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!