I'm so far down, I don't know where up is. Get ready, I'm going to rant about a program that I still enjoy quite a bit.
L O S T
I must confess, I don't know what to think anymore. The Nemesis has just flipped Sayid like a gentrified house, got him to panic-attack a whole lot of Jacobians over to his side and then kill John and Yoko. That accomplished, he smokemonstered into the Jacobian holiest of holies, killed all the remaining Jacobians real good, and then walked out of the place with his now loyal army behind him. And Kate.
Sayid's traded in his "I'm a Murderer But My Conscience is Killing Me" expression for something more along the lines of "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta." Infection? Embracing thug life? In any event, it looks bad for our remaining heroes, who appear to be a scattered crew composed of Sun, Miles, Ilanya (who?), Richard, Jack-if-interested, Hurley, Frank, Jin-if-alive, Kate-if-not-stupid and Maybe Sawyer. It looks worse than bad. It looks like the war is over before it even started. And some of our beloved characters have chosen the Bad Side.
And so what? What does it mean? What are the stakes? What happens if the Nemesis wins? What happens if Jacob loses? What's to be gained? What's to be . . . LOST?
See, right now, I should be saying something along the lines of "Oh NO, the Nemesis looks like he's pretty much won! Unless Jack can hit his unprotected exhaust port with his one remaining plasma missile, the Nemesis is going to . . . "
A) "DESTROY THE UNIVERSE!!!!"
B) "Kill all the humans!"
C) "Greenlight Caddyshack 3!!"
D) "Assassinate the queen!"
E) "Recreate the "Thriller" video with all the dead characters!"
We don't know. It's sort of a problem. As a single episode, this one pretty much had it all: Lots of action, some strong acting and character development from Naveen Andrews/Sayid, story progress, murders, sword-fights, revenge, pirates, miracles, true love . .. it's one six-fingered man away from a tropical Princess Bride. But we don't know what it means. Up until now, that was OK, because savoring the mystery was kind of the point. Now, however, we are rapidly reaching the tipping point, where mystery is going to get in the way of the story. We may have already reached it, because I just don't feel connected like I should to the action of the past few episodes. What am I rooting for the heroes to accomplish? Why am I rooting for the heroes? Sayid and Claire are "infected." Should I be worried? I guess I should, because they're following the bad guy, but then again, a whole bunch of non-infected Jacobians are following him around, too. Are they now infected? How much do they know?
Meanwhile . . .
Where is Widmore?
Where is Hawking?
Where is Walt?
Where is Penny?
Where is Desmond? I don't mean Desmond Vista who appeared to Jack on the plane. I mean Desmond XP, the one we know already.
And why do I care about these Sideways characters, anyway? You know what I'm interested in? I'm interested in the main characters who are off the island in our 2007 reality, many of whom have a lot of 'splaining to do. I presume there is a reason for Sideways world. I think this will all be re-coded in a very compelling way. The idea that this is the epilogue-in-advance is growing, but I sure hope they don't do something that negates all we've seen. That would be pretty bad. Luckily, it doesn't feel like an epilogue. It feels like the same people with the same messy problems, with somewhat-to-significantly-changed circumstances. What it all feels like is disjointed and disconnected.
I'm starting to feel like that's the point.
I mentioned last week that I found it interesting and potentially significant that we were no longer seeing any 2007-era off-island action. "Potentially significant" in that the actual location of this moving Billy Pilgrim island of space/time wahooey . . . is up for grabs again. It could well be in our Sideways World right now.
But that doesn't change the fact that we still need to get some context in here, pronto, if this is going to be more than an intellectual exercise.
OK, now onto the episode itself.
* Just as the character of Locke contains a central question: "Is his faith well-placed or is he a sad dupe?", so the character of Sayid asks "Is he fundamentally good despite his often murderous and torturey actions?" The answer to Locke's question right now appears to be "total dupe" and the answer to Sayid's question appears to be "irredeemably bad." I can't imagine we're going to let them end in that way.
* I'd say that Dogan's got a pretty good handle on what "infection" means. Sayid appears to be wearing the crazypants. He's a killer, but until now he's never been happy about it. I'd say Dogan's got a worse handle on staying alive. See ya, Dogan. Wouldn't wanna be ya. You were a confusing character that never really made much sense. Were you the top boss of the Jacobians? Were you just the temple boss? What was your relationship to Ben? To Richard? Could you have explained things less? Does the Smoke B Gone ash lose power when you lose your life? I know the answer to that one. It's "yep." I don't know why, though. Maybe the ashes were the remains of all your other baseballs. Maybe Ilanya can use Jacob's ashes to similar effect.
* I have some more questions for you, Dogan. Why did you send somebody you understood to be evil to kill somebody you understand to be evil? Why did you send him with a murder weapon you knew would be ineffective? Why did you let somebody you wanted out of your camp back into your camp to sow discord? Why did you converse with him over by your drowning pool? Oh, wait. You were a corporate banker. We know what happened to the banks. Never mind. Nice hiring there, Jacob. Alcoholic banker. Well done. You might want to have a word with your HR department.
* So what infects you, anyway? It's not Sayid's Lazarus trick, which, as Miles pointed out, surprised the Jacobians as much as anybody. Dogan said "If he starts talking it's already too late." Is it just the Nemesis' serpent tongue that infects? If so, the list of the infected is long indeed.
* If Sayid was drowned in the pool, and Sayid came back to life . . . what happens to Dogan?
* Kate? Claire's going to kill you. With her teeth. Enjoy.
* You know what the serpent told Eve? He told Eve that God was holding out on her, keeping knowledge for her, lying to her. He promised her knowledge. Full disclosure. Let me hear my Garden of Eden peeps. Holla.
* I loved Ben's slow back-away from Crazy Sayid.
* I don't have much to say about Sideways Sayid. He's still a bad-ass. I don't know what anything he did means to the larger story.
* Give me Alpert flashback, or give me death.
L O S T