Quote: "I named her Ji Yeon, just like you wanted."
Tricksy writers. I should have seen it coming - the cell phone, the Year of the Dragon, the odd disconnect between the two stories. But I was still totally surprised at the end to see that we had a weird mutant flashback/flashforward episode hybrid. Honestly, it kinda annoyed me a bit when I realized what was going on, but after a night to let it simmer I really did enjoy the episode as a whole and I can totally understand why the writers presented it in this fashion.
Couple things I loved about this episode:
Bernard! - He's alive! And still oddly touching as only Bernard and Rose can be. Loved the scene with him and Jin. Nice to get clarification too as to Rose's motivations for staying with Jack.
Jin vs. The Panda - I have to admit when I initially thought Jin was having a flashforward, I thought it was the dumbest one ever. Sayid becomes an assassin in the future and Jin becomes comic relief? Once I realized it was a flashback though, I kinda melted. Interesting to see how benign Jin's job started out, before Sun asked her Dad to pay off her blackmailer. Sun really is the one with all the bad karma in the relationship, not Jin.
Jin and Sun talking baby names - Okay, so Des and Penny aren't the only good couple on the show.
Hurley in a suit - Stylin'!
And I guess we are getting the eighth episode next week. Can't complain! On to the questions:
1. Is Charles Widmore really the bad guy, Part II.
So, according to the Captain, Charles Widmore went to great expense to recover the black box from Oceanic 815 and found it was a fake, as were all the 324 bodies on board and that's why they want Ben. Thus he's implying that Ben himself had the power and wealth, presumably through his contacts in the outside world, to stage the entire hoax within a month (or two) of the actual crash. Impressive to say the least.
Now the rub here is that Michael, who's working for Ben, told Sayid and Desmond not to trust the Captain. Furthermore, during Find 815 back in January, we found out that a shady organization called The Maxwell Group appeared to be behind the fake wreckage. However, The Maxwell Group happens to be a subsidiary of... DUM, DUM, DUM... Widmore Industries!
So who do we believe here? Who's the bad guy, Ben or Charles Widmore? Bottom line is that we still know Sayid is willing to kill for Ben in the future. Regardless of everything he's done, that to me says Ben is doing (or at least thinks he's doing) what's best for the island and possibly the world. And that would make the Captain a liar.
2. So how did Michael infiltrate the ship?
Michael's only been gone from the island for about a month. So how did he end up infiltrating the freighter for Ben to such a point that the crew, who know they have a saboteur on board, don't even suspect him? Remember that back in "Live Together, Die Alone" Ben told Michael to keep to a bearing of 325 if he wanted to escape. However Frank's cheat sheet he had in the chopper states he had to keep to a compass bearing of 305 in order to pilot off the island safely. Did Ben set Michael up to send him back in time or something? It would certainly explain why Walt looks older and how he was able to get onto the freighter.
Furthermore, where the heck is Walt? Did Ben TAKE HIS SON again? It's so nice to be able to make Michael jokes again. =)
3. So is Jin really truly dead?
Jin's tombstone. Thanks to the ODI for the capture:
Jin's DoD here is September 22nd, 2004, the original date of the crash, not a future date. Thus, while we now know he's not part of the Oceanic 6, it possible he's still alive on the island and grave's only a marker. Of course, Hurley's "let's go visit him" comment implies otherwise, but it's something to keep in mind. Especially considering....
4. Uh, so who's gonna die next episode?
Memo to ABC ad execs: Please stop promoting episodes of LOST where someone dies as if they're special events. They're not. You've been killing characters willy nilly since Season 1. We fail to be surprised anymore. Futhermore...
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET NEW VIEWERS BY PROMOTING A DEATH EPISODE! IT'S LAME!
We're going to watch Lost regardless of whether someone dies! New people aren't going to tune in just to see someone die - the cast is too big and it's nothing new on the show! All it succeeds in doing is spoiling the surprise for the rest of us! For the love of god, please don't continue to do this for the last two seasons.
Anyhoo, since we have been told someone's going to die, who's it going to be? After this episode, Jin is the obvious choice. Maybe a little too obvious, though. After all, we know Kate somehow has to become Aaron's custodian meaning Claire's probably going to bite the bullet sometime in the near future. But usually people who are killed get a send off episode and next episode looks to be a Michael flashback. Other possibilities: Desmond (who isn't part of the O6), Juliet (who just got a flashback). Or maybe one of the Fantastic Four. Miles better hang onto that grenade...
5. Where did Frank take the chopper?
If he took it back to the island, Daniel and Charlotte certainly didn't seem to be aware of it, especially since it looked like Daniel has disassembled the phone when Sun went to confront him. But Locke's group didn't have a phone either. Is there another place to land around there? Another island or ship, perhaps? Or was he just going on a scouting mission to make sure no one was heading their way?
* Is the Oceanic 6 now set? I thought we were supposed to know all six by the end of this episode. I may have been wrong about Aaron not counting... (yes, Ev, I admit it)
* 2000 was the Year of the Dragon
* Since Sun is eight weeks pregnant at this point, she likely would have given birth sometime in late June/early July 2005. Thus her flashforward likely takes place well before all the others.
* Nikki's episode of "Expose" was on Sun's TV
* Sun still doesn't seem to trust Jack
* The book Regina was reading was The Survivors of the Chancellor, by Jules Verne. Incidentally, think Regina might be the mysterious "R.G." who inscribed Naomi's bracelet? If she and Naomi were lovers, it would certainly give her more motivation to kill herself.
Summary: Props to the writers for the neato twist, which surprisingly wasn't Michael. Loved a lot of the little things this episode too and Jin/Sun were both fabulous. 4.0/5