May 31, 2008

"There's No Place Like Home" (Parts 2 & 3)

I loved “There’s No Place Like Home” (Parts 2-3). The Lost producers/writers have consistently delivered killer season finales each year and season 4 was no different. We’re nearing the end of the series, so lots of information was revealed and scenes that fans have been waiting 4 years to see where delivered. Here are my thoughts on what went down.

The Coffin

I’ll start things off with the most anticipated and talked about reveal Lost has seen. Ever since last year’s “Through the Looking Glass,” all Lost fans want to know is who is in the coffin. Speculation ranged from Ben to Michael to Locke to Walt to Christian Sheppard. At last, after teasing the reveal for a bit, we are shown that the deceased Jeremy Bentham is none other than John Locke.

With Ben and Jack’s conversation, the reveal wasn’t that big of a surprise, but to finally actually see the person in the coffin, it was a major payoff. For a minute though, I started thinking it might be Christian Sheppard. Loads of questions come out of this scene. Did Locke really commit suicide? How are they going to get back to the island (Ben said he has a few ideas)? How did Locke get off the island, did he have to move it again? What terrible things started happening once the Oceanic 6 left? What does this mean for the other survivors frieghties left behind (Sawyer, Rose, Bernard, Claire?, Juliette, Miles, Charlotte)?

We have to go back!

This year’s finale picks up right where last year’s one leaves off with Kate and Jack at the airport. Kate drives away from Jack, but screech, she comes back. She revealed that the now deceased Jeremy Bentham (aka John Locke) had been making the rounds. He came to see Jack and Kate only a few days ago trying to convince them to go back to the island. Later in the episode, we find out that Hurley and Sayid know of Bentham as well.

Locke was paying visits to all those off the island to try to convince them to go back. As Ben said in the funeral parlor scene, they all have to go back. This will be a tough sell for Kate the most. She most definitely doesn’t want to go back and especially not with Aaron. On a side note, it was great seeing crazy, strung out bearded Jack again.

The Future’s Not So Bright

Sticking with the Oceanic 6 flashforward scenes, we are introduced to 27-year-old Walt when he comes to see Hurley at the mental institute. Walt questions why none of the other survivors came to see him and also wants to know why they are lying. I’m not sure what Walt wants them to say. I wonder how many people he told about the Others, Room 23 and the special things he did on the island. I image its not too many.

We next see Sayid the assassin in action as he kills some random, or not, guy outside the mental institution. He comes to bring Hurley to a safe place. He lets Hurley know about Bentham’s suicide and stops him before he can say John Locke’s real name. Hurley asks if they’re going to the island, and Sayid tells him no. What safe place is he bringing Hurley to? Does Hurley know that Sayid works for Ben now? Hurley had one of the lines of the night as they leave the room. He was playing chess (seemingly by himself) and moves the queen, then says “Checkmate, Mr. Eko.” I know the actor who played Eko left the show bitterly, but it would be awesome to see him make a cameo appearance. I guess Charlie isn’t the only dead 815 passenger to pay Hugo a visit.

The next flash shows Sun paying a visit to Mr. Widmore in London. She questions him about the island and says they have common interests. We learn that Widmore knows Sun’s dad and knows him well. Does this confirm a connection between the two and the island? Sun has changed the most of all the Oceanic 6. Her character has done a complete 180 off the island. Is she meeting up with Widmore to help him or is she trying to set him up? We know that she blames two people for Jin’s “death” with one being her dad. Based on what we’ve seen so far, the other person could be Ben, Keamy, Widmore, Jack, or in true Lost fashion, someone else.

Kate’s flashforward scene is the most cryptic. In a dream, she is awakened by a strange telephone call (deciphered as “the island needs you, you have to go back before it’s too late”). She hears something and goes to check on Aaron, only to find Claire sitting at his bedside. Claire tells her not to bring Aaron back to the island. Kate then wakes up and checks on Aaron again and everything’s fine. So Jack sees his dad, Hurley sees Charlie and Mr. Eko and now Kate sees Claire off the island. Most of the visions are telling them to go back, but Claire tells Kate not to bring Aaron back. Is this why she’s so adamant about not going back?

Onto the island happenings:

Keamy’s Demise

I’ve seen a couple of references online comparing Keamy to Mikhail. Like “Patchy” Keamy proved hard to kill. He had an awesome fight with Sayid and then took a bullet in the back from Richard, who came back to his former leader Ben’s aid. But just like Mikhail, just when you forget about him, Keamy walks right back into the picture.

Lots of fans’ speculation was confirmed when Keamy revealed that if his heart stops, the freighter blows. Ben could care less about that and proceeded to stab Keamy in the neck. Locke was concerned and kept him alive as long as possible, but Ben’s response was classic, “So.”

I’ve seen people question why Locke didn’t hurry and put the monitor on himself, but I guess the second that he removed it from Keamy, the freighter would blow.

This is what we’ve waited four years for

Once Keamy and his men are taken out, Ben keeps Richard’s promise and allows Kate and Sayid to go to the chopper to leave the island, “That’s it?” Kate asked. “That’s it,” Ben said. Sure, that’s it. No strings attached. Right. Hurley, Sawyer and Jack meet up with them and Frank at the chopper then it’s off the island for them. Seeing them fly off the island (even though we’ve seen Sayid, Sun and Jin leave) was the culmination of four years of Lost. Our main characters, Jack, Kate Hurley and Sawyer had gotten off the island. But their joy was shot lived when they started losing fuel. Leading to…

Sawyer, the hero

Sawyer didn’t really want to leave the island, but he loves Kate and was leaving with her. When it came down to the chopper needing to lose some weight, Sawyer made his choice (as Jack said in “Something Nice Back Home”). He whispered something to Kate (her future errand), gave her a good bye kiss and took a leap out the chopper.

Sawyer continued his new heroic change and sacrificed for the others. He ends up on the beach with Juliette, who has been drinking Dharma issued Rum. There’s a potential future romance for these two. We’ve seen them together before in “Through the Looking Glass” when they trek back to the beach to take out the Others. Here the mood is subdued as they look out at the freighter, their once passage off the island.

The Freighter

And what exactly was happening on the freighter? Michael, Jin and Desmond were trying their best to figure out a way to take out Keamy’s bomb, but they could think of nothing. Michael came up with an idea to by them a bit of time by freezing the bomb’s battery, but in typical Lost fashion, they nitrogen take would soon run out. Once Keamy’s heart stopped beating, the green light on the bomb went from green to red, meaning that as soon as the battery warmed up, the freighter was a goner.

Desmond went up to the main deck to prepare everyone to leave. He started getting life vests together, but then spotted the helicopter. The chopper was out of fuel and had to land, despite Desmond’s warnings about the bomb. A quick Nascar like fuel up and the chopper had to take off again. Desmond hopped aboard and Kate went to get Jin, but there was no time. Jack made the decision not to leave without her, and made her get on the chopper along with Hurley, Sayid, Sun and Aaron (the rest of the Oceanic 6).

Meanwhile, Michael is running out of nitrogen. Just then we hear whispers and Christian Sheppard appears and tells Michael that he can go now. The island is finished with Michael and is letting him die. It’s weird that Christian Sheppard delivered this news to Michael. I know it was likely the island’s manifestation, but why not Libby, a character that Michael had a history with?

Just as the helicopter was taking off, Jin appeared on the deck, but it was too late to go back. Sun was excellent in this scene. The panic and fear she displayed made you really feel for her as she knew she’d never see Jin again…then KABOOM!

We are left to wonder, as Sun does, if Jin got off the boat. Did he dive in the water, knowing that the freighter was about to blow? I guess this is another mystery that will linger until next season. As for Michael, I’m surprised they killed him off already. With all the hype in bringing him back, they didn’t do much with him this year. It sort of feels like a let down.

The Orchid

After months of build-up, we finally enter the Orchid station, where experiments were done on traveling through space and time. Ben gives Locke the orientation video to keep him occupied while he tends to some work (like placing many metal objects in the vault, which the video says to never do). Locke watches the video, but suddenly it starts to rewind back to the beginning. Locke can’t stop the player. This was pretty weird, but they didn’t dwell on it.

Ben dons the Dharma Parka that we saw him wearing in “The Shape of Things to Come,” and tells Locke that whoever moves the island has to leave it forever. Ben feels that Locke is the new chosen one, so he feels like Jacob wants him to move the island. Locke is designated as the new leader of the Others. Ben apologized for all the stuff he’s put Locke through and they part ways.

Locke finds the Others waiting for him outside. This is what Locke has been preparing for, he’s finally where he thinks the island wants him to be. Richard tells Locke, welcome home. From what we know about Locke’s future, I wonder what went wrong once the island was moved. With only a few of the 815 survivors left on the island, it seems like the Others will have free run of the place. Now that Locke is the leader of the Others, will be get control over Smokey? Is this where the problems come? Does Smokey rebel now that Ben’s gone?

I also wonder where’s Harper, Goodwin’s wife? We saw her in “The Other Woman,” when she appeared to Juliette in the jungle and said Ben’s right where he wants to be. Where was she went Richard and the Others took Locke as their leader. Also, where’s Cindy (flight attendant) and the kids from 815. Are they all still back at the Temple? If so, how many others are left?

The Frozen Donkey Wheel

Ben blew a hole in the vault with all the metal he had placed in it. This opened the way to go deeper into the island’s core. After falling on the ladder and injuring his right arm (remember “The Shape of Things to Come”), he ends up in an ancient room with hieroglyphics on the walls and a huge frozen wheel in the center…the frozen donkey wheel we were told about. I love that they actually gave away part of the finale, but no one knew that they’d really done so.

Ben uses all of his strength to get the wheel going. He knows that this is the end of his time on the island. He tells Jacob, “I hope you’re happy now” and moves the island. I’m not sure if Ben knew what was going to happen to him, as in the beginning of “The Shape of Things to Come,” he looks pretty confused.

The island moving was awesome. The sky turned bright (just like when Desmond turned the failsafe). We see shots of Juliette and Sawyer, the Others and Daniel with the other survivors in the speedboat all shielding their eyes from the brightness. The helicopter is flying back to the island since they only have limited fuel, then Bloop! The island is gone.

A hole in the water is left where the island once was, but there are no remains of it. Not the second island, not Daniel in the speedboat, nothing. This was one of the best scenes we’ve seen on Lost. Everyone had been wonder how they would move the island and I loved seeing it gone. The fear on the faces of those in the chopper showed that they were stunned. So where did the island go? Did it physically travel to a new location? Did it just jump through time? Forward or back?

What happened to everyone?

Once the island disappears, we stay with the chopper. They crash when they run out of fuel, everyone survives, despite a scare with Desmond. So what happens to everyone else? Charlotte and Miles were on the beach with other survivors like Rose and Bernard. Sawyer and Juliette were on the beach and Locke was with the Others just outside the Orchid. Jin may or may not be floating in the water near the freighter.

Was everyone transported with the island? The only one that would likely not have been was Daniel. Will he make it his mission to get back to the island to find Charlotte, if he didn’t get transported too? While on the subject of Charlotte, wasn’t her conversation with Miles interesting? Out of the four new characters, her story is the one that they didn’t spend much time on this year. It will be interesting to see where it goes. It sure sounds like she was born on the island. She definitely has been there before, as many speculated when she first arrived there. What of the issue of no being able to be born on the island then, if she was? I don’t think she’ll turn out to be Ben’s childhood crush, Annie, but she may have been part of the Dharma Initiative with Ben.

Not Penny’s Boat

With a homage to Lost’s first season finale, a boat approaches the survivors raft. It’s not Zeke and the Others, but it’s actually Penny’s boat. We get an emotional reunion between Desmond and Penny, one that fans have been yearning for since Desmond’s story was fleshed out in Season 2. So this season, we’ve seen Sayid reunite with Nadia and Desmond with Penny. That’s two big series questions answered right there.

Before getting on Penny’s boat, we find out where the Oceanic 6’s story came from…it’s Jack’s story. Locke had told Jack that they’d have to lie to protect the island and everyone who was left. Jack realizes this is true now (despite refusing to believe that Locke really moved the island). Jack says to let him do the talking and he comes up with the whole plan. We move forward to a week later and we find out how the 6 arrived on Membata. Penny helped to set the whole thing up by lending them the raft and getting them close enough to wash ashore.

There are many questions and holes in the Oceanic 6’s story. Why’d they chose Boone, Libby and Charlie as the other three survivors who ended up dying (as seen in the extended press conference from Part 1). Instead of figuring that the general public would not believe the crazy story about the island and what really happened, they chose to lie to protect everyone else. But they saw the island disappear. How do they know there is anyone else? They must also fear for their own lives. They know someone staged the wreckage of their flight, so they know someone has high stakes on keeping the island a secret.

It was also great to see that Desmond and Frank survived. So where are they in the flashforward future? They are both laying low, no doubt, but what are they doing? Is Frank searching for the island now? Is Desmond hiding away with Penny? What does Penny's dad think of Desmond now that he's spend 3+ years on the island? This will be part of the storyline fleshed out in Season 5 and I cannot wait for it to start. Too bad we have to wait until January 2009...Yes, that's correct, 2009!

Next on Lost: Octagon Global Recruiting

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