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.

70 Responses to “Confirmed Dead”

  1. Fernando says:

    LOST IS BAAAAACK!!!!!
    WOW!!! What a jaw-dropper of an ender for this episode!
    But to be considerate with our fellow fans from the West, I’ll get back with more details later.

  2. LockItUp says:

    This is the greatest television series in the history of television. I want to send all of the writers a great, big thank you.
    Unbelieveable episode! My head is spinning.

  3. Pete says:

    W00T
    Much better than the premier

  4. Bill says:

    Last week’s “Beginning of the End” was okay, but this was a fantastic episode–maybe one of the best. I will make a guess that Ben’s “man on the boat” is Michael. Ben is still the chess master controlling Locke through Walt. Is the Hanso organization, along with the US government, behind the fake 815 wreckage? Go on http://www.find815.com if you haven’t already. This show is fun again.

  5. Aldo says:

    That episode was awesome. There were actually rumors that this was going to be a bad episode. Psh. I really like that theory about Michael, Bill.

  6. xtremdelt says:

    *Spoilers*

    I agree with Bill…in part. I also think Michael is the man on the boat. (Notice he was in the in the opening credits, but not in the episode?) However, I don’t think Ben is controlling Locke through Walt. We knew Locke and Walt had a special connection from day 1.

    This was one of the best LOST episodes I have ever watched. When Locke said that Walt was taller…I think that was the best line of the entire series. And then of all questions to ask, he asked “What is the monster?” Brilliant!

    I didn’t think I’d like the addition of the new characters, but thanks to their individual stories, I am VERY interested in them now.

  7. Jonathan says:

    I agree with everyone on this episode. I’m giving up spoilers for Lent, so this episode was rockin’! I was quite happy with The Beginning of the End, but I thought it seemed like an extension of the Season 3 finale. And even though Confirmed Dead had a lot of exposition, it was the first step in a new direction. I can already tell that this season will only get better! I can’t wait! Oh, Ben is insane.

    And welcome back to audio-podcasting! You’re great!!!

  8. Taren says:

    Awesome episodes… even more questions, but I love them because it just means we are eventually going to get answers! I was kind of looking forward to another flash forward tonight, as I think those give us a lot of answers, but became very intrigued with the 4 (possible) flash backs.
    I began to think this awhile back, but is it possible that the Rescuers are a second generation Dharma? Especially now that we know they are looking for Ben, the man who took them all out? And the expression on Charlotte’s face when she saw the Dharma logo on that polar bears collar! Just can’t figure out why these 4 in particular… the headcase, ghost buster, anthropologist, and the drunk pilot?
    Can’t wait to find out who another Oceanic 6 is next week!

    OH! and did you see the look on Ben’s face when Hurley mentioned the cabin?!

  9. Bryan says:

    Ok as much as I thought last week was ‘meh’ this was the exact opposite. How in the world does all this get explained? This show is such a fun ride.

  10. losthsv says:

    Did anyone notice another literary reference with the new character Charlotte? Her name is Charlotte Staples Lewis (cf. Clive Staples Lewis AKA C. S. Lewis).

  11. Connie in Alaska says:

    losthsv-you beat me to the punch ;O). The other names are probably significant, too. Faraday sounds familiar as does Lupites (pardon my spelling) Did we get Miles’ last name?

    Spoiler*******

    After seeing the scene where Miles goes into the kid’s room, turns on that machine and talks to his “ghost”, I give up….I am getting out of the driver’s seat of the theory-mobile…I’m not even going to try to ride shotgun…heck, I’m getting in the backseat. I just cannot predict where this show may be going next!!! Then when Ben started spouting off all that info…..I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest!!! Bravo Lost writing team! Bravo! Bravo!

  12. Linkmeister says:

    Faraday was an 19th century physicist who established the existence of magnetic fields, among other things.

  13. HeyBrah says:

    My question is WHO is paying for a ship, helicopters, etc. There’s definitely a Dharma connection shown when a Dharma icon is found at the middle eastern (?) archeological dig site but I still think that Penelope’s father is behind all of the action.

  14. James says:

    Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, aka “Lewis Carroll,” is the author of The Alice in Wonderland story you referred to, whereas C.S. Lewis famously authored the Narnia novels.

  15. Nadia says:

    Just one question I have about locke. How did he know that Charlie died and that it’s not Penny’s Boat? Did anyone ever tell him?

    And I am loving this Abbadon character.
    More to come eventually I am still gathering some thoughts 🙂

  16. Scott says:

    Great episode and insight from everyone. Here’s a few things I would like to throw out there and if you all don’t like them throw them right back at me. When Ben takes Locke to the cabin the first time there is some type of charcoal ring around the cabin and Jacob asks for help. Perhaps his spirit is being held captive by Ben. This is where our ghost whisperer Miles comes into play. Maybe he is going to set Jacob free.

    A Dharma polar bear in Tunisia? Locke’s dad on the island? A magic box? Many have suggested time travel and I’m sure some have suggested teleportation…which is what I’m thinking. Perhaps Ben’s magic box is something that allows instantaneous travel off of the island to different locations. This could explain the polar bear and the kidney thief. It also makes it entirely possible that Juliet was never transported on the island in the submarine. Instead she took the sleeping pills and they transported her through the magic box and then put her on the sub and woke her up.

    Any thoughts?

    Best line of the night was Sawyer saying something about taking direction from Tall Walt.

  17. paintergirl1 says:

    I believe that the Dharma revenge theory is right. Daniel had a box with a gas mask and hazmat bags. I believe they know about the purge, and were preparing for the risk of something happening again. Are they Dharma? Are they Hanso? Are they both? How did Penny know the exact frequency to connect with Charlie as soon as the beacon was reestablished?

    I liked the “Close Encounters” feel of how the four newcomers were drawn to the island. I kept waiting for someone to play with their mashed potatoes, draw a polar bear, and say “This means something. This is important.” I also appreciated the nod to Star Wars by finding the polar bear in Tunisia. Brilliant episode!

  18. losthsv says:

    Just curious, ould you further explain the Star Wars connection?

  19. C.S. Lewis’s Magician’s Nephew (the origin of the land of Narnia) had people going to a woods in between the worlds and then on from there to other lands. Is the island like that for transporting people and things. The statue, the boat, the drug smuggler’s plane. Did they all come through to the island? A fruit from Narnia was planted in our world. It grew into a tree which was then made in the the wardrobe that transported the children to Narnia. Can something be taken off the island to allow transportation to & from the island (i.e. the box that brought Locke’s dad).

  20. Ryan says:

    Oops. Thanks, James. Fixed in the post!

  21. Geoff says:

    testing. For some reason the comments filter does not like my entries.

  22. Geoff (aka xforce11) says:

    test

  23. Geoff (aka xforce11) says:

    The C.S. Lewis tie in could be huge. The Magician’s Nephew deals with travel in between worlds. The island could be like that where things come through portals to the island (Black Rock, smugglers plane, etc). Maybe Dharma discovered that something taken from the island can be used as a transportation portal. (Like that the wardrobe in Lion, Witch, the the Wardrobe was made from a tree from the fruit of Narnia & and the rings).

  24. JudiF says:

    This was a really great episode, and I hope that the rest (is that 6 still) are just as good, adding more and more tidbits, and giving a few answers along the way. I really liked the flashback of Naomi with creepy guy (Abbadon?) and the summary of the “Team”. Their unique abilities are definitely pointed out for a reason.
    I read somewhere else that there were pictures on the wall at the house where Miles went to do his “Ghostbusting” of Yemi and/ of Eko? Anyone able to confirm or squash this? Could that be another link? Also he mentions that he has cop friends… I’m not sure if he reside near where Ana was a cop but is it possible that there is a connection there?
    Another week of speculations begins! Can’t wait to get more info on the Oceanic 6 and Ben’s Mole on board the Freighter!

  25. Hurmoth says:

    The numbers were also on the helicopter (842) 🙂

  26. paintergirl1 says:

    Sorry, losthsv, about the obscure Star Wars reference. When did I become such a geek??

    Tunisia is where George Lucas filmed much of the desert scenes for all six Star Wars movies. Most notably, Tatooine. Unless I am mistaken, I think it was just an homage that they chose Tunisia, and it wouldn’t be the first. If you explore lostpedia, there are lots of fun Star Wars references throughout the series. Even one of the pictures of a character from the Find 815 Lost Experience is a cheesy photoshop combining the faces of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

    Those wacky writers…

  27. Justin says:

    The Star Wars connection is that most (or all maybe) of the Tatooine desert scenes in SW were filmed in Tunisia. and i think the writers are huge star wars fans.

  28. Tom says:

    FWIW: The polar bear was discovered near Medenine, Tunisa, which also happens to have been the site of a relatively important WWII battle between Rommel’s Afrika Korps and Montgomery’s Eighth Army. Rommel was planning to attack Monty before Monty could do the same to him. Allied eavesdropping disclosed the impending German attack in advance. The British knew the exact size, location, and timing of the attack. Needless to say, the British decimated the Germans.

  29. Paul V says:

    Nice review. Thanks for spelling out the names. Maybe Lapidus is a reference to lapidary and speaks to his future role as a new corner-stone in the cast of characters.

    My favorite name in this episode was Sawyer’s latest nickname for Locke: Col Kurtz. It rings too true. In looks, leadership and disputable sanity.

  30. Crissy says:

    One quick “numbers” reference: Todd and I were able to watch in HD this week . . . the number on the “rescue” helicopter was N842M. :o)

  31. Blondie says:

    I agree with you again, totally, that THIS was the season premiere I was looking for. I was on the edge of the couch the whole time. The beginning of the show BLEW me away. Although wouldn’t it have been kind of fun if they zoomed in on the plane’s eyeball and we saw it open instead? (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet–I think Locke knows EXACTLY what Smokey is and was testing Ben. When Ben couldn’t answer, Locke knew he didn’t know as much as he says he does. But I was fascinated that Ben knows all about the ship. Yes, could be Michael. And I also love the “Tall Walt.” I’m so happy that Lost is not letting me down.

    And good call to all of you for figuring out the name references!! Love it.

  32. NuckinFuts says:

    What do you think Daniel ( 1st guy to arrive on rescue team…I think he played “Oppum” in Saving Private Ryan…now on another kind of rescue mission I guess ) meant when he said that the light looked different there? Like it didn’t disperse properly or something and even asked Kate if she had wondered that.

    I was thinking that maybe because the cabin can apparently move around that the ring around ben’s cabin was to keep it in one place. Maybe each person, in fact, has their own cabin and their own ‘Jacob’ …..my head hurts…awesome…

  33. Fernando says:

    I was most intrigued by Miles. On the island, he seems to be such a kick-ass guy making threats and leading the New-Others; but in the flashback he is just a crooked psychic taking advantage of others. Most importantly, why didn’t he want the Losties to know his lastname?

  34. Steve says:

    What Daniel said about the sound of the bird, (or something) he said…’ Its weird the sound go that way’ (not sure) somebody notice this ?

  35. Steve says:

    they come for Ben… but Why Naomi have a picture of Desmond and Penelope ?..probably Abaddon know them too.. He probably tell Naomi to find Desmond on the island.. Im sure Abaddon work for the father of Penelope….maybe Desmond is a target too…

  36. pete moss says:

    Lapidus, lapidary, yes. Even better, tho, I think, is the spanish lapidas, which means gravestones.

  37. Connie in Alaska says:

    A couple of observations:

    In the scene where the helicopter is going down and they are all scrambling to jump, you can hear Charlotte saying something about her vest “where’s my vest!” Curious that she seems to be the only one wearing a bullet proof vest and that she will actually need it very soon….hmmm. Did she know that Ben would shoot her and came prepared?

    When Abbadon and Naomi are discussing the mission, he tells her that she is responsible for getting the team in and out and making sure NO ONE DIES! Neither Abbadon or Naomi seem to have much love for the team nor would they shed a tear at their funerals in the “real world”. But dying on the island is not like dying anywhere else and could create complications for Abbadon and those he may be working for.

    Good catch on “The Magician’s Nephew” everyone. I have suspected that they may not be anywhere “normal” in the sense that it actually can be pinpointed on a map. It is “somewhere” but it’s like magic or paranormal or super techie science. This was further reinforced when Daniel started talking about the light not breaking just right and from the way his neck was swiveling when he first arrived on the island.

    Whew…guess I’m being a backseat driver, but I can’t help it!

  38. Connie in Alaska says:

    oh…one more thing…

    in the scene where Miles is holding Jack at gunpoint and revealing that Naomi’s sister is really code for “something’s wrong”, Miles very pointedly and snarkily said that Jack, being in a dangerous situation, would be correct to say “Tell my sister I love her.” Was Miles teasing us by hinting that he knows Jack has a sister? It seemed like an odd thing to say at the time, but I think he knows about Clair.

  39. havasupi says:

    Frank Lapidus in an anagram generator came up “FAA drunk slip” probably just a coincidence.

  40. VancouverISlost says:

    Does anyone remember on the Official Lost Podcast, where Damon Lindelof (I think) showed a picture of a chance meeting with George Lucas at Disneyland. The same George Lucas that Carlton Cuse was working with and couldn’t go to Disneyland?

    When I saw the Star Wars connection, I thought about this little tidbit of information.

    My vote for the mole on the fraighter: Micheal.

    I bet Ben knew the fraighter was coming and sent Micheal in a boat to meet it. Micheal worked out some deal with Ben to pass information back to Ben when the ship approached the Island.

    I’m started to be on Team Ben. As manipulative as he is…perhaps he is not as evil as the Newbies (or the people behind the Newbies).

  41. Eric says:

    The C. S. Lewis reference made me think not of Narnia, but of Lewis’s other claims to literary fame. He was a well-known Christian apologist – my memory of his book “The Screwtape Letters”, presented as a collection of letters of advice on how to corrupt human souls, written by an old experienced devil for a young protege, has all kinds of resonances with LOST.

  42. paintergirl1 says:

    I read that Frank Lapidus is also an anagram for “Farads link up.” A “farad” is a unit of electrical capacity, named after Michael Faraday.

  43. I wonder if these two episodes were meant as a two hour premiere, but were separated due to the writers’ strike. In the current circumstances, ABC will want to air the episodes separately, gaining a ratings advantage.

    Just one random thought …

    Awesome start to the season. I’ve been on the edge of my seat through these two!

    /danno

  44. Dave says:

    GREAT to have both Lost and the Podcasts back in full force. Ryan and Jen (and all who contribute), I always enjoy listening.

    Does anyone else get a kick out of Dong (Rhyme with Plong) being on the island? If only they could find a ka-ra-o-ke machine. “I wish that I had Jesse’s girl!”

    Since I can’t remember… did Naomi mention Penny’s name before Desmond (or anyone else) did, or did Desmond give it away to her first?

  45. Steve says:

    I think Ben’s man on the boat is not really a man.. but Annie his old girlfriend…

  46. Bryan says:

    OK the writer’s strike is over.

    NOW GET BACK IN THERE AND WRITE EPISODES 9-16!!!!

    Sorry, I’m just fired up again about Lost. ;^)

  47. amighty says:

    this is probably just a random coincidence, but I was watching “a kiss before dying” last night and stumbled across something… Matt Dylan plays a homicidal maniac who steals the identity of one “Jay Faraday”, an orphan who lost both parents (diplomats) in a plane crash. He then goes on to infiltrate the “Carlsson Copper” corporation.

    Just weird I would see that the day after this episode

  48. amighty says:

    but it would be weirder if daniel turns out to be the “ban on the boat”, someone who stole dan faraday’s identity, or this somehow correlates to why he was so upset upon hearing of the wreckage being found.

  49. tvscifi says:

    “# Fernando Says:
    February 8th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I was most intrigued by Miles. On the island, he seems to be such a kick-ass guy making threats and leading the New-Others; but in the flashback he is just a crooked psychic taking advantage of others. Most importantly, why didn’t he want the Losties to know his lastname?”

    Could his last name be Candle? Or Waxman, Or Wick? Still seems odd he didn’t want Jack to hear his last name. Maybe he is afraid Jack will be able to track him down in the future.

  50. Gretchen says:

    Did anyone else see the flicker of a ghost on the wall just after Miles gave the grandma back her money? I’ve been all over the web, but can’t find a screen cap of it and my pedestrian old DVR couldn’t slow down enough for me to see it on my tv.

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