LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 4: “Lighthouse”

25 02 2010

Hey everyone, thanks for coming back by!  While last night’s episode wasn’t nearly as packed full of mythological goodness as “The Substitute”, it was still solid, and gave us some interesting insights.  I have a feeling that next week is going to be a real humdinger of an episode, if all of the signs we’ve seen come to pass.  But that’s next week; this is this week!  Let’s recap what went on.


This week, I was paying close attention to the episode title, and how it could be meaningful in both the main timeline and the alternate timeline.  Well, it was a no-brainer for the main timeline.  But what about the alternate timeline?  I think the fact that the article “the” was not in the title is meaningful.  But while that could certainly mean “a” lighthouse, or even a light house (like the color of the house), I still couldn’t find a significant meaning in the alternate timeline.  Maybe it refers to Jack’s house being “light” because his son only visits once a month, and his significant other doesn’t live with him?  I feel like I must be missing something easy, but I’m not making the connection.  If any of you faithful readers have an idea, please leave a message in the comments.

Jack’s appendicitis scar

Quite an odd sequence here, with Jack seeing his scar, and then asking his mother about it.  He doesn’t remember having the surgery, but then it comes back to him after his mother reminds him.  Here’s what I want to say about this: it would be very, very easy to make an association here regarding the main timeline and the alternate timeline.  You could say that perhaps there is some memory transference happening between the two.  And, in fact, this may be the case.  But I would be careful about making such a leap.  This sequence could certainly be nothing more than Jack not remembering something from his youth.  Personally, I think we’re going to get some type of unclear conclusion at the end of this: did the LOSTies “cross over” somehow, or didn’t they?  Are the 2 timelines fully isolated, or aren’t they?  I have a feeling that it won’t be clear-cut.  In any event, I know what the obvious conclusion here is.  And I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t make that conclusion.  I’m just warning you to be a bit careful.  I’m sure the writers have something clever in store for folks that perhaps take too much for granted.

Jack has a son

Jack and his son David

Well, if you had any doubts before, they’re completely wiped out now.  This timeline is significantly different than the one we know.  Jack has a son, and that makes for a pretty big shocker.  I think at this point we have to start making some educated guesses about when the fork in the timelines happened, and I would say that the best guess is the detonation of Jughead on the island.  Perhaps that one event not happening (I’m assuming the bomb *did* go off in the main timeline) has caused all of these ripples.  With all of the things happening on-island right now, I’m not sure how they’re going to explain exactly what did happen.  But I sure hope they work it in somehow.

“You should probably get a pen, you’re gonna have to write a few things down.”

Jacob appears to Hurley

Interesting how Jacob continues to show himself to Hurley when he wants to achieve things.  I don’t think he’s shown himself to any of the other LOSTies, including any of the other “candidates”.  And, I’m thinking it’s more about nobody else being able to see Jacob than it is him not wanting to show himself.  But it is interesting to ponder whether or not there’s anything more going on here.

What we have here is a failure to communicate

Clearly, Jack and his son David have a strained relationship.  While we don’t see any issues from Jack’s perspective, David certainly wants little to nothing to do with his father.  It’s as if Jack is destined to make the same mistakes as his dad…

“You shouldn’t be here!  Go back to the courtyard.”

Two things that intrigue me about this scene.  First, we have reinforcement that Hurley is the only one that can see Jacob…not even Dogen, the supposed leader of the Others, gets that privilege.  Next, you have to be somewhat surprised about how Jacob is countermanding Dogen.  Sure, Jacob has a very specific plan in mind, and Dogen doesn’t know about it, but why not let him in on it through Hurley?  Jacob seems more than content to allow Hurley to confront Dogen and allow Hurley to take the upper hand.  Something to keep in mind as you think about alliances, and who is looking out for who.

“Follow you where?”

Alright, is it me, or is this the new favorite line for Season 6?  I think we’ve heard this now in every hour so far.  Jack says it Hurley here, I’m pretty sure that Sawyer said it to Locke last episode, Jack said it to Dogen a couple of episodes back, and one other instance that is not at the top of my head right now.  My bet is that we’ll hear it again next episode prior to the 40-minute mark.

All kidding aside, it’s interesting that Jacob uses the line, “you have what it takes” to get Jack to go.  If you’ve been re-watching Season 1 episodes in sequence with the new Season 6 episodes, you’d know that Jack’s dad told him that he didn’t want Jack to try to be a hero because he knew that he’d fail.  He told Jack that he didn’t have what it takes.  Definitely an interesting foil there.  If you have the time, I would highly recommend re-watching “House of the Rising Sun” from Season 1 before next week’s new episode, “Sundown”.  I’d be willing to bet that you’re going to get a solid refresher that will have meaningful ties to the upcoming episode.

“If there’s one thing that’ll kill you around here, it’s infection”

Crazy like a fox, or just plain crazy?

“I’ll be right back, don’t move, OK?”  Well Claire sure is a bundle of laughs in her return, isn’t she?  But the comment about the infection, which I’m interpreting as “the sickness”, is intriguing.  While this episode plays out with the audience wondering whether or not Claire’s got the disease from that new movie “The Crazies”, I’m wondering just how much of what she’s doing is a show for Jin.  In other words, she’s either crazy, or crazy like a fox.  I guess time will tell us which.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

Kate points her gun at Jack

Only some limited dialog here between Jack and Kate, but even with the brevity of the scene, and Jack’s later insistance that “there’s nothing left to wreck”, you have to believe that the Jack/Kate story has a bit more to be told.  Despite all of the obstacles and flame-outs, there’s still something going on between those two.  Some of you could probably care less about how that turns out, but you’ve got to believe that there’s going to be more with them mixed in with all of the mythological answers yet to come.

The inhaler and Adam & Eve

Not that the writers gave us much to go on here, but you certainly chalk these two incidents up to some advanced foreshadowing.  The writers have said for a long time that they placed Adam & Eve in the caves way back in Season 1 just to show the audience that they knew what they had planned very early on.  I have to believe that their placement here was just a way to remind everyone that their story will still be told.  And I think the same thing goes for Shannon’s inhaler.  We’ve probably got a little bit of story left to see there as well, and the writers are simply letting us know that it’s coming at some point in the future…

“I don’t understand…how is it that we’ve never seen it before?”

There’s a certain blogger out there that I used to read that believed that Ben’s idea of the box was to be taken literally.  You know, the one where Ben tells Locke that the island is a box, and that if you imagined something and opened the box, “poof”, there it would be?  Well, I’m at a loss to explain the lighthouse scene in any other fashion.  I’m not sure just how much of it is literally true, and just how much is metaphor, but after a huge lighthouse suddenly appears, you’d have to think that there’s at least some legitimacy to the idea.

“Tell me when it gets to 108 degrees.”

Jack finds the same names and numbers that Sawyer did

Regardless of how the lighthouse got there, we get a very interesting scene within it.  Names are attached to numbers, seemingly identical to last week’s list in MIB’s cave.  I’m curious as to why MIB took Sawyer to the cave, whereas Jacob sent Hurley and Jack to the lighthouse, but perhaps that will be answered another day.  For now, it seems as though we’re getting some confirmation that what MIB showed Sawyer last week is not something made up solely for the purpose of recruiting Mr. Ford.  In fact, it seems as though the names & numbers are very legitimate, and indeed a critical part of this conflict.

Jack breaks the cycle

Jack corrects things with his son

Alright, so I’ll fully admit that I’m still unsure how to process the alternate timeline.  Is it going to merge back with the main one?  Are levels of consciousness traveling between the two?  I have my doubts with that, and many other theories regarding the flash-sideways.  But here’s one thing I think I do know about it: we’re meant to compare our LOSTies lives in one timeline against the other.  Two weeks ago, Kate stopped running long enough to befriend Claire.  Last week, Locke cam to grips with his life in the wheelchair and stopped trying to be something he isn’t.  This week, Jack manages to break the cycle with his son.  In other words, Jack manages to relate to his son in a way that his father never could, and turns a major rift and misunderstanding into a renewed and re-spirited relationship.

It seems as though legitimate transformations are happening all across the alternate timeline.  And that answers a very specific question for me: would our LOSTies lives’ been better or worse had they not crashed on the island?  Prior to this season, you could argue that our characters had learned incredible life lessons from the island.  Charlie kicked his drug habit.  Sawyer gave up being a con man.  Sun and Jin resolved the differences in their marriage.  It seemed as though the island was a place of redemption; that those that came there got a second chance to be transformed in such a way that wouldn’t have happened had they not come to this strange place.

But now the argument is losing its luster.  It seems as though all of the characters were designed to rise above their issues regardless of whether or not they visited the island.  In fact, you could argue that their lives in the alternate timeline are better than the main timeline.  Of course, we still have Eloise Hawking’s warning that Desmond’s pushing of the button effectively saved the world, and we know that he didn’t do so in this timeline.  So perhaps something tragic is yet to happen.  But as we see it now, it’s hard to say with any conviction that the LOSTies on-island lessons and journeys are any better than what they would have experienced had the plane never crashed.

“I had to get you and Jack as far away from that temple as I possibly could.”

Jack's deep in thought as Hurley and Jacob discuss the situation

The last scene with Hurley and Jacob is interesting, although mostly straightforward.  I think the one exception could be this line, for two reasons.  First, Jacob initially said that the Temple was a place where the LOSTies would be safe.  Now he wants them to get as far away as possible?  What changed in the time in-between?  Secondly, why is he only trying to rescue Hurley and Jack?  Why not the rest of the Others?  Why not Dogen and Lennon?  And especially why not Sayid, who was so important to save just a couple of episodes ago?  I’m not sure what Jacob’s up to here, but just as he didn’t provide the whole story to Hurley at the temple to start the episode, I think he’s got some more things up his sleeve.

“You were right.  The Others have your baby.  Aaron is at the Temple.”

Speaking of not telling the whole truth, what is up with Jin here?  He’s going all-in with his Aaron story, hoping that Claire doesn’t call him.  I’m not sure how he thinks this will help him, but what it should do is put some questions into your head as a member of the audience.  Clearly, if Jin can lie this well, and he’s someone that we trust, then any of the other characters we’ve seen can be giving us untruths at any time.  It’s important not to take anything anyone says at face value right now, as the stakes are as high as they have ever been…

Post-episode questions:

1. Does Claire really have “The Sickness”, or is she just obsessed with getting Aaron back?

2. Are Jack and Kate really done, or is there more to come?

3. Why is Jacob uninterested in protecting the Temple dwellers?

4. What is Jack’s ultimate reason for being on the island?

5. Are we in for a showdown at the Temple next week?

That’s all I’ve got for now…see you all next week!


LOST Challenge of the Week: “Lighthouse”

22 02 2010

Hey everyone, it’s that time of the week again…time to get ready for another new LOST episode!  This one’s called “Lighthouse”, and I can only imagine what it has in store for us.  Things on the island picked up considerably last episode, and even the flash-sideways were intriguing and gave us some new insight into that world.  I’m eager to see where things go next in both timelines, and if the pattern to start the season is any indication, then it’ll be Jack that’ll walk us through it.  So, here’s your challenge of the week:

What does the title “Lighthouse” mean for both the main timeline and the alternate timeline?  And for extra credit, what Season 1 scene will be relived through Jack’s experiences in this episode, and will it be on-island, off-island, or both?

As a side note, I’d be curious if any of you have guesses on where Locke & Sawyer head to next…as in, who’s next to be recruited?  I think it’ll be interesting to see how Locke convincing just one of the 815ers to join him may cause a snowball effect…

That’s all for today!  Looking forward to seeing what any of you might add in the comments!  Regardless, I’ll be back in a couple of days with my recap.  See you then!

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 3: “The Substitute”

18 02 2010

So…how did that one grab you?  Not sure about you, but I don’t think the last 2 episodes could be any more disparate.  Last week, we had an episode that appeared to have little to no need for analysis.  To me, most of what you saw was what you got.  But this week couldn’t be more different.  As expected with a Locke-centric episode, the mythology flag was flying high.  But while what we were shown seemed to be a highly important piece of the puzzle, it’s almost as if we need secondary information to understand its full meaning.  To me, it felt like we were given the letter that contained all of our answers, but we need a cipher to unscramble the words properly.  Or that we were given one part of a key, but need the second half in order for it to work in the lock.

In any event, it’s a fun episode to try to get a handle on, even if you can’t quite unearth the full meaning.  I’ll give it my best shot; I’m glad you’re along for the ride!

“The Substitute”

I really like the way the first 3 episodes of the season could be interpreted as an explanation of either the main timeline or alternate timeline action.  It wasn’t obvious to me at first (thanks Dave!), but here’s how it could work:

“LA X”

Main timeline: “X” means not, as in they’re not in LA

Alternate timeline: “X” is a variable, or an alternate reality from what we “know”

“What Kate Does”

Main timeline:  Kate escapes (runs) from the Temple, because it’s her nature to do so

Alternate timeline:  Kate helps Claire through the delivery of Aaron; it’s the action she takes

“The Substitute”

Main timeline: Smokey is representing Locke

Alternate timeline:  Locke takes a job as a substitute teacher

I’m still unsure as to how we’re exactly supposed to interpret the alternate timeline, but these dual titles, as well as one other nugget of info I’ll share later, made this week’s “flash-sideways” much more palatable for me.

Locke gets wet

Lots of little treats for the die-hard LOST fan here, as Locke gets “showered on” similar to what happened to him on-island back in Season 1…Helen returns, and in this world, they’re due to get married next month…and I don’t think I noticed it originally, but it appears as though Locke is wearing the exact same outift he had on when he originally crashed on the island.  I guess that makes sense, and the continuity folks would have a major fit if it wasn’t that way, but it didn’t really hit me until he was getting showered on by the sprinklers.

The Smoke Monster traverses the island

Not sure how many of you noticed this, but during the sequence where we supposedly see things through the Smoke Monsters eyes (somewhat verified when the smokey reflection appears in the Barracks window), the locales quickly shift after a few seconds.  It definitely seems to suggest that the Smoke Monster is not relegated to a linear method of travel…that he can jump or perhaps teleport from one place to the next somehow.  Not sure how, or what it even means, but there is clearly much more to the Smoke Monster than what is on the surface.

“Welcome back, Colonel”

Another nice throwback to Season 1 here, as Locke is back working for the box company, and Randy struts in with his “Colonel” line.  We even get a brief glimpse at some desk photos that include Locke and his dad.  (I wonder how that relationship is going in this timeline?)  And, on top of that, we get confirmation that Locke ditched the overseas seminar to go on his walkabout, just as originally happened.  A couple of things to keep in mind though, if we want to try to piece back things in this timeline, to see if they’ll tell us anything:

First, as evidenced by the fact that Locke has a picture of he and his dad on his desk, things are going relatively well in that relationship.  And by “relatively” well, I mean that for the most part, you’d have to believe that Locke was never forced out of a window 8 stories up by his dad in this timeline.  It’s almost certain that his paralysis happened through some other event.  And, almost as certain, is the idea that Jacob never touched him in this timeline.  That was probably somewhat of a given regardless, but I wanted to point it out.  It also calls attention to Jacob’s role and/or existence in this timeline.  Did he ever touch any of the LOSTies in this timeline?  Is that why the plane didn’t crash?

Another thing to note is that Locke never had a wedding date set with Helen in the alternate timeline. In other words, coupling Ethan’s appearance last week with Locke & Helen this week (and potentially some other minor plot points I may have missed) we can say that there’s more changed in this timeline than just Oceanic 815 not crashing.  If we’re meant to look for a fundamental fork in the story (and I think we are, based upon the fact that they showed us the island still existed, albeit underwater), then it happened quite a ways further back than here.  Sure, the biggest impact in 2004 was the plane not crashing on the island, but something further upstream has caused this fork.  So far we’ve only seen one major consequence (the plane not crashing), and perhaps a secondary consequence as a result of that (the island sinking).  But what else happened as a result?  And what more may yet happen as a result?  I’m beginning to think that those are the questions that we’re supposed to ask about this timeline that will give us the ultimate meaning regarding it and how it ties into the main timeline.

“You mean you’ve been doing everything he told you all this time, and he never said why?”

Richard, very much not in control of things

Fascinating conversation here between Locke and Richard.  One thing you might be able to take out of this encounter is that the reasons why the Others never shared any over-arcing information with the LOSTies is because they didn’t know any of it.  Richard seems to be pretty high on thr food chain (though perhaps not as high as Dogen or any of the other Leaders of the Others), and he seems to know almost nothing about the grand scheme being played out on the island.  The only thing we know for certain that he knows, is that he absolutely wants nothing to do with Locke/Smokey/MIB.  He has a great fear/respect for whatever he is or represents, and has no intention of following it in any way.  It’ll be interesting to find out exactly what Richard knows, specifically why he’s so afraid of Smokey, and why he doesn’t know more than he does (or lets on in this conversation).

The apparition appears to Locke...but not Richard

But perhaps even more important than the conversation between these two is the appearance of the apparition…a young boy with bloody arms appears to Locke…but not to Richard.  Why is it that Locke can see this apparition, but Richard cannot?  Also, what meaning does this character carry for MIB?  I’ll dive into this a quite a bit more later, but the fact that Richard is unable to see this character seems to be a key piece of information that the writers are trying to share with us.

“Locke kicked him into the fire and he burned away”

Now Ben is an accomplished liar and all, but I think he picked the wrong person to lie to here.  Ilana seems to be one of the few people on the island that is 100% in tune with the parameters of the conflict between Jacob and the Man In Black.  I don’t doubt for a second that she knows that MIB couldn’t kill Jacob directly, and that Ben did the dirty work.  But now is not the time to call him out for it.  No, she needs to get some remnant of Jacob in her possession in order to help play out Jacob’s plan.  She’ll trump Ben when and if the time is right, at some point in the future.  But while she’s there, she’ll go ahead and share what she knows about MIB’s plan: he’s trying to convince people to swing over to his side.

Ilana pockets some of Jacob's ashes

Clearly, we have no idea what Smokey’s plan entails.  We haven’t really even been given a glimpse of that, other than he wants to go home.  But we do know that Ilana is telling the truth, as she always has since she got to the island.  Smokey is not on a killing rampage, as we may have suspected when the Temple dwellers secured their location and sent up a flare.  No, he’s simply trying to get people to go with him.  He clearly needs some help to accomplish his objective, whatever that may be, and he’s willing to go to great lengths to enlist that help.

“Here’s to bein’ dead!”

Locke recruits Sawyer at the Barracks

While the conversation between Locke and Sawyer is very dramatic and compelling, it’s fairly straightforward.  I don’t think I need to decipher much for any of you.  But what I do find worth discussing with you in retrospect is how Smokey came upon Sawyer as his 2nd choice for a recruit: absolute chance.  I’ve written quite a bit about Sawyer’s decline in demeanor over the first few recaps of this season.  So his choices in this episode all make sense to me, and are a natural evolution of the plot.  But the curious piece is that MIB would ever think to recruit Sawyer in the first place.  And really, I think it’s all about luck.  He just happened to be at the Barracks at the time when Smokey was passing through.  Alright, alright, I can hear some of you already saying something like, “Nothing on this island happens by chance!”  And you very well might be right.  And if so, by whose design do you think this meeting took place?  Yeah, me too.  Just wanted to bring that to the forefront as something to keep in mind when I discuss the next scene involving Locke and Sawyer.

Locke leaves the box company and bumps into…

Hurley throws Locke a bone

Hurley!  It seems as though the writers went out of their way much more in this episode to hit us with at least one major surprise or throwback in each of the flash-sideways scenes.  While I’m still much more interested in what’s going on on-island than any of the flash-sideways scenes, it didn’t as much like an interruption this week as it did last week.  I hope they’re able to continue that trend into next week.

“The kid?  Hell yeah, I can see him.”

So many things happen in this scene alone that I feel like I could write a normal length entry just on all of the things that we might be able to learn from it.  But in the interest of not writing more than you can digest in a sitting, I’ll do my best to give you what I thought was relevant as succinctly as possible.

First of all, note that Sawyer can see the apparition, whereas Richard could not.  It may be interesting to come up with some sort of list of every person we know that’s seen an apparition, and see if there’s some commonality.  (I may do this over the weekend or something, but in the interest of posting this in somewhat of a timely fashion, not now.)  Off the top of my head, I think it’s something like Jack (Christian), Kate (horse), Sawyer (boar and kid), Hurley (Dave, Christian, numerous others), Eko (his brother and those that he killed), Ben (his mother and his daughter), Sayid (his cat), and of course, Locke (Christian).  If I left anyone obvious out, please feel free to let me know in the comments.  In any event, there doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern emerging for me.  It’s not the 815ers (Ben’s on the list), it’s not just those touched by Jacob, and it’s not the people etched on the cave wall later in this episode.  There’s something more to it, but the fact that we’re shown that Richard can’t see it makes me believe that it’s greatly significant.  I hate unearthing a piece of the puzzle without being able to tell you how it fits in the overall scheme, but this is part of what I referred to in my opening.  I think it’s important, but we just don’t have enough info to go on right now.  Maybe one of you has a theory?  I’d love to read about it in the comments.

The boy apparition makes it clear that Locke can't kill Sawyer

The second thing to contemplate in this scene is who this apparition really is.  It’s clear from the dialog that who MIB sees and who Sawyer sees are completely different.  We seem to be given the Sawyer perspective, as we see a kid, just like Sawyer says he sees.  But MIB seems to be seeing someone else, and your guess probably aligns with mine: Jacob.  And if you follow my logic from earlier, it probably makes perfect sense.  Jacob has a plan that he set in motion, and he likely is very aware that Sawyer would be in an emotional state in which he could be swayed by MIB.  I might even go as far as to say that it’s part of Jacob’s plan.  Now I may be getting ahead of myself here with this, but I think it’s a reasonable conclusion.  But just to be clear, I wanted to take a quick couple of sentences to say that there’s nothing that we can point to that absolutely confirms this.  There may be a secondary twist to this that we just don’t have all the pieces to yet.

In any event, regardless of who it is, we can still make some further logical assumptions, and ones that may shatter some things that some folks had taken for granted to be true.

First, we have now seen at least one instance in which Smokey and an apparition have appeared in the same time and place.  I know that in some circles, it was seen as a matter of fact that the apparition of Ben’s daughter that appeared to Ben immediately after he was “judged” by Smokey was in fact Smokey himself.  I think that there’s now at least a reasonable argument against that being the case.  And if you take it one step further, and think that perhaps it was Jacob that was appearing as these apparitions, then it appears as though he was in the plot for his own demise.  Perhaps he felt as though the only way he could expedite his plan was to allow his own death, and make Smokey think that he had the upper hand.  Regardless, any assumptions made due to the idea that Smokey and the apparitions were one in the same needs to be re-thought.  The basis for those assumptions is now longer bullet-proof, and what we think we may know as a result is also now subject to revision.

Finally, I want to touch on the last line of the scene.  After the apparition tells MIB that he “can’t kill him” (likely referring to Sawyer), he responds by yelling, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”  The obvious reference here is to Locke’s experience off-island in Season 1, where he is told that he can’t go on the walkabout because of his disability.  It’s a nice mirror, and also provides a link to last episode, where Kate’s off-island experience of helping Claire in childbirth in the alternate timeline mirrored her on-island experience in the main timeline back in Season 1.  But you probably caught that when you first watched the episode.  What I’m even more interested in, is whether or not Locke’s line is of any significance regarding the John Locke we’ve known from the start of the show.  I know that large chunks of evidence are mounting against any kind of comeback for the original John Locke, especially with his burial in this episode.  But I’m having a really hard time digesting that (I know, I know, I’m in denial), and I’m wondering if perhaps this scene is a sign of the possibility of Locke coming back.  After all, we know next to nothing of just how Smokey got possession of this body.  But what we do know is that he’s somehow retained all of Locke’s memories somehow.  Is it also possible that his mannerisms, habits, and favorite lines are also lodged in there somewhere?  And if they are, is it unreasonable to think that somehow they could once again rise to the surface and take control of this body if somehow Smokey was removed from it?  Perhaps I’m reaching for straws here, but I think it’s something at least worth filing away and keeping an eye on as things progress. 

In any event, this was an absolutely masterful scene, providing so many key pieces of information in such a short timeframe that it would be easy to miss one or two pieces while locking on one of the others that provided more pertinence to whatever theory you may have carried into it.  I hope I covered the main areas of significance, but if any of you have more that you’d like to share with me and the other readers, please post in the comments!

“What kind of animal would you describe yourself as?”

More humor and reference to seasons past, with the big surprise coming in the form of Rose as the office supervisor of the temp agency.  And I suppose that here (and the subsequent flash-sideways scene with Helen) is where we get our first true meaningful digression from the main timeline with respect to the mindset of our characters, specifically Rose and Locke.  In the main timeline, Rose and Locke use the island as a sort or launch pad to something else.  They are both healed, and neither has any desire to return to the mainland.  Locke makes this abundantly clear by thwarting efforts to leave the island (breaking the transceiver, destroying the raft, blowing up the sub), but Rose also expressed a desire to stay in the Rose/Bernard centric episode “SOS” a few seasons back.

Rose helps Locke reach a level of acceptance

But in this timeline, Rose takes a different approach, and Locke seems to follow suit: instead of trying to rise above their situation, or trying to be more than what they really are, they come to grips with who they are…they accept themselves, and presumably go on to live happy lives.  What fascinates me about this is what the writers might be trying to tell us.  Are they asking us to decide which is more “heroic”: accepting who you are, or fighting to rise above expectations?  If that’s part of what this alternate timeline is about, I’m very curious to see how it works out.  It doesn’t necessarily apply to all of the characters, so I’ll be interested to see if it plays out any further in the episodes to come.  But this is the first time in which the contrast between the two timelines gave me pause to think about which one I think is better for our characters, especially as it relates to Rose and Locke.

“Wonderin’ what would happen to you if I put a bullet in your head.”

I find this scene to be interesting on two levels.  First, it appears as though Sawyer’s come back from being checked out.  Yeah, he still wants off the island, but he’s not willing to be gamed, even after everything that’s happened to him.  He’s distracted enough by this situation to at least momentarily get his head back in the game and try to take control.

Sawyer wants to know what he's dealing with

But at the same time, I think he’s truly surprised by what transpired.  I think that he took Richard’s words to heart, and was unsure of just what he was dealing with.  I think he was fully prepared to pull the trigger and see what might happen.  But I also think that he could see the complete lack of fear in Locke’s eyes.  This was a man that really couldn’t care less if you shot him between the eyes.  Sawyer probably came to the realization that his gun was not going to do any harm, and quickly changed his mind.  I think that perhaps what Locke said to him in the speech about being so close to the answers may have been less important than the look in his eye when he stared down the barrel of Sawyer’s gun.

However, just to quickly touch on what Locke says: I’m inclined to believe him.  While the Temple-dwellers have already proven that they will flat-out lie to achieve their goals (the pill is medicine until Jack tries to swallow it; then it’s poison), Smokey as Locke seems to have at least partial truth in what he says.  At least to me, it’s becoming murkier and murkier each week as to who we ought to be rooting for here.  If what MIB is saying is true, and that Jacob has trapped him in the island for centuries, then you have to starting thinking that perhaps MIB is the guy you want to win.  And if Jacob’s people have been lying, withholding information, and/or playing their followers like puppets, then that’s another reason to root against them.  And if by some chance MIB is telling the truth at the end of the episode, and Jacob has manipulated our LOSTies to come to the island under the pretense of free will, then that’s the worst transgression of all.  I guess what I’m saying is that I think that MIB is at least giving us partial truths (perhaps not all of it), and that I’m not at all sold on the idea that Jacob is the “good guy” in all of this.

“He can’t, not anymore.  He’s stuck this way.”

Wow, Ilana sure does know a ton about what’s going on, doesn’t she?  Two obvious questions are, how in the heck does she know that?  Was it something that Jacob told her prior to her arrival, or did she realize that once she got to the island?  Secondly, why is Smokey stuck in that form?  Why would he be able to morph into Locke, but then never change at a later time?  Did he know that he’s have that limitation?  If so, then he must have been extremely calculated about it.  Perhaps he’s making a last-ditch play to achieve his goal.  Even the smallest bits of information around this subject would be fascinating to learn.

Locke takes a dirt nap as Ben gives the eulogy

Locke's body is placed in his grave

I know I stated this earlier, but as a big fan of the John Locke character, I had a hard time watching this scene.  As dirt rained down on Locke’s body, I couldn’t help but to think about Walt’s dream, where Locke is on the island in a suit, and everyone is trying to kill him.  As long as Locke’s body was out in the open, I believed that he could come back and fulfill that dream.  It all seems so impossible now.  But I’ll continue to hold out hope that we’ll see the original Locke again, despite the evidence mounting against it.  That’s what faith is, right?  (Or is that what delusion is?)

“I sat there yelling at them, shouting at them that they couldn’t tell me what I can’t do!  But they were right.”

Very interesting dovetail here with John Locke in the alternate timeline, and John Locke in the main timeline.  While MIB chose Locke’s form for what access it would grant him (specifically Jacob’s dwelling), he may as well have chosen him for having a mirrored soul.  In other words, not only does MIB look like Locke, but he has the same desire to break the bonds of physical constraint that he had.  It’s thoroughly ironic, based upon the mocking that MIB has done about Locke’s blind following, and how quickly he has dismissed Locke as a threat.  But perhaps what will be the biggest twist of all is that MIB will be done in for the same blind desire to break his chains as Locke had regarding his wheelchair.  Perhaps MIB will be blind to the fact that he’s not in charge (even though he thinks he is) until it’s too late to switch gears and save himself from his own demise…

Helen shares with Locke that she believes in miracles

By the way, it wasn’t lost on me that Helen told Locke that “miracles do happen”…keep giving me those little nuggets of hope for Locke’s return Damon and Carlton, it’s just what I need to continue with my crazy theories…

“Why are all the names crossed out?”

Sayid is on the list

While we’re certainly not getting the full story here from MIB, I am inclined to believe that these names were etched in the cave by Jacob.  Perhaps Jacob’s also the one crossing them out as they no longer are “candidates”, perhaps MIB is doing that himself, as he did with Locke’s name.  But what I think is more interesting to note is whose name is not readily seen.  I think we’re intentionally left to wonder why Kate is not on the list.  Of course, Kate was not on the list earlier in the series, when Locke evacuated the Barracks with the rest of the Others, but left Kate behind.  Obviously, we’d all like to have a better understanding of how that list was generated in the first place, but my guess is that isn’t coming for awhile.

Instead, we’re left with Sawyer and MIB joining into an alliance that none of the readers of this blog should be too surprised at seeing.  What happens next with these two, especially regarding how MIB might use Sawyer as a way of manipulating the rest of the LOSTies, should be absolutely fascinating.  But one thing to keep in mind as that unfolds: Sawyer is a master con artist.  If anyone can turn the tables on MIB, it’s Sawyer.  Even though he appeared to check out a few episodes back, don’t be surprised to see Sawyer make a play in the overall scheme at just the right moment…

Post-episode questions:

1. What’s the story behind the apparitions?  Why can some people see them while others cannot?

2. How does Ilana know so much, and what is her plan?  Why did she grab Jacob’s ashes from his dwelling?

3. What is MIB’s true plan going forward?  We know it’s not as simple as just deciding to leave the island…

4. Why is Richard so mortally afraid of Smokey?  Is there something more to his power than what we’ve seen?

5. Is Locke really dead?  Is there any chance that his subconscious is living within the body MIB is currently controlling?

Wow, that was a long one!  That was twice as much as I typically write for a single episode, and I’m feeling like I still may have missed a few things here and there.  I’d love for any of you to hop into the discussion and let me know what you think!  Either way, I hope you enjoyed the episode as much as I did…talk to you all again next week!

LOST Challenge of the Week: “The Substitute”

15 02 2010

Hey everyone, another new week, another new episode of LOST!  Not sure about you and your group of LOST friends, but the buzz of the new season is still in the air, and many “water cooler” discussions about what’s going on and what might be coming up are happening in my personal circle.  It’s definitely what I hoped for coming into this last season of the show, and I can only hope that it maintains the momentum in the weeks to come.

Anyway, a new episode is upon us, and it appears to be Locke-centric, at least off-island.  And I guess that’s as good a place as any for this week’s challenge.  So here it is for you: how does the title “The Substitute” relate to the action off-island, and as an added challenge, how does that translate into what’s going on back on-island?

I hope all of you are looking forward to this episode as much as I am…back in a couple of days with my recap!

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 2: “What Kate Does”

11 02 2010

So…what did all of you think about the latest installment?  Did you like it?  Love it?  Hate it?  For me, I think it was about resetting expectations just a bit.  With this being the last season of LOST, I guess I expected every episode to be pedal-to-the-metal action, at least at the speed that we got for the premiere.  It certainly *feels* as though there are enough outstanding mysteries for the show to operate at a frenetic pace from now until the series finale.  In fact, all of the ads for the show have stated, “The time for questions is over.”

Well, not so much.  This was definitely (at least in my mind) one of those episodes where things slowed down quite a bit.  And oddly, despite my being fascinated and intrigued by the alternate timeline thread initially, I find myself feeling like I can’t wait for the “flash-sideways” bits to be over.  The on-island narrative is just so much more compelling right now that the off-island stuff seems like one big distraction.  Only 3 hours in, I’m wondering just how much I care about what’s happening on this alternate timeline.  Do I really care if Kate’s on the run again and that Claire’s having her baby?

Anyway, I’m getting just a bit ahead of myself here.  Let me step back for a second and take this from the top, like I always do…

“Jack, what happened to me?”

Now ain’t that the 64-thousand dollar question?  What we’re led to believe in this episode is that Sayid did in fact die, and that he’s come back to life “infected”.  That certainly seems to be the most viable outcome, but let me just make sure that I cover the possibility that he was never dead.  Jack didn’t have time to diagnose him, and Miles had a strange look on his face as Hurley was suggesting that Sayid talk to him in the afterlife.

That being said, I’m going to go on the assumption that Sayid did indeed die, and that he has now come back to life somehow.  While the how is an intriguing question, and one that I’m sure will be explained to us at some point in the near future, I’m more concerned with the why.  Specifically regarding how Sayid might fit in with the rest of the deceased on the island.  I’d love to dive headlong into this subject right off the top, but let’s do some more analysis of the straightforward scenes from the episode before we do.

“He’s an Iraqi torturer who shoots kids, he definitely deserves another go-around.”

I touched on this topic briefly in last week’s recap, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it again, especially since the writers hit us over the head with it this week: Sawyer has checked out.  He is done, done, done with this island and everyone on it.  He could give a crap about what happens to the island or anyone else on it.  He wants off, and he wants to go home.  This place has soured his toughts about life in general, and he’s ready to take leave of it, immediately.

By the way, does that attitude remind you of anyone else on the island right now?  Yep, I’m talking about the Man in Black.  If by some chance those two get in the same room together, and share stories about wanting to leave, there might be a very unlikely alliance formed.  Seriously, don’t be surprised if Sawyer and Smokey are planning some nasty trickery in the near future.  It could be just the break that Smokey needs to infiltrate the ranks of the LOSTies and willingly get them to do his bidding without even knowing it.

“Hey, I’m walkin’ here!”

OK, so the things I thought was so interesting in the flash-sideways in the premiere were a) trying to determine just how “real” this alternate timeline was, b) seeing old favorites come back in new ways, and c) seeing if any clues about the main timeline were embedded in the alternate thread.  In this episode, it felt as though all 3 of those items were missing.  It clearly seems as though this timeline has entered a more natural, deliberate, storytelling approach, and that any clarifications on how “real” it is will not be coming any time soon.  Additionally, while Arzt’s appearance here was nice, we saw him in a much more humorous role in the premiere.  And while Ethan’s appearance later in the episode was a nice twist, it wasn’t anything overwhelming.  I don’t know how much of that is related to the significance of his character, or the significance of the timeline, but it simply didn’t have the same emotional impact that he previous re-appearances have had.  Finally, other than referencing events from seasons past in a cute way, I didn’t pick up any overwhelming clues for the main timeline in the alternate timeline.

I don’t want to sound cynical, but I definitely did not enjoy the alternate timeline in this episode as much as I did in the premiere.  I think it’s because I need to feel the rules and/or the consequences of this timeline for me to really care about the events that take place in it.  I’m hoping we’ll get just a bit of that next episode, but who knows.

Sawyer jumps ship

Sawyer's had about enough of this place

Not entirely unexpectedly, Sawyer takes leave of the group he used to call friends, and heads out into the jungle, despite the fact that Smokey is on the loose.  He’s tired of being held captive, he’s tired of these people, and he’s ready to do things his way.  When he says, “Don’t come after me” at the end of the scene, it’s almost more of a threat than it is a request.

“Be careful.”

The Others’ trust in Kate and Jin to safely go out and return with Sawyer notwithstanding, it’s interesting to see things play out with Jack and Kate as she’s getting ready to leave.  While the Jack/Kate/Sawyer love triangle has never been the plot point at the top of my list, it’s certainly been a prominent over-arching thread throughout the show, and to not recognize advancement in it would be doing injustice to a recap of the show.  Based on that, you have to take notice of Jack grabbing Kate’s arm and forcing her to linger just a bit longer.  With Plan A of the bomb resetting the timeline failing (at least as much as this Jack knows), Jack is at least wearing his emotions on his sleeve.  With the way events unfolded at the Barracks later in the episode, I think it’s important to pay attention to this scene as a potential shift in the direction of where the love triangle may be headed.

Sayid becomes the torturee

Sayid has the tables turned

Interesting not so much for its irony as it is for what the torturers were trying to accomplish, Sayid gets the tables turned on him and is tortured for apparently no reason.  By the end of the scene we’re given some insight: this was a test, and Sayid failed.  But really, in what way would he have reacted differently had he actually passed?  Is it just me, or are we slipping into a situation in which we’re unsure as to who the real “bad guys” are?  Motivation for the events we’re seeing in the Temple are becoming just as cloudy as the stream Sayid was dropped into, and I bet that’s exactly how the writers envisioned it.

Kate goes back and picks up Claire

Really, I’m having a hard time understanding the significance of these events.  Are we supposed to glean that Kate would always come to Claire’s side and help her have the baby?  Or that Claire wouldn’t end up giving the baby up for adoption, even if she landed in LA?  Or that she would always name the baby Aaron?  Because we don’t know the rules, we don’t know the significance of what’s happening on screen.  Perhaps we’re supposed to re-watch them after the series is over, and that they’ll become a denounment of some sort.  But without any meaningful frame of reference, these scenes really don’t carry much impact at all…at least for me.

“Looks like one of Rousseau’s traps…”

Of course, we don’t need it explained to us that Rousseau is dead, but then the question becomes, whose trap is it?  Pretty fascinating twist as to who it is at the end of the episode.  But I’ll get to that shortly.

“It’s medicine, and your friend needs it.”

What's in it?

Amazing how much these Temple-dwelling Others are willing to lie in order to try to get Sayid to take that pill.  They want him dead (again) at all costs, and they’re even willing to play on Jack’s redemption issues to make it happen.  But what about the “it only works if he takes it willingly” line?  Did they make that up as well, or is it true?  All of this only further lends itself to the theory of not trusting these people, no matter how much they say they’re trying to protect everyone.

“You’re not a zombie, right?”

Funny little in-joke here for some of the more die-hard fans.  Several times during their podcasts, Damon and Carlton have made reference to the last season being the “zombie season”, where all of the dead people would have a chance to come back to life and tell the parts of their stories that they didn’t get to share as the seasons progressed.  (Libby would be a good example.)  Although clearly not going that route, the writers couldn’t help but to make a nod to the die-hards in this scene.

Kate catches up to Sawyer in the Barracks

Kate looks on as Sawyer tosses the ring he intended to give to Juliet

…and finds him digging up an old stash of Juliet-related items, including an engagement ring.  Sawyer’s completely distraught, and has a hard time even vocalizing what he’s feeling to Kate.  One thing I want to point out, just in case any of you might have been wondering about it, I completely buy Sawyer’s response here.  As I mentioned last season, it’s easy for us to think that Sawyer would want to be with Kate more, and that his relationship with Juliet was just a facade.  In fact, I think that perhaps Kate was thinking or hoping for this as she tracked him down.  But remember, although we’ve seen 5+ seasons (years) of interaction between Sawyer and Kate, it was only 3 months of “real” time.  When you put that up against 3 years of “real” time that Sawyer and Juliet spent together…well, I guess I’m just saying that it makes sense to me.

By the way, I’m compelled to try to explain why Kate began to cry at the end of the scene at the Barracks.  After watching the scene 3 times in the last 24 hours, I think that it’s a combination of things.  I think she realizes just how broken Sawyer is, and how seemingly unrecoverable he is now that Juliet is gone.  Additionally, if she was holding out hope for rekindling anything between them, it’s very evident that that scenario isn’t coming to fruition anytime soon.  And finally, I think she realizes that she’s not going to get much help in her effort to find Claire.  Many areas of hope were shot down in that single conversation, and I think that Kate simply let the emotion of the moment take over.

“I don’t trust myself; how am I supposed to trust you?”

Jack has a test of his own for Dogen

A couple of things got my attention in this scene.  First, Jack always comes off as a better man when he admits to his shortcomings.  For all that he’s been through, he’s finally coming to the conclusion that he doesn’t know what’s going on, and that he can’t even trust his own instincts with regard to his decision-making.  And it appears that he’s tuly accepted that.

But what might be even more fascinating is just how much Dogen doesn’t want Jack to injest that pill.  While he doesn’t trust him enough to tell Jack what’s going on around him, Dogen clearly feels as though Jack is going to serve some higher purpose, and that he needs to keep him around to fulfill it.  It’s a very convoluted relationship that Dogen is creating with Jack and the rest of the LOSTies.

“Why would you people want to kill Sayid?”

Claire doesn't quite look the way we remember her

So Dogen’s explanation seems to make sense, especially considering what we’ve seen on the island regarding dead people, and the fact that Claire appears to be not quite herself at the end of the episode.  After all, the Others were always interested in gathering the dead bodies back in the Dharma days, and Rousseau felt compelled to kill off her entire team after they became “infected”.  But Dogen’s answer doesn’t seem to cover all of the questions we might have surrounding dead people on the island.  For example, if we believe Dogen, then why would Ben say, “Dead is dead” last season?  Why hasn’t John Locke suddenly come back to life?  Is it because he died off-island?  And how do the dead people fit into what’s going on with the Man in Black/the Smoke Monster?  Is he able to control them once the “darkness takes over”?  A couple of answers in this episode, but even more questions to bounce around in our heads…

Post-episode questions

1. What are we supposed to make of the events in the alternate timeline?  How are they relevant to the main timeline?

2. Is Sawyer beyond hope for a peaceful resolution?  What’s his next play?

3. What’s Sayid’s true situation?  Is he really not himself and on borrowed time?

4. What is Dogen’s true motivation?  Why is he deliberately withholding information from Jack, especially if he thinks highly enough of him to stop him from swallowing the poision pill?

5. What’s going on with Claire?  Is she really “claimed” as Dogen suggests?

I hope you all enjoyed the episode and recap!  See you again next week!

LOST Challenge of the Week: “What Kate Does”

8 02 2010

Hey everyone, can you believe it’s time for another episode tomorrow?  I’ve spent so much time re-watching and analyzing the first two hours of the season that it hardly seems like it’s already time for a new show.

So this week’s installment is called “What Kate Does”, and I’m immediately drawn to the alternate timeline.  Not sure why I think that title takes me there instead of on-island, but that’s what it does.  But since this is your challenge and not mine, I’ll let any of you that answer go wherever you want with it.  So here’s the challenge:

What is it that Kate does, where does she do it (main timeline or alternate timeline), and who does she do it with or to?

I bet you guys can have some real fun with that one.  Just remember that this is a family-safe blog!  And if you’re taking the time to post, feel free to give me your thoughts on what Smokie/MIB is up to, what’s happening with Sayid, and any over-arching alternate timeline theories you may have.  I’m looking forward to your responses!

See you in a couple of days with the recap!

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 1: “LA X”, Part 2

7 02 2010

While Part 1 of the episode hit you over the head with smoke monster action and a new alternate timeline, Part 2 seemed to settle back in to normal LOST storytelling mode, and perhaps gave us a couple of key foreshadowing scenes.  Let’s get right to the recap!

“I ain’t followin’ nobody Kate”

One of the more subtle things that you may have missed over the course of this episode is Sawyer and his gradual shift in attitude.  He starts off in the wake of the Jughead detonation severely pissed about the reset not happening.  He’s ready to kill Jack over the set of circumstances, especially with Juliet dying as a result of his plan.  But as the episode progresses, he begins to process everything, and his demeanor shifts to complete disdain for everyone and everything associated with the island.  His look and tone in his last scene of the episode is one of someone that is completely done with this place.  He’s had enough, and I’m sure that if he has the opportunity, he’ll do whatever he can to get off the island.

Jack and company traverse the tunnels

On their way to deliver Sayid to the Temple, the gang must go under the wall and through the area that Ben and fake Locke did last season.  The most interesting part of this trip for me was the return of the whispers.  We hadn’t heard them in awhile, so it’s good to know that this particular mystery won’t be dropped by the writers.  But the odd thing is that they were heard right before the Others jumped the team and dragged them to the Temple.  It’s almost as if we’re led to believe that the whispers are a forewarning that the Others are about to appear.  This aligns with some of the appearances we’ve seen, but not all.  I’m hoping there’s more going on here than we might think based upon this specific scene.

“You’ve got two minutes.”

Alright, so even a fantastic show like LOST can have a hiccup or two, and the scene between Kate and the Marshall was just that for me.  I didn’t really buy that he didn’t know that she wasn’t actually using the facilities, and I also had a hard time with her attack on him, and her ability to overpower him despite being handcuffed.  But it is what it is, and the explanation she gave to buy herself some time certainly worked for me.  What was more fun was Sawyer’s banter with the TSA agents in the elevator, especially when he allowed Kate to get a step ahead by feigning chivalry.

“That’s what she wanted to tell you: ‘It worked.'”

First off, let me say that I really enjoy the way they portray Miles’ ability to converse with the dead.  Everytime they use that plot device, it’s a chance for the show to turn a somber/suspenseful moment into a cheesy one.  But the way they edit the scenes and the sound, they manage to pull it off every time.  Of course, what’s most intriguing about the scene is trying to decipher what Juliet is trying to tell Sawyer by saying that it worked.  You’d have to think that it has to be related to the Jughead detonation, and that it achieved the desired result of a reset.  But how would she know that?  Or, more to the point, did her consciousness cross into an alternate timeline?  Perhaps the one we’ve been following throughout the premiere?  If you couple this scene with the one from the first hour where she was still alive, I think you’d have to believe that.  But it seems just a bit too obvious to me.  It’ll be interesting to see if it’s that straightforward, or if there’s more to it than what we know.

“Hey, excuse me!  I carried that case across the ocean and through time and like through time!  I wanna know what that paper says!”

It's an ankh!

The LOSTies get a little bit more than they bargained for when they reach the Temple, but thankfully, Hurley has his trump card ready to play.  And we finally find out what was in the guitar cased that Jacob gave to Hurley: an ankh that appears to have yet another list built into it.  It gets our gang through the test and into the Temple…but more than that, it paints an even larger picture for us regarding Jacob.  While it appears as though the Man in Black has jumped through all kinds of hoops and manipulations to get into Jacob’s abode and kill him, Jacob is no less meticulous in his strategy.  He envisioned this specific situation well before Hurley even agreed to get on Flight 316.  It’s clear that he’s enacting just as much forethought in all of his moves, and may even be ahead of the Man in Black in the grand scheme.


Jin and Sun, about to be detained by security

While Jin and Sun are clearly in a different situation than they were back on the island in Season 1, Jin is still no less of a jerk.  And, because of how radically different other scenes in the alternate timeline have been leading up to this point, we’re not 100% sure if Sun is telling the truth about whether she knows English, or if she’s lying about just how much she really understands.  It’ll be interesting to see if they can tie this situation into another, more meaningful part of the alternate thread.

“The water isn’t clear!  What happened?”

Interesting but straightforward sequence here as they submerge Sayid in an effort to revive him.  Although in the end it fails (at least as far as we know), it almost seems too simplistic to me.  Are the “risks” alluded to simply regarding whether or not Sayid will survive it?  I think there’s more than that, as you’d have to believe that this is the same process that Ben went through to get healed, and Richard was very clear that he’d never be the same afterwards.  What might be an even more interesting question is the possible answer to the question asked as they first entered the spring area.  The first thought is that the water isn’t clear because Jacob has been killed.  But is the answer that simple?  And what are the real implications if that’s the case?  Much to speculate on, but not a ton of answers at this point.

Kate escapes into a cab and finds…

Claire's about to go along for the ride with Kate

Claire!  Great to see her back finally, but somewhat disappointing to see her in the alternate timeline as opposed to the main timeline.  Maybe we’ll get to see her there as well eventually, but in the meantime, pairing her up with an on-the-run Kate certainly ups the ante in that thread.

Hurley spills the beans, and the Temple goes on alert

Interesting bit here, as the Others scramble to put out some fires, light others, and send a warning flare into the sky…presumably to tell the rest of the Others to high-tail it from whatever they’re doing back to the Temple, where they might be safe.  The Others even spread ash in certain areas, making it very clear that they know that it’s the Man in Black that’s on the loose, and he’s not one to be trifled with.

“‘I don’t understand.’  Isn’t that just the saddest thing you’ve ever heard?”

I gotta tell you, if I’m a Locke fan, at this point I’m severely pissed.  Not only have they killed my favorite character (twice, if you got convinced that Locke was Locke from last season only discover he never was revived), but now they’re twisting the knife in even deeper.  His body is being used by the guy who seems to be the main source of evil on the island, and that same evil is mocking and making light of Locke’s last thoughts.  It’s just such a disappointing turn from what had hoped for his character back in Season 1.  Not only has his chances for redemption been denied, but his whole desire for said redemption appear to be the cause of his undoing.  If only there were a glimmer of hope that fans could cling to regarding *some* sort of positive ending for Locke.

"I want to go home."

In any event, at the end of the scene, the Man in Black gives us an all-too-brief view into what the endgame of LOST is really going to be about: the Smoke Monster trying to go home.  Not sure about any of you, but 2 questions quickly came to mind after hearing that: 1. Where the heck is home?  It’s obviously not on the island.  Although it’s crazy to think about, could it be that the Smoke Monster is not indiginous to Earth, and wants to leave the planet?  (That might be too much, even for LOST.)  2. Why the heck can’t he leave now?  Why hasn’t he left already?  Someone or something is keeping him on the island, and killing Jacob seems to be only the first step to reverse this.  Obviously, there’s much, much more to learn about Smokie and his plans.

“If you ever wanna talk, I’m around”

Interesting comment from Hurley here, as he’s now thoroughly convinced that he can see spirits, and is ready to come into contact with Sayid’s.  But what’s even more interesting about the scene is Miles’ reaction to the comment.  He might just think Hurley’s crazy, but is it possible that Sayid was never dead?  More on that briefly.

“My condition is irreversible.”

Locke takes Jack's card, despite his condition being "irreversible"

Alright, so here’s where I admit that I was toying with you a bit earlier when I was talking about Locke.  All of the Locke fans must be bitter right now, but I’m convinced there’s going to be more to Locke (and I mean the real Locke) that what we’ve seen up to this point.  A couple of things to consider: Walt’s dream where he saw Locke in a suit on the beach with everyone trying to kill him, “Canton-Rainier” on the side of the van Locke’s body was being transported in (which unscrambled spells reincarnation), and two things in the last alternate reality from this episode alone.  First, Locke comforts Jack by saying that they didn’t lose Christian, they only lost his body.  Then, even more direct, but perhaps also more subtle, were two lines between Jack and Locke.  Locke: “My condition is irreversible.”  Jack: “Nothing is irreversible.”  If this conversation happened on the island instead of the alternate timeline, we all might be in a different frame of mind about Locke.  But don’t think for a minute that the writers didn’t very carefully select the words for those characters.  Don’t give up hope Locke fans, I’m convinced that there’s more to come.  

“Hello, Richard.  It’s good to see you out of those chains.”

Richard Alpert, only moments before discovering that the man he's facing is *not* John Locke...

While I’m sure many of you had guessed that Richard came to the island way back when on the Black Rock, this is the first bit of commentary that really seems to support that line of thought.  And of course, as soon as Richard comes to understand that the John Locke he sees in front of him is actually the Man in Black, he’s rendered unconscious, so he can’t reveal any further information.  But I bet we can all guess where Richard is being taken to…

Sayid comes back from the dead

Sayid's shocked to be back among the living

…or does he?  I think there are two major camps that formed at the end of this episode.  Those that think that Jacob is now going to use Sayid’s body as his new vessel, and those that  think that the drowning treatment worked, and that Sayid has been revived and healed from his bullet wound.  I think you can lump me in with the latter group, but I don’t think we’ll have too long to wait to find out the true answer.

Post-episode questions:

1. What the heck is this alternate timeline going to show us anyway?  And why should we want to see it?

2. Where the heck is the Smoke Monster from, and what does he need to do to go home?

3. What is John Locke’s ultimate fate?  Have we really seen the last of him?

4. What’s going on with Sayid?  Did he ever really die?

So that’s it for my LA X recap!  Thanks to all of you for coming by and reading…back again early next week with the Challenge of the week!