Lost: Down the Hatch – The Head Case, The Ghostbuster, The Anthropologist and The Drunk

Chris Kirkman

Chris Kirkman

“Confirmed Dead” Recap and Analysis …

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my fears of this week’s episode being filled with standing around talking were woefully unfounded. Not only did we learn a lot about what’s going down with the “rescue party,” we also got one of the most action-packed and expertly directed second episodes since … well, since Desmond had a gun trained on Locke’s head back down in the hatch.

So, let’s get started, shall we? We’ve got desert polar bears, ghostbusting and ley lines to talk about, and that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Previously, on Lost:

It’s business as usual back on the island as something strange is afoot. Naomi, the survivors’ potential rescuer, got a knife in the back courtesy of Locke, but she survived and had the energy to wander off into the jungle of mystery and leave fake trails. (I wish I had that kind of energy without a knife in my back.) She eventually dies, but not before sending George and gang on her freighter a little coded message. The survivors are split again into the camps of Faith and Science, as some join Locke on a trek to the Others’ barracks, while the rest stick around with the ever-headstrong Jack and Kate, hoping to be rescued. Don’t think that’s happening, folks. At least not this week.

I concocted more than a few combinations for this week’s episode-inspired libation – The Crash Landing, The Dusty Polar Bear, even variations on the classic shooter, the Helicopter – but I decided to keep it fairly simple yet, well, saucy.So, in honor of the new island hottie, Charlotte, I present to all you fair readers the following recipe. Mix it, drink it, and don’t forget to toast to her survival. She just might need that kind of luck on the mysterious island.

The Saucy Brit

  • 2 oz. Beefeater Gin
    (make sure it’s Beefeater – y’know, for the Brit part!)
  • 1 oz. Peach Schnapps
    (because she’s a peach)
  • 2 oz. Cranberry juice
    (for the red hair)
  • A dash of sweet and sour mix
    (for her saucy disposition)

Stir ingredients together with ice in a tall glass. Serve and enjoy while excavating polar bears in the desert.

And now, Confirmed Dead

Static. Sonar pings. A HUD display overlaying a slow, spotlit pan of what we can only assume is underwater topography. The display shows us that we’re looking through video feed from an ROV – that’s Remote Operated Vehicle for anyone that’s never seen a James Cameron movie. There’s some radio chatter between two unknowns. Someone mentions some strange magnonometer readings, lots of anomalies. We start to see strange debris littering the ocean floor, and then there’s a slow reveal of … THE TITANIC! Oh, wait, it’s an airplane tail. It’s Oceanic 815! And it’s intact, with all three sections of the plane on the ocean floor!

Cut to a TV feed talking about a ship off the shore of Indonesia that came across the wreckage. In front of the TV is our mystery man from the end of last episode. His name is Dan, and he’s terribly upset. An unknown woman, I’m guessing his wife, asks him about the wreckage and why he’s so upset. Dan doesn’t know. Neither do we.

Quick action cut chaos! Dan and three others are in a chopper and all hell is breaking loose. One of the passengers shoves Dan out of the open door and we get a brilliantly cut first-person perspective of Dan parachuting in to the jungle of mystery with rain falling all around. I suddenly grab my Xbox controller and get ready to fend off hordes of undead Nazis with only my .45 and a flashlight! Oh, sorry, wrong review. Dan lands, gets to his feet and hears people approaching. He hurriedly rids himself of his gear, cocks a gun, and sees Jack and Kate come out of the brush.

“Are you Jack?” he asks, just like last episode.

“Yeah, I’m Jack. Who are you?” Jack says nonchalantly.

“I’m Daniel Faraday. I’m here to rescue you,” Dan says, even more nonchalantly.

Everybody’s like the Fonz, despite all the adrenaline in the air. That won’t last long.

Cue the swirling LOST!

Daniel, Jack and Kate are moving through the brush now. Dan briefs the non-dating duo on all the crap going down on the chopper. He needs to find his teammates and needs his phone. Kate lends Dan hers, and he calls George on the freighter. We get a brief exchange between the two before George rebuffs Dan about having him on speaker. While Dan is off talking to George secretly, Jack notices that Dan is packing heat. Suspicious, indeed.

Jack and Kate agree to help Dan find his missing teammates. Dan asks where the rest of their people are. Most are back on the beach, Kate says. Yup, most of them.

It’s light now, and we’re back with Locke and his Faithers. It’s still raining, but Locke doesn’t care. He’s at total peace, bathing in the cool water. Hurley’s telling Locke that he’ll get struck by lightning, but that ain’t happening because Locke says the rain will end soon. Sure enough, it does, right on cue. If Locke ever decides to leave the island, he’s definitely got a gig as a weatherman.

Vincent’s with them! Awww, Vincent. Give us a hug.

Sawyer starts off and wonders why they’re walking east. Locke explains that he’s got a little unfinished business with a cabin. Uh huh, that’s an understatement. Hugo mentions that he thought the cabin was back the other way, which gives Locke a little shock. Ben, too, apparently, as he’s all wide-eyed and wondering how he ever stopped knowing what the hell’s happening on his island. When questioned, Hurley ad libs and says he was talking about the airplane cabin. Locke gets that special twinkle in his eye that we love and lets the whole thing drop.

Sawyer wants to know why they’re wasting their time going to some shack. Because Locke’s supposed to, that’s why.

“You mind telling us who you’re getting your orders from, Colonel Kurtz?” Sawyer asks, proving to us that he’s read Heart of Darkness on the beach at least once.

“I got my orders from Walt,” grins Locke. Everyone stares at one another, wondering if they backed the wrong horse.

Back on the beach, Sayid is doing his pensive Sayid thing when Juliet checks in. She’s looking radiant, as always. Sayid asks Juliet why Ben would tell them that there are people coming to harm them. Well, duh, Ben’s a liar, she says. Of course, the people coming could also mean to do us harm, she remarks. This does not allay Sayid’s inquisitiveness, nor ours.

“How many guns do you have left?” she asks, with that mischievous half-grin. Where can I get a Juliet? I ask.

Jack and Kate are moseying along with Dan when they come across a metal box from the chopper. Inside are a few gas masks and some biohazard bags. Jack is non-plussed, to say the least. He asks Dan why he brought a gun, to which Dan simply states that it’s a precaution.

“A precaution against what?” asks Jack. Oh, I don’t know, against, maybe, POLAR BEARS, OR GUN-TOTING OTHERS, OR EVEN YOUR TRIGGER HAPPY LOT, you dim-witted jackass. Hell, I’d pack a rocket launcher if it’d fit on the chopper.

Dan finally admits to Jack that rescuing them is not exactly his team’s primary objective. We’re not surprised, mostly because they used that line in one of the sneak previews.

Meanwhile, Locke is having to play 20 questions with Sawyer about seeing Walt. Locke finally shuts him down by telling him about being shot and left for dead by Ben, to which he shows off his studly gunshot wound. It looks rough, but healing nicely, thanks to his island-induced healing factor. If Locke can’t get a weatherman gig, I’m sure the X-Men would welcome him to the team in a heartbeat.

“The bullet went in one side, came out the other,” says Locke. “I’d probably be dead if I still had a kidney there.” Oh, you could cut the irony with a knife.

Jack, Kate and Dan finally come across the second member of the team, Miles. He’s laid up next to his parachute in the same place that Desmond bashed in Kelvin’s head a few years back. Jack plays doctor and checks on him, but gets a gun in the face, instead. Miles is quite upset and wants to know where Naomi is. He knows that Naomi is dead and Kate gives us her best holy shit look that she’s perfect for four seasons.

Hey, we’ve got flashback here! The powers-that-be have decided to put the flash presents on hold for a bit, and instead decide that we need some backstory on the rescuers. Fine by me, as that means they’re likely to a) stick around for awhile, and b) eventually get eaten by a smoke monster/shot/stabbed/electrocuted/blown up. Anywho, we’re in Inglewood, California now, and it’s all about Miles. When we first see him, he’s in his car, listening to a radio newscast about the discovery of Oceanic 815. Soon, he’s inside an older black lady’s house, asking where “the room” is. She tells him it’s upstairs at the end of the hall, and says that it’s going to be $200. The lady balks, saying they agreed to $100. “That’s before a buddy of mine at the police station told me your grandson was murdered.” She finally agrees.

Miles opens his suitcase and starts assembling … a dustbuster? Fascinating. He counts the money, tells the lady not to come upstairs, no matter what she hears, and then heads upstairs. He plugs in his ramshackle ghost trap (Egon would be proud), and sits down on the bed to get a feel for the spirit in the room. It appears that Miles is what we’d call a “sensitive” in the ghost hunting field, and a good one from the looks of it. It’s not long before he’s convinced the spirit there to give up the hiding place of his loot. A noise from behind a bookcase leads him to a roll of dough big enough to choke a horse, and a dime bag of either coke or heroin. Miles puts the bag back into the vent where he found it, pockets the money and then tells the spirit that “you can go now.” Back downstairs, he tells the grandmother that it worked, but not before getting a momentary flash of conscience. He gives the woman back half her money and gets a big thank you and a hug. We’ll have to keep our eyes on Miles. It seems we have a new confidence man on the island. Sawyer will be pleased to make his acquaintance, no doubt.

Back on the island, Miles is explaining to Dan about the code that Naomi used so they know that she’s been compromised. Naomi doesn’t have a sister. That’s the code they’re supposed to use if they have a gun to their head. Kate rats out Locke again, but Miles isn’t having any of it. He wants to see Naomi’s body and he wants to see it NOW! He’ll know what really happened after seeing Naomi. No doubt he’ll talk to her spirit and cross her over. Man, I can’t wait until this guy runs into Ol’ Smokey. Anybody out there remember that movie Scanners? Google it. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

Back with the Faithers now. Ben is trying to tell Alex something, but Karl isn’t happy about it. Sawyer intervenes, telling Karl that Ben’s just trying to get into his head. Soon, Ben is getting into Sawyer’s head, telling Sawyer that off the island, a low-life scam artist like himself wouldn’t stand a chance against a surgeon like Jack. And, sure enough, Sawyer gets his turn at beating the high-holy shit out of Ben. Locke eventually convinces Sawyer to give it up, that, except for his mouth, Ben is harmless.

“His mouth put that hole in your gut?” quips Sawyer. Touché, James. “It’s only a matter of time before he gets us, Johnny. And I’ll bet he’s already figured out how he’s gonna do it.”

Miles is silently chanting over Naomi’s dead body, while Dan is off with Jack and Kate ruminating about how strange the light appears on the island. It’s pretty clear by now that Dan ain’t all there. Just wait until HE runs into Ol’ Smokey. Kate decides it’s time for her to turn on her motorcycle-riding, trailer park charm and tries to convince Dan to put down the gun. He’s not going for it, as his need for survival against Miles outweighs his need for island nookie with the resident outlaw. Jack, meanwhile is staring off into the brush. Soon, he’s telling Kate to forget about it, and gives her the most obvious wink in the history of obvious winks. Oh, Jack, you sly bastard.

Miles rejoins the group and offhandedly remarks that it all went down as Kate said: They didn’t kill her. The handy GPS signal goes off, signaling that Charlotte’s locator is within range. Let’s go get her! Not so fast, says Jack. First, they need to put down their pistols. Miles forgets his anger management class mantras and starts to get agitated. Jack tells him that his friends are in the jungle with guns trained on them right now.

Miles asks, “How stupid do you think I …” BLAM! Shots ring out, blasting a branch behind his head. Sayid and Juliet come out of the brush. Sayid’s sporting his trusty rifle, and Juliet is brandishing a very stylish Luger. I vote that she should carry a pistol at all times, as it ups her hotness quotient by about a thousand.

“I don’t know, Miles, how stupid are you?” asks Jack. Why do they insist on giving him some of the best lines of the series? It’s like they want me to like him or something.

Flashback time again! This time we’re in the desert, Tunisia to be exact. This is Charlotte’s story and we finally see that she’s a spunky redhead, and a Brit, to boot! Watch out, Juliet, we’ve got another candidate for island hottie. Charlotte’s trying to get into a dig going on, and hands the apparent man in charge a huge chunk of change. Charlotte and her interpreter head over to the dig to find some bones being excavated. It’s not long before Charlotte explains that it’s an Ursa Maritimus, which, as anyone who’s studied the hatch blast door knows, is a polar bear. She digs around the skull to find a collar, branded with the symbol of the Dharma station, Hydra! Well, butter my muffins, Dharma is worldwide. And, apparently, they’ve been trying to raise an army of uberbears in order to rule the world. Or something. I can’t really think about what it could mean right now, as Charlotte has an absolutely disarming smile. So, yeah, hey girl. How YOU doing?

Back on the island, Charlotte is hanging upside down from a branch that’s grown out over a little creek. Soon, she’s pulled the emergency release on her gear and she’s taking a little dip in the water. Yup, she looks good wet, too. But I digress. She comes up to take a breath and there, on the bank, is Locke and the Faithers.

“Hi,” says she.

“Hi there, yourself,” says Locke.

Back in the jungle, Juliet and Jack are flirting up a storm before Kate butts in and wishes that someone had let her know that the cavalry was there.

“I gave you that … wink,” says Jack, to which Juliet looks back with an oh-you’re-so-hot smile.

Kate, meanwhile, is inwardly rolling her eyes and thumbing the release hitch on her knife, no doubt. Sayid starts asking Dan and Miles’ names. Dan is being pretty forward with the info, telling Sayid his full name before Miles tells him to shut it. Dan also tells them that he’s a physicist, but that he doesn’t really like being pigeonholed into one particular thing. Sayid asks Miles what he does, to which he responds, “I collect soil samples,” with considerable snark.

Sayid is also surprised that the rescuers seem fairly calm at finding survivors from Oceanic 815. Miles ratchets up the sarcasm and puts on a false display of shock. I can’t decide if he’s a dick or if I really like this guy. I’m leaning toward the latter.

Back with the Faithers, Charlotte is asking all the right questions about the survivors. Hurley is being pretty open before Locke shuts him down real quick. While Charlotte is explaining about her transponder, Ben is eyeing her sidearm with considerable longing. Locke eventually tells her that she’s coming with them, but not without protest from Charlotte, naturally.

Sayid has done something to activate the phone now, and discovers Charlotte’s transponder signal. The signal is moving fast, and Jack says she’s running from something. They all tear ass through the jungle, and come up on the spot of the signal. Dan starts yelling her name and Jack gives him the “goddammit I’m in charge, shut up” look he gives just about everybody that doesn’t do as he damn well pleases. There’s noise in the brush, and everyone gets out their guns. Is it a boar? A polar bear? Is it Ol’ Smokey? Nope, it’s Vincent, who scratches at the transponder roped to his back. Awww, Vincent. Give us a hug, buddy.

“Locke’s got her,” says Jack. Miles and Dan don’t look too happy about that. Neither does Jack. That just makes his escape from the island a teeny bit more complicated. Good, says I.

Water. A plane is slowly floating downwards in it. It’s soon obvious that it’s a toy plane as it turns over and hits the bottom. Pan out to reveal a fish tank and a grizzled, bearded dude with piercing eyes watching the plane. This is Frank Lapitas. Welcome to his flashback.

We learn that we’re in the Bahamas, now, and the television is on in the background, talking about the discovery of Oceanic 815. Frank makes his way over and we see that it’s footage from the wreckage. A mustachioed mugshot of Greg Grunberg is flashed on the screen, with the caption of Seth Norris – the pilot. You may remember Greg as the dude that was taken out of the cockpit and eaten by Ol’ Smokey about 40 minutes into the pilot of the series. Heh, get it? The pilot gets eaten in the pilot? Eh, nevermind. It’s not long before we’re seeing shots from inside the wreckage, and looking at what appears to be a dead body still holding onto the control sticks of the aircraft. It looks more like one of those CPR dummies, if you ask me, but that’s neither here nor there. Frank can’t believe his eyes and starts dialing up the Oceanic hotline number flashed on the screen (more on that in the analysis, later).

Frank gets someone from the NTSB and he asks for her supervisor, telling her that the footage they’re showing on TV of the pilot isn’t really the pilot. He’s told to hold, please. The “supervisor” comes on the line and asks what, exactly, Frank is talking about. Frank is adamant that the man shown in the wreckage on TV isn’t Seth Norris. We’re pretty adamant, too, since it’s obvious it’s a CPR dummy. The supervisor asks Frank how he knows so much about the pilot.

“Because I was supposed to be flying Oceanic 815 on that day,” says Frank, ominously. Whoa, says we.

Frank’s climbing a hill now, a little banged up, but none worse for wear. He crests the embankment to be greeted with a friendly MOO by one of Mikhail’s Dharma cows. Frank’s phone is all busted up, so he has no choice but to use his four-year-old nephew’s plastic flare gun to signal for help.

Cut to Charlotte and the Faithers, who notice the flare. Charlotte wants to go after the source, but Locke is having none of it, despite Hurley and Claire’s sympathy. Charlotte wants to know what’s wrong with those people, as she risked her life parachuting on to this island, and if they think that THEY’RE GONNA BLOODY STOP HER FROM GETTING TO HER …

BLAM BLAM! Charlotte is taken down by two well-placed slugs to the chest, courtesy of Ben, who is shortly tackled by Sawyer and beaten to a bloody pulp, once again. Locke rushes over to Charlotte’s collapsed form and searches for a pulse. Charlotte gasps for air. Our little Diana Jones has been smart enough to wear her bulletproof vest onto the island just in case she encountered hostiles. Not only is she beautiful, she’s got brains.

Jack and the gang come across Frank, passed out. He comes to with a start, and tells them that Charlotte had to bail out.

“Where’s the chopper?” asks Miles.

“I saw a cow,” says Frank. Quote of the episode, says I.

Miles wants to know where the chopper crashed. Frank is insulted and states that he wouldn’t be much of a pilot if he crashed the damn thing. It’s safe and sound, right over there. Jack and the team crest the hill and see the fully intact helicopter. Jack gets a shit-eating grin on his face that tells me all I need to know. Yup, he’s ready to put Naomi on a raft, set it out headed for the freighter, where the people on board will find the body and a sign written in red magic marker on her chest that says, “Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho.”

Flashback again, this time with Naomi. She’s in a large corporate space, perfect for espionage, completely empty except for one desk at which stands Matthew Abaddon, the man who introduced himself to Hurley as an Oceanic lawyer. He’s presenting her with photos of those we’ve come to know as the rescue team. She’s not happy with the selection, and says that they can’t be dropped in without protection. Abaddon says that they’re not unprotected – that’s where Naomi comes in. It’s a high-risk covert op, says she. It’s madness. And what if there are survivors of Oceanic 815?

“There were NO survivors of Oceanic 815,” says Abaddon, with a stern stare. “Don’t ask questions, just do what you were asked to do.”

Back on the island, Kate and Dan are carrying Naomi’s dead body back to the chopper. Sayid has given the bird a once-over, and says she’s cleared for take-off. Miles wants to make a phone call, and Jack strikes a deal. He’ll give Miles the phone if he’ll tell Jack what they’re doing there. Miles makes the call, wanting to talk to George. The voice on the other end, Regina, tells him that George can’t come to the phone right now. Very curious. Sounds almost like the conversation that Jack had with George when Naomi had a knife in her back.

Frank, meanwhile, is getting nursed by Juliet. He says they have very little fuel left. He then asks Juliet her name, after which he realizes that she wasn’t on the plane. She’s a native. This only sends Miles into a frenzy.

“Do you want to know why we’re here, I’ll tell you why we’re here,” screams Miles. He produces a photo from his pocket. It’s a surveillance photo of Ben, looking as though it was taken somewhere in some airport security station. “We’re here for Benjamin Linus. Now, where is he?!”

Well, right now, Ben’s looking down the barrel of Sawyer’s gun. Locke is apologizing to Charlotte, who isn’t exactly convinced of his sincerity. What good would she be to Locke dead, he states. That doesn’t make her feel any better.

Locke is starting to see Sawyer’s point about putting Ben down and asks Danielle to escort her daughter away. Ben tries to stave his execution by telling Locke that he has answers. Locke considers this for a few seconds before asking the one question that just about everyone watching has: What is the smoke monster? Way to go Locke, get right to the point! Ben, surprisingly, doesn’t know. What he DOES know, however, is every little thing about Charlotte – her name, her birth date, her education, even her teammates’ names. And what she’s looking for on the island is Ben, himself.

“How do you know all this?” asks Locke.

Ben stares right down the barrel of Locke’s gun and off-handedly remarks, “Because I have a man on their boat.”

Cue the thonk!

Next time, on Lost:

Another member of the Oceanic Six is revealed! So far, that’s about all I can glean from this week’s preview. Way to go, editors.

Whew, quite the episode. Director Stephen Williams deserves some massive kudos for packing a lot of punch into the 40-minute format. We witnessed first-person chaos, some undersea euphoria and more globe-spanning action than you usually get in half a season. And all this from an episode that was previewed as nothing but our protagonists standing around spouting soliloquies.

What was most impressive about this episode was its scope. Usually, we barely see beyond the bubble of the island, maybe once or twice a season and then only in the finales and premieres, but here we have a second episode that takes us from California to Tunisia to the Bahamas.

And now we need to take a look at all that globetrotting. There’s not quite as much to review and theorize upon as in the premiere, but this episode opens up the question arcs that will plague us for much of this season. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Charlotte’s flashback barely lasts for more than four minutes, but it opens up a whole new can of worms for us Lost enthusiasts. For the first time we got confirmation to what many of us have been speculating since season two: Was the Dharma Initiative even more far-reaching than the island? We can now definitively state yes. After seeing Charlotte and her interpreter dig up a polar bear in Tunisia, we know that the little hippie program that the DeGroots supposedly dreamed up had a few more stations than just in the South Pacific. Exactly what were they up to in the desert? As of now, that’s purely speculation, but one thing that deserves a closer look is the Earth’s collection of ley lines.

For the uninitiated, ley lines are a metaphysical collection of mapped coordinates that span the globe and intersect at random intervals. These intersections are often referred to as places of power and mystery. Many believe that the Salisbury Plains of England are positioned above one of those intersections, and it is here that the Druids long ago built Stonehenge. Contemporary scholars and anthropologists have written off Stonehenge as an ancient calendar, but those with a little more imagination have never quite given up the idea that Stonehenge was a place of enigmatic energy that factored into the druids’ arcane rituals. The Great Pyramids of Giza are another such ancient site that supposedly rests upon one of these great ley lines.

Ley lines were first given their name by an archaeologist by the name of Alfred Watkins in 1921, although their existence had been rumored for centuries. The basis of his theory of these lines was an ancient belief in a geodesic structure of the modern world. Many ancient civilizations often employed mathematically precise straight points between two locations on any created map, with many overlapping intersects. Later, when a full map of the known world began to take shape, the lines were extended on a global scale, with vertices naturally falling upon some of the more famous and regarded locales from the ancient world. Quite a few skeptics of the ley lines concept concede that it’s mostly human nature to plot straight lines between locations, but quite a few admit to the more-than-coincidental placement of many of these so-called ley lines on modern maps.

For a closer look at the current, broad view of major ley lines, I have created a map based on the Becker-Hagens geodesic distribution maps that are accepted as canon by many ley line enthusiasts. Within each of the distinct geodesic areas, many subpatches of ley convergences can be extrapolated. In other words, the main divides of the earth can be further broken down into other lines that connect to a point, creating minor points of power. I wouldn’t waste too many brain cells trying to figure out this puzzle, as the main grid map will work fairly well for our purposes.

If you’ll refer to our main map, the main vertices are signified by circles, with secondary vertices marked by squares. The vertices are all coded by number in the main Becker-Hagens map, and I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting our favorite numbers from Lost on the map I created. Whether these might correspond with Dharma locations is anyone’s guess – I doubt highly the Lost writers took a close look at this kind of map before setting up the mythology. However, it’s a fascinating scenario, nonetheless. The circled areas in yellow are three of the locations that many have speculated to be the location of the island. One, of course, corresponds with one of the fabled numbers. For those that might be a bit curious, and even know what I’m talking about, the number four on the map corresponds to the location of the great Tunguska blast of 1908. For the uninitiated, Google it. It’s worth it.

What is more fascinating given the events of the last episode is the intersection of a medium-grade leyline around the vicinity of Medenine, Tunisia. It’s marked by the red dot on the map. Have a look-see.

What does all this mean? Maybe nothing, but as soon as Charlotte found that polar bear and the Hydra collar in Tunisia, my mind started spinning down the ley line route, as it has in the past. And before I take my leave of the subject for this analysis, I thought I’d just throw in one last image that might relate to the topic at hand (and also fill my quota for the obligatory, weekly reference to the hatch):

That geodesic dome that sparked something in most of our subconcious minds doesn’t seem so pedestrian now, does it?

Last week, we started speculating that Oceanic was more than just an airline. With the mysterious appearance of Oceanic “lawyer” Matthew Abaddon trying to put Hurley in a more refined nut hatch, we suddenly got the feeling that the airline that went out of business because flight 815 went down was far more sinister than previously expected.

What came as a shock to me this week was with Frank Lapitas’ exchange with the NTSB. When he realized that the underwater footage showing Seth Norris’ bloated body was a sham, he called the hotline and asked to speak to a supervisor. The female voice on the other end of the line was a little taken aback to his request, but he eventually spoke to an even more enigmatic voice that questioned Frank’s connection to flight 815. We can only assume that Frank’s inside information got him a one-way ticket to the island since he was the pilot that was scheduled to fly 815 on the day of its fateful crash.

The question this raises is simple: If Frank called an NTSB hotline, does that mean that the NTSB was actually in on the subterfuge? The only way that could be true is if the inner circle of the American government is somehow tied to the missions of the Dharma Initiative. This seems like a very unlikely scenario, at least to me. More likely, however, is that the Oceanic team, or whomever is responsible for the crash and the coverup, was privy to Frank’s conversation and brought him into the fold.

In the end, does this mean that Oceanic is part of the organization ultimately responsible for the Dharma Initiative? Not necessarily, but with two episodes into the fourth season, we already have an agent claiming to be a lawyer for the corporation, an obvious coverup of the crash and a flash forward that has awarded the Oceanic Six (or Jack, at least) with a golden ticket to travel anywhere they want, anytime they’d like, supposedly just to keep their traps shut.

Mysterious, indeed.

Before I leave the subject of the Oceanic hotline, I’d like to just throw all of you a bone. The hotline number flashed on Frank’s TV screen is a real, operational number, and, if dialed, will take you to a pretty cool pre-recorded message from Oceanic Airlines. The message isn’t going to contain any mind-blowing revelations, but it’s a fun diversion, nonetheless. If any of you want to try it out, the number is: 1-888-548-0034

What’s with all the polar bear research? You’ve got me. We know for sure that Dharma has been trying to genetically engineer polar bears for warm-weather climates, as well as messing around with some sharks for unknown reasons on the island. The only advantages I can discern from research on polar bears are a) they are some of the fiercest hunters on the face of the planet and b) their hair is completely unique, as in it is colorless and adapts to the color of the light in which they are subjected. That doesn’t really tell me much. If any of you have some advanced polar bear theories, I’d be more than happy to listen.

I don’t have much to say about Miles’ spiritual activity, except that you should probably expect many, many more Ghostbusters quotes out of me in the coming week. Well, if he doesn’t get shot by one of the survivors or eaten by Ol’ Smokey, naturally.

There are many, many more questions out there to ponder: Why are the “rescuers” after Ben? Why does Oceanic or whomever is out to procure Ben need a team comprised of a physicist head-case, a medium, an anthropologist and a drunk pilot? When are Jack and Juliet going to hook up? How sick will I be when that actually happens? For now, though, I think we’ve covered enough ground.

Before the next episode, I urge you to delve deep into that well of conspiracy, mystery and love of everything polar bear, and let me know what thoughts you’ve thunk.

Until then, Namaste.

Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. He is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at ckirkman@hobotrashcan.com.

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