Episode Title: "Follow the Leader"
Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: Say hello to the most exciting hyphenated word I've ever written about Lost.... ALPERT-CENTRIC. Aside from "Jacob-centric" or "Vincent-centric", it's probably the most exciting character-centric episode any true Lost fan can imagine. It's easy to get your hopes up and think that this will be the episode that answers all our questions, reveals the true nature of Alpert, and explains what his relationship with Jacob and the Island really are - but keep in mind that we have currently spent almost an entire season with Dharma and yet we still know very little about them or their experiments (kinda like how we spent half of Season Three with the Others but still know very little about them). Those tricky writers have a way of making it seem like it's the perfect opportunity for some reveals only to tip-toe around them, raise new questions, and leave us with just as many questions as when we started. But I rant. Based on this information, the episode title takes on a number of different meanings.
At a literal level, "follow the leader" could simply mean that Jack and Kate are going to follow Alpert. Last week ended with Faraday asking about the location of the Jughead - so it seems logical that if Jack and Kate are going to continue his "mission" (more on this later), they'll need Ellie or Alpert to lead them to the Jughead. Based on the episode preview, it sure does look like the place Alpert is going to lead them is right into the
Ever since we were introduced to the Jughead, the overwhelmingly popular theory about where the Others buried it was inside the Swan Hatch (since it had thick walls of concrete a la
My best guess is that the Others didn't really have ready access to the "lead and concrete" Faraday told Young Ellie Hawking to use in sealing up the Jughead. Maybe the closest thing they had was the thick stone walls and deep cavern of the
Back to the episode title. Even though this week is Alpert-centric (I can't even write that without getting excited!), "Follow the Leader" raises the question of "who is the actual leader of the Others"? Up until this point, we've all been under the assumption that although he's seemingly all-knowing and non-aging, Alpert is NOT the leader of the Others. He's the guy that finds the Dali Llama, not the Dali Llama himself. Which brings us to the "deeper" meaning portion of the program.
Just for fun, I Googled the phrase "follow the leader", which of course led me to a Wikipedia entry about it. This caught my eye:
"Follow the Leader (Game) - First a leader or "head of the line" is chosen, then the children all line up behind the leader. The leader then moves around and all the children have to mimic the leader's actions. Any players who mess up or do not do what the leader does are out of the game. The last person standing other than the leader is now the new leader."
Up until this point, most assume that the "leader of the Island" has been predestined and chosen by the
How about that for a far-fetched way to find deeper meaning with the episode title?
In the end, there are a number of ways to apply this episode title to the episode.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen there is at least some sort of rift between Alpert and Widmore. This week may feature the Others needing to decide which leader they are going to follow. How about this for a shocking twist? What if Alpert suggests using the
On the other hand, it seems as though there's some debate between Jack and Kate on how to deal with Faraday's plan to change the past - and with it, their future. We may see the other Survivors meet up with Jack and Kate and need to help decide what to do - which leader to follow. In 2008, we've also got two leadership titles up for grabs. It seems that we're long overdue for Locke and Ben to reunite with the Others, which may finally determine if Locke is their true new leader, or if it was all a trick as Ben returns to the role. Lastly, we might even get a hint at who the leader of the Shadow of the Statue is. Is it a character we already know? A new character? Or are they actually not a third party, but just a part of some existing group on the
As you can see, there are a number of battles for leadership on the
...or maybe Hurley will just be listening to a Korn CD in one scene, and that's the explanation for the episode title.
Guest Stars: Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Francois Chau as Dr. Pierre Chang, Doug Hutchison as Horace Goodspeed, Patrick Fischler as Phil, Eric Lange as Radzinsky, David S. Lee as younger Charles Widmore, Alice Evans as younger Eloise Hawking, Leslie Ishii as Lara, Sebastian Siegel as Erik, Kevin Chapman as Mitch, Elisabeth Blake as Vanessa, William Makozak as Captain Bird, Victoria Goring as mother and Maya Henssens as young girl.
Guest Star Breakdown: We’ve got the usual 1977 suspects again this week – Alpert (the star of the week), Mr. and Mrs. Chang (maybe featuring their “breakup” as Chang forces her off-Island?) Goodspeed, Phil, Radzinsky (holding our Survivors hostage), and Young Widmore, Hot Eloise, and Erik (for the Others portion of the storyline). The only other guest stars are “Mitch”, “Vanessa”, “Captain Bird”, “Mother”, and “Young Girl” – none of those names mean a lot to me, and Google Image Searching their names doesn’t reveal any huge giveaways (like looking like any other characters).
Worst Guest Star Breakdown ever!
Episode Description: Jack and Kate find themselves at odds over the direction to take to save their fellow island survivors, Locke further solidifies his stance as leader of "The Others," and Sawyer and Juliet come under scrutiny from the Dharma Initiative.
Episode Breakdown: Not a lot of huge reveals here either. It looks like Jack and Kate will indeed take opposing sides in the argument over whether to try and carry out Faraday’s plan to change the past – but the funny thing here is that the preview makes it look like Jack will be the one wanting to change the past and undo everything that happened over the past four years. Really? Isn’t this the same character who was a believer in a laissez-faire style of things like three episodes ago? Wanting to sit back and let the
In the end, again – based on the episode preview, it looks like Jack either wins the argument, or just marches off on his own and decides he’s going to do it regardless of if Kate agrees or not. Oh Jack, how I’ve missed your strong but often illogical leadership skills!
The more interesting part of the preview for me is the reference to Locke solidifying his stance as “leader of the Others”. Will they welcome him back with open arms? Will they freak out when they see that Ben is with them? Will they have any idea how to get our other Survivors back to 2008? Will they know about the forthcoming Shadow of the Statue threat? Will we learn what they’ve been doing for the past three years? There’s a lot of questions – and remember, we have absolutely no idea what has been going on with the Others from 2005 (when our Survivors started skipping) to 2008 (when Ajira 316 crashed on Alcatraz).
Lastly, we have Sawyer and Juliet being captured by the Others. Their situation would look pretty grim – and they would be almost wholly relying on the other Survivors to rescue them and get them back to 2008 – if it weren’t for the fact that most members of Dharma seem to be bumbling idiots. Honestly, where are all the smart scientists hiding that are carrying out these super advanced experiments on the
As I said before, if this season marks the end of our insight into Dharma, I’m leaving it disappointed. I wanted more explanation about what drew them to the
Long story short – expect Sawyer and Juliet to be freed before episode end.
…and that’s all I’ve got. Logic tells us that this week should be an insanely awesome episode (did I mention ALPERT-CENTRIC?!?), but I’ll try not to overhype it.
One last note – right before Lost, ABC will be airing what might as well be the Series Finale of “Scrubs”, one of the great underrated shows of this era. While there is a chance that ABC will spin it off with different characters next season, this is the end of Scrubs as we know it. Thinking back over the past eight years, I have nothing but fond memories of this quirky show. Although some of the seasons have been uneven – each has brought at least one or two episodes that had me laughing out loud, tearing up, and pondering the nature of life and death. In the end, there has perhaps never been a better series that brought together the fundamentals of comedy and drama than Scrubs. It will sorely be missed. You owe it to yourself to tune into Lost an hour early tomorrow night to catch Scrubs as an appetizer – but fair warning, you may find yourself so choked up once it is over, it may be hard to focus on Lost.
I know I will.
The Saddest Moment Ever:
Will Be Played at My Funeral: