'Lost' countdown: Keamy, Desmond, and your burning questions

henry-ianImage Credit: Mario Perez/ABCWe begin today’s countdown to Lost with an apology to anyone for whom the phrase “countdown to…” triggers a violent post-traumatic stress response to last week’s “Countdown To V” clock that colonized the corner of “The Package” like some unwanted, lizard-skinned hamster-eating alien squatter. I shall say no more of ABC’s ill-considered choice, though for anyone in the market for snarky vivisection, I direct you to this week’s episode of Totally Lost, which you will find at the end of this column.

Next order of business: a new direction for my remaining Doc Jensen columns of the season — my last Doc Jensen columns, like, ever. Those who read them know that I usually fill the space with a theory or book report about some text referenced by the show in a previous episode. For example, last week, I flipped though Haroun and the Sea of the Stories hoping to find insight about tonight’s episode of Lost, “Happily Ever After,” which focuses on Desmond Hume. (Thanks to several readers, including Twitter follower @z6az6ouz for pointing out to me that “Haroun” is Arabic for “Aaron.”) Beginning with this Friday’s column, I’m going start doing something very different. Judging from the message boards and my e-mail, you have questions that need to be answered and opinions that need to be aired about this alternately absorbing and confounding final season of Lost. What you want from this wholly fake “Doc” is to act more like a semi-fake “Doc” and provide some truly useful analytical R/X to remedy your chronic confusion. You’re still going to get crazy theories from me. But here in these last days of acquaintance, I’d rather use the unique opportunity of this column to be talking with you, not at you, about Lost.

This is how it will work. If you have a burning question, glorious praise, or scathing criticism of the new episode of Lost, send me an e-mail at docjensenew@gmail.com by end of day Wednesday. I’ll respond to as many of the most urgent and topical inquiries as space can allow in my Friday column. I encourage you take advantage of this service, for as we get closer and closer to the finale, I suspect your questions will only intensify, leaving you itchier than a lonesome gold prospector after a nugget-blowing night at a Deadwood bordello. So tomorrow, after my fatty recap leaves you uncomfortably full and woefully undernourished, please: send me an e-mail with your question and I’ll do you right on Friday.

Let’s give this bold new idea a test run today. Pretend it’s last week. You just watched “The Package,” and you have this one burning question about a certain something that happened in the episode — something that for some seemingly inexplicable reason I chose not to write about in my recap. So you decide to write me an email. The e-mail would be something like this email sent to me by reader Crit Obara:

Hey Doc! I didn’t pick up on it at first, but someone pointed it out so I went back and listened a handful of times, and now I’m 99 percent certain that Keamy told Jin “I’m gonna strap you in here just in case you figure out what’s about to happen to your island.” What in the world could that mean!?

My response to such an e-mail would like this:

Yo, Crit! Your name rocks! You know, when I first heard that Keamy line, I heard what everyone else seemed to hear, too, but I was so certain that I was hearing it wrong that I assumed I truly was wrong and chose to just ignore it. So I was pretty disappointed in myself for not trusting my ears — or rather, for not trusting that everyone else would hear (or mishear) the line the same way. My official position on the matter is that until I am told differently, I am going to continue to assume that Keamy really didn’t say what it sure sounds like he said, that we’re dealing with a phonic irony produced by Keamy’s affected speech. But I wish it were legit! I love this theory: that the barrier between realities is breaking down and causing weird temporal/continuity blips. This theory would argue that even Keamy wasn’t aware of what he said, thanks to “No English!” Jin’s inability to understand what he said and comment on his captor’s Freudian time-slip of the tongue. This odd anomaly could foreshadow a larger breakdown between the Island and Sideways realities. Ditto: the appearance last week by Mikhail Bakunin, named after the Russian anarchist; in today’s Totally Lost, I speculate that Mikhail’s chaos-creating cameo was an omen of more cosmic anarchy to come. Anyway, thanks for writing, Crit!

Anyway, you get the gist. From here on out, I’ll be using the Doc Jensen column to facilitate an of-the-moment conversation about Lost matters that matter the most to you. We shall launch this glorious new era of constructive dialogue on Friday. My guess is most of your questions will be about Desmond. In fact, besides the Keamy thing, Desmond seems to be top of mind for most over-thinking Lost fans. Here’s a sampling of the Desmond-themed e-mail I’ve received this week, beginning with this letter, which intersects with a certain widely despised theory that I shared with you a few weeks ago…

Just finished reading your recap of “The Package.” I was surprised to see that, given your recent theory that Daniel Faraday is Smokey [or at least swallowed up inside him somehow; see Thor Annual #10 for Atum the Demiurge], that you didn’t mention that Desmond Hume being the Package, or Widmore’s ace in the hole, could be related to the fact that Desmond is Daniel Faraday’s constant.  Being corrupted into Smokey would certainly classify as “If anything goes wrong…” Were you just saving this?  Or have you lost faith in Faraday as Smokey Theory?  — Marc, Columbus, Ohio

First, let me make something clear. I don’t really watch Lost through the perspective of my theories. I try to leave all my crazy conjectures behind with each new episode. Some weeks I’m more successful at doing that than others. But seriously, the fun of theorizing comes from thinking about possibilities, not trying to be right. That said, to Marc’s question, I have lost a little faith in my Dan The Smoke Man theory since postulating it in my recap of “Recon.” In fact, I found myself losing faith in it about 10 seconds after posting it. (Most of my theories leave me with that kind of beer-goggle regret.) What really smashed my Smokey = Faraday conviction was “Ab Aeterno.” It seems clear to me that Smokey isn’t a puzzle of mysterious identity but rather a very specific character with a very specific backstory that we have not yet been told. I remain convinced that he is somehow linked to/responsible for The Island’s dead, that he may manage or even hold within himself the souls of anyone who has slipped the coil on The Island. But I don’t think he’s actually Daniel Faraday in disguise or a hive mind of various disembodied souls… though I have to admit your Desmond conjecture leaves me newly excited by my theory. I dig the Atum/Thor connection! Regardless: what is it about Desmond that Charles Widmore would consider him an effective anti-Smokey device? I hope tonight’s episode sheds illumination on the matter…

Or maybe reader Stacy has the answer:

I’ve been thinking about the preview for “Happily Ever After” and have a theory on why “the island isn’t done” with Desmond yet.  So he was pushing a button for years in a hatch sitting on top of a huge pocket of electromagnetic energy. What if this gave him radiation poisoning of sorts, but in a good way that made him immune to Smokey? So now, he’s the only one that can truly stop him because he has nothing to fear!

Stacy, I do think Desmond’s days marinating in the half-life of The Island’s Chernobyl and slowly becoming a Hulk-like super-sponge of radiation has something to do with his importance to Widmore’s plans. But maybe it’s more about the specific ability that blossomed out of that absorption of awful-awesome energies. Responding to a suggestion I made in last week’s summary of “The Package,” reader Ken counters:

Maybe Desmond isn’t Sideways Desmond, as you purpose in your latest recap. Maybe he is necessary because he can project his mind into his body of another time (as we have seen in previous episodes, like “The Constant.”) Maybe he can also project his mind into his body of another reality and that is how the castaways will get to the Sideways-verse.

Cool conjectures, Ken. Permit me to build onto them by reminding everyone how Desmond was able to survive the time travel sickness that killed characters like Minkowski (Fisher Stevens) in season 4. His secret to keeping his mind and his life: Penelope, his emotional and spiritual “constant,” the anchor that kept him grounded in the present. Maybe we’re going to find out that somewhere on The Island, there exists the means to travel between realities, and Charles Widmore is going to use Desmond as a guinea pig to test the process. He’s Widmore’s Manhattan (project) Transfer! Don’t call Desmond a Spaceman — call him an Inter-Spaceman! (That thought suddenly reminds me of Walt. Is that why The Others wanted him? Not only to motivate Michael to action, but to see if his unique, seemingly supernatural mental abilities made him a suitable Alternanaut?)

In “Ab Aeterno,” Richard accidentally killed the doctor by pushing him. The doctor fell down and hit the back of his head, dying soon after. As this was happening, I couldn’t help but think of the scene when Desmond fought his former Hatch partner, Kelvin Inman, who fell against the rocks, hits the back of his head, and died. We saw blood coming from both of these dying men’s heads. I have to say this connection is intentional. What are your thoughts?  — Amelia, Minnetonka, MN

I agree, Amelia, it seemed like Lost was begging a Richard-Desmond comparison. So it makes me wonder if we’re being set up for a story that will accentuate their differences. The more I think about “Ab Aeterno,” the more I wonder if what we got was the opposite of “The Constant.” In that classic episode, we got an example of Island magic facilitating a connection between lovers (Des and Pen) separated by time and space. Same deal in “Ab Aeterno.” Via Ghost Whisperer Hurley, Richard got to have a date with his dead wife, Isabella. But whereas the DesPen hook up was legit, I suspect Richabella’s spectral skyping was a Smokey-engineered con designed to manipulate Alpert to make his Force 10 From Navarone play on the Ajira plane on Hydra Island.

And with that, this week’s countdown to Lost comes to a close. The new episode of Totally Lost awaits, and if you like cryptic-fun teases, we have three puzzlers embedded in the usual mix of mirth and blather that is our specialty. (Our = my co-host Dan Snierson and our producer/editor extraordinaire, the czar of the subtitle zinger, Jason Averett.) Yunjin Kim also makes a brief appearance in this episode and says… something. If you speak Korean — or can revive Mikhail Bakunin from the dead — please drop us a line and let us know what exactly she said about us. A special note for those bleeding edge Apple people with those fancy new iPads: If you have any trouble viewing videos in PopWatch or if you’re on an iPhone/iPad, head over to the Totally Lost hub to watch Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Later tonight, I’ll have an instant reaction to “Happily Ever After,” and tomorrow, I’ll have a full recap of the episode for your reading pleasure/derision. (I’m full service that way. Need someone to hate? I can be that for you. I can be the loathsome Other to your sad, miserable, despairing Claire.) Follow me on Twitter @ewdocjensen. Send me e-mails at docjensenew@gmail. Or just go about your business and have an awesome day. Yes! Do that!

Doc Jensen


Comments (162 total) Add your comment
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  • marlowe32

    hate to say first and not be first

    • Shotgunsamurai42

      hate for you to say it at all.

      • marlowe32

        Yeah, I know it was cheesy, but I couldn’t resist.

    • joust

      just stop!

      • blackman

        Im second

  • Shamrock

    I still want to know what the hell did all this time traveling have to do with anything and what was the point of Eloise and the Lamp Post if it’s Jacob that brings people to the island.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Eloise was trying to find a way back to the Island, using the Lamp Post. She was making an end-run around Jacob and the ever-moving Island. As for the time-travel, it influenced the current Island story (they caused the Incident, Jin mapped out the Island’s electr-magnetic areas, etc.) and the Sideways story (since it wouldn’t exist without it). The time-travel also illuminated the themes of fate and free will, and gave an extended glimpse into the Island’s past while stil involving our Losties in that story.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Nah, not buying the time traveling.

      • fearlessweaver

        More importantly, it allowed MIB’s loophole. Time travel is what set up Locke as an island savior and let MIB take his place. Without time travel, Jacob would still be alive.

        Also, we still don’t know exactly what happened because of the bomb.

        Also, it was fun.

    • Captain_Apathy

      I think the entire point of that was to really convince Jack that this would work. He was just starting to develop faith, and he needed that one little scientific-type push over the edge…

    • Brian

      Jacob doesn’t bring everyone to the Island. The Lamp Post is there to help people (namely the DHARMA Initiative, until the Others took it over?) find the Island and it’s “windows” regardless of whether or not Jacob called them there. The time traveling is still a mystery to me too, but I think it’s become increasingly clear that the detonation of Jughead — “the incident” — didn’t reboot time. All it did was make the Swan Station what it was back in 2004: a station where a subject enters numbers into a computer to help release radiation/electromagnetic energy and keep the damaged energy pocket from destroying the world. Basically, the castaways went back in time and created the circumstances in 1977 that would crash their plane in 2004. Whatever created this “sideways” reality has yet to happen this season.

      • Not Lost

        who made the Swan? Don’t you think the DI people there at the time of the bomb would have died if it went off?

    • marlowe32

      I think you answered your own question, Sham….Jacob brings people to The Island, but these folks were trying to find their own way….OR….you could say that this was all just Jacob’s way of bringing these people back. The question is how omnipotent is he really?

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I’m more incline to go with your second point

      • Mike

        Jacob, himself, told Hurley when the mirrors were broken in LIGHTHOUSE “i’m sure he’ll find another way” So, yeah Jacob can touch people and make them destined to end up on the island….but it would seem there are different methods to end up there.

        I still want to know how Richard, and other OTHERS were able to come and go from the island so easily. Biggest example being when he brought Anthony Cooper to the island via a car accident and all of a sudden he woke up in a basement in OTHERSVILLE. Richard referred to leaving the island as “priveleged information” in 1954 when he talked to Locke. I still hope they’ll be answering that one. We’ll see!

        http://www.lostaddictsblog.com

      • Mike

        i think i forgot a sentence or 2 lol Jacob was referring to Widmore/Desmond needing to get to the island when he was talking to Hurley.

      • Lynn

        After tonight’s episode – I’m thinking, “Less time travel. More alternating reality.” Looks like flashbacks, -forwards and -sideways might well be what is/was/should be meshing into, “Can Desmond bring back reality as it is supposed to be?” …for Island people anyway.

        Brings Jacob and MIB into minor characters – maybe.

        One thing for sure – my displeasure in this year’s shift to the plot is now going to back burner. Whoa! What an episode!

    • The Dude

      Will the “Countdown to V” also be on the DVD’s?

  • Devan

    first

    • Pat

      nope

  • Keisa

    I need to watch again, but wasn’t the hotel room assigned to Jin, some of the “numbers”?

    • Lisa Simpson

      Yes, he was in room 842 (42 is the Kwon number). Lostpedia has all the transcipts for the episodes if you need to look something up quickly.

      • elsie

        They’re behind on the transcripts, unfortunately. It’s been a great resource up to now.

  • David

    I’m pretty sure Keamy says, “I’m going to strap you in here, just in case you figure out what’s about to happen to you. I don’t want you freaking out”

    But who know… maybe.

    • Lisa Simpson

      That’s what I heard.

      • Luddite

        Me too. In fact, I’ve watched it a few times since then and that’s what I hear every time.

      • joust

        declarations of agreement are useless

      • Rusty Shackleford

        I agree joust

      • RyanK

        That was awesome Rusty

      • Pastafarian

        That’s what I heard too. l also agree with Rusty.
        Also, First!

      • Ted

        after watching a million times he said “I’m going to strap you in here, just in case you figure out what’s about to happen to ya i uh, don’t want you freaking out”
        it was the “ya, i uh” that sounded like “island”

    • Flyer

      That’s what I heard as well.

    • Ambee

      Same here. I never heard this supposed the island slip.

      • Mark in FL

        That’s what I heard as well. At least we know we’re not hearing and seeing what we want to believe.

    • jesharris

      That’s also what the closed captioning said. And Jorge Garcia, via his Geronimo Jack’s Beard persona, has said that was what the script contained, also. No “island” was mentioned. Blame the confusion on Kevin Durand’s mumbling!

    • Liana C

      I have captioning for all TV shows, and Keamy DID NOT say anything about the island. David is right- Keamy said “in case you figure out what’s about to happen to you…”

    • laylagalise

      That’s What the cc said as well

  • Tricia S

    I don’t want to believe that the Richard/Isabella conversation at the end was Smokey!

    • Flyer

      I concur. Hurley sees dead people, regardless of where they died. (Remember, he saw both Charlie and Mr. Eko while at the sanitarium.) There are several arguments for why Smokey couldn’t appear as Isabella to Hurley, but I think the most important is that, as Ilana stated, Smokey is now stuck in the visage of Locke. No more shape-shifting into other people allowed!

      • Q

        Thanks – I also disagree that Isabella was smokey, but couldn’t come up with a well-articulated reason why. Good one!

      • Luddite

        What about Dave? I don’t think the Isabella Hurley saw was Smokey, but everything about Dave screams Smokey to me.

      • RyanK

        I don’t think it was smokey, because MIB hinted at the fact that he might be stuck going between Locke and Smokey right now. That he can’t take any dead person’s shape, like he used to be able to.

      • vl

        I believe I read somewhere that Lindelhof/Cuse have stated that we will learn more about who Dave really was before the series’end (i.e. whether he was alive/dead/Smokey in disguise/imagination figmentation Etc.)

      • Nerd

        Also I don’t think Smokey would have the ability to allow Hurley to see him and stay invisible to Richard. So any situation where Hurley sees a dead person, and no one else can, is certainly not Smokey.

      • greg

        I wonder what would happen if you people exerted as much effort in exercising or getting an advanced degree as you do paying attention to this shallow, pointless, moronic show…

  • Dave

    Ninth! …..yea

    • Abbie

      LOL, love the point you make!

  • tigersmurfette

    its nice to be canadian, not only can i watch the show two hours early(thanks to american idol sharing the same cdn channel), but no v clock.

    • sheco

      I have it better…because I am out west and get the maritimes CTV station I can watch it at 4:00 :) 3 hours before it comes on my Eastern American channel

      • tigersmurfette

        nice, lucky you! i’m in the west too, but only have cable so no western ctv

    • marlowe32

      It’d be funny if they ran a Viagra commercial with a big V again in the corner of the screen. Then for the next few weeks, Vitalis + Vicodin + Vytorin.

    • smack

      that may be the only nice thing about being canadian….

      • marlowe32

        Well, that and hockey…eh

      • Canada

        I’m sorry were you dissing Canada, I couldn’t hear you over my health care benefits….

      • Kate

        …or the combined clanging together of all our men’s and women’s hockey gold medal’s :)

  • Sabrina

    Keamy is the creepiest mofo to ever be on television. And that includes T-Bag on Prison Break. Seriously…he gives me goosebumps whenever he’s on screen…and not in a good way!

    • marlowe32

      God, that would be a creepy pair – Keamy and T-Bag – sounds like a rap act.

      • Ne Oublie

        ((giggles))

    • rose&bernardsuck_69

      He’s creepy but in an incredibly sexy way. There’s something about him.

      • smack

        you have issues

      • Laura

        Haha!! I completely agree! Super creepy, and yet super hot. And there is NO WAY he’s creepier than T-Bag! I don’t think it’s humanly possible to be creepier than T-Bag.. ugh!

      • Michele

        YES. I thought there was something wrong with me. But he’s just too perfect as a slimy yet charismatic hir man. But only Sideways Keamy, not freighter Keamy.

      • Michele

        hit* man….I love love love Sideways Keamy.

    • Nicole

      I disagree! I am in love with Keamy and I hate T-Bag!!!

    • Jolene

      That cryptic grin!!! CREEPY!!

    • Kris10

      You should see Der Kindestod on Buffy. That’s creepy.

  • JC

    Am I the only one who thinks Jin understood Keamy’s english after he hit his head on the door? Kind of like Sun losing her english after crashing into the tree

    • Mike

      Good call, he did have a different look on his face after the hit.

      • rose&bernardsuck_69

        Don’t you think that Jin would’ve reacted a little more violently knowing that Keamy was going to kill him? His “thank you” seemed sincere.

      • Jackie

        But that’s the point, Keamy wasn’t going to kill him because he wasn’t paid yet. If Jin understood that Keamy wasn’t going to kill him, his “thank you” would be genuine.

      • rose&bernardsuck_69

        Yeah, but Jin would’ve assumed that Sun was bringing the money = nighty night Jin.

  • Mike

    Third!! I’m hoping for another classic ep.

  • marlowe32

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but has anyone looked at IMDB to see the cast for tonight’s show?

    • Lisa Simpson

      No! I even avoid looking down at the opening credits.

    • Luddite

      Why would you even ask that if you don’t want to spoil anything?

    • RK

      I can’t believe Juliet is coming back, along with Dave and Howard.

      • mattinthehat

        who’s dave and howard? Charlie and Faraday are on tonight…

  • Mike

    In my opinion, the Keamy thing was deliberately set up by the LOST team. They seem to have made him use specific vocal inflections to fool listeners’ ears into hearing “the Island” the first time…we LOST fans tend to look for things where they aren’t sometimes…I may be reaching and I may be a nerd, but that’s how I feel.

    • Cath

      Shortly after the episode aired,someone viewed the closed-captioned dialogue,and that wasn’t what it indicated Keamy said.He apparently said gonna strap you in here” pause “just in case you figure out what’s about to happen to ya I” pause again “can’t have ya freakin out”

      • Rams

        Jorge Garcia confirmed on Facebook that the script said “you”, not “Island”, and he also got e-mail conformation from the actor playing Keamy that it was “you”.

    • Ne Oublie

      I didn’t catch “the island” the first time that a lot of people heard (read about it and saw after second viewing of the episode), but I can understand how it can be termed “subliminal” à la Room 23.

    • smack

      yea, your reaching

    • Pastafarian

      seems to me that people are so locked into trying to connect the dots, that they are filling in stuff that isnt really there. Jin’s reverse english? Keamy’s island reference? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    • paris

      i totally agree. i know keamy’s voice wasn’t that accent-y during season 4 or 5 when he was on almost every episode. his voice now seems kinda phony..like he’s trying an accent on..which makes since if he was training to say “ya’ and it sounds like island..which is what i heard all 3 times i watched

      • Rayyblon4

        Paris,I completely agree. Keamy said what I assumed he said in the first place: “. . . figure out what’s about to happen to YOU, I can’t have you freaking out.” He goes into the word “I” right after “you,” pauses very briefly, then goes into the rest of the sentence with “can’t.” That’s why it sounds SORT OF like he’s saying island–to those with overactive imaginations, that is.

  • jesharris

    Doc J, I noticed that the phrase “happily ever after” was used, ironically, by Keamy when he was talking to Jin. And now it’s this week’s ep title? Seems like some very bad mojo to me…

  • rose&bernardsuck_69

    Do you think we’ll ever see Lt. Daniels from The Wire again (the tall black guy who visited Hurley in the mental hospital)?

    • RyanK

      Damon and Carlton have said that the Matthew Abaddon character will not be back.

      • beth

        Yea, he’s on Fringe now.

      • Kris10

        Kind of a shame. But he was pretty killed and all. Gosh dangit, Ben.

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