The 'Lost' Hour: Season 5 - Jughead
Thursday, January 29, 2009; 3:00 PM
Has "Lost" got you a mite confused and ready to hurl at the next mention of smoke monsters? Or do you have the fate of the Oceanic 6 and the Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Juliet love square all figured out? Who got Scooby Dooed this week? Are you a new viewer, adrift on an unfamiliar isle or an old hand ready to bare knuckle some quantum physics? In either case, we're here for you and armed with more mediocre puns and pop culture references than a hunky con man can shake a stick at.
Post.com "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney will attempt to get to the bottom of these matters every Friday. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006.
Read this week's episode analysis, then the discussion transcript below.
When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com.
For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.
Jen Chaney: We won't waste time with too much preamble, what with so many (many!) questions, particularly about Ellie perhaps being Faraday's mom (Ellie = Eloise Hawking) and Widmore being Faraday's dad. We are liking this theory so much, that we only wish we had thought of it ourselves.
I feel a flash coming on ... Liz, take over before I go back to the '50s...
Liz Kelly: Okay, I officially declare this a "Back to the Future" reference-free zone. Any references to said movie will be subject to monetary fines, payable to me.
But, yeah, let's dispense with the throat-clearing and get started.
Washington, D.C.: God, I want your job. Here you are, talking about celebs and "Lost" for two hours; and here I am, getting the hairy eyeball from my boss for discussing the cancellation (more or less) of "Ugly Betty" with a co-worker for, like, TWO minutes...
Jen Chaney: Imagine what your boss will do when he/she finds out you're reading this chat! Be safe, my friend. It's a tough economy out there.
And to be fair, there are other things we have to do as part of our jobs that are far less enjoyable than this. That said, if we were discussing, say, "Lost" in the office, we would get high marks for our outstanding work ethic.
Liz Kelly: Yep. And there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Trust me. By the end of the season, Jen and I are ready for a sanitarium.
Liz Kelly: But, yeah, most of the time it's pretty nice and I thank my lucky stars every day.
Washington, D.C.: On televisionwithoutpity.com the Lost forum keeps mentioning something about "Theresa falls up the stairs, Theresa falls down the stairs," in relation to the dearly departed Boone. Problem is, there's 22 pages of forum comments and I don't have time to sort through all of them to see what the heck people are talking about. I don't remember a character named Theresa but then again, the Boone episode was like 100 years ago in Richard Alpert years. Do either of you understand why people are making a connection here, in relation to Theresa Spencer?
Did that question make any sense?
washingtonpost.com: TWOP's Lost forums.
Jen Chaney: All I can say to this is: Oh. My. God.
But let's back up a sec. In that episode, Boone says that Theresa was actually the name of his nanny, a woman who took a bad spill down the stairs, broke her neck and died. But is it possible that it's the same woman, and that he was told she died when in fact she was having flashes, and that the "up the stairs, down the stairs" phrasing is a metaphor for her flashes to various points in the time spectrum? This is "Lost." Of course it is!
Also, when I think of going up and down stairs, I also get the image of a ladder. Perhaps even Jacob's Ladder (as in the ladder to heaven), which would suggest that Theresa -- and maybe other Losties -- are stuck between two worlds and unable to pass on to the next life. I don't know, just a thought. And I hadn't gotten Biblical in a while, so there you are.
Liz Kelly: But, Jen -- wouldn't that mean they're stuck in some kind of "purgatory," which -- if I recall -- LindeCuse has specifically dismissed?
That is really interesting about the Boone connection, though. Good find.
Jen Chaney: Yes, that is true. But they also said the past can't be changed, and now they are backpedaling on that. So I say all bets are off.
And I don't think the island is purgatory, in the traditional sense. But I do think it's possible that everyone's consciousnesses -- trying saying that word out loud, it's hard! -- are in some sort of Limbo Land.
Seattle: I was surprised that Richard was surprised by the time-shifting. I always thought he knew everything there was to know about the island.
Liz Kelly: Well, he was surprised by it in 1954 -- which, if we are to believe the storyline -- is before the time shifting ever happened (because Jughead was not yet buried and there was no frozen donkey wheel to turn). He wasn't surprised, though, when Locke encountered him last week during his flashes -- when Alpert appeared to doctor his leg and give him the compass, he knew exactly what was happening and how to gain his trust in Locke's inevitable journey to 1954.
Yerba Buena, CA: Desmond's visit to Oxford - let's see - who was the "fumigator" guy and how did he just "happen" in on Desmond - AND, when Des finally visits the bedridden "victim" how come he does not recognize a terminal time traveler who has lost, in this case her, "constant" when Des after all has personal knowledge of this problem.
Jen Chaney: I thought the fact that Desmond was just walking along and -- oops! -- happened upon the physics department and -- whoops! -- discovered a room being fumigated and THEN -- oops, I did it again! -- opened it up to discover Faraday's lab, was one of those *too* coincidental narrative developments. But then again the "Lost" writers only have 42 minutes to tell a story every week, and they have to get the wheels in motion pretty quickly.
The fact that Fumigator Man was so forthcoming either meaans that he a. was put there on purpose to inform Desmond about Faraday, or b. was evidence, again, of the narrative having to proceed a little clumsily at that point.
As for your contention abut him not recognizing her as a terminal time traveler, I thought he probably did make that connection. Which is why he went into Polar Bear Painting Collector's office on a tear.
Liz Kelly: Good point about the Desmond's way-too-easy path to Faraday's broken down lab. And the fumigator guy seemed a bit menacing at first.
I have to wonder if Charles Widmore isn't using Des to somehow get to Faraday's mom. Especially since Des and Penny have been on the run from Widmore for three years. Suddenly Desmond can safely walk in and out of Widmore's office and get directory assistance while there? Not buying it. Widmore wants Des to go to L.A.
Jen Chaney: That sounds right to me, Liz. Which will all lead to the showdown of the century in L.A. between Widmore, Ben, Penny, Desmond, Ms. Hawking, Cheech Marin, Jack, Kate, the father from "My So-Called Life" and the ghost version of Ana Lucia. Awesome!
St. Paul, Minn. : What do you think, ladies?
Skinny D: Lovable scatterbrained genius? Or a clever cover for nefarious evil-doer?
I hope it's the former. The guy has really grown on me.
PS: It's great to have this chat session back with "Lost"!
Liz Kelly: He's grown on me, too -- in fact, he may actually be supplanting Sawyer as my prime "Lost" crush, which I think really says a lot for the triumph of brains over brawn.
But as to his intentions -- I think they are being left purposefully ambiguous at this point and it is just too close to call.
Jen Chaney: Thank you, St. Paul, for reviving my attempt to call Daniel Skinny D., which failed tremendously last season. And, let's be honest, probably will never catch on. But I appreciate the effort.
I'm just going to chuck this notion out there: Maybe Faraday is sort of like Ben, in that there is good intention there but, perhaps at times, some really bad methods used to get to an admirable end point. Difference, of course, being that Faraday has a real surface softness and likability that Ben does not.
Liz Kelly: The whole "Skinny D" thing is just too similar to "Sunny D." I suggest we call him.... Daniel!
Also Oakton, Va.: Are you saying Faraday is Desmond's brotha-in-law?
Liz Kelly: It's a distinct possibility. And it would make some kind of odd sense for the three main freighter folk to have all been born on island (Daniel, Charlotte and Miles).
And it does set up an interesting dynamic. We're now wondering if Faraday's intentions should be taken at face value. Well, if Penny is his sister, should her motivations also be questioned?
Jen Chaney: Yeah, all of Penny's expressions last night strongly suggested that she knows more than she is letting on.
I think it's safe to take nothing on "Lost" at face value. In fact, you shouldn't even take my statement about face value at face value.
Los Angeles, CA: The specific problem of this show is that it is probably the most analyzed show in history and that analysis and speculation inevitably produces spoilers. I was not surprised that the young man captured by the Losties was Charles Widmore because a fan commentator guessed as much last week and wrote about it. And that ruined the "gasp" moment.
Jen Chaney: Well, that's not so much a spoiler as a guess that turned out to be correct. But I hear you, there is so much analysis that reading too much of it can scramble the brain and sometimes ruin the pure pleasure of riding along with the narrative.
Of course, there is one way to solve that problem: Don't read the analyses. Except for the fine analyses right here on washingtonpost.com, that is. I mean, those are indispensable. Except for all the stupid junk about "Back to the Future" that that Chaney woman writes.
Liz Kelly: The other risk with over-analyzing the show is that it is easy to get pretty far down a path that turns out to be the wrong one. We've certainly done it before (hello, time travel rules) -- but as I've said in the past, "Lost" is a show that allows us to choose our level of engagement. If you're going to seek out fan commentary on the Web, you definitely lose a little of the wide-eyed wonder of watching the show without hints as to where things are going.
I wouldn't have it any other way, though -- the mythology of the show is just too much fun to leave be.
Jen Chaney: I am just as fascinated by the fan response to this show as I am to the show itself. I'm not even joking when I say this: There is something very moving to me about the way people respond to "Lost" in so many different and often deep ways.
Charlotte, NC: Oh my God - Tall Ghost Walt is now Prepackaged Frozen Chicken Wing Walt! Seriously, I just saw Malcolm David Kelley in a commercial for Tyson "Anytizers" boneless chicken wings.
I thought it was a little sad that he was doing a commercial. Then it occurred to me: maybe Anytizers are Walt's constant.
Yeah, let's go with that.
Jen Chaney: You know something? I can't find that commercial on YouTube. Internet, you are seriously letting me down. The whole reason you exist is so we can find silly videos like this at any time of the day.
And I agree: chicken wings are indeed Walt's constant. Have a cluckity cluck cluck day!
Liz Kelly: Allow me to be the first one to say "yuck."
Speaking of hard to believe: Angela Chase's dad, a named partner in Agostini & Morton, personally delivers a subpoena to Kate. Have the Lost writers never met a lawyer? Of all the crazy things that happen on this show, this one really strained my suspension of disbelief.
Liz Kelly: Yeah, apparently they haven't seen "Pineapple Express."
But then you're assuming that Angela Chase's dad is really a lawyer and not just some henchman working for Widmore or Sun in the hopes of scaring Kate into a certain course of action.
Jen Chaney: Hold on a minute. Did he actually hand her a subpoena? I don't think he did. I thought he said they wanted to talk to her about Aaron and if she wouldn't let him in, he'd come back with the cops. At which point Kate said, "Go ahead and bring the cops, Angela Chase's Dad!" and shut the door in his face.
Either way, dude isn't really a lawyer. He's working for Ben or Sun, I still think Ben.
Liz Kelly: I'm going with Sun. We'll see, Chaney.
Washington, D.C.: What about the baby?? Just named for Charlie, or could he BE Charlie? Charles Widmore? (Yes, making him his own grandpa -- sounds like a good country song.)
Jen Chaney: Okay, now you're all just talking crazy.
East Lansing, Mich.: Tyson Anytizers commercial
I think that's the commercial in question, and I don' think that's tall WAAALLLLLTTTT.
washingtonpost.com: Walt visits Hurley
Jen Chaney: You're so right. Come on, people. That kid looks NOTHING like Walt.
Let's not accuse the guy of shilling for chicken wings without some more solid evidence.
P.S. Thank you, Internet. My faith in you has been restored.
Liz Kelly: But they're not wings -- let's be clear. They are processed chicken parts forced into some kind of bite-sized hunk of salt and fat. Then breaded.
Liz Kelly: And, ya, I don't think that's Walt.
Jen Chaney: Whatever they are, Walt is not involved. And that's the important thing.
Silver Spring, Md.: Who's Angela Chase? What episodes was she in?
washingtonpost.com: My So-Called Life (imdb.com)
Jen Chaney: She wasn't in "Lost," as imdb link confirms. At least she hasn't been ... yet.
Seriously, how sweet would it be if they flashed somewhere and suddenly Jordan Catalano showed up?
Kansas City, MO: Love the dueling analysis, ladies. And I'm a sucker for McFly, too, Jen.
Here's my question for you:
Do you think it's possible that Widmore and Ellie are the parents of Penny, but Richard and Ellie are the parents of Daniel? This could explain why Widmore was exiled by Richard (if he was), and why Mrs. Hawking does not seem interested in working with Widmore (maybe they split off-island with her getting Daniel to raise and him getting Penny). I throw Richard into the mix because of the dark nature of Daniel's disposition and looks. Also, because he makes it back to the island and works for the DI (at roughly the age he would have been were he born in '54).
LOST is heavy stuff, Doc!
Jen Chaney: I think anything is possible, although I don't see a real resemblance between Daniel and Richard. But I like this theory and think it's at least partially correct, as others have (partially) noted before.
Thanks, Kansas City.
Liz Kelly: I had that thought, too, Kansas City -- because Daniel doesn't look like the obvious offspring of Ellie and Charles Widmore -- who are both a bit more Nordic looking. Whereas Faraday's dark hair and slight frame both resemble Richard Alpert's features much more.
The same lady???: On Dark UFO I read that the Librarian in last nights episode is the same person who helped Hurley get onto the plane after the jetway was closed.
Is this true?
Jen Chaney: Based on these screen grabs, it certainly looks that way.
And here I was squinting at the people perusing the books, thinking one of them might be meaningful. Silly me!
Nice catch, thanks for passing it on.
Desmond finding Farraday's office: Desmond didn't just stumble on it, he had been there before so he knew where it was. He knew exactly where he was going.
Liz Kelly: True, but the idea that it would all still be there waiting to be discovered was a bit contrived. Seems like they would've cleared that space out to make room for some newer physics dept. whackjob.
Jen Chaney: Yes. And also, wasn't in an attic before? I didn't think Desmond was up in any attic last night. Not sure if that's meaningful or not.
Preview?: Hey! Just wondering, is there a sneak preview for next week's episode? I tried looking it up online and couldn't find it! Any possibilities for a link? Thanks! Love our Lost Crew!
washingtonpost.com: Lost 5x04 preview
Liz Kelly: There ya go. Thanks Paul.
Frozen Donkey Wheel: You said, "Well, he was surprised by it in 1954 -- which, if we are to believe the storyline -- is before the time shifting ever happened (because Jughead was not yet buried and there was no frozen donkey wheel to turn)."
I think the the frozen donkey wheel predates 1954 by a good long time. The chamber in which the frozen donkey resides has hieroglyphs on the stones, which likely means it is much older than 1954. Also, as unstable and dangerous as plutonium is, it is not considered exotic matter. Dr. Candle referred to the energy as exotic matter, which no scientist would confuse with plutonium. I think the bomb may have been placed under the SWAN and not the orchid, as indicated by Sayid's discovery of the wall of concrete in season2.
Liz Kelly: Okay, I see your point... Jen and I were just discussing this backstage.
Let me try to talk this out:
The island had some special properties prior to the arrival of Jughead -- and that is probably whatever exists under the Orchid. Was the Donkey Wheel already in place there? I guess that's possible, especially when we take into account that the Black Rock arrived on the island sometime in the late 19th century and Charlotte's discovery a polar bear skeleton at a Tunisian archeaological dig site.
But, the addition of Jughead's atomic properties to the island chemistry somehow changed things, perhaps raising the stakes. Allowing time not only to be travelled through, but manipulated. Remember when the hatch blew? Desmond was totally thrown through time. I need to stop and let Jen take a crack at this...
Jen Chaney: All right, my turn to sound scientific when, in fact, I know nothing: I believe there is some sort of pre-existing electromagnetic anomaly on the island that was there before Jughead. That might explain why Alpert doesn't age and why Dharma showed up to do research. Adding the radioactive material to the mix, though, in the form of Jughead is what makes it possible to actually manipulate time.
And that's what Dr. Candle discovered at the beginning of last week's episode. Is this making better sense? Maybe? Anyone?
Wichita, KS: That was the wrong Anytizer commercial. The one last night was definitely Tall Ghost Walt.
Liz Kelly: Ahh -- okay, the jury is still out.
Liz Kelly: And according to IMDB, Walt will make an appearance on the Feb. 25th episode: "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham."
Jen Chaney: OK, in that case, I need to see the actual Anytizer commercial. If someone finds that, please send the link.
And my apologies for doubting those who made the previous Walt Chicken Commercial claims.
Atlanta, GA: Jen- it's not "Back to the Future" references you need, it's "Quantum Leap". Think about all the parallels-
1- Dr Sam Beckett's mind was "swiss cheesed". The same thing seems to be happening to Farraday and Charlotte, and maybe to Desmond
2- Every time Sam "leaped", he would see a big flash and suddenly be somewhere else. With the Losties, the world flashes and suddenly they're at a different time
3- Sam leaped every time he finished "putting right what once went long". It seems like the Losties are jumping to each time period long enough for one of them to complete a specific task- Locke got the compass from Richard, Farraday contacted Desmond, and last night Farraday told them what to do with the bomb while Locke talked to Richard. The magical island is moving them to the times necessary to do specific tasks
Jen Chaney: This is interesting, Atlanta, especially point 3. I think it would be useful to go back and look at what was happening prior to every flash (including last week's) and see if that holds water.
I also think it's interesting that we, the viewers, are flashing in a sense, too. I mean, the time chronology now is all over the freaking place. Every time we hear a whoosh, we're not quite sure where we are going to end up as viewers, just like the people on the island. Pretty cool.
Liz Kelly: Yep. And I just would like to give this reader a pat on the back for admitting that he was a regular viewer of "Quantum Leap."
15th and L: I don't like the actress who plays Penny, just sayin'.
Jen Chaney: How come?
ha!: Jordan could be leaning against a palm tree, squinting because it hurts him to look at the world.
Jen Chaney: Well, obviously that's what he would be doing. That's what Jordan Catalano DOES.
Washington, D.C.: Ok, ok...Can we talk about Locke? Is he creating his own destiny by suddenly appearing to eyeliner Richard and the 1954 Others and announcing that he is their leader? And why did he say that Jacob sent him?
Liz Kelly: Because he believes that Jacob did send him. Ben pumped him full of ideas that he is his (Ben's) chosen successor and Alpert himself told him that he alone could save the island and to present himself with compass the next time they met because he (eyeliner Alpert) would not recognize Locke.
Jen Chaney: But the choice of words in your questions raises a crucial question: is Locke becoming leader pre-destined, or, as you say, is he making his own fate? This all goes back to the man of faith vs. man of science argument.
Locke would say fate, Jack would say Locke is making it happen.
dre7861: Of "Lost's" many mysteries there are certain ones that drive me crazy wanting to know the answer, like the four-toed statue. The fact that the Others speak Latin is one of them! Does this mean that the Others are much older than we thought. But how appropriate is it that they speak Latin - there are two things I think of when I think of Latin: scientific terminology (Science) and the Catholic Church (Faith).
Speaking of science I just read this article in Popular Mechanics which states that in real life there was a cryogenic hydrogen bomb called "Jughead!" Here's the link: Lost's Nuclear Bomb Tech Decoded: Season 5, "Jughead"
Liz Kelly: Ahh, very cool detail. Thanks for the link.
Silver Spring, Md.: I'm going with Widmore became leader of the others before being booted in favor of Ben who (recently) was booted in favor of Locke. Widmore was forced to spin the wheel upon giving up command (like Ben). Hence he can't find the island and has a hatred for Ben.
Liz Kelly: Now that's an interesting thought. Maybe he and Ben should put their differences aside and form some kind of island alumni association.
Jen Chaney: And then they could have Dharma-themed Island Alumni Association Happy Hours.
Liz Kelly: And stare each other down for hours on end.
Rockville, Md..: Gals - How did Richard know that the next time he would meet John, he wouldn't recognize him?
Liz Kelly: Because it's all happened before.
Ti, ME: A thought on "course correction" - Widmore snapped the neck of his compatriot in order to get away from Juliet and Sawyer. That man died in 1954. So, under course correction, he would have died in 1954 even if Juliet and Sawyer hadn't ended up there causing Widmore to kill him. Right?
So, what happened in the "original" 1954, before Juliet and Sawyer were born? Before time marched forward to the point that they all moved back from?
On the other hand, I think the best explanation is that all time happens simultaneously. (In fact I think some physicists actually subscribe to this theory). This would mean that Juliet and Sawyer (and Faraday and Charlotte) were in the "original" 1954. It doesn't matter that they weren't born. It doesn't matter time hadn't gotten to a point at which they traveled back from. If the future is already happening then they can be back in the past.
Did I warp your mind? Because I am reaching for the Advil myself.
Liz Kelly: We've talked about course correction here before and about all time happening simulaltaneously -- that came up in both "Watchmen" (Dr. Manhattan experiences all time at once) and in "A Wrinkle in Time" Mrs. Whatsit & Co were able to see time as a vast mountain range spread out before them, rather than as a single point.
But the idea of Juliet and Sawyer having been there originally fits in pretty well with the loop theory that Doc Jensen talked about in his EW piece yesterday (it's linked in our analysis) and the season-opening image of a record skipping to the same point over and over and over...
Jen Chaney: Wmsmmrrrlgg. Can't talk right now ... shoving Advils into mouth...
Lansing, Mich.: A question that's been floating in my head since last night's episode:
How did Widmore get off the island? Was he banned and sent away? Did he leave on his own?
Liz Kelly: I suspect we'll find out before the end of this season.
I'm just sayin': This show is starting to seem made-up to me.
Jen Chaney: And before you thought it was based on a true story?
Liz Kelly: Umm...
Fairfax, Va: Just had a crazy thought -- what if Desmond & Penny's child Charlie is a girl? Short for - ahem - Charlotte? That kid could have been either male or female and I'm not sure they ever expressly called him/her one or the other.
Jen Chaney: But in the beginning, when Charlie was delivered, the island dude said it's a boy, didn't he? I thought he did.
Liz Kelly: Yes, Jen -- but you're discounting the fact that that child could have had gender reassignment surgery paid for by Charles Widmore!!!!
Washington, D.C.: How does Daniel (who I also think is totally hot for whatever reason) telling the blond with the gun to bury the missile/bomb thingy in concrete not violate his own rules about staying on the street, etc.?
Liz Kelly: He's already way off course because of his desire to save Charlotte. Whether his original intentions were good or evil, he's now acting out of passion.
More importantly, I think what makes Daniel so hot is the way he cocks his head to the side, looks up from beneath those long brown locks and talks all soft-spoken. Sigh.
Jen Chaney: Liz! Get a hold of yourself!
No, he does have a very appealing sensitive side. Which serves as a nice counterpoint to Sawyer's "Outta my way, Jabba!" insensitivity.
Washington, DC: I don't know why, but the word "anytizer" makes me angry.
Do you think Sawyer is at risk of being a marginal player this season? It seems that he's been pushed into the background while the show deals with the freighter folk.
Liz Kelly: We've got 14 episodes left in the season -- ample time for Sawyer to have his moment.
After all, who'da thunk Desmond would become such a prime mover in season 4 before "The Constant" aired?
Jen Chaney: Direct all your concerns about anytizers to the good people at Tyson's. And -- possibly, it's still unclear -- Malcolm David Kelley.
Sawyer has had a few moments, at least some decent one-liners. Don't you worry your pretty little head about him, Freckles.
Bethesda: Do you ladies think Richard Alpert potentially be as old as Ancient Egypt? Hence the hieroglyphics? He looks like he could play the part...
Jen Chaney: And that would also explain the Cleopatra-esque eyeliner.
Liz Kelly: This is all sounding very "Stargate." Where's James Spader?
Re: Ratings: You know how the ratings for the Season Opener of Lost were down slightly, does that take into account that those who watch this show often watch it more than once? That should raise the numbers substantially.
Jen Chaney: I don't think it does. Nor does it take into account those who watch episodes online.
Also, the ratings system does not evaluate awesomeness, which is just a darn shame.
Atlanta, GA: Has anyone else come to the realization that Charlotte is Daniel's daughter?
Jen Chaney: So far, we've heard romantic interest, daughter and sister. That last one is super Luke and Leia-esque, which leads me to believe it could have some creedence. The "Lost" crew does love its "Star Wars" references.
Liz Kelly: Okay, as much as we'd love to keep going, it's time to wrap up. Time for Jen and I to return to some of our less glamorous tasks. Thank you for all the questions -- seriously, this chat is breaking records. (Though not skipping them.) See you here next week...
Jen Chaney: Yes, thanks so much for all of your wonderful theories, inquiries, comments and chicken product references.
We'll see you here next week, presumably after we have written an analysis that contains fewer Huey Lewis references.
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