Tuesday, May 19, 2009

LOST weather

It may be that the abundance of Rain we saw in Seasons 1 through 4 represents the struggle between Jacob and The Foe.

The fact that S5 has seen very little rain may be a hint that the corner’s been turned, that Light has already triumphed over Dark.

The Children of Jacob and the children of The Foe

I think that Jacob and The Foe are Manifestations of the Island’s schizophrenic Good/Evil aspects and that they each have their Human Followers

I think Jacob’s Children believe in Choice, Honesty, Selflessness, Loyalty, Non-violence, Penitence and Forgiveness - all of which Jack was tested for (by Ben) at Hydra.  These are the folks who used sling-shots and trank-darts instead of guns - and we’ve seen precious little of them.  These may be the members of Family Richard who are currently at The Temple.  

The Foe’s Children are cruel, unforgiving Haters who are quite willing to kill (using guns or grenades) without hesitation or remorse.  Ethan, Danny, Colleen, Mikhail, Bea, Ryan, Greta, Bonnie, Jason and others belonged to this group - and, thanks to Ben have been erased in Ben’s Second Purge.  Their Leader is/was Charles Widmore - whose personality they reflect.

I think that Ben’s pre-crash Family included both “wings” of The Family: Widmore ‘Loyalist ‘  “Hater” members, who followed his orders (sometimes reluctantly) and Good Guy non-killer members, presumably including Cindy and Karl - who were giving the kidnapped kids “a better life” that the lives of Kate and James.

I think The Rules surrounding Charles’ Banishment included a Rule whereby his Loyalist Hater members could not be directly harmed by Ben, in return for which they were obliged to obey him.  This uneasy Truce (during which both Jacob and The Foe prepared to break their circular Impasse) endured from The Purge until the arrival of Flight 815.

Flight 815 included a number of Social Misfits - a pair of Murderers (James/Kate), a Torturer (Sayid), an Adulterer (Sun), a violent Mob Enforcer (Jin), a pair of Spoiled-Brat incestuous siblings (Shannon/Boone), a drug addict (Charlie), an unmarried mother (Claire) who had put her own mother into a Coma, three emotional cripples (Jack, Eko and Ana Lucia) and an emotional and physical cripple (Locke) plus a number of less messed up folks like Michael, Walt, Rose, Libby and Bernard.

The fact that Widmore (with a couple of nudges from Jacob) was mostly responsible for the selection of these passengers coupled with the fact that Ben didn’t know who was on the plane until after Mikhail had prepared his dossiers, suggests that Widmore/The Foe intended these passengers to join his Army in preparation for the S6 War.

The Tailies were attacked twice, during which most of their members were kidnapped. The Losties, however were protected from attack and some of them were healed physically and emotionally by the Light Aspect of The Island in preparation for the S6 War.   

The arrival of The Losties enabled Ben’s Second Purge (which decimated the ranks of The Foe’s Island Army), during which he used The Losties to kill Ethan, Colleen, Tom, Ryan and Jason, among others  - and to manipulate Mikhail into killing Greta and Bonnie before he himself was killed by Desmond.  To me, this implies that Ben is a true Son of Jacob (knowingly or not) and that his killing of Jacob in 516 was not only foreseen by Jacob, but was actively enabled by him.  It was Jacob who permitted (or caused) the death of Nadia, which led to Sayid becoming a self-hating Killer under Ben’s tutelage; It was Jacob who sent Sayid to 1977 to shoot (innocent) Ben - which led to Ben’s subsequent emotional damage - damage further nurtured by Jacob during Ben’s 35 years of Island servitude, and it was Jacob who goaded Ben to stab him with his final “What about you?” question - a question which reeked of dismissive Judgement. 

The Foe thought he was using Ben and Locke to destroy Jacob/Obi Wan, but it was in fact Jacob who used The Foe’s Hatred and Strategy to become (post-murder) more powerful than he’d been before.             

I pity Ben - as Jacob does/did, and I’m not giving up on him.  I think he’ll turn out to be a Good Guy after all.

I also think that The Foe - in the form of Locke - is limited by that form.  To some extent he only knows what Locke knows.

The S6 War between Not-Locke and Jacob The Resurrected ought to be a Humdinger

How "real" is LOST?

It may be that the very first Humans to have landed on the Island drove it insane when it scanned their memories and observed their activities

These “first-contact” humans came/fought/destroyed/corrupted - and the Island, struggling to understand these strange creatures, absorbed their collective Insanity and has been struggling to heal itself ever since.

Successive Human visits to the Island resulted in similar destructive cycles of arrive/fight/destroy/corrupt until the Island created a Shield to keep these annoying creatures away.

Over the course of its encounters with Humans, the Island scanned their memories/experiences which included Names (LOST has a surprisingly limited stock of names), Relationships (Powerful Father and Distant Child, Poor Son working for Rich father-in-law, Child raised by Single Mother who tells Child that Father is Dead, Divorcing Parents etc) Life Experiences (Special Births, Vehicle Collisions, Serious Injuries resulting in Prosthetic Limbs, Encounters with Psychic Healers) Objects (Knife, Machete, Hand-Gun, Rifle, Geiger Counter, MacCutcheon Bottle) and even Sound Effects (Printer chatter, chain/cog/ratchet, Fog-horn, SKU scanner beep)

The Island can Manifest objects, animals and people - dead or alive, whether there’s a body handy or not.  It can also affect the perceptions and memories of Humans by sending them Lucid Dreams and Waking Hallucinations - especially if they are fatigued, injured, emotionally agitated, under the influence of drugs or ill - any kind of Altered State will do.

I believe that Jacob and The Foe are Manifestations of The Island and represent its final effort to heal itself.  These two Entities embody the Light and Dark Aspects of the Island, its Optimistic and Pessimistic Points of View.  The Final Iteration (aka S6) of the Fight/Destroy/Corrupt cycle will decide once and for all whether Humanity deserves to survive or whether it should be Exterminated.  Humanity is on trial as it was on Star Trek TNG’s “Far Point” and “All good things” Episodes.

Just as Jacob and The Foe embody the Island’s Optimistic and Pessimistic Aspects, the Children of Jacob and the Children of The Foe embody their Characteristics:

The Children of Jacob believe in Free Will, Choice, Honesty, Selflessness, Loyalty, Non-violence, Penitence and Forgiveness - all of which Jack was tested for (by Ben) at Hydra.  These are the folks who used sling-shots and trank-darts instead of guns - and we’ve seen precious little of them.  These may be the members of Family Richard who are currently at The Temple. 

The Foe’s Children are cruel, unforgiving Haters who are quite willing to kill (using guns or grenades) without hesitation or remorse.  Ethan, Danny, Colleen, Mikhail, Bea, Ryan, Greta, Bonnie, Jason and others belonged to this group - and, thanks to Ben have been erased in Ben’s Second Purge.  Their Leader is/was Charles Widmore - whose personality they reflect.

In “The Incident”, we saw Jacob’s fluency in Foreign Languages.  Among his Children, we’ve seen Sun (English), Charlotte (Korean), Juliet (Latin), Bernard (Morse code) and  Achara (English) express this same skill.    

I kinda hate this idea, but I’m coming to believe that our Losties (including CW, Eloise, and Daddy Paik) are Expressions or Manifestations of The Island’s Consciousness, that all of LOST is an Illusion, a Long Con, a Magic Trick ...  that Recycled Props, Recycled Names, Recycled Scenarios, Spoken Lines and even Sound Effects are clues that LOST is a Game, a Thought Experiment playing out over Six Seasons in the Mind of The Island as it “decides” whether or not Every Single One of us is Dead. 


Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Incident - 5/13/09 - Recap and comments

An action-packed, thought-provoking Finale that gave us lots of answers, left us lots of questions and revealed a whole lot more about how Unreal/Imaginary/Mythical LOST really is.  This Finale also paid respectful homage to its 4 predecessors.

Jacob is spinning yarn into thread using a treadle-operated Sewing machine.  He wears home-spun hand-sewn cotton clothing and simple sandals.  Family Richard’s people, the ones who wear home-spun clothing, are Jacob’s Children.   His hair is light brown and his face reminds me of Bram’s. 

We see him using The Machete to “position” the threads of his Tapestry - which depicts a Winged Eye - the All-seeing Eye of God, I suppose.  In his Stone Chamber, there’s a Magical Eternal Flame (no fuel required) burning in a circular pit.

Jacob is outdoors - at the shore - where he cleans a freshly-trapped fish using the same (?) Machete as we just saw him use on his Tapestry.  He fillets and cooks the fish on a hot rock.  Once it’s warm enough to eat, he places the fish fillet on a leaf.  No more than the bare necessities of technology for Jacob.  His shirt is a Light colour.  As he gazes out to sea, he spots the Black Rock approaching.  

I doubt that Jacob needs to eat, but I suppose he does because it’s pleasant.  For him.  For the fish, not so much.  I wonder at this “needless” killing.

He is joined by his Enemy/Brother - who wears a dark shirt.  Referring to the Black Rock, Jacob’s Frenemy says:
"You brought (Manifested - or Attracted?) them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?" (Like Q in “Encounter at Far Point” and in “All good things” in ST TNG)
"You are wrong." (About the Worthiness of Humanity)
"Am I? They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same (in every Iteration so far)."
"It (Human History) only ends once.  Anything that happens before that is just progress."
"Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?" (And all Humans)
"One of these days, sooner or later, I'm going to find a loophole, my friend."
"Well when you do, I'll be right here."  (He’s expecting The Enemy’s “success”)
"Always nice talking to you, Jacob."
"Nice talking to you, too." 

We learn that The Statue is still standing in 1845 - and that (as guessed by many, including myself) it’s Taweret - the Egyptian Goddess of Fertility:

Taweret  - The Great Female - was the ancient Egyptian goddess of Maternity and Childbirth, protector of women and children.  Like Bes, she was both a fierce demonic fighter as well as a popular deity who guarded the mother and her newborn child.   

The fact that her Statue was mostly missing (not even a visible pile of rubble) by 2004 may have something to do with the deaths of pregnant females on the Island after the Purge.

Plutarch described Taweret as a concubine of Set who had changed her ways to become a follower of Horus and that Taweret kept Set's powers of evil fettered by a chain.

An alternative consort for Taweret was Sobek: In some Egyptian creation myths, it was Sobek who first came out of the waters of chaos to create the world.  As a creator god, he was occasionally linked with the sun god Ra ....  RA ....  Richard Alpert

I’m thinking that Jacob and his Frenemy are the embodiments of The Island’s Dark and Light Aspects.  Opposed to each other, but also fraternally connected to some degree.  As powerful as these two are, I think that God or The Island is more powerful still and that these two Players are themselves part of a larger Tapestry of which they may or may not be aware.  Note that The Others, in their Room 23 video recognised that God and Jacob weren’t the same Being: “God loves you as he loved Jacob”

The introduction (to us) of The Machete supports the idea that all of LOST is a Game in which a limited number of “Props” like The Machete and  the MacCutcheons Bottle are recycled by various Players through various recycled Scenarios.  Maybe some/all of the Misery and Suffering of our Losties isn’t really real, but is used as a Teaching/Conditioning Tool by The Puppeteers .  I don’t like this idea much, but it seems to be supported by what we’re seeing in the Show.  

I’m also thinking that Charles, Eloise, Ben and Team Ilana know all about the Rules of this Game, although Ben’s actions in this Ep are impossible for me to fully understand at this point.

The fact that Humans have (as of 1845) “always” followed the same fight/destroy/corrupt pattern suggests that the Brothers have been connected to Humanity for thousands of years - back to at least Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.  It may be that the Brothers “moved” to The Island to “retire” like Rose and Bernard, disgusted with Human Conflict.  

Maybe the descendants of the Statue-builders have all been wiped out and Jacob’s decided to try again with the Black Rock Humans.  

An Iowa Gas Station/General Store - which Young Katie and Young Tom Brennan have decided to rob.  With some Patsy Kline (what else?  After all, Katie’s Theme Music is PK) on the Store’s radio, Katie tries to steal a lunch-box, but is caught red-handed.  Jacob teleports into the store with some cash and buys Katie’s Freedom.  He tells her to “be good”, secures her promise never to steal again but forgot to get her to promise never to murder her Step-Father.  This Jacob visit seems to be intended to keep Katie on the Straight and Narrow.   Too bad that The Enemy has access to Katie/Kate at a later point in her life.  I doubt it, but I wonder whether Kate remembers this encounter with Jacob.

I’ve been writing since S3 that the lives of our Losties have been Managed for decades.  This Ep finally shows us proof that I was right.  The fact that their pre-crash lives were mostly miserable suggests that The Bad Guys intended this band of misfits to join the on-Island Bad Guy Army, but once on the Island they were protected from Bad Guy contact long enough for a few of them to be healed and educated to become Good Persons.

Note that Ben Linus, International Man of Mystery subsequently also left the Island with the appropriate Foreign Currency.  To some extent, Ben is an expression or extension of Jacob.

The Galaga: J&J learn from Kate that Jack plans to explode Jughead, but James’ initial reaction, with which Juliet had previously agreed, was that they’d decided to return to the Real World and retire with wealth and happiness.  

Naturally, the Dramatic Requirements of the Plot couldn’t permit this and in an impossible-to-believe change of heart, Juliet decides to throw her life away because her parents broke up when she was a young girl.  Her pretext is Loyalty to their friends, but it’s just a pretext.  She disables their guard, unlocks their cuffs and the three of them convince the Galaga Captain to surface long enough to permit them to paddle back to the Island in a life raft.  So much for my prediction last week that they’d be off-loaded at the LG.

Shortly after their return to the Island, Vincent finds them, followed shortly by Rose and Bernard, who, after the flaming arrow deaths of “everyone they knew” (which contradicts 1954 Ellie’s comments about them having been captured) decided to “retire”.

Bernard: "People try their entire lives to get themselves a nice quiet place near the ocean where they can live in peace.  We did. That's what we made for ourselves."  I’m thinking that R&B really have made their reality for themselves.  They have access to DHARMA food, nobody harasses them and the sun is always shining.  How real is  their Retired Bliss?  As real as they “want”.      

Does this mean that the pain and suffering of our Losties is something they want?  Or something that Someone Else wants for them?

Based on this R&B scene, it’s possible that these two end up becoming Adam and Eve, as long as they die some time in the next 20 years or so.

The Tunnels: Sayid’s been reading the Journal and tells us that Daniel left detailed instructions on how to remove the “plutonium core”, which would be more than powerful enough to “wipe out” the Swan’s EM Pocket.  Hugo and Jack may have Miraculous Super-Powers, but Sayid’s the Team’s Ninja Assassin Techie.  

In order to notate Jughead’s design, did Daniel Time Travel to the (no doubt Top Secret) US factory where 1954 Jughead was manufactured?  

While Sayid works on Jughead, Richard Chooses a sledge-hammer from the convenient selection at hand.  He approaches a “Stone” wall and by delicately tapping, locates the one that’s to be hammered.  A few moments later, we’re in Horace’s basement.  The implication is that the DI excavated the foundation for this house, encountered a buried stone wall and simply laid their concrete-block foundation wall along-side the ancient buried stone wall without any further investigation AND that the Hostiles knew about this and knew how and where to break through stone and block to enter this basement.  OK, then.  So much for last week’s prediction that they’d use the Tunnel rail-road to move Jughead to the Swan.  I’m guessing we’ll see more of The Tunnels in S6.  

Richard tells Jack that having met JL a few times, there didn’t seem to be anything particularly Special about him and asks Jack his opinion on JL.  Jack’s comment that Richard shouldn’t “give up on” JL seems to me to have been transmitted to Richard’s 2008 self - who’s got a John Locke Problem.

Having removed the Core, J&S have about 2 hours to get to The Swan and just before Richard knocks Ellie out, she tells Jack (but in reality, us) not to “misunderstand who’s in charge here” - Jacob?  The Island?  God?  The Universe? 

As Sayid announces that he and Jack will hide in plain sight (by wearing Horace’s clothes) we are reminded that The Enemy is hiding in plain sight - by wearing John Locke’s, um, body.

The Dharmaville Firefight reunites most of our Losties (too bad about Sayid’s nasty gun-shot wound to his gut, compliments of Roger Linus.  Dang, but Karma’s a bitch).  On their way to the Swan, they reunite with James, Juliet and Kate - which gets all our Lostie ducks in a row.

Swan site:

Mad Radz arrives and confronts Dr Chang about having stopped The Drill:
"I've been working on this project for six years, designing a station that will be able to manipulate electromagnetism in ways we've only dreamed of."  I guess this makes Radz a Mad Scientist instead of a Mad Soldier.
"Have you thought about the consequences of drilling into that pocket? We have no idea--"
"If Edison was only worried about the consequences, we'd all still be sitting in the dark. [Technological Progress is Good].  I came to this island to change the world, Pierre, and that's exactly what I intend to do. [you will indeed Change The World, only not in the way you thought].   Let's get it started!"  He hits the side of the large drill. Drilling continues.     

30 years later: Richard has a John Locke Problem which, given what he knows about the Island’s abilities to Manifest objects, animals and people shouldn’t be a Problem at all.  Yes, yes, I know that the Plot requires Richard and Ben not to realise they’re being led around by an Evil Spirit disguised as JL, but still ... I’m disappointed that the Writers couldn’t come up with something better than Temporary Stupidity to explain their willingness to permit the coming Devastation to their People.  

Unless - and I’m clinging to this - unless they do know that Locke isn’t Locke, they do know that Ben has to “kill” Jacob, they do know how disastrous this Choice will turn out to have been and they play out their parts anyway because they know there’s a do-over coming, in which Ben can/will make a different Choice.     

Ben tells Sun that he’s never met Jacob - and this seems to be The Truth.   But ... during Juliet’s 3 years on the Island she presumably experienced enough of Jacob’s Miraculous Powers that Ben was able to convince her that Jacob could cure Rachel’s Cancer if she would only Choose to stay on the Island and keep working on the Fertility Problem.  I guess that Jacob spoke to Richard - who passed messages on to Ben - who passed them on to “his” Family.  Sounds pretty clunky to me.  It wouldn’t take a genius in such a small-town environment to figure out that Richard was Jacob’s true mouthpiece.

We learn that Richard’s Immortality is a Gift from Jacob and we get more hints from “Locke” that death and destruction for Family Richard are around the corner.

Team Ilana are paddling to the Island with The Crate.  Frank is not tied up, but he is lying on his back in the canoe.  The outrigger Race of Death with the Time-skipping Losties has not occurred.  Yet.  If ever.

Frank learns that he might be a Candidate for ... New Leader of the Others?  Human Sacrifice to reanimate the corpse of JL?

Given Team Ilana’s soft-touch treatment of Miles, they may be Good Guys, but Bram’s snotty attitude and Friendly/Unfriendly Toggle Attitude bugs me.

“Flashback” to the Ford double funeral.  Young Jimmie’s writing The Letter and his pen runs out of ink (like the Lawyer’s pens at the Claire adoption meeting).  Jacob is there to hand Young Jimmie a pen - that he can keep.  To me, this proves that Jacob encouraged Jimmie to pursue a Vengeance-Driven Life (which he does, despite his promise to his Uncle Clem not to finish The Letter).  At best, Jacob is willing to ruin James’ life for The Greater Good.  At worst, Jacob is not a Good Guy at all.  

Note that Uncle Clem’s comment that “What’s done is done” recurs in 1977 James’ Discussion with Jack.  The suggestion (for me) is that this 1976 “flashback” was “created” by Jacob/ the Island in 1977 to influence James in 1977.  Call me crazy, but I’ve been doubting the “historicity” of these “flashbacks” since “Enter 77".

“Locke” asks Ben if he’s told Richard about the Kill Jacob Plan.  For a moment, I thought maybe “Locke” was testing Ben in some way, but then we learned that “Locke” doesn’t know everything either: 

Ben: I started thinking differently about things when my dead daughter threatened to destroy me if I didn't do everything you said." (And yet, a few hours previously, Ben wasn’t being meek and servile at all.  I hate these Writers’ flip-flops)
"Wait, wait." Locke steps in front of Ben and stops him. "Where did this happen?"
Despite Locke’s access to The Island, he doesn’t know what Smokey told Ben
"In that cavern beneath The Temple, when we went to see the monster."
"So, you're willing to do whatever I say, no matter what it is?"
Assuming that “Locke” is tuned in to the Dark Side of The Island, maybe the Light Side not only judged Ben to be Good Enough, but it needs Ben to “kill” Jacob in Apparent Co-Operation with the Dark Side.  “Locke” is being played by God/The Universe 
"Well, then, I guess I won't have to convince you after all."  “Locke” knew all along that he/it couldn’t kill Jacob directly - a challenge/constraint that Ben himself had to circumvent in order to carry out The Second Purge.  
"Convince me to do what?"
"I'm not going to kill Jacob, Ben. You are."  God/The Universe wants/needs Jacob to “die” so that he can be reincarnated into Locke’s corpse (?)

10/05: Sayid and Nadia are discussing plans for their Anniversary when Jacob makes a sinister appearance, distracting Sayid long enough for Nadia to be killed (possibly murdered) by a hit-and-run driver.  It would appear that Jacob wanted Sayid to become Ben’s Assassin, with all the misery this brought him.  To some extent, Ben and Jacob are working together.  Note that Nadia’s death is similar to Edmund Burke’s.  This is a Recycled Scenario that may or may not be “real”.  Note also that we’ve seen this identical (I think) intersection twice before: A) Kate looking down from the lawyer’s office, B) This is the intersection where Locke’s car got smashed up right after his visit to Helen’s “grave”.   

Some might say that Jacob “saved” Sayid’s life, but aside from the likelihood that Sayid would probably have preferred to die with his wife, it seems to me that if Jacob had wanted them both alive, that’s what would have happened.  No ... Jacob needed Sayid alive and Nadia dead.  Motivation, dontcha know. 

Flashback: Ilana is in a hospital (again with the hospitals) and her face is bandaged as if for burn wounds - possibly the result of her last battle with The Enemy.  
Enter Jacob:   In Russian he says, "I'm sorry I couldn't make it sooner."
"I'm very happy to see you."  Jacob’s expertise in Foreign Languages is echoed in the ability of various Players to Secretly Speak a Foreign Language (Sun, Airport Flowered Shirt Guy, Shannon, Charlotte, Juliet etc) The Players are extensions of Jacob or at least share some of Jacob’s Abilities.
"I'm here because I need your help," he says in English. "Can you do that? Will you help me, Ilana?"

Note that Ilana’s “help” included dragging Sayid onto Flight 316.  Jacob needed Sayid on that plane, needed Sayid to shoot Young Ben and to help enable The Incident.  I think that Jacob knew he, himself had to die - and be reborn/resurrected.

Ilana knows The Future (at least to some extent) and her Lackees are ostensibly carrying JL’s corpse around to show Richard “what he’s up against”.   Ilana also knows how and why to find “Jacob’s Shack”.  As they approach the Shack, Bram points out the break in the Ring of Ash.  When she enters the Shack, it looks dishevelled and long-abandoned.  She finds a scrap of tapestry depicting The Statue pinned (with The Machete) to the wall for her to find and upon exiting The Shack, orders her Bearers to torch it.  Based on the fact that The Machete and the tapestry fragment were used to help lead Ilana to Jacob, my best guess is that Jacob was indeed held in this Shack for some years and only recently escaped.  What involvement (if any) that “Christian” and “Claire” may have had in Jacob’s Liberation will presumably be revealed in S6. 

Team Ilana’s next destination is the Statue.  In contrast to Daniel’s suicidal approach to Camp Hostile, Team Ilana approach Family Richard with guns pointed to the sky, hands up in a non-threatening manner.  Nobody dies.  After asking for Ricardus, we find out that What Lies in the Shadow is (in Latin) “He who saves us all”.  In an homage to the S4 Finale, we see that the Body in the Crate is that of John Locke.  

It’s too late to prevent Jacob’s death, but that was never the goal.  The Goal is to resurrect him using John’s (carefully protected by Team Ben) Body - which hasn’t just been incinerated like Jacob’s.

2000 - Jacob is sitting on a bench reading “Everything that rises must converge” by Flannery O’Connor  -  another book I’ll want to look into to enhance my LOST understanding.  Something to do over the next 8 months.  

We hear the sound of broken glass followed by the sight of JL falling backwards to the grass behind Jacob’s bench.  Having known this event was imminent, Jacob is the first to approach what appears to be a corpse.  When Jacob grips the corpse’s left shoulder, John takes a deep breath and “wakes up”.  

Jacob:  "Don't worry, everything is going to be alright.  I'm sorry this happened to you."  I wonder if John (and the other Losties visited by Jacob) remember these “meetings”.  Note that in each case Jacob touches them.  Is Jacob’s Touch important?

2008 - “John” leads his People to the Lostie Beach camp:
"Alright everyone, Richard tells me that we should get to where we are going by night-fall, so why don't you all take this opportunity to rest up and catch your breath. Considering what I have planned for you, [Slaughter? Battle?] you're going to need it."
Subsequently (to Ben) :
"What happened that day at the cabin when you first took me to meet Jacob?"
"Well you clearly already know that I was talking to an empty chair, John, that I was pretending.  Which is not to say that I wasn't just as surprised as you were when things started flying around in the room."
"But why would you go to all the trouble to make something like that up?"
"I was embarrassed. I didn't want you to know that I had never seen Jacob. So, yes, I lied. That's what I do."  Sayid is a Killer; Ben is a Liar
"Why do you want me to kill Jacob, John?"
"Because despite your loyal service to this island, you got cancer (of which you were cured in short order).  You had to watch your own daughter gunned down right in front of you (which you subsequently accepted as your Fate).  And your reward for those sacrifices?  You were banished.  And you did all this in the name of a man you've never even met.  So the question is, Ben, why the hell wouldn't you want to kill Jacob?  The Devil has a smooth tongue.  
And yet ... Ben himself told Suicidal John that he was Very Important, that he had much Work to do on the Island.  I’m kinda hoping that Ben’s current Mope is an Act.  
Sun sees Aaron’s cradle and turning it over, finds Charlie's DS ring. (a loose end I thought might never be addressed).

Flashback to the Sun/Jin wedding after which Jacob approaches and in “excellent” Korean tells the newly-weds:  "I'd like to offer you my blessing.  Love is a very special thing.  Never take it for granted." - as he Touches both of them.  Jacob needs their Love to become so strong that Sun would Choose to abandon their daughter on the off-chance that her husband might still be alive after having given him up for dead. 

1977: In an homage to the S3 Finale, James asks Jack for Five Minutes to “chat”.  Before this “chat”, we get a “Flashback” during which Jack meets Jacob.  After witnessing Jack’s first major solo surgery, during which his Daddy taught him the “count to five” Defense Against Panic strategy, Jack tries to buy an Apollo Bar from the vending machine.   Like The Machete, these Apollo Bars are recycled “Props”.  After being “cheated” by The Machine, Jack and Christian share a Moment:

"You know, it's bad enough that everybody in this hospital thinks that the only reason I got this residency is because you're my father.  But then you, you put me in a ”Time out” during my first major procedure in front of my entire team.  Dad, I know you don't believe in me, but I need them to."
"Are you sure I'm the one who doesn't believe in you, Jack?" Christian walks away.  Sometimes I think that Christian did his best to turn Jack into a Great Doctor, but most of the time I think he deliberately or otherwise undermined Jack’s self-confidence and self-esteem.  He succeeded in large measure, but the Island and Jack’s Island friends helped turn him into the Great Leader I expect to see in S6.  

Jack then meets Jacob:
"One of these yours?" Jacob asks as he holds up two candy bars.
"The machine got stuck," Jack says.
"I guess it just needed a little push," Jacob says as he hands Jack his candy bar.  As a comment to Jack, this doesn’t make any sense to me, but as a comment to us, it reminds us that various Players have needed Little Pushes here and there to Keep Them on their Paths.

Returning now to the Five-Minute Chat, we learn that the reason James didn’t leave the Island to prevent the 1976 deaths of his parents was that “what’s done is done” - as told to him in this Ep’s “Flashback”.  Why did this phrase stick in James’ mind instead of , say: “If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again”?  Be that as it may, Newbie Man-of-Faith Jack is suddenly all about Destiny:
"I had her.  I had her and I lost her." 
Jack nods.
"Well, damn, Doc, she's standing right on the other side of those trees. You want her back, just go over there and ask her."
"Nah, it's too late for that."  Not at all, Jack, especially if Juliet’s around (oops) 
"Jack, if what you're doing even works, you and Kate will have never met and she'll be in damn handcuffs."
"If it's meant to be, it's meant to be."  

Instead of Jack beating Ben to a pulp, as he did during the S3 Finale, these two Old Friends beat each other up, during which James points out that he and Juliet Had A Life in 1977 D’Ville.  As James gains the upper hand, he’s called off by Juliet who tells him:

"He's right, James, we have to do this."

Her explanation seems more than a little idiotic to me:

"I changed my mind when I saw you look at her."  In the Sub - where all you had to do was ignore Kate, drink the OJ and Live Happily Ever After 
Sawyer starts to say something and she says, "Don't."
"I don't care who I looked at.  I'm with you."
"And you would stay with me forever if I would let you and that is why I will always love you. [This sounds idiotic to me] What we had was just for a little while and just because we love each other, it doesn't mean that we are meant to be together [this profundity brought to you by Jacob’s so-called Flashback].  Maybe we were never supposed to be together. [an idiotic page out of the Hawking/Hume script] So if Jack can make it so that none of you will ever come here, he should."  James doesn’t speak Destiny, but Jules does.
"Why are you doing this, Juliet?"
"If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you." She walks away. 

Whatever happened to “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”?

Swan site: Ahab/Radz hears from Phil that Team Jack is on the loose and Mad Rad figures that they’re headed to the Swan.  He orders Team Phil to join him - with some guns.

Jack and Kate share a Moment:
"Kate, why'd you make me promise to never ask about Aaron?"
"Because I was so angry at you for making me come back here." Anger = Lust?
"Is he [James] why you came back?"
"I came back so he [Aaron] could be where he belongs, with his mother."  Jeez, Kate; you sound like George Bush trying to justify going to war with Iraq - a different reason every day.

In the next of a series of nonsensical flip-flops, Kate suddenly supports Jack’s Blow Shit Up strategy.

“Flashback” - Hugo’s Release from Prison, during which Jacob - who’s waiting in a cab outside the Police Station tells Hugo that he’s been waiting for him (Telling The Truth) that he is not Crazy (which Hugo already confirmed to his Dad) and that his Ability to speak with his Dead friends is a Blessing, not a Curse.  This is Jacob’s Gift to Hugo: freeing him from Guilt and Fear.

After suggesting he board Ajira 316, Jacob adds:
“It's your choice, Hugo, you don't have to do anything you don't want to." The Rules of the Game include “No Physical Coercion”.  The verdict in the Trial of Humanity will depend on what Free Will Choices our Players make.  Jacob exits the cab.
"Wait, you forgot your guitar."
"It's not my guitar" - The Implication to Hugo is that Jacob is an Envoy from Charlie.  The Rules of the Game permit Emotional Blackmail.
Dying Sayid: "Remember, be careful. It's rigged to explode on impact.  According to Faraday's plan, you must get the bomb as close as you can to the source of electromagnetism."  Blowing up a Death Star is tricky.
"Sayid," Jack says. "This is going to work and it'll save you."
Vader/Sayid: "Nothing will save me."

2008: “Locke” follows Richard up the rocks at the foot of the statue. Richard sees Ben following and says, "What are you doing?"
"John wants me to join him," Ben says.
"You can't bring him in," Richard says. 
"Why not?" Locke says.
"Because only our Leader can request an audience with Jacob and there can only be one Leader on the island at a time, John."
"I'm beginning to think that you just make these rules up as you go along, Richard. Ben is coming in with me, and if that's a problem, I'm sure Jacob and I can work it out."
Richard has every opportunity to block “Locke’s” access to Jacob.  His allegiance is not to an Impostor.  He’s either Temporarily Stupid or he’s Playing His Part.  
They go up to the wall and Richard pushes the stone door. "Tell him I said hello." Richard walks away and Locke and Ben go inside.
"Will you be able to do this, Ben? I know it won't be easy, but things will change [for the worse] once he's gone," Locke says. "I promise." He hands Ben a knife in exactly the same way that Ben handed Locke the Kill-Your-Father knife at The Old Place.

Swan: Despite Miles pointing out that Jack’s actions might actually cause The Incident (something Very Important for the Losties to hear), they all agree to LTDA.  During the ensuing firefight, Jack hesitates a moment before dropping Jughead’s Heart into the shaft.  Kate’s nod gives him permission to erase their so-called relationship - and he drops it - to no effect.  

Meanwhile, Radzinsky’s Drill hits The Pocket and in an homage to the S2 Finale, metal stuff starts flying into the drill-shaft (which might later become the Hatch Shaft) including a metal toolbox which hits Jack’s head hard enough to kill him.  Pierre Chang’s left arm is crushed by a metal strut, but Miles, crying: “Dad” frees him and orders him to get away as far as possible.  He (and Radzinsky) dutifully run away.  Ahab doesn’t Go Down With His Ship, because his Destiny is blow his brains out later.  Phil receives his Karmic Death (metal rod through the chest) with no assistance required by/permitted to James. 

In an homage to the S1 Finale, Juliet gets dragged down the CV, er drill-shaft and hangs on long enough for some heart-rending “I love you’s”, after which she lets go like Gandalf and, falls (like Gandalf fell) down the 100% fatally deep drill shaft at the bottom of which all her fillings would have been pulled through her brain - and doesn’t die.  Maybe she has plastic fillings.

Ben walks up to The Tapestry.  It appears to be finished and has lots of Egyptian symbols on it.
"You like it?" Jacob says. He's sitting in a chair off to the side. "I did it myself. It takes a very long time when you're making thread, but I suppose that's the point, isn't it?"
"Hello, Jacob," “Locke” says.
"You found your loophole."  Jacob has prepared for this Moment
"Indeed I did.  And you have no idea what I've gone through to be here."
"Have you two met before?" Ben asks.
"In a manner of speaking," “Locke” says. "Do what I asked you to do, Ben."
"Benjamin," Jacob says, "whatever he's told you, I want you to understand one thing. You have a Choice."
"What choice?" Ben says.
"You can do what he asks, or you can go and leave us to discuss our issues."
"Oh, so now, after all this time, you've decided to stop ignoring me. Thirty-five years I lived on this island and all I ever heard was your name, over and over.  Richard would bring me your instructions.  All those slips of paper.  All those lists.  And I never questioned anything.  I did as I was told.  But when I dared to ask to see you myself, I was told, 'You'll have to wait. You have to be patient.'  But when he asked to see you, he gets marched straight up here as if he was Moses.  So why him?  What was it that was so wrong with me?  What about me?"
"What about you?" Jacob asks.  Ben has been judged again - and found wanting.
"Well." Ben stabs Jacob [killing his Father again] multiple times. [acting out the part that Jacob has carefully prepared for him].
Jacob tries to say something and Locke says, "What?  I can’t hear you"
"They're coming," Jacob speaks his Dying Words and Locke kicks him into the fire.

I think S6 will bring us back to this Moment, and Ben (Jacob’s Biblical Son) will make a different Choice.

Swan drill-shaft: Juliet wakes up, mortally injured and spots the (unexploded) Plutonium Core - which she pounds repeatedly with a rock.  After saying “ Come on, you sonofabitch”, it finally explodes, ending the Season in a Whiteout and a “Reverse” LOST symbol.  

We didn’t see Richard watching the “deaths” of the Losties, but it’s possible he saw what he said he saw. 


Friday, May 8, 2009

LOST 515A - “Follow the Leader” - recap and comments

The Blossoming of St John the Leader, The Return of Jack the Leader and the Revelation of Radzinsky the (obsessed) Leader.  I’m not quite sure which of these is the scariest.  Jack, I think.

Kate and Jack crouch ”in the bushes like rats” as they watch Daniel’s approach to Camp Hostile:

"What's he doing in there?" Kate asks. "Jack, he's crazy."  (There’s that Word again)

"Is he? What if this is why we're here? What if this is our one chance to put things back the way they're supposed to be?"  Jack has Found His Purpose.  Daniel handed it to him, but his Daddy Conditioned him along with The Island - which enabled the Sarah Miracle Surgery and also sent him Tour de Stade Desmond, the Charlie Resurrection and of course, Ben plus John plus Eloise ... all of these Encounters and Experiences have Motivated Jack to Choose - at this point in Time - to try and “Change Things”.   

After Dan’s been shot, J&K are captured with standard Widmore brutality - a rifle-butt to the face - delivered by Erik the mounted Hostile.  Jack’s lying on his back, bleeding from his facial wounds - just like he did on the Phuket beach after his beating by Achara’s people.  The off-hand Widmore cruelty is/will be inherited by Danny, Colleen and their fellow Hater Loyalists - all/most thankfully dead now.   CW naturally assumes, based on their attire, that J&K are DI members and escorts them into Camp, where Ellie has found, and is leafing through, Daniel’s Journal.  She finds the inscription - in her hand-writing - that she doesn’t remember having written.

Ellie orders Erik to take J&K to her tent after Jack admits that Daniel, Kate and he were in the same group.  Having flung Kate hard to the ground (hands bound), Erik kicks Jack in the face when he shouts: “Take it easy on her”.  Family Charles really seem to hate the DI.  

In her typical flip-flop manner, Kate seems unwilling to erase the last three years of her life, whereas Jack - who mentions all the “people they’ve lost” (who would theoretically never have died) - seems quite willing to “wipe the slate clean” of all the misery the Losties have been through.  I had to laugh when Kate said that “it was not all misery” to which Jack -  looking at her -  responded that “enough of it was”   Ouch, but so right.  

Notice that Somebody has Managed the Jack/Kate Relationship so that Jack would - at this point in time - Choose not to have ever met Kate.  Note also that Jack’s (and Kate’s) pre-crash lives were anything but “normal”.   Both their lives were deliberately miserable.  Somebody/Something has been manipulating them from before their births.  

Enter Eloise: She’s in shock at the thought that she’s just killed her Future Son.  Only Daniel’s death could have achieved this result - and IMO, Daniel knew this to be true and therefore Chose death to enable Events to unfold as foreseen by him/the DI.  His death placed his (completed) Journal into Ellie’s hands and The Journal (like Gray’s Almanac in BTTF)  permitted Ellie to know The Future all the way up to early 2008.  And yet, Somebody (possibly Jacob) sent 2004 Daniel to 1954 via the FDW.  Somebody is in control of who goes where and when.  That Entity is not Richard or Ben or Charles or Ellie. 

Only Daniel’s death could Motivate Ellie to co-operate with a Stranger who believed Daniel’s “we can change things” message.  She’d love to believe that she can Change The Future so that she doesn’t end up killing her unborn son.  Sadly, I’m sure that Ellie is about to learn the hard way about Universal Course-Correction.   

Note that Ellie is currently very much in charge of Camp Hostile.  I’m guessing that Charles’ hot-headed, cowardly and cruel track record caused him to be “passed over” for promotion to Leader - until Ellie left the Island or was Banished.

I’m delighted to report that I was right that Jughead was not buried under the Swan.  We now learn that Jughead was buried under The Barracks - and then we learn why Widmore and his Loyalists are so angry and so cruel.  

The DI built their “village” on top of Hostile Sacred Ground.  There’s an entire tunnel/temple (?) complex under Dharmaville - some of which (“Summon Protection”) we know that the DI found out about.  I think that CW hates the DI so much because they humiliated him and his people.  His family had exterminated Team Jughead in 1954 (when CW was not yet in charge), but couldn’t repel the better-equipped and more numerous DI - which arrived in the early 70's (when CW possibly was in charge) and forced a humiliating Truce on Family Richard/Charles/Ellie, which CW has been itching to erase ever since. 

I’m thinking that there’s a connection between Team Jughead and the DI, especially based on the evidence that the Island DI seemed to have a strong Military component ... lots of weapons, a military-style submarine ... even the name of Dharmaville  - “The Barracks” - is Military.  Before sending in their Science Team, the DI probably sent their Military Team in first - to “pacify” the Hostiles (another Military term).  Note that Alvar Hanso made his fortune in the Arms business.  He could easily have been involved with Team Jughead, long before his involvement with the DeGroots.  The “Top Secret EYES ONLY” photo of the Island dated 9/23/54 on display in the Lamp Post supports this connection.    

The DI’s Science Team, presumably headed by Dr Chang, may have arrived after the Truce was put in place and yet might still have acted (knowingly or not) as a “front” for
Military Research including Interrogation Pharmacology, Animal research - with Perimeter Defence applications - and of course Time Travel.  After all, if a Military Force could learn to control Time, they could win every battle before it started.  Maybe Radzinsky is/was a Military guy and maybe that’s why he’s so obsessed with staying “on schedule” with the Swan Construction. 

Note that the Widmore-sponsored Kahana crew also included a Science Team and a Military Team.  
Note also that post-Purge Mikhail and Kelvin were both ex-Military guys and that Mikhail was on Jacob’s List.

Ellie brings a blanket out of her tent with which to cover Daniel’s corpse and passes her hand over Dan’s dead eyes - which magically close all by themselves as so many other dead eyes have on LOST.  When she announces that Erik and Richard will be coming with her as she leads J&K to The Bomb, Charles is startled and dismayed, because he knows that Ellie’s pregnant, which adds even more irony to her situation.  She’s already carrying the unborn son she just shot to death.

Richard: "The man you're asking about, Jack, is Charles Widmore.  He and Eloise are...let's just say ...  love can be complicated."  This comment reminded me of Tom’s comment - also to Jack - about the relationship between Ben and Juliet.

The Ellie/Richard/J&K group arrive at a pond:
As soon as Kate hears that this pond is the gateway to The Tunnels, she balks and announces that: "I'm going to go back and find everyone else. I can't go any further with you, Jack. Not this time."  So much for Loyalty, Trust and “I’ve always been with you.” 
I recognise that for dramatic purposes, Kate has to leave Team Jack, has to re-join Team James to clue them in on what the Jughead Plan is and that at some point in the Finale, all our Losties have to be re-gathered and sent Back to The Future, but ... sometimes my willingness to suspend my disbelief is, um, strained.  Based on Kate’s (credible) unwillingness to “restore” the timeline to a “normalcy” in which her Future involves trials and Jail-time, I get it that she’d like to stop the Jughead Plan.  What I totally don’t buy is Jack (and Sayid) letting her walk away. 

I loved the Return of the Jedi, oops, I mean the Return of Sayid and I understand his support of the Jughead Plan.  Farewell Erik - and good riddance.

Let’s talk about “Erasure” for a moment.  “Tabula Rasa” (way back in S1), means “Clean Slate” - a fresh start.  Ben erased the Red Sox tape to record the Widmore Assault.  Jack’s blackboard cleanup sort of did the job, but what had been “erased” was still somewhat visible.  Miles’ failure to erase the Camera 4 tape had, um, consequences.

In the last few Eps, the word “Erase” has become more prominent, including Sayid’s question: "So you're telling me you're going to erase the last three years of our lives?"  

For me, the implication is that Full and/or Partial Erasure of Memory and of Events is possible in the LOST Universe.  Starting over, “do-overs” and the Deja Vu of half-erased memories and the Room 23 reference to “Everything Changes” ... all of this points to History being re-written.  Despite Daniel’s (formerly) staunch insistence that WHH, I believe he was right that “we can change things”, but that he was wrong about when this might be possible.

Despite hints that History has already been re-written in minor ways (no Annie, no Olivia), I think that The Incident has to happen more-or-less as it did and our Losties have to return to 2008 (possibly surrounded by the Changes they have enabled), finally knowing enough about Time and the nature and capabilities of The Enemy (and of themselves) to evolve into the Super-heroes they’ll need to be to win the Season 6 War.    

Kate: "Since when did shooting kids and blowing up hydrogen bombs become okay?"  This question goes to the heart of the “Means to an End” and “Greater Good” questions and Kate is here showing that she’s unwilling to use Evil Means to achieve an alleged Greater Good.  For the moment.
Jack: "The three of us disappeared off that plane and ended up here, now, because this is our chance to change things."  Sorry Jack, all you’re doing is ensuring that WHH. 
"And if you're wrong, then everyone on the island dies.  Do you understand that?"
"I'm not wrong, Kate. This is it. This is why we're here. This is our destiny."  Re-born Man-of-Faith Jack still has a few things to learn.  Nevertheless, I’m happy to see that “Jack has become John” as I’d predicted a long time ago. 
"Do you know who you sound like?  Because he was crazy too, Jack.  You said so yourself." (Another reference to Insanity)
"Well, maybe I was wrong."
"No, you were right.  I'm going back to find the rest of our people because if I can't stop you, maybe they can." So much for Kate’s Mission to Find Claire.  She didn’t even find Miles, Jin and Hugo.

Despite Erik’s death, Richard dutifully obeys his Leader and dives into the pond.  Before following him, Jack tells Sayid:"If I don't see you on the other side, I won't blame you."  “Cooper” told John he’d see him “on the other side” (of surgery) and Ben said something similar to Jack just before his Hydra Spinal surgery.  To me, this “recycling” of scenarios and phrases suggests that The Island is (at least to some extent) controlling the perceptions of our Losties.  

Jack’s journey through the underwater passage leads him into the Moon Pool of the underground Tunnel/Temple complex.  Note that Jack’s swim into this Moon Pool recalls Charlie’s swim into the LG’s Moon Pool at the end of S3.  I’m thinking we’ll be seeing the LG’s Moon Pool again very soon - when the sub docks there.

Jack’s a bit surprised to see that Sayid’s decided to Follow the Leader, but Sayid’s Gallows Humour makes sense to me: "If this works, you might just save us all. And if it doesn't, well at least you'll put us out of our misery."  Indeed, Sayid’s currently out of options: he’d rather Die Together than try to Live Alone in the 1977 Island jungle.
As they walk through the tunnels, Sayid whispers to Jack, "I'm sure it's occurred to you that this woman's motivation in helping us detonate the hydrogen bomb is only to annihilate the Dharma Initiative."  No Sayid - Ellie’s Motivation is to prevent the Future murder of her unborn son.
"Yes, but I still trust her."
"Because 30 years from now, she's the one that's going to tell us how to get back to the island."  No, Jack - you trust her to try to Change Things in 1977 because of what Daniel told you.  Try to keep your Motivations straight, guys.

When Ellie uncovers Jughead, we see that it’s in a cart equipped with railway-type wheels.  I’m thinking that Jughead will soon be rolled through the Underground Railway towards The Swan.  My best guess is that it will NOT be exploded, but that the Tunnel entrances to the various DI Stations will be blocked off per the Blast Door Map and that Blast Doors will be installed in the Swan and the Staff (and possibly the Pearl and Tempest) because of the post-Incident danger of Jughead exploding at some future point.  That point might very well occur in the Season 6 War.

Note that the Bear Cave may have led to a Tunnel.  Maybe the DI knew about the Tunnels.  Or not.  Note also that Smokey may have used these tunnels and that they may have been blocked off to keep Smokey out of the DI Stations. 

30 years later: Richard has set up a Beach Camp complete with fish and squid drying racks.  Richard’s working on a ship-in-a-bottle project.  I’m thinking the model ship is the Black Rock.  One of Richard’s People runs up to announce that “He’s here”.  Like the Messiah, Family Richard’s been expecting the Return of St John.  For three years.  

John has a dead boar over his shoulders and announces that he has brought dinner.  I guess the Island told JL where to find Camp Richard after the Temple Visit.  Richard doesn’t seem to be surprised to see JL, but he does seem to be (a little) surprised to see Ben. 

Responding to Richard’s recognition that St John exudes Confidence,  Locke smiles and nods. "I have a purpose now."  Let us hope that St John is serving the Good Guy aspect of The Island.

After explaining to Sun that John is now the Leader of The Others and that RA has been an “advisor” to the Leader for “a very, very long time”, Sun asks Richard if he remembers having met the 1977 Losties: "Yes, I was here 30 years ago. And I do, I remember these people.  I remember meeting them very clearly because I watched them all die."  Is he lying?  He didn’t see J,J &K board the sub.  

OR ... maybe at some point during The Incident, once all the 1977 Losties have been reunited, Richard watches them “die” in some way that actually sends them back to 2008.  Note that “Christian” and St John have both suggested that reuniting with Jin and the rest of the Losties is possible.  It would certainly be poetic - Sun loses Jin at the end of S4 and is reunited with him at the end of S5.

After hearing Richard’s depressing “news”, St John tells Sun: "I don't think we went through all this for nothing, Sun."

Prior to embarking on their Errand, John asks Richard:"You still have that [immaculately-conceived] compass I gave you?"
Richard pulls it out of his pocket. "Little rusty, but she can still find north."
"Ben, I'd appreciate it if you'd join us," Locke says.
"Why, John? Don't you trust me here with my former people?  Afraid I'll stage a coup?"
"I'm not afraid of anything you can do anymore, Ben."  St John is Strong with The Force.
Ben nods. "Well in that case, I'd love to come."  Ben keeps trying to needle John, trying to maintain some kind of Superiority over Him.

As the Three Musketeers march toward the Beechcraft, we learn that Richard knows about the FDW.  He may be old enough to have witnessed its initial use.

We also learn that St John wants Richard to take him to visit Jacob immediately after the completion of their current “errand”.  After Ben’s snide “That’s not how it works, John”, Richard agrees that it’s indeed possible for him to bring Locke to The Prisoner. 

When John announces that they’re ”almost to the plane”, Ben asks: “What plane?”  I found this question puzzling because Ben ought to have known perfectly well what plane they were approaching.  He knew about it when he and Juliet visited the Pearl in “Expose”.   Anyways ...

We now find out (in the coolest possible way) how Richard knew about Locke’s leg injury inflicted by Ethan in 1999/2000.   We’ve ”returned” to the night when Richard emerges from the bush, extracts the bullet and tells John that he has to leave the Island, round up the O6 and bring them back.  And that he’ll have to die to accomplish this task.

A minor quibble: when I first saw this scene, I noted that Yemi’s body was still in the plane.  It hadn’t yet been found by Eko and “cremated” by him.  This pegged the date of this visit by JL to 2004 -  probably November.   However, while John was encountering Richard in what I thought was 2004, Team Daniel/James/Juliet/Charlotte/Miles were encountering the Ajirans in the Outrigger Race of Death - which agrees with the 2008 timing of The Errand.  OK, then.

Note that Ben described 2008 John watching Richard minister to his 2004 injured self as “quite the Out Of Body Experience” This is another reference to Altered States and cannot be a Coincidence.

 "Your timing was impeccable, John. How did you know when to be here?"
"The island told me. Didn't it ever tell you things?"
"No, John, [which contradicts Ben telling John that the Island used to send him Dreams] and clearly it hasn't told you where Jacob is, otherwise you wouldn't need Richard to show you." Ben trying again to flaunt his Superior Insight
"You've never seen him," Locke says.
"What?"  Ben seems to be astonished at the accusation that he’s never seen Jacob.  Who else cured Rachel? 
"Jacob, you've never seen him, have you?"  Ben gives no reply, but it sure seemed to me that Ben saw Jacob quite clearly in The Cabin until Jacob switched his Attention to John for his famous “Help Me”

Locke hasn’t permitted enough time for Ben and Richard to get properly caught up, so Richard seems genuinely surprised to hear that John did, in fact die.  That ought to enhance his Messiah status.

Upon returning to the Beach Camp ( at night), Richard suggests that they head to see The Wiz in the morning, but John is eager to leave right away.  Richard and Ben exchange some Looks that imply that they’ve cooked up Ben’s return between them and that they have a Plan to “manage” JL:

"We can do whatever you want, but maybe the two of us should go to my tent and talk--" Richard is possibly playing for time, possibly intending to tell JL that Jacob is an Evil Spirit, under restraints devised by him and Ben. 
"Is this everyone?" Locke asks, unwilling to delay his departure.
"Well, there's another group at The Temple [what’s Special about the Temple Group, whom John, Ben and Sun did not meet while they were in the neighbourhood?  Do they include Cindy, the Children and the kidnapped Tailies?], but--"
"If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to everyone here now."
"Of course.  Be my guest." [Reluctant at the prospect of Losing Control of his People]
Locke: "Hello, everyone. My name is John Locke. I've been told that for some time, you all have been accepting orders from a man named Jacob.  And yet, oddly enough, no one has actually seen him.  Now, I'm sure there are very good reasons why his existence and whereabouts are a secret," he turns and looks at Richard, "I just don't know what they are."  He turns back to everyone else.  "And to be honest with all of you, if there is a man telling us what to do, I want to know who he is."
Sun steps forward. "This man, Jacob, can he tell us how to bring Jin and the rest of our people back here?"
"Absolutely.  Richard has agreed to show us where we need to go.  So I'm going to go and see Jacob, right now.  And I'd like all of you to come with me."  As St John walks among His People, they lay their hands on him, having accepted him as The Promised One.
To Ben, Richard says, "I'm starting to think that John Locke is going to be trouble."
"Why do you think I tried to kill him?" Ben asks.  Are these two on the same side, or is Ben “handling” Richard?

Despite the “immediate departure” agenda, Family Locke do not, in fact leave that night.  They leave the next morning - to the same LOST music as when Jack led his people to the RT at the end of S3.  Jack=Locke=Moses

En route, Ben (for some reason speaking for Richard) offers:
"This pilgrimage to see Jacob makes [Richard] uncomfortable.  He's expressed that he has reservations on whether or not you know what you're doing."
"I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, Ben."
"I know we've had our differences in the past, but I'm here to follow you now [or else my Demon Daughter will Hunt me Down and Destroy me].  So if you need Jacob to help you reunite with your people then I--"
"I'm not interested in reuniting with my people."  Yes you are, but you need to carry out another Errand first.
"What do you mean? You told Sun--"
"I know what I told her [what she needed to hear], but that's not why we're going to see Jacob."
"Then why are we going to Jacob?"
"So I can kill him."  And why are you announcing this in front of Your People?  

Regardless, these last five words sure stopped Ben in his tracks - and cast a whole different light on the Richard/Ben/Locke relationship.  If RA and Ben were afraid that JL had intended to “free” Jacob and that they were losing control of The Prisoner to a naive Island Servant unaware of Jacob’s Evil Nature, then these five words place John, Richard and Ben squarely on the same Good Guy side.

My thoughts on Jacob: Mikhail referred to him as a Magnificent Man and also told John, Sayid and Kate that they weren’t on Jacob’s List because they were Flawed.  Obviously Mikhail was on Jacob’s List along with Bea and presumably a number of other Others.
Danny said that Jack wasn’t on Jacob’s List, which implies that he himself (and his Hater wife Colleen) were.  So ... it seems to me that Jacob is a Bad Guy Hater and deserves to be Imprisoned.  If Ben and/or Richard are his Jailers, then they are by implication Good Guys

Note that Danny, Colleen, Ethan, Mikhail, Bonnie, Greta, Ryan, Jason, Tom and more are all dead now - a Second Purge initiated by Good Guy Ben.  I think that the Rules surrounding CW’s Banishment included protection for his “Loyalist” followers.   Ben could take no direct deadly action against them.  In return, they were required to obey him - which they did, reluctantly at times.

My thoughts on Jacob’s Colleague “Christian”:  A Parent who would perpetually undermine the self-confidence of his son, a Husband who would cheat on his Wife, a Doctor who would advocate the murder of a comatose patient and a Spirit that would casually tell a Self-Sacrificing Hero that he “can go now”  is an Evil Being.  Had Christian succeeded in killing Carole, Kate could not have dumped Aaron into her lap and hopped onto Ajira 316.  

Meanwhile, back in 1977:

Mad Rad cuffs Jim and Jules to separate chairs and foolishly attempts to force intel from James by punching him out.  C’mon, Stu, James has been tortured by far better Interrogators than you.  Note that Horace the Meek is elbowed aside by Rad’s Ahab-like Obsession with the Swan’s Construction schedule.  Is Rad an ex-Military Guy who knows the True Purpose of the DI’s “Research”?

When Snake-eye Phil smacks Juliet, however, James threatens to kill him.  RIP, Phil.  You’ll never meet Zeke, who also earned a Sawyer death-threat.  
Note that Somebody has Motivated James and Jules to lurve each other.  I wonder if Somebody Else Motivated James to lurve Kate. 

Right after the Phil Death Promise, a Dharmite hustles in and points out that Kate and Jack were last-minute additions to the Sub Manifest and that Hugo Reyes, current whereabouts unknown, was connected to J&K

Hugo is stuffing DHARMA food into his knapsack, after which he lumbers up a hill carrying the knapsack and the guitar-case.  I sure wonder what’s in the GC.  Dr Chang follows him.

Hugo catches up with Jin and Miles, and shows them the food in his backpack and then asks: "What's the rescue plan?"  Heart-of-Gold Hugo wants to help his Friends.
"Rescue plan?" Miles says. "We're heading to the Beach.  Why do you think we sent you for food?"
"But they've got Sawyer and Juliet," Hurley says.
"And there are 30 of them and they all have guns," Miles says. "The only people we can rescue is ourselves, so let's go."  Miles is still unevolved, still “Every Man For Himself”
"We've got to do something.  I mean, Sawyer would never leave us behind."  If he weren’t Under Arrest.
Leaves rustle and Jin and Miles raise their guns as Pierre emerges from the bushes.
"Dr. Chang, what are you doing here?" Miles asks.
"I could ask you the same question,"
"But we asked you first," Hurley says.
"Your friend, Faraday, said you were from the future.  I need to know if he was telling the truth."  Daniel’s Performance is bearing fruit
"Dude, that's ridiculous"  World’s Worst Liar.
"What year were you born?" Pierre asks Hurley.
"You're 46?"
"Yeah. Yes, I am."
"So you fought in the Korean war?"
Hurley thinks a moment and then says, "There's no such thing."  Wrong answer
"Who's the President of the United States?"  LOL - exactly the question he was afraid would be asked when James brought them to the Dharmaville Induction Centre
"Alright, dude, we're from the future," Hurley says. He looks at Jin and Miles. "Sorry."
Pierre walks up to Miles. "It's true, then? You are my son?"
"Yeah, it's true," Miles says.  Daniel’s “You’ll see” Prediction comes true.
"Your friend, the physicist, he also told me to evacuate everyone I could off the island. He said there was going to be a massive accident at the Swan.  Is that true?"
"He's been right about everything so far," Miles says. "If Faraday said get people off the Island, I'd do it."
"Well, then let's hope he knows what he's doing," Pierre says, abandoning the Three and marching to Security.
When Dr C arrives at Security, blurting out Orders to evacuate all non-essential personnel, Radzinsky cuts him off:
"Aren't you supposed to be at the Swan right now, Chang? [not a respectful Dr Chang]" We're supposed to break ground in less than 20 hours."  [Huh? Ground was broken weeks ago]
"We are under imminent threat. If we start drilling, there's a high probability of a cataclysmic accident."
Rad: "We are drilling and on schedule!"  This is a guy who definitely should blow his brains out.
Pierre: "Horace, you're in charge." 
Rad: "He's not in charge anymore [War trumps Science every time]   This is my decision and it's been made.  We keep working."

"Let us on the sub," Sawyer says. "He's right.  It ain't safe.  Put the women and children on the sub and get them the hell out of here." He looks at Juliet and she smiles. "And if you put me and Juliet on the sub with them, we'll tell you anything you want to know." He looks at Juliet. "You okay with that, sweetheart?"
"Absolutely," she says.  Awww
Radzinsky: "You want on that sub, Jim?" He slaps a notebook in Sawyer's lap. "Draw me a map. I want to know exactly where the hostiles are." [so that I can break The Truce]

Miles, Jin and Hugo watch Women and Children including Charlotte, her Mum, Lara and Baby Miles exiting their DHARMA bus before boarding the sub.  Miles sees Dr C arguing with Lara, ordering her away from the Island, and (finally) learns why he was being so “mean” to his own wife: “It was the only way to get her to leave”.  Miles finally learns the Truth because nothing stays buried on the Island.  But, honestly -  Duh.  Saw that coming weeks ago.

The Three are just about to start out for Lostie Beach (hope they know the Fence code) when Hugo spots (cuffed) Jim and Jules boarding the Sub.  Hugo says that Sawyer always has a plan (Ben’s line) and he does, but despite appearances, I think they’ll all be seeing each other very soon.

Sawyer’s Plan is the “Back to The Future” Biff Tannen Plan - “we’ll buy Microsoft.  We’ll bet the Cowboys in the ‘78 Superbowl.”  He expects to benefit financially (as did CW) from his Future Knowledge.  Unfortunately for J&J, I doubt that they’ll be returning to the Real World just yet. 

 Kate’s last-minute arrival, like Ben’s 316 arrival cracked me up.  Juliet’s PISSED look was hilarious and the awkward “Hey” and “Hey” was rather funny.  But I doubt that Juliet needs to worry about Skate.  Kate’s role here is to be the Link between Team J&J and Team Jack/Ellie.  
We know that Lara, Miles, Charlotte and her Mother get to the Real World in 1977, but I’m guessing that JJ and K won’t get any farther than the LG - where they’ll be reunited with their fellow Losties for the Humdinger Finale, which will have to include Team Ilana, Captain Frank - and whatever’s/whoever’s in the metal crate.

As the Captain presses the “Submerge” button and the Galaga disappears, I’m confident we’ll see it again shortly.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Australia's the key to the whole Game"

A Random (but original) Thought: Remembering Hugo’s 409 “Risk” comment about Australia being ”the key to the whole Game”, could it be that all our Losties never did board Flight 815 - that they’re all still in Australia - still in their pre-flight hotel rooms, sharing some Aboriginal-controlled Dream?  


Friday, May 1, 2009

514A - “The Variable” - Recap and comments

Appearing not to have been hit by Ben’s bullet, Desmond falls over, then gets up and beats the living shit out of Ben, tosses him into the water and then collapses with a potentially fatal (but invisible) gunshot wound.  OK, then. 

Eloise - or should I just call her “The [Matrix] Oracle” ? - introduces herself to Penny by asking how old Young Charlie is.  She then remarks that he’s got his Father’s hair, which he doesn’t, but whatever.  Her Mission isn’t Baby Flattery, but to deliver some Motivation to Penny:

Desmond’s wounding is incidental to an Old and Complex, um, “Conflict” involving herself and her son Daniel (among others).  Ellie doesn’t mention Daddy Widmore’s participation in this War, nor the fact that Daniel and Penny (like Jack/Claire and Boone/Shannon) are half-siblings.  Ellie does tell Penny that she’s there to Apologise (that word again) and that for the first time in a long time, she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next.  In other words, until now, she has Known The Future - which Convalescing Desmond will confirm.

If Ellie’s telling the truth about not knowing the Future any more, it would seem that her willingness to send her son back to 1954 and 1974 was mostly to Close The Circle - a “memo” to her Past Self about the possibility of TT.  

If Ellie herself is being played by the Island/Jacob and truly doesn’t any longer know The Future, doesn’t really know that Sacrificing her only-begotten son is/was necessary for The Greater Good, then she’s taking an awful lot on Faith.

After Eloise exits the hospital, (LOST sure spends lots of time in hospitals) Charles approaches from behind and asks:

"Is he alright?"  Desmond?  Or Young Charlie?
"Yes, Charles, he's fine."
"Your daughter's in there. Why don't you go in and say hello?"  Note that Eloise doesn’t say “our daughter” - which supports Ben’s accusation that Penny’s Mother is/was an Outsider.  Note also the collegial, almost affectionate tone of Ellie’s suggestion to CW. 
"Unfortunately, Eloise, my relationship with Penelope is one of the things I had to sacrifice."  I guess Eloise and Charles haven’t been in, um, close contact for many years. 
"Sacrifice! Don't you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles!  I had to send my son back to the island, knowing full well--"
"He's my son, too, Eloise." [Slap]  No surprise here, especially given CW’s Sponsorship of Dan’s Research, complemented by Ellie’s unrelenting “support” of Daniel’s Mission as well.  So ... Daniel was conceived on-Island, possibly born/raised in the US (where he acquired his American accent) and then sent to Oxford to “finish” his Education and conduct his Research.  

Island (1977) :
As soon as Daniel climbs out of The Sub (8 or 9 PM), he blows by Dr Chang (which explains why Dr C doesn’t recognise him later that day) and gets Miles to bring him to Jack - whom he wakes up at, say 5:30 AM.  Long drive from the Sub Dock to Dharmaville, I guess.  He’s returned to the Island because he got his hands on a copy of the 1977 New DI Recruits photo.  “Material Boy” Miles is surprised to see Daniel because he thought Dan would use his future knowledge to become rich by inventing “the DVD or something”.  Future Knowledge is exactly how Charles got rich after he was Banished.  

Ben, CW and Eloise all worked together to enable Flight 316.  To some extent, these three Puppeteers are on the Same Team.

During the Daniel/Jack chat, we learn that Daniel’s been “doing research” at the Ann Arbor DI HQ and that in Dan’s opinion, Jack, Kate and Hugo (never mind Sayid) should not have been sent/summoned back into 1977 and that Mummy was wrong to have enabled this Mistake.  I respectfully disagree with Dr Dan (if he does indeed believe what he’s saying).  It seems to me that Jack, Kate and Hugo (and Sayid) were required to return (temporarily) to 1977 to:
1) Befriend and then Betray Ben ... and 
2) Shake James, Juliet, Jin and Miles out of their Temporary Retirement and to (possibly) set up the (Future) Purge.

After sharing this intel with Jack, Daniel has to hustle over to The Orchid where he has a Very Important Date - with Dr Chang, who pulls up to the Orchid “on schedule” as per Dan’s Journal.  Dan follows Dr C down into the Basement and - after Dr C has his little “Kill Hitler” chat with the Foreman, Dan startles him with a Warning:

"I need you to order the evacuation of every man, woman, and child on this island."
This is a “pseudo-warning” similar to the one Ben gave Jack at the RT... intended NOT to be taken seriously at the time, but to be remembered at a subsequent Right Moment. "Now why would I do that?"
"Because that man is on a stretcher as a consequence of the electromagnetic activity that your drilling unleashed down here."
"Which is now contained." He gets into the elevator and Daniel follows.
"It's contained down here. But in about six hours, the same thing is going to happen at the site for the Swan Station, only the energy there is about 30 thousand times more powerful, sir, and the accident, it's going be catastrophic."  I suppose this is/will be The Incident - but doesn’t seem to have anything to do with using the Swan Computer to contact the Outside World per the Radzinsky Edit.
"That is utterly absurd. What could possibly qualify you to make that kind of prediction?"
"I'm from the future."
Daniel follows Pierre out of the elevator. Daniel is consulting his journal. He finds something and says, "Dr. Chang, wait.  Wait one second please."
"Yes, yes, you're from The Future." Pierre says. "You heard me talking about Time Travel.  Now you've had your fun; good for you."  A comment similar to Daniel’s reaction to Desmond’s initial 1996 Oxford comments. 
Miles hears what they are saying and gets out of the Jeep.
"Please, Dr. Chang," Daniel says. "Please, look in my journal. Some of these equations won't be discovered for another twenty years."
Miles runs over. "Hey, hey, Dan. Leave the man alone. Sorry, Dr. Chang, I think he had too many drugs on the sub."  Miles’ contradictions remove the Urgency from this Situation, but will very soon result in Dr C deciding to send his wife and infant son away to save their lives.  
"Dr. Chang," Daniel says, "Miles is your son."
"Excuse me?" Pierre says.
"Think about it," Daniel says, "a Chinese man, named Miles, the same name as your baby, shows up with me from the future."
Pierre looks at Miles. "Is this true?"
"No," Miles says. [convinced that Daniel’s comments/actions are foolish]
"Stay away from me," Pierre says and gets in a bus and drives away.  If Daniel does, in fact “die” a short while later, when does he film the 2008 DHARMA Booth video?
"Are you out of your mind?" Miles says. "What are you doing?"
"I'm just making sure that your father does what he's supposed to do."  Like his Mother the LOST Oracle, Daniel has told Dr C exactly (and only) what he “needed to hear”.  I’m thinking that Daniel’s 3 years at Ann Arbor revealed at least some of The Big Picture about The Future and who is Supposed To Do what when.

“Flashbacks” - Since Daniel’s Memory becomes badly damaged during his young adulthood, I’m wondering what his “Flashbacks” should represent: 
A) Factual depictions of Real Events as viewed by an Omniscient Impartial Being
B) His subjective memories of these events - from his personal Point Of View
C) Implanted memories cooked up by The Island to Motivate him to Choose what he’s Supposed To choose.  To me, LOST “Flashbacks” “feel like” A, but might be B (except for Daniel) or C - which create issues with shared memories. 

Note again the constant references to Insanity and Dreaming in this Episode and in many/most/all others.  Maybe everyone in LOST is in some Sleep Lab lucidly dreaming all this stuff.  Maybe everybody’s in some Insane Asylum sharing Hallucinations.  

Moving right along:  Young Daniel, (like Young Sun in “Glass Ballerina”)  is playing piano with the aid of a Metronome.  Daniel plays well, but out of synch with the metronome.  His “Time Sense” is, er, underdeveloped.    His (very wound up) Mother (who reminds me very much of Penny) is proud of her son’s musical ability, but reluctantly embraces her duties as a Future-Seeing Time Cop:

"Destiny means that if you have a special gift, then it must be nurtured." She stops the metronome and says, "How many beats has that metronome counted since you've been playing?"
"Eight hundred sixty-four."  Daniel = Math Genius
"Your Gift, Daniel, is your mind, a mind that is meant for science, mathematics, and it's my [Time-Cop] job to keep you on your Path.  So, unfortunately, there is no more time for distractions."
"But I want to keep playing the piano. I can do both. I can make time."  Daniel is/was forever running short on Time.
"If only you could," she says and closes the piano.  She already knows (how?) that Daniel’s eventual return to The Island will mean his (possible/inevitable) “death”. 

Daniel’s Oxford Graduation: Eloise wastes no time snubbing Daniel’s Research Assistant/Girlfriend Theresa in order to share a few Moments with her Son.  Ellie’s “training” of her son is at least as rigorous (and emotionally damaging) as Christian’s “training” of Jack:
You should be focussing your energies on your work."
"On my work," 
"Yes! That is what is important."
"You've made it abundantly clear. Why would I waste my gift on a woman?"
"I'm sorry to tell you, Daniel, but you're not going to have time for relationships. The women in your life [Theresa and Charlotte] will only be terribly hurt."  She has Seen The Future
"What does that mean?"
"It means that your work will always come first. That's all."  She can’t tell her Son that she has Seen The Future, a Gift (or a Technology) she acquired after leaving the Island, a Gift shared by her Ex.
"Only because that's what you always push me to do. You pushed, and you pushed, and you pushed and when will it be enough, Mother?  When?  I'm the youngest Doctor to ever graduate from Oxford, [similar to Jack’s Med School accomplishments]  I just got a new 1.5 million pound research grant.  What else do I have to do?" [to earn your respect/praise/love?]
"Grant? That's wonderful. From whom?"  [She doesn’t answer his Real Question]
"I don't know, Mother.  Some industrialist.  Widmore, I think. [Ellie seems somewhat surprised (why?) to hear CW’s name] Charles Widmore."  Ellie’s demeanor changes instantly darker, but she tries to cover it with a “chuckle” :
"I don't want to fight with you, Daniel. That is not why I came."
"Why did you come?"
She pulls out a gift and sets it on the table. "To congratulate you." [spoken as though bowing reluctantly to defeat] 
She stands. "Good luck, Daniel, and I do hope you know that I mean that."  She leaves,  sticking Daniel with the bill.

Daniel opens the gift.  It’s the journal that we've seen him use.  Inside the front cover it says, 'Daniel, No matter what, remember [Hah!], I will always love you.  Mother'   
She already knows that she will have to eventually sacrifice him, like Abraham (almost) did with Isaac. 

11/04 - The Fake Wreckage is on TV and memory-damaged Daniel weeps without knowing why.  His visitor is Charles Widmore, who is presumably paying the cost of Daniel’s Caregiver (Caroline) as he’s been doing for Theresa and her sister.
We learn that Daniel tested The Device on himself “first” - which implies that he experienced no immediate negative effects and that he tested it on Theresa second.  Or maybe she tested it on herself as Daniel had done to himself. 
Regardless, Widmore’s visit has a different purpose.  After admitting that he planted the Fake himself (which makes little sense, given the original 815 Flight Path, but whatever) CW says that he’s admitting this to Daniel because Daniel won’t remember it the next day.  Huh?  Why then tell him?  Or - is he actually trying to tell us?  Which makes just as little sense to me.  
Anyways ... CW obviously thinks (correctly)  that Daniel’s memory isn’t completely defective, since he makes a Proposal that Daniel subsequently discusses with Mummy:

“The real Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on an island, a special island, with unique scientific properties.  I want to send you to the island.  It will further your research, show you things you'd never dream [that word again] of, and more importantly, it will heal you, Daniel ... your mind, your memory."  

Daniel’s Island Missions were to mislead Team Jack about their Not Rescue, test the Time-shield around the island using The Payload, calculate the in/out Bearing,  help disable The Tempest, coach Desmond on how to acquire his Constant, recover his own Memories and Faculties, assist in the “Evacuation” of Losties to the Kahana and then to act as a Time Guide to the Left-behind Losties, including his 2003 (?) Conversation with Desmond.   Oh yes, he also tried to comfort soon-to-die Charlotte as she lurched towards nose-bleed heaven.

When Daniel was marooned in 1974, he was finally able to “further his studies” in Ann Arbor.

Memory-impaired Adult Daniel plays  the same piece of piano music as before, but he’s forgotten some of the notes.  Given the Show’s emphasis on Memory, part of me wonders if Memory Erasure is a by-product of Daniel’s Research - or the goal.  If the DI “already” knew all about TT, it didn’t need Daniel’s TT Research.  But if the implantation of “false” memories is part of what’s going on, then finding a way to wipe memories clean (Tabula Rasa) would be an important first stage of the Memory Substitution Process.

But I’m thinking that in some Circular way that Daniel’s Time Travel Research is/was/becomes the basis for the DI’s and is crucial in itself.  He’s certainly “way ahead” of 1977 Pierre Chang.    

Mummy comes to visit:
"I hear you have been offered a job."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, it's my business to know.  Aside from staying in touch with CW, it seems to me that Eloise's access to info is so good that she may be a Remote Viewer - an invisible omniscient (or nearly so) Observer.
I came here, Daniel, to tell you that it is very important that you say yes to Mr. Widmore, that you accept this opportunity."  Charles and Eloise have recently been in touch
"I can't. He needs someone who can do really, really complicated space/time calibrations and calculate bearings, and I just don't know how to do that anymore."
"Daniel, this place he mentioned to you, this island, did he tell you that it could make you better? What if it's true? Why, then you could go on with your work. Just think of all that you could accomplish."
"You really want me to go?"
"Will it make you proud of me?"
She takes a deep breath. "Yes, Daniel, it will."
He cries. "Then I'll do it."  

All of the love-starved “training” that Eloise has subjected Daniel to, all the distractions removed from his life so that he could succeed in his Time Travel Research, even the damage that’s been done to his memory ... all of it has been done to him (by both of his parents) so that he would Choose - at this point in Time - to go to the Island.

Note that Dan’s memory problem is different from Theresa’s - which seems similar to Minkowski’s and Desmond’s - albeit not fatal.  Instead of Remembering The Future like Desmond or toggling between the Past and the Present like Theresa and Minkowski, Daniel’s simply forgetting some of the Past.  

Speaking of Desmond, we’ve seen no evidence of his continuing ability to Remember The Future.  He certainly didn’t know that Ben was coming after him and Penny.  Maybe his Powers were temporary, lasting only long enough to get Charlie into the LG.

Note that pre-Kahana Naomi considered Daniel a “Head-case” and that Doc Ray thought that Daniel “couldn’t even help himself”.  And yet - he was able to plot a Bearing from the Kahana to the Island - while still outside the Island’s Time Shield - and seemed totally lucid as soon as he parachuted from the chopper.  And yet - a few days later, while playing Memory Card Games with Charlotte, he wasn’t happy about the state of his Memory.  It was only after coaching Desmond to establishing his Constant - which may have triggered Daniel’s own use of Desmond as his own Constant -  that Daniel seemed fully recovered.   

Island 1977  -  6AM
Having been woken by Daniel and having watched Dan and Miles drive off to the Orchid, Jack decides to confer with James - who’s recently made Phil a Prisoner-in-a- Closet like Hugo in 403 ( “The Economist”).     

Having accomplished his Orchid Mission, Daniel (and Miles) return to Dharmaville and join the Lostie Conference at Casa LaFleur/Burke during which Hugo has already voted to flee Dharmaville and head to Lostie Beach because commandeering the Sub and trying to flee to the Mainland sounded “wishy-washy” to him.  Go Hugo!

"Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy.  Good to see you again.  Pound cake's in the kitchen.  Help yourself to the punch."  All Inside Jokes which only hard-core Fans will “get”.
Daniel goes inside and James asks Miles, "Is he still crazy?"
"It's on a whole new level, man," Miles says.

Daniel’s Plan is to flee Dharmaville and seek out the Hostiles because he knows his Mummy is there and that she alone can send the Losties Back to The Future.

James: "Your mother is an Other?" Sweet
Jack: "Sawyer, [Dan] said he could get us back to where we belong.  Whether we go on the sub or we head back into the jungle, we don't belong here."
"I belonged here just fine until you came back, doc,"  Which is partly why J,K,H and S were sent to 1977
Jack turns to Kate. "You know where the Hostiles are?  You and Sawyer took Ben out to them.  Can you get us back out there?  Kate, you made me promise to never ask what happened to Aaron or why you came back here.  But I know that reason, it isn't here.  It's not now."  True enough.  “Claire” is in 2008.
"Whatever her reason is, helping H.G. Wells, here talk to his Mommy ain't got nothing to do with it," Sawyer says. "Come with us, Freckles."
Juliet wants Freckles Elsewhere ... any Elsewhere: "The code for the fence is 141717. You should take Daniel; it's over here for us, anyway."

Instead of driving Dan, Kate and Jack to the Sonic Fence, Miles tosses Dan the Jeep keys.  He’s sticking with his 1974 Buddies.

While Kate and Jack figure out how to liberate some hand-guns (Jack: “Good thing I’m a janitor”), Miles decides to chat with Charlotte and (breaking his promise to himself) warns her (unnecessarily - since her Mother would be making that decision for her) that she will soon need to leave the Island.  He does not warn her never to return.  

Alas, before Team Dan can make a Clean Getaway, they are accosted by Perpetually Angry Radzinsky who spies Dan’s gun and starts a firefight during which Dan receives a neck injury and Jack shoots a fuel drum, enabling a messy escape.  

Radzinsky and his two lackeys storm over to Casa LaFleur/Burke where he hears Closet Phil (another LaFleur mistake) and orders Jim, Julie and Miles to Get Down On The Floor.   As I’d predicted a few weeks ago, the Lostie presence in Dharmaville has been recognised as an Infiltration.  Time for Kangaroo Court #2.  Unless Hugo and Jin - who are outside - can turn the tables quickly. 

Upon reaching the Sonic Fence, Dan offers another TT lesson:
"You've got to understand, Jack, this is our Present.  When we met did I have a scar on the neck?  No, because I hadn't been shot yet.  We can't be so naive as to think nothing can happen to us. Any one of us can die, Jack."  Jack has to hear these words, has to realise that even if his Free Will decisions “already happened”, he still has to Choose, still has to Act. 
Dan: "In about 4 hours, the Dharma folks at the Swan site are going to drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy.  The result of the release of this energy would be catastrophic.  So, in order to contain it, they're going to have to cement the entire area in, like Chernobyl.  And this containment, the place they build over it, I believe you called it the hatch.  The Swan hatch.  This flatly contradicts the notion that the Swan was designed and built before The Incident, with a powerful computer which was dumbed down after The Incident to the lowly task of releasing the EM charge every 108 minutes.   

Because of this one little accident, these people are going to spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay by pressing a button (using fallible humans when a Clock would have done the job more reliably).  A button that your friend Desmond will fail to push, and that will cause your plane, Oceanic 815 to crash on this island (which was the whole point of this stupid button-pushing chore).  And because your plane crashed, a freighter will be sent to this island.  A freighter that I was on and Charlotte was on and so forth. This entire chain of events is going to start happening this afternoon.  But, we can change that.  I've studied relativistic physics my entire life.  One thing emerged over and over: Can't change the past, can't do it.  Whatever happened, happened.  But then, I finally realized, I've been spending so much time on the Constants that I forgot about the Variables.   Do you know what the Variables in these equations are, Jack?"
"Us.  We're the variables.  People.  We think, we reason, we make choices.  We have free will.  We can change our destiny.  I think I can negate that energy under the Swan. I think I can destroy it.  If I can, then that hatch will never be built and your plane will land just like it's supposed to in Los Angeles."  

Despite the fact that Daniel is about to prove (again) that WHH, Jack and Kate had to hear this speech - which I think is all Daniel wanted/needed to do with them.  He knows he’s about to die (maybe) but he’s ensuring (like his Mother) that Events unfold the way they must if the Current Iteration of LOST is to attain Success - however that’s to be defined.

Hearing Daniel talk about Humans being Free Will Variables, I recall John playing the Flame computer - and winning despite Mikhail’s warning that the Computer cheats.  John said then that it was only Humans who cheated - and I still believe that Human Free Will is crucial to the Winning of the Looming War.

Marching through the bush once more, K&J hang back a bit and Kate says: “This is a mistake.  He's talking about erasing (that word/concept again) everything that's ever happened to us, Jack.  It's insane (that word again)."
"We disappeared off a plane in midair and ended up in 1977. I'm getting kind of used to insane."  

IMO, if Daniel really wanted to confer with his Mom, his best tactic would have been to enter Camp Charles/Ellie/Richard unarmed.  So ... I don’t think his Mission was chit-chat.  I think he did what he was Supposed To Do - close the Circle - send a Message from 2008 Ellie to 1977 Ellie - the Message being: “Time Travel is real and you sacrificed your Son to convince yourself of that fact.  Now get the hell off the Island and figure out how this Time Travel stuff works.  Oh and before you do, collect the 7 Time Travellers currently on the Island and send them Back to the Future.”

If Daniel gets Otherised like 1977 Ben just did, maybe they both return to Dharmaville - where Daniel eventually gets through to Dr Chang and they make that ComicCon video.