Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.10: "The Package"

"The heart wants what the heart wants."

(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

Man, I nearly struck out on my predictions this week. And even the one I got right, I still got totally wrong, since Widmore's locked room really did have a person in it. But to be fair I did speculate that if it was someone, it would either be Eloise or Desmond. Charles seemed to give Desmond an offer he couldn't refuse. Desmond was certainly going to get back to the Island one way or another. I guess this was the quickest way for the writers to get him there.

And I have to say the teaser for next week made me about as excited as I've been. Not only do Desmond episodes rock, but we really need to find out what's going on with his Alt self - that story could very answer any lingering questions as to whether the two universes are related at all.

Of course, next week might not be a Desmond episode yet, since we do need to see the events that led up to Desmond becoming The Package. And probably the best way to get that story is with some Charles Widmore flashbacks, right? I guess either way we win! :)

Despite not being quite as good as last week, there was lots to love this episode. Some of my faves:

- The night vision camera view at the beginning.

- Seeing Sun's garden again.

- Sun and Jin's relationship, as always.

- Seeing Patchy again (and his death was probably the eye-light of the episode). ;)

- The return of Room 23! Have to get a look at those screencaps. Was it the same movie Karl was watching? Looks pretty similar.

- Smokey serving up Kate's brain to Claire on a platter.

- Jin viewing Ji-Yeon for the first time. Three hanky scene for me.

- Alt Sun getting shot. As soon as Patchy dragged her into the kitchen I knew something bad was going to happen.

- Loved, loved, loved Jack's "stubborn tomato" talk to Sun, though the more he acts like he's going to be the next Jacob, the more I think we're going to get a curveball and it'll end up being someone else. Like Kate.

This week's questions are slightly less metaphysical, but what they are, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple. Onward!

Five questions:

1) Why is Widmore interested in the Island's pockets of electromagnetism?

I really liked how this subplot tied in Jin's time travel as well. Charles kidnapped Jin because he wanted some questions answered on where DHARMA was investigating pockets of electromagnetism on the Island back in the 70's. But why is Widmore interested? Will this help him stop Smokey?

Electromagnetism has always been the blanket explanation for just about everything mysterious happening on the Island: Healing properties, why it's hard to locate, why it's hard to leave, time travel, etc. And EM was a major interest of DHARMA which constructed stations to investigate two such pockets of energy: The Swan and The Orchid.

Now if you remember, Smokey seemed to have a very vested interest in keeping the button in the Swan pushed and the energy there contained. He appeared to Eko in a dream and told him that Locke had "lost his way" and that the button had to be pushed. Then, when the Swan was destroyed, Smokey went ballistic and killed Eko.

At first, I thought all of this was part of Smokey's grand plan to find a loophole - i.e. his original plan involved the Swan staying intact, but its destruction forced him to turn to Plan B (The Orchid). But now I'm thinking that maybe there's something more going on here. Perhaps the reason Smokey got so mad when the Swan's energy was released is because if all the Island's energy is released with him still on it, he can die!

Now we know that the Swan energy is gone, but the Orchid's energy still seems to be there, at least it was when Locke put the wheel back on its axis and stopped the Island from skipping through time. But looking at Jin's map, we can see at least three distinct areas on the Island with electromagnetism that DHARMA was interested in. Take a look:

Two of them are most certainly The Swan and The Orchid, but what is the third? I'm guessing that there's at least one more DHARMA station we haven't seen yet and that Widmore wants to release the energy from it (and the Orchid as well), in hopes it will kill Smokey once and for all.

The catch? I'm betting the third and final pocket of energy is going to have to be destroyed manually, meaning someone's going to have to stay behind to get the job done and that someone is going to have to die. Welcome to your destiny, Jack.

2) Does Smokey really have to take all the candidates with him? Is he allowed to kill them?

Back in "The Substitute," the mysterious young blond kid, presumed by most to be either Aaron or Jacob, told Smokey he couldn't kill Saywer because it was against the rules. Now we learn that all the remaining candidates have to leave the Island with him or else he can't leave. This leaves Smokey with only a few choices here:

1) Convince them all to leave with him.
2) Get someone else to kill them instead.
3) Bring them all along by force.

I'm thinking #3 might be against the rules as well, y'know, free will and all that, which leaves him with only two options. I do wonder if Infected People count as someone else? If so, Smokey could simply unleash Claire and Sayid on them. If not, he's going to have to manipulate someone else into killing recalcitrant candidates, and there aren't too many of those left. Thus methinks Smokey's going to have really turn on the charm the next several episodes.

But the downside of all this is that it's really easy to stop Smokey from leaving. For all Richard's huffing and puffing about going to Hydra Island to stop Smokey, all he really has to do is keep one of Hurley or Jack away from Smokey (Sun may not be an actual candidate). Probably the worst thing they can do is take them to Hydra Island... where Smokey's going... where the plane is.


Don't you think Jacob should have briefed him on all this at some point?

3) Why is Desmond so important?

Let's go back in time for a moment. Daniel, traveling through time himself, arrives at the Swan sometime between 2001 and 2004. Desmond leaps out of the Swan in his biohazard suit and holds him at gunpoint. Daniel says to him:
What is important, Desmond, is what I'm about to say to you. I need you to listen. You're the only person who can help us because, Desmond... the rules... the rules don't apply to you. You're special. You're uniquely and miraculously special.
He was, at that time, obviously referring to Desmond's time travel abilities. But I think there's something more to that. Widmore brought Desmond along for a very specific purpose. Could it be time travel? Could Charles want Desmond to try and change the past - prevent Jack's phone call or prevent the Incident altogether? Possibly?

But what if Desmond has some mysterious rapport with the electromagnetism on the Island? Remember that Isaac of Uluru told Rose some people are specifically attuned to energies in the Earth. Maybe Widmore plans to use Desmond as a dowsing rod to try and find the final pocket of energy on the Island. This could also explain how Desmond's boat ended up on the Island in the first place - maybe he was drawn there by the electromagnetism.

4) What did Widmore mean by "the world would simply cease to be?"

We've gotten so many vague references and metaphors to what would happen if Smokey would escape: "we all go to Hell," "we all die," and now "the world would simply cease to be." All of these still reasonably fit in with my hypothesis from last week, but I'd really like to see some concrete consequences (in the Alt). Obviously since there is an Alt, the world hasn't completely disappeared

BTW, did anyone else get a bit creeped out when Sayid told Smokey he "didn't feel anything" and Smokey responded "Good. It'll help you get through what's coming." I imagine if one was literally going to Hell, it would probably be kinda nice not to actually feel anything.

5) Is Smokey wrong about Kate?

Smokey's certainly convinced that Kate's not a candidate, but I'm still not so sure since her name clearly wasn't crossed off the lighthouse list. If Smokey is indeed wrong about Kate being a candidate, wouldn't it be amusing to see him turn her over to Infected Claire only to have to later save her after he realizes he can't leave the Island without her?

Yeah, yeah. It probably wouldn't be as amusing as whatever Claire's got planned for her...


- So ladies, was Jin Beefcake > Sayid or Sawyer Beefcake?

- I loved the quiet, subtle Smokey noise in the background as Locke returned to camp and found everyone unconscious.

- Note to ABC: The big, red "V" in the corner was really, really annoying and does not make me want to watch the show (though I did anyway because the remote was too far away and I had typing to do). My thoughts: Monica Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell are very easy on the eyes. Everything else was "meh."

Actually, scratch that. The ending was good. And by good, I mean humorous, campy sci-fi schlock. Y'know, like the original "V"...

- So the Tina Fey clone is a Geophysicist? Who would have thunk it?

- Lots of good quips this episode:

"Unless Alpert's covered in bacon grease I'm not sure Hurley can track anything." - Looks like Miles has taken the king of the one-liners title from Sawyer.

Ben: "Why do you think I'm lying?" Illana: "Because you're speaking." Ha!

"Whatever happens, happens." - Not only is this a nice play on a previous episode title, I loved Claire's look and head nod afterwards. It was totally like, okay, I like this plan. Kate's brain will taste goooooood. Her heart will taste gooooooood.

"That's one stubborn tomato." - Thought this was a very touching exchange, though I imagine next episode Jack's going to start feeling a strange compulsion to wear all white. ;)

- So the purpose of the watch and the money in the Alt universe was as a payment to Keamy for killing Jin because he was banging Sun. Did Paik plan to have Jin killed in the regular universe too? On one hand, Jin and Sun are actually married in the normal timeline. On the other hand, Paik did send a henchman to threaten Jin at the Sydney airport before Flight 815 took off. Would Paik have killed Jin if he ran away with Sun?


A solid episode that certainly moved things along, tied together a few lingering Alt subplots and gave us a very solid cliffhanger leading into next week, brutha! 4/5. So what do you think? Will we have a Desmond or Charles episode next week. I'd be totally happy with either.


Matt said...

I just assumed Smokey was lying to Claire about Kate.

Sun's attitude is one I've been waiting to hear all season, and one I'm surprised isn't more prevalent. "Screw you, Jacob. Screw you, Smokey. Screw you and your mean stupid games. If we're stuck here, we're stuck here, but we don't want to play."

As you know, I'm not much of a Sawyer guy, but his comment on how just turning into a cloud of smoke and leaving "would be stupid" would have been my quote of the week.

Missie said...

Having just rewatched the room 23 episode from season 3, I say it does look like the same film.

I totally buy that Smokey is uaing Kate to keep Sawyer, and will want to use her to get Jack.

We're totally getting a Des episode next week. There were bagpipes!! Widmore isn't Scottish, is he?

Missie said...

Oh, and the big red "V". Not only annoying, but they have it up in an episode that is subtitle heavy so that it can cover up part of the dialogue. Grrrrrrr.

Jay said...

Oh, I totally forgot about the Sawyer line. That was pretty funny.

And yeah, I could see where you'd always think Smokey was lying, but offering up Kate to Claire after he's finished with her just seems too much like a Smokey thing to do.

The real question is whether Smokey is right about all the candidates. Presumably Ilana knows the six names and methinks there's a reason we haven't heard them from her mouth yet...

Jay said...

Not to mention, Miss, the little notes Sun wrote to Jack on her notepad. You could tell what everything was from context, but still incredibly annoying.

Matt said...

Clarification on Smokey lying: I thought he was lying to Claire about Kate not being a candidate. I think he knows she is, but doesn't think Claire needs to know. I do think he'd be perfectly happy to let Claire feast on Kate's sweet sweet eye juices. On that much Smokey and I agree.

Missie said...

Thinking about the 6 candidates, where else have we had a set of six? The Oceanic Six. Who said they needed to all come back? Christian, ie Smokey. Seems to me that atleast Smokey thinks the 6 candidates are the Oceanic 6. Of course, Smokey could be wrong. And you're right Jay, it does seem very poignant that Ilana keeps referencing the 6 candidates, but has yet to name names. I think when she finally does is when we get to see the discrepancy between her and Smokey's lists.

Mitch said...

I'm positive Desmond is there for something to do with the alt timeline. I'm sure his abilities aren't just limited to time travel - he used to have premonition flashes and all that jazz. We still have no explanation as to why he disappeared on 815.

I'm surprised we haven't, so far, seen the alt timeline get any more tied in with the real timeline, other than Jack noticing his cut neck and wondering about his appendix. I'm sure it will tie in eventually, but we're already haflway through the season...