Why name the latest episode of LOST “confirmed dead“? An overview of the episode will help answer this. Be warned – this post is basically one big collection of spoilers, an overview of the episode.
As I guessed, the images of what was supposedly Oceanic Flight 815 at the bottom of the Indian Ocean featured in the flashbacks of the new arrivals on the island. These individuals are fascinating additions to the show.
Daniel Faraday is a physicist, although he doesn’t like to be pigeonholed. Dan sees the footage of remote probes sent down from the treasure-hunting ship Christiane I that show the plane and finds himself moved – but he can’t explain why.
Miles Straune is a ghostbuster. He goes to get the ghost of one Ms. Gardner’s grandson, who was murdered, to leave her house. He makes contact with the ghost and finds money the boy had hidden.
When Naomi radioed and said “Tell my sister I love her”, this was a code that she had a gun to her head.
Charlotte Lewis (or more precisely C. S. Lewis) is an anthropologist. In Medenine, Tunisia she visits a dig that has uncovered a polar bear, and a collar with a Dharma logo (presumably the Hydra station, since the emblem features a hydra). Whatever technology was used to bring a rabbit from a parallel universe into ours could presumably also be used to transport a polar bear through time and space. But was this testing on animals aimed at eventually using the same technique to transport people, and if so has it been done? When, where, and to whom? And where and when did they go? All such questions remain unanswered – for now.
Frank Lapidus is a pilot (who apparently also drinks, not too surprisingly when we learn more about him). He was supposed to be piloting Oceanic flight 815 the day it crashed. The person he swapped with always wears a wedding ring, and so when he sees an image of someone who is supposed to be the dead pilot, the only body they can see and identify, isn’t wearing a wedding ring, which the pilot Seth Norris always wore. He calls the hotline to say that this isn’t who the TV report said it is.
Ben shoots Charlotte, but she’s wearing a bullet-proof vest. A box that fell from the helicopter of this team included gas masks, and they all carry guns. Dan says that he can’t say rescuing the survivors is their mission’s primary objective. Before the episode is over, we find out what their primary objective is.
Ben says he has answers and shouldn’t be killed. So Locke asks him what the smoke monster is – at gunpoint – and Ben says he doesn’t know. But he does know the exact identity of the whole team that is on the island, because he has a man on their ship and knows their mission. Their mission is to get him, Ben himself.
They were hired by Matthew Abaddon, who is adamant that there are no survivors from Flight 815.
Buddy TV has a fascinating series on LOST Easter Eggs. The biggest revelation is that the man in the cabin that Hurley saw is…Christian Shepherd! In the most recent episode, we learn that the direction that Locke wants to go to pass by a cabin is a different direction than the cabin Hurley saw – which apparently disappeared. Is the ring around Jacob’s cabin to make it stay there? Are there multiple cabins with ghosts in them that appear around the island?
Next week apparently there will be an enhanced version of this episode, plus a new episode in whic one more of the Oceanic Six will be revealed.
So why is it called “confirmed dead”? I assume it is ironic (although we may learn more and have to revise that conclusion). The adamant assertions that the plane that had been found was Oceanic 815, and that there are no survivors, is in fact disconfirmed, unless there is some sense in which being alive on the island is a form of “deadness”. But the fact that some of them will leave the island suggests that the Oceanic Six are indeed alive, as are the others, and that they will leave with this team that has come to rescue them – and, more importantly, to find and bring back Benjamin Linus. So, in short, “Confirmed Dead” is what Oceanic Airlines claims, even though they cannot recover the plane or the bodies, and the one body they show on TV suggests it is not really Oceanic 815.
One last intriguing question. Who knows about Ben that isn’t on the island, and how? When has Ben been off the island, and where did he go? What is the significance of the fact that these individuals are not looking for the island per se, but Ben? Does this mean that Ben himself is somehow more significant than the island with its various intriguing properties? How does their mission to locate Ben Linus relate to flight 815 from the perspective on Abaddon and of those on the team? There is so much more to the story than we know at this point!