LOST Recap: Series Finale: “The End”

25 05 2010

Wow, and I thought that “Across The Sea” was polarizing!  Coming in, there had to be some expectation that the finale would not be all things to all people.  We even discussed it here on this blog…it’s hard to stick the landing on a series finale.  In fact, it’s almost impossible…I can’t think of a single show I’ve watched that has pulled it off.  And even now, I think I can put LOST on that list of shows that didn’t quite pull off the ending.  But I might be getting a bit ahead of myself with that.  For this entry, I’m going to do my darnedest to separate the commentary and critique from the analysis.  What I want to do here is to share my thoughts and interpretations of what we saw on-screen.  And in a separate entry (one that I originally said I’d write in June but don’t think I can wait until then), I’ll comment on the series as a whole, and how the finale delivered in the grand scheme of the show’s overall structure.

So for now, let me get into the typical review, and see if I can share any insights with you that you haven’t potentially already seen somewhere else…

“The End”

I almost don’t need to comment on the multiple meanings here: the end of the show, the end of Jack’s journey, the end of the Smoke Monster, the end of this realm of existence…it’s all relevant.  You probably figured all of that out already, but I thought I’d mention it just in case.

“Christian Shephard?  Seriously?”

When you hear a quote like this at the start of the finale, it’s not too hard to think that the writers had something to the effect of the ending planned all along.  The Season 1 character was well-named for his role in the finale, as well as him being the catalyst for bringing Jack to the island.

“That Locke-smoke thing wants to put it out?”

There’s something that happened in the last few episodes of the show that wasn’t immediately evident to me until I did some re-watches.  Those of you that have been paying close attention to detail may have realized that Smokey’s motives seem to have changed in the show’s last few hours.  Wasn’t it that he wanted nothing more than to get off the island?  What’s up with him now wanting to put out the light in the cave?  Well, I think the answer is twofold, and they also may not be mutually exclusive.

First off, it may be that Smokey’s motives changed once he talked to Widmore and realized that he could potentially use Desmond as a way to disrupt the island’s light source.  Up until that point, it’s possible that Smokey didn’t think he could put out the light, and chose escape instead.  Alternately, it could be that he was looking to put out the light all along, thinking that was the only way to get off the island.  He could have believed that he had to kill all of the candidates first because if he didn’t, they’d potentially become Jacob’s successor and try to stop him.  It’s certainly possible that both are true, and that he was trying to kill the candidates so that they couldn’t protect the light in Jacob’s absence, and then he’d be free to put it out, sink the island, and leave.

“We built this place in ’75, and lived here a couple of years…and then the sky lit up again.”

Rose and Bernard cautiously eyeball Locke

In case you were curious, Rose gives a good explanation here as to why she and Bernard have made it to 2007 and not aged 30 years as you might expect.  It seems as though they time-shifted to island-present after Jughead went off, just like Jack, Kate, Juliet, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, and Jin.  If we make the assumption that Jacob is the one flashing people around through the different timelines (and you’d think he is based upon his “They’re coming” line last season), then he knew that he needed Rose and Bernard to get Desmond out of the well.  This way, they wouldn’t be headed to the cave of light until Jack was crowned the new Jacob and had a chance to intercept him along the way.

“I think I just realized I wanna live.”

Richard realizes he's no longer immortal

One of the messages we appear to get in the finale is that the mythology of the island is unimportant in a relative sense.  But despite that, we’re given insight into the fact that it seems as though Richard’s immortality dissapated along with Jacob’s ashes.  Although it appears as though the “rules” move from one island protector to the next, any specific supernatural abilities “wear off” once the protector who issued them no longer has a physical presence on the island.  Jacob’s gone; so is Richard’s ability to live forever.

“Jacob being who he is, I expected to be a little more surprised…you’re sort of the obvious choice, don’t you think?”

Yeah, I know that we get the follow-up answer to this later in the episode (great prediction, DDay!), but I can’t help but to comment that the writers didn’t stop giving us little clues to what they had in store, even when it was in the same episode.  For those of you that are regulars and are looking forward to my higher level assessment of the finale and how it fits in the series overall, this is something you want to file away in your memory banks.  I’ll be coming back to that point in my next entry.

“This doesn’t matter you know.  Him destroying the island; you destroying him…it doesn’t matter.”

To me, the conversation between Desmond and Jack just prior to Desmond being lowered into the light is the most important conversation of the finale, and perhaps the series itself.  This seemingly simple conversation is the key to everything the showrunners want us to think and believe about the entire run of the show.  As we reach a conclusion to the on-island story, we’re being told by a character “in the know” (otherwise known as “Johnny The Explainer” as described by Damon and Carlton) that the outcome of the battle is irrelevant.  Jack insists that it is…that he’s been down the road of trying to find a short-cut back to a happy ending, and there is none.  He believes that every action is important, and that you’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities you have in front of you.

Folks, in a nutshell, this is what the finale is trying to tell us.  And, as much as the two opinions seem to be diametrically opposed, I also think they’re trying to tell us that both viewpoints are true.  As the episode comes to a close, Jack’s actions based upon the beliefs he conveys in this conversation are shown to be noble; that his opinions that “all of this matters” is what ends up saving the day and allowing everyone else to survive.  But at the same time, Desmond’s stance is also correct: what happened within the context of the island’s multiple face-offs is secondary to the experience that Jack has afterwards.  This is the profound duality of meaning that the writers want to impart to us, both within the episode and series, as well as within your personal life.  And make no mistake: this show, and especially the finale, is a commentary on life, and a perspective therein the writers want you to see.  I’m coming dangerously close to speaking to some of the items I’ll touch on as a retrospective of the series, but I wanted to make sure all of you understood the higher level game the writers are playing here.  They’ve thrown their cards on the table and are showing you their hand.  They are making a social commentary, and how much you like the episode, and even the series overall, likely depends on how willing you are to accept the message they’re trying to send.  That’s all I’ll get into regarding that now, but I’ll have more on this conversation and its place in LOST lore in my next entry.

“Dude, it was worth it.”

I’ve been avoiding discussing much of the flash-sideways events up to this point, mostly because the final scene of the flash-sideways is the only one that really matters.  But I also wanted to wait to comment on the individual flash-sideways as a whole until you had the right frame of reference regarding Desmond and Jack’s conversation.  The writers have a very clear dual purpose with these remembrances in the flash-sideways.  Yes, it’s a key for the characters to achieve enlightenment for what awaits them at the end of the episode.  But it’s just as much about you as it is about that.  The writers know you’re watching with the fact that it’s the finale in your head.  Each of the flash-sideways remembrances is an attempt to elicit an emotional response from you, as much as it is about the advancement of the plot.  It’s a beautifully designed literary construct, and clearly a reason why some folks think the finale was so brilliant.  I won’t give you my take on it just yet, but I wanted to point it out for anyone that may have missed the direct connection.  I imagine that how much you enjoyed the finale is greatly tied to just how much these scenes resonated with you on an emotional level.

“Looks like you were wrong too.”

The Man in Black realizes he's not invulnerable

The scene where Jack is able to give Locke a bloody lip speaks to two pieces of island mythology, for those of you still keeping score.  First, it indicates that Jacob knew all along what was going to happen.  Why he didn’t put these events in motion himself is somewhat unclear…perhaps he needed Jack to convince Desmond that he could go into the cave despite it dovetailing with what Smokey wanted…perhaps he didn’t have the heart to kill his own brother after turning him into the Smoke Monster.  But what is incredibly clear is that with the light drained, every single thing that we know about the island is “off”.  The “rules” of the game are no longer in effect (in other words, the combatants can kill each other), the mystical power that turned MIB into the Smoke Monster is nullified, and I imagine that everything else (like the healing properties of the island) are all out of play as well.  Jacob knew that Desmond’s actions would both allow the LOSTies the opportunity to kill MIB, as well as put the entire island in a vulnerable position.  After 2,000 years of battling Smokey, it was a gamble he was willing to take.

“I thought I made it clear that you were to stop this.”

The conversation between Desmond and Eloise at the concert is very interesting, and gives us a couple of secondary clues to some of the rules and fates of others as it applies to the flash-sideways.  First of all, it’s clear that Eloise is just as enlightened as Desmond.  However, for some reason, she is choosing to stay behind, much like Ben does later in the episode.  I would imagine it’s because she’s still wracked with guilt over her decision to set her own son up for death in order to keep the island path intact.  But even more importantly, it explains why Faraday, Charlotte, Miles, and others were not in the church for the final scene.  Desmond says that Faraday’s fate is “not with me”, but instead, with someone else.  I don’t think that we’re meant to infer that Faraday and the others that interacted with our LOSTies *won’t* be enlightened and move into the next phase, but rather that they are going to do so with another group of individuals…ones that are more meaningful and special to those within their own circle.

“I saved you a bullet!”

Kate takes out the Man in Black

Although the battle between Jack and Locke was fairly straightforward, there are a couple of things that are below the surface that I want to draw your attention to.  First off, it’s very fitting that Kate’s the one to pull the trigger.  Her character has largely been discounted by the online community, something the writers acknowledged with their tongue-in-cheek dialog between Sawyer and Kate when former goes to the well looking for Desmond.  Kate’s inability to resist following the group has caused issues in the past, but in this case, she saves the day.  One other minor thing to point out is the location of Locke’s fatal blow to Jack.  While everyone was likely focusing on the cut on his neck, I’d suggest that the main stab wound is just as significant.  Note that it’s right in the location of his appendectomy scar…something that he reminisces about in a prior flash-sideways sequence.  I’m sure that some re-watchers will see that as an “a-ha” moment at some point.

“I’ll see you in another life, brother.”

Another thing to lead you to believe that the writers had this whole thing planned from early on is Desmond’s line to Jack from way back in Season 2.  Jack returns the line to Desmond in their final conversation of the finale, just as a little reminder to all of us that we’ve been given this information quite some time ago.  I’m sure that there are some folks out there that think the “another life” thing is a bit of a throw-away line, but I think there are enough hints to suggest that some form of this finale was in the writers’ heads for years.  Irrespective of whether or not the finale worked for you, I think it’s only fair to give the writers the benefit of the doubt that they had a reasonably thought-out plan for how they wanted to end this show.

“I have some things that I still need to work out.  I think I’ll stay here for awhile.”

Ben decides not to move on just yet

One of the things I had wondered about coming into Season 6 was whether or not Ben was going to find redemption for what he had done.  While he was fairly duplicitous in nature, it always seemed as though he had the propensity to rise up and and become more than what he was.  I had envisioned that it might come in the form of him sacrificing himself for the greater good in some way, but what eventually happens is even better.  While he ends up staying back from joining the LOSTies in their journey to the next realm so as to work through some issues with Danielle and Alex Rousseau, his storyline of helping Hurley through his role as protector of the island is both highly redeeming and thoroughly in line with the motivation of the character.  Aside from Jack, Ben’s character arc feels the most well thought-out and satisfying of anyone on the show.  I don’t think you could have asked for a better ending if you’re a fan of Ben.

Jack makes one last trek through the island

After Jack restores the light in the cave, he’s spit out in the same position that the Man in Black was.  I’m not sure how he managed to survive it without being turned into a Smoke Monster, or having some other strange reaction, but perhaps it’s because he was the protector of the island at the moment the light came back on.  Perhaps it was that status that helped him to retain all aspects of his humanity, and head back to the same place where it all started for him.

“I’ll be waiting for you there…once you’re ready.”

Kate tells Jack she'll be there when he's ready

While this line from Kate to Jack becomes more clear after the final scene, I couldn’t help but to think that it’s also a line to us the fans.  Yes, the LOSTies are moving on to the next realm.  But I can’t help but to think that the most ambitious part of the finale was how the writers tried to frame this last scene for all of us.  I’m going to discuss this in much more detail in my final retrospective entry, but I feel as though I’d be doing this entry a bit of injustice if I didn’t at least scratch the surface here.

Over the years, LOST has tried its best to play a balancing act between those that watched the show for the characters and what would happen to them, and those that watched for the mythology and the mysterious aspects of the island.  I believe that the writers had to make a conscious decision on which aspect of the two sides would have a higher priority as the series came to a close.  I think they tried to give us a satisfying end to the mythological aspects of the island, what caused all of the crazy happenings, and bring things to a logical conclusion.  But ultimately, they chose the characters and their ultimate fate as the higher priority.  Devoting the entire final season to the flash-sideways is proof of that.  But I also think that they were very self-aware in making that decision.  And I think they knew that they would have multitudes of fans that would be upset with unanswered questions.

I believe the commentary here with Kate and Jack is a direct message to those fans.  They know that it’s tough to let go of so many unanswered questions.  They know that it’s tough to let go of this show and everything you’ve been invested in for the past 6 years.  So take your time.  Digest what you’ve seen.  Discuss the open-ended mysteries with your friends.  Re-watch episodes if you need to.  But when you’re ready to let go…when you’re ready to give up LOST and move on to that next thing…watch this last scene with us.  We’ll send you off with a proper good-bye to all of these characters that you’ve spent so much time with.  And we’ll all move on to the next thing together.

Jack discovers his fate

I’ve noticed a few odd interpretations of the final scenes today.  I don’t want to call them erroneous or wrong, but I can’t help but to try to give my interpretation of what the end meant, so as to help other get a little clarity.  First off, there needs to be a clear distinction between what happened on the island, and the flash-sideways.  They are not one in the same, and in fact, the flash-sideways clearly follows what happens on-island.  Thus, while the description Christian gives for the flash-sideways is sounds very much like Purgatory, or some waiting station before moving to the next realm, I believe that the writers went through a lot of trouble to explain that the on-island events were NOT part of that wait station.  I believe that the on-island events were intended to be “real life”, and that they only entered the flash-sideways once they died.

I also know that there was a bit of confusion surrounding how Hurley or Ben or Desmond could be there if we didn’t see them die.  But Christian tells Jack that everyone dies sometime, and that some of them died before him, and some died long after (probably referring to Ben and Hurley).  But all of them came together at this moment because they are all linked spiritually.  Irrespective of when they died, they will all make the journey into the next realm together because they all had a profound impact on each others’ lives.

Jack finds his old spot and sees the results of his efforts before closing his eyes forever

Jack closes his eyes for the last time

The beauty of the symmetry in Jack’s final island scene is simply hard to ignore.  It clarifies that this story was always about Jack and his journey, closing the series with the focus on him.  It also allows for a complete arc for his character that is thoroughly satisfying.  Prior to coming to the island, this was a man struggling for a purpose.  He would consistently destroy relationships due to his uncontrollable need to fix things.  But during the course of the series, he was able to break through his personal barriers and become the man of faith that he struggled so mightily with, and ultimately, was able to fix one final issue that theoretically saved all of humanity…but at the very least, saved all of his friends.

Sorry folks, no “post-episode questions” after the finale.  It just seems so inappropriate.  But I will be back soon with my evaluation of how the finale fits into the series overall, and how I “feel” about how things ended.  To be honest, I’ve run through a ton of emotions over the last 24 hours, and I found it difficult at times to remove those from the pure analysis of the finale.  I hope this review was better for it, but I will be sure to let it all loose in my next entry, which in all likelihood, will be the last of interLOST.  I hope you’ll come back for it!


LOST Recap: Season 6, Episode 15: “What They Died For”

20 05 2010

Hey everyone, was that one of the best “setup” episodes ever or what?  You had to be thinking coming in that this was going to be one of those episodes where the pieces on the chess board were being moved around to their rightful starting places for the finale.  But wow, was it me, or was it so much more than that?  After the polarizing “Across The Sea”, I have to think that everyone is back on board and ready to ride the wave of fun into the finale.  Although my level of excitement is somewhat tempered by knowing that Sunday will bring the last LOST ever, I know that the writers have been leading up to this moment for quite some time now, and I know that they’re ready to deliver.  I simply can’t wait to see what they have in store for us.

That being said, we’ve still got this episode to analyze.  Although we’re at the point now where there’s not much mystery being revealed, there was still a ton to discuss.

Jack’s got a real pain in the neck

Jack's got a bloody neck again, just like in the season premiere

We were shown this way back in the premiere, but the writers wanted to make sure you didn’t forget: Jack’s got a bit of a problem with a bloody neck.  I’m sure we’ll see how this ties in when the finale airs, but I can’t help but to think back to an old favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation when I see this.  The episode was called “Frame of Mind”, and it had one of the main characters, Commander Riker, continually experiencing a cut on his right forehead.  Different things would trigger it, and sometimes nothing would.  Eventually, we came to learn that Riker was in fact being held in stasis in an alien mind experiment.  The spot on his forehead that continued to bleed in his dreams was where the aliens had hooked up some sort of monitoring system to him.  So what does all that mean?  Well, I think the first guess is that perhaps Jack experiences some sort of throat slash in the main timeline, perhaps similar to what happened to Zoe.  And perhaps he’s either carrying this memory with him, he’s stuck in some sort of stasis himself.  Perhaps the whole flash-sideways as an elaborate Matrix-type experience for everyone in it.  And perhaps, just perhaps, everyone in it has died in the main timeline.

It’s funny; the more I try to theorize about what’s going to happen in the finale, the more I realize how crazy I sound.  But really, the writers have given us so little to go on, that we’re reduced to this kind of wackiness if we want to make any guess at all.  Part of me just wants to sit back, stop theorizing, and let the finale come to me.  I’m sure that’ll happen on Sunday, but after years of theorizing on this blog, I can’t stop now, no matter how off-the-wall some of the logical conclusions might seem.  I hope you guys continue to bear with me.

“Is your mom coming too?”

So…any guesses as to who David’s mom is?  Even money in the office is that it’s Juliet, but who knows for certain.  At this point though, I think it would be more of a trick that it *is* Sarah, as opposed to it not being her.  Clearly, we’ll find out soon enough.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the sideways universe (with the Shephard family enjoying breakfast together) is almost a little too good to be true right now.  I’m nearly 100% convinced that the sideways is going to be the epilogue of the series, as some have surmised.  But if it’s that simple…if the events on the island lead to the sideways and there is no further conflict to resolve, I will be highly disappointed.  I almost feel as though this timeline is the result of some great compromise, and that the LOSTies have to “wake up” in order to deal with it.  If somehow the island thread ends with the LOSTies defeating Smokey and getting this timeline as a result, it would seem like a bit of a cop-out.  I hate to jump to conclusions (especially unfounded ones), but I wanted to be on record for that before the finale airs.

Desmond the mastermind

I’m not sure how Desmond knows as much as he does, or how he’s got all of the contacts he has (Widmore, perhaps?), but he’s got a grand plan that he’s desperate to enact.  Clearly, just “knowing” about the island timeline is not enough.  He’s trying to get the right people to remember, perhaps because there’s some final action that they have to take?  Or, because they have to “wake up” from the dream?  Not sure, but the Desmond thread in the sideways timeline makes for an intriguing diversion from the island thread.

“We have to kill him”

Jack and Kate agree that they must kill Locke

The mood on the beach is as somber as it gets, knowing that of all of the survivors of Flight 815, there’s only the 4 of them left.  But amidst all of the sorrow, there is resolve.  The resolve that they must some way, any way, kill the man masquerading as John Locke.  Don’t ask me how they’re going to do it, because honestly, I have no idea.  It’s interesting to think about, because we know so little about any limitations that the monster has.  In fact, we’re not even sure why he can’t break through the sonic fence or the circle of ash.  But we know that when he’s in physical form, he can be physically moved, as Jack demonstrated by pushing him in the water in “The Candidate”.  So perhaps Desmond can get close enough to carry him into one of the island’s electromagnetic anomolies?  Perhaps the original tunnel of light itself?  I’m just typing out loud here…if any of you have something more well thought-out, please share in the comments!

“Welcome back Mr. Locke, it’s good to see you!”

You want to know who I am?

OK, admit it, how many of you thought, “Not again!” when Desmond fired up the car as Locke crossed the street?  The writers definitely got me on that one.  But what might have been even more shocking was that sideways Ben managed to get his “vision” of island time via a complete beatdown at the hands of Desmond.  I definitely didn’t see that one coming.  And the best part was that it seemed as though Desmond knew that would be the result…

“What’s that?  A secreter room?”

It’s those types of lines that make me happy that the writers haven’t found a way to kill off Miles just yet.  I love his one-liners even more than Sawyer’s nicknames, and this one was perfect.  It was certainly a great way to break the tension before the action about to unfold.

Desmond turns himself in…to get Kate and Sayid out

As I said earlier, it’s hard to do much analysis on large parts of this episode: what you see is what you get.  But here’s just another example that it’s simply not enough for Desmond to get certain folks to remember.  He’s looking to accomplish something that requires all of our LOSTies, and he’s willing to go to great lengths to make it happen.

Little boy Jacob appears for the last time

Boy Jacob claims his ashes

Add another tick mark to the growing list of theories I’ve mentioned that have not come to fruition.  As we learned last episode, the little boy we’ve been seeing antagonizing Locke is none other than Jacob himself.  Some of you correctly guessed that, so kudos to you!  My thought that it was a reincarnated Locke clearly is not the case.  Swing and a miss on that one!  But it was good to see Jacob again, even if this is the last time.  He’s got some critical info to share with the LOSTies (and us), and it was nice to have that before the finale.

“These are both great plans, but I’m gonna go with surviving.”

One thing you may have missed in the chaos that ensued later in this scene, is that Miles ends up taking the backpack with the explosives.  And, in addition, he gets one of the walkie talkies from Ben.  Considering that Miles escapes the wrath of Smokey (at least for now), it’s important to note that the C-4 is still in play, and in Miles’ hands.

“I know this man, all he wants is for me to join him.”

Smokey takes Richard for a ride

Uh, not exactly.  Did any of you expect Richard to be taken out so quickly?  I don’t know if Jacob gave Richard eternal life or eternal youth when he recruited him to be his liaison, but I’d be seriously worried either way after an attack like that.  Of course, Ben’s reaction is classic…what else to do after the Smoke Monster violently assaults someone right next to you than to go sit on a deck chair?  Makes sense to me!

“We insist, even if we have to kidnap you.”

It was nice to see Danielle again, especially since I thought I had read that the actress didn’t have time to come back and be part of the show’s final season.  Of course, the line she says to Ben regarding him driving home with them was a great throwback to the his introduction back in Season 2, when Danielle caught him in a trap and turned him over to the LOSTies.

Ben and Danielle share a moment

By the way, I know I’ve said it before, but I’m consistently amazed by Michael Emerson’s subtle acting abilities.  He does a fantastic job here of showing us how his character doesn’t realize until a few moments later that Danielle said “next time” when referring to their dinner together.  It seems as though Ben will get a second chance with his “daughter” in the sideways universe…

“How nice to be able to talk without those fences between us.”

Zoe is murdered by the Smoke Monster

Too bad for Widmore and Zoe that talking is not what Locke actually had in mind.  Clearly, Smokey is through scheming and plotting, and is ready to use physical force directly and purposefully in order to get what he needs.  Zoe is murdered within seconds, and Ben takes out Widmore when he tries to make a play to save his daughter.  The deaths didn’t end with “The Candidate”, and somehow, I don’t see a fatality-free finale, either.

Ben takes out Widmore

What really makes this scene interesting, however, is the return of the old Ben.  Some of you had been lamenting about Ben and the role he had been relegated to in Season 6.  Clearly, as Smokey’s right-hand man, he can get back to his devious ways.  He may attempt to double-cross Smokey if the time and opportunity is right, but even so, he’s far from the man sitting in the background, waiting for the action to be brought to his doorstep.

“I think I’m ready to get out of this chair.”

OK, so I’m an admitted Locke fan, which makes this assessment biased.  But hearing those words from sideways Locke made me hope for the first time that the sideways timeline was the epilogue.  In the big picture, I’m still hesitant about how convenient it is for all of the characters to have these “fairy-tale” endings.  But I suppose that if it this is somehow shown to be the “real” Locke, and he finds his way out of the wheelchair and begins to take on the demeanor of the Locke we saw on the island, then I guess I’ll take the trade-off.  Still, I’m hoping that the writers have some special trick up their sleeves…

“I chose you because you needed this place as much as it needed you.”

Jacob explains the candidates' purpose

The Jacob fireside chat was great in terms of putting all of the pieces together about the overarching reason why all of the LOSTies were on the island: Jacob knew he would eventually be killed by Smokey, and he needed a replacement lined up.  In fact, Jacob does such a good job of explaining the situation, that it’s hard to do any additional breakdown or analysis here.

One thing I feel compelled to point out is when Jacob says, “it’s just a line of chalk in a cave.”  Why would I want to mention that?  Well, if we know anything about LOST, it’s that things are never quite what they seem.  And honestly, it seems just too soon, too convenient, and too obvious that Jack would become the new protector of the island.  In fact, Jacob himself questions whether or not Jack’s response is a statement or a question.  Think about it this way: everything we’ve seen regarding protectors of the island leads us to believe that it’s a job that encompasses hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  And since Jack is told that he has to protect the island “for as long as he can”, you’d think that he’d have the job as long as crazy mother or Jacob had it.  But what if that’s just conditioning on our part?  What if Smokey manages to kill Jack a single day after he takes the job?  If he’s been playing this game for thousands of years, and Jack has been at it for hours, is there any reason to think that Jack can outwit him?  If Smokey plays him, and manages to off him by slicing his neck (or having someone else…like Ben…do so), then wouldn’t they need another replacement quickly?  I could certainly be way off base here, but I’m not convinced that Jack has this job for the long haul.

Desmond breaks the Oceanic jailbirds out

Desmond, Kate, and Sayid break out with the help of Ana Lucia

Awesome cameo by Ana Lucia here as the driver of the truck, and a great scene of the front end of a master plan yet to be executed in the finale.  It’s too bad that the writers couldn’t have made the flash-sideways this compelling from the start, as it may not have had such mixed responses if they had.  Regardless, it’s interesting to note that Hurley already has full understanding of the island timeline.  He recognizes Ana Lucia, even if she doesn’t “remember” him.  I’m actually excited for the answers to some flash-sideways questions: what Desmond is ultimately up to here, and of course,  more importantly, how the whole sideways timeline ties in to the main timeline.  Only a few days until we find out!

“I’m gonna destroy the island.”

A fantastic way to end the episode, with everyone having clear motivation and purpose for the finale.  It’s now just a matter of who will be able to execute their plans, and who will fail.  If we know LOST like we think we do, the outcome may not be abundantly clear, even after it’s all over.

Post-episode questions

1. How does Jack’s bloody neck relate to the connection between the two timelines?

2. Now that Jack is the protector of the island, what does he “know”, or what can he “see”?

3. What exactly is Desmond up to, both on-island and in the flash-sideways?

4. Is Ben really playing for Smokey, or is he just waiting for the right moment to stab him in the back?

5. Can you believe that we only have one episode left before the end of LOST?

I hope you found this episode as entertaining as I did…I think the writers gave us a setup episode that transcended their typical offerings of that nature, and really whet my appetite for the finale.  Just an FYI: I’ll be back here on Friday to give you any nuggets of info that I can glean from the Times Talks Live event on Thursday night.  I doubt we’ll get much with respect to the finale, but we’ll likely get some good insights on how Damon & Carlton constructed the show’s path, and the obstacles they ran into.  As we wrap up LOST forever, I think that’s as interesting a topic as any.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 13: “The Candidate”

6 05 2010

Wow, was that a doozy of an episode or what?  Not a whole lot in the way of mythology (I have a feeling that will be made up for next week), but what it was lacking there, it made up for in action.  But before I get to the analysis, let me share with you the latest LOST news, just in case you didn’t read or hear about it elsewhere today.  The finale on May 23rd (that’s a Sunday folks), has been extended to 2 1/2 hours!  Apparently, Damon & Carlton had so much content they wanted to share, that they convinced the network to give them an extra 30 minutes.  You can read more about it here: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Lost-Series-Finale-1018123.aspx

For those of you keeping count, there’s now a full 5 1/2 hours of LOST airing on May 23rd: a 2-hour recap show starting at 7:00, the 2 1/2 hour finale at 9:00, and the one-hour Jimmy Kimmel LOST tribute show at midnight (following your 30-minute local newscast during which you can catch your breath).  How many of you plan on watching all of it?  My guess is that anyone who visits this blog will be sticking through all of it.

Alright, with that piece out of the way, let’s get into the episode at hand, shall we?

The Candidate

Of course, we got our requisite double-meaning for this episode, as Locke was the candidate for Jack’s surgical procedure, and Jack himself was identified as the candidate by Sayid.  Neither or those were huge surprises, and in fact, it seemed as though there wasn’t too much in the way of true revelations in this episode, at least for those that have been paying attention all along.  Regardless, let’s start at the top.

“Put the gun down or I’ll kill her!”

Widmore is prepared to kill Kate to meet his ends

OK, so I’m going to skip the first flash-sideways scene (I’ll spend some good time in the flash-sideways in this review, I promise!), because the initial scene at the cages is very interesting.  And I say so not for what specifically happens, but because I think it’s a foreshadowing of things to come.  I’ll get into the details later, but take note: Sawyer has the upper hand in the situation, but gives it up because Widmore holds Kate at gunpoint.  It costs Sawyer another stay in the cages, and shows where his feelings lie with Kate.  I’ll refer back to this towards the end of the post.

“That was three years ago; you just remember that?”

Bernard gives Jack some key info

For some reason, the conversation with Jack and Bernard in the flash-sideways is more compelling to me than usual.  In fact, the entire flash-sideways in this episode seemed more intriguing for some reason.  I guess it’s because it seems as though the characters seem to be at least aware of some greater mystery, and are unafraid to explore it.  Earlier flash-sideways seemed to be 100% expository, and not much in the way of mystery.  (Yes, I realize that changed with “Happily Ever After”, but I still didn’t completely care for that episode.)  Anyway, Bernard’s quote listed above strikes me as an odd thing to say.  I wonder if it’s in reference to something specific that happened on the show 3 years back, that will be (or has been) referenced this season.  Perhaps it’s something to keep in the back of your mind as we watch the final few episodes.

“…and we’re dead.”

Gotta love Hurley.  No matter what the situation, he’s always got a great humorous line to break the dramatic tension.  OK, maybe not every situation…as evidenced by the end of the episode…but it was nice to have some levity here before the carnage ensued.  In this scene, the writers also remind us one more time that Kate is not a candidate, and therefore expendable.  I have to believe that this is going to be extremely important, probably as early as the episode after next.  The thing that is gut-wrenching is the conversation between Jin and Sun.  Re-watching that after knowing their fate…you come to a very stark realization that their daughter is now an orphan.  I actually thought about that during the sub scene itself (which I’ll get into later), but it’s clear that the writers had them mention her here to wonder and worry about her.

Smokey busts everyone out of the cages

Two things struck me enough to write about in this scene.  First, are Widmore’s goons *ever* going to learn that gunfire does not slow Smokey down?  I don’t know if the writers are doing it for sheer comic relief at this point, but it’s certainly to the point where it’s obvious and ridiculous to the average LOST viewer.  Second, I’m not sure, but I thought I remembered that Kate and Sawyer both were able to escape their cages because the bars were placed too far apart.  Didn’t Kate climb completely through the cage she was in to get to Sawyer for their little rendezvous that Jack watched on the video monitor?  They don’t seem to have the same ability to escape here.  Perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly?

“You saved John’s life…why can’t that be enough?”

Anthony Cooper is "gone" in the flash-sideways

Interesting scene here with Anthony Cooper.  He turns out to be an invalid, and that twist took me completely by surprise.   But after the surprise wore off, I couldn’t help but think that he’s received his comeuppance for his deeds in the main timeline.  Did any of you think that way?  And then as a natural extension, I wondered…is everyone getting their just desserts in the flash-sideways?  Someone like Cooper, who was a terrible manipulator in the main timeline, is unable to even take care of himself in the flash-sideways.  Desmond, a man who unselfishly pushed a button every 108 minutes for years on end because he thought he was saving the world, get the admiration of Widmore, *and* gets to meet Penny.  Is it possible that the flash-sideways is some freakish heaven & hell combination?  Where the good people like Jack get the great father/son relationship he’s always wanted, whereas someone like Keamy who killed in cold blood gets mowed down by Sayid?  Some more food for thought for all of you, and I’ll give you even a bit more on that theory a little but further on.

“If we’re gonna leave the island, I think we have to take the submarine.”

Getting ready to board the Ajira plane

I love the way this scene starts, with FLocke taking down the poor “guards” defending the plane.  He’s just so methodical about it, especially considering that he’s not in smoke form.  Of course, they’re trying to take him out with gunfire, so they kinda deserve what they get.  What’s the most interesting about the dialog in this scene is Locke giving the LOSTies the exact plan that he has in store for them, but claims that it’s Widmore pulling the strings.  While some might surmise that Locke and Widmore are in cahoots in some way, I lean more towards the idea that Widmore is willing to do whatever he needs to blow up the plane and/or Smokey, even if it means that he takes a couple of the LOSTies out in the process.  It just so happens that Locke is a step ahead of him.  One last piece I want to touch on with this scene: Sawyer asks Jack to get Smokey into the water so as to keep him from getting on the sub.  I couldn’t help but to think that there was more to the request than just slowing him down…that perhaps water was a weakness of Smokey?  It didn’t seem to play out that way, but if we’re looking for weaknesses of Smokey (other than the pylons and the circle of ash), perhaps this is something to keep an eye on?

“…Push the button…I wish you had believed me…”

A couple of minor things to point out here.  First off, I can’t help but to feel as though the characters in the flash-sideways that are “connecting” with the main timeline are more *remembering* events as opposed to flashing across.  If you couple that with the idea that perhaps Desmond flashed through time in “Happily Ever After” instead of across dimensions, and I’m starting to subscribe to the “epilogue” theory regarding the flash-sideways.  Everything seems to be pointing to the idea that all of this activity happens after what’s happening now on-island.  Perhaps there’s some kind of deal struck with someone powerful enough to make the flash-sideways a reality?  If you allow yourself to believe that the flash-sideways is some sort of combined heaven & hell, then maybe this makes even more sense?  I’ve got one more thought on this that I’ll share in just a bit.

Claire and Jack see their reflection in the music box

Additionally, this scene seems to be trying to tell us something with the music box.  I certainly get that “feel” watching that scene, but I simply can’t place what it is they might be trying to tell us.  Finally, I’m starting to get a bit more suspicious of Christian’s body going missing.  If you consider that Christian was the first form that Smokey took when our LOSTies came to the island, I think that the significance can’t be overlooked.  Definitely keep that piece of info in your back pocket as we approach the finale.

Commandeering the sub

The team commandeers the submarine

Here’s one of those rare scenes that don’t really lend themselves to analysis.  The action on-screen was pretty exciting and chaotic, but also fairly straightforward.  One thing you might find moderately amusing is that the First Aid kit that Jack sent Hurley to look for is as plain as day available right over Lapidus’ right shoulder.  I guess it’s too bad that Hurley didn’t look there for it…

“We are going to be OK.”

You want us to do what?

It’s very rare on LOST for one of the main characters to let loose with several lines of dialogue that accurately describes exactly what someone else’s motivation is, and what is about to happen, in such a clear fashion as Jack does in this scene.  He knows exactly what Smokey is up to, he knows the consequences, and quite frankly, he knows the rules of the game here.  For perhaps the first time ever, Jack knows exactly what the audience knows, is not in the dark, and relays a course of action that we all know is correct.  Of course, Sawyer has lost all faith and trust in Jack due to Jughead, and isn’t about to leave things to chance like he did at the end of Season 5.  This time, he’s playing it his way.  Unfortunately, we all know the result.

Jin and Sun enter the afterlife together

Sayid: blown to bits.  Sun: pinned and drowned.  Jin: drowned along with Sun.  Lapidus: while we don’t see his demise on-screen, it’s highly likely that he’s gone as well.  In one major strategic move, Smokey has managed to kill off several of our beloved characters.  While the emotional impact of Jin and Sun’s deaths were the greatest (did any of you wonder why Sun didn’t appeal to Jin’s need to raise their child?), it’s also quite sad to see Sayid go, even though he supposedly already died, and went to the dark side.  In fact, with all of the action and subsequent deaths in the episode, it felt very much like a season finale episode.  It makes you wonder what might be in store for us for the end of the series, doesn’t it?

In any event, after processing the fact that 3 main characters and a prominent secondary character have died (maybe some of you are still processing?), it makes me wonder just how many of our LOSTies will actually make it to the very end.  And as I thought about that, as well as the idea that the flash-sideways comes across more and more like some combination of heaven and hell, it made me wonder…what if everyone in the flash-sideways is dead in the main timeline?  We saw Ilana in the flash-sideways almost immediately after her death on-island…we see Jin in this episode in the flash-sideways scene immediately after his death on-island.  I know that Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Miles, and Ben are all still alive in the main timeline, and the fates of Rose and Bernard are not known.   But maybe their time is coming?  Everyone else we’ve seen, including Boone earlier in the season, is dead in the main timeline, right?  I know that it’s a far-fetched theory, but anything seems possible this season.

“I can help you John…I wish you believed me.”

Jack's comments cause Locke to pause for just a moment

I loved the dialogue between Jack and Locke in the final flash-sideways scene, especially how Jack’s statement above was a reverse of Locke’s from the main timeline, and that it made Locke hesitate.  But what struck me most is that Locke got his pilot’s license in this timeline.  If you believe that Smokey is still going to try to get off the island using the plane (I’m not sure that I do), then perhaps he doesn’t need Lapidus.  Regardless, the two timelines seem to be more directly intertwined more and more with each episode, and I look forward to getting the explanation of how they tie together.

“To finish what I started.”

Locke's isn't done with them yet

Two very interesting things I took from the episode’s final scene.  First, Locke seems very aware of the sub sinking, as well as exactly who is dead and who is not.  You could chalk this up to him being “in tune” with the island, and what’s happening on it.  Or, if the heaven/hell theory about the flash-sideways is correct, then perhaps he’s the one in charge of it?  Perhaps he knows who’s dead because he’s aware of who’s “crossed over”?  I know that this is almost as fantastic a theory as Locke being reincarnated as the little boy (which I’m starting to doubt now), but if Jack gets stabbed or shot in the neck, and then dies, then you know that this is what they’re up to.

Second, and perhaps founded a bit more in the reality of the show that we’re familiar with, is the fact that of the 4 people that escaped the sub alive, only 3 of them are candidates.  I was wondering what FLocke might be doing heading towards our LOSTies with guns, but think of it like this: Kate is expendable.  Smokey can’t kill the other 3 directly, but he could quite possibly manipulate the situation by threatening to take out Kate.  What better way to bring the love triangle to a definitive end than by forcing Jack or Sawyer to bring bodily harm to one of the other candidates in order to avoid seeing Kate murdered by MIB?  After what we saw him pull off in this episode, I don’t think anything is beyond Smokey’s manipulative ways.

Post-episode questions:

1. Now that Smokey has played his hand, what is Jack and the other LOSTies’ countermove?  Do they have one?

2. What is Widmore’s plan?  Can he really stop Smokey?

3. With 4 significant deaths in an episode 3 weeks before the finale, should the question be “Who lives to the end?” instead of “Who dies before the end?”

4. How did Smokey know that the sub had sunk?  What are the extent of his abilitites?

5. Are you ready for this to wrap up?  There are only 3 episodes of LOST left!

That’s all I’ve got for this week.  I’m afraid of the mythological information dump we may receive next week…I may write a novel here!  But I’m looking forward to it all the same.  I hope all of you enjoyed this week’s show!

LOST Recap: Season 5, Episode 15: “Follow The Leader”

8 05 2009

Can you believe that we’re down to one more week of LOST this season?  It’s always such a bittersweet feeling…the best episodes seem to come (by design, actually) at the end of the season, so there’s always so much to look forward to.  But at the same time, we know we’re just 2 hours away from 8 full months of hiatus before the next season.  I know that I should just focus on the episodes at hand and enjoy them, but the cloud of 40+ weeks without the show always tempers my excitement.

In any event, there were some really interesting and cool moments in this season’s second-to-last episode, “Follow The Leader”, so let’s get to it!

“Follow The Leader”

Alright, is it me, or was this the first episode in a long time that wasn’t focused on a specific character?  In fact, I think the episode’s title told us who we’d be “following” through the course of the night’s show: all 3 LOST “leaders”, namely Jack, Sawyer, and Locke.  Of course, I didn’t mind it at all.  In fact, I’m glad that the writers don’t feel as though they need to pigeon-hole themselves into sticking with a specific character at this juncture of the story.  There are less than 20 hours remaining to wrap up this grand tale, and any route they need to take to get us there with the most answers is alright with me.

“Just who the bloody hell might you be?”


Bloody is right!  Wow, was it me, or did we see a little bit more bloodflow than usual in this episode?  I’m not sure what the point was in showing Jack, Sawyer, and even Juliet get beaten and bloodied, but there it was for us to see.  Perhaps the writers were trying to hammer home the point as to why these 3 were so desperate to do the things they did, and turn their respective backs on their friends…which is exactly what all 3 of them ended up doing.

“I remember these people…I remember meeting them very clearly, because…I watched them all die.”


Now far be it from me to call Richard a liar, especially since he seems to have done nothing but tell the truth all of the times we’ve seen him.  But at the same time, I’m not taking what he’s saying at face value for even a second.  I won’t go as far as to say that all of the LOSTies stuck in 1977 make it back to the present alive and intact, but I will suggest that perhaps Richard misinterpreted what his eyes showed to him.  No, I have no proof of this, only a hunch.  I guess we’ll get a much better idea in the finale…

“Still have that compass I gave you?”

OK, now here’s where things might get a little tricky, but let me try to explain what I think is the first real time paradox created by the show.  The first thing to do is to try to go back as far in the timeline as possible for when we know that compass existed.  If I remember correctly, it was given to Richard by Locke, back in 1954.  It appears as though Richard holds on to this compass for the next 53 years, using it at least once to show to Locke as a youngster as part of the Dalai Lama test to see if he was “ready”.  But, after 53 years of holding on to it, he gives it back to the Locke jumping through time in 2007.  Locke has that same compass just as he jumps back through time to 1954…where he gives it back to Richard again, so it can loop through time once more.  The reason why this is a paradox is because the compass seems to have found itself in a closed time loop…there is seemingly no beginning to it (or when it was created), nor any end to its existence…it always cycles through the same 53 years, ad infinitum.  It also makes it darn near impossible to tell just how old that compass is.  How many times has it gone through the loop when we see it in this iteration?  It’s actually quite fascinating to me, and I can’t apply any form of logic that allows me to understand how it originally got into the loop, and how it might ever get out.


Up to this point in the show, we’ve never had any closed loop scenarios like this.  In every specific instance of a person jumping through time, they’ve still had a linear experience.  For example, Jack’s experiences in 1977 are his “present”…he’s just now experiencing them, even though he’s 30 years in the past.  He’s never experienced these happenings before, and he never will again…there is no loop.  But for the compass, the story is different.  It *is* going through the same events over and over.  Its past is its future, and vice versa.

So why I am spending so much time trying to explain this to you?  Well, other than the “cool” factor, I think it’s important to expand this line of thought out to 2 other situations.  First, is it possible that Faraday’s notebook could be experiencing that same type of loop?  Could it be that Eloise gave Faraday a book that already contained everything he wrote in it?  Could this be how he knew so much about the island?  It certainly appears to be why Eloise had so much future knowledge.  And it would also explain why she now feels as though she’s in the dark (as she mentioned last episode).  The book only told her of events up to 2007, because that’s the furthest forward anyone was before they were zapped back in time to provide info for the book.  If Eloise had used that notebook as a guide to the future (as it appears she has), then the story suddenly stops in 2007, and she no longer can tell what’s happening next.

One other thing to think about that may be related to the time paradox is Jacob.  We all know that he said, “help me” to Locke back in Season 3.  But what for?  I had always thought that *perhaps* he was stuck in time.  Of course, that theory never made any kind of sense whatsoever.  But now, having seen evidence of a closed loop time paradox with the compass, perhaps it’s possible that Jacob also found himself stuck in something very similar.  I’ll leave the “how” of that type of scenario up to others to dream up, but I think it’s now at least reasonably feasible to think that the reason why Jacob asks for Locke’s help is so that he can get himself unstuck in a time loop.  At least, it seems as likely as any other idea, considering how very little we know about Jacob.

“If we can do what Faraday said, our plane never crashes.”


Alright, so it’s real easy to trust Faraday right now.  He seems to have a good grasp of what’s happening on the island, right down to the second (see last week’s episode when he knew when Dr. Chang would pull up in the Dharma van).  But shouldn’t Jack be at least somewhat leery of trying to break the “Whatever Happened, Happened” axiom?  He’s seen first-hand how trying to prevent something (not operating on Ben so as to let him die) ended up causing exactly what he was trying to avoid?  I know they keep referring to the electromagnetic energy around the Swan station a “pocket”, but does not even occur to he or Kate that by detonating the h-bomb, they could be causing the very incident that requires the Swan station to be built?  And that forces Desmond to push the button every 108 minutes?  And that eventually causes Flight 815 to crash on the island?  How ironic would it be that Jack indirectly causes his own plane to crash?

“All the misery that we’ve been through…would just wipe it clean…never happened”

Well, now that we’ve talked time travel to death in just the first few segments, let me quickly expound on what Jack says here.  It actually speaks volumes about wher Jack is, and how very different Kate feels in comparison.  Amazingly, Jack does not feel that any of what the folks on the island have endured is worth it.  Jack wants to, and maybe always has wanted to, hit the reset button.  If only we could never have landed here, maybe Shannon, Boone, Eko, Ana Lucia, Charlie…they all would still be alive.  In a way, that’s not such a horrible thought.  And it fits in with the old Jack really, really well.  He has the chance now to pull off the ultimate “fix”…he can bring back all of the people that died, and undo all of the pain.

But Kate’s view seems to be a polar opposite.  Although there’s been pain and death, it’s almost always been surrounded by growth and improvement.  Do we really want Charlie to go back to being an addict?  Do we want Locke back in his wheelchair?  Do we want Kate on the run from the law again?  There is always pain to go through when things change.  But does that mean we’d rather not change at all?  Does it mean that we’d rather stay stagnant so as to avoid difficult situations or even death?  It’s an interesting dilemma, but Jack and Kate clearly have their minds made up as to which sides of the debate they’re on.

Radzinsky brings the beatdown


Not much insight to provide on this scene, except to state the obvious that Radzinsky is one major jerk of a guy.  It’s funny; not too long ago we were commenting on how Dr. Chang needed to take a chill pill.  But Radzinsky?  Somebody definitely needs to bring that guy down a peg or two…

“We gotta do something…I mean, Sawyer would never leave us behind.”

Wow, how much more wrong could Hurley be?  One thing that seemed to be pretty consistent in this episode is that we got to see everyone’s true colors.  Jack wants to push the reset button at any cost, Kate seems to be genuinely interested in her friends, Hurley wants to do the right thing, and Sawyer is once again willing to sell out in order to keep things together with Juliet.  Not unlike what happened with Sayid earlier this season, Sawyer is more than willing to put one or more of friends in peril in order to keep things together with Juliet.  And of course, the very friend he’s ready to throw under the bus is the same one that is doing everything to save him.  While Jack is in clear desperation mode, Sawyer’s activities could be seen as marginally worse…because his actions do not appear to have the greater good in mind (even if it appears misguided).  No, Sawyer is out to keep himself happy, even if it means turning his back on people he used to call his friends.

“This must be quite the out-of-body experience.”

“Something like that…”  Yeah, something like that indeed.  While it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s going on here with the 2007 John Locke, he’s clearly not the same person as the 2004 John Locke that jumped into this time period.  I’m convinced that the “out-of-body experience” going on has everything to do with Locke not being in control of his body in 2007, but rather that someone else is pulling the strings.  Everything about Locke’s conversation in this scene, from his revelation to Ben that the island talks to him, to his questioning of how Alpert’s conversation went, to his claim that he *did* have to die all point to him not being who he says he is.  It’s almost as if Locke’s body has returned, but his soul has ben replaced with someone else somehow…

Head fake!


So…I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been anticipating a major death for awhile now, as rumors have been rampant that someone would be biting the bullet before the end of the season.  When Kate started to head back to Dharmaville, I said aloud, “they’re not going to kill Kate, are they?”  Of course, I had envisioned that it might be when she ran into an armed and crazy Radzinsky.  But instead, mere seconds after I mentioned it, gunshots were fired, and Kate looked down…to find that she was saved by Sayid.  Huge head fake, and I completely fell for it!  Excellent job on that one, and even better, I’m glad that we’ve got Sayid back for the finale.

“Tell me how we’re gonna get a bomb outta here?”


“The same way we brought it in.”  Of course, Richard doesn’t get to finish the answer, other than to explain that it’s not through the pool.  Does anyone think that perhaps “The Tunnels” are somehow attached to “The Temple”, and that they’re going to trudge the bomb through there?  Well, I can at least hope, can’t I?

“The real world…I don’t even know what that means anymore.”


Of course, just when you think that Sawyer and Juliet might just take the sub, get off the island, and have their happily ever after, Kate manages to find her way on the sub.  The thing I find most interesting about it all though, is Juliet’s look at Sawyer after the initial “awkward” moment ends.  Is she really not trusting of Sawyer at this point?  He’s twice chosen her over his friends, and he’s done everything to prove that he wants nothing more than to be with her at any cost.  I find it odd that she seems to still be questioning whether or not he wants to be with her.  Unless, of course, she thinks that “fate” is playing a larger role in events than she’s like…

“So I can kill him.”

Whhaaaaaaaat?  Seriously, that’s what ran through my head when I heard that line.  Now, not only do I believe that the Locke we’re currently seeing is not the Locke that we’ve come to know, but in fact, something much larger than we’ve been led to believe is at work here.  Things are so very much not as they seem that I’m almost at a loss to even try to predict what the finale is going to be about.  Here’s one thing I’m starting to reconsider though.  I’ve never been a subscriber to the idea that the Smoke Monster was able to take human form.  Many have speculated that the smoke monster and the apparitions are one in the same, but I’ve never really believed it.  But I tell you what…with John’s recent activity coupled with his strange disappearances both Ben tried to summon the monster and when he finally encountered it…I would not at all be surprised if Locke morphed into the Smoke Monster in the finale.

Irrespective of that, you have to wonder, why would he want to kill Jacob?  That line really seems to make no sense at all, whether Locke is Locke, or if he’s an incarnation of the smoke monster or something else.  He’s in tune with the island, and Jacob is the supposed voice of the island, isn’t he?  I’m sure we’ve intentionally been left in the dark, without enough clues to answer this, but it would be nice to have at least a reasonable, feasible guess.  But I’m sorry to say, I simply don’t have one.  I’m pretty darned excited to see how it plays out though!

Post-episode questions:

  1. Is Jack really going to detonate the h-bomb?  If he does, will it have the intended effect, or will the island get blown to smithereens?
  2. Are we really going to get to see Jacob?  And if so, will Locke really try to kill him?
  3. Who the heck is this guy trying to pass himself off as Locke?  And what would be the point of trying to kill Jacob?
  4. Are Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate all really going to leave the island?  If not, what are they going to do, make the sub do a u-turn?
  5. How psyched are you for the finale?  Remember, this is going to be the last ever LOST cliffhanger, so I’m sure they’re going to pull out all of the stops…

That’s it for this week, thanks for checking in!

LOST Discussion: 10 Things I Can’t Wait To See

23 04 2009

Hey everyone, while we’re stuck with a LOST clip show this week, I thought I’d do something a little different than usual on the blog.  As you’re probably aware, we’ve only got 4 hours of LOST left this season, and then probably another 17 next.  And then that’s it!  LOST will be gone forever (except on Blu-Ray and DVD, of course.)

So, with more LOST yesterdays than tomorrows, I thought I’d take a look at some of the things I’m really looking forward to over the next 20+ hours of my favorite show.  And really, the writers have done a great job of answering a ton of questions for us.  I’d have to say that more questions have been answered to this point than are remaining to be answered.  But there are still some really good mysteries, events, people, and storylines that I’m looking forward to knowing the final bit on.

And, I thought I’d share all of them, including what I’m hoping for, with all of you.  If any of them jive with what you’re thinking about when you think LOST, I hope that you’ll comment below and start a discussion.  It’d be nice to chat about a few of these things while we still have time!  So, without further ado, here’s my list:

10.  Jack Shephard’s ultimate fate


When Jack was first introduced back in the pilot, it was hard to dispute the fact that he was the most central character in LOST.  Over the course of the series, Jack has slowly lost the leadership role, become extremely flawed, and for a time (at least for me), became pretty much uninteresting.  But really, LOST is as much Jack’s story as it is anyone else’s.  And his recent change…finally giving up his need to fix things, and actually thinking about himself and his destiny…is incredibly compelling.  There was a time that I really didn’t care about Jack’s character anymore, but that time has come and gone.  I can’t wait to see how Jack fulfills his island destiny…and if he lives through what the island has in store for him.

My fearless prediction: Jack will make a decision that will save the island, the world, and Kate, but will spell his own demise.

9. “The War”

If I was a betting man, I would wager that LOST’s sixth and final season is going to be all about this “war” that keeps getting hinted to us viewers.  And if it is, and it’s LOST’s final endgame, then you’d have to imagine that it’s going to be absolutely spectacular.  You know that everyone left alive (and perhaps even those that aren’t) will play a part, and that the show will pull out all the stops to go out with a bang.  Of course, we know so little about it, so I really couldn’t justify placing it any higher on my list.  Is it about the future of humanity as a whole?  Is it about the ability to continue to keep the space-time continuum together?  Or is it something just a bit more mundane?  I’d have to imagine that we’ll get just a bit more of a taste of what it’ll be prior to the end of the season,  And, if I were to do another list when the final frame of the finale airs, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it jumped 7 spots to the top.

My fearless prediction: The war is all about who gets control of the island once and for all.  It will bring some sides together that appear to be enemies right now, and cause much death and devastation.  Those that live through it will be able to access all of the powers of the island for all of eternity.

8. Who are “Adam & Eve”


So…just in case you forgot, we were introduced to a couple of skeletons way back in Season 1.  And the writers have come forward to say that they wanted to do that as early as possible, to prove that they had a plan for the ending all along.  While this may seem somewhat trivial, the revelation of what the writers had planned from the beginning, and how it plays out, will be fascinating for me.  I think a good part of how LOST is remembered will come down to how they answer or reveal some of the mysteries that have spanned the majority of the show.  To me, this is one of those long-spanning mysteries.  Here’s hoping that the explanation is worth the wait.

My fearless prediction: It’s gotta be a couple, right?  The easy guess is Jack and Kate, but I’m going to go with Rose and Bernard.

7. How Christian/the apparitions/the whispers are tied together


Alright, some of you might be a bit critical of me for lumping 3 different things into this one category, but really, I can’t help but feel as though they’re related.  After all, Christian technically is an apparition himself.  Of course, at the same time, you have to wonder whether or not his presence is a little more special than the others, or if the apparitions are actually all one entity.  And at the same time, it clearly seems as though the whispers seem to happen at the same time the apparitions appear (see Ben’s mother for a recent example).  Again, this is one of those mysteries that has spanned all 5 seasons to date, so the anticipation is high for a spectacular explanation.  This could be one that will make us watch all of those old episodes again just to se how it all fits together.

My fearless prediction: The apparitions are actually resurrected island dwellers, but can only appear when the island allows them to.  The whispers are the island going through its catalog of deceased folks and deciding which one to manifest.

6. What happens in the Temple


If I remember correctly, we didn’t even hear about The Temple until we got near the end of Season 3.  But it’s been a huge part of the mythology this season, and seems to be inextricably tied to “The Sickness” that we were introduced to way back in Season 1.  It seems to be central to how the Others maintain control of the island, and also tied to Ben becoming the man he is today.  If that weren’t enough, The Temple may also be tied to many of the other mysteries of the island.  At the end of it all, The Temple may be the central focus of the island, and tied to how everything operates.  But in the very least, it’s a piece of the island that, when explained, will answer a couple of questions that we’ve been wondering about for quite some time.

My fearless prediction: The Temple is where all of the resurrections take place (the bodies must be taken there), and is the central location for all of the island’s powers.

5. What is the Smoke Monster?


Interestingly, I think that the Smoke Monster was my #1 mystery for the longest time.  In fact, it might still be at the top of the list if not for this season’s “Dead Is Dead”, where we were given just a few more details about how Smokey operates.  So while I now have other things that I’m slightly more interested in, I still am very excited about the final explanation of Smokey.  What is it made of?  Is it mechanical or organic?  Whose bidding does it carry out?  And what is the true reason why it kills some but spares others?  The episode where we get the final word on the Smoke Monster will be an excellent episode indeed.

My fearless prediction: The smoke monster is a supremely advanced machine, brought to the island from the future when the island skipped through time.  It does the bidding of whoever controls the temple.

4. The backstory of Richard Alpert


With Ben’s past almost fully explained with this season’s episodes, I’d nominate Richard as the most enigmatic character on LOST.  Heck, he may have been even before we got so much of Ben’s story.  There’s just so much we don’t know about him.  Just how old is he?  Has he been leading the Others before we even knew them as Others?  What’s his arrangement with the Others?  What’s his relationship with Jacob?  He’s clearly a huge part of the Others’ hierarchy, and can do some things that defy explanation (like walk through the sonic fence unscathed), so getting his backstory will be an exciting thing.  I imagine that getting to know what he’s all about will tell us a ton more about the island as well.

My fearless prediction: Richard is from the distant past of the island, but was resurrected, so is able to retain his age from the time he was brought back to life.

3. “What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue?”


Alright, so the statue would have had a hard time making the cut prior to this season.  But now that we’ve seen more than just the foot, and in fact, have a group using the statue as a code word/riddle, it’s suddenly become one of the most forward-facing mysteries on the show.  And there are many layers to it as well.  What is the statue a replica of?  If by some chance it’s Anubis, as many have speculated, then what does that mean?  Is the island the gateway to the afterlife?  Is the island’s truly amazing power not just healing people, but actually resurrecting them?  The other angle is all about Ilana’s group, and what they have in store.  After “Some Like It Hoth”, you’d have to think that they’re not part of Team Widmore.  But could they be doing Ben’s dirty work?  Are they a faction of Richard’s team?  Do they have a different leader altogether?  And what the heck is in their crate?

But what I find to be the most fascinating about this group is that they seem to, despite the subterfuge, have their collective heads in the right place.  They had a true understanding of Miles’ plight, and the fact that he’s been injured by his relationship (or lack thereof) with his dad.  They seem to know that he’s using money to replace the hole in his heart, and that he’d love to understand why he can “talk” to dead people.  And they offered him answers to those questions.  Of course, the final mystery is all about what the answer is to their question.  And perhaps, it’ll have some true meaning, whether the answer itself is literal or figurative.

My fearless prediction: The statue is indeed Anubis, the temple is in the shadow of the statue, and Team Ilana is going to give the island inhabitants all they can handle in the coming war.

2. How did Locke get resurrected, and what happened to him in the process?


I don’t care what the new Locke actually says, the man is, quite frankly, someone completely different than the man we’ve come to know over the first 4 1/2 seasons of LOST.  The new Locke is so in tune with the island that he has the ability to know whether Sun will ever see Jin again.  He conveniently disappears when Ben summons the Smoke Monster, and then again when he comes face-to-face with it.  The old Locke had the ability to get in tune with the island when he focused, but never even close to the level that the new Locke has mastered, and achieves effortlessly.  He has come back to a completely different level.

Of course, this may have everything to do with the actual resurrection process that Locke went through in the first place.  We have absolutely no idea how, when, or where this took place, but Locke was clearly dead, and now is apparently alive.  Was his resurrection at all similar to Christian Shepard?  Or, has he been resurrected in a more “real” sense?  In other words, is he an apparition of some sort, or is he the same flesh and blood as say, Frank Lapidus?  Many layers of intrigue here, and every scene with Locke right now has me on the edge of my seat. 

My fearless prediction: Locke was taken to the temple to be resurrected and is now inextricably tied to the island.

1. Who is Jacob?


I have to admit, Jacob’s been at or near the top of my list ever since Ben and Locke visited his cabin back near the end of Season 3.  We know almost nothing about him, other than he seems to be invisible, asked Locke to “Help Me”, and seems to be the man that the Others, Richard Alpert, Charles Widmore, and perhaps many others, report to or answer to.  It’s inferred that he has the answers to all of the island’s mysteries, powers, and weirdness.  He’s made a list (to what end we don’t know), which only contained certain LOSTies names on them, but not all.  And for some strange reason, he seems to hate technology, even something as simple as a flashlight.  The potential of what he could be, what he stands for, and what he could do to anyone and everyone on the island seems limitless.

Jacob and his true nature would seem to be the key to the entire endgame of LOST.  Maybe the “war” is about who will control Jacob.  Maybe the war is about who Jacob will give his loyalty to.  Perhaps Jacob is the original founder of the island and can explain everything that’s happened to everyone on it since its inception.  With only a season and a couple of episodes remaining, I don’t think that it’s too far-fetched to think that the revelation of Jacob will also coincide with the revelation of LOST’s ultimate storyline, and how the whole thing comes to an end.  I’ll certainly be excited to see anything that gives us even the slightest info on the character and its meaning.

My fearless prediction: I think I’ve made enough dumb predictions prior to now…I’m going to refrain on one of these so I’m not a straight 10 for 10 wrong on all of them!  🙂

A few runners-up

Not everything could make my list, but here are a few more things that I’m keeping my eye on:

The infertility issue

We haven’t seen alot of this lately, but it was a huge item in earlier seasons.  It caused us to worry about the safety of Jin & Sun’s baby, and it’s the reason why Juliet is on the island.  And, it wasn’t an issue in Dharmaville in 1977, but clearly was in 2004.  Here’s hoping that we’ll see what caused it, as well as the resolution, before the series comes to a close.

The Faraday/Hawking/Widmore connection

Faraday has been a fun character to watch right from his first appearance on the show.  We’ve only seen a brief glimpse into his backstory, but even his introduction was full of mystery.  Why did he have such a strange reaction to seeing the footage of the Flight 815 wreckage?  Has he been to the island before?  What did he learn from his time travel experiements?  What was he doing at the start of Season 5 near the donkey wheel with what looked like an oxygen tank?  There’s alot to learn about Faraday, and his return in “Some Like It Hoth” was a nice sight.

The resolution to the Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet quadrangle

While I haven’t been overly fond of this storyline through the seasons, it would be a bit of a travesty if we didn’t get some kind of real resolution to this prior to the end of the series.  Hopefully one of the couples will find some measure of happiness amongst the madness of the island.

That’s my list!  Did I miss one of your favorites?  Do you have something to share in addition to my comments?  Do you want to add any predictions to mine?  I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on these items, and anything else related to what you can’t wait to see in the final few hours of LOST!