Thursday, March 5, 2009

LOST REVIEW: Ep. 5.8 "LaFleur"

Did everyone notice the chess players in the Dharma compound?  I did.  How many subtle chess references is that now?  Four?  Eight?  Fifteen?  (Shall I go on?)  I know I’m not the only one here, but I have long held that Lost is an elaborate chess game between Ben and “The Universe” (or God, or Fate, or whatever you want to call it…. not Simon Cowell).  Of course it is not as simple as chess.  There are elements of Moustrap, and Othello, and Backgammon as well.  But this is what makes Lost so interesting for me – figuring out who is up against who, how each character fits into the equation, and what exactly the stakes are.  Anyone reading this who has not read the ton of other garbage I have written over the past year can look it up here:

 So… Welcome Jim LaFleur.  I like it.  As far as the whole “chess” analogy goes, I have always wondered what role Sawyer and Jin (and Kate and Hurley, etc) would play as the chess pieces.  I believe they are agents of “the universe” and that they will play a key role in the defeat of Ben Linus, and in this episode, both Sawyer and Jin’s possible role and importance started coming a little more into focus.  I’m so interested to see what – if any – reaction there will be from Sawyer (the new sheriff in town) when Horace brings little Ben and Roger Workman to the island.  If he will even still be there.  

I expect --- at least I hope – that the final moment in this season finale will be adult Ben tricking these Losties off the island yet again in another “ah hah!” “oh crap!” moment.  But when things like this happen, the Universe is prepared, and it just puts them exactly where and when it needs them – i.e. the early 1950s where Faraday can build the Dharma lamppost station and find how to track the island.

That’s one possibility.  But here’s another.  What if “the war is coming” (so said Mr. Widmore) is actually “the purge” that we have already seen, and that Locke and co. – if they are there for “the purge” this time around – will ensure a different outcome?  Maybe.  I’m not sure all the pieces stack up, but it is another of the many intriguing possibilities this show has to offer.

So… who is Amy and Horace’s son?  Born in 1977, this person would have been, about 27 years old at the time the Losties crashed on the island (assuming normal timelines, a dangerous but reasonable assumption at this point).  My guess is Ethan.  Juliette mentioned that the hostiles wiped out MOST of the Dharma initiative.  We know Ben was spared.  I think Annie was as well, if she was alive at that time.  Maybe Ethan made the switch as well.  We’ll see. 

And as for Annie dying in childbirth (what I think Ben is trying to change/prevent -- the ultimate "stakes" in his chess game) -- Sawyer gave that great line to Juliette "what if whatever caused that to happen (pregnant women dying) hasn't happened yet?"  It hadn't.  Amy gave birth without a hitch.  Of course.  Ben isn't even on the island yet.  He hasn't started abusing his "life travel remembering the future" abilities yet to continually save her life (like Desmond with Charlie) and the universe hasn't changed the properties of the island to kill women in childbirth to course correct Annies fated death.  That's still my theory.  I haven't given it up quite yet.

I am a little confused, though, about Horace’s love life.  He seemed to be with a blonde woman when he came across Ben’s birth just outside of Portland (before the events we saw last night).  He seemed to still be with that same woman when young Ben came to the island (after the events we saw last night).  So what exactly is going on here?  Did Horace grow up in Juniper Creek? 

We saw the back of the four-toed statue.  Not the best CGI I have ever seen, but cool to get another little tease about the antiquities of the island.  Can’t wait to see the front.  Someone suggested it may be the face of John Locke.  Maybe.  But this looked Egyptian-feline to me.

The record isn’t skipping any more.  You know, I think I have been a little too generous in my application of “time travel” with some of my Ben/Widmore theories.  I think it is becoming more clear that physical time travel/displacement is a rare, exceptional thing – maybe it is the thing that makes this group of Losties so “special.”  Richard Alpert – who clearly has some deep, supernatural mysterious connection to the island – does not time travel.  He also does not seem to “life travel” (the term I used last year to describe what Desmond has been experiencing with his flashes – the consciousness moving to different points in his life, allowing one to “remember” the future).  Richard doesn’t do that.  He exists in a linear time and experiences his meetings with these Losties in that linear sphere.  (Can a sphere be linear?)  I don’t think this group is going to be in the 1970’s for long.  Faraday was up to something next to that Donkey wheel n the season premier.   They’ll get back somehow.  I just really hope they are tricked by Ben, like the way he tricked Widmore.

But it is not yet clear “when” Ben and Locke and the new plane crash victims are.  It is clear that they are much later – probably 2007 by the look of the Dharma station Caeser was messing around in.  So it will be really interesting to see what happens with Locke and Sun, who did not get magically sucked from the plane like Hurley and Jack and Kate.

Random thought: You think Hurley and his guitar may become Geronimo Jackson?

And sure, okay, I’ll spend a little time on the Kate-Sawyer thing.  Yes, an interesting plot development.  Not a surprising one.  Didn’t we all see this Sawyer-Julliette romance coming the moment they left together in season three to go back and rescue Jin-Sayid-Bernard?  And especially last season when Sawyer swam back to the island pretty much right into Juliette’s arms.  I liked seeing them together.  They were happy and good for each other.  I like thinking of Jim LeFleur as the redemption of little James Ford who witnessed the murder/suicide of his parents and spent his whole life angry and vengeful.  I liked him in the 70’s, happily playing house with Juliette, and it conjured up a line or two from Seals & Croft “Summer Breeze” –

see the light a’shinin’ in the kitchen

food's cookin’ and the plates for two-oo-hoo

feel the arms that reach out to hold me

in the evenin’ when the day is through-oo-hoo


and I come home from a hard days work

and you’re waiting there without a care in the world


Summer Breeze, makes me feel fine….


Sorry, I just dig that song.  And we are in the 70's Dharma hay-day.

So now unreliable gorgeous firecracker “freckles” is back in Sawyer's life.  I just hope we don’t see Jim LeFleur slide back into his angry Sawyer self as he tries to work out his feelings for her.  But the dude did jump out of a helicopter to save her life.  That is pretty amazing and a love like that can’t be “gotten over” in three years, or ever.  So maybe Horace has a little cabin waiting for him at Juniper Creek.  Let’s just hope that Juliette is more stable a first wife than Wanda.

That’s all I got for this week.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts and hopefully some responses to you guys in the comments.  Till then, Namaste.  Lost is back in full swing and the record is groovy man.

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