On several re-watches of the episode, I started to realize there was a lot more going on than I originally thought.
One thing that's important to remember is LOST's Canada deception! It's well known that every other reference to Canada or being Canadian on LOST (and there are many), is indicative of deception.
- Kate claimed to be from Canada in "Tabula Rasa".
- Ethan in "Raised by Another" claimed to be from Ontario.
- Sawyer claims to have an investor in Toronto in "Confidence Man", but this was part of his con.
- Anthony Cooper also claimed to be from Ontario in "The Man from Tallahassee".
- In "Through the Looking Glass", Ben tells the Others that Greta and Bonnie were on assignment in Canada when they were actually manning the Looking Glass station.
- Ben uses a fake Canadian passport in "The Shape of Things to Come".
- Widmore gives Locke a fake Canadian passport issued in Vancouver, BC in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham".
- In "Sundown" Sayid tells his niece and nephew that he has to go to Toronto, to work. There's no direct evidence to suggest that Sayid is lying, although there is an implication that Sayid may be lying about being a corporate translator (what corporate translators have a lot of money?) and may still be working for the CIA.
It stands to reason that Nathan's probably not Canadian at all, or if he is (making him the only true Canadian in the entire series), then he was being deceptive in some other way.
The Canada deception was used quite effectively in Season 1. So much so that when he first says that's where he's from, we became instantly suspicious.This does not mean he wasn't on the plane - indeed he almost definitely was (though he suspiciously claimed he was in the toilet for several hours). I should also add that flight attendant Cindy who is "very good with faces", said she didn't see him on the plane either.
Other characters make reference to him being on the beach during the rescue so we know he was there (as was Goodwin by the way). Yet, despite seeing every other Tailie survivor, there is not a single frame from those scenes with him in it.
Viewers first see him exactly 10 minutes into the episode, next to Ana Lucia and seconds before several Others are heard nearby waking up the survivors as Eko kills two of them (triggering his 40 days of silence).
WE do however see all the other characters, Eko, Libby, Ana Lucia, Cindy, Bernard (even Goodwin) etc in the initial crash scenes but not Nathan. This seems a deliberate act on the part of the writers to connect him with the Others that infiltrated the camp by showing him to us at the same time they appear.
This then leads to the question...
IS IT POSSIBLE NATHAN WAS PURPOSELY DEFLECTING ATTENTION AND/OR COVERING UP FOR GOODWIN SO HE WOULD NOT BE CAUGHT OUT BY AN INCREASINGLY PARANOID ANA LUCIA?
Watch very carefully at the looks that Goodwin and Nathan give each other thoughout the episode. It seems as if they have a previous familiarity with each other. Over time these turn into looks of frustration (with each other and/or the increasingly difficult/dangerous Ana Lucia). Even before he's put into the hole, Nathan seems scared, possibly worried he's about to blow his cover. The frustration with Goodwin palpable for having to take all the flack for protecting him. He's clearly scared for his life!This makes me particularly suspicious...
Goodwin: Ana Lucia's -- I think we all think that she's going to hurt you. Now, you need to get away from here. There's some fruit in there, now just go.
Nathan: Which way's the beach?
Why would he ask that question when he knows the beach is more dangerous than where they were at that time? Afterall, it was on the beach that the Others attacked them. None of the other Tailies in his predicament would CHOOSE to go back to the beach after what they went through. (Also, it was Nathan's idea to light the fire there in the first place, leading the Others right to them!)
Consider this also; the Others knew that the beach was the safest place from the Smoke Monster. There is not a single scene in all six seasons where we see the monster on the actual beach itself (not in smoke form anyway). Only in the woodland nearby. The Tailies however weren't threatened (or even knew of) the Smoke Monster at that point. Their only threat were the Others who attacked them on the beach time and time again.
So then why was Nathan referred to as a bad person by both Goodwin and Ben?
Is it possible that (while previously living amongst the Others), Nathan took a liking to Juliet? As Goodwin was having an affair with her at the time, and Ben's affections for her well known, their individual jealousy would explain their animosity.Or did Nathan somehow conspire with Widmore in some way? If he was Widmore's victim, could he have divulged information to him that he was not supposed to (perhaps under duress/torture)?
Or was he sent by Widmore ahead of his mercenary team that was sent weeks later to assist them in locating Ben once they got there? This would definitely explain why he's called a 'bad person' by both men. The common goal of not blowing each others cover would explain their game of cat and mouse.
This links directly to another bit of evidence I'd like to throw into the mix... ie: what Goodwin says to Ana Lucia when she catches him out. He says that Nathan wasn't on the list (of names she found on the Other that was murdered) because he wasn't a good person. But hold on. Everyone else was on the list, including Goodwin himself (obviously to reduce suspicion on himself) - so were the Others setting Nathan up out of spite? We know Ben didn't like him for some reason.
Remember, Ben also didn't like Goodwin which is why he sent him in the first place. He kept him there long enough to arouse Ana Lucia's suspicion leading directly to his death - making Juliet his again.
Ben also later tells Juliet (in one of her flashbacks) that Goodwin was "making a case" for Ana Lucia to join them. But the obvious question here is - when did Goodwin have time to talk to Ben at all? If he had ever gone away, Ana Lucia would've noticed. They have a 'system' for that! Goodwin was doing all he could to avoid suspicion.
Who does dissapear though? You guessed it. Nathan. For over 2 hours. We're never shown why.And then there's the accent...
He does not sound Canadian!!!
When first caged, he yells 'let me out' several times. There's absolutely no evidence of accent! (Most Canadians have a very distinctive way of pronouncing the word 'out'). This could be put down to poor acting by Josh Randall - but I doubt it very much. His acting is flawless throughout the episode.
Remember... This is LOST. It's unlikely the director would have let this pass. After all, Evangeline Lilly (who plays Kate) is Canadian in real life and she spent six seasons masking her accent quite effectively - even, and this is key, when she masqueraded as a Canadian while in Australia to fool the Aussie farmer... the actress maintained her American accent. Adding credibility to the importance of accents on LOST, the producers discuss the matter on the commentary track for the Pilot episode (DVD and Blu-Ray). They had to work very hard with Eve to remove her Canadian accent which at the start of Series 1 was very strong - despite the fact her character was pretending to be one in several scenes.
Nathan says 'out' three times and each time it sounds 100% American with not even a hint of anything else. I can't help but think this was deliberate.
Of course we could just accept the story on face value that he's indeed the only Canadian on the show, in Australia for a work conference, and that he is just naturally belligerant, even though he knows Ana Lucia is dangerous, and chooses to put himself in harms way with his behavior because he doesn't like taking orders. This is possible...
But - LOST in my experience is never ever that simple.Any normal person would have heeded the warning signs if only to protect themself. Instead, Nathan defies Ana Lucia to the point of death. Indeed she was hours away from killing him before Goodwin beat her to it (perhaps feeling that he was about to take him down with him)!
Are we really to believe Nathan is the only real Canadian in six seasons of Lost when the writers have been so consistent with the oft used 'Canada Deception' (both before and after this episode)?
I believe there are compelling arguments that there is more to this enigmatic character than meets the eye. It's not just me either...
PEARSON MOORE: "We don't know with certainty that Nathan was one of the Others, though particulars of circumstance indicate that he was."
To recap, Nathan;
- says he is Canadian (on a TV show where all references to Canada involve deception)
- is devoid of any obvious Canadian accent
- is belligerent to the point of death
- asks where the beach is when he's freed by Goodwin despite the fact that everyone from his camp believed the beach was the most dangerous place of all, (a true Other would know that the beach is the safest place from the Smoke Monster)
- is killed by Goodwin seemingly unnecessarily if he really is who he says he is...
...to name but a few things on the list of evidence that cast doubt on this character.
Was he an Other, Widmore's victim, a member of one of Jacob's many groups or Widmore's spy? What I'm least convinced of however is that he's Canadian. Which of course leads back to the original question I posed...
Who is he?
The rabbit hole that is LOST, I think you'll find, goes way way deeper than any of us think!