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…

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