ZOË RICE: Finally all our Losties appear in the same episode, for the first time all season. And I’ve got to say, I like it. Even mopey old “I can’t feel anything…except this tranquilizer dart, ow” Sayid kind of made me chuckle.
Although this wasn’t one of those mind-blowing episodes, I was satisfied by the multiple twists and turns and little “aha!” moments along the way–and of course thrilled to see Desmond pop out of the sub at the end. Desmond Hume is almost like the Lost Rosebud–seemingly unassuming, and yet perhaps the key to everything. Also compelling was the hearty dose of Charles Widmore, another mysterious character I’ve always wanted more of. Can we say now that he’s a “good guy?” Or, perhaps as we may learn with Jacob and the Man in Black, are there no plain “good” versus “bad” guys when it comes to the island? Well, alright, Widmore’s warning about the MiB, “everyone we know and love would simply cease to be” certainly sounds pretty evil, but I’m convinced there’s more nuance than that. Or perhaps I’m heartily hoping there is.
Our Alternate Universe storyline was one of the stronger ones this season, I thought. Somehow for me, even in this plot-driven flash sideways, seeing a sassy Sun tease Jin about her sweater buttons and Jin so earnestly trying to do the right thing offered an impressive level of characterization without being conked over the head with it like we were with Richard’s flashback. And adding Keamy, Omar, and Mikhail to the mix gave us an episode full of original Losties, Ajira Losties, various Others, Freighteries (that doesn’t quite work, does it), and Widmorites, both on and off the island. So many ingredients to this episode, and I think they were blended well to keep the pacing brisk and the story proceeding on course.
So what did we learn? First, that candidates seem to need to travel in packs. Eloise insisted all the Losties were needed to return to the island, and now Smokey Locke reveals he needs ‘em all to get off the thing. But didn’t we see in “Ab Aeterno” last week that when Jacob told the MiB that someone else would replace him, MiB simply replied that he’d kill them too? Is he rounding up the Losties for mass murder before he can leave?
We also learned that like ash and sonic pylons, Smokey seems to be allergic to water. Or, at least, he can’t travel over it without a mundane boat. This seems to mean that Smokey can not account for all appearances of Christian Shephard–for Christian has appeared on the freighter, talking to Michael, and off the island in Jack’s flashforward, where he triggered a smoke alarm (smoke alarm!). So…who is Christian Shephard? And how is he involved in all this? Please answer that one, Lost, before you head off into the sunset.
There were other moments to enjoy–such as the return of what we now know as Room 23, the brainwash room, and other moments to frustrate–oh, how I hated the big red V at the bottom right hand corner. But overall I find myself wanting more Widmore and Desmond, more Smokey and Team Jacob, and whatever else we get thrown at us next week.
TED BERG: We are rolling, Zoe. Like you, I enjoyed this episode immensely, and not just because of the near-naked Sun sighting and the long-awaited return of Desmond.
First off, color me intrigued by Zoe — not you (not that I’m not intrigued by you, Zoe, but I already know you, and you’re not on Lost — please understand), but the Tiny Fey lookalike that seems to be operating as Widmore’s right-hand woman on the Hydra Island. She’s a geophysicist and she seems to be researching the pockets of electromagnetic energy on the Island that Jin had been mapping, way back when he was looking for a convenient DHARMA-friendly excuse to comb the Island for any sign of Rose and Bernard and the rest of the original Oceanic 815 group in 1977. Nice little Lost touch there.
So if the science angle is returning to the show, well, good. It’s a welcome relief from the Good vs. Evil nonsense that’s growing pretty tiresome. I realize that part’s not going away any time soon, but it’d be cool to know how all the Faraday aspects are wrapped up in it.
Speaking of, there’s The Package. That’s Desmond, I think. First off, that’s the best nickname for a hot Scottish guy ever. I’m sure he’d appreciate it if he weren’t drugged to high heaven. (Also, if anyone wants to start calling me “The Package,” feel free.) I’m guessing Desmond’s return to the Island has something to do with all Faraday had to say about Desmond being unique and special, and Desmond’s weird time-jumping and future-seeing abilities, and Eloise Hawking’s prediction that the Island wasn’t done with him yet.
Could Desmond have something to do with aligning the split timelines? He’s the only character we know — and heck, maybe the only person in the world — who can exist in two places at once, so maybe he’s the key to the whole Flash Sideways thing. When he disappeared from the seat next to Jack on the plane in that timeline, I assumed he just went back to his seat in coach. Could he have traveled back to a different dimension? Is he a dashing, dimension-jumping, unstuck-in-time Scotsman, bound only by his love for Dickens and his dear Penny?
Penny, who’s clearly not on the submarine, because Widmore wouldn’t want her anywhere near the Island. Also, because she’s all caught up with Agent Mark Benford now, and he’s all whispering really loudly, trying to stave off alcoholism and figure out what caused the blackout on FlashForward, which is an entirely different series that grapples with almost exactly the same themes as Lost, and many of the same actors.
Speaking of alternate realities similar to the Lost reality, I, too, liked the Alternate Universe storyline on this episode (how’s that for a segue, huh?). Mikhail getting shot in the eye was completely badass, for one, plus the dude who plays Martin Keamy is a complete scene stealer. He should be cast as every villain in every movie from here on out.
I do wonder, though, why Mr. Paik would have to send Jin all the way to the U.S. to get whacked. Isn’t he a super-powerful Korean criminal mastermind? Can’t he have one of his own Korean henchmen kill Jin? I mean, we’ve already seen Jin beat the crap out of dudes for Mr. Paik, and I’ve got to assume he’s got more muscle on the payroll beyond just Jin.
The only thing I can consider is that Paik would be ashamed to let his Korean associates know that Sun is sleeping with Jin out of wedlock and so wants to get them as far away from Korea as possible for the deed. Still, shouldn’t a man of Paik’s stature know not to pack $25,000 cash in carry-on luggage?
Whatever, I’m probing too deep into the dark underworld of Korean heavy industries, so I should probably just wrap this here. An excellent episode, no doubt, and the first in a while that’s left me excited to see what happens next.