Thursday, March 03, 2005

THE BOX: lost in a numbers game

WOWSERS! Where do I start. Last night's Lost was fan-fucking-tastic. Of course, so have been all the episodes written by David Fury. The ex-Buffyverse writer twists, turns, and mystifies in each episode he writes enhancing the bizzaro island world.

While not my favorite castaway, most are totally in love with Hurley and last night was "his" episode.

LOST 1-18: Numbers

The last pivotal episode, 1-14 Special, which coincidentally was also written by David Fury, was the first that actually made me contemplate that fact that they are not dead. For a refresher and my take on the meaning of numbers and children, check it out here.

The symbolism of the three or the trinity is echoed once again in numbers as we learn that Hurley has a fatalistic tie to the island.

The episode works backwards from Hurley through the connections. For the sake of clarity, I'm going to start at the beginning. As the story goes...

1. Two Australian naval officers were assigned to monitor air waves coming out of the Pacific. All they ever heard was static, until one day they picked up a frequency with a message "4 8 15 16 23 42". One of the officers retired from the navy. During a carnival, he entered a contest. The trick, guess the amount of beans in a container and win $50,000. So the man guessed 4,815,162,342. He was exactly right. From that point on, his life spiraled into disaster after disaster until he put a shotgun in his mouth. The other naval officer went insane. When we meet him, he is playing connect four and eating the checkers. He mumbles to himself repeatedly, 4 8 15 16 23 42. Apparently, Hurley did a bid in the mental institution. We don't know why, all we know is that he's touchy about the subject. After settling back into "normal" life, Hurley decides to play the lottery: 4 8 15 16 23 42. He wins, BIG! The biggest lottery winner in history, Hurley becomes plagued by bad luck, fire, death, pain, and ruin. He keeps getting richer. Monkey's Paw, anyone? He believes he's cursed only to then decide that the numbers are cursed. He returns to the institution were the old nutty man tells him the source of the numbers and that they are the key to the box (Pandora's if you will). Yes, still, when I think "key", I think Dawn and mystical monks. I think hellgods. I think, "this can't be good". So Hurley travels to Australia to find the other officer only to discover his fate. On the way back to LA, the plane goes down...

2. So, what does this have to do with island? These are the same numbers that are written repetitively on the French ladies map. When Hurley discovers this, he's off to track her down. After, explosions, bullets, and collapsing bridges Hurley finally confronts here. She shares with him the story...

When she and her family were sailing in the south pacific, they picked up this random frequency: "4 8 15 26 23 42". They tried to trace it assuming it was a distress call. They shipwrecked on the island; disaster insued. The woman eventually found the source, a radio tower near "the black rock". So this never happened to anyone again, she stopped the frequency and replaced it with her own - the one from the pilot part II.

3. In the last shot we find out that these numbers really do represent a box, literally. They are marked on the hatch Locke and Boone have been trying to open for weeks. Cue the music: Dunh, dunh, duh!

(Is anyone thinking Cube; has anyone seen cube? )

And that kids, was the best episode thus far.

Up next on Lost:

"Deus ex Machina" or God in the Machine:

The next new airing is at the very least three weeks away. ABC is evil. They always put a break after the most awesome of episodes. The next ep is Locke centric and entitled "Deus ex Machina". Considering the title, the character involved, the lack of promotional shots, and that co-creator Damon Lindoff penned it himself, look for the entire world of Lost to be turned upside down.

If you aren't familiar with Greek tragedy or the literary term "Deus ex Machina", let me elaborate: (from

1. In Greek and Roman drama, a god lowered by stage machinery to resolve a plot or extricate the protagonist from a difficult situation.
2. An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.
3. A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty.

Six episodes to go:
We know one castaway dies. Does anyone else suspect the birth of Claire's baby will be the season finally? Will she die in childbirth?


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