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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost recap: The Locke is thy Shephard


Really, my feelings about last night's episode of "Lost" can be summed up in a simple phrase: Craziest. Damn. Thing. Ever.
Seriously, I don't even know where to begin in assessing last night's insanity. Was it awesome? Well, yes of course. Do I understand everything that happened? Well, no. No I don't. Am I going to try to sum it all up for your benefit?
Why yes. Yes I am.
Below are thoughts about, highlights of and general musings on episode six of season five, "316."
* The opening scene of the episode was an almost perfect echo of the series' first moments. We get the closeup of Jack's eye, Jack wearing a suit, Jack's slow realization of his surroundings, the sound of yelling in the background...but it's not a flashback. Jack, we quickly learned, isn't on the beach. He's in the jungle. That yelling? That's Hurley yelling his name.
Jack runs to Hurley, who's stuck in the lagoon, helps him and then sees Kate conked out on a rock. He revives her and she asks him if they're back. He says yes. They're back. OH MY FREAKIN' GOD THEY'RE BACK!!! I totally wasn't expecting this to happen until much later in the season, but I'm so excited! Best...opener...ever!
* After the first break, we start to find out how they got back, picking up where we left off last week. Eloise Hawking is with Ben, Jack, Sun and Desmond and starts explaining how the island was found, how it's located in time and blah, blah, blah. OK, can I just say I hate it when Lost gets all mathematical on our behinds? Any time I see an equation written on a board, my eyes glaze over. But the upshot of her lecture is that, to return to the island, as many people from the original flight as possible must board a different plane, headed into a "window" that will lead them to the island. They must recreate the original circumstances of the flight as closely as possible. Hence, carting around the decaying corpse of John Locke. Eloise gently explains to Jack that Locke is a proxy -- Jack was traveling with his dad's body during the original crash. Thus, he needs to travel with a body again. This time it's Locke. Oh, and Locke's going to need something of Christian's. Crazy!
* Desmond quickly learns that Jack and Sun are looking to return to the island. He wants no part of it. He delivers Dan's message to Eloise (and what was up with the vacant look on her face when Desmond mentioned her alleged son? Is he not her son? More likely she, with her creepy omniscience, knew this was coming) and Desmond leaves.
* Eloise also tells Jack that Locke killed himself and left a note. Jack, being a tool, refuses to read it. Grr.
* The flight the Six must take back to the island is an Ajira Airways flight. What -- so that Ajira wreck the islanders found was in the future, not in the past? Were the Six the ones shooting at them? Ack! Brain overload! Brain overload!
* Jack has a grandpa! One who magically, conveniently materializes with Christian's shoes just when Jack needs something of his. Hmmm.
* When Jack gets home, Kate is there, alone, and refuses to discuss Aaron. Will we find out what happened to him? My guess is that he's with Claire's mom, but I'm not sure. Anyway, she's in on the whole "return to the island" thing now. They go to the airport the next day and find Sun...and Sayid...and Hurley. Sayid's being escort by some female law enforcement type. Hurley's alone. How did they know to come? We might never know. No, we'll know. I'm sure they'll tell us. A year from now.
* OK, how much do we love Hurley? Everyone else is thinking of themselves and their particular problems, and our favorite cursed lottery winner is the only one who thinks of buying up all the unused tickets on their flight so unsuspecting folk won't end up on the Island of Doom. Aw. What a good guy.
* The flight number is 316, hence the title of the episode.
* Ben is reading Ulysses on the plane. Sigh. Yes, we know the Others are highly evolved and all, but can't he read trash on the plane like the rest of us? Does Ben not own any Crichton?
* Hey, it's Frank Lapides, helicopter pilot, flying their plane! Yay! Even though I saw Jeff Fahey's name in the credits, I didn't know how they would work him in and was totally surprised.
* But what was up with Frank's reaction when he sees Ben and the Six (or, I guess, the Five now that Aaron's not there) on his plane? Was it me, or was he just way too calm? I would have screamed "Oh Hell No!" and reached for the nearest parachute.
* While giving Locke Christian's shoes, Jack tucks the suicide note into his coffin...only to have it given back to him on the plane. Oh Jack, just read the note. It says simply "I wish you had believed." Damn, John. Even in death, you can still bust Jack's chops.
* I'd be hard-pressed to pick the episode's best moment, but I think it might have been that flight, when everyone else is just happily sitting around, not knowing what's coming, and the Five Plus Ben are all tense and poised, just waiting for the moment of doom. Of course it comes right after Jack reads the note and...we're back where the episode started.
* Note: Not Jack nor Kate nor Hurley remembers the plane actually crashing. But we the wreck later. What happened? Did the plane crash and the Five plus Ben time travel? All we know is that, once Kate is revived, the VW-Dharma bus approaches and who should emerge but...Jin? In a Dharma outfit? Whaaaaa????
* Ok, I've been saving some stuff for the end. We NEED to discuss Ben's errand. Was it just me, or when Ben departed the church to "tie up a lose end" did you shriek "Holy Crap! Penny is a dead woman!" Whatever the errand was, it didn't go well. Ben calls Jack, covered in blood, and needs him to pick up Locke for the flight. And he arrives on the plane all cut up with his arm in a sling. Whoa. Ok, I am seriously terrified for Penny.
* Also, I guess we should mention Ben's lesson in Doubting Thomas, since there's a clear parallel between DT and Jack, the Man of Science. Ben specifically mentions the heroic side of DT that no one seems to recall. Does Ben see himself that way? As a misunderstood hero? Who knows. This makes me nuts sometimes, but it's these kind of complex questions that make me love it so.
Next week: The Jeremy Bentham story.

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