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Lost Season 5 Episode 15: Follow the Leader

For me, the big question going into this episode was which leader was being referred to in the title.  After watching, I suppose some could argue the answer is Jack, but I’m going to have say with complete confidence that it’s John Locke.

The episode opened with another look at Daniel Faraday’s shooting, this time from Jack & Kate’s perspective. Kate prevents Jack from rushing to Daniel’s aid, then Jack is promptly crushed in the face with the butt of young Charles Widmore’s rifle. When Widmore enters camp and asks Richard Alpert what happened, he says that “Eloise…reacted.” Eloise then instructs that Jack and Kate should be put in her tent, and that they aren’t from the Dharma Initiative.

Forward to ’07 and Richard Alpert is in his tent on the beach, building a ship in a bottle, when John Locke arrives at the camp bearing a boar on his shoulders. Locke says, “I brought dinner,” and Richard remarks that something is different about John. “I have a purpose now.” is the only response John gives. When Richard asks why Ben is back too, Locke just says that he helped him get back. Locke then tells Richard they need to take a trip into the jungle for an errand, then they need to visit Jacob. Away from that conversation, Sun is asking Ben who Richard is. Ben tells her Richard is ‘a kind of advisor’ and that ‘he’s had that job for a very, very long time’. Sun interrupts Locke’s conversation with Richard to asks about the picture of the ’77 Dharma folks–Richard tells her he remembers them because he watched them all die. [LOST]

Richard approaches Locke and says he’s ready to go, so Locke invites Ben to join them. Ben gives Locke a typical smartass response, “What’s the matter, afraid I’ll stage a coup?” but Locke just says he’s not afraid of anything Ben can do anymore.

Back in ’77, Jack is trying to convince Kate to help him follow through on Faraday’s plan to ‘set things right’ but Kate isn’t on board. Eloise then comes back and explains to Jack about how she saw Daniel on the island in 1954, which gives Jack enough trust for him to explain the plan to detonate Jughead. Jack plays on Eloise’s guilt about killing Daniel just enough, so she agrees to help and explains that Jughead is buried underneath Dharmaville. I guess that explains Ben’s secret tunnel, since apparently The Others have had tunnels in that part of the island for at least 20 years.

Cut to the Dharma security bunker, and Radzinski beating the shit out of Sawyer. Horace is being his hippie self and objective to the brutality, but Radzinski basically tells him to grow a pair. Security Phil lends a hand with the a/v part of the interrogation and plays the tape of Kate walking into the jungle. (Is it just me, or did this tape look a lot like the old blurry Sasquatch video we’ve all seen a million times? – Check out the recap video about 2 minutes in to see what I mean.) Sawyer doesn’t offer any information, so Phil decides to seal his fate by sucker-punching Juliet. The tactic works, but I think we all know now it’s only a matter of time before Phil gets destroyed by Sawyer. While reviewing evidence, the security team also notices the three names that were added to the sub manifest at the last minute, and wonder who this Hugo Reyes guy is. Cut to Hurley packing up some Dharma rations and making a not-so-subtle dash for the jungle, only to be trailed by Dr. Chang. When Chang confronts Hurley, Jin, and Miles, we are treated to the only real comic moment of the episode as Hurley fails Chang’s history exam miserably and has to admit he’s from the future. This causes Chang to asks Miles again if he is his father, to which Miles simply says, “Yeah, it’s true.” The guys then remind Chang of the importance of evacuating the island.

Back at Camp Other, Jack and Kate ask Richard about the whole Eloise/Charles dynamic to which he replies, “Let’s just say, love can be complicated.”

To ’07 and Richard, Ben, and Locke have reached the clearing where the Nigerian plane wreckage lies. Locke coaches Richard on how to save the man who is about to come into the clearing as well as what to say to him. Just then, we see time-skipping John Locke come stumbling into the clearing from the other side. Richard is confused, but follows Locke’s instructions and enters the clearing. Meanwhile, Ben is awestruck at John’s ability to pick out the exact moment in time to be at the clearing. When Richard returns from his errand, he tells Locke he’s glad he didn’t have to die after all. Locke then tells Richard he did die, and that Ben killed him. This is the first time I can remember Richard looking surprised at anything.

Chang arrives at the Dharma security bunker in ’77 and warns the gang about the impending disaster. Sawyer chimes and validates Chang’s theory and recommends they put all the women and children on the sub. He then says they should put him and Juliet on the sub as well. Radzinski agrees as long as Sawyer will draw a map to the hostiles. Speaking of–we cut to Eloise, Richard, Jack and Kate arriving at a pond, which Eloise explains is the entrance to the tunnels. When Kate decides to bail, the two Other goons who are on the trip take aim and threaten to shoot. We get a close-up of Kate’s face as a shot rings out–it’s the same look Faraday had last week, but when the camera backs out we see that it’s one of the goons who has been shot by none other than Sayid! Eloise then explains the plan to Richard while Kate and Jack catch Sayid up. This includes Kate bursting Sayid’s bubble by telling him that he wasn’t successful at killing young Ben.

Jin, Miles, and Hurley are watching people board the sub, which allows Miles to see his father being a dick to his mother while trying to convince her to leave. This is the moment we have expected for several weeks where Miles realizes his father loves him after all. Sawyer and Juliet climb aboard and Sawyer says good riddance to the island.

Richard takes a swim and leads Jack, Eloise, and Sayid into the tunnel which is apparently the same network of tunnels that Ben fell into from the temple.  We also see a bit of sarcasm from Richard when Jack asks if they got the bomb in through the pool–he tells Jack no, they didn’t get the 12 foot, 40,000 pound nuke in through the pool.

’07 Richard tells Locke they can leave to see Jacob in the morning, and Locke is disappointed. Locke decides to address the entire group–he proceeds to cast a large amount of doubt about Jacob’s existence, then invites the entire group to come with him and Richard to see Jacob in person. Off to the side, Richard and Ben share a moment:

Richard: “I’m starting to think John Locke is going to be trouble.”

Ben: “Why do you think I tried to kill him?”

It seems obvious to me that even Richard, the ancient and wise adviser is really not sure what lies ahead at this point. He has seemed very much in control every other time we’ve seen him, but this ’07 Richard has now been surprised twice in the same day by John Locke.

On the sub in ’77, Juliet tells Sawyer she loves him, and he says he ‘loves her back’. He barely finishes when who joins them on the sub but none other than third wheel Kate! In the tunnels below Dharmaville, Jack explains to Sayid that he trusts Young Eloise because Old Eloise is the one who told them how to get back to the island. When they arrive at Jughead, they simply say, “Well, now what?”

Daybreak in ’07 shows The Others marching down the beach on their way to see Jacob. Ben tries to explain to Locke that Richard is concerned. Locke explains to Ben that he has no intention of using Jacob to find the rest of the Oceanic gang. In fact, he plans to kill Jacob. LOST.

I only saw one leader in this episode. It certainly wasn’t Horace, and Radzinski isn’t leading, he’s just being paranoid. Chang isn’t leading, he’s just doing what others have told him to do. Richard isn’t leading in either time period, and Eloise is just carrying on someone else’s mission. I don’t think Jack is leading either–he’s just doing exactly what Sawyer accused him of always doing–reacting. If Eloise sent her own son back knowing she would kill him, why does Jack think she sent him back for any better fate? Locke is the only one who has established himself as a true leader, carrying out his own plan and bringing a group of followers along for the ride. And after this episode, I think I’m one of them.

Video Recap from ABC (Go 2 minutes in for the Kate Sasquatch moment)

Robert Patterson Sasquatch video

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May 10, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 15: Follow the Leader

Will we see Jacob on the LOST Season Finale?

Thanks to TV Squad for posting this interview with Michael Emerson (Ben Linus). Unless I’m reading way too much into this, I believe he is saying we are going to see Jacob in the May 13th two-hour season finale “The Incident”. Take a look at the interview and let me know what you think.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Drama, News, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Will we see Jacob on the LOST Season Finale?

Lost Season 5 Episode 9: Namaste

The last 13 days have been painful.  This is the longest we have gone without a new episode of Lost since season five premiered in January.  After this brief layoff, I am dreading the long 8 months that will separate the end of season five and the premiere of season six.  I decided to mix a spoiler-laden recap with my own thoughts, analysis, and speculation, so this post is a bit longer than most.

The only positive thing for me about our week off, was I got to experience a higher level of excitement when my brain caught up and realized it was time for Lost again.  One moment, I was using my iPhone and hitting play on the DVR and the next my brain was shouting, “Oh Shit, It’s the Ajira plane!  We’re going to see the trip back to the island from the perspective of the people who didn’t get flashed off the plane!”

That’s exactly what we got to see.  We got some sweet Lapidus-as-hero action as he navigated the stalled plane to a safe landing on the much talked about Dharma runway on the second island.  I was glad to see this validated since it’s been the subject of so much online gossip since the 316 episode.  Captain Lapidus awakens on the ground in the cockpit, only to discover his copilot has come down with a terminal case of Tree Branch Through the Chest Syndrome.  Back in the cabin, Cesar introduces himself to the Marshal who had escorted Sayid onto the plane.  It seemed to me that this introduction was solely to remind all of us what Cesar’s name is, so I guess he’ll be around for at least a few episodes.  The next reveal is that Lapidus isn’t the only alumnus who didn’t disappear in the flash–Sun and Ben are with all the newbies as well.  Cue the first brain melting moment of the night…

30 Years Earlier

Oh. Shit.  Without sounding to cocky, I kind of felt this coming, but it was still something totally different to see it in black and white on the screen.  I think we all knew it couldn’t be super easy for everyone to just flash back to the island and live happily ever after.  What I’m very interested in is the explanation of why Sun, Ben, and Lapidus weren’t cool enough to get flashed off the plane.

So Ajira crash minus 30 years, Jack tells Sawyer that Locke is dead, and Sawyer drops some knowledge of his own by telling us all that it’s 1977.  Cue Hurley with the line of the night: “Uh….what?”  Back at Dharma camp, Juliet is a bit too frantic at the security station, asking Miles where James has gone.  Maybe it’s the three years of relationship we didn’t get to see, but for me the whole Juliet-as-worried-girlfriend/wife/whatever just doesn’t come off as believable.  Back to the Oceanic 3, and we see an interesting side of Sawyer as he tells the gang that he doesn’t want to ‘screw everything up that they have with Dharma’.  Again, I wish we could have seen more of the missing three years, but I get the distinct impression that old Sawyer may be happy with his new Dharma day job.  Jin, having found out from Jack and Co. that Sun was on the plane, races to The Flame to see if Radzinski has spotted any planes landing/crashing on the island.  Radzinksi blows Jin off, and we get to see a flash of the old pre-island Jin come out as he gets physical in convincing Radzinski to call the other stations for a report.

Fast Forward to Sun on the beach.  The Marshal is starting to quiz Sun when Lapidus gathers the group and informs them the radio is broken and wherever they landed, it isn’t on his charts.  Well no shit.  Cesar seems to be unhappy with Captain Lapidus assuming the leadership role and starts running his mouth about buildings and animal cages on the island.  Cue Ben, who goes running into the jungle.  As an aside–I’ve always thought Ben looked like a rodent of some kind, and when Cesar was talking, I think I saw Ben perk up like a caged mouse who can smell the cheese before it’s dropped in his cage.  No surprise that Sun follows after Ben.

Back to the 70s and Juliet is snooping.  She wakes Amy from a nap on accident, and then decides to check on the baby.  Brain melting moment 2:

Amy & Horace’s baby is Ethan.  And now we understand why he’s so loyal to Ben.  Obviously young Ben makes a disciple of Ethan at an early age.  Back at The Flame, we have a Code 14J, also known as a Hostile in Dharma territory.  Jin grabs a rifle and runs out into the jungle only to find Sayid wandering around.  Before he can fill Sayid in, Radzinski shows up with his rifle and forces Jin to play along, taking Sayid into custody.  Back in the Dharma bus, Sawyer is telling Jack, Kate and Hurley what they need to do to fit in as recruits who are fresh of the submarine.  In the process, Hurley asks if Sawyer is planning to save the Dharma people from the Others.  Sawyer explains that Faraday doesn’t think it works like that.  Then we find out that “Faraday isn’t here anymore.”  So what’s up?  Did Daniel hop a sub back to the mainland?  Did he die?  Did he decide to give the donkey wheel a spin?  Whatever the answer, my money is on it having something to do with Desmond.  The new recruits get welcomed, but not before Miles shows up looking for an explanation from LaFleur about his disappearance.  I enjoyed watching the look on Miles’s face when he saw Jack, Kate, and Hurley.

Back to Ben and Sun, who are joined in the jungle by Lapidus.  Even he knows better than to trust Ben, but Sun seems determined to follow Ben to the outriggers and then to the main island.  Just when I started wondering what the hell Sun was thinking, Ben decided to start a monologue about his responsibilities and what his plan on the main island was and just when he gave enough details WHAM!  Sun cracks him upside the dome with an oar.  Nice.

A bonus character intersection at Dharma Orientation as Jack meets with Pierre Chang, Dharma’s resident orientation film star.  We find out the apparently Sawyer has earned the respect of Chang, then we are treated to a funny parallel of Ben’s father’s orientation as Jack is informed he will be a Workman.  I’m sure Sawyer had a hand in making Jack a janitor.  Just as Kate is about to be busted by Security Phil, Juliet arrives to save the day with a sweet line of bullshit.  Back to Sawyer arriving at The Flame, and we discover that in 1977, The Swan is apparently nothing more than a model Radzinski is working on.

Back in 2007, Sun and Lapidus arrive at a trashed Dharma camp that is occupied by a smoke monster and brain melter number three of the night: Christian Shephard.  Oh man this is getting good.  I don’t know why it took me this long to believe it, but I think Christian is alive.  I never had a problem believing Locke was brought back by the island, so I don’t see any reason that couldn’t apply to Christian as well.  Apparently he knows a little something as well since he tells Frank and Sun that they have “quite a journey” ahead of them.

The episode wraps up back in 77 with an increasingly suspicious Security Phil wondering why Jack the Janitor is dropping in on Lafleur, Master of Security.  Jack gets surprised with a Juliet reunion, followed by the reveal that she lives with Sawyer.  The scene that follows between Jack and Sawyer was my favorite of the night.  It really seems that three years with real responsibility have given Sawyer some much needed perspective.  He proceeds to serve jack a big slice of humble pie when he reminds Jack that all the actions Jack took were reactive, whereas he prefers to stop and think in order to come up with the right solution.  It really underscored for me the journey in opposite directions that Jack and Sawyer have been on in the three years since they last saw each other.  Sawyer built a life and a career based on fulfilling responsibility to Dharma and Juliet, while Jack has done nothing more than become a self-pitying drunk and painkiller addict.

The closing scene is a nice reveal of a young boy visiting Sayid in Dharma jail to bring him a sandwich.  Who is that young man with the rodent-like features and dorky circular glasses?  Why Ben Linus of course.  And now Sayid (who didn’t get Faraday’s memo about altering the past) may have a new plan of his own.

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments