A couple of days ago we focused on five lingering questions from Lost‘s season 4 premiere, “The Beginning of the End.” Today we’re venturing back to the second episode, “Confirmed Dead,” to explore the mysteries that remain from that installment. “Confirmed Dead” was easily one of my favorite hours from Lost‘s first batch of new episodes. It focused on the mysterious freighter folk, and while we did learn more about their motives, it’s still impossible to know if we can trust them. Like most of the characters on Lost, these new arrivals don’t seem to mind telling a few lies.
The questions that remain from this episode involve a blubbering Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies), some strange light patterns, and the identity of a dead grandson.
1) Why was Daniel crying while watching the footage of the Oceanic 815 wreckage?
Like the nerdy Lost fan that I am, I immediately went and read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five after watching season 4’s Desmond-centric episode, “The Constant.” For those who’ve never read the classic, it centers around a character named Billy Pilgrim, who is unstuck in time and often bounces around his past or his future.
I bring this up because there was a small scene in the book where Billy, after a random time jump, broke down in tears. When someone asked him why he was crying, he answered that he had no idea. His mind was in a crazy state due to the time displacement, and the confusion caused him to become randomly emotional.
We learned in “The Constant” that Daniel Faraday may be a time jumper, and we know the Lost producers love Kurt Vonnegut. I believe that Daniel was crying due to the stress of time displacement, and also because some part of him knew that he had met the Oceanic 815ers in the future.
2) What was happening in Mrs. Gardner’s house?
In Miles’ (Ken Leung) flashback, he goes to visit Mrs. Gardner and helps to exorcise her grandson’s spirit from her home. Afterwards, the pictures and frames in her house have all changed, which you can see here. What was the meaning of this, and did the grandson have any sort of connection to the castaways?
My belief is that Mrs. Gardner and her dead grandson have some sort of connection to Matthew Abaddon. This would explain how Miles ended up on Abaddon’s radar, and why he was chosen to go to the island. Many people believe the grandson may be connected to Michael (Harold Perrineau) or Mr. Eko, but I’m not buying it.
As for the changing picture frames, well, that leaves my mind boggled. It was obviously intentional and not a continuity mistake, but what does it mean? It’s almost as if Miles affected the timeline in some way, causing a Back to the Future style ripple. Others believe that, at the same time Miles was upstairs, Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) blew up the hatch, causing a time ripple that affected anyone remotely connected to the island. I don’t know what to believe on this one.
3) Where and when was the photo of Ben taken?
We now know that people like Ben (Michael Emerson) and Mr. Friendly can seemingly leave the island on a regular basis, which explains why this picture appears to have been taken on the mainland. The real question is, when was it taken? The big computer monitor and Ben’s unfortunate fashion sense seem vaguely 1980s to me, though I suppose it could be 2004. My theory is that Ben has been leaving the island for decades, and somewhere along the line somebody snapped this picture. Who? Well, that’s a whole other mystery.
4) What’s wrong with the light in the jungle?
While standing in the jungle, Faraday mentioned that the sunlight didn’t scatter through the foliage correctly. If this wasn’t Lost and Daniel wasn’t a physicist, I would have thought nothing of the comment. But this is Lost, so it has to mean something.
My guess is that sunlight, and rain for that matter, suffer the same effects that Daniel’s rocket did in the experiment he conducted in “The Economist.” Whatever it is that screws up the flow of time around the island also has an effect on the light, causing it to scatter in unusual patterns. It also has a strange effect on the rain, causing it to start and stop in fits.
5) Why is there a Dharma polar bear in Tunisia?
This is the million dollar question. There’s a real scientific concept theorizing that there may be strange vortices scattered around the globe, such as the Bermuda Triangle. If you get sucked into one of these vortices, you come out through another one. Some Lost fans believe that one of these vortices may be on the island, explaining why so many strange things end up on it.
If this is the case, it’s quite possible that the Dharma polar bear went through the island vortex and ended up in Tunisia. It may sound crazy and far-fetched, but when it comes to Lost it helps to have an open mind.
What questions about “Confirmed Dead” still linger in your mind?
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images courtesy of ABC)