LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 9: “The Package”

31 03 2010

Well, we’ve officially passed the halfway point, for better or for worse.  It hasn’t really sunk in for me yet that we only have 8 hours of LOST left.  But I’ve been reading a lot of negative posts around the web lately, and it troubles me.  Seriously, if any of you are feeling that way, there are only 8 hours left…you’ve got to enjoy the moment.  If you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far, if you’ve invested this much time in the show, then take what’s coming and enjoy it for what it is: the grand climax of an intricate 6-year story.  To show disdain now because all of the answers you’ve been waiting for aren’t what you’ve hoped for in your mind…well, that’s just silly.  It’s really not about the story you want to hear; it’s about the story Damon and Carlton want to tell.  I do alot of analysis on this blog, and at times I’m very critical of the way things play out on the screen.  But getting so jaded that you don’t enjoy the show?

None of that may apply to any of you who come here, but I wanted bring it up.  I prefer to enjoy the good things while I have them.  I guarantee you that if you look for the negative, you’ll inevitably find it.

OK, enough of that, let’s get to the review!  The episode wasn’t as spectacular or as grand in scale as “Ab Aeterno”, but what could be?  It was solid in and of itself, and gave us a few things to ponder…

“The Package”

Did any of you guess the dual meaning before the show aired?  I thought the package that Jin had for Keamy was fairly obvious, but I also figured that Widmore’s surprise was also part of the title.  I just wasn’t sure that it would be what it turned out to be.  But we’ll get to that a bit more at the end of the post…

“The only way we can leave the island is if all of the names that haven’t been crossed off go together.”

Finally an explanation!  I was wondering (I believe I mentioned it in last week’s post) why Smokey didn’t just up and leave as soon as Jacob was killed by Ben.  Now we have our explanation.  Interestingly, as much as Smokey seems all-powerful on-island, there are certainly physical limitations as to what he can and can’t do.  We get to see a bunch of these weaknesses in this episode, the first coming here.  Smokey wants desperately to leave the island, but he’s not going anywhere unless he can convince Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Sayid, Jin and Sun to go with him…or, as the case may be, to remove them from the list.  And I bet you can guess how he intends to do that.  A bit more on this a little later.

“Two rooms.  Two.”

Two rooms?

Nothing overly surprising in the early flash-sideways sequences.  Jin and Sun aren’t married, it appears as though Sun truly doesn’t know English, and she’s got a bank account that she hopes to use for running away with Jin.  But what’s most intriguing is that she has something that she wants to share with Jin, just before Keamy knocks on the door…

“Anger, happiness, pain…I don’t feel it anymore.”

Interesting happenings with Sayid at the start of this episode.  While it’s been clear since “Sundown” that the Sayid we knew has become twisted in some way and crossed over to the dark side, we don’t know just how this has happened, or what other side effects might be in store.  Clearly, he’s been numbed as a result of the process.  What could be next?  And perhaps more importantly, does he have any hope for redemption?  Is his condition in any way reversible?  It’s very interesting to follow Sayid through his transformation.

Jin tries to make a break for it…

 …but instead is kidnapped by Widmore’s crew (I guess “The Subbies” is the official term for these guys.)  The intersting thing to take from this isn’t so much that The Subbies want Jin, but that Smokey was completely oblivious to this attack.  Again, we’re seeing some of his weaknesses in this episode, and Widmore is the one exposing them.  Apparently, he knows that UnLocke is limited to his physical field of vision, and so once he leaves camp, the team can sneak in and get their prize.

Flocke is stunned to find his camp infiltrated

Another fact to take from this ambush is that Widmore is *only* interested in Jin.  If he wanted to thwart Smokey’s plans directly, he could have done much more here to split The Smoking Club into factions, but he doesn’t try that at all.  He’s after something specific, and he really doesn’t much care what MIB is up to.  I’ll leave you with that to ponder for now, and dive a little deeper later on.

“I don’t want to hear about how this is our purpose or destiny!”

I suppose you could say that there are candidates, and then there are CANDIDATES.  Sun certainly appears to fall in the former as opposed to the latter.  She’s about as unwilling as you could be for a potential candidate, which makes you wonder whether or not it’s her or Jin that “Kwon” is referring to.  In reality, it would be a pretty major twist if either of them turned out to be the one.  And in this same scene, it sure seems like Jack has become as big a believer as Locke once was.  Let’s hope he doesn’t meet with the same fate…

“What are you doing here?”

After Sun convinces Jack to leave, she gets a new visitor, one that she really doesn’t want around.  But Smokey’s got to do the rounds.  He’s clearly trying to recruit each of the candidates…giving all of them a chance to join the Smoking Club.  I would imagine that before we get to the finale, Smokey will also try to recruit Hurley and Jack, to complete the list.  The question will be, what will happen to those that choose not to join?  I suspect that he can’t kill them directly, as much as he’d like to, so he’ll likely try to get his team to carry out the dirty work.  It’ll be interesting to see how that plays itself out.

Widmore wants Jin for his topography skills

I don't think she's looking for the local Starbucks

Now there’s a quality I never knew Jin had!  In all seriousness, Widmore is clearly interested in harnessing some electro-magnetic energy.  He’s hopeful that Jin will help out.  But the question is, why?  Why does he need that energy, and what is he going to use it for?  Widmore’s always wanted to control the island, and this latest ploy seems to be yet another attempt at the same.  To what end remains to be seen…

“Once she does, whatever happens, happens”

It’s interesting: at times, it appears as though the writers are trying to make us think that perhaps Jacob isn’t telling the whole truth.  That perhaps, Smokey may just be the guy we should be feeling sorry for.  After all, he’s been trapped on this island against his will for hundreds of years.  Even Jacob himself has admitted as much.  But then we get a line like this from Flocke, and we have no choice but to think that he’s an inherently evil creature.  Despite any potential head-fakes to the contrary, Locke is simply not to be trusted.

“Can’t you just turn into smoke and fly your ass over the water?”

Kind of obvious, but I wanted to quickly point out yet anothet limitation of Smokey brought to the forefront in this episode.  While it appears as though he can float over land however he’d like, he can’t traverse the water in the same fashion.  Of course, that’s likely part of the design that keeps him on the island like a cork keeps the wine in the bottle.  It’ll be interesting to see if any of these limitations are used against him in the final battle.

“What’s that guy’s name, the Russian guy that speaks like nine different languages…Danny’s friend.”

Mikhail escorts Sun to the bank

Always cool to see Mikhail, even if his screen time was extremely limited in the flash-sideways.  He was one of my favorite Others, right up there with Mr. Friendly.  Also, it looks like the writers threw a bone to some of the more hard-core LOST watchers, seemingly referencing Danny Pickett, the guy that picked on Sawyer in the cages, and was eventually killed by Juliet on-island.

“Why won’t you believe me?”

“Because you’re speaking.”  Not much insight or analysis here, I just wanted to note how much I loved that line!

“A wise man once said that war was coming to this island.  I think it just got here.”

War isn't coming; it's here

Seriously, if you had been waiting hundreds of years to be free, and just as you were about to escape, someone stole one of 6 pieces you needed to get out, wouldn’t you be a bit peeved too?  It seems that Widmore knows most of Smokey’s weaknesses, but he’s playing a very dangerous game here.  He ought to be careful about what he’s doing, since one wrong move could mean Smokey attacking.  Since Widmore’s not a candidate, I doubt that there would be any reservation about killing him if he could…

“We’re going to destroy it.”

Sun gives Richard a piece of her mind...even if he can't understand her

As Sun went ballastic about Richard’s plans, I couldn’t help but to think that everyone seems to have a different goal and perspective about what they’re hoping for as we hurtle towards the finale.  Even though there are multiple people in Team Jacob and the Smoking Club, I would argue that each of the principles have a different agenda.  Jack may well be aligned with Jacob since he’s trying to fulfill his destiny, but somehow I think he’s going to make a sacrifice to enable someone else’s rise, as opposed to being the man himself.  Hurley is a loyal follower, but has a mindset more akin to a child than anything else.  Sun wants to find Jin and get off the island, Miles wants to get his diamonds and get home, Lapidus is simply along for the ride, and Ben is there because he has nowhere else to go.  On the other side, Flocke is obviously trying to leave, but Sayid is doing what he’s doing to leverage personal gain, Sawyer is shooting for the big con to get off the island, Kate’s there because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Claire can’t wait for the opportunity to try to kill Kate again.  And all of that doesn’t even speak to the motivation of Widmore’s team, who appears to be on neither’s side, and just wants to exploit the unique properties of the island.

It makes for a potential free-for-all in the finale, where everyone is trying to exert their will, where “alignment” will be used very loosely.  I certainly hope it plays out that way, as it would make for a fascinating last episode.

“If that thing masquerading as John Locke ever got off this island, your wife, your daugher, my daughter, everyone we know and love…would simply cease to be.”

It’s really hard to tell just how much you can believe from Widmore.  He certainly seems more believeable than Ben, but he’s also done some truly sneaky things.  I think that there’s a measure of truth to what he says, but I don’t think you can take it at face value.  The reason why I’m so critically analyzing his character is because I’m unsure of what to make of his words in this scene.  “Cease to be”?  Is this a reference to creating the alternate timeline if he leaves the island?  So, with respect to some of the theories we’ve toyed with here…are the flash-sideways not only what happens if Smokey wins, but *also* the epilogue?  You could certainly make the argument if you take Widmore’s words at face value.  Certainly yet another intriguing twist to the plot…

The flash-sideways take a turn for the worse…

This is NOT how you want to find out that your lover is pregnant

And I don’t mean that as a qualitative assessment of the writing.  Finally, after multiple episodes where the flash-sideways have had little to no real consequence for our LOSTies, Sun takes a stray bullet, and her ability to survive is in question.  And even more disconcerting is that we find out what Sun has been hiding from Jin.  She’s pregnant!  And now our concern for the unborn baby is even higher than our concern for Sun.  Could this be the beginning of the downward spiral that would be associated with the “if the LOSTies lose” theory of the flash-sideways?  Even if it isn’t, it adds a bit of drama to them that we may not have seen previously.

Jack’s tomato: a metaphor for Sun and Jin’s love?

It seems somewhat randomly placed in the episode, which means that there is likely some hidden meaning.  You could say the same for Sun’s sudden inability to speak English, but I think that’s more of a plot device, and probably something that will become more evident in a future episode.  For now, Jack convinces Sun to join Team Ilana in their trek to Hydra Island, and their desire to stop Smokey from leaving.

And the package is…

Desmond is the package

…Desmond!  Probably not the biggest of surprises.  But what might be more of a mystery is what exactly Widmore intends to do with him.  Clearly, Des has a connection with the island that is unlike just about anyone else.  And he’s clearly been brought back against his will.  Based upon Widmore’s interests in the electro-magnetic pockets, and Desmond’s special relationship with time on the island, you’d have to think that Widmore is planning on some time travel activities.  But to what end?  I can’t imagine that he believes anything other than “Whatever Happened, Happened”, so he can’t expect to change the past in any way.  How can he use time travel to impact the present?  I don’t think we’ll have to wait long to find out the answer…

Post-episode questions

1. Now that we know that Smokey needs the candidates to leave the island with him in order to escape, how the heck does he try to convince Jack and Hurley to go?

2. Can Sayid ever find redemption and come back from the state he’s in?

3. What is Widmore’s ulterior motive?  Does he align with either of the other two camps, or is he playing his own game?

4. Will Sun and her baby survive in the flash-sideways?  Is this only the beginning of the terrible things to happen to our LOSTies in that timeline?

5. How does Desmond’s special relationship with the island fit into all of this?

That’s all for this week!  I hope all of you enjoyed the episode!  Next week looks like it could be very interesting…


LOST Challenge of the Week: “The Package”

29 03 2010

Hey there everyone, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the posts this past week as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!  This past week was a great reminder to me of just why I started this blog.  I love sharing my insights with all of you, especially when we can get a bit of a discussion going.  In fact, I’m hoping to continue to go back to the flash-sideways post each week to try to have an ongoing dialogue on that as the season progresses.

Anyway, enough about last week, let’s look ahead to the second half of the season!  Next up is the episode entitled, “The Package”, which is Sun and Jin centric.  TV Guide gives us the following synopsis: “While Sun and Jin continue to search for each other, the Locke Monster faces his enemy.”  Here’s what I’m thinking: “The Package” is one of those titles that probably refers to two different things.  You can probably guess who each of them belong to, and as a result, what one of them specifically is.  But the other…probably not so much.  So here’s the challenge of the week:

What is the “package” in the title referring to?  Bonus points if there are two of them and you guess them both.

Best of luck with the challenge this week, and more importantly, I hope you all enjoy the episode!  I’ll be back  in a few days with the recap.

LOST Discussion: What the heck is up with the flash-sideways?

27 03 2010

So…as we move past the halfway point of LOST’s final season, one of the biggest questions on my mind is what the heck we’re supposed to be getting out of the flash-sideways.  Depending on your point of view, they’re either a fun diversion, a minor distraction, or a complete disappointment.  Personally, I think the typical viewer’s level of tolerance for the flash-sideways stories has nothing to do with the level of quality of the stories themselves.  I’m more inclined to believe that your interest in the flash-sideways is directly related to how much good will the show has developed with you over the years.

Jack on Oceanic 815 in the flash-sideways

Quite frankly, in the most objective sense, the writers have not given us any reason to be emotionally invested in what happens in the flash-sideways.  Without understanding exactly how it relates to the storyline we’ve been following for six years, or knowing the consequences or stakes, it’s hard to decide what to hope for.  Additionally, with the plot in the main timeline being so intriguing, and promising to untangle the web of six years of mystery, it’s only natural for viewers to feel as though the flash-sideways are a distraction or even an annoyance.

So what to do with them?  Sit back idly and hope that the next episode will somehow tie the two storylines together?  That hasn’t worked so well for me so far.  I think I’m going to try to do something different with them, and that is to theorize on what they might actually be.  This way, when they appear in episodes, I can apply the theories to them, and see which ones might hold up, and which ones don’t seem to make any sense.  Of course, these are only my theories.  If you have any that I didn’t list here, please explain them in the comments!  I’d love to hear your explanations.

Theory #1: The timelines will merge

This theory seems to have the most momentum from the online community, but in my opinion, is the least viable.  Things in LOST have slowly moved from Season 1, with nearly everything explainable via modern science, to Season 6, with time travel, possession, and reincarnation all having happened with little to no skepticism.  So merging alternate timelines could be the icing on the cake.

Kate helps a pregnant Claire in the flash-sideways

The problem I’m having with this one is the logistics of it all.  If they come together, which universe “controls” the other?  In other words, is it flash-sideways Jack that retains consciousness in the merge, or is it the Jack from the main timeline?  Or do both get to exist in the same timeline?  And beyond that, what event will trigger such a happening?  It just seems like an overly complicated and contrived plot device for a storyline that appears to be very simple at its heart.  I’d have to think that we’re moving to less complication as we come closer to the end of the story, as opposed to more.

Theory #2: The timelines are connected, but separate

This theory seems to be a variation of the first one, where the timelines themselves don’t actual merge in some way, but instead, the characters have some unknown psychic ability to transfer their consciousness to the other timeline.  This could, for example, allow Locke from the alternate timeline to transfer his consciousness to the Locke in the main timeline, thus taking over his body and forcing MIB out.  Or, Sawyer and Juliet could transfer from the main timeline to the alternate timeline and have their happily ever after.

Hurley throws Locke a bone in the flash-sideways

While this theory would go a long way towards explaining Juliet’s last words in the main timeline, doesn’t it lessen the magnitude of what happens on the island if anyone can simply escape to an alternate timeline to get their happily ever-after?  It’s not like I’m rooting for a bad ending for our characters on the show, but it trivializes those that get a good ending if the ones that don’t can simply escape their fate by flashing to a different timeline.  This theory is somewhat more palatable to me than the first one, but it still leaves me wanting.  It’s just too much a cop-out.

Theory #3: The alternate timeline shows the consequences if Smokey wins

Especially in light of the events of “Ab Aeterno”, this is the explanation that seems to make the most sense to me.  The logic goes like this: what happens if the Man in Black wins?  What if he escapes the island and gets to do what he’s been aching for years to do?  I think it’s a compelling “what if”, but not compelling enough to actually see our LOSTies lose in the end.  So how do you relay the consequences of losing this battle?  How do you show what happens if Smokey wins?  Well, what if we were shown an alternate timeline in which something happened to the island…something that stopped it from being that “cork” to hold the evil where it belongs?  Maybe a scenario in which the island is submerged?

Jack has a son David in the flash-sideways

This seems to make the most sense after recent events.  The major negative to this explanation is that if Smokey’s off the island, why has the world not already succumbed to his evil?  But it’ll be interesting to see if things slowly progress in that fashion in the alternate timeline now that there are only 8 episodes left.  

Theory #4: The alternate timeline is an epilogue for the show

So think for a second about an alternate Season 6…one in which the great conflict ends somewhere around episode 10, and the remaining 6 episodes are used to explain what happens to all of our LOSTies after everything gets all wrapped up.  Yeah, kind of an anti-climactic way to end the show, isn’t it?  But what if you felt as though you had to explain how the characters ended up, to give final resolution to the show?  Perhaps a solution to the dilemma is to show the ending in parallel to everything leading up to it.  Perhaps this “alternate” timeline isn’t alternate at all…perhaps some major event happens at the end of the show, and these flash-sideways are an explanation of what happens after that event.  It’s just being shown to us out of sequence.

Sayid chooses not to be with Nadia in the flash-sideways

This theory seems highly reasonable to me, but the event at the end would have to be pretty amazing in order to create the events we’re seeing in the flash-sideways.  Not my favorite theory, because it creates aother escape mechanism for our LOSTies, but it’s certainly a pretty clever twist if they use it.  It’s also a fun theory to keep in your head as a sort of “play along” as events unfold in the flash-sideways.

Theory #5: The alternate timeline is really the main timeline

So here’s one last theory that’s a bit off-the-wall.  Perhaps this whole alternate timeline thing is actually not an alternate timeline at all.  Maybe what we’ve watched for the past 6 years is the alternate timeline, and the timeline we’re seeing this season is what really happened.  When we get to the end of the “alternate” timeline, some major decision point will come into play that will either propel the LOSTies into the timeline from the last 6 years, or allow the non-island timeline to stick.

Ben works at the same high school as Arzt (and Locke) in the flash-sideways

Of all of the theories I’ve heard, this is the one I’m least fond of.  It basically invalidates the entire storyline from the last 6 seasons, and is even a bigger cop-out than the merging or transferring theories.  But it certainly would be a twist of epic proportions, and something that would be talked about for some time to come.

What’s your favorite?  What did I miss?

Miles and James Ford (Sawyer) are cop partners in the flash-sideways

Alright, so that’s how I see it…but I’d love to hear what you think!  I title these posts “LOST Discussion”s because I’m hoping you’ll be inspired to write in the comments and talk about the details with all of us.  So don’t be shy if you’ve got something to share!  Let’s see if we can figure it out together before the big reveal happens!

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 8: “Ab Aeterno”

25 03 2010

Well now, that’s what we’re talking about, isn’t it?  I know alot of you had high hopes for this episode along with me, and I’d have to think that you couldn’t have been disappointed by it.  The story of Richard getting to the island and falling into his role was compelling in and of itself, and at the same time, the episode seemed to confirm some theories that most of us had thought were true.  I’ll go on record to say that I think one key reason (of many) that made the show work so spectacularly was that there was no flash-sideways.  We went back to the tried-and-true flashback method (as expected), and as a result, had a resounding 5-star episode.   I have to say, I was originally not going to write this entry so soon due to some changes in my personal schedule this week, but the episode begs for a recap, and I simply can’t wait to put this together and get it out there to all of you.  So here we go!

Ab Aeterno

OK, so just a quick level set here for those of you who don’t speak Latin, and didn’t want to do the research on looking up the translation.  What it means is “from eternity” or “from the beginning of time”.  Certainly appropriate for a Richard episode.

“Candidates for what?”

Very interesting approach to the start of this episode.  It actually begins with a flashback for Ilana, when Jacob requests that she protect the remaining six candidates.  In a Richard flashback, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.  But the way I interpret it is that we’re meant to fully believe what happens in this episode.  This information is not a lie, or even a misdirection.  We’re getting a flashback for pieces of information and a conversation that the writers want us to take at face value, and not question with regards to validity.

“Ask Ricardos, he’ll know what to do next.”

I want to be sure to point out this line of dialogue, because I think it’s easy for it to get lost in the revelations later in the show.  Jacob clearly means for Richard to guide Team Ilana through the next steps.  But as he takes off and appears to be ready to switch to the Smoking Club, we never get an explanation, or any info in his flashback that indicates that he has a clue.  In fact, he seems to be nothing more than a liaison for Jacob.  I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, as I’m going to dive into this in greater detail when discussing the scenes between Richard and Jacob.  For now, keep it in the back of your head that Jacob told Ilana that Richard should know what to do.  All eyes are on him…let’s see if there’s anything that justifies that faith.

Tenerife, Canary Islands – 1867

Ricardo riding his horse home

So we don’t know exactly how old Richard was when the series of events that brought him to the island occurred, but it’s safe to say that he hasn’t aged in over 130 years.  And, based on the events of the episode, we can also assume that the statue has been reduced to it’s 4-toed remnant for just as long.  I mention this because it confirms that the statue’s destruction had nothing to do with women not being able to give birth on the island.  Juliet was able to deliver a baby in the Dharma Barracks in 1977.  These events are unrelated in time, so something else must be the cause.  At this point, the only thing that seems to make any sense is the detonation of Jughead.  And if you take a second to think about it, that’s pretty ironic.  Juliet was brought to the island in approximately 2001/2002 in order to solve a problem she created by her actions on the island in 1977.  Gotta love it!

The Things We Do For Love

Ah, poor Richard.  The man goes through a full night’s journey through the rain to retrieve medicine for his wife, but she is ultimately unsaveable.  And for his trouble (as a result of accidentally killing the doctor), he gets jail time.  But it’s ultimately this willingness to do anything for his wife that eventually sets the series of events in motion that makes him Jacob’s liaison.  But I’ll get to that a little later on.

Luke 4:24

OK, so bear with me for just a minute as I spend a bit of time on the biblical verse shown as clear as day on the screen in this episode, when Richard is confined to prison.  I want to do so because it’s shown to us for a reason, and I actually think I understand the meaning behind the verse, and how it applies to the story of LOST.  Here goes…

The verse goes like this: And he said, “Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.”  Without the proper context, and read on its own, this verse makes very little sense at all.  But what’s happening here is that Jesus is replying to a group in his hometown that have heard of his prophetic deeds second-hand, after he had left.  They see him as the son of a carpenter, and are highly skeptical of his professed status as savior.  How could this man be a prophet?  How could he know what he’s talking about?  Thus Jesus’ retort that he could (and any other prophet) could not be fully received in his hometown.  It’s only through others, from outside, that his true value can be understood.

So how does this relate to LOST?  Well, potentially in two ways.  One is somewhat straightforward but possibly weakly applicable.  The other is something that I had in mind way back when I watched “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”, but never really tried to explain until now.

So here’s the first application: Jacob is fighting a battle against the Man in Black.  As he states later in this episode, there are two aspects to this conflict: to keep him on the island, and to convince him that humanity is not inherently sinful.  While the specifics are unclear as to when Jacob “wins”, in order to try to win the second part of this battle, he brings people from the outside to attempt to convince MIB that this is the case.  In other words, Jacob’s beliefs and abilities will never simply be accepted by the Man in Black; the “rules” dictate that he must be convinced by outsiders.

And now, for a second application, which I think is much more fitting, but calls for some type of miraculous ending to the series.  So think back with me for a bit to the story of the episode, “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham”.  Check it out here here for my recap if it’s been awhile.  In it, John Locke turns the frozen donkey wheel on the island, and is sent to Tunisia and picked up by Charles Widmore.  Widmore then fully funds Locke’s “magical mystery tour”: he visits Sayid in the Dominican Republic, then Walt in New York, Hurley in Santa Rosa, and Kate in Los Angeles.  Finally, he meets up with Jack in a Santa Monica hospital.  What’s the one thing that all of these meetings had in common?  With the exception of the Walt visit, Locke is completely rejected (and perhaps thought of as crazy) by each of his friends.  They all see him as a common man, stuck in a wheelchair, and that his fanaticism about the island and the idea that they have to go back is ridiculous.  It’s not until after his death, via convincing from others, that they all come around, and in fact do return.  Locke was not received in his “hometown”, his set of friends.

Just to be 100% clear, I’m comparing Locke’s exploits with Jesus, especially regarding this particular verse.  And I’m also suggesting, despite all evidence to the contrary, that I believe that Locke is still going to pull off some type of miraculous resurrection/reincarnation and become the savior of the island and Jacob’s replacement.  Considering who’s currently assuming the form of Locke’s body, that’s a bold prediction, isn’t it?  I’m either going to look like a complete fool or an absolute genius…

Anyway, thanks for following me on that aside.  It seemed incredibly relevant to me, and I hope that it at least gives all of you some food for thought.

Black Rock, Tawaret.  Tawaret, Black Rock.

Tawaret, about to be run through by the Black Rock

So there’s another question answered: it was the Black Rock that turned the statue into a 4-toed remnant.  And that should be taken literally: the ship itself crashes into the statue somehow, and destroys it, leaving the ship mostly intact, but far inland.  I have to admit, I’m having a hard time buying this one folks.  Somehow some huge wave (maybe a tsunami) gets the Black Rock high enough to smash into the top of the statue?  that would certainly explain how it got so far inland, but wouldn’t the island be mostly submerged if that were the case?  And wouldn’t the ship be more likely to break apart than the statue?  I guess in the grand scheme it’s mostly irrelevant, but the explanation for those two questions (how did the Black Rock get so far inland and how did the statue come down)…questions that we’ve been asking for quite some time…leave me wanting.

Richard narrowly escapes death…twice

Our man Alpert is having some really terrible luck.  Not only did he accidentally kill the doctor that was supposed to save his wife, but she dies before he could save her.  Then, his slave ship runs aground, and one of the ship’s officers goes on a killing spree.  Of course, just before he feels the steel of the officer’s blade, Smokey delivers his own bloodbath.  Finally, Richard goes face-to-face with Smokey himself…and survives.

I’m guessing that some of you are perhaps taking for granted the reasons why Richard was spared, or perhaps haven’t given it much thought.  I’m going to tell you exactly why he wasn’t killed like the rest of them, and also why any of those that have been spared by Smokey didn’t meet with their demise, but let me first quickly recap the rest of the events prior to Richard finally getting off of the ship.

By the way…

Another quick little aside here, perhaps meaningful, perhaps not.  Did any of you notice the butterfly sweeping through the scene right after coming back from commercial following the Black Rock massacre?  I mention it because the flight path seems highly deliberate, going directly to the Black Rock, and then through the lower deck where Richard was chained.  And, while I didn’t have a chance to go back through and re-watch it, the color of the butterfly seemed vaguely reminiscent of the color of the old “Hurley bird” that we haven’t seen since way back in Season 2.  I might be reading too much into a simple transition, but I at least wanted to mention it.

Richard goes through a long, painful struggle to get free

Richard struggles to get free

What must certainly be days pass before he finally breaks down and has a vision of his deceased wife, Isabella.  Or is she deceased?  Many apparently dead people have appeared to loved ones on the show.  Regardless, Richard convinces her to try to escape before “the devil” comes back, but as soon as she makes it topside, we hear Smokey’s signature noises, and Isabella’s screams.  Richard is beyond distraught.  But not surprisingly, what appears to be shortly thereafter, he is met by our Man in Black (who is indeed still wearing black, by the way).  And of course, the Man in Black has a proposition for Richard: his freedom for the life of Jacob.

Let’s stop right here.  One quick thing to share: I don’t believe anything that MIB says to Richard in this scene.  I could analyze it, but I feel as though it would be fairly pointless.  No, what I’d rather analyze is the sequence of events, because I think it hammers home a somewhat fuzzy theory that I’ve had, potentially to the contradiction of what you might think is happening.  This theory is best understood with the supporting evidence found in “Dead is Dead”, so feel free to head back to my initial recap of that episode if you’ve got time for a refresher.

Note the very specific order of events with Richard: first, he is scanned/read by Smokey.  We know that Smokey can read people’s minds, as was shown when it read Mr. Eko back in Season 2’s “The 23rd Psalm”.  After being scanned, an apparition of Isabella appears to Richard.  And then, Smokey requests that Richard kill Jacob.  I think that each of these events is related, and highly sequential.  Think for a minute about the prominent Smokey scans of the series: Locke early on, Eko in Season 2, Ben in Season 5, and now Richard in Season 6.  It could be argued, and I think the prevailing thought is, that each individual was spared because they were repentant, or pure in heart.  But I am hereby attempting to debunk that theory.  Now that we know who Smokey is, and what he’s all about, I think we can take the scans one level higher.  While you could say that each of the characters were “pure of heart” at the time of their scan, you could also argue that they all had something else in common: a situation or character flaw that Smokey could exploit.

Think of it this way: if you desperate to kill someone, but you can’t do it yourself, who are the best people to try to recruit to do that task for you?  People that have had tremendous loss, or are in a mental state that would make them do almost anything…if they could have a certain condition met.  Working backwards, Richard would do anything to see Isabella or be with her.  MIB knows this due to his scan of Richard’s mind.  Thus, he presents a vision of her to him, and makes him believe that he can see her if he does his bidding.  That’s strong motivation.  Last season, right after Ben was scanned and “judged” by Smokey, his daughter appeared, compelling him to do whatever Locke said…including killing Jacob.  Eko originally had a similar weakness, feeling nearly uncontrollable repentance and remorse for his actions that led to his brother’s death.  But later, Eko said he felt as though he didn’t do anything wrong, eliminating the possibility of Smokey using that remorse to manipulate Eko to do his will.  His usefulness depleted, Smokey killed him.  And finally, when Locke was scanned back in Season 1, he was willing to do whatever the island told him because he believed so strongly in destiny.  MIB used that mindset to pull of his biggest manuever of all: getting Locke to both position himself as the leader of the Others, and to sacrifice himself “for the island”.  Of course, we know that it was MIB himself that had Richard relay the message to Locke that he should die.  This allowed MIB to create a loophole in Jacob’s rules: the ability to get into his living quarters, and to do so with someone that was willing to kill him.

The bottom line is this: Smokey scans you for a singular purpose: to find something in your life that he can manipulate.  To find things that are so incredibly important to you that you are willing to “sin” for him if he promises to give those things to you.  And of course, he can deliver.  But by the time he does, you’re already playing for the wrong team.

One other related item to quickly touch upon: I’m still not 100% convinced that the apparitions are Smokey himself.  They could be, and likely are.  And if not, they are certainly working with Smokey in many cases.  But there still exists the possibility that they are a 3rd party in this conflict.  And the reason why I’m of the belief that this could still be the case is because of the young blond boy we saw in the same location as Smokey in “The Substitute” from earlier this season.  If Smokey was/is the apparitions, how could Sawyer see both the form of Locke that he was using, as well as the young boy, at the same time?  To me, that’s still an unexplained mystery.

I hope that all made sense.  Smokey’s a manipulative guy.  And while we all first thought that surviving Smokey meant that you were “pure of heart” or “true to the island”, I think we’re giving MIB too much credit if we still think that now.

Jacob explains LOST’s endgame to Richard

Richard listens intently to Jacob's explanations

Pardon me, but I’m again going to completely skip the dialogue between MIB and Richard.  While he makes some interesting statements that echo things that Dogen said, you have to mostly believe that everything he says is a lie.  Instead, I’m going to focus on Jacob’s conversation with Richard, which are chock full of informational nuggets, and ones that I think we can take at face value.

First of all, we get confirmation that the island is indeed a prison for Smokey.  He desperately wants to get off the island, apparently to spread his evil around the world.  But Jacob is somehow using the island as a way to keep him there.  This “game” is an effort to keep the balance of good and evil in the world even, or at least as even as possible.  Taken a step further, it could be argued that Jacob’s decisions on who to bring to the island to help him in this task is critical.  Therefore, if something were to happen that would disallow him from bringing those he wanted (perhaps the existing candidates), then evil (Smokey) might win.  No wonder Faraday’s mom told Desmond that he was saving the world by pushing the button.  Doing so made it possible to bring the candidates to the island.  Additionally, it explains why she set up her son to die at her hands via his time travel exploits.  She sacrificed her son for the welfare of the human race.

Jacob makes his point with a bottle of wine

By the way, are you wondering at all what might REALLY happen if Smokey got off the island?  Just how would all of that evil “spread” like Jacob says?  If the good guys win (and I’m guessing we agree that we hope they do), then we’ll never know, will we?  Or will we?  Prior to this episode, I think we’ve actually been shown a timeline in which the island is submerged…and more than likely, is no longer holding Smokey in place.  And that’s the flash-sideways.  I’m now convinced more than ever that the flash-sideways is going to show us what happens if/when Smokey wins.  It’ll deliver the consequences of what happens if our LOSTies lose the final battle against Smokey in the finale.  (But I promise I’ll still finish the post I’ve started regarding the possibilities of what the flash-sideways could be).

Some other quick analysis of Jacob’s rules of the conflict: the only thing that matters for the purposes of proving a sinful nature versus an inherently good nature is what happens on the island.  Apparently, people can be “redeemed” if they make the right choices once they arrive.  Additionally, as we thought based upon the events in last season’s finale, Jacob has a very firm non-interference policy.  In order to prove the inherent righteousness of humanity, he feels as though the actions of the people he encounters or brings to the island must be of their own free will.  Of course, since MIB has no such restrictions, it puts Jacob at a bit of a disadvantage.  Thus the idea of having Richard as his liaison.  He needs someone to be his spokesperson (another possible allusion to Luke 4:24 listed above?).

The last piece we get out of the conversation is a a final confirmation that Jacob does indeed have the power to grant eternal life, and he does so with Richard.  Things to ponder about that: how does he have this ability?  What’s the nature of his being that gives him this power?  Additionally, why is he using it so sparingly?  I’d think that he’d want to give it to all of his potential candidates for replacement, and perhaps even to himself.

“He told me to give you this.”

While the gesture of Richard giving the white rock to MIB was certainly meant as a way for Jacob to antagonize him, I can’t help but to think about the skeletons in the cave.  They were holding white and black rocks, perhaps signifying opposite sides of the conflict.  Initially my thought was that Adam & Eve were likely Jack & Kate…and then I switched to Rose & Bernard.  But now, neither of those two seem to make a lot of sense.  It appears as though they’ll come from opposing teams, perhaps killing each other in the upcoming war.  Anything I would throw out there would be a complete guess at this point…

“Does the offer still stand?”

Very interesting scene towards the end of the episode, where Richard is almost imploring Smokey to allow him to be on his team so that he can see his wife again.  But amazingly, despite being in the vicinity, he allows Richard to be swayed back to Team Jacob by Hurley’s ability to speak with his wife’s apparition.  And thus, it appears as though Richard has his wits about him again.  Whether or not that will translate into him being able to remember what Jacob wanted him to do with Team Ilana remains to be seen.

One last rule of the game

Jacob and MIB have another chat

The final scene does a great job of explaining why MIB is on the recruitment warpath.  While he was successful in getting someone to kill Jacob, in order to be fully freed of the worry that anyone else could take his place, he needs to eliminate the rest of the candidates.  Unfortunately for him, he can’t do it himself (this was reinforced by the young blond boy as well).  So what he needs to do is get recruits that he can deploy to try to do that dirty work for him.

Of course, there’s one final little piece of this that I don’t understand.  If all MIB needs to do in order to get off the island is have someone kill Jacob, then why the heck is not checking out the instant that the deed is carried out?  It seems to me that he should be long gone already.  Unless, of course, he requires someone to physically remove him from the island.  Perhaps that’s why he’s got Hydra Island and the Ajira plane in his sights…

Post-episode questions:

1. Can Richard remember what directives he’s supposed to give Team Jacob?

2. What’s the process to move from a candidate to Jacob’s replacement?  Why hasn’t that process gotten started?

3. Why did Locke allow Richard to remain on Team Jacob?

4. Are the apparitions really the Smoke Monster, or are they a separate entity?

5. Can you believe that we’re already halfway through the final season?

Overall, this was a spectacular episode, both in terms of the self-contained story of Richard Alpert, and the way it framed the story to give us so many answers and confirmations.  I hope all of you enjoyed it as much as I did!

LOST Challenge of the Week: “Ab Aeterno”

22 03 2010

Alright, well I’m going to get right to it on this post.  The challenge for this week is proving to be one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever had since I started this blog.  The TV Guide synopsis is incredibly simple: “Richard Alpert has a difficult decision to make”.  Well, that’s not too helpful, is it?  On top of that, we know so little about Richard, that asking anything about him would likely be more of a guess for any of you than a true challenge.

So what should I ask about?  Why he doesn’t age?  Seems like we have an indirect answer to that.  Where he came from?  I think we know that too.  Whether or not he’ll have a flashback or a flash-sideways?  Interesting, but probably not too hard to answer if you give it some real thought.  No, all of those things don’t seem too challenging.  but after I gave it some more thought, I came across something that I think might work.

We all know that Smokey and Richard know each other.  Richard gave Locke a knowing “YOU” just before he got the beat-down near the 4-toed status remnant (which I’d love to see in the upcoming episode, by the way).  Later, Richard was absolutely terrified of Locke, and refused to go anywhere with him.  So here’s the challenge, because I think we’ll get the answer in the episode:

What was Richard’s first interaction with MIB, and what happened in that interaction that made him so terrifed of Smokey?

Not sure about all of you faithful readers, but I have extremely high hopes for this episode, both in terms of quality, and what potential answers and pieces to the puzzle we might receive.  Here’s hoping we get a 5-star episode!

BTW, due to a change in my personal schedule for this week, my recap of the episode may come a day later than usual.  I’m also still working on the analysis of the flash-sideways…look for that post soon!

LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 7: “Recon”

18 03 2010

Hey everyone, thanks for stopping by!  I’m back with a recap of the Sawyer-centric episode “Recon”.  So, here’s my question of the day: are you happy with the overall trend of the season so far?  I gotta tell you, I thought that “Recon” was fairly pedestrian, especially for a show like LOST.  I know that a bunch of you really liked it, and are wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  But for me, the episode did very little to advance the on-island plot, and the alternate timeline is still a major mystery.  We’ve had a couple of great episodes this season, with “The Substitute” and “Sundown” being fantastic examples of why this show is so good.  But after last night and the earlier “What Kate Does”, I’m really feeling like the season has been hit-or-miss so far.  I’m hopeful for another incredible installment next week, but who knows?  Anyway, I’ll get started with the recap now, but if any of you have commentary on the season’s episode quality so far, I’d love to hear it.


OK, so I have to admit that I stole this from the podcast this week, but isn’t it great when the show’s title has double-meaning?  For those of you who didn’t hear the podcast or gave it much thought, the episode title probably jumped out at you as short-hand for “reconnaissance”, which is what Locke had Sawyer do when he sent him to Hydra Island.  But the double-meaning could be “to con again”, which could be a valid description for what Sawyer ends up doing at the end of the episode.  Regardless, it’s cool to know Team Darlton is still trying to be creative with the titles, even as we approach the end of the series.

“If she’s here, you got my word, we ain’t leavin’ without her.”

Sawyer gives Jin his word

An interesting way to start the episode, with Sawyer helping Jin get over his injury.  OK, so that in itself isn’t strange, but I think Sawyer’s promise to Jin is.  For a guy who’s so desperate to get off the island, why would he commit to something that could potentially hinder his escape plan?  You’d have to think that he wouldn’t lie to Jin, or say what he did just to get him to come along.  It’ll be interesting to see this play out if at some point Sawyer has to choose between a quick escape or going back to make sure Sun can come along.

“Here’s the thing dimples, I can spot a con man”

I'm a cop, not a con man...

Loved this line!  Sawyer finally gets the nickname game turned on him, as the woman in his bed is all over the con game, and doesn’t bite.  But lo and behold, it’s not a true con, it’s a setup.  In the alternate timeline, Sawyer’s a cop!  But what is even more intriguing to me is the fact that Mr. Ford doesn’t give himself the “Sawyer” nickname in this timeline.  He clearly doesn’t write the letter, doesn’t turn into a confidence man, and never takes on the nickname of the man who tricked his parents.  It’s actually one of the more fascinating twists in the alternate timeline, and I’ll get into it a bit more later on.

“The Black Smoke killed them.”

Smokey tries to calm Zach and Emma

For those of you that don’t go back and re-watch the episodes at least 3 times like I do, you might be surprised by one of the events in this scene, and I don’t mean the re-appearance of Cindy, Zach, and Emma.  No, I’m referring to the fact that Claire makes it a point to hold Kate’s hand as Locke talks to the little ones and tries to make them feel safe after leaving the Temple.  She clearly is a very confused human being, as she shifts from one emotion to the next and then all the way back again from the beginning to the end of the episode.  Claire’s clearly not herself, but we knew that already, right?  The question is, is that a permanent condition?  If she died and came back like Sayid, is there any coming back from the state of mind she’s in?  It’ll be interesting to see if Claire and Sayid are forever turned, or if they have any shot whatsoever at redemption before the series ends.

“It’s either kill or be killed…and I don’t wanna be killed.”

Sawyer and Smokey have a little chat

In the first part of the season, there was a little bit of misdirection going on, where it was somewhat unclear as to who might be the “good guys”, and who might be the “bad guys”.  I don’t think there’s much of that going on any more, but there are still some subtle questions that could still put some doubt in your head as to whether or not you want to root for Jacob or for Smokey.  If you take Smokey at face value (and so far we have no reason to think otherwise), then he’s been trapped for a long, long time, and you could almost justify his reactions as it relates to all of the destruction he’s left in his wake.  And now, if he truly believes that he can be killed, especially if he doesn’t get enough people on his side, then perhaps he does have to launch a pre-emptive strike in order to avoid dying.  I guess the questions are whether or not you believe him, and whether or not you’re sympathetic to his plight.  I’d venture to guess that most everyone is in Jacob’s camp right now, but things may not be so clear-cut once we get the full backstory.

Sawyer and Charlotte get it on

I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of Charlotte’s character in the series, and the scenes with her in the flash-sideways only seem to further marginalize her appearance.  In the first scene with she and Sawyer, there seem to be 3 things that the writers want to confirm and reinforce: first, that Sawyer is indeed making a concerted effort to find the original Sawyer con man, and second, that James Ford is indeed not calling himself Sawyer at any point.  Apparently, the decision to become the con man had everything to do with him using that nickname.  Since he never made that choice in this timeline, he never takes the moniker.  Finally, James is taking this whole task on by himself.  He wants absolutely no one to know about his situation, much less help him.  He seems destined to fight this battle alone…

Claire jumps Kate while Sayid watches on

Not sure which was more disturbing in this scene, Claire trying to kill Kate, or Sayid watching on as if it were a friend teeing off at the local golf course.  Amazingly, the one to stop it turns out to be Locke.  It’s a bit of a challenge to try to determine what his motivation is for doing so, but it would seem that it’s due to the fact that he really needs Kate to be playing for the Smoking Club.  It’s probably evident to him that Kate is a candidate, and having a candidate on his side might be crucial as to whether or not he wins the upcoming war.  Of course, this may end up backfiring on him in the long run, as Kate only appears to be there as a result of circumstance.  She may bolt when he least expects it, and she may take some other folks (namely, Jin, Cindy, Zach, and Emma), when she does.  But for now, it appears as though he believes his strength lies in his numbers, especially if one of those numbers is a candidate.

The bodies begin to pile up

Alright, so here’s a scene that’s not overly clear to me.  Are we supposed to assume that all of those bodies are from the Ajira flight?  If so, why were they not buried?  Is Widmore trying to attract Smokey in some way by using this tactic?  Or did Smokey himself do this before he left?  For some reason, I get the feeling that we’re supposed to know what happened here, but nothing that happened previously makes it any easier to understand exactly what went on.

Charlie’s brother comes looking for him

Not a ton to add here, it’s just a nice touch to see that the writers haven’t completely forgotten about Charlie in the alternate timeline.  It’d be nice to learn his ultimate fate in the flash-sideways before it’s all over, and perhaps this brief moment foretells of that possibility.

The con man gets conned…or does he?

To me, there was much ado about nothing in this segment of the show.  Sawyer talks to Zoe, and Locke talks to Kate, but in the former’s case, any or all of it could be a lie, and in the latter’s case, we don’t learn much of anything we didn’t already know.  It was very strange and disappointing to me to watch these scenes hoping to get just a tiny morsel of new info regarding the goings-on of the grand conflict, but nothing.  And as far as the twist, where Zoe’s gang comes out from behind the trees, it wasn’t much of a surprise.  Of course, if it’s not a great surprise to us, then it’s also not a great surprise to Sawyer.  He’s just playing along to see who’s behind all of this…

“I had a mother, just like everyone.  She was a very disturbed woman.”

Intriguing dialog here between Locke and Kate.  We seem to be getting the tiniest of pieces regarding Smokey’s background, and perhaps how he got stuck in this situation to begin with.  I’m interpreting his line of “problems that I’m still trying to work my way through” as an indicator that he holds her at least partially responsible for his predicament.  Clearly there’s not a ton to go on, and the conversation was more about how he was drawing a parallel between himself and Aaron’s possible fate, but I’m sure this conversation will become more relevant at some point in the future.  For now, it’s almost as if Locke is trying to drive a wedge further between Kate and Claire…suggesting that Claire is unfit to be Aaron’s mother.

Life lessons from Little House on the Prairie

Charlotte in an unforgiving mood

Interesting second-to-last flash-sideways scene, perhaps the most interesting of the season so far.  We get some major insight as to just how lost Mr. Ford is in this timeline.  He’s at home, by himself, eating microwavable dinners, and watching what could very well be a taped copy of Little House for inspiration.  And if that’s not enough, he’s fully rebuffed by Charlotte, who pretty much breaks down his situation by accident.  “I don’t know if you’re just lonely, guilty, or completely mad.”  James Ford in this timeline could probably ask himself that same question and not know the answer.  Although he has many years yet to find the Anthony Cooper that has caused him so much pain in his life, you almost get the feeling that he’s destined to never find him.  That this Sawyer…this James Ford…will spend the rest of his life hunting down a man he will never find.  And as a result, he will never find true peace.  He’ll always be alone.

In a strange way, it seems as though the Sawyer we know has also reached this stage, albeit by different means.  He found his Sawyer, and managed to kill him.  He also found love (in Juliet), but lost her.  This Sawyer also seems destined to be alone.  As he said to Kate at the top of the episode, “I ain’t with anybody, Kate”.  Sad but true.  Hopefully for Sawyer, there’s still time for that to change, in either or both timelines.

What’s in the compartment?

Alright, so I don’t have any really good guesses on this, but it’s obvious we were supposed to file this away.  Widmore’s got something pretty special locked up on his sub, and I’m sure we’ll get to see it at just the right moment.  But what could it be?  A special way to kill Smokey?  A way for him to take over the island once and for all?  Perhaps a special gift for Ben?  I’m not sure, but I’d love to read your theories in the comments!

Sawyer makes a deal with the devil

Sawyer makes a deal with Widmore

Or is it Widmore who does that?  I mean really, who do you trust less, Smokey or Widmore?  And on the flip side, if you’re either Widmore or Smokey, do you trust Sawyer to deliver what he says he’s going to?  It’s almost as if both sides will expect that Sawyer’s lying, and true chaos will ensue.  Of course, that’s just what Sawyer’s looking for, as he hopes to use that to his advantage and get off the island for good.

Claire comes full circle…

Claire breaks down and gives Kate a hug

…and I’m not sure that it’s not just an act.  But what’s even creepier is the thought that even if it’s not an act, I’m not sure that it makes it any different.  Claire has completely lost touch with the ability to control her emotions.  It’s almost as if she’s a child in an adult’s body.  One thing seems certain: when you go from holding someone’s hand to trying to murder them to hugging them and apologizing, you have achieved the definition of unpredictable.  Who the heck knows what we’ll see next from Claire…

Well lookie what we have here…

It's Kate! What a surprise!

In the final flash-sideways scene of the episode, Sawyer spills the beans to Miles about his past, and during the discussion has a fugitive fall right into his lap.  Of course, most of you probably guessed it was Kate before she was revealed.  The question is, what should he do now?  Is he going to turn her in?  Will she meet Charlie in prison?  Perhaps most importantly, when will we know anything at all about the relevance of this timeline with respect to the one we’re familiar with?  Not sure about the rest of you, but the alternate timeline has moved from an amusing diversion to a distraction from the main timeline to an annoyance in a very brief period of time.  I have the utmost faith in the writers to make it all meaningful at some point.  But it’s become a frustration to me on multiple levels at this point.  I really hope we get even the smallest of nuggets about it before the finale.  It’d be nice to play a little connect-the-dots with it prior to it being all spelled out for us.

“We’re takin’ the sub”

Nice final scene of the episode, where Sawyer shares his true plan with Kate.  It wasn’t a complete surprise that Sawyer is trying to play both sides against each other, or that he intends to steal the sub to go home.  It is interesting, however, that he’s come back from his all-about-me attitude from earlier in the season, and is now including Kate in his plans.  For those of you highly interested in how the Jack-Kate-Sawyer love triangle might end, you just got another gem to keep you guessing.

Post-episode questions:

1. What is Widmore’s ultimate plan?  Is he really there to try to kill Smokey?

2. Is there any hope for Claire?  She seems like she’s taken a permanent jump off the deep end.

3. What is Smokey waiting for?  Why not just go to the other island and kill everyone right now before the makeshift pylons can be constructed?

4. Is Sawyer destined to be unhappy in both timelines?  What can he do to change his fate?

5. If Widmore and Smokey end up duking it out, how does Team Ilana fit into the battle?  Whose side do you pick in that type of fight?

That’s all I’ve got for now!  I’m hoping to break down the alternate timeline a bit this weekend and write an entry on it, and I have high hopes for a stellar episode next week.  Richard has always been a favorite of mine since we first saw him, and I can’t wait to get more of his backstory.  But I wonder…will we see flashbacks that tell his story, or will they show us some more flash-sideways, and how he fits into that world?  As always, thanks for stopping by!

LOST Challenge of the Week: “Recon”

15 03 2010

Hey everyone, I’m back again with yet another challenge of the week!  I was tempted to do something a little different this week, and ask you to analyze the flash-sideways with me in more detail.  But after giving it some more thought, I came to the conclusion that it might be better to have a separate post on that, and create a discussion-type entry.

Instead, as we approach the mid-point of the season (can you believe that we’re halfway through after next week’s episode?), we’ll stick with tried-an-true one more time.  So, here’s your challenge:

What is Locke/Smokey going to have Sawyer try to do in this episode?  And if you’re going to use the episode title as a springboard, then try to be more specific…

Best of luck if you throw an answer out there!  Otherwise, here’s hoping we get a great episode that keeps the momentum going!