"Your name is Widmore?"
Well this episode certainly clarified a lot of things that confused me the first two episodes! I still don't like the fact it really doesn't have specific flashbacks (although we saw a lot of the past this week, didn't we), but I guess "Jughead" would be considered a Desmond-centric episode if anything, and I'm always down with that.
So what was clarified? Here are ten things we learned:
1) The Losties traveled back to the 1950's.
2) The U.S. military knew about the Island back then and planned to use it for bomb testing.
3) Richard Alpert was leader of the Others.
4) Richard really doesn't age!
5) We now know why Richard visited Locke in L.A. when he was just a child (and how he knew he was there).
6) Charles Widmore is a freakin' Other!
7) Daniel sent the mind of a young woman (possibly his student), Theresa Spencer, through time.
8) Charles Widmore funded his research.
9) Desmond and Penny have a two-year-old son named Charlie (awwwwww).
10) Daniel Faraday's mom is in Los Angeles. And since Ben and Ms. Hawking are also both in L.A. (as we saw last episode), the chances Ms. Hawking is really Daniel's mom just went up tenfold!
Again this wasn't an outstanding episode in terms of a stand alone, but it not only moved the plot along, it was a LOT easier to follow than the season openers. In addition, I'm really grooving the moving through time because 1) it may give us an explaination for a lot of the coincidences we've seen throughout the show (as we enter time periods of the show itself i.e. September 2004-January 2005) and 2) we may get to see first hand some of the stories we've missed, mainly the time jumping is an excellent way to FINALLY get the Rousseau flashback we've been waiting for! Plus maybe we'll see what actually happened during some of the more infamous DHARMA moments, i.e. "The Incident" and what happened to Radzinsky in the Hatch.
Okay, enough rambling...
1) What was Charles Widmore's motivation for getting back to the Island and why did he leave?
Seems like a bit of a hothead in his youth, eh? So why did he leave? Was he kicked off or was he sent on a mission never to return? And since Charles Widmore funded DHARMA, was DHARMA also an agent of revenge? I have to say, Charles Widmore being a (former) Other turns a lot of theroies on their heads - it gives him a much different motivation than simply being an evil corporate guy trying to take over the world. Now he's more like Dr. Doom trying to reclaim Lavertia... or blow it up if he can't. I like it a lot - it makes him a much more interesting villain.
And as an aside, I also liked the way he was worried about Penny. Even Dr. Doom loved his mother. Widmore genuinely cares for her and I can't wait to see what happens when Ben eventually realizes who she is.
2) So what makes Richard so special that he doesn't age?
It's certainly not being Leader of the Others - didn't really seem to help Ben or Locke (of course, both of them weren't born on the Island either). But there certainly does seem to be something there that makes him special and different from the rest, aside from being "selected" by Jacob.
3) What's Daniel's timeline?
Desmond couldn't remember when he visited Daniel at Oxford, but we know it was in 1996. Present day in the real world, it's early 2008. Sometime after Desmond's visit, Daniel transmogrified the brain of one of his students and was kicked out (...) and was eventually hired by Abaddon to accompany Naomi and the rest of Widmore's crew to the Island (January 2005). So what happened in between all that?
Presumably at some point the Island is going to end up in the period where DHARMA was building the Orchid station (which is why we saw Daniel in the first episode looking pretty much excatly like he did today). But Daniel, from his journal, already seemed to have time jumped a bit before arriving on the Island. Did that happen at Oxford or was he involved with something after they kicked him out (presumably with Widmore).
4) How's Daniel going to cure Charlotte?
Assuming Charlotte has the Time Jumping Flu, she's going to need a constant to snap her out of it. Will we finally get a taste of her past history? Charlotte flashback, please...
5) Is Locke going to have to use the Magic Box to get off the Island?
Ben got off the Island by using the Orchid wheel, but that seemed to be more a side effect of using it than anything (not to mention, Locke probably doesn't want to move the Island again). So how will Locke get off? Will we finally get to see the Magic Box and what it actually does?
It seems this season is set up to end with the Oceanic 6 getting back to the Island, thus the 70 hour deadline that could easily and conveniently fit into, say, 14 more episodes. But Locke needs to leave the Island this season as well. With the show winding down they can't save ALL the big Island mysteries for Season 6 and it seems the Magic Box is one they could give us in the finale.
* Is it just me, or do the writers seem to be be actively trying to thin the Losties' herd this season? Seems like we've lost a lot of red shirts the first three episodes (and I don't think any of them, except for Frogurt, were actually wearing red shirts).
* The blond Other who takes Daniel to the bomb is named Ellie
* The Department of Physics room number Desmond visits is 142-08
* Don't know if there's any meaning behind the "Jughead" moniker of the bomb, besides the Archie Comics reference. "Jarhead" is military slang for a U.S. Marine.
* Another neat thing about the time travel is my hope we're going to get to see Amelia in her youth (remember her)? Perhaps we'll even get to see her crash on the Island. ;)
I really, really liked this episode. We got some good Desmond and Penny time, good Daniel time, good Widmore time and NO Jack or Kate time. If we had gotten a little Ben, it would have been perfect, but as it stands I'm giving it a 4.5 out of 5. Still hoping we get a couple traditional flashback episodes this season too.