Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"The Last Recruit" Instant Reactions!

Brian's One Word Review: Escalation.

or...

Brian's Thirteen Second Video Review:

It's a little bit funny that after a somewhat slow, deliberate pace for the first two thirds of the season, the writers seem to have realized "oh crap, we don't have a lot of time left", resulting in the most eventful episode of the season thus far - and things are only going to pick up from here. Both on the Island and in the Flash Sideways, not a single scene was wasted, and each were totally critical to moving the story along... the episode on whole even felt a little "rushed", if that's possible.

So what happened?


Christian Shephard. Last week, we learned the secret of the Whispers. This week, we got our confirmation that Christian Shephard has been a manifestation of Anti-Jacob all along... which is what most people were predicting all along (note: along with the Whispers, this makes us 2/2 for correctly guessing the "big mysteries of Lost" - maybe we're all a lot smarter than we thought we were). Although the reveal of this mystery was a little anti-climactic (just like the Whispers) since it was one character flat out asking the question and getting an answer, rather than a more natural reveal - at least it felt logical. If I was Jack Shephard, this would probably be one of the first questions I would ask a walking undead version of John Locke. Good work, Jack.

I did a quick scan of Lostpedia on all the former appearances on Island of Christian Shephard to see how well this explanation holds up... and I have to say, it holds up pretty good.

Christian indeed was responsible for helping our Survivors live through the first few weeks on the Island by helping Jack find water. He was inside Jacob's Cabin, which we learned had actually been a "cage" for Anti-Jacob (although when Hurley stumbled upon it, it still seemed like there were two people in there). He was the one who told Locke to "move the Island" - which in turn resulted in all the time traveling escapades of our Survivors... which in turn resulted in the Others thinking that John Locke was some sort of "chosen one"... which in turn allowed Anti-Jacob to take his appearance when his dead body returned to the Island... which in turn allowed Anti-Jacob to get close enough to Jacob to convince Ben to murder him... thus completing his loophole. It's a pretty impressive scheme!

In fact, the only thing working against this explanation is Christian's appearance to Jack in the Hospital during his time off the Island. We've established that Anti-Jacob couldn't leave the Island, but as I theorized earlier, maybe he could appear as a ghost-like being Off-Island... but couldn't physically leave? Or maybe Jack was just going crazy and seeing things.


Jack. Speaking of Jack, this week was his turn to jump off a vessel leaving the Island in hopes of saving his friends (matching Sawyer jumping from the helicopter in the Season Four finale). It's pretty clear that he's going to the Jacob's only hope for a replacement - and the only one who has any intention of staying on the Island. He's definitely become the new Locke - someone with faith that he was called to the Island for a greater purpose - and had the most logical line of the episode when he theorized that if SmokeLocke wants them to leave the Island, that's probably the last thing they should do.

With one of Widmore's mysterious explosions (what are those things being fired from, anyways? A cannon? A drone?) taking out all the other random Others, it seems like it's just Jack and Locke left on the main Island - which hopefully opens the door for some more sweet one on one conversations between the two of them... because the three minutes of discussion between them at the start of this episode was fantastic.

PS - Does this mean we just saw Cindy, Zack, and Emma die as well?



Sun and Jin. I have to admit, I didn't see this coming at all. In fact, with a few minutes left in the episode, I wondered aloud "what's Jin doing all this time?" without putting it together that a reunion with Sun was imminent. The wife loved it. I found it to be a kiss of death. Silly Jin, didn't you learn from Desmond's mistakes? Don't ever promise that you'll never leave someone you love / go back to the Island, because it's a surefire way to ensure that both happen. Part of me was thinking that one of them was going to be shot at the end of the episode immediately after Jin uttered those words. The wife is holding out hope that the two will leave the Island and reunite with Ji-Yeaon (the "happy girl ending"). I think it's a guarantee that one of them is dying before the season is over (the "Joss Whedon ending").

Also, seriously? Sun can speak English again because she was reunited with Jin? If that is the end of the "Sun gets hit in the head and forgets English" storyline, it's definitely the worst storyline in the history of Lost. I'm not seeing any connection between it and the bleeding of realities - so I'm not holding out hope for a better explanation. Nikki and Paulo, congrats - you are no longer the biggest mistake the Lost writers ever made.


What else?
  • Desmond - No way Sayid killed him.
  • No epiphanies this week, even though it featured the long awaited reunion of Jack and Locke in the Flash Sideways... although Desmond continued to be kinda creepy. First hanging outside a high school, then pseudo-stalking pregnant ladies. It's a good thing he talks with a sweet accent and is easy on the eyes or he'd be in jail right now.
  • It looks like Team Sawyer is in a bad place right now. I think they're all going to be thankful that Jack jumped off the boat so that he can save them later... or Team Alpert.
  • Is next week a repeat? The episode preview sure made it seem that way.

Hmmm - I feel like there's more to say, but that's all that comes to mind right now. If I missed anything, let me know.

Discuss!



52 comments:

Brian Leonard said...

Yeah, next week is a repeat of Ab Aeterno. Then the Final Four episodes in a row. (Five if you count the finale as two episodes.)

the Other Brian

Escarondito said...

I absolutely agree that the sun loses english storyline is the dumbest thing in the world if seeing jin brought back her speaking abilities. But here's the thing. Because of what Sun said at the beggining of her flash sideways side by side with locke, and her written conversation with locke while walking on their trek through the woods, leads me to believe that there is something way more important with that storyline. Not hugely mysterious like what is the importance of walt?(I STILL WANT TO KNOW) but did getting shot in sideways timeline trigger a reality bleed and that triggered her english. But I gotta look at the timeline of the episode again to test my theory.

Sam said...

awesome episode. no way they kill off sun or jin in that timeline - after keeping them apart for so long, and jin alread 'dead' when the oceanic 6 returned, and then the birth of their baby, and finally reuniting? too cruel.

Rebecca said...

I loved the surprise reunion of Sun & Jin! But I agree with you & am concerned for their well being. I was also very happy that baby was okay in the sideways flash.

It's interesting to see creepy stalker Des bringing our losties together. I want to know what Sun meant by "no....no....that's him!" when she saw Locke when they were both being wheeled into the hospital. Did she have a near death experience & see the island when she was shot? Did her & Jin see the island memories when they kissed?? I'm curious.

I thought some things were a little rushed as well but then I remembered there are only 5 hours left so that makes sense.

Sam said...

btw - great Sawyer lines tonight. especially regarding Lapidus

Laurie said...

This might be a dumb question but...how could smokelocke been with claire since they all left three years ago(as she stated in tonight's episode), if locke's body just got back to the island a couple days to weeks ago? was it christian's body with her this whole time?

Susan W said...

Previous week preview had a shot (pun intended) of Sayid shooting down Desmond's well with a reverberating blast and a white flash then fade. Fake for Smokelocke's sake? Really tried to kill him? Damned ABC screwing things up for us? It's gonna kill ME to wait two more weeks. Seven days is already almost beyond my limit this season . . . You're the best, Brian. I missed a coupla seasons and am now gradually slogging through all the old blogs (I started reading from #1 and need to thank you for saving all of it for us lost Losties!) and am finding so many, many things you had predicted years ago coming true. Very cool beans.

Jack Elder said...

Anyone remember Back to the Future 2 when Doc is drawing on a chalkboard how Biff (SmokeLocke) changed the present to the dark present ruled by Biff (flash sideways) by going to the past and delivering the sports almanac (time shifts and jughead incident)to his younger self? Because they were out of the timeline they were aware and capable of fixing it (Desmond) by also going back to prevent the delivery of the sports almanac (stop the jughead from occuring) and cause Oceanic 815 to crash on the island again, straightening out the timeline and fixing everything. SmokeLocke tries to stop them and 2 people make the sacrifice to stop SmokeLocke, and as a result are left back in time to become the 2 skeletons in the cave. Which 2? Logic tells me Hurley (new Jacob) and Jack (new AntiJacob), simply because of the comment Hurley said on the way to the lighthouse that it could be them. It's how I would write it!

Rebecca said...

!! What about the scene in otherton with Sun & Lapidus in a house with Christian Shepard (showing them the pic of losties in 1970's) and Locke was outside....how does that make sense? Can smokey split into two people then?

noemailformeadows said...

"The pilot that looks like he just stepped out of a burt reynolds movie"

epic. reminds me of some of the great nicknames for Hurley that used to crack me up: Avalanche - best ever

Jay said...

Rushed? Maybe, but THIS is a setup episode. No big reveal, just little ones like how Desmond unites Losties in Reality 2, but we already knew that was coming. The story this week was functional, moving people around like chess pieces.

pookie said...

Susan has a point... I just started reading the blog this season. I plan to get the complete set of Lost when it comes out. I'd like to rewatch and be able to read the blog as I go. Is there a way to download the whole thing?

timcourtois said...

Dude, the sideways story was awesome this week. So great to see everybody coming together!

Brian, you didn't mention that Claire & Jack were finally reunited this episode - in BOTH realities. That was awesome.

Despite a couple unbelievable things, I loved it. (unbelievable #1: Claire suddenly decides, "um, ok, I was going to kill you, but I guess I'll just join you instead". Unbelievable #2: Zoe's people leave Jin free just long enough for a tearful reunion, & then decide, "just kidding! We're going to shoot you all. Get on your knees!" Wha...!?!?)

Oh, and I never in a million years expected to see Ilana again, one week after she blew herself up. That was awesome.

Rob Patterson said...

everything this week moved fast. It felt like every flash sideways left one character on the island and picked up with them in reality #2. Reality #2 seems to be headed towards everyone being in the same room, but we still don't know why it matters. Great comments on creepy Desmond. Maybe Sawyer gets him next. I did find it interesting that they chose to keep the waters cloudy if Jacob is good or bad. In the conversation with Smokey, he said that it was Jacob who was preventing the survivors from leaving the island.
While it certainly seems that Jack is going to be the new Jacob now, we still don't know how he actually replaces him. Technically this episode was about the last recruit, and that would imply that Jack is on Smokey's team, but i don't think anyone is buying that.
Probably the only disappointment from this episode was with all the boating by Hydra island i expected Juliet to shoot someone. Especially after Jack mentioned her. I guess that is for next week. All in all, i loved it.

Mete said...

Hospital=Island. Everybody gathers there... Jack=Jacob. Both are healers.

Sheebs said...

My predictions:

1. Zoë does not shoot the 5 candidates, just turns on the alarm system and then when Fake Locke/ MIB arrives he goes after the candidates and non-candidates outside the alarm system where he can turn to Smokey again.

2. Next episode we will see Juliet shoot at someone in the outrigger. If what Brian said is true about all the other Fake Locke followers being dead, then there is only Jack and Locke in the other outrigger going to the Hydra Island, and Juliet shoots at them and nails Fake Locke with a bullet but he doesn’t die because he cannot die due to his 'composition'.
3. We will find out Sayid is not that bad of a guy after all. Even if he is ‘dead’ he still has a heart ---well kind of ------after what Desmond says to him about Nadia. :O)

Great Episode overall again. We all knew LOST would be moving fast at the end here and this episode did not disappoint us. ---Let's just hope they remember all the unanswered questions we have---

SIDE NOTE: -----GO FLYERS!!!!! NIT CHAMPS!!!!! As a Daytonian, I am with you Brian----- the Dayton Flyers are 'out-of-this-world!'

Sheebs said...

One unanswered, innocuous question for you all from a previous season----

When Ben and Locke are in the cabin and real Locke hears the voice of Jacob[MIB] say ”Help Me!" Locke thinks it's Ben who said that but it’s actually Jacob [MIB]. When you really look at this segment frame by frame, (which I did for 30 minutes!) in 1/16 of a frame it shows a scary old guy with narrow face and a gray beard sitting in the rocker who I thought was ‘Jacob’ at that time. Was that just really MIB inhabiting a mystery person's body or a mistake by the writers before they decided on how to characterize MIB?

Comments........

Rusty said...

As for MIB taking the form of Christian, what about the time he showed up on Widmore's boat and talked to Michael? I thought SmokeLocke said he couldn't travel over water? That makes no sense.

Vidya said...

I am guessing all the off island appearances of Christian Shepard are his real spirit/ghost just like Isabella.
On the other hand it is possible that MIB appeared as Michael and told Hurley not to blow up the plane?

Mark said...

Vidya, I don't think that was MIB appearing to Michael. Remember Ilana said that MIB was stuck being Locke now and couldn't switch forms anymore.

tsolfan said...

Any chance Claire and Sayid may still be 'redeemed'? And I have a hunch Juliet is Jack's estranged wife in Reality #2.

Hollywood said...

What about the Sun - MIB interaction? I don't think that little bit would have been included if it wasn't for a purpose, given the pace of this episode. Almost seems wasted if it wasn't important. So.....

Any way that this was a way for the writers to show us that MIB still hasn't "spoken" to Sun? Remember, every time someone tries to kill MIB, they must do it before he has spoken to them. Does this mean Sun is truly the only one who can kill MIB now?

Finis Price said...

Maybe Sun can talk because she is beyond SmokeLocke's powers on Hydra island. Remember she wrote he did this to her. Maybe he did it and now that she is away from him she can speak English.

Emily Rachel said...

I agree with the Sun-Jin English-speaking "miracle." Hmmph. But wait- did anyone else catch the moment when Jack was badly injured, going in and out of consciousness, and when his eyes were fluttering he was looking out, laying sideways on pavement with the flames? Then SmokeLocke awakens him? I'm thinking it's a similar instance to when Hurley and Libby kiss, or the way Sun is reacting upon seeing Locke as they're wheeled into the hospital...

T.D. said...

Brian, I think there were two epiphanies in the alternate reality. For one, when Locke was in the ambulance, he said he "WAS" going to marry his girlfriend. I think he had an epiphany, he saw his island life, where his gf died. Otherwise, he would have simply told the ambulance people just the name, and that he IS going to marry her. The use of the past tense "was" makes me think he had his epiphany.

Second, when Sun and Locke were next to one another at the hospital, she freaked out. I have a feeling her connection was made simply by seeing Locke. Just my thoughts. Great episode.

Hobbes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike H. said...

I totally thought that both Jin and Sun were going to get "sonic fenced" there at the end, but it didn't happen. The old sonic fence would have owned them both. I wonder what happened? If they were going to go, it would have been a good place for it (and together, no less, rather than alone).

Hobbes said...

I said before that I thought Sun's loss of English was akin to Locke losing his voice and having to do the whole sweat lodge routine. Was it then, the Island (or more likely Jacob or AJ) that caused the voice loss?

I noticed a line from Claire that said something about once you let him (FLocke)talk to you, then you are with him.
What if Sun's "giving FLocke the silent treatment" was to keep her from being corrupted by FLocke.
In which case it might not be as bad as the whole Nikki/Pablo stuff.
I didn't think it was so bad that the first thing she had to say was "I Love You" but I was puzzled that it wasn't in Korean. It seems more likely a mother-tongue issue but I believe that's why it makes the event significant (well just under two lovers being reunited after 3 years significant).

Happy Losting.

You know I am really torn between wanting Lost to end and wanting it to continue on for another season or two.

PS, I do hope Claire gets saved from the Darkside.

Whose Annikan? Nice one Sawyer.

Adam said...

when Jack was blown up lying in the sand with the ringing noise it reminded me of the first episode, with the chaos on the beach, and the plane exploding and people going nuts everywhere.

Dave Harty said...

For the first 5 seasons, I've known who to root for. The survivors were always the good guys agianst the bad guys - Others, Ben, Keamy, Widmore.

Now I don't know who to root for because the groups keep splitting up and there are survivors in two timelines that seem opposed to each other.

stephenf44 said...

If Sun's temporary aphasia becomes the worst storyline in Lost, then I'd call that an overall win. That means that we've been given a satisfying conclusion to the series which resolves all the other storylines and big mysteries, and we can look back to Seasons 1-5 and see how it all comes together. Not too much to ask, right Lost writers?

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. One thing that stood out to me was how contemptuous Flocke was of Locke for believing he was special or important to the island. According to Flocke, this wasn't faith; this was being a sucker. The comments are reminiscent of what Jack said to Locke back in Season 5 (when Locke was trying to convince Jack to return to the island.)

So far, from what we've seen in Season 6, Flocke is logical, rational, detailed oriented, and contemptuous of faith. He says the island isn't special and doesn't need protecting. He used time-travel in his loophole scheme to kill Jacob. He doesn't like secrets (Desmond), and he doesn't like to be told what he can't do (Spooky kid Jacob/MIB/whoever).

In a certain light, Flocke's got a lot in common with men of science. Or, if "men of science" is an awkward term, perhaps Flocke is more "modern" than Jacob.

cbwhellmouth said...

Did anyone else think 'oh fuck' as Jin and Sun ran towards each other on either side of the EM pylons, expecting them to be blown apart bleeding from the ears?

pianopaul04 said...

I have to disagree with the idea of Jack becoming the new Jacob. Claire made it clear that once he (SmokeLocke) talks to you, you're with him. After all, this episode was called "The Last Recruit." I can't possibly see who else this could be referring to. If it weren't for SmokeLocke, Jack would've been killed by Widmore's missiles. There might be something to the fact that Sun hasn't spoken to Locke. But I still see Hurley as the leading candidate to be the new Jacob.

Rebecca brings up a good point -- how was MIB masquerading as Christian Shepard and Locke at the same time with Sun & Lapidus in the Others village? I doubt this will be addressed again on the show, however.

Mom said...

Does there have to be "a new Jacob"? Maybe our Survivors come together and accomplish what Jacob has always wanted to happen - "save" his brother (MIB, Locke) and the end will be the end.

Becky said...

I agree with tsolfan, Maybe David's Mom is Juliet? That would blow our minds.

Also wanted comment about Hugo having the bag of Jacobs ashes that was Alana's.....Does he know what to do with them?

Brian - you also didn't talk much about the "Jacob" boy following Flocke that Desmond could also see in the previous episode......any more thoughts about him?

Steve said...

If Juliet is Jacks wife and the mother of his son... And she hooks up with Sawyer, that would potentially make Sawyer the stepfather to Jacks Son...
These connections are getting as creepy as Desmonds stalking.

If I were Claire in the sideways, could you imagine creepy guy taking you to a lawyer and that lawyer just happening to be looking for you as an heir to your fathers will, where you meet your half brother and nephew.. all within minutes of each other? My head might explode.

Unfortunately, I don't see anywhere for this show to go other than making the sideways the reality, and if that's the case, I'm tempted to say that Smoke Monster wins, which means that perhaps he's not so bad and Jacob may not be so good after all?

Is widmore more interested in power or stopping Smokey? Smokey has already made it clear that he doesn't care what happens to people once they get off the island.. so maybe my guess is wrong.

BTW.. I saw a screen shot of the Canidate that looks straight from the Brady Bunch Grand Canyon trip.

Gib said...

@everyone who says Locke was outside when Lapidus and Sun were talking to Christian.

In the episode "Namaste" Sun and Lapidus go to the processing centre and talk to Christian Shepphard.

Then 3 episodes after is when Ben and Locke go to the barracks to see Sun and Lapidus.

Its somewhere in between those two episodes where Smokey manifests himself as Locke.

Awesome episode. Loved the 13 second review Brian.

Theyab said...

I was discussing the Sun getting her English back situation with my friend and he made a good point. Its the love conquers all theory that breaks the Smokelocke spell. Like how Hurly, Charlie, Daniel, etc are all basically breaking out of the flash sideways, Sun got her english back when she reunited with Jin because SmokeLocke is the one that took it away. I think that makes sense, even though it was a little lame.

jack said...

Terry Quinns' performance was nothing short of great. Every scene he is in, with some being more noteworthy than others, is terrific. Very sorry to see Mike Emerson's talents, as of late, being wasted as Ben is being relegated to a background character though.

I believe the producers had something in mind regarding the storyline with Sun's speaking issue....i predict it will be revealed soon.

noemailformeadows said...

@Everyone that hopes "claire can be saved from the darkside"

She was never in a Sayid-state. She was crazy and pissed off thinking the others in the temple stole her baby. I think the whole purpose of the scene where her and kate got all mushy hugging was supposed to show the audience that she was perfectly fine she had just gone a little crazy living in the woods for 3 years with her voodoo child baby.

The reason she pulled a gun on everyone on the boat was because literally 30 seconds after she had a conversation with Jack - who she just talked to "as her brother" for the first time ever - about you and everyone else abandoned me for 3 years. Please dont do it again... All the people she knows go running off to leave the island without her - Again. I would follow them and point a gun at them too. 100%. She has never been "claimed" like Sayid IMO. Just crazy and alone.

I find it hard to believe nobody has tried to tell her that she got up in the middle of the night and left her baby sitting in the jungle and nobody really took it.

stephenf44 said...

@Gib:
Just to follow-up on your point, I think the sequence goes:

1) Sun hits Ben with a boat oar.
2) Christian meets Sun and Lapidus at the Dharma processing center.
3) Christian/Smokey crosses the water (by boat, I assume)
4) Smokey, now as Locke, sits by Ben as he recovers.
5) FLocke and Ben meet up with Sun and Lapidus.

The timing's a little tight on Smokey's part, but I'd agree that Smokey was Christian.

kevin said...

@pianopaul, flocke talked to hurley too, and conversed with jacob at the end of season 5. it seems pretty clear that jacob couldn't kill smokey, otherwise he would have, so it seems logical that jack is the candidate to replace jacob, but not the candidate to kill smokey.

and yeah, i totally thought sun and jin were going to get sonic fenced there.

remember, it only ends once. everything else is just progress.

dsack said...

Sun and MIB have talked. In the episode where she lost her English MIB said that he had found Jin and was keeping his promise to reunite them. She said that she didn't believe him and that he had killed the people at the temple.

Eric said...

What happened to the well? Why is it only 15 feet deep now instead of a huge, deep passageway to the donkey wheel? Or was this a different well?

Sérgio said...

I can´t believe that nobody mentioned this...
The final scene when smockelocke says to Jack something like "don't worry, your with me now"

Does that mean that Jack was "taken" ala Sayid?

Keep in mind that the missile's impact was just inches away from him, so what kind of damage as it done to Jack? (killed him so he could be "taken"?)

I'm pretty sure that's not the case, i'm just surprised that no one in the coments section wrote anything about this.

MoGlee said...

The time jumps were co-ordinated by SmokeLocke right? So I think his biggest annoyance right now is Jack. Jack is the only one who wants to stay - making him the candidate who SmokeLocke wants to eliminate the most. I think there is going to be a scene where SmokeLocke takes Jack to Hydra to "rescue" his friends but gets him shot by Juliet instead...

MoGlee said...

BTW, I also think Jack could be dead - Lost writers don't like to make things obvious, so things looking pretty bleak for Jack right now! (Sigh)

Rusty said...

@Eric

It was a different well.

Rob Patterson said...

hey Brian, so since we have a recap week, i was thinking, can you take another stab at looking at the Big picture? I think we are down to 5 hours of lost remaining (3 episodes and a 2 hour "end"). That means we are pretty much out of time to introduce new ideas, people, or items to the conclusion. We are pretty much at the point where it should just be a question of the characters putting the pieces together and accomplishing it.

It seems like there are only a few things that are left as being relevant...
How do the survivors beat the smokemonster?
-electromagnetism, replacing jacob, jacob's ashes, staying on the island?
What is the purpose of the flash sideways or their impoortance?
-represent smokey winning, the result of jughead, the way the survivors will beat smokey?
How is Widmore, his team, or his technology going to factor into the ending?
-containing smokey, just meant to contrast faith and science?
What is the island? (we still don't know this!!!)
-cork, purgatory, gateway between realities?

we don't have much time, so these things are going to have to come together pretty fast. It seems like we have too many story lines right now, so im predicting some massive deaths coming to simplify the action to a main story... what do you think?

cherry said...

Yes I really want to know what the big picture is...what concept/message did the writers have in mind when doing Lost.

Emily Rachel said...

@Rob Patterson - great way of laying everything out. I'm just bummed that this Tuesday is a repeat (although it is an amazing episode with Richard). I'm getting so restless.

B said...

This is not a comment on this latest episode, but rather on the spectrum of the 2nd reality. In the beginning of this season we heard Jacks son play Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu", and then we heard Faraday play it again in Desmonds episode. Is it only me or could this be an indication that the 2nd reality in fact is a fantasy?