Is it possible for the writers of Lost to top last week's episode, "Dr. Linus"? I'm happy to watch them try, as we prepare for yet another episode of our favorite sci-fi mind-bender, Lost. I managed to remain completely unspoiled for last week's monumental episode for several days, as I was traversing through San Francisco and covering the Game Developers Conference. When I finally sat down and watch "Dr. Linus" with Andrew Pfister, I could only muster this: WIDMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!
But let's focus our attention on last week before predictions for tonight's Lost episode, "Recon."
Joseph Baxter, Victim of "The Long Con":
"Jacob touched me. And when Jacob touches you, it's considered a gift. Except, it's not a gift at all, it's a curse." -Richard
Ever since the montage of "Jacob touches" in "The Incident," the exact meaning of the island entity's divine "tag, you're it" has been a point of speculation. Did Richard just give us the explanation about its meaning and perhaps a clue to what has been referred to as "the rules?" If Jacob did imbue some kind of immortality (with a strict caveat,) then it may explain Sayid's Wolverine-like recovery from his apparent death.
...If that's the case, then where does the real Locke (who was also touched) stand in this equation?
"I'm willing to bet you that if Jacob went to that trouble, that he brought me to this island for a reason, and it's not to blow up sitting with you right now." -Jack
We got a bit of insight last week as to what was going through Jack's mind as he sat staring out at the ocean at the end of Lighthouse. Jack used to play opposite of Locke in the "Man of Faith/Man of Science" dynamic. However, we recently got some major character shifts. One of them, is the roles that Jack and Sawyer now fill. While Jack is now the "Man of Faith," Sawyer has been transformed into what I would call "The Man of Nihilism." Juliet's death has turned him into a wandering soul who just doesn't give a f*** about anything any longer. That mindset has landed him a prime spot in Smokey's posse. (Now, all he has to do is download My Chemical Romance albums and shop at Hot Topic.)
"I was terrified that I was about to lose the only thing that had ever mattered to me, my power. But the thing that really mattered, was already gone." -Ben
Leave it to Ben to spend the entire series using everyone's doubts and fears as weapons against them, only to find his own weaknesses, and then quickly squelch them. He's like the smart-but-obnoxious kid in class that spends time spooking you about how hard a test is going to be, then finishes it in like two minutes. Meanwhile, poor Sawyer is wandering around the Island with his head up his ass, spelunking, and spotting "Mysterious Kids."
That's what happened. Here's what we hope goes down tonight:
1) We seem to be at a point where characters are finally finding their purpose. It's actually been a while since we spent quality time with the former LaFleur, so it will be interesting to see where Sawyer stands in the aftermath of the recent "Other-caust" and all of these island discoveries. We know he's angry, but other than that, it's hard to tell whether he just wants to leave the island and stew, or rebound and rediscover his love for Kate. (Who, by the way I wouldn't dismiss going all Patty Hearst with Smokey's group.) Either way, Sawyer's agenda needs to be set tonight.
2) The newly-merged group of Losties and Others ("Lothers?") are looking to be a tight group, but that whole "Ben shanking Jacob" thing still might be a sore point for the new arrivals who weren't quite aware that Ilana officially made it "okay." This issue needs to be addressed, but at the same time, we can't get caught up in it too much, as the story needs to progress.
3) If the Mysterious Kid is of any relevance to Lost mythos (other than to frustrate casual viewers,) then we need to revisit this theme before we forget about him. Some answers (that would preferably extend concepts we already know) would definitely be nice at this point.
Patrick Klepek, Hoping Juliet And Kate Will "Have Him" At The Same Time:
1) We finally know why Richard Alpert hasn't aged: Jacob touched him. We've known that the touch of Jacob imbues folks with something a little "extra," so to speak, but the show has finally acknowledged how that manifests itself in different individuals. If we'll remember back to season 4, Michael was shown attempting to kill himself -- but the Island wouldn't let him. Well, we thought it was the Island, anyway -- it was really Jacob, as last week's episode pointed out. Something tells me we're in for another montage that will show Jacob's influence in the lives of many former Island folk who might not have a chance to make a substantial cameo this season. Clearly, Jacob touched Michael, but when? Did he touch Walt, too? Does that explain why Walt was "special"? Does this explain why some parts of the world are seemingly magical, but others aren't? Are those areas where the Island used to reside in the ancient past (or in another timeline), leaving a residual "special" property left behind?
2) It seems like we've learned all we're going to learn about Benjamin Linus. I also think we've learned all we're going to learn about Sayid. Lost seems intent on providing some finality, some closure to the characters we've been learning about for the past six years. Both Ben and Sayid will have impacts on the way the rest of the story plays out, but as for whether their characters are inherently good or evil -- that's already been decided. Ben is good. Sayid is evil. Redemption is possible for everyone on the Island, but that doesn't mean everyone's actually going to achieve that redemption. Who's next?
Andrew Pfister, The Only Kid With An "A" In Arzt's Class:
1) Two things made me happy (and correct) last week: That we were overdue for a completely awesome Ben Linus episode, and that the guy that Jacob wants to get back to the island was Charles Widmore. (And it’s still possible that Des and Penny are on the sub, too.) I also loved the return to the beach camp, and the recreation of the reunion shot from a much earlier season. It really does start to feel like some things are coming full circle.
2) Also, given the events of “Dr. Linus,” I’m coming back around on the epilogue theory. They really aren’t building to any sort of merger, and every episode is presenting our favorite characters with a pivotal choice that goes right to the heart of their personal struggles. Some have succeeded (Ben, Jack, Kate), others have failed (Sayid). Tonight’s episode, “Recon,” will likely be focused on Sawyer. If he fails his flash-sideways moral test, that would probably mean that the flash-sideways choices are mirrors of the current team alignments.
3) But I think that making the flash-sideways the show’s epilogue is too easy. What’s more likely, based on the spirit of the show and the propensities of Cuse & Lindelof, is that the flash-sideways *could* be an epilogue to the show…and that’s going to be dependent on some sort of final decision in the finale. I could see them pulling a Whedonesque “Look how happy everyone turned out to be…oops, that will never actually happen” swerve at the end. The winner of Jacob vs. Smokey will decide if the loop resets or the cycle ends.