Jin and Sun
THE A-TEAM’s Hannibal Smith famously loved it when a plan came together, and LOST the-powers-that-be reunited key characters this week as they position their players for the endgame. And that made longtime viewers the winners this week.
The most important development was the reunion of Sun and Jin, who have not seen each other (in the original timeline) since the explosion of the freighter Kahana at the end of Season 4! Let’s hope he can keep his vow: “We’ll never be apart again. I promise you.”
Libby jogs Hugo's memory
“Everybody Loves Hugo” is the kind of episode that every LOST fan can love: not only did viewers get to see old friends Libby and Michael again, there was some important new information.
Checking in on Hugo in the L.A.verse, we saw he is still a sad-sack, despite being a rich, philanthropic businessman. His mother still gets on him about meeting a woman. And then he does. And what a woman she is!
There was something off about Libby — as once again personified by Cynthia Watros — from the moment she appeared. And it was more than this strikingly beautiful woman crossing the room to talk to Hugo. She insisted that she somehow knew him. Or felt like she should know him.“Do you believe two people can be connected, like soul mates?” she asked him. Of course, we at home know they are connected, and are soul mates.
At last, thanks to good ol’ Desmond, this week we began to see that the “sideways” L.A.verse actually does relate to the original LOST timeline. There always was something about Des that made his travels unique. I guess it’s a good thing that, as Charles Widmore state, “the Island isn’t done with [Des] yet.”
Although, technically, I suppose it was Widmore (Alan Dale) who was not finished with Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) yet. Widmore ordered Des placed in a magnetic chamber to test if he can survive another catastrophic event (presumably referring to the time he turned the failsafe key). Can I just ask why Widmore insisted on subjecting Des to the experiment before it was properly prepared? This is a frequent theme in fiction, the idea that a megalomaniac will needlessly rush things just as his plan is nearing fruition. Widmore has clearly spent years and major resources on this mystery project, so why bungle it now, with mere hours to go, simply because he was too impatient to wait for the final tweaks to be made? Whatever the reason, Des was placed in a magnetic chamber, and for a moment there, I thought I was watching the movie Watchmen, and Des was going to get his intrinsic field ripped out of him, turning him into another Dr. Manhattan. But instead of transforming into a naked blue god, Desmond wound up in the Sideways Universe, working as Widmore’s right-hand man. In this reality, Widmore is so fond of Des that he eagerly shares the 60-year-old MacCutcheon whisky – the very same Scotch that Widmore claimed Des was not worthy to drink back in the original timeline.
Widmore has his eyes on the prize.
While this week’s LOST certainly held my interest, it was not one of this season’s stronger entries. The primary focus seemed to be on explaining the other side of Sayid’s L.A.-verse story
– just how Jin came to be put on ice in the walk-in fridge at the restaurant (He was about to be iced!). But tucked into the framing story on the Island was the revelation that all the people whose names are not crossed off the list in Jacob’s cave must leave the Island together.
Well, give the-powers-that-be points for consistency, at least. Recall that all members of the Oceanic 6 had to return to the Island together. And course this admonition echoes the series-long theme of “live together, die alone.” Other threads picked up upon included Widmore’s and Ben’s warnings that “war” was coming to the Island; and destiny vs. free will, as when the Man in Black told Sun he wouldn’t ask her to do anything she didn’t want to. And was it just me, or did MiB hint to Claire that Kate’s name might have been one of those crossed off the cave wall. We did not see her listed back in episode “The Substitute.” And his casual mention after they are off the Island, “whatever happens, happens,” felt like tacit acknowledgment that Claire can cap Kate if she still wants to. Speaking of getting off the Island on that plane, Smokey cannot travel over water under his own power – apparently that’s why the Island is his prison?
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.
Ben, Miles and Ilana
This week’s LOST gave us another set of long-sought answers amid another fine Ben-centric episode, one that teased out his central motivation (in both universes): lust for power.
On the Island, Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) took Ben (Michael Emerson) prisoner, and he explained how he sacrificed what he valued most — his daughter, Alex (Tania Raymonde) — for the sake of the Island. Or, more specifically, because Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) had led Ben to believe that he had a great responsibility as protector the Island. “I had a chance to save her, but I chose the Island over her,” he confessed. “All in the name of Jacob.” So he stabbed Jacob to death as revenge…but also out of fear of losing his power over the Island’s denizens.
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…)