Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Live - The Alchonauts w/ The Cellophanes, The Cemetery Girls

Venue - The 13th Note, Glasgow
Date - Thursday, 11th March 2010
Line-Up - The Alchonauts, The Cellophanes, The Cemetery Girls

Rising from the ashes of The Terrors ( comes The Cemetery Girls, an all-girl punk group mixing in various styles from horror-pop to Grease-esque 50's rock.  This, their debut show, was as strong a foundation as any from which to grow a band upon.

Featuring a solid 7-song length performance, with titles as atmospheric as Necropolis, Bad Girl, Dark As The Ocean, Female Dracula and The Watcher, the band performed a strong, confident set that, while still needing some additional work that will come with practice and performance (ie some extra bass notes, more cymbal work, the little things), was more than enough to convert everyone within hearing distance into a fan. The main core of vocalist Elaine and guitarist/vocalist Tina is a powerful combination, working best in tandem than seperately - in particular, the bloodcurdling screams of Tine complement perfectly the more femininely aggressive vocals of Elaine.

The final two songs of their set were easily their best - 60's cover "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (notable for being the first all-female perfomance to reach US #1) was a strong and pointed performance, equal parts respectable to the original and decidely theirs. Set finale, The Watcher, is a delight, particularly the 'storytelling' breakdown which, if anything, could do with being lengthened, a la Battle Of Mice's "Sleep And Dream" or Gorillaz's "Fire Coming Out Of A Monkey's Head".

All in all, this was a great performance and one you wouldn't have believed was a first for a new band.

My upcoming "2009 In Review" postings will name tonight's venue, The 13th Note, as simultaneously one of the best and also worst venues in Glasgow. Tonight, nothing had changed - the opening times are still sporadic and ever-changing, the sound quality flips periodically from intimate to awful and the atmosphere in general is welcoming, but not overly so.

In that same Review, I name The Cellophanes as my pick for band of 2009 and band to watch in 2010, and here is where you will find some definite changes.  The young, raw, likeable-yet-amateurish pop-punk band of yester-year is gone, only to be replaced with a more professional, maturer, stronger band that simply defies genre. The 'younger brother' of the Glasgow punk scene has been replaced with this 'older brother' outfit, carving out their own name and genre. It is telling that, while last year The Cellophanes opened several times for Cemetery Girl's Tina and Mary-Kate's The Terrors, 2010's touring schedule kicks off with a bout of gigs in which The Cemetery Girls will be opening for The Cellophanes.

Upcoming 13th Note Gigs
Wed 7th April - The Cellophanes, Scragfight, The Cemetery Girls
How To Make A Monster Cd launch
Sat 24th April - The Murderburgers, The Cellophanes, The Accelerators, The Priceduifkes
The Murderburgers Cd launch
Wed 5th May - Banner Pilot, The Hijacks, The Cellophanes, The Lie Detectors

All three gigs listed above are well worth checking out, but for now, back to the present. Following a brief a cappella introduction lampooning "In The Jungle", The Cellophanes launch into the strongest performance of "Don't Wanna Be Retarded" to date, wherein the first thing that grabs you is just how solid and improved the drumming has become. The 13th Note is traditionally a venue for The Cellophanes to test out just how fast they can perform, squeezing as many songs into their set as possible, and tonight is no exception. Whilst in the past this would result in an understandable drop in quality, if anything the speed tonight only showcases just how on form the band have become, with no noticeable mistakes or hiccups in places where previously there would have been at least three! This shared sense of impeccable timing continues on throughout a set that includes a confident performance of "Why Don't You Like Me" that is so full of charisma and swagger, you almost expect the instruments to grow arms and begin playing by theirselves.

Next up is typical set highlight "Weekend Girl". For once, the poor sound of The 13th Note simply doesn't matter - all three members have grown stronger as singers, making the lyrics incredibly easy to make out (which is an absolute must for a band that rely heavily on the catchiness of their songs) and the vocal harmonies pitch perfect. The speed begins to take its toll on the usually vicious bite of the guitar riffs, but conversely, Sean's bass lines seem to have conjured up a few extra notes!

New song "This Guy I Know" shows off perfectly the differences between old Cellophanes and new Cellophanes. Where old Cellophanes would have crafted a decent intro that began with a solo guitar riff slowly being built upon by the bass and drums, culminating into the song proper, new Cellophanes simply burst straight into all three playing as unit, a feat that involves timing that borders on telepathic.

A calm and collected version of "Wasting My Time" follows, with the strong vocals again on show, allowing the brilliant lyrics to shine through. With "Don't Forget Me" we again get to see the differences between the band of last year and the band of present - Johnny makes one slight mistake with the drumming, something which previously would have brought the set to a grinding halt while the band made self-deprecating jokes and apologies before attempting to restart. Tonight however, the minor incident is instead glossed over professionally and the band simply get on with it without acknowledging anything and steamroll through the song with great skill.

As for the song itself, whether an intentional improvement or simply an ad hoc sublminal chanelling of The Cemetery Girls, benefits from a new vibe straight out of the 60's. An incredible new breakdown is showcased, and there is only one way to describe the band at this point - this is no longer The Cellophanes, this is THE CELLOPHANES A+++!!!

Anothing new song is introduced next with typical Cellophanes humour - "this song's called Don't Haud Yer Breath, which means... don't haud yer breath!" - and features three new directions The Cellophanes could move towards. First, Sean's vocals are clearly more raspy and angrier than before, giving the band a slightly grunge feel. Second, the song teases with what is almost a great, jazzy, syncopated beat, but this is sadly a mere hint. Third, late in the song a slight sense of metal begins to shine through. As always, the song is best served when all three sing in unison, or when Sean and Stewart trade a back-and-forth, call-and-response delivery, remniscent of any great band that features two frontmen. Thankfully, all these elements combine in this new song, providing something that is equal parts new and old, and all parts awesome.

Set cloest is a Cellophanes staple, their cover of The Ramon's "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg". By this point, both band and audience are riding on a jubilant high, and it shows in the fast and frantic delivery. Everyone is performing at full speed and skill, with Sean's basswork in particular impressing. It is all wrapped up neatly with Johnny performing a much awaited drum solo outro.

Three things combined to make this simply THE best Cellophanes gig to date. First, it was a great event - good bands, good audience, good venue (despite its shortcomings, The 13th Note IS a good venue) and good atmosphere. Second, the song selection - the 'fat' has been trimmed from The Cellophanes setlist, most prominently with the frantic "Bonzo" being chosen as set closer over the slower "Stiches On My Brain". This resulted in everyone leaving with the best possible impression of The Cellophanes at their strongest. (Also a nice touch, the band began and ended the set with the only two songs that mention the word 'cellophane' in their lyrics!) Finally, and most importantly, pure work ethic. The band have clearly become more skilled, both individually and as a group, over such a short period of time. It amazes me that this is still a band in its infancy, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for the future. Like genre stalwarts Green Day, they have launched themselves from a strong, stable, pop-punk platform and are now branching off into other genres and sounds. Hopefully, one day in the future, we might get to see The Cellophanes perform in stadiums too.

As much as they are their own bands that defy pigeon-holing in many respects, both The Cemetery Girls and The Cellophanes could loosely be described as punk. The Alchonauts, however, cannot realistically be defined by a genre, and their placement on this set miffed quite a few in the crowd. Beginning almost intentionally awful, almost as if to goad the crowd into leaving, it soon becomes apparent that this Fife outfit are a different breed of band, one that is effortlessly talented and simply don't mind whether you notice it or not.

Unlike most bands of their undefined ilk, The Alchonauts seem genuinely appreciative and engaging with their audience. Between songs, lead singer Theo addresses the audience, breaking the hypnotic, haunting, almost harrowing hold that their doom-laced dance noise death-ska, in short incredibly indescribable, music has on the listener. Such random outburts include "this is Another Song About Drinking", "this is A Song For Sleazebags" and "this song is Horrible" serving to sow a general sense of bewilderment as their mixture of self-deprecation, confusion and genuine song-titles blur together, leaving one wondering whether the band actually want to be here, or whether they are playing some cosmic practical joke on the rest of the room and having the time of their lives in the process.

Either way, the music speaks for itself. Effortlessly mixing in aspects and influences from Rage Against The Machine, Primus, Biffy Clyro, Enter Shikari and System Of A Down, all of these names and more race through the mind as you experience The Alchonauts, however none of them quite stick. The band simply pick and choose elements from everything, and piece them together to make one manic, unique and whole experience, held together by an incredibly bored looking keyboardist, whose one-note-wonder element is betrayed by his effortless jams of classical music between songs.

His image betrays the complete joy and fun that is found in the running undercurrent of the band, again making you feel as though there is something larger at play that the rest of us just aren't privy to understanding. It's like listening to Coheed & Cambria without the knowledge that the entire band is one huge conceptual performance.

From a technical point of view, everything is superb. The keyboards are necessarily restrained, the drums and bass make a potent combination, the guitar work is wonderfully schizophrenic and the singing is crisp and clear, packed full of excitement and danger. However, beneath the shallow exterior of songs about the backseats of cars and emptying your friedge because you got too 'wasted', beats the heart of a different band.

Roughly halfway through the set, the lineup changes, with bassist Dr G assuming vocal duties, singer/guitarist Theo taking on the drums, and drummer Billy taking on the guitar. This new line-up, simply put, works. What follows is a heartfelt, genuine rendition of a song about sorrow, regret and self-blame. Dr G is a wonderful singer, and it is a show-stopping moment in a maniacily non-stop set that causes the entire room to pause and reflect. All too soon, we are back to the wonderful, humourous and equally as entertaining original lineup, but there is a sense of wonderment in the air as everyone in the crowd ponder what the band would sound like with Dr G's vocals incorporated even further.

As it stands, this band are an incredible and unique force in the Glasgow scene. One song, for instance, sounds like the mutant cousin of The Cellophane's "Don't Wanna Be Retarded", another sounds like a ska band attempting black metal, and a third sounds like fellow Fife musician, folk singer King Creosote, leading an alien invasion into the heart of Scotland. Weird, wonderful, and utterly compelling.

Further Viewing

The Cemetery Girls - 7th April @ The 13th Note, 14th May @ The Dreadnought (Bathgate), 17th May @ Stereo, 6th August in Nottingham, 7th August in Derby, 14th August in Edinburgh
The Cellophanes - 7th April @ The 13th Note, 18th April @ Three Tuns (Durham, England), 24th April @ The 13th Note, 5th May @ The 13th Note
The Alchonauts - 4th May @ PJ Malloys (Dunfermline)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Lost - Where Are They Now - Jack

In this new segment, I try to quickly recap (in a few paragraphs, or less) the history and current placement of all the main characters - consider this a quick "Best Of".

Caught in a destructive loop with his father, Jack and Christian cycle through the emotions of doubt, guilt, failure and heroic aspirations. Or, as the case may be, Jack and his son David learn to reach a stage where the cycle breaks and they stop worrying about perfection and disappointment.

Original flavour Jack finds himself literally in the middle of our Island of madness, forced to battle with the contradictions of wanting to save everyone and thereby being unable to save anyone. His battles include debating with Sawyer about manners, debating with Sayid about leadership and debating with Locke about everything. In almost all circumstances, Jack loses, but his willingness to sacrifice everything in order to save everyone is both his most endearing and utterly idiotic personality trait. In essence, he is the classic hero that is both refreshingly and realistically unable to rush back into the burning building to save the trapped cat.

Currently, he is on his 400th attempt to 'let go' and simply accept the Island's mind-games and subsequent frustrations, by utilising his award-winning "Playing With Unstable Explosives" strategy.

Current Location - Beach.
Current Team Members - Ben, Sun, Frank, Miles, Ilana, Hurley, Richard (debatable), Jacob (deceased).

Monday, 29 March 2010

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 8

As we reach the halfway mark of the final season of Lost, we also reach a historic period for the Lost Blogging Collective. When this whole thing began, my aim was to bring together a few, maybe 3 to 6, of my favourite Lost bloggers in order to chat Lost and share our opinions and theories.

That number rapidly expanded to the point where I made it my goal to achieve Lost number 16 members - that goal was met 3 weeks ago. Since then, the numbers have grown even further to the point where we now have 23 full-fledged members! So everyone, please welcome AJ into our fold.

Over the next two weeks, I aim to produce a Weekly Website review of each member's blog to show my appreciation for their support. I will also be moving away from finding other Lost blogs for your viewing pleasure and instead concentrating on my own blog. With 23 LBC members and over 100 links for our latest Round-Up, I have no intention of increasing my workload even further to try to reach 42 members. However, with that said, if anyone, Lost blogger or not, wants to join in, it is never too late. Email me at for details.

For now, I will be going on holiday soon, so expect Week 9 to arrive a little later than usual - however, it will feature a bumper 4 questions for you all to enjoy, so check back next weekend. In the meantime, there will be several Weekly Website and Lost Polls being posted by the Blogger auto-bots while I am away, so check back daily for your Lost dosage!

Now, onto the Q&A. Questions first, Answers second.

Question 1 - After 6 years of the writers insisting that the Island was neither hell nor purgatory, and that the survivors were not dead, would you feel betrayed if indeed it turned out that Jack etc ARE dead and ARE in hell/purgatory? Or would you be okay with the deceptive long-con, so long as the final episode is a good one?

Question 2 - It is impossible to know who to trust, what with the many manifestations of the dead, and shallow promises being made by all sides, so I will boil this whole thing down to one test to find out who you believe - was the Isabella that Hurley saw the real Isabella, or Jacob, or Smokey?

1) I would not be angry or feel betrayed; I seriously don't think Darlton owe us anything, and the fact that they've doled out their ideas and thoughts through the years is a bonus. BUT, I would personally be disappointed as I think the show has dwelled far too securely in exemplary shades of grey to embrace the notion of a hell or a pure good and evil. The Others like to throw out terms like good and evil, but we know darn well from watching LOST that there are no such absolutes. Take one look at the handling of the Ben Linus character to see where the LOST writers stand on these matters. So while good/evil and heaven/hell are convenient terms for characters within the show to use when labelling things with their own personal world-views, I would not be happy to see the show itself sink to that kind of simplicity. Regarding the characters being dead, again, it wouldn't be a betrayal (the ride's been great and I expect the end will be equally grand no matter how it pans out) but being dead already would just be too simple and/or obvious for a show that's been hinged on the unexpected.

2) It's the actual Isabella. Maybe there's a leap of faith component in believing that, but really I try to think there actually IS some sort of method to the madness of all the visions/manifestations seen on this show. It wasn't Jacob because even if Jacob at one time had the power to give people visions, he's dead now. I believe that despite Jacob being able to tap into the Island's power in life, dead is dead for him like everyone else. All he can do now to sway the tide of events is talk to Hurley. It wasn't the MIB because: 1) The visions the MIB imparts (like the one to Richard on the Black Rock, and I'm guessing the ones to Locke to get him to the Swan and Pearl hatches) INTERRUPT real life, while Hurley went back and forth conversing between Isabella and Richard; 2) He didn't have Isabella's body to physically transform into her and take her appearance as he did with Chrsitian, Yemi, Locke, and Alex, and even if he did, Ilana tells us he's stuck now; 3) He seemed pretty damn pissed at the result of Richard's conversation as he turned to the camera! So were left with her being either a "Magic Box" style manifestation (like Kate's Horse or the MIB's bloody-handed Kid) or an actual dead person talking to Hurley (like Charlie, Anna Lucia, and Jacob). I say no to the Magic Box here because it would be weird for the Island to pull something from Richard's subconcious and not let him see it, so that leaves us with it actually being Isabella. Some speculation included, but a pretty deductive process! At this point in the game, I think the obvious answers are sometimes the better ones! Now here's hoping the show will give us the last few connecting dots to help us match all of the Island's visions/dreams/aparitions with their proper sources once all is said and done!

Bonus Tangent related to Q2 - On my latest blog entry I tried to categorize as many of the visions/dreams/aparitions on the Island into the categories discussed in my Q2 answer. The one that intrigues me the most is Harper appearing to Juliet in 4.06 (The Other Woman). We've really never seen this precise kind of behaviour from an Other before, and I really don't see how Ben could have sent her, so part of me thinks it would be cool if this was Juliet's subconcious testing herself via the Island's Magic Box. She knew about the Tempest station because of Goodwin, so maybe her subconcious brought Harper out to test her faithfulness to the Others and to ultimately allow her to finally reject them... Feel free to publish that last tidbit or not, it's just a thought that came to me when writing about the MIB's Kid being a "Magic Box" manifestation from his own subconcious.

1) I wouldn’t feel betrayed. I’ve been aware of the long con concept of the show since the beginning so I don’t think I’d be surprised. I have been one to gravitate toward the metaphor layer of the story and can see that a few of the castaways feel or even perceive they are “dead” and are in some type of “hell” and being punished. I for one am glad the writers have been able to keep the rabbit in the hat all this time, and whatever the reveal is I know I will be pleased.

2) Isabella could have been manifested by anyone of them. The “Island” presents “dead” people and items whenever the castaway in need seems to require it. But the scene with Hurley telling Richard that Isabella wants him to stop the MIB from leaving the island may be hinting to Jacob’s handy work there. Who knows… maybe Hurley is more directly involved in the game than anyone realizes.

1) I would probably be incredibly angry at first if it came to be that the characters were actually dead. Though I don't believe that they'll go that direction, I would most likely forgive them if the ending was, indeed, epic.

2) I believe that it was Isabella for the same reason that I believe it was Charlie that visited Hurley at the mental hospital. Though I can't begin to explain Hurley's ability to communicate with the dead, I believe it is a genuine gift and that Jacob is Jacob, just as Isabella was Isabella.

1) I think that if they end up being in hell/purgatory, etc., I will end up feeling a little bit betrayed.  It will just depend on how they play it I guess.  We have come to put our trust in them so much and they have been good about showing the fans of the show respect and love in return.  I guess for them to be playing us all along would hurt a little.  Having said that, I do not think that is what is going to happen.  Carlton has said he wanted the MASH ending, which was a very happy one IMHO.  I can't see a happy ending being that they are all dead and in hell.  That is what I am hoping for anyway.

2) This question kind of ties in to them not really being in hell in my opinion.  If they were in hell and everyone was dead, then why would Hurley be the only one who could see or talk to Isabella?  If they were all in that realm, wouldn't they all be able to see and talk to dead people?  Therefore, I think Isabella was dead and Hurley was communicating with her as only he can do.  Not Jacob and not MIB, in that instance.

1) Lost has always been about the journey, so the revelation in the final episode that all those characters were dead since day one would definitely be a big disappointment. That said, I don't believe for one second that would turn out to be the case. The island has been their own purgatory since they crashed. Every single fan has been emotionally invested since the beginning in those characters, watching them evolve throughout the seasons, and rooting for them to defeat their own demons from the past and earn a second chance in life. So to find out after six years that they are indeed dead and what we have been watching is just those people trying to earn their ticket to heaven or they were already in hell, wouldn't sit well with me.

2) I think Hurley definitely saw the real Isabella. The scene at the end of the episode with Richard was pretty emotional, so if that was Jacob's manifestation, then it would be downright creepy and maybe a bit of cheating the audience and lessening the overall emotional vibe that scene had. We can also assume that it definitely wasn't Smokey, due to message that was delivered to Hurley. But to me the real mystery is still Hurley's gift and how he is able to see the dead people, why exactly they choose him and is there any Jacob's influence behind the 'timing' of those appearances.

1) I really wouldn’t be that disappointed if the island was Hell. This has been such an awesome journey and I trust Darlton. But having said that, Jacob said that the island was more of a cork which was keeping Hell, Evil, or whatever you want to call it from escaping this prison. So I still think that Darlton’s 'The island is not Hell' still stands.

2) The Isabella that Hurley saw was a Ghost. **POTENTIAL SPOILER REMOVED - SEE END OF POST TO READ, IF YOU DARE** Also Hurley would have been able to tell if it was MIB or a ghost and he acted as if it was a real ghost.

1) I would be pretty pissed.  I wouldn't have a problem with the Island being Hell, Purgatory or anything like that if it wasn't categorically denied.  But since they went out of their way to assure us that it wasn't, well... we've based all of our theories around that assurance.  Darlton could have easily said 'no comment' to our theories that the Island was Purgatory, that's what they usually do.

2) I think the Isabella Hurley saw was the real ghost of Isabella.  If Isabella isn't real then that would mean that Hurley's power is pretty much meaningless.  We'd have to ignore all of Hurley's conversations with the dead. 

I don't think it could possibly be Smokey masquerading as Isabella.  Hurley has been seeing dead people for a while now, some of those rendezvous with the dead have occurred off the Island.  Mr. Smokey can't get off the Island.  Plus, what does Smokey have to gain from convincing Richard not to join his, Smokey's, side?
And I really can't imagine what would make Jacob want to use Isabella's image to influence Richard.  He could have just appeared as himself.

1) You know, I was just chatting with someone about this today and they said, "So, IS the island purgatory?? Because if so, that would suck." And I said while I'd be surprised if it all came down to something the fans had figured out by episode 4 and the writers had been denying by episode 5, if it's handled well, I wouldn't be upset at all. It could come off as perfect television if it was so well crafted that you could see the seeds of it right from the beginning. These are the same guys who said there would never be time travel on the show, so I don't look to their dismissal of the idea as canon. What I do look to is the fact they've carried this show beautifully for five and a half seasons, and if anyone can pull off the island being purgatory, they can. It's always been a great theory, despite being one of the first, and I wouldn't be upset at all by that. (I'd be a little sad that the characters are all dead, obviously...)

2) I believe that the Isabella that Hurley saw was the real one. That scene at the end with Richard not seeing her but so desperately wanting her to be there was SO powerful, so beautiful, deep, and rich, that if it turned out to be nothing more than a manipulative hallucination the power of that scene would be completely erased. And I just don't see that happening. We've seen such lovely romantic moments in the series before -- think no further than Desmond and Penny finally connecting by telephone, or being reunited on the Searcher -- and I've suggested from the end of season 2 that maybe it'll all come down to some sort of "all you need is love" thing, and if that's the case, then I believe what Hurley saw was the real Isabella. Man, just thinking about that scene makes me want to cry again!! 

1) I don't think conning a viewer is cool, but I guess that's always a possibility. I still don't think Lost will go the route of Hell or Purgatory because I don't think anyone on the island that's supposed to be alive, isn't. I would feel completely betrayed, let down, and every other word for that kind of feeling if we find out otherwise. I'd probably go the length of not even purchasing the show on DVD if this were the case.

2) I vote real Isabella. Could be any of those choices though, as both Jacob and Smokey seem to be able to read the mind of a character, and know their whole past. 

1) My answer is that I would be very upset if it turned out that all of this has taken place in hell/purgatory, even though this makes me a total hypocrite. I have said all along that however the writers want to end the story is fine with me, because it's really THEIR story... however they choose to end it IS the proper ending, because it's their story that they are telling (these are conversations born out of the Battlestar Galactica finale, BTW).

The reason I would be upset is that the writers have point-blank told us that the hell/purgatory explanation is not where they are going with it. I don't mind when the writers are vague or misleading in their communications with the fanbase, but I wouldn't like being outright lied to.

2) I think that was almost definitely Isabella that Hurley was talking to. Hurley has shown the ability to talk to dead people before, both on and off the Island, and I think this was just another example of that.

To me, the bigger question is whether that was really Isabella that Richard was talking to on the Black Rock. He was talking to her right in front of him, but then we heard the tell-tale sounds of Smokey outside... have we ever seen Smokey be in two places at once? Hmmmm....

1) A part of me would be unhappy that this was the theme all along...still hoping for something a little bit more "unexpected". But, in keeping with "You're good (audience) but we're better", if they had to "con" us to have the story 1) be on network TV, 2) to have us remain interested and enjoying the other aspects of the show, 3) not be spoiled for us, and 4) the writers staying true to what story they want to tell... then I can cut them some slack. It's LOST, after all. :)

2) I think that it was Smokey that had Isabella show up on The Black Rock, to lure Richardo. But with Hurley being so close to Jacob now, I'm leaning towards Jacob being responsible for her showing up in 2007. Two players, two sides.

1) I don't know exactly how it would work, but if the writers could properly pull off a Purgatory storyline, I think I would love it now. Ask me this question in Season 3, 4, 5, then I would be royally P--ed off. When Naomi landed on the Island and started telling them all that they were dead and on the ocean floor, I was pretty much screaming at my TV, feeling robbed. Got to keep in mind that, at the time, I was reading every interview, featurette, DVD commentary, podcast, etc that I could get my hands on. This year, in order to avoid spoilers, I have distanced myself and, looking at the actual show without thinking about the behind-the-scenes stuff, I would totally buy into a Purgatory/Hell storyline, if it was done to the quality of the past 5 seasons-worth of storylines.

2) Oh, it's a toughy. I'm regretting asking that question now - my opinion has flip-flopped between Jacob, real Isabella, and even at times thinking it was Smokey.  In order of least plausible to most, I'd say Smokey (because he has some master plan), real Isabella (because she loves Richard THAT much) and Jacob.

To be honest, why in the heck would Isabella want Smokey dead? The real Isabella had nothing to do with Jacob and, if we have learned one thing this season, it is that both Jacob and Smokey are master manipulators. Smokey has already killed Jacob, so now it is Jacob's turn. I highly doubt Richard (even combined with Ilana, Hurley and Miles) has the skill-set needed to kill the Smoke Monster, but I'm sure Jacob has some kind of plan in mind. So I guess what I have learned from this Q&A is that... I don't trust anybody anymore, not even Hurley. Chances are it was the real Isabella, and he just added in that "kill Smokey" message of his own accord. If so, the signs are pointing towards Hurley becoming the next Jacob/master manipulator.


**POTENTIAL SPOILER** - "Darlton stated at Comic-Con that Jacob does not take the shape of anyone."

Sorry for removing, but I personally feel that counts as a spoiler and don't want ANYONE to have ANYTHING unnecessarily spoiled for them. :)


Friday, 26 March 2010

Weekly Image - Supercat

Is it a mouse? Is it a piece of wool? Is it a litter tray? Is it some catnip? No, it's Supercat!!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Lost - Round-Up #5

Lost - Round-Up #5 - 9th March 2010 to 25th March 2010

To see what the Round-Up is all about, check out my previous editions.  Coming soon - YouTube Special.  If you have any relevant links, please let me know in the comments section!

(LBC) donates that blogger is a member of the Lost Blogging Collective.  For more information, email

S6E7 - Dr Linus
Vozzek69 (LBC)

S6E8 - Recon
Vozzek69 (LBC)

S6E9 - Ab Aeterno

The Others
AJ - Sundown Recap (LBC)
DarkUFO - New Cast Group Promo Pix (LBC)
DarkUFO - Lost Slapdown Video #8 (LBC) 
Dispatches From The Island - Fan Art
Fishbiscuitland - Dr Linus non-Recap (LBC)
Geronimo Jack's Beard - Insider Knowledge
Gulf Coast Offense - A New Arrival (LBC)
Gulf Coast Offense - The Official Lost Podcast (LBC)
It's About Bunnies! - Podcast News (LBC) 
LongLiveLocke - March Contest Winner
Lyly Ford - Ab Aeterno Promo Pictures (LBC)
Lyly Ford - Cast Pictures (LBC)
Lyly Ford - Emilie De Ravin (LBC)
Lyly Ford - Hurley Bobble-Head (LBC)
Lyly Ford - Rebecca Mader Interview (LBC)
Nik At Nite - Recon Haiku Time (LBC)
Not Confused, Just Lost - On "Never Seen Lost" (LBC)
Room 23 - Lottery Contest (LBC)
Room 23 - Mark Pellegrino Interview (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - Donate To Autism Speaks (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - Ilana Profile (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - LBC Q&A Week 5 (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - LBC Q&A Week 6 (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - LBC Q&A Week 7 (LBC)
Stream Of Consciousness - Lost Round-Up #4 (LBC)
The Four Toed Foot - Meets Billy Dee Williams (LBC)

In this new section, I'd like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the following bloggers for mentioning me in their blog!

Gulf Coast Offense, and again, @loster21's Tweets O' The Weekend, Devastate Boredom, Moving Fiction, Finally Lost, The Four Toed Foot, and to everyone for their continued support over these past three months of awesomeness!

While I fully support all 100+ links in this epic Round-Up, if I had to choose 3 that you absolutely must visit, it would be Fishbiscuitland's "Dr Linus", Shapusens On TV's "Recon" and Stuff And Nonsense's "Ab Aeterno".  Those three, in my mind, have been the highlight of the past 3 weeks of Lost blogging!

Agree? Disagree? Have more to share? Tell the world via the comments section:

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Lost Blogging Collective Q&A - Week 7

Hey all! Busy time this week, so check out previous Q&As if you are new to this, otherwise lets get straight into the questions:

 - What one guest/past character would you like to see return in the "alt" world, and how would YOU write them into the storyline?

 - Which side do you think each of our main characters will end up on when the dust has settled and all is said and done. Who will choose to have faith in Jacob / the Island, and who will choose to trust Smokey and his promises?

Karen @ Sam's I Am


1) I guess the one character I would like to see in FS timeline would be Mr. Eko. He was such an awesome character on the island and I think he really deserves to have some sort of redemption story in the FS. I could see him being the one who became a priest as opposed to his brother, or something along those lines. After all, he was building a church on the island.

2) As far as sides go, I think that Jack will ultimately wind up on the side of faith; thus, coming full circle from his first season attitude as a man of science. I can now see Ben being on the side of faith as well, if he makes it to the end. Hurley is definitely going to be on the side of good as his character has remained kind-hearted throughout the series, and I would hate to see them change that in any way; but they really need to get that red shirt off of him!!! It seems that Sayid is now lost to Smokey, but I have hopes that he will still come back around somehow. Sawyer seems to be on Team Sawyer now, so I can see him not choosing any sides, but I have my doubts about Sawyer's chances of making it to the end too. Kate will follow which ever male she is with at the time...whether that be Jack, Sawyer...or Aaron. Claire is just a loon. Just sign her up for the looney bin right now. She needs a power of attorney to make any kind of side-choosing decisions. Sun and Jin...hard to say.

Paul @ Room 23


1) I know that we have seen Charlie but I would like to see his sideways story finish well. Liam helps him kick his drug addiction and he meets Claire and they fall in love, are married and they raise Aaron together.

As for a new character I would like to see Mikail. Maybe Paik hired Keamy to kidnap or scare Jin to keep him working for him and now that Keamy is dead Paik hires Mikail to go after Jin and Sayid has to protect him. (Keamy was a mercenary so he probably had more then one employer and was also hired by someone else to injure Sayid’s Brother).

2) I actually think that all of the main characters will eventually see through MIB’s lies. Sawyer and Kate are already just on MIB’s side to save themselves and to save Claire. I think that somehow Sayid and Claire will snap out of it and join Team Jacob. But there will be a penalty for that and I’m betting that a number of the Losties will die because of their choices. As for Desmond I can’t see him on any side other then Jacob.

Jeff @ Moving Fiction

1) I'd want Mr. Eko to make an appearance in the flashsideways, perhaps as part of an R&B duo with his brother Yemi... They could sing love songs to God.

2) That's a tough question, I feel like in the end, only one answer will matter for all the Losties. Whatever is coming, will somehow effect the whole group no matter who picked what. I sort of think that Jacob will inevitably lose his battle with the Man in Black, and whatever his smoke monsterness decides to do, will be the fate of all Losties. As I don't see Jack and Sawyer picking the same side, and neither of them have a totally horrible/totally fixed life in the flash sideways, I just think the whole gang is going to be rolled into a picnic blanket and dumped into the Flash Sideways, all becoming conscious in that time line right where this season began, on 815-2.

Ernie @ Gulf Coast Offense


1) Of course the popular picks will be Mr. Eko and Libby, but let's go off the path a little more. I think it would be cool to see Mr. Friendly again. Since he's so good at throwing a football, how about make him the head football coach at the high school where Ben and Locke work. We can see him throwing his awkward passes again! For another obscure character, can we get some resolution on the Scott/Steve running joke? Let's get Scott/Steve in the alt world, stat!

2) I get the feeling that all the characters will end up on the same side in the end, but I'm still not sure which side that will be. From the promises Smokey is making, I'm getting the feeling that he's the man behind the alt world. I mean, Jacob is dead, so it remains to be seen what power he still holds. So for now, I'm saying that the alt world is the result of Smokey and his twisted way of fulfilling all the promises he's made to the characters.

Ms Wendy @ It's About Bunnies!


1) If it were possible, I would like to see The Degroots (Gerald and Karen... I know..that's more than one). They could be the administrators of the hospital that we've seen some of our Losties/Other appear at, with more showing up in the future. The Degroots would be trying to be leaders in "alternative medicine", using their "techniques" on their patients... and we would finally find out more about the purpose/effects of the Dharma experiments.

However, since most of the flash-sideways tend to lean toward the "happy(ish) ending", I will lobby for a Carmen Reyes appearance. Maybe she could be busy trying to coordinate Hugo's wedding (to Starla, Libby or someone else, remains to be seen) or helping Hugo with his many business ventures. It would be fun to see that the now smooth Hugo can still be a little rattled by his mom. And we need, at least, one more hilarious line from her before the show is over.

2) Since LOST likes to keep us guessing about "Who's Who" until the end, I will throw out this lame, crackpot theory that I have. :)

I have a feeling that, despite appearances, somehow those who are among " The Numbers" (Reyes, Shephard, Ford, Jarrah, Kwon and even, Locke) will be together. They will all be on the same side (Jacob/The Island), which will bring about "It only ends once...". And if it may be more "Star Wars" - like this season, from what I've heard, we could see all of our main characters decide for the "Light Side". ( It's already shaping up that Ben and Widmore may actually be on the same side... so why not!) ;) This would eventually include MIB , as he becomes more and more like Locke. In SW, Darth Vader seemed like he was the "centerpiece" of the "Dark Side" until the final scenes of the last chapter. We also found out that there was one higher up than him. In the end, Darth Vader reverted back to the "Light Side" from where he originated, helping to destroy the Empire that he helped build. In similar order, the final battle on LOST will be with the true "bad guy" (TBA) and his many minions of Red Shirt "stormtroopers".

Hey, I said it was lame. ;)

Sagacious Penguin @ Stuff And Nonsense


1) I remember hearing early reports that Mira Furlan had declined to appear this season, but if this is a best-case-scenario dream answer, then I'd want to see Rousseau appear in the Altered Universe. Imagine how different her life would be if her team had never arrived on Island. Would she have still lost Alex somehow due to fate? Or would she be living in LA sending her daughter to school to be taught by Dr. Linus? I think I'd write her in as still searching for her daughter, fate having somehow again separated them, and maybe this time Ben could be the force that brings them back together, rather than the force that tears them apart...

2) I have a feeling that pretty much ALL our main characters will unite in the end against the notion of taking sides and in favor of some uber-brave heroic act that will remove the threat of the Island (while maintaining it's vital function) once and for all. Unbeknownst to them, however, this is exactly what Jacob's hoping they will do, and it's the reason he's treated them with such "tough love" all along. (i.e. not giving them answers, explanations, visible helping hands, etc.) He could not explain his behavior to Ben in The Incident, because he needs Ben and the rest of his Candidates (and ex-Candidates) to lash out against bias and taking sides and to be/act completely selfless. The ultimate test/decision will come down to choosing sides and conflict vs. sacrifice and peace. Everyone, with the exceptions of the Man In Black and Widmore, will choose sacrifice and peace. Even Sayid and Claire will find themselves again.

Miss Scarlett @ Knittnfool

1) I know, I know. But I can barely contain myself - I want Sawyer back with Juliet. Already.

(Ordinarily I would have been thrilled to see Charlotte - but I would have wanted Daniel Faraday to meet her for drinks, not Sawyer!)

So, I'm waiting to see Juliet. Alive and well in the Flash Sideways.

And Daniel Faraday.

As to how I would write them in....Juliet could be Daniel's caretaker that we didn't see in Season 4. He may be in touch with Hurley after he sees a television report/retrospective on Lottery winners and their methods (you know, when he's flipping between news stories that make him cry) and the mention of the Numbers has him force his caretaker to travel with him to LA to extrapolate on the origin of the Numbers.

Whaddaya think?

Hurley could freak out that Daniel is a nutcase and what the? Here's Sawyer to help him out, since he's a cop and all, and Sawyer meets Juliet! Ta Daaa!

2) Oh man. Ok. Well, unless Jacob starts delivering for some of his followers I don't know how many will stick it out. Ditto for Flocke.

BUT: I think Jack will side with Jacob in the end. Jin and Sun are a toss up. I feel uncomfortable making a prediction because we know so little about what the REAL agenda is here. Jin, Sun & Kate have real incentive to return to LA: their children. So unless Jacob will be providing a means to that end, these 3 might end up with Flocke.

I have a feeling that things are going to come down to Sawyer choosing to be the hero who allows for a conclusion to the "war". What that will look like, I can't begin to guess.

Chris @ SuperDuperStream


1) Now that we have seen Charlie and Claire again, and with Walt being pretty much abandoned, the only character that still needs real resolution is Libby. During Jorge Garcia's recent live fan Q&A, that was certainly the hot topic of debate, and Jorge even shed some light on the Libby situation - but I wont say a word for those wanting to remain unspoiled. As ever, his answers were vague enough to not bring down the wrath of the Lost writers, but if we never get to see Libby's original backstory, then I at least want to see her in the alt world somehow!

As for how I would write her in - the episode begins with Hurley putting on the corporate smiley-face for the TV cameras, maybe as part of an interview for the opening of a new business venture. But once the cameras stop rolling and he has a moment to himself, some sadness creeps over his normally-cheery face. He goes home and is consoled by his loving parents. Nothing concrete is discussed, but talks of "her" and how he should try to see "her" again, how they made a lovely couple and it was a shame the wedding didn't get to go ahead after all. The whole episode creates the feeling that Hurley has lost a great love, through some sort of drama, and that he is being coaxed into trying to win her back, propose to her again perhaps. However, the last shot sees him entering the familiar room of Santa Rosa, where the camera angle and motions directly parallel Season 2, as it whips back to reveal a crazy, black-haired Libby, with a devastated Hurley there to visit. The penny drops, as once again we don't know why Libby came to be there, but we realise that she is the woman he lost, and he lost her to something a lot worse than another man.

2) I think the final battle with be an all-out war with members on both sides - Team Jacob comprising Jack, Ben, Hurley, Ilana, Widmore, Frank and Richard, Team Smokey comprising Sun, Jin, Sayid, Sawyer, Miles, Claire and Kate, roughly speaking, although
I think there will be some grey-area members as well. That being said, none of the Team Smokey members will mean to be there (except Sayid, who can't change). Claire has been manipulated and just wants to see her kid again, the same goes for Sun and Jin. Kate and Sawyer try to save everyone else, but get caught in a trap that they can't get out of. Miles will just follow Sawyer wherever he goes, and with those diamonds, getting off the Island doesn't look too bad a prospect. The only one who will come out a true villain in the end will be Sayid, who I can envision killing Sawyer in the closing moments of the series.

Lost - S6E9 Ab Aeterno - Analysis

I truly enjoyed this episode. So much. It had amazing reveals, great character development, and genuinely (often unintentionally) laugh-out-loud funny moments.

For instance - how does a wooden boat, for starters, reach the height of a giant statue and, secondly, have the power to destroy it? Is this a metaphor for Richard having the power to destroy Jacob/Smokey?

Then there is the question of why Jacob chose Richard to share all with, to recruit as his speaker? I'm willing to ignore this and roll with it, purely because Jacob acted the exact same way I would have by trying to drown Richard - straight forward enough way to make someone believe they are alive.

Again, I keep getting the feeling that Jacob is evil and Smokey is good, or at least they are two parts of the same whole. The beating Jacob dished out on Richard, when it was obvious that he brought him there, seemed overly harsh.

The lines are being drawn now, and both sides say the exact same thing. Smokey says Jacob is the devil. Jacob says Smokey is the devil. Smokey claims you can't let Jacob speak or else it is too late, he is very persuasive. Jacob (via Dogen) says you can't let Smokey speak or else it is too late, he is very persuasive. Mirror images. Two sides - one light, one dark. Who is telling the truth? Has Jacob trapped Smokey, stolen his body, and continues to manipulate people for the sheer fun of it? Or is Jacob the protector of the world, keeping Smokey at bay lest he corrupt everyone alive?

From a behind-the-scenes perspective, it was great to see Titus Welliver back in action as "the man in black". I was lucky enough to not see any guest credits, for a change. Tucker Gates (director), Greggory Nations (writer) and Melinda Hsu Taylor (writer) make a decent team - their episodes are generally good, with points of greatness, but forgettable when it comes time to ask for a favourite or least favourite episode, which is a shame as I think this was a prime example of a great episode that will get lost in the shuffle come the end of the series.

The only parts that did seem a bit poor in my opinion was the overly simplistic explanations of what exactly is going on, however on reflection there is still a lot of grey area to be explored, mysteries to found. I will leave you with this parting question to ponder - what was Smokey thinking in that very last shot? Is he worried, or are all his playing pieces falling into place perfectly?

(Ab Aeterno can mean "from eternity", "since the beginning" or "for long ages". This phrase sums up this episode nicely - it is a piece of the eternal power struggle, it is the (for now at least) the true beginning of our story, and we finally learn exactly how long Richard has been struggling with his decision to choose a side - that we are being asked to make that choice after such a relatively short period of time is ridiculous, and I simply refuse to believe there is a side to choose - both Jacob and Smokey are the same being, struggling against itself due to the enormity of its power. At least, that's my theory until next week, where I will be convince Widmore is the real smoke monster, NotLocke is actually Aaron, and Charlie was never real, merely a figment of Hurley's imagination!)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Give To Charity (And Get Something In Return)

In order to raise money for Autism Speaks, Lost podcasting stalwarts Jay And Jack held a 30-hour marathon podcast over the weekend, featuring many varied, Lost-related guest stars.

Highlights included Damon Lindelof chatting about the future (and revealing that Lost may continue in some format if there is a high enough fan demand - but he stressed there are absolutely no plans whatsoever to continue Lost beyond Season 6).  That was on Saturday, and on Sunday, Jorge "Hurley" Garcia chatted for almost two hours about burgers, general TV and finished off the marathon by answering some great questions about Lost, such as "What do Apollo bars taste like?", "Does Keamy really make great eggs?" and "Will we ever get any resolution on the Libby backstory?".  As a bonus, Jorge gave an exclusive insight into his own personal Lost theory if we could raise $500 within an hour.  Needless to say we succeeded, and got to hear first hand how Jorge thinks Lost might end.

Brilliant fun, and a great way to raise money - if you want to join in, the great news is you can! Jay and Jack have extended the donation period for a further week, so here's how you can donate. At present, we have raised almost $23,000, with an ultimate goal of reaching $30,000.

  1. Visit and check out their ongoing eBay auction for your chance to get exclusive signed, rare and unique Lost memorabilia.
  2. Send cheque donations to Jay And Jack, PO Box 40082, Raleigh, NC, 27629.
  3. Head over to PayPal and donate by sending a 'personal gift' to

It's really that simple! Now, award your good charity by heading over to LongLiveLocke to enter into Erika's free prize draw to win a Lost-related t-shirt! See, what comes around goes around.

Donate.  Enter.  Help improve people's lives, and have the chance to get a Lost t-shirt for your efforts.  Feels good to be nice, doesn't it?

Happy donating, everybody!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Lost - S6E8 Recon - Analysis

As I mentioned before, I am cutting back on the recapping/analysis to concentrate on more Essay-like postings.

As ever, check out the Lost Blogging Collective for great recaps to keep you entertained!

This week's episode was a very fun one - even the creepy parts were 'fun', unlike the creepy parts in previous episodes. Amazingly, the great writer Elizabeth Sarnoff (S2's "The Hunting Party", "Two For The Road", S3's "The Man Behind The Curtain", S4's "Cabin Fever", S5's "La Fleur", "Dead Is Dead", S6's "The Substitute", among others) and the great director Jack Bender (pretty much every great episode from "Tabula Rasa" to "LA X", via "The Man From Tallahassee" and 35 more inbetween) had never teamed up before this episode! They are joined by new-comer Jim Galasso, co-writing his first Lost episode.

Kudos go to the writing and directing team, as well as the many actors, for giving us such a great episode! The guest stars were superb this week - the only thing missing was a Cassidy cameo.

Now, rather than recount what happened this episode (one major thing though - the alt timeline is really overlapping now, with Sayid and Jin, and now Sawyer and Kate, getting in each other's storylines) and analyse the little details (loved the fact that Widmore is setting up a sonic fence, however), instead I would like to take the opportunity to revisit a theory I have.

The flash-sideways are the manifestation of promises made by Jacob and Smokey.

My theory basically states that, if a survivor chooses team Jacob, they will be rewarded in the alt timeline with a happy ending. If they choose team Smokey, although technically they will get their heart's desire, it will be warped and twisted to ensure an unhappy ending.

Lets take a look at the individual characters and see where their allegiances lie:

Hurley - The most pro-Jacob member of the survivors, and also the happiest in his alt life - rich, sane, successful, cheerful.
He is no longer cursed, or at least he no longer feels cursed.

Locke - Pre-death, Locke was also very pro-Jacob/Island. Although he accepted Smokey as part of the Island, his heart was always in the right place. If given a choice, he'd probably have chosen Jacob over Smokey, but he was unfortunately robbed of that choice. He is still paralysed, but he has Helen, his father (who it turns out, may be a con man after all. A retired con man, perhaps?) and above all, his happiness.
He is no longer the man who says "Don't tell me what I can't do!"

Jack - Beginning to come around to Jacob's way of thinking, but was never on Smokey's side anyway. In the future he may still have been estranged from his father, but he can cope better with his shortcomings, he has a son to love and make up for the mistakes of Christian, and he may be able to fully unite and bond with his half-sister soon.
He is no longer pushing away those closest to him in order to 'fix' everthing.

Ben - May have wobbled off the path slightly, and may have often been unaware there was a path, but he has generally been on Jacob's side (besides killing him!). Will probably side with team Jacob in the end. In the alt timeline, although he technically has Alex (alive again!) she is not his daughter, and will probably never visit him after she goes on to bigger and better things. Stuck obeying a lesser man instead of leading, stuck looking after his ill father, but generally seems happy, or at least delusionally optimistic, about his lot in life. Generally a good outcome.
He is no longer killing people like it was going out of style.

Rose - Pretty much the same Rose we always knew and loved. Seems rather neutral in the overall scheme of thing. Just wants to enjoy her life with her husband, however short or long it may be, and whatever location they may currently be in.
She is just herself.

Boone - He died long before he got a choice, but from the start he seemed to embrace the Island's message of change. He seems a good candidate for team Jacob. In the alt timeline, he has managed to seperate from Shannon, and feels a kinship with Locke.
He is just a background character at this point.

Claire - Hard to tell whether her alt timeline is a positive or negative outcome. She has her baby, Ethan hasn't tried to kill her, but how will it all pan out. On Island, she was 100% team Smokey, but I think she may finally be wavering.
She is just a confused young woman.

Sun & Jin - Nowhere near enough information about these two in their alt timeline, but things do not look good. Seemingy oblivious to Jacob and Smokey on the Island, they are only concerned about each other. However, they have a murky past and their moral compass seems permanently set to gray - a rather cute, lovable shade of gray, but a gray that would kill you if necessary nonetheless.
He is still finding himself involved in violence and the gangster underworld.
She is still seemingly lying about her bilingual status.

Charlie - Claims he was 'supposed to die', yet is alive. His brother seems concerned enough about him to fly out to bail him out. There's hope for him yet. On the Island, he tried to be at one with the Island's will, but cynical sarcasm and drug addiction made it hard. In the end, he may have enabled Jacob's downfall by flipping the switch, so who knows what side that counts as being for.
He is still a junkie.

Kate - Poor Kate, seemingly wrapped up in things she has no hope of understanding. She generally wants to do well, but is oblivious to other people half of the time. She'll most likely just go with the flow and do whatever Claire, Sawyer, Jin and Sayid do, until she is forced to choose between Jack (Jacob) and Sawyer (Smokey), again. In the future, she technically hasn't killed Wayne, unsure on the status of Tom, and may have helped Claire out, but she does not seem happy in the slightest.
She is still on the run and still a killer.

Sawyer - Eternally playing every side against each other in hopes of ending up the ultimate winner, Sawyer's role on the Island has been undefined from the very start. However, at present, he will happily hand Smokey the head of everyone on the Island, except the purely innocent, if it means he can escape. While not technically pro-Smokey, he sure ain't trying to stop him either. In alt world, Sawyer may be a cop, may have an awesome sidekick partner, but he sure ain't happy, still chasing his past demons, still drinking alone and his parents are still dead.
He is still alone, angry, unhappy, but trying to change.

Sayid - Sayid is a torturer. Sayid is a killer. Sayid has tried to change, but every time he ends up back at square one with no emotional growth. He could have been a great leader, but has now resigned himself to plaiyng the villain. I don't think he has embraced this role, but he sure has accepted it, and now he has killed viciously in cold blood, there is no turning back. In the alt world, again technically Nadia is back in his life (alive!), but he can't have her, and although he has changed, the people around him, those he loves and wants to protect, force him back into his animal side.
He is still a killer.

Mirror Mirror, On The Wall

In all the 'flash-sideways', we have seen our centric characters glance at, or study themselves, in a mirror. Jack clearly pondered a strange blood mark in 'LA X', then studied a strange scar in 'Lighthouse'. Kate was caught in a mirror in 'What Kate Does'. Locke then clearly studies himself in a mirror in 'The Substitute'. Sayid's reflection is caught in Nadia's door, half in darkness, half in light. Ben was then caught in the microwave door of 'Dr Linus'. Finally, Sawyer takes time to clearly study himself in a mirror, before smashing it in 'Recon'.

By my theory, everyone who clearly looked at themselves in a mirror is in team Jacob, and those who were caught are in team Smokey. The wildcards are Ben, who may not have fully redeemed himself yet, and Sawyer, who may be sliding further into camp darkness.


So by my count, we have 3 people who have chosen Jacob's side, and have a happy alternative life. We then have 3 who are fairly neutral and probably don't matter in the grand scheme of things. We have 4 that are debatable - 2 are probably on Jacob's side, 2 on Smokey's. Finally, we have 4 who have definately not changed, are definately not happy in the alt life, although one of them may not matter in the grand scheme.

So that brings us to an even 5 vs 5 - Jack, Hurly, Locke, Ben and Claire on one side, Sun, Jin, Sawyer, Kate and Sayid on the other.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the end - maybe Kate will sacrifice her soul and happy ending in order to reunite Claire with Aaron in the 'next' life? At any rate, this is my theory for Season 6 and I hope you have all enjoyed reading it.