"If this works, it will save us all. If not, at least it will put us out of our misery."
Okay, so I guess we won't get any Richard flashbacks after all. :P
Despite this, I loved the episode as a whole - reminded me a lot of the early season time travel episodes - and it was great catching up with Sun, Ben and Locke again. But it really was simply a bridge to the finale - kind of how "Greatest Hits" was really the first part of "Through The Looking Glass." A few things we learned this week:
1) According to Richard, all the time travelers died in the Incident.
If true, this means that A) none of the older Losties are alive with their younger counterparts in 2004 and B) Jack and company are going to fail.
Not really surprising, I suppose. And from next week's promo, it looks like Sawyer, Juliet and Kate somehow end up back on the Island again as well. I feel so awful for Juliet - when Kate was put on the sub, my heart just sank. Usually the love triangle stuff just annoys me, but that scene actually made me really want to see Sawyer end up with Juliet at the end of the show. I'd also imagine at this point, if Juliet ever gets free and armed, Kate better not be around.
2) "What plane?"
Couple things about Ben - was he confused when Locke said he was bringing him to the plane? Ben certainly knew of the beechcraft - he took Juliet to the Pearl and told her to tell Tom to cover the station hatch with the plane. Seemed kind of a weird comment to make (and sounded genuine at the time), but then again Richard didn't seem to know what the plane was either and Locke explained it to both of them. Perhaps Ben's comment was to bluff Richard? Something just felt wrong to me there.
Secondly, has Ben really never seen Jacob? Could Jacob really be "The Man Behind The Curtain?" i.e. a construct of the Ben and Richard to keep control over the Others? I don't think so at this point, since Locke's going to try and kill him. But Ben was certainly pissed enough to shoot him back when Locke heard Jacob say "Help me..."
Lastly, Ben playing Richard against Locke was wonderful. And it seemed in that scene that Ben and Richard did have some sort of understanding regarding Jacob, which makes me think Richard hasn't seen him either.
3) Locke completing his own mini time loop
Despite this being a repeat scene, that was really cool. And now we know how Richard knew where to find Locke and how he knew Locke had to die. Well done.
Lots of questions this week - let's get right to them:
1) Is the Island really speaking to Locke? Did it tell him to kill Jacob? Who or what is Jacob? Isn't the Island itself Jacob?
I know, I know. It's really unfair to lump all this together, but there are a lot of issues here.
First off, is Locke crazy or is the Island really talking to him? At first glance, it does seem that the newly resurrected Locke knows what he's doing, assuming that Locke isn't something like Christian - i.e. a manifestation of the Island itself. In that case, of course, he'd know exactly what he's doing. He knew he had to take Ben to the Temple to be judged and he knew exactly when to send Richard to the beechcraft. All well and good. But why kill Jacob? What would that accomplish?
Let's first assume that Locke is Locke and the Island itself really is telling him to kill Jacob. This likely means that Jacob is not the embodiment of the Island itself, unless it means to commit suicide. This is a very real possibility - the "help" Jacob needs could be for Locke to kill him. The other thing that fits in with this theory is the weird line of grey ash surrounding Jacob's cabin - perhaps Ben and Richard put it there to trap Jacob and are using him in some way. If Locke kills Jacob, perhaps he'll free him from them.
But what if Locke really is - say - the Monster or something else. Ben did say "dead is dead," right? We really don't know if Locke is really Locke. And if it were the Monster, for example, it presumably would have access to all Locke's memories - it would know it could use Locke's persona to herd the Others and assume control of them by symbolically killing Jacob.
Locke really seems to have no purpose on the show aside from the things he set up for himself in the past. Would he really be this important to the Island if Flight 815 never crashed? His most powerful asset is the fact that Richard and the Monster (remember the scene with Ben and "Alex") seem to consider him important. This makes me think that perhaps the Monster is impersonating Locke in order to kill Jacob. There is another possibility for the ring of ash as well: it could be protective to keep the Monster out. But perhaps it won't keep it out if it's in "Locke form."
One last thing - Locke's indifference to Sun's quest to find Jin also seemed very un-Locke-like to me. Regardless, we should get an answer to this next week.
2) So what will the consequences be of "Locke" killing Jacob?
Seems to me it will have no consequences for any of the Losties, save perhaps Sun. Since it's 2007, it shouldn't affect the time loop at all, but what will happen to the Island itself? Will Sun be able to meet up with Jin once Locke kills Jacob? Again, hopefully we'll get a solid answer to this in the finale.
3) What the heck is Jack supposed to do with the hydrogen bomb?
Even with Daniel's journal, Jack has absolutely no idea what to do with it. I suppose Daniel could have made some detailed notes on what to do, but basically they're probably going to have to wheel the thing though the tunnels to a point underneath the Swan station. Not an easy task, I imagine. Plus, what if they run into Smokey down in the Cerberus Vents? How will he feel about them trying to blow up a bomb in his tunnels?
4) So if everyone's dead, who's left in the future who knows what happened in the past?
We don't know if any of the Losties manage to survive or escape, though next week's preview seems to suggest that they're at least all still on the Island during the Incident, which doesn't bode well. If that's the case, then really Charles and Eloise are the only two people off-Island who know what happened back in the 70's. We know Pierre Chang survives the Incident too, but he's reportedly killed in the Purge. Desmond has no knowledge of the past on the Island either.
I'm only asking this because it certainly seems someone is trying to preserve the time loop in 2004 (evidenced by Claire being put on the plane), and if isn't any of the Losties then it seems it has to be Eloise and Charles.
5) So what Lost ending seems the most likely after this episode?
If all the Losties die in the Incident, then this gives much more strength to a scenario where the time loop is eliminated at the end of the show. Having all the time travelers die in the past preserves the time loop - they caused the Incident, which caused them to travel to the past. But if they don't travel to the past, there the Incident doesn't take place. After Eloise sends them back to the past on Flight 316, the time loop is completed and intact. Now we still don't know whether breaking the time loop would be catastrophic for the universe or not, but Daniel certainly didn't seem to think so.
My gut feeling is that eventually something or someone (probably Desmond) is going to time travel and break the loop at the end of the show, causing the entire time line to be rewritten and Flight 815 to land in L.A. (assuming the plane doesn't go off course again). This would actually be a sad ending, as Kate pointed out last night (one of the few insightful things she's ever said). As I mentioned earlier in the week, if this ending comes to pass, most of the Losties will be pretty miserable in their former lives, with the exception of Daniel, Sayid and everyone who died and none of them would know each other either. It would certainly suck to be Locke again, eh?
But there is something satisfying about that ending too. Everything comes full circle... and we get closure.
* Richard seemed to be making a model of the Black Rock in the opening
* Jack bounced back pretty quick after getting cold-cocked REALLY HARD with gun.
* I'm not sure if we've heard this before, but Radzinsky's first name is Stuart. And more and more, I'm thinking Radzinsky wasn't really the guy in the Swan with Kelvin, it was someone just using his name. But if he really was, Kelvin was the one who shot him - he's seriously crazy. Question is, what was the map Sawyer drew for Radzinsky? Was it a Blast Door Map template?
* The scene where Pierre quizzes Hurley on history trivia just might be my favorite scene of the season. I also loved Miles seeing his father in a new light.
* Charles' hand on Eloise's stomach seems to suggest she's currently pregnant with Daniel. Guess he's an Island baby too.
* Saywer called the sub guy "Nemo"
*Em thought the CGI sub looked fake, though I thought it was a fairly decent effect for once.
* How many of you went "YES" when Kate thought she was shot, then went "DAMMIT" when it turned out she was fine? *waves hand*
* Tons of great quotes this episode. In fact, my note sheet was pretty much all quotes, very little note taking/reactions. Speaks to the script, eh?
"I have a purpose now"
"He's an advisor... and he's had that job for a very, very long time."
"I watched them all die"
"It was not all misery" - "Enough of it was"
"Alright dude, we're from the future"
"This must be quite the out-of-body experience"
"You've never seen him, have you?"
"Do you know who you sound like, because he was crazy too?" - love this line
"We'll buy Microsoft"
"I have a feeling this John Locke is going to be trouble"
"Why do you think I tried to kill him?"
"So I can kill him"
A quality, action-packed bridge to the finale that well-whetted my appetite. I'm still a bit peeved we didn't get any Richard flashbacks, though that's a bit of a nitpick. 3.8/5.0. Finale next week! Season went by so fast! :(