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.


Amy said...

you are an amazing blog master!!

angelabuckland said...

You forgot to mention that Sun could speak English again as soon as she reunited with Jin. Did anyone else think they were going to get zapped by the fences???

My favorite line of the night was when Hurley told Sawyer, "Yeah, but anyone can come back from the dark side." What a great line! It gave me hope for Sayid!!!

Jason Richards said...

I think that lame map is the best version of the middle earth type map of the island that you're going to get.

Great write up. I'm done predicting and just hanging on for the ride.

Neat how just about everyone in the flash sideways is getting together Hospital/Law Office. I think we saw everyone of the main characters in the FS except Hurley. He's off galavanting with Libby.

Wes W. said...

Yeah, I didn't mention the English coming back. I actually thought that was really forced, mostly because they would probably be speaking Korean to each other at such an emotional time. And I think the last time she saw Jin, he didn't even speak English.

I did think they were going to get zapped by the fences. I guess they weren't turned on yet?

bonzy said...

Was it just me or was the end of the episode the bizarro version of the opening scenes of the series?

Andrea said...

I am having a hard time with the answers. Like it seems so casual. Oh you mean your dad? Yeah that was me. Next question? I mean I guess I am bound to be disappointed because they can't please everyone all the time, I just hope they don't fly through answers because it kinda seems like an afterthought you know?

Wes W. said...

Erin and I were talking about that, as well. I would prefer they hint strongly about the solutions to the mysteries. For instance, Claire could have figured it out on her own about Christian being Smokey and gotten mad at Smokey. Or we could have seen a flashback where he turned into Christian. But it feels really weird to just be able to ask and get an answer after years of not asking and not answering on purpose.

Jonathan Vitale said...

How do we know that Smokey wasn't lying to Jack about being his dad? I don't trust anything he says.

Hayden said...

"30 Rock Air Assault." Greatness.

Wes W. said...

I suppose it's possible Smokey was lying about being Christian, but if you look at a lot of what Christian did (telling Locke he had to die to save the island) then it seems like it was him.

Jonathan said...

Re: the fences, Zoe radios back to tell Widmore's team they had the folks from the boat and to turn off the fence. But I was bracing for another "hey, I found the problem " moment just in case they hadn't turned it off in time.

Wes W. said...

Interesting theory I heard on Tuesday's Jay and Jack podcast: Someone asked if Jack died in the explosion at the end and then Smokey brought him back to life, and that's why he said "you're with me now."

I don't think they would so casually kill off Jack, but it's a crazy thought.

Becky Ray said...

I believe the dural sac is the bag of nerves that spilled out in the surgery that Jack describes to Kate when he asks her to stitch up his side. The whole "count to five" thing. When he does the surgery on Ben, he cuts a hole in his kidney to gain the leverage. If I'm not mistaken.

Jaytaco said...

Did anyone solve the latest WIRED clues from the article?