LOST Revisited: “The Shape of Things to Come” (Apr 25)

Before we break out the fan gush and conspiracy theories, Hurley-size congratulations to long-time reader Sara who defied the
Island and had a baby during the break. Of course, she didn’t take my suggestions and name the baby “Ji Yeon” or “Benry”. Way to go, Sara!

Now, you know we’re in trouble when Jack is popping antibiotics like House popping Vicodin. Jack’s always been a little, oh, sparing with the medication. He’ll pretty much give you just enough to not die. Either he’s incredibly sick, or he’s counting on getting off the Island in the next day or two. Or both.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but Vincent always makes me happy. Possibly because he’s a magic dog, but also because he’s a good boy. Yes he is! (Sorry about that.) Also, I like seeing Bernard, too. He’s one of those characters I used to actively worry about, before this season started and I had to worry about everybody.

Case in point: When a bald guy washes up on the beach, that’s very worrisome. Imagine my delight to find out it was the Creepy Doctor, and not Locke. Only, I don’t remember Creepy Doctor being dead. That seems like the kind of thing I’d remember.

OK, in the “Risk” scene, we have the kind of fake-out they love to do on Lost, where they’re having an intense discussion, seemingly about important plot points, and then they turn out to be playing ping-pong or something. It still amuses me. Note that Hurley says “Australia’s the key to the whole game”. That is where they were flying from, after all. Most of the regulars had life-changing experiences in Australia. Do we need to be paying more attention to the land Down Under? Or am I overthinking one line? You decide! Immediately after that line, Sawyer rolls three dice for a 15, which is one of our numbers!

When the attackers force Alex to turn off the Sonic Death Fence, she keys in either “1622” or “1623”. (It’s hard to tell.) I seem to remember that “1623” was the correct code, so she might have entered “1622” to set off the early warning system. (And “1623” – two of our numbers!) The alarm repeats the code “14J”, which in the military, is the rank for an early warning system operator. Nice touch there.

You know what? Benry is even creepy when he plays the piano. And the 12 gauge in the piano bench was just about my favorite thing in the episode. There’s never really a time when he’s not armed.

And speaking of Benry, we’ve got our flash-forward! (Although that’s not immediately clear until the second segment.) He seems surprised to wake up in Tunisia, and it seems weird that he’s wearing a parka. Remember that Dharma polar bear skeleton that Charlotte found in Tunisia before joining the Fantastic Foursome? I’m assuming the bear and Benry both went from someplace cold to Tunisia with very little warning. Is it possible that Ice Station Impossible (from the end of Season Two) has something to do with it? Is that where they started? Note that Benry’s parka is embroidered “Halliwax”, which is one of Dr. Marvin Candle’s established aliases. And isn’t it weird to see Benry without fresh cuts and bruises on his face?

I’m not sure what the thing in his pocket is. Perhaps it has something to do with his mysterious travels, or it’s just a convenient bludgeon. I mean, if it were actually the remote control for his Justice League teleporter, he probably wouldn’t use it to break a guy’s jaw.

Back on the Island, Benry says it’s very important that Locke survive. Strange, considering Benry tried to kill him not so long ago. I’m not sure why Locke is important to Benry now. Maybe to help wrangle Hurley, or maybe Benry’s got a different endgame in mind for our buddy. Regardless, Locke’s fate has me very worried these days.

Well, Keamy and his gun-crazy pals killed three nameless Lostaways. That was an exciting shoot-out, but it’s probably not a good idea to hide behind a propane grill in the middle of a gunfight. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Sawyer. I was pretty sure that Claire was dead. Of course, to have her survive is pretty much just prolonging the inevitable. I wonder if the freighter people had some good intelligence on the Lostaways, too. It would have been pretty easy to take out Sawyer, but I think they wanted him in the house where he might turn on Benry. I think maybe Miles put together some decent psychological profiles while he was held prisoner. (And I love that Sawyer actually thinks that’s a good idea when Benry points out that it’s exactly what they want him to do. That Sawyer, he lives up to expectations.)

OK, so Benry claims it’s not his first time in Tunisia. Fair enough. Sure he always lies about everything, but now Tunisia is getting to be important. He checks in to the hotel under the name “Dean Moriarty”. That’s the name of the wandering protagonist in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Apparently, that particular ID was visible earlier this season while Locke was rooting through Benry’s stuff. Who wants to write the book report on this one?

We also get the date here, October 24, 2005. So now we officially know that it’s a flash-forward. They’ve been giving us more and more dates lately, if you’ve noticed. The fact that Benry has to ask the year would indicate that his means of transport was highly irregular. And there, on the TV is Sayid, asking to “bury (his) wife in peace”. They’re off the island less than ten months, and Sayid already got married? Dude works fast.

Over at Camp Locke, Benry confirms for us that Hurley is the one who can lead them to Jacob. We’ve seen Hurley stumble upon the cabin, but I wonder why he, in particular, can find it. Is it because of his history with mental illness and seeing things that aren’t necessarily really there? Is he on Jacob’s List? Locke is on Jacob’s List, but he can’t find the cabin. Curious stuff.

Sawyer puts baby Aaron in a laundry basket, which might be a visual reference to Moses. Or it might just be a convenient thing in which to put a baby. And then, it’s Miles at the door. Now that I think about it, this was the first real proof that the Freighter People were the attackers, but they showed that pretty clearly on the ads, so it wasn’t really a surprise.

In the future, we can see that Sayid’s late wife is, in fact, Nadia. Awww. Poor Sayid. (I mean, it would still be sad if he married somebody else and she died, but that’s really rough.) By the way, Tikrit is Saddam Hussein’s hometown, and not a nice place to be in 2005. Benry obviously lies to Sayid about how he got there. Desmond’s boat? A boat brought you to the middle of the desert, wearing a parka, unsure of the exact year? I don’t know if I should believe that Ishmael Bakir killed Nadia or not. Sure, it’s possible, but I’m not sure what Widmore has to gain by hurting Sayid. True, he may be coming after the Oceanic Six, but Benry’s been known to stretch the truth.

In the barricaded house, Benry’s pretty sure that his people are willing to die in service of the Island. Actually, he’s right. The Others are willing to take some losses. Heck, Miss Klugh had Mikhail shoot her rather than be taken prisoner. Those guys are seriously devoted. And then, we’ve got Crazy Eyes Keamy on the phone. Now, I really didn’t think they were going to kill Alex. Benry and I were in the same boat on this one. Poor Alex. Interesting that Benry insists “He changed the rules”. There are rules? This, to me, points once again to the idea that events on the Island are cyclical. Perhaps there’s always a war for control of the Island, and Benry and Widmore are just the latest to perpetuate that cycle. As somebody familiar with the Island’s history, perhaps Benry knows that the warring parties have always left each other’s families alone. Or maybe he and Widmore actually agreed to rules, and this whole war is two rich men amusing themselves using other’s lives as pawns.

If you noticed, the secret passage within Benry’s secret room had one of those Indiana Jones style-doors. It looked like a crypt, which would make me think whatever was behind that door was there before Dharma, and they just build a suburb around it. Speaking of Dharma, I have to wonder where they stand on this whole thing. They’re obviously not affiliated with Widmore, since they know where the Island is. But then, Benry killed most of them, so they’re probably not big fans. How do they know where the Island is? My head is spun.

Back in Iraq, we can see that it didn’t take much for Benry to turn Sayid into a killing machine. I sure hope he’s telling the truth (even if his evil grin suggests otherwise), because it’s going to destroy Sayid if he’s been manipulated into murdering innocent people. Well, sort of innocent, at any rate. Sayid says he spent 8 years looking for Nadya, which is another one of the numbers. They’re all over this episode!

Hey, it’s Smokey! And Benry can summon it? That surprised me. You have to admit, it was pretty awesome to see the monster come bursting onto the scene. If Benry actually has some control over the monster, a lot of old theories go out the window. Of course, he clearly doesn’t have complete control, hence all the running.

Wow, Jack and the rest of his Merry Band haven’t had much to do this week. So, according to the freighter, the doctor is fine. Well, that could be a lie. Remember, anytime we’re told something on Lost, we shouldn’t necessarily believe it. When you actually see it, then you can believe it. (Need I invoke A Turn of the Screw and its unreliable narrator again?) And, of course, there’s always a chance that the crazy time maelstrom brought the future dead doctor to the beach. He might die on the freighter after his body washed up on the beach. This’ll be interesting to see. We didn’t see the freighter at all this week, so it’s possible Sayid and Desmond are running the show by now.

Finally, Daniel admits that they have no intention of rescuing the Lostaways. This really seems to bother Daniel, though Miles and Charlotte are obviously OK with it. And then Jack gets really sick. Five dollars says Kate finds a way to make it all about her.

Well, there’s a mutiny over at Camp Locke. I’m actually kind of touched that Sawyer and Hurley are genuinely friends now. Are they going to make it to the cabin? Will Jacob finally answer Locke’s questions about the monster? I like how Locke sometimes just speaks for the fans. “Come on, just tell me about the monster!”

And now the dramatic finale, Benry and Widmore, face to face. Widmore says to Benry “Everything you have, you took from me.” What does that mean? Does their rivalry go back further than the Island? What did Benry take? These guys clearly have a long and bitter history. I am very upset and Benry’s plans to kill Penelope, as I so want her and Desmond to have a happy ending. Widmore is noticeably less upset, and even seems like he’s going to enjoy the challenge. Some of their dialogue about the Island indicates that it may not necessarily be fixed in its position. Widmore claims “That Island’s mine. It always will be.” Bold words from somebody who doesn’t know where it is. Is it possible that Benry took the Island from him somehow? How do you take an island? I mean, if anybody can, it’s Benry. Still, that seems like a tall order. And why can’t Benry kill Widmore? This scene is going to make me crazy!

Welcome back, Lost. We’ve missed you so.

Next week, Jack needs surgery and it looks like Keamy’s not so dead as we might have thought. It’s not fair to have somebody survive a monster attack – it just unfairly raises my hopes that Mr. Eko is going to come back and administer some serious beatings with the Jesus Stick.

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