I hope this doesn't make me sound like a total flip-flop hypocrite, but I thought the latest episode of LOST was absolutely terrific.
Each of the three storylines - the Jack group, the Ben group, and the sideways - were all highly interesting, full of surprises, and superbly acted. There was never a point where they cut to a different storyline and I felt disappointed. How often can that be said of any LOST episode? The flash-sideways is finally coming along and not a moment too soon.
Don't get me wrong, I still loathed 'Across the Sea,' but in a few subtle ways this episode did redeem it. Not entirely, but enough to appease me and make me pumped up for Sunday's 150 minute finale. It was key that Jacob showed up and spoke directly to the Candidates, and I thought that scene was just absolutely awesome.
Before I say too much, let's break the penultimate LOST episode into its three parts and discuss them one at a time ...
The Flash Sideways
The episode opens with Jack's eye as he wakes up in his Los Angeles home. Quickly he notices in the mirror the recurring mysterious bleeding on his neck. This is the THIRD time something like this has happened, and each time it happened just minutes after he woke up if I'm not mistaken. I think there could be something to this.
Remember, when Locke was asleep at the hospital he was muttering "Push the button ... it's my destiny ..." and when Sun was semi-conscious she saw Locke and screamed in panic "It's him! It's him!" So here's my theory ...
Could it be that when the Timeline B Losties are asleep, their consciousnesses are skipped to the original timeline, to the world of the island. Maybe the island-world is buried deep within their sub-conscious mind, which as Freud tells us in The Interpretation of Dreams (a must-read!) is the origin of all dreams. When they 'wake up,' as we've seen Desmond and Hurley do, their sub-connscious becomes their conscious and they are fully aware of both realities.
So that begs the question: what are Desmond and Hurley up to? Is their plan to wake everyone up? Is that why Desmond is bringing Kate to the concert? Well let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
After Jack wakes up, his spazzy little son, who absolutely adores Jack every since their little heart-to-heart, is eating breakfast enthusiastically and gazing into his daddy's eyes. Pregnant Claire enters the room, says some stupid things, and then Desmond calls Jack pretending to be Oceanic Airlines and telling Jack to come to the airport to claim his father's body, which has been found. (?)
So why is Desmond bringing Jack to the airport? Christian's body isn't really there I'm guessing. Maybe Hurley is taking Sayid to the airport? That's my only guess, since we don't know of anyone else important who could be there.
Cut to Desmond in his car, who is watching Locke and I really though for a second he was going to run him down, again, which would have been HILARIOUS. But Dr. Ben Linus spots Desmond and is all "Hey you rascal, I'm gonna tell on you" and then Desmond is like "Maybe instead I'll punch your face in." It's kind of funny how no matter what Timeline it is, Ben is always getting his face punched in by somebody.
This scene was important though, as it was the beginning of Ben's "wake-up" experience, and also led to Locke being compelled to finally let Dr. Jack "fix him." (Just a hunch, but I think that when Locke can walk in Timeline B, something awesome is going to happen in Timeline A. Possibly John Locke rises from the dead and effectively kills the Smoke Monster. Just a guess.)
Desmond calmly drives away, to the police station where he turns himself in for his crimes. Busy day for Desmond. First he had to set up the plan with Hurley to bribe Ana Lucia, then he prank called Jack, beat up Ben, spent a few hours in jail, and is now headed to a concert with Kate. He's got a lot going on.
Ben tells Locke (the substitute) about how he needs to "let go" and Locke is freaked out. I love the contrast between Locke and Ben in Timeline B - just a couple of real nice guys - and Locke and Ben in Timeline A - a couple of ruthless killing machines. Only a couple of A+ actors like Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson could pull of playing two totally different roles in the same episode. As opposed to, say, Emilie de Ravin, who struggles to deliver 2 simple lines an episode.
In the LAPD scene, Miles is getting all ready to go to the benefit concert at his dad's museum. This might seem like a minute detail, but contraire. This concert is going to be the major reunion party of so many of our Lost characters. To list them:
-Jack Shepherd, with his son David
-David Shepherd's mom (I'm 98% convinced that she is Juliet, more on that later)
-Miles and his dad, Pierre Chang
-Charlotte, who works at the museum
-Charlotte's new boyfriend, Daniel Widmore (aka Faraday), who is playing piano in the concert
-Charlie Pace, rocking the bass. At the concert, he will see ...
-Claire! She'll tag along with her new brother Jack
-Desmond and Kate will surely be there
-Widmore and Eloise are there, supporting their son Daniel
-Penny, meeting up with Desmond
-Sawyer, who will go along with Miles because he's got nothing else to do
Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Ben and Danielle Rousseau (how weird/cool was it to see her normal?) go to the concert on their first official date, and Locke and Helen go with them as a double date. Bernard and Rose might be there too, because going to a concert at a museum seems like something they might do. Oh, and Sun and Jin will not be there, because they have a new baby. I don't think we'll ever see them again.
The lingering question is, where is Hurley driving Sayid? To the concert? To the airport? Maybe they need to stop and pick someone up on the way? We'll see.
Okay, here's my take on why Juliet is David Shepherd's mother:
A. We haven't seen her yet in the flash-sideways, but we've seen just about everyone else
B. We know David's mother will be at the concert
C. Her and Jack had a romantic history on the island
D. It didn't work out, thus why they got divorced in Timeline B
E. Jack would have been 21 when David was born, meaning he was in college, meaning he was probably involved with someone else in the medical field
F. Juliet is a doctor
G. And here's the kicker: At Juliet's house in Dharmaville, she had a mirror on the wall surrounded by hats. In David's mother's house in Timeline B, there was a similar mirror surrounded by hats. Coincidence? I think not.
Little things like that are why I love LOST. What other show would do something like that?
So Juliet is David's mother, and her and Jack have an awkward relationship, and she is single. Which means that, at the concert, she'll run into none other than Officer James Ford, and they'll hit it off instantly, sort of like when Desmond met Penny at the stadium or when Hurley met Libby. They'll "wake up" and Juliet will say the line we've been waiting for since LA X: "We could get coffee sometime. We could go dutch." That'll be fairly awesome. It'll be nice to see Happy Sawyer for the first time in a long time.
Oh, and at the concert, Claire's water will break, and labor will begin, and suddenly, rushing from her cervix, a monstrous cloud of black smoke will emerge. Just throwing that out there.
(Let's hope that's the last time I ever mention the word 'cervix' on this blog.)
And at some point after the concert, Jack will operate on Locke, and I speculate that those scenes will be shown in direct contrast with the on-island fight between Jack and Locke. That should be great.
So while nothing major happened in Timeline B in this episode, there was a ton of great set-up stuff in preparing for The End (that's the name of the finale). With the finale being 2.5 hours long, there should be a good 60 minutes devoted to Timeline B, enough for a full-length episode.
What we still need to find out:
-How did Timeline B come to exist?
-What is its purpose?
Also, less importantly:
-Where is Christian's body?
-Is Kate really innocent?
-Will Claire give birth?
-Will Jack fix Locke?
-What will happen when everyone "wakes up?"
Okay, that's enough. On to the island ...
Jack and the Gang
The 4 remaining candidates are gathered on the beach, angry and sad, and they head off towards the well. On the way, an emotional Sawyer agonizes about the deaths of Sun and Jin and Sayid, and Jack empathizes with him, (gasp!) and says, "No, He killed them."
At this point I said aloud, "Wow, Jack has come such a long way." Season One version of Jack would have turned on Sawyer with that stupid smirk on his face and yelled "Yes you did! you killed them! it's your fault! now give me those damn antibiotics!!!" I HATED Season One Jack, but Season Six Jack just might be my favorite character.
So on their way to the well, Young Jacob shows up and asks Hurley for the ashes that he's carrying around, and then he takes them and bolts away like a little stinker. Hurley chases him into the jungle and instead finds Adult Jacob, sitting peacefully by a fire, and he's all "Hello Hugo. We are very close to the end."
So we must assume that by obtaining his own ashes, Jacob temporarily came back to life, and will live as long as the fire burns. Whatever, I can live with that I guess.
The other 3 candidates find the fire and can actually see Jacob, and the stage is set for an epic conversation, and guess what ... the writers actually didn't let us down!! Jacob just sits there and rattles off answer after answer and astounds both the Losties and the audience with his awesomeness and makes me head explode.
"None of you had a happy existence. I chose you because you were all alone, all needing something that you couldn't find. You needed the island as much as it needed you." Boom!
Think about it ... was there anyone on Oceanic 815 who lived a happy, complete life?
Jack ... nope, he was a maniac.
Kate ... nope, she killed her dad.
Sawyer ... driven by revenge and hate.
Hurley ... cursed and alone.
Sayid - tortured torturer.
Sun & Jin - miserable marriage.
Boone, Shanon, Eko, Ana Lucia, Libby, John Locke - all severely messed up individuals.
Charlie. Michael. The list goes on.
Jacob wanted to give everyone what he didn't have - a choice - which alludes to one of the biggest recurring themes in LOST - free will versus fate.
We also find out that Kate's name was crossed off because she became a mother. That was a direct answer to a question and it actually made sense. Becomming a mother made her 'complete' or at least made it so Jacob didn't want to force her into being his replacement.
Jacob says that one of the 4 Candidates must replace him before the fire burns out, otherwise everyone is screwed, and without much hesitation, Jack says "I'll do it. It's my purpose."
Excellent! Did I mention that I love Jack?
So Jacob leads Jack to the river and they drink a little magic water (?) and Jacob says the same words his mother said to him: "Now you're like me." I'm not gonna get all hung up on the magic water thing ... it doesn't make any sense, but whatever, neither does time travel.
So Jack becomes the new protector of the Island while the other 3 watch in a combination of awe, confusion, and relief. Hurley says "I'm just glad it's not me."
Jack's mission - to protect the Source, and to kill the Monster.
Should make for an awesome finale.
Locke and Ben and the Barracks
Ben, Richard and Miles return from a four episode abscene and somehow are still on their way to the Barracks. I'm pretty sure that like 3 days have passed for everyone else and only like 2 hours for these guys, but whatever.
Before they enter Ben's old house, they walk past Alex's grave, and some unhappy memories are revived in Ben. Inside the house, Ben gives one of the coolest and most profound lines of the season:
"This is where I learned to summon the monster, until I found out that he was actually summoning me."
Wow. This is like one of those "it only ends once..." lines that you have to think about and re-read 5 times to really understand. So when Ben was 'summoning' the monster, was the monster actually coming out voluntarily, to give Ben the allusion that he was in control? So that he could deceive him later? I really don't know.
Richard tells Ben that he would like to "blow the plane to hell" and as Ben grabs the C-4 from the safe, they hear Widmore's annoying chick rummaging around in the kitchen. Charles is standing off to the side and gives his typical "She's with me" line, and arch-enemies Ben and Widmore stand face-to-face for the first time in years. And since Ben was just reminded of his daughter's death, the tension is pretty tight.
Widmore sends Zoe off to the dock to sink the outrigger and get "the stores" (?) but before she gets there, she sees Flocke paddling to shore, so she radios Widmore, and he's like "aw, shit."
Panic ensues, and everyone splits up. Miles runs through the jungle (taking a walkie-talkie with him) and we have no idea what he's up to, but maybe he'll stumle into the Jack group next week.
Widmore and Zoe hide in Ben's secret room.
And Ben and Richard go outside to face the Monster, believing he'll be open to some peaceful dialogue. Not exactly. One of my favorite characters, Richard Albert, is grabbed and thrown dastardly into a tree, bringing his 175+ years of life to a very abrupt end, while Ben watches calmly from the porch.
Flocke approaches Ben and says "Just the man I was hoping to see." Yeah, apparently he wasn't interested in talking to Richard.
While it was sad to see Richard die so harmlessly, it was his time. I'm over it.
It's at this point that Ben Linus the Bad Guy makes a surprising return, and agrees to kill whomever Flocke asks him to in exchange for leadership of the island. Ben Linus really fits the description of a psychopath - " abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral conduct." Bad Guy Ben leads Flocke into the house and opens the secret room, and then delivers a typical, awesome, Michael Emerson line - "Sorry, Charles."
Flocke promptly slits Zoe's throat and then turns on Widmore, with the always-effective threat of killing his daughter. Widmore gives into Flocke's demands instantly, and then ... BOOM! Ben unloads a pistol into Widmore's chest. "He doesn't get to save his daughter." Whoa.
Flocke says that Ben never ceases to amaze him, and the two head out on their killing fest. Flocke comments that he likes the feeling of his feet on the ground, reminding him that he's still human. What a creep.
At the well, Flocke finds that Desmond has been released (presumably by the Jack crew), and is surprisingly happy. Revealing what Widmore told him, Flocke says that Desmond is Jacob's fail-safe way to destroy the Island and prevent the Monster from ever leaving. Flocke tells Ben that he's going to use Desmond to do what he's always wanted to do but never could - "Destroy the island."
(This was quite similar to the way the episode 'Cabin Fever' ended, with Terry O'Quinn saying "He wants us to move the island.")
So, here are my thoughts ...
The fact that Jacob appeared to Widmore off the island and "invited" him to the island, instructed him to bring Desmond, and informed him about the Monster and the Source, makes SO much sense. I'm so glad they included that detail. It killed about 5 big questions with one stone.
Miles is now wandering around the jungle, joining Claire as the two characters who are MIA, could appear at any moment during the finale, and could die at a moment's notice. Oh, and don't forget Rose and Bernard, who may or may not have survived the 1977 explosion and moved into present day. They tend to show up for finales.
Oh, by the way, where did Desmond go?
I actually thought the Ben-Locke storyline was my favorite of this episode, although the other two storylines were excellent. I liked it because I didn't expect much from it. I didn't expect Richard, Zoe and Widmore to all die in a matter of minutes, and for Ben to switch allegiances with little prodding. Mostly, I liked it because it was Michael Emerson at his finest.
Don't you think Ben is going to be kind of pissed at Flocke, for telling him that he could have the Island, but then later vowing to destroy it. Kind of like telling a little kid you're going to buy him a new bike, but as soon as you buy it you're going to smash it to pieces. If I were Ben, I'd be a little upset.
Setting up for The End
"What They Died For" was certainly a set-up episode for the finale, but that's not all it was. In fact I'd say it was arguably the best set-up episode in LOST history, and there have been a lot of them. The stage is set for an awesome finale, and fortunately a lot of answers have already been given, so they can spend the majority of the time actually doing stuff.
So, what will they do? What is gonna happen? Everyone wants to know, how will the show end??
I'll just offer one thought on that, and it's this - the writers of LOST absolutely HATE being predictable. It's their number one goal in creating the show. To be original. To be virtually un-guessable.
For better or worse.
Last week we saw their efforts at creating a history of the Island that was unguessable. Their attempt at an Adam & Eve that were unguessable. "If the fans guess every single character in the world to be Adam & Eve, then I guess we'll have to introduce a brand new character and make her Eve." I really think that's what they said. And last week, it backfired.
But in the past, it's been awesome. With the hatch, and the Others, and Jacob, and the Smoke Monster, and countless other things, the writers have been so outlandish that it blows past out guesses and our theories and makes us say "dang! did they really just do that!?"
So all of the typical guesses for how LOST will end - time loop, death of MIB, someone has to choose between the timelines, Locke comes back from the dead - anything remotely predictable or even guessable - will not happen. That's my guess. My prediction is that the ending of LOST will be literally and utterly impossibly to predict.
That all being said, here are two predictions for what will happen in The End:
1. Something with Aaron. Not sure what. But something. In the original timeline. I think he'll be important.
2. Something with Walt. I really think we haven't seen the last of the bratty little guy. I don't know why. I just have a gut feeling that he'll show up. He's special.
That's all I got.