You'd think an episode containing flashbacks, time-traveling, and jumping between the island and the mainland storylines might get pretty complicated. Nah. This is Season 5, and if you're still here by now you're dedicated and die hard. The Little Prince was one of LOST's transition episodes designed to bring everyone together in a certain spot or put them where they need to be in order to advance the storyline. Past episodes like that have been pretty mediocre... but then again past episodes haven't given us Danielle Rousseau's crew, the return of Jin, and Hurley in a giant orange jumpsuit! Things I Noticed:
Hey, wanna lie to millions of people? Okay, can I keep this baby? Sure! (High-Five!)
Alright, so it didn't go down exactly like that. Here again (for some reason) the writers feel the need to show us the origin of the big O6 lie. But we also see the moment where Kate decides to keep and raise Aaron. At this point we already know they're doomed to fail, but in retrospect we knew this the moment Claire's creepy psychic insisted her baby never, EVER be raised by another. Oops.
Perhaps the origin of Jack and Kate's off-island relationship is show here as well. Kate's assertion that she's "always been with" Jack brings us back to the more innocent days of S1 and S2 where she backed pretty much any decision Jack made. Her words also infer the romantic ties that we'll see later on. Since the beginning of LOST, I've always thought Kate would end up with Jack. I've since changed my mind. Just as these characters were never meant to leave the island, Jack and Kate's attempt at being together was never meant to happen. Can you handle another Matrix parallel? The off-island world we've seen these past two seasons is nothing but our six main characters living in a bogus world - a timeline that never should've spawned - 'another life' that none of them ever should have ever had, and cannot continue within. I also think that whatever 'repair' happens after they return to the island will cause this timeline to never have existed at all, nullifying Jack and Kate's entire relationship, making it nothing but a holodeck fantasy with an unhappy ending.
The nosebleeds come fast and furious this episode. Juliet manages to shake Faraday down for what seems to be minimal information - he's still not telling us everything he knows. Miles seems uncharacteristically calm after his starts up, and goes to Daniel for answers. We get a little more here, as Faraday asks him if he's ever been on the island before and then reiterates with "Are you sure?". Apparently people who've been on the island before (or for a long time) are in a lot of trouble. Charlotte's vague familiarity with the island points to her having been a past resident. Juliet begins bleeding later on, but we already know she's spent significant time on the island. This leaves Miles, who Faraday now suspects is an unknowing ex-islander. Is this the place where Miles powers originate from? Probably.
I'm thinking back to right after the first time the sky turned purple, where Jack and Kate (but for some reason not Sawyer) were inoculated by the Others. Maybe this had something to do with protecting them from whatever's happening to Charlotte, Miles, and Juliette. Maybe not. In any case, these three people are coming down with Minkowski-itis, and left untreated they're going to end up like Teresa. It also seemed that Daniel just might be Charlotte's constant. When she woke up she didn't recognize him, as if her consciousness had flashed to a past portion of her life where she hadn't yet met Faraday. Upon seeing him she suddenly knew again where (and when) she was. Maybe contact with her constant anchored her memories... or maybe she would've slipped back into the 'present' no matter who was kneeling over her.
Ingredients: Milk, cocoa, sugar, lead, steel, brass, gunpowder...
Valentine's day comes a week early for Sun, as Charles Widmore sends her the Whitman Assassin Sampler. Feeding on Sun's growing anger toward Ben Linus, it initially looks like Widmore hopes to use her as a killing tool. But more likely I think, is that Widmore knows it's not that easy. Although he sent the gun, I'm pretty sure Widmore knows any plan to assassinate Ben Linus is doomed to fail. He also knows the O6 need to be together in order to find the island again. I'd bet my ass that within that gun might be a way of tracking Sun there, or at least tracking her to the docks. By playing on Sun's thirst for vengeance, and by knowing she'll eventually hook up with Ben again, it would be a great way to locate him.
This episode paved the way for what could be some very serious Michael J. Fox shenanigans. It was cool to see Locke intentionally avoiding running into his past self at the hatch, knowing in a very Ben-like manner that he needed things to play out the way they already have. Ditto for Sawyer, awestruck at seeing his past friends, lovestruck at seeing Kate, and completely powerless to do anything but watch. I wasn't sure our characters would ever jump back to a time period where we know they're already on the island, because a simultaneous duplicate of something, or someone, seems to go against the perceived fabric of the universe.
That being said, this explains a LOT of things. First, it explains why Richard gave Locke the compass. Last week arguments raged regarding the paradox of "If Richard gave Locke the compass, and Richard had it because Locke gave it to him, then who had it in the first place?" Chicken or the egg? Very paradoxical... but only if you assume there can only be one compass. Although we never see two Lockes or two Sawyers, we can assume there were two of each of them on the island the night that Boone died. This means there can also be two compasses. Future Richard gave Locke his compass and told him to give it to past Richard. I'm guess that when Locke made the hand-off, Richard already had his compass. So now he's holding two of them, identical to each other, lending weight and credence to Locke's time-traveler story. Future Richard did this to convince his past self that Locke wasn't crazy or lying.
This also explains the sudden appearances (and disappearances) of people like Goodwin's wife Harper. Notice how she showed up out of nowhere and disappeared just as fast. Do you think she's squatting a lean-to on the ass-side of the island? Hell no - Harper's skipping along just like our main island characters are right now. Imagine Claire and Kate seeing Sawyer peering at them through the jungle, then impossibly disappearing as he's flashed away. Kate and Claire wouldn't (and didn't) see the flash - only Sawyer did. He's trapped on the needle of a broken record, skipping along whenever it jumps. Take the appearance of Walt... talking to Shannon right before she's gutshot by Ana Lucia. He was picked up by the needle a long time ago, and has been skipping ever since. But hey, didn't we see Walt leave the island with Michael? Yeah... one of him anyway.
And while we're talking about Walt and Harper showing up at various points in time, let's talk about the rain. The skipping explains the rain. It rained when Harper showed up... it rained when Walt spoke to Shannon. It rained because these people were time-skipping, and it stopped raining shortly afterward. Need more proof? It rained when Alpert came to see and test young Locke. It rained when the freighter crew arrived on the island, because they had to skip through time (31 minutes to be exact). It rained when Desmond's boat arrived on the island, and even in this episode when the canoe jumped. And yes, it's rained numerous other times as well... but who knows what skips and jumps might've happened those times that we don't yet know about?
This could also explain all the backward whispers, phrases, and phone calls. Sawyer jumped backward in time to witness the birth of Aaron... if he'd called out to them would he be speaking backwards like Walt was? Did Kate's late night phone call come from someone who skipped to the future? I'd like to think all the backwards talking has semi-logical reasons behind it in the storyline of LOST. Although it was fun to play and decipher all that reverse audio in past seasons, I'd hate to think it was just a gimmick to keep the fans buzzing. And although I think the whispers are more than just echos of people stuck on the needle of the island's record player, I think they definitely originate from those people somehow, in some way we haven't seen yet.
I'm Not Sure How Iraq Ever Lost Desert Storm
With Sayid on their team? They must not have been using him effectively. Every week Sayid reaches new levels of complete badassedness. At this point I'm not sure who wants him filled with purple darts (Widmore?) but they're pretty persistent and have great info. The address in that dude's pocket didn't represent his employer, it probably represented his next target - Kate. Maybe Widmore is trying to obtain the whole O6 collection. Already he's got Sun in his pocket, which is kind of strange because I'd think Sun would be a little smarter than she's been acting these past few episodes. He probably sent that guy to get Hurley, too.
I thought it was pretty surreal watching Jack on the phone with Kate outside the hospital, while his buddies Sayid and Ben(!) rolled up behind him. I remember when neither one of them would ever turn their back on Benjamin Linus - it's funny how far we've come.
He's my Lawyer
And he's a damned good one.
Jin is a Lovable, Indestructible Piece of Season-Finale Driftwood
I'm not sure which was more exciting - seeing Jin alive again or seeing Rousseau and her crew arrive on the island! In this fantastic 1988 throwback, we're given the entire science expedition: pregnant Danielle, her boyfriend Robert and all. On their way to the beach they pull a very waterlogged Jin to safety. The assumed sequence of events here: Jin was blasted from the freighter, swam for the island, collapsed onto a piece of wreckage, and has endured 4 or 5 time-zaps so far. This means that Jin has been skipping parallel to Sawyer and Locke's group: when Danielle's crew disappears at the next time-jump, Jin will be standing there alone. At first I was psyched because I figured we'd see the sickness that befalls Danielle's crew... but then I looked it up again and they're not getting sick for several weeks. At least maybe we'll see the radio tower.
More significant though, is what Jin's appearance means to the storyline. If Danielle's group had originally pulled Jin from the ocean, wouldn't she have recognized him all those years later when she met the 815 survivors back in Season One? But she didn't. And the fact that she didn't could very well mean that things have changed. Just as Richard doesn't recognize Locke later on, just as Ethan didn't seem to recognize him either... these future-to-past meetings seem to indicate that this is the first time these changes have occurred - at least within this time loop.
Desmond's changes (keeping Charlie alive long enough to make the island visible) to the original pre-destined timeline ended up bringing in the freighter and allowed the Oceanic Six to leave the island. The result: everything that happens afterward is happening for the very first time. This is why, I think, there's hope for a resolution to LOST. There's an end event that's never happened before, one that Desmond's ability to change things will eventually bring.
Ben's New Super Power? Awkwardly Telling the Truth at the Worst Possible Moment
Although most of the main characters have undertaken major transformations during the course of the show, there are still many people who reject any kind of improvement to Benjamin Linus. Not that I can blame them. Ben has duped us so many times it's almost embarrassing to watch the show and take anything he says at face value. Since the day we met him, Ben's been handing out lies like chewing gum. He's been blowing bubbles in everyone's faces, and whenever he's caught he just smirks and shrugs.
But then remember, in almost every plotline of LOST there's always a twist. Even something as simple as Claire's mother trying to gain custody of Aaron can't be that straightforward - it has to end in some kind of a U-turn. So when it comes to Benjamin Linus, king of con artists... I think the twist here is that Ben is NOT lying. All those seasons ago, when Ben told Michael that he was one of the 'good guys' I think he'll turn out to be just that.
On the island, Ben's non-stop stream of lies began the day he gassed his pop. It continued through his reign over the Others, his recruiting of Juliet, and his involvement with everyone on flight 815. Yet through all that planned deception geared toward guiding everyone along the 'correct' paths in our story, Ben still failed to keep Widmore's people off the island. In that regard, his master plan failed. I think he realized this when he abdicated his island throne and turned the donkey wheel. Since leaving the island, I'm fairly sure Ben's been trying a completely different approach: the truth.
Has he told lies to bring the O6 back together again? Sure. But he's also told the stark, clean truth. Take the way he came utterly, completely clean to Hurley right before Hugo gave himself up to the police. Although it backfired, it was a little astonishing to see him NOT lying for once. And then this episode, Ben comes totally clean to Kate. He didn't use lawyers and a very elaborate story (complete with intentional visit to Claire's mom) just to bring her to the dock... Ben wanted Kate to believe that Aaron was being hunted; his plan was to frighten her back to the one place on Earth no one would ever find them. Instead, in front of everyone, he abruptly abandons this idea and decides upon different approach. Ben tells her the truth, even stumbles over it, and trusts that he and the other characters will still be able to convince her to return to the island. Whether it works or not, this is a scary new approach for Ben. He's been in uncharted waters since he turned the wheel, and he's trying new things. I also think his character has been humanized quite a bit. Him asking Sayid "Why did you take it upon yourself to rescue Hugo?" was very telling. The was no reason for him asking this other than to genuinely want to know why. For so much of his life, almost every decision Ben's made (with Alex being the exception) has been geared toward achieving or accomplishing a specific set of goals. People helping each other for the sake of friendship is a difficult concept for him to grasp. It's a lot like in T2, when the unfeeling terminator keeps asking young John Connor "why?". Ben's traditionally been the Terminator of all things not necessary to the island's cause.
Sawyer turned over a new leaf, Charlie got sober, even Michael made good (at least partially) for the things he'd done. Maybe Ben's redemption involves washing his filthy lying mouth out with some anti-bullshit soap. And for those of you who think the final FINAL twist will be him turning out to be mustache-twistingly evil after all... well, we'll see. :)
The Ultimate Theory in Course Correction (a.k.a. "Oh Shutup Vozzek, That's Just Preposterous!")
It was creepy, it was eerie, and it was my favorite part of the episode: Sawyer & crew arriving back at 'their camp'. Someone's been eating all the porridge, drinking all the Dharma beer, and breaking the all island's leash laws. Locke pointedly asks "I wonder when all this happened?" From the very beginning of this scene, something seemed off. And from the minute Juliet found the Ajira Airways water bottle to the final seconds of the bullet-ridden canoe-chase, I realized we were looking at the future.
For a moment, let's imagine that the 815'ers failed at whatever the island needed them to do. Going with Hawking's theory of course-correction, the island would still need to bring people to it. Jacob would still need some help. What we saw here was the next generation of LOST: one in which the plane that crashed came from India, one in which the crash survivors were just different people playing the same roles. Most things would occur along the same lines: they'd build a camp, they'd be terrorized by the smoke monster, there would be lots of fighting and gunfire. Eventually they'd find the remnants of the 815 camp and wonder what the hell it was, much the same way our characters found the Black Rock and the 4-toed statue. They'd also scrap with the Others - early and often.
So now let's pretend for a minute that the group in the other outrigger canoe was comprised of the flight "518" survivors. They see our main characters and assume they're the Others. They give chase, take some shots, and then suddenly Locke and Sawyer's canoe is whisked away: conveniently time-skipped back to the past (pouring rain and everything).
Desmond's been saying it since season 2: "See you in another life". Effectively this IS another life, just as the off-island world that the O6 now play conspiracy games in is another life as well. Another prophetic old statement by Jin to Hurley: "Everything is going to change". Imagine that every time something changes we see another life... if the change is a minor one, all you'll see are a few picture frames changing style. If the change is significant, and happens at the root level of LOST's story, maybe another whole plane crash happened. I wouldn't even be surprised to find out that Locke was leading his own group of Others in the first canoe, effectively chasing a version of his former, past self. Bananas? Definitely! But remember Frank Duckett's words: "It'll come back around". Not to mention this would also make Sawyer's sarcastic "Other Others" line ironically close to the truth
What we saw this episode was a really cool, really dark mirror universe of our existing storyline. It happened very fast, and we weren't meant to see much. Reality turns out to be a very thinly veiled curtain on LOST, and the writers are yanking on it. But their story is their story, and it totally rocks.
I just hope the last scene of LOST doesn't end with a new set of characters getting on a new plane in India...