The 'Lost' Hour: Season 5 -- Episode 10: 'He's Our You'

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Thursday, March 26, 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 Thursday. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006.

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.

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Jen Chaney: The chat hasn't even started yet and already several of you have stirred up some juicy questions:

1. Did Sayid change the future by shooting Ben? Liz and I barely touched on this because we both dismissed the idea that Lil Ben is dead. But that doesn't mean the timeline wasn't altered because of Sayid's actions, as we shall discuss shortly.

2. What really is the funniest line from last night's show? There are numerous candidates at this point, but I'm still sticking with chicken salad.

3. Why didn't our post go up earlier today? Seriously, WHY???? Apparently Liz and I have altered your timelines because of this, for which we apologize. There's an editing process, and of course, sometimes other work gets in the way of getting the post up as early as we'd like. We will do our best to do better.

Liz, any other controversies we should address before getting this flaming VW bus rolling?

Liz Kelly: Nope. Just thought I'd formalize the quote vote:

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San Diego, CA: I don't care who the person grows up to be, seeing a child get shot turns my stomach. I especially felt for young Ben since he obviously has an abusive father who blames him for the death of his wife dueing childbirth (not his fault at all). I'm curious to know if Jen (since she has kids) felt the same pang of sadness/disgust when the bullet struck young Ben in the chest.

Jen Chaney: A few of you have expressed disgust about that scene. Honestly, I didn't react quite as strongly because I am convinced he didn't die. Not that that justifies shooting a child, of course. But I think the scene was necessary to show how low Sayid has sunk. And also, potentially, to alter the events that will follow.

But I do feel bad for Lil Ben here. His father has spent the kid's entire life blaming him for his mother's death -- every year on his birthday, no less. He's been abused. He's clearly a confused, sad kid. Which doesn't justify his actions later, but it does help us, as viewers, start to understand and, at least a little, empathize with him.

"Lost" is hardly the first drama to show a young person being shot. (It happened several times on "The Wire," for example, and under even more wrenching circumstances.) But I understand, it is very hard to watch. At least it didn't air until close to 10 p.m.

Liz Kelly: I think we should consider context. It was hardly gratuitous violence, so I would think before condemning it as unecessary. Was it disgusting? Yes. Did it turn our stomachs? Yes. Mission accomplished. That was the intended reaction and it served the storyline well.

In fact, the show would have been considerably weakened if someone didn't try to nip the whole Ben problem in the bud given the chance. It's an obvious (though interesting) place for the story to go. So it went there.

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Hello: I'm Oldham. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.

Jen Chaney: Ha! Yes, several of you pointed out that Oldham was Larry from "Newhart." That guy has been in so many things that I couldn't remember the real reason his face is so familiar. But that's it.

Also, as a commenter on today's post noted, his role in "Blade Runner" should not be ignored.

Liz Kelly: Right -- I realized he was Larry from "Newhart," but didn't include it because the title of our piece is "Lost" Analysis, not William Sanderson Analysis.

Maybe it should be.

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Alexandria, Va.: Quick thought about the book Lil' Ben gave Sayid. The author of "A Separate Reality", Carlos Castenada, has been pretty much called out as a fraud and a cult leader. Could it be that everything Ben has based his work on is a fraud?

Liz Kelly: I would be right there with you -- that a young Ben Linus invented a convoluted dream world for himself to escape his awful reality of living with an abusive father.

But then how to factor in the Donkey Wheel, Smokey, Christian Shepherd, the four-toed statue, etc...

Jen Chaney: Actually, I stick by what I tried -- probably unsuccessfully -- to suggest in this morning's post.

Castenada contended that the work he wrote is a true story. Others insist it's fiction. I think Ben believes very, very strongly in the island and Jacob, etc. Is it "the truth"? Unclear. Ben also may have subconsciously learned from that book that manipulating the truth is a powerful and necessary means toward getting people to do what he believes must be done.

That's where I see the connections between "A Separate Reality" and Ben. I don't think Ben invented all the conventions of the island, as Liz said. But I also don't think that's what you were necessarily suggesting either, Alexandria.

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Anonymous: Are we certain this Ben is that Ben ? Is it possible Ben Linus isn't really named Ben -- he could be lying or something right?

Jen Chaney: More than one of you has mentioned this, too. It's always possible that Ben is lying. It's the one consistent thing we can all rely on.

That would be pretty mind-blowing, but not outside the realm when it comes to this show.

Liz Kelly: I'm pretty sure Ben is Ben is Ben.

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Menlo Park, Calif.: Not so a question, but an observation about Sawyer: I'm not surprised that he has more loyalty to the Dharma clan since he's been with them 3 years vs. the (albeit dramatic) 100 days spent with the Losties.

Liz Kelly: Good point. But he has to know he's set himself up for failure. To achieve his Dharmaville life he's had to lie about who he is. He may be loyal(ish) to Horace and crew, but how loyal can you be to someone who doesn't even know who you are?

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Beltsville, Md.: I'm thinking that lil' Ben has mirror image internal organs, which is rare (less than 1 in 10,000 people) but does happen in real life. It's called Situs inversus (I had to look it up). So his heart is on the right side, not the left. So Sayid's perfect shot at where he expected Ben's heart to be actually hit where his heart isn't.

washingtonpost.com: I've heard of this -- Timberwolves guard Randy Foye has that condition.

Liz Kelly: I think lil' Ben is actually made out of compressed Virginia hams. So a grouping of cloves and pineapple was actually where his heart should have been.

Jen Chaney: Or how about Door No. 2: That if Ben clearly lived on the island beyond 1977, he can't just be killed on the island in 1977. Same reason why, possibly, the bullet hit Sawyer a couple of weeks back and had no effect.

They're unbreakable until the timeline catches up. Just a thought.

Liz Kelly: Jen is so serious.

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Dupont Circle: When Ben let Sayid out of his cage, he referred to his father in the past tense. Something like, "I really hated him." Why is he talking about him like he's already dead? Was Workman Roger in the flaming VW Bus? And how would that affect the fact that we saw adult Ben watch Roger die in the Purge?

Jen Chaney: Several of you asked this question: Did Lil Ben really say he "hated" his father, as in past tense?

I watched the scene again twice before this chat and yes, he did say "hated." Which makes it appear -- I use the word *appear* because things on "Lost" aren't always what they seem -- that Ben already offed his father. And would explain his dad's bus being on fire. Maybe Sayid's arrival has indeed altered the timeline. It also would explain why the barracks we saw in 2007 timeline -- when Sun and Lapidus visited Christian -- still had plenty of Dharma material on the walls.

But does that mean the Purge has been averted? I'm still processing and not sure how I feel about all of this, frankly. But I have to think the use of that word, "hated," was intentional.

Liz Kelly: "I really hated him" could be another slip from the writing team, too. I doubt it -- because it seems like a line that would send up red flags the minute it was heard. But the possibility exists.

Jen Chaney: I don't know, that's not the same as someone accidentally walking into a shot. Those words are put on the page and go through multiple drafts. I have to think that was intentional.

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Bangor, Maine: Please read up on a comic titled, "Rom" from Marvel comics. Trust me, the Lost writers are taking bits and pieces from older, obscure comics. A lot of those comics, base things on or include "limbo". You will have to read up on that and it will send you on a trip to how lots of comics are connected and many of them are referenced in Lost. Like Ethan "Rom".

Liz Kelly: We'll have to look at "Rom" -- thanks Bangor. We've been noodling over the significance of that name and coming up empty.

Jen Chaney: Yes, thank you, Maine. The "Lost" people are a comic-minded group, so this makes sense to me.

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Few things, take II:: First, if Oldham is their Sayid, how could be be so unsure that someone he'd just gotten to spew the truth actually did so? Instead, he questioned the dose? Torturers in hippie cults from '70s Ann Arbor should know their dosages, and be able to discern uncomfortable truths. (He could use "Oldham's Razor," if need be)

Second, if Sayid is our him, why wouldn't he check to make sure Lil Ben is dead before running off? Has the Island forced these people to think is terms of vague cliffhangers?

Third and last, my vote is definitely on Hurley's line as best of the week -- cause it wasn't really about Sawyer and Juliet, but the whole show -- do any of us see anything coming? And besides, if Hurley's not the funniest, why is he even still on, since he's seldom involved? I think he's my me.

Liz Kelly: If someone told you he'd come from the future, you might be a bit skeptical, too, so I don't fault Oldham for doubting his dosage. Another reason I don't fault him is that we don't know Oldham's past, but if he's anything like his Dharma brethren, he's not a professional torturer -- so although "He's their Sayid," he's a Disney-fied version who uses an innocuous truth serum rather than -- what was it? -- bamboo shafts under the fingernails.

Sayid didn't check to see if if Lil' Ben was dead for the same reason that Kate didn't know Sawyer and Juliet were shacking up -- it made the show more interesting, I guess, to avoid the obvious.

Re: Hurley -- characters wax and wane on this show. Earlier this season Sawyer seemed pretty peripheral and now he's back on top. It happens. Hurley still has a role to play. Especially since it seems that everyone dropped in 1977 seems to be there for a specific, unique purpose -- Sayid to shoot the kid, Kate to (we assume) do something in service of Aaron -- we just don't know what Jack and Hurley's tasks are yet.

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Ben can't be dead...: Say what you will about him, good or bad, he's by far the most interesting and intriguing person on the show. They can't have killed him off for good. Besides, nobody on this show ever really gets killed for good, do they?

Jen Chaney: Well said. As much as we may argue about Ben's intentions and whether his ends justify his means, blah, blah, blah, part of the reason I like the guy is because he's just an incredibly compelling, fascinating character. I think he is among the top five TV villains ever.

Part of that is because of what Michael Emerson brings to it. His line readings probably add shades of gray the writers never even evisioned when they crafted the dialogue. But his character is also mysterious and fascinating and -- in his own way -- often laugh-out-loud funny.

Liz Kelly: Agreed. Which is why I was so keen to talk to him back in February. He's an incredible actor and really bumped the show up a notch when he parachuted in.

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Denver: I don't have a copy of the DVD's, and was wondering if Horace's nose was bleeding when he was building the cabin and John first met him?

Jen Chaney: I think it may have been. His nose definitely was bleeding post-Purge, as were the noses of everyone who died.

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Not "I really hated him": I heard it as "I really hate it here," which is what closed captioning also said.

Jen Chaney: Okay, I did not check closed captioning. But when I listened today on my headphones, I swore he said "hated him." The episode can be viewed on ABC.com for free. Anyone else want to verify?

In context of their discussion, that line also makes less sense, though. Sayid had just said his father was a hard man like Ben's, so it seemed natural for Ben to say, "I hate him" or "I hated him."

If it's hate it here, that's fine, I'll admit I am wrong. But if it is, they need to clean up their audio. Don't they know we'll be arguing over this for hours the next day?

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Dupont Circle: I'm probably in the minority here, but I've missed all the scientificky, mind-bending stuff these past two episodes. All this focus on interpersonal relationships makes me feel like I could be watching, say, "Brothers & Sisters" (bleh). And where's Daniel? I miss him.

Liz Kelly: I miss Daniel, too. If anything about this show is annoying, it is the sudden unexplained disappearance of characters (Daniel, Rose & Bernard, etc.). Seems like no matter how unwelcoming Sawyer was, Jack, Kate and Hurley would've found some time to talk to him about what happened over the past three years -- which would include explaining what became of Daniel and Charlotte.

Jen Chaney: I miss Daniel, too. But he's coming back.

And I would say that there has been plenty of scientificky stuff. Not as much as in the first two or three episodes of the season, but certainly enough that "Lost" isn't turning into an episode of "Family."

("Family" ... am I the only person who even remembers that show?)

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Falls Church: I watched the scene a couple of times, and I think Ben said, "I hate it here" rather than "I hated him."

Jen Chaney: All right, we have several votes for I hate it here.

Since my right ear is clogged and I don't have captioning, I am willing to accept this for now.

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Dharmaville: Weather's fine, thanks for asking.

Why do you assume LeFleur has joined up with us? It sure seems equally plausible he's just trying not to rock the boat until he is done thinking. He sure can't go to the Hostiles for help, and no one wants to be on his own hunted by both sides. He's a thinker, remember?

Liz Kelly: Because even in his private moments with Juliet he's talking about how he's not ready to give up what they've built in 1977. His life in the present was a mess -- he was a con man one step ahead of the law and unable to get close to anyone without using the relationship for his own ends. Landing with you good people in Dharmaville has given him a second chance at life and some stability. He's loathe to give that up.

Jen Chaney: He also told Sayid that he has a good thing going and he doesn't want to mess it up. I don't think Sawyer -- pardon me, Jim -- was lying when he said that.

Plus, the barracks in your little village are just so cozy.

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Beltsville, MD: "we just don't know what Jack and Hurley's tasks are yet."

Hurley's task is to make dipping sauce for the waffles.

Liz Kelly: Good point. And Kate's other task is to waste those sauces.

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Washington, D.C.: Hey guys,

The reference to Carlos Castaneda's "A Separate Reality," was chock full of symbolism. The title itself is a clear nod to one side of this season's great debate (i.e. course correction vs. alternate timelines). Just a quick skim of the Wikipedia entry for both the book/author shows further Lost themes of mysticism, perception vs. reality, the search for meaning, and on and on. Also Lost-relevant is Castaneda's reference to himself as a kind of ultra-perceptive uber-'seer' called a Nagual, which- according to Wiki- is a traditional shamanistic belief in a "human being who has the power to magically turn him/herself into an animal form... then use his powers for good or for evil causes according to his personality." Sounds a lot like a certain mystical cabin-dwelling island entity...

But aside from these thematic parallels, I had a different take on the reference to the book- and I wanted to see how this idea moved your island.

Looking at the book summary at its most basic level, 'A Separate Reality' appears to simply be about a guy who is looking for truth through peyote... alot of peyote. It struck me as little bit odd that a preteen (even a precocious, literary-minded, sociopathic preteen like Ben Linus) would have much interest in the drug-induced memoirs of an obscure mesoamerican anthropologist. As the episode played out, with Sayid giving the DI more psychotropic-fueled truth than they could handle and afterwards coming to his own understanding of his purpose back on the island (to kill young Ben)... I couldnt help but to wonder if young Ben may be every bit as conniving and prophetic as old Ben.

That is to say, his book selection for Sayid didn't matter-of-factly come off his nightstand as a plot device for the writers to introduce a thematic easter egg, but was purposely selected by Ben the younger because had a seer-like sense of what was about to happen to Sayid.

The implication being that Ben doesn't simply anticipate and manipulate so well only because he has been there before, but also because he- like Walt- has a kind of psychic bond with the island. Perhaps the course-corrective powers (as seen in Desmond's memory) ripple backwards, as well as forwards... and somehow young Ben knows that giving Sayid a book teaching things like "To be a warrior you have to be crystal clear," is essential to preserving the timeline of the island- even if he doesn't quite know why (or, possibly, does know exactly why).

In that way the island exerts its agency on both old Ben and young Ben, both serving as a sort of 'Constant' for the island... protecting the continuity of its timeline- as a sort seer-like shamanistic guide.

This reconciles with the idea of course correction and explains Ben's reaction to seeing Sayid on the plane. Perhaps old Ben, knowing that Sayid shot him when he was younger and knowing that he had stirred hatred within Sayid since they left the island, knew that he had to try to convince Sayid to come back for the sake of the island. But he is somewhat relieved when Sayid walked away (wrongly assuming that he may be able to fulfill his enough of his duty to the island while leaving one element out in order to erase a painful childhood memory). But, the island is able to exert its agency through other forms (i.e. Ilana to get him back, young Ben's actions to further strengthen his resolve)... but ultimately, "Whatever Happened, Happened" (sounds like a great title for an episode).

Jen Chaney: This is a super long, but very thoughtful series of comments.

Maybe Lil Ben isn't as innocent as he appears, then. Perhaps he is doing what he needs to do to manipulate Sayid now. I am willing to believe all of this.

I don't think your take on the book's importance is drastically different from what Liz and I were thinking, you just fleshed it out much more thoroughly and smartly than we did. So thank you.

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Cozy barracks: And the wine is terrific.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, especially the bottled kind. The box stuff I can take or leave.

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Rockville, Md.: I just have to make it known that Sayid totally moved my island last night - I think he looked way hotter than Sawyer and Jack combined. So wishing I was a bounty hunter right now...

Liz Kelly: Jen -- your movement lives!

Jen Chaney: I know, you're all using the move my island phrase. Excellent work, people!

I thought Sayid looked rather attractive when he was chasing the Russian.

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Here's a head-spinner: If Ben killed his father early, not in the bus where/when he did before, then the bus would not be where Hurley found it, and Hurley would not be able to use it to save the Lostie's during that little conflict with the others at the end of season 3. How would that affect the future timeline?

Jen Chaney: Well -- and I don't even know what I'm talking about at this point, but that makes it more fun -- if there is no Purge, then Dharma would stay in place for a longer period of time. And perhaps there wouldn't be such a conflict between Dharma and the Losties, which would mean Hurley doesn't need the van at all.

If you alter a timeline, the whole thing goes kaplooey, potentially. I'm not saying Sayid definitely has, just that it's possible, and that would change many things as a result.

Liz Kelly: And it might help to explain why the compound looks so drastically different (though wrecked) when Sun and Frank arrive to have their talk with Christian Shephard.

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Washington, D.C.: Lil' Ben was a screwed-up pre-teen before he met Time-Travelin' Sayid, but he seemed to have some humanity in him. Is it possible that receiving a .38 slug in the sternum from someone he trusted is what made Ben the amoral sociopath we know and hate today?

Liz Kelly: That, my friend, is a fabulous observation. Thirteen is an impressionable age and we clearly saw Ben teetering between his compulsions to do good (help Sayid) and bad (wishing his father dead). Getting shot by the one person to come along and offer you a chance of escape might well send him over the edge.

Jen Chaney: Someone else -- either on the blog, in one of these eight zillion questions or on something else I read -- also posited the same thing.

By trying to kill Ben, Sayid actually is the one who causes him to go to the Dark Side. Which would be pretty fascinating.

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Washington, dc: Was it just me, or was Sayid looking for some sort of affirmation from Ben?

Also, I believe that Sawyer isn't trying to get away from the island at all - he likes being a somebody. He was a nobody con-man back home. Now he is head of security. He is enjoying this new life!

My vote for the SNARKIEST quote of the night - Juliet to Kate "I didn't know how to say it without it sounding like keep away from him." Hmmmm -- I think you said it loud and clear , Juliet! I mean if you would have said, "Kate, I better not even catch you LOOKING at MY MAN!"

Liz Kelly: Sayid may have been looking for affirmation from Ben in Moscow -- when Ben cut him loose. But I think Ben was also looking for affirmation from Sayid in 1977 -- he didn't have a father figure he cared to emulate so he was ripe for transferring that emotion to someone else -- Richard Alpert, Sayid.

So, in a way, I suppose we could posit Sayid may have caused Ben's turn to the dark side, but we could also say that Ben learned to be ruthless from Sayid.

Jen Chaney: Indeed. It's a symbiotic relationship between two ruthless killers. Touching, really.

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Where's Claire?: If you're listing out characters we've lost... I'd like to see Claire back in the picture. It's been what, a year, since we saw her last?

Jen Chaney: Well, Claire is kinda dead and all. So she has a reasonable excuse.

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Been there, done that: "It struck me as little bit odd that a preteen (even a precocious, literary-minded, sociopathic preteen like Ben Linus) would have much interest in the drug-induced memoirs of an obscure mesoamerican anthropologist."

That book was incredibly popular back in the day. All us precocious, literary-minded, sociopathic preteens read it at least once.

Liz Kelly: In my day it was the Necronomicon.

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Moved my island: "Jen Chaney: I know, you're all using the move my island phrase. Excellent work, people!

I thought Sayid looked rather attractive when he was chasing the Russian"

Y'know, 'Chasing the Russian' makes a good catchphrase too.

"Where were you last night?" "Oh, I ended up chasing the Russian with my buddy Ben..."

Liz Kelly: OMG -- not to get all gushy -- but Sayid was ridiculously hot when he was chasing the Russian. I had trouble following the action.

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Chicago: There was a moment last night before Sawyer went to talk to Kate, where I thought for sure he was going to talk to Jack. (I assumed about what to do about Sayid) He looked a little surprised when Kate answered the door. Am I crazy for thinking this?

Liz Kelly: No. I think Jack or Kate would've done. He was frustrated that his perfect little world was crashing down around his ears. He wanted the question "Why did you come back?" answered. Or not even answered. He just needed to vent and it didn't matter who received the brunt of his anger -- Jack or Kate.

Is anyone else surprised that there hasn't been some kind of more warm reunion between Hurley and Sawyer considering how close they were in the beach days? They could at least listen to "Xanadu" for old times sake. Oh wait -- the movie didn't come out until 1980.

Jen Chaney: Actually, I'm kinda with Chicago on this. My initial reaction was that Sawyer was going to ask for Jack's guidance, even though it meant consuming some humble pie (or humble waffles, whatever Hurley has handy).

And he was surprised that Kate answered the door. At least that's what I thought.

Honestly, I begin to question the absolute most simple things because of these chats. while I am watching the show, I'm like "Oh, okay, Hurley just walked across the room." Then in these chats, everyone's like, "No, Hurley didn't walk. He ran. And he said he hated it here. And his nose was bleeding. And Claire was in the background. Didn't you SEE?"

This is why people watch stupider, simple shows. Less thinking. But of course, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Liz Kelly: Careful Chaney. Don't want to rouse the sleeping dragon that is the "American Idol" viewing audience.

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Another Candidate for Funniest Line:: Sayid: "You gave me the exact right amount." Hilarious, the hubby and I had a good chuckle over that one.

Liz Kelly: That was a good one. Thanks for reminding us.

Leading the polling with 53 percent of the vote:

"A 12-year-old Ben Linus just brought me a chicken sandwich. How do you think I'm doing?"

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Washington Namaster: Assuming a course correction or different timelines, I think an argument can be said that a different timeline is simply a version of a course correction.

Now, assuming Ben dies, what happens? I think the course correction happens in that the Purge happens without Ben and at a much later date and the Others do not move into the Dharmaville Barracks. That's the intermediate step.

The question is whether the universe or, in this case, the Island, wants the course correction for that, i.e., whether it wants the Lost Oceanic Six to correct that "mistake" that Sayid made in shooting Ben. That could be the Incident in the season finale -- where the 06 Losties have to go to the Donkey Wheel to try to fix things.

Or, the Incident could simply be a clash between the Others and Dharma precipitated by the Losties and Ben, whether he lives or dies.

Jen Chaney: Well, the incident was referred to way back in season two. Assuming that "The Incident" in this season's finale refers to the same thing, that's when something goes wrong in the Swan, prompting the need to enter the numbers into a computer every 108 minutes.

You raise a good point here about course correction. The same general events could still transpire, just under slightly different circumstances.

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Arlington, VA: I vote with Sawyer "still thinking" -- he knows that this is going to end horribly badly, and let's face it Horace is a dork who isn't as smart as he thinks he is, and neither is Radzinsky. The more I see of Dharmaville, the more I want to sign on with the Others. I know it's the era of peace, love, communes and good drugs, but these guys are really wussies. (I was thinking of another word, but this may be a family chat). And as the vote last night showed, they're not particularly principled or far-sighted.

However, Sawyer does have a temporary good thing going on, and he knows the time crunch to get the heck out of dodge.

washingtonpost.com: Also, did it bother anyone else that apparently the University of Michigan is authorizing executions?

Liz Kelly: Good point, Producer Paul. You'd think that kind of authority would be left to the Ivy League schools.

Jen Chaney: Well, it's not the University, it's just people who work there. You know, much the same way that Duke can't be responsible for Coach K. being the devil.

(I'm just joking. He's a fine coach. He just occasionally plays the devil on TV.)

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Trantor to Terminus: Did either of you wonderful ladies ever read any of the Foundation books? The basic premise is that a scientist finds a way to predict the future by understanding mobs and plants the seeds of a new society to replace the dying Galactic Empire on a far off planet.

In - I think - Second Foundation, we learn that he also started a second society that would secretly watch over the first and they keep a chart to show where things have gone, along with deviations, which they then seek to correct. Mrs. Hawking reminds me of this, as she goes about with her Crew making sure the Universe corrects itself to make the write solution come about.

Liz Kelly: Nope -- but along with Casteneda, Asimov's Foundation series might find a place in the next cycle of the "Lost" Book Club.

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Sayid & Desmond: I'll agree that Sayid was hot hot HOT in Russia, and I'd point out that so was Desmond when he was stomping around Oxford...it's almost like that's an island effect, you leave, you smolder around the planet looking amazing...

Jen Chaney: It's true! Leave the island, you move our islands.

(My campaign continues...)

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Marina Scene differences: Hello, I was just wondering if either of you had a theory as to why Sayid's lines were changed at the Marina. To explain better, the first time around, Sayid told BOTH Ben and Jack that if he saw either of them again it would be upleasant for all of them (I remember well because I loved the line). In last night's episode, Sayid only refers to Ben and how if he sees Ben again it will be unpleasant for both of them (no mention of Jack last night). Obviously, because they either didn't need to show that again or could have used the old footage, the change was intentional. Any theories as to why this was changed?

Also, and I apologize for not being entirely clear on my second comment, but in Season 3 (I believe) when Charlie goes Through the Looking Glass, I remember some talk back then that in prior episodes Charlie had mentioned that as a little kid he had almost drowned, but in Through the Looking Glass he had won swimming competitions when he was a little kid. Doesn't this suggest that maybe what happened can be changed? And that maybe Daniel is either wrong or lying?

Liz Kelly: I would have to go back and watch the two different scenes. If changed, I would guess it is in service of the storyline.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I didn't get a chance to rewatch that part, what with the "hate it here" vs. "hated him" vs. "hate him" controversy brewing.

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let's get this flaming vw going: Can Obama start his next press conference with this phrase? It would make me ever so happy.

Jen Chaney: I would be even happier if he started by saying, "Okay, I've got some news today that's really going to get the economy rolling and move everybody's islands."

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New York, NY: It pains me to even write this, but after last night's episode I think it is Sayid who dies this season. And I think he is probably resigned to it/relieved when it happens. Sigh.

Liz Kelly: SPOILER ALERT...

Okay, not really a spoiler, but we're apparently due to lose two main characters by season's end. Sayid is a good candidate. Who would be the other?

Jen Chaney: Well, we know one is major and one is major-ish. So I am thinking Faraday, maybe?

Which reminds me, since we also are talking about people who are missing: Where the heck is Miles during all this hullabaloo? I didn't seem helping to put out that fire. And he's supposed to be on the security team.

Jen Chaney: I meant see him helping to put out the fire.

Liz Kelly: I was wondering where Miles was, too, but figured it was just another case of characters sitting out shows. Much like how Jin almost sat out the entire episode only to appear at the last moment to get clocked by Sayid.

Did anyone else find it strange that Jin wanted to talk to Sawyer before letting Sayid go? Has Jin also gone native?

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Fairfield, Connecticut: Following up on Anonymous: if Ben isn't Ben, maybe Ben is Ethan? Or Ethan is Ben? My head hurts (totally non-Lost related) and I realize that there would still have to be a third party involved (i.e., adult-Ben is Ethan, Ethan is X, and X is baby-Ben) to make this work, but Amy is looking more and more evil, and Horace's bug-eyes are looking mighty familiar, and their collective ties to the Island, the Others, Dharma, and overall weirdness... well, you see where I'm going (although, admittedly, I do not).

Jen Chaney: Okay, WHAT??

I think this is a stretch. And I know, because I constantly stretch on "Lost" theories myself.

Liz Kelly: Agreed -- and you know how rarely Jen and I agree.

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Wolverineville: Just a minor point --- It wasn't "Ann Arbor" that authorized the proposed execution of Sayid. The Dharma bums voted INSTEAD of calling Ann Arbor, as I recall. Someone said, Do we have to call Ann Arbor? And then they took the vote, so that they wouldn't have to call for instructions.

Jen Chaney: True. I think producer Paul was just jokingly suggesting that perhaps the U of Michigan would have been like, "Yeah, you're right. Go ahead and kill the guy."

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Widmore and Ben: Is there a more one-sided rivalry than this? Ben booted Widmore off the island and has successfully kept him off for an amazing length of time. Yes he did eventually kill his quasi-daughter, but I'm guessing Ben evened the score with Penny.

washingtonpost.com: Duke-Maryland?

Jen Chaney: Okay, that is sooooo uncalled for, producer Paul.

I refuse to accept any analogy that turns the Terrapins into Charles Widmore!

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OKC,OK: Claire dead? And we know this how? Lost has never shown her die. She wandered of with Christian and was with him when Locke found out he had to move the island. But nobody ever said she was dead!

Jen Chaney: I think we're all assuming Claire died. People who hang out in spooky cabins with Christian Shephard? I don't know, they strike me as dead, or at least dead-ish.

But, to your point, we still don't know it for a FACT. So your questions are very valid.

Liz Kelly: And as far as we know Emilie de Ravin has no immediate plans to return to the show, right Jen?

Jen Chaney: Not that I have heard or read about, no.

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Pick Me, Pick Me, DC: Hi Ladies

Just when I think I've got a handle on the time travelng, or when I think I've got a good theory about the "rules" something gets me -- and it's sort of a 'which came first, the chicken or the egg' type of thing.

Using lil' Charlotte as an example:

From adult Charlotte's p.o.v., Faraday's warning happened to her as a child, and she knew of it all her life but, when Charlotte told Faraday about it, he didn't know, because it hadn't yet happened, he hadn't traveled back in time yet to tell her...see where I'm going here? It's like, which came first? On one hand, the time traveling came first, b/c in "present time" Charlotte remembered the encounter from her childhood -- but then again, how could she remember an encounter w/ Faraday that he had yet to partake in??

I've read 'Time Traveler's Wife' and I'm trying to remember if/how that's reconciled in that book.

But, I'm really interested to hear what you 2 experts think about this 'which came first' sequencing of LOST time travel.

(P.S. PLEASE PICK ME THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!)

Jen Chaney: Hey, I am reading "Time Traveler's Wife" right now myself. And using that as a guide, the event happens in each person's memory at a different time. For Charlotte, the event happens when she's a little girl. For Faraday, when he is in his 30s.

Charlotte remembers it before Daniel because the memory already existed for her, but it doesn't exist yet for Daniel.

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Portola Valley, Calif.: I watched a few episodes of LOST, but concluded that it was neither science fiction nor a sensible story. It violated a basic requirement I have for most TV shows: they must be either science fiction or be very logical and rational. Slight of hand and visual deception does not really work for a thinking logical mind.

Liz Kelly: Thanks for caring enough to chime in. Please come back next week with a list of approved shows.

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Portland, OR: Remember when George Costanza decided that doing the exact opposite of his every instinct was the right way to go? Well, I think the writers of LOST have taken a similar tack. I didn't think there was any way they would have had Sayid shoot little Ben. And yet, one in the heart. Wow.

Jen Chaney: Hey, maybe there is something to this "Lost"/"Seinfeld" connection. Does that mean that this 1977 version of events is some sort of Bizarro World? Is Sayid Bizarro Ben? And is Hurley Bizarro Jerry??

Liz Kelly: Jacob is Art Vandalay.

Jen Chaney: Ooh, good one, Liz! The Dharma Initiative and Vandelay Industries have a ton of things in common.

(Now I have this image of Ben, with his pants around his ankles, running into Jerry's living room while Kramer picks up a call from Ben's potential future employer. Ben: "Say I work for the Dharma Initiative. The Dharma Initiative, Kramer!"

Liz Kelly: Hahaha -- But he would be asking in vain because Kramer, as head of Kramerica Industries, is actually in cahoots with Charles Widmore. It's all highly technical but involves a huge rubber ball filled with crude oil.

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Liz Kelly: Okay, that's it for today. Thanks for all of the questions and comments. It's been an education for us, too, as usual. See you back here next week.

(Oh, and Celebritology Live devotees -- we'll be convening tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.)

Jen Chaney: Hopefully by next week, we should know more about Lil Ben's fate, and what happened to little Aaron.

See you next Thursday, at 3 p.m. Come ready to move islands!

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