Smile Politely

A picture is worth a thousand words


1977 —- The time travelers/Dharma Losties

Jack, Kate, and Hurley are assimilated into 1977 Dharma society via Sawyer and Jin. Sayid was suspected of being a ”Hostile” and got thrown in the Dharma detention center.

2007/2008 — The Ajira/Hydra castaways

In the “present” — which in LOST time is likely late 2007/early 2008 — Sun and Lapidus paddled to the big island and learned from Island rep Christian Shephard where and when the other castaways are.

”You have a bit of a journey ahead of you,” Christian told Sun as he showed her and Lapidus the framed photos of old Dharma recruiting classes. He took one of the pictures off of the wall that, upon further inspection, featured Jack, Kate, and Hurley … very reminiscent of The Shining. (Shining fans will never forget this famous picture of Jack Torrence, taken, supposedly, 60 years before he ever visited the Overlook hotel.)

It was a transitional episode of LOST — an installment that cleared up some unfinished business and put everyone where they needed to be for the episodes to come. Coming out of the two-week break, ”Namaste” was good for reminding us where we are in the larger Season 5 saga.



1. Who was the shadow behind Christian in the Dharma house? Claire? Did you see it? Look again…

2. Ben and possibly some other Others are operating with knowledge of the future.

  • Case 1: The runway. Were they making it because they knew — or more precisely because Ben knew — that it needed to be there in the future for Ajira 316? I say, yes.
  • Case 2: Presuming Kelvin Inman was telling Desmond the truth about Radzinsky — including the fact that he blew his brains out inside the Hatch/Swan — why would he paint a map on the blast door? Theory: Radzinsky didn’t really need to paint the Map for his own edification … much like the landing strip/runway, the map was painted on the blast door simply because it needed to be there for John Locke to discover it in the future in order to preserve the time loop and avert paradox.

3. The Others/Hostiles got their hands on Sayid prior to his capture by Jin. They’re blackmailing him into doing something for them that will prove detrimental to the Dharma Initiative and put Sawyer’s standing at risk. Remember how Sayid was allegedly feuding with Ben? How he made that big show to Hurley about how he was never going to trust Ben ever again? Well, that was all a ruse, too — all part of Ben’s scheme to manipulate and herd the Oceanic 6 back to the Island. Thoughts?

4. Biblical connections: Christian’s line to Lapidus and Sun, “Follow me,” is what Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, asking them to abandon their boats. In Latin, Lapidus = stone; Peter (Greek) = stone. Lapidus and Sun must leave their boat behind to go on a journey. This will take them 30 years into the past, to the tale’s origins. At the time Jesus summons the first two disciples, he is 30 years into his own journey, beginning with a miraculous birth. Ethan’s “miraculous” birth kicks off much of what will ensue.



1. Sawyer/Hurley interactions rule.

SAWYER: ”We’re in The Dharma Initiative.”

JACK: ”They came back?!”

SAWYER: ”No, we came back. And so did you. It’s 1977.”

HURLEY: ”Uh … what?’

2. Radzinsky lives. Previously only a stain on the Swan station ceiling, at long last we met Radzinsky, who preceded Desmond as Kelvin Inman’s button-pushing partner in the Hatch and was the originator of the map of the Island that John Locke found on the blast door in Season 2.

3. Baby Ethan. Amy and Horace Goodspeed decide to name their baby Ethan. If this is the same Ethan that will grow up to be the Other who infiltrates the castaway camp, abducts pregnant Claire, then gets killed by Charlie after he comes back to abduct Claire anew … well, that’s interesting. And ironic. Ethan, of course, helped Richard in recruiting Juliet to the Island — and Juliet winds up traveling back in time to help facilitate his birth. It also means that Ben was not the only member of the Dharma Initiative to survive the Purge and join the Others.

4. Our landing strip/runway speculations were accurate after all! Ajira 316 did use the Others’ unfinished (?) airstrip to “land”. (See theories above for more.)

5. Caesar is making a play for being the “Jack” of his new castaway tribe. Thoughts?


1. Aren’t the castaways sweating the Purge that’s ultimately going to wipe out Dharma? ”I ain’t here to play Nostradamus to these people,” snapped Sawyer. ”Besides, Faraday’s got some interesting theories on what we can and can’t do here.” Speaking of Daniel Faraday: Where is he!?

2. What song was playing during the hipster Dharma Recruit induction?

3. Ben told Lapidus, ”But I have people to look after, too.” But who are Ben’s people now — the Others or the castaways? Are the Others still waiting at the Temple?

4. Pierre Chang was “pulled away from his lab in the orientation hut” to fill in for new mother Amy. What is he working on? Maybe some time travel project with Daniel Faraday? How about his reference to how “things are so disorganized on the other side”? Presumably, this would be the Dharma U.S. in Ann Arbor, MI? I hope we get to see more Dharma U.S. a la Mittelos Bioscience in the future.

5. Time Travel Burner: Was the 1977 Dharma recruit picture (featuring Jack, Kate, and Hurley) hanging on the wall when Locke, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, and Ben were hiding out there last season? … Or did that version of the picture not yet exist because the castaways in question had not yet traveled back in time?

Post away!

[Note: In this column, many weeks I borrow from other LOST sites, primarily Doc Jensen and I’ll try to put as much of myself in these as I can, but EW gets to screen the episodes in advance and I certainly don’t … so … much love to the Doc, we couldn’t dig in quite the same without you.]

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