Wednesday, May 5, 2010

LOST 053: We'll All Die In That Fellow's Submarine

A moment of silence, please.


Hello, class. The Nemesis is not secretly the good guy. We all clear on that? Good. Let's move on. Try not to trip over any corpses as you go.




They're dead, Jim. Go ahead and move through the phases of grief. When you get to bargaining, you'll probably start thinking "Sideways World", but I'm pretty sure that that's the devil's bargain.

Also, Frank is probably dead, but I'm going to assume you don't care as much about him. Hey, we're self-centered people. We care about who we care about.

Also, Kate is still not dead. I think there are two extra stages of grief for that.

A brief recap. Widmore captures and locks up the Candidates. Sayid, Jack and L. Smokenard Espinosa bust them out, killing Elias' Big Boy and some extras in the process. The reunited (and it feels so good) Scooby Gang heads to the plane, where Smokenard kills some more no-names and finds that Widmore has rigged the plane with C4. Smokenard uses the C4 as evidence to convince the gang to storm the sub, but Sawyer and Jack conspire to cancel Smokenard's ticket by taking off without him. They succeed in this, less Claire, but in a fight with what must surely be some of the last of the 10,000 Widmaniacs, Kate is shot in the flesh wound, and, while looking for a compress in his pack, they all find the truth.

The Nemesis wanted to be left out of the boat ride. He'd smuggled the C4 onboard, and it was set to detonate. In three minutes. The boat could surface in five.

What followed was one of the most crucial and tragic five minutes of the show to date.

Jack makes a realization, and Sawyer makes a bad mistake. We'll cover that in a moment.


Sayid finds his redemptive death, for reals this time. His everything a splode.

Frank gets off one more crusty comment and then eats submarine door.

Sun gets pinned behind some debris and Jin refuses to leave her as the sinking and wounded sub fills with water. This is unbelievably sad. Really.

Our surviving handful make the beach and begin to weep.

The Nemesis stalks off to finish the job. L O S T.

Now, let's talk about Jack, and Sawyer, and two little wires. Jack has figured something very important out: The Nemesis cannot kill, or at least he cannot kill active Candidates. Any action that he takes to break this rule will result in failure. The knife will turn. The bomb will fizzle.

BUT. He CAN make others, through their own actions, kill each other. And that's what he's been doing since the start. Why were all previous visitors to the island dead when Alpert arrived? Why were the Others so mistrusting and confrontational? Why did they kidnap and intimidate? Why did they wage war on Dharma? Why did Dharma wage war on them?

He's been there. Insinuating himself. The Jacobians may have followed Jacob in name, but the sign of the Beast was carved on their cavern walls, too, and the creature himself guarded the perimeter of their temple. Alpert may have given them words of the distant Jacob, but in practice, they often served another. Isn't that the way it is in religion? Yes, Jacob was distant, but the Smoke was clear and present. Mimicking their dead loved ones, must have held great sway. Their leader, Ben Linus, had a tube by which to summon him, and likely had many meetings with him in an old cabin in the jungle. His influence is far, and it is deep, and his purpose is to convince the others (or, if you like, The Others) to do for him that which he desperately wishes to do himself. Kill. He believes humans are intrinsically corruptible, but he is not content to sit back and just watch the proof. He intends to be the agent of corruption, as well. Perhaps a second trip through these episodes will reveal many lingering questions and inexplicable moments. I suspect that they will. But I think that this new understanding will shed light on most moments of conflict from the start.

I don't know if Jack was right, if the bomb wouldn't have exploded. I suspect that it wouldn't. But he was right about a very big thing. The Nemesis wants them to kill each other. When you know you are being manipulated, the best thing to do is often nothing. Let go. Surrender to the air.

We're down to Hurley, Kate, Sawyer (probably), Claire, Ben, Richard, Miles, and Jack. Rose and Bernard are still out there somewhere, too, but I'm not looking for them.

* I wish that Sideways Jack had tried to kiss Sideways Locke to bring back his memories. That would have been funny.

* Frankly, if you are going to reunite Jin and Sun just to kill them the next hour, you may as well have done the sonic fence thing. Just saying. Anyway, I'm expecting there will be a bit of controversy over Jin's decision to stay with Sun, given that he basically decided to orphan his child in order to stay with her in her final moments. I'd have preferred to see him die frantically struggling against that pipe, but OK. I think that, given that Jin's character motivation was entirely Sun for the last three years of his life, it is acceptable to have him get his Morrissey on and declare that to die by her side, is such a heavenly way to die.

* Yep, Desmond's still alive and in the pit. We kind of knew that, but it is nice to know that Sayid was able to return to himself.

* Widmore, a good guy? Still not convinced. I don't think there's much doubt that he is trying to thwart the Nemesis, though. Or is he? They both seem to be in the business of congregating the Candidates. AND let's not forget that it was Widmore who sent Locke on his Jeremy Bentham quest to get most of the Candidates back to the island. Why did the Nemesis put the explosives back in the pack of Jack (AKA the one guy who was NOT getting on the sub)? Did he arrange the whole firefight/Kate getting shot angle. Was he just planning on somehow forcing Jack onboard? For that matter, why did Widmore rig the plane with C4? I smell a long con with Widmore and Smokey, with Desmond as Widmore's final ace in the hole on the Nemesis for island domination. I'm with Sawyer; I doubt he has the Candidate's best interests at heart. Let's say he is acting in his own interests, and occasionally is working in the interests of the Nemesis, maybe without even knowing it.

* We know the game. It's time we learned the rules. Not much time left, so I'm saying next episode will give us whatever we're getting in that regard.



1Queens Up1 said...

maybe this all just a bad dream... Im as a big a fan as you and Im struggling to get through these last episodes. I think ABC was banking on the finale grabbing more peeps than MASH, but I dont see how that would happen now.

When Kate got shot I cheered...and then she lived..even with all that salt water entering the wound.


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

Yeah to bring us that close to Kate biting the bullet, only to kill off half of the other characters in one show but then bring Kate back? That is true torture, Sayid-style.

Queens, you are not alone. Struggling is literally the word for me watching this pile of poop last night.

HighOnPoker said...

Does anyone remember where Ben is? For some reason, I'm drawing a blank. Where is that sonuvabitch nowadays on the show?

1Queens Up1 said...

He, Miles and Alpert went the road less traveled a few episodes back.

Dawn Summers said...

Raise your hand if "raaayyyyyy-cciiisttt" was your analysis of last night's episode?

Anonymous said...

How could you ignore the part where Sayid told Jack that he was the chosen one? How??

So we now know that Jack becomes the new Jacob. I also think Desmond is the new Eloise Hawking, although I'm not quite sure what that role is in the big picture. It's unclear whether the smoke monster's role is something that can be inherited, but it sure seems like real Locke is the natural Yin to Jack's Yang.

I see this going 1 of 2 ways: 1) the whole thing turns out to be a thinly veiled christian allegory (yawn); or 2) it turns out the island is a cosmic ant farm within an infinite series of cosmic ant farms (i.e. with Jacob and the smoke monster being players within someone higher's ant farm).

Julius_Goat said...

@1Queens -- It has been a really difficult season, albeit one I've basically enjoyed. I'm pretty philosophical for now about the difficulties. From an email to a similarly-disenchanted friend:

(1) I think that they've chosen a very risky method of telling Season 6, which carries with it a real chance of a disappointing ending. I also don't think the Season so far has been as good as Season 1 or the last half of Season 3 - Season 5, which is still the high water mark. We're far enough into the season that it's hard to imagine they'll be able to catch up. The Sideways World has always been a thing that I have not been a big fan of. At this point, there is very little chance of being entirely redeemed, given that it has eaten up so much screen time with so little payoff to date. I presume there is a reason, but for the episode-by-episode experience of watching the season, it will almost certainly have been a net loss. It was, however, hugely improved by having an episode (Desmond) which tied it back to the real story in a tangible way.

(2) It is not at all clear to me that they will answer the big questions in a way that will be entirely satisfactory to me. The probability of there being dozens of minor points that are unexplained approaches 100%.

(3) Until it all shakes out, I'm going to reserve judgment, which seems like the most reasonable way to proceed.

(4) They have proven very adept in the past at giving us a whole lot of answers very very quickly. I don't really see any reason to think that this time will be much different.

(5) Even if it sucks, I will always be grateful for how awesome it has been at its best. I have really, really, really, enjoyed this show. It's been a pretty headspinning and confusing 3 months. I'm looking forward to seeing where it ends up.

Julius_Goat said...

@Dawn -- I don't know about racist, but they did kill them some minorities. It seems to me that they kept what have been in a sense the very core four characters (Claire, having been given a bramble bush on her head, is an afterthought). One could likely make a treatise on the fact that the very core four characters are three white people and a happy fat light-skinned Latino guy.

Two things that may help you feel better:

1) At least the smoke is still black?

2) Sawyer said "we're done going back", and Jack has also stated that he's not going back. So come on. That MUST mean that he's "gone black", right? Isn't that what is making it so difficult to go back? Am I reaching?

I'm reaching, aren't I?

Julius_Goat said...

@Annon -- I guess I ignored it because it has already become so skull-poundingly obvious that Jack is "The One." Sayid saying it was merely the most recent huge sign saying JACK WILL BE THE NEXT JACOB.

Anonymous said...

LMAO at the episode being racist. Typical.

Julius_Goat said...

LMAO at anybody thinking that was a serious suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I'm just amazed that Miles has made the cut so far. Out of all the people he's out-lived, I would have put him waaaayyyy higher on the list of throw away characters for the writers to kill off

Bayne_S said...

It is a shame that attending the Ivy League school's prompts greater white liberal guilt in the Dawn Summers of the world so they spot racism everywhere!

If you want to watch people of color turn on the CW rather than the networks.

Dawn Summers said...

Wait, what? I have white guilt in me?? Get it out! Get it out! Get it out! I ordered white privilege! Damn you! I mean, I'm sorry.

(I do often forget Hurley is latino AND yeah, how is MILES still alive, but Juliette is dead??! Crazypants!)