The Question Mark

Libby gasps her killer’s name, and dies. Hurley, Sawyer, and Kate mourn. Jack steels his will for a war. Michael glowers in the shadows. The theme plays. The computer beeps. Fade to black. “Hot damn, I love this show,” Jen says, finally taking a breath. I wholeheartedly agree. So much happened tonight, but we happily swallow it all. On all fronts — characters, plot, and mythology — the forward momentum is palpable. It feels like Season 1 all over again.

Really, it does, in many ways. Sure, we got just as many more new questions as answers, and yet, the good storytelling kept me from minding the overlapping mysteries. But what really left me in awe was the solid link with “Deux Ex Machina” (episode 1×19). With so many details and clues swirling about this season, that link made me take a step back and admire the big picture. Seeing Locke return to that spot, and thinking what it meant and what might have been, made me believe there’s a bigger story, an underlying arc. Even if there isn’t, they got me good, and I love it.

Locke and Boone found The Swan by accident. But now we wonder if they — or rather, Locke (it’s all about Locke) — was supposed to find The Pearl instead. Twice a dream leads him to that place at the foot of the cliff. The first time he was a believer, and was betrayed. (His wry recollection of his line, “Boone was a sacrifice the island demanded,” was brilliant.) This time, he’s skeptical, and yet, something is found.

On this question of “faith,” what does it all mean? I have no idea. Seeing the “The Swan” orientation film reinforced Locke’s belief that he’s been had. He calls himself pathetic. But finding “The Swan,” on top of everything else, convinces Mr. Eko of the opposite. I believe Mr. Eko when he notes they are being tested. But what would constitute success? Or failure?

The fact that Henry wanted Locke to believe the button does nothing just about ties my brain into a knot.

On the question of hatches, the clues are a bit more concrete. “The Pearl” is for monitoring test subjects, sure, but someone’s also watching “The Pearl,” which suggests it’s just another experiment… and that there’s yet another monitoring station somewhere. Zeke had to have some way to know what the survivors were up to, after all, and someone had to target Michael. We’re told that everything is recorded, which makes me think Michael’s crime has more than one way to unravel. And while I’m sure the Marvin Candle/Mark Wickmund thing will stoke the “Bad Twin” theorists, I’m thinking he just uses a different setup for every film. Note that both “The Pearl” and “The Swan” orientations were dated 1980, which makes me suspect even “the incident” (and hence his “dead arm”) may also be a ruse.

Libby’s death? Heart wrenching. Ana Lucia got off easy. I admit, we shed a few tears for her, and especially Hurley. “I’m sorry I forgot the blankets!” Yeah, her hanging around just long enough to cryptically utter, “Michael,” was a cliché, but it worked. It was good to see her in yet another flashback crossover, and with all the unanswered questions about her, I sincerely doubt it’ll be her last.

The setup for next week, though, excites me even more than the ending of “Two for the Road.” Jack has reached his breaking point. Michael is acting just a little too suspicious. And Locke and Eko are headed back to the hatch, and the button, just as the computer starts beeping. Next week’s episode is titled, “Three Minutes.” I can’t wait.

Notes and Notions:

  • Is the Pearl Station the “?” on the map? Some fans aren’t convinced, but I think so. Eko was fairly certain the map indicated where the “?” was, and found “The Pearl” there, and “The Pearl” seemed to be an observing post for several locations. I’m pretty sure we’ll see more of it in the future.
  • What about the psychic, who concedes to Mr. Eko that he’s a fraud. Is he a fake or not? What exactly did he see with Claire, why did he change his mind? Jen thought immediately of the schmaltz-fest film, “Ghost.” Whoopi Goldberg is a con artist pretending to be a medium. Except one day, to her surprise, it turns out she can speak with the dead. I’m with her. The psychic may have been a con artist, too, but something happened with Claire that made him believe.
  • Jen is sincerely creeped out by the orientation films.
  • Mr. Eko head-butting Locke was a bit unexpected. Just like when Locke whupped Charlie.
  • Jen loved Sawyer’s choice of hiding place. “It was right there, in plain sight, all along,” says she. “I wonder if that’s a bit of foreshadowing?” With “Lost,” I wouldn’t doubt it.
  • Some fans have focused on the doctor’s audio recording of the autopsy. We’re inclined to take it at face value, though we wouldn’t be surprised to find secret messages, either.
  • Jack once again presides over the death of a character. Then again, he is the doctor. Was the heroin simply to numb the pain? Part of me wonders if it was also to put her out of her misery quicker.
  • The “The Pearl” orientation film makes references to the Pala Ferry and eight hour shifts, meaning that unlike “The Swan,” its occupants didn’t live where they worked.
  • I can’t quite fathom why Locke decided to put his map in the vacuum tube. If he was just testing it, he could’ve used anything else. Could he have been so despondent about discovering he was just a “rat in a maze” (an abandoned one, with no cheese) that he didn’t care? Either way, I doubt that simple act will not come up later. Who’ll receive that map? And will it be news to them, or not?
  • Just how long does it take to get to the hatch from the beach? When Jack and Kate find Michael, it’s night. Last week, when Kate and Jack head out to get the guns from Sawyer, it’s the middle of the day. There they find out Ana Lucia took Sawyer’s gun to take revenge on Henry, and presumably they’d make a beeline back to the hatch. But this week, night has fallen by the time they get back (and Michael staggers out). That was a short day. And it means Hurley waited until the next day for Libby to return. Why wouldn’t he go straight to the hatch? (Answer: So Kate could give him the news in a Dramatic MomentTM.)

Links:

98 Responses to “The Question Mark”

  1. Chris says:

    So…Liek…The Question mark in the middle of the bluelight map on the Blast door? I know this isnt really a theory board, but is Michael going to lead them to the “barely guarded” hatch? hmmm…can’t wait to see it!!!

  2. sodadood says:

    What a great episode tonight, but as usual, more ‘questions’ than answers. For me, the Mr. Eko storyline earlier this season wasn’t as intriguing as some of the other background stories, but after “?” he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters.

    So does that mean that someone is then ‘watching’ the Pearl station? And does anyone have any theories about why Locke ‘beamed’ his makeshift map away? Is the tube connected directly to ‘the Others’?

    Overall, another great episode that proves yet again how much content the writers have packed into a single season!

  3. Bryan says:

    What do you have a time machine? The episode hasn’t aired yet.

  4. Jen says:

    They air the episode early in Canada.

  5. Bryan says:

    damn canadians, coming in here bragging and spoiling.
    jk

  6. Dave says:

    Wow — great episode.
    One quick comment: Marvin Candle = Mark Wickman. Sense a theme?

  7. Pierre says:

    Another great episode !! More and more I’m loving Mr. Eko. It’s good to see Locke is coming back to his old self. The previews for next week look great !! It’s funny how Claire’s “pyschic” admitted to being a fraud … I wonder what theories you all everybody think about him

  8. debbie says:

    Eko is too cool…..and we are getting our old John back! But claires psychic cant be a complete fraud, as he knew the fate of 815. cant wait til next week………..Poor hurley, he will now feel responsible for another death.

  9. Hurmoth says:

    Excellent episode! Very sad at the end though. I really feel for Hurley, just another sad reminder of what Sayid went through when Shannon was shot.

  10. David N says:

    I can’t tell if I like this episode or not. The appearance of Mr. Eko’s brother was too convenient and too cryptic. The revelation of the pearl hatch was strange because you would think that more than just that one hatch would be visible and thus you would see activity around the island.

    As for the subLYMONal.com if you watch the beginning of the commercial, it is sponsored by Sprite. So the LYMON reference is clever product placement.

    The upcoming episode looks like a doozy. I wonder what the bright light is that everyone is staring at.

  11. Gina says:

    Damn DVR! Didn’t record the last minutes of the episode – it ended with Hurley going to Libby’s side. Can anyone tell me and hubby what went on before we go crazy? Plz????

  12. John says:

    same thing happend to me Gina….plz, someone recap the final moments!!!

  13. Lisa Lee says:

    We’re going nuts, our dvr cut out on the last few moments too! Please help!

  14. brenda says:

    The last moments of the show was libby receiving heroin from Jack and then libby woke up and said michael then died. Hurley then just cried. Jack went off being remorseful or sad that he couldn’t save libby. freckles just cried on sawyer who also showed sadness. This show is too good. I can’t believe all the websites on it. Also did anyone catch the USA today article in which abrams said what LOST wasn’t… I can’t wait for next week.

  15. joe says:

    It appears Echo was told to bring Locke back to the faith by his brother. This may be the “most important work” he was talking about.
    Lost seems to be saying two things: 1) you viewers are all lost, ha ha ha! and 2) you must have faith. A good episode.
    Now if the losties would only get together and compare notes they might figure some stuff out. The ART OF WAR states you must know your enemy, apparently the losties haven’t read it.

  16. Bryan says:

    Despite all the denials about the purgatory theories, we have another reference to it when the miracle girl tells Eko she saw his brother when she was “in between worlds.” Probably nothing, but still an interesting reference.

    This episode felt like last season to me when there was a surreal quality that season 2 has sorta lacked.

  17. macgirl says:

    Hey, for those of you who don’t know about it, ABC is offering free cable/broadband streaming of some of the shows – including Lost – for the next month or so. For those of you who missed the last few minutes, or the whole show, you can catch it for free here:

    http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing

  18. macgirl says:

    Oh, and I think you have to wait until the morning after the show airs to watch the newest episode. Enjoy. 🙂

  19. Patty says:

    I was really sorry Libby died. They seemed to have set her up as knowing some secrets especially about Hurley–we are running out of women on this show!

  20. Sean says:

    Great episode. Michael is going to be in trouble due to Locke printing out the log. Remember when he had his little “online chat” right before taking off? The whole text of it should be in that log.

  21. Dave says:

    Since I am sure people will be asking, here are the components of Eko’s flashback:
    The beach after the crash
    Something moving in the jungle (almost definitely the black smoke)
    Someone drowning
    A cross on a chain on the ground
    The bare feet of an Other
    The teddy bear
    Fire
    Someone blindfolded (Ana Lucia?)
    The Virgins Mary
    The plane on fire with Charlie and Eko watching
    Eko’s brother
    The Dharma logo
    The bible (from the hatch, apparently)
    Eko’s stick
    Eko’s brother’s corpse
    Locke
    [I can’t tell — someone in shadow]
    The cross on his brother’s chest
    The plane leaving Nigeria
    The military jeep closing in
    Eko yelling
    Marvin Candle
    The Dharma logo

  22. Dave says:

    PS — the plane looks remarkably good considering Eko set it aflame, no?

  23. Dave says:

    Overall, I thought this was a pretty amazing episode. Much more momentum and mystery to it (more like season 1).

    I have found Eko’s character more and more compelling, more like Locke used to be before he started moving (to quote Bohemian Rhapsody) any way the wind blows. First he’s a man of faith, then he’s despondent that his life is meaningless. First he believes Henry Gale, then he doesn’t. First he believes in dreams as omens and then he doesn’t. Come on, John… poop or get off the pot.

    I find it hard to believe that all the Dharma stuff is from 1980 and wonder if that’s a red herring (for us and the Losties). Why use a filmstrip in black and white AND a videotape (albeit Betamax, it looked like) in color? Why is half the stuff in the hatches clearly older than 1980 but much of it newer?

    I do like that the “experiment” has now become “unblinded” — what if part of this was to see how people respond once they know the truth (e.g. did people who used to think the button did something continue to push it once they knew it did not, or had they been successfully conditioned?).

    It’s interesting though that from the Pearl they can see so many other locations… though only the Swan’s monitor was working. What about the other stations? And why wouldn’t the people at the Pearl, on completing their shift, mention this to the other subjects? Or perhaps they did and the ensuing problems led to “the sickness.” Who knows? At first I thought the writers were divulging too much, but the possibilities here are downright tasty. Maybe the Others were subjects once — not part ot Dharma or the Hanso Foundation — and when they learned all the secrets rebelled and took over the island…

    Regardless, next week’s episode looks equally good.

  24. jim says:

    Great continuation of the vine-like Lost story line. Mr. Eko is becoming one of the most appealing characters on the show.
    But: what a drag that Libby, also an appealing character, was eliminated so soon.
    And: Has anyone out there ever walked with crutches? How in the world can Locke just trek back and forth through the jungle like he’s skating or something? And negotiate down that long hatch entrance with a leg in a soft cast? This guy is an Olympic athlete!
    One more thing: the show used to be very good at managing to include its large cast of characters in every show. Bring back Charlie, Jin & Sun, Claire, & Sayid! The ensemble cast was part of Lost’s charm, and on top of that, those are some pretty good actors we’re missing out on!

  25. Briand says:

    I was wondering why Jack didn’t try to do a little bit more to save Libby…its like he just saw the gunshot wounds and gave up. Probably shows how beat down he is with all that’s going on. I thought the psychic was in Australia, not Africa…so I’m a little confused as to where Echo was when he met him. It was neat having A.L. come back in a dream sequence, and given the thin line between reality and the “other side” we can probably expect to hear from Libby again too!
    All in all, a great setup to a memorable season finale!

  26. Holli in Memphis says:

    Since I live in Memphis just thought I’d throw it out there — the pearl TV set up looks like Elvis’ Jungle Room at Graceland. Do we think Elvis might be behind the guarded doors Michael saw?

  27. Teri says:

    Am I the only one who could not catch their breath when Saywer put his arm around Jen to consol her tears? Where will that ‘love tension’ put “Freckles” next week?

  28. Dave says:

    Briand — I think Eko left Nigeria and went to Australia as a “priest.” He was scheming to get to the US from Australia (all of the other characters in this flashback had Aussie accents) and that’s where he met the psychic.

    How creepy was the audio tape of the autopsy? Man…

  29. captlost says:

    I believe Ecko will discover Mike. Ecko took the print log from the number entry. Remember Mike had a two way coversation on the computer. This coversation may have been recorded.

  30. Avery says:

    I just think the way Locke placed the map in the tube was just too bizare! Even the look on his face and the quick way he went about it. Very sneaky acting I think. Why not just send an empty tube up if he just wanted to see if it was working? I think there is more going on with Locke. Remember all the things that he has encountered that haven’t been explained? Something is up…..

  31. Jaime Roberto says:

    The Pearl hatch as Elvis’s jungle room. I love it. But it’s missing the furry lampshades.

    But “seriously”, what was that look that Libby gave the miracle girl as she was walking away. It seemed to be a knowing look. Were the two of them in cahoots?

  32. Kyrish says:

    not sure if anyone else saw this… but in the early part of the episode (i’d say about 20 minutes in) there was a camera pan of the beach, (I wish i remember when, to give you a better time) but i clearly saw a *quick* image of what looked like a blue hawaiian shirt go by, as if someone was walking past the camera/ watching the island?

    perhaps it was my eyes playing tricks on me, perhaps it was the cameraman from the show, having his shirt pass over, or perhaps i might be on to something?

    anyone else see something like that?

  33. nick says:

    locke or Eko will find out about micheal because of the log locke printed. but the question i’ve been asking is what powers does walt have. because that is why he was taken. but all in all i love mr. Eko. they dont make them like him.
    namastate.
    ps. remember in the 1st orienation video, they were told what the degroots were studying. one of the things was utopian life. that is what station 5, the pearl was studying. the other stations are alll studying something scientific. electormagnetisim, zoology, medicine etc.

  34. Gretchen says:

    This has been an AMAZING couple of episodes, but… Apropos of nothing… is anyone else a little disappointed that the lead they gave us that Charlie was going to go over “to the dark side” never went anywhere? Now he’s just happy-go-lucky Charlie again, helping Eko build the church. Wha’ happen?

  35. Ken says:

    My wife and I found the episode really intriguing…especially the Pearl. What an important find! We think that one monitoring station holds the key for unraveling many questions. But we did have one question – Who watches the watchers?

  36. johnp says:

    The April Issue of Hawaii magazine gives pretty good descriptions of the location shoots. Too bad it’s not online.

    Good episode. We’ll be clinging to our seats until the finale on the 24th.

  37. Tulsi says:

    I discovered this website a few weeks ago and I have been reading all the discussions (trying to catch up). This the best website ever! Can someone explain what Marvin Candle = Mark Wickman is?

  38. Dave says:

    Marvin Candle is the gentleman in the lab coat on the first Dharma training film (from the Swan, aka the Hatchelor pad).

    Mark Wickman is the name that this (apparently) same gentleman used in the Dhama training video we saw last night at the Pearl, nattily clad in a checked blazer.

    Candle uses only one arm; Wickman uses both.

    Clearly at least one of these names is an alias, perhaps both. I thought that the similarilites between their first (MAR…) and last (CANDLE and WICK) was interesting. Evocative in ways of the film “Identity,” which is often referenced in these forums because of the interconnections between seemingly unrelated characters (e.g., “hey, isn’t it weird that Kate’s dad met Sayid before, and that Sayid and Shannon ran into each other at the airport, and that Sayid’s ‘girlfriend’ Nadia has Locke as a house inspector?”). In “Identity,” all the characters have the same birthday and are named after states.

    Interesting mind-screw: what if the Pearl video is a hoax as well, and the button really DOES do something, and the people who are being observed are the Pearlies to see which “reality” they accept? Would they automatically discredit something that they were told is true when the SAME PERSON now tells them it’s false?

  39. Brian says:

    I agree that the printed “log” will reveal Micheal’s communication with Walt? but it will also reveal whether or not “Henry” entered the code into the machine while Locke was trapped, yes?

  40. Tulsi says:

    Thank you for the info Dave. I cleary missed that he used different names! Brian you made a good point if they will check if “Henry” entered the code into the machine or not. But will the log reveal that or the videos that are being recorded. I would think that at one point Locke would want to watch old tapes.

    Also, at one of the discussion somebody had defined what Dharma means ( I can’t remember what they said), but I have a different defination of Dharma. I was always taught that it meant one’s Duty/Religion. Once duty as a mother, father, son, daughter, citizen, etc. One has to always do their Duty in life. That is how I was raised to believe ( I grew up in India and I am hindu). But of course Hinduism is practiced differently by everyone, so I am not going to say my definition is the correct one.

    But it is interesting to note how so many of the Lost characters failed at their “duties”. Jack was a good doctor but failed his duty as a husband (neglecting his wife). Claire was on her way to fail her duty as a mother (by giving up her child)- of course that is a weak argument-not to offend anyone who is adopted or give up someone for adoption. Sayid failed his duty as a soldier for his country (helping Americans and helping Nadia escape), Eko failed his duty as a brother. But now all of them are at a place that does experiments for Dharma Initiative. Its quite intriguing.

  41. Deadshot says:

    I think Locke putting the map into the tube was more of a symbolic gesture.
    It signified him letting ‘his’ hatch/button go away from him. Hes putting it behind himself now.

  42. NemesisVex says:

    My interpretation of the psychic saying he’s a fraud is to misdirect the Church (Eko) from investigating. He gave Eko enough reasonable doubt (damn, I watch too much Law & Order) so he would go away. I think he may well have psychic abilities, and his wife seemed to be backpedaling a lot from her pronouncements the day before. They’re both trying to hide their daughter, who, of course, delivers her message to Eko anyway.

  43. Frank says:

    Hi guys. I have to agree that this was a great episode. I just want to say that I was right when I said last night’s episode might have a Mr Eko flashback, but as I was watching I was anticipating seeing Locke in Mr Eko’s flashback or a duel flashback type of thing. In the beginning with Mr Eko’s dream did Ana ask him to lok out after Jack and then he is in the hatch talking to his late brother who says for him to help out Locke. Any thoughts?
    Also things turned out the way they did because they had. What I mean is Mr Eko’s plane had to fall on top of the entrace to the Pearl. Because Loke has more importance the Island caused him not to be able to walk. This then in turn caused Boone to go into the plane. He talked with the Tailies, then the plane fell causing his death. The plane than cause problems for Charlie with the drugs. The plane also caused Mr Eko to run into the smoke sercurity system thing and finding his brother. Now the plane was resting on top anohter key to the puzzle. Which then in turn had to be moved. It seems to me that just like Jack’s father, the plane has had an influence on a few of the major characters. Any thoughts?
    I agree with “the watchers are being watched” clearly because of the video camera that they showed. Maybe what goes on in the Swan may or may not be true but the Pearl people where experiments too to see if they will actually watch the Swan people press the button which may or may not have a meaning to it. But the thing is who ever was in the Swan knew that the Pearl somewhat existed because on the blast door map under “CV IV?” it says “THE PEARL?” as to pretaining to its location. Also above that it says “HIGH POTENTIAL FOR R.V.S. FACILITY” and below in Latin it says HERE BE DRAGONS. So maybe who ever made the map knew of the Pearl and dangerousness it might be invoved with. As to the Pearl people not living there I wonder how long it has been that the people were ther and if they will return. Any thoughts.?
    Just to add in a few extra things. Just comment if you like.
    Still this is a great show and has deep meanings. One of them is definately “cause and effect”, no coincidenses everything is happening for a reason.
    Cho guys and eujoy.

  44. sir monster says:

    is there a reason why everything i post is later gone??? i spent a lot of time posting a response to andy and now its gone.

  45. Ryan says:

    Sir Monster, there’s a separate post for ‘The Lost Experience’ stuff. I’m moving your posts there.

  46. Paul "in York UK) says:

    What a great episode! One of the best of season 2 – really moves on the mythology and I was releaved to see that they found a new hatch but didn’t spend another 10 episodes opening it!

    My thinking is – which I’m surprised nobody has mentioned is that Eko took the printout of all the computer inputs – and what will be on there – WHATEVER HENRY GALE DID TO THE COMPUTER WHEN LOCKE WAS TRAPPED UNDER THE DOOR!!!!

    This has got to be tied into the next episodes!

    Keep up the good work Jen && Ryan – still miss the podcast not being out each week!

  47. Paul "in York UK) says:

    sorry just realised someone got there before me! My other thinking is that the fact that its all recorded in the hatch will show exactly what went on with Michael shooting everyone – its just a case of when someone watches it and realises they’ve been tricked.

  48. WillF says:

    I think that Jack is suspicious of Michael because of Anna Lucia’s posture at death. For her to die sitting on the couch, it suggests that she was taken by surprise, and from someone standing in front of her. This implicates Michael more than Henry.

  49. Dave says:

    Tulsi, interesting take on the literal meaning of Dharma. I suppose you could extend this to Jin, Sun, Charlie, Michael, Shannon, Boone, and many of the others… though some we don’t seem to know enough about yet (Locke? Sawyer? Rose & Bernard?).

    One thought for the “check the log” people… the log printed out several pages of data, with the numbers and a time stamp. While it would be relatively easy, I’d expect, to pick out Michael’s communication with (what we assume to be) Walt — if it’s recorded on there — it would be in my opinion *extremely* difficult to figure out the exact day and time at which Locke was trapped under the door and during which Henry may or may not have input the code. (Unless of course it says something like CODE NOT ENTERED — I mean, otherwise it’s all just numbers, and would you be able to tell on a passing glance if they were 108 minutes or 216 minutes [written of course as an HH:MM:SS:DATE time stamp] apart?)

    Also, does anyone have a transcript of the Mark Wickman speech? Does he refer to the Swan as the group that has a task to do, and (I’m paraphrasing) all that matters is that they *think* it’s of utmost importance? Or does he just say it’s the group they’re observing? None of the other TVs work, so who knows which group’s task is unimportant? You have one group who is working totally out of faith and folklore (one person tells the next person that he needs to hit the buttons every 108 minutes… and we never did find out how Desmond found the hatch or wound up sealed into it and buried), and one who now is inclined to disbelieve everything it had one thought important because a “higher authority” told them so. Interesting social experiment, and perhaps a commentary on us viewers (e.g. do we discredit our own theories on what going on because someone — the writers? — tell us it’s not so? or are we being played with? I mean, for crying out loud, we’re going to pretend web sites because we’re so engrossed in it!).

  50. N.R. says:

    Dave, your though about the `folklore` led me to something else – this button pushin and numbers and `saving the world` every 108 minutes – it is just like religion in the real world. isn’t it? faith …

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