Thursday, April 24, 2008

LOST - The Shape of Things to Come

Okay, so you mean to tell me that this whole thing is just some game between two twisted control freaks? A power struggle of who owns the island between Benjamin Linus and Charles Widmore? At one point in last night's episode, Ben referred to his daughter Alex as a pawn--but it seems that everyone on the island and even the freighter people are just pawns.

This is symbolically represented by John Locke, Hurley and Sawyer playing Risk--moving pieces on the board, conquering countries, taking lives. Hurley's premonitory promo line, "We're all gonna die," was actually in reference to the game he was playing with Locke and Sawyer and not the impending arrival of the other Others--aka the freighter people. Weird touches in the episode: the telephone ringing with a voice repeating 14J. Now the 14J stuff was weird, but even weirder for our Losties must have been just hearing a phone ring. The doorbell ringing later was even weirder. "We've come here to kill you, but we're politely ringing the doorbell first." Weird.

The flashforwards this time showed how Sayid came to work for Ben. We saw in The Economist that Sayid was assisting Ben and in the prior episode, Meet Kevin Johnson, we saw Sayid enraged to find out Michael was working for Ben. Now we come to understand the circumstances under which Sayid himself came to be in that position. Apparently after getting off the island, Sayid is able to track down Nadia in Los Angeles. He marries her, but she is killed by a hit and run driver and he brings her back to Iraq to bury her. That's when he meets up with Ben who tells him that Charles Widmore was responsible for Nadia's death and that he hired a man named Ishmael Bakir to run Nadia down. But did he? Or did Ben set things up in order to appeal to Sayid's baser instincts and get him to join his war?

Ben acts as bait for Bakir who points a gun at him and asks why he is following him? Ben tells him who he is and tells him he has a message for Charles Widmore. When Bakir asks what the message is, Sayid shoots him at close range. His wife dead, Sayid wants to help Ben fight Widmore to exact his revenge. I'm sure that was Ben's plan all along. Oh, and did you know Ben was an action hero? Didn't you love the scene in the desert (Tunisia--wasn't that where Charlotte found the polar bear skeleton and Dharma logo?) where the wounded Ben is approached by two turbaned guys on horseback with guns and he asks if they speak English? The one searches him, finds a club which Ben uses to beat him and grab his gun. He shoots the guy still on horseback and the other guy says, "Surrender." "Oh, so you do speak English," Ben snarkily replies.

Back at the beach, Jack is suffering from a stomach bug and popping pills. This time it's antibiotics, but we know in the near future it will be an assortment of painkillers (hey, would that be part of "The Shape of Things to Come"?). Bernard's yelling, Vincent's barking and there's a body washed up on the beach. Daniel recognizes it as the doctor from the freighter. His throat has been slit. There's a problem with the sat phone, but Daniel is able to rig it to transmit Morse code. He asks, "What happened to the doctor?" The response comes and Daniel tells the Losties that it said their friends were fine and the helicopter's coming back. But Bernard who also understands Morse code says Daniel is lying and that the message really said, "What are you talking about? The doctor is fine." "Were you ever going to take us off this island?" Jack asks Daniel. "No," is Daniel's answer.

It looked like Sawyer and Claire were dead meat when the freighter people arrived at the camp--especially when the house Claire was in was blown up. But other than a couple of no-name day player Losties who got caught in the crossfire, the only other casualty was Alex, who dies when Keamy calls Ben's bluff when he refuses to leave the house. Ben is shocked and mutters to himself, "They changed the rules" and disappears into his secret room. Who knows exactly what he did in there, but somehow he was able to summon the smoke monster and as it sucked up some of the freighter people, Hurley, Sawyer, Claire, Aaron, Miles (who looked really FREAKED to see the smoke monster!) and Locke escape. The plan is to go ask Jacob for help. Locke doesn't know where the cabin is, but Hurley does. Ben stays behind to have a moment with Alex. But when he rejoins them, Sawyer and company decide they want to go back to the beach. Ben and Locke draw their guns--Miles, Claire, Aaron and Sawyer can go, but Hurley stays. Hurley agrees to accompany Ben and Locke to the cabin and tells the others he'll catch up with them later.

The episode ends with Ben confronting Widmore in his bed in London. "When did you start sleeping with a bottle of Scotch by the bed?" Ben asks. "When the nightmares started," Widmore replies. Widmore asks Ben why he doesn't just kill him and Ben answers, "I can't do that." (Why not? Is it against the rules?) Ben tells Widmore that he's here to kill his daughter (that would be Desmond's love, Penny) and that "you'll wish you hadn't changed the rules." Widmore says Ben will never find Penny and that "the island's mine, Ben." "You'll never find it," Ben counters.

Rules? What are the rules? How do you hide an island? What did Daniel mean by " 'When' is kind of a relative term"? What did Jack talk to Bernard about after the discovery of the dead doctor when he asked him if he had a second? If Daniel's so handy with rigging up a sat phone to Morse code transmitter, can he come to my apartment and get my digital converter to work so that I can record TV shows on my VCR?

Check out the recap on Lostpedia, screencaps at Dark UFO, Celebritology's Dueling Analyses and chat with Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney during the Lost Hour.

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