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The Shape of Things to Come (sure looks good!)

April 25, 2008
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Lost was sure in top form last night!  Even made staying up very late worth it!  Poor Sayid!  He does find Nadia, the love of his life only to have her ripped away and murdered!  Now that I think about it, a tragic loss like that would be the only thing to push Sayid over the edge and make him work for Ben.

Well, here are some tidbits and trivia facts from



  • DHARMA logo seen on the breast of the parka worn by Ben has yet to be introduced in the series. It features concentric circles surrounding an unknown object.
    • The logo looks very much like the well-known celtic symbol “Triskel”. Triskel, surrounded by a spiral. It may have something to do with time, because both the triskel and the spiral symbolize reincarnation.
    • This parka also has the name “Halliwax” emblazoned on the left breast of the parka.
    • Screencaps of Ben in Parka
  • Ben speaks Arabic and Turkish. He asks the Bedouin if they speak those languages in order to communicate with them.
  • One of the Bedouin points out how Ben does not have a trail. The other replies, “Where did this [guy] come from? Down from the sky?”
  • The pill bottle opened by Jack says “Amoxicillin”, a common antibiotic.
  • The warning/security code for the fence was entered as 1623 and the dial was not turned; as a result, an early warning system was activated causing the phone in Ben’s house to ring with an automated female voice announcing “code 14J”.
  • Ben’s flashforward takes place in October 2005 – One year and one month after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.
  • Keamy‘s first name is revealed to be Martin.
  • After John reassures Sawyer that he will not hurt Hurley, Claire’s baby cry is the same audio clip used in Jim Cramer’s Mad Money sound board.
  • The piece Ben is playing on the piano right before the phone call is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor. Some British publications include the title The Burning of Moscow or The Day of Judgement.

Production notes

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • The version of Risk being played by Hurley, Sawyer and Locke is the 2005 “library” edition of Risk. [source needed]
  • Many of the Arabic scripts (including the news broadcast and the signs in Tunisia and Iraq) are erroneous. The letters are not connected as they should, as if they were independent of each other (i.e. they did not form words). Moreover, even if they were connected, many of them still would not form proper words. Sayid’s name, for example, missed some letters, had irrelevant ones, and the letters were not in the right order.

Recurring themes

  • A close up of Ben’s eyes when he awakes in the desert in Tunisia (eyes)
  • Ben refers to Alex as a pawn. (Games)
  • Hurley, Locke, and Sawyer play Risk. (Games)
  • Ben says “The rules have changed”. (Games)
  • Ben has a shotgun hidden in the piano seat. (Secrets)
  • Alex is taken hostage. (Imprisonment)
  • The code to the security fence is 1623 (The Numbers)
  • Alex is killed, as are three redshirts. (Life and Death)
  • During the final scene, the light casts a shadow over half of Widmore’s and Ben’s faces. (Black and White)
  • Sawyer called Hurley “Chicken Little” and says that the sky isn’t falling yet. (Nicknames)
  • Ben tries to bluff that Alex means nothing to him, and as a result she is shot. (Parent Issues)
  • Sayid said he was looking for Nadia for 8 years. (The Numbers)
  • Ben manipulates Sayid into working as an assassin for him. (Deceptions and Cons)

Cultural references

  • On the Road: Dean Moriarty is name of the “hero” of Jack Kerouac’s novel On The Road. The character of Dean is based on Neal Cassady who had a huge influence on the core Beat Generation writers.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty is the surname of Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ best known antagonist and mathematical genius.
  • Moby Dick: The man Sayid executes is named Ishmael, which was also the name of Captain Ahab’s first mate in Herman Melville’s Novel.
    • Ishmael is also the name of a wise talking gorilla in Daniel Quinn’s trilogy of Ishmael, The Story of B, My Ishmael
    • Ishmael is also a biblical name. He was Abraham’s first son, who was born not of his wife, but of her servant, whom he had also married. Ishmael’s half-brother was Issac, who was the father of Jacob.

  • Exodus 2:3: “But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile.” In the biblical text, Jochebed, mother of Moses (Aaron’s brother), hid Moses in a basket to protect her son from the Pharoah’s order to drown all of the Hebrew children. In The Shape of Things To Come Aaron is placed in a basket to be shielded from what we have been told is Widmore’s order to kill everyone on The Island. Moses and Aaron follow Jacob in the Judeo-Christian prophetic line. (Exodus 2:3 – 23 (The Numbers))

  • The Shape of Things to Come : The name of the episode is also the name of a book by H.G. Wells which is written in the form of a history book from the future.

Literary techniques

  • Three background survivors are killed in the initial attack on the camp. (Redshirt)
  • Hurley repeats an old line of his, “we’re all gonna die” though this was shown in an ironic sense as it was said before it was revealed that he was talking about a game of Risk. (Regularly Spoken Phrases) and (Irony)
  • Jack takes a pill, which he says he “prescribed for himself,” while Kate looks on suspiciously. This foreshadows Jack’s pill addiction and attempt to self-prescribe after he gets rescued. (Foreshadowing)
  • Jack asks why the message said “the doctor is fine” when he is actually dead. Jack is a doctor who is becoming sick but says he is okay. (Irony)

Storyline analysis

Episode references

  • When Ben appears in the desert, he is wearing a parka labeled Halliwax. Edgar Halliwax is the alias used by Mark Wickmund in the Orchid orientation video.
  • Charles Widmore has a glass of MacCutcheon Scotch whisky while talking with Ben. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes“)
  • Ben uses one of his fake passports. (“The Economist“)
  • Ben tells Miles that it seems unlikely that he’ll get his 3.2 million dollars after the attack on the Barracks. (“Eggtown“)
  • Sayid asks Ben, “who’s next,” foreshadowing his role as Ben’s assassin. (“The Economist“)
  • Locke accuses Ben of lying when he said he “didn’t know what the smoke monster was”. (“Confirmed Dead“)
  • Ben knows Hurley has seen Jacob’s cabin after his slipup in the jungle. (“Confirmed Dead“)

Unanswered questions

Unanswered question
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Shape of Things to Come/Theories


In the desert

  • How does Ben end up in the desert?
  • How did Ben get the cut on his arm?
  • Why is Ben wearing a parka?
  • What DHARMA logo is on the jacket?
  • What did the Bedouins say as they approached Ben on horseback?
  • Why is Ben unsure what year it is?


  • Why can’t Ben kill Widmore?
  • What nightmares is Widmore having?
  • Why is Widmore sure Ben can’t find Penny?

On the Island

  • What did Ben do in his secret room?
  • Who killed Ray, and why?
  • Why does the message from the freighter say that Ray is fine?
  • Who wrote the hieroglyphics on the wall in Ben’s hidden bunker, and what do they mean?

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