For those who don't watch the episode previews for the following week's episode that air immediately after the current week's episode - you missed out. Because next week just might be the most anticipated episode of Lost of all time.
RICHARD ALPERT FLASHBACK.
There was nothing wrong with "Recon". It was a nice little episode - but compared with the impending awesomeness of next week, it definitely feels like a bit of an appetizer before the meaty main course of Island mythology goodness just one week away.
But we're not here to get jacked up for next week. We're here to discuss this week. So what happened?
In many ways, this episode felt like a setup episode. It progressed the storyline in a very necessary way - but didn't have any shocking twists or major action. Instead, we learned the following:
Widmore. Okay - so maybe that submarine was bigger than the CGI originally let on last week. Widmore's on Hydra Island with a full crew, Smokey-repelling pylons, and something (or someone) locked away on his submarine. Of course, everyone is going to bank on Desmond being locked behind Door #1 - and with only 10 episodes of Lost left, I've got to admit it makes the most sense. Although, given that Widmore located and traveled to the Island over the course of one week, it' snot totally out of the question that Desmond could do the same at some point in the future... it's just not likely. He promised Penny he would never go back to the Island. All the people who may have had the power to convince him to change his mind are back on the Island. The only logical way to get Desmond back to the Island is to bring him against his will, which is exactly what Widmore could have done.
What about Widmore himself? The fact that he's setting up the pylons and making deals with Sawyer to "kill SmokeLocke", it certainly casts some doubt that he's working on Team SmokeLocke. Instead, it is looking more and more like he's on a team of his own - Team Widmore, who is there to kill everyone and claim the Island for themselves. So we've got...
Team Jacob - wants to protect the Island from... something.
Team SmokeLocke - wants to leave the Island.
Team Widmore - wants to claim the Island as his own.
The other interesting thing is that Widmore made a comment about "how little Sawyer knew". It's totally possible that our views of Widmore are being skewed by the fact that everything we know about him has come from Ben (who hates him) or SmokeLocke (who seemingly is an enemy as well). Then again, he originally told people that Ben sunk the fake Oceanic 815, and we later found out that he was actually the one responsible.
I'm going to defer to the fundamental rule of television - don't trust old, rich, white guys. In my mind, Widmore will always be Caleb Nichol from the OC - and he was bad news.
SmokeLocke. A few weeks ago, we learned that Anti-Jacob used to be a man - a man who loved and lost. This week, we learned that he had a crazy mother, who is somehow responsible for making him the way that he is... and he's still trying to overcome the damage she caused hundreds of years ago. Yikes.
For those hoping for a "big loop" theory on Lost, you'll want to start wondering if somehow Aaron becomes Anti-Jacob. Both have crazy mothers, it would explain why Aaron was so important in Season One, and it's a pretty logical explanation for why the writers have waited so long to reveal the name of Anti-Jacob. He's Aaron.
For this to be the case, there would have to be some really weird time travel stuff going on - so I'm not sold on it. But the writers definitely dropped some hints that they want us to be thinking about this possibility.
In other news, it's a little creepy how comforting SmokeLocke is to all the people who are following him. He's making promises left and right, generally trying to keep the peace, and seems forthcoming with information (at least on the surface). The writers are doing a good job of taking him from "evil incarnate" to a shade of gray where I'm wondering if maybe he's not all bad - but is really just a guy who's been stuck on the Island for a really long time, and wants to go home.
If you take nothing else away from this episode, take away the awesomeness of SmokeLocke throwing Claire off Kate and slapping her. That's something that most viewers of Lost have wanted to do for years now - and it was quite cathartic to see a character carry out our aggressions towards Claire's annoyances for us.
Sawyer. Oh yeah, this was a Sawyer episode, wasn't it? I loved the initial Flash Sideways, which was a direct play on one of Sawyer's original cons - only this time, the tables were turned and he actually was a cop. It was great to see Miles and Sawyer (who formerly worked security in Dharma together) as buddy cops. But after that, there wasn't a whole lot to the Off-Island action. Sawyer made a minor change (or deal with the devil) to choose good over evil after the death of his parents, but otherwise he's the same tortured soul.
On the Island, Sawyer's conversation with Kate revealed that he's not on Team Jacob, Team SmokeLocke, or Team Widmore... he's on Team Sawyer - and he's only concerned with getting himself (and Kate, and probably their other friends) off the Island. He doesn't care who wins or loses, or who ends up with the Island - as long as he ends up off of it.
Here's where it would be really nice if we figured out what the big danger of the season is, and why it's important for our Survivors to actually save the Island instead of leaving it... it would make these decisions carry a lot more meaning. Get on it, Lost writers!
There was one other interesting tidbit - Miles' father, Pierre Chang, works at a museum in Reality #2. Given that he was right next to the Swan Station when the Incident occurred, it's impossible to think that he got off the Island before the Jughead went off - which means we can definitely put to rest the notion that the Jughead somehow caused this Alternate Reality... which means people can stop coming up with ridiculous explanations for how that event in 1977 changed the lives of our Survivors so drastically (like the butterfly effect). This Alternate Reality has ALWAYS existed, and is in no way related to the Incident... at least in my mind.
Aside from that, there were a lot of scenes where characters should have done a lot more talking to each other (Kate to Sayid, Kate to SmokeLocke, Sawyer to SmokeLocke, Sawyer to Widmore) - hey, didn't the writers say that this season was going to feel a lot like Season One? They were right!
Like I said, an appetizer this week. But don't fill up on bread, because next week looks to be a Lost fanboy's wet dream.
What did I miss?