BOOM! It was nice knowing you (briefly), Ilana. Hey Desmond, welcome back to the isla... DOWN THE WELL! And, for good measure, let's kill John Locke one more time. Pretty much sums up last night's surprisingly violent Hurley-centric, doesn't it?
But much like "Sundown", the shocking death toll was pretty entertaining, especially after all the lovey-dove stuff lately, though "Everybody Loves Hugo" wasn't lacking in that department, either.
This was an hour of Lost filled with potential answers, questions and moments meriting heavy discussion. I'll try to get through it as quickly as I can, but I have a feeling this will end up being a lengthy recap. Let's examine the on-island action first.
From what I've gathered, most people expected Ilana to meet this fate the second she showed us the dynamite in her pack (and I'm guessing there must have been spoilers about this, though I truly don't know), but never in a million years did I think she would meet her demise tonight. Her character just never went anywhere. What was the point of her? Let's pretend for a minute that Ilana never existed. Bram and Co. were Jacob's only sworn protectors. They bring Locke's body to the Statue, and Flocke kills them all. Richard could have filled everybody in on the whole candidates thing. I fail to see what Ilana's character added, other than her shocking, semi-comical death.
At least Ben acknowledged this, pointing out that when Jacob is done with somebody, he's REALLY done with them. I warned in previous recaps that I didn't think Jacob cared about Ilana the way she cared about him, and that he was just using her. The moment she was no longer needed, she became cannon fodder. This doesn't reflect very well on Jacob. Sure, the Man in Black isn't exactly a saint lately, but Jacob's complete indifference to other peoples' lives seems almost as bad as Flocke's malevolent intentions.
In any case, I never felt very strongly about Ilana, and I don't think she had too much support among fans, so we can get over her pretty quickly. There are a lot of characters, and if Ilana's death frees up more time for the less-utilized people to get the spotlight (ahem, Miles and Frank), then maybe it's for the best. Still, the Beach Camp heroes scarcely had any time to mourn or process this loss before heading off on another seemingly hopeless mission.
In the wake of Ilana's death, Richard is just as determined to put the dynamite from the Black Rock to good use. Hurley plays along at first, but then rushes ahead of the group and blows up the Black Rock before anyone can get their hands on more explosives. Farewell, pirate ship in the jungle. You've been a fan favorite for a long time.
Hurley then chalks his actions up to Jacob's invisible instructions, but Richard doesn't buy it. The gang then splits in two groups. Ben and Miles decide to follow Richard to the Barracks and gather more explosives. Jack, Sun and Frank agree to join Hurley in going to talk to Flocke.
The show has hinted at a close friendship between Ben and Richard, so I thought Ben's decision made sense. I was once again worried for Miles, though. Richard is basically wrapped up at this point, and Ben is currently at his most dispensable. If one of these factions ends up being the "Everybody Gets Killed" group, you know it's not going to be Hurley's. Then again, Ben, Richard and Miles should have a lot of island experience between them, right? I keep forgetting that Miles was Dharma security for three years, in addition to Ben and Richard's long careers as Others. Maybe they know what they're doing, after all.
Maybe Miles and Frank can score more screen time when they're apart. And I wonder if anybody has told Frank that Flocke killed his old buddy, Pilot Seth Norris, in Smoke Monster form all those years ago. Would he still want to talk to Flocke, then?
On the way to Flocke's camp, Hurley confesses to Jack that he hadn't spoken with Jacob. I enjoyed the conversation that followed, as Jack explains his new philosophy of letting go and seeing what happens. It's interesting how much Jack has come around to old John's way of thinking. I remember reading way back in season 2 that the producers had said Jack is both the "man of science" and the "man of faith". That's really come true as we head into Lost's final stretch.
In order to find the Flocke camp, Hurley has another chat with Michael, who confirms that the whispers are the voices of the dead who can't move on. I wish I had time to review every instance of the whispers over the course of six seasons, but here are my immediate reactions:
1) It was my understanding that, in some cases, the whispers were quotes attributed to still living people. I couldn't confirm this, but I thought we've heard Sawyer, Hurley and Richard's voices as whispers. Does this mean that they are going to die, or am I just way off?
2) This would explain why we do hear whispers from dead characters like Boone.
3) What about characters who died off the island but are somehow connected to the survivors? I'm thinking about Frank Duckett, here. His "whispering" was different than some of the others because it was louder and easier to understand, so maybe it doesn't count as part of the official whispers.
4) I'm still not sure why the whispers so often accompany the arrival of the Others or the Monster, but I have a guess. My favorite adaptation of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" is the one with Alastair Sim made in 1951. Just before the ghost of Jacob Marley departs Scrooge's presence, he bids Scrooge to look out the window. On the street below, a poor woman is freezing in the cold. She is surrounded by wailing ghosts who are throwing money at her, but she has no awareness of them or the money. Scrooge asks why the ghosts are so upset, and Marley replies, "They seek to intervene in the course of human affairs, but have lost their power to do so." The whispers are very similar. I think they appear right before the Others and the Smoke Monster because the dead people wish to warn the heroes of the coming danger.
5) I think Harper may have been dead after all when she appeared to Jack and Juliet in "The Other Woman". Juliet might not have known that she was dead, though.
Michael tells Hurley to apologize for him if he ever does see Libby again. And with events in the other reality unfolding in such a way, Hurley very well might be able to do just that. Then perhaps Michael can move on.
I was also a little taken aback that Sayid would tie up Desmond like that. I mean, they were best buddies on the freighter! Sayid must be really, really gone. That, or he was just providing female Lost fans with one of their fantasies (see image below).
In any case, Flocke takes Desmond for a walk to the Orchid well. On the way, he asks Desmond how long he was down in the hatch in the exact same way that Locke did back in "Live Together, Die Alone". More deliberate Locke parallelism. Flocke was actually very John-like in a couple moments last night. One of those was when he was carving a stick, and replied to Sawyer that the stick would tell him what it was supposed to become.
On the way to the well, that mysterious boy appears again. I have to say, I thought it was a different boy. According to Lostpedia, though, the same actor played both. This boy seemed to have darker hair and may have been a bit older, but I really don't know. They wear the same outfit. Are they Jacob and the Man in Black as children? Does this mean Jacob and MIB originated as the same entity? I hope we find out soon.
Also noteworthy was that Desmond could see him. Sawyer could seem him, too, but as far as we could tell, Richard couldn't. I thought maybe only candidates could see the boy, but that would seem to be false since Desmond could see him. Flocke is certainly troubled by the apparitions of this boy, whereas the boy seems unafraid of Flocke, even possibly having authority over him. This could be because the boy reminds MIB of his younger self - a time before Jacob took his humanity and trapped him on the island - or because the boy is actually a higher entity.
At the well, Flocke explains that the people who dug it were looking for the energy pocket that was affecting their compasses. I wonder if these people installed the wheel, or if it was already there?
Desmond isn't afraid of Locke, for two reasons: 1) Desmond doesn't seem perturbed by anything anymore, and 2) he doesn't seem to know Locke is not Locke. The bald-headed bad guy responds by throwing him down the well - a plunge that John himself took last season.
Why did Flocke ditch Desmond? I can think of a couple reasons:
1) Flocke, like Randall Flagg/Walter O'Dim of Stephen King's novels, keeps his cool most of the time, but has a short-fuse when it comes to people not taking him seriously, not fearing him the way they should, or laughing at him.
2) Flocke intended to get rid of Desmond. He recognizes the potential for Mr. Electromagnetism to be a thorn in his side, possibly because MIB has something to do with the electromagnetism. Long have I thought that the Smoke Monster form might be a sort of energy pocket in and of itself. But because Desmond is special, the only way to dispose of him is to throw him into a pocket.
3) Flocke didn't necessarily intend to hurt Desmond, he just needs to use him for something. He knew that Desmond would survive the fall because the well leads to an energy pocket and pockets are Desmond's specialty. The well tunnel is the next step on Desmond's quest, and Flocke wants him to fulfill this quest.
I think option 2 constitutes the bulk of the answer, but some aspects of choices 1 and 3 might apply as well.
Flocke returns to camp, and is soon joined by Hurley's party. The long-awaited Jack/John reunion moment occurs, but we'll have to wait until next week to see what they say to each other. Flocke, at least, looks pretty pleased that he finally has all the candidates in one place, minus Jin (poor Sun!).
The award made me laugh. Didn't Hurley think the Smoke Monster was a dinosaur at one point?
Anyway, Hurley is in most respects a lucky guy in the ATL, but he's still unlucky in love. Unsurprisingly, Libby soon crosses his path, and Hurley is immediately falling for her. Libby, for her part, has memories of her time on the island with Hurley - and these memories have landed her in Santa Rosa.
I thought this was a really brilliant way to build on the revelations in "Happily Ever After", with Libby expressing the same sentiments as Daniel and Charlie. It seems that love is very much the tool by which the ATL characters become aware of their other selves. It must be the intensity of the emotion of love that causes it to stretch across dimensions and connect these characters.
Desmond meets up with Hurley at Mr. Clucks, trying to nudge him to pursue Libby. We of course already know that Desmond has a hidden agenda of getting the 815 passengers to remember their other lives. Wasn't it funny that he was order number 42? In addition to being one of the numbers, 42 is the answer to "Life, the Universe, and Everything" in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy universe.
Hurley ends up bribing Dr. Brooks with a donation to fix up the rec room in order to see Libby. Though Hurley has never spent time in Santa Rosa in this reality, it's cool that he will be responsible for sprucing up the shabby room in which he spent so much time.
Hurley and Libby go on the beachside picnic that they never got around to on the island, and a kiss prompts Hurley to recall his time with Libby. Desmond watches, satisfied.
Oh, Damon and Carlton. You guys just couldn't resist, could you? "It's been at least a couple episodes since we killed John," you must have thought. "Have Desmond run him over." We John fans are the perpetual punching bags of Lost. The show constantly crushes our John hopes, restores them, and then crushes them all the more brutally. Remember when John's body was just sitting out in the sun for a day? That's how John fans are treated. And then they bury us.
That said, I'm assuming John will pull through, and that the accident might trigger John's other memories, as it did for Charlie and Desmond during near-death experiences. I also wonder if Desmond could have planned the accident enough to know that John would be taken to Jack's hospital, and that the two of them interacting might bring on the flashes. So I'm excited to see what comes next for John, but come on Desmond, did you have to run him over that hard?
He'll probably die on the operating table. Or better yet, Jack will revive him just long enough to tell him that his life is a lie. Then the alternate reality will disappear, and John will go back to being a dead failure whose form is possessed by a mocking, evil entity.
I still have hope for you, John. I know you're inside Flocke, deep down. Please make your presence known!
As always, thanks for reading! I can't believe how little time is left.
- Robby "Robz888"