Tuesday, June 03, 2008


That first shot made me yell, hell first sound, squeal of the tires, Kate hitting the brake lights one second later, even though it’s been an entire season for us, long long year since then.

And yeah, this first conversation, every single person who cares about this show needs to rewatch this episode to take it all in, once you have confirmation. Kate says that when Locke came to see her (I never signed on to play the Jeremy Bentham game), then it was obvious to her that he was crazy. But he sold Jack, convinced him that going back is the only way to keep Kate and Aaron safe. (but Jack can’t say “Aaron" without getting slapped)

Sawyer attempts to sublimate Jack with “Sundance” (and I’m just now getting the joke behind the name of that film festival, Bob, you nut, you were never a sidekick!) and then the classic duality slides right back into place like nothing else has happened since.

Locke. Jack.

And the first shot on the freighter is the green light. I love how the C4 packets have an exclamation point after “C4 EXPLOSIVE”. Because you want to yell about that, by God!

Martin Kimi’s question to Ben, “What is it that makes you so important?” still does not have a total answer. I mean, we know Widmore wants him because he’s the recently former Island Messiah, but there’s certainly a better answer than that, that we’ll laugh about in years to come, when rewatching this finale and the expression on Emerson’s face.

(If anyone takes Emerson’s Supporting Actor Emmy this time, I’m confident that the Island will take care of things. We won’t be needing that person for anything else. Clock’s still ticking on Shatner for Season 1, shit you not.)

Oh, but then the fascinating question, “Did Charles Widmore tell you to kill my daughter?” has to go unanswered by pressing action. Lindelof!!!!

And the whispers, right after Kate gets put on her knees, confirmation that THESE are our Others, all that Season 3 Get-to-Know-the-Others business was pretty much shell game misdirection except for Ben at the end there in 3.20 (I’m still PISSED not to have a Tom flashback unless it’s somehow forthcoming). These are the people that were stalking Sayid back in 1.9. And who’ve been on the periphery so many damn times. Right before Shannon took pseudo-friendly fire from Ana-Lucia, lured her. Not sure how the whispers made it to Hurley’s birthday party, but that’s Island magic for you. But the whispers here, now, the writers are trying to rekindle all that first-season Terror of the Unknown business here as a function of Richard’s Others, who Ben previously commanded but who have always followed Jacob’s Appointed (and I just know one of those should have been a “whom”, but well). Point is: Scary Unknown from the Jungle. Seething, encroaching, legs wrapped around the vines, all around and about to strike.

[Ha, Kate told Ben to run. But she even goes back to save him. So, Jack. And she was lying when she ran into the clearing.

And then three years later, Locke leaves the Island and visits the Six—1 (assuming he finds Sayid) and asks them to believe, have faith.

The structure of this thing is kind of impressive, if you start to dissect it at all.]

And Richard shows up to shoot Kimi in the back. Oh good, this is really early in the episode. I’m sure he’ll have lots of answers for us besides the off-screen arrangement that he struck with Kate and Sayid.

Insane to see mid-pubescent Walt without excuses. It’s just been three years, really. As soon as Hurley says, “Like your dad,” you know Michael is history. That was economical, what was that, four episodes? Did he get paid for the whole season? Cause he was a regular, listed every week, a full four weeks before he showed, which I found just asinine.

And wow, the look on Sawyer’s face when Hurley mentions Claire and the baby. That was the sickest way to kill anybody this entire incredible stretch, this impossible length of 108 days. Without clear definition. She’s gone. But we don’t know for sure. Even now.


As soon as Locke throws Jack’s dry-fire from the premiere in his face, you know the word “bygone” is coming, and probably in the plural form.

And then the simultaneous brilliance, I can hardly stand it:

“Supposed to.” Jack and Locke argue, here at the end of Season 4, present time, while directly referencing their talk on the way out to blow up the hatch in the Season 1 finale, with “supposed to” being the key codewords at the very very end of Season 3 which tell us that Locke was the one in the coffin, that’s what he yelled at Jack after killing Naomi and that’s what Jack screams at Kate, seconds later, in the next scene that takes place three years in the future.

Simultaneous brilliance. I already said it. Which really doesn’t need to be expanded upon.

(and we are already way past 815 words, Island Faithful)

So, Locke straight up calls moving the Island even at the top, and Jack says no. If the fifth season does not open with Bearded Jack on the quest to unite the 6 scored by I Believe In Miracles, then I’ll be just a little bummed. It seems so obvious. And we have the Raft Theme, I think reprised minor here. The same. But sad.

And they set up a weird Rose/Miles dynamic. What a strange thing. And Charlotte’s a Native? The hell? Then, nothing. See you in January. With Richard Alpert. And answers. Oh, yes. Surely.

A TAPE!!!! A videocassette! Quite happy to see such a thing, this late in the game. I mourn our innocence. Of course the damn thing jams. And Ben distills the outtake nicely (shown in San Diego last June, a Season 3 extra): “If you’re talking about time-traveling bunnies, yes!” I still can’t get over the fact that they showed that to us way back then. But time-travel, again confirmed.

And the Sawyer-Kate-Jack triangle is seemingly resolved in like fifteen seconds with the basically early-Claremont Uncanny X-Men kind of chemistry dialogue between the former two, which crackles perfectly, before she goes ahead and lays her hands on the Doc, which seals the deal, he’s already jumping off the chopper and calling Lapidus Kenny Rogers in the same instant.

The next story that Damon Lindelof makes up is probably going to be pretty good, too.

Wow, and then even the Airwolf shot. The blades of the helicopter powering up. That comes back later. But, I’ll always remember those blades. Producers’re just getting nostalgic now.

Kimi’s return, his descent, in the elevator was perfectly logical. But I was so looking for Zombie Mikhail. Really would have cheered for him. But, of course. The freighter hasn’t gotten the red light. His XM heart still beats. And then, damn, Locke with his hands up, just like the Season 2 premiere with Desmond. This show is the closest thing to a hypercube that I’ve ever seen outside of Alan Moore or Grant Morrison or my own imagination, and that is some damn fine company. I think Simultaneous would have been a better episode title. Maybe Episode #117. We can hope.

You’ve got to appreciate Jin’s grasp of English keeping Desmond from cutting the red wire.

Sawyer’s decision is crushing. The whispering, completely telling Kate to go investigate his New Mexican daughter, which sent/sends Jack into a tailspin, later and four weeks ago back in 4.10.

I always chose Sawyer with Kate.

Hah, Sayid killed the guy watching Hurley at the mental institute at “eight-fift…”

So, seems like Sayid’s scooping Hurley up for Ben, taking him “somewhere safe”, and blocking the Oceanic 6 alignment. But, even then, my favorite character haunts the room. I have missed you. Hello, brother.

And then the tragedy of Jin. Sun definitely hit that scene out of the park, crushing. Just losing her shit completely, the way you’d have to. Incredible. Combined with the simple economy of Christian Shephard, Island Ghost, telling Michael that he can go now, after denying him suicide on multiple occasions.

And, ha, Sun screams, “We have to go back!”

But then, she gives Widmore a card. Teaming up? Last episode she told her father she blamed two people for Jin’s death, and he was one of them. You assume the other's Widmore. Now it looks like it’s Jack and maybe not Widmore. So, we’ve got Ben telling Jack they’ve ALL got to go back, and surely conniving Sayid and Hurley into the deal, but the conflict certainly comes from Sun and Widmore, now. All of a sudden.

And wow, seguewaying Sawyer’s miles-long swim return to Season 1 beefcake excellence right on into a third completely separate application of the black smoke on the horizon motif is just stunning. Romeo has finally found his Juliet, I think.

And Ben changes into Marvin Candle’s Halliwax jacket, definitely time-traveling, skipping forward from the first days of January 2005 into October. And this means he didn’t kill Nadia (unless he had already set it up beforehand, but come on, we can only take so much). But, think about it, that crazy bedside throwing down of the gauntlet he had with Widmore was like at the beginning of November 2005, at the earliest, and then sometime in 2008, hey the year we’re in, right now, Sun shows up and talks shit to Widmore.

You’ve just gotta wonder what has happened to Charles in between those two conversations.

And Ben gives Locke his tribe, literally tells him that they’ll do anything he tells them to. So, Locke. Asks Ben what to tell them to do. I’m thinking that the horrible things that happen after Jack and crew leave begin there. They're doomed.

Ben’s first glimpse of the rungs of that ladder, just take a second to appreciate that. It’s a hatch within a hatch within a hatch. The gardening station leading to the Orchid leading to the secret passageway that you create by putting non-organic materials in the time-traveling Vault. Completely foregoing the ice. That’s incredible.

And Ben finally hurts that arm. Ready for Tunisia.

It’s like an old donkey-wheel, right? That’s the only context I have. Ben as donkey. Pretty funny when you insert Pinocchio into the mixture, lying and donkeys and boys.

But then hell, is this an Incident? Moving the Island obviously changes the color of the sky, exactly what happened at the end of Season 2 when the Swan imploded, or whatever even happened there. So did the Island move then?

It moves now.

Kate’s dream with Claire. That’s the Island saying don’t bring him back, yas? “Don’t bring him back,” is pretty clear, whether “him” is Jack or Aaron. That's important.

Ha, I love Jack denying that Locke moved the Island. And Hurley’s retort. Looking back on the move: surely Daniel Faraday will be all right? Granted there wasn’t a single other character in his raft to ensure his survival (why not grab Bernard or Rose, Physicist?), but he had more to do, his purpose is surely not yet fulfilled. Last shot of him was white light leading into white light Jack, which would have left Faraday in the middle of a suddenly empty ocean.

Followed immediately by the Oceanic 8’s response to seeing a boat. Which is exactly identical to the Michael/Sawyer/Jin/Walt experience, so we’re all primed for disaster within the scene, even though we’re supposed to realize that obviously this will work out. Except Desmond and Frank can and should still die.

But they don’t. Incredible reunion between Des and Pen. And Jack fires Desmond’s 2.1 “see you in another life, brother” quote back. And finds Kate’s eyes in the beachfront sunset. And all will be well.

But it won’t. Right back to that same shot of him, wasted, driving to the Hoffs-Drawlar/Flash-Forward funeral home. Ben tells Jack he’s gotten very dark and that it’s not enough to will his plane to crash. They all have to go back. Which seems pretty hard to accomplish now. Consider: we have Kate and Aaron being warned off by Claire, Sun offering alliance with Widmore and hating Jack by his own admission, Sayid promising to take Hurley to a safe place, under the likely umbrella of Ben, but probably not, just because that would be too easy, all over Ben telling Jack that they’ve all got to go back.

Including dead, surely-not-a-suicide John Locke, the most Island Faithful of them all, the one who traveled around a month ago trying to set things right, bring them back. Because very bad things happened after Jack left. Because he left. Locke convinced Jack. But now, “we’ve got to go back” is all-inclusive and mandatory, And there are eight again. Lapidus and Desmond are traded out for Ben and Locke.

Maybe the best thing, though, was at the end, they did the exact same music, as the camera swung up to finally show who was in the coffin, and panned by Jack and Ben’s faces, it was an exact inverted homage to the end of the first season, that timeless infuriating shot of Jack and Locke looking down into the broken ladder of the hatch, the pair of them with Hurley and Kate standing off-screen, none of us still after all that with even the faintest clue or glimmer of Desmond or Mama Cass or Dharma Initiatives or orientation tapes or Alvar Hanso or Benjamin Linus or even Henry Gale or the fact that there were tail-ender survivors or Mr. Eko, I’m just going to stop now.

I really should.

The question is not, Where is the Island?

I think the question is, When?