As we learned on last night's Miles-centric episode, perhaps the only thing more complicated than time travel is the relationship between children and their absent parents.
So just like pretty much every other character on this show, with the except of Desmond and Juliet, Miles has abandonment issues with his father, who, it turns out is Dr. Pierre Chang ("the dude from the movies"), and that Miles was born on the Island (or at least resided there as a baby).
The conversation in the clip above plays exactly into some of the existentialist themes in Lost that I talked about last week. All these people, who have been abandoned, whether emotionally or physically, by their parents, feel like they are alone. They are their own island. However, those shared experiences is what connects them, and by Hurley literally sharing a part of his life story, Miles felt a little less alone, and a little more open to the possibility that a lonely life doesn't have to be his destiny. And since he's been presented with this second chance, he can maybe get to know, and understand his father, if only by looking through his window.
I like the little Easter egg there, of the polar bear.
It was interesting seeing Miles' evolution from a guy unwilling to forgive his father for not raising him, to a guy who now seems to understand that that doesn't mean that his father didn't love him. It makes me think that even if "what happened, happened," and the past cannot be changed, perhaps one's perception of it can be. So maybe time travel can't be used to change events, but instead, to understand them. You know, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need.
This episode was titled "Some Like It Hoth," as in the icy planet on which the Rebel Alliance was hiding out in Empire Strikes Back. Of course, references abounded, one of which being Hurley's hair-brained scheme to write the Star Wars sequel, "with some improvements," and send it to George Lucas.
Another one being the orchestration playing when Miles sees his mother on her death bed, and asks her about his father. The whole scene was a lot like when Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke about his father he never knew.
And just like Obi-Wan told Luke some half-truths about his father—leaving out that he was actually and evil Sith—in order to manipulate Luke into doing what's best for him, Miles' mom was most likely doing the same thing, saying that Dr. Chang wanted nothing to do with them, to ensure that Miles would never return to the Island.
And it worked for a time. You can tell that Miles was sort of angry about his life, in which he doesn't have a father and he is constantly hearing dead people. Like most young people who are dealing with anger that they can't place or understand, he handled it with rebellion, a bunch of piercings, and stupid hair.
Like, seriously stupid hair.
Of course, as it goes with this show, as one question is answered, several more arise. We learned that Miles wasn't born with his "gift" for communicating with corpses. He was a little boy, apartment hunting with his single mother in California, when it occurred for the first time. Naturally, the question is: Why?
Did you notice the number on the dead guy's door?
And is that an "8" scratched into the ear of the rabbit, where lil' Miles found the dead guy's key?
The main plot of this episode was that Miles—having been invited into the "circle of trust" by Horace—was sent on a mission to deliver a package to, and pick another one up from, Radzinsky. (The first package being a body bag, and the second package being a body.)
Because of Miles' ability, he was able to get the scoop on what happened from the dead guy, whose name turned out to be Alvarez. Apparently, while working on the construction site of the soon-to-be Swan station, a metal filling in Alvarez's tooth suddenly shot out of his head, piercing his brain, and killing him. The crazy electromagnetic force at the Swan station probably was the cause.
One thing that was noticeable was that a number of DHARMA workers in the "circle of trust" is that they were all in black DHARMA jumpsuits (as opposed to the regulation khaki), bearing the Swan station logo. Anything that involves top-secrecy, hidden construction sites, dead bodies, and gun-toting men in matching black uniforms doesn't seem like it involves "trust."
At the end of the episode, Miles was ordered to greet the submarine that just came in, carrying scientists from the mainland. Guess who was on it?
Daniel Faraday! In a black Swan suit!
Jeff Jensen at EW has an awesome theory regarding these new DHARMA duds:
In his book [The Black Swan: The Impact of The Highly Improbable], Nassim Nicholas Taleb speaks of ''black swan events'' - catastrophes and occurrences that invalidate widely held assumptions. Taleb's terminology was inspired by the discovery of black swans in Australia. (Date unknown.) Up until then, it was believed that all swans were white, so learning otherwise was a shocking game-changer. Taleb's concept of black swan events is marked by two characteristics: (1) They come as a total surprise to people, even though upon closer inspection, they really shouldn't; (2) They have massive consequences.
Basically, these black Swans are gonna cause an "incident" that will fuck shit up, and clearly, the "circle of trust" cannot be trusted at all.
It's interesting for many reasons that Daniel is a part of the black Swan team. Mainly because the black swans, depicted in Taleb's book, invalidated a widely-held theory. Daniel has tons of theories on time travel, and I'm wondering if his work off the Island was invalidating them.
Anyway, here's a side note: More hieroglyphs. Why are the DHARMA kids learning how to translate Egyptian writing?
Moving on, now we know that Miles was recruited to Widmore's freighter trip to the Island by Naomi. What the hell is up with the wig budget on this show?
But how did Naomi's employer (Widmore) know to contact Miles? Since he, too, left on a submarine, and he knew where it docked, did he have Miles and his mom followed when they left the Island? Was he watching Miles his whole life?
And this fucked me up:
After Miles had agreed to take the job on the freighter to the tune of $1.6 million (like one of our numbers, 16!), he was abducted by a van-load of masked goons, and that guy Bram tried to talk him out of going to the Island, telling him that if he did, he would be on "the wrong side."
Initially, I thought that Bram and Ilana, who were planted on the plane with every intention of landing on the Island with a trunk full of weapons, were working for Widmore.
But now it would seem like they aren't on his side at all. And they weren't really concerned about Ben. I'm beginning to wonder if there aren't merely two sides (Widmore and Ben) in this war. There might be a third faction, looking to take back control of the Island. (Eloise, anyone?)
So my big theory on this episode revolves around the numbers. There was this on the microwave in the apartment Miles' mom was looking to rent:
It's the same number of the Ajira flight that brought the gang back to the Island.
And then there's the Sports Illustrated that Miles was reading, dated March 14, 1977.
So that's 316 and then 3/14. It reminds me of 3/15, which would be the Ides of March, the day that Julius Caesar was assassinated. Caesar had turned the 500-year-old Roman Republic into a mess when he declared himself dictator in perpetuity. He was killed by a group of Senators (Brutus, leading the pack) in hopes of returning the government back into the normal Republic they'd once known, and been comfortable with. But instead, the result was a civil war, and eventually, Caesar's adopted heir took over and established an autocracy, of which he was the emperor, and was totally not the outcome the Senators were looking for.
I think that the 3/14 issue of SI that Miles was reading, and the 316 on the microwave and of the Ajira flight are kind of like hints, or stamps. Kinda like how that guy was stamping the Lost numbers into that hatch door.
I think they are marking what comes before and after the Ides of March that will plague the Island in DHARMA's time. It will involve a civil war that will eventually "purge" the DHARMA folks, dethrone and banish Widmore, and create an autocratic environment, with Ben Linus at the helm. Will this be the black Swan event?