That changes things a tad.
I had the whole “these aren’t flashbacks” thing figured out relatively early in the episode, but that didn’t lessen the impact of the final reveal of the season: (some of) our castaways made it off the island, and they aren’t too thrilled about it. Flipping the whole flashback convention (making the island the focus of said flashbacks) has been a long time coming, and this was probably the right time to do it. Next season will surely get off to a fast start (I hope), as we’ve got a lot to address, but I’m wondering if next season will follow the format of tonight’s finale, with “flash-forwards” instead of flashbacks. Anyway, more questions. Who rescued them? Did everyone make it off the island? Did anyone willingly stay? Did Desmond reunite with Penny? Did the remaining Others stay hidden? Why is a suicidal Jack so certain he made a mistake in leaving the island?
Back in the real world finally, Jack seems to be desperate to get back to the island he tried so hard to get off of. I’ll leave the focus on Jack’s fake mustache and beard and inherited alcoholism for other sites, what I want to know is why can’t he simply go right back to the island? If a freighter was able to find the island, why can’t he? Signals are no longer being jammed, there’s no electromagnetic interference from Swan Station, so is something still in place to keep the place in a perpetual shroud?
That begs the question, who were they rescued by? If, as Ben insists, Naomi and her crew are the “bad guys,” what are their motivations? Harnessing the power of the island for financial gain? I hate to bring up something from last summer’s Lost Experience online “game,” as it had a limited audience, but we haven’t heard much about the Hanso Foundation in a long time, and I’ve gotta believe they’re still going to figure in this whole mess somewhere. My guess is that Naomi and her ship are part of the Foundation, intent on annexing the island for their own nefarious means. I’m picturing episodes next season in which the unsuspecting Hanso Foundation commandos are picked off one at a time by Cerberus the Unfriendly Smoke Monster as they foolishly attempt to “capture” the island and its power.
Lots of questions to ponder.
- Whose “funeral” did Jack attend? I couldn’t make out the announcement in the newspaper, so we’re left to wonder until next season. What we do know is that no one, save Jack, attended the individual’s funeral. Not a lot of friends, I guess.
My initial instinct was Ben, but the likely candidate would be Locke, though I think he’d at least have a few attendees at the parlor. If he was torn away from the island, he can’t have been too happy or eager to contribute to society when he got back. Being back probably would have killed him, both physically and mentally. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I’m leaning toward it being Locke. However, that would also mean the best character on the show won’t be a regular part of the show next year, wouldn’t it?
- Ben, for all his manipulations and conniving and homicidal rule, may just be one of the “good guys,” after all. He’s been saying that for a long time, and the evidence in favor of that assertion mounts. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the castaways, he waited far too long to tell Jack and his crew the truth. No one could believe him after he’d cried wolf so many times before. The master manipulator lost control of the situation because of those manipulations.
- Who was Kate anxious to get back to at the end of the episode? Sawyer? It sounded like whoever it was wouldn’t approve of her seeing Jack. Regardless, a cleaned-up Kate looks like she’s a lot happier than Jack is to be back in reality.
- I didn’t expect to see John Locke again this season, so color me surprised when we saw not only John, but also the long-absent Walt (or at least someone or something in the form of Walt). The way I see it, he could be one of two things: ole’ Smokey or an astral projection from Walt himself. The kid’s shown he has some metaphysical ability, appearing to Shannon and Sayid twice before (way back in season two). Before he was only capable of a brief appearance and speaking backward. With age comes a better handle on his powers, making it feasible to have an actual conversation with Locke.
Of course, he could also be ole’ Smokey once again serving the the best interests of the island, as the security system has done before. I’m more inclined to think it really was Walt, warning Locke that it ain’t in the best interests of our castaways to leave the island.
- Ben was leading the Others to a “temple,” to which he orders Richard Alpert to take them after he leaves to intercept Jack and his flock. The show’s creators have made allusions to the role the many ruins we’ve seen in the show so far (the ruined wall at the Others beach, the foot of the Colossus, the pillar Locke’s Dad was chained to) will play in season four. The term “temple” immediately evokes some religious connotation. A place of worship. Who built the ruins; who were they worshiping?
- During Penny’s transmission with the Looking Glass and Charlie, she revealed that it wasn’t her boat or rescue party 80 miles off the coast of the island. She seemed to have no idea what Charlie was talking about.
What piqued my interest, however, was the fact that she somehow made contact with the station at all. There just happened to be an incoming transmission when Charlie turned off the jammer? How in the world would Penny know of the station or where to send a transmission if she had no idea of the island’s location?
- Have we seen Dr. Hamill before? He looked oddly familiar, but I couldn’t place the episode. Earlier this season, perhaps.
I almost forgot–Hamill says he’ll go get Jack’s dad to compare their levels of drunkenness when Jack challenges him. Jack also tries to pass off a prescription from his father at the pharmacy. Christian Shepherd is alive?! WTF?
- Jack was listening to a Nirvana (early 90’s band that started the grunge revolution) song whilst on his way to the Hoffs/Drawlar funeral parlor. I immediately recognized the tune, but its title slips my mind at the moment.
Is “HOFFS/DRAWLAR” another anagram for us to solve? Maybe not; more than likely it’s a reference to David Hasselhoff. Perhaps a warning to the Hoff that if he continues on the path he’s on, he’ll end up in a coffin. Right?
- Dominic Monaghan did a great job in his swan song as Charlie. I got a kick out of his taunting Bonnie as she beat the crap out of him. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him on the show, but it looks like his days as a regular are over.
- Speaking of Bonnie, we learn she and Greta (the brunette) are in fact Others, assigned by Ben to the station to keep all transmissions jammed, unbeknownst to the rest of the tribe. Mikhail, in fact, thought they were “on assignment in Canada.”
- One other thing I found interesting about Mikhail is that Ben referred to him having always been a “loyalist.”
That conjures images of warring factions of Others somewhere in the recent past, those who want to leave the island versus those who want to protect and nurture it by whatever means necessary. Ben, as only he can, would have ruthlessly put down his opposition with Mikhail and the rest of these “Loyalists'” help. (He’d do pretty well with Mikhail at his side–a guy who can survive sonic fences and harpoons through the chest.)
- The woman Jack saved (in the car accident that HE caused) was a “Mrs. Arlen” (sp?). I didn’t recognize her, but it’s tough to tell under all the bandages and cuts.
Appropriate symmetry between Jack saving the woman from an accident he caused, and Jack “saving” the castaways from the island that was probably keeping them all safe.
- Kate intimated to Sawyer that she might be pregnant with his baby, based on the fact Juliet was going to get samples from her. If that’s true and she eventually gave birth, that would lend credence to my guess that she’s living with Sawyer back on the mainland now.
- Obligatory mention and screencap of another of the ubiquitous Eye Shots:
Other Stuff from Other Sites
- Hoffs/Drawlar is definitely an anagram: FLASH FORWARD. [Sledgeweb] Duh.
- The Nirvana song was Scentless Apprentice. Thanks inglishteecher.
- Someone with some better screencaps than I did a bit of work on that obituary:
“The body of Jo -anthan of (indecipherable place) was… (found) shortly after 4 (A/P)M in the … of Grand …” The second paragraph is almost impossible to make out. “(Person’s Name, a doorm)an at The (Place… he)ard loud (noises in/from) …an’s loft. (Fearing for someone’s s)afety, he (broke/opened the door and) discovered the (body hanging from) a beam.” [Sledgeweb]
Well, if that’s accurate, it’s gotta be Johnathan Locke, doesn’t it? Both Jack and Locke are so miserable they’d rather end their lives than go on another day in the “real world.”
It’s been a fun season pretty much from start to finish. I’ve been amazed at the response I’ve gotten to these recaps–to the point I’m incredulous when I see the number of hits the site gets on Thursday mornings. I’ll have a post or two over the summer (and fall, as the show won’t return until January or February 2008) to ponder a few things, and perhaps we’ll get another viral marketing a la the Lost Experience last year. Until then, thank you all for reading; I do it all for you and the children. I’ll “find” you again soon. (GET IT?! THE SHOW IS CALLED LOST, BUT I’LL FIND YOU! HAHAHAHA!)