Lost Season Five: Namaste

Sorry it’s taken me so long to make this week’s LOST post. It’s funny how little things like work and family leave so little time for blogging, eh? Anyway, last night we were treated to “Namaste”, a transitional episode that gets our players in place for the home stretch of Season Five. I know you can’t judge a season until you’ve viewed it in its entirety (Exhibit A: Season Three), but it is very difficult to not judge this season in light of the stellar Season Four. I’m still diggin’ it, but all the time-travel stuff has changed things for me. It’s getting hard to remember how it all fits together sometimes. Anyway, more to say about that at season’s end.

On to “Namaste”:

  • This episode confirms what I beleived to be true for the past few weeks: the survivors of Ajira 316 are in the “present”, circa 2007. Remember in Season Three when Kate and Sawyer had been captured by the Others and they’re told they’re breaking up rocks in order to make a runway? Now we know that was the truth. I suppose the runway could’ve been built in anticipation of something else, but personally, I have a feeling Ben had some sort of prior knowledge of the Ajira crash. Knowing he would be on the plane in the future, he commissions the construction of a runway to save his hide. That Benjamin Linus is a sneaky one, let me tell ya.
  • Is it just me or does Ilana (the law enforcement agent who had Sayid in her custody) remind anyone of Ana Lucia? Not sure there’s anything to that, but I had to register that here. I might be on to something. Doc Jensen at EW says she muttered the name “Sarah” when she woke up during the turbulence. If that’s true, what does that mean?
  • Josh Holloway is a great actor. He completely sold the reunion shot with the Oceanic Three (Jack, Kate, Hurley). But Sawyer also quickly moved to save his old pals by getting them Dharma-ized. Anybody else think Sawyer had something to do with Jack being assigned janitorial duty? That made me laugh. There’s a part of me that thinks Sawyer is secretly hating the fact that his old friends have returned. His Dharma life with Juliet was better than anything he’d ever known; now Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid have jeopardized that. I think it’s all going to come crashing down on him very soon. And I hate that, because I rather like this new Sawyer.
  • One thing that bugged me: the dialogue between Sawyer and his pals re: the time travel. After referring to Hurley as “Kong”, Sawyer drops the bomb: the year is 1977. And Jack and Kate and Hurley are like, “Oh, OK. That’s weird.” I guess the writers were trying to get us to a certain point in the narrative, but we labored through so many episodes early on this season where Sawyer and Juliet and the crew are trying to wrap their brains around this time travel stuff. And now the Oceanic Sixers are just supposed to roll with it? I don’t know, seemed kinda lame to me. But I digress.
  • I’m guessing Sawyer’s reference to Farraday (“He’s not here…anymore.”) is a tease about an upcoming episode. My guess is that Farraday somehow hooked up with Richard Alpert and the Hostiles / Others. You’ll remember from the opening sequence of Season Five that Farraday eventually infiltrates The Orchid. I’m guessing his M.O. will be to turn the donkey wheel again, perhaps in an effort to go “back” to the present (or prior to his time on the Island) in order to save Charlotte. The real question: over the course of the past 3 years on the Island, has Farraday finally decided to take off that ridiculous tie?
  • Did you catch Ben’s comment to Lapidus before Sun capsized him with the raft oar? When Lapidus says he doesn’t want to leave his people, Ben says something like, “Well, I have people I have to take care of, too.” Who is he talking about? The Others? The Oceanic Six? Is he lying? As always, you can take anything he says a hundred different ways. Is there another character in this series (or on network television, for that matter) who requires as much interpretation as Ben?
  • Speaking of Ben, I LOVE the creepy young Ben at the end of the episode. Hope we see more of that kid. His eyes look just like Michael Emerson’s.
  • In the scene where Sun was talking to Christian in the cabin, a blonde haired individual can be seen standing behind Sun. Any idea who this is? Claire? Garth from Wayne’s World?

The next two bullets are, in my opinion, the most important pieces of information to come from this episode. These two items get at the heart of Season Five and all this time travel stuff. I think this season hinges on two key questions: Can you change the past? If so, does that mean you can change the future? Two pieces of information for us to discuss:

  • Amy & Horace’s baby is Ethan. Interesting. There has been significant debate as to whether or not Sawyer and Juliet were “supposed” to save Amy from the Hostiles. If they hadn’t come upon them, it’s safe to assume that Amy would’ve died and her child would never have been born. But in the Island’s timeline that we’re familiar with, of course we know that Ethan plays a major role. It seems that Sawyer and Juliet didn’t change the past at all; in fact, they were simply playing the roles “fate” or the Island had predetermined for them (or something like that). When Sawyer approaches the Hostiles in “LaFleur”, one of them fires at him but misses. It could be that the Hostile has lousy aim; but it could also be that the Island won’t let Sawyer die because of the role Sawyer must play. Remember, we’ve seen this sort of thing before (when Michael kept trying to kill himself or when Jack was going to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge in the Season Three finale). In this regard, the Island is some sort of grand puppeteer and our castaways are simply players in the Island’s drama. (If that’s true, isn’t it interesting that Radzinsky was watching 1977 episodes of the Muppet Show over at the Flame? Perhpas that’s a significant nod to the fact that the Island is indeed some sort of puppet master?) As for why Ethan doesn’t have the last name “Goodspeed” (we’ve always known him as “Ethan Rom”), I have no idea. I do think it’s interesting that Ethan was one of the individuals who accompanied Richard Alpert when he recruited Juliet; in essence, he recruited the woman who gave birth to him. It would seem that Sawyer and Juliet didn’t change the past / future at all. In Farraday’s cryptic words, “Whatever happened, happened.”
  • I’m still curious as to why Sun didn’t make the jump back in time. As she and Lapidus dock the boat, they see / hear Smokey. As they enter the Barracks area, you could hear the whispers and then we see Christian again. But that’s where things got really interesting, because the Barracks don’t look anything like they did when we last saw them. You’ll remember last season when Keamy and his crew had Ben baracaded in his home and Alex was murdered. That prompted Ben to “call” Smokey, who proceeded to unleash his smoldery wrath upon them. But in that time frame (late 2004), the Barracks had been Other-ized. That is, there were no Dharma Initative logos on the doors, no building labled “Processing Center”, certainly no dusty old pictures of Dharma recruits hanging on the wall. This means that either a) between 2004 and 2007, someone has reconstituted the Dharma Initative on the Island and it has subsequently been wiped out (again), thus the Barracks are left in the disheveled state we see; or b) the “past” (which Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, etc are all living in) has in fact been changed to the degree that the Barracks were never populated by the Others. Despite the evidence we’ve seen so far, I’m of the opinion that the past can be changed and the future can be altered. (And I think Farraday will make an about-face on this issue, too; that’s why I think he’s infiltrating Dharma). I’m thinking somebody (Sayid, as the previews would seem to indicate) is going to spill the beans to the Dharma folk that a purge is coming. That will set off a chain of events that will ultimately keep Dharma in power. That is, until the Island chooses to “course correct” and the Dharma peeps are wiped out some other way. Maybe Widmore is responsible. Maybe Ben and Richard simply purge them later. Maybe resurrected Locke walks on water from the Hydra Island and blows up the “new” Dharma stations like he did with the Swan. And the Flame. And the sub. I’m sure there’s plenty of dynamite left in the Black Rock. All of this to say, the debate is still ongoing, at least in my mind, as to whether or not “past events” can be changed, thus leading to an alternative future. Time will tell if this is true or not.
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11 Responses to Lost Season Five: Namaste

  1. SKID says:

    Jason,I am fairly certain that Ilana says “Jarah” . . . which is Sayid’s last name which would make sense if you were toting around a prisoner.She was wondering where he went. . . .but her accent made it sound odd.I sent my Muppet comment and some interpretations to Jeff Jensen at EW and he wrote back a congragulatory reply and asked what city I lived in. Either I will get a shout out in his next article or he has put my name on a list of people to kidnap and hold in a bear cage.

  2. AUbecca says:

    Jason,If Ethan is Horace and Amy’s son, how did he survive Ben wiping out the entire Dharma initiative. Has the show explained this yet? This may end up being a stupid question with the answer just glaring me in the face but this season really has me struggling to stay on top of all this information. And by the way, I’m with you on the whole Sawyer thing. I love his character this season.

  3. Jason says:

    Skid, I think you’re right. I think she says “Jarrah”, which would make sense. Per Jensen, I was thinking of Jack’s former wife, but I think she says Sayid’s name instead. And I totally forgot to footnote you on the Muppets thing. I’ll be looking to see if you get a shout out at EW. Rebecca,Up until this point, the only former Dharma that we’ve seen survive the Purge has been Ben. Of course, now we find out that Ethan was also Dharma and merged into the community we know as “the Others”. This at least opens up the possibility that the Purge was initiated by a group much larger than just Ben. I’m guessing Ethan was in on the plan as well. Maybe we’ll find out.I hear the season finale for this year is entitled “The Incident”. I can hardly wait!

  4. SKID says:

    Jason,Don’t we also find out that Mikhail claims to be (in his words) “the last surviving member of the DHARMA Initiative”He could be lying but Ben seemed to have worked out some deal with them. He did not seem to be an Other . . . and does not seem to be totally allied with Ben until later.My point is that there may have been others who survived the Purge somehow.Just thoughts.

  5. TARA says:

    If the past and future could not be altered by the presence of the Oceanic 6, then why are we still watching this show? We are certainly hoping things work out for the good aren’t we.I want to know where Rose and her dentist husband went? If that question were ever answered during all the wrinkle in time episodes, I missed it!

  6. Jason says:

    Per Lostpedia, Mikhail claimed to be a member of Dharma, “but later confessed that this was not true.”But the point is still the same: it seems that Ben was not the only member of Dharma to survive the Purge. The first time around, that is!

  7. Jason says:

    Tara,We haven’t seen Bernard and Rose since the flaming arrows came raining down in episode two of this season, “The Lie”. Personally, I think they’re the bodies that were referred to as “Adam and Eve” in the cabes in season 1. Glad you guys are caught up on the past episodes so you can take part in the discussion here.

  8. Dylan says:

    The Season finale is called “The Incident” eh?I’m guessing this is referring to “the incident” Chang refers to in the instruction video in the hatch that causes them to have to push the video every 108 minutes?And Krazenski was Kelvin’s original partner in the hatch, right? The one who shot himself?

  9. Jason says:

    Dylan, you’re right. I wonder, though, if we’re going to be set up to think “the incident” is one thing (perhaps early on in the episode) only to have the rug pulled out from under us in the closing seconds. Maybe whatever the incident “was” (in an earlier timeline) will now become a different, alternate incident that somehow alters the flow of the future. And you’re right about Crazy..I mean, Krazynski. That dude creeps me out.

  10. Dylan says:

    Some General Comments about Season 5:I think when all is said and done, we’re going to look back at season 5 as another incredible season. But I think most hardcore Lost fans are having mixed feelings with Lost right now and we’re having difficulty putting our finger on exactly what our problems are.I think the main thing (for me at least) is that the entire format of season 5 episodes are completely different from what we are used to through the first 4 seasons. In the first four seasons the format would basically go: Island plot setup-flashback/flashforward setup-Island story-flash story-Island climax-flash climax-Reflective Island conclusion (people staring at the ocean talking about what just happened).That was what we were used to and we were comfortable with it and loved it. Now in season 5 the entire episode is basic linear plot for the enitre episode (“linear” is kind of ambiguous with the time travel stuff). Some episodes swithched back and forth between on-island/off-island or 1979/2007 and some episodes would camp out entirely in one of those settings. In seasons 1-4, every episode focused on one central character, and now it’s focusing more on groups of people (although you can argue that some episodes are still semi-focusing on one person like “Lefleur” focused on Sawyer).Another difference is that in seasons 1-4, most of the plot was at least slightly scientifically feasible (which helped increase the tension in the “man of science/man of faith” debates). Now, with the flashes and time travel elements, the plot line is much more fantasy-driven. As you mentioned Jason, it’s weird that all the characters seem to accept all the time travel stuff so readily.Since Jack is my favorite character, my biggest problem with this season is the relegation of Jack’s role in the series. He hasn’t done anything cool all season, his character has been kind of stale, and all he does is just follow Ben or Sawyer’s orders. Plus, shouldn’t he be going through drug withdrawls now, like Charlie went through in season 1? The only mention of his drug problem was that Ben threw away his pills in the first episode.I honestly have realy enjoyed this season, and there have been some great episodes (Lefleur and 316 are both some of my favorites of the whole series). And like I said, I think we’re going to look back at season 5 as a whole as an awesome season. I think that us long-time Lost fans are just having some initial difficulty with some of the changes and, as Jason said, season 4 was just INCREDIBLE, and it may have put unrealistic expectations on season 5.Anyways, sorry for the lengthy comment. I was just kind of rambling about my feelings about the season that I’ve been having trouble verbalizing.

  11. Jason says:

    Dylan,That was well said. Jeff Jensen over at EW.com has a theory that Season 5 is a parallel to Season 2. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s an interesting theory. You should check it out. But I think you hit on it in your comment…the format we’ve come to expect has been altered somewhat. Whereas the earlier seasons (season 1 in particular) could really camp out and focus on character development, we’re now at the point in the series where we have a fixed number of episodes with which to tell the remaining narrative. No doubt this limits the writers’ ability to walk us through, say, a realistic period of withdrawal for Jack. Of course, some would argue that “realistic” flew out the window the moment the Island blipped out of sight at the end of Season 4. But you get the point. That said, the jury is still out for me with regard to this season. There have been some seminal moments for sure (Locke’s suicide / murder by Ben, Sawyer’s Dharma redemption, etc), but Season 4 is proving a tough act to follow.

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