The previews said "LOST IS BACK"... and, boy, is it EVER! If this episode truly defines the shape of things to come, then we are in for a ride! Let's take a close look into the episode.
While on the beach, Bernard noticed a body wash ashore-- It's Ray, the doctor from the freighter! He's got stitches on his face, and his throat had been slit. But when Faraday sends a morse code signal to the freighter, asking what happened, the response he gets back is that the doctor is fine. WHAT?! When asked how long it's been since Faraday last saw the doctor, his response is that "when" is a relative term.... again a mention of time bending. Could the doctor actually be alive on the freighter, or were they lying?
While the doctor on the freighter appears to be both dead AND alive at the same time, the island's doctor seems to be getting sick. It started with him holding onto his back, then moved to what he described as a pain in his gut, and now appears to be spreading quickly to the rest of his body.
No Outgoing Calls
While playing Risk, the game is quickly interrupted by a phone ringing.... but the phone has no numbers (or any way of dialing) on it. It appears to be just for one-way communication. Locke picked it up and a recording said "Code 14-J". After telling Ben, he says that they're under attack, and the enemy has made it through the sonic fence. Note: The war has officially begun.
The Orchid Station
In this video that was released at last summer's Comic Con (and also on ABC.com, as well as the LOST Season 3 DVDs), we see Marvin Candle (from the Swan Station orientation film) as he films another orientation film.... this time, for a station called the Orchid.... and he also apparently goes by the name Edgar Halliwax. Half-way through the video, something falls from the ceiling, and suddenly we see a "duplicate" of the rabbit that he's holding, at which point there is panic to assure that the two rabbits don't see each other. The producers have ruled cloning out for the show, so that (again) suggests time bending. If rabbit A (from the present) sees rabbit B (from the future), that may cause problems.
And what does that have to do with this week's episode?
In Ben's first flash-forward, we see him suddenly wake up startled in the middle of the Sahara Desert wearing a parka with the Orchid Station's Dharma logo on it, along with a name tag that says "Halliwax". Shortly after waking up, Ben flips over and throws up on the ground. Then, after killing a couple people and making his way to a hotel in a nearby town, he confirms the date with the woman behind the desk as October 24, 2005 (about 10 months ahead of island-time).
I think this is clearly implying that Ben transported to the middle of the Sahara from not only a different place (the island) but also from a different time (unknown).
After Alex was killed by the freighter-guy, Ben was speechless. He just sat and stared blankly into space, and finally says to himself, "They changed the rules." He then jumped up, ran into his room, which had a secret room (where he kept all his passports, clothes, and money), which had a secret door behind the clothes, which led to another secret room with hieroglyphics and Aztec symbols on it. Now, I've said it once and I'll say it again.... if you EVER want to keep something hidden, make sure it's hidden with something else that is also hidden within something else that's hidden. Sheesh.
In all seriousness, though, it's damn good that he keeps what is behind that door hidden from everyone else. Becuase when he comes out..... well..... I don't really know what to say, except "Ho-ly-crap!"
The Smoke Train
In the coolest scene of the entire season, Ben's house began shaking and pictures were falling from the walls, when he looks outside to watch a GIANT tunnel of smoke come from behind his house and make its way into the jungle, swarming around and killing most of the freighter militia. Ben controls the smoke monster. Woah.
But does he ALWAYS control it? Or just some of the times? Prior to last night's episode, I always thought of smokey as an entity that lived in the jungle and protected the island. But after seeing that scene, I got the impression that the smoke cloud was being created by Ben.... as if there is some sort of thing that will take the particles in the air and turn them into this smoke cloud of death. But perhaps both are correct. Maybe the smoke monster that we've seen previously in the jungle is alive and is one of the island's mysteries that the Dharma Initiative was studying. The smoke monster that Ben appears to have control over was Dharma's replication of the one living in the jungle. Email me your thoughts.
Another Long Con
During Ben's flash-forward, we learned the origins of the Ben/Sayid relationship. After the Oceanic 6 were rescued, Sayid found Nadia (his long-lost love) and they got married. And within just months of their marriage, Nadia was killed. Ben made his way to Iraq, to find Sayid and tell him that one of Widmore's guys killed Nadia. And after seeking revenge by killing Widmore's guy, Sayid "convinced" Ben to help him get revenge on Widmore. What Sayid doesn't know is that when Ben walked away, he delivered a most-sinister grin. It was the ultimate sign that Sayid has just been conned into doing Ben's dirty work.
Ben & Widmore
In the episode's final flash-forward, Ben makes his way to Widmore's penthouse suite in the middle of the night. He wakes Charles up and they have a little chat. Widmore accused Ben of stealing everything from him. (Does this mean that Widmore was on the island?) And when Charles asked Ben if he were going to kill him, Ben's response was very interesting--"We both know I can't do that." So is that one of the rules too? We know that Ben killed his own father, so why can't he kill Widmore? Will the island not let him? And if Widmore is a threat to the island, then why wouldn't it let Ben kill him? Regardless, because Ben blames Widmore for killing Alex (his "daughter"), Ben warns Widmore that he seeks revenge and will kill Widmore's daughter.... you know, PENNY! Desmond's girlfriend! And as if that isn't bad enough, we know that Ben will likely try to have Sayid do it. The question becomes: Will Sayid kill Penny, or will he realize that she is Desmond's Penny? If I had to guess based on the history of LOST, I'd say that Sayid will realize that it is Desmond's girlfriend.... about 3 seconds after he kills her.
Well, that's about all the typing I've got time for today. I'd love to hear your feedback. Also, just so you know, I'm in the middle of re-watching seasons 1-3 (I'm at the end of season 2), and I'm compiling a list of strange things. Also, for the summer, I'd like to create an ultimate theory. If there are any theories you want to submit, or if you have any questions that you want me to address, please email me.
The Rest of Season 4
The next episode appears to be Jack-centric, and will be titled "Something Nice Back Home". The following week (episode 11) will be called "Cabin Fever" and will be Locke-centric. Following Episode 11, we are scheduled to get 3 more hours of LOST this season-- the first episode is slated to be part 1 of the 3-hour finale, titled "There's No Place Like Home". The remaining 2 hours will be aired together on May 29th (there will be no LOST on May 22nd). And while their centricity is still unclear, I would bet that the final 2 hours will be Oceanic Six-centric.
Until next week!