That's right, Miles Straum finally takes center stage after the strike-shortened season 4 postponed our Freighter folk's backstories to this year. What we ended up with was a fun little adventure for Miles and Hurley, the ongoing collapse of Sawyer and crew's DHARMA cover, and more plot movement and setup for what is seeming to be the FINAL CONFLICT on LOST Island. What lies in the shadow of the statue anyway? Sounds like it might not just be an expression! Anyway, let's not waste any more time folks. Time to dive into another WOW-worthy episode of a WOW-TASTIC season of LOST!
So before we even saw this episode, we had speculated that Miles was the baby that we saw in the season premiere with Dr. Pierre Chang (Marvin Candle, Edgar Hallowax, Marc Wickmund, etc...). We also got a glimpse of Chang's wife in the season premiere, so anyone with a good memory (or that has watched the episodes a few times) probably would have made the connection in the opening scene of this episode that Miles is the son of Dr. Chang, and that he and his mother left the island when he was a little boy or maybe even an infant (hence him not remembering living there). We see Miles discover his supernatural abilities as a boy, and him question them as he grew up. As an adult, he exploited them to earn a living (which we saw in his initial flashback scene in season 4). We also learn how and why he was recruited for the freighter and some other interesting things along the way. Here are some highlights from the flashbacks.
- The clock in the beginning of the episode said 3:16. An obvious allusion to Ajira Flight 316 as well as the bible verse John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" But we discussed all of that fun stuff in the episode titled "316" anyway! Bottom line? The writers have new numbers to mess around with and they're not afraid to flaunt them in our face!
- Did that apartment complex look like the one from the Karate Kid or is it just me? (probably just me!)
- Little kid Miles had his first encounter with a dead person at the apartment. He "sensed" that the key to the dead man's room was under a white stone rabbit. (white rabbit anyone?)
- Kind creepy stuff when Miles said that the dead guy was still talking to him and that he can hear him. Also weird that present day Miles (located in the past) told Hurley he doesn't have conversations with the Dead, he feels them! But we'll get there later! As we have seen before, Miles was able to determine how the man died.
- Later in life, perhaps his late teens/early 20's, Miles returns home to visit his dying mother. Looked like cancer. He asked his mother why he is the way he is and why she never talked about his father. She said that his father is dead and that Chang kicked them out when Miles was a baby. Miles wanted to know where the body was so he could find out for himself. She alluded that it's on the island. Hmmm, so did Chang REALLY die when they said he died? It would seem that he made more films after the INCIDENT at the Swan Station which has not happened yet in 1977. I'm guessing we may see the events of baby Miles play out in the present day. And this is probably a good time to bring up that crazy video from Comic-Con last summer with Dr. Chang. It seems very possible that whatever THAT is about may be why he got his wife and son OFF of the island. Let's not forget that we here Daniel Faraday's voice in the video. And why does Chang bring up the "PURGE" with it being 30 years earlier? The purge doesn't happen until 1992! Anyway, I'd expect to see more of this before the end of the season.
- Years later, not long before the freighter trip, we see Miles as a professional "GHOSTBUSTER" or helping loved ones be at peace. He's a con-man. He tells them what they want to hear and gets their money. Of course, the 2 times we have seen him collect money, both times he eventually returns it. Miles mentions that he needs to see a body. When the father of slain son tells Miles the football star was cremated and spread over the football field, Miles mentions that may not work. What does this say about the time that Miles talked to the GHOST in the season 4 flashback when he was just in the boy's bedroom? There was no body there that we knew about.
- Anyway we get to see Naomi again. The girl from the freighter who first parachuted onto the island with Desmond's picture, told the LOSTIES that everyone thought they were dead, and ended up getting killed by Locke with a knife thrown into her back. Apparently Widmore (we can assume it's him I would think!) has been following Miles' work and thought he might be useful in extracting BEN from the island. There are lots of dead bodies on the island and they thought Miles could communicate with them to find him as Ben was involved with the DHARMA purge. I'm sure Widmore failed to mention that HE ordered the purge!
- Naomi takes Miles to a dead body for his audition. Miles finds out that the dead man was Felix and he was delivering papers, photos and pictures of empty graves and a purchase order for an old airplane to Charles Widmore. Hmmm, when I first watched the scene I just assumed this confirmed that Widmore DID set up the fake flight 815 on the bottom of the ocean. But now thinking about the episode from last season "Meet Kevin Johnson" when Michael talked to Tom aka Mr. Friendly "off-island," I remembered that Tom was in possession of papers, photos and pictures of empty graves and a purchase order for an old airplane. Hmmmmmm did Tom kill Felix and steal all of this documentation that he showed to Michael? Was Felix doing RECON work for Widmore or was he delivering receipts of what Widmore purchased? Yikes, maybe I'm overthinking this, but I don't think we proved either way who set up the fake flight. Correct me if I'm wrong!
- Naomi mentions that Widmore is offering $1.6 Million to Miles to help them extract "mass-murderer" Ben from the island. Anyone doing the math could have multiplied this by 2 and got $3.2 Million, a number that Miles asks Ben for in season 4 when he told Ben he knew who he was and that he could get that kind of money.
- At another point before his trip on the freighter, Miles was kidnapped in a VAN by none-other than a man we really just started to get to know last week. His name? BRAM. Where did we see him last? Holding a gun to Frank Lapidus on Hydra Island in 2007 and working with Ilana. He tries to get Miles to work on HIS side (i.e. not Widmore's side) and to not get on the boat. He asked Miles if he knew "what lies in the shadow of the statue" which he didn't naturally. Bram said that this meant he is not ready to go to the island. Bram promised answers to Miles if he went with him. Why he has a gift, who he is, etc... Bram also promised information on Miles' father. Miles continues a running theme for the episode that he stopped caring for his father and that he just wants money. DOUBLE what Widmore is offering. DUM DUM DUMMMMM
- There's your 3.2 million folks! So what can we conclude here? Well we can't say officially that Bram and Ben are on the same side, although it seems likely. We can probably confirm that Miles THINKS they are on the same side when he asks Ben for the $3.2 million.
- Anyway, Bram refuses to pay the money and says that Miles will never fill that hole inside of him, and that he's playing for the wrong team. Bram says he is on the team that is going to win. Okay, so is this the WAR that Widmore spoke of to John Locke? Is it truly a Ben vs. Widmore battle? Or are Bram and Ilana part of some new faction and threat to the island? Is this the small chess moves being made to set up the grand battle for the island in season 6? Will this Bram guy be a major player? If Ben is in cahoots with these people, does that mean that Ben has left the island and created a life for himself OFF of the island as well? Pictures, passports and foreign money in season 4 all point to the fact that he has. We also know that he was in Tunisia at some point in time before his 2005 stint too. Somehow Ben and Charles Widmore were able to make boatloads of money off of the island while living ON the island for a large portion of their lives. Very interesting indeed! Anyway I'm rambling here!
- As I mentioned earlier Miles returned to Football Dad to give back his money. It was more of Miles' father issues coming to play. The dad wanted to know if his son knew he loved him. Miles told the father that he lied earlier and it wasn't fair to the dead son. The father should have told him when he was alive. OUCH! Hopefully, Miles and Chang will have that bonding moment he so desperately needs!
Things Falling Apart in DHARMAVILLESo outside of Miles' story, we had a follow-up to what has been going on in DHARMAVILLE since Ben was taken by Sawyer and Kate to The Others. Sawyer and Kate have returned and try to cover up where they have been. Roger starts to get suspicious over some things Kate says and does. Jack tries to clean it up. And by the end of the episode Sawyer finds himself in a pickle with Phil! Here are the things worth noting from this storyline.
- While Sawyer and Kate are re-entering the sonic fence area of the barracks , Sawyer contacts Miles over the walkie talkie and asks him to get rid of the security tape of them coming back. (hmmmm why not dispose of the one of them leaving too? unless it's on the same tape) Miles was catching up on some old sporting news as you see Tommy Lasorda was just hired as the coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Insert your Grey's Sports Almanac theories now (Back to the Future II for you untrained out there! Marty buys an almanac from the future in hopes he can bet on games in the past and make some dough and all hell breaks loose!)
- Sawyer sends Kate to talk to Juliet and find out if anyone has been wondering what happened to Ben. Meanwhile, Sawyer leaves the premises again to look for Sayid.
- Kate finds Juliet at the infirmary and updates her on the situation. She thanks Juliet for sending Sawyer to help. And then Roger comes in to spoil the fun as he is looking for Ben. He flips out! Seriously, Juliet didn't come up with a better excuse in all the time that Kate and Sawyer were gone than "I'm sorry, I was gone for 10 minutes and when I came back he wasn't here"? Yikes. I don't blame Roger for flipping out! Roger says he's going to contact security. Juliet feels like the jig might be up!
- Next we see Roger drinking some DHARMA beer (his favorite pasttime) on the swingset. Kate tries to help the situation by calming him down. Kate keeps explaining that things are going to work out. She just has a feeling. Tells him not to give up hope as she opens up her own can of DHARMA beer. Roger starts getting suspicious of Kate, thinking she knows what happened to Ben. She seems to be getting OVER-interested in Ben.
- Jack tries to cover for Roger's janitor duties by cleaning up the DHARMA classroom. Roger knows that Jack was "recruited" at the same time as Kate and asks what he knows about her. He tells Jack about about his suspicions about Kate giving blood for Ben, telling him about her "feeling that Ben will be alright." Roger talks about reporting her to Horace. Jack, seemed to come a little out of his "I'm not going to do anything" mode by trying to steer Roger off of the path. Jack tells Roger that he's drunk and getting some crazy ideas, that he knows Kate and she wouldn't do anything to hurt Ben (at least not CHILD Ben!). This seems to calm Roger down for now.
- If you take a closer look at the chalk board that Jack is erasing you will see some Egyptian scribblings on the board. Looks like DHARMA is getting into the whole Egyptian symbolism too, eh? Pretty good timing with the creation of that SWAN Hatch and the CLOCK that counts down to the end of the world! (you know, the clock that when the timer hits zero, a bunch of Egyptian Hieroglyphics come up?) Not sure where to go with all of that, but it does make me think that there is something more to DHARMA's interest in the Egyptian ties of the island.
- Sawyer returns home that night to find that Jack is having some coffee with Juliet. Jack came to fill in Sawyer on the "Kate" situation from the day, that her heart was in the right place and that he tried to diffuse the situation. Sawyer gets a little flustered at the situation but then recognizes Jack's efforts to be a team player and thanks him.
- And of course, as Jack leaves the house and Sawyer walks outside to breath in some of that fresh DHARMA air, Phil arrives with some interesting news. He figured out who stole Ben. SAWYER himself! But he came to the Head of Security whom he's worked with for 3 years hoping there was a logical explanation for all of it. And the Sawyer does what we all have wanted to do, KNOCKS that punk out! Sawyer tells Juliet to get some rope. Ohhhh boy, this isn't going to be good. Mr. LaFleur's cover story has about run its course. Can't wait to find out what happens!
With Sawyer being absent "looking for the escaped prisoner" Horace asks Miles to become part of the "Circle of Trust" and entrusts Miles with a SOLO mission to deliver a package to Radzinsky. Miles will then return with a package that needs to be delivered to Pierre Chang at the Orchid. Hurley gets mixed up in the adventure and comedy ensues! And of course, some juicy reveals occur along the way. Here is what went down:
- Horace asks Miles to take the package to grid 334 and bring back Radzinsky's package with no questions asked. Grid 334 is HOSTILE territory. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to put the clues together here! Radzinsky has been discussing plans for the Swan station since we first met him. We know they are trying to keep it a secret from the Hostiles. We also knew that the first hatch our LOSTIES discovered in 2004 was very far from all of the other DHARMA stations. But it is exciting nonetheless that we are witnessing the creation of the legendary SWAN station!
- It turns out what Miles brought to gun-toting whiny Radzinsky was a body bag to put a, you guessed it, dead body into (package #2 for Miles to return). It looked like we had a man shot in the head, but that was not the case! Miles talks to the dead guy and eventually we find out that the man's name was Alvarez and and that his fillings shot up from his tooth and blowing through his brain, killing him. Remember back in season 2 when Desmond told Jack every time he walked by the CONCRETE wall in the hatch that his fillings hurt? (I love how we all used to think that crazy Scotsman was telling us that his "feelings" hurt!) Electromagnetism folks!
- When Miles returns, Horace is on the phone with Pierre Chang. He mentions that if the death was caused by electromagnetism they need to know. Horace asks Miles to bring the body to Chang at the Orchid. Miles hesitated, most likely because he didn't want to interact with his father. (at this point in the episode it had not been officially revealed yet though)
- Meanwhile, Hurley started loading up Miles' van with sandwiches, complete with Hurley's garlic mayo, for the Orchid workers. He figured that he would go WITH Miles to the Orchid. Naturally, Miles couldn't figure out how to explain to Hurley that he needed to go by himself. So, Hurley and Miles team up for another comedic adventure! You gotta love Hurley's line about carpooling "It will help with global warming which hasn't happened yet. Maybe it will prevent it!" You really just gotta love Hurley. He had some classic lines in this episode which I will try to unveil to you as we go along!
- On the journey, Hurley is writing in a notebook and asks how to spell "Bounty Hunter." Anyone that recognized the episode title of HOTH had to make the immediate connection to The Empire Strikes Back, but we will hold off for the big reveal!
- Hurley smells something in the van and suspects Miles for some gas passing. Miles claims it's Hurley's garlic-mayo. But Hurley finds the dead body. "There's a body bag with a dead body in it!" Miles explains how the guy died. And the Hurley suspects that Miles can talk to dead people because "so can he."
- Miles is intrigued by Hurley's comment and asks him more about it. They have conversations? Hurley says yes, that he actually sees them and that he sometimes plays chess with them (Mr. Eko last season). Miles says that is not how his "POWER" works. He doesn't chat with ghosts, he feels them. When they die their brain stops functioning there is just who they were and what they knew before they died. This confuses me again with the flashback scene we saw with Miles last season where he talked to the boy, asked him some questions and then something fell over in the boy's bedroom as if he was actually there. I guess he may still have just sensed the boy's presence, but something isn't really tying up there! Again, gotta love Hurley's line "you're just jealous that my power is better than yours!"
- They arrive at the Orchid. Chang is not happy about Hurley being around for the trip. Hurley mentions he won't talk about the body. Chang threatens him with the worst job on the island, even worse than a cook. "I like being a cook!" (I'm telling you, classic lines all over the place!) That would be cleaning up the "turds" from the Polar Bears on Hydra Island. Ahhh, you gotta love the mentioning of Polar Bears in the same episode that has the Ice Planet "HOTH" in the title! Of course, this is the first time we officially confirmed that the BEARS in the cages on Hydra Island were indeed POLAR Bears. We had assumed with 99% certainty, but here's the 1% if anyone was still doubting! The same Polar Bears that learned how to work machines and feed themselves food. Maybe the same polar bears that were released onto the main island, found the caves (where one took Mr. Eko) and through the underground cave system, found their way to the colder dwellings. Perhaps even arriving to where the donkey wheel was and figured out how to turn THAT bad boy and end up in Tunisia! (Can't take credit for that one folks! Got that from a COMMENTER on the Gather site where I post the blog too! Brilliant idea though!)
- The body is brought inside the Orchid. Hmmmm, are they going to transport the body through TIME? Chang requests Miles to stay until he returns. Hurley starts calling Chang some bad names. Miles confirms that Pierre Chang is indeed his father.
- Hurley goes on a rant about Miles' dad being the dude from all of the "movies" (DHARMA Films). And he asks Miles why he changes his name for every video. Miles seems to know why because he said that he didn't want to talk about it. But how did he know it was his dad? He got in line behind his mother at the cafeteria. Nice! Hurley asks about the purge and shouldn't Miles say something? Miles says that he can't change anything so why bother? Hmmmm, maybe Miles DOES tell Chang about the Purge which makes him think the purge is imminent (see video above) even though it doesn't happen for years to come. Of course with Daniel talking on the video, it could be HIM that reveals this information.
- Chang tells Miles to take him to Radzinsky at the work site. He looks at Hurley and says if he utters one word "Polar Bear Poop, got it!" Miles asked what happened to the body, Chang simply responds "What body?" which makes me think they disposed of it indefinitely. Which makes me think they transported it to another place and time. But I dunno. Maybe I am overthinking again!
- The journey from Orchid to Swan was filled with classic Hurley moments as he tried to bond the long-lost Father and Son. Gotta love how he went from asking what he does at the Orchid (classified) to asking if he has told his wife or KIDS about it. Then asking what his 3 month old's name was. "Small world! That's your name too, right Miles?" Then the whole Jazz (Miles Davis) discussion was great where we find out that his wife likes jazz where he prefers country (proven by the Willie Nelson song playing in the season premiere). Hurley then tries to encourage them all to go out for a beer together sometime and get to know each other.
- They arrive at the work-site where we see a camoflauged gate that Chang opens. Miles drives them through to the site. Chang says he will get a ride back with Radzinsky. Hurley wonders what the place is until he sees the infamouse HATCH door and a worker inscribing the "Serial Number" 4-8-15-16-23-42 into it. Niiiiice. Hurley realizes what they are building "the hatch that crashed our plane."
- Okay, seriously? Miles didn't figure out from Juliet's speech about the hatch during their time flashing days that they were building the Swan hatch here? He knows how to find grid 334 but cannot figure out where the Swan Hatch was going to be? I find that to be a stretch, but whatever! Maybe not everyone can remember the island as well as Charles Widmore and John Locke!
- Hurley explains that an accident is going to happen at the hatch (THE INCIDENT!) where they will have to build a computer that you have to push so the world doesn't end. Would be kinda interesting to see how our LOSTIES may be involved in said incident and if it would result in them being moved back to the appropriate TIME ZONE. Afterall, we do know that Desmond traveled through time when he turned the key and made the sky purple!
- Hurley tries to force the issue of Miles bonding with his father. He won't be around in the future so you can get to know him now. He was totally down for that beer dude. When Hurley got to the point of Miles holding himself as a baby and changing his own diaper, Miles lost it. He doesn't want to get to know his father. He wasn't around when he was little. He is dead and gone, he never cared about him. Hurley says that he is NOT gone. He's alive in this time.
- And then we get to the moment we have been waiting for! Miles steals Hurley's journal and starts to read from it "Exterior Hoth: Little spy robot thingy zips through the atmosphere and crashes onto the snowy planet below. That's when Chewbacca shows up and blasts it away with his crossbow-laser. He shakes his FURY fist into the sky in triumph. Chewbacca: ROOOOWWWWWRRRRRLLLLL" Hurley - "It's furry. Furry fists. I need a spell check" CLASSIC!!! Hurley confesses that he is writing Empire Strikes Back. The original Star Wars just came out in 1977 and George will be looking for a sequel soon. He has seen Empire 200 times so he thought he would help George out and send him the script with a couple improvements! (if you talk to any Star Wars fan out there, there are definitely things that they would like to change out of George's Bible! George can't get any love from his fans these days.) This was just hysterical.
- Miles calls the idea the stupidest he has ever heard. And Hurley drives home the point that at least he's not scared to talk to his own dad. He later gets into the fact that his father left when he was 10 but was given a 2nd chance with him and they are the best of friends now. Miles said that Chang left him when he was a baby and that he never knew him. Then, Hurley compares the situation to Empire Strikes Back. We should be glad that Hugo probably never gets that script to George because he totally recalled the story wrong! He said that Luke found out Darth Vader was his father and instead of putting his light saber away and talking about it, he ended up getting his hand cut off. DUDE, Hurley, he got his hand cut off THEN found out Vader was his father! He goes on to say they worked it out eventually but at what cost? Then he complained about all of the problems with Return of the Jedi: Another Death Star was destroyed, Boba Fett was eaten by the Sarlacc and we got the Ewoks. "It all could have been avoided if they just communicated. Let's face it. Ewoks sucked dude." Best Hurley line ever! Of course, only being 5 when Return of the Jedi came out (and scared to death by Darth Vader), I loved those furry little Ewoks! But yeah, looking back at how live-action teddy bears took down the Empire? Kinda silly!
- Hurley then leaves Miles alone with his thoughts. Miles looks into Chang's house and sees him reading to baby Miles and realizing that Chang really DID love him. (note: this also further proves to the naysayers that our LOSTIES can exist in the same time as themselves. I tried to tell you!) Miles begins to cry, acknowledging that he has been holding on to this pain for quite some time. When Chang leaves the house on business he tells Miles that he needs him. It may as well have been Chang telling Miles that he has ALWAYS needed him in his life because he seemed to have an awakening of the opportunity Hurley spoke of all episode.
- Chang tells Miles that the sub is here from headquarters and that he needs Mile's help bringing them in. They are scientists from Ann Arbor (University of Michigan - where DHARMA founders The DeGroots reside)
- When Miles gets to the Sub, a familiar person steps out of it. It's Daniel Faraday! "Hey Miles, Long time no see!"
Woaaaaaaa. Daniel was OFF Island?! Working for DHARMA? What was he doing there? This will answer the ultimate question of if our time travelers leave the Island if they will be in the same time period. Crazy episode of LOST. You had to love all of the Star Wars stuff, but also the information revealed to us with BRAM trying to recruit Miles, Chang being Miles' father, seeing the Swan Hatch being built, watching the LOSTIES' cover story crumble, and having lots of Hurley dialogue! For the final 4 hours (3 weeks) of the season, I suspect it is going to get very intense, just like every other season.
Speculation on the Next New Episode of LOST
(Warning: Potentially Mild Spoilers ahead! Skip if you don't want to know the title of the episode and whose character-centric episode is next!)
- The next episode (in 2 weeks) is entitled "THE VARIABLE." I am guessing it is going to be Daniel's crazy flashback story. Will we find out why he was crying when he saw fake flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean? Will we find out more about his connection to Desmond and his revised thoughts on Time Travel?
- Something that interests me in the title is that last season we had a Time Travel episode called "THE CONSTANT." Anyone who paid attention to science experiments in school know that in every science experiment there needs to be a CONSTANT and a VARIABLE! Something tells me, we may be getting an additional twist to our Time Travel theories.
In ClosingThat's pretty much all I have for the week. I tried to be less wordy for the episode and think I was successful until I got to the Hurley/Miles section! There is no new episode next week, just one of those crazy recap shows. So, please keep the discussion in the comments going strong for the next couple of weeks. There's always lots to discuss with this crazy show! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings as always. I will see you in 2 weeks! NAMASTE, and May the Force be with you!
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Special thanks as always to Sledgeweb for providing awesome screen shots on their site.