Friday, April 23, 2010

LOST 052: All Jacked Up

I know, I'm late. Again.

I think that as the sun begins to set on my favorite show, I become more and more loathe to dissect it, preferring instead to just enjoy what comes to me through my watch-holes. Part of this is probably some High Nerd version of the natural progression of grief, but part of it is that I know this show. The M.O. here is best described as "you don't know anything yet." I have a feeling that the few bombshells left to explode (and we all know they're there at this point, don't we?) are of the short that will totally reshuffle my deck.

What I suspect is that after the show is done, you will all have to suffer through a LOT of material on LOST before it's out of my system.

Think of what we didn't know until the very last episode of Season 5. We didn't know that Jacob was locked in a battle -- of wills and philosophy, and sometimes just in a battle -- with another entity. We didn't know that the crux of the argument was about the inherent goodness or badness of humanity. We didn't know that Jacob's enemy was the smoke. We didn't know that they had rules preventing them from hurting one another. We didn't know that the smoke could appear as the dead. We didn't know that he'd been planning to circumvent the rules, manipulating people to move the island through time and space to gain access to Jacob in the company of a man whom he'd arranged to be as willing to kill Jacob as possible. We didn't know that Jacob had been involved with them throughout their lives.

All this information and more came to us in two distinct 5-minute scenes, and were given to us in rather casual conversation, and sent reverberations over everything we'd already seen.

What other cosmic shoe might be ready to drop?


All this is to say that I'll probably focus a little less on speculation and a little more on things I liked and things I didn't like so much, random points, etc. However, there are a few things that came into focus that we should take note of:

* The Nemesis said something that is either very important or just a metaphor that I'm reading way too much into. He told Jack that he'd been "trapped on this island before [he] even got here." If taken literally . . . well, I don't know what it means. But it leads to some rather wild speculation about the nature of the island. What if the island is bigger than we think? What if it's much bigger? Or, how about this? What if the island is a soul-magnet of some kind, and it draws the essence of those who are meant to come there, leaving them husks of themselves until they arrive (shades of Sayid's recent zombification, the "infection", etc.)?

So much for not devoting this post to speculation. Oh, LOST. Every time I think I'm out, you pull me back in.

* Yes, Christian was the Nemesis. We pretty much knew it, but it was nice to have confirmed. However, what about the Christian that Jack was seeing off-island? I think it's pretty established that the Nemesis can't get off-island. (See also: Claire appearing to Kate, all of Hurley's apparitions).

* Yes, the Nemesis required that John Locke come back in order to take on his persona. Also, he needed him to come back dead. Also, he clearly needs all the remaining candidates for whatever it is he's doing. This says interesting things about Eloise Hawking's insistance to Ben, and through her to Jack, and through Jack to the rest, that they all needed to return to the island or "God help us all." It turns out she was lying or misinformed, wouldn't you say?

* EXCEPT THAT, let's recall that Jacob was also actively working to get everybody back to the island. Both entities wanted all those people back on the island. I get the sense that Jacob knew what the Nemesis wanted with these folks . . . but the Nemesis has no idea what Jacob's interest in them is.

* Widmore also needs the Candidates alive, which is why he waited until he knew they were clear (I think the headcount worked out with Frank there to make him believe that he had Jack, too) before raining death from above. Which means that Widmore AND the Nemesis AND Jacob need these people alive.

* I cannot believe that Jin and Sun were not zapped unconscious by the sonic fence, and I will never forgive LOST for not giving us what would have been a Crowning Moment Of Awesome. That said, I really feel for Yunjin Kim, who gets saddled with the dumbest subplots. Really? She loses her English just to get it back when she reunites with Jin? Gack. But then . . . Wouldn't Sun's constant be Jin? Wouldn't finding him again restore her to herself, when (I suspect) non-English-speaking Sun Paik was Sidewaysing into her head?

Speaking of Sideways bleed . . .

* Sun recognizes Locke as she's wheeled into the hospital. So Sideways Sun has a bit of Island Sun in her, too. And, of course, Jack recognizes Locke, though that may be from lost baggage claim a few days ago. But it's not. And finally, we have Sideways Locke talking about Helen, and how they were going to have gotten married. His use of the past perfect alarmed Dr. Linus, who assumed he was being fatalistic, but isn't it possible that Island Locke -- who's engagement to Helen was broken -- might be bleeding in? I say yes.

My question is this: Where else has Sideways bleed been happening, since the very beginning?

* Maybe Kate can escape from police even when handcuffed because police just keep leaving her alone. Hey, Sawyer? She's a seven time successful escapee. Maybe don't just throw her an apple and then stroll away, even if she is surrounded by cops.

* Over in Sidewaysopolis, plots are converging beautifully. The big payoff for the Side plot is still coming, I suspect, but ever since Desmond started moving and shaking, there is an immediacy and an interest to this whole story that wasn't there before. Sayid and Kate are in Sawyer and Miles' custody. Claire is connected to Jack, as is Locke, and, by relation, Ben. Jin and Sun are in the hospital nearby. Maloney makes the point that Desmond is playing at being Jacob, in his own somewhat clumsy way, or is perhaps an interim Jacob figure. That sounds about right, but the important thing is that Sayid didn't kill him. Obviously. If this show gave Desmond an off-screen death, it would be a bit of a story foul. Not much suspense there. Interesting that he's once again down in a pit, except now he's pushing Sayid's buttons.

* If the Nemesis wanted Desmond dead, why didn't he just kill him? Oh, rules, if only we knew what you were. You're going to make us go back and watch again once we know you, aren't you? Sly, crafty rules.

* Desmond's boat returns after a four-year absence! Continuity win!

* Roll call!

Desmond is in a hole, almost certainly without a bullet in him. Or, Sayid freed him and he's running around out there.

Sayid's . . . somewhere. It's not clear, but it doesn't seem he rejoined the group. His soul may or may not be restoring. He also may or may not be forming a Fusion band with Claire called Soul Restoration.

The Nemesis and Jack are alone at last, sharing a Dharma wine box and meaningful looks. Jack doesn't have shrapnel from the direct artillery strike. Candidates get all the breaks.

Miles, Richard, and Ben are off to try to blow up the plane.

Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Kate, Frank, Claire, and Hurley are captured by Widmore on Hydra Island.

Locke is still dead.

Zoe is annoying.

* Jack made what I think is his best decision ever, in realizing that leaving the island is what the Nemesis wants them to do, and refusing to play ball. So, he's back with the Nemesis, but I don't think he has plans to play along. Also? He can swim miles of ocean fully clothed and with a backpack on. That's pretty sweet. I'm not saying he's Aquaman, but I'm not saying he's not. You decide. I did think his jumping out of the boat was a wonderful callback to Sawyer's dive from the helicopter two years ago, albeit for different reasons. I am very interested in Jack now that he's taken up the Locke banner. You notice that he seemed almost offended when the Nemesis referred to Locke as a sucker?

And with this I think we get to the Big Question. Is faith the misguided and foolish trust of the perpetually long-conned? Or is it the only way to surrender to the flow and find your true calling?

Was Locke a sap? A sucker? His bones are ant food right now.

But once again, I think we're not done with Locke.

The island isn't done with Locke.

The story isn't done with Locke.

In the next five hours, somebody needs to take Jacob's place and keep the cork in.

Desmond is calling Sideways people back to their true selves. I suspect some sort of merging of consciousnesses. But Locke? There's not a Locke to return to. What if Locke merges with somebody else?

Somebody like Jack?



HighOnPoker said...

My usual sample box of thoughts:

1. I think its great that Smokey confirmed he was Jack's dead dad. I also think its very odd that he used Jack's dead dad to help Jack and the crew find water. Why help them? It seems out of character for a bad guy. I still don't know where this will end up.

2. The Smokey is the dead guys revelation is interesting, because now there are three distinct sets of dead-seeing powers. Smokey can look like dead people. Hurley can actually speak to dead people (I don't believe this is any trick by Smokey or Jacob). Miles can sense things from dead people and their objects. His power is actually different from Hurleys creating three different concepts. Very interesting indeed for a show to have similar phenomenom with different variations.

3. Eloise Hawkings was not misinformed since we know that Jack and crew will save the day in the end. She sent them back there to stop the Nemesis once and for all.

4. I think Desmond is more like Hawkings than Jacob, who seems to understand where things are going and is putting people into position.

5. It seems like the dead (in the real world) are more likely to feel out of place in the Sideways world. Think Charlie and Locke. Both seemed to have the worst time in sideways world and seemed most aware that something was off.

Great job as always, Goat.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Jack was really tried when he got back to the beach. He looked like he could have just come from one leg of a triathlon, why not?

1Queens Up1 said...

If Jack was Aquaman, where were his dolphins to let him ride to shore!


Mike Maloney said...

I'm convinced Jack was smart enough to pack some water wings in his backpack, allowing him to stay afloat while casually swimming back to shore.

BLAARGH! said...

Best throwaway line of the episode when Sawyer describes Lapidus as that "dude that looks like he came from a Burt Reynolds movie".
I love it when they make fun of themselves like that...
Great writeup as always Goat.