May 22, 2008

There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)

Last week, viewers saw the first hour of the Season 4 finale with "There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)." Lost takes a break this week before the last two-hours of the season are revealed next week. So, with no Lost to keep you occupied tonight, here are my thoughts on the first part of the finale.

The Oceanic 6 Come Home
The off island flashforward focused on what happened immediately after the Oceanic 6 get off the island. We see them flying to Hawaii for their first press conference and to meet up with their families. Jack once again is the leader of the group as he answers for the rest about doing the press conference and tells the others that they all know the story and if there's a question they don't want to answer just keep your mouths shut. Jack says that the press will think they're in shock, to which Sun replies, we are in shock.

So what happened to them just before leaving the island? We have seen the build-up to their departure and the future results, but haven't seen all the details yet.

When we leave the group on the island, the Oceanic 6 are scattered all over the place. Sayid and Kate are captured by the Others, Jack is with Sawyer and they've met up with Frank at the chopper. Hurley is with Ben and Locke at The Orchid. Sun has Aaron on the freighter. So how does this group of 6 people get together and get off the island? I think this is the main question that the producers want us to ponder leading into the last two hours.

Stubborn Jack
On the island, Jack, despite just having his appendix out, decides that he and Kate must go out and find the chopper. They soon come across Miles, Sawyer and Aaron. Questions arise about Claire and it is revealed to Sawyer that Claire didn't go back to the beach. Sawyer updates them on what Keamy and his group did to them at New Otherton. Jack still believes he has to go find the chopper, since it's their only way off the island. He sends the rest back to the beach and Sawyer decides to go with him because Jack doesn't get to die alone.

Its funny that Jack and Sawyer have to team up again and it really shows how far Sawyer's character has come. In season 1, he would have happily let Jack go off in the jungle by himself, but now he feels obligated to help out. From him saving Claire, protecting Aaron and now going on Jack's mission, the past few weeks have really shown what kind of hero Sawyer is.

The Press Conference
Just after arriving in Hawaii, The Oceanic 6 are greeted by their families, everyone except Kate/Aaron and Sayid (who later meets up with Nadia) and they are ushered off to the press conference. The Oceanic representative gives the press the believed location of Flight 815 and gives the location of Membata as the island that the group survived on. On day 103 a typhoon washed up a fishing boat with supplies and a raft. One day 108 the group used the raft to get to Sumba. A photo is shown of them arriving at Sumba.

As we know, there's a major cover-up going on here, but who set it all up? Oceanic? Ben? Widmore? Someone else? To even include photo proof of them arriving at Sumba, shows how much this was planned out. The other question is why would Jack and company agree to this cover-up? What's their motive to going along with the story and not telling anyone else about the island or their friends and family members that were left behind? We're sure to get some interesting info on this very soon.

The press ask a few questions to the group. They ask Jack about how he survived the crash. Fun is poked at Hurley for his weight and having not lost much during his time on the island. He throws out a Dude and everyone laughs. Hurley reiterates that he doesn't want his lottery money. Kate is asked about giving birth on the island and her criminal history is brought up. Sun is asked if her husband was one of the other two people who survived the crash but died on the island, and Sun says that he didn't survive the crash. The question is thrown out about possible other survivors, to which Sayid says that no absolutely not.

You could tell that the questions were tough for the group to answer, but they had their stories straight. From the looks of everyone, it seems that Kate and Sun are having the hardest time when they first get off the island. So perhaps Jin really did die and Kate is also mourning the loss of Sawyer. Kate could also be more traumatized by the fact that she will now have to raise Aaron.

Daniel to the Rescue
Once Daniel finds out that Keamy and his group are headed for The Orchid, he starts to get worried. He knows about the secondary protocol and tells Charlotte that they have to get off the island. Sayid shows up in the speedboat and plans to start bringing people to the freighter. Once he learns that Jack and Kate went after the chopper, he knows he needs to do something. Daniel steps up and volunteers to taxi people to the freighter. Just then, Kate/Aaron and Miles show up back on the beach. Kate hands Aaron off to Sun and heads off with Sayid to help him track Jack and Sawyer.

The first group to leave includes Aaron, Sun and Jin, who is beaming because he is fulfilling his promise to get his wife and their baby off the island. The scene was great as we see yet some more of our Flight 815 survivors get off the island. Little do they know, they are heading right into the mouth of more danger.

Who's the Boss Now?
Sun shows up at her dad's company with some great news for him, she now owns a controlling interest in the company. Oceanic had given the six a large settlement and she used hers to buy a majority share in the company. Sun's dad hated Jin, and she partially blames him for his death. It is because of him that they were on Flight 815 in the first place. She said that two people are responsible for his death but doesn't give the details of the other person. So who is it? Widmore? Keamy? Ben? Michael? Daniel? Someone else? Who does Sun blame?

Further, does this cloud or clear up the discussion on whether Jin is dead or not? Is Sun still playing along with the ruse that he or was she just led to believe he's dead? From her demeanor on the flight to Hawaii at the beginning of the episode and this conversation with her dad, I'm starting to lean toward the Jin's dead camp.

The Numbers Return
After the show had gotten away from focusing on the numbers for the past couple of seasons, the producers give a nod to the fans and have the numbers show up on Hurley's odometer. Is this the start of Hurley losing it again? He is driving the car in the future ("The Beginning of the End") so his saying that he doesn't want the car didn't last to long. I wonder if his dad had to drive it around a bit to get off the numbers before he'd get back behind the wheel or if the odometer is stuck and Hurley has to stare at the numbers every time he gets in the car.

His parents had threw him a surprise party and just before Hurley stepped outside for the surprise reveal, we heard whispers. The whispers alluded to the ones heard on the island, but it was just his family waiting to surprise him outside. His parents picked an island theme for the party, which Sayid comments is an interesting choice of them. It was pretty funny that that's the theme they picked.

Jack, you have (or is it had?) a sister
Jack finally gets back to the states to give his dad a proper funeral. Despite seeing him walking around on the island (in a suit and white tennis shoes), Jack and his family and friends mourn the loss of Christian. Following the funeral, Jack finally hears the news about Claire. Claire's mom introduces herself to Jack and let's him know the reason why his dad was in Australia in the first place.

She then let's Jack in on another bit of information. Christian's daughter was also on Flight 815...her name was Claire. Jack is hit emotionally by this information, but he holds it together. Claire's mom must just think that he's hit emotionally by meeting a family member of someone who was on his flight. Claire's mom then passes Kate, who is holding Aaron. She comments to Kate that Aaron is a beautiful.

So we finally get an answer! Will Jack find out Claire is his sister? The answer is YES, but unfortunately, he didn't find out while he was still on the island with Claire. This also adds insight to Jack's future and why he has a hard time seeing Aaron.

One Small Problem with the Freighter
Daniel drops off the first group at the freighter and goes back to the island to pick up more people. Sun and Jin see Michael on the boat and they are surprised to see him, to say the least. Michael gives the story about how him and Walt got off the island. He said they followed Ben's barring and found an island with people. They sold the boat and got back to the states.

Michael has fixed the engines and it looks like the freighter will be able to head to the island...until they discover that there's some RF interference, and they can't read the navigation system to maneuver through the reef (This reminded me of one of the challenges in the Find815 game, where you had to navigate the boat through a reef).

Since the communication room is a wreck, they aren't sure what could be jamming the system. The small problem is soon discovered. The freighter is rigged with a ton of explosives. I guess we know what that device on Keamy's arm turned out to be. It has to be some sort of detonator for the freighter. Speculation is that it is tied to Keamy's heartbeat. If his heart stops (i.e. if he is killed), the freighter blows. This is not good news for the futures of Desmond, Jin, Michael or any of the other people who Daniel brings to the freighter.

We know Sun and Aaron turn out fine, but how does she get back with the rest of the Oceanic 6? Are she and Aaron brought back to the island before something bad happens on the freighter? Will all the freighter people be brought to the island when Daniel learns of the explosives? Desmond said that he'll never go back, so what does that mean for him? Since the island is on a different time line than the freighter, will pieces of "blown up" boat start washing ashore on the island even before Keamy is killed?

The Others are Back
Kate and Sayid are tracking Jack and Sawyer, but someone else finds them first. Ageless Richard and the rest of the surviving Others find them with guns drawn. Looks like two of our Oceanic 6 are now in the same position they were at the end of Season 2, as The Others' prisoners. So has this group been shacked up at the Temple this whole time?

The Orchid
My favorite part of the episode was Hurley, Ben and Locke's journey to The Orchid. Locke was told to move the island and to do so requires going to yet another Dharma station. Apparently, moving the island isn't a very easy task, as Ben tells Hurley.

Before getting to the station, Ben leads them to a box containing 15-year old crackers (which Hurley eats), a mirror and binoculars, among other things. Ben uses the mirror to communicate with one of his people to insure that its safe to travel to The Orchid. Who was he communicating with? Locke asks, and Ben's reply is who do you think? Locke then asks what did you tell them and Ben says none of your business. So Ben is back in charge or has he just always been?

Once they arrive at the station, they discover that Keamy's group is already there. Ben lets it be known that he wasn't entirely truthful about not knowing why Widmore wanted to find the island. With the little history that we've seen of Widmore and Ben's relationship, it's no surprise that Ben knows a lot more than he's letting on.

In order to allow Locke access to the station, Ben decides to turn himself in. He tells Locke just before turning himself in that he always has a plan. Ben gives Locke his baton weapon before leaving, so we know he meets up with Locke again as he has the weapon in the future. He walks right up to Keamy and says that he is Benjamin Linus and that's where we are left to ponder how this season will wrap up.

I can't wait for the finish of "There's No Place Like Home." We have an idea of where we're going, but we're not quite sure how we're getting there.

The Oceanic 6 are off the island, but how'd they get together and get chosen to depart? Who organized the departure? What's going to happen at The Orchid? How exactly does one go about moving an island? If Locke goes into The Orchid, what does Hurley do? What's to come of the freighter full of explosives? Is Claire really dead? How does Jack get off the island, but Sawyer does not? Why are the Others back and armed? Who has Ben been communicating with? Is Jin alive? Will Desmond meet up with Penny? Now that Ben is captured, what will Keamy do with him? Questions, questions, questions.

Next on Lost:
There's No Place Like Home (Part 2)

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