The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “Dr. Linus”

Questions and discussion about the latest episode of Lost: “Dr. Linus.”

Ah, that’s more like it!  This episode made my day–and I’ll explain more about why on Monday.  For now, let’s mull over these questions, shall we?

Let’s call this season “Greatest Hits.”  So far, we’ve been to the hatch (although it was a little, erm, exploded), the Barracks, the caves, and, this episode, the beach camp, the Dharma sub, and the Black Rock.  Plus, Smokey went and told us that we’d be hanging out with him and his buddies at the Hydra Station soon.

Question 1: What classic Lost location would you like to return to before the season is out?  I’m quite positive we’ll be seeing the frozen donkey wheel again, but the place I’d really love to see, if only for a second, is the “pile of notebook-filled canisters where the pneumatic tubes end.”

Question 2: So, whose lips wobbled when Ben said, “Because he’s the only one who will have me”?  Come on.  Raise your hands.  Don’t be ashamed.  (For the record, my notes read: “Ben!  WAAAHH!”  Not that I could see what I was writing.  I had, um, something…sniff…in my eye.)  And for those of you who aren’t buying Linus’s transformation into epic woobie, why aren’t you buying it?

Question 3: So Miles FINALLY got something meaningful to do in this episode.  Welp, I guess he’s a goner now.  So, is Miles going to receive a karmic death for stealing Nikki and Paulo’s diamonds or what?

Question 4: Widmore!  Okay, that’s not really a question, but… Widmore!  He’s here!  He’s made his way to the Island!  What do you think’s going to happen?  Will he join up with Crazy Jack and His Island Boppers?  Why did Jacob want him to come to the Island, anyway?  And where are Penny and Desmond?!  For GOD’S SAKE — WHERE ARE PENNY AND DESMOND?!

Question 5: I can’t come up with a good question about Richard. Can YOU?

See you on Monday.

26 Comments on “The Overthinking Lost Open Thread: “Dr. Linus””

  1. Melissa D. #

    1: I wouldn’t mind a revisit to the Arrow station, where the tail-enders were found. Or maybe we could see Yemi’s beechcraft again?

    2: I seriously cried. At that point, and when he made the decision to pick Alex over the principal job. Made my heart flutter it was so sweet.

    3: Yeah, I think Miles is a dead man. Or I think he might switch over to the other side, simply based on the Lost Supper. Between the two images, Claire and Miles were the only two to switch sides in the photoshoot, so… Maybe he’ll join up with Smokey and end up being killed by Ilana or something.

    4: My thoughts exactly. WIDMORE WIDMORE WIDMORE! When they were looking at the island through the periscope and Widmore told him to keep the course, I felt worried that they were going to bomb the island or something like that. Or torpedo it. Or something. I know nothing about submarines or their weaponry. I think we’ll see Penny and Desmond soon. I hope at least. :(

    5: Will he ever be allowed to die?


  2. Eric #

    1. I have nothing particular in mind.

    2. My actual words: “Oh… BEN!” Ben has been my favorite character since season 4, and now that he’s a good guy I root for him even harder.

    3. I think the writers like miles too much to kill him off haphazardly. If he dies, he’ll die like Charlie, with everybody heartbroken.

    4. They’ve hit me with so many cliffhangars over the years, I’m not even concerned with this one. Presumably, they’ll tell me when they’re good and gosh-darned ready.

    5. How will he react to to the new and improved ben?


  3. Bob #

    First thing I have to say – am I the only one who loved the Nikki and Paulo episode. I loved the non-sequitor style of it.

    Now for this Episode:

    Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW!

    Yesterdays episode was, in my humbile opinion, the best episdoe of LOST. Period.

    Let me put it this way, I own the first two seasons on DVD and have only watched 2 episodes twice – The Pilot and The Moth. I’ve done this on purpose, because I want to re-watch them in total. I didn’t delete the episode after watching it last night because I know I want to watch it again this weekend.

    If Michael Emerson doesn’t win an Emmy for this episode, either there are some great episodes later or no justice in the world. He out did Christoph Waltz as the best acting I’ve seen in a while.

    And back to what everyone wants and not my incoharent ramblings –
    1) LOST locations – Where Juliet performed the surgeries
    2) At the time, I was floored with the acting but was hoping this Ben found redemption and Side-Ben was going to screw over Alex. I know, I’m a jerk.
    3) Agree with Eric, Miles was put in to replace Charlie. He’ll be here for a few more weeks, I’d bet the over on 6 episodes.
    4) I thought the sub was at first Lockelganger going to Hydra, smoke in the water style. When I saw the periscope I was hoping it was Widmore.
    5) Richard – so awesome. FINALLY answers.


  4. stabbim #

    My question about Richard: was his pre-suicide soliloqy about following a man who said he had answers only to become disillusioned (and Jack’s dynamite trick response) meant as a meta-textual exchange between the show’s viewers and its creators?

    Maybe not OTI-worthy, but the only thing I could think of that wasn’t strictly plot-related.


  5. carly #

    Can anyone remember if Jacob touched Ilana in her Jacob-flashback too? Or just put his hand on the bed?


  6. pFranks #

    @stabbim YES! the moment i saw it i thought “i know what this character is talking about, i understand how he feels, and i can relate”. and that doesn’t happen often with this show

    also, unrelated, am i the only one wondering what was Alex doing in LA? i mean, wasn’t she the doughter of a French man and a French woman, who were part of a French scientific expedition? (or Belgian, or Canadian, or whatever. I don’t know/care, so let’s call them french)
    Now that no evil anglosaxon has taken her from her parents, shouldn’t she be a bit more, you know, French? like, living in France and/or being Francophone, that kind of things, instead of living in California with a flawless english
    i guess you could say about the same about every other non-815 character that has appeared in Bizarro-LA, but at least Ethan and Keamy were american, so they living there is not that surprising, and we don’t have any reason to believe that a Dogen that had never lost a son and was never guided by some sort of manipulative demigod-like being to an enchanted temple in a magical mystery island, would behave any different than he did. But Alex is a character that we KNOW a)would probably be completely different, and b)would probably not be living there. it’s possible, but very much not probable. and this is not like the “OMG! X’s cousin’s boyfriend is Y’s boss” character connections from the first couple seasons, this is a bunch of people being in the same place, at the same time, knowing each other directly.
    So, all this leads me to a couple theories:
    a) In Opposite-Earth, the sinking of the island leaves a void of power in the “supernatural go-to places for people with daddy issues” world, so obviously, LA steps up and takes the place, becoming the defacto leader
    b) The nuclear bomb caused a chain reaction that caused a enviromental dissaster that melted the poles leaving Sydney and LA as the only solid ground left. The few million humans left live in denial
    c) Kara is an angel sent by God to guide Michael Scofield to the cheerleader
    d) Lazy, gimmicky writing


  7. Bob #

    @pFranks – B & C) That is great!! Loved it. I’m sure it is D, but I know after watching the episode for about five minutes I didn’t think of it anymore.


  8. Tom P #

    @pFranks: Children of immigrant parents (or southern parents who move north) tend to lose their accents in school so it’s one less thing for other kids to poke fun at.

    @carly: The pop-up video version of the finale said “it’s unclear if Jacob touches Ilana.” So I guess we don’t know yet.


  9. Kevin #

    Hmm, so many thoughts…

    As for the episode itself: strangely, like “Sundown,” I think I’m in the minority here — liked it, wanted to love it; I get what they were going for but felt underwhelmed. The biggest issues to me were the writing and direction — both felt on-the-nose and obvious. I know we’re in crunch time, but the dialogue felt strangely forced (Alpert’s responses to Jack when they first meet, for example)… and the direction felt especially un-subtle, for which I blame director Mario Van Peebles. (Mario Van Peebles? Are you kidding me? Lost’s ‘victory lap’ season and you hire *Mario Van Peebles*?!) Or back to the writing: the oddly abbreviated “standoff” between Linus and Principal A-hole: “I’ll expose your secret.” “Okay, I’ll write a horrible letter for Alex.” “Okay, I give up!” I know they were pressed for time… but really, that’s as far as scheming Ben was willing to go?

    But I digress…

    1. The locations I want to revisit are, in this order:
    – Desmond and Penny’s boat, because I really want them back on the show al-freaking-ready;
    – anywhere we’ll find Eloise, since I’m missing her as well (though I thought the “Lamppost” was kind of goofy);
    – and of course, the f.d.w.
    As for the “pneumatic tubes,” Darlton has already spoiled whether or not you’ll see them again, but I plead the Fifth on that.
    (Also, while it’s not a location to “revisit,” I would LOVE to see Dharma HQ back in Ann Arbor…)

    2. Didn’t cry when Ben broken down, but wanted to. (I tend to only get teared up in the emotional “love” moments: think “The Constant,” John and Helen in the “Substitute” climax, etc.)

    3. I agree with Eric et. al. that the writers like Miles too much… but think that’s why they’ll let him survive.

    4. WIDMORE! (But now the BIG question is: whose side is he on?)

    5. My Richard question: did they stock guyliner on the Black Rock back in the 19th century?

    Finally, a new question: now that it looks like all the teams are in place and ready to go… what the hell happens next? How can there really be a “war” between camps when they’re on separate islands?


  10. dock #

    I liked this episode at parts and felt totally frusterated at others. The crazy Jack stuff was incredible and Bens stories were both really good. Although what frusterated me I guess was that I saw the potential for a great classic episode and it ended with a whimper (IMO). I guess since its crucial for the future storyline to play out this way, I should hold my complaints till later, but I felt like they really could have completed the Ben character by having him screw over Alex in the alt world to show what kind of a bastard he really is, then have him either A. attempt to kill illayna and get killed B. Kill Illayna and join Lockes crew and go full on bad-ass. or C. Get executed in cold blood by Illayna. Either way I would have left that episode claiming new Best Episode champion, but instead left feeling a little let down. However, again, this just means Ben will (should) play a bigger role that is still yet to come.

    1) Old location- Plasma fences. They stopped Smokey before, why not now?

    2) I felt bad for Ben, somehow. How people can complain about lazy writing when the show makes you feel sorry for a sociopathic mass murderer whose commited deicide is astounding.

    3)I really hope they dont kill miles, hes awesome. I thought it was hilarious when they showed the quick cut of him holding the diamonds from Nikki and Palo. Although I could see it, because I have a feeling bodies are gonna start droppin over the next couple weeks.

    4)Whidmore, Im anxious really. The way the parascope looked and the view through the lens looked kinda cheesy. I know hes going to cause all sorts of trouble but I hope it doesnt just end up wasting time that could be spent on Crazy Jack or Dark Sayyid. Right now those are the two most interesting characters followed closely by of course Evil Locke (Lockelganger).

    5)When Hurley asked Richard if he was always time traveling I thought at first he meant “where do you come from and where do you go when you just walk in and out of scenes like you do” because thats what I assumed he meant. Richard said hes not time traveling so i guess he can either teleport or has some sort of other form like Lockelganger? I would ask that. “No cheesin around Richard, whats the deal? Where do you go when you pull that field of dreams walk off stuff?”


  11. Gab #

    I totally called the Ben NOT dying thing, didn’t I? Yay-uh! I wasn’t the only one, either, so I’m not trying to sound like an arrogant sonofabisquit.

    @pFranks, about Alex (and the end of your post made me lol, btw): I was thinking that the entire time, and it grated at me enough to make enjoying the side-plot a little more difficult than it should have been. I did it on two levels- with the meta-knowledge that she’s French, and without it. The latter was absolutely touched, but confused because, well, why would this teacher be so attached to a random student in THIS SHOW without some other reason? The meta-side liked the connection but didn’t think it should have been possible. Both were touched that he’d give up the job for her, but the ignorant part of me was a little creeped out and the meta-smart part was relieved. Anyhoo, I’d say of your theories, I kind of like the idea of LA taking the place of the Island, actually- seems pretty buyable to me, anyway.

    And @TomP about Alex: Did we ever get the notion that Rousseau and her husband planned on moving to the States in her backstory? The accent thing makes sense if pFrank’s theory about L.A. is true and they moved there, but that’s the only way. But you make a good point that, I think, helps booster pFrank’s theory, actually- if we get to see Alex’s parents and they have French accents, the knowledge we as viewers have of her biological origins will make sense in conjunction with what we learn about her in that timeline. But, to be honest, I didn’t like how she seemed *so* randomly dropped in there in opposition to that knowledge. Like I said already, I personally was a little distracted by it.

    1) I *would* have said the ship, but it was shown in the episode. I guess now I’d like to see the room with all of the security monitors and something creepy show up on one of the screens therein a-la when they showed the guy with the patch that one time. OH MY GOSH, did that freak me out. Ee gads.

    2) ::raises hand:: Totally. And I actually got choked up for him *again* when they had that happy reunion-in-slow-mo-with-heartwrenching-strings (as happens at least once per season) playing and there was that shot of him standing awkwardly all by himself. Talk about a sad panda- he practically had anime eyes in his skull. Got me in the chest, that one.

    3) I was actually *really* shocked when he told Ilana the truth about Ben- I was expecting him to lie and use it as leverage or something, or for Ben to try to buddy up to him because of it and for Linus to give him the brush-off with something like, “I just saw no reason to create more tension. We’re all gonna die, but I’d rather put it off.” Something like that.

    As for karma, I find it doubtful he’ll die. I see him as the sleeze-bucket the audience wants to get away- and that the writers kind of feel the same, as in they like him a lot, too, and want him to sneak off with something. I know I’d get a kick out of him getting off the Island and becoming a millionaire- the prospect alone makes me smirk a little. And hey, they’re dead already, so that doesn’t really seem like “karma” so much as “ethics.” Him digging up their graves doesn’t negatively hurt anybody on this level of existence, after all. Sure, it may be a Bad Thing, but it’s not *that kind* of Bad Thing. (I hope that made sense.) So no, I just don’t really see him dying. At most, something will happen and he’ll drop the diamonds or they’ll get lost (HAH!), but I doubt he’ll kick the bucket.

    4) At least we know Widmore’s still out there and still kind of crazy. I’m not sure what his purpose is yet, either, though. Where did you get the impression Jacob *wanted* him on the Island, though? My heart also longs to see Penny and Des again, by the way. I mean, seriously, it pangs.

    5) Already been asked: Will he ever be allowed to die? And this isn’t really a question so much as a general pondering: his reaction to Ben being “had” by the “good” guys. My theory (or maybe it’s more a hope) that the two of them will join forces somehow is still sticking with me.

    In general and from my own thoughts, now:

    Jack had another point-adding moment this time with that dynamite thing, and I just hope he doesn’t pseudo-teen-angst it away too soon. I thought that scene was *very* well-acted by both of them and the look of sheer devastation on Richard’s face really kicked me. (I suppose there were a number of moments I got kicked by this episode, come to think of it.)

    Am I the only one that thought Locke’s role was a lot like the one Ben usually played on the Island, as in manipulating someone else to a purpose and making them *think* it was their idea, etc.? Not necessarily for the same types of motivations that Ben would have had on the Island, certainly, but the dialogue reminded me SO much of the kind Ben would have with other characters.

    Another area I was (a little) disappointed with in this ep. (and “a little” because, well, I’m resigned to it by now, which makes me sad): Sun and Jin. Someone on another of these threads mentioned how they’re usually just along for the ride, and it’s something I totally agree with and have constantly hoped would change (but have pretty much given up on now). A lot happens *to* them, but how much do they get to do themselves? That little Q&A session between Sun and Ilana was a perfect example that, I think, totally shows how valuable the characters are to the writers: the fact that nobody knows which of them or if both are meant to be the Candidate speaks volumes to me. Maybe I’m mistaking some deliberate twists for laziness, but really, imo, even if their “purpose” is meant to be shrouded in mystery, that doesn’t mean they have to be written so passively. Whenever they start to take their own initiative, they end up at the mercy of someone else somehow, anyway (like Jin and CrazyClaire or Sun and Ilana, to go for more recent examples). ::ends highhorse::


  12. Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News #

    1) Old location: They’ve already been back and Hurley’s even commented on it already, but Adam and Eve in the cave. Just want to know who the hell they are and when they died. That info alone would let you piece together a large part of the mystery.

    2) Honestly, the only thing I thought when Ben said that was Richard Gere in An Officer And A Gentleman, in the rain and at the boots of Louis Gosset Jr. But I agree with Bob, a masterful performance.

    3) Miles: I think he’ll be in it to the end, though he may not survive. He’ll have more dead-decoding to do I think. But Ilana: toast, and good riddance. (She redeemed Ben, service complete).

    4) Widmore: I think he’ll serve one of two purposes, maybe both: A) neutralize Smokey’s power somehow, because really, without the ash and Dogen (who’s karate skills were better than expected, I guess?), there’s nothing stopping him now, except for a few paltry rules keeping him from killing a candidate. Or B) introduce the mechanism by which they end this thing. How is this confrontation supposed to go down? They’re forming teams, great, but unless it’s a Sawyer-on-Hurley ping pong rematch, it’ll be a boring fight, with numerous gunshots to torsos (groan).

    5) Richard: To me he’s appearing more and more like an apostle. He’ll follow who’s got the Good News, and this episode had him playing doubting Thomas with Jack. But my opinion, before season’s end, Richard’s fate: toast, but hopefully he’s in a slower toaster than Ilana.


  13. Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News #

    Also regarding Penny and Desmond, brother: besides the fact that they can’t stand Widmore, is there a reason why they wouldn’t be on the sub? I still think Des was the 108 that Jack had to summon, brother.


  14. Genevieve #

    re: Alex – the fact that she was there at all bothered me as much as anyone else. What REALLY struck me, though, was the whole “My mom works two jobs…” thing. It sounds as though her dad is dead in this timeline, too, which is very interesting. I mean, she was stolen by an adult Ben when she was an infant, so Rousseau’s team never made it to the (sunken) island. Yet still, somehow, Alex’s dad died. Or, you know, at least isn’t around. Hunh.

    re: the Richard/Jack convo – I *think* the point that Jack was trying to make was something along the lines of “Jacob still wields power on the island,” or “don’t lose faith!” or “always look on the bright side of life!” (OK, maybe not) or something.

    More in the morning when I’ve pondered…


  15. specialagentdalecooper #

    I’m really surprised how many people (here and elsewhere) were bothered by Alex’s appearance in LA and lack of accent. Here’s why I’m surprised:

    1. The superficial explanation for it is pretty obvious. The French team never landed on the island because it was underwater by then. For whatever reason Rousseau subsequently went to America (with or without hubby – if with, they separated later). At this point Alex was just born or still very young. They end up in LA, Alex is raised in America and therefore has no accent (which is common – I grew up with first generation Indian kids who talked just like me, but whose parents spoke English only with a thick accent). Rousseau stopped being a scientist and had a hard time finding a good job outside that field. The End.

    2. The larger meaning of it, and ALL the sideways reality “coincidences,” is that these people’s lives are being pulled together even though the island is at the bottom of the ocean. Some force of destiny is still working on them. Maybe that’s too simple and “magical” an explanation for some tastes, but it’s always been woven into the fabric of the show. Ben still acts as a sort of father to Alex, Rousseau still ends up without her partner and struggling to survive, etc. It’s not lazy writing, it’s just another iteration of one of the show’s main themes.

    Anyway – I loved this episode. Some of the dialogue was a little too on-the-nose, but Emerson was amazing, Jack-with-faith (and crazy eyes) was amazing, Richard was great, and the Ben/Illana scene as well as the beach reunion scene really tugged at the ol’ heartstrings. I hope we get some season 1-style beach camp action now… it surprises me how much I’ve missed that place.


  16. Kevin #

    Oh yes — forgot to mention, though it’s been pretty well-discussed since my post:

    Whether you’re bothered by Alex’s appearance in LA (and to an extent, Dogen’s) depends on how much you believe in the notion that the characters are always destined to interact and know each other. I have no problem whatsoever with the main characters continuing to interact… but I have to admit, I do have a problem with the lesser characters (Keamy, Dogen, and Alex) cropping up in LA. They just don’t seem to be important enough to what’s going on — especially Dogen, for pete’s sake. These characters had important roles in Timeline A… yet in Timeline B, it’s like they’re being used strictly for coolness’s sake, rather than advancing the story in any *meaningful* way. Cameos are fun, but as the coincidences mount it becomes harder to buy.

    As for Alex, Rousseau and living in LA: correct me if I’m wrong, but the original intent of the science team wasn’t to go investigate the island… they were caught in a storm and washed up on the island by chance *or Jacob). Wouldn’t the storm still have happened and the team would have died at sea, since there was no island for them to land on? And even without the storm, they still would have taken the research trip — they just would have returned, presumably never having encountered the island…

    Anyway, I guess my problem with Alex in the alt-world has more to do with the connection between she and Ben: in one world, they’ve had 18 years of life spent together, and whole foundation upon which to build their relationship and “connection.” But we see her in the alt-world and she’s just a good student in his science club. THAT’S what drives those characters to be “fated” to be connected?


  17. Bob #

    I was just catching up on everyone’s comments here and it hit me. I’ve been wondering why I’ve been touting the ‘obviously bad’ Lockelganger is actually good despite all evidence to the contrary can be backtracked to an earlier post on this website by Matthew Belinke:

    Star Wars, The Clone Wars!

    (Seen Here:

    My mind was so over-thought from the dramatic irony of the good guys fighting for evil against evil fighting for evil, I found it in LOST. Where George Lucas had the undertones of the paradox, he was not a strong enough of a writer to pay off this complex plot. LOST is an already complex plot, I was hoping to have Jack, Hurley, et al carry the Jacob banner against Sayid, Sawyer and company with the Lockelganer gang but for the results not mean anything. Then I can point to Star Wars and say “Lucas did it!”. But alas, I do not believe this to be true – still hope for it though.

    Nerd out.

    @Brian Williams – loved the Officer and Gentleman nod! Good call.

    @dock – GREAT call with the fences!


  18. Bob #

    @Kevin – Its funny that I fully bought Keamy, Dogen and Ethan but had a momentary rise of the eyebrow at Alex. Like I mentioned before, I bought it but it took me out for a moment. But as for the storm and the french team – jury is still out on it.

    1) We still have no proof that the island sank in 1977. I haven’t read the latest Doc Jensen on, but he’s mentioned that its only been implicitly understood it sank in 1977 and LOST turns implicit stuff on its side a lot. And since its more and more obvious Doc is an ABC mole, it carries a lot of weight.

    2) If the island did indeed disappear in 1977, we don’t know how it disappearing effected everything else in the rest of the world. We know nothing about the French team – what if Widmore hired them to go on an expedition hoping they found the island. Without a Widmore, no expedition hence no storm and no island. Just a thought – probably a dumb one too. But I love how this show can be overthought.


  19. Tom P #

    @Kevin: they were caught in a storm and washed up on the island by chance *or Jacob). Wouldn’t the storm still have happened and the team would have died at sea, since there was no island for them to land on?

    Rousseau and Brennan were both on the list of candidates. So, it’s likely that they were brought to the island by circumstances Jacob set in motion. No island, probably no expedition or no storm.

    How that translates to Danielle emigrating to the US or why she’s no longer with Daniel, who knows.


  20. anaedaAcalley #

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    Eastbay coupon [b]AFROTW15 for 15%[/b] off everything, if the order is over $75 you can use [b]AFROTW20 for 20%[/b] off. They only had one for footlocker AFROTWFL for 15%.

    anyone have a zappos coupon for their new custom shoes?


  21. Kevin #

    My misgivings about Timeline B and the “cameos” — and really, this is incredibly minor, but I think other viewers are thinking it — probably has to do with the fact that the history of Timeline A (the one they spent five years explaining and filling in) no longer really applies, besides the broad strokes. Because we can’t spend much time filling in the blanks in Timeline B, we just have to accept things on faith. For example, we aren’t going to get a Dogen flashback (sniff) that explains why this successful businessman left Osaka for America… we aren’t going to see Danielle move to Los Angeles from France… all we can do is roll with it and assume it is “fate” drawing these characters together.

    Where this REALLY breaks down for me is in the timing. I’m totally fine with the main characters being fated to meet; I’ll even accept that the most minor of characters are fated (like Arzt, who was never a favorite character, or even relevant at all to the show). But why now? Why, all of a sudden, is Dogen meeting Jack in alt-2004 when they aren’t supposed to meet until 2007? For a simple answer, I think: because it’s “cool” to see Jack and Dogen meeting under different circumstances. Keamy has to meet Sayid in alt-2004 instead of a few years later… because the writers needed a bad guy and thought he’d be great to bring back.

    Most importantly, I presume they’ll only spend a couple of weeks in alt-2004 before “whatever happens, happens” and the different between universes is resolved. This is the final season of the show — obviously we aren’t going to follow these characters for any length of time. (I smell spin-off!) But because all of these characters from five seasons’ time are being shoe-horned into what appears to be a few weeks in alt-2004 at the most… it all feels a little coincidental.

    But maybe that’s not important. I’ve been loving the sideways stories so far… but for seeing the main characters. Too many cameos and it starts to get cute.


  22. Gab #

    Well-said, Kevin.


  23. pFranks #

    @kevin yes, exactly. if i were one of the showrunners i’d have the nuke a season before and give sliding-doors-earth plenty of time to really express itself and show us some cool what-if scenarios before the inevitable showdown, Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths style. I seriously LOVE alt-reality stories, but this just seems like they saying “we just have a dozen eps left, lest get as much cameos and references as we can, even if they don’t really make much sense”
    also, i don’t have any problem with Alex without accent. It would be much worse if they’d shown her living in america her entire life and still having an accent. What bothered me is that we have this character that grew up to be how she is just because the island was there, and then, that charater living in an island-free universe, growing up to be more or less the same person. I mean, i fully understand the meta-textual reason to do this, but i tend to apreciate some in-universe sense along with my meta-textual meaning.
    So, discarding lazy writing, are we supposed to think that after 5 years being told that the island is the MOST.SPECIAL.PLACE.EVER, it turns out that’s a lie, thst the island is just an island and the world would be the same with and without it, because the universe auto corrects, whatever that means (this would be both the coolest and the worst thing ever). Or that the island is SUCH.AN.SPECIAL.PLACE, it affects every other universe and forces them to be island-universe like, and not only up until the moment of split, but, presumably, for all eternity, bringing any people that will ever land there together to some other random place, like LA. Either way, suspension of disbelief -> blown.

    Also, in Universe-A, Ben treats her as a daugther for all her life, and then some mercenaries tell him “get out of the house or we’ll shot her in the face”, and he tells them “Nu-uh, i’m not getting out, she is not my daughter, i don’t love her, and she is just a pawn in my own game of Risk”, and they shot her in the face.
    In Universe-B Ben is her history teacher in a public high school, so he has known her for as much as a couple years, just like probably about a couple hundred kids more. Then one day he tries to blackmail the principal because he didn’t want to , and the principal says “if you do that i won’t write her a recommendation letter, so this second generation inmigrant won’t get an Ivy League education MWA-HA-HA!!”, and ben says “uh, ok, nevermind then”, and the principal writes a GREAT letter which will probably make her life easy forever.
    I understand we are supposed to think that this is some kind of redeeming stuff, that he is now a nice guy, able to sacrifice things for her. Only it isn’t. He is just being a dick with the poor principal, and when he faces the first evil consequence of being a dick he just pussies out and gives up on his plans. Again, meta-textually somewhat understandable, in-universe senseless. They seem to be trying to show us how the universe is the same because he is still the manipulative sociopathic asshole we love, and then how it is a completely different universe because he is unable to get what he wants because he just cares to much about someone he somewhat appreciates, yet barely knows. And, at least for me, that doesn’t work.


  24. dock #

    @pfranks- I kind of thought that as well, I think that episode would have served more purpose showing us he is universally a scumbag. However, they also showed that he and his father had a better relationship so maybe in alt-world having never been abused like he was on the island (and never “losing his innocence” in the life pool-whatever that was all about) that the character Ben is actually a decent guy when push comes to shove. He never stood a chance at being good having been tortured all his life by his father and having to deal w/ the reprocussions of being shot by an Iraqi torturer that he thought was his friend and then brought back to life by a gang of island dwelling militants. Under different cicumstances this evil mass-murderer was actually just a bitter wimp with a heart….(personally I can see this both ways- redeeming yet also kinda corny)


  25. jimp #

    I think you’ve nailed it dock.

    Also I’ve realized that the problem with these snarks at lazy writing and the merits or otherwise of narrative-about-turns are irrelevant until the entirety story has been broadcast, consumed and digested. Only then will we be able to say with any certainty whether the writing was lazy. Or otherwise. Having had two seasons of some of the least lazy writing in a television show to date (give or take the odd major deus ex machina that had to be grudgingly accepted) perhaps we’ve been spoilt.

    Although I’m pretty confident that the pop-up cameos are mere gimmickry and should really not be overthought.


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