Here is Sean Furfaro's recap of tonight's episode.
"I want you to have the one thing that I was never given. A choice."
"What if none of us chooses it?"
"Then this ends very badly."
An interesting choice of words because one thing that Lost is definitely not doing is 'ending badly.' This episode packed a half-season's worth of fantastic moments into one hour, and it didn't feel rushed at all. That may be the most impressive thing of all. So much to to talk about...so let's find out "What They Died For."
Previously on Lost, we got reminded full-on of the emotional impact of the 3 deaths in "The Candidate" 2 weeks ago. I mentioned in my recap last week that I liked the decision of making us sit with those deaths for 2 full weeks before continuing the story, and with this 'Previously' segment, we were taken right back to that emotional meltdown of an episode.
As Jack sat down for breakfast with David over a bowl of Family Size Super Bran, David talked about his upcoming concert that night. We learned that his mom was also going to be there, making me think that we're finally going to find out who it is! Alas, it was just a tease. They were soon joined by Auntie Claire, who made no mention of going to the concert with her newfound family...but that was probably only due to the fact that Jack got a call from an 'Oceanic Airlines' (wink wink, nudge nudge), that might as well have said, "We found your Dad, brutha!" Yes...Desmond is back in the FS, playing his version of chess with our FS Losties.
But NOW we're going to talk about Ji-Yeon? I know it was just a way of acknowledging it since, as poignant as Sun and Jin's death scene was, they didn't really come across as Parents of the Year not mentioning their daughter. But then puffy-eyed Kate went from weepy to angry in a split second as she made it clear she wanted revenge for their deaths.
Kate: "We have to kill him, Jack."
Jack: "I know."
Back in the FS World, Desmond is sitting in his car watching John Locke, mirroring the exact same scene that we saw when Scotland's Worst Driver ran down our favourite wheelchair-bound substitute teacher. I didn't think for a second that we were going to see him run down Locke again, even after he started the car when John wheeled out into the road.
But in swooped Dr. Benjamin Linus to save the day, and seriously...how wrong does that sound? He even said "I won't let you hurt Mr. Locke again!" As he confronted Desmond, he got a swift punch in the face, which was pretty awesome. As I pointed out a while back that it had been a while since we saw Sayid snapping some sucker's neck, it's been even longer since we saw Ben get the snot beaten out of him.
I had wondered how long it was going to be before we saw the adventures of Ben, Richard, and Miles, and we were re-introduced to this trio on a sarcasm-filled walk back to the Dharma Barracks. As they arrived, Miles was apparently hearing/feeling something, and Ben, in his best 'teacher' voice (a nice touch coming right out of the FS scene) said, "Is there something you want to share with us Miles?"
We were then reminded that this was the spot that Alex was killed, and we learned that after Ben left, Richard buried her there. So obviously, Miles was hearing something from Alex, and I wish they would have expanded on that instead of just giving us a reminder of the daughter war between Widmore and Ben for a key scene later in the episode. It reminded me of how powerful a scene it was when Keamy killed Alex. (And for those of you that are Kevin Durand fans, make sure to see him as Little John in the new Robin Hood movie.)
Inside the house, and inside Ben's secret room (more answers!), we learned that the crazy drain contraption we saw last season in "Dead is Dead", was indeed how the Smoke Monster was summoned. Or as Ben put it, "“That’s where I was told that I could summon the monster. That’s before I realized that it was the one summoning me.” That was a great line, but not as good as the following exchange between Richard and Ben:
Ben: "Are we looking to cripple the plane or blow it to hell?"
Richard: "Blow it to hell."
Ben: "Then we'd better take it all."
Is this a redundant mission now, to blow up the plane, or is the plane still in the plan for Flocke?
After emerging from the secret room, they ran into Zoe in the kitchen (what was she doing, looking for a snack?), and I screamed "Kill her!" along with 98% of other Lost viewers.
As Charles started asking questions, and Richard sang like a canary on their plans, did you see Ben's face? That was pretty entertaining. Then we got the story we had all been wondering about Widmore. Jacob had indeed visited him after the Freighter blew up, and summoned him to the Island. I'm sure that some of you were convinced at this point that if Jacob went to Widmore, and as he declared that he had seen "the error of my ways", then he must be good...as many commenters have suggested. I wasn't fooled for a second, and as I've said all along, remember that this is the man who ordered Ben to kill Alex when she was a baby...there's no way they would ever expect us to accept him as a 'good' character. Never.
Back to the FS World, where we see Ben and Locke together at the school. As Ben explains to Locke that he "saw something", he also tells him that Desmond told him he needed to help Locke "Let go", which is what Jack told him at the hospital. John calls the LAPD, which leads us to a transitional scene at the police station as we see Miles getting ready to go to a concert with his father. Presumably, this would be the same concert where David is performing. Is it father & son night at the recital hall? (Pierre & Miles, Jack & David, maybe Dogen and little Dogen?)
At the station, we see Desmond ask to see Sawyer (I'm not calling him Ford in the FS World), and then confess the hit-and-run on John Locke, and the beatdown on Dr. Linus. As he is taken to his holding cell, we see him walk in and flash that Desmond smile at someone in the cell.
Walking through the jungle back on the Island (Kate recovered remarkably quickly from her gunshot wound, didn't she?), Sawyer realized the full effect of his actions on the sub.
Sawyer: "The bomb on the sub? You said he couldnt kill us."
Jack: "I've been wrong before."
Sawyer: "I killed them, didn't I?"
Jack: " No. He killed them."
As much as Sawyer constantly gives Jack hell for everything he does, the good doctor still bails him out in this conversation. He knows full well that he wasn't wrong, but he still tries to make Sawyer believe that it wasn't his fault. He knows the guilt of having death on your hands (Juliet, Michael), and he doesn't want it for Sawyer.
Out of nowhere, Hurley sees Young Jacob, who brazenly insists on the ashes that Hurley has in his pocket...the ashes that Ilana took from the foot of the statue where Jacob burned...the ashes of Jacob. When Hurley is reluctant to hand them over, Young Jacob snatches them away and runs...and Hurley gives chase. Did anyone think Hurley could catch him?
So after seeing them in this scene, I said out loud "No!", because I honestly thought I was about to see the death of Hurley. And with my mind being where it was at the time, I did not believe that Jacob was actually him...I was sure it was the MIB trying to set up the Losties to get all in one place again. Even the explanation of the burning of the ashes signifying the 'end of Jacob' made sense...
But I was wrong.
As we learned later, it was indeed Jacob, but why the red flowers? Was it just a fear-inducing moment for die-hard Losties like me? Did any of you think the same thing? And why did he appear as young Jacob to Hurley? As an unfamiliar face, instead of just as himself?
Flocke disembarks from the dock and sees Widmore's outrigger loaded with cases still. Remember that back in the barracks, Widmore instructed Zoe to get their stuff out of the outrigger and then sink it, signifying that he knows the end of the story plays out here, and he no longer needs the outrigger to travel between Islands.
Miles decides that he doesn't want to stick around and hide, or stick around and face Flocke, so he decided to just...run away? If Miles ends up dying as he's off hiding in the jungle, or we never hear from him again, I'm going to be pretty pissed. It's bad enough that we have to assume Frank is dead, but now Miles is gone? Why did we develop these characters just to have them go out with a whimper. At least Ilana blew up!
While Widmore and Zoe hide in the secret room, Richard and Ben decide to meet Flocke head on. As they head outside, I'm calling this Mirror Image #3: as Richard and Locke survey the scene of an empty Dharma Barracks, it mirrored when Ben returned after the Purge, and he and Richard slowly surveyed the same scene (minus all the dead bodies of course).
Tika-tika-tika...here comes the Smoke Monster. And there goes Richard. I'm not going to call this one a Mirror Image, but I have to point out that Flocke sure does enjoy nailing Richard right in the throat.
Then we hear Seductive Flocke's sales pitch to Ben, which essentially was "Kill everyone for me, and you can have the Island." Ben then gives up Widmore in a flash, telling Flocke where he was inside. Remember that whole "Charles killed my daughter" thing? Payback's a bitch, and it's on it's way to the secret room.
OK, I'm just going to be honest and say that I didn't really groove off of Ben's new attachment to Danielle in an intended 'love interest' kind of way. Just too weird. I do, understand, however that we had to see this scene to remind us of Ben's fatherly instincts with Alex (in both worlds) to set up what we were about to see coming up.
What did we really learn, other than they were having Coq Au Vin for dinner, and that Ben looked like Napoleon? (Essay Topic: discuss Ben and Napoleon and the concept of "The Island" as an exile) Not much, but this whole section had some pretty good lines in it:
"Why would someone want to hurt you, you’re like the nicest guy ever."
"After everything you've done for my daughter, a ride is the least we can do."
"We insist. Even if we have to kidnap you."
"You're the closest thing to a father that she's ever had."
The last line made Ben cry, just as he did after the death of Alex on the Island. How many of you figured out that this was going to be the episode where Ben got his revenge? Hands up, please.
Cut to the FS World, where we see Ben and Flocke enter the house, and prominent in the camera shot is a picture of Alex as a young girl. As Flocke goes to enter the secret room, Ben declares "I want to see it." And when Flocke opened the door and flicked on the light, Charles and Widmore were standing there helplessly. They looked rather pathetic. And the smug "Sorry, Charles" from Ben couldn't have helped.
Then, all of my unhappiness over Zoe not being killed earlier in the episode was forgiven as Flocke unsheathed his dagger and slit Zoe's throat in one swift motion. This vicious death was, in my opinion, a nod to all the fans that hated her almost as much as Nikki and Paolo...and on their behalf, I say 'thank you.' Flocke explained to Charles, "You told her not to talk to me and that made her pointless." I actually laughed out loud at that line.
Then, the bribe came, as Flocke promised not to kill Penny if Charles would spill everything to him. And as Charles gave up every piece of information except for one, Flocke motioned him closer so that he could whisper it in his ear. In an incredibly tense approach, Charles began to whisper the final point in an effort to protect Penny, and then...BANG!
"He doesn't get to save his daughter."
Brutal. Vicious. Cold-Blooded Murder. And we all loved it, didn't we? Try to tell me again that Charles Widmore is good.
Ben is back.
The main piece of information that Charles gave up was Desmond's purpose, "because of his unique resistance to electro-magnetism." He then indicated that Desmond was there "as a measure of last resort", which was how the Fail Safe Key was referred to in the Hatch. You can see the recognition in Flocke's eyes when he hears it, as Locke would have known about it. So, while Desmond turned the Fail Safe Key in the Hatch, he now IS the Fail Safe Key.
In the FS World, Locke visited Jack again, and we saw a conversation with the two of them that made it clear that Locke was ready to now become the Man of Faith once again. As he sat there with Jack, Locke gave us Mirror Image #5: as Locke said to Jack, "Maybe this is happening for a reason", it mirrored Locke's legendary line from "Exodus: Part 1", when he said ""Each one of us was brought here for a reason." Coincidence vs. Fate once again.
The Final 4 (Jack, Sawyer, Hurley, and Kate), came to a clearing where they found Jacob, who they could now see...and the answers came flowing fast and furious in the coming scenes.
"Come and sit down and I'll tell you what they died for", Jacob told them, "I'll tell you why I chose them, and why I chose you. And then I'll tell you everything you need to know about protecting this Island because by the time that fire burns out, one of you is going to have to start doing it."
He explained the Cave of Light, and how it had to be protected, and then we got what summed it up absolutely perfectly, which is why I chose it as the opening for this Recap:
"I want you to have the one thing that I was never given. A choice."
"What if none of us chooses it?"
"Then this ends very badly."
Then Jack made the choice we all knew he would, he confidently volunteered to be the Island protector, and Jacob took him to the water, chanted as his mother did 2000 years ago, and gave him directions to the Cave. Now he would be able to find it near the bamboo field where he originally landed on the Island. I thought it was pretty significant that we watched Jacob wash his hands, cleansing himself of the Island and his responsibility to protect it.
Last week, there was a lot of talk that "Across the Sea" should have been placed earlier in the season, but after seeing tonight's episode, it was clear that it needed to be third from last, and right before this episode. We needed to see the cave, the ceremony between Mother and Jacob ("now you're like me"), and the creation of the Smoke Monster to fully understand what happened tonight. It was perfectly placed.
Sawyer: "And I thought that guy had a God complex before" (OK, that was pretty funny.)
It's getting late, and I'm on the verge of rambling again, so I'll try to sum up the great Armored Car Escape (which was awesome!) as quickly as I can, in bullet points:
- I thought Kate and Sawyer talking through the jail cell 'cage' was going to trigger a 'Flash' to the Dharma bear cages.
- I loved Desmond's calm demeanor laying the plan out.
- I wish I wouldn't have seen Michelle Rodriguez's name in the opening credits, or the Ana Lucia reveal would have been pretty good, but I am happy that she wasn't revealed as David's mom, which would have been pretty disappointing.
- Hurley driving up in the Hummer looked like it was straight out of CSI Miami.
- "You didn't tell me Ana Lucia was going to be here." Hurley knows everything! This is great!
Ben: "If you can turn yourself into smoke whenever you want, why do you bother walking?"
Flocke: "I like the feel of my feet on the ground. It reminds me that I was human."
Flocke didn't seem surprised that Sayid didn't kill Desmond, but what was with that rope? Who put it there to help him out? It wasn't Sayid...he told Jack that Desmond was still in the well. Was it someone else? Maybe Frank? What's your theory?
And the last thing we learn before the Finale Event on Sunday night, is that Flocke intends to use Desmond to destroy the Island. Damn...Sunday is going to be awesome.
Body Count: Zoe, Charles Widmore, presumably Jacob when the fire goes out, Richard?
I thought this was an incredible episode. Let's be honest, though, they could pretty much parade flying donkeys on the screen and I would probably rave about it, but this was a fantastic hour of what is turning out to be my favourite season of the show.
A quick note regarding last week’s recap for “Across The Sea”. One of the things about writing my Lost recap immediately after the show ends, is that I haven’t fully been able to wrap my head around what I just saw. Sure, I could wait until the next day, but I like to make my mark with immediate reactions. If that puts me off the mark sometimes…well, I’m ok with that. Last week for instance, once I read the Comments section, my eyes were opened a lot to some options I hadn’t really considered. Sometimes you guys are just one step ahead of me.
Again, thanks for reading, for commenting, and for those of you clicking through and exploring my blog (http://sfurfaro.blogspot.com/) as well. You can also add me on Facebook, where new blog posts get posted there as soon as they go up.
As far as the Season Finale is concerned, I will be writing a full recap, and it will be going up in the hours after the finale airs. I have committed to stay up and write it immediately after the episode, as I have done all season. I realize that this means a late night/early morning, but I will have it up soon after “The End.” And since Monday is a holiday…I can simply sleep all day.