You guys really rocked the "Letters from the Flame" queries this week, I must say. You were all Vin Diesel this week: fast and furious with your questions and comments about Lost. I’ve answered all of your WAAAAALTING questions below. Given the nature of the questions, there are some fairly long answers for each of them. As such, I’m breaking this up over two days. I’ll answer half tonight and half tomorrow night. If you don’t see yours tonight, don’t get mad, and don’t go to the hatch looking for a gun. The hatch is gone, y’all. Boom. All explode-y. Desmond was nekkid. Let it go.
Let’s start it off with a question from reader "Other Sean."
What do you make of the notChristian & creepy Claire Cabin Variety Hour? How do you think this ties into the season premiere, when the striped-suit version of notChristian appeared in the cabin as well (apparently with Jacob still in it)?
Great, a really, really hard question right off the bat. Oh well, I have no one to blame but myself, in that I put this first. Lemmee go get my thinking cap for this one: it’s in the corner next to my copy of The Turn of the Screw and a case of Dharma beer.
I think what you make of this scene ties in to how much you believe notChristian when he claims to be speaking for Jacob. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume this newly attired Christian does NOT, in fact, speak for him. Which perhaps explains why Christian looks, as you pointed out, markedly different in terms of his ensemble lately on the Island.
If this iteration of Christian is in fact lying about his status as mouthpiece for Jacob, then we can look at Claire’s disappearance as an abduction, her separation from Aaron rife with malicious intent, and the order to "move the Island" as all works AGAINST Jacob, and, by extension, against the Island itself. This would explain quite a bit of what we’ve seen this season, both in on-Island activities and post-Island activities. Let’s say you needed to ensure Claire and Aaron are separated. What better way than to use the image of her father figure, in the absence of Charlie, in order to lure her away?
Notice that notChristian is INSISTENT about the fact that Locke not tell anyone about seeing her? Who better than Locke to keep this secret, as devout he is towards the Island? And further more, who better than Locke as a patsy to enact a plan that will actually put the Island into greater peril than ever before? Locke wouldn’t question someone speaking on Jacob’s behalf; he’s got no cause for caution in this case.
Looking at events in this way makes the absence of Jacob, the moving of the cabin, and the kidnapping of Claire make a lot of sense, as far as I can tell. Remember Jacob’s only words on the show so far: "Help me." Remember the terrified look he gave with a calm Christian Shephard sitting behind him. Given how many parties want control over the Island, it is unreasonable to assume notChristian does not have Jacob’s best interest in mind?
I spoke about moving the Island, and apparently not a moment to soon, according to reader "Jeff."
When are we going to talk about moving the Island???!!!
Dude, I just did. Chill. Oh, you wanted more explanation? Very well.
If nothing else, "moving the Island" helps explain why Charles Widmore couldn’t simply mount another operation involving a less-insane military commander and go retake the Island after his initial attempts fail. The Island, through whatever machinations we’ll eventually see, is no longer accessible by the routes described in the Black Rock journal and pinpointed by Desmond Hume turning the sky purple. It could be sitting atop Topeka, for all Widmore knows.
I have to assume that an element of time plays into the moving of the Island, either in addition to or instead of geography. Given the ever-fluctuating time difference between the Island and the real world, it’s not too far-fetched to postulate that all that wonkiness was inserted into the narrative in order to set up this leap.
I can’t help but wonder if what we saw in "The Shape of Things to Come"-Ben walking up cold and terrified in the Sahara-is tied into this time movement as well. It could help explain the confusion he had upon arriving back in civilization, for sure. And might suggest what I feel will be revealed in these last three hours: that the Island’s been moved before, and moved by Benjamin Linus, and doing so created horrible side effects that resonate throughout Lost.
Speaking about moving something through time and space, let’s look at our final question of the day, this one from reader "Rishi."
Since the upcoming ep(s) is/are called "There’s No Place Like Home", I’m wondering how many "The Wizard of Oz" metaphors do you think we’ll see in the ep(s)?
I’m particularly interested in your (and others) opinions on what will represent Kansas and Oz respectively? Will Kansas be represented by the island or the rest of the world? Ditto for Oz.
As an aside, who will represent the main characters in Oz (i.e. Dorothy, The Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Witch, etc.)?
I don’t think we’re going to see anything quite as overt as what you’ve mentioned, but you’re right: clearly they are asking us, the viewers, to try and draw as many parallels as we can by naming the episode so conspicuously.
In terms of whether the Island is Oz or Kansas, it all depends on your perspective of which is your ideal: life on the Island, or life in the real world? I think the show would side with the Island as having the potential (not always realized) of being closer to Eden/Paradise than one could find on Earth, but it’s just that at the moment: potential. Just as Paradise in the Bible is forever lost, so too is the Island’s pure essence, corrupted through centuries, if not millennia, of bickering, fighting, and factions constantly seeking to own something which is by its very essence cannot be owned. Controlled? Maybe. For a time. But not truly owned.
One more thing to think about: the title "There’s No Place Like Home" could refer either the real world or the Island itself. You could look at the title as an ironic way of describing the journey of the Oceanic 6 back into the real world, or as a way in which they come to view the place they sought to leave for so long. "Home" in "The Wizard of Oz" was dull and grey, with Oz bursting with color. In which one would you prefer to live?
(As for the "who would represent the main characters," I am going to leave that to you, the readers, to figure out/argue about in the comments below. I am sure that should provoke some excellent comparisons, and saves me from having to make any that might get me fired.)
OK, that’s quite a bit to chew on for one night, so we’ll stop now and continue tomorrow, which will be baby-centric. Leave your thoughts and responses below on the topics discussed today!
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.