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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TV Watch: Lost, The Substitute

I think a rule for this season will be: we need Evil Locke in it. Last episode was mostly Locke-less and mostly boiled down to a "getting to know Kate" concept and didn't move much of the island mythology forward, with the possible exception of a few pointed facts towards Sayid and Claire, who may know be called Crazy French Claire or Claire French Lady or Claire Rosseau if one likes.

So this was a pretty Locke related episode, though technically it was half Locke and half SmokeLocke. Locke's sidestory continues along an odd theme: without the island, everyone seems like they're doing all right. Locke is getting hitched to Helen, is becoming comfortable in his own (broken) skin, and can even roll with the punches when he gets fired (thanks to his other would-be Losties). So the theme seems to be: this is a group of people who would have made each other's lives all right.

And then Jacob comes along, crashes their plane and they start dying. Or time travelling. Or whatnot. SmokeLocke confirms for us that Jacob has slowly weaved events off-island to bring them all to "candidates" of some kind, though we can't be sure what that really means with Jacob currently a pile of ash in Ilana's pocket.

Or perhaps he is a bloodied blonde hair kid? Wait - what? OK, one sec - is this really the best time for Lost to get weirder? The proverbial Swan clock is ticking down here, and this is the most tantalizing tidbit we got:

4 - Locke
8 - Reyes
15 - Ford
16 - Jarrah
23 - Shephard
42 - Kwon

Written on a cave wall. It's been noted that Kate is not among the names, though it should be pointed out that Sun might not be either - as Kwon could well mean Jin. Is being a candidate a male exclusive recruitment option?

SmokeLocke mentions that "Jacob had a thing for numbers". Let's hope that isn't the complete explanation for one of the first mysteries the show offered up. Honestly, Lost Writers - we get the "black and white" thing. Honestly, I was hoping for something more like a ... spaceship? Less like a ... mysterious cave? If you were Sawyer - would you buy SmokeLocke's speech as a reasonable history of being plane wrecked? Before they go jaunting off together and selecting floral arrangements, shouldn't Sawyer try to figure out just what SmokeLocke is?.

We seem to be teetering towards something of a conclusion, but it remains to be seen if there is a Grand Unified Theory to explain all the loose ends Lost's rambling plot has left in its wake. So far little is know about the next episode "Lighthouse" (Lost producers have said that even a single screenshot from episodes this season will reveal too much) - but hopefully we keep following the smoke trail down the old rabbit hole.

Crazy theory time: Evil Locke put a bit of a damper on the alien theory, claiming he was once just a man like Sawyer. I'm not thrown off the scent quite that easily. Smoke Monster can clearly resemble dead people, complete with emotions and memories. Evil Locke used to look like someone completely different. "I was a man once" might mean, "I took that dead guy's appearance." We're still dealing with an entity that can resemble dead people, cure cancer, regenerate broken legs, and manipulate world events (somehow to the point where people can't even die).

OK, now that I put it that way, maybe even aliens doesn't cover it. It may be time to start wondering just how much into the supernatural Lost will be willing to go.


Unknown said...

The older I get, the more at peace I am with some things having no answer. It would be a brave choice, I think, to do that with some parts of this show. However, it requires a delicate touch, so I'm dubious about whether this crew can pull it off.

Still, enjoying the ride immensely.

sterno said...

I will say that, for the most part, the show has always been better when Locke has been a central feature.

Kwon is Jin. That would make all of them men. So at least it would be consistent. Why it's men, I don't know but Jacob was a dude, so it follows.

Another thing to consider is that the names in the cave are all the numbers from the Swan and it was mentioned that Locke "couldn't kill him" but without specifying who that was. It may very well be that "him" is all of the ones that are part of the sequence? No idea.

As for theories of what's really going on, I'm leaning towards more supernatural possibilities. My sense is that EvilLocke is some kind of demon that was imprisoned on the island centuries if not millenia ago. Jacob was a guardian of some sort there to keep an eye on EvilLocke. Jacob, for whatever reason was at the point of retiring. Presumably if he was to be there forever he'd be just as punished as EvilLocke, and so would have incentive to let EvilLocke go. So it was time to find his replacement.

It may very well that the effort to find a replacement has been going on a long time judging from the cave walls. But given how non-linear the timeline is, it's hard to say.

So what EvilLocke needs is to get the candidate to become the next Jacob and then that Jacob can set him free. Once he's set free he can go out and unleash a little smoke monster apocalypse on the rest of the world.

One other thing, about their future lives, the chosen ones, i.e., the ones on the list that match up to the swan numbers seem to be working it out. My guess is Locke could get his legs working again if he'd call Shepard (and that may still happen). But the non-chosen are having issues. Kate's still on the run, and Claire just got screwed on the surrogate thing.

Josh said...

Some parts will not be explained.

Some contradictions will just be left.

I think it's best for all Lost viewers to be at peace with that :)

But if they leave the numbers at "Jacob has a thing for numbers", I call fail. The whole ARG Valenzetti stuff gave us more than that.

And now that I think of it - aliens v supernatural ... does it make much difference? One is "future technology did it", the other is "magic did it". And we know what Clarke said about that.