"John Locke was not a believer, Jack. He was a sucker..."
(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).
Once again all of my predictions were totally wrong, but this time I don't feel quite so bad. Just who was the last recruit anyway? Jack, I suppose, not that he really joined up with Locke. Maybe it's because he's the only one left now after everyone else got blown up? It would be interesting to have Jack and Locke together for the remainder of the series, kinda like a warped version of "Midnight Run." And you know some portion of the finale is going to come down to Jack vs. Locke, as it should be.
To me this episode felt like The End, Part I of VI. It moved things along, got a lot of pieces into place (especially in the Alt, which I really dug) and set things up for the final stretch. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), it felt kinda slow to me. Yeah, a lot of stuff happened, but the end result was just to shuffle a bunch of people around. Not a whole lot of big reveals and the ones we got (like Smokey finally admitting to Jack he was one impersonating Christian) weren't really earth-shattering.
And I was disappointed that a lot of the tension that had built up in some storylines and subplots were diffused so easily, especially in Kate confronting Claire and the Hurley/Smokey talk, which turned into a Hurley/Jack talk instead (which was neat, but was I the only one expecting something a lot more suspenseful in the culmination of Hurley's plan)? Claire started off so wonderfully creepy this episode with her "you're with him" conversation, had some tension build when she said Locke's the only one who didn't "abandon her" and then was summarily abandoned by all the Losties, but had all that wonderful tension totally diffused by... a Kate sob story? Disappointing.
As far as the Alt goes, Desmond is acting as chessmaster, setting up the board for some grand design. I loved every moment of the Alt and now we have a plan to get just about everyone together at the same time. Jack's at the hospital with Locke, Ben, Sun and Jin. Presumably Miles and Sawyer will be coming to interview Jin (and Ben for that matter, since he saw Desmond). Sayid and Kate will probably be sharing a jail cell at some point and Claire and Ilana will have at least one more meeting with Jack. It's all coming together, the only question now is "For what?"
It was particularly difficult to find five questions this week because, by and large, they're the same questions we've been asking all season. We're a little bit closer to getting the answers, but nothing was really clarified. But I think I made a valiant effort here. :)
1) Can Claire and Sayid be redeemed?
As I mentioned before, the one striking thing about this episode to me (that was actually kinda disappointing) was how both Claire and Sayid both made choices that were less, well, evil than in recent episodes. Claire in particular seemed to do a 360 - she seemed so evil and manipulative early on with Jack and the others, but seemed to melt after Kate had a heart-to-heart with her. Raise your hand if you expected Claire to fire. I sure did. Seemed too easy to me.
Sayid also softened after Desmond asked him what he would say to his dead lover when Smokey brought her back (which I thought was a very good scene). Perhaps Evil Minion Sayid can feel something after all? He certainly let Desmond live and I suspect he helped him out of the well as well. So what's the future hold for these two?
If they really are both dead and resurrected by Smokey's black magic, they're probably not getting off the Island. But perhaps their souls can be redeemed by sacrificing themselves for the others. I'm guessing Sayid in particular is going to sacrifice himself to save Jack or one of the other candidates at some point.
Though I'm still holding out hope that Claire's hunger for Kate's brain will return.
2) What will happen when Jack fixes Locke's spine?
Locke's going to walk again, for certain. And now it seems that the sole purpose of Desmond running Locke over was so that Jack could operate on him. Will this merely help both Jack and Locke remember or is it something more powerful than that. In the first few seasons, Locke's wheelchair came to represent everything that was pathetic and futile about his life. Does it also carry a greater significance here?
One other Alt thing: Obviously the shooting has restored Sun's memory of the original timeline as well since she recognized Locke (or did she recognize Smokey - seemed kinda scared when she noticed him).
3) What did Claire mean when she said "if you spoke with him, you're with him."
This goes back to the same "don't let him speak to you" line that Dogen said to Sayid and Smokey said to Richard (referring to Jacob). It could simply be that Smokey's a very good persuader - in other words, there's nothing special about talking to him, it's just that he's really good at getting people to do his evil bidding. If Eve had never spoken to the Serpent, there would never had been a Fall, after all.
But all of these "don't talk to him" instances seem to indicate it might be something more. Can Smokey plant the seeds of infection through his voice? Is that how the evil spreads throughout the world? If so, Jack might be in a world of trouble if he's going to be buddy-buddy with Smokey for the rest of the show.
4) Can Widmore stop Smokey without Desmond?
Judging from Tina Fey's actions this episode, Widmore seems just a wee bit desperate to get Desmond back. Now this implies either 1) that Widmore doesn't think Desmond knows what he has to do yet or 2) Widmore thinks he has no chance of stopping Smokey without Desmond.
It could also be some kind of combination between those two - he needs Desmond to release some EM energy in order to stop Smokey, but if Smokey's coming to Hydra Island now, does Widmore have anything in his sub aside from the fancy sonic pylons to stop Smokey or keep him at bay long enough to let Desmond do what he has to do.
I don't think he does. And I think we're going to see a Smokey rampage in an episode or two. But ironically, there is someone on Hydra Island with a weapon that might be able to hold Smokey at bay: Hurley, and his pouch of Jacob's ashes. Widmore might have been unwittingly handed the best weapon remaining on the Island... if he doesn't shoot Hurley first.
5) Where is Desmond now?
I was going to title this "Did Sayid really kill Desmond," but we all know the answer to that. No, the real question is where did Desmond go, since I imagine Sayid also helped him out of the well.
Presuming he knows what Widmore needs him to do, I imagine he's heading towards one of the pockets of EM on the Island. If he doesn't know, he heading back to Widmore... on Hydra Island... where Smokey's heading. That would be bad. Methinks Desmond knows better than that. I expect to see Desmond at a new DHARMA station in an episode or two and I'm guessing Charles is going to try and meet him there.
- Augh! No new Lost next week? And they didn't even warn us? The rest of the season runs straight through after that, but still... way to ruin my Lost buzz, man. :P
- "There are pills for that, Doc." Sawyer still gets the best line of the night award.
- Ilana's office was on the 15th floor in the law offices of "Sweetzer & Verdansky"
- Nice to see the "Elizabeth" again, though I can't believe they all simply abandoned it and swam aboard. Why not simply dock the ship - felt weird to me.
- Still want to know who Jack's ex-wife is. Still think it's Juliet.
- Anyone else think it's weird Sawyer didn't know who Anakin was?
- Also, when Sawyer called Frank "someone who came out of a Burt Reynolds movie," I was actually surprised he didn't reference "The Love Boat" instead.
This was an okay episode for me. It felt kinda scattered since there was no centricity, but it certainly moved things along. 3/5. Now we have the long two-week wait until The End, Part II. :P