Young Miles talks to dead people. He was adorable and frightened out of his gourd long before Haley Joel Osment and his sixth sense became part of our everyday vernacular.
Still adorable, but now with his gourd heavily pierced, Miles pays his ailing mother a visit, begging her to answer the difficult questions most young adults struggle with: "What is my purpose?" "Will I ever fall in love?" "What will I be when I grow up?" And, of course, "Why do dead people converse with me? Where's my dead dad's body?"(Heather likened Miles' studded, punk appearance to Rufio, King of All the Lost Boys, from the movie Hook. Heather is a genius.)
No longer goth, but clearly working toward being upwardly mobile (i.e. rich!), Miles puts his Ghost Whisperer abilities to use and scams a grieving Mr. Gray. "Yes, your son loved you--now pay up!" Apparently Miles in unable to communicate with the ashes of dead people, so he puts on a feeble game face and soothes Mr. Gray's worried soul. I'd like to say Miles did the right thing by telling Mr. Gray what he wanted to hear. But he demaded a larger payout for his lie. That's just all kinds of wrong, Miles. Greedy is thy middle name!
Showing little remorse, Miles leaves Mr. Gray and has a not-so-causal encounter with Naomi, whom we all know and love as the Parachute Pro. Miles is really digging Naomi's cheese, too. He agrees to a little testing of sorts, which he passes with flying colors. (Oh, Felix...poor, dead Felix...but hey, thanks for giving Miles the scoop on the staged wreckage of Oceanic 815! Was Widmore behind it, or was he merely interested in all those purchase orders?
When Naomi asks him to "Help us find a man," Miles is all, "Um, no." Naomi sings Miles a tune called "$1.6 Million, Baby" and he all but shouts back, "You are the pied piper and I will follow wherever you lead." Of course, Naomi is island bound, and now, so is Miles. With a fat wallet.
I enjoy a good fish taco as much as the next person, so I do not blame Miles' ire at being van-napped by Brawny Bram, who proceeds to toss out intel such as "Widmore is bad!" and "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Miles' curiosity might not have been piqued, but mine certainly was! Bram explains to Miles that he is capable of revealing the answers Miles has been searching for--his ability to converse with dead people, the real deal behind what went down with his father, and maybe even who actually shot Kennedy. Miles isn't taking the bait, but tells Bram, "OK--I'll refuse the island vacation if you'll pay up--$3.2 million, baby."
Brawny Bram is not the pied piper...he has no tune for Miles to follow. Instead Miles is tossed aside, much like his fish taco. Before the van screeches away, Bram does a little cheer for Miles: Our team is gonna win! Bring it on, Bram! Bring it!
I was thisclose to preaching the "Love of money is the root of all evil" sermon to Miles, but he then paid another visit to Mr. Gray. And by "paid," I mean Miles returned Mr. Gray's money, but not before getting huffy and stomping all over Mr. Gray's heart: "You should have told him (Gray's son) you loved him while he was still living." Ouch!
And we now add Miles to the "Extreme Daddy Issues" club, whose membership is already comprised of Sawyer, Jack, Kate, Hurley, Ben, and Locke. I'm going to make them t-shirts.
Let's resume life on the island...
Wow, Tommy Lasorda is the new manager of the Dodgers! And Miles is so wrapped up in the news that he forgets to delete Sawyer & Kate's Rescue of Ben Shenanigans from the security video. Or maybe he was dumbfounded by Horace's hair?
There have been moments during the past four seasons of Lost when I've questioned the legitimacy of the Dharma Initiative, believing the whole enterprise to be a cult cloaked in the guise of science and research. Horace's little "Circle of Trust" speech confirms this for me. As soon as he finished barking out orders, reminding Miles of the Circle's "no questions asked" policy, I fully expected Horace to add, "Oh, and we'll practice trust falls and sing Kumbayah 'round the campfire later tonight." Miles, dude...if you're offered a refreshing glass of cherry Kool-Aid, run the other way!
The "no questions asked policy" includes delivery of a dead body to Dr. Chang. Oh, and Hurley comes along, toting coolers full of gourmet sandwiches. We know they're gourmet because Chef Hugo prepared them with a fancy-schmancy garlic mayonnaise. Too bad Alvarez missed out. I'm thinking he'd have preferred a ham and cheese sammy to a bullet in the head. Who wouldn't?
Roger "Workman" Linus discovers his boy, Ben, has gone missing, and Juliet's attempts at easing Roger's worried mind fail. When one is bereft on this island, the usual location for the drowning of the sorrows is the Dharma Playground. Where all insightful conversations take place. While drinking a Dharma beer, naturally. (Let me pause for a second and out the obvious anachronism. I'm showing my age here, but when I was a kid in the late 70's, our canned drinks had pull-tab openings. Many summers were spent at the lake with my mother warning, "Watch for drink tabs or you'll cut your feet!" Lost prop team--we'll forgive you this oversight. OK, I'm through.) Kate's concern for Ben immediately rouses Roger's suspicions. Of course.
Next, in the grand tradition that is the budding comedy routine between Miles and Hurley, we have some of my favorite moments of the night, during their jaunt to deliver Dead Alvarez to Dr. Chang: a fart reference, Hurley gushing, "You talk to dead people? I can, too!" and Albert Hammonds singing "It Never Rains In Southern California" on the 8-track. Awesome! (And don't think I didn't love hearing Captain & Tenille in this episode--because I did.)
Hurley: Dude, that guy's a total douche!
Miles: That douche is my dad.
Oh, snap! Y'all can judge all you want, but Hurley calling Pierre a "douche" is just good programming.
A drunk Roger finds Jack pulling his slack in the Dharma Schoolhouse. Roger inquires of Jack, "Do you know Kate?" And Jack's all, "In the Biblical sense?" OK, not really, but Jack proceeds to psychoanalize Roger, assuring him that Kate is a down girl. For a brief moment, I felt a tug of sadness for Jack. No longer the island bigshoot, he's been reduced to taking orders from Sawyer, pushing a bucket of dirty mop water, and defending Kate's honor to the man who fathered Benjamin Linus. Oh, and he has neither Juliet nor Kate in his kissing corner. Jack needs some lovin'. Just throwing that out there. I'm also hoping for redemption for Jack before this season is over. When he eventually grows a pair (and he will, I'm sure of it) I hope his big heroic moment is worth the wait. And I hope he's not wearing that drab Dharma jumpsuit when it happens.
Hurley lets Dr. Chang ride shotgun as Miles chauffeurs them to the construction of the The Swan, also known as Season 2's Hatch. During the trip Hurley presses Dr. Chang for information, and we then learn of the 3 month old version of Miles. ("Small world!" exclaims Hurley.) We also learn that Chang loves him some country tunes, which clearly horrifies Miles, who at that moment was probably longing for his punk/Goth days.
The Numbers have been making appearances in this episode (more on that later), but we see them together for the first time, as 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 are being stamped into the Hatch's lid. Oh, the numbers...will we ever learn their importance? On their jouney back to Dharma Village, Miles and Hurley have the conversation I refer to as Why I Want To Marry Hurley, Part 2:
Hurley is writing The Empire Strikes Back, making a few changes as a "favor" to George Lucas. Using his own story about his father's departure during his childhood, as well as Luke and Darth Vader's serious familial struggles, Hurley discusses the "Daddy Issue" situation between Miles and Dr. Chang. Hurley is brilliant. Especially for saying, "The Ewoks suck, dude." Yes, I am totally in love with Hurley.
Back in Dharmaville, Sawyer comes home from a hard day's work and wants nothing more than to unload on Juliet. In more ways than one, I'm certain. (Ahem.) But Jack is there, informing Juliet of Roger's suspicions of Kate. Way to kill the mood, Doc. Before Sawyer can get kick back and relax, Phil bounds up on LeFleur's porch, exclaiming, "I'm telling on you!" (Darn that Miles for not erasing the monitoring tape!) Clearly Phil has underestimated The Head of Security, and within seconds Phil is facedown on the floor. And do we love that Saywer and Juliet keep restraining rope in their Dharma domicile? We do.
Despite what his mother has previously told him, Miles gets a firsthand view of a father who not only adored him, but also lovingly read him kiddie polar bear tales. (While he's dressed in a Dharma onesie, coming soon to a Hot Topic near you, I'm certain.) We see Miles surly demeanor crumble when his father asks for help, stating, "Miles, I need you." Miles' choaked response, "You do?" was brilliantly played by Ken Leung. There's a lot more to the father/son dynamic between these two, but Miles now has a small bit of resolution to his daddy issues. Awwwww.
A team of scientists has arrived to the island from Ann Arbor and the very first thought I was was, "If we see the DeGroots I'll run circles around my house!" Alas, I stayed firmly ensconced in my warm bed. Until I saw him:
Now most of you were probably impressed at seeing our beloved Daniel Faraday once again, especially with his greeting to Miles: "Long time no see!" I, however, was ready to run circles around my house. Please love this moment with me, because it's a Very Big Deal...for the very first time ever, Daniel is not rocking the skinny tie. Amazing! Cue the end credits.
While watching this episode I was struck by the many references to the numbers--4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42:
*The time, 3:16, on the microwave in the apartment, in the opening scene. (16, of course, and 316 being the flight number on Ajira Airways, which brought the gang back to the island.)
*Horace tells Miles to retrieve a package from Grid 334.
*The mention of Miles' $1.6 million payout.
*The Sports Illustrated Cover of Tommy Lasorda--"After 23 years..."
*Security camera 4.
*The dead man, discovered by young Miles, in Apartment 4.
There are most likely more mentions of the numbers (please be sure to comment if you caught any!), and since this episode was so heavy with them, I have to believe they are coming into play once again.
Finally...my favorite moment in this episode actually did not occur during the show. Bear with me for a moment while my Science Fiction-loving self gets a little giddy on y'all. After Juliet lies to Roger about not knowing anything regarding Young Ben's disappearance, Roger storms out of the infirmary, shouting, "I'm getting security." Juliet turns to Kate and says, "Well...here we go." Immediately following her pronouncement, we cut to a commercial for the new Star Trek film, produced by Lost's own Damon Lindelof and directed by Lost's creator, J.J. Abrams. Well-played, y'all. You had me squeeing, most definitely. "Here we go," indeed.
Lingering episode questions for the sussing:
*How, why, and when did Daniel leave the island? And is it true that "whatever happened, happened" or is Daniel trying to change the timeline?
*What's this Bram the van-napper up to? Whom is he working for? What's all this team stuff he's going on about? Why didn't he offer to buy Miles a new fish taco?
*Was the "incident" the reason for Miles and his mother's departure from the island? Why did Lara and Pierre part on bad terms?
Let's discuss, please.
A sidenote from me--the last few days have been super crazy for me and my family. I cannot even being to tell you how busy we've been, hence the reason for the delay in getting this post up. Thanks for your patience. Forgive any mistakes I've made, too!