Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Lost, "Sundown": A history of violence

A review of tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I have an unfortunate incident involving a boomerang...
"You think you know me, but you don't. I am a good man." -Sayid
Dude, you tried to kill Baby Hitler. You might want to reconsider that statement.

"Lost" is all about eternal struggles - good vs. evil, science vs. faith, free will vs. destiny - and fundamentally about man vs. his own nature. John Locke wants to be a big man but can't overcome his own smallness. Jack Shephard tries to fix everything and usually winds up destroying it.

And Sayid Jarrah wants to be a good man free to enjoy the love of his good woman, but instead he's always the man brought in when people need killing.

Where the last two weeks brought us alternate versions of Locke and Jack who managed to break their emotional cycles - a Locke at peace with his disability and unremarkable life, a Jack reaching out to his son in a way Christian never reached out to him - we discover that Sayid in any timeline, in any locale, at any age, is always going to be the one called upon for a bit of the ol' ultra-violence. He doesn't want it, but he can't escape it. Alt-Locke gets a wife, Alt-Jack gets a son, and Alt-Sayid gets... a chance to put a couple of bullets into Keamy? And to watch his beloved Nadia raise a family with Sayid's brother Omar - the same Omar who needed Sayid as a child to kill the chicken for him, and who needs him as an adult to take care of his Keamy problem? Oh, and he gets a bloody, non-English-speaking Jin in a freezer? Where's the fair in that?

I still feel Cuse and Lindelof made a tactical error in giving us the sliding doors timeline without telling us in advance what it is, because until we do, they have all the weight and meaning of a dream sequence. But the more we see of them, the stronger my feeling grows that we're seeing the series' epilogue in advance. It may not turn out this way, but at the moment it seems the flash-sideways are where the castaways wind up after the war with Smokey ends, as some kind of reward from one of the celestial powers going to war over the island, be it Jacob or Smokey. Smokey does seem awfully confident in the prospect of letting Sayid see Nadia again, after all.

And if that's the case, the rewards seem mixed at best. Locke gets Helen back (and gets to live, for that matter), but is back in the damn chair. Jack gets a son, but also a life that's otherwise as broken as the one he had the first go-round. Kate is free of Marshal Mars, but still a fugitive. And Sayid has Nadia in his life, but not really.

But from what we know of these characters, and of their tortured histories, maybe this is exactly what they asked Smokey and/or Jacob for. Sayid knows in either timeline that he's too much the killer to deserve Nadia, but at least this way he gets to know her, and to have a pretext to see her whenever he can stand it. Kate isn't rewarded for her return to LA like she was as one of the Oceanic Six, but she's also not in a cell and for now gets to be around Aaron's mother. Jack has a means to address his daddy issues that don't involve his actual daddy. Dogen gets his son (and his life) back. Etc., etc. Not wholly happy endings, but the best anyone may feel they deserve.

Whatever the flash-sideways mean, they definitely work better when built around the show's stronger characters/actors - Locke two weeks ago, or Sayid tonight. Again, I'm not demanding answers so much as I am entertainment, and watching Sayid kick ass in two timelines, even as both versions recognized that they're doomed to be killers, was damned entertaining. Naveen Andrews is often at his best when Sayid is at his most despairingly self-reflective, and that moment when he fixed Ben with a grin and said there wasn't time for him anymore was one of Andrews' strongest (and certainly scariest) of the series. When all you're good for is killing, and yet the monster wearing your dead friend's face says that killing is the only way to get back the woman you love, how do you deal with that? On the list of things the "Lost" characters have had to swallow, that epiphany feels particularly brutal.

It had been a while since we got to see a good Sayid fight - the last one that strongly registers for me is the one he had with original recipe Keamy in the season four finale - and we got a real corker in his broom-handled throwdown with Dogen. And in 2004, we saw him cut through Keamy's goons(*) and then Keamy himself(**), not letting himself be fooled by the man's promises to clear Sayid's brother's debt.

(*) Were they all members of his mercenary team from season four? I recognized the bald guy, but wasn't sure on the others.

(**) He was only on the show for a season, and not featured all that much in that season, but Kevin Durand always made an impression as Keamy. Lots of actors might have his sheer physical size, but there's a sense of danger (insanity?) that you can't build at the gym, you know?


And while Sayid was showing off his hand-to-hand and small arms skills, Smokey was putting on a much grander show of force, and preceding it with a good old-fashioned campaign of terror, using Sayid to whip the Temple crew into a frenzy (and then to take out Dogen and Lennon) before doing his smoke monster thing that he does so well. Sometimes, all I need from "Lost" are the simple pleasures, and a good Smokey rampage is high on that list.

Now, I'm not entirely sure what the point of the Temple characters were, other than to stand around and be cryptic for a handful of episodes before Sayid and Smokey wiped them out, but we end the episode in a much more interesting place than we began it. Smokey is building himself an army, and one that includes the crazy (Claire), the converted (Sayid), the suspicious (Kate and Jin), the fearful (Cindy and the kids) and the don't-give-a-damn (Saywer), and he's currently carrying himself like a man certain of victory. Ilana and the rest of the gang from the beach finally linked up with some other character (even if Miles is the only one to actually stick with them). If Dogen never entirely had a point, at least we're done with him and the Temple.

And since the show skipped over the Sun-centric episode we might have expected given how all the previous episodes followed the air pattern of season one, we know that Lindelof and Cuse aren't going to just give us parallel drawings of early episodes.

A much, much stronger outing than last week.

Some other thoughts:

• So how does Alt-Jin go from being detained by TSA agents at the airport to being taped up in Keamy's freezer? I'm guessing the money the TSA was so interested in was a payoff that got confiscated, and Keamy wasn't interested in any excuses.

• I'm really hoping Andrews' more pronounced British accent - both in the Temple and as Alt-Sayid - is a deliberate choice with a meaning, and not Andrews just getting his signals crossed in the final season.

• Anyone want to set the over-under on how long before Crazy Claire gets Kate alone and tries to cut Aaron's location out of her?

• I'm not exactly where Dogen ranked on the Others' corporate hierarchy relative to Ben, but the two guys clearly attended the same leadership seminar, one that involves lying and torturing when the truth upfront would be much more useful - and that then puts you in a very bad spot when you suddenly need your torture victim to trust you. The Others need a better HR rep next time out, I think.

• Jack makes a brief cameo when Sayid goes to see Nadia and his brother at the hospital, and it doesn't appear that either he or Sayid recognized each other in the way that Kate seemed to know Jack, or Jack seemed to know Desmond, in previous scenes/episodes set in the LA X timeline.

• Did I mention that I loved the Sayid/Dogen fight?

What did everybody else think?

185 comments:

Paul Worthington said...

I think this episode really delivered.
I felt Sayid's quandary, and understood his choice:
He cares about one thing [person] that is gone;
In a battle between two sides that seem similar [Jacob offers similar bargains at least] why not go with the guy who promises him Nadia?

But; if the 'sideways' stories are, as some guess, actually an epilog of everyone's fate in a reset universe post-battle --
Then Jacob wins, because Sayid did not get Nadia:
Where Jack and Locke get happy endings, he gets a hell where Nadia bears his brother's children, and he is again used as a killer.

And I would pay money to have YOU get advance screeners, as I really wait for your reviews after the episode! Thanks.

Paul Worthington said...

And yes, the fights were very cool!

Jim said...

As noted, any episode with Naveen Andrews or Terry O'Quinn (or Josh Holloway) is guaranteed excellence.

I just like the fact that every injured person in Los Angeles comes through Jack's hospital :)

Scotty said...

Ben's face when Sayid turned to him, priceless

Greg said...

The Sayid in 2004 plow was way too predictable. And despite your hypothesis on what all it means, I am finding it very hard to care about those stories.

In 2007, even without ABC promising answers, I still want to know a little more about why these characters are doing what they're doing. It might be exciting, but Dugan lived and died and we still don't know why he was so important.

If Claire believes that Kate took her baby, she should realize that Locke was lying to her, right? Or is she too crazy to care?

debbie said...

Im wondering if the slipping away of Sayid accent is symbolic of the slipping away of the soul of Sayid.

Steve said...

Keamy was really channeling Christopher Walken in his scene tonight, and yes that was Omar as his henchman.

Speaking of Omar, Sayid used the same maneuver to get escape the Keamy situation that Ben did in The Shape of Things to Come with the Beaudoins: hit & stun the closest captor to you, use him as a shield, and then use his gun to kill the other guy.

Most pure action since that episode as well.

Chris said...

I flash forwarded the beginning of this blog entry as soon as I heard Sayid said "unfortunate incident involving a boomerang."

As an aside, I'm happy this entry was a little less Debbie Downer than last week's. You were starting to irritate me a bit, guy.

Fran said...

I'd chip in for your advance screeners, too, Alan. Love these posts - and I wait for them, too.

Beav said...

- Couldn't Jack have recognized Desmond from when they ran stadium stairs together....brotha? Wouldn't that have happened prior to the Australia flight?

- How about the fascinated look that Kate had on her face when she got to check out Smokey. Kind of reminiscent of the look that Locke had he was able to 'look into' Smokey back in the first or second season?

- Keamy leaves an impression because he looks like a giant, roided up Christopher Walken

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was really poor. I can't say it was predictable but it moved the whole temple concept into irrelevance which was a bit frustrating.

What was the point of Dogen and his henchman and the rest of the people?

The episode was terribly one sided and I'm hoping we get to see Jacob getting his own a bit. So far it seems like Jacob's this cowardly manipulative person while Smoke goes on a rampage, kills a ton of people, is manipulative and unstoppable. Ok? We've had that for the past two episode, can we please move on a bit?

Why could only Dogen keep the smoke monster out? Why is he even on the island? He said that Jacob had a job for him...which was?

I understand why people may have liked this episode but I found it pretty hard to care about much of what happened.

Omagus said...

I really wish that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje had not hated living in Hawaii so much. One, with the conclusion that we're getting, I think his character would have paid incredible dividends now. Two, can you imagine Sayid, Dogen AND Mr. Eko in a fight. Awesomeness.

Flap Jackson said...

I thought the episode was really well done, and it certainly sets a dark tone for the foreseeable future in the season. But I really like your epilogue idea for the flash-sideways.

Let me add this companion theory to that though: The Lostaways were sent to the island to put the island to rest. The island was set off balance by the war of Jacob & Flocke and thus it was consumed by this eternal battle that defines the island, presumably creating The Others. The Lostaways' path was all defined by the fact that they would one day put the island to rest, and they were set on the path to do so.

Thus, when the island is put to rest, and this eternal battle is won, the Lostaways are returned to a time when they never had to complete their task, therefore their lives turned out differently because forces like Jacob didn't push the Lostaways towards the island.

Hopefully that makes sense. It certainly does in my mind. Great review as always Alan!

Anonymous said...

This episode was a little too much GOOD vs. EVIL in it for me. There wasn't enough of a balance. Not enough will, too much destiny. They essentially neutered Sayid's character into an evil entity. His entire character arch was him abandoning his past choices, submitting to "fate", and being a killing machine.

Not really feeling the on island conclusion. Though, I liked the similarities drawn between Jacob & Slocke on how they recruit people.

Off island was much better.

Loved the action scene all around.

Sam Hobart said...

THAT was what we were waiting for. I've been something of an apologist thus far this season, mainly on the basis that I'm convinced the flash sideways have more than a cursory relationship to the island story and because I enjoy getting inside these characters heads.

But its nice to just see the show let loose and start using all of the mythology they've put into play.

It's looking more and more like Smokey vs. Jack which seems like mismatch enough BEFORE you look at who's on Smokey's side.

Bryan said...

terrific ep, Killer Sayid is always entertaining.

As for the sideways world what I got out of it was a sort of bad Genie vibe - Sayid makes a deal to get the love of his life back, which he does, but she's married to his brother.

Jon Koncak's Thighs said...

Unfortunately, I was left a little cold by this episode. It felt predictable in that Sayid's conversion was pre-ordained, but I felt that conversion to fLocke's side was seriously undercooked and kind of lazy, deadening the impact of his final decision. Maybe it's just me really wanting Sayid on what seems to be the good guys' side, but really, I just feel Kate, Jack and Sayid's episodes have just been lacking in some way I can't articulate...

Fairview said...

Even though he was a minor character, I thought Kevin Durand killed it tonight. One of Lost's legacies will be how well the creators cast the extended universe of characters. It reminds me of when I was young and collected Star Wars toys. Remember IG88? I barely do, yet it was a character I wanted in my arsenal of figures. Lost is like that in some ways - each character, also a worthy collectible, if you know what I mean.

Ben said...

My best guess on the sideways stuff is that it is in some way similar to what was going on with Desmond after the hatch blew up and he meets Mrs. Hawking in the jewerly store.

At some point on the island, the characters will have a moment where they connect the emotions and lessons from the alt-time line to the real one. So Hurley feels lucky and not cursed. So Jack gets past his daddy issues. So Locke accepts his wheelchair plight...just a thought.

Otherwise, a roller coaster of an episode that turned the island upside down. We now have Flocke and his minions, with Sawyer/Jin/Kate in tow...I'm guessing Alana/Ben etc. catch up with Hurley and Jack in the jungle...

Emile De Ravin is growing nicely into Clarie-e

I miss evil Ben

CEK said...

The saddest thing about Sayid's story (overall) is that of the main characters, he was the only self-aware one at the time of the crash. Among the survivors, he was the only one to really, honestly know who he was, and was trying to be a better person. While the island has forced Jake, Kate et al to change, poor Sayid was forced to stay the same no matter how much or how hard he tried to change. His is probably the saddest story on Lost. Even sadder than Desmond being gone from Penny all those years.

Karen said...

I feel like the parallels between The Stand and Lost were really apparent in this episode. Randall Flagg/Flocke is gathering his army in anticipation of the epic battle he has been waiting to wage for so long. I think Hurley might be the Mother Abigail of Lost but I'm just not sure. I just have to say that I feel some sadness that Sayid's soul is lost, I really, really wanted him to earn and savor some redemption.

Steve said...

Let's not forget Miles' assessment of wigged-out (literally) Claire: "still hot".

MPH said...

Loved the episode. Sayids story is always one of the most poignant, and this delivered in either timeline.

Any chance that the one he wanted most who "died in his arms" was Shannon, and not Nadia?

Synnerman said...

"Did I mention that I loved the Sayid/Dogen fight?"

Just a few seconds before the fight started, I wondered (as a big fan of Asian film) why they would hire a famous Japanese action star as a dialogue-heavy character without ever getting to show anything he can do-- oh, wait. That's why.

toonsterwu said...

I'm not sure this was as meaningful an episode as last week, since we knew what was coming. It was a fun story, though, and a good hour. I know Alan isn't as high on Jack episodes, but I'm hoping that we get back focused on Jack soon. If it wasn't clear to some from Day 1, it is fairly clear now that Jack is hero of this story, in many respects.

One thing I always wondered is if Carlton and Lindelof took too much time in breaking down Jack. Iunderstood the rationale for it, didn't completely agree with how they did it. That said, I wonder if the time breaking down Jack will mean that whatever he has to do coming up won't resonate as strongly with some fans.

As for this episode, it was fun. I'm disappointed in some aspects and believe some things were too convenient (Dogen, the only person that can stop Smokey from entering is somehow unguarded with Sayid, the man none of the others trust?)

I also don't believe Dogen is dead to the rest of this season on Lost. There's too much that hasn't been told, starting with the revelation tonight of how significant his role is - that he can stop Smokey from entering is huge.

The Sayid parts of this episode were great, though. Naveen really delivered.

I don't know if I subscribe to the theory that this is an epilogue. I've got a tough time believing that Jack's ending is this ... his role has been too important, his character too strong for that to have been his epilogue. That said, this is a discussion best for when the show is done.

The best part of the series for me happened with the death of John Locke. That was just an awful character that I did not understand why he resonated so much with people. It's freed up Terry O'Quinn to play a more malevolent role, which he does much better.

Stephen S Power said...

1. I'm getting sick of the "first I will use you as a human shield" strategy. Sayid was particularly sloppy too, with the bald guy covering only half his chest. Plus, having seen the knives, it would have been more appropriate for Sayid to stab Keany, just as Keany had his brother stabbed and Island Sayid stabbed Fake Locke.

2. Why does the Fake Locke need an army? What's preventing him from just leaving the island? I'm reminded of the question at the end of Star Trek V: Why does God need a starship?

3. Keamy's business plan is nuts. When word got around that a loan from him could never effectively be paid off, who would borrow from him?

4. I don't think the money Jin was bringing into the US was for Keamy--a magnate of his boss's level wouldn't need a trans-Pacific bagman, the money would be waiting for him in LA--but maybe the watch was.

5. In season 3 it was Sayid who was held captive in a restaurant--by Sami, whose wife, Amira, Sayid had tortured in Iraq. She shows him mercy and lets him go, not willing to sink to his level, once he admits what he had done and that it had haunted him. This episode reshackles him to the memories that confession released him from.

6. If you're going to have stone that unlocks a secret door when pressed, it would probably behoove you to keep it as clean as the surrounding stones so the handprints don't give it away. I also wouldn't make the marker a target!

Anonymous said...

Hey, can anyone tell me what the enhanced version of last weeks' episode said about Sayid being dead/not dead? I was on the phone & missed part of it.

xyz said...

Once again Alan here's you anti-Jack bias showing again. How can you say that this episode particularly the flash-sideways were better than Lighthouse? How does Sayid's flash-sideways come anyway near having the same emotional impact that Jack's did? Jack's alt-verse was beautiful and poignant whereas Sayid alt-verse was like a short story from the New Yorker which served its purpose but did not have any emotional impact like Jack's and Lock's did.

If someone did a find & replace on this script to change all instances of 'Sayid' to 'Jack' you would have panned the episode in a second.

Alan Sepinwall said...

As for the sideways world what I got out of it was a sort of bad Genie vibe - Sayid makes a deal to get the love of his life back, which he does, but she's married to his brother.

Monkey's Paw certainly works as an explanation for the bittersweet nature of the flash-sideways for some of the characters, but not all. Hurley, for instance, seems to have all his good issues, and none of his bad, in that timeline.

kishkeking said...

Loved it tonight. I laughed out loud when sayid found Jin in the freezer. And it's no small feat getting me to laugh after such an intense scene. As far as plot goes, I learned that Flocke doesn't lie and does what he says he will. Whether or not sayid has been possesed, he certainly did the logical thing by following Flocke; if I stabbed someone in the heart and that person gave me a pass......that means something about someone character. No?

Stephen S Power said...

7. Can someone give Miles something to do?

8. Although the temple was like an armed camp, people could come in and out at will, once you're in you can wander wherever you want, and apparently no one is guarding the outer wall.

9. If the outer wall is a half-mile from the temple, and figuring the outer wall is a square like the compound, that would make the wall, 15'-high and maybe 3-5' thick, four miles around. Where did they get all that stone? Where are their quarries? How do they keep it in repair? Richard opened a door with Ben as if it ran on a well-oiled track.

10. Doesn't Dogen wonder what happened to Richard?

toonsterwu said...

as an aside, i know alan wasn't huge on Lighthouse, believing it to be a pointless walk (not his exact words, but too lazy to search).

I believe, beyond the tenderness of the episode, what Lighthouse has set up is a stronger bond between Jack and Hurley, which may critical for the forces of good to win. While it may have seemed like a pointless exercise, any other avenue to bring Jack and Hurley together and to develop a bond would've probably been worse.

MJ said...

I loved the episode, and the dark tone it had. I fall into the same camp as Alan as just needing to be entertained. Obviously we all have gut reactions to each episode, but people have been making grand swooping statements after every episode, when it seems clear that we're going to have to ride this season out to fully get it.
I think the last 10 minutes were incredible and honestly felt like a feature film. There wasn't even much dialogue in there at the end, but some bad-ass slow motion shots and terrific scenery made for an entertaining finish even if it didn't have a zinger to cap it off.

Krista said...

I was surprised by how Sayid reacted to killing Dogen and seeing the corpses strewn around the temple. Sayid's choice to forsake the lives of many for Nadia seemed like a quick choice. While I understand Alan's explanation for Sayid's choice, I thought that Sayid in the jungle with NotLocke and Sayid killing Dogen was too changed. That said, he has always switched into killing mode pretty quickly. Do you think Dogen suspected Sayid would kill him? Is/was Sayid sick with "the sickness" or did he make a true choice? Alan, you say Kate and Jin are suspicious, but I would categorize them as simply running in survival mode. And where is Alpert?

I am enjoying the season, but I would like to see more characters in each episode from here on out.

groovekiller said...

I enjoyed this episode but I find myself disagreeing with the flash-sideways being some kind of "reward with a ironic twist".

I have this feeling like the series will end with all the alterna-Losties getting on a flight from LA to Sydney for some reason (Jack going to reclaim his father's coffin, Kate accompanying Claire back, Locke trying once more for his walkabout with Karen in tow maybe, etc.) at the same time that something happens on the island to make the timelines converge and the whole point (or a portion of the point) is that these folks were always meant for the island.

It would work nicely as a parallel from Season 1 since the Ssn 1 finale was everybody getting on the Sydney > LAX flight.

I'm not saying I would like this ending but I have this feeling it's headed this way...

groovekiller said...

Oh sorry...left out a critical point of my theory...the LAX > Sydney flight then crashes.

You may have assumed that's what I meant - but thought I'd clarify

Beav said...

MPH -

I like the idea that Sayid wants Shannon, not Nadia.

Hoosier Paul said...

The only thing that really bugs me about this episode is how easily Sayid trusted Dogen when Dogen told Sayid that "Locke" was evil. Basically:

DOGEN: You are evil and must be killed.
SAYID: That's crazy! You're wrong! You have no idea what you're talking about!

15 minutes later ...

DOGEN: The man outside is evil and must be killed.
SAYID: Sure. Sounds reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Dogen: You've killed a lot of people, but you claim to be a good man. Prove your goodness by killing someone else.

Sayid: LOL OK

thescott said...

And since the show skipped over the Sun-centric episode we might have expected given how all the previous episodes followed the air pattern of season one, we know that Lindelof and Cuse aren't going to just give us parallel drawings of early episodes.

Do you think the title ("Sundown") had 2 meanings, perhaps?

jasctt said...

Alan, for the love of the show, PLEASE wait until they reveal what the sideway flashes mean. They will in good time, so why keep bringing it up. I find them to be VERY fascinating, least because characters we all love get to meet and cross into each other's lives in interesting ways.

my only complaint about htis ep was the lack of Sawyer. I miss my bro.

Jim VB said...

At the conclusion of this saga, no way does this island just rest unpeopled in the great somewhere until the Next Time. I'm thinking a sentinel may be required. I'm thinking Jack stays. He is given a glimpse of his alt-life, perhaps, sees that he has a relationship with his son and that is enough. When he sees how important this role as guardian is, he elects to remain.

Jennifer J. said...

For everyone with true hope that Alan will answer my question.

I'm revisiting Season 1 episodes. I just finished watching "Raised By Another" (ep. 10). This is where Claire is having nightmares; Hurley figures out Ethan is not on the manifest and Ethan abducts both Claire and Charlie.

When Claire has her first nightmare she dreams the baby's gone from her and she's got blood on her. She hears a baby's cries. She goes out into the jungle and finds Locke. He's mostly head down, at a weird table, lit with a lamp and playing with a deck of cards. Not only are the cards black and white checked, but she asks Locke what happened/why the baby is gone? He tells her it's her fault/that she didn't raise him. He looks up at her and has one black eye and one white eye...it's creepy! I had completely forgotten it.

My question for Alan is this: do you think this is our current Not Locke in her dream? Just curious to know what my fave Lost reviewer thinks? :)

Yellowdog said...

Nobody has been more disappointed than me this season, but I thought this episode was pretty darn entertaining. Yeah, if you look really close you may still see too many unanswered questions and generally sloppiness, but for the most part, the writing, acting, and directing were finally at a top level.

By the way, was I the only one who thought of Apocalypse Now at the end?

dez said...

It's freed up Terry O'Quinn to play a more malevolent role, which he does much better.

He was giving off major "Stepfather" vibes tonight ("Next time, say 'hello' first!"). Loved it!

Did I mention that I loved the Sayid/Dogen fight?


Sayid was like Jackie Chan, just using whatever was nearby in his fight. I floved it!

I don't know if Jacob is "good" and MIB is "evil," but MIB did a good job of getting Sayid to kill Dogen before Sayid could get Dogen to tell him why he needed to be killed. DAMMIT! That's EEEEVILLLE!

Jai said...

For me, the point of the Temple interlude, and the Temple was established back, I think, in the third or fourth season, was to establish a few narrative points (re: Sayid) but largely to suggest there is no safe place now. I loved the sudden appearance of Ben and the "Ajira" crew -- we were set up to kind of forget about them and Miles and Frank bumping into each other, it makes even a fan sort out time lines and realities -- but what I like best about the season so far is how Sideways reality and Island reality are mirrored (sometimes, literally, though mirrors) -- I hope Lindeloof, Cuse and Abrams can draw those realities together both in terms of narrative and that great sense of pulp metaphor.

Anonymous said...

jasctt said, "Alan, for the love of the show, PLEASE wait until they reveal what the sideway flashes mean."

I second the motion. I hadn't considered the notion that the flash-sideways might represent the characters' lives after the show, and if that does turn out to be the case, will hate to have had the big reveal spoiled.

Hatfield said...

Fairview: That analogy is amazing, though I was always more of a Bossk fan myself.

In response to the theory that Sayid's accent is slipping: are you all sure? I just spent an alarmingly short amount of time catching up so I could watch the final season as it unfolded, and other than sounding a little more British after he died, I thought he sounded like he always has tonight.

Ok, so after admitting that I'm a recent convert, I have to say that I predicted that this would play out similar to The Stand as soon as Jacob and Smokey's 'argument' or whatever it is was introduced, and that the characters would have to choose sides. My biggest concern with that was giving characters who are basically good convincing reasons to join the bad side. And while I think that Jin is questionable on that side, so far I'm buying it. Sawyer said it himself when Kate asked him what he was doing going with Locke in season 4: "What I always do. Surviving." And Sayid had the shortest distance to go, whether he's been infected or not.

I do hope that Sawyer is indeed keeping his eyes open for a chance to screw over Smokey, and that Sayid may still have some good left in him, but if they've both turned heel, at least it'll be fun to see how the good guys try to deal with them.

Now if the good team would just make Lapidus the leader instead of Jack, I'd be happy.

Scott said...

I really liked this episode. The turn was predictable, and you had to know Sayid was killing beard face when beard face didn't kill him, but I thought it was entertaining enough. It feels like we're wasting half the episode was the sideways stuff though. Yeah we are supposed to look big picture and stuff, but watching it as is leaves something to be desired.

I guess the point of the temple was to waste time the first 4, or 5 episodes before shit gets real. At least I hope so and business is about to pick up.

Hatfield said...

For those complaining about Alan theorizing about the flash sideways: Isn't that what Lost fans do? Try to figure it out? Plus, since he's not much of a fan of them at their current face value, it makes sense that he would be looking for something to give them more weight until we figure out what's going on.

Kevin Durand's mouth is scary.

Question Mark said...

Why so much discussion of 'Sayid's choice'? It's not Sayid! The Sayid we knew for five seasons died in the LA X season premiere. What's walking around now is an 'infected' version of Sayid, who's basically a zombie.

By this point I'm taking Darlton's long-stated 'joke' that season six was going to be The Zombie Year to be actually true. Darlton has been messing with us all by hiding the truth to Lost's final season in plain sight. It's like how their codeword for the S4 finale (the frozen donkey wheel) was actually what we saw. Claire and Sayid are both dead and their zombies are followers of Smokey.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think the LA timeline represents some kind of reward from Smokey. The characters we’ve seen interact with each other in this timeline don’t know each other. We do see some faint signs of recognition like Jack/Desmond and Kate/Jack. But that’s it. Locke and Jack didn’t seem to have vague recognition nor did Sayid/Jin or Sayid/Keamy.

If in fact they don’t recognize each other and this is a “reward zone” for the castaways, then that means Smokey erased some portion of their memories. And that just seems like cheating to me from a storytelling point of view; kind of like Bobby Ewing’s dream. If these character’s have in fact made some kind of deal with Smokey, then they not only have to have some sort of flaws to the deal (like Locke getting his wife but remaining in the chair) but they must be aware of the flaws. This doesn’t seem to be the case. If the story is ending this way then I’ll feel as if the entire series was a waste. We’ll see. And how exactly did Dogen get to make a deal with Smokey? Does he get resurrected and Smokey offers him the deal? Why would Smokey do that?

And I take Sayid’s interaction with Ben a little differently. I think it’s possible that Said has realized not that he is always going to be a killer. I think this being has realized that he is no longer Said. There is something else inhabiting the body. Said was dead for two hours. Isn’t it likely that the real Said we know is just as dead as the real Locke?

The Sayid/Dogen fight was a series highlight for that type of scene.

I think it's possible that Sun's father could have some kind of underworld ties to someone like Keamy and that's why Jin is involved. He's tied up in the freezer b/c his money was taken by the feds. Maybe.

Rich, Denver

Tony M said...

After five years of finding my thoughts on Lost echoed in your reviews Alan, we are completely out of synch this year. That was the worst episode of the season, maybe ever. Naveen Andrews was very poor tonight - his puppy dog in the rain expression when Smokey promised him Nadia again was the falsest acting note in the history of the series.

Under motivated, poorly staged, people wandering in and out of the scene, stumbling across each other all over the island. It pretty much sucked.

And worse, no Hurley, no Sawyer and very little Ben. Yeesh...

JDSTL said...

Did anyone else notice Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters was in the pack of others that were behind Locke leaving the Temple in the final scene of the show? Very cool, Dave is a LOST fan!!

Anonymous said...

I thought the sideways stories show us what would have happened if the plane had landed safely in LA. Wasn't that the point of the nuke going off at the end of last season? As Juliet said, "It worked."

Anonymous said...

No, the alternate non-island stories aren't what would have happened if the nuke went off and if the plane simply landed. We know enough about the past lives of the current characters to know that there have been dramatic changes in their lives in the alternate verse that it's not simply just an exploration of seeing the events fold if the plane had landed.

It is at once the plane landed scenario but it is also more. It may be an alternative parallel time line or it may be the future or it may be a complete what if fictional scenario.

No one knows until about midway of the season where the two timelines are supposed to merge or interact or something is supposed to occur.

belinda said...

Perhaps it is Jack (and Kate) after all, because I enjoyed the hell out of this episode. Sayid's story has always been a heartbreaking one, which is made even sadder because of all the flashbacks, flashforwards, and flash diagonals, Sayid can't help but be a killer, no matter what happens. So why not resign himself to be the killer that everyone demands him to be?

Smiles are creepy in this episode. It was creepy when Lockey curled his lips up at Sayid, and Sayid when he smiled at Ben, who doesn't scare easily!

I'm glad the temple is gone! I was getting sick of Dogen and its 'mysterious/annoying' sayings. I've missed the action. And I hope we can see more soon.

Team Smokey! If only because I really hope the heavy handed "Oh, Smokey is Evil!" isn't true, because Jacob annoys the crap out of me. If he's supposed to be good, then I want to be bad.

I hope Miles actually gets an episode soon because we really know very little about him - he can talk to the dead and we know who his father is. That's pretty much it. I hate for him to end up being the exposition guy delivering info (Oh, Kate, Claire's here. Oh, Sun, Jin isn't dead! and so on)to the other guys.

tribalism said...

A lesser show wouldn't have been able to portray such a complex character like Sayid--a man who constantly falls back into his pattern of torturing and murdering--as a protagonist for so many years.

The fact that the resurrected Sayid has embraced what the original Sayid has always struggled with has got to be the Hell he envisioned for himself when he was dying in "LA X".

I really was hoping that Keamy would end up as a camp counsellor or something in the sideways 'verse, but much like Sayid, if you're a killer in one reality, you're a killer in both.

If anyone is interested, you can find more of my thoughts on this episode where I go into detail about how Smokey may have already succeeded with his plan in the sideways universe as well as how Sayid has embodied a piece on the backgammon board more than on other character on the show. Click my username for the link.

boa said...

I feel that they've killed off Sayid. It's highly out of character for him to say he's a good man. Until then, I was willing to chalk up his accent change to Andrews treading water. But given everything Dogen has said about Sayid, coupled with his remark about being good, either the writers have completely character-assassinated my favorite Lostie or Sayid really did die when he first arrived at the temple. Either of those scenarios makes me a bit sad. But I hope it's not just poor writing, because that would be a huge letdown in finishing up the series.

The reason I think it might not be poor writing is that the alt-timeline Sayid acknowledges that he can't have Nadia, which might be the only scenario in which she lives. I hope I'm not giving the writers too much credit.

Also, I loved Crouching Dogen Hidden Sayid. But you know what this show is sorely lacking at the moment? Sayid's favorite right hand man- Desmond! Come back!!

The Ted said...

We always want answers, but we want answers to certain questions which matter. No one ever cared about what created the force in Star Wars, but that's what Lucas gave us in The Phantom Menace.

Don't get me wrong, Lost still provides good drama. But increasingly I feel like I'm being subjected to midichlorian type definitions of things I could care less about. Did I need to know that Dogen was once a Japanese businessman? No. I don't want to know who he is. It should be vaguely suggested that he was some sort of super-awesome Japanese samurai warrior that Jacob brought to the island in the 15th century. But still, that should be debatable.

There was a point when it upset me to even imagine that there were people writing this show, because it seemed to come from another universe. The writing was so good that it felt almost biblical. Now, I'm reminded during every episode that there are writers trying to tie up loose ends because the creators or ABC told them to do that. Bummer.

We're witnessing another Battlestar Galactica series ending (which I hated), but this time we know it's coming and I have a horrible feeling (and I hope I'm wrong) that it will suck.

DR said...

Something that has been left out of this discussion is why has Dogen gone to lengths to kill Sayid. He had Sayid dead to rights in this episode and doesn't pull the trigger.

My assumption from a few episodes ago seems to be holding true: only candidates can kill other candidates. It may prove in the end that the last two standing become new Jacob and new Smokey trapped in the same conundrum as has been going on for centuries.

We can expect that whatever happens it's more than likely that the island - an instrument of judgement - will remain to test the hearts of humanity. The question is who will be left to weigh the scales of right and wrong, and will it be one person or two...

Andy M said...

I think this episode gave us the reason for the flash-sideways: They are the temptation offered by Not-Lock to our characters.
Here's what I'm thinking. Over the course of the season, evil Not-Locke will meet with all our main characters. He will say to each of them that he will give them the thing they want the most IF they will side with him. The flash-sideways are a chance to see how the world would have turned out if they take the deal with Not-Locke.

Some will take the deal, some will not. For those that take the deal, we get to see what sort of pyrrhic victory they will receive. For those that don't take the deal, we get to see what they gave up to do the right thing.

In this episode, Sayid takes the deal. As a result, his life is one where his brother is married to Nadia.

In Locke's episode, Locke turned down the deal off camera. By watching that episode, we just get an understanding of how great a sacrifice it was. We see just how much Locke gave up to do the right thing.

In Jack's episode earlier, we SAW what would happen IF Jack takes the deal. My guess is that in a future episode, Not-Locke will offer Jack the deal. However, since we've already seen Jack's sideways, we the viewers will already know what Jack's temptation is. (piano playing son, no drinking problems, etc.)

So to recap, the flash-sideways are the Last Temptation of Lost.

Just a theory.

Question Mark said...

Not a bad theory, but I don't think there are enough episodes left for a) Jack to get a second centric episode at the expense of other characters and b) if you already have one alternate reality, introducing a SECOND one to represent Jack's other choice might be a bit much. Also, Locke didn't really get a chance to turn down Smokey's offer...he was dead before he got to the Island.

Alex said...

Regarding Naveen's accent, you're making too big of a thing out of it. His accent has actually been waning for the entirety of the show's run. Don't believe me? Go watch any scene of Sayid speaking from season 1 and then watch the scene towards the end of last season when he's going over Faraday's notes on how to transport the Jughead core. It's not a character thing, I don't think.

Luckee said...

Agreed too big a deal being made over Sayid's accent waning. I hadn't really noticed but enough time has passed that it would be natural for Sayid to lose some of his accent at this point, just as Jin has learned to speak English being marooned with English speaking people all this time. It would be stranger if Sayid had not lost some of his Iraqi accent by now.

Drifter said...

For some reason season 6 doesn't feel like Lost to me. Emotionally nothing is resonating with me as I'm looking at everything on screen this season as inconsequential and not related to the prior 5 seasons.

- Terry O'Quinn is there, but he's not playing Locke.

- Naveen Andrews is playing a different character than seasons 1-5 Sayid.

- Emilie De Ravin is there but not playing Claire as we know her from seasons 1-4.

- Jack is useless and more clueless than ever and not the skillful leader from seasons 1-4.

- Ben Linus is no longer the brilliant and devious genius. Now he's a meek and mild follower of a woman, Ilana, who we know nothing about.

- There is a whole new batch of Others led by Dogen that are in no way hinted at or related to what we know as the Others up to this point. 6 eps of Dogen and now he's dead and for what? We never saw him even mention Ben Linus or Richard Alpert and it makes him feel like an artificial addition to the show with about as much resonance as an Other as that white woman who spoke Chinese and read Jack's tattoo in season 3.

- The flash sideways make me feel no jeopardy with anyone since I know they can die in one timeline and be alive in the other.

- We're 6 out of 18 eps into the final season and so far we are no closer to answering any of the mysteries we had at the season's beginning. Each passing ep with no answers makes me more and more nervous that we might end up with a forced Battlestar Galactica type ending.

Chris said...

You seem certain he was talking about Nadia, but I thought when he said "the only thing I ever wanted died in my arms" he was referring to Shannon. Though I suppose it applies to both, but I'd rather see Maggie Grace return.

Ryan Devisser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan Devisser said...

@Luckee

Sayid didn't spend 3 years on the island like Jin did; only 3 months. He spoke like his normal self the entire time he was on the island in 2004, when he was off-island from Jan. 2005 to late 2007, and still had the same accent when he came back on the Ajira flight. He also had the same accent when he worked as a chef in France for years prior to the crash.

Basically, his accent changed in 'LA X', where just hours before in 'The Incident', he was speaking with the same accent he's had his entire life, save for a few spotty lines spread throughout the series. (I wouldn't include the series Pilot since most of the actors were still finding their voices. Josh Holloway didn't even have his trademark drawl in one of the scenes.)

In short, Sayid has never spoken differently for entire episodes, let alone 5 episodes in a row. It's just odd that he's gone from sounding Iraqi (or at least 99% consistent to a specific accent) to sounding British Indian.

OldDarth said...

First episode I found meh.

50 minutes to find out the Sayid is a bad man in all his timelines? Oh-kay.

We knew this already dudes and the episode counter is getting ever smaller.

The last 5 minutes were cool though.

First so-so episode of the season for me.

Charlotte K said...

The army walking at the end of this ep really brought back the horror/mystery of those first few episodes...loved that.

I need to watch that Dogen/Sayid fight in slow motion!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, for the love of the show, PLEASE wait until they reveal what the sideway flashes mean. They will in good time, so why keep bringing it up.

Because right now, as the season is being presented, I don't think they work. It'll be wonderful and all if the revelation of what they are makes them far more emotionally resonant in retrospect. But I'm not watching in retrospect; I'm watching right now, as a weekly viewer of "Lost," as I have for the last 5+ years. And so I think it's entirely fair to both object to the way they're presented and to speculate on what they might mean. As Hatfield pointed out, speculating on meaning is half of what "Lost" fans do, isn't it?

Maggie said...

Couldn't Jack have recognized Desmond from when they ran stadium stairs together....brotha? Wouldn't that have happened prior to the Australia flight?


Beav, I don't see that anyone answered this, but I think we could assume that since so much of Jack's life is different (as Desmond's must be to be on that plane and never have been on that island), he may not have been running in that stadium that day. Maybe it was his day with David. Maybe Desmond wasn't going through training because he wasn't preparing for his boat race. It's all part of the butterfly effect...

On the other hand, if they did meet in this life, also? If you recall, Jack sorta recognized Desmond in the Hatch but wasn't sure until Des repeated his line about "see you in another life." This time, Jack did seem to vaguely remember him on the plance but Desmond chooses another way to say "goodbye" and maybe the chance to reconnect is gone.

I liked this episode, but didn't love it, for one simple reason: I really don't care for fight scenes (although the Smokey scenes were cool) and the whole Sayid/Dogan fight in the first few minutes started it off in that vein right away.

I also disagree with people's assessment of Emilie de Raven's acting - maybe it's the bad wig, but it comes across very one-note to me. Compare to the subtlety and flashes of pure evil we get from Locke or Ben. Again, maybe it's the awful hair and fake dirt obscuring her face, but I get nothing from her scenes other than a renewed appreciation for Kate as Aaron's deserved mom. And I was one who was furious that the Losties seemed to forget Claire for an entire season! (Sawyer and Jin's search of the island in the 70's seemed focused on Locke and the other missing Losties, and not Claire, who, I guess, was as good at avoiding them as Rose and Bernard.)

But I might be bitter - two episodes without a Sawyer sighting????

Otto Man said...

7. Can someone give Miles something to do?

They have. Just like Hurley serving as the Greek chorus for the fans, Miles is finally doing something the fans have always complained about -- the fact that characters never share information.

He tells Kate that Claire is in the Temple, he tells Sayid about what happened when he was dead-ish, and then he tells Sun that Jin is alive. He's become the island's message board.

Lizbeth said...

I laughed that they give Dogen's entire backstory in five minutes and then BOOM he's dead. If this were Season 3, Dogen would have had is own flashback episode that tediously explained everything he could succinctly explain in minutes.

But that's always been my frustration with the writers' storytelling device on Lost. Also, don't love that they keep introducing new fascinating characters and killing them before they serve any real purpose to the story.

Also, I have to agree that Naveen Andrews is definitely playing Sayid differently this year. Sorry, the "I'm a good man" line is not something old Sayid would say. Everything, including the accent, is just off a little bit to clue us in that Sayid as we know him is gone.

Tricky said...

I loved tonight's episode - the ending very creepy - but one thing drove me absolutely bananas.

In the scene where Claire arrives at the temple, she walks right past Sayid and Miles and they all just stand there and no one says anything!?

Not: 'Claire! We thought you were dead! Where have you been!
Not: "Claire! How you doin!'
Not: 'Claire! What's up with your hair! You're still hot though.'

Not even a 'sup nod.

Just idiotic glares - as if somehow there's nothing worth talking about.

Humph.

Henry Casey said...

Alan, I'm right there with you in the idea that 2004 is the epilogue for the 2007 plotline. It hinges on how Hurley behaved in Locke's episode: just like Jacob in the Season Five finale.

Anonymous said...

Where's Desmond, String?!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are with Drifter's comment - this season is like a different show. That's just what we said to each other as we were watching last night. Drifter made many of the big points. New characters who are pointless and don't explain things, this Jacob/Flocke struggle that avoids most of what has happened on the show, etc. etc. Aimless actions, new plot devices. Disappointing. We've watched from the beginning and will watch until the end, but it's not really any fun anymore - we've given up even trying to guess at things. Such a waste given the strengths of the show....

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to see Kevin Durand's name in the credits! He's all kinds of awesome. Hoping to see Clancy Brown again as well..

Matt said...

You would think Sayid would be the only passenger Jack does recognize, since he kicked in the door when the flight crew asked for a doctor to help Charlie.

Anonymous said...

If the flash-sideways are an epilogue, does that mean Jughead is not actually responsible for them? That fading from the (apparent) explosion to Jack on flight 815 was a bit of sleight-of-hand by the producers?

Theory: Jughead didn't actually detonate. It was the electromagnetic radiation at the site caused the Losties to travel back to the future. The flash-sideways are actually the result of Jacob and/or Smocke rolling back time to some unspecified point in the past to let everyone have a do-over without Jacob's/the Island's interference. What we're seeing is actually a "flash-forward" (in the sense that it can't come to be until after an on-Island event that will take place in 2007's future) to the past (in the sense that chronologically it takes place before the on-Island stuff).

(I have no info at all on future episodes; that's just a theory building on Alan's.)

Dan said...

Why hasn't anyone discussed the baseball that seems to control Dogen's life? Am I missing something, or has this never been discussed here before?

First, Dogen is ready to kill Sayid (something he desparately wants done) and he passes on the chance because his baseball falls to the ground.

Then, when Sayid kills Dogen, we get a close up of the baseball floating away from Dogen.

What does the baseball symbolize? Is it something so simple that it's not even worth discussing?

TL said...

the stronger my feeling grows that we're seeing the series' epilogue in advance.

To put a twist on this, I think that we're seeing a sort of "Last Temptation of Christ"-esque alternate reality. That is, at some point, Smokey offers them the chance at a do over, where they can live normal, unextraordinary lives that we're seeing in the flash sidewayses. But, to do so, they don't get to be the saviors.

Bryan said...

What does the baseball symbolize? Is it something so simple that it's not even worth discussing?

Baseball reminded him of his son - He told the story to Sayid right before he killed him.

cazzoduro said...

Dan: Why hasn't anyone discussed the baseball that seems to control Dogen's life? Am I missing something, or has this never been discussed here before?

If you remember the story that Dogen tells Sayid about his life before the island, he mentioned that he was drunk when he picked up his son from baseball practice, they got into a car accident and his son was killed. Dogen feels terribly guilty for his son's death and he keeps the baseball as a reminder of his role in his son's death.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the episode Dogen tells Sayid that people have an equal amount of good and evil balanced within them. I think the baseball symbolizes the balance of good and evil within Dogen. He can't bring himself to kill Sayid because perhaps his sense of balance would shift toward evil; which is why he doesn't kill Sayid when he had the chance.

Lastly, remember that the reason Dogen is on the island is because Jacob promised him that he could bring his son back to life -- with the only catch being that Dogen couldn't interact with him. So if you want to extrapolate the baseball symbolism even further, you could conclude that Dogen carries around the baseball as a reminder that he has sacrificed his life so that his son could live.

debbie said...

In the scene where Claire arrives at the temple, she walks right past Sayid and Miles and they all just stand there and no one says anything!?
That bothered me too! Almost as much as Jack and Kate act like they have no past at all, when they were in a serious relationship for 3 years, as Hurley had to remind Jack last episode. Why do these characters have such a short-term memory?
I think I'd be bugged more about the Dogan storyline if I didn't think his backstory and last week's glimpse of him is the biggest hint yet to viewers that we are, in fact, seeing the epilogue in the sideways scenes.
If that's the case, then it seems like the Losties that choose the Jacob path do get their happy-yet-somewhat compromised endings, but the ones that go for Team Black get what the MIB promises them, but in a bad way.
LOVED seeing Keamy again...that actor will forever be that character in my eyes. And liked the element of "course correction" with Sayid still shooting him...but this time Keamy wasn't sporting the body armor.

Jin's English Tutor said...

@ Dan: The baseball was his son's. Seeing it reminded him of the actions that ed him to that point, and it gave him pause.

My question: why can Dogen (attempt to) kill Sayid - a candidate - while Flocke can't kill Sawyer - also a candidate.

My theory: Dogen was the replacement for Smokey and the Losties are potential replacements for Jacob (why only Dogen can keep Smokey out). Smokey has found his replacement and is ready to get the hell outa there, but Jacob insists on test after test to find his. Perhaps Widmore was Smokey's previous replacement until Jacob (through Ben) found a way to exile him. Now Smokey has found another way to escape that doesn't require the symmetry of one for one.

At one point, Smokey was trusted by the Others: he was guarding the temple when Jin and the french crew found the temple in '88, so the split occurred after this. Perhaps with Dogen's arrival. 'm guessing we're going to see momre Titus Welliver (sp?) going forward, and probably with Widmore and Mr Paik.

My two cents on the flash sideways: I don't know what the deal is, but I'm willing to give the guys the benefit of the doubt. Of course this is coming from a guy who's wife's water broke with our first child during the last 15 minutes of "Walkabout" and we waited until the end before getting moving to the hospital.

Rob Duncan said...

Surprised that no one has mentioned the burning cross which is in the scene after Smockey killed all the temple followers.

Steve said...

This season does feel like a different show, but that's not where my big problem/disappointment lies.

For me, there is a "be careful what you wish for" vibe to the season. I was so excited to learn that Darlton had a plan for the end of the show since season one. However, I think that it has been a detractor.

From seasons 2-5, both Desmond and Ben have become fan favorites. They were my two favorite characters in the show.

However, the two of them have been thrown to the wayside this season, as they were not integral characters in the beginning of the series.

There are still episodes left to bring back old characters, but what about the whole Desmond/Penny/Widmore angle? Widmore seemed so important in the hierarchy of inside information as to the Island, yet he's been forgotten. Not killed, not explained away... forgotten

kishkeking said...

I don't recall Miles ever meeting Claire. Wouldn't she just be another strange other other to him. And Sayid had other things on his mind at that moment

Tara said...

Monkey's Paw certainly works as an explanation for the bittersweet nature of the flash-sideways for some of the characters, but not all. Hurley, for instance, seems to have all his good issues, and none of his bad, in that timeline.

Difference being, Hurley has not aligned himself with Smokey, while Sayid has. Do the white hats get a better outcome? Locke doesn't count, he never got to make the choice. Claire seems ok so far in 2004. Don't know, just spitballlin'.

Dying, dying to see what Des is up to (in 2004 & 2007). Great to have Keamy back briefly, he's totally as scary as Christopher Walken.

Chris said...

This may be crazy but in the scene last week when Hurley discovers Jacob at the spring, there is a brief moment where Jacob is shown dropping something, possibly some kind of ash, into the water. Is it possible this was meant to bring back the healing powers of the spring? And if so is it then possible that Dogen and Lennon are not dead?

I think the sentiment about Flocke always telling the truth and doing what he says is pretty funny considering that what he was honest about last night was killing people. Hey he didn't lie about killing several people for seemingly no other reason than not choosing his team.

And although he may not lie, he clearly leaves out important information. He tells Sawyer that he just wants to leave the island, yet that apparently involves the support of a large group of people, that are only following him to avoid death.

It seems that Jacob may offer rewards that can't be experienced ie Dogen's son is alive, but in exchange for service to the island, whereas Flocke offers an experience, but maybe not in the way you expect, ie Locke has Helen but is in wheelchair, Sayid has Nadia as a sister in law.

Ken said...

A couple of thoughts occur. Dogen and Lennon are dead, but they're dead in a pool that has brought people back to life, before it stopped working. Any chance that we'll see them again? I hope so. I was starting to like Dogen, especially after his reveal of the sad story that brought him to the island.

What's going to happen to Kate. Smokey didn't kill her, but she got quite a look from Smocke when he saw her outside the temple. There's no indication at all that she followed Smocke's army. So what's his plan for her?

BGH said...

The baseball was Dogen's reminder of his son. He said there as an accident when he was drunk and picked him up after baseball practice.

Target-Addict said...

Great recap as always, Alan. Regarding Naveen's accents, this may be reaching, but just a thought: in the sideways world last night, Sayid mentioned he'd been in Australia, seemingly for an extended period of time. Could he possibly be affecting an Australian accent (vs. a British one)? Of course, this explanation only makes sense in the sideways world, not on the island...

MyFawny said...

Thus, when the island is put to rest, and this eternal battle is won, the Lostaways are returned to a time when they never had to complete their task, therefore their lives turned out differently because forces like Jacob didn't push the Lostaways towards the island.

I think we are still seeing the Losties lives w/o Jacob's push, however we've been lulled into thinking that everyone lived happily ever after. Sayid shows that some don't. I keep remembering Miles speaking Juliet's last words that the reboot worked.We are seeing those rebooted lives. When we saw Flocke & Jacob there was implication that this was an ongoing battle that they had been having with humans over and over. I think Dogen and Richard were probably part of this previous attempts.

Laurel said...

I'm with Alan on the flash sideways. I watch Lost because I like Lost. Not because I particularly like the actors. So why would I want to watch the actors in entirely unLost related story lines?? It's like they dropped all the characters' names into a hat and every time they need a new character in a scene they pull a name out of a hat. And we are all supposed to ooh and aah at the cleverness of it, oh look Rose with Locke in the unemployment office! Jin with Sayid in the freezer! It's like a game of Clue. Not a fan.

As for the on island stuff, I think, I THINK that it is compelling and interesting, but it is hard to tell with the action all broken up with the (meaningless, to me, as of now, at least) off island interjections.

Where's Widmore in all of this?? I don't know what is more annoying - that they are leaving so many hanging storylines this close to the end or, if they did in fact know where this was all going in the end, that they had an entire season of Widmore/Ben/Hawking which as of now seems to just have been filler.

And I still want to know what happened with the bomb?

Steve said...

Kishkeking: Miles met Claire during Season 4 in the episode The Shape of Things to Come. Miles showed up at Ben's hosue with the walkie-talkie from Keamy and Claire was among the group in there. They even exchanged dialogue; Claire said she was "woozy, but would make it" after her house was attacked, and Miles said "I wouldn't be so sure about that".

In the next episode, Miles was acting strangely around Claire (as if she was already dead or something, given Miles' ability) and Sawyer gave him a "restraining order" to stay away from her, which meant he didn't go after her when she wandered off into the jungle after Christian.

cazzoduro said...

Conspicuous by his absence last night was Sawyer. Did anyone see him included in FLocke's army in the final scene? Not unusual for Lost to go entire episodes without showing a particular character, but it would have seemed odd to have left out Sawyer from Flocke's group.

Also, what happened during the time that Kate was in the pit with Claire? Was it just me or did Kate seem different after that? Any chance that Claire made good on her vow to kill Kate, then perhaps Kate was brought back from the dead much the same way that Sayid was? (kind of a stretch, I know).

During "Lighthouse" Jacob mentions that someone is coming to the island. Who is he talking about? Could it be Desmond? Or Widmore?

kishkeking said...

Steve: My bad. I totally forgot Miles and Claire already met. I guess the best explanation is that Miles and has become jaded by his paranormal and island experiences that seeing Claire was no biggie for him. I still stand by my comment that Sayid had other more pressing concerns at the moment.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, you say Kate and Jin are suspicious, but I would categorize them as simply running in survival mode.

It's both. They're with Smokey because they really have no other choice, but they're seeing him with clearer eyes than Claire or Sawyer.

Dave said...

Quick note for Maggie and Beav, re: Desmond -

We can't say for sure that Jack and Des didn't incidentally cross paths in another way in the fake timeline, but I think it's very safe to say that they wouldn't ever meet climbing the stairs. Des has a ring on his finger, so if we believe in Lost Destiny, it means that he's probably already married to Penny. If Widmore and Hawking aren't manipulating Desmond's life to get him onto the Island, he has no reason to go on the boat race (or rather, Widmore has no reason to hold the boat race). If Des isn't training for the race, he's not running in the stadium.

After a few episodes, I'm seeing much, much more significance in Des and Jack faintly recognizing each other.

This week, I didn't see anything that hints that the fake timeline is either its own entire universe or a divergence from the real timeline from the point of the bomb going off. If it's the latter, we have the connection of Daniel's journal in the hands of Widmore and Hawking, which makes it very possible that Des on 815 was a plant, whether he knew it or not.

Dave said...

...but they're seeing him with clearer eyes than Claire or Sawyer.

I agree that Jin and Kate are surviving/suspicious, but I think Sawyer is in more control of his actions than we're being led to believe. He knew it wasn't Locke, and he knows when he's getting conned. And I think he's done playing Island games, so he's still just trying to get out.

kishkeking said...

Did anyone notice Flocke's look when he saw Kate walking out of the Temple. He did a second take when he saw her. Actually she should be dead. She's the only one aside from Sayid and Claire (who don't count) who met up with Smokey after sundown. And Flocke didn't look too happy about that.

barefootjim said...

The Others need a better HR rep next time out, I think.

HA! Also, considering that Ethan was the one who recruited Juliet and Mr. Friendly was the one who had Michael infiltrate the freighter, that shows the level of HR thinking in New Otherton.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And I think he's done playing Island games, so he's still just trying to get out.

That, or, as he's been telling everybody, he no longer cares about anything, and is therefore going along with Smokey just because it seems like something to do.

Lepidoptera said...

until we do, they have all the weight and meaning of a dream sequence.

This entire show has been reduced to the weight and meaning of a dream sequence. All of the promos for this stillborn episode were about the many answers that were forthcoming. Face it, the "answers" we got last night are as satisfying as any that are coming. This had better all be a huge dream sequence, because nothing else will make the plotlessness and circular logic of this mess make any sense.

I LOVE that this post was named "History of Violence" because that film was a great, riveting story that was sadly and completely sabotaged by a bloated middle, and a terrible, nonsensical ending. I can't think of a better mirror image in an unexplained alternate universe description of Lost than that.

I have to know... do none of the Lost apologists and devotees get a little bent when right at the moment that Claire might say something to Kate that would shed some light on the meaninglessness of her story arc for the last 4 years.... she gets seized by guards for no reason? Why did Kate only have 2 minutes to talk to Claire??? Why, because the writers had nothing but teasers and things that we already know to impart in the dialogue.

Are you intrigued now about Sayid's brother? Are you intrigued now about the Temple Guru's dead shortstop son? This show just continues to open new, fresh cans of worms as a means to try to divert you from the fact that the old, unresolved cans of worms are getting pungently stale, and are going to remain that way.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Lepidoptera, referring to people who enjoy watching a show you continue to watch despite not enjoying it so you can complain about people who enjoy watching it as "apologists" is not a fulfilling life choice.

Scott said...

Seeing Keamy again made me think about another relationship that has yet to be fully explained.

Now that we know what the smoke monster is, what were it's motives when it took out Keamy's crew?

It always appeared that Ben was summoning smokey to help him after they killed Danielle, but if Ben was truly an other, and Smokey doesn't like the others, then why did it kill Keamy's crew? And if Ben truly summoned Smokey, what is/was the relationship there? Did Ben think that he was listening to Jacob when he was listening to Smokey this whole time? I don't buy it. Seems like a contrivance now and doesn't make sense with the story we are working with this season.

Then Ben called the Monster to judge him last season. (He even had a line to FLocke - who we didn't know was FLock at the time - "I believe your people call it the Monster"). What did he think the monster was and did he understand its relationship to Jacob the way that Richard, Dogan and Ilyana appear to?

Thoughts?

Bleh. I need to stop thinking about this stuff and enjoy the drama.

Steve said...

Sounds like 75% of the complaints about this episode stem from the fact ABC's promo department promised "answers".

Simple solution: don't watch the promos or take them at their (implied) word.

As I've remarked elsewhere, it's as if the promos are written by Jacob and/or the Man in Black, considering how misleading and cryptic they are.

Steve said...

Scott: Smokey didn't really wipe out the mercenaries. Every other time we've seen Smokey on a rampage, he's been a lethal killer. But this time around, the only guy we saw die was a merc that died of his wounds on the frieghter an episode later. Keamy, Omar & Co. escaped unscathed.

My half-baked theory is that Smokey/MiB is in league with Widmore and he pulled his punches on the mercs, all the while putting on a good show (coming in like a freight train, etc) for Ben and The Others so as not to tip his hand.

Chris said...

I'm just sayin, but..

Maybe Dogen and Lennon are not dead. They are face down in a pool of miracle water that was supposed to fix a mostly dead Sayid by submerging him face down in it.

I'm just sayin, is all.

Lepidoptera said...

Matter-Eater Lad said...
Lepidoptera, referring to people who enjoy watching a show you continue to watch despite not enjoying it so you can complain about people who enjoy watching it as "apologists" is not a fulfilling life choice.


Matter-Eater Lad, I would encourage you to read my post, as very little of it is a complaint about people who enjoy Lost. This is an intelligent forum with thoughtful people, and I am extremely frustrated by a show that I once really enjoyed. I am also increasingly surprised that more fans are not feeling similarly swindled. If anything I said about the content and inability of the writers to move the story forward is inaccurate, please explain, but let's leave others "life choices" alone, shall we?

Jen said...

I don't know that Kate is tagging along, but suspicious. As she was dangling from that ladder and looking up at Smokey it seemed like she was registering something more in her face. It vaguely looked to me like Smokey was flashing ala the encounter w/ Mr. Eko in Season 2(?). If what I think I saw is accurate, I think Smokey has won her over.

Mary-Kate Hopkinson said...

I thought Sayid's fighting was not nearly as badass as it has been in the past. Didn't he snap someone's leg in a figure-4 move once? Here he was just jumping around and stuff.

Also, Sayid has ALWAYS had a slight British accent. Not sure why you're just noticing it.

I like your epilogue theory though. A lot.

CreedReader said...

Here is something to think about:

Baseballs have 108 stitches.

Discuss

CreedReader said...

And before you get all genius about that and tell me something that we all already know, 108 is the sum of "the numbers".

Anonymous said...

I like the flash-sideways, to be honest, knowing that this is the last season, and that these may be the last flashwhatever with the characters, I just take it as a good emotional resolution to their character arcs of the last 6 seasons. Jack's resolved daddy issues, Locke's realistically approach to his lot in life, and really making the best of it, and even Sayid is a better man, until he is pulled back in by his brother and Keamy.
As character studies, or character resolutions, I do feel like this is a big part about what Lost is about.

Although, what I am having trouble with is the Jacob versus Smokey on island stuff. Not that it doesn't fit in thematically with what the show has been doing in the past, Jacob seeming to be more about choice, helping and guiding the Losties down a path, giving them choice, while Smokey has used and manipulated and controlled their lives, via the time jumps, since he was the one talking to Locke the whole time and made them move the island so Locke would die.

The issue I have is that none of it was set up in the past several seasons. We've been led to believe Ben and Widmore where of more importance, and that they had rules to abide by. Now Widmore is nowhere to be seen, and Ben, who was once their leader, appears to know nothing while everyone at the temple has met Jacob.
Dogan met Jacob, was handpicked by him, and also he and Richard know the smoke monster to be Jacob's rival, while up until now, their 'leader' knew none of that. Ben went to the Smoke Monster to be judged, he thought he called upon it as if it was an ally, and he never once even saw Jacob.

There are just some things about this that don't add up, and I doubt ever will. But other than that, I like Lost still, I enjoy the episodes, I liked every episode this season - with the exception of Kate's

JamesG said...

If Dogen only came to the island after Jacob saved his 12 year old son, and if both Dogen and his son are about the same ages in the Jack episode from last week as they are now, how long could Dogen possibly have been on the island?

As Drifter pointed out, Dogen's character and everything with the temple seems tacked on and ruins much of the groundwork established the previous seasons. Wasn't Ben the Others' anointed leader? There is no way that Dogen was on the island at the time of the purge. He would have come after the Dharma elimination and supplanted Ben. Yet never a mention of him? Is he not the leader but just the temple guardian? Is it possible that there are supposed to be separate factions of the "Others?" Is the one group lead by Ben/Richard different from the Dogen/Temple group? I'm completely annoyed by this entire addition so far.

Finally, I echo the sentiments that this season is uncomfortably different from the previous ones. Ben and Charles Widmore have been the major antagonists for the last four seasons, and now Ben is completely neutered and Charles entirely forgotten. Both are replaced by Jacob and MIB, who we had no connection to whatsoever until last season's finale. Seems unsettling to me, and not at all satisfying.

Bryan said...

I am also increasingly surprised that more fans are not feeling similarly swindled


and in the spirit of opposites that is Lost I am equally surprised that you would feel "swindled" (and I do not say that as the viewer type with the attitude of "lighten up dude it's just a tv show")

I can't speak for you of course but from what I gather from your comments is that you want answers -I can understand that - there are a lot of questions and we want answers but an answer while satisfying our curiousity is also an ending - it's a shut door. There are 12 hours left (a whole year of Mad Men or The Wire) plenty of time.

You can quit if you want but I've sat through enough slow or confusing 3rd acts in my life to know that they sometimes make for a better ending.

Socrates said...

Matter-Eater Lad said...
Lepidoptera, referring to people who enjoy watching a show you continue to watch despite not enjoying it so you can complain about people who enjoy watching it as "apologists" is not a fulfilling life choice.


"Apologist" means defender. There's nothing negative implied. Read your Plato.

ezc23 said...

These Flash sideways of the Losties kind of remind me of the old 1995 movie Jumanji.

In the movie, the kids start this magical board game that takes over their lives as each square they play becomes a reality. Like Robin Williams' character being banished into the jungle for 30 years. At the end of the movie, everything is reset and the kids (who were then in their 30s) became kids again.

In a way, that's how I'm seeing this "sliding doors" version of Lost. Jacob and Smokey are playing a game and the losties are the playing pieces. Once the game finishes (at the end of the season), the events reset. Maybe a new game is then being played. Who knows...

Anonymous said...

i dont care about "answers" just good episodes

Superbad said...

First off, hats off to "Jin's English Tutor". Most dedicated Lost fan ever.

Now for the goods, I think it's all but 100% clear that the sideways world is in fact the epilogue of the show should our Losties choose this path.

I'm thinking during the season finale, Locke will ask Jack if he wants to stay in this reality or get reset somehow as if Jacob NEVER touched them.

debbie said...

Smokey didn't really wipe out the mercenaries. Every other time we've seen Smokey on a rampage, he's been a lethal killer. But this time around, the only guy we saw die was a merc that died of his wounds on the frieghter an episode later. Keamy, Omar & Co. escaped unscathed
Or did they? After Smokey came running through, that's when Keamy & Co. got all "2nd Protocal" on the island. They wanted to torch the thing and that's also when Keamy hooked himself up to the explosives on the boat. So rewatching that episode after these episodes, I kinda concluded that the MIB did get into Keamy's soul...or a little of the ol' "madness" perhaps?

Rogan said...

I'm surprised no one is upset (or at least mentioning) the reveal of the Evil-O-Meter. So, Good and Evil are absolutes in the Lost world, and can be measured (by a machine, no less)?

While I sincerely enjoyed Sayid's turn to shine (Naveen Andrews is a brilliant actor), the whole "predestined to evil" thing left a nasty taste in my mouth. I am still hoping these are red herrings, but so far, everything that was obviously implied, came through (Black = evil, white = good).

And I found Dogen and Lennon to be wasted - both figuratively and literally. For a show that took pride in showing instead of telling, why did we have to ged Dogen's backstory told by him? The temple-folk seem to be mostly intriguing but sadly undeveloped characters like the freighter-folk.

Am still hoping that Sayid pulls a Severus Snape or a Darth Vader in the last act, since he was the character whose possible redemption was the strongest defining characteristic, so it's hard to swallow him giving in to the darkness within.

drbristol said...

"They're with Smokey because they really have no other choice, but they're seeing him with clearer eyes than Claire or Sawyer."

Oh, I think Sawyer sees right through the LockeNess Monster. Put me down for Sawyer and another "long con".

Also agree with those pining for a resolution to the Widmore/Ben conflict before this ends. But it's entirely possible that it's just yet another idea that no longer matters (i.e. why Walt is so important).

I'm still holding out hope that Darlton has crafted a brilliant and worthy ending, but each hour that passes leaves them less time to do it. If they don't deliver, I cannot imagine the backlash they'll receive.

Anonymous said...

Typical Sayid episode: fun and full of action but lacking the sense of wonder that makes Lost truly special. I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as the past two episodes.

I'm sorry but the fight between Dogen and Naveen's body double was not that great.

Dogen was the best thing going in this episode by far. His backstory, the baseball, and his role as temple guardian (how does that work?) were all fascinating. His death and release of the baseball was very nicely done. There are some interesting parallels between Dogen and my favorite character: Christian (their sons, drinking, baseball, guilt, appearance in Jack's flashes, etc.). I'll be pondering what all that means as I wait for next week.

Daniel said...

I am now completely sick of this show. Except for Evangeline Lilly's rack, which is not on display nearly enough, no point in watching.

Anonymous said...

No point in posting either Daniel.

See you in another life brother.

Lapidus' Chest Hair said...

And Daniel, let's be honest: Ilana has a better 'rack,' as you put it.

I want to believe that Sawyer and maybe Sayid will have Darth Vader moments, but then again, if they both join Smokey's side disingenuously, that takes away from the whole concept of choosing sides.

Bryan said...

didn't Dogen have a rack in his lair?


Okay - I need help with this, I had a dream last night that Dogen's name backwards was Ne God - and in my dream it was supposed to be significant.

Anybody get anything out of that cause I sure don't

Tyroc said...

I think I missed something last week. People are saying Jin joined Smokey's crew. Wasn't he just with them for the moment, until he can get away? Once Claire took off to go to the temple wouldn't Jin leave?

Fran said...

this is bugging me for some reason -
the enhanced Lighthouse said "The Others healed him in the springs...they initially believed Sayid died, but he didn't"
and then Miles says explicitly in Sundown to Sayid that he Was Dead for 2 hours. If anyone should know, it'd be Miles, right? When Sayid was 'dead" Miles, when asked by Hurley, cryptically said, Nothing, as if he wasn't sure of Sayid's status cause he couldn't hear him.
What I can't get is why give us a declarative he didn't die, and then have Miles contradict it? Nothing's an accident in Lost, right?

Hatfield said...

Bryan: Haha, well played!

And I think that probably just means your subconscious is analyzing the show even while you sleep. It reminds me of Michael Caine as Sherlock Holmes in Without a Clue when, after hours of trying to figure something out, he rearranges Moriarty's name to deduce that his real name it Arty Morty.

Tyroc: Claire asks Smokey outside the ash ring why he doesn't send Jin or Sawyer with his message, implying Jin is with them now.

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dano said...

How does the epilogue idea fit with Rose? She and Bernard are happy and healthy on the island. She comes back to 2004 and has to have terminal cancer again?

It's the biggest issue I have with this theory.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, that'll be enough of that, folks. Talk about the show, not each other. Are we clear?

Allison DeWitt said...

Two posts from Bryan, that I have to comment on:

and in the spirit of opposites that is Lost I am equally surprised that you would feel "swindled" (and I do not say that as the viewer type with the attitude of "lighten up dude it's just a tv show")


Yeah..I don't want to burst anyone's balloon, and I understand frustration to a point, but it is just a TV show. After seeing "Big Love" recently, in particular, it seems like top notch stuff. I must have a good suspension of disbelief because I'm pretty happy.

Okay - I need help with this, I had a dream last night that Dogen's name backwards was Ne God - and in my dream it was supposed to be significant.

I can't help but I can relate. I swear this is true..I had a great dream last year where all the answers came to me about the multitude of questions surrounding "Lost". I was sooooooo happy.

Then I woke up.

Anonymous said...

More of Desmond and less of Naveen Andrews, please.

7s Tim said...

I had been thinking the flashes were epilogues too, but something about last week made me start thinking along the lines of "Andy M." and another commenter here (forgot the name, and there's a lot of comments, so I'm not reading them twice to give a shout out). I think this is the prize for letting Smokey/Locke win. And as Sayid can attest, it might not be much of a prize. Jin, too, if he didn't have such bad freezer burn that it prevents him. I don't think it's just a vision, though, as has been proposed. I think the characters (even Jack and Hurley) take Smoke Locke up on his offer for realz and let him off the Island, and that's how he changes the past.
Then, Jack Kate Hurley Sawyer Ben Jin and whoever else hasn't been bit by the evil bug (like Claire and Sayid) have to do something in the 2004 timeline, have to rebel against their paradise, to change it back. And then they have to fight Smokey Locke in 2007.
I'm ok with the alt-2004 timeline (I still wish I had managed to get the new 2004 timeline to be referred to as "New-thousand-4") as either, or maybe even something that none of us has thought of yet. But Smokey has been making a bunch of promises to people, and they only seem to be coming true in the alternate timeline.
It could also be that i;ve read too many comic books where the same thing has happened, and I can only see the world through that paradigm
Sayid, sadly, couldn't fight his own nature in either reality. It's heartbreaking (and vase too), but I don't really get the complaints that this goes against the character in anyway. He's always failed in that struggle; it's a testament to the actor and the writers who worked on this character that we cared about it at all.
Did Ben make it outta the temple? Cause I didn't see him leave with either crew. How mad would people get if they killed him off screen like that? It would be hilarious.
It's interesting how Sawyer now mirrors aspects of jack from last season. So willing to go along with something that is clearly on the crazy spectrum just cause life is a little frustrating. I don't buy they Lon Con theory. Sawyer doesn't trust Smokey, but he also doesn't have anything better to do. So rather than play boyscout for the Others or Jacob, he's gonna raise a little hell.

Miken said...

So side note no one is mentioning. It CAN'T be a flash sideways. Claire's ultrasound proved it was 2004 when they landed and the island is in 2007. Therefore, what we are seeing is at least flashbacks.

So if they are flashbacks, maybe they are of things that MIB promised each of them and they all took his deal instead of Jacob's and are now living this timeline instead. Sayid gets Nadia, but at what price? Locke gets his wife, but is still crippled. Jack gets a relationship with a son, but is divorced.

One thing's for sure, it's definitely not flashbacks...

Scott J. said...

@Fran: The "enhanced" episodes are put together by a separate marketing company and are not screened by the writers/producers of Lost. They may have some inside info, but they may also get things wrong and are officially considered non-canon. So I would definitely side with Miles in this case: Sayid was dead.

Rick said...

Others have mentioned "The Stand", but based on the looks given by Kate at the end of last night's episode it really is worth taking the time to examine the circumstances behind Kate's presence on team evil, and how closely it comports with the closing acts of King's magnum opus.

In "The Stand", the citizens of the Boulder Free Zone (the "good guys") determine that they need eyes and ears in the camp of their evil counterparts (in Las Vegas). Much of the conflict in the middle and end of the book is shown through the stories of the three spies sent to Las Vegas by the citizens of the Free Zone. The moles if you will. Like in "The Stand", we now have what very much appears to be a mole in the Man in Black's camp in Kate. She surely does not seem as broken or as crazy as Not Locke's other followers, and I suspect a good deal of the tension in the coming weeks will stem from Not Locke's sussing out of the traitor in his ranks. No doubt this will also be good fodder for Kate's sometimes lover, Mr. Ford. Which raises a good question...

Where's Sawyer?

Even budgetary reasons can't really explain what happened to Sawyer in-between hanging out at "Jacob's" (big quotes around that one) cave and Not Locke's storming the temple. Where is he? Playing with Jacob's scales? Crossing names off the cave wall? More interestingly, what role will he play with respect to Kate's presence on team Evil? Will he save her? Will he out her? These questions could be the source of some of the best conflicts of the middle part of the season, and I would have very much liked to have gotten a jump on them at the end of this one.

Oh well, I guess.

Hatfield said...

M-O-O-N, that spells, "Nice theory, Rick." Laws, yes! Tom Cullen knows that. Everybody knows that!

KarenX said...

Rob Duncan said:
"Surprised that no one has mentioned the burning cross which is in the scene after Smockey killed all the temple followers."

I saw that and did a complete double take, which is when I noticed that it was a rectangular framework of two posts in the ground with two horizontal bars tied to them, and the post on the left and part of the top horizontal bar was burning.

As for the rest of it, I was completely enthralled by the episode. But I've been completely enthralled by every episode since I decided a few seasons ago to like every single one in advance. It worked! And it makes me very happy to love everything, although I can certainly imagine a scenario in which I've enjoyed the whole conclusion of season 6 and the show, but don't really care enough about the big story any more to go back and rewatch all of them. But I'm still hopeful, and enthusiastic, and looking forward to the rest of the series.

That said, I was extremely annoyed by two things:

1. Japanese business man? Drunk driving? Lame. Lame. Why couldn't Dogen have been a hot shot up-and-coming baseball player lost at sea on a fishing trip or something? And if he's only been on the island for a decade or less (judging the time by what we saw of him and his son in Jack's episode), that doesn't seem like nearly enough time to establish his mythological, resonant importance to those Temple folk.

2. Kate bragging to Claire how she raised her baby? Seriously? The only thing Kate should have said to a crazy woman in a hole was that Aaron was with his grandmother and Kate was going to take her to them both. And then maybe after that that yes, Claire's mother woke up from that coma and wouldn't she be so happy to see her? Two minutes would have been plenty of time for that.

Rick said...

Thanks, Hatfield.

Of course you know what comes up at "Sundown"? The M-O-O-N.

7s Tim said...

The real burning question posed by this episode is why does it rain outside the temple but not inside? Is it Jacob influencing things from beyond the grave? Or just an inconvenient light shower the last day of filming? Inquiring minds want to know.

Fran said...

thanks, Scott J.

Scott J. said...

KarenX said...

The only thing Kate should have said to a crazy woman in a hole was that Aaron was with his grandmother and Kate was going to take her to them both. And then maybe after that that yes, Claire's mother woke up from that coma and wouldn't she be so happy to see her?


Kate doesn't know that Claire's crazy, and I don't think she knows Carole Littleton was ever in a coma. I did find it awkward that she happened to leave that part out, but I expect that when Kate does tell her the rest of the story, it won't make a difference to Claire. She's beyond reason. She was supposed to raise Aaron, not Kate and not Claire's mother, and that's all that matters to her. His safety is not really her concern.

I'm beginning to see the sickness as a sort of obsession. If every person has one thing that drives them -- their center of faith, what they hold onto when nothing else can be trusted -- then the sickness perverts that and turns it into the only thing in the universe that matters.

That's the difference between Claire and Rousseau, who was in the same situation, minus the "claiming". Rousseau was obsessed with getting Alex back, but she still cared about doing the right thing, too. So when she captured Sayid back in season 1, she didn't take an ax to his gut, she let him go.

In that episode, "Solitary", when Sayid is trying to convince Rousseau to come back to the beach with him, he says, "I know what it's like to hold on to someone. I've been holding on for the past 7 years to just a thought, a blind hope that somewhere she's still alive. But the more I hold on, the more I pull away from those around me."

Now we see it happening again. Smokey has put that hope back in Sayid's head, and because he's been "claimed", it's the only thing that matters to him now, beyond any reason or sense of right & wrong.

Anonymous said...

sayid and jack should have recognized each other from the airplane ride. sayid kicked the the door open and was there when jack saved charlie.

Anonymous said...

We've seen this alternate universe based on decisions battle between good and evil before. In movie form- The Devil's Advocate. Circa 1997

KarenX said...

Scott J.,

I know that Kate doesn't know Claire is crazy or that her mother was in a coma, and that Claire is incapable of behaving rationally with any quantity of information about Aaron, but I still really disliked Kate's talking to Claire (while Claire was stuck in a hole) about how great it was she was raising Claire's baby (while Claire was stuck on the island). It made Kate look very bad in all sorts of ways. I'm neither a fan nor foe of her character, and I know Kate doesn't pick what she gets to say, but it doesn't really seem like something a woman dedicated to reuniting the Littleton women would have said, and it left out everything I think any mother would have said to another one about a child they both "shared."

It just bugged me. That's all.

stephen said...

first time commenter --

what drove me to post is the incredulity that alan or others actually liked this episode; exactly when did lost become "the mummy"? this was just lame; lame action, lame storyline (i'm into sayid's never-ending quest for redemption, but this was just predictable and dull), and lame characterizations (if ben is going to stay like this, please just kill him, and what exactly is myles' purpose this season -- or last -- aside from funny one liners)? when smokey went on his rampage, i was all like, "get him!"

this whole temple plot line has been a jump the shark, and i'm hoping lost can get back on track for its conclusion. i've been rewatching all the previous seasons, and i have to say, while the series has had its dubious moments, nothing comes close to what we're seeing now.

finally -- alan, your jack-hate is totally bizarre; i just don't get it. he is basically the alter-ego of locke -- same zealtory, same biblical "job" quality, same impulsiveness that leads to stupid actions etc. i can understand not thinking that fox is as fine an actor as quinlan (agreed), but he plays the suffering hero well enough. wish i could understand your distaste for the character and the actor, cause it seriously impacts the quality of your reviews.

ok, i'm done :) please, oh lost gurus, redeem this show before it ends!

GabbyD said...

from sayid's character's experience in both universes, its clear that they are very similar.

but they are also quite different.

alter-sayid knows/believes that he doesnt deserve happiness or nadya anymore. he accepted it.

like locke accepting his limitations, like jack accepting he has to listen to his son, like kate accepting responsibility for lady she kidnapped...

in island-universe, there are lots of characters who can potentially be manipulated coz theres something that they really want, and will agree to any power who can provide it for them -- here mib, but also, to a certain extent from dogen's story, jacob.

its also clear what the difference is between mib and jacob. mib is the temptor, and a liar to get what he wants. he will push any and all buttons to do it. this includes explicit threats. he kills those he cannot manipulate -- this is why eko died, coz MIB couldnt use his guilt over his brother to his advantage.

jacob is similar in that he will push buttons also to make someone see something that he needs to see. (lighthouse). but ultimately, the decision is the individual persons.

Krista said...

I keep thinking about LOST and I listened to your podcast. I do not think Dogen and Lennon were wasted; seeing the inner workings of the temple gives us background on the mythology and may foreshadow roles our LOST characters may play down the road. Furthermore, I think we will see them again in a sideways episode. Also, I do not think that Sayid made a true choice; Dogen sensed that the balance was tipped more toward the side of evil in Sayid. After dying and being reanimated, his imbalance toward evil makes him somehow more vulnerable to the manipulation of Smokey. Claire too, must have died, and is also reanimated and possessed. Perhaps Dogen did not kill Sayid because, like Claire, he realized that Sayid was a pawn in a larger game in the same way he was a pawn, only Dogen is playing for team "good". As Smokey grows stronger, he will only be able to truly turn people through choice or death. He cannot kill the candidates, but candidates can kill each other. Kate, Jin, and Sawyer have not been "turned" and cannot be killed, so Smokey will try to woo them and keep them close.

It is interesting to continue to watch how each leader - Jacob and Smokey - nudge and manipulate people. Their strategies seem to mirror their philosophies ("free" will versus improving iterations of destiny).

Also, I think Sheperd senior was once a candidate, but possessed by Smokey after his corpse turned up (though his corpse disappeared and Locke's did not). Sheperd is etched more deeply in the Lighthouse screen shot because he represents two people rather than one (a stretch, I know)?

Finally, I hope the sideways flashes are more than an epilogue and instead are the reset that will somehow intertwine with the 2007 we are in now. Like those people on the island during the bomb in the season 5 finale stay on-island and jump to its 2007 while off-island a new sideways time line has begun.

I apologize for my rambling and realize few, if any, people will actually read this.

GabbyD said...

@krista,

great ideas, i agree w what ur saying

Anonymous said...

All these posts and no one has nay thoughts on what happened to Ben in the temple. He did not escape with Miles, Sun, Llanna and the pilot. There was no scene of him getting mugged by the smoke monster. He just ran away from Sayid and we never saw him again.

Dano said...

I assume based on his time with the Others as a child and as their leader and the fact that he sent the Others to the Temple at the end of season 3 that he must know his way around the facility. I'm sure he just found his way out.

Plus, Smokey seems overly confident right now. He thinks just because he's killed Jacob that nothing can stop him so maybe it was no big deal for him to just let Ben go.

compain87 said...

I know this show has always been vague and mysterious, but this season I can't take it anymore. Darlton haven't even given Flocke a name.

Alan, I know you have touched on the fact that if Jacob and Flocke are indeed these masterminds and puppet masters you might be disappointed.I keep thinking about this because if this is true, why are we just know finding about them now? Most everyone agrees we watch for the characters but the two characters we talk most about, we know next to nothing about.

I am a huge fan of the flash sideways mostly because we get back to the root of the characters. While at the same time this chunk of the season is being used for something we know nothing about. I will rewatch the series when it is finished but it kinda upsets me that this huge part of the season is going on unexplained probably until the finale.

Dano said...

Another thought I'm having that I haven't really seen anyone touch upon over the last two weeks (I'm new to the site) is what role Jacob plays in Sayid's situation. If he doesn't tell Hurley to bring him to the temple to save him then he simply dies right? Did Jacob know he'd get infected? Was it a risk he had to take? Is it all part of a plan?

Chuck said...

one of the best episodes of lost ever.

Keamy: Forget it, okay?!

Sayid:....I cant. BAM BAM BAM

Hudders said...

However bad you think Sayid has it in the happyeverafterverse, Jin has it worse!

Mike said...

Remember that Jack met Desmond prior to being on the island - while they were running stairs - so it would make sense for him to kind of remember him on the place during the flash-sideways.

Mike F said...

I don't think the flash-sideways are supposed to be the epilogue or actual ending to the show. I think its supposed to be more of a what if the island never altered the lives of these characters, a parallel universe where the island never existed.

For me, they are the best part of this season and one of the great things the show has ever delivered to its audience. For now, its fascinating...and when the exact nature of what we've been watching is revealed, I'm sure it will add even more meaning to them.

I'm all in with this series and enjoying every moment of it, not questioning it.

Then again, I felt the same way with BSG and ended up hating their choices in retrospect...but as a week to week watcher, I think that's the only way to really watch and enjoy the show...with some faith.

Anonymous said...

okay .....

the flash sideways is not dream sequence-like or weightless ...

the flash sideways is an alternate universe in which the island blew up in 1977 ... remember, the most critical scene ever ?? last season's finale ?? juliet and the bomb ?? the island blew up (and "sunk" as we saw in this season's premiere)

also in this season's premiere, juliet tells sawyer that "it worked" .. the island is gone and that was done in 1977, so the island has not existed since 1977 ..

i know its confusing but its all about alternate universes, not basic "time travel" .. dont think of it like 'back to the future' .. think of it as 2 completely different worlds .. 2 different lives .. 2 different universes ..

with the island gone since 1977, the "butterfly effect" of this takes place .. think of all the stuff that would be different if the island blew up in 1977 ..

just from an isalnd perspective, widmore would have no reason to find it and therefore desmond wouldnt be there and therefore he wouldnt cause the flight to crash etc etc etc etc .. and our losties lives are drastically different ..

yes LOST is about all those things you mention in your 1st paragraph but i think you are missing a HUGE point .. LOST is also about alternate universes .. 1 of the most important sentences ever said in this show, "i'll see you in another life, brotha" ..

and with that said, i could be totally wrong but i think i'm right (for now ...)

Emily said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like the people who have different alt-realities (Jack has a son, Sayid translates contracts, etc) are the same people who Jacob designated as 'candidates'. I don't remember seeing Kate or Claire's names on the ceiling and their alt-realities seem the same, Kate is on the run, Claire is hoping to give the baby up for adoption.

Phil said...

Wow, I have just spent a ridiculous amount of time reading these comments. A lot of interesting theories here. Hey, does anyone agree that they should give us one full Richard episode. Very cool character, and it seems like there could be a lot of questions answered in an episode devoted to him, how he got to the island, how he never ages, etc.,

Rick said...

Anonymous @ 12:11,

I think we can all agree that the alternate timeline scenes are showing a world that is the "butterfly effect" of some change in the show's past (which has at least strongly been implied to be the detonation of Jughead). What I believe Alan and myself are struggling with is not the "what" of the alternate timeline, but the "why."

In theory, any show could take a major turning point in its plot and spin out two "alternate universes" based on two separate outcomes related to that point, but what would the purpose be? Alan has started to hypothesize that the alternate timeline is some kind of epilogue. I personally have no idea what to believe it is, other than to note that the "appendix scar" scene from last week strongly implies a far greater connection between the alternate and primary timelines than simply as "alternate universes".

The main problem with all of this, however, is that whatever the alternate timeline is, it hasn't been explained yet by the show, and that leads almost inexorably to the feeling that the show is only delivering 22 minutes of Lost per week with a side of 22 minutes of weightless dream sequence.

I think Alan has covered this problem quite well here, but if you'd like to hear more, I also cover the issue in great detail at my blog (linked through my name).

Hope that helps.

Randall S. said...

Kevin Durand as Keamy is perfect in his role because smiling makes villains all the more villainous. He channels Christopher Walken, but he also has Busey teeth, so his smile is unsettling because all bets are off as to what will happen next (The Busey Effect).

Kujo said...

Best ep of the season so far imho, and it will probably go down as one of my favorite all-time Lost episodes.

Sayid centric episodes have always been amongst the strongest in the series.

The fighting in this ep was superb. The Dogen/Sayid fight was epic.

This was Lost in it's finest form.

George said...

Going on the epilouge theory, you can start to see what happens to people who side with Jacob vs. Smokey.

Jack - gets closure on his dad problems, mends bridge with son persumably goes on happily ever after

Hurley - now luckiest man alive, enjoying his lotto winnings and doing good

Locke - (remember Jacob came to him first) getting married, content with his life.

Sayid - Assuming he went with Smokey, gets promise delivered, but continues to suffer since Nadia is not his, and he is trapped having to do the dirty work.

Dogen - In LA enjoying his son, who previously he had to agree to never see again...

In essence, the show seems to be setting up that doing good is painful in the short term but pays dividends long term. Going for the false promise gives you hope in the short run, but long term suffering.

JakeTheFatMan said...

The direction that this season is going, I'm begining to think that the Lost is in the mind of some retarded kid who's pissed off at a snow globe.

Jill said...

I keep thinking that Keamy is Quinn from Dexter; the two actors both look and sound as if they could be brothers.

And I'm probably alone in this, but I think the character "Lennon" looks a lot more like comedian Marc Maron than like John Lennon.

Interesting theory about the alt-world being an epilog. It makes sense.

Now...remember that Jacob wanted Hurley to go to the lighthouse to make sure that the "someone" who's coming gets there. . The one loose end in the story is....Walt. "Very special boy, that Walt." Now the only question is why.

drbristol said...

"Japanese business man? Drunk driving? Lame."

Karen, remember that Dogen in the sideworld was a well dressed guy who was sending his kid to an expensive school (you saw Jack's apartment - perhaps Dogen lives nearby). Perhaps that's the life he had to leave, or the life he gets to go to if he does good here?

Scott, "sickness" = blind obsession...I like it. Makes a lot of sense.

Jill, you are not alone. I'm a huge Marc Maron fan and could not focus on Lennon because all I could see was Maron. If Lennon mentioned an ex-wife or a cat I would have lost it.

Gridlock said...

I'm really hoping Andrews' more pronounced British accent - both in the Temple and as Alt-Sayid - is a deliberate choice with a meaning


Speaking as a Brit, surely English accent = evil man?

hash1978 said...

The second I saw Keamy, my brain screamed "Joshua!" But that aside..

I've seen a whole lotta JAC (a Japanese group of stunt(wo)men - founded by Sonny Chiba and including Hiroyuki Sanada - who produced martial arts themed movies in the '80s...good times...) stuff, so it was nice to see Sanada fight again. It's been a while since he did that on film!!

Also, 'Dogen' is not a real name. It depends on what Kanji one uses, but the most intuitive meaning would be 'power source', as in FUEL. Thoughts?

Karen said...

If our Lost Characters really do mirror, I wonder if Hurley is supposed to be a fully mentally capable Tom Cullen, unreachable by evil, able to communicate with the dead and Jack is more or less Stu Redman. If so, I really hope the ending for those two characters proceeds like Stu's and Tom's did in the book after Tom finds Stu with his broken leg. Those last fifty pages of The Stand equal almost any other work of literature ever produced in satisfaction, IMO.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should start off by saying that I enjoyed this episode. Like a few other posters, I have maded the decision to just sit back and enjoy the last season of my favorite show and not worry so much about getting answers to specific questions. To be honest, I'm fighting depression over the loss of this epic series and just want to enjoy what time I have left with these characters and the island.

All that being said, I have to admit that my enthusiasm has waned over the last couple of years. I miss the Lost of season 1 and 2. Don't get me wrong, I know there were some really weak episodes in season 2. Its not the specific stories that were told in those seasons that resonated so much with me as much as it was the style of the show. The cinematography, the directing, etc. Go back and watch the last 5 minutes of so many of the episodes in the first 2 seasons and you will see what I mean. So often, they would end the episode without any dialogue, just music and various images of the lostaways. The clip of Hurley handing out Darma food cutting to Sun burying the bottle from the raft, or the clip of Eko reciting the 23rd psalm, or all the lostaways seeing Aaron for the first time then Jack having to walk down to tell Shannon about Boone's death ... THAT'S what made Lost incredible to me.

I don't really care that much about what the endgame of the series is, just as long as they give me one or two more beautiful moments.

Ben Bowman (The Producer) said...

Isn't it clear now that before Smokey possessed Locke's body, he possessed Christian's? He's got the same M.O. as Jacob... leading people around and getting them to do things without them knowing it.

JL said...

This occured to me a few seasons ago but never really seen it discussed. Does anyone think there is significance to the fact that so many of the characters seem to have some kind of issue with their father?

Kate - killed her father
Lock - Grew up in foster home, gave his father kidney then father didn't want him
Sawyer - father killed mother then himself
Jack/Claire - Father dies, we know about the rocky relationship
Desmond - Its known he raised his 3 brothers when something happened to his father
Benjamin - Killed father
Jin - Father was a fisherman, questionable whether or not he is actually the dad

Does this somehow play a role in the overall plot? Will this somehow intertwine with how Walt will supposedly play an important role?

JL said...

I forgot about Miles... His mother tells him his father is dead and doesn't care about him.

Jill said...

@drbristol: "If Lennon mentioned an ex-wife or a cat I would have lost it."

Thanks, dr. I'm looking forward to a terrible day at work and you just made me start it with a laugh. I needed that.

The only problem I have with the epilogue scenario is this: If the hydrogen bomb did explode and reboot everything, why are the houses and swingset of New Otherton still standing?

Anonymous said...

Alan--love your reviews, and I appreciate your sentiment that Lost is for entertainment, not necessarily answers. I think we all made a deal with ourselves to suspend disbelief in the show as soon as we saw the smoke monster in Season 1, since at that point nothing could ever be reasonably explained. So I'm excited to see where it takes us, and less interested in the perfect answer (because I don't think there is one).

Also love the great comments on this board. Two things to add--I think the Temple storyline was useful regardless of what happens going forward, since it showed where the Others were hiding, who the greater powers on the island were (Dogen in service of Jacob), and added some religious/cult feel to the whole Jacob service, which makes sense given the ridiculous lengths he puts people through.

I disagree that the Flash Sideways is an epilogue in the sense that it's a reward after the conclusion of Smokey vs. Jacob. I think it's exactly as it was presented in the first episode of this season--this is how their lives would have played out if the island never interfered with their lives. I think it's fascinating to see how they would end up, and it is a resolution of the question of what they're trying so hard to get back to. The main hole in this theory though is the subtle hints that this timeline is being affected by the previous timeline (blood on Jack's neck, etc.) If that's the case, I'm hoping Alan is onto something in that those who serve Jacob get some redemption in their lives (Jack, Locke so far), and those that serve Smokey live out their lives in a loop of the same trouble they were in before, sort of a mild hell/purgatory (Kate, Sayid, Claire). Jin is an open question...