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.

This disc in a nutshell --

Sayid: Juliet, you lived among the Others. Why would Ben say that the people coming here intend to do us harm?
Juliet: Because Ben's a liar and he's trying to scare us. Or, because the people coming here intend to do us harm.

Yes. Exactly. Now that we've got that cleared up, who are these people? Let's meet them: Skinny Tie Twitchy Physics Man, The Fifth Ghostbuster, The Gingery Anthropologist, and The Scruffy Pilot with the "What Did He Just Say?" Last Name. Or, if you prefer -- Daniel Faraday, Miles Straume, Charlotte Lewis, and Frank Lapidus.

LOST Season Four, Disc One: How Long Do You Think We Can Play House?

Episodes: 4.1 THE BEGINNING OF THE END (Hurley-centric); 4.2 CONFIRMED DEAD (Freighter Folk-centric); 4.3 THE ECONOMIST (Sayid-centric)

Things That Stuck Out

Island

While everyone else is giddy about rescue and patting themselves on the back, Ben is very concerned. He actually asks Rousseau for a favor - take Alex and get as far away as possible. He knows some bad stuff is about to go down.

Desmond returns to the beach in the canoe and is informed the boat is on the way. This is the worst news he could hear. He tells Juliet, Sawyer & Co. that these people aren't who they say they are - Naomi lied.

George Minkowski calls Jack on the phone, needs him to "rejigger" some settings - tells him to put Naomi on. But her body has gone missing, and Ben, who is tied to a tree, is feigning ignorance.

Kate and Rousseau have both found trails with traces of blood. Only one can be Naomi... "unless somebody else is bleeding." Well, Jack, shame on you, Doctor, for not noticing that Locke was. When Jack and Rousseau - carting Ben along - find out the blood trail ends, Ben comes clean. Kate found the right trail, AND she lifted the sat phone from Jack when she hugged him. Kate finds Naomi, who holds a knife to her throat. Kate explains that Locke isn't with them - he said Naomi wasn't who she said she was. Naomi talks to Minkowski, changes the phone setting for him, they are getting the signal now. Naomi is dying, but says, "tell my sister I love her."

Trekking through the jungle at night to find Jack's group, Hurley gets separated from his group. He starts to hear whispers... and suddenly he sees The Cabin. There's a light on inside. "Uh-oh."

Hurley at The Cabin

  • Approaches the porch with his torch
  • Looks in through the broken window
  • Sees a table, and a painting on the wall of a dog
  • Someone who looks like Christian Shepard is rocking in the chair
  • The lantern - which we last saw break on the floor, and Ben re-hang outside, sits perfectly whole and glowing in the center of the table
  • A big scary eye (at right) pops up from below and looks straight at Hugo through the broken glass
  • Hugo runs for it, screaming for help
  • Turns around, and there's the cabin again
  • Closes his eyes, tells himself there's nothing there. Opens them, and there isn't. Falls down
  • Closes his eyes again, opens them... and there's Locke looking down at him

So what was that? Has Hurley witnessed the meeting of the passing of the torch / light from Jacob (Israel) to Christian (Jesus)? Or was this just some cool scary scene? Or was that Locke's eye rather than Jacob's in the window (don't think so, because later on in the series Locke doesn't recognize Christian). Of course, yet again, Jacob as we see him in Season Five doesn't look nearly as menacing as he does here in the cabin. Is the guy in the cabin the Man in Black?

Hurley told Locke the story of what happened in the Looking Glass, and what Charlie wrote. They both agree -- Jack never should have called for help. But Hurley knows it's gonna be hard to talk Jack out of any other possibility but rescue from the freighter. Locke says they have to try, lest Charlie died for nothing.

The Meeting at the Cockpit

  • Hurley's group plus Locke meets Jack's group in the night next to the 815 cockpit in the jungle
  • Sayid hasn't gotten to yell at Locke yet for blowing up the sub, so he takes the opportunity now
  • Who will be the one to tell Claire? Hurley does it.
  • Faction Time - People split into the Jack group of wanting to seek rescue, and the Locke camp of staying put.
  • Jack blindsides Locke, hits him, takes his gun... and shoots him. No ammo, though. Locke can't believe he actually did it. Nor can I. Guy's got blinders on, though. Jack and Kate are staring holes through Locke as he tries to say Naomi isn't who she said. Hugo defends him as "not crazy" because of how the last act of his friend Charlie's life was to change his mind, and warn everyone that the boat people were liars. Why this doesn't sway EVERYONE to join Locke, I don't know. I guess, like Rose, they just can't get over the image of a knife being thrown into the back of a woman one doesn't even know. But Rose of all people SHOULD knwo that Locke knows some stuff on this island. She wants no part of "that man," though.
  • Going with Locke: Hurley, Sawyer, Claire, Rousseau, Ben, Alex, Karl, several redshirts. "You know where to find us... WHEN you change your mind." -- Locke. The concept of change, and changing minds, has been brought up much lately. Related to repentance? Seeing things from a bigger perspective and admitting guilt?
  • Kate doesn't understand why Sawyer is going with Locke, who she thinks is a total nut job. He says he's doing what he always has done - surviving.

Jack and Kate are thinking about the past when they hear a helicopter and see someone parachute out of it. DANIEL FARADAY! He claims he's there to rescue them (lie), but is straight about his name and how many were on the helicopter, and that he doesn't know where the other three are right now. Jack lets Daniel use the sat phone they got from Naomi to call Minkowski, who wants to have a private convo with Dan. When his back is turned, Kate and Jack notice he is carrying a gun, but they offer to help him find his missing people anyway.

Locke is back to being a weatherman. As his followers huddle under a tree, he does his grinnin-in-the-rain with arms open wide thing again. He tells Hugo it's about to pass, which Hurley thinks is crazy because it's a monsoon, but instantly the rain lets up. Since they can't make a beeline for the barracks but have to - because Locke says - stop by the cabin first, Sawyer wants to ask Locke questions. He - and we - learn that Taller Ghost Walt told him he had to stop Naomi (who Locke had never met or seen before) from bringing her people there. Locke accepted this at face value because Walt "saved his life." We can infer that there is at least one force on the island that validates everything Ben has been saying - don't let the boat people come here.

Sayid asks Juliet why Ben would appear to be so worried about the freighter folk. Her answer: because he's lying, or because he's telling the truth. Thanks, that's helpful. But it's true!

Jack finds a box that was tossed out of the helicopter. In it there are gasmasks. Between those and the gun Dan's carrying, Jack and Kate have some questions. It's making Faraday uncomfortable enough to admit that "rescuing you - can't really say that's our primary objective." Just then, he locates Miles' signal on the sat phone. When they find Miles, he's pretending to be dead so he can get the drop on them with his gun. When he hears Kate's name, he demands to know where Naomi - "the woman you killed" - is. Dan protests that Jack and Kate are "good people" (not that old chestnut). Miles informs us that when Naomi said, "Tell my sister I love her," that was their code for being killed or threatened. Miles demands to be taken to Naomi's body. Nobody understands why he says he will know from that what happened to her and what the truth is, but he insists he'll know.

Sawyer wants to know how Locke is running around the jungle if Ben shot him. Locke - in a move similar to Christ showing his wounds to Thomas - lifts his shirt, shows James where the bullet went in, and where it came out. "I'd probably be dead if I still had a kidney there." Rock on. And Sawyer, who knows that story, is becoming something of a believer.

Why is Locke's group keeping Ben alive? Sawyer wants to know. Locke says the only thing dangerous about Ben is his mouth (yeah, you could say the same thing about a shark, too, doesn't mean you want to be in the water with it). Ben's mouth did not put the hole in Locke's gut, Sawyer points out. To which Locke says they can't just execute Ben there in front of his daughter. So apparently Locke is still able to make some distinctions. Knifing someone you've never met in the back from behind is okay if you are trying to protect an island. Shooting the guy who has done nothing but attempt to kill you and manipulate you is out of the question.

Miles kneels over Naomi's body, seeming to pray or something. When he returns, he cofirms Jack and Kate didn't kill her; it happened just like they said it did.

All Season Three we were warned - "everything's going to change." Well everything has! The Others are no longer in control. The Losties are split into factions. A new group has arrived as the newbies, and the Losties are now the resident jungle lords. Case in point - Jack tells Miles and Dan to drop their weapons, because our friends have guns pointed at you as we speak. It looks for a second like he's just trying to trick them, hoping they'll buy the gambit that Jack learned from Tom. Miles - just like our Losties before him so long ago now - can't conceive for a second this could be true... until shots ring out, and there's Sayid and Juliet with guns. The sides have switched (like during a tennis match). We've gone through the looking glass to where left is right and right is left now. Beautiful storytelling.

Sayid points out the obvious to Miles - if the whole world thinks we're dead, why aren't you at all surprised to see us? I guess Naomi was more sold out to the cover story than the science team is.

Locke tells Charlotte their group doesn't want to be found. Jack's group sees Charlotte's signal moving fast, running towards them. It's Vincent - Locke tied Charlotte's transponder to the dog.

When Frank - whose sat phone is broken - fires a flare gun, it's seen by Charlotte and Locke's group. She wonders why these people called her group if they don't want to be rescued. Locke says she's lying about this BEING a rescue. She says she's going to leave now - which is when Ben puts two slugs in her chest (he stole a gun off someone). She, however, was wearing a vest, which only tells Locke she and her group didn't come here on any rescue mission.

Hope = Helicopter. The looks on the faces of Juliet, Jack, Kate and Sayid when they see Frank's helicopter safe and sound are priceless.

Regina - on the boat - tells Miles that Minkowski can't come to the phone right now. We know it's because Minkowski has started having time-travel sickness.

Frank asks Juliet her name. He's studied the Oceanic manifest backwards and forwards, and realizes she's a native. This makes Miles very angry. So angry that he reveals their real mission - showing a picture of Ben. They're here for him. And the picture is of Ben in a real world office setting, wearing real-world (though outdated) clothes.

Locke is going to "clean up his own mess" again. He admits he was wrong, and Sawyer was right - they shouldn't have left Ben alive, he's too dangerous. He's going to execute Ben when...

  • Ben says he has answers John wants
  • Locke demands to know what the monster is
  • Ben says he doesn't know (true? or lie? because he switches the subject to...)

"Her name is Charlotte Lewis - Charlotte Staples Lewis (C.S. Lewis if you're paying attention). But he says she was born in 1979. This has since become a sour subject for the actress, the producers, the fans (see below). Ben knows her parents, siblings, education, and names of her fellow team members. Everyone is floored. Ben says yes, these people ARE a threat. If you want to know how big, keep me alive. Ben knows their mission is for him. Charlotte's face reveals this to be true. How? He has a man on their boat! Looking back now, it looks like a stroke of genius to have let a guy with an extremely guilty conscience leave the island, then tell him he can redeem himself and help his friends. Sometimes, you just gotta give Ben some credit.

Regarding Charlotte's age / year of birth -- the producers have admitted to a mistake about the 1979 birthday. Twenty-five would be very young for even a gifted anthropologist to be chosen for such a mission. Thirty-three makes much more sense. Also, it would make impossible the time-skipping sequences we find in Season Five when Charlotte's a Dharma youth. From Lostpedia:

According to information provided by Ben that he received from Michael, Charlotte Staples Lewis was born on July 2, 1979 in Essex, England to parents David and Jeanette Lewis. She was raised in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England along with her two younger sisters. ("Confirmed Dead"). It has since been uncovered that this information is, at least, partially incorrect; Charlotte was actually born in 1971 and she spent a great deal of her younger childhood on the Island. Her family were members of the DHARMA Initiative, whom she lived with at the Barracks. ("This Place Is Death"). In 1974, a much younger Charlotte was present on the same day that Sawyer's group arrived at the barracks with Amy.

Of course, this then begs the question of why Ben didn't remember knowing a red-headed Charlotte Lewis on the island as a child...

Juliet is pretty sure Ben never even mentioned knowing anyone off-island, much less traveling there.

Inscription inside Naomi's bracelet - "N, I'll always be with you. R.G."

Miles and Jack decide they share the same problem - Locke. Locke has Ben, and Locke killed Naomi. And they know where Locke's going.

Sayid swings a deal - if he brings Charlotte back safe, Lapidus will fly him to the boat. He also finds that Naomi was carrying a picture of Desmond, which only confuses the gang even more as to what the boat people's real agenda is. They dispatch Juliet to find Desmond to see if he can help shed some light.

Locke comes to the circle of ash... but there's definitely no cabin inside it. "Could be anywhere" Hurley says, knowingly. Ben mocks John some more, "He's looking for someone to tell him what to do." Locke says forget all that - the plan's the same - going to the barracks. Only thing is, Charlotte's people are with Jack, who knew where Locke's group wsa going, and by all signs they're going to be armed. Hurley has a fantastic solution - let Charlotte go, even calling it a sign of "good faith" (interesting phrasing given how the Losties are like a split church right now). No, Locke says, she has value as a hostage, and their groups are "beyond compromise." Okay, he's sounding like a zealot again. Dang. If there's one thing we learned a long time ago on this show - always listen to Hurley. Hurley went with Locke because his friend believed something similar to what Locke did. But that doesn't mean Locke is his friend.

Dan Conducts an Experiment

  • Gets a kit from the chopper
  • Finds an open spot in the field, puts up a tripod with a platform on top
  • Calls Regina on the boat, starts his timer and activates a beacon, tells her to fire the payload
  • She counts down its distance. She shows it has reached the target when he still sees absolutely no sign of it
  • When it finally arrives, the differences between the two stopwatches is about 31 minutes and 18 seconds. "Not good," says Faraday

Sayid, Kate, and Miles reach the barracks. They hear pounding, and in the closet of a house, they find Hurley tied up. Hurley explains that Locke's "gone off the reservation." Sayid's ears prick up when Hurley mentions Walt, but is told, "Dude, don't ask." Hurley asks Miles if they really are there to kill them. "Not yet," Miles deflects, before asking which one of these is Ben's house. Sayid finds that Ben's bookshelf opens up, revealing a James Bond room -- loads of foreign currencies, fake IDs and passports (one alias is "Dean Moriarty" which could reference either Sherlock Holmes or On the Road by Jack Kerouac), tons of suits to wear... suddenly Sawyer shows up, Kate knows it's a trap, and Locke tells Hugo good work.

Kate and Sawyer debate each other's choices. She's angry he went with Locke. He's angry she doesn't understand that it's not so much he went with Locke as he's got nothing to go back to, and can't understand why she doesn't feel the same, especially since she's got a ticket straight to jail.

Sayid and Locke sit down for a chat. Sayid agrees with Locke that the boat folk are liars, but he asks for Charlotte so that they'll take him to the ship and he can find out for sure what they want and who they are. They arrange a trade - Charlotte for Miles (who Locke has tied up in a shed with a grenade in his mouth).

Daniel and Frank dodge and avoid Desmond's questions about whether they've ever seen or heard of Penelope Widmore, but their reactions say this is a big secret.

Daniel tells Frank that it is of utmost important to follow the same bearing they came in on. First ride out is Frank, Sayid, Desmond, and Naomi's body.

Off-Island

Hurley's red Camaro is working! Working a little too well, as he speeds through boxes of tropical fruit ahead of two black-and-whites. A normal-looking Jack Shephard drinks his morning screwdriver and recognizes the speeding car on the news. He's not pleased. When the cops finally box Hurley in, he runs. They catch him and he shouts, "Don't you know who I am? I'm one of the Oceanic Six!" (My assumption was and is that Hurley's dad - after believing Hurley was dead - finally fixed the Camaro in tribute)

Hurley has always hated lying. Later this season, we'll see he never wanted to lie about their story. But when Ana-Lucia's old partner - now a detective - questions him, and asks if he ever met her, he lies. Says nope. You can see he doesn't like having to do so. The cops have security footed of Hurley buying something in a convenience store, getting spooked by something, and running, and not stopping until the cops pull his car over. He's been seeing the ghosts of dead friends from the island, such as Charlie. In fact, as Hugo sits there, the observation window turns - from his point of view - into a tank of water, in which up swims a hooded Charlie, who presses his left hand up against the glass (just like he did with Desmond, and there's something written on it). The glass breaks, and Hurley thinks water is pouring into the holding cell. Freeze frame shows the note on Charlie's hand reads, "They need you." Who? Hurley is extremely relieved to find out from the cops that he can go back to the nut house.

Matthew Abbadon comes to visit Hurley, claiming to be an attorney for Oceanic, and offers to move him to a better institution. Hurley says no thanks. And he definitely doesn't want to be near the ocean. As he leaves, he looks menacingly at Hurley and asks, "Are they still alive?" When he leaves, he casts one HECK of a big black shadow (I recall first time around several people theorized that he was Smokey gone off-island).

Hurley sits outside, happily doing a watercolor of an igloo (polar theme returning?) when another crazy guy warns him that someone's staring at him. It's Charlie. Can anyone/everyone see him? Or just insane people?

"I am dead. But I'm also here," says Charlie to a disbelieving Hurley. When Hurley wants proof, Charlie smacks him. We can't buy this, because we've seen the same thing happen to Hurley with Dave (where Hurley was probably just smacking himself under the guise of his alternate personality). Charlie says that just like he had a job to do swimming to the Looking Glass, so Hugo has one to do, but he's been hiding from it. Three times Charlie repeats "They need you" while Hugo closes his eyes and counts to five, at which point Charlie is gone.

Jack pops in to visit Hurley in the institution. They play Horse - Hurley smokes Jack. He has Walt-like luck these days (curse must be broken). Jack mentions he's thinking about growing a beard - just a clue for us so we know that his crazy days are still in front of him (because he seems so well adjusted and happy right now to be back doing surgeries and signing autographs). Hurley thinks Jack is really there to make sure that in flipping out he doesn't reveal the Oceanic Six's big lie.

Hurley has two parting shots: 1) He's sorry he went with Locke rather than Jack. 2) He thinks they shouldn't have left, and the island wants them to come back. Jack shouts him down on this point.

As Daniel Faraday watches news coverage of the 815 crash site, he's visibly upset - shaking, breathing shallow, almost crying - but he doesn't know why.

Miles pulls up to a house in Inglewood, CA. He's listening to radio reports about Oceanic 815 being "found." There were 324 bodies on board, and a salvage mission is unlikely (because of the depth). So all on board are now "confirmed dead." This information coming the very minute we first meet Miles associates him in some way with the theme of death. Miles gets a briefcase out of his trunk and visits the home of a "Mrs. Gardner." On her wall, the camera pauses on a photo of a young black male in a wooden frame. The man is Gardner's grandson, an apparent drug dealer who was murdered and is now haunting his bedroom. Miles uses a machine that looks like a retrofitted Dirt Devil vacuum with a spinning wheel on the front. My guess is that the noise it makes is irritating to spirits, who Miles then talks to. Either that, or the noise of it is what helps Miles achieve his trance. In any case, what happens in the room - the noises we hear, the hidden secret stash Miles finds - would convince us... he sees dead people.

Charlotte bribes her way onto a dig in the middle of the Tunisian Sahara. A polar bear skeleton has been excavated! And Charlotte - knowing it would be there - digs down a little deeper and unearths its collar... which has the Dharma Hydra station symbol on it!

Frank lives in the Bahamas, running an "island travel and tours" business. He's not sure all is right with this 815 crash site. He uses a toy airplane (haven't seen one of those in a while) in his fish tank to test how it would sink and then appear on the sea floor. When he sees the camera footage of the wreck, he's convinced it's a fraud, because he knew the Pilot (Seth Norris (interesting name - biblically, Seth was a son of Adam & Eve)), and Seth never took off his wedding ring. Whoever's in the pilot's seat in the wreck has no ring. Frank tells this to the "National Transportation Safety Board, Oceanic Hotline." Lapidus was the schedule pilot for 815 that day. He's obviously not an Oceanic pilot any more, so how much time has passed between then and now? Did it really happen that in just 3 months Frank quit his job as a pilot, moved to the Bahamas, set up his business, and grew that uber-beard?

Naomi was recruited to lead this team by Matthew Abbadon. Naomi is apparently highly trained and skilled, but she doesn't like that none of the other 4 on her team are. She wants to know what to do if they find 815 Survivors. Abbadon won't have any of that. He drills into her head that "There WERE no survivors." Naomi's Mission - get this team in, get them out, prevent anyone from getting killed (this is probably so Dan & Charlotte can neutralize the Tempest, Miles can find out any secrets, Frank can fly them in and out, and all will be clear for Keamy's team to take over and secure the island for Widmore).

Sayid? Golfing? In the Seychelles? They mention how private it is out there, and make a friendly wager. When the man finds out Sayid's name and that he is one of the Oceanic Six, he becomes extremely nervous, his carefree demeanor gone. Soon, he is too.

Sayid meets Elsa. Each of them has been set up to meet each other, not being wise to the other. He identifies himself as a headhunter (and we have a good laugh). She says her employer is an "economist, who works in emerging markets." He's only in Berlin once or twice a year, but if he pages her, she better come a runnin. She thinks she knows Sayid from somewhere.

On their fifth date, they are headed to the Opera. Elsa says she's going to leave her pager behind, an odd choice. Why? It's worth losing this cush job? Sayid points out that there is much newer technology. She says her employer is very old-fashioned. She seems mildly suspicious of Sayid, who was originally only going to be in town for a week.

Sayid finally comes clean to Elsa, whom he believes loves him, that he's going to kill her employer, who he knows is not an economist, because his name is on a list. "You kill people 'cause they're on a list? Innocent people?" This is where we should clue in that Sayid is working for Ben, who used to do this exact thing on the island. She shoots him, calls her contact. Says Sayid had no idea that she was spying on him, but that Sayid is never going to give up the name of HIS boss now. Sayid distracts her by breaking a mirror... then shoots and kills her. Then, he checks her bracelet. Guess he likes checking the jewelry of dead women.

Injured, Sayid limps into a veterinarian's office and is told to take off his shirt. He's working an an assassin for Ben!

  • (Note: Now that we're into the flash-forward and Oceanic Six part of the series, I've eliminated the "paths crossing off-island" section. These things are part of the story now, instead of mysterious coincidences).
  • Appearances of the Numbers: 4 people on the helicopter, Daniel tells Jack (true); 15 is in a big circle on a poster in the room of the ghost Miles visits; "1516 Rein" says the sign over Sayid's shoulder in the restuarant; 842 are the numbers in the call sign of the helicopter
  • Deaths: Naomi (officially this time. Last time, she was only "mostly dead"); Elsa, who Sayid is forced to shoot; Mr. Avellino, shot by Sayid on the golf course in the Seychelles.

Themes Established or Revisited

  1. Sanity. Hurley fears he's going crazy with his visions, and is very relieved to go back to Santa Rosa ... Kate asks why Locke would kill Naomi. Jack says it's because Locke's crazy. But then he says his THIRD "I'm gonna kill him/you" statement within what must be his last 50 lines. He said it to Tom, he said it about Ben, he said it about Locke. Who's talking like the raving bloodthirsty loon? ... "Are you insane?" -- Jack, to Locke's claim of always acting in everyone's best interests.
  2. Home.
    Kate: Are we really goin home?
    Jack: Yeah, we're really goin home?
    Don't be so sure.
  3. Heroism. Claire tells Rose that Bernard is a hero. Rose says everyone knows that Claire's man is the real hero.
  4. Freedom. Hurley confides in Bernard that he won the lottery - worst thing that ever happened to him. He realizes that when he gets home he'll be free of it, because he'll have been declared dead. He celebrates and expresses his freedom with a cannonball into the ocean.
  5. Time. "There isn't much time." -- Locke, when the groups are splitting into factions to follow Locke or Jack ... "Water under the bridge" and "Never say never" are time-related phrases spoken during Jack's visit to Hurley in Santa Rosa ... Jack says it "feels like 100 years ago he Kate and Charlie came to the cockpit together." Might it have been? Has time looped that many times?
  6. Lies. This time, little lies are no longer the issue (Ghost Charlie even explains to Hurley that when he lied to him about his suicide mission, it was to spare the delay and the drama this would have caused). Now, for Hurley, he's living ONE BIG LIE. And those? Those fester.
  7. Death / Ghosts / Communing with the Dead. The mysterious cabin ... the sight of Christian in the rocking chair ... Miles and his powers ... the world "confirming" as dead all of the 815 passengers ... Locke getting instructions from someone who can't possibly be there (remember what Miss Klugh once asked Michael - has Walt ever shown up somewhere he wasn't supposed to be?).
  8. Trust. It's said more times regarding who certain characters trust and who they don't that I lost count. But this is fairly obvious after a schism like the one we've seen occur.
    "I know it's no use having friends you can't trust." -- Ben, to Sayid.

The Game

Hurley's back in Santa Rosa, playing Connect Four again, with a new partner.

Across the room from Hurley, Matthew Abbadon - our first time to see him - sits behind a chessboard and waves.

Hurley shoots baskets and beats Jack at Horse in the Santa Rosa gym (because Jack quits down H-O once he gets what he came for - knowledge that Hurley's gonna keep living the lie). "You win," Jack says.

The first time we see Sayid in his working-for-Ben assassin role, he's golfing.

"Amazing, huh? How we wager? Makes just about anything more fun." -- the Italian guy, Mr. Avellino, Sayid murders on the golf course. And perhaps insight into the meta-game that's going on throughout the series surrounding the island.

"Which side did you land on?" -- Miles to Sayid, who has not decided yet. He

Lapidus confirms for Jack that the Red Sox did really win the World Series in 2004. It's now been 100 days since Jack has seen a game.

"How long, Sawyer? How long do you think we can play house?" -- Kate.

"A war is coming which we will both be powerless to stop." -- Sayid, to Locke. One of our first references to the coming battle.

Lapidus tells Sayid he "cheated" in bringing back Charlotte... but not Miles.

Black-and-white: the cop cars that chase Hurley in the opening sequence of the season; the sign on the German restaurant Sayid visits, Die Mauer?; a German pedestrian crossing sign the camera makes a point to linger on; Sayid wears a tuxedo on his 5th date with Elsa.

Religious References

The name Abbadon means "A place of destruction," "The Destroyer," or "The Depths of Hell." What's more, Hurley doesn't trust this guy. In the book Pilgrim's Progress the characters of "Christian" and "Appollyon" (another name for Abbadon) do battle.

Our group is no longer united. They have split, and the era of denominationalism has begun, marking the Beginning of the End. I LOVE that this takes place at the site where part of their plane - the thing that brought them together in the first place - rests torn apart. And I love that this split - like most in the church or any other instutition - takes place over a misunderstood and poorly communicated act, to where even those who you had thought share the most intimate reasons for communion (see Locke and Rose) no longer want anything to do with each other. Well, that's only partly true. The thing that has me siding with Locke is he's still willing to accept anyone from Jack's group who wants to see the light. The reverse would not be true for everyone.

Resurrected Locke showing his wounds to a disbelieving Sawyer is straight out of the Easter story.

A poster with the word "Resurrection" in the dead boy's room in Inglewood shows an individual with head up to the sky and arms to the side in the nearly identical pose we've seen Locke make so often.

Miles: I do care about this guy Locke. Maybe you can tell me how he managed to split your happy little family in half.
Sayid: There was a fundamental debate about whether your people were coming to rescue us, or kill us.

The first book Sayid notices on Ben's bookshelf is the Quran.

Mysteries or Questions Since Solved

  • Why does O6 Hurley apologize to Jack and say he should have gone with him instead of Locke? How can he say that when he was so impassioned about Charlie's sacrifice? Does he perhaps think that change in decision would have created a different future for him - one where he remained on the island?
  • Who is it that "needs" Hurley, as Ghost Charlie says?
  • Is the airplane on the ocean floor the actual 815 (and our Survivors are either dead or in an alternate reality), or is it staged?
  • Why is Daniel so upset about the news report on Oceanic 815?
  • What are the gas masks for, and what is Daniel's team's objectives outside of capturing Ben?
  • How did one of the Dharma polar bears end up in Tunisia?

Mysteries or Questions Still Needing Answers

  • Why is the 815 crash site in the Indian Ocean?
  • It does appear from how Locke and Hurley disagree on the cabin's location that it DOES move around. How?
  • Why doesn't light "scatter right" (according to Faraday) on the island?
  • How is Miles apparently able to commune with the dead? Where did this power come from? Where's Bruce Willis?
  • Who is "R.G." from the inscription in Naomi's bracelet? To this day, we don't know. A few of my favorite theories are that the inscription could be an anagram ("Wholly Liar, Wings Beauty"?) or something of that sort, or - and I prefer this one - it could be the identity of another that remains hidden thus far, the very title character of the same episode, The Economist. This reminds me of the Harry Potter saga, where later in the game we also find a piece of jewelry with a note from someone who left initials - R.A.B. We aren't sure if we know this character or not, but they turn out to have been very important, self-sacrificing, and repentant - having seen the error of their ways and the danger of certain individuals. They betray a former master. And like that person, perhaps we won't learn about R.G. until the final book/season.

Add to the LOST Library:

  • Lewis, C.S. Known more as an author of fantasy fiction and a Christian apologist than as a "philosopher," so he doesn't really join our count of Locke-Rousseau-Bentham-Hume-Burke as characters sharing names with philosophers. But Lewis had a definite world view, and his inclusion via Charlotte's initials in the show's pantheon of influences is not accidental. He might be most important to the plot as someone who fell away from faith during adolescence only to embrace it again and become one of its greatest champions later in life.

Excellent Lines

Humorous

"I'm trying to buy some jerky and a Slushee, and suddenly you're standing by the Ho-hos!" -- Hurley, to Ghost Charlie.

Locke: No dream. It was Walt. Only... taller.
Sawyer: Taller?! What, like a giant?
(The production team has a little fun here acknowledging Malcolm David Kelly's growth)

"You're wasting your time, Yoda." -- Sawyer, to Ben, who is still playing mind games, this time telling Sawyer he blew his chance with Kate.

"Sure, who are we to argue with Taller Ghost Walt?" -- Sawyer

"Well here's an idea - how bout we a take a gun, point it at his big toe, and send that little piggie to market. And if he still doesn't want to talk, then we point it at the roast beef." -- Sawyer, suggesting they use this method to make Ben talk.

Kate: Kinda sucks, huh? Being told not to come along? Now you know what it feels like to be me.
Jack: Does that mean I should wait 20 minutes and go anyway?

Miles: Where the heck did they go, Tubby?
Hurley: Oh, awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer.

Sayid: I'm not going to hurt you, Hurley.
Hurley: Yeah, I saw you snap that guy's neck with that breakdancing thing you do with your legs. I think I'll hang back here.

More Meaningful (and double-meaningful)

"You got yourself good and LOST out here, Hugo." -- Locke

Sawyer: You mind telling us who you're getting your orders from, Colonel Kurtz?
Locke: I got 'em from Walt.

"No matter what you hear, don't come up." -- Miles, to Mrs. Gardner, whose house he is ghostbusting. And good to see that in Season Four we continue to be warned about or have emphasis placed upon things we hear.

"He wants to know if you're LOST." -- Charlotte's assistant, translating the words of a Tunisian man on the dig.

"Forgive me, but the day I start trusting him is the day I would have sold my soul." -- Sayid, to Locke about Ben. Truer words were never spoken. Poor Sayid.

Characterization

Sawyer's grown attached to Hugo. Asks if he wants to talk about Charlie's death, and offers to have the group slow down for Hurley's sake.

Ben does succeed in getting into Sawyer's head, and Sawyer probably remembers the seeds that were planted there the day he jumps out of the helicopter. Ben tells him back in the real world he's just a lowlife scam artist who'd have no shot against a dashing doctor for Kate's affections. Sawyer's learning quickly he really has nothing to go back to. His lifelong mission of killing the real Sawyer has been accomplished. The only thing there for him is a daughter, and he's probably not sure he wants her knowing him.

Each character from the helicopter is someone who we learn about on the day after the fake Flight 815 was found:

Meet Faraday ("headcase" per Naomi)

A complete nerd, Faraday is a physicist who seems to have some memory issues going on, but is also fascinated by things normal people wouldn't notice - like the light not quite scattering right on the island. He's studied time travel, and has regrets from experiements that have gone wrong. At several points in his past-future, he'll meet up with Desmond.

Meet Miles ("ghostbuster" per Naomi)

Miles is extremely interesting because he's all-at-once rip-off artist and legit. He's a testy young Asian-American who uses his powers for good (people get something), but he also scams them a bit too and gets rich off them. He tells Mrs. Gardner up front that she owes him twice his original price, but when he comes downstairs he gives her half back, calling it a refund because getting rid of the ghost wasn't as tricky. Well, that's just because the ghost showed him where his drug money was hidden. Everybody wins (possibly even the ghost), but... does it make you like or dislike Miles? Later on we'll learn that Miles was born on the island (the source of his powers?), and is Dr. Chang's son. He does not want anyone from his team revealing his last name of Straume, however.

Meet Charlotte ("anthropologist" per Naomi)

She's an anthropologist - and a young one - who knows several languages, and also somehow knows there will be a collar with a dharma logo below the skeleton of a polar bear in the Sahara. She seems VERY happy to be on the island - she's giddy like a schoolgirl frolicking in the stream when Locke's group happens upon her. Later we'll learn that she loves Geronimo Jackson and spent some time as a child on the island.

Meet Lapidus ("a drunk" per Naomi)

He's one kick-butt pilot who can fly and land just about anything you can put in the air. He's no-nonsense but remains friendly amid everything. He also saw a cow - how 'bout that.

Opening & Closing

4.1 Open - One big mound of tropical fruit before a blue sky. Then a red camaro smashes through it followed by two police cars.
4.2 Open - Remote submersibles scan the ocean floor at 5,000 meters... and discover an Oceanic airplane.
4.3 Open - Sayid's face in close-up. Eyes closed. He kneels beside the helicopter, praying.

4.1 Close - Daniel Faraday lands on the island. Asks, "Are you Jack?"
4.2 Close - Ben's beaten bloody face, still smug: "Because I have a man on their boat."
4.3 Close - "But they know I'm after them now," says Sayid. "Good," replies Ben, close-up on his face.

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

When we saw the scene from Jack's point of view previously, Faraday - just after parachuting in - says, "Are you Jack?" When we see it from Daniel's perspective, he says, "Hey there. Are you Jack?" The other oddity is that when Jack says, "Who are you?" Daniel doesn't answer right away. Looks at the sky, looks around, then says, "I'm Daniel Faraday, I'm here to rescue you." Was he trying to decide if he should lie? Had he forgotten for a minute (since we do learn that upon arriving at the island he's dealing with some memory issues?).

The photo(s) on the wall of Mrs. Gardner's house where Miles visits - they are in different frames and arrangement before and after he goes upstairs/comes downstairs. Debate has long raged among fans as to whether this is a set error (but then why does the camera pause to show us?), or a plot point (but what would it possibly mean or symbolize?)

I'll close this recap with an Instant Message conversation I had with my boss's boss and fellow LOST and Harry Potter fan Chad Nykamp, past whom I ran my idea of the parallel between the inscription on Naomi's bracelet and HP...

ShawnMcEvoy says: i'm currently recapping "The Economist" and just had this insight i thought i'd run past you:
ShawnMcEvoy says: [shares theory on the initials in Naomi's bracelet and the HP saga]
Chad Nykamp says: possible. the producers did say it was nothing, but they have denied other things that turned out to be true
ShawnMcEvoy says: there sure are a lot of "nothings" that the camera made a heck of a point to linger on. like the picture frames in the house Miles visits
Chad Nykamp says: very true
Chad Nykamp says: it seems to be a strange scene if it means nothing
ShawnMcEvoy says: that's the case with most of those things. which is one reason i have only 12% brain capacity left now
Chad Nykamp says: that's 2% more than you started with.
ShawnMcEvoy says: i knew i could count on you, man
Chad Nykamp says: no problem.