The Economist

Another fantastic episode. And the details are almost as exciting as the overall pace “LOST” is keeping. This season is no leisurely stroll (you hear me, season two?). This show is now lean, mean, and likely to leave you dizzy. You’ve got the island mysteries (the 31 minute time discrepancy and the significance of bearings used to come and go). You’ve got the double double-crosses, the chess-like strategies, the cloudy motivations. You’ve got another flash-forward with a mind-blowing climax.

And oh my god, the truth finally comes out. My wife, Jen, the eye-rolling cynic who has insisted since day one that she’s all about the mysteries, finally outed herself tonight as a squealing, giddy Skater. Who knew?

But really, as further testament to the quality of writing on “LOST,” we’re able to get clues and conspiracies and yet have genuine romantic moments, some of them bittersweet. Sayid falling for his target’s not-so-innocent personal shopper. Jack telling Kate she’s safe from Locke because Sawyer will protect her. Jack’s expression when Sayid told him Kate was staying behind. And yes, Sawyer’s invitation to Kate to play house. (Seriously. When Sawyer said, “Why don’t we find out?” Jen turned into a 10th grade girl.)

Ben remains the most intriguing enigma, brilliant and scary and quirky… we’re stunned to find his secret lair with suitcases and passports, but not really. We’re shocked to learn he ends up Sayid’s boss, assassinating people on a list, but not really. Early in the episode, I remarked just how beaten and destroyed Ben was beginning to look. So, of course, the last thing we see tonight are those beady little eyes, shiny and deadly, conducting international espionage while pretending to be a veterinarian. Of course!

Hurley is the character that really surprised us tonight. When it turned out he’d tricked Sayid and Kate for Locke, I fell back in my chair. Well played! Here we thought we were seeing why Hurley was one of the Oceanic Six. Instead, that remains a mystery for another day.

I remain unreasonably fond of Daniel. He seems horrified by what he learns from the time-traveling rocket, yet stays behind with Charlotte. And the fact that Charlotte remains despite having to be rescued from Locke belies her deeper interest in the island (and presumably DHARMA). It was great to see Desmond again, and his relief at seeing the helicopter was palpable. But it’s the way that Frank and Daniel hesitated when he asked about Penelope Widmore that I found most interesting. Couple that with the way Frank tells Daniel to talk to Regina but not Minkowski, and you’ve got more than one “primary objective.”

And what to make of Sayid’s conversation with Ben. What did happen the last time Sayid thought with his heart rather than his gun? Clearly a critical misstep that we’ve yet to see, and one that paves the way for their alliance. Who are the friends Sayid thinks he’s protecting? The Oceanic 6, or the people left behind? And who’s next on the list? My money is on one of our beloved Losties… but I bet that comes in Season Five.

  • The bracelets were clearly significant. Sayid finds one on Naomi (“N, I will be with you always, R.G.”), and then finds one on Elsa. Elsa’s employer is a target of Ben’s, and thus probably the person behind the Freighties mission to the island. Or at least, their supposed mission.
  • The shot of Sayid and Desmond in the helicopter as it takes off, coupled with a swelling Giacchino score and an aerial shot over the ocean, was breathtaking. Again we’re taken back to the original, core stakes of “LOST.” While we knew people got off the island, it was still amazing to watch it actually happen.
  • I liked that Miles is sour and high-strung, but not taken seriously. Frank doesn’t miss him. And the hissy fit he threw when he thought Sayid was going after Charlotte alone, only to be deflated when Sayid invited him along, was great. As was his meek demand for a gun.
  • Jen notes that the presence of guns used to be a punch line of sorts on “LOST.” Now people are being shot and wounded at an alarming rate. When Sayid killed Elsa? I somewhat regretted letting our 10-year-old daughter stay up to watch the show.
  • We finally see Sayid praying again. He goes to close Naomi’s eyes, then does the same for Elsa. Nice, even if it is a Hollywood cliche.
  • Favorite lines? Hurley on Miles, “Oh great. The ship sent another Sawyer.” Or, Kate and Jack’s discussion about going with Sayid. “Does that mean I should wait 30 minutes and go anyway?”
  • Says Jen, with a spot of drool, “Sayid sure cleans up nice.”
  • Loved Jack asking about the Red Sox winning the World Series. And Frank being a Yankees fan.
  • The Name Game: The late golf great, Mr. Avellino. A town in Italy? “Evil Loan”? Or Patron Saint of Sudden Death. Bingo.
  • Locations! The snowy German street was Merchant Street downtown, the same block that played London for a Desmond flashback. The cafe where Sayid and Ilsa meet was Cassis, an overpriced restaurant in Harbor Court. Sadly, I don’t know my golf courses, but I’ll guess Turtle Bay.

67 Responses to “The Economist”

  1. Bryan says:

    G-Dawg

    There is mention of a deleted scene that has to do with the sonic fence and how they got around it.

    Here is the link.

    http://darkufo.blogspot.com/2008/02/episode-403-economist-deleted-scene.html

  2. Aitor says:

    One other thing that I haven’t seen mentioned but kind of bugs me is that I find strange that Ben is hiding all those clothes, passports and money on his secret lair. Not only because of what’s in there, but by the actual fact that he’s hiding all that stuff from the rest of the Others. Why keep it secret? Are they not concerned with Ben’s business out of the island?

  3. Avery says:

    Don’t ask me why, but I have always felt it is Ben in the casket at the empty funeral home Jack visits. Maybe Kate’s strong reaction of “NO” when Jack questions if she attended…I dunno. But seeing this episodes only makes me believe it OH SO MUCH more…..so excuse me while I go watch Donnie Darko, the director’s cut….Thanks R&J!

  4. Steve from Québec says:

    Aitor
    It dont look a secret for Locke.. He was waiting for Sayid outside Ben’s secret lair and he dont look surprise at all !!… That is more strange for me !

  5. Steve from Québec says:

    and I dont understand why its look so hard to land the helicopter but Frank have no problem to lift off ..somebody can explain that ??

  6. Steve from Québec says:

    Just one more thing.. im not good enough in english to understand everything… but maybe somebody here will be interested… they talk about MAXWELL equations, FARADAY law, changing the equation, etc etc… im sure the answer of LOST can be found in that… one of the sentence in the text is

    ”The most significant aspect of Maxwell’s work in electromagnetism is the term he introduced into Ampère’s circuital law; the time derivative of the electric field, known as Maxwell’s displacement current.”

    In the Lost experience this summer.. they talk about the Maxwell group… now we have Faraday.. The Valenzetti Equation, (the numbers) etc etc…

    Sorry.. I know my tought are confuse… its hard to explain myself in that language… but it so fun to read you… maybe somebody can take a look and give me his/her tought !!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations

  7. david from CHITOWN says:

    Couple of other observations…
    I loved the line from last week (in this week’s “previously… on LOST”) where we hear “I’m Daniel Faraday, I’m here to rescue you” as if it was lifted right from Star Wars: “I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you…”

    I also find it curious that the heli pilot keeps saying “I will take you off this island” but never says “I will rescue you” or “I will take you home”

    When Kate arrives at Ben’s house, is there a reason that his “regular” closet is empty? Would he really need all of his clothes if they were going to the temple?

    I would have loved it if John Locke served Sayid Kool Aid instead of iced tea…

    Also, when Sayid and Elsa shot each other… they did not use silencers on their guns.. wouldn’t the neighbors hear something??? I mean, really?

    Finally, the heli pilot and Daniel F look terrified when Desmond mentions the name Penelope Widmore…. If it’s not Mr. Widmore who’s bankrolling this freighter, then they are clearly all afraid of that family for some reason… HMMMMMMM

  8. Julie says:

    Jen, I completely agree. If Sayid had a flat iron on that island, he could really give Sawyer a run for this money as Resident Island Hunk. Rrrraawrrr…

    And as much as I hate to love him, I’m really excited to see the Ben survives into the storylines of the Oceanic 6 (at least through most of them…the possibility that he is the one in the coffin is very interesting…) He has got to be my favorite villian ever. I’m also excited to explore the possibility that Ben IS “one of the good guys.” I love me some Michael Emerson — as a fellow Drake University Theatre Dept. Alumni, he really makes me proud! GO BULLDOGS!

  9. Jim says:

    As far as the Red Sox reference goes, if eight years had passed for Frank as some have postulated, and Frank thought Jack had been on the island for eight years, I don’t think it would be unreasonable for him to react like he did to Jack’s question. The Red Sox winning the world first series was a big enough deal (as they hadn’t won it since 1918) that Frank (especially as a Yankee fan) would know exactly what Jack was referring to. It would be kind of like Jack asking “Did Arnold really get elected as the governor of California?”

    Of course Frank would probably have mentioned that the Red Sox won another world series at that point, and if eight years had passed that would probably come up at some other point, but whatever.

  10. PJSander says:

    tvcif said: If 1 minute on the Island equals 31 minutes, every day spent on the is 1860 days in the real world! That’s 5 years.

    Okay, I am not a physicist, but my math skills are pretty good. How did you go from 1 minute = 31 minutes, to 1 day = 1860 days? To me, if you want to go with the time stretching theory, 1 day would equal 31 days, right?

    I believe that Naomi’s bracelet is Nadia’s – and that Sayid gave it to Nadia. He recognized it and that’s why he took it – I mean, why would he take a dead girl’s bracelet otherwise? Maybe Naomi is Nadia’s sister and the “tell my sister I love her” wasn’t JUST a clue that she was in trouble. Maybe Sayid thinks Nadia is on the boat. MAYBE?!

    So the “eye” of “Jacob” from last season… some say Christian Shepherd, some say Locke, some say Ben… but look at these two images:

    bp0.blogger.com/_RrObyQ3XzcY/R…

    and

    bp3.blogger.com/_n3eH1jI8AZ8/R…

    Maybe the same eye?

    I always believed that Kate was not one of the O6, and then the trailer for next week made me question myself. However, now I think that perhaps Kate becomes famous for something else – she IS gorgeous, maybe she becomes a model!?

    The “ash” around the cabin… looks a lot like kitty litter.

    Before we saw Ben’s face at the vet, I guessed it was him, but he sure SOUNDED like the “Jacob” voice that said “help me” to Locke. I don’t think Jacob exists – I think Ben set that whole thing up to “hook” Locke. I always suspected that, but now I am more confident in it. That’s why the cabin “disappeared” because Ben was finished with it.

    I still think Evangeline Lily is MUCH prettier withOUT all that makeup from the season 3 finale.

    : ) P

  11. AlligatorGar says:

    Speaking of coordinates …

    Remember at the end of Season Three and Ben gives instructions to Michael about getting off the island? Remember Gale is Ben.

    ————————————————————-

    [We see Gale and Michael at the pier.]

    GALE: I’m not happy about the arrangement that was made with you Michael, but we got more than we bargained for when Walt joined us, so I suppose this is what’s best. And you let me go, set me free — you lived up to your word. We live up to our word, too. Do you know how to drive a boat?

    MICHAEL: Yeah, I can drive a boat.

    GALE: Good, then you’re going to take this boat and follow a compass bearing of 325, and if you do that exactly, you and your son will find rescue.

    MICHAEL: That’s it? I follow the bearing and me and my son get rescued?

    GALE: Yes.

    MICHAEL: How do you know I won’t tell people about where I was?

    GALE: Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. But it won’t matter. Once you leave, you’ll never be able to get back here. And my hunch is you won’t say a word to anybody because if you do, people will find out what you did to get your son back.

    MICHAEL: My friends — I was promised you wouldn’t hurt them.

    GALE: A deal’s a deal.

    MICHAEL: Who are you people?

    GALE: We’re the good guys, Michael.

    ————–

    This could be the explanation of why Walt is older. He left the island, aged a bit, and has come back.

  12. AlligatorGar says:

    Sorry, that conversation was not at the end of Season Three. It was at the end of Season Two.

  13. What a crazy episode!

    Early prediction: Ben will turn out to be a good guy and there is a war going on to free the people on the Island.

  14. ernie b says:

    Just one small thing I was musing over as to why Locke couldn’t find Jacob’s cabin is that maybe it can only be seen (or appears) at night. Might be some sort of tie-in with the light vs. dark thing — got me… (as most things from this show can easily be categorized as “got me,” which is why I ain’t even touching the time-space stuff/pregnant=bad/whispers/smoke-monster/reanimated Mikhal/4815162342/four-toed/Adam & Eve/black rock/magic box/”freakin’ polar bears” topics… at least for now).
    As an aside – I will note that I was at the Kennedy Center recently, and heard the smoke monster behind me, in the form of a credit card receipt printer. It was so much the exact same sound that without thought I immediately whipped around, and startled the couple behind us. I started to try to explain, and thought “yeah right, good luck with that.” So, I had to simply let ’em think I was a classical music-loving nut-case. Probably apt, anyway!

    Cheers, all!

  15. Greevo says:

    I think the Island may be in another dimension. The space on the island could be spread throughout the rest of the world or even the universe (A few feet on the island could be miles in the real world) and there are slips in space that can be traveled through on to and off the island. The slips could also exist in different times. This could explain Desmond’s possible time travel, the polar bear in Tunisia, the origin of the smoke monster, the black rock, etc… The strange electromagnetism of the island may interfere with these slips causing them to jump around in space time. The incidents with the swan may have done this and grabbed things from off the island and sent them into a corresponding area in real space and vice versa. I.e. The black rock could have been sailing around when a slip grabbed it and tossed it onto the island. Also, although I really doubt this one, the monster could have been grabbed off another planet and dropped onto the island.

  16. Connie in Alaska says:

    AlligatorGar-Good point on the Michael leaving scene. Did Daniel F. give coordinates in “The Economist” and if he did, were they the same coordinates?

    Also, your post was a reminder that Ben was obviously threatened by Walt’s abilities and has been behaving like any old alpha male with a herd by driving out potential younger threats.

  17. […] Here’s Ryan’s post at The Transmission. […]

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