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'Lost': Evil vets, 31 minutes and who is R.G.?

February 15, 2008 |  8:35 am

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It's astounding how fast this season of "Lost" has taken off. Remember last year, when we spent episode after episode watching Jack, Sawyer and Kate sit around in cages? Not this year. It's a testament to the incredible amount of information the writers have been able to pack into each of the first three episodes this year that each one sparks a debate on which revelation was the most important of the episode.

In my house, my girlfriend seemed quite taken with the revelation at episode's end: Post-rescue Sayid remade as Sayid Bond (with unfortunate Fabio-hair), flying around the world and killing people for Ben. Who are these people Ben is having him kill? I'd say a big clue was found on the wrist of Elsa, the woman Sayid had to kill in this episode. Her bracelet, no doubt given to her by her mysterious employer, looks to be an exact duplicate of the one worn by Naomi, the freighter rescuer killed by Locke. Naomi's bracelet was inscribed by R.G. So who is R.G.? Could it be her? Him? Maybe it's this guy.

The possibilities are endless, though I doubt the writers have given us enough information yet to be able to come up with a credible theory. But with all due respect to my lovely girlfriend, I don't think the Ben-Sayid partnership -- or alliance, as they're called on "Survivor" -- was the most startling revelation in the episode. Much more exciting to the series' overall arc was the mini-experiment Daniel Faraday engaged in with Regina back on the boat....

A rocket, fired from the freighter, did not arrive at its intended target on the island until a full 31 minutes later. (I thought the unsynchronized watches were a nice homage to Doc Brown.) It's important not to downplay the implications of that delay and its connection to the island's true nature. More than any other character, I think Faraday and his box of scientific doohickeys will do more to quiet that faction of the audience who seem convinced the writers don't really know what the island is.

It's worth pointing out "Lost's" similarities to a Stephen King novella titled "The Langoliers." It's a safe bet that Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams are familiar with the story -- they're both avowed King-freaks, but with all the other books visually referenced on the show, it's strange that this one hasn't come up yet. Perhaps because to signal a connection to this story would have been too big of a giveaway to a major secret of the series. But go ahead and read the summary (or better yet, read the book for yourself) and consider again Faraday's comment last week about the quality of light on the island being off somehow.

And what about his instructions to Frank to fly off the island and stay directly on the coordinates he was given? Are they trying to fly through a time rip?

And finally, what are we to make of the revelation that Ben has been traveling off the island for some time under assumed identities? Did he cross paths with any of the crash survivors at some point in the past? I have no doubt we haven't seen the last of the survivor flashbacks.

By the way, the name Ben used in the passport Sayid looked at was Dean Moriarty, the same name as one of the key characters in Jack Kerouac's "On the Road." Of course Moriarty was also Sherlock Holmes' genius archnemesis. It seems like Ben is a combination of both of these characters -- the evil genius with wanderlust. Now we just need to figure out who wants him dead.

-- Patrick Day

Photo: ABC

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