Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LOST: Ab Aeterno - Unchained Melody

Jacob dunks you as He dunked Richard. Hurley pushes a penny up a door to prove to Demi Moore...uh...Richard Alpert that he’s talking to Isabella. (“Molly, you in danger, girl…”) Richard giggles like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Jacob’s a fighter and not so much a lover…and kind of a douche? And the Man In Black is kind of a nice guy? Break out the 1867 Evil Island Vineyard Cabernet... Salud – let’s drink to LOST.

Lost 6x09: Ab Aeterno

Nerd alert to start out: Ab Aeterno is Latin for "from the beginning of time". Epic? Near-perfect? Mind-blowing? Last night’s episode of LOST was among the best 66 minutes I have spent in my life. Jacob was pretty intimidating in this one, and on the other side, Man In Black was fairly polite and friendly, despite being the “bad guy.” So…Jacob brings people to the island to prove a point and never really does time after time, year after year, and the people die in the process? He’s supposed to be the good guy, right?

What did you think? All coming into focus? Or more blurry than ever? Drop a comment below with your thoughts.

Ilana’s hospital – date...?:

We open in the hospital room from season 5’s finale ep, "The Incident", where Jacob visits a bandaged Ilana, asking her to do the job for which she’s been preparing: protect the six candidates. She asks him what to do after she’s brought them to the Temple. Jacob replies, “Ask Ricardus. He’ll know.”

2007, On island:
On the beach, Sun’s explaining that she and Jin, Hurley and Jack are candidates to replace Jacob. Ilana says that Richard will know what to do next, and he giggles like a little girl and tries to set them straight. “You’re dead. We’re all dead…every single one of us. And this – all this – it’s not what you think it is. We’re not on an island. We never were. We’re in Hell. So I’m not interested in what Jacob has to say. In fact, maybe it’s time we stop listening to him, and started listening to someone else.”

Ilana tells Jack she’s going after Richard, and then explains that he was going to find Locke. Jack sees Hurley talking on the beach – in Spanish – and asks him what Jacob was saying, but Hurley says he’s not exactly talking to Jacob.

Ben says that Jack’s right and going after Richard’s a waste of time, and that he’s known Richard since he was 12, and hasn’t aged in all that time.

1867: Tenerife, Canary Islands:

A scruffy Richard – Ricardo – is rushing home to see his dying wife, Isabella. He takes all of their money and her gold cross and chain to persuade the island’s doctor to come to help her. She tells him, “We’ll always be together.”

He rides through a rain storm, through the night, to get to an unmoved doctor who’s more concerned with how much money he brought him than saving Isabella. (Tenerife is in need of some healthcare reform, too!) In a struggle, Ricardo pushes the doctor, who hits his head in a fall and is killed. He takes the jar of medicine back to Isabella to find her dead.

A priest visits Ricardo in jail with food and essentially taunts him, offering no salvation. He even steals Ricardo’s bible – an English version he’d been reading before his trip with Isabella to the New World. He says the only way to forgiveness is through penance, which he has no time for as they’re hanging him tomorrow.

Nerd alert: Richard was reading the Gospel of St. Luke 4:24-30. Chapter 4 of Luke tells of Satan's temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, just as Man In Black (and Jacob) tempts those who come to the island.

While being walked to his execution, a sailor – Whitfield – stops him and asks if he speaks English. “I understand you’re interested in going to the New World? Well this is your lucky day. This man is now the property of Mr. Magnus Hanso,” Whitfield says. “I hope you don’t get seasick.”

Nerd alert: Magnus Hanso is the great grandfather to Alvar Hanso who started the Dharma Initiative.

Was there something about Ricardo that made them choose him besides that he spoke English? Was he already pre-chosen based on his interaction with the priest?

Aboard the Black Rock slave ship, Ricardo is in the hull with the other slaves during a massive storm. He asks one of the others, Ignacio, if they can see anything out of a crack in the hull, and he says he can see land, but then says he sees a devil – the still in-tact statue of Taweret on the island – and suddenly the ship on the crest of a tsunami or rogue wave smashes into the head of the statue. Ricardo wakes up in the ship with the other slave who yells for help. Whitfield descends and kills all the slaves because he realizes they would otherwise kill him. He’s about to do in Ricardo, when the Black Smoke Monster kills the entire crew, including, we believe, Magnus Hanso. Smokie comes down and scans Ricardo, but leaves him alone. Unfortunately, he also didn’t help Richardo out of his chains.

Question: Was Magnus Hanso killed? Or was he taken by Smokie? Could Alvar Hanso actually have been Magnus? He was known to be doing life extension experiments.

Ricardo tries escaping, but is unable to – no food, no water for days – and he starts to lose all hope. Eventually, he sees Isabella in the ship, who tells him that they’re both dead and in Hell. She says that they have to get out before the devil comes back, when they hear Smokie return. He tells her to run, and as she does, she’s killed by Smokie. (Clearly, she was a manifestation of Smokie, who was putting on a show for him to somehow gain his loyalty.)

What was up with the bad computer graphics butterfly that flew in to the ship?

Man In Black arrives with water for Ricardo, telling him he’s been on the island long before the ship arrived. He tells Ricardo that “he” has Isabella. He says he’ll help Ricardo if he agrees to help him in return. “It’s good to see you out of those chains”, he says, mirroring what UnLocke says to Alpert outside the Temple in 2007. He helps him out of the ship, saying that he’s going to need his strength to escape, and to escape from Hell, he’s going to have to kill the devil.

Ricardo is told to walk east to the ocean and to the statue that their ship broke. (Over exposition, much?) He hands him the same dagger that Dogen gave Sayid to kill UnLocke, and gives him the same instructions – to stab “the devil” at the statue before he even speaks a word. The devil took his body, he says. Ricardo says no, and that murder was the reason he was there in the first place. MIB fires back, asking if he ever wants to see his wife again.

As he approaches the foot of the statue, Jacob punches him from behind and drops him. Jacob asks who gave him the dagger, and Ricardo asks where Isabella is. Jacob asks him if he met MIB, and tells him that was not Isabella. He says he’s in hell, but Jacob takes him and dunks him in the water numerous times until he says he wants to live. (Ricardo was literally baptized…re-born in the name of Jacob.)

Jacob brings Ricardo some wine, and explains that he’s not the devil, but he did bring the ship to the island. He gives an analogy where the wine is Hell – malevolence, darkness, evil – unable to get out. If it did, it would spread. The cork – the island – is the only thing keeping the darkness in. Jacob says that MIB tries to prove that man will always be corrupted by sin, and that he brings people there to prove MIB wrong. He wants those he brings to figure it out themselves and know right from wrong, but Ricardo says that without Jacob’s help, MIB will just tempt them too easily.

Jacob offers Ricardo a job as an intermediary between him and the people he brings to the island. In return, Ricardo asks for Isabella back (no go, says Jacob), to be absolved of his sins (uh, nope, not that either), and says "I want to live forever" (Fame!), so he doesn’t have to face damnation. Jacob touches him on the shoulder and tells him he’ll make that happen.

Question: Both Jacob and MIB touched Ricardo. Was he given some sort of gift from MIB, as well?

MIB sees Ricardo and knows he didn’t accomplish the task, but says that Jacob can be very convincing, but offers him a chance to work with him, his offer still stands. He then hands Ricardo Isabella’s cross, which Alpert buries as he was unable to bury her.

2007, on island:
Richard arrives back at the same spot he buried the cross and digs it up. (What, no soil erosion in 140 years???) He yells out that he’s changed his mind and he’s ready to work with MIB. A rustling in the jungle, and out walks…Hurley.

He tells Richard that Isabella sent him. In a scene right out of Ghost, he gets all Whoopi on him and has to convince him with several lines of dialog that she’s indeed there. Isabella says it wasn’t his fault she died, and she tells him he’s suffered enough. She kisses him on the cheek and disappears. He puts on the cross, and Hurley tells him that they have to stop MIB from leaving the island, or we all go to Hell.

Question: Did Isabella actually tell Hurley to say this, or was it Jacob?

Question: With the similarities to Ghost, was I the only one waiting for “Unchained Melody” to actually start playing as Richard’s theme? ;)

As Richard and Hurley start to walk away, we see UnLocke on a hill nearby surveying the scene, looking all evil and angry.

1867, on island:
Jacob finds MIB in the jungle, and both of them are fairly calm, just as with the encounter on the beach at the end of last season, though MIB tells Jacob not to gloat. MIB says he just wants to leave, but Jacob won’t let him as long as he’s alive. Jacob hands him the wine to pass the time, and MIB takes the bottle, turning it over just as Jacob had with the cork at the bottom, and smashes the bottle on a rock.

Hit me up with your comments below.

- Sean Salo

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LOST: Pros and Cons

Sawyer and Miles play cops and robbers in LA. UnLocke plays Sawyer and Kate. Clousseau tucks in her furry, animal carcass. Kate makes s’mores on the beach. Charlotte cleans up nicely. A Tina Fey wannabe cons Sawyer. Widmore has Sawyer over to the sub for tea. And we catch up on our L.H. on the P. reruns. It’s another nail in the coffin of the final season of LOST.

Lost 6x08: Recon

Dr. Linus, last week’s episode, had some of the more incredible acting we’ve seen this season, if not the series, so I was surprised that the writers didn’t give us more of a deep storyline. The fandom is mixed on this episode. I put it in the good-to-really good category, while others thought it was among the best of the season. Some cool "nerd alerts" in the flash sideways section, including what might be my first "nerd alert inside a nerd alert". (See below) All I know is that I ended the episode more excited about the promo for next week’s “Ab Aeterno” episode focusing on Richard Effing Alpert!

So what did you think? Take a read and leave your comments in the bowl below, and don’t forget to flush!

2007, On island:

Sawyer wakes Jin in Clousseau’s camp, telling him he’s with Locke, just as Team UnLocke arrives. Jin says he can’t leave if Sun might be on the island, and Sawyer promises he won’t leave if she’s there. When Kate asks, Clousseau says that the furry skeleton doll in the cradle, she answers “It’s all I had.” (Creeeepy.)

UnLocke addresses the clan, telling them that those who stayed at the Temple were all killed by the Black Smoke Monster. But in a strangely caring manner, UnLocke tells Zack and Emma that he is going to do everything in his power to take care of them all. Kate says that Jack and Hurley made it out, but she didn’t know what happened to Miles. “So you’re with Locke now?”, she asks. “I ain’t with anybody, Kate.”

Later, walking through the jungle, UnLocke tells the flock to set up camp, and Sawyer questions him. UnLocke pulls him aside and chides him for interrupting. “Sorry, I forgot my manners.” “I forgive you.” (UnLocke forgives Sawyer, and we’ve seen UnLocke as Smokey as the judge, doling out a death sentence or forgiveness.) UnLocke admits that he’s “the smoke thing” and killed the Others because they would have otherwise killed him.

Sawyer’s told to take the boat over to Hydra Island and do reconnaissance on the people remaining there from Ajira 316. He tells Sawyer that he’s sending him because he’s the best liar he’s ever met. And once he completes this, they’ll get off the island. (See the On Hydra Island section.)

Kate asks a catatonic Sayid if he believes UnLocke will get them off the island. Sayid answers all zombie-like that he does, when Clousseau jumps Kate and tries to cut her throat. Sayid doesn’t move a muscle to help – no one does – but UnLocke steps in to save her - and slaps Clousseau something awful, and tells her he’ll deal with her later, and asks Kate if she’s alright. “No, I’m not alright.”

Question: Did Locke tell Clousseau to cool it because he needed Kate? Or did he put her up to attacking Kate in the first place? It seemed odd to me that no one there came to Kate’s defense.

UnLocke apologies to Kate for Clousseau’s behavior and takes the blame for the misunderstanding. He says that he needed her to focus on something, and he gave her something to hate. “That’s very insightful coming from a dead man.” “Well, nobody’s perfect,” he answers. He promises to protect Kate and offers to show her where Sawyer is.

Clousseau finds Kate in the jungle and apologizes to her and thanks her for taking care of Aaron.

Question: Was the attack by Claire a rouse to get Kate to trust the UnLocke flock? No one came to her aid except UnLocke himself.

Sitting on the beach, UnLocke tells Kate that he sent Sawyer to Hydra Island. He tells her that his mother was crazy and that he “had some growing pains” that he’s “still trying to work [his] way through”, that “could have been avoided if things had been different.” He says he’s telling her because Aaron now has a crazy mother too. This was some great acting by Terry O'Quinn.

Nerd alert:
So if we go back to the Egyptian mythology, we can assume that UnLocke is Set, I believe. Set was the god of storms and chaos. Set's mother's name was Nut. (A fun play on words by the writers, as UnLocke was talking about his mother being crazy?) Set was an enemy to Horus, and the gods tired of them fighting one another over control of Egypt.

2007 On Hydra Island:

Once there, Sawyer visits the bear cages and sees the dress Ben made Kate wear. He gets a lump in his throat at the sight.

Sawyer comes across the Ajira plane, and follows a trail in the sand to a pile of corpses from Flight 316, when he sees a bespectacled woman running away. He chases after her and, and she tells him, “I’m the only one left.” She, Zoe, says that the others died when she was collecting wood, but then asks if he was alone or if he and his friends have more guns.

Turns out that Zoe is doing reconnaissance on Sawyer, and he pulls his gun on her. Then the now-grown up kid from “Kate and Ally” pops out of the woods with rifles trained on him.

Saywer is marched past some men setting up pylons like the ones in the perimeter fence. He’s led into the sub, where he passes a padlocked room. He asks what’s in the room and, no surprise on LOST, is told to keep walking.

Question: What – or who – is in the room? Desmond and Penny or Faraday or Mrs. Hawking, one or all of whom he would have needed to get back to the island. Another in the long string of who/what is inside: the hatch, the casket, Ben’s magical box, etc.

Widmore introduces himself and Sawyer accuses him of sending the freighter to kill them all, and Widmore says that it’s sad how little he knows. He tells him that John Locke sent him, though he knows it’s not really Locke, but offers to tell UnLocke that the coast is clear for Widmore to kill him in exchange for his friends not being killed and for safe passage off the island.

Sawyer arrives back on the island and he accuses UnLocke of not really sending him there to find the passengers from the plane. Sawyer says that Widmore won’t let them get off the island without a fight. He tells UnLocke of the deal that he made with Widmore and that they’re setting up the pylons. He admits that he told them that he’d bring UnLocke to them, but they should surprise attack.

Joining Kate by the fire, where she tells Sawyer she thinks they’re having rabbit for dinner (rabbit references are multiplying like rabbits on LOST - also a nice callback to the book in Sawyer's flash sideways, Watership Down. He tells her that Widmore is there for UnLocke, but he’s going to just let them fight it out, and while they are, they’ll escape in the sub.

2004, Los Angeles:

Sawyer is trying to pull his patented con on a woman he’s just sleps with, when she turns the table on him and says she’s onto him. Sawyer tells her that he’s a cop and then uses his safe word, LaFleur, and the LAPD burst in, led by his partner, Miles Straume. “You’re a cop?”, she asks. “Surprise.”

Nerd alert: The time was 8:42. Both numbers.

Sawyer – aka Det. James Ford – is making cold calls to various Anthony Coopers, trying to find the one who conned his family. Miles asks him what’s up and if he’s lying about anything.

As Sawyer's role is opposite here, and he's a cop instead of a con man, is Miles' ability opposite, having a sense about the living?

Miles sets up Ford on a blind date and it turns out it’s with Charlotte Lewis. She works with Miles’ dad in a museum. She asks why he became a cop, and she says it was either criminal or cop, and he chose cop.

Question: Wouldn't it have made more sense for it to have been Ana Lucia, who was an LAPD cop? And weren't you hoping it would have been Juliet?

Nerd alert: Ford asks her if she’s like Indiana Jones, and she says yes. One of many Indiana Jones references on Lost, over the seasons.

They leave the restaurant before dessert and go back to his place. As she’s looking for a t-shirt, she finds a file of photos and news clippings marked “Sawyer”. He walks in on this, and throws her out.

Nerd alert: The news clipping stated that James Ford was 9 years-old at the time of his parents' murder-suicide. In the normal timeline, he was 8 when this happened. Yet another in the dates being off in this reality. (Remember that Claire's sonogram was off by a month from the actual date of the crash.)

Nerd alert: There were three books on Ford’s dresser:
Watership Down, a story about a group of rabbits who seek to escape the destruction of their warren and a new home, while encountering perils along the way. Originally Boone’s book, Sawyer was seen reading this book on the island in season one.
Lancelot, a book about King Arthur’s most trusted of knights. However, Lancelot betrayed Arthur, with his love affair with Queen Guinevere, the act of which led to the downfall of the kingdom of Camelot. So is Sawyer’s love of Kate going to lead to the downfall of UnLocke’s kingdom, or prevent Widmore from starting his…or both?
A Wrinkle in Time, another book Sawyer read on the island, this book features a character named Charles Wallace Murry. Charles and his family travel to another planet where “they find that all the inhabitants behave in a mechanistic way and seem to be all under the control of a single mind...they discover a man with red eyes with telepathic abilities who can cast a hypnotic spell over their minds... Confronting IT, Meg realizes that the evil IT is unable to stand the emotion love, and by focusing all her love at Charles Wallace she is able to free him from IT's control.” Regarding Charles Wallace, he “is the youngest Murry child, the most extraordinary and the most vulnerable of the novel's human characters… Charles Wallace seldom speaks to anyone but his family, but can empathically or telepathically "read" certain people's thoughts and feelings, and has an extraordinary vocabulary. A biological "sport," he is intellectually curious, loving, and unfazed by extraordinary people and events.”

Nerd alert inside a Nerd alert!!: Wallace was the name on the dial in the lighthouse at #108. As one of the important numbers, we have yet to meet anyone on the island or off with the name Wallace. So is Wallace perhaps...Widmore?

At the police station, a man asks Sawyer about his brother who was arrested when Miles pulls Ford aside and tells him that he knows he was in Sydney and not Palm Springs, and Ford refuses to tell him anything. Miles says that he’s not Ford’s partner any more. Sawyer punches a mirror (similar to how Jack broke the mirror?)

Nerd alert:
The man asking about his brother arrested on a drug charge was Charlie’s brother, Liam.

Ford gets home and pops in a TV dinner and turns on a Little House on the Prairie. In the episode, Pa is telling Half Pint that even when our loved ones die, they’re still with us in memories and in our hearts. Ford decides to go to apologize to Charlotte. He brings a single sunflower and a six-pack of beer, and she sends him packing.

Nerd alert: Sawyer told Kate that he used to watch LH on the P when he was sick (in the “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead” episode), and she made fun of him for it.

With her piercing blue eyes, is it possible in the flash sideways that Charlotte and Jack were together at one point, and that she is David’s mother?

Ford explains about Anthony Cooper to Miles and says he’s going to hill him if he ever finds him, when a blue car sideswipes Ford and Miles’ car. Sawyer chases after the driver who, “son of a biiitch”, turns out to be Kate.

Nerd alert/Question:
OK, this one isn’t fully fleshed out, but I’m giving this some thought. (Thanks to Phil for this one.) The story of Lilith: The mystical writing of two brothers, Jacob and Isaac, which predates Kabbalah by a few decades, states that Samael and Lilith are in the shape of an androgynous being, double-faced, born out of the emanation of the Throne of Glory and corresponding in the spiritual realm to Adam and Eve, who were likewise born as a hermaphrodite. The two twin androgynous couples resembled each other and both "were like the image of Above"; that is, that they are reproduced in a visible form of an androgynous deity.

So is it possible that Jacob and the Man In Black are the same person, explaining why they cant kill each other directly? This could explain the mirror imagery – mirrored personalities and why we are seeing all the 815ers as mirrors of themselves in the flash sideways.

Help me out with some of the questions posed, and/or tell me why you loved or hated this episode in a comment below.

- Sean Salo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The redemption of Dr. Linus

"Uh oh!" Miles feels up Jacob’s ash. Richard visits an old haunt of his. Arzt and Ben scheme to overthrow the high school principal. Ben makes it right, sort of, with Alex. And Chas Widmore plays peek-a-boo with the island he's been working so long to get back to. "Cheese curds!"

Lost 6x07: Dr. Linus

As if Michael Emerson needs to justify the Emmy he won earlier this year, this was some killer acting as we see Ben’s redemption both on- and off-island. This was some of the most solid storytelling and writing of the season, if not the series. It felt as though this episode was back to season 1 in many ways – the beach camp, the scene of people returning to the beach in slo-mo, the pacing and character development – and it makes me happy.

Did you rank it high up there? Hit me up with your comment below.

2007, On the island:

Ben meets up with the Ajira crew, and tells them that Dogen and Lennon were killed by Sayid. He knows because “he was standing over their bodies holding a bloody dagger. So yeah, I’m pretty sure.” He recommends they go to the beach, since everyone in the Temple is dead.

Ilana asks Miles to touch the pouch of Jacob’s ash to find out how he died, and Miles uses Ben’s words against him when he says that Ben killed Jacob: “well, he was standing over Jacob’s dead body with a bloody dagger. So, yeah, I’m pretty sure.” As the Ajira folks walk away, Miles gives Ben an “uh oh!”

At the 815 beach camp, Ilana gathers items to use against Ben. She tells Sun that she has to protect her and Jin, because she’s not sure which of them is a Candidate to replace Jacob. There are six Candidates left.

Hurley’s trying to get Jack lost so that they don’t make it to the Temple. Richard appears in the jungle and they follow him instead to the Black Rock.

Ben is searching for useful items, and he comes across one of Sawyer’s girlie mags, and some books. Lapidus tells Ben he was supposed to have flown Flight 815, but Ben says that he’d have gotten to the island either way, apparently. Ben is nostalgic for the days when he was still in power on the island.

Nerd alert: Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister in the mid-late 1800s, was on the cover on the book that Ben found in Sawyer’s former tent. The title appears to be “Justice and Truth In Action”, which is an actual quote from Disraeli, though such a book title doesn’t appear to exist. Quote seems it could apply to Ben’s situation though.

Nerd alert:
Ben doesn’t pick it up, but the other book in the tent was “The Chosen” by Chaim Potok, the title of which is a play on being chosen to be a Candidate, perhaps. The fact that Ben doesn't pick it up seems to be a nod to the fact that Ben isn't a Candidate.

Ilana chains up Ben and forces him at gunpoint to start digging his own grave as punishment for killing Jacob. Miles offers Ben some food, but Ben offers Miles the $3.2million he requested of Ben to keep quiet when the freighter was off shore. Miles asks, “why would I need your money when there are a couple of jabonies under there named Nikki and Paolo (Razzle Dazzle!) who got buried alive with $8million in diamonds on top of them.”

Ben tries to convince Miles that Jacob expected to be killed, but Miles says Jacob was was hoping that he’d been wrong about Ben all along, right up until the second the knife went through his heart. Ilana, tired of the chat break, shoots at Ben to get him digging.

Hurley asks Richard if he’s been time traveling. When he answers no, Hurley asks if he’s a Terminator or a cyborg or a vampire. They arrive at the Black Rock slave ship, and he answers a confused Jack about why they’re there by telling him that Jacob and all the others at the Temple are dead. Hurley confirms it saying that Jacob told him this would be true, and Richard is stung that Jacob didn’t come to see him. In a crisis of faith, Alpert heads into the Black Rock to kill himself.

Was this the first scene that Hurley and Richard have been in together? If there’s another, I can’t think of it as I write this at about 2:30am anyway.

Inside the Black Rock, Jack asks Alpert if he’s ever been in there. “Yes,” Alpert says looking carefully at the handcuffs, which we’re led to believe held him ages ago. “After all the time on this island, this is the first time I’ve ever come back.” Alpert pulls out some dynamite, and says he can’t kill himself because Jacob touched him and gave him a “gift” that Alpert thinks of as a curse. The gift was a long life (full immortality?) if he devoted his life to Jacob in service. After certainly more than 100 years, Alpert feels duped to have been lied to now that Jacob's gone and wants Jack to light the fuse on the ship's dynamite. He does so, but doesn’t leave the ship and demands, instead, some answers from Richard.

Nerd alert: So we’re virtually confirmed that Alpert was a slave on the Black Rock. (I’m still holding out hope that he’s been there even longer and has been walking like an Egyptian on the island for centuries.)

Jack tells Richard that neither of them would die because Jacob was watching him from the Lighthouse, and therefore also special and with a purpose. Jack is 100% convinced this is the case, and the fuse stops burning just short of the dynamite stick. “Alright Jack, you seem to have all the answers…Now what?”, Alpert asks. Jack replies, “We go back to where we started.”

Nerd alert: Richard couldn’t kill himself with Jacob’s touch, Locke couldn’t hang himself in the hotel, and Jack couldn’t jump from the bridge. Michael tried to kill himself with a gun and running his car off a pier, but we never saw him touched by Jacob. But he was set free by Christian.

They head back to the beach where the 815ers started their stay on the island, and we see a trademark slo-mo, beautifully-scored scene of earlier seasons. The general seasons 1 or 2 vibe works big time.

Smokey shimmies his way to Ben and UnLocke’s. He offers Ben a deal to leave the island, but he tempts him by saying that he’ll need someone – Ben – to be in charge of the island. Just then, Ben’s ankle cuff falls open. UnLocke tells Ben where he can find a gun if he runs in the woods.

Ben bolts and gets to the rifle. Ilana catches up with him, but he pulls the gun on her. He tells her that he understands her. He killed Jacob because he was sacrificed for him, and Jacob didn’t even care – he did so to hold on to his power. Ben asks to leave in peace and go with UnLocke, because he’s the only one that’ll have him. Ilana says, “I’ll have you.” Ben turns around and heads back to the beach with her.

At the camp, Ben helps Sun with the tarp on her tent, and we’re introduced to the new selfless Ben Linus. The musical score begins to swell and we see Miles admiring a diamond – one he’d dug up from Nikki and Paolo’s graves, and then we see Jack, Hurley and Richard arrive at the camp.

We get a slo-mo run and embrace between the 815ers and the Ajira folks. And Jack looks off at Ben, standing alone, learning to accept his new role as one of them, vs. the leader.

And then the mindf#&k! Off the shore, we see a periscope rise up from the water and the camera takes us inside of the sub, where we see Charles Widmore!

Nerd alert: Has Jacob been waiting for Widmore and is he the man that he said was coming to the island in the Lighthouse episode?

2004, in Los Angeles:

Ben – or Dr. Linus – is teaching his history class, and he’s sharing the story of Napoleon, who was exiled to the island of Elba where he lost his power. “He might just as well have been dead.” (Sound like anyone we know? Interestingly, we end the episode with another exile FROM the island returning…)

Nerd alert: Elba is an anagram of Abel, as in Cain and Abel. (Thanks Amy D.!) Jacob perhaps as Abel, Man In Black/UnLocke as Cain?

Principal Reynolds tells him he needs to cover detention, despite Ben’s commitment to the history club. In the teacher’s lounge, Ben’s complaining about him to Arzt when Locke overhears them and recommends Ben become principal, sparking a fire in Ben he didn’t know was there.

Nerd alert: Arzt was complaining about formaldehyde on his shirt. After Arzt blew up on the island from the dynamite, Hurley has some Arzt on his shirt.

Dr. Linus is preparing a TV dinner for his father, a much more frail man in his late-60s or so. He tells Ben that he didn’t want a life for him of detention monitoring, and that’s why he signed them up for the Dharma Initiative. “Who knows how different our lives would have been if we’d stayed? Who knows what you would have become?”

Nerd alert:
Nice composition that on the island, Ben killed his father with poison gas after a frank father/son conversation, and in this sideways flash Los Angeles, Ben is caring for his father and saving his live with another gas - oxygen.

A ring at the door and Ben opens it to see Alex Rousseau (!) there, who asks why Ben missed history club. He offers to meet Alex at the school in the morning to tutor her before the AP history exam.

Nerd alert: Alex’s last name was Rousseau, not Montand (her father's name). How did Alex and Rousseau wind up in Los Angeles?

At school the next morning, Ben is quizzing Alex on the East India Trading Company and the Charter Act of 1813. Alex is frustrated and nervous about getting into and paying for college at Yale. He offers to write her a recommendation, but she says that Principal Reynolds, as an alum, needs to write it. Alex tells Ben that Reynolds and the school nurse are having an affair and Ben gets a look of glee that he might be able to use this information against Reynolds.

Nerd alert: The Charter Act of 1813 granted the East India Company control of most of India…a deal that seems a little similar to the deal UnLocke later makes with Ben, no?

Ben tries to recruit Arzt to hack into the school nurse's email.

Arzt’s lesson is on species classification. One of the names on the blackboard is Carl Linnaeus, the father of “species classification”. Interesting, though I’m sure not related, since we don’t know what species Smokey is. Also interesting, though perhaps irrelevant is that Linnaeus was friendly with Swiss philosopher, Rousseau, which may have been a way to just tie back into the fact that Alex Rousseau was a guest in the show. Also, probably a coincidence, but Linnaeus - Linus?

Ben confronts Principal Reynolds with the emails, demanding he step down and recommends Ben for Principal. Reynolds turns the tables on him, showing that Alex needed a recommendation for Yale, and Ben wants Alex to have a good recommendation, that he’ll have to back off and not reveal the emails.

The next day, Alex reveals to Ben that Reynolds wrote the recommendation to Yale, and Ben tells her that they’ve got their old history club slot back. Ben was selfless for once. He finally redeemed himself, most especially to Alex.

So what did you think? Show me some comment love below.

- Sean Salo

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Welcome back to the circus.

Clousseau is still batsh!t crazy. Dogen and Lennon take a swim. Sayid switches teams. Smokey does a little spring cleaning around the Temple. And Kate gets sucked along for the ride.

LOST 6x06: Sundown

For someone who grew up listening to the mopiest of mope-rock to call something dark, you know it had to be DARK! Perhaps the darkest episode of LOST to date, and sets the possibility that the show will end on a down note. Certainly not what most fans would expect, but when have LOST’s writers not thrown a wrench in the works for fans? A more interesting concept, though, is that the flash sideways is actually a culmination of the deals done with UnLocke and Jacob. Nadia is still alive, but Sayid can’t be with her. If this is the case, I worry about what will happen to Claire who believes UnLocke will get her Aaron back. I’m feeling like we’re going to see some merging of the two stories within the next 10 weeks, where the realization that the deals done for happiness weren't all they were chalked up to be. It’s a Wonderful LOST. (Zuzu’s petals!)

Drop some comment love below.

2004, Los Angeles

Sayid arrives at Nadia’s house, but in this reality, she’s married to Sayid’s brother Omar, with two kids. (Torture for the torturer…) Sayid says he’d been translating contracts for an oil company. Omar’s business has been taking off, or so he claims.

Question: Was the oil company Sayid claimed to work for owned by Widmore?

Question: Was Nadia alive, but married and not with Sayid, because of the deal Sayid did with UnLocke on the island for Nadia to live if he followed him?

Omar wakes Sayid in the night to ask him to help by killing a gangster who lent him money and is putting the lean on him, even after re-paying his debt. Sayid says he’s not that guy anymore. The next day, however, Omar was beaten outside his store and Nadia begs him at the hospital to not take vengeance, but instead to go home and wait for her children and make them feel safe. (Jack was one of the doctors in the hospital.)

Nadia returns from the hospital and says that she knows Omar was responsible for getting beaten, but she clearly knows that Sayid is in love with her and doesn’t understand why he pushed her toward Omar, and he says it’s because he doesn’t deserve her.

Nerd alert: Sayid was repairing a vase that was broken with the boomerang that he brought the kids from Australia. A boomerang, in theory, always comes back to where it’s thrown – perhaps a metaphor for what may be happening on the show with a sideways timeline that may eventually be launching back with the earlier timeline. Or could it simply be an allusion to the fact that Sayid has come back to Nadia, where he started/belongs?

Sayid goes to meet his niece and nephew at the school bus and a carful of goons take him to the mob boss, who turns out to be Martin Keamy, the freighter mercenary. He tries to shake down Sayid for the cash that Omar owes him, threatening Omar’s family. And Sayid goes all Sayid on them, killing all three.

Question: In this sideways reality, did Keamy seem to be much more mortal than on the island when he seemed semi-indestructible?

As Keamy goes down, Sayid hears struggling from the walk-in freezer, and opens it to find someone being held captive. None other than Jin!

2007, On the island

Sayid pushes Dogen for answers on why he was tortured, but Dogen says that the tests were to determine Sayid’s evil-factor, and the scales tipped toward evil. Sayid claims, as always, that he’s a good man, but then he and Dogen get into a mixed-martial arts brawl. Dogen lunges to stab Sayid in the throat, when the baseball on his desk rolled off, and he commands Sayid to leave.

Clousseau and UnLocke are in the Temple garden area, standing on the line of ash. He tells her she needs to go in, but she says only if he keeps his promise to get Aaron back. “I always do what I say,” he replies.

Question: Does this set Claire up for disappointment in the sideways timeline? Sayid’s life is a disappointment, though Nadia was alive. What will happen to Claire and Aaron there?

Sayid tells Miles that he’s been banished because he’s evil. Miles tells him that he was dead for two hours and they were as shocked as anyone when he came back to life, so he wasn’t brought back by the Others. Clousseau bursts in to the Temple walls and says that UnLocke wants to see Dogen. He knows he’ll be killed if he goes, so she tells him to send someone that UnLocke won’t kill.

Dogen tells Lennon to put Clousseau in the hole and get Jack and Hurley. When Lennon says that they’re missing, Dogen wigs out and tells him to find them. Then he tells Sayid to come with him because “things have changed.” He tells Sayid that she’s under the influence of an angry man. He pulls out an ornate box (any ideas on this???) from a planter with a special dagger in it, which he asks Sayid to use to kill someone who he sees and knows is dead before he can speak, or the man “won’t stop until he has destroyed every living thing on this island.” Sayid asks why he’d do this for him, and Dogen tells him to prove that he’s still got good in his soul…by killing something. (Poor Sayid.)

Nerd alert: Ben said virtually the same line, “If you phone her boat, every single living person on this island will be killed” in the Through the Looking Glass season 3 finale episode to Desmond.

Kate arrives back at the Temple and Miles sympathetically says “Sawyer sent you packing.” He tells her that Claire was there, “acting all weird…still hot though.”

Sayid is in the jungle when suddenly everything goes quiet – no bird or bug noise – and then Smokey appears as UnLocke. Sayid stabbed him right in the chest with Dogen’s dagger, but he’d paused until Locke said “Hello Sayid.” UnLocke pulls the dagger out of his chest and hands back the dagger.

UnLocke says that Dogen sent Sayid out assuming he’d be killed. UnLocke promises him anything he wants to deliver a message to Dogen, including letting him see Nadia again. Sayid returns and delivers the message in the rain to the Others: Jacob is dead and they are free to leave the island with him, those who don’t will die. They were given until sundown to decide.

Kate gets Lennon to take her to see Clousseau, who is in a pit (“It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again...”) in the temple humming “Catch a Falling Star” – the song she’d sung to Aaron, and the song that Kate sang to Aaron after they were rescued – to herself. Kate tells Claire that she raised Aaron, though frustratingly doesn’t tell her that Mrs. Littleton is raising him. Claire says with a creepy grin, “He’s coming Kate. He’s coming and they can’t stop him.”

The Others are in a panic and most of them are leaving the Temple, as Lennon tries to get them to stay. Sayid brings the dagger back to Dogen, who tells Sayid about an accident he had after celebrating a promotion in which his son was killed. Jacob came to him in the hospital and said to him that he would save his son’s life, though he would have to come to the island and work for him and never see the boy again. Sayid says he made a similar bargain with UnLocke. Dogen points out that it’s sundown and Sayid throws him into the pool and drowns him. Lennon confronts Sayid, who then slits his throat. And the Smokey train pulls into the station, wreaking havoc unlike anything we’ve ever seen on LOST. Dozens of men and women are killed as Kate goes to look for Clousseau, when Ilana, Ben, Sun and Lapidus burst in to try to save them. Ben goes after Sayid, who maniacally smiles as he tells Ben there’s no time left for him.

Miles asks Sun where Jin is, who was thrilled to know he was still alive, and Ilana pressed on the wall at the spot that Jacob had told Hurley to look for. They open a secret door and are safe.

Nerd alert: The symbol was a Shen ring. The shen ring is most typically carried by one of our favorite LOST god references, Horus, but also Nekhbet. When the shen ring encircled objects, it was seen to eternally protect them. Is this what the rings of ash were meant to be?

The camera pans the destruction left behind, as Sayid, Clousseau and Kate join UnLocke and the rest of his now-followers.

Question: Did they look a bit more rag tag, as if they were the crew that we saw walking through the jungle when Mr. Eko and Jin were searching for Michael in the “…And Found” episode, back in season 2, when they saw the barefoot Others walking and a child holding a grubby teddy bear?

Comment with your thoughts below!