Apr 2, 2007

The Man from Tallahassee

In "Par Avion," Mikhail Bakunin hinted at the possibility that which you wish for may come true. You may ask, “How was that so?” Well in the scene wherein Kate, Locke, Sayid, Danielle, and Mikhail stumble upon the pylons that surround the barracks, Kate exclaims, “What is it?” and starts going towards the pylons. Sayid, suspiciously and fearing for Kate’s life pulls her away. Sayid asks Mikhail, “What are these pylons?” To that, the camera pans onto Mikhail who has a sheepish smile on his face and asks, “What do you think they are?”

Mikhail does not answer the question directly. He lets Sayid suggest what he thinks the pylons are. Sayid comes up with a few possible answers, and Mikhail takes the security system as the correct answer and informs the castaway that it hasn’t work for years. As everything on the island so far, are the castaways seeing pylon for what it really is? Or are they seeing an illusion and making up the illusion to fit their needs at the time?

I did not pay much attention to this particular scene when it was first showing because I didn’t have a piece of the puzzle that I obtained in the next episode: “The Man from Tallahassee.”

Ben, the master manipulator, even his daughter Alex confirmed that Ben is a manipulator, weaved his words in such a way that he suggested to Locke to blow up the submarine. The submarine is of no use for Ben anymore. Since the “sky went purple,” there are no communications with the outside world. So the sub can leave, but not come back. The sub for Ben is better off blown up, because it would solve one of Ben’s greatest dilemmas: He promised to Jack and Juliet that if they would treat his wounds and keep him alive, he'd let them leave the island. However, if he were to let them leave, Ben’s people would see that as a sign of weakness. Not letting them leave would also be a sign of weakness, because Ben gave his word, and Ben’s word is good as gold. He could have killed them (which I think he probably was going to do), but that would be cheating. So, when Locke showed up, Ben was able to manipulate Locke into blowing up the submarine. Locke would be the one blamed; Ben would be a man of his word and not lose face.

Ben, however, in his speech about his dilemma, mentioned something extremely interesting to Locke: The island has a box (I don’t think that there is a box, I think that Ben used that as a metaphor) that will grant your wishes. Is that what was happening around the island when Kate saw the black horse; Jack saw his dead father; Hurley saw his imaginary friend Dave (who by the way is also his own father’s name); Sawyer heard the man he killed tell him what goes around comes back around; and Eko’s brother Yemi? Were those things manifestations of the castaways’ imagination? Is that why the children are kept safely away? After all, children can have wild imaginations and could possibly conjure up some wild nightmarish things. Look at what Walt was capable of doing: The polar bear. Could it possibly be that Locke is walking because he wished himself to walk? How did he become a great boar hunter when he never hunted boar before?

Locke, according to Ben is also in total communion with the island. Ben who has lived there all his life is no longer able to communicate with the island as well as Locke does. Why? Locke hints that because Ben lives the life of a hypocrite, he doesn’t deserve the island. Should Ben and his people live off the island naturally without damaging the ecosystem as they did before DHARMA came? Are Ben and his people equivalent to our American Indians? Where they once in harmony with the land and have they lost it because of avarice and greed? These are the new questions that arose from this episode. But we did learn how John Locke lost his ability to walk (his father pushed him off the 8th floor window, trying to kill him). As always, LOST answers one question and brings on a few more. But as I always say, without those questions, there will not be LOST.

This episode was extremely enjoyable. Seeing Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson interacting with each other was worth the long wait. The last time these two were together was in Season 2, when Ben was Henry. I believe that Locke and Ben are very important characters to answer the mystery of the island, so we are probably going to have more great interactions between these two great actors.

The next episode of LOST is “Exposé.” According to the creators, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, “Exposé” will be a pivotal episode. I am looking forward to it.

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