Brian's Two Word Review: Brain Overload
I don't even know where to begin. I really thought that by the end of that episode, I would have some epiphany - a hunch where "Lost" was heading, what happened with Juliet and the Jughead, and what the overall "point" of Lost would be. Instead, I'm probably just as confused now as I was before the show aired, when we had no clue what the final season would hold. Heck, maybe even MORE confused, even though we got a ton of information in these two hours.
Where to begin?
Anti-Jacob = Fake Locke = Man in Black = Smokey. Well, you can cross one of the 10 Unanswered Lost Questions off the list! It turns out that Smokey is none other than "Anti-Jacob"... aka "The Man in Black"... aka "Fake Locke". Man, the Lost writers sure could have made this easier by giving the character a name, like they did with Jacob. But maybe that's kinda the point - he becomes a sort of "he who cannot be named" sort of evil character.
Speaking of which, if there was any doubt about if Jacob was good and Anti-Jacob was evil - or vice versa, I think it's pretty clear this episode. SmokeLocke is a freaking badass - kicking ass and taking names, and no one is going to stand in his way. This can't be good news for our Survivors - or the world at large.
This episode also confirmed that the ring of ash does "contain" SmokeLocke for some reason. What this ash is actually made of is still a good question - but it appears to be the only hope of keeping SmokeLocke out - unless he throws a huge rock at you and knocks you out of the ring of ash.
So here's the curious thing. The ring of ash appeared intact in 2004, when Locke and Ben first visited "Jacob's Cabin" - yet Smokey was running rampant on the Island. On the other hand, the ring of ash was broken in 2007 when the Shadow of the Statue went to the Cabin. Bram freaked out when he discovered this - now we know why.
Lastly, where is his "home" that he wants to go to? The Temple? Or off the Island, and to the "real world"? Or is this another play on the plotline from the movie "Dogma" where home is heaven, and he's been kicked out for some reason and has to get back?
RIP Juliet. After an uber-tease that Juliet somehow survived the Jughead explosion, along with the rest of our 1977 Survivors, she goes ahead and dies anyways - after getting a heartfelt last moment with Sawyer in the remnants of the Swan Station. But what did she mean by "it worked"? How did she know it worked? Did she somehow have knowledge about how all this would go down from her time with the Others (which, if you remember, was my hope last season about why she acted so strangely in the season finale)? Is she communicating from "the other side" like a dead person?
NOT RIP Sayid. On the other hand, Sayid made a shocking recovery in the last moments of this week's episode. Keep in mind all the warnings that Alpert gave Kate and Sawyer about using the power of the Temple to save Ben back in 1977. "If we do this, he'll forget any of this happened - he'll never be the same." Do the same rules apply to Sayid? He surely seemed like he didn't remember what was going on - but does this put him on the path to becoming a full-fledged Other? Or losing whatever shred of innocence he had left? If you remember last season, we came up with some pretty compelling reasons for why each of the Time Traveling Survivors needed to be back in 1977... except for Sayid. Maybe this was the big reason he came back to the Island - to become "Super Sayid" and kick some SmokeLocke ass? Or is Jacob now embodying Sayid the same way the Anti-Jacob is embodying Locke?
The Temple. Finally! The Temple is revealed! And it's chock full of weird stuff, like a "fountain of life" (that is suddenly red now that Jacob has died, perhaps?), a hokey-looking hour glass, and yet another mysterious "leader" of the Others who annoying only speaks through a translator. It was also nice to see the storyline consistency of having Cindy and the Kids at the Temple alive and well all this time. It was also nice to see Jacob back to his old tricks, making lists and being mysterious about the bigger purpose. For all you who guessed "a giant ankh with a list from Jacob inside" when we debated what was inside Hurley's guitar case, you win!
Richard Alpert. It's looking like he indeed was a slave on the Black Rock (note SmokeLocke's reference to seeing him "out of his chains")... and somehow fell into favor with Jacob, who in turn granted him eternal life in return for being his VP... at least that's my current theory. Expect plenty of Alpert storyline to come!
Oceanic 815. And lastly, the thing I want to touch on the least, since I have no freaking clue. I thought the writers would tease us with the prospect that the Jughead changed the past, but not that this alternate reality storyline would take up 40% of the episode. Sure, it was fun to watch - we got to see some old friends (Charlie, Boone, Frogurt, Arzt) and have some ironic conversation (Charlie's "I was supposed to die" comment) - but with as much time as they are giving this story, there has to be more to it than just being a dream sequence for Jack - or something along those lines. But what? It's all gotta tie together somehow in the end, but I have no idea how... yet.
At any rate, the net result of this alternate reality is that the Jughead exploded and "sunk" the Island, Jack and Locke are on their way to become best buds, Kate is on the run from the law, Charlie's life is going down the drain, and Rose and Bernard are sickeningly sweet - but joke's on them since without the Island, there will be no cancer-cure for Rose.
Okay - that's all for now. Full analysis as soon as I figure this all out... or when I give up and just write a few thousand rambling words that provide no additional information than these Instant Reactions - but at least give me a false feeling of accomplishment :)