(Led Zeppelin, In My Time of Dying)

My brain feels like a little pat of butter that’s been sitting out for too long on a picnic table in the middle of July, and when you open it up, it just sort of slides out and no longer really resembles butter at all.  Anybody else feel that way? 

I want to start by saying that I thought last night’s finale was great.  Really, really great.  I definitely have some bitching to do, but overall, I am really happy with the way the story came to a close. 

Welcome back to Juliet and her cleavage.

I was wrong about some things, and I was right about some things.  For instance, I’ve been saying for a very long time that Jack would be the one to save The Island.  In the words of Locke/Esau (whose name we never learned, btw), “that seems like a rather obvious choice,” but I was right about it nonetheless.  I was also right about Juliet being Jack’s baby mama, as well as Juliet and Sawyer deciding to go dutch on some coffee.  Also, both rather obvious, but I take what I can get.  I was right that Jack would fix Locke’s legs, and I was right that Driveshaft is a terrible band.  I also said (though not on this blog) that Richard and Lapidus were not actually dead because we didn’t see them die, and on this show, when someone dies, you know it definitively. 

I was wrong about Jack being Jacob.  That was a big one, though Jack did take Jacob’s place, so I will take half credit.  I was also wrong about Jack and Locke sitting on the beach at the end of the show.  That was a big one.  No credit whatsoever. 

But here’s a big one that I was right about.  Back at the beginning of the season, when Juliet had her “We should get coffee sometime, we can go dutch” moment right before she died in Sawyer’s arms, not only did I claim that we would see that scene play out in the LA sideways-reality (which we did), I also said that each character was going to have their own “awakening” or “realization” moment, and that we were going to see them all.  We saw Juliet’s in the season premiere, and we would see them all before the season was over.  Well, I looked for that just to prove that I said it, and I can’t find it.  But I know I said it.  And I am taking credit for it now. 

I love that the show ended with Jack’s eye closing.  I think when the producers said they knew how they wanted to end the show since season one, that is what they meant.  And though I think that making the LA sideways-reality some sort of purgatory, with Desmond ferrying the souls across the river to their afterlife, might be a bit of a copout since they have been saying all along that The Island was not purgatory, I still really liked that aspect of it, and had they not said that all along, I do not think it would have been a copout.  Though technically, The Island was not purgatory.  The Island was reality, and the sideways-reality was purgatory.  So, you win, writers.  Well done.

Tell Mitch Albom he's a hack.

I believe that the final scene, in the church, was Jack’s “moving on” moment, and Jack’s alone.  His “The 5 People You Meet In Heaven” type of moment (despite the fact that was a TERRIBLE book, a real steaming pile of shit, I’m talking to you, Mitch Albom!).  I believe they all experienced their own moments like that, but we only saw Jack’s.  That’s why Ben wasn’t going inside.  Ben was pretty much a dick to Jack from the moment they met, and if I were Jack, I wouldn’t want him in my moment either.  The entire LA sideways-reality, that was everybody’s purgatory.  Otherwise, Jack wouldn’t have known about Locke’s girlfriend Helen, or even the fact that Locke was in a wheelchair to begin with.  But the church moment, that was Jack’s.  Everybody there had some impact on Jack.  Claire’s baby was there, because he helped Kate raise him for a time.  Penny was there because she saved the O6 when they were floating in the raft.  Not all of them were on Flight 815, nor were they all supposed to have been.  It was the culmination of the most important time in Jack’s life that we got to see, not an 815 reunion.

I thought this was a great way to wrap up the LA sideways-reality.  I really enjoyed seeing everyone experience their “awakenings.”  And it seemed clear to me (though I could always be wrong) that their “awakenings” in LA corresponded to their deaths in the Island-reality.  For example, Locke’s occurred pretty much immediately after his body (Esau) was killed on The Island.  Locke died at Ben’s hands in a seedy motel room, but his body was finally put to rest last night back on The Island.  And that actually sort of falls in line with what he said to Jack at the airport in the season premiere, when Jack told him the airline lost his father.  “They didn’t lose your father, Jack,” Locke said.  “They just lost his body.”  And it was not until Locke’s body was finally put to rest that he was able to have his own awakening moment. 

Of course I cried. I can admit that.

Now, as Jack’s father told him, where they were did not correspond to a “now” or a “when.”  Not all of those people died before Jack, and not all of their “awakening” moments happened due to a corresponding event in the timeline of the reality in which they actually died.  But I do think they experienced them at their actual death.  Sun and Jin were hit with the awakening moment together, as they died together.  And we saw Jack experience his as he died on The Island, lying in the same bamboo field (I think) he woke up in after the original crash of Flight 815.  Granted, Charlie and Claire did not die at the same time, nor did Sawyer and Juliet, but like I said, the LA sideways-reality was not on a strict timeline, according to Christian Shephard. 

And now, for some bitching.  And since I have been almost as big of a fan of this show as anyone I know, I feel like I can take this opportunity to get a few things off my chest.

1.  I think that while Desmond’s LA story this season was part of the very fiber that held the show together, his Island story was a complete throwaway, and I think that is a real disservice to this fictional person.  If he were real, I would apologize to him on behalf of the writers.  Why did Widmore bring him back to The Island as a “failsafe,” someone who could withstand the electromagnetic energy, if that electromagnetic energy had basically nothing to do with anything involved in the resolution of the show, and if Jack could do the exact same thing (which he did!!)??  It almost seemed like they knew they needed to bring Desmond back because he had previously been made out to be this amazing special character, and then had absolutely no idea what to do with him once he got back to The Island.  Waste of a resource, in my opinion.

2.  Where was Widmore during the concert last night?  Why wasn’t he even sitting at the table with Eloise, watching their son Daniel convulsively play classical piano with a subpar Britpop band??  I can’t believe that, as much as they played up the Ben/Widmore, Widmore/Desmond conflicts, we didn’t get a proper resolution to his character after Ben shot him on The Island last week. 

3.  Seasons 4 and 5 were so damn good, and the geek in me (read: me) was so captivated by the time travel stuff.  Why not use that in season 6??  I really, truly, do not have a problem with the flash-sideways/purgatory thing.  I actually like it.  But they shouldn’t have just left the time-travel stuff alone with no explanation as to how it plays into the overall picture. 

4.  No Mr. Eko in the finale??  WEAK!!

Speaking of Desmond’s Island story, really, what was the point?  He goes down the well, pulls the stone out of the hole like a stopper in a bathtub, then passes out.  Ok, it was bright and electromagnetic, I guess.  But then, Jack goes down the hole, puts the stopper back in the hole, and  passes out.  So, if Jack could do it, then what the hell was Desmond’s point of being there at all? 

I did enjoy the fact that Jack realized that once Desmond went down there and pulled the stone out, subsequently putting out the light, that it would take away any immortality that Esau/Locke had.  When he punched him and made him bleed, that was great.  That fight was awesome, but it really could have all gone down without the one scene of them running toward each other and jumping up in the air, like some cross between the Matrix and the Lion King.  They could have beaten each other up for awhile, Locke could have still given Jack the Christ-like wound on his side (where he noticed a scar toward the beginning of this season and asked his mother about an appendix operation), and started to press the knife into his neck (right where his LA counterpart kept having a mysterious wound appear all season long), and it would have seemed just a bit more, well, I don’t think “realistic” is the right word to use with this show, but you know what I mean. 

I like that there was obviously some amount of time that passed with Hurley and Ben in charge of The Island.  I really like that idea. 

And when Jack was lying in the bamboo field, just before he died, and he saw the plane fly overhead, at first I thought the inference was that the entire LA sideways-reality was a flash before his eyes, culminating in his “awakening” moment in the church.  But after thinking about it, I think it was the beginning of the “special place they all created together, so they could find each other” like his dad told him.  He saved The Island, and in doing so, he saved all of them, and when he died, they all were able to start the process of finding each other and being together. 

As far as series finales go, this one ranks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of Seinfeld, and is probably tied with Sam Malone’s “Sorry, we’re closed.” at the end of the Cheers finale (which still gives me goosebumps) for one of the best ways to end a truly great show.  I wish it wasn’t over, but it needed to end, and I will probably get a lot more work done now. 

I never thought they were going to tell us where or what The Island was, so I wasn’t particularly disappointed by not finding out.  But I did have some questions that were not answered.

Questions I Had That Were Not Answered:

1.  The numbers.  Come on!!  Why those numbers??

2.  Who built the four-toed statue? 

3.  What was Jacob’s brother’s name??

And I have some new questions that I will never know the answer to:

Questions I Will Never Know The Answer To:

1.  Why did Jack have a son in purgatory?

2.  Why could Desmond jump between the two realities, which we now know were life and afterlife?

3.  Why did Eloise Hawking also know what was going on and why was she able to just hang out in purgatory?

4.  Why did Frank Lapidus keep chucking the walkie-talkie across the cockpit after talking into it every single time?  (Seriously?)  Lapidus, man.  Button your shirt up, for fuck’s sake. 

5.  What was it like when Hurley and Ben were in charge on The Island together, and how much time passed while they were there??

6.  Where did the plane go when Lapidus took off with Richard, Kate, Miles, Sawyer and Claire in the back??  Did they ever make it back to civilization??

Spinoffs I Would Like to See:

1.  Richard Alpert adjusting to life in America, after living on The Island for the last 200 years of his life.  I can just imagine him freaking out during that airplane ride, after Lapidus took off from Hydra Island.  (I know, he’s been off The Island before, vising Locke a few times, recruiting Juliet, etc.  Just humor me.  It would be funny.)

2.  Hurley and Ben run The Island.  Duh.  This would be a no-brainer.  Think “The Odd Couple” crossed with “The West Wing.”  Hilarity ensues. 

3.  A documentary on the cinematographic elements used during the scene when Sun slowly unbuttoned her shirt in the hotel room with Jin.  Should have won an Emmy.  Probably could have even gone for the EGOT. 

4.  “108 Proof.”  The after-effects of going down into the well of light in order to remove that stone go horribly wrong, transforming Desmond into a 40-foot tall radioactive monster who time-jumps back to Scotland and terrorizes the townsfolk for years until Daniel Faraday’s grandson (Faraday played by Nic Cage, grandson played by Zac Effron*) realizes the only way to stop him is to lure him to the MacCutcheon’s distillery and make him drink the entire supply.  Soundtrack by Driveshaft.**

* – This movie will SUCK.

** – See above.

John Locke, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you.

One last thing.  After the entire run of this show, and especially after the last two seasons when Locke has been the really bad guy, just take a look at the smile on Terry O’Quinn to the right there, and tell me if there’s not a sweeter, more damned refreshing smile in the six seasons this show has been on the air.  That smile warms my heart. 

If anybody has any insight on any of my questions or comments, or if I misinterpreted anything, now is your (LAST) chance to leave it in the comments.  It’s been a great run, and I appreciate everybody who has been reading, especially when I wasn’t really writing.  Thanks. 

Now go watch Friday Night Lights.  It is now the absolute best show currently on network TV.


(The White Stripes, This Protector)

I think one of the reasons I’m looking forward to this show being over (gasp!) is that this season, I have been travelling just about every Tuesday night, and I haven’t been able to see the show until either very late at night, or the next night, or sometimes even two nights later, let alone have time to spend in front of a computer to bang out a recap. And when I see it a day or two late, I feel like writing my blog post isn’t really as fun, but I still want to write it, but then I just sort of do a half-assed job, like it’s homework or something. (Homework. Man, that sure sucked.) Anyway, I promise (never too late) to do my best on the two remaining posts (including this one) before this show joins the ranks of Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Wire, The West Wing, MASH (I guess), Remmington Steele, and Manimal as one of The Greatest Shows In The History of TV That Are No Longer On TV.

Again we get an episode opening with the opening of an eye, and again, as in the pilot episode and many others since, it was Jack’s eye. Jack’s eye opening has sort of been the running subplot of this entire season, as he has finally begun to understand and embrace the fact that he is the one who will save The Island and/or the entirety of humanity.

After Jack woke up, he went into the bathroom and noticed the same cut on his neck as he saw in the season premiere, while on the flight from Sydney to LA. He didn’t know then how he got cut, and he didn’t seem to know this time either. But he cleaned himself up and went downstairs for a nice family breakfast with his son and pregnant half-sister. David wanted to make sure Jack was coming to his concert tomorrow night. Jack assured him he would be there, then asked if David’s mom was coming. Of course she is. And I don’t think I’m jumping out on a very big limb by saying that not only will she be there, she is going to meet one James Ford, LAPD, and they are going to decide that at some point in the future (past?) they are going to go dutch on some coffee. Because David’s mother is Juliet.

(Side note: My mind is going to explode several times on Sunday night. I might need to wear a helmet in case I pass out and fall over.)

Then Desmond, posing as an Oceanic Airlines rep, calls Jack and said that they found his father’s coffin, and he can pick it up at LAX later that day. Weird, sure. But I’m not sure how this really helps Des put things where they need to be. I guess we will find out on Sunday.

After hanging up with Jack, we find out that Des is once again parked outside of John Locke and Dr. Ben Linus’s school, like some sort of perv. But he’s not there for any freaky reasons, unless you count running down a man in a wheelchair and beating up an unsuspecting history teacher as freaky. In addition to Desmond’s pounding fists, Ben is also hit with a deja vu type of sensation, when he remembers Des beating the shit out of him on the pier, after he came to kill Penny.

Des is a weird dude, though. He may be out there doing the good work and fighting the good fight, but he’s a creepy Scotsman. I love that he turned himself in to Sawyer so he could be locked up with Sayid and Kate, only to be broken out again by Hurley and dirty cop Ana Lucia (who, incidentally, was in the movie SWAT, where a similar breakout was staged for a payoff by prisoners in transport).

And my last question about Des: Where the hell is he on The Island? He wasn’t with Jack, Jacob, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley at the friendship circle, and he wasn’t in the well when Esau and his new buddy Ben went to find him. Hmm. I bet he just comes and goes as he pleases.

Ok, we’re done with LA for now. Let’s talk about The Island.

First of all, RIP Richard. Man, that smoke came barrelling through there like a freight train and took that mother out. Made me think of the Jimi Hendrix song “Hear My Train A-Comin.” Not for any lyrical content, it just looked like a train. But after he plowed into Richard, I loved the way that Ben had that wide-eyed expression and just slowly walked back to the porch, like he was getting out of the way. Michael Emerson is amazing.

Speaking of Ben, he’s back to being a badguy now? I can barely keep up. But he killed Widmore (which once upon a time, he was not allowed to do – remember?), and it seems like he killed him because he wanted Esau to kill Penny, in revenge for Alex’s murder by Widmore’s mercenary, Keamy. Ah, Keamy. Good times. And now it seems like Ben is a willing assassin for Esau, much like Sayid used to be a willing assassin for Ben. Motivated by Esau’s promise that Ben could have The Island for himself. But then Esau told him he was going to destroy The Island. I don’t think Ben liked that very much, and I think he’s got plans of his own.

Why can Jacob be seen now by Jack, Kate and Sawyer? Is it because his ashes are in the fire? That’s sort of a weird justification for it, but whatever. It’s too late to start pointing out lame plot points now. I mean, we have time travel and polar bears. We have long since abandoned any sense of disbelief. Whatever the reason, I was glad to see Jack stand and assume the role of the next protector. Sawyer had too much guilt over Sun and Jin’s death, and Hurley and Kate clearly didn’t want it. Jack’s eyes are open, he came back for a reason, and this is it. Just a quick sip of some fresh Island creek water, though? That’s all it took? I don’t want to complain too much, and I thought long ago that this is where we were headed, but some of this just feels a bit rushed. Ok, no more complaining.

Here’s my new(ish) theory (that you can immediately discard) on Ben. Ben killed Jacob, and he had his reasons, but he didn’t really know what Esau’s reasons were, because at the time, he didn’t really know he was Esau. Esau knew that he couldn’t kill Jacob, but he figured out at some point that he needed to convince someone to do it. (Actually, he seemed to have this figured out long, long ago, when he tried to get Richard to do it. Why it took him another 200 years to accomplish this goal I will never know.) But Ben doesn’t know that.

So, I think maybe Ben also kills Esau. I know, I know, I had my whole “Jack and Locke on the beach at the end of the show” theory. And I still have that theory. But I’m hedging my bets here, in an eleventh hour freakout. I think maybe Ben kills Esau, then somehow becomes the smoke monster himself, and it is Jack and Ben on the beach at the end of the show. These writers, they love their symmetry (speaking of symmetry: Kate stitched up Jack in the pilot, and Jack stiched Kate up last nigt). Ben kills Esau, sneaking up behind him and stabbing him with, oh, I don’t know, maybe some ancient dagger or something. Before he has the chance to speak. Maybe there’s a huge confrontational scene. Bear with me. Claire shows up (where the hell is Claire anyway?), goes apeshit and kills Kate (wishful thinking), and comes after Ben. Ben then kills Claire, and Jack, in trying to defend his sister, throws Ben into that creek that leads down into the light, and after his body falls down into the light, the smoke comes back out, throwing Ben’s body across The Island, and when he wakes up, he is the smoke monster.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like my “Jack and Locke” theory. And I am sticking with that one. But I wanted a backup, and this Ben theory seems as good as any.

Finally, speaking of the concert, I haven’t been this excited for a concert since we saw Wilco back in March. But a few weeks ago, when I said that whatever was going to go down was going down at the hospital, I seem to have been wrong. I thought they were all going to converge in each other’s lives at the hospital, which would spark some sort of massive group consciousness where they would all realize at once that they were in an alternate world, but now it seems like I had the right idea but the wrong location. They’re all going to be at the concert. Dr. Chang, it’s at his museum. Charlotte will be there, as will Miles, who is going to drag Sawyer with him. Jack will be there to see his son, David, as will David’s mom, Juliet. Des and Kate will be there, and I’m assuming Hurley will drive Sayid there in his massive yellow Hummer, but they have some sort of stop to make first. He’s probably also going to pick up Libby on the way, that’s just a hunch.

Now for the ones we don’t know about yet. Jin and Sun, will they make it to the concert? Probably, because I’m guessing they will all be there. Rose and Bernard? Sounds like a nice date for the happy couple. Claire? Rides with Jack, after they go to pick up the coffin. That’s plausible. Locke? No idea. But he seems like an important one. Ben, Alex and Danielle Rousseau? I could see it. They all seem cultured enough. Dogen could even be there, if his kid is performing as well.

But the big ticket item, the main reason this concert is going to be such an important event, is that Daniel Faraday is going to be playing piano at this concert as well, and his parents, Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking will be there. His half-sister Penny will be there as well. I also think Charlie will be there, maybe with Driveshaft, but a few weeks ago we found out that Daniel Faraday was a big Driveshaft fan and wanted to play with Charlie so he could play classical piano fused with rock and roll.

So they all come together at the museum, and I envision one of those split scenes where we see and hear the music from the concert as things are also playing out on The Island, sort of like Cam singing Ave Maria while Mitchell destroyed a pigeon and his living room with a tennis racket and various decorative artifacts. Whether that happens or not, we know that not every question will be answered on Sunday night, and I will be back for one final recap with my thoughts on how it all goes down as well as my interpretations on whatever didn’t get answered. Until then, you kids have a nice weekend.

(The Doors, The End)

Holy balls.  We still don’t know his f’ing name.  I’m just calling him Esau from now on.  I know he’s not Esau, but that’s what I’m calling him.  At least now we know he’s Jacob’s twin brother.  So he might not technically be Esau, but he’s not not Esau.  At least I have that much. 

Jacob and Esau were born to a woman named Claudia whose ship crashed on The Island by accident, at which point C.J. Cregg found her and bashed her brains in, then raised them as her own.  She was the protector.  Will we find out how long she has been on The Island, or how she got there?  Probably not.  But she was the protector, and she knew early on that only one of the twins would take over for her one day.  When she took them to the creek with the bright light coming out of it, she said something to the effect of, “one of you will protect The Island.”  Not both.  Only one.   And as she said, “they come, they kill, they destroy, they corrupt, and it always ends the same.”  Sounds like Esau was listening.

And she thought it would be Esau, which is interesting, since she also knew early on that Jacob didn’t have the capacity for lying.  She left the backgammon game on the beach for Esau to find.  She knew he was “special.”  Esau loved her, but felt betrayed when he found out there were other people and a whole new world across the sea.  Jacob stuck around and spent the next 30 years learning how to weave tapestries.  Time well spent. 

Esau, wearing black as per usual, spent the next 30 years with his new people trying to learn how to harness the power of The Island by digging to find what was the electromagnetic energy.  He’s like the forefather of that black jumpsuit wearing faction of the Dharma Initiative, drilling to find the exact same thing.  All he has ever wanted was to get off The Island and go home.  And his crazy mother knocked his head into a stone wall then burned all of his people.  How did she do that? 

I would like to know what she was whispering while pouring the wine for Jacob to drink, before he officially became the protector of The Island.  And how did she know that going down into the light would be worse than dying?  Did the smoke monster already exist?  I kind of thought Esau became him when Jacob threw him down there, but I could be wrong. 

Esau didn’t waste any time plunging that dagger into her, but then why did she thank him?  Also, and I have to imagine this was another stroke of absolute genius by the writers, but after Esau kills his mother, we get “The End” by The Doors over the preview for next week’s episode.  Love it.  And he walked on down the hall…

So Esau could see his mom, but Jacob couldn’t.  When asked why, she said it was because she was dead.  So Esau can see dead people because he’s special, but Jacob can’t.  What does that say about Sawyer?  Earlier this season, Locke (Esau) saw the ghost of young Jacob, and Richard couldn’t see him, but Sawyer could.  What’s that about??

The whole Adam and Eve scene at the end of the episode was pretty damn amazing.  I love Jack finding the pouch with the black and white rocks in it, and Locke walking up just then.  I wonder, was that actual footage, or was that filmed for tonight’s episode?  I’m hoping it was actual footage.  That would be genius.   

Next week it looks like we’re getting some info about the prevalence of mirrors this season.  That should be pretty cool.  I don’t know if I will have much time to write after next Tuesday’s episode, and the finale is Sunday (SUNDAY, so don’t miss it!), after which I don’t know if I will have much to say.  Either I’m right about the Jack/Locke ending, or I’m wrong.  Either way, we’ll know in 12 days, I guess. 

If anybody feels like they’re not getting what they came for, I’d suggest going over to EW.com and checking out Doc Jensen’s recaps.  He is, and trust me on this, the one you should all be reading.  I’m just a guy who is obsessed.  He’s also just a guy who is obsessed, but he gets paid for it, so his level of obsession is both more comprehensive and more reliable than mine.


(Welcome, The Who)

I’m just gonna do this quick-hit style.  I love this stuff, but I’m tired.

1.  Thanks, writers.  It was worth the wait.  As excited as I was for Sun and Jin to finally find each other on The Island, when it happened last night I didn’t see it coming at all.  Maybe I was expecting more of a buildup, but as soon as they saw each other, well, let’s just say, maybe somebody was chopping onions in the hotel room next to mine.

2.  When Sun and Locke were being wheeled into the hospital at the same time in Los Angeles, and Sun recognized Locke and was afraid of him, that completely freaked me out. 

3.  Speaking of the hospital, that’s where it’s all going down.  Everybody is either there already or (likely) on their way.  Jack, Locke, Sun, Jin, Ben are all there.  Claire is most likely going into labor soon, and since she’s with Desmond, he’ll offer to take her.  Sawyer just picked up Sayid, and something could easily go wrong with that scenario, so they might end up there as well.  (Rose has terminal cancer, so she and Bernard could end up there, too.)  Charlie could OD or something.  Kate and Hurley need a reason, though.  What is going to bring Kate and Hurley to the hospital? 

4. There’s no way in hell Sayid killed Desmond.  I’m just putting that out there, in case anyone had other ideas.

5.  I really can’t stand the dirty Tina Fey.  Mainly because she’s not Tina Fey.  I really like Tina Fey.

6.  The scene with Jack and Locke at the beginning of the episode was awesome, but I do have one problem with it.  Nobody on this show ever, and I mean EVER asks questions that should be so obvious to ask.  Yet Jack thinks to ask Locke, “Who else have you looked like?”  No way.  I mean, I guess they needed that discussion to reach that point pretty quickly, or else that scene could have lasted 30 minutes, but there is NO way Jack thinks to ask that to Locke after talking to him for literally a minute. 

7. Locke to Jack at the end of the episode: “You’re with me now.”  God, I hope not.  That would pretty much blow all of my theories straight to smithereens.  I think Jack rises above.  But that scene after the explosion, when his hearing was muted, was exactly like the pilot episode when he woke up and saw parts of the plane burning on the beach!  I was freaking out!!  (I hate watching this show by myself in hotels!!)

8.  There is no 8.  I just didn’t want to end on 7.  7 seems like a strange number to end on.

Next week, kids.  See you then.

(Be forewarned, I am basically just going through the motions with this week’s post, as illustrated by the title.  Sorry.)

So close!  We were so close to seeing Sun and Jin reunited last night!!  Damn Widmore, keeping Jin on Hydra Island away from literally every other survivor of Flight 815 and its intended pilot.  Damn him to hell!!

So what is the deal with Richard Alpert?  He used to be the coolest dude on the show, and now he’s impatient, scared, and sort of acts like one of the lesser known Kardashian sisters.  The dude just bickers.  He bickers.  Richard, enough with the bickering. 

Just when you get comfortable with the two different groups of people on this show, they go and rearrange them again.  Now it’s Richard/Ben/Miles (say it ain’t so, Miles!) in one group, Jack/Hurley/Sun/Lapidus (the 815ers) in another group, and Locke(Esau)/Sawyer/Kate/Claire/Sayid in a third group.  And Desmond at the bottom of a well.  And Widmore/Jin on Hydra Island.  But with Richard/Ben/Miles on some other course, all of the remaining 815ers (except Jin) are now in one place.  If Jin makes it back to join the group (and by now you know my feelings on how imperative that is, for my own peace of mind), that could be the first time in three or four seasons in which all surviving members of the original flight were in one place.  I think that could be huge. 

Ilana, it was nice knowing you.  Not really.  After she blew up, I was waiting for her head to come falling back to the ground like that scene in Tropic Thunder when the director steps on the land mine.  I always thought she was sort of a wet blanket as a character.  Not quite as bad as Kate, but I enjoyed seeing her explode with the unstable dynamite.  Just as I will enjoy seeing Claire kill Kate.  Then Sawyer kills Claire.  Then Sayid goes after Sawyer.  Then, all hell breaks loose, and Locke(Esau) turns into black smoke, and Hurley lays the smack down on the Smoke Monster with …

The little bag he found in Ilana’s stuff.  That was a revelatory point for Hurley, and it wasn’t clear why to me at first.  At first, I thought it was the little bag of diamonds Miles found buried with Nikki and Paolo a few weeks ago.  But that wouldn’t have made much sense, as Miles would probably still have that bag with him.  But Ilana’s bag is, I’m betting, filled with the ashes of Jacob’s burned body that she scooped up after Ben showed her where Jacob was killed and burned.  And that, my friends, is the “weapon” Hurley was talking about when he said,  “You have weapons, and we have weapons, but I don’t want anyone to get hurt.” 

I will admit that as bad as I am jonesing for Sun and Jin to get back together already (seriously. do it already.), I think maybe my allergies were acting up a bit when Libby kissed Hurley on the beach and all of his memories and feelings came flooding back.  Don’t get me wrong, I was shocked and captivated by the “big picture” implications, but that was the only thing that kept me from needing a kleenex or two.  That was just about as sweet as sweet can be.  It always warms my heart when an attractive crazy woman and a morbidly obese man display affection in a public place. 

(I’ve said it before, and I will say it again now.  I hope Jorge Garcia loses weight after this show is over.  They’ve already filmed the finale, I think, so I hope he is already starting to diet and exercise.  God that’s just unhealthy.)

It’s interesting that Libby was in the same mental health facility in the flashbacks as she was last night.  Did we ever find out why she was there in the first place?  What if she was there for the same reason?  What if she was already having these flashes to another life, even before she crashed on The Island?  It might be a little too close to the end of the show for the writers to open that type of bag of worms, but it might not, who knows.

Desmond Hume, Interdimensional Man of Mystery.  Amanda thought he seemed like the new Jacob, which he sort of did.  Except, Jacob didn’t explain things to people like Desmond did to Hurley at the chicken shack, he just showed up and touched them, handing them a pen or a candy bar, like he did with Sawyer and Jack.  And he also didn’t run anyone over like Desmond did to Locke, he just showed up and touched them, keeping them from getting run over, like he did with Sayid.  Desmond running Locke down in the street was the second biggest shock of the night, right behind Ilana’s kaboom.  Did he do it because he knows Locke pushed him down the well?  Or did he do it to get Locke to the hospital, where he will be operated on by spinal surgeon to the starts, Dr. Jack Shepherd?  That’s where my money is, because the on-Island/off-Island interactions seem to coincide so nicely.  Jin gets dragged off by Widmore’s men, Jin gets dragged off by Keamy’s men.  Locke pushes Desmond down a well, Desmond runs Locke over.  Next up, Jack and Locke together on The Island (which we saw the beginning of last night), Jack and Locke together off-Island.

I’m sticking with my “Jack and Locke will be the new Jacob and Man in Black at the end of the show” theory.  Short of that, I’ve got nothing but snarky comments from here on out.  If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.  And I probably will be.  But I’m gonna enjoy it either way.

Man, I sure missed a lot of Lost while we were away.  Italy was AMAZING, but when we got back late yesterday afternoon, item #1 on my list was to catch the last two episodes that aired while we were gone.  Admittedly, I was pretty fried from the vacation and from the flight, and by the end of this week’s episode, I was really just ready to go to bed, but I figured I’d try to bang out a few thoughts today if I can remember enough of what happened.

1.  To the Lost writers, from an ever loyal, obsessive, appreciative fan: FUCK YOU.  When are we going to get the Jin/Sun reunion already?!?!  I am ready to unsuccessfully fight back a few tears here!!  I am begging you, just get them back together!!  If they don’t give us that, I will definitely be pretty upset about it.  Let Claire kill Kate, don’t show us Juliet and Sawyer having coffee in Los Angeles, whatever.  But just give us the Jin/Sun reunion.

2.  So many great subtleties in that Jin/Sun episode.  Two rooms, not married!?!  But Sun is pregnant already.  In the earlier timeline, she got pregnant on The Island, which is how she knew it was Jin’s baby.  But now she’s already pregant before they even left Sydney (And why were they leaving from Sydney and not Seoul in the first place?  Did we ever get that info?) Anyway, on the plane it seemed like Jin was still sort of a dick, but then in the hotel room, they seemed to insinuate that it was just a cover in case anyone was watching, but he seemed very tender and caring to Sun.  I like to think he’s a good guy, without having to go through what he went through on The Island to get to that point. 

3.  Keamy never stops creeping me out.  And Mikhail works for him!  No eyepatch, but Jin took care of that right eye for him anyway.  That was great. 

4.  In a striking reversal of situations (this is my segue from one episode to the other), what about the relationships between Mr. Paik/Jin and Widmore/Desmond?  Jin used to be Mr. Paik’s loyal son in law, taking care of just about anything for him, and was compensated handsomely for it.  Now he’s being sent to Los Angeles to deliver $25,000 to the man who is going to kill him?  And Desmond, once the object of Charles Widmore’s hate and abhorrence, now his right hand man, someone with whom he will happily share a drink of 60-year old Macutcheon’s with?  Has the whole world gone mad??

5.  The last thing I have to say is that the Desmond episode was top shelf.  Right on par with the other major Desmond episodes from past seasons, and clearly a major turning point in the course of the story.  I just have no idea what is going on right now.  Next week, I’ll try to be more rested when I watch.

(Don Henley, The Heart of the Matter)

Yeah, I’ve been waiting for that one for a long time.  A very long time.  And I was not disappointed.  Some people are giving it “best episode of the season” status, and I’ve even heard some call it the best episode in the history of the show.  I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it’s definitely close.  I don’t have any far-reaching theories or ideas based on this episode, but some comments, and a few questions.

The best line of the night, though, was at the very beginning, when Richard said he was leaving the beach to go with somebody else, and Jack said “What’s he talking about?”  Ben’s response, “Oh, this is gonna be good” cracked me up.

Richard Alpert has been a mystery wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a twinkie, ever since we first saw him, and he has steadily gained ground as one of the most intriguing characters on the show, despite nobody having the first idea about who he really is or why he is there.  But all of that is no longer.

Richard is from the Canary Islands.  Richard rode horses.  Richard wore leather vests.  Richard learned English on his own because he and his beloved Isabella wanted to come to America, no doubt because he heard that wearing leather vests and eyeliner was wildly popular in parts of New York City.  Richard seemed deeply sorry after accidentally killing the doctor, who, let’s be honest, sort of deserved it.  It was an accident, after all, and he didn’t seem like the killing type.  So he gets thrown in the clink, and he spends his days reading the bible and repenting.  Then he confesses to a priest, who not only will not offer him forgiveness, BUT HE STEALS RICHARD’S BIBLE!!!  That part killed me.  That priest was a dick, man.  A dick.

Then Mr. Whitfield shows up and buys Richard in the name of Magnus Hanso.  First of all, Magnus?  Awesome.  Second of all, you know people of all kinds changed their names when they came to America, for various reasons.  My grandfather, or great grandfather, or somebody, shortened Greenstein to Greene.  Hakeem Olajuwon became Akeem Olajuwon, then went back to Hakeem.  Mangosteen became Mango.  Maybe Whitfield became Widmore?  It’s just close enough that it’s a possibility, and it’s also just far enough apart that it could be completely ridiculous. 

When Whitfield came down to slaughter all of Richard’s fellow slaves like dogs, that was pretty brutal.  You’d think that if they were already supposed to be slaves, they’d keep them around to do slave things, like build homes, find food, and sing songs.  I didn’t quite get that.  Then, Smokey showed up and put everybody else except Richard out of their misery.  He came up to Richard just like he did to Mr. Eko and to John Locke (the real John Locke) and looked right into their souls.  He killed Eko, because Eko was unrepentant.  Richard was repentant, so he let him live.  Also, he happened to be the only person left alive that he might be able to convince to kill Jacob.  The Devil.  Not so sure about that one, but let’s just say I’m not necessarily convinced otherwise either.

Esau shows up (I am STILL not giving up on Esau) and gives Richard some unholy water, then gives him the exact same instructions Dogen gave Sayid, along with the same dagger!  Stab him in the heart.  Don’t let him speak, or it’ll be too late.  That was curious.  That sort of lends some weight to one of the theories floating around out there on the interwebs about Jacob and the Man in Black being the same person.  If they each need to be killed in the same way, maybe they are the same person?  For the record, I do not think they are.  But if you were looking for support for that theory, that part might give you some.

But Richard says, “Why not, I’m already a murderer, give me that knife,” and takes off toward the four-toed statue that is all that is left after the Black Rock smashed it to smithereens!  That was awesome.  You know what else was awesome?  Jacob giving Richard a Ben Linus-worthy beat down.  That was awesome.  Jacob saying “Nobody comes in unless I invite them in.”  That was awesome.  Jacob’s description of The Island as the cork keeping the “darkness” in the bottle?  That was AWESOME. 

Richard was sort of an impressionable chap back in the day.  Go kill Jacob.  Ok.  Don’t kill me, help me stop the other guy from leaving?  Ok.  And all he wants in return is to have his wife back.  Which Jacob cannot do.  And to be forgiven for his sins.  Which Jacob cannot do.  How about everlasting life?  No problem.  Another unspoken part of the deal was a never ending supply of Old Navy Button Down Shirts

So, what it all boils down to is, Esau is trying to leave The Island and spread his evil seed like some sort of diabolical Tiger Woods.  And Jacob will not allow this.  But short of not allowing Esau to leave, there doesn’t seem to be much Jacob CAN do.  He can’t kill Esau, presumably, or he would have already.  And Esau can’t kill Jacob, or he would have already.  And he can’t step in when Esau tries to convince other people to do bad things, which is why he needs Richard around.  Why can’t they do anything?  Why do they have to get other people to do their work for them?

Is The Island really Hell?  If so, who is the Devil?  Are Jacob and Esau supposed to be God and the Devil?  Are they angels?  Are they human manifestations of cosmic forces, such as Fate and Free Will?  Why does Jacob have the power to keep Esau on The Island, and why can’t Esau kill Jacob??  I’m sorry, but that part is driving me crazy. 

Sorry for the late post.  I am on the road this week and didn’t see the episode until yesterday afternoon.  And I’m finishing this up on a lunch break during a deposition.  Also, the next two weeks there will be no blog posts.  Sorry.  Amanda and I will be in Italy until April 7, and I might try to watch Lost while we are gone, but I am damn sure not going to be taking any more time away from drinking wine and eating gelato than I have to.