Of Others and Islands

The best-laid schemes o mice an men,
Often go awry.

-Robert Burns

Such is the inspiration for John Steinbeck’s classic novel, Of Mice and Men, which figures prominently in tonight’s new Lost episode. The story of dim-witted Lennie and his place in the world closely mirrors the situation Jack, Kate and Sawyer find themselves in. As the character of George Milton does in the book with Lennie, the Others are around to discipline their captives when they get into places they shouldn’t be.

Jack

We’re fast learning much more about the once-fearsome Others, and each week there seems to be another new nuance that gives us some insight into just what they’re up to. As I’ve surmised in past weeks, I’m starting to grow more confident in the belief that the Others may actually be the “good guys;” that what they’re doing on the Island is nothing less than trying to save the human race. This’ll be a running theory throughout the season, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

Going back to the “nuances” that shape our perceptions of the Others, I’m seeing a lot of role reversal amongst our characters. Jack has assumed the role “Henry Gale” once had when imprisoned in Swan Station last season, trying to glean as much information as possible by subtly manipulating Juliet by questioning who makes the decisions for the Others.

Jack

A familiar strategy Ben/Gale employed while conversing with Locke down in the Hatch. Juliet has clearly shown cracks in her armor since the season premiere, and I’d go so far as to say she’s an outcast from the rest of her group. This’ll come into play in a much larger way later this year, I’m sure. Going back to Jack, while he did his best to help save Colleen, he’s now got some leverage against the Others by figuring that one of them has a spinal tumor.

X-ray

Judging by next week’s episode, that tumor belongs to none other than Ben himself. If that’s the case, that may bring into question his true intent with Jack. Is he grooming Jack for release back into the world–or is he simply stringing him along until he can convince Jack to operate on his spine? And more importantly, how does this development figure in the overarching mythology of the show? Did Ben and the Others indeed have a hand in bringing Jack and his fellow 815 passengers to the Island? That would seem to be a stretch based on Ben’s reaction when he saw the plane overhead in the season premiere.

Speaking of role reversals, Desmond seems to have taken on a Locke-like reflectiveness and foresight, having somehow gained metaphysical abilities after the Hatch implosion. With Locke now busy with leading the remaining castaways to Jack, Kate and Sawyer’s rescue, Desmond is free to commune with the Island and perhaps do its’ bidding, as Locke once did.

Desmond

His clairvoyant abilities appear to be rounding into shape, having saved Claire, Charlie and Aaron from a lethal lightning bolt by jury-rigging a golf club and bamboo into a lightning rod. I’m anxious to see where Desmond’s character will go this season. Along with Locke, he may be the most interesting character on the show right now, mainly because there’s so much we don’t know about what happened to him.

Quick Hits

  • We learn Juliet is a fertility doctor, which begs the question, why is there need for a fertility doctor on the Island, unless the Others are trying to have children? And if they are doing just that, why haven’t we seen any children thus far, particularly in Othertown? Could they be hidden away for testing, along with Walt? I can’t imagine Juliet would be too happy at the prospect of helping couples achieve the miracle of life only to have the child sent off for experimentation and analysis.
  • Zeke mentioned that the “comms were down” since the EM pulse in last season’s finale, once again lending creedence to the Others having had regular contact with the outside world.
  • I figured from the get-go that Sawyer would be running a con with the warden, played by the always-dour-but-fantastic Bill Duke. I’m wondering if Munson and his $10 million will come into play somewhere further down the line.

    Warden

  • Lo and behold, Sawyer’s got a daughter. Clementine, in the song that made her “my darling,” was the daughter of a 49er during the 1800’s California Gold Rush, who died by drowning when she fell “into the brine” after stubbing her toe leading ducklings to the water.

    Yeah. Anyway, here’s a picture of Sawyer’s darling Clementine, for future reference:

    Clementine

  • We hear Ben make mention of another mode of transport, telling Juliet “the sub is back; we have a situation.” A sub?! I guess that’s how they get from Island to island undetected. Of course, how the eff did that 2nd island remain undetected? It seems as if the Castaways have charted most of the perimeter of the Island, whether on foot or by boat. How, then, did a whole, new island escape their grasps? I guess Alcatraz has a handy invisibility shield.

    Island #2

Other Stuff from Other Sites:

  • You can now buy the mural painted by Lost director Jack Bender, for the low, low price of $75.00!

    Mural

  • Lost’s hiatus will be a week shorter than originally planned, returning on February 7th instead of the 14th. Only two more episodes to go before that long wait for the season’s resumption. Just think, though, once it does resume it’ll be nonstop until the finale.
  • Sawyer’s gray bar accomodations were in Florida. Remember his reference to “pulling a job in Tallahassee?”
  • Going back to that Out to Brunch cartoon:

    The cartoon’s second segment is set to the strains of the “Blue Danube,” and centers around a duckling — who bears a striking resemblance to a young Daffy — who attempts to join a family of swans, but is continually rebuffed by the swan mother. Much of the waltz is actually sung by the swans; when the young duck joins in, his loud, off-key quacks give him away. However, when a vulture steals the young swans, it’s up to the ugly duckling to come to the rescue.

    A Corny Concerto

    Is Juliet that “ugly duckling?”

    Out to Brunch

That’s all for now. Next week looks like fun, as we introduce real, live pirates into the mix!

Eye Patch

Updated: October 26, 2006 — 12:22 am

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