The 'Lost' Hour: Season 1 and 2 Review -- "The Whole Truth," "Lockdown" and "Dave."

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" Bloggers
Thursday, September 24, 2009; 3:00 PM

Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney this summer to discuss "Lost's" first and second seasons. Each week, we'll assign a few episodes to watch. Then join Liz and Jen each Thursday at 3 p.m. ET to talk about what happened and how those early shows tie in (or not) to "Lost's" looming final season.

For the Thursday, Sept. 24 discussion, watch these season two episodes: "The Whole Truth," "Lockdown" and "Dave."

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: Welcome to the "Lost" chat, as we continue working our way through season two. Three really good episodes this week, including the revelation that Michael Emerson isn't *really* Henry Gale. (He is, however, an Emmy winner. Congrats, Mr. Linus!)

We'll get right to the chat. But first I have to nominate this gem from Sawyer as our un-p.c. quote of the week: "I got enough food now to open up a chain of mini-marts. Hey, you think Sayid needs a job?"

Over to you, Liz.

Jen Chaney: Actually, scratch that. We're running late so let's go straight to the reader.

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Ann Arbor, MI: Hi ladies. I got this great email today about registering for Lost University (lostuniversity.org), but it says that all of the special features will be on the Blu-ray DVD. What's up with that? Will those of us without Blu-ray be without access to all of the cool hidden fun of LU and, presumably, secrets of the new season? What capitalist came up with that idea????

Jen Chaney: Excellent. I got my Lost University student ID this week myself. Thankfully, I tested out of Lost 101.

The question about the Lost University/Blu-ray issue has already been raised on the message boards on the Lost University Web site. Damon and Carlton said they would be offering an explanation soon as far as whether you can participate if you only have the regular old DVD version.

Several people, like you, expressed concern about this because they don't have Blu-ray players and aren't in a position to afford them. So hopefully they'll keep that in mind as Lost University evolves.

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I forget....: -WARNING: SPOILER] The Claire-centric episode got me thinking: Does Jack know she's his half-sister? When did he find out? I'm recalling her mom at his dad's memorial service post "rescue," and Jack maybe putting 2 and 2 together at that point.

Not sure why I suddenly care.. I guess it's just that Jack and Claire (and, therefore, Aaron) are connected, so I'd love to see that played out more in Season 6.

Liz Kelly: Nope -- at that point Jack does not know that she is his sister. You're right about him learning this bit of info at the memorial service. From Lostpedia:

Carole somehow recovered from her coma sometime after the crash. After the rescue of the Oceanic Six, she attended the funeral of Christian Shephard. She then spoke to Jack after the funeral, revealing to him that she had an affair with Christian, and that their daughter, Claire, was Jack's half-sister and was on the plane with Jack. As Jack tries to maintain his calm, she apologizes and leaves. On her way out, she notices Kate holding Aaron, and notes that the baby is beautiful, ironically not realizing that she is commenting on her own grandson.

Jen Chaney: And to piggyback on that, you'll recall that when Jack and Kate have their big falling out, he (in slightly cruel fashion) points out that Kate "isn't even related" to Aaron, the implication being that he is.

I too have to think this will all play out further in season six.

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Dallas TX: When Hurley saw "Dave" on the Island, was he just a manifestation of the Man In Black, the anti-Jacob, trying to get Hurley to kill himself?

Jen Chaney: Uh, no. At least I don't think so.

I do wonder though, if some version of what Dave was trying to tell Hurley is true. I don't think that the island and all the Losties are a figment of Hurley's imagination, but I can get with the notion that maybe, in a parallel universe or the version of things that unfold after Juliet detonates the bomb, Hurley really doesn't get out of Santa Rosa and win the lottery.

What do others think about that concept?

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Blu-Ray Bum: I am actually considering buying the LOST Blu-Ray DVD now and waiting until I get BOTH a BR player AND an HD TV to watch it on. Is this insane?

Jen Chaney: Well, you might be asking the wrong person that question. I think I'm the crazy pot to your equally crazy kettle in this situation, so it doesn't mean much if I call you black. Or something.

If you have the money to invest in an HD set and a Blu-ray player, I don't think you'll regret getting them. But if you're on a budget and the only reason you're doing this is because you want to participate in Lost University, I'd wait to hear what the deal is with the non-Blu-ray version first before making the purchases. How's that for a rational, common-sense response?

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Portland, OR: I know I'm jumping forward a bit here, but it's pertinent to "Dave"... Doesn't it seem Libby's story was unfairly cut short? We don't know anything about her other than she was in a mental institution and once gave Desmond a boat. Did she even get a "centric" episode?

Jen Chaney: It does seem that way, I agree. If I am remembering correctly, Damon and Carlton have said Libby won't be returning in season six, or at least not in a significant way. So I am not sure if we'll ever know her full story, which is a shame.

At the end of "Dave," right before the big reveal that shows she was at Santa Rosa, Hurley asks if she thinks he can change. Libby says she does but the look on her face says something totally different. I would love to know what that's about.

Liz Kelly: Yep, it does seem as if the producers originally had a bigger plan for Libby's character and, for some unknown reason, changed gears. Maybe they thought it would be a much better idea to leave Libby behind in order to make room for the lovable Nikki and Paolo, who surface (shortly) in season 3.

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Newbie Here: I'm new to Lost this summer and totally addicted. Just finished Season 4, so I'll be all caught up soon. I don't know how the rest of you managed only getting 13-24 episodes per year! I'm reading the old transcripts and keep coming across the "Lost DUI Curse." Can you tell me who got DUIs and Lost-killed? I didn't follow Lost celebrity news back then because I didn't know who any of them were. Also, Dominic and Evangeline? Really???

Liz Kelly: Oh but it's so much more than 13- 24 episodes a year when you factor in all the podcasts, Easter Eggs, ARGs, books to read and incremental news re: the show to keep up with. Here's a complete list of Lost cast members who have been ticketed and/or arrested for traffic violations.

Jen Chaney: Yes, as Liz said, there are plenty of ways to OD on Lost fandom. And thankfully, none of them will lead to you getting a DUI.

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Kensington Md., wish I was LOST: : Kind of weird that John Locke's mom Emily was featured in the Washington Post Date Lab this week:

Doesn't she know that guy is NOT her destiny? But then, I won't tell her what she can't do...

Liz Kelly: Though her date is a software engineer for a defense contractor, so maybe there's something there.

On an unrelated note, did I mention that when Michael Emerson wins Emmy Awards, Jen Chaney squeals loud enough to rouse anyone in a 100-foot vicinity?

Jen Chaney: Um, excuse me. All I said was "Woo hoo!" And I think that was completely called for.

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Quote: This might be from last week's set of episodes, but... Sawyer to Hurley: "Tell you what. You help me out and I'll let you keep on ranch-dipping."

Liz Kelly: Yep, that was from last week's set. Nothing really stood out for me this week as a winning one-liner. I was more impressed by Michael Emerson's ability to deliver monologues -- like the moment when he muses (to Jack and Locke) that if he were an Other, he would've sent Ana Lucia not to a balloon, but to a remote spot where she could easily be picked off by his people.

Jen Chaney: Well, he had a good quote in that monologue. (I think it was that one.) When he off-handedly says that they have trust issues, I still burst out laughing.

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Re: Dave, then and now: The 1st time I saw the Dave episode, I thought it was a shout-out to the viewers who thought the entire LOST island was a dream. Foolish viewer! You belong, not just in an insane asylum, but as a figment of an insane person's imagination.

But now, after watching Season 5, you're right - maybe it is some kind of foreshadowing about parallel universes, or fate v. destiny. Hurley has been especially attuned to the island's unique attributes, like when he told Sayid in Season 1 that the radio song they were listening to could be from "any time - just kidding, dude". And he has the numbers connection... ooo... i like this theory!

Liz Kelly: I have to fess up and admit that I ran out of time and didn't make it through "Dave" yet. But I did want to weigh in on your excellent comment. I've been a big fan of the "parallel worlds" theory here. Partly because it would make sense of some of the head scratchers, but also because we know the show's writers are big Stephen King fans and Stephen King is a big fan of parallel worlds -- or at least using them as plot devices in his books.

I just started the 7th book of King's "Dark Tower" series and parallel worlds loom large in the story. And for anyone on the fence about reading these books, make haste to the library -- you will not be able to put them down.

Jen Chaney: Re: Dave and his comment possibly saying something about alternate timelines -- I also wonder if Libby has some idea about what's really going on here. That weird look on her face at the end of that scene just bothers me. I wonder if, for some reason, it's in hers (and perhaps the island's) best interest if Hurley doesn't start trying to put two and two (and four, and eight, and 15, and 16) together, which is why she so adamantly convinces him that everything happening on the island should be taken at face value.

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Washington, D.C.: Since we have been discussing Locke's influence of MIB, I've been trying to determine at what point MIB took over his physical body. SPOILER ALERT. Perhaps Jacob used the cabin (via the surrounding ash) to contain MIB's spirit. So MIB was the one who asked Locke to "Help Me," not Jacob. After Locke and Ben left the cabin they released MIB's spirit by breaking the ash border around the cabin. When Ben shoots Locke, he becomes "dead," allowing MIB to occupy his body at that point. Ben kills him off the island because he is jealous of John's leadership role, not because John has to die in order to return (Remember, he is ALWAYS lying).

Jen Chaney: That's an interesting theory, especially since -- and I have to rewatch last season's finale to refresh my memory, but I think I have this right -- don't Ilana and co. take note of the fact that the ash border has broken? If so, that further suggests that moving that ash is significant.

Hmmm ... something to think about...

Liz Kelly: They do, indeed.

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LandofCleve, OH: What kind if internal injury occurs from time travel? On "Heroes" Hiro, the one with the time travel powers, is getting nosebleeds and is supposedly dying. Has similar symptoms as the "Lost" time travelers.

Liz Kelly: Well, I don't know that we've ever been specifically told what it is that causes the nose bleeds and headaches beyond the idea that one becomes "unstuck" and the only cure is finding one's constant. Maybe it's some extreme form of motion sickness? Or, more likely, just a chilling way to illustrate that the human body and mind were not built to withstand the rigors of time travel.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, we don't know about internal injuries. But kind of like Liz, I always thought of the sickness and nose bleeds as being the equivalent of, say, being shifted from an extremely high altitude to a normal one and back again, very, very quickly.

At a certain point, illness sets in, at least for some people.

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Cowbirds and indoor cats: Did any of the birds make it inside? No? Then the indoor cats performed their assigned tasks to perfection.

Liz Kelly: Well, the birds would have had a bit of a hard time getting in since all the windows and doors are closed. Much as I love Andy and Opie, they can hardly take credit for that.

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Princeton, NJ: Not a question so much as a programming note - for those interested in re-watching Season 5, it began re-airing on the G4 Network Tuesday night. Only the first episode of the season has aired thus far, so set your DVR's if you can't wait until the DVD release in December.

Liz Kelly: Thanks for the heads up. You can also still watch the last six episodes of season 5 (and all of seasons 1 - 4) online at hulu.com.

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Boston, Mass.: Any chance that for Season 6 you can switch to a better chat format, such as Cover It Live, or basically any better chat format?

Liz Kelly: I think there is a new chat format in the offing. Just not sure when it's slated to launch.

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I'm with Jen: My husband, a Lost fan, though not as avid, as me, was upstairs watching football when Michael Emerson won the Emmy. I ran up the stairs bursting with excitement to make sure he watched the acceptance speech. And risked waking a sleeping 4 year old to do it. Nerd, I know.

Jen Chaney: Thanks for the support. Besides it's not my fault that *some* people don't have the fortitude to make it through the entire Emmys without nodding off.

(Although, to be fair, it is difficult to make it through the reality category, even though it is mercifully short.)

Liz Kelly: Well excewwwwwwwse me for actually requiring things like sleep after biking several miles into a headwind.

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The boat: And maybe Libby knew exactly what she was doing when she gave Desmond the boat.

Jen Chaney: Exactly. Makes me wonder if she had some connection to Widmore. This description of Libby's character on Lostpedia is particularly interesting: "Libby is a mysterious character, seated at the tail-section of the plane. Her character was written to be in her late forties to early fifties, easy on the eyes, amicably maladjusted, and a compulsive liar so good at what she does, most people will not know she is not what she seems."

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Washington, DC: Liz - It's amazing that you mentioned the Dark Tower series again. I've been searching high and low for a great book lately, and came across the series today. So maybe since I love Lost so much, I will appreciate the parallelism.

Liz Kelly: I hope so. For my money, The Dark Tower has one of the best first lines ever written. It goes something like this:

"The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed."

I get chills even typing it.

Jen Chaney: Crud, does this mean I have to read this, too, Liz? For some reason, I am resisting. I have no good reason, other than the fact that I know these books are exceedingly long.

Liz Kelly: Well, why not just try the first one -- "The Gunslinger." If it doesn't suit ya, you can opt out before reading the other several thousand pages.

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Columbus, OH: It seems pretty clear to me (maybe I'm missing something or stating the obvious) that:

1. Jacob's nemesis historically was somehow prevented from killing Jacob, or getting away from him, either.

2. It used to be possible for people to just come to the island -- as indicated by Jacob/Man in Black's discussion in the Season 5 finale.

3. Everything was reasonably OK on the island given this state of affairs, before the Incident. After the Incident, you have the smoke monster, Rousseau's crew, the Nigerian smugglers, the deaths of pregnant women, the Purge, Flight 815, Flight 316.

4. The Incident somehow released all this evil; preventing the Incident will prevent the evil; hence Jacob tells his enemy that "They're coming," and he doesn't mean the guys carrying Locke's body.

5. But if preventing the Incident simply returned everything to the state it was in before the Incident, we wouldn't really have 13 episodes. Stopping the incident must create a third plotline. I fully expect for the final season opener to begin with Jack's eye opening, him suddenly regaining consciousness, and trying to figure out where the heck he is now. Jacob will be alive, and so will Locke, and so will dead people all the way back from season one. But they won't be landing in Los Angeles as if nothing happened.

Liz Kelly: Okay, a lot of points to get through here, but let's take them one-by-one:

1. Right. The Man in Black for some reason could not take action against Jacob as himself. He needed to take advantage of a "loophole" which we assume to be assuming the identity of John Locke after Locke's death

2. People can still just come to the island, no? As far as we know the sub was able to come and go without use of the Frozen Donkey Wheel. And Desmond came there as the result of a ship wreck. As did Rousseau and her doomed crew. It seemed more to me, if we're talking about the same conversation, that the Man in Black was implying that Jacob

drew

people to the island -- almost like a bored child would draw a bug or something else to toy with.

3., 4. I don't know that we have enough facts to assume that Smoky was inactive prior to the incident. But that is an interesting theory.

5. Agreed. Season 6 will, as per usual, open with a total game changer. Whether it will be a reset clock or some other surprise... who knows?

Jen Chaney: Two additions:

re: 2. Liz is right that other people have come to the island without having to be in plane crashes. But Columbus is right, too, that you can't just easily find the joint. You sort of have to happen upon it, and I think that may not always have been the case. I'd have to watch that scene with Jacob and MIB again, though, to be sure about its meaning.

And on point 5. I completely agree that some sort of third storyline will be launched. I suspect that, at least initially, the realities some of our Losties are living in will be even less happy than they were first time around. I know, hard to imagine.

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Washington, D.C.: SPOILER ALERT. I don't believe that Charles Widmore is necessarily the "bad guy." The show seems to be a game of Widmore vs. Ben, and Jacob vs. MIB. Assuming Alanna's people are really on the side of Jacob & Richard, and Widmore visited Alanna in the hospital (she even recognized him), that is leading me to believe that Ben meant to kill Jacob all along and was just using John as his pawn.

Liz Kelly: Sure, maybe he's just the guy who makes pregnancy tests.

Seriously, though, I think Jen and I started softening towards Widmore last season when we realized he'd been banished from the island by Ben and didn't seem to be quite as diabolical as we'd previously been led to believe. And once he had a bit of a chance to start explaining himself to John Locke (remember, at the makeshift hospital in Tunisia?)

But one more thing to mull: I guess we're assuming that if one person -- Ben -- is bad, then his enemy -- Widmore -- must be good. But what if that's not the case. What if there is only bad and worse?

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Season 5 re-watch: Anyone know how I can watch the early episodes of season 5? ABC and Hulu are only showing the last few. :(

Liz Kelly: Jen, I'm guessing we're all going to have to wait for the DVD release, eh?

Jen Chaney: Yes, that's probably the case. Or watch them on G4, as mentioned previously.

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Re: the ash border: Wasn't it actually Hurley who broke the ash border not John and Ben? I remember at one point Hurley came upon the cabin and ran out when it started getting a creepy inside. I though when he ran out he ran through the border.

Regardless, I'm sure that border is key to Jacob and MIB. Everyone who finds Jacob's cabin notices it. And I distinctly remember from our Season 5 chat someone said that while a circle of salt keeps evil out, a circle of ash keeps evil in.

....ok, I'm done....back to our Season 2 musings.

Jen Chaney: Oh yeah, you might be right.

It all comes back to Hurley, doesn't it?

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Alternate reality: I must say that I can deal with an alternate timeline, but hope they don't go there with an alternate reality with the whole bomb thing. They're doing that on Fringe, and it would be totally bogus (sorry I just time traveled to the 80s for a minute) if they did the same thing on 2 different JJ shows.

Jen Chaney: Your concern has been duly noted, Bill and/or Ted.

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Parallel worlds: I like the parallel worlds suggestion implicit in Dave's commentary to Hugo. It seems to me that when they killed off all the tailies they lost one of the parallel constructions of the show. AnaLucia was like their Jack - worked with her mom and had serious issues with her, ended up taking over as leader of sorts because of crisis, some of the same personality traits - but so much harsher and darker. Eko and Locke of course have lots of parallels. Libby and Hurley might have developed along similar lines. It's a bummer it all fell apart.

Liz Kelly: I love these chats. This is a really nice summation of some of the more elegant parallels we had early on in the show. But I wouldn't give up on it yet, there are still plenty of parallels that have yet to bear fruit, the most obvious of which was mentioned earlier: Jacob/the Man in Black and Ben Linus/Charles Widmore.

Jen Chaney: I agree, I think the whole Tailies construct was supposed to set us up for the parallel world connections. And maybe that's part of the reason the Libby character never got fleshed out. Once Eko and Ana Lucia had to go, the whole thing disintegrated.

But Liz is right, there are other elements of parallelism to be explored.

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Really interesting quote from Dave: Locke: Did you get caught on purpose? You and your people have been here for God knows how long, and you got caught in a net...

Henry Gale: God doesn't know.

Locke: Excuse me?

Henry Gale: God doesn't know how long we've been here, John. He can't see this island any better than the rest of the world can.

Jen Chaney: Yup. Wrote that one down in my notes, too.

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Washington, D.C.: During the re-watch, I realized that John and Ben's mothers were both named Emily. Probably not significant, but... everything seems to be for a reason on the show.

Jen Chaney: Yes, I always thought that was interesting. The tension between them certainly plays out like something between a pair of brothers in a Bible story. I don't think they share a mother, if only because the actresses who played the respective Emilys have not been the same. But it's an intriguing connection.

Liz Kelly: At one point wondered if it was because they were supposed to be twins in some sense. Not born to the same mother, but in the sense of being a positive/negative of one another.

Jen Chaney: Hmmm, that's a possibility.

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Lockdown: Knowing all we now know about Ben, I am still undecided if "Henry" actually pushed the button or not. He said he did, then said he didn't, obviously messing with Locke, but what incentive would he have for letting the button go un-pushed and destroying the island? Did he cause the Lockdown in the first place?

Jen Chaney: I think Ben probably did push the button, and I suspect he knew very well why he had to and which numbers needed to be pressed, etc. But by telling Locke he didn't, he introduces that first seed of doubt, something Ben is genius at doing. And once Locke starts to lack faith in what he's doing, he completely unravels. Which, ultimately, is what Ben wants.

Liz Kelly: Meaning Ben is, ahem, a devious guy, right? A guy who is not, at his core, good...?

Jen Chaney: Now, now, I said he had good intentions and that everything he does, even the horrible things, are an attempt to serve that. Remember, he thinks he's doing everything for Jacob. It's a rationalization and possibly, a major psychological disorder. But in his mind it justifies everything.

And for the record, I think Ben was right at the end of season three when he told Jack that if he made sure the chopper would come for the Losties, it would be a huge mistake. A lot of bad things happened after that, didn't they?

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Liz Kelly: Okay, thanks for joining us today. Now I need to sign off and actually watch "Dave" and we need to let Jen return to her vacation week.

See you back here next Thursday. We'll be discussing "S.O.S.," "Two for the Road" and "?."

Namaste.

Jen Chaney: I actually may not be able to join next week because I have a date with a certain Irish rock band.

If I'm not here, I'll definitely watch the episodes and join back in the following week. And I promise that will put an end to all this Chaney traveling.

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