‘Lost’ blogging: “Dr. Linus”

(previous: “Sundown”)

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:
Ah, so Ben Linus would have been a dorky teacher if not for the island. Does that mean the island is actually good, not bad? Not that there’s anything wrong with being a teacher — I don’t mean that. I mean that Ben’s life was a lot more exciting on the island, what with the wormholes and the time traveling and stuff, and minus detention duty.

And Arzt is there too! And Locke! And Alex! And who was the scarecrow? Oh, that’s Linus himself, isn’t it?

Somebody saw Jacob as a father? Well, Darth Vader was somebody’s dad, too, wasn’t he?

Re all this to-ing and fro-ing with the beach: I feel like my mom used to feel when my brothers and I were in and out of the house all day in the summer when we were kids. “In or out? Make up your mind!”

Organic microwave meals? Isn’t that sorta oxymoronic? Maybe that’s some kind of punishment for Dharma dad?

Hilarious! Richard literally walks into a scene between Jack and Hugo, totally out of the blue, and Jack asks, “Where’d you come from?” I think the writers are just daring us to laugh at it all now. Like with island-Ben being nostalgic for the Oceanic crash… just like we are, for the time when it seemed like this show might be going somewhere interested.

What?! And now the pilot guy has been part of the giant web since before the beginning? He was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 but he overslept? *headdesk*

Man, this show is more and more like a soap opera all the time: It’s all about people talking about what other people said.

Ah, Richard has been touched by a Jacob, which is why he doesn’t age? Though that still does not explain what Jacob is…

So far, I’m not seeing much of a point to the simultaneous timestreams. I might have expected to see something that demonstrated that peoples is peoples, and will do what they will do no matter where they are or what circumstances they are in. Sure, teacher-Ben was a little bit sneaky and manipulative, but nothing like he was on the island. Everything seems entirely disconnected… unless we’re just supposed to be laughing — again! — at how “different” everybody is, at how powerful the island is at turning people evil, or something.

I wish I could quit you, Lost. I really do.

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

(next: “Recon”)

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Wed, Mar 10, 2010 4:18pm

What?! And now the pilot guy has been part of the giant web since before the beginning? He was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 but he overslept? *headdesk*

This wasn’t the first time we heard this. We already got this back story back when we were introduced to this character a couple of seasons ago. So this didn’t come from nowhere.

So far, I’m not seeing much of a point to the simultaneous timestreams.

A theory I had in my head and also share with a few people online is that this alternate timestream may be like a “be careful what you wish for” for each of them maybe granted to them by Jacob or un-Locke when all is said and done. Like Jack wishes he was a good father, Hurley wishes he was lucky, Sayid wishes he was with Nadia, Ben wishes Alex is alive again, etc.

Wed, Mar 10, 2010 6:06pm

I think there is going to be a point to sideways world, otherwise they wouldn’t be showing us so much of it. They are perhaps short cutting in the writing because we have such little time left!

Scentsy movie lover
Wed, Mar 10, 2010 6:12pm

LOL! My husband and I have been taking the last five seasons of Lost in stride. When people were snarky, we said “Be patient”- When people were confused, we said “Watch it again”… WHY, if the plane never crashed, are their lives and their pasts completely different as well? What? I can understand the split futures (sideways travel, I’ve heard it called?)– but HOW could it be different BEFORE the split? It’s making me mad… there were many many loose ends, but with time and a team of writers, I know we could keep the grit, drop the fat, and tie up all the loose ends with a pretty bow before season 6 concluded… WHAT are these guys doing!?

Wed, Mar 10, 2010 6:48pm

Scentsy it’s just not the plane crash that’s changed in the new timeline. Jacob never entered their lives to push them toward the island so in theory Hurley never was told the numbers in the asylum(or the numbers don’t even exist) and just managed to win the lottery without the curse of the numbers. At least that’s my thoughts.

I also think that someone in the new timeline will be brought into the current timeline but I could be way off on that one.

Also does the dynamite thing mean that Jack is now immortal like Richard? ie he has also been touched by Jacob?

Wed, Mar 10, 2010 6:57pm

RyanT is very correct about Lapidus “The Pilot Guy”. We’ve known his backstory since Season Four.

@Scentsy – too much is being made about the bomb being the catalyst to the island sinking and the new time line. I believe all the attention paid to this explosion is misdirection. A butterfly was stepped on much earlier in the time-stream than the explosion of Jughead.

Thu, Mar 11, 2010 10:29am

I wish I could quit you, Lost. I really do.

One way or another, you will. Only 12 hours or so left.

Here’s the real question as we approach Lost‘s end: How will it stand up over time, vis-à-vis replay value? That is to ask, will you go back and watch it again? I’ve rewatched Battlestar Galactica from beginning to end on Blu-ray, and Babylon 5 and the original The Prisoner are eminently rewatchable. And of course many Star Trek episodes are infinitely rewatchable.

But Lost? I don’t think so.

Thu, Mar 11, 2010 1:15pm

I think the worst part about listening to people complain about Lost is that in most cases their questions / criticisms are about stuff that they either missed the first time or forgot about. There’s an answer to almost every one of your incredulous questions, MaryAnn… many of them addressed years ago. You really should quit watching, because you’ve obviously forgotten most of the little details over the years.

MaryAnn wrote:

So far, I’m not seeing much of a point to the simultaneous timestreams.

Well, out of all the episodes so far, Ben’s side-story was the most relevant (spoilers) — he was given the chance in this parallel universe to make a different choice with regard to Alex… and yeah, the situations are different, but I am really enjoying how the side-stories are almost universally showing that the entire cast is better off since the Island sunk into the sea. This is not something I expected.

And it’s wonderful. We got to see Ben Linus the way we’ve wanted to all along, as the hero.

Organic microwave meals? Isn’t that sorta oxymoronic?

Are you being serious here? I can’t tell… you do know it’s possible to microwave something organic, right? Also, you can find frozen organic meals in your grocer’s freezer. Or, you know, anywhere really.

I should really stop reading your Lost columns, but then again, you should really quit writing them! :)

Thu, Mar 11, 2010 1:42pm

You really should quit watching, because you’ve obviously forgotten most of the little details over the years.

Or she should subject herself to a complete series recap by re-watching everything in one sitting.

That Writer’s Strike really hit this show for a loop. There were, like, 40 episodes in Season Two / Season Three, but only about 7 in Season Four.

All numbers are subject to +|- 20.

Jerry Colvin
Jerry Colvin
Thu, Mar 11, 2010 4:37pm

Nothing so far has deterred me from what I thought when this season began: the sideways stories are what happens to the characters after the current island shenanigans are all over and things are somehow reset once again. That is, they all pretty much end up with happy endings.

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 5:48am

Jacob only touched Hurley the day he went back to the island so I would say it was bad luck he heard the numbers in the asylum.

To-ing and fro-ing to the beach is like running down corridors in Doctor Who – that has to happen every couple of episodes – besides it such a pretty beach wouldn’t you rather film there? Dr Who takes the piss out of that, too (“an awful lot of running!”)

Interestingly, Kate and Sayid don’t seem to be better off.

Sayid can’t escape who he is and, ok, Nadia is still alive but he can’t have her. She’s probably safer for it, too. Kate is now possibly a fugitive for killing an innocent man, rather than a guilty man. Both these people are with Smokie and Ben is not. Curiouser and curiouser, especially when it was never really explained how Ben was able to control Smokie.

Interesting question on whether Lost will be re-watchable – I’ll get back to you in July!!

Anyone think Alpert was a slave trader, not a slave himself? Redemption, baby! That’s my Lost theory of the week!

Fri, Mar 12, 2010 1:30pm

The simultaneous time streams are showing what people’s lives would be like if things changed from 1977 – NOT just from the crash of 815. These people were being watched and their lives directed LONG before they crashed on the Island.

Remember that Juliet’s last words were “It worked.” I think that as she was dying, she felt herself being pulled into the other time stream. I suspect that in the end, what we’re referring to as the “alternate” reality will be the REAL reality – except maybe for whomever is chosen to replace Jacob (and maybe Smokey). I think they’re just giving us the resolution to the story piecemeal … just like they did when we knew they made it off the Island, but not how, exactly. (See season 4.)

I, too, suspect Richard was a slave trader, not a slave, and Jacob offered him some sort of chance at redemption. Although, I also suspect he’s much older than the mere 200-300 years or so that the arrival of the Black Rock on the Island would indicate. It’ll be interesting to see how the Richard-centric episode plays out in a couple of weeks. I think if any episode will really start answering a LOT of questions, it’ll be that one.

Also, Amy’s organic (and vegetarian) microwaveable meals are delicious.