Dharma Special Access - Part 6

Crikey. I've barely digested a lot of meat and soaked up a lot of booze in time for the crunch of New Year's Eve to ravage my body and mind into a broken husk when up crops another e-mail from the Dharma Special Access team with more stuff to look longingly over. Here's the e-mail I received.

Happy New Year all you Dharma folk!

We hope you are enjoying your holiday season. We are. Our shooting crew is on hiatus for another week, so we are enjoying a little semi-down time, hanging out with our families, reading books, doing a little writing on some upcoming episodes, and getting caught up on TOP CHEF, which is sort of an obsession of ours.

We didn't get a chance to answer even a fraction of all the great questions submitted, so we're back this week with yet another Q & A. We promise you the most obfuscation you've ever seen in a short segment of video.

We also saw this really interesting new commercial we wanted to share with you. Hmmm. Very curious indeed. . . Anybody know anything about this airline?

Back to you next week. Ring in the New Year safely. No DUIs, okay?

Peace and blessings,

Damon and Carlton

So, without too much hanging around and tapping away at this keyboard, I'll let you get on and click the video below and enjoy some more of Damon and Carlton's entertaining interplay as they answer some questions.

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Not really much meat for me to chew over - which is good news, given how much I've had over the festive period. Biggest take-home pieces of news are that we'll get to see why Christian was wearing white shoes when he appears on the Island (which suggests to me that we'll see perhaps the precise moment leading up to his time of death and what was done with the body - perhaps some form of meddling with it took place to 'prep' it for life on the Island. . .). We'll also, at some unspecified time, get some information about the four-toed statue.

The white shoe business never bothered me, but OK. The four-toed statue does intrigue me, so I can wait for answers just so long as, when they get here, they're good.

The tail-end of the video had that Ajira Airways advert. To my shame as a Lost fanatic, I've done absolutely no digging about what the hell this thing is all about. For a while I was half under the suspicion that it wasn't even 'official' and was just some kind of weird fan-produced thing. I guess, now it's got Darlton plugging it, there might be something of interest.

Naturally, I'm too much in the way of the holiday spirit to be bothered doing some serious looking into it at the moment, but I promise I'll make it my next port of call. Whatever information you happen to know about it, please feel free to comment. Save me a job. . . I'm getting old. . . This heavy-drinking and binge-eating is takin its toll.

Happy New Year!

Dharma Special Access - Part 5

God bless us, everyone! Good old Darlton came through, even this close to Christmas, and delivered another slice of Dharma Special Access. Here’s what slid into my inbox this week.

Happy holidays!

In this week's video message we are visited by two very special guests, whom you might recognize.

We've also got exclusive first look photos at two new characters who will appear on the show this season: Caesar and Ilana, played by Saïd Taghmaoui and Zuleikha Robinson.

Until next week...

Have a Merry Dharma Christmas,

Damon and Carlton

So, without much further ado let’s go and take a look at the video they presented this week. I’ve gotta warn you, it’s pretty bloody bizarre.

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It’s something of a curious advertisement for the Lost Season 4 DVD when all I said and done. I don’t have the DVD yet – a situation I hope will be remedied this Christmas – but the chronological flashforward feature does seem like a good element on it that I can look forward to. Otherwise, this was just a lighthearted piece of film from Darlton who clearly are in no mood to get hardcore around this time of year.

I’m in the same frame of mind. Though, of course, there was a first look at the new characters of Caesar and Ilana in a blink and miss it couple of frames at the end.

I don’t know anything about either of them at present and, to be honest, I don’t particularly want to know. The joy of Lost is in the watching of the surprises and revelations! Still, I think we can all hope that both Caesar an Ilana turn out to be smoking hot – dependent on your particular gender of preference.

This is going to be my last post this side of Christmas, so I’ll leave you with the latest Season 5 promo. Perhaps you’ve seen this already, but it’s worth another look. It is, by far, the most excitement-inducing promo of the upcoming Season to date, with simply so much in it get wet in the pants about I can scarcely contain myself.

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We’re getting close now. . . The wait is almost over. . . Merry Xmas!

Top 5 Worst Theories

Being something of a keen Lost Theorist, I happen to read a lot more theories than I ever write. (Stands to reason: where else do you think I steal all my ideas from!?) There have been, over the years, some great theories proposed. Shit, some of them have even turned out to be accurate. Alas, there are also the other kind. . .

Now I’m not wailing on wrong theories here. God knows I’ve probably had more than my fair share of those off-the-nose babies to last a lifetime. No, what I am bringing to light are those persistent, ever-repeated theories that are so logically unsound it makes you want to scratch out your eyes. These old chestnuts invariably crop up again and again, in some form or other. Look out for them. Beware their varied incarnations.

Jack Waking In The Jungle

I’m not even going to get into the generic myth about the ‘clue in the Pilot episode’ that Lost enthusiasts have been seeking. Fact is there isn’t one. There is no secret nugget to be worked out from that first episode. No hidden clue that solves the whole show. If you’re looking for it, go find me some fool’s gold at the end of a rainbow whilst you’re at it.

No. The theory goes that, how Jack looked here. . .



. . . is remarkably similar to how Ben looked here. . .



. . . which means that Jack, when he woke up in the jungle, has come from a different time and returned to the Island to do the things over, correctly. This is dumb. It ignores cause and effect ripples. It ignores Course Correction. It ignores character logic. It is dumb.

What happened was this. . .



. . . was followed by this. . .



. . . which resulted in this man landing here. . .



And no. Before you say it. That thing beside Jack’s head is not a baton like the one Ben carries around and used to batter those guys in the desert with. Because if Jack took the trouble of bringing it with him why didn’t he pick it up?

Thomas Is Ben’s Son

You all remember Thomas, right? Yeah. He was the father of Aaron. That dropkick guy that Claire shacked up with who absconded before the baby was born because he couldn’t handle the pressure of it. The guy that Richard Malkin stated would have no further part in the life of the baby.

You remember him, right? I mean, sure, he was only in a couple of scenes of that one episode about seventy-five episodes back, but come on! You gotta remember him! It’s this guy!



What’s that you say? He looks familiar. Wait. . . Now you say it. . . Yeah, he does look a lot like someone else, now I think of it. . .



Holy shit! Do you know what this means? Thomas is Ben’s son! I mean, he must be! They look just like each other! Never mind that it makes absolutely no FUCKING SENSE whatsoever, be it via timelines, pregnancy issue plots, Ben’s character or even plain old real life casting decisions on the show. Never mind any of that old-fashioned bullshit like REASON!

See also:

=

Some people genuinely believe this. Some people will argue the ‘logic’ of it until they’re blue in the face. Some people will refuse to listen to the sensible points about plot timelines and character progression that render this idea dumber than a bag of dumb. Some people, it turns out, they just don’t give a fucking shit, do they?

Lost Is Biblical

Look, I know all you religiously devout types are batshit crazy. Trust me, I respect that. I’m not going to fuck with your God. (Indeed, I think the creators of Lost probably know that, too, and they’d be inclined not to fuck with your God, or anyone else’s God, either.) You’ve got your faith. I’ve got Nintendo Wii. Let’s leave it at that and be in peace. But let’s get something straight. . .

The Island is not the Garden Of Eden. Nor is Ben actually Jesus Christ. Jack, for sure, is not Moses. His surname being Shephard is not a clue. And whilst Black Smoke’s real name may be ‘Cerberus’ I don’t think it’s actually from hell. Jacob, just so we’re clear, is not Satan. Indeed, any riffs on the above are not true.

Lost, ‘tis true, does like to use religious iconography, metaphor and parallel to resonate with its plots and themes. But a lot of TV shows, movies and books do that. Probably there’s a fancy term for it, but I have a degree in English Literature so what the fuck would I know? What I do know is this. . .



. . . is not a handy reference guide or instruction manual for this. . .



God can’t even see the Island, remember? He’s stuck watching Heroes and, last I heard, he’s been pissed off with it ever since that dead shit Season One finale.

No Time Travel On Lost

Damon and Carlton said it, you know. Yeah. They said, right from the start, there was going to be no time travel on Lost. Fact. I mean, sure, no one can actually show you the direct quote. Yeah. No one can trace the precise source for this concrete statement. But it’s still a fact.

So any theory that bases its foundation on the principle that there is no time travel on Lost uses this fact as back-up, ignoring the possibility that even if Darlton had once stated it they always have the capacity to change their minds.

But, see, here’s a thing that contradicts the ‘no time travel’ on Lost idea.

Here’s Ben in 2004.



And here's Ben a moment later, in 2005.



And we know that time travel made this possible because this man. . .



. . . said so in that video about rabbits. And even though there are some people that will suggest that even this is not entirely straightforward, you and I can rest easy in the knowledge that such people are dicks.

The Constant Factor

The flip-side of the ‘no time travel on Lost’ notion is the idea that every-fucking-body is time travelling all over the fucking shop. Here’s one such train of thought for you.

This man died by time travelling in his head. . .



. . . and the nose bleed indicated as much. Meanwhile, this man died in ‘the purge’ with blood all over his face. . .



. . . and showed up with a nose bleed in a dream. . .



. . . which indicates he died by time travelling in his head. Therefore: ‘the purge’ was really a case of mass mental time travelling experienced by a bunch of Constant-less Dharma folk.

Never mind all that business with gas canisters and gas masks.



And if that’s not enough for you: Rousseau and the French team that went crazy so she shot them? That was all because of having no Constants. (Rousseau had her unborn baby, apparently, so she was OK.) The Season 5 promo shows Miles with a nosebleed, which has lead to theories about how the Island moving in time has lead to people being without a Constant and probably that’s ‘the incident’ that Dharma have mentioned. . .



And so it goes.

Let’s put this into perspective. How many episodes of Lost have there been as of Season 4? I make it 85. Now how many of those episodes have incorporated, or made mention, of Constants? I make it 1. A form of bent logic would therefore propose that the odds of ‘Constants’ being the key factor to Lost are 85/1.

I’d go a little further than that. I’d guess the chances of ‘Constants’ being the key factor to Lost are precisely FUCK ALL.

So, that’s your lot. I’m not saying these are the only bad theories out there. But, for me, they’re the highlights. (Or, indeed, my Top 5!) They are, of course, all absolutely wrong. I mean, Jesus. Everyone knows that the Island is really Purgatory – the clue was in the Pilot. . .

Dharma Special Access - Part 4

Hurray! Another week, and another instalment of Dharma Special Access. Without further ado, here’s the mail I received from ‘the guys’. (I think Darlton and I are becoming all friendly enough for me to call them ‘the guys’ now. I mean, they do keep e-mailing me and sending me videos of themselves. . .)

Hey, guys. Happy Holidays.

One of the fun things about shooting the show in Hawaii is how completely inconsequential Mother Nature makes us feel. This week a landslide hit one of our upcoming locations, and now we can't shoot there for a couple of weeks while the site is restored.

In season two it rained for a truly Biblical 42 straight days and nights, which required lots of schedule revisions, and when that wasn't possible our fearless crew put on their wading boots and shot for days on end in mud that was literally knee deep and higher.

Speaking of mud, this week our exclusive video for you features OUR ANSWERS to YOUR QUESTIONS, which many of you sadly will find maddeningly obtuse and muddy. Other LOST fans, like our mothers for example, will find our answers sparking, insightful and maybe even amusing.

And finally, based on how popular the last sneak peek was, we also have another exclusive look at a scene from the premiere episode. Click on the link below, enter the password, and all will be revealed. Enjoy. And until next week...

Aloha,

Damon and Carlton

So the first video, called Intentionally Ambiguous, sees Darlton in festive form as they undertake a question and answer session. But rather than have me describe it, why don’t you just press play and have a look at it yourself with your eyeballs?

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I love the strategically placed Season 4 DVD between the two of them, whilst they're wearing Santa hats. Like some kind of Christmas gift advertisement. But what did we learn from the Q+A?

Well, it was asked who Ben meant when he said “all” of them had to go back. Darlton managed to dodge the question, really, but did say that it would be a question the characters themselves would raise. They’ve made it deliberately ambiguous. I can live with that. Just a nice little bit of intrigue for the first few episodes of the new season (at least!) to pick things up, like the way Season 4 kept us trundling along for the first half wondering who the Oceanic 6 would be.

There was also a question asked about the runway that, I thought, we received a form of an answer about. Fundamentally, I think it’s going to b relevant. Purely by watching Darlton answer it, and make a bet about it being irrelevant (at least for Season 5), the inference was that it’s an idea that’s will be a crucial part of Season 5. (Unless Cuse was confused about the nature of the bet and thinks that he might be on the receiving end of a punch to the stomach despite the runway being a part of the new season!)

We also got some good information – that the Smoke Monster existed on the Island before the Dharma Initiative arrived. I’ve had theories based around the idea that Dharma created the Smokey Monster themselves, and had it get out of control. Looks like I was totally wrong on that score. The intrigue about that thing just piles on and on!

That was pretty much all from the Q+A, but I thought it was a good little video to have thrown out there for nothing, so it gets my vote. If it was ever running for anything. But now, last but certainly by no means least, we have another sneak clip preview from Season 5. They’re really spoiling us this week! It’s. . . like. . . Christmas!

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It’s clearly got that first episode feel about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the first scenes of the new show. With its subtle method of revisiting the previous episode, recapping what went on, it helps bring up regular Lost viewers (i.e. non-geeks like you or me) to speed on where they last left off.

Ben’s asking Jack about what Locke told him suggests that he also doesn’t know about the Island and he was never visited by Locke – but we can’t take anything for granted with this guy! What it does also imply, however, is that the scenes on the Island may become the new flashbacks, at least for a while. Possibly that's what Darlton meant when it was stated the conventional flashback storytelling device was being mostly dispensed with.

Noticeably Ben only mentions that they need to get the O6. I get the feeling that's just Ben breaking Jack in gently, before he tells him who else they also need. The plan seems to be to get Hurley first, then Sayid. But as we know, Sayid picked Hurley up and took him away (and we’ve seen them in the other promo in a house, getting shot at). Makes me wonder if Sayid has perhaps ‘broken off’ from Ben and is acting on his own? I’d like to think not, since that was a curious partnership I’d like to see continue.

Obviously none of these sneak peeks are giving anything away about what really became of the Island and the people on it. That’s the trump card surprise Lost is (thankfully) holding back until the show returns. I’m happy to wait. As much as I like these sneak peeks, if there was one that totally blew a surprise out of the water I wouldn’t be particularly impressed. This clip does a good job of showing something whilst giving away nothing. And, hey! At least Jack shaved off that stupid beard off now!

So that’s our lot for another week, folks. (Unless they're taking a week off for Christmas. I guess I can allow that.) But I, for one, am a very satisfied Lost fan! If this Comet had thumbs, they would be up!

Caught In A Net

With this being a straight 50/50 call, half of you are will refute it immediately and read the rest of this working out how to tell me I’m wrong. So – for half of you at least – I’ll have to try hard to convince you. Convince you of what? Why, that Benjamin Linus accidentally got himself caught in Rousseau’s net.



I’m saying Ben messed up. Not deliberately. Accidentally. Made a mistake. Got caught in a net when he didn’t mean to. I know there are plenty of people that subscribe to the idea of Ben as arch mastermind, so I suppose I’ve got some convincing to do. . .

Working chronologically, this is how I see Ben operating before getting caught in the net. First, he finds out that he has a spine tumor. On an Island where no one gets sick, that’s a heck of a blow. Probably feeling forsaken by Jacob, seeing the writing on the wall for his tenure as Island Chief, he then witnesses a plane crash. Mikhail does his research and discovers that there is, no less, a spinal surgeon on the plane that miraculously survived the crash.



As Ben himself said: “Two days after I found out I had a fatal tumor on my spine, a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky. And if that's not proof of God, I don't know what is.”

So Ben has learned there is a man amongst the survivors that he needs. The smart move would have been for The Others to welcome the survivors into their group right from the start – but since they didn’t do that and instead presented themselves as hostile, Ben needed to employ some manipulation. How was he to do that? Well, Juliet wondered the same thing when the two of them were observing Jack in The Swan from The Pearl.



Juliet: “That him? Shephard?”

Ben: “Yes.”

Juliet: “He’s cute. Why are we doing this? Shephard will never agree to do the surgery.”

Ben: “No, I can convince him to do it.”

Juliet: “How?”

Ben: “Same way I get anybody to do anything. I find out what he’s emotionally invested in, and I exploit it.”

So here’s where things get curious. Roughly four months prior to any of this happening, a man named Henry Gale crash-landed on the Island in a hot air balloon. Not long after, he was killed by The Others and buried. Ben, whatever his part was in all of this, knew about Henry and decided to appropriate his identity. Given that the balloon and ‘wife’s grave’ elements were physically there then it was a good story to use: Ben had evidence if, say, the likes of Sayid and Ana Lucia went looking for it.


(The story would have worked, too, if Sayid hadn’t tenaciously dug the grave up and found the ‘dead wife’ was in fact the real Henry Gale.)

So now we get to the crux of the matter. Armed with a fake name, background story and a plan to integrate into the group, Ben sets off to the Oceanic camp. For me, he’s got everything he needs. He can walk right into the camp pretending to be Henry Gale. Sure, he could expect interrogation, but it would be no worse than what he was actually subjected to anyway.

What was unexpected for Ben was getting accidentally caught in a net. As I believe I have adequately presented, there was no reason for him to deliberately do this. Being left hanging, to be found by Rousseau, provided no guarantee that he would even make it to the camp. For all he knew, Rousseau could have just killed him right there and then.


I remember back in the day a lot of theories surrounded the idea that Rousseau was working in collaboration with Ben. But since then we’ve seen the two of them together; how she found out the truth about Alex and went along with her to what would prove to be her death. Whatever the mysteries are with Rousseau, the idea that she was in league with Ben is way too farfetched for me to tolerate.



And that’s it, basically. That’s my point. Ben made a mistake. Flat out, one hundred per cent did something he didn’t intend. For me, this is absolute proof that Ben is fallible, is prone to error. And, I suppose, my parting shot here is this: If Ben can get caught in a net, can make one mistake, there’s no reason to believe he hasn’t made other mistakes and won’t make more again.

Dharma Special Access - Part 3

So there I was, all set for my next Dharma Special Access update to appear on a Wednesday and they go and blindside me with an influx of info a day earlier! So, here’s the content of the e-mail I received to lay out the goods in store. . .

RRRINNG! RRRINNG!

VOICE: Who is it? Why, it's Damon and Carlton, here to give you your very own free Dharma Initiative Namaste ringtone.

Yes, this week we have a special free Namaste ringtone for you guys. For this complimentary content, just text "Namaste" to 77888 to get started.

And now the legal jargon: By texting the above keyword, your number will be registered on the ABC mobile site. Standard text and data messaging fees apply. You will not be part of ABC mobile subscription. Terms and conditions at abcmobile.playp.biz. For support or inquiries call 866-853-9793. The ringtone is only available for a 48 hour period (12/8/08-12/10/08). Hurry and get yours now.

Onomatopoeia is a disease all LOST writers suffer from. We're always looking for ways of intensifying the sense of action we're trying to convey on the page. So without spoiling what's coming up this season, we've asked our awesome co-producer/script coordinator Gregg Nations to pull up a list of some of the unique words that appear in the first 3 episodes of season 5. They might give you a very marginal sense of what's coming up:

From #501:
CL-CLICK. BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP. KNOCKNKNOCKKNOCK! WHAPPP! VVVVVVWWHHHHHEEEEMMMMMM! PLLEPPT-PLEPTT-PLEPTT. BOOOOOOOOOM! BLAAM!!! THUUDDD. CRUUUUUUUUUNCH! PFFT! PFFT! PFFT! SMAAASSHHHH! SHCLICK!!!! CA-CLICK. FOOOMP. SKLIIIIIISH. PING. RAT-A-TAT. BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM!!!!

From #502:
BWOOBWOO! TAPTAPTAPTAPTAP. KNOCKKNOCKKNOCKKNOCK. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. SLAMMM! THWACK! KRE-KLACK. BEEEEP... SLAMS. SCRRIIIIIDDDDDDDFLIP!

From #503:
FLAPP-FLAPP-FLAPP. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!! THRAAAAASH! KAAAAAAAA-THWOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!! CLICKETY-CLICKETY-CLACK. CRRRR-ACK!

Not only are these words fun to write, they're also fun to spell check. As each one comes up, your fingers hover there on the mouse wondering whether to "ignore" or "save" or whether you're just plain insane.

Also this week, we've got a brand new video about the LOST BOOK CLUB for you, including a special reading from a book that appears this upcoming season.

GAASSPPPP! What's this? Why, it looks like a first-look at an as-yet-unseen Dharma station logo. Hmmmmmmm... I wonder what the name of the station is?

Until next week...

Peace, Love and Namaste,

Damon and Carlton

As much as a Lost fan as I am, I am not going to attempt to dissect the word-sound-meaning ascribed above to derive potential clues. That would be silly. And, no, I didn’t bother getting the ringtone either. I’m sure it’s all kinds of wonderful, but I can’t say I’m particularly fussed. However, over the actual dharmaspecialaccess.com site itself there was another video posted – just the one this week, going for quality rather than quantity I am pleased to see – which you can see below these words here.

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The two major elements are the brief flash of the Dharma logo at the end, and the mention of the episode title in conjunction with the book club insight. Books first.

So episode 5.7 is apparently called 316, and in this episode Benjamin Linus will be shown reading James Joyce Ulysses. Luckily for you, I happen to have nothing less than a degree in English Literature, and one of the books I studied was the very same Ulysses. Basically it’s a day in the life of one man, in Ireland, but is packed full of lots of clever writing. It’s also an absolute bitch to read.

However, given the book is about 900 pages long and yet is merely about the events of one single day, maybe there’s some kind of thematic thing about time and time compression (or expansion) coming into play? What I mean is, 900 pages is way too long to cover just one day – and maybe that’s got something to do with time dilation on the Island?

Hmm.

The episode is called 316. The obvious reasoning for that would be a Bible reference – chapter and verse thing. That’s probably a likely one, given the previous titles of Exodus and The 23rd Psalm and so on. Yet whilst that might be the most likely it’s also the most boring (to my mind, anyway). You want an out there suggestion? Try this:

We once had Oceanic 815. Maybe 316 refers to the new flight number of the plane that takes the O6 back to the Island. . . I’m claiming bragging rights if I’ve hit the nail on the head!

So, with all that book business over with, let’s get to the real highlight of intrigue. Namely, the new Dharma logo.



First impressions? For me I think it looks like an old-fashioned street lamplight. New Dharma Station is The Light? Sounds a bit weak. What about a Lighthouse? That might work, and could suggest something just off-shore. Let’s face it, how many more Dharma Stations can there be tucked away on the Island? It would make sense for it to be just a little way off, hidden, like The Looking Glass.

Maybe it’s a Dharma Station that’s not on the Island. (This is, once again folks, another AngeloComet gut-feeling stab in the dark exclusive.) Maybe this ‘lighthouse’, or ‘lamplight’ Station, is one that is used in the event of the Island being moved to re-locate where it has gone to. . . It would make sense to design a tracker Station, would it not? Given the Island has the capacity to disappear into thin air, if you wanted to get it back having a Station designed to find it no matter what would be a handy thing to have, right? I’d imagine Widmore would be greatly interested in such a thing. . .

So, that’s it for another week. Must say this has been a vast improvement in material over the other two weeks. They keep dropping gold nuggets like this and all that rubbish ARG flopping over business will be forgotten with before I can say, “Hans Van who?”

Via Domus

Not really going to belabour this one, but it occurred to me that there may be some Lost fans out there that never played the Lost Videogame - Via Domus - when it was released. Maybe you're one such person. And maybe you've read the occasional theories or ideas raised from people about the ending, and how it may relate to the show.

Well, worry no more. Here's the ending. The video starts at the very end of the game, once you've done the final challenge. The main character - Elliot Maslow - has finally recovered his memories after journeying around the Island and has got himself a means off the Island. This is what happens next. . .

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So the interesting thing is that, upon leaving the Island, Elliot is transported back to the point after the crash as though everything has been 'reset'. Only there's a big difference in that the woman that turns up, alive. . . Well, she was dead the first time you played the game. So that's what this crackpot ending is suggesting: that Elliot succeeded in doing what needed to be done by learning about himself and his reward was to re-start life on the Island, this time with the woman he cared about alive and well.

I remember a friend of mine, when he finished the game, said it had really worried him - in case it pointed the way towards how the real show Lost was going to finish. That the whole thing was going to be an exercise in the characters redeeming themselves and starting their lives over, but more improved.

Luckily, my friend's worries were unfounded. The powers that be have confirmed the game is not canon and so we don't have to be sent into a tailspin of panic about what it may mean to our beloved show.

Anyway, if you hadn't played the game this saves you the trouble. In my not-so-humble opinion I thought the game did a terrific job with atmosphere and excitement at visiting locations (like the Swan Station, or encountering Smokey) but it was a silly plot and the actual gameplay itself revolved around fixing fuse boxes or taking photographs. I kid you not. If you haven't played it, you're missing nothing.

There's a good game to be made out of Lost, for sure. But this ain't it!

Dharma Special Access - Part 2

It would seem that I ought to expect a new ‘Dharma Special Access’ e-mail and bundle of stuff every Wednesday. . . Given that I am a working man with a fabulous and enriched lifestyle (ahem), that should generally mean I’ll get something posted here on a Thursday. So long as ‘Dharma’ stick to their routine, I’ll stick to mine. Here’s the mail I got this week.

Hey Guys,

We trust you all had a good Thanksgiving. (AC Note: Way to go in alienating all your non-US fans, Darlton!) We’re back after a well-needed 4 day break. We’ve hit the ground running. We’re filming the 9th episode, prepping episode 10, writing episode 11, and editing episodes 5, 6, 7 and 8. And (potential spoiler) doing crazy sound effects for episode 5. (AC Note: Mental reminder to keep an ear out for sound effects during Season 5, Episode 5.)

Speaking of crazy, we’ve gone crazy and have not one. . . not two. . . but THREE special features for you guys this week.

An exclusive first-look preview of the season 4 DVD and Blu-ray set that will be released on 12/09/08. (AC Note: Again, one for the US, given that here in the UK we’ve had the DVD for months.)

An interview with Rebecca Mader, aka Charlotte Staples Lewis, of the freighter folk.

A sneak peek of the premiere episode. Brand new footage.

To check it out, click on the link below and enter the following password. (AC Note: Obviously this part doesn’t apply to you, here, reading this. I got you covered.) Remember, this stuff is being released exclusively to you guys and you guys only for 47 hours and 59 minutes ahead of it being officially posted anywhere else.

We hope you enjoy your Dharma Special Access, and we’ll be back to you next week.

Best,

Damon and Carlton

Now if you’re anything like me then I think it’s safe to say which of the above three things offers the most interest. So first up is the video for the “sneak peek” of the premiere episode.

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Better than I expected, actually – getting a whole exclusive scene from the show. What does it tell us? Well, Kate has now got another reason to be ‘born to run’ once more, which obviously suits her nature.

Perhaps what’s of most interest is who the person is that requested the blood test. I’d go out on a limb and suggest that Ben, perhaps working with Jack, was behind it all. I mean, Ben knows Kate well enough that he could anticipate her next move. So if Kate is now, once again, a fugitive, that allows her to be a little more amenable for coercion in getting her to come back to the Island. Ben and Jack could sell it to her as being the only place where she could escape from the law. . . And so begins to form the scheme for getting all the O6 back to the Island. . .

That’s my gut instinct talking. Time will tell.

Next up would have been the video interview with Rebecca Mader. But the fact is it’s a rubbish video – filmed ages ago when she was at some red carpet premiere. She doesn’t have the faintest clue about what will happen to her character during Season 5 so is in no position to say anything. Given this, I’ve decided to leave it out. Waste of my time and yours.

I could almost say the last video – the footage from the Season 4 DVD – is just as bad. It’s certainly not as revealing about the actual contents of the DVD, or Blu-Ray, as we were led to believe. It’s merely a little bit of Evangeline Lilly talking about one particular episode she had to do, with some behind-the-scenes snippets.

There’s really nothing of value, but if you’ve got about four minutes of your life that you just don’t know what to do with then you could do a lot worse than press play and have a look, I suppose. Just don’t blame me if you get bored!

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So that’s our lot for this week. The Season 5 preview scene just about made it worthwhile, I suppose, but the ‘filler’ material was, for me, rather an insult to my good faith. Either give us something worth looking at, or don’t bother!

Top 5 Not Hot Women

Not so long back, I compiled my Top 5 women in Lost that I would most like to have some deep and meaningful sexual relations with. Or a quick bang. Whatever. However, in the interests of fairness, I ought to present the alternate view. No, not a Top 5 guys in Lost, you fool! Rather, a Top 5 list of women I would least like to have deep and meaningful sex with.

In compiling this list, I did develop a couple of guidelines. The first was that age should not be a factor. That is, just because a woman is old it’s not right to state that I wouldn’t sleep with her. So that discounts Ms. Hawking, for example, who I am sure was a fine Irish lay before she became an elderly time cop. Same goes for Hurley’s mother. Not so nice now, but I’m sure she was a firecracker back in the day. And even Rose doesn’t make the list for, despite her age and her size, she’s got a pleasant nature and way about her.

Character on Lost counts; I’m not just going off looks. Fact is, within my guidelines, sleeping with Rose would be a damn sight more appealing than sleeping with any of these five horrors of the female variety. Let’s get to it – in chronological order of appearance.

Danielle Rousseau



There can be few situations more horrifying than waking up strapped to a bed in some dark hole of a room. Leering over you there’s some “crazy French chick” talking about how she has not seen or spoken to anyone for sixteen years and longs for human contact. Oh yeah. Sayid knew what Danielle was all about. He knew that she was a woman crazed with a sixteen-year-old horn and a man-rape was imminent unless he got himself out of there. Cleverly he used the ruse of fixing her jewellery box (metaphor alert!) to free himself, and shortly after that he was out of there.

It’s not that Danielle is unattractive, though, to be fair, she’s probably seen better days.



But there’s something very unsexual about Danielle. She’s the opposite of effeminate and sensual. She spends her days setting traps that impale and capture hapless men. She’s got a total black widow vibe going on, and that deep French accent (well, sort of French accent) doesn’t even work for her. I mean, even if I managed to get my dick out of her in one piece what’s to stop her going crazy again and shooting me in the head? She did it to Robert. The bitch has form. I’m steering well clear. Any right-thinking man would do the same.

Charlotte Malkin

On paper she ticks all the right boxes. Young. Long, mousey-blonde hair. Slender build. She’s even got an Australian accent if that kind of thing tickles your ivories. You could do a lot worse, right? If you’re a guy, you probably already have. Anything else you should know about her? Oh, you know, nothing much. . . a little thing, really. . . it’s just that she was once dead and on a mortician’s slab before she abruptly woke up like a banshee from hell and scared the living shit out of the doctor about to cut her insides out.



Call me fussy, but FUCKING a ZOMBIE is not for me. That is all.

Bea Klugh

Probably she’s a lesbian. Not that being a dyke would disqualify her from the list (let’s face it, if Kate and Juliet, during their mudbath fight, had suddenly started stripping off and rubbing each other down in the throes of woman-on-woman passion then that wouldn’t have exactly put me off either of them). But Bea’s got that butch, manly, fundamentalist dyke quality about her that doesn’t float my boat.



That bitch is cold, too. If she’s not holding people at gunpoint she’s got an air about her that suggests she wants to get you at gunpoint as soon as she can. And if she’s not got you at gunpoint she wants to have some intimate chats with you whilst you’re hungry, confused, afraid and tied-up.



God knows what sick mind games she used on Walt. Would I want this woman to be the mother of my children? Not really. Though, in perhaps a sentiment that may be the most profoundly rude one of this piece so far, I think that what Bea Klugh really needs is a good, hard fucking to mellow her out.

I’m not the man for that job, though. Mikhail can do it. Probably he tried to but she didn’t put out. Probably that’s where he lost his eye. Probably that’s why he shot her. Everything comes down to sex, you know.

Isabel



With her talk of being the self-proclaimed “sheriff” of The Others, there ought to be something alluring about her. I mean, I saw Season 2 of Prison Break where this same actress played some horny-as-hell housewife literally dripping down her own legs with the urge for some solid cock action.



But the difference between that character and Isabel, the difference between the MILF and this hatchet-faced crab of a woman, is bigger than the grand canyon. She ought to have an air of desirability – being a woman in power and all that – but instead she strikes me as a dried-up witch with a smug expression permanently etched on her too-much-make-up face.

You can only assume her vagina is just as cracked and barren.

She’s perfectly unpleasant as an interrogator and potential threat to the likes of Jack and Juliet in the episode she appears in. She is, however, also perfectly unpleasant as a potential candidate for sexual intercourse. I think I’d need a lot of lubricant, a gag in her mouth and a bag over her head to do the deed. And then I’d need to go and bathe in acid afterwards.

Jin’s mother

I saved the best until last, though. In terms of genuinely least-desirable women, Jin’s toothless harridan, prostitute mother totally takes the prize.



So ugly the Lost creators didn’t even give her a name. No wonder she resorted to blackmailing Sun for cash – there’s no way she was making much profit from selling her wares on the streets! I know Koreans like to eat dogs, but I’m not so sure they like to fuck them for money.

I think I would rather have sex with ALL of the other 4 women in this list – even the zombie – before I ventured into relations with Jin's two-bit whore mother. I get the impression that my cock would turn green and rot off shortly after coming into close contact with this sea monster. For her to look this bad surely most of the male population of Korea has been through her at some stage.

What the hell was Jin’s dad playing at getting involved with her!?



Stop grinning, you fool! Where's your fucking pride, man!?

Dharma Special Access - Part 1

So the ARG is over, but the final kiss off was a website address - http://www.dharmaspecialaccess.com/ - and a password - LAFLEUR - to get you in to the first 'package' of information in the run up to Season 5. But rather than let me explain the whole sorry mess, here are Damon and Carlton to (entertainingly, as it goes) explain it all.

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Fundamentally, it would seem the funding got pulled on the ARG for real. And Darlton were slightly ashamed at having to explain this to the thousands of people that got sucked in to the game. Still, I rather like that Damon found the whole thing pathetically laughable. His sense of humour at the whole thing is perhaps an attitude to be echoed.

The second video in the 'package' presented this week is, to be frank, one you don't even need to concern yourself with. Just Damon and Carlton turning up to some geekfest for 'Lost Kubricks' being launched. I don't know what Kubricks are. Some kind of toys by the looks of it. Frankly, I couldn't care less.

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Kubrick? Or Lost Merchandise Tat? You decide. I know what I think!

Lastly, there's this 'Starter Kit' video, which is basically a fast recap of the whole Lost show for people that don't know what the hell it's all about. There is literally nothing new here to be learned for the hardcore likes of me or you (I assume you know your stuff - what the hell you're doing hanging around here otherwise is beyond me!) but it kept my interest for its duration, I suppose.

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So that's it for the Dharma Special Access this week. I'll let them off the lack of exciting or interesting stuff for now, given this is just the first run. But I hope, and expect, that things will pick up and give me a little something more to get my teeth into. And, of course, as ever, I'll relay all my thoughts out here into some semblance of sense for you to read for yourselves.

Or, alternatively, if I think it's all a load of crap I'll relay that in a torrent of foul language for you to behold in bemusement. We'll see how it goes.


Lost ARG 2008 – Part 18

Apparently it ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. Rather than a crescendo it simply fizzles out. I received another e-mail which pretty much stuck the final nail in the coffin of the whole Octagon Global Recruiting business to morph the ARG into a teaser campaign for the upcoming Season.

The e-mail, from ‘ABC & Dharma Special Access’:

Dharma Initiative present Dharma Special Access with Damon and Carlton

Good morning guys,

This is the first of our weekly messages to you leading up to the premiere of the fifth season of LOST. As you may have heard, the current financial crisis has led to the demise of the newly reconstituted Dharma Initiative. Without going through all the details here, we now own the Dharma Initiative.

You’re thinking, “Great, what does this have to do with me?” We didn’t want to leave Dharma Recruits high and dry, so we decided to start something we’re calling Dharma Special Access (DSA).

Every week leading up to the premiere we’re going to e-mail you with exclusive LOST content, information about the upcoming season and details about what’s going on here at LOST behind the scenes.

This week we have a few things for you: a video message from us, the LOST starter kit and a behind-the-scenes video of the LOST Kubrick signing event held with all the LOST writers last week at Meltdown Comics here in Los Angeles. To check it out, click on the link below and enter the password.

This content is only going to Dharma Recruits first. It will be available to you guys exclusively for 48 hours before it’s officially posted anywhere else.

We hope you’ll enjoy your special DSA access (even though that’s doubly redundant). We think we have a lot of cool stuff for you guys right up until the show is back on Wednesday, January 21st. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving. Talk to you soon.

Best,

Damon and Carlton

So.

Lost ARG 2008.

Dumped down the toilet. Flopped. Disregarded. Turned into nothing more than a promotion tool. Do we participants have the right to be disappointed? Yeah, sure. I mean, let’s not go overboard. I don’t expect to see Darlton’s heads on a stick over the matter – it was just a free game designed to keep us ticking over until Season 5 started. I’m not crying my eyes out or beating the ground in frustration over the matter!

But still, it’s a shame. Let’s just hope it’s not an indicator of how the show itself may go – with good ideas and plans being ditched at the drop of a hat when they don’t appear to be going too well, leaving people hanging.

So that’s that. What does this mean for me, here? Or you, reading? Well, it signals the end of the ‘Lost 2008 ARG’ series I’ve been running here. That’s died a death and there’s no sense keeping it propped up. In it’s place I’ll be running ‘Dharma Special Access’ updates, where I’ll check out the 'exciting' teasers and information, post the videos if I can, and discuss what the content may mean for the upcoming Season 5. If any of it appears redundant, boring or crap I won't report it here. Just the good stuff!

That’ll be up and running within a day or two. For here, for now: Lost ARG 2008 R.I.P.

Lost ARG 2008 - Part 17

Well well. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything more from the Dharma Initative for a little under a month, as advertised on their website. And then this e-mail popped up in my inbox. It was from Hans Van Eeghen, informing me that my ‘results’ were now available, and also updating me on the latest developments with the Dharma Initative. It’s a long read, but there’s a jocular tone to it that I can’t say I ever picked up on in previous missives.

Namaste.

I am pleased to announce that registered recruits can now log in and download your personalized Volunteer Assessment Dossier outlining your full test results as well as your position within the Dharma Initiative.

I want to personally congratulate you on behalf of everyone at the Dharma Initiative for your hard work and diligence during our testing process.

We hope that you are happy with your results. We certainly are. The tests were extremely challenging and the aptitude and excellence displayed far exceeded our expectations.

Now that you are in possession of your results I am sure you are asking the obvious question: what's next?
Our plan was that together we would commence a glorious adventure: the revival of the Dharma Initiative using the myriad talents of all our amazing new recruits. We imagined not just fulfilling long abandoned goals but taking the Dharma Initiative to a new level of greatness as an organization promoting the peaceful social and technological advancement of all humankind.

Then the financial crisis struck.

Sadly, our benefactors were not immune to this crisis. In fact, unconfirmed reports suggest that much of the money designated for the work of the new Dharma Initiative was tied up in highly leveraged mortgage derivatives. This, however, cannot be confirmed because, I am sorry to report, the principals representing the benefactors - my employers - have gone missing. Based on bills still coming into our office we believe they are somewhere in South America.

This stunning reversal of fortune has forced us to abandon our ambitious plans. In fact, absent this funding, the Dharma Initiative was forced to make the only sensible decision we had available: we sold the Dharma Initiative to the television show LOST.

While this might strike some of you as a shock, the reason for this was not simply that they were the only bidder. As the only remaining Dharma Initiative employee who had not fled the country, I felt that at the very least the show would be able to keep the spirit of the Dharma Initiative alive and in the public consciousness until such time as a reversal of the reversal of our economic fortunes occurs.

It is with a heavy heart that I must bid you farewell. Despite my fervent commitment to the mission of the Dharma Initiative, the realities of a broken marriage, heavy casino debt and some unfounded police charges have required that I change my present circumstances. It is with great excitement that I can inform you of my pending senior sales management job at a large multi-brand auto dealership in Dubai. I have enjoyed our brief association more than I can ever express, and if you are ever in the Middle East and need a car, please e-mail me for a special "Dharma rate".

In the meantime, you will hear shortly from LOST showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. They will explain to you their future plans for the Dharma Initiative and how these plans might affect you.

Thank you again, personally, for your unflagging commitment and support. I hope our paths will one day cross again. In the meantime may the spirit of the island guide you.

Namaste.
Hans Van Eeghen
Head of Recruiting
The Dharma Initiative

So, the ARG has now explicitly dovetailed into the Lost show on an official level, and it would seem the next stage of things is going to come directly from Lindelof and Cuse (or ‘Darlton’ as we Losties affectionately like to call them). Frankly, this cynical Comet doesn’t reckon this was part of the original plan for this ARG – rather this is a swift U-turn over the way the thing was going and how long it was taking and the vocal disaffection with the whole thing.

Let’s hope things improve.

Before I get into my own personal results, one last piece of business. I went to the proper website that hosts this e-mail, like in the good old days of this ARG, and checked the source code to see if there were any hidden messages. Tucked away there was this:

!-- DSAqandaatgmaildotcom --

It’s an e-mail address. dsaqanda@gmail.com

Sending a mail to this produces an auto response from ‘DSA Headquarters’, as below.



Alas, I am a Black Swan, so I won’t be able to ask a question even if I wanted to. But is that what the whole White Swan/Black Swan thing boils down to? The right to ask Darlton a question!? For the first time in my life I am proud to be Black!

I headed over to http://www.dharmawantsyou.com/ and logged in to see what my dossier would contain. I found that it was an Adobe document that I needed to downloaded, which I duly did. Within I found a certificate and a Test Results grid. The news was less than inspiring.

My Certificate of Completion apparently awarded me the position of ‘Brick Layer’.




Brick Layer!? Moi! Do they not know who I am!?

Slightly less ego-bruising, at the very nottom of my Test Results, was a field that stated Recommended Department: Infrastructure Program.

Admittedly, ‘infrastructure program’ sounds like a fancy way of a saying I’ll be working on a building site as part of the Dharma Initative. Still, we all have to start somewhere. . .

I did some cursory research, out of interest, to see what certificate awards and departments had been apportioned out to other people. This is by no means a complete list, but it’s just a few of what I learned of in the short time I bothered to look.

Proof Reader – Recommended Department: Communications Divisions
Research Assistant – Recommended Department: Human Interaction Analysis Program
Cook – Recommended Department: Human Services Division


So far so blah. As ever, I’ll let you know more when I know more.

Hurley's Number Run

This fun little jaunt basically tracks Hurley’s dash to the airport during the last episode of Season One. Maybe you picked up on the fact that along the way there are various instances of ‘the numbers’ cropping up. Did you spot them all, though? Let’s run through all the instances and see!

So first up we see Hurley leaving his hotel room where the 23 42 of the numbers are present in his room number: 2342.



As Hurley drives to the airport his car conks out and begins to slow down to a halt. On the dashboard we get some good views of the digital instrumentation that reveal much of the numbers - 42, 23 and 16.


Almost the same image as previously, only the car has slowed down by 1 kp/h, and so now we have a 15 instead of a 16 from the 4 8 15 16 23 42 numbers!


I suppose I should pause for a moment here to fill in those unaware: the 4 8 15 16 23 42 numbers are referred to collectively as The Valenzetti Equation. This equation proposes a calculation that predicts the end of humanity. That, apparently, is what the numbers represent.

Are we to assume that the 'cursed' numbers are trying to speak to Hurley, to warn him? I mean, if he knew these numbers pointed to the downfall of the human race would their presence during this sequence be a potential indication that they are warning him to stay away? Or that the place he is going to, should he get there, is leading him towards the source of the numbers themselves? Is this why the numbers appear in others people's lives? And if one were 'clued in' to them, could following them lead to the Island, or a potential solution to the Valenzetti equation? Big questions, my friend.



Just in case you weren't getting the message - here's a close up of the instrument panel. It says number 8. If we were playing Valenzetti Equation bingo, the instrument panel on Hurley's dashboard would have almost given us a full house. All we need is a 4. . .



There's the 4! BINGO! 4 8 15 16 23 42. All the numbers of the equation present and correct - and once they have been completed Hurley's car breaks down completely. I guess that's just bad luck, right?



The screen shown when Hurley is trying to check-in and board Oceanic 815. Outside of the "815" of the Oceanic flight number, there is also a '15' and a '42' present.

Shamefully, there are also OTHER numbers that are not part of the Valenzetti equation and, frankly, I find their appearance in this sequence wholly unwelcome!



Here's one you might have missed. There's a number 8 on the old fella's cap. How many is that now? Let me see. . . 11. The number 8 on the man's hat makes it 11 different appearances of the 4 8 15 16 23 42 numbers during this sequence. I wonder if the finished total will also happen to be one of the numbers. . .? That would be neat!



Probably the best - and most blatantly unsubtle - appearance of the Valenzetti Equation in the fabric of the Lost universe. The camera pans by this group of cheerleaders who all happen to be sporting the numbers and, not only that, are positioned in a line so that the equation appears in order.

I don't know about you, but if I saw those cheerleaders spelling out that number in a line I would definitely NOT be getting on the flight that they were getting on.

Our count is now up to 14, including these three above.

And here's the other three remaining numbers as the camera pans past.



That makes 17 instances of the numbers appearing during this sequence so far.



Tsch! Would it have killed them to have changed the '14' above into a '15'? Would that have been too much to ask? Talk about a fly in the ointment!

So, unfortunately, we have just one of the Valenzetti Numbers on display here, taking our total to 18.



Ah well. The last and final 'magic number' we have seen before Hurley manages to get himself on board the flight is right there. The number 23. Alas, that takes our total up to a very non-Valenzetti approved 19.

You know, I reckon they could have made it to 23 if they'd just changed the Gate Numbers and some of the figures on Hurley's boarding details. . . I guess I'm just a perfectionist.

But wait. What’s this?



The one apparent anomaly during the entire sequence is this moment - when a number plate can be clearly seen showing precisely NONE of the cursed Valenzetti numbers. What the hell is all that about!? It's such a brilliantly executed scene, loaded with numbers, and they go and overlook this glaring number plate!? Come on!

Is there anyway we can make it fit? Ermm. . . 3 + 2 + 7 = 12. That's no good. How about 3 x 2 x 7? That equals 42.

BINGO! In fact, look at the number plate in its entirety. TX 327. TX? 'Three times', perhaps? Bloody hell, it's genius. And guess what? If we take the 3 numbers (3 and 2 and 7) and the 42 number they multiply as, that gives us 4 more numbers. And if we add that to the 19 instances of numbers we had before, we get. . . 23! It's one of the numbers! The sequence is perfect! (Yeah, I am aware you can make numbers suit your purposes however you want, but that's the beauty of them!)

The sequence is complete. But what does it all mean!!??