After 101 Episodes, “Lost” Still Manages To Surprise
Last night, I finally got it. All my complaints about the Wussification of Jack Shepherd now seem unheralded. I get what was happening…and those son of a bitch “Lost” writers have actually pulled it off quite brilliantly.
See, New Jack Shepherd is the Old John Locke and New John Locke is the Old Jack Shepherd. It’s a complete and total role reversal that has gradually occurred over about a season and a half. It’s worked and not only do I feel foolish for complaining about how those characters were acting, I feel like I should apologize to someone but I don’t know who…maybe just the Internet in general.
So, I’m sorry Internet.
So am I crazy for thinking this about Jack and Locke? Did others notice this much earlier and I’m just the most dense “Lost” fan of all time? We were used to Old Jack. He’s the guy that would step up and make decisions. He’s the person that has emotional responses to situations. Would Old Jack say “I’m going to kill him” and then set about going to do that? Oh yeah he would.
What about New John Locke? We watched him triumphantly become The Leader that everyone told him he would become. He confidently made decisions and strode with a purpose. He knew what needed to be done and he went about doing it because he has a plan.
In 1977, New Jack and Kate (who is still the same…lame) witness Daniel being murdered by his mother Eloise. I’m happy to report that I nailed the whole journal deal, as Eloise kept the journal that she took from Daniel so she could eventually give the journal to Daniel. Got that?
The fact that Eloise recognizes her own handwriting in Dan’s journal causes her to help Jack and Kate. See, New Jack bought into Daniel’s plan about using the Jughead bomb to blow up the Swan Station. I’m not quite sure if Jack has completely thought this one out. I mean, everyone knows about the “Incident”. Sure, this whole time travel thing is new to New Jack so he may not have thought, “Hey, what if me detonating this bomb in 1977 is the Incident?” He could set that bomb off and that is what causes Dharma to build the Swam with the computer, that has the button, that Desmond doesn’t push, that crashes Oceanic 815…you get the idea.
So Jack and Kate set off with Eloise, Richard Alpert, and some Other fella. Eloise, much to the shagrin of Chucky Widmore, decides to take them to an underground secret Other hideaway. When they get to the underwater entrance, Kate has second thoughts and decides that she is totally going to bail. Then, for the first time in “Lost” history, Jack whips out the Destiny Card. Kate didn’t even have to compare New Jack to Old Locke before it hit me that New Jack is just as lost and confused as Locke was way back in season one.
The other Other dude wasn’t going to let Kate leave quietly and he threatened to shoot her. It’s a good thing that jungle cat Sayid popped up and put a few shells in that Other’s chest. Oddly enough, I had just looked at Mrs. Cinematically Correct and said, “What ever happened to Sayid anyway?” After Kate leaves, Jack sums up Daniel’s plan and Sayid reluctantly agrees. Jack, Sayid, Richard, and Eloise swim into the Others tunnels and go to the bomb, which is where we left them for the night.
What else happened to our 1977 folks? When we last left Sawyer and Juliet, they were captured by Radzinsky and the Dharma folks. Radzinsky picked the wrong guy to smack around because Sawyer was not talking about the whereabouts of Kate, Jack, and The Others. Then, in maybe the greatest moment of stupidity in “Lost” history, that douche Phil punches Juliet. Let’s take bets…how long into next week’s episode before Sawyer kills Phil? An hour? Twenty minutes?
Apparently, Daniel’s crazy talk with Dr. Chang worked a bit because Dr. Chang believes that Hurley, Miles, and Jin are indeed from the future. After his grown son Miles tells him to evacuate the Island, Dr. Chang starts to get women and children off via the submarine. Of course, Miles and his mother are in that group…which caused some tears for Mrs. Cinematically Correct.
Dr. Chang then interrupted the Sawyer interrogation and it became apparent that Radzinsky is the Dharma alpha male. Chang tells them about the possibility of an explosion at the Swan and Radzinsky just ignores his advice and tells him “drill baby drill“. Sawyer, definitely seeing an out for he and Juliet, seizes the chance and offers up Kate and Jack’s location in exchange for a seat on the sub. Sure, he’s ratting out his pals…but screw it, I like Sawyer and Juliet and I don’t want anything to happen to them. Which is why the next scene with them was such a bummer…
…why the hell does Kate have to get on the sub? She’s just going to screw up the Sawyer/Juliet dynamic!
One could argue that this episode didn’t have any flashbacks or flash-forwards, which would be a first. Technically, this was a flashback episode for Richard Alpert. Every event that happened last night was something that Richard witnessed. He took Jack and Kate to the bomb. He saw Eloise shoot Daniel. Thirty years later, he witnessed the return of John Locke.
Richard was just chilling out, building a boat in a bottle when Locke showed up at the Others camp. It seemed like Old Locke because he had that boar on his shoulders, but make no mistake, this was 100% New Locke. He rolled in there and he didn’t ask questions or for permission to do things, he started calling the shots and bossing Richard around. It was…a sweet relief. Sure, I liked Old Locke just like I liked Old Jack, but New Locke is amazing.
Locke tells Richard they have to go to the old plane that carried all the “H”. So Richard, Ben, and Locke set out for the plane. I knew something was crazy when Richard couldn’t figure out where they were going and why. This was the first time that Richard ever seemed lost. He seemed intimidated by New Locke and was just going with it out of sheer amazement.
Okay…tell me your “Lost” pants didn’t fly right off when Locke told Richard that he needed to go talk to a man (that man being Locke) that would come out of the woods, treat his gunshot wound, tell him to bring everyone back to the Island, and that he has to die? That scene was just another in a long line of reasons why “Lost” is greatness. It was such a killer scene the first time around and it was even better this time.
So, Locke is totally calling bulls*** on Ben? Locke knows that he hasn’t seen Jacob and he pretty much chucked that knowledge in Ben’s face. I’m fairly certain that this isn’t sitting well with Ben, which is definitely going to cause problems for Locke in the near future.
So once Richard treats Locke, they all head back to Camp Other and Locke makes an announcement. See, Locke wants to go see Jacob and he wants all of the Others to come with him. Richard definitely doesn’t like this idea, so Ben starts whispering little nothings into his ear. Sure, Smokie told Ben that he has to follow Locke…but that doesn’t mean that Ben can’t try to turn other Others against him.
The last five minutes of the episode could prove that Old Locke didn’t actually become Old Jack. As the Others began their trek to see Jacob, Sun (who is becoming a bit annoying) asked Locke if Jacob could help them find Jin. Locke tells her sure, sure, no problem. Ben tells Locke that he is 100% on Team Locke (lie) and wants to help get the 1977 Losties back where they belong…but…
…Locke tells Ben that he isn’t interested in hooking up with the 1977 crew. Locke wants to kill Jacob. This is when I let out a Scooby Doo-like “Whaaaaa?”. Judging from Ben’s face, he may have needed to change his shorts. This was one of the biggest “what the **** just happened” moments on “Lost”…evah. Why? What would cause Locke to want to kill this “guy” that we presume he knows nothing about?
Who has Locke become? He lied to Sun. He doesn’t care about taking the Others to Jacob so they can meet their leader. He’s manipulating everyone so he can try to kill Jacob. On “Lost”, that type of behavior is reserved for one guy and one guy only: Ben Linus. Yep, Locke is the leader of the Others all right.
So what’s next? Well, I’m worried about pretty much everyone. It doesn’t seem like anyone is in a particularly good situation and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these people see their end next week: Sawyer, Juliet, or Ben. I don’t have any reasons for worrying about those three in particular…but I will definitely be completely bummed if it’s one of them.
Well, that’s it for this week. It’s been a long day and it took some time for me to get this finished. I’ll probably have about 3,ooo words next Thursday by noon or so. I’m sure that most of those words will be the equivalent of me crying that “Lost” is over for 2009.