Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lost Episode 6.16: "What They Died For"

Awesome episode. Pretty much a Ben & Desmond-centric episode, which is never a bad thing. There were several deaths: Richard (I guess, hard to say), Unfunny Tina Fey, and Widmore all hit the dirt. Ben got evil again, the remaining Losties joined forces, Jacob had a long fireside chat, and for once the flash sideways were just as interesting as the island stuff. The only thing that left me scratching my head was the voice-over choice for next week's preview. I'm pretty sure that was Eartha Kitt's voice, and yet she's been dead a couple of years. Creepy. What exactly do they have planned for next week? Anyway, let's pick this show apart one second-to-last time, starting with the on-island stuff...

KATE IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE. FOR SOME REASON: The on-island action this time around felt VERY much like season one Lost to me, including Jack doing some island-ghetto surgery on Kate. Meanwhile, everybody else emotionally stares into the ocean. I was 50% sure Frank was going to crawl out of the sub wreckage at one point with a witty one-liner, but it never happened. Maybe it's not gonna. Either way, I like how the Losties agreed they were going to kill Smokey, and I'm glad Sawyer didn't ditch them in the process. Good stuff.

BEN, MILES, AND RICHARD HAVE A VERY SHORT ADVENTURE: So we learned that Richard's group was very slow in getting to the Barracks. Basically, they've just been walking around the island for an episode or so. Once there, Miles accidentally reminds Ben about Alex's death in a nice set up moment for Ben's switch to the dark side that comes later in the episode. Ben takes the gang to his secret bookshelf behind his secret room, and basically says that he realizes that the smoke monster has been using him the whole time he's been on the island. Or, as he put it, the smoke monster's been "summoning" him. They hear Tina Fey rummaging in the kitchen (what is she looking for?) and then Widmore makes his entrance.

JACOB INVITED WIDMORE TO THE PARTY: Well, if we're to take Widmore at his word, Jacob came to him after the Freighter affair, scolded him for his actions, but still invited him to come back to the island. I think, upon hearing this, that Ben realized that it was NOT Jacob's fault that Alex got shot, but Widmore's. So Ben began planning his revenge. I think the entire reason he waited to talk to the smoke monster was to reveal Widmore's hiding place. He even helped trap Widmore for Smokey. But more on that later.

SAWYER REALIZES HE BLEW IT, LITERALLY: Walking through the jungle, Sawyer and Jack have a poignant moment together as Sawyer faces the fact that his actions caused Sun and Jin to die. Jack knows that Smokey planned it that way, and pins the blame on Smokey instead, in a classy move. I hope Sawyer gets over it and gets back to being awesome soon. By soon, I mean in the last episode ever.

YOUNG JACOB IS JUST ALSO JACOB: Somewhat confusingly, young Jacob shows up and steals Jacob's ashes from Hurley. Then, when Hurley catches up with him, it's older Jacob instead. And he's burning the ashes so that he will finally be free from the island. I guess this means Hurley won't be dumping the ashes on Smokey to watch him wilt, Wizard of Oz-style. How will they kill Man in Black? Not sure. Also, how did the ashes survive Hurley's swim from the sub underwater to the beach? To that point, how did Hurley survive such a swim? Also, are we going to see young Jacob anymore? What was the point of him being on the island if he's just going to disappear along with his older version?

RICHARD'S LAST STAND: In an odd moment, Ben takes the walkee talkees from Widmore, who trusts Ben at exactly the time he shouldn't. Ben gives one of the walkee talkees to Miles. Why? What's Ben's plan with that? Does he really plan to find Miles later, or just find out where he is and give him to the man in black? Richard bravely goes first and gets smacked aside by the smoke monster. We're not shown his dead body, so there's still hope for a comeback, in my mind. Maybe Richard and Frank will show up at the last minute driving the Dharma bus loaded with C4 and numbchucks. To that point, did anyone follow the path of the backpack of C4 this episode? Richard had it last, I think, but he set it down before discovering Tina Fey looking through the cabinets for some Teddy Grahams. Not sure if the C4 will come into play later, but it might. I really hope Richard's not dead, but at this point I know some folks are going to have to go so I'm not really mourning him too much. Can the smoke monster even kill him? Jacob made him immortal, right? Next, fake Locke walks around the corner and Ben offers him a glass of lemonade. At this point, Ben agreed to talk to Smokey. Does that make it too late for Ben? And does that make Ben's scale start to tip to the darkside more than normal?

TINA FEY'S LAST STAND: In a really tense scene inside Ben's hidden closet, Smokey nastily takes out Tina Fey. He says since Widmore told her not to talk to him, that she was useless. Was this just sass on the Smoke Monster's part, or is talking to Smokey really a dangerous thing to do? Probably the latter. Just what happens when Smokey talks to you? Smokey then threatens to kill Penny when he gets off the island, unless Widmore tells him his plan for Desmond. Widmore agrees to whisper it in his ear, and watching two grown men of such dramatic heft whisper to each other is a little off-putting, if you ask me. Not exactly sure why. Ben agrees and ends the conversation by shooting Widmore, while also fulfilling one of my predictions from this old post. Ben then asks who else Locke wants him to kill. I'm not completely sure if Ben's completely returned to being a villain. I know he wanted to kill Widmore. But I suspect he also hates the Man in Black for using him for so many years. I'm even guessing the Man in Black is the one who told Ben to kill all the Dharma people in the Purge. And Ben has to be realizing that he's been used. I think if Ben ends up being the one who eventually kills Man in Black, it would be a pretty fitting way for the show to go.

JACOB TELLS ALL: Back in the jungle, suddenly all of the candidates can see Jacob. None of them seem to remember him from the times he touched them in the real world, but I'm not sure they would given his brief encounters with them. Kate gets really sassy with Jacob and questions his motives pretty harshly, but I have to say I didn't really mind. Given what we know about Jacob after last episode, he kind of needs to explain himself a little bit more. Jacob tells them that he made a mistake, and that's why he brought everyone to the island. He wanted them to replace him because he knew the monster he released was going to try to kill him. And if he didn't get a replacement, the monster would get off the island and kill everyone they've ever loved. Sawyer then says that he shouldn't have messed with their lives, that they were doing just fine without him, but Jacob disagrees and says he plucked them all out of miserable, flawed existences. He chose them because they were alone, like him, and they needed the island as much as it needed them. This explains why everyone on the history of Lost has had such messed up back stories. I'm trying to think of someone who came to the island who had a happy life before hand, but I can't. So I guess this reasoning holds. We also learn that Kate's name was scratched from the wall because she became a mother. This makes sense, because she had something to care for besides herself, and Jacob didn't want to take her from her mom. But why weren't Sun and Jin's names scratched off the wall? Is it because they were still separated from each other, and therefore unhappy? Is this desire to have no mothers be candidates partly why infants began dying on the album? I don't think so, but it's an interesting thought. Either way, Jack agrees to be the guardian, and realizes that he will have to kill the Man in Black. If I were Jack, I would have asked to see the complete job description, but whatever.

JACK HAS A CUP IN HIS BACKPACK: Really? Well, okay, I guess. Very convenient. Luckily for him it wasn't a Big Gulp cause that might have been embarrassing.

JACOB TELLS JACK WHERE THE HEART OF THE ISLAND IS LOCATED: And it's right next to where Jack landed at the very beginning of the pilot episode. Jacob says an incantation over the water, and according to Lostpedia it's latin for: "For we do not accept this just as a common drink, but as if that he should be one with me." Cool. Jack asks how long he will have to do the job, and Jacob says, "for as long as you can." I'm guessing one more episode max. Or, will the show end with Jack alone on the island? Now that Jack is "like" Jacob, does he know more things that he didn't know before?

WHO RESCUED DESMOND? Smokey and Ben get to Desmond's well, and find it empty. Who let Desmond out? Miles? Richard? Frank? Or did Sayid give him some rope? I don't think Sayid let him out, because he told Jack that Desmond was still in the well. Locke is glad that Desmond's out of the well, because he's going to find Desmond and use him to destroy the island. Seems like he would be more glad to have Desmond sitting in the well waiting for him, right? But Smokey likes to look on the bright side. And much like Season 4's "I'm gonna move the island.", Flocke gets to say "I'm going to destroy the island." Does Smokey succeed in using Desmond to destroy the island? Is that what sinks the island and causes the Flash Sideways to start up? Guess we'll find out next episode. Or else not at all.

Now on to the flash-sideways:

SO, JACK SLEEP SHAVES? Jack wakes up in flash sideways land with another nick on his neck, just like in the first episode this season. What's that about? I have no idea. Maybe the island is like the matrix, and Jack's avatar in the matrix is Tina Fey lady, who got cut in the neck? Man, I hope not. That's the worst theory I've ever had. I checked, and the cut is on roughly the same spot both times. I even checked the pilot episode to see if he had the cut on his neck in the opening scene there, but he didn't. I don't know what to make of it folks, but my guess is that it ties in with the very last reveal of the show, the twist ending that's coming that none of us have predicted.

DAVID'S CONCERT: Jack's son David says he's going to have a concert that night, and I had no idea at that point that the concert was going to be a pivotal part of the next episode. But it apparently is, since Desmond is planning to take Kate there at a later point. David's mystery mom is also going to be there. Juliet's pretty much the only one left. Unless it's Allison Janey. But that would be too freaky, for a variety of reasons. I'm afraid Jack's not going to be able to keep his promise not to do anything weird at the concert. We learn later this episode that Miles is going, and that Charlotte's going to be there. I'm guessing Daniel Faraday will be too, wearing his music hat. Will Charlotte and Daniel finally meet in this time line?

DESMOND CALLING: So, why does Desmond call Jack and say that he's with Oceanic? Seems like a weird move since he's also planning to go to Jack's son's concert. Desmond is like George Clooney in Ocean's Eleven in this episode. Watching his plans come together had a very heist-movie feel.

BEN GETS BEAT UP A LOT: Desmond beats poor Ben up yet again, punching him directly in the memory center of the brain. I think at this point Ben remembers everything that happened on the island. Which is pretty cool, given the scene that he has later with Danielle and Alex.

ONE SUSPECT BRUTHA: Desmond turns himself into the police, and Sawyer puts him in a cell with Kate and Sayid. I really liked this jail-break scene, and it was fun to see the flash-sideways folks start to see the bigger picture.

DANIELLE HEARTS BEN: Alex invites beat up Ben over for dinner, and in a surprisingly touching scene, Danielle is clearly thankful for Ben's support of her daughter, and even describes him as the father she never had. She talks as if he's going to be invited over for many more dinners, which is very nice. But I'm not sure it can last. If, like everyone else, Danielle wakes up to her past memories, then Ben might have to answer for his alter egos kidnapping and other failures. But nice to see that there's a time line possible where the three of them could become a functioning family unit, although a kind of creepy one. Again, I think Ben is somewhat cognizant of both time lines at this point.

MAN OF SCIENCE, MAN OF FAITH: Locke wheels into Jack's office, and it's the Locke we remember from Season One. He believes in fate, and is again trying to convince Jack that something important is happening. I'm very curious to see how the whole operation thing works out. Will Locke be able to walk again? And will that have anything to do with Smokey's defeat?

PAY ANA LUCIA ENOUGH, AND SHE'LL BE BACK: Desmond and Hurley are now working together, which rules. And Ana Lucia makes an appearance as well. This was a great scene. I like that the finale is boiling down to a couple of A-Team style missions in a bitchin' Camero and a bright yellow Hummer. Not sure I love the fact that in the final act of Lost, all the characters are headed to David's piano concert. But there it is. Matthew Fox was right when he said we'd never be able to guess how it ends. Anybody guess piano recital? Not me.

Very fun episode. Sunday's episode is going to be unbelievable. Will it star the creepy voiced lady from the promo for next week? Man, I hope not. You guys notice anything else interesting?


Davis said...

I thought we'd been told that Daniel and Charlotte have already met in the flash-sideways, and that they're now engaged or something. Isn't that why Eloise Hawking Widmore was setting up that party? I thought it was an engagement party for the 2 of them, with musician Daniel wanting to play with Driveshaft. Maybe Daniel and David will have a dueling pianos scene.

On a few other quick notes: I don't think Richard is dead (didn't boy Jacob tell Un-Locke that he couldn't kill Richard?), just knocked way way out of the way. I don't think Ben is now evil, but seeing Widmore immediately after being reminded of what he did to Alex was too much for Ben; he'd vowed revenge and he got it. I don't think Frank will be returning in the island timeline. Jacob knew Jack would have a cup in his backpack. The point of young Jacob being on the island was to freak out the Man In Black. I think he just appeared to Hurley a) playfully, and b) because he could run fast and needed to get the ashes from Hurley and back to the campfire with a quickness.

I also had a theory from last week's episode which is undoubtedly wrong but was fun to think about. What if the Man In Black is the real protector of the island? His fake mother (the previous protector) was likely a smoke monster, and we've heard the smoke monster described as a security measure. Smokey still wants to leave the island, but he has to protect it, so he can't leave unless there's no one to protect it from. Jacob keeps bringing people to the island, and so Smokey has to keep removing them from the island. Once Jacob is dead, Smokey still has to kill his potential replacements so that they won't keep bringing people to the island as well. Once Jacob and all candidates are disposed of, there's no one left to keep bringing people to the island, and Smokey will be free to leave.

Tonight's episode pretty much dismissed that theory with Jacob Roosevelt's fireside chat, but as I say, it was fun to think about.

Davis said...

Also, it appears that the answer to the last poll was either Richard (if he's actually dead) or Tina Fey Lady, followed closely by Widmore. I'm pretty sure I voted for Tina Fey lady, as she was the newest addition, and I didn't think they'd get rid of one of the popular characters so soon after the ones from two weeks ago. Then again, if they're out for blood, I guess they don't have much time left to collect it.

Andrea said...

I thought last night was a good episode. It felt nice and answer-y with still keeping us in the dark. I pretty much agree with what you said and look forward to Sunday!

I wanted to say that the creepy voiceover sounded a lot like Eloise to me. I'm holding to my theory that she is going to surprise us!

Zach said...

Twas a great episode. Evil Ben is always fun to have around, and you are dead-on about him shifting blame gears to Widmore 100%. Flocke keeps promising Ben the island if he helps him - but he concludes the episode by telling Ben he is going to destroy the island. That is like my mom promising me a Slurpee if I get straight A's...as she is pouring gas on the 7-11. True story.

I can't imagine that Richard is dead, because he is deathproof, right? Death by Tree is not nearly as lame as Death by Sub Door a la Lupidis, but it is close.

We had the same "heist feel" discussion at my house. The flash sideways was finally really interesting. I can only assume that Ben, Danielle and Alex will also show up at the big piano recital boss fight. Maybe Alex and David are facebook friends.

Also, in the breakfast scene with Jack, David and Claire - who puts their milk in a glass pitcher?

Anonymous said...

Good point, Zach, on Flocke's promise of giving ben the island, and then saying he was gonna destroy it. It kinda sets up Ben killing Flocke, if Ben really does wanna stay on the island.

On an unrelated note: the term "musical hat" makes me laugh.

MMTanner said...

It just occurred to me during the fireside chat - and I don't know why it didn't before - that the whole thing is a game between Jacob and Man in Black. I remembered last week when Boy in Black told Jacob as they were playing Senet "one day, you can make up your own game and everyone else will have to follow your rules".

That got my mind spinning. Young Jacob comes to Man in Locke when he's in the jungle with Sawyer and says he can't kill him, that it's against the rules. The rules are MiB can't kill the candidates, but can manipulate them at will by becoming dead people (Christian, Alex, Ben's mother) or even people not on the island (freaky older Walt, Dave).

So at some point, Jacob comes to Man in Black and says "let's play a game" and "here are the rules". Man in Black agrees to play, but what does he win? Jacob told the group around the fire MiB's goal was to find the heart of the island. Is that the prize for winning the game or is the ability to leave the island the prize?

Also, now that Jack has agreed and is now the new protector of whatever the light is, is the game over? MiB mentioned to Ben he's trying to kill every candidate. There aren't any candidates anymore now that one has volunteered to be the new protector. So is the game over and he's not aware?

Something else I thought of while watching the Ben I grew to know and love kill Charles is, maybe Ben can be the new MiB. If Jacob can select a replacement, why couldn't Jacob's brother? What better to be the respected, yet feared counter to Jack's light than Ben's dark?

Jack Pendarvis said...

Hey, but aren't their backstory lives miserable BECAUSE of Jacob - because he intervened at various times and set them irrevocably onto paths of misery? Such as letting Sayid's special lady get hit by a car? Such as giving Sawyer a pen so he could codify, solidify, and hang onto his tormenting obsession? And didn't he let Kate steal a candy bar or something? So naturally she killed her stepfather later. I think guarding the light is a terrible curse, which is why Allison Janney said "thanks" after she got stabbed. I think Jacob is still screwing with everybody. Remember how whiny and bitter he was with his mom, like one of the Smothers Brothers? So maybe when she said, "It was you all along," she meant "You're a jerk and you're the one who deserves this hellish curse." Bye!

Wes W. said...

Jack Pendarvis! Interesting point. Maybe those back story things would have happened whether or not Jacob got involved. Perhaps Jacob knew the course the Losties' lives would take thanks to his magical time traveling lighthouse, and his main point in intervening in their lives was to "touch" them, making them candidates. But I certainly don't think Jacob was perfect. And I think it's open for debate if his motives are 100% pure. I think he has good intentions, and knows there is something large at stake, but isn't perfect at what he does. To MM Tanner's point, I don't think the game he's playing is a game in the sense that it's just for kicks.

The Sayid moment is the one that brings Jacob into question more. Certainly Sawyer's rage was not Bic-dependent, and Kate's morality not hinged on one lunch box theft. And Jack would have gotten some Cheez-its or something if Jacob hadn't handed him a candy bar. But Sayid's turn to the dark side was definitely brought about on the island by his desire for Nadia to return. But maybe Nadia stopping in the road had nothing to do with Jacob, Jacob just prevented Sayid from joining her. Maybe they both were meant to get hit? And another question is, who hit her? I'm guessing Widmore's goons were after Sayid for all his murderin' at Ben's command, because that didn't seem like a casual car driving by, it seemed to be gunning for her.

As far as the fake mother or Fother saying "Thanks!"... I think she was glad to be released from her immortality as a smoke monster. I think she was half monster, half guardian. I think she drank the wine and became guardian, but then got curious and surfed down the magic well, merging her with the pure evil that lived there that couldn't kill her because of the wine. That turned her into a half smokey/half protector of the island. And then she passed her mantles on, splitting her two natures between the two boys.

The problem with Man in Black, then, is that he's all evil now, with every last trace of goodness removed, and he only sees the bad in folks and wants to destroy everything. Which is bad! I'm thinking we've seen the last of Jacob explaining his motives, though, so maybe this debate will continue in nerd forums for ages to come.

Travis said...

Using the whole Mom theory maybe the Kwan on the wall was Jin and wasn't crossed out because fathers don't qualify.

Wes W. said...

Hey, just realized I forgot about Claire still being around the island. She might have rescued Desmond. Just a last minute thought.

Jaytaco said...

rose and the old guy will rescue des

The Reg said...

Zach, more importantly than who puts milk in a glass pitcher is the question about how the creative wunderkind of Lost couldn't come up with a better cereal name than 'Super Bran.' Glad to see that Jack is making sure his progeny get their fiber, though.

Jack Pendarvis said...

BUT... In the flash sideways, isn't the island destroyed and at the bottom of the sea? And Jacob never touched anybody and they never went to the island? And isn't everything a lot better in the world where Jacob didn't screw over everybody? And wasn't it presumptuous of him to think that they were miserable enough for him to torment in that way and it wouldn't even matter? Because I will tell you Jacob's problem: he's never been in love! I just made myself sick. What... so everyone's going to meet his or her soulmate or "constant" at the recital... and then what? Super Bran for everyone?

Wes W. said...

We still don't know what the Flash Sideways is or why the island is under water. Could be part of Jacob's plan to redeem everyone he invited to the island.

But, it's also possible that Jacob's not perfect, so maybe he should have left people alone. But I'm guessing what's at stake with the man in black getting loose in the world will also be explained better in the finale.

Davis said...

"I'm guessing what's at stake with the man in black getting loose in the world will also be explained better in the finale."

If he gets loose then "this all ends very badly," according to Jacob. And, of course, we all know what "bad" means, thanks to Ghostbusters:

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."
"Total Protonic Reversal."
"That's bad."

What other explanation do you need?

Jonathan said...

What I don't get is, does Jack really have time to fit in experimental spinal surgery between breakfast and the concert?

eaglephile said...

@ Davis

"That's a big twinky"

Anonymous said...

Dig the security/game theory combo with Fother splitting her talents between the twins. I figure Des, Sideways Locke, Jack, and Ben dance with Smokey resulting in Smokey's demise (probably Ben's too). Don't know what Jack wins as protector; I don't think solitude is what Jack wanted in coming back to the island. I think blog just hit highpoint with Ghostbusters crossover. Fitting it's time for the finale. Good pacing Wes.