Lost – ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ – 4.12

This time of year is always bittersweet. As our favorite shows come to an end, we look ahead to the summer and see nothing but a vacant wasteland – the color of television tuned to a dead channel. At the same token, we see bright sunny days meaning we can actually get our collective asses off the couch and actually enjoy some fresh air for a change.

And the loss of Lost means I don’t have to feel the pressure of my fierce editors (that would be you, you demanding Constant Readers) bellowing at me to produce this week’s installment of my weekly observations the moment the clock hits 11:00 p.m. EST Thursday eve.

That said, we know that when the last moment ticks off the two hour season finale scheduled to air on Thursday May 29th that unlike most other shows, we have a long wait ahead of us. May 29th marks the last Lost until 2009 and when Season 5 debuts the first of its 17 Episodes, we know we are only 33 away from the end. Things are flying fast and furious.

Bringing us to last night’s installment – There’s No Place Like Home. On with the show.

1.   Unlike Dorothy Gale and her persistent plea that “There’s No Place Like Home” – the Oceanic 6 seems less than thrilled to be on there way back to the mainland even from the outset. As we get final visual confirmation of the complete Oceanic 6 members – Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron and Jin – all six transported via Coast Guard cargo plane to an airfield in Hawaii – it’s evident that something momentous has transformed them. There is no joy in making it back home, although Jack seems the most comfortable with living the lie at this early stage – given how officiously he coaches them on board the plane and how easily he spins his tales during the press conference that follows.

2.   As we’ve learned in prior episodes, Hurley is the first to crack. Arriving at his vacant mansion, he’s first spooked by a creepy coconut. The mysterious echoes begin to rise on the soundtrack – prompting Hurley to hide behind Jesus (or at least grab hold of a blinged-out savior statue. Of course, it’s all misdirection as Hurley stumbles upon a surprise birthday party. Now, that neatly explains the coconut but what is unclear is whether those whispers were the same that haunt our island dwellers or if they were just the hushed murmurings of a hundred party-goers. Thoughts???

3.   Either way, we know the island is working its mojo on Hurley when he’s gifted that car that he and his Dad worked on waaaaaaay back before Cheech split for parts unknown. As his Dad sweetly informs him, “I started working on it as a memorial to you”. Hurley is genuinely touched and subsequently spooked when he spies the odometer frozen on the cursed numbers that have brought him so much pain. Hurley is the first to crack but we know that Jack will later follow. The island doesn’t seem too happy to have lost some of its key constituents.

4.   This episode did a nice job of filling in some of the blanks to questions posed in prior flash-forwards. In Sayid’s flash-forward, we learned that our tormented torturer had finally found peace with his reunion and marriage to his long-sought Nadia. Of course, Sayid’s joy is short lived as we also learned that she was murdered – a casualty of Ben and Widemore’s secret war. Here we see Sayid’s surprise encounter and it’s nice to see his weary soul enjoy a little happiness before the darkness falls.

5.   Then there was our rising Sun, who made a bold gambit by spinning off her massive Oceanic settlement to take a controlling interest in her Dad’s business. While on the surface, this seems to be a move driven by vengeance (she tells him straight out that she despises him for how he destroyed her husband), the action seems to harbor a secret agenda. After all, she said that Mr. Paik is one of “two men” whom she holds responsible for Jin’s death. Now, I’m still of the mind that Jin is not really dead – that his supposed ‘death’ is part of the big cover story. After all, she says straight out in the press conference that he died upon impact, which we know is not true. I maintain that the Oceanic 6 were offered a deal – only six could leave knowing full well that they could never return to the island or ever be reacquainted with their loved ones. I think Jin and Sun made a hard decision driven by the fact that Sun carries their unborn child. Jin would stay. Sun would leave. And they would never see each other again. And, for that reason, Jin is effectively dead. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben’s allegiance with Sayid in his war against Widemore hasn’t spun Sun and her fortune (and takeover of Paik’s company) into its design. After all, there’s no time table set for when these flash forwards were taking place and if Sun has the proceeds of this settlement than it has to be some time further from their reappearance – meaning Ben could have gotten to Sun just as he has Sayid. Thus, making Widemore the second of the two men responsible for Jin’s death.

6.   Of all the survivor’s stories, Kate’s is the real whopper. I was sure that they were going to list Claire as one of the 8 that survived the initial crash (and have her story be that she died during childbirth). Instead, the names of the remaining 2 who survived but are not core Oceanic 6 are still a mystery. And Kate’s tale is that she was pregnant and gave birth to the baby on the island. That’s a huge lie and one that Kate almost cracks upon when the reporter starts questioning the timing of her pregnancy with the crash with Aaron’s current age. Now, we know Claire has gone missing (or is dead as I suspect) but why make Aaron Kate’s child? The how and why is pregnant with possibility and I look forward to finding out just who has constructed this conspiracy and cover story. Of course, people have gone to great lengths to hide this island (sinking a 2nd plane) so anything is possible.

7.   This leads to Aaron (and by nature – Jack). During his Dad’s funeral, Jack finally gets the news that Claire is his sister. That fact was hinted at a couple of years back (when Ana Lucia met Christian Shepherd in Oz) and all but confirmed two weeks ago when Claire followed her phantom Dad into the jungle – leaving her son behind. This has to add more guilt to whatever big decisions Jack had to make in saving these six (and more to the point – including himself as one of them) and along with his Dad, adds to the specters that haunt Jack in the real world.

8.   What I really liked about this episode was it did a really nice job of setting the table for the 2 hour season finale – or in drawing the disparate threads together. There was a wordless montage at the end of the hour – set to Michael Giacchino’s mournful score – that brought everything together nicely and detailed the landscape. We know who is where and why!!! I’ll hit each thread.

9.   With Faraday ferrying Jin, Sun and a bunch of ‘red shirts’ to the freighter we got a big clue to the device attached to Keamy’s bicep. The discovery of a massive load of explosives makes me believe that the trigger frequency may be tied to Keamy’s pulse or heart beat. During that earlier sequence, we saw the doctor present when Keamy was being fitted with the device. He then made a point of displaying it to the ship’s captain. It seems that this is Keamy’s insurance policy to guard against the captain from abandoning him and his men on the island or from taking a shot at Keamy. So now we have Jin, Sun and Aaron (along with Michael and Desmond) stuck aboard a death trap.

10.   And yet – they can’t go back to the island. The second Faraday heard of “the Orchid” he panicked. Referencing his trusty notebook, he flipped to a page covered in mathematical formulas (with references to ‘space like factors’) and featuring a prominent doodle of the Orchid – a design that echoes the emblems adorning the other stations on the island. We’ve speculated most of this season that something on the island controls ‘time travel/teleportation’ and it appears based on what we know of Faraday’s obsessions, that The Orchid is the key to that. That said, Faraday doesn’t want any part of it – warning Charlotte that they have to get off the island, immediately.

11.   A warning echoed by Ben as he describes ‘moving the island’ as a last resort – a desperation move. “How does one move an island?” “Very carefully” is Ben’s answer. Ben also states that the process can be dangerous and unpredictable. So what does everyone think they mean by ‘move the island’? Personally – I don’t think they move it physically. I think it stays put where it is. Rather, I think they move it temporally – they shift it in time – perhaps fold time back a bit so that they take advantage of Keamy’s mercenaries. That said, that doesn’t quite explain why Ben later warns Widemore that he’ll never find the island. So – who knows – maybe the island does move – but the question is where and how? Are we talking multiple dimensions?!?!? I love that a mainstream show gets away with this craziness and still continues to draw healthy numbers. Trying to puzzle these mysteries is what keeps me watching with eyes wide open. I drink it up. I’ll say it now. If they move the island (actually move it somewhere) then the argument is officially over. Best. Show. EVER!!!

12.   Adding to the feeling that a battle royale is brewing, we have Richard Alpert and his well-armed militia emerging from the trees where they get the drop on Kate and Sayid. I have a feeling The Others are going to take the fight to Keamy’s army.

13.   Great line by Sawyer to Jack which harkens back to a previous episode title – “You don’t get to die alone.”

14.   Now, as the episode ends, Ben provides Locke with very detailed instructions of how to access the Orchid. Offering himself as a diversion, he waltzes towards Keamy’s goons, promising “I always have a plan.” The question is – is getting pistol-whipped and knocked out all part of that plan.

We’ll find out in two weeks – on the May 29th two hour conclusion to There’s No Place Like Home.

[tv 4.0]

Comments now closed (11)

  • Hushed murmurings of a hundred party-goers- that’s the thing with these shows, were they lazy in the sound byte they used? Are we supposed to be that specific into what we hear and see?? To me, it sounded just like whispers from the island. As in, the exact same sound byte. Is it because whispers are whispers period or are we supposed to be able to distinguish? I think it’s whispers from the island, in his head.

    With Sun, I also thought, aside from all of the specific issues, the island allowed her to grow some cojones, and that’s a good thing. I agree with the Sun theory except I’m very leery about Jin going on the raft. What happens on the boat? I would have thought he never even made it to the boat, just stayed on the island. So I hope he’s not really dead and as a result of something horrible happening on the boat. And 4 out of the 6 (Oceanic) are not in the best position to leave yet. What happens will surely be interesting.

    Is the tale spun during the press conference of using a little boat/raft as the means of escape from one of the islands true and therefore does something terrible happen to or on the big boat?

    Absolutely, well said! -> “…mainstream show gets away with this…healthy numbers…If they move the island … Best. Show. EVER!!!”

    Remember how you said in the 4.10 post about liking Sawyer, he just really has been great, hasn’t he? He may be the biggest a-hole sometimes but still has a huge heart, if not the biggest.

    Too Funny! Darn straight! I need it by 11:01 PM! “…Constant Readers) bellowing at me to produce this week’s installment…”

  • Okay, just so you will know, I didn’t go looking for the update until 5:15pm on Friday!
    For whatever it is worth, I think the muted whispers were the party guests, setting up Hurley to go crazy, but the numbers never lie…
    And Ron referred to the ” red shirts” in the zodiac too, causing me to LOL, and our 24 year old daughter to go ” huh?”

  • @Carlos: My thought on that tale they told of the survivors in the little boat being helped by islanders – is that it was staged for the cover story. Now, it doesn’t seem like Oceanic is behind the cover story so maybe whatever mysterious events happen to dictate that only these 6 leave the island also involve staging photos like that to make their cover story more real. I guess if you can dig up 355 bodies and plant them in the middle of the Indian Ocean you can pay off a couple islanders for a little photo op. Hopefully we’ll learn more in 2 weeks.

    Sawyer is definitely the man and he has grown as a character in leaps and bounds from his early appearances. Talk about character growth. It appeared he was going to be the divisive, combative character on the show and he has grown to be their Han Solo. One of my faves for sure.

  • @Aunt Sharon – The ‘red shirt’ has been an endangered species on the island of late (Keamy must have mowed down a good baker’s dozen himself) and with all that C4 in the engine room, I think we may be fresh out of them by the time Season 5 starts. Good thing too – we don’t need anymore Dr. Artz or Nikki and Paulo’s coming to the forefront (although – truth be told – my peepers sure do miss the sight of Nikki on a regular basis).

  • Just want to throw this out there…though I hope that all the others are alive and happy on the island, what if the reason that only 6 are left is because that is all that fit on the little boat that they were using to take people to the ship? I know the island must still be there since Jack said they need to go back, but what if they had to escape for some reason and they did so on the boat?

  • @Stacy – You might be onto something. What if those six decide to leave the island to get away from Locke’s actions. They decide to head to the freighter. On route, Locke ‘moves the island’ and therefore they can’t go back. But, at the same time, the freighter explodes. They’re then adrift at sea and the rest of that Oceanic story comes true – they land on some random island, get help from the islanders and eventually get picked up and returned home.

  • Ed, I too was surprised when Kate’s “baby” story was told at the press confernce. You would think when they arrested her that they would have noticed she was six months pregnant and would have reported that as they were transporting her. It was strange that Clair’s mother saw her grandson and didn’t even know it.

    I will be interesting to see how the six get together. As is stated here they are all over the place right now.

    I also want to see who is behind the cover story they have created. I don’t think it was the folks at Oceanic. I would think they would want to find more survivors if possible so that the world would know that more than 8 survived. Did they come up with it themselves? Also, they still have not mentioned who the other two “survivors” were. But it must be known to the world because Clair’s mother said that Clair died on impact.

    Something must happen to the freighter because in the story they state a crashed freithter drifted to the island they were on and they used the small boat to get off the “uninhabited island” and go to the island in which they were found. So I think at some point the six get on the boat from the freighter and the boat gets blown up or crashes.

    I also want to know if Juliet and Desmond get off the island somehow? They have not been in flash forwards so I am guessing not, but they may be holding back them.

  • I heard (from here??) that Season five is about the six off-island but I really hope there’s a substantial number of survivors, like Desmond and Juliet. I wonder if they’re not going to tell us much at the end of this season, basically that the 6 survive Kearny and make it off. Then Season five’s on-going status will be in the States with flashbacks to the island.

  • @Carlos – Yeah – I think you heard that here and I got it direct from the source (or rather 3rd party – basically an Entertainment Weekly interview with Damon Lindelof). Season 5’s main focus is on the survivors trying to find the island/return to it. Season 6 is the return and finale. That said – they do plan on having plenty of on island stuff next year so we know the island survives, and by nature, so do a number of people (i.e. Locke).

  • “Jesus Christ is not a weapon.”

    I was thinking they were island whispers too. Even after the party reveal.

    Think Hurley has just always been a little bit crazy because of the numbers, and honestly, who wouldn’t be. He just needs to be on meds… but yeah, loved him running off after seeing the numbers on the dash gauges.

    Think it is Sun’s father and Widemore responsible for Jin’s death, and yes, he’s really dead. My feeling is he goes up with that C-4… along with maybe Michael and Desmond and the rest… of course, Michael isn’t supposed to be alive either and Desmond wasn’t on the flight, so who knows if they’ll still appear at some point in “the future.”

    Anyway, it would seem that of the people now on the freigher, at least Jin and Aaron get off alive. Who knows if Sayid ever gets back there or Jack, Kate and Hurley ever see it at all. In fact, it will be interesting to see how Hurley reconnects with them.

    I like the theory that the six are The Six because that’s all the Zodiac can carry, but as I just pointed out, Sun and Aaron are already on the freighter and the other four are split apart on the island right now. How do all six end up back together?

    Jack also yelled at Kate that she wasn’t even related to Aaron prior to seeing the reveal to him upon meeting Clarie’s mum. Wasn’t that when he went off about her doing something for Sawyer? What episode was that? I watched these last three in a row, so they sorta started to blend…

    As I already told you, I think moving the island adjusts the heading away from 305, so I think this happens while Faraday is en route and he gets the sickness, thus his other entry in the notebook about Desmond being his anchor. Anyway, based on everything else that’s been going on this season, I think it adjusts where it is in timespace ever so slightly. It would account for the things we’ve seen like the little rocket, the doctor washing up, etc. I just think it can’t move very far though.

    I’m excited to see what takes place in the next two hours, but like you saddened that the season will then be over. It will be long wait.

    Also, just as a little side note, Ben’s extendable baton is probably attributed to writer Brian K. Vaughan. A character in his comic series Y: The Last Man has one too.