11 February 2008

Two Posts Does Not A Regular Feature Make

Last week, I swore I wouldn't make Lost a regular topic of discussion around here, but that post generated some great e-mails and, frankly, the show's finally worth discussing again, so I'll take advantage with a second post. Here are a few points concerning "Confirmed Dead":
  • If Miles is meant to be a true medium, I'm not super-enthusastic about it. The show's writers and producers dabbled with precognition and time travel with Desmond, but I think they've carried it off for a number of reasons. They've dealt with island mysticism on numerous occasions but have consistently come back later with rational explanations for those mysterious happenings (as was the case last week with Locke's explanation about how he survived his bullet wound). Even when there's been some real-world scenes dealing with the supernatural, as was the case with Claire's psychic, there's been an element of hucksterism (revealed to us if not the characters) which tempers the supernatural aspects. I would feel more comfortable with Miles if his flashback performance had included either less jabbering with the grandson's "spirit" (indicating that he really doesn't believe and is simply a charlatan) or a lot more (as if he was putting on a show for the grandmother, who might be listening while he searched for the money). Similarly, if his finding the money were less "directed" and more logical deduction, I'd feel better about the whole thing; I could even chalk his meditation over Naomi's body up to acting in such a way as to test the truthfulness of Jack's and Kate's statements (which would be what any good interrogator would do).
  • Regarding Miles' flashback ghost busting, I don't think the grandmother was related to either Walt or Michael; I think it was just a job for Miles and she has no other connection to the characters.
  • There's also been a lot of speculation that Michael is Ben's "man on the boat", suggesting that he's been lured back into Ben's service for a chance to return and help his fellow Losties and perhaps redeem himself. I think that's a long shot. If anything, I think it's more likely that Kelvin Inman would be the mysterious returnee; in finsing Miles, it looked like we were revisiting the area where Inman was "killed" by Desmond -- that could be some subtle foreshadowing. Notwithstanding, I think the most simple explanation is the most likely -- the recently absent Richard Alpert is the mole on the freighter.
  • The collar Charlotte recovered from the polar bear skeleton had the Hydra station emblem on it, which seems to confirm that it resulted from Dharma's work on the island rather than something they were doing off-island.
  • Charlotte's name adds yet another philosopher to the "John Locke", "Rousseau", etc. convention. Hers is a reference to C.S. Lewis, the Christian writer of the Narnia books. The writers made this even more explicit by making her middle name, "Staples", the same as Lewis'. As always, the significance of the reference is obscure at this point, but there probably is some significance.
  • When Hurley slipped-up about Jacob's cabin, Ben's reaction was shocked while Locke's was more of a bemused "aha!" reaction. I think that with his connection now to the cabin, Hurley will become a target for manipulation by Ben and Locke as each tries to turn Hurley to his own ends.
  • It was nice to see them circle back around to 815's pilot; considering that the pilot was a late addition to the pilot episode (he was added for the encounter with the smoke monster -- in the original plan, Jack was going to die there), it's interesting to see him used a plot point connecting the real 815 and the discovered one.
  • Unless Abbadon's mission to the island is meant as a feint for something else, it's hard to disagree with Naomi's assessment that her group was not a coherent choice as a strike team. With her dead, what can possibly be salvaged from the mission itself? Somehow, I don't see the drunk, the anthropologist, the ghostbuster, and the head case getting Ben back to the freighter and eliminating the 815 survivors on their own (especially when they didn't even know about the survivors like Naomi did). Perhaps each of them has a connection to the old Dharma mission, but that's motive, not qualification. They're interesting, but seem pretty hapless.
  • Abbadon's flashback scene with Naomi puts to rest the speculation that he was just a figment of Hurley's imagination. I didn't believe he was, so that scene merely reinforced for me what a tremendously creepy guy he is.
  • In my opinion, the best moment of the episode was when Locke demanded an answer about the smoke monster. That Ben was unable to answer at that critical moment tells me that either Ben knows nothing at all about the nature of the smoke monster (perhaps the original Others do and haven't told him or Dharma knew the answer and Ben, as a "workman" like his father, wasn't told?) or the nature of the smoke monster is a secret of such critical importance that Ben prefers death to disclosure.

UPDATE: A friend reminds that the correct title of the episode was "Confirmed Dead" rather than "Declared Dead". I've corrected that in the post above. BTW, two posts and an update? Still not a regular feature, I swear!

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