So most of you didn't like it, eh? I actually really enjoyed this episode, and for more reasons than just the last ten seconds.
It's been so long since we've seen Jin and Sun together, and while I was really hoping for a Kwon reunion on the island, their Alternate Timeline (ATL) satisfied some of what I've been missing.
By the way, I have to admit that the Flocke-is-evil people went a long way toward winning me over in this episode. Now that it's clear Flocke has given Claire and Kate conflicting goals, I'm not so sure how much we can trust what he says. Also, Charles Widmore, despite doing plenty of kidnapping, doesn't seem to harbor evil intentions for the island or the survivors at this point, so the fact that he is ready to go to war with Flocke doesn't speak well for Flocke.
But who knows? With Desmond back in play, it's anybody's game.
But let's back up just a second. When checking into the hotel, Jin and Sun make sure to clear their respective last names with the front desk. Jin is a Kwon and Sun is a Paik. Of course, the last name issue is very critical to on-island Jin and Sun. Was this a hint that the candidate is Jin? I would have guessed Sun, since she's typically been the more "main" character of the two, but Jin's star has been rising for the last two seasons, so we'll see.
In the hotel room, Sun has a secret, but before we learn what it is (she's pregnant, obviously - saw that coming a mile away, didn't we?), Keamy and Omar barge in. He wants his watch and he wants his money. When Sun and Jin only have one of those things, they call "Danny's friend" (Pickett, right? Doubt we'll see him, though), Mikhail. The result is a really awkward scene at Sun's bank, where she learns she doesn't have the money to pay them.
Meanwhile, Keamy ties Jin up in his freezer dropping a bombshell on him that Jin doesn't understand: the $25,000 is Keamy's compensation for killing Jin. Keamy's speech is simultaneously threatening and almost touching - and while he's talking, he treats a bleeding wound on Jin's head. Anybody notice how prominently blood and the color red were featured in this episode? (In addition to the irritating red "V" at the bottom of the screen, announcing that show's return.)
Sayid frees Jin, or rather, allows Jin to free himself. It was very strange, but this Sayid seemed more emotionally distant than the ATL Sayid in the flashes of "Sundown". This could be because he had just shot three people, or it could be subconscious crossover from the Main Timeline (MTL). "I don't feel anything," Sayid told Flocke. This seemed very much like a Sayid who also didn't feel anything.
Oh, it turns out Keamy isn't completely dead yet. I wonder if he'll show up again? I hope so. Really a great character in both realities.
Mikhail arrives with Sun, and a fight ensues between him and Jin, which ends, awesomely, with Mikhail shot through his eye. Ah, destiny.
But in the process, Sun is accidentally shot, and as Jin carries her away, she reveals that she is pregnant. Sun, I believe, is the first main character in mortal peril in the ATL. Maybe things can only end happily in one reality and not the other? Maybe this bodes well for the on-island couple? Well, I expect Sun to pull through. A checkup with Dr. Jack Shephard should fix her, right?
Next, Flocke pays Sun a visit, explains that he found Jin and asks her to come back with him. He says that she has a choice, that he would never make anyone follow him against their will. Even if the Man in Black is evil, I genuinely think that Flocke's hatred of Jacob extends to their divergent operating philosophies. Again and again, we've seen Flocke give someone the choice to obey him. Richard said no in 1867, and the Man in Black left him alone for a century and a half. So at least some of the time, MIB does take no for an answer. Other times, it's obey or die - which is what happened to the Temple Others, ultimately making Sun uneasy about joining him and causing her to flee from him instead.
I also thought it was noteworthy that Sun cut herself just before Flock appeared.
Aside from just keeping with the "red" theme of this episode, I don't know how to interpret this. It was certainly very foreboding, though, for Flocke to appear at that moment. For some reason, I couldn't shake the idea that Flocke's very proximity to Sun caused it. Randall Flagg/Walter, the Stephen King archvillian to whom MIB is often compared, would inadvertently kill small animals and cause headaches in the young and the elderly (I think) just by being around them.
Flocke soon causes Sun a more serious injury. Admittedly, the effect was a little difficult to believe for just a bump on the head: she can't speak in English anymore, though she can still understand it. This has happened before - to John Locke in "Further Instructions", interestingly enough. In that instance, it was caused by John's proximity to the implosion of the Swan. Does this mean electromagnetism is involved in the loss of speech? Maybe the Man in Black is really just a walking, talking, pocket of electromagnetic black smoke, and encountering him can have such an effect.
We know that electromagnetism can cause consciousness teleportation. Perhaps Flocke was able to force her to channel herself in the other reality, where she doesn't know English. If Flocke has that power, we might have just seen our first glimpse of how the ATL could ultimately factor in to the MTL. Flocke might be the link between these two realities.
Maybe I'm reaching. It's also conceivable that Sun's weird loss of English was caused by a variety of other things. Maybe Flocke has that power because it happened to John Locke, and he can use aspects of John Locke's personality and memories. Maybe it was caused by a subconscious connection to her flash-sideways character (whose inability to understand English was placing her in mortal peril), and Flocke wasn't involved. Or hey, maybe it really is just a bump on the head.
There wasn't very much else interesting going on at the Beach Camp. Richard returns with Hurley, fired up about stopping Flocke by destroying the Hydra plan (with an atomic bomb! Nope, just kidding). They plan to head for Hydra Island, and Jack eventually convinces Sun to come, even though she's reluctant. Jack brings her a tomato from her garden - the only one that didn't die. Again, the color red.
It looks like a little heart, doesn't it? Keamy talks about the heart, too (in the "love" sense rather than the "organ" sense). Maybe this whole "red" thing - again, apart from being an annoying reminder that "V" was coming back - was supposed to make us think about love vs. violence, the color's two main interpretations. "The Package" certainly contained a fair share of both.
Finally, Sun chooses to go with Jack. Interestingly enough, he reaches his hand out to her just as Flocke did. Jack is also "talking destiny" just like his old enemy, John Locke. And the character inhabiting John Locke, is definitively anti-destiny.
Sun doesn't regain her ability to speak English, and settles for writing things down - again, very John-like from "Further Instructions". As Boone told John in that episode, "You'll speak when you have something worth saying."
I think it is significant that Widmore didn't bring the usual crowd to the island this time. Ever since his conversation with Desmond in "Jughead", Charles has seemed to me like a sort of reformed bad guy who genuinely regretted the consequences of putting Keamy on the island. In many ways, Charles's plan seems to be a repeat of his Season Four plan - bring scientists to the island to investigate strange properties - but with less violence.
They put Jin in Room 23, but only to hold him, not brainwash him. What Zoe is really interested in is a map of energy pockets on the island that was signed by Jin back in his Dharma days.
Ben told John in season 4 that Widmore wanted control of the island in order to exploit its unique properties, which could explain Widmore's interest in the energy pockets. I doubt it, though, since I think Charles is mostly a good guy at this point. As I've said, I think the electromagnetic energy might correspond to Flocke, the other reality, or both, and I think that sort of explains Widmore's interest. Also, now that we know a certain Scotsman with a special connection to electromagnetism is back on the island, Jin's knowledge of the location of the pockets could be especially important.
I couldn't make heads or tails of that map, since it didn't at all resemble Rousseau's. But even if it did, there's enough discontinuity in island geography to make the formulation of a realistic island map pretty much impossible. I actually drew a map for a Lost-inspired Risk game board after season three and another one after season four, and I promise you that things aren't where they should be.
In any case, we know where some of the pockets are. The Swan is built on top of the seemingly most powerful one, and the Orchid is atop another.
Zoe takes Jin to Charles, who give him Sun's camera from the Ajira flight, complete with pictures of his daughter. Good for Jin. This guy deserves a break every once in awhile.
Charles explains that if Flocke leaves the island, everyone they know and love will "cease to be". His choice of words here was very interesting. He didn't say everyone would die or be killed, he said they would cease to be, as if Flocke leaving the island would cause a reset of its own.
Meanwhile, Flocke has come to Hydra Island for Jin. He can't cross the pylons (I bet they have ash in them, and I bet the old Dharma ones did, too), so he and Charles exchange words from opposite sides of this do-not-cross line. Charles reveals that he knows less about MIB than I would have guessed, a combination of "myth, ghost stories, and jungle noises in the night". I assume he gathered this limited amount of information during his reign as leader of the Others. Flocke demonstrates once again that he has access to John's memories by quoting Widmore's speech to John: "a war is coming."
It sounds like an important tool in that war will be "the package", which is soon hauled off the sub by Zoe and that dorky mercenary guy (watched from the ocean by soulless, swimming Sayid). DESMOND IS BACK!
I'm excited that Desmond has an important role to play in the endgame. As Daniel Faraday pointed out in season 5, Desmond is "uniquely special". "The rules don't apply" to him. And if the secret to Flocke's power does turn out to be electromagnetic pockets, Desmond is the man for the job of defeating him. No one has been zapped with more sheer island energy than the key-turning Scotsman. Maybe he'll be able to turn into a white smoke monster and the two of them can battle out.
Seriously though, ever since Desmond kept Charlie alive long enough to shut down the Looking Glass station, I've thought that Desmond and Desmond alone has the power to change things, to operate outside the "whatever happened, happened" framework. Remember in "Because You Left" when the Swan hatch version of himself was able to send a message to his post-island self? Only Desmond can do that. It will be interesting to see if such powers extend not only through time, but through reality itself.
Recall that 108, the number to which Hurley was supposed to turn the wheel in the lighthouse, bore the crossed out name, "Wallace". According to Lostpedia, the novel A Wrinkle in Time (which appears on Sawyer's dresser in "Recon") has a character named Charles Wallace. This Wallace is psychic, messes with time, and appears as an evil cloud called The Black Thing.
I alluded to it in my intro, but Flocke pitting Kate and Claire against each other makes me think he might be mostly bad, after all. He still represents philosophical opposition to Jacob/destiny, though. He borrowed the phrase of inescapable destiny, "whatever happens, happens", but in the context in which he said it, it meant "anything can happen", which is the opposite of what it usually means.
Also, he confirmed that Kate and Claire are not candidates. But Ilana said that there are six candidates left: Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin/Sun, and ...? Her information is outdated, though, and may have included John Locke, who wasn't crossed out until recently.
I'm very excited to see what Lost has in store for Desmond. Until next week,
- Robby "Robz888"