This might have been one of the only Jack flashbacks/forwards/sideways that I really enjoyed. And I have to hand it to the writers. I’m thoroughly impressed that they managed to make me care about Jack and his relationship with his newly introduced preteen son. If I had heard that Jack was going to have a son and he would have parenthood issues I would have rolled my eyes and wrote this episode off as a loss. But I was surprised at how much I cared.
On the Island Hurley was leading Jack to Jacob’s spy-tower. There we saw a very familiar list of names. Jacob told Hurley that someone, number 108 on the list, was coming to the Island and Hurley had to help him get there. No luck in this episode, but I’ll bet we’ll hear more about that later.
Meanwhile Claire finally did some talking. Yeah, she’s crazy. She’s also BFFs with “Locke” although she somehow doesn’t seem to know his name. Poor Jin is now stuck with Claire and Locke and he knows way too much. He’s in survival mode and he’s surrounded by murderers. Also his leg is mangled. This guy has been through the wringer over the last two seasons.
This was a good episode. It set up a BSG reminiscent relationship between Hurley and Jacob, it had a surprising and effective reveal of Jack’s new son, it ramped up the anticipation about Claire and what the deuce she’s going to do, and it started two fun guessing games: who’s David’s mother and who’s coming to the Island (skip down the bottom of the post for my guesses and a couple of polls). Overall a solid episode. 7.5/10.0
See, this is why we should always trust the writers. Can you imagine the headache we would have had if this episode was episode 303. Without a Kate episode to bring things back down to Earth the show would have accelerated needlessly fast. We need this alternating pace so our heads don’t explode.
But enough about last week, let’s get on with this review.
Off the Island Locke’s life begins to self-destruct. But this time he’s not alone. Helen, Hurley and Rose are there to catch him and set him back on his feet (not literally). Locke postpones his fated meeting with Jack, but we all know it’s coming, “it’s destiny”. And right at the end we get a fun little reunion with surprising connotations: Ben is off the Island, and more importantly he’s a history teacher DUN DUN DUUUUN!!
Things aren’t as rosy on the Island. It turns out “Locke” didn’t really need Richard, he just wanted to punch him and then try to convince him that he’s really a nice guy. It didn’t work.
So “Locke” moves on to Sawyer, and has more success with him. Or does he? I’m convinced that our favorite con-man isn’t stupid enough to be conned by “Locke” and that he’s wise to his manipulations.
“Locke” does us a favor and tells us, in his very biased way, about Jacob’s scholarship program called Name on the Wall. It turns out Jacob was looking for Candidates, and we have his Master List to prove it. “Locke” thinks it was more of a hit-list and that these people were possible replacements for Jacob. I’m not buying it. I’m sure Jacob was watching these people closely, but I don’t think he was killing them, and I doubt he was hoping to die and get replaced soon.
I see this episode as a journey of discovery. Sure it sounds ridiculous, but that really does sum it up. It wasn’t a big flashy action episode, well besides that stressful ladder scene, it wasn’t an insane finale or a turning point. But we learned a lot and many lines were drawn in the sand. It’s one of those episodes like The Man Behind the Curtain and The Shape of Things to Come that is just a dream come true for theorists and mythologically obsessed fans. 8.5/10.0.
On a side note, I’ve noticed a pattern in the episodes so far. First we get a two part episode about all of our characters with most people getting flashbacks, then we get a Kate episode, then a Locke episode. Sound familiar? It harkens back to Season 1. We’ll see if I’m right next week, according to the pattern it should be a Jack episode next. (Don’t correct me if I’m wrong.)
Boooring. No I’m just being mean. Kate episodes are always meant to take things down a notch. We can’t just go full blast through a season with Smokey destroying things in every episode. Sometime we have to deal with characters and emotions. This seems to happen in every season, we get a Kate flashback and it slows the story to a crawl. I actually don’t always hate Kate flashbacks, but it usually takes me a few years to appreciate them. Combine that with my general disinterest in Claire and hate for Sayid and we have the makings of a truly boring episode.
Here are the parts of the episode I did like: Aldo’s return, Hurley’s new leadership role, Ethan’s surprise return, and half of Dogen’s explanation of the Infection. Claire’s Island return was also very surprising, but I’ll bet we’ll come back to that next week or the week after.
I’m still a little buzzed from the fact that Lost is back on, but not too excited to ignore the fact that this episode did almost nothing for me. 3.5/10.0
OK. So I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve gone back and forth with many of you in the comments all the while forming new theories. So here goes nothing.
New Theory About Dying
I’d like to put forth this theory: once characters die in one of the timelines they become aware of the other timeline. This would explain Charlie thinking that he had to die and also Juliet knowing that “it worked”. It doesn’t really explain what happened to Sayid. I tend to think that possibly he died in the non-Island timelines, but that seems kinda crazy (maybe Arzt killed him in some sort of racially motivated rage, you saw that look he gave him).
Sub theory. I know I already said that this would explain Charlie thinking he had to die, but I might change that. In 2004 he isn’t dead. So it’ll take a while before he dies and his consciouses merge. The first person to die will be The Marshall, and then Boone soon after. This could be fun if I’m right. (I doubt the redshirts dying will make a difference to my theory.)
Who’s Alive and Where
This is just a list of the people off the Island who are likely dead or alive. And just so you know, I’m staying spoiler free this year. So I know there are a lot of rumours going around about who’s coming back and who isn’t but let’s not post those items here.
In case you haven’t seen this yet, this is a video of both of the Oceanic 815 scenes. One where they crash the other where they keep flying. It’s fun to see the contrast and the parallels in the script.
EW.com found this hilarious video on Newsweek where they get these confused people who have never seen Lost before and show them a clipshow. It’s not quite a previously on Lost, it shows some of the crazier scenes and doesn’t explain anything. But it’s very entertaining to see their reactions to it. Apparently Sawyer “looks like Fabio” and Ben “looks like a pedophile”.
(Sorry for the confusion everyone, I prematurely published this last night before it was done.)
So I can’t give this episode the same credit I gave the premiere, for the invention of this new and wonderful format, but that still doesn’t make this a bad episode.
This is the episode where we finally get to see the Temple, inside and out. That’s a pretty big accomplishment. With the Temple comes a lot of Others action, always a favorite of mine.
We also get a last word from Juliet, “it worked”. I have a feeling that line will be extremely significant as this season goes on.
Back on the beach there is quite a bit of fun. “Locke” takes control of the situation. First he makes sure Ben feels as bad as possible about what he’s done, then he spouts off some actually logical assessments of the Oceanic survivors, then he takes down Richard and throws him over his shoulder. This guy means business.
In the Islandless timeline we’re left with mostly a Kate story. She escapes from under the Marshall’s care and pretty much gets away. We get our first glimpse of Claire in a long time.
Jack loses Christian and has a run-in in with the strangely positive Locke. They get along and Jack promises to fix Locke. Kind of a great setup for future episodes.
The contrast between the two Lockes, on the Island and off the Island is quite amazing. Terry O’Quinn is angling for another Emmy.
Oh yeah Sayid didn’t die. Yeah, who would have thought he’d survive? Truly shocking (I need to find a way to properly express sarcasm, it never really comes out right).
I think I’m still buzzed from the excitement of this new format so I might not be being totally objective here. I’d say this episode counts at about a 9.0 on my scale of awesomeness