‘Lost’ (S3): Why tonight’s episode must be ”tease-proof”
In which tonight’s episode of Lost is previewed with a cryptic quote from one of the executive producers.
Tonight, the show finally returns to John Locke and his felonious, duplicitous, I-like-to-toss-my-annoying-children-out-the-window father. I have seen the episode. I think it’s sensational. I could tell you stuff. But I don’t think that would be the right thing to do. More than any other episode this season, ”The Brig” deserves to be experienced with an unspoiled mind. Damon Lindelof, executive producer of Lost, feels the same way: ”’The Brig’ is tease-proof. I literally don’t want to give away ANYTHING this time. I’ll make up for it next week.”
Next week’s episode, by the way, is entitled ”The Man Behind The Curtain,” and it’s all about Ben and The Dharma Initiative. The week after that is all about Charlie. And the week after that is the Jack-centric season finale. The show is clearly building toward something pretty grand — but in the wake of ”The Brig,” I don’t know what it is. I thought I did. Now, I don’t. I don’t mean to be mysterious or raise expectations or even suggest that tonight’s episode features some kind of ”game-changing” event. You just need to see this thing first before we talk about it — tomorrow morning, here at EW.com, where you’ll be able to read my TV Watch recap of the episode. But if you have any instant reaction to tonight’s episode that you’d like to share, shoot me an e-mail at JeffJensenEW@aol.com. Love to hear your thoughts on two questions in particular:
What’s Ben’s plan?
What’s in the bag at the end?
THE GREAT ”D.O.C.” DEBATE!
”There were no survivors” — theoryquake or one big crock?
Last Wednesday, I asked you to send me your instant reaction to the shocking final scene of last week’s episode, in which parachutist Naomi revealed to Hurley that he should be sleeping with the fishes. ”There were no survivors” of Oceanic 815, she claimed. ”They were all dead.”
In response to my call for reaction and theory, I received a couple dozen e-mails within minutes, and then over 200 by the next morning, and then even more as the week progressed. At one point, my AOL account (JeffJensenEW@aol.com) crashed from the crush of correspondence. Which just goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for. (By the way: when I told this story to a source within the Lost camp, I was told: ”You might want to expand the volume for Episode 20.” That would be next week’s big Ben backstory/Dharma Initiative outing. Guess I better chat up my tech support people about getting an extra mailbox or two.)
I was blown away by the imagination, intelligence, and sheer insanity that the climax of ”D.O.C.” inspired. Let’s get things started with this rather ironic letter from David Cordova, which should not be read by anyone who HASN’T yet seen The Sixth Sense:
”I think everyone’s first assumption will be that most everyone on The Island is dead — the whole purgatory theory. Let’s quash this, as both Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have ruled this out numerous times. I know the creators are sneaky, but I don’t think they would ever make it this obvious. I’ve heard things comparing it to The Sixth Sense — that some people are dead, some are not, and that’s why the Others need women to reproduce, to create ”undead” people. I just don’t buy that theory. The plane being found has to be…some sort of cover up, by either The Hanso Foundation or The Widmore Corporation. That’s what I believe.”
Actually, David, you’re wrong: while I did get a few ”Maybe it IS Purgatory after all!” e-mails, the overwhelming majority of you believe that some nefarious agency within the Lost mythology has gone to considerable lengths to make the world think that the castaways are dead. Most of these cover-up believers think like Wendy Burns of Jamestown, N.C.: ”If The Others have enough money to maintain this secret island, they have enough to initiate a cover-up. ‘They’ don’t want anyone looking for 815. ‘They’ have an experiment to complete.” Reader Jane C. says ”when you stop and consider, it makes sense that people with a lot of influence created a fake crash site of Oceanic Flight 815 to throw crash investigators and family members off course.”
This begs the question: Did they actually recover the castaways’ bodies? But as Jane C. points out, the passengers of Oceanic 815 would have been declared dead anyway, even if their bodies weren’t found, for the following reasons: ”1. The Pacific Ocean is the deepest in the world, with many spots more than three miles deep. 2. If The Others have enough money, clout and contacts to get information on every single passenger on the plane, they have what they need to dummy up a fake crash site, quite possibly where the tail section blew off. 3. Bodies? Ever hear of sharks? There is lots of sea life that would happily feast on human beings.”
DOC JENSEN’S RESPONSE: My personal theory is that Naomi is an Other and that her whole ”arrival” on The Island is part of Ben’s big endgame with the castaways. Nonetheless, The Others would have some motives for discouraging the world from searching for the castaways. I’m sure they want to keep their wacky little neo-Eden a secret, plus Ben and company are hoping the childbearing ladies on the beach might be able to help them out with their plumbing problems, if you know what I mean. (Remember how surgeon Ethan was working on Juliet’s pipes under her house in the season premiere? In retrospect, was that a coy allusion to the Others’ reproduction dilemma?) And also recall that The Others, through Mittelos Biosciences, have access to an aviation company, called Herarat — so clearly, they could get their hands on some airplane parts. And yet, something tells me The Others aren’t terribly worried about The Island being discovered by the outside world. Because if they were, why haven’t they chased the castaways away from the beach, where they could be seen by a passing plane or boat? Maybe because The Others know that such a discovery would be impossible. Why? Because The Island could be mobile…or maybe The Island exists in some weird, undetectable borderland between realities.
Don’t look at me with the ”You’re crazy!” eyes — I’m just paraphrasing you guys! Because after ”It’s all fake!”, alternate-reality theories were the second most cited explanation for Naomi’s mysterious claim. ”There are parallel universes,” writes reader Calla. ”Naomi comes from a universe where Flight 815 crashed. The electromagnetic stuff with The Hatch was actually a wormhole.” Calla believes that the reason women can’t bring children who are conceived on The Island to full term is due to paradoxical vagaries associated with an island that straddles all possible universes. ”My Wacko theory of the week,” concludes Calla, ”is that a Christian Shepherd from another universe is the Jacob on the island.”
Calla has a likeminded friend in ”eag1sfan” (”Philadelphia Eagles No. 1 fan?”), who writes: ”My theory is that The Island is one ”reality” — a bubble, to steal a term — and that separate realities exist in other bubbles. Thus, in this one, Locke isn’t paralyzed, babies can’t be born, etc. The bubble wall in this reality has weakened somehow — maybe this world is ‘moving on,’ à la The Dark Tower series, and Ben is trying, Roland-style, to save it. They get Juliet to come from her reality and try to create babies to save their world. Also, Desmond maybe slips through to other dimensions at times, thus his knowledge of what is going to happen. I think the creators of the show are making this sly point with the constant references to an actual multiple universes theory and Stephen King (Dark Tower, The Langoliers, The Stand).”
And then, there’s Phil Rose, who is from my hometown of Seattle, which by natural law makes him an insightful and mildly insane person. (It’s all about the ”unique” electromagnetic energy pulsating under the Space Needle.) ”OK, three major possibilities,” writes Rose.” 1. They are in the afterlife. 2. There was an elaborate hoax setting up a fake recovered plane with fake dead bodies. 3. Parallel universe fu. I go with door number three. Remember the e-mail I sent you last year?”
Ah, yes. Phil’s dream. How could I possibly forget this:
”On the morning of 2/21/06 I awoke from a dream in which I was watching an episode of Lost. In it, Jack and Sayid are pointing out that various objects in The Hatch that represent inconsistent technologies and nomenclatures, as if they are from different times or worlds. Locke pulls a quarter and a map from an Other’s jacket. The quarter is an unfamiliar State Quarter design. The map is missing some states. He speculates that The Island is a nexus of parallel worlds, and quantum interactions among these various parallel universes explain the various coincidences. He further speculates that The Others are trying to create one perfect world, by merging the best elements of three damaged worlds. Why three? Alas, I woke up at this point.”
DOC JENSEN SAYS: I could roll with this. In fact, it was about this time last year when I suggested that the Lost mythos might be similar to the Man-Thing mythos of Marvel Comics lore. In Man-Thing, we have a mysterious monster who is attracted to fear, who protects a mysterious swamp that is the ”nexus of all realities,” a place of great interest to mystics, utopian scientific initiatives, and corrupt business people. In fact, these overlaps are so uncanny, that I’m certain that…they can’t be true.
And with that, I’m going to cinch up the reader mailbag this week and devote some energy to some other fun stuff you’ll be reading in the pages of Entertainment Weekly this week, including a cover story on Heroes and the first look at the Iron Man movie. Of course, I’ll have a recap of ”The Brig” for you tomorrow at EW.com, and if anything you see or hear tonight that might impact your thinking about Naomi’s claim — and you most definitely will be getting some additional, theory-rattling info — send me an e-mail at JeffJensenEW@aol.com.
NEXT WEEK: You’ll get my new theory on The Dharma Initiative. Plus: YOUR theories about Sun’s baby and Mikhail Bakunin’s surprise resurrection.