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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Lost: What's in a Hieroglyph?

Mmmmmm. Nice episode last night. I'm finally feeling the tension again, after these previous lulls (despite strange appearances).

Where to begin? Jury is obviously going to be out on Mr. Gale for quite some time. Thing is, it seems like Others are capable of fairly elaborate backstories. They're quite adept at fitting into their environment. And if some Others are previous castaways, then the backstories might even be true. So it's possibly for old Henry to be telling the truth and be an Other. I'm currently leaning to Sayid's and Danielle's instincts that this guy isn't what he seems. Plus, that look he gave Sayid when Jack intervened? That look said evil.

And the countdown? I don't think I could have asked for more than a big machine whirring startup and evil black and red hieroglyphics. Much of the lostosphere seems intent on translating the possible word they glyphs make up, but I'm guessing it's not a convenient five letter word. And if it is, I'm guessing it's something like "BOOM!".

Update: There is some strong evidence that the glyphs translate into "to die".

Thought I still hold to my theory that if the station's machine is truly dangerous, then Zeke's group would never let the castaways stay in control over it. Possible foils to that theory ... a) Zeke's group don't know about the countdown or it's effects or b) Zeke's group isn't nearly as powerful as Zeke indicated. That latter possibility was floated about some of the forums, that perhaps Zeke conned Jack, Locke and Sawyer into thinking that there was a person behind every torch that was lit ... but it could also have just been rigged.

Edit: I guess there is c) the station machine is deadly, but only to people in/around the hatch. So not a concern to Zeke.

Lots of interesting images/spoilers in next week's promo as well. A Dharma logo with a red caduceus (medical symbol with two snakes, one staff) in the middle. Hallways, bright lights. All from Claire's lost memories. My mumble to The Girl was that there's still an Emerald City to be found on Oz.

Update Update: ... what was with Brown's character being able to speak Iraqi all along? Why force Sayid to translate/torture? Because they knew all along torture was needed and didn't want to get their hands dirty?

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DCepticon said...

(Dorthy) Gale + Hot Air Balloon = Wizard

Josh said...

Yeah ... and I can't think of a better answer to "why a balloon"?

Clamatius said...

So many things to talk about here that I can't possibly cover it all, so I'll just put in 2c worth.

Your option (c) seems very unlikely to me because otherwise you'd guess that the Dharma people would just abandon the site, not leave people there to press a button every couple of hours for years on end. I guess theoretically there could be something valuable to Dharma that they want to keep intact.

The look confirmed for me that he's an Other. One thing I was surprised that Sayyid didn't do would be to ask him about current affairs - who's the president, etc. If he knows then it tells you that (a) he's not an Other or (b) the Others have access to off-island info, either of which is useful to know.

As for Brown's character, the phrase you're looking for is "plausible deniability". As in "no, we didn't torture anyone" - the missing part of the sentence being "we had captive Iraqis do it for us".

Your mention of the lostosphere has me curious - what's the best source in terms of sig/noise ratio?

Thomas said...

I thought the subtext for this episode was interesting/disturbing.

Sayid's comments to the effect of torture's necessity because he "hasn't forgotten" rings warning bells for me.

Maybe it's just a coincidence. I haven't watched on a regular basis this season, but that kind of real-world context seemed out of character for the show.

Josh said...

A very good point on c), Clamatius. We can (?) assume it has something to do with the "accident", and possibly all the odd quarantine that goes on.

Zeke seemed annoyed they had entered the hatch, but not overly concerned. I'm at a loss to think of a function the station could have which fits that other, outside of the "social experiment" theory. I just don't know if that theory fits have a counter flip to "DIE" in Egyptian...

As for the current events info ... wouldn't it be possible for Gale to have blown in four months ago and then be "Othered" quickly, like the tailie children? That would make determining his nature from answers fairly difficult.

But the look, and also it seemed like Gale could really kinda take a beating. I mean, he had just had an arrow removed and a good smacking, yet he was still defiant. I'd be crying. Feels Other.

Brown's character also had that ominous line about "someday, you'll need to know the truth and now you can" or whatnot. That's not the first time a character has said something mildly prophetic to a castaway pre-flight.

Usually for facts/clarification, I hit ... there's a decent amount of noise, but there are a lot of sharp viewers armed to the teeth with DVRs and a good group memory of events. I haven't found a really good consistent blog yet, but I'll usually do a technorati search as well.

@Thomas: Yeah, agreed. There was something dark about the whole undertone, punctauted by a frogicide I'd say.

I'm honestly beginning to see similarities between Lost and Battlestar, with the whole "do you ever ask yourself if you deserve to survive" context.

But I liked the "haven't forgetten" line because, well, I find it easy to forget all the details from Season 1, and sometimes it's hard to remember specifically all the things that have preceeded events on the island.

Thomas said...

I wasn't going to say it, but yes. There were a lot of similarities to Battlestar. Don't tell my girlfriend.

Ah, the frog! I was waiting for someone to tell Sawyer that it was a poison frog, and he probably shouldn't do that kind of thing. Sweet irony!

Oh, and I'm pretty sure nobody spoke Iraqi. They probably spoke Arabic, though. (grin)

Josh said...

Yeah, aren't some tree frogs poisonous through the skin? Maybe Sawyer will need Jack's services soon..

And yeah, nark nark, Iraqi ain't a language. For some reason I was thinking of some dialect name, like drithi is to Hindi, but was way too lazy to look it up.

Brinstar said...

I totally expected Sawyer to become ill from touching that frog as well. Maybe next week, but I hope he doesn't die. Anna Lucia, on the other hand...

Clamatius said...

>wouldn't it be possible for Gale to have blown in four months ago and then be "Othered" quickly, like the tailie children?

Yep, but if he'd been with them that short a time would he be loyal enough to keep a cover story through torture? Seems unlikely to me. In any event, it's moot 'cause Sayyid didn't ask.

By the way, you only have Update, an Edit and an Update Update. I think you need a Post Script as well.

Josh said...

>In any event, it's moot 'cause Sayyid didn't ask.<

Very true, and definately leaves some questions open.

I wonder when Sayid decided Gale was certainly an Other? The grave comment I guess?

>I think you need a Post Script as well<

Or possibly an edit within an update update...

Clamatius said...

Sayyid decided that Gale was an Other when Gale said he couldn't remember how deep his wife's grave was.

He's right. The guy would remember. Digging a grave yourself with no equipment isn't super easy. Last time I hid the bodies... I mean, erm, I guess that'd how it'd be, anyway.

Josh said...

Which, tbh, sounds like a pretty good evidence to "Gale is an Other" side of the fence.

Gale doesn't refute Sayid's claim that he should remember these details. In fact, the death of Gale's wife are the sketchiest of all. He can remember the balloon's dimensions, but not how he dug his wife's grave? Explanations might exist, but it fits with the Others not acting quite human.

By Others I mean specifically Goodwin and Ethan.

Clamatius said...

Looks like the lost-forum site got cracked. Here's a hieroglyph picture w. translation:

Josh said...

Yeah, that's the one.

So roughly translated, sounds like a self destruct one way or another. With all the magnetism abound, I'm guessing EMP pulse? Maybe?

Clamatius said...

Fusion containment. I believe the kids these days say "for the win". :) Meltdown to China time if you forget to put in the #.

As to why you'd set up a system that requires you to type in the same number all the time, I've still got nothing.