There’s no place like home. (Click) There’s no place like home. (Click) There’s no place like home. (Click).
Damn, I’m still here… and looking awfully ridiculous in these ruby red slippers.
Well, that does it. Another season done. Another series of puzzles to ponder in the agonizing nine-month wait until Season 5 starts up. When next we meet again, we’ll have turned the page to 2009. A new President will be in office. Gas prices will finally peak at $48.15 a gallon, up significantly from the previous high of $16.23 that afflicted at least 42 of our continental United States. And the Red Sox will have won their 3rd World Championship in Five Years (you know they’re just doing it for Jack and his Dad).
But, we’ve been through this before. We had the long layover last year followed by the mid-season strike interruption and if anything, we’ve seen just how re-energized this seasonal structure has benefited the show. Of course, when we return, we’ll be standing on the precipice of Act 3 – the final act in this compelling tale. It’s the home stretch at that point. Only 34 episodes to go. I, for one, can’t wait to enjoy every single last one of them.
Of course, that’s all fodder for the future. Today we lower the curtain on Act 2 by remembering There’s No Place Like Home.
And with that, on with the show.
1. This episode picked right up where last year’s season finale left off – with Kate slamming on the brakes, throwing the car in reverse and letting crazed Jack know where she stands. She also drops the first reference (of many) to the mysterious Jeremy Bentham. Bentham was the name picked off the newspaper clipping that Jack clutched and the name had made the rounds of the Internet throughout the past year. Like many of Lost’s key characters, the name is connected to a famous philosopher. Of course, his real identity is held until the end and we’ll get there eventually. All we know is Bentham was bent on bringing the Lost tribe back to the island, a cause that Jack had begrudgingly picked up as well.
2. We learn in this episode that Hurley is not the only one seeing ghosts (apparently Mr. Ecko has joined Charlie’s haunts). Kate gets a visitation (dream) from Claire urging her not to bring Aaron back to the island. Again, this seems to support the theory that Claire is dead (although we still don’t have concise proof of that yet). One thing I picked up online – the whispers that Kate heard when she picked up the phone – when played backwards said “You must return to the island before it’s too late.” So in one dream sequence, Kate was given conflicting orders.
3. One thing this episode did was prove a number of our theories correct. One of the easiest was in relation to the device the merc Keamy affixed to his bicep. As suspected, it was attached to his heart rate. If he died, a radio signal would be sent to the freighter, setting off the mound of C4 Keamy left behind.
4. The latter development added more shades of grey to Ben’s character. Sometimes he seems like he is one of the “good guys” he claims he is, and other times, he’s taking revenge upon the guy who killed his daughter even if it means sacrificing ‘the many.’ His response to Locke on that count, “So”. That said, I don’t think there was any way out of that gambit with Keamy. Keamy was going to either kill them both or he would die – all three were certainly not going to walk away from that predicament. I’ll say this much, Ben has got some bloodlust in him. It was interesting when he asked if Widemore ordered the death of his daughter – calling back a reference to that event where Ben declared – “He changed the rules.”
5. The whole setting for that encounter covers another thing we got right. The Orchid is where the teleportation/time travel occurs – or as Ben put it, “silly experiments”. I like the juxtaposition of Locke watching the orientation video (which warned of placing metallic objects in the device) with Ben loading the device with metal. And despite the fact that the DHARMA VCR went on the fritz at such an inopportune time, we pretty much got a clear answer that time travel was happening. Locke posited “time traveling bunnies” and Ben gave him the nod.
6. And that area was located there for a reason. As the video explained, it was parked next to a pocket of negatively charged energy that could be tapped into for space/time change – also mentioning the Casmir effect. All of this techno-babble is part of the wormhole lore that is principal to popular time travel theory. This leads into my theory that there are areas on the Earth that have these characteristics (that is – in the show’s Earth) meaning you can’t just teleport anywhere – there are pre-existing entrance and end points.
7. A couple of weeks back, I offered the following “If a mainstream show follows through with actually moving an island, I’ll call it now. Best. Show. Ever.” Well, they did it. Or at least Ben did. And that room he did it in is going to have the Lost obsessives pouring over screencaps for months with all of those hieroglyphics on display. I was actually surprised how early in the episode it happened – with a full ½ hour left to go after the island dropped from the map.
8. On that note, the big question is – did the island really move a massive distance away (as indicated by the fact that it completely vanished from view of the helicopter) or is this a matter of moving that course heading just slightly so that if you are not on the right course, it is absent from view (even if you are right in front of it)? The helicopter was pretty damned close so my guess is this thing really did shift in a big way. But did it shift in space or time?
9. I liked Hurley calling Jack’s skepticism out and praising Locke. He said he was going to move the island and that’s just what happened. Of course, technically Ben did it.
10. Another thing we called. Locke’s destiny as leader of The Others. Some nice framing done with Locke standing above them as they all look up in awe and Richard offers up “Welcome Home.” That said, those final ominous words from Hurley make one wonder just what happened to Locke’s paradise.
11. Speaking of The Others, the whispers made two appearances. The first masked The Others sneak attack on the mercs. The second heralded Christian’s visit to Michael on board the ship where he told Michael, “You can go now” before the ship detonated. This obviously ties the two together and makes me believe that whatever primal force drives this island – Alpert and his band of merry men are key to that – and they have likely been there a very long time.
12. One thing that I thought was nice about this episode was a lot of plot elements were filled in. For one, we saw Sawyer whisper his last request to Kate before planting one on her and taking a swan dive. The mystery is – what??? My guess, look up that daughter he has out there.
13. Interesting scene with Miles and Charlotte. First Miles throws the cryptic “I would think you would want to stay after trying to get back here for so long” which he follows with the toying “What DO I mean by that” and then, if my ears didn’t deceive me, I believe she implied that she was born on the island. Now, one thing we know is that pregnant women can’t give birth on the island. Does this make Charlotte an anomaly. Was she somehow related to the DHARMA project (was she created artificially by them). Questions for next year, I’m sure.
14. So we got three original island members confirmed dead. Claire (I’m going with the confirmation based on her visitation). Michael atones for his sins. And surprising everyone except Sean who had this pegged, Jin appears to be dead.
15. As for Michael, that actor has to be pissed. He’s written off the show (likely to deal with Walt’s growth burst) and then written back in just to be beat up a couple of times and killed off. Oh well, I never really liked him anyway.
16. As for Walt, he sure did get big and the 3 year flash forward is a good way of utilizing him. I wonder if he’ll be pulled back into the fold now that it makes sense for him to look that much older. We still need to clear up why he is of such vital importance to the island.
17. And finally – the last revelation – that Locke is in the box, which I claimed WAAAAAAAYYYYYY Back. Like I said back then, it makes dramatic sense for Jack to mourn his longtime enemy – and to seemingly be ready to embrace his cause. The question is, what happened to jettison Locke from the island and why is he using a false name?
I guess we’ll find out in nine months.