Confirmed Dead

Now that was a season premiere. Without a doubt, “Confirmed Dead” got my mind spinning and my heart pounding the way I expected last week’s episode would. Tightly paced, great twists and surprises, and real drama. “The Beginning of the End” was really the end of Season 3. Now we’re really rolling. Awestruck, Jen rightly asserts that the opening sequence with the underwater wreckage would’ve blown more minds than ten Camaro car chases ever could.

The exposition didn’t feel shoehorned in, and seemed true to the characters (and, in the case of the new characters, appropriately illustrative). Indeed, while Season 4 brings with it another batch of new faces, “LOST” wisely doesn’t waste time across four or five episodes to introduce them. While skipping through Daniel, Miles, Charlotte and Frank (and Naomi’s neat summation of the team’s members) could have been almost mechanical, we think it worked.

That things moved forward on the island was perhaps the most satisfying part. With loose ends tied up last week, tonight’s episode was sure-footed, with no hesitations. With Sawyer playing the skeptical chorus, Locke matter-of-factly reveals Taller Walt and the death-defying “Man of Faith” kidney. He was in top form, from predicting the abrupt end of Hurley’s monsoon to the chilling way he let Charlotte now that they weren’t the helpless survivors she expected to find.

But it was Ben that flooded the evening with adrenaline. I jumped when he shot Charlotte. And Jen was shocked when Ben revealed everything he knew about the “Freighties.” Doubly so when he revealed how he knew what he did.

As with the four (or five) flashbacks that introduced all the “Freighties” in one episode, I was similarly impressed that the big question of what they want on the island wasn’t stretched across half a season. Of course, knowing they want Ben opens another Pandora’s Box: Why?

The obvious guess would be that the “Freighties” are DHARMA members or allies, looking to avenge the mass murders Ben helped orchestrate in the not too distant past. But while one force got them to the island (embodied thus far by the eminently intimidating Matthew Abbadon), I’m pretty sure that Charlotte, Frank, Miles and Daniel all have different motives:

  • Daniel’s introduction was the most ambiguous. He was clearly shaken by the discovery of the plane, and said he didn’t know why. While it makes sense that actually knows more than he’s letting on, I think it’d be even more interesting if he was telling the truth. He seems very skittish and bookish and probably has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.
  • Miles spiritual visit (and burglary) was genuinely creepy. Jen felt it was a nicely filmed sequence. We see too much of the grandson for his identity to not be relevant, though I can’t think of what the connection might be. But given that he communes with the dead for cash, I suspect he’s in the employ of someone who lost someone in the crash.
  • Frank is the pilot, not part of the team, but is also clearly motivated on a personal level. Likely overcome with guilt for having not been in the cockpit of Oceanic 815, but then mystified that his friend wasn’t the pilot on the bottom of the sea, he’s in search of his own answers.
  • Charlotte found the polar bear and the DHARMA collar in Tunisia, and apparently doesn’t believe the official story about the plane crash. She also seemed to know that Claire’s on-island birth was remarkable. Of the four, she seems the closest to what Ben fears… and perhaps what the other survivors should fear as well.

Of the four, any favorites? Both Jen and I have taken an early liking to Daniel. Abbadon and Associates have obviously brought him along for whatever a physicist could tell them about our mysterious island, and not for his cunning or toughness. He’s hapless, dropped into the middle of a world he can’t possibly understand, and will probably serve as this season’s best representative of confused “LOST” viewers. If handled well, his character could be an anchor of sorts for whatever madness unfolds over the next few weeks.

Notes and Notions:

  • So, who is Ben’s spy on the freighter? Our money is on the last guy Ben let leave the island.
  • Loved the scene where Hurley mentions the cabin, stopping Locke in his tracks. It certainly seems like Ben and Locke aren’t the only “special” people on the island.
  • What’s in a name? Daniel Faraday is a clear nod toward Michael Faraday, Mr. Electromagnetism himself. Charlotte Staples Lewis gives us C.S. Lewis, who gave us “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Miles Straum’s last name is also a city in Norway, a country that’s played a part in the mythology of “LOST.” Frank Lapidus… you got me there.
  • I love that “LOST” is no longer beating us over the head with The Numbers, but still drop one in a scene now and then. Jen spotted “15” on a poster in the grandson’s room.
  • A beaten, wet Ben is pretty damn scary looking. Like a pissed off cat.
  • On the other hand, the scene where he gets all sarcastic “Golly Gee” with Karl was hilarious.
  • Alex was described twice in this episode as Ben’s daughter, and Danielle didn’t throw one punch.
  • Was it just Jen, or did everyone look impossibly beautiful tonight? A pity Naomi’s essentially a ghost, because she’s gorgeous.
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70 Responses to Confirmed Dead

  1. Paul W says:

    Hey, that kinda makes me think of the movie “Millenium”. Raiders from the travelled in time and kidnapped people from plane crashes etc, replaced all the bodies with dead people from the future. They used the healthy people in the future to reproduce, as this was impossible due to environmental conditions. Were all those bodies that the ROV saw actually dummies left there by some sort of raiders/dharma people or something? I think the movie was based on a short story called “Air Raid”

  2. Tori says:

    Am I mistaken, or did Miles leave the money and heroin in the wall? Was the implication that he’d come back and get it? Thanks!

  3. Steve says:

    To Fernado and tvscifi

    I dont know if that can help you but Ben said the last name of Miles its Miles Straume !! sound like maelstrom no ??

  4. Steve says:

    I dont understand why Naomi lie to her friend just before said the code about her sister… just to look gentle in front of Kate ?? (sorry for my poor english.. in from Québec)

  5. Connie in Alaska says:

    Tori-Miles took the money and left the drugs. Evidently drugs are not his thing, but he likes the cash. Am curious to see how the drugs, which looked like the heroine from Eko’s/Charlie’s Mary statues, will show up again.

    Steve-I think Naomi was interested in keeping Kate calm and unsuspecting. If Naomi had told her Freighter friends that she was in trouble, then Kate would have sounded the alarm that the rescuers were hostile and to be on the alert. But when Naomi seemed to “cover” for the Losties, Kate let her guard down and that gave an advantage to the rescuers.

    Miles reminds me of a more angry Sawyer: he likes nicknames (calling Jack “handsome” and Daniel “genius”), he is sarcastic, suspicious and snarky, and he is somewhat of a con man. Hmmm….

  6. DAvid J says:

    another Star Wars reference…. the line “I’m here to rescue you…” is the same as in Star Wars: A New Hope “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you…”

  7. Ernie B says:

    Just a (trying to be brief) couple of quick comments about this last episode, and both of them Hurley-related…

    First off, I know when he mentions the cabin being the other way than Locke was leading them, a lot of people think Locke is simply surprised that Hurley knows about the cabin. But my first thought was that Locke looked back and asked “What’s that, Hurley?” in much the same way that a parent might ask a question in one of those “What was that, young man?” style tones, cautioning him not to say more, most likely to keep it from Ben. This ties in with my thinking that it was indeed Locke in the window (from episode 4.1), and I’m not sure at what point we join his and Hurley’s ensuing campfire conversation, and thus what was already said between them. I could be wrong…

    The other little thing I noticed was in the scene when Sawyer is getting medieval on Ben for the first time, right after Locke tells him (something like) “oh, go ahead, execute him in front of his daughter,” Sawyer looks at Hurley, who gives a quick shake of his head “no,” as if advising Sawyer on what to do. I didn’t know what to make of it, was just curious if anyone else noticed…maybe nothing, maybe something. Gotta love this show.

    Welcome back Ryan & Jen!

  8. Ernie B says:

    Another Star Wars “I’m here to rescue you” – in the 1st season episode “The Moth,” Charlie says it to Jack in the collapsed cave.

  9. Connie in Alaska says:

    Saw two Lost actors on an episode of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” on Fox tonight: Neil Hopkins, who plays Liam, Charlie’s brother was playing a high school guidance counselor, and Sonya Walgar, who plays Penny Widmore, was playing the wife of Sarah’s ex.

  10. Tori says:

    Connie–Thanks for the clarification re Miles and the money/heroin— and excellent point about the Miles-Sawyer similarity! The con man theme is a huge one, for sure.

    This may well have been brought up before, but I’ve been thinking about The Island. Is it basically a giant magnet that attracts people for its own purposes? And when people leave it, there’s a huge price to pay, as you’d imagine there would be for any entity that tried to pull itself away from such a powerful force. This could ostensibly explain why pregnant women don’t do well on the island– maybe the island has its own reasons for not wanting to perpetuate human life. I guess that wouldn’t exactly explain the healings that go on, but maybe someone has a thought on that too!

    Ryan and Jen– I’m a newbie to your podcasts, but am enjoying them tremendously! Thanks for helping us make some sense of this magical mystery tour!

  11. NuckinFuts says:

    Ernie B – I guess now that you mention the tone with which Locke says “What was that, Hurley” or whatever the line was I suspect you may have a point. Locke has always been good with directions on the island, so perhaps he has another reason to lead the rest of the group away from it for a task or to keep it hidden from the rest. I guess we’ll see soon enough…let’s hope.

    I saw the Hurley “no, don’t do it bro” look he gave Sawyer as well….Hurley has tried to make sure Sawyer was respected by the group when Jack isn’t around because he looks out for Sawyer…I think it may have been because they are friends…but you are right that it could have been more.

    Did anyone mention how cool it was when Jack pulled one of the oldest tricks in the Other’s book out and used it on the frieghties when they were pointing the hidden guns at them? …..awesome.

  12. lost in brooklyn says:

    Oh, I love this show. And I love the new characters. Jeremy Davies is an amazing actor (has anyone seen Rescue Dawn? If not, do!) and I think Daniel and his crew will help keep the show interesting while they delay answering the bigger questions, like, who gets off the island and how and seriously, what is the smoke monster (and I know someone knows, maybe the new guys)?!

    On that note, I will admit, I am a little disappointed that it appears we will be having another season of losties splitting into factions and others chasing others and still more others being thrown into the mix on the island. I’d love to see more off island stuff but I’m sure we’ll get little glimpses here and there. And though it would be signalling the end (in a way) I’d still like to see some resolutions to mysteries that don’t create more mysteries. Sigh.

    Was I the only one who nearly flipped out because it looked for just one minute like the show was going down the purgatory path? Thankfully, the drunk pilot saved the day by realizing the wreckage couldn’t possibly be real.

    I agree with the theories that the new guys are somehow Dharma related (maybe their parents were Dharma people who ended up in a mass grave? Could that explain Daniel’s emotional reaction to the footage of the underwater wreckage? Still not sure how that is connected. It definitely explains why they’d want to get Ben.), but I also think the freighter has something to do with Penny’s father (thus, the Desmond connection).

    I’m not crazy about Miles, though he has some good lines. I think he is there to research why Ben’s not so BFF, Richard Alpert, is like 756 years old and doesn’t look a day over 37 (are he and his kind ghosts?). Also, he had a hand in killing the Dharma people, so it fits.

    Ben is evil, always will be, though it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for him when in nearly every episode the poor guy is tied to a tree and beaten bloody or having his kidney sac sliced. He definitely has some bad Karma. I think the new guys are good and I hope Locke doesn’t kill them. Oh, which reminds me, one more point on Locke (who I have no love for) did anyone else wonder how a man who is, supposedly, so good hearted he couldn’t kill the man that stole his kidney, abandoned him and pushed him out of a 40 story window, had no problem offing Naomi? We’ll see. Can’t wait for thursday.

  13. Johnny says:

    I just figured this whole thing out after watching the beginning of the end again.
    This is all a big hallucination of Hurley. He is in the Mental institution and dreaming all this stuff up. Think about it. He sees his mental buddy on the island committ suicide. He sees dead charlie back in the metal institution. He knew about the numbers being bad. he can see jacob. He was the only one sent back and not kept by the others at the ned of season two. he was in charge of the passemger list of the survivors. he was the reason for the group to chose to split and go with locke. he is always trying to be invovled in everything to try and accepted. He save the dya with the roger workman van.
    thats my theory and i’m sticking to it.

  14. Ernie B says:

    Right on, Johnny, nice one, if you don’t mind be expounding a bit on the Hurley theme here…

    I was musing over Hurley for the past couple of weeks, especially in regard to a few of the points you bring up. Before the crash, it seemed (and please correct me, fellow readers if I am mistaken) that he was the only one who had any dealings directly with the numbers before the crash; You mention him being sent back to inform the rest of the losties about the fates of Jack, Kate and Sawyer (listed in no preferential order, btw… I prefer Kate ;); In the flash forward from Beginning of the End, he seems the focal point as to the future and/or past of the island and its inhabitants (be they losties or now the freighters, freighties, freightoids, etc), through visits from Abaddon, Charlie and Jack. Back to previous episodes, he’s delivering the food from the plane, he was (as you point out) in charge of the manifest, and he was also driving the R. Workman van, which is a delivery vehicle, at heart. My point is that he seems to be some sort of messenger, either through his own mind’s creation, or tasked by outside (i.e. Island et al) forces. I didn’t know where to take my mind from that point (thinking hurts, sometimes), but just wanted to get that out there.

    That’s all I got for now, aside from another Star Wars reference in season 1 (yep, I’m re-watching them!), when Jack helps Shannon control her asthma, Hurley gives him props with the “Jedi Mind Trick” comment…


  15. tvscifi says:

    Oh, my god! I just learned on another board that when Miles comes down the stairs after his ghost busting, the picture frames on the wall have all changed! I checked the video and it’s true. Also, the time-line would indicate that when Miles was in the room that was the moment Desmond blew up the hatch. So somehow time has been changed slightly. Could Daniel’s tears be for someone he knew in another time-line who has been erased?

    Very strange!

  16. Rerun says:

    A funny thought came to my mind when i was watching ‘prison break’ lately, there is a plot about some powerful organisation which wants some coordinates for a mysterious location from a guy named Whistler. It came to my mind that they are really Dharma looking for the localisation of the Island. I’m waiting for Whistler to appear in Lost 🙂

  17. Dave says:

    Johnny et al, I hate to rain on your parade, but I think the writers essentially debunked the popular theory that this was “all in Hurley’s mind” with the “Dave” episode. The writers have also explicitly said that this will not conclude with a St-Elsewhere-esque “it’s all in someone’s head” ending. I like your observations and dozens more could be added (e.g., the comic Walt reads with the island in a bubble and a polar bear belongs to Hurley) but it’s been more or less said that that’s *not* what’s going on.

    tvscifi — where do you get your “timeline” from? Curious… that would be quite cool (and deviously subtle) to have that happen while Miles was in the house.

    The more this show progresses the more I stop trying to come up with a single elegant explanation. I think in order to tie all these threads together it will take a lot of work. Now I just enjoy the ride. I look at this like a jigsaw puzzle… at first you can’t tell how the pieces will go together. Then as more and more come together you see larger pieces of the big pictures but it’s incomplete. And then the last fragments come together. We’ve been given a lof of conclusions but still have another 40% (more or less) of the puzzle to put together. I doubt there will be a single “aha!” moment at show’s end but rather a gradual crescendo and satisfying conclusion befoe that sad and final THUD.

  18. Happy Valentines Day Ryan and Jen!!

    I think the producers play a lot with time. Part of me thinks that we are not seeing everything in a sequential order and we won’t know what certain parts mean until the episodes unfold.

    lost in brooklyn – I think Ben is evil too – but may not be as evil as Locke.

    I wonder if we are done with the flashbacks…there are still some things that I would like to find out about the Lost guys….

  19. Pete says:

    Another awesome episode with a Sayyid Flashback

  20. Hatem says:

    I am not sure it was actually filmed in tunisia since the actors playing “tunisians” did not really speak tunisian.
    I do agree with those that think that it is in correlation to the huge success of the star wars. We will have better ideas in the near future

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