Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Early Reaction to Lost: "We have to go back, Kate!"

Now that was a download.

After what felt like a slow episode with fewer revelations than met the eye last week, an otherwise stellar final season of Lost returned to form in a big bad way with Episode 610, The Package.

It hit me so hard, in fact, that my decision to forgo early reaction mania--after finding myself flip-flopping ceaselessly over last week's episode--and not do an instant recap again this week has magically evaporated into the ether.

Lemmmee see---nope, no hesitation anywhere to be found. 

For anyone else who missed Sun and Jin, it was gratifying to see them center stage in what felt like the smoothest example of the blending-through-the-years style of storytelling Lost has been employing so far this season.  The call backs were legion, yet they were smooth as silk.  And each one of those callbacks provided either relevant information or, in the case of Sun's garden, relevant and poetic location.

And the revelations came fast and furious tonight, blowing the cork-in-a-bottle metaphor out of the water when it comes to clearing things up for us.  Last week's beach blanket bingo between Jacob and Richard now feels more like an intermission compared to the way the mythology kicked into high gear tonight.  So much came clear that any potential to keep looking for head-fakes was sliced to the bone. I never felt misled or confused at any time; rather I just felt like everything was sliding into place, with the emotional character stories and the action/adventure tale of mystery just dovetailing right into sublime perfection.

So, let's make a quick list of what the heck just happened: (just click "read more" below) . . .
1. The Sideways World is coming after they leave the Island.  It's the same Universe, only it's what happens after Smokey gets off the Island and "everything changes."  That was an early theory that has always felt right, and Widmore and Smokey both confirmed it for us.  Leave the Island and everything changes.  Leave the Island and you end up in Sideways World.  Charles flat out said it, and Smokey seemed to be thinking it in every exchange he had with a Lostie.

2. Widmore is a good guy; or at least a Team Jacob guy.  There is no love lost between old Smokey and Charles.  In the end, Widmore is standing by his commitments to the Island and Jacob.  I don't see any way now not to understand that he is an ally of the Island, first and foremost.  Maybe he wants to control it in the end--although I don't believe that--but he wants to save it before everything else. 

3.  Jack seems to be slipping into the Jacob role very smoothly.  The transition has been building the past few episodes, but tonight seemed to confirm that he is indeed the top candidate to be the next Man With The Plan on Craphole Island.  Another hoped for--but never quite believed--theory bites the dust, as far I am concerned.  I had really thought they might go for Sawyer as the next Jacob. Sawyer has always been the long range thinker on the show, and I was hoping they would find a way to pull off Jack as the surprise next Man in Black.

I never really believed that, however, and I was merely hoping that maybe that switch-a-roo between our two Alpah males was coming in the end.  But I am sure glad to be wrong, because--and this cannot be said loudly enough--Lost is almost always best when I am flat out wrong and they leave me gobsmacked.  I was just knocked out of my socks by Jack and Sun's seaside chat, when Jack just really had his Jacob vibe going on for him, girlfriend!  He pulled that tomato out and I nearly plotzed.  Was that tomato really there in the garden, or has Jack actually tapped into some Jacob-like powers?  Exactly what has happened to Jack since he sat on that cliff next to the lighthouse?  He's definitely and believably channeling Jacob's personality, but might he be channeling more than that? 

This is why I watch Lost, in order to be surprised and delighted by something I never saw coming.  I never saw Jack transitioning this quickly and convincingly by this point in the season.  Hell, I still was not certain that he really was going to be the next Jacob, despite his leading man status, until his cliff notes chat with Sun turned me into true Jack/Jacob believer.  It snapped me to attention, as for the first time I could see the end game coming.

4.  Damn.  Lost is ending.

5.  The Sideways World is screwed.  There are some good times for some (or so it seems), but overall it's a bad place for our Losties.  Can't get anymore straight with that notion than by seeing that Jin was targeted for assassination and Sun was left gut shot right in her baby bump.  And if the Sideways World is screwed, then that just may mean we are watching only the First War of the Island.  I don't see the series ending in the Sideways World, so therefore that means our Losties are going to have to go back.  "We have to go back, Kate!"

6.  Smokey ain't no good guy.  (Damn.  I buried the lead.)  Old Smokey, all covered with crags, may be a mixed up baddie--and one who was possibly shanghaied into service, either by hook or by crook--but he's not a good guy.  He's out for Smokey, consequences be damned.  And who cares if a thousand Jacob-is-the-Devil paragraphs go up in a puff of black smoke, because I got to watch Terry Q'Quinn and Alan Dale give each other the stink eye while explaining a whole hell of a lot about our story with just a few looks.

7.  Widmore may have been a real jackass at one time, but he's mellowed now.  This really does explain the anomalous scene in The Constant, when Widmore gave Penny's address to Desmond.  That always itched and itched at me.  It made me wonder if secretly Widmore was working on the right side all along; or at least on the Island's side.

8.  "We have to go back, Kate!"  I wonder if when the story shifts to the Sideways Losties having to get back to the Island and fix whatever went wrong (or do whatever they have to do in the Sideways world in order to reverse things), if they will then simply move full time into the Sideways World?  Will the Sideways World then become the focus fior a number of episodes?  Because the current Island story seems to be ending just as the Sideways tale is amping up to 11?

9.  This story has just gone to 11.

I'm so there now, in a visceral way that even my joy over Dr. Linus and The Substitute didn't stimulate--although I bet when I watch those episodes again now, even those instant classics may just ramp up another notch.  I'll bet I see a lot of stuff I simply did not have the eyes to see without being able to incorporate what was revealed tonight--both in terms of character and plot.

Man, think of those two episodes actually being even better.  The mind boggles.

They hide it all in plain sight, Darlton does.  That is what makes them Darlton.

(And I did not just use the oxymoronic phrase "instant classic."  You did not read that.)


10.  If there is to be a new MiB, will it be Sun?

Let's take a quick second with this last one.  If someone has to be the MiB, then someone's getting screwed.  The MiB looks to have the crappiest job in the Universe.  That still seems pretty clear.  Good or evil--or anything in between--it's all relative if the guy got stuck wreaking Jacob's vengeance against his will for all Eternity.  Who the hell would want that job?

But it seems to me that they have made a case that the job is necessary; the Yin to Jacob's Yang.  And if Jacob can die, can't the MiB die, too?  And wouldn't that mean he would need to be replaced, too?

If that is so, then to me this episode was setting up Sun to be that candidate, which would make a lot of sense as to why Sun and Jin have had to spend so much of this season on the sidelines.  Such a development would move them front and center at the end, which would be both ironic and poetic as hell.  And heartbreaking.  Really, really heartbreaking.  But I have to believe that there will be heartbreak coming.  I'll believe in happily ever after for everyone when you pry it out of my cold dead hands. (Hey, a mixed metaphor.  I got one in.)  And Keamy did say, "Some people just aren't supposed to be together."  I don't think that line was simply referring to Sideways Sun and Jin, but to ever incarnation of Sun and Jin.  From Season One through to tonight, something has always happened to split Sun and Jun asunder.  Sometimes that thing was emotional, sometimes it was a thing entirely out of their control.  What if, in the end, they are simply cosmically not meant to be together, because Sun is meant to be the next Man in Black, or the first Women in Black?

And what if Jack is meant to betray the promise he made to her tonight, just as Jacob apparently "betrayed" the Man in Black--all in the name of the greater good?

A lot of "ifs" in those last few rambling paragraphs (such is the instant recap), but that's only one point out of ten with a lot of "ifs" in it.  Otherwise, seems like they gobsmacked us with a whole hell of a lot of Answers (with a capital A-N-S-W-E-R), and they did it while telling exactly the sort of moving and powerful character story that made me fall in love with this show in the first place.  And a whole lot of characters got a piece of the development action, too, with Jack and Widmore and Sayid and Smokey and Claire all given big heaping doses of character clarification, expansion and/or change.

But it was our sweet subtitled spouses of yore who ended up providing the biggest and most emotional moments.  And they were some of the best moments of the entire series, as far as my instant reaction ass is concerned.  This Sideways Sun and Jin story touched my heart in the same surprising way their stories always seemed to do during the character heavy first two seasons.  Every time I started to forget about them back then, a Sun or Jin (or both) story would come on and make me fall in love with them all over again.

It was so nice to have that feeling back again.  And it was so appropriate that just as everyone was wondering whatever happened to them--BANG--here comes a fabulous old fashioned Sun and Jin tale wrapped in a final season, mythology flavored slice of bacon.

And that's an instant recap.

Yeah, it only took two hours.  It was instant.


  1. I'm there, too, Schmoker (what kind of name is that?).

    Sitting through each commercial break was excruciating during this ep. I just wanted to get to what happens next. And then what happened next just made me want to see what happens next again.

    And now I just want to get to next Tuesday.

    Can someone please turn a frozen donkey wheel and send me to next Tuesday?

  2. Oh, and I will be back in a day or two with a more detailed recap, including some expansion on all the above, as well as a few other nuggets that I'm too tired to mess with tonight.

    But let me ask you guys a question. Did tonight look to you like perhaps the beginning of a sad ending for Claire and Sayid?

    Is death the only thing that will release them from their agony?

  3. Did anyone else find it impossible to read Sun's notes with that damn V countdown clock in the way? Must I personally go down to ABC and start taking names?

    Sayid and Claire made me sad, Schmoker, but this episode made me happy. I also felt they were clicking here, bringing all the story elements together in a thrilling manner. By the time they got to the Desmond reveal, it wasn't that surprising, but that was the only thing that wasn't. We got halfway through the commercials after the Widmore/Smokey scene before I went thought, hey, they hate each other.

    I need to go watch it again.

    Sun and Jin completely in love at the time of 815 was the sweetest moment yet in this season, and totally unexpected after watching him tell her to button her blouse in the premiere. It was also the saddest if, as you think, they are being set up for permanent separation. That's going to break my heart.

    Bad, Darlton, bad. But also good, Darlton, good. I'm as split as Jacob and Smokey.

  4. This is a new blog, and this post has received more page views than all my others combined. Please let me know what you think of it, good or bad, here in the comments section.

    Comments are completely open, with no moderation, so it's easy to put one up. Give me your theories, agreements, or disagreements, because I am always perfectly willing to be dead ass wrong when it comes to Lost. And I often am.

  5. It was great seeing the Sun & Jin storyline from a different viewpoint. I think they're going to end up being the 'Adam & Eve' that were so talked about at the beginning of this tale. They're the only ones who have conceived a child on the island. In Sideways Land, I'm not sure how that's going to work out with Sun being shot.

    Every comment I read gives me something new to think about. The 'Bible' for this show had to be amazing to keep the continuity straight.

  6. Yeah, Barb, keeping it all straight must be crazy. I'm just glad I recently rewatched S1 and S2. Hadn't seen them since they first aired, and having them fresh in mind is really making so many things leap out at me this season. Nothing more so than Jin and Sun, who have been out of the joint spotlight now for years. Having just watched their episodes from the first two seasons really let me dive deeply into their love story last night.

    I mean, Richard and Charo last week paled by comparison.

    Maybe you are right and they wind up the skeletons, but I see them as being destined to be separated in the end (which would explain why fate and the writers have conspired to keep messing them up all through their lives---because, as Keamy said, some people are just not meant to be together, no matter even if they love each other).

    It's going to be sad. Last night really made me feel Sun is either going to die or end up being the new Smokey to Jack's Jacob, while Jin ends up going back to care for their daughter.

    If there is a world and daughter to go back to, that is. But I think there will be. I think the Sideways World Losties are going to have to change things back somehow, then Jack and Sun are going to have to assume the white and black thrones to keep things going.

    Or maybe not. That's what I think today. Ask me again tomorrow when I do a post about how the Sideways World could end up being a by-product of finally defeating Smokey--sort of a take-the-good-with-the-bad kind of epilogue.

    Man, I love this show.

    By the way, Jin understood a hell of a lot more English than he ever did in Season's one and two. That was apparent all throughout the episode, from his interaction with the desk clerk to his saying, "Free," to Sayid.

    I wonder if he is the one hiding his knowledge of English in the Sideways World? I think his thank you to Keamy was meant ironically, because what Keamy did not know was that Jin was grateful to Keamy for yapping and letting him know just what the real situation was there in the freezer. Watching the episode again, Jin's facial expressions reminded me of the ones I just saw from Sun in the Season 1 episode where Kate figured out that Sun could speak English.

    I think Jin's "no English" rap was all about trying to manipulate people into dropping their guard around him.

  7. Interesting thoughts. You have a lot of thoughts here. Concerning Jin and Sun I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't end up happily ever after. But Sun as the next MIB? I dunno, she would have to develop a real hatred and disgust of mankind as Smokey does now. Her character is still caring and trusting people since she still trusts Jack. You hinted that this might be a set-up for a Jack/Jacob betrayal but she would have to commit an awful offense before he would turn on her like that.

    I am hoping that the series will end with finality. Not a an ending that says "and we start all over again". That would seem like a cop-out on the part of the much hailed Darlton.

  8. I really LIKE your blog. I got here from Ryan's blog. which I love. but which has me going in circles sometimes.

    I didn't start watching Lost til the third season so all my knowledge of the first two has been gleaned from reruns and watching online. A lot of the recent stuff is lost on me because I don't associate it with anybody, but I'm trying!!

    The one thing that has happened to me this season is that I can't get ENOUGH. I'm afraid to read most blogs for fear of spoilers but I like yours and I like your sense of humor!

    Thanks for letting me in without jumping through a bunch of hoops! :)

  9. Thanks, Jan. Please come back. You and all your friends.

    One thing you should know about Lost, it's just gets better with repeated viewings, which is what puts it so high on my all time list. I am watching again right now, after not having seen many of the episodes for years, and they are almost all better than I remembered. And I remembered them all as being pretty damn great in the first place.

    This is the third time through for me, but the first in several years. I'm really glad I did it again, and it is making this final season all the more enjoyable for it.