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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

Lost Season 5 Episode 12: Dead is Dead

Any issues I had with a slowdown in last week’s Kate episode, were definitely resolved tonight thanks to a focus on Ben, Widmore, and Locke.  Let’s break it down.

The episode opened in ’77 with a man entering the Others camp on horseback.  His first stop after dismounting is to get in Richard Alpert’s face and chastise him for saving Young Ben.  Richard quickly responds that the Jacob wanted it done and that we all know the island chooses who the island chooses.  This seems to satisfy the man, who asks for the boy’s name and enters the tent.  After telling Young Ben that living with Dharma doesn’t mean he can’t be one of them, he introduces himself as Charles Widmore.  I had a major ‘oh duh’ moment when this was revealed.  For some reason I didn’t see this coming, and I feel like after last week it should have been pretty obvious.  Ultimately I think the fact that this guy didn’t seem to look anything like old man Widmore must have been what fooled me.  

Ahead to 2007 and Locke sitting next to Ben in the infirmary when Ben wakes up.  Ben immediately tells Locke that he knew he would be resurrected, to which Locke asks why Ben seems so surprised to see him then.  Ben, quick on his feet as always, tells Locke while he believed it, it’s another thing to actually see it.  Ben also tells Locke that he’s headed to the main island to be judged for breaking the island’s rules. Like the rest of us, Locke wants to know who is going to the judging.  Ben says they don’t have a word for it, but I believe you call it The Monster.  Awesome–who hasn’t thought about Ben getting ravaged by Smokey ever since we saw Mr. Eko get devoured?  I must admit though, that Ben has become a character I love to hate.  I find myself wanting to see what web of bullshit he’ll spin next.  Speaking of, Ben promptly makes an ally of Cesar, by planting some serious doubt about Locke.

Next, we cut to a 20-something Ben and Ethan at approximately age 12.  Ethan’s making a bunch of noise and almost blows their cover as they sneak up on a sleeping Danielle.  As we guessed, Ben steals Baby Alex.  In addition, he tells Danielle that if she wants to live, every time she hears whispers she has to run the other way.  I believe this is the first time anyone has openly acknowledged that the whispers are the cue that the Others are coming.

In Ben’s old office in 2007, Locke decides it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. Ben is quick to tell Locke that killing him was the only way to get the band back together to play the Island Reunion Tour ’07.  Ben also reminds us that like so many other things, he did it for the best interests of the island. Locke cracked me up with, “I was just hoping for an apology,” then telling Ben that he would like to help him go and get judged. At this point I was already starting to enjoy this new Locke.  In addition to being resurrected, it appears the Island gave him a pair of balls.  The head for one of the canoes on the beach, but are confronted by Cesar a a few guys.  Cesar starts getting in Locke’s face and questioning his motives.  After leading us to believe he’s going to throw Locke under the bus, Ben surprises Cesar by pulling out the sawed-off shotgun he stole from him and giving him a slug to the chest.  Ben looks at the other men and says, “This gentleman and I are going to take a boat, does anyone else have a problem with that?”  I love when Ben talks shit.  Once back on the mainland, Locke figures out that they’re heading to Ben’s old house so he can summon Smokey.  Locke also calls bullshit on Ben for the second time tonight, as he figures out that this has nothing to do with breaking the rules and everything to do with Ben letting Alex die.

This leads us into another flashback to 20-something Ben, this time with a middle-aged Widmore who is now old enough to played by Alan Dale.  Charles is upset with Ben for failing to kill Danielle and Alex, and reminds Ben that he is making decisions for the good of the island.  Ben asks if that’s what Jacob wants and then offers Baby Alex to Charles so he can kill her himself.  Rather than kill the child, Charles turns and walks away.  I may be premature, but I think this is the moment when Ben asserts control over The Others and Widmore starts to become diminished.

Now we’re back in 2007 Dharmaville, and Locke wants to know why the Others moved in after killing the hippies.  Before Ben can spew more lies, a light comes on in Alex’s old room.  Locke tells Ben to go check it out, and after some brief suspense it turns out to be Sun & Frank.  We find out that Christian told them to wait for John Locke, and they think that’s crazy talk.  Ben tells them to look out the window.  John tells his resurrection story and Sun doesn’t believe him–but Lapidus REALLY doesn’t believe him and plans to head back to the crash site.  Locke warns Sun that her only chance to see Jin is by coming along, so Frank heads back solo.  Locke tells Sun that Ben has something to take care of, so Ben goes into his cubby-hole and summons the smoke monster by pulling a drain plug and talking into a hole in the ground.

Back to the Others and Ben is a bit older–looks like the late eighties since Alex is about 3 or 4 and the Others are now in Dharmaville.  Richard Alpert walks up and lets Ben know that the submarine is about to leave.  Even the Richard tells him he doesn’t have to Ben makes a point to go to the dock to see a handcuffed and somewhat older Charles Widmore being escorted to the sub.  Ben doesn’t miss the opportunity to chastise Widmore, telling him this is what he gets for breaking the rules by leaving the island all the time and fathering a child with ‘an outsider’.  Widmore makes it clear this isn’t over and says, “I’ll be seeing you boy.”

In 2007 Dharmaville, Sun tells Ben she doesn’t believe Locke was really dead.  Without confessing, Ben assures her he was, then tells her how surprised he is that Locke was resurrected.  He says that ‘dead is dead’ and that the resurrected Locke scares the living hell out of him.  After a rustle in the bushes, Ben tells Sun to go inside because he can’t control what’s about to come out, and that’s when instead of the smoke monster, Locke appears out of the jungle.  I see two meaning here and I think both are true.  This is confirmation that while Ben was able to summon the smoke monster in season four, he did not ultimately have control over it.  Also, I think this is a clue that Ben is no longer calling the shots.  Since Smokey isn’t showing up, Locke decides they have to take a walk.

Back at the dock in Los Angeles, but not at night, Ben is on the phone with Widmore.  He called just to tell Charles that he is going to kill Penny.

Cut to Sun, Ben, and Locke walking through the jungle.  Ben wants to know how Locke just knows where to go, and John tells him that now he knows what it was like to be him before.  Ben figures out they’re going to the temple about 50 yards before they get there.  Locke stops been from opening the door and points him toward the hole in the ground that Danielle’s unfortunate shipmate got dragged into by the smoke monster.  Before climbing down, Ben tells Sun if she ever gets off the island, he needs her to find Desmond and apologize for him.

Cut back to Ben at the dock.  He shoots Desmond and approaches Penny with his gun raised.  Toddler Charlie comes up from the cabin, distracting Ben long enough for a wounded and adrenaline filled Desmond to tackle and beat the absolute shit out of him.  I had been thinking and hoping all along that Desmond was the one who worked Ben over, so I’m glad to see I was right on that one.  Like it or not, I’m a fan of Desmond/Penny.  Here’s hoping they find their way back to the island as well.

In an odd sequence that I hope will make more sense before the end of the season, Lapidus arrives back at the small island, only to have Ilana knock his ass out after he fails to answer her riddle, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”  It seems like I heard some speculation that the rest of the people who survived the crash were really Others, but my money  says they are Widmore employees.  I mean you can’t tell me he didn’t have a search setup to notify him when Hugo Reyes decided to buy a last minute plane ticket (or 79).

The big scene this week came with Locke and Ben walking through a tunnel under the temple.  Ben is acting very strange and then insists he can proceed on his own.  Locke agrees and Ben promptly falls through the floor into another chamber.  Locke leaves to find a way out, leaving Ben to explore the chamber.  Ben approaches an altar with a hieroglyph depicting Anubis interacting with what appears to be the smoke monster.  There is a large stone in the floor with a grid of holes, and just as Ben starts to look at it, the smoke monster begins to enter the room through the holes.  It quickly surrounds Ben, and we then switch to a perspective inside the smoke monster, where Ben is shown a series of his own memories about Alex.  After making Ben relive the moment of Alex’s death, the monster dissipates and reveals a corporeal Alex.  Ben’s joy is short-lived as Alex slams him against a column and says she already sees his thoughts about killing Locke again, and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t vow to obey John Locke.  Ben agrees and Alex disappears.  Moments later, Locke appears with a vine to lift Ben out and asks what happened.  Ben says, “It let me live.” LOST

I’ve rattled on a bit too long tonight, but I guess that shows how much I enjoyed this episode.  I am really enjoying this new version of Locke, and I hope it isn’t just a tease.  I would like to think that despite their wishes, both Widmore and Ben are no longer leaders on the Island.  I expect Locke to reunite the Oceanic 815 survivors (including Rose & Bernard) and take his place among the Others.

April 8, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 12: Dead is Dead

Lost Season 5 Episode 8: LaFleur

I cannot believe the way this season of Lost keeps defying the law of averages.  I keep waiting for the episode that is a huge let down after so many great weeks in season five.  I’m beginning to wonder if that let down is going to happen before the series ends next year.

Let’s start with a SPOILER-heavy recap:

We begin at site of The Orchid with Sawyer holding one end of Locke’s rope with the other end stuck in solid ground.  While Locke is underground talking to Christian Shephard, the gang up topside have just enough time to spot a giant (four toed!) statue in the distance before Locke turns the wheel and the grand finale flash makes everything all better.  I felt the shockwave of a nationwide geekout as all the Losties got momentarily excited about a possible explanation of the infamous four-toed statue ruins.

Next stop on the mystery-solving train?  That’s right, Polar Bears.  Three years after the final flash, we meet some Dharma security comic relief who managed to answer one of the longest running questions on the series.  Apparently, Dharma has some caged polar bears, which I can only presume are learning how to get a fish biscuit instead of an electric shock.

No polar bears on the loose, but we were treated to Horace the drunken hippie, blowing shit up near the sonic fence.  Quick!  Somebody call LaFleur!  That’s right, our favorite bullshit artist Sawyer has not only convinced Dharma his name is Jim LaFleur, but they even made him Head of Security!  And just for laughs, Miles is now Enis the security guy.  I guess Dharma didn’t have a jumpsuit that said “Mr. I Can Talk to Dead People”.

So we meet pregnant Amy and for a moment I thought we would find out that Baby Charlotte was in her belly.  Alas, once she goes into labor and Juliet saves the day, we discover it’s actually a boy.  No name yet, so your guess is as good as mine.  On a positive note, Juliet managed a C-section without killing the mother or the baby!  And apparently she can also fix a VW Bus!

Going back three years to the moments following the final flash, the gang finds Daniel alone, blubbering to himself about how he’s “not going to talk to her”, which means nothing to the rest of the group.  Daniel explains that Charlotte died and then disappeared during the final flash.  Apparently the dead don’t get to flash through time.  Next we come across Amy and her husband Paul, two Dharma people who are being attacked by two Hostiles.  Paul gets killed and Amy appears on the verge of being taken prisoner when heroic Sawyer and Juliet kill the Hostiles.  Amy freaks out about the “truce” and insists they bury the bodies of the Hostiles and take Paul’s body with them.  She then fools our heroes into getting knocked out by the sonic fence.

Sawyer awakes in the Dharma game room with Horace, and then spins some of the sweetest bullshit I’ve heard in five seasons.  He says he was the captain of a salvage ship looking for a slave ship called the Black Rock.  Well played sir.  Horace believes it, but still says they have to take the morning sub back to civilization because they aren’t Dharma material.  Just before Sawyer meets up with the rest of the group, Daniel explains that “the record isn’t skipping anymore, but they aren’t on the song they want to be on.”  This revelation is immediately following by Toddler Charlotte running through the scene and in the process melting Daniel’s brain.

Sawyer returns, an alarm sounds, and the Dharma defense plan kicks in–everyone run inside and hide!  A lone figure walks into the Dharma camp and plants a torch in the lawn.  It’s Richard Alpert, and he looks pissed.  I can’t recall ever seeing this kind of emotion on Alpert’s face.  Apparently he is really angry about the truce being broken.  Sawyer convinces Horace to let him go talk to Richard.  The brain melting continues as Sawyer proceeds to go toe-to-toe with Alpert and drop some serious knowledge about the H-Bomb and a disappearing John Locke.   Sawyer makes a deal to tell Richard where the bodies are buried and give him Paul’s body.  This earns the gang two extra weeks before Horace plans to make them leave.  In a tender scene, Sawyer convinces Juliet to stick around for the two weeks so he can count on someone to “have his back”.  Apparently Dharma has the same definition of two weeks as the contractors in The Money Pit, considering that turned into three years.

Three years later, Sawyer is living and sleeping with Juliet, who now says she loves him.  We then see Sawyer with a hungover Horace, working hard to convince Horace (and himself) that three years is plenty of time to get over a lost love.  Predictably, this scene is immediately followed by Sawyer getting a call from Jin, causing him to leave the bed he’s sharing with a naked Juliet to be reunited with Hurley, Jack, and his long lost Freckles–Kate.

Excuse the lengthy recap, but this was one hell of an episode.  As you can see, there is just no way this episode could be considered a let down.  I was flying high as we ended on the reunion with three of the Oceanic Six, and at the same time I was wondering where (and when) the rest of the group is at.  But just when I thought we’d never get another letdown from Lost, it happened–as the credits rolled the announcer told us we have to wait two weeks for the next new episode.

Shit.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments