Holy crap! Holy Eko! Holy Smokey! Holy religious symbolism! Holy Others-drama! This wasn't just the best episode of this season so far (even though the previews for next week's Fall Finale promise it will be the best episode of the year, it definitely has its work cut out for it now!), it's on the short list of the "All Time Great Episodes of Lost". Where to begin?
- Well, how about with the whole "Spoiler" thing I referenced in my preview post? Someone posted an interview from TV Guide that said a series regular was going to die in this episode. Once you realized it was an Eko-centric episode, he became the odds-on favorite to bite the big one. When I started thinking about it, it made no sense to me. They couldn't kill all the Tailers off, could they? In addition, Eko was just saved from the brink of death two weeks ago. If you were going to kill him off, why not let him die in the Hatch implosion or get eaten by a bad CGI Polar Bear? But after seeing this episode, I have no qualms with it whatsoever. His story came to a logical conclusion and served as an impetus to move the story forward. It wasn't some gimicky death for ratings or sheer "shock value". (But here's the sucky thing - if I didn't accidentally read that spoiler, I wouldn't have seen this coming in a million years. Kinda knowing it was coming took away some of the shock of the ending - this is why Spoilers are the devil!)
- The scene with Jack and Juliet? Absolutely fantastic. Talk about setting up a moral and ethical dilemma. Who to trust? I feel like Juliet is the obvious "good guy", and Ben is the obvious "bad guy", but wouldn't it be very Lost-like to have it be the other way around? Will Jack let his Hippocratic Oath get the best of him and save Ben? Or "slip" and end Ben's life? Excitement!
- Smokey. Boy, have we missed you. Not only did we get some of the best glimpses of Smokey ever, but we learned more of the nature of him - he's a Shape Shifter. Think about how the Lost producers told us we "saw the Smoke Monster last season but didn't realize it". It's likely that everything from Jack's dead dad to Kate's black horse to Locke's vision of Boone were all Smokey in disguise. But how is this all possible? For a show that's supposed to be "rooted in science", we now have a shape shifting cloud and a guy that can see the future. The sci-fi nerd alert is officially on.
- Eko. I loved Eko's "confesssion". It was flawed in its reasoning (he seemed to ruthlessly kill at least a few guys that he didn't need to), but it totally fit his character. For as much as we all loved Eko, he really wasn't a good guy. Even when he was acting as a priest, he never gave up his killer survival instinct. He didn't feel any guilt for what he did, he felt he did what he needed to do to survive, and he was okay with that. As he told the little boy, "Only God knows" how he'll be judged.
- Well, only God and the Smoke Monster (who may or may not be some sort of "Angel of Death"). Remember, Eko survived his first encounter with Smokey no problem. What changed between then and now? Whatever happened, Smokey is now pissed. Eko's dying words were: "You're next." Looks like the carefree days of exploring the Island and going off on random hikes are over! But why? Is this related to the Hatch Implosion?
I need some more time to digest. Full breakdown and analysis this weekend. Comment away!