Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Lost" recap: Rubba Dub Dub, Don't Get on the Sub

Spoilers for this week's fairly gobsmacking episode of "Lost" below, so don't click through if you don't want to know.

Oh my God -- are they serious? We get Island Jin and Sun back together again just to see them drown? Island Sayid goes through physical and psychic hell this season and ends up blowing himself up to save the gang? Lapidus is very possibly dead before the show gave Jeff Fahey anything significant to play? Kate's been shot? Off-Island Locke caused the accident that left both he and Anthony disabled?
Exactly how many shocks do these people think my heart can take in one episode? I'm a total, total mess right now. My stomach is in knots, my mind is racing and I am blown away like...well, like a character on FREAKING "LOST"!!!!
OK. I've collected myself a little bit. But I'm still totally knocked off my feet by these episode. After last week's episode "The Last Recruit" -- which basically existed to put all the pieces in place for the final chapters of the series -- this week's ep, "The Candidate," was almost wall-to-wall craziness, featuring the most mayhem on a submarine captured on film since the Kelsey Grammer classic "Down Periscope." Because my mind is still processing it all, I'm going to just do a series of bullet points. Because, well, WOW.
* So, I was totally wrong about Jack being zombie-fied after Locke Mess rescued him from the blast. If anything, he has almost Desmond-like clarity. He knows he's not supposed to leave the island, but he also believes Locke Mess will kill him and his friends if he doesn't help "rescue" Kate, Sawyer, et. al. I'm still liking this version of Jack. Yeah, he did have that moment of jackassery near the end when he seemed so confident that everyone would be fine, even as a bomb was ticking away. But hey -- you can't win them all. And he does rescue Sawyer and gets Hurley and Kate to safety following the sub explosion. So he's still OK in my book.
* I winced a little when we saw the polar bear cages again, getting a nasty early-season-3 flashback (I totally expected Nikki and Paulo to pop out of nowhere to say hi). But, thankfully, the cages were short-lived. Plus, that moment when Smokey attacked as Kate, Sawyer and co. were caged up was legitimately scary as hell.
* When Locke Mess found the plane all wired up, did anyone else expect Miles, Ben and Richard to show up, revealing themselves to have rigged the explosives? I mean, they were intending to blow the thing up. I'm almost certainly wrong (did they even have explosives when they broke from Team Hurley? I can't remember.), but it's a thought.
* Locke Mess is truly a master manipulator, is he not? Engineering that whole submarine scenario -- even Ben Linus on his best day couldn't manage that. It was kind of a surprise when Sayid ran away with the bomb, though. Why did he do it? Was he truly brought back from the dark side? And what was with his message to Jack? "It's going to be you, Jack?" That's what he said, right? So, did Sayid get a flash that Jack is the new Island guardian? Why was he so willing to sacrifice himself? And did anyone else die a little inside when Jack bellowed "There is no Sayid"? Oof.
* Though I'd already assumed as much, we learned that Sayid didn't kill Desmond. Is that who Locke is going after at the end of the episode? Or is he aware that Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley are still alive?
* Yes, it turned out to be the best thing for her, but I was still sad for Claire when the sub dove, leaving her behind yet again. Poor kid. No wonder she's taken up residence in Crazy Town.
* So is Lapidus dead? We see him get hit by the door and fall, but we don't actually see him die. I guess I'm just in denial that "Lost" cast Jeff Fahey and gave him almost nothing interesting to play. Yes, he was master of the one-liner, but I was really waiting for more from him.
* In the off-Island timeline, we see and hear several call backs to some of the show's recurring themes. Jack tells Locke he's a "candidate" for surgery. Of course, Jack and Locke are both "candidates" on the island. Also, in his pep talk to Locke, Jack tells him that "what happened, happened." We heard Eloise say that in "Happily Ever After" and, of course, that was Daniel's theory of time travel -- that is, until he proposed detonating a big ol' bomb.
* Jack also sees Bernard again, but doesn't remember him from the plane. Odd, considering they were sitting near each other on the flight. Also funny, considering that the man who fixed Locke's teeth happens to be the husband of the woman who found Locke his teaching job, yet none of the three seems aware of the connection. Hmm.
* OK, the mystery of off-Island Anthony Cooper has been solved. In this timeline, Locke and his father were close -- until Locke took them up in his plane and it crashed. The accident left Locke in the wheelchair, and left Anthony a shell of himself. What do you want to bet that, if off-Island Sawyer sees THIS Anthony Cooper, he won't be able to wreak vengeance on him?
* Sigh. OK. I've left this until the end. Jin and Sun. Sigh. I can't face it. I can't believe they're dead in the Island timeline. That sequence with them holding each other, able to face death as long as they face it together, was brutal. And the final shot of their hands drifting apart...sigh. I can barely think of it. This is quite possibly the most heart-breaking death on "Lost" to date. Charlie's death was tragic. Sayid's was heroic. Nikki and Paulo's was necessary. But after seeing all that Jin and Sun went through together, watching their deaths tore me up. Awful, awful, awful. Even worse was the way their deaths affected the other characters. I don't know whose reaction was sadder -- Hurley's or Jack's. Just terrible.
* That said, I do feel that Jin and Sun are a little too ready to make their daughter an orphan, no?
Thoughts? Or are you too emotionally destroyed to articulate your thoughts?


Bill Scurry said...

Point to Cuda for the "Down Periscope" reference.

I didn't love it tonight... granted, Lost characters have a bad track record in aquatic environs, but they should've known better than to get aboard that sub. And if Jack can't die, why did the bomb go off, contradicting his and Richard's findings aboard the Black Rock?

I guess the biggest issue was the flash sideways, which took half the real estate in a knotty, tense episode to languorously discuss the Locke/Jack dynamic, which has been explicated many times before. Rather than tell us anything new about our heroes, it merely served to let the tension out of adjacent scenes. And besides, any Jack/Locke comparisons to be made now are invalid, because what's on the island is no longer Locke.

The Colonel said...

Bill: Damn you for congratulating Cuda for the "Down Periscope" reference! As soon as I read it I thought, "I better give her props for that before Scurry scoops me."

I think the bomb went off for possibly two reasons: 1. It wasn't next to Jack; 2. It went off more quickly than it was programmed for because Sawyer pulled the wires, thus meeting the "he expects us to kill each other" loophole.

That, or setting up Jack as the new Jacob/guardian/&c. is the mother of all "Lost" head fakes.

Re: The Jack/Locke comparisons. I'm not so sure I agree with you, Bill. Smokey may not *be* Locke as we remember him, but he has exhibited very, very Locke-esque tendencies, even yelling, "Don't tell me what I can't do!" at one point. Also, I think it's still very possible that MIB may actually end up being Locke to begin with, in some "Lost"-y, time-loopish way. Remember Desmond telling him, with beatific certainty, "You're John Locke"? That delivery, and the Anti-Locke reaction shot, were laden with portent.

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