"Dead people are more reliable than alive people..."
(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).
Well, not only were most of my predictions totally wrong, but I completely forgot Richard said they were going to destroy the plane two weeks ago. Yeek. But I've never been so happy to be so totally wrong.
I loved this episode from start to finish. Yeah, a few of the scenes were a bit disjointed and some of the motivations seemed kinda forced (like Hurley taking everyone to Locke, the explanation for the Whispers), but this episode totally shocked me twice: When Ilana got the Arzt treatment and when Alt Desmond flattened Alt Locke with his car (Locke sending Desmond well-diving you could see coming from a mile away). Lost is always at its best when it surprises and tonight was probably the best twisty-turny episode of the season.
Not to mention, there we're so many great little things about last night:
- Pierre Chang giving Hurley his T-Rex award. I want one of those.
- Seeing Michael again.
- Seeing Libby again.
- Ben's morose monologue about Ilana and the Island. He's kinda got a point too.
- Smokey trying to figure out Desmond.
- Alt Desmond looking so cool, calm and collected, helping people get their memories back
- Hurley and Libby getting their picnic on the beach. I never really bought the two of them together - always thought it was kinda forced - but there was some genuine chemistry last night.
- The trippy "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" preview for next week, which was taken from a 2005 album by Pendulum.
Just so much win this episode. Kudos to Jorge Garcia who gave it all last night.
Lots to ponder here, eh? Time to... *puts on Desmond's sunglasses*... ask some questions, brutha!
1) Is Alt Locke really Smokey? Does he realize he's Smokey?
The ending of the episode totally shocked me. At first I thought Desmond was simply trying to shake Locke's memory loose, but 1) Desmond hit Locke a wee bit too hard to just be trying to jog his memory and 2) he certainly didn't have to do that to Hurley to get his brain moving. So why kill Locke?
The most obvious answer is that Alt Locke is really Alt Smokey who, like all of the other Losties, has lost his memory in this pocket universe as well. If this is true (which it very well may not be - maybe Locke needs to die to collapse the pocket universe or something), it would suggest a number of things about the Alt:
1) Smokey is just as trapped as the rest of the Losties
2) Smokey is still stuck in Locke's form
3) Smokey didn't create the pocket universe at all
There are a couple things I like about this theory, especially in that it explains why the Alt is so normal. After all, the Island is destroyed in the Alt and the world certainly doesn't seem to be this Hell that everyone says would come about if Smokey escaped. Also I've been expecting Smokey to make an appearance in the Alt for several episodes now and this would certainly explain his absence. It also gives us another theory as to why the Alt exists: It's a last-ditch effort to contain Smokey.
With the Island gone, Smokey is free. But let's say someone (or some people) created the Alt at the last minute to prevent Smokey from escaping into the world, and you have to think Eloise is one of the primary masterminds here. Thus the Alt is really a proxy for the Island here - it's simply a prison to contain Smokey and everyone else just got taken along for the ride.
But there are a few problems with this theory. First if all, if this is the case, what good would it do to destroy the Alt? Seems in this case you'd want to keep it intact since you get the best of both worlds: Smokey contained and most of the Losties are happy. Furthermore it seems weird that Smokey would be trapped in Locke's form here since he didn't attain the form until 2007 in the present day universe.
I'm not totally comfortable with this theory - too many loopholes, so to speak. But I think we can say for certain that Desmond wants Alt Locke dead for some reason and that seems to suggest to me that if Locke isn't Smokey in this universe, then Smokey needs Alt Locke alive for some reason.
Poor Locke. Has anyone in the history of television had a more miserable existence?
2) Does Smokey really know what Desmond can do or why Widmore really wants him?
The conversation with Desmond and Smokey intrigued me in that Smokey really didn't seem to know what to do with Desmond. He insinuated that Widmore wanted to use Desmond as a compass to locate pockets of EM energy around the Island. This is plausible at face value, but doesn't seem to be what Widmore needs him for. After all, Widmore now has Jin to show him where the pockets of EM are, that's why he kidnapped him in the first place.
And Desmond was almost certainly lying when he told Smokey he was "John Locke" - I think Desmond knew exactly what Smokey really was. In fact, since Desmond's Alt trip, both versions of Desmond seem to have complete awareness of what's going on, which partially makes me think Desmond wanted to get thrown down the well knowing that 1) he'd survive and 2) there may be a pocket of EM energy down there. Note that the well Smokey threw Locke down was not the Orchid well. There's no Donkey Wheel down there for Desmond to turn.
If all this is true, it says a couple things to me: 1) Smokey isn't able to read minds anymore and 2) Smokey probably decided to kill Desmond just in case. You have to think if Smokey could still read minds, he would have scanned Desmond for sure, but lacking that option after a normal interrogation probably figured the safest thing to do was to simply get rid of him. Bit surprised he didn't go full blown Smoke Monster on him. All the James Bond villain ghosts on the Island must be facepalming right now, since he'd certainly still alive. Speaking of which...
3) Why are all the ghosts stuck on the Island? Can they interact with each other at all?
So the Whispers are really the muttering of ghosts who, in Michael's words, "can't move on." This seems to suggest the Island is really some kind of purgatory for wayward souls, even though it does seem to really physically exist in the world as well. And remember that since Hurley saw Richard's wife on the Island, it's not necessarily only people who have died on the Island either - it really seems to be a full-blown purgatory for spirits.
Looking back at some of Lostpedia's whisper transcripts, it does seem that the spirits can interact somewhat, talking to each other while they observe the living people on the Island. But it's kinda weird that Michael told Hurley to tell Libby he's sorry if he sees her. After all, if Hurley sees her wouldn't that suggest she's trapped on the Island just like Michael?
So why are the spirits stuck there? Is there something that can be done to help them move on? I'm guessing that the new Jacob will be able to address this question in the series finale.
4) If Jack becomes the new Jacob, will Hurley become the new Richard?
All through this episode I sat thinking, "Man, Richard is really useless now. Hurley's doing his entire job for him." And doesn't it seem weird that even though Jacob told Ilana that Richard would know what to do, Richard really doesn't seem to have a clue? When Jack interrupted Richard's suicide attempt in the Black Rock, we never actually got to see whether it would have worked in the absence of Jack. I'm betting that with Jacob dead, Richard can die now and will do so before the end of the season.
Now the new Jacob doesn't necessarily need a new Richard; he or she can simply choose talk to people directly. But I was struck by the conversation Jack and Hurley had in the jungle where Jack told Hurley that he trusted him and Hurley then gave Jack some advice - seemed like a really great working relationship to me.
So what would be Hurley's motivation to stay on the Island if Jack is chosen as the new Jacob? How about being able to talk to ghostly Libby all the time?
5) Does Hurley plan to try and trap Smokey with Jacob's ashes?
When Hurley went through Ilana's belongings, he grabbed a drawstring bag, which is probably the one Ilana filled with Jacob's ashes back in LA X. Is the reason Hurley suggested that everyone go see Smokey because he's planning to try and trap him a different way? If so, suddenly Hurley's decision to travel to Locke makes a lot more sense. I do kinda wish he had said to Jack "I have a plan" or something, but I'm betting we'll see those ashes in action sometime in the near future.
- So if Smokey kills Desmond and Alt Desmond kills Alt Smokey will the universe implode?
- So Jacob told Richard once what the Island really was. Any chance Ben or Miles will follow up on this in the next few episodes? Ordinarily I'd say no, but we are awfully close to the end of the show.
- Interesting that Desmond could also see Jacob/Aaron in the jungle. Richard couldn't see him, but Sawyer could. Does this mean Desmond's a candidate too? There's certainly something very significant about people who are able to see him and that boy is the one thing on the Island that seems to annoy the heck out of Smokey. At first glance, the boy seemed older to me too, but it seems to be the same young actor in both episodes.
- I love Locke's curious head nod (like the one he used when he saw Desmond for the first time), which makes him look like he's a velociraptor, right before it's about to tear your face off. ;)
- The book Hurley picked up from Ilana's stuff was Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
- "You talk to wood now?" Sawyer still gets all the best lines despite his limited screen time. Seriously though, what was Smokey carving that stick for? Is it a new Jesus Stick?
- A while ago I tried to predict what centricity the remaining Lost episodes would be. My predictions:
6.13: Charles Widmore
And what we've gotten so far is:
Out of my remaining four predictions, the only plausible one I think is left is Charles. Ilana is now gone and Frank and Claire just don't seem that likely to me. So who could the remaining four be? Well, there always could be a repeat from earlier in the season - Jack being the most likely candidate (pun intended) there. But I can't see having really more than two repeats, so were going to have to get at least one more new (for this season) flash in addition to Charles (assuming Charles actually gets one).
So now that Richard, Ben and Miles are broken off into their own group, I really think Miles is going to get an episode. He's the only one of the three who hasn't gotten one this season and he ties into Sawyer and Kate's Alt stories, so we'd be able to see the resolution of that storyline (of course, they'll all probably be getting a visit from Desmond soon).
- Another good thing about a Miles-centric episode this season: More Daddy Chang. :)
- Desmond's order number at Mr. Cluck's was 42.
- Did Dr. Brooks have that photo of an Island in his office in the original timeline? I think he did, but it's been a while since I've seen "Dave."
I loved this episode from start to finish. Is it a Top 10? Don't know yet, but it's got two top Lost moment contenders in Ilana blowing up and Desmond running over Locke. Regardless it's one of the best episodes this season. 4.8/5