Friday, May 9, 2008

Ep. 4.11 Cabin Fever, Pt. 1: Review

Okay, time to do some more fine-tuning to my “Cosmic Game of Chess” theory.

I admit it -- during the first few moments of tonight’s episode I was a little disappointed that this was Emily Locke getting ready for a date, and not a teenage Annie, who I was secretly hoping was on the island getting ready to go on a nice Dharma date with her un-motherly-approved-boyfriend Ben. But no, it was Locke’s mom. Still, it was super cool.

So Richard Alpert – what is up with this guy? Keep in mind the line to Locke from the dream-visage Horace Goodspeed, “Jacob has been waiting for you for a long time.” Why? I still think Locke's destiny is to free Jacob from whatever power Ben has him under, although I am a little less sure of that after this episode than I was before.

But it looks to me like Richard is working for Jacob – sent to look out after Locke at certain times in his life. When he put those items on the table in front of little Locke and said “which one already belongs to you….” Awesome. And how else could little Locke draw a picture of smokey smashing Mr. Eko? Clearly he has some “memory” of future things that will happen to him in his life – and future is all relative, right? All things – past, present, future – are one eternal round, right?


Do I need to point out that little Locke was playing Backgammon – the same game he was playing in the pilot episode – the game he explained to Walt as the most ancient of all games? Even Richard made a point of commenting on the Backgammon game. Not exactly Chess, but still a very nice “game” reference where one player tries to anticipate and outmaneuver the other player (like Widmore's second protocol Keemy pulled out of the safe) – although the “chance” roll of the dice has more impact here than it would in chess.

And how cool was it to see Mathew Abaddon pushing Locke in that wheelchair, planting the idea of the Australian walk-about. At first I thought that we are seeing two sides with competing interest in the future of John Locke – mainly because I was had originally imagined Richard as being on “Ben’s side” (the black pieces) and Abaddon as being on “Widmore’s side” (the white pieces, aka The Universe’s side). But now I think Richard and Abaddon are both on Jacob’s side (aka, The Universe’s side). And here is why:

I’m still halfway considering that “Jacob” might be a piece of Widmore’s soul still imprisoned on the island – maybe the source of the nightmares Widmore spoke about. This would mean that Jacob/Widmore was the leader of the group that – as Ben referred to – ordered the mass execution of the Dharma Initiative. Ben was part of that group, but ultimately betrayed Widmore/Jacob and banished him from the island, imprisoning that little piece he needs to serve as his constant. I know, this is sounding a little stupid, right?


Well, it get’s even more stupider. So Richard, who was a Jacobite (aka, follower of Widmore/Jacob), supported Ben because he didn’t really know the role Ben played in Widmore/Jacob’s overthrow – he only knew that Ben was “chosen” (or so he claimed), so he followed him. But not all the Jacobites did. Some people like Ms. Hawking, Brother Campbell, and now Matthew Abaddon left the island to watch over key people -- to put pieces into play that would be needed to eventually overthrow Ben’s grip on the island.

Hawking and Campbell have helped Desmond on his destined path. Abaddon has helped Locke. And we know that Abaddon hired Naomi and the freighter folk, and we can see that they have a role to play in the overthrow of Ben, too.

Still, I really hope that Jacob and Widmore are two different people, where Jacob is maybe some personification of the island (like a "yoda" who has melded into the Force, and that Ben has somehow imprisoned) and Widmore was once one of Jacob’s “chosen ones” (like Obi-wan Kenobi) before Ben ran him off and sullied his name. I can see that Ben is claiming that he was one of Jacob’s “chosen ones” as well, but that may still be part of his big lie.

Is there any doubt now that Widmore can see future events and that he is using that knowledge to outmaneuver Ben? What was it the Keemy was saying about torching the island, and where Ben had gone/would go (and why was there a Dharma symbol on that second protocal folder?) All one eternal round to these guys, right? Unless of course they violate what is “supposed to be” and surprise the other person by “changing the rules.”

Which brings us to the best quote of the series to date. Drumroll please:

“Destiny… she’s a fickle bitch.”

I love Benjamin Linus! And Michael Emerson -- genious. What brilliant delivery on that line!!! But what does he mean?

Well, I still think he is angry at the universe because of this whole “destiny” thing. Even the way he said that he was “supposed to” get a tumor and that Alex “was supposed to” die because it was his path – that just sounded to me like he was mocking the things Ms. Hawking revered – the idea that everyone has a path and that the Universe is in control. So I get the “bitch” comment. But why fickle?

Because it’s changing, right? Which is why Faraday couldn't remember all of the cards Charlotte was about to show him, right? Or why Alex was killed when she wasn't supposed to be killed, right?


If you believe Ben – one day you are the chosen savior of the island, and the next day you are replaced by Uncle “don’t tell me what I can’t do” Fester (sorry – I’m not Sawyer – I shouldn’t even try). But that aside – Alex wasn’t supposed to be killed because he saw her in the future – that was against the rules. And if the all powerful universe can take his beloved Annie because “it’s her path” and he is not supposed to do anything to change it, shouldn’t the universe also allow his only-somewhat-less-beloved Alex the chance to fulfill “her path” instead of having it cut short by Martin Keemy? How is the universe going to course correct that? Fickle bitch.

(Ok, so I just like saying that – would it make it less offensive if I transposed it to Bickle Fitch?).

Claire in the cabin with Christian was downright creepy. Not sure what to make of it. There’s a lot of speculation going around that Claire is actually dead – that she died in that house explosion, but didn’t realize it (nor did anyone else around her, except for ghost-whisperer Miles). I’m not sure I buy into that completely, but I can’t dismiss it either.

A retraction:

A few weeks ago I suggested that Ben and Mr. Friendly were long-conning Michael with that whole “the island won’t let you die” thing. I thought Friendly had switched out Michael’s real gun with a rigged gun to perpetuate the illusion. Then Martin Keemy goes and tries to shoot Michael on the ship. Click click. So much for my great Long-con theory.

See, I'm not too arrogant to admit when I’m wrong. Right?


Just an all-around AWESOME episode. This show is the coolest.

And thanks to Kyle Dutton of Norfolk VA for emailing me and pointing out the Buddy Holly song "Everyday" - a song about destiny. (Nice touch)


RHZ said...

By the way, do you think that Richard was upset that John didn't pick the Book of Laws? Maybe John gets the Book of Laws later on the island, but he's still wanting to be the knife-throwing football playing guy -- still kind of fighting against who he really is -- and that is why Richard was upset and said "not ready yet." just a thought.

Kyle said...

I'm hoping Claire isn't dead. It would send us viewers down a very convoluted path - one that would be hard to understand and believe. And it could be used as a huge crutch for the writers. The idea just smacks of deus ex machina to me.

Anonymous said...

Ummm what if it isn't a cosmic chess game but a cosmic backgammon game? Chess = capture the king, backgammon = get all your players to the other side first? Not sure what that would mean, but there is a kernal of an idea forming in my brain somewhere......

Kyle said...

I'm liking the idea that's starting to float around that to "move" the island may not mean to move it physically, but move it in TIME. Again, falling in line with RHZ's theories.

A cosmic backgammon game doesn't sound right to me because of the random roll of the dice.

Melissa said...

Do you think that Richard was behind the car accident that put Locke's Mom into labor? Like Juliet's husband's "bus accident"? Maybe as a first test to see if he can survive like the nurse was talking about.

I thought it might be Annie too at the beginning, although the fifties thing didn't seem to fit.

I also loved the creepy touch they added with Abadon rolling John right to the edge of the stairs. All we really know about him is that he seems scary and powerful. You almost expected him to just give John a little push. Great episode!

Kyle said...

Melissa: It would be great to see someone we know behind the wheel of that car! Still, I don't think it was Richard.

He "arranged" to have Juliet's husband squashed so that Juliet would have nothing in her way to keep her from going to the island. Why would Richard want Locke to be in harms way by being born premature? Didn't Richard want Locke to get to the island safe and sound, and as quickly as possible? I think so - being evident from the "test" and the science camp.

Redheaded Zombie said...


I'm actually not too thrilled about the idea that the island might be moved in "time." It's possible, of course, but the way I see it, being unstuck in time and space are two different things. To be unstuck in time, you allow your consciousness to lifetravel to different periods of your own existance. But you are the same place in space that you always were in that moment. If the island is "alive" maybe it could lifetravel/consciousness travel/time travel, too, but I don't see how that would hide it or "save it" as much as unsticking it in space, which is the "teleporting" part of the equation. It's how Ben got to Tunisia. Granted, he asked what year it was when he got to the hotel, so maybe it is possible to simulataneously space travel (teleport) and time travel (life travel) but now I just have a headache thinking about it.

Yes, I think there are backgammon elements to this game as well -- especially since it has been described as the "oldest" game (although wouldn't that be "pimping?")

the only way I could see Richard being behind the car is if he really wanted to test the "durability" of the chosen one baby Locke -- make sure he can't be killed, cuz then you know he is really chosen.