Mar 19 2009 12:07am

Lost Round Table: “Namaste”

We continue with our round-table discussions of Lost. This week, we’re joined by Bridget McGovern, Theresa DeLucci and Melissa Frain. As always, spoilers abound, so stay away from this post if you haven’t watched the latest episode of Lost, “Namaste.”

Melissa: I am getting utterly spoiled by all of these phenomenal episodes. Absolutely loved tonight, despite the fact that Richard Alpert did not appear even once. Many thoughts, many questions...

First, Sawyer continues to amaze and impress, even while keeping his shirt on 100% of the time. I’m thrilled with his new role on the island, and especially loved the bit at the end when he asked Jack if he was relieved, and Jack answered that he was. The new Sawyer exudes some serious power and authority; I have to say, I’d feel relieved if I knew he was taking care of everything, too. Somehow I don’t think Sayid shares my sentiments, though...

The parts in the present are a little difficult for me. It’s tough for me to orient myself properly because I now think of the 70s as the present, and when they jump back to the future I cannot for the life of me keep straight who is where and what could be happening elsewhere on the island. That said, when Christian came out of the house, something clicked into place. I knew it would be him as soon as the light went on (and maybe that rustling in the trees—smoke monster?—also gave me a little hint). The whole bit with Christian pulling the Dharma photo off the wall was incredible. Loved. It. So...where is Claire? 

Also, backtracking a little...I had major flashbacks to season one when Frank was talking to the new survivors. It felt a lot like when Jack was stepping up and trying to keep everybody calm. Is it just me or was Sun totally looking around with this bored expression like “I’ve heard all this before...”? I was amused, either way.

All that was great, but I think the most interesting tidbit of the episode for me was...the baby is Ethan!!! I did not see that coming, but here it is, and now I have a ton more questions. If Ethan was born on the island to Dharma parents when Ben is a kid, that means he is already around when Ben grows up and wipes the whole community out. Why, then, is Ethan spared? Are others from the DI spared as well? I always had the impression that Ben (and only Ben) was working secretly with the hostiles to wipe out Dharma. Was Ethan (and others?) also involved in the plan? If so, he joins the parent-killing group. What could they have done to make him turn on them and conspire with the hostiles? I mean, we know Ben’s story, we know he could give a shit about his dad...but what else is going on here? And if he’s not part of the conspiracy, how does he survive?

Taking that a step further...who is part of the Dharma Initiative when Ben wipes them out? Are our heroes and heroines part of the group that is killed and dumped in the pit? I have a near uncontrollable urge, as usual, to watch past episodes and obsessively stare at the skeletons in the pit for clues.

I could probably gush about the numerous reveals and hints and so on all night (that kid is Ben! Faraday is around somewhere but we’ve got no clue where! Somebody has managed to finish building the runway that Kate and Sawyer were forced to work on last season!)...but I’ll leave it there for now.

Bridget:Tonight’s episode was like a magical journey through a veritable Candyland of Awesomeness. I really don’t think there’s any other way of describing it. First, we got to see the plane crash, in which Frank “Sully Sullenberger” Lapidus crash-lands on one of the smaller islands off the coast of the main Island. Turns out Ben’s still there, with The Creepy turned up to eleven, as is Sun—why was she not Raptured back into the Seventies like the rest of the Oceanic Six? Is it because she’s super badass and evil now?...Because she is. She is exactly one sinister goatee away from being her own evil twin, and it’s amazing.

I enjoyed the Revelation Recap Exchange between Seventies Sawyer, Seventies Jin, and Jack, Kate, and Hurley. “Hey, so Locke’s dead.” “What? Oh no! By the way, welcome to 1977.” As usual, Hurley’s commentary was one of the best parts of the episode. I love how often the writers seem to make him the mouthpiece for the audience and fans—not just in his sincere, yet vaguely snarky observations, but also in his desire to get a straight, logical answer once in awhile. When he reacted to the fact that Sawyer and Company are now part of the Dharma Initiative with, “ do realize that you all get wiped out?”, I wanted to high-five him. I did not (since that would be weird).

There was so much going on in this episode, but the standout moments included Dr. Pierre Chang telling Jack that he’s only qualified to be a janitor, the fact that Amy and Horace Goodspeed plan to name their baby Ethan (!!!), and of course, the fact that little doofus child-Ben is on the Island in 1977, unwittingly feeding sandwiches to his once-and-future nemesis Sayid. We know that Faraday is no longer part of the Dharma initiative, but also that he’d theorized specific rules for what could and could not be changed by the Time Traveling contingent...I doubt he’s dead. Maybe just crazy, holed up in a cave somewhere, scribbling equations on the wall and babbling about Charlotte? That seems about right.

And finally, we’ve got Evil Sun and Lapidus back on the seemingly-abandoned main Island with Christian Shephard (and maybe the Smoke Monster). I’m wondering where Locke is going to fit back into this mix—is he in the same place and time as Sun and Lapidus? Next week seems to focus mainly on the competition between the Seventies survivors; it seems likely that Locke might meet up with Sun and Christian while everybody else is off playing Dazed and Confused in the jungle. Besides, Sawyer and Jack need to work out their lame alpha-male tensions before we throw Locke back into the mix, right?

Theresa: Yep, another good episode, especially for Sawyer fans. Jim (don’t call him James) has become the kind of man I think Kate knew was inside of all that Southern bluster. But it’s that first leap off the helicopter last season, and away from Kate, that put him in this new position of power in the first place. Now that Kate’s back, I think it’s a real test to the new Jim. But wasn’t it a classic Sawyer move to get jobs for the returning castaways and make Jack a janitor? Ha! I still always think of Dr. Pierre Chang as Dr. Marvin Candle. Jack looked mildly amused to be meeting a real live Dharma movie star.

I know a lot of people don’t like Juliet, but I feel really bad for her. Kate’s smug face can make me want to tell her to shut up before she even says a word. Was that a disappointed look she gave Sawyer at the end? Juliet is just not fated to be in a happy relationship. Which is too bad because I think she’s smarter and less annoying than Kate.

I had to look away from the plane scene. I am such a wuss. I only hope my next flight has a pilot as slick as Lapidus. His blue eyes just kill me and I love that he kind of took over the leader role of the Ajira folk. Jeff Fahey is such a great character actor and I like that he’s traveling around the island with Sun and meeting Christian.

So, Sayid. If anyone is hardcore enough to kill a child, it’s him. But young Ben is so painfully sad-looking. Will it come to that, Sayid killing Ben before he can poison the Dharma folk and cause so many problems in the future? Or will Sayid help Ben kill them, so he and his friends can escape?

Yes, Locke is in Sun’s time, looking over the unconscious Ben. Get back to Locke!

1. jere7my
There's one obvious way for Ethan to wind up with the Others: the Others steal babies. I expect we're going to see the truce broken soon.
Bridget McGovern
2. BMcGovern
For the record, I've come to like Juliet much more than I used to over the last season, but I certainly don't feel badly for her. She can hold her own against Kate when it's time to throw down, as we've seen, and she's capable of being pretty sinister, if not totally amoral. In many ways, she's the least-wussiest member of the Jack-Kate-Sawyer-Juliet attraction rhombus. I'm not saying she doesn't have some tragic aspects to her backstory, but who doesn't? I just think she's a little more Lady MacBeth than she is hapless soap opera heroine (and god, I hope she gets to smack Kate around some more). For what it's worth, the few moments of Kate-Juliet tension were far more interesting to me than the larger Jack-Sawyer role-reversal aspect of the episode.
3. Swede
I'm from Sweden. I've just watched this amazing episode of Lost. And I'm lost and alone. You see, in Sweden the channel that brings us Lost has just showed the first episode of this season, "Because you left", that originally aired on January 21. It's like I'm in an episode of Lost, with my friends still stuck in January. Confusing? Yes, you bet. My friends constantly tell me to shut up. Spoilers are the black smoke monster of our lives. I think my friends fear and envy me now. I have the power to destroy their expectations. When they talk about Lost I simply smile, and it's a knowing smile. Makes me feel like Benjamin Linus. Not a good feeling, but there you have it. But when I'm browsing the web I feel normal again. It's March. Early springtime. The birds are singing outside my window. Everything's back to normal.

I simply loved this episode. The acting was brilliant. Sawyer now comes as across as a natural born leader. Poor Jack is bewildered, and a janitor at that. Sun is cold and calculating. And thanks to the actors these changes are utterly believable. We got some answers, too. And some chills. We know that the Dharma folk will be exterminated to the man courtesy of young Benjamin Linus. And our heroes are now part of the Dharma Initiative... Ethan, yes, as Jere7my pointed out above: The Others have a nasty habit of stealing babies and infants, probably due to the difficulties of procreating on the Island.

Great stuff! I think Lost will go down in television history and the characters will be archetypes. "Oh, come on, don't be such a Kate" and similar phrases will be heard, I think.
Joe Sherry
4. jsherry
Melissa: I don't think that Jack was relieved that Sawyer was claiming authority. Jack doesn't entirely trust Sawyer not to look out for his own interests. Sawyer was hissing anger at Jack (which was beautiful). Jack gave the only anger he could. Jack, I think, also has control-issues.

I think Faraday is off the island. I thought at first he was "recruiting", but Faraday would never be in that role. Unless he's with the Others, but I can't see that either.
Rajan Khanna
5. rajanyk
I agree - great episode. I loved seeing Sawyer in charge and coming up with the answers. I love Sawyer and Juliet now and I still don't like Jack or Kate. Regarding Jack vs. Sawyer, Sawyer is one of the characters on the show that's demonstrated an impressive amount of growth - he's miles away (and decades) from where he started. Jack, on the other hand, is still whiny and controlling and his coping mechanism has been shown to be wallowing in his own misery, booze and pills.

I really hope that Kate comes calling on Sawyer and he shuts the door in her face. She has to be my least favorite character.

The Ethan and Ben moments were cool. I was thinking that maybe Ethan and Ben become close and so Ethan is spared, but the theory that Ethan might be stolen is a good one.

I, too, can't figure out why Sun, out of all of them, didn't end up in the past. I'm hoping that at some point we get some time-delayed communication between the two groups. I thought the picture was a great touch.

Finally, I'm wondering what consequences Sayid being there is going to cause. Will it accelerate the breakdown in relations between Dharma and the Hostiles? Is that what kicks off the machinery that leads to the Purge?

I'm enjoying this season so much. And it will be a much needed salve once Battlestar ends.
Melissa Frain
6. frainmelissa
@ jere7my

Ah! Duh! How did I not think of that?


Interesting...I'll have to watch it back, but I like the idea of Jack actually being relieved not to have to be the one to lead everybody. The whole control freak thing gets old after awhile, though it would admittedly be more in tune with the character.
7. Kiley
I hate to think that Juliet, like her namesake, is doomed to unhappiness. I like her and I like that she and Sawyer are together, because I like Sawyer's character growth and his reasoning skills.

Jack, on the other hand (and I'm hearing some agreement) is just annoying. I always find myself enjoying characters that are directly opposed with Jack, aka: Sawyer and Locke. He really has this sickening need to control other peoples' lives and when Sawyer threw that "and look how it turned out for ya" thing in his face, I was like, "In your face, Doc!"

I think Faraday may have tried to find some way to save Charlotte, perhaps by not letting her leave the island ever. Maybe he's ignoring his own rules of meddling in time. But, Baby Ethan and Child Ben were definitely my favorite parts of this episode. And if Sayid does kill Child Ben, will adult Ben just diappear in 2004? Somehow, I don't think he will kill him.

Somehow I think Sun and Locke can still get to the rest of their friends in 77 (which, by the way, seven is a very significant number in many ways), because Christian said they have a long journey ahead of them.

Yeah - this was a great episode and I'm really excited for the next.
8. Mr Wesley
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Ethan is much, MUCH more important than we originally thought.

He was killed, what, halfway into the first season? Yet, like an unwanted cat, he KEEPS COMING BACK. He shows in pivotal moments of flashbacks, and now he's referenced for the second time this season.

To me, it's obvious that Ethan will help Ben betray the Dharma Initiative. We know that Ben was away from camp with his father. SOMEBODY had to deactivate the sonic fence and let the hostiles in.

Personally, I think the writers are setting us up for something, because keeps showing up. At this point, I'm expecting Ethan to be a primary factor in the last season. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he's connected to Jacob.
Mitchell Downs
9. Beamish
There were a few other lore revelations in this episode.

1 - Waaaay back in start of Season 3 while captives of the Others, Kate and Sawyer were working the rock pile on Hydra Station Island, making big rocks into small rocks and spreading it around. it came out (either in the episode or through the Producer Podcasts) that they were building a runway.

That whole revelation means that certain things from the future have clearly informed the past. Someone leading the Others knew that Ajira 314 was going to land on an ersatz runway and had to build it.

2 - RADZINSKY! The same slightly off and paranoid guy running The Flame Station and making models of the Swan Station (which was first called "The Hatch") will someday be trapped in The Swan with Kelvin Inman post-purge, pushing the button and making black-light-only visible maps of the Island. He eventually took a shotgun and made a Jackson Pollock painting of his brains on the ceiling of The Hatch while Inman "rescues" Desmond and brings him to the Hatch.

3 - The Others clearly never returned to the Dharma Barracks (New Otherton) in the three years since the incident with the Freighter. Have they returned to living in the jungle? Has something happened to them? What have they been doing for the last three years?
Joe Sherry
10. jsherry
How old was Ben when the Purge happened? I see it being a good 10yrs away.
Rajan Khanna
11. rajanyk
@ Beamish Good call on the runway.

I noticed the other two things you mentioned. I didn't remember everything about Radzinsky, but did recognize the name from Kelvin.

As to the Others, Ben signaled them on the way to the Orchid, right? I wonder what he told them.

How many episodes do we have left? I love this show.
Dave Thompson
12. DKT
8 episodes left. And this episode was another fantastic outing.

Interesting thing about Sawyer vs. Jack. "Look how that turned out for ya!" Didn't Ben say something extremely similar to Lapidus? Creepy.

Everything about Sun/Lapidus/Christian Shepherd was fantastic. And I'm very soft on Juliet these days, much moreso than Kate (which is a turn for me). But I'm very worried that Juliet, like her namesake, is kind of doomed.

I love Sawyer being the man with the plan - the Han Solo of LOST. That said, I *do* think Jack is growing quite a bit in these last few episodes, too. I think he's starting to be okay with not having all the answers. While he was on the bluff waiting for Sawyer to return, Kate asked him something like, "So it's the 70s. What now?" And he said "I don't know yet." Then, he basically deferred to Sawyer at the end of the episode. So I'm good with the direction Jack is growing (love him being a janitor!) especially with LaFleur running things.
Troy Lissoway
13. Troylis
Did you catch Juliet letting Kate hang in the wind during processing? A none-too-subtle way of letting Ms. Austin know that she had better watch her step around Sawyer…

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