Hydra, I am with you. After this episode, I am on Team Jacob. Obviously within the world of living on the island, to be on Team Jacob you have to face reality and work harder than if you went with Smoke Monster. And you have to accept things like never seeing your dead wife again. Going with Smokey is (sorry to go biblical on everyone) the equivalent of going with the snake in the Garden of Eden, tasting that apple and giving in to your desires (i.e. tasting the fruit [Eve], seeing your wife again [Richard], getting off the island [Saywer], getting your baby back [Claire], etc.)
I liked your analogy, Hydra, about Jacob being the bottle. Because yes, if the island is the cork, it's keeping the wine (Smokey) in, but without the bottle (i.e. Jacob or the next candidate) the cork would not be able to keep that wine in on its own. It would spill out and get everywhere.
I am firmly against the idea that the island is purgatory. I feel they've been trying to set it up as a sort of judgement area. Jacob is trying to find an innate good in people by letting them sort of play out their actions on their own, whereas Smokey is trying to prove to him that all people suck and will inevitably probably blow themselves up because they are incapable of making non-selfish decisions without being told what is right or wrong.
So if by Smokey leaving the island they all go to Hell… well, I'm just not sure what that would mean for the people on the island. I feel like Smokey leaving would bring Hell to the real world, as right now he's contained on the island.
I was a little bothered as well that without warning, we went from a whole season of flash sideways we went straight to a flash back. Not to say this episode's flashes weren't, in my mind, second only to Ben's story. Obviously they were amazing and interesting and at one point in the show, my roommate said to the group, "Are we watching Lost?" In a good way, because it was so different and exciting.
I can only imagine how much we all would have flipped our lids if this were the season opener. But if it were THEN followed by a bunch of stagnant LAX timeline episodes, we would have been that much more disappointed.
In the notes I took this week, it was literally just four quotes from the episode:
"You don't have time to do anything." - the priest at the prison said this to Richard, which I thought was awesome, since we all knew that he was soon, somehow going to be transported to the island where he would then never die, having nothing but time, for the rest of eternity.
"If it's any consolation, it's not exactly Locke." - I think this one just made me laugh.
"It's good to see you out of those chains." - LOST, please quit spoon-feeding to us what you want us to take from these episodes. We're not dumb. We were going to see this episode, see that Richard was chained up on the boat he came over on, remember this line from an earlier episode, and put it together ourselves. Stop doing the work for us! Gah! This has been a trend all season that's been driving me crazy.
"He took my body - my humanity!" - Last week I wondered if Smokey mentioning his mother meant that he was human at one point - this week he actually refers to having his humanity taken from him. We know that Jacob is human as he probably is one of a long line of candidates just like the 815 survivors, but it's never been confirmed if Smokey's position works the same way or if it's just him, forever.
That's all I've got this week. Recently someone asked me who I thought was going to live or die this season and it caught me really off guard - I mean, okay. Obviously people are going to die, but I really hadn't considered major character deaths yet. So I figured I'd open it up to the rest of you - who do you think will die before the end of the show?
See you next week,