Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Washington Post "Lost" bloggers
Wednesday, March 24, 2010; 2:00 PM
Join "Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney each Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET to talk about "Lost's" sixth and final season.
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.
Liz Kelly: Hola!
Okay, I've just exhausted my Spanish. But if I knew more, trust me, this entire chat would have been conducted in Ricardo's native tongue. Lots of debate in the comments about whether or not last night's show -- a bid departure from our usual story line -- was one of the best or one of the worst. Let's continue the debate here...
Jen Chaney: I minored in Spanish, but even I won't dare to do this thing in Spanish. Unless you just want me to type the intro to Jane's Addiction's "Stop" repeatedly, which I can totally do.
Lots to discuss here, including a comment on the blog about how Alpert just might redeem himself by saving a certain doctor, rather than killing him as I so pessimistically suggested in today's analysis.
Let's get right to it.
Islas Canarias, España: Qué buen episodio y en español!...However, where did "Ricardus" come from? That's Latin. Is Jacob just a snob who likes to flaunt his knowledge of dead tongues or are we missing a few other (no pun intended) island dwellwers from older civilizations, after all the statue precedes the Black Rock and Richard.
Liz Kelly: I think I mentioned something similar in the in intro. The only way I can square Jacob's (and therefore Ilana's) use of "Ricardus" now is by assuming that Latin is Jacob's native tongue and so he, over the years, just started calling Ricardo by the more familiar version of the name.
And I think we have yet to find out the deeper history of the island -- that will hopefully explain all the ancient relics. Maybe we'll get that payoff in episode 15, which is reportedly shaping up to be a big mythology explaining hour.
Jen Chaney: The natives on the island all spoke Latin. And remember, Juliet said all the Others had to learn to speak it, too.
So I think it was Jacob's native tongue at one point, or perhaps the native tongue of his predecessors.
Here's another question. Last night, we learned why Richard didn't age: Jacob touched him and made it so. But that doesn't tell us why Jacob never aged. Or why he is visible to some and not to others. Or a lot of other things I'd kind of like to know about Jacob.
New Otherton, Lost Island: So, if Richard got on the boat in the Canary Islands, and was on his way to the Americas... is it safe to assume that our beloved island was once in the Atlantic Ocean?
Liz Kelly: Good question.
Since we know Jacob was exerting some influence to pull them to the island, maybe he pulled them off course. Way off course.
There's also the possibility that Captain Hanso lied about his destination.
New Otherton, Lost Island: So, if Richard got on the boat in the Canary Islands, and was on his way to the Americas... is it safe to assume that our beloved island was once in the Atlantic Ocean?
Jen Chaney: Well, that would be an understandable assumption. But just that: an assumption. We know from Oceanic 815 that the island can suck things into its vortex and throw them far off their original course. It's possible that's what happened to The Black Rock, especially since I think Jacob had a hand in bringing that boat to the island.
Alexandria, VA: Hello ladies! I thought last night's episode was AWESOME. Different, indeed, but full of cool answers - how'd the statue get smashed? By the Black Rock - cool! I spent the hour alternately holding my breath and shrieking, much to the chagrin of those around me. Hurley continues to be an awesome dude and Flocke at the very end? Yikes! Loved it!
Liz Kelly: I can understand how the shrieking and holding your breath thing might make people in your general vicinity nervous. Might want to try some breathing exercises ahead of next week's show. Namaste, ya know?
Glad to hear you enjoyed the episode, though. I shudder to think what would happen if you hadn't.
Chicago: You mentioned in the analysis that you think that Dave was dead all along. I agree that Dave was just a dead guy off island in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, but I don't think dead Dave was ever on the island, I think that was another one of MIB's apparitions (Isabella, Christian, Alex...etc.). MIB manipulates people by assuming the body or apparition of a dead friend or family member. Using Dave was his way of manipulating Hurley.
Also, I think Dave is Libby's ex-husband, David (original owner of Desmond's boat). Perhaps the whole reason dead Dave was in the SR Mental Health Institute was to watch over his ex-wife Libby. He then befriended Hurley once he realized Hurley could see him and talk to him.
OK and seriously where are MIB and Jacob in the flash-sideways if the island is 20,000 leagues under the sea?!?
Jen Chaney: I agree, Chicago. I think Dave was a real person off the island, and that's why Hurley saw visions of him at Santa Rosa. But when he saw Dave on the island, it was an apparition. I didn't mean to suggest that Dave was secretly stashed in the baggage compartment on 815 or something.
And you could be right about the ex-husband thing. That makes it extra-interesting that it was Libby who talked Hurley down from the clifftop, where the ghost of Dave had led him. We've noted before that we think Libby may have been in cahoots with Widmore in some way (she randomly helped give Desmond that boat you speak of, for example).
Maybe she attached herself to Hurley because Widmore instructed her to do so, knowing that Reyes is one of the six candidates. Maybe Widmore is working with Jacob and Ben -- who was taking orders from MIB, under the impression that it was Jacob who was talking to him in that cabin -- has been at odds with Widmore under false pretenses, not realizing it was Jacob Widmore was serving all along.
I think I just vomited up a lot of ideas there,
Liz Kelly: We've got shrieking, vomiting... what next?
Ricardo...: As the episode ended last night, I was struck with an idea that I found delightful before I realized that, given how the season has gone so far, it is unlikely that the writers have anything truly clever up their sleeves. So... I found Richard's back story to be very lacking. Not very satisfying. And rather short and simple. So I had the thought... what if HE is Kaiser Soze? The man behind the curtain. Widmore is coming to find him. He toys with Jacob and MIB. And is setting the Losties up to finally rescue him... ?
Jen Chaney: I like that idea, too. It's possible, but I am skeptical, only because Richard seemed so sincerely clueless, mystified and distraught by Jacob's death. He didn't seem at any point to have a possible hidden agenda.
Liz Kelly: I'm with Jen. I love the idea, but am skeptical.
Since we're spinning theories, though, here's another far-fetched take on the "Usual Suspects" motif. What if Hurley is Keyser Soze? What if neither Isabella nor Jacob told him to tell Richard to prevent MIB from leaving the island? What if that came directly from his own brain and he is actually the man behind the curtain.
Richard's appearance: When Richard appeared to young Ben Linus he looked very much like he did when he was a slave on the Black Rock. When did he clean himself up and ditch the hippie/grunge look? Was it for a job interview?
Jen Chaney: I believe it was sometime after the Banana Republic outlet store opened, just on the other side of the barracks. That changed so many things for Ricardus, who, it should be noted, briefly went by the nickname "The Ricker" during the 1980s.
Liz Kelly: Well, we know Richard had cleaned up by the time he was leading the Others in the '50s. And his meeting with Ben took place decades after that, in the '70s, so he'd obviously let his hair grow out again.
I'm sure after living for 100 years one gets tired of sporting the same look year after year.
Did you catch...: MIB touching Richard when they first met, sort of how Jacob touches important people? After he did, it looked like Richard almost woke up from being dead, which isn't unreasonable. He couldn't drink the water, he couldn't kill the pig, he couldn't escape the chains...
Liz Kelly: I hadn't noticed that, but this reminds me of something I did notice and failed to mention in the analysis:
Before MIB releases Richard from his shackles he makes him promise that he will do whatever MIB asks. Almost as if once Richard agreed, he wouldn't be able to refuse MIB's orders. Of course, that didn't last long once Jacob got a hold of Richard.
Alexandria, Va.: Where I have seen the original MIB? He looks so familiar but I can't place the actor.
Liz Kelly: According to IMDB, Titus (what a great name) has been all over the place -- "The Good Wife," "Supernatural," "Sons of Anarchy," "Deadwood" and scads more. So the guy's been around.
Black Rock: I would have liked more info on what the ship was doing between 1845, when it was reported lost at sea (according to Lostpedia) and 1867, when it crashed on the island. That's a big gap. What was it being used for and by who? Was Magnus Hanso trying to find the island? Also would like to know why we didn't get to see him.
Jen Chaney: Yeah, I wondered why we didn't see him either, and was curious as to whether his face will be revealed later this season.
I think you could be right about Hanso trying to find the island. Maybe the Black Rock is a ship of ghosts, like some Pirates of the Caribbean type thing. I see a parallel there between Black Rock and 815 -- both reported missing and not found right away.
Maybe Capt Hanso also looks alarmingly similar to Keith Richards and drinks too much.
Richmond, VA: Do you feel like I do: that you're watching a completely different show than you did for the first 4 1/2 seasons? We could almost erase the first four years and establish the plane crash and a few other intrigues in a clip show, and just have gotten to the MIB/Jacob conflict (which I am not loving anyway). Oh thrilling Lost of Seasons 1 and 2, where art thou??
washingtonpost.com: How crazy would it have been if this episode had run in Season 2? People would be flipping out about all the questions it raised.
Liz Kelly: That's a good point, Producer Paul, and one I keep having to remind myself of -- that if this was just another season and we had no end in sight, we would all have been 100 percent satisfied with finally getting Richard's back story told, and told so eloquently. Same with some of the other episodes we've griped about (or I have griped about) this season.
But I do see your point too, Richmond, this season does feel like a different show. A spinoff. It's like that "Three's Company" spin off that concentrated on Jack and his new wife and stepfather.
Jen Chaney: Liz, do you mean "Three's a Crowd"? Why, what a delight that show was.
As we said in the analysis, it was a fine piece of television, looked at in isolation. But in the context of where we are, and caring so deeply about our core characters, we want to spend more time focused on them. We needed to know Richard's backstory, but perhaps it didn't need an entire clip show devoted to it? I don't know.
I also totally hear you on the MIB/Jacob thing. When they were introduced at the end of last season, I felt a little weird about it. They seem to be what Hurley once said of Australia: the keys to the game. I'm withholding judgment about what that means until the whole show is over and done. But if that turns out to be true, I think that will be a little disappointing. It seems so ... literal.
I liked it better when I didn't know what the smoke monster was.
Jen Chaney: And I meant to say an entire show, not an entire clip show. Sorry. Richmond's choice of words rubbed off on me.
Lake Ridge, VA: I think one of the reasons why people are unhappy with this season's episodes is because we are still over analyzing everything and looking for hidden meanings and references to 12th century literature, etc. Back in earlier seasons when the producers had unlimited possibilites they could delve into all these red herrings. Now that we are into the final stretch the story that we are seeing and what the characters are saying have to be taken at face value if we are going to wrap things up in 7 episodes. I don't think there is time left for anymore game changers.
Liz Kelly: A valid point, we're into the end game here.
But as for game changers, I think the whole season is a game changer -- we've moved from the story of the Losties to the story of Jacob and MIB. We've had new characters introduced -- Dogen, Lennon, Zoe. But then that's what we've come to expect from this show, so I guess my point is game changers are our constant.
Black Rock?: Ladies, nothing about how the ship is named Black Rock and Ricardus gives MIB a white rock?? Significance??
Liz Kelly: Good catch. Yet another piece in the dark vs. light symbolism. But the name of the ship makes a kind of sense considering the black hearts of the men -- Magnus Hanso and Whitfield -- in control. Which all fits nicely into the idea of Jacob bringing people to the island in an attempt to teach MIB about human nature. Maybe the rock symbolizes Richard, a man who ultimately has a good heart who was brought to the island on a ship full of blackguards.
Or I'm just full of it. Which is also possible.
Jen Chaney: No, I think you're onto something there. Jacob's purpose is to prove to MIB that men with black souls can be redeemed. What better symbolism than a Black Rock, which Jacob can turn pure?
Thanks for mentioning this, alert reader/viewer.
Liz Kelly: So, an aside:
Since it is so nice today, I grabbed my laptop and headed to a coffee shop with an nice front porch and a steady wifi connection. Too bad some obnoxious idiot has been sitting 10 feet away making serial calls on his cell and talking at the top of his lungs to random friends.
Here's his standard first line: "Nothing man, just sitting outside the coffee shop watching pretty girls walk by." I've heard that about 8 times so far.
Dude, enough already.
Jen Chaney: I'm inside and have no idea if the sun is shining right now because I'm not near a window. But it's blissfully silent.
As always, yin to your yang, black rock to your white.
Birmingham, AL: If the Island is keeping MIB imprisoned, shouldn't that mean he's been released in the alternate timeline? Why hasn't it "gone to hell"?
Jen Chaney: I am assuming at this point that the flash-sideways and the island narrative are happening at the same time. Remember, time moves differently on the island. So in theory, it could be 2007 there and only be 2004 back in L.A.
Plus, the term flash-sideways itself suggests that you're moving laterally.
So if MIB gets released and that does cause some sort of hellishness for the wider world, it hasn't happened yet.
And on Supernatural...: Titus played one of The Four Horsemen! And Jacob( Mark Pell-something) plays ...THE DEVIL!! (I'm a big "Supernatural" fan).
Jen Chaney: Nice. So they're both bad news. (For the record, it's Mark Pellegrino. I always expected Lucifer to be that handsome.)
Fairfax, VA: I think it's pretty clear that Hugo is the replacement for Jacob. Everyone else has demons that they are dealing with - but not Hugo. He is a good soul and doesn't seem to have issues with right and wrong. And he saw Jacob early on (like Locke) and speaks to all manner of dead people. Seems that Hugo is the only truly pure character.
Jen Chaney: Interesting. He's also the only character in the flash-sideways who seems to have his life in order and be genuinely happy. And as a self-actualized individual, he was able to stop and help Locke out of a tough situation.
DC: So, theories on which candidate will be the winner? Jack is the obvious answer (man of science accepts faith plus he's always been intended to be the central star). That just seems so unsatisfying to me. Besides, how has Jack REALLY been challenged on the show, in terms of good vs. evil. Others like Saywer and Sayid have really been presented with tough choices, but not really Jack.
washingtonpost.com: Well, to be fair -- Jack had to decide to perform surgery on Ben, to let Sayid torture Sawyer, he thought he was letting Sayid/Jin/Bernard get shot while he was leading the rest of the survivors to radio tower, he decided to trust Juliet, he tried to shoot Locke after he killed Naomi....
Liz Kelly: And I'm not sure "winner" is the right word. This isn't Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, after all. Assuming the role of warden, so to speak, of the island strikes me as more of a burden.
Jen Chaney: To Paul's point, Jack has really been asked to be the decider. He was given the hero role as soon as the crash happened, which is a big responsibility.
He hasn't been a murderer or a con man, true. So he hasn't confronted the same kind of darkness in his heart that people like Sayid or Sawyer or Kate have grappled with.
Jack is more of an everyman in this situation. He has his demons but he's just a regular guy who wants to do the right thing and often doesn't know what that is.
Continuity Goof???: Richard left the Canary Islands in the 1860s but Hanso's last diary was lost in 1847. What gives?
Liz Kelly: Well, it wouldn't be the first time we'd had some blurring of the space/time continuum on this show.
Why won't they tell us MIB's TRUE NAME! GRRR! : Really enjoyed last night's episode -- though it did feel kinda of like a spin-off show. Anyway -- we were informed last night that the reason why MIB wants to kill Jacob is because Jacob is keeping him prisoner and MIB wants to leave.
I think we know that Jacob doesn't age because he is not human. Hello he can time travel, stalk people in N. America from an island in the Pacific through a mirror in a lighthouse, and can give people gifts such as eternal youth. That is if MIB and Jacob are equal beings (not human beings necessarily). They are mortal - but cannot be killed by each other. Sounds like a pact is definitely in place (Perhaps by Adam & Eve?). We just have to wait for the writers to reveal it.
And hopefully they also reveal MIB's actual NAME !! GAHH I thought we were TOTALLY gonna get it last night.. but no.
ALSO In the end of the analysis Jen asked what happened to MIB in the form of scruffy kinda-sexy-in-an-evil-incarnate-way saltnpepper haired man (sorry I don't know the name of the actor) - MIB had to take on the appearance of John Locke b/c of Locke's influence on the island - which would enable him to convince Ben to kill Jacob. Although he didn't fool Sawyer for one second (believable? I still don't think our co nman is THAT sharp) he did fool Ben Linus, Sun, Lapidus and a whole bunch of extras. And he finally x-ed off Jacob.
And I also wanna say Hugo is THE MAN, DUDE.
Liz Kelly: Wait, isn't MIB's name actually "Esau?"
Jen Chaney: We were calling him Esau. And if memory serves, at one point a press release may have called him that, too. But the press release for this week's show simply refers to him as the Man in Black. So we don't know who he is in terms of a proper name.
And okay, Jacob is not human. But why not? And if he has all those other gifts, why wouldn't one of them be immortality? I don't have answers, I just have questions.
And I wanted to know when MIB left his Titus Welliver form because it just seems weird, as was said earlier, that we never saw these guys until the end of season five. Obviously people talked to Jacob. But MIB didn't exist on this show until, really, just a few episodes back. And we never saw Jacob in human form. And now, it seems, whenever he appears to anyone he's in Pellegrino's body. Just trying to put together some pieces there.
Jacob's touch: Did Jacob ever touch Ilana? I seem to remember him wearing gloves when he met her in the hospital in the "Incident." Does that prevent anything from happening?
Jen Chaney: If memory serves, he did not touch her. At least, not that we saw.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this is probably a silly question, but here goes:
Jacob touched Richard plenty before he agreed to grant him eternal life. Remember, they fought and Jacob gave him the baptismal dunking in the surf. So, was Richard granted eternal life from the first touch or does Jacob have to give some kind of "special" touch?
Jen Chaney: I think it has to be a special one. Which sounds totally ridiculous.
But makes sense.
I liked it better when I didn't know what the smoke monster was. : I did too. Which is why I think so many people are having problems with this season. It's impossible to both maintain the mystery and the feelings of being off-centered and completely out of the loop that earlier seasons were like while at the same time providing answers and wrapping up the story. We want both, and we can't really have both, so we're simultaneously upset that we're getting more questions/new characters therefore not getting enough answers, but also that the answers we do get upset the "feel" of the show. I'm actually enjoying the season quite a bit, but I have to actively suppress my expectations of it (and my disappointment that it's almost over).
Liz Kelly: A good attitude and a nice summation of why we're all a little bit conflicted about how the season has played out thus far. I keep having to tell myself that, no matter what, the end is never going to live up to the expectations we've built up over the past five years.
It's actually difficult to think of a show finale that actually left me completely contented. "The Sopranos?" Fuggedaboutit.
Jacob needs a new body!: I don't know if this has been mentioned, but my friend has a good theory. She thinks Jacob needs a new body. So, that candidates are really there to give Jacob a new body since he is no longer in the flesh. What do you think?
Jen Chaney: That makes sense. Given how MIB assumed Locke's form -- only worked after he was dead -- that means one candidate has to die to help Jacob.
And if previous comments in this chat prove to be correct, that person will be Hurley.
Loving Richard, Who's the Girl?: I loved the episode last night. I am obviously a LOSTIE and into the mythology of the show. Pity poor people who aren't - but they still got some great filming a short story, like you said.
I didn't catch the Richard-kills-doctor idea. That's pretty good. I caught the love-through-space-and-time theme. Are Richard and Isabella the new Desmond/Penny, Jin/Sun, Charlotte/Faraday, Hurley/Libby? Anyone else?
And what's up with Ilana? Did you see the interview she did where she tried to guess/remember her character's last name? I don't want to post a spoiler here, but it was the last name of a character that has been on the show, especially in Season 5. Any theories?
Liz Kelly: I did see that interview. For anyone interested, it was posted to New York mag's Vulture blog yesterday and linked in our Tuesday afternoon "Lost" look-ahead.
And I have to think she was joking about that name. It just doesn't make any sense for her to have that particular last name.
Arlington, VA: Jacob says the other people he's brought to the island are all dead. Does that mean that, at that point in the island's history, there are no Others/island natives?
Liz Kelly: Well, that's one way to interpret it. Another way is to believe MIB's contention that all of the island denizens are dead.
Lostemundo: I really enjoyed Lostemundo being mostly in Spanish. But I am a little disappointed that Ricardus is not even 200 years old! They always made it sound like he was centuries old. I also really enjoyed finally seeing some emotion fron Jacob when he whupped Richard, he was super-angry there.
Liz Kelly: I'm with you. I'd always assumed he was way older. Like pharoah-era Egypt old. And, according to this interview with the LA Times, Nestor Carbonell thought so, too, until he saw the script for last night's show.
Alliance, Ohio: I'm a Lutheran pastor, so the religious symbolism always seems to jump right out at me. Not even sure if they meant it to be there, but I see it anyway.
1. Jacob proving to Richard that he is alive by dunking him in the water - resembled a baptism in which one is supposed to pass from death into life - die to sin and born again to life.
2. Sitting by a fire on the beach, drinking wine - after the resurrection Jesus meets his disciples on the beach, builds a fire, and cooks them a breakfast of fish (also - scene of MIB and Jacob from last season), then asking Peter if he loves him and asks him to "feed his sheep," this is the commissioning of Peter to build the church and his redemption after his rejection of Jesus on the night he was killed.
3. Sharing the wine - after the resurrection Jesus' disciples don't recognize him until he breaks bread with them - reminiscent of the last supper in which he broke bread and shared wine.
Just thought these things were interesting...
Jen Chaney: Wow, a real pastor! Thanks for joining the chat.
I think the religious symbolism is too overt not to be intentional. Liz and I mentioned the baptism correlation in today's analysis, but the other two you touch on are very much worth noting.
The Peter story -- perhaps a suggestion that Jacob really is offering Richard redemption, despite his insistence that he can't prevent Richard from going to hell?
And on the sharing wine -- maybe MIB genuinely had to share it (like actually drink it) to recognize Jacob's power. Which is why he smashes the bottle to pieces.
Hurley and Isabella: FWIW, I disagee that it was Jacob who told Hurley that Richard had to stop MIB from leaving the island. Hurley almost never lies, and when he does, he feels horrible guilt over it. No, we don't know, but he didn't look like he was lying to me.
Jen Chaney: Good point. It just seemed like a random message to come from Isabella.
where's Desmond?: Are we ever gonna see him again?
Jen Chaney: Was just thinking about that this morning. I miss him. I hope we see him again.
What constitutes murder?: Richard, Hugo, and as a matter of fact Jack all have something in common. People have died due to their actions. While there wasn't intent in any of the situations, there was death, and the Island seems to plop them together with characters who have actually killed people. If having done some sort of "evil" is a requirement for being a candidate, than it seems to exclude Sun, unless there's something we don't know.
Liz Kelly: Well, one could argue that Jae Lee's death was a direct consequence of her actions. She has an affair with him and the next thing you know, the guy is plunging to his death from the top of a high-rise hotel.
Jen Chaney: Right. And she also is the reason Jin was working for her father, an arrangement that certainly led to some deaths. Not that those deaths are Sun's fault at all, but the point is, she's not completely isolated from bad choices and sin.
BOCOMO: "I liked it better when I didn't know what the smoke monster was. "
After the episode ended, I said to my wife "the people who have been demanding answers will be disappointed with any answers they get because the unknown is always more tantalizing." So, get used to the disappointment.
Jen Chaney: It's true. And J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof have said this many, many times. In fact, Abrams said it in an essay for Wired last year, if memory serves. Not knowing what's in the box is infinitely better than opening it up and seeing what's inside.
A show that ended leaving me content...: Six Feet Under. Showing each of the characters age (and then die), set to beautiful music, was a truly nice way to end that series.
Jen Chaney: Absolutely. One of the best finales of all time. I was sobbing for 20 minutes afterward.
washingtonpost.com: J.J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery
Portland, OR: So if the two of you were trapped on an island together for eternity, who would you bring to the island for your amusement?
Liz Kelly: Wait, if we're trapped there together why would I need anyone else? Jen and I can entertain each other for hours. Then, when we grew bored with one another, we could surprise each other with fatal traps, a la Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner.
Jen Chaney: We could also act out episodes of "Three's a Crowd," which constitutes hours of entertainment right there.
Liz Kelly: Alrighty, that's it for today. As ever, thanks for sharing your good ideas. We'll be back next week to talk about the next installment, "The Package." If only that referred to a Sawyer episode. Sigh.
Jen Chaney: Dang, Liz.
Actually, "The Package" appears to be a Sun and Jin episode. Will they reunite? Will he finally bring her a huge stuffed panda?
Tune in next week, to the show and, later, to this chat. See you next Wed. at 2.
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