What’s The Box?

Ben Linus: And now you have a choice. Because if you stop and if you think, I can show you things. Things I know you want to see very badly. Let me put it so you’ll understand. Picture a box. You know something about boxes, don’t you, John? What if I told you that somewhere on this island, there’s a very large box… and whatever you imagined, whatever you wanted to be in it, when you opened that box, there it would be. What would you say about that, John?

The Man from Tallahassee

A bedridden Ben Linus used the above analogy to illustrate to a desperate John Locke just how special a place the Lost island was.  Sure, we viewers have seen people on the island cured of terminal illness and paralysis.  Others (literally) are ageless.  Viewers (and John Locke, from experience) know the island is a place where wonderful things happen, but in the above analogy, Ben hints that the island’s magic isn’t random, and that individuals can have the island make their dreams come true.  A few episodes later (in The Brig), Ben admits the box is a metaphor.

So the subject of this edition of I Want Some Freakin’ Answers is Ben’s magical mystery box, a topic only brought up twice during the series, but which may be the driving force behind some of the mysteries of the Island.

The only other time the box is mentioned is during the fourth season finale, There’s No Place Like Home, when Locke asks Ben whether The Orchid station is “the Box.”  Ben dismisses Locke’s question, later saying that the purpose of the Orchid is the same as all the other DHARMA stations- to conduct “silly experiments.”

So viewers (and Locke) are left with Ben’s metaphor promising a device which could grant one’s heart’s desire.  We’ve never seen it, but have had plenty of evidence of its existence, kind of similar to the way Hawking describing the way DHARMA first found the island.

Because of this, I’m led to believe the whole island is the Box.  One just has to know how to use it.

We find out through the course of the series that there are unique pockets of energy housed on the island.  DHARMA, a group of scientists, created a number of stations to try and harness this energy.  I argued a while back that DHARMA messed up by trying to turn the island’s magic into science.  I still think they did.  But this energy is there for a reason.  It healed Rose’s cancer.  It let Locke walk again.  Perhaps because these people believed it could happen, or in Rose’s case, had someone believe on their behalf, their wishes came true.

In The Man from Tallahassee, Ben showed Locke what “came out of” the Box when he used it: Locke’s father.  It’s probably more accurate to say the resources of the Others enabled Locke’s father to get to the island, but it’s that magic (along with appropriated DHARMA technology) that enabled the Others to travel the world and acquire detailed files on visitors to their Island.

I have no doubt that in this upcoming season, we’ll find out more about the powers of the island.  And then finally, we’ll have some freakin’ answers related to Ben’s analogy. Either way, I’m sure there’s much more in the Island’s box than this one:

Goodbye Mr. Fat [Poster] Toad

This weekend, The Civee and I cleaned out our basement.  Sadly, I had to dispose of this:

Typhoon Irabu Poster

The image quality is horrible because I took the picture in the basement.

Yes, it was framed.  Sadly, it suffered some major water damage, but that’ll happen to things left leaning up against a basement wall.

Back in my single days, this looked pretty cool on my wall.  Of course, three years ago, it was more of an ironic statement than an item promoting a baseball superstar.

Or Typhoon, if you will.

For the life of me, I could never understand why they didn’t sell items (be they posters or name-and-number t-shirts) with the player’s name written in Japanese.  Even though he’s no longer a Yankee, I’d still like a Hideki Matsui Yankees name-and-number t-shirt with “松井 秀喜” instead of “Matsui” over the 55.  And I have two Irabu t-shirts, but both of them are in English.

Oh well, one can always hope they take that marketing approach with the Yankees’ next Japanese superstar.

Till then, I’ll keep myself amused with other things I find in my basement.

NWS Nds Vwls 4 Ths 4cst

For the past week, the weather has been typical winter weather here in central Ohio: dreary, cold and snow/rain/freezing snow.

I wanted to see what it was going to be like this weekend, so I visited the National Weather Service’s forecast site (which I use instead of other sites for two reasons- they don’t have ads on their site and most other weather sites get their weather information from the NWS).  When I saw tonight’s forecast, I was confused, scared and bewildered:

FgzDz

The forecast for this afternoon and New Year’s Day are pretty straightforward.  Simple explanations and easy-to-understand graphics.  But what about tonight? Are frozen stalactites going to be raining down upon partiers in Central Ohio?  What is this FzgDz? Did they run out of vowels, or are they giving forecasts in leetspeek?

After Googling the phrase “FgzDz,” I found out it stands for “Freezing Drizzle.”  In fact, most of the sites that come up are weather related.  So fear not, Central Ohio, there’s no massive vowel shortage and you won’t be impaled by icicles tonight.  Just some freezing drizzle.  Makes me glad The Civee and I are hanging around here tonight.  Happy New Year, everyone.

Claire’s Psychic: Soothsayer on a Slow Ride

The next and final season of Lost is a little more than a month away.  With less than 20 episodes to go, there are a lot of unanswered questions that remain part of the show’s mythology.  This series, “I Want Some Freakin’ Answers” will take a look at some of the lesser mysteries that I’d still like answered.

He was the bassist for Foghat.

He was also the Russian President for two seasons of 24.

And as an accomplished voice actor, he’s been a part of shows like The Critic and nearly every Star Wars video game until a few years ago.

Yet it’s Nick Jameson‘s role as Australian psychic Richard Malkin that interests Lost fans.  He’s only appeared in two flashback episodes, and is potentially responsible for two characters getting on Flight 815, which brought them to the mysterious Island.

Or maybe not.

Claire visits Malkin, who appears spooked by some vision of Claire’s baby.  After finding out that Claire intends to put her baby up for adoption, Malkin later implores Claire that she must not allow the “baby to be raised by another.”  However, he later changes his tune, saying he knows of an acceptable couple in Los Angeles, but she has only one option for transportation: Oceanic 815.  In fact, he’s quite adamant about it:

MALKIN: It has to be this flight. It can’t be any other. They’re already scheduled to meet you when you arrive. Flight 815. Flight 815.

We next meet Malkin in Season 2, during Eko’s flashback episode “?,” when his daughter has a near-death experience.  Malkin tells Eko the near-death experience was  mistake and that he’s a fraud as a psychic.  Only, we later find out that Malkin’s daughter did experience something supernatural.

(And yes, there’s a deleted scene where Malkin admits to Eko that he was paid by the Los Angeles couple to convince Claire to give them her baby.  But since it was deleted, it never happened).

So the question remains: is Richard Malkin for real or a fraud?

It would tie in well to Lost’s mythology if Malkin was able to see the future.  Claire and Aaron are important players in the whole story.  It’s hinted at the end of Raised by Another that Claire suspects Malkin knew all along that Flight 815 would crash and she would survive. This would ensure that Claire and no one else raised the baby.

But Malkin’s encounter with Eko (and the deleted scene) are evidence that Claire’s being on 815 was coincidental and he was perpetrating a ruse.

I’d like to think that Malkin was an important player.  The biggest piece of evidence is his insistence on Flight 815.   It’s likely though, that this mystery won’t be answered.  There are other, bigger mysteries, and this might not fit in to the time left to tell the Lost story.

Still, as long as there isn’t a Foghat reunion going on this winter, maybe Malkin will reappear on Lost one last time.

Forgive the Mess

So this afternoon I noticed that we’re a little more than a month away from the next season of Lost.  I was ready to write a new entry in the I Want Some Freakin Answers series (hint: it involves a former Foghat bassist, Russian Premier and voice of Emperor Palpatine), but then got a note that I should update the version of WordPress the blog is running.

Most of the time, upgrading WP takes two minutes.  But this time, it was more like two hours.  Had some difficulty with the version of SQL I’m running not being compatible with WP and the flux capacitor mucking everything up.

I had to upgrade the SQL and re-install (and re-configure) WP.  Not everything is working yet.  But it will be soon.

And hopefully I’ll get to the longawaited post about what a Foghat bassist has to do with the mysteries of Lost.