Lost – “Confirmed Dead”

“Confirmed Dead”

February 7th, 2008

Oh Lost. You are capable of telling us a lot in the span of 42 minutes, introducing four new characters who will play an important role moving forward. And yet, at the same time, I am infinitely more confused than I was before – for all of the things we learned about Dan, Miles, Charlotte and Frank, we are still unclear on why they’ve assembled in this fashion and why it is that their personal obsessions with Oceanic Flight 815 have brought them to the island.

Over the span of “Confirmed Dead,” we learned who was responsible for sending them, and their initial mission on the island in the immediate future. However, their larger plan is still largely vague, and there are still a boatload of questions (A freighter load, perhaps) left to answer. If Locke was frustrated when Ben was unable to answer his question about the origins of the Smoke Monster, we were doubly so…but in a good way.

The episode used four separate flashbacks for all of our four Freighters, each of them having some sort of connection to the story at hand. In each story, we had an odd glimpse at their personalities and, more importantly, an interest in not only Oceanic 815 but also the island and its various eccentricities.

Dan, a physicist, seems most emotionally effected by the crash, although we never really learn why. However, he is an ideal candidate for trying to figure out the island’s more interesting scenarios, such as the hatch explosion and all of that fun stuff. Charlotte, meanwhile, is an anthropologist who we see discovering a polar bear skeleton in Tunisia, along with a small plaque with a Dharma symbol (A multi-headed snake, perhaps?). She seems excited at the discovery, which means she’s a perfect candidate for the island. Frank, meanwhile, has the unfortunate distinction of having been the original pilot of Oceanic 815 who, for some reason, never flew that plane. Despite being a drunk, he notices that the pilot in the underwater wreckage isn’t wearing a wedding ring, and thus couldn’t be Greg Grunberg. His is the strongest connection to the flight itself, but it is the island that seems to draw the rest.

Oh, did I not mention that we finally returned to the whole concept of the wreckage found off the coast of Indonesia? Well, after Naomi hinted at it last year, tonight’s flashbacks took us back to that pivotal moment. It seemed to have the least effect on Miles (Damn, they can never spell it right), a ghost buster who picks clients who have loads of drug money lying around that their dead grandson has no more use for. His connection to Oceanic seems tenuous at best, so it should be interesting to see his whole story unfold in terms of the island. His spirit medium abilities helped him channel Naomi, and chances are that he might be able to shed some light on Jacob, and likely Christian whose ghost Hurley saw just last week.

The reveal of why they’re on the island was an interesting one which answered few of our questions. We learned immediately that Abbadon, who we saw last week interrogating Hurley (Perhaps about the fate of the four we met this week), was the one who picked these four individuals and sent them with Naomi for this mission despite their lack of tactical experience. He seemed to know what the island would bring for them. It’s also important to remember that they arrived with a picture of Desmond, who wasn’t on the plane, which implies they’re there not for the Oceanic folk but for another reason.

This was confirmed when it was a picture of Ben and a demand to know where he is that they asked of Juliet, who Frank knew was not on the manifest. Frank’s purpose at this point appears to be flying the helicopter and knowing that flight manifest like the back of his hand (If only he’d been around since the beginning, Ethan’s rampage wouldn’t have happened). It serves for now, but it is clear that these people have a bone to pick with Ben…who in turn has someone working for him on the boat. It’s a complicated scenario we don’t really get a solution to this week, considering that the truth only materialized then.

It was good action and suspense in the meantime. Dan, Frank and Miles are with Jack, Kate, Juliet, and Sayid with the Helicopter, while poor Charlotte was discovered by Locke and Co. before she was able to get back to her friends. The result is Ben shooting her, hoping to silence her from realizing who he was, but she was prepared with a bulletproof vest. I’m not quite sure whether Charlotte is an extremely good liar (She dealt well with the site security in the flashback), but she didn’t seem to let on she knew Ben, which surprises me since I doubt it would be hard to sell this group on Ben’s evil considering he’s tied up and being treated like a prisoner.

And really, that’s what we know: we know who these people are, their connection to either the island or the plane, and their short term goal. But the reason for their arrival on the island at this point is strange, and Abbadon and Naomi seemed unprepared, if aware, of the potential for survivors. It makes me wonder where they got their information from, exactly – was it from some source that slipped from Ben’s fingers, or someone we’ve met in the past? Either way, Ben’s right – the information he has is too valuable to kill him, if only for the sake of the audience.

Cultural Observations

  • While I love Vincent, I wish that we had seen more of him, and therefore it might have been less predictable when he appeared carrying Charlotte’s beacon. An expositional shot of Vincent shaking from the rain was wholly unnecessary unless they were going to use him. Still, adorable as ever, Vincent. Great work.
  • I think it’s important to note that for the second season in a row, the introduction of new characters was extremely well handled (Despite my Reservations)- a single episode of flashbacks like this welcomed us into their world nicely, and I felt that especially Dan (Jeremy Davies) was a true character by episode’s end.
  • I referenced it above, but Locke’s question about the Smoke Monster was comedy gold. On a more interesting note, however, is Locke’s goal of visiting the cabin again, and both he and Ben’s realization that Hurley saw it as well. I also read an interesting note at Entertainment Weekly’s site where Jorge Garcia mentions that it wasn’t always intended to be Jack’s Father Christian in that rocking chair last week. So, things are going to get interesting very soon, especially with the medium on the island.

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