For a Miles-centric episode, he was curiously the least interesting thing about the entire hour. While the events surrounding his character was generally fraught with intrigue, mystery, and more than a dash of mythology, we didn’t learn a whole lot about the man himself. The biggest thing we learned? That like 97% of the “Lost” universe, the guy’s got some daddy issues. Then again, it’s hard to know your dad when the man has more identities than Anthony Cooper.
4) In Short
“Everything’s cooler with crossbow lasers.”
8 ) On The Island
Sawyer contacts Miles via walkie, and asks him to erase the pylon video surveillance to cover his involvement in helping Ben escape. Sawyer and Kate split up, with Sawyer staying out longer under the guise of hunting Sayid. Before Miles can erase the tape, Horace comes into the Sheriff Station. He’s looking for Sawyer, but decides to bring Miles into the “circle of trust.”
He hands Miles a bag and tells him to meet Radzinsky in Grid 344 and exchange a bag for a package, no questions asked.. Miles notes that’s in Hostiles Territory, and I note that 3 x 4 + 4 =16, because I’m a dork like that. Miles leaves with the tapes unerased. When he reaches Grid 344, Radzinsky pops up out of the woods, bearing a rifle and wearing an all-black Dharma jumpsuit. You know, for the slimming effect.
The jumpsuit bears the Swan logo, and soon, others emerge from the woods in the same garb. One bears a hole in his head. Radizsky takes the bag, which we now realize is a body bag, and tells Miles there was an accident. However, he refuses to reveal the nature of the injury, stating it’s need to know information. The other Swan workers load the body into Miles’ van, and head back into the woods. Once they are gone, Miles unzips the bag and asks, “OK, so what really happened?”
As Miles heads into the Sheriff station, we hear Horace on the phone with Pierre. “If it was caused by the electromagnetism, we need to know!” We glean that Pierre wants to see the body, so Horace sends Miles right back out to the Orchid to take the corpse there. Miles is hesitant to go, but Horace insists he has to. Outside, Miles finds Hurley packing food into the van. Dude, not a good idea to put lunch next to dead guys. First culinary rule. Miles tries to stop Hurley from tagging along, but no go there. Maybe they can discuss paradox again on the way to the Orchid.
Kate meets Juliet in the infirmary. After exchanging brief updates, Roger enters with the medical supplies requested by Juliet in “Whatever Happened, Happened.” He freaks out upon seeing Ben gone, and vows to contact security. Juliet tries to appease him, stating she only left for a few minutes, but it’s no use. “Well, here we go,” she tells Kate.
Miles and Hurley drive silently, as Hurley writes in a Dharma notebook with what looks like an apple and a book in the center. Hurley starts to smell something funky in the back, and insists that Miles stop. Hurley soon finds the body, and Miles tries to swear him to secrecy. Hurley’s curious to know what happened to the man. And hey, it’s asking the perfect person: Miles tells him the man was Alvarez, who died when the metal filling in his tooth dislodged from his mouth and shot through his freakin’ skull. Hurley instantly deduces that Miles is a regular Hayley Joel Osment. But hey, it’s all cool: Hurley tells him he has the same gift.
Kate seeks out Roger, getting drunk on a swing set. Ah, must be Tuesday. Kate tries to comfort him about Ben’s fate, but only sets Roger’s Spidey Sense a-tingling. He instantly suspects she knows something about his disappearance, and all but says, “hey, look, a unicorn!” before scurrying off.
Hurley tries to get Miles to fess up about their shared powered to converse with dead people. Miles says he doesn’t talk to them: he gets a sense about them, an intuition of who they were and what they were thinking up until the time of their death. “You’re just jealous my power’s better than yours,” Hurley says. I love that man. They arrive at an unfinished Orchid, where Pierre is none too happy to see Iron Chef Hurley. He’s further displeased to learn Hurley knows about the body, and warns him that he’ll be on Hydra Island with their “ridiculous experiments” measuring polar bear poop in no time. After Pierre leaves, we get this exchange:
Hurley: That dude is a total douche.
Miles: That douche is my dad.
I’ll let “Arrested Development” have the last say on this.
Hurley can’t believe Miles doesn’t want to talk to his father. Miles gives another variation on “we can’t change anything anyways” as an excuse to avoid any discussion of the matter. Pierre asks Miles to drive him to see Radzinsky. Miles asks what happened to the body. “What body?” asks Pierre. Miles: you might want to look in Tunisia. Just sayin’.
Roger stumbles into the schoolhouse, where Jack is erasing a chalkboard filled with information about ancient Egyptian. Altogether now: CLANG. If I were Jack, I would not erase “writing of the words of God,” which is written on the far left. Just seems like a bad idea. Jack tells Roger he was trying to cover Roger’s shift during his stressful time. Roger confesses his suspicion of Kate’s involvement in Ben’s kidnapping. Jack notes that all that beer might have given Roger some crazy ideas in his head. Because if anyone would know the kind of crazy thoughts a lot of booze could put into one’s head, it’s Jack.
On the way to Radzinsky, Hurley awkwardly pries into Pierre’s life so Miles might learn a little bit about Daddy. Miles gives Daddy a hysterical look when he learns that Pierre likes country music. Heh. Right after Hurley suggests they all get a Dharma beer so they can bond, Pierre orders them to stop. He walks up to a wall of foliage, which cleverly disguises a metal fence. They drive through and see the construction of the Swan. Moreover, they watch The Numbers being imprinted as a serial number on one of its panels. Too. Cool. For. School. Like watching destiny literally imprint itself before our eyes.
Hurley gives Miles the Swan 101 breakdown, but Miles isn’t having Hurley’s happy-go-lucky spirit about Pierre’s part in Miles’ life. When Hurley presses the issue, Miles steals Hurley’s notebook. Inside? The script for “The Empire Strikes Back,” only with a few Hurley “improvements.” Hurley writes fanfic! And not the creepy kind! Swoonage.
Sawyer returns to his bungalow, where Jack has caught Juliet up on Roger’s suspicion of Kate. The whole scene is…calm. And adult. And drama-free. Excuse me while I go to the window in search of flying porcine. As Sawyer watches Jack leave, Phil comes storming up. Turns out he’s seen the tape Miles didn’t erase, and wants answers. Sawyer invites him in and gives him the “flying fist of fury” answer. Ka-POW!
Miles and Hurley pull into the Barracks. Hurley apologizes for pushing Miles too hard earlier, but then relates his own personal story of second chances with his own father. Miles insists that he doesn’t want to know his father, which leads Hurley into this overly complicated theory about how Luke’s similar attitude led to death, destruction, and Ewoks. Miles, I refuse to have Ewoks on this show: go talk to your freakin’ father!
Hey, Miles is listening! He walks over to Pierre’s bungalow and sees his father reading his infant self a children’s book (about polar bears, naturally). Pierre gets a call that interrupts story time. He leaves, and sees Miles walking away. He asks Miles’ help in getting some newly arrived scientists from Ann Arbor. Among those that emerge from the sub, clad all in the Swan’s black jumpsuit? Daniel Faraday. “Hey Miles. Long time, no see.”
15) Off The Island
Mrs. Chang examines an apartment within a complex. Young Miles comes in as Mrs. Chang explains that the father is no longer in the picture. Miles goes to get something from the vending machine, but Room #4 catches his attention. He walks up to the door, and puts his hand on it. He then reaches down and lifts up a ceramic bunny, with either a sideways 8 or the symbol for infinity it its ear. Under the bunny? A key for the room.
Mrs. Chang runs after a suddenly screaming Miles, who is in Room #4 with a very dead Mr. Vonner. Miles tells his mother that he heard Mr. Vonner call out for “Kimberly,” his deceased wife. The landlord is shocked that Miles could know such information while Miles covers his ears to stop Vonner’s voice in his ears.
An extremely pierced and ostensibly teenaged Miles arrives at his mother’s deathbed. Her hair loss suggests some form of cancer. Miles’ haircut makes me wish cancer had struck him instead. Why did Miles come, after their apparent estrangement? He wants to know why he can hear dead people, and wants to know why she never mentions his father. She says it’s because he never cared about either of them, having sent them away when Miles was just a baby. He didn’t want anything to do with either of them and that he’s dead; Miles declares that he wants to see the body; she tells him he’s in a place Miles can never go. File this scene under: clunky. More on this in “Mythology.”
Years later, Miles talks with a Mr. Gray, distraught over the loss of his son, a high school football star. Miles wants to see the body; Mr. Gray tells him it was creamated. Miles balks, noting he needs a body to best do his work. But he takes Mr. Gray’s cash, and gives him the answer the father longed to hear: that his son always knew that Daddy loved him. Miles leaves the very content and completely self-deluded Mr. Gray.
While packing up, who should greet him but Naomi, who notes that her employer has been following his work for some time. Would he like to discuss matters at a local restaurant? Damn right he would! Naomi takes him into the kitchen, where a dead body waits for him. She tells him the body is his test, tosses Miles a wad of cash, and asks what he can glean.
Miles gleans the following: Felix was on his way to a “Widmore” to deliver photographs of empty graves and a purchase order for an old airplane. Brain. Splodey. Guess we know who staged the fake crash, don’t we? Naomi zips up the body and gives the sales pitch: they need him to catch a dangerous man on an island by speaking to those he killed for valuable intelligence. Miles only agrees after learning he’ll be paid $1.6 million dollars.
Later on, a van pulls up next to Miles after he gets a taco. Bram, the man we’ve previously seen on Hydra Island as part of Ilana’s crew, is in the passenger seat. A group of masked men get out from the back of the van, kidnap Miles, and bring him inside. Bram tells him he wants to talk Miles out of working for Charles Widmore. Why? Because he doesn’t know what lies in the shadow of the statue. (My best guess? The several hundred left socks I’ve lost over the years. It’s a theory in progress.) Bram promises that if Miles goes with them instead, he’ll learn all the answers he’s ever wanted to know: about his past, his father, and his gift. All Miles wants? Double Widmore’s asking price: $3.2 million. As Bram tosses him from the van, he tells Miles that he’s on the losing side of the upcoming war. More about this in “Mythology.”
Miles returns to Mr. Gray’s house. He tells Mr. Gray about his impending journey, and hands back all his cash. Miles admits that he lied earlier. Mr. Gray wants to know why he decided to tell the truth now. “If you needed your son you loved him, you should have told him when he was still alive.” Daddy Issues, Table for One. Miles leaves Mr. Gray with his bald thoughts.
16) The Moment
“What body?” creeped me out nice and plenty.
23) The Mythology
Chock full o’ awesome, this episode. Let’s get crackin’!
Widmore staged the wreckage! Least, that’s the impression I got. The way I read the scenes with Naomi: Widmore killed the underling that was in possession of valuable, highly secretive intelligence. Once obtained, Widmore had him killed, and used that body to test Miles’ skills for real. Widmore would have his staged wreck, Miles would “read” a patsy that couldn’t betray any real secrets, and plans could follow accordingly. As the wreck was revealed to the world, the Kahana could safely go in another part of the world to obtain Linus and find the Island. (I’m open to other interpretations; let me know what you thought of this scene!)
The Swan was built on literally Hostile ground! Grid 344 sits on land ostensibly ceded to The Others, which makes both the site and its architecture make more sense. For one thing, The Others/Hostiles/Natives/Anubians wouldn’t allow the DI to break ground on such an important part of the Island. Secondly, the hatch’s underground construction directly speaks to the subterfuge surrounding the building of the Swan itself. I think we’ll have to wait until we see more intel about The Pearl to finally ask a nagging question for many “Lost” fans: why didn’t the Others take over the Swan after The Purge?
More than one set of people were purposefully put on Ajira 316! Many of you wisely saw what I did not last week: that Ilana and Company didn’t transform like Danielle’s crew so much as reveal their true colors. Nice job, y’all. Many of you also theorized these are Hawking’s people, but Bram’s appearance in tonight’s episode suggests they could be working for Ben. (Go back and watch Ben’s interactions with them last week. Whole lotta nudge nudge wink wink how’s yer father?-type stuff there.) Point is this: there were a lot of people with purpose on that plane. Speaking of purpose, be sure to check out this gallery! Plenty of purposeful goodness here.
Chang used corpses to test The Orchid! Least, that’s my best guess on why Chang suddenly got “short-term memory loss” about Alvarez’s corpse. First bunnies, then corpses, then real life humans. That’s the scientific method at its best, baby.
Chang sent his family away to save them! I think, at least, we’re coming around full circle not only to the first scene of Season 5 but also this Comic Con video, in which a very morose Pierre Chang sends a message through time with the help of Daniel Faraday in which he confesses knowledge of the upcoming Purge. However, I must confess that the “my daddy sent me away boo hoo oh wait you did it because you love me oh then it’s OK and I lurve you” storyline they are setting up is a bit too heavy-handed for my tastes.
We know why Miles can hear dead people! Oh wait, no we don’t. We absolutely learned nothing. The only potential clue? Mrs. Chang’s hair loss. Perhaps exposure to some aspect of Pierre’s experiments led to her eventual cancer and Miles’ ghost-busting attitudes. Also, is it too much for Miles to hear the Whispers and decipher those once and for all? Pretty please?
42) Random Thoughts
- Loved Pierre’s general bemusement at Hurley’s overall attitude and antics. We need to get Hurley off the Island, send him to the Middle East, and just solve all that stuff already. Put Hurley in the thick of things around noon, and I’m sure there would be karaoke on the Gaza Strip by sundown.
- Kate. Damnit. I totally stood up for you in “Whatever Happened, Happened,” and then you went and left your brains in your other jumpsuit this week. My wife actively sighed during all of your scenes tonight. Not good.
- Pierre noted this week that he didn’t realize there were “circles” in the DI. But that’s patently untrue, and he knows it. Not only is there a divide between the scientists and the lay workers, but there also seems to be separation within the scientific community itself. It’s clear Pierre does not value the work on Hydra Island in the least.
- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but hey “Lost”? Can we make Jack heroic again? Pretty please. Much like Hurley in “Tricia Tanaka is Dead,” that guy needs a win, big time.
108) In Summary
Decent, but not great. Not in the lower third in terms of overall quality this season, but not upper third, either. While a Miles-centric episode, the episode used him as a vehicle through which to reveal other aspects of the events of the show. The actual Miles content wasn’t revealing (I think 99% of us had him pegged as Pierre’s kid after “Because You Left”) and to have YET ANOTHER CHARACTER have crippling daddy issues this late in the game just feels like déjà vu. However, the reveals around the staged crash, the shadow of the statue, and the Swan’s construction were ceaselessly intriguing. Furthermore, with Phil about to wake up tied to a chair in Sawyer’s bungalow, the time for peace in the Barracks looks to be almost over.
Was this episode to HOTH to handle, or tepid to the touch? Who runs the Shadow of the Statue group? And why was the Swan’s construction so secretive? Leave your thoughts below!