Saturday, February 13, 2010

Discussion Corner: Apos Q and A

I am calling this “Apos: Q and A.” Maybe this will become a weekly segment, or not, depending on whether or not Apos cooperates. Regardless, Steven brought up some interesting points in his response to my “What Kate Does” post and so I thought I would just make a whole new post out of them. Here’s Steven’s (Apos) comment (italics) followed by my response (bold).

Seeing as I got a shout out in this post I'll take the initiative to be the first [comment]. I've been speculating and theory crafting on several issues. One of which you jumped on too, I'm pretty convinced that Richard came to the island on the Black Rock.

I also think the Claire issue needs to be looked at much more closely. She is said to be "infected" now, does this mean that the stories we received from Rousseau about her husband and crew were in fact inaccurate? Could it be that Rousseau was the one that was "infected" and in her craze killed all of her crew members. I'd say its a good guess. I also think something of Claire's condition has to be directly linked with the fact that she is no longer with/taking care of Aaron. I say this of course because of the several clues we've received throughout the series stating that 1.) "You must raise the child" and 2.) the numerous visions to Kate that shes not suppose to raise Aaron. I'd also like to point out the obvious similarities between Claire and Rousseau: Claire looks like Rousseau, Claire is placing traps and seems bewildered, and of course we can't forget the fact that both were separated from their children.

As for the Dogen comment, the possible reasoning for the poison reaching his "heart" could be that many ancient civilizations such as the Chinese and Japanese believed the mind was an essence of the heart (life force), not the brain. I also question the whole Ben never being the same issue, because if being healed by the Spring had some negative effects why would Dogen so willingly plunge his hand into the water. Yet again, I think that there was definitely something about Ben's revitalization that caused him to be as ruthless and cutthroat as he is.

There's plenty of other crap I've thought of and would like to discuss, but its getting late and honestly I can't keep all my thoughts straight in this tiny little box, so we'll continue this later. (P.s. the island is actually Atlantis - am I being serious? Who knows).

I think most LOST theorists agree at this point that Richard came on the Black Rock, though most theories I've seen have him as the captain of the ship (implicit racism perhaps at work), but in light of the chains comment by Smoky it might very well be that he was one of the slaves. I think we will find out much more about Richard and his relationship with Jacob and Smoky in the weeks to come.

You make some interesting points about Claire. You bring up some parallels with Rousseau that I hadn't thought about (specifically about them both being separated from their children *though under somewhat different circumstances*). I’m not sure if that parallel is important or not, but I will keep an eye on it for future episodes. As to Rousseau perhaps being the one infected I would have to disagree. If you remember the episode in question (“This Place is Death”), the other members of her expedition crew follow the Frenchman into the hole, but Jin stops her from going in saying, “you don’t follow.” Later we see her in a faceoff with her baby’s daddy (Robert) and he talks her into lowering her gun before he pulls the trigger. If she were the one infected I doubt that she would be persuaded to lower her weapon, and the fact that he pulls the trigger tells me that obviously he has changed if he is willing to kill his own child and wife/baby’s momma (that’s not something normal people do). Also, Dogen says that the infection changes everything you once were, but on several occasions we saw Rousseau, even years later, profoundly impacted by the loss of her daughter (something I don’t think we would see from an infected person). The physical similarities between Claire and Rousseau could be explained by the simple fact that they both have been living alone in a jungle (one would expect them to get a bit dirty), and that both were/are a little bit insane (maybe as a result of both losing children, like you said). As for the trap making, it’s not hard to imagine that Claire would use similar traps, after all she has been living alone on the island now for several years and would undoubtedly have come across many of Rousseau’s traps that she had setup all over the island while still alive.

About Aaron; I too have questions about his role in all this. It has certainly been hinted at that he is an important character in the larger story that LOST is trying to tell, but I almost wonder if the writers of the show have decided to go in a different direction and left Aaron somewhat out of it. We were led to believe that the psychic who told Claire to raise the child was a fraud (he admitted as much himself to Mr. Eko in episode 21 of season 2, “?”). That doesn’t necessarily mean that he is actually a fraud (he could have been lying to Mr. Eko so that he would drop the investigation), or that what he told her isn’t significant; they definitely made it seem like he had some knowledge of the future, and he had no clear motive to lie to her (even refusing to take her money/buying her a plane ticket). I don’t think we ever had a vision to Kate saying she shouldn’t raise the child (if you can recall specifics I will go back and look it up), we had a vision to JACK saying that he shouldn’t raise the child, and we had Claire appearing to Kate telling her, “don’t you dare bring him back, (presumably meaning to the island)”. It just seems to me that Aaron has become less and less of a factor as the show has gone on. He may very well come back into play in a major way, but it wouldn’t particularly surprise me if he doesn’t.

I wasn’t trying to argue that Dogen didn’t know that the brain is responsible for personality and not the heart, as some ancient civilizations believed. My point was more a question of whether Dogen meant to imply that the ‘infection’ was spiritual and not physical. Is it actually affecting the heart (in a spiritual sense, aka the soul or life-force) or is it affecting the brain (heart here used metaphorically to mean the personality aspect of the brain). That’s all I meant by it.

On the issue of Ben, I guess what I was unwittingly implying was the he had somehow been healed by the smoke monster (which now thinking about it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense). My idea was that if the smoke monster “claimed” him as he did Sayid, then it would explain his dramatic change in personality (changing everything he once was, as it were). But we now know that there’s no way that Richard would enlist the smoke monster for help, so that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I guess the spring healing him is the only logical alternative, but I don’t know why that would take away his innocence. Thinking about this has brought to mind an interesting point though, if Ben is working for Jacob, and Jacob and the smoke monster are enemies, why would the smoke monster allow itself to be “summoned” by Ben to kill off Keamy’s soldiers? He told Smoky (who we thought was Locke at the time) back in season 5 that he only knew how to “summon” the monster, he didn’t actually know where it “lived”. Why would Smoky allow himself to be summoned by a pawn of Jacob? Unless maybe he was somehow being forced to do so… interesting. I’ll have to think more about this.

I don’t think the island is Atlantis (since Atlantis was a city and the island clearly has no cities on it), though it might be from another planet and/or dimension.


James Demarko said...

nice nice.
if u keep it up and work hard at it im sure the producer will stop by

Anonymous said...

Maybe Jacob can claim people as well, and maybe Ben's healing was as a result of Jacob's life force entering him, hence Ben's authority over the smoke monster and his ability to summon him, which might also explain the "loophole" that being: the only person capable of killing Jacob is Jacob himself or in this case someone who is filled with his essence. The reason maybe they are concerned about Sayid being "infected" is because the water color could represent whose essence is doing the "claiming". If it's always been clear (Jacob's essence) than it would certainly be an unknown when they walked in and saw it brownish, but being the only way in which they knew to heal someone they took that chance since it was imperative that those on the list survive. Once the "claiming" happened and their hunch was realized (smoky's essence) they had to go to plan b: better to lose someone off the list than to have an "infected" among them.

Apos said...

Lol, I'd definitely be down for a weekly Q and A section. You raise some interesting questions with the summoning issue. I was also joking about the Atlantis comment simply because they showed the island underwater in S06E01.

This next comment would be more aimed towards Rob's post. Jacob has shown his healing ability before when he brought John Locke back to life, so I'm not exactly sure his healing "claims" individuals. As for the spring itself, I believe the color directly reflects Jacob's death, but I don't think Dogen would risk using it if he believed he would be "claimed" or "infected." I also think Jacob would have more sense than to send Sayid to the temple knowing he would be "claimed" by the smoke monster. Unless of course Jacob is using Sayid as a pawn for a bigger purpose.

Joshua Boeke said...

I think I might make a new post exploring the issue that Rob brought up about the "loophole" that allowed Ben to kill Jacob; I think it is a very interesting question, and one that will prove essential to how the show plays out.

To Jacob sending Sayid to the temple: if you recall the note said that "if you're friend there dies then we're all in a lot of trouble." Clearly Jacob sent Sayid to the temple to be cured, but the note seems to imply that he never intended for him to actually die. When Sayid died it might have thrown off whatever plan Jacob had for him (perhaps resulting in him being "claimed", an outcome that Jacob was trying to avoid by sending him to the temple in the first place), though we don't know that for sure. I don't think Dogen knew what would happen as a result of the water changing colors (Lennon says "what happened?" as if they had never seen anything like it before) and if you remember at that point in the story Dogen didn't even know that Jacob had been killed, he found that out from Hurley later. I don't think using the spring is what "infected" Sayid, it was the fact that he was not able to be saved by spring that led to him being infected/claimed.

James F. McGrath said...

I think the loophole was that the smoke monster sent Jacob this Valentine's Day card through Ben, thus causing Jacob to be willing to die...

Apos said...

I don't think it "had" to be Ben to kill Jacob. I just think Smoky used it as his loophole because he knew Ben was the only one that was broken enough to actually carry out the murder. The "others" were too faithful to Jacob to kill him, regular passengers would not carry out the hit, and the new passengers were Jacob's body guards. I think it just came down to ability, Smoky knew that Ben was invested emotionally with all that had happened to him and the fact that his "daughter" told him to do whatever Locke said.

I'm also not exactly convinced of the note yet. Seeing as Dogen and old Lennon have lied about everything else so far I highly doubt that he would actually tell Hurley what was on the paper.

Joshua Boeke said...

Interesting theory Dr. McGrath, though I don't know how convinced I am by it. That Valentine's Day card is disturbing to be sure, but would someone really become suicidal over it? Maybe the writer who introduced the characters to begin with (who undoubtedly LOST his/her job as a result), but beyond that I don't think the agony that was Nikki and Paulo would drive a God-like being such as Jacob to contemplate ending it all. It could be though that Smoky was so angry at Jacob for "bringing" Nikki and Paulo to the island that he set out to orchestrate his demise, now THAT would be plausible.

@Apos: I think the idea that Ben was the first person who Smoky could manipulate into killing Jacob doesn't explain everything. You're thinking in terms of the people CURRENTLY on the island, but what about the however many people who came before them? Presumably Jacob and Smoky have been on this island for hundreds if not thousands of years. In that time I find it hard to believe that he couldn't manipulate or intimidate someone into doing his dirty work. There has to be a specific set of circumstances that make this particular situation unique, i.e. the "loophole".