Brian's One Word Review: Beautiful.
Everything about "Greatest Hits" was beautiful. I don't know if they pumped in some extra sappy music in the episode without me noticing, or if there was the nagging thought in the back of my head that I was watching the last Claire-Charlie or Hurley-Charlie interactions, but it was a pretty emotional episode.
The way that they used Charlie's flashbacks as a "greatest hits" montage of his life was genius, sparing us from any scenes that felt like "filler" that might take away from the action on the Island. I was actually looking forward to them, waiting to see what moments would rank as the best in his life (although I saw the Claire meeting being number one from a mile away).
It was also beautiful the way that the episode built up to what seemed to be Charlie's assured death (aside from a very scary moment when I thought Desmond might take his place) - it gave sufficient attention to the story, giving the audience one last episode full of Charlie, and I must say, this was easily the best Charlie-centric episode we've ever had.
Lastly, it was beautiful the way that the episode set up the season finale. For all you other TV shows out there (yes, I'm looking in your direction "24"), this is how you write a story arc. Have multiple story lines that have all been sufficiently developed over the course of the season (or multiple seasons), all coming to an unavoidable head all at once. I don't know about you guys, but I'm more excited for this season finale than I have been for either of the first two seasons.
But before we look ahead, what do we need to discuss from this week?
Nadia. She appeared in a flashback! Does that mean Sayid is dead? Judging by the brief scene from next week showing Sayid, Bernard, and Jin tied up with guns to their back - it's not looking like he's out of the clear yet. Sadly, thinking about it - killing off those three characters makes a lot of sense. We've already discussed the logic behind Sayid, Bernard has been basically absent from the season anyways, and Jin's death would turn Sun into even a bigger badass than she already is. On the other hand, wouldn't that be too obvious?
Looking Glass. Whoa! Remember when there were all those rumors about Jack being held in an "underwater Dharma station" before the season began? Turns out there actually is one! And it's called "The Looking Glass". Can I start working on next week's Deeper Meaning Guess now? It's entitled "Through the Looking Glass", and it is now seeming pretty obvious what it means. But I'll restrain myself.
The more intriguing thing is that either Juliet was kept in the dark about the functionality of the station, or there are two groups of Others - some in the know, and some on the outside. Based on the preview for next week, Patchy looks to be in the know, along with a few other Others (perhaps Ben's recruits vs. Island Originals?) or Juliet really is a mole / spy and is setting our Survivors up. I think the first seems more likely at this point. I don't know how, but whenever I start to distrust Juliet, she totally wins me back over a few scenes later. Witchy woman!
So what is the function of the station? Clearly it's to keep a tight control over who can come and go to the Island, as well as who can communicate with the Island... which is why Patchy's involvement there makes sense. If Ben was somehow able to gain control of it, it would also go a long way in explaining how he was able to get into a postion of power among the Others. He who controls the information controls the rules.
Ben. Speaking of Benjamin, he's pretty much gone from potential evil mastermind to crazy person over the course of two episodes. Alpert has to be catching on to his erratic ways - not explaning what happened to Locke, claiming that Jacob told them to attack a day early, instructing the Others to kill anyone that gets in their way - all of this would seem to fly in the face of the hippie Dharma culture and the assumed peaceful ways of the Island Originals. How long before someone steps up and challenges Ben? John Locke, time to make your entrance.
Radio Tower. Think about this - the radio tower is one of the first places of mystery ever introduced on Lost (in the Pilot!), and now we might finally get a chance to see it. In this episode we got a new Dharma Station and an expedition to the Radio Tower? Talk about getting more reveals than we got for most of the first season!
Charlie. So, the good news is that Charlie survived this episode. The bad news is that, as I said in my episode preview, the cruel thing to do would be to have Charlie survive this episode, then die next week. I stand by my prediction. On the other hand, if Charlie dies, that means that Claire and Aaron get rescued in a helicopter - so that can't happen, right?
Wrong. I'm ready to make my annual outlandish Season Finale prediction. Some of our Survivors will be rescued (or appear to be rescued) before this season is over. Mark it. I'll go into further detail with next week's episode preview.
Which brings up one last point. I'm actually going to be gone for the better part of the next four days, so my "full analysis" of this episode will probably just be a "brief analysis" tacked on to next week's episode preview. The good news is that I didn't catch a lot of extra "hidden" items (although I'd like to take a closer look at the Looking Glass Map that Sayid somehow produced), so I think I hit most of my major thoughts in this extra long Instant Reaction. Hopefully it will tide you over.
If not, feel free to curse my name and complain on the Message Board and Comments Section.
Or you could always discuss the episode amongst yourselves until I return here.