I like the format of this episode, very little B-story, all Michael. They did add a beginning and an end, but I believe that they were afterthoughts following the writers strike.
This episode was primarily about Michael and what happened to him after he left the island. Surprisingly it wasn’t all rainbows and happiness. He suffered just as much off the island as he did on it. And for the second time he submitted to Ben. All in all it was a good flashback. It really reminded me of Three Minutes, the season 2 episode. It seems like the writers like to tell Michael stories all at once rather than slowly revealing them.
But that wasn’t really what I cared about in this episode. The craziest thing to happen in this episode had nothing to do with Michael, it was Rousseau and Karl getting shot. That shocked me to my core. I really didn’t see it coming and I am still surprised that it actually happened. These deaths along with Alex’s death are what made season 3 shocking.
-This is the second time we see a character not being able to die. I attribute that to Jacob. I figure he is preventing people from dying, but I wonder if he can only stop sucides.
-I’ve had far too many Michael discussions over the years but I’ll do it again here. I think he was an awful parent and he did the wrong thing with Walt in so many ways. He had an impossible situation, it’s true. But come on, he killed two women to get his son back, then he told his ten year old son about it. He doesn’t deserve to look after the kid. Even Walt hated him enough to not want to see him again.
-So Michael was suicidal because he felt extreme guilt for killing two relatively innocent women. He found out he couldn’t kill himself. So to atone for his mistakes and to escape his guilt he decides to sign up for a mission to kill a freighter full of people. Oh yeah, they’re bad people, I forgot to mention that. But in all seriousness, did he really think that was the best course of action? To make up for killing two people he thought he’d kill dozens of strangers…for a good cause.
The poor guy thought he was doing it to save the people who were still on the island, but that leads to the obvious question, does the end justify the means?
-Poor Walt wakes up in the middle of the night screaming. I hope it wasn’t about Libby and Ana Lucia. (I guess I’d prefer it if he was just mentally disturbed for some other reason.)
-Hurley looks absolutely devastated when he finds out that Michael’s back.
-According to the plan after the Freighter Folk captured Ben they were supposed to kill everyone else on the island. Miles was in the room when Ben told people that and he didn’t argue. I could see how that could be a lie though. Ben could easily tell people that to make them hate Whidmore.
-Suddenly Ben is happy to share with everyone that Michael is his spy on the freighter.
-I love it when Ben tells Michael that he didn’t ever tell him to kill Ana Lucia and Libby.
-This episode has the Locke that we all know, the Locke who shares info and involves others. Who knows where this Locke was for the first part of this season. That was bad writing, I think. Locke was always open and willing to share, to a fault. Then suddenly once he became a leader of his own group he got all overbearing and crazy.
-Miles comes back and he still has his head.
-Miles knew that Michael’s name wasn’t Kevin. That can’t mean that he was psychic though (I hope). I don’t know how he knew exactly, but it was likely just a lucky guess. Or maybe he can hear certain ghosts around Michael, people like Libby and Ana Lucia.
-What was Sayid thinking when he turned Michael in? That was painful to watch. He should have just played along for a while longer. He certainly had enough of a reason to distrust the Freighter Folk. I guess the mention of Ben pushed him over the edge.
-Claire takes huge exception to Ben being treated like one of the group.
-Michael sold Jin’s watch at a pawn shop in New York. I wonder if it has any significance? Those watches seemed to mean something in season 1, maybe they’re irrelevant now.
-I figured that Frank recognized Michael as an Oceanic survivor, that was why he talked to him about his Oceanic 815 conspiracy theories. Wrong again.
-There’s the threatening side of the Captain that we’ve heard so much about. It’s not too scary.
-This was the first time we got to see Keamy’s insane bad-assery. It was a little scary.
-Tom comes out of the closet, officially, in this episode.
-I freaked out when I saw Cynthia Watros’ name in the credits.
-I was quite disappointed with Libby’s return. It was nice to see that Michael was still haunted by what happened, but it could have been better.
-Libby tells Michael not to do it, not to “blow-up” the boat. He then procedes to press the button.
-We get to see Ben’s soft side when he sends Alex, Karl and Rousseau to The Temple. He really went out of his way to protect them. It ended up costing all of them their lives, but it’s the thought that counts.
-I was sure that Alex was untouchable, in other words the writers wouldn’t kill her. She survived that crazy attack at the end of this episode and the character was just great. She was one of the only young actors in the cast and she wasn’t going to age dramatically any time soon. It seemed like she would last forever. I was wrong.
-When Karl died I was barely even sad, I figured he was just the average red-shirt, dying to make things seem more serious. I thought it was sad for Alex, but it wasn’t the end of the world for me.
-I think what made the deaths so surprising was that they came out of no where. There was no threatening music, there was no danger at all. It was odd.
-I was depressed and so shocked when Danielle got shot. I desperately hoped that it wasn’t a kill shot. They had been promising a Rousseau flashback for years, and then with a tiny little scene at the end of an unrelated episode they just dashed all those dreams. I was angry for quite a while. My only comfort was that Alex survived that ambush, and we all know how that turned out.
Now I understand that a Rousseau flashback isn’t out of the question. They could still do one with Ben, or maybe even with some crazy time travel type thing, we’ll see.
Flashbacks (what we knew then):
-This episode has the second Mama Cass song in it, “It’s Getting Better”, and it’s during a part of hilarious irony. It’s a great song though.
-I expected to see modern Walt in this episode.
Flashforwards (what we know now):
-I am desperate to see The Temple, that place must be pretty insane.
-Michael asks Tom if The Others can come and go, Tom answers, “Some of us can”. Does that mean that some are allowed, or some are able? Obviously most Others aren’t allowed to leave, like Juliet, but what’s so special about those who can leave, Richard, Ethan, & Tom? Do they have to be recurring guest stars?
-While we’re on the subject of Michael, I should say that I think the writers did a sufficient job redeeming the character. I’m still glad he’s gone, but I don’t have that hate that I did at the end of season 2. I know most people disagree though (I doubt I’ll be hearing from them though).