Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The island still got you in the end

If you asked me to describe this episode to you in one word I would say "How dare you make me limit my praise for that hour to just one word."

Simply put, that episode was brilliant. It was a giant middle finger to people like me who thought that maybe this season wasn't living up to its almost impossible to live up to expectations. You could tell the producers knew they had a classic on their hands based on the promo for next week's show. They were basically saying "We don't even have to tell you anything about next Tuesday because we've left you so awesomely impressed that you'd tune in next week if all we did was show penguins having sex for 60 minutes."

And I swear to God if Michael Emerson does not win another Emmy this year, then they should announce the people who didn't vote for him and make them start digging their own graves. In fact, just change the name of the damn award to "The Emersons." He is acting circles around everybody on the face of the planet right now. If you're not appreciating his work right now, then you're a moran.

This was such an awesomely awesome episode at being awesome that even the trademark lame CGI moment at the end of the episode was sort of charming. THAT is when you know you have a great episode.

I will not stop praising this episode throughout this blog entry, and I am as regretful for being cynical about this season as Ben was for killing Jacob. And if I ever start to sound like I'm turning sour on this show again, just flood the comments with "Hey, remember 'Dr. Linus?'"

But now some thoughts...and some theories.

We don't get to complain about the LAX timeline anymore. For once I felt like we actually got to see one of the LAX storylines play out the way they're intended to. You had great moments between Ben, Alex, and Roger Linus all boiling down to the ultimate decision that Ben had in the original storyline: Do you sacrifice Alex for your own ambitions? This time, despite showing all the trademark ruthlessness leading up to his decision, Ben showed compassion towards his fellow man. And isn't it amazing how Ben's moment of humanity coincides with his about-face on the island?

You see, the idea of redemption has been a major theme of Lost from the beginning. Well, what if redemption comes through the LAX timeline and then is translated onto the island? I'm going to back away from my theory that Jacob is evil. What if Jacob led these people to the island so that they could have redemption?

Here's my crackpot theory: The island represents penance. The islanders' time on the island is punishment for things they've done. When they've achieved redemption for their shortcomings, they're released from the island where they will assume their LAX identities. This is similar to many of the early (and admittedly debunked) theories about the island serving as purgatory. But instead of purgatory the island exists as a real life spiritual punishment while their souls redeem themselves. But someone's going to have to stay to serve as the new Jacob, the new head man on the island.

And it's Jack, who for the first time in the history of this show was right about something. In fact, I think it's the first time that anyone on this show has really understood what their own destiny is with that clarity. That long moment of reflection while staring out into the ocean did Jack A LOT of good.

My last thought is that this seemed like there was a lot of closure on Ben's story tonight, which is certainly bittersweet. But with just 9 episodes left before the finale it almost certainly is his final centric-episode. And what a way to go out.

Bravo, Lost.

- The Arrow


  1. I'm still watching it but one thing that I'm glad to know from this episode is that my idea a long time ago which was "they need to just all kill themselves" couldn't have happened. Nice bit of closure there, it fills a gap of "why is this happening at all"

  2. I really appreciated the opportunity for Ben to "redo" the whole Alex situation, of sorts. I have always had disdain for him, as well as Locke. When I hate a character, I generally stick with it, but the beauty of Lost is that they switch things up so much you hate a new character every episode. I wanted to punch Kate every time she whined, "Stay away from my son!" etc., in season 5, and of course all the love drama, so now I've almost given up on her. But I'm sure the writers don't want her to end up hated and resented by the viewers.

  3. Oh and I am SO excited to see Juliet in the flash sideways. She is going to be the only one to recognize another Island survivor or have any memory, I just know it. It's gonna be BIG and important.

  4. I totally agree with you. Tonight's episode was excellent. i think that the season finally has the upward trajectory that we feared it might not find, and that things are really in place for some amazing story telling in the next few weeks.

    So, whats Widmore's plan then? Is he going to sink the island somehow? I think so.

  5. Going off what Titania said, I felt so uncomfortable liking Ben in this episode because I've spent so long absolutely hating him. But he did such an abrupt 180 in this episode! When he picked up the name plate in the principal's office I thought for sure he was going to throw it into a bin and replace it with his own, but he turned out to actually do it right this time! And his line to Ilana about Locke being the only one who would have him was so heart wrenching. I'm very excited to see how his character ends up!

    Also, I'm VERY glad Richard didn't die. I would have been inconsolable (much like I was with Charlie)

  6. I wasn't quite so head over heels in love with this episode as you though I really liked it. But I'm pretty sure that Jacob is bad. The bargains and 'redemption' though maybe somewhat legititmate do not indicate that Jacob is good. He may think he's helping but those life/death bargains are wrong and there is no way around that.

  7. I am totally obsessed with this show and just thought of something AWESOME!!!

    If who Jacob touched can't kill themselves and/or die until there purpose is served... well that got me thinking about season 4:

    When Micheal was a spy on the freighter, it showed his flashback where he tried to crash his own car, and put a bullet in his head, Tom friendly said you can't die 'till the island is done with him.....