Maybe I'm a little rusty after spending a week without thinking about Lost, but keeping up with this week's episode definitely required about 100% of my brainpower, further confirming that there is absolutely no way that anyone is still watching (and understanding) Lost unless they are uber-obsessive nerds like us.
Having said that...
- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I know that I had Daniel Faraday on the DeathWatch 2009 List after pre-analyzing the episode, but I never thought it would happen before the Season Finale (since I was banking on him causing the whole "Incident" thing). Holy crap. Is he actually dead? Based on next week's episode preview (featuring Jack having Faraday's journal in his possession... and trying to intrepret it), I think the answer is pretty obvious - although one does wonder why Alpert couldn't just take him to the Temple like he did for Young Ben to magically heal him.
- Eloise Hawking basically killed her son for the Island. Holy crap. Widmore's comment that he "sacrificed his relationship with Penny" for the Island suddenly seems a way easier. Think about it - from the point of Faraday's birth, Ms. Hawking knew that she would put him on the path that would end with her shooting him. The interesting thing here is that based on Faraday's comments to Jack this episode (about people being "Variables"), Ms. Hawking could have done just one or two different things to prevent Faraday's death... but chose not to. Why?
- There's just an insane amount of things to analyze and think about from this episode. Initially, I'm thinking that Faraday is wrong about being able to change the past - simply because we've seen too many split-second decisions and actions by our Survivors that should have "changed the past" so far this season - but didn't. Whatever happened, happened. It all has made sense up until this point - but if suddenly ANYONE can change the future by doing something diferent in the past, it's one helluva coincidence that everything has played out the way it has.
- It turns out that Faraday is Ms. Hawking and Widmore's love-child. Which means that Penny and Faraday are brother and sister (or at least halfies)... too bad Faraday died before they could realize it (kinda like Claire maybe died before she and Jack could discuss their relationship).
- The biggest question I have from this episode - and the first thing that Kate should have asked when Faraday told her and Jack about his plan is "What happens if you succeed?" Would our Survivors suddenly "skip" back to 2004, with Oceanic 815 finishing its flight as normal? Would they "skip" back to 2008, having lived different lives from 2004 to 2008 that they may or may not have memories of? Or would they "skip" back to 2008 retaining full memories of everything that happened with the Island? It's all very confusing...
- Which is why there is no way it's going to happen. Again, we'll see if this thought process changes once I think about this episode some more, but right now there is no way the writers go through with this storyline. It would cheapen everything we've seen in the past four seasons (by making it not happen) and bring back to life characters who have died (and with characters like Michael on other shows, clearly it's not in their contracts). No way it happens.
- Something else to think about? How did Ms. Hawking and Widmore know so much about everything? Did the Others really have some way to "see into the future"? Because even though they experienced running into Faraday and our Survivors in 1954 and 1977, they didn't seem to get enough information to know as much as they do. And what about Ms. Hawking's comment about suddenly "not knowing" what was going to happen to Desmond? Is Faraday right? That now that he has told Jack and Kate about being able to change the future, the one that she and Widmore have "seen" may no longer come true? It makes my head hurt.
- The Jughead returns! And apparently it's stored in the Temple? And was that 2008 Ben in the Temple who 1977 Jack runs into? Is the Jughead going to end up causing the Incident? Or will it play out as it always did with the Others digging too deep and releasing a ton of energy? And what about Sawyer, Juliet, and the rest of our Survivors? Things are looking pretty bleak for them. It seems like it's all going to be up to Jack and Kate to save the day (for now) - which is kinda fitting since you could argue they are the two "main characters" on the show, who have had backseat roles for most of the season. And what about Locke, Sun, and the Ajira 316ers? Are they going to have any purpose this season besides setting up the next? Are Locke and Sun really going to be involved in bringing our Survivors back to the present (one would think they have to - otherwise their season storylines seem pretty lame), but it seems like it's all going to be resting on things that happen in 1977 right now, doesn't it?
Enough of my yapping. I need to let this episode sink in a bit and revisit it. But first I need sleep. Aren't vacations supposed to be restful?