May 7, 2009

Follow the Leader

Lost fans know that season finales always deliver, but the episodes before the finales have been good over the years as well. These episodes have a hard time standing out because they have to set up everything in the finale, but in the past Lost has hit is out of the park with "Greatest Hits" and "Cabin Fever." Add "Follow the Leader" to that list. It was an entertaining hour that set everything up for next week's two hour finale, "The Incident."

Richard Alpert
I'd like to start with one of the most interesting characters on the show, Richard Alpert. Here's what we know about Richard, and it's not much. He's part of the Others, is very old/has been on the island a long time and doesn't seem to age. This week, Ben called him an adviser and said that he's had that job for a very long time.

All along we've thought that Richard was running the show, and he somehow knew everything that was going to happen. Well, come to find out, he's just as in the dark as fans are. The only reason Richard knows what he knows is because John Locke told him and basically, the only reason Richard helped Locke become leader of the Others is because Locke himself told him he would be their leader. Richard's been following Locke a lot longer than we thought he'd been.

So what is Richard really? There's been speculation that he's Egyptian, maybe even an Egyptian god. One of the first scenes of "Follow the Leader" shows him working on a ship in a bottle, and the ship looks a lot like the Black Rock. The other fan speculation about Richard is that he was part of Black Rock's crew. So was this first scene a hint about him or just something to throw us off?

He's Here
John Locke comes back to the Others camp after disappearing three years ago. Remember, Locke was flashing through time. From Richard's perspective, he just disappeared. Richard has no idea (or at least says he doesn't) where Locke's been all this time. But he does sense a change in John. John said that he has a purpose now.

I'm still not sure what to think of the "rebooted" John Locke. He's definitely different. Is he really alive? I think that's the main question we're to ask ourselves. The new Locke is on a mission and seems more in tune with the island. He knew exactly when his time-jumping self would appear at the beach craft, and he told Richard exactly what to tell himself. It was an interesting perspective on the scene from "Because You Left," especially the Richard's line about how he knew Locke was shot. Richard said because you told me, or you will. Now we know why he said it that way.

Back to the Cabin
Locke told Richard that he had a purpose now. So what's that purpose? He led Ben to be judge by Smokey and now has resumed his leadership position with the Others. He's leading Sun to believe that he's going to help her find Jin, but at the end of the episode it becomes clear that's not his true intention. His real intention is to kill Jacob ... Say wha?

Remember, old Locke doubted the existence of Jacob, until he spoke to him and briefly saw him in "Man Behind the Curtain." New Locke wants to bring all of the Others to see Jacob. He questions whether Ben has ever seen him and wants to clear up who this long time mysterious person really is. The rest of the Others are thankful that John wants to bring them to Jacob. Who do these people think he is? What is Jacob's relationship with Richard, as Richard is taken aback by John's request to go find Jacob? Lastly, why does Locke all of a sudden want to kill Jacob? He doesn't want to wait until the next day because he's "eager."

We've seen both Ben and Locke use Jacob as their trump card to convince others of their place on the island. With John supposedly being so in tune with the island, is the island telling him to knock off Jacob?

So who is Jacob anyway? Will he turn out to be a character we've already seen? Christian Sheppard said that he can speak for Jacob. Some fans think that Jacob will turn out to be Jack. I'm not sure how that would work, but the tie in with Christian would make sense. Other speculation points to Faraday. Since he was killed in 1977, was he able to push his consciousness into this Jacob being? Or will Jacob turn out to be a whole new character?

I watched them all die
Richard told Sun that he knew all of her friends because he watched them all die. We know the incident is coming soon, so what's going to happen to Jack, Kate, Hurley and Jin?

Just after Faraday's death, Jack convinces Eloise to help him execute Faraday's plan. Kate wants nothing of it. She doesn't want to erase the last three years of her life, her time with Jack and especially her time with Aaron. But is her true motivation not wanting to go back to being a fugitive who was captured and on her way to jail?

In the meantime, Sawyer and Juliette are being tortured by the DHARMA folks (man, I hate Radzinksky) about where Sawyer and Kate brought Ben. Miles, Hurley and Jin are leaving the barracks and are confronted by Pierre Chang. Hurley once again provides the lines of the night when Chang asks them if they're from the future. They admit that Faraday was telling the truth and that they're from the future. This leads Miles to reveal that he is indeed his son.

Chang has to then start the evacuation that Faraday said he needed to do. This gives Sawyer his out. He agrees to tell Radzinsky where the Hostiles are if he puts him and Juliette on the sub too. Sawyer wants the life he had with Juliette back and sells-out all of his "friends" to get it. When Sawyer enters the sub, he says good riddance to the island, but was he talking to more than the island? Did he mean Kate too? Well, it doesn't really matter, since Kate was captured (her specialty) and is thrown in with Juliette and Sawyer...awkward.

We also saw Charlotte and her mother get on the sub, and Chang arguing with his wife. She doesn't want to leave, so he has to be mean to her to convince her to leave with baby Miles. Grown up Miles watches from the distance, so he knows of his dad's true motivation.

Seeing the sub leave was surreal. We've always only seen it docked and some fans question if it really was used to travel to and from the island. We know that people were knocked out for the intense trip, but Kate, Sawyer and Juliette were awake. I hope we see how that ride really goes down.

Jack's Back on a Mission
Jack is no longer just going with the flow. He's assumed the Locke role of thinking its their destiny to stop the incident. This is why they were brought back to 1977. He convinces Eloise to take him to Jughead to complete Dan's plan. Eloise is motivated by thinking that she can change things so that she doesn't ultimately shoot her son.

After a surprise appearance by Sayid and Kate's departure, Richard and Eloise take Jack to Jughead, which is stored under the DHARMA village. They swim to the underground tunnels, which look a lot like the Temple/Smokey's lair. Richard doesn't look pleased when Sayid follows them into the tunnels. My first thinking was that they were going to see Smokey, and Sayid would be toast for his recent actions of shooting Ben and the Hostile who threatened Kate.

They take them to Jughead, which is just sitting in the tunnels covered with a tarp. So this is where they buried it safely? What happened to Faraday's advice about pouring cement over it? Jack questioned how they got the bomb down there and how they'd get it out. It wasn't through the pool, so is there another entrance? Or did smokey help them bring the 12 foot long, 40,000 pound hydrogen bomb underground.

Other Tidbits:
Eloise and Widmore are together but as Richard says, love can be complicated. From the hushed conversation they have together, is it safe to conclude that Eloise was pregnant with Dan in 1977? Widmore puts his hand on her stomach as they are talking. Also, Widmore looks over Dan's body and says that he looks familiar. Is this because he remembers seeing Dan in 1954 or because Dan is is son?

Richard says that the compass Locke gave him is a little rusty, but she can still find north. We've seen compasses not work on the island before. Why does Richard's work?

Sayid still thought that he had changed things by killing Ben, but wondered why they were still in 1977. He wasn't too pleased when Kate told him that they saved Ben.

Jack has made a complete 180. He's now admitting that he was wrong with his thinking before and has embraced Locke's way of thinking about the island.

I kept looking for Cindy and the kids with the Others on the beach, but Richard said another group was at the Temple. So they're likely with that group.

Richard says that John Locke's going to be trouble. It looks like Richard and Ben may end up working together against Locke. Is this the war that's coming? We still don't know anything about the Shadow of the Statue group, so how do they play into all of this?

Seeing Locke lead the Others to go find Jacob brought back memories of previous end of the season episode where we've seen the group trek down the beach. It always gives off that calm before the storm vibe.

Next on Lost: "The Incident"

*Photos from &


Anonymous said...

Very good synopsis of “Follow the Leader.” You raised many of the questions that have been swirling in my mind since watching the episode.

Here’s a little hypothesis/twist that I’ve been pondering. Any thoughts?

The John Locke 07 version is NOT the resurrected John Locke 04 version who turned the Wheel and was later killed by Ben.

Supporting observations:

1) Uncharacteristically, John 07 suddenly has “a purpose” and seems very driven. At the beginning of the episode Richard stares at John and says: “You look different.”
2) In the previous episode (?) Ben laying on the cot recovering from the paddle bashing by Sun, seems very surprised to see John. John notes Ben’s surprise and accepts it with the comment: (?) “You should be surprised, you killed me!”
3) Ben says to Sun: “When you’re dead, you’re dead.” If that’s true (you can never be sure when Ben says it), then Locke 07 can’t be Locke 04.
4) Another coincidence? When Oceanic 815 crashes there is a body being transported in the cargo bay, Christian Shepard. Shortly after the crash, and in numerous episodes that follow, Christian (or his “ghost/spirit”) appears to various characters. When Ajira 316 (?) crashes on the Island, there is also a body in the cargo bay……John Locke.

So what do you think: Is John Locke 07 the same as John Locke 04? Or is he some kind of Island apparition?

Ernie said...

I agree, I don't think Locke is the same. Now what he is exactly, I'm not sure of. He is capable of physical contact since he shook Richard's hand and carried a bore. Remember Christian Sheppard couldn't help Locke up in the Frozen Donkey Wheel Chamber, so many fans believe he can't physically touch you.

I think Locke may be Smokey or at least tied in with it. In Dead is Dead, everytime Ben went to summon Smokey, Locke left.

Anonymous said...

It is definitely apparent that something is up with Locke. I hope we find out more about Ann Arbor in the season finale. I think it would be interesting if Ann Arbor was not the town in Michigan, but rather another station of some sort.

I enjoy your Lost blogs, especially since people started to post and talk about spoilers on TFN forum.