Call off the dogs and put away your torches and pitchforks. It’s time to defend my “Instant Reactions”.
"The Package" wasn't a "bad episode". I never said it was. I said it was “annoying” - and a big reason why it was annoying was due to something totally outside the control of the creators of Lost. Do I blame them for the annoying V countdown at the bottom of the screen? No. Did it bother me while I was watching the episode? Yes.
The second thing I found annoying was Sun's sudden inability to speak English after hitting her head. I really, really, really hope that the writers are about to prove me wrong on this one by having this plot point come back and have some deeper importance to the overall storyline of Lost. But even after reading everyone's potential explanations for it, I'm still not sold on it. We'll get there in a moment.
Lastly, I was annoyed that this felt like another "setup" episode - you know, where nothing really happens but the characters talk about doing things instead? It's not like Lost hasn't had its fair share of these episodes over the years, and I don't need huge mythological reveals or action scenes every week - but it seems like the actual on-Island action is moving really slow considering there are so few episodes left. Think about it - what has actually happened since the raid on the
That's my annoyance.
I'm sure that after this week's episode (a Desmond-centric outing, so you pretty much know it's going to be one of the best episodes of the season), I'll all forget about these minor annoyances. Once Lost completes its final season, all these middle episodes will blend together and I'll look at the overall season storyline and be totally happy with it. But for now, for this week, this episode didn't do a lot for me.
When I reviewed the episode to see what needed to be discussed in my analysis, I came up with a few points - but nothing major, so this should be a pretty quick analysis. I'll get you out of here in plenty of time to enjoy the Easter holiday, bask in the glory of the University of Dayton NIT Championship, and come back rejuvenated and refreshed for the final stretch of Lost episodes. Many others have said it, and I tend to agree - this is probably the last "slow" Lost episode we'll ever see. I think from this point on, it's full speed ahead.
Flash Sideways. When you think about it, this week's Flash Sideways action didn't really advance the plot too far - only by a few minutes at the very end. We already knew that Jin would end up in the freezer of Keamy's Restaurant, so the primary focus of the Flash Sideways action showing how he got there was pretty anti-climatic. It turns out that Sun and Jin's Flash Sideways starts out much happier than in Reality #1, and if it weren't for the "surprise" ending, I would have easily put them in the "Happy Ending" category. Think about it - Sun and Jin, while not married, were totally happy and in love with each other. Sure, Jin still told her to cover herself up (on the plane), but he wasn't the controlling, demanding jerk that he was pre-Oceanic 815 in Reality #1. Even better, there's the chance that Sun was pregnant with Jin's baby in the Flash Sideways, meaning he didn't have the same impotence that was cured by the
Then Sun got shot in the stomach.
The good news, as many have noted, is that this gives Sun and Jin a reason to go to the hospital - the same hospital where they might run into Jack, Sayid, Claire, or even Juliet (if we're really lucky – there is a baby involved, after all). If you want to get really crazy, you could even come up with excuses for Locke, Kate, Ben, and Sawyer to end up there too. Finally, all our characters back together in the Flash Sideways!
Wait a minute, why is this such a big deal again?
It seems like everyone is hoping – and even expecting – that all our Flash Sideways Survivors are going to come together at some point before the season ends… but why? While this might prove that even without Oceanic 815 crashing on the Island, all these characters would eventually slightly interact with each other – but there’s no way that they are going to form the same bonds in the Flash Sideways that they have with their On-Island counterparts. Plus, from a storyline perspective, to have the “end point” of the Flash Sideways be the convergence of all the characters seems pretty dull. I suppose Locke could be healed by Jack, Juliet could deliver Sun’s baby, then hit things off with Sawyer, Claire could give birth to Aaron, etc – but I’m still hoping for something bigger from these Flash Sideways
The "Happy Ending Theory" is popular because it works, and deep down most people want to see these characters happy - but it's far from the most satisfying. The “Deal with the Devil Theory” is interesting because it could give a slightly sinister twist to the seeming happy endings we’re seeing – but it’s still missing something. What’s left?
Bleeding Realities. Did “The Package” actually reveal that there is some connection between Reality #1 and Reality #2 that will make us all care about and examine the Flash Sideways much closer? The popular Internet theory of the week is that Sun's inability to speak English on the
With Desmond it was much more of an "all or nothing" thing - both in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant" - he was either there, or he wasn't. He retained memories from both realities, but was only “awake” in one at a time. For Sun, we’ve seen no evidence of this – and it’s a little weird that the one thing that would bleed through the realities would be the inability to speak English, even though she is still able to understand and write English. One would also think that this "bleeding" would be a two way street between the realities… so shouldn’t the Sun in Reality #2 have suddenly been able to speak English, even though she didn’t understand it?
For now, I think the argument is a little weak.
In my mind, the most logical explanation for this plot point is that it forced Sun to have to slow down and trust someone else (Jack), rather than her running off on her own after Jin. She's now onboard in following Jack's mission (which is really Alpert’s plan – to destroy Ajira 316 to keep SmokeLocke from leaving the
But that’s the best I’ve got. I really hope that I get to revisit this topic next week, and we all realize how silly it was to complain about what ended up being a legitimate plot development prematurely – but for now, it’s pretty bad. The good news is that as of right now, the whole Nikki and Paulo storyline looks downright reasonable and worthwhile in perspective.
But enough about Sun – what happened to the other Kwon this episode was far more interesting.
Jin. It turns out that Team Widmore didn’t kidnap Jin to simply keep SmokeLocke from gathering all the Candidates – but because they wanted to pump him for information on the
I think the key is to understand Widmore’s motivations… which are a bit puzzling. Three years ago, his goal was to extract Ben and kill everyone else – which one could theorize was a vendetta against Ben and attempt to claim the Island all for himself. That obviously failed. Since then, he’s seen Locke and the Oceanic Six come back from the Island – but aside from that, there’s been no way he could have gathered any new information about what was happening on the Island, has there?
…and yet, he seems to know exactly what’s happening with SmokeLocke. He told Jin that if SmokeLocke gets off the
Perhaps Widmore’s intention with Keamy and the Freighter wasn’t some personal grudge against Ben, or attempt to monetize the power of the
One of the other things we learned this week was that Smokey is limited to the main
For one, this seems to prove that Widmore killed all the remaining Ajira 316 Survivors, since SmokeLocke probably wouldn’t have had time to do so stuck in his much slower human form.
For two, if his powers are tied to the electromagnetic properties of the
If you want to take it a step further, maybe blowing up these electromagnetic properties is precisely what is going to lead to the
The bad news about this theory is that it would eliminate my long-standing theory about Widmore wanting to exploit the Island for monetary gain… and would make him a “good guy”… albeit a “good guy” who has killed a bunch of people, and been a total jerk to Desmond for years, which pretty much makes someone “bad” in my book, right?
Speaking of which…
Desmond. Desmond David Hume, how we’ve missed you for the better part of the past two seasons. Speaking of the “big picture” theory about Widmore and his motivations, one has to wonder if he knew exactly what he was doing with Desmond all along. Was he a dick to him to drive him to enter his sailing competition, knowing that it would put him on the
Given his “connection” with the unique magnetic properties of the
Wrap Up. A few quick hits to wrap things up this week:
- Since Widmore has this master plan to defeat SmokeLocke / prevent him from undoing existence, he was probably lying to his face when he said “obviously you’re not John Locke. Everything else I know is a combination of myth, ghost stories, and jungle noises in the night.” He knows exactly what SmokeLocke is… although it would be interesting if Smokey actually kept such distance from the Others that they never really interacted with him, making him more of a “bogey man” that the Others would use to make young Others eat vegetables and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Note SmokeLocke’s promise to Claire from this week: “I’m three people shy of getting off this
Island”. It’s not as though he actually needs to bring them to Hydra and have them board Ajira 316 – he just needs them dead before he can get onboard and leave the Island. Kate’s name is already crossed off, but he obviously needs her to help him kill Sawyer / Jack / Hurley / the Kwons… then she’s fair game for Claire to get Crazy on her ass.
I think that’s all I’ve got for this episode. Truth be told, I wasn’t super motivated to write this one, so I apologize in advance if it was extra crappy. Consider it my “setup” Blog post, just like “The Package” was a setup episode.
Until Monday night!