LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 13: “There’s No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3)”

2 06 2008

Well, how was that for a humdinger of a finale?  I can’t say that it was as mind-blowing for me as last season’s, but it was still greatly entertaining, and came with a ton of answers.  Let’s jump right in to the analysis:

“We have to go baaaack!”

I really dug the fact that they started this episode right where the end of last season left off.  It created a really neat bookend to the storyline of Season 4.  While some of the greater mysteries of the island and the series still remain unanswered, it feels as though all of the questions raised at the end of Season 3 and throughout Season 4 were put to bed in this episode.  Starting with who was the “he” that Kate needed to get back to?  That would be Aaron.

Meanwhile, on the freighter…

OK, I take that back.  Maybe not every question.  One of the things that really looks like a casualty of the writer’s strike is the whole Michael plotline.  I’ll get into some of the heftier details in a bit, but let’s start with all of the C4 on the freighter.  Keamy’s contraption notwithstanding, what the heck happened to the bomb that Michael bought on board?  It seems clear that the writers had planned all along for the freighter to blow up, but they seemed to change the method mid-season.  If the bomb that Michael brought on board served no purpose other than to see if he was ready to carry out Ben’s wishes…I’m just not buying it.  I wonder if the writers will address that in any commentary on the Season DVD set.

The Others take back the island

After seeing the 815 survivors on the business end of the Others’ wrath so many times, it was kinda cool to see them do their thing to the remaining freighter folk.  The whispers followed by sneak attacks out of trees with pea shooters?  Taking down a highly trained military group?  Fun stuff.  Of course, I would have liked to see Sayid instead of Richard take out Keamy (at least for the moment), it was a nice sequence.

“So we can go off the island, that’s it?”

Ben’s decisions to allow people to leave the island is becoming more and more understandable as the show progresses.  He knows, as we now do, that if you’re not meant to be on the island, then who cares if you leave?  But if you’re meant to be on the island, as it appears Kate and Sayid are, then the island will be pulling some strings to get you back.  Wanna get off the island?  Sure!  Go for it!  But I know you’ll be back…whether you want to or not.

“Gettin’ big dude”

Nice to see Walt in something more than a 2-second cameo.  I’m hoping that his little visit to Hurley in the insane asylum is a sign of things to come.  I’d like to see Walt be part of the group that tries to get back to the island…if for no other reason than I think we got short-changed on the Michael storyline, and I hope that it’s not dropped completely from the series.

Man of Science vs. Man of Faith Redux

Jack has always seemed to be on the short end of this argument, but never more so than the first hour and 59 minutes of this episode.  Locke plays the ultimate card when he tells Jack, “Lie to them…if you do it half as well as you lie to yourself, they’ll believe you.”  Jack is clearly stunned by the events happening around him, and simply can’t explain any of it.  But he holds on to his science…because he can’t allow himself to feel vulnerable.  He can’t allow himself to not try to fix the situation.  And it appears as though he couldn’t be more wrong…until the end of the episode.  But more on that later.

“I’m surprised you want to leave…”

Very intriguing banter between Miles and Charlotte.  As good ol’ Doc Jensen on EW surmised, Charlotte has indeed been to the island before.  And she’s not ready to leave yet, just like Miles.  But how does Miles know that Charlotte’s been there?  Clearly, Miles knows a lot more about what’s happening than he’s letting on, and it’ll be really interesting to learn more about him, Charlotte, and Faraday next season.

“If you mean time traveling bunnies, then yes.”

Well, I guess this is where LOST puts its cards on the table.  At least to me, up until this point LOST has walked a fine line between superscience and science fiction.  With time traveling, teleportation, and a disappearing island all happening on-screen, there is now no doubt that LOST has moved from “scripted Survivor” to true science fiction.  Part of me is sad to see it happen, as a show that could explain all of the happenings of the first few seasons through superscience alone would have been way cool.  But that’s not the case, and won’t be the case, so now it’s time to just enjoy the show for what it is.  I am curious, however, to see how this play affects next season’s ratings.  I think we’ve already lost all of the viewers that we were going to lose by such a move, but now that it’s done, I’d like to see if that matches reality.

Sawyer takes one for the team

But not before making a request of Kate and stealing a kiss.  That Sawyer, what chivalrous fellow.  I bet he won a ton of points with the ladies for that move.  Not that he really needed to…

“Bentham’s dead.  They said it was suicide.”

So…a mystery to unravel for next season.  Who killed Mr. Bentham, and why was it made to be a suicide?  And who are “they”?  Something to keep in mind when we approach the start of Season 5 in about 8 months,,,

Michael and Jin meet their maker 

Crazy sequence with the freighter and the chopper to start off the second hour.  With almost all of the remaining Flight 815 survivors on the freighter, Keamy’s contraption goes off, killing everyone on board, including Michael and Jin.  Michael does a great job of nearly redeeming himself, and gives the Oceanic 6 enough time to refuel in order to see the iasland disappear and get back to the mainland.  But Michael’s return seems almost completely for naught.

Of course Jin is an entirely different story.  When we had the flashforward earlier this season that showed his gravesite, I had hoped that it was just from him deciding to stay on the island, and that his absence was all part of the ruse that the Oceanic 6 was putting on for everyone.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.  Jin was right on deck when the explosion ripped through the freighter’s hull.  There’s no doubt that he’s gone.  The real question is, when you couple Michael & Jin’s death with Locke’s, is “will anyone live through the series finale?  Much death this season…it seems as though more primary and secondary characters died in this season than in any other…

“Good-bye John, sorry I made your life so miserable.”

Do you believe anything that Ben said in his farewell speech to Locke?  I sure don’t.  The man is an accomplished liar, and I don’t think that changes just because he’s about to turn the frozen donkey wheel.  I think he wants off the island because he doesn’t want to be around for the after-effects of moving it.  And I’m pretty convinced that he can come back.  I’m sure he’ll be testing that theory next season.

And the island goes bye-bye

Science fiction or not, that frozen donkey wheel scene was cool.  The island disappearing in a ball of light was pretty freakin’ awesome, and the special effects folks should be commended.  Good stuff.

And while we’re on the topic, let’s talk some more about the frozen donkey wheel.  Clearly, Ben not only time traveled in this scene, but teleported as well–right into the Sahara Desert as we saw earlier in “The Shape of Things To Come”.  But what strikes me the most about this scene is that it may very well explain *why* there were polar bears on the island.  (The “how” still remains a bit of a mystery.)  It seems to me that the Dharma folks, or perhaps someone else, were training the bears (and probably other animals) to trigger some of the more hairy contraptions on the island.  Why turn the frozen donkey wheel yourself when you can have a polar bear do it for you?  I think that all of the cages on the “side island” were all to train animals to do some of the more tricky tasks on the main island.  The remaining question is…how did they get there in the first place?

The Oceanic 6 are one lucky group

First, they survive a plane crash on the island.  But while that could be explained by the island’s mystical properties, how do you explain them surviving the helicopter crash with the island somewhere else in space and time?  Those 815ers are crazy lucky I tell ya.  Or…maybe the island’s protecting them the same way it protected Michael?  Hmmm…

“There’s a boat!”

Anyone else feel like it was the Season 1 finale all over again when the boat came up on the Oceanic 6?  I half-expected the Others to pop out when they finally came up on it.  But instead…

“Penny!”

Here’s one I completely didn’t expect.  I thought for sure that we wouldn’t get to see this reunion until the last season.  And while the reunion was indeed touching, it makes me wonder how much of Penny or Desmond we’ll see next season.  It looks like that storyline has come to a close.  At least it ended happily!

Jeremy Bentham = John Locke = the man in the coffin

Anyone see that one coming?  (Those of you that weren’t spoiled, that is.)  I can’t say that I did, but then again, that’s what makes LOST so great…there’s always another curve ball in the bag of tricks.  But Locke was one of the show’s favorite (and might I say best) characters.  Unless there’s a trick way of keeping him on the show despite his death, then the show won’t be quite the same.  Oh, and one last thing about Locke/Bentham…while I’m typically not the type to mess around with name association and literary references in this space, let me just gently push you in a certain direction.  As a guy with a poli-sci major, i would be remiss if i didn’t recommend that you do a little Google research on John Locke and Jeremy Bentham, and their respective philosophies.  There might be a nugget or two there for some of you that like to dig into those types of nuances.

Post-Season questions

What will season 5 be about?

Typically, the previous season ends with a clear idea of what the next one will be about.  This one was a bit fuzzy, but I’d venture to guess that it’ll be about the Oceanic 6 (and a few others) trying to find their way back to the island.

How do the Oceanic 6 return to the island?

This is the $64,000 question, isn’t it?  Since Ben was teleported off the island at the time it was moved, and the others simply saw it vanish before their eyes, no one really knows where (or when) it is.  Locke probably knew, considering he came mainland after the island was moved.  But that also explains why Jack was so upset to read about his death.  He was the only one that knew where the island was and how they could get back.

Where’d the island go?

It’ll be interesting to see if it moved only through time, or if it also moved through space.  Maybe now it’s somewhere really cold?

What’s Locke’s story?

Tracking Locke’s journey from new leader of the Others with the island in a new locale to his trip back mainland as Jeremy Bentham and into a coffin will likely be one of the more intriguing stories of season 5.  I’m looking forward to how that all shakes out.

Overall, I think it was a great end to the season, even if it wasn’t as spectacular as the Season 3 finale.  I’m curious to hear what you think!  Give me your thoughts on the finale (including anything I may have missed), Season 4 as a whole, and what you think we can expect next year!