So, we only thought that Daniel Faraday blew our minds with the last episode of Lost... this episode really blew our minds. First, Richard's declaration to Sun that 30 years ago he watched the Dharma Losties die. Commence delightful, confused surprise!! Accompanied by squealing, writhing, whatever else is necessary to give vent to our feelings. And then, 42 minutes later, Locke's cool statement that he is headed off to kill Jacob. Um, come again? Cue repeat of earlier reaction...
Daniel would indeed appear to be dead. :( All pause for a moment of silence, and to admire Eloise's ruthlessly accurate shooting abilities. (BITCH!)
Richard, the "adviser," doesn't seem to be as all-knowing as we had previously hoped. He seemed almost ignorant of the whole time-travel thing, and... *news flash!!* it turns out that Locke himself orchestrated the events that brought him back to the island. Or rather, the smoke monster manipulating him did. Wouldn't you agree that it's obvious by now that Locke isn't just a normal dude, who oh yeah just happened to be dead once? There indubitably are outside, even supernatural, forces at work with him, because how else would present-Locke even know that that specific moment in time was the one where his past self needed to run into Richard? The whole "the island told me" just doesn't seem as compelling any more for us actually-alive folks.
Dr. Chang isn't the horrible dad / jerk that his son had always had to think him! Hurrah for Miles having a moment of connection with his dad, and closure over what had previously been so much hurt. I was so relieved for him, though really his mother should have known the difference between being evacuated for their safety, and suddenly being dumped by her theretofore doting husband.
I was all primed for happy gloating, a la Sawyer and Juliet are totally going to stay together! ...and then Kate dropped in to that stupid sub and shook everything up. Gah! It was almost enough to shake my new found connection with her, and Juliet looked just about ready to cut that bitch... I know some people are sick of the love triangle (/octogon), but I really think all I'm sick of is Juliet's insecurities. To my mind, it's obvious that Sawyer loves her and is committed to her. He still has feelings for Kate, sure, but in the you-once-meant-a-lot-to-me kind of way, and Juliet's fears that these wistful half-forgotten emotions will screw up the good thing she and Sawyer have going on is just silly. Um, I hope.
What role does Richard play? Is he perpetually a side-kick? Or is he playing innocent on purpose?
Can Jacob really be killed? Does Locke kill him? Would that make Locke the island "god"? (If we're headed to the cabin, can Claire show up soon please?)
Has Jack really gone a little wacko, ripping a page right out of Locke's "destiny" book?
And all of the standing questions still apply too. (What lies in the shadow of the statue, what's in that stupid box the Shadowies have, what will Jack and Eloise do with the hydrogen bomb, will Sun and Jin be reunited, why didn't Sun go back in time with the rest of them, etc, etc, etc)
At this point, my addiction to this show is more fueled by abiding fascination with how the writers are going to untangle everything than actually feeling confident that the answers will be satisfactory... Forgive me, gentle reader and fellow Lost aficionado -- I can't help feeling more than a little cynical by this point. I'm still watching as breathlessly as ever, but I really do think that the writers have piled up just a few too many haphazard plot elements for it to work entirely well any more. I keep going back to something I read somewhere, (and correct me if I'm wrong) that Benjamin Linus was originally only scheduled to be included in a few episodes. If that's true, then the writers are piecing it together as they go and borrowing elements of a million different sci fi sources in their efforts to make sense of the hopeless web they've created. Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% along for the ride! And I'm even still willing to wager that they tie everything into a satisfying conclusion, but I almost feel like that's more because I want them to so badly, than it is having any conviction that they're actually capable of it.
Locke's statement about killing Jacob, for example, entirely alters the role of that character. I had always assumed that Jacob had a sort of god-role -- powerful, invisible, with everyone answering to him and following his directions with awe and fear. Granted, that doesn't seem to fit with the guttural cry for help Locke heard in the cabin, but in general it's how Jacob was built up in the minds of the viewers I think... Now, in a single sentence, Jacob has been reduced to something mortal, capable of being robbed of life and power in a coup. In line with the Egyptian mythology, my boyfriend pointed out the parallels between a pharaoh and (my conception of) the role of Jacob... appearing as a god to the "mere mortals" but just a human in reality, yet handing out orders and commanding allegiance as king. This fits with the whole thing about "you don't just go see Jacob, he calls you..." Another meaty possibility is that he is indeed a human being, but somehow trapped in a liminal space between dimensions, or between death and life, and trying to manipulate events so as to free himself. But even with all of the physics-talk I don't think the writers have touched on alternative realities or extra dimensions at all, so I don't know how likely that one is... Note to writers: totally get on that!
Either way, king or god, if we lose Jacob, what do we have left? Is there a yet-unmentioned force behind the island? If the smoke monster isn't the servant of Jacob, who or what is it serving, per the carving in the temple? When Locke talks about "The Island," do the writers really expect us to believe that the island is somehow self-aware and directing the lives of its inhabitants?
One last note -- I think that Richard's statement that the Dharma Losties died in the 70s certainly indicates that "whatever happened, happened," can't be true. We know that the show isn't about to kill off all it's best-loved characters, so unless Richard lied to Sun then the past he's referring to is going to change. Go go free will!!
Two hour finale to look forward to next Wednesday! And no doubt our current understanding of what it means to have our minds blown will be entirely altered all over again. Can't wait! ;P
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