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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

‘Lost’ blogging: “The Substitute”

(previous: “What Kate Does”)

There’s no way to “review” or “analyze” or even “discuss” this show on an episode-by-episode basis — it’s more like you just have to react and try to guess what the hell is going on. So I’m not even gonna try to impose any sense or reason upon it: I’m just going to react. Maybe when it’s all said and done there will be something cohesive to say. Till then…

Perhaps needless to say, Lost doesn’t make much sense while you’re watching it. My ramblings will surely make even less sense if you haven’t seen the episode… and something may get spoiled for you that you don’t want spoiled. You have been warned.

So, here are the thoughts I jotted down, pretty much in order as they occurred to me as I watched:
Oh noes! Poor Locke, stuck on his van wheelchair lift! And Locke has a ladyfriend? Whoa! What happened to the version of her that exists in the universe where Locke did crash on the island?

And now Locke is the smoke monster. Right. I’m so confused…

Well, if you’re gonna lie to your boss about going to the conference in Australia, you have to expect to get fired.

So Richard’s been getting jerked around by Jacob. Boo-hoo. I still wanna know: Who the hell is Jacob, anyway? And what the hell is he recruiting candidates for? For more ageless minions like Richard? Is it like a pyramid scheme: minions find more minions, and so on, and so on?

Sawyer’s a drunk. Gosh, he’s even cute as a drunk lying around the house in dirty underwear.

Har: “I don’t give a damn if you’re dead or time-travelin’ or the Ghost of Christmas Past…”–Sawyer, to Locke

Wha–? Hugo owns the company that just fired Locke? Rose works for Hugo too? Ben works in the school Locke ends up subbing at. Everyone keeps running into one another. It’s like they are all one another’s density.

Who is the blond kid? It’s young Sawyer, I’m thinking, time-traveling or something… (Though Sawyer would probably recognize himself, wouldn’t he? Though at this point with this series, who the fuck knows anymore.)

Okay, Sawyer and Locke climbing down the ladder at the cliff made me realize that Lost is so totally Zork:

You are standing in a hole in a cliff. Locke is here. There are some rocks on a scale.

Now it all makes sense. For one, the smoke monster is clearly a grue.

Names (and numbers) written on the wall of a cave? How very Plato, or something…

(Watch full episodes at ABC’s official site for the show.)

(next: “Lighthouse”)

MPAA: rated TV14-V

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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  • dude,
    the numbers on the ceiling of the stone cave refer to the numbers that have run throughout the show from day one!


  • “And now Locke is the smoke monster. Right.” I don’t mean to be dickish, but are you even paying attention to the show? ;) Locke is dead. Ben killed him. The Man In Black/Smokey adopted his form at some point after that happened. So many people seem to not get this, and I have no idea why. I would think Locke’s corpse lying on the beach (and now UNDER it) would be a huge hint.

    Great episode. Much better than last week’s snooze fest. Finally, some answers as to what the purpose of The Numbers is. (Though, why Jacob is all number-happy remains to be seen.) It’s this mythology stuff that I crave, not seeing what Kate’s on the run from THIS time. As for the blonde kid, I’m betting on a young Jacob. But as to WHO is appearing as a young Jacob? I have no idea. We really don’t need a THIRD mysterious entity on this show.

  • Kyle Waters

    Hurley owned the company in the original timeline as well. It is said that he owns a box company when he is talking with his accountant/financial advisor whatever. (Remember the guy falling from the sky that you can see through the window?)

    Helen, according to Abbadon, died when he asked him what happened to her (at least I think that he said that and they didn’t visit her tombstone or something). Whether Abbadon was right I don’t know.

  • JoshDM

    Randy Nations was Hurley’s boss as Mr. Clucks where he used to work before he won the lottery. Randy got the job at the box company where Locke worked. Not sure if Hurley buying the box company was related.

    Honestly, in the original timeline, it was said Hurley owned a lot of stock of a box company; it was assumed that Hurley owned the stock of the same place Locke worked, but it wasn’t ever stated outright.

    Meanwhile, I wonder if Rose realized her employer was on the same Australia to LAX flight she was on.

    While this episode was great, it was even better seeing this played again.

  • mortadella

    I thought it was interesting that Smokey kept saying, “Don’t tell me what to do!” Real Locke’s key tagline. He absorbed Locke, now Smokey’s being influenced by the man…like an invading program.

    Actually I loved this episode, particularly the island stuff. They made a point of showing Smokey’s humane side…he kidnapped Richard, but let him leave without hurting him. He saved James on the cliff, too. He’s not a good guy, not a total bad guy…probably same with Jacob (nice use of the scale and stones to reinforce the black/white dichotomy….though I think the writers mean it more like the Yin-Yang). However, he’s holding back from James, not telling him what may happen if he DOES help him off the island.

    Who’s the kid? Beats me. Wonder why James could see him but Richard couldn’t. Oh, James listening to Iggy Pop during his bender…awesome.

  • ceti

    A Zork reference? The smoke monster as a grue is perfect! Quote of the week!

  • clay

    I’m betting the kid was Jacob. Had the same blue eyes. Why he’s a kid now is anyone’s guess.

    Something that occurred to me tonight…it’s been suggested that Jacob/Smokey are light and dark, two sides of the same coin. Life and death, maybe? Charlotte’s “This place is death” seemed important.

  • MaryAnn

    “And now Locke is the smoke monster. Right.” I don’t mean to be dickish, but are you even paying attention to the show?

    You guys are so not getting my sarcasm…

  • Althea

    Another site blog suggests the blond kid could be Aaron – which would go toward explaining why Aaron is so important.

  • JoshDM

    While I thought the kid might be Aaron, I sort-of dismiss the notion since only a few days have passed since Kate left him in his maternal grandmother’s care back in LA, and that kid we’re seeing looks a bit older than 4 years old (max). If anything, he does look like a young Jacob, but will probably end up being the ghost of the cabin boy of the Black Rock slave ship or something.

    Was anyone else kind of hoping the cavern would open up to a technological wonder rather than some OCD writing on the wall?

  • JoshDM

    Also, I am currently suspicious of Alt-Timeline Hurley.

    Sawyer remarks in this episode that he knows Flocke (Fake Locke) is not Locke because Flocke isn’t even the least bit scared or hesitant.

    Hurley is pretty much the most frightened or easily-spooked character in Lost. And yet, Alt-Timeline Hurley has shown no fear; only pure confidence.

    I think, in some way, Hurley will become Jacob’s replacement and Alt-Timeline Hurley will be shown to have been replaced with the Man in Black entity / the Black Smoke.

  • Lisa

    Kate’s not an number I think she’s Jacob’s ace in the hole. He touched her too remember? He’s thrown scent to create a different trail. Smokie thinks he won’t have to get rid of her to get off the island. He obviously has to do something else to get off the island, otherwise why not just leave? Why does he need Sawyer’s help?

    Maybe killing Richard is against the rules, at this point, although he is recruiting maybe he holds out hope for Richard to convert? I would not believe word one of what Smokie says. The three options he gave Sawyer will each come with a heavy price/ conditional clauses/ early payback charges. I’d read the small print first. Smokie’s clearly evil. I love all that ooh I would have told you the truth, Jacob didn’t have enough respect for you crap. Did he genuinely not remember speaking to the kid when he went back to Sawyer? Sawyer took it that he was just saying that cos Sawyer said he wasn’t speaking to anyone. I wonder if it is a sign of mental instability. I’m gonna go with Richard on this one (as much fun as it was to see him lose his cool and have that haircut a little mussed up) he’s gonna kill you, James, and everyone you love.

    Loved Ben and Locke as teachers together – was glad to see sideways world Locke was happier, more together but actually had less faith, was a man of science. Can’t believe we’re back to waiting to find out how his accident happened – shades of season 1 again! It clearly wasn’t his dad as he’s invited to the wedding. Gee wonder if we know anyone who runs a wedding company?

    Getting the idea that either the Losties will have to choose which life they want. Whoever doesn’t get voted off the island and perhaps takes Jacob’s place will stay and everyone else will go to their lives in sideways world.

    Loved this episode but we’re still far from answers and 1/4 of the way thru with new characters every week. Maybe Cindy will save us all or some other character (tallie?) that we haven’t met yet.

  • Jeff

    Lost is a great show. Why? Along with the acting, which is usually top rate, the writers have recycled successful themes and stories most of us enjoy. It’s been done over and over – just look at all the movies that influenced “Star Wars” or the many films that have copied “Shane”. They tweak them and make them their own.

    I have had a pretty good idea of where this show was going for some time now and have been proven right. All one need do is look to “The Stand” and the great episode from Star Trek TNG “Yesterday’s Enterprise” for what’s coming.

    But when the show concludes, there will be bits that won’t add up. It simply can’t. When Lost started, they didn’t have an ending (How could they possibly know how long it would last? It might, after all, have been canceled at any time.). There will be loose ends and people will attempt to explain or defend them. Good for them.

    But in the end, for the most part, it’s been a great ride.

  • Ugh, I am not a fan of these “stream of consciousness” posts people seem to be so fond of. Lost is a very easy show to review, and some major questions got answered this week.

    Anyway, I’ll skip the Lost blogging from now on if this is what it’s gonna be like. Plenty of other stuff to love on your site, MaryAnn.


  • Lisa

    I’m liking your thoughts on Yesterday’s Enterprise – another spin of the donkey wheel – they’ll be back to the bomb and may get that choice again. I don’t think that Sawyer has gone bad though, he’s always playing his own angle and keeping that hidden from the rest of us.

  • JoshDM

    I believe from the get-go they’ve had an ending scene that they’ve been striving to reach, but I believe the trip there was only 75% planned and 10% derailed en-route.

    Part of this is when, during the first season, the writers stated that if they were going to be canned early, they’d haul out Joop the chimp (from the Lost ARG at the time, Joop was a hyper-intelligent and long-lived experimental orangutan created by the Dharma Initiative) and he would simply explain all the plot points and where they were going in an almost episode-long narrative.

    Could’ve been a joke, but I wouldn’t put it past them. Get ready for Season Seven: Zombie Lost

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