Note: This blog is counting down to the premiere of LOST's final season on Feb. 2 by spending the month leading up to it racing through every one of the previous 103 episodes. We're looking specifically at Christian/religious themes, other important or interesting concepts, literary references, and the theory that it's largely been about a game in which someone has won, and someone has... LOST. To follow us from the start, click here.

"Every detail, no matter how minute or seemingly unimportant, must be recorded." -- Pierre Chang as Dr. Marv Wickmund.

[Deep breath]... Ahhhhhhh... Just when I was getting a little worn down on all the details, wondering if they really mattered, along comes Doc Chang to renew my faith and get me back on track. Now all that needs to be asked as we come to the end of Season Two is:

"Here's the question, Desmondo: do you have the courage to take your finger out of the dam, and blow the whole thing up instead?" -- Kelvin.

Let's find out.

LOST Season Two, Disc Six: Get a Klugh

Episodes: 2.21 "?" (Eko-centric); 2.22 THREE MINUTES (Michael-centric); 2.23/24 LIVE TOGETHER, DIE ALONE PARTS 1 and 2 (Desmond-centric)

Things That Stuck Out

Island

Ana appears to Eko in a dream, asking what he's building and why, and who told him to build it. He sees her start bleeding, and she tells him he needs to help John. Cut to Eko inside the hatch, where sitting at the computer is Yemi, in his priestly wardrobe. Eko speaks to him, Yemi speaks back. Eko asks forgiveness but is shushed. Yemi doesn't want to hear it, wants to tell Eko that work being done "in this place" is more important than anything. Locke has "LOST his way." Eko must make him take him to "the question mark" by any means necessary, and he should bring the axe.

Booooooo! Michael stumbles out of the hatch and spews his filthy story about how Henry escaped and he was sleeping and heard shots and Henry shot him and blah blah blah. But Libby's still got a tiny bit of life in her. She's coughing up blood. Will she be able to pin it on Michael?

When Eko keeps going on about "the question mark," John finally hands over his drawing of the blast door map, in which a "?" is surrounded by six other circles in the very center of an octagon.

Locke is all of a sudden refering to the Swan as "not my hatch." Makes it clear something's changed (again) with him. He's being pouty again too. Probably because Ben got away before he could tell him how special he is. But he's also got guilt for not having told Jack that Henry had attacked Ana-Lucia previously. Eko uses this guilt, saying Ana wants them to go to the question mark. Which, by his dream, is true.

Libby's bleeding has stopped, which isn't good. Jack doesn't have what he needs to ease her pain, so he asks for the heroin Sawyer has stashed away. He says Kate is going with him no matter what Sawyer says. It forces Sawyer to either show where his stash (including the guns) are concealed, or let Libby suffer. Hard to tell from her face whether Kate admires this strategy, or resents it.

Yemi appears to Eko again, again telling him to be quiet (he also knows who John is). Yemi climbs the cliff where the Beechcraft was. Eko follows. When Eko reaches the top, Yemi is in a wheelchair, saying, "Wake up, John." Turns out this was Locke's dream, and in the dream, Locke was Eko. Eko guesses that there was a priest in Locke's dream. We get a similar scene from one we know well. Locke, something wrong with his leg, can't scale the cliff, so his traveling companion does it.

From the top of the cliff, Eko sees the pattern of a question mark on the ground below him. He finds that the ground there has been salted, so that nothing will grow over the landmark. Sure enough, poking the ground with the axe, Eko finds another hatch (our 4th to date (Swan, Arrow, Staff, now Pearl)). This one has external locks and handles, unlike the Swan. An open octagon goes straight down into the earth. The Pearl is full of monitors, on one of which they see Jack walk by! This must be the station from which all the others are observed and recorded... and how the Others have probably been following our group's every move. There's even a computer terminal, possibly the place from which they pretended to be Walt contacting Michael (they could see if he was near the Swan computer). Jack types in the command to print the log of activities. The log has many different numbers, all of which start with 416, and all of which say "accepted." Eko finds empty journals, and Locke finds a working mail tube that goes.... where? He puts his blast door drawing in, and it gets sucked up.

The Pearl Orientation Video

  • Pearl is Station 5 of 6
  • Marvin Candle is in the video, but as Dr. Mark Wickmund this time (wax/wick/candle pattern)
  • It is a monitoring station for observing and recording, for posterity and refinement.
  • Wickmund quotes Karen DeGroot: "Careful observation is the only key to true and complete awareness." Okay, doesn't exactly jive with the observer effect, but okay.
  • Tour of duty in the Pearl is 3 weeks
  • Job is to observe a psychological experiment: watch the people in the Swan, who don't know they are under surveillance, and DON'T KNOW THEY ARE THE SUBJECT OF AN EXPERIMENT. It's what Desmond and Jack both feared and Locke never wanted to entertain - that the button pushers are rats in a maze.
  • The notebooks are for recording every observation. The partners work in 8-hour shifts.\
  • What the Swan people are doing doesn't matter, only that the Swan folks believe their job is of utmost importance.
  • Both of Candle/Wickmund's arms work fine in this video.
  • Completed notebooks get put in the tube, "where they will come directly to us."
  • After the shift, workers need to proceed to the Pala Ferry for transport back to the barracks.
  • Video was copyrighted 1980, same year as the Swan, but the Swan got a film and the Pearl got a videotape. Why?

This time, John does NOT want to watch the tape again. He and Eko get completely different vibes off of the video. John feels like he has been suckered and wasted his time, Eko feels like his work of pushing the button is now more important than ever: "The reason to do it, to push the button, is not because we are told to in a film. We do it because we believe we are meant to." Theological and biblical implications abound.

With her last words, Libby names Michael. But Jack and Hurley interpret her as only being concerned for him. Jack assures her Michael made it, he's all right.

Back before Michael went on his Walt hunt, he knocked Locke out, and got some final directions from "Walt" through the computer. Come north until he finds some big rocks, one with a hole in the middle near the beach. On his journey, he came across a grubby Other. Thinks he gets the drop on him, but he's walked into a trap. We see the 7 shots that Jack and the tracking party heard. Tom downs Michael with a sling. That night, Tom and Co. are keeping Michael when they also bring Kate in, having found her. Michael is gagged, Alex - who we get to see this time - is there with Kate. Then we get a new view of the whole scene with Tom, Jack, Locke and Sawyer again. Alex assures Kate that "It's okay, he's just delivering a message. He has to scare your friends to do it." Alex didn't actually bring Kate out when asked. She asked another Other to do it so she could ask Michael if Claire was okay and if she had the baby. After the showdown, Alex apologizes to Michael, then slams him with the butt of her rifle.

Charlie, approaching Claire for the first time in quite a while, has something for her which he found in the food drop -- a case of vaccine with a pneumatic injector. He doesn't even know how much this means to her after she went on safari to find some in the Staff.

Eko's cross, like Jack's key, is being pulled toward the concrete in the Swan. Energy seems to dissipate when he punches in the numbers. He moves into the hatch, and has to postpone the plans for the church. Only problem for Charlie is, this kinda leaves him without purpose again, and that's where he was early in the first season.

When Michael is marched through the Others' camp, it's as he described to everyone: Shabby. Tents. A guarded hatch. Not many people. It's all a ruse of course. The first clue should have been how they drew blood from Michael upon his arrival. Does it look like they have the technology to study that blood at all? We meet Miss Klugh who comes up and has lots of questions about Walt: is Michael his biological father? How old when he started speaking? Any illnesses growing up? DID WALT EVER APPEAR IN A PLACE HE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE? Michael seems stunned by that question, but does not answer. He demands to see Walt. She pulls out the same killer quote Susan's lawyer once used on him: "For someone who wants his son back so badly, you don't seem to know much about him."

Charlie tries to finish the church himself. Vincent runs up carrying a Mary statue. "Are you kidding me? Did someone put you up to this?" Follows the dog to Sawyer's tent and stash. Then he hucks them all out to sea. Locke saw him do it.

Miss Klugh brings Michael food. He asks when they're going to kill him. He figures he is worthless to them, AND he's seen where they live and how to get there. She says Walt is right outside, and "there's been a development." She's speaking of Ben's capture. If Michael gets him back, they'll let him and Walt go free. She calls for Pickett to let Walt in, gives him the "Three Minutes" of the title. All Walt can get out is that they make him take tests, they're not who they say they are, they're pretending, don't leave me, help me please, and I love you. Miss Klugh threatens him with "the room."

Just before the funeral for Ana and Libby, Locke removes his splint, leaves behind his crutches, and walks away with only a slight limp.

Sayid tells Jack Michael is lying, and may be compromised, and may have freed Henry, and may be leading Jack into a trap. You go, Sayid!

Jack delivers a very good eulogy for Ana. He's come a long way, gradually, at each funeral/memorial.

Sun looks out to see, and sees... A BOAT! Jack, Sayid, and Sawyer swim out to meet it. Charlie thinks it could be a trap. Sayid suspected it could be the Others.

Inside the boat firing shots at them is... a drunk Desmond listening to opera! "You," he says, as he sees Jack. He laughs. Jack tells Desmond he guesses Des forgot to mention he had a boat. Wouldn't have figured he'd see him again. Des says it's not intentional. He sailed due west, should have been in Fiji in a week. But he sailed for two-and-a-half weeks and the first piece of land he saw was the island. Desmond believes the outside world no longer exists, and the island is all there is left. He mentions the Snow Globe model (brings to mind the image from the Spanish comic book, as well as St. Elsewhere, the TV show that was revealed to have taken place all within a snow globe).

Locke tells Eko they're no longer going to push the button. And the white dude tells the African dude not to "be a slave." It's not received well. Neither is the idea of not pushing it.

Before Michael's posse leaves the beach, Kate brings up the costumes and fake beards she found. "What if they just want us to think they live like that?" Michael can't let her go any further down that path. Shuts her up with a, "No! I was there! They ARE like that! Honest!"

Desmond's boat is the "Elizabeth" (which of course is the full name of anyone named Libby), out of Newport Beach, CA.

First use of the term "Hostiles" for the Others! Desmond says, "Off to see the Hostiles, are ya?" when Sayid says he needs to borrow the boat to go to the island's north shore.

The Hurley bird! As Michael's posse marches forth, a giant bird flies off a limb above them, and appears (the subtitles even confirm this) to say "Hurley" twice. My working theory on this since learning in Season 5 that the 1977 Dharma folks had a zoo, is that Hurley worked or visited there, and taught this bird to say his name. Now, "27 years later," might it still be alive, loose on the island, and either remembering Hurley or just still saying what it had been taught to say?
Interesting note from Lostpedia: "In the 3/20/08 Podcast, Prominent Lost writer Damon Lindelof does not want to comment on the significance of the Hurley bird." Hmmm, I wonder why not?

Des tells Claire she's wasting her time with the vaccine. He injected himself with it every 9 days for 3 years.

The Four-Toed Foot! Sayid, Sun, and Jin see it from their boat. They come to the camp Michael described. Sayid finds it evacuated, and their Hatch to be nothing but some doors in front of a rock. More about the foot below.

Eko is carving his Jesus stick in the hatch when he hears noises, and the lights flutter. He goes to investigate, the lockdown timer begins, blast doors come down, locking him out. Desmond has showed Locke how to trip the system and force a lockdown, something his predecessors perfected so they could work on their blast door map. Eko climbs out the top of the hatch - the part Locke and Co. blasted open. Asks Charlie if he knows how they blasted it. Charlie leads Eko to the hidden leftover dynamite. Desmond tells Locke he's sure dynamite won't blow open the doors; it would take an atom bomb. When Charlie speculates that Locke might be right - it might all be a big joke - Eko does one of the coolest things ever on the show: pins Charlie to the wall, rips off Charlie's belt, throws it across the room where the buckle sticks magnetically to the wall. Charlie's seen enough. Eko lights the fuse, dynamite blows up. Back inside, Desmond suspects that MAYBE Locke got it wrong. Maybe the Pearl people were the ones being duped (since it was obvious ONE of the groups had to be, it's a fair and logical assumption to at least consider). Des asks what else was in the Pearl - a computer? Yep. He gets the printout of it from Locke, pours over it. With the timer under 4 minutes, Desmond PROVES to Locke that he crashed the plane, and explains how chaotic everything went in the hatch. But Locke won't hear it. "I know what I saw," he yells, referring to what he thinks he learned in the Pearl. The Man of Faith has lost his way, and become a Man of Sight. The irony is he starts acting like a child, insisting on his way and throwing (and breaking) the computer. Ironic because faith is supposed to be child-like. Oh well. Des knows what he's got to do - turn the failsafe (which is an octagon by the way), blow the dam. Electromagnetism is pulling in everything. As Eko finds John, Locke is scared. "I was wrong," he says.

Desmond turns the failsafe as he tells Penny he loves her. All goes white. On the dock and at the beach, the sky turns purple and a loud hum hurts everyone's ears. The hatch door nearly lands on Bernard and Claire. Charlie made it out, but we don't know about Locke and Eko. Or Desmond.

Kate sees their group is being followed. Tells Sawyer, they open fire. Kill one of the Others tracking them. Another gets away. Jack tells them they can't track him, because "they've already been warned." Looks at Michael. Yells to stop LYING. Michael comes clean about the list with their names on it and the deal he made to see his son again. Kate catches on that Michael let Henry go, which causes Hurley to catch on that he killed Ana and Libby. Hurley wants to go back to the beach. Jack says he can't. If the Others catch on that they don't believe Michael, they're liable to kill them all. Tells them of their ace in the hole Sayid and the boat. As they hike on, they find where the mail tube from the Pearl empties out - the middle of nowhere. Hundreds of tubes with journals sit doing nothing. They find Locke's blast door map, too, not knowing what it is. Then they see Sayid's signal smoke. Jack realizes Michael did not lead them to the beach, but to a trap, there at the mail tube location. Whispers. Darts. Convulsions. Capture. Next we see these folks they're being led out on a dock (the Pala Ferry docks mentioned in the Pearl video) and having the bags removed from their heads by grubby shoeless Others. Miss Klugh reveals Tom's name, so he reveals hers: Bea. A boat drives up, Ben's in it, so is Walt. it's for Michael. The Others keep their deals. Ben smiles at Jack. Is disappointed the Losties know about the beards and disguises.

The significance of the Pearl notebooks going nowhere is, most likely, a double-bluff. The Pearl participants - and Locke - have been duped. The Swan people's job was real, the Pearl folks were the ones being oberved from elsewhere as to whether they would do their jobs.

Weird time-loop theory moment of the night: Michael says he didn't have TIME to think when he shot Libby, it was an accident. To which Hurley, musingly, says: "But if you DID have time..." Some weird music plays. Then he snaps out of it and says, "...you still would have killed her anyway." Okay, stay with me. I don't want to make too much out of this. But there have been several of these types of quotes, where it almost seems to appear to a character that they've been here before, or could change something in an alternate reality. One of those was back when Ethan told Jack not to follow him or he would kill one of Claire or Charlie. Jack ignores this warning, charges after him saying, "I'm not letting him do this... NOT AGAIN." Well, Ethan had never killed nor kidnapped anyone previously. So what was "not again" about? Has all of this happened before? Did Charlie die the last time it happened? It's my belief that when Jack saved Charlie from death by hanging, all he did was postpone Charlie's on-island death, something we will later learn from Desmond is inevitable. Even as some things change in a time loop, the universe still finds a way of course-correcting for the things that must happen to happen.

Ben isn't happy about the deal that was made with Michael, but says they got more than they bargained for with Walt, so maybe this is for the best. Only a compass bearing of 325 will get them rescued. Ben says he'd never be able to get back.

Michael: Who are you people?
Ben: We're the good guys, Michael.

The Others let Hurley go. His job is to tell everyone what happened and that no one can ever come there. But Jack, Kate, and Sawyer? They're being kept.

Claire kisses Charlie.

Off-Island

We learn Eko literally did "take up his brother's mantle" and lived and worked in Sydney as a Roman Catholic priest, Father Tunde. We see him taking confession, but the man is really there to give him some forged ID papers to help him escape to the U.S. But before Eko can leave, he is given an assignment to go verify a miracle.

He is told a story about a girl named Charlotte Malkin who drowned, was dead, and the next day came back to life. The Monsignor tells Eko he has been chosen to verify this miracle precisely because he does not believe it.

First person Eko interviews about the miracle is the coroner, who plays the audio of the autopsy. Creepy. Girl comes to life screaming. Instead of being amazed and full of wonder, however, the coroner is very disturbed and never wants to listen to that tape again. Malkin the psychic, however, tells Eko he's wasting her time. He says his daughter went into hypothermia in the mountain river, making her appear dead when she wasn't, and that his wife, who he describes as a zealot, is making up the miracle stuff to spite him because he's a fraud who makes his living as a psychic. So where'd he get the very real vibes about Claire?

Charlotte Malkin comes to see Eko just before he boards 815 at the Sydney airport; she knows he probably thinks she's crazy, but she has "a message for you and I promised to deliver it." She informs him that Yemi said he was a good priest, and even though he's pretending he's a good man. He will see Eko soon, and even though Eko has no faith in himself, Yemi has faith in him.

Desmond had been in prison. Among his effects when he is released is his photo of him and Penny. He's dishonorably discharged from the Royal Scots, and his full name is Desmond David Hume.

First-ever glimpse of Charles Widmore! He picks up Desmond outside prison. Charles intercepted every letter Des wrote to Penny, says she's getting married, offers him all he'd need to get started in a new life, provided he gives up seeing her again.

Desmond and Libby meet, and she's intrigued enough by why he would need 42,000 dollars to sit down and chat with him. He shows her the brochure for the solo sailing race. The prize is great and all, but Desmond just wants to win it to take it from Charles Widmore. She sees his Widmore's pic on the back of the brochure, seems intrigued. When Des mentions he doesn't have a boat yet, she says, "I have a boat. It was my husband's, but he got sick." Whoever he is died about a month prior. So what year is it during this meeting anyway? If Desmond was on the island for 3 years as of 9/04, that means he landed there sometime mid-2001. 8 months before that (which he needed to train), plus about another month or so to have sailed that far, puts this meeting right around the end of 1999 / beginning of 2000? When Desmond protests taking the boat, she cryptically says, "he'd want you to." She's referring to her dead husband... unless she's not. We've had so many references to "he" and "him" on this show it could mean anyone. Libby could possibly even have been sent to meet Desmond BY Widmore, who quite possibly wants to get Desmond marooned on that island, the one place he knows he'll be rid of him. When Des asks Libby's husbands's name, she looks down before answering, "David." I'm assuming this is a lie... except, the boat IS named "Elizabeth, after her." Pretty convenient coincidence if the rest of her story is a lie.

A fresh perspective on the night Jack and Desmond ran the stadium steps. Desmond parked first, but was stretching. Jack parked next, but took off immediately. While Des stretched, Penny drove up. She found him. Her first question is whether he ever read his Dickens book. Her next question is why he didn't write to her. He lies through asking her a question of his own because he doesn't want to tell a woman he loves that her father sucks. So he asks, "When are you getting married?" It's a brilliant question, because she seems to realize the only way Desmond could know about that is if he's had contact with her father. She asks what he's running from. He's running TOWARD his honor and his girl. And so begins this modern version of The Odyssey, with the sailor trying to get home to his prudent Penelope, who has many suitors, but he has several obstacles in his path on weird islands.

A fierce storm at sea brought Des to the island originally. It seems true that the only way there is through a rough ride. We see how Kelvin in a yellow hazmat suit ran to the beach and dragged him inland. And it's once they're back in the Swan and Kelvin takes off his helmet that we realize we've seen him before -- he was the U.S. Army guy who taught Sayid the fine art of torture. His first question is, "Are you him?" followed by the snowman riddle. Kelvin LIES to Des that he never saw his boat. When Des first watches the Swan orientation, he realizes there are parts spliced out. He's informed, "Radzinsky made some edits." So we know who did it, just not why. Kelvin informs Des he wears the yellow suit outside so he won't get infected, and instructs Des in using the vaccine. Kelvin mixes "paint" that can be seen in black light while Des forces a lockdown. The blast door was Radzinsky's idea. What happened to him? Kelvin points to a stain on the ceiling. We can assume it wasn't murder, since the stain fits the shotgun patter Kelvin describes of a self-inflected wound. And, we know from Season Five that Radzinsky's a loon even before he spend time going crazier in the Swan. Des asks Kelvin if he can go outside next time. "Oh, you want to go out there with the Quarantine and the Hostiles?" And maybe it's just me, but these terms are sounding more and more like Santa Claus and the premise of the movie The Village -- myths created so that a population will police it's own behavior in a certain way. The whole concept of the blast door map being viewed in black light is interesting. Black light would seem to combine both elements of our black and white theme at once. It's all together black, and yet light.

Desmond got kicked out of the army because he couldn't follow orders. Kelvin left the army because men did follow his orders. These regrests are what prompted him to join Dharma. One day, Des finds Kelvin drunk and having gone through a panel underneath the Swan. He was going to use the failsafe key for system termination. "Turn this key and this all goes away." Come to think of it now, that sounds an awful lot like what Juliet (we think) made happen at the very end of Season Five. On that spot, down in the earth, one action, everything either "goes away" or "never happened." Kelvin explains simply that behind the wall is some geologically unique magneticism. The Incicdent was a leak, "so now the charge builds up, and every 108 minutes we have to discharge it." When Des has been there 3 years (these events should be taking place on the same day as the crash), he gets suspicious about the way Kelvin says "goodbye" to him, and notices a tear in Kelvin's hazmat suit. There was no sickness. Des follows him, finds out Kelvin has been fixing Des's boat. They fight, Kelvin is killed. By the time Des makes it back, the timer has run out. Heiroglyphs. System failure. Massive chaos. Numbers finally keyed in, but Flight 815 is torn apart. Desmond confirms as much on the report Locke got from the Pearl. "I think I crashed your plane." After Kelvin died, Des finally decided to read his book. Inside it was a letter from Penny before he went to prison. This is why she asked in LA if he had read the book yet. In the letter, she says she'll wait for him always. He despairs, tearing the place apart... when he hears knocking. It was Locke pounding on the hatch. Turns out they each provided the exact sign the other needed at that exact moment. Our Mutual Friend indeed.

  • Paths Crossing Off-Island: The family whose miracle Eko goes to verify is that of Richard Malkin, Claire's psychic; Libby interrupts Eko raising his voice at Charlotte Malkin in the airport; Desmond and Libby meet in a coffee shop immediately after his arrival in the states. They miss crossing each other on-island by minutes (she's buried, he shows back up); Des and Jack run the stadium steps again. This time, we see Penny.
  • Appearances of the Numbers: 815 leaving from gate 23; 8 hours shifts in the Pearl; 16 is heard as the departure gate for flight 840; 4 bucks Libby pays for Desmond's coffee; 42 thousand is what he needs; 8 months Des has to get into shape before the race; 4 toes on the statue's foot.
  • Deaths: an Other, by Kate's gun; Kelvin, head injury when Des tackles him on the rocks; unknown - Eko, Locke and Desmond.

Themes Established or Revisited

  1. Miracles. Eko is sent to verify one. He also believes that landing on the same island as Yemi and finding the question mark are miracles.
  2. Boxes (again). Widmore brings 2 boxes to meet Desmond. One contains his past, the other his future, says Charles. We've already learned it's usually not a good idea to open boxes on this show. More trouble than they're worth ... Desmond's nickname for Locke is still "Box Man."
  3. Fear / Cowardice (again). We've been through this with Charlie before, now Widmore stings Desmond with the "c" word (and we already know he ran away from the island and left our Losties alone once) ... Claire tells Desmond that Thomas walked off the moment he got scared about being a father ... Kelvin asks Des if he has enough courage to use the failsafe.
  4. Freedom (again). Locke tells Eko that as long as they push the button, they're just puppets on strings, and they'll never be free. So Eko boots him from the Swan. "You're free now, John."
  5. Ignorance is bliss (again). We used this early in Season One. Here, Desmond says the exact quote to Sayid.
  6. Betrayal. Michael. 'Nuff said. Punk.

The Game

Just noticing I've never mentioned there being a dartboard in the Swan. Well, there is. Last I checked, Darts was a game, too. With numbers, even.

"Fair's fair." -- Tom, to Michael, who won't hold Michael spitting in his face against him, because after all, Tom took Walt. But Tom warns him not to do that again. Fair = being within the Others' odd code of rules and morality.

"I just figured we're goin to war we'd want the one guy who's actually been in a war!" -- Sawyer, to Michael

"My name is Miss Klugh." Klugh? As in Clue? Yeah, and is the bearded guy Colonel Mustard? A clue to what?

Deal is struck: If Michael follows the instructions, he and Walt go free. The Others do like to make and live up to their deals.

Hurley cites unfairness for what happened to Libby. It's this concept that pushes him into deciding to join Michael.

Widmore's rules for Desmond: "The conditions are simple. No contact, no calls, no post. You just run away."

Sayid believes fate has given them the piece they need to take advantage of Michael's having been compromised -- the boat. He says he will: scout, ascertain numbers, weapons, positions. Funny, sounds just like the game of Stratego I was playing with my son last night.

Tables Turned: Sayid knows how to produce the thick black signal fire smoke (certain leaves, probably learned this from Danielle's ruse). He will use it to signal Jack when he's in place via the boat. "This time, THEY will know that WE are coming" (i.e. two can play at that game).

Objective: Every game has one, but there's some confusion here. Hurley doesn't want a gun because he might kill someone with it. "Ain't that the point?" asks Sawyer. "I thought the point was to get Walt back," retorts Hugo.

Jack: You have to know that I would never bring you out here if I didn't have a plan!

The Portuguese-speaking men in the polar station play chess. They have this crucial conversation:

I crush your defense, and that is the last you shall see of your rook.
All part of the plan, my friend.
Then your plan must be to LOSE.
Please, your move.

Because of the big reveal with Penny and possibly having found the island, this conversation gets lost in the hubbub, but I think it's just as important overall. There's a plan, and it might even look like someone is planning to lose... but they're not.

Religious References

Eko wakes up clutching his cross after dreaming of Yemi.

Eko prays for mercy over Ana-Lucia's body.

"To receive God's forgiveness you must be penitent for your sins." -- Eko, to a confessing parishioner. At least he got this right.

"Every day I meet people looking for a miracle, desperate to find one. But there are none to be found. Not in this world anyway." -- Psychic-who's-not-a-psychic Richard Malkin to Priest-who's-not-a-priest Eko. More on Malkin later.

Locke has decided life - his life - is meaningless, and "who are you to tell me that it's not?" I guess he wouldn't be a man of faith without doubt. He sure is wishy-washy, though.

Michael figures that as a priest, Eko believes in hell. Eko tells him a story about a boy who beat a dog to death to protect his little sister. Eko told him God would understand, and would forgive if he was sorry. The boy did not care about forgiveness, he was only concerned that in hell that dog would be waiting for him. Resonates with Michael for sure. And is a big reason why his vision of Libby is a big deal just before his own death on the freighter in the future.

Libby wears a cross necklace when she meets Desmond.

Des: Why does Mr. Eko carry around a stick covered in Scripture?
Locke: Because he's a priest.
Des: We locked out a priest?

Sayid prays while on the sailboat.

"Our doctor is God knows where, and he sure as hell doesn't care about anything happening down here." -- Locke

Locke explains to Desmond that he thought he had come to the point of belief. And then Boone died. And the night he died, Locke pounded on the hatch door looking for answers. When the light came on, he took it as a sign. "But it wasn't a sign. Probably just you going to the bathroom." He makes great points about how people look too hard for things and often find signs where there are only coincidences. But that doesn't logically negate the existence of signs or belief.

Des: You've just killed us all.
Locke: No, I've just saved us all.

"You saved my life, so that I could save yours." -- Desmond, as he knows what he has to do - turn the failsafe key.

"I'm sorry for whatever happened that made you stop believing, but it's all real. I'll see ya in another life, brotha." -- Desmond.

Mysteries or Questions Since Solved

  • Is Yemi as he appears to Eko on the island a dream, a vision, or a manifestation of Smokey?
  • Why did the Others tell Michael to bring them Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley specifically?
  • What is the statue of the 4-toed foot?
  • What is "the room" Walt is threatened with as discipline by Miss Klugh?

Mysteries or Questions Still Needing Answers

  • What ever happened to Mrs. Klugh?
  • HAS Walt, as Miss Klugh asked Michael, ever appeared in a place he wasn't supposed to be? We know he appeared to Shannon twice, and later, he will appear to Locke when Locke is left for dead in the purge pit. But is this some power of Walt? Or what? And will this story arc ever be picked up again?
  • What's Libby's last name? Is it important? Who was her husband who got sick? What happened between meeting Des and getting to the island that had her in Santa Rosa?
  • What's the SIGNIFICANCE of the statue with the 4-toed foot, and how and when did it crumble?
  • Why is heavy turbulence involved in getting to the island? 815 Survivors - plane broke apart. Desmond - violent storm. Danielle's crew - violent storm. Faraday's crew - extremely rough chopper ride.

Add to the LOST Library:

  • Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens. This is in Desmond's personal effects when he gets released from prison. He's read every work of Dickens, except that one. Wants to save it to be the last thing he reads before he dies.
  • Hume, David. Philosopher (often associated with fellow empiricist John Locke) and author of works like "Of Miracles" and "The Natural History of Religion." Don't get the wrong idea, though. He was likely an atheist.
  • The Odyssey, by Homer.

Excellent Lines

Humorous

Jack: [Kate and I] got caught in a net.
Sawyer: That what they're calling it these days?

"Even though Pippi Longstocking and the Grape Ape are great candidates for the Dirty Dozen, I'm just sayin we might want to bring the Red Beret." -- Sawyer

Locke: So what does one snowman say to the other snowman?
Desmond: Smells like carrots.
(and we confirm this was never really a mystery, just a riddle-and-password)

Sawyer: So these Others, you think they're left over from the Dharma folk? My theory? They're aliens. That's why they wear the fake beards. Their heads are plastetic." This quote has everything - crazy theories, ideas about the Others, some foreshadowing, and a messed up word by the redneck. Classic.

More Meaningful (and double-meaningful)

"What is done is done." -- Yemi, to Eko. Locke confirmed this same idea for Jack on the previous disc, and it also echoes another thematic statement from the series, "Dead is dead."

Jack: I'm sure Hurley will want to say something about Libby.
Sawyer: I never even knew her last name.
(Note: Sawyer actually is referring to Ana-Lucia here, but the line does fall like that, and Libby's last name has been one of the show's more enduring mysteries, with speculation that it's "Widmore" (or something else we'd recognize and that would give too much of the ending away)).

"Do not tell me what I can do." -- Eko, to Locke, who's former favorite line was, "Don't tell me what I CAN'T do." The characters may be opposite sides of the same token, but neither one of them wants to be constricted by the rules of the game.

Hurley: Did that bird just say my name?
Sawyer: Yeah it did... right before it crapped gold.

"With enough money and determination you can find anyone." -- Penny to Desmond in LA

Desmond: What was all that about then?
Kelvin: Just savin the world.

"All we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us." -- Penny's letter to Desmond. This will be proved true later in "The Constant," and is necessary at this point in the story, after it appears that love has indirectly caused some very bad things to happen.

Characterization

Locke screams that he was never meant to do anything. Every second of his pathetic little life is as useless as pushing the button.

Sawyer tells Jack he's the closest thing he has to a friend. Which is why he confides in him about the romp in the jungle he had with Ana-Lucia.

Desmond is concerned that Locke's friends could be hurt. "They're not my friends," Locke replies. So easily Eko and Charlie - two characters with whom he has spent some of the most meaningful time - are cast aside. Ever wonder why you've had so much trouble with relationships, John?

Opening & Closing

2.21 Open - Beautiful day, construction on Eko's church coming along swimmingly. He sees Ana's ghost.
2.22 Open - Black screen, the words "13 days ago." Locke is stocking the armory, Michael comes in, knocks him out.
2.23/24 Open - Charlie's face, where we left off previously, with the arrival of the boat. "Are we rescued? Are we saved?"

2.21 Close - Zoom in slowly on Michael standing against the back wall of Ben's former cell, then cut to the cursor on the computer screen, blinking and beeping.
2.22 Close - During the funeral, Sun sees a boat on the sea, sailing straight towards their beach!
2.23/24 Close - Men in an arctic listening station. A signal comes in. They worry that they missed it again (the first time was almost surely 9/22/04). They make a call. It's to Penny, who has the photo of her and Des at her bedside. "I think we FOUND it..."

Probably Unimportant, But I've Always Wondered...

The timing seems off between Eko's story and Claire's as it inolves the psychic Richard Malkin. Eko's investigation of the miracle is shortly before 815 takes off, meaning that this would be right around the time Malkin has been frantically trying to convince Claire to keep the baby, or to get on that flight. Yet he sounds nothing like that version of himself when he talks to Eko, being much more convinced that he is a complete fraud and miracles don't exist. Can't connect this.