I think this great episode of Lost can best be described as “reminiscent.” So many of the lines have alluded to, directly quoted, paraphrased, or mirrored those that were uttered earlier in the series. First you had Sawyer’s “You didn’t tell them,” which mirrored his “You told her?” to Daniel from earlier this season. Even Sun joined in on the fun, with the Ben classic, “I lied,” just moments after hitting the former Other leader with an oar.
The episode was bookended by this method, as the final line was Sayid’s guarded, “it’s nice to meet you Ben.” This reminded me of when he said to Michael, who was under the alias of Kevin Johnson, “it’s nice to meet you Kevin.”
Of course, other stuff happened this episode as well. You had to appreciate the continued ribbing and general competitive nature between Jack and Sawyer. You could tell it was a tough adjustment, right off the bat, for Jack to have to follow Sawyer’s lead. Jack jumped right into the position he was most familiar with – especially within that group – but he was simply out of his element. The highlight of the ribbing had to be when Sawyer told Jack that he handled their work assignments, only for Jack to discover that his records indicate that he’s suitable for janitorial work. Actually, this CAN be tied into my central idea: While their actions started off light hearted, almost tongue in cheek, it quickly became tense and hostile. It was very reminiscent of when Sawyer and Kate had their late night campfire game of “never have I ever” in the first season.
Also, how wonderful was Juliet’s knowing reaction when Amy revealed baby Ethan’s name (major props to my friend Eric, who correctly made that “out there” prediction).
We’ve come to expect it from him, but I love how casual and straight forward Ben can be when he makes certain statements. I particularly enjoyed his coy “how would I know?” in response to Frank asking where Jack and the others went, and his “do you want to come?” offer when he told Sun he was going back to the main island.
Speaking of Sun, she’s really developed a set, hasn’t she? I mean, she sees the Smoke Monster, yet STILL proceeds into the woods in the dead of night? And by the way, Christian is really expanding his social circle, isn’t he? This fun scene also gave us further speculation (key word) that Christian and the Smoke Monster are one in the same (Exhibit B: The smoke alarm going off in Jack’s hospital moments before Jack was visited by his dead father).
Final thought on Sun: Why was she the lone member of the Oceanic Six who didn’t flash to the island? Is it because she wasn’t a proper proxy? One could argue that Jack was himself (or Saywer), Hurley was Charlie, Kate was Claire, and Sayid was Kate. The only problem with that idea is that one could just as easily argue that Ben was Hurley (rushing to catch his flight), yet he didn’t get teleported. Nor did Locke as Christian.
And hey, here’s a thought on Frank: If you recall, Frank was initially supposed to be the pilot on the Oceanic Flight. One must wonder what would have happened differently had he been the pilot after all. Would he have been able to land, possibly saving people who could have proved helpful throughout their unbelievable island hijinx?
I have a specific assignment for everybody for us to revisit in my Revisited column next week: Lost has been, perhaps deliberately, very vague about the “rules” of time travel. As an example, was that photo of Jack, Hurley, and Kate with the 1977 Dharma recruits ALWAYS hanging in that room, or did the photo change sometime in 2008 after the Oceanic Six went back in time, possibly altering the future? This is an extremely important distinction. So far they’ve been able to avoid answering or clarifying this matter. We’ll never know if Rousseau remembers meeting Jin in the 80’s because she’s dead. We also never saw Widmore and Locke together before the time traveling fun, so we can’t safely determine if their meeting in the 1950’s was a “new” memory, or if it always existed. And from this point forward (presumably) every time we see Richard, it’ll be after they’ve time traveled, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t remember seeing them in the past.
But nevertheless, this is a very important determination. On the one hand, it could mean that the future can be changed, which is a direct conflict to Daniel’s earlier proclamation. However, if Daniel is right and the future can’t be changed – and that, indeed, going back to the late 70’s and existing in that time period has ALWAYS been part of the natural timeline – this means that this entire time Ben has remembered meeting Sayid, Sawyer, Jin, Jack, Kate, and Hurley when he was a child. Yeah, we expect Ben to lie and withhold certain information….but this one would be a whopper.
So what do you think? Fair arguments can be made for either side. For one, Richard visited Locke when he was born, which he seemingly only did because future Locke told him to. Yet, on the other hand, craziness or not, Rousseau never gave any indication whatsoever that she’s ever met Jin.
Oh, and bonus question: Why didn’t Sun (in particular), Frank, and Ben get transported to the 70’s? E-mail me or comment on the blog.
Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, Heroes, Prison Break, and Smallville. You can visit his blog at A Case of the Blog.