Fan Perception of Ana-Lucia Cortez

FAN PERCEPTION OF ANA-LUCIA CORTEZ

I have a confession to make. I did not watch the ABC series “LOST” from the beginning. In fact, I did not start watching the series until (2.02) “Adrift”, the second episode of Season Two. However, I could barely maintain interest in the show, until the Season Two episode, (2.04) “Everybody Hates Hugo”.

To be honest, there was nothing particularly special about that episode. But there was one scene that really made me sit up and notice. This scene featured a moment in which Tail Section survivor Ana-Lucia Cortez punched James “Sawyer” Ford. I cheered when that happened, because … well, I found Sawyer rather annoying. Unbeknownst to me, Sawyer was already a fan favorite by this time and many fans were upset by Ana-Lucia’s act of violence.

They were even further upset when she accidentally shot and killed fuselage survivor, Shannon Rutherford near the end of (2.06) “Abandoned”. It was an accident and Ana-Lucia thought she was defending herself from an attack by the Others, following the disappearance of fellow Tailie Cindy Chandler. Mind you, Season One (which I saw, thanks to the release of its DVD box set) featured Charlie Pace’s murder of a defenseless Ethan Rom, Jin Kwon and Michael Dawson’s beatings of each other, a fight between Sawyer and Sayid Jarrah, and Shannon’s attempted murder of John Locke for lying about the circumstances of her step-brother Boone Carlyle’s death. But it was Ana-Lucia’s accidental killing of Shannon that pissed them off – even to this day.

But it was the seventh episode from Season Two that sealed my fate as a regular viewer of “LOST”– namely (2.07) “The Other 48 Days”. This episode conveyed the experiences of Ana-Lucia and the other Tail Section passengers of Oceanic Flight 315 during their first 48 days on the island. To this day, “The Other 48 Days” remains my favorite “LOST” episode of all time. But I also noticed that the fan opinion of Ana-Lucia remained at an all time low.

As the years passed, I never understood the fans’ low opinion of Ana-Lucia. She did not seem any better or worse than many of the other characters on the show. Honestly. During my years of watching the series, I was surprised to discover how unpleasant or annoying many of the regular characters could be, including the golden quartet – Dr. Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, Sawyer and Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. Even a borderline villain like Ben Linus proved to be more popular than Ana-Lucia.

I found myself wondering if the series’ decision to make her a leader of the Tailies made her so unpopular. A Latina woman who did not live up to the fans’ ideal of the early 21st century white woman? At first I had dismissed the idea … until I read this article by Theresa Basile called “Lost Season 2: What if Ana-Lucia Was a White Guy?”. Here is the article. Is Ms. Basile right? Most fans would be inclined to dismiss her opinion. But after years of reading the fan reaction to Ana-Lucia, I am beginning to suspect that the author might be right.

“LOST”: The Death of Nathan

“LOST”: THE DEATH OF NATHAN

(2.07) ”The Other 48 Hours” is the 31st episode of ”LOST” that aired on November 16, 2005. This episode featured the Tail Section passengers of Oceanic Air Flight 815 and the story of their first forty-eight (48) days on the island. A controversy popped out from nowhere in this episode and it featured a fellow survivor named Nathan, whose death led to a barrage of criticism aimed at another character – Ana-Lucia Cortez, portrayed by Michelle Rodriguez.

The previous episode, (2.06) ”Abandoned” ended with the kidnapping of one of the Tail Section survivors, stewardess Cindy Chandler (Kimberly Joseph) and Ana-Lucia’s accidental shooting of one of the regular Fuselage survivors, Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace). ”The Other 48 Days” unfolded the events experienced by the Tailies that led Ana-Lucia to pull the trigger in such haste. And one of those events included the death of a Canadian-born passenger named Nathan (Josh Randall) at the hands of the Others’ spy, Goodwin Stanhope (Brett Cullen), The ironic thing about Nathan’s death is that when this episode had first aired, many of the series’ fans blamed Ana-Lucia for the Canadian’s fate.

When Flight 815 of Oceanic Airlines had first crashed on September 22, 2004, the plane broke into several pieces. One of those pieces included the tail section, which landed in the water, somewhere opposite of the Fuselage passengers’ camp. Not long after the survivors swam ashore, some of them – Ana-Lucia Cortez, Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Libby (Cynthia Watros) and Others spy Goodwin included – helped the others. But after Tail Sections passengers (aka the Tailies) settled down for the night, the Others snatched three adult males and Eko managed to kill two of them with a rock when they try to take him. It was Nathan who pointed out the disappearance of the three male survivors. Several injured survivors die in the passing days before the Others attacked again on the twelfth night and snatched nine more survivors – including two children named Emma and Zack. Ana-Lucia managed to kill one of the Others. The remaining survivors – Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko, Libby, Cindy, Nathan and Bernard Nadler (Sam Anderson) – and Goodwin head into the jungle to evade the Others.

During their trek into the jungle, Nathan peevishly insisted that they break for rest and water. Although against the idea, Ana-Lucia obliged due to the arguments from the other survivors. She eventually dug a pit – on her own – and converted it into a cage. For Nathan. Apparently, Ana-Lucia had developed a suspicion toward the Canadian-born survivor since the Others’ second attack. Along with Cindy, he wanted to stay on the beach, following the Others’ first attack on Day One. Nathan also lengthy trips into the jungle, supposedly to take a bathroom break. He also seemed rebellious toward Ana-Lucia. Nathan spent four days in the pit without food, despite protests from Bernard and Goodwin. He also had to endure unrelenting questioning by Ana-Lucia. When she indicated her intention to torture him, Goodwin helped Nathan out of the pit. Then he killed the Canadian by snapping the latter’s neck.

Ever since Nathan’s death, many fans – but not all – have dumped most of the blame on Ana-Lucia’s shoulders. In the Television Without Pity recap for”The Other 48 Days”, someone named Daniel had this to say:

”She kneels by a stream, and starts to break down. Who says Michelle Rodriguez can’t act? She stops herself when she sees Eko standing there watching her. She barks at him, for no one must see her cry. He tells her that everything’s going to be okay, and he crouches beside her. “What, you’re talking now?” he says. “It’s been forty days,” he says simply. “You waited forty days to talk?” she says. “You waited forty days to cry,” he says, and that totally sets her off, and she collapses, sobbing in his arms. I’m going to hope that the tears aren’t strictly of the “even a girlfighter needs to let it out once in a while” variety, and that some of these tears are being shed for Nathan, whose death Ana-Lucia bears some of the responsibility for, whether you like her or not.”

He was right to claim that Ana-Lucia bore some of the responsibility for Nathan’s death. I only wished he had included the others who were also responsible in the above passage. Even one of the series’ screenwriters got into the act. Both Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim, who wrote (2.16) ”The Whole Truth” had Ana-Lucia assume all of the blame for what happened to Nathan:

GALE: I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but why are you going to help me get out of here?
ANA: On the other side of the Island there was this guy with us. I was 100 percent convinced that he wasn’t on the plane. So I dug a whole and I threw him in it.
GALE: And what happened?
ANA: I was wrong. And now he’s dead. But good news for you Henry — I don’t make the same mistake twice. So how about you tell me your story?

Well, it is all peachy keen that Ana-Lucia was able to accept responsibility for Nathan’s death. But it would have been sweeter for me if the other Tailies had accepted responsibility on screen, as well. Yes, I am saying that the other Tailies – along with Goodwin – were responsible. Let us exam how each individual in that group was responsible:

*Nathan – You read it right. I believe that Nathan was partially responsible for his own death. I realize that he had spoken the truth that intestinal problems led him to disappear from the Tailies’ camp every few hours. But Nathan had been the one who first noticed that the Others had kidnapped three survivors on that first night. He should have realized that disappearing into the jungle by himself for several hours – for whatever the reason – was a stupid move. The Others’ attack on the first night would have convinced me to overcome any embarrassment and insist upon company so that I could groan and fart for two hours with some semblance of safety. And there was the problem of Nathan’s personality. Not only did he have an ornery personality that irritated Ana-Lucia and the other Tailies, he also had a secretive nature that aroused many suspicions amongst his companions.

*Ana-Lucia Cortez – As I had stated earlier, Ana-Lucia was partially responsible for Nathan’s death. She was the one who had dug the pit. She was the one who dumped Nathan into the pit, starved him and questioned him constantly. She also threatened to torture him. And although Nathan’s behavior failed to help his cause, I suspect that Ana-Lucia’s own dislike of him allowed her to easily believe that he was a spy for the Others.

*Bernard Nadler – Although Bernard had protested against Nathan being dumped and kept in that pit, he did nothing to help the latter escape. Despite knowing that Ana-Lucia was attempting to starve Nathan into confessing.

*Libby – Like Ana-Lucia, she disliked Nathan’s behavior. And she had expressed her distrust of Nathan before Ana-Lucia had finished digging the pit:

LIBBY [entering]: Hey.
ANA: Hey.
LIBBY: Back at the beach — the night they came back — you said that Nathan was gone for 2 hours? That he was missing? Creeps me out, Ana. Do you really think it’s possible that one of us is one of them?

Later, she responded to Goodwin’s protest:

GOODWIN: You’re not all serious.
LIBBY: He never talks about himself, Nathan. Every time I ask him anything, he just dodges.

You know what really irritated me about Libby in the end? She dumped all of the blame for Nathan’s death on Ana-Lucia in (2.08) ”Collision”:

ANA [to Libby]: What about you?
LIBBY: I just don’t think you’re the best judge of character. I was with you when you put Nathan in the pit.

That is correct. Not only was she there when Ana-Lucia dumped Nathan’s ass into that pit, she was one of those who had supported the act. Her hypocrisy toward Ana-Lucia really annoyed me.

* Cindy Chandler – Like Libby, Cindy expressed distrust of Nathan. She also claimed that she had never seen him on board Flight 815 before the crash – despite her gift for knowing faces:

ANA: We were in the air for 2 hours — I didn’t see him once — not once.
GOODWIN: It’s a big plane, Ana, just because you didn’t…
CINDY: No, I didn’t see him either. I’m pretty good with faces, you know, with the passengers, and I did not see him.

I believe that Cindy may have overestimated her talent for faces. Apparently, she had failed to spot Nathan before spent time in one of the plane’s restrooms, dealing with his “problem”. And she failed to realize that Goodwin had never been a passenger on Flight 815.

*Mr. Eko – He was kind enough to feed a banana to Nathan, while the latter was being deliberately starved by Ana-Lucia. And yet . . . he did not bother to free Nathan from the pit. One could argue that Mr. Eko had feared incurring Ana-Lucia’s wrath. But we all know that he was the last person on that island who could ever be intimidated by her. Like most of his companions, Mr. Eko probably harbored suspicions about Nathan.

*Goodwin Stanhope – Naturally, he is the main person to blame for Nathan’s death. After all, he snapped the other man’s neck. Goodwin had helped Nathan escape from the pit. He realized that if Ana-Lucia had tortured the other man, she would have realized that Nathan had been speaking the truth. As a spy for the Others, he could not afford for her to continue any suspicions. But . . . there had been no need for Goodwin to commit murder. He could have simply allowed Nathan to maintain his distance from the other Tailies. But he chose murder instead.

From the above statements, it is easy to see that I have managed to place the blame for Nathan’s death on just about every member of the group that had left the beach, following the Others’ second attack. Yet, because Ana-Lucia happened to be so unpopular with many fans of “LOST”, she has received most of the blame. I hope this will finally set the record straight.

“LOST”: “Kidnapping a Child”

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“LOST”: “KIDNAPPING A CHILD”

I was reading this ARTICLE about the girl who had been kidnapped at 11 and found, 18 years later. And it made me think of the numerous child kidnappings that have occurred on “LOST”:

 

 

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*Ben Linus’ kidnapping of Alex Rousseau, Danielle’s infant daughter. Ben had kidnapped Alex when she was an infant, against Charles Widmore’s orders. He pretended to be her father for sixteen years. Eventually, mother and daughter were finally able to reunite. But they were never able to enjoy their reunion, due to them both being killed by Charles Widmore’s hired thugs within a few days.

 

 

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*Walt Lloyd’s kidnapping by Tom Friendly, at Ben’s orders. We all know the circumstances that resulted from that particular kidnapping. Walt’s father, Michael Dawson, disappeared for a while to search for Walt. Once he found the Others, he made a deal with them to free Ben, who had become the Losties’ prisoner. In order to free Ben, he murdered Ana-Lucia Cortez and accidentally killed Libby. Then he made a deal with the Others to lead Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, James Ford and Hugo Reyes to their camp. Upon leaving the island, Walt forced him to tell the truth about his deal with the Others and his shooting of Ana-Lucia and Libby. Father and son became estranged. And later, Michael returned to the island to atone for his actions . . . and ended up deal in a freighter explosion. All because Ben Linus had ordered Walt’s kidnapping.

 

 

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*Kate Austen’s kidnapping of Aaron Littleton. Upset over Sawyer’s decision to jump from a rescue helicopter and return to the island; and traumatized by the events of their departure from the island; Kate decided to claim Aaron Littleton, the infant son of missing castaway Claire Littleton, as her own. She convinced Jack to help her. And both of them convinced Sun Kwon, Sayid Jarrah, and Hurley Reyes to pretend that Aaron was Kate’s son. Kate kept Aaron from his grandmother, Carole Littleton, for nearly three years; despite knowing that the woman was alive. And I cannot help but wonder if Carole Littleton would have ever learned about her grandson if Sawyer’s ex-girlfriend, Clemmentine, had not convinced Kate to give him up or Kate had decided to do so on her own.

 

“LOST”: Things That Make Me Go . . . Hmmm?

The following is a list of questions I have regarding subplots that have been featured in past episodes of “LOST”. If you have an answer to any of my questions, please feel free to reply:

 

“LOST”: THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO . . . HMMM?

1. Who gave the original order for Walt Lloyd to be kidnapped?

 

2. Why did the Others kidnap some of the surviving Tail Section passengers of Oceanic 815?

 

3. Why did Ben Linus and the Others scheme to keep Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, and James “Sawyer” Ford as prisoners on Hydra Island?

 

4. Why did Michael Dawson confess his murder of Ana-Lucia Cortez and accidental killing of Libby to his ten year-old son, Walt Lloyd, following their departure from the island?

 

5. Why did Tom Friendly claim that no one was able to leave the island, following the explosion of the Swan Station, despite the fact that he, Michael and Walt were able to do so?

 

6. Why did the prosecuting attorney blindly believe Jack’s false testimony that Kate gave birth to Aaron Littleton, during their three-month stay on the island?

 

7. Why did the prosecuting attorney fail to continue her prosecution of Kate for the charges of bank robbery, assaulting a Federal peace officer, after the murder charges were dropped?

 

8. Why were the Losties, the Freighter people and Juliet the only ones who time traveled on the island and not the Others or Danielle Rousseau?

 

9. Why did Ben kill John Locke in “The Death of Jeremy Bentham”?

 

10. What happened to Claire Littleton during her three-year stay on the island, following the departure of the Oceanic Six?

 

11. Who killed some of the surviving Ajira 316 passengers at their beach camp and why?

 

Five Favorite Episodes of “PERSONS OF INTEREST”: Season One (2011-2012)

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Below is a list of my top five favorite episodes from Season One of the CBS series, “PERSONS OF INTEREST”. Created by Jonathan Nolan, the series starred Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman and Michael Emerson: 

 

FIVE FAVORITE EPISODES OF “PERSONS OF INTEREST”: Season One (2011-2012)

1 - 1.13 Root Cause

1. (1.13) “Root Cause” – Harold Finch and John Reese clash with a mysterious hacker over the assassination of a U.S. congressman and the person framed for his murder.

2 - 1.04 Cura Te Ipsum

2. (1.04) “Cura Te Ipsum” – Finch and Reese tries to prevent a doctor (Linda Cardellini) from killing a serial stalker and murderer, who had killed her sister.

3 - 1.07 Witness

3. (1.07) “Witness” – Reese and Finch tries to protect a schoolteacher, who had witnessed a mob hit in Brighton Beach, who proves to be a lot more than he seems to be.

4 - 1.23 Firewall

4. (1.23) “Firewall” – Amy Acker guests stars as a psychologist, who might need protection from an organized group of corrupt police officers, hired to kill her.

5 - 1.10 Number Crunch

5. (1.10) “Number Crunch” – NYPD Detective Jos Carter becomes an ally of Finch and Reese, after she is approached by CIA operative Mark Snow to help her track down Reese, who has been wanted by U.S. government factions.

“LOST” RETROSPECT: (5.09) “Namaste”

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Below is an article I had written about the Season Five episode of “LOST” (2004-2010) called (5.09) “Namaste”

 

“LOST” RETROSPECT: (5.09) Namaste”

“Namaste” is a term used commonly on the Indian subcontinent that is used as a greeting and a parting valediction between individuals. I suppose that this word might be the proper title for this ninth episode from Season Five from ABC’s “LOST”(5.09) “Namaste” served as a crossroad for the series’ fifth season. It served as a closure for some of the season’s story arcs and a beginning for others.

The episode opened where the sixth episode, (5.06) “316” ended, with former castaways Dr. Jack Shephard, Kate Austen and Hugo “Hurley” Reyes disappearing from Ajira Flight 316 (destination – Guam) and reappearing on the Island. Following their harrowing reappearance, they are spotted by one their former castaways, who had remained on the island, Jin-Soo Kwon. The season’s eighth episode, (5.08) “La Fleur”, revealed that Jin; along with James “Sawyer” Ford (“Jim La Fleur”), Dr. Juliet Burke, Miles Straume, and Daniel Faraday; had ceased their time skipping and landed in the year 1974. They spent the next three years as members of the Dharma Initiative. When Jin informed Sawyer of Jack, Kate and Hurley’s arrival in 1977, Saywer races from the Dharma compound to greet his former castaways.

Sawyer explains to the three newcomers that they had ended up in the 1970s. And in order to remain at the Dharma compound, he lied to the organization’s leaders that he was captain of a research vessel, whose crew was searching the wrecked slave ship, the Black Rock. He then arranges for the trio to join the Dharma Initiative as new recruits. Jack becomes a janitor, Kate joins the motor pool, where Juliet works. And Hurley becomes a cook. Sawyer manages to achieve this after Juliet forges their necessary documentation.

Back in the 21st century, pilot Frank Lapidus manages to land the Ajira 316 airliner on the runway constructed by members of the Others, Kate and Sawyer (who were prisoners) back on Season Three, on the Hydra Station island. Along with Frank, Sun-Kwa Kwon and Benjamin Linus (former Others leader), other survivors include a man named Caesar, who assumes leadership of the surviving Ajira passengers and a bounty hunter named Ilana Verdansky, who had been escorting former Oceanic castaway Sayid Jarrah into custody. Ben sets out for the main island to reunite with the Others. Sun decides to join him in order to find Jin. And Frank accompanies them in order to protect Sun from Ben. However, she knocks Ben out, leaving him behind on the Hydra island. Sun and Frank encounter a figure in Christian Shephard’s image, who informs them that Jack, Kate and Hurley have time traveled back to 1977. He also informs Sun that Jin is with them.

I found nothing particularly unique about “Namaste”. But I must admit that I still found it interesting and solid entertainment. I found the present day sequences featuring Sun, Ben and Frank less interesting. Ben’s intention to leave the Hydra island in order to reunite with Richard Alpert and the rest of the Others did not seem very interesting to me. Even Ben’s attitude regarding his intention seemed like the logical conclusion. Which is why I found Sun’s reaction to him rather over-the-top. One, she did not have insist upon joining him. If she really wanted to leave Hydra island for the main one, she could have made the trip on her own. Instead, she insisted upon joining Ben, before whacking him over the head with a paddle. Many “LOST” fans cheered. I simply rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all and a confirmation of her vindictive nature. When she and Frank later discovered that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Jin were all in 1977, I found the scene . . . well, uninteresting. The only interesting aspect of this story line was that it explained the finale of (3.07) “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” – with the Man in Black (in John Locke’s form) looking down at his unconscious form.

The scenes set in 1977 managed to rouse my interest. The interactions between the main characters seemed filled with a great deal of emotions – overt or otherwise. Much of that emotion was centered around James “Sawyer” Ford. Ever since the Season Four episode, (4.09) “The Shape of Things to Come”, many “LOST” fans have been pushing him as the series’ hero. Sawyer’s “hero” status was solidified – as far as many were concerned – in “La Fleur”, when he found a way to ensure that he and his fellow castaways would become part of the Dharma Initiative and became romantically involved with Juliet Burke. Within three years, Sawyer became the Dharma Initiative’s Head of Security. In a way, I can see why many fans had put Sawyer on a pedestal by mid-Season Five. Yet, I found some of his interactions with the other characters and his own decisions rather questionable. I am not accusing screenwriters Paul Zbyszewski and Brian K. Vaughan of bad writing. On the contrary, I thought they handled Sawyer’s role in this episode very well. But I suspect that so many fans were viewing Sawyer through rose-colored glasses that they failed to see the warts behind the heroic image. Not even Jack Shephard during the series’ first season was regarded in such a high light.

Many fans anticipated the reunion between Sawyer and his former bed partner, Kate Austen; believing that the latter was over Jack. Mind you, not all fans believed this, but a good number did. The episode’s last five to ten minutes featured a moment in which the two exchanged subtle looks. That look would prove to be the beginning of the end of Sawyer’s romance with Juliet . . . but in a way he did not anticipate or liked. Even worse, Kate’s little moment of flirtation was a return to an old habit of hers – using Sawyer to erase her romantic problems with Jack. Fans marveled at how he and Juliet had arranged for Jack, Kate and Hurley’s initiation into the Dharma Initiative. And many cheered at his criticism, near the end of the episode, of Jack’s earlier leadership of the Oceanic 815 castaways. I felt impressed by the former and unimpressed by the latter. My recent viewing of this episode led me to realize a few things. One, three years as the “Sheriff of Dharma Land” had allowed Sawyer to develop an ego the size of a basketball. Note some of his criticism directed at Jack:

SAWYER: [Chuckles] I heard once Winston Churchill read a book every night, even during the Blitz. He said it made him think better. It’s how I like to run things. I think. I’m sure that doesn’t mean that much to you, ’cause back when you were calling the shots, you pretty much just reacted. See, you didn’t think, Jack, and as I recall, a lot of people ended up dead.

JACK: I got us off the Island.

SAWYER: But here you are… [sighs] right back where you started. So I’m gonna go back to reading my book, and I’m gonna think, ’cause that’s how I saved your ass today. And that’s how I’m gonna save Sayid’s tomorrow. All you gotta do is go home, get a good night’s rest. Let me do what I do.

One, Sawyer had forgotten that not all of Jack’s decisions were bad . . . and not all of his decisions were good. He also seemed unaware that his decision to include himself, Miles, Juliet, Jin and Daniel into the Dharma Initiative was a bad idea. And he should have never given Jack, Kate and Hurley the opportunity to become part of the Dharma Initiative. Sawyer did not save Jack, Kate and Hurley’s lives. He merely dragged them into his own deception. And his decisions will prove to be bad ones by the end of Season Five. His belief in his own leadership skills proved to be nothing more than a reflection of his skills as a con artist. Like the Oceanic Six, he and his four companions had been living a lie for the past three years . . . a lie that would eventually catch up to them. I also suspect that Sawyer (and Juliet) were responsible for the newcomers’ new positions. Sawyer’s rant and his arrangement of Jack’s new position as a janitor only convinced me that despite his words, his insecurities regarding the spinal surgeon have not abated.

However, Sawyer was not the only one who made bad decisions. Hurley decided that he wanted the comforts of the Dharma Initiative, instead of the discomforts of the jungle. It was a bad decision on his part. And both Jack and Kate made the mistake of agreeing with Hurley’s decision. I could not help but wonder if Juliet had regretted assisting Amy Goodspeed through a difficult birth. The Goodspeeds’ new child turned out to be Ethan Rom, a future follower of Ben Linus in 2004. I feel that Juliet had made the right choice. But . . . I have great difficulty in believing that Ethan was 27 years old in 2004 (the first season), especially since the actor who had portrayed him, William Mapother, was 39 to 40 years old during the series’ first season . . . and looked it.

The episode ended with the revelation of Sayid Jarrah’s whereabouts. He did not appear on the island with Jack, Hurley and Kate. And he was not seen among the Ajira survivors in 2007. Instead, he also ended up in 1977, discovered by Jin Kwon seconds before they encountered the Dharma Initiative’s borderline psychotic head researcher, Stuart Radzinsky. Jin had no choice but to place Sayid under arrest for being a possible Hostile (the Others), the enemies of the Dharma Initiative and longtime island residents. At the end of the episode, Sayid met the 14 year-old version of Benjamin Linus, the man who manipulated him into becoming a hired gun in the latter’s war against rival Charles Widmore. This meeting will prove to have grave consequences for the Losties. So much for Sawyer saving Sayid’s ass. “Ain’t life a bitch?”

Thanks to screenwriters Paul Zbyszewski and Brian K. Vaughan, “Namaste” is a pretty good episode that brought a great deal of closure to the first half of Season Five and initiated the story arcs for the rest of that season and the sixth and final season. The emotional complexities – especially in regard to James “Sawyer” Ford – proved to be very interesting in the 1977 sequences. But I was not that particularly impressed by the 2007 scenes. Despite my disappointment in the latter, I managed to enjoy the episode in the end.

“LOST” (2004-2010): Favorite Character Centric Episodes – Part II

Below is Part II of a list of my favorite episodes featuring “LOST” characters: 

“LOST” (2004-2010): FAVORITE CHARACTER CENTRIC EPISODES – Part II


James “Sawyer” Ford

1. (5.08) “La Fleur” – Sawyer, Juliet and the other remaining island survivors are left in 1974, following the end of the time jumps. They join the Dharma Initiative after rescuing one of their members from the Others.

2. (1.16) “Outlaws” – Sawyer becomes obsessed with finding the boar that raided his tent and goes into the jungle to find it. A flashback reveal the murder/suicide of his parents and his hunt for the con man who cheated them in Australia.


Sayid Jarrah

1. (4.03) “The Economist” – Sayid makes a deal with Frank Lapidus to leave the island and head for the freighter, in exchange for freeing Charlotte Lewis from Locke’s group. Flash forwards reveal his experiences as Ben’s personal assassin.

2. (1.09) “Solitary” – Sayid meets Danielle Rosseau for the first time and is held captive by her. Flashbacks reveal his reunion with an old childhood friend, Nadia

3. (6.06) “Sundown” – After Sayid is recruited to the Man in Black’s (aka the Smoke Monster) cause, the latter issues an ultimatum to the Others: either join him or die. Sayid helps his brother deal with a loan shark in the Flash Sideways.


Jin-Soo Kwon

1. (1.17) “. . . In Translation” – Jin finally discovers that Sun knows English, while dealing with his latest clash with Michael. Flashbacks reveal the Kwons’ troubling marriage from his POV.

2. (5.05) “This Place Is Death” – This episode featured Jin’s experiences with a younger Danielle Rousseau, her team and the Smoke Monster in 1988. Charlotte Lewis dies from the time jumping and Locke finally leaves the island via the Donkey Wheel.


Sun Hwa-Kwon

1. (3.18) “D.O.C.” – After revealing that the Others’ pregnant women have died before giving birth, Juliet helps Sun confirm the date of conception of her unborn baby, verifying the identity of the father.

2. (2.16) “The Whole Truth” – Sun discovers that she is pregnant. And flashbacks reveal some of her close relationship with an old beau and Jin’s infertility. Meanwhile, Ana-Lucia, Sayid and Charlie set out verify Ben’s story about arriving on the island in a balloon.

3. (1.06) “House of the Rising Sun” – Sun’s unhappy marriage to Jin is revealed in this episode. Also, Jack makes plans to move the crash survivors to a large cave.


Benjamin Linus

1. (3.20) “The Man Behind the Curtain” – Ben leads Locke to a meeting with the Others’ leader, Jacob at the island’s mysterious cabin. And flashbacks reveal Ben’s birth and his early years on the island.

2. (4.09) “The Shape of Things to Come” – In this episode, a team of mercenaries from the freighter attacks Locke’s group at the Others’ barracks. Meanwhile, flash forwards reveal Ben’s early months off the island, which include recruiting Sayid as his assassin and a confrontation with Charles Widmore.

Part III will feature the last five characters

“LOST” – (5.11) “Whatever Happened, Happened” (Or . . . The Emergence of Saint Kate)

“LOST” – (5.11) “Whatever Happened, Happened” (Or . . . The Emergence of Saint Kate)

While looking back at some of the articles I have written about“LOST” and its characters, I discovered that I have written several articles that were either about the character, Kate Austen, or in which she featured heavily. One would think that she is such a compelling character. But I do not think so. I suspect that my problem with Kate was that I found her to be one of the most badly written characters on this show and in the history of television . . . and she was the female lead. And I find that disturbing. My past dislike of the character (which I eventually overcame) went up a notch after I had watched the Season 5 Kate-centric episode, (5.11) “Whatever Happened, Happened”.

This episode of “LOST” – “Whatever Happened, Happened” was not well written. It really was. I felt as if I had watched the emergence of a character called “Saint Kate”, instead of an interesting episode about the reasons behind a woman’s choices. But there were no reasons given for Kate’s sudden desire to save Ben’s life. Instead, the episode had her in a state of frantic over Ben’s condition that did not make any sense. Even worse, the episode went too far and had her donate blood to him in a heavily contrived attempt to make her seem selfless and worthy to the fans.

First, I want to focus on the situation regarding young Ben’s shooting. Why did Jack refuse to save Ben? Was his reason the same as Sayid’s? Because Ben will grow up to be a manipulative and murderous man? How did Jack suddenly become anti-Ben, again? I read a piece on this episode on WIKIPEDIA, which claimed that Jack was to blame for creating the monster, Ben Linus. I not only found this hard to accept, but rather ludicrous. It seemed as if they are trying to absolve Sayid of his crime. And that does not work with me.

Speaking of Sayid’s crime, it seems that Ben will no longer have any memories of it, following Richard’s treatment. If this was the case, what in the hell was the point of Sayid shooting Ben in the first place? What were the writers trying to achieve? Was the shooting nothing more than a contrived event to make Kate lovable to the fans again? Was it a plotline to explain how Ben became so murderous? Hell, they could have done that and allowed Ben to retain his memories of the shooting. This whole “erasing Ben’s memories of Sayid’s crime” made no sense to me. What was the purpose of it? To explain how Ben “lost his innocence”? Ben was already on that road by living under an abusive father.

But you know what? Despite Sayid shooting him, Jack’s refusal to save him or Richard’s memory-wiping cure, the one person who was mainly responsible for Ben’s moral downfall . . . was Ben. Other people have come from traumatic backgrounds and managed to make decent lives for themselves. Ben did not have any real excuse. Sayid has to deal with his crime of shooting an innocent boy, himself. Jack had to deal with his refusal to treat that boy. But they were not mainly responsible for Ben’s crimes. Ben was.

When I first heard that Kate might finally confess about the lie surrounding Aaron back in the spring of 2009, I thought she would end up confessing to Sawyer, Juliet and the other castaways. Instead, she confessed to Sawyer’s old girlfriend, Cassidy. That was disappointing. And now, Sawyer still does not know about the lie surrounding Aaron. Nor does he know that Kate had no intention of returning to the island to save his life. And she still has the murder of Wayne Jensen hanging over her head. If we’re supposed to root for them to get together following this episode, I think that the writers have failed. At least with me.

Regarding Kate’s decision to return to the island – she told Cassidy that her intention was to find Claire and get her back home to Aaron. I wondered how she was going to accomplish such a task, especially since she must have realized that there was no way to achieve this after crashing on the island for the second time. She did not know about the runway that Frank Lapidus had used to land Ajira Flight 316. Locke had destroyed the Dharma submarine back in Season 3. And Kate knew about the destruction of the freighter. How had she planning to send Claire back to Aaron? Or was she simply talking out of her ass?

You know, ever since (4.04) “Eggtown”, Kate’s story arc has been badly handled by the writers. It started with that ludicrous attempt by her to get information from Miles about her status as a fugitive. Then it developed into the storyline surrounding her custody of Aaron that went no where. The only thing that the Aaron storyline achieved was a temporary estragement between her and Jack. It was revealed in (5.04) “The Little Prince” that she had decided to claim Aaron as her own, because she was traumatized over losing Sawyer. And yet . . . “Eggtown” made it clear that she was willing to use Aaron to re-start a romance with Jack. If Aaron represented as a substitute for the loss of Sawyer, why did she have a photograph of both Aaron and Jack on her mantlepiece in Los Angeles? Was this a symbol of her continuing desire for both Jack and Sawyer? Or what? And the storyline surrounding her return to the island . . . contrived and badly written. After refusing to return to the island for Sawyer’s sake, she visited his ex-girlfriend, confessed the Aaron kidnapping and vowed to return to the island in order to find Claire Littleton and send the Australian woman back to her son and mother . . . without knowing how to achieve these tasks? The only thing Kate did right was to hand Aaron over to Carole Littleton. And I saw that coming a mile away. Once Kate returned to Los Angeles, she used Jack for comfort sex and later rejected him after boarding Ajira Flight 316.

And in the second half of Season 5, the producers dumped the badly written “Whatever Happened, Happened” episode on the viewers in order to make Kate favorable to the viewers again. They had her acting like a frantic Florence Nightengale over a kid she hardly knew. I would have understood if she had been perturbed over young Ben’s situation, like the others (sans Jack). But the writers . . . took it too far with Kate’s frantic desire to save him, which included her donating blood to him. And they even used this episode to blame Jack for Ben’s slide into darkness.

I guess that the show’s writers and producers’ attempt to redeem Kate in the eyes of the viewers eventually worked. The viewers eagerly lapped up this shit. But Lindehof and Cuse achieved this at a heavy price. In the end, all they did was sacrifice any semblance of artistic achievement for bad characterization and mediocre writing. As for me, another season and a confession to Claire by Kate would finally win me over to the latter.

How sad.

“LOST” – The Aaron Littleton Lie

“LOST” – The Aaron Littleton Lie

On February 4, 2009, ”LOST” had aired an episode called (5.04) ”The Little Prince”. In this episode, former fugitive Kate Austen learned that that someone discovered the secret of Aaron Littleton’s true parental lineage. When I first heard about this episode, I found myself wondering if the series would finally address the moral consequences of the Oceanic Six’s lie about Aaron. It did . . . on a very limited scale. 

As everyone knows, Australian survivor, Claire Littleton had given birth to an infant son named Aaron on the castaways’ 41st day on the island. While on the run from the murderous Martin Keamy and his thugs; Claire, James “Sawyer” Ford and Miles Straume made camp for an overnight rest some fifty-seven days later. That night, a vision of her late father, Christian Shephard, led Claire to abandon Aaron and follow her father into the jungle. Sawyer and Miles spent nearly a day searching for her, before giving up and heading for the castaways’ beach camp. To make a long matter short, Aaron ended up with Kate Austen, a fugitive accused of murder, bank robbery and a few other crimes. Kate, Aaron, Desmond Hume, pilot Frank Lapidus and the other members of the Oceanic Six – Jack Shephard, Sun Kwon, Sayid Jarrah and Hugo Reyes – were rescued by Desmond’s lady love, Penelope Widmore, in her yacht.  There, they made the decision to create a series of lies about their experiences on the island. One of those lies centered around Aaron’s parentage. In the Season Four episode, (4.12) ”There’s No Place Like Home, Part I”, Oceanic Airlines representative Karen Decker repeated the Oceanic Six’s lie to the press:

“Based on the location of the wreckage, our best estimate of the crash site is… (click) here. From there, the survivors were carried by the ocean’s current to… (click) here–an uninhabited island in the Lesser Sunda Islands known as Membata. As you’ve all read in your briefing books, on day 103… (click) a typhoon washed up the remnants of an Indonesian fishing boat, including basic supplies and a survival raft. On day 108, the remaining six survivors, including Ms. Austen’s baby which she gave birth to on the island of Membata, used this raft to journey here– (click) an island called Sumba. They then came ashore near a village called Manukangga. This photo was taken by the local fisherman who found them. Once it was discovered who they were, they were transported to Honolulu by the U.S. Coast Guard. As you can imagine, this has been an extraordinarily trying experience. They have, however, agreed to answer a few questions. So, ladies and gentlemen, the survivors of Oceanic 8-1-5.”

Now, according to the Oceanic Six, Kate was six months pregnant when U.S. Marshal Edward Mars arrested her in Australia and later accompanied her aboard Oceanic Flight 815 on September 22, 2004.  Sometime between the crash and their arrival at an island called Sumba, Kate gave birth to Aaron. Six months following their return, the Shephard family – Jack and his mother, Marge – held a funeral for Christian Shephard, who had died in Australia before the crash. Kate (with Aaron), Sayid and his wife Nadia, and Hurley attended the funeral. Following the service, a blond woman approached Jack and informed him that she was Carole Littleton, Claire’s mother. While Kate stood nearby, holding Aaron, Carole also revealed that she had an affair with Christian and that Claire was Jack’s half-sister. This meant that Aaron was Jack’s nephew. Naturally, Jack was upset over the news. Even more important, both he and Kate failed to inform Ms. Littleton that she was standing just a few feet away from her grandson. The episode,(4.04) “Eggtown” revealed that Kate eventually stood trial for her crimes. Because her mother Diane Jensen – the prosecution’s star witness for the murder charge – refused to testify against her, Kate got away with the cold blooded murder of her father, Wayne Jensen. For some reason that still defies me, the prosecution decided to offer probation to Kate for her other crimes – which included bank robbery, assault of a Federal officer, grand larceny and grand theft auto. Kate agreed to ten (10) years of probation. In other words, she was not allowed to leave the state of California for a decade. I doubt that this verdict actually bothered Kate. It kept her out of prison and she was able to go home and continue her charade as Aaron’s mother.

In the Season Five episode called (5.01) “Because You Left”, Kate had received a visit from two attorneys who claimed to have a court order demanding paternity tests be conducted to conclude if Kate is Aaron’s biological mother. Kate used their visit as another opportunity to do what she did best – namely flee. This time, she did so with Aaron. In the following episode, (5.02) “The Lie”, Kate met up with her fellow Oceanic Six survivor, Sun Kwon, somewhere in Los Angeles and told the latter about the attorneys’ visit.  In a mind-blowing moment, Sun advised her to meet the attorneys again and kill them. According to the other woman, the Oceanic Six had to maintain their lies in order to protect the island and those who had been left behind.

In the end, the excuse that Sun gave Kate is the same excuse that Jack first stated on Penny’s yacht some few years ago – namely their lies were necessary to protect those who had been left behind and the island itself from the authorities and especially Charles Widmore. In fact, many of the show’s fans have expressed their acceptance of this excuse on many ”LOST” forums, message boards and blogs. I must admit that I never understood the need for these lies, except for one reason – the media and the authorities would have found the truth ludicrous and committed the Oceanic Six to various mental institutions. Even if the authorities had believed their story, I doubt that anyone would have been able to find the island, considering that Ben Linus managed to move it using some ‘Donkey Wheel’ in the Season Four finale, (4.13) ”There’s No Place Like Home, Part III”. But what really annoys me to no end was the lie about Aaron and Kate.

Kate Austen must have been a very popular character with the fans of ”LOST”. Of all the characters, she was the only one who had received more excuses for her crimes and mistakes than any of the others. Sawyer was probably a close second, but that is another matter. Many fans have spent more time on her ludicrous love triangle with Jack and Sawyer than on the fact that she was an unrepentant murderess and later, kidnapper.  With Aaron, Kate committed the act of kidnapping via a lie. Mind you, she was not solely guilty of this crime. Jack, Sayid, Sun and Hurley were also guilty. Before ”The Little Prince” aired, everyone – including myself – believed that Jack had been the creator behind the lie surrounding Aaron. This episode eventually revealed that Kate was the one who had suggested the lie to Jack.  He eventually accepted it and used it as part of his repertoire of other lies surrounding the island. Sayid, Sun and Hurley remained silent on the matter, while Kate carried out the lie. Along with the excuse mentioned in a previous paragraph, I have come across many excuses surrounding the lie about Aaron’s parentage. I have yet to come across an excuse or justification that made any sense to me. And God knows I have come across a good number of them. Here are just a few:

*Kate is a good mother.
*No one had any knowledge of whether Claire had any relations in Australia.
*Claire had originally been on her way to Los Angeles to give Aaron up for adoption.
*Sun’s Korean heritage prevented her from claiming to be Aaron’s mother.
*Claire had allowed Kate to leave the island with Aaron (this one was hard to swallow).
*In Kate’s dream, Claire told her not to bring Aaron back to the island.
*Carole Littleton’s affair with a much married Christian Shephard made her morally unacceptable as Aaron’s guardian (I swear, I actually came across this one)
*The psychic Richard Malkin had lied to Claire, when he told her that only she should raise Aaron. A “nice couple from L.A.” – namely Jack and Kate – were destined to raise him.
*Due to ”LOST” being a fictional story, there was nothing wrong with Kate pretending to be Aaron’s mother.
*By lying, the Oceanic Six did the best thing they could to protect Aaron.
*Claire left Aaron in the jungle to follow her father in (4.09) “The Shape of Things to Come”
.

And so on. One of the forums that really demonstrated the need for fans to see nothing wrong in Kate’s custody of Aaron was The Fuselage. Other forums such as Lost-ForumsSouless SpikeTelevision Without Pity more or less skirted the issue. Although the Lost-TV Forum posted a thread in which someone had criticized Kate for creating the lie about Aaron, most of the members who have responded are defending Kate’s actions . . . and bashing Jack for agreeing to the lie. Amazing. This woman not only got away with the kidnapping of a child, but also received a free pass by certain fans. Fortunately, not all of the show’s fans on this forum defended her. There were some on other threads who criticized Kate for her actions in regard to Aaron.

There were many aspects to the lie surrounding Aaron Littleton that I find questionable. First all, I had doubts about the Oceanic Six’s decision to lie about the island. In one of the flashbacks for “The Lie”, Jack claimed that the lies would protect those left behind on the island:

JACK: Hurley, what about you?

HURLEY: I don’t think we should lie, dude.

JACK: We need to protect the people that we left behind, Hurley.

HURLEY: How does lying protect them?

JACK: It protects them from Charles Widmore. The guy hired a boatload of people to kill all of us. He faked a plane crash. I mean, you think telling him the truth, he’s just gonna–he’s gonna leave them alone?

Hurley was right. How did this lie protect those left behind from Charles Widmore? The Oceanic Six had witnessed the island’s disappearance.  He eventually learned the whereabouts of the island without the help of the Oceanic Six in the series’ last season.  And should it not have been more important for them to tell the authorities that others had been left behind, so that they could be rescued?  Of all of the survivors from Flight 815, only two people had formed any attachment to the island – John Locke and Rose Nadler. Rose’s husband, Bernard, was only willing to remain due to his wife’s belief that the island kept her healthy and alive. I suspect that the Oceanic Six’s real motivation behind their lies was due to their guilt over leaving the others behind. None of them ever bothered to stop at the beach camp to see if all of the Losties had made it to the freighter. Instead, they had Frank Lapidus fly them directly to the freighter in their bid to escape from the island. I suspect that guilt was the main motivator behind their lies.

But what was the main motivation behind the lie surrounding Aaron Littleton? In this scene from ”The Little Prince”, Kate Austen gave her reasons to Jack Shephard – one of two men she had managed to wrap around her finger during her three month stay on the island:

KATE: (Chuckles) At least one of us can sleep. It’s gonna take more than two nights for me to get used to sleeping in a normal bed. What are we gonna do about him? About Aaron.

JACK: I don’t know.

KATE: I’ve been thinking a lot about him. Did you know that Claire was flying to L.A. to give him up for adoption?

JACK: No. No, I didn’t.

KATE: I think we should say he’s mine.

JACK: What?

KATE: We could say that I was six months pregnant when I was arrested and that I gave birth to him on the Island. No one would ever know.

JACK: Kate, no. You don’t have to… (sighs) There’s other ways too this.

KATE: After everyone we’ve lost–Michael, Jin, Sawyer… I can’t lose him, too.

JACK: Sawyer’s not dead.

KATE: No. But he’s gone. Good night, Jack.

JACK: Kate… If we’re gonna be safe, if we’re gonna protect the people that we left behind, tomorrow morning, I’m gonna have to convince everyone to lie. If it’s just me, they’re never gonna go for it. So I’m gonna turn to you first. Are you with me?

KATE: I have always been with you.

That was probably one of the most flimsiest excuses I have ever came across for keeping a child, based upon a lie. It made Kate look like an over-emotional nanny who had resorted to kidnapping to keep a favored child by her side. She had grown attached to Aaron and could not deal with another loss after Sawyer’s departure from Frank’s helicopter? On one level, I can understand this. It is possible that she had grown emotionally attached to Aaron, considering what they had experienced before Penny’s rescue. On another level, I found this excuse questionable. There was something niggling in the back of my mind that Kate may have been using Aaron as an excuse to avoid time in prison. It was possible that she realized that she could not flee from the authorities following their return to the States . . . and decided to use Aaron as some kind of character reference without allowing him to show up at the trial. She did not need Aaron at the trial. She had Jack. Looking back on the trial featured in ”Eggtown”, Kate did not put up much of a resistance against Jack’s lies about her. But like I had said . . . it was merely a possibility. But surely she must have realized that Aaron would come into the picture some way or the other by claiming to be his mother. What did she expect?

There were those who claimed that Kate and the rest of the Oceanic Six had done nothing wrong by supporting the lie about Aaron’s parentage. Here, I beg to differ. Frankly, I found the lie to be appalling. Kate used Claire’s revelation that the latter was planning to give Aaron up for adoption as an excuse to claim the baby as her child. What she, Jack and the rest of the Oceanic Six failed to realize was that none of them knew the circumstances surrounding Claire’s original intent. They decided to accept the possibility that Claire lacked a family . . . and handed over an innocent child to a woman facing charges of murder and other crimes in the U.S.  No one knew whether Kate would be able to avoid prison and decided to support her claim that Aaron was her son. I found that despicable.

There was also the argument that Kate really had no choice but to raise Aaron. Sun could not claim the baby as her own, due to her Korean heritage. Many fans claimed that someone had to raise Aaron. Why? To protect him? What on earth made them think that Kate could protect Aaron? This was the same woman who ended up getting jumped by a mortally wounded Naomi Dorrit in the Season Four premiere, (4.01) “The Beginning of the End”.  How on earth was Kate supposed to protect Aaron? Very people did not even bother to consider that the Oceanic Six could have told the truth about Aaron’s parentage . . . and maintain their lies about the island. All they had to do was reveal at the press conference hosted by Oceanic Airlines in ”There’s No Place Like Home” that Claire had survived the plane crash, given birth to Aaron and died before the five adult survivors could be rescued. Chances are that Aaron would have ended up with his grandmother, Carole Littleton. The ironic thing is that when Carole made her second appearance in ”The Little Prince”, both Kate and Jack viewed the woman as some kind of villain or threat to their existence. Especially Kate:

KATE: Oh, my God.

JACK: (Exhales deeply) It’s Claire’s mother.

Act 5
JACK: Wait.

KATE: What am I waiting for, Jack?

JACK: Wait. I just… let’s just think about this for a minute.

KATE: She knows.

JACK: Maybe she doesn’t know.

KATE: No, but she knows about Aaron, and that’s all that matters!

JACK: (Sighs) Let me go talk to her.

KATE: What?

JACK: If I can just explain to her why we did it–maybe if I can get her to understand why… she’ll listen to me. I can fix this, Kate. I can fix it. Hey. Aaron is my family, too.

(Knock on door)

(sighs)

CAROLE: Dr. Shephard?

JACK: Hello, Ms. Littleton. Um… may I come in?

CAROLE: Of course.

(Door closes)

CAROLE: You look drenched.

JACK: No, no. No, I’m fine.

CAROLE: God, I haven’t seen you since your father’s funeral. How did you even know I was here?

JACK: Um… I knew you were here, Ms. Littleton, because I followed your lawyer.

CAROLE: Why would you do that?

JACK: I’m–I did it because, um… I understand that you feel the need to do this. But I need you to know that everything that Kate and I have done–it was for Aaron.

CAROLE: Who’s… Aaron? I–I’m afraid I’m not following you.

JACK: Ms. Littleton, um… what are you doing here in Los Angeles?

————————————————————————–

(Thunder rumbles)

JACK: Let’s go. Drive. Then call Sun and tell her to bring Aaron to the Long Beach Marina. We’ll meet her there.

KATE: What–wh-what are you talking about? What happened?

JACK: Kate, we have to go now.

KATE: I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what just happened!

JACK: She doesn’t know anything.

KATE: What?

JACK: She doesn’t know. She still thinks that Claire is dead. (Pants) She doesn’t even know that Aaron exists.

KATE: But the lawyer–

JACK: She sued Oceanic, and she’s in town to pick up her settlement.

KATE: What, and it’s just a coincidence that her lawyer happens to be the same one that’s trying to take my son?

JACK: I don’t know. But whoever’s trying to take Aaron… it’s not her.

KATE: Then who is it?

Amazing. Kate, Jack and the rest of the Oceanic Six were the ones guilty of kidnapping and both Jack and Kate ended up viewing Carole Littleton as some potential kidnapper. It was enough to make me sick to my stomach.

Many fans have condoned the Oceanic Six’s actions by claiming that Kate turned out to be a wonderful mother for Aaron. Frankly, who gives a shit? I really DID NOT CARE what type of mother Kate turned out to be.  And to this day, this sentiment remains.  What she and the rest of the Oceanic Six had done with Aaron was despicable. They had dragged an innocent child into an unnecessary deception with hardly any qualms, for their own selfish reasons. They really had no excuse for the lie about Aaron. Of all the crimes that had been featured on ”LOST”, the lie about Aaron to be the most appalling I had ever witnessed on that show. The Oceanic Six disgusted me. Especially one Kate Austen.

In the end, the deception surrounding Aaron was finally laid to rest by Kate.  Before leaving the United States on Ajira Flight 816, she returned Aaron to his grandmother, Carole Littleton.  She also returned to the island to find Claire, in order to reunited mother and son.  However, this little chapter will be discussed further in another article.

“LOST” – Who Ordered the Purge of the DHARMA Initiative?

Ever since Oceanic Flight 815 survivor Sayid Jarrah tried to murder young Ben Linus in (5.10) “He’s Our You”, and fellow survivor Jack Shephard refused to operate on the 14 year-old to save his life in (5.11) “Whatever Happened, Happened”, I have heard comments that compared Ben to Adolf Hitler. I have also heard comments that compared Ben’s younger self to a “young Hitler”. Many people have claimed that it was Ben who had ordered the deaths of the Dharma Initiative members on December 19, 1992. However, I have my doubts.

“LOST” – WHO ORDERED THE PURGE OF THE DHARMA INITIATIVE?

According to the series, Ben has offered contradicting facts on whether he had ordered the Purge of the Dharma Initiative or not. In (3.23) “Through the Looking Glass”, he had claimed to Jack that he was responsible for the Purge:

“Not so long ago, Jack. I made a decision that took the lives of over forty people in a single day”

Unfortunately, Ben contradicted this claim in the Season 4 episode (2.11) “Cabin Fever”, when he had the following conversation with another survivor of Oceanic Flight 815, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes:

HURLEY: So… This is where you shot Locke and left him for dead, huh?
BEN: Yes, Hugo, I was standing right where you are now when I pulled the trigger. Should have realized at the time that it was pointless, but… I really wasn’t thinking clearly.
[Hurley steps back a little]
HURLEY: Is that why you killed all these people, too?
BEN: I didn’t kill them.
HURLEY: Well, if the Others didn’t wipe out the DHARMA Initiative–
BEN: They did wipe them out, Hugo, but it wasn’t my decision.
HURLEY: Then whose was it?
BEN: Their leader’s.
HURLEY: But I thought you were their leader.
BEN: Not always.

Interesting. He had admitted to trying to kill John Locke. But he denied being the one who had ordered the Purge. In the final flashback featured in another Season 3 episode called (3.21) “The Man Behind the Curtain”, viewers finally saw Ben’s experiences during the actual Purge. And most of his scenes featured his last moments with his abusive father, Roger Linus:

[Ben looks at his watch]
ROGER: Why do you keep looking at your watch? You got a date? [Pauses] Listen…if it makes you feel any better, I will do my best to remember your birthday next year.
BEN: I don’t think that’s going to happen, Dad. [starts to unzip bag]
ROGER: What do you mean?
BEN: You know, I’ve missed her too. Maybe as much as you have. But the difference is, for as long as I can remember, I’ve had to put up with you. And doing that required a tremendous amount of patience.
[Ben pulls out a gas mask]
BEN: Goodbye, Dad.
[Ben puts it on and then releases a gas canister]
ROGER: Ben?
[Roger struggles for breath, coughing and retching as blood spurts from his nose and mouth, clawing at Ben’s mask]
[At the Barracks, Ben walks with gas mask on. He sees all the DHARMA employees lining the ground, all dead. He then notices Horace on a bench, and closes his eyes. Richard and the Hostiles arrive with masks on. Richard checks his watch, then removes his mask taking a deep breath. The rest of the team follow, as does Ben]
RICHARD: You want us to, um…go get his body?
BEN: No, leave him out there.

Does this mean that Ben had ordered the deaths of the DHARMA Initiative? I do not know. The only order Ben gave in the above mentioned scene was to leave Roger’s body in the van. Following the flashback, Ben said the following to Locke:

[In real-time, Locke stands over a mass open grave full of skeletons, some still wearing their DHARMA jumpsuits]
BEN: This is where I came from, John. These are my people. The DHARMA Initiative. They came here seeking harmony, but they couldn’t even coexist with the Island’s original inhabitants. And when it became clear that one side had to go, one side had to be purged, I did what I had to do. I was one of the people that was smart enough to make sure that I didn’t end up in that ditch.

That last passage interested me. What exactly was Ben trying to say? That he had ordered the Purge against the DHARMA Initiative? Or that he made sure that he, as a member of the Initiative, would survive the Purge? Thanks to the most recent episode of ”LOST” – ”Dead Is Dead” – viewers know that Charles Widmore was the leader of the Others in 1988. And in another Season Four episode called (4.09) “The Shape of Things to Come”, viewers learned in a flash forward that Ben had taken the leadership of the Others away from Widmore:

WIDMORE: I know who you are, boy. What you are. I know that everything you have you took from me. So… Once again I ask you: Why are you here?
BEN: I’m here, Charles, to tell you that I’m going to kill your daughter. Penelope, is it? And once she’s gone… once she’s dead… then you’ll understand how I feel. And you’ll wish you hadn’t changed the rules.
[Widmore shifts in his bed.]
WIDMORE: You’ll never find her.
[Ben turns to leave.]
WIDMORE: That island’s mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again.

So, when did Ben Linus replace Charles Widmore as leader of the Others? Before December 19, 1992? Or after? The photograph below from ”The Man Behind the Curtain” hints that Ben was still a worker for the DHARMA Initiative during that period, despite the fact that he had been one of the Others since the 1980s:

But had Ben assumed leadership of the Others by then? If not, does that mean Charles Widmore was still leading the Others in December 1992? Both the LOSTPEDIA and the WIKIPEDIA sites claimed that Richard Alpert had led the Others in the Purge against the DHARMA Initiative. But neither site made it clear who had ordered the Purge. And ”Dead Is Dead” never gave a clear date about when Widmore was exiled off the island.

In the end, viewers know that Charles Widmore had been the leader of the Others in 1988-89, when Danielle Rosseau’s companions were killed and she gave birth to a daughter, Alex, before the latter was kidnapped by Ben Linus. Viewers also know that Richard Alpert led a group of Others in the Purge against the DHARMA Initiative on December 19, 1992. On that same date, Ben killed his father, Roger Linus, in a similar manner – toxic gas. And viewers know that Widmore was eventually replaced by Ben as the Others’ leader and exiled off the island. If we only knew when Widmore had been exiled, perhaps the mystery of who had ordered the DHARMA Initiative Purge will finally be cleared.