Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2.21 ?

Follow along! The episode guide for “?” is in Finding Lost, pp. 305-312.

Eko flashbacks are pretty much second only to Locke’s, in my opinion. I think Adewale is a fantastic actor, and I’m really sad his character isn’t around anymore (the actor has expressed interest in returning for season 6, to which I say to the writers, “Make it so!!”) This is a great episode, with the Pearl station being found, and there’s that wonderful brief moment where Locke’s faith is restored, and he excitedly helps Eko open the hatch… only to watch the video and we see his faith come crashing down all around him, which will lead to his fateful decision in the finale.

Fun things I noticed:
• I’m pretty sure I mentioned all of this in the Raised by Another write-up (or somewhere… I know we’ve all discussed it recently) but Living Dead Girl’s name is Charlotte, linking her to our favourite redhead on the island, who died moments before the island stopped jumping, which would have saved her.
• The father at the church chooses Eko to investigate the miracle because he’s the one who doesn’t believe. He needs to make him believe, and that’s one of the ongoing things throughout the series – take the person who will be the biggest challenge, and change their perspective. Jack has gone from Mr. Practical Science Guy to dropping a hydrogen bomb because a fairy told him to do it. Or something. Hurley believed he was cursed, and then realized he could change his fate. Most of the characters straddle the line between faith and free will, even though they keep toppling momentarily to one side or the other.
• Eko asks John if he’s ever followed a dream, and the answer is yes… to the same Beechcraft. That Beechcraft spot has become a crazy powerful spot on the island – it’s where Boone died and Locke lost his faith, it’s where Eko found his brother, where Charlie found the drugs, where Locke admitted to Sayid that he’d clocked him in the head, where Locke regained his faith and then lost it again, where Locke was shot by Ethan, where Locke was sitting when Not-Locke was watching him from the jungle and the Richard Alpert time-traveling moment happened, where Not-Locke tells Ben to admit to never having seen Jacob, and where Paolo used the bathroom.
• For me, "I'm sorry I forgot the blankets" might be the saddest line on Lost. I well up before Hurley delivers it, knowing that it's coming. :(
• I was surprised when this first ran that many people didn’t see the question mark in the field below – I remember getting a lot of emails from people saying, “I don’t get it. What did Eko see when he got up on the cliff?”Admittedly, they do flash it pretty quickly:

Things that have new meaning:
• Ana Lucia and Yemi both tell Eko to help John Locke, because he has lost his way. It’s as if the island/Jacob/Man in Black needs him to believe again to get him back on track so he can fulfill his destiny… i.e., what happened in S5.
• Eko tells John they have to wait for further instructions, which is the name of the episode in season 3 where Locke, after the Swan blast, awaits instructions from the island on how to find Eko.
• Malkin says there are no miracles to be had, and adds, “Not in this world, anyway.” Eko presumably meets with him right before getting on the plane. At the same time, Malkin is getting Claire onto the plane and harassing her day and night. When he first sensed something was off with her baby, it was probably 6 or 7 months earlier. Is he really a fraud?? Or is he trying to keep Eko away from him? Or is he just being sarcastic and saying, “My wife knows I’m a fraud,” meaning his wife BELIEVES him to be one? If he’s a fraud to make money, then handing Claire her money back isn’t exactly in keeping with what he does. So when he adds, “Not in this world, anyway,” is that an indication that he needs to send Claire to “another world” to make the miracle of Aaron happen?


Marebabe said...

Richard Malkin is one of the most puzzling and contradictory characters on Lost, and I'm so looking forward to finding out all about him (I hope) in S6.

Nikki, I never noticed the octagon ceiling of The Pearl before. If you hadn't chosen that wide shot to illustrate this evening's rewatch post, I might never have noticed it! So, thanks!

humanebean said...

I love the brief flashes of Eko's past that appear in his dream right after AL tells him to help Locke. These flashes are very similar to the ones we see reflected in Smokey when he comes face to face with Eko... more suggestion that it is the Man in Black who is causing these visions and here urging Eko to keep Locke on the path to fulfilling his "destiny" - or at least the one that the MIB has for him ....

Gillian Whitfield said...

The only episode that I like better than this one in season 2 is "Lockdown".

The scene where they see AL dead, and then Libby coughs up blood all over Sawyer, scared me so much the first time I saw it (and it still does!). The last time I saw this episode, that part made me jump even though I knew it was coming.

Eko is one of my favourite characters and I would LOVE to see him back on again in season 6.

celandinehaleth said...

I noticed Eko limping like Locke in Locke's dream, as mentioned in you notes. Having a dream as if you are another person is one of the oddest things I've heard of. I am guessing the limp was to indicate that it was Locke dreaming. I'm not sure I understood that originally.

Yes, having Adewale back would really make season 6 a prize. I'm pretty much up for anyone to return excpt Nickie and Paulo! I was pleased to see Adewale in "Monk" a couple of weeks ago. I guess the projects he gave up LOST for did not pan out.

Fred said...

Actually, the question mark above the plane isn't a question mark. Trace it with your mouse, and you'll see a faint connection making it a circle. It looks like a question mark because of the burnt out portion of the plane's tail end.

While we are on symbols, I noticed the Swan logo looks a lot like the yin-yang symbol, only no dots inside each swirl (I'm sure most everyone has seen this).

Notice what Yemi says to Eko, "There are many distractions brother, but what is done is done. Do you understand?" When Eko says "yes," Yemi smiles in a really sinister way. But that whole line of Yemi's is wierd. What are the distractions? The Swan itself? Ben didn't seem too interested in it.

And Jack is just Jack!!! Ugh!!! There's Libby needing attention, Jack is the only doctor among the survivors, and he wants to go after Ben!!! Good for Sawyer bringing some sense into the situation. Then, later, Jack wants Sawyer to get a Mother Mary statue, and he wants Kate to go with Sawyer. When Sawyer explains it to Kate, the look in her eyes is one of disgust for Jack--at a time like this, Jack is still playning this game with Sawyer, using Libby's fatal condition and knowing Sawyer will lead Kate to the statues and the guns.

One thing. Sawyer said he could get the statues in 20 minutes. Then when we see him and Kate its broad daylight on the beach. I thought it was night in the hatch.

Finally, back to the "?". It remineded me of Bernards "SOS" and his hope it would be seen from above. So who is looking down on the "?"? Also Ben said God doesn't see the island, then who is looking down? I don't think this is the Dharma pilots dropping food.

Also why do the Pearl's outer doors have handles, but when John and Eko open them the inside of the doors do not? You wouldn't be able to open them from the inside. And I also like John's line after seeing the video, that they are rats in a maze without cheese. Kinda like Faraday's rat, Eloise (a rat in a maze without cheese).

The Question Mark said...

i liked this episode so much, i named myself after it! LOL (Seriously, it's one of the most awesome and enigmatic episode names for anything, ever)

Richard malkin is indeed still quite a mystery to us. here's hoping me see more of him AND Mistuh Eko in Season 6. Maybe Eko will return saying, "It let me live. The monstuh let me live."

Marebabe said...

@Fred: Your comment about not being able to open the doors to The Pearl from the inside gave me the creeps real bad! Didn't the orientation video for The Pearl say that a tour of duty there would last three weeks? Rats in a maze, indeed! I never considered before how difficult it would've been for the DI to get volunteers for that gig. So it appears that unwilling subjects were incarcerated there. Maybe they only received food in exchange for completely filled notebooks. Brrr! Did I mention the creeps? I don't think I like the Dharma Initiative very much.

Loretta said...

@Marebabe: Couldn't agree more about Richard Malkin. I feel similarly about Eko as well, who I'm still trying to puzzle out years later.

Generally - love the resignation/regret/irony in Locke's voice when he said that Boone was a sacrifice the island demanded, compared to the conviction in his voice in season 1.

And in the end, Locke himself becomes a similar sacrifice.

Susan said...

re Malkin: The first time I watched this episode I thought he was saying his wife said he was a fraud. His dialogue doesn't quite support that idea though. But his whole behavior with Claire suggests he is legit, and some of this would have happened before he met Eko.

John and Eko at the Pearl is so well-acted, written, and directed.

In the second dream, where John is dreaming himself as Eko, when Yemi tells Eko/John not to wake up John, you can see John's eyes moving in REM sleep, which is the dreaming sleep. I did not catch this when I first saw it, but later, knowing it was Locke's dream, the moving eyes really struck me. Excellent attention to detail.

JS said...

To echo everyone else, this is one of my favorite episodes. Yemi in these dreams is definitely different than the Yemi echo speaks to in earlier visions.

What I love about the Eko character is the way he is completely convinced, and has no doubts, about what he is supposed to do. He is bored by anything that does not advance him toward his goal, both in Sydney and on the island. This comes across when he is in the confessional, when Charlie balks at bringing him his things, when Locke gives up. I probably have mentioned this in previous posts but I just love the way he just doesn't care what others think about what he is doing. Locke is a little manipulative when he tells Eko that he is a "slave" to the button, figuring an African may have some reaction to that. Eko just rolls his eyes and keeps on. For me, I guess I'm kind of like that guy mesmerized by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the T-mobile commercial - "I like it when (Eko) says things". :)

All these visions must be Smokey because Eko didn't know AL was shot, and Locke doesn't know what Yemi looks like. I think the only way these could have come in a dream is if "someone" put them there.

@Fred - I assumed the distractions were the murders and subsequent chase.

@marebabe and @susan - I agree - I think Richard Malkin said what Eko needed to hear to get on the plane. I do not think he is a fraud.

Random thoughts:
- Why is Libby the one that interrupts Eko and Charlotte at the airport? (continuing obsession with Libby)
- What kind of nick name is Hurley - did I miss something? (continuing obsession with Hugo)
- The tape from the pearl was dated 1980, but Candle's arm is fine??
- Do we know how Eko ended up in Sydney in the first place?
- Sawyer manages to get three nicknames into one sentence - gimpy mcknee, little amigo, and my fav, the artist formerly known as Henry Gale. I do laugh when he says the "doc" is the closest thing he has to a friend, re: telling him about "getting caught in a net" with AL.

R.S said...

I wanted to post about the supposed question mark in the field by the fallen plane but Fred beat me too it.

I was surprised when this first ran that many people didn’t see the question mark in the field below – I remember getting a lot of emails from people saying, “I don’t get it. What did Eko see when he got up on the cliff?”Admittedly, they do flash it pretty quickly:

Like he said it's not a ? it's a target as in a circle with another solid circle in it's center as in like the retail store's logo as per the the episodes transcript:

[We see Eko tasting some dirt in the circle area.]

EKO: It's salty.

LOCKE: What?

EKO: The earth. It's been salted so that nothing can grow.

LOCKE: Why would any want to salt -- there's nothing here.

EKO: I believe they made a circle -- a target -- so that this place can be seen from up above.

Nikki Stafford said...

Fred and R.S.: I actually don't see the circle. I see a question mark, one that doesn't just have the plane as a dot, but would have had the Pearl station as its dot (as in, a Pearl is round, and symbolically it would have been the dot at the bottom of the question mark). If you look closely at the picture, you can see where it curves on the left side that it's grass, and the salt only turned the earth brown partway. It's not a complete circle.

Eko refers to it as a circle because it probably would have been unwieldy to have called it a "half circle." But the episode is called ? or "Question Mark", the blast door map had a question mark in the middle of it, Locke's map (which we were shown repeatedly) had a question mark on it... I don't think it's a circle. But that's just what I see. :) I think different people see different things in it.

Hmm... is it like an inkblot? Does that say something about me that I see a question mark?? ;)

Robbie said...

When I rewatched this episode I came up with this crazy theory, I've been waiting to post it and here I go:

I've been wondering what the purpose of the dreams that prompted Locke to become obsessed with opening the hatch, when there was no real longstanding resolution to him opening it. After opening it he pushed the button for a while then decided to stop and the whole world was exploding, then desmond used the failsafe.

I'm one of the people that think the smoke monster is the dude from The Incident who wanted Jacob dead. My theory is he for some reason needed the failsafe to be pressed. I'm undecided why he would need it, but it seems that Locke had all these signs to open the hatch in season 1 and all these signs in season 2 not to push the button, which is conflicting.

In this episode Eko has dreams telling him to take John to the Pearl station. The only thing that accomplished was completely destroying Locke's faith in the button, which prompted him to destroy the computer when Desmond shows up, the only one who knows about the failsafe. The failsafe would only ever be used if the button could not be pushed, which is something Locke did due to these dreams.

I bet Jacob's nemesis is somehow able to give people visions or dreams, just as the smoke monster is able to turn into people from your past.

The dreams seem to indicate that John had to get inside the hatch and had to do things to get the failsafe used.

Also it has been confirmed that the whole plane dream was to get Boone to die so John would bang on the hatch, preventing Desmond from killing himself, but it also renewed his quest to get into the hatch, which he succeeds.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: dropping a hydrogen bomb because a fairy told him to do it. Or something.

HA! Oh my werd that cracked me up!

I've always thought that Malkin really was a fraud, which is why, when he sees things with Claire it unsettles him so much. He doesn't usually get anything and so when the real thing happens to him he has to follow it through because it is haunting him. jmo.

Yemi saying "What is done is done" is yet another example of the whole what happened, happened thing. I hadn't realized how often this theme came up even before the time travel insanity.

I found it quite interesting the way Sawyer goes right to Libby while Kate runs to AL. Sawyer is very tender with Libby. Awwwww...

And someone please tell me why it took them so freakin' long to get Hurley!? It bothers me every time I see this episode. Everyone knew about their growing relationship. Someone should have run for him first thing - it's not like there weren't enough people standing around.

John: "It's not my hatch" once again distancing himself, losing faith - so very different from just a few episodes ago and when he says Boone was a sacrifice the Island demanded, it's like a trigger response. He doesn't mean it anymore, but it's what he says.

I really, really, really love the "life and death" theme. It makes me sad/happy every time I hear it.

And I absolutley love the way Sawyer comes over to comfort Kate. It's just a very sweet moment.

And Hurley. Wow. Stellar performances from the entire cast in this episode.

Teebore said...

I am man enough to admit I well up every time I watch the "sorry I forgot the blankets" scene.

This is definitely one of the highlights of the season. It will be interesting to see how season six impacts this episode in light of NotLocke's agenda and the nature of the island's visions.

I also really hope Malkin's deal is explained at some point. It's one of those "not integral to the main story but still nagging" mysteries for me.

when when we see him and Kate its broad daylight on the beach. I thought it was night in the hatch.

I wondered about this too when I re-watched it. So Hurley and Libby are going on a picnic...say it's early evening when Michael shoots everyone. Jack comes across a revived Michael a few hours later, maybe around midnight. Then he sends Sawyer for the heroin and it's daylight on the beach. And Hurley has spent apparently the entire evening waiting for Libby to return w/the blankets? Did he just assume she stood him up?

Is there anyway this isn't a massive continuity error?

The tape from the pearl was dated 1980, but Candle's arm is fine??

I'd be willing to chalk this up to an error, except that the film w/the damaged arm was shown before the tape w/the good arm (if it was an error, I'd expect it to be the other way around). Is it a sign of Jughead changing things, and somehow a tape from reality B is in the Pearl while film from reality A is in the Swan?

Jenn said...

Remember in a later episode, some losties find a pile of tubes containing notebooks from the Peral in the middle of nowhere. Do you think the DI had any interest in what the notebooks contained? It gave me the idea that the Pearl wasn't all it appeared to be!

J.W. said...

The finding of all those notebooks later is something I always think of when rewatching this episode, too.

Regarding Malkin, I love when he comes running out, because its dramatic to see him again, and I agree with everyone that it only makes sense that he's the real deal and must be lying about being a fraud. It's a scene with a lot of layers that do not yet understand.

I'm surprised Nikki didn't beat up on poor Jack some more for this episode, because she really does love to pick on him, but Fred filled the gap. ;) Perhaps Nikki decided it was like shooting fish in a barrel.

I love this episode. AAA (Eko) is incredible, and it was too bad he had to leave the show. Jorge is fabulous as well, with some of his best acting.