Quote: "Haven't you realized by now, John, that I always have a plan."
Ah, what a tease. You just knew the episode would end just as it was getting good. You can't review the first third of an episode, just take it for what it is and give it an incomplete.
Certainly it looks like they're going to be wrapping up a lot of questions in the last two thirds of the finale and it seems that the finale is going to come full circle too; basically ending in present time where the flash forward began at the beginning of the episode, i.e. with the O6 getting on the plane to Hawaii.
Several things I loved so far:
1) Sun taking over Paik Heavy Industries. That must have been quite the settlement Oceanic gave the O6.
2) Hurley not wanting the lottery money and the Numbers appearing in his car. That was awesome
3) Claire's mom (she's awake!) appearing at Christian's funeral and telling him the truth about Claire. Jack gave quite possibly the best Jackface of the entire series at the end of that scene.
4) Jin and Sun seeing Michael again
5) Sawyer's concern for Hurley. Saywer really hasn't done much this season, but I love how when he has been on screen, he's been a caring, thoughtful protector (by and large).
6) I was also touched how, when no one was there to see Kate and Sayid in Hawaii, Hurley introduced Sayid to his family.
So in lieu of a real review, let's do the Top 5 questions I expect to be answered in the second half of the finale.
1. How do all the Oceanic 6 end up together?
It seems that Jack, Hurley, Sayid and Kate will probably take the chopper back to the freighter with Frank. I'm guessing there won't be enough room for Sawyer since he gets left behind (or else he simply chooses to stay).
Once back there, the freighter is probably going to go boom somehow and the O6 are going to escape in the little motorboat (remember, it holds six). Of course, if that comes to pass it makes us ask...
2. What happens to to Desmond, Jin, Michael and the Freighter Four?
I find it very hard to believe that the writers would kill off Desmond, Jin, Michael and all the new guys in one fell swoop. In fact, I'll be completely horrified if they kill off Desmond, period. But we know that, according to their story, eight people survived the crash of Flight 815. Only six returned and Jin wasn't one of them. Who are the other two? Michael and Sawyer?
But another possibility is that Desmond turns off whatever's causing the interference on the (sonar?), so they're able to move the freighter closer to the Island. Then, whenever Locke and Ben do whatever they're going to do in the Orchid and the Island moves, the freighter ends up going with it.
Also interesting to note that in "The Third Policeman" (which I never got around to posting my review of, although Juno does a nice job), the main character also has to take a long elevator underground to get to the "black box" down there. The elevator is constructed so that whatever weight it carries down, it has to carry the same weight back. You can't take anything out that you didn't bring in. Be interesting to see if that parallel pops up in the finale.
And yes, yes, I know, I know. The writers have said TTP has nothing to do with the actual plot of Lost and was really just thrown in there as a red herring (or to possibly make people read a not-so-good, overblown novel, which I happened to like, thank you very much). However, I do think the writers may not have been totally honest there. Certainly the major conclusion they didn't want people drawing from the book is that everyone on the Island was dead. However, I could certainly see how certain aspects of the "black box" could find their way onto the show.
Anyhoo, this all leads us to....
3. How will Locke and Ben move the Island?
The Orchid seems to be the key to the Island at this point and looks to be the crux of the finale. Hopefully we'll discover how it works, what it's capable of and what they're going to do with it. It would also be interesting to know if the Orchid station worked in conjunction with the Swan, since both seem to exploit the natural properties of the Island. Now that the Swan's energy is gone, will that change how the Orchid functions?
And I guess the biggest question is will they move the Island in time, space or both. My money's on both.
4. What will Sawyer ask Kate to do for him when she returns?
You have to figure there will be an overdrawn, emotional goodbye when Kate and Sawyer eventually part ways. Question is, will Sawyer ask Kate to check up on his daughter? Will he tell her to get in touch with Cassidy? You have to figure he'll mention at least one of the two.
5. At what point will the flash forwards end?
The flash forwards seem to be skipping ahead at a pretty decent clip, filling in all the blanks from the flash forwards. Question is, will they end with or after Jack telling Kate that they have to go back? I figure next season's going to be spent with them largely trying to get back to the Island, so will they all get together and resolve to find it? Will Ben appear to help them? Will we finally find out who's in the coffin? Enquiring minds want to know!
* Fumiko thinks Oceanic Airlines is in on the cover up. Personally I think it's hard to say, given that you could take the flight attendant's comment of "you don't have to talk to the press if you don't want to" either way. Still the size of the settlement Oceanic gave them makes one wonder whether part of the payment was simply to make sure they didn't talk. Also the pilot rubbing the rabbit's foot for luck is also suggestive.
* Great tidbit from Lostpedia: According to the fabricated story, the Oceanic 6 found rescue on Day 108. Coincidentally, this falls on January 8, 2005, or 08-01-2005 - 815.
* Sawyer calls Miles "Genghis" and Frank "Shaggy." Nice. There has been a serious lack of nicknames this season.
* Hurley had a bag of Mr. Cluck's when he arrived at his house for his party.
Summary: Incomplete, until the entire finale has aired. I have a different poll up this week - instead of rating the episode, pick who you think is going to really, truly die in two weeks. You can vote for as many people as you like. :)