Well, LOST addicts, as Yogi Berra used to say, “it is getting late early.” After last night’s hour long mind bender we sit just a mere 4 episodes and 5 hours from the finish. It seems there is still so much to say, to understand, to set straight. “The Last Recruit” tried so hard to get us all there last night, but what fun would that have been. We now sit, with a week off (replaying “Ab Aeterno” next week), like a baseball hitter facing a good pitcher. You may think you know whats comin’, but LOST is gonna throw a curveball and maybe even a change up or two as we hit the final 4. Because of the week off, I warn you. Get comfortable, because this recap is long and it gets deep in themes and theories. It may take the whole two weeks to get through.
Last nights episode opens from the point in last weeks episode “Everybody Loves Hugo” were Jack and the Lockemoster are looking at each other creating disturbing facial expressions, almost as Jack can see what’s inside that shell of John Locke. This is the first time Jack and Locke have seen each other, without one of them being a corpse, in two years. Not just the Lockemonster, but Jack hadn’t seen real Locke (at least on screen) since the finale of season 4 when Locke descended into the Orchid Station Elevator while Sawyer, Hurley, and Jack chose the helicopter off the island and back to real life. It was hinted that Jeremy Bentham (aka Locke on the outside) had spoken to Jack about going back to the island, setting off the chain reaction that got the Oceanic 6 back. But this face to face meeting has been years in the making.
“Hello Jack, I was hoping you’d come. Think we have some catching up to do.”
Indeed they do.
Hurley surrenders his current role as leader/decision maker, and lets Jack reclaim his natural role by handling the situation. The talk quickly turns to what Jack really wants to know. Did smokey inherit Christian Shepards body? The answer is yes. This is one theory/question that is answered clearly, and should provide comfort to those expecting clarity. In this clarity, we find the motivation all along of Smokey has been to “help” the Losties leave. I mean when he wasn’t killing them in the jungle of course, right? Jack, now defending everything the original John Locke stood for, talks about believing in the island, knowing there is a reason they were suppose to be there. The irony here is incredible, as Jack’s failure to believe was the source of so much conflict, even death as he tried to get everyone home for so long. Now, something that looks just like John Locke is telling him that he was right all long, Locke was a sucker, a fool, but what he doesn’t realize is Jack has changed. Evidenced by the dynamite scene in Ab Aeterno, Jack is now the man of faith. Jack is the real John Locke.
This quickly changes to our new alternate sideways reality in which Plane 815 landed. Locke and Ben are in the ambulance, after Desmond ran him over to end last week. Not surprisingly, Sun is being brought in on gurney from being shot in the kitchen at the same time. I kind of had a feeling going into this episode that all the sideways characters would be converging. It didn’t happen exactly as I thought, but this is an idea worth exploring in more detail after we finish the recap. What we find out quickly is that Sun has had her eyes opened to the memories of the other time line. She is terrified of Locke, saying “its him… its him!”
Switching quickly back to the island were a second central theme is laid out early. The relationship of Claire and Jack as brother and sister. Jack didn’t discover this until he was off the island. Meeting Claire’s mom at his fathers funeral (season 4 finale: There’s no Place Like Home), Jack found out Claire was his sister, and she had disappeared at a time when no one could really look for her, abandoning her on the island. Viewers knew here what the characters didn’t, posing as Christian Shepard, Smokey had taken her away to the cabin where she would be out of reach. Now they meet again, and after some akward exchanges, Claire says that they will all be going home. Jack, says he hasn’t decided, but Claire furthers what we have regularly heard. Once Locke speaks to you, essentially he controls you. Claire says “You’re with him now”, and finally simple intro graphics of the show twist across the screen. Three major plot lines have already been laid out. The conversion of Losties in the sideways reality, Jack and Claire as brother and sister, and Locke and Jack joining together.
Despite the repeated references, we already know that Lockemonster doesn’t really have control until he has made you a promise. Sawyer is no where near being under Locke’s control, in fact he is planning to betray him and get many of the long time Losties off the island sans Smokey. Sawyer’s story continues in the other time line, as we are privy to a conversation with a now re-arrested Kate jabbing verbally back in forth with Detective Sawyer (who would have guessed?). Kate is the one who has it figured out however, realizing Sawyer’s trip to Australia was meant to be kept a secret.
This scene for the most part furthers along something that is sure to string out till the finale. Who is Kate’s soulmate? We have found that hose with connection to the island, seem to have a relationship that no alternate time line can shatter. Obviously the suspense is in whether it is Sawyer or Jack, a storyline with Kate since day 1 on the island. Everytime they have you thinking one way, they let you know the other is possible as well. Take your guesses, but I think Sawyer fits the role. Juliet even sensed it. And with this we have Jack, whose ex wife’s identity will also probably be held onto until the final episode. Ex would seem to suggest that her identity will not reveal his soulmate though. Maybe Jack’s soulmate is the island? That is a discussion of his candidacy which we get more info on later.
Rather than being sent to the hit in run on Locke, Miles informs Dec. Sawyer that they have a triple homicide to deal with. Some dirtbag named Martin Keamey and his goons. They have video of Sayid and that will be their role in the convergence of Losties in the new reality.
One the island, a suddenly tough and demanding Zoe, shows up insisting on the return of Desmond. A missile of some sort blasts the jungle about a 50 yards away, and the Lockemonster, unfazed and clearly not interested in complying, declares, “Well, here we go.” Things are coming to a head, and in both timelines. The creators of the show exercise admirable patience with the pace they let the inevitable unfold . Every scene increases anticipation. In the parallel time line, every look a Lostie gives to a fellow islander creates tension. This season has been like two trains heading for a collision since the beginning. In that analogy, they both just entered on different ends of a tunnel.
Losties continue to converge in the sideways timeline. Desmond has found Claire who is heading to an adoption agency on the 15th floor (one of the numbers) of a big corporate building. Along the way, Des convinces her to see a lawyer. One he is on his way to see, who owes him a favor. Hesitant but finally agreeing, Desmond introduces back into show, Llana. And surprise! She has been looking for Claire. Why? Because she is handling the reading of Christian Shepard’s will, with Jack and son converging with this group soon after. Claire and Jack find out they are brother and sister and meet for the first time in the sideways world as well. Clearly this is an important relationship, it is also another example of the time lines being anything but independent of each other. It was also something barely explored until this episode, as Claire was gone for two hole seasons as the Oceanic 6 left, returned, and navigated 1977.
Sawyer lets Jack in on his betrayal plan. He tells Jack who to bring. They are stealing Locke’s boat, which actually is Desmond’s boat, or if you prefer the boat of Libby’s dead husband , The Elizabeth. Follow all that? If not, read the last few recaps. This plan is allowed to be discussed as Lockemonster is distracted. He’s sending Sayid on another mission, reaffirming he still wants what he asked for. This time to kill Desmond.
This is where things got really interesting and heavy. Before Sayid even reaches the well, we hear Desmond ask from below “So what did he offer you brother?” Proclaiming he has right to know what the exchange is for being killed in cold blood. He asks Sayid “what will you tell her? When she asks how they are together again, what will you tell her?” This goes unanswered. As does the outcome of the exchange. Did he kill Desmond? Desmond revealed two key things in this brief appearance in the island scene. First, he knows more about this game than he was letting on, knowing all about Smokey and his promises. And second, not confirmed, but it seems he may have a similar power of persuasion to that of this evil creature that looks like Locke. This assumes Sayid didn’t drop a slug in his skull, but something tells me if that were to have happened, an obligation to show it to us seems probable, right?
So in another quick flip between worlds, we see Sawyer and Miles, finding Sayid preparing to disappear, put him into custody. Headed to the police station we would assume, where Kate sits handcuffed to a chair, converging more Losties in the alternate reality. Instead were right back to the real Sawyer, the one who is cold and steely. Telling Kate that Claire will not becoming with them. That Clarie is crazy. Will Kate let this go? Claire was her reason for returning.
As Locke tries to track down Sayid and the confirm the fate of Desmond, Jack, on Sawyers orders, grabs Hugo, Sun, and Lopedis and they run for the place they plan to meet up with the boat. Claire takes notice and follows. She at first appears loyal to Locke. Holding the entire group at gunpoint. However, Kate talks her down, promising she came back to get him to Aaron. Making the proclamation that “She’s coming or I’m not” Sawyer relents on his previous position and Claire surrenders her weapon, boarding the boat. As the boat leaves for Hydra Island, where Sawyer believes he has an agreement with Charles Widmore,a scene which will probably become the moment that shapes the final four episodes and possibly defines the series occurs.
Sitting on the bow of the boat, Jack looks to be deep in thought. As most head down below to eat canned food found on board, Sawyer wants a moment with Jack. This is it, the proof, the redemption, Jack has taken over oldl Locke’s role as the man of faith. He believes now in the power of the island. Its spirit. And in fate. Proclaiming to Sawyer a phrase used on several occasions by such characters as Eloise and Tom (the other), “The Island isn’t done with us.” More importantly he has made the realization, that if Smokey wants them to leave so bad, “Maybe its because he is afraid of what happens if we stay?” Deep. What does this mean? Obviously on the exterior, it refers to staying prohibits Lockemonster from escaping. But is more than that. I have to believe it goes back hundreds of years. If they stay, they affirm Jacob and his beliefs about the human race, that they will do good with out influence. That mankind can survive. This seemed to be his argument for continually bringing people to the island. Where as the man in black felt that they always end up destroying themselves with war and other evils. Smokey escaping would be the result of that. The Jack we knew is gone, but different than Sayid and Claire’s transformation, the man who fought and clawed to the bitter end to get everyone off the island wants back. Sawyer, not pleased by this development, tells Jack to stop the crazy talk or get off the boat. This is an example of another major theme, free will. Jack chooses to return to the island again. Reminding us of Desmond’s transformation after Widmore puts him through the electromagnetic test, just the simple free and casual way Jack jumps from the side into the water, is symbolic of his acceptance of his belief in destiny.
Of course, he arrives on the beach to a waiting Lockemonster, who notes that Jack decided to swim back, right before confirming the obvious…. “Sawyer stole my boat, didn’t he?” Maybe his power doesn’t run nearly as deep as we were led to believe. He is obviously not omniscient. Can others shake free of his grasp? Claire maybe has, or is at least close. The key character of course would be Sayid. Can somehow his soul rid itself of the evil that has undertaken it? Maybe he has already taken the first step in freeing Desmond?
So while all these incredible and significant moments to the fanatics of the show are taking place, we still have an alternate time line seeming more and more destined to somehow collide with the real one, or at least implode into itself. Ben has brought Locke to the hospital. Jack, while just discovering he has a sister for the first time, shocked and confused at Claire’s revelation, gets summoned to the hospital for emergency back surgery. We all know who that is for. So to recap the alternate time space, right now we have Locke, Jack, Ben, Jin and Sun all at the hospital. Claire, Llana, and Desmond in one spot. And last but not least Miles, Sawyer, Sayid, and Kate certain to be connected. Hurley, last scene with Libby, is out there somewhere, as is Charlie, but we already know their eyes have been opened. This time line seems one major event away from putting all these groups together. As always, my guess would be Desmond is the key. He has created most of this through his actions, albeit sometimes through soft means and other times choosing more violent routes. His role in both worlds has confirmed what seemed inevitable since the hatch exploded and he began seeing the future, followed by his role in “The Constant.” He is a special character, and will play no small part in the final episodes.
The sideways flash leaves us with Jack, scaple in hand, realizing he is about to cut open John Locke. Something to note here, before entering the operating room, looking at x-rays, Jack notes his bursa sac is obliterated. Jack is connected deeply to this piece of the spine, telling the story to Kate in episode 1 and using it as code to verify her freedom before operating on Ben. This time around, many possibilities exist. Will he be operating on the Locke he met in the airport? Or maybe he flashes to the one he has returned to fight on the island? One theory I like, concocted by fellow fanatic Steve, is that Jack will see Ben watching from the window, and Jack will suddenly flash to Ben’s back surgery, then with eyes wide open be forced to decide whether to save Locke.
As if all this weren’t enough, of course the episode ends with some very contrasting pieces. First, the reunion of Jin and Sun. It has been more than three years at this point, and while we knew it would happen, the emotional nature of it and the expressions of joy on the other Losties faces makes it warm and fuzzy. So glad that the episode didn’t end here, and several episodes have ended with these reunion type moments. Instead Zoe, under Widmore’s orders, has her crew draw weapons and puts the entire group to their knees. Guess Widmore isn’t as chummy a guy as Sawyer thought? But Jin too? Very surprising to me as he was saved from Locke’s camp and seemed to be needed by Widmore. Maybe all this is the presence of Claire? Bringing her along, while important to Kate, comprises the integrity of the escape group. We do not know her loyalty to Locke or its current level. All we know, is they will be seeing each other again, and she can’t be trusted on the other side of the fence.
The next order given by Zoe. To fire. Not at the escape group, but Locke and Co. Jack seemingly the most aware runs and yells to get down, being thrown across the beach by a missile blast. Locke, before another one hits, carries Jack into the jungle for safety. A disoriented Jack is told it will be Ok by Locke, as the title’s importance waits until the final moment to reveal itself. Locke says, “Its Ok, you’re with me now.”
Oh there is so much from this episode to discuss and I think I have done a pretty good job intertwining some of the theories and significant themes into the recap. But the risk of this being really long as far blog posts go, I can’t leave you with out some good discussion.
First off, we already know the title of the next episode, which again will air in TWO weeks. It is “The Canidate.” I have a hard time believing it is anyone but Jack. He has been left alone to face off with Locke, much as Jacob and the Man in Black were opposed, Jack and Locke have always been thrust into conflicting, opposing positions. It is not new, and I think this is important. I don’t expect the last 4 episodes to re-invent the wheel. They are more likely to be providing closure to the themes that have existed since we began this journey on Sept 22, 2004. One of those has been the anger, the battles, the choosing sides centered around Jack and Locke’s opposing philosophies. Despite them juxtaposing roles now, one is still trying to leave, and the other will still do whatever is necessary to prevent that from happening.
Now, in what has been a long time underlying theme, and source of conflict throughout the series is Kate’s choice. Is it Jack? Is it Sawyer? It has alternated seemingly from episode to episode. This season has upped the anty to include this belief and existence of soulmates. It isn’t new either, think back to “The Constant” when Desmond finds Penny just before his would be death. Also, her boat somehow finding the raft containing the Oceanic 6. Even her continuing efforts to find a missing Desmond, when we were shown she had people monitoring the globe for electromagnetic irregularities. Now we have added Hurley and Libby, Charlie and Claire, along with Daniel and Charlotte as evidence to this theme. What we don’t, and won’t find out until Sunday May 23rd I’m sure, is who Kate is meant to be with. When she sees her flash, who does she experience that powerful love that converging of the two time spaces seems to produce. Put your money on Sawyer. Jack is the right choice, but not the right choice for Kate. Jack is likely to find his soulmate is the island, and he shall now be both redeemed and repositioned as guardian of the island. Mostly I believe this because for 5 seasons we have been led down a path that would never have allowed us to suspect this ending till now. Time will tell. In just over a month all shall be revealed.
If you have read this far, you are as emotionally involved in this TV show as me, and that can be both disturbing and complemented. However, there is more to cover, and with out a recap to write next week I am going for it all. While we discussed the opposing positions of Jack and John being a five year theme, we were introduced to a similar storyline that began with the first Ben Linus centric episode describing his childhood. Here we (and he) met Charles Widmore, leader of the hostiles for the first time. Soon it would become clear that at some point Ben overtook Widmore and exiled from the island. That began a clash that saw Sayid working as a ruthless killer for Ben, and Widmore sending teams to find the island looking for Ben. This included Martin Keamy brutally shooting Alex, who for all accounts and purposes was Ben’s daughter. So where do these two stand? And who was really the bad guy? Maybe neither. Ben, currently with Richard and Miles acquiring explosives and weapons is sure to arrive in cavalry like fashion to Widmore’s camp at some point. We know he could have gone with Locke, but instead stayed with Llana and company despite the truth of his killing Jacob coming out. He understands what Locke is as much as anyone, being manipulated into such a paradigm shifting event. But does that make Widmore and he allies in this fight? It would seem to, but that would be a lot of history to overcome. Ben’s humility has been a bigger story than given credit for this year, he has seemingly changed. Once power hungry and ruthless, he now seems to understand he was not the leader or man he had believed he was. Can he submit and allow Widmore to be the leader, the one Ben once exiled to take control? The resolution of this is very unpredictable which is why it is a excellent topic of discussion over the next 13 days.
Finally, the last thing I am going to theorize on, speculate about, and generally share my confusion with you via blog post about is the role of Eloise, Faraday, and the physics that seemingly suggest that two parallel time spaces can co-exist. I mentioned in the recap of “Happily Ever After”, the strange drawing, sideways flash musician Daniel “Widmore” drew. Clearly, coming out of the subconscious of the Faraday we know who studied advanced physics, and more importantly time travel, since his early years.
The drawing seems to indicate a real time line, along with two other time lines, all emanating from a space line that is curved in nature. The lines are not parallel, and this can be seen in two ways. Either they all originate from the same point and go in different directions, or they eventually all intersect. While the different time lines originating at the same point, say when the atom bomb detonated is plausible, it is also convenient. Season 6 as whole seems to be leading us towards the idea that they will reconnect, as characters continually reconnect themselves to the island events of the real time line one by one. Will they eventually collide? How will that work? Does that make the new time line mute, or will characters now have lived both? Eloise seems to know the events of both at a level much beyond just having the memories. However she has always been a character that represents the incredible depth, the meaning of the island and its power, and almost unfathomable possibilities raised throughout the series. When will we see her next? Undeniably it will be in a powerful perception changing moment near the conclusion of this story.
This is what we are left to ponder. We are left mostly asking questions existential in nature, such as what does it all mean? Do we have free will? Does each of us have an unavoidable destiny? Do we believe in what we cannot see? What is the point of it all? In life, these are questions that are circular in nature, meaning at their essence they can never truly be answered. We may find one to be true today, and then question it again and again as life continues. This show is loved and intently followed by so many because we ask ourselves these questions, and despite a strong and natural desire to be provided answers, there are none. At least not concrete ones, only a further evolving understanding of our place in the world. Who we are. What we are on this planet to do. So those who proclaim that LOST must answer all our questions, prepare to be let down. Just like in life, it is likely that any answers we receive will only pose more questions. If this is frustrating, that is understandable. But it is because of a storyline with themes presented such as this show does, that likely LOST will not end with a two hour finale on Sunday May 23rd, but will live on in conversation and debate over the meaning of it all for years to come, especially for those who are certain to take on the experience several more times in their lifetimes by re-watching this series from beginning to end, always getting new answers and more questions as they life experiences leave them with new perspectives.