LOST 3.13: The Magic Box of Brokeback Island

Before we launch into my thoughts on LOST 3.13: The Man From Tallahassee, a couple of popular retro-TV themes to consider:

Star Trek: Shore Leave
The Rabbit from Shore Leave

In which the crew of the Enterprise spends shore leave on a planet where their thoughts and fantasies are brought to real, deadly life, thanks to ancient technology guarded by an alien named “The Caretaker.”

Welcome to Fantasy Island!
Mr. Rourke and Tattoo

In which Khan Mr. Rourke and his gigantic assistant Tattoo fulfill the island guests’ deepest wishes. It should, of course, be noted that the original 1970s Fantasy Island often began with Tattoo yelling “De plane, de plane!”

Back in the DHARMA Ba Gua entry, I theorized about the Island’s seeming wish-fullfillment aspect, and now we have confirmation of this in last night’s episode, with Ben speaking of the Island as having a “Magic Box” that can manifest the thoughts and desires of its inhabitants. (Whether the Magic Box works for all the inhabitants, or only those “special ones” like Jack and Locke and Walt, or at varying degrees at times for different inhabitants, is only hinted at.)

A few other character notes:


I wonder if Ben, being a longtime island native, might share in the precognitive powers recently acquired by Desmond in the Hatch Anomaly. This might explain his abilities as a leader and master manipulator, and also why he immediately knew to look up just before Oceanic 815 broke up overhead in the third season opener. Also, he doesn’t blink. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ben blink.


Locke’s motives are becoming clearer now, though there’s still an overwhelming tone of irrationality in them. He believes himself an agent of the Island, definitely wants to stay there and cut it off from the rest of the world, and is a real booster for anarcho-primitivism — possibly owing to his time spent with the Marijuana Farmers’ Collective. Ben perceptively identifies father issues as a source of these motives, which foreshadows the reveal of the “Man From Tallahassee” — Cooper, Locke’s kidneynapping con dad. Whether the Island’s Magic Box somehow twisted fate to get Cooper there by natural means, or teleported him straight to The Barracks from Tallahassee, or it’s just the Black Smoke manifesting as a ghost from Locke’s tortured past, has yet to be explained. Tallahassee, of course, is where Kate was planning to escape to after she killed her first Dad.

Jack and Kate

Oh, the irony and drama! “Oh Kate, you loved Sawyer! So I gave up hope on you and made a deal with the Others to get me home, from where I could mount a rescue mission, because I hadn’t really given up hope on you, but in any case I have a ride home with Juliet, and don’t you feel crappy that you just broke up with Sawyer only to find me playing football with Mr. Friendly!” And once again, Kate messes up everything. Also, the Jackface entry needs updating.

More stuff from DarkUFO, Kristin at E!Online, Nik at Nite, TVSquad, Televisionary, Lost and Gone Forever, Mostly Muppet, and Completely Lost wins the best blog post title of the week: You Sunk My Battleship. Laff laff laff laff laff.