Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost Episode 6.13: "The Last Recruit"

So, who was the "Last Recruit"? In my poll up since last week, most of you (including myself) voted for Frank. A few of you voted for Jin. Looks like it was actually... well, it's hard to say, but I'm guessing it was ironically referring to Jack, a reluctant recruit, trapped in the role against his will by the end of the episode. A lot happened in this episode, we got some more answers, and the stage was set for the last few episodes. Let's look back at all that happened:

WANT ANSWERS? THEN JUST ASK. Locke sticks one of the island's many eternally burning torches into the ground and he and Jack sit down for a little "catching up." First up on the agenda? Jack asks if Christian Shephard was actually Smokey. Was it me or did he even say, "Hey, way back in Season One, was that you appearing as my dad?" I'm sure he didn't really say Season One, but it went something like that. The answer? Yep. Smokey is Christian. I guess this was the most obvious answer, but I was kind of hoping for something even weirder to be going on. But I guess with four episodes left you gotta keep it kinda simple. And a smoke monster is weird enough. But with that in mind...

CHRISTIAN SHEPHERD'S OTHER SMOKEY APPEARANCES: Let's pause here for a second. Now that we know Christian was always Smokey, let's recount all the times we saw Smokey/Christian appear on the island, just for fun and to see if we can make sense of his behavior.
– HE TALKS TO DOGS. In a 'mobisode' released on the web that took place right before the Pilot episode, we saw Vincent the dog wandering through the 815 wreckage. Christian calls him over, and tells him to wake up his son, because he has "work to do." What was his work? Why would smokey want Jack to start saving people? I guess so that he could enact his REALLY complicated Locke body-stealing plan? If you haven't watched these "Missing Peices" mobisodes, you should.
– HE LEADS JACK TO WATER. He then appeared to Jack in the season one episode White Rabbit (that Jack referred to in tonight's episode.) Jack, taking Locke's advice, followed Christian to see where he would take him, and he led him to a cave and a source of water. So, why would Smokey want them to have water? I guess everything he's done is to help them survive and get off the island, so he could escape too? Then why did Smokey attack the pilot of flight 815? I'm guessing maybe because the pilot was about to call for help, and Smokey didn't want them to be rescued too soon, before he had time to enact his plan.
– HE SPEAKS INTO INTERCOMS. In Season 3, Jack heard Christian's voice briefly through an intercom in his cell in the Hydra station, saying "let it go." Interesting, since Jack has been talking about "letting go" a lot lately. Juliet later said the intercom hadn't worked in years.
– HE HIDES IN A BI-LOCATING CABIN. In Season 4, Hurley saw Christian sitting in Jacob's Cabin, which had appeared near him in the woods. I guess this pretty much confirms that Smokey had taken over Jacob's cabin.
– HE CODDLES BABIES. Later, Christian appeared holding Aaron, and Claire wandered off with him in the woods. Sawyer then found Aaron sitting in grouping of trees. Why did Smokey want Claire and Aaron separated? I'm not sure. Smokey sure acted a lot freakier back then. Now he carves sticks, smiles a lot, and throws an occasional zinger.
– HE OFFERS LOCKE ADVICE. Next, Locke found Claire and Christian/Smokey sitting in Jacob's cabin, and Christian claimed he was speaking for Jacob. He told Locke to ask him the "only important question." Which is very similar to what Smokey told Jack in this episode. (This episode he said "What is the question you really want to ask me?") Locke's answer to Christian was "How do I save the island?" Funny now, because we know that Smokey hates the island. Anyway, Smokey/Christian told Locke to "move the island". So moving the island was Smokey's idea, then. I guess it was all part of his plan to get Locke killed and take his body, which seems like the most complicated loophole the world has even known.
– HE SETS OFF SMOKE ALARMS. This next one is kind of interesting, because it happened OFF the island. Working late at the hospital, Jack hears a smoke alarm beeping (nice touch) and Christian appears on the couch behind him. He disappears when a coworker shows up. Jack asks the coworker to write him a prescription for more drugs. Maybe this vision can just be chalked up to the drugs, but it's also possible Smokey is able to send his form off the island. But if that's the case, I'm not sure why he would need their help to get home, unless the "home" he's talking about is the other time-line, and that's where he wants to get back to.
– HE MATERIALIZES ON FREIGHTERS. He then appeared to Michael on the freighter, right before it exploded, and told him "he could go." Not sure how to interpret that one. Especially since we now know that Michael was really not free to go at all, but became trapped as a ghost on the island. Also, Michael was kept alive off the island. Was Jacob doing that, or Smokey? Not sure.
– HE KNOWS ABOUT THE DONKEY WHEEL. Next, he appeared to Locke underneath the Orchid station, and chastised him for letting Ben spin the donkey wheel in his place. He also told Locke that what Richard said was true, he would have to die to save the island. Sneaky dude. Smokey also told Locke to say hello to his son, which I think was Smokey's way of making sure that Locke got the other candidates to come back with him.
– HE ADMIRES DHARMA PHOTOS. Then, in one final appearance as Christian before permanently taking Locke's form, Smokey/Christian appeared to Sun and Frank at the barracks and told them to go to Ben's old house and wait for Locke. I'm assuming he was trying to round up all the candidates.
Wow, that took longer than I thought. If you want to waste even more time, check out the Man in Black's page on Lostpedia to try to peice together all he's been up to in all his Smokey forms since the beginning of the show.

WEIRD QUOTE FROM SMOKEY: Smokey also said to Jack, "Jacob chose you, so you were trapped on this island long before you even got here." What does that mean? It could just be general talk about fate, but it might possibly mean something more. Could the Losties have been on the island way longer than they remember? Smokey then calls Locke a "sucker," which seems a kinda mean-spirited attitude towards a dude who's body you are currently walking around in.

"IT'S HIM, IT'S HIM!" Meanwhile, in the flash sideways, Sun and Locke are getting out of ambulances at the same time. Sun sees Locke – I'm assuming because she's having a near death experience – and she recognizes him. Where is the plot of the flash sideways going? I really have no idea, but this scene was cool.

SISTER CHAT: Jack and Claire catch up in the jungle, and Claire is still acting weird. And, like any crazy relative, she wants to spend lots of quality time together. Jack says he hasn't decided if he's with Smokey yet, but Claire reaffirms Dogen's theory that if you let Smokey talk to you, it's already too late and you're part of the team. Interesting.

"WHO THE HELL'S ANAKIN?" Oh, to live unaware of the presence of the Star Wars prequels. This was a funny exchange between Hurley and Sawyer, and also a funny reunion between Claire and Hurley. Hurley looks shocked to see the state she's in and says awkwardly, "You look great!" They start to hatch Sawyer's doomed plan of escape.

MEANWHILE, ON A COP SHOW FROM THE EIGHTIES: Flash-sideways Sawyer and Kate sit in the precinct and Sawyer offers Kate an apple. Is this a reference to Adam and Eve, hinting that Sawyer and Kate are the skeletons of the same name found in Season One's cave? (My wife gets credit for that thought.) Maybe, but right now the best guess is that the skeletons are Kate and Jack. Also, note that Flash Sideways Sawyer is still TERRIBLE at conning, as Kate sees right through him. This scene ends with Miles shouting out a bunch of racial epithets for some reason as they spot Sayid on an ATM camera. Sawyer says, "That's our bad guy" which is definitely a line referring to both time-lines at once.

COOL LOCKES DON'T LOOK AT EXPLOSIONS: Zoe walks out of the jungle into Locke's camp and demands Desmond back. Locke lies and says he doesn't know what she's talking about, so she signals to Lutz to launch a 30 Rock Air Assault. Widmore brought in UAV support!? Looks like the writers' room has an Xbox and a copy of Modern Warfare 2. Zoe gives Locke until nightfall to call her back, and Locke smashes her phone with his stick, which, in its final form, turned out to be a pretty good phone-smashing device.

ILANA'S LAWYER-BASED SPIN OFF SHOW: Maybe instead of Damages, Ilana's show could be called Bandages? Needs work. Anyway, Desmond oddly knows Ilana in this flash sideways, and somehow knows she is looking for Claire Littleton to complete Christian Shephard's wil arrangements. So he introduces them, then darts off. (Ilana's law office is on floor 15, which is Sawyer's assigned candidate number, by the way.) Also, as Desmond tries to convince Claire to see his lawyer, he says this phrase to her, which definitely is a play on her character's predicament back on the island: "You could end up in a situation that is irreversible".

WORST MAP EVER: Sawyer begins the plans to steal Smokey's boat and escape to Widmore's arms. Not sure what happened to Smokey's intelligence this episode. He really should not have trusted Sawyer with the task of delivering the boat, especially since Sawyer's been doing nothing but questioning his moves lately. Then, Smokey let Sawyer take Kate with him. Why? Why does Smokey trust Sawyer? Also, did the prop department slack off on their map making skills, or is Smokey just a terrible artist?

LIKE SHOOTING DESMOND IN A WELL: Sayid heads to down to the well to do Locke's murderous bidding. Desmond, yet again, seems to completely know what's going on. He guesses that Sayid is killing him in exchange for receiving a gift from Smokey. How could he know this? Is it possible that this Desmond is really Jacob? Maybe Desmond died in the electromagnetic blast a few episodes back, and just like when Sayid was taken over in the temple by Smokey, Desmond was taken over by Jacob? I hope not, but it would explain his calmness and his insight. We don't see what happens, but it's interesting that last week in the preview for this episode, they actually showed Sayid firing the gun, though we couldn't see Desmond getting shot. Did they change that? Or just decide to wait and show it later? Desmond challenges Sayid by asking him what he's going to tell Nadia when he rescues her. In a nice writing move, we cut from that thought to the flash sideways and Sayid returns to tell Nadia that very message: "Everything will be okay for you now. I took care of it." And Nadia responds nervously, "What do you mean? Did you hurt someone?" Did he shoot Sayid? We won't know for a couple of weeks, but I'm guessing no. Later, when Locke asks him if he followed through on it, Sayid tells him to check if he doesn't believe him. Smokey decides to trust him, and Sayid smiles behind his back. Is Sayid turning good again?

SUN'S UNLIMITED SUPPLY OF NOTEBOOKS: Locke's camp starts marching towards the Hydra Island. Smokey notices that Sayid is gone longer than he expected, and asks Sun if she's seen him. Sun pulls out her notebook and writes, "You did this to me." (Seems like she should be conserving those notebooks.) Smokey seems legitimately confused by that. Or he's just a good liar. I'm guessing the latter. Since it looks like the writers are not going to explain it any further than this, I will now agree with all of you who said this "Aphasia" memory-loss plot line is super lame.

SO, WHICH BOAT IS THIS, ANYWAY? I looked it up, The boat they're sailing on is apparently "The Elizabeth", the one Desmond sailed to the island, orginally given to him by Libby. (What? Yep. Remember?) Sun's been on it before, when she shot the Other named Colleen in the stomach. I guess flash-sideways karma returned the favor by letting Sun get shot in the stomach. Right before the Losties can take off in the boat this time, however, Claire comes out of the jungle with a rifle, kind of pissed that they were going to leave her again. "We thought you were crazy" is not he best defense, so Kate throws herself in the line of fire and talks Claire into leaving Locke and coming with them. Claire still seems a little iffy, so Kate wisely takes her rifle. It's nice that Claire is possibly going to make a recovery, but I'm not sure it will be easy to go back to being a healthy, mentally stable mom after spending three years in the jungle putting the ax to dudes' chests. But time will tell.

WE HAVE TO NOT GO BACK: On the boat, Sawyer decides it's a good time to gloat and tells Jack he's gotten good at taking orders. Jack says leaving the island doesn't feel right to him. Sawyer tells him to get off the boat, and, much like Sawyer jumping into the water from the helicopter in Season 4, Jack jumps overboard. Before doing so, he apologizes for getting Juliet killed. Little does he know he also created an alternate timeline and possibly totally jacked the universe up. Kate freaks out and Sawyer keeps on sailing. Jack swims an amazing distance back to shore, and then Smokey amazingly knows where to exactly where to stand in order to meet him.

SUN AND THE BABY ARE FINE: I don't have much to say about this, but it's important to note that getting shot in the stomach is only a minor stumbling block for Sun, who's perfectly fine, as is their unborn child. This surprised me. I thought for sure that things were going to start going badly for some characters in the flash-sideways. Right now only Locke, Sayid, and Kate have lives that are a little up in the air in the flash-sideways. Everyone else seems to be doing pretty well. Will this end up being the time-line that becomes the ONLY timeline?

JACK & DAVID, SUIT BUDDIES: Meanwhile, Jack and his son David are dressing alike and spending a super day together at the law office and the hospital. The writers seem to be going out of their way to show that Jack and David are getting along perfectly now. Jack fields a call from David's mom, just to remind us that we have no idea who she is. I'm still guessing Juliet. It could simply be his first original wife, and maybe in this time line they had a child before she moved on to star in Modern Family. Who do you guys think Jack's flash-sideways wife is?

BACK IN THE DURAL SAC: Jack gets called to the hospital to perform surgery on Locke, and it's a familiar surgery. His dural sac is injured, which I'm pretty sure is the gross thing that Jack sliced on Ben to gain bartering leverage back in Season 3. Jack seems to be a much more confident surgeon in this time line. Will he heal Locke? Will he even fix his back where he can walk again? At the end of the scene, he recognizes Locke, so it will be interesting to see where the flash-sideways go after this point.

WIDMORE IS BAD AGAIN: Sawyer and his crew swim ashore the Hydra Island, hoping to receive help from Widmore. And the reunion no one really cared about finally happens: Jin and Sun see each other for the first time in like three years. Jin tells her he loves her, and that they will always be together. The second thing out of my mouth would be: Why did you leave our daughter alone off the island? Meanwhile, Zoe calls Widmore, and Widmore tells her to take them all prisoner. So, he IS bad? I'm thinking yeah. But we also know that Zoe and her team were spying on Sawyer with night-vision goggles and hidden microphones a while back, so maybe they just heard Sawyer tell Kate his plan to steal the sub and now Widmore's just being a little more cautious. Zoe gives her teammates the go ahead to start firing missiles at Locke, and all the dudes wearing red shirts near Locke on the island's beach get decimated in a powerful precision strike. Locke saves Jack and tells him it's all going to be okay. Jack looks concerned.

That's it for this week. Notice anything else?

Here's a couple of things you should check out that I've tweeted about recently, but are pretty cool. First up: this amazing Wired Lost article. Make sure you click on all 8 pages or so at the bottom. There are some cool charts and sidebars. One page has a weird Dharma logo on it that I'm pretty sure is some kind of puzzle or clue that some smart person needs to solve. It even spells Dharma wrong so something HAS to be up:

Second, check out the Lost Slapdowns on youtube if you haven't already. They're just funny skits from the producers and stars, really, but they're pretty entertaining. There's a ton of them, but here's one of my favorites:

Okay, and now here's what I saw in the preview for two weeks from now (they're showing a rerun next week.) There were a lot of scenes in this one that actually gave away some plot points, so beware of minor-ish SPOILERS:

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK: A super says "His soul had gone mad from being alone in the wilderness" which is a line from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. We see Locke shooting dudes near the Ajira plane. He says in voiceover: "I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna kill every single one of your friends. And there's not a thing you can do to stop me." We see Kate in a cell. And since they're on the Hyrdra island now I'm pretty sure it's those darn polar bear cages again. Claire and Locke face off, and Locke seems to be throwing her around. Saywer looks out from behind the bars of a cage. Locke is shown by the Ajira plane holding his cell-phone smashing stick. Widmore is shown near the cells, and he says "He's coming." So it looks to me as if the Losties are going to be locked up in those cells by Widmore, but then the smoke monster is going to show up and kill everyone else while they are trapped in the cells. We see Jack in the flash-sideways operating room. It looks like Locke's POV as he's waking up to Jack's face after surgery. We see a ring being put on a finger, in a close up shot. Looks like Sun and Jin. We see people running in the dark near Widmore's new pylons. We see Kate in her cell again, and the voiceover says "He doesn't need you, Kate." One of Widmore's men is violently thrown by Smokey up against the wall of the cell. Hurley says, "We're dead." Locke pulls a wire underneath the plane. Is this Locke discovering Ben and Richard's freshly-rigged explosives? We see Sayid, Jin, Sun and Hurley near a plane on the runway. We see Jack and Claire looking into a mirror on a jewelry box. Then a reminder that there's only four episodes left until it's ALL OVER. Can't wait. The next episode is called "The Candidate." I'm assuming that means the person who will take over for Jacob. Who could it be? Vote in the poll on the right.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lost Episode 6.12: "Everybody Loves Hugo"

Everybody Loves Hurley episodes. Including me. And that was a great one. But, honestly, I don't know what to say about it, or how to expound on it here on the blog, because I honestly have no idea what is happening. Every now and then I think I understand it all, then it magically evaporates and I realize I understand nothing. It's either great writing, or its all crumbling in on itself. Or my brain is unhinged. Either way, I'll give it my best shot. Maybe as I go through the episode, I'll figure things out. Care to join me?

HURLEY IS THE MUSEUM'S 'MAN OF THE YEAR': Really? The museum gives out 'Man of the Year' awards every year? Are there that many people who still go to museums? This was a fun opening, with Dr. Chang's great narration. Things I noticed: A red-headed woman sitting in the front row, probably Charlotte. Locke's Box factory showed up in the photo montage. The Cluck's Chicken Shack that got hit by a comet in "Tricia Tanaka is Dead" reappears here, and must have gotten hit by a comet in this time line as well because it had a banner on it reading "Grand Re-Opening." And I'm not sure about this next one, but in the slide of Hurley opening a home for kids, I'm pretty sure Alex and Emma were two of the kids in the photo with him, to his right. Cool stuff.

MICHAEL HAS BAD TIMING: I'm not sure why Michael was the chosen ghost to come to talk to Hurley, but it was good to see him again. And at least he wasn't yelling "WALT!" It was strange that whispers preceded his arrival, though. Previously, Whispers have never been part of Hurley's visions of dead people. And lately they seem to have centered around The Others' appearances. In fact, when Ben as an other attacked a young Danielle Rousseau last season, he said "If you ever hear whispers, run the other way." And we heard them in the temple when the Losties went in, right before the Losties were grabbed by the Others. So, I thought they were related to the Others. But according to what we learn later in the episode, it seems that's not the case. So...Is Michael bad or good? Is he working for Smokey and trying to stop Hurley from blowing up the plane so Smokey can escape? Or is he really trying to help Hurley? How does he know the future? Here you see my confusion showing. I have no idea. Also, didn't Michael look kind of scraped up? If it's scrapes from the explosion that killed him on the freighter back in Season 4, I would say that he should look a little more scraped up. Otherwise, I'm not sure what that was about.

LIBBY'S FAJITA FIELD TRIP: So, Libby is back in the flash-sideways, and spots Hurley at a Mexican restaurant. AND she KNOWS HIM. Crazy. Apparently, no matter what the time line, Libby's got to check into Santa Rosa for a bit. This time, she checked in because she saw Hurley's face on TV and started remembering things from other realities. I guess they're each other's constant, and yet again the power of Love is making people in this time line aware of the Island time line. Cool. By the way, the waiter that took Hurley's order also once played a "redshirt" on the island. For those of you that don't know, "redshirt" is a term used by Star Trek fans to describe the one guy (usually in a red jumpsuit) that beams down to a planet with Kirk and Spock that you know is just there script-wise so the bad guys can kill him. Lost uses that terminology as well, and has put red shirts on several people who die on the show in the background. Anyway, apparently the actor who played the waiter has been standing around in the background in the group scenes on the Island before. TRIVIA IS FUN!

ILANA NEEDS MORE BANDAGES: So, despite the fact that Ilana's been "training her whole life" to protect the candidates, she goes to the Black Rock and picks the most unstable, rotting pieces of dynamite she can find and throws them in a dangly shoulder satchel. Let's don't blame Jacob for that one. She even starts chunking them around willy-nilly. Erin and I the explosion coming the moment we saw the dynamite in her purse, and I'm sure you did too. But it was still shocking. Before she blows up, Hurley mentions that if they blow up the plane, then Smokey will just get angry and kill them. And he also says it's possible Richard doesn't know what he's doing. These are good questions. I definitely see this script headed for the 11th hour moment, where it looks like all is doomed for the Losties, but before it ends nastily, things will make a turn and start to go the right way. But I basically just described the last section of a story arc, so I'm no fiction Nostradamus. I'm sorry that Ilana had to kick the bucket for this tension to build story-wise, but it makes sense to build the tension by getting rid of the person in the "protector" role. And her death also causes a split with Richard, the Losties' advisor. Interesting.

LOCKE IS A-WHITTLIN': I thought this was interesting. Sawyer asks what Locke is carving, and Locke responds "When the time is right, it'll tell me." I have no way to look it up, but I'm pretty sure Locke has said those words before, back in Season One or Two. If not, it still seems like a Real Locke thing to say. Is Locke's consciousness still around inside Smokey, and as I predicted in earlier posts, will it start to make a comeback to defeat evil Locke? More later on that.

DESMOND THE PEACEFUL CAPTIVE: Sayid comes back and takes Locke to see Desmond, who is acting innocent, but definitely giving off the vibe that he's actually a super awesome secret agent. Does Desmond know more than he's letting on to Locke? I think so. Locke says "Do you know who I am?" And Desmond replies, "Of course." Staring at him, before adding calmly, "You're John Locke." Locke looks concerned. Desmond told Locke about Widmore's tests on him. Does Locke suspect what Widmore plans to use Desmond for? Or is he in the dark? I'm not sure.

HURLEY GETS THE JACOB DUST: After Ilana's explosive exit, Hurley looks through her things, and finds a book in Russian. It's apparently a Russian copy of Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. (Side note: Does BookPeople have a "Books from Lost" book club? They should.) He also finds a bag of Jacob ashes that he takes with him. This is good to note given how the episode ends with Hurley basically leading everyone unarmed, right into Locke's camp. I'm guessing that the magic dust will come in handy pretty soon.

BEN CAN'T NOT BE EVIL: Ben's poison tongue is still in effect, spreading doubt and fear as the Losties trek through the jungle. He's saying what everyone's thinking, though... Why did Ilana die, if Jacob wanted her help? And did she die just because she served her purpose, and the island was done with her? Here's my thought on that. Dead, Ilana may turn out to be more able to help Hurley's crew. After all, she will still be able to talk to Hurley, and may be able to help him while being unseen by Smokey later on. But who knows. Hurley appears to be getting to be a very important part of everything, though. And Jack is finally smart enough to trust him.

HURLEY CLUCKS HIS SORROWS AWAY: Hurley heads to a Mr. Cluck's and orders a family-sized bucket from the kid from Freaks & Geeks who was working behind the counter in a nice cameo. As Hurley's sitting and eating, he notices Desmond staring at him. Desmond comes up and joins him. Desmond is obviously on a mission, and at the chicken shack on purpose. Which is a weird sentence to write. Desmond tells Hurley to believe Libby, and is obviously encouraging him to remember. What is Desmond up to? Desmond gets his order number called, and it's 42, one of the Numbers. Weird that it wasn't Hurley's assigned candidate number, which is 8. 42 is the one that had "Kwon" written next to it on the cave wall. Anyway, Desmond leaves, saying on his way out, "It was nice bumping into you." Which is funny, because later he will REALLY bump into Locke.

GOODBYE, BLACK ROCK: Totally believably, Hurley uses his elusive ninja skills to escape detection, dash ahead of everyone into the Black Rock, light some dynamite (with... matches?) and then dash out before the whole ship explodes on everyone. Richard is super pissed, and leaves the group with Ben and Miles. An odd trio, if there ever was one. It will be interesting to see what happens to the three of these guys. If Miles survives, I will be surprised. But happy. Miles questions Hurley's blind following of dead people, and Hurley says that dead people are more reliable than live ones.

THE HUGO REYES REC ROOM: Hurley decides he likes the kind of crazy that means you find him attractive, so he heads to the asylum to ask Libby on a date. To do so, he throws around more of his benevolence. I really liked the fact that they didn't just throw Libby back in the mix in some kind of alternate-reality Charlotte kind of way, but instead made her play a major role in connecting this time line to the other one. Nicely done.

THE BOY IS BACK: And this time he looks more like Matt Damon than before. Did you know the actor who plays this kid is 14? I would have guessed like 9 or 10. Anyway, who is he, what's he doing here, why does Locke look pissed when he sees him, why does the kid smile, blah blah blah. I don't know. I'm glad that Desmond saw him, though. Maybe he'll rescue Desmond from the well later. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

DESMOND GETS THROWN INTO A WELL: I liked this scene a lot, though I think it would be a lot harder to push me into a well if I knew you were evil. I think Desmond does know that Locke is not Locke. We get some interesting insight into the well in this scene. According to Smokey it was dug by hand by people with compasses who were "looking for answers". Their compasses would go crazy right over spots like the one at the well. (BTW, compasses are thought to have been around since the 2nd century, and the earliest ones have been found in China. If I'm to believe Wikipedia.) I guess these are the electromagnetic pockets that Widmore's people referred to, like the one the hatch was built over. Smokey also says that Widmore is just interested in power, and finding these pockets. I could believe that, actually, because I'm having a hard time thinking Widmore's really motivated by helping those he loves, when he says things to flash-sideways Desmond like, "Oh to be unencumbered by attachments" or whatever he said last episode. Or I guess, Smokey could be lying. Either way, Desmond's not buying it, and much to Smokey's chagrin, he's not scared either. "What's the point of being afraid," Desmond asks. So Flocke sends Desmond's love down the well and Desmond gives a nice Wilheim scream as he plummets to the depths. Is he dead? No, but I only know that because of the preview for next week's episode.

"LETTING GO," THE JACK SHEPHARD STORY: Jack tells Hurley that he's done leading people to failure, and is going to start wearing his "Let Go and Let God" T-shirt more often. This is interesting. Does Jacob want people to let go? Or does he want them to just start making better choices? I dunno. Either way, this moment is interrupted by more whispers.

SO THE SECRET OF THE WHISPERS...IS THAT THEY ARE BASICALLY PURGATORY: So, as I mentioned earlier, we finally get an explanation for the whispers. They're the voices of people who are stuck on the island because of what they did. They can't "move on". So, is every Whisper someone who committed evil in some way while on the island? Are Nikki and Paulo whispers now? What about Boone? What about Mr. Eko? Who moved on, and who didn't? Where did they move on to? The after life? Hurley asks if there's anything he can do to help Michael move on, and Michael says "Don't get yourself killed." What does this mean? Maybe if the Man in Black is defeated, they can "move on"? Before Hurley leaves, Michael tells Hurley to tell Libby he's sorry, which seems only appropriate since he shot her in the stomach.

FINALLY, THE PICNIC: This was a nice scene with flash-sideways Hurley and Libby, who after a kiss both get confirmation about the existence of another time line. Desmond watchese them from a distance. Clearly flash-sideways Desmond is on a mission.

HURLEY GOES TO CAMP: Upon returning from throwing Scottish dudes into wells, Locke slaps his buddy Sayid some skin and turns around as Hurley walks back into the camp, surprising everyone. Hurley asks for a conversation, and says they are unarmed, asking Smokey not to do anything. Smokey says, "You have my word". Then the rest of the crew walk out and Smokey looks right at Jack and says: "Hello, Jack." I have a theory for this. Is it because HE'S CHRISTIAN SHEPHARD? We still don't know if Smokey and the creepy version of Christian Shepard hanging out in Jacob's Cabin are the same person or not. So, I'm just saying, this "Hello, Jack" could be a father talking to his son.

DESMOND SHOCKS US ALL: We see Desmond at Locke's school, watching Locke from a distance. Ben is concerned and talks to Desmond, who makes up a son named "Charlie" and starts to exit. But not before HE RUNS OVER LOCKE WITH HIS CAR. Um, to say this was shocking is an understatement. What's Desmond doing? My first thought was that he was taking some weird revenge for being thrown down the well (because at this point I thought island Desmond was dead) but my wife Erin had a better theory. She thinks he's doing the same thing that Charlie did to him last episode when he drove Desmond off the pier. If Desmond can't convert Locke with a love relationship that spans the time lines (because Locke's lady Helen wasn't on the island), then perhaps he has to use a near-death experience to get Locke to wake up to what's going on. I think this is a great theory. Also possible is that Desmond knows that if any of them die, they will mind-travel back to the other time line. That's why Charlie wanted to die last episode, so he could be with Claire. Is it possible if Locke dies in this timeline, that his spirit will re-enter Fake Locke's body and start to fight for control of it? I think so.

TIME LINE CONVERGENCE: Beyond that last theory, I think its possible that we might see people getting to choose what time line they stay in. If they all become aware of the two time lines, it's possible that those who do better in one could choose to stay in it. And those who have a nasty fate in one can just switch to the other. That's only if it's feasible for both time lines to exist. And which time line is Man in Black from? And is one of the time lines his home?

SMOKEY NEEDS EVERYONE: Another thing we learned this episode is that Locke needs all of the Losties to ride in the plane with him so he can recreate the circumstances of their arrival. Is he trying to recreate the Oceanic 815 passengers or the Ajira 316 crew? I'm unsure. But either way, he needs folks alive. At this point, I'm unsure of everything.

Notice anything else, or got any other good theories as to what's going on?

Here's what I saw in the preview for next week:

"THERE'S NO EARTHLY WAY OF KNOWING WHICH DIRECTION WE ARE GOING": First of all, what a creative song choice for next week's preview. If you didn't recognize it, it was the creepy song sung by Gene Wilder as the boat entered the terrifying tunnel in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. (Click here to watch it and relive your 70s childhood nightmares.) It was totally appropriate lyrically, because I honestly no idea where they're headed with everything. And how they can possibly end this show in the 5 episodes we have left. The preview started with Jack looking over his shoulder, and a shot of some rocks on the ocean. Then we saw Claire and Sayid being evil looking at their camp, and the evil campers looking at Hurley's group that just arrived. We see Sun's notepad with the note "You did this to me" on it, which I'm assuming she's showing to Smokey (see my theory on that from two episodes ago.) We see Locke, still alive, and staring up from a hospital bed being rolled into the emergency room. Is he remembering his other time line, and wondering what the evil dude is doing in his body? We see Sayid approaching Desmond's well. We see Locke leading his crew through the jungle. We see a map of the island, and a view of Desmond looking up at Sayid from the bottom of the well. We see Evil Tina Fey pushing a button in front of Locke and a huge explosion occurring behind Locke. Then, shockingly, we see Sayid shooting a gun into the well. The super says "THE TIME IS NOW", a statement which is always pretty much true without saying anything much. Next week's episode is called "The Last Recruit." Who is the last recruit? Recruits refer to people who will join Locke's side (as opposed to candidates on Jacob's side). Who will it be? I'm not sure we can count everyone who showed up with Hurley at Locke's camp this episode a "recruit" since they were just there to talk, so it could be any of them, or Jin, or somone else all together. Vote for your guess in this week's poll. (My vote: Frank. Smokey needs a pilot.) But remember, you have no way to know the direction they're going, so it may be better to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Which I'm unable to do, apparently, with out blogging for hours afterwards. Oh well. See you next week.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lost Episode 6.11: "Happily Ever After"

I just felt a great disturbance in the force. Like a million brains exploding at once. Honestly, I'm not even sure what to think or write after that episode, which my wife declared "best Lost episode ever." I wouldn't go that far, but it definitely was exciting and revelatory, while also somehow still managing to remain super confusing. I'm not sure if I understand things better or not after that. We'll have to work together to figure this one out. Fortunately, there was no "V" countdown blocking the screen this week. I'm a little sad about that because I had a good line ready in case it returned: "They should count down the minutes left until V is canceled, then it would be up for less time." Oh well.

For this mind-numbing episode, I'm going to try to break things down to new stuff we learned or new questions that arose, as opposed to a straight play-by-play of what happened. Though it might be a little of both. Ok, brace your eyeballs and brain-containers, there's about to be a lot of words to read.

WIDMORE KIDNAPS DESMOND FROM THE HOSPITAL: The last time we saw Desmond, he was in a hospital in LA after getting shot by Ben. Widmore was last seen outside the same hospital getting slapped in the face by Ms. Hawking. So apparently, he went inside and somehow was able to smuggle Desmond out. I guess because he has tons of money, he was able to just pay people off or something. Speaking of Widmore's vast resources, now that he appears to be a good guy, what are we to make of Widmore's business partnership with Mr. Paik, Sun's father? Does Paik know about the island, and even possibly the danger of the alternate timeline? Because in the flash-sideways, it looks like both Sun and her baby might die. Does Paik know about that and want to prevent it? Anyway, Desmond was under for 3 days before awaking on the island to become the savior of everyone, so I think maybe this episode counts as a Lost Easter Special.

DESMOND HULKS OUT: Desmond is apparently related to the Beserker line of Scotsmen, as demonstrated by his smacking Widmore on the head with medical equipment and his Lou Ferrigno-like demolition of the chair he was restrained in while inside the crazy electromagnetic box. The box itself was pretty cool, kind of a Jurassic Park/Primer combo. This box might be similar to the "magic box" described by Ben long ago to Locke, which he claimed Anthony Cooper came out of (and later claimed was a metaphor.) Is there another box like this on the island somewhere built by Dharma that Widmore and Ben know about? Just wonderin'.

WHAT'S WIDMORE'S PLAN? So, apparently electromagnetic pulses can send Desmond to the flash-sideways time line. But I'm still not sure what Widmore's plan is with Desmond beyond that. He claimed this first blast of magnetism was a "test." And he told a confused Jin that he needed to know if Desmond could withstand the test or they would would all die. He also told Desmond later that he would be asking him to make a sacrifice. What is the sacrifice? What is the plan now that Desmond can travel between time lines? How does that help Widmore?

WIDMORE'S SACRIFICES: Widmore claims he's made several sacrifices in order to carry out this plan. He lost his son Daniel, his daughter hates him, and he's never met his grandchild. Here's what my wife and I think happened to cause the rift between Penny and Widmore. First, Desmond comes to Widmore to ask for Penny's hand in marriage. But Widmore already knows about Desmond's destiny. Perhaps he read about Desmond in his dead son Daniel's journal, which must have been on Daniel's body when he got shot by his mother on the island back in the 70s. (We know that Daniel's journal talked about Desmond, and even said that Desmond was his "Constant".) So Widmore would also possibly know from the Journal all about Desmond's capabilities (which Daniel knew about somehow) and that Desmond had a possible role to play on the island. So he immediately decides to object to the marriage, because he knows that Desmond's fate is linked to the island, probably at the cost of his life, and he doesn't want to see his daughter become devastated like he saw his wife become devastated by losing her son. He also begins to do his best to get Desmond to the island. Including hiring Libby to offer him a boat. I'm not sure how much more explanation we'll get on that topic, but I think given what we know that scenario kind of makes sense.

REFLECTIONS OF A BRUTHA: The electromagnetic box works and after a flash of light we see a shot of drifting clouds (very Donnie Darko-esque) before fading to Desmond staring at his reflection in the Oceanic Six airport display. And so begins the flash-sideways that lasts for the majority of the episode. At first, Desmond is not conscious of his sideways travel through time. He meets Claire at the terminal and accurately predicts her baby's sex, so perhaps he does remember some things subconsciously. Then he offers her a ride in his car, and I think the writers had him do this in order to demonstrate that he's lonely and that his life is missing something. That fits with what we learn in the very next scene, when George Minkowski (the communications officer from the Freighter) crassly offers Desmond some lady companionship. Desmond refuses, illustrating that he's not looking for a one night stand, but a real relationship. We also learn that Desmond's job is to work for Mr. Widmore as a "Fix-it Man", which I guess is very similar to George Clooney's job in the movie Michael Clayton.

WIDMORE'S BAD ART: Widmore's painting of the scales on the wall is interesting. Who's painting these things for him? Seems weird if the whole island drama is such a matter of life and death to even bother getting a painting done of it. Maybe he's really into the mythology of the show. If I'd been through all Widmore has, I'd probably be more into peaceful paintings of flowers or meadows.

CHARLEY'S DEATH WISH: Widmore gives Desmond the assignment to escort rock star Charlie to what sounds like the worst Charity event known to man, and we soon see Charlie emerging from the police station and into Desmond's care. Unfortunately, in this timeline Charlie seems to be playing his annoying character from the show FlashForward. Kind of grating. Charlie demonstrates right off the bat that he's not concerned for his life anymore, and attempts to Bowfinger across the street. After his accidental near-death experience on the plane, he's become aware of the existence of the other time line and his relationship with Claire. So it looks like now Charlie WANTS to die, so he can be reunited with her. But would that even work? All we know at this point is that if you're about to die, you can peek into the other time line. This is similar to when Juliet glimpsed the sideways world right before her death in Sawyer's arms. Why does being near-death let you see this? I'm not sure. Apparently magnets, near-death experiences, and love are all able to give you glimpses of alternate time lines. You know, like you would expect.

TIME LINE ENVY: So I think the show is now building to a very messy situation. Some people's lives appear BETTER in this time line, while some people's seem to be worse. In fact, despite the fact that both Daniel and Charlie want to get back to the original time line, they both die pretty nasty deaths in there. And their love interests either die or go bugnuts insane. So, do they think the momentary experience of love is better than never having love? Or do they not know about the death part? I guess that's what's implied, but based on this show's logic I would actually recommend now that Daniel and Charlie just track their girlfriends down in this time line now that they know they're meant to be together and start working their charming magic anew. Much easier than crossing the streams or whatever's going to have to happen to fix things otherwise. But, instead of doing that, Charlie decides to end it all and take others with him by driving their car off a pier and into the familiar marina water below. (It's the same marina Ben shot Desmond at in the other reality.)

TAKE ME DOWN TO THE HOSPITAL: After the crash and a cat scan in the hospital, Desmond is able to start remembering things from the other time line. He tries to find Charlie, then chases him down a flight of stairs in a scene that was just like Alice chasing the white rabbit through the rabbit hole, even ending similarly with Desmond discovering the existence of another world. (Thanks to Zach for that catch.) This might be a lame stretch, but I noticed Charlie's also wearing black and white checkered vans as he runs from Desmond. Like the black and white stones, maybe? Or an Alice in Wonderland inspired chess thing? Or just coincidence? I'm insane. Jack gets involved briefly as well, and seems to be confused at all the folks from his seemingly benign flight showing up in the same hospital. Join the club, Jack. Charlie claims "none of this matters" and proves that by running off naked in his hospital gown.

LADY WIDMORE: Here's where things get zany. Desmond goes to the site of the ill-conceived Classical/Modern Rock Fusion Charity Event to tell Mrs. Widmore that the Modern Rock part is not going to make it. Mrs. Widmore/Hawking seems okay with that, and I assume that's only because she's relieved that she's not going to have to witness the promised musical performance. Desmond overhears "Milton, Penny (solo)" on the guest list and freaks out. (Penny's last name is Milton? As in Paradise Lost? Uh-oh.) Mrs. Widmore freaks out and tells Desmond that he's committing a "violation" and needs to stop. He asks her how she knows what he's looking for, and she replies "Because I bloody do". Ok, this is mildly confusing so let's pick it apart. First of all, I'm assuming she does not want Desmond to fix anything. She's now reunited with both her son and her husband. Is this why in the other time line she was so committed to making sure that Daniel became a physicist and went back to the island to detonate the bomb? I'm guessing she had to go through with that with the hope that the bomb going off would change everything. Now that it has, somehow she's able to retain the knowledge of both time lines (too many CAT scans?) and doesn't want things to revert back to the time line where she shoots her son. Which is understandable. But why did she tell Desmond long ago that the Island wasn't done with him? Wouldn't she want Desmond NOT to interfere? Because it seems like Charles Widmore wants Desmond back in order to STOP this flash-sideways from happening. And I'm assuming that's because something BAD happens in the flash-sideways. Like maybe, as I theorized before, the Man in Black is from the Flash-Sideways and is going to do something evil there?! I dunno. (As I side note, I was featured on the last Jay and Jack Podcast as a call-in listener with that last theory. Kinda cool. My voice sounded insane, but it was a nerd validation of sorts.) Also curious is Mrs. Widmore's parting comment that Desmond can't see the guest list because he's not "ready yet." So does she want him to continue his mission or not? Or is it just that SHE'S not ready yet, even though she knows the right thing to do? This show is pretty amazing. By amazing, I mean totally confusing.

WHAT DOES FLASH-SIDEWAYS WIDMORE KNOW? It seems like flash-sideways Mrs. Widmore is somehow fully cognizant of what's going on. Is Charles Widmore? It looks like he's not, or he'd be offering more instruction to Desmond, I think. Though who knows.

IN THIS TIME LINE, DANIEL WEARS STUPID HATS: Daniel is back (perhaps my favorite Lost character), and he's wearing the dumbest "musician" hat I've ever seen. It looks like the hat a piano player would be wearing on a snazzy tie from the 80s. No wonder he wants to get back to the other reality. He desperately needs a girlfriend bold enough to tell him to take off that ridiculous headpiece.

CHARLOTTE EATING A CHOCOLATE BAR: For Daniel, just the sight of Charlotte eating a chocolate bar was enough to propel him sideways in time, at least mentally. He didn't need a near death experience or an expensive magnet. So, I have to wonder: Was it an Apollo bar? I would guess yes. I have a quick, lame Apollo Bar theory to throw out here. I still think the Man in Black is trying to get to the alternate time line in order to somehow kill everyone in the world. That's his home, where he's from, somehow. And, that's why that time line can not be allowed to exist. But how is he going to kill everyone? In the Lost Experience game, there was a mention of deadly chemical testing going on in the world. Could this be part of his plan? Could he be planning to spread a deadly infection... THROUGH EVERYONE'S APOLLO BARS?!? Once again, it's probably a good thing I don't write for the show.

DANIEL IS SORRY HE BLEW UP AN ATOMIC BOMB: After espying Charlotte from afar, Daniel jots some quantum physics into a notebook. Ah, love. Yet again, the mysterious paradox of this mysterious journal. So, WHICH notebook did Ms. Hawking give Daniel at his graduation dinner in The Variable? The one from this time line? An empty one? The full one from the original time line she found on his body after shooting him? *Brain explodes.* Either way, Daniel is now aware that he is the cause of this flash-sideways world. And he wants to set things right. I'm assuming he doesn't know that Charlotte will die a horrible death if he does. He also confirms to Desmond that Penny is alive and real.

THE STADIUM?? WHA?? So Desmond tracks Penny down, and in this time line she jogs in the same stadium that Jack and Desmond jog in during the original time line. Then Penny and Desmond have a REALLY awkward meeting which Penny seems to take in stride. Personally, I would have been a little more freaked out by it. After all, he just basically walks up to her and says "Are you Penny? Hello, I'm Desmond." Then passes out. Then awakes and says they've never met before. Then asks her out for coffee. I guess it's quite an entrance. Anyway, Desmond touches Penny, his constant, and is instantly transported mentally back to the island. Ah, love.

DESMOND UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING?!: Oh, man. I wish he'd explain it to me. I liked Desmond's renewed sense of purpose upon his awakening, though. But is there more to it than what we know? What does Desmond know that he needs to do? How much does he know? He tells Widmore: "It's alright, I understand. You brought me here to do something very important. When do we start?" Is Desmond being totally truthful? Wouldn't he wonder why Widmore would NOT want to live in the timeline where his son, daughter, and wife are totally alive and well? I kind of hope we can just take Desmond's word for it, and assume that Widmore is good and Desmond is on board with his plan. However, the next scene kind of left things a little open ended...

LOOK OUT FOR THE FLASH SAYID-WAYS: Desmond is being escorted somewhere by Zooey (one of the least cool Lost characters to date) when Sayid appears out of nowhere and takes everyone out. He tells Desmond he's in grave danger, and Desmond just calmly replies "Of course, lead the way." What's going on here? My vote is that Desmond somehow knows that Sayid isn't right and is just trying not to get himself killed. Or does he want to be taken to the Man in Black to defeat him? But how would he know about the man in black? Argh. 5 episodes to go and I'm still not sure 100% who's good and who's bad and who's fighting who for what and why. *Brain explodes.* All I know for sure is that you DO NOT want the island to be uncorked. Whatever that means.

MANIFEST DESTINY: We jump back to the flash-sideways and Desmond gets back in the limo. He accepts George's offer for help and asks him to get him the flight manifest for Flight 815 so that he can "show them something." Awesome. Little does George know, if he helps Desmond out, in exchange things will switch back to the other reality and George will die a painful death on the freighter as his nose bleeds from time travel complications. That said, it's cool to know we're finally going to start seeing these flash-sideways stories connecting to our regular show, already in progress. Now, here's a question: At this point in the limo, is Desmond still jumping back and forth in time? I mean, is the progression of time exactly what we've seen in this episode for Desmond's consciousness? Desmond walks away with Sayid but then suddenly finds himself back at the stadium? I don't think so. Could be, but it's also possible that Desmond only flashes back ONCE, and what we're seeing in the taxi is a part of what happened BEFORE he awoke in Widmore's box. Maybe he goes and talks to the other 815ers, figures out what's going on a little more clearly, and THEN wakes up and asks, "How long was I unconscious?" That would explain his resolve a little better. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Gets pretty confusing, though.

That's it. I skipped over a ton, I'm sure, so please feel free to bring other stuff up in the comments. One thing I do want to get into, though... It occurred to me that some folks are going to really benefit from the flash-sideways timeline, and some folks are going to benefit from sticking to the original time line.

Let's take a look at where a few key players stand:

DESMOND: Loses current son if everything goes to sideways time. ADVANTAGE: Regular time line.
JACK: Loses flash-sideways son if he stays in this time line. ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways?
JIN: Possibly loses both Sun & Ji Yeong to death in Flash Sideways. ADVANTAGE: Regular time.
WIDMORE: Actually seems better off in the flash-sideways, strangely. His only loss would be a son-in-law, as he already has Penny, Daniel and his wife. (One possible, lame explanation: He does mention in the flash-sideways that he envies Desmond's unencumbered lifestyle without wife or kids... Could his motivation simply be to get more alone time? I kind of doubt it, so I'm going to say ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways?)
CHARLIE: Doesn't meet Claire in Flash-sideways, but doesn't drown either. But according to him: ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways
MS.HAWKING: Better off in Flash-Sideways for sure.
SAYID: Looks bad either way, but less bad in flash-sideways, perhaps.
BEN LINUS: Better off in Flash-Sideways for sure.
SAWYER: Juliet's dead on the island. In the Flash-Sideways, he's not a criminal and not a murderer, yet. Unless he still shot that guy in Sydney while looking for Anthony Cooper. ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways.
KATE: Mother of Aaron in one, on the run from the law in the other but we don't know why yet. ADVANTAGE: ??
CLAIRE: In the flash-sideways, she lost the adoptive parents, but isn't a crazy person raising a creepy squirrel baby. ADVANTAGE: Flash-Sideways??
ANGSTROM THE BUNNY: Seems to be fine either way.

POLL RESULTS: For those following the polls on the right column of my blog, the winner of last week's "What mystery do you most want solved?" was a tie between "Who was that kid Smokey chased?" and "What up with Christian Shepherd?" Out of those two, I'd much rather learn about Christian Shepherd, personally. Cause he's been freaky since Season One. The kid was cool for a second, but now I find I don't care as much. Plus, I'm pretty sure we'll get an answer to that. A close second was "What up with Walt?" followed by "Adam and Eve?" No one cares about the Dharma supply drops, I guess. HOW DID THEY KEEP COMING? Bad paperwork?

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK: Here's what I saw in the preview for next week. Hurley visits Libby's grave. Michael's ghost appears there and says "people are gonna die and its your fault." Then a totally out of place rock song kicked in and we saw a ton of shots of characters spinning around to face the camera. Which was odd. It ended on Hurley saying to Jack "I know what we need to do, trust me." Next week's episode is obviously Hurley-focused. It's entitled "Everyone Loves Hugo." I'll let you know if more things start to click in my exploded brain before then.