Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost, "The Last Recruit": Harmonic convergence

A review of tonight's "Lost" coming up just as soon as I need a moment...
"So nice to have everyone back together again." -Smokey
Last week, I expressed some concern that Lindelof and Cuse had waited too long to get to the Desmond portion of the season, not just because I think his presence (even if largely in the background and unexplained) might have spiced up the sideways stories, but because I worried we had spent so much time on narrative dead ends or seemingly inconsequential stories that there wouldn't be enough time left to properly resolve the stories of both the season and the series.

"The Last Recruit" put many of those fears to rest, reminding me that even when Darlton seem to be dragging their feet within either an episode or a season, they generally have a plan for what to do when it's time to start moving quickly.

For the first time since the premiere, we didn't focus on any one character or pair, but rather bounced from person to person, story to story as everyone began to come together, both in the real world and the sideways one. We got payoffs to a number of arcs and/or mysteries - Smokey admits he was posing as Christian Shepard all these years, Jin and Sun are finally reunited, Kate makes peace with Claire - and some high-caliber acting from just about everyone in the ensemble. (And if I've done my math correctly, the only castmember to not appear was Nestor Carbonell, since Richard is off with Ben and Miles in the real world and has yet to appear in the sideways universe.)

In fact, because "The Last Recruit" was largely devoted to moving various chess pieces into position on the board in both universes, there's less to deconstruct and puzzle over here than usual, so instead I want to point to some of the stronger emotional moments of the hour, in no particular order:

• Since Desmond had his moment of revelation at the end of "Happily Ever After," Henry Ian Cusick has been playing the character in both universes with a look of serene confidence, but here he got to (superbly) play a much sadder note as Desmond listened to Sayid explain what he asked Smokey for in exchange for going to the dark side. Desmond knows about doing crazy things for love, and he also knows far more about what's going on in both universes than anyone else does, and he feels so sorry that Sayid has let himself become a monster for no reason. (Also, as with last week's fall down the well, I have absolutely no concern about Desmond's future until we actually see his corpse - and maybe not even then.)

• While Alt-Jack's relationship with son David didn't do much for me back in "Lighthouse," their scenes had greater weight here now that we seem to be heading towards a point where the sideways characters have to sacrifice their universe so that the real one can survive and Smokey can be defeated. (That's my operating theory this week, at least.) And that means not only do some characters like Locke and Libby and Ilana have to realize they're going to die again, but it means Alt-Jack is going to have to deal with saying goodbye to the son who shouldn't exist, just as they're starting to get along. And while I'm not a Jack fan in general, I do not envy the man the choice I assume is coming.

• Desmond and Penny eclipsed Jin and Sun as the "Lost" couple whose happy ending I root for the most, but it was still nice to see the real versions of those characters finally get back together for the first time in almost three years. (On the other hand, if the only point of Sun's temporary loss of English was to show her love for Jin restoring it later, they needn't have bothered. Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim played that moment so well that no additional garnish was needed, and all it did was distract me with thoughts of, "So we wasted several episodes on this because...?")

• As I've said before, the narrative style of the show means we often won't see certain characters paired together for months or even years at a time, and that can occasionally rob some urgency from their stories. Sun and Jin suffered from this a bit, and with Jack and Sawyer separated since the season's first couple of episodes, I worried that some of the heat over Juliet's death would have gone away by now. But as soon as they were on Libby's boat together, it all came back - with the added wrinkle of Jack having taken over Locke's role as the one who believes in the power of the island (and who isn't a sucker), while Sawyer is now the Jack-like leader who just wants to get everyone the hell off, grand design be damned. Good stuff from both Matthew Fox and Josh Holloway.

• Because Jack never found out Claire was his sister until after he'd left the island, some Jack/Claire interaction was a long time in coming, and we got some in both universes. I particularly liked how, after the initial shock (well-played by Fox), Alt-Jack mainly seemed amused by the idea that Christian had left him with a long-lost half-sister.

All in all, a good episode - not mind-blowing, but necessary.

Some other thoughts:

• Lapidus still doesn't get much to do, but here he was the recipient of two great Sawyer lines, first with James describing him as looking like "he just stepped out of a Burt Reynolds movie," and then with the nickname "Chesty."

• So ultimately, was Alt-Desmond's plan in running over Locke to give him a near-death experience akin to the one that clued him into the real world's existence, or was he just trying to put Locke in a position to meet up with Jack?

• More bleed-over from real world to sideways world, as Alt-Sun is terrified to see Alt-Locke being wheeled into the hospital next to her.

• Was I the only one who flashed on Larry David doing the stink-eye lie detector gag on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" as Smokey tried to figure out if Sayid really killed Desmond?

• So, why was Alt-Sawyer in Australia? He seemed too jolly in "LA X" to have murdered Frank Duckett the way real Sawyer did, but he's trying to hide something.

• Assuming I'm right that Sayid didn't kill Desmond, and assuming Claire is sincere in burying the hatchet with Kate, is Hurley right that characters with the "sickness" can be brought back from the dark side, just like our pal Anakin?

• Nice of the writers to give Ilana a role in the sideways world now that she's kaput in the real one.

What did everybody else think?

165 comments:

Stella said...

Desmond isn't dead.

Sayid is lying to Smokey.

I am totally confused about Smokey-as-Christian potential continuity errors/logical problems.

I don't trust Claire.

I wish the sonic pylons had still been on when Jin and Sun were running toward them.

olucy said...

I thought Sun and Jin's reunion was completely underwhelming. Or maybe just too short. Whatever. It wasn't what I expected.

TC said...

Has Richard had an encounter with Locke? Claire's comment that Jack "had" to join Locke now that they've spoken made me think that someone who hasn't yet spoken to Locke needs to be the one to take him out, and if Richard were to do so it would tie in nicely with the man in black asking Richard to take out Jacob years ago.

I really hated the direction and editing of Sun and Jin's reunion. They should have picked an angle and stuck with it, but instead all those cuts were really distracting and made me wonder if that force field might somehow keep them from embracing. Just really bizarre, and Lost usually does a pretty good job of giving those scenes respect with a less is more style.

pbrl said...

No mention of Ilana's last name? Wasn't it "Radzinsky"?

Tom said...

Even if Sawyer didn't commit a murder in Australia, he was still there as part of an off-the-books investigation. A good reason to keep his visit quiet.

ScottyG said...

good set-up episode, seem's like it's the legit home stretch now

Ryan W said...

How was the tagline for this review not "as soon as I wander off the set of a Burt Reynolds movie"?

Jennifer J. said...

Alan, do you know why next week is a rerun? I thought the producers said it would run without interruption this final season? Thanks.

Stella said...

@pbrl - her name was Ilana Verdansky (also confirmed by Lostpedia)

Anthony Strand said...

I loved Jin's Desmond imitation when he reunited with Sun.

Jennifer J. said...

PBRL: I know Ilana's last name started with "Vr".

Anonymous said...

I'm confused and kind of annoyed that I have to have patience.

What the hell is whidmore doing there? First he wants to stop John Locke then he wants to kill the candidates. I'm tired and just want an answer.

I don't want to wait another month and a half to know.

I hope someone steals the episodes and leak them. I can't wait for this show to be over.

Good episode, I'm just tired of LOST and it's antics.

JWIII

Greg said...

As possibly alluded to by Stella, how did Jack see Christian when he was off the Island?

While I liked all the action in LA (where's Juliet - I thought she might be the lawyer for a second) I wished they could have given us a little more of a hint of where things are going with it. I was expecting a little more as a cliffhanger on that end.

Tripp Roy said...

I don't think that Locke's admission meant that he was Christian Shepherd EACH TIME. He only confessed to being Christian on day 3 of season 1. Remember: Christian helped (the real) Locke leave the Island (season 5 when locke turned wheel), and his body is missing in both universes.

Curveball prediction: Jack dies in a confused, surprised, unfulfilled state as real Locke did in hotel room with Ben.

RCBrill said...

Same exact thought about Larry David/Smocke stare down! I could hear the music in my head

Anonymous said...

Who can be David's mother? Juliet?

pbrl said...

David's mother could simply be Sarah.

BF said...

If we know Smokey can't be killed by conventional means, then why are the Widmores attempting to fire-bomb him and his crew?

Yet another episode where someone goes boating and doesn't get into the Ajira canoe shootout. I think they're teasing that one all the way out to the end.

Michael said...

Surprised that the name of Ilana's law office wasn't something I recognized.

So the "LA X" (the ten people in LA) are Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Hurley, Miles, Hurley, Desmond, and Sayid, right?

Anonymous said...

@Michael - Claire, Locke...

Anonymous said...

I thought Christian/Locke was only on the Island with Claire and Jack. Jack had drug hallucinations when seeing him during the off-island time. I thought it was pretty clear, particulary, in the lobby of the medical building that he was using.

Stella said...

Anonymous said: "I thought Christian/Locke was only on the Island with Claire and Jack. Jack had drug hallucinations when seeing him during the off-island time. I thought it was pretty clear, particulary, in the lobby of the medical building that he was using."

Except that the reason Jack was out in the lobby to SEE Christian was that the *smoke alarm* went off.

Also, was that MiB appearing to Michael on the freighter?

Anonymous said...

I was about to get teary with the Jin/Sun reunion, until Lapidus unleashed the line "Looks like somebody got her voice back." That was just horrible.

And where was Richard? Did I miss something?

I didn't see Sayid on the beach with Locke at the end. I do believe Desmond told him about the alt-world. What that means, I don't know, since he's a "zombie" (Sawyer's word) now.

Unreliable Narrator said...

Curb Your Losthusiasm? Oh, how I wish that show were real. Jack sees the Numbers and thinks Jacob is a holocaust survivor, Susie yells at Hurley for being a fat [unprintable]... the possibilities are endless.

Chrissie said...

Was it just me, or did alt-Locke look like he had a smile on his face after alt-Sun recognized him outside the hospital? Thought I saw a Livia Soprano moment there.

Also, MiB says with Jacob alive, they were all trapped on the island. If that's case, how were the Oceanic Six able to leave?

Anonymous said...

Since Jacob is dead and prior to his death he created a list for a candidate to replace him, does that mean for an individual person to replace him with their own identity or just a body that Jacob can be reborn into ala whomever the hell John Locke is?

I hope John Locke is John Locke and that's the twist we'll find out some time before the finale. Props to whomever created that theory last week.

JWIII

Scott said...

Alan, here's my problem with the idea that the sideways world has to be sacrificed: Sawyer and Juliet.

We know Juliet said "it worked" and IIRC said something about meeting for coffee.

Would she say that, and likely be brought back, only to die, again? Like Penny and Desmond have to end up together, I think so too do Sawyer and Juliet, and that can't happen if the Sideways world vanishes.

Anonymous said...

@Greg & Anonymous - Juliet was at the epicenter of the bomb's blast which created the split in the first place, and the first person to realize that setting off the bomb "worked." My theory is that this could be why she doesn't exist (from what we've seen so far, anyway) in sidewaysverse...

Dave Sandell said...

With the revelation that the Locke-ness Monster (aka Smocke, aka FLocke) was Christian Shepherd on the island, what are we to make of Christian's one appearance off the island (sitting in the waiting room with the "smoke-alarm-nudge-nudge")?

Does this mean the MIB isn't confined to the island? It was one of the dead folk who told Hurley that someone would be visiting Jack. Does that mean the dead folk are in cahoots with the MIB? Wouldn't this put a new spin on Michael telling Hurley where to find Locke? And what would it mean that Hurley can see Jacob? Since Jacob told Hurley to take Sayid to the Temple, and that was the beginning of the end for Sayid and eventually the beginning of the LNM's reign on the island, can we assume that Jacob could be in cahoots?

My head hurts.

Dan W said...

Another nice moment showing that Jack and Sawyer have switched roles was Jack jumping off the boat which looked a lot like Sawyer jumping from the Helicopter for the good of the group.

Dave Sandell said...

Sorry, apparently that was covered during the time it took me to gather all my thoughts to write that comment.

Jim said...

Ilana's was Ms. Verdansky. The law firm was Sweetzer & Verdansky. Have at it, anagram freaks!

And yeah, horrible cinematography (for perhaps the first time) on the Sun & Jin reunion, framing it with the pylons between them. I was totally distracted by that -- and Lapidus' line didn't help.

Swedge said...

Loved it. The writing, directing and acting all seemed sharper. It felt like the first real Lost episode of the season. I liked a few of the others so far, such as the Des one, but this episode seemed the most professionally made and polished one yet.

The multi-perspective storylines seemed fitting for the final season and I wish most of the episodes had been that type.

Too often this season we've seen over-acting, clunky exposition and important characters sitting around with no good lines and nothing much to do. None of those problems surfaced this time, thank God.

Anonymous said...

on Sun and Jin Reunion:
- why are they even speaking english to one another?

To make it a least a little justifiable, maybe this is Sun seeing her constant and so she is therefor there is less bleeding over from the sideways world so that's why she gets her voice back. Here the real world will be more of a part of her sideways world, rather than what may have been occurring with the sideways bleeding into the real world. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Stella and others for pointing out the MAJOR problems with Smokey as Christian. If he's confined to the island, his appearances in the waiting room and with Michael before the freighter exploded don't add up.

Alan, any chance you can nail down Darlton on this after the series has concluded if this explanation stands?

Might as well wait to see if Smokey wasn't completely forthcoming about that and we get a better explanation. The fact that Christian's body is missing in the sideways world is very encouraging right now - providing hope of avoiding a Christian continuity error.

belinda said...

My thoughts exactly regarding Sun's temporary English muteness. What was that all about, and how was it in the least bit necessary (other than to cut down even more lines from a character who's been in the sidelines for more than a season)?

And I still don't understand why Widmore needed to kidnap Jin in the first place from Locke's camp.

I keep wondering if Sayid's change of accent has something to do with Sayid (presumably) not killing Desmond. :D

I kind of wanted Claire to kill Kate. :D

Four more episodes. I still wish they didn't spend so much time sideways flashing and at the temple in the early parts of the season.

Krister said...

Does anyone else feel like Lapidus is a young Captain Stubing on a 6-day bender? Maybe the Love Boat has been parked offshore the whole time...

Dust said...

I think you may be overrating it a bit. I still am concerned that we are now 4 episodes away from an end, yet we still have no clue as to how the Dharma initiative got there, where the others came from, etc. etc. So many of the main storylines from the first 4 seasons have gone away in favor of the whole jacob/mib angle.

We once thought Ben and Richard had some idea about what was going on but it turns out everything they said/did during the first 5 seasons was BS and done for no real purpose besides serving a character we didn't meet until the last episode of season 5.

What were the others doing with Walt? What was their purpose? What was the "magic box" and how did Anthony Cooper end up in it. This is still a great show, but it just feels lazy now. It seems like they threw together this last season to end it in a sensible way, yet they sacrificed virtually everything that made the show so great over the first few seasons.

The writing has been regularly awkward this season and the best example is that line by Lapidus someone mentioned earlier which completely ruined the already lame Sun/Jin reunion.

I am expecting disappointment at the end.

karathon said...

A few things:

1. Jack looked into the mirror during surgery and saw Locke. With all the mirror stuff so far this season, what does that mean??

2. Has MIB/FLocke interacted with Lapidus yet? There's gotta be some reason he's still kicking, besides the "he's a pilot" thing...

3. What was Sayid looking for up in the trees when MIB found him? A vine to get Des out of the well?

Chrissy said...

I think they'll be making a choice, but for Sideways-verse, not Lost-verse. Some folks (Sayid, Kate), may sacrifice their physical freedom, others might miss out on a love affair (Sawyer?), a few will wonder if they were meant for something more (Locke, Jack), but they'll be making the right choice for all the innocent no-names as well as for folks like Claire and Libby. They'll remember the island timeline but not be traumatized by it, and we'll get to see the characters move on with lives devoid of the shackles of Jacob's "destiny".

That's my theory when I'm in a good mood, anyway.

Thought this episode ended sort of abruptly and I am still sick of people not asking the right questions -
Jack: I don't know what the hell you are.
MiB: Sure you do.
Jack: [Utter lack of followup.]
Me: [Throw shoe at TV.]

But I'm glad to see the gang back together, more or less. Is the Last Recruit Jack (to MiB's side) or Sayid (to Sawyer/Desmond's side)?

Josh said...

The Christian/Locke/MIB issue really needs to be clarified. We have seen Christian so many times. Are we to believe that EVERY time we see Christian that it was the MIB?

Sun saw him in Season 5 in the barracks. Christian said to find John Locke. How could that Christian also be John Locke/MIB?

Locke saw him twice. Once near the donkey wheel and the other time with Claire in the cabin. (Miles also saw him Claire walk away with Christian.)

Hurley saw him in the Cabin then he saw "the eye". Two people had to be in the cabin.

Jack saw him the two times in season 1.

I don't need all the questions answered but the lack of clarity on this issue could be a problem if not explained further.

Ryan said...

Re: Sun's muteness. Could it have something to do with Claire saying that you get turned into a Smokey minion once you talk to Locke? She couldn't talk to Locke because she couldn't talk (Jacob to protected her as she ran away from Locke). Or maybe I heard the Claire line wrong.

jared said...

It's definitely entirely possible that Smokey is lying about appearing as Christian. There have been 2 types of Christian's to appear on the island, suit version and button-down. We know Smokey can't travel over water from his conversation with Sawyer. The suit version first appeared in the ocean, then led Jack to water at the caves. The button-down version appeared on the freighter. Something doesn't add up there.

Yellowdog said...

Fifth from the last episode and still no sense of...anything. Man, has Lindelof and Cuse lost what they had at the beginning of the series. It's not bad, just uneventful and not thrilling. Not even close.

The scene with Jin and Sun reuniting pretty much summed it up this season. After all this time waiting for a reunion, they met like neighbors who run into each at the mall. Absolutely no buildup. Then it's cut short by explosions. Yeah, okay. Sad.

Sam Hobart said...

"I am expecting disappointment at the end."

Yeah I'd say that's a guarantee.

There are some answers that matter and some that don't. The easy way to tell the difference is that if it matters to a major character then its important, if it doesn't then its not.

For those people who watched the show because of Dharma or the Others I'd guess this is going to be a bumpy final month.

Mook said...

Well, here's a new Adam and Eve theory...it's Sawyer and Kate. I thought his offering the apple to her was too on-the-nose....

Groovekiller said...

Maybe I missed it but who's the titular Last Recruit?

Claire? In both worlds?

Dust said...

Those weren't my reasons for watching the show. My main gripe is simply that those aspects of the story have not been remotely addressed this season.

It just seems like the whole setting off of the nuke was a very lazy and easy way to get into this whole flash sideways, black/white, Jacob/MIB ending.

I could care less about the whispers, yet they decided to give us a completely forced and lazy answer from an unnecessary Michael appearance.

The Dharma/Others stuff was so prominent for the majority of the show that it does not make any sense to completely neglect it when time is running out. What purpose did it serve in this whole struggle/war that Widmore, Jacob, MIB have been saying is coming to the island.

Regardless, still one of the best shows ever, just not a very satisfying final season.

dez said...

I kind of wanted Claire to kill Kate. :D

I was doing the whole Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck "Shoot me now!" routine :-D

I loved Sun & Jin's reunion and thought Lapidus' line was funny. But I am also puzzled, like others, as to how Smokey = Christian all the time. Unless he was only speaking to one specific time Jack saw Christian? I don't think Smokey has lied outright, but I don't think he tells the whole truth, either.

Swedge said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam Hobart said...

"Those weren't my reasons for watching the show. My main gripe is simply that those aspects of the story have not been remotely addressed this season."

I wasn't trying to pick at you, it as just that your post offered a jumping off point to say what I was trying to say. But since we've got a little dialogue started I'll dive into more detail.

"It just seems like the whole setting off of the nuke was a very lazy and easy way to get into this whole flash sideways, black/white, Jacob/MIB ending."

I'm not sure why you view this as lazy writing. Setting off the nuke was set up over the course of an entire season and tied back into season two which revolved entirely around the hatch. I thought it was a pretty brilliant way of tying some island and show history together and giving some additional meaning to a scattershot season 2.

As for easy, I'm not sure how else they could have divided the storyline in half and had the audience even partially buy in. The writers managed to utilize the leap of faith metaphor they've built throughout the show and paid it off without completely negating everything that happened in the previous seasons (my primary fear coming into this season).


"The Dharma/Others stuff was so prominent for the majority of the show that it does not make any sense to completely neglect it when time is running out. What purpose did it serve in this whole struggle/war that Widmore, Jacob, MIB have been saying is coming to the island."

Well, the Dharma story was pretty much told last season. We certainly learned more than I ever expected to find out. As for their purpose, from a plot perspective both were critical to setting up the nuke. From a thematic perspective they were both examples of warring factions destroying each other and themselves that's been playing itself out over the history of the show and the island.

I for one have enjoyed this season as much as any except 1 and 5. I felt that those two were significantly better than the rest but had some built in advantages (in season 1 the structure and characters were still new, in season 5 they introduced a new structure and began weaving together the major plots and themes of the show).

Anonymous said...

Here's some insight on how they're thinking,

Lindelof: That’s right. It’s order versus chaos. But first it had to start as science versus faith, because Jack is a doctor and Locke is a guy who got up from his wheelchair and walked. Now the question has been boiled down to its essential root — is there a God or is there nothingness?

Does anyone else feel that they're succeeding with that argument? I'm I oblivious to the entire argument of God existing or there's nothing at all? It seems kind of a silly comment to make when the show isn't really depicting that.

Here's another comment from them:

Lindelof: In previous seasons it was very clear that this happened before, and this happened after. Now you watch, and you go, “I don’t know when this happened, because things are different.” It’s not just what would have happened if the plane landed; now Jack has a son and there are these changes. The audience is saying, “I hope they explain the relationship between these two stories,” and that, to us, is the only answer we owe. Because at this point, the characters are not aware that there’s any timeline other than the one they are in. But if they were to become aware of the parallel worlds, what might they do about it? That becomes a fundamental question.

The only they owe? That's a silly comment to make.

It always amazes me how writers managed to create great material, deliver it to the fans, but always have a horrendous time wrapping things up. It's like they forget the past happened.

Here's the link to the og article:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/04/ff_lost/all/1

JWIII

Anonymous said...

In the first scene tonight, when Smokey and Jack went off to talk (and then when Claire joined them), it was dark. When they came out of the jungle to rejoin the others, it was bright daylight. Continuity error?

And I join the folks who were disappointed with Sun and Jin's reunion. Not to mention distracted about that damn fence perhaps not getting turned off in time.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the pylons, have they explained how and why they work or who discovered how to use them against MIB?

JWIII

Anonymous said...

@Groovekiller

My impression was that Jack is "The Last Recruit", but I could be wrong.

Question Mark said...

I agree that the Monster was telling the truth when he said he had been posing as Christian that particular instance (on day three). But as for Christian's other manifestations, I doubt it. 'Suit Christian' and 'Casual Wear Christian' have each made distinct appearances and while the MIB may have been the guy in the suit, I think the guy in the casual wear is someone/something else.

Before this ep, I thought that David's mom was going to end up being Ilana, but looks like that isn't an option. My money's on Juliet at this point.

Dust said...

All very good points Sam Hobart. Obviously the strength of this show has been the amount of dialogue that people watching it can immediately have.

We can agree to disagree, but whereas in past seasons the writing/story lines seemed smart and creative, the flash sideways have been anything but.

The best example I can give is how Daniel all of a sudden figured out that he must have set off a nuke in some other life based on a diagram he created after looking a girl in the eye. He immediately went from A to Z in a 2 minute conversation with Desmond without any real explanation as to why his first thought would be that he set off a nuke in another lifetime.

This kind of thing was nonexistent during the first few seasons of this show.

This is just one of many examples as to why I believe this last season has been lazy and unsatisfying.

Furthermore, along with the Dharma/Others story, what purpose did the whole Oceanic 6 storyline serve. The flash forward at the end of Season 3 was an amazing moment, but where did it get us? All those characters left the island. We then had 2 full seasons of stories about getting them off and then back onto the island, but what did that do for the overall storyline and what did it have to do with where we are now besides being a means to fill time. With just 4 episodes left, we're back to Sawyer, Kate and company wanting desperately to get off the island once again.

Maybe my expectations are too high, but every episode I watch now leaves me utterly bored until the last 2 segments in which some semblance of finality starts to come out. I understand we don't need not all the answers, but the simple fact that these issues are not even addressed vaguely is disappointing.

Greg S. said...

@Dust

You may not have LIKED the answer, but "where the Others came from" was answered in the Richard episode. "Others" are the people Jacob brought to the island over the years. The Temple, the statue, and the other weird ruins around the island prove that this has been going on for a very long time. The specific group of "others" that had Ben as a leader when we met them in season two were started when Richard volunteered to be Jacob's intermediary.

We learned an awful lot about the Dharma Initiative in season five and I don't think we need to know exactly how it started for it to fulfil its purpose in the story. I can understand wanting to know more, but I don't think it is a failing of Lost that it didn't turn into "Dharma Initiative - the Series". YMMV of course.

tribalism said...

Props to Jack for being the most amazing swimmer ever. Jeans, hiking boots, backpack. None of those things can get in the way of his intense doggy paddle.

For a "set-up episode" that was heavy on story, this one had a lot of great character moments. Everything from Sun and Jin's reunion to Jack's believable decision to jump off Desmond's yacht. I still think that John "sucker" Locke is far more entwined in Smokey than he's letting on.

You can find the rest of my thoughts on this episode on my blog where I go into detail about how "The Last Recruit" was very similar to the typical season five episode. Click my username for the link.

Robert R said...

Alan, if your "Theory of the week" is right, isn't this just a "Last Temptation of Christ" redux? I hope the surviving timeline is our "X" timeline. Much lower body count.

Brother Mouzone said...

A little help, if you could . . .

My DVR cut out just as Jin and Sun were embracing. I caught Sun speaking in English, and that was it. Did I miss anything after that?

Dust said...

Last thing, I'm not sure if anybody mentioned this about tonight's episode but I found this on another site and it would get me more excited about what's to come.

Thoughts?

I can't believe nobody is discussing this - was I the only one who thinks that's real LOCKE that we saw during the episode's closing moments? The MiB doesn't smile like that, and his saying "You're with me now," at the END of the episode...

Tyroc said...

Another fine episode if not mind blowing.

That said, anyone else think the music has been AWFUL this season? There's these moments (like when Jack jumps off the boat) where the music is so melodramatic and over the top. Feels like I'm watching Charlie's Angels or some other cheesefest from the '70s.

Oh, and I too think alt-Jack's ex-wife is Juliet.

Chip said...

Curb stinkface lmao

BigTed said...

Ive enjoyed a lot about this season. But the continued see-sawing between the characters either following Jacob or Smokey, and either trying to leave the island or wanting to stay on the island -- all on the basis of too little information -- is ridiculous at this point.

Forget about the audience getting answers -- since the characters themselves keep throwing themselves into situations blindly, and seem to care so little about understanding the consequences of their actions, why should we care?

Anonymous said...

Is Jack really the Last Recruit? Who recruited him? He isn't really on fLocke's side.
Sarh is Jack's son's mother, per Cuse and Lindeloff.
Every character has spoken with Smokey. Richard did in the 'nice to see you out of those chains' moment. Same with Lapidus. So nobody should be eligible to kill him.

TD

Anthony Foglia said...

Alan wrote, So, why was Alt-Sawyer in Australia? He seemed too jolly in "LA X" to have murdered Frank Duckett the way real Sawyer did, but he's trying to hide something.

He had a lead on Anthony Cooper. He told this to Miles at the end of Recon.

TC said, Has Richard had an encounter with Locke? Claire's comment that Jack "had" to join Locke now that they've spoken made me think that someone who hasn't yet spoken to Locke needs to be the one to take him out, and if Richard were to do so it would tie in nicely with the man in black asking Richard to take out Jacob years ago.

Yes. Besides all the talking when Flocke was pretending to be Locke before Jacob's murder, afterwards, Locke told Richard he was glad to see him out of his chains.

Michael said, So the "LA X" (the ten people in LA) are Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Hurley, Miles, Hurley, Desmond, and Sayid, right?

As someone pointed out, you forgot Claire and Locke. But you also listed Hurley twice. Now if you just drop Miles, you have ten people on the plan in the alternate universe, and on the island in the original universe.

But I still think the X in LA X denotes a variable.

Michael said...

Michael [me] said, So the "LA X" (the ten people in LA) are Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Hurley, Miles, Hurley, Desmond, and Sayid, right?

Anthony replied:
As someone pointed out, you forgot Claire and Locke. But you also listed Hurley twice. Now if you just drop Miles, you have ten people on the plan[e] in the alternate universe, and on the island in the original universe.

D'oh! That's what I meant. Replace Hurley #2 and Miles with Claire and Locke.

But then again, there were others on both the plane and the island, like Cindy, Rose, Bernard, and Boone.

Anonymous said...

Mo Ryan posted this on her blog, and I want to make sure that everyone here enjoys it too.

Opening Credits to "Ford & Straume"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okzueBAxUaQ

Drifter said...

- I think Locke lied to Jack that he was the Christian Shephard walking around. Hence Claire's "did he tell you he was our dad?" was phrased as a question, rather than statement. Christian usually appeared after the whispers. I don't think MIB ever appeared in conjunction with the whispers. My theory is dead bodies not buried on the island, can become infected/claimed and get up and walk around (symbolized by the ankhs on the Tawaret Statue) and can even leave the island. (Sayid, Christian, Charlie, Michael, bleeding children in the junlge this season) Jacob instructs all his Others to bury bodies immediately ('Lafleur') so (I'm guessing) they don't become claimed by the island - which I think is a sentient being separate from Jacob and MIB. I think the island has 'rules' and these are what the bleeding kid in the jungle was talking about.

Remember in season 3 Locke built a smoke lodge so he could "talk to the island" where he had an acid trip and saw the ghost of Boone? I don't think that was Jacob or MIB.

- Hearing MIB bash Locke again as a 'sucker' while in the flash sideways he's dying after our man Desmond ran him over is depressing. Locke already met one of the saddest ends for a TV character so beloved, can't he get any sort of break by the end?

- I've never considered myself confused watching Lost until this season. I don't know what Desmond is doing or why. I don't know if it's a good idea for Jack & co. to sit on a beach for 12 eps before deciding to take a walk to Locke because a ghost might have told them to. I don't know what Widmore is up to. I don't know what the flash sideways are. I don't know why Sayid and Claire are acting very out of character... All I know is this season on many levels feels disappointing and that's not how you want to leave your audience feeling. I enjoy season 6 while I'm watching it, but I'm angry between eps. Oh well, here's the 13th week I've found myself yet again hoping things will improve despite all evidence to expect otherwise.

Kalin said...

I wonder if there is more to the final words of this episode than anyone has pointed out. Similarly how many of us theorized Claire's death during the bombing of New Otherton, I am wondering if really quickly there Jack got bombed lifeless and brought back by Smokey, which is why Smokey thinks "you're with me now."

Mart said...

So alt-Jack is about to operate on alt-Locke. And once again it is the dural sac, which is emblematic throughout the season.

Does anyone think that mid-operation Jack will suddenly see things from the other universe and have to decide whether or not to make the operation a success?

BF said...

What were the others doing with Walt? What was their purpose?

They needed kids, because Dharma women couldn't get pregnant. Of course, Ben f***** it up by needing a spinal surgeon so they traded Walt back.

What was the "magic box" and how did Anthony Cooper end up in it.

Clearly, it was the sub and Ben was just BS'ing Locke.

Button-down Christian vs. Suit Christian

I still think that the other on-island manifestations of Christian are also Smokey. He's the one that plants the idea in Locke's head that "they have to go back."

Gridlock said...

I like the Jack-is-now-dead theory, but also the Locke-is-Locke one too..

How about this- Ford (which is a place to cross water, by the way, in a show obsessed with names) knows more than we think, and always has done.. Truly the longest con, he's been nudging things and people along for 6 seasons. Eh, it's a theory.

Wish I'd rewatched all 5 seasons going into this one, would probably give me more to think through.

I suspect the body count is not done rising yet, and that Widmore is going to have to be ruthless.

And please tell me it's wrong that there's a repeat next week! Didn't I read something about respecting the fans with an unbroken run?

Billiam said...

I think that Jack is the "last recruit," because he's the last of Jacob's candidates to want to stay on the island and stop Smokey. And it continues to look like Jack will become the new Jacob.

Gridlock said...

Oh, and I assumed the pylons were still on. Poorly done last scene.

Brien said...

I actually found that Sun's loss of English took away some of the impact of their reunion. When she said "I love you" in English, all I could think was that in such an emotional situation, they'd speak Korean to each other, right? That's what's most natural to them.

Without the story line about her losing the ability to speak English, I never would have thought about that.

patti.tanner said...

Sometimes I just want to reach through the TV screen and wring Jack and Kate's necks. I hope that the Sideways world becomes the real world somehow and that we never see Juliet...until the very last scene where Sawyer walks into a coffee shop and there she is. Too corny?

Mitchell J said...

@dusty:
yet we still have no clue as to how the Dharma initiative got there,

It has been explained. They got to the island through the lamp-post station.

where the others came from

Ab Aeterno gave the answer to that question pretty clearly.

What was the "magic box" and how did Anthony Cooper end up in it.

There is not literal "magic box". It was a metaphor as Ben pointed out several times.

The best example I can give is how Daniel all of a sudden figured out that he must have set off a nuke in some other life based on a diagram he created after looking a girl in the eye. He immediately went from A to Z in a 2 minute conversation with Desmond without any real explanation as to why his first thought would be that he set off a nuke in another lifetime.

Not really. Faraday had that whole equation from which he could presumably had deduced that it was describing a nuclear reaction. He has the equation for a few days, he did not literally come up with the explanation on the spot during the conversation

Furthermore, along with the Dharma/Others story, what purpose did the whole Oceanic 6 storyline serve. The flash forward at the end of Season 3 was an amazing moment, but where did it get us? All those characters left the island. We then had 2 full seasons of stories about getting them off and then back onto the island, but what did that do for the overall storyline and what did it have to do with where we are now besides being a means to fill time. With just 4 episodes left, we're back to Sawyer, Kate and company wanting desperately to get off the island once again.

What purposed do any of the first 5 Harry Potter books serve in the relation to the finale of the series? Nothing. All the information gleaned from the first 5 HP books and even 6th one could have been described in one chapter at the beginning of the final book. The purpose they serve is to show the growth of characters over several years which makes us more invested in them when the ending rolls around. The others, dharma, oceanic 6 are all chapters in the story of the Lost and indeed they contributed some major things which made the events in the final season of the show possible. The show would be completely unsatisfying not mention completely illogical had it not been for all the chapters in the middle. I don't have a lot of time but I'll just give one example... the story from season 4 onwards including the oceanic 6 stuff is critical to getting Jack in the position he is today had it not been for the flashforward stuff there is no way the show could credibly have Jack as an unquestioning man of faith that he is right now.I certainly don't think that is pointless, if anything it has been one of the most important things to have happened on the show.

Dave said...

Regarding those saying it may be a continuity error to have Smocke off-island...I'm also not sure how to reconcile that, but one possibility that the Smoke Monster saying he's trapped has nothing to do with the island, but means something bigger, as in he's trapped in this world, and it's this world he's trying to escape from.

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Jin being taken by Widmore, I thought Widemore wanted Jin to read the maps he created in the 70s that show the electro magnetic forces.

I have a lame theory that when Widmore talks of power he is actually being a businessman and wants to harness all the physical power from the electro magnetic properties of the Island.

medrawt said...

Mitchell J -

I would suggest that in cases where someone feels like they want more information on some subject that the writers have already more or less answered, it may be because the answers as provided don't, by themselves, really make any sense. (To wit - the whole complex of "Jacob's purpose in bringing people to the island + the foundation of the Others + the behavior of the Others" doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and I've thought about it.)

Also, I haven't read the Harry Potter books, but while I know there was an ongoing Voldemort-related plot that advanced through the series and culminated in the last volume, I assume that each volume was also more self-contained and satisfying than a season of Lost, unless the books ended on cliffhangers like "and they open that hatch, but we don't see what's inside" or "and then the bomb goes off and we don't know what happened" or whatever. It's structured as "one story" much more than, say, Buffy, which I think worked in the way you describe.

Also, not everyone watches Lost because they find the characters compelling.

Jessica said...

I have one very silly nit-picky thing. When Hurley mentioned Anakin, and Sawyer said, "Who's Anakin?", my husband and I called bullcrap. How would Mr. Pop Culture Reference NOT know who Anakin was? Totally unbelieveable...

Sam Hobart said...

"Also, not everyone watches Lost because they find the characters compelling."

This is true but the writers have made it pretty clear they don't care about those viewers.

I think what Mitchell was trying to get at in comparing Lost to Harry Potter is that the point is as much or more the journey to the end as it is the end itself. In a long form story like a 6 season television show, there better be a good reason to keep watching besides wanted to know what happens at the end. My brother in law dropped the show mid way through season 2 because all he cared about waas finding out what was going on with the island and realized that wasn't enough to keep his interest.

I'm fascinated by the fate versus free will debate and how that has played out in the characters lives and decisions to this point and that has been enough to keep me watching.

As someone up thread said, YMMV.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the episode but it didn't stop this growing feeling that the writers have misjudged what kind of answers the audience wants and needs.

We have a reasonable expectation to have many of the human-related big questions answered. Like who was dropping the food supplies and how, stuff like that.

But the more mystical elements? I'm not sure they are wise to head-on answer those. As they did tonight with the NotLocke answer about who he can impersonate or the whispers answer last week.

srpad said...

Actually I thought Sawyer not knowing Anikan was hilarious and right on target. Sawyer's quick but not a geek. If Hurley had said Darth Vader, Sawyer would have understood that. I though it was a good moment between the two of them.

Anonymous said...

We've had hints of the Smokey 'appears as dead people' before which led me to wonder if Charlie appearing to Hurley was actually 'Locke-up-in-smoke'. Last night's episode appears to strengthen that possibility, or is there something I'm missing?
-anonymoose

Word verification: subar which means patience in Arabic; good advice for those of us impatient with the Season's pacing :)

Mike K said...

When it comes to the questions that we all want answered, I think many of you are missing the big picture in all of this. Who dropped the food onto the Island? Obviously someone related to the Dharma project. What is the magic box? That isn't really relevent. We know enough about the Others and the Dharma Initiative to make reasonable conclusions. The overarching question of this show has been what is the Island? With that, you get the answers to Jacob and MIB, Richard, the power of the island, and how that relates to why the characters were brought to the island in the first place.

Sure, it's nice to get every single loose end wrapped up, but that's just not very reasonable. Some questions are better left unanswered. The character based questions aren't really that important in answering the biggest question and concluding this series. At least none that I can think of, but if there are some I'd love to hear them. Part of what makes Lost great is the speculative nature of the show, and how it always keeps us guessing. Too often, we as an audience need every loose end tied up neatly (see Sopranos, which I thought was brilliant). I have complete faith the writers will answer the most important questions and leave me satisfied with this show. Maybe I'm a sucker like Locke.

Stonewall said...

I really just hope that Smokey gets out and kills everyone. That would be the most satisfying ending that I can think of.

Jin and Sun have been apart so long now, and their reunion was very... "meh, who cares?"

Anonymous said...

"Who dropped the food onto the Island? Obviously someone related to the Dharma project."

Yes but how did this person(s) find the island so easily and if they can find it so easily, why can't Widmore or other people? Just saying it is Dharma doesn't answer much.

As to the magic box, how can a box that can make anything you want appear not be important? The show has largely made itself about the difficulty of getting to and off the island and here they pop Anthony Cooper over like it's nothing. Seems relevant to me.

But I'll stop before Alan thinks I'm arguing too much. :)

About the episode, the pylons didn't ruin the Sun/Jin reunion to me, they just added another dimension of uncertainty to it. The show is fraught with danger at every turn so worrying a second about if the pylons were off seemed about right.

Sam Hobart said...

From Lindelof:

"The paradigm has shifted from that to, were we brought here for a very specific reason, and what is that reason? Locke is now the voice of a very large subset of the audience who believes that when Lost is all said and done, we will have wasted six years of our lives, that we were making it up as we went along, and that there’s really no purpose. And Jack is now saying, “the only thing I have left to cling to is that there’s got to be something really cool that’s going to happen, because I have really, really fucking suffered.”

It's nice to see that they at least understand their audience(s). And it makes me wonder how much of the show is a commentary on itself (beyond the more obvious bits like Hurley and Miles discussing time travel last season).

dez said...

And it continues to look like Jack will become the new Jacob.

That's what I've been thinking, too, especially if Smokey retains Locke's form. Then it'll be Jack vs. Locke like it was in the past (except Jack's flipped from science to faith, and Locke is...whatever Locke is).

Chrissy said...

"Every character has spoken with Smokey. Richard did in the 'nice to see you out of those chains' moment. Same with Lapidus. So nobody should be eligible to kill him."

Has Miles spoken to him? I don't know that we aren't all taking the whole "if you talk to him you follow him" thing a little too literally (look at Sawyer), but if that is the way this goes, I think Miles, as well as Rose and Bernard, are possibilities.

If someone from Dharma was dropping that food, I'll eat my hat. How did they know how to get there? Why would they drop food for the people who massacred their entire group?

Cuse and Lindelof are pretty clearly taking a pass on fulfilling all of the mysteries they created over the years. I can live with that if the stuff they do is really good, but this season has been underwhelming. It's all leading somewhere, I'm sure, but the individual pieces need to work, otherwise it's a Monster at the End of this Book scenario - we're just turning the pages.

Anonymous said...

A mystery to resolve: Are they ever going to answer the question of why pregnant women die during childbirth on the island?

Toeknee said...

No offense but I really can’t believe people are still wondering about the magic box. First off, Ben clearly stated it was a metaphor in S3’s “The Brig”. But aside from that, hasn’t it been shown over and over that you cannot trust a word that comes out of Ben’s mouth, that everything he says is an attempt to manipulate someone into doing something? This “magic box” was all part of the manipulation of John Locke. And no, Anthony Cooper did not arrive on the island by “magic”. He told us how he got to the island in “The Brig”. It may be difficult for the common folk on the island to come and go, but Ben, Alpert, Widmore, Eloise, and Mr. Friendly have all been shown to come and go. Makes perfect sense that someone went off island, crashed into Cooper’s car, drugged him, and brought him to the island.

Chijip said...

The Dharma people did a food drop for Desmond, or whoever they thought was still pushing the button in the hatch. I rewatched the first couple seasons recently and at one point Hurley says there was enough food in the hatch for someone to live for a few months. They must have had to do repeated restocks for whoever was operating the hatch.

Anonymous said...

Another thing that brought be out of the Jin/Sun reunion moment was the fact that they were speaking in English at all. The last time they were together Jin either didn't speak English or was just starting to learn it and didn't really get fluent until living with the Dharma Initiative. It would have been more likely that they would speak Korean to each other. It wasn't important for us to know what they said; we pretty much could get the jist of it without translation.

Toeknee said...

Interesting points about which character could actually kill Flocke - what exactly are the rules for how he can be killed? I guess Widmore’s bombs must be able to - why else would they use bombs? But Flocke already spoke to Widmore and several people in his crew, so doesn't that violate the rule?

I disagree with the person who said Jack is the show’s greatest swimmer – how about Sawyer and Kate, swimming with those rifles?

I agree with those who said Sun should have been speaking Korean in that reunion scene, but I would not necessarily expect Jin to speak Korean. He’s been on the island for over 3 years, and English has become his primary language. All these years he’s probably been thinking, wait ‘til Sun can hear me speak English!

But here’s what I found most unbelievable – at the beginning, Ben is shown riding in the ambulance with Locke. And the paramedic asks Ben, “Do you know him?” Um, shouldn’t they have asked that question before allowing Ben in the ambulance?

Anonymous said...

i see the last scene being a redo of the beach scene between jacob n mib with jack n locke

Anonymous said...

Last scene on 5/23 - fade to black ie Sopranos:)

krysumn said...

Did anyone catch how emotional Sawyer got during the Jin/Sun reunion? That, for me, made that moment, watching Sawyer ache for Juliet and knowing he'll never have that kind of reunion ever again.

Schmoker said...

I'm not certain I buy Smokey was the Christian from White Rabbit. I know Smokey can be a Christian, but I'm not sure he was that Christian.

Smocke did confirm he can only impersonate dead people whose bodies are on the Island, and that I did believe. This means Smocke was not Ben's mom, nor was he Isabella. So, either their actual ghosts are somehow trapped on the Island (unlikely), Smocke is lying about who he can impersonate (possible, but it seems late in the game for that), or those ladies were Jacob (BAZINGA!!!).

Yes, Jacob is a cross dresser. He's the Eddie Izzard of ghosts.

Maybe Smokey was the Christian from White Rabbit, but something about Terry O'Quinn's delivery in this scene gave me pause. And I found it interesting that Smokey felt the need to ask Jack who he meant when Jack asked him which other dead people Smokey had appeared as. It was almost as if Smokey needed Jack to say who he meant, because Smokey just wanted to take credit for whatever it was Jack needed to hear.

They are now purposely leaving Sayid's true love open to interpretation. When Desmond asked, "Where is she now," I thought to myself, "Hey, now we are going to find out!" Then Sayid said, "She's dead," and I thought, "Hey, curse you, Dartlon!"

Regardless of who Sayid thinks is his true love, I'm still banking on Shannon, as I have been ever since Sundown. Sayid's a zombie now, so what does he know from true love, anyway?

When Desmond and Sayid started talking, I thought to myself, "Ooops--shouldn't have let him talk, Sayid. If you let him speak, then it's too late."

If Jack and Desmond get into a conversation now, will they Zen each other to death?

Danny Forcella said...

Is Jack not on a path to become Jacob's replacement? With all of his new "man of faithism" he could step right into the job.

http://quietpoolperspective.blogspot.com/2010/04/lost-all-hands-on-deck.html

Anonymous said...

Re: The magic box and Anthony Cooper -

It is possible that Anthony Cooper on the island was also another manifestation of Smokey, in the same way that Yemi, Christian Shepherd, Richard's dead wife, and John Locke have all been Smokey manifestations. Remember Smokey as Richard's wife suggested they were in hell, and Anthony Cooper had the same theory.

Schmoker said...

One more thought, then I'll leave the rest of my ramblings to my own blog (Gauche hint alert! Gauche hint alert!)

I had no trouble with how long it took Jack to make up his mind not to go to Hydra Island. In fact, I thought it had to be that way, because that was the opposite of the old jump first, look second Jack have have grown to know and not love. This time Jack took his sweet time, looked first, second, and third, then jumped.

JMC said...

Sawyer doesn't know about Anakin because 'Anakin' doesn't really become a pop-culture thing until after the prequel-trilogy - which he missed because he was on the island!

Anonymous said...

I just thought it was strange that when Jack and Smokey go into the jungle to 'catch up' it's pitch black, and when they come out it's broad daylight. Weird.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

For all the talk about Jack becoming Jacob's replacement, it's Desmond (in the sidewaysverse) who's going around visiting the people who need to be visited, Jacob-style.

Anonymous said...

The fact that people are STILL struggling with Christian-was-MIB is a joke. It could not be more straightforward.

We already learned that anybody dead who appeared to a person on the island, save Hurley talking to someone, was the Man in Black. We learned this through a number of direct and indirect acknowledgements, and this has been by far the most direct. There is no third entity. Off-island Christian is obviously going to be chalked up to Jack's drug addiction at the problem.

Don't worry about his damn clothing, chalk that up as a continuity error to the show. Oh my god, the Man in Black had longer hair and a beard when he talked to Jacob in The Incident, and then his hair was short and he had no beard when he met Richard! Holy sh*t, is there a barber on the island we don't know about?!?!

Get over it. Small details that aren't played into major focus by some kind of revelation (i.e. Jack's scar), are probably just that - small details which can be overlooked.

Target-Addict said...

Re: the comment by Dust - "This is just one of many examples as to why I believe this last season has been lazy and unsatisfying."

Dust, I totally agree on the laziness part. Unsatisfying at times, too, but overall there's been enough action so far this season to keep me interested. What really frustrates me, however, is that Lindelof & Cuse deliberately set the end date for the show, but then rushed it along to end at Season 6. IMO, they did not set aside enough time. Seriously, they should have had an extra season to wrap it up properly.

Anonymous said...

I woke up on Monday morning thinking to myself that Sayid is still actually a "good" person who is double-crossing the MIB. We saw that he is still a good person in this episode when he hesitated at the MIB's orders to kill Desmond and when he actually didn't kill Desmond.

John S said...

Definitely agree that Jin and Sun should have spoken Korean to each other. Other than that, though, the episode was pretty solid. One question: Was Desmond's intent in bringing Claire to Ilana to unite her with Jack? How does he even know they are connected?

AndyW said...

Since several people have mentioned the food drops, as I recall it, the preferred theory at the time was that the Dharma people sent the parachutes into the island storm all at once on different vectors, which caused them to actually fall onto the island at different times.

Ben Bowman (The Producer) said...

Yes, the Jin-and-Sun-reunion-restores-her-English moment was terrible. There was no need to have her forget English in the first place. It added nothing to their reunion. Shouldn't she be freaked out by the fact that he speaks English now? Feh.

Weak moment in an otherwise strong episode.

Stella said...

@Jessica

I was born in 1979 and have never seen any of the Star Wars films.

But I vaguely know who Anakin is. Like, that he's special or something.

I thought Sawyer's response was funny, insomuch as it was a metaphorical slap in the face to Star Wars fans. Ha ha ha.

Stella said...

Also, I think the last scene should have all the Losties trudging along on the beach, then a sudden cut to Harrison Ford and Shia LeBoeuf dueling with glowing space aliens in a Mayan ruin, then cut to black.

Hahahaha.

dez said...

When Desmond and Sayid started talking, I thought to myself, "Ooops--shouldn't have let him talk, Sayid. If you let him speak, then it's too late."


I thought the same thing! Desmond is a smooth talker, too.

Although I can see Jack becoming the new Jacob, I have a harder time seeing him be okay with messing about with people's lives the way his has been. I suppose if that's the end game, Darlton will fill in the character gaps...I think....

Anonymous said...

i don't think the bombs are meant to kill LOCKE - but maybe the candidates, which would prevent LOCKE from leaving?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who posted an hour ago...

We are not "struggling" with Christian-as-MIB. We just recognize that it doesn't add up.

If Smokey can't leave the island, and EVERY Christian appearance is Smokey, then the Christian appearance in the waiting room and his appearance to Michael on the freighter are big, BIG problems for the writers.

Let's not forget - Christian's body is missing in both timelines right now. I have to think that's significant. Let's hope so - because it is a REAL PROBLEM if they think Christian-has-always-been-Smokey is a real answer to that mystery. It doesn't add up.

Mitchell J said...

Anonymous 2:15- No one is saying that every instance of Christian has been MiB. Locke only confirmed the Season 1 sighting and the sightings in the Cabin as him. The frieghter Christian was a ghost like Michael was last week since we heard whispers right before he appeared in the frieghter just like we heard whispers when ghost libby appeared on the frieghter in that season

Anonymous said...

Here's a question no one has addressed: how could Alt-Sun and Alt-Locke arrive at the hospital on the same day?

It can't be much more than 24 hours for Jin and Sun since they landed at LAX, but Locke had to be home for more than a few days to be fired from the box company then find a new job as a substitute teacher.

Stella said...

@Anonymous

Maybe Alt-Sun and Alt-Gin were shacked up in the hotel for a whole week?

Benj said...

It's crazy. The MIB is Christian Sheppard could not be more strait-forward. The MIB was Christian the whole time.
When Jack and Michael saw him out of the island, it was an apparition not the MiB being really there.
It was in fact very clear in season 5 when Sun and Lapidus met with Christian. At this point, Flocke was yet to appear. The Ajira people found him only after Christian spoke to Sun and Lapidus (even if in the episode order we saw Flocke before). And then, we never saw Christian again.

Anonymous said...

It's crazy. The MIB is Christian Sheppard could not be more strait-forward. The MIB was Christian the whole time.

Maybe I can two cent this one since I don't really care about this particular debate. (My bugbear was the appearance of Charlie to Hurley - was that Smoke-Locke? - and no one else appears to care about that :) ) But some posters, who clearly follow the show more closely than I, indicate that it's not clear. And thus far the show has been a veritable hall of mirrors so not much can be said for certain even at this stage. And that's not always the viewers fault: it seems that sometimes the writers re-imagine the story arc half-way through a series or season and that leaves little hanging chads for us to poke at. Such was the fate of Battlestar Galactica in my opinion. - anonymoose

medrawt said...

I'm perfectly willing to believe that Smokey was lying, or more likely telling a very limited truth, but statements like this:

When Jack and Michael saw him out of the island, it was an apparition not the MiB being really there.

shouldn't be true because at that point the writers aren't playing fair, at all, with the audience. Either they have a coherent and comprehensive explanation for Christian-apparitions, or they don't, and if they don't, they could either say "To be honest, we kind of wrote ourselves into a corner, and suggest you not think about it too much,"* or they could say "Well, sometimes it was just a hallucination," which would be kind of infuriating. For one thing, why would Michael hallucinate a man he never met? And for another, the show has given us a lot of visitations, and while I'm sure I don't actually remember all of them, they've almost entirely occurred within boundaries established for the audience by the storytelling. To wit:

If you're telling a story that routinely has dead people appear as apparitions, and within the fictional world it's clear that the apparition is actually happening, not just a hallucination, then if you're going to also have apparitions that, by the realism of the show, aren't "really there," they need to be highlighted clearly (as is the case with Hurley's imaginary friend). Or, alternately, you could produce a paranoid piece about not knowing which visions are objectively real and which are the product of your own fevered mind, but that hasn't been the show we've all watched. Doesn't it seem like it would be a huge cheat to turn around and say "oh, some of those things didn't really happen, even though they were presented in exactly the same way as things that did really happen"?

* A noble tradition; perhaps my favorite thing like this on Lost that, so far as I'm aware has no answer and probably never will: why do the sonic pylons work? Why can't Smokey just go over them? We know he can get seriously airborne. We know that humans can get around them by climbing over them. So unless Smokey's been playing possum this whole time, it makes no sense. It's really dumb, actually. Now, the producers could advance a pseudo-scientific explanation about the intensity of soundwaves and residual something or other, which would probably be really lame, or they can continue to hope nobody thinks too hard about it, which in this case is probably the right choice.

Monarch7 said...

Alan:

There are a couple of MAJOR LEAGUE continuity issues after last night's episode:

1) If Walt is alive, how did Smokey appear as him standing over Locke in the mass grave, and to Shannon in the jungle?

2) Was Smokey also the horse that Kate saw in first couple of seasons?

3) Did Smokey also play the part of Michael last week?

4) If he did appear as Walt, does that mean Walt is dead?

Do you think we will see Walt in the last few episodes?

dez said...

^Maybe the sound disrupts his ability to get Smokified?

Schmoker said...

The whole Smokey-MiB-Christian thing will obviously have to wait for certain until the last five episodes play out (because Christian, if he is not just the MiB all of the time, is sure to play a role in these last five eps), but the grating anonymous blowhard who attacked everyone who doubted what Smocke said last night should consider this:

Smocke said he could only assume the likeness of people who were both dead AND on the Island. He even thanked Jack for bringing Locke's dead body back, because he could not assume Locke's form until it was.

Well, Ben's mom and Isabella did not die on the Island, nor were their dead bodies later brought to the Island. So at least SOME apparitions are not the MiB.

If you go by what Smocke said last night, Anon, which is what you said all of us morons should be doing, then what he said told us that he absolutely was NOT all the apparitions we have seen.

And if he wasn't all of them, then he was not necessarily all of the Christians we have seen.

It is not hard to believe that if Smokey can appear as different people, then Jacob probably can, too.

7s Tim said...

I think Smokey needed Locke's body to become real. He's played dead people who weren't on the Island before (Isabella on the Black Rock in Ab Aeterno). But his actions as Smocke have gone above and beyond any of the other times he's appeared as dead people. Maybe he needed Locke's body to become the real Locke in the Sideways world? More evidence that Eloise may be working for the wrong team (even if she doesn't know it).

Christian on the boat on back in LA are probably the ghost of real Christian, as most likely have been Michael and Charlie when talking to Hurley. Doesn't make perfect sense, but it Occam's Razors the thing into a workable scenario. And the efforts of Christian on the Island over the first 5 seasons have gradually led to Smokey taking Locke's body, after making Locke turn the wheel and telling him to bring the others back, etc.

I still think they are gonna have Walt turn up in one of the last few episodes, but just to do one small, but crucial task. And I think he still has a weird connection to the Island and that's why he showed up some times as visions to charaters. They just planned it out poorly in the beginning (hoping a nearly pubescent boy would pass as having only aged 100 days over the course of 3 seasons--- this was stuff they didn't think all the way through).

I think the final scene will be Jack and the rest travelling back to the 60s, and them jamming as Geronimo Jackson. With Jacob on tamborine.

zzzdog said...

The Jin/Sun reunion is a perfect example of timing being everything. Instead of a heart-pounding payoff, it didn't rise much above an "Aww" moment. It wasn't a fraction of what it could have been if it had happened much earlier in the season before the emotional urgency of their story was dissipated and before we again experienced them as a couple, albeit in the alt universe.

When I compare what I felt last night to what I felt when Sun found out Jin was alive, it seems amazing that so much well-crafted tension and creative energy could be so squandered.

I find myself very detached about this season and the show. I think the alternate lives device was a major critical error. Perhaps there's a really boffo reason for it and the end will tie things up so dramatically that I will be grateful for the introduction of an 11th hour device that effectively destroyed the creative intimacy I felt with characters I believed I knew, but for now, I'm feeling distant and doubtful.

When coupled with the events of the island reality - Locke's body being co-opted by Smokie and Sayid and Clare clearly becoming mutant versions of themselves, the alt reality cutaways weren't simply flat, they reinforced a sense of distrust. It felt like everyone was becoming strangers to me.

I think the reason Richard's episode seemed more successful to me is that it followed the prior dynamic. Even with the fantastical elements of immortality and supernatural communication, the backstory stayed within the same reality and showed us a past that illuminated something. It drew us closer because our understanding deepened.

The alt story that seemed to have ballast was Desmond's because it's where the two realities finally started to collide and bleed through and that connection to what we know gave it a whole other purpose and helped restore some trust in what and who we've known.

I think the creators assertion that the show is all about "character, character, character" is ironic in light of this final season because I think they inadvertently made this last part less about character and much more about mystery. Whatever the island's grand myth or mystery, centering it on a matrix of split realities splintered the depth of character I found so satisfying.

Oh well, as I said, maybe I'll be blown away when all is said and done. In any case, I'm in til the end and it's certainly been worth the ride.

Rob said...

I don't understand how everyone is arguing over things like the dharma food drop which you can logically make answers for (as long as the others were in charge of the stations like the flame the food kept on coming but stopped once it blew up.)

How did the Dharma find the island? well we know the US army found it haphazardly so if we expand from there we can go they found the island haphazardly or someone that founded was dharma was connected to the government and had the the army research.

The biggest debate going on should be did Jack die and get claimed at the end of the episode by Flocke or not?

Paul Worthington said...

zzzdog -- you state the general problem here very well.

Lost's big success has been making us care about the characters caught up in the crazy plots -- but the alternative timeline or whatever it is has served mainly to distance us from the characters in both stories.

I too hope it comes together well -- but I now think it was a neat idea that in the ed took up far more air time than it warranted.

It's like the time traveling/island jumping episodes: great for a month or whatever it was, but is simply set the stage for the *really* great months of episodes set in the 70s.

I think the X timeline should have played like that: a month of mystery, four episodes, that launched the *real* final story -- instead of distracting from it.

Pagan Terrorism said...

To anyone confused about why Jin and Sun spoke English to each other, Jin hasn't spoken Korean in 3 years- his first instinct is going to be to speak English- and Sun spoke English because her the writers decided to have Sun's brain fix itself once it recognized Jin's voice speaking English.

The entire thing was just a ploy by the writers to make it legitmate for Sun and Jin speak to each other in English when they first reunite.

Anonymous said...

Baffled by the praise for this episode or any of the others this season. It's been a stilted, uneventful final run. LOST deserved better.

Anonymous said...

Total Larry David moment between Smoky and Sayidthe zombie!

drbristol said...

I'm willing to endure any end to my years of faithful support of the writers will do me just one small favor.

KILL ZOE.

I swear she makes Nikki and Paulo palatable. Every time she is onscreen I want to throw something through my television because she snaps me right out of LOST myopia and right back into reality - I'm watching television in my house.

That probably makes her my "constant" but I don't care. Off her now! The most annoying character in the show's history, a real piece of dung.

Even Sawyer said as much when he described her as "Widmore's number two". (Hint: he wasn't talking chain of command!)

Anonymous said...

"Baffled by the praise for this episode or any of the others this season. It's been a stilted, uneventful final run. LOST deserved better."

Lost season 6 = Seinfeld series finale. Same mistakes. Opting for a boring nostalgia tour over fun and excitement.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who liked the Sun and Jin reunion? While others found the pylons annoying, it was perfectly obivious to me why the sonic fence was there. To build suspense as Sun & Jin were running towards each other. Would they finally re-unite or would they get knocked out by the sonic fence? So when they finally embraced, you could breath a sigh of relief and feel their joy. Now was the scene executed perfectly? I admit it felt a little off, but at least the pylons did not annoy me and I still enjoyed it.

H.C. Rawlinson said...

How is it that Sawyer and Miles are back working together? Last I remember they had broken up as partners because Miles confronted him about going to Australia.

Scott J. said...

Sun & Jin's reunion played beautifully for me. I wasn't concerned about the pylons at all, because there was actually a sound effect of them powering down. Totally understandable that many people didn't notice it, but I don't think it was the show's intention to create suspense that Sun & Jin were about to get zapped. It would be incredibly stupid for the characters to run through the pylons if they didn't know that they were off. "Are these people really stupid enough to die this way?" is not a very satisfying form of suspense.

Tyroc said...

I thought Smokey can't leave the island physically (and thus destroy the world or remake it in his image or whatever) but he can still appear as an image off the island.

To be comic book nerdy, Dr. Strange can send his astral self around the world while his physical body stays home at his awesome house in Greenwich Village.

Similarly, he can only create a physical body of himself of someone who has died on the island. But he can make himself look like whoever he wants.

The guy can turn into a smoke monster, I'm willing to believe he can do tons of stuff.

(And maybe when Walt appeared to everyone on the island, it was actually Walt back home talking to them. He's got powers after all too.)

Rodolpho said...

Hello everyone! it's nice to be back here to post a coment about lost last's episode.
So here we go...

I need to say I couldn't properly understand what's the meaning of that action when desmond tried to pull out Alt-Locke, but now I can see that he needed to do that to give him a near-death experience and might get him close to Jack, and that would be the only way he could achieve what he meant.
So, about relationship this last episode was stuffed full of, i mean, we had a lot of romance moments, abut the one who touch the most was when Jin adn Sun were back together, and that might means that even if everyone has ever said: "They ain't meant to be together", I mean that somehow they are, or maybe that's just a destiny trick.
I think I was losing it when I saw all that characters back together in both realities, what showed off that the producers are heading towards to an ending.
So, all in all I gotta say that there are things I just can't see how they are gonna be figured out, but I'm still in hope to see all this getting good.
I sometimes wish the real world blows off and the alt-reality comes to be the real one, because a lot of good things has happened over there an that will be hard to see, for example, Jack giving up his son that shouldn't never had existed, or even jin and sun giving up their romantic life, or else seeing locke giving up his wife and stuff.
I hope (deeply inside me) that they are gonna be happy with whatever decision they take, because after at about 6 years watching their storie I can't put it with seeing everyone being killed or even having a non-happy ending, and I really mean it, I mean, who's never spent a day or more thinking about them and trying to figure it out what it looks like being in their role.

so, I wish we can get the thrill we need and they get the happinness they are meant to...

Follow me guys:

@rodolphocuenca.

dez said...

The biggest debate going on should be did Jack die and get claimed at the end of the episode by Flocke or not?

Okay: 1) Jack didn't die; 2) Smokey claimed him, but that doesn't mean he *has* him. :-)

Kaiser said...

Is the boy that Locke saw in the woods last week the same actor that plays David (Jack's son)? They look similar but I have a hard time distinguishing between cleaned up and Other-fied kid.

David seemed awfully cool and confident leading Jack into the operating room.

My head spins thinking about it all if they are the same person.

Anonymous said...

The key is Kate, but I can't figure it out yet. Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, et al. all had a utopian type story to their parallel universe. Why not Kate?

Kate's story is the SAME! She is still a fugitive from the law, and now captured by LAPD. THis is not utopian.

However, Kate's existence when she originally left the island (exonerated for crimes, relationship with Jack, loving mother) was a utopian ideal to her. All of the other Oceanic 6 (including Desmond) characters could not escape past transgressions.

Why is Kate's story backwards? Just some random thoughts.

nateyankees5 said...

Any chance that Sun's inability to speak English was her mind crossing over from Alt-Sun, who never learned English?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

I just thought it was strange that when Jack and Smokey go into the jungle to 'catch up' it's pitch black, and when they come out it's broad daylight. Weird."

I noticed this too and it isn't the first time, either. I refuse to believe it's merely some continuity error, I seriously doubt the producers are that careless and sloppy. It makes me believe that maybe what we're seeing isn't "really" happening, so to speak.

7s Tim said...

one question (with addendums), one comment:

How did Smokey take over Locke's body or however you would put it? Smokey has claimed he can't cross water, and I'll take that as truth for now. So Locke's corpse is on Hydra after the crash, and Fake-Locke turns up in a suit walking out of the jungle on Hydra. How did Smokey get over there to copy Locke? Is there a certain proximity he has to get within? No-prize submission: Hydra is considered part of The Island in general, and once Corpse Locke lands there, Smokey duplicates him, then he takes the outrigger Sun and Lapidus has stolen earlier back to Hydra (after impersonating Christian and setting Sun and Lapidus on their quest to find Locke). Then he kind of meanders out of the Jungle like he was lost (get it?).

Kate's alt story is better, but we just have to believe something she said for once: She isn't really a murderer in this world. It actually WAS an accident, and now she's on the run while falsely accused. Which, while not perfect, is better for the soul.

Scott J. said...

@Kaiser: The boy in the jungle is played by Kenton Duty. David is played by Dylan Minnette.

IreneInIdaho said...

@ Anonymous at 11:28 said:
" Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, et al. all had a utopian type story to their parallel universe. Why not Kate?

Kate's story is the SAME! She is still a fugitive from the law, and now captured by LAPD. THis is not utopian.

However, Kate's existence when she originally left the island (exonerated for crimes, relationship with Jack, loving mother) was a utopian ideal to her. All of the other Oceanic 6 (including Desmond) characters could not escape past transgressions."

And Kate is the only one whose name is crossed off. Maybe to be a candidate you have to have a great life in the alt-reality that you are willing to give up to take over for Jacob or whatever the candidates will do. But on the island, the candidates don't know what a great life they're having in another time, so would it really be a sacrifice if you don't know what you're giving up?

Heather Li said...

Okay, I have a weak theory about the whole Sun losing her ability to speak English problem, and why she was able to speak English when she saw Jin.

In the alt-world, she only speaks Korean. There is nothing to indicate she learned English in the sideways universe. So maybe a little bit of Alt-Sun bled into real Sun, because remember Alt-Sun was horrified when she saw Locke next to her in the gurney.

So let's think about it like this: Real Sun runs away from Locke/Smokey, hits her head, wakes up and can't speak English anymore. Then Alt-Sun gets shot, sees Locke and recognizes him as the person she was running away from in the Real time-line that she possibly had flashes off-camera.

So when Real Sun sees Jin, this may be Real Sun's moment of her Alt-self and her real self coming together again, so she speaks in English. Jin responds in English, maybe because he just wants to show her how much he's learned in three years.

This is a huge stretch but really, why does Alt-Sun recognize Locke? Did I miss something in the Sideways time-line where they interacted? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

"why does Alt-Sun recognize Locke? Did I miss something in the Sideways time-line where they interacted? I don't think so."

As previously established in recent episodes, people who have near death experiences or moments of connecting with someone they were "soulmates" with on the island, get a glimpse of their island life. No doubt Sun got all too much of a glimpse of the Smokey version of Locke in those moments after she was shot.

It seems as if these sideways take place after the island events, not concurrently. They are remembering their past.

Sareeta said...

When everyone came together in the two timelines I was really starting to get excited for the first time this season since the pilot...and then Jack jumped off the boat. I'm so sick of them separating our characters for no good reason. Why does there always have to be a man of faith and man of science? It worked with REAL Jack and REAL Locke, but I simply don't buy Jack being the new man of faith. Please, let them all get off the damn island and call it a wrap!

7s Tim said...

Maybe it's just me, but everyone hating on Zoe has me confused, since I keep seeing her as Debbie from Singles. If you had all seen that movie 201 times you would have a bit less animosity toward her.

James M. Barrie said...

Okay, I just wanna make two comments on the whole "Christian-is-MiB" issue.

I already made the first one here before, and a few people pointed it out too:
1. In Season One, the writers made a big deal out of the fact that Christian's corpse was missing from the coffin.
Now, on LA X, it was once again very emphasized that his corpse was missing.

Similarly, in The Incident and in LA X, one of the main reveals was the fact that Locke's corpse WAS found, and yet something (Smoke Monster) was impersonating him, assuming his form. Which fitted in with everything we knew about Smokey at that point [e.g., Yemi, who we know for sure was a manifestation of Smokey when Eko died, and yet his body remained carbonized on the nigerian plane].

So, my point is: there has to be some significance to the fact that Christian's corpse is missing, and I think it means that Christian ISN'T Smokey. Why should we take MiB's word for it? He doesn't seem trustworthy at all.
And I guess that maybe Christian is, in fact, sided with Jacob - as we were told by him in season four.

Point 2: everyone keeps saying that "oh, but it was Christian who told real Locke to go back and die and bring everyone to the island; it was Smokey's doing, because he needed Locke's corpse to find the loophole and kill Jacob, and needed everyone else to be able to leave the island". Fair point, but let me say something:
It wasn't Christian who first told the real Locke to go back and die and bring everyone to the island. This happened at S05E05, "This Place is Death". But in "Because You Left", the season 5 premiere, Richard told real Locke this exact same thing (and, as we learned in "Follow the Leader", he was doing it following Smokey's orders).

And everybody keeps forgetting that, if MiB needed everybody to come back to the island, so did Jacob. After all, those were his candidates. It seems to me that the whole thing is Jacob pulling a long con on MiB; Smokey thinks everything's going according to his plan, but this is actually Jacob's plan, and that's why Christian confirmed to Locke that he needed to bring everyone back. Jacob wanted to die, and wanted one of his candidates to replace him.

Anyway, my whole grip with the whole thing is the Christian's corpse issue. Just hope that it has a better payoff.

And, please, excuse my confusing exposition...

All in all, season six was pretty lame, but improved a lot since Desmond came back. While it is still lower than my expectations (which were sky-high), I do believe Darlton have something mindblowing in store for us.
And I hope - truly, truly hope - it involves WAAAAAAAAAAALT. I will be devasted if they just sent him off the show in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" with 'the boy's been through enough'.

[don't know if anyone remember this, but around the end of season two there were rumors that they filmed a scene with Walt and Jack, I think, that was never used in the show. And someone said that this was a scene of the series finale. They needed Malcolm David Kelley to still look like a child in that specific scene, so it had to be filmed then, because he would look way too old when the actual finale was shot.
Of course, it's probably just a silly rumour, 'cause I don't believe that they had such a specific idea of the series finale by then. But, boy, wouldn't it be just AWESOME if it was true?]

Mohammed said...

In regards to Sun's muteness:

I think someone may have said it earlier but I think that her sideways self bled into her island self after she hit her head. My initial reaction when she lost her ability to speak English was that Flocke took it from her, but that was disproven when he tried to speak to her and didn't understand why she couldn't speak to him.
Another example of her bleeding between the two timelines is that she recognized Locke on the stretcher. It seems that the reunion with Jin has snapped her full consciousness back into the Island timeline.
Anyway, I don't know why I wrote all that out. Sun is one of my least fav characters and I feel that her sideways story was the most nonsensical/useless of them all (acts selfish; gets shot; doesn't lose baby). And I was underwhelmed by the Sun/Jin reunion like everyone else.
Keep it up Alan, I enjoy your work

Scott J. said...

@James M. Barrie: When Eko revisited the Nigerian plane in "The Cost of Living" (the episode in which Smokey appeared to him as Yemi and then killed him), Yemi's body was no longer there. So it seems like Locke's body is the exception. Perhaps this has something to do with why Smokey is now stuck as Locke. Did Ilana & co. lock his body in that big box so it couldn't be "used up"? Or maybe it's just an inconsistency.

It's true, though, that separating Smokey's doings from Jacob's doings is impossible at this point, because Jacob was essentially playing along with Smokey's scheme. So I still consider it very possible that not all of the Christian sightings were Smokey. And I still hope against hope that Jack will finally have a confrontation with his father's spirit before the end.

Erik said...

I'm sorry that I haven't read through the comments. This is more of a general comment on this season as a whole, so I hope I'll be forgiven.

I'm starting to wish the show's creators had gone all out and focused only on the Sideways-universe this season (at least until about this point). Every scene on the island feels irrelevant to me. Every time Smokey-Locke chats or answers questions, the mystique of the mythology just dissipates. Oh, so the voices are ghosts and you were Christian all along. Big whoop. It's starting to kill the Locke character for me - I'd rather that they just killed him off in season five than this. I can take Smokey (give him a real name already!) much more seriously when he's played by Titus Welliver.

The concept of the Candidates is also killing the rest of the characters for me - I liked the show better when these ordinary people got thrown into a mystical world and had to make a difference. By calling them Candidates, we're supposed to think they are oh-so-special and pretty much know nothing's going to happen to them before the finale. I would have much more respect for the show if they had killed off most of the original cast along the way and given some of the additions (e.g. Miles) more substantive roles instead. At this point, even Ben feels like an extra.

There's no sense of reality to the Island scenes after the nuke went off - nobody seems to live and sleep and eat anywhere, they're just moving along like chess pieces. The Island feels like nothing more than ground to cover at this point, with no more mysteries or Others or Smoke Monster or Dharma Initiative. And at this point, nobody really has anything to lose anymore.

On the other hand, by trying to have their cake and eat it too, the writers have made the Sideways universe confusing and uninvolving, as it didn't seem convincing as reality. I was never a fan of the idea of the nuke as a time machine, but if they had really went with it and left the Island behind (until of course Desmond makes them all realize they have to go back - again), there could have been something there. The characters have lives they care about, but they have to give them up to do something big together. Now it just feels like a distraction, a sideshow where you can give old characters a final bow.

This season hasn't been as bad as e.g. season 3, but it's even less involving, as there's not really anything on the line anymore. I could feel something about Jin trying to rush Sun and her unborn child to the hospital if it was sold as reality, but at this point it just feels flat when they finally meet on the Island. They've been building up to that moment for so long that it feels pre-digested for the viewer (at least me). And for me, that's the story of this season as a whole. Instead of doing something bold and fresh and exciting, if feels like the writers are taking a season long victory lap after a really good season 5. I understand the reasoning, but at this point I'm just waiting for it to be over.

Anonymous said...

Erik - your issue with the candidates is a problem that comes up often these days.

It's like with Luke Skywalker - he was an ordinary young farmhand that the audience could identify with, he was our entry into the world. But then no he's Vader's son and has all this mythology behind him. Once a series or movie goes that route, and they so often do, it takes away the "ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances" aspect and that aspect is crucial for our relating to the characters.

Why won't they let people achieve through effort anymore? Why does everything have to be pre-ordained and most heroes "special".

Anonymous said...

Crazy, and probably not the case, but does anyone wonder if Jack actually died during Widmore's assault at the end of the episode, and Jacob took over his body?

Just a hunch, and I'm probably wrong, but just wondering...

Anonymous said...

Re: Jin/Sun reunion and the fear of their being electrocuted by the pylons -- I was distracted by it too, but on second viewing, it's clear that Zoe radios "Turn off the fences" before the reunion happens.

Anonymous said...

Another reason Smokey could not have always been Christian: when they all came back on Ajira, and (unknown to the audience) Smokey took over Locke's body, Ben, Locke, Sun and Lapidus went to Dharmaville. When Sun and Lapidus were wandering around by themselves, they saw Christian who showed him the 1970 Dharma picture with Jin, etc in it. Now this viewing of Christian would have happened AFTER Smokey became Locke. And according to Illana, could no longer move into other bodies - he was stuck. So i really hope this isn't the final explanation because it just doesn't make sense.

drbristol said...

"Maybe it's just me, but everyone hating on Zoe has me confused, since I keep seeing her as Debbie from Singles. If you had all seen that movie 201 times you would have a bit less animosity toward her."

Even if I were forced to watch that 201 times, it would still be "just you". And this from someone who saw LA Law...well, not 201 times, but enough.

Best Zoe nickname - Tina Fake.

Anonymous said...

Lapidus was on the boat/beach for the math. I think they reported over the radio how many landed, Lapidus took the place of Jack and allowed the bombing of Smokey to start. However, I don't think they would bomb Smokey if they knew that Jack was next to him.

Scott J. said...

Anonymous said...

Another reason Smokey could not have always been Christian: when they all came back on Ajira, and (unknown to the audience) Smokey took over Locke's body, Ben, Locke, Sun and Lapidus went to Dharmaville. When Sun and Lapidus were wandering around by themselves, they saw Christian who showed him the 1970 Dharma picture with Jin, etc in it. Now this viewing of Christian would have happened AFTER Smokey became Locke.


No, Sun and Frank left Hydra Island first, during the day, and met Christian that night. Later that night, the Ajira survivors first discovered the "resurrected" Locke, while Ben was still unconscious from Sun knocking him out with an oar. The next day, Locke woke Ben and they left for the main island.

The events were just shown out of order, with Sun & Frank's trek in "Namaste" coming two episodes after Ilana mentioned in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" that the pilot and "some woman" had taken one of the outriggers.