LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 9: “The Shape of Things to Come”

25 04 2008

Is it great to have LOST back, or what?  I think the whole Smoke Monster showdown came off as a bit of a disappointment, but there was so much good stuff packed into this episode that it showed once again that even when the show is not at the absolute top of its game, LOST is miles ahead of anything else on TV today.  Let’s check it out:

 “The Shape of Things to Come”

Well, the obvious meaning in this episode refers to changed tactics in the war between Charles Widmore and Ben Linus due to the death of Alex (more on that later).  But occasionally, the writers love to throw us some double-meanings.  So, could they be talking about the smoke monster?  Is there something else going on that they want to hint at?  Nah, I don’t think so.

“Got a prescription for that?”

Jack’s feeling a little under the weather, and the preview for next week’s episode makes it look like he’s got appendicitis. I think we’ve got the setup for a Man of Science vs. a Man of Faith scenario again.  Locke uses the island to help him get better, but Jack must rely on his knowledge and medication.  Maybe some interesting questions about the island’s healing power will be answered next week, as the island taunts Jack: “Physician, heal thyself.”

The freighter doctor washes ashore

But is later found out to be “OK” on the freighter.  Because of all of the other amazing, more straightforward moments in this episode, the significance of this moment may have been missed.  Let’s break it down for a moment.  First of all, with the doctor still alive on the freighter at current “island time”, it’s clear that the time difference that Faraday observed earlier this season is not linear.  The path you take to get to and from the island is extremely crucial with respect to when you will appear at your destination.  Faraday’s rocket took a path that determined that it would show up slightly after it was launched from the freighter.  The doctor’s path through the ocean determined that he would show up on the island even before his death on the freighter.  This could create a very interesting scenario for folks on the island, which I’ll write more about in just a bit.

The freighter folk are responsible for the deaths of Karl and Rousseau

Not a major shocker, but it confirms 2 things: WIdmore is willing to do anything to gain (or re-gain, as the case may be) control of the island, and the Others are not into shooting their own for the heck of it.  Ben’s culpability, however, is still up for debate.  I’ll get into the details of that towards the end of the recap.

Ben takes a ride on the Frozen Donkey Wheel

Alright, far be it from me to toot my own horn, but it’s beginning to look a lot like my prediction for the frozen donkey wheel scene may in fact be on target.  Ben appears in the middle of the Sahara desert shivering and with a Dharma parka on?  As much as I thought that teleportation in LOST might be a reach, I can’t imagine what else it could have been that we witnessed.  Ben’s got a teleporter, and he knows how to use it.  I have very little doubt now that our Oceanic 6 are going to use it to get themselves off the island in the season finale.  One last thing to touch on from this scene: Ben’s got a nasty gash on his arm that seems pretty fresh.  It certainly looks like he was under duress as he was using the teleporter.  That’ll be an interesting thing to keep an eye on in future episodes as we try to piece back the sequence of events.

Claire survives a rocket being launched into her house

With bodies dropping left and right all around her, I don’t think this event is insignificant.  And if I might be so bold as to go out on a limb with another crazy prediction, let me expound on an item I discussed earlier: the freighter doctor and his timeline.  If the doctor can arrive on the island before his death off the island, then anyone could be on the island before events that they are a part of afterwards.  And thus, they could already have a “destiny” of sorts…things that they have yet to fulfill, but that are etched in time because they’ve already happened.  What if Claire is one of those people?  What if Claire can’t die on the island because she still has future events to enact off the island? 

Think of it this way: what if the Claire we know on the island now is not the same Claire that we saw crash on the island with the rest of the Flight 815 counterparts?  And if that doesn’t make sense, or you wonder how Claire could have been replaced, remember this: the Others did capture Claire back in the first season.  No telling what exactly happened while she was with them.  Just something to think about… 

Keamy murders Alex

Totally didn’t see that one coming.  Ben’s bluff is called, and yet another interesting secondary character is no longer among the living.  But was it really a bluff?  Ben willing sent his daughter, Karl, and Rousseau out into the jungle, and if you think he didn’t know that the freighter folk were coming even before the signal was tripped, you haven’t been paying attention.  It’s not to say that Ben didn’t care about Alex, but a) he felt betrayed by her due to the events that transpired at the end of last season, and b) he wasn’t willing to risk his position of control on the island to save her.  And now, he’s using the experience to take the “game” he’s playing with Widmore to the next level.  Ben’s never without a plan, and it certainly seems like he may have had this outcome in his sights all along.

Ben and Sayid begin their sordid relationship

A couple of things to touch on here.  First, it’s awesome that the writers are answering questions left and right this season, even the ones that they start within the season itself.  “How did Sayid start working for Ben?” is no longer an unanswered question of the show.  Second, Ben once again exerts his manipulative abilities on an unwitting soul.  Poor Sayid…I wonder what will happen if he ever finds out that he’s being played…

The Smoke Monster is back…

…and Ben seems to have control of it in some fashion.  Clearly, he was again lying when he said earlier this season to Locke that he didn’t know what it was.  Does this guy ever tell the truth?  With every episode, I’m becoming more and more convinced that he’s not one of the “good guys”, even if he believes it in his own mind.

Ben and Widmore put their cards on the table

…sort of.  Quite an interesting conversation to close the episode, as we get just a slight bit more information on the motivation of the kings in this chess match.  And it raises a few questions, such as:

Who will find their target first, Ben or Widmore?

Not that I expect an answer to this anytime soon, but it makes it more fun to have a better understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Is Claire death-proof on the island?

A huge explosion in the house she was in, and not a scratch on her?  There’s something really interesting going on with her.

Will Jack succumb to faith in the island, or will he stick to his science?

His illness appears to be life-threatening, so it’ll be interesting to see the manner in which he survives (since we know that he does since he makes it off the island).

When do we get to see the Orchid station and the Temple?

And could they be one in the same?  The season ahead promises to be filled with incredible story-telling, and I can’t wait for the next episode!

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One response

28 04 2008
congested

Nice theories and recap. Never thought about the stuff with Ben possibly being tied to the FDW or the O6 leaving the island.

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