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Lost: ?

Eko: "We do it because we believe we are meant to."

I'm confused. Lost is so complex that I'm starting to feel inadequate. Can reviewers get performance anxiety?

Eko and Locke, our two mystics, appear to have a paranormal connection. Eko's dreams told him things he couldn't possibly have known about, like Ana Lucia's death and Locke's drawing of the map. And Locke actually dreamed that he was Eko. (This dream was just fascinating; Locke as Eko was using a crutch, and when he reached the top of the cliff, Yemi was sitting in Locke's wheelchair.) For some reason, Eko has now decided that he believes in the Experiment, whatever it is, just as Locke finally admitted he had lost his "faith." Does Eko believe the Experiment has something to do with God?

The flashbacks were about Charlotte, a girl who came back from the dead. A girl who had a message from the beyond for Eko from his brother Yemi. Bizarrely enough, she was the daughter of Claire's psychic, Richard Malkin.

Why would Malkin confess to Eko that he was a fake psychic? Why would he say his religious wife Joyce was trying to spite him? The obvious answer was that Malkin was trying to stop the Catholic Church from investigating his daughter's resurrection. I bet the Dharma Initiative had something to do with Charlotte's resurrection. Malkin deliberately sent Claire to Los Angeles on Flight 815, too. Malkin is part of It, whatever It is.

I've been mildly bummed by the thought that it's all just a silly social science experiment. Eko's conviction that it was important gave me pause. What could a Very Important Experiment be about? Mystical healing? Immortality? It might even be about the nature of God.

No immortality for Libby, though. The Island's healing powers were not enough for her, just as they weren't enough for the marshal. (The shock of Libby waking up and spitting blood was so effective that I actually shrieked a little. Good job there.) At least her passing was a lot less painful than the marshal's, with the help of the Virgin Mary heroin. And how symbolic was that?

Sawyer hid the guns and heroin right in his own tent. That was smart; no one would ever have expected him to do that. He was also "good Sawyer" this week. He comforted Kate when she was crying. And he could have chosen to hang on to the guns, not share the heroin, and let Libby die painfully. I bet the marshal's passing was still fresh in Sawyer's mind.

I was weirded out by the formerly sweet, formerly harmless Michael lurking among his former friends like a snake in the Garden of Eden. What would he have done if Libby had said more than his name? Why was he still there? He was looking at the computer. Was he waiting for a message from the Others?

Character bits:

Eko's monsignor called him "Father Tunde." I couldn't make out the detailed info on Eko's forged Australian passport, but now we know he was trying to get to the United States illegally.

In the flashbacks, Eko appeared unhappy with the day-to-day of being a priest. He was bored with hearing confession.

Eko and Locke did not pick up Henry's trail. Maybe Henry never left.

The doctor in the orientation film was Dr. Mark Wickman. In the Swan orientation film, he called himself Dr. Marvin Candle. Candle, wick. One of the red and black countdown symbols was a flame, wasn't it?

Wickman mentioned Karen deGroot.

Sawyer called Locke "Gimpy McCrutch." He called Henry "the artist formerly known as Henry Gale." Kate is always Freckles now. No nicknames for the dying Libby; Sawyer just called her Libby.

There are two Australian psychics in the story. I know Australia is somewhat large, but is Malkin connected to Iluru somehow?

Bits and pieces:

— Sawyer gave Jack the meds two days ago. For us, that was two episodes ago.

— The Pearl Hatch was number five of six. So far (tell me if I'm wrong), we've seen three others: Locke's Swan Hatch, the Tailies' Arrow Hatch, and the Caduceus Hatch we saw in "Maternity Leave."

— Dr. Candle/Wickman said that the observers in the Pearl Hatch were part of the experiment. If there are just six hatches, though, then why were there nine television monitors?

— The fact that the Pearl Hatch can only be seen from above made me think of God. (And planes, of course.) Salting the earth is biblical as well.

— Locke put his drawing in the pneumatic tube. Candle/Wickman said it would go directly to them. Where did it go? And where is the "Pala Ferry?" Was that how Desmond got off the Island?

— The new orientation film had a copyright date of 1980, just like the one in the Swan hatch. But there was one big difference: it was VHS instead of a filmstrip.

— There was another Hanso commercial. "The Hanso Foundation. Reaching out to a better tomorrow." It showed DaVinci, the space shuttle, and a double helix, and gave the phone number and a web site: http://www.sublymonal.com/. Please don't tell me it's a subliminal Sprite commercial.


Locke: "What's the axe for?"
Eko: "I don't know yet."
It was to open the Pearl Hatch.

Eko: "Your map is inexact."
Locke: "No kidding."
Eko: "These landmarks. Is this a river?"
Locke: "No, it's a wavy line."

Locke: "That's not work. It's a joke. Rats in a maze with no cheese."

Hurley: "I'm sorry I forgot the blankets." Poor Hurley. At least it happened before they got too close.

Three out of four polar bears,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Another freaky Island story and I’m glad I’m not the only one confused. I’ve watched it twice and still can’t completely wrap my head around it.

    The only thing that popped into my head of any significance is that I think that the guy on the films/tapes is the head honcho the Others are afraid of.

    On a character level, I cried with Hurley. He’s such a sweet guy and I was so pleased that the writers had given him a love interest. And, it was so like him to blame himself for not getting the blankets. Poor guy. I hope there’s another girl out there for him -- one that actually survives long enough to go on that picnic.

  2. Despite its flaws, I love this episode. Locke becomes convinced that, because "his" hatch was under observation, he was being experimented on. But there was a camera in the Pearl station, too, which reminded me of the old (Tertullian?) quote "Who watches the watchers?" The watchers in the Pearl station are told they're observing people who are doing something important, and that their observation is important. Who, exactly, is being experimented on?

    Because of the meta elements (us watching John and Eko watching Dr. Wickman aka Marvin Candle), we can extrapolate the questions within the story to the story itself: are we watching people do stuff (like press buttons and get shot), or is the act of watching itself a vital activity? Even if we're watching fiction?

    Fictionality, mimesis, and representation are highlighted twice in this episode. Once in the fun quote you highlighted:

    Eko: "Your map is inexact."
    Locke: "No kidding."
    Eko: "These landmarks. Is this a river?"
    Locke: "No, it's a wavy line."

    In other words: it's not a river. It's the representation of something that we might interpret as a river. By the same logic, Ana Lucia isn't dead. She's the representation of, the performance of, deadness.

    Eko, in response to John's dismay about the role of the Pearl, says something like: "We must press the button, because we believe we are doing something important." I think his language there is fascinating, as it highlights the uncertainty of belief. It's not: "We must press the button because we are doing something," but "we must press the button because we believe..." How we approach a task is more important than the task itself. Learning to believe there is a point to the task is the goal of the task.

    But, now onto the flaws. I'll try to stay relatively spoiler free (mostly by being vague and confusing), but people who haven't seen the episode before might not want to read on:

    1. WTF? I cannot reconcile the Pearl orientation film with the timeline of events as I understand them by the end of the show. Simply. Cannot. Do. It. The film was copyright 1980, but look at Wickman/Candle.

    Notice that? Yeah.

    So any attempt to explain away the copyright as later than the time of filming becomes irrelevant, because we know it must have been filmed before 1977 for Candle/Wickman to be the way he is. But the hatch couldn't been built until after 1977.

  3. I'm rewatching the series (binging actually) with one of my kids and reading Billie's reviews along the way. First, let me say a big "Thank You" for doing what you do, especially with a series like "Lost" that is SO complex. Knowing where the story is going is helping me understand it much better, but I couldn't dig so deep without your summaries. Second, I wanted to let you know that the website you mentioned as part of the Hanso Foundation commercial no longer exists. Any ideas where all the extras may live online now?

  4. You're very welcome, Lee. And I'm afraid I have no idea what they did with the show's accompanying websites, unfortunately. They're probably just gone by now.

  5. This might be an unpopular comment to make, but it took a recent rewatch of this episode to make me understand just how sad and incredibly selfish John Locke was as a character. It's strange that it took me so long to realize this. It was so important to him that the island was his own special destiny. It so important for him to feel special. Locke was a selfish man. In some ways I found him more selfish than the other major characters. But I believe his particular brand of selfishness made him a very sad man.


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