Thursday, March 20, 2008

Doc Jensen LOST:XXX

Note to readers: The second page of Doc Jensen's article marked off here by a line of ***s is Doc's speculation regarding an occurrence teased in last week's trailer for tonight's episode. If you consider the promos spoilers or don't want to engage in such speculation skip that section. If you do want to speculate, read away. Anything not related to that specific promo tease has been redacted.


Doc Jensen
Doc Jensen sizes up the odds for XXX tonight's XXX episode. Plus: Speculation on the Oceanic 6

By Jeff Jensen

XXX is the eighth episode of Lost's fourth season and the last episode that was filmed before the Writers Guild of America went on strike for three months. The good news is that the strike is over and the show is back at work; at present, cast and crew are shooting the ninth episode. The bad news is that we'll have to wait until April 24 to see it. (Curse you, post-production demands!) The slightly worse news is that when our mutual obsession comes back next month, it will air at 10 p.m., a brutal time slot for people like me, whose glittering mental carriage morphs back into a moldy pumpkin at exactly 10:01 p.m. So relish this, the last installment of the year to air at a sane hour. It promises to be a dynamite chapter in the unfolding Lost saga, according to executive producer Damon Lindelof:

''Yes, you'll find out a lot about XXX. But you'll ALSO learn XXX''

The promise of additional intrigue about XXX? Curious. I want to see this thing NOW (which for me is Monday morning, not your present Thursday time-space coordinate, so you can understand my impatience).


Deathwatch ODDS!

Handicapping killability — how tasteless am I? (Don't answer that.) But hey: Death is important, according to ABC, and so we must dutifully give ourselves over to excited speculation over which Lost actor is about to become unemployed. . I'm leaving out all the flash-forward future figures like Oceanic 6 and Ben. And I'm not going to include any of the Freighter Four, because it's too soon to off them...although I do wonder if Frank Lapidus' possibly mutinous late-night chopper errands will run him fatally afoul with crusty Captain Gault. So who's left?

SAWYER: 10,000-1
WHY? Because all outrageously handsome men who cause our wives to swoon must die.
WHY NOT? Because said wives would take up sledgehammers and storm the offices of Lost's producers and threaten Kathy Bates-style horror upon them until they brought Sawyer back to life. And anyway, he probably has a story or two left to tell.

LOCKE: 1,000-1
WHY? His flashback story seems complete. He doesn't seem to figure into the flash-forward future. And [insert your own strained reach in logic here; make sure you use the word seem].
WHY NOT? Actually, I think Locke has more history to unpack and plays a key role in the flash-forward future. Regardless, he's intrinsic to the overall Island-set saga of Lost. When the Island goes, Locke will go with it. I don't think either will be disappearing for exactly 40 more episodes. Besides, I still think he's Jacob.

WHY? He might have the time-travel sickness. Are his days numbered?
WHY NOT? The former Hatchman has more secrets to spill. Plus, it would be an ice-cold end to the fan-fave DesPen love story. Moreover — and with all due respect to you Jack-Kate time-loop theorists — he and Penelope are my picks for the Adam and Eve skeletons, so at some point in time he's gotta travel back to the past.
THEN AGAIN... Given how quantum leaping in the Lost-verse is a consciousness projection affair, maybe his death would help facilitate my Adam-Eve time-loop conjecture. Okay, then: 20-1!

WHY? The French Lady has been lurking in the background all season instead of slinking off into the jungle as usual after the premiere. The sneak peek clips released to the Web this past week XXX; is Alex's mommy due for a heroic death? Or is it vice versa: Will Alex meet an untimely end, serving as a catalyst for a new chapter in her troubled mother's dark Island life?
WHY NOT? Again, Rousseau is another character with too much valuable intel; if she dies, how would we get it? As for Alex, well, you need to keep her alive to react to the death of my top choice.

CLAIRE: 17-3
WHY? At some point, Baby Aaron has to transfer custody from the Charlie-grieving Aussie momma to Kate. Might her death be the catalyst? Also: a whopping 40 percent of Lost fans think she's the one, according to a deathwatch poll over at
WHY NOT? It would be more emotional and dramatic if Lost was setting up a story line in which Kate must find some way to facilitate a mother-and-child reunion in the flash-forward future.

WHY? Rose does have cancer; maybe she isn't as healed as she thinks. (If so, does that portend bad news for Locke's legs?) But maybe it's Bernard: In retrospect, that fishing-boat heart-to-heart last week with Jin might have been a setup for his tragic end.
WHY NOT? Because it's rude to kill your elders.

JIN: 5-2
WHY? One interpretation of last's week episode was that at some point in the near future, Jin will bite it...
WHY NOT? ...but another interpretation is that the Oceanic 6 are merely pretending that Jin — and the rest of their castaway friends — are dead, victims of the 9/22/04 crash of Oceanic 815.

KARL: 2-1
WHY: If you're asking ''Who's Karl?'' then you've established one reason why he's a good candidate for goner-dom. For the record, he's the Room 23-tortured boyfriend of Alex. And he seems to be the kind of guy who's bound to blunder into a bullet or machete swipe or deadly jellyfish sting sooner or later.
WHY NOT? Ummm...because he's got blackmail pics of Damon and Carlton?


*No, not the Kate Winslet movie — I mean Aaron!

Last week in my recap of ''Ji Yeon,'' I declared that the mystery of the Oceanic 6 lineup was over. Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron, and now Sun — these are the castaways that wind up making it off the Island and shocking the world with the fact of their miraculous existence. You didn't need to be a fake doctor to make this quasi-brilliant diagnosis: the producers have told us in interviews over the past few weeks that by the end of episode 7, the O6 IDs would all be revealed — and episode 7 was last week. So, mystery solved. Right?

Wrong! Some of you are convinced that the matter isn't resolved — that twists await, that there's one and maybe even two more members of the O6 still to be revealed. Many of you suspect that Sayid isn't really part of the O6 team, even though he said he was Oceanic 6 right before he shot that Italian guy on the golf course. But since I don't think that Sayid could get away with lying about something like that — the O6 are super-celebs, after all — I believe he was telling the truth. I think you Sayid doubters are over-thinking this — and I admire that, as over-thinking things is my bread and butter. But I think you should prepare to give up on your theory: A little birdy tells me XXX.

Then, there is Aaron. It seems a whole mess of you are just like flash-forward Jack: You can't quite accept the fact of Kate's so-called child. The argument against Aaron rests on the following two assertions:

1. Aaron was not a ticket-buying Oceanic 815 passenger, as he was still gestating inside Claire's tummy (or Kate's, per the O6 cover story), so no one in the outside world would reasonably include him among the Oceanic 6. The knee-jerk reactionary part of me wants to flame this stinky piece of overly literal thinking into smoky little embers. Seriously?! That minuscule inconsistency fries your logic grid?! Think this through: In the off-Island world, every single passenger on Oceanic 815 has been declared dead. Remember, that salvage vessel found the wreckage and 324 corpses at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Moreover, the video of this discovery was international news. EVERYONE saw those pictures. EVERYONE beheld the terrible reality of rotting airline passenger flesh. Now: Imagine the reaction when five of these passengers are subsequently discovered ALIVE — and with a baby, no less! It's a killer story for the media, and speaking as a journalist, it just makes sense to me that the reporters who would tell that story would give this bunch of miracle people a punchy group name. And sorry, ''Oceanic 5 (Plus One)'' just doesn't have a good ring to it.

2. Aaron isn't Oceanic 6 because Kate's claim that Aaron is her baby wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. She wasn't pregnant before the flight, and if the Oceanic 6 leave the Island soon, that means she'll have only been missing for five months — not enough time to bring a child into the world. Another common sense-challenged argument. The only person who could have possibly known that Kate wasn't pregnant prior to the crash was the now-dead marshal who nabbed her in Australia. But are wanted women immediately given pregnancy tests upon being captured? I doubt it. As for the rest of the argument, our sci-fi fixation of the moment, time travel, neatly nullifies it. Think about this: If the Oceanic 6 moves forward in time when they leave the Island — like, say, one full year — it gives Kate the extra months required to support her cover story.

There's a THIRD argument out there for why so many of you don't believe/don't want Aaron to be one of the Oceanic 6, but it's an argument that most of you are too ashamed to voice. I say most, because there is at least one reader who's got enough stones to give this shockingly unsentimental and possibly even hideously inhuman sentiment public voice. His name is Christopher Lastrapes, and this past week, he wrote to say:

''Part of me just doesn't want to accept it's Aaron — mainly because I really don't care about Aaron. [Emphasis mine.] So I'm still trying to figure out who it might be. Maybe Ben is assuming the identity of someone on the plane. He certainly has the means, and might be able to find someone on the flight who had little or no connections in the world. Or now, maybe Michael. I just don't want to call this case closed just yet.''

Chris, I admire your frank baby-hating honesty. But it's time you and the rest of your Aaron-denying kind face facts: The kid is Oceanic 6. And the mystery is settled.


''Jeff: When you get a few free minutes, please check out the site I dedicated to my new time loop theory on Lost ( It gets over 10k hits/day and there is an active message board with over 500 posts regarding the theory. I'm very curious to hear your thought on it, being the avid Lost fan that you are!'' —Jason Hunter

Wow, what a little self-promoter this Jason Hunter is! But I think all of you should check out his theory nonetheless. It's an extraordinarily elaborate, creative, and well-researched piece of work, and an expression of Lost fandom that I absolutely admire. Try to look past the fact that it is also a brain-cramping crush of information, speculative thinking, and leaps in logic. Just admire the beauty of its head-shaking insanity. Similarly, I encourage you to check out two other theories currently getting a lot of fan attention, one of which I don't quite understand and one of which seemed to have a lot of promise for several weeks and could still be relevant in some form, but needs refinement due to recent Oceanic 6 revelations.

That's it for this week. Even though Lost will be MIA until April 24, I'll be back next week with a new column that will process the revelations of tonight's episode and put some big-picture perspective on Lost's so-far-sensational fourth season. And make sure you come back tomorrow morning for our recap of XXX. Until then, send your reactions and theories to

Theoretically yours,
Doc Jensen

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