“I can think of an island in the sea even if the island doesn't exist.”Foucault's Pendulum (Weaver translation), p. 65

“Get” Lost entry #12 by RMG
Dec. 22, 2008

Dear Damon,

I admire your brazenness in splashing over TV worldwide your plans for global domination. I recognize your show as a recruiting tool displaying to interested members of your audience the roles you expect to fill in your organization, as well as how you deal with those who would betray you. It is in that spirit that I interpret your suggestion that postmarks on these entries are no longer called for as meaning one of three things:

  1. that I am so far ahead of anyone in “getting” Lost that it's no longer even a contest,

  2. that I've gotten so far off the trail that it would be hopeless for me to try to get back into contention, or

  3. that you need to keep the location of your new lair secret even from me.

In case of #1, I will continue to post entries to taunt everyone. In case of #2, I will continue to post so that everyone can laugh at me. In case of #3, I might as well continue to post to the World Wide Web, where the teasing of whichever kind can continue without our needing to handle the dry, extruded product of that much maligned material, pulp.

Did you ever work the newspaper game Jumble by first solving the overall puzzle, and then using that solution to figure out the clues?

Picking up where I left off just before season 4, early episodes of that season were sufficient for me to rule out the final possibilities of characters as naive suckers: Michael (now MiKevin), Jin, and Juliet. MiKevin could not have produced a story as he told without being in on it. His ostensible flashback as told to Sayid (with Desmond listening) resembled that of Claire's “recovered memory” as similarly told to Libby; that is, it was manufactured from whole cloth rather than performed to either gain naive witnesses or impress it on his own mind. (“You would remember...if you'd really done it!” Or if you had someone else perform it for your eyes, or if you just had a good enough imagination, it seems.) But his supposed sojourn in New York still had its fun moments. The Godhead having been passed to him in the form of the watch, MiKevin the watch man became unbreakable. As Mr. Friendly (Tom) quipped, “Manhattan, huh?” (I'm mentally inserting the line, “What's the matter, Michael? Feeling blue?”, because I'm not as restrained as you. Or are you saving that one along with “Lord of the Files”?) I could be convinced that some of MiKevin's adventure actually took place if there was a desire to establish his hospital records, but it would be easier for someone to slip phony records into the files than to arrange an “injured” MiKevin physically. His name “Kevin Johnson” has some interest in that it may have been a statement that the other Kevin portrayed on Lost, Kate's cop-fiancé, was John's son, referring not to John Locke but to John the Baptist, whose figurative son was Jesus Christ; see below.

The trouble with waiting a year to sum up my findings in a single entry is that it's hard to keep track of them all, so I've forgotten how I gave up on Jin as a possible mark among island characters. Probably learning that he wasn't among the Oceanic 6 was enough to make me decide he had to have cooperated, but many events over the 4 seasons of Lost work much better if Jin was faking it.

Juliet was my last candidate to be Lost's pigeon, but she had to be in on things to do a phony appendectomy on Jack. Because Jack didn't appear to be much incapacitated by his fake appendicitis and fake operation, there had to be some other reason to do it. It must've been to account for a real appendectomy scar that he (or his double, if he has one) acquired off island during the long real time over which island acting was undertaken. Yet we have musical clues for an “outsider” role for Juliet and Desmond: first we saw of each, they put on a song (a different one for each) about being a loner or alone, and Boone said ostensibly of Desmond (at least that's who you showed) that he was “helping himself”.

So they were all in on it, in the sense of knowledge of the general scheme, not necessarily that they'd all have been loyal to one cause. I've also decided that things have gone more smoothly (with the already noted exceptions of Eko and Nathan) than my previous suppositions, in that the business with Naomi, from her telling of the Sunda Trench wreckage to her getting the knife in the back, was all according to plan, and not a monkey wrench in the works as I'd thought before season 4. It means the knife in the back was fake as usual. Therefore my division of characters into WMCA Good Guys and WABC Bad Guys was incorrect, and flashforward Jack was not, after all, trying to usurp the role of others, and no mistake was made that needed fixing. Rather, season 4 played out what had to be done as I'd written before season 2 — that the characters would have to be rescued without learning where the island was — with the exception that they're not marks, so they're faking it too. None of the Oceanic 6 use such obviously bogus names as the Philosophers because they must operate openly and notoriously abroad. Jeremy Bentham's name managed to get into a newspaper story about his death without apparently arousing much suspicion because he wasn't connected publicly to similarly named operatives.

It amuses me that other commenters on Lost on being given the story of the Sunda Trench wreckage and recycled corpses failed to generalize the info to conclude similarly about the ostensible crash scene from Lost's premier. I don't see how you can possibly give them any stronger hint. Season 5 could feature each week a story about casualty insurance fraud and otherwise motivated phony crash scenes and they still won't get it. You could show characters exiting flight 815 at LAX and they'll scratch their heads and think of something science fictiony to cover it. You could have a destination board at Sidney get stuck reading “815...HOAX” and...I give up.

You must've outlined the plot backwards from at least the rescue of the Oceanic 6, working out a preceding alibi for the characters for each step leading up to that event. But it's not just you who did that; the conspirators of whom you wrote produced that causal chain using the same logic for their own benefit. So for the Oceanic 6 would have plausible deniability of knowing where'd they'd been, The Island had to be moved. To allow means for a movable island, it had to have been alleged to be a place with intrinsically special characteristics that had been under investigation and in which the necessary equipment had to have been installed. To provide motivation for moving The Island, there had to be said to be an imminent threat from some ruthless force pursuing control of it. For moving an island to be plausible there had to have been witnesses to all sorts of other magick associated with The Island. However, the story is still incredible enough that it can be made believable only by the device of having to be pried out of the Oceanic 6 who will lie to cover it up, covering one lie with another because nobody expects the double fake. (“Why go to the trouble of covering up a lie?” A confidence trickster can answer that question, but most people would just consider it reduction to absurdity, so what's covered up and finally discovered “must be true”. The double reverse works only because defenses are conscious of the single reverse.)

Continuing the chain of alibis, for the “survivors” to have been whittled down to the Oceanic 6, they must have been split up in connection with rapid-fire turmoil on The Island. For them to have been split up, there must have been reasons for different leaders to have won their trust, so that the persons in question would “happen to be” in different places at the crucial time. The leaders in turn have as an alibi the information they received from characters who had ostensible reasons to exchange trust for trust. You get paid for this, I don't (unless my book deal goes thru), so I'll continue along just one backwards branching path of faked character motivations and actions as an example.

Jack had to be able to say he believed Benry was too dangerous and evil to work with, while Locke had to do likewise for the ostensible enemies of Benry. To ostensibly convince Jack, he was given to believe that the Freighties were disarming a doomsday device maintained by Benry et al. that would poison everyone on the Island. To have one believe Jack believed that, he had to have been hustled to Tempest at just the right time, and then Faraday had to put on an act to ostensibly win enough trust to be allowed to ostensibly disarm it. Juliet's testimony as to the contents of Tempest was therefore required, and she was also required to have previously ostensibly earned Jack's trust. Jack's trust was ostensibly earned by having Juliet thrust into his vicinity, which required her to have been ostensibly sent on a mission to keep tabs on Claire and to scout for other pregnancies. That necessitated Claire's whole phony pregnancy, phony childbirth, phony kidnapping by Ethan, etc. which supposedly resulted in her having an implant, as previously discussed. Meanwhile Juliet needed alibis for being a double agent and for having knowledge of Tempest. Her alibi for knowing about Tempest was set up by her ostensible relationship with Goodwin, and her betrayal of Benry set up by her ostensible relationship with him. That in turn necessitated her having been there in the first place, for which the alibi is Benry's ostensible motivation for getting her to the Island and keeping her there. But for her to have an excuse to go along, there had to have been a cover story for Benry in the form of the dying pregnant women, and Juliet had to have an interest in such cases. The to-do with Edmund Burke added additional motivation.

I could similarly trace back to every character's reason for everything in their supposed pasts — all phony and all constructed to produce the Oceanic 6, whether that particular character was one of the 6 or even set foot on The Island or not. Locke was very clever to state this arrangement as if it had been mystical rather than conspiratorial. But I've noticed that all along, characters have asked each other about their motivations, and gotten answers; this would usually be considered a clumsy device used by poor writers of formally realistic drama to explain things to the audience, but in this case it's a subtle running clue. Once in a while a character is stuck for an explanation for behavior, leading to “What do I know?” or “I don't know.” They'd lose credit in con artist school for that, but their saving grace is that their mark is not before them, and they're merely providing a “You would remember!” experience for their partners.

I'd already determined that the “it” that they were all in on was the establishment of an insincere religion featuring the coming of messiah. Where might you, and they, find inspiration for such a plot? I should've known it would be in a classic of that genre. It so happened that in the same place and around the same time I bought that copy of Wilby previously discussed, I acquired Holy Blood, Holy Grail. I'd never read it before, and had known of it only via cultural diffusion. You may have known that John's Jeep had his business name given as Sion, and therefore I'm surprised that I not only beat him to this conclusion but have been unable to convince him of it: that the characters on Lost have deliberately recreated a version of the Priory of Sion hoax while making reference to it along the way — apparently because they get a big laugh out of doing so! More specifically, they've read Holy Blood in light of Valis (which book I still haven't read, but your Pop summarized it for me) and have even chosen pseudonyms and other characteristics that seem unnecessary for or even a hindrance to the caper but that reflect characters in Holy Bible and the Carolingian and Merovingian lines, for no reason other than that it tickles the fancy of Lost characters. I'm guessing they read Watchmen too, and therefore that those similarities too are not a mere case of Railroad Bill's having to endure what's written for him, but their conscious generation by the characters as a joke to themselves.

Prior(y) Connections of the Characters

When I started to read Holy Blood, I was sincere when I e-mailed you the question, “What if de Sède planted the evidence?” I was unaware then of what came out some years later, that a conspiracy of that author and a few others had done just that, but it seemed obvious enough to me as the weak point of the whole investigation by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln. The Lost hoaxers could be presumed to have been aware of the transparency and revelation of the Priory hoax, and therefore to have taken measures to make the evidence they manufactured not appear to have been easily rigged, as well as to prevent any leaks via a Chaumeil or junior Plantard. They succeeded well enough (in material shown thru season 4) that even most viewers of Lost haven't recognized the evidence's being manufactured right before their eyes, in color and HD. Yet when I started reading Holy Blood, I had been looking only for general inspiration for Lost along the lines of “religious conspiracy”, and hadn't been expecting the very specific allusions I found. I noticed when I decided to, as I had a year earlier, review all of the serial from the start. Before presenting the remainder of my notes in episode order, I'll lay out character connections I found to the source material and to other stuff:

Rose's connection is practically trivial: her attachment to her necklace cross, making the coupling the Rose-Cross, representing the Rosicrucians. However, this allusion is (heh) crucial to understanding Lost because it occurs in the pilot episode. When I first realized your show's Priory connections, one thought I had was that your construction technique might've paralleled my detection technique: establishing first the theme of a religious conspiracy-hoax, then later particularizing it to Sion — and that you might've produced “Pilot” before you'd do particularized it. To the contrary, the occurrence of the Rose-Cross in the premier proves you were working the Priory angle all along.

Bernard represents the propagandist for the Templars of the same name. The Rosa-Bernard coupling from Watchmen was gravy.

Hugo's name apparently derives from Victor Hugo, one of the alleged grand masters, but his greater connections are with King David, “known as quite a warrior”. Of course his alter ego is named Dave, but even cuter is Hugo's nickname Hurley, from his ability to hurl stones. I suppose he could've been said to chuck stones, but “Chucky” would've been a Carolingian name and you apparently didn't want him on that side. Casting Mr. Garcia rather than a little guy must've presented a problem as to how to represent Goliath, which you solved by having that huge missile take out the Chicken Shack. You clued us in to how that was done when you showed Faraday homing in a smaller rocket. But you had another David vs. Goliath hustle when Hugo was selected to play Sawyer in table tennis. Hugo also undertook a census echoing that by King Herod, who was related by office though not genetics to David. Another item connecting Hugo to David is their appreciation of music. But even if I get the book deal, I'm not going thru all that video looking for when Mr. Garcia might've struck a pose like Michelangelo's carving. With his ostensible lottery windfall, Hugo also represents Saunière and his heir with their cursed treasure. The Island golf course can be viewed as as much like Saunière's spreading the wealth with local improvements as like Mammon's doing as previously set forth.

Kate (Katherine) relates to the Cathars by name and to two Marys by characteristics: the wife and mother of Christ, making for a great parody of the Christian Trinity. One of Kate's names is “Maggie”, which is as close as you could reasonably get to “Magdalene”. Her being sent over the water by Jack (representing Jesus), never to return (he said), during which trip Sawyer set a new world record for strained puns by calling her “Magellan” (Got a rhyme for “orange” while you're at it?), alludes to her carrying the messianic blood line to France. She also has an outlaw reputation. Her bedding in 1 Armed Man's sheep pen is as close as we could get to a manger in which she could secretly give birth to a Christ. Although I'd long been convinced Claire's pregnancy was fake, until I caught that last detail I couldn't be sure Aaron was genetically Kate's son, and even if he was, that he was born in Australia, but that allusion nailed it down; you wouldn't have it that way otherwise, any more than you could make all the references to Fernando Poo without at least some of the Island scenes taking place there. Meanwhile the Cathars were said to have protected and escaped with a prize that was small in size but of particular importance to them, paralleling a plot running thru Lost in which Kate participates. Kate is Lost's barber, cutting both Sawyer's and Jack's hair and supplying the latter with a razor, so she would seem to have something to do with “cutting off” the Merovingians from power as represented by their magickal hair. Although the word for “shaved” in modern French has no “z” in it, the razor may also stand for Les Razès.

Cop Kevin in Florida, by virtue of marrying Kate in her Magdalene aspect, is a Christ. The line, “Kevin has been coming to the church here since he was about ye high” translates playfully to, “Kevin has been part of this church because he approximated Yahweh.”

This puts Jack, the miraculous “healer” and another husband of Kate, in the hilarious position of representing both Satan (as previously established) and Christ. This explains how in season 1 this Sheph[e]rd turned water into whines. By growing a beard and later getting rid of it, Jack represents the last of the reigning Merovingians, Childeric 3, whose head was shaved when he was deposed.

By these relationships Aaron has Jesusian characteristics, but even more pertinently stands for another messiah figure, Merovech. Aaron shares with Merovech the history of his ostensible mother's (Claire's) having been “taken” while already pregnant by someone who was said to have come from the sea (Ethan). Ji Yeon exhibits also the Merovingian double fatherage. But Aaron outdoes Merovech by having not only two fathers but two mothers: Kate and Claire. Plus, by representing the son of a “double Mary”, Aaron would seem to have the best claim on carrying the Davidic-Benjamite-Merovingian line...and strength of claim does look like an important issue here. Yet he also carries the Carolingian line as ostensible grandson of Carol Littleton. Does that mean Ji Yeon also stands at the convergence of Merovingian and Carolingian blood lines?

Jin stands for Peter. First he represents St. Peter, the fisherman. But the way these things work (like the way Lionel Luthor in Smallville represents both Prometheus and the Modern Prometheus, Frankenstein), invoking one Peter invokes all Peters, so he cutely represents Peter the Great. Not satisfied with Merovingian and Carolingian connections, you had to bring in the Romanovs, going beyond the Priory of Sion while providing a back door to Harlequin, whose allusions I was so poor at reading. Jin's sailing to capture the Others' dock represents Peter's capture of Azov by sea. Jin can be said to have shared with this Peter a distaste for arranged marriages, and Jin's learning English fits Peter's diplomacy and Westernization campaigns. The implications are interesting in connection with Holy Blood, Holy Grail symbolism because Peter had his noblemen's beards shaved off and, by being a Romanov, gives him Roman associations. Jin's refusal to “Pee on it!” for Hugo stands for the urinary tract blockage and disease that eventually killed Peter, while “it” being Hugo's foot makes his command to heal it an invocation of St. Peter as patron of foot problems. He guards the S(e)oul Gateway, but with my appreciation of inverted allusions, the best part was that instead of his left hand holding the keys to Heaven as in the famous painting of St. Peter, Jin's spent a good while wearing a manacle!

Jin's identification thusly sets up an inverted reflection in character Abaddon, named for a figure guarding the doorway to Hell. Cerberus also gets a mention via the blast door fluorescent map notes.

Bond Girl in Berlin (Elsa) works for “an economist” which by episode title becomes “The Economist”, therefore she's Charlemagne. You guys probably don't really read The Economist, let alone his column, you just Googled “Charlemagne”. I didn't even Google the name, but had the help of the collective detective by my bringing up the Carolingians at The Fuselage.

Benjamin Linus: the Benjamin line — us. I don't expect him to pull a Joe Malik, but it occurs to me this could be partly an out-of-frame statement, reflecting the makers of Lost as “us” and the Benjamin line standing for Jews in general. I can see how his playing the Benjamite role would cause him to ostensibly disapprove the relationship between Alex and the Carolingian-named Carl. Benry's Henry aspect is also interesting, reflecting figures by that name. Henry the Navigator didn't reach Fernando Poo, but the connection via Portuguese explorations of West Africa is close enough for allusion's sake, and he's cited by Henry(!) Lincoln et al. as a grand master of the Knights of Christ, said in Holy Blood to be a sanitized branch of the Templars. Most obviously connected to the Priory story by Lincoln et al. is King Henry 2 for the incident at Gisors. However, Henry 8's usurpation of the Pope makes him a co-partisan in the Priory rivalry, and all those dead “wives” ostensibly unable to bear children on Poo ties Benry to that Henry as well. Finally, Henry shares with character Faraday a name connection to electromagnetism.

Richard Alpert stands for the Richard who was Henry 2's heir apparent.

Mr. Friendly Tom's name is a reversed allusion to Thomas à Becket, who was murdered by knights who were loyal to Henry 2, but not under his order, the way one of Tom's party suggested shooting their captives against Benry's order.

Sawyer stands for King Solomon, putting him in the Davidic-etc. line. When Hugo ostensibly set up Sawyer as the new leader, that represented the passing of the mantle from David to Solomon. The litter Sawyer was carried on while ostensibly sick was his flying carpet. Solomon's bottling the genie and casting him into the sea was represented on Lost by Sawyer's ostensible actions on Raft 2 with two of Lost's Dr. Manhattan (genie) characters: Jin and MiKevin. Jin could be said indirectly to have been cast seaward by the action following Sawyer's firing of the flare gun, but Michael's rejection of Sawyer in the floating wreckage could be said to have done the same thing. MiKevin was ostensibly found by ostensible fishermen among the Tailies, and Jin could be said to be the fisherman who found MiKevin. They remained “bottled” for a while in Ana Lucia's pit. As a Solomon, Sawyer's knowledge of gems would also be expected. Sawyer's ostensible hoarding tendencies are Solomonic too.

Sayid, said to be a son of a great war hero (as Solomon of David), is Lost's other Solomon. I think the similarity of his name to “Sawyer” to have resulted from an early decision to spread such qualities over 2 characters. He seems to be Lost's representation of wisdom in action, and by going so easily between Shannon and Nadia, is seen metaphorically as having multiple wives. Sayid's ostensible counsel to not open the Hatch likens to advice to keep the genie bottled. Season 4 reveals Sayid to also be Lost's James Bond, whose long sought fiancée was assassinated shortly after their wedding. This ties Sayid to historic figure John Dee, who you probably can find some way to tie back to the Priory of Sion and any other putative intrigue you want to invoke.

By having joined the Royal Scots Guards, Desmond represents those who (according to the legend someone brought up at The Fuselage) would've been instrumental in abetting Christ's escape from the tomb, as required by Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Mr. Eko represents the adversary two ways. Most obviously he represents the Catholic Church, i.e. the popes and their anointees. By going around marking trees he liked, and therefore protecting them, later to cut them down, he could be said to either represent either the tree cutters at Gisors or their opponents. Meanwhile his name stands for that of Umberto Eco, author of Foucault's Pendulum, which by satirizing this sort of thing (and specifically Templar theorizing) is the antithesis of Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Presumably Mr. Eko picked the name out while chuckling to himself and had no fear it would give him away to the other jokesters.

Charlie has a Carolingian name and pronounced himself “a bloody rock god”, which could mean he's Peter's (rock's) god, i.e. Jesus Christ, who was bloodied, or it could merely indicate ties to the papal line. He does act like a dead-&-resurrected martyr.

The remaining Carolingian names are Charlotte S. Lewis, Charles Widmore, and Claire's ostensible mother Carol, which would seem to put Claire in the Carolingian line. Of these only Charles Widmore's Carolingian role emerges, as shown in ostensible opposition to Benry in the bedroom scene. I'll be on the lookout for any Carlas, Carlottas, and Chads, hanging, pregnant, or otherwise. I suppose The Island could be considered a Carlotta, the fictional location in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid that seems to be a wink at Shea's & Wilson's use of Fernando Poo, and which generated lists of friends and enemies.

Here I'll acknowledge that others have noted certain character allusions by referring to the “Freightastic 4”, about which allusions I've nothing to say. I guess it's a generational thing. Meanwhile, of them the name Frank Lapidus is a nod to the Frankish Israelism at the heart of the Sion hoax. “Lapidus” can also refer to Peter, and any reference to “rock” or “stone” in Lost has another meaning independent of “Peter”.

Mr. Sweet Shrimp, Frank Ducket, has a name suggesting Frankish ducats. Another mention of a Frankish name in relation to money was in Locke's anger management group, where he belittled the $30 Francine's mother stole from her.

When I mentioned our history with Harlequin at The Fuselage, somebody made a good case (maybe I should be careful about use of that phrase) for Lost's Alex standing for either the czarina or her son, and other characters standing in relation, which would be another Romanov connection. You may read about that there. That's twice I've been caught looking by that pitch. Did you put it there for me?

Boone is said by Shannon to be “God's frickin' gift to humanity”, making him too a Christ, a demi-god produced by God's fucking a human, a “boon” to humanity; welcome to the club, Messiah, take a number. His last name reflects that of Thomas Carlyle, who had an instrumental, agent-driven “great men” theory of history.

Desmond's pronunciation of Kelvin to sound like “Calvin” I now believe to have been deliberate.

Colleen's name suggests “colline”, a small hill — like the one the abbey of Sion was built on.

Abe Zuckerman must stand for Arthur J. Zuckerman, who is cited by Lincoln et al. for A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France as a source for Jewish identification of Merovingians and for uncovering a deal by which they helped a Papally-anointed Carolingian to stab the local Moors in the back. Abe's TV show Exposé must be via allegory depicting either that bit of skullduggery specifically, or goings-on more generally.

Juliet Burke gets her name from Holy Blood too, from the Acknowledgments. I'm guessing now that once the characters decided her husband's name would be Edmund, that started their trend of taking phony names after famous philosophers. I notice that none of the Oceanic 6 have such names, only inconspicuous names that they can chuckle at among themselves for their obscure Sion connections. That's because the Oceanic 6 have been out in the open, while other characters can use fake names without fear of detection. When the Oceanic 6 have their story “pried out of them”, they'll tell of characters with fanciful names like “John Locke”, and nobody will think it's the Oceanic 6 who are lying, only that they'd encountered certain persons who were obviously operating under phony names. Or maybe they won't drop those names at all.

The Lincoln automobile that's appeared so often that it might as well be a character (Why not, as long as you think of a VW mini-bus that way?) refers to the lead author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Might as well use this space to discuss bits of Priory-related Lost symbolism that aren't exactly characters. One is bears, the bear symbolizing both the Merovingians and the Romanovs. Seems you had to compromise by having the Carolingian-named Carl, rather than Alex, tell of the constellation in their zodiac, Ursus Theodoris. OK, Teddy bear, but step aside Roosevelt — that's “bear loved by God”, a claim of divine favor for the Merovingians. Maybe even bear fucked by God, i.e. coited, resulting in Christ and his offspring. I suppose I now have to read encounters with bears on Poo in light of that symbolism. We had Sawyer the ostensible polar bear slayer, Walt ostensibly rescued from a polar bear, and the polar bear that failed to finish off Mr. Eko, so all involved would seem to be antagonistic to Merovingians and/or Romanovs. But Walt's Teddy bear clouds that picture. Zack had one too, and I've no idea how that relates. So I've no easy “read” here, if these are clues at all. However, Charlie's good word about the intelligence of polar bears seems to be acknowledgment by a Carolingian of the shrewdness of Merovingians; or does “Einstein” mean “Jewish”?

Another symbol is Lost's use of literal lines of ostensible blood twice early in season 4 to represent figurative blood lines of genetics. There were the two lines ostensibly left by Naomi, only one of which seemed to come from her body, and there were the two streaks left on the wall converging on the lady shot twice by Jarrah, Sayid Jarrah. I read this as the convergence of genetic lines by marriage, which historically occurred a few times in the case of the Merovingians and Carolingians and is represented on Lost at least by the double motherage of Aaron. Naomi's double blood trail seems to diverge from a tree, possibly indicating the cutting of the elm, though that wasn't supposed to have been about a strictly genetic division, so the place of divergence probably means nothing in that case.

It's not clear to me whether your invocations of “V” symbolism are just a variation on the forked blood lines or have a separate meaning. Sawyer's leitmotif is “dit dit dit dah”, “V” in code. Eko made a V of whiskers to show Benry. On the wall behind Mr. Abaddon at Santa Rosa is some artwork labeled in red, “Victory”; the red V would seem to go with the fork of blood, but maybe it's saying “V” stands for “victory”; at low resolution, it looks like “Vag”, which could refer to wandering (Jewish diaspora) or vagina (place of birth), or be an unintended resemblance. After dispatching Mr. Aveline on the golf course, Sayid walks toward a bunch of Vs formed by streams of water from the sprinklers that came on then. “V” could also mean “5”, as on Foxie's tattoo.

Loved your allegory of the Curse on the Benjamites and its "cure".  The alleged Purge will have to stand for the general slaughter of most of the tribe.  The alleged failure of Benjamin Line(Us) to bear children stands for the remaining Biblic Benjamites' being taboo for other Israelite women and so unable to replenish their number.  And the solution of having the Biblic Benjamites rape the women of yet another tribe is reflected in Benry's ostensible plan to kidnap women of the Losties.

I can't say about Sun the character, but “The House of the Rising Sun” as an episode title refers to the Merovingians, a “house” that came from the East to France.

Airplanes are cruciform, so they represent crucifixion. Besides jets taking off at airports, we have Benry et al.'s prominent sighting of an airliner's being fragmented in mid-air, which could represent a desire by Merovingians to demolish the Catholic church, or symbolize the fracturing of Christianity into denominations. The Beechcraft's Christian symbolism I don't get, but I bet it has some.

Unless I get the book deal, I'm not going to collect all the observations of wounds or marks on the left or right side of the forehead to try to figure out the factions. I'll just note for now that Holy Blood mentions a group who bore marks on the middle of their foreheads, and note below about a cute “continuity error”.

Further Unconsolidated Chronologic Observations

1(2) At 9:09, Sawyer and Jack each turn to Sayid before he responds to Kate's “Can anybody help?” re the transceiver.

1(4) at 4:01, Jack: “Any bodies we bury won't stay buried for long.” A reference to the magic of the hoax and the metaphor of resurrection.

1(5) at 10:30 and 10:34 has the same couple passing in the same direction behind Jack. I hope that's a joke about fakery rather than meaning the scene never really happened. Or it could be evidence of, and a visual pun on, “going back” and redoing things.

At 12:45 I see what looks like a crest behind Boone: left half a 5 petaled white and yellow flower on blue, right half red, with a gold border.

One savior (Boone) to another (Jack): “Who appointed you our savior?”

The dialog between Jack and his mother re Christian reminds me of a pissed off Dr. Manhattan.

Sawyer to Kate: “I made this birthday wish 4 years ago.” Probably so.

Jack says to Locke that if Jack isn't hallucinating Christian, “Then we're all in a lot of trouble.” Locke may be saying that they need Jack to have a good imagination.

Boone's pinching water for Claire parallels the ostensible Eko's stealing food for his ostensible brother.

1(6) Hugo: “Short walk — they lied.” Talking to us, that means it really was a short walk, and the characters and other makers of Lost “lied” to us (by implication) about the distance. All the distances on and in the vicinity of Poo are faked.

1(7): “You all everybody, acting like those stupid people wearing fancy clothes.” Templars.

Charlie refers to, and Jack smiles in reaction, a conversation they had about an hour earlier (when Jack was ostensibly trapped in the cave) in the jungle when asked about hallucinations. Either the event actually took place, or Charlie is joking regarding lack of discipline in the act they're putting on.

Maybe the moth in the cave was Locke's.

1(8): Kate tells Sawyer he's trying too hard, that she doesn't buy his act; talking out of character?

Episode concludes with song about reaching for Mother Mary, not clear whether that's the Magdalene, Joseph's wife, or both.

1(9): The multilingual “Where is Alex?” Sayid hears aren't in Rousseau's voice.

At 15:09 Nadia describes stigmata characteristic of crucifixion.

MiKevin probably really is an artist, not a construction worker.

In one of Lost's many clues about the phoniness of the alleged timing, at 23:23 in the background at Rousseau's there's a mounted roll of paper towels, very impractical over 16+ years.

At 25:23 Sayid asks, “What is the black rock?” He knows to ask what rather than where.

1(10): Jack refers to Claire's driving nails into palms. Cute. Does the pun on “nails” translate into other languages?

Locke asks Hugo about the census, “Who's checking on you?” (Who watches the Watchmen?) “It was a joke.” By The Comedian.

Claire starts to move from the caves to the beach during the census, matching the supposed circumstances of Jesus's birth.

1(11): Kate says being in the woods was her father's religion.

1(12): The alleged sudden shift of the tide indicates a deliberate time discontinuity.

In Lost's first invocation of what must be a code phrase, the bank robber preparing to shoot the manager says he's “cleaning up after myself”. One of the bank robbers is named Jason.

1(13): The ostensible aftermath of Shannon's violent encounter is an example of how a mark on a forehead can be used to mislead.

1(14): My new interpretation of the knife-throwing scene requires no electromagnet in the tree: Walt just imagines throwing the knife.

1(15): Lucy's father was in a band, The Protestant Reformation, and collects stuff from all over the “Empire”.

Charlie: “There've been some problems with royalties.”

1(18): Hugo's mother: “You know very well we're Catholic. We don't believe in curses.” The Church doesn't lie with the Benjamites' curse.

1(19): After Cooper-Seward says he must be God (his ostensible inference from Emily's line about Locke's immaculate conception), he says he'd tried starting a family twice, but “it didn't take”.

Sawyer is “farsighted”.

Locke's “He wouldn't do this to me” echoes Christ on the cross.

1(21): Sayid's college buddy Essam (Esau?) has a philosophy degree and is a tree cutter; I'm thinking of Gisors.

In the video game, the crow bar is said to work only on zombies.

Sayid apparently knows what a Charlie horse is.

In the spider song, Charlie substitutes “drowned” for “washed”!

Sayid mentions to Essam the death of Zaraa (Sarah). Essam says he hopes Nadia makes Sayid whole — as Jack said of his Sarah.

1(23): Jack guesses Sawyer to be a lumberjack — another tree cutter reference.

1(24): Sun asks Claire whether they were being punished for the secrets they kept and the lies they told. That could mean the Island adventures were an add-on to the Oceanic 6 — that originally they'd planned to simply make up everything rather than act it out. However, I'm going to commit now to the explanation that it was only parts of their Craphole time that were added on, leading to the “continuity errors”; see below.

The argument starts between Jack and Locke about how they should explain their behavior to the world off island.

2(1): Christian's message to Jack is that false hope (as will be provided by the hoax) is still hope.

2(2): “a race around the world” = Jews

Jack to Locke: “All roads lead here.” That's likening Swan to Rome, whose Catholic rituals are reflected in the Numbers routine.

2(4): Hugo abbreviates the “You All Everybody” lyrics as “...wearing your clothes”, indicating post-Eden conditions, although the Eden of Swan was still occupied at that time. Meanwhile the “Everything is going to change” in his daydream points to post-Babel language “confusion” as symbolized by the uncertainty as to whether he and Jin are speaking English or Korean. I don't believe the rumor I've read that Lost is trying to recapitulate all of Holy Bible and maybe Qu'uran, but it does seem that besides the Eden story (as in the Paradise Lost version) you and the characters go considerably beyond what you and they need to re-do the Sion hoax and its Biblic background.

2(5): The Aviana Hotel is said not to promote from within, Jin being one of few exceptions. So the dynasty from the East is choosy.

In this episode we're shown some of how “orange” has been noted as so prominent on Lost by viewers. I connect it symbolically only to the principality on the Rhône in southern France, in the general region of all the Frankish Israel speculation that forms the background to the Priory hoax. It could also be a weak meta-clue in that it completed one of the episode titles of Push, Nevada: “The Color Of...”, which just would say, “TV mystery shows can use word and visual puns as clues.”

2(7): “Dead” Goodwin is shown in different vegetation every time.

Jin ran “crucified” to meet Michael and James (Ford — Sawyer).

2(8): “They got you a cake. Try and act surprised.” Meaning, characters can feign ignorance and fake emotions.

Starting already with the OJ Simpson jokes, Westwood is referred to as a “nice safe neighborhood”.

2(9): Kate (the Magdalene) is sorry she's not as perfect as Jack (the Messiah).

2(10): Mr. Eko's question to Yemi, “Are you a prophet now?” is challenging his role in the hoax.

Is the polio vaccine an allusion to Robert A. Wilson?

At the same time Kate cuts Sawyer's hair, she says he no longer has to act belligerent, that everyone likes him now. The conjunction of the haircutting (see above) and her statement must have some historic reference, I just don't know what.

2(11): Jack and Sarah seem relieved she's not pregnant.

Jin's not wanting to wear a hat reflects St. Peter's rejection of Jewish forms.

2(12): Lots of out-of-character import in dialog between Charlie & Claire. Charlie's “Has he been asking about me?” overtly seems to reference Aaron as “he”, but it's probably somebody else. “I'm sorry. I should've told you about the statue...and what was in it.” That's about something other than heroin! When Charlie refers to “before” as a time when things were as the way he wishes they'd go back to, that refers to a time we haven't seen; Claire, trying to keep the conversation in character, says, “There was no before, Charlie. We were strangers on a plane and we became friends.” Yeah, right. “Now Locke's your friend, huh?” must refer to a shift in loyalties in the intrigue involving the item in the statue.

The lady in the CGI reflection at 6:54 seems to be embraced by Charlie while walking into a trism-like figure akin to a fleur de lis while Charlie looks toward spatters in a painting, alluding to both France and Charles Raspil.

Charlie Pace says of Liam: “He's great. He's a dad.” — Charles the Great.

We were played some of “He's Evil” by the Kinks. In an earlier episode, Charlie sang it for Jin, who “confused” “Kinks” with “Kings”. Putting the clues together, evil kings, which could mean either the Merovingians or the Carolingians, depending on point of view. But interesting that Charlie's the one to mention both “trouble with royalties” and “evil kings”.

At 8:57, ostensible brothers Charlie & Liam pass thru a wall at different places before rejoining on the other side. That would symbolize a historic pair of persons or families breaking from each other and later reuniting. It also puts in another light the different methods of Superman and The Flash in passing walls, which may itself be allegoric.

Charlie's “I don't know” at 12:36 sounds double reversed, Twin Peaks style. The only clue I get from that is either dramatic double reversal (like making us think Locke could walk, when the reality was...that he could walk — but with some misleading “revelation” in the meantime) or someone's changing sides and then changing back, or...the lie behind the lie of the Oceanic 6.

Charlie's question to Liam, twice, “What about my family?” is interesting as symbolizing Christ's supposedly having genetic as well as spiritual descendants. The “savior” material in the flashbacks is almost too obvious to mention.

2(13): Regarding the lockable armory, Jack and Locke don't say it's the unbroken Mary statues that they care about access to, but that's what they're thinking.

Sawyer bandages his nose, same look as The Marshal, and remarks that it's so that's what witnesses will remember. His ostensible meaning is to avoid recognition, but he just tipped to us a method to be sure to be memorable.

2(14): Interrogatee: “Tell him his mother is a goat.” That would be Baal. The interrogatee then proposes an action recalling Masada, which figures in Holy Blood as a possible demise of Jesus.

Rousseau: “For a long time he will lie.” Yeah, “lie” as in playing dead before being “resurrected”. And Benry's “entombment” in, and later ostensible escape from, Swan, while faking being wounded, makes him yet another Christ or possibly Lazarus. I still don't know whether you've beaten Smallville for number of saviors, but you're giving them a run. I know, you'll have more than enough crucified zombies in season 7 to put you way ahead. (I'm been afraid to watch Smallville for a long time, because without Gough & Millar it is a zombie. It has no consciousness but continues to walk the earth.) And the whole fake-a-death (and sometimes burial) routine is a running joke among the characters.

Kelvin's showing ostensible Sarin gassing of a town by Saddam recalls Sodom. Don't you just love it when names in the news set up your jokes?

2(15) at 13:22, Eko to Locke: “I was hoping to borrow a saw.” Translation: “I was hoping to borrow, Esau (Locke).” Further translation: “I was hoping to usurp this plot, Locke/Esau.”

Claire's rocking chair at Caduceus looks like Jacob's. That says Claire inherits the place and/or genetics of, Jacob/Bentham (see below). So both Claire and Kate “should be” (i.e. either will really be or will pretend to be) the Terry O'Quinn character's daughters — Claire for his Jacob aspect and Kate for his Comedian aspect (using Kate's Laurie aspect).

Rousseau's “rescue” of Claire presages Naomi's “rescue” of the Losties.

2(16): I loved Charlie's and Ana's reaction at 21:56 to Ana's own, “At least we're on the right island.”

2(17): Sayid says to Ana, “We've been searching for 3 hours. This balloon does not exist.”, and then winks at 4:22.

Jack to Hugo re Sawyer: “You've got a baby straight. He's got the flush.” Seems to indicate Hugo in some sense has “got” a messiah baby, while Sawyer is going to be flush, as a result of their efforts.

The blast door pin on Locke is a classic magic trick, usually with spikes.

2(18): Dave's description of the “rock”'s being given “to the guy who's not even in the game” must foretell the ending of Lost, paralleling that of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, which movie we've already seen alluded to.

Hugo's foresees himself as Antoine the Hermit, throwing “duty” at people being a pun on King David's laying duties on subjects.

2(19): Bernard: “I have a sign to build.” Translation: “I have a Sion to build.” As in the order in the abbey on the hilltop which the Priory hoax would tie to the Templars, for whom St. Bernard propagandized.

I infer that in 2(21), “dead” Ana Lucia told Eko about the “?” site.

2(23): The black smoke made by Sayid symbolizes the “establishment” of a Pope (that being the signal or one's election by the College of Cardinals).

Penny's ostensible husband David was said to have wanted to sail to the Mediterranean. I translate that as the house of David's having sailed across the Med to France.

Kelvin re Radzinsky: “This whole baby was his idea.” — my emphasis. But maybe I should've underlined “whole” too, if the story about Solomon and the contending mothers is relevant.

Kelvin to Desmond: “I didn't think you had the stones [see about Crackerjack prizes below] to come after me [translation: to be able to substitute for me]. I was a spook for 10 years [a long time to play dead]....”

3(2): The Red Sox are of no significance, but beating the Cardinals is!

3(3): Locke says he can take Eddie the hitchhiker, who is bound for Eureka (“I found it”, which if he's bound for means he's a seeker), as far as Frenchville (standing for France), where he hopes to find work cutting timber, i.e. as a tree cutter. The rest of his story as told to Locke would make a fair allegory for the Templars' later, alleged fugitive existence. Do I really have to figure out the dead mom, drunk dad, and Locke's saying he's his uncle? Too much homework unless I get the book deal. But Locke's story of having robbed a bank points to someone's absconding with someone else's treasure, so it might as well be the Templars'.

3(4): Sawyer's prison con act means to us is another thematic clue, meaning that someone is willing to give up the prize to prevent an enemy from obtaining it.

3(5): The priest whose feet are visible in the opening sequence with the children who are ostensibly Eko & Yemi as children must be the real adult Yemi, there to observe. (I'd say it was Eko if I didn't think Yemi was the one whose role in the plot was usurped by Eko.) That's approximately what was done with “baby Locke” too.

Eko says Yemi went to the “refugee camp down south” — code for Fernando Poo. But he was supposed to go to Charles Widmore City, London.

3(6): Locke's driving Mr. Eko's broken stick into his grave is like staking down a vampire — I love it!

3(8): The sequence with Desmond and the jeweler recalls Bedazzled. I never saw the remake, heard I didn't miss much.

3(9): The tattoo artist put the chopstick ends in her mouth, which either reveals her to be a non-native chopstick user or says she'd like to fellate a twosome. Or it's more of the “V” symbolism.

3(12): I don't “get” Claire's mother's being a librarian, except vaguely as Charlemagne's preserving literature or literacy from the Roman empire. But I see Locke is another tree cutter.

Did you make that sonic fence just for Sayid's being able to make the pun in, “As long as we don't break the plane, we should remain unharmed.”? Reminds me of a shaggy dog episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, where everything was a set-up for a Village People gag in the concluding seconds. So you were expecting at least English-language viewers (I don't know how widely it translates, sure doesn't work in French), one by one for years in the future to watch the DVDs and eventually “get” Lost so they can groan at this one? Meanwhile I'll see how many suckers I can get to bet with me that Kate's toy plane will never come up again; I need the money.

Christian says Claire's mother didn't like that she had another family. No, I'm not going to look up the genealogies to identify the remarried one who allowed the convergence of the lines. Book deal only.

3(13): Jack's playing Lost's mood music symbolizes their knowing it's fake. Not like Joe Malik, they don't know they're on Lost, but they do know they are fakers, and that's how you convey it.

3(14): Corvette is introduced as “the pride of St. Paul”, which would indicate a relationship of Nikki to St. Paul (i.e., someone symbolizing St. Paul) like that of a pride to a lion (concubine) or bride.

Mr. LeShade's shooting Corvette, who, it's suggested by Mr. Zuckerman, could have been wearing a bulletproof vest, while watching her on CCTV, presages the shooting by Benry (who watches others on CCTV) of C.S. Lewis, who wore a bulletproof vest. That latter-shown event could put Benry Charlie back in the Cobra derby, except that Nikki rips the key-necklace off Mr. Zuckerman the same way Desmond did off Kelvin, and Nikki also has black painted fingernails like Charlie, so probably we're not supposed to read characters long-term, only events and temporary relationships, that way from “Exposé”.

Similarly, Paolo stares off the beach like Locke, but it's Nikki who asks Paolo to climb up to the Beechcraft. Still, Nikki refuses, so maybe Paolo represents Locke after all. Paolo has an ostensible cigaret habit like Charlie's ostensible heroin habit, and Nikki ostensibly tries to break Paolo's habit. So they each represent Locke.

Paolo hides his prize in a toilet, as Charlie did. Paolo wound up having to break the container to get the prize out, as Charlie did with the Mary statues. Paolo could've used Hugo's advice to Sawyer on how to get the filling out of sandwich cookies without breaking them — it's a twist.

Nikki remarks to Paolo about missing Thanksgiving, as Sayid would to Desmond about Christmas.

Nikki asks Sawyer for a gun the same way as Claire, and almost the same as Kate, did.

Nikki asks Paolo if the spider bite hurt, as Benry was to ask Locke whether he was “hurt” by his supposed father's ostensible attempt to kill him. The Medusa for whom the spider was named turned people to stone, like the way the Biblic Mrs. Lot was petrified.

3(16): After Juliet & Rachel each say, “I love you”, they mouth an additional message to each other.

Characters talk about Juliet as if she were one of these jewel cases, saying they'd try to bring her back in one piece, were taking “her vitals”, and “left her behind” (i.e. her tail section).

Et in Acadia (Park) ego...see Richard, Rachel, and her ostensible baby on video, which frames and depicts them as a painting would. Too bad you couldn't get a Shephard into the frame. Did the baby have a lamb doll I missed?

Jack to Juliet, parsed liberally: “You want to get, off this island, more than anything else in the world. That makes you one of us.” Making “off this island” subordinate reveals their avarice.

3(17): Desmond asks Hugo about “A wire — a cable buried in the sand” — as in a telegram, a message.

3(18): Jin's ostensible mother gives us a clue to generalize from: “I gave birth to him, but that doesn't make me his mother.” I figured out long ago how Aaron was born again, so I don't need that clue just for him, but maybe it generalizes even more widely.

3(19): Locke describes supposed file contents to Sawyer, including his father's supposed suicide, then says, “That must've been hard for you.” Complimenting him on his imagination and acting.

Benry uses that apparent code phrase to Locke regarding Cooper-Seward, that Locke has a mess to clean up.

3(22): Charlie to Fiddle or Faddle: “I came here in my invisible submarine. Don't you see it?” Just another reminder of what they're all doing.

See below for clues that Charlie and Desmond switched places.

4(1): Hugo gives further evidence that his specialty is stunt driving; the conspirators got his Ping-Pong, horseshoes, and basketball skill as a freebie. The jump, Rudy's being stationed to take video, and the destination all say “staged”. Meanwhile Jack's drinking OJ while watching the “OJ” style car chase.

Jack winks at the tied-up Benry.

The “disappearing” blood line is said to be believed to be a trick, representing the postulated underground continuation of the Merovingians, as well as indicating it to be a hoax.

Now Hugo is the one getting upset at a visitor after playing Connect 4. That would seem to make Abaddon the new Hugo.

Others online translated the “Ho-Ho HO” (the cookies in the store and the letters Jack got before quitting “horse”) as occurrences of “815” (order of the letters in the alphabet). I can usually get Little Debbie Swiss Rolls for cheaper. You finally got those Disney lawyers bound & gagged to get the Hostess cookies mention past them? Well, http://partyalong.com got rid of all the Disney and other images, including http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/small2.jpg , so you can keep them in the closet for all I care.

Hugo circles “away” from Jacob's shack, winding up facing it again, then turns to make it disappear in the style of David Copperfield. Have I mentioned yet that that's how Swan must've gone away, too?

When Rose & Bernard hug, Bernard's forehead wound switches from the right to the left side. That's either an indication of their having “gone back” (i.e. a “continuity error” they introduced) or symbolic of St. Bernard's switching sides, or both.

We're shown a big, isolated tree on Santa Rosa's grounds, like the landmark for Kate's & boyfriend Tom's time capsule, and like the legendary one at Gisors.

Hugo to Jack: “You're up.” Europe?

4(2): Faraday as to why he was crying: “I don't know.” As with Roger “What do I know?” Workman, he wasn't filled in on that detail. But Faraday even took a while to recall his (phony) name to Jack.

Locke's shirt has no bullet holes, but Locke illustrates the entry & exit principle (to come up again) with his ostensible bullet wounds. Miles illustrates the principle of playing dead.

John P. guessed that the picture frame discontinuity in Inglewood where Miles was ghostbusting was a clue that someone was being “framed”. The ghost-in-the-wall plot seems to allude to “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”. Miles's “I collect soil samples” recalls Harold Ramis's line in Ghostbusters that he collects fungi as a hobby.

Jack to Kate, “Let's let this play out and see what happens”, with a wink, is perhaps your most glaring hint at what very few commenters say about Lost but me, i.e. that they're all play-acting.

C.S. Lewis's hanging upside down over water recalls “The Other 48 Days”.

Locke tells Sawyer Benry's shooting of C.S. Lewis was Locke's own mess to clean up. “Claire, what if one of those bullets had hit you or the baby?” is out-of-character criticism of a real safety violation on the “stage”. (Or it alludes to a famous incident with George Reeves.)

4(3): Sayid golfs lefty, a fact that may be more notable with later info. The electric golf cart sounds like the falling airplane sound effect from “The Other 48 Days”.

Aveline: “Amazing, huh, how a wager makes just about anything more fun?” I do hope to clean up on bets about Lost because nobody else believes my analysis, but this line seems to indicate that either the “stones” subplot (see below) or the Thunderdome of the Messiahs concerns some sort of stake that one or more of the characters have put up as an aside from the hoax plot.

A Bavarian flag is shown on a bldg. ostensibly in Berlin, which I take as an allusion to Illuminatus! rather than an indication it's not really in Berlin. But it can also be yet another reminder that visual indicia of a location can be faked.

Do I really have to research Strauss operas now that one's been mentioned? I'll leave that to Nadine if she wants to jump into this game as a late entrant. (So far her contribution is the prediction that Danielle Rousseau will turn out to be a man. That may be just an unintended byproduct of Ms. Furlan's looks.) Ricard Strauss's music had already been used in the cartoon Jack was shown, with its hidden-savior theme.

The rocket (referred to synecdochally as a “payload”, another clue that the hoax is intended to pay off in $) is too small and slow to cover the distance stated, let alone in that time, which are some of many indications that the location of the freighter was bogus.

Sayid reaches for the Qu'uran with his left hand, uncharacteristic of an Islamic Arab. Other commenters noted in season 3 that he prays wrong too.

Kate to Sawyer: “So, what, I'm your prisoner?” “If that sort of thing turns you on.” Rubbing in that it's pretend.

4(4): Locke's serving to Benry the last 2 eggs stands for the last two candidates for Baby Messiah. His wanting Benry “under my own roof” is a metaphor equivalent to “in my house”.

In the literal house, the pillar that shakes when Locke hits it with the plate of food shows that the interiors the conspirators constructed were less sturdy than at least the exteriors available to you. That is, they didn't even have a YMCA camp available to them as you did. It may also be symbolic of an organization's being “shaken”.

Kate's trial is so phony there's no need to discuss it.

Considering places to live, Sun tells Jin that Albuquerque is “too hot” (probably in something other than a thermal sense) and New York has “too many people”. Translation: they're discussing how to live under cover.

Claire and Kate nearly break into laughter joking about themselves regarding Aaron and his care.

Kate ascertains that Miles doesn't know what she really did.

Faraday's ostensible memory test with C.S. Lewis looks like they're practicing his skill with marked cards.

4(5): In yet another reminder of their acting technique, Desmond says his dream was so vivid it's like he was really there.

The pads on the freighter were too close together for safety for two helicopters. That's OK, I don't believe the “first” helicopter that supposedly went down after Naomi bailed out ever existed. Why would she have been piloting when they ostensibly went out of their way to get Lapidus as a pilot?

Faraday reminds us on your behalf that one's perception of how long something took might be different from how long it really took.

Minkowski says he saw a Ferris wheel, the way Andy Breckman goes to Sea World in his head. Deny it all you will, in true Andy style I'm taking the point.

Desmond may use hypnosis as an aid to his acting. If so, his triggers seem to be splashing water, and lights in the eyes.

The rat maze has a transparent bottom, which would make it easy to lead Eloise around.

Ship Doc: “Faraday can't even help himself.” My italics — compare with what Boone said of Desmond.

How did Desmond find the auction?

Sayid: “I didn't realize it was almost Christmas.” That's the ultimate indicator that Sayid wasn't really a Moslem who hadn't spent many years in Christian countries. It wouldn't occur to him to say that otherwise just from looking at a calendar. The calendar's markings are phony anyway. It's been noted by others that Penelope's phone number is anachronistic, going by the ostensible dating by the show. Desmond's look up at Penny in the window parallels that of MiKevin at Walt, meaning the event never occurred.

Desmond: “Thank you...Sayid [wink].” The wink could mean Desmond knows Sayid's real name, although it would be common practice for conspirators to withhold their real names from each other.

4(6): Juliet's making parallel lines in the miniature sand box parallels (heh) the Hitchcock movie wherein parallel grooves made by someone with a fork on a tablecloth remind someone unpleasantly of a deadly incident with skiers who left similar trails in the snow. I think there's a psychologist in that one, and Juliet does that in a psychologist's office. I guess that means we're supposed to find the parallel between Juliet's interaction with the psychologist or with others in the episode and some broader plot, but I haven't found it yet.

“Tempest” recalls Zyklon (cyclone), the brand of gas that was developed for peaceful purposes but used for human extermination in German camps. The plot about (phony) poison gas as the excuse for invasion is a satire-allegory about the most recent Iraq war. Faraday sure types well wearing heavy gloves!

Goodwin's forearm burn may indicate that he formerly had a tattoo like Jack's, that was erased. That may be the real secret Juliet's keeping.

C.S. Lewis says, “Dan, I know you can do this” in response to Faraday's expressing doubts about his acting ability.

C.S. Lewis hits Kate on the back of the head, yet Kate's wound appears on the left side of her forehead. Jack, treating her “wound” makes a ketchup reference (“catch up”), in response to which Kate hides her laugh by shuddering. Juliet later sports a cut on her right eyebrow.

Locke winks at Claire while discussing Miles.

I said, “Ka-ching!” on hearing the line I'd been expecting for a year as to how the hoax would pay off: Benry to Locke about how many people would want to see the result of his alleged miracle cure as compared to the crowds who went to see the virgin Mary in mold on the side of an old housing complex in Gainesville — gains ville, I get it.

How does Charles Widmore know to look at the camera operator?

Hilarious how Kate's so good at tracking, she could tell of two parties' passing half an hour apart! Reminds me of Mark Twain's mocking of James Fennimore Cooper.

Benry tells Juliet that Goodwin is “making a case” for Ana Lucia, with the thought she'd be a valuable member of “our society”, but Benry didn't see it. See below regarding the case, but that's coded faction talk.

Benry tells Juliet to take as much time as she needs with staked Goodwin, as Jack was told in the funeral parlor. Doesn't matter, Goodwin's death is still phony and Bentham's death still real.

Hugo looks like he pulled a Leisure Suit Larry 3 with the horseshoes.

4(7): Lapidus has a bandage on the left side of his forehead.

License plate no. on taxi absconding with Jin's panda: 2369. Did you just luck out in 4(12) by getting Coast Guard transport plane 1717?

Jin's line, “Wherever Sun go, I go” sounds Biblic, but I can't place it.

The hospital removed Sun's ring, recalling the trick Kate pulled with Sun's ring.

The whole intercutting of Jin and Sun scenes was another thematic reminder that juxtaposed shots don't have to have occurred near each other in real time.

The cemetery had another isolated tree.

4(8): Locke is lined up in a shot in front of a child's portrait to give Locke the appearance of having hair, playing on the hairy vs. smooth man deception theme.

MiKevin is told to “clean this mess up”.

Libby has a squarish object (Bulletproof!) under her shirt.

Pawnbroker to MiKevin: “You don't look like you speak Korean.” A clue that he does.

The TV quiz show suggests “rigging”.

Arturo: “Ciao.” Next Mr. Friendly says to MiKevin, “Help yourself to the chow.” Looks like a thematic clue that simply says we should listen for word plays in Lost.

MiKeven throws a cell phone in the water, an action shown repeatedly on Lost.

The water bottle that Carl held that was supposedly shot had no exit hole, and your show in season 4 calls our attention repeatedly to exit holes, so that's just another clue to the fakery. It's also been widely noted that Carl wore an earpiece, shown prominently in some shots, indicating that we was being cued remotely.

4(9): I smell double reverse in the dialog over the Risk board — i.e. that it reveals-conceals some way Locke would try to get Hugo and Sawyer to fight among themselves, and/or the same thing about the historic figures they represent. As to Australia's being the key to the game, I think that points to more than just the birthplace of Aaron. But I just don't have enough to say more about these things yet.

Faraday asks for strips of ferrous metal, when any metal would work as well in his apparatus. That, together with Minkowski's Ferris wheel reference, seems to point to a magnetic effect.

How did Sayid (like Charles Widmore) know to look to where the photographer (Benry-Dean Moriarty) was? How would Benry know to look for Ishmael Bakir's traffic cam photo?

Alex, about to be “shot”, can hardly keep from laughing.

If Sayid's slugs are real, they'd better be hollow points to keep from passing thru his “send a message” target and hitting Benry, who is in “skewer” position with him.

The chimes of Big Ben play in the background of the Charles Widmore bedroom scene, alluding to the Prisoner episode by that name, which allusion is a way of telling us not to trust the places and times where we're told events are taking place. On reviewing I saw that Benry's pushing aside the clothes in his closet, shot from behind and then the next shot from in front, recalled opening shots in The Prisoner, apparently so we'd be more likely to catch the “chimes” bit. The “street sounds” background was also a bit that used to play on tons of sound tracks, so many that it was a cliché and fell out of use, so its deliberate use here is a way of emphasizing fakeness.

4(10): Phone voice to Jack: “I remember how you are with your calendar.” That is, manipulating ostensible dates.

From an “Alice” story: “Was I the same when I got up this morning?” Suggesting again that Jack has a double.

Kate compliments Jack on his play acting: “Very natural.” and “You're good at this.” C.S. Lewis to Faraday: “We might as well keep playing the part.”

Jin's threat to C.S. Lewis of breaking Faraday's fingers one at a time isn't enough to make Jin a Rorschach, but the scene does point out that more characters may know Korean than we know.

I still haven't figured out “You're not supposed to raise him”, except that I know it doesn't refer to Aaron's upbringing. “Him” could mean a playing-dead character (or Bentham, a really-dead character) who's not supposed to come out as alive (“raised”, either no longer pretending to be dead, or in Locke's case passing as Bentham) in that persona. “Raise” could be “raze”, indicating the symbolic removal of the Merovingians' legendary source of power, and/or the way Locke/Esau passes as Bentham/Jacob, the smooth man.

4(11): Even though you deny that the caption crediting Don McLean with the opening music piece, “Every Day” (again on the time theme), although it's the Buddy Holly version, has anything to do with the Andy Breckman-Don McLean feud, and I believe you, in the true, imitable style of Andy, I'm taking the point.

Once I pointed out the light switch on the wall at “Grandma's”, John tentatively identified it as a Lightolier P150, which is of course anachronistic. I wouldn't've thought to check the only slightly anachronistic (if you go by the birth date on Locke's ostensible driving license previously shown) date of the 45, but other audience members did. Well of course it's not 1957, it's just a scene staged for the benefit of the adult Emily and/or Richard Alpert who was/were presumably watching. Similarly was the hospital scene staged (So what's new?), as revealed by Grandma's pulling out a filter tip cigaret which already has lipstick on the wrong end, which could only indicate a previous run-thru with the prop's having been put back. (Fortunately I didn't have to do any cleanup of Wolfie between takes in your psychic phone line “boiler room”.) Grandma's probably not even a smoker, making that error more likely.

“...going out with who — him?” See below re “him”.

Horace Goodspeed is shown to be a tree cutter too.

The ostensible baby John Locke is said to be a “fighter”, which must be some allusion but I don't get it. Similarly boxing, fishing, cars, and sports, all of which probably point to some historic, mythic or literary figure. However, “boxing” has its own separate reference to the container theme; see below.

Locke to Abaddon: “You should read my file.” Interesting word choice. Police have files; hospitals, charts.

4(12): The exit from the air transport looks like Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The chimes of Big Ben are heard as Hugo enters, then he finds a coconut. I don't think that means either that Hugo's a prisoner or that he's a nut, regardless of his scenes in Santa Rosa. I got nothin'.

“Jesus Christ is not a weapon.” Not unless you're fighting over money.

What else was in the box with the anachronistically fresh crackers, mirror, and binocs?

Alley thought to ask why the good handcuffs were used on Frank Lapidus, when it would make more sense, alibi-wise, for the metal handcuffs to be saved for Benry, instead of the expedient ones being used as seen in the next episode. The Monster was not in operation that we could tell, so I don't think there'd be any problem with their wearing ferromagnetic materials.

4(13): So this bomb doesn't have the cliché of a timer with a display, it has a parody- cliché of warning lights! And why would the freighter come with liquid N2?

“How deep is this station?” Translation: How deep should we pretend it to be?

“...the Zodiac is missing” is a false clue to provoke speculation about their being on another planet or under a Truman Show dome. Meanwhile, there's no way that launch could've covered the ostensible distances given.

The incident with the ship's doctor is another hilarious one that's being fan-wanked for some possible time travel interpretation that makes sense. The interpretation that makes sense is that the freighter's location, and the timing of the events play-acted out on it, have no necessary relationship to those on Poo, any more than they do for a movie or your little TV show. The Doc played the part of a corpse on the beach, then some time later acted out the throat-slit scene on board. The other, real facial cut he had shows the progress of actual time.

Kate: “I didn't kill that one.” Sawyer: “Well, which one did you kill?” Continuing their drinking game revelations, Sawyer probes for a detail we haven't gotten. The deaths shown on screen associated with her were fake, so she must've had another victim.

It appeared to be much later at night than the “8:15” or “8:fiftysomething” that Sayid shot the driver for.

Jack again with the super hearing, “bomb”.

And just in case we missed the fakery around Carl's drink, Lapidus takes care to mention patching both the entry hole in the fuel tank and the “hole where the bullet came out”.

Christian must've been directing the acting, nicely telling MiKevin when he could stop.

By the biggest David Copperfield trick yet, the islands disappeared, “unless we overlooked it.”

Desmond's ostensible wound from the helicopter's ostensible ditching was on the left side of his forehead.

Eko and the Bunny (Crusader Rabbit?) Man

Couldn't resist that heading, although only a little of this section is about Eko and Benry. Clearly I was premature in thinking something had gone wrong with the conspirators' plot pre-Oceanic 6. However, now that I realize the events on Poo were not acted out in one round, but involved at least one trip back there, it would make sense that something happened in the flashforward period shown in season 4 that necessitated their going back (as the characters came out and said right in front of us) to fill in scenes to make up for deficiencies in or contradictions to the story they wanted to come out. We're seeing their on-island scenes in put-together order, but they were actually an interleaving from real time. This accounts for some of the “continuity errors”. For their own make-believe the characters tried to keep things consistent, but knew they weren't being filmed so they didn't mind if all the props and costumes weren't identical. So The Comedian and Sawyer could joke about “Walt, only taller”.

This now becomes the master explanation available for all the ostensible continuity errors I noticed before that I had ad hoc explanations for. No specific, same-day gap in time was needed for Desmond to grow stubble between his shaving and his returning to Swan after ostensibly killing Kelvin — although that still might be the case. There was no need for there to be a Swan mock-up in some other location contemporaneously, when inconsistencies could've been simply a matter of faulty reconstruction of their “stage sets”. The anachronistic washer & dryer joked about by Hugo could've been a late addition.

Do you realize how much harder you've made things for all film makers henceforth? No longer will audiences snicker at continuity errors and plaster it over with what's traditionally and misleadingly called in drama theory suspension of disbelief. No, they're going to think of Lost!

You're really going to be torturing audiences in seasons 5 and 6 when they see all the flashforwards referring to characters going back, but will be unable to identify particular Island scenes as occurring after the off-island flashforwards. Viewers don't realize they've already seen events after the characters went back! We do see some of that sense, however, in time looping theories advanced by Lost viewers. Anyway, so much for commenters who've said there isn't enough projected air time to have much of both island and off-island scenes to conclude Lost. They're right, but for reasons they don't suspect.

Locke is still the only character I'm sure had a double (although a good, uh, case can be made for Jack and Bakunin), and, as is the case with doubles, I'm unable to determine which was which from scene to scene. The one who was operating as Jeremy Bentham is dead for real as of the coffin scene, but it seems from the dialog of characters in season 4 flashforwards that he may have been operating by both names. It's simpler to refer to an unidentified one as “Mr. O'Quinn's character”. Unless I catch one shaving his head or with a shaving cut in a shot, I can't tell apart visually the hairy man (Esau) from the smooth man (Jacob). However, since Jacob is spoken of so reverently (and I assume it's not irony), I'll assume Jacob is “him”, and in particular that he'd've known the snow man punch line, and that Esau is considered an inferior substitute. Mr. Eko's pun, “a saw”, shows that the Esau character was in that scene too. The appearance of “Walt, only taller” (and older) also dates the bone pit scene as “go back”. So we have a few data points.

However, the assassin who made good on Mr. Eko's “You're next” threat may not have been able to tell Esau from Jacob, so it's not clear which one The-Comedian-Is-Dead-Jeremy-Bentham is. I consider it more likely that Jacob was dead and that therefore the scenes in which Mr. O'Quinn's character didn't know the punch line, etc. were done after “We have to go back”, using Esau as the “including him” that Benry rang down the curtain of season 4 on.

It's tempting to conclude that the great man Bakunin spoke of is Jacob, but I'm not sure. However, it's probable that Jacob is the great con man in whose shadow Esau operates, and the poor guy keeps getting his nose rubbed in his inferiority by mean old Benry.

But with all this, I still don't know what happened that necessitated going back, what Island events they changed, nor even where most of the breaks were between what they played in Connecticut and what they re-did for Broadway. If I got the book deal, perhaps I could be motivated enough to find all the continuity breaks, infer what was changed or added, and from that deduce what sort of thing happened off Island that caused the rewrite. I don't know whether it had to do with the death of The Comedian or not. However, this going back would be one allusion to the Priory hoax — standing for the return to the Holy Land, where Sion and the Templars were founded, via Crusades — that, though intended by you, was not also an inside joke among the characters, because they hadn't planned it.

No matter its consequences, we saw that Mr. Eko's henchpeople were still active. I'm not sure whether Hugo's “Checkmate, Mr. Eko” indicated confidence that Eko's forces would be (or even celebration that they already were) beaten, or simply wishful thinking by Hugo. I couldn't tell which from Sayid's reaction.

If Hugo Eats The Crackerjacks, Who Gets the Prize?

I continue to see evidence of a plot that looks completely independent of the religious hoax conspiracy: individuals' efforts to apparently collect a set of small, hidden objects. It's not limited to whatever was in the heroin baggie. Sawyer's move with his fist to his mouth after handling the ostensible diamonds in “Exposé” was the same as Locke's after handling Yemi's cross, each move concealed as an ostensible kiss. So one of the Crackerjack prizes must've been among the diamonds ostensibly smuggled by Zuckerman, Nikki, and Paolo, and another inside or attached to Yemi's cross that was worn by Eko.

Your show has too many bird references to list except by variety: Hurley birds, game birds, chicken, hieroglyphs, slang “birds”, seagulls; all get highlighted, repeated, or otherwise perseverated on. (If I made compilation videos of silent Lost clips using popular music over them, the music would be “Oh-Oh, It's Magic”, “When We Pretend That We're Dead”, and “Surfin' Bird” — “the bird is the word”.) The metonym that doesn't get spoken is the important one: aircraft as “bird”. However, we do get what seems to be an excess of visuals of aircraft too. All this points to Kate's toy airplane as important. That must be, if not the only “case” referred to so frequently, at least one of the cases used to conceal and protect one of the tiny prizes. The ostensible fracturing of the airliner must represent a similar breaking open of this literal case.

Even more prevalent than the “case” references are those to boxes or boxing. I think they're equivalent for your purposes, all pointing to one or more containers of Crackerjack prizes. I'm on the fence as to whether Connect 4 is a clue to the putting together of four of these tiny objects (which would fit with the clues previously given by the safety deposit box themes), or whether it refers to four persons who are to be connected. I don't know whether it's significant that Hugo is shown playing Connect 4. The old name for that game, The Captain's Mistress, doesn't seem to help.

I've no idea what value the collection of items has. For all I know, they may be components of a magick charm. See if you can get clearance to plug Lucky Charms cereal, and then Hugo can discourse on its four shapes and colors of stale marshmallow bits. For now they can be considered a multi-piece McGuffin. What's important is that characters know about them, and that Locke in particular gets testy concerning the possession and concealment of them by others. In “Left Behind” (3(15)) Locke said to Kate: “I made a strong case for you.” Had she opened the “bird” yet, or just squirreled it away in the Fail Safe with Desmond's help ? “They told me who you were and what you had done.” John P. should be credited as first to figure out that referred to her handling of the toy plane (which apparently is a strong case), although now John won't commit to that explanation! I also think now that when Locke asked Charlie, “Are you using?”, that he didn't mean the heroin (which was never real anyway), and that when Locke and Jack seemed so concerned about their individual access to the armory in Swan, that too was about one of the Crackerjack prizes put there that'd previously rested in a heroin baggie.

Some or all of the items are referred to as “stones”. Kelvin must've concealed them from Desmond, who eventually found them and then had use for Kelvin's Fail Safe key. We were shown a sanitized (i.e. edited so as not to be so damning of Desmond) version of Desmond's ambush and killing (for real) of Kelvin to get that key.

Easier than Every 23rd Word in The New Yorker

I continue to pile up evidence of characters' secretly communicating. 1(2) at 1:06 has Charlie tapping “dah dit dit dah, dah dit dah, dit dah, dah dit, dah dit dit, dah dit dah dit dah”, which in Morse might be XNKND or PARAW followed by an unknown character. Then there's an interruption and then a face shot of Charlie with “dah dit dit dah, dah dit dah dit dah, dah dit dah dit, dah dit dit dah, dit dah dit” on the sound track, which, since we can no longer see Charlie's hand, may be a reaction to his receiving a reply, which the shots suggest would've been from Locke. This apparent exchange took place after Bernard, who'd been said to have been present previously in the middle section, was said to have left for the tail section, which is interesting in light of Jack's later use of Bernard to read Morse.

1(3) at 7:57 has me trying to figure out if the food on Kate's breakfast plate spells something in Hebrew. It's one of those close-ups that screams at me to look, because it doesn't seem to have any cinematic reason for being, but I still don't see.

In 1(14), Locke quietly gives MiKevin a pencil.

1(20): Jin speaks to Claire in Korean, and she answers in English!

In 2(1), Kate to Locke: “What do I say if I need you to stop?” She's used to code language, “safe words”! Locke tells her to just say “stop”.

2(6) has lots of stock lines, indicative of coded communication between Eko, Charlie, and Locke. 2(10): “What is the wrong idea?” suggests that Eko doesn't know the code.

In 2(14),Rousseau at 7:14 mouths silently to Sayid before saying, “Not far.”

In 2(23), what are Charlie and Claire communicating via jewelry at 1:23:39-59, 1:24:04, and 1:21:27-8?

Along with the eggs in 4(4), Locke probably served Benry a note either in Valis or on the napkin. “Thanks, I've already read it.” Two episodes later there was another opportunity for Locke to pass him a message, written on a dollar bill.

In 4(7), Sayid looks like he did a sleight of hand with the note. “DON'T TRUST THE CAPTAIN” may refer to someone other than the ship's captain. And was Sun speaking Korean to Hugo?

Most prominent in season 4 is the numeric code. It started at the end of season 2 with the heading of “325” MiKevin was given by Benry, and continued in season 3 with the “John 3:05” carved into the Jesus stick fragment, which Locke ostensibly interpreted as a compass heading. In season 4 the 305s burgeoned, and it obviously can't be as was said the heading both to and from the freighter, which I doubt was even offshore at the time. But we also got $3.2 million, 324 dead passengers, and another 325 somewhere. These numbers have some digits in common, but there's not enough of a pattern for me to deduce yet what they communicate.  Similarly does the time given by the man in the car to Sayid outside Santa Rosa appear to have been a recognition code.

Two Babies In...

Looks like the cage match symbolized by the Botties ad is down to a Thunderdome of two: Aaron and Ji Yeon. There being no babies that big to shove each other around the playpen, the contention is by proxy. That may be why specifically Sun and Jack were shown digging under the big W in season 3. It may also account for MiKevin's reaction to Sun's “I'm pregnant.”, although I'm not sure of that yet; it would mean that she was not expected to produce a competing messiah.

However, there may have been many more contenders at one time, depending on whether I interpret Juliet's video message to Jack as referring to more than the rubout of Mr. Eko by Locke. Read the same way about the 9 pregnant patients Juliet was said to have tried to save, it would mean she murdered them...for real. The problem with that scenario is figuring out how so many pregnant patients could've wound up in her care without their catching on. Perhaps there were suckers on the island after all, subjected to some story about a sickness; but that seems unlikely.

More likely would be Jack's doing the same thing in Los Angeles. Supposedly he tried to save the patient Christian was operating on drunk, and Christian accidentally severed her hepatic artery. What if the whole impaired surgeon story was a cover by which Jack abetted the premeditated killing by Christian of this patient, deflecting investigation by turning into an impaired-surgeon accident? I don't have enough to go on yet, but these scenarios would be attractive if I could figure out how these patients could've gotten into the hands of Drs. Burke and/or Shephard, and how they would've figured in the phony religion.

Returning to the Mad World theme, one of the points of that movie (and its successor by Andy Breckman, Rat Race) was that the characters would attract the attention of others by their behavior and demands, and would be coerced into sharing with those they'd encountered who would then horn in. This is even more the case with a large conspiracy, which is vulnerable to blackmail. From his various scenes, Abaddon seems to me like a 5th wheel, a horner-in. His scene at Delerue Rehab makes it look as if Abaddon was threatening to push Locke onto the stairs in his wheelchair, forcing him to either suffer real injury or to reveal he could walk. I don't have quite enough evidence yet, but it may be that Abaddon had sniffed out the plot at an early stage and was using this encounter as a way to say he wanted in. If correct, that would mean the whole bit about Australia (according to Hugo, “the key to the whole game”) was his idea.

I goofed in ascribing Kate's leitmotif as a parody of that movie's theme.  Rather, as discussed at The Fuselage, both are parodies of the oft-parodied "Dies Irae".  So that's one Mad World connection shot down.

The Replacements

There are still clues suggesting replacement in the form of usurpation rather than doubles. First I have Mr. Eko taking Yemi's place, then I have either attempted or actual usurpation by one of the other between Charlie and Desmond.

How did Mr. Eko come to be the adversary? We've seen an ostensible Eko take his ostensible brother's place as a child. We also got Mr. Eko's account of the Biblic Aaron speaking in place of Moses. Is it too hard to imagine that it was supposed to be him in the Beechcraft and Yemi on the island? That would be why Eko is so sensitive about mention of Yemi's name on the island — the other characters know something's wrong with Eko's filling that role and he doesn't want to acknowledge it.

The situation seemed friendlier between Desmond and Charlie. If it was a real replacement, it would've been Charlie's really knocking out Desmond with an oar in the boat in preparation for entering Looking Glass. Fiddle or Faddle radioed Benry, “One of them swam down here.” Benry asked, “Who? Which one?” On hearing it was Charlie, Benry asked, “How...how did he know about the station?” That probably wasn't the question he'd started to ask. Later he asked one of his minions (approximately, I forgot to write the exact line), “What's Charlie Pace doing in my station?”

If that was a replacement, it would explain Penny's confusion on the video phone in reaching Charlie rather than Desmond directly. It would also have come as a shock to Hugo that it was Charlie rather than Desmond who was “dead”.

Other Magdalene Allusions

I could've gotten out the video your father lent me of Funny Bones in which both versions are sung, but the Internet was handier to show that although not a feature of the original "La Mer" that Shannon sang, the Jack Lawrence English lyrics, “Somewhere beyond the sea...my lover stands....” (my italics) express the romantic relationship to someone who has sailed across the Med from the Levant to France. Why either version would be written repeatedly on a piece of paper found at Rousseau's dugout, I've no idea, but it was an adequate excuse to hear Ms. O'Toole's beautiful singing voice.

Rose's preference for doing laundry outdoors may be explained by reference to the character Rose in the movie Magdalene Sisters, which was based on accounts of events at Magdalene asylums. These were convents founded by the Sisters of Magdalene in which young women were apparently kept as prisoners and made to work at various businesses, principally laundry. Rose's character in that movie was a depiction of such a prisoner. Lost has an imprisonment theme, so it would make sense for “a Rose” to have an aversion to doing laundry in the confines of Swan.

In Conclusion

It's only with this most recent review that I caught the thematicity and simplicity of some of your clues.  For instance, the lesson to be drawn from the edited Swan instructional film is that movies and TV shows can be edited, and the missing portions can be significant.  It's cute that the missing piece, as film will, is curled up as a scroll, which is the form the portion later incorporated into Holy Bible Eko referred to as being found would've taken; but that was just a gimmick to get the main point across.

I haven't decided whether the ostensible assassinations by Sayid in season 4 were real, or whether "He changed the rules" was sincere.  I'll just note that I haven't gone wrong yet in thinking something on Lost was fake, but have often gone wrong in thinking there'd been a transition already to reality.

Think the Watchmen movie will return the compliment and wink a little at Lost?

If I see allusions to Whale's "Curse of the Christus", then I'll know it's personal, because so few scholars know about that one.

Before you decide to kill me, there's something I think you ought to know: I have enough information to have all of you put away for the rest of your lives. The information is in a safe. In London. England. I'm the only one who knows about it, and this is the only key!*

* From Post Serial as an example of Agent 000's “cunning”.

Yours Truly,