“In the mid-20th century, the encyclopedic works of French mathematician Nicolas Bourbaki traced every mathematical concept back to the subject’s foundation in the theory of sets — the stuff of Venn diagrams — and changed the face of his field. Like many of his notions, Bourbaki existed only in the abstract: he was the pseudonym for a tight-knit group of young Parisian researchers. The Internet-age version could be D. H. J. Polymath, another collective pseudonym who could redefine mathematics.

“Polymath began life on the blog of Timothy Gowers, a University of Cambridge winner of the Fields medal, mathematics most coveted prize. In a blog post in January 2009, Gowers asked whether spontaneous online collaborations could crack hard mathematical problems — and if they could do so in the open, laying the creative process out for the world to see. We-based scientific collaborations and even ‘crowdsourcing’ are now common, but this one would be different…”

Scientific American, April 2010

… and that’s how I feel about Lost, here, at the end. Between EJ Feddes’ superlative write-ups (his latest is here) and the guys and gals at The Replica Prop Forum, we’ve got a whole crowd of people trying to figure out the end. Although some of the flat-out answers we’re getting are a little on the mundane side. The Black Rock and a big wave took out the statue? The whispers are just ghosts? OK, but future revelations better kick my ass.

This week, there weren’t too many stunners, and nothing that weird (unless you count the return of the Dharma shark!), so let’s get right to it:

1. HE SAID HELLO AND HE PUT ME ON HOLD; TO SAY THE LEAST THE CAT WAS COLD: Let’s get to this one right off the bat, because I know you all are concerned for my well-being after Zuliekha Robinson atomized: the reason Ilana and then Richard went to the Black Rock to get the unstable dynamite first wasn’t some lame story point intended to have Ilana pull an Artz when there was more stable Dharma dynamite all along… it’s that the unstable ship dynamite was closer. So, like most accidents happen at the end of a shift when people are already mentally home kissing their loved ones and cracking open the first oat soda of the day, so it was with Ilana. Just shaving off a little time yields the bad juju. But don’t worry about me; dead isn’t dead on this show, and Ilana’s in four of the next five episodes…

2. THE TORCH OF GLORY KINDLES THE MIND: I loved Ben’s resigned “I wonder what the Island has in store for us, now” meta-commentary as the actors are probably wondering that about the writers. And the writers’ answer in the upcoming scenes for next week, with the creepy Willy Wonka boat song:

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing
Is it raining?
Is it snowing?
Is a hurricane a-blowing?
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of hell a-glowing?
Is the grisly reaper mowing?
Yes, the danger must be growing
‘Cause the rowers keep on rowing
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing!

…but even that has significance, because even if the writers are having a little fun by claiming they don’t know “which direction we are going,” they certainly have picked the right movie to otherwise illustrate their point: “Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if — and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy — ‘I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained,’ et cetera, et cetera… ‘Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum,’ et cetera, et cetera… ‘Memo bis punitor delicatum’! It’s all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks! You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!” Poor Charlie. He broke the rules. Which brings up Little Matt Damon:

3. SHAKE IT DOWN SHAKE IT DOWN SHAKE IT DOWN NOW: Boy, that angel kid loves putting the fear into the Locke-Dressed Monster, doesn’t he? When we first saw him, arms covered in blood, Locke was petrified and stunned Sawyer could see him as well. Last night, the kid has noticeably darker hair and grins a wicked smile when Fake Locke tells Desmond to ignore him. I think this kid is a manifestation of the Island as well, because he smiles at Desmond almost reassuringly. Either way, it’s almost over.

4. I HAVE SEEN THE SPECTRE; HE HAS BEEN HERE, TOO: One of the most disconcerting things for me in this episode was the scene where Fake Locke is working on a piece of wood, and Sawyer asks him if he’s making a spear. Smokey says, “I don’t know yet, but when the time is right, it’ll tell me.” Now if that’s not a weird ol’ metaphor for whatever machinations he has running, I don’t know what is. But that wasn’t the disconcerting part to me. No, Fake Locke is trimming the wood with the spine of the knife, not the blade. That’s just spooky.

5. I WOKE UP IN A SOHO DOOR WHERE A POLICEMAN KNEW MY NAME: The what-is-the-nature-of-identity theme I wrote about a few Spectacularrys back was really in the forefront, this episode. Libby asks Hurley: “You don’t remember me, do you?” and Fake Locke asks Desmond, “Do you know who I am?” Hurley says to Fake Locke, “I don’t know who you are, dude.” Libby opens Hurley’s mind with a kiss, and Fake Locke looks shocked when a serene Desmond answers, “Of course; you’re John Locke.” No wonder he threw him down a well. A guy who isn’t afraid of destiny is a guy who’s dangerous.

6. WHEN YOU’RE A JET, YOU’RE A JET ALL THE WAY: The chalkboard in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute rec room, when Hurley goes to visit Libby, has a child-like drawing of a palm tree on an island. The sun (no doubt Kwon heh heh) is shining down on an amorphous black cloud shape that vaguely looks like a crocodile. Fish are in the water, and, most notably, the Dharma shark makes his third appearance. To the lower left, a Pac-man type shape has a red box with a white stripe in its mouth. Coils come out the top, making it look like a wrapped present, or possibly an old-style dynamite detonator. A pretty funky picture, all told.

7. I CAN SEE THE RED TAIL LIGHTS HEADING FOR SPAIN: I think the “Island isn’t purgatory” line the producers have been saying all along just took a major hit last night when they revealed the whispers are souls trapped on the Island because of their crimes. With Michael showing up and giving us the flat-out answer like that, it did make me think, though: besides Jacob, who’s his own category, Hurley has only been visited by dead people who have themselves killed people on the Island: Charlie got Ethan, Mr. Eko (I’m going to count him, even though we didn’t see the actor) killed an Other, Ana Lucia offed Shannon, and Michael killed both Ana Lucia and Libby. I don’t think I’ve missed anyone else. Like the eye color change thing, I don’t know what that means, but it means something.

8. THAT’S ONE WAY TO GET LOCKE TO MEET JACK: So Charlie glimpses the other reality when near death, and half-drowns Desmond to make him see it, too. Desmond walks the earth, like Caine in Kung Fu, making sure everyone sees the other “bizarro alternate universe.” True Love gets Hurley to see it, so Des, really, why’d you run over Locke? Dude’s in a wheelchair; couldn’t you have just convinced him to go see Jack instead of run him over so during the trauma of trying to save his life, or fix his spine so Professor X can walk again? I don’t know; that seemed kind of harsh. I’m half-glad Smokey threw you in the well.

And speaking of being thrown down a well, make sure to hit EJ’s analysis I linked to up top there. His sister had a grand observation about what that meant.

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Sean Maher 14 April 2010

Richard’s lady, Isabel (right?), wasn’t yet shown killing anybody or doing anything wrong, and Hurley’s talked with her.

Matt for Hire 14 April 2010

1. It ain’t purgatory, but it ain’t hell. It’s a prison for the bad people involved with the island, the people who attempt to alter its will or refuse to do what it says. Something like that. Or…a haven for those with a deeper purpose that needs fulfilling. What do you wanna bet that Ilana turns up and attempts to direct Hurley in the right direction, for the good of the Island?

2. Desmond didn’t run Locke over in order to get him to meet Jack; he ran him over to kill him. And destroy his body here, which would cross over into the other universe and destroy his body there. Thus keeping MiB from ever leaving the island.

Mark 14 April 2010

I originally thought Universe X was a world without all the.. um, Magic. No people pulling the strings. No island where two powerful beings play chess. Just a world free of all that business. And a result for that absence, changed the histories of all the characters. Then, Desmond’s episode had to come along and change all of that. Charlie got a touch of the other side. Which in turn woke up Desmond. Then, Lady Widmore spoke of “Violations.” Universe X has magic. I’m with Matt for hire. In one reality, John Locke is a simple dude in a wheelchair. In Lost world, he’s a “world ceasing” monster. If the worlds are starting to meld. You can’t give Smokey a place to crash when the bridge between Locke’s is formed.

Wait.. Get off the island.. Is Locke dressed monster trying to get to Universe X?

Ok, it was pretty funny that Ilana had a bag full of unstable dynamite, complete with a barnacle coating, watching her stuff books, water and all kinds of stuff, angrily into the bag. It was like watching a skateboarder setting up a ramp made of cardboard, over a valley of broken glass. C’mon!

mark 14 April 2010

Prisons are for Prisoners, that don’t mean I can’t stop by and relay some information to my jail-bird Momma. I originally had a Gay bar analogy, but, couldn’t get it to work..

Larry Young 14 April 2010

I had a CSI: Miami joke for that pic of Desmond, but I couldn’t bring myself to make it.

Matt for Hire 14 April 2010

It’s okay, I’ll make it for you: “YEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!”

Matt for Hire 14 April 2010

Okay, Mark, I’m running with that theory. Let’s say he’s messing with everybody around him, and just wants all the candidates together so he can kill them, thereby making sure there’s no “Jacob” around to stop him from running to Universe X. Then he can use all that EM energy to shoot his consciousness to the other side. The way to stop this? Desmond runs around and absorbs all of the EM energy himself. Remember, once he was done with the Swan, the energy there wasn’t crap.

You might be wondering where this leaves Desmond-X. He’s busy making sure that Smokey’s left without an escape route. Once he gets all of these linchpin figures to remember their on-Island existence, Universe X CEASES TO EXIST. Smokey’s trapped on-island, and all of a sudden he’s got nothing to drive, too. End of show, roll credits.

EJ Feddes 14 April 2010

As to why Michael’s soul is trapped on the Island, is it that his murders were unforgiveable in some way? We still don’t know what value system they’re using to determine the Good People, but what if Ana Lucia or Libby had been on the list of active candidates when Michael killed them? Even Smokey is afraid to kill the candidates, after all.

I didn’t even notice the chalkboard until I read this, so I had to go back and look. It’s a deranged masterpiece!

Mark 14 April 2010

I always believed “Hell” was where people sent themselves after doing things in life they just can’t forgive themselves for. Self imposed Imprisonment.

Possible Desmond CSI Jokes:
Looks like that went, Well. YEEEEAAAHHH
Looks like someone taught the science teacher, a lesson in gravity. YEEEEAAAHHH
Seems that someone wanted to put the box salesmen, in his own box. YEEEEAAAHHH
Ok, I suck at this

John Ross 14 April 2010

Sean already mentioned Isabel, which I had a problem with in-episode because Hurley didn’t know her and it didn’t make sense she’d appear to him. But whatever, they’re running out of time.

Agree with you on the “reveal” of the whispers, but the transcripts have said this all along. What never made sense is why they (used to) harbinger the arrival of The Others.

I thought the kid was the Island too, until this episode–his smile looked exactly like the actor that played Jacob. Maybe Jacob doesn’t need no stinking candidates.

Anyone have a picture of that Santa Rosa drawing?

Forget the absolutely unbelievable line readings. Did you catch all the facial acting of Terry O’Quinn before the threw Des in the well? I had to watch the scene three times, he was so awesome. If he doesn’t win an Emmy–WIN–it will be a crime against everyone.

Lastly, while Des-X was just jolting Locke-X awake the onliest way he knew how, it was great to think he was doing it as revenge for being THROWN DOWN A WELL. It was our lol moment of the episode. That and freaky perv-eye Ben being on the lookout for pervs.

Larry Young 15 April 2010

Man, I’m so with you on Terry O’Quinn winning all the awards. He’s just friggin’ awesome.

Sean Maher 15 April 2010

John: Agreed on both the question of the whispers ostensible connection to The Others and O’Quinn’s brilliant work in that well scene. He’s been having a ton of fun this season, hasn’t he?

Larry: Sorry, brother.

Larry Young 15 April 2010

Perfectly good LOST theory shot down by facts.

Betsy Warren 15 April 2010

Interesting how Desmond is now acting like Jacob, and visiting all the folks in the Alt world and giving them the push they needed to trigger their subconscious memories and affect their destinies.

Question, where those the diamonds that Hurley snatched up in the pouch?

Also do you think that Desmond wants to awake John Lock so that he can have an “inner battle” with the smoke monster on the island? When Fake Lock asks him “do you know who I am?”, he states “You’re John Lock” very knowingly, like he’s talking to the John Lock that is inside and Fake Lock looks at him a bit suspiciously before untying him.

Desmond is appearing to be very enlightened right now. He even tells Teacher Ben that he has a son, Charlie, when he doesn’t even have Charlie yet because he just met Penny again in this reality. He is equally confident and enlightened on the island as well. Makes me feel like he has mastered his time traveling tricks and is using them to his advantage. He even teasingly says to Fake John about the well, “and that’s the reason you wanted me to see this?” like common dude, we know that’s not why you brought me here.

Is it just me or does Libby look like she aged an awful lot? Big eye baggage and something going on with the lips. Is that just to make her look crazy?

Dude, what was up with Ilana and the dynamite, I think everyone watching was like, crazy bitch is jamming water bottles in with the “unstable” dynamite while she is spewing “I trained all my life to do this, I am so kick ass, this is my job” there was definitely something bazaar going on with that scene—very surreal. And the Ghost whisperers? come on. really?

Michael says “we’re the ones who can’t move on”, but how come other folks get to live in the alternate world after they die on the island?…If this turns into a sappy happily ever after love story, with Juliet and Sawyer, Kate and Jack, Libby and Hurley, Sun and Jin etc etc and drum roll….Penny and Des, I am going to hurl.

Larry Young 15 April 2010

Bets! I *do* like the Jacob/Desmond X parallels, but the LOST writers have never been afraid of parallel structure. 🙂 This season is particularly mirroring Season One, even down to the episode titles. I particularly like “What Kate Did/What Kate Does” and “Everybody Hates Hugo/Everybody Loves Hugo.”

The bag in Ilana’s stuff Hurley nabbed was Jacob’s ashes. I remember the purple suede pouch from when she first gathered ’em up and then gave them to Miles to read Jacob’s last thoughts. I thought the royal purple was a little on-the-nose, but whaddaya gonna do?

I don’t really know what’s going on with Locke right now. There’s a theory out there that Locke has been the Smoke Monster the whole time, and Jeff Jensen blew my mind with his “The Smoke Monster is in Frank Lapidus” bombshell in his ew.com notes.

I agree Des is enlightened now; so much so that I after Widmore and the boys tagged him with the Sean Maher Memorial Ballistic Electro-magnetic Ass-ram, I think e’s completely aware of his experiences in both realities, and is going to use his EM powers to try to meld the two universes together. So even though Desmond X doesn’t have a son yet, Desmond does and Des X knows it. So he does, too, sort of. Enough to answer “Charlie” as quickly as he does, anyhow.

Libby does look like she’s been rode hard and put away wet, but I’ll give the actress Watros the benefit of the doubt and that it’s just because they want her to look loony. It’s sort of the opposite of the Rene Russo Effect: that in OUTBREAK, people are dying instantly of pus-bag Ebola virus, but when she get infected, she’s still awesomely gorgeous, but shot with soft focus and a thin film of glycerine on her forehead. GET TO WORK, DUSTIN HOFFMAN! CAN’T YOU SEE SHE’S GOING TO DIE?

I loved what Mark Espinosa said up-top about Ilana: like watching a skateboarder on a cardboard ramp over a valley of broken glass.

I think Penny and Desmond are the skeletons in the cave; that when Des makes his universe-melding move, they bamf back to 1957 or whatever and whoever’s left (probably Jack, since he pocketed the stones in the first place) puts one white stone and one black stone on them. RIP, True Love!

Sean Maher 15 April 2010

I took it to be Jacob’s ashes that Hurley took in that pouch. No?

Mark Espinosa 15 April 2010

I think it was Jacob’s ashes Hurley took from llana’s Tent. He’s going to see Locke dressed monster, a little Jacob ash will come in handy.

Hitting Locke with the car is Awesome. You wake up Jack because he will likely be the doctor who operates on Locke. You get Sawyer and Miles involved, because of the criminal investigation. Desmond and Kate pass each other in the police station. This one action, connects Desmond with the rest of the Alternate X crew. Brilliant!

I guess you can say, Desmond had a Locke on his target.. YEEEAHHHH!

Larry Young 15 April 2010

Also, Matt Sabonis gets extra credit for figuring out Des X’s EM power absorption abilities. I’ll bet he’s right with that one. Nice work, Matt For Hire!

Larry Young 15 April 2010

Mark, yer keeling me ovah heah. You need to finish up every message post forever with a CSI: Miami joke.

Mark Espinosa 15 April 2010

What happens to Baby Charlie? If that’s Desmond and Penny in the cave, who does their son grow up to be. Ok. I can’t even start thinking like that. It’s such a slippery slope. ..

Looks Like someone was making sure their Anti-Locke brakes worked. YYYEEAAHHH!

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