LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 9: “Namaste”

19 03 2009

Halftime’s over!  Yep, Season 5’s mid-season one-week hiatus has come to an end, and the second half of the season officially kicked off with “Namaste”.  This episode once again felt like old LOST to me, but in addition to that, it seemed like it was one of those pawn-placing episodes.  Not that it wasn’t a fun episode in and of it’s own right, but it certainly seems as though we’re getting people in the right places for some serious kick-ass stuff to happen in the episodes to come.  Just the fantastic juxtaposition of Ben and Sayid alone in contrast to their Season 2 situation was incredibly intriguing.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s start at the beginning…

Ajira Flight 316…

flight316

I actually didn’t think that we’d see this plane in the air ever again, but I’m sure glad we did!  Not only did we get definitive proof that Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sayid were zapped off the plane before it landed (did that happen on Flight 815 as well?), but we got to see the landing strip that Sawyer, Kate, and the Others were building back in Season 3.  Clearly, someone (Jacob?) knew that the plane was coming to the island, and they wanted to make sure that it came down without too much death and destruction (the co-pilot notwithstanding).  By the way, I enjoyed the last little dig about Hurley’s fame back on the mainland.  Of course, I’m guessing that 90% of the action from here to the end of the series will be on the island, so that may be the last time we hear about that (except for maybe Hurley’s flashback episode).  Oh, and before I move on to the next topic, how cool was the scene of Lapidus landing the plane?  Wow, nice use of the special effects budget.  That was an intense scene!

Of course, re-visiting the plane brings me to one of the big burning questions I have surrounding this season: Why did only Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid get transported back to 1977?  And as a corollary, why did the Others not get transported through time when the frozen donkey wheel get knocked off its axis?  With all of the other action going on, it becomes very easy to gloss over that question.  But it’s way too convenient too be shrugged off as a random coincidence.  I really hope that they revisit this at some point and give us a fairly reasonable explanation as to why certain people are flashing/jumping through time, while others are not.

“Uh…what?”

hurleyhugssawyer

It was really cool to see the reunion between Sawyer, Hurley, Jack, and Kate.  The emotions and reactions they show to each other really tell alot about where they are and where things might go from here.  Sawyer and Hurley seem truly happy to see each other, while Sawyer and Jack appear to share nothing more than a truly uneasy moment together.  And if Sawyer still has any feelings for Kate after spending the last 3 years with Juliet, he’s sure not showing it.  Of course, I get the feeling that this is the last of the pleasantries we’ll see from the Flight 815 survivors.  Pretty soon, I’m guessing that they’ll all be looking to pursue their own destinies with the island, no matter what the cost.

“I gotta find a way to bring ’em in before somebody else finds ’em and they screw up everything we got here.”

I absolutely loved this exchange between Juliet and Sawyer.  Juliet is clearly shaken by the return of Jack, Kate, and Hurley.  Presumably (OK, almost certainly) because she sees Kate as a threat to what she’s established with Sawyer.  But Sawyer recognizes this even in his rush to keep the 3 disguised, and he takes a moment to ease Juliet’s fears in the best way possible: by showing her that he feels exactly the same way about what they’ve established.  Yet another way that Sawyer’s shown how much he’s grown since the beginning of the series…at least until the second-to-last scene of the episode…

It’s Radzinsky!

radzinskyandtheswanmodel

You know, the guy that supposedly blew his brains out and left a blood stain in the Swan station?  And he’s building a model of the Swan station!  Interesting.  It appears as though the station is not yet built, and that we might just get to see it built as the season progresses.  And hopefully, as we do, we’ll get to see if it gets built on top of the area where Jughead (the massive bomb) was buried.  Of course, if it is, then it’ll be interesting to see if it was built over the bomb intentionally, or on purpose.  Remember, Richard and the Others were the ones that supposedly buried the bomb on the island.  The Dharma Initiative would likely have no idea that there was a bomb on the island…unless they were tipped off somehow.

Amy’s baby is…Ethan!

babyethan

OK, so that’s not a complete surprise for a lot of you.  But if you start to think about it, that’s *at least* 2 traitors/defectors in the Dharma Initiative.  Both Ben and Ethan are little boys that came from Dharma, only to switch sides and become Others.  My question is, could there be more?  Is the Purge a lot less one-sided than we originally thought?  And on top of that, who else might end up being an Other?  Could Dr. Chang have actually switched sides prior to the Purge?  What about Miles or anyone else from the future?  Is that how the Others knew so much about Flight 815?  Just a thought…

Oh, and I love how this scene ended: Juliet says the timing’s gotta be right when asked about when she and “Jim” might be having a baby of their own.  That sounds like some foreshadowing if I’ve ever heard it.  Hopefully, in a good way…

“Did you say Faraday?  He’s here?”

“Not anymore.”  I was wondering why we hadn’t seen Daniel in any of the 1977 scenes.  Hopefully the poor guy took the sub off the island and tried to get his head straightened out.  But based upon what we saw at the beginning of the season, you’d have to think that he’s still got some business to take care of near the frozen donkey wheel.  That’s one storyline I’m seriously looking forward to.

Sun’s ready to extract her pound of flesh

benknockedout

Honestly, did you expect anything different than how this scene ended?  (Except maybe that Sun might kill Ben?)  Since we knew from a couple of episodes ago that Ben was in the infirmary, and we quickly learned that he didn’t get that way from the plane’s landing, it seemed like just a matter of *who* was going to deliver the beat down.  And once he gave up the ghost and told Sun exactly what she needed to know to get back to the island and try to find Jin, she delivered the whack upside the head.  Nice to see someone playing Ben exactly the way he plays everyone else.

“Based on your aptitude test, you’ll be doing janitorial work.”

jackandchang

I wonder how many takes it took for them to shoot that scene without breaking into laughter.  That was a great line, and even Jack has to be amused at Sawyer’s sense of humor regarding his position.  Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we got to see a scene with Pierre Chang that didn’t include him browbeating someone (although he was upset at the level of organization in the Barracks).  Despite his temper, Chang always adds a coolness factor to any episode he’s in.

“Who’s your recruiter?”

Did any of you think for a second that Juliet was going to set Kate up with a quick exit from the Dharma Initiative?  For the briefest of moments, I thought that Juliet had intentionally left her off the list so that she’d get a quick boot (or worse), and Juliet wouldn’t have to worry about her stealing Sawyer.  But of course, things worked out…at least for now…

“There’s a 14-J at the Flame.”

Sayid just really seems to be finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time these days.  First he’s handcuffed and brought aboard Flight 316, now he’s still in handcuffs, and about to be out in the Dharm jail.  Looks like he might be serving some penance for all of the killing he did for Ben off-island…

Sun and Frank meet Smokey/Christian

christianfrankandsun

Alright, this isn’t the first time someone’s briefly encountered Smokey and then the figure of someone dead.  (Eko’s last moments come to mind.)  But what the heck are we supposed to take from that?  That Smokey and the ghosts are one in the same?  That Smokey can take the form of any of the people that have either died on the island or died and come to the island?  I might be getting way ahead of myself here, but we’re clearly going to look back on these scenes and go, “OH!  I get it now!”  I just wish I could decipher it instead of getting the answer directly.  But I’m sure we’ll see more of Smokey and Christian in the episodes ahead.

For now, it’s interesting to focus on the encounter itself.  First of all, was this one of LOST’s spookier moments, or what?  They built the tension really well with this scene, what with the lighting (or lack thereof) and the wind.  I always love the Smokey/Christian/Jacob scenes (who doesn’t?), but this one was one of the best.  Oh, and was it just me, or did a little puff of smoke just decide for itself to open the door to the room they were all in and spill out into the night?  Whoa, creepy!  Christian’s statement that Sun has a bit of a journey in front of her was a really cool way to end the whole scene.  But what does it mean?  Is she going to attempt to move back through time?  If not, then what else can she expect in her future?  As I said at the top, we’ve definitely set up the pieces here for some fun and interesting adventures in future episodes.

“What can I do for you Jack?”

Interesting little pissing contest that happens at the end of the episode.  And it makes me curious: whose side are you on with this one?  To me, they both come off as a little immature.  Jack waltzes in to Sawyer’s place, doesn’t accept his offer for a beer or a seat, and proceeds to dress down his leadership skills to the tune of, “Really? Because it looked to me like you were reading a book.”  Of course, Sawyer doesn’t just let that run off his back like he should.  No, instead, he fires back, letting Jack know what he thought about his leadership ablities during their initial 3 months on the island: “You didn’t think Jack…a lot of people ended up dead.”  And of course, he finishes it off with a firm figurative kick in the rear, letting Jack know that he is no longer the one calling the shots, and he should be quite pleased with that.

Of course, Jack’s last line is the one I have the hardest time trying to figure out.  Is he truly happy that someone else is calling the shots for once, or is he just sitting back, guns at the ready, waiting to get back in the game?  Whichever it is, I bet that we won’t have too long to find out the answer.

“It’s nice to meet you Ben.”

benandsayid

As if Sawyer didn’t already have his hands full, now the one person you’d least hope to touch base with Sayid has done so…and who knows what the consequences will be.  Clearly, Sayid would love to try to change everything that happened with he and Ben, especially his post-island time.  But Sayid doesn’t understand the “whatever happened happened” theory that Faraday subscribes to, and will likely just muck things up with anything he tries.  In fact, wouldn’t it be interesting if Sayid brought all of that pain upon himself by imprinting his actions on a young Ben that will be excited to turn the tables on him in the future?  Wouldn’t that be a great irony built out of a time paradox?  Either way, it definitely sets things up nicely for next episode!

Post-episode questions:

  1. How is Sawyer going to get Sayid out of jail without disrupting his life in the Dharma Initiative?
  2. Can Jack really sit idly by while Sawer runs the show?  How long before he tries to exert his influence?
  3. Have Sawyer’s feelings for Kate truly subsided?  Will they even talk about it?
  4. What is Sun’s (and Frank’s?) “journey” entail?  And how can Sun even think about seeing Jin when they’re separated by 30 years?
  5. How are the Smoke Monster and Christian related?  And is Jacob part of it too (like some kind of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit relationship)?

That’s it for this week…I look forward to seeing what any of you have to say, so please chime in!

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One response

23 03 2009
Brad

Another fabulous episode! I have some random minor thoughts and observations. I found it odd that Doc GrumpyChang was filling in for new recruit intake of all things. I’m not complaining, but storywise, I think they would have pulled some other worker over to take care of simple administrative duties like that (though I won’t rule out that it wasn’t a coincidence.) And poor Radzinsky–no wonder he snapped in The Swan. No respect, no respect at all! They did a good job setting up his character so far. What a jerk.

Now on to your questions, in order:
5. I like the biblical connection, but I would say it goes in order of Jacob, Locke and Christian. Christian once said he’s not Jacob, “but I can speak for him.” A la Holy Spirit. Not sure how smokey fits in though…perhaps the seven angels of the apocalypse??
4. I think Sun will embark on a single-minded mission to get back to 1977. Oh yeah, she doesn’t know Locke is there yet. That should help.
1. I think little Ben will spring Sayid. He’s already sympathetic to The Others/Hostiles and might think he’s helping them by doing so.
3. At the very least, Kate will want to update Sawyer on his last request from the helicopter. Other than that, it appears that he and Juliet are doing just fine. But you never know about them tricky love quadrangles!
2. Scene two.

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