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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 14: The Variable

Now this is what an episode of Lost should be like. As much as I enjoyed the breather provided by Laurel & Hardy Miles & Hurley, tonight’s episode was the kind of fast-paced thrill ride that the best episodes of Lost always are. Let’s recap and analyze…

We begin in 2007, as Desmond is rushed into the hospital with Penny and Charlie by his side. Penny and Charlie are in the waiting area as Desmond is operated on, and Eloise Hawking walks up. She apologizes to Penny and says it’s her son’s fault that this happened. The look on Penny’s face was great as she said, “Your son is Benjamin Linus?” Eloise sets her straight and we cut to 1977 Dharmaville.

Daniel is getting off the submarine and we get our only true comedic moment of the night–Miles says, “Once you left for Ann Arbor, I figured you got rich and invented the DVD or something.” In addition to the big laugh he got from me, Miles confirmed my suspicion that Daniel had just been working for Dharma off-island all along. Daniel shows Miles the “Class of 77” photo to explain why he’s back, then asks to see Jack. Once they get to Jack’s place, Jack tells Daniel that Eloise is the reason he came back. After Daniel guesses correctly that Eloise told Jack about his ‘destiny’, he promptly bursts Jack’s bubble and says his mother was wrong.

Flashback to Young Daniel playing piano.  Eloise explains to him that destiny is about using your gifts to their fullest, and apparently not about playing the piano. When Daniel says he can make time, she responds, “If only you could.”

Miles and Daniel head to The Orchid, so Jack goes to Sawyer who reveals a bound-and-gagged Security Phil in the kitchen cabinet. Not to digress too much, but for some reason I was really pleased to see him locked in the cabinet. I’m sure Patrick Fischler is a fine character actor, but I just can’t stand him in this role. Although, I guess that may be the point of the character–if so, it worked.

Daniel and Miles arrive at The Orchid, and they see Dr. Chang arrive shortly after them. We are then treated to the scene from the season premiere, only this time from Daniel’s point of view. After the part we saw on the premiere, Daniel actually approaches Chang and tells him he only has six hours to evacuate the island. Daniel’s “proof” isn’t very convincing though, since it consists of telling Chang “I’m from the future!” Chang is also unconvinced when Daniel tells him that Miles is actually his grown son. I thought Dr. Chang was going to buy it for a minute, but then Miles slams the door shut with a quick denial. Once Chang leaves, Daniel tells Miles he just had to make sure that Chang does what he is “supposed to do”.

Flashback to doctoral graduate Daniel, who is with Theresa (pre-brain melting) when Eloise appears. Eloise makes it obvious that she is not happy with Theresa and takes Daniel to lunch. After Daniel tells his mother about his $85.1 Million grant from Widmore, she pisses him off by telling him to stop wasting his time on Theresa. Eloise hands Daniel a gift, then leaves the restaurant. The gift is Daniel’s journal, complete with an inscription:

“Daniel,

No matter what, remember I will always love you.

Mother”

She also left Daniel with the check, which I think was pretty weak. I thought it was interesting that Eloise considered a relationship with Theresa to be as worthless as playing the piano. I think it’s interesting that Eloise doesn’t even entertain the possibility that these other pursuits could be an intricate part of nurturing Daniel’s genius. 

Back in ’77, Sawyer is presenting the gang with two options: 1) Steal the sub and leave the island, or 2) Go into the jungle and ‘back to square one’. A knock at the door brings Miles and Faraday (or Twitchy if you prefer) into the conversation, and Daniel presents option 3) Let’s go talk to The Hostiles since my mom is one of them. His reason? Daniel says she can get them all back where they belong. My first thought on this was that our people are going back to 2007 where they ought to be.

Another flashback, this time it’s Daniel crying at the fake Oceanic 815 wreckage on the ocean floor. Widmore pays Daniel a visit and offers him a new opportunity. Daniel has some kind of mental disorder thanks to an experiment on himself, which he says he tried first before trying it on his research assistant Theresa. Apparently Daniel’s brain only got partially melted. Daniel tells Widmore that he doesn’t understand why the wreckage is making him so sad, so Widmore decides to cheer him up by admitting that he staged the entire thing. Widmore then tells Daniel that the island will heal his mind and memory. When Charles tells Daniel that he needs shouldn’t waste his talent, Daniel says that sounds like something his mother would say.  Charles says they’re old friends.

At Casa del Lafluer, Sawyer asks Daniel, “Your mother’s an Other?” Sawyer then proceeds to argue against Daniel’s plan, making it extremely clear to me that he really does like the life he has built with Juliet, and he does not like the idea of leaving Dharmaville. Juliet gives the sonic fence code away, so Jack, Kate, and Daniel decide to head for The Others. Sawyer tells the rest of the gang to get their stuff so they can head back to the beach, adding that once they’re done chasing The Others, Jack, Kate, and Daniel will know where to find them. As they head toward the motor pool, Daniel takes a quick side trip to talk to -no surprise here- Young Charlotte. Before they can get away clean, Radzinski shows up with his black jumpsuit gang.  A gunfight ensues, with both Daniel and Radzinski getting incidental wounds.

A final flashback to melty-brain Daniel as Eloise encourages him to take Widmore’s job offer, saying it’s ‘important’. Daniel just wants to know one thing, “If I go, will it make you proud of me?”

Back in ’77 at the sonic fence, Daniel confirms what Miles told us a few episodes ago–they are currently in their own present time, which means any one of them could die. Back in the village, Radzinski shows up at Sawyer’s house, and just when we think Sawyer’s bullshit artistry will save them, Phil is discovered in the cabinet. Things don’t look good for Sawyer and Juliet, but I just can’t believe they won’t find a way out of this.

In the jungle, Daniel explains his new theory to Jack. In a few hours, Dharma drills into the energy at The Swan, causing what we will come to know as The Incident. That causes them to build the button, which Desmond will one day not press, bringing down Oceanic 815. While his previous theory focused mainly on the Constants, Daniel is now focused on the Variables, by which he means people. He now contends that their free will and reasoning mean that they can break the cycle–unfortunately his brilliant plan involves destroying the energy by detonating the hydrogen bomb we saw at the beginning of the season.

In 2007 with Penny, Eloise tells her that for the first time in a long time, she doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Cue a nurse to tell Penny that Desmond is out of surgery–he reminds Penny he promised never to leave her again. As Eloise leaves the hospital, Widmore approaches and explains he had to sacrifice his daughter, and Eloise quickly reminds him she had to sacrifice her son as well.  Charles then confirms what I had suspected since the 1954 skip on the island–he is Daniel’s father. This earns him a nice slap from Eloise.

Approaching The Others campsite in ’77, Daniel tells Jack and Kate to wish him luck, then enters the camp alone with his gun drawn. He trains his sight on Richard Alpert and demands to speak to Eloise Hawking.  Richard tries to tell Daniel that she’s not there, but Daniel keeps waving the gun. The camera is tight on Daniel and Richard when a shot rings out. As the camera pulls out, we see that it’s Daniel who has been shot–by Ellie. as she stands over a dying Daniel, he says, “You knew. You always knew, but you sent me here anyway.” Daniel’s face goes blank. LOST.

The last scene was a total brain melting moment for me.  It’s not that I thought Daniel was invincible, I just enjoyed him so much that I wanted him to stick around. I really wasn’t prepared for him to die tonight, but at least they told his full story before killing him. I know that the Island sometimes brings people back, but I don’t think that’s going to happen with Daniel. He shared his full plan with Jack, so now it’s up to him to carry it out. At this point, I can’t wait for old lady Eloise and Charles Widmore to get their payback for sending their son to be killed by Young Ellie. It seemed clear by the look on Richard Alpert’s face that Daniel’s death was not necessary.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Drama, Science, Scifi, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lost Season 5 Episode 14: The Variable