Brian's One Word Review: Predictable.
Maybe I need to stop over-analyzing the episodes before they air, because it almost felt like I spoiled myself this episode (which makes me wonder how people can actually read spoilers and still enjoy the show) - not a lot of surprises, unfolded pretty much the way I thought it would, and left us with only a few revelations. Juliet was "the other woman", Widmore appeared only on video, and Ben once again tricked Locke into putting him in a position to influence others and take control of the situation.
But I think my biggest complaint about the episode was that it introduced an entirely new element - the Tempest and its poison gas to simply serve as a plot device to create drama for the episode... and then totally eliminated it by episode end. With all the dangling storylines currently on the show, I have to think the writers could have been more creative in coming up with a way to get Juliet / Jack / Kate to trust that the Freightors are the "good guys" using a pre-existing storyline instead of introducing a new one.
The few discussion points:
Gas. However, this did finally give us an explanation as to how Ben was able to wipe out all the Dharmites with gas - but raises the question as to why the gas was there in the first place. In true cult fashion, did the Dharmites determine if the Island came under siege, it would be better to kill everyone than risk the Island being overrun by outsiders? Or did they all sleep with gas masks under their pillows, making it more of a self-defense mechanism?
Harper. I found it a little odd that Harper magically appeared in the jungle right after Juliet heard whispers, and then mysteriously disappeared after hearing some other noise in the jungle. Was this really Harper, or was someone "projecting" an image of her to Juliet? Jack saw her as well, but we've already established that the images on the Island aren't necessarily visible to only one person. It makes me wonder if the whispers are somehow tied to this power of projection - and if some of the Others have mastered the art of using this power.
Widmore. Although we really should never trust Ben, this episode did seem to confirm that Widmore is behind the Freightors, making my hypothetical story about his involvement during "The Constant" analysis all the more likely. The question is - does this confirm that Widmore is "The Economist"?
Michael. Seriously? Does the viewing audience really need so many blatant hints that Michael is Ben's man on the boat? As much as I want it to be anyone besides Michael (for the sake of surprise), there is no other character on the show that would come as a shock to Locke upon their reveal. Coupled with the preview that tells us it's someone that we will never believe, a simple process of elimination leaves Michael and Walt as the two characters on the show who are unaccounted for in the current storylines (unless you count Alpert... who at this point was still on Cane, and not an option).
We'll delve into the logic behind this next week.
But aside from that, not a whole lot to say about this episode. I'm kinda disappointed, actually.
Inspire me with your comments!