Well, so much for my "The Others are actually good, but mis-understood" theory from the beginning of the Season.
Thanks for taking care of that one, Ben.
Before we get settled in to the latest, here are a few thoughts that have been burbling up ever since Locke got shot real good:
1) Jacob was the father of Benjamin in the Bible. Just sayin'. Make of that what you will, connection-between-Ben-and-Jacob-wise.
2) Now the whole 'QUARANTINE' on the blast doors makes sense. Dharma figured there was a plague of some sort, so they quarantined the hatch. Kelvin Beard-haver (Desmond's hatch buddy from Season Two) makes a whole lot more sense. A known military black ops soldier (he trained Sayid in the ways of torture), he was sent by Dharma AFTER the gassing to scope out the island, see what caused all the dying, but he had to babysit the button also. Thus, he would foray as long as he could, come back, and make his little hatchy-doodle.
3) Remember back to Episode 2 or 3 of the first season? The backgammon game, one light and the other dark?
Jacob and Locke, flip sides of the same coin. S'true.
4) At the beginning of the last episode, Richard asked Ben about that doll he was given by his girlie-friend. Ben said it was a birthday present, and that " . . . today is my birthday. Do you even remember what a birthday is?"
Which at the time I thought was just a pissy if nonsensical comment.
But now I think it means that the folks behind LOST had a perfectly good reason for showing Richard as not aging since Ben was a kid. There's something fishy about our boy Richard other than his penchant for eyeliner tatoos.
And now . . .
L O S T
After the last few episodes (and especially last week's) this episode didn't do a whole lot of re-writing of previously held notions. I'm fine with this, we still got a nice, solid, and emotionally effective hour of Lost.
Charlie's never been a favorite character. Too much whining, too much sententiousness. But Dominic Monaghan is a fine actor, and he was on for this whole episode. The flashbacks, often completely superfluous, were well done grace notes. Monaghan really had to carry the episode here, and he nailed it. Then he nailed Desmond with an oar. "Uncool, man," as Hurley would say. Unnecessary contact with oar. Charlie's been suspended by David Stern for an episode.
As an added bonus to a character-driven ep rather than a mythology-bending one, I didn't feel like I'd just had my brain squashed into a blender and pureed until suitable for use as daiquiri mix. "Hey was that Jacob if Ben was Dharma than doesn't that mean thatifBenifJacobifLockeisshotandhesaidhelpmeand ...
Good to be spared that for at least one week.
So, what did we get?
*Hey look! It's the amazing Jack is an ass show! The Jack show! The Jack show! It's the a-MAY-zing Jackshow!!!
If I was Hurley, Sawyer, and Kate, this is the number of times I would follow Jack into the wild so that he could show me his 'brilliant plan': Zero. "Yes, Jack, I remember your last 'brilliant plan'. Follow the guy you already know is compromised until he leads us into the ambush, then pass out from the tranquilizers, get bagged, tagged, caged, and nearly killed. Oh, yes, that was smashing, simply stunning leadership."
*With that being said, Jack's plan this time pretty good. Boom boom. Though perhaps Rousseau has not considered the ramifications of blowing up the Others' Away Team. The Away Team that often includes her daughter. Might want to chew on that one, Crazy Jungle Lady.
Unless she is counting on it. In which case: You are a strict mama, Crazy Jungle Lady. Punishment should match the crime.
*But with that being said . . . you can't just say what your plan is, buddy? Maybe you'd have been ready for the Others if you hadn't taken them on a who-knows-how-many-hours-but-at-least-since-last-night's-pow-wow-until-daylight hike, Jack? What was that? Six hour round trip? Just for a dramatic explosion that, ah, could have tipped off your enemies? Do you think that "I have dynamite, let's rig the tents when they come for us," would have been a little quicker? Like, with words and whatnot?
Jack: "There, I just made a decision."
Translation: "I can only think of one thing at a time. My brain hurts."
Sayid: "You said you were our leader, Jack. It's time to act like one."
Translation: "I do not understand why, but for some reason the script prevents me from using one of the approximately seventy-three ways that I could employ to easily kill you in the next four seconds. Someday I will be unfettered and will feast on your entrails, you insufferable pig."
You won't believe this, but in the "Next Time On LOST", they made it seem like Jack plan fails.
*Look y'all, it's Rose and Bernard. I guess when the Losties went looking through plane wreckage, they must have removed whatever heavy thing those two were stuck under. See you in a year, Rose and Bernard.
*Hey, new hatch! Populated by I'm guessing the very least popular Others. You think your job is bad? Want to draw duty on the Looking Glass? Talk about a bad beat. While I'm at it . . . if Ben doesn't want his daughter to see Hot Karl her boyfriend, why not send him to mind the fishes for a decade or so?
*Didn't Looking Glass seem a tad overpopulated to you? That's some heavy security on a hatch that is already underwater, a mile offshore of a secluded island. I think there's a bit more there than just a frequency jammer. I'm guessing that the Looking Glass will be the source of the Big Secret, the "re-coding of the entire series" moment. What does the Looking Glass hide? Ben's already intimated that the arrival/departure sub goes there. For arrivals? For departures? Where/when/how are they?
*Speaking of the hatch on the water end of the cable . . . Sayid once tried to follow the cable into the jungle to see where it led and Rousseau scrappled him in one of her man-traps. Has anybody else considered trying this, at all? It has to be connected to something. Or . . . if you want the hatch to lose power . . . consider, oh I don't knooooooooooooow . . . cutting the cable? I swear. I wouldn't hire 90% of these castaways as carnies.
*By the way, Sayid first found the cable into the sea back in Episode 9 of Season 1. Way to rock the continuity, writers.
*On the other hand . . . wasn't that cable a good half-day's hike away? How did Desmond and Charlie get the pontoon boat there? And then Hurley just came jogging on up, got turned away (fantastic moment), and just went huff-huff-chuffing back. Duuuuude. I guess either the Losties moved camp to the cable since 2 days ago, when Desmond & Co. found Falls-From-Sky in her parachute harness, or else the cable itself migrated. Way to blow the continuity, writers.
*Random thought: If I were Desmond, I'd be utterly unable to stop myself from just staring at Charlie at random intervals just as a practical joke.
"What??? What is it NOW???"
"Oh . . . nothing. Nothing. Dum dee dee doo."
I still think there is room for a Charlie/Desmond spin-off.
*Not much to say about my expectations for next week. I want to keep it fresh. I think it'll be fine. I don't think this is a spoiler, since I avoid those things like the plague and I know this one. Lost writers have already said some people are going to die. My predictions?
Charlie, also heroically
Bernard, eaten by pterodactyl
aaaand Charlie, not real-ly
I think all of these folks have a pretty solid chance of eating the death hoagie before the finale is through. Except Charlie. The Lost writers don't have the grapes to kill a major character (and no, Boone and Shannon were not major characters. Don't even start. They were barely characters.)
I hope they do.
Tune in next time when Jack says: "I love you." They make it seem like he's saying it to Kate. But really, he is looking in a mirror. A full-length mirror.
ETA: Of course the Looking Glass is more than a jammer. It's the Looking Glass. As in Through the Looking Glass. As in how Alice in Wonderland went from one world to another. If there is a pan-dimensional/time nexus, that's where it is.
L O S T