Friday, February 1, 2008

LOST - The Beginning of the End

Well, it may be the beginning of the end (47 episodes left!), but what a way to kick things off, huh?

The episode began with a clean-shaven Jack spicing up his morning O.J. with some vodka while watching the news. (This is how we know we're in "flash forward" mode--the pre-crash Jack NEVER would have had alcohol that early...Speaking of which--does this mean no more flash BACKS? I wonder...) On TV, the LAPD chases after a vintage Camaro. Was anyone surprised that the driver turned out to be Hurley? Me neither. What was surprising was Hurley's declaration when captured by the police, "I'm one of the Oceanic 6!"

So then there are 6...We have Jack, Kate and Hurley (I am ecstatic that it appears Jorges Garcia will be getting more screen time after 3 years of playing the lovable sidekick!)--and three more? Who are the three other Losties who made it off the island? Would Michael and Walt count? Or just those "rescued" by the freighter people? Anyway, Hurley's car chase was instigated by a freak out in a convenience store when he saw "someone he knew." Hmmm...who could that be? We didn't have to wait too long to find the answer to that--but before that was revealed, Hurley had a hallucination--a sort of reliving of Charlie's death--while being questioned at the police station. The police detective (who, in typical LOST coincidental-ness, was Ana-Lucia's former partner) threatens to send Hurley to the nuthouse to which Hurley responds sincerely, "Thanks!"

So Hurley is sent away--back to his old mental institution stomping grounds. He gets three visitors while there--the first is a tall, mysterious black man who calls himself Matthew Abbadon and claims he's an attorney for Oceanic Airlines. He offers to "upgrade" Hurley's "accommodations" at a nicer mental institution but Hurley is suspicious. When he demands to see Abbadon's business card and Abbadon has none on him, Hurley goes berserk. The mysterious man disappears, but before he leaves he asks Hurley, "Are they still alive?" Is who still alive? The Others? More Losties?

Later, another mental patient tells Hurley to watch out--someone is staring at him. And that someone would be--Charlie! Oh yes, Dominic Monagham back from the dead and looking good with newly shorn locks--if I do say so myself. Take that all you Hobbit haters! Wait--where was I was? Okay, now Charlie is having hallucinations starring Charlie's ghost. He tells Charlie, "I'm trying to buy jerky and a slushee and you're over there by the Ho-hos. You're supposed to be dead!" Charlie replies that he IS dead, but he's also here. And he slaps Hurley to prove it. He tells Hurley, "You have to do something." And, "They need you." Who's "they?" Claire and Aaron? The same "they" Abbadon was referring to when he asked "Are they still alive?"

Hurley's final visitor is Jack. They engage in casual conversation until Hurley pointedly asks, "What are you really doing here, Jack?" He tells Jack that he thinks he came to see if he went nuts and was gonna tell. Ooooh--tell what? Is that what Jack meant when he told Kate he was sick of lying? Hurley also tells Jack that he's sorry he went with Locke, "I should have stayed with you." As Jack leaves, Hurley says "I don't think we did the right thing. It wants us to go back!" which is reminiscent of Jack's plea to Kate in the last episode, "We have to go back!" (Are they getting a ton of mileage out of that line or what?!!!)

But before all this happened, the Losties were awaiting rescue on the island. Their happiness was marred when Desmond returned to the beach with news of Charlie's death and his final warning. So now Sayid, Hurley, Sawyer, Juliette, Bernard, Jin and Desmond (hereafter to be referred to as the "beach Losties") decide they must warn Jack that the freighter people (aka the other Others) are not who they say they are and trek off towards the tower to find him and the "tower Losties."

On their way there, Hurley gets separated from the group and ends up in front of Jacob's creepy house. He hears whispers and sees Jacob's empty chair rocking and freaks out and runs away. He looks back at the house and with eyes closed tight, he chants "There's nothing there." When he opens his eyes there IS nothing there--except for John Locke, who's sort of creepy in his own special way. John wants to join the beach Losties in convincing Jack that something is not right about the other Others. They reluctantly agree.

Back at the tower, while preparing to be rescued, Naomi's body disappears. Jack finds a trail of blood, but Kate finds another and, unbeknownst to Jack, relieves him of Naomi's phone and follows the second trail which leads her to a tree in the jungle from where Naomi pounces on her. I could go on about how someone with a mortal knife wound in the stomach manages to create a fake trail for Jack, then crawl into the jungle and up a tree and pounce on Kate holding the very knife used to wound her to Kate's neck, but this is LOST and strange things happen on this island and we have to accept that. So let's move on...A call from the freighter comes in while Kate is trying to explain it was all John Locke and the rest of the Losties would never hurt Naomi. Naomi takes the call, blames her injury on her parachute landing and resets the phone so the other Others can track it again. She dies saying, "Sorry, George. Just tell my sister that I love her..."

The beach Losties are reunited with the tower Losties and Hurley gives the sad news of Charlie's death to Claire. But as the tribe comes back together, the schism grows with Jack's attack on Locke. He holds a gun on Locke as Locke claims that everything he did was in the best interests of the Losties. He tells Jack that Jack won't shoot him just the way Locke couldn't bring himself to shoot Jack earlier. Jack tells him that the gun's not loaded. Hmmm, did Locke know it wasn't loaded when he pointed it at Jack? Also, it occurred to me (after three freaking years--how swift am I?) that Jack and John are essentially the same name. Sort of like Jack and Locke are two sides of the same coin--both strong, leaders but one a man of science and the other a man of faith.

It's time for the showdown and John declares he's heading for the Others' barrack since it's the only place on the island that's secure. He invites anyone who wants to join him. The first to do so is Hurley--to honor Charlie's death by heeding his warning. Claire and Aaron follow. Rose and Bernard (surprisingly since Rose's cancer might recur if she leaves the island) stay with Jack, as do Kate and Juliette. Ben asks for permission to go with John and Jack's more than happy to be rid of him. Alex and Rousseau go as well. The big surprise was Sawyer choosing to forgo rescue as he tells Kate he's "Surviving."

Obviously, Kate and Jack survived. As did Hurley who was in the other camp. So what happened next? We'll find out soon as the episode ended with a chopper from the freighter reaching the island and another parachutist landing right near Jack and Kate. The next episode is entitle "Confirmed Dead." I can hardly wait!

P.S. For anyone else who is an uber fanatic like me, check out Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney's Dueling Analysis on the Celebritology blog. Some interesting stuff I missed (It's hard to watch AND take notes!) Also, check out the Lostpedia entry on the episode and the screen caps at Lost Easter Eggs. And feel free to post your comments and theories here!

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