“Namaste” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost: The bitch came back.
This week, on possibly one of the greatest episodes of Lost ever: It’s 2007. Ajira Airways flight 315 experiences turbulence somewhere over the Pacific. Veteran pilot Frank Lapidus is forced to take extreme measures, just as a brilliant white light engulfs the plane, flipping it upside down and transporting it from dead of night to mid-day sun. When they come out of the clouds, an island looms before the plane and Frank and the co-pilot manage to coax the limping plane toward a clearing that looks like an old dirt runway. They drop a couple hundred feet in the matter of seconds before making a dashing landing and plowing into some trees. “I’m a leaf in the wind,” the co-pilot screams, just before he is Washed on a big ol’ tree limb.
We interrupt this recap so I can bring you an important announcement: Suck it, Whedon.
Now, having landed the plane somewhat safely, it’s ascertained that of the Oceanic Six only Sun is left – and Locke, of course, but nobody knows that just yet. Ben and Lapidus are there, too, and Caesar and the marshal, Ilana, and Auntie Em, and … nevermind. The rest of the journey of those left in 2007 are interspersed throughout the episode, but I will recap that all right here because it’s way way more convenient.
Caesar has found some old abandoned buildings and wants to go exploring. Ben, knowing what the buildings are, takes off into the jungle, and Sun follows him. Ben tells her that if she’s looking for Jin, she’ll likely have more luck on the main island, and oh, by the way, there are some handy outriggers just over here that I figure might still be there even though I have no idea what time this really is. Okie doke, says Sun, and then Lapidus shows up and there’s the usual couple of lines of “oh, are you sure about this?” and “Yes, I have to trust him” and then Ben is, not surprisingly, knocked upside the head. Again. That guy must have a steel plate up there, because there’s no way he doesn’t have brain damage by now.
Anywho, by the light of the moon, Sun and Lapidus take one of the outriggers over to the main island, and land at the old submarine dock. They make their way across the battered dock and hear Ol’ Smokey playing around in the bushes. Once Cerberus gets tired, they take a path that leads them over to New Otherton, which is in shambles after the mercs got all blast happy last season and then Ol’ Smokey had to come and eat ’em up. The wind blows through the ghost town and then a light comes on in one of the bungalows. Lo and behold, it’s a ghost! Well, close enough – Christian Shephard. He takes them into a house and shows them a photo of the 1977 Dharma recruits, which are, of course, Jack, Kate and Hurley. Then Christian tells the two that they have a bit of a journey ahead. Cue the …
Wait! Let’s jump back to 1977.
A whole bunch happens back in ’77, but let’s hit the highlights, shall we?
Sawyer meets Jack, Hurley and her at the bluff, and is dumbfounded. There’s a short-lived reunion before Sawyer has to hightail it back to the Dharma barracks for some clothes for the three. Juliet is there and wants to know what’s going on. Sawyer tells her who has come back to town and Juliet’s face drops. Yeah, we know you feel, babe. Juliet tells Sawyer that there’s a sub coming in that day and sets of to doctor the manifest.
Sure, honey, you go pick them up at the bluff … I’m going to go look for my gun, I MEAN, the sub manifest.
Meanwhile, Jin thinks that maybe the plane landed back in ’77, so he heads over to the Flame to check with Radzinsky. Yes, that Radzinsky. You know, the one that was partnered up with Kelvin down in the Swan for so many years until he blew his brains out? The guy that helped draw the blast door map? You know, that guy. Anyways, he’s there building – surprise, surprise – an architectural model of the geodesic dome that is built for the Swan computer room. Jin bursts in and wants to check radar logs, but Radzinsky isn’t happy. Jin doesn’t care, though, and gets all Korean mob hit man on the guy and throws him up against the wall.
Hey, crazy guy … whatcha building there? I like models.
Yes, kids, now you too can build your very own electromagnetic research and containment facility, with only simple household items.
Juliet goes to see Amy, who has just had her baby. She obviously can’t work, so it makes it a lot easier for Juliet to steal the sub manifests. Oh, and we find out that Amy and Horace’s baby is just Ethan. Yawn. She asks when Juliet and Mr. LaFleur are going to have a baby and Juliet says she doesn’t know, but the timing has gotta be right. Hah. Hahahahah. You see what she did there? Time travel humor cracks me up.
Over at the Flame, Jin and Radzinsky get a call on the batphone that someone has broken the Dharma perimeter. Jin tears ass through the brush and pulls his rifle on someone loping through the brush. It’s Sayid. He’s still handcuffed. Radzinsky is hot on Jin’s trail, though, so the two Oceanic survivors don’t have time to hug and catch up. Jin has no recourse but to take him prisoner as one of the Hostiles.
Sawyer gets Jack, Kate and Hurley up to speed on everything that’s going down, gives them some hip late-’70s fashions to put on, and drives them to the Dharma processing center. And here’s where the fun starts. First, Jack is processed by none other than Pierre Chang, who takes a look at his aptitude test results and summarily hands him a jumpsuit with “Workman” stitched on the breast. A heh. Hehehe. Hahahahhahahahah.
“I’m sorry … what does ‘Workman’ mean, exactly?”
Meanwhile, Kate’s getting the third degree from Phil, one of the watchmen we were introduced to in last episode. She’s starting to sweat bullets until Juliet shows up and hands over a revised manifest. Phil looks it over, gives Kate the hesitant stink-eye and leaves things alone. Juliet gives a nice, little diplomatic ‘fuck you’ grin to Kate and lets her know exactly who’s in charge around these parts.
“I’m sorry … did you have something to say to me? Because I’m all ears, missy.”
Sawyer heads back to the Flame, where he collects Sayid and transfers him to the Barracks. For the time being, Sayid is just going to have to remain a fake prisoner, until Sawyer can figure something out.
Later that night, Jack pays Sawyer a little visit in his bungalow. He’s greeted at the door by Juliet, and for a split second I see Jack grin like a school boy and I hate myself for liking him and then he comes on in and lights into Sawyer and he’s back to being good old Jackass, again. Whew, thank God. So, yeah, Jack does the usual Jack thing and demands to know what Sawyer has planned. Sawyer very calmly tells him to stick it where the sun don’t shine, saying that Jack always just reacted as a leader, and many people died because of it. If Jack had just stopped to think from time to time, things might have turned out differently. Then Sawyer shows him the door. Hell freaking yes. Like I said, one of the best episodes ever.
This week’s drink recipe celebrates the summer of ’77 – a jubilant time on the Island where ex-hippies could feel somewhat safe to continue their efforts to save the world. Back on the mainland, the economy was slowly falling apart, disco was becoming king and fashion was … well, we don’t talk about that. On the Island, though, everything and everyone was still free to be groovy, man.
- 1 oz. Rum
- 1/2 oz. Melon liquer
- 1/2 oz. Curacao, blue
- Splash of Grenadine
- Splash of Sour Mix
- Cold Sprite or 7-up
Put the rum, curacao and melon liquer in an iced shaker. Pour into a small rocks glass, then add the sour mix. Top it off with the Sprite. Just before drinking, grab the grenadine and add a few large drops to the top of the drink, right in the middle. Watch them fall down the drink, balloon at the bottom and create a psychedelic swirl at the bottom. Groovy. Grab your drink, yell GERONIMO, and turn it up. Repeat until you no longer need hallucinogens.
Sawyer lingers on the porch for a second, and there’s miss thang, standing by the porch light one bungalow down, working her homewrecker mojo. They give a little wave to each other and I just mutter “good grief.”
Back at the holding cell in the bottom of the barracks, Sayid is sitting patiently. A boy approaches with a bag and hands it to Sayid. He asks if Sayid is a hostile. Sayid simply asks the boy if he thinks Sayid is. Sayid introduces himself, and the boy does, as well. With no fanfare and not much surprise, his name is Ben.
Now cue the thonk!
For as much action and revelation as went on in this episode, there is surprisingly little to cover – or at least what there is to review isn’t terribly complicated. Shockingly, I don’t have any temporal diagrams or ley line maps, and I won’t be going into deep quantum theory. What we will talk a bit about, though, are some of the predestined time events going on, and the slippery slope our survivors are traversing in the past. Let’s get to it!
THE GANG’S ALL HERE
First and foremost, this episode managed to get most of the gang back together, albeit in another time. It finally felt like the old Lost, with Jack and Sawyer going at it again, Kate up to her old whoring shenanigans and Juliet being a sexy badass. The tables got turned on Sayid and he became the prisoner, with young Ben eagerly waiting to be the torturer’s apprentice. Only Sun – and Locke – were left out of the equation. The question is, why?
The easiest answer is that it makes the most sense for literary reasons. It creates a conflict wherein Jin and Sun are still looking for each other and that drives the story forward. However, within those same literary constructs we can also find some meaning, and what it means for the Island could be kind of shocking.
In my opinion, the reason that Sun and Locke are left behind is because they need to be in order for the Island to survive. By having the Oceanic survivors jump into the past, there seems to remain a risk that they might muck something up back there, and jeopardize their’s and the Island’s future. To fix what has gone wrong, someone has to remain in the present (2007) and they need to have a reason to want to get the others back. Out of all the Oceanic Six, Sun is that one person. She wants her family back together again, which is why she agreed to come back to the Island in the first place. She will stop at nothing to find Jin and a way back for him.
Locke was left behind, and subsequently resurrected, because he is the right hand of the Island. Locke is someone that will stop at nothing to fulfill his destiny and serve the Island by doing what’s needed. What will be needed is to get the others back from the past. Sun will need guidance, and Locke will be the guide. Ben was left behind, as well, which also makes sense. In one aspect, the Island has passed his mantle off to Locke, but the Island still needs him. Throughout their trials, Locke has been pushed to do what he needs to do mostly by Ben. Without Ben, Locke lacks a rudder, of sorts.
And, so, we have the three components the Island needs to set itself straight – the heart, the muscle and the catalyst. How it’s all going to go down, I can’t quite speculate just yet.
Another aspect of Locke and Sun being left behind could also have to do with “the list” from season two. You do remember the list, right? It was the one that Bea gave Michael so that he could bring back Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley to the Others in order to get Walt back.
Yeah, you all remember this.
At any rate, I always found it interesting that those four were the only ones on the list. In season three, it was revealed that Jack was brought there to perform surgery on Ben and Kate and Sawyer were brought in order to influence Jack. Well, I find it all a bit too convenient now that those four are the main survivors to be back in 1977, especially since there was a picture of three of them on one of the walls of the Dharma barracks that Ben and the Others had access to. The first “list” is the only one not to be attributed directly to anyone. It’s implied that Ben put it together, but subsequent lists were mentioned to have been put together by “him,” which is meant to imply Jacob. No matter who put the list together, it’s quite obvious that the Others would have some interesting inside information on at least Jack, Kate and Hurley. Of course, that is based on the assumption that the time travel that’s happening on the Island is pre-destined and not part of a self-correcting causality loop. Those particular theories are best saved for another day, however, as I need a little more evidence to make up my mind as to exactly which is occurring. Don’t worry, we’ll talk later; like any of you can make me shut up about temporal theory.
IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING
The previews for next week look like all hell breaks loose in the Dharma Initiative, and I can’t quite pin down any sort of precedent for the actions from clues in previous episodes. The blast door map is years from being made, as the Swan clearly hasn’t been built and Radzinsky isn’t keeping track of the downfall of the Initiative just yet. The “incident” – the fall of the entire Dharma Initiative – doesn’t occur for another few years, as we see Ben at the end of the episode and he’s still in his tweens. When Ben does obtain the nerve gas and eliminate Dharma, he appears to be in his early 20s, so there’s probably about ten years before the “incident.”
We do get a few clues to the history of Dharma, though. For one, we learn that Radzinsky developed the Swan and that he was worried that the Hostiles would not be happy with where they planned to build it. He was also worried that Sayid was a spy, so the “truce” may be in jeopardy. Richard also knows of the existence of Sawyer now, and his true identity and purpose. As for how that will shake out in the future remains to be seen.
The bottom line of all this, though, is that our crew have a few years before they have to worry about dying at the hands of young Ben.
THE GHOST AND MRS. KWON
So I rarely go out in the wild Internet in search of easter eggs and theories and whatnot, but I just couldn’t resist this week. I was sitting there watching the episode, and Sun and Lapidus were being shown around by the ghost of Christian Shephard, and the camera pans around to Sun and, there, back in the darkness, was a person! I swear I saw someone. I had to back up the DVR about 20 times before I got a clear look, but I know I saw what I saw. This wasn’t the “cardboard cut-out ghost” from Three Men and a Baby, either, this was an actual person.
Anyway, I couldn’t get a clear enough shot on my own, so I went looking around the Internet. Lo and behold, others had seen it, too. Here’s an enhanced shot with what I’m talking about.
Okay, so it looks a bit like a Klingon in a band t-shirt, but whatever.
It may be an illusion, or someone on the set, or it could be a manifestation of Ol’ Smokey. Or it could be Claire. Or … it could be a Klingon in a band t-shirt. I don’t know. All I know is that I saw something and I’m not crazy. Did anyone else catch it, too?
That about wraps it up for this week. There’s more we could discuss, but we’ll have more time next week after things get blowed up a little bit around the Dharma camp. In the meantime, if you come across anything or have an epiphany, don’t be shy. Tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.