to murder your wife and child? That's just bad ideas planted by MiB. However, we could also argue that the notion of infection (and our inability to rationalize science and the fantastic as truths that co-exist) is something the MiB has allowed to "spread." The infection is misinterpreted by the empirical folks on the Island as something "real." When, in truth, it's simply an "idea." The best thing about ideas is that they're pretty contagious, especially if they play off our fears. So, Rousseau simply tried to explain her husband’s attempt to murder her the only way she knew how, “My husband must have been sick.” How was her husband “infected?” Damn, if some dude stood before me and he was a big pile of smoke and he had “super powers,” I’d believe he was a god. In general, god’s seem pretty wise because they’re not bond by the same set of physics (or are just better equipped at manipulating them).

    As for Sayid’s resurrection, I got nothing. Maybe MiB needed him for his plan and so brought him back. What the test discovered was that Sayid was vulnerable to the MiB’s “ideas.” Again, super unsatisfying.

    The above isn’t pieced out very well, but I’d imagine that the infection never really existed. If it did, why didn’t anyone ever get sick in the sense that we seemed to believe it might? Dharma folks didn’t walk around wearing masks, neither did the Others, neither did our 815ers. There was no infection, but there was a need to explain the behavior of Others and “infection” worked for a little while.

    Also, I never brought it up, but when Locke and Sun are being wheeled into the hospital beside each other, does he smile after she says she knows him? I saw it at about 5:35 in ep 13

    Flocke!!!!!

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  48. JDR22 Here...

    @MMorse,

    Apparently I didn't get the memo. ;-)

    I never understood the whole "you don't agree with me, so I have to hate you" mentality. I try to avoid it, which is why I avoid most LOST related sites.

    I'm also apparently one of the few fans to give LOST's sixth season a chance before berating it. I am genuinely enjoying this season, and I'm not ashamed to say so.

    And not to rub it in, Todd Lyden, but I just re-watched those scenes: I can't find a thing wrong with them. Sorry. :-)

    Keep up the good work, MMorse. I look forward to your write-up for The Candidate.

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  49. damn it! I wish I read my post before I posted them. Forgive misspellings and sentences that started in one direction and then forgot where they were headed.

    Also, just read Darth's comment. If he and I are coming to the same conclusions, I'm pretty sure we found that road because of MMorse. So, Darth, sorry if it appeared I was poaching. Hadn't read what you wrote. But if I had, I'd probably have tried to take credit anyway.

    So far as this blog is concerned, I read it because there are ideas here and the only place ideas get a shot is when they're encouraged. The Other blogs are just a bunch of people trying to "out do" Others. What makes this blog especially cool is that we get to react to insightful ideas, which is, like, 100% better. Hell, I never post, I just like reading what you guys and gals have to say.

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  50. I've got a feeling Kate might be Jacob's long con on Smokey. Between the fertility situation and Smokey's potential mother issues, I think that the mother aspect will play a part in the resolution of Lost.

    Just like Jacob withholding the Candidate aspect from Richard, I think he's dangling Jack in front of every one like he's the chosen one while keeping his wild card (Kate-the definitive wild card) seemingly out of play.

    I think back to how Kate defined herself to "unconscious" Sawyer/Wayne(?) in the season 2 episode,"What Kate Did". Torn between the relatively positive(Sam Austen/Jack Shephard/Jacob) and relatively negative (Wayne/Sawyer/Smokey, she's always dangled in the middle of making any allegience.

    Couple the lack of maternity and fertility on the island with Kate's desire to be a mother(see "I Do"), I think Jack might make the ultimate sacrifice as "Father" to the Island while Kate makes the choice to become "Mother" to the Island and restore the maternal aspects to it by finally making the "Ultimate Choice" what ever that may be.

    Mother to the dead soulds of the island and mother to the new life that comes from her becoming the new "Jacob". The Smoke Monster thinking she's crossed off will never see it coming. And to think that this choice may have been set up for her since Season 2, gets me excited. The writer's have to be aware of all the misogynistic claims being lobbied at them. This may be their "Long Con" with the audience.

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  51. I might be turning into a Sayid-esque zombie, because I didn't feel anything in relation to the deaths. My reaction was something akin to, "Well, that just happened." I think part of that is due to my expectation that Hurley would die this episode (I knew someone was getting killed, and Jorge Garcia is scheduled to be on Kimmel tonight, so I figured it was him).

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  52. @MMorse- agreed- although most sites I read with regularity are not overly hostile for the most part... thanks for providing a great literate discussion
    @JDR22 - my point from the get go was to economize the time a bit. As others are indicating here, and else where, the scenes seemed long at least. Bernard's appearance, while nice, still reeked of a "we need to work him in just because" kind of thing. I know what they were going for, just felt unnecessary to me (and others apparently, but hey to each his own). Then again, I definitely felt the same way about Bernard and Rose in the first season, so if the writers were trying to close that circle... mission accomplished.
    As for the Cooper scene, this could have been just as easily handled else where or when. Still had that feel of, actor = available, let's shoehorn an appearance since we mentioned him earlier. Would Locke's hurt over what he did been as meaningful? I dunno, considering most people are LIKING Cooper situation... it's almost cruel that they showed it. Also, and again this is just me... the way they presented it and Locke's speech to Jack felt like it went a bit against the setup of the Alt in "The Substitute." Admittedly, they left it open, but the writing and acting seemed to imply he still had the yearn to walk, remember how he pleaded with her in the bathroom? He was tired of imagining life without being paralyzed.
    Back from the digression- you defended only those two scenes, but to me several went long, were unnecessary etc...
    Check my other posts, no one loves this season any more than me... even with my nitpicks

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  53. Seriously. This Island WILL KILL YOU if you're not white. Think about it. Make some charts.

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  54. I've been a follower of this column since it started getting posted on Chud.com (somewhere around the Season 3 Rewatch), so don't take this as some sort of troller-prank.

    I thought people might be interested in a still I managed to grab from the promo for "Across the Sea" (Episode 15), the next episode. It may be spoilerific, so be warned.

    SPOILERS BE AHEAD!
    http://tinyurl.com/2bxbhcr

    Anyway...wtf? What's with those eyes?




    SPOILERS BE GONE!

    I had a thought while rewatching this episode: The Man in BLocke (I'm trademarking that now) seemed to be physically aware of the sub's sinking and of the death of some of the castaways (or the not-death[?]). Perhaps, as more candidates die and he's able to come closer to achieving his goal (whatever it might be), he comes closer to some other physical form.......or something. Just a thought.

    @Anonymous: L. O. L. SERIOUSLY...Eko, Michael, Ana Lucia, Paolo, Nikki, Sayid, Jin, Sun...can't think of any others. I'm sticking to Castaways here. Exceptions: Boone, Shannon, Libby (and potentially Nikki since I put her in the non-exception category b/c of her last name).

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  55. "This island will kill you if you're not white"...really? Lost has one of the most diverse shows, and anyone can die, it's not a matter of race at all. As far as major characters go, it seems pretty even across the board to me. Besides that, the characters race has absolutely no deeper meaning behind their respective deaths and cheapens the emotions and the show itself to basically say: Look at those racist creators of Lost, this show isn't worth my time. And I thought that the readers on this site were above such petty outlashes. I have always felt that the deaths of the characters were what best served the story of the show, regardless of race or anything else, but I digress.

    As far as the infection goes, I was thinking on what Morse, Lon, and Darth have stated about an "infection of the mind", and it seems to fit in with this season. Regardless of how Sayid came back from the dead, when he came back, he was told that he was evil, and then the MiB slowly affirmed that notion in his head. This lead to Sayid becoming the MiB's right hand man, until Desmond was able to point out the poisoning influence of the MiB's words. Could this be what Claire and other characters have been talking about when they say "if you let him talk, he's won"? I just think that in Sayid and Claire's case that it makes sense as a poisoning of the mind by the MiB, leading to them acting irrationally and selfishly. From what we've seen this season, we know that MiB is incredibly charismatic and convincing, so it's not too surprising that he could basically infect someone's mind. That being said, I will be slightly disappointed if that's all the "explanation" that we get from the show-runners. The infection is a theme in that has been running in the show since practically day one.

    Morse I feel the same way as you do about the people who post on this website, and I want to say the same thing to you all. Thank you all for being civil and acting like adults. It's sad that it's a rarity to see that happen on a website, and that's one of the main reasons I love to read and post on this site, the other reason being that Morse is a literary badass. So once again, thanks to Morse for the awesome recaps and to everyone else for the enjoyable discussions.

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  56. While Claire was sleeping in the jungle and Christian approached her, did he say anything to her? I ask because "if he speaks it is already too late" suggests his sickness is transmitted like wormtongue's bad advice. However, it is my memory that she just got up and walked off without a word.

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  57. Re: The "not white" thing:

    I'd agree with whatever anonymous up there seems to be insinuating if the non-white characters were merely "red shirts" or uninteresting and undeveloped. That many people wept at the death of the Kwons proves that "Lost" is the rare show that develops and respects characters who happen to be minorities (from the U.S. point of view, anyway; we all know Koreans aren't minorities in S. Korea and Iraqis aren't minorities in Iraq) to the point where the audience has an emotional attachment to them. It should also be noted, that although "Lost" works in a decidedly pulp template, the main characters, white or not, aren't all completely sympathetic or endearing at all times (well, with the exception of possibly Hurley). In short, they're people: men, women, whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, etc.

    You also have to consider that many of the "red shirts" or Others who were killed throughout the course of the show have turned out to be white. And many of them weren't even granted any kind of character development. So is "Lost" racist against white people then?

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  58. @Lon - No worries, as the end nears, I am sure we are all going to be coming to the same conclusion one way or another.

    @ Morse - I agree! As I had stated before this is the best blog on the net, not just for your literary insight, but for all the people that have joined and/or posted in an adult fashion. I believe it is mostly due to the high caliber of your ramblings that is probably over the heads of those that would comment "Lost sucks now" because they do not have the ability to read into, or elaborate as to why it "sucks now". Thank you all for helping to make this the best Lost blog ever!

    @Ninja - interesting idea. I think we all have overlooked Kate and maybe wished that the bullet she took was fatal. Great wild card theory!

    @Todd - I somewhat agree with you but, I needed those scenes to be a little slow for me so that I could process the other scenes I saw. I think that if those scenes moved as fast, we all would have missed content.

    @Anon - Lost racist? really?? All walks have died, and there are still "non-white" people still alive.

    @Hi-Ho - Agreed! The MiB is mostly convincing as he takes the form of someone you already know and trust. This makes it a lot easier for him to "infect". As for more explanation, I would be surprised if we get more of an answer unfortunately. What doesn't add up to me is what Dannielle's husband could have made him attempt to kill her and the unborn Alex.

    @Erik - I believe when Claire woke up, she freaked out and said "let go of my baby". I know Christian spoke, I just cannot recall the specifics of what was said.

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  59. @ninja

    Hot damn. If that's not exactly what's happening with Kate, it seems that something is happening. it's been real easy not to care about her character arc and its influence on the larger themes. I wonder how it might work if Jack is forced to choose over her health or his own. He's always been willing to make sacrifices for her... But, this is, sadly, the speculation game, which is, perhaps, the most fun. Especially if we consider what he death might mean to Jack and the implications of that on the off-Island stuff.

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  60. JDR22 Here...

    @Todd - Fair enough. I can respect what you're saying, though it didn't bother me as much. I feel Darth had a good point: the slower pace of some early scenes helped balance the intensity of the last half of the episode.

    ....

    After a re-watch, I realize how heavy the episode is. This is not a bad thing, but makes it difficult to view over and over in close proximity. Sort of like watching Titanic or Schindler's List too often: they're great films, but wear you down, and drain you emotionally.

    I also noticed a few editing anomalies (one a minor continuity error, and others just personal taste), yet the episode remains incredibly strong overall. I'll just need to put some distance between now and future viewings.

    One thing in particular I'm pondering: What is the significance of the music box? Does it connect Christian and Aaron in some way?

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  61. @ Mr. Woo - Sorry I forgot you in my last comment ... Locke's eyes in the promo for next week are from Claire's dream back on Season 1's episode "Raised by Another". One eye was black, the other was white. At that time, Claire was still pregnant and having nightmares about giving Aaron up. We find out in that episode that she visited the psychic.

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  62. @JDR - I just saw your post. My thought on the music box was the song being played. It was the same song that Claire sang to Aaron on the beach, and later Kate sang to him after they left the island. So in a sense, you are right about the connection.

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  63. Damn it. Your instareaction needs a spoiler warning before the bit about 4 people dying! I read too far for my own good :o)

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  64. JDR22 Here...

    @Darth - I thought it may have been "Catch a Falling Star", but didn't recognize the tune from the music box.

    I wonder if there isn't more to it than that. It was a pretty long scene built around the music box discussion. Sure, it also set-up their 815 connection, Christian's fate in the Sideways, Claire staying with Jack, and their bond as Family (which gives the following scenes more weight); but I can't help thinking it's more significant.

    If not, I'm okay with it, I just have a feeling (which I've learned never to put too much stock in). :-)

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  65. Wow, just... wow. Goodbye Sun, Jin, Sayid and Frank. That was pretty hardcore, Lost. The only thing that kinda bothered me was Sun and Jin talking English to each other. Except for that, this episode was well worth the wait. And can we now officially mark death by explosion and death by drowning to be the most common causes for death on and around the island? Well, and meeting Smokey in pissed-off mode, of course.

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  66. @D.Sillynous: THANKS! I thought it was a bit much for LOST. Just got me very excited...which would seem the point of the promos. LOL.

    As for the music box, I kept wondering whether or not I had seen a music box previously in Claire's Hut. I haven't been able to find a screencap of this, but I felt like I had seen a music box of similar size, shape, and shade as set dressing in her hut. I'm not sure though. Perhaps, the ClaiRousseau crossover thing has melted my brain. Even if there was a music box in her hut, that doesn't necessarily mean these are the same music box. Perhaps there isn't any significance beyond the thematic weight of the song itself and its suggestive connection to Rousseau (via her music box which Sayid fixes for her).

    @Morse: "At this point all of my Island questions are decidedly secondary to my concern for the fates of these characters. And that is, to me, the true feat of tonight's episode." This thoroughly reminded me of my reaction to the final season of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Around the time of that show's "Coup D'Etat" Arc, I realized that at such a late stage in the show, all bets were off concerning the fates of the characters. At some point, you could feel the weight of the story overtake the will of the characters...and it got worrisome, VERY worrisome. I'm at that point now, what with the death of the Kwons and Sayid rendering nobody safe. I totally share your sentiment. I just want my core group of favorite castaways to make it through to the end. I know that this probably means their fates are fucked as far as happy endings go, but the strength of this show is that it gets you to invest yourself so deeply in these characters as real breathing human beings that you can't help but hope for the best. Much like Jacob hoping that Ben would make a choice counter to his nature and not kill him, we find ourselves hoping characters will better their natures and not go down the typical Jackface-heavy roads we're accustomed to except of them.

    I have to leave my work computer now...so this rant must end. I love this show and will miss it too much.

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  67. @ CitizenK - I thought the Kwons speaking English to each other was weird at first, but then realized that this may have been something needed. From the inception of the show, the Kwons had a lot of trouble communicating with each other. We saw that both loved and needed one another, but always had trouble showing that. This episode explained that they had no more communication barriers left to overcome.

    @Mr Moo - Sorry for the misspelling in my last post. Yes, great catch, I didn't think of the relationship to Dannielle's music box.

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