Lost – Episode 6-7 Revisited

I’m going to take a break from trying to prove or disprove whether Christian Shephard is the Smoke Monster, and instead ask if we believe that every single ghost we’ve seen is an incarnation of the Smoke Monster. Specifically, I’m wondering about the ghosts we’ve seen off the island. Granted, most of these people appeared to Hurley (Charlie, Ana Lucia, Eko, perhaps others). It would be easy to write this off as an insane delusion, but keep in mind that ghosts have appeared to him (most recently Jacob), and that Libby appeared to Michael.

And how about the undead ghosts? Walt appeared to Locke (granted, on the island) and Claire appeared to Kate (and strangely, this was the ONLY ghost that warned somebody NOT to return to the island). Considering we’re now learning that the Smoke Monster can’t leave the island – who were these people? Discuss…

Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the feedback I’ve received following this episode. These comments come from my blog. Kyle offered this:

Also, as far as Richard goes, did you catch the apparent confirmation that he was on the Black Rock? That was the assumption, but he seemingly confirmed it with his comment about how “in all his time here, he’d never come back here”.

I did catch this comment, and it made me realize something. While the first several episodes of this season hasn’t necessarily given us some mind boggling answers – nor do I think it should have – it has confirmed quite a lot of what we already suspected. And I think it’s a bit unfair that fans don’t recognize this. Yeah, we may have all suspected that Fake Locke, the Smoke Monster, and the Man in Black are all one in the same, but I think receiving this confirmation counts as an “answer” to a question. The same goes for Richard being on the Black Rock. And him achieving his agelessness after being touched by Jacob. As well as the idea that one cannot commit suicide after being touched by Jacob. And getting the deets on Jacob’s list, for that matter.

Like I said in a previous column, if the writers confirm certain ideas that have, at this point, pretty much been confirmed, these unsatisfied fans say “yeah, well we already knew that.” Yet if everything isn’t spelled out, these same fans will say, “They never solidly answered this question.” It’s a really unfair lose/lose situation, actually. DaBooty added this:

With the whole dynamite thing…do we think that Jack and the gang are immortal now also? Unlike Richard, the Losties have aged. Jacob touched Kate and Sawyer when they were kids and they obviously grew up. I think that when Jacob touches you, you can’t die until your purpose is fulfilled. Richard thought he lost his purpose but he didnt. However, I am not really sure why Richard can’t age but everyone else can. Unless its that you only age up until a certain point like 42 (Richard could be 42).

This is an EXCELLENT observation that I had completely overlooked. Kate and Sawyer, in particular, were touched as children (well that sounded wrong), yet they grew up to be adults. So obviously the agelessness – and, perhaps, the suicide barrier – is a bit more complex than a simple brush of the hand. I suspect we’ll find this out in the Richard flashback episode (which will, I believe, totally kick ass).

The on island stuff was interesting but I am becoming increasingly annoyed by the lack of questions being asked by Sun, Miles and Lapidus to Illana. Clearly Illana knows stuff! Don’t they want to know stuff too?!?!? Just a few questions about Jacob or even who the heck she is would have been nice by now.

This will likely go down as the greatest flaw on this series. Characters never seem to ask the obvious questions, and they give up entirely too easily when they’re given answers like “I can’t tell you” or “does it matter?” or some variation thereof.

Now let’s look at some of the comments from the episode review on the Entertainment Weekly website. This first comment refers to Ben’s dilemma at the conclusion of the episode:

He came to the outskirts of the Beach camp, then stopped and considered his options. Stay and serve in this humble little patch of heaven, or join Devil Locke and coldly play for a shot at living the ”Vida La Vida” once again. You always have a choice. This time, Ben made the right one — fulfilling, perhaps, Jacob’s dying thought hope that Ben had the capacity for change. Has Ben the flip-flop artist truly embraced redemption? If so, would his redemption have been possible without Jacob’s death? If so, did Jacob know that when he offered his chest for Ben to puncture? And so we debate like theologians.

There’s something very Christ-like about this theory – that Jacob had to die in order to salvage Ben’s soul. And I really dig it. It just adds some depth to that scene. It actually reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: Everything works out in the end. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not the end. In other words, Ben had to hit rock bottom in order to rise to his greatest height. Here’s another religious allusion:

In my recap of ”Sundown” last week, I proposed that the Island portion of Lost 6.0 will take place over three full days, using the Biblical template of Christ’s long Easter weekend trip to hell and back. The first six hours of the season took us through the dark night of Good Friday, which means that ”Dr. Linus” brought us to Saturday morning. On Saturday, as Jesus assayed the Harrowing in the underworld, his disciples on Earth were presumably freaking out, feeling a little bit like Sally Brown, I’m sure. The Island story in ”Dr. Linus” focused on three disciples of Jacob who processed their grief and despair and anger over his death in different ways. Richard wanted to die. Ilana wanted vengeance. Ben, as usual, just wanted to survive, by any means necessary. All three were on the precipice of making dark, damning choices to resolve their agita. Instead, they each chose something different, and found themselves stumbling into something totally unexpected: hope.

And, finally, just a fun little observation:

Ben became the first person this season to turn down a FrankenLocke bargain.

Sure, blame it on a long con or an infection, but while people like Sawyer, Sayid, Claire, and arguably even Kate have fallen for the Locke Ness Monster’s spell, evil, diabolical Ben took the high, yet rockier, road. The EW.com comments section offered these observations:

I don’t care you takes over for Jacob or who wins between Jacob and MIB. Maybe once the writers decide to tell us why this stuff is happening I’ll care. It is strange that this has become the central concept of the show yet we have no sense of the importance of it. Simply question that needs to be explained is why does it matter if someone replaces Jacob?

This was actually one of the first times I’ve read a comment about a fan complaining about not getting answers and actually thought, “Hey, this person has a point.” Granted, we’re less than ten episodes into this season, but they are expecting us to become emotionally invested in this story arc. We are supposed to care about which sides the characters choose. But are they playing this a bit too ambiguous? They’ve given us VERY little to work on here. Like this poster has noted, we don’t even really know who the good or bad guy is in this scenario. It might help to shed a bit of light on the matter. Another poster offers his perspective on how the Locke Ness Monster is a lying liar who lies a lot:

I am now 100% convinced that Flocke is the evil one. He told Ben that Ben could be the next protector of the island after Flocke leaves, because someone has to stick around to protect it. But when Flocke was recruiting Sawyer, he told Sawyer that the island was just an island, and that it didn’t need any protecting. So Flocke is contradicting himself and proving that we cannot trust anything he says, and that information or “answers” we get from him cannot be believed. Thoughts?

And finally, an observation on Jack and his sudden ability to believe:

Jack has shown a proven ability to believe (putting his father’s shoes on Locke, convincing the Oceanic 6 to get back on the plane) when he believes there is cause. Honestly, to me, it’s one of the reasons his character is believable. Faith is flexible, people waver, experiences shape them and reinforce their faith. After the lighthouse, he believes.

I personally didn’t have any problems with Jack’s sudden leap of faith, only because it was somewhat consistent with his epiphany when he arrived on the island (keep in mind, only a couple days ago he was singing Locke’s praises, telling Richard not to give up on him). This didn’t seem like too much of a stretch for me. Actually, I was a bit disappointed he had been veering back towards his skeptical ways.

Anyway, that’s it for tonight. Check out my next review following the new episode. Enjoy!

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.