First off – I know some of you had to hunt a little bit for today’s post. That’s what happens when the Lost recap shares twin billing with my Cinco de Mayo Nino Colin’s birthday. Since I’ve been running this site, I’ve made it an annual event to post a piece recounting my thoughts on my son Colin and daughter Aria as they crest that latest milestone. Sure I would have loved to have started this tradition at birth but I’ve got to play with the hand I was dealt, so starting at Colin’s Age 4 and Aria’s Age 1, I’ve made a point to give y’all a glimpse into their lives. Today Colin turns seven and if you’re so inclined, you can read all about it in his special little tribute.
That said, I couldn’t leave my fellow Lostralians high and dry so I present the rare double feature. And I’ll have you know that I moved hell and high water to get this post out on time. See, I’m in the middle of Tech Week for the local play I’m headlining starting this Friday evening. Tech Week is the ramp up where we iron out the technical wrinkles and make sure all the lighting and audio cues are working in concert. This means that the evenings tend to run long as we need to run the entire play while allowing time for all the fits and starts necessary to get everything playing nice.
In addition, with the doors shuttered on Wednesday to give us all a little R & R before Thursday’s dress rehearsal, the director warned that we would stay as late as need be so he could iron every last wrinkle. After all, this is his last chance to bark. After that night, the play is turned over to the stage manager and all the director can do is sit idly in the shadows and pray to Lord Xenu that we don’t blind or blemish his vision. Which means come Friday night, I’m free to go Full Monty all throughout ‘Love, Sex & the IRS’ and there’s not one damn thing he can do about it.
But – I’m not about to let a little creative catharsis stand in the way of my sofa snuggling as I nestle my ass down nice and tight and take in only the 4th remaining episode of our beloved series. And with the word on the street that this one is where the end game really comes into play, I knew that no matter what time I darkened the doorway, bed could wait. I had to see it all before I went to sleep and then jot down my scattered thoughts the second my sleepy head stirred in the morn.
Which brings us to this. Let’s get Lost.
1. You know you’re in for it when Lost opens without the trademark, “Previously on Lost“. It’s as if the producers don’t want to waste any time – knowing full well they have a full docket before them and such precious few moments to spill all the details. In other words, it’s time to get down to business.
2. So we pick back up with the alternate-John Locke post-surgery, meeting with the intrepid Jack Shepherd who has come to admire his handiwork while offering Locke a little twist. It seems the normally opposing forces of Jack and Locke share one thing in common – in two disparate timelines, each is being groomed for special candidacy. For Locke, it’s Jack who bring him to the fertile grounds of experimental surgery – citing a procedure that could potentially give him what his otherworld doppelganger always sought – the ability to walk. Jack offers to “fix” him and seems fairly certain that he can do so with minimal risk but alas, the good doc finds the ability to fix everything frustratingly out of his grasp as this Locke wants nothing to do with regaining his sea legs. And that sets Jack off on a mission to crack the core of what makes this man tick.
3. It’s this investigation that leads Jack along a trail of increasingly mounting coincidences. Looking to get some background on Locke’s prior injury in a bid to understand why he’d turn down a guy offering miracles, he runs across Bernard the dentist – who gives him the name Anthony Cooper BUT also tips Jack to a strange quirk of fate. Seems Bernie was on Oceanic Flight 815 – alongside Jack and Locke. And Bernard makes it quite clear to Jack that fact is a bit curious. It’s enough to jog something loose in Jack’s brain.
4. And when he comes across Claire in the hospital, who’s carrying a special package passed on to her in his Dad’s will, he adds another member to the growing cadre of Flight 815 passengers whose lives are steadily being drawn together. The music box doesn’t rate specific significance yet – although once again we’re treated to a mirror world motif – as both Jack and Claire catch themselves staring into their reflections. In this sideways world, that’s been a recurring trend – as if the characters are subconsciously drawn to the reflection and somehow have this nagging itch that that’s all they really are – a reflection of some far off reality.
5. The music box also pumps out a familiar little ditty – “Catch a Falling Star” which Claire was so fond of singing to baby Aaron.
6. It’s just prior to this sequence that we catch another wrinkle in time, as a subconscious alternate-Locke talks in his sleep, muttering his key catch phrases – “Don’t push the button” and “I wish you had believed me”. Echoes of another time picked up by souls that are just now awakening to these phantom broadcasts.
7. Jack finally tracks down Anthony Cooper but before their little meet and greet, he encounters Locke’s beloved Helen, who warns him from prying into the drama that surrounds this tragic father and son. In a startling twist of fate, Anthony Cooper is practically catatonic and as we would later learn, in this new reality, fate bitch-slapped the old bastard by letting him ride shotgun when Locke took the reins of a plane on his maiden flight. Once again, this poor man has suffered grave indignity with the subsequent plane crash robbing both father and son of their ability to walk – while also leaving Anthony even worse for the wear. And it’s this guilt that prevents Locke from fixing himself for no matter how whole he can become, his Dad will remain a hollow shell. And it’s here that Jack Shepherd gets to lay his healing hands upon Locke aimed straight for his wounded psyche. While it may be instinct to hang on tight when trying to fix something, sometimes the real healing comes in letting go.
8. On the island, events rush forward with grave momentum. I’ll admit, I was a bit taken aback by how Sawyer and crew were captured. I usually have a photographic memory for this stuff but it seems to me that the last time we saw them, they were sailing away on the ocean blue. Now they’re captive and being marched to those polar bear cages with Sawyer secretly hoping someone swapped the fish biscuits with Teddy Grahams.
9. So despite the fact that I felt a momentary bout of panic that last week was not a hiatus and I had somehow missed a show, I just rolled with it. They were caught and that’s all we need to know. And in rapid fashion, MiB Locke, Sawyer and Jack kick start the great escape leading to one of the series best lines as Jack motions to the ominous black smoke and says matter-of-factly, “I’m with him.” How far we’ve come!!!
10. Bottom line – I never get tired of the Black Smoke kicking ass.
11. With the gang all together for what seems like the first time since Season 4, they make their move on the plane. The pacing was so crisp in this episode. In seasons’ past, I could easily see the escape being an episode of its own followed by the plane portion being another episode but with no time to spare, MiB is on the march and it really fueled the adrenaline. MiB saves the effects guys an extra day of work by just charging the plane as some kind of Satanic Superman, letting their bullets go to waste as he busts a cap and breaks a neck. And then he calls an audible – showing Jack and company the C4 he found rigged to the plane. And in a little master touch, he lays out his later plan in matter-of-fact detail while attributing it to Widemore. Simply put – Widemore had aimed to get them all in one place where he could kill them. A plan that sounds suspiciously like what I theorized several weeks back when our brains were chomping on all this candidate conspiracy mumbo jumbo. My feeling then was that MiB needed all of the candidates together so he could get them all killed in one fell swoop. With no candidate left to become the next Jacob, he would finally have his loop hole and would be free to infest the Earth.
12. So he tells them this while leaving out the part where he plans to do the exact same thing at the sub. And that’s where Sawyer’s season-long con gets trumped by the greatest con man of all, as el Diablo gets the drop on Jack’s pack – inserting a little C4 surprise. With 3:42 seconds to go (and five minutes away from surface) Jack and company realize that they have only two options. They can either go the scientific route and pull the two wires that should sever the explosive ties or embrace the newly born man of fate, Jack, as he assures them that so long as none of them do anything to monkey with the explosives, they will be completely fine. Jack gets it right. Only Man can embrace his free will and kill himself. Of course, that blind faith proves a bitter pill to swallow for Sawyer and his actions essentially doom the majority of them.
13. And before everything goes to Hell, Sayid offers Jack the answer he already knows. He’s the Candidate and somehow Desmond figures into this.
14. There Will Be Blood. I knew with 5 episodes left, we were due to lose a castaway or two but I never thought it would go down like that – and that quickly. In the span of 15 minutes, Kate was shot (and therefore not out of the woods), Sayid was lost but not before finding a tiny hint of redemption, the bewildered Frank checked out and then we got the one-two gut-punch with both Jin and Sun going down with the ship. A moment weighted with such heartbreaking impact as we realized that these two were leaving a beautiful little girl all alone in this suddenly uncertain world. And those last moments, as they reverted back to their native tongue to express undying devotion, before clasping hands and then ultimately drifting apart, were devastating.
15. And there’s still 4 more episodes left in which Lidelof and Cuse and can cull the herd. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Reaper and my money is on Kate succumbing to that injury and Sawyer pulling off some sacrificial heroics.
16. Or, given Sawyer’s actions on the sub, perhaps this is setting up nicely for that final shot – where Jack (the new Jacob) and Sawyer (the new MiB) meet on the shore for a little jaw session while the wheel of fortune spins its way around again. The snake continues to nosh its tail. What happened, happened – and will happen again.
See you next week for episode 6.15, ‘Across the Sea’ – which is reported to tell the back story of Jacob and the Man in Black. This one is billed a huge info-dump on the true nature of the island. I cannot freakin’ wait.