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Some Like It Hoth Recap

April 16, 2009

Miles, Ghost Whisperer

Before I get into the recap, I just have get this out of the way.  When we were shown Miles as a punk teenager, did anyone else shout “Rufio! Rufio! Rufiiiiiioooooo!”  I’m telling you, he was a dead-on ringer for that character out of the 1991 Robin William’s movie Hook.  Don’t believe me? check it out…

Teen Miles

At the very least he looks like his character, Kid Omega, from X-Men 3: The Last Stand:

Kid Omega

Anyways, on to the Recap!

“Some Like It Hoth” was the thirteenth episode of Season 5 of Lost and the ninety-ninth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was broadcast on April 15, 2009.

  1. Tonight’s flashback spotlight falls on Miles Straume, the hot-headed hustler capable of talking to the dead. Will we learn the origin of his powers? Will we learn why his parents gave him a name that sounds like ”maelstrom,” a Nordic term for ”whirlpool?” Will we learn why he’s such a Mr. Snarky Cranky Pants? Recall earlier this season how Daniel Faraday wondered if his freaky freighter friend had been to the Island before; might Miles be Pierre Chang’s infant child all grown up? If so, did Young Master Sixth Sense spend any time in Room 23, à la Walt? FUN FACT FROM THE WORLD OF CONSPIRACY THEORY LORE! Time-traveling Miles is currently parked in 1977 — the same year that the Senate conducted an investigation into a secret CIA project called MKULTRA, which conducted research into brainwashing, mind-control, and even psychic powers. Heavy drugs were involved. And allegedly kids were used as test subjects. Very Room 23, if you ask me.
  2. When I asked the Lost Super-Computer (i.e., Wikipedia) to crunch the word ”Hoth,” it came back with the fact that ”Hoth” also refers to a figure from Norse mythology sometimes known as ”Hod,” ”Hoor,” or ”Hotherus.” Investigating Norse mythology brought me to the concept of ”Hel-Shoes,” as well as some other intriguing possibilities for Lost.
  3. You see, for eons there were two sets of Norse gods that were at war with each other: the gods of Aesir and the gods of Vanir. There was an attempt at a truce, which involved an exchange of hostages as insurance. One of the hostages was an Aesiran god named Mirmir, who had the ability to see future events. For various reasons, the Vanir felt they had been tricked, so they cut off Mirmir’s head and sent it back to Odin, who for a long time carried it around and asked it questions and stuff. Creepy. And it gets better! Eventually, Odin buried the head in a well under the Tree of Life and was able to continue asking it questions about the future — but he had to cut out his eye as a sacrifice. Anyway, the truce between the rival tribes eventually collapsed, there was a rumble, and when it was over…the bickering deities found a way to get along and merged pantheons into one big super-pantheon.
  4. But back to this Hoth guy. Hoth had a distinctive trait: He was blind. He also murdered his brother, a god by the name of Balder. One might be tempted to forge a Cain and Abel comparison, but Hoth had a good excuse: He was tricked by the god of lies, Loki, into shooting a ”missile” (or spear) loaded with mistletoe, the only substance capable of killing Hoth’s otherwise invulnerable sibling. Yet despite being deceived, Hoth was punished severely. Odin sired a monstrous son named Vali for the sole purpose of slaying the sightless, accidental god-killer. At Balder’s funeral, Odin whispered something into his dead son’s ear. No one really knows what Odin said, and from that day forth, anyone who dared to challenge Odin in a battle of wits had to answer the Sphinx-like riddle: ”What did Odin whisper in Balder’s ear?” Finally, Balder’s death set in motion Ragnarok, or ”destiny of the gods,” a series of events that culminated with a final battle between various sets of gods and monsters from various corners of Norse mythology. One of the major players in Ragnarok was the Norse equivalent of Cerberus, the hound of Hell. Named Garmr, this wolfish creature was unchained during the final battle for the world and allowed to slaughter with impunity. Ragnarok ended with the death of the world (everything gets submerged in water, à la the Flood) and the birth of the new world and the rebirth of fallen gods — including Balder. Indeed, while Odin’s whisper was technically a mystery, most scholars believe that it was actually a single word: ”Resurrection.”
  5. Might this wide swath of Norse mythology parallel or at least intersect with Lost mythology? Garmr? Smokey, of course. Missile? Jughead. Odin’s Resurrection Riddle? That brings to mind the Rainier-Canton anagram (”resurrection”) from earlier this season, plus the ”What did one snowman say to the other snowman?” riddle from season 2 and the ”What lies in the shadow of the statue?” riddle of ”Dead Is Dead.” (My answer: Mirmir’s head!) Balder? The slain, reborn god, could be John Locke, because, after all, Locke is…bald. And he has been resurrected. Ragnarok? ”There’s a war coming, John. And if you’re not on it when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.” —Charles Widmore. (1-5 from Doc Jensen)
  6. Beyond the Chang hook, Miles’ backstory reveals two secondary connections that could emerge as vital components in the future story:
    I’m assuming Miles wasn’t born on the island (remember, Ethan’s on-island birth was unusual), but did the island “give” Miles his ghost whispering ability? If so, why? And is Miles connected to Walt in some way? To date (and if I’m remembering correctly), Miles and Walt are the only two characters who have built-in abilities. Desmond earned his by destroying the hatch, so I’m guessing he only has a Hall of Justice visitor pass.

    Miles is actively recruited by two warring groups: Team Widmore and a murky second faction. If Miles was merely a secondary character, why would Widmore throw $1.6 million at him? Why would a platoon of masked men toss Miles in the back of a van and plead with him to reject Widmore’s offer and join them instead? Clearly, the island has big plans for Miles … he just doesn’t know it yet. (Or I’m blowing this out of proportion because I think the dude’s funny and want him to stick around.)

    Sidenote: This anti-Widmore group is verrrry interesting. To date, the group’s only known characteristics are an open hatred of all things Widmore and a passion for that thing that lies in the shadow of the statue (“What lies in the shadow of the statue?” is this season’s version of the numbers — an adjacent mystery that may never be directly answered, but catalyzes events nonetheless). The safe bet would peg the anti-Widmores as Ben’s shadow organization — and we’re led to believe this is the case since Miles requests $3.2 million from both the anti-Widmores and Ben — but could the group be something entirely different: perhaps a resurrected Dharma Initiative (The Bloodthirsty Hansos? The Screamin’ Mad Degroots?)? Beyond affiliation, how do the Ajirans fit in? Is Ilana an active member (remember, she asked Frank the all-important statue question last week), or was she inducted post-crash?

  7. Despite their long time-travel debate, Hurley still isn’t sold on the no-paradox rule. He’s been writing the script for “Empire Strikes Back” from memory — itself an act that falls within “no paradox” because, technically, Hurley could have always been the source of the script — but he can’t resist the opportunity to revise the story, which clearly violates the paradox block (sadly, paradox was powerless to stop “The Phantom Menace”).
  8. In the closing moments of the episode we see Dr. Chang and Miles welcome a team of scientists at the submarine dock, and one of them is our shaggy-haired-Charlotte-lover, Daniel Faraday! I’ve been obsessed with Faraday’s role in the 1977 plot line (I seem to reference that unconnected Faraday/Orchid scene from “Before You Left” in every review), so his reappearance certainly piques my curiosity — and opens up a big can of questions: When did Faraday leave the island? Is he a legitimate Dharma scientist or did he con his way onto the sub? Is he working with his mother, Eloise Hawking? Is he still wearing that skinny tie? There’s lots to consider here. (6-8 from The Lost Blog)
  9. Okay, now the meaty stuff. We get confirmation of two big things here: first, that someone (Miles) can absolutely positively exist twice in the same timeline – we already pretty much knew that, but there were still skeptics. Second, we learn that Chang is not only Miles’ father, but that he abandoned both him and his mother when he was just a baby. Daddy douchebag? Maybe. But then again, maybe not.

    All you ever really need to know about life can be found in the movie Point Break (this isn’t just opinion, it’s proven FACT). And all you ever really need to know about time travel can be found in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Time Cop. Matter can travel through time and space, but it cannot occupy the same time AND the same space at the same time. And if it does – well, really bad shit apparently happens. Bill Murray would tell you that shouldn’t cross the streams, either.

    Assuming this is true, perhaps this is the reason why Pierre Chang shoots his wife and baby back to the mainland like he’s launching skeet. Let’s go out on a limb and say that in the next episode or two, Chang realizes that grown-up Miles is really his son Miles. Remember how wigged out he got with the double-rabbit situation in the Orchid orientation video? Miles changing his own diaper would probably have similar catastrophic results. Couple this with the fact that the Swan hatch is currently being built – which means that the incident can’t be far off – and all kinds of crazy discoveries are about to happen with the Orchid… and the DI timeline is winding up to some pretty hairy stuff. I’m willing to bet Chang simply wanted to protect his family rather than abandon them. In watching the loving way he was reading Miles that polar bear book at the end of the episode, I can come up with no other conclusion. I’ll bet it all happened so fast that his mother never really knew it either, which is kinda sad.

  10. The Ewoks were a lot like Kate in that they totally ruined everything. Even as a child I knew those rocks and sticks weren’t penetrating stormtrooper helmets or armor, but somehow I suspended my disbelief long enough to swallow that whole 30 minutes of sappy kiddie-shit. Damn.

    The whole Hurley and Miles Star Wars scene was hilarious and awesome, but you should also take something a little bit more significant away from it. Hugo mentions having seen The Empire Strikes Back over 200 times. More repetition. More circles (Pierre Chang: “I wasn’t aware there were circles”). Then Hurley explains how he wants to send George Lucas a script with a couple of his own improvements. Miles tells him he’s being stupid. But is he?

    Just as Hugo knows the Rebel base on Hoth will be overrun by AT-AT’s (unarguably the best scene in any of the movies!) he also knows that Dharma will be overrun by the Others. He knows ahead of time that everyone’s going to die. Miles, Dan… both of these people have told Hurley that this is inevitable – it can’t be stopped no matter what they do. But here we have Hugo trying anyway, writing a new script, attempting to change certain things. Hurley’s silly belief that he can change this upcoming Star Wars movie is a reflection that he believes change can occur at all.

    Later on he tells Miles at the gas pump: “The best thing I ever did was give my dad a 2nd chance”. And while he is referring to Miles’ dad here, I’d suggest maybe Hugo’s also referring to the whole outcome of the Dharma purge. And do his words sink into Miles’ head? Maybe he somehow gets through to him, causing Miles to tell his father who he is. Maybe this leads to change… or maybe it leads Pierre Chang to hurriedly send his wife and kid off-island in order to avoid the ramifications of time travel, the purge, or anything else Miles might tell him about the near future. This makes Miles himself responsible for his own bastardization! Total craziness. (9-10 from DarkUFO)

  11. We’ve all seen now that Egyptian influences played a fairly larger role in the history of the island. With tonight’s episode we also saw the first glimpse that Dharma may have caught on to those historical influences as well, and appear to be studying the history and culture of the Egyptians as well. And as we all know, Dharma will later incorporate Egyptian hieroglyphics into the Clock of Doom in the Swan Station, though for what reasons we don’t know. (from Sledgeweb’s Lost…Stuff)
  12. One of the more interesting reveals in Some Like It Hoth was when Miles was Vannapped by good ole Bram, who we know from the Ajira plane crash. Bram seemed to make it quite clear that he was not working for Charles Widmore, nor should MIles work for ‘the wrong side.’ So if Bram isn’t batting for Widmore’s team, is he part of Ben’s ensemble? Or are Bram and Ilana part of a whole new group, with a whole new set of objectives for the island. I’m starting to get confused and lose track of who’s who here. Who’s side do you think Bram is on? (from Sledgeweb’s Lost…Stuff)
  13. These new people are frightening.  First of all there’s Ilana who looks like she might randomly shoot anyone who gets in her way.  Then there’s Bram, who is a behemoth and surprisingly talkative, that was very interesting how they brought him into the show.  I didn’t even expect him to talk when I first saw him.
    Anyways the point is that these people are new and important and they aren’t loyal to Ben or Widmore.  That leaves Ms. Hawking as the main suspect.  It seems very likely that she’s behind them.  She’s the person who chose Flight 316 and she made sure that everyone was on the flight. (from Not Confused Just Lost)

  1. Jake permalink
    April 16, 2009 1:07 pm

    You glossed over all the star wars references! That was the best part of the show!!

  2. April 16, 2009 1:17 pm

    what about number 7? The other Star Wars references were very obvious and didn’t really need explaining!

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