“We’re very close to the end, Hugo.”
As LOST winds down to its final precious hours, the bodies are piling up almost as fast as the reveals. The question is: Are the corpses and the answers worth it?
This week we saw Jack (Matthew Fox) step up and accept guardianship of the Island, prompting my new $64,000 Question: What took so damn long? I can understand if Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) wanted Jack to accept the job of his own free will, but…why did he wait so damn long to ask? Jack surely would have taken stewardship of the Island in exchange for letting everyone else get off. And the way Jacob casually dismissed Kate’s (Evangeline Lilly) question about why she had been crossed off the list – it was just a line of chalk on a wall and so the job is hers if she wants it – had me ready to scream. He was willing to give it to any of the candidates? Why let everyone go through so much pain and torture? Why all the mystical mumbo-jumbo? Why?
So, now we know… lots of stuff. Whether anyone likes what we now know is an entirely separate matter, but this was an episode that gave fans what we have been clamoring for: tons of answers. Maybe not the answers many of us were hoping for, but answers, nonetheless.
In one sense, it’s hard to criticize the episode that finally revealed: the origin of Jacob; the origin of the Smoke Monster; why Jacob and the Man in Black hate each other; who set up the “rules” for their conflict; the origin/significance of the white and black stones; why MiB wants off the Island so bad; where the donkey wheel came from and what it’s for; what Jacob is guarding on the Island; what job the “candidates” are being culled for; the identities of “Adam and Eve”; and the source of the Island’s strange powers.
Turns out, it’s a kind of magic.
Endless life's a beach for Richard
So how terrific was LOST this week? After all these years, we finally get the scoop on Richard — and it was worth the wait. We learned everything we needed: Who Richard is, whose death he has on his conscience, why he is on the Island, and what he is doing there.
It’s no surprise Richard insisted to Jack, Hugo and the others that they are all dead and the Island is hell — because from his perspective that’s all very true. What it boils down to is, Richard (Nestor Carbonell) is something of a modern Job: He’s a powerless pawn locked in the crossfire of a battle between higher powers he cannot begin to understand. Woes have been visited upon him for the amusement of others. Everyone who has wielded power over him has let him down or even outright betrayed him — from the doctor who scoffed at the idea of riding out in the rain to minister to Richard’s sick wife, to the corpulent priest who withheld God’s grace and condemned him to hell. There was Magnus Hanso, who instead of rescuing Richard from death by hanging ultimately condemned him by setting him on a course to a far worse living death. And then there are Jacob and the Man in Black, mysterious forces in human form who amuse themselves by using Richard. Only the poor guy isn’t a chess piece — he’s more like a ball they kick around.
Sayid stabs MiB
This week’s LOST was about personal destiny and free will. (Not aiming too high, are we, LOST?)
In two universes, Sayid (Naveen Andrews) struggled to come to grips with what kind of man was, who he is now, and what sort of person he aspires to be in the future. In the L.A. universe, Sayid is a merchant, while Nadia (Andrea Gabriel) is not only alive, she is married to Sayid’s brother, Omer (Cas Anvar), a dry-cleaner. Seems Omer borrowed money from the wrong folks and so he asked his brother to call upon his Republican Guard skills to go all Rambo on the loan sharks. But Sayid resisted — just as he resisted the temptation of Nadia, whom he clearly loves and who adores him. He even told her that he was a once a bad man and does not deserve her. Of course the mobsters tired of waiting for their money and brutalized Omer, which prompted Sayid to go all Rambo on their asses after all. How random was having Martin Keamy (Kevin Durand) show up as a gangster? From Kahana captain to mob lieutenant? Well, I guess they are both tough guys motivated by money.
Back on the island, Sayid was tired of being jerked around by Dogen (Hiroyuki Sanada), and so demanded and explanation for being “tested” by that Princess Bride-type machine. Dogen told him that the device allowed him to determine how a man’s scale of good and evil is balanced, and that Sayid’s scales were balanced the “wrong way.” But which way is that? From Dogen’s perspective, Sayid might have been too far on the side of the angels. (If concepts of “Good” and “Evil” still have any meaning on the Island…)
You wanted answers to the big questions? How about “Where did the Numbers come from?” Now we know. They came from Jacob, who wrote the names of people aboard Oceanic Flight 815 on a cave wall. And the so-called magic Numbers correspond with the survivors – well, the survivors and John Locke, depending on how you classify him. Nonetheless, the explanation was suitably spooky; c’mon, names and numbers scratched into the stone of a nearly inaccessible hidden cave. That’s pretty cool. And hey, that scale was balancing one white rock and one black rock. The Man in Black pitched the white one into the sea. How many times have we seen black and white rocks – not to mention The Black Rock slave ship?
The numbers and the people associated with them are as follows: 4 – Locke. 8 – Reyes, 15 – Ford, 16 – Jarrah, 23 – Shephard, 42 – Kwon (but is that Jin or Sun?).
This leaves us with one gigantic question: What about Kate? What’s her number? Did Locke/Smokey simply not show her to Sawyer? Why didn’t Sawyer ask about Freckles? See below for my theory.