[caption id="attachment_1332" align="alignnone" width="800" caption="Jack and NotLocke discuss stock options."][/caption]
What an hour of LOST, folks. Goodness gracious, this felt like the penultimate episode of the series but we still have four left. We had the Sideways stories connecting and some serious plot movement on the Island. That was fantastic. I need a cigarette. AND I DON'T EVEN SMOKE! No singular character was focused on. It mixed in every lovable character from the six seasons of this magnificent show. I hope that this is how the remaining four episodes play out. I think it will. Did MIB just meet the new Jackob? EH? See what I did there?
Speaking of Jack, this episode did have a main focus: Jack and Locke. They are the most iconic characters on the show. Their relationship personifies the Man of Science vs. Man of Faith battle that has dominated the series since the first season. But, of course, this wasn't Jack and John Locke because Locke's been dead for a bit of time now. Jack finally got to meet The Smokness/His Smokeness/Smokey/NotLocke/The Man in Black. The writers aren't playing around anymore. The teaser featured their conversation. THE TEASER. They had a heavy mythological conversation. Just how could Smokey take the form of John Locke? That is what Jack wondered. NotLocke downloaded a bit of information for him. John Locke had to be dead (which seems a given considering the rampant speculation since NotYemi reared his ugly head in "The Cost of Living). NotLocke scolded Locke again, telling Jack that Locke was a sucker who thought they were really there for a reason. Jack wondered whether or not NotLocke took the form of his father, Christian, in "White Rabbit." NotLocke says he did. Jack wondered why. NotLocke explained that Jack needed to find water. He added that he's always tried to help them. He didn't want them trapped and he told Jack that he had been trapped by the Island even before he arrived to the Island. One could argue with NotLocke. The show wants the audience to debate that: fate vs. free will. What constitutes destiny? I believe we're going to get more of that as we progress.
Their conversation ended when NotLocke brought Claire, who had been following them, out of the darkness. She just wanted to see her brother again. It was a moment four seasons in the making. I loved Jack's first words to her: "I'm so sorry." I digress though. Jack had a decision to make in an episode entitled "The Last Recruit." Of course, Jack is the last one. Like Locke attempted for five seasons, even in death, NotLocke wanted to do: make a believer out of Jack. Of course, Jack's been a believer since Locke's death, since that meeting with Hurley in Santa Rose, since he had a vision of his father late at night in the hospital. Jack's not going to buy it. He followed Sawyer's plan to keep his promise to Sun. He wanted to get everyone off the Island but he doesn't want to leave the Island. Not again. We all know what happened to him. A miserable, suicide beard man. Pill-popping and drinking alcohol. He didn't come back just to leave again. He told Sawyer, during another heart-warming chat, that if NotLocke wants them all to leave then they should probably stay. Sawyer told Jack to get the hell off of his boat. Sawyer had no interest as Jack told his Lockeisms. Jack admitted he felt a piece of himself missing once he left the Island. He looked at Kate for possibly the last time. He apologized to Sawyer for getting Juliet killed and he jumped into the ocean. On the shores of goody Island, he found the waiting NotLocke. Of course, seconds after he arrived, Widmore's crew had NotLocke's position locked in. More explosions. This is rivaling John Locke's great Island Explosion Tour of Aught Four, folks. Jack went FLYING. The familiar post-explosions sounds were heard. NotLocke rushed to get Jack. He carried him on his back to safety. "You're with me now," NotLocke told Jack.
Meanwhile, Sawyer successfully eluded NotLocke for the time being with Desmond's ol boat that Libby gave him. Jack brought Sun, Frank and Hurley with him as planned. Sawyer explained to Jack that Claire and Sayid weren't invited. Sayid's a zombie and Claire's nuts is how Sawyer summed it up. Jack went along with it. It was a bit cruel. Moments before Jack fled, he had a little talk with his sister about the trust she's put into NotLocke. Claire put it simply: he was there for her when everybody else had left her. What she didn't know is that the Island started throwing characters back in time. Of course, Jack immediately abandoned her again. She didn't take kindly to that. She approached the boat with a gun, ready to shoot. She yelled that NotLocke would be mad. Poor Claire. She doesn't want to be alone. Kate came through in the clutch. She finally told Claire why she came back to the Island. She apologized for raising Aaron. She told her she would not leave without her. It was enough to make a grown man dusty in the eyes, folks. She got on the boat but not before warning them that NotLocke will be mad if he finds the boat. HE'S A PILLAR OF BLACK SMOKE! OF COURSE HE'LL BE MAD! Sawyer's Widmore-Submarine plan didn't go as planned. We got one heck of a Jin/Sun reunion. I didn't expect it. I yelled out loud and I command absolute silence during LOST. But we were left with the group of six on their knees. I assume Widmore, that bastard, wants them killed. Zoe told Sawyer that the deal was off. Someone name ONE thing that Widmore's done to make him likable. ONE.
Also, NotLocke assigned Sayid another assignment: kill Desmond. You see, Zoe showed up to show off the power of her crew. NotLocke didn't really care and wasn't scared. After all, he IS black smoke. Widmore wanted Desmond back. NotLocke acted ignorant. Later is when he told Sayid what to do. Sayid arrived at the well and pointed the gun down. Desmond began talking to Sayid, his old buddy. They once traveled with one another to the freighter, had each other's back. Desmond wanted to know what Smokey promised Sayid. Sayid told him about the return of the love of his life. Desmond wanted to know how Smokey could pull that off. Sayid explained that he died and was brought back by Smokey. Desmond then went for the heart. He asked Sayid what would he tell his love about what he did to get her back. Such sadness conveyed in this scene. Shades of what Michael did to get Walt back. It was brilliant. We didn't see Sayid kill Desmond. The next thing we saw was Sayid tell NotLocke that he killed him. Hope for Sayid? I think I write those words every week.
In the SIDEWAYS, the threads began to merge. Sun and Locke were taken to the hospital. Sawyer had a chat with Kate about their little meaning. Sawyer made a big fuss about fate bringing them together. Kate assumed Sawyer didn't want anyone finding out he had been to Australia. She's very good. Claire ran into Desmond as she was arriving for her adoption appointment. Desmond told her he could help her with the legal stuff of adoption. Claire obliged though she seemed a bit freaked. They were both going to floor 15. There, she met Desmond's lawyer friend Ilana. Yes, the very same Ilana who got Arzted last week. Ilana seemed to be waiting for her because she had Christian's will. Later on, Claire and Jack met. Claire told him that she was his half-sister. Jack had a tough time dealing with that bit of news. He received a phone call from the hospital. He was needed for emergency surgergy. Also, Sayid got arrested for murdering Keamy and his friends. HOW'S THAT for a succinct recap of the Sideways? Listen, you can go to Lostpedia for a thorough detail recap of the Sideways. I do have more to say about the Sideways.
A fascinating bit happened very early when Sun and Locke were side by side. She said "no...no...no...it's him." HMMMMM. In the ambulence, Ben tried helping the paramedics as much as he could with the little info he had. Locke told them to contact Helen, his fiancee. "I was going to marry her," he said. The way Terry O'Quinn delivered the Helen line was enought to make a grown man dusty in the eyes as he recalled the lousy life of John Locke. The man who believed when no one else believed and was rejected for his belief. The man whose own father conned him, who was left alone by Helen when he couldn't and so on and so on. John Locke was so awesome. I digress. Jack arrived for surgery and noticed the man he was about to do surgery on was none other than John Locke, the man he had a nice chat with in the airport. Of course, I had a flashback of the season three spinal surgery storyline with Benjamin Linus. Do I think we're going to see part II of that? Not really. But it sure was a familiar scene. About Sun's line, maybe she was having memories like we've seen the characters having. She was bleeding, traumatized from being shot. I think John Locke is absolutely the original John Locke. In the Sideways that is. Sun's lines are matter of the worlds slowly, slowly becoming...one...maybe...or bleeding into eachother. How they reconcile will be amazing I'm sure when we finally learn how they reconcile.
Time for some other thoughts:
--Of course I'm going to begin this by complimenting Emilie de Ravin's beauty. She looked gorgeous in the Sideways. Absolutely gorgeous. I really enjoyed her reunion with Hurley. I especially enjoyed Hurley's reaction. I felt quite bad for Claire. No one wanted her. People were afraid of her. She just wanted to be with her friends again. She even told Jack that she never had much family and was glad that he was back. All she needs is a little love. I thought Emilie was wonderful in this episode.
--Best scene of the night goes to Desmond and Sayid. Henry Ian Cusick is a hell of an actor. Great writing, great performances. That scene ranks among some of LOST's best.
--Sayid, Sayid, Sayid. It's been a rough season for him. I keep writing that there's hope for Sayid's redemption. Is there? If Hurley believes people can be brought back from the dark side, there is hope. He's not giving up on Claire. I don't think he'd give up on Sayid either.
--I feel a bit bad for getting angry at Richard, Ben and Miles for going off on their own. I now LIKE their plan. Hopefully, we catch up with them in two weeks.
--Who would've thought when watching seasons 1-4 that Claire would one day be a real threatening presence? I didn't think she was going to shoot Kate but it wouldn't have surprised me. That's good writing and good acting.
--As I wrote earlier, this episode felt like the penultimate episode of the series. The final four are going to be astounding.
--Speaking of that, I can't believe there's only four episodes left. This season has flown by. I'm really going to miss this show.
--The Jin/Sun reunion was well worth the wait. Yes, I applauded when it occured. I thought I even saw Sawyer choke up.
--I must mention: there's only 3 audio LOST podcasts left. The Official LOST podcast has been a favorite of mine ever since it debuted in late 2005. Damon and Carlton are awesome in every podcast. Yep. There's only 3 podcasts left. I'll probably give a recap and thoughts on the final podcast.
--Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland wrote this episode. It's probably their last LOST episode. Tremendous job by them. Graham Roland, a new writer this season, has some potential. I'm looking forward to what he writes after this. Same for Mr. Zvbyszewski. Stephen Semel directed this one.
--I enjoyed this one a whole lot. I had so much fun watching it. The pay off is truly beginning. Every actor and actress was wonderful. The entire crew was fantastic as always. There was so much going on in this episode. I'm so excited to watch the final four episodes of the series.
--No LOST next week so I'll be back in two weeks. Enjoy the re-run of "Ab Aeterno" next week.
--And yes, this is being posted a mere 2.5 hours after "The Last Recruit" aired!
TO THE RANKINGS!
Good times with the rankings. There's some movement in both. STEVE moved Jack to 2 and MIB to 3. Kate was demoted in STEVE's. Frank made it into the top ten. Sayid fell out of the top ten. As for my rankings, Claire remains on the cusp of the top 5. Will she make it? My top 5 remained the same. I moved Kate up because of how awesome she was with Claire. Sawyer got demoted for his plan backfiring and kicking Jack off the boat. Check 'em out for yourselves:
AFTER EPISODE 13
16. Man in Black
3. Man in Black