You’re With Me Now

April 21, 2010

This episode really moved the story forward. I felt like I was on a roller coaster that revealed answers at every twist and turn and it left me completely exhilarated and wanting more once it came to an end. Unlike many other episodes, it was not character-centric and was instead focused on bringing everyone back together again.

John Locke Was a Sucker

Jack and unLocke finally do some catching up and it was very difficult to hear unLocke describe our favorite man of faith as a sucker and as “stupid” because he believed he was there for a reason. Every one of Locke’s flashback episodes were sad and frustrating because time and time again we witnessed how his faith was betrayed and ultimately led to his death at the hands of Ben Linus. They always left us (as viewers) feeling a bit empty because we wanted to see that his faith pay off almost as much as he did. The Man in Black (MIB) only viewed Locke as someone who could be easily manipulated; who was amenable for coercion. He used Locke like a puppet and continues to do so by appearing as him.

What The Hell Are You?

We all kind of knew this already, but it was nice to finally hear clear confirmation that the MIB was the one who appeared to Jack as Christian Shephard on the island. I don’t know if they’ll provide clear answers as to who else he has appeared as, but I believe we can safely assume that he has portrayed quite a number of characters who have died on the island such as Alex (Ben’s “daughter”) and Yemi (Eko’s brother) in an attempt to manipulate them as well. He was successful with Ben, but not so much with Eko, which is why he killed him.

Hope for Claire

Jack and Claire finally see each other for the first time on the island with the knowledge that they are siblings. I had thought for sure that “the darkness” had truly taken over Claire and that there was no hope, but this episode left me feeling otherwise. After all, she felt abandoned by everyone and MIB was able to easily manipulate her by playing on her emotions and promising that he’d help her see her son again. Even now, James Ford and the gang were going to abandon her because she was “drinking unLocke’s Kool-Aid”. Seeing Jack gave her hope and really made her feel good again. That combined with Kate’s speech about why she only came back to bring Claire back to Aaron seemed to turn on a light that has been dark for three years. Perhaps, at some point, we’ll finally be able to see her climb into a helicopter as Desmond told Charlie he saw her do back in Season Three.

The Fifteenth Floor

Is Desmond course correcting? He definitely seems to be playing the role that Eloise Hawking played with him in seasons past. His methods are a bit odd (running Locke over), but they do seem to be working in terms of bringing people together. By offering assistance to Claire as she’s on her way to see an adoption agency, he connects her with Ilana who has coincidentally been trying to locate her. Turns out that Ilana is a lawyer in the sideways universe and has been trying to find Claire because she’s listed in Christian Shephard’s Will. That sets up a nice first meeting of Jack and Claire as half-siblings in the sideways world. Jack seems pretty freaked out by this new information and gets called away for an emergency before they can talk anymore. A side note here…Jack and his son David seem to be getting along quite well, but we still don’t know who David’s mother is.

Do Not Mistake Coincidence for Fate

While Desmond might be providing a little push for all the characters to meet in the flash sideways, you can’t dismiss the fact that other people are coming together in a more pre-determined fashion. Sure Desmond may have hit Locke with his car, but he had nothing to do with Sun getting shot and the two injured parties being wheeled into the hospital simultaneously. It would also seem that these traumatic experiences may have awakened something in both Sun and Locke. Sun freaks out when she sees Locke leaving us to assume that she recognizes him as unLocke from the island. Locke’s is less obvious…he whispers to Ben in the ambulance that he should find Helen Norwood and that he was going to marry her. I could be reading more into this than I should, but he could be thinking that Helen left him like in the original timeline because he uses past tense. A more likely answer would be what Ben assumed. He could have been saying that because he thought he was dying and there would be no chance to marry her anymore.

Either way, the “coincidental” meetings weren’t over as we find out that the emergency Jack was called away for was to operate on John Locke. Could it be that Desmond ran him over so that Jack could repair his back? Interesting side not was Jack’s mention that Locke’s dural-sac was obliterated. Before LOST I had no idea what a dural-sac was and now it’s been mentioned in at least five episodes over six seasons.

Desmond also had nothing to do with James Ford’s arrest of Kate who is playing games with him by threatening to tell others that she saw him on a return flight from Australia that he doesn’t want anyone else to know about. Funny thing is that James actually likes this kind of banter and flirts heavily with her throughout the entire scene. Of course, he gets called away too, which sets up his “coincidental” meeting with Sayid whom he arrests as a murder suspect for killing Keamy and company at the restaurant. Nadia isn’t pleased that Sayid killed anyone.

Return from The Dark Side

Back on the island, unbeknownst to the rest of unLocke’s camp, Sayid is ordered to kill Desmond who is still sitting at the bottom of the well. Hurley tries to make a case for helping Sayid by saying that there’s a chance he can return from “the dark side” because Anakin did it in Star Wars. He then delivers one of the better lines of the night when he tells Claire, “you look great”. Meanwhile, Sayid points his gun at Desmond in the well and Desmond asks him a couple of great questions. Once he finds out that Sayid has been promised a reunion with the love of his life (Nadia) and that Sayid believes unLocke can bring her back from the dead just like he brought him back, Desmond asks, “What will you tell her when she asks what you did to be with her again?” This “darkness” that has overtaken him may not be real darkness at all. If the old saying that everyone has food in them is true, then perhaps he let Desmond live and lied to unLocke when he asks if he had done what he had asked. I know I’m not the only person hoping that this is the case for both Desmond and Sayid.

You Ready To Get Wet?

I just had to include this heading since it was another excellent subtle comment made when James Ford asked Kate is she was “ready to get wet” referring to his plan to use the Elizabeth to double-cross unLocke and sail to Hydra Island with her, Frank, Sun, Hurley, Jack, and Claire (after her conversation with Kate).

Leap of Faith

If there is still doubt in anyone’s mind that Jack has come full circle from where he was in Season One, this episode should help convince you. Ford walks over to him on the sailboat and half-heartedly thanks him for “taking orders” and helping to get everyone aboard. He says that taking orders isn’t Jack’s strong suit and Jack just sits calmly and starts talking about how it doesn’t feel right to leave the island. This starts to enrage Ford because he remembers Jack talking about “destiny” when he detonated the bomb and killed Juliet. Jack continues anyway and explains that maybe unLocke is afraid of what will happen if they all stay. Ford tells Jack to get off his boat and Jack says that he remembers how he felt last time he left and that the island isn’t done with us yet. Then he calmly looks at Ford and sincerely apologizes for getting Juliet killed before taking a leap of faith and swimming back to the island. Kate wants to “go back” and get him, but Ford says, “We’re done going back”. Think about it…most of them have leverage over unLocke because he needs all of them in order to leave. If even one person opposes him, he will be stuck there.

Reunited and It Feels So Good

When Ford and company arrive on Hydra Island, they are greeted by Widmore’s men and we finally get to see the reunion of Jin and Sun. I’m wondering if anyone else was worried that the sonic fence thing wouldn’t be turned off before their embrace. I was seriously concerned that they would get zapped just as they met each other. Even though Zoe did give the orders to turn off the fence a few seconds before, I was still worried and it took a little something away from the moment for me. At least Sun has her English voice back because that was somewhat annoying. Unfortunately, the happiness was short-lived as Widmore’s reneged on his deal with Ford and ordered Zoe to take everyone prisoner.

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

As Jack swims to shore, he is greeted by unLocke, but they are quickly interrupted when missiles from Widmore’s camp on Hydra Island hit the beach. Jack is tossed down the beach and others are killed, but unLocke is unfazed and helps get Jack to safety. Zoe had warned unLocke to return what he took from them (Desmond) by nightfall and this was the start of the consequences for not doing so. unLocke calmly tell Jack that, “It’s gonna be okay. You’re with me now.” I think that since MIB doesn’t believe in or have any faith in humanity, he thinks that he can manipulate Jack and keep him on his side. I truly believe, more than ever, that Jack is MIBs greatest enemy because MIBs over confidence is his weakness. Jack has no intentions of leaving and knows that unLocke can’t kill him because he needs him. Now by staying close to unLocke, he can hopefully find out exactly what the island needs him to do.

In two weeks LOST returns with “The Candidate” and then there are only two more episodes before the series finale!


What Will Happen When The Island Is Done With Us?

April 14, 2010

Frustrated! That’s the one word I can use to describe how I feel after watching this episode. Like many others, it requires a re-watch, but this time I still think I’ll be frustrated when I’m done. That said, it had me on the edge of my seat throughout and my brain is still racing trying to piece together all that we saw. I could say that it might not be as good as a couple of other episodes this season, BUT I can’t remember looking forward to next week more after any other episode this season.

I’m going to try a little different format this week and put my thoughts/observations under different headings. Here goes…

Libby

We knew she’d be back and I’m sure fans out there will still be clamoring to know why she was in Santa Rosa Mental Hospital with Hurley in the original timeline, but I’m more than satisfied with her appearance in the sideways universe. Her scenes with Hurley were romantic, full of hope, and ended with a picnic on the beach that they never got to share. Her memories of Hurley after seeing him in a TV commercial left her half-believing that she was crazy, but also hopeful that what she felt from those memories was real. She believes that they are soul mates and with a little nudge from Desmond to not give up on her, despite her being crazy, Hurley trusts his gut and pursues her. By the way, it was pretty obvious that Desmond “bumping into” Hurley was not a coincidence, especially since we saw him watching them on the beach at the end. And yes, I noticed that Desmond’s order number was 42.

The Picnic

After a slightly awkward conversation where Hurley tells Libby that he accepts her for who she is because, “we all got something”, they finally have their long awaited picnic on the beach and this time Hurley didn’t forget the blankets! It all leads to Libby leaning in for a sweet kiss and Hurley’s memories of the island come flying in. It’s interesting that we’ve only seen people who have died on/near the island as the ones who provide the impetus for the memories. So far, we’ve seen Charlie, Daniel, George Minkowski, and Libby as the triggers. Yes, Desmond is helping now too, but only because his eyes (memories) have already been opened.

Pierre Chang

He did NOT have a prosthetic arm. This is clear from the way he was clapping after presenting Hurley with the man of the year award and announced the paleontology wing at the museum. What does that mean? Well, assuming that The Incident was the initial cause of his lost arm, it never occurred during the flash-sideways timeline. Just further proof that the flash-sideways timeline started sometime earlier than when Jughead was detonated.

Ilana

The way she was tossing around the bag containing the dynamite was making me nervous, but the explosion still made me jump, and admittedly laugh a little. I’m a little twisted that way. What I took away from her death the most was what Ben said about it later on. He said that she was hand-picked by Jacob. Once she gets to the island and tells everyone who they are, she blows up. It was like the island was done with her and it makes him wonder what’ll happen to them when it’s done with them. By the way, does anyone else think that the bag Hurley picked up was the bag containing Jacob’s ashes that Ilana was carrying around?

Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Angry Alpert

Technically no one told Alpert to blow up the plane. He was only told to stop unLocke from leaving the island. Regardless, he seems hell bent on destroying Ajira Flight 316. Even after Hurley blows up the remaining dynamite along with the Black Rock, he still pursues explosives in Dharmaville with Ben and Miles by his side. He’s acting a bit like Jack used to act and it’s annoying. More on Jack later.

The Whispers

They’ve been around since Season One and even though I and others have guessed that they were voices of people who died on the island, it was finally confirmed by Hurley via Michael. A lot of people used to believe they were the voices of The Others, but now I’m sure they were voices of the dead trying to warn people that The Others were near. Michael went on to say that the whispers were others like him who are stuck on the island and can’t move on. That sounds an awful lot like a purgatory to me, but technically it’s only the dead people who are stuck so I guess that the Executive Producer’s promise that the island isn’t purgatory still holds up. I like the way Michael provided some guidance to Hurley about his new found leadership and explained that people are listening to him now and he could possibly get everyone killed unless he makes the right decisions. It was also nice to give Michael a chance to offer an apology to Libby through Hurley. Finally, I love how Hurley said that dead people are more reliable than alive people.

Leaving Together

A frustrated James Ford approaches unLocke to find out why the hell they are just sitting around and why they aren’t doing anything to get Jin back. unLocke calmly explains that the only way to get off the island is to leave together. He said that was the only way they were all able to come back and that’s the only way they can leave.

Well, Well, Well

According to unLocke, there are multiple wells on the island and the electromagnetic energy is especially strong in those areas causing compass needles to spin out of control. The well looked an awful lot like the Orchid well before it became the Orchid Station, but I knew it couldn’t be the same one. It made sense that there is more than one. unLocke’s conversation with Desmond was an uneasy one from the start, but Desmond seems completely unfazed by it all. The only time he seemed to react out of sorts at all was when they both saw that young kid standing in the jungle grinning at them with a huge smile. Who is this kid? Anyway, after explaining to Desmond that Widmore is only there for power and doesn’t want to try and understand the island’s power, he asks Desmond why he isn’t afraid. Desmond calmly replies, “What’s the point in being afraid?” unLocke promptly tosses him down the well head first, heads back to camp, and tells Sayid that they don’t have to worry about him anymore. Whoa! Thank goodness for the preview confirming that Desmond is alive, but for how long?

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Back in the sideways timeline, Desmond is waiting outside the school where Locke and Ben teach. Presumably, since he just finished watching Hurley and Libby kiss on the beach, we think he is now headed to speak with another Oceanic passenger to help them see their memories. Well, after Ben knocks on his window and basically accuses Desmond of being a pedophile, Desmond guns the engine and runs down a helpless wheelchair-bound John Locke. Could it be that Desmond can still see or feel both timelines through his consciousness and is trying to get revenge for being pushed down a well? Again, thanks to the previews for confirming that Locke is alive and heading to the hospital.

Jack Shephard

We started seeing a bit of change in him last season. Anyone who has been following my blogs can probably see that I’m partial to Desmond’s character, but still find a connection with Jack and his struggle to get out of his own way. I’m probably rooting for him as an individual more than any other character on this show because, in my opinion, no one has had a bigger turn-around in their lives than he has. Last season, he put his dead father’s shoes on John Locke’s dead body, but still tried to “fix things” by detonating a bomb. That experience combined with everything else he has struggled through has given him an entirely new perspective on life and he explained this to Hurley when Hurley expressed confusion as to why Jack would still listen to and follow him even if he knew he lied. He expressed how hard it is for him to sit back and let other people lead and make decisions, but he has finally accepted that he can’t fix everything. He knows that he can’t bring Juliet back from the dead and he is trying his best to finally just “let go”. Hurley even tells him that he has no idea where he’s going and isn’t sure what he’s doing, but Jack lets him know that he trusts him. I am so impressed with the change in his character and while he still has his moments, he really does seem to be redeeming himself. He has also made a 180-degree turn from being a man of science to being a man of faith. He doesn’t even question how Hurley can talk to dead people he just accepts it for what it is. Amazing!

Next week’s episode is “The Last Recruit” and I believe it is a Jack-centric episode. I think this because it makes sense that the last candidate unLocke recruits will be Jack. They had always been on opposite ends of the spectrum and everything has come full circle now.

See the comment section below for lyrics to the song that played during the preview.


Excuse Me. Have We Met Before?

April 7, 2010

“He has turned, the hatches fail safe. He has leaped, all through time…only to be with you…only to be with you. And I think, Desmond found, what’s he’s looking for.”

Where do I start? In corresponding with some of my friends, we all agree that this episode needed to be much longer, but it certainly didn’t take away from its awesomeness and the conversation has definitely changed.

I’ve said since this show began that people sometimes need to lose themselves in order to find out who they truly are and realize who they have the potential to be. I’ve also always said, to anyone who will listen, that life is all about perspective. On the island, each character has been granted the opportunity to view their lives from a new perspective and to make different life choices toward a more purposeful life.

So far, the flash-sideways we’ve seen have negated all that they experienced and learned while on the island. Even so, they do still seem to have vague recollections of those experiences. A couple of past examples include Jack looking at the mark on his neck and questioning his appendix scar.

Now Desmond-X, Charlie-X, Daniel-X, and Eloise-X have all had flashes of their other sideways timelines and we the fans finally begin to understand how the timelines reconcile with one another.

So…Desmond wakes up on the island thanks to Charles Widmore and promptly attacks him when he learns that he’s back on the island. He is held down by Widmore’s people and Charles decides to push up the “test”.

The test turns out to be an electro-magnetic frequency machine that would fry the brain of pretty much anyone in the world, but Widmore knows that Desmond survived the Swan Station implosion (Season Two Finale) when he turned the fail safe key and believes that he can survive another blast of electro-magnetic energy during this test AND presumably on the main island at some point in the future.

I say presumably because of the two giant pockets of electro-magnetic energy Zoe showed Jin from the island map last week. I’m guessing that Jin has to identify a central location between these two points and Desmond is going to have to do “something” there to either destroy or contain MIB/unLocke. I’m not liking the fact that Widmore spoke of a “sacrifice” Desmond would have to make because that sounds to me like he might have to die in order to save everyone he cares about.

Anyway, after accidentally frying the brain of another Widmore employee, Desmond is forced into the EMF machine and his consciousness is transported to Desmond-X, similar to the way it jumped in the episodes titled “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant”.

Lots of pretty cool Easter eggs at this point:

– First, before he “leaped”, Seamus called the white rabbit Angstrom, which is a term used to define the size of electromagnetic radiation wavelengths. Nerdy, but fun!
– Hurley tells Desmond that baggage is at carousel # 4.
– Desmond predicts that Claire will have a son.
– Desmond’s limo driver is none other than George Minkowski (from the freighter who died due to similar conscious-shifting experiences as Desmond).
– Desmond works for, and is Widmore’s right-hand man. As a matter of fact, they share MacCutcheon whiskey and Widmore actually says, “Nothing’s too good for you.”

This Desmond-X is not a believer in love and seems to only want to focus his efforts on obtaining Widmore’s approval. However, that’s about to change when Widmore asks that he goes and bails out the bass player from Drive Shaft who was arrested on Flight 815, none other than our friend Charlie. It seems that Drive Shaft is supposed to play at a charity benefit with Widmore’s son, Daniel (Faraday), who had the idea of combining classical music with modern rock.

It turns out that Charlie’s near-death experience on board Flight 815, when he nearly choked on the bag of heroin before Jack saved him, opened his eyes to something missing from his life. He saw a vision of a beautiful blonde woman (presumably Claire) and felt as if they’ve always been and always will be together. He described the experience as a revelation of love. A conscious-altering love that is more powerful and more real than anything he’s ever felt. He said he felt like he saw the truth.

Desmond listens, but is pretty dismissive of Charlie’s antics, describing him as a rock star with suicidal tendencies, but Charlie says he feels bad for him and decides to show Desmond what he’s talking about by grabbing the wheel of the car they’re in and driving into a harbor.

As the car sinks, Desmond swims to safety and then dives back down to rescue Charlie who opens his eyes and places his hand on the car window just like he did when he drowned in the Season Three finale. This is when Desmond sees a flash of Charlie’s hand with “Not Penny’s Boat” written on it and we all realize for certain that these two timelines are most definitely connected somehow.

Desmond pulls Charlie out of the water and the scene cuts to a hospital where Desmond wants to see Charlie, but is told he needs a brain scan first because he isn’t sure if he’s had a hallucination or not. The doctors perform an MRI, which we all know is going to have some trippy affects on our magnetic-sensitive friend. He sees a series of flashes all involving Penny and his life with her in the other timeline. He presses the panic button and demands to see Charlie.

The people at the front desk aren’t being very helpful when Desmond sees Jack and they remember each other from the flight. As he asks Jack for assistance, Charlie comes barreling down the hallway. When Desmond finally catches him, Charlie asks, “You saw something didn’t you?” Desmond starts demanding answers, wants to know who Penny is, and wants to know why this is happening. Charlie doesn’t know, but simply says, “None of this matters. All that matters is that we felt it. If I were you I’d stop worrying about me and start looking for Penny.”

Desmond is now a changed man and is even dismissive of Widmore when he gets upset with him for losing Charlie. Widmore tells Desmond to tell his wife the bad news and Desmond meets Eloise “for the first time.” It’s very obvious that she recognizes Desmond immediately, but she catches herself and says that it’s a travesty that they hadn’t met before. She handles the news about Drive Shaft not being able to perform remarkably well and even says, “Whatever happened, happened.” It’s not until Desmond overhears someone read the name “Penny” from the charity event guest list that Eloise gets irritated with Desmond.

She becomes very bossy and tells Desmond to stop talking. She expresses concern that someone has affected the way Desmond sees things and tells him that he needs to stop looking. This only serves to excite Desmond more because it’s obvious that Eloise knows more than she’s letting on. He asks, “Do you know what I’m looking for?” and “What do you know?” She responds with some bullshit about how he is looking for her husband’s approval and that he’s not ready yet.

Desmond starts to leave and his head is spinning, but just as he’s about to leave, he meets Daniel (Faraday) Widmore who starts talking about his true love the same way Charlie was talking about his earlier. It’s obvious that Daniel is talking about Charlotte based on the red hair, blue eyes, works in a museum description of her. He didn’t have a flash or anything. He just saw her and it was love at first sight. It was after that when things got weird for him.

Daniel woke up in the middle of the night and started writing Quantum Mechanic equations that someone with years of studying would have difficulty writing and he is a musician in the sideways world, not a physicist. This opened a window in his mind that turned him into more of a philosopher than a physicist. He expressed to Desmond that he feels like he set off a bomb (like an atomic bomb) to prevent a catastrophic event (the release of powerful energy) that changed things and that this wasn’t supposed to be their lives.

He went on to ask Desmond if he felt love too and Desmond protested saying that it’s impossible and that Penny is an idea and probably doesn’t really exist. This is when Daniel reveals that she is his half-sister and that he knows exactly where and when Desmond can find her.

Cut to Penny at the stadium near Saint Sebastian’s hospital where she’s completing a tour de stade. Desmond approaches her, asks her if she’s Penny and shakes her hand. Now, I’m assuming that since Penny is his “constant” that this physical contact, in the form of a handshake, is what prompted his consciousness to shift back to the island where Widmore and crew wake him up and tell him that he’s only been out for a few seconds.

Widmore starts to explain to Desmond why his talent is so vital and why he brought him back to the island, which I would have liked to hear, but Desmond cuts him off and says that he understands now and wants to know when they’ll start.

In the next scene, Zoe is confused as to what changed Desmond’s perspective in such a short period of time just as Sayid ambushes them, kills two men, and tells Zoe to run. He then tells Desmond, “We need to go now.” And Desmond replies, “Ay!”

Flash to the sideways world and Penny is helping Desmond back up after he feinted during their handshake. They agree to meet for coffee in an hour and Desmond seems genuinely happy for the first time in this sideways world, like the kind of real happiness that Charlie described earlier in the episode.

Desmond gets in the limo and George asks him, “Did you find what you were looking for and do you need anything else?” Desmond answers yes and that he’d like George to get him the flight manifest from Oceanic 815 because there’s something he needs to show the other passengers. Cool!

I know that this is more of a recap than a philosophical analysis of the events, but the events almost speak for themselves. Everything does indeed happen for a reason and there are greater forces out there than we can ever truly understand, but the one truth; the one thing that is real is love and happiness. Sometimes all we need to do is change our perspective and we can all find happiness. Desmond is on a mission again. What exactly will happen? Who knows, but I’m enjoying the ride.

Next week, “Everybody Loves Hugo”. You may remember a Season Two episode titled, “Everybody Hates Hugo”. This will be Hurley-centric as well. Check the comments below for the lyrics to the song playing during the preview for next week. Pretty heavy stuff!

On a completely different note, I heard a good riddle the other day…What did the Buddha say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.