Tuned In

Lostwatch: If I Could Turn Back Time

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Faraday and his time (measuring) machine. / ABC

SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, go into the secret room behind your bookcase and watch last night’s Lost.

So, Sayid is… one of the Oceanic Six! Also, Sayid is… Sydney Bristow! Really, wasn’t there something a little Alias about Mr. Jarrah out operating undercover in the Seychelles and swanky Berlin? (Good to see, by the way, that Naveen Andrews is an even bigger hunk of man-candy in the future.) And wasn’t there something a little Arvin Sloane about–big reveal!–Ben as Sayid’s new boss, sending him out with a “list” of people to kill? Really, after Ben stitched Sayid up in that veterinary clinic, I expected Sayid to go home and make blender margaritas with his roommate Francie.

If, somewhere in Daniel Faraday’s little attache case of instruments, he had a Holy Crapometer, this episode would have sent the needle into the red. Where do we start? Well, where I started, I guess: what does Future Ben have on Future Sayid that would induce him to become a hired killer? Corollary to which: How the hell did Future Ben get off the island? And which “friends” is Sayid killing to protect? The ones off the island–or the ones still back on it?

I am probably going to wear out my question-mark key on this one.

The even bigger reveal, though, was Faraday’s experiment. So–as we have long figured, time is screwy on the island. If my math is right, Daniel’s clock-rocket was ahead of the clock on his homing beacon by 31 minutes and 19 seconds. Meaning–if my math is still right–that time elapses slower on the island than in the outside world. How much slower? Beyond my education level. But enough to suggest that it is considerably later than late 2004 / early 2005 in the outside world.

The present, in other words, may already be the future. Which means that, however long the Oceanic 6 have been off the island, the people they have left behind may not have spent as much time island-bound. (Or the other way around if my math is askew.)

Remember that. I don’t know why yet, but remember that.

Elsewise, interesting things going on in Locke’s splinter group. As usual, I like that we see the occasional chinks in his faith—see the loss in Terry O’Quinn’s eyes when Locke comes upon the site of Jacob’s cabin and finds it gone. The look on Ben’s face as he taunts John suggests that Ben knows something he’s not telling about the nature and behavior of that cabin.

Theories on that? Anything else? While my question-mark key is still working, let’s go to the hail of bullets:

* “I will always be with you—R. G.” (Right? I initially read it as “R. C.”) I don’t recognize those as the initials of any known off-island characters, but I hope someone with better Lost-Fu than I can take a stab at it. And what’s the connection with Elsa’s bracelet?

* Has anyone in Tuned Inland ever used a satellite phone? Do they look anything remotely like those electronic bricks the Freighties carry? I mean, I know time passes strangely in Lost, but this is 2004, not 1984. As Mrs. Tuned In observed last night, “They look like my old Merlin game.”

* I’m sure I’m just being dense here, but someone remind me: Where is everyone else? Rose, Bernard, Sun and company? (Not to mention Neil Frogurt and every other there-by-implication Lost extra?) Did they set up camp in the jungle?

* “Oh, awesome, the ship sent us another Sawyer.” Incidentally, call me a sucker, but I did not see Hurley’s ruse coming at all, especially since his being abandoned by Locke would have explained how he went from trying to stay on the island to becoming one of the Oceanic 6. Good night for Hurleyisms all around: “He’s talking to that angry Chinese guy.” And: “Yeah, I saw you snap that guy’s neck with that breakdancing thing you do with your legs. I think I’ll hang back here.”

* Also, Ben-isms: “I lost a dollar, you know. I bet John you wouldn’t be styupid enough to fall for your friend as bait.” Speaking of which, did you catch the Kerouac shout-out, with Ben’s “Dean Moriarity” passport?

* And Sawyerisms! “Why don’t we take a gun, point it to his big toe and send that piggy to market?”

* And a Frank-ism! “Lucky for you, that guy [Miles]’s nothing but a pain in my ass.”

* Finally: after Sayid shoots his quarry on the Seychelles golf course, the sprinklers go on. I love this show.